Saturday, March 29, 2008

Conquering Taipei | D3 ~ Yangmingshan & Beitou

Okay. We're supposed to go to Yangmingshan yesterday. Sudden change of plan because of Taiwan's election day is on Saturday. According to the locals, it's better to stay away from the city on the eve of election day. So, early morning we headed to Yangmingshan. It's a nice move coz the weather was just nice to go uphills. From the weather forecast, Taipei is supposed to be raining. But THANK GOD! It was sun, cloud and breeze for these 3 days!

(P/S: Chen Sui Pien party lost in the election and Ma Ying Jiu party won. Ma Ying Jiu is the opposition party. And the citizens of Taiwan are really happy with the opposition winning this election. Makes me wonder about back home...)

Let's head back to our journey to Yangmingshan. It's like our Cameron Highlands but a few times bigger in size. We took MRT to Shihlin station and boarded bus R5. The bus staion is at the left side of the Exit 1 Shihlin station. Bus stops in front of a Family Mart store.
(Note: Buses numbers starts with "R" are buses heading to MRT stations. So, if you ever got lost, get on bus starts with "R", you will reach a MRT station)

It took about 30 minutes to reach Yangmingshan Terminal. After that, another bus to reach "Zhuzihu" Bamboo Lake. This is one from the 6 main attractions at Yangmingshan. Too bad that we only went to this one only. The season now is Lily flowers. But sakura and "mei hua" also can be found around. We walked quite a bit, up-hills and down-hills. It was tiring but the view was spectacular. Even the locals come to see the flowers. At this point, I can see that the Taiwanesse loves Taiwan a lot!
Scenery of Yangmingshan
Lilies of "Zhuzihu", Yangmingshan
After reaching the Bamboo Lake small town, we head to food! On the way, we stop by a fruit stall. Fruits are fresh and yummy. We ended up buying a lot of fruits (NT100 per bag). All the restaurants are the same, serving nearly the same food. We choose the one that has a lot of people in it. We ordered set lunch (NT2500 per set means NT312.50 per pax) Food OK OK ler.
Busy buying fruits

Lunch time

Burb! (Excuse me...) It's time to make a move if we want to look for a hot spring hotel ("fan dien") to stay a night. On our way back down, we stop at one of the florist. Flowers are fresh in this kinda climate. Makes me want to buy some too... But travelling like this won't allow me to carry a bouquet of flowers around. It's cheap too. Just like buying flowers in Cameron Highlands.

Don't you feel like buying some?
Seeing the bus stop swarming with people, we opt to take taxi to Beitou. Well, it was a rip-off. As usual lah, at these kinda places. (This is the only time I felt cheated) It cost us NT100 per pax. Sigh... Nothing else we can do. Lazy to wait for public bus.

We stopped at Xinbeitou MRt station to wait for the others. Beitou is a town which is famous for its hot springs. On "Wen Chuan" road there are lotsa hot springs hotels and a public hot springs. Hot springs hotels prices varies but public ones cost cheaper (NT20-40) No worries, in public hot springs there is no need to be nude.
Beitou Public Hot Spring

We decided to stay a night at "Bai Le Huei" Broad Way Hotel. This hotel has its own hot spring BUT you need to strip off! Well, everyone has a first time. Hehe. It was akward at first, but everyone was just being normal. We took the family room which fits 6 people and they gave us extra matresses. It has a private hot spring too. But I didn't manage to try it. Cost: NT10300 for a night. NT1300 per pax. Good deal. Thanks to Mr Lim (pst! He's from Penang, M'sia) That's why we got a good deal. According to one of the locals, this place is quite new.
(Note: Do not soak too long in the hot spring. 10 minutes in hot and cold alternatively for maximum 3 times each.)
"Bai Le Huei"
Opss. Sorry, there is no photos while we're in the hot springs. X-rated lah.

As dinner time came, we creep out and look for food. There is a small market down the road. Makan lah! Apa lagi? But I can't seem to find the courage to eat "chou dofu" smelly tofu. Maybe later??? Hahahaha!

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