Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Taiwan - Day 1 (17 Jul 07)

I had a hard time looking for the clear plastic bag that was given out freely previously; for my body lotion, lip balm, medication oil and eye mo. They must have realised that a lot of aunties have came to collect the zip lock plastic bag probably for their meat and vegetables. Travellors must now request for one at the information counter inside the check in area.

Met Nelson and his girlfriend at the boarding area. They will be in Taipei for 5 days.

I also saw this guy who sings in Channel U's variety programme 音乐格斗场. I watched this programme because I thought the 3 'beans' sang quite well.

Reached Changi airport T1 about 10am to catch our 1pm flight to Taipei - Chiang Kai Shek Terminal 1 via JetStar. Although it's a budget airline but our seats are being allocated.

We bought Pepsi and nasi lemak for SGD$3 and SGD$8 respectively on board of JetStar. The nasi lemak was frozen and requires 20 minutes waiting time to heat up. It tasted weird initially but it gets tastier as you eat more. Quite a big portion.
Finding our way around Taiwan was not difficult since everyone speaks Mandarin. Even those SAMs aka See Ang Mor we saw later speaks better Mandarin than I do. But reading the traditional chinese words is definitely a challenge. I had to stare hard to make sense the words and most of the time applying the technique of 'you bian du bian...'

Since we are heading straight to Alishan for 3 days before coming back to Taipei, we took the Ubus right outside the airport to catch the Taoyuan High Speed Railway (HSR) to Chiayi.

While waiting for the HSR, we went to 7-11 and we were highly impressed by the wide selection of food and drinks. Throughout the 6 days in Taiwan, we visited 7-11 everyday mostly for drinks.

On the HSR, there are vending machines and pretty lady pushing cart selling snacks and hot beverages. Than there is this lady carrying a huge sling bag walking around collecting rubbish. Overall experience was good, very clean and comfortable.

At Chiayi, Mr Xu the taxi driver is waiting for us. The contact of Mr Xu was provided by the Fenchihu Hotel when we called them for query. We could have taken the Chiayi --> Alishan train to Fenchihu but there no more train service available when we arrived which was about 7pm.

Mr Xu made a quick stop at shi zhou for us to buy their local snack - yan su ji. Basically it's like indian rojak where you pick the items you want and they will deep fry them for you. Not as fantastic as I had thought it would be. Mr Xu disappear to buy ji nuo wang, the local KFC equivalent for the youngsters at the hotel.
Fenchihu Hotel is the most authentic hotel that I've ever stayed. We got the japanese style room which is rather expensive for our standard. But it's worth it! We were given 7-11 breakfast vouchers (NT$50 each) which we think it's very smart of them to do so since 7-11 is right above the hotel. We were also given 2 herbal bath packs to soak in the wooden bathtub available in every room. The highlight was the complimentary dinner (NT$250 per night stay). Since we arrived late on the first day, we did not have our dinner but instead they replaced it with their famous railway bento for our lunch the next day. Apparently they are quite famous for it.

After check in, we took the herbal bath while there is still hot water supply. It was very relaxing and I even discussed with James on where we can get the same wooden bathtub and how it will fit into our bathroom at home. Probably because the floor was raised in the room, the door to the bathroom seems shorter. James keep knocking his head when he went in and out of the bathroom. He sticked the luggage label on the door frame to remind him to bend down... hahahaha...

Decided to check out the surrounding and 7-11. A dog decided to join us in 7-11 followed by a grasshopper.

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