Thursday, January 31, 2019

First Trip For 2019 - 24 Hours in Brunei

It's supposedly my third trip for the year 2019 but then, due to some personal reason I burnt two tickets before my trip to Brunei. Sorry Sibu and Bangkok but I believe, I will see you two soon again. 

Hence, Brunei is my first official trip for this year - the brand new year of 2019. I've been to Brunei quite a number of times and the most adventurous I ever experienced was self-drive road trip which took more than 7 hours from Kota Kinabalu. My Old Post: 7 Hours Road Trip From Kota Kinabalu To Brunei

2019 Brunei Trip 01
#1: Fly with AirAsia to Brunei from Kota Kinabalu for as low as RM69 return fare

Besides driving, I actually also flew to the main capital city of Brunei - Bandar Seri Begawan multiple times and for this round, I got return fare for as low as RM69 only. That's freaking dirt cheap and as usual, it's so hard for me to say "No" for this unbelievable airfare. Thanks to AirAsia for relaunching this route and there goes our 24 hours trip in Brunei.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station

When come to staying in Taipei, I can't deny Ximending is always my top choice. But because of my recent trip where I travelled alone and arrived Taipei quite late at night, I decided to stay somewhere nearby the Taipei Main Station then. 

I almost booked other hostel until I saw this, it's like love at first sight...

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station 01
#The inviting lounge/common area

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Summary of My 9D8N Taipei & Taichung, Taiwan (2015) Travelogues & Travel Expenses

Here is the compilation for all the posts relating to my trip to Taiwan for the third time where I managed to cover few popular cities like Taipei, Kaohsiung, Kenting and Taichung within 9 days and 8 nights I went back in 2015. By end of this post, I also share how much I spent throughout my trip. Did I spend more or less compare to my previous two trips? Read until the end to find out. 

Day 1: 7th March 2015
Arrived Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and took Kuo-Kang bus #1819 to Taipei Main Station. From there, we took taxi to Sato Castle Motel where we stayed for a night.

Hotel Review: Sato Castle Motel, Taipei
Taipei - Sato Castle Hotel 01

Day 2: 8th March 2015
On the next day, we travel on Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) for getting to Kaohsiung from Taipei. 

Taiwan - Day 2 01 - Taipei to ZouYing

Although the cost of travelling via HSR is higher than taking the bus, but the journey takes just 90 minutes than 4 to 5 hours under the bus ride. Through the online booking, you can get an early bird discount up to 35% from the normal ticket fare. Normally this online booking is available up to 28 days from the departure date. Please take note the HSR station for Kaohsiung is Zuoying (左營).

Stay: Jia's Inn Liuhe
Direction: 6-minute walk from MRT City Council Station or 10-minute walk from MRT Formosa Boulevard Station. 
Taiwan Kaohsiung Jia's Inn 1

Dome of Light
Direction: Take the red line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Kaohsiung Arena Station. Proceed to B1 level and you will instantly see this beautiful art glass installation.
Taiwan Kaohsiung Dome of Light 2

Ruifeng Night Market
Direction: Take the red line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Kaohsiung Arena Station. Get off from Exit 1 and walk for about 5 minutes.
Opening Hours: 6 pm to 12 am daily
Taiwan Kaohsiung Ruifeng Night Market 1

Liuhe Night Market
Direction: Take either the red line or orange line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Formosa Boulevard Station. Get out from Exit 11.
Opening Hours: 6 pm to 11 pm daily
Taiwan Kaohsiung Liouhe Night Market 1

Day 3: 9th March 2015

Cijin Island
From Sizihwan Station under the orange line of Kaohsiung MRT, head over to Gushan Ferry Terminal. Get out from Exit 1, then turn left and walk to the end of the street. After that, turn right and you will see the ferry pier. One way ferry ride cost NT$15 and it's free seating. Once we reach Cijin Island, we decided to rent electric bike to explore the island itself cause it is unexpectedly consider to be huge in size. We're totally underestimated this island.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Cijin Island 1

So, what to discover in Cijin Island?
  1. Cihou Fort
  2. Cihou Lighthouse - Opens 9 am to 5pm. Closed on every Monday 
  3. Cijin Star Tunnel
  4. Cijin Windmill Park 
  5. Sea Shell Museum - Opens 9 am to 5pm. Closed on every Monday

Love River
Direction: Take the orange line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Yanchengpu Station. Take the exit for Wufu road and walk east up Wufu Road toward Love River.
Taiwan Kaohsiung Love River 4

READ HERE: 3D2N Itinerary in Kaohsiung

Day 4: 10th March 2015
A Relaxed and Laid-Back Trip In Kaohsiung
In order to get to Kenting, take a ride on Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) to Zuoying Station first if you are travelling from Taoyuan or Taipei. From there, take Kuo Kang or Kenting Express bus heading to Kenting. The journey takes approximately of 2 hours for the price of NT$407 for a single trip and NT$600 for roundtrip.

Another second option is by sharing cab, like what we did. If you are traveling in a group of 4, probably this option is cheaper than taking the bus. 

