I am starting to feel the post-traveling blues earlier, on my way home in the crowded Alabang bus after an event and a glass of mojito with the Mad Men. I hate getting this coz technically it was just a short trip, but I was dreaming of the cool weather, the feeling of not knowing what's going to happen next, and the rush no-time-to-emo vibe na dapat you have to be anywhere except your room.
Anyway, day 2 of TaiwAnagon started early 7am, and I woke up abruptly before Ate's alarm. With that, natoka tuloy ako for the next 4 days to be the first to wake up and take a bath, so we can start the day early. When we went out, almost sarado pa most of the stores in Ximending. I noticed that a lot of the shops and restaurants open at 10am pa. Night before, we were lucky to have a good hotel receptionist who booked us in advance at the famous Mala Hotpot at 11.30 am--so naisip namin na wag na mag breakfast and mag stroll na muna para masulit ang buffet lunch.
Weather in Taiwan is cool, I love it! Siguro medyo Baguio weather. Ilang beses ko na naulit sabihin na baduy talaga ako sa beach, because I am in love with layering and sneakers (both not feasible to wear sa sand, haha). Anyway, other than the chance to wear sweater with a long jacket, keber pa ang mga Taiwan people. Lady skirt with boyish jacket and shoes? GOW!
Tip nadin siguro is to wear sneakers when traveling. I know common na to, but I still see people na avail sa heels and leather shoes and boots, but sige if gusto niyo yan go! But in my case, sumakit talaga paa ko sa slides or other shoes na hindi pang walking... New Balance ang pinaka the best!
Jacket, Sweater and Skirt from Forever 21 | Shoes - New Balance
So here's the Berocca-ish drink I blogged about here. Ate and I didn't bring vitamins, and then pag dating dun medyo nafeel namin ang pagod and sipon (coz of the change of climate), so we thought of buying Berocca in Watsons, but guess what?! Asa TD600 siya! So I opted for this local version na asa TD300 din, but pwede na and may flavors pa. Hehe!
The street outside our hotel W House:
New Balance is heaven! They have a lot of designs na wala dito, and limited editions! Ate got a pair which she abused for the whole trip. She even bought yung parang spray protector / waterproof thing. Haha! OC!
Ok, so when we went back to Mala Yuanyang Hotpot, the place is packed na so do make sure to book in advance! After 11:30am, ang next slots na magpapapasok sila is 1pm na. They actually have a rule na 2 hours lang pwede mag stay! Grabehan! Pero super recommended ko this place. This is located at the 2nd floor of Sining Road in Ximending - saktong walking distance lang from our place. Landmark of the building is the huge Holiday KTV sign.
Price varies by time, in our case it's just TD448 for the buffet - that's around Php 650 lang! Take note na part din ang unlimited meat na yun of your choice - which they serve by order para fresh - sulit!
Refillable soup: dual pot for plain and spicy - both ang saraaap!
The shabu-shabu wall is everything! You can go back here for your refill of very fresh veggies, all sorts of mushrooms, seafoods, squid balls, crab, mochi, corn, greens, shrimps, sausages, different types of noodles, tendons, fish cakes, tofu, dumplings, crab sticks, corn, broccoli, cheese balls, etcetera etcetera. I think I loaded my plate with too much quail eggs! Masyadong naexcite, haha! ;p
Drinks and dessert bar:
Section for water, green tea, milk tea, juice, hot coffee and tea:
Pick your poison: mix your own sauce with their variety of condiments from chopped onions, soy sauce, special sauces, garlic, vinegar, raw egg, etcetera!
Ref of fruits, more desserts like panna cotta, pies, and chilled beancurd, and a heaven of unli Coke:
Tried this, Taiwan Beer! Smoooth!
But my favorite part: BUFFET OF HAAGEN DAZS and MOVENPICK ICE CREAM! Medyo namatay kami dito ni ate, lol!
Huhuhu, kagulo! Even the plain vanilla super bet, but my favorite is the stracciatella of Movenpick! :p Akkk! Napa-untuck ako bigla ng sweater, LOL! Sabi ko kay Ate, ok eto palang solb nako sa trip nato!
After the 2 hours of heaven, and kinalimutan ko na na may Boracay pa ako in a week (lol), ready na kami ni Ate for our first day! Right next to Mala Hotpot is an ABC Mart where we saw branded shoes na super bagsak presyo - and guaranteed orig! I was eyeing the Classic White Adidas with black stripes for a looong time na (thanks to Pinterest, lol), so my mission was to find my size before the trip ends!
Cinema next to the giant Uniqlo - plan ko to watch here when I go back to Taiwan, hehe.
But other than the interesting local films, also in this building is another ABC-Mart, na mas malaki!
