Saturday, March 9, 2013

Eat (Again): Taiwan

Hola dashing readers, guess who is back from the dead? No one. I'm quite sure I wasn't dead for the past months - just been lazy and traveling I guess. Well here I am back where I belong - writing about my super awesome life! (NOT) well it only is super awesome when I travel or when I do super awesome fun things. So again, I left for Taiwan last January 25 for another epic journey - and this one is super epic.

I left for lots of reasons: I had to see my friends again, see more of Taiwan and just to live my life and have fun with it. I really don't like wasting my time.

In Taipei, I really wanted to stay a place near Shida Night Market because I really liked it there. So I got a host in Guting (which is very near Shida). It was just around a 15 minute walk away and it was pretty cold for an island girl like me. I love the cold, it's very refreshing.


On my first day, I slept so late and woke up so early and walked around the neighborhood. I went to my favorite breakfast place where they sell the best and cheapest Dan Bing around the area. I chilled for quite a moment, enjoyed the cold and reflected my last travel here. It was very weird thinking 'Wow, I was just here 3 months ago'. The whole time I was in Taiwan - I felt a real freaking local. I knew where to go, I knew what to do and I knew how to handle things. And I liked it. 

I got a Whatsapp message from my good friend Tom, who I met last September, and asked me to have one last dinner with him before he leaves for the Netherlands. So we settled the time and place and after I roamed once more. 


Spacious MRT = truly adore the great infrastructure this country has to offer

While I was killing time, I decided to go to places I've never went before (of course) so I decided to visit the Confucius Temple in Zhongshan District


Shuanglian MRT Station








Hang your wishes here :-)








While I was in the Confucius temple, I felt like Jang Geum from Jewel in The Palace... Hahaha odd, I know right. 

After that, I headed to Zhongshan MRT to check an art gallery but was failed to do so cause I got lost. I forgot what happened next but I think I went home after that to take a rest and get ready for a long night ahead of me. 

I met up with Tom in XiMen, and one of his first reactions to me was "I forgot how short you were" this line I will never forget because it seemed so funny. It is damn funny. I laughed so hard. The whole dinner thing was funny, once I never stopped laughing. I've never laughed for so long. So he decided for us to eat in Modern Toilet restaurant - I've been there before but wasn't quite sure where it was. So we were kind of lost... so we decided to ask someone. We approached a guy first, we said. "Cesuo (toilet) restraurant, zai na li (where )? He smiled and gave us a puzzled look, and then refused to answer. Then we approached another girl and of course, Tom used his charms to get the girl's attention. We used the same question, and pointed us to Starbucks! Oh she must have thought that we wanted to use the toilet where can eat at the same time! Hahaha! But at the end, she figured out that we wanted to eat in a restaurant which it's theme was a bathroom. 

When we got in the restaurant, we were asked to wait for around 30 minutes so we headed out and grabbed for a drink. I got a banana milk (as usual) while he got beer. The banana milk was huge, it was impossible for me to finish it. We talked and laughed until we got a call from the restaurant that there is already an available table for us.  





Tom and his poop bread




Urinal thing - this where I drank my water from



What I love about Taiwanese restraurants/night market/etc. you pay cheap you still get a lot of food. 

After dinner we went to my host's place so I could ready for a night out in Luxy (one of the best clubs in Taiwan) and ran to the taxi and meet up with my lovely friend Sunny! 




That night was pretty a big blur for Sunny and I, it happens to most night clubs anyway... HAHA but I did have fun, yeah. 

The next day, I didn't do much. It was a Sunday and was still tired from the night before. Though, Sunny, Beny and I planned to go to another club called Babe 18. I got there around 10 and was welcomed by a long line. I lined up, met up with Beny and Sunny and got in for free! And look, this club is an all you can drink club. To sum it all up, I partied for free. FREE EVERYTHING. It was such a great night! I bumped into Tom and his friends, met some new people and danced the night away. 


Another night with a blur memory - I swear there is something with Taipei nightlife that is just freaking too fun. 

The next day - Sunny, Beny and I left for a day trip up north to Keelung! We met up with Chris, who was very nice enough to tour us around in his town.

We had hotpot for lunch - and oh my goodness it was so amazing. Everything was so yummy! 





After a scrumptious lunch, we headed to Yehliu Geopark to visit some ROCKS! 

















The famous "Cleopatra" rock, yes it is like the head of Cleopatra - there was a line to take a picture with it! 





Right after Yehlie Geopark, we headed back to Keelung main proper to visit the "most friendliest" night market in Taiwan!


