11 Unique Facts About Japan !

Hello guys! I just got back from my International Study Excursion with my university program (IBM) + Holiday in Japan 🙂
So before I post my travel journey from 13 until 24 April 2014, I’d like to share you some unique facts about Japan – in my version.

1. Japanese like to bow until it feels awkward for both of us

One night, I called the room service to repair my toilet’s sink. An old man came in and repaired it. When he finished and I know that I must respect the one who’s older than me, I bow to him and said “Arigato”. Then, he bow back. I bow back again, and he do the same thing. I bow again for the third time, even lower than him, and he bow back again. In the end, I smiled at him and he smiled at me too. The end of the story, because my friend close the door. 

They love to help others, even when they can’t speak english – yeah, they use body language
There’s a time when my friends and I struggle to find this one place called Asahi Archery near Otsuka. So we asked a policeman there, and he helped us until he even open his map and show the way for us. Thanks policeman!! We asked lots of help for direction to the local people. Some of them didn’t help, but some of them were really nice even though they can’t speak English fluently.

2. Time = Priceless 

When you’re in Japan, especially Tokyo, you’ll see almost all Japanese walk really really fast, ignoring their surroundings. Not only their walking habit, they also eat super duper fast with a very calm gesture! If you think that you’re a fast eater, then try eating next to a Japanese.
Not only that, when you buy groceries in a supermarket, you have to pack your things by yourself to save more time!

People pack their things themselves after paying in a supermarket

3. They eat while standing! 

As I said, that time is priceless, there are several stores in Japan that don’t provide seats, so you can eat while standing. Guess what? The food is a cold food. I guess they are providing cold food so you’ll be faster in chewing the food. I ever try to eat in this kind of restaurant, and I can’t finish my food. In my opinion, the noodle taste a little bit weird because the soup and the noodle is cold.

One of Soba restaurant in Shinagawa Station

4. Eating alone is not a problem

That doesn’t mean Japanese don’t eat together, they still are. But lots of Japanese, especially employee / businessman, eating alone. That’s why they can eat fast and save time. 

They all don’t know each other and eating alone. 


5. Every man employee wear suits

This is the unique thing. Even though you’re not a boss or manager, if you work inside a company, you will wear a suits! A very formal and complete one, with a hand carry on your hand.

6. Machine is everywhere and a must!

Even in a small store, you can buy your food through the machine, and then give the receipt to the waiter. Within 5 minutes, your order will come out. 
Vending machine is everywhere in the town – even in the small alley –
This fact shows that Japan is really want to be practical and make their life easier. 

7. Oh no, we don’t have enough land!

As we know, Japan is a small country and there’s no enough space for them to build their country. That is why they made the land on their own. There are two manmade island in Japan. One of them is Odaiba. 
In terms of vehicle parking, Japanese also use a kind of “Drawer-machine” so there are 3 cars inside a drawer. To bring your car out, you simple press the machine near it so the drawer will come out. The same thing apply for bicycle.

8. If they love something, they TOTALLY in it

Who don’t know anime and manga? Yeah it is from Japan. So there’s this one place called Akihabara, when you can find one street full of anime and manga. You can buy figure, posters, dolls, comic books, and so on in Akihabara. The collection is very complete and there are also old collection that they sell in a very high price !
Love playing games? Or Yoyo? There’s one store that only sells Yoyo – even the price can be up to 100,000 yen each!
Everheard cosplay? Harajuku style? You can found people dressing in Harajuku style and cosplay along Harajuku street.

9. They love cycling!

Japanese love to cycle. If you’re in Japan, you’ll see lots of people cycling around, even when they go to work, buy groceries, and sometimes you can see people with bike and their children at the back / front of the bicycle 🙂

10. SNACKS’ Heaven ;d

Okay, I’ll describe this a little bit longer , hahaha.
Ever heard about Kit Kat? Yeah it’s originally Japanese, and in Japanese they say it Kit(o) Kat(o), with an “o” sound in the end. Japanese has its own Kit Kat flavour like Green Tea, Black, Pudding, and so on. They are all yummy !! Kit Kat is very easy to find and you can compare the price from one to another store 🙂

How about Chocobi, or maybe Dorayaki? You name it! All Japanese Anime snack is available in the convenience store in Japan. You can easily find it. For example, Chocobi, a chocolate snack that Sinchan eat in the anime movie, is available in Daiso, and so on.

