Taiwan – Part 1 (March 2012)

Day 1

This trip is actually my first trip out of the country and also my first flight. 

I have to admit that even at the age of 23, I have yet to experience flying other than the daily driving here in Malaysia to get around. 

Another thing to add to my first trip out of the country, my boyfriend (husband now) proposed to me at the airport while waiting for our plane! 🙂

I said yes! (of course ;p)

I boarded the plane as a happy girl 😉

 

 

We reached Taiwan’s Taipei airport and the whether receiving us was very cooling and windy.

We took a bus that drove us to the nearest bus stop at our hotel.

If you guys are interested to know what type of buses that are available at the airport, maybe this link could help out a little on your bus choices:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293913-s301/Taipei:Taiwan:Arriving.And.Departing.html

 

 

It took us about 30 minutes to arrive near our hotel and took about a 5minutes walk maximum to the hotel while pulling our luggage.

We stayed in Roumei Beauty Hotel in Taipei, which was a 5 minutes walk away from the train station (maximum 10 minutes for a slow walk).

The staff were really nice and polite. Another plus, point is that the room they gave us was facing the back of the hotel because after reading a few reviews from other people online, the rooms facing the road can be quite noisy at night and it could ruin a good night’s rest for people.

We forgotten to take a photo of the room because we went out after dropping our luggages and freshen ourselves from the trip to Taiwan.

If you are interested in this hotel, here is the website link of their hotel below:

http://roumei.beautyhotels.com.tw/en-us/roumei-boutique-hotel/

But here’s a photo of the hotel logo outside with me posing. Hehe!

 

 

 We went to quite a few places in Taipei for a week there and the first place we visited in the eveing was the Shilin Night Market.

The market was filled with loads of food and things that girls will really like.

I personally liked the fact that dogs were walking everywhere with their owners and even had costumes due to the cold weather. It was too cute! 😉

It is recommended that if you could, try all the food there and instead of buying one portion for each person, you should actually buy one portion to share around.

 This way, you can glutton up with other tasty food available in that market 😉

A fried chicken stall called Hot Star was pretty famous there because we had to line up for about 10 minutes to purchase one for ourselves (if you are there during dinner time, you could wait for up to half an hour to get your own piece of chicken).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great tip for shoppers who likes to wear Birkenstock’s foot wear!

The retail price in Taiwan is close to RM100 cheaper than the ones selling in Malaysia (they also have discounted rates for certain design!).

You should seriously consider to purchase a pair because I bought a pair for my dad and the retail price in Malaysia is about RM300 plus, but it was reduced to about RM230 per pair in Taiwan (all genuine).

After our full stomach, we decided to head back to the hotel and explore around that area at night.

Throughout our journey, HSR (train system) was really convenient as it brought us everywhere that we needed to go around Taipei.

If you would need some help in knowing which train to take, maybe this website can help you out:

http://www.trtc.com.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1056373&CtNode=27496&mp=122032

 

Day 2

On our second day, we had our breakfast in the hotel because we purchased it as a package on Agoda and it was quite good.

Roumei served a buffet style breakfast which had loads of fruits available together with yogurt for me to munch on.

Fruits and yogurt is really important for people traveling because you might loose quite a lot of nutrients from all the walking and great food available in Taiwan, so no harm taking something healthy to make sure you stay in good health throughout your stay in the country (also, keep yourself hydrated!)

 The weather was kind to us again because we know how temperamental the weather can be.

 

We started our trip to the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.

The garden in front of the hall was BEAUTIFUL!

I know that I can never groom a garden this well. Heh! ;p

ANYWAYS, the place was closed for maintenance when we arrived at the door.

Such a huge disappointment for me since I was looking forward to see the first place of Taiwan (even the tourists were quite disappointed and decided to snap photos from the outside – we did that too! :p).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the photos above, I still insisted to take a photo from the outside by posing at the glass door. Hehe!

The place was beautiful with a calmful scenery around the memorial building.

We sat there for quite awhile to absorb the beauty and calmness of the place.

After enjoying the whole new experience, we then headed to Ximending in hopes to see the Red House that is quite popular and recommended by brochures and blogs.

 

Another bad news after arriving at Ximending, the Red House was also closed!

We didn’t do our homework before heading over and thus, here are the opening hours for your perusal:

Opening Hours*: 

11.00am – 9.30pm (Sunday – Thursday)

11.00am – 10.00pm (Friday – Saturday)

*Closed on Mondays

 

Even though we were there at about eleven something in the morning, it was closed because some celebrity was busy making a MV and was hogging the entire place.

If you want more details about the Red House located at the Ximending area, here is the official website link with more details about the place:

http://www.redhouse.org.tw/info_en.aspx

I could not see who the celebrity was, but I was again quite disappointed since our first day turned out to be quite uneventful with all the venues being closed.

Another place that I was keen on looking into was the three stories lingerie store located just near the Red House area.

However, the place wasn’t as what I thought it would be either.

The type of panties and bras available isn’t really of good quality, but it is quite affordable since some of the brands in the shop can be found in Malaysia too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stopped by the Ah Mao risotto shop to have our lunch and it was quite nice.

Their mascot is actually a golden retriever (if I am not mistaken) and it was pretty cute lying down on the opposite side of the road with its owner.

The entire meal was below RM50 and we were quite full (I didn’t finish my portion).

If you can, try to share one risotto and order some side dishes for small eaters like the both of us.

