Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Feelings About The Trip

i really enjoyed this trip alot, having met friends that i have knew online and also made new friends...the highlights for me gonna be the Green Island tour and Alishan's sunset...will never forget the wonderful experience...also Taiwaneses are really very friendly and warm...and i will definitely go back there again if i have the chance...thanks to all the people who helped me in one way or another!...special thanks to Kevin for taking the time to accompany me around!...to Tripadvisor forum's people especially Nutty and CC for all the help in planning...also to Yongwei and Huiting for making the trip so fun...hope u both enjoyed yourself too =)...and finally to all my new found friends (Betty, Sheung Sheung, Florence and Steven)...miss u all and hope to see u people very soon!!!...that's all folks!!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Day 18 : Farewell to Taiwan

woke up late since i slept really late last night haha...we went to Longshan Temple (龍山寺) together...and then to 鼎泰豐 for lunch...food there is really delicious...definitely recommend to try the food there for anyone who is heading to Taipei...i bidded farewell with Betty, Sheung Sheung and Steven...since Florence's flight is almost the same time as mine, we will be leaving for the airport together...we went to Yuanshan (圓山) area first to buy some local delights...the 綠豆糕 is wow...so delicious...bought a big box home together with another box of 鳳梨酥 for my family...headed back to the hostel...packed up...bidded goodbye with Xu 小姐 and family and took a bus to the airport with Florence...she told me about her India trip before she came to Taiwan...their project is somewat like our YEP in Singapore...her trip sounds really fantastic and i hope i do have a chance to go India too next time hehe...parted with her at the gates and finally back home to Singapore...saw a very nice sunset during the flight back, a somewat fitting picture as i ended my Taiwan tour...

final group photo
ops me munching something in my mouth haha =p

me and Sheung Sheung

Longshan Temple

me with Xu 小姐 and family...her boy is so cute!

yummy 綠豆糕

and 鳳梨酥

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Day 17 : Yangmingshan and KTV

chatted with the Mexican guy in the morning...basically i dun know Spanish and he dun know English...so both of us was like doing strange handsigns trying to understand each other...i think i should pick up some Spanish soon haha...met up with several new friends...Steven from Cananda, Sheung Sheung and Florence from Hong Kong and Betty from South Korea...and so we decided to travel to Yangmingshan (陽明山) together...we stopped by various sights there and they are really scenic...小油坑 is really unique with its strange gas sizzling out from the ground...and 擎天岗 was simply wonderful with the large area of flat grasslands...nice place for taking a nap i thought haha...lying on the grass watching the blue sky is just so relaxing...after that we went back to Ximending for lunch and some window shopping...went to play the popular basketball game that Taiwaneses like to play for watever reason...kinda tiring on the hands u know lol...back to hostel for a rest...watched a show called 40 days and 40 nights at the living room with others...was really a funny show and cracked me up alot...later we met up again and went for KTV at Ximending with a Vietnamese guy Eric joining us...enjoyed ourselves and sang till around 2am...took a walk back to our hostel...chatted with Sheung Sheung and Steven about life back at home before finally ending our tiring day...

Travel Informations
Yang Ming Shan Brochure
Yang Ming Shan Bus 108 Ticket

the naughty cat that woke me and Steven up early in the morning

nice eyes @@

smoking off at 小油坑

free sulfur anyone?

view from near 小油坑


group photo...front from left to right...Betty, Steven and Florence...back Sheung Sheung and me!

jumping for some effects! =p

Betty playing the basketball game haha

finally the raider is asleep ^^"

KTV at Ximending!

me and Florence

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Day 16 : Wulai and Danshui

went to Wulai (烏來) in the morning, taking bus from Xindian (新店) MRT...went to the aboriginal musuem for a look...very interesting where you get to know the history of the many different tribes and their culture...their tattooed faces are especially unique...took a short train ride to the Wulai waterfall...like the 3rd waterfall or something i have seen already in this tour...so nothing impressive...walk around and explore the village abit...there is also this cable car u can take to higher ground for a higher view...ate lunch at a little shop just by the river, the view from there was nice and i could see people "swimming" or rather struggling in the river with their floats, following the strong current down the river...kinda funny i thought haha...left Wulai and went shopping at Taipei underground mall again...saw lots of toy models...so tempted to buy 1 set of samurai swords model cos it was really nice but expensive too haiz...rested a while before going to Danshui again...lots of people there maybe because the next day is the Chinese Valentine Day...damn, where is my valentine? =p...eat lots of stuff again...tried the freshly caught and cooked squids...u can eat it just like that and u can really taste the freshness of it...went back hostel...met up with alot of new people who just came in...a Mexican family...people from Korea, States and more...the living room is really busting with life haha...and i shared the room with a new comer, Steven from Canada who is here on holiday too...=)

