Sunday, April 05, 2015

Taiwan, Not Iwan!

A lot of things happened in March and I was just not able to write about it, much less, give time to reflect on it. It was the first time I cried because of a trip. WHY? One week prior to my Taiwan trip, I was fixing my visa and I just had this fever. The kind of fever that doesn't show up in work and doesn't get read in the thermometer whether that would be digital or the mercury kind. I just felt warm and weak with that warm feeling in your eyes. Maybe it's just the summer? It was March anyway. I feel okay in the morning, then a little restless in the afternoon (I thought I was just getting lazy in the office), and by nighttime, I am down with a fever.

I just got alarmed when my mom told me that I might not pass the heat scanners in the airport if ever I proceed to Taiwan. OMG Taiwan Iwan got into my mind. I might be detained if I push it, and then I will not be released to the Philippines immediately. Horror stories filled my active and untrustworthy imagination. My dad accompanied me to the diagnostic clinic at Promenade and the doctor recommended that I take almost all the tests possible. The doctor said I was really warm but it's not showing in the thermometer. (Spoiler: I thought this was my chance to be popular, I am a carrier of a very mysterious disease. Apparently not.) Countdown to Taiwan trip? 3 warm days.

I started getting chills with fever going up to 39.9 C that Saturday. And then it was Sunday and the same thing was still happening. Countdown: 2 crying days. That was when I finally accepted I won't be able to go to Taiwan. All the work and money and expectation... Down the drain. My yaya was still hopeful while my mom was thinking of re-booking my ticket.

Then results came in Monday morning. I took the first pill and didn't experience any of my previous predicaments. I was up and about by Wednesday morning. And my flight was Wednesday night.

That was about it. :| I crammed my recuperation.

Taiwan? Success!

Taiwan is probably one of the most underrated places that Filipinos visit. It's one of the listed destinations in Cebu Pacific (read: budget airlines) and yet people are going all around the world and somehow skipping Taiwan. Ask around and people will give you, "Ano nga ba meron sa Taiwan?"

Apparently, there's a lot of things going on in Taiwan. Cheap food, night markets everywhere, cheap transportation costs (look at Japan's and you'll know what I'm talking about), friendly folks, no/cheap entrance fees, shopping (both cheap and branded finds), cherry blossoms, Taipei 101 (it's a requirement), historical memorials, crystal cabins/ see-through cable car floors, tea, milk tea, more street food, more milk tea, and national parks.

It's leveled-up Hong Kong and you'll wonder why you haven't been thinking of visiting Taiwan.
Because you should be.
And you should really do it.

Ding Tai Fung! They have vegetarian xiao long bao!

We really came to Taiwan for the PingXi lantern festival. We took the subway and one bus ride to reach this place where a lot of people lighted lanterns and watched them fly away. I had mixed feelings about this, because really, where do dead lanterns go?

It was a magical moment, even though it's not really
Pot stickers, shrimp dumplings, noodles, and more noodles.
All for around Php350.
There are lots of food options, the vegetarian can truly survive in this place. Plus, they have milk teas everywhere (this is not "The Land of Milk Teas" for nothing). We were just walking around intending to go to a night market when we passed by a third wave coffee shop. It was a coffee lover's paradise. We didn't get to buy beans but we got ourselves a siphon filter at almost half the price of UCC's. Ho-hum, here's to more sleepless nights!

I want my Ethiopian cup of coffee hand-brewed all the time.

Then there's Yangminshan Park, where you can see a lot of cherry blossoms, which is just one bus ride away (though the trip is almost an hour) from Taipei Main Station.

We also have fresh seafood and meat on the grill, while pouring ourselves some soup from the hotpot next to us. We had buffet on our last night and it was awesome. Haha. Tong Yang doesn't cut it.

Haagen Dazs ice cream all you can, too, since Haagen Dazs is kind
of a big deal to us.
And then there's Modern Toilet where you will just keep asking yourself why... Why?

Night markets are a thing here in Taipei. There are popular night markets where food is the main star or some hardcore shopping. Most are near the subway stations so you won't get lost.

1 comment:

Felisa said...

Love seeing stuff like this. Blogging is dead for most but I really miss reading in greater depth about what people are up to.

Glad you recovered in time to have what it sounds was a really great experience. Do you think I can do Taiwan justice in a couple of days? Hoping to visit the Philippines in a couple of years and I might be able to work out a quick detour on my way back to the US.