Saturday, July 9, 2016

Taiwan Day 3 - Taichung-Rainbow Village - Painted Animation Lane - New Banana Paradise Restaurant - Miyahara - Ah Ming Shi Tai Yang Bing - Lumi Hotel & Feng Jia night market

Hello readers! Typhoon has ended by then and we was ready for Taichung!
Our Day 3 itinerary as follows.
Taichung High Speed Rail - Rainbow Village 彩虹眷村 - Painted Animation Lane 海賊王彩繪巷 -  New Banana Paradise Themed Restaurant 香蕉新樂園拍照 - Miyahara 宮原眼科 - Ah Ming Shi Tai Yang Bing 阿明師太陽餅 - Lumi Hotel (to check in and put our luggage)- Feng Jia Night Market.

Our High Speed Rail ticket to Tai Chung!

We had macdonald in the high speed rail while on our way to taichung.
We tried this new pork burger set! it doens't taste pork but chicken to me though. All the seats in the high speed rail comes with this dining tray. It look like the similar one whenever we took a plane
Macdonald are cheap in Taiwan compared to other countries that i visit like Australia, Bangkok, which is expensive. They don't ask if we want to upsize as the cup is original upsize cup with normal fries cost only SGD$4! We just bought one set to share as i don't want to gain too much weight while on our holiday!
I think it may be a good idea afterall to stay one night at Taipei before going to Taichung as the Cityinn 3 Hotel front desk told us we could leave our luggage here since we are going to Taichung for few days and checking in again on our last 2 days in Taiwan, we brought 4 pieces of luggage.We left two piece of our luggage in Cityinn 3 so it was easier without having to carry 4 pieces of luggage to Taichung. The night before, i send our high speed rail ticket photo to our driver so he would know the exact timing we would reach Taichung and pick us up from the Taichung high speed rail station.

We decided to engage a driver to bring us around for our own one day tour around Taichung. So what i did was to liaise with the taxi company boss on the places that i want to visit and they will give me a quote accordingly. If you are lazy to plan, you can visit this taxi company website where they list down the different tour itinerary at different parts of Taiwan. 

You can read to see the different area and the itinerary they suggested, they also recommend certain minsu in their website.
I think maybe if you ask them to help you book the minsu they recommended may get some special discount.
This is what i think only as the boss help us to book a very good minsu at a special discount but not sure if its apply to everyone. Be nice maybe? haha.
The link as shown below.

I got this link because the boss's son who was our driver that drove us around for the first two days in Tai Chung whatsapp me to tell me that he has written an article on his thoughts and experience while bringing us to the different attractions for the past two days and told me i can go and read it when i am free after a week when we have returned back to Singapore. Thus when i went to his facebook page, i saw their own website that provide different itinerary at different parts of Taiwan.
This was the link he send me, i send him some photos on our 2nd day because he look so fascinated with the treehouse minsu when he was checking out the treehouse minsu with us and when i told him, he can take photo but he was feeling shy so i send him some of the photos i took later that night.
which i went on to read the article he wrote, FYI its all in chinese but i thought this was the first time i had a driver that love to blog just like me, of cos he was not so crazy like me that write a blogpost like a storybook. Haha. i was feeling strange when i thought he help us to take photos with my phone but used his phone as well to take photo of us when we was at Rainbow village, i didn't think much of it as i thought he probably want to report to his gf the different guests he is fetching everyday. HAHA.

