Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 5 in Taiwan

On the last day in Taiwan, we went over to Xi Men Ding in the morning to shop.

Then, after troubling Vincent's friends again, we managed to get into Taipei International Floral Exposition (open till April 2011).

We visited one of the many pavillions available - Angel Life Pavillion.

First, we went to the tropical garden.

The flower arrangement is eye-catching.

You won't be able to finish visiting the whole exposition in a day. Many said it will take 3 days to visit the whole exposition if you are really into plants.

The exposition is quite crowded even during weekdays. Ai Tee told me that we have to queue up as early as 7.30am to get the tickets into each pavillion.

We went to watch one of the shows, which basically features a 10-minutes animation. I feel those animation in a few casinos in Macau is more impressive :P

More plants on display - and a caterpillar in a cocoon as well :)

After that, we had dinner in Taipei 101... and then bought tickets to the observatory deck.

Night view of Taipei city...

Taipei 101 has the fastest elevators in the world. It takes 39 seconds to the top (1,010m). After that, Vincent's friends drove us to the airport. We are very thankful to have them bringing us around.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 4 in Taiwan

On Day 4, we checked out from High Wharf after breakfast. Vincent's friends came to pick us up.

They brought us to Shitoushan Park. Shitoushan is a foothill on the border of Miaoli and Hsinchu Counties. It has beautiful dense forests and rugged rocks.
The place used to be an off-limit area for the public in the olden days while the community on the island was still under the control of Chiang's regime.

The "Twin Candlesticks" rocks which can be seen from afar.

Ermm.. pretending to be sandwiched by "Twin Candlesticks"....

A group photo taken at the scenic spot.

After that, we went over to Ah Xie seafood restaurant in Ye Liu for lunch. The seafood dishes were fresh and quite tasty.

Later in the evening, we went over to ermm... somewhere (40 minutes drive from Taipei city) for dinner and karaoke.

After that, we checked into another hostel room in National Taiwan Normal University.. with 4 of us staying in one room, costing about TWD1,900 per night. This hostel imposes curfew (i.e. 11.30pm).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 3 in Taiwan

High Wharf Bed and Breakfast overlooks hills and the sea. It is owned by a young man who only comes over to High Wharf whenever there is any room reservation.

It is a nice little place which offers peace and quiet environment. It is very well-kept, clean and tidy.

However, it is not really accessible as the only way to reach High Wharf is by car. Vincent's friend borrowed a seven-seater van from a friend to pick us up.

We went to Jin Gua Shi Shan to look at abandoned gold mine and the scenic view on the side of Kee Lung mountain.

When the rain water mixes with Iron and Carrollite, it is oxidized and catalyzed by bacteria within iron and becomes the yellowish-orange acidic water we see.

It was very windy. I shouldn't have trusted weather forecast. stated that it would be 14 to 20 degree celsius everyday during my trip in Taiwan but it was only 9 degree celsius on Day 3 in Taiwan -_-"

Next, we went to Jiu Fen Old Street - another famous tourist attraction. Many local delicacies can be found along the streets.

We tried the minced meat with starch (tasted a bit weird) and the famous QQ (i.e. spongy texture) dessert. Ermm.. many may say the dishes were delicious but again, it wasn't quite what we would enjoy. I think many dishes were just over rated. LOL.

Vincent's friends then drove us all the way to Yi Lan to try pork intestine mian xian. Again, Simon refused to try it. But the dish actually tasted quite alright.

Then, we rushed to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to see guards changing at 5:00pm. Well, it wasn't really changing of the guards... the guards marched over to the flag pole, lowered the flag, folded the flag, kept the flag and marched to their office. It should be called... 'Capture The Flag'.. LOL!

There, 'capturing the flag' in action...

Later, we went over to Kee Lung night market for dinner.

Finally, we found something which Simon is actually able to swallow - Taiwanese sandwich.

We tried several Taiwanese delicacies. Some of the dishes were quite delicious as well. But, I still wouldn't say any of them is spectacular. LOL.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 2 in Taiwan

The next day, we had breakfast in the university. The cafe was understaffed. We waited for almost an hour for our sandwiches. -_-"

Vincent's (Simon's cousin) friends in Taipei then brought us around. They brought us to Ding Tai Feng in Sogo for lunch. We had to trouble his Taiwanese friends to drive 2 cars to show us around since there were 6 of us.

After lunch, they brough us to Yang Ming Shan National Park. It is one of the eight national parks in Taiwan.

The National Park is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, sulfur deposits, fumaroles, venomous snakes and hiking trails.

Many in Taipei dress up their pet dogs...

Later, we went over to Xiao You Keng to look at sulphur spring.

Some even boil eggs at the sulfur spring.

It is a scenic and relaxing place.

At night, we had dinner at High Wharf where we stayed for the next two nights. The food is quite alright but Simon wasn't used to most of the food in Taiwan at all. LOL.