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Thursday, December 29, 2016

October in Taiwan Part 2 (Recap)

Only 20+ days left here in Taiwan! This is Part 2 of my October Recap, read Part 1 here if you haven't yet :D

My family actually came to Taiwan at the end of October, so we booked a package from FunTaiwan and traveled around Taipei. 


TA SHEE BLOOMING OASIS 大溪花海农场




Personally I felt that ChongShe Flower Market (中社花海) is much better, as you can see from my picture, you see more green leaves than the colours of the flowers, so, it's not really a spectacular sight. But we did bought honey and pollen which is supposedly good for your body here. 


YANGMINGSHAN 阳明山

This was a very failed YangMingShan trip because it was raining, and freezing, there was so much mist that we can't see anything at all. I am also covering my nose because we went to this part that had sulphur there and gosh the smell was awful! 

Pro tip: Only visit YangMingShan when the weather is good.


SAN XIA OLD STREET 三峡老街


This is by far the prettiest old street I've ever been to in Taiwan! Really old school kinda place, I would recommend you guys to go if you have the chance. The most famous thing there is the bull's horn croissants. They taste really good :D


YEHLIU 野柳 



It is SO gorgeous here! and it's super windy too. The Queen's Head is definitely the most popular attraction to see, hence, hard to avoid people in the background. Apparently they said it's gonna break off anytime soon because the part of her neck is getting thinner.


GOLDEN FALLS 黄金瀑布

One of the prettiest waterfalls I've ever seen! It's really beautiful and according to our driver, the water used to be brown-ish, so when the sun shines on the waterfall it looks golden, hence the name.



YIN YANG SEA 阴阳海

and then when the water from the Golden waterfall flows into the sea, it created this double colored sea effect which they called in the Yin Yang Sea. It is really a very clear line of the brownish water vs the blue sea water. 
  

JIUFEN 九份



This was the first time I'm seeing JiuFen at night despite it being the 3rd time I've been here, and I must say that the saying of "九份越夜越美" is really true! We bought the most 土产 here, especially their snacks, like 猪纸皮, Seaweed biscuits, 姜母茶...etc.


 (YILAN 宜兰)

LANYANG MUSEUM 兰阳博物馆



I HIGHLY recommend visiting this museum, not only is it pretty on the outside, but the inside is very very awesome! Also it's so cheap! Less than RM15 for students, and less than RM20 for normal adults. Considering this museum has 4 floors (You can't tell from the outside eh?) The museum is all about Yilan and it's history, and it's also very interactive, so it was extremely interesting and entertaining.


MR. BROWN'S CAFE 伯朗咖啡馆 (酒保咖啡馆)

 Then we headed to a castle on top of a hill, which is actually a cafe. The drinks there are mostly coffee and it was not bad, price wise it is slightly cheaper than Starbucks. Also, you get to see the whole view of Yilan from the top.


JIAOXI HOTSPRINGS & KALAVAN WHISKY DISTILLERY
礁溪温泉公园 & 噶玛兰威士忌

For Jiao Xi Hot Springs, we only went to the part where it was open air and everyone just dipped their legs. The water wasn't very hot, and quite nice after walking for almost the whole day.

The Kalavan Whisky Distillery is owned by Mr Brown (yes, the cafe owner), and we got a free tour of the place.

JIMMY PARK 几米广场

Jimmy is quite a popular artist in Taiwan and now has his own park filled with his art. It was quite fun taking pics with all the different characters and paintings.




So this pretty much sums up my whole trip with my family, and that's a wrap for my October Recap! :)


P.S: Read my other posts about my exchange life in Taiwan here
P.P.S: If you're wondering why I don't have pics of my family, it's because I have decided not to post them on public platforms anymore.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

October in Taiwan Recap (Part 1)


This is a long overdue update, and I have no excuse for this >< Finally writing all of this down before my exchange program actually ends. I do only have 1 month plus here left. 

So, this is a summary of where I went and what I did during the month of October. Split it into 2 parts because October was quite happening la. haha.


TAMSUI 淡水



Couldn't have chosen a hotter day to come here because it was really HOT. Think I got 3 times darker after this day. Sunset was great but other than that we didn't really explored much because we realized we had to walk super far to get to certain places, and under this hot sun, just, no thanks. 


Also this was the day where we randomly wandered into a shoes shop and I managed to buy a pair of Diadora sandals for only 190TWD (approx RM24)! Definitely was a steal!


NCCU MAKE UP CLUB 政大彩妆社



Joined the Make Up Club in NCCU and yes, there are boys too! It's been great so far, we get products to try (either full sized or samples) and sometimes magazines/books almost every class. I volunteered to be one of the models for the NARUKO 牛而 class, best decision ever because I got a ton of full sized products in sets. Seriously, I think joining this club is the best investment I made in Taiwan. Only 600TWD (Approx RM70, and they will refund 100TWD if you didn't miss more than 3 classes), and from the products I have gotten, the value is already way over what I paid for.


TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE BUILDING 中华民国总统府

Mike, Evonne, me, Kai Siang (KS), Ah Siang

And then at one point, it just kept raining, so when the rain stopped, the gang goes out to play. The presidential office opens once a month, and I was quite surprised that people are allowed to wear shorts, I also saw some wearing spaghetti strap dresses and all. It was quite interesting, there were a few dance performances even.


ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN 象山

Photo credits: Kai Siang


1000+ steps and a gazillion breaths later, this was what greeted us at the top of this mountain. Given that I do not workout at all, this wasn't easy, and I think the worse part is that it was fully stairs. Just an endless staircase all the way to the top. Seeing people sprinting up and down the mountain with ease made me feel quite useless haha, but I made it in the end! The sunset and night view here....you just have to see it to believe it. God knows these 1000+ steps were worth it.


UM BBA TRIP (ALISHAN 阿里山, SUN MOON LAKE 日月潭)



阿里山 was about 14 degrees celcius when we went there. Main attraction: sunrise at the very top of the mountain. According to our driver, only 3 out of 10 groups actually can see the sunrise because mountain weathers are very unpredictable. But we got to see it! Thank God, if not there is basically nothing much there except for this. Lol. And to think we almost missed it because we nearly overslept.


The view on the way down was great though. White fluffy clouds with blue skies everywhere! Tip when visiting 阿里山: If you are someone that is car-sickness prone, do take medication for it, if not its gonna be a very painful journey.


Stopped by at 集集火车站, the oldest railway station in Taiwan, while on the way to our next stop. Decided to take a <Train to Busan> inspired photo and this remains my favourite photo of us up to date. 


Visited Sun Moon Lake 2 years ago but I never knew there were like 3 parts of it that you can actually visit. So we sat the ferry to all 3 parts and had some food and milk tea before leaving.


CHONGSHE FLOWER MARKET 中社花海 





This place was the last stop for our trip, and it's somewhere in Taichung 台中 on the way back to Taipei, and this is the place I really liked the most. We got there at the golden hour some more about 4.30pm, so it was the sun setting and pretty flowers everywhere. Very beautiful, I will highly recommend this place. And I think because we only had like an hour before they closed so there wasn't much people there anymore, and about 5pm, it was just us. But downside is they start to water the flowers, so some places will be muddy and your shoes will be dirty. But hey, always worth it for a good shot ;)


Part 2 coming up soon. 


P.S: Read my other posts about my exchange life in Taiwan here


Thursday, September 29, 2016

A day in my life (Exchange student at NCCU)



It's been almost a month here in Taiwan now and I thought I should jot down what I do on most days here.



On days when I have classes, I will eat breakfast. This is the canteen right below my dorm, it's called 安九 ("Enjoy"). There's quite a lot of variety here, from economy rice to soup noodles.


This is the stall I usually order from for breakfast. They have toast, 蛋饼 (which is like roti canai), mee...etc. But I usually just order toast. Yes I know their toast looks rather white and not...toasted, but I promise it's crunchy. That's my matcha green tea toast for NT$15 (about RM2).



Or, I sometimes take breakfast at Hi-Life, which is kinda like another ty pe of 7-11 here. They usually have sets like a sandwhich and a drink will cost about NT$49 (about RM6.50). We do have a 10% student discount here, and they have ATM machines to let us withdraw money.



And then it's time to fight a spot on the bus. I live in a dorm uphill, so I usually take the bus down. It costs NT$1 (RM0.13) per bus ride. In the mornings, the bus comes every 20 mins. After 6pm, the bus comes every 10 mins.

On weekdays when everyone has classes, there will be a super long queue. If you're lucky and in the first 13 to line up, you will get a seat. If not, just stand lah. It's only like a 4 mins ride down. But the roads are quite winding, so gotta hold on tight.



This is the Faculty of Commerce, which is my faculty. It is about 9 or 10 stories high. It's really big as compared to my faculty back in UM.

I am taking 4 subjects, a total of 12 credit hours. The pictures below are what my classes look like. So far I still havent entered my Money and Banking class yet because during the 1st week, it was the Mid-Autumn festival holidays, then last week my lecturer had personal matters.

Organizational Behaviour class


Investment class
Service Marketing class

Their class timings here are quite unique. Classes start 10 mins later than stated time. Meaning if it says class starts at 9am, it actually starts at 9.10am. Then every 50 mins of class, we will get a 10 mins break. There's a school bell that actually rings during break times. It's pretty cool. haha. Feels like primary/secondary school all over again.


Finding food is not a problem here. This is the street right outside of my Uni, a lot of restaurants and shops here, everything is walking distance.



This is one of my favourite restaurants to eat. It's called 左撇子 and their rice here is really good! Mostly costs NT$75 (about RM10).


There is also a building in our Uni that has a lot of different varieties of food stalls selling food. First floor is where most students eat at. 2nd and 3rd floor are the more expensive and atas kind of food, so we don't eat there.


Of course there are days where I need to do laundry. Other than washers, they have dryers. Their washer and dryer here have the same 6 settings to choose from (perm press, white coloured clothes, normal clothes, delicates, wool...etc). Washers only take 30 mins, while dryers take 45 mins. Dryers are so useful! Your clothes really come out fully dried (except those thicker ones, still have to hang those). And for the record, it only costs NT$20 (about RM2.50) to use both.


 On weekends or even weekdays when we don't have classes, we head out to explore!

Visiting Ah Siang & Evonne at NTU (National Taiwan University)
Shilin Night Market
JiuFen

So far I have adapted to the life here in Taiwan. Getting used to the food (still will miss nasi lemak and asam laksa though), their way of life, how they speak...etc. Hope to explore more of Taiwan and get to know this beautiful country better :)


P.S: No more typhoons please. I think we have experienced it enough. haha
P.P.S: Read my other posts about my exchange life in Taiwan here



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