I think one of the reasons why it's friendly is because it is organized, and there is a translation in English/Japanese/Korean (I think) of the kind of food they are serving. So there is no need to do some guessing on what you're about to put in your mouth! :-)



A typical Taiwanese dinner = spareribs rice topping with some pork soup on the side. Ugh = heaven!  










The day trip to Keelung was so much fun - we had so much laughs, random jokes, random experiences = it was just so damn crazy! 

The next day, Sunny and I left for Taichung City. The bus trip was about an hour and a half I think, it was a weekday so there was no traffic. 


We arrived an hour after noon in a very beautiful sunny day - Sunny and I looked crap. We didn't get to prepare ourselves during the bus trip since we were both so tired. What we did, we put on our make-up on the public washing area and everyone was just looking at us like we're some crazy girls trying to be pretty. HAHAHAHA it was worth it.



We waited for our two new friends Sean and Dadado to pick us up from the station with their awesome scooters. The last time I rode a scooter behind someone was in Vietnam, and oh boy I missed it so much.






We were toured around the university grounds and showed us their main office. And guess what, they offered to teach me how to ride a bicycle! (Yes, I don't know) It was a fun and nerve wrecking experience and I failed. HAHAHA



Right after that, they brought us to a special restaurant just right across their school which served really delicious duck rice with bamboo. Oh my goodness, it was mouthwatering. It was very delicious!




Then after, we went around the famous Feng Chia night market in Taichung








As I was posting photos on my Instagram, I receive a message from William that I should visit our friend Alah who owns and works in a restaurant nearby. So the four of us went to see but turns out... Alah had the day off :-( It was disappointing a bit so we just took more photos there instead. 


The "Volcano" pose with Dadado



Our lovely day with them was about to end and we have to go back to the train station to get our luggage and meet with our host... it was sad but for sure we will all see each other again.


We got picked up by Yvonne, our host for the night. She's a lovely woman with a beautiful home. I didn't get to take a picture of her home, but it was very dainty and floral. The place smelled good all the time! Hahaha Sunny and I chilled for the rest of night and had a great sleep, since the next day we will be traveling to another city. Thank you Yvonne!


And I will never forget this yummy snack she gave us


The next day, she brought us to the area where we can ride a bus back to Taichung train station, but before that Sunny and I were so hungry so we decided to grab some breakfast before we start our journey to Puli.




I got these huge dumplings while Sunny got Dan Bin and some kind of peanut soup.

When arrived in Puli, Sunny and I waited for our new host Ethan to fetch us in KFC just right next to the bus station.  


When he arrived, he welcomed us with a big smile on his face and he giggled a lot. He's a very positive guy. He drove us to his university to see the cherry blossom trees planted on their field.


This was on our way to the university, it was such a breathtaking view of the mountains. We also saw the snow mountain from a far! The mountain's peak was covered with snow... just imagine a chocolate sundae but bigger. HAH! 






According to Ethan, a wedding was held in these grounds. Our theory was, they met in this university and decided to back for their romantic wedding. 



Right after the visit to his university, we headed to the famous Sun Moon Lake!!!





First we headed to the Aborigine museum 




Then headed up to a mountain to have a greater view and to see a temple









A stairway filled with birthday wishes and each step is a day of your birthday. Good luck to me and Sunny, our birthday is on February and the very first step starts with December!!! HAHAHA long way to go.


After the visit to the temple, we headed to a beautiful hotel nearby to have lunch.




Chicken soup


Fruit and vegetable surprise


Lobster


I believe that this is Duck... I think




Our table was the noisiest and rowdiest - Sunny, Ethan and I were just laughing throughout the ultimate dining experience. We were gossiping about the other diners around us especially this family who were 2 tables away from us. They were mixed race and we were desperate to know which race they were. We couldn't determine which language they were speak, we were so curious that most of the time the family kept looking at us. Hahaha what a shame! 




After lunch, we headed back to the lake area to do more sightseeing and took the ferry and cable car! 








The view was beautiful, I did some thinking while we were going up - 1. how indeed I am lucky with my life 2. how indeed I am happy with what I'm doing 3. how indeed have to live my life as a student before I work

After a long day of sightseeing, we headed back to Puli to settle down in our home for tonight and to grab some dinner. I took an hour nap with the best bamboo mat I've ever laid on, the sleep was majestic.

Ethan brought us to this cool newly opened hidden restaurant, they serve the best burgers I've ever eaten in my life.




