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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Taiwan 9 days 8 nights backpackers trip

After coming back from Bali Island, I went to another two places - Klang and Taiwan. I'm gonna write more on Taiwan first. Klang trip update wil be later.

9 Days 8 Nights

Trip style: 2 people backpacker style 
Airline: Air Asia X (RM 760 approximately including luggage add-on and meal on board)
Luggage capacity for 2 people: KL-TPE (15kg) whereas TPE - KL (35kg)
Accommodation: RM 500 approximately 
Transportation: RM 500+ approximately
Currency conversion: 1 MYR = approximately 9.4-9.6 TWD. 

Places that we've visited: 

  1. 西门町
  2. 龙山寺
  3. 国父纪念馆
  4. 五分铺 
  5. 饶河夜市
  6. 周杰伦意大利餐厅
  7. 台北101
  8. 九分 
  9. 金瓜石
  10. 基隆夜市 
  11. 西门红楼
  12. 中正纪念堂
  13. 阳明山
  14. 士林夜市
  15. 乌来——老街,瀑布,交通工具博物院,温泉
  16. 淡水——渔人码头,情人桥
  17. 新北投——老街,Ketagalan 博物院,北投温泉博物院,地热谷

11 July'13 (Thursday) 
Spent 1 night at Klang Prescott Hotel due to early flight the next day at 10 a.m. 
Checked out at 6 a.m. to travel to LCCT. 
If you were to take a cab from Klang to LCCT, it is about RM 80-100 one way (1 hour journey). 
Always be at the airport 3 hours before your flight time. 

12 July'13 (Friday)
Our flight was at 10 a.m. We arrived at Taoyuan Taipei Airport at 2.40 p.m. (About 4 hours plus journey). The weather was good - no rain. We walked pretty fast, following the crowd to pick up our luggage. We were quite fast but we wasted some time waiting for our luggage.

Look at the bed of clouds - It's beautiful! 

To Taiwan - Air Asia X 
We ate our lunch at 7 Eleven in the airport. 

Then, we board the 国光客运 bus to Taipei Main Station (MRT). Supposedly, there is a free interchanged bus to Xi Men Ding Station. However, we didn't use this because it'll be much faster to take MRT since we were already in Taipei Main Station. The 国光客运 bus comes very 10-15 minutes interval. The journey takes about 45 - 60 minutes. 国光客运 bus is the cheapest among all. It costs TWD 125 one way.

The first thing to do is to buy 优游卡. You will be entitled 20% discount if I'm not mistaken if you use this card for travel - you can use it for bus and MRT. It's really very convenient. You will need to pay TWD 100 as deposit. You will get back TWD 80 at the end of the day as 20% will be paid for service charge. 

Our hotel is about 700 meters away from the Xi Men Ding MRT station. It is not too far to walk. The map directed us wrongly and we couldn't find the exact location of the hotel. We were lost for a while searching and asking people. We only managed to reach the hotel at 6.30 p.m. 

Due to coincidence that when we arrived at Taiwan, it was the time when the typhoon arrived. The weather was bad and not suitable for vacation. We discussed all over our plans and decided to stay in Taipei for the whole trip. Initially, we were quite ambitious to travel to many places. However, we were glad too that this typhoon allowed us to have a relaxing trip - we managed to travel to many places in Taipei. 

At 8 p.m., we met up with 2 Taiwan friends - 徐祥 & 小桂. They were really very kind and nice for treating us the first dinner in Taiwan. They bought the food from the night market to eat with us at 7 Eleven. I remembered eating 阿宗面线 - it tastes really awesome! You really have to try it when you go to Xi Men Ding.

Okay so here's a picture of 徐祥 and I. 
People said we look alike - LMAO

We stayed in Michii Hotel at Xi Men Ding. 

There's a plasma TV - Miss Chen said it's newly bought.

The double bed and make-up table. 

The bathroom.

Review for Michii Hotel:
Cleanliness: 65% 
It's overall clean but on the second last night of our stay, we found a big living cockroach on the wall. 

Hospitality: 100%
The owner of the hotel, Miss Chen (陈小姐) is a very friendly and helpful person. She offered us help when we were so lost the first day - thinking of how to reorganize our plans due to typhoon. She was willing to borrow us her telephone to call Agoda to refund. She even offered us chicken soup on one of the nights for supper. We had a great time chit chatting with her. 