For the above itinerary, the boss quoted me NT2000, (SGD $85) , which i find it is quite reasonable and i didn't really bother to compared with other driver for the first day and after checking for the standard market rate for the 2nd day when we was going up to Qingjing, i decided to just book two day of cab with them. But you may check with them as the total no. of pax and pc of luggage will affect their quote as more people will require a bigger car and it may cost more. He told me so far only his dad will drive the big car as he is not that experienced yet. His car is clean and feel fresh when we board the cab, unlike other cab drivers, he told me his dad is particular about maintenance and spend alot on maintenance so that the car can be used even longer

You can either whatsapp his dad which is the boss everyone refer as 刘先生 at this number ,

or you can whatsapp him at this number, do take note you have to add the + when you are saving this number. i was so dumb without adding the + after getting this number and i was puzzled when i couldn't whatsapp the uncle. +886927888032

If you are interested to engage the son as your driver after reading the entire of my post, you may contact him at this number ,+886 963010111, his name is 刘轩良. I have gotten his permission beforehand to write his contact number in my blog. You can tell him my name 丽玲 which used to book his cab for two days in tai chung, but i doubt he would remember me if it has been so long since he do pick up guests quite often as he would constantly update his facebook page the different guests he bring for the day to the different places. I would strongly recommended him because he is young so he have alot to talk when we go from one place to another and throughout our two day in Taichung when he bring us around, i didn't even dozed off as we was chatting non-stop from one place to another and he would tell us any interesting place that is worth explaining if we happen to be passing by and his driving skills is safe enough that you won't feel you are going to have a heart attack anytime. super safe! However if you are not good in speaking chinese and only know how speak english, you may find nothing to talk as he mentioned his english is not very good. When i see le bf trying to continue the conversation, its very funny as he seem to have some communication problem trying to think of how to say the correct words out.

So we arranged to meet him at the entrance of the Macdonalds at Taichung High Speed rail station for him to pick us up. He is really young, 28 years old. le bf is so funny when he say his display photo don't tally leh. In fact i think he look more slimmer in real life and he looked more tanned, later i get to know because he was constantly under the sun when he was bringing his guests recently so maybe that was the reason he became so tanned now. He came and pick us up which was quite easy to identify when he know its just two of us. We hit it off quite well and he asked if we had our lunch if not he wanted to bring us for lunch first, but we had our lunch earlier so we proceed to Rainbow Village, our first stop!

He was telling us the history of the Rainbow village even though i already know based on my research, and so far most people will suggest to book a cab to visit this place because Taichung is really not accessible, i notice there is no bus stop nearby and the driver told us he once heard from his guest that he bring when they came to Rainbow village first time through public transport, they took two hours to reach and two hours to go back and half a day is gone just like that. So i really don't recommend anyone to take public transport because i believe you can still earn your money but you can't earn your time back, since you are already coming out for holiday, why bother saving that money?

Well, the history of this rainbow village was, the renowned rainbow grandpa was a soldier and originate from hongkong so after they lost the civil war in the early days, KMT military retreated back to Taiwan, since then he has been staying in this area, and started to paint his village and when the government started to demolish all the villages around and wanted to demolish rainbow village as well, there were a petition going around and the government had no choice but to eventually allow this particular village to be preserved and rainbow grandpa started to paint even more as more tourists heard of this place and it has become one of the attractions in Taichung for tourists to come and admire the cute painting and to take some instagram worthy shots painted by rainbow grandpa.

I took lots of photos in this rainbow village, so there are many photos of rainbow village below if you scroll down!

i was super amazed when i first saw this place exactly what i saw when there were other bloggers reviewing this place. The painting is so cute and its so unique!

Bf and i attempting to take a photo together with our selfie stick.
The wind was still fairly strong and was sweeping my hair all over.
Managed to take one without appearing too messy and this is after multiple shot of photos. haha

Those teddy bears looks like they have been here the longest time..
There is a donation box whereby tourists can donate some money for the rainbow grandpa to buy his paint to touch up on his drawings. There were also other souveniers such as magnet, files, notebooks available for sale once you enter further. I bought some magnet and the clear file because its so cute with those drawings.

 our driver, xuan liang told us that there were lesser people probably due to the typhoon, so it was a rare sight for us to take the entire photo without anyone standing and posing with the background.

Our driver offered to help us take a photo, and to take a photo like this, he climb up the wall  to help us take a photo as he said it looks very nice when it is taken at such angle especially when there were no one else except us.
He also highlighted to us that most tourists do not realised but rainbow grandpa had painted 'Rainbow village' wording on the floor, so he told us to take a photo after some tourist walked away.

