Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 1 (07.09.2010) – Taiwan, Kao Hsiung

 

Urm… there’s a lot of photos ahead so be prepared to get your bandwidth sucked. But, I promise it will get lesser and lesser as I became lazier and lazier to take photos when I was in Taiwan. Hehehehhee.

So, I spent a total of 7 full days in Taiwan and being a greedy/kiasu tourist, I tried to fit in as many places as I could. I did a lot of homework by reading up forums and blog posts. Even the Taiwan weather official website, the Central Weather Bureau, I refreshed the page like every 4 hours to check on the weather because the news said there might be typhoon during my visit. (And told later by 48 that the website is not accurate at all!!   -_____-“)

My day 1 itineraries are:

Tao Yuan International Airport –> Tao Yuan High Speed Rail Station –> Kao Hsiung –> Kao Hsiung Arena (For CSI Exhibition) –> Lotus Lake / Dragon Tiger Pagoda –> Dream Mall (For Sanrio Ferris Wheel) –> Liu He Night Market

Quite a handful of places isn’t it?

My plan was, head all the way to the south then go to the middle part, then stay the rest of the trip in north. Since my flight will reached Taiwan at 9.20am, most hotels and minsu only allowed check-in after 2 or 3pm, I rather not waste time roaming around waiting for the room lor.

Now let the photos do the talking. 

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One luggage for each. It’s easy to know which is mine.

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3.15am at KKIA. Couldn’t even get the bag scanned since there’s no one working.

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My mom, listening to her iPod Nano, while.. I don’t even have any decent mp3 player. I only use my mobile phone to listen to music while I do brisk-walking.

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6am, ready to board with fresh morning.

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Our breakfasts on plane.

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With potential pimples popping out for sleeping less than 3 hours.

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Hello Taiwan!
Ya, if you brought your parrot along, you gotta dump them in to the bin what the flying fish. Hahahhahaa.

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Here comes my luggage, super identical with the one at the back lah!

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Head to the Tourist Service Center to get my Digital Tour Buddy and apply for the Youth Travel Card.

So what are these Digital Tour Buddy and Youth Travel Card?

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This is my Youth Travel Card!
Basically, if you are at the age of 15 to 30, you’re eligible to apply for this. Plenty of discounts given including hotels, eadmission tickets, transportations, shopping and even on food! (Unfortunately, I only got to use it once for the NPM entrance ticket, but.. it was 50% discount though!)

As for what is Digital Tour Buddy, I’ll let you all know later. The photo bawah-bawah lagi.

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Bus tickets to Tao Yuan High Speed Rail Station.

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Sigh… People actually thought he’s my mom’s son rather than I’m her daughter. What the futomaki!  

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We don’t look alike meh? Okay lor.. So my mom has double eye lids, bigger eyes and fairer complexion and I inherit none of those.

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Reached Tao Yuan HSR station in just.. 10 – 20mins.

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Tickets to Zuoying, Kao Hsiung.

The transportation in Taiwan is damn convenient and easy! There’s nothing to worry if you’re traveling there, as long as you can speak Mandarin. Will be better if you can read too. Hahahaha.

They announced in several languages. First Mandarin, then Hokkien, then Hakka and lastly English. We burst out laughing when we heard for the first time,

“Teen tui meng beh kui lar”

which means, the elevator door is closing, in Hokkien.

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Information at the back of the seat indicating where can you find toilets, dustbins, automatic vending machines and public phones.

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Inside the high speed rail.

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The electronic led display actually shows a lot of information like weather, next destination, reminders and so on. In both Chinese and English.

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It’s a nice way to see more of Formosa.

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The vegetarian bento set sold in the train.

Saw the plastic with tissue papers inside? Apart from tissues, it had disposable chopsticks, spoon and fork, toothpick and a small plastic bag for you to dispose after eating. How considerate!

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My mom loved the wood bento and actually brought it back.

After reaching Kao Hsiung (the trip only took 1.5 hours – for 303km, it’s pretty decent), we… actually I, decided to put our luggage at HanShin Arena and go for the CSI exhibition and also to Lotus Lake because it saves more time that way. Yes, I marked all the places in the maps (thanks to Mei Yuen who gave me a bundle of brochures and maps) and so planning was much easier since I can see better.

