Taiwan

A place I’ve been to twice already. Every time I’m there, it’s like home. The people are sincere and genuinely nice. The food is great and shopping! I could never get enough of their shopping.

Exploring Taipei (25/11/12) Day 4~

Very quickly, 3 days have passed, and today is the last day of our trip. We decided to go back to南美 coffeehouse for our breakfast as this shop opens very early. After our breakfast, we went to峰大咖啡 as my friend wanted to try their blue mountain expensive coffee. After she tried it, she told me the coffee smells amazing and the taste is indescribable… Too bad I don’t drink coffee. She also bought a few packets of coffee powder, and I bought some biscuits and confectionery, in case we get hungry in the plane. After that, my friend went to the salon to wash and cut her hair while I do some last minute shopping. I bought some more stockings and 2 more tops! 😀

The driver came to pick us up at the hotel around 12noon to take us to the airport. Before we go to the airport, he took us to 维格to buy some last min gifts for our colleagues and friends. When we reach the airport for checking in our luggage, the person said our luggage weight exceeded by 2kg! We took out some things and finally we are on our way home. I miss Taiwan and hope to be back there again next year~

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Exploring Taipei (24/11/12) Day 3~

It’s our 3rd day in Taipei, we originally planned to go to 淡水’s 渔人码头 (Fisherman’s Wharf in Danshui), followed by 五分埔 & 饶河夜市,We left the hotel around 10am for our breakfast. We went to an old coffeehouse (南美) at 西门町for our breakfast. The coffeehouse is 15mins walk away from our Swiio hotel. They serve average coffee and very nice sandwiches. We ordered turkey ham sandwich with egg. The coffeehouse beside 南美is 峰大咖啡, they also serve breakfast and top grade blue mountain coffee which is very expensive. After having breakfast, we passed by the red building and took some photographs. It’s too bad we cannot get a good photograph of the red building due to the lorry parking at the front. After that we took the MRT to 淡水 and took red bus 26 to 渔人码头(the last stop). We bought a cup of hot chocolate and walked to 情人桥。 It was peaceful and relaxing, feeling the strong breeze blowing at our face while we drink our hot chocolate! The harbour is really an ideal place for friends to sit down and have a good heart-to-heart talk.

Red building (our best shot)

Red building (our best shot)

 

Near the Fishermen's Wharf (渔人码头)

Near the Fishermen’s Wharf (渔人码头)

 

Back alley of 淡水

Back alley of 淡水

After that, we took the same bus back to 淡水 mrt station. Just across the road, we walked to the streets of 淡水. We searched for a famous beancurd stall which is a very old shop which has been selling beancurd for a long time at 淡水. We finally found the shop following a map and realised that there are many different kinds of toppings to go with our beancurd. We can even choose Almond flavoured beancurd.

beancurd!

beancurd!

 

egg cake

egg cake

Onion pancake

Onion pancake

 

After eating, we continued our shopping at 淡水night market, we bought different kinds of food from the street stalls. Fried Onion pancake, egg cake, guava, Taiwan sausages. At 淡水. We saw the Naraya shop and bought a few items from there too. The night market is bustling with life with a few street performers. We saw some young guys performing street dance, an old man playing the flute and a blind man playing some instruments which looks like the clarinet. The man playing flute and clarinet was selling their own CDs at 100NT per pc. My friend bought some CD from the man playing flute, while I just sat there enjoying the music which he played to the latest Chinese pop music.

After such a tiring day, we did not have time to go 五分谱 or 饶河夜市. We actually planned to look for the famous Mayday’s shop ‘Stayreal’ at 忠孝复兴station. However, we were too tired and carrying too much stuff, therefore we headed back to 西门町, for a rest at our hotel. Our trip on this day is not very productive  as we didn’t cover much places, we only covered 淡水for the whole day.

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Exploring Taipei (23/11/12) Day 2~

We arranged with a driver to pick us at 9am in the morning. We have many places to cover and I was wondering if there was enough time to cover all of them. We booked his car for the whole day for 3200NT. Shared among 3 of us, it’s quite affordable to me. The driver wanted to bring us to 九份,十分瀑布,五分埔 & 饶河夜市。

Before arriving at 九份, we stopped by a place where the sea breeze is so strong and scenery is breath-taking. The 2nd stop is at a copper fountain where we took many scenery pictures too. There was slight drizzle when we were at these 2 places, plus the strong wind was bone-cutting. When we finally arrived at九份, the drizzle became heavier and it started to rain heavily halfway through while we were shopping. Thankfully we borrowed umbrella from the driver and still managed to buy quite a lot of foodstuff. Even with the umbrella, I found myself drenched after shopping at 九份, you can imagine how heavy the rain and how strong the wind was at that time!

 

The first stop on the way to 九份

The first stop on the way to 九份

windy!

windy!

 

Copper Fountain

Copper Fountain

Near the copper Fountain where its so cold!

Near the copper Fountain where its so cold!

