28.7.19

Taiwan Solo Trip 2019 Day 7, 8 & 9: Two Days in Taichung, Sisi Nan Cun Village + P.S. Bubu Cafe

Mejo sinisipag ata ako magblog ah! Pansin niyo din? Hehe. I'm super determined to finish all my Taiwan posts so I can move on to Japan naman. Anyway, we're at the end of the line! This is the last and final installment of my Taiwan 2019 solo travel series. One of my goals during this trip was to see places I missed during my past travels. It was a last minute decision to spend a night in Taichung, but so glad I did it! Read on to know more...


I was supposed to go to a hot spring resort but I didn't realize that it was super far (as in sa bundok and mejo forest area) and according to some locals I talked to commuting would be so much of a hassle. I could ride a train and just take a cab from there, but I was told it would still cost almost P3,000 one way! SOOO I didn't push through with it nalang. I suddenly had 2 free days so I decided to spend both days exploring TAICHUNG! I've never been there because it's a 2-hour train ride from Taipei, so perfect timing! I spontaneously booked a bunk bed in a hostel in Taichung, packed a small overnight bag (left my luggage and other things in We Come Hostel) and the next day left for my 2-day adventure! From Beimen train station, I boarded a train going to Taipei Main station where I boarded a train naman going to Taichung. :) Details below...


There's even a small exhibit in Beimen Station about Taiwan's Railway history and archeological finds from the Taipei Arsenal which dates back to the 1800s.  

Remains of Taipei Arsenal during Qing Dynasty

Taipei Main Station!

Bought my ticket from this counter. Paid $375 or Php617 NT for a one-way local limited express ticket (TRA) to Taichung. If you take the THSR, it's faster (you'll be there in 45 minutes!) but it's more expensive at $700 NT and the train station is out of the city.

My ticket! The TRA limited express train has reserved seats! Convenient and comfy. I just slept the whole way. 

Never lost with my TEP wireless portable wifi!

After 2 hours, finally reached Taichung! :)
OOTD upon arrival. Hehe! Top from ukay, Pants from SM Woman  




Taichung Station is pretty big

Taichung Bus Terminal is just across the train station

Nice stream I saw along the way

From Taichung Station, I walked for 10-15 minutes until I reached my home for one night, Kiwi Express Hotel (Chenggong Rd). Thank God for my portable wifi and Google Maps! One thing you should know about Taichung is that it's not like Taipei where public transportation is easy and accessible. I wanted to visit a Studio Ghibli inspired cafe but the easiest way to get there was if I rode a cab. So I only visited places near the hostel or those in my itinerary like the Rainbow Village and Houli Flower Farm. I walked a LOT. So prepare yourself if you're a budget traveller like me. Hehe. 

Happy to finally be here!

Booked one night in Kiwi Express Hotel

The receptionist speaks Tagalog/Bisaya! She lived in Cebu daw. Nasurprise ako hehe

View from outside

How their dorm room looks like! Unlike sa photo, all beds are enclosed by curtains for privacy. Booked a bed here for $350 NT or P576. Pwede na!

Neighborhood

After settling in, I headed out to eat dinner and to also check out one of the most popular night markets in the area-- Yizhong Night Market! From the hotel, I used google maps to help me with directions. Along the way, while walking, I bumped into a fellow Pinay who works in Taiwan. We were heading to the the same direction so we started making chika and we ended up having dinner together! She even bought me Tiger Sugar milktea. Thanks Nick!!! Had an awesome time kahit 2 hours lang yun super fun naman! :)


She even took my pic! Thanks!

Yizhong Mrket is near Zhongyou Department Store and a few schools so puro bagets

Buhay na buhay pala this night market! I love it!

Dito pala ako makakatikim ng Tiger Sugar. Thanks Nick sa libre! Sherep sha

So nice meeting you, Nick! Mahilig din sha mag solo travel! :)

Daming bargain finds dito! Cheaper to shop here compared to Shilin

Bought a pair of earrings here

Park near the hotel na madadaanan papuntang night market

The next day, checked out of the hotel early and with my things walked back to Taichung Station. My first agenda that day is to visit the Rainbow Village and then the Houli Flower Farm. Upon reaching Taichung Station, I immediately bought a ticket to Xinwuri Station. At Xinwuri Station, just walk towards the Taichung HSR side (you'll see signs) and look for Exit 6. There you'll find bus 617 that will take you to Rainbow Village! Just tell the driver and he'll drop you in front of your destination. I really thought mahihirapan ako to locate it but it was super easy! Posting a photo of the instructions I posted on my Instagram stories. My videos are there under the "Taiwan" highlight. 


Easy way to commute to Rainbow Village

Since I'm on a budget, I researched talaga how to commute going to the village and the flower farm. At first, I had a hard time looking for specific instructions and most of the articles I read suggested renting a taxi for convenience. That's okay if you're with family or friends because you could just split the cost. But since I'm solo, it was too expensive for me. Private tours costs more or less P3,000! If I ride a cab naman, it's gonna cost more than $200 one way. Good thing I came across this one blog post (wasn't able to save the link sayang) where she posted a simple yet detailed instruction on how to commute going there! I followed that one and super easy nga lang! 

