Taiwan trip

30 Dec

Ok, so it’s been almost 3 months ago that me and the hubby went to Taiwan before we came up here to Alaska from Indonesia. Sounds a little bit complicated isn’t it? Anyway, my first post was about our decision to move up here (Alaska) from Indonesia (where we met, fell in love, got married). So after my visa was granted, we started looking for plane tickets. Well.. we got so many choices.. but since we’re a cheap couple, we’re opting for China Airlines, the cheapest one among them all! Seriously, the price difference between China airlines and Delta airlines for example is almost like twice as much! Hubby’s business visa was about to expire on Sept 16, but ALL the flights from Taipei to Anchorage were somehow FULLY booked from mid Sept to 1st of Oct! So….. we finally decided that we’re gonna go on our 2nd honeymoon to Taiwan for about 10 days!!

The packing part and the emotional fiesta (from the time we decided to move up here to the actual departure date) are too long to be written on this post. Fast forward to the day of our departure. After lengthy hugs and many many tears in the airport, I finally managed to peel myself off from my dad and my auntie who also came to sent us away.Β  The flight from Jakarta to Taipei was quite enjoyable, it was only like 5 hours or so. I watched Sex and the City..read a book.. tried to nap.. yada.. yada.. and finally we arrived πŸ™‚

We got insane amount of luggage, I think we got 2 huge suitcases, 1 huge box, 2 medium size travel bags, and 2 guitars.. how in the heck are we going to bring all of these stuffs with us while we’re on a trip? And behold…… the mighty ‘luggage deposit counter’ as the Taiwanese call it. It was like heaven sent!! So we deposited everything that we won’t need for the trip, and we’re only left with 1 suitcase and 2 travel bags πŸ˜€ woohooooo We got the hotel at around 10 PM-ish and we’re starving….so we went to the nearest 7-11 and bought Doritos and cup noodles yum yum….. such a healthy dinner eh?? Brought them back to the hotel room, and I cried my eyes out while eating cup noodles because suddenly I got this ‘I’m moving away from my family’ feeling 😦  I was sobbing, crying, eating noodles and doritos, snot and tears rolling down my face.. but finally my always calm hubby calmed me down. And I was able to make him promise that if we have the time and the money, we have to go back to Jakarta on average of once in 2 years or so :p

The hotel that we stayed at had this really nice breakfast buffet (at least according to me) πŸ˜€ what kind of hotel have kimchi for breakfast?? Right?? I gobbled white rice, kimchi, miscellaneous pickles and questionable meat, sunny side up eggs and some dried fishes. Then we rode this awesome Aloha bus to Taichung, hubby lived there for 8 years so we’re going to see some of his friends and eat this supposedly legendary Kung Pao chicken which he has been craving for the last 2 years πŸ˜€ We’re staying at his friend’s house, and they have 3 dogs!! This is one of their dogs, isn’t he precious??

He’s so ugly, we actually felt sorry for him. He’s so ugly, we petted him the most. He’s so ugly to the point that he passed the ugly point and circled back to the cute point. But.. inside that ugly and then cute exterior, he’s actually EVIL!! Duane petted him, and he was like shoving his head to Duane’s head so Duane thought that he wants to give him kisses right?? right?? but what did the dog do?? He bit Duane’s nostril!!! ouch!! Which led me to conclude that…. ugly dogs are evil dogs! Except Boxers πŸ˜€

Later that night, we went to the supposedly legendary Kung Pao chicken place, but sadly….. they changed the chef 😦 ARGH!! πŸ˜₯ we were all pretty frustrated!! I want to try THAT legendary kung pao chicken πŸ˜₯ oh well, our food was pretty good though. But still.. Jakarta’s chinese food is better in my opinion :p

The next day, we spent the whole day cruising the city, checked out some Buddhist stores and for dinner we ate Ma La Guo πŸ˜€ It’s sooooooo good!! It’s basically hot pot withΒ  blood based soup with coagulated blood floating inside.

The blood based soup is the one on the left, the right one is pickled cabbage based soup. You can’t really see the floating coagulated blood, but don’t worry, I have picture of it later on on this post πŸ™‚ We ate 3 Ma La Guo meals during our 10 days trip πŸ˜€Β  I’m craving it now….. slurp……

The next day we went to the Big Buddha, you can climb in the Big Buddha, and they have like 6 or 7 levels.. on each levels they have statues which depicted the story of how Siddharta Gautama became a Buddha. This is the picture of the Big Buddha from the outside:

If you climb up to the top level, you can see the city through Buddha’s third eye.. Cool huh? πŸ™‚ But when we were there, the top level was closed for smth… 😦

And behind the Buddha, there’s a super duper green field of grass and a temple

We went inside the temple, and I found it really really weird that inside a Buddhist temple, there are lots of statues of Chinese gods…. hm…. I always thought Buddhist and Kong Hu Cu are 2 different beliefs….. oh well, I guess Taiwanese truly believe in ‘you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone’. So like, if you have a wish.. and you don’t know whether it’ll be Buddha or one of Chinese gods who willΒ  make your wish come true, you can go to 1 temple.. pray to everyone of them.. and have the possibility of your wish be granted go up right?? yeah.. that makes sense.. I guess.. And here’s a picture that I took from inside the temple, looking at the Buddha, looking at the city

