Saturday, July 31, 2010

KK & TAIPEI TRIP (14th-20th Jul 2010) - DAY 2 (TW-Part II)

After we checked in our hotel, we walked to MRT Station and purchased Easy Card (prepaid MRT card) at the information counter. Two types were available; NT$200 and NT$500. We took the NT$500 (NT$400 usable + NT$100 refundable deposit. Operation hours of MRT is from 6am to 12 midnight).

Our first stop was Wu Fen Pu (五分埔) and in my opinion, it's a must must must visit place in Taipei if you love shopping! There were many boutiques selling latest street fashion garments but most of them were selling female clothing; only a few selling male clothing. It's possible to bargain with the seller and the more you purchase, the more discount you could get.

Directions: By using MRT, take Blue line to Hou Shan Pi Station (後山埤站) and walk to Exit 1. To know whether you're on the right track or not, just look for a big yellow restaurant signage with a beard man logo right across the street and keep walking straight when you've spotted it (don't need to cross over to the restaurant) as the entrance to Wu Fen Pu is right up in front.

Operation hours: 11am to 10pm.

On side note, Wu Fen Pu is strictly open to suppliers or retailers only on every Monday and Friday.

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From top to bottom: Ladies choosing clothes priced ranging NT$150-200 off from racks; staff tidying the store; more boutiques; there were many stalls selling Taiwanese snacks so you won't go hungry while shopping


After hours of shopping in Wu Fen Pu, we were desperate in search for stall selling drinks and we accidentally passed by this stall named "Two Peck" (脆克鸡排) which was specialized in selling chicken chop. Each fried chicken chop cost NT$45 and NT$50 for chicken cubes. Two Peck chicken chop was very big which it was enough to share between two persons and its outer layer was really crispy although it was not bread crumbed. The chicken chop had a tad of sweet taste which was quite unique and made it tasted good.


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People waiting for their orders at the stall

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My order number

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It is worth trying ;)

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"Two Peck" Stall is right opposite to this building "Fo Guang Shan" (佛光山)


I spent too much time shopping in Wu Fen Pu which had made the guys feeling so so bored thus to cheer them up, I suggested that we should visit "Rao He Night Market"(饶河夜市) which was nearby Wu Fen Pu.

Direction: From Wu Fen Pu, you would need to find a railway station called "Songshan Railway Station" (松山车站) and by passing through this station, you can spot a red color bridge. Just follow it as a direction, you would find the entrance to "Rao He Night Market".


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A temple located just next to the entrance of Rao He Night Market

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The entrance of Rao He Night Market; "Two Peck Chicken Chop" also have a branch here

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Although it was still early but there were already many visitors to the night market

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Shop selling Paul Frank shoes


We saw a stall selling Wild Boar Sausage which caught our attention and we decided to buy one for try out. It cost NT$35 each and we waited for like 5-10minutes for the sausages as there were quite many people queuing before us. The meat of the sausage was very q (springy) and it was very well flavoured! I have to say Taiwanese sausages tasted very delicious!


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We bought the Wild Boar sausage from this stall

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We continued to search for more food or Taiwanese snacks.


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Stall selling crab meat

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This stall was selling Black Pepper Oven Rolls for NT$10

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A stall selling fresh fruits and sugar-coated haws (冰糖葫芦)

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Doraemon's favourite food, Dorayaki!

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Bought few tees from this store

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This stall was selling Grilled Squid and we had heard bout how good it is so we decided to try it out.

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Stall owner adding flavour to the grilled squid by coating it with the sauce

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It was goooood! The texture of the squid was really springy and it tasted even better with the sauce!

Moving on, we smelt something and guess what, it was a stall selling Stinky Tofu! Hubby was tempted to try out as during his previous trip to HK, he tried it once and like it a lot. So, he wanted to see how's Taiwan version. We then ordered one and it cost around NT$40. We had it take away so scroll down for the picture :D

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Stinky Tofu Man


Next to this Stinky Tofu Stall was a stall selling beverages and we bought Winter Melon Tea here to quench our thirst.

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Winter Melon Tea NT$20


After Rao He Night Market, we walked back to MRT station and went back to our hotel.