The last thing that is the only one in Japan is called Tokyo Banana > this is super delicious, you should try to bought every flavour when you’re in Tokyo. Tokyo Banana is a soft cake that contains Banana Fla inside that made it super soft and yum! Tokyo Banana is available only in big station such as Shinagawa and Tokyo station. If you can’t find it, you can bought it in Narita airport.  
Japanese snack is super tempting and delicious! It’s a must try when you visit Japan.

This is some snacks that I bought in Japan! 

11. Bunch of suicide happening, depression is everywhere

Unfortunately, this is very true. I’m very sorry to hear this. Maybe because of the busy life, expensive life expense, and the individualism in Japan, many Japanese experience stress and depression. There’s one night in Japan that my friends and I were stuck inside the MRT just because there’s “passenger injury”. But what I heard from the people inside MRT (we meet a Vietnamese people who live in Japan) it’s because there’s a suicide happening and this is happens a lot in Japan. That’s why no one is panic or something. 

Second thing ever happen in my 11 days visit in Japan, there’s a man whom – doesn’t know why – scream at us inside the MRT. My friends and I feels really scared and strange, so we moved a bit from him. Somebody inside the MRT told us that maybe he is having some problem with his job, that’s why he become stress like that. The more shocking thing, after a while, he punch a senior high school student! The most amazing thing is, their surroundings just do nothing and stay calm. Even so, there are more positive thing that you can find in Japan 🙂

That’s what I found interesting in Japan !! 
A closing words from me, Japan is one of the must visit place before you die!!

Ah, I also want to show this :

My most favourite food in Japan : This menu in Yoshinoya! Super duper yumm!

Get ready for my next post(s) about my Study Excursion + Holiday in Japan 😉
Note that during my posts in Japan, not all photos are mine, some of them come from my friends, but with my blog tag on it 😉


Thanks, reader(s)!

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Sarangan: A Hidden Gem in Center Java

Those who says that Indonesia only has Bali as one of the beautiful places in the world, is totally wrong!

I just got back from Sarangan (located in Center Java Island) a few days ago.
Guess what? I feel amazed with their tourist area. It’s really lovely and breath-taking.

I went there with Martografi (a photography club based on Petra Christian University, Surabaya) for about 6 days

We went to Sarangan by bus from Surabaya, which took about 6 hours to get there! (it’s really tiring and I can’t feel my butt anymore… hahaha. But it’s worth it though!) 

There are many hotels in Sarangan, as well as Indonesia’s traditional food.
On weekends, there are also market around the lake, where you can buy souvenirs or some snacks.
A souvenir shop near the lake

Can you guess what is this ? 

Fresh and beautiful flower
Anyway, if you are a fruit die hard fans, then you must buy Sarangan’s fruit.
It’s really fresh and yummy !
It is famous for the banana, avocado, orange, and strawberry.
My favourite? Of course, Banana !

MUST try food :

  • Nasi Pecel (I think there’s no English for this food)
  • Bakso (meatballs) buy the P. RAJI one, the colour of the stall is red and it’s the most delicious among all, hahaha. 
  • Sate ( satay ), they have chicken and rabbit. I prefer the rabbit one.
  • Tombo Luwe : this food stall is open around 8 at night, and they sell fried rice, noodle, ginger water, hot milk, so on. It’s delicious and a nice place to chit chat! Hahaha.
Girls taking picutre in front of Tombo Luwe (1)
Unlike most places in Indonesia, Sarangan has a cool temperature around 15 – 25 degree celcius, and there are lots of fog.
You might need to bring a jacket, because on the morning, the weather is freezing cold! 

