/bɪ ə gʊd gɜ:l/ n. moniker of she who blogs here [also known as, bie]; adj. personal awesome advice to all female kiddos

meet the fam #thechennies

meet the fam #thechennies

If you're wondering why I'm acting all mysterious about our day at Taroko Gorge (teasers #1 and #2), I'm laying my cards on the table and saying it - there are too many photos, that's why! Please bear with me as I sort out the photos and pick from the gazillions that we took. Yes, we were so fascinated by the rock formations and stone faces that we got a tad carried away.

Let's start with our accommodation there, shall we? We had a bit of a disagreement over whether to stay at one of the hotels at Taroko Gorge or at Hualien. Of course, we ultimately decided to stay at a Taroko Gorge hotel because: 1) the main aim of going to Hualien is for Taroko Gorge, 2) there is basically nothing to do in downtown Hualien at night (so might as well stay closer to the main attraction and do nothing too), 3) the bus ride from Taroko Gorge to Hualien is about 1.5 hours one-way. On the flipside, the hotel is really pricey. Like really. We stayed at Leader Hotel Taroko for 2 nights at NT$10300 (around S$430) inclusive of 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners, 2 afternoon teas, tax and service charge - some promo rate on their website. They also provided a complimentary mattress for Bielet.
[For comparison, we were also contemplating Silks Place Taroko, this swanky 5 star hotel at Taroko Gorge. The price was roughly S$500 higher overall, which was also one of their promo rates. Leader Hotel Taroko is supposedly 4 star accommodation, but we felt that Leader Hotel was more rustic and out of the ordinary.]

All the rooms are housed in a log cabin with your exclusive entrance and private deck (for double bedders, there are 2 rooms in each cabin). The beds are all mattresses, which are puffier and less hard than futons. In case you're wondering, the yellow cushions on the right of the photo isn't Bielet's mattress. Hers was laid out later on.

The little TV space and tables for our stuff and drinks, as well as a small fridge. Our room also had a small selection of books and a couple of hats for our use.

Cool wood carving on the door leading to the loo. More on wood carvings a bit later on.

Right. I won't lie. We thought that the loo was slightly dodgy, and we kind of regretted not going for the 5 star hotel. The shower area is fine though it is recommended there be an interval of 15-20 minutes between showers so that the heater can sufficiently warm up the water (which is icy cold from the gorge!). Oh, and do remember to close the blinds before you shower! 

It was the pee area that we didn't like. Firstly, the low class (sorry!) pink wall tiles are really ugly and the darker pink floor tiles are equally bad. What's worst was that the floor tiles around the toilet bowl were conspicuously darker than the rest. And did I mention the odd musky smell? Super icky. We aired the loo by drawing open the blinds and the smell dissipated somewhat. As for the floor, I just wore my room slippers into the bathroom and not the room. There - all better. I think.

This is what the sleeping area looks like from outside on the private deck. Just draw the curtains for privacy. Note the step that delineates the sleeping platform from the rest of the room? Bielet stumbled on the step coming down a couple of times but mastered it soon after. Claps all round!

Yummy chocolate mochi provided for us :):) Mochi is one of the Hualien specialties so it's something to try when you're here! There are plenty of stores in downtown Hualien hawking an astounding variety of mochi so do spend some time picking the best if you enjoy this soft, chewy confectionery. (I don't particularly like it, but this chocolate one was really good!) 

Remember the hats provided? Bielet shows you how to carry it off :):)

Will be continuing on another post on what else we did at the hotel :) Don't want to be too chong hei, right?


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