Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 3 (09.09.2010) Part I – Taiwan, Sunrise affair in Alishan


This is going to be a mundane post if you are not into nature. Just like how a friend raised her brow when I said I’ll be going to Alishan and told me her friend told her it’s a boring place. 

Boring? I don’t understand. Maybe to some people, shopping and eating is more interesting and important. For me, when I plan a trip, it’s going to be all about sight-seeing. I’ll just settle for any food nearby and as for shopping, one day will be enough. I’m pretty sure you’ll end up buying things on your way when sight-seeing anyway.

Just like, when I heard people actually plan all 5 days shopping in different malls, I… I…. speechless lah.

Oh well, pictures time.


Since the train leaved at 4.50am.. we woke up at 4.00am (earlier than morning call) and left at the minsu at 4.30am.

And did you see the girl in the bottom left of the above picture, wearing miniskirt!

Anyways, the photo was taken outside the Alishan Railway Station.


Chu Shan Line for the sunrise!

Lots of other tourists queuing up for the tickets.


The Alishan Railyway Station is also the largest wood made train station in Taiwan established in 2007 with an observatory in front of the train station, which.. you will see later in this post, after we returned from “sunrise”.

Bought some simple breakfast from the mobile stall outside the station.


Our return train ticket. NT150 (BND7)

Gorgeous platform

Inside the train

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Us, at 4.50am…

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Breakfast. Hot from wok french toast and my egg crepe.


Sunrise-watching is the thing to do in Alishan National Scenic Area 阿里山国家风景区! If you went there and skip that, it’s like.. ordering a plate of Penang fried kueh tiaw and then say no clams! Missing the whole point isn’t it?

Well, my mom didn’t join us because she rather stayed in the room and watched teley. Leaving us two having our private paktoh moments.

The crowd flocking up the observatory deck.

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The weather was bad when we’re up there. Felt a little disappointed but it’s okay. At least the view was something out of norm.

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You saw that uncle standing on the high stool? It’s actually on the edge of the windy mountain and he’s practically pulling a stunt, holding an umbrella, motivating the tourists not to give up because there’s still chance to catch the sunrise!

Sibeh lihai in talking!

各位旅客我们别灰心,别放弃!还有机会!现在时间还有xx分钟,如果来了一阵风把云吹走,那就拨云见日, (一连串4字成语!)


Stalls operating on Jhusan.

The only pic we had together for sunrise, with Xin Xin’s broken umbrella.

Time for a warm drink.

Yeap, when we bought our drinks from the penjaja, this “black bean drink” was actually hot! It was hard to hold so we waited till it was okay to hold with our hands then drink.

The drink was actually pretty nice. Something different.





Out of nowhere, suddenly, some vendors pushed carts out and said free drinks!

Sakura Honey drink.

Say is free lah. But, as you all can guess it, it’s a tactic. Once you took a cup, they will start telling you they’re having offers, promotions and etc.

(And.. I realized that they’re selling for an more expensive price compare to random vendors in Alishan. Probably because they only do “morning” business once a day)

But those Sakura Honey was really good too!

No sun rise for the day….



Feeling a bit bored, I have no idea who those organizers are, a lady whipped out a loudspeaker and started to encourage people to come forward and do a 真情告白!Love confession!

The man you saw in bright orange with the loudspeaker was the first to speak. And I still remember what he said.


Already super cold in the mountain top and then heard something like that, goosebumps!

And, I was really glad Bobby can’t speak fluent Mandarin and hence he definitely will not go up there and do the same. I will kill him if he does! Sia soi ah. Just like how I always think, if a guy propose in public.. it’s like.. half threatening the girl to say yes because it’ll be super awkward and guilty if the girl reject when everyone around is making noise and encouraging. That’s me lah, I think there’s other people who love that kind of attention I guess.

Bunch of weird Japanese ojisans 扎马步. Saw the blue umbrella? There’s this uncle, macam instructor like that hitting other’s knees to test if it’s a stable squad. The uncle in stripes does have a perky backside though.

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Us, taking a rest while waiting for the train to go down the mountain.


