Day 3 of 5 Days 4 Nights in Taiwan : Lihpao Land Discovery World Theme Park in Taichung, Zhongshe Flower Garden and Market, and Shilin Night Market

Ni hao! 🙂 I hope you’re doing great. ❤ We’re now on the third day of our Taiwan trip!

As a thrill-seeking extrovert, I really enjoy roller coasters so much. One of the things that excites me before going to other countries is their theme parks and one of the famous theme parks in Taiwan is Lihpao Land Discovery World which is located in Taichung. Lihpao land has a lot of terrifying rides but my favorites are Galactic spin and Gravity max. Gravity Max is the world’s first and only tilting roller coaster with a 90-degree tilt drop which gives him the accolade of being one of the scariest roller coasters in the world. This wasn’t supposed to be part of our itinerary but I really convinced my sizzies and because they love me so much, they all agreed. Yey! HAHAHA (‘Twas my birthmonth btw LOL)

I highly recommend renting a private car going to Lihpao land because I’m a bit lazy to look for other means of transpo. Just kidding. 😀

How To Get There:

  • Address: No. 8 Fullon Road, Houli District, Taichung City
  • Transportation 1: Take the free shuttle bus or bus 155 from Taichung THSR Station to Lihpao Land Theme Park
  • Transportation 2: Walk to the bus stop in front of Houli Elementary School from Houli train station, then take the free shuttle bus or bus 155 to Lihpao Land Theme Park

It usually takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours to get to this park from Taipei via a private car which, in our case, costs NTD4,000 (P6,700). It was just recommended by our AirBnb host and it was good for 4 people with an English-speaking driver for an 8-hour trip. But we paid almost NTD7,000 since the entire Taichung trip took us 11 hours. Tsk! Blame vanity! LOL And I just realized that it was more pricey than online tour providers so I recommend Klook instead! 😀 Just click here.

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WELCOME TO LIHPAO LAND!!! 

Entrance fee for foreigners that time costs NTD800 (P1,340) but fortunately, someone was selling discounted tickets for NTD550 (P923) outside the park so yeah, we bought them straight away. But ofc, we asked him to accompany us until the entrance gate just to be sure. Y’know, scammers are everywhere! 😀 As of January 2019, entrance fee for adult foreigners costs NTD490 (P822) but for discounted combo tickets (Discovery World + Mala bay), you may purchase them here.

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Lining up for our first ride, warm-up ride actually. LOL

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This was the scariest and fastest caterpillar ride I’ve ever tried. 😀

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This ride, Energy Storm, made me realize that I have a hundred different screams. HAHAHAHA With its endless spins or twirls, headache awaits! LOL

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Galactic Spin, Lihpao’s Top spin, is my second favorite ride because few days before our Taiwan trip, I saw a video of a Top spin accident that happened somewhere in China last 2016 which gave me extra fear. LOL Kidding aside, I fervently hope they’re still alive 😦 ❤

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No long queue for Gravity Max! Hooray! 🙂

Dubbed as the “Cliffhanger”, this ride is undoubtedly a terrifying one. As shown in the picture above, that horizontal track tilts at 90 degrees and you have to endure almost 15-longest-crazy-seconds of your life while it’s being connected to the next track before it drops down to a stomach-churning tunnel and loops. I tried my very best to persuade Dyis and Pawi to try this ride but I failed. But I wheedled Kimmy into doing this with me! “After trying this, you can proudly share and brag this story to everyone! That you’re fearless and you’re strong and you’re amazing and everything!” HAHAHAHA

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Almost there…

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Find meeeeee! 🙂 If you know me too well, you would surely know that I was seated on the extreme end. The scariest seats of course! HAHAHA If you wanna witness how our 2-minute death looked like, watch our Taiwan travel video here.  Will I do this again? The answer is a resounding YES!!! 🙂

Now it’s time to explore other areas in the park and take some good shots!

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I mean, amaaazing shots! HAHAHA Find a travel buddy who will do everything to take “THAT ONE GREAT PHOTO”. LOL

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BEST FRIENDS FOUR EVER SINCE 2009.

FOUR EVER because our barkada name is 4ne1 and we’re four

and duhhh, forever doesn’t even exist. HAHAHA

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This was our first “barkada” trip so we might as well be extra! LOL I told my sizzies to order personalized travel shirts and I’m glad, they appreciated the idea. 🙂 Other friends find it also cute! Ayeeeh! 😀

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Before heading to our next destination, we fueled our tummies first with these affordable and delish snacks! 😉

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Welcome to Zhongshe Flower Garden and Market!

