Page 8 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Medan May 13th 2014

Tuesday, 13th May 2014 To make our stay worthwhile in Medan, we scheduled a visit to the historic Tjong A Fie Mansion followed by a lunch at the iconic Tip Top Restaurant. Tjong A Fie was probably one of the richest men who ever lived in this city and this was evident from the luxurious mansion he left behind. The style of his house was quintessentially Peranakan even though one of the rooms was purposely decorated to resemble that of a European Tea Room. The mansion was constructed during the period when Indonesia was under the Dutch Administration. Visits by the European guests could probably be expected from time to time. For 25,000 rupiahs, our admission came with a local guide that brought us around the place. His laissez fair attitude coupled with the monotonous tone ... read more
Lunch at Tip Top Restaurant
An institution of its own
Medan Railway Station

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Medan May 12th 2014

Monday, 12th May 2014 After breakfast this morning, the few of us were ready to leave Lake Toba to embark on our long journey to the city of Medan. As advised by Berend, the helpful owner of our homestay, we decided to enter Medan via the market town of Berastagi. With frequent stops along the way, this would make our long journey less painful and more eventful. We took off to Simarjarunjung, the highest point along Lake Toba where ginger tea and toasted bananas were served at a hotel's café. The drizzling rain did prevent us from venturing outdoors which would otherwise afford a good view of the surroundings on a clear day. The cool winds of the mountains was best appreciated with a nice brew of ginger tea, a specialty from the highlands. Another 60 ... read more
Simpang Si Piso Piso Waterfall
Overlooking Centrpoint Mall, Medan

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba May 11th 2014

Sunday, 11th May 2014 The 3 of us spent the earlier part of our day taking in the beauty of the morning skies as the sun rose over the horizon of Lake Toba. The lake presented itself as the perfect antidote of peace and quiet - a travel wishlist for city dwellers like us. Our idyllic breakfast consisted of both Indonesian and Western favourites. These were served at 7.30am at the balcony of our room. Every breakfast set we ordered came with a nice serving of fruit platter to start our day on a healthy footing. While waiting for the rest of the folks to join us in the afternoon, 3 of us went through a long trek around Tuk Tuk Town. The full circuit took a good 3 hours to complete under the hot sun. ... read more
Healthy breakfast for the day
Holiday chalets, Batak styles
From the top

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba May 10th 2014

Saturday, 10th May 2014 We were missing out on 1 passenger as our Valuair Flight, VF281 made her final descend at the modern Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan. WX had unfortunately missed her flight this morning and it was decided that she would be travelling together with CC & HQ on the following day. So it was left with the 3 of us on day 1 of our programme as we started our long journey from Singapore to Lake Loba. After what must have been more than 40 minutes delay at the Medan customs, we hopped onto the car which would bring us to our destination in about 5 hours. An hour on the road later, our driver dropped us at Restoran Bahagia for our delicious Nasi Padang lunch. The various dishes were neatly laid ... read more
Lunch at Restoran Bahagia
The Kwan Im Temple at Siantar
Our lovely homestay, the Horas Indah

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei » Ximending April 19th 2014

Saturday, 19th April 2014 We started our journey eight days earlier when our Jetstar flight landed at Taoyuan International Airport. We then journeyed along the east coast of Taiwan to cover the beautiful landscapes of Taitung and Yilan counties. Along the way, we stopped by at the historic mining town of Shifen even though none of us were too impressed by the whole experience. After breakfast today, we headed separate ways again where I took the metro to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. I had ample time to browse through the exhibits before catching a glimpse of the hourly Changing of Guards Ceremony at the Main Hall. I couldn't stay for the entire duration as the crowds were slowly building up around me. Heading to the Eslite Bookstore on my final day in the city, ... read more
Taipei City Hall with Taipei 101 at the side

