Sunday, October 26, 2014

Taipei, Taiwan: Ximen & Chiang Kai Shek Memorial

October 2, 2014: Taipei, Taiwan
Airplane food (night before)

So the first real day in Taiwan we woke up a little before 11:00AM because there was a lot of chattering outside. First thing we did was go to the bank to exchange money because I wasn’t able to in Shanghai and the currency exchange booth at the airport when we arrived was closed. I was told to do it in Taiwan instead anyways because it would be a better rate.

Some banks couldn’t.. but the Hwaitai Bank (華泰銀行) was able to do it. It was a direct exchange and we were able to do HKD, USD, or RMB. I exchanged RMB250, which exchanged to a bit over NT1200 (1 to 4.834). 
Our room on the second day. There was some issues with the air conditioner on the first night, so we were in a different room.
Streets in Guting 古亭 area (where we stayed)
Next we took the MRT from Guting to Ximen to find the Modern Toilet restaurant. Everywhere was like shops and stuff, lots of cutesy things. I wanted to come back here later on, but didn’t get a chance to.
They also had this UFO catcher/crane machine/claw machine whatever place where I ended up spending NT270 (NT10 per try) fml. All for three plushes. I wish the states or Shanghai have more of these!! They’re tricky though because you’re not meant to grab it and have it drop into the hole. It latches on but when it hits the top, the impact causes it to fall down so you have to make it fall in the right place.
The Modern Toilet turned out to be doing renovations starting the day before…so we wandered around, wondering what to eat. In the end we settled for a local shop.
Braised Chicken Rice NT55
It was a pretty bad meal tbh loll. It had no flavor or anything… wish I had gotten something else. 

Next we went to this dessert place and got shaved ice! Shaved ice is supposed  to be a big thing here, but the only shaved ice I’ve ever been exposed to is literally shaved ice with syrup on top. But it wasn’t like that at all, it’s actually blended in, almost like a smoothie or ice cream. 

Mango Snow Mountain or something like that. NT150 The ice cream tasted a bit funny and not that much like mango. And a green tea + red bean one
Next we went to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial. We walked there, but the train station (exit 5) goes straight there as well. There wasn’t too much to see or do there, because it’s literally just a memorial. You can climb up the stairs and see the giant statue.
In that "square" there's also the National Theatre and Concert Hall.

We didn't stay here for too long..because there's really not much to do haha. We had some time to kill, so we went to the Hello Kitty Cafe, which I will blog about next.

So until next time :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lijiang, Yunnan: Food & Last Minute Shopping

September 7: Lijiang, Yunnan
We spent the last day basically traveling. It was kind of a waste of a day to some extent because I wish we had just gone straight to the airport, but perhaps there was as issue with being able to book a flight. We left Shaxi early in the morning to go back to Lijiang and spend about three or four hours there, including lunch time.

We ate at a restaurant called Beyond Cloud (云水肴). It's a really pretty restaurant! The food was also really yummy :)
Decor on the first floor ;o
 Coffee flavored ribs...pretty interesting though probably not my choice of food

After lunch, we had free time to do last minute shopping. I didn't actually look ahead on our itinerary so when we left Lijiang the first time, I didn't realize we'd be coming back, so I kind of did all my shopping already. Nonetheless, I still looked around and ended up buying a pair of pants and sweater. 

I don't really remember the flight back too well, but we got back pretty late :( 
 My favorite part of the flight hehe
My loot from Lijiang!
Skirt (25元) Scarves (25 and 30元), Pants (35元), Sweater thing (65元)
As usual, haggling was a must. The pants and skirt bled like crazy the first few washes and still bleeding..but it was expected.

Finally done with all my posts on this trip! Only took over a month hehe. starting-to-get-overdue posts from 国庆节. Until next time!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

EVA Air No Bueno

Written before takeoff by a hungry and upset Jessica

EVA Air is officially on my list of bad airlines x.x It’s mainly prompted by the fact that I did not get any food >=( My first time flying with them and it’s already off to a bad start.

So I got through security and everything by 6:45PM and my flight is at 8:05PM. But when I got to the gate, I found out that the flight has been delayed and we were never told for how long because the announcements for the next two hours kept saying it’ll be announced later.

