The next day, we woke up pretty early. We found a little breakfast ?? eating place, which had a truly awesome chocolate thick toast and milk tea.
Then we caught the train again and headed down to Taitung ??. It’s about a 2 hour journey, and only when the conductor checked the tickets did we realize we bought the wrong date! *smack forehead* We did manage to get a refund at the Taitung station, thankfully. We also stopped to have our Bian Dang lunch there as well.
From Taitung train station we took a cab to the harbour and bought tickets for the ferry to Lyudao ??, or Green Island.
A note for those with sensitive constitutions, the ferry ride there was a HORROR. Not sure if it was just a really bad time of the year or the weather conditions on that day, but man was it choppy. I suspect it’s the former, as there were lots of cleaners strategically stationed around in gloves and with pails and plastic bags. Talk about a shitty job…
The ferry is one big airconditioned cabin, and I mean people throwing up is one thing – the smell and all, but there was this one guy who just made the WORSE retching noises. Even thought I’m not the motion sick sort, I was feeling really queasy as well. We hung out outside for awhile – the fresh air helped some, but not much.
We were thoroughly disheveled and disoriented as we stumbled off the boat, and right away we were accosted by all sorts of touts. What a welcoming. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any reservations here either, and were hoping to do what we did in Ruisui and just find something suitable when we reached. So while we were getting accosted by all these people, even with our repeated attempts at fending them off, we came across this really nice Taiwanese lady who was waiting for the next ferry out. She helped us to fend off all these people, and even called up the guesthouse that she stayed at to arrange for transportation and accomodation for us! How nice was that – to this day I think we were really lucky.
I never did catch the name of the guesthouse in all the time we were staying there (yes, odd, I know), but it is directly opposite where the visitor’s center is, right next to the tiny Lyudao airport. We were put in a fairly roomy place on the 3rd floor, with 3 double beds between us and an attached toilet.
Having recovered some from the Hell Ferry Ride, we decide to take a walk around and explore the nearby bits. Frankly, we didn’t see anyone else walking – despite its tiny size, everyone scooters around Lyudao. Unfortunately since none of us could ride, we decided to rent a car the next day. Meanwhile, we checked out the tiny airport next door – there are 3 flights daily from Taitung to Lyudao – it takes only 15 minutes but costs about 3x as much, but considering all that, it was definitely a plausible option.
We then walk about 1km away (debatable though, about 1m away from the 0.8km marker was the 0.6km marker…) to a lighthouse.
It’s still functioning, so we can’t go up, but it’s pretty nice and peaceful out here. We come across a bunch of snorkellers who were really friendly and recommending things for us to do. They also showed us these ‘Starry Rocks’ – pieces of coral of sorts which have shapes like stars on them. I still have my starry rock today, though it looks decidely less starry…
It’s starting to get dark when we head back to the hostel. Our lovely hostel lady owner Xiao Lan jie recommends a great seafood restaurant in the main Nanliao town area, which was not only cheap, but fantabulous too. The little restaurant sits by the sea, and as the sun set, it became absolutely pitch dark. We totally stuffed ourselves for just S$13 a piece.
After dinner, we pop into the little souvenir shops to pick up stuff… yippee I love these little small shops with all sorts of strange and interesting crafts. We also buy some eggs for our impending hot spring trip later on (puzzled? more on that in the Hot Spring entry!) and head back to the hostel for an earlier night.