Location: 75% 
It's not too far neither too near from the MRT station. It is definitely a walk-able distance. However, if you are the kind of person who doesn't like to walk too much, perhaps you will not want to stay at here. It is very near to Xi Men Ding where you you just need to walk 2-5 minutes - there were many stalls selling different kinds of stuff - food, accessories, clothes and services. There were also people performing their talent - singing and dancing. 

Price: 75%
For a first world country like Taiwan, the price is considered not bad. However, I still find it a little expensive. It was more costly when we booked through Agoda. Due to plan changed, we decided to stay a few more days at this hotel. We managed to get a lower rate (of which I cannot tell specifically here).

Facilities: 80%
Miss Chen is very kind for borrowing us the universal adapter plug - The plug in Taiwan is different from Malaysia's. So, be prepared to bring one just in case your owner is not as kind as Miss Chen. They did room service for us everyday. We're allowed to hang our clothes in the room. There was a bath tub in the room. I used it once for fun. It was quite old but still acceptable for the price that I'm paying. 

13 July'13 (Saturday)
8 a.m. woke up and began our journey at 9 a.m. 

Due to the fact that we were still unfamiliar with the location there, we spent 30 minutes looking for the MRT station. 

I had 凉面 for my breakfast at 7 Eleven. It costs TWD 45. Taste: Not bad-la. I never tried before. 

Then, we took MRT from 西门町--〉龙山寺. It costs about TWD 16 after discount if you use 优游卡. 

We shopped at Cosmed. It is located in the MRT station. There were many cheap cosmetic and beauty products in there. It's sort of like Watson here.

We didn't enter. 
So, we just.. snapped photo from the outside.

Here's a little history about Long Shan temple. 
There were many Japanese visitors here. 

After that, we took MRT again from 龙山寺 --〉忠孝钝化 . We visited 东区 - the place for shopaholics. It is said to be slightly more expensive compared to 五分铺. However, I notice that the shoes here are quite cheap. You can hardly find shoes in 五分铺. The shoes sold at 东区 is about TWD 200 per pair. 

We had our lunch at one of the local stalls. How do we know whether the food is good or bad? Check out whether the shop is empty or occupied. Usually, occupied shops mean the food are good. 


I couldn't remember some of the food's name. 
For most meals, I shared with Poh Yong. 
The total cost for this meal per person is TWD 47.50. 

Due to typhoon, we were like wondering souls around the street - wondering where to visit. Many places were closed. We stopped by at a stall to eat tofu hua desert. 

The tofu tastes really original - as in really very fresh. 
It's unlike the tofu hua in Malaysia. 
It isn't very sweet but really refreshing during summer in Taiwan. 

After filling up our stomach to the maximum, we continued our journey of the day to Sun Yat Sen Memorial. We took a bus to reach there. I can't really remember what is the number of the bus. Just walk around the street and you will find the bus station. Then, look out for Sun Yat Sen Memorial. We walked about 2-3 minutes after dropping off from the bus. 

At the garden outside. 

Initially, I thought that these people were students practising inside - 
Then, I was told that there will really be people marching in front of the statue. 
It s probably for respect purpose. 

So here's the statue of Sun Yat Sen. 

We didn't manage to enter. I snapped the photo from the outside. It was temporarily closed due to typhoon. 

While we were on our way back, we bought pepper biscuit. It's one of the local delicacies. It tastes not bad. I kind of like it. It costs TWD 35. 

There's meat inside. 
Quite tasty. 
I don't see this in Malaysia. 

At night, we walked around in Xi Men Ding for dinner. It was actually a tiring day - and also a sad day. I lost my newly bought umbrella. =( I was too careless. I couldn't even remember where I misplaced it. 

At Xi Men Ding 
There were many people at night. 
There were many stalls too. 
The food were delicious. 

Price: TWD 35 
The name is stated on the stall image that I captured.
It's quite.. oily.. I mean very actually.
However, great try. 

This young man was performing his talent at the middle of Xi Men Ding. 
People surrounded him to watch his performance. 

This is another thing that you MUST try when you go to Taiwan. 
地瓜 is very famous in Taiwan. 
The aunty who sold this told us that if we feel that it doesn't taste good, she is happy to refund. 
Hahaha.. to be honest, her 地瓜球 taste really awesome! 

