Day 1: Singapore > Taipei | Xinbeitou Hot Spring, Shilin Night Market
Day 2: Taipei > Kaohsiung | E-DA World
Day 3: Kaohsiung | E-DA Theme Park > Taichung | Fengjia Market
Day 4: Taichung City Tour
Day 5: Taichung > Cingjing
Day 6: Cingjing > Taipei
First of all, I apologize for the poor quality pictures. As this was a free and easy trip, I expected lots of moving around with our luggage. Therefore, I brought my old point-and-shoot camera. It’s small and slips easily into my pocket. But looking at my pictures now, I regretted big time for not bringing my Olympus OMD instead.
So, for my next vacation, my Olympus shouldn’t be left home.
Continuing with Day 5 at Cingjing now. That night, we slept very early as there wasn’t much activities for us to do. The good thing was – we’re all well-rested! Even though the room wasn’t equipped with air-con or fan, the cooling weather in Cingjing is best for zzZzz.
We had a simple breakfast provided by the host of Dreamtown Minsu before we checked-out. Our driver took us to visit Small Swiss Garden. The colourful flowers, red maples and LED artificial sunflowers of the garden give it a unique atmosphere. Nonetheless, our driver said that the garden is pathetically small and he didn’t recommend it. We better off saved the time and money to visit somewhere else. We agreed and made a quick visit at the surrounding of the garden before we left.
Our next stop was Feeling 18℃ Hand Made Chocolate Factory. Although the chocolates sold here is not cheap, it’s a MUST TRY! The owner, Master Mao, has more than ten years of experience in the production of chocolate. He also went to Japan to improve his skills. His hard works paid off when its fame spread all over Taiwan and made Feeling 18℃ a tourist attraction of Puli – which is also his hometown.
I can still remember the taste of that extraordinarily rich chocolate that melts in my mouth. The sweetness is well-balanced, the texture is silky smooth and the packaging is very beautiful too – making it a perfect gift for every occasion.
After enjoying the ice-cream and chocolates, we walked across the road to the other side of the shop for some free drinks. The shop served free tea and coffees to their visitors, how nice!
We continued our car ride to a local snack store that sells local specialty which includes a wide range of biscuits and cakes. Here, you can sample any type of biscuits and cakes before buying them.
They’re famous for their Tai Yang Bing (太陽餅) and Lemon Biscuits (檸檬餅). Their signature lemon biscuit is served cold and very yummy. Edison couldn’t stop sampling it. LOL. We bought of a few boxes of that lemon biscuits.
We also tried their Tai Yang Bing and loved it. They also have pineapple cakes in many different flavours. We loved the pineapple, lemon and strawberry flavours. And that, we bought a few boxes too.
The shop provides value-added service to pack your purchases neatly into boxes. I heard that they can also send to the hotel of your last destination! We spent quite a lot here and got one big box of Taiwan snacks loaded into our driver’s trunk before we head to Taipei. Since our next hotel in Taipei will be our last destination, it’s convenient for us to just check-in the entire box at the airport when we return to Singapore.
108-23 Zhongqing Lu Zhongqing 433 Taichung City, Taiwan.
There is one thing that I love about Taiwan. From trains to virtually every street, you will see affordable lunch boxes (also known as bento or 便当). It’s very convenient and everyone literally eats on the go. I like the bentos sold at the HSR station with different combinations of main and side dishes brought together into one hearty and tasty box.
Do you know that these bentos first made their way to Taiwan during the first half of the 20th century from Japan and were commonly sold in Taiwan’s railway station and train cabins? So, there’s something comforting and nostalgic about these bentos.
Our driver took us to try out the nostalgic railway station bento. It’s actually an old railway station that was no longer in operation. It was brought over by the owner who then converted it into a railway station bento café.
The food wasn’t fantastic but I like how the interior of the train was being preserved. It was really nostalgic. I couldn’t remember the name of this place.
After our lunch here, we continued our journey to Taipei. The highway traffic was heavy as the locals were returning to Taipei at the end of a long weekend (Dragon Boat Festival). It took us 2.5 hours to reach Taipei, it could have been faster if we took the HSR.
Our hotel in Taipei was Simple Plus Hotel, specially handpicked by V after reading so many reviews on Agoda and TripAdvisor. He was super proud of it as this the cheapest hotel in our entire Taiwan trip (cost less than $100 per night), and it includes breakfast for three, and complimentary washer & dryer use. It’s also within 5 mins walk to FuXing NanJing metro station.
The room was quite small and the lightning was dim, but it was cosy and fairly comfortable. The bathroom was clean and has a nice bath tub. There were also fresh fruits served in the lobby every morning. The breakfast spread was acceptable. Overall, it’s a nice boutique hotel that’s affordable and worth the money.