Sunday, 24 July 2016

Taiwan Trip (Part VII): Taitung & Kaohsiung - Best places to end the trip

Apologies for the hiatus, I've been working for a year now (♫ "My youth, my YOUTH, my YOUUUUTH ♫) and I just got into a different department starting this July. Things are much busier here and there's just so much to learn. 

So yeah, bear with me, I'm gonna bring you through the last leg of my Taiwan trip - Taitung & Kaohsiung, which to me have the perfect mix of civilisation & nature. We really love our times there and it gave us the perfect ending to our first ever overseas trip together. 

First up: Our accomodation in Taitung (turned out to be our FAVOURITE in Taiwan)
It's called 'Travel J' and you can get the booking details from my list over here. It's definitely slightly pricier - around NT2000 per night, but you would definitely get what you've paid for if not more. I mean, just look at this tastefully designed living room!

The host is this very friendly young man who owns the best-tempered cat that I've ever encountered in my twenty four years in this planet. Her (or maybe it's a him..) name is Mumu and her soft fur and good temper turned this die-hard dog-lover (aka me) into an instant crazy cat lady.

Hahah look at how annoyed she was with my non-stop caresses and just closed her eyes to pretend not to see me! :DD 

In case you are wondering, you are now looking at the BEST tangyuan in Taiwan, if not the whole word. For the non-chinese readers, tangyuan are glutinous little balls of heaven cooked in a soup. Yeah it sounds like no biggy, but trust me on this, just do yourself and your tastebuds a huge favor and get to 'Baosang Tangyuan' if you were ever in Taitung. It's not even a shop, it's just a little roadside pop-up stall but omggggawd the amount of heaven that comes from there is off-the-roof! 

Note: Always order your tangyuan with the weird looking little pink colour things along the side too. It's some tapioca jelly-ish stuff (see picture above) and its crunchy core complements the soft yangyuan really well. (I'm now swallowing my saliva)

We visited the Railway Art Village at night, and yes, the whoooole place - from the station to the park -  was lined by these little parachute lights. It set the romantic mood immediately and it sure can make your heart swell with love and happiness just by being there. And I'm a sucker for little lights stuff, so I was practically falling in love with everything around me passionately. Lovers, if you or your other half are like me, be sure to mark this place down on your itinerary. 

 Guess who was waiting for us when we got back (though its expression sure didn't show it). It's sooo nice to come home to a little animal, makes my heart so warm :)

 The next day was spent cycling and exploring Taitung and it's Forest Park. We chanced upon this house that was SOOO patched beyond usual extent that we were de.bating if it's an actual house for someone or an art installation. What do you think? it seems like the latter to me even now. 

We were having fun taking photos when I heard this group of teenager boys thinking out (very) loudly cos even I could hear them in a distance. "你觉得他们是什么关系啊?" ("What do these two's relationship?") "不知道,应该是姐弟吧! ("Dunno, should be sister with younger brother or smth!")

That's when I shot them a stare that said "I HEARD YOU YOU LITTLE PEOPLES!"

We then cycled on to the park and it's really serene over there. The trees, the berries, the violet flowers, I LOVE THEM ALL! Should have set off early instead of wasting so much time watching NBA games instead. 

By the way, these pretty bikes were gotten foc from our BnB place. So that's one more reason to stay there!

 The ride ended with a scenic pond, followed by a very calm lotus pond where painters sat quietly painting along the sides. 

Then it's our last night in Taitung. 
Did the same thing as our first night here, Tangyuan after dinner and a slow walk in the Railway Art Village, and it's just equally beautiful.

Then it's time for GOODBYES T.T

Mumu was like, "Noo-, noo, no-, don't you dare to come near me human."


 Bye Taitung!

After an epic hitchhiked journey (to be covered in next post). we arrived in Kaohsiung - our last checkpoint of the trip.

Went to the Ruifeng Night Market cos we were told it's the one where the locals go. And our friend STRONGLY recommended the 天使鸡排 (Angel Fried Chicken). If you didn't already knew, Taiwan IS the land of fried chicken and THIS is HANDSDOWN the BEST fried chicken we had out of all the cities.

You. HAVE. To. Go. 

 Stayed in a place called the 'Centre Hotel' (see its booking details here)and it was really a bargain for NT800/night. Despite the dubious-looking lobby, the rooms were pretty decent (for NT800!) and a major station with multiple train lines (including the one going to the airport) was just right on the doorstep.

And oh, do try the chicken rice stall right outside the station, it was quite a treat.

Btw the room comes with not one, not two, but THREE porn channels. 
Western, Japanese, and some mixed stuff 24/7 throughout the day!! 

Talking about being a dubious hotel...

 Had a brief tour around Xiziwan, which was this harbour that the Japanese built during their times here (and also happened to be my name exactly in Chinese). It then got replaced by the Kaohsiung Port as the vessels got bigger throughout the years, and slowly found its footing as a indie art place for cinemas, exhibitions galleries, bookstores, flea markets etc..

Wonder if it's a huge sign for me to also exit the maritime industry and try out in the arts scene too hahahaha

Kaohsiung has SOOOOO much food to offer!!
The rows and rows of night markets were just setting up as we hurriedly gorged down our last dinner in Taiwan and headed for the airport. 

It's a baked sweet potato from a Taiwanese convenient store called the Family Mart and it's my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE breakfast/snack. And yes, that was what we bought with our last few Taiwanese dollars. Priority errbady~  

This was a little Japanese girl who sat behind us and she's indeed what she looks - a little cutesy angel. But she's also what she doesn't look - a screaming monster. 


Couldn't be anymore grateful for both the lovely places/people/things that had crossed our paths in those two weeks, as well as for those epic/daFUQ moments that had served as very, very good stories to tell apparently. 

Life ought to always beautiful, and nothing reminds us of that better than a trip.