After dinner, we headed to a Chocolate store/factory to do more some late city tour


The next day, we had to say our thank yous and goodbyes to Ethan and went on with our journey. Next stop: Hsinchu



To me, Hsinchu Downtown would be like Little Filipino town. Everywhere I went, there were Filipinos and they also have a Filipino convenience store! Hsinchu has a very chill vibe which I really like. They also have good clothing stores as well. 

Sunny and I killed time for a while - ate chicken pie, did some shopping and just sat down in the park and watched some kids play





Around 3PM, we got our stuff from the train station and went to Sunny's home in Hsinchu. I was very happy to finally meet Sunny's mom, I call her "Mama Tien" :-) Not too long, we settled our luggages, did some phone charging and got ready for our dinner with another surfer, Michael. 

He brought us to this cool restaurant that serves Japanese food and some Taiwanese with a touch of Korean. Weird combination but it was good. 










My god, the meals were sent from heaven! Lahat ng pagkain sa Taiwan ay masarap, as long as hindi ka maarte ;-)

Next stop for every city we go to is the night market to have some tasty dessert before we end the night! 


Taiwanese version of Taho

After a long ride back to Sunny's place, we stayed up, talked online while we wait for Sunny's birthday at 12mn



Happy Birthday to the craziest, funniest Taiwanese girl friend I have! I loooove you!

The next day, Mama Tien planned a day trip to Miaoli to do some strawberry picking! It was such a beautiful day to that, it wasn't that cold and the sun was up. 




Photo taken by Sunny's funny cool brother, King :-)


Strawberries that I got!!! They're so big and juicy!!!! 


Photo taken by: King

Next we went to the center area, to grab some lunch and explore more strawberries. Strawberry heaven, I must say. Most of the food, drinks... anything are concentrated on freaking strawberry! Hahaha


R-L: Me, Sunny, Mama Tien and King


Photo taken by King


Photo taken by King


HAHAHA YES!!!!!






After a long day in Miaoli, we headed back to Hsinchu packed up and went on our journey back to Taipei. It was very great to see more of Taiwan from my last trip. I met great people along the way that had a great impact in my life. For sure, we'll all see each other again... not just in Taiwan but somewhere else :-) 

Being back in Taipei means doing some party business. Right after our trip from Miaoli and Hsinchu, we went to our homes in Taipei and got ready for the night. We met up with another surfer, Cerise, such a beautiful nice lady! First, we went to a club called Mi Casa. It's a Latin club where you meet lots of Latinos and Latinas! Hahaha then we got bored... so we went to Luxy and things became hazy again.



And oh! Almost forgot, my host and his roommates actually threw a house party. I pre-gamed there before I went to Mi Casa and played beer pong. My first win actually. OWNED. HAHA!


The next day... umm, forgot what I did actually... It was February 2, and the night of that day, Sunny and I planned to celebrate our birthdays together with a bunch of her friends some surfers. So I got ready, prepared myself for a long crazy night ahead.

I got to Luxy earlier than everyone else since I will be meeting some surfers that I haven't met yet to organize things ahead. Then Sunny and her friends came and shitty things happened with the bouncers that made us fucking buy a table. Whatever. It was worth it cause it was consumable and I got a free champagne which I didn't get to drink.

Anyway, while we were settling on our table I asked Beny to come with me to 7-11 and buy some stuff until we see Michael! He invited us to go to AQ Cava Bar to grab some shots. Pre-gaming at it's finest.



Also there was Sunny's friends: Annie and her friend (which I don't remember the name I am very very sorry :( )

And Michael made me take Absinthe!!! And that was the cause of me forgetting to take pictures!!!

The next parts of the night became hazy again... I actually have so little pictures, freaking aye. 


A group picture WITHOUT me. This was during the champagne part. WHAT THE F. HAHAHA!



This picture made the club look empty because this was on the second floor and most of the people were downstairs. HAHAHA

And that's it. That's all the pictures I have during my birthday party. Hahaha! But all the memories remain in my head, and I don't think I will over forget.

So on the day of my birthday was my flight to go back home to Manila. Before my flight, I met up with Sunny in Shida night market to have one last stroll.


During the last hours of my time in Taiwan, Sunny and I spent talking about all the "fuckeries" we did during our birthday celebration. All the should haves and the should "nots" but it was a good night, we spent it very well.

And that ends my journey to Taiwan for the year 2013 - in those 8-9 days of fun filled action with Sunny, I've been so thankful for everything I've experienced, the people I met and the food and alcohol I have taken. Hahaha! Sunny, it's been a great journey with you, and girl, I love you so much. Someday, you'll find the right one for you that will make you truly happy. I promise you that. 

Taiwan, thank you, til' next time...

But for now I am looking forward to my next journey.... 

It is time to PRAY!