5 Days in Taiwan: Part II


On Thursday morning, I was tasked to complete two posts on Taiwan by the end of the week via a whatsapp message from Sheryl. If there is one thing to be said about myself, is the fact that I have deep regards for deadlines regardless of how unreasonable they can be. So these few days were nothing short of crazy for me - usual work and Korean lesson, birthday celebrations after work/lesson, editing photos late at night after celebrations and squeezing time out of everywhere to write as much as I can in a short time frame. Sometimes I really wonder why I should give a heck and cause myself so much stress and yet, I am still finding myself working tirelessly into the small hours of my birthday T.T

Anyways, lets get started quick so I can hit the sack and catch some sleep before my family outing later. As mentioned in the earlier post, Sheryl and I planned to head to Yilan county on our third day in Taiwan. The fastest way to get there from Taipei Bus Station is via the Kamalan bus 葛瑪蘭汽車客運. You can check on the location of the bus stops, different bus schedules, bus fares and also make reservations online on the website here.

Jiaoxi Train Station

Mr Brown Cafe 頭城城堡伯朗咖啡一館
** Update: read dedicated blog post here

As we had Mr Brown Cafe 頭城城堡伯朗咖啡一館 first thing on the itinerary, we alighted the coach at Jiaoxi to take the train to Wai'ao. The trains don't come at short intervals hence you might want to check their timetable and respective fare right here beforehand too. Same rules as per Part I, more details on Mr Brown Cafe will be posted up on a separate post and the permalink will be placed here when it is published. By the way, if you have some extra time while waiting for the train from Wai'ao to Yilan, why not visit the famous Wai'ao Beach that is just beside the station?

Wai'ao Train Station

Yilan Train Station

Jimmy Square 幾米廣場公園
Turn left upon exiting Yilan Train Station

This is the first theme park where you can see the story, scenes and characters created by Jimmy Liao come to life, and the results of the collaboration between the Yilan County Government and the reputed Taiwanese illustrator was nothing short of magical. The giraffe right at the entrance of Yilan Train Station is precisely the smiling giraffe from 《走向春天的下午》. If you are a fan of Jimmy Liao and his picture books such as the favourited 《向左走向右走》, 《星空》 and 《地下鐵》, this park is certainly an attraction that you just cannot miss.

Liye Villa 宜蘭麗野莊園休閒農場 & E-Long Goat Farm 宜農牧羊場
** Update: read dedicated blog post on Liye Villa here
** Update: read dedicated blog post on E-Long Goat Farm here

I am sorry if this is irritating to you, but I won't be sharing on these two farms in this post either as they are places where there were just too much to say and too many photos to upload that I couldn't put up here without losing the original focus of this post as a whole. Each of them definitely deserves a dedicated blog post which I will start writing in no time and placing their respective permalinks right here when they are published. Be sure to return to check out the cute ducklings, piglets and goats!

In any case, if you happen to be looking for more things to do in Yilan itself, I would strongly recommend Cafe Story 合盛太平咖啡館, a hospital-turned-cafe where the vintage decorations are really attractive to me. This pretty cafe is also where Takeshi Kaneshiro shot the recent commercial for 中華電信4G in Yilan! If there wasn't time constraint, I would also have visited the National Center for Traditional Arts 國立傳統藝術中心.

Luodong Forestry Culture Garden 羅東林业文化园区

Frankly, we had no idea why we were there. Our initial plan was to go to the National Center for Traditional Arts after E-Long Goat Farm, but we were informed by the staff at the farm when we asked him for directions that it might be too late to go to the national center. Seeing how disappointed we were, he suggested for us to visit 羅東林場 instead and thus we were there lol. The place was very quiet, reminds us a lot of Nami Island in Korea and even though there are tour buses that arrived at about the same time as we did, some of the experience centers within were already rejecting visitors before their closing hours. One word to describe overall experience: Weird.

