Location: Chishang to Liyu Lake
Distance: 100km
Ride Difficulty: Easy. Country road

Chishang > Liyu Lake

Chishang > Liyu Lake

Today’s road took us northbound towards Liyu Lake, a stone throw away from Hualien city. We will pass by Yuli>Ruisui>Shoufeng. We will officially ride into Hualien country. This segment was about 100km. Mainly flat road with beautiful countryside scenery.

Leaving Chishang was like leaving a heavenly place. But we made a promise to be back. There was a lot more to explore here. Perhaps a 2-3 days stay would be more fruitful. With 100km ahead of us, we started out earlier today. We did not have the chance to bit farewell to 小黑。 It was a wonderful stay at his mingsu!

Heading out, we saw a theme restaurant just beside the guest house. It was beautifully decorated, transforming an old train cabin into a dining room.. We shall save it for the next trip.

How about dining on a train!

How bout dining on a train!

ROUTE 9

We left Chishang. It was another cold morning. The padi fields extended into the horizon where they merged into the mountain range. It was a sight that we can never get sick of. We cycled along route 9 which connects to Route 193. Today we cycle along 乡间小路!

走在乡间的小路上
暮归的老牛是我同伴
蓝天配朵夕阳在胸膛
缤纷的云彩是晚霞的衣裳…

Moving out of Chishang

Moving out of Chishang

I love the feeling of cycling into town.

I love the feeling of cycling into town.

Chishang was behind us. But we had the padi fields, who accompanied us for miles!

Chishang was behind us. But we had the padi fields, who accompanied us for miles!

ROUTE 9 to 193

Instead of heading to the coastal road, we have decided to opt for the countryside experience. From Route 9, we turned into Route 193. There were significantly less cars along this stretch of road. There were also less padi fields here. A sign that we are leaving the valley. However, it was still as beautiful.

A 7-11 marked the turn off to Route 193

A 7-11 marked the turn off to Route 193

Almost no traffic.

Almost no traffic.

There were too many photo opportunities and we had to restrain taking more awesome photo!

There were too many photo opportunities and we had to restrain taking more awesome photo!

Instead of cycling on the road, the cycling path runs parallel to the rail tracks

Instead of cycling on the road, the cycling path runs parallel to the rail tracks

Each town has its own cycling path. Very well marked map.

Each town along 193 has its own cycling path. Most have a detailed and well illustrated map.

51km @ RUISUI

Our lunch stop was at Ruisui, a mid sized town popular for tea, hot spring and white water rafting.

One of my favorite dish. Sliced beef served chilled!

One of my favorite dish. Sliced beef served chilled!

Ruisui Train Station

Ruisui Train Station

LEFT @ T JUNCTION
From Ruisui, we turned left at the T Junction towards Hualien. The 7-11 at the junction was another popular regroup point for tourers.


RAIN

Not long after setting off, we encountered rain. It was so cold that we had to seek shelter at a 7-11. The hot meals was god sent but the air-conditioned does not help much. We have to dibert our attention to the cycling magazines!

Plenty of Bike related magazine here!

Plenty of Bike related magazine here!

I can never ran out of beverage choice here!

I can never ran out of beverage choice here!

Coffee...7-11...Coffee...7-11

Coffee…7-11…Coffee…7-11

Eventually, we realized that the rain will outlast us! Like many other tourers, we had to move on. It was not cold but chilling cold! We pushed on for the next 50km.

Just have to do it!

Just have to do it!

Stopping was not an option....We had to kept paddling to keep warm

Stopping was not an option….We had to kept paddling to keep warm

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Passed by a meat stall…can you guess what’s on my mind?

We crossed a huge bridge. At thus point, my leg was pretty numb!

We crossed a huge bridge. At this point, my leg was pretty numb!

Route 193 > ROUTE 11A > Route 9
From 193, we head West to 11A which linked us back to Route 9. Finally at the intersection we, saw Guangfu Train station. 193 continues to Northwards into the mountains. For the adventurous tourers, it would still bring you to Hualien.

My mind was set to focus on the Y junction after Shoufeng Train Station. We had to take the road on the left to Liyu Lake. It was almost 5pm when we reached that junction. The route took us uphill. Halfway, we spotted an interesting sign named 秘密鸡地! Later I found out it was a restaurant.

Uphill to Liyu Lake

Uphill to Liyu Lake

After another 5km, we saw lodging on the left side of the road. It was a great relief because we were almost at last light.

The first mingsu was 5 Stars but there we no rooms.

The first mingsu was a 5 Stars standard but there we no rooms. PHEW!

Monet Garden

Monet Garden

We found out the cost of lodging was on the high side. We were not able to get a room at less than TWD$1500 per nite. Eventually we settled on the next available guest house, Monet Garden.

It was a long and cold ride…but tomorrow was a rest day!

My Thoughts

1. From Chishang to Hualien, you can chose to take the coastal or countryside route.

2. View Monet Garden website. There are a few mingsu in the area. Some are situated right beside the lake. Monet Garden is about 500m away from the lake. A great place to stay especially if you are a coffee lover.

