Day 1 (Taipei)
Day 2 (Taipei)
BREAKFAST: Hotel Quote Taipei
BRUNCH: Agnes B Cafe, Takashimaya Tianmu
SEE: Longshan Temple
LUNCH: Chow’s Porridge
SEE: Bo Pi Liao (Monga’s Shotting Scene)
TEA: Yong Fu Ice Cream
DINNER: Niu Dian Beef Noodles, Ximending Street Snack
EAT & SHOP: Ximending
STAY: Amba Taipei Ximending
Day 3 (Taitung)
DAY 4 (Green Island)
BREAKFAST: Facing Sun B&B Taitung 向阳山民宿
Depart to Green Island
SEE: Green Island Light House
SEE: Glass-bottomed Boat Tour
SEE: Island Tour with Scooter
SEE: Chaori Hot Spring
STAY: Amany Resort
DAY 5 (Green Island, Taitung)
BREAKFAST: Amany Resort
SEE: Snorkelling at Da Bai Sha 大白沙
SEE: Green Island Prison
LUNCH: Picnic in Cave
Depart to Taitung
SEE: “water running up”
DINNER: 鲨鱼馆 (Shark’s Museum)
STAY: Facing Sun B&B Taitung 向阳山民宿
DAY 6 (Taitung)
BREAKFAST: Facing Sun B&B Taitung 向阳山民宿
SEE: Nanan Waterfall @ Yushan National Park.
SEE: Liushidan Mountain 六十石山
LUNCH: Picnic at Liushidan Mountain 六十石山
DINNER: Taitung Town
STAY: Facing Sun B&B Taitung 向阳山民宿
DAY 7 (Kaohsiung)
BREAKFAST: Facing Sun B&B Taitung 向阳山民宿
Depart to Taitung
LUNCH: Tanzuomali Premium Jap BBQ 碳佐麻里, Kaohsiung
TEA: Friend’s House
SEE: Kaohsiung Love River, Lotus Lake
DINNER: Popo Ice 婆婆冰, No Name Restaurant @ Kaohsiung Town
STAY: 四季精品汽車旅館 Four Seasons Love Motel
DAY 8 (Chiayi, Jiufen)
BREAKFAST: 四季精品汽車旅館 Four Seasons Love Motel
Depart to Chiayi
LUNCH: 紅花鐵板燒 Hong Hua Teppenyaki
Depart to Jiufen
SEE: 林老師鋼琴咖啡屋 Mr Lin Cafe
DINNER: Windsor B&B
STAY: Windsor B&B
DAY 9 (Jiufen)
BREAKFAST + LUNCH: Windsor B&B
Jiufen Free & Easy
DINNER: Friend’s House
At this stage, it is apparent that Taiwan is our favourite holiday destination as this is KampungBoy’s third time and my fourth time visiting Taiwan. It was a last minute decision made as our good friends from Windsor B&B, Jiufen (Hsu Da Ge and Chen Jie) asked if we would like to join them for a trip to Taitung (East Taiwan) and Kaohsiung (South Taiwan). We jumped at the opportunity, how often does one get to join the locals to go on a road trip in a foreign country?
Our Travel Route – Taipei, Taitung, Green Island, Kaohsiung, Chiayi, Jiufen
We got these from Taiwan Visitors Association office at Wisma Goldhill. Remember to bring along a proof of your flight ticket to be entitled for these promotional gifts (varies from time to time).
Suite 25-01, Level 25,
67 Jalan Raja Chulan,
50200 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
We boarded onto Guo Guang bus which took us from the airport to the city (Nanjing East Road station). It is also within walking distance to our hotel. Not knowing which bus to take? Taoyuan Airport – Taipei transport information here.
Checked into Hotel Quote Taipei, a very trendy boutique hotel with great reviews at Trip Advisor.
Hotel Quote Taipei
Add: No.333, Nan-Jing E.Road, Sec. 3, Songshan Dist., Taipei City 105, Taiwan
Reservation Direct: +886-2-2175-5589
1-minute walk from Taipei Arena, 4-minute walk from Nan-Jing E. Rd. MRT Station (Wenshan Line)
Ningxia Night Market, a very popular night market amongst the locals for its distinctive Taiwanese snacks. From top left: Tainan Savoury Rice Pudding, Oyser Omelette, Stinky Tofu, Fried Yam Balls
Ningxia Night Market
Ningxia Rd., Datong District (between Nanjing W. Rd. and Minsheng W. Rd.)
