Oh hi there!
I’ve been meaning to write this trip as this is the first time I’ve travelled with friends (classmates and dance mates from elementary school years) but aside from being lazy most of the time, I just gave up every time I ran out of words. Which by the way, I don’t have so many. LOL!
This trip was well planned, I guess (hahaha!) but there no such thing as “perfect” thing – only perfect scores in tests..hehehe! Let me tell you a story first, a short one, on how this trip came up. One day, I was at work and there was this random topic about Taiwan being visa free until July this year. And since we kind of wanted to experience that “visa-free” thingy and most of us are quite bored. Well maybe it was only me who was bored.. hehehe. I’m just kidding, I’m not bored, I guess I was just multi-tasking. Everyone agreed to have our flights booked from Cebu to Taiwan. As for me, after my ticket was booked, I had to look for a cheap fare from Singapore to Cebu. It was not a sudden book actually, I have already planned on going back to Cebu that time for a long overdue EMG test for my left arm, and since I’ve already had a reason to go back home, might as well join in the fun. I’d like to think that I deserve a treat for myself. (just so I won’t feel guilty spending that much.. lol!) So to make the long story short, I booked a quite an expensive airfare but hey, no amount of money can replace that feeling seeing your family (another way to not feel myself guilty! lol).
Two of the “walwal” groups (yes that’s how we call ourselves) wasn’t able to make it due to some other higher priorities. We met at the nearby gasoline station where our respective partners (excluding Kareen just because.. hehe) dropped us and Laireen took us to the airport. Thanks Lai!
We were actually quite early but with friends time is really quick. We went inside and then suddenly the time was already 6 am and we still have not finished checking in.
Day 1. We’ve touched down Taoyuan International Airport and had our moneys exchanged to NTD. The immigration line was quite long that we have to wait I think 30 minutes to an hour. Touched up ourselves and off we went to get our train tokens to Taipei Main Station.
It was quite a long walk from the airport to the train station going to Taipei Main Station, then another long walk going out from Taipei Main Station. Whew! But after those long walks, going out from the station the cold air, the weather… beautiful!
Our hostel was just a walk away from the MRT station.
We were allowed to checked in early which was great because our stomach started complaining. So after settling ourselves and hearing ourselves complain on some stuff in our room (hahaha! what can you expect in a cheap hostel), we head out to find food. We are the EAT girls so what can you expect. Instead of going to try local foods, which we didn’t find nearby or we’re just already too hungry, we end up eating Japanese curry. Yes, Japanese curry in Taiwan. Eeeh! But we’re already so hungry so Taiwanese food trip was not the first priority that time.
The two were not really a fan of curries, I think it was Ann and Kareen so they end up having to share their orders but as for me and Yhel, sharing was not in our vocabulary that time because to be honest, we’re really hungry.
Our day 1 was actually planned and timed but since some things come unexpectedly like in the airport the queue was quite long, we have to make some adjustments. We’ve pre-booked our ticket to Taipei 101 and we just have to claim it. We thought we’re already late and have to accept the consequences, although we were late maybe 10-15 minutes only. We head directly to the ticketing machine and had our tickets printed. Funny thing was that, we queued to this line and noticed that most of them were aunties and uncles and we’re like “oh great our ticket number is still the range, we’re not yet late”. Then after like couple of minutes, we realised that the queue was for a group for tour packages.. **facepalm**. We went to the other line and head our way up. To be honest I was quite scared knowing that we were going up to one of the tallest buildings in the world. Sidenote: sometimes I have weird dreams like I’m in an elevator and it goes up and then sideways endlessly.
Watched some informative videos of how Taipei 101 was built and how it stand some earthquakes that hit Taiwan. Great way to scare me more! We’re on the 89th level and we’re watching earthquake videos. To make myself calm, I invited the group for some “groufie”.
We were actually quite tired on our day 1. Imagine, early morning flight and only just had a two hours and 50 minutes to rest during the flight. Walked a lot and hungry too. So we’re like zombies on high. Hehehehe!
We went back to our hostel to take some rest but with friends around, no one can rest. Right? We just lied down and kept talking. We head to Shilin night market. This is where we had to really try the local delicacies. Or was it?
Hungry and tired, I actually wanted to try all the foods that we see while walking towards Shilin Night Market but I was quite hesitant for fear that I don’t want to get too full and then I start to get anxious. I don’t want to spoil the night.
We tried the xia long bao and started our milktea hunting.