3. Invest in a good rain jacket. I preferred a proper rain jacket to the $2 one from 7-11. It kept us dry and the better ones were breathable. A tight fit jacket also reduced wind resistance.

Link to Day 7

View more photo on my Flickr

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Time vs Time

On November 22, 2014, in Uncategorized, by omegaforest

As parents, we devote our love and time to our kids. It’s always a good question of how much quality time is enough? Well, it never is…

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Prata day!

Sharing an experience which I would had regretted. But I am glad that I did it. My new job is challenging, time consuming and required constant attention. No longer were the times where I was able to take time off to accompany the kids.

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Together with the teachers, they made a bus which will be featured during their graduating concert!

From time to time, the school would invite parents to take part in school activities to get a good understand of their school life. Today was one such day where we were invited to view their project. It was a day where both Jen and I was extremely busy at work. We had informed the teacher that we were likely unable to attend.

I have constantly remind myself to be present at her school activity. It was however a struggle to leave work. The responsibility to the client or that to my child.

I am glad I chose the later.

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Forever my lil gal!

On my way, the thought of my gal being the only one without an accompanied parent made me guilty and uneasy. Upon arriving, I found her queuing for her prata. Her school mates were shouting to her that her father was here.

Her smile was priceless as she had thought that I would not come.

I was at peace.

She kept telling her classmates that her dad is here. It was after all important to her.

She brought me into the classroom to view her work ….

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One of her favorite teachers!

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Don’t you love their classroom!

No words could describe that feeling when my daughter showcased her work to me…

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Joyce. One of her many good Friends!

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It always ended with a trip @ the school’s playground!

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August in Penang

On November 16, 2014, in travel, by omegaforest

This year marked my third trip to Penang for CFAL.

My 90 mins AirAsia flight seemed so uneventful. I noticed the lady sitting across me praying hard during takeoff and landing. After all not all enjoyed the flying experience.

At the airport, I was chauffeured by a lady driver in her Nissan Sylphy. One of the 5 lady drivers in the fleet. She even came down and helped me with my 24kg bicycle bag! That impressed me! I told her I’ll have her to fetch me back in 4 days time.

I was glad to be back in Penang. The familiar sigh of Komtar as we turned into city and the old shop houses along Chulia street. This year, I stayed at Nam Keng Hotel. This boutique hotel was just 4 month old and highly rated at Tripadvisor.

Junction at Lebuh Chulia

Junction at Lebuh Chulia

Pre-war shophouses, the beauty of George Town

Pre-war shophouses, the beauty of George Town

Interesting exhibition space. Photo exhibits at the courtyard of a temple.

Interesting exhibition space. Photo exhibits at a temple’s courtyard.

Change is constant. More boutique hotels could be seen along Chulia street and its vicinity. Food is still the biggest draw. We had Nasi Kandar at Little India to Zi Char along Weld street, not mentioning the countless Wanton noodles.

Our first meal was @ Little India.

Our first meal was @ Little India.

Cycling | Photography | Food

It was a privileged to join Alvin and his cycling team on the last leg of their tour. It was a different experience. Instead of searching for countless wall murals, they spent time sharing experiences and appreciating the heritage part of town. Priceless!

Food..good food and lots of it!

Food..good food and lots of it!

The best way to enjoy Penang.....walk!

The best way to enjoy Penang…..walk!

Coincidentally, CFAL was also held in the month of the Hungry Ghost festival. Getai, Chinese Operas and Puppet shows filled the night. The experience was just too overwhelming!

Offerings!

Offerings!

Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera in Penang was of a different league. The troupes were engaged from China and Taiwan. Many featured talents who were as young as teenagers. It was a great experience to document two troupes from China. The young members were extremely passionate about their performance, very dynamic and possessed lots of potential.

Artist from Taiwan

Artist from Taiwan

Artist from China

Artist from China

A show  for the gods

A show for the gods

Backstage

Backstage

The next morning brought new opportunities for photography. Our hotel was just a stone throw away from Chinatown and Chowrasta market. The daily wet market was my all time favorite. Stalls lined the sidewalk and it felt so 70s.

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I see beauty…do you?

One of the many Coffee shop that brought back the 80s feel!

One of the many Coffee shop that brought back the 80s feel!

Morning Market...as fresh as it can be!

Morning Market…as fresh as it can be!

Intestines or some brains tissue?

Intestines or some brains tissue?

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Where metal were forged!

From hostel to boutique hotel!
This was the first time I stayed in a upmarket lodging. In my previous trip, my modest room was only MYR$70! (based on twin sharing)

Nam Keng Hotel was a gem in its own league. Nicely decorated room and friendly staff. The area below the light well was an amazing space. I believed Ying Chang spend a good part of his time here.

We had the family room!

We had the family room!

Time seemed to have stopped here.

Time seemed to have stopped here.

View from 2nd floor.

View from 2nd floor.

Was four days too short? I would have to agree. Penang had indeed outdone itself. Tourists and locals had a lot more choices of hotel to choose from. Air conditioned cafe and eateries added to the ranks of local delights, making Penang another foodie paradise.

Great People!

Great People!

Awesome food!

Awesome food!

Awesome eateries

Awesome eateries

Will see you again in 2015.

View more of my Penang Photo on flicker.

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