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Jessica

Travel

Tiring Yet Enjoyable Day One In Taiwan

Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a modern metropolis with Japanese colonial lanes, busy shopping streets, and contemporary buildings. The skyline crowned by the 509m-tall, bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 skyscraper.

Taiwan was never in my bucket list of places to visit only when I saw pictures shared by my friends online; it made me think twice, and why not visit it? Filipinos are granted a free visa until next year, and that is an excellent opportunity to visit Taiwan.

There are many things to love about Taipei, like its night markets and many museums. But beyond its attractions, what makes Taipei so alluring for me, is the city itself. With conveniences like a cheap but incredibly efficient metro system and its overabundance of well-maintained public parks, it’s a city that puts its people first.

We had a late-night flight via Air Asia, which is around 11:15 PM. The travel time will be approximately one and a half hours.
When we arrived at Taoyuan Airport, it was not that cold or hot, but it gave us a welcoming vibe. Because it was around 2 AM when I arrived, MRT is closed, and the only way you can go to Taipei is either hire a taxi or wait for the bus, which comes every hour.

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At NAIA Airport waiting to board my flight

We took the bus going to Taipei Main Station. The bus was not jam-packed because it was so early. It was very convenient too as there is a lot of legroom for me. After half an hour, we reached Taipei Main Station. Our Airbnb was walking distance from the station. We weren’t able to check in early because checking in starts at 3 PM. The good thing though is, our Airbnb host gave us a place where we can leave our luggage and go for the whole day tour.

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Based on our itinerary that I made, which will soon post at the end of this article, we will be heading for Taichung. Taichung is an industrial city on the western side of central Taiwan. It’s a gateway for exploring the island’s mountainous interior.

We took the early local train to Taichung (which was a bad idea). We didn’t know that this train will stop at every station and it took us five hours to reach Houli Station.
In Houli Station, we decided to walk going to Houli Flower Farm (which was a wrong move again). But amidst the scorching sun, I was amazed by how peaceful and very rural this place is. There are rice fields along with the streets with a mountain view, which gave me a relaxed feeling.

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  • HOULI FARM 

After 20 minutes of walking, we reached Houli Farm. You can enjoy colorful beds of flowers and a picturesque. For the price of $150NTD, you get to enter into this attraction and enjoy their fields flooded with flowers of different kinds and colors.

Below are the best shots I did.

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Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Fuji Instax'
Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Fuji Instax'
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There is a barbeque restaurant area nearby where you can avail of unlimited bbq for NTD 350. This is actually a package where it also includes the entrance to this flower farm.

  • U Bike 

Right across the Taichung station are bicycles that can be rented to tour around the city.

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  • Miyahara Ice Cream

We rented a taxi going in this old eye hospital building which was renovated into a modern charming one. It is located in the Central District of Taichung, Taiwan. It is a store that sells cookies, chocolates, pastries, pineapple cakes and of course their best ice cream.

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  • Painted Animation Lane

If you’re a fan of anime. You can visit this lane nearby the street where a whole lot of anime characters in One Piece, Studio Ghibli’s, Slamdunk, etc are painted on the walls of this street. Below are some of our photos in character.

It was around evening when we decided to get back to Taichung station and head back to Taipei.

We finally check-in our Airbnb which is near the Taipei Main Station. Allan, who was our host was very accommodating. We did not expect to be our Airbnb this big, clean and spacious.

We only paid Php3000.00 for two nights stay.

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You can use this invite code and get Php2,200 off your first trip.

After resting for some hours. It is best to visit the night markets. We booked an uber going to Raohe Night Market.

  • Raohe St. Night Market

The Raohe Street Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Songshan District, Taipei, Taiwan.

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There are tons of food starting from stinky tofu, pork buns, Japanese matcha buns, sausages and a lot of street foods to dig in.

After having a good meal. We went back to our place at around 10:00 PM.