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Waiting for the MRT Train to come

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Wild Boar Sausage; love it lots!

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This is how the Taiwanese Stinky Tofu looks like. According to Hubby, the HK stinky tofu was darker than TW's version and tasted better too.


We rested in our hotel room for awhile and decided to go out explore again as it was still early (only 9pm if not mistaken). Thus we went out again and took MRT to Xi Men Ding (西门町).

Direction: By using MRT, just take Blue line.


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People Mountain People Sea at Xi Men Ding

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Caps with different designs displaying on the roadside stall

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KFC!

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Ah Zhong Oyster Thin Noodles, we weren't tempted to try out.

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This stall caught my attention cause of its name which is called "Frog Lays Eggs". And another reason is........ (look at pic below)

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It sells Ai Yu Jelly (爱玉冰)! It had always been my favourite since I was young thus without second thought I decided to buy a cup to try out.

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It was really refreshing as lemon was added to this drink. I strongly recommend this lar! (I drank it almost everyday when I was in Taiwan I think :P)

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Bro spotted a boutique selling tee with printed Brunei flag! We were very surprised to see it hahaha!

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Floral and denim are fashion trend of the year

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We spotted Rainbow Hotel; which it was one of the few hotels I wanted to stay before deciding on SayLove Hotel.

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Taxis can be found everywhere in Taiwan

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T.G.I FRIDAYS!

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This big big map was placed somewhere near the MRT station entrance and with this you're able to locate the restaurants or stores that you wanna visit to easily.


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The stuffs I've bought from Wu Fen Pu. Not bad for Day 1 in Taiwan.


Hunnie Signing Off~

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summary for Taiwan Trip in July 2010

As requested by quite a few readers, here is the itinerary of my Taipei Trip (July 2010).


Eat, Shop and Sightseeing

DAY 1 (In KK)

1. KK LCCT Airport - Checked in Promenade Hotel - Dinner at Upperstar - Back to hotel.


DAY 2 (In Taipei, Taiwan)

1. Arrived Tao Yuan Airport in the morning - Headed to SayLove Hotel - Taiwan Story Land - Shopping at the area nearby hotel (Taipei Front Station)
2. Wu Fen Pu Commercial Area - Rao He Night Market - Xi Men Ding


DAY 3 (In Taipei, Taiwan)

1. Jiou Fen + Taipei Main Station Underground Mall Food Court
2. Shihlin Night Market (Commercial Area): Dinner at Modern Toilet - Shopping - Supper at Steak House


Day 4 (In Taipei, Taiwan)

1. Eslite Store - Mr. J Restaraunt II - Taipei 101 - New York New York
2. Shin Kong Mitsukoshi - Dinner at Saboten (胜博殿) A9 of Shin Kong Mitsukoshi - Dumplings and Pot Stickers take away at "Ba Fang Yun Ji" (八方云集)


Day 5 (In Taipei, Taiwan)

1. Muzha Zoo + Xi Men Ding
2. Shihlin Night Market: Indoor Food Court and Commercial Area


Day 6 (In Taipei, Taiwan -> KK)

1. Breakfast at Burger King (Tao Yuan Airport T2) + Hello Kitty Duty Free Store + Late lunch at Koryo Jeong Restaurant in KK
2. Dinner at Toscani Wine & Dine - 3D Movie Experience - Supper at Sri Selera
3. Breakfast at Heng Long - Back to Brunei


Accommodation

In KK
1. Day 1 of my trip: Promenade Hotel (Api-Api area)
2. Last day of my trip: Imperial International Hotel (Warisan Square)

In Taipei, Taiwan
1. SayLove Hotel (Taipei Main Station area)



I'll write detailed entries later and link them back here. For now, it's just a list of places which I've visited and things that I've done during my trip. As you can see, I only visited Taipei as I only had four days in Taiwan thus I didn't have time for other cities in Taiwan (just Taipei alone has already got many worth visiting places and with my tight schedule, I had to sacrifice some places such as Danshui and Long Shan Temple *sniffs*).