Let me share you about the tourist spots in Sarangan :

My recommendation for Sarangan Tour : 4D3N

  1. Sarangan lake

Located at the centre of Sarangan, this lake is very easy to find. You just need a little walk from your hotel to reach this area.
You can ride a horse or hire a boat here ! 
If you want to do some exercises, you can walk around the lake while enjoying the fresh air 🙂 
The view from Sarangan lake
You could ride a boat here!

  1. Pundak Kiwo Waterfall

Let’s get some hiking!!
To get here:
a. Simplywalk to the Sarangan lake
b. Then turn left, cross over Kintamani Hotel, and walk straight. 
c. Once you find a big airplane statue, you will find the entrance of Pundak Kiwo waterfall on your left side. 
d. Walk along the village (approx. 25mins.) until you find a rest area that sell Satay, and the entrance of the waterfall is located between the two houses. 
**Ask the locals if you lost in the way.
There are 5 main waterfall in Pundak Kiwo. 
If the weather is good, you can reach until the very top waterfall, which is waterfall 5. 
Make sure you wear a sun block, trainer, t-shirt, and sport shoes. Make yourself comfortable! 
**Note : If you’re not sure, you can ask the local citizens (most of them CAN’T speak english) so you might want to brought a paper that say “Air Terjun Pundak Kiwo” so that they can understand you.
Other option is to hire a colt (a mini bus) near Sarangan area to go here. 
Feels like I’m on the movie “Twilight” !!

Look up! and capture this view 😉
Waterfall 2

Waterfall 3

Waterfall 4 and 5

  1. Cemara Sewu

To get here : Hire a colt from Sarangan
Here, you can enjoy the breath-taking view of the agriculture.
If you’re lucky enough, you can spot some local people doing their work as a farmer.

The view around

Overall view

A farmer is working on his land

  1. Tawangmangu Waterfall

To get here : Hire a colt from Sarangan
Entrance fee : IDR 30,000 (Foreign) 
Unlike the Pundak Kiwo Waterfall, the road in Tawangmangu waterfall has been polished so it’s easier to reach the waterfall. You just need to take the stairs to go down to the waterfall area, and take the stairs back up to the exit. 
It only has one big waterfall here, and there are lots of rest area around.
Watch out : there are naughty monkeys around! They can steal your glasses. Don’t bring a plastic bag or anything related to sweet (drinks, food, etc) because they’ll steal it right away.
River flow
Taking pictures in the middle of the way to the waterfall 😉

  1. Hunting Sunrise

Wake up at 4 a.m, search for a place with a wide view (or you can go to the top of your hotel) and just wait for the sunrise!
Many people says that sunrise in Sarangan is so beautiful.
Unfortunately, I don’t get any sunrise when I visit Sarangan, because the weather is not really friendly 😦
Freezing and we don’t get the sunrise! *mad mad*
Sarangan YOU ROCK!! 
Interested to go?
Pack your bags now!! 
**BornToBite visit Sarangan on January 2014

Thanks, reader(s)!

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Taipei – Day 7: Lin Family Mansion, National Palace Museum, Shilin, Taipei Taoyuan Airport

Time flies really really fast, and it’s already our last day in Taipei 😦
Still, there are some places that we need to visit !

On the morning, we checked out from our hotel and put our bags at the Goods Care in the Hotel.

So today we’ll be going to Lin Family Mansion and Garden.
The house is so beautiful and it introduces us more about Taipei. 
So if you have time you need to see this place because you can see the beautiful old houses here. 

To get here : MRT Fulong 

After the exit, turn around, and turn left. Follow the signs, and you’ll get to the place.

The entrance of Lin Family Mansion and Garden

Not taking too much time here, we go to National Palace Museum.

To get here :

MRT Shilin, exit 1. Go straight ahead to the bus stop, then board bus Red Number 30.

Because this is our last day and my parents and I really love to go to Shilin, we decided to go at Shilin from 3 p.m until 7 p.m, then go back to the Hotel.

