Taiwan, 5-in-1

Nah… This is not another brand of an instant coffee mix. It’s more of a “squeezing in a 5-day trip into one 1 compiled experience” for your hopefully reading pleasure.

Taipei 101, 5-in-1, All-in-One, Taiwan... Yeah, whatever...

Taipei 101, 5-in-1, All-in-One, Taiwan… Yeah, whatever…

Pats and I have touched the “Heart of Asia” for our first trip for 2013. For 5 days, Pats braved the shivering coldness that engulfed Taiwan, especially up north. No problem for me as I loved the then 15 degrees temperature, 13 – when rain fell, with the cool breeze hitting my face. Living in the tropics, you’ll be craving for such “chill satisfaction” from time to time.

Ready. Aim. Fire!

Ready. Aim. Fire!

XIMENDING for starters just after we checked in at Dong Wu Hotel. A Thursday night stroll around Ximending proved that, though it was crowded, it wasn’t as lively as we had hoped it will be. Expectations that this Taiwan’s Harajuku will live up to Japan’s. Probably on weekends. Nonetheless, it was a good place to kick start our trip.

Going against the flow

Following the (bright) lights at Ximending Crossing

Our first share of what Taiwan has to offer

The first food shop with a long queue… Fried chicken pops must be that good. Well… it’s ok.

Posing? Cold? Only she knows... :p

Posing? Cold? Only she knows… Or maybe, looking for the MRT station…

The Red House Theater at Ximending. Something was being shot there when we visited.

The Red House Theater at Ximending. Something was being shot there when we visited. You might see us in some Taiwanese movie / tv show / commercial. 😛

Traveling up north the next morning, we got mesmerized by Yehliu Geopark‘s natural beauty. For NTD50, we got to see how the ocean proved itself to be a natural artist, sculpting and paving the lands to make such wonderful rock formations. Since the geopark is by the ocean, and rain drizzled for a while, temperature got even lower, which was perfectly fine for me, but again, was torture for Pats. ;p

All geared up and ready for the cold temp up north... Or, are you?

All geared up and ready for the cold temp up north… Or, are you?

Empty fish nets on the way to Yehliu Geopark...

Where the fishermen at?

Everyone is queuing up to get a shot of the Queen's Head... Alright! So did us.

Everyone was queuing up to get a shot of the Queen’s Head… So did us.

Yehliu Geopark

Strolling along the breezy and drizzly cape…

Waves were getting stronger as the wind blew colder...

Waves were getting stronger as the wind blew colder…

How come you get to use an ATV???

I wonder how he makes a U-turn… Hehe

Back at Taipei City, we strolled along the highway from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall Station, checking retail shops one after the other, until we reached Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. We rested there for a bit, and people-watched. Its grounds were crowded with locals and tourists making it quite entertaining just watching them do their thing.

Sun Yat Set Memorial Hall, the view from the steps where we were sitting down.

Heads-up! Sun Yat Set Memorial Hall, while comfortably sitting on its steps…

sit in the corner... and meditate

Sit on the corner… and meditate

Computer is Thinking...

Computer is Thinking…

All tired from that walking and shivering. Resting at Sun Yat Sen M Hall's steps.

All tired from that walking and shivering. Resting at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall.

Few minutes away is the infamous Taipei 101. Merged with it is a mall having several designer brands that every lady looks for, as far as I know, and mostly expensive – if not all. Din Tai Fung Restaurant can be found in its food court, but we opted that out for later.

Taiwanese just love bringing their (cute) dogs anywhere...seriously.

The Taiwanese people just love bringing their (cute) dogs everywhere…seriously.

Sizzling Dinner at Taipei 101

Sizzling Dinner at Taipei 101’s food court

Late Nights with Taipei 101...

Late Nights with Taipei 101…

Before ending the day, a quick stop at Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall was the plan. A few snaps and were done with the place. Pats stood at a corner trying to block the cold winds from hitting her. So, we didn’t stay for long. Otherwise, I’ll be bringing a statue home. ;p Imagine how she was burdened with the cold temperature since morning… Poor Pats. Hehe

A prize goes to whoever find Pats... :D

A prize goes to whoever find Pats… 😛

Chang Kai Shek Memorial  Hall after dark... it's really dark...

Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall after dark… it was really dark… long exposure worked pretty well for this…

Saturday morning was scheduled for another trip up north. This time to visit Jinguashi and Jiufen, small towns famous some time ago for their gold and copper mines.

Our stay in Jinguashi was rather short since we didn’t plan on getting into mining tunnels and stuff, let alone pay for it. We just strolled around to have a quick glimpse of what it was about, and get a good feel of it from the outside – it was wet and cold. Haha. Rain was drizzling again that time.

Good luck trying to steal that pure gold, or even nudging it...

Good luck trying to steal that pure gold kid, or even nudging it…

There after, we rode the bus going back to Jiufen Old Street and checked out the shops and food it has to offer. It was jam-packed! Since it was a Sunday, lots of locals, and tourists alike, were crowding up the narrow street. This is where we bought mochis and pineapple cakes for our friends back in KL. Price was pretty standard among the stores (NTD100 / box – Buy 5, Free 1). Not quite a good move on our part though since we had to carry all of those boxes on our next destination… >.<

Street Walkers at Old Jiufen Street..

Crowded Old Jiufen Street, and this is just the entrance… maybe will stop and eat something for lunch first…

Sticky Tofu... Really, it stinks!

