Apologies for the long interval to my next part of Taiwan Day One, folks!

Been busy with settling school matters as I am trying to make this my last semester in school,
and am doing 6 modules at one go which i foresee to have 4/5 of my time spent in school.
Finally done with all the appeals to get my wanted modules!

Also, BC bash is tomorrow afternoon @ Zirca!
Hope you have already gotten your tickets if you are planning to go,
it would be an afternoon full of great stuff and excitement. :p

I am gonna continue the next part of my Taiwan Trip,
and I promise I will try my best to speed up with the posting while the memories are still fresh in my mind.

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some mentioned about the other bus called the Free go bus from Taoyuan to Ximending area.
I did check on that before but the thing is they drop at different places in regards to the different timings.
So depends on your flight, you might want to google on Free go or Kuo Kuang transport to your hotel. :)

As continued from my previous post,
For that very day, we checked into the hotel and waited for Shawnie to arrive.
Due to other reasons, Shawnie sat another airline instead,
and he will arrive at Taiwan a couple of hours later only.

By the time Shawnie arrived, it was already 7pm, (yes late but not too late for night markets!),
so we decided to go ahead with our plan of visiting Shilin Night Market on our very first day.

Making our way to Ximending Station (named Ximen station)….

From our hotel to the station, we will always pass by this bubble tea shop, 心福.

And guess what?!

Taiwan has two famous chain of bubble tea shops and this is one of them. The two chains are:
1) Wu Shi Lan, 50嵐 (which is KOI in Singapore)
2) Ching Shin Fu Chuan Tea Station, 清心福全
(I prefer the bubble tea here as the tea taste is stronger, heard they use better quality tea leaves)

The night streets of Ximending. Look at Party world there, definitely doing great.

Spotted sexay lady while queuing up to enter the train. Wooo.

Again, some mentioned that they have so called EZ link cards during the train rides,
and I guess that would be a great choice to get for transport too.
We didn't because we figured out that we will not spent that much money for trains,
so bought single trip tickets instead.

To go to Shilin Night Market,
we have to go to "Taipei Main Station" to change to the Red Line.
Don't be mistaken, the stop that we should alight is not Shilin, but we should alight at "Jiantan" (劍潭) Station.

Just as we came out from the station, we were greeted by a stretch of brightly lighted area which apparently is not the night market,
also, heard that the food there ain't that great, but because of its prominent location, a lot of tourists go there first before walkng over to Shilin.

Taiwanese are generally very hospitable,
and we were amazed by their helpfulness as well.
So you can just ask any passer-by and they would be more than willing to give you directions!

Shilin Night Market is diagonally across the road and I love that place!

Thats Shilin! Surrounding the buildings there. We were greeted by Smelly Tofu Stall upon crossing the road. (love it!!)

Normally the stalls that sell smelly tofu, sell pig blood soup too. Yummy yummy, must try!

The coolest thing on our trip is that, 
we made new taiwanese friends on our first day, right at Shilin Night Market!

We were enjoying smelly tofu, and due to the crowd, we extended our table for these two friends to sit,
and during our meal there, they were extremely nice to tell us all about Taipei,
and even offered to bring us out one of the following days to the further part of Taiwan, outside Taipei.
(call us crazy or what, but we actually went out with them, watch for the post!)

Our two new friends (the extreme left)

We went exploring and reached this area whereby all the food are here..

We had this! Frog eggs drink. hahaha

They are just actually pearls.

See the big pot of green stuff floating in brown liquid? that's AI YU, a kind of jelly which we love.
You have to try it!

Food was good, and the Fried Chicken, Ji Pa, was good,
but I thought the other places (for the other days) we went have equally great Ji Pa.
The special thing for this Ji Pa is that it is honey marinated, so it tasted real sweet and juicy.

For shopping, I would say you can get clothes and accessories at Shi Lin Night Market.
Prices generally are quite alright and you can bargain!
Though clothes the best place to get is Wu Fen Pu (huge market with almost all shops selling clothes).

Shoes are priced average at NT 390 = SGD 17 (before bargain) per pair in Taipei,
so if you spot higher priced shoes,
perhaps you might want to check out other places (eg. Taipei Main Station underground mall) before buying.

But we bought quite a couple of shoes at Shi Lin Night Market after bargaining.
About SGD $12 per pair.

And a bubble tea once again to end the day.

Shilin Night market closes at around 12 midnight.

The train operates till about 12midnight, so we left the market at 11.45 in due to catch the train back.

