The Journey begins

First and foremost, before I embark on my journey through the 12 days Taiwan trip, I will first introduce to all my fellow traveling comrades for this trip! Went to the trip with three of my fellow university mates, who have just completed their final semester in University (while am still stuck for another semester. laughs). It’s somewhat their graduation trip, but am tagging along despite having another semester left. hehe. Oh well, it feels as though I have graduated now that most of my friends have already completed their final semester. Close enough I supposed. laughs. Moving forward, I shall introduce to you guys my fellow comrades!

The first candidate is…the ever cheerful and bubbly: Shuwen! My buddy for the trip, so grateful to have her around, shopping and sightseeing was so much enjoyable, thanks to you ❤

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Next, we have the guy who has like a million-and-one-or-prolly-never-ending-number-of-poses: Joseph! Look forward to his interesting and whacky poses throughout the entire trip. And yes, without his easy going, nonsensical and fun loving personality, the trip wouldn’t have been that entertaining and fun!

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Also, we have the leader of the pack: Yongyi aka YY! Thanks to him for gathering the cash, planning the routes and all, we were pretty much packed with activities for the 12 days.

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Finally, of course there’s me, Amantha! And this is the mandatory group shot at the airport:DSCN9431

Met them at the airport at 11pm on 14th for our midnight flight. Took Scoot airline for the first time, and I must say, it was a pretty torturous flight over! I’m prolly not so used to taking the budget airline, so didn’t really enjoy the flight. Boohoo. But according to my friends, Scoot is considered as one of the better budget carrier as compared to the other budget airlines; who have lesser legroom and smaller space, which will prolly make the trip even more torturous.

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4 h 30 mins passed, and we reached Taiwan, Taoyuan Airport! Yay usssssssssssss. Time check: 6am. Was pretty excited when we reached the airport! I wasn’t really excited before the trip initially, as this is somewhat my ‘first’ trip abroad with my friends (not counting the school trip and tour package trip), so I don’t really know what to expect for the trip. But once I set foot on Taiwan land, I WAS IN A SLIGHT EUPHORIA (hehe), and the feeling was pretty surreal.

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But anyhoo, we reached Taiwan in one piece! Brekkie at Burger King since our dearest YY was hungry once we reached (Note: He is constantly hungry. hahaha). For the first time, ordered my meal using my disastrous conversational mandarin, and boy it was really not easy! But thanks to the numbers on the menu, we managed to get our Burger and Teh-O eventually.

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After our brekkie, we headed to the visitor’s information counter for our Youth Pass. All you need is your local student card, and you can enjoy student discounts, at selected places in Taiwan. For some places that offers student discounts, all you need is your student card, but for other places like the Zoo, or their Youyou Card (Taiwan equivalent Ez-link card), you will prolly need to have this Youth Pass to enjoy the discount. The youth pass is free of charge, all you have to do is to sign up at the visitors counter. I would recommend students to sign up for it, since you will never know when this youth pass might come in handy, and you can also enjoy some student discount! Note: Visitor’s information counter is situated at the airport, and it only opens at 7am.

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Finally, we headed over to the Taoyuan High Speed Rail (HSR) station via a bus from the airport. It’s a 15-20mins bus ride over. And our first destination for our Taiwan trip is: Kaohsiung, the southern part of Taiwan! The trip down south will take us about 3 hours via the HSR. In Taiwan, there are two main trains available (excluding the internal train in certain towns): Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) and Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA). Both trains link the different parts of Taiwan together. The difference between HSR and TRA is that HSR reduces the traveling time tremendously, but this comes at a price. Our trip from Taoyuan to Kaohsiung (Zuoying HSR) cost us about NTD $1400 (S$60). TRA is prolly much cheaper, but it also means a much longer traveling time. We opted for the former as the 4 hours flight earlier already took it’s toll on us, so we wanted to get to the Kaohsiung in the fastest possible time. laughs.

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Train ride is something I look forward to before the trip. Am pretty amaze by the interesting and pretty train ride I saw in those Taiwanese drama. It is no doubt an interesting experience, the trains are real, REAL trains. Nothing like the MRT we have in Singapore. hahaha. But yeah, the long traveling time was a boohoo. I can’t imagine traveling to and fro for close to 6 hours a day, so am quite glad Singapore ain’t that big. laughs.

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Anyhoo, WE FINALLY ARRIVED AT ZUOYING HSR STATION. The best thing is that it’s one stop from our hotel, Kaohsiung Main Station. Like Taipei, Kaohsiung also has its own internal MRT, which was great as it allow us to travel around Kaohsiung around pretty easily! Time check: 1030am. Reached our hotel: Jin Bao Hotel; and was pretty satisfied with our rooms. Despite not looking that pleasant on the exterior, we figured out our room is prolly one of the few newly renovated rooms of the hotel. A pretty spacious room for the four of us, the WIFI connection was fantastic and it was just a 5-7mins walk from the train station, so thumbs up for that!

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Took our little break in the hotel and finally embark on our day one in Taiwan, Kaohsiung. Will continue on my journey in Kaohsiung in my next post as I realised this post is already pretty lengthy! laughs. Stay tune to more of my adventures in Kaohsiung.

loves, Amantha!

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