My 1st proper travelogue, hopefully it will be helpful to any of you reading this.
Almost a year back when May got her bonus, she treated me to this Taiwan trip during AirAsia’s year end sale last year, the wait was long but I think both of us needed to be away for a while since Kayden was born.
There’s only 1 flight from AirAsia to Taiwan and it’s departing everyday at 10AM. Our itinerary for the 1st day is as follows
Our Day 1 includes leaving LCCT at 10AM, reaching Taipei at 230PM and head straight to Taichung via HSR.
This is actually our first time sitting on the ERL to LCCT, at RM10.80 from Bandar Tasik Selatan Station, it’s pretty convenient and we reached LCCT slightly more than an hour. The only drawback was the elevators and escalators at the station is not that customer friendly.
This is actually the 1st time we visited LCCT since last year and found out that it’s very spacious now.
With sometime to spare, we check in Plaza Premium Lounge, complimentary entry by holding an American Express Platinum Credit Card.
The food here was very disappointing, with very few selected choices. The food served includes fried rice, baked beans, scrambled eggs, some sandwiches, porridge and coffee/tea. I wondered how would paying customers feel when they were greeted with these kind of food. The only good thing is you get to drink as much beer as possible since it’s also part of the deal.
We were quite lucky as the weather is pretty good, despite Typhoon Fanapi battering Taiwan over the weekend. In less than 5 hours, we reached Taipei.
We took the UBus, a shuttle service that heads to Taoyuan HSR Station since we are catching the High Speed Rail to Taichung. The fare is NT$90 per person and the journey took less than half an hour.
Upon reaching the HSR station, we quickly purchase the tickets at NT$540 per person, quite cheap considering we get to travel from Taoyuan to Taichung in 37 minutes.
We are a bit overdress as we were expecting chilly weather but it turns out that the weather there is the same as KL. May posing at the HSR Taoyuan Station and also promoting some local drinks like the Barley Tea.
Accommodation – Kaoyuan Hotel
We reached Taichung precisely the time that’s indicated on the ticket and took a taxi to our hotel. We booked it a month ahead at Agoda at RM180 which I think is pretty reasonable.
The room is fairly spacious and facing the main street. Despite that, there isn’t any noise coming out from the main street.
Things to do – Feng Chia Night Market
Taiwan is famous for it’s night market so which ever city that we were, there’s sure to be a night market around and at Taichung, the biggest one around is Feng Chia Night Market.
Located close to the Feng Chia University, this night market is one of the largest around central Taiwan.
The 1st thing we tried at the night market is Korean Kimchi Cake. Small portion is NT$60 while the big is NT$100. The cake is actually made out of glutinous rice and cooked with deliciously kimchi sauce, it’s spicy and I reckon would be best if eaten during winter nights.
Boneless Chicken Feet Jelly at NT$100 per pack. There’s an option of having the spicy version or normal version, we opted for a mixture of both but it turns out that the spicy version is not that spicy after all. The chicken feet is very flavorful and the texture is chewy and crunchy, definitely something different.
Fancy a frozen banana? Bananas are frozen and when served, being dipped in chocolate sauce and colourful toppings. I initially thought that it’s just a banana with chocolate like the ones in fondue, but it turned out to be very different. Each stick is NT$30.
People queuing up to buy Tako Tao. Something that both of us can only watch as we both have allergies to ‘sotong’.
Since we can’t eat Squid balls, we ended up getting Spicy Fish ball instead. There’s plenty of flavour to choose, with a matter of sprinkling the chosen flavour on top of the fish balls.
Vermicelli is one of the staple food here in Taiwan so seeing this particular shop have got a reasonable crowd, we stop by to have a bowl as well.
A bowl of vermicelli is NT$50. We also ordered a piece of radish (NT$10 per piece) to go along with it. The vermicelli is very different from the ones here in KL as the soup is more clear but instead of oysters, it’s normally served with intestines.
The sifu preparing our bowl of vermicelli and our official dinner for that night. I personally find that it’s quite good and satisfying. It immediately let us know that we have arrived at Taiwan because what’s Taiwan without the famous Mee Suah and Chicken Chop?
Another thing that’s famous here in the Feng Chia Double Layer Roll. Selling at NT$50 per stick, it actually consist of a layer of glutinous rice wrapping up a Taiwanese sausage.
Eating this double layer roll requires a lot of skill, because I find it quite challenging with some of the fillings kept dropping onto my camera. The fillings mainly consist of some pickled vegetables, which I find the taste a bit weird. So I put off getting this at the rest of the night markets that I visited during the trip.
One thing I like about Taiwanese night markets is that there’s physical shop all along the stretch of the night market, which makes shopping a bit relax and easy. May managed to get a pair of shoes here as well. Being the 1st night, we hold on not to get too many things as we still have quite a few places to go to and we don’t want to be carrying our bags along.
With shops opening up till the wee hours at night, there’s no reason not to shop in here.
We ended the night taking a bus ride home to our hotel. Bus fares are pretty reasonable at NT$20 per trip, but we ended up paying for NT$40 because we got lost on our way back home. It’s a good experience and moreover, it’s easier to get to know the country when you are blending in with the locals right?