Tuesday, January 01, 2008

23rd December 2007 in Taiwan

Rise and shine! 4:30am in the morning and I am getting ready to set off! Here's my turtle pack! (Luckily its not green... (^__^ )> ) Heavy stuff, but no wheels and trolleys for me, cuz its not manly, at least, in my opinion. Hee hee... Got it weighed at the airport - 9.8KG!

Before boarding... Yes, THIS IS CHANGI AIRPORT TERMINAL 2! First time boarding a plane like this. I entered the gates and headed downstairs where a shuttle bus was waiting for passengers. Then it took us out along the taxiways until we arrived at this little Silkair plane. We alight from the bus to board the plane.Inside the plane, only 1 aisle and 3 seats a side.
Getting all excited. That's me and Jerry. Nope, my name's not ben nor tom.And Kokuhen-san steps in to spice things up... Kaoshiung, here we come!


I forgotten why I was so happy there...

Jiawoei was already very trigger happy...

and here's me, first time onto the coach...

and we choose the most rear seats...
Why? Reasons are simple: 4 persons to 5 seats, and we can recline our seats backwards for a more comfortable ride (or sleep) during the journey~

First stop - DREAM MALL. I am not photogenic, but I think I make a good photographer...

and a very nice uncle helped took our photos...

Its like around 1 pm when we arrived here, and I was famished! Some free and easy time for us to grab our lunch... here's a Foodcourt in Dream Mall.

Look what I spotted - MISTER DONUTS! The mascot is SO ADORABLE! Popped in for a look and I was greeted by 3 friendly service staff - 3 young taiwanese girls...
the way they say "欢迎光临~~~!" was like "oh so TEH~!".
But nah~ when I am hungry, I only have eyes for FOOD. Its paper bag is so nice I brought it back to Sg. xD
I got myself this "六小福". Yummy!
Of course, Lunch wasn't just like this. Took another stroll around the foodcourt and this lovely display caught my interest! Ka-ching! $$$ I bought the one right in the center - ice-cream with peach fillings and strawberry sauce. Yummy!

Packaging is so beautiful! I honestly say, all the food display in the foodcourt are impressive! I felt like trying EVERYTHING from each stall because they all looked very tasty!
Dream Mall is like every other shopping centers, good to see, not good to buy. Here's the first Christmas Tree I come across in Taiwan. The mall echos of X'mas Chorus in Mandarin...
Look closer at the tree~ its made out of lotsa Hello Kitties!
And the next other thing that caught my eyes is this sumo fella... walking advertisement.
Nothing much in the shopping center already. I remembered Pooh mentioned before that Puma shoes are cheaper there - TRUE. Some of the Puma shoes are retailing at an estimated under-S$80 after discount.

Before leaving Dream Mall, caught some Idol actions near the area... recognise who is she? I honestly have no idea... and I can't be bothered...

Street scenes! Ah~ some familiar brands... noticed the huge amount of motorcycles parked below Carrefour?
And here's a view of Kaoshiung City from a highway. Mountainous region in the background...First hotel in Kaoshiung - 统茂休闲旅馆 - more like a motel to me. Not that I mind, as long as I has a decent bed and a decent toilet. Then I was told that the 统茂 group is gonna cover most of our hotels and meals. They seems to have quite a chain of operations across the country.We checked in around 3pm and were given some time to rest before assembling again for the Night Market. So I popped out onto the streets without further delay... pulled Kokuhen with me. Here's a street scene in Kaoshiung. Look like a typical Japanese street.
Forgot to mention that their road junctions are VERY WIDE. Its left-hand drives over there, so crossing the roads are like "oh-so-not-used-to-it". You got to check your 8 o-clock for vehicles everytime you cross the road.
Oh, interesting little temple right ABOVE a building...

