Thursday, 9 September 2010

Taiwan Day 5: Sun Moon Lake, Ximending, Wufenpu & Raohe Night Market

Woke up slightly after 4 in the morning and washed our faces before letting ourselves out of the minsu. As nobody else was up so early, the owner had told us how to open and close the gate to go out the night before. It was really dark at the time, and we walked the short distance down to the walkway surrounding Sun Moon Lake.

We walked for a short while before stopping at one of the picnic areas along the walkway to wait for the sunrise. It was so quiet at this time of the morning, and there weren't many people around to disturb the quiet of Sun Moon Lake. Unluckily for us, we weren't very lucky as the fog was too thick that day and we didn't get to enjoy the sunrise we were waiting for.

Though that isn't to say it wasn't beautiful....

Sunrise at Sun Moon quiet and serene early in the morning ^.^

After about two hours, we headed back to the minsu and went back to sleep since it was still early =p Woke up again around 9 and headed downstairs for breakfast once we had packed our belongings. Like Windsor B&B in Jiufen, they also served us with a delicious home-made breakfast ^_^ The owners were really nice, kept asking if the breakfast was enough for us and even offered to cook more if we were still hungry =)

After beakfast, we headed to the souvenir shops to purchase some postcards to send back home. We then sent the postcards at a small post office nearby our minsu. Since it was almost 11, we headed back to the minsu and checked out.

Laurel Villa and our breakfast

We then headed back to the information centre at Sun Moon Lake, where we would be taking the bus back to the Taichung HSR Station. Felt a bit sad leaving...this is definitely a place I would like to revisit every time I come to Taiwan. Hopefully it'll be soon =) Anyway, we rushed to get the earliest ticket back to Taipei once we reached the HSR station.

Seems to be more tickets available on the HSR as compared to the normal railway, I guess due to the higher prices? Comfort wise, the HSR definitely wins in terms of space, but the traditional rail is actually quite comfortable also. For me, I think it's not very worthwhile to take the HSR, which cost us NTD700 for a one-way ticket from Taichung to Taipei. Maybe more worth it if we need to go somewhere further like Kaohshiung, when it should save us more time.

Since it was about lunch time, we found a 7-11 before entering and bought some food and drinks to eat on the train. Still can't get over the amount of things that they sell in the 7-11 in Taiwan. I bought another cup of coffee, as usual =p, as well as a sushi roll and also a herbal tea egg. Hehe, it smelled so good I'm afraid it made the other passengers hungry ^.^

At Taipei, we headed back to the Dreaming Dragons Hostel, where we would be staying for the remaining 2 days in Taiwan. Left our luggage in the room and headed out by MRT to Ximending, where we got off at Ximen Station.

1. Coffee from 7-11     2. & 3. Sushi roll, also from 7-11     4. & 5. Ah Zhong Mian Xian shop in Ximending    
6. Ximending     7., 8. & 9. Famous Ya Rou Bian at Ximending     10. Ah Zhong Mian Xian **drool**

The best food that I had in Taiwan is here, in Ximending. None other than the famous Ah Zhong Mian Xian. Really regretted not buying a larger bowl or getting extras. The ones that we get in Malaysia absolutely cannot compare to the one in Taiwan. Sigh, still dreaming of the taste up to now....another reason for me to go back to Taiwan ^.^

 We also went over walked over to the old shop selling Ya Rou Bian and ordered a NTD100 portion to share. The duck meat was soft and juicy, but wasn't really outstanding. Nevertheless, worth trying if you happen to be in Ximending. It's not that hard to find places in Ximending as there is a large map located near the exit to the Ximen MRT Station.

We didn't spend much time at Ximending as we had some shopping to do at Wufenpu =p Took the MRT again to Houshanpi Station, which was about 5 minutes walk away from Wufenpu. Managed to get there by asking for directions from some of the people we passed by...It's really quite a short distance to get there, just that it's not immediately obvious where the place is.

Just can't believe the number of shops there are in Wufenpu!! And the variety of clothes they have there, as well as the super cheap prices =) This is shopaholics heaven!! We didn't waste any time and started our shopping immediately ^_^ There were so many shops and alleys that we weren't even sure which direction to head next. In the end, just entered any and browsed any shops which we liked =)

1. Raohe Night Market     2. & 3. Hu Jiao Bing     4. Temple at the entrance of Raohe Night Market
5. Chou To Fu     6. Mango Ice

We were getting hungry after a few hours of shopping, so we walked over to Raohe Night Market, which is also about 5 minutes away from Wufenpu. First thing we saw as we entered the night market was the stall selling the famous Hu Jiao Bing at the entrance. Of course, we couldn't miss trying this ^.^ The bun was piping hot and was slightly crispy on the outside, but the pork filling inside was still so juicy and good.

Stopped by at another stall in the night market and sat down to enjoy our Chou To Fu. Originally ordered the fried version, but I think there was some miscommunication as the one we were served was cooked in soup. It tasted just as good, so that was still ok =) Last, we ordered the Mango Ice for dessert, which was full of delicious fresh mango pieces.

1. Wufenpu     2. T-shirts for bro     3. & 4. My haul from Wufenpu =)

After finishing our dinner, we decided to walk back to Wufenpu and do some extra shopping before going back to our hostel. By this time, there weren't as many people around and some of the shops were preparing to close up as well. Once we had bought our fill, we walked back to Houshanpi MRT Station and headed back to our hostel.

Hehe, we then spent the rest of the night at the hostel trying out our new clothes =p  Anyway, don't know how I'm going to buy any more clothes now I'm back home. It all seems so expensive compared to Taiwan prices. I managed to buy jackets and skirts for just NTD200 and tops as well as dresses for only NTD100 to NTD150 each...where am I going to find that here?

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