It has been quite a while since I last posted. I am so excited to have some stuff to say now. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Travelling is what I live for. To others, it may be having children, or discovering the latest scientific breakthrough. For me, it is travelling and taking photos of all the things I see in a new place, enveloped in a culture different from my own. This may sound quite protracted, or shallow, but I am what I am. And I am a composite of all the places I have been to, and all the other places I will be in :)
Off I went to the land of milktea and chicken pops, with my husband and travel friends. We have been to Singapore the year before, and that will be for another post. This was our second out-of-the-country travel experience. I was beset with visa challenges. But on the appointed date, life found me at the airport, eagerly waiting for my red-eye flight to Taipei.
Aahhh Taiwan, you were all that I wanted, and so much more. True I din’t get to see all the recommended tourist stops, but the sights, sounds, smell and taste that I had the great chance to immerse myself in, were enough to deepen my passion for getting out of my life once in a while :)
On our way home, Mang Felix our hired tourist-guide/driver, asked all of us which experience did we find best during our stay. My friends enumerated all the things that we liked. We liked everything! (Well except for the stinky tofu). I sat there on the backseat, quietly reflecting on Mang Felix’s question. Well, which is it Apol? It dawned on me that the best experience was being able to go to Taiwan itself. Ha! Ha! Ha! Life’s simple pleasures. I had a dream and my dream was to see this country. I experienced its clean streets, the general zen air hovering even in the night market, the well-balanced parks with its abundant greens, the superdelicious food, the nourishing and refreshing milk and fruit teas, the out-of-this-world-you-take-me-back-to-my-childhood-plum popsicles, interacting on the side with their citizens, the heights and night city view (breathtaking)… I found that I could not pinpoint one single best experience. Mang Felix also asked us which experience did we like least. In unison, we answered: being pushed rudely. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Some photos to share. I hope they convey my thoughts and emotions while on the trip.
- Maokong Gondola 299m up in the sky, suspended by cables, carpetted by treetops, is not my favorite way to spend my hours away. But for the love of Nenny (husband) I wanted to share this experience with him. With cold clammy hands grasping the seat, intermittently screaming “I hate you all” to my travelmates”, screaming “sit down!” to Nen who was excitedly videotaping the ride…I was so tired when we got off the cable car. But hey, smile for the camera! :)
Nightview of Taipei from the 89f of the 101. A city of lights. I managed to appreciate the view even if I got scared by the ground swaying a little bit. My husband reassured me this was normal for megastructures. Okay, if you say so dear :)
@ Yehliu Geopark. Took a moment to rest. It was very cold that day to be looking at rock formations by the sea. But it was worth it.
By one of the entrances to the CKS Memorial Hall. Zen on the street.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. This was our first stop. It has very extensive and beautiful grounds. There was a place for people to do their daily exercises or Tai Chi. When we passed them by, beautiful classical music was playing and they were moving to its slow tempo, their hands pressed together by their chests and them moving so slowly like fish underwater in slow, slow motion.
Taipei 101. One of the reasons for travelling is to witness megastructures that are man-made. This is one of them. Amazing view at the top. We were at the 89f in 37seconds flat. Thanks Mitsubishi elevator. The open deck at the 91f was closed due to bad weather.
Downtown Zhongli. Nenny eating spring onion pancake on a corner of a street in Zhongli, a city in the county of Taoyuan.
Inside the Grand Train Station, located in Taipei. It has shops, restaurants and of course, a place for buying train tickets. The train arrives right on the dot so be sure to check your time and platform to avoid missing your train. Trains are classified according to speed: Bullet, Kwai-kwai (medium fast), man-man (slow).
Leofoo Village and Wild Zoo Park. While kids, and adults (too), are off to experience the various attractions and adrenaline-pumping rides at the park, yellow benches dot the peaceful, flower-edged areas that are found inside the park. Fountains jet water up into the air for a few minutes for some intermittent entertainment while you rest on the bench to catch your breath after that Ring of Fire ride you just took.
Holiday Hotel at Zhongli. While there are many hotels to choose from in Taipei, we opted for the smaller and cheaper ones in Zhongli. If you're not that picky, and would be okay sleeping on what I hope was a clean bed, then you'll be fine here. Clean bathroom too. And very conveniently located near shops, streetfood vendors, and a stone's throw-away from the Zhongli Train Station and the bus stops at the corner. On Sundays, you will see many of our OFW kabayans passing by this street, on their way to the Catholic church nearby.
Superdelicious streetfood like no other! Chicken pops, sweet potato fries, something else that tastes like kikiam, only way better tasting, downed by the ubiquitous papaya milk we went gaga over. Ahhhh I dream of this meal day and night since returning home.
Time to bid Adieu. But also, arrivederci! I will return :)