Last May, we went to Taiwan and I can’t believe that I didn’t even complete my Taiwan posts on Hualien and Taipei and we’ll be jetting off to Bali this May. Since some friends have asked me to share what we did in Hualien, here’s part 3 of my Taiwan adventures where we went whale watching!
Whale watching season falls between April to October in Taiwan and Hualien is an ideal place for this sight seeing. Angeline was the one who recommended me to include this on my itinerary and personally this was the highlight of my Taiwan trip.
Whale Watching in Hualien
There are two tour companies that offers this tour and we go our friendly cab driver, Mrs Gu to help us book the tour with Whale World. The charges for adult is NT$750 (S$32) and for children is NT$550(S$24), which is probably cheaper than a similar tour in Australia. The tour started at 10am and the night before, we prepped ourselves with motion sickness pills just in case we turn green. We didn’t want to run the risk of getting sick, so we had a light breakfast that was prepared by the host of the B&B.
The ferry service by Whale World picked us up promptly from the hotel (浪淘沙看海民宿 ) and brought us to Hualien port. The tour took about 2 hours and the best time to set out is early in the morning to spot the whales. It takes about 30 minutes from Hualien harbor to the open sea.
Although we were disappointed that we were unable to sight any whales, we did however spot schools of flying fishes and dolphins. The dolphins seemed very familiar with the ferry that comes by everyday and they swan up close. A few playful ones even flipped and did somersaulted much to Sophie’s delight and had us ooohhh and ahhing away.
We even managed to capture them in action on video!
It was a pity that we didn’t managed to see any whales at all. And it’s funny because as we were heading out to sea, besides introducing the sea life that we can expect to see, the operator did have a disclaimer that we may or may not see any whales, so it all boils down to how fated you are to see them.
On the journey back, Alexis and Sophie got a little sick as the sea got more choppy. Poor little Sophie couldn’t wait to get back to land.
Overall, I would say that this is still a worthwhile tour because who knows what you may see on on your tour. And while seeing the whales would have been magnificent, it was still a unique and memorable experience for us as we went out into the great Pacific Oceans where we got pretty close to the dolphins. Till now, Sophie still speaks fondly of her experience of seeing the dolphins and we enjoyed it very much too.
To book your tour, you can contact Whale World, or email: E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look out for my next post where I talk all about the food in Hualien!
More of our Taiwan adventures:
- Miao Li (Day 1 and 2)- Farm stay on Flying Cow Ranch
- Cing Jing (Day 3) – Carton King and review of Accomodation at Misty Villa
- Cing Jing (Day 4) – Green Green Grassland and Small Swiss Garden
Tagged: family friendly, Holidays, Hua Lian, Taiwan, travel
You’re right, it is cheaper than in Australia. I think I paid about $60+ per person for a 3-hr whale watching trip at Port Stephens near Sydney. But at least we managed to see some whales!
Though we were disappointed not to see the whales, the dolphins made up for it 🙂 Maybe next time.
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I’m really amazed by the dolphin/whale tour! When do you think is the best timing to go for the whale tour? I’m going taiwan in early April next year and can’t wait to plan this tour in! Do share your itinerary for your taiwan trip with me pls.
Kindly provide the taxi contact of Mr Zheng and 古小姐 email and telephone number. Thanks
I’ve dropped you an email on the contacts. Sorry for the late reply.
Susan, can you share contact for your driver. Also, did you book the same driver for the whole trip? If not, how do you get from Dancing Cow to Cing Jing, and from Hualien back to Taipei. Did you go to Sun Moon Lake? Thanks.
Sure, I’ve emailed the details of my driver to you. I hired different drivers from Flying Cow to CJ and from Cj to HL. To get to Taipei, we took the Taroko Express. No we didn’t go to Sun Moon Lake.
We went for whale watching as well!… And i think it could be the same whale tour people. J was more scared of the choppy waters than being sick… but got sooo excited after seeing all the dolphins!
I was so afraid that I’ll get sea sick that I took motion sickness pills. The downside was that I got so sleepy after whale watching that I was knocked out for the afternoon 😛
We are visiting Taiwan in December, however it is not whale-watching season. Probably it gives me a reason for going to Taiwan again!
Heh, you should!
Whale watching is something i have always wanted to do! This does look much cheaper than Australia and New Zealand, but unfortunately no guaranteed sighting. I wonder which is more worth it: Pay half the price for non guaranteed sightings, or double the price for guaranteed sightings.