Look at high TALL the ice-cream is. 
We chose Vanilla mix Cranberry if I'm not mistaken. 
It's really huge - we can't finish it till the end. 

The porridge sold by this Uncle tastes wonderful too. 

We ordered the 大哥大粥 
There were many seafood inside. 

For your information, 鸡蛋糕 is quite famous in Taiwan.
However, they made them look much cuter compared to Malaysia's one. 
In terms of taste, I think both taste quite similar - 
Taiwan's one has filing inside. 
It's not cheap - I can't remember the price. 
One of it has chocolate filing.

We also bought o-jien 
I don't know how to write it in Mandarin. 
There's oysters inside - like Malaysia's one.
I don't like the way it tastes - They put starch instead of egg scramble. 
I find it a little.. disgusting.. =X
Both of us did not finish it. 

14 July'13 (Sunday)
We woke up at 9 a.m.

Did a little cam-whoring before we went out. 

We went to the nearby Chinese stall for breakfast - 永和豆浆

The black sesame and soy bean mixture is a MUST to try. 
Serve while chill. 
It tastes really very good! 

We took MRT from 西门町--〉后山披. This is the place where all shopaholics gonna love. 五分铺 is located at here. It's not far from the MRT station. 

The spirit to shop is about to begin!
There are many stalls at here. 
The price of the clothes range from TWD 100 - 350 averagely. 
I bought 4 pieces of garments at about TWD 1000+ (which is about RM 100+) 

We spent a great time shopping and missed the time to have lunch. There were not many food stalls available here - I wonder why. We simply picked 1 stall to settle our lunch. We ordered bak zhang and this special pau called 割包. There was meat inside. These 2 stuff cost TWD 100. 

I love the bak zhang 
It tastes good. 

So here's the stall. 

We continued shopping a little while before we depart to our next destination - 饶河夜市 

This is one of the famous night markets in Taiwan. 
We walked to here from 五分铺
It's quite a distance actually - but walk-able. 

I have not tried stinky tofu before - so here's a try. 
It smells really stinky but the taste is ok-la.
I personally do not like the taste and smell of stinky tofu. 

This is the BEST snack that I ate at Taiwan.
I wish I can try this again. 
It's made from 地瓜
It tastes really so good!! 
I love this very much!

Ai Yu is something produced at Alishan. 
Do you know that?

Fry milk balls. 
Well, not bad la -
I don't really love it as much as the 地瓜 
It tastes - milky cuz inside is milk cube.
This stall is located at the end of Rao He Night Market.

I bought pineapple tarts and sunflower biscuit here. I noticed many people pack pineapple tarts back to their country in the plane. I wonder why they find it taste so good - I think Malaysia's pineapple tart tastes better. I bought it for the sake of letting my family try. 

On the way back to Xi Men Ding - our hotel, we entered a shopping complex. I bought bak gua - one of the local delicacies. 

My dinner - 

The kind hotel owner, Miss Chen treated us chicken soup. 
We chit-chatted with her for quite long that night. 
She told us many stories about herself and Taiwan. 
She's really a nice person. 

15 July'13 (Monday)
We woke up at 9 a.m. and had breakfast at 7 Eleven. 

It costs TWD 39 for both. 
Kind of nutritious and tasty.

Due to menstrual pain.. I had to move slower than usual.. So, we visited Daiso. It's near to Xi Men Ding MRT station. We wanted to watch a movie actually. However, we find the movie ticket too expensive. It costs about TWD 200 per ticket (RM 20 per normal ticket?!) The Daiso here sell things at TWD 39. At Malaysia, it is RM 5. I bought several stuff which will be useful for me as a future teacher. 

Our destination of the day was to dine in Jay Chou Restaurant. We were lost - I forgot that it was actually near to Taipei 101 area. There was a short rain and we decided to hop on the cab. 

Instead of going to the right place, we came here - 
Ah --

So here's it is. 
It is located at the left hand corner of this building. 
It's very obvious. You will see it once you reach here. 

Ta - da.. 

The Menu. 

The scores - for the song Secret I guess.

The keypads were intentionally made dirty to have the kind of ancient effect.

It's not allowed to play. 
It is there for photoshooting purpose. 

I can't remember the name. 
Check out the receipt yourself later. 

