Friday, 14 March 2014

Taiwan x 7th Overseas Trip Together // Post Graduation Trip

Hello people! How's life for everybody? Mine has been pretty eventful. Went to Taiwan for 8 days (5  - 13 Mar) for our post graduation trip. Time passed so quickly, it seems only yesterday when we all graduated from Huayi Sec and parted ways to our respective Polytechnics. 

And now, 3 years later, we're graduating from our polys and worrying about our next stage in life! Gosh, pretty scary to be even thinking about what to do in life next -shudders- Okay I should not be side-tracking *mental slaps*. So we arrived at Taiwan and here's a picture of a really tired looking Kayla with all the luggage at the first level of the Longstay Hotel!

The Longstay Hotel 
10842 Taipei City
Wanhua District
6Floor No. 67 Xiníng South Rd 

It was really cold when we took our first step out of the plane into Tao Yuan Airport. I think it was about 15 to 16 degree celsius that day. Even with my maxi dress, boots and jacket, it wasn't warm enough for me. 

First Selfie at the Hotel!
We decided to not waste our first day resting at the hotel so out we go and our first stop was the Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)!

Just picture what 4 really hungry kidos, surviving on their lunch which was close to 8 hours ago,  will do when they got released into a place full of good street food.

And that's pretty much what happened. 

This was the first food I bought upon reaching Shilin. Some sort of wrap with garlic and chicken as filling. This guy doing the prata flip thingy was really friendly so I decided to buy from him. :3 Thumbs up to good service yo.

These Candied-Haw-in-a-Stick wanna-be-strawberries thingy were surprisingly tasty! Though I will probably not have it again if I were to go back. They were a tad too sweet for my liking.

Some curry powder covered fish ball thing. Super gooooddddd!
Didn't manage to try one of these because I thought they looked a little bland. The way they made these paus were very interesting though!

The famous mer sua that everybody's raving about! It's franchised like mad around taipei though, not to be found only at Shilin. Pretty -meh- if you ask me

I bought a bowl of Smelly Tofu! Pretty decent but I've tasted one of the best smelly tofu ever in Hong Kong many years ago when I was a little kid. Haven't found anything as good ever since :(

Best street food ever IMO throughout the whole trip! Went back to Shilin on my last night at Taipei just for these. The store name was pretty misleading though. They did not literally poor cups of milk into the oil and fry them, however it still tasted like a little piece of milky heaven :3

Plenty of little game booths set up at the side of the streets.

So we gave one of the easier looking game booth a try.....and viola! We got a little soft toy!

Went to try our lucks over at the prawning store. It's  not so much about getting the shrimps to bite the bait but more about getting the hook into the tail and collecting the shrimps in the bucket.

All I did was to sit back and take pictures while waiting for the shrimps to be caught and cooked :3

The number of 7-11s / Family Mart there were pretty ridiculous. I probably have never seen so many 7-11s in one area except maybe in Bangkok! 
There is almost always a family mart right opposite ever 7-11 and there's almost always a 7-11 around every 5 minutes we walked around taipei.

Bought milk just because it has a farmhouse and little cows on it. 
C'mon gaiiezs. It's a freaking farmhouse!

Day 2

Bought a for "抓饼" breakfast the next day! Can you see it cooking on the wok? It was described as a "hybrid prata thingy (hahahahaha wth)" but it tasted nothing like a prata okay. Ate this for breakfast twice while I was there.

Oh and I realised people here is really comfortable with wearing mask outdoors!

Another random selfie

Snappyshot at Xi Men Ding! Pretty much covered the whole of Xi Men Ding after staying around this area for 8 days. It has pretty much everything. 
Cinemas, KTVs, Fast Food, Street Food, Clothing, Make-up/Skincare, etc 

Taking the train for the first time! On our way to WuFenPu (五分埔) for shopping! 

On the train!

First proper meal of the day over at Formosa Chang (鬍鬚張魯肉飯)
Supposedly famous for their braised meat rice and it was really tasty. Not disappointing at all!

Though admittedly, what came to my mind when 魯肉飯 is mentioned, it's nothing like what they have in Taiwan. 

I mean, one would picture braised pork belly sliced, covered with gravy on top of a plate of rice back in Singapore. However the 魯肉飯 in taipei simply meant a handful of minced pork thrown with some gravy and lots of rice.

Would be quite mad to be eating just 魯肉飯 for a meal without adding on sides!

We then walked off all the calories over at 五分埔!

We then went to Raohe Street Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市) after shopping.
It was very disappointing for us because it was raining and we were there way too early. 
A good piece of advice I can give to people planning to go taipei is to explore all the night market 
at around 9pm. No point going down early as most of the stores would not be opened :(
Best street food over at Rouhe goes to this thing called the 玉子烤!
It's some omelette thingy with corn and bacon/cheese/whatever you want to add on it. Best shit everrrrrr!! I was told that this is famous in Taipei too!

Went back to the hotel after awhile because the stupid rain was being a bitch and we were trapped like wet chickens over at Raohe for quite some time. Decided to head back to warm showers, hot drinks, snuggle in sheets and pillows

Day 3

Explored the Modern Toilet Restaurant over at Xi Men Ding!
Note the rain drops on my jacket. I HATE THE RAIN!

