Saturday, 21 March 2015

CNY 3rd day - Taiwan Vacation ~ Taipei to Taichung

21 Feb 2015 (Sat):

Good Morning from Taipei, Taiwan. With less than 4 hours of sleep, my eyes were puffy. I had a difficult time sleeping onboard planes, sitting up. The kids were perky (is there such a word) and excited.

It feels so surreal to be stepping into Taiwan. I have always envy those who seems to be able to afford travelling frequently. After reading endless blogs on Taiwan vacation, I have always wondered when it it gonna be my turn. And now, here I am.

We wanted to buy the data plan card but we were told the counters would only open at 8am. So we went to the $$ changer to change more NTD as we were told the rates were good. The directions to the bus station were clear and precise. After comparing the rates and timing, such as Freego, Kuo Kuang and U Bus, we decided on U bus. Most of the rates to Taichung were about the same but U bus timing was right away.

This is U bus at berth 13, right in front of the coach counter. So after purchasing the bus tickets at NTD 230 per head, the bus captain led us to his coach. I meant to stay awake and look at the scenary but fell asleep. 

1hr and 50 mins later, we arrived at Taichung. We were dropped off the the Taichung Railway Station where according to the map, our hotel was nearby. But there were so many main roads and side roads, we simply do not know which direction to go. The simplest way, take a cab.

After leaving our luggages at the hotel reception; hotel check in only after 3pm as usual, we asked around for the best place to have breakfast. Nothing much as this was only the 3rd day of CNY and many shops were not open for business yet.

We came to this small eatery and the noodles looked good. A few tables were available and we sat down for our breakfast.

Looking at the Chinese words, we found that this was the market area. Look at the long queue, we were wondering what's going on. So it seemed, as we found out, 3 items for only NTD60.

Before coming to Taichung, i read about this place called Xin She (新社). However, there were many negative reviews about it. My friend just came back from Taiwan and I saw the photos he posted on his FB page. There's this place called Zhong She (中社) and the place was wonderful.

The weather was freaking hot. Almost the same as Singapore. It was stated on the internet at 17 degrees in Taichung. We wore heat tech and long sleeves and even had our jackets with us...all for nothing!!!
In the end, we took off our long sleeves and had only the heat tech on. OTOT, we took in everything that was around us. The kids did some ornament painting as well.
We saw on the Taichung map, reviewing on an attraction called 梧栖鱼港 (Wu Ci Fish Harbor). It was nearby another attraction known as Gao Mei Wetlands. That was my initial plans to visit that attraction as well. Both were located in the Qing Shui District. However, the kids were more interested in the fishery port. My son loves all kinds of underwater stuff. He was always fascinated by the underwater creatures, especially weird ones.

The place was crowded and there were lots of interesting buys. Being near the sea, the weather was cold and it was drizzling when we reached there. Our jackets came in handy. The kids has their ponchos on too.

A word of advise: Very few cabs or no cabs would come in here unless you booked it in advance or it was being rented (包车). We did not realised that and we waited very long for a cab. Finally, i saw a cab driver getting into his cab which was parked at the side of the road but he waved his hands at us, indicating a no. He told us his cab had been rented and he was waiting for his customers.

We felt like homeless folks and literally squat down by the side of the road. We read the info at the bus stop and saw that there are buses coming in and going out but only to the nearby train stations but looking at the bus route, it seems they are making a very big round. And the frequency of the buses, 1 bus every 1-2 hours, i think.

God showed us mercy. The cab driver who told us his cab was rented drove by and stopped at the side of the road and the driver waved to us. Hubby went over and the driver told us he spoke to his customers and they very willingly share their vehicle for a minimal fee with us back to Taichung city.

The customers were 2 ladies from Guangdong, Mainland China and we all had a little chat. They asked for NTD 1000 which hubby felt it was a ripped off but we had no choice as we had kids in tow and we wanted to get back fast.

What's a visit to Taichung without a stop over at Feng Jia Night Market.
Although we were very tired, the food and games perked us up. Dangerous sign: every arcade game entices the kids and adults alike. NTD10 after NTD10 and you will soon throw in more than NTD200. BEWARE!!! lol..... 

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