Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nov7 - Day4 (Taipei : CKS Memorial, K-Swiss, Xinbeitou, Shihlin Night Market)

A brand new day in Taipei. I had planned to maintain at one train line today without travelling much. Taiwan has its own version of Touch&Go card which is their EasyCard. It cost NT500 (NT100 as deposit) whilst the balance for your spending. After doing some calculations, we didn’t expect to spend that much on transportation.

*After our return, well if you intend to stay for many days & plan to travel much. Just get the card for convenience sake.
scanning the MRT "ticket"

We bought our MRT ticket (plastic blue coin) from the vending machine & didn’t know what to do with it. With our amazement, this tiny thing was a scanner. Just touch it on the plate then the gate opens. To get out at the exit, just drop the coin into it. Cooll!! Damn, I feel so “ulu” =p

The 4 places we plan to visit today

First stop was the C.K.S (Chiang Kai-shek) Memorial. We boarded the Xindian line & got off at the CKS Station. Signs were pretty much obvious. Train station felt more like Singapores own MRT. Cold & underground.

Just a brief history of Chiang Kak-shek (since both KS & I hated history, so we didn’t bother much about it).

Chiang Kaishek, one of China's most famous leaders, gained his victories one at a time, and tended to lose them in the same fashion. He was often seen as the leader of anti-Communism, but this is not enough to explain him, considering his influence on China. He perused a noble cause, making an effort to ensure China be more modernized. In this sense, he doesn't differ from many other Chinese leaders, but there was something about this man which evoked loyalty, dependence, and the love of country in the hearts of the people. -Thinkguest Library-

The whole memorial area has a concert hall, theatre hall & the memorial hall. We got there in time to see the “Changing of the guards” ceremony. I felt like there were dancing. The ceremony takes place every hour, so imagine standing on one spot for 1hr & not moving. *legs shaking*

Next up was K-Swiss Concept Shop at #53 Tienmu West Road. Got on the Beitou/Danshui line and got off at Shipai station. KS kept saying “Shilpa” Station (Simon’s wife’s name). Took a bus to the shop (the bus driver was kind enuff to take whatever small change we have coz we wanted to pay with NT100).

K-Swiss shop was only so-so. The sales person was even worst. He wasn’t even customer-friendly. One of it was that every question that KS asked in English, the guy would reply in Chinese. After walking around abit, I felt like the shop was more like an exhibition. I only want to see, but not to put my money there.

Ate chicken (protein loading) for lunch. Sooo filling. We decided to walk back to the train station instead. We wanted to visit the National Palace Museum but we didn’t have enuff time. So we headed to Taipei hot spring at Xinbeitou.

To get to Xinbeitou, it has a line of its own. As a tourist attraction, the train was decorated exterior & interior.

Upon arrival, we were entertained with a school parade.We visited the Peitou Hot Springs Park and Museum. Once again, history is not our forte.

Peitou Hot Springs Museum

Self-stamped Postcard of Peitou Hot Spring Museum

Once we got to the Public Bath, we had to wait for 45mins till the next batch entry. So we took a walk to the Thermal Valley.
 Beitou Thermal Valley
Air surrounded by sulfer

Thermal Valley is one of the sources supplying the area’s hot springs. The sulfuric steam that blankets the valley year-round gives the valley a frightening quality, giving rise to nicknames like “Ghost Lake.” The springs here have the highest temperatures of any in the Datunshan volcano group. With its surreal sulfuric atmosphere, it’s no wonder Thermal Valley was considered one of the “12 great sights of Taiwan” during the Period of Japanese Occupation! -Taipei City Government-

Once we got back to the public bath, there was already a crowd there. NT400 per adult entry. We changed into our swimsuits & got ready to take a dive in. The place was divided into 5 pools. 

Lobster Hot – 48-45c
Boiling Hot – 43-45c
Still Hot – 38-43c
Shower Hot – 35-38c
Freaking Cold – no idea

 Pic I took from a distance

KS & I jumped from the Boiling hot to the Shower Hot like every 15mins with at least 5mins internal out of the pools. At some point, you can see uncles toasted red all over their body. No idea how they can stand it.

Whilst in the hot water, the best tip is just don’t move. At every twitch of your muscles you’ll feel the heat burning your skin. Make sure u have a bottle of water with you. As you are boiling, you tend to sweat, so drink to keep yourself hydrated or else you’ll pass out.

Thankfully there are actually guards there to tell you to get out (once they spot trouble) or to tie your hair up. This is a public pool. Cleanliness is the key.

Next up is the long awaited Shihlin Night Market. Yes, there is a station called Shihlin but that is not it. Get to Jiantan Station, it’s closer. All I can say is tat its something like Petaling Street but not as cramp.

Food consumed : Oyster Mee Suah (best-nya), Chow Taufu (authentically nice) and Fried Chicken (I want more!!)
 Oyster Mee Suah

 KS was sooo obsessed over this husky beanie


Chow (smelly) taufu

The infamous fried chicken

We got lost abit finding the fried chicken. It's not located where the other shops are. Once you get out of the train station, it's at a separate location on the left side. We were told to find the shop with the longest queue.

Sharing is not an option

This place is filled with clothing, food & games. The muscle-relaxing soak at the hot spring went down the drain after so much walking. By the time we got back to our hotel, I think we had gain extra kg just worth of food.


LG said...

Nice nice nice hols! Would like to visit it someday ...but since I can't speak Chinese I think a bit susah lor..ahhaa :)

Jenn Jenn said...

in Taipei, u'll be fine. Anywhere else, that is a problem. Was adviced when shopping, bring a calculator. When I was getting my train ticket, I wrote all the info onto a piece of paper. Its much easier than explaining it.