#160317 Taiwan Day 3: Alishan, Beimen, Tainan

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Hello! It has been a while since I posted but I’m back to blog about day three of my Taiwan trip!

Dad and I woke up extra early on day three, at 3.40 am, because we wanted to go catch the sun rise. (Well, my dad mostly. I’m more of a sun set person because I hate waking up early. Furthermore, it was extremely cold that day as we were up on the mountains. 😩)

We took a shuttle bus provided by Alishan Guest House, to the Alishan train station. It was a thirty minute ride from the station to Zhu Mountain (where we would be waiting for the sun to rise). Tip: Get in the train queue early and grab seats as fast as you can because if you don’t, there would be 0 seats left in no time. We only managed to get 1 seat so my dad and I had to take turns sitting down LOL. I slept throughout the ride because I was so sleepy. 💀 And cold. I was under prepared as I thought Taiwan would merely be sweater weather, so I didn’t bring a winter jacket… I was wearing a sweater, jacket and a down jacket but I still felt like it was freezing in the train… And of course the fact that it was the early morning made it worse.

When we got there, we were told we still had to wait about half an hour or one hour? (More waiting… Urgh) I was so cold and bored while waiting but I couldn’t leave to hide in the shelter since my dad and I were at the front aka one of the best spots to view the sun rise sigh. Now I can say I very much prefer to wait in hot and humid weather than cold weather.

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Took this while waiting for the sun to rise

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Okay so the funny thing was, more than one hour had passed and the sky was brightening, but there was still 0 sun rise. I was so puzzled but the in-charge said to wait a while more and the sun would rise. But,, the sky is already bright, doesn’t that mean the sun has already risen?? ❔❔❔

My dad and I waited a while more but we realised the sky was already as bright as day and it’s impossible to see the sun rise at this point so we decided to give up and leave LOL. It was such a fail and I felt so cheated. I was like, “Okay somebody please tell me why I woke up at 3.40 am for this??”

But at least I got to witness the beautiful 云海 (sea of clouds) and took some pretty photographs so I didn’t go there for absolutely nothing. And I was so glad that whole process was over. I could finally escape into the warmth and eat my breakfast!!

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Omelette, cream pasta, fried mantou, burdock, and some other vegetables! The only meat was the ham from the omelette but it was still a delicious breakfast!

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Breakfast with the greenery!
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Coffee section with 6 different kinds of flavoured syrups which I was impressed about!
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And their coffee machine with a wide variety of coffees!
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Coffee + Yakult in the morning = Perfect recipe for constipation
After breakfast our driver drove us to this tea plantation called 阿里山邹族文化部落 (Alishan zou zu wen hua bu luo). The entrance was very well-decorated!

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Visit to their cultural museum
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Picturesque tea plantation
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Weird-looking orange fruits in their garden
We were taken by our driver to the tea plantation’s shop/tea house to learn more about Alishan tea and the tea brewing process! But before that, I was given a small sample of the Alishan instant milk coffee and I fell in love at first sip… It was mildly sweet, mildly bitter and milky. I liked it so much that I even purchased a small pack of it even though they specialise in tea not coffee. 😂 What can I say… I am coffee trash… Coffee over tea any day ☕️💓

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Alishan coffee hehe
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One of the staff kindly sat down to go through the whole tea brewing process with us. It was very calming listening to him talk and trying the different kinds of tea the shop offers.

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The reason why there are two cups there is because the long and thin cup is for tea smelling. The tea is poured in there for you to smell first, then, you put the rounder cup on top of the thin cup, flip it over and drink from the round cup. I also learned that 1) it is better to throw out the first pot of brewed tea as it isn’t good for the body 2) the tea leaves in tea bags are actually tea leaf ‘crumbs’ and not whole tea leaves crushed into small bits lol so it’s better to purchase tea leaves in bottles and not tea bags.

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Left: tea leaves after they’re soaked in hot water Right: tea leaves before they are soaked
Our session got interrupted as it was time to go watch the dance and singing performances by the Zou zu tribe.

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It was quite interesting to watch the people wear their costumes and perform their cultural songs/dances!

After the performances, it was time for lunch. The restaurant only offers set meals and you can choose from different sets depending on how many people you have. We ordered the one for 2-3 people and the portions were SO BIG.

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Me with an ‘A’ chair and some sakura flowers!
After lunch, we went back to the tea house to continue trying different teas! That time something interesting happened. As we were listening and chatting, a group of middle-aged Koreans suddenly came and sat themselves down with us though they couldn’t understand chinese. They conversed in Korean and I could actually understand some of it.

“What tea is this?”

“Sit down”

“There’s a procedure for this you can’t do it your way.” (this one was funny haha)

Quite a few people asked what tea it was and I couldn’t take it anymore so I tried to answer them in my broken Korean HAHA. All I said was “balgan cha” which is direct translation for ‘red tea’ because I didn’t know what red tea was in Korean. 😂 I only knew green tea was ‘nok cha’ LOL. And then the staff asked me to help tell them the price in Korean but I was so nervous that I totally forgotten how to say the price in Korean RIP. And then they left but my hands were still shaking like a leaf 😂 Oh gosh how am I gonna order stuff in Korean when I go to Korea next time 😂

But anyways,, we finished the session and got some Alishan tea and coffee!! Not surprisingly, the Alishan coffee is diminishing faster than the Alishan tea because I keep making it for me and my dad at home 😂 Probably also because it’s easier to make since it’s instant…

Due to the several cups of tea we tried, I had the strong urge to go to the toilet but we were already in the car travelling elsewhere (yes, I did go to the toilet before I left) so I had to try my best to go into zen mode and try not to think of my bursting bladder. 😂😭

Our next location was the 水晶教堂 (shui jing jiao tang / crystal church) in Tainan.

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It’s so pretty and transparent like a crystal. 😍 There were also two cute red hearts stuck on the walls of the church. ❤️️ Unfortunately, the church was cordoned off and nobody could enter the church so I could only take pictures with it at a distance.

Then, we drove down the road a bit more to get to the 云嘉南风景区北门游客中心 (yun jia nan feng jing qu bei men you ke zhong xin).

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Aww so cute.
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I love bright and colourful buildings.
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Amazing rainbow of wall drawings.
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Close-up hehe.
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Old-style provision shop
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Read as 钱来也 (qian lai ye). Apparently it used to be a provision shop too.
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Then it was time for dinner! We went to Flower Night Market (花园夜市).

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We got there before it was dark so many of the stalls were still in the midst of preparing to open.

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Korean egg bread which was good!
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Fried chicken with sweet sauce. It was so popular that the stall owner had to put queue line barricades for people to queue in!
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This bowl of udon was really mediocre.
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Cutely shaped egg breads!
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Forgotten it’s name but it tastes like fried fish paste.
I also bought a big cup of pearl milk tea which tasted nothing like milk tea so I threw it away before I even reached 1/4 of the cup… Personally, Flower Night Market isn’t a night market that I would like to visit again because the variety of food and drinks didn’t stand out to me. You can find those in other night markets.

Finally, it was time to return to the hotel to rest!! This was a hotel that I booked online and I was glad that my father liked it! The name of the hotel is Golden Tulip Glory Fine Hotel. It was a small but cozy and modern hotel room. The decorations are more homely than hotel-ish. There were also free apples to eat so I took one to neutralise all the oils from the food I ate at the night market.

That’s all for day 3!!

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