Sunday, July 21, 2013

Taipei, Taiwan Day 2 ; 19th December 2012

sorry for taking such a long time to update with the rest of the Taiwan trip :)

Day 2 ; 19th December 2012
Breakfast great start at the Hotel Eclat.

Loves the Smoked salmon and the simple breakfast choice here. Minimal choice but qualities food.

This is one of the yummy Benedict Egg sets, which we keeps request for it for the following few days breakfast we had there. Never gets tired of it. :p
Especially loves how they grills the mushroom. And the bacons is yummy too.

After Breakfast, and a short break, we started our proper first day venture out to the Taipei city. It was a bit drizzling and cold day. No clear skies, so we put off going to the Taipei 101 tower or the Maokong Hill. We instead walk all the way to the nearby places ( from Da an, all the way to near Zhongxiao area. 

Weekday, but not the traffic is not that congested. Probably the road at these sections are wide.

Lots of motorbikes in Taipei. Easy mode of transport for the local.

Lots of Bicycle lanes. Good environmental friendly city.

payphone shot :p

mailboxes :)

we passed by this MOS Burger shop. Oh look, its operating 24 hours. And we forgot about it the next few !

After walking around the area, buying some stuffs, and it was almost lunch time. And so happens there is a McDonald here !

the bus stop outside nearby McDonald. 

Not much different from Malaysia's McDonald. Just packaging in mostly chinese texts. And one thing about Taiwan's McDonald, they don't have Pork Burger ( we thought they would be the same like Hong Kong, but no, they don't have it ). And they don't have chili's packet too.... lol !
Eat everything with ketchup !

We decided to just venture about this part of the city, because it's near the Hello Kitty Sweet Cafe restaurant, which our Hotel Eclat's staff promptly helps us book the dinner on the same day.
This Hello Kitty couple, Black and White were displayed at one of the Sogo in this area. They have about three Sogo buildings in the same area ( one of which does not have children clothings , that you have to go to another building nearby )

This is a Hello Kitty apparels/accessories counters inside one of the Sogo Departmental Store.
It's departmental store alrite, but they works differently than what a usual departmental store is, in Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong. On this particular departmental store, each tenants charges and collects payments for their own brand. So it means, you buy from one brand, you pay there before going to another brand. >.<

Lots of designs choices for the fashion here ( Hello Kitty ). Interesting.

Taiwan is a country with a huge following on Hello Kitty. So, its quite easy to see lots of merchandise with the brand on it.

This is one of the shop, on the underground tunnel that you heads towards one of the MRT station. 
I had just bought a New Balance just for this Taiwan trip, so i didn't thought of buying any new pair of shoes.

Just love the many designs they have here.

This was in one of the departmental store sections... :D Quite expensive, as they were mostly Japan imported goods.

One of Sogo's identity, the Clock chimes with many figurines that moves when it reaches the specific hour. We were just sitting outside waiting for the time to go for the dinner.

One of the Hello Kitty Sweet outlet that sells Hello Kitty merchandise.

Lots of Hello Kitty merchandise, lovely and lots of choices.

While walking on the way to the restaurant, saw this Hello Kitty Jewelry shop. Didn't have time to go in to have a look. 

Since we have made our booking, we got our table soon.
More detailed write up about eating at this cafe here  hello-kitty-sweet-cafe-taipei-taiwan

After dinner, we were already feeling rather tired, and so we walks all the way back to our hotel.
The weather were cooling, sometimes very cold. So all those walking doesn't feel tired at all.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Taipei, Taiwan Day 1 ; 18th December 2012

It was a sudden holiday plans to Taipei, Taiwan. So, prior to that, i didn't check much other than just a few sight seing places on TripAdvisor. Booked the flights with Air Asia. This is the second time making my very own online booking with Air Asia, after a lapse of about 9 years.

It was pretty fustrating for me, going back to retype everything again because of getting the age group wrong my kids. Fustrated because i don't see the point of having to buy different adult air fares and a kids air fares. Both prices were the same, i don't even understand why they want us to buy air fares according to their age group category... ( Jia was 12 this year in April, that considered him over 12, not below 12... and i had to go back to change the ticket to adult ticket, and keying everything again... damn )

The day of the travel came, 18th December 2012. I had few hour sleeps because i was busy reprinting the web check in papers... My printer was low on ink until it gave up totally on printing. Luckily Gar's printer still manage nice print outs.

And throughout the last 2 days of packing, i keep taking out clothes, putting on some other clothes.. on and off, this goes on.. >.<  As i was pretty unsure what kind of clothing to packs. Checking the weather in Taipei, shows somewhat like between 23 degree celcius to 16 degree celcius. And i thought its gonna be like in an air-cond room.

Checked in at LCCT, gate T18. Our Boarding was at 9.05 am. We just seated for a while, and we were let in to board the air craft.

We took a quick shot ( which everyone says we are not allowed to do so... :p ) But since we were second in lines, we do a quick shot.

Xuan stole my seat. He was so excited about the plane, keeps looking out the window. It was tough time getting him seated with the buckle belt strapped.

The kids were seated behind us. The plane took off before the set departure time ( 10.05 am )

the plane took off, leaving Selangor....or KL ? can't even tell where the boundaries are from this...

My selected pre-booked meal..Oriental Asian ( that's chicken rice minus the cucumbers ) and a bottle of plain water... ( i so missed those normal airplane food on other's Flight companies )

It was getting colder as we approached the north part of South East Asia. Snowflakes gathered outside the window.

the sky above 40,000 feet is just simply wonderful. Blue Blue sky.. nice clouds.

