#150317 Taiwan Day 2: Chia Yi (嘉义) & Alishan (阿里山)

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Before the fun from day 2 officially started, dad and I had breakfast at the hotel.

The view from where we had breakfast was really pretty… I think I have a thing for pastel/dull coloured buildings.

The breakfast from this buffet spread was not bad, and I liked the ice lemon tea! It was the first time I saw iced tea being served at breakfast but tea is a very common drink in Taiwan and you can find it almost everywhere.

After breakfast our first stop was Hinoki Village (檜意森活村). The village looks Japanese as it was a place where Japanese people stayed in during the Japanese Occupation. Many of the cottages were shops selling souvenirs and food, and it was a pity that almost none of the shops were open when we visited. 😦 The whole place was really nice to explore, though.

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This is a really pretty cafe that sells pancakes and egg waffles! The food on the poster looked good but it was closed. 😦
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Really unique and majestic horse statue made out of wood.
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Me with an old carriage.
There were also many flowers and greenery surrounding the cottages. I really liked the entire place as it gave off a relaxing vibe that you have when being out in nature. There were also very little visitors since it was a weekday, making the tour even more peaceful. Before leaving the place, dad and I stopped by a souvenir shop (probably the only shop open when we visited) to buy some souvenirs! Dad got a cool wood massager and a key chain in the shape of what Taiwan looked like on the map while I got some irrelevant things like 2 washi tapes…….. What are priorities ha ha……

Then we went to visit some temples and the Tian Chang Di Jiu Bridge in Alishan (天长地久桥).

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Posing with my zodiac, the rabbit!
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So beautiful.
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Tian Chang Di Jiu Bridge
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There were a lot of stair-climbing so I ended up getting a little sweaty and breathless. It was good exercise before we continue eating rubbish though.

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Taiwanese sausages & pork cutlets
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These are charcoal-grilled Taiwanese Sausages. It was the best Taiwanese sausage I have ever tried in my life. It was a little too oily but when you bite into it, it was so juicy and flavourful. It was also warm since it was fresh off the grill. This wasn’t originally on the plan but I noticed many people queuing up for this and decided to suggest it to my dad, knowing he wouldn’t say no. (He loves junk food as much as me LOL).

Then it was lunch time~

The driver recommended this place that specialises in bento boxes. It’s called railway bento (木桶型铁路便当).

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What the shop looks like on the outside
I just realised I didn’t take photos of the railway bento and I don’t know why I didn’t photograph such an important thing??

Maybe because before eating I went to use the washroom, and the female’s washroom only had 2 cubicles, one squatting and one sitting, and it was so small, wet and smelly. Then when I got out, I wanted to wash my hands and quickly get out of the place but I couldn’t because someone vomited into the sink and there wasn’t any public sinks I could use… After that whole experience I myself felt nauseous and that was probably why I just wanted to quickly finish lunch and get out of the restaurant.

Not sure if it was because of the traumatising experience, but the bento was pretty average to me. The food came in a metal round container, and had a chicken drum stick, pork slices and some vegetables sitting on top of a bed of rice. It was quite hard to eat as well since I was only equipped with a spoon and a pair of chopsticks…

Anyways, after the meal we stepped out into the chilly weather and I felt much better. We went to explore the street shops near the area aka 奋起湖老街.

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Ai yu bing (爱玉冰)
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Ai yu bing (Ai yu = a type of natural jelly, bing = ice) is a must-try drink in Taiwan, so we got a cup each when we saw this aunty selling them! (Ok, actually I thought I was going to share a cup with my dad because it was quite chilly and I didn’t want to have any opportunity to use that smelly washroom, but apparently my dad wanted a cup to himself, so in the end I got a small cup to myself as well…) This stall includes lemon juice and honey in their ai-yu, and you could also add chia seeds (or some kind of seeds I’m not really sure what they are called) free of charge, so we did.

