Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Taiwan Day 1

Wheeeew! I finally cleared my backlog of pictures to finally be able to write about this very Taiwan trip.

This Taiwan trip is very significant to me. It is my first self-planned, self-guided, no adults-meddling trip, though we did meet up with my mum (sigh...) since she's there on business (a completely different trip from ours).

This trip, in many ways, signify a growing up of sorts, a little self-discovery journey, of knowing myself a fraction better, and ofcourse spending within budget. I learned one important facet of life- tolerance and acceptance go hand in hand. In Sydney, living in such close proximity with a stranger, so much that it became a shadow of yourself, was uncomfortable. It put me on an edge, I could tolerate differences lousily, could not accept inconsistency. When in Taiwan, though for a short 6 days, being a shadow of my cousin and vice versa sure wasn't easy. But because she is my cousin, my family, I love her, I cannot dislike her nor feel adverse towards her. Therefore, by default, my capacity for tolerance grew and acceptance became a possibility. I just had to tell myself: well, she's like that. Then, I was comfortable again.

Why force someone to be like you when there can only be one of you?

There, our arrival in Taipei International Airport, terminal one. It's really small. From here, we took the bus (NTD 125) to Taipei station, to take the mrt to Beitou station, where our lovely resort is. It's 16 degree Celsius here!

At Beitou station, the deisgnated driver (funny, even though we were quite chumy, I never did ask for his name) of Maple Landis Beitou came to pick us up. Flight from Singapore was at 8am, we arrived in the resort at 4pm.

Maple Landis is sort of like a boutique resort, they aim for quality more than quantity. Naturally, the normal rates are quite intimidating to causal students like us. Fortunately, there is this package that allows you to enjoy the stay without paying rocket prices. NTD9800, 3 days 2 nights, for a double, inclusive of breakfast, evening dessert and hot spring. Sure, it's still more expensive than than normal business hotels, but for a little more, you get alot more back.

Behind me is YangMingShan (the room faces the lush greenery of a mountain, woohoo!), a personal onsen stone tub if you don't wish to mingle with the rest at the public one, the toilet, and our bed.

The public bath, which also faces the mountain.

One unhappy thing about this Taiwan trip was I fell sick. It was like having fever and not having fever at the same time, blahhhh. We immediately headed for the hot spring upon reaching the resort, using the public bath since I wanted to see what it's like. The hot spring facilities in Taiwan is more to our local taste. There's private stand showers, unlike the sitting public ones in Japan. Also in public mixed baths, there's a need to wear swimming costumes.

Us, after our baths~

The original plan that evening is to head down to Danshui for dinner, but because I was not well and not wanting to worsen my condition, we decided to feast on cup noodle, that we had the foresight to buy earlier, in the hotel room.

That's the uhh feast. Yan commented that she still prefer Japanese instant noodle. She's a cup noodle expert. The evening dessert delivered to our room, a chocolate canele and a cranberry biscuit. This canele trumps the canele in Singapore by Canele, the biscuit has a subtle tangyness to compliment the cranberries, short and sweet. I like!

That is all for the first night. I slept at like 7 or 8pm and Yan watched the TV to god knows what time. She enjoys media entertainment. Thank god for that, or else she'll be bored to death by me. :)


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