That’s true. We paid double the price in Gold Coast last year but we did see the whales. But they were so far away which made the dolphin sighting in Taiwan more special as they swan so close.
I have visited Hua Lien before on the rural areas, but not on this out-of-the-sea experience. Thanks for the sharing your experiences.
I heard about it from trip advisor and thought it would be a good experience. Though we didn’t get to see the whales, we were glad to spot the Dolphins.
We love Hua Lien so much we visited it twice in 2 consecutive years. Our whale watching trip wasn’t fruitful as we didn’t to spot any whales due to choppy waters. The tour company was kind enough to refund us in the form of return vouchers (with no expiry dates). Maybe incentive for us to return 😛
We hope to return to Taiwan again as there’s so much to see and do. Did you see the Dolphins at least? Quite a sight to see so many and they were so close
Wow, I think my kids would really love to see whales! I was thinking of going in March though, where apparently I heard the weather is better.. Will have to go do more research!
You should. We didn’t get to see the whales in Taiwan but did see them in Gold Coast last year.
I did not know there are whales near Hua Lian! The boat ride, watching dolphins must be quite an experience!
Yes but too bad didn’t get to sight the whales this time round.
Know what? Dear hubby REFUSED to incl whale watching in our itinerary. I think I whole life wont need to think of catching a whale breech except on tv. He thinks its highly dangerous with 2 old and 2 young in the group. Think along – if mum, kid and me all fell into the waters, who would u save first??
Shirley @ SAys! Happy Mums
It’s not that bad. Just don’t go with dodgy tours and you should be quite okay. The chances of everyone falling off the boat is probably not as high as road accidents… I think!
I just planned my trip to Taiwan and I wished I had read your post earlier! I have a very bad experience with whale watching though! I went on a tour in South Africa, and caught sight of a few whales but it was an amazing but scary experience (I was on a much smaller boat and the whales are bigger than my boat). The seas were so choppy, I was sea sick and vomiting on board and for the next 3 days. Totally couldn’t eat after that!
Hi, could you share your driver contact details? Thanks!
A very interesting trip. Can you share the contact for taxi contact of Mr Zheng and 古小姐 email and telephone number. Thanks
Hi, could you share your driver contact details please. email@example.com. Thank you so much!
We are planning for a family taiwan trip before my elder one gets into Primary One.
The kids are thrilled on the weather at He Huan Shan and Whale Watching!
Did u use car transfer throughout your trip from arrival Taoyuan Airport to Flying Cow to Misty Villa to Hualien?
And how do you get to taipei from Hualien?
How convenient is it to bring 2 kids (6 & 3 yo) through HSR or would you recommend chartering a car through the trip?
Should we have a copy of your itinerary for reference please?
Hello^^ could you share your driver contact details for mr zheng n 古小姐please? This is my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am planning to go from hualien – cingjing^^ wanted to find a seasoned driver due to the road conditions enroute …. thank you very much^^
I’ve emailed it to you. Hope it helps in your planning 🙂
Hello Susan, can you please share your itinerary for me please? Im thinking of going in december.. any advise?? email@example.com thanks alot.
Hi Jane, I’ve emailed my itinerary to you. Hope it helps in your planning.
Hi Susan, your post made my planning easier. Thanks so much. Can you email the driver’s contacts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
I’m emailed the driver’s contact and my Taiwan itinerary for your reference 🙂
hi Susan Nay I have the contact number of the driver from winging to Taroko please?
I’ve emailed you the contact of the driver I used. Hope it’s useful.
I have read your experience on whale watching at hualien, this december i m going to taiwan, please share your itinerary and the driver,please.thank you (email@example.com)
I’ve sent you my Taiwan itinerary. Hope it’s useful 🙂
Could you please share your itinerary with me? May I have the contact for the drivers you used for your trip?
May I know where did you get these drivers contact from? Trip advisor? The vehicle is it a mpv or mini van equivalent?
There are 5 of us including 3 kids aged btw 7 and 2yrs, hence might need a bigger vehicle to ferry us.
Hi Christina, I’ve emailed you my Taiwan itinerary. Hope it’s helpful in your planning. Yes the driver contacts were recommendations from Trip Advisor and also friends. If you let them know the number of pax, I’m sure they can arrange for you.