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I had once promised myself to go overseas for vacation annually, even it is neighbouring country. Re-ran the trips that I had been to in the past years, 2013 was left without any vacation to overseas. If you follow my blog, you'd have known that I worked real hard for a set of DSLR camera and lenses.
One of my best friends has gone to Taiwan to further her studies.
Out of a random conversation, she asked us to 'hitchhike' towards Taiwan with her. We just felt the sudden urge to plan on a vacation after a long resting year and without hesitation we booked the flight ticket. What a shame we could not just make it for summer, thus we got it postponed to fall. Secondly, the summer break in 2014 would have just come in time for supplementing the travelling expenses.
Joining the tour group during vacation sounded a hassle to us and we would not want to spend our time travelling the places that we might not like. More often than not, we rather to just explore the country by our own. Mastering chinese language just fit perfectly like a glove this time as communications wasn't a concern for us. After referring to information and blogs, we found out, to travel the whole Taiwan island, a 8-day-7-night trip was not sufficient enough. Eventually we decided to travel Taichung, Ching Jing and Taipei only. Let the regret push us to another trip to Taiwan, perhaps?
Things to know before travelling to Taiwan:
1. You'll need a passport (IKR!!)
2. Bring along universal adapter & extension cords (so that you can plug in few at one time)
3. Contact credit card merchandiser to validate your usage in overseas (you might not bring enough money, who knows what shopaholic will lead to?)
4. Contact banks to get a PIN number for your oversea withdrawal (need to make it earlier as only certain days in a week the bank proceed your request)
5. Voltage in Taiwan is 110V while 220V in Malaysia (you might need a voltage converter for some electrical appliances)
6. People will always stand on the right hand side on an escalator, who are in rush will walk on the left
7. A 'touch n go' card (they called it You You Card) will ease your vacation (LRT, public buses and etc)
After the long wait and the 3 and a half month of dreadful part-time job, the trip finally came on its way.
Upon your arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the first thing off we had done was to purchase a SIM card with unlimited data for tourist. There were numerous operators providing the services, but we chose Taiwan Mobile as told for its widest coverage and fastest internet speed amongst the operators.
There were also a number packages offered to your choice. We had chosen the 10 days unlimited internet pass + 100 Taiwan Dollar credits. (A little suggestion for those who travel in a group - only one person will need to purchase the card as the rest of you can share the hotspot together)
The price of 10-day unlimited internet pass + 100 Taiwan Dollar credits cost 500 Taiwan Dollar.
Different counters selling tickets for buses(uBus) are locating conveniently at Taoyuan International Airport. To our first stop Taichung, we bought the ticket at 240 Taiwan Dollar (approx RM25) and it took us around 2 hours to arrive in Taichung.
Our sponsored stay at Taichung Feng Chia 168FB (details below the post) was located nearby renowned Feng Chia Night Market. A 3mins distance to Feng Chia Night Market was made up to a good point. Thus, we saved up taxi fare.
Our only mission was to explore the food at our bestest. While we made our foot in one of the entrances of Feng Chia Night Market, stinky smell arouse - though it did not switch us off as we thought that was stinky toufu. And of course we did order it gleefully seeing it was the first time we've ever tried stinky toufu.
In tremendous excitement, I just couldn't hesitate any second to place them in my mouth. To my surprise, the taste of stinky toufu was not as stinky as smelled, instead, it was fairly acceptable. For those who like coriander, this food will get you addicted and wanting to try more and more as the taste of coriander not only supplemented the overall taste but also giving the stinky toufu a lively pleasant new aroma.
Also we would suggest that 50 Taiwan Dollar for 8 stinky toufus is going to fill your stomach up abundantly, hence it's best to share with friends.
To deodorize your 'stinky' mouth, there were plenty of (I swear!) stalls selling bubble milk tea or any other kind of beverages. Be it mandarin kumquat with lemon, fruit juices and etc.
I've seen a great number of tv shows introducing the fried mee bun in Taiwan and I couldn't hold up the wait to have tried it on myself! But wait, fried mee bun?! This is something that I've never thought of, definitely deserve a try. If you see the picture above, by now you will know how famous it is in Taiwan. It sounds like I was mad to queue for 45 minutes but to work in well with your friends who travel along is the key to 'success'. HA! 2 queue up for this while others queue for other famous food. To us, a big tummy that is able to store up abundant food is the only concern.
Fried mee bun goes with 6 different sauces - French cheese style, Japanese curry style, Thai hot & spicy style, Italian style, black pepper and Japanese style that we ordered since it's stated the combination of fried mee and bun comes from Japan. The stall attentively provided a plastic glove for us. In conclusion, the mouthfeel came in two phases - as the first taste we felt is the strong smell of the fried mee that resembled to teow chew fried mee or mamak style (according to my friends) and followed by the segregated taste of the bun itself, which we felt both of them did not blend in well. Also, you will be able to taste slight mushroom aroma that topped with sauce.
Different from what we have here in Malaysia, the muah chee is roasted in a big fat stick form, topped with 12 flavours. We ordered peanut and japanese spicy flavours. In overall, the muah chee tasted good - you will be able to feel the crispiness on the outer layer and spongy feel on the inside. What we did like about this muah chee is that it got sticked to your teeth easily.
In Taiwan, lou mei (assorted spiced and marinated fowl/giblets) can be seen everywhere and everyone seems to love it so much. In my personal opinion, the best lou mei is in Shilin Night Market, which I will mention in the coming entries.
There are also stalls and shops that sell fashion accessories, mobile phone accessories, decorations, clothing and etc where you can spend your whole night there without getting bored out.
Taichung Feng Chia Night Market is open 365 days, 4pm onwards.
Special thanks to Taichung Feng Chia 168FB for sponsoring us the stay! If you'd like to book a stay at super affordable price and equipped with basic amenities. This guest house would work best for you in Taichung Feng Chia. The guest house is located 3mins away from Feng Chia Night Market and I loved how convenient it was!
说老实话，我从来没有想过一间只需RM73的房间会是如此的新颖及舒适且设备齐全（吹风筒、热水器、冰箱、电视、WIFI样样齐全），这次总算是大开眼界。点入以下的网址 www.airbnb.com/c/hlaw42?s=8 便可得到RM84的回扣！
Frankly speaking, I've never thought that a room that only costed RM73 would up to this standard, particularly with complete amenities - hair dryer, water heater, refrigerator, tv, WIFI that fulfil your basic needs.
To get more discount on hotel bookings, please click in www.airbnb.com/c/hlaw42?s=8 for more info!
台中逢甲168fb住宿的网址 － https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2929291?af=27202&c=goog
Also, the link to our sponsored guest house - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2929291?af=27202&c=goog