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Monday, April 16, 2012

Taichung, Taiwan Trip 2011

Taichung City was our third stop travelling around Taiwan from Taipei.  After staying at the cosy hotel [Life Hotel, Sinsing District] in Kaoshiung for 4 nights, we took the 12.00 noon train from Kaoshiung to Taichung.  The train journey was 2 and 1/2 hours.  Fare is NT$469.  Very comfortable train that makes stops at several places along the route from Kaoshiung to Taichung [Zouying, Tainan, Yongkang, Sinying, Houbi, Chiayi, Douliu, Changhua and Yuanlin before reaching Taichung].  Since we were travelling around lunch time, we bought a sandwich pack [NT$20],  a rice bento set [NT$80] and a drink [NT$10] at the Kaoshiung railway station.  Quite reasonable price.  The sandwich is good with burger, egg omelette and salad leaves.

Local Taiwanese packed drink
Rice bento - delicious simple meal and my favourite


Taichung Railway Station
The hotel [Honeydew Fashion Hotel] we booked was just along the road opposite Taichung railway station.  Just about 5-10 minutes walk to Zhongzheng Road [nearer if not using the pedestrian crossings]. Hotel room is old with shaky bed, not cosy as Kaoshiung hotel but location wise is good.  Very convenient with foodstalls around the corner, McDonald's and morning market in the vicinity.  Bus stations are also nearby.  Moreover, the breakfast provided was good because of its wide choice [bread, noodles, porridge with hot and cold drinks] for the room price we paid. [View photos on Cooking Pleasure-Travel - Taiwan Breakfast Food]
Since we planned to stay in Taichung for 2 nights, we started roaming the city area and visited several tourist spots by foot.  The places we visited were Nantian Temple, Confucius Temple and Martyrs' Shrine which are quite nearby the hotel.  By then, it is getting dark.  The sky gets dark at around 4.30 pm and sometimes drizzling during October month.  We passed by Taichung Park [Iconic Pavilion - 1 km from railway station] on the way to Nantian Temple.

48 metre high General God of War

Nine dragons pond
 Refer to Confucius - all about filial piety
Nantian Temple, Taichung - refer here for prosperity
Martyrs' Shrine [next to Confucius Temple]

Martyrs Shrine and Confucius Temple, Taichung
Since we have seen many temples at other cities, we skipped the others.  By 6.00 pm, the nearest night market at Yizhong Business District was already full of activities with college and university students.  There were many food outlets, roadside stalls, garment and accessories' shops along several roads [Sanmin Road, Gong Yuan Road] in the vicinity catering for the locals especially youngsters.  There is another Zhonghua Road Night Market just about 15 minutes walk from Yizhong Night Market. [View photos at cooking pleasure travel - Taiwan Night Markets]
Popular drink stall at Yizhong Night Market, Taichung
We had dinner at Zhonghua Road Night Market.  This is a economy food stall selling rice and porridge with a wide array of dishes to choose.  We had 6 small dishes [vegetables, fish and meat] with 2 bowls of rice.  The dinner costs NT$125. We  also tried the Taiwanese Fried Oyster [NT$50].  Frankly speaking, we prefer our Malaysian [Penang] Fried Oyster than this.
Taiwanese Fried Oysters [Oh Chien]
The local maps are quite misleading as the road distance looks nearby but it is quite far away and walking is rather a toll.  Minimun taxi charge is NT$85.  Travelling from one end to the other end of the same road may costs up to NT$120.  We got to realise this when we went on foot to Meichun Road for the famous Braised Pig Trotter.  We walked for almost half an hour then took a cab to the place which on the map is only 2 roads away.  It is worth the effort as the Braised Pig Trotter was good and the Mango Shaved Ice was very good. View more photos postings on Famous Taiwan Food and Recommended Outlets.
On our first morning  Taichung, we made a trip to Changhua [about 45 minutes to an hour by bus] and Lukang [about 30 minutes from Changhua by bus].
On our last morning, we tried to locate the Lim's Clan House [Unesco Heritage 3rd Class Listing] since my hubby's surname is 'Lim' but could not get to the location as it was incorrectly marked on the map.  We managed to get to place with the help of the local police who gave us a ride in their patrol car.  We were too early and did not manage to enter the premises but took some photos through a small opening at the gate.  Seems that there many people with this surname in Taichung.
My hubby so proud of his Lim Clan House in Taichung, we came here in a police patrol car afterasking for directions from the local police

By noon, we left Taichung for Taipei by train.  Fare is NT$404.  The train made several stops on its journey to Taipei [ such as Hsinchu, Taoyuan, Banciao etc].                
We hope to come back to these smaller Taiwanese towns
in future
We skipped visiting Hsinchu from Taichung as we thought we could make a day trip there from Taoyuan.  We did not make the trip, instead we visited Daxi Old Street, Taoyuan which is also a nice place to visit.