DAY 2 of 5 Days 4 Nights in Taiwan : Taiwan Lantern Festival 2017 in Yunlin, Beigang Chao Tian Temple, Old Street and Tourist Bridge

Good day my dear readers! ๐Ÿ˜‰ How are you? ๐Ÿ˜€ I miss you!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, we’re now on the second day of our Taiwan trip. One of the reasons why we decided to visit Taiwan was to witness their annual Lantern Festival also known as Yuan Xiao Festival which falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month (February or March). Since 1990 until 2000, it is being celebrated in Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City (this place was featured in my previous blog: DAY 1) but from 2001 until the present, it is being hosted by different cities all over Taiwan. When we went there last February 11, 2017, it was hosted by Yunlin County.ย  Next year, it will be held on February 19 in Pingtung County.

From Taipei Main Station, we took Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) going to Yunlin. One-way ticket costs NTD900 (P1,600). Travel time was almost two hours.

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Welcome to Yunlin! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fortunately, the Lantern Festival was located just few steps away from the Yunlin station. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Lezz do this, sizzies! ๐Ÿ˜‰

First thing we saw was a food park! HAHAHA They really know us too well! LOL

We tried just few snacks because we honestly didn’t like the smell in the park. I guess it was because of the famous stinky tofu. We were told by Miss Jiayu (a Taiwanese tour guide whom I just met online) that the main event starts around 6 o’clock in the evening so she advised us to go to Beigang first. There were a lot of tourist buses going to and from Beigang so we didn’t hesitate to explore that place too! ๐Ÿ™‚ And we didn’t pay even a single cent for the ride! Yeyyyy! ๐Ÿ˜€

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We thought we would get there in 10 minutes, gosh, more than 30 minutes pala! HAHAHA Sleeping time again! -_-

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We were welcomed by firecrackers and a short parade in Beigang and we were really amazed how the locals immediately cleaned the area after the event.

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This is Chao Tian Temple which is more than three hundred years old and it was dedicated to the Chinese sea-goddess Mazu.

After exploring this temple, it’s now time to explore Beigang Old Street especially their food! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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That lady at the center is Miss Jiayu, she’s the one I mentioned earlier whom I met online before we went to Taiwan and the lady on her left is her bestfriend. They’re both very nice!!! They are volunteer tour guides in Yunlin and they accompanied us while we explore Beigang.

This is my favorite food in Taiwan!!! I regret not buying more packs of this in Yunlin ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We tried looking for this in Taipei but we failed. This is called Lao, a Taiwanese traditionalย pastry made of taro and rice flour. It is coated with hot mixture of sugar and sesame, puffed rice or nuts.

 

This is the famous STINKY TOFU and yes, it’s very STINKY!!!! You can actually smell it even if you’re miles away. *exaggeration* LOL We didn’t want to try this but Miss Jiayu really convinced us since they said, it’s so delicious despite its very offensive smell. BUT BUT BUT it’s not delish. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I don’t know. I can’t understand the taste. HAHAHA At least we tried though. LOL

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This is Beigang Tourist Bridge that connects Yunlin and Chiayi counties which are separated by the Beigang river.

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Xie xie Beigang!

Now it’s time to go back to Yunlin station for the much-awaited Lantern festival! ๐Ÿ™‚

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2017 Taiwan Lantern Festival is said to be the largest festival in Taiwan for many years. There were more than 3,000 lanterns in a combined area of 50 hectares.

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(Photo by Taiwan News)

At first we were excited to take a picture of every lantern but upon realizing that there were so many lanterns around us and that the area was very very huge, we decided to take a video instead. HAHAHA You can watch our travel video hereย or watch the opening ceremony of this festival by clicking this link.ย 

Since this is a big annual festival, expect a verrrry big crowd too! ๐Ÿ˜€ Check our photo below, the struggle was indeed REAL! HAHAHA

I apologize if I didn’t take a lot of photos of the event. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ There were too many lanterns, huge crowd and everyone was in a hurry. We weren’t able to visit the whole place because we didn’t have much time and we have to catch the last trip of HSR to Taipei. But all the lanterns were great! There were fictional characters, Disney characters, anime, different animals and insects, international tourist spots and many more! The kids would surely love it! ๐Ÿ™‚ You may check more photos of the lanterns on this page.ย 

Before ending this post, I wanna confess something. HAHAHA This wasn’t actually the kind of lantern festival that we expected. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ What we really wanted to witness was the SKY LANTERN FESTIVAL (see photo below). And unfortunately, it happened in Pingxi on the same night that we were in Yunlin. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I thought they would be both celebrated in Yunlin. Nonetheless, we still enjoyed our stay here. And it was a blessing in disguise that we were part of this grandest and historical event in Taiwan because of our false assumption. HAHAHA

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That’s all for DAY 2. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading! :*

 

Xoxo,

Kulit.

