Taiwan Trip (29th Sept - 6th Oct 2012) - Days Seven & Eight

Hello hello! (:
Hope your January's has been great so far!

Well, here the last and final post for the Taiwan Trip!
Before I begin, here the posts for the previous days in case you've missed them:

On the 7th day, we wanted to go to the Maokong Gondola 猫空缆车 since it's one of the attractions! We took the MRT to Taipei Zoo 动物园. Upon reaching, we had to take a 10-15 mins walk to the cable car station, where we transfer to the Maokong Gondola 猫空缆车. This was all a part of metro Taipei!

There are 5 stations in total:
1. Taipei Zoo Station 动物园站
2. Taipei Zoo South Station 动物园内站
3. Zhinan Temple Station 指南宫站
4. Maokong Station 猫空站
5. Maokong Gondola Station 猫空缆车

So, we bought a single trip ticket for NT50 (about SGD2) all the way to the Maokong Gondola Station 猫空缆车! There was only Baby and I in the cabin, and we just kept snapping photos all the way. When we reached, we were quite lost, but we saw a shuttle bus station so we headed there. The driver recommended us a few places up on the mountain, and one of them was Zhangshan Temple 樟山寺. We alighted and went to give some offerings. After that we began exploring abit, but realised that most of the places were not open..

Then, we bought another single trip ticket down to Taipei Zoo Station 动物园站 which also costs NT50.
*For information about the ticket prices: click here
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At the Taipei Zoo MRT Station walking towards the cable car

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Single trip tickets!
Oh yes, there are 2 different types of cabins - the Normal one & the Crystal one!
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The Normal cabin we took to the top - Maokong Gondola station!

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View from the cable car!

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More views from the cabin..

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And we reached the top! Zhangshan Temple 樟山寺

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We walked around the vicinity and realized most of the places were closed. Is it because it was a weekday or was it their off day? 
Most of the places are tea houses for visitors to try and buy! It'll be nice if you're a tea lover?

Tip: If you planning to visit this place, do visit this page before you head there, so that you'll know what to do & where to go!
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A tea plantation behind me!
Because most of the shops are tea houses, we took the shuttle bus to the Maokong Station 猫空站 and took the cable car down
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Single trip tickets again! For going down to Taipei Zoo station!
Because we took the Normal cabin when we came up, we took the Crystal cabin down! While waiting, the staff told us that there will only be 1 Crystal cabin after every 6 Normal cabins
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The difference is the floorboard! You can view everything from 360 degrees!
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Yay! Finally inside the Crystal cabin!

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The difference between a Normal cabin & a Crystal cabin is the "eye". Can you spot it?

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Exiting the Maokong Gondola! Bye! It was an amazing experience!
Initially we did not plan to go to the zoo, but this was the only exit out of the station. So we had no choice but to purchase the ticket to the zoo from the counter at the exit. It costs NT50 + NT10 (that's only about SGD3! The tickets to Singapore Zoo is 10 times the price!) for the shuttle bus from the Taipei Zoo station to the Taipei zoo entrance.
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See the bus there? That's the zoo shuttle!

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Zoo tickets and maps!

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Some birds we saw, put into a college to save time & space!

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Inside the Amphabian and Reptile house, we saw snakes, lizards, and alot of tortises!
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Had this while we were there! Not bad!

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Penguin house!

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Cute penguins!



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Ready-to-eat meals for lunch  from the convenience store again! I love Taipei's convenience stores!
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Handsome horse!
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We went to see pandas too! 
The pandas in Taipei are called Tuan Tuan 团团 and Yuan Yuan 圆圆! Even the names are so cute!
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Panda!
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Major adorable! I wanna bring it home! It's so cute!
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And there was a Koala enclosure too! But they were sleeping! So nothing much! 

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Hehe, baby bought a panda toy for me. Because I kept telling him how cute the pandas were. And I think he got my message. LOL.

Then we left the zoo and headed to our next destination, Taipei 101! Actually there were still alot of animals that we did not see as there was not enough time! At this point it started raining!

We took the MRT to City Hall 市政府, and followed the directions on the signboards, exit the station and headed to a bus stop where there was a free bus ride to and fro Taipei 101 at intervals.
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Us with the big big banner!

We did not go up the tower, because of the super long queue! There was alot of tour groups that day we went! :( But we went for Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰! It was cheap and good!

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What we ordered: Xiao Long Bao 小龙包, Shrimp & Pork Pot Stickers 虾肉煎绞,  Steamed Shrimp & Pork Dumplings  虾肉蒸绞, Steamed Sticky Rice & Ground Pork Shaomai 糯肉烧卖, Steamed Red Bean Dumplings 豆沙小龙包 (dessert 甜品) 
All information from Din Tai Fung's (Taiwan) website: here
After that, we headed to Wufenpu 五分埔, Taipei's largest wholesale centre. However, surprisingly, I found their things to be quite expensive, in fact the things in Shilin's Night Market 士林夜市 were cheaper! I did get some accessories however. Anyways, we did not spend alot of time in Wufenpu because we wanted to get a haircut + hairwash in Taiwan before we go back to Singapore!

So, we headed back to Ximending 西门盯 and looked for salons to cut our hair. In the end, we settled for PS25 Hair Studio. I cannot remember how much they charged us for their services, but I do remember that it was only SLIGHTLY cheaper than Singapore's.

So here's how we look after our haircut + hair styling! What do you guys think?
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Baby also wanted to try the steamboat in Taiwan before heading back. So after doing our hair, we saw a restaurant nearby that had a promotion for NT199 (about SGD9) for a hotpot. So we went there and tried their steamboat.

The steamboat was not bad, ingredients were quite fresh. Portion was just right for 1 person. 
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Our mini steamboat dinner
After having our fill, we did some last minute shopping before heading back to our hotel. I bought myself some masks and shoes. I only realized I forgot to snap a picture of our loots after we have stuffed them into our luggage! 

The next morning, which was Day 8, our last day in Taiwan.
I suggested that we try some local Taiwan breakfast 豆浆油条 since we are there!

We went around and saw a coffeeshop selling breakfast, and we ordered soy milk, Xiao Long Bao, some egg wraps, onion pancakes 葱油饼 (taste and looks like roti prata).. 
Very yummy!
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Our yummy and cheap breakfast on the last day!
After breakfast, we headed back to our hotel and prepared for check-out. Then we took a train to Taipei Main Station 台北车站 to take a bus to Taoyuan International Airport.
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Air Tickets!
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Settled our lunch in a restaurant after check-in
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On the plane back to Singapore! :(

Bye Taiwan! I hope I'll be able to visit you again someday!
Well, one more place checked off my must-visit countries!

To conclude, it was such a wonderful, but tiring trip! (:

You should visit Taiwan too if you haven't!

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