Saturday, December 29, 2007

Taiwan Family Trip

There has been a lot of family trips this month and I'm still lovin' it.
As this is a very very long trip (19 - 25 Dec), I'll try to make it short... hehez.
My trip is part of a tour group (gourmet grp) that comprises of 30 ppl including my mom, dad, alice, james, annie and ashley. Rosemary will be in sg to see his husband's family and Grace will be in Germany to visit the bf for xmas.

The flight to taipei was a long one for we transitted in 2 different airports; bangkok and HK. We left KL at 1pm and reached taipei at 1030pm!! We had 3 meals in the plane within that few hours. ugh! Sick of plane food after that... At least, there's free flow of booze... heheh...The night ended with a light supper at some nearby stall and slept in our rooms. Weather was quite cold outside at tht time.. =))

Hotel that we stayed in the first night

Next day, we went to ChuiFen, an old fashioned way of life place where we get to shop and eat. Apparently, that place is famous for Taro and Sweet Potato Balls.
Chiu Fen

There were lots of things to see from decoratives to clothes to gigantic meat balls. Bought a couple of souvenirs from here and some sight seeing

Giant-sized meatballs

Decoratives... look what those baby pigs are watching.. keke

View at Chiu Fen

We went to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall after that and that's where my 5 year old Nike Shoes decided to fail me. The soles came out and was torn.. boo hoo..

Found some guai lou doing exercise there

Luckily, after this place, it was a long ride to Tai Chung were we'll go to Fong Jia Night Market and I can get new shoes there! Or so I thought... Before that, we were to go to Nei One Old Street to see more shops.. Supposed to experience some Hakka old life style there and some Hakka dishes. Oh well, I managed to get a fake crocs over there for RM20. That place ain't tht bad... Can see a lot of old styled living and a bald sakura tree.

Dad sitting under 2 bald sakura trees while waiting for mom and sis to come back from toilet

There are a couple of nicely designed shops as well

Finally, we reached the Fong Jia Night Market. I guess the night markets in Taiwan is really popular. Almost every city has at least one night market.

Had our dinner here of some weird paste noodle and did some shopping.

And I bought a new Nike shoe!! The trend and fashion here is always somehow faster than Malaysia. So, a nike shoe on cheap sale (cause it's out of fashion) will be some newly released shoe in Malaysia! And I bought something even better. It just reached Taiwan the night before. It's a New Limited Edition Nike Zoom Lebron V!! The shoe was just released in December itself and I now own the shoe for a mere RM466 (after conversion).
ps: Actually, didn't really want to buy it as it's rather expensive, but my mom believed in quality and what you pay for is directly proportional to quality in terms of shoes. Old stocks will have wear and tear and the such..

Spent the night in Taichung and nothing special to sight see there.

Following morning, we went to the Earthquake Museum to commemorate the 21st September 1999 major earthquake incident. They have transformed a badly hit earthquake school into a museum.
One of the classrooms

It was like an educational field trip. How, why, what and where about earthquakes. They even have a simulation room to what have happened the night of the earthquake.
Simulation room

There were a lot of loss and casualties from this earthquake, and even I suffered a loss... This is where I dropped my digital camera and the zoom and shutter button came off... =( Hence, I wasn't able to take any pictures with that camera for the rest of the trip. Only took a couple of them with my brother's camera and I have not in possession of them. Therefore, less pictures from here onwards.

Rest of the day, we went to the Sun Moon Lake (largest lake in Taiwan), a peacock farm, a temple (Wen Wu Temple) and of course, another night market in Kao Hsiung. We travelled from Tai Chung to Kao Hsiung for tht day. Kao Hsiung is a much nicer city. Very organized and brightly lit up, unlike Tai Chung.