The service in Taiwan is really really good. I emailed HanShin Arena if there’s any locker place and they replied within 24 hours, telling me that I can always go to the information counter and leave it there. So nice! Those receptionists were really pretty too, dressing up like Barbie dolls. Sorry no photos because I was… too busy looking around?

So, after leaving our luggage there, we walked to the arena for the CSI exhibition!

 

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Where you get to check the crime scene and solve the case yourself like a detective. Hehehehhe. Told you I’d done a lot of homework for this trip. I basically checked out a lot of websites to see if there’s any happening events during my visits not to left out any. Kiasu-ism rocks!

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Random pic, toilet in Hanshin. Super classy.

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The elevator with shining bulbs.

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Walking towards the exhibition hall.

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Hello tourist #2.

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There!

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I know we won’t have time to solve all 3 crime scene, so we opted for crime scene no.1. Which is, a car crashing in a house. Too bad if you can’t read Chinese.

(And… I had to do all the translation to Bobby, FML)

 

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The ticketing counter.

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The tickets. The month and time salah one lor.
NT200 for one crime scene.
NT500 for all three.

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We’re given a CSI report for us to fill in and investigate ourselves with the sets of questions prepared. Again, it’s in Chinese so I need to translate to Bobby again.

We’re brought into this dark room to view a short intro video, then went up to the 6th floor for the crime scenes and labs. It was pretty cool. We matched prints, DNA samples, blood splatters and so on.

Then, after you got all your answers, there’s computers for you to input your predictions to check if you get it all right. Then, you can print a certificate (regardless of your answers being correct or wrong).

I got all correct btw. *blow air from nose*

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I’m a certified Crime scene investigator wtf!

Then, we took bus to the Lotus lake / Dragon Tiger Pagoda.

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Enter the dragon’s throat, come out from the tiger’s mouth to get rid of bad luck and gain good fortune.

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ROARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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This uncle super funny can. He kept shaking his head as a form of exercise. But, looks super 滑稽 lor!

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Paintings inside the pagoda, illustrating ancient stories.. which I didn't quite get.

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Lots of huge terrapins in the pond!      

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I love how relax the park is!

In the above pictures, the maids were talking to each other and the old people in the wheel chairs also enjoying themselves. Win-win situation!

Didn’t manage to take pictures of puppies jumping into the owner’s motorcycle. It’s like, those dogs are so well-trained that they won’t bark at anyone and so disciplined!

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Lots of temples like this one.

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Confucius temple, only open during the weekdays
-_-“

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Had random food at this stall

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Taiwan sausage

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Sinful with lots of lards!

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Our room in Tuntex Sky Tower (85 building).

No idea where is it, or what is it?

It is the tallest skyscraper having 85 floors in Kaohsiung, and was the tallest in Taiwan until the completion of Taipei 101.


Yes, this beautiful building!

There’s just too many minsu for you to choose from. You can go to this website to check it out. 

I picked Sky 85 , Aquarius room.. because, it’s the cheapest 4-pax room and I love the color. And.. Bobby is an Aquarius too.

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It’s quite spacious, the biggest room I stayed throughout my trip in Taiwan, no internet for this room, and also no view (which.. we wouldn’t be needing as our schedule is quite tight) and the price is going to blow you away!

水瓶座4人房

Sunday to Monday - NT1,480 (Approx BND 65.00)
Friday or Public holiday eve - NT1,780 (BND 80.00)
Saturday or Continuous Holiday – NT 2,080 (BND 91.00)
Additional one pax (max. 2 pax) – NT 350.00 (BND 16)

Now, this….

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is the Digital Tour Buddy I was talking about earlier.

You gotta salute the tourism board of Taiwan for putting so much effort in boosting up the industry. It’s basically a set of mobile phones with manual, battery, charger and sim card of course, with several helpful numbers keyed in as speed dials.

The Digital Tour Buddy offers 24-hour service hotline to help young foreigners obtain all the travel and services information they may need. Moreover, it has in-built dictionary function of English-Chinese translation for youth backpackers enable to communicate without language problems. If the youth travelers puzzle in where to stay or how to approach a local attraction, the English booking system of the youth hostel and the taxies has set up the one-key dials in the Digital Tour Buddy to solve a lot of the problems that overseas visitors might face. The first 2006 early birds who apply for this system will receive approx. up to 20 minutes free talk.

