Is it a blessing or a curse to have a rainy travel?
My Accu-Weather app came in handy during my Taiwan trip just last Nov 13-17. For the most part of this vacation, I hold on to my chic NY umbrella with me, adding to the weight of my heavy bag with my camera, phones, and mga pinamili. :p Ang hassle! Anyway, no rain can ruin our parade! My travel buddy aka my Ate and I maximized our few days in this culture-rich country by loading on Vitamin C we bought in a random drugstore we passed by in Ximending (mala Berocca!).
Sweater - Zara | Polo - Wardrobe Check | Leather Leggings - Topshop | Sneakers - Adidas | Bag - Shana | Watch - Morellato
This wasn't my first day outfit talaga, but similar to this naman - all-black and plane-ready. For the most part of the trip naka comfy clothes lang ako, and sneakers. Napansin ko din the people of Taiwan are big sneaker-heads, and nakaka-hawa talaga kasi kahit dress, maxis, etc napapair-an nila ng New Balance or Nike. I realized din na baka ganun is because super mura ng branded shoes dito. As in Birks and Vans asa P1k-ish lang (x 1.44 ang conversion), while mga Nike, NBs and Adidas as P2k-ish! Ang chica lang!
Anyway, some first day kwentos!
Bihira ako mag night-flight, but for this, super biglaan lang so I went with what my Ate booked for me. Original plan kasi talaga na this was her birthday gift to herself, to experience solo traveling. But at the last minute, I asked her if I can go with her kahit as her photog (hahaha, maparaan!), and she surprisingly told me na go. Anyway, we left Manila after all our work and school responsibilities, and in an hour or so (at di pa ako nakakatulog sa ingay ng kalikod ko sa airplane, lol)... HELLO TAIWAN na agad!
A random tip siguro is to have your US dollars exchanged na agad-agad sa airport palang, pagkatapak palang ng Taiwan. In my experience, bihibihira pala ang currency exchange locations dito or mas maliit / palugi na, so at least to be sure sa whole trip may baon na kayo. Also, super mura ng bilihin and food here, so matipid ang trip nato! Most landmarks and tourist spots in Taiwan libre, so actually ang gagastusan mo lang talaga is when you go to night markets for shopping!
Ate booked the hotel for us online, which costs mga 7k in peso per head for the rest of our stay there. We paid there na (cash basis, but napagbigyan si Ate mag card). Hindi na namin priority yung itsura where we're going to stay talaga, so during travels we do away with fancy hotels coz sa totoo lang tinutulugan lang namin siya and mas gugustuhin namin ang street food for breakfast than the usual free buffet. Important is convenience (location).
Actually we were to stay dapat in A Simple Hotel in Ximending, but when our shuttle (provided by the hotel from the airport at 1200 TW (Taiwan Dollars) dropped us off there at 1am, the owner drove us to W House at naoverbook ata sila. Anyway, Pinoy pala ang owners so we were thinking, overbooked ba talaga or baka they wanted us to be in a better location? :)
Our simple but complete room: a bed, tables, washing machine na inavail namin, free-everything snacks, water, tea, and coffee section, microwave, ref, clean CR with hot and cold water, etc.
Anyway, I think blessing nadin coz mas malapit siya sa main district and MRT, around 2 blocks of walking lang. And if I haven't stressed this enough in my US posts last year, I love walks and immersing myself in the street-feel of a new place when traveling anyway.
Nighttime na when we arrived in Taiwan, so there is not much to do other than checking in and having late dinner. But for this post lang, let me tour you nadin around where we stayed: the beautiful Ximending neighborhood, a shopping district and the first pedestrian Zone in Taiwan.
Different modes of transpo here include cabs and motorcycles, but kami ni ate nag MRT and bus lang during our pasyal. Matipid and super convenient din naman.
Convenience stores here in there, almost every corner merong 7Eleven or itong Hi-Life:
Ang dami ding billboards of these Vivi-ish models or cartoon characters. We used these as our palatandaan para di maligaw, hehe.
Crossing the street, medyo matagal ang stoplight pero masunurin naman ang mga tao.
An interesting tidbit about Ximending: it is similar to Japan and they even call it the "Harajuku of Taipei". Ximending is also noticeably the main LGBT district of Taiwan, and the main source of Taiwan's fashion, subculture, and Japanese culture. An interesting place to be in!
Ang dami ding fashown everywhere!
Cheap shopping here and there. Hindi din sila masyado ma-English pa, but kaya naman maka communicate through calculators or by pointing on photos of what you want. Frustrating minsan, but gets naman namin isa't isa, hehe. Also, di na ako nakikipag haggle coz mura na ang bilihin, but si Ate tintry parin niya haha, and minsan she gets mga hanggang TD 50 discount. :)
Dami din nilang baong mga green jokes, hehehe.
Cute restaurant "Rissotto" na 2 branches sa Ximending area pa lang, haha! And both branches may cute Golden Retriever sa entrance, na very takaw pansin sa passersby! Galing ng marketing strategy, hehe!
Kingdom of milk tea ang Taiwan, so they have A LOT of options na you can try. Si Ate panay ang avail coz super milk tea lover siya talaga! Actually halos lahat ng kinainan namin, tea or milk tea lang ang sinerserve so medyo nalimutan ko mag kape and (kahit hindi healthy) even water for 5 days, haha!
The giant Uniqlo! Ang daming items na wala tayo dito sa Pilipinas, but pricing-wise halos konti lang din ang difference from ours so di na muna ako umavail.
Usong uso dito si Doraemon, ang Line characters, Adventure Time, Totoro, and all things cute!
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
A recommended place to eat, Hot-Star, for their giant chicken, yummy tofu, they also serve..milk tea! Haha!
So ayun nga, closed na lahat when we got there so for our first night, 7Eleven lang talaga ang napuntahan namin for our supplies shopping like big water bottles, vitamins, snacks, etc.
Saw these super cute cartons of drinks, and of course triny ko agad their milk tea!
Yakult, by height! Akk!
Cheers to late dinner, instant noodles with packaging na hindi ko naintindihan pero masarap naman, and a whole 4 days of getting lost in translation with my Ate!
To be continued..
Read more of my Taiwan 2014 posts.
Read more of my Taiwan 2014 posts.