This is going to be a mundane post if you are not into nature. Just like how a friend raised her brow when I said I’ll be going to Alishan and told me her friend told her it’s a boring place.
Boring? I don’t understand. Maybe to some people, shopping and eating is more interesting and important. For me, when I plan a trip, it’s going to be all about sight-seeing. I’ll just settle for any food nearby and as for shopping, one day will be enough. I’m pretty sure you’ll end up buying things on your way when sight-seeing anyway.
Just like, when I heard people actually plan all 5 days shopping in different malls, I… I…. speechless lah.
Oh well, pictures time.
Since the train leaved at 4.50am.. we woke up at 4.00am (earlier than morning call) and left at the minsu at 4.30am.
And did you see the girl in the bottom left of the above picture, wearing miniskirt!
MINISKIRT AT 13 DEGREE CELCIUS! *applause*
Anyways, the photo was taken outside the Alishan Railway Station.
Chu Shan Line for the sunrise!
The Alishan Railyway Station is also the largest wood made train station in Taiwan established in 2007 with an observatory in front of the train station, which.. you will see later in this post, after we returned from “sunrise”.
Sunrise-watching is the thing to do in Alishan National Scenic Area 阿里山国家风景区! If you went there and skip that, it’s like.. ordering a plate of Penang fried kueh tiaw and then say no clams! Missing the whole point isn’t it?
Well, my mom didn’t join us because she rather stayed in the room and watched teley. Leaving us two having our private paktoh moments.
The weather was bad when we’re up there. Felt a little disappointed but it’s okay. At least the view was something out of norm.
You saw that uncle standing on the high stool? It’s actually on the edge of the windy mountain and he’s practically pulling a stunt, holding an umbrella, motivating the tourists not to give up because there’s still chance to catch the sunrise!
Sibeh lihai in talking!
The drink was actually pretty nice. Something different.
Out of nowhere, suddenly, some vendors pushed carts out and said free drinks!
Say is free lah. But, as you all can guess it, it’s a tactic. Once you took a cup, they will start telling you they’re having offers, promotions and etc.
(And.. I realized that they’re selling for an more expensive price compare to random vendors in Alishan. Probably because they only do “morning” business once a day)
But those Sakura Honey was really good too!
Feeling a bit bored, I have no idea who those organizers are, a lady whipped out a loudspeaker and started to encourage people to come forward and do a 真情告白！Love confession!
The man you saw in bright orange with the loudspeaker was the first to speak. And I still remember what he said.
Already super cold in the mountain top and then heard something like that, goosebumps!
And, I was really glad Bobby can’t speak fluent Mandarin and hence he definitely will not go up there and do the same. I will kill him if he does! Sia soi ah. Just like how I always think, if a guy propose in public.. it’s like.. half threatening the girl to say yes because it’ll be super awkward and guilty if the girl reject when everyone around is making noise and encouraging. That’s me lah, I think there’s other people who love that kind of attention I guess.
Bunch of weird Japanese ojisans 扎马步. Saw the blue umbrella? There’s this uncle, macam instructor like that hitting other’s knees to test if it’s a stable squad. The uncle in stripes does have a perky backside though.
This guy is super funny. He was striking a Wong Fei-Hung pose for everyone to take picture but when I was there, he already strike another pose. We were in the train together and him and his friends was making a video interviewing each other. The conversations were really funny and I couldn’t stop eavesdropping!
Went back to our minsu and brought my mom to have breakfast with us.
And.. the restaurant served fresh ground coffee (is that how you say it?) which my mom and Bobby loves! My mom had 2 cups of it and Bobby on the other side kept asking me to take a sip. I did, just a small tiny sip, and shuddered.
My mom saw me making faces and said to Bobby, “How can she not like coffee right? Wait.. maybe some day she’ll like it.”
I was like… “I won’t okay”
My mom said it’s still too early to say because she’s only addicted to coffee when she’s 30. Bobby started drinking coffee when he started working.
