Taipei Trip! (Part 1 of 2)

I spent two days in Taipei with my friends Rach and Yummy Friend (YF).  We got cheap tickets for approximately P3,720 per person from Cebu Pacific.  The flight times were all in the middle of the night.  If you’re in for slightly less expensive travel, it’s acceptable.

We stayed in Rainbow Hotel at the Ximen area of Taipei.  Rach recommended it having been to Taiwan six times before this trip.  I like the location being in the middle of many shops and bargain finds and it’s a short walk to the train station, too.

Day 1, January 16

This is Rainbow Hotel, the place where we stayed. Photo credit goes to the Rainbow Hotel website.

We arrived in Taipei Taoyuan International Airport around 12:30 a.m..  Since it appeared we’re the only flight who came, lines at the immigration and baggage claim took a short time.  We lingered a little because we were waiting for YF’s umbrella which never came out; he had to check it in separately when he forgot to remove it from his carry-on bag.  Too bad for him; the umbrella’s quite pricey, of a style that’s hard to find, and worse, he hasn’t used it yet. 🙂

The arrangement we had with the hotel did not provide airport transfers* so we took the airport cab to Ximen.  It’s around 30 to 45 minutes to get there, depending on traffic.  Taipei is much like Manila, although it’s cleaner and the roads are definitely better.  Anyway, we paid NT$1,200.  It must be a fixed airport rate because if you opt to compute it, you have to add 50% on top of the meter fare plus the toll fee, which you wouldn’t know how much, as the cab was equipped with an e-pass that just beeps when the car passes by the toll booth. Anyway, it must be around the same  or a little higher than the actual fare, but at 1 am, who has the energy to compute?

We checked in and settled a little after 2 am.  The hotel arrangement did not have free breakfast, too*, so after we freshened up at 10 am, we went down and started exploring Ximending at 8°C!  It’s a little cold for our tropical country-born bodies. 🙂 We chose a carinderia-type eatery named 365 where we ordered chicken noodles, seafood noodles, oyster cake, radish cake and two kinds of fried rice.  The food’s great.  I have to single out the sauce used in the radish cake; it’s just tops!   The total bill for our breakfast was NT$290.  Not bad!

365 breakfast Ximen
Our first breakfast in Taipei; yours truly and Mali Bay boy

After eating, we walked around.  Taipei stores open at 12 in the afternoon.  Some open at 11 am and these shops are few enough, you’re bound to miss a lot when you try to do your shopping at this time.  We entered Eslite, a small mall which has a Muji inside.  The Muji branch was as big as the one in Rockwell but the items are way, way better.  For one, their food shelves are so extensive!

Continue reading

Trippy trip!

Even when we came from very recent 3-day weekends, I’m still so excited with our trip tonight. 

In the next four days, we will be here:

and here:

and will also join:

and explore further this great place.

Except for a day tour of Caramoan and the morning marathon, we have nothing else planned.  When we set foot in Naga tomorrow morning, then we’ll make plans. 

I will blog about our travel when I return on Tuesday.  See you, wagyu! 🙂

For more information on CWC, click here.
For more information about the 2010 Camsur Marathon, click here.
Thanks to Illuminati Travel  for the image of Caramoan Islands.

Subic trip ’08

We were initially to go to Vietnam, then changed it to Palawan, and the place was decided on to be Subic a few weeks back only. It’s my team’s annual out-of-town trip and after all the considerations and concessions involving schedule and finances, we trooped to Subic for a one-day trip. Nakakabitin but it’s somehow worth it.

Subic was fine. I was there in September for business so I didn’t get to move around much. I probably didn’t miss out a lot but it’s still nice as it is.

We left Manila at the break of dawn and was in Ocean Adventure in time for a sea lion show. We have kids with us so the marine life stuff were fascinating na rin. The sea lions looked like…someone I know. My Mom and I were laughing convulsively because we thought of the same thing. We’re so mean hahaha.

We had lunch at the hyped Camayan Beach Resort. It was bordering on terrible but there was a good save on the part of our pseudo-trip planner, Chris, especially with his laing and funny stories.

Through Chris’ intervention (“,) we were let in at Subic Yacht club where the kids, and a few of us too, swam for hours. The place was not as fancy as I expected it would be but it was okay na rin. I also had some time to get to know Eitan, a hanger-on only because he’s a lone traveller in Southeast Asia after graduating from college in his hometown in Toronto. Sarap ng buhay ng batang ito. I hope he’s able to bring back lots of good things from Asia, from the Philippines most especially, when he goes back home.

We wrapped up our yacht club visit with picture-taking; afterwards we headed to MeatPlus for some well-recommended food. It didn’t disappoint plus the price was very reasonable. A revelation of the night was The Bomb, their appetizer which actually is hot sliced potatoes drowned in cream cheese and melted butter. Too bad we didn’t have time to swing by another recommended dessert place which is just near Pier One.

Everyone’s tired so we took the Subic-Clark expressway on the way home (we took the San Fernando exit then Bataan on the way there). It’s actually four or five exits farther if you take NLEX but the travel time was indeed cut in half basically because we skipped the whole stretch of Lubao and Dinalupihan. We were all home by almost midnight.

This year’s trip wasn’t so bad at all. Next year, let’s see where our planning skills will take us.

Let me share our pictures last Saturday. Click the image to go to my Subic flickr set: