Sunday, August 31, 2014

Last Day of My Taiwan Trip 2014 (Includes Details on Where to Buy Pineapple Custard Apple & Bring Them Back to Singapore)




Dragged myself out of bed on our last day in Taiwan; couldn't believe that time passed so fast as i didn't even manage to clear any attraction listed in my planned itinerary under the section of "if only we have the time"! 


We were happily on our way to have braised pork rice for breakfast when we chanced upon the entrance of this modern building. Nanmen Market (南門市場)? That sounded so "historical"!

And it definitely was; established as a public market during the Japanese colonial period (we are talking about 1906), the old one-floor building was eventually demolished and rebuilt in 1982 with three floors. 

Offering a glimpse of the traditional market culture in Taipei, tourists from non-Asian countries should consider visiting it as there was none of the messiness / rowdiness frequently seen in open-air markets (including Singapore)! 

Most products were labelled and displayed neatly for the convenience of visitors! Mom would likely find something to buy from the market as there was a huge variety for items like jerkies and sour plums! 

As usual, my eyes were more focused on food especially when we had yet to have any breakfast. 

Alex wasn't that impressed as he was hardly a man to follow tradition and customs and got pretty bored after a while. Hence, i didn't even manage to explore the basement (where there was supposedly a wet market) and the second floor. 

Those keen to stop by may wish to note that the market is open seven days a week from 7.30am to 6.30pm and is located right outside Exit 2 of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall MRT Station. You may also check out its Chinese website at http://www.nanmenmarket.org.tw/.

Had our breakfast at the nearby Jinfeng; said to serve the best luroufan in Taipei! For my review, click here

In Singapore, there's a high likelihood the tree would suffer the fate of being cut down; things are improving though with news increasingly reporting that efforts were made to preserve rather than destroy trees, especially those with a heritage value. 

Dropped by Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall which was a short walk away. For more pictures and information, do check out my blog post here

Took the train back to the hotel as our dear Alex insisted the weather was too hot and he needed a cool respite. By that, he meant taking a short nap in the comfort of the hotel room. 

As for me, i am NOT going to spend my last few hours sleeping! I proceeded alone to this shop known as Demlin Fruits (鼎林水果) that specialised in good quality fruits.

To ensure the quality, I actually made an advance order a few days ago for the ultra delicious pineapple custard apple (hybrid)! Known also as sugar apples, my first encounter with the hybrid version went way back when my mom toured Taiwan with my sister quite a number of years ago! 

Despite one weighing at least a kilogram, i was determined to bring a few back to Singapore! In total, i brought back seven and they topped more than nine kilograms collectively! 

Knowing they were for export, the lady boss wrapped every single of them with soft netting and then protected them with a few layers of those-i-don't-know'what-you-called-them thingies. The shop is located at No 59, Kaifeng Street First Section (台北市中正區開封街一段 59號). Website is http://www.demlin.com/.

All good to go! What was my damage, you asked? I couldn't quite remember but it should be close to S$100! I think the pricing was on the high side although i must admit they were totally worth their value! 


Lunch at Dian Shui Lou where the xiaolongbao was said to be better than Din Tan Fung! Want to know if it is true? Click here for my review! 

Back to the hotel where i took a bath and moved our luggage to the lobby! I am so not going to take public transport, not when there was so much to carry! Hence, i had already requested in advance (from the hotel reception counter) for a limousine service to Taoyuan airport.   

At NT$1,000 for at most three persons, you would be guaranteed a personal sedan with a chauffeur who would help you with the luggage.

The ride was only about thirty five minutes and Sam, the chauffeur, wasn't chatty which might not be a bad idea if you just need someone to drive you from one place to another. 

In case you are interested, you may contact Sam directly using the name card as attached above. Without the middleman's fees, the charge to the airport for three persons would be revised to NT$800. Should you require pickup from the airport, it would be NT$900.

As some of you might have heard, we bought 30-kilogram check-in baggage allowance; said to be more than sufficient for any normal human being. We breached the total limit by 20 kilograms. Obviously not wishing to pay the excess of NT$220 (roughly S$10) per kilogram, we re-arranged our luggage (wasting precious time) and i even had to resort to wearing a few pieces of shirts! 

Had a lousy baked rice as i was too cheapo to purchase expensive meals from the airline and there wasn't time to check out other dining establishments! 

Boarded the Scoot airplane (Boeing 777-200) on time! Frankly, my experience with Scoot thus far had been without complaint even though friends had experienced otherwise (mostly on flight delays). 

Guess it was fitting to have the setting sun bidding goodbye to us as we departed Taoyuan for Changi. 

I probably would have mentioned this before but i am going to say it again; i love Taiwan and was already thinking of returning back to the country when i had not even exited! Maybe i should consider a revisit in autumn next year! 

-The End-

For an OVERVIEW of my 9 Days, 8 Nights Taiwan Trip [Cingjing (清境) - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) - Taichung (臺中) - Taipei (臺 北)] and details for the individual days, click HERE.

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