Monday, 3 June 2013

Travelogue: Taiwan Day 1 ☼

Been leaving this space unattended since I finished exams, and so I'm back with a post! (: Semester results just got out on Friday as well, and I'm so happy and thankful for the grades this sem which pulled up my overall GPA by quite a bit. YIPPEE! (Y) one last semester to pull through and I never have to take another exam in NTU ever again! :D

Just got back from my Taiwan trip 2 days ago, and I've never been more glad and happy I went for this holiday! I've never really had much of a chance to travel, because my teaching award money is pretty much used to always pay for hall fees and for my expenses as my parents don't fund me for allowances any longer since I've entered university. And plus, being an avid shopaholic doesn't leave me with much money to save as well(I'm trying to curb on this!). But this time round, my mum agreed to loan me some money so I could go on a holiday because she said I haven't been on one for such a long time, and I was elated! Hehe 

So, I flew off with the boyfriend on 17th May on a midnight flight to Taoyuan Airport, Taiwan! Flew via Jetstar and I think I was overly excited because I didn't sleep much on the plane hahaha.

We arrived at about 6+ in the morning at Taoyuan Airport, and got bus tickets from the bus interchange at the basement to get us to Taichung 台中, which cost 240NT each. And then we settled down to have breakfast at Subway while waiting to get my Taiwan phone line which only opened at 8am.

There are about 3 phone line companies at the airport if I'm not wrong. But 台灣大哥大 offers the best rates of 800NT for 10 days of unlimited 3G and 100mins of talk time. I chose this plan as we needed the talk time to contact the owners of the B&Bs we were staying at for the different parts of Taiwan we were going to. And of course, to get 3G cause I'm an Instagram addict hahaha.

 I would say, its much better to get a Taiwan phone line because it's really useful to have access to the Internet when you're on free&easy trip cause you can Google about stuff you're unsure of on the go and also use the Maps App to navigate around! (: 

So we finally got the phone line and it was just nice to board the bus to Taichung, and off we went! (:

The bus drivers are real nice in Taiwan, so they would ask exactly which part of Taichung you're getting to and try to let you off at a stop that would be nearest to where you'll be staying or heading to. 

The B&B we picked was Mei Hsiao Yuen 逢甲美學院 which is very close to Taichung's Fengjia Night Market and they offered cab pick-up services from one of the bus stops in Taichung. However, there was a little mix-up as there were 3 different branches of apartments for Mei Hsiao Yuen, and the cab driver took us to the Number 1 building (in which their office is located at) while we were supposed to stay at the Number 3 building instead. 

The lady attending to us apologized profusely and offered us a little gift each of a pen and also offered to help us take a photo together so we could upload it on their FB page hahaha. Thankfully, the Number 3 building was just about a 5-7min walk away, so we proceeded to drag our luggage to the building we were staying. 

We finally reached the building of our stay and left our luggage at the security counter of the building as check-in time was only at 4pm. So, we wandered around the area and looked at the map which the receptionist of Mei Hsiao Yuen gave us. She also suggested places which we could visit around Taichung (: and the map was SUPERRRR useful srsly hahaha.

 I love the drink choices of Taiwan's convenience stores and they have sit-down areas inside! 

Tzu trying to figure out the map and places to go to.

Scooters and motorbikes are everywhere in Taichung. Like almost everyone rides one I think. No kidding. 

We had lunch at a small eatery called Papa Jack which served fried cutlets with rice, soup and a drink. This place was said to be quite popular with the students at Fengjia University and it was just next to our apartment building. But I think that the food was just so-so though! 

On a side note, I love the fact that doggies are everywhere in Taiwan! And they are also very very friendly to strangers heh (: made me miss my little furry schnauzer at home!

After our lunch, we walked around the Fengjia neighbourhood and around the night market area(but of course most stalls were closed still but I still managed to buy a pair of shoes during this time hahaha) till it was 4pm and then we went to look at the room and freshen up before heading out at night (: 

How the room looked like

The theme was 浪漫公主 and it was quite big. Came with a couch and a hugeeee TV! Best thing was the TV was connected to a laptop so we could watch shows from online and surf the net from there too! (: 

After lazing around and freshening up, we went off to explore Fengjia Night Market 逢甲夜市! (Y) Fengjia is mad big and we walked till we almost got lost omg. Shopping is quite good here I think, I got myself 3 pairs of shoes hehe (Y). Taiwan is a total shoes heaven!!! Shoes range from about 100NT to 390 NT (: 

There was a super long queue for this stall for Cong You Bing, which is a sort of chinese pancake made with sesame oil and scallions I think. (: 

Well, it was pretty yummy! Hehe. But we overestimated ourselves and bought too much. Ended up throwing some away so we could try other stuff ):

Taiwanese sausage! :9

The mad crowd at the night market.

We also tried the mega tall icecream, and it is soooo super cheap. like about a dollar in SGD only if I didn't remember wrongly. HAPPYYY MEEEE.

This baked cheese potato was soooooo gooood, *drools (found another version in Taipei and it was even better than this one!!! :9)

We had bubble tea as well of course! Tried the Taiwanese original version of Koi, which is known as 50嵐 in Taiwan (: I love the Yakult series of bubble teas hehe. 

 Loots for the day! :D I got 3 pairs of shoes, a watch, an umbrella and a necklace (: the boyfriend got himself 2 new shirts, a pair of sunglasses and the colouful striped bunny for me! 

I still cannot believe I got the black pair with the straps over for only 100NT which is like about 4 bucks plus in SGD. Was super lucky to have chanced upon it; they were having final sales for it as it was the last pair left :P 

So there concludes the first day spent! (: 

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