Welcome to TAIWAN! 2013 family trip
It took me four months to plan and only 5 days to experience. The best part was the planning, I told hubby. The anticipation of a holiday, the worries that go into looking into something for everyone, the mind numbing act of reading, and re reading personal blogs, personal travelers notes, the sudden realization that something was not looked into…
I remember the tensing at the nape of my neck alright, but there was the presence of something stronger……..thrill. I was thrilled to be planning. I know I enjoyed editing pictures, and writing blogs, but who knew I would like being an amateur tour planner?
I say planner rather than guide, because I didn’t choose the usual tourist attractions, the (ahem) boring monuments and historically important statues..etc. I didn’t explain about every spot we visited like any good guide because my tour members were 90% of the time not listening. LOL. I planned as far as I could with my limited chinese, depending on intuition and everyone else to ask for directions, read signboards and order food.
I invited my momma and dad in law along with me, hubby and my older son. That makes 4 “big” and 1 “small” adventurers, wandering into the land of Beef noodles and bubble tea! TAIWAN!
Day 1 : 14th January 2013
4am: Noel scrambles awake IN RECORD TIME. Me and hubby are amused. Early morning shower!!!
5:30am:By the time our transport pulled into Singapore airport terminal 1, we were ALL feeling drowsy from lack of sleep.
Noel pretends to sleep while waiting to board our plane.
Jetstar check-in service staff are inept. There, I said it. It took a full 30 minutes to get our boarding passes. The lady attending to me took her time chatting with her colleagues and was inefficient to say the least. I was horrified when she wasn’t even sure if we required a visa for taiwan (I was pretty sure we didn’t, but she had to check it in some large book for herself), then she won’t let us combine our luggages because of separate itinerary bookings (what?) and finally her computer crashed (in bewilderment at the user’s idiocity) so we were transfered to another counter just to start the questions all over again. (￣(ｴ)￣)ﾉ whateva, you can’t spoil my mood!
My mom in law is a good cook. And a good hyperanxiety patient. I think she’s really quick with her hands and must have something to occupy them else she just starts fidgeting. I’m saying all this in restrospect because while she never ceases to amuse, bewilder, and occasionally exasperate me, I realise she made my trip an amusing one. So if I’m given another chance to ask my in laws together for a trip overseas (yes yes, even if i have to admit that kukup has the best food, the best air, the best everything..), I’ll do it in a heartbeat. They gave me my hubby, so yeah, I’ll take them ANYways.
11.55pm: We arrive. Immigration card already filled on the plane. Liked the meals on board.
12.30pm: Our rented taxi awaits us. It was fun dealing with them in email.
TAXI: Mr Harry Panharrypan.email@example.com A benz for 5 of us :NTD 1,200 to Ximending, Taipei. +886932006262 (watsapp available, airport has wifi)
Accomodation D1-D3: TAIPEI YORK, XIMENDING
Below is my review on tripadvisor for Taipei York:
While Mr York’s not operating a minsu, (breakfast and meals are not provided), his apartments are spacious and comes with the previous amenities that I can’t do without : Hairdryer, toiletries, kettle, tv, WIFI, water heater, and even a few extras like the washing machine (with instructions in mandarin), and humidifier. I also got a kick using the key card each time i opened the door, it rings “开门了” (door open) and “鎖门了” (door locked) in a lady’s voice! Cute!
View from my room
We took room “K“, which is smaller and has warm dusky hues to it, whilst in laws were in room “O“, pristine white walls with Audrey Hepburn looking on. Mr York understands only mandarin, so it was labourious to communicate via emails for me. I didn’t even get to meet him. We msg-ed him upon reaching the airport and were greeted by Ms Fanny who brought us up the lift. Read my full review of the room here.
I love Viber.
We were making frequent calls to Tean An, My bro in law. TGIF(ree).
Taipei York台北悠閣主人 Mr. York(劉先生) ADDRESS :台北市昆明街79號8F Tel: +886913613870/ 0987766607 BLOG: http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/taipeiyork/ FACEBOOK/EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Longshan temple 龍山寺 and Chow’s porridge 周记肉粥
On ward to Longshan Temple. Taiwan has 5 Longshan temples, we went to the one in Taipei. Longshan MRT is just one stop away from Ximen MRT. Study the MRT routes before you travel. TRY not to lose your elderly and lil ones!
Don’t forget that Senior citizens and kids get a special Easycard (MRT). I did.
LONGSHAN TEMPLE 2013
Noel is very happy
My dad in law. I found him rather photogenic.
Noel hams it up.
4pm: Looking for the recommended Chow’s porridge in KampongBoy & citygal’s blog. Right after exiting the temple, walk to your left and look out for Guangzhou street. Cross the road, the shop is on the right lane.
The brownish colour of the porridge is due to the fried shallot bits used to boil the porridge. I loved the crispy fried pork, most chewy. Father went to the back of the shop and saw how unhygienic it was there, then promptly declared the meal disgusting. Sigh. I’ve read of great food at the most filthy looking locations, so I’ll still give the place a try and hope it was well cooked 😛 Living dangerously eh..?
周記肉粥 / Chow’s porridge
Address: No. 104號, Guǎngzhōu Street
Operating Hours：6am -4:30pm.
6pm: Back to rest in our minsu/ apartment. We passed by Fong Da Coffee on our walk back from the Ximen MRT. The sharp smell of roasted coffee beckons but for some reason, (maybe we weren’t too hungry ?), we settled on buying their chicken biscuits, and some other biscuits with names i can’t read. Those biscuit’s were Mom’s supper when she got hungry at night.
Evening was spent wandering around ximending, which is just a short walk to the right from our lift exit.
I didn’t see anything I liked. Which surprised me. Where were those great bargains, cheap brollies, pretty shoes that I read about in blogs? Overpriced, and with most shops repeating the same items for sale, I don’t think I’ll be back to ximending. Plus, we didn’t find a satisfactory place to dine. Or maybe, I have a miserable impression of ximending because my mom in law became rather grumpy, judging every article of clothing to be poorly made and generally only wanting what was familiar. Sigh.
We got to Ay- Chung Flour Rice Noodle shop (阿宗面线) while wandering around Ximending and got into the queue, which went really fast. There are no chairs, so after you’ve added your own condiments, you can just stand around and have your bowl of noodles
. I liked the chewy intestines, the rice noodles /mian xian were really slippery soft, but i still prefer our local Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks rice noodles. Maybe it’s been altered to suit malaysians. And to make it halal. Ahem, I like oysters very much…. (^_−)☆
And that is the end of day 1. We will be spending the night figuring out the washing machine in our room. I don’t like washing laundry after a holiday. It’ll be nice to have it clean and dry before we start our trip to JIUFEN.
Noel and his dad…. all tired out. First day collapse. The only thing I bought in ximending sits at the bed edge. Was it RM 8 or less? I can’t recall now.