If you love tulips but don’t have enough budget yet to visit the Netherlands, then this beautiful and Instagram-worthy garden in Taiwan would be the perfect place for you. This has a myriad lines of flowering plants and blooms throughout all seasons.

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Entrance fee: NTD150 (P250) during Tulip season (January to March)

and NTD120 (P200) for off-season

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Aren’t they sooooo beautiful? I was so amazed with how they arranged and took care of these flowering plants. This is also a perfect spot for prenup shoots, right? 🙂 ❤

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I actually took tons of photos but I lost my phone recently and forgot to save them in my laptop. 😦 They also feature sunflowers, cherry blossoms, cosmos, lilies, lotuses and etc etc etc! 😀

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After spending few hours in the garden, you may enjoy their barbecue buffet in their restaurant while your little ones amuse themselves with this mini arcade. 🙂 Now it’s time to go back to Taipei! We asked our driver to drop us at Shilin night market.

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This shop has a lot of cute and quirky souvenir items but they’re a bit pricey.

 

In case you forgot to bring a thicker coat or you still feel cold with your OOTD…

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Souvenir shirt designs and prices for your future reference. HAHA

 

We ended this day with a light dinner at McDonald’s.

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That’s all for Day 3! 🙂 Xie xie! ❤

 

Xoxo,

Kulit.

Taiwan Travel Guide

It has been almost a year since I went to Taiwan. My apologies for this extremely late post. 😦 My old lappy got damaged so I bought a new one just few weeks ago. However, I’ve been quite busy with public service these past few days. Wow. Public service! 😀 Well, enough with all my excuses. HAHAHA

If you ask a Filipino where would s/he like to go, Taiwan would surely be a very unusual answer. Within Asia, most Filipinos prefer Hongkong, Japan or Korea. Taiwan is actually the 8th country in Asia I’ve been to because I honestly thought it doesn’t have much to offer. It’s a very small country and before I went there, the only thing I know or I can associate with Taiwan is… (drum roll please) Meteor Garden! (singing) Oh baby baby baby, my baby baby. Wo jue bu neng shi qu ni. Ni shou xin, ni sheng ying. Hai zhan lin wo de xin zen neng wang ji. Xiang ni jiu xiang shi hu xi. Bet you just sang it! HAHAHA 😀

AIRLINE. The following are the airlines that offer direct flights from Manila to Taiwan and vv:
air asiaPalCeb Pac

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While from Cebu to Taiwan and vv:

air asiaCeb PacEva air

Lastly, from Puerto Prinsesa to Taiwan and vv:

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Among these airlines, the cheapest one is Air Asia but I wasn’t able to catch the promo fare for Taiwan because I was on another trip that time and mobile data sucks so I lost the battle. LOL But Cebu Pacific announced their seat sale weeks later and as luck would have it, I grabbed four seats for P21,000 something so that’s roughly P5,250 each for a round-trip ticket. Not bad, right?

Our departure flight was 5J310 which embarks at 10:00 pm while our return flight was 5J311 which departs from Taiwan at 01:25 am. Approximate travel time from Manila to Taiwan is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

VISA APPLICATION.

Starting from November 1, 2017, Philippine passport holders who intend to visit Taiwan for the purpose of tourism, business, visiting relatives, attending functions or events can enjoy visa-free entry to Taiwan for a duration of stay up to 14 days. This visa-free initiative shall undergo a 9-month trial period until July 31, 2018 as part of Taiwan’s goodwill and efforts of the “New Southbound Policy” to build closer people-to-people exchange of visits and an economic community between Taiwan and the Philippines. (Source)

Upon the implementation of the foregoing, Visa-Exempt Certificate (Travel Authorization Certificate – holders of visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States ) and E-Visa (Online visa) are no longer applicable for Filipinos.