The next day, we went to another Buddhist Temple called the Fo Guang Shan. Did I mention that it was blardy hot over there?! We were sweating all over while exploring this temple. Then, we went to Shie Lake where they take us to see a beach. Nothing special there apart from the darker fine sand at the beach. We went on a ferry ride at that lake where I did not understand a single word the tour guide said as it was in Chinese. (everything IS in chinese over there actually)

Then, we went to Tainan where they tried to sell us Lin Zhi. Ended up back in Taichung for the night where we went to Yi Zhong Jia Night Market. Night market here wasn't very appealing as most of the things are ladies stuff.

For the fifth day, it was a journey back to Taipei from Tai Chung. We went to a Maoli Fruit Rance where we can pluck our own strawberries. Oh, and the strawberries were delicious!!! It's very sweeett... My family bought 3 boxes altogether. haha...
Then, we went to our shortest museum tour ever! The museum itself is very big (National Palace Museum) where they explained the history of Taiwan from the Paleolitic Age to the Modern Era. And the tour guide, rushed us throughout in just an hour or so!! What can we see?!?! Before we could finish reading a description, the tour leader was already out of our line of sight.

Apparently, they wanted to rush for the Changing of Guards in Martyr's Shrine. It's those stationary guards like those in the famous Buckingham Palace. They are really like statues; they don't move and they don't even blink an eye!! We witnessed how they changed the guards and it was quite impressive. I think even the guards at the Buckingham Palace is no longer existing. (probably got abused too much.. lolz)

Towards the end of the day, we went to Taipei 101, the current tallest building in the world. It's all branded and designer's stores inside.

At night, we went to Shih Lin Night Market. This is THE night market to be. The cheapest clothes by far. They can sell long sleeve t-shirts for RM19.90 and it's a buy one free one! Winter clothing are also only for RM19.90. Too bad we didn't really have time to complete the place as we were only given about an hour or so. But, we came back the day after as it was a free and easy day =) However, we went to Xi Men Ding Night Market that night itself as the night was still young after we settled down in our hotel rooms.

The final day, we were able to explore Taipei on our own. We went to the Wu Fen (lui yan kai) to shop for very cheap ladies clothes. We took the train and MRT there. However, as it was raining, it wasn't really convenient for us to be there. Then, we went to Sogo where we stopped a station earlier. Hence, we had to walk from one station to another. That walk made my parents tired but we were able to see more shops from there. It wasn't much of a sight for me. Nothing special, really...

Then, my parents, my sister and the 2 kids went back to the hotel to rest while me, my brother, 2 girls from our tour group (Angela and Wendy) and our Malaysia tour lady (Crystal) decided to venture on and explore Taipei. We headed to New York New York, a shopping mall in near Taipei 101. We watched National Treasure 2: The Book of Secrets at Vieshow Cinemas. The Cinema is veryyy huge!~ Seats were very comfortable also and it's about RM35 for a ticket! We had dinner at McDonald's where we wanted to try the Pork Burger, went to Taipei 101 again and decided to call it a day as it was quite tiring. We went back to the hotel room for a while and came back out again to Shih Lin Night Market! hehe...

Managed to explore the night market more over there. Turns out, deeper in the night market, the clothes gets cheaper and cheaper! From 199 yuan, to 188 yuan to 95 yuan!! I even bought a backpack for only 95yuan. Bought most of my souvenirs there too... And sadly to say, it was xmas eve at tht time and it wasn't much of a countdown. "Celebrated" Christmas unknowingly while shopping in one of the stalls in Shih Lin Night Market with my brother, Angela and Wendy.

It's now Christmas day and we had to wake up at 5am the next morning for the bus will be leaving at 6! Sounds so glamorous to spend Christmas in 3 different countries. In the morning, we were in Taipei. In the afternoon towards evening, we were at Bangkok and at night, we were in KL. However, we just spent Christmas like that in the aeroplane and most of the time in Bangkok airport. We had to wait for a 4 hour transit in Bangkok. Was really boring...

Oh well, so much for xmas 2007. That's the end of my trip! (A lot of gossips and human relationships throughout the trip, but decided not to write it here) Cheers!

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