A week after I got back from Perth, Nigel and I set off on our Taiwan holiday! It was the first time the both of us were going on a solo trip overseas together, so we were both really looking forward to it. Also, since we were apart for most of the first half of 2014, this getaway was really nice for us to spend some quality time together.
We didn’t really have a lot of time to plan our trip prior, which initially worried me quite a bit! We flew on a Thursday (got there at 5AM+) and returned to Singapore the Monday after, so that’s only four full days.
When we got to Taipei International Airport, we immediately tried our luck to see if we could get SIM cards for data, but it was 5AM+ after all so no luck. I asked a staff working at the airport and he said the counters opened at 8AM – which was fine if not for the fact that we had plans to go to Taichung!
Headed to the basement instead to get our bus tickets. The cool thing is that there are several coach services that will take you to different places – you just need to check a board for all the buses, routes and timings they depart.
Also, travelling with Nigel has made me realise what a shit sense of direction I have. Or maybe it’s because I let him do all the direction stuff. Hee. Love you.
Because I didn’t sleep on the bus at all, I totally conked out on the entire two hour bus journey. All I remember was getting up the bus, holding his hand and then falling asleep, then waking up two hours later still gripping it. But the landscape outside had definitely changed quite a bit.
The only picture I took before I fell asleep.
The moment we got off the bus, we were immediately bombarded by cab drivers asking where we wanted to go. We were initially so alarmed that we didn’t respond to any of them…only to realise that we definitely needed a cab.
Took one to our accommodation for the night – Kun Hotel! Since we could only check in proper at 2pm, we left our luggage and left…and that was probably the start of our nightmare.
The thing about Taichung that we realised was just how pushy cab drivers are. We hopped into a cab along the street and told him to take us to our first intended destination (some shrine or temple I can’t even remember), only to have him tell us that it’s under renovation – and then he offered to plan our entire day for us. I don’t know why we agreed but it was probably because we were both already frustrated that we couldn’t converse well enough in Mandarin coupled with the fact that we didn’t have anywhere in mind to go (plus we didn’t have data yet). Let’s just said we paid quite a bit for a couple of crappy places that day (nicer cab drivers the next day told us we were likely ripped off, which we kinda already knew) and it ruined it a bit for us. I felt super bad as well because Nigel essentially paid for all our expenses on the trip.
I won’t go into details on the places we visited (most of them are self explanatory!), but they are probably the touristy stuff that everyone who goes to Taichung will experience! There are a couple that we didn’t manage to cover because of a lack of time, but we weren’t big on that so no worries. So here are the pictures!
Some really gimmicky garden place with a shop selling a ton of souvenir food.
One of the places we requested to go – Carton King! Everything’s made of cardboard, and it’s really quite cute. They even have a zoo of cardboard animals and when you walk past the exhibits the sound sensors go off so you hear the animal sounds hahaha.
We paid NT$200 (S$8+) to enter but it comes with vouchers that you can use at the cafe and shop so it’s not that bad.
I was relieved when we finally got back to the hotel since we had literally no idea what we spent our day doing – plus I was sooooo tired. Our room was really big and spacious for the both of us, and the toilet was great too! We were pretty particular about looking for a room that had a toilet separate from its bathing area since we didn’t want to unnecessarily wet the entire bathroom, so I’m glad to say our accommodation at Kun Hotel was awesome. It might be a small budget hotel but it definitely didn’t feel that way.
We took a half an hour nap and then headed to Fengjia Night Market, which was within walking distance of our hotel! That was one the most important factor since we were in Taichung primarily for that reason.
And that’s about it for our first day! Be back to update on our travels in Taipei. ^^