Travel Informations
Wulai Scenic Area Brochure (Inside)
Wulai Scenic Area Brochure (Outside 01)
Wulai Scenic Area Brochure (Outside 02)
Wulai Tourist Tram Brochure (Inside)
Wulai Tourist Tram Brochure (Outside)

Wulai waterfall
beautiful sunset at Danshui

night view of Bali

lots of people!

few art pieces displaying at the Zhongshan underground mall that caught my eyes
this was titled "Top Rated Betelnut"...u probably get what it means ya haha

"Don't Kill Me"...as simple as it can get to promote conservation

Next >>> Day 17 : Yangmingshan and KTV

Friday, July 28, 2006

Day 15 : Taipei 101, Shilin NM and more

went to the majestic Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (國立中正紀念堂) in the morning, just in time to see the change of guards ceremony...it was really formal, but their creative drill patterns are definitely worth looking out for...there is also a museum dedicated to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) where you get to learn about his life and how he became the 1st president of Taiwan...the whole compound is actually very big and includes the National Theatre (國家戲劇院) and National Concert Hall (國家音樂廳) with a gigantic square in the middle of the 3 buildings...there were many students and teenagers around the complex too...some practising their dance routines while others perfecting their Chinese calligraphy...then headed to the awesome Taipei 101...standing at incredible height of 509m, it is the tallest building in the world then and was built to resemble a stalk of bamboo...walked around, some window shopping and had a light breakfast there...mainly branded stuffs there...so not for a poor man like me =/...stopped by at the Sun-Yet-Sen Memorial Hall (國立國父紀念館) and a art gallery that was on-going there before going to SOGO to help my friend buy some stuffs...but it was closed due to a fire that broke out the day before...zzzzzzzz...how unlucky i can get!...went to Shilin Night Market in the late evening and spent almost like 4 hrs there lol...shopping and eating...bought lots of clothings =p...tried 考香雞排...tasted just as nice as 炸香雞排 or maybe even better...check out lots of pet shops there too...and the American Shorthair cats really caught my eyes...they are really cute and active haha...really wish i could have one at home...went back to the hostel and chatted with the owner whom we call Xu 小姐...she told me there was actually a 6.1 scale earthquake early morning that day...strangely i didn't felt it...damn...maybe i was in the MRT or something...we also talked about traveling around the world and stuffs...and she really has good knowledge about the different countries since she probably had met countless foreigners from all over the world...really a wonderful woman she is!

Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness (大中至正), front entrance to the big square compound of C.K.S. Memorial

outside of the majestic C.K.S. Memorial Hall

there is a total of 89 steps, which symbolises the age of Chiang Kai-shek when he died

inside of C.K.S. Memorial Hall where you can see a big bronze sculpture of the man himself
the 3 main themes of the Chinese characters at the back are Ethics, Democracy and Science

view of the big compound from the top

here come the smartly-dressed guards

changing of guards ceremony

performing some fancy stunts with their rifles

Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world then

Taipei 101 as seen from Sun-Yat-Sen Memorial

Sun-Yat-Sen, the father of modern China

cute American Shorthair!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Day 14 : Wuling Farm and back to Taipei...

