Monday, July 8, 2013

Travelogue: Taiwan Trip on 27 December 2012 to 1 January 2013 - Day Two, Second Day.

This is the second post to the total 5 post that I would be posting for my 2012 Taiwan Trip, so if you haven't read the first post, the link is here!

For your easy reference, below is my itinerary for day 2 of my trip.

Our day started pretty early cause we have a long day for day 2. Every morning is a battle for myself cause getting out of bed it's my biggest obstacle. *yawns*

Woke up and went for breakfast at Wego Hotel 薇閣精品旅館 restaurant. Lift door opens and here's the bears greeting you good morning!

To be honest, this is one of the best spread of buffet breakfast compared to the next few hotels that we are about to stay in. 

Peanut butter slice is definitely mine, with some french toast and egg (no scramble eggs, booooo) and some salads my mom forced me to share with her. 

Here's how the restaurant looks like. Spacious and nicely designed seating arrangements. Superb hotel. I would love to go back again.

Right after breakfast, we checked out of Wego hotel and all our luggage traveled together with us to the next hotel in the bus.

Our first stop is Xing Sheng Train Station  勝興車站, which our big bus couldn't make its way up so we had no choice but to walk up. The lady in blue is our friend from Taiwan! She's really sweet and pretty, Pei Chen! :) The one is red is our official tour guide, Xiao Wei.

One thing we learnt from the tour guide is that when you take big tour buses, the one disadvantage is that alot of mountain areas and small roads big buses can't pass and often some tourist attractions would have small roads. The previous time we had 2 mini vans that can occupy 6-8 pax and it was honestly alot better because we could go alot of places including those up the mountains. When we took the big bus, some hotels were deep in the little alley we had no choice but to drag our luggage in cause the big bus just can't turn in. So I would recommend you look for mini vans and they have official tour guides too. If you ever need any recommendation, drop me a note, I can introduce you 2 trusted mini van services that we personally engaged for our trip in 2011 and had a wonderful experience with them. As for the price and packages it can be customized and discussed again should you be interested. :)

It was slightly drizzling again so we had to wear poncho. I was wearing uniqlo's waterproof jacket so the drizzling was acceptable. (These are all my cousins btw.) It was quite along walk up though.

Steep road!

Here's Pei Chen! :)

TQ with a awkward expression. 

Along the way up there were several road side stalls too.

This is the place I went crazy because it's all cats cats and more cats! (and owls too!)

Later on there was a downpour so I had no choice but to wear the poncho that our tourguide provided for us.

The best thing about Taiwan is they are very generous when it comes to food tasting. My god aunt says that if you think your food is not cooked well enough or if you don't like the taste, you can always return them and complain and without fail they would re-make one for you! (I haven't tried it before cause most of the time I'm very happy with the food served.)

And finally, we're here at Xing Sheng Train Station  勝興車站!

A little brief story about Xing Sheng Train Station  勝興車站..

Shengxing Station (勝興車站) was the highest station on the west coast railway. There is a monument marking 402 meters above sea level. This station was built in 1916, and it is more than 90 years old. The whole structure is made by wood and none of girders and pillars are supported by an iron nail.
Due to the steep railway and powerless train engine, the train needed two locomotives front and back to pull and push the train climbing up in the old time.

The tunnel near Shengxing Station was built in 1905. The length is 726 meters and now is accessible as no train passing. [Cited by here]

Opening Hours:
09:00~21:00 (business days)
09:00~23:00 (holidays)

Entrance Fee:
Free of entrance, but parking fee is NTD50 per day.

You can read more about them here and the above was contributed by click here.

None of the above information is provided by me. Purely researched information.

Taiwan loves dogs!! And so do I! Hahahhahahhaa.

And after walking walking and more walking, our lunch was settled at their local restaurant to try their local cuisine. 

We took the time to take group photos! Let me introduce you to them. (If you're not interested, just scroll past this.)

Top: Pei Lin (Cousin), Bottom: Me and Pei Chen (Taiwan friend)

Left: Pei Lin, Aunt, Uncle Lim wife & him. (They've been working in our family business even before I was born, that's all long it is!)

Left: Yongbin (Cousin), 2nd Aunt & 2nd Uncle, TQ. (As I always say, his my half-a-cousin cause it's complicated)

Left: Mom, Me, Pei Chen & Brother.