Luodong Night Market 羅東夜市

Thankfully, the Luodong Forestry Culture Garden was within walking distance to Luodong Night Market, our last stop before we take the bus back to Taipei Main Station. Luodong Night Market is another one of Taiwan's biggest and most crowded night markets. There were aplenty of shops on one side of the road and stalls on the other, all surrounding Chungshan Park selling various fashionable items and local street snacks and delicacies that may not be found in Taipei City. Some of the famous street food include Yifeng Green Onion Pie, Long Feng Drumstick, Angelica Lamb and Bu Duck. Being warm and sweaty, we weren't actually in the mood for shopping, and chose to sit down at a stall by a corner where we don't have to squeeze with other diners for our meal.

And that was the start of a horror story. The two main dishes we got to share were dreadful. The duck meat mee sua was tasteless like plain water and the or lua was soggy as if what we ordered was half-cooked dough and chilli sauce. Though we can't be 100% sure that this was the reason, both of us suffered from stomachache the very next day. Mine was less serious maybe because I had less of the mee sua and more of the or lua instead, but is probably why only my eyes started to swell like crazy as if I either just did an eye surgery or got boxed in the eyes lol.

Ta-dah, final picture of me in Taiwan


So, this was why we had to rest in our hostel on day four and also our final day in Taiwan despite our initial plans to visit Yong Kang Street as well as Ruifang for Ruifang Food Street, Jiu Fen and Keelung Miaokou Night Market. We did try to go out as soon as we feel a little better, like immediately in the afternoon where we took a cab to Mr. J French-Italian Restaurant 義法廚房 only to discover it was closed for renovation and quickly cab right back because the swelling was rapid. Then we tried our luck again in the evening, this time to Yong Kang Street but upon reaching Dongmen Station, the pain was unbearable for Sheryl so we quickly went into a cafe for her to sit down and rest.

The Green Steps 永康階

And that was it. Other than that, I did head out to buy medicine, food and drinks on a few occasions but we were mainly hanging around Ximending in case we were met with the same "emergency situations" if we try to venture anywhere further. Thank goodness we were staying in XMD where there is no lack of shopping, good food and bakeries to get the usual pineapple tarts and other food items back on our last day. Best of all? A three-storey Cosmed for us to spend all the money that we didn't get to use on even more facial masks! Just myself, I got more than 20 boxes of facial boxes because I don't have anything else to get and buying facial masks was the happiest time out of the entire trip =x

Tian Wai Tian Hotpot 天外天精緻火鍋

We then decided to have our last meal before we head to the airport at 天外天精緻火鍋 but it was only because the 馬辣頂級麻辣鴛鴦火鍋 we had on our first day was fully occupied and the waiting time was at least an hour and a half. I have seen reviews saying that both are comparable but in all honesty, it doesn't take much to determine which is better.

In terms of facilities, the tables here are small and very closed packed. The hotpot itself doesn't look very trustworthy either and the lighting and decor make it look like we were having a meal in an old 60s, 70s kind of pub. Then its the food that were nothing near expectations. Apart from the meat that are served really thin, almost translucent and tears easily at the lightest touch of one's chopsticks, the ingredients weren't very fresh and there are a couple of items that could taste so bad that we spit them out immediately. The broth wasn't half as flavourful, the ice-cream hard like rock, and the cake was as quoted from Sheryl "the worse tiramisu I have ever had". Everything fell short and was really disappointing even if we don't compare it with 馬辣頂級麻辣鴛鴦火鍋.

There is a reason why 天外天精緻火鍋 is not featured in a separate post

Alrighty, this marks the end of a quick summary to my five days in Taiwan! Although there were illnesses, disappointment and pain, we also had a fair share of laughter and fun, as well as learning to share and care that allowed me to mature as a person and learn to appreciate my girlfriend even more. Just like what Plato said, "you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation", I certainly felt that I have learnt a lot more about Sheryl during this five days than the similarly short six months we have known each other for and I appreciate it very much.

Read 5 Days in Taiwan: Part I here,

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  1. Hi, how much did you spent for 5 days. (:

    1. Hello! I ate and shopped pretty much, so it was somewhere around 1k sgd inclusive of air tickets. On the other hand, this really depends on what you are intending to do there :)

  2. Thank you so much! Your post is so helpful to me.



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