To enjoy the visa-free entry, a Filipino visitor must have a passport with remaining validity of at least six months (diplomatic and official passport holders are not eligible for visa-free treatment); a return ticket or a ticket with visa if needed for the next destination; no criminal record in Taiwan; and a proof of accommodation. If I may add, you should not also have a criminal record here in the Philippines because you might be in the Watch List Order (WLO) or Hold Departure Order (HDO) list of the Philippine Immigration. Duhh, obviously. 😀

Those who intend to stay for more than 14 days to study, work or do other activities are required to obtain the appropriate visas before entering Taiwan. For more details, visit the official website of Taiwan Cultural and Economic Office in the Philippines.

TRANSPORTATION. Taipei, for me, has the most tourist-friendly transportation. Majority of their train stations are named after nearby tourist spots. For example, if you wanna go to Taipei Zoo, just alight at Taipei Zoo station. Or if you wanna visit Longshan Temple, simply take the train to Longshan Temple station. Highly impossible for you to get lost, right? LOL
Metro Taipei Map

I suggest you download Taiwan or Taipei train apps or use Google Maps. 😉

TIME.  UTC/GMT +8 hours. Taiwan has the same time zone with Philippines.

SEASONS. Winter: December to February; Spring: March to May; Summer: June to September and Autumn: October to November. April is the best month to visit Taiwan because it’s not so humid and not as hot as it gets during summer. Furthermore, it is when Taiwanese celebrate one of their major festivals: the birthday of goddess Mazu who is the Chinese patron goddess of the sea. Nonetheless, if you want to witness Lantern Festival which is celebrated annually to mark the grand finale of the Chinese New Year celebrations, February should be your choice (exact date varies every year, kindly tap Google). On this month, you’ll also be able to experience the  internationally famed Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.

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(Photo credit)

ACCOMMODATION. I always prefer AirBnb over hotels because of its convenient location, cheaper rate, household amenities and interaction with the host or owner. Also, it lets me live like a local. 🙂

Our host for Taipei was Henry. He was very helpful and friendly. The price of the room per night is around P2,500 and it can already accommodate 4 adults. The building is kinda old but the room is cozy and squeaky-clean. It’s conveniently located near Zhongshan Elementary School Station (Exit 4). But the best thing here is the free pocket wifi! We brought it with us during our entire trip in Taiwan. I gave Henry five stars for that! HAHA Check his space here.

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LANGUAGE. The struggle was undeniably real. HUHU Most of them can’t understand English. So as tourists, of course we have to adjust. 😀 Google translate to the rescue! Travel tip: there are many tsinoys in the Philippines and I’m pretty certain you have even just one tsinoy friend, so you might as well tag him along. Just make sure s/he speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese though. LOL

NEW TAIWAN DOLLAR. 1 New Taiwan Dollar equals 1.71 Philippine Peso. I bought my NTDs at NAIA Terminal 2 Currency Exchange (arrival area). Not sure though if it’s cheaper than others.

ELECTRICAL PLUGS OR SOCKETS. They are using types A and B. Type A is a two flat identical sized parallel prongs and this is what they mainly use while type B is a two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin.  In the Philippines, we also use Type A so you no longer need to bring an adapter. 🙂

WI-FI. During our entire trip, we weren’t able to connect to any Wi-Fi networks in public places such as malls or restaurants. But they have Taipei Free Public Wi-Fi Access where you have to apply or sign up for a free account before you may enjoy the free service. For more details, kindly visit their page. In our case, like I mentioned earlier, we have pocket Wi-Fi from our AirBnb so updating our followers was no biggie at all. LOL You may rent a 4G pocket wifi at the airport and for enhanced connectivity, purchase a 4G sim card. 

EASY CARD. EasyCard is a ‘touch-and-go’ IC ticketing system for Taipei Metro, bus services, designated car parks, convenience stores, zoos, museums, Ubikes, Maokong Gondola and government agencies. For a complete list of its accredited shops or services, visit their official website. An EasyCard can be used for years and any unused cash can be refunded. Its main goal is to allow locals and tourists to travel throughout Taiwan with only one card.  This card costs NTD100 (P100) and you can deposit an amount up to NTD10,000 (P17,100). EasyCard can be purchased at any convenience stores or any information counters in all Taipei Metro stations.

Easy Card

TAIPEI PASS. Taipei Pass is a “touch-and-go ” IC ticket for transport in Taipei. Holders of a valid Taipei Pass can use it for unlimited rides on Taipei Metro and on Taipei City and New Taipei City buses. One-day pass costs NTD180 (P308). This is available at any information counter in all Taipei Metro stations. For more details, visit their official page. 

