This post may contain affiliate links that help support my business in creating content like this. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure for more information.

I remember the minute I stepped off the train from Taipei. I felt defeated — the weather had canceled my plans for the day. Discovering Hualien’s coffee shop scene was never part of the plan, and in fact, it was a complete surprise. Maybe others knew about it, but I surely didn’t. What I found was a welcomed surprise and one that turned the day around in a flash.

Discovering Hualien's Hip Coffee Shop Scene

But more about those moments of getting off the train… I had stored my bags and started to walk a few blocks near the train station. I was hungry and my maps weren’t working, and after two attempts at asking someone for directions, I gave up. I made the cardinal sin of travel — I settled for McDonalds. I held my head low, called my husband, and ranted about how this day was a bust. I was without a plan, something I avoid at all costs when traveling. Admittedly, I threw myself a pity party for one.

I decided to head over to the hotel to drop my bags off and restart. I scrolled the maps once I got service, and decided I’d do what I would at home — walk the streets. I had saved one cafe that looked decent, and sure enough, walking in that direction was the best thing I could have done.

What I found that afternoon was a bustling coffee scene, with these incredible spaces and killer coffee. The first one I stumbled upon was Soave Plan and I nearly had tears rolling down my face when I found it — the owner surely thought I was delirious. I don’t know if it was because it reminded me of home, or the Japanese-inspired space reminded me of my travels from the month before, but it felt familiar. I settled into my seat with a warm latte and felt rejuvenated — weird to think a proper coffee can do this. As the day continued, I found many more cafes, beautiful boutiques hidden in alleys, and a center dedicated to creatives. Hualien was full of surprises.

Discovering Hualien's Hip Coffee Shop Scene

Lesson learned? Weather should never get you down and a pity party will get you nowhere when traveling. This is what travel is about — being pleasantly surprised when you least expect it. Taiwan knew how to do this and in a way I never expected. A huge thank you to each one of the coffee shop owners I met in Hualien, your welcome and kindness meant the world.

Checkout some of Hualien’s coffee shop scene:

Soave plan
Address: 970, Hualien County, Hualien City, 成功街280號1樓 Discovering Hualien's Hip Coffee Shop Scene

Stay Here
No. 55, Mingyi Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, 970 Discovering Hualien's Hip Coffee Shop Scene

Maytree Coffee
No. 220, Shanghai Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, 970 Discovering Hualien's Hip Coffee Shop Scene

No. 298, Chenggong Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, 970 Discovering Hualien's Hip Coffee Shop Scene

Paper Airplanes Cafe
號, No. 35-1, Sanmin Street, Hualien City, Hualien County, 970

*Bon Traveler was welcomed as a guest of Taiwan Tourism Bureau. As always, all opinions are own.

Save this post for later on Pinterest: Discovering Hualien's Hip Coffee Shop Scene

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

I use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

I use for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

I use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Rental Car

Self-driving is the best way to explore most destinations. I use Discover Cars for our rental cars, select full coverage insurance, and opt for a reputable company like Alamo, Hertz, or Sixt.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

I use Priority Pass to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


1 Comment

  1. Samantha Elisabeth Reply

    Bookmarked this. I’m planning to spend a few nights in Hualien and these just look lovely!

    And I think we’ve all made the travel sin of going to McDonald’s or Starbucks at least once!

Write A Comment