went out for a early morning stroll in the forest and farms...before i realise it, i was going to be late for my bus to Yilan (宜蘭) from where i will take train back to Taipei...quickly pack up and then begin to walk that damn 5 km to the bus stop...walked about 1km and saw a lorry driving down the same direction...thinking that i might be able to hitchhike, i stopped the lorry and they were kind enough to let me mount the back of the lorry for a free ride...phew...no more walking with my heavy backpack haha...the back of the lorry was filled with cabbages...lots of them...probably freshly harvested from their farm...reached the bus stop and thanked them for their wonderful help...met a old couple at the bus stop and chatted with them...realise they are from China and has bought a piece of farm land and build a house here to prepare for their retirement...how i wish i could be like them when i am old to be able to retire in such a wonderful environment...bus came and took around 2 hrs odd to reach Yilan...another wonderful bus ride thru magnificient mountains sceneries...from there i took the latest train back to Taipei...went back to Taiwanmex Guest House again since i really like it there...got back the same room i lived before i left Taipei that time...but this time, i have the whole 4 person dorm to myself wahahaha...chatted with a Canadian guy in the living room...he is actually my age and has came here to teach english for a year...in fact, many foreigners do come Taiwan to teach english and they do get quite a good salary for just working few hours a day...went to window shop at Taipei and Zhongshan underground mall before hitting Wufenpu and Raohe Night Market again haha...this time i manage to walk till the end of Raohe NM and stuffed myself with lots and lots of foods lol...once again someone asked me if i wanna work at her shop...wtf lol...went back to Taipei Station and exited thru the south entrance...there is actually this little square compound there and there are numerous pillars that glow in different light color...kinda nice...and there are also a few caucasians skateboarding there...so i just sat and watch them perform various stunts while enjoying the mini lightshow...wented back to hostel...a group of people crowded around the living room...it was ladies night and they were going clubbing and ask me along...but i kindly reject since i was really tired and my legs were already hurting from the trekking and walking haha...finally bought my return flight to singapore on 31st July since i needed to do my module bidding then...else i will have stayed longer! =/

strange maple tree whose leaves were still red now...something wrong with its biological clock maybe haha

Wuling bus stop

farmers working hard

Next >>> Day 15 : Taipei 101, Shilin NM and More

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Day 13 : Lishan and Wuling Farm

woke up early in the morning and headed to a bus stop near the train station to wait for the bus to Lishan (梨山), where from there u can continue to Wuling Farm (武陵農場) since i decided to skip Hehuan Recreation Area...a guy approach me saying that they do transport to Lishan too using van for those local villagers there...and the price is just abit more but u will get there faster and can stop anytime u want too...so i agreed since i was lazy to wait for the bus haha...views along the way was stunning as you have to travel up and thru the central mountain ranges to reach there...u can really see the effect of the typhoon on the Nantou area...landslides and rocks as large as a car on the road sometimes...it was really misty too due to the high attitude and sometimes i think visibility is only like 50m or even less...the van has to horn constantly along narrow hill roads to alert other drivers...we stopped over for a break at Hehuan Villa (合歡山莊), which i supposely wanted to stay for the night...was really freezing there, probably around 3300m above sea level there i think...and the surroundings was really nice...then we continued to Lishan and reached there around noon...still very cold over there lol...walk around and saw farms where they grow peaches, apple and pear...transfer to bus to go to Wuling Farm...reach there late afternoon...and wtf...i needed to walk like 5km further into the forest with my backpack to check into my Wuling Villa (武陵山莊) since the local tour bus was not running due to typhoon yesterday...and taxis are super rare up here...curse and swear, but luckily it was cooling at around 20 degree and so took my time to enjoy the surroundings too while i trek up the narrow road...finally found my accommodation...check in into a 6 people dormitory which once again there is only me hehe...in fact, i am probably the only visitor up here now! lol...went trekking up the forest to see a waterfall...the whole area was really deserted probably because it is just after the typhoon and the deafening silence was strange at times...but i really enjoy the time i had to myself in the nature...very relaxing!...headed back before night falls...dinner was provided and i ate together with the forest ranger and his father who was the one who prepared the food...wonderful local taste, and eating and chatting with them really give me a homely feeling in a foreign land...in the night pretty much nothing u can do...so slack in the room, watch TV and slept like 12 hrs haha...

Hehuan Villa

and its surroundings

view just outside Hehuan Villa, that is how high we are!

Lishan's surroundings, with the many different colorful flowers decorating the area

little puppy that disturbed me while i was waiting for bus haha

Wuling Farm surroundings

another close up of a butterfly


and pears!

Wuling hanging bridge

the tall and slender Wuling Waterfall

and me in front of the Wuling waterfall

the forest trails

forest spa is good for health!

a meter or something they use to warn about forest fires