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taipei pass price

YOUBIKE (UBIKE). UBike uses an unmanned automated management system to provide a bike rental service. It allows commuters to rent from one station and return at another. You may use your EasyCard to rent a Ubike. The rates are the following: NTD10 (P17) per 30 mins. within the first 4 hours, NTD20 (P34) per 30 mins between 4 to 8 hours and NTD40 (P68) per 30min exceeding 8 hours.

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NIGHT MARKETS. Experience best nightlife in Taiwan in their food markets. There are more than 100 night markets in Taiwan where you can try their local specialty and street food, shop until you drop and buy great souvenir items. My favorite street food is TORCHED BEEF! Some of the famous night markets are Shilin, Raohe and Ximending.

 

That’s all for now, dearest! 😉 I will share my daily itineraries on my next posts. Xie xie! :*

Watch the teaser for our travel video by clicking the image/link below! 🙂

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Here’s our full travel video entitled “4ne1 in Taiwan”. 😀

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Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 7 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: Shibuya District, Don Quijote “Donki” and Narita International Airport

Minasan, konnichiwa! 🙂

I can’t believe it! It’s DAY 7 already! HAHAHA I just realized that it took me almost a year to finish blogging about my Japan trip. I’m not that busy! LOL

I mentioned in my previous post (DAY 6) that I’ll include Shibuya and Don Quijote on this post since DAY 6 is very lengthy already. LOL

DAY 6.2

Our last stop on our 6th day was actually in Shibuya District. And the photo below is the very famous Shibuya crossing which is tagged as the world’s busiest intersection or pedestrian crossing (not that obvious in this photo though haha)

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Hachiko is definitely one of my favorite movies. It’s a heartbreaking drama based on the true story of an abandoned dog named Hachiko which was eventually adopted by a college professor. Hachi would escort his master to the Shibuya station every morning and return every afternoon to greet him after work. Until one day, his master did not return from work. He suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died. However, this loyal dog still waited for his master at the train station for almost ten years and that only stopped when Hachi died. 😥 So as a tribute to this legendary dog, a statue was erected near the Shibuya station (Hachiko Exit).

Being a fan of this dog, a photo with his statue is definitely a must! 😀

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Don Quijote “Donki” is a very famous shop in Tokyo with over 160 stores. The one we visited is in Shibuya, just in front of H&M store. Donki sells almost everything! It’s a great place for souvenir items, chocolates and snacks like Kitkat and Oreo matcha, cosmetics, bags, shoes, gadgets, liquors and so much more. And I’m very sure you’ll like this, they are TAX FREE!!! 🙂 Just present your passport and pay at their cashier designated for foreigners. Prices indicated below are the prices per item. 🙂

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Oreo matcha soft cookies 148 yen (P65)

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Kitkat green tea 298 yen  (P130)

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Oreo matcha bar 298 yen (P130)

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Cheapest one costs 97 yen (P43) and the most expensive one costs 199 yen (P90)

I honestly don’t know what these dried snacks are hahaha But I guess they’re all squid. LOL Slices, coated, shredded and strips! HAHAHA

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Seasoned seaweed 98 yen (P44)

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1 kg of chocolate pair (This is YUMMY! ) 1,300 yen (P580)

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Doritos Mix 129 yen (P58)

Disney pens 99 yen (P45)

Japanese lady pen 648 yen (P290)

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Pores Cream 980 yen (P440)

Side ami supporter 600 yen (P270)

Masks 100 yen (P45)

I saw a lot of beautiful items in Shibuya and I really wanted to buy  ’em all!!! BUT. There was no enough money left in my pocket. 😥 HAHAHA

On our way to our AirBnB, we saw a mini resto and decided to try their ramen.

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DAY 7

Kotake to  Ikibukuro 170 yen (P75)

Ikubukuro to Nippori 170 yen (P75)

Nippori to Narita International Airport 1,030 yen (P460)

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Obviously, my favorite. 😀 Takuyaki!!! 550 yen (P245)

Bought these from a souvenir shop at the airport.

Ref magnet trio 486 yen (P220) 

Shot glass for a friend 540 yen (P240)

And the famous Tokyo Banana! 🙂 Click the left photo for the prices.

That’s all for our last day in Japan. 😦 Thank you for reading! 🙂 I’ll upload our Tokyo travel video in my Youtube account very soon! :*

Sayonara and domo arigato, Japan! 🙂

 

Xoxo,

Kulit.