 

 

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DAY 1 of 5 Days 4 Nights in Taiwan : Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, 228 Peace Memorial Park, Taipei 101 and Ximending Night Market

Hello my dear readers! ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you’ve already read my comprehensiveย Taiwan Travel Guide. Chos! ๐Ÿ˜‰

DAY 0

Our flight number to Taipei was 5J310 via Cebu Pacific (NAIA Terminal 3). Our departure time was 10:00 in the evening with 2 hrs and 25 minutes travel time. But upon checking their website earlier, they adjusted the departure time to 11:40 in the evening. We bought our round trip tickets for P21, 600 and that was for four passengers. So, ’twas P5,400 per person. I was with my sizzies! ๐Ÿ™‚ #4ne1inTaiwan HAHAHA

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Since our arrival time in Taiwan was around 00:30 am, we asked our AirBnb host to book a rent-a-car service for us. We paid NTD1,300 (P2,200) for the van rental which was good for 8 persons. Sorry I can’t give you his contact number. I already uninstalled my WeChat. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Btw, Line and WeChat are the most commonly used messaging apps in Taiwan.ย Taipei is an hour away from Taoyuan Aiport so I highly suggest the car rental service if you’re arriving late at night for your safety and convenience.

You may avail the following airport transfers online:

Taoyuan Airport Carpool Transfers

Sedan Taoyuan Airport Transfers (4 persons)

Luxury Taoyuan Airport Transfers (4 to 8 persons)

The following are the actual pictures of our AirBnb during our stay.

 

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The picture above is the landmark of our AirBnb. The building is quite old but the room is nice and it has a good location too. Click here for more details.

DAY 1

We started this day with a savory breakfast at Dr. Guo Stinky Pot. Price ranges from NTD120 (P200) to NTD160 (P270) per serving. I ordered seafood pot. Yum! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

The nearest station to our accommodation is Zhongshan Elementary School. And the first tourist spot for our Day 1 was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.

Zhongshan Elementary School Station -> Minquan W. Rd. Station ->ย Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall Station (Exit 5)

Total fare: NTD20 (P33)

I mentioned in my travel guide that most of their train stations are named after different tourist spots. And that’s one thing I like about Taiwan, it’s very tourist-friendly. ๐Ÿ™‚ You may check the Taipei Metro Map here.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a national monument and tourist attraction that was built in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. It opens daily from 9am to 6pm and the entrance fee is FREE. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Our next stop was Peace park.

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall Station -> NTU Hospital Station (Exit 1)

Fare: NTD15 (P25)

But we didn’t take the subway, we just walked. ๐Ÿ™‚ Entrance fee is FREE. It is open 24/7.

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228 Peace Memorial Park was dedicated to the victims of 2.28 incident or also known as the February 28 massacre which killed thousands of civilians. The picture below is called the Tribute wall or the Memorial wall.

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Fourth stop was the third tallest building in the world, Taipei 101.ย 

NTU Hospital Station – > Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall Station -> Taipei 101 / World Trade Center Station (Exit 4)

Total Fare: NTD25 (P42)

We purchased our Taipei 101 observatory tickets online. The regular price is NTD600 (P1,010) but we bought it for only NTD511 (P861)ย each. Click here to avail this discounted ticket. Taipei 101 observatory is open from 9am to 10pm daily (last admission is 9:15pm).

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Taipei 101 observatory gives you an amazing 360-degree view of Taipei. But going to the 89th floor requires an exhilarating ride on the world’s second fastest elevator. I usually visit skyscrapers at night because I love city lights. We weren’t able to take good photos because you need to see the incredible view with your own eyes. ๐Ÿ˜€

Last stop for Day 1 was the Ximending night market. There are so many night markets in Taiwan and one of the famous ones is Ximending.

Taipei 101 / World Trade Center Station -> Ximen (Exit 6)

Fare: 20NTD (P34)

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We had our dinner at KFC! ๐Ÿ˜€ Meal for 4 people costsย NTD660 (P1,110). I don’t like their fries. But I love their egg tarts! So delish! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope they will also sell them here in the Philippines. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

 

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I highly recommend torched beef!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ So yummy yummy yummy wow! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m planning to put up this kind of street food biz here in our country but I think Kwek-kwek will be my major competitor. HAHA

That’s all for Day 1! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ifย  you’re not that busy, kindly watch our Taiwan travel video entitled “4ne1 in Taiwan” by clicking the image below. Xie xie! ๐Ÿ˜€

Xoxo,

Kulit.