Regarding accommodation in Taipei, I stayed in SayLove Hotel which is located within the Taipei Main Station area. Do check TripAdvisor for more reviews on hotels in Taiwan ;)



Hunnie Signing Off~

KK & TAIPEI TRIP (14th-20th Jul 2010) - DAY 2 (TW-Part I)

We woke up early at 2.00am in the midnight (we only had 2 hours of sleep that night!); got ourselves ready, checked out the hotel, hopped on pre-booked taxi and headed to airport.

Half way during the trip to airport, our taxi driver's hand phone rang but he did not answer. And it rang again which he answered the call this time. After answering the call, he then asked us if we had left any luggage in our hotel room. Then bro and I just recalled that we did have a luggage which we had forgotten and left it in the room we stayed. Left with no choice we requested the taxi driver to drive us back to the hotel to collect our luggage which this to-and-fro trip cost us RM50 taxi fare.


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KKIA Terminal 2


Finally, we arrived KKIA Terminal 2 (which is also known as LCCT or AirAsia airport) at 3.30am. It was so empty but still there were few guys sleeping on the benches in the airport. We were quite bored so we began to explore a little bit of the tiny airport and found the self check in machine. Thus, we used the machine for self check in and at 4.15am, crowd started to flock in the airport. We felt blessed that we arrived earlier and had used the self check in machine but when we wanted to check in our baggage for cargo, we met a rookie staff attendant who took more than 20mins to handle our baggage and caused really long queue behind us.

Our flight departed punctually at 6am.

Having waking up in wee hours and rushing to airport, we didn't manage to grab breakfast in KK (Note: the eateries and shops at KK airport were still closed). And I've actually predicted this could happen thus we pre-booked in-flight meals months ago through the AirAsia website and ordered 3 combo set. In which, the combo set includes a rice box and 100ml mineral water. It cost RM8 each and was actually cheaper than buying the food/beverage on the spot from the flight attendant.


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Chicken Rice

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Nasi Lemak; the sambal was really spicy!

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Nasi Briyani; surprisingly, it was delicious!

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The 100ml mineral water that was included in each combo set


We arrived on time at Taiwan's Tao Yuan International Airport and before we exit the customs hall, we changed some National Taiwanese Dollar (NTD). Just an extra tip, the exchange rate in the Taiwan's airport was quite high comparing to our local money changer which was within the range of BND1 to NTD21.5 - NTD21.9. At Taiwan's airport, it could go up to NTD22.8. But of course, I don't think they would accept BND so you would need to prepare Singaporean notes if you wanna change there. And the staff would charge NT30 as service charge.

When we were at the arrival hall, there were few taxi drivers who approached us and wanted to offer us ride to our hotel in Taipei city. The price range usually falls between NT1000-NT1200. But we didn't go for that as we had already decided to take the express bus.

After rejecting those taxi drivers, we searched for the Visitors' Information Counter and applied for the Youth Travel Card. It was free of charge and with this card, user would be valid for some discounts such as entrance ticket to Taipei 101 Observatory floor, ferris wheel ride at Miramar and etc. The application procedure was simple, just need to fill in the given form and you would receive a tag/keychain as well as a handbook listing the discounts and benefits you could get from using this card.

Extra information: The tourism board of Taiwan had actually released 500 units of Digital Tour Buddy which are sorta like hand phone or walkie talkie that could aid foreigners to do English to Chinese translation and vice versa. This device provides 24 hrs service hotline to aid the foreigners if they are encountering some problems in Taiwan as well as taxi service. As mentioned, there are only 500 units available (and circulating) thus it's always better to apply it online weeks before you fly off. Not to forget that, it would require you to submit some documents such as copy of passport when you wanna collect the device from the counter at Taiwan's airport and also it must be returned before you going back to your own country. We didn't apply for this as I thought it was quite a hassle to pre-apply it online, printing and bringing copies of our documents and returning it to the counter before we left Taiwan. If you wanna know more information bout it, you can read here.

After applying for Youth Travel Card, we searched for the Bus terminal to purchase the bus tickets.

Directions: It's quite easy to find, when you've just exit the custom hall, just turn right and walk to the very end, the bus terminal is at the corner.

