Before going to Taroko Gorge, we detoured to Chishingtan, which is also spelt as Qixingtan (七星潭). The name Chishingtan literally means “Seven Stars Lake”, but it really is a crescent-shaped bay (星月型海灣). Chishingtan is also an excellent place to view the big dipper, which is an asterism of the 7 stars, and hence the name “Seven Stars Lake”.
One unique thing about Chishingtan is that the beach is a pebble beach rather than a sandy beach.
May is the Mambo fish season in Hualien (Mambo fish statue below). Mambo fish are in high demand because they cannot be reared commercially due to its large size and the inability to adapt to manmade environment. All parts of the fish, from the fins to the intestines are edible, and with its high collagen content, it is a delicacy in Hualien. The size of the mambo fish is huge. It can weigh up to 1000kg making it one of the heaviest fish in the world.
Borrowed the image below from http://www.craigfergusonimages.com/2009/02/taiwan-delicacies-mambo-fish/.
There’s also a 35km bicycle trail from Chishingtan to Liyu Lake. Borrowed the image below from http://tour-hualien.hl.gov.tw/en/Attraction/Information.aspx?id=187&zone=2#content
HaiAn Road, Xincheng Township, Hualien County, Taiwan.
Service Tel: +886 38 221592
More Info for Chishingtan
http://www.netete.com/big_dipper/about.htm (Mandarin only but you can use google translate)
http://www.hgjh.hlc.edu.tw/2003htm/C0325970113/3-10.htm (Mandarin only but you can use google translate)
More Info for Bicycle Trail in Hualien
More Info on Mambo Fish
http://e-info.org.tw/column/ourisland/2004/ou04051401.htm (In Mandarin)