Source from here.

 

Yes! Free credit inside! NT100 okay! You just need to buy recharge card if you’re out of credit to call or sms. But, if you have extra, they won’t refund it. It’s really convenient as, whatever questions or doubts you have, just give them a call. They will provide you the answers or information at any hour.

Once I called to ask if I can take the ferry nearer to our place to Qijin instead of travelling 2 stations away at about 11pm. They couldn’t answer me because the pier was already closed and so they took my number and promised to call back the next day. And they did! Talk about efficiency!

Anyway, back to the post.

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At one of the exit at Kai Syuang station.

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Dogs are just everywhere in Taiwan.. whereas cats.. not so much.
Don’t worry, they don’t look like strays dogs you see in Brunei, they don’t bark and bite… Just mind your own business and they’ll do their part I guess.

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Took the shuttle bus to Dream Mall!

Woohooooooo!!!

夢時代購物中心

It is the largest shopping mall in Taiwan and largest in East Asia too! It’s 6.5 times bigger than Hanshin Arena, with 4,500 car parking spaces and 2,500 for motorcycles. The ferris wheel in the RF is the only one that can overlook the city and also the sea. It was also chosen as one of the best shopping mall by Forbes Traveler in year 2007 don’t play play.

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And, the reasons I went there were…
1) Doraemon store
2) Sanrio Ferris Wheel

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Celebrating Doraemon’s 40th anniversary, there was a Doraemon exhibition too! How lucky was I?

             

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The Sanrio Ferrish Wheel

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Hello guys~

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Inside one of the cart. The one we sat of course.

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It was not an easy task for Bobby as… you know.. he’s afraid of heights. Imagine, we were already in the 10th floor, and at the highest point on the ferris wheel… raining and wind blowing outside… Sounds fun?

My mom is also afraid of heights hence she just sat at one of the stalls sipping her orange juice waiting for us.

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My stiff boyfriend who wouldn’t dare to move a muscle.
Yes, he remained this posture for the whole ride! He couldn’t even lift his hand up okay!

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Up up and away~~~~

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I was enjoying the ride, having the thought of shaking, jumping and moving around in the cart to scare Bobby. But, I didn’t lah. He would really “flip-face” if I did that lor. Just like how I will if Bobby throws me a rubber snake!

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The camera. When the ferris wheel rotate to 3/4 of a full circle, get ready for picture!

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Here’s ours.

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Waiting for our pictures. Nah, now can smile and (Y) already lah!

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Another pic of the ferris wheel. This is.. the biggest I’ve ever sat on lor.
I’d only sat on those mini one in Ghurka fun fair and the last time I went for the ride was when I was.. what… 11 years old?

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Arcade, with really cool games.

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Now, hunt for the Doraemon store!

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I WANT THIS!!!!!!!!

But cannot lah, later the custom officers throw it away.. I mah throw my $200 to the sea?

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Doraemon mobile phones! Super tiny can!

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They have different names from what we know.

Like.. Giant 技安 is 胖虎!Then 静宜 is 静香.
>.<

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Bobby loves this pose. Whenever got chance, he sure posed like this one.
It’s called.. “SMELL MY FINGER!”

Haih, that’s my boyfriend for you.

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Took MRT to another station for NIGHT MARKET~!

I was having really really high expectations lor. Since the tv always show till… like super delicious like that.

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One of the famous night markets in Taiwan, Liou He Night Market.

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It’s not that busy as.. it was a Tuesday night.

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First bought.

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Salt and Pepper King Oyster Mushrooms.

Piping hot and crunchy, albeit salty.

When you ordered your food, they will fry or grill the food again to make sure you get your food hot. But, I’m not sure if it’s healthy like that lah.

My mom is a vegetarian.. so, we tried to search for vegetarian food so that she could try too.

 

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Next, sweet potato balls!

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This one really skill okay! I don’t know how the auntie fried it sampai it can be really hollow inside!

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See?! No kidding! It was pretty good too.

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Next, 土魠魚羹! Fried Spanish-Mackerel Thick Soup.

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Love the deep fried fish meat but, the soup was a little sweet for my taste.
And.. actually, Taiwan food are all slightly sweeter lor.

