After non stop running to the toilet, thanks to the dumplings, we were took a bus and headed for the Shakadang Trail or “Mysterious Valley Trail” 神秘谷. It was part of the Taroko Gorge. Frankly, we felt Taroko Gorge was much over rated. It was stone after stone, cliff after cliff. Perhaps it was just not our cup of tea. The highlight of Shakadang Trail was that the water was sapphire green in colour, probably due to mineral deposits.
The next day we hired a driver who will drive us all the way from Hualien to Cingjing, passing by the various tourist of interest.
We bypassed Taroko Gorge as we had been there the day before and drove straight to
Chingshui Cliff 清水斷崖. It was famous because the water consisted of different minerals and thus forming a 3 layers shade. It was scenic along the Su-Hua Expressway.
Next we went to Eternal Spring Shrine (長春祠), Swallow Grotto (燕子口九), Tunnel of Nine Turns (曲洞步道)
and Cihmu Bridge (慈母橋), covering various nature scenes. Finally we reached Tian Xiang (天祥），and it started to turn really chilly. It was at 2180 meters and about 3 degrees outside. It was freezing! We passed by Mt HeHuan (合欢山）which some people was trekking. It would be an hour trek and our driver seemed to be rushing for time, so we did not stop by. However, it would be a good trek in Summer to see the sunrise.
We reached Cinjing 清境 at around 5pm. It was in Highlands, albeit like Genting Highlands, about 3000 meters above sea level. When we reached here, it felt like Heaven. Everything was cold, and quiet. We walked around visiting the small village where we stayed before we tucked in for one of the most fabulous food we have had in our Trip to Taiwan. It was home made Yunan food.