Oh and have I told you?
We have a really favourite place to eat at Shilin (We’re promoting your food stall, Jie jie!) 
The daughter’s owner is really kind to us. Eventhough she can’t speak English that well, she help us in ordering our food and serve us nicely. 
Not only that, I think they have the best fried rice here in Shilin 😉
So we can’t missed this restaurant before we get back, hahahaha

This is the restaurant, and the daughter’s owner is the one who has a pony tail, wearing a grey t-shirt and her face is covered by the lamp
The menu from the restaurant (Except the hotdog)
A very cute games you can found at Shilin
When we arrived at our hotel, we asked for a Taxi to drove us to the Airport.
Happiness Hotel really has a nice service, because the officer help us to search which Terminal our flight is, and helped us to speak with the Taxi driver.
It was a real pleasant stay with you, Happiness Hotel !

It’s time for us to say goodbye to Taiwan 😦

See you really soon !! 
*kisses and hugs*

Hualien – Day 6: Taroko

Day 6 – Hualien (Taroko), Shilin

We woke up really early this morning, and we need to catch our train at 07.20 !!

Thank God that our hotel is not that far from Taipei Main Station 
(it’s only 3 stations from MRT Songjiang Nanjing) 

Today we’re going to Hualien by Taroko Express Train and we’ll arrive at 09.25 at Hualien 🙂

Our train tickets!

Inside the train
Weeks before we’re travelling to Taipei,
I already booked a guide for the Hualien 1 day trip plus the ticket of Taroko Express Train
Why do I need a guide?
Because in Hualien, it’s almost impossible for you to travel by yourself, because the Tourist place in Hualien is located far away each other, and there’s no public transportation except Taxi and the Taxi driver can’t speak English that well

and why do I need to book the ticket in advanced?
It’s really advisable to book your train ticket 2 weeks before your departure time, because the train might be full (Especially in weekends)
Plus, in my case, I already made an appointment with the tour guide, so I must stick into the schedule

Tips : 
– If your train schedule is at 07.20 a.m, it really departs at 07.20. So you need to be there ON TIME. 1 minute lateness, you’ll be leave behind.
– Wear sport shoes (due to the mountain area and some of the trail)
– Bring some raincoat (incase it’s raining)

When we arrived at Hualien, our tour guide + driver, Alicia, pick us up.
She is a very nice tour guide and I’m so glad that I had her as my guide in Hualien, Taroko.

From Hualien train station to Taroko, it needs approx. 1 hour time. 
So we just enjoy the view while Alicia is telling us about Taiwan, especially Taroko.

Alicia is a very friendly guide. She also speak English really well and explain everything for us clearly.

Near the entrance of Taroko 
Taroko is the most beautiful places in Asia that I ever visit !
There’s no words that can explain how amazing and gorgeous Taroko is.
It’s a MUST visit place if you’re travelling in Taiwan, and I hope that my pictures can show you why.

So here are our itinerary in this 1 Day Trip :

Shakadang Trail

The parking lot of Shakadang Trail
View from Shakadang Trail
At Shakadang Trail

Lunch at Aborigin Style Restaurant

I am surprised when Alicia told us the native Taiwan people is the Aborigin. 
But nowadays, Aborigin has already moved to another places and having their own business, such as this restaurant. 
The food is delicious here though 🙂
(I forgot where I put my photos about the food in this restaurant, I’ll update my blog asap when I already found it)

A handmade souvenir from the Aborigin

Qingshui Cliff

The view
A photo with our tour guide, Alicia !

Swallow Grotto

It’s called a swallow grotto because it’s used to be the swallow’s nest. That is why there are lots of holes (you can see it in my picture). These holes are used as a nest by the swallow bird. 
Unfortunately, because of the climate, the swallow bird have moved away from their nest.
It’s really an amazing place !

It’s optional to wear a helmet, but Alicia hired us one!

If you look down, you’ll get this view!

Looks like a painting, isn’t it?

Cimu Bridge

Meet a very talented painter at Cimu Bridge. She’s been here for 2 days, only to paint this beautiful bridge!
After some trail, we go to a rest place where we can found the National Flower of Taiwan.
Alicia told us that January is the right time to go because the flower bloomed beautifully in this month 🙂

Lushui Trail

This is our last trail for today 😦
At the first time you go on this trail, you might feel a little bit disappointed, but trust me, after the dark tunnel, this very amazing surprise is waiting for you!! 😉
It’s much more breath-taking than this picture, you have to feel it LIVE!! 