Alight at either Shuanglian MRT Station or Zhongshan MRT Station (Tamsui Line),walk towards west Chengde Rd. from Exit 1 for approximately 10 minutes.
Checked into Amba Taipei, a new boutique hotel (opened February 2012) right smack in the middle of Ximending.
77, Wuchang street Section 2,
Tel: +886 2 2375 5111
Alight at Ximen Station (Banqiao Line and Xiaonanmen Line), walk towards Chengdu Road from Exit No.6, turn right to Kunming Street and walk for approximately 3 minutes until you see amba TAIPEI on your right.
“Lunch” at Agnes b Cafe, Takashimaya Tianmu as we went all the way to Tudong Market Tianmu 土东市场 only to find out that a very famous sushi/sashimi stand (阿吉师) that we wanted to try is CLOSED!
Add: No. 104號, Guǎngzhōu Street, Wanhua District Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Alight at Longshan Temple Station (Banqiao Line), turn right to Guangzhou Street as you see Longshan Temple right in front of you. Walk for 5 minutes.
剝皮寮 Bo Pi Liao, filming location of the movie Monga 艋舺
Directly opposite 周記肉粥店 Chow’s Porridge
From Bo Pi Liao, we took a 15 minutes stroll back to Ximending (or 1 station away). As we walk along Kunming Street, we passed by Yong Fu Ice Cream 永富冰淇淋, a very famous ice cream parlour from the olden days. 3 scoops (flavour: yam, egg, passion fruit) for only NT 35.
Add: No. 68號貴陽街二段 Wanhua District Taipei City, Taiwan 108
As we were nearing Ximending area, my sharp eye spotted Niu Dian; an award winning beef noodles shop. Our bowl of signature beef noodles costs NT 220 and it tasted so good! Be prepared to queue though!
Add: No. 91号昆明街, Kūnmíng Street, Wanhua District Taipei City, Taiwan 108
An overly ambitious late lunch as such left us in search of something “light” for dinner at Ximending shopping district – Okinawa Grilled Mochi, Taiwanese Sausage, Ah Zong Mee Sua (which sucks btw) and Jiguang Xiang Xiang Chicken.
Alight at Ximen Station Exit 6 (Banqiao Line and Xiaonanmen Line).
We hired Jiang Gong to chauffer the 4 – 6 of us around for the next few days. He is charging NT 4500-6000 per day (depending on the distance) for 4-6 person in a car. Fuel, parking, driver’s food and driver’s accommodation all in. He is a very good driver and tour guide, you guys may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
Passed by Xueshan Tunnel (fifth longest road tunnel in the world) during our 8 hours road trip from Taipei to Taitung.
Lunch at some random restaurant by the highway – wild boar skin salad, wild vegetables, grilled wild boar, sakura shrimps.
Hsu Da Ge requested to stopped by Fugang Fish Market – talking about having the freshest sea produce that night!
Checked into Facing Sun B&B Taitung 向阳山民宿. The B&B owner Hwang Da Ge is a very nice guy; he offered to bring us around as checked in as a group of 6.
Tel: +886 937 396696 / +886 8 9383626 (only in Mandarin/Hokkien)
We took room 302 located at the third floor. It was a decent room but remember to ask for room 206, which offers the best view and a canopy roof top for stars gazing at night.
Dinner at Facing Sun B&B Taitung 向阳山民宿’s garden. These were all whipped up by Hsu Da Ge within minutes! Hwang Da Ge made us roasted chicken and red bean rice too!
Hwang Da Ge, the owner of Facing Sun B&B invited his friends over and we had a great time making new friends.
East Taiwan is really a paradise, we were having coffee while looking up to the stars-filled sky!
Rise and shine! We woke up early every morning as the sun rises around 4-5 o’clock in the morning.
Off to Green Island (Lyudao, 绿岛) the next morning! We were at Fugang Harbour which offers ferry service to Green Island and Orchid Island. During summer months, the ferry departs every hour or so and costs NT450 one way. The best time to visit Green Island is between May – October.
We reached Green Island within one hour! It is a very small island with population of only 3000. There weren’t any traces of foreign tourists but it is a locally popular scuba-diving destination. Hwang Da Ge is our tour guide for the next two days. He made KampungBoy stood at an elevated platform of swordfish fishing boat. Taiwan is soon losing this traditional method of swordfish fishing. They use long spear, as you can see from the picture.