It is possible to do day trip to Kenting from Kaohsiung but for me, I prefer to stay for a night just to experience the night market there. 

Taiwan Kenting 01

Stay: Sunhow Inn
Things To Do: Visit night market and Kenting Beach

Day 5: 11th March 2015
A Quick One In Taichung & Garden Stay Fengjia
From Kenting, my friend and I shared a cab to Kaohsiung and we requested to stop at HSR Zouying Station. From there, we took the High Speed Rail straight to Taichung. 

Alternatively, you can opt for bus from Kaohsiung to Taichung but being me, train is always my ultimate choice if the price is not hurting my bank account badly. 

2015 Taiwan Taichung Fengjia Night Market 1

Stay: Garden Stay, Fengjia
Things To Do: Visit Fengjia Night Market

Day 6: 12th March 2015
Right after our trip to Taichung, we travel back to Taipei again before leaving the nation. As usual, we took High Speed Rail from Taichung to Taipei instead of the long distance bus. For this round, I didn't book my ticket in advanced, we just went to the counter and bought on the spot. Because the HSR journey between Taichung and Taipei is relatively short, like approximately less than 40 minutes, therefore the trains are quite frequent. Well of course if you book through online earlier, you can get an early bird discount up to 35% from the normal fare. 


Taipei Zoo
Direction: Take MRT Brown Line to the southern terminus Taipei Zoo
Opening Hours: 9 am to 5pm
Admission Fee: NT$60 for adult and NT$30 for children (You can pay using Easy Card too)
2015 Taiwan Taipei Zoo 1

Ximending Hot Pot
Address: 108, Wanhua District, Xining Rd, 157 , Taipei City, Taiwan.
Opening Hours: 11.30 am to 2 am
Price: NT$498 for lunch; NT$598 for dinner
2015 Taiwan Taipei Ximending Mala Hot Pot 1

Day 7: 13th March 2015
Yangmingshan National Park
Direction: From MRT Jiantan Station, take Exit 1. And walk to the left-side bus station, buses heading to the north. Take either city bus R5 or small bus S15 or S17 to Yangmingshan station. 
You can also take bus 260 from Taipei Main Station.
2015 Taiwan Yangmingshan National Park 1

Wufenpu Fashion Area
Direction: Take MRT Green Line 3 to the Songshan Station - Exit 3. Once get out from the exit, walk straight and continue walking until cross Songlong Road. The shopping district is located within the maze of alleys and lanes to your front and left. 
Opening Hours: Hours of operation for various shops are usually vary, generally opening after noon and staying open until there are no customers left, most commonly around 10pm to midnight.
2015 Taiwan Taipei Wufenpu Shopping District 1

Raohe Night Market
Direction: Take MRT Green Line 3 to the Songshan Station - Exit 5
Opening Hours: 5pm to 12am daily
2015 Taiwan Taipei Raohe Night Market 1

Day 8: 14th March 2015
Yehliu Geopark
Direction: Take Kuo Kang 1815 bus from Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A - Exit Z3 (located at Taipei Main Station). Remember to purchase the bus ticket at Kuo Kang counter before boarding. The journey takes approximately 90 minutes, and the bus will drop you on the main road just outside the park entrance. Walk down the lane on the left side to enter. A single ride costs NT$96. 
Opening Hours: 8am to 5pm
Admission Fee: NT$80 for adult and NT$40 for children
2015 Taiwan Taipei Yehliu Geopark 6

Pingxi Station
Direction: Upon reaching Taipei station, make way to Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) to purchase northbound train ticket to Ruifang Station (瑞芳) for NT$49 each. Then from Ruifang Station, purchase One Day Pass at NT$54 for unlimited rides along the Pingxi Branch Line or a single trip at NT$20.
2015 Taiwan Taipei Pingxi Station 2

Day 9: 15th March 2015
Good9 Stay Inn Ximending & Last Day in Taiwan

Stay: Good9 Stay Inn Ximending
2015 Taiwan Taipei Good9 Stay Ximending 1

2015 Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport

Travel Expenses
And the following are the details of travel expenses breakdown which I spent throughout 9 days and 8 nights in Taiwan: 

PARTICULARS
AMOUNT
NT$
RM
Air Fares
Malaysia Airlines KK – Taipei - KK
Add: Upgraded to Business Class

Accommodations
Taipei – Sato Castle Motel (1 night)
Kaohsiung – Jia’s Inn Liuhe ( 2 nights)
Kenting – Sunhow Inn (1 night)
Taichung – Garden Stay Fengjia (1 night)
Taipei – Good9 Stay Inn (3 nights)

Transportation

Admission Fee
Taipei Zoo
Yehliu Geopark

Food and drinks

Others
8 Days Travel Prepaid Sim Card
Movie & Popcorn
Souvenirs, snacks, postcards, stamps, etc.