I forgot to mentioned if you guys are planning to visit Taichung and all these attractions, its important to ensure your camera, smartphone are all fully charged as there were lots of places that is worth taking photo!
Rainbow village would take about 30mins if you were to count the phototaking time, but its very fast if you just want to walk around and explore, but if you want to stop at each cute different background to take photo, it should take at least 30mins. This is depending on individual expectations, i was more particular of taking nice photos of us so generally we had lots of photos taken until i managed to take one that i am satisfied before i will go off. hahaha.
Next, we went to this painted animation lane! Before that i have done some research by estimating the time needed from Rainbow village to this animation lane so it was quite near ONLY if you travel by car. This is because when i check on google map,travelling by car would require about 5-10mins but if you want to walk will takes you 30min.
The driver was surprised when he brought us here as the main graphic has changed before we enter the animation lane. Previously it was the dragonball but it has changed to angry bird now. He told us it will keep changing except some of the classic ones, he waited for us in his car as that area does not allow parking so we explore that alley with more photo taking!

Super cute dog piece painted on the floor, looking at that dog makes me miss Duffy! haha

Attempted a we-fie but the wind was too irritating

The minions!

There were other tourists taking photos at the alley when we arrived so we was taking turn to take photo without obstructing each other. haha

This old school cartoon, looks familiar but i cannot recall what is the name of this cartoon character.
Its interesting how an alley can become one of the tourist attraction area with all these cute drawings painted by some unknown artist.

When i first saw this, i was telling bf, eh this is the pirated version of pikachu!

But he told me, this is not pirated pikachu, but its called raichu!

Pikachu is still cuter!

We saw this super mario wall that everyone should be very familiar with!

Le bf getting tired posing for photos.. haha

Crayon shin chan!

Spotted 小丸子and her whole family.

Spongebob squarepants

The shag face after smiling for too many photos. HAHAHA.

Bugs Bunny! when i ask bf to pose for a photo and was asking why is he standing so near that female bunny and he give me this cheeky face! HAHAHA.

I was so excited when we was leaving this animation lane that i saw this Doraemon 任意门.
You can really open the door and close it back after that!

After that, our next stop was new banana paradise, i had totally forgotton our itinerary for the day by then as i thought after visiting the themed restaurant, the driver will send us to the hotel before sending us to feng jia night market.
I totally forgot we had two more places to go which was the Miyahara 宫原眼科 and Ah Ming shi tai yang bing shop! So we spend quite awhile in this restaurant as i thought the time was still early. haha
Before entering this restaurant, you will spot this train just outside the restaurant.

We had a chance to enter inside and there were some kids playing inside.

Me pretending to control the train.

Told le bf my butt too big cannot fit the small chair already. haha
This was the main entrance of the restaurant.

This themed restaurant is unique in a sense that you can get to view some of the items that were used in the older days, it looks as though you have entered a museum.

The old exercise books that was used in the past, sometimes its interesting how items of the past reflect how the people at that time was simpler compared to now.. 

The old vintage taxi.

We ordered some light dim sum snacks and drinks to chill and to take a break after taking so many photos. 
The foods is average but not worth to come back for second time i guess..
After our tea time, we went around to explore further and there is this icon banana man inside the restaurant.

Us pretending to be some students sitting on the old school study table with some textbooks taking we-fie!

This painting is interesting as we saw there were others stepping inside and standing inside the boat to take photos. I didn't want to damage it so i take a photo without me standing inside the boat. 

Just outside the restaurant, we went around to explore and saw this, le bf looking so kiddy as ever!

Oh! and i realised the cab that was captured inside this photo is actually our cab driver who has been waiting for us. He don't rush us nor will emphasise how much time we should spend or inform us how long we should stay before he come and pick us back, so that was the best thing i like because there is not many driver that allow you to play without rushing you to follow the timeline.

