Saturday, September 27, 2008

Taiwan - Day 1 (14 Sep 08)

SATS called us last night to inform that our delayed flight has been scheduled to 10am but when we arrived at 8am, they were not ready for check-in. We have to continue waiting…

It was in the news that Taoyuan International Airport announces all domestic flights canceled, as well as most of the scheduled international flights until 12 noon. All other airlines to Taipei have also been ‘delayed’ indefinitely.

We went over to T3, Wang Jiao for breakfast while waiting… waiting for SATS or Jetstar to call us.

Aiyo, the coffee & tea at Wang Jiao was so diluted. So disappointing. Next to us was Pan Ying, one of the Xinyao pioneers who sang Rang Ye Qing Qing Luo Xia (Let Night Fall Gently) having breakfast with her family.

About 10am, James suddenly decided to check the flight information display board and to our horror, it’s boarding!!!

We rushed to take the skytrain to T1 and ran to the check in counter. A couple of pple are stilling checking in. We than rushed to the gate which is right at the extreme end (you got to walk being cheapo… I mean budget). Most of the pple are already there. How the hell they knew the boarding time.

Granted that poor service is expected from the budget carrier but this is too much, it is their obligation to inform passengers of the “unconfirmed’ flight status. We were this close to miss our flight.

About 11am, we took off for Taiwan. The 4 hr flight was rather bumpy with plenty of clouds and rain near landing.

We decided to head south to Kaohsiung straightaway, staying away from Sinlaku.

Ubus to HSR Taoyuan Station
- Coming out terminal 1, turn left and walk to the end
- Buy bus ticket (TWD 30) at the counter
- Locate the bus at the bus platform
- Journey about 30 mins
HSR to Zuoying Station
- Purchase standard class tickets (TWD 1330) at the counter
- Journey about 2 hours

7-11 at the HSR Taoyuan Station is a must visit. They have such a wide range of yummy healthy products. The burgers are so much nicer than MacDonalds. We bought some snacks from 7-11 although food and drinks can be purchased on board the HSR.


From HSR Zuoying station, take Kaohsiung MRT to Kaohsiung Main Station. It was raining and it took us a while to find out where is
King’s Hotel. Apparently it’s at the opposite side of the railway track and we have to pay TRA (TWD 6) to cross the platform.

After settling down, we went to the nearby night market. It was miserable. Probably due to the rain, there were only a few stalls opened and few pple loitering at the short street.



I glued my eyes on the TV and hands on the remote for the rest of the night. 100 channels of program to watch… madness!

More pictures...

Event of the day:

Hou-feng Bridge collapsed

Complain to Delifrance – Follow-up

The manager of Delifrance called up the next day after I complained; to find out more about the incident. I asked him to call me again after I’m back to the country i.e. 1 week later… and he did!

He investigated and the staff admitted to her poor attitude and lack of customer service. She however tendered resignation. It was never my intention to make her out of job. I felt bad but what’s done is done. Wish her all the best.

Delifrance could have transferred her to another branch, provided training, give her another chance and not just let her go unless of cos she insisted.

Anyway, to encourage my continuous support and patronize Delifrance, they are giving me vouchers!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

News from Taiwan

2am at Taipei Ximenting internet cafe...

This trip has been full of unexpected happenings. All our planning was twisted by the typhoon but we
still manage to cover all the sites we wanted to go.

Today - Hot spring at Beitou!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Complain to Delifrance

I just made a complain to Delifrance...

13 Sep 2008, 12pm.
The ONLY staff at Delifrance Terminal 1 Transit Mall West, Level 3 (near Cactus Garden) was horribly rude. She was on her mobile phone talking non stop throughout the process of serving me.

When I approached the counter to order, she looked at me while continue talking on her mobile. I ordered an egg mayonnaise croissant set when she looked at me and gave me that “Ya?” look. She than proceed to the other side of the counter (not sure for what) and came back. She prepared the croissant, put in the veg and asked me “what filling you wan?”, with the mobile phone clamped between the neck and shoulder.

The only consolation, she had gloves on one of the hand.

