Taichung 2019 Day 1 – Arrival into Taiwan, drive to Taichung and Feng Chia Night Market

It’s the first time I was going on a trip that I didn’t plan at all, it was because this was an extended family trip that was planned by others and I am just a participant. Felt weird as it wasn’t as busy for me to worry about getting from destination to destination, just needed to take care of K.

It was still the June school holidays and leaving home at 8am had us arrive at the airport at around 840am, enough time for us to check in after meeting up with the in laws. The traveling group was a much smaller 7 people group, comparing to our Korea trip we had earlier in the year.

Had our breakfast at one of the many eateries in the departure of T3 and soon we were boarding the China Airlines flight on the way to Taiwan, no drama except some seat changes for the boys to sit together.

I was thoroughly disappointed with the entertainment system on the plane, with a tiny screen and not much choices to watch (only one Captain Marvel with a couple of other older shows). There were no games for K, who was looking forward to it since his last flght, so he survived on watching Lego 2 and 1 episode of Paw Patrol and countless Dora on repeat. Food was ok though and K had quite a mouthful of the meal.

Tiny screen

We landed after a relatively smooth flight and a last min pee emergency where K had to pee into a potable pee bag as there was a line queuing for the only 4 toilets available in the economy section.

Taoyuan airport

We waited just outside the tunnel for our stroller but it was brought to the belt instead, wasted our time waiting there but we were only informed after everyone left.

The immigrations was having a long queue and we took 40mins to snake thru it all before getting our luggage from the belt. We met our driver for the entire trip who brought us to the 7 seater vehicle, across the road from where the coaches usually depart to the carpark where our ride was parked.

After loading up, we then spent the next 2.5hrs on the road to Taichung. K was convinced to take a nap on the way there and he did. I fell asleep myself until we were in Taichung, and we decided to go to Feng Chia night market first before checking in.

Feng Chia Night Market not so crowded when early

The driver let us alight at the McDonald’s and we visited it’s toilet before going down the street to eat the street food. We had been to this night market long time back, and we saw the familiar entrance to the Feng Chia University before turning into the street full of food stores. Bought the big intestine wrap small intestine first, which we had the same some years ago. And then bought a BBQ chicken before entering a stall with sitting area selling soup based kuay tiao like yong tau hu. There were not many people now as it was weekday and still early.

Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang store
Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang
Chicken rolls on skewers
Chicken skewers
Food store
Yong Dao Hu
Dragonball paradise

The food took a while to come and the MIL was getting impatient. It did finally arrive and K had no problem slurping up the food. It was quite nice especially the Tau Hu with the meat in the middle. We were also eating chicken on the skewer which was quite juicy.

After this, we went to one of the many claw machine store to try our luck. Per game was only NT10, which was pretty cheap compared to Singapore. After just a couple of tries, mommy managed to score a Charmander plushie! However, after trying out further, we couldn’t manage another one.

One of the claw machines stores that were a common sight
The prize

Walking further down the street, we got more street food like red tea from 50 Lan (the originator of the popular milk tea store Koi in Sg), onion pancake and so on. There was also stinky tofu which K responded by blocking his nose with his fingers. We only managed to walk from one street to another before going back to McDonald’s to use the toilet and wait for our vehicle. This was just a small part of the entire Feng Chia night market.

50 Lan
Frothy red tea
Onion pie store
Onion pie eaten before photo

The journey to the Splendor hotel was a short 10mins drive. We arrived at the drop off and the staff of the luxurious hotel were first to the vehicle helping with the door and the mountain of luggage. We bade the driver farewell after aligning on the next day meet up timing and proceeded to check in on the 12th floor.

Grand looking hotel hall

We had 3 rooms on the same floor and ours came with a huge bed but only a restricted view of the pool. The night was spent mostly in the huge bathtub and some tv. K snacked on some Taiwanese Doraemon pastry that he used to have while he was here two years ago and then after a packet of banana milk and books, we were off to bed.

Our room
Inside the toilet
Separate shower
Separate toilet
Limited pool view

Escape to Sun Moon Lake, Taichung in May 2014

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Sun Moon Lake in May 2014:

Total duration 4D3N
Singapore is in the same time zone as Taichung, Taiwan.
Flight time is 4hr45mins direct flight on China Airlines from Singapore to Taipei.
Morning flight on 10th May and arrival in Taipei at 3pm on the same day.

Day 1 Arrival in Taichung
Day 2 Sun Moon Lake
Day 3 Back to Taipei, Raohe Night market and Wu Fen Pu
Day 4 Ximending and Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was to getaway on a long weekend due to Vesak day. Due to wife expecting, we had a change of plan for our long Europe trip into a shorter getaway. Took China Airlines as all the budget airlines were really expensive as we booked very late and close to the travel date. The tickets weren’t out the initial time we saw and we actually intended to book Jetstar. It was until when we wanted to purchase the tickets (after planning) that there was another price hike which forced us to relook again (luckily), and it seemed like an extra trip offered by the airlines, co-sharing with Garuda.

Budget nature: Affordable travel and cheap eats. 

Moving around Taiwan was easy and pretty affordable compared to Singapore. The public transport was cheap, even the taxi was of compatible costs. Of course, expect tourists price at the Sun Moon Lake, but these costs aren’t also sky high.

Eating is definitely cheap, though quantity wise, it was smaller too. But it is so that you can eat as much variety as you move around the night markets. The food is pretty tasty too.

Complexity: Easy to get around

Travelling between cities is really easy, linked by the ultrafast bullet train and MRT networks. Getting to Sun Moon Lake required a bit of reading up although the hotel receptionist and the taxi driver can easily guide you to the long distance coaches. Our main transportation tools at Sun Moon Lake was the ferry but due to time constraints, we did not venture out, which the buses could easily do the job.