Bought their cup noodles to enjoy supper, have you heard of their super yummy and huge bowl of cup noodles?


Our couple of loots for the day! Teehee

the hat and the geeky specs…

Time to hit the sacks for Day One and be back for Day Two soon!




0508 HRS

Taiwanary Day One (Part 1)

Met up with poots on the weekend before Taiwan Trip to plan our itinerary,
love rompers, especially this Navy Satin one from Dadigirl,
because they are so convenient to dress,
and comfortable to just laze around at poot's place! :p

The Navy Satin Romper.

And a cool blue stripe dress with the courtesy of Dadigirl too,
without many accessories, the dress just stands out with the satin stripe design.
Check out for more colours with them if you like it!

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Poots & I at Taoyuan Airport.
Our favourite picture of the day.

As promised, I am back to blog about my 7 days Taiwan trip and this entry would cover half of our first day.
Images are intensive because we snapped almost every single destination we went,
and well, we are girls anyway. :p

Its 3.30am now, but i am totally in the mood to blog,
hopefully the mood lasts long enough for me to complete this extensive post energetically.

4th August 2010 (Wednesday)
Our day started as early as 5.30AM at Changi Airport,
waiting to onboard our jetstar flight (which we booked 5 months ahead with a return ticket price of SGD $365).
To our dismay, we actually had to pay SGD $60 during check in because we selected the lowest fare- Jetstar Saver Light,
and that does not include the check in baggage.

The note is, do make sure you select the proper one that you want when you book jetstar!
They have too many different categories of tickets.

Black and white for the day, woohoo telepathy. :p

Jetstar didn't exactly have the best customer service that day but fortunately, our flight wasn't delay.

After a 5-hour flight, we finally arrived at Taiwan TaoYuan International Airport at 12.04PM.

And omg, it was 36 degrees celsius!
Singapore is 27 degrees, and its like almost 10 more there. Zzzz

Excited me waiting to alight the flight..

Walking towards the exit.

You will realize that there are many signage hanging in regards to the Free Youth Travel Card.
Do get them at the Tourist Service Counter immediately after you exit,
they will then give you each a round paper card chain to carry around,
together with a booklet that tells you where are the places you can get discount when you present this youth card!

The Youth Card is applicable for people age 15 to 30 years old.
Just present your passport at the counter and you can easily get it after filling up a form.

But frankly speaking,
though the booklet listed quite an amount of shops/businesses with the various promotions,
we didn't even at all used this youth card.
Perhaps we didn't exactly check through which are the shops that we can use,
but would suggest that you can just ask the shops if there is any discount with the youth card if you are lazy to read. :p

Buying the prepaid Sim Card.

Weeee, I love this.
Easy Peasy, just go to the cellular service counter located near the tourist center,
and buy a prepaid sim card (which cost NT 345 = SGD $14.85) for your mobile line in Taiwan.

Ours was from Taiwan Da Ge Da (台湾大哥大) Tel Co.
It will then have NT 300 value for you to call overseas,
which is about 60 minutes of phone call.

And the best thing about this is you can just top up NT 345 instantly,
(Do consult the service counter people for help,
because you have to follow certain instructions and dial the number/code,
so as to auto deduct the data roaming amount from your prepaid card)

and get 5 days of UNLIMITED DATA ROAMING for you to tweet, google,
surf the net, check emails, skype, facebook, whatever etc in Taiwan.

Alternatively, if you are visiting Taiwan Less than 5 days,
you can just pay the per day usage of data roaming (NT 100 = SGD $4.30).

Walking towards the Express Buses to go to our hotel

The thing is we heard that taking a cab all the way to our hotel at Ximending would be expensive,
so we checked the route in advance on how to make our way there.

To begin with,
there is a station called "Taipei Main Station" (台北車站)
in Taiwan,this station has all the trains (MRT), Railway (to sit to place further) etc,
and it is like the main central stop for everyone to change to go to another destination.

We realised that we could easily take a bus called the Kuo-Kuang Bus (光) to "Taipei Main Station" stop,
from the Express Buses Station @ TaoYuan Airport.

Ximending is just one stop away from "Taipei Main Station" stop.

Again, easy peasy,
just buy the tickets at the Kuo Kuang Counter at the Express Buses Station located in TaoYuan Airport.
There are other buses to ximending area,
so you can check out others before going there as well.

Buying our bus tickets to "Taipei Main Station" stop.

Seeeee, how hardworking I was snapping away, :p
here's the price list for your info!