Around 8:30PM they started giving food vouchers of 60元 per person. I went to this restaurant and sat down because they told others to sit down first then order. After sitting around for a while and constantly trying to call out to the waitress, which at some point she told me to wait, and waited we did, I finally went up to the person at the cash register since she didn’t seem to be as busy as the others. She told me to go find the waitress herself and ask. Fine, fine.

So I did and had to wait even when I was up in her face calling for her, she ignored me. But finally got her to come over to the table….and she tells me it’s too late to order because the flight is boarding. WTF WTF. So pissed. I was just sooo annoyed at this point, and she said I can grab ice cream if I wanted but I’m like no. I want my fucken food, not ice cream. Err not that I said that to her, but I was just like no I don't want that. 

Ughhhh. I could kind of understand the whole thing with the delay since that seems to occur with flights pretty often (1.5 hours isn’t too bad tbh) but then the restaurant incident kind of just ruined it all for me. But if you think about it, why is the airline giving meal vouchers 30 minutes before boarding when they KNEW for over two hours that the flight would be delayed. 

I would of just gotten my Burger King if I knew it was going to be like this. Fuck.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hiking on Shibaoshan

September 6: Shaxi, Yunnan
Today was the last full day in Yunnan and we spent it hiking on 石宝山. I think my main concern for the day was having to use a I made sure not to drink too much. It was an hour at least ride up to the mountain.

We first went to visit and look around these temples and such. I guess I didn't take any photos. Then we took the bus again further into the mountains.
There are certain mushrooms that people come to pick and they HAVE to pick it at the right time too. Crazy! Like not a day early or late. 

Ummm the next two photos I technically wasn't supposed to take photos to preserve the place and whatnot...but everyone was doing it...
Some vagina that people pray to for fertility. Can't really see it that clearly, but why would you want to? Pervert.
Lunch...I ended up eating the entire box of noodles and was scared I'd need the bathroom :X Luckily I didn't. 

When it was time to leave, we had the choice of hiking back down to Shaxi (about an hour) or taking the bus back. At this point it was raining a bit already and only two or three people were planning on taking the bus back, but then they had to carry all the trash and containers back. And it just pissed me off that even though everyone had their hands full already, one of the girls hiking asked one of them to carry her bag back. I told her it might be better for her to just carry it herself because they already had a lot to carry and she's just like no, it'll get wet. Whaat really. Kind of selfish imo. In the end I ended up taking the bus because I felt bad that they had to carry everything, and also it would've been an issue if I had to use the bathroom :X

Later that day we had dinner at the Old Theatre Inn. Probs my favorite meal, especially the potatoes yummmmm (first photo)
After dinner, there was a musical performance by uhh these old men. It started to all sound the same after a while lol.
They performed on that stage and I think it's a pretty old one too.

Still have more to spam, but I just wanna post this and get it done with haha. So that's it for Shaxi! Next post will be basically just food from the last day in Lijiang again. :)

Until next time!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Shaxi's Friday Market

September 5, 2014: Shaxi, Yunnan
Roosters at the Li Family outside of the bathroom.

We trekked through like the fields basically...I guess to take a different route and see other parts of town? I swear our tour guide did this out of spite because she knows I dislike wearing my boots/shoes and I wore flip flops again, and before we went through the fields, she called me out for it >< 
 Outskirts of town

 They have a Friday's market every week and we were lucky enough to be here while it happened! 
They sold all sorts of things, such as phones, clothing, socks, food (a whole market section as well), bedding, toilet paper, probably anything you can think of (kinda, not really).
This guy was trying to sell some sort of oil. Apparently it burned through his lighter so it started fizzing. He also has a live snake and a chicken, but I couldn't tell what they were there for. 

I didn't really buy much aside from a pillow case because my pillow in the apartment was disgusting so I was trying to buy a new one.

After looking through everything, my stomach wasn't feeling well so we went back to the Li Family and ended up skipping out of the rest of the afternoon's activities because we ended up napping for like four hours. 
We walked about 35 minutes to the Orchard Pear Temple for dinner and saw rainbows (not sure if it was multiple or the same one) on the way! We got there right as people were leaving, but we still had enough time to eat and catch a ride back. 

Not a very productive day for us...I felt bad since we skipped out on the activities ><