Friday, 11 April 2008

Taiwan trip - 11 Apr 08

We received a morning call again this morning at 4am. We washed up and head to the 7-11 next door to buy sandwiches for our breakfast. Mr Chen has arranged a trip for us to Yushan to watch the sunrise. This time it's not Mr Chen who drive but his uncle. When we board the van, it's already full and we are the last two passengers. It's was raining quite heavily hence I could not see the surroundings clearly. Mr Chen's uncle is the driver cum the tour guide. On the way to Yushan, he stop the van at some points but I do not know where are we as it was pitched dark outside.

The first place of interest we reached is Tatajia Husband and Wife Cypress tree. The tour guide told us that in the past the husband and wife tree seems to hold hand in hand when look from afar but after the lighting striked it, they didnt hold hand anymore. He ask us to guess which is the husband and which is the wife. The front is the husband and the back is the wife, use your imagination, hehe...

According to wikipedia: “塔塔加夫妻神木,亦称夫妻树,是台湾着名神木之一,是通往玉山登山口必经之地,因此夫妻树格外醒目。夫妻树由两棵成对红桧枯木形成的神木景观,在1963年时因森林大火而死亡,又於1996年遭到雷击,与阿里山神木昔景相似,如今夫妻树是玉山国家公园热门景点之一。根据玉管处调查,夫妻树倾斜情况日益严重,有可能在近年内倒下,玉管处已决定将依照自然生法则采阿里山神木的模式采取「自然放倒」法,让夫妻树回归大地。”
Husband and wife tree 夫妻树 It's drizzling and our jacket is so useful =p @ Tatajia carpark

Our next destination is Yushan National Park. The park takes its name from one of the highest mountains in East Asia. Yushan, which means Jade Mountain, attracts climbers from all over the world. The highest point of Jade Mountain, is 3,952 metres. The park covers over 100,000 hectares, or 3% of the landmass of Taiwan. It’s the largest and most undeveloped of all the parks in Taiwan. It is also the grandest.

There is this Taiwanese girl who seems to be very excited when she know that we are from Singapore and wanna take a photo with us. LOL.

Yushan National Park Say cheese!!!

After that, we went to Lu lin cypress tree. This tree is really really huge. Dunno how many people got to hold hand in hand to go around the tree trunk?

Lu lin cypress tree 鹿林神木2,700 years old tree
The trunk is so huge

It's a pity that we couldn't see the sunrise today as it was raining. But we were also quite lucky that we caught it yesterday cos for the last few days, there is no sunrise. We reached the minsu at around 8am and we headed back to the police station to take photos again.

There is music to warn the peopleCallas Lily Filming?
Dunno this is for what?
Train coming

Highest convenience store in Taiwan Bacon pasta

This is the only post office in Alishan and is the highest post office in Taiwan. It's really resemble more of a temple than a post office if you didnt look at the signboard. We intend to buy those wooden post cards here and send back home but only paper postcard is available. Somemore the postcard is really plain post card, no graphic at all. Hence we bought the postcard and went to the tourism centre where there are chops so we used our creativity and decorate the postcard. =p

Dun look like a post office right?

Postal & banking service

So misty

We checkout and board the 小巴 at the Tourism Centre at 12pm. On the way to Chiayi high spped station, we would stop by Fenchihu for an hour. The winding road down to Fenchihu is really making me uncomfortable and I closed my eyes to rest to prevent my motion sickness from getting worse.

Tea plantation

After 45 min, we reached Fenchihu and the driver told us that we had 1hr here so my sis and I quickly get down and walked to the 老街.

Back in the days where Alishan can only be reached by train, Fenchihu was the biggest and most important stop-off station. It was here that the train changed engines, and where people rested, bought lunch and relaxed. Following the opening of the Alishan road in 1980, the town went into something of a decline. As Fenchihu lies a few kilometers off the main road it was usually by-passed, and was almost forgotten — almost.

Why was Fenchihu called 奋起湖 when there was no lake here? Fenchihu sits in a natural basin where mist collects easily and can get trapped. Locals feel that this basin resembles a “benghi (畚箕),” a traditional Taiwanese basket used for carrying dirt, leaves and trash. When you look down on the town from one of the hiking trails that lead up the mountain, this benghi shape is easy to see. This is why people describe Fenchihu as a “lake without water”.

Unique name cafeNogutsFenchihu street 奋起湖老街
Wood clog shop
Wooden postcards
Aiyu Jelly 爱玉 Aiyu plantSo sunny here
Making the crepes of ice cream wrap with grounded peanut which we ate in Jiufen
Wooden postcards hanged by visitors Post box

There are quite a few places at Fenchihu selling bento but this is the most famous one.

The famous lunchbox

Sakura train bento set which comes in the train box shown cost NT270 ~ S$14 while the normal bento set only cost NT100 ~ S$5. Initially, my sis wanted to try the sakura train bento set but as the dishes inside is exactly the same, just that the packaging comes in the train instead of the normal wooden box, we bought the original bento instead.

Different type of lunchbox Sakura train bento set
Train biscuits comes in 4 flavours People eating bento @ the train station
Train engine
History of the engine

We left at 2pm and we were the last two passegers boarding the van. I drank a packet of milk as I was quite hungry. I slept on the way downhill as my motion sickness is etting worse. The van stopped by a souvenir shop at Chiayi and the first thing i do is to run to the toilet and puke. Feel better after puking.

We reached the high speed train station at 3.45pm which is earlier than expected. All the passengers in the van had purchase their train tickets for boarding at 5pm, hence they had to change their tickets. We did not purchase it beforehand as we did not know what time we would reached Chiayi train station. We bought the non-reserved tickets which is cheaper and board the train at around 4pm.

Chaiyi high speed trainHigh speed train

Cabins 9, 10, 11, 12 are for non-reserved tickets. If no seats is available, the passenger has to stand throughout the journey. We saw in the news that during public holidays, it's really like mad here. When we boarded the train, it's full but lucky we managed to find 2 seats or else we had to stand for 1.5hr back to Taipei. As we didnt had our lunch, we eat the bento inside the high speed train. There are lots of ingredients inside the bento, drumstick, pork rib, cabbage, bamboo shoots, egg, raddish etc.

We reached Taipei around 5.30pm and went back to our hotel to check in. Our room is not ready yet hence we left our belongings in the lobby and went to Ximenting. We had some snacks here and there while shopping around.

Onion pancake 葱油饼

The noodle can stand!!! So many type of bubble teas
Such a cute house

We left at around 9.30pm and went back to our hotel. Super exhausted and we decided to sleep until enough since tomorrow is the last day.

My shopping spree

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