In May 2018 I embarked on a bicycle trip from Hualien City 花蓮市 to Taitung City 台東市 along the majestic Huadong Valley 花東縱谷 of Taiwan. Although I had previously cycled parts of this valley in 2013 I did so without really knowing what was there—and in five years I had amassed quite a collection of notes about places I was interested in seeing up close. Two main themes emerged while preparing for this trip: old movie theaters, of which I had located more than a dozen, and numerous relics of the Japanese colonial era, particularly former Shinto shrines. This post documents my first day of riding, which only began in the late afternoon after arriving by rail at Hualien Station. I had shipped my bike ahead so all I had to do was pick it up from the baggage room, throw the panniers on, and start riding.