Asia » Taiwan » Yilan County April 18th 2014

Friday, 18th April 2014 For me, this morning started out exactly the same as the previous day - sunrise viewing by the beach followed by a wholesome homemade breakfast at 8am. Today's menu consisted of French toast and potato soup which were nicely done in style and taste. By 10am, it was time for us to bid farewell to our gracious hosts at beautiful Toucheng and Sea Luv Homestay. Our train journey back to the city of Taipei took less than two hours. Before noon, we had arrived at the lobby of City Inn Taipei Station Branch III ready for our check-in. After leaving our luggage at the reception, we rushed off to board the next available train to Shifen, a township famous for its legendary sky lanterns. As cheesy as it sounded, writing down our ... read more
My simple wish
Lovely Japanese food
And our lovely beds at City Inn Taipei Station Branch III

Asia » Taiwan » Yilan County » Jiaoxi April 17th 2014

Thursday, 17th April 2014 "Train travel is always fun and even more so in Taiwan where we had absolutely no difficulties with the spoken language." Our train delay at Wai-ao Station this morning certainly did not dampen our travel plans to Jiaoxi, the hot springs mecca of Yilan County. In fact, we spent a fair bit of our time photographing every single nook and cranny of the train station. Things started to pick up as soon as our train arrived and within 20 minutes, we had set foot on Jiaoxi township, a fairly comfortable place to navigate on foot. The town was littered with numerous hot spring hotels with their eye-popping signboards trying real hard to attract the gaze of visitors. After our foot springs dip and fish spa, I bade farewell to my travel mates ... read more
Jiaoxi, the hot springs mecca
Next stop: Yilan Station
Memorial Hall of Founding of Yilan Administration

Asia » Taiwan » Yilan County April 17th 2014

Thursday, 17th April 2014 I was up and about when the sun made its first appearance at 5.30am this morning. Armed with my camera, I made a beeline to the beach, not wishing to miss out a single moment of the beautiful sunrise over the east coast of Taiwan. The small town was slowly waking up against the very first ray of light over the horizon. My eyes were in for a real treat from mother's nature as I stood by the beach, enjoying that very special moment of the morning. After gazing at the skies for more than an hour, I was back at our homestay ready for breakfast at the charming Sea Luv Café. Breakfast was served with a view of the sea at 8.20 in the morning. For a start, we had a ... read more
Good morning Taiwan
Sea Luv Cafe
Welcoming the first ray of light

Asia » Taiwan » Yilan County April 16th 2014

Wednesday, 16th April 2014 After spending three days in Taitung (with one full day lying on the bed), we were now ready to embark on the next phase of our journey to Yilan. Previously, I had only passed by the county on my way to Hualien. This was our first travel encounter to experience the very best from this part of Taiwan. My body was now fit enough to travel even though the persistent virus did continue on & off over the next two days before it made a full recovery. From Taitung, we travelled 325km north towards Toucheng and arrived after 3.30pm. Kevin, one of the sons from the url= was already waiting for us at the train station. Everyone planning a vacation in Yilan should stay at Sealuv Homestay/ur... read more
Overlooking Turtle Island, Yilan
Our lovely loft overlooking Wai-Ao Beach
Sealuv Cafe

Asia » Taiwan » Taitung April 14th 2014

Monday, 14th April 2014 After a wholesome breakfast at the homestay this morning, we hopped on to the East Coast Tourist Shuttle and arrived at the Sanxiantai (Terrace of the Three Immortals) stop. With temperatures dipping to a low 20 Degrees Celsius, this was a relatively cold day to be at the coast. Having seen countless pictures of Sanxiantai, the next logical move was to see them with our own eyes. As we stood with our eyes closed on top of the wavy bridges that connected to the offshore island, this had a liberating effect on our tired souls. Our next stop at Xiaoyeliu was equally impressive given its unique rock formations. I'd never visited her Taipei cousin but we thoroughly enjoyed this one as we certainly took our time snapping pictures away. The highlight of ... read more
Railway Cultural Park, Taitung
Celebrating the good old days
At the Old Taitung Railway Station

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