Train ticket from Taichung to Xinwuri costs $15 NT

I asked what time the train to Xinwuri will arrive para sure. Just follow the board!

It's the 3rd stop from Taichung Station! 

Okay let me walk you through (with photos) on how you'd reach the bus terminal...
Shempre get off the train hehe

And then just follow the "HSR Taichung Station" signs

Mejo malaki the station and you have to walk for about 5-7 minutes

Family Mart break muna for quick brunch! Ate this!

Follow the signs for Exit 6

Almost missed it asa baba pala! As you can see sa sign hehe

At the bus terminal, just wait for Bus 617! Mejo may interval but dadating sha promise. Hehe. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Rainbow Village and gets na niya agad! :)

Ito na sha! The bus stop is just across the street! As in tatawid ka nalang.

Entrance to the village (maliit lang sha talaga)

"Rainbow Village consists of a few houses painted by Rainbow Grandpa Huang Yung-Fu with vibrant colours of animals, cute characters, chinese wordings, etc. It is one of the veteran soldier villages which the government deferred the demolition as it became one of the popular attractions in Taichung."

Souvenir counter

Just find your spot! 

Omg so cute!

OMG soooo... toot. Haha. Waley.

Since self-timer hits ako mejo challenge sha coz of the crowd. Suddenly, this man in costume (who performs there) showed up out of nowhere and he insisted on taking my photos! Waaah super bait. Naawa ata sakin. Haha. 

An hour (or less) is enough time to go around and take photos. If you want to go back to Xinwuri Station, look for the bus stop above (it's in front of the village lang) and wait for Buses 800, 617, 99, 26, 70, 56, 74.  

Back at Xinwuri Station, I bought another ticket going to Tai'an Station for $46 NT. It's the nearest (pero malayo pa din haha) station where the Zhongshe Flower Farm is located.

 Detailed instructions on how to commute

 Finally reached Tai'an Station!

There were no cabs outside the train station or buses nearby, so I decided to walk. I just used google maps and again my TEP portable wifi to find my way. After a pleasant 20-minute walk (except when it started to rain), I finally reached the flower farm!


 Saw these cherry blossom trees near the train station! So beautiful!


 Pink na pink love it

 Sidewalk mirrorfie muna para aliwin sarili haha

 This is how the road looks like. Take care sa gilid lang kayo lakad. 

 It was a pretty long walk but the scenery made it worth it

After a while, finally made it to Zhongshe / Chung-She Flower Garden!!!
There's a barbecue restaurant inside

 Ticket counter

Ticket is $120 NT 




 Walang magpic sakin so si ate nalang hehe



 Self-timer hehe



Thanks to the kind Tito Dad who took my photo!  






Sunfowers 

 I was supposed to ride a cab going back to the train station but the driver can't speak and understand English so walk nalang ulit pabalik! 



When I got back to Tai'an Station no one was manning the ticketing booth na but I was still able to ride the train back to Taichung and just paid there. Upon reaching Taichung Station, I immediately bought a ticket back to Taipei (same TRA local train for $375 NT) and ate dinner muna. Got the 9pm trip back to Taipei Main so I could still ride the train back to Beimen. Achieve naman! 


Dinner at a mall near Taichung Station!  

Saw these Lay's sa grocery store! Ano kaya lasa nito? hehe

 And look may drinks ang Quaker Oats! 

The train ride took 2 hours but I didn't really notice it, I just slept the whole way. As always. Hehe. When I reached Taipei Main Station, I rode another train towards Beimen and walked back to the hostel. It was such a long day but I saw the places I wanted to see, so I felt quite accomplished. Haha. On my last 2 days, I just stayed in the city but still visited places I've never been to before. Basa pa more to know where I went! 

The next day...

From Beimen, I rode a train to Taipei 101. Since I'm more of a sightseeing kinda girl than a foodie (sorry guys hehe), I just grabbed a super quick bite at 7-11 (para lang may laman chan hehe) and then from there walked to my destination that day-- SISI NAN CUN VILLAGE! Again, I just followed google maps. 

Taipei 101 from across the street

Another place to explore! 

Sisi Nan Cun Village was once a housing complex for soldiers in the Kuomintang army after the relocation to Taiwan, now it's home to a museum detailing the history and culture of the village, a day care center, as well as some quaint caf├ęs. It's just a few minutes walk from Taipei 101!


Community Hall


I think it was a Sunday when I went there and got surprised that there's a small local bazaar! :)


There was a small exhibit inside the hall but didn't go in na


Ganda her voice!



