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Hualien City 花蓮市

Hualien City 花蓮市 (pinyin: Huālián) is the capital and largest city in the eponymous Hualien despite being home to little more than 100,000 residents. It is the gateway to Taroko and the eastern rift valley and you are bound to at least pass through if you visit eastern Taiwan.

An Abandoned Market in Hualien City

An abandoned market in Hualien.

My first visit to Hualien City 花蓮市 was completely accidental. I met up with a fellow urban exploration enthusiast at Taipei main station to take a train to Píngxī 平溪. Unfortunately we boarded an express train to Hualien without realizing it—and ended up three hours out of our way in a place not exactly known for its abandonments. With a couple of hours to kill before catching the next express train back to Taipei we made the most of it—by looking for whatever rundown, grimy things we could find. This abandoned market near the train station was just about all we came across.