This guy is super funny. He was striking a Wong Fei-Hung pose for everyone to take picture but when I was there, he already strike another pose. We were in the train together and him and his friends was making a video interviewing each other. The conversations were really funny and I couldn’t stop eavesdropping!

This chalet is actually the public toilet.

Vendors selling souvenirs made of the cypress tree.                                     



Tree hugger

Sorry, the face super cannot make it.

In case you didn’t notice, I was trying to use Bobby’s glove and put up a peace sign.

Forest train, it was my first time taking a train too.

Looks so mythical

Hello boyfriend.

Freaking big mozzie!

Peeping out from the train

The obvious damage

Nonnie Poppins (the fail version, because umbrella rosak cannot fly)

[ l o v e ]

Seriously feel like a kangaroo when wearing that thick sweater. It has a big pocket on the chest and hence the…. chest defect.

Such a pretty train station

Outside Xin Xin. Just… forget the kissy lips will you?

Went back to our minsu and brought my mom to have breakfast with us.

Breakfast voucher

Simple breakfast – probably the most unforgettable one.

Onion pancakes and fried egg (with black pepper overdose)

And.. the restaurant served fresh ground coffee (is that how you say it?) which my mom and Bobby loves! My mom had 2 cups of it and Bobby on the other side kept asking me to take a sip. I did, just a small tiny sip, and shuddered.

My mom saw me making faces and said to Bobby, “How can she not like coffee right? Wait.. maybe some day she’ll like it.”

I was like… “I won’t okay”

My mom said it’s still too early to say because she’s only addicted to coffee when she’s 30. Bobby started drinking coffee when he started working.

I’ve started working since 21 and coming 27, I still dislike coffee! The end.

Unless… it has thick caramel in it.

Coffee makes me pening.


Anyways, after breakfast, we went to the temple-looking post office and sent wooden postcard to each other.

Because, it’s 09 September. And it’s minguo (Republic of China calendar) 99!
There, 9999! So, to commemorate, we decided to write how we felt and posted it.

The wooden postcard had arrived last week!


Now, you saw the uncle in the above photo?

He’s a stamp/postcard lover I think. Can you see how many postcards was he trying to stamp???? He brought one suitcase of postcards okay! He told me he has 8888 too. You know, 8th August minguo 88.

Well, the idea of posting each other postcards came from him actually.

Bobby still scribbling on his, I was done with mine and trying to call his family to ask for his postcode. What the falala right, this fellow doesn’t even know his address.

We gave up trying (calling – no one picks up) and wanted to go to the national park. Just when we stood up, the uncle (stamp lover) asked why were we not posting (in Hokkien).

Since Bobby is a Hokkien, and he did understand what the uncle was saying, he made an attempt to answer the uncle, in Hokkien too. Major fail.

He answered,

“Oh, wa lang boh hee leh address, kah tang baru teng lai kee”
(Oh, we don’t have the address, later we’ll come back to post)

The uncle looked at us blankly! Then, Bobby turned and asked me, “Err.. what is address is Hokkien?”

super fail dot com.

I then had to answer the uncle in proper Mandarin.

Well.. he repeatedly fail when trying to converse in Hokkien to Taiwanese throughout the whole trip.


Just like, when I asked him what is police in Hokkien, he will answer me “mata”, help.. he said “tolong”. Bruneian’s Hokkien all campur with English and Malay one!

The wooden postcard. Very cool.

Then, it’s time to walk around the Alishan National Scenic Area.


Feels like in 仙境 okay! Above the clouds, training my 玉女心经。Hahahhahahaa

This dog, seriously… I think is the mountain guardian or what.

It leaded us, and waited when we’re far away trying to catch up, peed at milestones, then when we’re near, it started walking again. Really like guiding us like that you know. For almost an hour of the route! Walked, wait, pee then walk again.


Half of the road reserved for pedestrians.

We’re very intimidated by this pair of kong-kong and po-po. They walked and climbed stairs faster than us while I was huffing and puffing cursing the stairs. My mom kept saying I kalah those 60+ years old people.

No, didn’t climb up this stairway.

