Taiwan has always been one of the Asian countries I would love to visit ever since (aside from Japan and South Korea). I never had the chance before to go even though it was only a two-hour flight from Manila because of the hassle of processing the visa (plus, we all know the tension then between Philippines and China so I was kind of pessimistic that I would get it).
My love for Taiwan is not only for its culture and sights but also for its food~ in fact, I made a long list of food that I would like to try in the country.
[Yes, there is that penis-shaped waffle xD you can even search it on the net lol]
I arrived almost midnight in Taoyuan International Airport. From there, you could ride a bus to most districts in Taiwan. For more info, you could check on this site (www.taoyuan-airport.com/english/Buses) which provides you the timetable, fare and list of district the buses are traveling to from the airport.
My first destination in Taiwan was to the majestic province of Jiufen. It was less than an hour travel to Taipei. There was a public bus going to Jiufen but during that time, there was a long queue of people waiting so we opted to just ride a taxi. Yes, you can find contracted taxis that will take you to Jifuen. We were four during that time (me and my friend and two others whom we don’t know but just agreed with sharing the taxi with us lol) and the driver agreed to take us there for NT$200.00 each. Pretty convenient considering the length of the travel, right?
Anyway, the reason why I chose to go to Jiufen is because of ‘Spirited Away’. Yup, the-animated-motion-picture-who-even-got-recognition-from-Holliwood ‘Spirited Away’. I read that this place was the inspiration behind that movie so that was on the top of my places to visit.
Since we arrived around lunch time, first thing we looked for was for a place to eat. Almost every stalls there was decorated by red Chinese lanterns. There were stores for souvenirs, food, tea and other delicacies you can take home for giveaways.
Tada! Our first (proper) meal in Taiwan! Their ever-famous xiao long bao, steamed chicken, wanton noodles and some pan fried omelet…
Good thing there were these less crowded places as well. And some weird shops like the mask shop below. You can find a scene in Spirited Away with that place.
I DID say that this travel was more of food right? XD
And the highlight of this day, the carbon copy of Yubaba’s bathhouse where Chihiro has worked, the 100-year old A-Mei Tea House!
We had the set below at A-Mei Tea House. Rating? 2/5… or 1.5/5? Pretty much in between 1.5-2… definitely not higher. The tea is not that appealing. It tastes bland for me. Well, I am not a fan of hot teas but I do have tasted a lot and this is nowhere near half of the best I have tasted so far. The biscuits did not help at all, not the type that I would crave for. Basically, we just tried it for the sake of experience. The price? Well, you can buy two venti frappe at Starbucks with the amount I paid for. The tea is unlimited though xD
We went to Shilla Open Market after our trip in Jiufen. Here you can buy a lot of stuff at cheaper prices. I bought a lot of those fruit cake boxes here for giveaways to friends and families. They usually sell it at 3 boxes for NT$100 but you can haggle it for 5 boxes with the same price. 😉
We still didn’t forget our foodtripping in Taiwan though~ Their stinky tofu is a must-try! Just do not mind the smell, just eat it and savor the flavor… ^^
My next day in Taipei was the main purpose of this travel: SWCIV! Finally I’ll be able to witness SHINee performing again~
Taiwan’s ticketing for this concert is way different than other concerts I’ve been too. Fans can only purchase the ticket at Family Marts in Taipei. Luckily, my friend knows a seller from Taiwan. Even some of their goods, you can only buy through their pre-order in Family Mart. So old school, right? =_=
The concert lasted for more than three hours. The security was so tight good thing they weren’t able to see my dslr upon entrance. I was happy as well that I went to the only stop where they performed their repackaged carrier single “Married to the Music”. It’s sad that Minho wasn’t able to perform to all of the songs because he was injured few weeks before the concert. But Jinki is all well so all in all, I’m very much happy… ^^
I’m still in cloud nine upon going home. I think I’m over the phase of getting post-concert depression because I know I’ll be seeing SHINee again in a few months, so I was just joyful even if the concert has already ended.
My last day was a bit busier than the previous ones, because I wanted to visit as many places in my list as possible. But roaming around with a huge luggage isn’t convenient, right? So I left mine in a baggage center in Taipei Main station. I was thinking of dropping them off at one of the lockers in the said station but all are occupied already when I arrived, luckily, I found an alternative. You can leave your baggage there at NT$70 per baggage a day. The carry-on baggage center is just few minutes away from the main station. Please see map below.
Any Taiwan trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit in their ever-famous Taipei 101! Though I wasn’t able to go to their observatory as I was trying to visit as many places as I could. But definitely next time, I’ll go!
I also did a short trip at Miramar Entertainment Park.
After hours of walking, I decided to finally have my late lunch at the Modern Toilet. Its theme captured my attention. How it was so unique to use toilets as a motif for a restaurant xD and look at the interiors! Mostly are customized to match with the resto’s name…
As for their food, well, there’s really nothing exceptional with their menu. I ate their classic themed meal Modern Toilet chicken curry. The taste is just OK, to be honest. I was just there for the experience.
My next stop was to roam around Ximen Market and to visit Lungshan temple… for more food tripping xD i wasn’t expecting, but I also see some SHINee stuff around ;)))
I really love those sausage-ish street food, I think I even brought some on my way to the airport… (love them more than the food in modern toilet lol)…
Taiwan is a very nice place for foodtripping. I am looking forward to more delicacies to eat next time I visit the countr. And hopefully, I could visit some cultural stuff which is definitely lacking on this trip… xD
See you on my next travel!