Luodong (羅東) in one day - Alvinology

Luodong (羅東) in one day

Luodong (羅東) is an urban township in the central part of Yilan County, Taiwan. Its name derives from the Taiwanese aboriginal word Rutung/Lutung, meaning “monkey”. Luodong is famed for its large, beautifully landscaped sports park.

Rachel and I did not plan to visit Luodong during our Taiwan trip last year, but we ended up spending one night and a morning there for less than 18 hours (including around 8 hours of sleep time).

Having one extra day in Taiwan after we have finished our shopping and planned itinerary, Rachel and I somehow decided to visit Luodong to check out it’s famous parks. We consulted an official Yilan tourist brochure printed by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, and selected our accommodation from there – a homestay called 公園海民宿 – this proved to the biggest mistake of our short trip to Luodong.

lousy homestay
lousy homestay

We called the homestay before we departed from Taipei. When Rachel asked about the accessibility to the homestay from the nearest train station, the owner assured us he will drive to the station and pick us up if we find it too far. As we were carrying quite a bit of luggage, this was a relief. Imagine how pissed we were when we called the same owner upon reaching Luodong train station and he suggested we take a cab… it’s not about the money, but the attitude.

At Luodong train station
At Luodong train station

During the car journey, the owner seems to be in rush to dump us in our room and leave us there. When we asked him what are some interesting places we can visit as well as a good place for dinner; he was extremely nonchalant and kept trying to recommend us to dine at two pricey-looking  western restaurants near his homestay (we did not come all the way to Taiwan to eat western food which are very common in Singapore).  He also commented that there’s nothing much to see in Luodong and all the night market in Taiwan are about the same even though there is a famous one in Luodong (utter rubbish as we found out later upon visiting the Luodong night market which serves vastly different food fares from the ones in Taipei).

On hindsight, I believe the owner was trying to convince us to stay in our room and not wander around at night so he won’t have to drive and pick us up again later. He kept reiterating to us that there were free shuttle buses around Luodong and the last bus timing back to his homestay is around 9pm.

To make things worse, we were shocked to discover a pair of dirty underwears in our room wardrobe. There were also no towels provided. When we asked the owner about the latter, he suggested we use tissue papers to wipe ourselves, making no effort to even help or whatsoever.

To cut the long story short, Rachel and I ignored the dubious owner’s ill advices, and chose to venture out. This proves to be the right choice. The Luodong night market was very interesting and we ate a lot of delicious local food that night. Here are some photos to share:

At Luodong night market
At Luodong night market
Open-air free concert
Open-air free concert
Close-up of the rockers
Close-up of the rockers
Stall selling school uniforms
Stall selling school uniforms
Pirated Mickey Mouse (or is it Minnie?)
Pirated Mickey Mouse (or is it Minnie?)
Old, deserted arcade centre
Old, deserted arcade centre
Snow White spotted
Snow White spotted
Interesting looking building which we didnt get to visit
Interesting looking building which we didnt get to visit
Some kway which looks very nice but tastes like crap
Some kueh which looks very nice but tastes like crap
Close-up of the kways
Close-up of the kuehs
牛舌饼 - famous Yilan snack
牛舌饼 – famous Yilan snack
assorted lu wei
assorted lu wei
排骨鸡
排骨鸡
Taiwanese Roti Prata
Taiwanese Roti Prata
famous stall with very long queue
famous stall with very long queue
Close-up of the sought-after 卜肉
Close-up of the sought-after 卜肉
Chicken or duck neck
Chicken or duck neck
Octopachi
Octopachi
assorted fried food
assorted fried food
Some pork cutlet we ordered
Some pork cutlet we ordered
More fried stuff
More fried stuff
cheap popsicle
cheap popsicle
Food hawkers aplenty
Food hawkers aplenty
Popiah with peanut and ice cream fillings
Popiah with peanut and ice cream fillings
Close-up of the auntie shaving the cube of peanuts
Close-up of the auntie shaving the cube of peanuts
Note the layer of vegetable beneath the ice cream
Note the layer of vegetable beneath the ice cream
Greedy Rachel
Greedy Rachel
other types of popiah
other types of popiah

We have to cab back to the homestay as we missed the last bus. Rachel and I were harbouring evil thoughts on whether we should call up the lazy owner and pester him to come and pick us up. After all, it was only ten plus pm and the journey is a short drive of around ten minutes. In the end, we got soft-hearted. We reasoned that maybe the owner was a sick man and could not afford to move around too much. It won’t be nice to bully a sick man.

The next day, Rachel and I visited the famous sports park in Luodong – directly opposite our homestay. As the park is man-made, there’s nothing exceptionally spetacular about it in our view as both of us much prefer natural landscapes. We did not spot any monkeys, but there were many fat squirrels running around. Here are some photos taken at the park:

Fat squirrel 1
Fat squirrel 1
Fat Squirrel 2
Fat squirrel 2
Fat squirrel 3
Fat squirrel 3
peaches!
peaches!
some flowers
some flowers
some rocks
some rocks
King Arthurs castle?
King Arthur’s castle?
Nah... its the hotel which towers over over puny homestay located behind it
Nah… it’s the hotel which towers over over puny homestay located behind it
From another angle
From another angle
Sports park of course got sportsmen!
Sports park of course got sportsmen!
Baseball
Someone hit a home run
Tired... and bored
Tired… and bored
Very tired... and very bored
Very tired… and very bored

By noon, both of us were exhausted by the heat and bored by the park’s emptiness. We promptly checked out and took a bus back to the train station to return to Taipei. The lazy owner was not there when we checked out. We can’t find him, so we just left his room keys to a nice lady who apparently rent the lower floor of the homestay to use as an office.

Bye bye Luodong!
Bye bye Luodong!

All in all, Luodong could have been a much more fun place to visit if we have done better research before going there and perhaps, have more time to spare. It didn’t help that the owner of the homestay was very unhelpful. I won’t say he was rude; rather, it was his indifference that pissed us off. If you are thinking of visiting Luodong, please do not stay at 公園海民宿 – other than the non-existence service, it is not exactly cheap either. We found out that the room rates were more expensive than a budget hotel within walking distance from Luodong train station. 🙁

Technorati Tags: Luodong, 羅東, yilan, yilan county, luodong night market, luodong sports park, luodong national park, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, 公園海民宿, green park homestay, lousy homestay, poor travel accomodation in taiwan, luodong train station, kway, 牛舌饼, 卤味, popiah, ice cream popiah, peanut popiah, 排骨酥, taiwanese roti prata, 卜肉, octopachi, fat squirrels

1 comment
  1. Looks like an extremely satisfying holiday and one that is guaranteed to pile on the inches! You also went to great effort in putting this post up bro…. I know how much effort holiday picture posts take! Glad to see that Rachel and yourself had fun at Taiwan.

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