Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vacation@Taiwan Part 1 - Taipei

To plan for a free and easy trip, it really needs a lot of preparation and planning.  It's why my hubby was so reluctant  each time I brough up such request.  It took me some time to "convince" him to go for this plan instead of following tour group.  I'm glad that I was persistence to hold my stand as I couldn't imagine how much time we would be given in each spot if following a group tour.   

Day 1 - Singapore to Taipei by Transasia airline.
  • We hired a Taxi from airport to the Keymans Hotel (located near Taipei Main Station), it cost NT1160 (S$50) for the joinery. The sky was gloomy as it's a fall and raining season in Taipei, we decided to go for Maokong ride despite the weather condition and took a MRT and stopped at Taipei Zoo station. Because we requested for Crystal Cabin, we had to queue for 45 mins and by then we got into the cable car, the sky had totally turned dark although it was not yet 6pm. It was such a disappointment as we supposed to enjoy a panorama view of Maokong, no view we could enjoy except night lighting.
  • After the ride from Maokong, we decided to go for another spot before heading back to hotel for rest. We visited Taipei 101 a couple of times but since we had never see the night scene, we decided to go for some night shots.  We took a MRT and stopped at Taipei City Hall, it wasn't our day as it kept raining.  The sky was very misty and it wasn't the good condition for night shot.  Since it was wet, there was no point to go to night market for food , we had therefore settled our dinner at the foodcourt.

Day 2 - Given that the weather was great in the morning and Longshan Temple Station was a short ride from our hotel, we decided to head off to there after breakfast. 
  • The breakfast that provided by hotel was very simple, it's mainly porridge with simple dishes, pickles and toasts. Since we are not heavy breakfast eater, we were satisfied with something simple to start off with the day.  
  • Monga is the name of an old quarter of Taipei now known as Wanhua District.  I had never watched the movie 艋舺 and given it was an awarding film, and the place is historical, it's definitely worth the effort for a visit.

  •  Longshan temple is one of the popular place of interest for tourists who visit Taipei and it's always crowded and busy with worshipers.  
  • See! My daughter was more excited to play with the doggy rather than watching the worshipers praying to deities of the temple.
  • Our next destination was Beitou Hotspring.  To go there, we needed to change a train at Beitou station.  The ride to Xinbeitou station was very interesting and enjoyable as the train was specially decorated. 
  • Beitou Hot Spring is one of the popular hot springs  in Taiwan but we weren't there for hotspring rather than exploring the places like Beitou Hot Springs Museum, Hell Valley, etc. It was pity that it was raining while we were there.   Although I wasn't ble to capture  very clear and  good shots, I still want to let the pictures  to do the talking instead ...

  • After a simple lunch at a western restaurant around Xinbeitou, we decided to move on to next spot - Taiwan Story House since the rain had stopped. Again, we took a MRT and stopped at Yuanshan station. We were not certain the exact place and therefore, it took us a while to get there.
  • Taiwan Story House is just a lovely Western-style villa with very well decorated and beautiful garden. When we were there, the building was used asa exhibition house for wide collection of dolls over the world. To get in, we had to pay NT50/person and photo taking was not allowed inside the premises except the paper doll hall. The place is so small,  it's not worth the trip!

  • Before leaving Yuanshan, we decided to visit the Grand Hotel as it's one of the splendid landmark and contemporary palatial architecture in Taipei.  It's really gorgeous and magnificent!

  • Originally, we planned to go Danshui in the evening to watch sunset, given weather condition wasn't good, we decided to go for an early dinner and did some shopping before calling it a day.

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