Taiwan 2014 (Part II)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Before you continue scrolling down...

You have been warned! There are 100++ photos in this post alone!!

I kind of went overboard with the photo-taking during my trip to Taiwan this March. Each day of my trip, I took at least 100 photos and I didn't realise it until I was sieving out the photos to write this entry.

Yikes!!

Anyway here is what I did in Taiwan! (For day 2 and day 3, that is)

*****

Day 2: Woke up early to prepare myself for a long day ahead!

*If you follow my IG, this photo would be familiar to you!!!!*
Selfie before leaving the hotel!

Speaking of Instagram.. I feel a little guilty. I haven't been updating my social media platforms as regularly as I should be! If there is anyone to blame, all the blame goes to that stupid indemnity form which restricts me from sharing anything about the healthcare centre which I am currently working at.

I spent a majority of my 24 hours in a day, working. Because I am not allowed to divulge where I am working at or anything related to the healthcare centre... I am basically restricted from sharing anything about my weekday life. Therefore it leads to the lack of social media updates :(

For the few days that I was in Taiwan, I travelled mostly by train.

Their train is much spacious as compared to our local MRT, and the one thing that amazes me the most is how everyone queues up according to the lines drawn on the floor and wait patiently for their turn to board the train. There is no PUSHING, SQUEEZING NOR ROUGH JOSTLING.

I've got to really hand it to them.

The place where I had my breakfast that morning!!

Apparently this is a breakfast place that is famous for their soy milk and they have been in operations for 55 years!!!

Group shot!!

Day 2's breakfast! Starting with soy milk and fried dough fritters!! *cues JJ Lin's 豆浆油条*

Ripped this off my sister's Facebook, and her caption was: "So Singaporean". I agree!! Hahaha!

This youtiao (fried dough fritters) was freshly made by the chef there!!

Hmm what can I say about it...? IT'S SUPER AWESOME!!!!!! Crispiest youtiao that I have ever had!!!!!! <333




Had some dimsum too for breakfast!

Ok this dish is unique. Never had such a thing before.
The bottom is made out of shredded raddish and the top is a layer of fried egg!
This is better than any fried carrot cake that I have ever had before!

Gyozas!!

I love the gyozas in Taiwan! Even the ones that I buy from a push-cart beside the roads, and only has vegetables as its filling, taste really good too!

小笼包 (xiao long bao)!!!

When I was at this breakfast place, I realised that all the locals who came to have their breakfast, would order one basket of this dumpling and some other dishes.. and they could finish all the food!!!!

For my family of 7, we had to work together just to finish this ONE basket of xiao long bao. #sofail #cannotcompareatall

Beef wrap

There is something about the beef in Taiwan... it is so tender and so tasty! OH AND, if it isn't obvious enough, they are super generous with the portion of beef that they give too!!

Lil bro stupid face #1
Lil bro stupid face #2
Chef at work! Churning out all of the yummy freshly-made pastries, buns and fritters!

Lil bro mirror-induced stupid face #3

Stopped by a 4-storey maternity/babywear store for my sister to browse at all of their merchandise.

Don't worry, there are more of his stupid faces to come. My bro is a camwhore. One who is worst than me.

One lesson that I learnt when I was in Taiwan and buddied with him, was that I should NEVER EVER leave my phone with him. I would have my phone returned to me, and my photo gallery filled with all of his selfies -.-

Went for a walk after breakfast. Decided to go to NTU (Not Nanyang Technological University k!! It's National Taiwan University!!!) to look at Rhodendron (杜鹃花)!

Outside the uni

Rhodendron (杜鹃花)


My weird face is because of little bro.

My dad and I were playing around with lil bro, pressing onto his triggers points and get him to tolerate the pain while taking the group shot, and well... he couldn't bear the pain so he was resisting us. HAHAHA! #torture

Lots of pretty flowers in their small garden

Went to some second-hand book stores for my dad to find some super old TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) books....