Not sure if it’s me getting really very heavy or was it that the new Sketcher’s shoes I bought was too tight that I end up having a really painful feet the next day. Although I can still walk but it’s quite uncomfortable. But for this trip I had to endure. I don’t want to spoil the fun. ^_^
Day 2. For this day, the itinerary was trip to Taichung but because we were so dead tired from yesterday’s flight and long walks, we woke up quite late. Had our free easy breakfast, which was literally easy as you only have to choose unsalted porridge, egg and sandwiches and unlimited coffee or tea. During breakfast, I learned one thing – do not talk in your language right away as you do not know that the person knows or understands what you’re talking. Hehehehe! I was hoping that the guy did not hear me but Kareen has a very loud voice. LOL! So to make the story shorter, I told her that one of the guy sitting beside our table, looks like our previous president. Hehehe! Turns out he knows and understands Tagalog and Bisaya. **facepalm**
Our trip to Taichung did not go well as planned. Although we have it timed as early as 6AM that we should have already head our way to Taichung, we kind of forgot that and travelled to Taichung around 11AM through Taiwan’s High Speed Railway. When we reached there, I was not able to contact the driver that we have contacted before to help us with this trip. Plan B, although we don’t have, activated. hahaha! We tried to ask people in this Facebook group and some responded but unfortunately since it was ad hoc, we were not able to get one. Although we have already agreed to pay higher amount just to make this trip possible. We end up, braving ourselves to have this trip as DIY.
We went down to bus terminal from Taichung station and were greeted by this guy in Chinese. Kareen, although understands and speaks some Mandarin, she did not understand what that guy was saying. We just passed by him. Later we decided to talk to him again but unfortunately he did not understand and another guy approached us. We did some exchange of deals with him and agreed to the price we asked. We actually paid lower than what we have budgeted. Yey! Mr Driver was so kind enough to agree with our itinerary.
We arrived at our first destination, Xinshe Castle. It was raining when we arrived there and fortunately we still have the raincoat we bought from last night’s walk.
We rested for a while and had coffee/tea break. Just to let the rain pass by so we can have our photoshoot properly. Please don’t ask me what we did while waiting for the rain to stop but mind you, we did make use of the rainy mood that we have a choreographed, act-like-it’s-candid pose with our drinks. Hahaha! Just imagine it!
Next stop, Zhongshe Flower Field. This was a perfect place to have your photoshoot be it just self-portraits or with your special someone. But rain made it hard for us to get photographed in the middle of the flower fields.
We did stayed a little longer here I think. Who doesn’t love flowers anyway? Well except for those who have allergies I think, with the exception from Yehl. From what I know she have allergies but that didn’t stop her from appreciating it.
I was blown away but the different displays of flowers. First time I saw a Lavender field. ^_^
And why I said we stayed quite longer here it’s because we each have our moments aka selfies. Hehehe!
We only end up going to these two places in Taichung since we started lunch time. Just a heads up although you might know this somewhere, when you go to places like Taichung, you have to start your day as early as 7 AM I guess. We’ve learned that tours here usually starts at 7-8AM.
We didn’t regret that our planned tour was cancelled because we still enjoyed our trip there and we made quite a good time with our driver teasing Kareen the entire time.
Mr Driver brought us to this 100-year old store where we bought some snacks (e.g pineapple tart, my husband’s fave) to bring back to Cebu.
We went back to Taipei and before going back to our hostel, we bought foods for dinner and stumbled on another milktea. We tried their signature Brown Sugar Fresh Milk.
Quite busy contacting some tours for next day’s itinerary since cancelled the driver that we contacted before. We realised he’s quite expensive as he had to come from Taichung to Taipei.
Day 3. Our last day in Taiwan. We managed to contact another driver we found from a Facebook group. Before we met the driver, we checked out and had our breakfast at McDonalds. It’s not easy anymore. LOL!
He was kind enough to bring us to Tamsui temple where we still can see the cherry blossoms. Which is one of the reasons why we wanted to come to Taiwan.
Next stop was Geopark. Didn’t really quite understand what the rocks were formed here >_< but there were quite a few tourists here and it looks like where in some place in Europe. Lol! feelers!
Last destination before heading back to airport was Shifen Waterfall.
It was already sunny and last thing that came to my mind when we saw some people licking those ice cream.
After our last tour for the day, our driver dropped us at Taipei Main Station. We decided to eat our dinner there since we have to walk quite far from the train station to the check-in counter.
Checking in was quite a hassle. The counter was a combination of 4 different flights and it took our remaining time to walk around the airport. Although there’s not much thing to see in their airport. >_<
That was our trip to Taiwan. Will I go again? Definitely! There are quite a lot of places that we’ve never got the chance to go and a lot of foods that we’ve never eaten due to limited days.
Arrived in Cebu around 12 midnight I guess. Quite tired but thankful for the experience.
Next day, an earthquake hit Taiwan near Taoyuan airport. Grateful that we didn’t get to experience it and prayed for the safety of the people.