May 27

Taiwan Holiday Trip (March 2013) – Day 4 (Part 1)

It is Saturday (23 March 2013), Day 4 of our holiday. Time goes so fast when you are enjoying yourself. We woke up super early today though we kept going back to sleep when we saw that the sky was still dark. The reason for staying over at this Minsu was to watch Sunrise from the balcony so I keep making myself wake up and check on when the sun will say hello to us.

DSC07288
The sky getting brighter every few minutes

It was around 6:30am – 6:45am, the sun started to show itself to say hello to us. It was such a nice scenery around the place with bird singing but one thing we missed out is that there are not much fog around so cannot see the so called “Sea of Cloud (云海)”

1
Hello Morning Sun

Lucky for me, I brought along my polarized lens filter to lower the brightness of the sun, if not, I would not be able to take these clear photos at all. After having seen the sunrise together, we started to go wash up a bit before going for our breakfast. XB and XB’s Brother never get to see the sunrise as getting more sleep was more important to them. Maybe too tired from our day 2 walk, heh heh.

DSC07289DSC07291
After sunrise, the sky shining over the land is so beautiful

2
Minsu’s Cafe with outdoor seating if you are not afraid having dinning under the hot sun

Continue reading

May 23

Taiwan Holiday Trip (March 2013) – Day 3 (Part 2)

The distance between “Green Green Grasslands” and our planned Minsu “Misty Villa” (雲濛仙境)  was not very far apart and Tim is kind enough to help us liaise with the Minsu owner to get our room key at the front drive way and drive us up straight to our room location which was a narrow high slope road in order for us to unload our luggage of the min bus to our rooms.

DSC07195
Main entrance to Misty Villa (雲濛仙境)

Lucky for us, our room is just infront of the room so we do not need to climb any stairs but XB and his brother needs to carry the luggage up another level as their room is at the top level. The room are quite neat and clean and most of the furniture are made from wood.

3
Our room which consist of 1 queen size bed and 1 single bed.

DSC07158
Nice Scenery View from Level 2 Balcony

Continue reading

May 21

Taiwan Holiday Trip (March 2013) – Day 3 (Part 1)

Another had passed and as usual, we proceed to have our breakfast buffet at the Hotel restaurant but did not took any photos as the dishes are almost the same as the previous day with only a few changes of dishes. Quality of the food are still the same with most of the dishes not warm at all. As Friday (22 March 2013) is our last stay (3 Days 2 Nights) at Beacon Hotel, we went back to our room after our breakfast for a last minute packing up of our stuff and proceed to level 12 reception to checkout the room and went to level 1 to wait for Tim to pick us up.

Tim was already waiting for us when we reached level 1 so Tim helped us load the luggage into the min bus and started to proceed with our schedule holiday tour. Today, our first stop will be at a local snack retail store called “Yi Fu Tang (一福堂 )” which Tim will be recommending to us as he mentioned was one of the better quality and tasty snack to buy back to Singapore.

1
Local Snack Store with a lot of variety of local snacks and rice wine.

Al check from the Internet shows that this is an old Taiwan local snack store which have been selling these for over a long time with a few different branch all over Taiwan. The one we went to is at the Sun moon Lake Branch. The staff are very friendly and allow you to taste different snacks in their shop so you can make decision on whether to buy it or not to buy. This is something good and bad as you get to try out different snack and ensure you are buying the correct things back (Which most of the places provide these type of food tasting) but the bad thing is that you will wish to buy a lot of snacks back as you will not know when you will come back to this place to buy their snack again. In the end, I bought over SGD $200+ worth of snacks (Including rice wine which they allow me to drink a few small cups for tasting).

DSC06991
These are just part of what we bought

As we bought a lot of snacks which includes their signature Lemon cakes (檸 檬 餅), some charcoal peanuts, Nougat (牛軋糖), Rice Wine and etc, they allow free delivery to our hotel at Taipei which they helped to call and confirmed with the hotel or our rooms and also make arrangement of the delivery to the hotel without any worries. Talk about good services in Taiwan. Lucky they allow payment by credit cards too as I do not wish to pay by cash (Scare later not enough cash to use as this is just the 3 day)

一福堂 / Yi Fu Tang (Sun Moon Lake Branch)
南投縣埔里鎮桃米路23-2號
Tel: +886 49 291 1221
Website: http://www.iffood.com.tw

After making our payment and back in the mini bus, it is already lunch time and we ask Tim to recommend a place for lunch. He suggested to try out minced pork rice which is quite popular in Taiwan and all of us agree to go ahead with his suggestion.

Along the way to our lunch location, Tim asked us whether we had eaten a fruit called Pi Pa (枇杷) which was usually made into those cough medicine and this was actually the first time I hear about this fruit and had no idea how it really tasted like. As all of us do not know about it, Tim was kind enough to stop over at one of the shop and bought some for us to try out.

