Tuesday, March 15, 2011

8 Days - Best Of Taiwan Tour (With ASA Tour Agency)

My Family Trip in Year 2010 - 8 Days Taiwan Tours (With ASA Travel Agency)

Event Held: on 20.11.2010 to 27.11.2010
Weather: Cooling
Highlights

Day 1 - 20.11.2010 : Singapore to Taipei
Attraction:
  • Experience Taiwan High Speed Train (Approx 20 min rides)
  • Ximending (西门町) Night Market to enjoys various local snakes like taiwan oyster omelet, stinky toufu, chicken chop etc.
  • Recommendation: Must try Ah Zhong Main Xian (阿宗面线), deep fried sweet patoto balls, mua chee, poh piah, taiwan bubble tea, taiwan guava, crushed ice dessert, bitter gourd juice 
  • Disadvantage: Time to roam around the night maket too rush and short, didn't have time to explore the night market and do shopping. Remember that weekends visiting will be very crowded. 

 Day 2 - 21.11.2010 : Taipei - Hualien
Attraction:

  • Yeliu Scenic Area (野柳地质公园) to view the geological features like some rock formations that was formed by wind erosion. The popular one that I know of is the Queen's head. 
  • Chiufen (九份) - located in the hills of northen Taiwan. Shop and eat along the most popular street known as Chiufen Old Street.
Recommendation: 
  • Try the beef  noodle, can buy the local snacks like muah chi and jelly for friends & relatives, try popiah wrap with ice cream and crushed peanut, local sausages, yam ball (fenyuan) with different choices of soup (hot/cold)
  • Experience (subway) train ride to Hualien
  • Nanbin Night Market (Small & bore- don't bother to go if possible) - We bought some fire crackers (where we do not have this opportunity to play in S'pore) and played it near the beach.   

Day 3 - 22.11.2010 : Hualien - TaiTung
Attraction:

  • Visit Taroko Gorge (太魯閣國家公園 to view a few main feaures of the marble cliffs. Our tour guide brought us to experience the Swallow Grotto (燕子口) where you get to see caves and small waterfalls and also a narrow part of the gorge where the Liwu River flows far below. Then, you see the Jiuqudong tunnel or also known as "Tunnel of Nine Turns" (九曲洞) where you get to view rock folds, joints and faults of the marble cliffs. After passing Jiuqudong, you arrived at Cimu Bridge (慈母橋)  - known as Motherly Devotion Bridge with two marble stone lions at each side of the bridge. This bridge was built by late President Chiang Jing-guo in memory of his late mother.  
  • Chi Hsing Tan (七星潭)  enjoying a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and eating hot sweet potatoes (charcoal baked) purchased from the "Ah Mah" Pushed Cart parking at the carpark area. 
  • Checked in Hot Spring Resort (Papago International Resort) and get to enjoy hot spring bath.   
Encounters 4.0 Magnitude Earth Quake (in few secs.) after finishing our dinners at one of a restaurant near our hot spring resort. Can feel trembling effect within the building.  


Day 4 - 23.11.2010 : TaiTung - Kaohsiung
Attraction:

  • Fo Guan Shan Monastery (佛光山) is the largest Buddhist monastary in Taiwan which was established in 1967. We visited the Great Buddha Land ( 大佛城), with 120 ft tall Amitabha Buddha surrounded by 480 smaller buddha statues (excellent scenic view) and then, headed to Main Shrine (大雄宝殿) - the main hall for prayers and worship with many Buddhas statues surrounding the hall .
    A pity that we didn't get much time to visit this huge monastary. But the view around it is really magnificent. Is worth a visit!
  • Dream mall, biggest shopping mall in Kaohsiung. We didn't roam around the shopping mall partly because the times given by our tour guide was rather rushed. We stayed in the food court enjoying some of the taiwan local delights. 
  • Kaohsiung Love River,  didn't get to enjoy the river scenery as it was dark when we arrived there.  
  • Leo Ho Night Market (六合夜市) with many provision of taiwan local delights. Eats whatever you wish to try. Try the bitter gourd with honey juice!    