The white square thingy on the table is actually a Mahjong paper.
How creative of them to use that as a simple decoration for the table to look more classy.

To be honest, I think the spaghetti tastes really awesome although the price is quite expensive.
It's worth a visit to this place. 

The bill. 
Mine is more expensive. 
However, it comes in a set with all the stuff you see above.
We were really very full. 

Few shots taken with the piano.

Some famous people left messages as they dine in here. 

Free gift for spending a certain amount there. 
Well.. It's an outdated gift - year 2010. 
It's already 2013 now. 
They probably have excess and don't want to waste it.

Outside the restaurant. 

Some photo shooting nearby there. 
Mr. Thinker and I.

Acting cute- bluah! 

At the garden.

I think the red flowers look quite unique. 

So you see, from here, you can see Taipei 101. This means that Jay Chou restaurant and Taipei 101 are located quite near to each other. We walked about 15 minutes from the restaurant. We passed by a shopping center - entered and bought some special noodle made in Taiwan. 

So here we are- 
Taipei 101

This is a prominent trademark which people will capture when they come to Taipei 101. 
So, we did the same thing too -

101 symbol.

I think this is a nice shot. 
What do you think?

There's a mall here. 
Well - it's the place where I used my debit card to swipe a bill which I cannot afford using cash. 
Good experience though. 
Now I know that you were to use Debit card, Public bank will charge a small percentage of charge for service and I will have to undergo 2 currency changes - TWD - USD - MYR. 
However, if you are not spending a lot, RM 1XX still acceptable. 

So the daytime and nighttime of Taipei 101.
We didn't enter because it requires TWD 500 approximately - 
We don't think it's worth it -

Here's Kuala Lumpur - - - - 
Proud to be - a - Malaysian. 

At Taipei 101, we found money changer.. and guess what? They DO NOT accept MYR!! They only accept HK Dollar, Yen, SG Dollar  - - - - but not MYR. = = " So, a good lesson for you, always remember to change more TWD while you are at Malaysia. You will be in a desperate mode if you are a big money spender - and things become worse when you notice you can't change money as easily as you were in Malaysia. 

There were food courts in Taipei 101 Mall.
However, we spent too much that day -
 So, we decided to eat instant noodle for dinner - 
Aiks - 

You can hop on to this free shuttle bus back to the nearest MRT station 市政府
Go to F1 near Omega - the bus station is somewhere near the exit there. 
It's very easy to find. You won't miss it. 
They have a bus every 30 minutes interval if I'm not mistaken. 

16 July'13 (Tuesday) 
We slept a little longer - went out at 10.30 a.m. 

We had our breakfast at 永和豆浆. Both of us shared: 烧饼油条+黑糖馒头.


I ordered my favourite black sesame + soy bean beverage. This time, I tried the warm one. I prefer the chill one. Remember to drink this when you go Taiwan!

We took MRT from 西门町--〉忠孝复兴. Then, we took bus 1062 to 九分. The bus journey was about 1 hour. 

We were so shocked to see some familiar faces here - We saw a group of Malaysians who dine in together with us at Jay Chou Restaurant at Jiu Fen. How small this world can be - It's so coincident that we sat next to each other when we dined in and we managed to bump into each other at the same place and same time at Jiu Fen. 

Seriously, I love Jiu Fen the most. This place has so much food stalls and what is the best thing about this place - They provide samples for you to try. We skipped our lunch as we were so full trying different kinds of food. This is a MUST visit place for anybody who is short of money. Haha.. 

Scenery of on the way to Jiu Fen. 
The window is dirty - 

Cam-whoring while in the bus. 

Taiwan has a lot of temples built on the mountain. 

Growing fat - 

The temple at Jiu Fen. 

The scenery taken from the 观景台

Quite pretty heh? 

Jay Chou's second restaurant - sushi. 
The first one that we dine in is specialized in spaghetti. 
We couldn't manage to go to the second one due to budget and time problem. 

So here's a little history about Jiu Fen's 观景台

At the beginning of the entrance, there's this Uncle selling Magic items and tutorial. 
So I bought a few decks - hoping that they could help in my teaching in the future?

Fried shrimps- 
Not bad. 

Chilie ice cream - 
Kind of special.
This is a tester.

I bought only some stuff - 
The rest were free - cuz they were testers.

Nice scenery from another angle of Jiu Fen.