And there were kitties in one of the book stores!!!

While my dad, lil bro, sis, bro-in-law and I, were at the second-hand book stores... my mom and my aunt bought pineapples.

I am not a great fan of pineapples because of this experience that my dad shared with me when I was younger. He said that when he was young, his dad (my grandfather) brought home some pineapples one day. Because it was very rare of my grandfather to buy pineapples home and the fruit is so sweet and yummy, my dad would slowly suck on it, reluctant to finish it quickly.

Pineapples are acidic in nature, and so... when my father ate it that way, he got a terrible stomachache after that. He rolled around the floor, crying in pain... and that scared the hell of me since. Therefore whenever I eat pineapples, I would chew really really quickly and swallow it down fast. I look really ridiculous when I eat pineapples My dad always laughs when he sees me eating pineapples and he knows he is the cause of my ridiculous act. Evil dad -.-

挂包 (Bun with your choice of either lean, fatty or mixed meat + some preserved veg and some chopped-up peanuts sprinkled over it)

No oyster mee sua

Not that I never order oyster k. That restaurant no serve oyster mee sua!!

Corn soup

Sweetest corn soup that I have ever drunk.

My sister and my dad were deliberating over how it was possible for them to make the corn soup so sweet and the corn that we ate didn't taste like it was boiled for hours. I suggested that they might have started boiling the soup since... don't know when (lol), and the corn that we ate were just added today!

This was the only logical explanation for the super sweet and yummy corn soup. #sohardtoplease #doubtthefoodbecauseitistooawesome

I'm not a fan of red bean nor custard... but according to my other family members who tried it, this custard & red bean pancake is super awesome!!!

I saw a long line of people queuing to buy these. It was a shabby little rundown shack.. there was nothing spectacular about it and honestly, if it wasn't for that long line of people, I would never have even taken a single look at it.

There was a signage that said "no photography", so I have no photos of that little rundown shack. I find it so amazing. A place that wasn't even worth a single glance could produce such good food!! And so it goes to prove the saying, "never judge a book by its cover".

Check out the old school lift buttons for the lift at my Taipei hotel!

Went back to the hotel to rest after all that walking as we were gonna head to Shilin Night Market for dinner that night.

I was staying at 金帥商務旅館(King Shi Hotel Taipei). I wouldn't recommend to stay in this hotel. The pictures of their hotel room on their website is not even the same as the actual hotel room that you will stay in.

Those pictures that you see, they are photos of the hotel room BEFORE the renovation. The ones that they offer for staying are the ones which have been newly renovated and okay.. I guess that it is suppose to be better, except that the rooms are really really small and because of the ongoing renovation, it is super noisy!!!

I don't know what time the noise will be until because I have never stayed in the room till the noise stopped, but I do know that when I left the room at around 6pm to head to Shilin Night Market, I could still hear the renovation noise going on.

Oh and another thing, you can't adjust the air-con temperature AT ALL for this hotel. They use those main system kind of air-con that goes throughout the building... so yes. Your room will either be really warm when the air-con decides to screw up on you (like how it was for my room), or it would be super cold when it decides to go on an overdrive!

First munch at Shilin Night Market: Taiwanese Sausage (meat made out of wild boar)

One of Taiwan's famous food: Big sausage wrap small sausage (大肠包小肠)!!

It's actually glutinous rice that was been stuffed in a pig intestine (I think) to give the shape of a sausage, and then it is later on steamed, cut into half and a Taiwanese sausage in placed in the middle of the cutting!

This is one of the drinks which I will definitely get when I'm in Taiwan! 柠檬爱玉 (Lemonade and jelly)

Tepanyaki!!

I know you're gonna say "No... This isn't tepanyaki! Where's the hot plate???"

There isn't any hot plate because there were too many of us, and they couldn't fit all of us around the hot plate area. So we sat behind the Tepanyaki stall, placed our order and they would cook and deliver to our table!!

