Sunday, July 12, 2015

Taiwan: Taoyuan/ Keelung

I have always wanted to visit Taiwan after spending my youth watching numerous idol dramas and variety shows. So after visiting Hong Kong last year and Bangkok early this year, our next stop is Taiwan!

The cabin crew on this flight were exceptionally friendly and upbeat, I was so impressed with their awesome attitude at work! It was a pleasant start to our holiday :)

Mum had the window seat and we got Dad who was sitting beside her to help us take a photo of the "window view" and he managed to take this photo while stretching his arms across, infront of Mum's face. The shot is turned out quite nice! Good job, dad! Haha.

There was once on the plane we sat beside a stranger who got the window seat and I was so tempted to extend my arm across to take a photo of the window while he was asleep but didn't dare in case he suddenly wakes up and sees my hand infront of his face. Lol.

Plane food time~ One of my favourite things to do on flight besides watching movies. This was the first time I requested for no-beef meal in advance during booking and I have decided not to do that next time because it actually meant that I don't get to choose from the default menu even if both choices did not contain beef. How sad! So while I had already decided on some eggy dish on the menu and looking forward to it, I was given this fish dish, which was thankfully quite nice.

During the 4.5 hour flight, the group of passengers infront of us were practically standing on the aisle most of the time. I guess they cannot sit still for so long. Haha. Anyway, the flight duration felt very long.... I wonder how people tahan 6, 12, 24 hour flights!


Finally arrived in Taiwan!

Purchase prepaid data cards at the airport because it will be difficult to get them outside. Upon passing through the customs, turn left and at the end of the arrival hall, turn left again and you will see three telecom shops side by side.

I was recommended to get ChungHwa Telecom. It disconnected briefly a few times throughout my trip but not too much of an issue. I also heard good reviews for Taiwan Da Ge Da, so it's another option to consider. Both of them offer similar rates, and there are a variety of duration to choose from. I bought mine at TWD500 (approx SGD22) for 7 days unlimited data and some talk time. The staff will help you to change the sim card and activate the line so the entire process is easy peasy!

I read online that we needed a passport and a ID card for verification but we only showed our passport that day, so I'm not too sure about the existance of this requirement. If you need to top up anytime during the trip, you may do so at convenience stores (eg. 7-11) but we didn't have to because the card we purchased was sufficient for our trip!


First stop, Tao Yuan!

We visited TaiMall, around 20 minutes away from the airport by car.
No. 112, Section 1, Nankan Rd, Luzhu District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan 338

Settled at the food court which serves mostly Japanese food. We saw quite a number of other diners having this huge hotplate thingy and we got tempted! Ordered squid udon for ourselves too and I remember it to be quite cheap for such a big portion.

Red bean ice dessert!

Stopped by this bakery after that!

Bought packets of yummy cheese crouton to munch on the journey!

Grandma and Mum!

First OOTD in Taiwan outside the mall~ Floral top from! That's dad behind, videoing Taiwan. Haha. He helped to film our holiday this time, because I grumbled about me having to take photos + video during our trip to Hong Kong. Hehe.

OOTD for dad too! Lol.

And... my sis, who was my very reluctant OOTD photographer for the trip. Haha.

After that, we travelled to Keelung, a city near Taipei.


I was excited to move on to Keelung because we were visiting a night market there. Check out the crowd just outside the market!

Miao Kou Night Market is distinctly identified by the row of lanterns on both side. It is named "Miao Kou", because of its location right outside a temple.

At first I thought Taiwanese night markets are like our pasar malam with makeshift booths, but actually most of them are proper shops! There were quite a number of stalls selling these fried crabs, but it's such a pity we didn't try any!

Pork belly burger~~~ Looked so yummy!! Why didn't we eat these?!!

We were there during the dinner peak hour and the night market was quite packed!

Lots and lots of food.... Actually almost the entire night market sold food. A very wide variety to choose from!

Some of the stalls along this lane had their own tables and chairs.

This street in particular, was pungent with stinky tofu but instead of feeling turned off, I was quite drawn to it! Most stinky tofu didn't look appetising but the ones from this stall looked delicious.

Uncle bought some candied fruits!

Quite yummy! The strawberries were very juicy and the sugar coating paired well with it. But the sugar coating was so hard that I almost choked on a sharp piece!