 

With our full tummies, we decided to walk around the area before leaving and purchased a few items from the three story Watson shop right in front of the train station.

They had loads of things and some of the things are even cheaper than the ones you can find in Malaysia.

If you are looking for cheap masks, try to purchase them in pharmacy shops located around.

I bought mine in Seven Eleven and they usually have interesting type of masks that you can’t get at cheaper prices in other shops.

 

The third place we went to was Wufen Pu.

To me, it was a shopping heaven for majority of the girls since the price was so affordable!

I bought quite a lot of clothes and accessories for my family without hurting my own pocket.

Some clothes were selling for RM10 per piece for the latest fashion clothing.

However, some aren’t quite cheap but the quality of clothing is really good.

I bought a blue jacket and until today, it doesn’t need to be ironed at all!

Just throw it into the washing machine and it is as good as new 🙂

 

 

 

To the ladies who want to shop at this place, they have their own opening hours as well for normal shoppers like me to drop by to purchase items individually or for wholesalers.

Their opening hours are usually from 11.00am till 10.00pm, but I was there a whole lot later and only part of the place was open.

The wholesale garment area is usually closed on Mondays for wholesalers to purchase their bulk of clothes and accessories.

 

After satisfying my hunger for shopping, we headed back to another stop of night market to have dinner and also a quick walk around.

The day was quite a tiring one since we had been walking throughout the day.

 

Day 3

Again, we had our breakfast at the hotel before leaving to explore.

The weather was kind to us again being sunny and cooling at the same time.

We didn’t even need our jacket for most of the time that day!

 

Since we had our Taiwan Youth Travel Card obtained at the entrance of the airport, we decided to use it for the first time in Taiwan.

If you all do not know what a Taiwan Youth Travel Card is and does, it actually gives you discounts for places like muzeum and zoo.

Here is the official website that explains most the things that you can use the card for:

http://www.youthtravel.tw/main.php

 

So back to the use of the Taiwan Youtth Travel Card, we decided to use it for the Taiwan Zoo and it was 50% off the actual price.

While my husband (boyfriend at that time) forgotten to bring his own card, he had to make the full payment of the ticket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I understand for those who do not like the stinky smell that a zoo can carry along with it.

But, the zoo in Taiwan is honestly not stinky at all.

Everything was clean (this includes the toilet).

I even got to see a panda behind a glass panel -___-

I hoped that it was actually without the glass panel being between us, but oh well..

The butterfly miniature park was quite nice to walk around without many people in it.

Since it is a zoo, please expect visiting kids from schools.

They were quite cute since they had to hold onto a string to stay in line and to make sure everyone was together.

Other than that, food in the zoo was pretty limited and seats were not easy to find as many were occupied by families who had kids and couples on their date.

 

The zoo had loads of different sections for different kind of animals.

They had just a panda themed area for their panda’s, a small park for their butterflies, a dessert like area for the camels and jungle like environment for the remaining animals.

Honestly it was quite a big place for me to complete within half the day.

Our legs were quite sore from all the walking about.

 

We then moved on to Maokong, which has a bus shuttle sending you to the gondola from the zoo.

You can see the bus service station if you walk around the zoo. You can’t really miss it.

So going up to the gondola station, you can pay using your Easy Card to pass any tourist crowd.

That’s what I did because the line was extremely long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a temple that is located at the middle of the trip up.

We didn’t stop because we noticed that it would take us some time to get back into the gondola to go up if we ever do take that stop in the middle.

So we decided not to do it.

Maokong is basically known for their tea farm (as far as I was informed via the traveling brochure).

 

So after reaching the top, we walked towards the left and found a really nice cafe located just at the side of the road with a really beautiful view of the city down below.

Since it is a place known for their good tea, we stopped and ordered some tea together with cakes.

It was quite delicious because I didn’t expect a small truck could manage to bake something so nice.

Just a note that those delicious stuff came with quite a price tag as what I ordered was close to RM45.

With that price in Taiwan, I could’ve had a really heavy dinner in a really nice restaurant.

We spent close to an hour just relaxing until the sun sorta shined too brightly and we decided that it was time to leave and head back to the hotel.

 

On the way down, you can choose between the glass flooring gondola or the normal metal one.

For the glass foor, you might need to wait awhile because many would wanna “experience” it.

As for me, I was one of them who wanted that “experience” and waited in line like everyone else.

The line went all the way downstairs and thank God that I over took the tourists during the ticket machine because if I had not, I would’ve been stuck way behind in line.

So, as you can see the photos above, I was sort of enjoying myself (I’m naturally afraid of heights and my then boyfriend thought that it would be cute to take a photo of me squating onto the glass like that).

 

We actually stopped around the hotel to have our dinner in MOS Burger.

If you are looking for something like a fast food porky shop, MOS Burger is just around the corner.

I have never had MOS Burger before because it is not sold in Malaysia.

So my first time eating something like a rice bun with a pork patty was delicious ;p

 

 

 

 

As you can see my happy face, I was quite satisfied with the meal.

Bloated as I can be, we took a slow walk back to the hotel and rested our feet for the night.

Soaked our legs into the bath tub back in the hotel felt so good.

To those of you who have plans to wear flats or slippers to walk around Taiwan, I strongly recommend against it and wear your comfortable sport shoes.

Your feet will thank you later 😉

Mine did. Hehe.

3 Thoughts on “Taiwan – Part 1 (March 2012)

  1. nice pictures…. Looks like you are enjoying the night market in Taiwan. =)

  2. Keep on working, great job!

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