Very the got feel lah right? Pre-wedding shoot is going to look really fantastic here but I’m so not going for that because have to take 2hr plus car ride up the mountain, then walk super far in the scenic area. I will sure be the angry-looking bride like that.

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It was drizzling so Bobby and I had to wear rain coats looking like used condoms. While my mom stylo-mylo in my windbreaker.



Signs at every junctions! With distance stated too.


Sister ponds (The elder one)

Just look at the reflection!

The story behind,

Two aboriginal sisters falling in love with one special man but neither of them wanted to break their own sister's heart. So they each jumped into one of the lakes to end the story. People were deeply touched and called these two lakes Sister Ponds.

Sad and eerie story behind. After reading, I don't want to stay there any longer because scare got "water ghost". I didn't take picture of the younger sister pond because.. that one looks like a puddle nia.

Three Brothers! 3 trees growing out from a fallen tree bark!

I love how those trees are named! You’ll see more later.



Then, you have Four Sisters!

The cypress tree was chopped off, then.. 4 seeds landed and started growing on top of it. Amazing isn’t it?

Next, tell me what do you see? See if you have imaginations or, you’re just a boring person


Hahhaaa. So cute kan?

This one, I don’t get.

This is the highlight of the walking trip!

Grown from two cypress tree~ Romantic kan? It really makes me wonder how this two trees ended up as one. What made their branches bent and connect?

Photo opportunity, just sayang that we’re wearing rain coats like that. 

Walked walked walked.. then… suddenly got temple and school!

Do you know what plant is this?

The primary school, with bunch of vibrant students practicing aboriginal dance. The number of students decreases each year and.. they may close down the school one day. Just like how the secondary school was closed down few years ago (and now looking really haunted – We passed by it but didn’t take any pictures).



Taiwanese love to build temples!

Advance eh! Use gas one okay! Not like here in S.E.Asia, still using red candles.. payah-payah kan light up the josticks.

All about details.

This girl is really cute and bubbly!

She and her mom operated this small stalls near to the temple and we all chatted for a bit. Her mom actually thought that Bobby is my mom’s son! What the.. I don’t look like my mom’s daughter now meh? >.< !!!


Bought 2 sausages from her.


And that greenish paste is fresh wasabi! Yes, freshly grinded by the girl because she wanted to let us try. Taiwanese are all 热情 like that~

Whereas her mom cooked a bowl of vegetarian 卤味 for my mom.

This is how wasabi looks like!

She also let us tried some tea and feng-yuan.

If you want to know what she’s selling… go to

She told me she has customers from Malaysia ordering those sakura honey once they finished theirs.

For this tree, we ended up walking more stairs and steps for more than 30 minutes! Menyesal brabis!

Still, it’s very refreshing to walk in cool temperature surrounded by forest and streams.


Macam in orang putih's country right?

Then... we realized we had to walk back to the area (where the temple and the sausage stalls are) and I cursed all the way back. And Xin Xin’s ladyboss told me that we had to leave if we’re going to Taipei next because got 管制。 One of the road (damaged by 8-8 flood) under repair will be closed because it’s right at the edge of the mountain and cars can’t pass through. Yup, the road is closed for 3 hours a day.

So, we hurried our way back… and Xin Xin’s lady boss sent us a driver to pick us up at the nearest landmark, packed our luggage and off we go.

It was a real bumpy ride!

Probably because instead of sitting in the comfortable camry, our transport became a van and the driver drove recklessly!

Bobby and I both puked (the sausage we ate, and that’s why we don’t dare to try anymore sausage in Taiwan already) and had to cancel a lot of our plan!

Sad isn’t it?

Stupid driver! He even tear-off my mom’s luggage because he majal pulled it out from the van. Wrote an email to Isaac and complained about him already. Lucky it only cost NT100 to have it sew back.

Stopped by Feng Qi Hu.

A super small town (like Seria .. or smaller) famous for their train lunchbox.

It is so small that… it only took us 30 minutes to tour around and tapao-ed lunch. Well, we all felt unwell that time already so didn’t want to stay too long. The driver super talkative, complained about the government through out the trip till no one bother to layan him.

You know, I’m really afraid of talkative drivers, hair stylists and beauticians! It really makes me don’t want to want to visit them one. Maybe they’re just trying to be friendly but really, just get the job done and thank you very much.