 

one of the streets in 九份

one of the streets in 九份

By the time we finished our shopping at 九份,it was already 2+pm, and we reached 十分瀑布around 3pm. We took a few nice photographs and also had our late lunch there~sweet potato rice! We left the place around 530pm and realised that the exit had been locked already. We then found out that they lock up the exit by 5pm! Kindly take note if you would like to go to 十分瀑布, you should leave the place before 5pm. We had no choice by to walk the railway track and follow the railway track to another further exit.

 

十份瀑布

十份瀑布

十分瀑布

十分瀑布

 

Railway track at 十分

Railway track at 十分

We then headed for 平溪to light the sky lanterns. By the time we reach the place, it was already very dark and the rain wasn’t too heavy already. It was a really nice experience to use the olden days writing brush (毛笔) to write our wishes on the lanterns and release it to the sky. We wished for health, love, career & happiness. After releasing the lanterns, the shop owner gave us a box of sparkles to play with. It’s been a long time since we played with sparkles.

We proceeded back to hotel after playing with the sparkles, because we were too cold, drenched and tired from the whole day’s activities. In the end, we did not go to 五分埔& 饶河夜市. After reaching our hotel, changing into a pair of fresh clothing and freshening up, we went to 西门町for our late dinner at a special Japanese restaurant. WeTaiwan bubble tea continued our walking around in 西门町,bought bubble tea and fried oyster to bring back to hotel for our supper.

I can’t believe we are almost eating continuously! We went back to hotel to relax and have our supper, only to sleep at around 230am..

Taiwan bubble tea
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Exploring Taipei (22/11/12) Day 1~

We took the 7.15am Jetstar Flight to Taipei, the cost of flight + Hotel is around $734. We arrived at Taipei around 12noon and the flight is so smooth & on time, there is no delay or whatsoever. Arriving at the airport, we met up with a driver from Swiio Hotel, which we are going to stay at for the next 4 days. Swiio Hotel is situated at Ximending. The hotel Lobby is located at the 6th floor, luckily there is a driver provided for us from Airport to hotel, if we book this hotel. Otherwise if we travel by ourselves to this hotel, it may be difficult to find. For those who take the train, you may want to look for TGIF building and go up to 6th floor to the lobby. At the first floor, there are many shops selling clothes, shoes, accessories and a hair Salon & Manicure parlour. This hotel is very convenient for shopaholic! When we arrive at the hotel around 1.45pm, they only allow us to check in at 3pm because other customers are checking out at 12noon, and they need time to clean up the rooms. However, they allow us to put our luggage at their storage lockers for free, so we handed the luggage over to the bellboy and went to shop around and have our late lunch.

We found a nearby stall selling some local food; 汤面, 滷肉,豆干,白萝卜, etc.. It’s very nice & we ate till very full! The total cost is around 120NT for 2 of us, very cheap too.. After which, we still had time, we went shopping! Spent some time at the accessories shop and I bought a pair of black tights/stockings with crystal studs for 150NT. I also bought 2 racer-back tops (背心) for 100NT each, very cheap.. We also went to Watsons to buy many facial masks, make up, etc. After shopping till around 330pm, we went back to hotel to check in.

Hotel room & lobby is very unique, I’ve never come across such a special room. Look at the photos~ I love the special waterfall faucet which is similar to one of the Toto Neorest series faucet. The Rainfall showerhead lets us relax under it after a tiring day of shopping. The only disadvantage is there is no bathtub, and the countertop basin is a little narrow, which makes washing face a bit too wet & messy..

Hotel Lobby's Lounge

Hotel Lobby’s Lounge

Our hotel Pantry~

Our hotel Pantry~

cool waterfall faucet!

cool waterfall faucet!

 

Our Room

Our Room

 

swiio-hotel-toilet

swiio-hotel-toilet

 

After check in and freshening up, we went to have our dinner at a nearby 麻辣火锅stall, 299NT 吃到饱 buffet. The place is not too bad, quite normal looking, not much decorations. But the food is delicious; the fruits are really fresh and sweet.

Afterwards, we went to shop around and I bought a swarovski crystal leather bracelet at a stall in Ximending [西门町] (790NT).  Following, I bought a purple cardigan for 250NT. We then went to the toilet restaurant for ice cream dessert and drinks. Toilet restaurant seats are made of toilet bowl and the tables are made of bathtubs. Quite special design, however the food is not very nice & expensive, only good for taking photographs. We bought many little food stuff from those roadside stalls, including 台湾香肠, 泡泡茶。After shopping for quite some time, we went into a fish café which is one of the few café left that is still opened after 11pm. The design of the whole restaurant seems like we are in an aquarium, complete with swing seats and pebbled flooring. I ordered hot honey chrysanthemum tea, which comes in a pot. Calming my nerves for good sleep~

At the Fish house

At the Fish house

we also ordered a pot of hot chocolate at fish house!

we also ordered a pot of hot chocolate at fish house!

After a long tiring day, we head back to hotel for our  required beauty sleep.

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