They also served the ai yu warm, but both of us got the iced version. It was a very refreshing drink and I loved it!! The aunty selling the ai yu was very nice and friendly too, kind of like a mother figure. Ahhh looking at it now makes me want to have another cup…

Our final destination was the Alishan Guest House (阿里山宾馆). Since Alishan is on the mountains, the weather got 2 x colder when we went up. On the drive up, I also experienced pressure in my ears. (The same kind you experience when a plane you’re on starts to land.)

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But look at how pretty the hotel is on the outside ahhh.
After checking in to the hotel, my dad and I decided to explore the Alishan National Scenic Area beside the hotel before dinner. And… Not long after leaving the hotel, we spotted… SAKURA!!! I was so excited as it was my first time seeing a real sakura tree. In fear of not being able to see more sakura trees as we explored further into the forest, I spammed my phone with so many photos of these beautiful sakura flowers, wide shot, close-up, selfie, wefie, you name it and I can provide it HAHA.

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Everyone had the same fear as me as they were all trying to snatch spots near the tree to get photographs. It was difficult to get a spot but my dad and I managed to get one!!

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Trying to attempt a chio selfie but obviously failed… How do people do this so easily sxdfgh
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CLOSE-UP SHOT
After getting our fill of sakura photos/videos we finally walked further into the forest and I thought there wouldn’t be any more sakura trees,,, but GUESS WHAT THERE WERE MOREEEE.

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Was impressed because the shape of the petals were the same as the sakura drawings I see on emojis/other products
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Wanted to spam photos again over here as there were 3 trees together and looked prettier but there were gigantic bees flying around so I had to make it a fast one as I’m quite afraid of bees haha. I know they won’t harm people without reason but they are still scary…

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I got a herbal egg during the walk. Quite delicious.
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Three generations of treeeees
After walking for a while I thought we were going to go back to the hotel for dinner but it was nearing the time for sun set and my father seemed to want to wait for it so we ended up waiting (for quite a while… maybe 30 minutes or even an hour IDK I wasn’t counting) for the sun to set… I was quite bored since I couldn’t surf the net using my data (as my phone was going to run out of battery and I wanted to save them for the sun set) and I was getting so impatient and cold and mentally hurrying the sun to set LOL. But the sun finally set and it was breathtaking.

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Sun setting + sea of clouds = breathtaking
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I overheard a local tour guide say that we shouldn’t just leave after the sun sets as we would be missing out on the equally beautiful pink sky, so both of us stayed til the pink sky appeared and I gotta say, no regrets man.

After the sun set we finally walked back for dinner and it was quite scary as the whole place was almost pitch dark and we weren’t familiar with the park. It was also getting EVEN COLDER since there was no sunlight to bring us warmth. Thankfully my dad somehow knew the way back and we arrived safely.

My dad made a dinner reservation at the hotel for 7.30-9 pm, but when we got back it was only around 6.30 pm I think, so he went to bathe while I caught up with my Korean drama heh. Currently chasing Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and it has been really promising so far. I’ve seen the teaser for this week’s episode and I can’t wait for it to be released!!

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Dinner was average… Edible but not really delicious… Except the mushrooms though, the mushrooms are really good.

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They did have a really large variety of food to choose from, and they even have a coffee machine that served drinks like mocha, matcha milk and matcha coffee WHAAAAT. I was so impressed by that that I couldn’t pass up on the matcha milk for dinner. The quality of the matcha milk was good too! I really enjoyed that warm and sweet cup of matcha milk.

After dinner we went to learn about constellations since the hotel offers free lessons. We even went outside to observe the stars and there were so many stars and the entire sky looked so beautiful. 😍 But it got too cold and I didn’t bring my jacket with me so we had to leave shortly to escape from the cold… I felt so bad for my dad because he seemed very interested in the constellations… 😕 Sorry dad…

But anyways that’s it for day 2. Stay tuned for day 3! Bye~

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