DAY 6 of 7 Days 6 Nights in Japan: The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Akihabara “Akiba” and Ueno Zoo

Hello everyone! 🙂

FINALLY!!! You’re now reading my Day 6 itinerary in the Land of the Rising Sun! 😀 Some of my friends have been waiting for this post because they are certified OTAKU. Hahaha

Otaku (おたく/オタク) is a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom. (Wikipedia)

So I guess you already have an idea on where did we spend our 6th day in Japan. 😉 But since we really wanted to see a panda, we decided to also include Ueno Zoo on this trip.

DAY 6

We started this day with a quick visit to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. The nearest stations to this place are:

  • Otemachi Station (Exit C13B): 5-minute walk
  • Takebashi Station (Exit 1A): 5-minute walk

From Kotake-mukaihara station, which is the nearest one to our accommodation, to Takebashi, the following would be the route and total fare.

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200 yen (P90) – 27 minutes

The Japanese Imperial Palace Gardens are open to the public daily except Mondays and Friday. Admission is free. Yey! 😀

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“Be careful of heat stroke” We didn’t take this warning seriously. We were so unprepared. Hahaha We felt we were being roasted while walking through that very huge park!!! We went there last August 2016 so ’twas summer.

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We did a lot of walking because the place is really big. Look how dead tired my companions were. HAHAHA We all slept for 30 minutes. I strongly suggest you wear light clothes and comfy shoes. And don’t visit this place during summer. 😀

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That lady with ‘ella was obviously the only girl scout in our group. HAHA

Next stop was the Anime and Manga capital of the world – Akihabara or popularly known as “Akiba”. This district located in Central Tokyo is also famous for its many electrical shops, hence it’s also called Tokyo’s “Electronic Town”.

Takebashi Station – Kayabacho Station – Akihabara Station (Exit 5)

170 yen (P75) – 25 minutes

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Time to refuel. HAHAHA

Long beef sandwich – 490 yen (P220)

Cheese bites – 100 yen (P45)

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We walked for almost ten minutes before we reached the center of Akiba.

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I noticed that some Japanese still prefer flip phones than smartphones. Well personally, I also prefer flip phones. I used to have LG Lollipop (blue) which was being endorsed by my dear hubby Lee Min Ho before. HAHAHA Korea’s and Japan’s flip phones are so kawaii.

Took these shots using one of the tablets being displayed in this shop. HAHAHA I didn’t delete the photos so proof of shamelessness is still there until now, I guess. LOL

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There are so many electronic shops and dozens of stores that sell manga comics, video games, cosplay costumes, figurines, card games and other anime collectibles.

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We saw some cosplayers in the streets. I wasn’t able to take a snap of ’em though. There are also different anime cafes where waiters or waitresses dress up like anime characters.

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That’s all for Akiba. We haven’t bought anything because everything is a bit pricey. HUHUHU

From anime to animals. 😀 Our next stop was Ueno Zoo.

Akihabara Station – Ueno Station

140 yen (P65) – 13 minutes

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While we were on our way to the zoo, we saw these temples below.

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We were also able to witness a fun performance by this amazing juggling artist. 🙂

A mini theme park for the kiddos. 😀 We tried their matcha ice cream! 😉

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Almost there…

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Yeyyy!!!! Oh my!!!! Oh my!!! Oh my pandaaaa!!! 😀

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Entrance Fee: 600 yen (P270) 

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Welcome to Ueno Zoo! 🙂

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Ueno Zoo is the oldest one in Japan. For me, it’s a world class zoo with more than 500 species from around the globe. I saw some endangered species and a lot of wild animals for the first time but there was only one animal which I was most excited about and that was…… PANDA! 😀

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I’m not really a fan of zoos because I love animals. I feel that those who are kept inside the zoos are denied of everything that make their lives meaningful and enjoyable. However, I appreciate the staff and management of this zoo for providing an environment to the animals that is similar to their natural habitat. I just hope that they continue to take care of all these beautiful animals. 🙂

Our last stop for DAY 6 was Don Quijote in Shibuya for “pasalubong” or souvenir shopping but let me just include that on my DAY 7 instead since we also bought some souvenirs at the airport. 🙂

Thank you for reading! :*

Xoxo,

Kulit.