Our day one in Taiwan was jampacked. Starting from arriving early to the airport and directly going to Taichung. But we are still thankful for a safe trip. Tomorrow will be a big day to savor this country’s beauty.

Life Stories

I Quit Social Media for 30 Days – Here’s What Happened

This is a long due post.  Yeah. I’m too lazy to update my blog with certain reasons like busy at work, travelling or sleeping during weekends.

I know it will be super hard for me because I’m always online based on my work. (Remotely) but I told my two office colleagues if I failed this challenge I would treat them out for free in a buffet restaurant. (The expensive buffet restaurant in Manila).

Life Stories

Everything was in darkness until I ran to the beach and saw the light

There was a man standing beside my bed telling me to get up. I woke up to the noises as usual, but instead of finding nothing there, I saw a terribly gruesome figure. It seemed like it had been human at some point. I can only see the built of his body and how it is in good shape. I peak through my blanket to see his face but a whole bolt of fear covered me up when I saw only a shadow of a man dragging me to get up. My sweat dripped down my forehead and my heart was thumping hard at my chest. I was always afraid of the dark and I still am.

Life Stories

An Open Letter To A Guy Who Was My Favorite Person

I remember the day I saw you for the first time. You were a kid being interviewed by BBC with those cute kiddo teeth and laughs. I admired you. And after that, never in my life that I can imagine that our paths will cross. You were actually the one who was my partner in a kid game online – Pet Forest. From the moment I saw you on call, I exclaimed! “You are the kid from BBC’

And that is how our story started.

Our dream of seeing each other came true and we are both the happiest on that day.

Travel

How Motorbike Tour Change My Way of Traveling

Many of us have that deep desire to travel. Once the travel bug gets to you, your wanderlust drafts a huge bucket list of new places to explore. Last weekend, was the craziest and fun adventures I had.

Baguio City has always been my comfort zone whenever I feel down, stress or needed time to relax.

Last weekend was such a memorable and fun one because I roamed around Baguio using a motorbike. It was always in my bucket list to bike tour around this place but I never had a chance because I’m afraid to drive along steep slopes.

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This majestic view amazes me. 🙂

I am supposed to travel with a friend on Friday night but I am caught up with work plus I need to meet people on Saturday afternoon. It was a long ride for me going to Baguio. I ended up reaching the hotel at 2:30 in the morning.

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Me, ready to sleep. Zzzz

My friend and I woke up around eight to have our buffet breakfast before touring around Baguio using motorbike! Ah! excited! Thank you Holiday Inn Baguio for having us.

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This isn’t my plate. LOL

I eat rice and heavy meals during breakfast so my plating was not that good to share.

After breakfast, we head to this place called Autobarts where we will rent the motorcycle. We rented it for only Php500.00 (9.5USD) for 24 hours. We toured around and indulge ourselves in every scene we passed.

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Peace out y’all!

Stunning views that kicked out my stress and made me realized how this world we live in is such a beauty.

One particular memory I will never forget about Baguio is, we had an encounter with a policeman because we were about to violate rules. I don’t want to expand this story but, Dear God, we were so nervous and afraid at that moment. After I calmly talked to the police officer and made things in proper, I felt so relieved. We hurriedly drive fast and laughed about this funny experience.

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Agfacolor 40's Aged'

This Lion’s Head is the reason we got caught. LOL. I do not recommend using Google maps when you tour around Baguio – giving you unwanted directions. It is better to ask the locals.

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We meet new people every single day but not every one of them creates memories with you. I thanked this friend who’s with me and let me experience this kind of tour.

This experience gave me that uplifting feeling and includes this list:

  • Travelling by motorbike enables you to discover places which you most probably would have missed.
  • Deal with a lot of adventures along your way.
  • Meet the locals.
  • You own your time.
  • No itinerary and getting lost is the best thing that can happen.

I will add this weekend to my list of memorable ones.

Have you tried the motorbiking tour? What was your memorable experience?