I’ve started working since 21 and coming 27, I still dislike coffee! The end.
Unless… it has thick caramel in it.
Coffee makes me pening.
Anyways, after breakfast, we went to the temple-looking post office and sent wooden postcard to each other.
Because, it’s 09 September. And it’s minguo (Republic of China calendar) 99!
There, 9999! So, to commemorate, we decided to write how we felt and posted it.
The wooden postcard had arrived last week!
Now, you saw the uncle in the above photo?
He’s a stamp/postcard lover I think. Can you see how many postcards was he trying to stamp???? He brought one suitcase of postcards okay! He told me he has 8888 too. You know, 8th August minguo 88.
Well, the idea of posting each other postcards came from him actually.
We gave up trying (calling – no one picks up) and wanted to go to the national park. Just when we stood up, the uncle (stamp lover) asked why were we not posting (in Hokkien).
Since Bobby is a Hokkien, and he did understand what the uncle was saying, he made an attempt to answer the uncle, in Hokkien too. Major fail.
“Oh, wa lang boh hee leh address, kah tang baru teng lai kee”
(Oh, we don’t have the address, later we’ll come back to post)
The uncle looked at us blankly! Then, Bobby turned and asked me, “Err.. what is address is Hokkien?”
super fail dot com.
I then had to answer the uncle in proper Mandarin.
Well.. he repeatedly fail when trying to converse in Hokkien to Taiwanese throughout the whole trip.
Just like, when I asked him what is police in Hokkien, he will answer me “mata”, help.. he said “tolong”. Bruneian’s Hokkien all campur with English and Malay one!
It leaded us, and waited when we’re far away trying to catch up, peed at milestones, then when we’re near, it started walking again. Really like guiding us like that you know. For almost an hour of the route! Walked, wait, pee then walk again.
We’re very intimidated by this pair of kong-kong and po-po. They walked and climbed stairs faster than us while I was huffing and puffing cursing the stairs. My mom kept saying I kalah those 60+ years old people.
Very the got feel lah right? Pre-wedding shoot is going to look really fantastic here but I’m so not going for that because have to take 2hr plus car ride up the mountain, then walk super far in the scenic area. I will sure be the angry-looking bride like that.
Just look at the reflection!
The story behind,
Two aboriginal sisters falling in love with one special man but neither of them wanted to break their own sister's heart. So they each jumped into one of the lakes to end the story. People were deeply touched and called these two lakes Sister Ponds.
Sad and eerie story behind. After reading, I don't want to stay there any longer because scare got "water ghost". I didn't take picture of the younger sister pond because.. that one looks like a puddle nia.
I love how those trees are named! You’ll see more later.
The cypress tree was chopped off, then.. 4 seeds landed and started growing on top of it. Amazing isn’t it?
Walked walked walked.. then… suddenly got temple and school！
The primary school, with bunch of vibrant students practicing aboriginal dance. The number of students decreases each year and.. they may close down the school one day. Just like how the secondary school was closed down few years ago (and now looking really haunted – We passed by it but didn’t take any pictures).
She and her mom operated this small stalls near to the temple and we all chatted for a bit. Her mom actually thought that Bobby is my mom’s son! What the.. I don’t look like my mom’s daughter now meh? >.< !!!
Whereas her mom cooked a bowl of vegetarian 卤味 for my mom.
She also let us tried some tea and feng-yuan.
If you want to know what she’s selling… go to http://store.pchome.com.tw/mingchi12/
She told me she has customers from Malaysia ordering those sakura honey once they finished theirs.
Then... we realized we had to walk back to the area (where the temple and the sausage stalls are) and I cursed all the way back. And Xin Xin’s ladyboss told me that we had to leave if we’re going to Taipei next because got 管制。 One of the road (damaged by 8-8 flood) under repair will be closed because it’s right at the edge of the mountain and cars can’t pass through. Yup, the road is closed for 3 hours a day.
So, we hurried our way back… and Xin Xin’s lady boss sent us a driver to pick us up at the nearest landmark, packed our luggage and off we go.
