Archive for June, 2009
Phew, finally I get to update my blog and share my trip to Taiwan not long ago (just returned last Friday) Tell you what, summer is definitely the worst time to visit Taiwan, or maybe Taipei only I don’t know.
The air is super humid, weather is like KL and it always drizzles without any warning. It’s like the whole city is trapped in a huge sauna lol. Just making a few steps out of your hotel and you would already sweat like hell! It feels damn miserable too to hold your camera on one hand, and use a umbrella on the other.
Weather aside, it was a nice trip overall with plenty of food eaten and interesting places visited. It’s impossible to share the summary of the trip in one single post so I have to break it down to daily basis.
Thanks to MAS for sponsoring the air tickets to Taipei, definitely my top choice of carrier in Malaysia. If you are interested to visit Taiwan, the best time is during October and November. Conveniently there’s a Deepavali holiday in October so you can plan a trip at that time. I just did a search for October’s flight and there’s plenty of options. The cheapest return ticket price including tax is only RM778 per pax. Do check it out.
It’s easy to pass time in the plane, as there’s plenty of things to do. You can take a nap (which I did), watch some latest movies like Red Cliff 2 or even play games!
Since our flight was at 9.40am and it takes 4.5 hours to reach Taipei, brunch was served. A choice of either chicken with potatoes, or..
Fish and rice. Do you notice the cup of red wine I requested?
Once we touched down Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.. guess who’s the first to greet us. None other than the cute pig, Pukii! lol what a name, this pig will never have its name approved in Malaysia.
If you are between 15 and 30, the first thing you should do after reaching the airport is to apply for a Youth Travel Card at the Tourist Service Counter. Just provide your passport and fill in some forms and you will get it.
The card is very beneficial to tourists like us because it provides more than 500 special discounts on transportation, accommodations, restaurants and recreation. For the list of the 500 discounted things, a booklet is provided as reference.
Took a bus to Taipei Main Station for NT$80 (RM1 = NT$9) There’s plenty of express bus companies to choose from at the airport.
The accommodation we stayed for the first 3 nights in Taipei, Taipei Key Mall Traveler Hostel @ NT$1500 per night. I kinda regretted staying here for so long, as there’s many other nicer looking hotels with the same price in the area like CityInn.
Besides, the owner is a bit freaky and weird, and the worst thing is that they don’t accept credit card! Thanks to that I had to spend NT$4050 already on the first day, burning off 25% of the total cash we brought. And you know what, they even require a deposit of NT$300 for the bed sheets. I have learnt not to fully trust the positive reviews posted online now.
The only good thing about this hostel is its location. It’s located directly opposite the Taiwan Railway Station and is only 2 minutes away from the Taipei Main MRT station.
I have been eyeing to try Toast Box for a long time because it has managed to attract a beeline of customers constantly. Unlike J.Co, where the queue dies off after the donut craze went down. Besides, their toasts looked really tempting because they prepare them openly. Good tactic to create buzz and attract customers.
Anyway, this thought of trying remained as a thought for a long time, and I never even thought of queing for it. Why? Simply because I was put off by the crowd. I never liked crowded places, especially if it’s a restaurant. Remember my Foh San experience?
But one morning I was at Pavilion for some business and noticed there were very little customers at Toast Box. So, what better opportunity to have their toasts as my breakfast. There were a couple of sets available but I was particularly attracted to the Traditional Toast Set @ RM6.80. Click here to continue reading >
Do you know there’s a stall selling sweet potato balls outside the Tang City Food Court at Petaling Street? I didn’t until I bought TheStar’s Street Food Guide. My parents were in KL not too long ago for a short trip and I brought them to try the famous porridge at Hon Kee.
After that, while they went to buy some traditional biscuits at Fung Wong Biscuits to bring home, I went to find this stall and bought some to try.
It is said that the stall has been here for nearly 30 years, and the sweet potato balls are always prepared fresh.
Now you don’t have to go as far as Bukit Mertajam to enjoy the famous Malay Char Koay Teow (Koay Teow Basah) that I highly recommend, because I found a stall in Puchong selling it which tastes almost the same. At least 90% similar.
And it’s good to know they are not just using the name Bukit Mertajam for publicity purposes, because according to the owner they are indeed my fellow BM kias. Thanks to my friend staying in Puchong who discovered it and eventually recommended it to me knowing that I am from BM as well. There is no better candidate than me to verify the authenticity hehe.
The Char Koay Teow stall is called Joe Char Koay Teow and can be found at Puchong Prima. Although the stall looks like they are already open from 6pm onwards, the cooking won’t happen until at least 7pm. Trust me on this because I went there early and spent 45 minutes waiting for them to get ready lol.
A plate costs RM3.50 and comes with at least three prawns of satisfactory sizes and freshness Click here to continue reading >