A very narrow and scary staircase to a place where you can see a better scenery of Jiu Fen.

Lol . . . . 
I used TWD 200 for this 挽面 service.
It hurts because my hair is kind of long... 

She applied vaseline on my face - 
so it looks oily.
Well, I do look fairer than before. 
Also, 粉刺 are plucked out as well. 

This aunty also provides service for armpit hair - anywhere that has hair on your body.
Hahaha.. Armpit hair cost is kind of expensive - TWD 400 1 arm if I'm not mistaken. 

It's the WORST thing I ever ate in Taiwan. 
I nearly vomited out. 
I really hate the taste of it - 
I can't remember its exact name. 
It's called 红枣肉圈something - 

We thought of trying Taiwan sausage - 
So, here's it. Not bad - la. 

We came here quite late.. after 5/6 pm.
There was a place to visit here actually - 
You need to take a bus up from Jiu Fen - the place where you drop off from the bus.

Lavender - ! 

Breeze blowing. 

There's a very pretty garden here - 
It belongs to a cafe actually.

There were not many visitors left when we arrived. 
We spent too long at Jiu Fen market area, trying different kinds of stuff. 

We didn't manage to enter this Japanese style house. 
Aiks - too bad. 
Remember to go early if you plan to visit here.

This is the place where they said it's best to shoot sad/romantic couple scenes. 
I can't remember which one. 

We got nothing better else to do other than cam-whoring..
Since everything was closed when we arrived. 
We met a Taiwanese couple. 
We chit chatted with them a while. 

At 6.30 p.m. approximately, we left Jiu Fen to Keelung by bus. It takes about 45 minutes approximately. Keelung is famous for its night market. So there we go - 

Reached - 

Edible soft shell crabs and shrimps. 
I have not tried this before - 
Quite nice. 

This is a special dish. 
I can't recall its name. 
It's quite famous and you must try it. 
It's quite unique.. It tastes more Q than the ordinary mee hun kuey. 

Crab soup. 
TWD 50
They put something inside of which I don't know what it is..
It tastes.. ok-la. 

TWD 25

We also tried Turkey ice cream here. It tastes like SPRING! Hahaha.. It's very costly though. TWD 50 for 1-3 scoops with a cone. The ice cream is the reason why it is special. It is very elastic- like rubber. 

After filling up our stomach with different food at Keelung night market, we took train 台铁 back to Taipei Main Station MRT. It costs about TWD 40+ for 1 way. Then, we took MRT back to Xi Men Ding - our hotel. 

17 July'13 (Wednesday) 
We thought of waking up early today to begin the journey of the day - So, we left hotel at 9 a.m. We were disappointed then because many places were not opened yet. We had no where to go - wondering around Xi Men Ding.. 

Bought this cute little pony riding sleeveless blouse at 五分铺
Pohyong has one too. =) 

The first place that visited was 西门红楼. Take note that this place is not open on Monday. Do not come on Monday. It is opened for visiting at 11 a.m. 

This place is supposed to be the theater in the olden days - 
This photo is captured at the top of Hong Lou. 

Basically, there were nothing much to see here. We left there at 11.30 a.m. to proceed to our next destination - steamboat buffet. 马辣火锅 
The first plate.

2 types of soup


We are only allowed to eat for 2 hours. Thus, we didn't want to waste time capturing photos. We ate till the maximum. Phew - 

It costs TWD 500 approximately per person including tax and service charge. This is kind of cheap actually. There are a few different kinds of expensive ice cream - I only remembered Haagen Dazs. Eat as much as you can! 

It is located near to Xi Men Ding MRT station. You need to pre book because it's quite well occupied. They start to operate at 11.30 a.m. 

At about 1.30 p.m., we took MRT from 西门町--〉中正纪念堂 

The national theater museum?
We didn't manage to enter - the doors are not opened. 

The photo is half destroyed - 
Just wanted to capture an overall view. 

So here's the view of the theater museum. 

And this famous 中正 memorial is located near to it. 
The number of stairs means the age he lives up to till he passed away. 
He is the president that has the most contribution to Taiwan. 

From the look of my shadow, you will know that the weather is super HOT that day. 
There were many youngsters practising dancing here. 

Just a few fun photos -

Us - Similar cute T-s. 

And here's the honourable president.
His bronze statue. 

Guess is he fake or real?

