So the wedding mayhem and drama is over, won’t talk about the drama lest I find myself getting all gloomy. Anyhoo, the wedding was a blast and I will update my wedding blog with all the goss~ So, I’m here to write about my trip to Taipei , Taiwan . It was a 6 day 5 night trip and we took a tour to squeeze as much of Taiwan as we could into our bags of experiences and I can tell you I was up to my eyeballs with souvenirs and wacky touristy photos.
So we woke up at freaking 3 am to get to the airport by 4am for our 6am flight. It was a bag of fun as we squeezed bleary eyed into the car. Luckily, we had aunty Kath to help us as we couldn’t fit everyone into the Hilux.
Not too sure what she’s looking at…
There we are in the airport, sleepy, hungry and grumpy.
MOH getting comfortable.
True Fact for the day: We wanted to go into Tg Aru (5 minute drive) to get something to eat for breakfast and the cab drivers wanted to charge us RM25!!! Apparently that is the standard rate for trips after 12am. Like how my favourite Indian character in an english sitcom ( I forgot the name) would say “ITS UNBELIBEBAL!”
Trip to Taipei on Airasia was ok, slept the whole way, had myself a nice neck crick where I couldn’t turn left for a moment when we landed in Taipei .
We got picked up by a nice bald Chinese man who spoke no English. Luckily we have interpreter extraordinaire Ashley for the day. She pointed at our names on the clip board, nodded her head and off we went to the van. It was a chilly day in Taipei and when we manage to get all comfy and toasty in the van it was time to communicate with the Chinese man. All heads turned to interpreter extraordinaire who turn out to be almost useless, we might as well have bought a dictionary and muddle our way through the conversation! She refused to ask him if we could stop to eat, where are we going? How far is it to the hotel? After much nagging and death threats uttered in the van she finally relented and ask him how long it was to reach the hotel. He replied and she gasped. We were all agog with curiosity wondering what the hell was so surprising. “Eee zhouuuuu!” she muttered, this is where all of us collectively said “HUH????” He said it will take one hour to get to the hotel. All of us couldn’t help repeating in horror “ONE HOUR????” This is where we all collapse back into our seat in dismay. Starving tourist on an hour long ride is not a pretty sight indeed.
We reached the hotel, dump our bags, found out that our tour company had not yet booked our rooms and then dashed off to find some authentic Taiwanese food. We ended up on Ximen Ding street where at night its busy hub of activity. We found ourselves in a small shop lot that had simple but very delicious dishes. Seaweed, century egg, pork on rice, noodle soup, fried tofu. The funny thing about Taiwanese eateries is that they don’t offer drinks with their food. It’s weird. I had this sudden urge to just raise my hand and yell “Kak! Satu lemon the ping” (sister, one ice lemon tea please)
After lunch we decided to be adventurous and go off and explore the city before our tour begins the next day. We head off and manage to get a friendly cab driver who was willing to take all 7 of us in his tiny cab. Nice! He drove us to a mall where all 7 floors are dedicated to electronic gadgets and the servicing stations. It was wonderful and crazy at the same time. LCD screens, 3D screens, cameras, mobile phones, desk top, fairy lights, DVD’s computer games, notebooks…the list goes on. I got slightly nauseous from turning left and right too fast trying to see what I can buy at the cheapest price. I have been warned to be extra careful when buying stuff from here as there are some shops that don’t really care if they are selling pirated or authentic goods.
We took a photo outside the building and as you can see the building name is in Chinese. In this photo my bro wanted to take a phot with his gf. I wanted to spoil the shot by jumping in and covering them. As you can see the tard spoiled the photo all by his handsome self.
After that we took a cab to one of the biggest malls in Taipei . Below are some photos of what we saw on the way to the mall.
So we go to the mall and found that they only sell high end luxury goods *boring* but it was nice to walk around and touch some designer brand stuff. Manage to take a photo before a pretty sales lady came and said nicely “solly no poto”.
While browsing I saw one cape that I liked and it was 50% off! Off I go to have a look at it (wiping the drool away as discreetly as I can) lo and behold the price tag, that piece of cloth was worth a whopping $15,000 (Taipei Dollar). Farewell, my branded cape!
We had lunch at the food court in the mall and it was massive. The food is good and the portion is huge! Take a look at the photo of our snack! As big as MOH head and I tell you it’s big.
After lunch the family decided to get a cab back to the hotel while me and MOH decides to stay on. We promised to meet up around 4.30pm at the hotel to visit the Flora Expo 2010 that is being held in Yuanshan area of Taipei We spent about an hour an a half at the mall and took random photos.
Lovey dovey photos ahead, prepare plastic bag for pukeage.
Walk to the other side of the building and decided to walk the streets of the city. We ended up in 101 the tallest building in the world (for now) I didn’t get to the top as we had to pay for entrance and I’m not so keen on heights (if you know what I mean). We took a few photos…
We went in walked around for 5 minutes and headed back our. Boring~ We were bored, tired and hungry (well I was! Actually I was hungry the whole time I was in Taipei ). Plus it was time to get back to the hotel, we had the card to the hotel so we decided to be adventurous, skip the taxi and get a free shuttle to the MRT. According to an acquaintance (Antonia is her name is you are ‘so the’ curious) she works in Taiwan and teaches English. She said the MRT can be pretty packed at peak time and can be a little inconsistent. So I was expecting to battle it out at the MRT (Hong Kong style). Took the free shuttle from 101 went into this funky building and found myself elevating down to the basement and thought to myself (oh this is where all the Taiwanese people are) so many human beings clumped together waiting to get on the MRT. One thing I have noticed in Taipei is that if your using the elevator down or up you always stand on the right hand side. I was wondering why everyone was standing to one side while I was clutching Brons hand (standing side by side) only to hear a cough behind me. I turn to see an impatient but stylishly thin girl impatiently waiting for me to step to the side so she can walk up. OH! LIGHTBULB moment! They have lanes on the elevator. How smart! Woe to those who blocked the left lane. I saw an old lady get pushed to the side once for daring to block the fast lane. Tsk tsk tsk.
Anyhoo, got to the MRT, bought our tickets, received this blue coin and away we went.
Now the tricky part is which train we take. MOH took lead on this one and instead of finding ourselves on the other side of the island we manage to reach Ximen Ding and boy was it different to the Ximen Ding that I remembered. We arrived around 10am in the morning and the place was deserted, now at 5pm the place was bustling and if memory serves me right Antonia did say that it was the Harajuku of Taiwan. I didn’t get to take photos (cause I was rushing to see my parents and get them to the Floral expo) but the sights, sounds and smells were pretty cool. Big neon signs everywhere, attractive girls and boys dressed in Japanese grunge style clothes, some angels walking around with wings, food stalls littered around the place. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Let me see if I took any photos….hmmm nada….ooOoo I do have a video! Lazy to upload, next time la 😛 So we rushed to the hotel to get the family only to find that we have to get Ash new shoes as the shoes she was wearing are too small… great let the shopping begin!
-To be continued! Don’t miss out on my trip to the Flora Expo, my experience with Shih Lin night market and much much more (wah pyshce myself out so that I will finish my whole story of Taipei )
You say “Tai” I say “ Pei ”
Tai! Pei! Tai! Pei!