We rented a scooter to tour the island (scooter rental NT300 per day, NT 60 fuel can lasts 2 days). Scooters can be found lining the roads around the harbor on Green Island. Most guesthouses include a scooter rental in their accommodation packages. We visited the Lyudao Light House and even went into the light house as Hwang Da Ge knows the light house manager. So cool!
We took this glass bottomed boat tour (NT 300 per person) not knowing what to expect. It is not the most exciting tour and there isn’t a huge variety of fish – not recommended.
Lunch at 18海簡餐, Lyudao Town. Lyudao Town is just a small stretch of road, so it is pretty easy for one to decide on lunch/dinner.
Most of the scenic spots are linked by the 16.3-kilometer round-the-is-land concrete highway. So after a 3 hours power nap from 12noon to 3pm, we began our island tour. Hwang Da Ge suggested so as 12noon-3pm can get really hot during the summer months, so it is advisable to stay indoor during that time.
We saw a lot of beautiful rocks and oceans – Green Island Park, General Rock, Gateway Rock, Guanyin Cave, Youzi Lake, Pekinese Dog Rocks, Sleeping Beauty Rock, Sail Cape, Black Ghost Cave…
Haicanping is located on the east of Green Island. It is a moon-shaped coral reef gulf formed from volcanic rock. There’s Pekinese Dog Rock and Sleeping Beauty Rock, as we looked from top.
Hwang Da Ge made us climbed down these flight of stairs for almost 30 minutes from the top.
We were greeted by this beautiful scenery as we came down. That’s the Sleeping Beauty Rock on the right. Saw the head, neck and torso?
He then rewarded us with mung bean ice and some buns which he carried on his bag pack. Look at my shitty sweaty face but I felt really special as we were having our tea time picnic at one of the most secluded spot of Green Island. *so touching*
KampungBoy stood under “the neck” of the sleeping beauty rock (refer to picture above).
Niutou Mountain is my favourite spot at Green Island! It is famous for its sunset view of Green Island.
We walked to the peak. It is a big green grass of prairie, which is the best location to watch the sea, the waves and the sunset.
Hsu Da Ge got cozy and almost fell asleep here.
Met and talked to two young girls from Taipei who came here for their summer break. Hwang Da Ge took out pots of hot coffee and paper cups from his “magic backpack” too. Admiring the gorgeous sun set view while having a cup of hot coffee is bliss!
Everyone just sit at the grassland, admiring the orange hue immerse the ocean and rocks. It was an unforgettable sight.
Dinner at 綠漁餐廳，strongly recommended by Hwang Da Ge. The lamb stew, seaweed pancake and 芡粿 (qian kueh, a traditional Green Island snack) were so delicious!
After dinner, we proceeded to Chaori Hot Spring (NT200 per person), one of only three salt-water hot springs in the world. The temperature here stays between 53 and 90 degrees, changing according to the tides. The hot spring gets pretty crowded at night. It was quite an experience having hot spring under the stars, while taking in the cooling sea breeze.
Green Island Day 2: snorkeling at Da Bai Sha 大白沙 (NT400 per person). As you can see, snorkeling in Taiwan is one of the safest activities. We have to wear a full protective suit, with protective shoes and life jacket. A licensed person will be leading us along the snorkeling trail too. It was amazing! We saw alot of stunning coral gardens and too many colourful fishes to mention.
Green Island first served as an isolated spot for political prisoners during the Kuomintang single-party rule (especially during the White Terror). Those red roof top buildings were once the prison site.
We had two hours to kill before our ferry ride back to Fugang Harbour. Hwang Da Ge took us to an isolated cave for picnic (again!)
It was fun as we experienced man’s most natural way of life for a few hours!
I even walked out from the cave to catch us some fishes. The outcome? Failed BIG Time!
Back to Taitung and went to this “water running up” attraction. The water in the 1.8 km irrigation channel from Dulan appears to flow upwards. Beside the channel, a stone tablet inscribed with the word “Miracle” has been erected due to this mysterious phenomenon.
Dinner at 鲨鱼馆 (Shark’s Museum)。The owner of this restaurant is a well respected fisherman in Taitung. He has been keeping and preserving most of the shark bycatch (accidentally caught) along the coastal line. We were so impressed by some of the shark specimens displayed at the restaurant!