Day 5 - 24.11.2010 : Kaohsiung - Tainan
Attraction:

  • Ten Drum Culture Village (十鼓文化村) - used to be a suger refinery in the olden days, exhibits all kind of drums and drum instruments and making of drums. Also, get to watch their drum performance and had a photo taking session with the drum's performers, can experience a fun playing drum lesson, a closed visit of the old chimney and hop on a classic train ride where the train was used for transporting sugar cane within the old sugar refinery.
  • Tsou Ma Lai Farm (走馬瀨農場) - a  recreational farm. My boys love and enjoy most as they get to see the farm animals, then enjoy the grass skiing ride and free play of archery. Beware of mosquitoes in the night, there's plenty of it everywhere!   

Day 6 - 25.11.2010 : Tainan - Taichung
Attraction:
  • Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) - the biggest freshwater lake in Taiwan with the western part of the island shaped like a new moon and the eastern part shaped like a sun. There is a small island in the middle of the lake known as "lalu" island, but most part of the island had sunk due to 921 earthquake. We cruised around the lake from the harbours to get a upclose personnel experiences of the waterfront.     
  • Next, we visited the Wen Wu Temple (文武廟) which is located at the northern shore of the Sun Moon Lake. The temple consists of three halls. The front hall is called "The Water and Clouds hall" contains a shrine delicated to God of Scholars and Literature. The centre hall is called" The Marital Sage Hall" which is delicated to Guan Gong, The god of war or known as the War of Warrior - "Yue Fei" and the rear hall is called "Da Cheng" that is delicated to Confucius.   
  • Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village (九族文化村) - is a culture village features aboriginal cultures associates with theme park and beatiful garden. I think we really need at least half a day to enjoy those facilities in the village. It a pity that we didn't have much time exploring the cultural village as we were given quite tight schedule following tour with tour agency.  

 Day 7 - 26.11.2010 : Taichung - Taipei
Attraction:
  • Wulai (烏來) - firstly, watched the Atayal (泰雅) Aboriginal Musical show at Gaga theatre. At the Gaga Theatre, you get see the famous waterfalls of Wulai. After the performance, proceed to board the little fuel burning train ride that will bring to Wulai Old Street where you can find some traditional Aboriginal delicacies and souvenir.
  • Taipei 101 World Building - Have our lunch at 85 floor of Taipei 101. We didn't get to see the Taipei city view as our seat was not near the window. It is a pity that we didn't have enough time to visit the shops at 101 Building. The lunch we had at 101 Building was quite disappointing.
  • Shihlin Night Market (士林夜市) - is a large market where you can get to enjoy shopping and local snacks. But is really crowded over the weekend and a few popular stalls selling their local delights were in long queue.
Day 8 - 27.11.2010 : Taipei to Singapore 

  • Free and easy till the time we transfer to airport.  


My Review:
This trip basically gives us a very brief overview of Taiwan. In fact, there is really alot more to explore in thoses places that we been to. The hotels that we stay was good and comfortable. What we don't really enjoy is to hop hotel throughout the trips. The agony we been through everynight to uppack and pack our things (for adult and kids toiletries, clothing etc) in the hotels. It is really tiring! Also, we do not have enough times to shop at those night markets that we visited. I believe there is really plentiful of shopping to do at the night markets. Probably, I would suggest to go free and easy if planning for a shopping trip in Taiwan. Last but not least, our taiwan tour guide really brought us to good places to buy nice and tasty snacks for our friends and relative back home.     

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  3. I know it has been awhile since you travelled with Asa in this post, but would you recommend Asa as a tour agency? Or you have other preferred agencies?

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  4. I know it has been awhile since you travelled with Asa in this post, but would you recommend Asa as a tour agency? Or you have other preferred agencies?

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