After this, when he told us we are going to Miyahara and thats when i realised we have two more places to go before checking in to our hotel!
This was the only photo we had because they don't really allow phototaking but there was one staff that was kind enough to offer to help us take a photo instead.
So you don't get to see much of the interior,as i was browsing their products in this store, i love their exquisite packaging of their products but they don't allow trying so i didn't bought much as i was not sure whether it will be good, but i can assure you guys after trying, the quality is good so if anyone is planning to visit Miyahara, you should definitely buy more if its within your budget!
Their pineapple tarts and cheesecake is damm good! But the products can be rather pricey. FYI.

I bought their chocolate cheesecake, it was good but its abit too much for just two of us and we couldn't finish it and they have short expiry date so we didn't managed to finish the entire cheesecake.

I bought some of their tai yang bing, pineapple tarts.The next time when i visit, i will definitely want to try their chocolates!

There were a long queue to buy their popular Miyahara ice-cream!!
I didn't wanted to queue for it because it was really very long but we have already come to this place and it will be a pity to leave without trying the waffle ice-cream, so we joined the queue, there were so many flavours that we were lost to deciding what flavour we want. The staff will pass us an order form while queuing up for our turn.
Interior of the Miyahara when i was queuing for the ice-cream!

Look at the number of different chocolate flavours ice-cream! Dark chocolate is my favourite!

And the different kind of toppings

Actually i was quite full when we was waiting for our turn to order, and we didn't choose alot of flavour because both of us was not hungry so our Miyahara ice-cream looks empty. HAHAHA
with a pineapple tart and dark chocolate, the driver has reminded us beforehand that we could share one as we might not be able to finish, actually i only had a few mouthful before i asked the bf to finished everything. HAHA it was nice but i was just not hungry at that point of time and couldn't finish the ice-cream.
After that, we went to the Ah Ming Shi tai yang bing which was nearby, this was one of the famous tai yang bing shop and there were many people buying, they allow us to try but this was right after we had Miyahara ice cream so we only buy a few box. The driver was asking us to try all the different products, but i was too full already, even though i tend to buy most of what i had tried, except lemon cake because i don't like lemon.
The driver was surprised we spend quite a short time shopping inside this shop. Most of the time i have to decide what i want because typical bf will say, 'Anything, up to you' so i will buy what i like straight and we were done and i think we probably spend only 10mins in the shop? Thats how fast i am in deciding what to buy.

We waited for him as the staff was packing for him the snacks that he is buying back as he mentioned his gf dad love this snack so he is buying back as they are going back to his gf house to visit the parents as the gf missed her parents, but he don't recommend us to buy because we can't bring back as the expiry date is too short. 
I am starting to envy his job because he could work and play at the same time when he is fetching guests around. haha
It was quite a distance when we leave this Ah ming shi shop to our hotel as we was chatting again and he was introducing us this place that he would recommend couples to go as it is a place whereby they will screen interesting documentary shows and before the show starts, they will introduce each horoscope reading for the day, i thought it was quite interesting but i couldn't find the place after i googled it, so i guess i will have to ask him the next time when i visit Taiwan again. 

It was around 5plus when we reached the hotel, so he waited for us to check in before sending us to our last stop at Feng jia night market.
This was a last min hotel that i managed to find after i cancel the original minsu that i initially booked and they had no available dates for check in on saturday due to the typhoon.
This was the lobby area even though i didnt managed to take a full photo of the lobby.

We was staying at lvl 9, it was a rather new hotel and we tried to explore lvl 11 but we couldn't access to the floor so i assume it was not ready yet.

Our hotel for the night!

After we put our luggage in the hotel, our driver send us to Fengjia nght market which was the last station before he will pick us up the next day to continue our itinerary.
I was afraid that i would overspend so when we reach Fengjia night market, i wanted to pass him the taxi money which was NT 2000 first, but he insist to collect together at the end of our entire cab trip.
It surprise me how he can trust us completely and this trust, its so precious that i hope no one ever break this kind of trust to him when i am recommending him as the driver to bring you around in Taichung.
He recommend us to try some popular snacks in Feng Jia night market, so after he drop us off, we went to this Monga Chicken cutlet! Its owned by this taiwan artiste, Nono, and this is so good we had it twice when we visited the night market. Later on, i found out this is available in ximending too! Its different from the usual shilin xiaochi or the hao da chicken cutlet, such that when you had the first bite of the cutlet, it don't taste too dry but so juicy that makes you crave for more!