The view from Lushui Trail

Once the trail is finished, Alicia drove us back to Hualien Train Station. It takes about 1 hour to get back. Near the Hualien Train Station, there’s a beach, and Alicia dropped us for a while at Qi Xing Tian Beach to enjoy the view.

Qi Xing Tian Beach

Have I told you that Hualien is located between the huge mountains and the Pacific Ocean?
So Qi Xing Tian Beach is basically the view of Pacific Ocean. 
You can hear the sound of the waves and just take your time to enjoy the view here 🙂
Sorry, I don’t take any pictures because it already dark and I just wake up from my sleep, so I forgot stuffs.

The time is 6 p.m, and it’s time to say goodbye to Alicia 😦
We say goodbye to each other and hoping that we can meet again someday ! 
It was really a nice trip with you, Alicia ! 😀

Okay then, my last note for you : If you want to enjoy Taroko more, you can spend 2 days here in Taroko, and book a hotel at Hualien city. 

Taipei – Day 5: Taipei Main Station, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Tamsui, Fisherman Wharf, Modern Toilet Restaurant, Xi Men Ding

Our first schedule today is to pick up our train ticket for tomorrow.
We already booked the train ticket when we’re still in Indonesia because we are afraid that the ticket might be sold out. 
Where are we going tomorrow? well, I’ll tell you more on the next post. 
So, before going anywhere today, we visit Taipei Main Station to redeem our tickets. 

To get here : MRT Taipei Main Station, follow the TRA and HSR sign.

In Taipei Main Station, you’ll find a lot of food stall (I just know it when I got there)
Guess what? I found out How Sweet Bakery stall, Tee-Hee !
I really want to try their egg pudding ! Finally I can get it here! 

It’s a must try egg pudding! 

Other must-try food at Taipei Main Station. PS : The cheese cake is so yum!!

Taking picture at Taipei Main Station
After redeeming our return ticket and we bought some yummy foods from Taipei Main Station, we go to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

To get here : 

MRT Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

SYS Memorial hall is a very beautiful place. 
You even can look at the Taipei101 directly.
Not only that, it has a lovely garden full of colourful flowers 🙂
Inside the memorial hall, you can find the Honorable Sun Yat Sen statue and you can take a picture there !

I can touch Taipei 101 !! 

Near the entrance of Sun Yat Sen

Angle from the garden

After looking around, to save time, we directly go to our next place which is Tamsui

To get to Tamsui :

Board the MRT that has a green sign to Tamsui 
Or else, you can board the MRT with red sign to Beitou, alight at Qiyan, then wait for another MRT that goes to Tamsui
(Because on the redline, there are two destinations, which are Tamsui and Beitou) 

then, we continue our journey to Fisherman Wharf, or many people say the Love Bridge 

To get here :
Walk along the Tamsui old street near the river, and you’ll find a ticket stall that sell a return ticket to Fisherman Wharf by using a boat. 

In Tamsui old street, you can find a unique person that is look alike with a statue (the gesture, everything).
It is so interesting to see.

Not only that, Tamsui is famous for the very long ice cream cone. The taste is so-so, but you can take a nice picture with it! hahaha. It’s very cheap though, only NT 25.

Again, there’s a lot of food stall along the Tamsui old street that you need to try ! 
Not only that, there’s also bag and fashion store along the way, and the price is worth it 🙂 

If you walk along the river, you will feel that you’re not in Taipei anymore. 
I don’t know if it’s only me or not, but the atmosphere is really calm here in Tamsui. 
I really love it here ❤

The view along the way at Tamsui
After having lunch and a walk, we finally found the ticket stall to board our boat! 
If I’m not mistaken, the price for a return ticket is NT 150 per person. 

Our boat tickets!
You can go in the boat and enjoy the view along the way. It takes about 15 minutes to go to Fisherman Wharf or the love bridge. 