He is a real human who needs to stand at there without any expression -
Lol - I notice he didn't even twinkle his eyes.. 

They have this marching performance every don't know how many hours once. 
We managed to watch this - 

At about 4.45 p.m., we left 中正纪念堂 to proceed to the next destination. We actually spent too long at there. From 中正纪念堂 exit 5, we went to 剑潭 MRT station. 剑潭 is the place where 士林夜市 is located. 

We boarded on bus R5 to 阳明山. We initially wanted to visit the National Museum (故宫). However, we noticed that they are closing soon - So, we decided to go Yang Ming Shan instead. 

Every 40 minutes, you will see a R5 bus arrive. By the time when we boarded on the bus, it was already 7 p.m. We were told that there was bus tour to bring you around Yang Ming Shan - We reached too late and missed the last tour bus time (around 5-6 p.m.). 

To our surprise, we met 2 China backpackers. We walked together with them up to Yang Ming Shan. We didn't manage to enter too deep because the sky was getting dark. It would be dangerous to enter too deep without really knowing the place. 

Thankfully, I managed to capture a few beautiful scenery photos at Yang Ming Shan. I feel that the scenery here was the best. 

The aftermath of typhoon. 
Trees falling down. 

The sun about to set.

The mountain. 

This is beautiful, isn't it?

The view is nice. 

It gives a serene feeling. 

Both of us - 
The photo was captured by our China new friend. 

The sky was getting dark and we decided to go down. We took a bus back to 剑潭 MRT station. We walked around 士林夜市. There were many nice clothes here - I noticed that the price is more a less the same like the ones in 五分铺. Thankfully, we decided to come here instead of going there for the second time. I managed to buy 4 pieces of garments. I kind of love what I bought. 

The busy Shi Lin night market. 

Haha.. See? Shi Lin night market. 

18 July'13 (Thursday) 
We woke up lazily at 10 a.m. Why? We've learnt our lesson not to go out that early - Many places were not opened yet.We might as well sleep longer and have more rest. 

We checked out from Michii Hotel at 10.30 a.m. At 11 a.m., I had beef noodle at a local stall nearby our hotel. It tasted not bad! Beef noodle is famous in Taiwan. It's a must try local food here. 

Beef noodle 
It costs TWD 90 
Kind of expensive - but tastes good.

To save money, we decided to use public transport instead of taxi to shift our luggage and ourselves from Xi Men Ding to Jing Mei. Phew- My luggage was already 18 kg heavy at that time.

We checked in to our next hotel - Times Nagasaki Hotel at 境美 at 12.30 noon. It was very easy to find this hotel. It was just 300 meters walk from the MRT station. Get out from Exit 2 and you will see it. 

There's a sofa inside - a make-up table.

The room has lots of mirror.. 
to make the room looks bigger I guess.

And here's the bath tub. 

The shower room. 

Note the red-purple packet thingy - It is.. condom. = ="
Made in Malaysia - lmao 
This hotel probably caters many services that require condom use. 

Like Michii Hotel, this hotel rate is supposedly cheaper compared to the price that I paid at Agoda. It's not convenient for me to tell the exact price here - but well, at least you know it is cheaper when you check in by walk - in method at Taiwan. 

Review for Times Nagasaki Hotel: 
Cleanliness: 80% 
It's overall clean. We couldn't find much rubbish around - Just that the room and its furniture is a little old. The pillars and walls made the room look grand and new but if you were to look closely, you will notice that they are quite old. 

Hospitality: 60%
I prefer Miss Chen more than the owner of this hotel. I did not like the fact that the man at the counter did not seem to have courtesy to offer me a free universal adapter when I requested for one. He told me frankly and bluntly that the hotel did not have one and I have to buy one myself at downstairs. Luckily, the other lady at the counter came out to assist me. She gave me two to pick - they were left by the other hotel guests last time.

Location: 95% 
It's 300 meters away from the MRT station. It's so near that when you came out from Exit 2, you will see the hotel's building. I did not give it 100% because the I was confused with the entrance and exit of the hotel - From the MRT station, I followed the building's direction and ended up at a block-end. The front door was at another side of which I need to walk a little further down. 

Price: 85%
It is cheaper than Michii Hotel. It could be due to the location. Xi Men Ding is probably a more popular area to stay in. However, it is convenient to stay here due to the MRT route and places that we want to visit. 