This is my favourite out of everything that we had.... GRILLED ABALONE!!!!
The abalones are grilled while they are alive and still moving.

I know it sounds inhumane and really really evil, I felt bad too... for a moment. But after I had my first taste of the grilled abalone.. Heavenly I tell you!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!




YUM YUM YUM!!!!

Also bought grilled squid.

He grilled it by using a mega huge machine behind it. Grilled using pressure!!

Had shaved ice too!! This is matcha flavour.

Chocolate, obviously

Fruits!! This one tasted the nicest out of them all!!

And no, the eating hadn't stopped yet. Had yoghurt ice-cream soon after while we were shopping!! This is really really good!

Ok basically everything I had in Taiwan was good. LOL

If you're a collector of such copper-made souvenir coins (like Rod!), look out for the machine that they have in Shilin!

It's 10TWD (about SGD $0.50?) and the machine isn't as fancy as the one that you see in USS or SEA Aquarium. It is rather... dingy and old.. but the coins produced are surprisingly made of a better quality than the ones here in Singapore. The coins are thicker and more sturdy, unlike the Singapore ones which are thinner and more flimsy :/

And it's the end of day 2.

Lil bro fooling around with the bunny jacket that I bought that night at Shilin.

I TELL YOU, it was super super cold when I went to Taiwan!!!! That night when I went to Shilin, the temperature was 14 degree celsius!!! Almost froze to death. Plus the clothes that I brought... were clothes that I wore during the cold season in Singapore last year (Nov-Jan). Thankfully I brought quite a lot so I quite layer up all my clothes and that kept me warm!

So the moment I went to Shilin, I bought 2 jackets to prep me for the even cold weather that I would be encountering when I went to Jiufen and Yilan! Thank goodness for those 2 jackets... really really saved my life!

*****

Day 3: Leaving Taipei to go Jiufen 九份 and then Yilan 宜兰(day 4)!

Stopped at a pavilion to take photos!! Gosh my face so round here :(

The wind was so strong and it was so cold.. all I wanted to do was to quickly hop right back into the car!! But my crazy sister stopped me from doing that and she said "I want to take a photo of you being cold!" -.-

Well there you have it my dear sister, a photo of me shivering in the cold.

Went to Yeliu 野柳 geopark

It's all about the rocks and the stones

Don't see me smiling so happily k.. The rain was pouring, the wind was howling.. If that previous night at Shilin was considered as freezing cold, then I guess this would be considered as being frozen already!!

See the super long queue at the left side?

All those people were queuing up to take photos with the queen's head (stone)!

My family didn't go because it was too cold for us and the floor was too slippery. We had a pregnant woman amongst us and we didn't wanna take the risk. My darling niece wasn't ready to come out yet.. but soon she will!! In another 2 more months! Super psyched to see her!

Went to the market nearby to get some preserved seafood, like dried shrimps and etc.

It was so cold that there was steam coming out of our mouth!! Tried to capture a photo with lil bro's help but epic fail.

Bro-in-law decided to join in the fun, but nope! Not working either!!

Saw these super huge and yummy-looking oysters!!!

And oysters go best with egg righttttt? So tadah!!! My dad and I couldn't resist those oysters and so we ordered a plate of oyster omelette to-go!

The oysters were really fresh and juicy.. and it went perfectly well with the egg and veg and the flour. Salivating while describing this. I can vividly remember how awesome it tasted.. Ahh...

Finally reached Jiufen and we settled our lunch first before anything else!! We were starving because of the super cold weather!

Braised meat rice

Their famous meat ball soup (they call it 贡丸汤 there!)

醉鸡 (literal translation: drunk chicken?? lol)

Braised meat noodles, for the noodle lovers

Famous dessert: Grandma Lai's yam ball soup

Climbed to the peak of Jiufen! Pity that it was raining so heavily though, so couldn't see any of the nice scenery :(

Saw a stall selling grilled mushrooms and I got so excited because I LOVE MUSHROOMS!!!!!