The first sight of approaching Taipei, Taiwan. We see the coastal lines. With very hazy sky outside. Because the weather temperature drops to 13 degree celcius. It was about 3pm ++

Stumbled on this wall of digital time on the lower one floor of the airport arrival hall. So beautiful..
We were looking for the telcos booth. We soon found them on the same level as the arrival hall, its toward the left side, and turn left from the arrival hall exits ( from the custom )
We got our local prepaid sims card for the unlimited wifi access and some few calls credits.

We board the air port taxi just outside the airport. As we failed to make any private arrangement for private driver, we decided to just go on our own and do it at our own pace.
The queues for the taxi outside the airport are orderly, and there are people or airport people managing the traffic. Because we came in group of 6 person, we have to board two separate cabs.

This cabbie driver i had, was engaging in talks.. though with the limited mandarins that i manage... haha.. It certainly surprised Ning that we could understand each other. :p
This trip cost us NT1160 to reach Hotel Eclat Taipei, near Da Aan district. 

The cabs in Taipei are installed with GPS and this driver even self installed a camera video recording device at the front windscreen there. :D He told me it cost about NT5000 . 
You should bring a print out of the hotel address you are staying, in english and also chinese. Its easier for them to find the hotel location with their GPS.

We reached Hotel Eclat Taipei.

A very attentive hotel worker was ready outside with umbrella to usher us in. And get our luggages in as well. The check in was speedy. Me looking like a chinese, automatically they speak mandarins to me.. haha, but of course i could manage simple chinese, but once they get harder to understand, they see my face, they start talking to me in English. :p

The reception staff brought us to our room personally.

the lift buttons which were touch- sensor type. You can't touch it if you are wearing a glove. :p

The room separated from the bathroom with a clear glass. It will turn frosted ( for privacy sake ) with a touch of a switch inside the bathroom.

Inside the bathroom, vanity area. Everyday 2 fresh bottle of water in the bathroom, each bottle at both bedside and 2 more bottles at the pantry area. So, there's no problem or thoughts of buying any drinking water. :)
Combs, toothbrush and toothpaste ( both Colgates brand ), the usual vanity stuffs are provided and restock immediately if used.

They are even generous with the towels, comes in 3's. Usually, a room only provides 2 towels. I usually have to make a request for the extra towels in the past hotels that i stayed in. 

There are fresh fruits platter in the room. Long window door in the room, locked. :p There's no way you can open them to look out.. its too cold anyway... 

the study table with ample plugs point, for international travellers use ( the plugs point with many holes.. LOL, whatever type plugs head no problem )
The drawer came with a spare keyboard, and office stationaries, scissors, staples, cellophontapes...i'm pretty amazed by what they provided. It felt like, they took care of every needs you might have.

Our adjoining room two single bed. They don't have any available adjoining King size bed, but its okay with connecting room rather than having to walk out and knock on door and get in. 

Lots of touch sensor buttons in the room. Even the bedside table lamp, have a tiny long stick, which you touch, and the lights get dimmer, and you touch again, it turns off. Touch once more, it turns on the light. :p

No bath tub in the Deluxe Kings bedroom. Only standing shower, but three shower head to choose from. :)

The bottles neatly placed with embossed plates. You don't have to read the label on the bottle.. :p
On the other side the glass panel, u can see they even provide the shaves cooling cream, lip balms and body lotions too.

The toilet bowl is the best part. It's electronic controlled with this panel beside the wall. Right from opening the cover, to opening the toilet seat or closing, you can do it with all these buttons here. Spraying, washing...etc.. :D

I forgot to take picture of the dustbin in here too. Its 'move sensor'. It sensed your hand on top of the bin, the cover will opens. And after some time, it will automatically closes.

Nespresso provided in the room. We had coffee every night =D

After taking our shower and refreshing ourselves, we ventured out of the hotel, to look for dinner.
By that time, it was almost 6.30 pm. But it's already very dark in Taipei. It felt like 8-9 pm. 
It was slightly drizzling and temperature was very very cold.

the kids group photo at the lobby. Nicely decorated Xmas tree and interior.

The Hotel's ground floor staff was so attentive, gave us the umbrellas with us to walk to the nearby restaurant.

The restaurant is called '周胖子餃子館' 
address 106, Taiwan 台北市大安區四維路14巷1號
 It's amazing i can find back this restaurant detail on google map. :p

this shop outlook picture taken from Google Earth Map. Awesome !

they have these side dishes, which we freely pick. I like the green long long thing, which tasted like some vegetable.

The main, beef noodles. It was good, because the weather was so cold. :)

Extra order for the dumplings. The staff here are very friendly and accomodating. The drinks were limited in choice, available in a drink fridge, self service to pick.

On the way back to the hotel. We walk out to the main road, near the roundabout of the Da aan district. Which main road will lead us back to the main street that our hotel faced. It was just 7.45 or 8 pm when we finished dinner, but it felt like very late night on the street. Probably we were tired from the flights.

Still drizzling even after dinner, and cold...

at the other end of the junction.

Back inside the warm hotel lobby, nice xmas deco...

i asked Ning to imitate the statue's feature. :D I think Gar's family ancestor gene must be coming from Taiwan side... kekeke....thinking back, this statue's face does looks similar to Gar's late grandmother.

the nice thing about Taiwan is, their packaging are cool. The noodles that Xuan couldn't finish, we packed back to hotel. Nice little boxes ...

~ end of day one ~