DSC06992 DSC06993
Pi Pa (枇杷) – FOC by Tim

Continue reading

May 19

Taiwan Holiday Trip (March 2013) – Day 2 (Part 2)

It was a very tiring journey to Devil Village (妖怪村) after our morning workout and we sleep all the way during the car ride missing out on the nice scenery of Tai Chung. When we wake up, we had reached our destination for a walk. Devil Village (妖怪村) is actually a location with all different Devil theme all over the place. Even the food or snack are named differently to attracts tourist from the world to come visit this place.

DSC069417 DSC06947

There are some Hotel / Minsu near to this village where tourist is able to wake up very early to queue up for their famous limited bread called “Cat Bread” (咬人猫面包).

DSC06946
Cat Bread (咬人猫面包)

Continue reading

May 16

Taiwan Holiday Trip (March 2013) – Day 2 (Part 1)

It was day 2 of our holiday trip at Taiwan on Thursday (21 March 2013) and we wake up early in the morning to go and have our FOC breakfast buffet which was provided by the hotel during the reservation of our rooms. The place for breakfast was located at level 12 restaurant next to the lobby area. The space of the restaurant is quite spacious considering this is a small building for a hotel and can see that they focus more on comfortable rather than quantity of people into the restaurant.

1
Quite empty when we went for our breakfast as we are very early

2
Different section of their breakfast buffet

Their breakfast buffet though was not the best that I had eaten, they were able to provide most of the common stuff like Cooked / Cold dish section, Bread and cereal section, Salad bar (Very limited variety) and drinks station where you can drink from hot milk / tea to cold drinks / juice.

3
Some of the stuff that I had eaten over there.

Continue reading

May 14

Taiwan Holiday Trip (March 2013) – Day 1 (Part 2)

Continuing from Day 1 Part 1, we entered the only cafe / restaurant selling main dishes in Moncoeur named as “Chin Chin (親親我的家)”. Though there is another outdoor cafe which is shown at Day 1 part 1, they are just selling ice-cream / Sundaes. Anyway, when you entered the cafe, the staff are well prepared to welcome you and bring you up to level 2 where customer are allocated a table (Just like home dinning table style), you will be able to see a lot of different themed stuff there including bed rooms and etc.

DSC066801516
Very nice and cosy feeling place

We notice that they also sell couple cups for customer to buy back home to use too which is a good way of getting more income as most people tend to buy these to keep as souvenirs.

DSC06719
Couple Cup as usable souvenirs (NT$450 / cup or NT$850 / pair)

Continue reading

May 13

Taiwan Holiday Trip (March 2013) – Day 1 (Part 1)

As it will be super long blog post if I were to post everything done in 1 day, I had divided it into different parts depending on the length of my post. So here goes.

Continuing my previous Taiwan Holiday Summary post, Rachel and I have been preparing for this Taiwan trip for a long time since last year (2012) and it would also be my very first time planning the whole holiday itinerary (Last time only follow while my family do the planning). To cut things short, today is the first day of flying over to Taiwan!!! There are a total of 5 person (Including me) for this holiday trip making 2 girls (Rachel and Laurel) and 3 guys (Me, Xiang Bao (XB) and XB’s brother).

Since our flight is on Wednesday (20 March 2013) at 8:30am in the morning, we must reached Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, 2 hours earlier which means by 6:30am, we need to start checking in our luggage. As it would be difficult and expensive to take cab alone to the airport, I had make arrangement for both Rachel and Laurel to stay over-night at my house (with me giving up my bed for them and sleeping on the mattress on the floor) and to take the maxi cab together to the airport (Actually also to pick up XB and his bro but they went to airport there to sit the whole night to save on the cab. :p ).

The taxi driver who are assigned to fetch us was very punctual and called us up when he never see us at the assigned location (He arrived early and we are still not consider late. ;p ). Even so, he is quite friendly and helped us with the luggage to be loaded in the maxi cab. We paid him cash when we arrived at the airport and he gives me his namecard just in case we need to hire him some other days

Maxi Cab Driver: Anthony Chin
Contact: 8180 3581
Email: anthonymaxicab@gmail.com

Actually we never really get much sleep as we went out the night before to relax before returning back to my house so all of us are kind of stoning when we are at the airport. We met up with XB and his brother, went to check in our luggage before proceed to have our early morning breakfast at McDonalds as the time is still early. Time goes very fast and we need to proceed to the loading of our plane using Tiger Airways.

1
Checked in and ready to fly

2
Clear blue sky during the journey (Lucky able to get windows seat)

As we are taking budget airlines, there are no free food provided unless you are willing to spend on it. This is quite good for us as we will know the staff will not bother us in our sleep during these time too. Took a nap during the whole journey (Waking up a while here and there to take photos) to get back some of our energy.

3
Touch down at Tao Yuan Airport (Taiwan)

The whole process of checking in from Singapore airport to exit Taiwan Airport was fast and not much of any issue. When we touch down at the airport, we split into 2 groups as I went to purchase a pre-paid SIM Card to allow unlimited Internet Access and some free call time for us to use during the whole duration in Taiwan while Rachel and the rest went to find the Youth Counter to collect some freebies as mentioned in a lot of Taiwan blogs.

4
ChungHwa Telecom – 7 Days unlimited Data usage with some bundled voice calls @ NT$450

Continue reading