Monday, May 11, 2015

A trip to Kaohsiung / Jolin Myself Final Concert - Day 4

I'm suddenly in the mood for Jolin old songs. Totally excited about her upcoming concert, and I'm also worried and paranoid. ._.

15th April 2013

Today is a day of adventures. We visited many places even though we left our hotel room quite late. Haha. While we were on our way to Ximen station, I noticed a shop selling idol merchandises so I had to visit it. To my delight, there were Jolin stuffs there!

I purchased three Jolin ez-link card stickers, this was my personal favourite.
Sadly, none of them lasted very long, they started tearing apart after a while. So I'll make an effort to buy 10 Jolin stickers when I visit Taiwan this year!

I also spotted a Yesung pillow and bought it for my friend. :D

I like buying gifts for people while keeping their interests in mind, I don't really like giving generic gifts like sweets and chocolates.

Look who I spotted on the subway station, Jolin's Adidas advertisement!

Our first stop for the day is Tamsui, with the lovely stretch of sea!

Oh God, I miss my colourful hair.

The streets at Tamsui has more resemblance to a night market than Shilin Night Market. And here's a heroic picture of me taking a photo of Tamsui as a car drives towards me.

We wandered the streets of Tamsui and there were a variety of interesting things to see.

A ninja turtle

A cat postcard captioned "Raise, my subjects".
I took this photo so I could show it to Jolin on weibo. There was some palace drama craze going on back then and we were all addressing Jolin as "Her Majesty".

I had a friendly basketball match with my travel buddy, and I scored 240. ;)

Tried tossing 100 rings but never caught a single thing.

Saw an adorable Rilakkuma dancing.
I know the photo didn't quite capture the essence of it.

Also saw an adorable doggy!

My friend requested for Iron Eggs and I only managed to spot them as we were leaving Tamsui. They were actually quite delicious except for the weird flavours. But I bought too many packets because I wanted to try each flavour. Eventually they were wasted because I didn't manage to finish.

As we exit Tamsui, we spotted a shopping mall and went in to rest.

This was the mall where I bought my Cheshire Cat slippers! :D
But they broke recently. :(

My travel buddy thought it was fair for me to suggest a place to visit next. But I've no plans so I've no idea where to go. So I randomly picked a place with lots of hot springs.

But the train station was decorated beautifully. One look and you know it's a tourist spot haha.

I spotted this interesting notice in the station too.

When we reached Xinbeitou, we saw a beautifully designed architect.
Come, a quick guess what this building is for?

Answer: It's actually a library!

A decoration outside the library

The interior of the library looked even more awesome!

They've English books too. So there's something I can read. Oh wait, I mentioned I'm Chinese. But I'm not really fluent at reading Chinese. :o

I really like the atmosphere of the library. I wouldn't mind staying in the library to enjoy a leisure afternoon for the rest of the day. However, my travel buddy doesn't seem so interested in books so we moved on.

This place reminded me of a Taiwan drama that I watched, which also featured hot springs.

I tried some local food too. The egg was plain.

But the tofu was nice.

My travel buddy grabbed an ice-cream from this store so we sat and ate. And someone brought his pet Parrot out for a walk! I spend a few good moments looking at the Parrot interacting with its owner.

The place that I was intending to go wasn't open. So I took a photo of the gates. :(

After an unfruitful trip at Xinbeitou, we went back to the hotel. There wasn't much stuff to look there but it's an ideal place if you want a casual stroll with minimal people on the streets. 

Look how empty the trains were on our trip back.

Oh wait, what's this photo? I think I dropped my phone at Xinbeitou and my cover had a serious scratch but the phone is still in working condition! Haha.

I was carrying big and small shopping bags for the whole day so my hands were red, tired and sore.

After a little rest in the hotel, we went out for dinner.

We went to Dazzling Cafe for dinner. I don't usually take photo of my food but the food there was truly nice.

Once again, I only ordered the pasta I could read, mentaiko pasta. I've totally no idea what it was until food was served lol. But it was a good choice, it's hard to find a pasta with similar quality after I left the cafe. It seems the cafe was famous for its dessert so I shared one with my friend but I don't really have a sweet tooth.

After dinner, we made use of our last moments in the day to go Taipei 101.

Sadly, most of the shops were already closed.

So we decided to go to the supermarket inside Taipei 101. I was sourcing for my Jolin pepsi bottle/can. I bought one Jolin pepsi bottle from that supermarket during my last trip to Taiwan so I was trying my luck.

No Jolin pepsi bottle was found but I spy beer cans endorsed by Jolin.

So that rounds up our second day at Taipei. So much for not having any plans haha. To be honest, I felt a little conflict with my travel buddy on this day because of our conflicting personalities. Our interests, the places we wanted to visit and our personalities were totally different. I actually don't mind being a follower since my only plan in Taiwan was to go to Jolin's concert. So when my travel buddy asked me to make decisions on some things, I felt I was going out of the way to do it. 

