26 April 2017

53Hotel 寶島53行館 (Taichung)

Where to stay in Taichung?
Booked 53Hotel due to its convenient location that is within walking distance (5 mins) to Taichung Railway Station. Unknowingly, the hotel is located right opposite of the popular Miyahara 宮原眼科.
Cafe where breakfast is served.
Standard Room (Double bed) 20m²
Room is spacious and comes with the necessary amenities such as the toothbrush, razor, comb, cotton buds, dental floss, soap, shower gel and shampoo.
Laundry service is available at the basement but there isn't lift to the basement, thus you'd need to use the stairs. You'd also need to purchase the washing powder from the lobby counter at NT$30 (comes in a small pack of about 7cm x 5cm). Washing and drying of my clothes took an hour each.
Follow the instructions to wash and dry your clothes
While waiting for the clothes, you can exercise at the gym which is next to the laundry area or visit Miyahara for ice cream.
How to get there?
Address: No. 27 Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung Taiwan 40042
Tel: +886 422206699
Website: www.53hotel.com.tw

Nearest Station: Taichung Railway Station

1) From Taoyuan Airport, we took Kuo Kuang bus no. 1860 to Taichung bus terminal which is located behind Taichung Railway Station and walk to the hotel. Bus ride is about 2.5 hours from the airport.

2) From Taoyuan Airport, take the Taoyuan Airport MRT to Taoyuan HSR Station (15 mins) and change to take the High Speed Rail to Taichung HSR Station (45 mins). Lastly, take the railway from Xinwuri Station to Taichung Station (15 mins) and walk to hotel.
Note: If you have yet to exchange your notes, do change them at the airport. Banks are closed on weekends and main shopping centres in Taichung only exchange USD, JPY, CNY and HKD. Big hotels usually exchange notes for their hotel customers. My last resort was to travel to Taichung Airport to change my notes and rates weren't as good.

19 April 2017

Rainbow Village 彩虹村 (Taichung)

Rainbow Village consists of a few houses painted by Rainbow Grandpa Huang Yung-Fu (彩虹爷爷) with vibrant colours of animals, cute characters, chinese wordings, etc. It is one of the veteran villages which the government deferred the demolition as it became one of the popular attractions in Taichung.
How to get there?
Address: 408 Taichung City, Nantun District, Taiwan
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm
A few options below but I prefer option 3 or 4 as it's faster and economic in getting to Rainbow Village.

1) From bus stop opposite of Taichung Train Station bus stop, take Bus No. 27 and alight at bus stop after Ling Tung University and walk about 10 minutes to Rainbow Village. Bus ride is about 1 hour.

Alight at Bus stop after bus turns left into Lingdong Road.
Walk straight towards Rainbow Village
2) Alternatively, take Bus No. 56 from Gancheng Station to Rainbow Village Lingdong South Road. Bus stops in front of Rainbow Village.

3) Take railway to Xinwuri Railway Station and take Bus No. 56 to Rainbow Village (9 bus stops).
4) Take railway to Xinwuri Railway Station and walk to Taichung HSR to take Bus No. 617 (3 bus stops).
5) Take a cab to Rainbow Village from Taichung city at about NT$300, 15 mins car ride.
Photo Time!
You can buy the magnets, files, badges, coin purses, notebooks, etc for souvenirs.
They are printed with the similar drawings of Rainbow Village.
Getting back to Taichung city?
A few options below but option 3 and 4 are recommended.
1) Take Bus No. 56 from opposite of Rainbow Village back to Gancheng Station.
2) Walk back to where you alight from Bus No. 27 and walk further straight up and turn left to Yongchun South Road. Wait at the bus stop for Bus No. 27 to go back to Taichung city.
3) Take Bus No. 56 at Rainbow Village bus stop to Xinwuri Railway Station and take railway back to Taichung Railway Station (Railway fare NT$15).
4) Take Bus No. 617 at Rainbow Village bus stop to Taichung HSR, walk to Xinwuri Railway Station and take railway back to Taichung Railway Station (Railway fare NT$15).

12 April 2017

Miyahara 宮原眼科 (Taichung)

Miyahara 宮原眼科 was originally an ophthalmic hospital founded by Dr. Miyahara Takekuma during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. Due to earthquake and strong typhoon, the building structure was partially damaged. It was then restored by the famous Dawncake in Taichung, selling ice cream, pineapple tarts, chocolates, etc.
Display wall artwork consists of Taiwanese plum flowers
Choose up to 3 types of ice cream + waffle cup at NT$305
Variety of chocolate ice cream
Different types of fruits ice cream
Array of tea ice cream
Choose up to 3 types of toppings (consists of pineapple tarts, cheesecakes, biscuits, fruits, etc)
You can also purchase the "toppings" in the Miyahara shop in boxes.
My "Eat Me!" ice cream!
Let's bring it back to 53Hotel and indulge.
We came back another day to purchase the pineapple tarts, milk cakes and nougat.
They come in attractive packaging in the form of book and cd.
Very beautiful boxes
We bought the milk cakes, pineapple tarts and a mixture of original, coffee, mango and berries nougat. Due to promotion, we were given 2 cakes and a box of "pencil" biscuits upon reaching an amount of purchased items.
I found that the wordings printed on the packaging of the nougats are quite interesting as they consist of different meanings.
We stayed at 53Hotel which is right opposite of Miyahara 宮原眼科; it was definitely convenient for us to avoid the peak hours. You can either reach Miyahara at 10am or around 8pm to avoid the long queue.

How to get there?
Address: No. 20 Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel: +886 (04)22271927
Miyahara website: www.miyahara.com.tw
Facebook: www.facebook.com/miyahara1927

Check out the buses that stop at Taichung train station and walk to Miyahara.

Nearest Station: Taichung Railway Station
Opening hours: Daily from 10am - 10pm

05 April 2017

Xitou Monster Village 溪頭妖怪村/松林町 (Taichung)

The village was built in 2011 to commemorate the friendship of Kubota (久保田) and Katsuichi Matsubayashi (松林勝一) during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.

How to get there?
Address: No. 2-3 Xingchan Road, Lugu Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 558
Opening hours: 10am - 8pm
1) From Nantou Bus Ticketing located near Gancheng bus stop, take Nantou bus (Bus no. 6883) to reach the Monster Village. One way trip bus fare at NT$158 and takes about 1.5 hours. Do take note of the bus departure timing to avoid long waiting time for the next bus.

Nantou Bus Ticketing
2) From Taichung Railway Station bus stop, take Nantou Bus (Bus no. 6883) to the village. Bus will also stop over at Taichung HSR Station bus stop. 
Once you reach the village, do take a return slip from the counter to reserve the seats at the specific timing. You can pay for the return trip by using Easycard when you board the bus.
From the Xitou Station, walk about 5 minutes to the entrance of Monster Village.

Souvenir shop sells many cute monster designed purses, magnets, key chains and many other items.

Monster noodles

We took about 2 hours to walk around the village before having our lunch at one of the shops.
Ordered pizza and bean curd from the shops.
Pork Pizza 山猪披萨

Bean curd with pearls
The famous buns that are hot from the oven at only 10.30am and 2.30pm from the bakery shop.
On our way back to the Xitou Station.
The last bus will move off at 5.20pm but I'd suggest to come here early so you won't have to wait till the last bus.
If you are intending to stay overnight at the Monster Village, you can make the reservation at Ming Shan Hotel.