Friday, February 7, 2014

CH202: Taipei Adventures 1

Following the previous entry, CH201: Taipei Prologue, I woke up very early my second day to fetch my mom from the airport. To get to and fro the airport, the only means of transportation available is by public bus which cost 125 NTD one way from the Taipei Main Bus Station (via Guo Kang Bus). It takes about 40 mins to 1 hour to get to the airport and it was relatively quiet on the roads. Despite not having a train to connect the airport to the main city of Taipei, I have to commend Taiwan though because they had an impressive expressway network - most of which were elevated like the Skyway!

In Summary, for Day 2 and Night 2 of my trip (Day 1 and Night 1 for mom), we did the following:
1. Airport Pickup
2. Stroll and lunch at Ximending area
3. Tour to Wulai to see the Wulai waterfalls and see a show by Taiwan's aborigine youth
4. Go to Taipei 101 Mall to buy my mom's birthday gift c/o dad at Tiffany's
5. Go to Shilin Night Market
How to subway generally looks in the morning - not as much people yet

Still very quiet. As you can see, the signs are primarily in Mandarin so it can be quite daunting and confusing

Taipei Main Station - almost reminds me of New York's Grand Central Station ... ALMOST but not really :)

Mom was able to get out early. It took me 30 minutes waiting for my baggage to come out!

At the start of Ximending

Lunch at a place that had sushi and other Japanese delights served on a moving toy train around the restaurant

And then we were picked up by a small van for the tour. The tour group consisted of 7 tourists including us.
More pictures!

Was pleasantly surprised to see some Sakura already coming out. I had the thought they should be coming out March/April as it was still Winter when we went.

We rode on a mini train to go up. It was a short 4-5 minute ride.

And then you're greeted by such scenery!

You can see the waterfalls up ahead. Wulai when translated in the aborigine language if I remember correctly is hot/poisonous coming from the term or words used by the aborigines when they first encountered the steaming waters. (Wulai is also a place for hot springs). In Chinese though Wulai is written with the characters Bird and Come.

The sort of train we rode on. My mom was enthusiastic enough to suggest that I go and sit up front when she saw we were riding on this haha

The view was really nice and the weather, perfect.

We unfortunately had to walk up some steps to get to the hotel where the show was to be held. This was of course met by some complaints from mom. 

Copying the statue's look haha

There were also some cable cars going up higher into the mountain as you can see in the picture. Unfortunately, it wasn't part of the tour. But, our itinerary was packed enough as it was anyway.

The show was about 40 minutes long or something where they played, sang and did other antics to show the culture of the aborigines as well as their history and practices. The theater was quite big as well, maybe almost the size of the theater they had in the College of Education in UP Diliman, and there were only 7 of us watching! Talk about intimate! 

Near the end of the show, they gathered some of us in the tour group to dress in costume...and apparently we had to participate in some of their dancing. Only my mom and another person in the group opted out. It was a bit weird dancing with people you didnt know but what the heck, the theater was empty! haha

I didn't know there was a train station near the Taipei 101. I must have seen older references telling us to get off on a different station and walk to Taipei 101. It was I guess okay considering that there were some interesting things on display on the way to one of the most prominent symbols and infrastructure of Taiwan.

Goofing around

More goofing around

More silliness

We didn't go up the building and viewing platform as we had other plans in the evening which was to buy my mom a gift from Tiffany's before the clock struck 12 mn (her birthday)

Walking towards the Shilin Night Market where we ate more than what we shopped! The shops were selling mostly winter stuff still so there wasn't really much to be bought.

VERY CROWDED. Thankfully, it was winter and cold so the only thing I smelled off was the stinky tofu being peddled and sold in some street carts :)

I had two orders of the candied strawberry which cost 50 NTD (if i remember correctly).

Loved these prawn crackers. They smelled so good too and how they were made was almost like a show. I wish I had tried the other flavors that they had.

Chicken cutlet. Haha apologies for the full mouth. It was hot! I though that the cutlet would have been boneless, but there were bones in the ones we ordered! Be careful not to swallow them. My mom and I think that the cutlet was an actual chicken part that was flattened and battered then fried. Not unlike the ones here in SG where they are pretty much filleted and served like a bigger chicken nugget haha

And then we went back to the hotel where apparently, when I thought the hotel would prep the room with a surprise, they surprised at before we went back up to our room by telling us there was a package delivered to us. I asked for a surprise to be made but I was surprised and was caught unaware that what they were doing was already the surprise for my mom haha. They also had the fuji film instax shot of us that they gave us the next day after putting it in a card with greetings and well wishes from the staff.


  1. Why does it look it was more your holiday than your Mom's? Hehehehe! :P Good job kay Tita sa pag take ng photos, ah. :)

    1. hahaha friend! my mom wouldn't want a lot of her pictures plastered here. and yes, she had some direction and retakes hahaha there were 2 or three pictures where her finger was half blocking the camera lens lol