“All he does is Lin, Lin, Lin no matter what!”
I broke into song when my clueless officemate asked me “who this Jeremy Lin guy is”. I don’t know which is more insane– Jeremy averaging at least 25 points per game or my officemate not knowing who he is. All this talk about Linsanity who is of Chinese-Taiwanese descent makes me want to go back to, by far, my favorite country in Asia: Taiwan!
BACK DOWN MEMORY LANE
It was in 2010 when I scored that 1 peso fare to Taiwan via Cebu Pacific. I didn’t have to file for a Taiwanese visa as I already had a US visa. Otherwise, it would cost me PHP2,500 to get one. I planned the trip with my default travel buddy Rhona. She’s the master itinerary-maker. My makeup artist friend Myr Lim also helped me plan the trip as she stayed in Taiwan for years.
Currency: Taiwan Dollar
Exchange Rate: 1 TWD = 1.44 PHP
Airport: Taoyuan International Airport
Hotel we stayed at: One2Stay Inn in Ximending (PHP1,250 per night)
Three words that come to mind when I remember Taiwan:
For the entire duration of our stay in Taiwan, we only ate inside a restaurant twice! First was when my uncle treated us and second, when we ate at the queer “Modern Toilet Restaurant”.
We lived off “street food” and 7-11 tea eggs! Yummy, filling, and cheap snacks sold at every corner in Taipei sustained us. We were in pica-pica heaven! Which is why when friends ask how much a trip to Taiwan would cost, I always assure them “to not worry about it”. It’s insanely cheap. I earn in pesos, which doesn’t go a long way when you go abroad, but surprisingly, it did buy me a lot while I was in Taiwan.
I used to enjoy shopping in HongKong for clothes. Until I discovered Bangkok. But believe me when I say that the merchandise in Taiwan can now compete with Bangkok in terms of variety and quality. The fashion is very much Korean-inspired. Even the makeup brands that proliferate are interestingly from Korea. Even their boy band members look Korean! 🙂
Luxury brands in Taiwan also come out cheaper than in neighboring countries.
Shopping at the Taipei 101 (This was the first world’s tallest building completed in the 21st century, surpassing The Petronas towers in Malaysia. The next will most likely be Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates.):
We bought the Easy Card for hassle-free commuting. Taiwan has a very efficient subway system and the buses have clear routes and specific drop-off time. I love that Taiwan can give you the best of both worlds: shopping in the urban cities of Taipei and Danshui and nature-tripping in the provinces of Wulai and Yehliu.
This trip started an annual tradition and promise to self: go to a new country before you turn a year old again. 2010-Taiwan, 2011-Vietnam, 2012-covering my eyes and aimlessly pointing at the map on top of my home office desk. Boom.
I have recently changed the name of my blog from Project FML to COOL DETOUR (a refreshing break from the usual). I write it as Cool De Tour to make it sound more like a foreign term. But it basically just means a detour or a different route from the usual path. Good things are coming my way and I am embracing them as they come. Change is the only constant thing in this world. And I am gearing up for a major life change once again. I already know that my next “big” trip will be in April, if things go according to plan. What happens after that is a big QUESTION MARK but I’m working on a plan.
“If it is right, it happens. –The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.” – John Steinbeck
I’m working towards a dream today. I hope you are too.
Welcoming a cool life detour,