Facilities: 60%

They have a special room called the "Saloon" for you to dine in and rest. There's a microwave, rice cooker, washing machine, refrigerator and dryer. Everything is good except the air cond in that room - it seems like it is not functioning properly. It's HOT. Also, they don't do regular cleaning in that room - Yesterday's left over can still be seen the next day. Another thing that I dislike about this hotel is the fact that I was misled - In Agoda, it is stated that they have Wifi connection - Obviously I am going to presume that the wifi connection can be reached from my room - I was told that you can only go online in the Saloon room. What the - And what made me pissed off the most is the fact that their lift is not functioning - We stayed at the 4th floor. On the last day of our stay, we had to carry down our heavy luggage by hand carry from 4th floor to 3rd floor - where the lift is functioning here - where the lobby is. They should have it repaired! 

After carrying stuff moving here and there - we decided to take a shower before going out to venture - 

We took MRT from 境美--〉新店. Then, we changed to bus 849 to 乌来. The bus fare is only NTD 7 one way and the journey is about 1 hour. 

So here's the hanging bridge which you will see after you drop off from the bus.

Some photo shooting - 

There was a 老街 at here too. 老街 is the place where people sell food and little stuff - like in 九分. 

So this is the famous 温泉蛋
It costs NTD 10 if I'm not mistaken. 
It tastes.. salty. 

Here's how it looks like inside - after a bite. Haha.

This is 山猪肉香肠
It tastes GREAT! 
It's a must try food at 乌来
The sauce makes it tastes better!
It costs NTD 35 / per stick

By the way for your information, 乌来 is dominated by the tribal ethnic group - 泰亚族. 

So here's a mural of the tribal group people. 

The overall view of 乌来

The water is spring water - 
Many people have their legs immersed in the water. 
We wanted to try this too but it was too late when finished our spa. 
The sky turned dark and it was dangerous to go down there. 

The mountain view at 乌来

Me with the spring water behind. 

There is a waterfall here. The taxi driver offered us a ride - Kind of expensive.. Luckily we didn't buy it. We decided to walk ourselves and found this little train service. It costs TWD 50 per one way ride. 

Look at how cute this little train is!

It's really mini. 

Here's a better look at it. 

On the railway track -

Poh yong and I -

When the train is moving - 

Here's the waterfall that we are heading to. 

Waterfall behind me. 

Snapped by one of the visitors for us. 

The waterfall - 
I guess it is natural one. 

And here's the tribal group statue. 

There was a museum on train/public transport here. 
So, here we are - 
You don't have to pay to enter. 


This little wooden thingy is the early transportation used by the people to transport wood. 
This train that we sat was the later invention of this early transportation you see in the picture. 

This is called 竹筒饭
It costs NTD 60/per. 
Inside has rice and some meat. 
It's a traditional food that most tribal ethnics people eat. 

We went to the waterfall by train and walked back by foot. 
You will pass by this place called 情人桥
Taiwan is really a place for romantic people - 
They have lots of destinations for couples to date -

After a tiring walk on the mountain and visiting the museum, we decided to get into one of the spas to enjoy spring water bath. There were a few there which you can pick. We found some cheap ones - NTD 100-200 per person. We picked the spa that offered NTD 150 per person - They offered free dessert and beverage after the spa. TIPS: To get cheap spa, walk a little further down. 

It was a super quick snap. 
The photo quality looks blur and the room is kind of dark. 
乌来's spring water is tasteless and odourless. 
Somehow, we doubt if the water is really spring water or it's just ordinary water - 
For NTD 200 per person, they provide: 
- free towels 
- free beverage and dessert 
- cold and hot spring water 
- unlimited time 
- LCD TV for you to watch
- free mineral water 

So here's the place for you to groom yourself after the spa. 

And here's the dessert and beverage after the spa. 
The muachi is delicious! 
It's the best muachi I have ever eaten. No joke!
You can pick either chill grass jelly beverage or hot coffee.

I had this for dinner at one of the local stalls at 乌来
It doesn't have meat at all - - - 
It costs NTD 35

Poh yong was hungry and we decided to go to the nearby supermarket to buy some food.
We bought this hot dog bun. 
There's a bun in a bun. 

19 July'13 (Friday)
We watched TV shows until quite late - TV channels are very educative and nice to watch. They have lots of entertainment shows. 

