Saturday, March 15, 2014

Taiwan Diary: Last Two Days in Taiwan + 士林夜市

This is the last post for my Taiwan trip! Intro pic is Teri and I with our riffles looking cool. :P It's quite blur but I like it a lot. Last two days in Taiwan were free and easy for us and we just took our time hanging leisurely around the beautiful city. :)

From the information Tim's home boy gave us, we found out about this indoor baseball place called 大联盟射击场 at Ximending. :) It was quite hard to locate because there were a lot a lot of buildings around the area and this shooting place is on the 8th floor of a random building. To make it simpler, try to locate the place by looking for 大联盟射击场/ 大联盟棒球场/ 大联盟棒垒打击场 西门诚品 8F 万年大楼的旁边.

The indoor baseball was TWD30 for a round of 20 balls, which was affordable and worth it. There were two types of ball speeds: 60 km/h for beginners and 110 km/h for intermediates. Don't think we have this facility in Malaysia (not that I know of) so YAY!  It was really fun for me even though I sucked at it. :(

At the same place there were also shooting facilities so we played that too. :) We chose the riffle and forgot the exact number, we each had 15-20 bullets per play.

The results of our first try. :D Tim was really good! Very accurate and consistent. Teri and I were good too but a tad too wobbly-handed lol. During game play, the person in charge analysed that we both tend to aim lower than the bulls-eye that if we both shot higher we'd do better, which was so correct!

At night, we visited Shi Lin Night Market 士林夜市. Had more of my favorite Muaji 麻糬 and some Oyster Mee Sua 蚵仔面线. Same old same old night market scene with rolls of street food and blocks and blocks of clothing stores.

There is also this underground section of the night market. Tim told me about the reason why some of the vendors were relocated here, I think it's either due to traffic or overcrowding of vendors I don't really remember. I don't really liked it though because I feel that it defeats the purpose and essence of a night market. Now it seems more like a food court.

Had their famous Oyster Pancake 蚵煎 and Squid Soup 鱿鱼羹.

It is hard to identify which was the more famous, good ones as there were MANY stalls selling the same things. Our little tip is to look at the crowd: Some stalls were crowded with adults while some were crowded with youngsters, while some not crowded at all. Choose base on your instinct on the preference of crowd. :D

Met up with Tim and Teri's church friends from back home whose currently studying here, and had dinner together at this upstairs diner called Marketplace. I don't remember where and how to get to this place because we came here by gathering at a MRT stop and walked a distance here together.

Apparently the specialty is their burgers as many of the customers, including all 3 of Tim's friends were eating them. I ordered the Fish Vege and rice and it was so so. The Corn Soup in a Bun was also mediocre because there were not enough soup yet too much bread so it just tasted like soggy bread.

Group picture. :) The friends have acquired a Taiwanese accent which was really cute! I hope I will acquire a British accent too when I study in the UK in the future.

In Taipei they have this lovely bicycle renting facility. (Picture from Google) There are many stops to get the bikes mostly around bus stops and outside MRT stations. To use it you just need to use your Tap and Go card and it is free of charge for the first 1/2 hour.

This is a very nice facility for it promotes a greener environment of less cars usage and exercise, not to mention it is very convenient. As good as it sounds, I don't think I would want this in Malaysia though! I'm sure it would not be fancied by most as the weather is always either too hot or is raining here.

So anyway, since it was our last night in Taiwan, we decided to give the bikes a try since we got ourselves Tap and Go cards during our stay then. It was a windy evening and we figured a ride around beautiful Ximending would have been an awesome way to end our last night in Taiwan! We sat down at a bench near the bikes outside Ximending MRT station, and Tim started to work on registering his card. Look at his serious face!

While waiting, I entertained myself with some selfies. Random fact: Selfie was granted 2013 Word of the Year by Oxford- followed by the word Twerk.

For the registration, you need a valid number and address to register and after that you need to activate your account at the Kiosk. Something went wrong in the middle of all that, and in short we didn't get to ride the bikes. :C

So instead we bought some 鲁肉饭 back to the hotel as supper.

Last day in Taiwan, we went the National Taiwan University 国立台湾大学 to meet up with Teri's friend from yesterday night. While there, we gave ourselves a little tour. The campus is really big and spacious! There are a lot of trees and people riding bikes here there everywhere. We got so lost it took us such a long time to get from one point to another. The building in the picture is their library. I'm sure it'll be really nice to study here! No complains about Taylor's Lakeside though. I love my campus. :)

Heard the entry requirement is really strict and it's really hard to get into this uni so I assume all the students we met that day were all smart-arses! So proud of all you strangers!

Tim and I went back to the 大联盟射击场 to play indoor baseball again while Teri went out with her friends. We also did another round of shooting this time with the hand gun. The pistol was smaller and harder to aim so we deviated from the bulls-eye quite a bit as compared to yesterday.