Kaoshiung streets are packed with all these "skippers". Kokuhen told me these motors are very easy to ride. "Just open trottle, close trottle, no clutch, no gears to bother". I was later told that one do NOT need a license to ride these skippers if they are under 50cc (green number plate). The larger cc ones need to get license, but they are only restricted to city rides, and cannot enter the inter-states expressways. Fair enough. Everybody seemed to own one. And its not only Kaoshiung, but the whole of Taiwan.
Nice smelling! Period. No time to pose for pictures cuz got to cross the road fast.
Evening time: We assembled downstairs for the trip to the night market...

Kaoshiung streets in the night. Lotsa advertisements and neon lights (taken from inside the coach)...

We alighted near the 六合夜市. Its just across the road.
Oh, and an exterior view of the bus (took this photo just in case I forgot how my tour bus looks like).
Right across the road - 六合夜市
Bustling with life!
So jam packed... see that fellow in demin top and jeans at the bottom left? Thats Max, our tour guide... and he is 73 years old.... wah.... Oh, and Jiawoei was right behind me, and caught me in the picture below taking another picture of.....

We were advised of eating safe - dun wanna get stomachaches in the beginning of the trip. This stall below... all the raw food are like exposed in the air... no proper storage... skeptical...
And I was advised against seafood by the tour guide...
but they look so tasty! I could smell the crab meat from 2 metres away!
Self-portriat - the guys are too busy with their own camera too!
Oh, their arcades are like TOTALLY BORING. Mostly are these UFO catchers, but the items inside are adorable!

Especially these! xD
ah~ Dan Zai Mian (担仔面)
one of the recommendations by the tour guide... got to try~!

Here's what the Jiaweoi got off the stall - Dan Zai Mian, some shell-fish, and some chicken-intestines. (Dammit... I merely took my eyes off them a while and they bought rubbish... except for the noodles... I HATE intestinal stuffs...)
(That evening... we eat...)
Smelly Beancurd!!! Hold your breath!
Bought a bowl to share~ taste ok; the beancurd is crispy fried. But the juice is nasty...
(and we eat....)
Tada! I spotted this! Wasted no time in getting one!
(and we eat again... )
Bought a japanese-style seafood okonomiyaki too~!
(and we eat somemore... )
Opps! An ugly picture of me with my mouth full of munchies... yum yum~ ( ^___^ )
(and we eat again... )
Oh, found a perfect corner to stop and finish our food!
(and we eat non-stop... )
Towards the other end of 六合夜市, I have NO IDEA why is this stall so popular.... everybody is crowding it and business is so good. Its signages are also filled with lotsa signatures.
A guardpost at a end of the night market.
States "Kaoshiung's Liuho Tourist Night Market".
Where you ask? Here.
We decided to head back on our own after the night market, so its on our own to explore the streets! Couldn't take a better picture... but this shop below is a Marine Fish store! BEAUTIFUL fishes inside!
And this operation here is probably the brightest in the vicinity... boring streets, most of the shops are closing around 9 - 10pm... Nope, this kinda place isn't for me~ ( ^__^ )
Ah! I caught a traffic warden in action! Motion-blurred picture because I took it stealthy and swiftly. (Yea, I was trigger-happy... my friends had to stop me from taking pictures of "Taiwanese Ants" on the road...)
Here's something from 7-Eleven - PRINGLES in Sea Salt & Black Pepper Flavour. There was another Tiger Prawn flavour too! Oh by the way... 7-Eleven is EVERYWHERE... I lost count of how many outlets it has just along ONE STREET. I could really throw a stone from one 7-Eleven to the other 7-Eleven. So when you are lost in Taiwan, never set 7-Eleven as a rendevous point.

We got lost and stumbled upon this interesting street... 三凤中街. Too bad the shops are closed already...
And nearby, I come across this little pet store... super smelly, super bad living condition. See that white maltese at the top right corner? Its selling at NT$2000 only. Thats equivalent to slightly around S$100.
Oh I loved their traffic lights. The green man is animed, so cute! (Below is a combined pic).
Probably the biggest bottle of mineral water I ever saw. Reminds me of cooking oil.
Well, that's about all that is for the first day in Taiwan.

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