-
-


-
-
-
980
5,100

3,098


60
80

2,239


450
245
4,392


650
300


51
193
100
58
301

366


7
9

264


53
29
518


TOTAL
2,899
(The exchange rate by the time I changed NT$100 = RM11.30)

Like I mentioned earlier cause this is my third visit to Taiwan, hence I tend to spend lesser on my personal spending especially for souvenirs. For my previous two trips, I spent roughly RM1,000 for each trip just to buy souvenirs and snacks. Plus, I already know what I want to buy and spend and this prevent myself from buying those unnecessary items and products.

2015 Taiwan Souvenir Haul 1
Switchboard wall stickers and handphone cover bought in Kaohsiung.

2015 Taiwan Souvenir Haul 2
Masking tapes

2015 Taiwan Taichung Hau;
Top and handphone covers bought in Fengjia Night Market

2015 Taiwan Postcard 1
Creative postcards designed and printed on woods, fabrics and even metal license plate.

And that's the end of my 2015 Taiwan travelogue. Hip hip hurray! *Jumping of happiness mode*
I know it's way too late for me to update about this, maybe some of the info might be outdated but don't worry, I did my research earlier while blogging by sharing the latest update information at least.

So now here comes another question - what's next? Which one should I blog first - New Zealand, Sri Lanka or Northern Light Hunting in Sweden and Norway? Find out soon on the next upcoming post. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Taiwan (2015): Good9 Stay Ximending & Last Day in Taiwan

My 2015 Taiwan travelogues almost coming to an end, and before I officially finalise everything - let me share with you of where I stayed on my final nights in Taipei. 

For my first night in Taipei, I stayed in one-of-a-kind Sato Castle Motel which I already blogged and shared it previously. 

As for final three nights in Taipei, I settled down in Good9 Stay Inn for to its excellent location which tucked in the heart of the hustle and bustle Ximending area. There are many popular attractions, shopping outlets and numerous eatery options within the inn. And the best of everything, Ximen MRT Station is just a minute's walk away. 

2015 Taiwan Taipei Good9 Stay Ximending 1
#1: Good9 Stay Inn Ximending

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Taiwan (2015): Taipei For The Third Time

3 Days in Taipei

My trip to Taichung might seem short but it's more than enough for me since I've been there three times. So our next destination is back to Taipei again. Oh hi there Taipei once again! As usual, we took High Speed Rail from Taichung to Taipei instead of the long distance bus. For this round, I didn't book my ticket in advanced, we just went to the counter and bought on the spot. Because the HSR journey between Taichung and Taipei is relatively short, like approximately less than 40 minutes, therefore the trains are quite frequent. Well of course if you book through online earlier, you can get an early bird discount up to 35% from the normal fare. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Taiwan (2015): A Quick One in Taichung & Garden Stay

From Kenting, we travelled to Taichung. Taichung is no longer a strange land for me cause for my record, I've been there three times. Why I keep going back Taichung? All because of Fengjia Night Market - one of my most favourite night markets in Taiwan. 

Like I shared before on my Kenting post, my friend and I shared a cab to Kaohsiung and we requested to stop at HSR Zouying Station. From there, we took the High Speed Rail straight to Taichung. Just when we're about to have a nap, little did we realise we had finally arrived Taichung as the ride took less than an hour only. Alternatively, you can opt for bus from Kaohsiung to Taichung but being me, train is always my ultimate choice if the price is not hurting my bank account badly. 

2015 Taiwan HSR Zouying To Taichung Station MAS Teddy Bear
#1: High Speed Rail from Zouying Station (Kaohsiung) to Taichung.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happy New Year 2019 from Macao!

2018-19 Macao NYE 02
#1: New Year countdown at The Venetian of Macao

Happy New Year Everyone! So how’s your new year eve celebration like? As for mine, if you are following me on Instagram or read my previous post, you would probably know that I was in oversea to initiate my virgin NYE celebration abroad. I went Macau for one short and brief trip but it was indeed a joyful and fruitful one. I had never ever plan to do countdown or even welcome the brand new year in foreign country cause for the past few years, I prefer to celebrate Christmas in overseas like Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong but this time around I wanna experience something new.

Thanks to AirAsia for relaunching back the route to Macau directly from Kota Kinabalu. I used to buy this flight 8 years ago but it was suspended before I could ever experience it. Most of the times, I visited Macao by taking ferry through Hong Kong. It’s my first time to arrive in Macao International Airport (MFM). Although MFM is smaller and basically simple than Hong Kong International Airport, but I prefer it than the latter one as it is less crowded and not so packed. You will never imagine how panicked I was few years back when the immigration clearance took almost an hour and I almost missed my flight from Hong Kong. Phewww...

2018-19 Macao NYE 02 AirAsia BKI MCM
#2: Direct flight from Kota Kinabalu to Macao with AirAsia

I know it’s just beginning of the year but I’m looking forward for my next and second countdown celebration in overseas. Have you ever did countdown in other country before? Come and share your experience with me.

2018-19 Macao NYE 01
#3: Dazzling and awesome fireworks display at The Parisian of Macao

1546329308601
#4: The very first photo of myself for the brand new year. Counting every blessings, be joyful and make the most of everyday.

P/S - Travelling a lot making my brain smaller - thank you for the compliment 😉