I keep staring at her. When she got my set ready, she didn’t ask if I wanted pepper on my sandwich, didn’t give me serviette, didn’t give me a receipt and didn’t thank me for patronizing. She was all the while busy talking on her mobile phone.

This happened to another tourist that followed.

I tried to take a picture of her but she was quick to turn and hide.

Such service standard at the World Class Airport is a disgrace to Singapore and Delifrance.

Panic Panic!!! Typhoon Sinlaku!

This is better than striking 4D. Our flight to Taiwan was cancelled due to bad weather (thanks to Sinlaku)... and the announcement was made when it was OUR turn to clear for boarding after security checks.

Taiwan has been really nice to us... when we visited her last year; she treated us with the hottest summer in decades and now with typhoon.

Actually, we were kind of prepared for it. We were laughing at each other when the cancellation was announced at our face. This has been James's favourite site since yesterday.

Everyone paniced esp foreigners who have no where to go.

The flight is scheduled to fly tomorrow morning. The staff of Jetstar made arrangements for the passengers to claim our luggage and gave us the Jetstar hotline to enquire or rather confirm the flight schedule.

The tricky part was... their call centre is not 24x7 (closes at 8pm) and we are expected to arrive at the airport for check in at 7am. We dun wan to waste another trip down to the airport and than later informed that flight is not confirmed... which is very likely cos Sinlaku is expected to move away only after Sun or Mon.

SATS & Jetstar promised to give us a call to update... let's see if they really do.

Lucky we bought insurance.

At the immigration, the officers were definitely not ready for our immediate arrival. It was rather chaotic much to my surprise. I was pretty confident that they have SOP for such situations but...

The officers let us out from a well hidden side glass door. I can only hope that my status is back in Singapore and not currently out of country.

Dilemma... it is not ideal to be going up mountains. Are we to skip Taroko and venture other areas or postpone the trip or go Hong Kong instead?

Sleep first and think later...

Butterfly Garden at Terminal 3

Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome 2 Taiwan!

Yes! We are going to Taiwan again.

We were supposed to be heading for US but had to be postponed cos I dun have sufficient annual leave!

Anyhow, Taiwan is still as exciting. The highlight of the trip will be Taroko Gorge, Cingjing Farm, Yeliou Scenic Area at Keelung, hot spring in Beitou ... hanging out at Hualien, Kaohsiung,Tai Chung, Taipei...

This month is really shiok, barely worked for a week after extensive mc due to wisdom tooth surgery and long vacation... haha...

Collected our Taiwan Gift Coupon... check out their website

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Xing Chen Pork Ribs Soup @ VivoCity Food Republic

I make sure I had a sumptous lunch before going for my wisdom tooth surgery.
Went down to Vivo to meet JT for lunch at Food Republic. The bak kut teh is actually not bad if soup can be slightly more peppery.

Pork Rib Soup @ $6 (Premium @ $7.50)
Tau Pok/egg @ $2.50
Braised Peanut @ $1.50
Rice @ $0.70
They forgot to charge us for yu tiao... hee...

328 Katong Laksa & Mary's Corner Tau Kwa Pau

I have been dying to try the famous katong laksa but turns out to be such a disappointment. The gravy is so so only, not aromatic at all and the piece of cockles shell almost broke my tooth.

I still prefer Sungei Road Laksa @ 27 Jalan Berseh #01-100. They are closed on first Wednesday of the month.

Togi Korean Restaurant again

Went to Togi Korean Restaurant again, this time with piggy.

I had Bi Bim Bab & piggy had seafood ramen. Total $24.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

泳兒 - 花無雪

Hand In Hand Beijin Restaurant

141 - 143 Jalan Besar Singapore 208859
Open Daily11:00am - 11:30pm

River South (Hoe Nam) Prawn Noodles

River South prawn noodles stall is at Siang Kuang Ave, a small lane along the previous Jackson Centre and opp Siemens Centre. Haven't had such decent prawn noodles for a long time.

Do note that stall will be closed for a day once a month. You will know which day on the sign board.