Saturday, November 28, 2015

#JXMYASH to Taiwan

In end October, jx and I travelled to Taiwan for our annual holiday trip. We explored most of Taiwan in a span of 9 days. I spent $900 on expenses in Taiwan while jx spent around $1100. Our air tickets and accommodations add up to about $500++ per pax. Is this considered ok for a 9 days trip around Taiwan? You decide. For now, here's our take on Taiwan:

Day 1: Singapore - Taoyuan Airport - KaoHsiung

We arrived at Taoyuan Airport near 5pm. The sky was already turning dark. We took the airport bus to Taoyuan HSR. It was a 2 hours journey from Taoyuan HSR to KaoHsiung HSR. Took their MRT to Formosa Boulevard and checked in at Cloud Hotel which is conveniently located at the end of LiuHe Night Market. It's known to be a Tourist night market so the prices are steep. I recommend a visit to RuiFeng Night Market instead.

Day 2: KaoHsiung - Kenting
(KaoHsiung Street View)

Woke up early to travel to KaoHsiung Main Station for a shared-cab ride to Kenting. It should be about NT300 per pax. Quite affordable for a fast and comfortable journey. 2 hours later, we arrived outside Meifon Hostel. Arranged for pick up the next day before we checked in and explored Kenting on electric motor scooters we rented from 帅哥租车. A full day rental was NT800 per scooter. The store lady drew us possible routes and one of the staff gave us a crash course each on riding the scooter.

We rode from Kenting Town to Maobitou to 佳乐水 beach before we parked at our hostel to have our dinner at Kenting Night Market. We spent our night walking up and down the night market, eating and playing games. Jx won me that Patrick the starfish above.

Day 3: Kenting - TaiChung

Our morning started with traditional breakfast brought by the hostel staff (who is the family of the owner!).  Just before we leave for our morning ride on our electric scooter, the owner reminded us to ride safely. Heart-warming words in the morning started our day really well. Cheers for Taiwanese! We took the opposite route from yesterday, visiting Eluanbi Park that houses the Lighthouse which is known as the oldest lighthouse in Taiwan. Our 2 hour ride ended in a blink of an eye and we boarded our cab for the journey back to KaoHsiung.

Took the KaoHsiung HSR to Taichung HSR and asked our way to our Airbnb apartment. A unique dwarf room that is entirely made of wood. Wendy, the owner of the apartment attended to us and was the most helpful and friendly host in my Airbnb experience. Before reaching our apartment, we were reprimanded by the bus driver for blocking everyone's way by boarding from the front. I guess Taichung people are not as friendly as KaoHsiung? Jx and I even quarreled... But we made up before leaving for Fengjia Night Market. Cabbed to Fengjia Night Market and was pretty unimpressed at the first few streets. After walking further in, the night market came to life. The streets bustled with locals. Settled at a hot pot restaurant for dinner. Jx bought a trenchcoat-styled jacket for me as I was freezing in my little white romper.

Day 4: TaiChung

The 9am bus to Cingjing Farm was full so we shared a cab. A round trip was NT1000 about 1.5 hours each trip. Explored the Swiss Garden before we went for early lunch at Carton King Restaurant. After filling our tummies, we took a bus up to Cingjing Farm. The sheep were huge and I was slightly intimidated by them. We went to purchase a few packs of food to feed the sheep. When the sheep notices you holding onto the packets, they rush over immediately and nudge for you to feed them. There was a sheep shearing show that was entertaining and hilarious. We left at 430pm to avoid traffic jam.

Made our way to YiZhong Night Market for shopping and dinner. The picture just above is of me devouring a 鸡扒. What wasn't photographed was the delicious beef cubes with rosemary salt and seasoned corn. Oh and Jx won me that black cat.

Day 5: TaiChung - Taipei

We bid farewell to our cute little room in our Airbnb apartment and took the Taichung HSR to Taipei HSR to Ximen Station. Muzik hotel, which we are staying for the last leg of the trip is located at the end of Ximending Street. We strolled around Ximending Street and went to Shihlin Night Market for dinner and more shopping. The only photo that we took was the famous Hot Star 鸡扒. Every bite is heavenly. We had our dinner at Shihlin's food basement. After a night of shopping, we chilled at Starbucks to rest our feet before making our way back to our hotel. We slept at 2a.m. as we were watching 'Escape Plan' on TV. #thingswedoonavacation

Day 6: Taipei

Met up with jx's friends for buffet lunch. After which, Jx and I went to Taipei 101. That glum photo of myself is 'cause we quarreled over a minor issue. Went over to Wufenpu and met up with his friends to shop and explore the area together. Going shopping in Taiwan this season isn't ideal as it's mostly winter clothes. We went on a Monday despite knowing that Mondays are the day that retailers get their stocks. It wasn't as bad as we thought so I think it's ok to come Wufenpu on Mondays.

We then walked to Raohe Night Market for dinner. Indulged in the famous black pepper bun, the first stall when you enter Raohe Night Market with a very long queue.

Day 7: Taipei

First stop of the day is Yehliu Geo Park. Stunning rock monuments and sea view, indeed something pleasing for the eyes. Filled with Korean and China tourists, we left the park after awhile, headed for Jiufen. Jiufen was also bustling with tourists. We had our lunch here snacking on Taro balls, boar sausages and fried mushrooms and taking in the 'Spirited Away' scenery. Rushed over to Ruifang Train Station to take the train to Shifen for our sky lantern and 那些年 moment.

Took the train back to town to visit Shida Night Market. There were many quaint jewelry shops and that's where I bought my new watch! The jewelry is cheap and pretty here so it's a great place to buy some souvenirs back for your lady friends. We had our dinner here at a little eatery. Shida Night Market is trendiest night market (so says my taipei research).

Day 8: Taipei 

Our last full day in Taipei has us having brunch at 'Eating Time', a cafe along Yong Kang Street. After a fulfilling meal, we headed over to 'Cafe. Waiting. Love' for dessert and coffee. The atmosphere is cozy and we really felt like we're on set the movie. Our last meal in Taipei was........... beef cup noodles. Oh and check out my loots of skincare and masks from Etude House and 86 Shop! 

We prepared for the night and took the train to Omni Club. We were a bit early so we drank at a nearby bar. Thanks to Jx's friend that works in Omni Club as she put us on her guest list and even gave us drink coupons. Had a blast chatting, dancing and laughing the night away. We K.O-ed in our hotel room after that. 

Day 9: Taipei - Singapore

Back to Singapore. 

That sums up our Taiwan trip and surely a return trip will happen sooner or later. We have yet to visit Beitou district for some hot spring, and even relax at the beach in Kenting. Because of time constraint, we hastily went through each places of interest. I would love to release some sky lanterns in the day time and even take some pretty sweet #OOTD on the train tracks. 

But for now, this will do. Kudos to my man, jx for taking care of me throughout the trip (as usual) and being the best travel companion ever even though there were days we feel like strangling each other. 

Do await my Taiwan travel vlog that will be up real soon. 

Thanks for reading as always. xoxo

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