Our hotel is located at Taipei Main Station area thus we bought bus tickets for Guo Guang Bus (国光). If you're heading to Xi Men Ding, take FreeGo bus. It cost us NT$125 for each ticket which was hella cheaper than traveling by taxi (a taxi driver offered us NT$1000). We were quite lucky as just a min after we bought our bus tickets, the bus arrived and we quickly hopped on it (there would be one bus coming every 15 minutes if not mistaken). Don't worry that your luggages would get mixed up with others as the bus conductor would ask how many pieces of luggages you have and give you a set of coded stickers. There would be two stickers of the same code which one is for sticking on your luggage and another is for your own reference. It was about 50minutes bus ride from Tao Yuan Airport to the Taipei City.


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Inside the Guo Guang Express Bus, NT$125 per person

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Rechecking my itinerary

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View outside the bus window

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This is the Youth Travel Card which I've mentioned earlier

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The handbook that came with the Youth Travel Card


The bus stopped at the Taipei Main Station and after asking directions from the bus conductor, we walked to our hotel using the underground pathway so we didn't have to cross the roads (Taiwanese drivers are scarryyy! I almost got bumped a few times and I do admit my reaction was quite lagging =.=|||) and it was summer in Taipei so using the underground pathway was a wiser choice.

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Our hotel is located at 3F of this building. It's called SayLove Hotel or 玺爱旅店(the second signage counting from the top). I will do a proper review regarding this hotel in upcoming entry.

After arriving at the hotel, the petite and cute receptionist told us that the normal check in time for their hotel is 2pm and it was only 11am at that time. So we left our luggages in the hotel and went out to explore the nearby area.

We visited Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Departmental Store and KMall which were both just a block or two away from our hotel. After that, we decided to visit Taiwan Storyland which was located at KMall's basement. The entrance fee was NT$200 for each person.

Similar to museum, Taiwan Storyland displayed a lot of old schooled toys, car, bikes, motor bikes during the 70s or 80s as well as different types of stores such as Photography studio, Boutiques, Dental clinic and even class room. It was really a fun place to visit and photography was allowed.


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Purchase your ticket at the counter before entering which cost NT$200 per person.

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Old schooled Darlie Toothpaste commercial poster; it's rather scary haha

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All sorts of old cigarettes brands which were available in Taiwan during old times


After spending more than an hour at Taiwan Storyland, we went on roaming in the nearby area and there were plenty of eateries and stores. The streets were really busy with teenagers walking here and there. Probably most of them were there to attend tuition or summer classes. The area where I stayed is also named "Tuition Street" as there were quite a number of tuition schools located there.


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So cute! It's actually a stall selling Baked Cheese Rice


One or two units away from this stall was a stall selling 刈包 (also known as Chinese steamed sandwich) which I was so tempted to try! There were different types of fillings available and I choosed lean pork meat fillings. Other than meat, the other ingredients of the fillings included pickled vegetables and some peanut powder thus this made the steamed sandwich flavourful and have a mixture of saltiness and sweetness taste. It's really worth trying!


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This is the stall where I bought the 刈包 (Steamed sandwich) from.

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This is how the Steamed Sandwich looks like


While walking on the busy streets, I spotted "许记" (pronounced Hsu Ji) which is one of the popular eateries in Taiwan that serve Shanghai Dumplings (上海生煎包).


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许记 (Hsu Ji) on the left

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The staff busy preparing the dumplings; 1 for NT$7, 5 for NT$30 and 12 for NT$72


We stopped by and I bought 5 Shanghai Dumplings to try out how good was it as several bloggers who visited Taiwan stated it's a must try when you're in Taiwan. And it appeared that they were right! It's quite similar to Pot Stickers but in different shape which this look more like "Xiao Long Bao" but is pan fried and topped with sesame. But inside the dumpling, the fillings was really juicy and meaty, not to forget it was really hot too! And after purchasing the dumplings, there was a tier shelves placed nearby the stall where you could get the sticks for eating the dumplings and special chili sauce made for the dumplings.


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Xu Ji Shanghai Dumplings


After buying these snacks, we walked back to our hotel.


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Outside Nova Mall, we spotted this Merc and Hubby said it's kinda different from what we see in Brunei


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Spotted cute Minis nearby our hotel


Till here, will continue our first day in Taipei in next blog entry ;)


Hunnie Signing Off~