"Shut up and take my money" moment! It was just technically our first day so nag ikot ikot lang ako and took photos of covet shoes, baka sakaling meron pa akong makita na mas mura in other markets. Anyway, super near namin dito so alam kong mababalikan ko pa siya.
Check out my picks and their price tags! The Vans na leopard sneakers is just TD990, while the Nike Roshe Run TD2250!!! (Note: x 1.44)
Taiwan is also the place to be for people who are into kawaii stuff - ang mga iPhone cases dito madaming panay pang iPhone6 na, haha! I love the Totoro pero ang bulky, huhu. Instax films same price satin, but maraming limited designs:
We walked further till end of Ximending, where we saw this sign na may anime ganap. Cute lang, kung satin politician faces lol, sa kanila si Sailor Moon lookalike, hehehe.
Taiwan's version of Tokyo's Shibuya crossing:
Across the Ximen sign and MRT is The Red House, a historical theater built and designed by the Japanese in 1908, and originally a market building.
The Red House has a nice octagonal shape, and inside you'll find a cafe and a bookshop, indie artists's products, and a display ala museum on the history of structure. We didn't go up na to the theater (where they hold performances padin and even short film festivals), Ate just bought postcards at the small bookstore which she sent to her international friends, hehe.
Time to commute!
Like other Asian countries, the MRT in Taiwan is super impressive. It is easy to go to faraway destinations with its organized color-coded connecting lines na frustration and dream ko for our own trains. Fares range from TD 20-65, pero kami ni Ate we got the EasyCard, a contact-less pass na you can use even sa bus or tourist spots ng sinaswipe lang (kahit asa loob pa yan ng wallet). We pre-loaded it with 100 (refundable) + 100 na we used for the whole day na (and nagdagdag nalang uli the following days).
Our first stop was at the Longshan Temple, which you can easily visit by dropping off the... Longshan Temple Station! Haha, ang bongga ng may own drop-off siya! The vicinity is super interesting, parang old China or Binondo, and ang daming elderly na naka tambay, socializing, doing tai-chi, reading newspaper, playing chess, or just hanging out with their dogs.
The Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in Taiwan, and is small but sobrang active. When we went inside, medyo dyahe to take photos of people who are really practicing their religion - praying, chanting, lighting thick-scented incense and candles, and leaving food and fruits on the long table. Nag ninja shots nalang ako. In a way, it's a nice place to visit to see the other side of Taiwan.
Okay, so Shilin Night Market is the most-recommended shoppingan, but for me my favorite is the Raohe Street Night Market. In our next stop, I spotted really stylish and up-to-date selection of clothes with price na afford na. We also saw mga dried fruits in Raohe for pasalubong sana but which we didn't buy pa muna at baka meron din sa Ximending (yun pala wala na :p) *Regrets*.
Ganito ang displayan dito: bulto bulto ng mga clothes in big folded plastic bags! Since pa-winter na, they have a lot of knits and coats, jackets and fur! To go to Raohe, just go-off Songshan Station.
If Ximending mala Greenhills... ang Raohe parang Divi! They have non-aircon stores and street stalls with great finds. Ate and I got a lined jacket with detachable fur for only TD1200!
I can't remember how we got here, but we tried naman the bus one time din that day (also with our EasyPass). I think we were off to the train station na nearest our next stop, and took stop-overs pa to the postal office (for ate's postcards) and also a convenience store (for my lipgloss, nakaka chapped lips ang weather). Super tired and it was a semi long byahe, so si Ate nakatulog na talaga hehehe.
The amazing toilet choices, haha!
Finally, our last stop was at the Miramar Entertainment Park (Jiannan Road Station) with the famous 70 meters high ferris wheel. From Taipei 101, kitang kita daw the ferris wheel, and vice versa, for being one of the tallest in Taiwan.
Aside from shopping mall and an IMAX, this ferris wheel talaga ang main attraction in Miramar for being part of the Taiwan drama Why Why Love. Sayang hindi ko naman yun napanuod, but I love cheesy movie settings! A ferris wheel ride costs TD150 (200 on weekends).
After a loooong day.. finally "home"! The beautiful lighted Ximen crossing at night!
Ang daming fashionista commuters!
We had dinner in CoCo Curry House na super duper good! Ate just told me na she's craving for the curry katsu! My veggie curry costs around TD150 lang, and with the right amount of spice and thick sauce... Grabe, just the perfect meal to cap our lagare day!
Sorry if napagod kayo sa super haba ng post nato, ganun din kami napagod that day! Haha! To think nakawork pa ako ng onti that night, before I fell into deep, deeep sleeep...
To be continued...
Read more of my Taiwan 2014 posts.
Read more of my Taiwan 2014 posts.