Monday, April 4, 2016

How to go to Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭) from Qixingtan Beach (七星潭) [Taiwan Day 946: I've Been to Hualien Part 2 "Liyu Lake"- April 3, 2016]


After appreciating the scenery in Qixingtan my travel team decided to leave the famous pebble beach for the emerald waters of the Carp Lake. It is the biggest lake in Eastern Taiwan and originally part of a large river until its flow was cut off by the forces of nature. It was like a daughter that had lost contact with its mother. Time had passed and the daughter had grown into a beautiful woman with an irresistible charm. Men and women visiting Hualien come to this place to see the sparkle of Eastern's Taiwan hidden gem.

Bus 105 at the Qixingtan bus stop

groupie inside Bus 105

Going to Liyu Lake from Qixingtan is a simple task of boarding a Taiwan Tour Bus back to Hualien Station and transferring to another Taiwan Tour Bus. However, one must take note of the timetable of the tourists buses so as not to wait long and waste precious time. We were very lucky to see an orange bus that goes back to Hualien Station at the bus stop. It was not the Taiwan Tour Bus but a local bus that takes 30 to 40 minutes to reach downtown. It was Bus 105 of the Hualien Bus Company and we swiped our EasyCard twice to pay the fare. We arrived at Hualien Station but the Taiwan Tour Bus going to Liyu Lake already left so were forced to ride a taxi. Our fare was calculated using the taxi meter and the 30 minute journey amounted to NTD 600 which is NTD 120 each since we were five people that boarded the car. The bus fare from Hualien Station to Liyu Lake via the Taiwan Tour Bus is only NTD 60.
 








I had my lunch beside the lake.

Susi, Ali and Mrinal couldn't resist taking photos of themselves with the lake and as they have fun Fisoliya and I got hungry. We then looked for food and the restaurants around Liyu Lake were selling lots of seafoods There were also a variety of fried cakes to choose from ranging from shrimps, sweet potato and taro. The fried rice and the shrimp fried cake became my lunch and I ate it beside the lake. I just didn't know that a boat owner was already eyeing my travel team and the old lady sent one of its foreign workers to have a chat with my Travel Buddies and lure us to rent their boats.



We were offered a rental price of NTD 500 for a boat ride but I ignored the owner first and walked away until the price was lowered it to NTD 400. Mrinal congratulated me for my bargaining technique. haha! My team agreed with the price and then given life jackets before hopping into the boat with a dragon head. Mrinal and Susi sat at the back while Fisoliya, Ali and I sat at the front seats. Teamwork was needed for this activity with Mrinal and Susi who were at the back controlled the direction of our dragon pedal boat.









It was my first time to pedal a boat in Taiwan with four people who came from different countries. Imagine a Filipino, Pakistani, Zimbabwean, Indian and a Bangladeshi on one boat and we were united by our desire of exploring Eastern Taiwan. If I just went here alone then I would do a different activity. There are individual kayaking boats and it looks fun. There is also an option to rent a speedboat and tour around the lake in a fast way.

 



Waves created by a passing speedboat

Our group photo after the boat activity

 
The view from the watch tower



There were fishes in the constructed wetlands.




We were given 1 hour to explore the lake and we encountered other visitors enjoying their boat trip . There were lovers in their cute swan boat and a group of friends in a speedboat that created waves across the serene lake. Cycling around the body of water is another option one can do and we saw people riding their bicycles as we reached the side of the lake. There was also a wetlands that was constructed along the banks with large fishes hiding under the water lilies while a watchtower can give visitors a panoramic view of the surroundings. 

Our combo tickets back to Taipei. 

at Luodong Bus Station in Yilan

We were asked to exchange our the bus part of our combo ticket for a ticket at Kamalan Bus.  Sometimes it's the Capital Bus company that accepts the combo tickets.  Just present your combo tickets to the staff and the will gladly assist you.

The Kamalan Bus ticket back to Taipei City Hall

See you again Liyu Lake!

Bus 1139 brought us back to Hualien Station. We were all tired but very happy with our day trip in Eastern Taiwan. Qixingtan pebble beach and the waters of Liyu Lake were just some of the places to see in Hualien. Unfortunately, one day is not really enough to enjoy them. There is a nearby museum in Qixingtan beach while near Liyu Lake is a forest park with an interesting story to share. The surprises really never end here and I promised to myself that I will return next week for a “2-Day Hualien Special”. (To be continued..)
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