As a result of sleeping late, we woke up at 11 a.m. We had our brunch in the hotel rest room. We ate the instant noodle that we bought yesterday. The coffee served at the hotel is good. Mr. Brown brand. It's a famous cafe at Taiwan.. just like Old Town in Malaysia. 

Kimchii instant ramen
How poor we are - - - - 

Before going out -

We began our journey to 新北投 at 1 p.m. We took MRT there. Take note that you will need to transit another MRT train when you drop off at 北投. 

There were many museums to visit at 新北投. Firstly, we visited Ketagalan Museum. It is free to visit. 

The outside of the museum. 

Snap photo with the statues. 

Poh yong and I..

Walk a little further down, you will reach 北投温泉博物馆
It's also free of charge. 

Like Japanese style room - 

I look like as though I'm not looking at the camera? Eeek..

Walk a little further, you will reach this famous place called Beitou Thermal Valley 
It's so called 地狱谷 last time. 

Snap photo with Poh Yong at the entrance of Beitou Thermal Valley.

Inside -


This is how HOT the water is -
The temperature of the spring water is 90 - 100 degrees Celsius. 

The steam water is really VERY hot! 

Here's some information about the spring water lake.

After that, we proceeded our destination to 淡水. Something unusual happened to me. When I was in the MRT from 新北投--〉北投, I nearly fainted. It was my first time experiencing the feeling of almost-fainted. It's scary. Luckily the train was moving slow. This train was slower compared to the normal MRT. Firstly, I noticed my hearing began to turn vague.. Next, my vision starts to turn blur and greyish - everything looks like it is covered with a grey veil. Lastly, I began to walk in zig-zag manner. Luckily, Pohyong was there for me to hold onto. I accidentally knocked an old lady - I wasn't conscious at that time. I felt better after sitting down with my head tilt down and breathe deeply. Everything turned okay only after I had an output in the washroom. = = " So, I did not know whether it was food poisoning or too hungry - 

I was worried if it's because I starve myself too much -
I quickly dine in to a Mc Donald to fill up my empty stomach. 

Here's the famous 铁蛋 sold at 淡水
We couldn't find where's 阿婆铁蛋
The taste of this egg is like.. eating a metal egg.. Hahaha.. 
It's springy and hard.
It costs TWD 10 for 1 stick with 3 eggs. 

So this is the famous 渔人码头的情人桥 at 淡水
Many couples can be seen here 
Sigh - too bad, I spent my time walking that bridge with a good friend instead of a lover - 

We took bus R26 back to 境美 MRT station. It costs around TWD 15.

When we were resting in the 'Saloon' in the hotel, 
a kind hearted Taiwanese uncle gave us each one stick of bird eggs. 
This is an uncommon phenomenon in Malaysia. 
People tend to doubt people's kindness - 
After all.. in Malaysia.. 天下没有免费的午餐
An aunty questioned us - You dare to eat ar? 

The last night of our trip - 
Arrange our 战利品
I'm a big money spender! 

20 July'13 (Saturday) 
Finally, it's the end of the trip - We woke up super late - at 10 p.m. because we watched TV shows till very late last night. We had our breakfast at the nearby Mc Donald - PORK Sausage Mc Muffin with Egg. It costs TWD 82 per set like what you see in the photo below. 

The pork meat tastes like.. a mixture of various parts of the pig. = ="
I don't think I'd want to eat the second time.
I ordered this out of curiosity - Chinese always curious how pork burger tastes like -
Cuz it's not available in Malaysia. 

We checked out from the hotel at 11 a.m. Again, we traveled from 境美--〉Taipei main station by foot. Hahaha.. To save money - I left only TWD 50 on the last day. 

When we reached Taipei Main Station, we returned the 优游卡 to get the TWD 80 refund. Then, we took 国光客运 back to the airport - like how we came earlier. It costs TWD 125 back too. 

Taiwan's landscape from the plane. 

My lunch - 
I was so poor until I had no $ to eat at the airport. T.T 
I regretted ordering this. 
I'd order Nasi Lemak next time - 
More lauk - 

To travel in Taipei is not difficult at all. 
All you need is to know what places you want to visit + have the MRT map with you.
When you are lost, don't be shy to ask the locals. 
They are really very friendly and helpful!



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