The next day, we went to the probably the most awesomest place on earth!! Tarokoooo :D:D

We went to this city called Hua Lien by train, the train is super duper nice! Ow.. and in the morning, we had the most interesting cab ride πŸ˜€ I am probably about 90% chinese by blood, but I don’t speak chinese. My husband on the other hand, he’s white but since he spent 8 years in Taiwan, he could speak chinese fluently. So, anyway.. needles to say, he was the one who arranged every single thing for our Taiwan trip. On that early morning, we took a cab to go to the train station, and we wanted to stop at McDonalds first for our breafast. The conversation went like this :

Cab Driver (CB) : Where to? (in Chinese while looking at me)

Me : Sorry, I cannot speak Chinese..

Husband (H) : Train station but stop at the nearest McDonald first (all in Chinese.. fluently!)

CB : (looking at me, speaking in Chinese) I’m sorry, I don’t speak English.. where to miss?

Me : ………….. (totally have no idea that the cab driver tried to talk to me.. I was looking out the window..)

H : She doesn’t speak chinese, let’s go to McDonalds (in CHINESE)

CB : (saying smth else, totally thinks that I’m just faking that I cannot speak Chinese, and finally he said..) But her hair is black!!

And the craziness continues with the cab driver doesn’t want to believe that I cannot speak Chinese, and Hubby (the western guy) can speak chinese fluently.. -.-”

Finally we reached McDonalds, we went to the drive through

CB : Do you have menu in English? these people cannot speak Chinese! (in Chinese of course)

H : (ignoring the CB) Can I have 2 egg muffins, 1 coffe.. yada yada.. (ordering in Chinese)

It was sooooo funny πŸ˜€

Anyway, back to the awesome train ride! Have I told you that the train is nice and new? It has humongous clean bathroom as well! Pic of us on the train πŸ˜€ Hubby said he looks really douche-y in this pic πŸ˜€

Right after we reached Hua Lien, we hurried to the hotel, rented a scooter, and we went to Taroko Gorge πŸ™‚ I was completely blown away, it is AWESOME!!! All the pictures cannot do any justice on the level of awesomeness that this place has.

Can you see the tiny temple up on the mountain? Isn’t that awesome? There are lots of tiny temples everywhere over here! πŸ™‚

Look at the road!! Sometimes you have to duck so that your head won’t get bashed :p (kidding)

Yes.. those white streaks on the side of the mountain is waterfall!!! Isn’t that awesome?? :D:D

More awesome photos from Taroko :

Can you see the Kuan Yin statue and the temple?

Random super duper green bug

After about 1000 stairs, we finally got to the Kuan Yin statue

Buddha statue with gorge background

This is the pic looking into the gorge from our hotel

We spent about 3 days over there, and every single day, we just scooter our way up the mountains, we didn’t get tired of it at all! That’s how awesome is it! πŸ˜€

Next stop is Pu Li, we stayed with Duane’s old opera teacher. Her family is super nice :):)

We went to Kuan Yin waterfall, it was quite a hike to go up the waterfall! When I reached up there, I was out of breath… then… I saw this middle aged chinese woman hiked up there with high heels and she didn’t look tired at all! 😦

Yep. that’s me πŸ˜€ squatting by the pool of the waterfall. I fell down on the pool while I was trying to walk back.. the water was freezing cold!!

After Pu Li, we went back to Taichung for a couple of days to hang out with Duane’s friends, and then we went on to our last stop, Taipei!! πŸ˜€

We rode on this one super high cable car! It’s by the zoo, the zoo has 2 pandas, but since we didn’t have much time in Taipei we decided to just rode the cable car instead of going into the zoo. I was hoping to see the pandas from the cable car.. but of course it wasn’t happening πŸ˜€

See how high it is!!

The next day we went to….. Taipei 101!!!! πŸ˜€ It was tall, it was great.. but why do you have to charge tourists so much money lah???? :(:(:(:(

Every single thing are so expensive over there, to went up the elevator, the drinks.. ckckckck oh well, at least now I can proudly say I’ve been to the second tallest building in the world πŸ™‚

Look at this, if this is not misleading and deceptive, I don’t know what is!!

Compare the pic with what we actually got!!!

 

The view from the top! We’re above the clouds πŸ˜€

Taipei 101 from the outside (which kinda looks like stacked up Chinese take-outs)

Ow ow.. and I ate Ma La Guo (yep.. that coagulated blood in blood soup) one more time that night!! Here you can really see the coagulated blood piece yummeehhh. It’s that brown tofu looking thingy in the small bowl.

And I had tripe noodle soup with it… slurrppppp πŸ˜€ just seeing it now making me hungry again…..

The next day, we’re off to the airport to fly to Alaska πŸ˜€ Here’s a pic of us waiting in the waiting room of Taipei airport

And that ends our super duper fun trip πŸ™‚ I cannot wait to go back there :):)

 

 

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One Response to “Taiwan trip”

  1. wjeaner December 31, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Very cool story! Brings back memories of Dad & I being in Taiwan. So many places to go and so many beautiful things to see. I’m glad you wrote about it.

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