Left: Xiao Huang, Ken, and I don't know his name. But both Ken and him have been with us since I was young too. Really experienced workers!

Well, before this he actually did knock onto it. Lol.

Left: Terry (made a new friend through this trip and he is a SNSD hardcore fan!), Terry's parents and the workers mentioned earlier.

Alright, enough of all the faces and introduction, here's the dishes!

This is bamboo shoots and no, I don't like. Lol!

I don't really eat this too, cause it's fatty meat but my relatives loved it.

I don't know what is this but looks tofu to me.

And it was just too many dishes for us to finish.

And finally, a proper group photo (but missing my 3rd uncle and Jingyi because they came a day later due to a passport mishap incident)

We spent a couple of hours there at 勝興車站 (Xing Sheng Train Station). Mostly was taking photos, enjoying the walk up the hill, enjoying the scenery and some light shopping by the road side stall. Apart from the heavy downpour, everything was good. 

I didn't really enjoy the local cuisine lunch though some dishes were not bad, but most didn't suit my liking. 

As I mentioned, big buses couldn't get through to the station, we had to walk back down from where we came up from to board the bus to head off to the next destination. 

Before heading over to the next place, we dropped by 孔明纪念馆 (Confusion Memorial) which was on the way to 又見一炊煙. They had a store inside that sells really good 太阳饼,凤梨酥, 奶油酥 and more goodies. I bought a couple of boxes from here and instead it's really good. They have different flavors like brown sugar, melon and original for their 太阳饼. There was a memorial hall inside but we didn't go in. Anyway, no photography was allowed inside. 

I can't seem to find the address for this place though. :(

The is the main entrance with the name of the place. The store selling goodies is within this building.

After a short bus ride, we finally arrive at 又見一炊煙 for our high tea. Kids below 12 (I think) are not allowed in this quiet and beautiful cafe. Their menu is pretty limited, there's only 2 kind of dessert for you to choose. Either sweet, or savory and a range of tea for you to choose. It's really relaxed and beautiful. Though we went in the "winter" season, the sun was shining so bright that it was the only place we could feel the heat from the sun.

They are located at 台中縣新社鄉中興村中興嶺363-35號 Taichung, Taiwan 426 and I managed to find their website here. I am not too sure about the prices of the food because it was part of our paid tour, but I'm pretty sure it's not that cheap comparing to your normal cafes. It's pretty inaccessible cause I don't see any public transport around and it was located up hill. So enough of information, here's tons of photos for you to see!

So that's me at the entrance of the cafe.

And that's my mom. Hahahahhaha.

Some stairs up before we reach the cafe itself.

No shoes are allowed in the entire cafe! So you gotta remove them before you enter.

It's really big and it's 2 stories high.

The staircase up to level 2.

And we chose that corner at the very end nearest to the windows.

Everyone would come with a drink and a dessert of your choice. It's like a set. So this is my rose tea. Superbly awesome.

I can't remember what's this but I found it really cute with that leafy sprout sticking out of the cup. It's actually connected to the tea bag. The white squarish small dish is for you to place your tea bag, and the tea bag is triangular. 

This is the awesome nice savory dessert. I can't recall exactly what was inside, but I totally loved it. You could share with your friend because they will cut for you into 1/2 by default. So you get to try both the savory and the sweet.

So for the sweet one, if you ask me it's just too sweet for my liking. However it's still worth the try since it would probably be my only time there. 

The view from level 2 balcony to level 1.

Here's a picture of me and my mom! 

This is how the cafe looks like. Really romantic place to take some wedding pictures, or even just some artistic picture for your Facebook cover. Hahahahhahaa.

Ignore the face. 

So before we left, I took some shots of the surrounding.

We spent another couple or 2 hours there before heading off to 阿亮香菇园. I'm a big fan of mushrooms so of course I happily bagged at least 10 packets of dried mushroom snacks back! They are located at 台中市新社區協成村協中街131號 and you can read more about them at their website I found online here. (It's all in Chinese though, might want to google translate it if you can't understand.)

