We weren’t looking to release the stress from the busy city life or from traveling as most people expect to when visiting Hualien, Taiwan.
On the contrary, we almost accidentally chose to stop in Hualien as our last stop of the Taiwan’s trip before heading back to Taipei. In fact, not knowing much about the best places to visit in the country, we followed what the locals suggested to us and made the right decision.
Once again, my happiest memories are due to the great time we spent with our Couchsurfing host in Hualien and also because it was the first time we met with our now fellow travel buddies and bloggers, Tony and Steph of the picture-perfect Twenty Years Hence, who coincidentally and entirely by accident were also staying with the host as us at the very same time.
There also is a very special place that will always put a smile on my face when thinking about Hualien: the Qixingtan Beach.
This amazing part of the Taiwanese coast is simply stunning and not only for its coastal scenery with the mountain in the distance and the ocean right at your feet, but also for the many pebbles and rocks that make a nice change to the usual sandy beaches we are used to.
I loved how the waves crashed against the pebbles making them move and the noise they made whilst settling in a different arrangement.
I loved the different shade of the sea water looking dark in the distance and light and clear before the waves reached the beach.
I loved the cool breeze and the warm sunlight at dusk changing the colour of the sky and making weird shades.
I loved the smell of the sea so familiar to me , bringing back memories of my teenage years spent at the beach near my South Italian hometown.
We both aren’t really beach people, I mean we love going to the beach, enjoying the view, maybe going for a quick swim, but only for 15/20 minutes. As soon as we hit that 20 minute mark we feel like we need to keep going instead of stopping motionless sunbathing.
This beach definitely treated us differently, in fact, we returned there twice, two days in a row after our daily activities. There were people (mainly locals fishing or walking) but it wasn’t crowded maybe because of the luck of touristy activities and because it isn’t possible to swim due to the strong currents, it all worked well for us giving a sense of privacy even if we were in an open public space and not alone.
We sat down watching the sea after a walk around and tested the water temperature by stepping into it but it was a little too cold. We instead played UNO and felt so comfortable that we completely lost track of the time, we only realized it was time to catch the bus back when it became dark.
We could have rented a bike to explore the wider area, but we chose against it because all we really wanted was to enjoy that place in that moment. Its atmosphere was quite magical and not because of its amazing scenery, but because of how it made us feel.
Even if we weren’t particularly looking to relax, we ended up doing it in a very natural and unexpected way.
We of course recommend to stop by to Qixingtan Beach if you get the chance and you are in the area, no matter if it’s a sunny day or not, it can be quite nice even when is misty.