We sat the Kuo Kuang bus and paid NT 125 = SGD $5.40.
Definitely worth it! Heard the cab cost app. SGD $60!!

We were then guided to the bus terminal to wait for the bus.


Finally the bus arrived!

Inside the bus, decent and pretty spacious.

Finally we reached "Taipei Main Station" stop!

The first few views we got when we arrived outside the station..

We were confused where to sit the MRT to Ximending,
and thought that we should buy tickets at the first counter when we entered via this EAST 3 entrance (picture above).

But nooooo!
Don't get mixed up like we did,
as i mentioned this station has the different kinds of trains like MRT, railway trains etc.
The MRT is called the Metro Taipei – 捷運 (jie yun), and have to walk a bit of distance,
passing all the shops before you reach there.

A few more shots before we enter!

First peek upon entering.

Spotted a mochi shop while walking to the MRT, love mochis!!

Bought one to try, but seriously, we ate better mochi on the next few days,
forget about trying this, oops.


Love their magazine shops there!!!
They give free cute tote bags as a bundle with the different magazines. Coolios.

Upon reaching the Metro Taipei (the MRT train),
we have to buy "tickets" which come in coin form but act like a Singapore EZ Link.
It costs only NT 20 = SGD $0.85 to reach Ximending which is one stop away.


For those who are going Taiwan soon,
I have something real useful (at least for us) that Eileen sent to me months ago,
and hope this will guide you in travelling too! :)

If I didn't remember wrongly,
this MRT map is all accurate except for the last stop of the blueline (right side),
apparently there is a new stop, so the train ends at the new stop name instead of Kunyang.

Print out if you need to :)

As you can see, Ximending is at the Ximen Stop,
and the train we were supposed to take from "Taipei Main Station" is the blue line,
towards Yong Ning.

Ah, we were quite amazed that we have to queue to enter the train!!

Inside the train, its clean..

Prior to the trip,
I asked around my friends in search for a good and decent hotel to stay in.
After much sourcing, Felicia from Majolica Majorca introduced to me this really comfortable and clean hotel,
and poots, shawn and I like it there very much! :)

The Hotel is called HAN SHE HOTEL 函舍商务旅店 (HANDSOME HOTEL) in Taipei,
as corny as the name of the hotel sounds,
and the link that I provided might not have many reviews to judge from,
but we were really satisfied with the stay.

Upon reaching Ximending, we need to go to EXIT 1 to go to our hotel.

Poots and I couldn't find our way to the hotel and in the end,
we walked a huge round, dragging the luggage for almost an hour before arriving,


If you are planning to stay in this hotel too,
please take note that after you exit at EXIT 1,
just cross the road straight ahead when you come out of the station,
(you will see that there is a fashion shop called "NET" under a building),
and just walk STRAIGHT ahead.

Walked until you passed by a cafe/restaurant called "TMK"
(this will take about 5 minutes straight walk),
and turn left into the alley, you will see Han She Hotel.

"TMK" Cafe and its logo

Before you turn left,
the other shop in front of you (beside TMK, and at the next building),
is called the "Olympia", a bakery.

So in other words,
Han She Hotel is located in between "TMK" and "Olympia".

Another landmark to notice is that,
the building on your right, across the road,
will be a Karoke (KTV) building as shown below.

The KTV building

Or also,
the sign you will see under the "Olympia" shop signboard before you turn left,
is this alley address plate below (note: this is not the address for the hotel).

The alley street

This is the view you will get when you turn left,
Yayyyyy, reached the hotel!!

The reception is at the 4th level,
so just take the lift up to there to check in.

Note: There is a CCTV camera once you enter the lobby,
and the staff there are all very observant,
so if you are planning to stay 3 people in a room for two (like what we did),
beware! They were extremely particular about that,
and kept asking us how many people are staying for the night. lol.
Peeks of our hotel!




I, personally, am quite particular about the toilet, lights and cleanliness,
and in Ximending, there are so many small hotels/motels,
even some hotels which only occupied the last 3 levels of a building.

Han She Hotel occupied a whole building on its own,
and surprisingly, the room we stayed in Han She Hotel was really clean and cosy,
lights were brightly lit and we had a huge plasma teevee.
Toilet was clean, hair dryer, towels, necessities were all provided too. 

If you are interested,
Address: 4/F, No. 68, Cheng Tu Road, Taipei, Taiwan.
Cost/night: SGD $80.70 (you can book via priceline.com) for our room

Phone No: (886) (2) 23718812

Will be back to continue on the next half of Day One very soon!

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