They grow their own mushrooms there too. So before you start grabbing your mushroom snacks home, take some time to listen to their mini guided tour around their farm. Their tour guide was a young and pretty lady. (and it's free, so why not learn more?) Basically, she will show you the various types of mushrooms and how long they take to grow, how they harvest and how they plant. Though you and I probably won't ever be planting/growing mushrooms but at least you'd know how to differentiate between good and bad mushrooms.

So here's all the mushrooms happily growing up to be eaten by us.

It's a warehouse style where they sell their mushrooms. The snacks were reallllllllllllllyyyyyyy nice. Definitely grabbing these snacks if I see them in departmental stores, or best if I get to go back again!

These were the mushrooms that was part of her explanation "tools".

Got this to try before heading off the farm. 

Our next location was 官原眼科 - 醉月樓. Nothing much about this place because it's more like wedding gifts like those 太阳饼,凤梨酥,奶油酥 again, just that it's more expensive, better and more sophisticated packaging. What you should be trying here is to queue up for the awesome ice cream! It's reallyyyyyyyy good. I have no idea how much it was because my cousins went to queue while I was buying Yakult from 7-11 hahahahahahaha.

You can see more of them at their website here.

That is how the entire building looks like from outside.

Love their yakult cause they come in huge ass sizes. 

Here's their awesome ice cream! The queue is pretty long, 

And I swear it's really good. Get one to share though!

(Next time I will take note of prices :x) Most of us only took a tour in the store and none of us got anything. It's more like a rest over stop that we can take a toilet break and grab some ice cream.

After finishing up our ice cream, it was finally time for us to settle down in our 2nd day hotel which was also our 2nd hotel. Our second hotel was 文王大饭店 Wen Won Hotel. I didn't take any photos of the room because... it's really small and nothing fanciful. I would say it's more like a roof over your head kind. We were on a tour so we didn't had the choice with the hotels. You can see more pictures of the hotels on their website here.

After we settled down the hotel rooms, unpacked a little and rested for awhile... It was time to get on our feet for the 2nd night market to explore tonight! We will walk over to the night market as it was just nearby.

Tonight, we'd be going 逢甲夜市 (Feng Jia Night Market). They are located at 台中市西屯區逢甲路跟福星路交叉口 (Taichung, Taiwan Wenhua Road, Fuxing Road, Feng Chia Road).  Most of the time the night markets are always the same. They sell alot alot alot of yummy snacks for you to choose and of course not forgetting their shopping too. Because I went during "winter" so there wasn't much for me to shop as it was all warm clothings. So most of the time we just attacked the snacks. We will get 1 bowl to share so that we don't get full too soon and we get to try more stuff!

While on the way there....

This, is really awesome. You can find it in any 7-11 there, you MUST try it!

Our first station for the night! 

While waiting patiently for our food...

We witnessed a motorcycle accident. What happened was this lady's bike suddenly skid and hit the motorcyclist infront of her. My mind was blank when I saw the accident. I thought that probably they would have a heated argument and then they will start to discuss about who to pay what and etc. (That's probably what you would see on the roads here base on my personal car accident) But guess what? That wasn't what happened. Maybe I was just lucky to witness friendly motorist.

Other passerby motorist immediately stopped their bikes and went over to help the lady that had fallen on the ground and including the guy that got hit but the lady, went up to ask her if she was already and even helped to pick up the bike for her. The lady apologized and then both of them checked their bikes and that was it. Both went off after that. There wasn't any argument, I don't see any angry faces and other passerbys stopped to help. (Honestly, you think this would happen here?) I must say I'm impressed, but then again I might be just lucky to see it. It may not happen all the same all the time.

And finally it's here! I cannot recall what I ordered though. :( This is about SGD3.20.

I think this should be Italian or something. 

After our appetizer, we embraced the entire night market with food and more food!

Black sugar fresh milk! *major love*

Crowded streets!

My brother is the one with the head covering the signage board last word. Hahaha.

This was what my brother was queuing for.

My favourite rice cake in my favourite country! Looks super red but it's completely not spicy at all! Not to worry! This bowl for SGD2.60.

And for the first night we spent the entire time in the night market just eating, eating... and more eating. Didn't managed to get much because it was all warm clothes. :(


I'm in the midst of tidying up my third day post! Do keep a look out for it! :)


  1. Are you going to do a follow up article? Would love to know what happens next.

    kempston man with a van

    1. Hi Amela,

      You can continue here.