Stinky Tofu… Really, it stinks! Not having this, for now…

Ice Cream Roll with Peanut Brittle Shavings... Unfortunately, we weren't able to try... :(

Ice Cream Roll with Peanut Brittle Shavings… Unfortunately, we weren’t able to try this… 😦

Taiwan Sausage, never miss this!

Taiwan Sausage!!! Never miss this! It’s a must have.

From Old Jiufen Street, we went back to Ruifang Train Station and rode the train towards Pingxi to fly some lanterns, which it is quite well-known for. I bet some of you have already seen Taiwan’s ads on this. That mostly happened in Pingxi, and also at a nearby town called Shifen – which I think is better.

Pingxi was the last stop for the day. That day’s trip was a short yet tiring one due to the long bus and train trips. But! It was worth it, in my opinion. Just be ready battling your way unto riding the train in Pingxi if you’re going there on a weekend.

Everyone's busy writing their wishes

Everyone’s busy writing their wishes… Ours is in progress as well…

Wish a wish, wish, wish

Ready to send their wishes up high…and some one else’s house could have burned… or maybe wild fires…

“Sunday morning, rain is falling” – Maroon 5, and it was cold again. We headed for church first before starting everything else. Priorities people. After the church worship service, and a quick McNuggets plus coffee break, we headed for Beitou, which is famous for its hot springs.

Take a dip mate. Welcome to Xinbeitou Station.

Can you scrub my back? Please?

It would have been a great experience in Beitou, hot springs on a cold weather. However, we didn’t try it since we’re looking for a private one with a good ambiance/view. Our research failed us on this part, unfortunately.

Just resting at one of the old hot spring tubs inside the Hot Spring Museum

Just resting at one of the old hot spring tubs inside the Hot Spring Museum…

Our walk around Beitou area lead us to the Hot Spring Museum, and the Thermal Valley, aka Hell’s Valley. Both of which are free of charge. 😀 I must say, we were fascinated with Thermal Valley, making our trip worthwhile.

A steamy encounter at Thermal Valley. Don't even dare...

A steamy encounter at Thermal Valley…

Engulfed in Sulfuric Steam...

Engulfed in Sulfuric Steam…

Next on the list was Danshui Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Lovers’ Bridge. The area being nearby open waters again, wind blew quite strong that Pats surrendered to it. Just a quick stroll atop the deck and she went for refuge at a ferry waiting room, while waiting for me to finish taking photos.

Parking is full at the Danshui Fisherman's Wharf...

Parking is full at the Danshui Fisherman’s Wharf…

Fishing Boats using Tesla Coils? Cool! :P

Fishing Boats in Taiwan use Tesla Coils? Cool! 😛

The Lover's Bridge

Trying to conquer the cold wind just to get this shot of the Lovers’ Bridge…

We concluded the day at the crowded Shilin Night Market. We happened to reach a food court inside some establishment when we were strolling around. There, we grabbed dinner and of course, Taiwanese Sausage was again part of our meal. Told you, never miss this!

Yet another Taiwanese Sausage... Can't get enough... :D

Yet another Taiwanese Sausage… Can’t get enough… 😀

That huge pile of egg is actually several orders of Oyster Omelette...

That huge pile of egg is actually several orders of Oyster Omelette…

There were several shops in Shilin Night Market, selling: clothes, bags, etc. Unfortunately though, we were not that convinced to buy anything. So, we came out of the night market with our wallets unscathed. All of the street foods, on the other hand, are very tempting. So, if you’re not up for shopping, go food-tripping instead.

And for our last day – Monday, we closed our trip with a quick pre-lunch at the original Din Tai Fung Restaurant at Xinyi. It’s famous for its Xiao Long Bao – a steamed dumpling with some fillings inside: pork, crab, red bean, etc. Good thing we arrived early. The queue was rather long by the time we went out of the restaurant. So, make sure you go there before lunch time, especially on weekends.

That's Din Tai Fung's official mascot... No. not the lady. :P

That’s Din Tai Fung’s official mascot… No, not the lady. 😛

I had the urge of taking this thing home... But I didn't...

I had the urge of taking this thing home… But I didn’t… Bought magnets instead…

Pork Xiao Long Bao. Delicious as always...

Pork Xiao Long Bao. Delicious as always…

And for dessert, Red Bean Xiao Long Bao... Yeahhhhh...

And for dessert, Red Bean Xiao Long Bao… Yeahhhhh…

As usual, we had the Pork Xiao Long Bao, and the Red Bean XLB for dessert, with some tofu as appetizer. The taste is consistent to what we had here in Malaysia, delicious and fulfilling. It’s the same thing as what I can say for this entire Taiwan trip: Delicious and Fulfilling.

Delicious as there are lots of delicacies to try and enjoy. Gluttony at it’s best! Fulfilling as there are new things, new activities, new sights and places to do, see, and marvel at.

Taiwan… in Check!


7 thoughts on “Taiwan, 5-in-1

    1. Hi lan! I wished for more travels.. hehehe
      Aprub ang outfit ko? Wow! Thanks!
      Wait for my pics of papi, let me know kung aprub din outfit nya ha..


  1. again … very nice pics papi! .. and sunrise is very pretty here! 🙂 luveet! akala ko kng sinong mganda un kinunan mo sa escalator . .naks si sunrise pala iyon hihihihih


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