When you arrived at the Love Bridge, you can go across the bridge and take a picture on their famous spot which is a big love statue in front of the bridge.
Once again, you will feel that you are not in Taipei 🙂
The bridge is really beautiful and there’s also some jazz music that is played by a nearby restaurants. 
I’m feeling like I’m in Bali because of the music. (Bali is the “Heaven” of Indonesia, it’s a MUST visit place in the world, trust me!) 

I’m at the Bridge 🙂
Around the love bridge
Photo spot of the Love Bridge !
The view from the bridge of Fisherman Wharf
After we look around and enjoy the view, we got back to our boat and back to Tamsui old street. 
Then we go to our next destination which is the Modern Toilet Restaurant! 🙂

To get here :

MRT Xi Men, it’s located near the Kunming street

Some people are having trouble while finding the Modern Toilet Restaurant.
Just make sure that you brought a picture of the food (it helps) because Taipei people don’t have any idea if you ask them where is the modern toilet restaurant.

Modern Toilet Restaurant is a very famous restaurant on the internet.

The price of the food is about NT 240, which you already get a main course, beverage, and a dessert.
Many tourists come to Taipei to try to eat at this restaurant.
The decoration is full about toilets! Very interesting, isn’t it?
The food and everything is related to Toilet!
After we finished eating, then we explore Xi Men Ding night market.
We go back to the hotel at 9 p.m because we want to sleep early and save some energy for our journey tomorrow. 

Day 4 – Yeliou, Jiufen, Ice Monster, Wufenpu, Shilin

From our hotel, we go by taxi to Taipei Bus Station (Station A)
Today we are going to Yeliou !!
Yeliou is located outside Taipei City, so there’s no direct MRT to go there.
Your choices is to go by Bus, or by a taxi.

If you choose to go by bus (same like me), you need to buy the Kuo Kuang Bus ticket No. 1815 to go to Yeliou
It will take about 1 hour 20 minutes to go to Yeliou, and the bus ticket is around NT 100
The driver will let you know if you already arrived at Yeliou

This is the ticket looks like 🙂
From the bus stop, you need to walk about 15 minutes until you can find the Yeliou Geo park.  
Yeliou is located near the sea, and you can look around and enjoy the street view while walking to the Geo Park. No need to be bored ! 😉 

The street view along the way to Yeliou Geopark
Before entering the Yeliou Geopark, you need to pay for the entrance fee, only for NT 50 per person.
Let me tell you a bit about Yeliou Geopark.
Yeliou is basically an amazing stone Park where you can find Princess Head, and so on in the area. You’ll find lots of interesting things here. 
Plus, it is located near the sea, so the place is really beautiful. 
You can hear the waves flow through your ears !
It is formed by the sea eruption, you can easily feel it by touching the stone.

The clear water, I just want to flow with it!
Look at this beautiful stone 🙂 You can touch this one!
The view
The view
Yeliou is super amazing ! 
Feeling satisfy enough after looking around at the Park, we decided to go to our next destination today, which is Jiufen.
In Jiufen, you can enjoy their local markets and also beautiful old China Houses

Note : I can’t find the location of the old China Houses, but I ever browse for it and from what I’ve heard, it is so beautiful. If you have a chance, you should search the exact location of it.

So in this posts I’ll just show you how to go to Jiufen and visit their local markets, there are lots of delicious foods that you should try 🙂

Steps to get to Jiufen :

  • From the Yeliou Bus Stop, Cross the road and take the bus number 790 or 862 to Keelung City. 
  • Alight at Keelung Train Station (around 40 minutes to get here) Pay attention while you are on the bus, because the destination will appear on the screen
  • Cross the road by using the bridge, then transfer again to bus number 788 or 1013 to Jiufen. 
  • Alight at Jiufen (need another 40 minutes to get here) 
  • The entrance of Jiufen is beside the 7-eleven 🙂 
Don’t forget to cross the bridge because when I go there, I don’t know that I need to cross the bridge and go to the other bus stop… hahahaha.
Luckily there’s a really kind bus driver that drove us to the bus stop :)) 
We are really really lucky and get so much help by the local people all along our journey in Taiwan ! :))

And watch out for the 7-eleven, because you can missed the entrance (it’s just a really small road !) – Yeah, we did miss the entrance and there’s another taxi driver that told us we just missed the entrance – 

The entrance is just right there! (crowded with people)
We enjoy lots of Jiufen local foods – they are all delicious! – 
My favourite lists are their mochi (a cold ones) and shrimp snacks !

