11 Dec 2006, 7:26pm
Musings:
by michael
2 comments

2006-10-28 – Day 5 – Taichung – Taipei

Taichung (台中)

0725 A bright morning greeted us in Taichung and we headed out. Unfortunate that the tour doesn’t let us have much time to explore the area since it seems like an interesting place to walk around. We passed a market of sorts on our way.

0905 Our first rest Stop (新竹) after hitting the roads let everyone get a quick breather and stretch out the legs. We’re near Taipei again!

Taipei (台北)

1030 Since a visit to Taipei must warrant a visit to Taipei 101, Sam drove us by some landmark buildings like the Mayor’s office and Taipei 101 to have a look. We also had a very early lunch at a hot pot restaurant. Definitely great to have some ma la steamboat.

 

 

 

 

1215 Martyr’s Shrine (忠烈祠) was our first stop of the day tour where we witnessed the change of guards. The guards performed the change of shift with amazing endurance and skill with the weapon toss.

 

 

1300 National Palace Museum (故宫博物馆) was interesting but unfortunately we couldn’t take photos inside. There were numerous antiques for viewing and apparently there is so much that all of it can’t be shown at one time. We were introduced to 4 unique items.  Bai Cai and Zhu Rou jade that looked amazingly like white lettuce and pork. Also we saw a Tian Lu and Elephant that had some meaning but unfortunately can’t quite remember it ;)

 

1435 The last time I was in Taipei, we also visited Fengshui Master Mr. Liu (天禄), this time round, it seemed to be a funnier session with a whole lot of insight into numbers and our names. Apparently, the numbers 13, 9 and 4 are good numbers while 10 is bad.

1615 Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (中正纪念堂) had a concert ongoing and an arts display so was pretty interesting to have a look in the great evening sun.

We also bought some native products that are a definite must try like pineapple tarts Taiwan style.

1815 Dinner for us was at Shilin Night Market (士林夜市). We had a few items like 棺材板 (Bread toasted with ingredients “buried” inside) and also a pasty that wasn’t too great called 大饼包小饼. One of the definite must try is mango ice shavings (芒果冰). We didn’t much like 生炒三鲜羹 which is a mix of various seafood in a stew.

 

 

 

1945 Everyone was parting ways this night as some were traveling back to Singapore and others were staying on. Two of us had booked ourselves into Onestar Hotel (万事达酒店) near Xi Men Ding. The hotel is great (location and room) and we would heartily book it again next time we’re in Taipei :)

9 Dec 2006, 6:08pm
Musings:
by michael
leave a comment

2006-10-27 – Day 4 – Kaoshiung – Taichung

Kaoshiung (高雄)

0900 Our first stop of the day whilst still in Kaoshiung was Spring and Autumn Pavilion (春秋阁). Here, there are three different pagodas that we visited (Long Hu, Guan Yin, Xiong Di Gong).

1000 Our next stop was to visit a fresh water cultivated pearl factory. Had to sit through a short video and explaination of how consuming pearl powder is beneficial to complexion. It was all rather interesting but again another expensive luxury item :)

1230 Fo Guang Shan (佛光山) was definitely a more interesting place to visit as we opted for a short climb up the slopes while some other members chose to take the golf buggy up. Definitely well worth the effort since the view of Buddha was breath taking. It was also Fo Guang Shan’s 40th anniversary, made me wonder how they constructed all this 40 years ago! We also visited another temple with 3 Buddha’s inside that was very grand and spacious.

1400 We hit the freeway as we left Fo Guang Shan for our next destination.

Taichung (台中)

1645 Chi Lin Fong Hot Spring (麒麟峰温泉) was our very first hot spring! There were a couple of mild 35°C baths but the one that really kept my attention was the 40°C bath… In the cool weather, it was a godsend to soak one’s tired body into it. In our excitement at the public bath, we forgot to take photos and in the end ended up with only photos of the exterior and 2 eggs cooked in the hot spring :)

1845 We had a chance to visit another night market called Fong Jia Night Market (逢甲夜市). As usual, things were beginning to look the same to us at the night markets so it was a quick walk around. There was a lot of activity and would be interesting to visit the smaller lanes if we had more time. Walking along one of the roads brought us to a snack I first had 3 years ago when I first visited Taipei.. Hot Potatoes mashed up and served in its skin with toppings of your choice. It was definitely great to try it again :)

2100 Our hotel was right next to a shopping centre and so being night birds that we were, we headed right over to have a look. Everything’s pretty much the same as Singapore except that it was much larger and definitely pretty empty, guess the week day night had a lot to do with it. Had a quick shop for supplies at Carrefour and it was time to get some snooze time.

28 Oct 2006, 7:20am
Musings:
by michael
leave a comment

Good morning from Taichung!

Good morning from Taichung!
Good morning from Taichung!Originally uploaded by m.ong.

Good morning! Stayed at the very nice Twinstar Hotel in Taichung. Today we’re heading back to our starting point in Taipei. Luckily we’ve still got two more days to visit a few more places. Just got on the coach and will be on the freeway quite soon.

27 Oct 2006, 10:44pm
Musings:
by michael
leave a comment

Beer! Heaven at Taichung Carefour.

Alcohol here is super cheap. 5 litres mini keg of Heineken @ $36. Asahi rows and rows. Why can’t singapore be like this?!