If you have actually tried to Google on this place, as I did before. you might be confused with the terms addressed to this place.
七星潭 – ‘Qi Xing Tan’ or ‘Chi Hsing Tan’ in pinyin literally means 7 Star Lake.
Which is located nearby to Hualien City in Beipu Village, Xincheng Township.
It took me approximately 15-20minutes by car via Hualien City to arrive at Qi Xing Tan, depending on traffic.
I struggle a little between the Mandarin pronunciation at times, because of the use of Standard Chinese and Taiwanese Chinese (As Example above). There is two ways of Spelling/Writing it but one way of pronunciation really.
Traditional characters (Fan–ti-zi) – Used in Taiwan, some parts of Malaysia.
Simplified Chinese script (Jian ti zi) – Used in Singapore, China.
On the overall, this was the 2nd location in my entire trip here that i enjoyed the most.
Perhaps because of the lack of touristy activities once there, but the sound of the crashing waves and blue blue waters.
The cold cold wind in your faces and blowing past your near frozen ears.
Something about the real force of nature at work, the weather non apologetic in its own way. Sunny, Drizzly or Pouring down cats and dogs unpredictably.
The locals selling their simple street food, a long stroll back to my hotel passing through Stone Sculpture Park sharing stories with my new found friend.
When buying the Sweet Potato from a mentally slow (just a little) vendor, who enthusiastically shared that his potatoes were farmed with natural mountain water. And oh-so-sweet. We were sold, a happy looking Bright Orange potato pipping hot in our hands, on a cold day. Somehow I couldn’t help but feel a tad humbled by the whole incident.
A simple hot sweet potato one late afternoon with a fellow traveller I met there, sitting smack in the middle of the the ‘Star Gazing Square’. It was said that this was the one spot in the entire bay where you can see The 7 Northern Constellation Stars (Bei Dou Qi Xing 北斗七星). Each commenting that food here is so much more organic compared to China even Singapore, because of it’s direct produces from farms around.
I remember being astounded by the Small Sausage in Big Sausage (大腸包小腸 Dachang Bao Xiaochang ) that came recommended by my Tarako Guide – which came heavy in a sausage shaped lump of Glutinous Rice stuffed with shredded Pickled Mustard Greens and a Pink coloured Taiwanese Sweet pork Sausage. What colours and quite an unexpected meal.
Excited by the stories my friend was telling me about coming back one afternoon, watching the fishermen coming back to shore with fishes so huge it was amazing. Oh the tone of exhilaration from her!
Turns out it was the ocean sunfish, the heaviest bone fish in the world, caught off the east coast of Taiwan. With an average adult weight of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).
Amazing isn’t it? It was a shame, when we tried to wait for a second time so I could see it with my own eyes. But the weather that day apparently was not good to go out to sea. Rainy season does puts a downer sometimes. Suffice to say, there was a sculpture of the real sized fish at the Harbourfront. At least finally I found the answer to the identity of the weird ball shaped fish.
Arriving upon the crescent shaped bay on the other side of Qi Xing Tan (七星潭), with it’s smooth black pebbled beach.
Waking up at 6am in the morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of the rising sun. Hot tea and camera in hand, drawing in my first breathe of fresh ocean air. It was peaceful, staring into the open sea. I was right beside the Pacific Ocean!
The fishermen at work so in the morning. Traces of the main livelihood of the area.
The blue turqouise waters, i still miss.
Exploring the other side of the beach this time, leading em to yet another delight.
A quaint restaurant facing the pacific ocean, a small ranch that served Goats Milk Coffee. Oh joy!
(More about that later).
The Ocean always represented the life force of nature to me. The power behind the ocean’s currents and big crashing waves. At each shore I arrive to as I travelled, a different story and way of life. My first Ocean experience. And Qi Xing Tan (七星潭) has brought forth in me the appreciation and unpredictability of life itself. That whatever it is, there is always something bigger than us out there. The unknown, unseen and unjustified.