Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Taiwan Trip, May 2015 - From Cing Jing to Taroko Gorge

After a rejuvenating night in Cing Jing counting stars over chocolates and instant noodles, we drive over to Hua Lien.

Dusk to Dawn
Before which, the view worth waking up early for.

Day View from Starry @ CingJing 

The Simple Life
Nephew chilling outside our room with my Ipad while we just hang around enjoying the view and fresh air.

Breakfast Set @ Starry Minsu
The breakfast set are photogenic isn't it so? Love the toast with hot milk tea is Taiwan which taste so good!

Long Ride Ahead!
Looks like we are set for a loooong winding ride across the mountains through Taruko Gorge to Hualien!

Oldest Tree in the Area

Bottoms Up
For some reason there's a blur bubble in the middle of the pic.

While admiring the tree, we saw a caterpillar

Another Break

Lunch at Tian Xiang, Taroko Gorge
Finally we reach the village of Tian Xiang at Taroko Gorge! We had a late lunch at the shophouse eateries (which didn't taste good despite our famished tummies). Despite the different names, you can order any dish you want no matter which eatery you are in.

Around the Area
We spotted this suspension bridge from afar after lunch and decided to explore the area. Turn out that the bridge is called "普渡桥".  

Taroko Pudu Bridge 

Xiang De Temple
At the end of the Pudu Bridge, we see the Xiang De temple - a Buddhist temple. If you walked further there's also a tall white robed Guan Yin statue.

Shakadang Trail
This is another hiking trail if you are into hiking. There is around 4 storey of stairs to go down and up.

Eternal Spring Shrine Tour

More Mountains

Famous Central Cross Island Highway 東西横貫公路

And off we go to Hua Lien city for some night market action!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Taiwan Trip, May 2015 - Yam desserts, Paper Dome, King Garden, Sun Moon Lake and Cing Jing

And so, I'm finally back to my Taiwan escapade last May!

It's hard to continue for this post because right after my trip in June last year my phone (it actually spoilt the day before my flight), tablet, and laptop took turns to breakdown while I am moving places. Right now that I'm typing I am so missing Taiwan and our annual trip there.

Breakfast at JSP
JSP is a Taiwanese breakfast/brunch chain selling 'western' style Taiwanese breakfast. Think hashbrown, egg crepes, pork chop burgers, fried carrot cake and milk tea. Nothing beats a full breakfast to get the day started!

Don Don Yam Desserts
Next we go for desserts at our favorite Dong Dong Yu Yuan. We have miraculously digested our breakfast with the car ride and tucked in heartily to our desserts. I think we are very early for desserts but the place was already decently packed.

Hot and Cold
'Cause we're hot and we were cold, We're yes and we were no.. and so we ordered 2 hot and 2 cold of the yam ball dessert. The warm yam balls are soft and chewy and I think it taste better than the cold ones. There's something in their freshly made yam balls that makes the yam ball just the right textures compared to a few other yam ball desserts we had in Singapore currently. They sell frozen yam balls to takeaway too - but I think it's pretty challenging to takeaway frozen stuff when you are carhopping cross country.

Welfie In the Car
Needless say, we are on sugar high after our desserts. My niece got into her hyper mode imitating iron man in our car welfie and completely blocked off my nephew.

Paperdome 紙教堂 
Our first sightseeing stop for the day - Paper Dome. Paper Dome is a "temporary" church building designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (renowned to use paper tubes in the building structure) in Kobe back in 1995. When the church was subsequently replaced by a permanent church, this structure was donated to Taiwan in 2006, and therefore this becomes a tourist attraction in Puli.

Musical Instrument Miniatures
It's quite cool and I was deliberating to see if I should get them home to display it but decided not to.

Busy being Cute
The weather is quite hot (think 28 - 30 degrees) and we just chill around in the cafe. Here's my niece busy being cute with the caterpillar.

King Garden 元首館
King Garden in Nantou Puli is next stop of the day. For some reason all my photos of this place is lost, so I'll put it back once I managed to retrieve them.

Sun Moon Lake
The view in SML is surprisingly underwhelming. The lack of rainfall in May last year meant that some part of the lake closer to land had dried up. Still, we enjoy doing our touristy shopping through the rows of shophouses and tucking in to the local snacks.

Along Sun Moon Lake
Freshly fried prawn crackers. Yums!

Owl Workshop Since 2005
These owls are so adorable!

Around the Corners

Pretty Candles

Kueh Stall
I am not usually a fan of many forms of glutinous kueh snacks but I must say hers tasted really good! Think fragrant, soft mochi chewy kueh. We got a few types and ate them all the way from Taichung to Hualien and they didn't harden at all.

More Street Snacks

Ifshop 一福堂
S spotted the delicious looking "lemon cozi" biscuit from internet - and so needless say, I planned in a side trip to the (century old) famous pastry shop 一福堂 to check them out. Ifshop is famous for their sun biscuits too. The lemon biscuits should be kept chilled and they have samples for their pastries for customers to try out.

18 Degree Chocolate Factory
Not to forget, we drop by 18 degree Chocolate for some gelato and chocolates, and the convenient store before we headed to Starry @ Cing Jing for the night.

Feeling 18

Old England Manor
Looking just as majestic as ever. I missed the high tea session with Egg years back.

Starry Resort
We reached Starry Resort just in time for the 7pm steamboat dinner. Starry is located in one of the highest point in Cing Jing and it's so misty that I feel that I'm living in the cloud!

Night View from Starry Resort
We spend the night chilling in the resort, and having hot instant noodle in the balcony, admiring the starry sky as the stars make their way across the sky. At the point of time, I really wish I have the photography skills to capture these moments in my camera.

Nitez world!