He also recommend us to buy the watermelon juice but there were too many stalls selling that we was not sure which stall is the better one. This night market is so different from the night market we visited while in Taipei, this looks more like a local night market, with lesser tourists and this is so many times bigger than those night market in Taipei, it had so many different variety of foods that just buying each snacks from different stall can makes you feel full without sitting down.
It was quite crowded when we visit on a saturday, and i was so fascinated with all the different foods they are selling.
This cute chicken cutlet store has a time interval whereby there is music and the icon of the chicken will move along with the music. It was so cute!

The driver recommend us to try this guan zhi lin, da chang bao xiao chang.
Its quite oily so we only bought one to share.
That octopus takoyaki is the bomb!Look at those people crowding infront of that store, actually they are queuing up for this, we joined the queue and there were two flavour available.
We tried both of the flavour, one was original and the other one was wasabi, but i feel the original one taste better because the wasabi flavour is too wasabi! not to my liking. It cost only $1.60 for 6! damm cheap.
While strolling the night market, its common to see the locals walking their dogs and its so cute when they bought sausage and while eating, they will give one to their dog too, some of the dogs is so cute and they don't even bark!
I thought this was quite special, but its actually taste so bland that i find it was a waste of money that i don't recommend anyone to try this if you ever was fascinated like me when you pass by this stall.
I don't really like the syrup they pour it over and basically its just jelly which was so bland.

We was exploring the night market and i wanted to use the toilet but couldn't find any, so in the end we found out that the convenience store had a restroom, so while waiting for my turn, bf told me he seem to found this special cup noodle that the driver was telling us in the afternoon, he couldn't read chinese so he show me and i think it was the one that the driver told us, but just to confirm, i texted him and he was giving me the shocked emoji icon. HAHA. He mentioned it get sold out very fast the moment it was placed on the shelves, there were only 4, so i went to try my luck and ask the staff if they have any more of this noodles,so we bought 7 in the end. HAHA. 
So later that night when we returned to the hotel, bf went to try this noodle.
Similar like the pork noodle we always buy, they have the chicken meat inside too! and the seasoning really have the smell of the hua tiao jiu!

The number of cup noodles we bought back.
Before we walked back from Fengjia night market to our hotel, we saw this shop,they were selling dumplings and we order the soup, and the dumpling is so cheap! its only $1plus for 9pieces!
Soup is less than $1.

I seriously think it would be better to go Taiwan with a group of friends, more stomach and you get to order more and try a bit of everything! hahaha.
As we walked back from fengjia night market to our hotel which was a long distance, we went into this supermarket and saw this two melons. so huge!
This was our hotel when we finally walked back from the fengjia night market.
Throughout our entire trip, even though we had booked cab, but we also walked alot as my leg was aching when we was due to return to Singapore.
This summarise our total purchases for the day, happy that i did not overspend for the budget allocation set for the day!
Till then.

Read on my other posts in Taipei & Taichung!

Day 1- Taipei-Cityinn Hotel-Tamsui old street-Shilin night market

Day 4 Taichung-Xinshe Castle-Lavender Cottage-Zhongshe Flower Market-Feeling 18 Degree chocolate--塔洛湾景观餐厅-Yunnan Minsu

Day 5 Taichung-Old England Manor-Qingjing Farm-Lumama Restaurant-Carton King-Little Swiss-Totoro Cafe, Gaomei Wetland-Ruyi Taiyangbing

Day 6 Taipei Rilakkuma Cafe-Beauty of Gull-Nanya Rock formations-Yin Yang Sea-Remains of the thirteen levels-Golden Waterfall-Jiufen Old Street