The Entrance
Some foods at Yeliou
When it’s about 4 p.m, we decided to get back to Taipei before it’s too late because we are planning to go to another night market this night. 

To get back to Taipei :

  • By taxi
  • Go up, and go to the bus stop near the convenience store, and take bus 1815 to get back to Taipei.
In my case, we actually want to board the bus. We already joined the long queue, waiting for the bus. 
We already wait for about 5 minutes, then a black car came right in front of us, and the driver is shouting something in Chinese language.
My dad hear ask me what he is shouting about, and I told him I’m not sure but I think he’s going to Taipei. – Yeah I can speak Chinese a little bit, but not that good. – 
My dad told me why don’t you ask clearly to him.

I rush to the driver and ask him in English. Luckily he can speak a little bit of English.
He said To taipei NT 200 per person, 40 minutes. by bus 2 hours. 
To make sure that he’s going to Taipei and the fee is NT 200 per person, I restate what he has already said. The driver nod several times and we went in his car.
Only in 2 minutes, his car is full of 10 people, and they are all speaking Chinese ! 
So my dad, mom, and I just sit there in the car and remain silence for the 40 minutes drive to Taipei, we don’t understand a thing, hahahaha.

Again, I can say that we’re so lucky! I can’t imagine if we wait for the bus, it can take us a day to board the bus!
I can’t deny that the price is way much more expensive compare if you take the bus, but you can save lots of time !

The driver stop at the MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. Then some of the passengers told us in English, hey if you want to stop at the other places, just tell the driver. I’ll help you telling him.
I replied that it is okay because I just see Ice Monster and I want to try it! 
It is a very famous ice stall in Taipei – Yeah we’re lucky again!! I never know the exact location of Ice Monster and suddenly this black car lead our way to Ice Monster, hahahaha –

To get to Ice Monster : Get off at MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing and just walk along the road, you’ll find Ice Monster.

The must try ice in Ice Monster is their Mango ice. Unfortunately, it’s out of stock :(( 
So we try their second best ice which is the Strawberry one. 
It really is delicious :d

The super cute and yummy Ice Monster !
 After we finished eating, we continue our journey the Wufenpu Night Market (They mainly sale clothes here, and it is not that crowded)
There’s also a Raohoe Night Market 1km ahead of Wufenpu that you might want to visit 🙂

To get here : MRT Houshanpi

Then, we go back to Shilin again!! (Shilin is my favourite market among all!)

Other Night Market foods

Day 3 – Taipei101, Maokong, Shilin


Ah, when I got back from the hotel, I got this super cute surprise from the Hotel !! 🙂
Thank you Happiness Hotel !
We woke up a little bit late because last night we stay up til morning, celebrating new year.

Today’s schedule is to visit Taipei 101 Observatory Deck since we can’t visit it yesterday.

Taipei101, gorgeous isn’t it?

To get here : 

MRT Taipei101

We are so lucky because the queue is only about 40 minutes (not so long compare to yesterday) and it’s not that crowded 🙂 
At the queue, there will be a photographer who takes your photo and directly upload it. 
You can buy the pictures later on the 89 floor.
Our picture is on TV ! 
What attracts me the most is the lift to go upstairs. 
It only needs 40 seconds to get to the 89 floor !!
No wonder it can get a Guinness World Book of Record for the fastest lift ever !

It’s super duper FAST !
Additional information for you, the height of Taipei101 is 500 meter high, and from what I’ve heard, it is the highest Observation Tower in the world, even The Bund at Shanghai – which is also beautiful as Taipei101, believe me – is lower than Taipei101

On the 89 floor,  you can look how gorgeous Taipei is through the window. 
When I look through the window for the first time, I felt a little bit dizzy because it is so incredibly high ! 

