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Monday, April 18, 2011

Taipei Trip Day 3

(Feb. 15, 2011) Today is our last day in Taiwan.  I can still remember the first time I got here.  I was too nervous while waiting for my turn in immigration at Taiwan airport.  It is my first international trip.  They may ask too many questions that I cannot answer, haha!  When it's my turn, the guy said: "Ni Hao?"  I replied: "I'm ok, thanks."  I know its not polite to answer that way as I responded in a different language.  I got scared in answering him in Mandarin as he may further ask questions in Mandarin.  Well I'm half Chinese but I can only understand very little Mandarin or Fookien.  Luckily, he didn't ask further questions.  Unlike with my friend,  they kinda converse a little.

Anyway, our first itinerary for the day is the Sun Yat Sen Garden.  There was a Lantern Festival event when we were there.  This will run for about a week until the Lantern Festival itself which I think is on the 17th of February.  There were exhibits of various lanterns made by different schools along the walkway.  There are even children having their field trip.  I guess it will be better if you go here at night to see the beauty of the lanterns when lit up.

Panoramic view of Sun Yat Sen Garden

We get the chance to see the dancing fountain.  It lasted for about 5 minutes.  Just a short performance but it was nice.  Again, maybe if this still happens at night with lights, it will be spectacular view.  Mini rabbit lanterns are also to be given away at 2pm.  At that time (around 11am), there were already long queues in that area.  We can no longer wait for it as we still have other areas to visit in our itinerary.

From Sun Yat Sen Garden, the Taipei 101 can already be seen.  So we took pictures with Taipei 101.  But I insist to still go to Taipei 101 even outside or nearer the area to take a picture.  So after Sun Yat Sen, we walked the streets of Taipei city  and got a nice shot of Taipei 101.

Taipei 101 shot from the streets of Taipei

Taipei City is very clean.  The pavement have designated walkway for bikes and people.  People seem disciplined and I admire the cleanliness of the surroundings and "safe" feeling while on the street.  What catches my attention was the unique pedestrian walk in the middle of the street.  Pedestrians can reach the other side of the road by crossing in the middle of the street and not the usual side street.  I wasn't able to take a picture of me crossing the street as I don't want to stop in the middle of the street and I might get caught by the police.

Intersection Road

This can be eaten without rice
Last in our itinerary is the Flora Expo.  But before going there, we stopped at Sogo Hotel as my friend is going to buy some shoes.  The boots she bought in the streets of Ximending gave up after only a few walks.  It didn't even lasted for one whole day.  She bought it for only NT$250.  Well, maybe that's what you get for a very cheap shoes.  Anyway, when some of my friends are shopping around Sogo Hotel, my other friend and I had a sumptuous lunch.  I enjoyed my lunch here as it was really hefty and inexpensive.  My lunch cost me only NT$150.  I'm surprised that I wasn't able to consume it all!
Flower gallery

We arrived at Flora Expo at around 4pm already.  We don't have plans of touring the whole Flora Expo area, we just picked up a few places to visit.  As what the name implies, there are a lot of flowers displayed and floral art works/exhibit.  Upon entering the area, there is a designated sketch and stamp area of flowers.  If you collect stamps, make sure you have a lot of spare blank sheets on hand as the venue only provides one sheet.  Also, you can use your blank sheets to sketch various images of flowers.  It was lovely.  Good thing my friend loves stamps and she brought a small notebook.  So everytime there is a stamp available in all the areas we've visited since day 1, she never fails to punch one in her notebook.

Panoramic view of flower gallery

We visited a pavillion where exhibits from different countries are displayed.  Of course we visited the Philippines' exhibit.  I thought I'll be seeing flowers there but it turned out, various tourist attractions were featured in the Philippine's booth.  It was still nice though, at least more people will get to know the wonderful places of the Philippines.

Since this is our last day, I bought some souvenirs at the Flora Expo.  I bought a cute magnet for NT$35 and a plastic folder at NT$30.  Not very cheap, but it's ok.  I also bought a Hello Kitty cellphone charm here as we will no longer visit Hello Kitty Sweets.  And I'm not sure if there is still one at the airport.

The soup is so yummy!
It was still chilly when we left Flora Expo.  We're thinking of the best restaurant to eat for dinner as this is our last night.  But we decided it to be nothing fancy.  We wanted to try out the small restaurant just outside our hotel.  Its like shabu shabu but there's no cook pot in your table, instead the mini cook pot is served individually with your food cooking on top of it.  It's pre-cooked already but it is still serve to you with cook pot.  Thus, it gets really difficult to consume it immediately as it is very hot.  But the food is very yummy.  For just NT$100, you get the bowl of soup with veggies and noodles plus free drink and rice.  You also have the option to refill your soup.  Many people go here to dine in or take out.  The varieties are just little but I guess that doesn't matter as the food really tastes good.

So that how my Taipei trip goes.  My budget for the whole trip (including visa, airfare, accommodation and pocket money) is only Php 15,000 but I go a little over it.  I think I spent around Php 17,000.  Here's the breakdown of my budget (not detailed though) per person.

Airfare - Php 3,000
Accommodation - Php 3,900
Visa - Php 2,500
Pocket money - NT$5,000 (Php 7,500)

Before I forget, we arrived early at the airport wishing we can do a little more shopping there and hoping to see that Hello Kitty Cafe.  But unfortunately, the whole duty free area of the airport is under renovation.

Here's my blog for day 1 and day 2.  I guess I will still want to go back to Taipei.  I still need to see that Hello Kitty Cafe.  And I believe there are a lot more nice places to be visited.  Besides, I really love the cold weather and winter fashion!  You can't get that in the Philippines!


  1. Hi sis! I thought going abroad would twice more than going to the tourist spots here in our country! After reading your blog post, i concluded that it's just the same. :) Thank you for this info. giantherockstar of GT here! Followed you na rin! :)

  2. Congratulations on your first day abroad. It's really something to remember when you're out there in a foreign land on your own :D The soup looks great by the way :D I wish you were able to go to Hello Kitty Cafe. The pictures would have been interesting. :D

  3. @Gian - going to taipei is really cheap. i also had about the same budget when i went to HK. thanks for the follow. i followed you too!

    @chew on this - thanks sis :) on my next trip to taipei maybe, i won't miss that Hello Kitty cafe!


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