Mushrooms are superfood k! They contain a lot of vitamins (Vitamin D, B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and H!!) and are super yummy! If you don't like mushrooms, that's your loss!

Anyway about this stall... I feel so scammed by it. As I was saying, I was super excited when I saw it because the mushrooms that it is selling was super huge!! And it was grilled (yay to healthy!) and looked so delicious, what with it being all golden looking... but in actual fact, it tasted horrible.

I know I said that everything in Taiwan tastes awesome, but this is one of the exceptions. This really taste so bad :( Don't ever order it if you go Jiufen k!

Went to the homestay to check-in and upon our arrival, the staff brewed hot red tea for us. Perfect for the super cold weather.

I don't know why, but that scene looks very jap to me lol.

Changed into my sleeping pants and chilled in the room for a bit before heading out for dinner.

Lil bro and I had the biggest and nicest room! I took a video of the whole room and I'll share it another day.

Our room had 2 floors: the first floor has the balcony, sitting room, toilet, fridge.. the second floor was where our bed is and where the TV is! Our toilet had a round wooden bath tub, like the kind you see in the Chinese dramas/movies.

Had seafood for dinner!!

I braved the rain to take these 2 shots!

Hi, what you doing there? I'm just stoning here, waiting to be fished up to be cooked and eaten!

LOL okay that's a really cruel caption sorry.

Lil bro is sad because our aunt said "No sashimi tonight!" #awww

Cannot see mummy's face!!

I finally understand why I see Taiwanese wearing these cloth face masks in Taiwan dramas.. it isn't because of the polluted air, but rather because the weather and the blowing wind is so cold, so the best way to keep warm is to cover up your face!

I didn't wear a mask even though I have one simply because... I was too vain. LOL #gottastayprettyatalltimes

#sosingaporean

What's the best thing for a cold weather? ALCOHOL

Dad bought 茅台 and whoo!!! Burns you up inside and the cold weather is no cake to you anymore!

Ha, bet you never see this veg before!!! It is Taiwan's local veg!

It is really smooth in texture but crunchy when eaten!

Clams

Normal fried rice (There's another fried rice dish below)

Steamed prawns

樱花虾炒饭 (Literal translation: Sakura shrimps fried rice?)

樱花虾 (Literal translation: Sakura shrimps) is one of Taiwan's local products. It tastes sweeter and more fragrant than the usual dried shrimps that you eat, and when fried with fried rice... I don't know how to describe it. The fragrance seeps into every grain of rice and every mouthful of fried rice is bursting with awesome-ness.

I'm so sorry. There is no other way to describe this. It is just really so darn good. I wish we have this in Singapore!

Fried calamari

Steamed crayfish

Steamed fish (had steamed fish don't know how many times during my trip... my aunt kept ordering it -.-)

Another one of Taiwan's local veg. This is some kind of seaweed? NOT CHIVES OR SPRING ONION, I GUARANTEE YOU!

And okay lah.. That's all for the food. I know there is a lot of steamed dishes. My aunt ordered the dish and I guess she tried to make it more healthy for us because she didn't want to risk any of us falling ill during the trip? (:

Oh!! Before I end of... I saw one more exotic creature before I left the restaurant....

Our chauffeur suddenly brought this creature in while we were in the midst of having our dinner!

PUFFERFISH!!!!

He probed it out of fun and the pufferfish got angry so it blew up!!! HAHAHAHA!!! I took a video too of the pufferfish being put back in the water while it was still puffed up, super funny! It was just floating all around upside down.. LOL

I know I know, it plays dead when it finds itself in danger. Well whether it gets puffed up or not, when it needs to get eaten, it will still get eaten puffed up or not LOL!

And that is all for now!!!!

Super long entry omg. 125 photos :/

Have a super good week ahead!


Hearts,
Soph <3