Modern Toilet
2F, No 7, Lane 50, 
Xi-Ning South Road, Taipei Taiwan

Food was prettyyyy average. Just a really interesting concept and theres a minimum spending for concept restaurants like this one. Though the minimum spending is not really that over the top. For example the modern toilet's minimum spending is only 90 NT which is less than 4 SGD.

Hiao moment only for the photo. Buttoned up my jacket once the picture was taken hahahahahaha

Went out to party that night!
We explored Spark ATT Taipei

Day 4

Went to explore the Hello Kitty Concept Restaurant the next day. We made reservations and it is good to note what time of the day do they still have food!

Hello Kitty Sweets Cafe 
No 90, Section 1 Daan Road Daan District, Taipei 
Tel: +886 2 2711 1132 
Operating Hours: 11.30am – 10pm 
Nearest Train Station: Zhongxiao Fuxing Station

Prettyyy cakes on the display the very moment we stepped in.

Hello Kitty fans will probably go crazy when they step in!

Hello Kitty shaped caramel pudding! 

According to the menu, this is a type of milk with pudding and french cameral. 

Hello Kitty Oreo Cheesecake. 

Don't really fancy the food in there but it's really pretty. 
Eating once there is enough for me!

Went to have some real food after that over at SOGO.

Took a train to Miramar Entertainment Park (美麗華百樂園) for the ferris wheel
Ferris Wheel was pretty affordable (can't remember how much exactly but it was less than 10 sgd) and we get to see the city lights and skyline. 

Went to Long Shan station to walk around the 4 night markets there. It was a really creepy experience. The street was filled with restaurants selling snake meat, deer meat, turtle soup. Most shops has live snakes in tanks on display and also white rats in cages (Food for the snakes)

Pretty morbid if you ask me....Oh they also have lots of sex shops littered around the area. #justsaying heh.

Day 5

Up nice and early to go to 十分!

Seeing the sun for the first time after so many days in Taipei

And guess who we bumped into over at 十分? Karen!!
So usually people go over to 十分 to 放天灯. Sending your wishes to the heavens via a sky lantern. It is a long long way from the city. We took an hour plus to reach there. You gotta take the MRT to the taipei train station to take a train out of the city to 十分.  We wanted to go to 九份 but it was already getting late when we reached 十分. 

Writing our wishes on the sky lantern! Every colour represents different aspects of our life. For example, this blue side represents our wishes with regards to our career/ education.

Yellow represents health

Sorry for the blurry pictures :(
The shopkeeper has pretty bad photography skills but wheeeeeee! Off it goes!!!!

Group photo after sending our wishes to the skies above us! Do grant  us our humble wishes! :3

We went ahead to purchase firecrackers from the stores nearby and set them off on the middle of the suspension bridge. Successfully striking another thing off my bucket list! 
Head back to Xi Men Ding after that

Good weather calls for more street artists. Watched this one at work and he was so good at what he does!

Day 6

Went to Millennium Hot Spring at Xinbeitou (新北投親水公園露天溫泉區). The hot springs were split into 3 different pools. The "cold" pool, the warm one and the really really hot one. I was only brave enough to try the warm and hot pool. I have always had a pretty low threshold when it comes to the cold D:
It was a pretty interesting experience. Initially all of us were so cold when we got to the hot spring place and we were so reluctant to strip into our swim wears! However after dipping in it for awhile, I actually walked around without my thick fluffy jacket. 

We then went to explore Dan shui(淡水老街).

Day 7

We went to the ZOOOOOO! It was so ridiculously cheap. Only 60NT which was only about $2.50 SGD. A PLATE OF CHICKEN RICE CAN GET YOU INTO TAIPEI'S ZOO GUYS. WHUUUUT?!?!

The zoo was supposedly the biggest zoo in Asia. We didn't manage to catch the baby panda show though :(

We went to take the Hello Kitty cable car after that since it was located so near the Taipei Zoo. 

Day 8
Met up with the peeps! They came over to Taipei after spending a few days over at Tai Chung. Went back to Wufenpu and Shilin with them (Stuffed myself with the fried milk while I can).
Perfect ending to a perfect trip! Head back to Singapore while they stayed for a couple more days at Taipei!

If you are interested to go to Taipei, these are the places I went in a nutshell. 

Day 1: XiMenDing 西門町 ; ShiLin Night Market (士林夜市)
Day 2: WuFenPu 五分埔 ; RaoHe Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市
Day 3: Modern Toilet Cafe ; Spark ATT Tapei (Near Taipei 101)
Day 4: Hello Kitty Sweets ; Miramar Entertainment Park (美麗華百樂園)
Day 5: 十分
Day 6: Millennium Hot Spring at Xinbeitou (新北投親水公園露天溫泉區) ; Dan Shui 淡水老街
Day 7: Taipei Zoo 台北市立動物園 ; Maokong Gondola (貓空纜車)

My total spendings were about SGD$1000. $222 for hotel, spent $500 in my 8 days at Taipei and about $200+ for air ticket.

Hope this post helps! 


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