Monday, November 17, 2014

Day 1: 台北 - 西門紅樓, 西门町

6 July 2014

Clovine and Hubby's second trip on the plane to Taiwan! It was also their first trip to Taiwan and my 3rd trip there!


Did lots and lots of research browsing through itinerary after itinerary to typing out ours took me months! From checking the best tickets rates repeated to reading up reviews and deciding which hotel would be the best was kinda frustrating because I had to decide on my own with hubby giving a FEW decisions. Yes he was this helpful because he paying and I do all the shitty stuffs. Shows that there's no free lunch in this world huh.

Anyway this was supposed to be my surprised birthday trip in February but was changed to a yacht because Hubby was not able to take leave so it was postponed to July.
But well if he did planned trip I'm very sure there would be alot of problems with the itinerary because he sucks at research and planning trips. Lol.

-
It was a really exhausting day for me because I barely slept an hour because I had to rushed back from the airport right after touching down from Bangkok and reach home at like 2am. It was totally crazy of me to book the flight to Taiwan at 7am which we had to set off for the airport at 4.30am!!! Hahaha VERY crazy but worth it!

My parents drove us to the airport and they also had to head back to the airport that night to catch their flight to China. Their chance to fly since Clovine will be with us and so they're free lol.


Playground for Clovine at 6am Changi Airport is really the best airport. So child friendly and you'll never get bored while waiting for boarding.


 Purposely got this Trunki suitcase for Clovine just to put all the snacks and barangs barangs to bring up the plane as Hand-Carry luggage!
It was totally fun to pull it around, with Clovine sitting on it but when we did too much shopping and had too many hand-carrys plus the lazy Clovine that only wants Hubby to carry, Trunki is just an extra baggage which I refuse to admit when Hubby kept complaning. Lol.

 Bought the Samsung Kids tab for Clovine months ago believing that its gonna be great since its a kids tab with a cute case and handle. 
In the end I totally regret buying it and sold it because it wasn't even better than her Ipad, too complicating.
Talk about buying on impulse -.-

Taking out all her barangs which I kept in her Trunki!

 Shortly after the take off, she can still watch cartoons and take her nap but right after she woke up from her nap, she started to get all panicky because of the turbulence just before landing.
Still lucky because she was asleep most of the time on the flight.

Super love window seats! Thank god Hubby will never fight with me for it because he's scared of heights! Hahaha.
Ok at least I will still have chances to take window seats before Clovine starts fighting with me for it.

Bird's eye view of Hongkong!

Transit in Hong kong is common when flying with Cathay Pacific.

It's also a great way to travel because the kids could get down and use up all their energy during transit and prepare for nap on the next flight! You'll also get to explore different airports which is what I love to do and Hongkong has a thumbs up airport too!

Ask him to smile for picture he gave me this! Annoying one. 

As Clovine was all freaked out because of the turbulence, transit also gave her time to calm down. Also she gets to see all the airplanes taking off and landing which also gives us a chance to explain to her flights are not scary at all!


It was a short flight which only lasted an hour plus.

While waiting to get our passports stamped, she gets to sit on her Trunki!


Haha fatty face so round :P

Oh well this is their "excited" face.
Pictures with the grumpy duos always ruins the supposed to be happy pictures grrrr.


So happy to be using our 29" American Tourister luggage for the first time!
Got it at a discount during Takashimaya's luggage fair!
Actually I'm more of looking forward to bringing this luggage for bangkok trips, confirm don't to worry about luggage space liao! Muahahaha~


Decided to get our money changed at Tao yuan Airport as many travellers says that the rates are much higher there.
Got our data card at the airport too for 7 days at NT500 before taking a bus to Taipei Main station. Taking a bus out to the city is definitely cheaper than taking the train and its about an hour ride.

Had a hard time looking for our hotel which is supposed to be walking distance from Taipei Main Station. So after asking around for directions we finally found it and the killer weather made it worst. Worst timing of the year to travel because its summer every where!


CityInn Hotel- Taipei Main Station Branch II


Entered the room and was greeted by pretty yellow flowers! Booked the Standard room for SGD $80 per night which was really cheap for a clean and cozy room! If you're looking to book a room in Taiwan, do book from the hotel's website because it's tax free and normally cheaper. 

There's a few CityInn hotel branches in Taiwan and I highly recommend staying with them as they have pretty good and friendly service staffs who are always ready to help. The hotel also has many interesting designs in different rooms. You'll also be able to use facilities like the laundry room and refreshments corner which are both complimentary!


Making our way to the train station to 西门町!


Travelling in Taipei with Mrt is very convenient, easy and always cheapest option. As long as you did your research and follow your itinerary, the chances of you getting lost is quite low. Another tip to save money is to get an Mrt card rather than buying single trips as it's cheaper.


西門紅樓

Purposely made a trip down to Xi men ding on the first day for the market because it's only opened on the weekends. This is where the artist would sell all their handmade stuffs. Lots of interesting things to see but the pricing for the items are quite ex. Not exactly a must visit place.




西门町

Since we're on a slow and relaxing trip, we decided to just walked around 西门町 instead of following my itinerary as its just a road across 西門紅樓 and we're just lazy. Lol.


Didn't really shop since we'll be staying here in the next few days. Decided to just grab some food back to the hotel and end our day early.


So happy that we found the Taiwan Hot Star Fried chicken which I used to eat a few times a week when I'm still working at Ion. This is definitely better than Singapore's one and super satisfying!


You can never say you've visited 西门町 if you've not had this! Have been looking forward to having Ah Zhong Mian Xian again after having it in my last visit 6 years ago! Mmmmm... finally satisfied my cravings!


* One last tip before ending this post!
For people planning to travel to Taiwan, do visit the Taiwan Visitor Association Singapore at Chevron house. This is a must go place to collect brochures containing useful informations and maps which will help you plan for your trip. Also remember to bring your flight or hotel's confirmation letter along to collect freebies for your trip! Freebies varies from travel adaptors to Mrt cards. As for me, I managed to get 3 MRT cards containing NT50 amount in it and I also get to keep the cards as souvenir!


Details 
Flight: Cathay Pacific
Return flights for Taipei and Hong Kong with transits @ $649.80/Adult and $541/Child
Hotel: CityInn Hotel, Taipei Main Station Branch II - Standard room @ $80/night