Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Taiwan Day 5: HuaLien (Golden Triangle Commerical Circle and Zi Qiang Night Market)

The previous post on HuaLien was on it's beautiful scenery while this is dedicated to food, and only food. :D 

At the heart of Hualien City is the Golden Triangle Commercial Circle (金三角商圈), which comprises the main Zhongzheng Road, 中正路, Zhongshan Road, 中山路 and Zhonghua Road, 中华路. If you have noticed, many roads in Taiwan are named after the late Founding Father of Modern China Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan) and the late President Chiang Kai-shek (Chiang Zhongzheng). So do not be confused if you see the same road name in another city!

Within these streets are stalls that sells really fashionable clothing at affordable prices! In fact I feel that this was even better than wufenpu @ Taipei, which I will blog about it later. 

Food of course. Basically Taiwan is never short of food vendors. LOL! 

Gongzheng Street (公正街) in Hualien City would be a good place to begin the food trail.  At the beginning of the street is Gongzheng baozi (公正包子), aka xiaolongbao 小籠包.  Heard a lot of these paus and it's like a must eat when you're in HuaLien! We got one to share and we find that it’s a tougher version of xiaolongbao; thicker but with fluffy skin and every bite is filled with plenty of juicy meat filling. 

Everything is handmade on the spot and yes, it was flooded with people despite it being.. 5-ish? 

As our main agenda at Golden Triangle Commerical Circle wasn't to eat, we planned to head to Zi Qiang Night Market for food. We were here for the local delights to bring back for our family! 

But! We got so tempted by the food here! Haha! This is also another famous item that you need to try when you're in HuaLien. The Taiwanese version of popiah. AND IT WAS DAMN GOOD! Wish I could a roll now. T.T 

The Taiwanese verison of popiah has more options for the filling. This that I got has meat in it! 

As mentioned our agenda was to be here for the local delicacy. At Golden Triangle Commercial Circle (金三角商圈) there is a long street where it is occupied by all the vendors selling the best and most famous local delicacies. Best of all, you get to sample them all! :D 

Hualien being the home of many aboriginal tribes in Taiwan, mochi is the dessert that is specific to the Amis tribe (阿美族), originally made for special occasions and festivals only.  Today it has evolved into one of Hualien’s most popular souvenirs to bring home!  There are many different brands of mochi at this street alone, but the good ones are  增记 mochi and 阿美 mochi. Here we are at  增记 mochi first!:)

增记 mochi is famous for the handmade mochi, which has to be eaten on the very day. I've tried and died in mochi heaven. <3 <3 If you're at mochi fan, you can't miss out HuaLien in your itinerary!

阿美 mochi located just a few shops away. Had a very satisfying time here sampling all the mochi. :P

What's the different between the two you may ask. Hmm.. Personally I prefer 增记, especially their handmade one to be eaten within 24hours. That's the best mochi ever. The soft was really soft and yet chewy at the same time! Also, but pampered with a range of flavours at both 增记 and 阿美 as well! That's why before we headed to Zi Qiang night market for dinner, I'm already stuffed. Lol.

As we walked, we saw this shop that sells 100% pure, fresh cow milk and being the tourist in us. We had to try. :D

 Fell in love immediately because the milk was so.. pure. LOL! Sorry, I can't find a more approperiate word to describe it. Haha! Anyway, they also sell nougats using their fresh milk, which I reckon the best nougats ever! Better than the ones I had from Australia. They were softer and chewier as compared. 

By the time we brought our delicacies and sampled the entire street, we were so full to the max!! We tempted not going to Zi Qiang Night Market at first because we were that full. In the end we went la. Since we were already at HuaLien, just EAT. lol! 

Zi Qiang Night Market as compared to Feng Jia Night Market, it's definitely way way smaller. I find it a good thing though, because it only means that only the best would be able to survive here. Indeed so, as everywhere is filled with long queues! 

The most popular stall at Zi Qiang Night Market has to be this. 

It's at least an hour wait for their items, so I suggest you order your food and go somewhere else to explore first!:) 

The pig blood rice cake that I got. Too exotic for you? Hehe.. :D 

Also a must try in HuaLien. 

Basically a pau that was pan fried. 

We felt that it was ok~ nothing very special about it. 

Long queue is a sign to us that this is a must try. lol! 

Unlike Tainan's coffin bread, HuaLien's version is deep-fried.

At least 20 different flavours being offered and we choose sweet and sour chicken I think. 

Please do share so the coffin bread literally can send one to his/her coffin, it was super oily! 

This fruit juice has crazy long queue as well. More than 1 hour wait. :/ 

In Taiwan, you got to have oyster omelette! 

Nothing like the oyster omelette that we have in SG. The Taiwan version is more starchy due to the use of cornflour? 

Felt like my arteries have clogged after this plate. lol!

Ended the night with some chocolate banana snow ice to cool us down. Much needed due to all the grease. 

The kind boss volunteered to help us with the photo. :D 

Overall, Zi Qiang Night Market reminds as one of my favourite night market for this trip! It's small but filled with just the best thing in town! 

The delicacies that we bought by the way. hehe.. 

On a side note, we went to Taroko George the day before we left HuaLien and the driver who we engaged knew that we have tried 炸弹葱油饼. He was like WHAT?! You can't leave HuaLien without trying it! 

So he drove us to this place that sells the best 炸弹葱油饼, in his opinion. Boy it was so crowded! Luckily the nice driver helped us to order through his phone first. See what I mean when I say Taiwanese are really helpful? 

The uncle told us that it will be a size of a fishball only and this was what he meant by fishball size. LOL!

But dear uncle, thank you so much!! Definitely one of the best street food that we had in Taiwan! Basically an onion pancake wrapped with poached egg THAT OOZED WHEN YOU BITE! Clog my arteries I don't care. This is seriously foodporn. 

Did I make you hungry for some Taiwan food? I sure did. T.T 

Sigh.. missing HuaLien so much now! Next post will be on Taipei. Till then! :)

In case you miss out on my previous posts:



  1. Hi, Can I know which street is the first picture located? I searching for lodging (2nights) that are near these streets to walk around...

    Appreciate your advise please.


    1. Golden Triangle Commercial Circle. :) There are 3 long streets over there and this is one of those tiny streets that branches off from there. :)

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  2. Hi, can you share what is your mode of transport for the day? interested to adopt your itinerary for my hualien trip... thanks!

  3. Welcome to Taiwan. As to transport arrangement, I suggest you to inquiry the places you want to go, with some pictures will be better, in our tourist information center. They will help to locate the places in the map. Then, you can trace them in your google map, by bus, taxi, car rental, or even motocycle. It is up to you. They all are convinient and cheap in Taiwan.

  4. Hello,
    How long does it take from Taipei Main Station to go to Hualien? Is it possible to make it one day trip??
    I'm a big fan of Mochi ;-))


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