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Nah, spoil your appetite a bit, scare later you hungry go find food to eat and then blame me say I make you fat.

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Braised food.

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胡椒饼, Black Pepper Pie?

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Autographed by Mr. Ma Ying-Jeou, the current president of Taiwan!

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But err.. tasted mediocre only.  Didn’t try the famous one in Rao He night market because the queue was super long and we sort of fed-up with night market food liao.

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48 challenged me to try the stinky tofu.

And I did.

Well, it was really smelly but once you popped into your mouth, it just tasted like normal deep fried tofu.

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Cabbage overload stinky tofu.

In Taiwan, almost every meal we had have cabbage in it!

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爱玉冰, Ai yu jelly or.. the other name I found was vegetarian jelly???

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This is ai yu bing, which.. you can’t really see the ai yu.

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Plenty of umbrellas sold everywhere. Cheapest one you can get is NT100 (about BND 4.50). Some are much more expensive lah, UV rays - proof lah, typhoon-proof lah! Really makai also have.

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Okay, the purpose of this photo is to show you how long the legs of the girl in the center of the photo are!

She is super tall, wearing high heel lagi. I think my chest and her legs are at the same level lor.

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Vegetarian stall for my mom~

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Bitter gourd soup, refreshing and not bitter at all.
I sapu-ed most of it.

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炸酱面

Er… Seria kolomee tastes way nicer.

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It started to drizzle and this boss then took a long pole and connected it to some part of the roof and started to turn it. The roof can be extended! Sat-sat-beh-chio okay!

The boss let out a bitter smile and sighed, 看天吃饭。

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Glittery bikini for your dog?

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Next, sotong balls!

Damn many flavors okay! We picked the original one.

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This is good.

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Next, stone-wrap-pie?

It is one famous snack endorsed by a lot of famous people in Taiwan. So, cannot kalah, we bought one too.

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The sign says, “Only got gun, no knife. Cannot help you cut”

I love Taiwan humour.

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It’s called “stone wrapped pie” because the pastry was cooked on top of piping hot stones. It’s a bit.. like… martabak lor.

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Last stall before we go.

Did you see that square-ish watermelon, and also the heart shaped one?

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Another famous stalls endorsed by lots of famous stars in Taiwan.

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The infamous.. PAPAYA MILK!

I’m not a fan of papaya but this is the bomb! I think it’s their papayas. I don’t know why.. Brunei’s papayas normally have this… “pee” smell, especially when you know the owners used their own “fertilizers” on it. Taiwan one don’t have okay. Safe to drink. (Yes, that’s why I avoid papaya at all cost, especially those home-grown one!!!!)

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Last pic, hehehhheee. BAI REN YA GAO!!!
hahahahhaaaa

Darlie is “black men’s toothpaste” in Chinese, and this one is White men’s toothpaste. HAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Okay, that’s it.

Stay tune for Day 2                        

7 comments:

Thanis said...

Should had tried to smuggle the Doraemon Tiles back!! They look awesome!!

Ya - I tried those Black pepper pies ... agree with u .. not so nice

Nonnie King said...

Thanis, you smuggle then I buy from you lah! Hahhaa, pay you commission too.

Surprisingly, my fav meal in Taiwan is actually pasta and japanese food lor. As for the "local delicacies", only 50/50

Anonymous said...

Agree with you Nonnie...I went there two years ago...the food in Taiwan is actually nice...but 就是不合我们汶莱人的口味lo...I only love their fruits and 牛肉干 hehe

Nonnie King said...

真的是不合我们的口味咯!

没有 "锅气“ , 偏甜, 什么都加高丽菜。

我去几天就sibeh想念文莱的kolomee, 炒粿条了!

Thanis said...

Nonnie -- they have pretty good western food there in Taiwan .. but local delicacies you must go to the right stalls ... it's just like kolomee and nasi lemak in brunei .. where is the nice one?

I was lucky cos I got a taiwan friend to filter the food stalls for me` hee hee~ so most of the food i tried pretty good~

Nonnie King said...

Western and Japanese food yes, but local delicacies.... no comment. I have a friend who stays there for almost 2 months share the same feeling with me.

Well, having a local friend to bring around and filter out is of course different from a tourist pigging out blindly.

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