Thanks for the wonderful 10 days, Taipei! Will always love you :)

And thanks for being the perfect travel partner TEP Wireless

Saw this Adidas court while walking

On my last day in Taipei, a few hours before my flight back to Manila, I was down to my final stop: P.S. BUBU CAFE which was made famous by the hit show Meteor Garden!!! It was either that or a traditional tea house. I was really torn so I made my IG story viewers vote and decide for me. Andami din atang Meteor Garden fans like me coz P.S. Bubu won by a landslide! So here are photos from my commute & visit + detailed instructions how to go there. Actually, if you have google maps, you won't be needing this guide na 'coz it's all gonna be there sa app! That's what I did, I just followed it. Hihi. 


From Beimen, I took a train going to Shipai Station


Ate lunch muna at KFC just across the street from Exit 1. Basta I just followed the map.

Right outside KFC's door is this bus stop where you could ride buses #224, #601 or #R19 going to the cafe.

Rode this mini bus but I forgot the number. I think R19?

Went down at Tian Mu bus stop which is the nearest stop to the cafe

Quiet neighborhood. Go towards the direction of this yellow sign and you'll see the cafe on your left! Mga a minute walk.

Finally! Can't believe I'm here!

If you're one of those who binge-watched the extremely popular 2001 Taiwanese drama
Meteor Garden nung kabataan niyo (like me!) then this vintage car-themed cafe might look really familiar. Well, it's because it's the location of Dao Ming Si and Shan Cai's first date! Waaaah.

That pink car was where they sat in the drama! Too bad naunahan ako huhu.

So I sat beside it nalang hoping they leave soon so I can take photos in the booth

They never did so dito nalang ako sa harap magpicture na kasama sila sa frame. Haha.

The girl owner was nice enough take my photos inside the cafe! Thank you so much for enabling me hehe. 


Love the vintage vibe of the whole place! 

View from the bus stop across the street. Bus stop pabalik to the train station

After an hour or two in the cafe (waiting for the girls to leave but never happened huhu), I decided to head back to the hostel to get my things, buy a few more things for pasalubong and then head to the airport. It was the end of my 10-day solo adventure and although a bit sad, I was ready to go back home. :)

Took the train to the airport for $160 NT from Beimen!

Many of you asked me if traveling solo is scary and hard and I admit during my first solo trip, I was terrified. I didn't know what to expect and I was scared I'd bore myself to death. Haha. But after that, at the end of each trip (and during), I'd find myself thinking "Why did I only do this now?". It's always fun and amazing when you get to explore with family and friends, but there's something quite liberating when you do it alone. More lessons are learned, more things discovered and you get the chance to fully indulge in yourself. I promised myself I will do this at least once a year because it helped me so much especially during one of the worst times of my life. It helped me find myself, recalibrate, refocus and it made me realize how beautiful this world and life could be even with all the pain and madness. O db ang lalim. Haha! So anyway, to cut it short, go for it! Just be extra cautious okay? Better safe than sorry. 

So this is it, the last of my Taiwan 2019 posts! I hope these guides help you on your next journeys. And I hope in those journeys you find love, peace and the beauty in everything. Love you guyzzz. Japan naman next! :)



BUDGET per person in PHP:
Airfare = P5,300 (with 20kg check-in baggage going home)
Airport tax = P1,620
________________________________
TOTAL = P7,520


Taiwan Budget for Days 1-2 in TWD:
Miniinn Hostel = 1128
Bus from airport to Taipei Main = 125
Convenience Store buys = 500
Train = 20
Ramen Nagi dinner = 300
Klook Pinglin Tour = 1400
Lunch - 120
Train to Check Inn = 25
____________________________________
TOTAL = 3,618 TWD or P6,071 
(ung tour nagpamahal pero keri)


Budget for Days 3 & 4
Lunch and Dinner - 200
Shopping - 250
Train Fare - 85
Miscellaneous - 200
_______________________________
TOTAL = $735 TWD or P1,209


Budget Days 5 & 6
Jiufen tour via Klook - 510
Lantern - 50
Food - 604
Miscellaneous convenience store buys - 200
Trains - 100
Shopping - 1060
________________________________________________
TOTAL = $2,524 or P4,154


Budget Days 7, 8, 9
Roundtrip Taichung train tickets - 375 x 2= 750
Kiwi Express Hotel dorm bed - 350
Day 7 food - 300
Shopping - 200
Train to Xinwuri - 15
Family Mart lunch - 100
Bus to and from Rainbow Village - 15 x 2 = 30
Train from Xinwuri to Tai'An - 46
Train to Tai'an to taichung - 35
Flower Farm Fee - 120
Dinner - 250
Trains Day 8 - 50
Food Day 8 - 250
Train day 9 - 50
Bus to/ from cafe - 30
Lunch at KFC - 175
PS Bubu coffee and dessert - 220
 Train to airport - 160
Dinner at airport - 150
Miscellaneous - 100
______________________________________
TOTAL = $3,381 NT or P5,543




Link to all Taiwan posts:




* Budget depends on traveler's preference and spending habits. :)

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