Dinner was great, as usual. We had tuna sashimi, grilled mullet roe (few slices costs RM 100+, so rich and creamy!), lobster miso soup, and some fishes.
breakfast – wild lobster porridge!
Nanan Waterfall @ Yushan National Park. This 7-story waterfall is really magnificent. The water pressure was so strong that even from a distance, we can feel waves of cool mist. We sat at the bottom of the waterfall to get an “aqua-massage.”
It’s time for a real treat after we got wet at the waterfall! We drove up to Liushidan Mountain 六十石山 to have a picnic (yes, again!). Hwang Da Ge and Hsu Da Ge brought along mini stoves, foldable chairs and a hell loads of food – bakuteh soup noodles (serious!), steamed chicken, pickled vegetables, hot spring egg, chocolate brownies, ice cream, sugar cane, pineapples, mangoes, etc.
Dining with a View!
The Little Swiss of Taiwan!
group photo with the rest of Facing Sun B&B’s guests
Dinner was a simple but tasty fare at Taitung town.
Drove another 3 hours to Kaohsiung. Lunch was at this very popular Japanese BBQ restaurant – Tanzuomali 碳佐麻里
A 10 course set costs about NT 1500 per pax. It was very reasonable, given the amount and quality of food given to us. Highly recommended if you are planning to make a visit to Kaohsiung.
Add: 高雄市鼓山區美術東四路562號, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Tel: 886 7 552 6555
5 minutes walk from Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
Tea at friend’s place at Kaohsiung. They bought us some premium mangoes and lychees. *cries*
Kaohsiung Love River. The riverbanks were beautified with greenery works and developed to be park areas, decorated with pillars chained with iron rope. The area becomes a romantic place for lovers to date with each other, therefore, the river was reputed as Love River.
Dragon and Tiger Pavillions at Lotus Lake
Spring and Autmn Pavillion at Lotus Lake
Popo Ice 婆婆冰- famous for it’s mountain tomatoes with special ginger dipping sauce. We bought 10 boxes!
Add: No. 135號, Qīxián 3rd Road, Yancheng District Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 803
5 minutes walk form YanChengPu 鹽埕埔 station
Dinner at this very unique no name restaurant. The bosses are fish monger, butcher, vegetables seller and property agent by day. It also means that patrons will be having the best cut and the freshets seafood and vegetables here. Sometimes one does get free advises on property purchase too!
And true enough, it was the best meal we had in taiwan!
Tel: +866 988 129265
Checked into Four Seasons Love Motel. From the drive through check in counter, we drove in, directly into the basement where our room is. The rooms inside Four Seasons Love Motel range from luxury business hotel through to the full blown exotic type with pool and themed decoration. For only RM 300+ (published rack rate RM 700+), we got a 1200 sq ft room equipped with jacuzzi, indoor garden, living hall, 50 inch LCD tv, etc.
We stopped by Chiayi while driving back to Jiufen. Chiayi is famous for its “fen yuan” (grass jelly ball ice) and turkey rice. It is also a famous stopover for tourists flocking into Alishan.
Our friends took us to their favourite teppanyaki restaurant in Taiwan.
紅花鐵板燒 Hong Hua Teppenyaki
For only NT1500 per pax, the food was easily the best Teppanyaki we have ever had! Just thinking about the jumbo size Hokkaido scallops and tiger prawns makes me drool.
It was already 7pm by the time we reached Jiufen. We went up to our friend’s cafe and saw the gorgeous view which brings back a lot of memories. This is our third time at Jiufen and we were so glad that we get to know Hsu Da Ge and Chen Jie who runs Windsor B&B. We became good friends since then, and they have been visiting Malaysia every year!
Windsor B&B, Jiufen
It was our third time staying here and our room – 日光涵馆1. Here’s some pictures of the other rooms which we stayed in year 2009.
Hsu Da Ge took us to Lin’s Music Cafe 林老師鋼琴咖啡屋 @ Jinguashi at night. There’s life performance every Saturday night, do drop by if you happened to be around Jianguashi/Jiufen. It is a great chilling place.
Tel: +886 2 2496 1799/+886 9800 12660
Good morning Jiufen! View from our room at Windsor B&B!
Breakfast at Windsor B&B’s cafe! Met and talked to three lovely Taiwanese ladies.
Jiufen, our favourite place in Taiwan. Read more about Jiufen here.
Lunch at Windsor B&B’s cafe!
Sun set at Jiufen!
Hsu Da Ge cooking up a farewell feast for us! *sniff*