Saw this stall selling Oyster Omelette and since it's one of Taiwanese famous street food, we sat down to try it! We initially only wanted to try a plate of Oyster Omelette and leave quickly but kena scolded that one plate is not enough for four of us... So fierce :x I guess it's because we using their table so they expected minimum purchase. Quite funny ah, at Hong Kong we expected all the people to be fierce but ended up meeting all nice people. Then in Taiwan we expected everybody to be friendly but on the first day we kena fierce stall owners already... Lol.

Taiwanese oyster omelette is very different from the ones sold in our hawker centres! Of course I preferred our own version but this was not too bad too, with its chewy flour.

So after kena scold, we ordered two other dishes reluctantly! Actually we just wanted to leave our tummies available for more food instead of stuffing ourselves at just one stall.

This is sotong soup.... Hmmm... I really don't know how to appreciate this... Kinda too bland. Oh ya, in Taiwan, they call Sotong "花枝"!  The signboard stated 花枝焿and we first thought that 焿 meant "soup" in Taiwanese language but then we saw another signboard which stated 焿 and 汤 in the same item so we conclude it didn't meant soup. Asked around after I came back to Singapore and my friend told me that 焿 is a thicker type of broth! Oh no wonder the soup had a thick texture!

Noodles were quite ok. They also had pig blood soup but we didn't try.

Afterwards we bought from this meat skewer booth. Omg it was so good!!!

While paying for our food, we got enticed to purchase dumplings from the stall beside too! Very cheap, only TWD50 (SGD2) for 11 pieces!

Very value-for-money!

Then, we settled at another stall for another famous Taiwanese street food - Ru Rou Fan!!!!! The staff were all very friendly, which was nice because we were still abit traumatized about being scolded at the other stall. Haha. The Ru Rou Fan were all in tiny portions and we had one each. It was so good.... I think my favourite Taiwanese food is Ru Rou Fan definitely.

We got ourselves some meat soup. No idea what meat though. Haha.


No. 62之1號, Zhongzheng Rd, Zhongzheng District, Keelung City, Taiwan 202

Checked into our hotel for the night! It is located right next to the harbour. Upon receiving our room keys which were really metal keys instead of the usual hotel card, we went up to the 10th floor and realize that our rooms were at opposite ends of the corridor although we had consecutive room numbers.

1st, it was at the end of the corridor.
2nd, it was right next to the staircase.
3rd, when I tried opening the door with the key, the knob refused to turn. So I got my sis to do it. It's almost as if we are not supposed to enter.
4th, after we finally manage to open the door, we entered a pitch dark room and couldn't find the switch to lighten up the room. We eventually found it at the entrance of the bathroom.
5th, the room is huge.... probably a wonderful thing for most people but erm, I think I prefer not to have that much empty space.
6th, I sat on my bed and the surface felt uneven. Like there was a block of thing under the bedsheet in the middle. I even went to "feel" my sister's bed so to compare. Hahaha. Probably an old bed.

We probably thinking too much, but all these add up plus the room felt kinda eerie so I asked my parents if we could bunk in with them that night. Haha. It somehow feels better with four of us in a single room instead of only two. Dad actually felt goosebumps in his room while alone (mum came to look at our room), and for him to feel that way, the room must have felt really wrong? I don't know, but in the end we abandoned both our rooms because my cousins bunked in with their parents too and there was a spare room available for us right beside my grandparents, uncle and aunt. No longer at the end of the corridor, plus significantly smaller room, we had a good night sleep!! Our "new" room didn't feel scary at all and I even dared to wake up in the middle of the night to pee. Hehe. Ought to give myself a pat on my back for bravery. Lol. Anyway, that was only for our first night because subsequently I didn't dare to drink too much water before sleeping fearing that I have to wake up and use the toilet alone.

After checking in, we headed out again! Walked to Miao Kou Night Market again, which was around 15 minutes away by foot.

There were quite a number of game booths!

After we got tired of walking, we went into Mos Burger for fries and drinks.

While walking back to the hotel, we went into a convenience store. I really like the convenience stores in Taiwan! Alot of things to see see look look!

There is even fried crispy chicken! Why don't we have that in our 7-11? Only SGD1.80 per piece!

Bought this milk tea with pretty packaging, and it is quite nice! Only around TWD20+.

Lots of food available in their convenience stores. But why don't I see many fat people in Taiwan??

The next morning, we had breakfast in the hotel before heading out again!

Some street snaps of Keelung...

What a long entry.... I took super long to finish writing this! Will be back with more of Taiwan!

Read my other Taiwan blog entries!

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