We arrived at Hualien City 7 pm having been through a long ride from Cingjing (清境) crossing the central mountain ranges. We were exhausted having arrived late with the road journey of five and a half hours.
We were pre-booked at this Bed & Breakfast (B&B) place called Hualien Hao Yun B&B (花蓮浩澐民宿). It was a great relief having picked this B&B as our accommodation for three nights. The male employee came out to welcome us and sat us down for a run-through of Hualien. We got a quick preview of what we could do at Hualien. He even booked the Taiwan Rail tickets on-line for us to get to our destination on the last day. Hao Yun B&B has no elevator and our room was on the third floor. He lifted our two luggage (weighing about 30 kg) singlehandedly. Without him, it won’t be so easy to get to our room. He was also our chauffer to get us to train station on two occasions. That is what I call service.
Hualien Hao Yun B&B (花蓮浩澐民宿) is owned by a couple who are themselves interior designers running their office out of the same place. Because of their profession, the bedroom and bathroom are tastefully decorated and fitted with quality furniture and fittings. I like it and it is clean-cut deco with adequate space to move around.
What I like about this B&B place is that they outsource their breakfast to a café that is just down the street. They gave 50 TWD voucher belonging to the café for each person per day of stay in the B&B. You can use this voucher just like money and pay the balance if one picks pricier items for breakfast. There are wide choices of East and West morning breakfast items. I like their Taiwan food items and it has regular local customers. How much local can you get?
For three nights, the bill inclusive of breakfast for Hualien Hao Yun B&B came to S$180. (S$60 per room-night). That is good value.
People at Hualien were friendly. The boss and staff at the café started to talk to us on the second day we were there. They were quite surprised that we were staying for three days. Most tourists would touch and go at a place, chasing for the next destination to capitalise their limited days in Taiwan. One day, we were looking from a distance at a majestic building structure set against the mountains as backdrop. A passer-by stopped to tell us about this building without any prompting. They were that friendly. They were more relaxed when compared with busy city like Taipei. Even the Taiwanese people would escape the hectic lifestyles in some cities and come to Hualien for a get-away. Hualien kept their old charm without many modern buildings.