The view that you’ll get if you look through the window at 89 Floor

If you feel that the view is not clear and high enough, you can go upstairs to the open deck, where you can look Taipei City directly with your bare eyes. 

You can see this with your bare eyes! 😉
At the Open Deck, Taipei101 provide us with a binoculars that can zoom in – until you see the cars passing by the street ! – (you need to insert 2 coins of NT 10)

I’m trying to use the binoculars 😉
The last thing that you can’t missed inside Taipei101 is the Damper, and their cute Damper statue !! 🙂
It is a big gold round thing inside the building, and the function is to hold the Taipei tower incase there’s a big typhoon (it happens a lot of time in Taipei).

The Damper inside Taipei101
From the observatory deck, we went into the food court to have lunch before continuing our journey.

The beef is so delicious and the noodle is so soft !
Our next destination for today is Maokong Gondola.

To get here : 

MRT Taipei Zoo, about 10 minutes walk.

If you have an Easy Card, you don’t need to buy a ticket.
You can simply use your Easy Card to enter the Maokong Gondola 🙂

The queue is very very long, it’s about 2km long!
But don’t worry, Maokong provide lots of Gondola so we only need to wait for about 1 hour to get inside the Gondola.
While waiting at the queue, if you’re lucky enough – like me, haha – , you can watch the Dancing Water show just beside the Maokong Gondola. It is very beautiful, especially at the Twilight ❤

The dancing water 
There are two cabin types on Maokong. 
The first one is the ordinary cabin, and the other one is the crystal cabin.
The cost of the two cabin is just the same, and the difference is that on crystal cabin, your foot will step on a see-through window !
We choose the ordinary cabin since I am 100% sure that I can’t sit calmly for 20 minutes with a see through window underneath my foot ! 
I just can’t imagine how scary it is ! 

The view from Maokong Gondola is just beautiful. 
Even Taipei101 can be seen from the Gondola !
You can relax at the Gondola and taking some gorgeous picture 🙂

The view from Gondola

The view from Gondola
When you have arrived at Maokong, you can enjoy tea at some local restaurants there and enjoying the evening view.
Maokong is very famous for their Tea, and the price is a bit expensive. 

One of the Tea stall in Maokong

To get back to the MRT Taipei Zoo, basically you have two options.
  • Taking back the Gondola to the Maokong Gondola Station
  • Board a small bus (number 15 or 10, it is just the same) across the street 
The bus stop in front of Maokong Station
In my case, I board the small bus. Why is that? Because the queue of the Gondola is way to crazy! It’s maybe 4 km long and the wind is too strong and very cold! 
Whereas the queue for the bus is only 500m long. 
That’s why we choose to board the small bus. 

It’s our first time ever to board a small bus and stand inside the bus! 
It is very memorable since the bus is really small and crowded, you must hold the grip very tight or else you will fell down on the floor, and… you know what? We don’t pay for the bus!
Actually, I don’t know that we must pay for the bus because the driver don’t tell us anything and there are bunch of people that rush to the bus so we didn’t see that there is an Easy Card electronic scanner there. 
I feel so guilty until now 😦
So for you guys, don’t forget to look for any sign of Easy Card scanner because it can be used everywhere ! 

The nice thing about taking the bus, it is directly stop at the MRT Taipei Zoo station, whereas if you take the Gondola again, you must walk for 10 minutes back to the MRT Station. 

It’s already 7 p.m when we get back from the Gondola, so we decided to visit Shilin.

There’s a very important thing that you should notice.

To get here :

If you want to visit their Night Market (clothes,bags,and so on) stop at the MRT Shilin, and walk for 10 minutes.
If you want to go directly to their food stall, stop at the MRT Jiantan station, and you only need to cross the road. 

Because it is my first time visiting Shilin, I make a mistake. I stop by at the MRT Shilin station and I need to walk far far away to get at the foodstall.
I almost think that in Shilin there’s no food stall at all, just clothes and stuff. 
Luckily after I take a very long walk I finally figure this out ! 

There are lots of food that you must try in Shilin which I’ll posts on my upcoming post ! 

Stay tuned guys!

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