However, my travel buddy was truly nice to me. She knew I couldn't purchase a phone card in Taiwan and I was homesick. So she bought a plan that allows you to call overseas. She lent me her phone and I was overjoyed to hear my grandma's voice from the other end of the line! :D But I barely talked for ten minutes and I used up all the credit. That was weird because in my next trip to Taiwan later in 2013, I've managed to call back home passed ten minutes. o.O

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A trip to Kaohsiung / Jolin Myself Final Concert - Day 3

14th April 2013

So now that the concert was over, what are my plans? My plans are I've no plans. ._.

We had a long day yesterday so I was really exhausted. But we still have to get up early to check out of the hotel. While we were going out of the room, I conveniently took the card slotted in the "power port" and assumed it was mine. When we headed to the hotel counter to return the cards, my poor travel buddy was searching everywhere for her card. Ended up I took hers by mistake and I left mine in my wallet. I only realised that much much much later. D:

The hotel provided free shuttle to the nearest train station. I really feel apologetic to them. They were supposed to charge us for the missing card but they didn't, and they even ferried us. >.<

So my travel buddy and I decided we want to go Taipei. We were similar in a way, I've no plans at all, and we didn't book anything in advance, not train ticket or hotel rooms. We took the subway to Kaohsiung High Speed Rail station and proceed to purchase our train tickets. We didn't had breakfast either. I recalled buying a bento from the train station and it was superb. When we've finished our meal, we were almost late for our train and we hurriedly proceed to the platform.

The station that we boarded our train.

Say "Hi" to badly lit Eeyore.

So it will be a rather long journey to Taipei. I can't recall how I spent my time on the train, probably sleeping or something since I have no internet access on my phone. :(

I know there were toilets and vending machines on the train. I was so bored for one of my high speed rail train rides that I decided to walk pass the business seats section to get to the vending machine. I was immediately stopped by the staff but I explained to her I was getting to the vending machine. Now I've stated my course so I'll have to buy a drink to convince her, even though I didn't feel like buying one after looking at the selection in the vending machine.

When we reached Taipei, we've to find our way to Ximending. My travel buddy was not soft-spoken like me, so she continuously urged me to ask for directions every time we were lost. It didn't help that I was the only one who knew Chinese. I really, really detest talking to strangers. :(

Eventually, we managed to find our way to Ximending but there was an even bigger challenge, getting a hotel room. We roamed the streets aimlessly in search of a hotel room and were approached by a friendly Taiwanese who guided us to the nearest hotel. I think he's genuinely helping us because there wasn't anything we could purchase from his laundry shop.

When my travel buddy and I made our way to the hotel, the atmosphere of the hotel seemed weird. Like it was a two-three star hotel and the rates were not cheap. So after much discussion, we decided to take a cab to Paradise Hotel, that was recommended by others. Lucky for us, they still have available rooms and that's one thing settled.

Paradise Hotel Room

We reached Taipei quite late, it was already nearing mid afternoon when we walked out of our room. Next, more aimless walking along the streets of Ximending. This place is a maze! You know the problem when you have someone to follow, you don't really try and recall your directions. It took me a really long while to remember how to get back to the hotel and get to the subway station.

Here's a collection of photos during my tour in Ximending.

Show Luo's Shop

Another Show Luo Photo

A hotel that caught my attention because the rooms looked pretty.

And a big fat fluffy penguin that I would have bought if I'm a little less sane.
It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!!

Based on the photos, I recalled walking into Show's shop and getting greeted by really expensive clothes and accessories. We walked passed a cinema in Ximending. We walked into the shop selling the penguin. All the other soft toys in the shop were fluffy too!!!

I think we had pasta for dinner and I picked the one that I could read. I was having some internal conflict with pointing on the menu to order, must be some "I'm Chinese so I shall speak Chinese" ego thingy. D:

The internal of a subway train in Taiwan.

We headed to Shilin Night Market that night. And we were walking in circles trying to find the place. I went to ask for directions again. To show my appreciation to the stall vendor who gave us directions, I bought some fruits for her. She conveniently shoved more and more of the fruit into my packet. By the time I realised it, I was charged a huge deal for some puny fruits that I can't even manage to finish.

Strangely, the night market was shifted underground and it in no way looked like a night market.

While we were trying to find our way to the night market, I bought a cup of papaya milk. Strangely the one my travel buddy had at Kaohsiung was nicer.

And I took a photo of a random Pikachu machine?

The nice thing about Taiwan is they have Jolin banners everywhere. xD 

So that sums up my trip to Shilin Night Market. There wasn't much food choice and I can't recall what I ate. I think my travel buddy spotted another Singapore fan club member from afar but we didn't manage to catch up with her. By the time we made our way back to the hotel, it was already pretty late.