Rockstar in Taipei (Part 1)

This ain’t a spur of the moment thing, this trip took years of wishing and hoping that they’d lift the visa policy for Filipinos. And when they did, it took another year of dreaming before the trip actually came to life. So we basically decided to schedule the trip during their National Day, also known as Double Ten which happens every October 10. We thought it’d be the best time coz it would mean we’ll get to see their military parade and some fireworks.

Here’s the suggested best time to travel considering the weather, the temperature and rainfall to be specific.

So before we left, we had everything planned out including a “five days” itinerary. We figured it will come in handy when we go through immigration. We booked several activities in Klook which was very helpful, I’d highly recommend the ads I posted on this page coz we actually tried them out. We grabbed the wifi from their kiosk at the airport and then headed to our hostel.

Klook.com(function(d, sc, u) { var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = u; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); })(document, ‘script’, ‘//cdn.klook.com/affiliate_web/s/dist/desktop/affiliate_base_v3.js’)     Klook.com(function(d, sc, u) { var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = u; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); })(document, ‘script’, ‘//cdn.klook.com/affiliate_web/s/dist/desktop/affiliate_base_v3.js’)

We stayed at Mono’tel Shilin Hostel which was just a few steps from the Shilin Night Market. The place is very clean and the staff actually speak English and were very friendly. It’s also a very close walk to the Jiantan MRT stop. And there’s a 7/11 store and a cafe right outside the hostel. If you want something familiar to the taste buds, KFC is a 2-minute walk.

So for our first day, it was pretty late when we settled at the hostel so we just went around the Shilin Night Market and grabbed dinner. Taiwan is all about night markets and Shilin is one of the largest night market. Actually nakakatuwa yung area coz it’s alive at night until dawn but during mornings until around mga 4pm, halos lahat ng stores closed! We tried their infamous stinky tofu, my God! Don’t every try it unless adventurous yung ilong and tyan mo. The smell will stick on your nostrils for hours, it’s not funny at all.

Their night markets are amazing. Just try new things and you might be surprised that you actually like them. The next day was packed with activities. We headed to the Maokong Gondola, some temples and the Taipei zoo.

Klook.com(function(d, sc, u) { var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = u; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); })(document, ‘script’, ‘//cdn.klook.com/affiliate_web/s/dist/desktop/affiliate_base_v3.js’)     Klook.com(function(d, sc, u) { var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = u; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); })(document, ‘script’, ‘//cdn.klook.com/affiliate_web/s/dist/desktop/affiliate_base_v3.js’)

The Gondola is right where the zoo is so if you want to do both, we’d suggest you start early. Their zoo is huge, divided into animal categories. This was a day of walking for us, if you want to do the same thing, please wear comfy shoes and bring water. There are drinking fountains all over the zoo you can refill your water bottle. We started off with the gondola, we had the one with the glass floor. It was amazing to see the forest right below your feet! If you’re scared of heights, choose the non-glass floor one. We also visited the temples around the area. Then we explored their huge zoo, we couldn’t check out everything so we only stopped at the animals we were interested in such as the panda.

It was a long day, the next day we were all looking forward to the festivities of Double Ten.

Until next post.

Cliff House Valencia

Chillin’ at the Cliff House

Cliff House Valencia

Just another lazy afternoon at the Cliff House in Valencia. We’ve seen several Facebook posts featuring this place we decided to check it out. Cliff House is being hosted by Jenny at Airbnb (check the property in Airbnb here). It had great reviews in Airbnb and Facebook so we decided to check this out. This property is booked most of the time and luckily we were able to grab an available weekend. Xavy spent weeks checking Google maps surrounding the property that when we actually drove to this place, I didn’t have to check my phone for directions anymore, he became my guide.

Klook.com(function(d, sc, u) { var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = u; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); })(document, ‘script’, ‘//cdn.klook.com/affiliate_web/s/dist/desktop/affiliate_base_v3.js’)   Klook.com(function(d, sc, u) { var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = u; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); })(document, ‘script’, ‘//cdn.klook.com/affiliate_web/s/dist/desktop/affiliate_base_v3.js’)

Cliff House is actually a small apartment that’s perched dramatically near a cliff with stunning views of a jungle valley and clear stream. Not only you can stay overnight but you can also dine here. It’s a small place so not ideal for big groups. But you can arrange with Jenny ahead of time so she can make arrangements.

How to get there:

From Dumaguete, head to Valencia. From Valencia, take the road leading to the Forrest Camp and continue all the way to the junction of Casaroro Falls and Japanese Shrine. A few meters before the junction is green gate on the right side. Unfortunately there are no signs outside the property so you have to watch out for it. It’s about 10 minutes ride up from Forrest Camp, the road is well paved.

Klook.com(function(d, sc, u) { var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = u; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); })(document, ‘script’, ‘//cdn.klook.com/affiliate_web/s/dist/desktop/affiliate_base_v3.js’)    Klook.com(function(d, sc, u) { var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = u; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); })(document, ‘script’, ‘//cdn.klook.com/affiliate_web/s/dist/desktop/affiliate_base_v3.js’)

Things to do:

You can dine at the Cliff House. Their food is affordable and is actually good. Some of their servings is good for more than one person so you have to check before you order too much. If you’re staying overnight, the place is really cold since it’s all near the forest, sometimes it’s covered in fog so it’s amazing for photos if that’s what you’re into. It’s a place to unwind, away from the city life. You can enjoy a book and some coffee. You can also just enjoy a Netflix movie if you want (yes they have free wifi for guests staying overnight).

We’re actually going back a few months from now, to spend a quiet weekend. So yes, this is highly recommended if you’re looking to spend a quiet night.

Quick getaway at Azalea Mountain Inn

We took a few hours off from city life and took the off beaten path to this restaurant perched 200+ meters above sea level on a mountain slope overlooking the town of San Jose (I can only guess :P). Azalea is a quiet getaway. It’s located the same route going to Alimyon and Lake Balinsasayao. The place is not crowded, very few customers so it’s a great choice if you need to just drown in a book and some coffee. The menu is not wide, the prices are fairly acceptable. We had their banana cake and it was okay. Xavy loved the view and so did we.

How to get there:

Take the national highway from the city (Dumaguete) heading North. After around 14 kms (a few minutes after Sibulan proper), you’ll see the big sign on the left side of the highway saying “Twin Lakes (Balinsasayao and Danao)”. Take a left on this junction, heading to the mountain side. You will see Azalea on your left about 5.2 kms from the junction. About 8 kms further up the mountain takes you to Lake Balinsasayao.

Buko shake in a bottle

For 25 or 35 bucks, you can cool it down with buko shake in a bottle. And for a minimum order of a 100 bucks, you can have it delivered to your office. And this summer, it can be heaven just to feel that cold and tasty buko in your mouth. Okay, I sound like a radio ad already!

But seriously, you can text Misty and have it delivered to the office. You can have it with or without sugar. Trust me, definitely beats having to fall in line at that Buko Juice stand at Robinsons.