Unveiling Hualien’s secret spots, a favorite of Taiwan celebs

A private photographer’s photos have become this year’s sensation on Facebook and Instagram.

達哥會帶著各種道具,幫大家拍出「海球天鏡」的效果。| Honda brings a variety of props to help photos have a "Floating Water World" effect.

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Some seem to fly over the sea on a broomstick, while others sit on a swing suspended in midair — these have become this year’s most talked-about photos among Instagram and Facebook netizens in Taiwan.

Spurred on by magical background scenery, netizens franticly forwarded and searched for their location. The results all pointed to Hualien County, to secret corners where not even locals recognize, and cars can’t reach it. 

Following the clues behind these much-shared photos, people realized these internet celebrities were all led there by Hualien Getaway guide, Honda, riding adorable electric scooters the whole way.

Not only did an expert tour guide come along, but so did a professional photographer, snapping highly mesmerizing photos of the online stars. A round-trip to this hidden getaway only takes a breezy hour and a half, and renting a scooter only costs NT$800.

It’s all you need to photograph to your heart’s content, sharing the same thrills and excitement as the social media stars before you.

After a ride less than 5 minutes long, Honda then uses props and instructs everyone how to strike a pose with their colorful scooters.
After a ride less than 5 minutes long, Honda then uses props and instructs everyone how to strike a pose with their colorful scooters.

Gathering at Sunward Plaza (向日廣場) next to Hualien’s port is the first stop to begin this Instagram-famous getaway journey.

You’ll want to snap some photos of the Southern European-style buildings, before selecting your very own colorful electric scooter.

Honda then leads the group along the whale-watching wharf’s bicycle path to begin this relaxing photo tour towards the VIP hideout.

Honda brings a variety of props to help photos have a “Floating Water World” effect.
Honda brings a variety of props to help photos have a “Floating Water World” effect.

After about 5 minutes on the bike path, Honda stops at the first quiet trail overlooking the sea, takes out props such as brooms and coke bottles, and instantly turns into a professional salon photographer.

He directs the group on how to strike just the right pose, employing forced perspective to create an optical illusion, and suddenly, the model becomes a flying witch. So, that’s how those internet stars took their pics!

The professional photographer may also snap broomstick-riding pictures.
The professional photographer may also snap broomstick-riding pictures.

Continuing the ride for about 10 minutes, the sea gradually changes from turquoise, lake green to sapphire blue, and tourists are almost nowhere to be seen, leaving the entire sea for your enjoyment. Again, Honda silently brings out several props, and through the same photographic effect, he takes a beautiful picture that seems set in a fairy tale: “FloatingWater World”!

Honda arranges pebbles into arches, using certain angles to take mesmerizing photos.
Honda arranges pebbles into arches, using certain angles to take mesmerizing photos.
A variety of creative jump shots with beautiful backgrounds will look good no matter how you shoot them.

You reach the final stop after riding for about 5 minutes, arriving at the Four Eight Highland (四八高地), an area previously used for national army drills.

Later, bicycle lanes were built to give tourists the opportunity to explore this hidden gem. The path reaches a commanding position 48 meters high which overlooks the 180-degree panoramic view of Chisingtan’s Crescent Bay (七星潭月牙灣).

The Discovery Channel once came to photograph the sea at sunrise, which is an international beauty in itself. Other than photos of the skies and ocean, Honda will help visitors take wildly unique ones, as well.

About 15 minutes by bike from Sunward Plaza visitors reach the highlight of the journey, a secret realm that even local people do not know.
The bravest of visitors can sit on the cliff’s edge and bask in the vastness of the sea.
With the sea as the background, a white table is placed on the cliff’s edge. Amazing photos can be taken of couples and friends alike.
With the sea as the background, a white table is placed on the cliff’s edge. Amazing photos can be taken of couples and friends alike.
Overlooking Crescent Bay from Four Eight Highland

This hidden getaway to Hualien is truly unique. It’s easy to ride a scooter and have someone lead the way. With professional photographers to help with the picture-taking, now everyone can return home and relish in their very own “Viral Instagram Photoshoot” (VIP). 

For more related information, please refer to the Facebook page of the scooter rental, Hualien Getaway Electric Vehicle (花蓮逍遙遊電動車、機車):

https://www.facebook.com/HuaLien.HappyTraveling/