Page 15 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Taiwan » Nantou County May 16th 2011

Monday, 16th May 2001 So there we were, after 2 nights at the comfort of HQ's house in Taichung, we were ready to embark on the next chapter of our > trip. The next 5 nights would see us off to southern Taiwan where Kaohsiung, Tainan and Kenting are located. En-route, we would be stopping by at the historical town of Heng Chun where the popular movie, Cape No. 7 was filmed. Since none of us had travelled this far out, we were certainly looking forward to the new travel experiences. Our driver picked us up from Taichung at 8.30am today. From there, it was a rough 2-hour drive up the winding road towards Mount He Huan. Located at more than 3,000m above sea level, it was bitterly cold and windy by the time we reached ... read more
View from our room
Our spacious bedroom
Equally spacious bathroom

Asia » Taiwan May 15th 2011

Some of the most commonly used local lingo the visitor might encounter in beautiful Taiwan. Start practising for your next trip =) 1) 不好意思 – “Excuse Me”. It is very common to start a conversation with “Excuse Me” in Taiwan even when requesting for a service or asking for directions. This is similar to “Sumimasen” used by the Japanese. 2) 捷运 – Literally to mean “Fast Moving”. Refers to the MRT system in Taipei & Kaohsiung. We call it 地铁 in Singapore. 3) 优游卡 – Or “Easy Card”. Is similar to our EZ Link card valid for use on all public transportation rides and at convenience stores. There is an added 20% discount when using the Easy Card to pay for the MRT rides. 4) 公车 / 客运 – “Public Buses” as they are more commonly ... read more
The Taiwan High Speed Rail

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung May 15th 2011

Sunday, 15th May 2011 This entry is specially dedicated to the owners of 三能 Optical Shop @ 一中街 (Yi Zhong Street) Night Market who were kind enough to allow the general public to use their toilet facilities within their premises. I guess most of the friendly shop owners at the night market would willingly offer the use of their washrooms during an emergency provided if you asked them nicely (I haven't really tried asking though). What made 三能 stood out from the rest was that they had prominently displayed a toilet sign outside their shopfront. Any members of the public were welcomed to use their facilities to answer the call of nature even though they were not patronising their business. This unusual fact was first related to me by SS. During her last trip to Taichung, ... read more
An unusual find
The 2 cubicles
The washing area

Asia » Taiwan » Nantou County » Sun Moon Lake May 15th 2011

Sunday, 15th May 2011 After a delicious 烧饼 breakfast at 台中美 this morning, we headed straight to the High Speed Rail Station to purchase our combo tickets to Sun Moon Lake. For NT599 (SGD25.70), the bundle came with a return bus ticket to Taichung, 1 boat ride to Itasho, 1 round-trip pass on the cable car system and unlimited rides on the round-the-lake shuttle buses. There were other ticket combinations on sale at the tour desk. We just wanted a no-frills package that covered the bare essentials of the lake. My last visit to Sun Moon Lake was some 6 years back. I recalled having to board a bus to Puli from the chaotic Taichung Railway Station and transfered to another bus to bring me to the lake. There were no combo tickets available. And of ... read more
Combo Tickets
Cheerful Visitor's Center
Hearty Lunch

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung May 14th 2011

9 Days Central & Southern Taiwan (14th - 22nd May 2011) Arriving at Taoyuan International Airport this afternoon, HQ was already patiently expecting us at the Arrivals. She was early today, in fact a full 1 hour ahead of our flight schedule as the traffic and bus timings from her house to the airport was erratic. "It's better to be early than risks being late!" What a nice pal. For the 3 of us flying in from Singapore, this Taiwan trip was a relatively long wait having booked our air tickets way back on 7th February 2011. After SS got her Taiwan 大哥大 calling card, we headed straight to Taichung via U Bus, 统联客运 for the 2-hour journey to her house. Home was a 2-bedroom apartment at downtown Taichung. It was a small yet cosy place ... read more
Fengjia Night Market
That never seems to sleep

Monday, 2nd May 2011 Alas, we decided to ride on the KLIA Express Train on our way to the Airport. The modern train system was going to be one of the major highlights for our vacation in Kuala Lumpur. Now, this proved to be a relatively costly experience though, at a hefty RM35 price tag per person for the 28 minutes journey from KL Sentral (Compared to the RM74.30 taxi ride for 2 passengers). The journey was quiet and smooth as we sat down to gaze at the surrounding countryside as the train made its final push to the airport. I would love to take the train to the airport again provided I'm travelling alone and decided to save some money. Overall, this short trip made a nice break from our Lion City as we were ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur May 1st 2011

Sunday, 1st May 2011 (Part 2) Next up, we proceeded straight to the Central Market (Pasar Seni) for our much awaited lunch. The early morning climb had certainly made our bodies hungry for food. It was after 2pm when we had our meals at the Old Town Cafe located at level 1 of the complex. The air-conditioned enclosure provided a cooling respite from the sweltering heat. Completed in 1888, the restored Central Market is now home to an extensive collections of tourist junk and crafts spread over 2 levels. Since our intention was never to hoard up on these white elephants, we left the market shortly after our meals to complete our final destination for the afternoon. From where we were standing, Merderka Square or Independence Square was the very same spot where the return of ... read more
The impressive Sultan Abdul Samad Building
And the world's Tallest Flag Pole

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur May 1st 2011

Sunday, 1st May 2011 It was great to be up and about by 9am today to kick-start our Kuala Lumpur campaign proper. After a forgettable KFC breakfast meal at Pertama Complex, we made our way to the Bank Negara KTM Station behind Sogo Departmental Store for our rail journey to the Batu Caves. With the completion of the Batu Caves extension line in July 2010, getting to the caves via public transportation was no longer a myth. Located 11km north of Kuala Lumpur city, reaching the caves by KTM Train probably took us more than an hour due to the long waiting intervals in between the spartan schedules. But the wait was relatively fruitful as I spent the time taking random shots of the train station. The train journey itself was comfortable as the modern cars ... read more
Guardian Angel
The steep flight of stairs
At the top

Saturday, 30th April 2011 So there we were at Changi International airport, on the evening of Labour Day long weekend, ready for our short 3-day getaway to Kuala Lumpur. Our initial flight was cancelled, leaving us with no choice but to settle for the 9.55pm flight on the same day. This was as good as losing one full day for our already short vacation. However, given the last minute notice, we had little time to scramble for alternative choices. We decided to go ahead with our travel plans while making some adjustments to our schedule. In the end, this was proven to be a relatively good choice. Our Jetstar flight departed on time and we landed safely at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at around 10.45pm. We were already too familiar with the ground transportation. After moving ... read more
An interesting notice found in our bedroom

Asia » Singapore February 6th 2011

Sunday, 6th February 2011 Chinese New Year took on a special meaning for me this year. The 4.5 days long weekend provided some justice for my sleep-deprived body. More importantly, it provided ample opportunities for me to spend quality time with my family and to catch up with my friends and relatives. There was an influx of home invitations from my friends this year. I treasure such gatherings since there were a few of them whom I had not met for the longest time. For most, I probably had a chance to meet them a couple of times over the course of the year due to weddings, birthdays and some other private functions. I’m not exactly closed to each & every individual but I had fun engaging with them with all the latest gossips while trying ... read more

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