Also played this robot version of air hockey which was really fun! You have to push the ball into the goal with your robot and the opponent has to use his to block. Tim won 7 to 2, he's so good at everything it's annoying sometimes.

We still had time so we went to the 1F of the same building and watched a movie at the cinema there. The movie we watched was The Starving Games. 

We thought the second Hunger Games released earlier in Taiwan. For some reason we both thought we were watching the second Hunger Games even though we knew the name of the saga is Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The correct name for the Hunger Games in mandarin is 饥饿游戏 but on the ticket it was written 鸡饿游戏, I felt that it was weird but I still thought it was only a typo. It was a really stupid mistake and The Starving Games turned out to be a parody of the first Hunger Games, duhhhhhhh. It was a HORRIBLE movie so much so that we had to walk out. Rate it -2/10. Our own faults actually LOL.

We met up at the hotel, hopped onto a taxi and head to the Tao Yuan Airport to fly back to Malaysia that evening. And that was the end of my Taiwan trip! :) Definitely will come back to visit Taiwan again if I have the chance too! Still so many places to visit so many things to see. Everyone here is so well-mannered and their service everywhere is really really good. I, judging as a foreign tourist, really really enjoyed Taiwan.

So thankful to have visited a new country in the year 2013. A big thank you to Uncle for buying me my flight ticket and Daddy for giving me spending money for this trip! So thankful I got to come on this trip with Tim and Teri! So fun having to travel with them. And thank you Tim, for planning the whole itinerary and made the trip so fuss-free and awesome. :) I'm one lucky girl. 

With all the love,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Taiwan Diary: 台北101 国父纪念馆 淡水 西门盯

A selfie with the iconic Taipei 101 to start of my post today. :) It was my 4th day back in Taiwan and it was a busy first day in Taipei itself!

We left Jiufen in the morning and within an hour's time, we reached Taipei Ximending- the place we called home for our last two nights in Taiwan. Pictures above are the Taipei's Times Square and Red House Theater 西门红楼. I always loved places crazy filled with billboard adverts, they never fail to look so colorful and alive. And no fair they have a 4-storey Watson so lucky. TT

Tim and I in couple attire that day! We never really fancied those super exactly couple outfits but prefer using the similar elements instead. We wore together our blue-striped tops. :) (Ignore our swollen faces it was really early in the morning we only woke up not long ago lol)

After settling our things in the hotel, we first visited the National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall 国父纪念馆. :)

When we arrive, we were in time to watch the Changing of the Guards ceremony 仪队交接 in the entrance hall where the giant monument was seated.  The whole ceremony as such takes about 10 minutes for the guards to switch posts to guard the monument in turns. The soldiers were really strong and disciplined and displayed a sync riffle play.

Me in the museum with the 国民政府建国大纲 as my background. :D

The outside of the Memorial Hall.

Did I mention that Tim and I were in couple attire that day? :P

Tim's top was from Gap I think, brought over from back home.While the blue and white stripped top I wore was bought from Feng Chia night market, matched with short jeans and leggings.

The front yard of the Memorial Hall, a perfect place to have good pictures taken with the Taipei 101 building. :) The Chiang Kai-sek Memorial Hall 中正纪念堂 is also a historical landmark and tourist attraction site but we didn't make a trip there.

Taipei City Hall.

Made our way to the Taipei 101 building on foot from the memorial hall and had our lunch there. Also, a candid of me taken by Tim in the toy store.

Then we went to visit Tamsui 淡水, also a famous place always seen and heard on tv. We ate, shopped and hung around there till after sun set.

While I was off doing my own shopping, Tim got me this set of Sophisca chocolates from the Tamsui branch gift shop. :) It was the same type of chocolates as the 啾咪 chocolate that I got for him in the last post and it was really sweet of him!

After Tamsui we went back to busy Ximending and spent our evening there. :) We later met up with one of Tim's brothers whose currently studying in Taiwan for dinner/supper.

Went to this barbecue place to eat and it was awesome! For the all you can eat dinner it was TWD499 per person (about rm50) but for an additional TWD100 we got to order from the upgraded menu section. We paid TWD599 (rm60) each. 

They also have top notch all you can eat ice-cream counter made up of Haagen Dasz, Movenpick and Meiji ice creams. My fav of the night must be the Movenpick Dark Chocolate I had so many rounds of it I was in heaven!

A small portion of the good stuff we had that night- lamb, beef, pork, seafood and etc etc.

Tim, his home boy酷哥, Teri and I and some the awesome food while cooking on the grill. Mussels topped with cheese make Keryn happy! I had a few rounds of that too. After every buffet you'd regret eating so much but to think back, it was really worth it. :D

And with that it concludes my 4th day in Taiwan! :)

With all the love,