• Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 5] – Kao Chi at Yongkang Street, As Good As Din Tai Fung

    If there is one thing that I regret, it would be my failure to explore Yongkang Street while in Taipei. I cannot believe that I was not able to find time for Taipei cuisine’s mecca and home to the original Din Tai Fung! Yongkang Street is where you can find restaurants and cafes during the day and market carts and independent sellers at night. It’s where you can find any type of food be it Chinese, Korean, American, Italian, Japanese, and others. Next time, I will definitely devote time for Yongkang Street in addition to Raohe Night Market, Wufenpu, and a hot springs resort. Next time, next time. On our…

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 5] – Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

    In the morning of our last day in Taipei, we visited the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. It was built in memory of the first president of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek. It’s a huge compound where people can walk leisurely and relax while watching other people who congregate in the area. The memorial hall though is, at least for me, not as grand as other memorial halls I’ve visited like Lincoln Memorial in D.C. The hall has been the center of several debates in Taiwan. In the past, it was considered as a legacy of the past authoritarian regime and as such, there was a clamor to tear…

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taipei Travel 2015 [Day 4] – Jiufen, Golden Waterfall, and Shifen

    From Yehliu Geopark, our group headed to Jiufen Old Street. It’s a small village up in the mountains where gold deposits were discovered during the Japanese occupation. Jiufen is referred to as an “old town” because many buildings remain unchanged up to now. After World War II, gold mining declined and the old town stands today mainly as a tourist spot that celebrates the history and culture of Taiwan. I liked the fact that Jiufen is easily accessible from Taipei. You can reach it in 2 hours by public transport. Our group went to Jiufen through a private van and it was a short trip from Yehliu Geopark. While I…

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taipei Travel 2015 [Day 4] – Yehliu Geopark

    One of the things that I like about Taipei is that you don’t need to fly nor drive too far to experience its natural wonders. Unlike in the Philippines where it is so much effort to get to the best beaches especially considering that our transport system is, sadly, and it makes me cringe to say this, third world, it is the opposite for tourists in Taipei. Just an hour away from the city, you can see geological formations that, in my case, reinforced my faith and awe in the magnificent blessings of God. Frankly, it’s the same feeling I felt when I see beaches, or mountains, or even when…

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taipei Travel 2015 [Day 3] – Shilin Night Market

    We can’t let our first night in Taipei pass by without visiting Shilin Night Market. We already experienced Fengjia (Fengchia) Night Market  in Taichung, and Ximending itself buzzes with street food carts and stalls so you might be wondering why we were raring to go to Shilin then. I don’t know exactly where the excitement came from as I have already read that there are better night markets out there. But it must be because Shilin is the largest and the most famous of all night markets in Taiwan. True enough, Shilin didn’t fail us with the variety of street foods we sampled! Word of caution: food porn after the…

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 3] – Longshan Temple, Bopiliao Ancient Street, and Taipei 101

    We transferred from Taichung to Taipei on the 3rd day of our Taiwan trip via the High Speed Rail. Because it was lunchtime when we arrived at the Taipei Station, we decided to have our lunch at a hot pot restaurant there before going to Amba Hotel in Ximending. While it wasn’t really a tiring transfer, we decided to relax for a bit at the hotel before heading out to explore Taipei. What we initially planned as a quick rest turned out to be an oversleeping fest 😀 It was almost 5pm when we reached our first destination!

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 3] – Ximending

    Oh, Ximending! If there’s Harajuku in Japan, or Myeongdong/Hongdae in Seoul, or the night markets in Tsim Sha Tsui/Mongkok in Hong Kong, there’s Ximending in Taipei. In the early years, Ximending was a cinema district. I actually looked it up in Wikipedia which is why when I was just creating my itinerary, I included a walking tour of Ximending which will run through the Cinema Street. However, due to lack of time, I was not able to follow that but then it gives me  another good reason to re-visit Taipei. When the central government of the Republic of China was reinstated, Ximending developed from a cinema center into a busy…

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 3] – Taichung/Taipei High Speed Rail and Amba Hotel Ximending

    We transferred from Taichung to Taipei in the morning of our third day in Taiwan. If there’s a downside to staying at Holiday Inn Taichung Park, it is that it’s far from the Taichung Station of the Taiwan High Speed Rail. We went to Taichung Station by taxi and spent approximately NT$85-100 per taxi that can ride 4 persons. As for our HSR Tickets, we just got them at the Station and did not buy them online because we did not want to set any time for our transfer to Taipei. More Taichung Station photos below.

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taiwan Travel 2015 [ Day2] – Flying Cow Ranch and Last Night in Taichung

    The hills are alive with the sound of music With songs they have sung for a thousand years The hills fill my heart with the sound of music My heart wants to sing every song it hears I didn’t just type that here to describe my picture. My friends and I literally sang that song and shot a music video the moment we saw this place. And just like magic, all the exhaustion from our hectic itinerary since we landed were wiped away. We frolicked, danced, sang, and played like kids. At first I thought it’s just going to be my son and our family who will enjoy this place…

  • Taiwan,  Taiwan Travel 2015,  Travel

    Taiwan Travel 2015 [Day 2] – Shengxing Station and Remains of Longteng Bridge

    On the same day that we went to Chungshe Tourism Flower Market, particularly after our lunch there, we went to an old train station known as the Shengxing Station. The station was built entirely of wood in Japanese style. The old train signals remain as one of the many artifacts from the Japanese period of occupation. However, the Shengxing Station is no longer operational in that the trains no longer stop there. It now stands as a popular tourist attraction and location for wedding photos. We spent a little less than an hour there to explore the place, take some photos, buy souvenirs, and try different flavors of ice cream…

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