It was a real bumpy ride!
Probably because instead of sitting in the comfortable camry, our transport became a van and the driver drove recklessly!
Bobby and I both puked (the sausage we ate, and that’s why we don’t dare to try anymore sausage in Taiwan already) and had to cancel a lot of our plan!
Sad isn’t it?
Stupid driver! He even tear-off my mom’s luggage because he majal pulled it out from the van. Wrote an email to Isaac and complained about him already. Lucky it only cost NT100 to have it sew back.
A super small town (like Seria .. or smaller) famous for their train lunchbox.
It is so small that… it only took us 30 minutes to tour around and tapao-ed lunch. Well, we all felt unwell that time already so didn’t want to stay too long. The driver super talkative, complained about the government through out the trip till no one bother to layan him.
You know, I’m really afraid of talkative drivers, hair stylists and beauticians! It really makes me don’t want to want to visit them one. Maybe they’re just trying to be friendly but really, just get the job done and thank you very much.
Apparently, this is not the famous one that I read from forums and blogs. But the driver recommended this and I saw other locals tapao-ed there too. Plus, we really don’t have the appetite to eat at that time so couldn’t care less where we eat.
They sell both sweet and salty flavors. NT20 each. BND0.85
For flavor that’s sweet, there’s dark sugar, red bean, yam, peanut and pineapple.
For salty one, there’s egg york, almond, 8-bao and the last one.. is like somboi/little limau/kasturi。
Feeling a little adventurous, I chose Egg york.
It’s really something out of the blue. Those yellow pieces you saw are.. what I think is the york of telur masin. It’s actually not bad.. I can’t really describe how it tasted like but imagine.. susu manis + salted egg york.
Bobby hated it though.
槟榔西施 = Betel nut beauty. The term Betel nut beauty (also betel nut girl - 檳榔西施, pinyin: bīnláng xīshī) refers to a common sight along roadsides in Taiwan: a young woman selling betel nuts and cigarettes from a brightly lit glass enclosure while wearing revealing clothing.
Yup, to keep those drivers awake kali.
Isaac told me the southern part betel nut beauty wears lesser cloth that’s mostly *cough* transparent, then the northern one are usually towards more “kawaii” version. Those in the middle part… are… mostly… aunties!
Yeap, those I saw in Chiayi.. were… super… cannot see one. When the driver pull aside asking directions from the betel but beauty, I nudged Bobby and asked him to check out the infamous occupation. He looked at me with a confused look and said.. “That one auntie leh!”.
I guess, he’s just disappointed. HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAH!
Finally, arrived the Chiayi HSR station to catch the 15:09 train. That’s when the stupid driver broke my mom’s luggage.
Apparently, 统一 is like this big food manufacturing empire in Taiwan. Including my favorite pop mee!
Then, you saw our luggage in front of our seats?
Here’s the story.
When we finally made it into the train, the area to put luggage was already all occupied so we had no choice and lugged with us. Then when we found our seat, this bastard sitting in front of Bobby inclined the chair to the lowest!
What the heck!
Bobby couldn’t even fit in to the seat.
So he said, “Excuse me”.. and that bastard showed no reaction at all. Bobby said “Excuse me” again.. still no reaction. I… dulan… and talked really loudly..
Yeap, loud enough for everyone near to us to hear it. I purposely did that to embarrass him. But still, as you can see in the picture, he moved his chair up a little only. Well, I had my fair share of cursing him too.
And when I told 48 about it, she told me people here (Taiwanese) don’t response to “Excuse me” one.. They no faham apa itu. Still.. I think it’s really selfish for that guy to do that.
You don’t mess with me when I’m in oversea. I very berani to fight back one. (Case “Cheh.. no one knows me here. Don’t care lah”)
One and a half hour later.. we finally arrived Taipei. Saw the super busy Taipei Main Station. Checked-in the room and met my best friend.
Taipei post in part II. Stay tune.