The train garage.






This is one special flower! It has two color tones!


Walked across for some unique square bamboos.



Tapao-ed lunchbox here.

Apparently, this is not the famous one that I read from forums and blogs. But the driver recommended this and I saw other locals tapao-ed there too. Plus, we really don’t have the appetite to eat at that time so couldn’t care less where we eat.

Ordered chicken leg bento (NT120) – about BND5

Cute little tag to collect the lunchbox later.

The street in Feng Qi Hu.

Old ice cream.

They sell both sweet and salty flavors. NT20 each. BND0.85
For flavor that’s sweet, there’s dark sugar, red bean, yam, peanut and pineapple.
For salty one, there’s egg york, almond, 8-bao and the last one.. is like somboi/little limau/kasturi。

Feeling a little adventurous, I chose Egg york.
It’s really something out of the blue. Those yellow pieces you saw are.. what I think is the york of telur masin. It’s actually not bad.. I can’t really describe how it tasted like but imagine.. susu manis + salted egg york.

Bobby hated it though.

The stupid driver. Oh well, he stopped by a couple of 槟榔摊 and I had the chance to see those 槟榔西施!

槟榔西施 = Betel nut beauty. The term Betel nut beauty (also betel nut girl - 檳榔西施, pinyin: bīnláng xīshī) refers to a common sight along roadsides in Taiwan: a young woman selling betel nuts and cigarettes from a brightly lit glass enclosure while wearing revealing clothing.

Yup, to keep those drivers awake kali.

Isaac told me the southern part betel nut beauty wears lesser cloth that’s mostly *cough* transparent, then the northern one are usually towards more “kawaii” version. Those in the middle part… are… mostly… aunties!

Yeap, those I saw in Chiayi.. were… super… cannot see one. When the driver pull aside asking directions from the betel but beauty, I nudged Bobby and asked him to check out the infamous occupation. He looked at me with a confused look and said.. “That one auntie leh!”.

I guess, he’s just disappointed. HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAH!

Finally, arrived the Chiayi HSR station to catch the 15:09 train. That’s when the stupid driver broke my mom’s luggage.

I just knew the term “Kiss and Ride” that day.

There, how tickets can be purchased.

Platform for car 8

Nah, this is the high speed train that we'd been using quite a lot. It’s really fast, though much pricier compare to railway train.

The whole chicken leg lunchbox I bought from Feng Qi Hu. Bobby still didn’t have the appetite so I sapu-ed all the chicken! It was really good!

Taiwan’s version of Mamee.

Apparently, 统一 is like this big food manufacturing empire in Taiwan. Including my favorite pop mee!


Now, you saw the man in the picture? Okay la.. only hair and his pink color shirt.

Then, you saw our luggage in front of our seats?

Here’s the story.

When we finally made it into the train, the area to put luggage was already all occupied so we had no choice and lugged with us. Then when we found our seat, this bastard sitting in front of Bobby inclined the chair to the lowest!

What the heck!

Bobby couldn’t even fit in to the seat.

So he said, “Excuse me”.. and that bastard showed no reaction at all. Bobby said “Excuse me” again.. still no reaction. I… dulan… and talked really loudly..


Yeap, loud enough for everyone near to us to hear it. I purposely did that to embarrass him. But still, as you can see in the picture, he moved his chair up a little only. Well, I had my fair share of cursing him too.

And when I told 48 about it, she told me people here (Taiwanese) don’t response to “Excuse me” one.. They no faham apa itu. Still.. I think it’s really selfish for that guy to do that.

You don’t mess with me when I’m in oversea. I very berani to fight back one. (Case “Cheh.. no one knows me here. Don’t care lah”)


One and a half hour later.. we finally arrived Taipei. Saw the super busy Taipei Main Station. Checked-in the room and met my best friend.

(Our room in Taipei, my beloved 48 and my TV-addict mom holding the controller)

Taipei post in part II. Stay tune.


Related Post:

Day 2 : Up up and away to Alishan
Day 1 : Kao Hsiung
How much to travel to Taiwan?