Tai Chung

hi! (: sorry for the hiatus in blogging about my taiwan trip! haha now that i’m back from europe, i’ve got yet another trip to blog about :P not that I’m complaining! ^^ i’m really glad that i could go on so many grad trips :))
shall start my entire series of taiwan (detailed) posts with Tai Chung – we started our grad trip here, and it was really quite a relaxing change to be away from the hustle and bustle of a city (especially since we’d just ended exams). while Tai Chung does have some sort of a city centre, it’s not very developed and there is just this whole “ruggedness” about the place. we only spent a night in the city though, so i don’t have much to say about it. but the highlight was going to our FIRST NIGHT MARKET!!!! *yay!!* we were so excited to check out Fengjia Night Market 逢甲夜市 also because it was known to be one of the top night markets in Taiwan! and after my entire trip of exploring numerous night markets in taiwan, i’ve got to agree that it’s absolutely true! probably kinda biased too  because it was our first experience with a night market. but still….it’s GOOD!
super crowded!!! i think we went there quite early, around 5.30/6pm? awesome that there were stalls already open then ^^
first stall we came across was this! haha actually i can’t really remember exactly what this was, but i think it was the pepper bun 胡椒饼 that is also very popular at the Raohe Night Market 饒河夜市. it was piping hot! and quite interesting, but don’t think we were huge fans of it haha. it was, in Sam’s words, “ok la”. 
this was some cheesy chicken thing! which was quite nice ^^ look out for the stall name in the pic
Sam’s favourite fried prawn! it’s grilled/fried till the ENTIRE prawn is crisp and you can eat the thing whole, including the tail, shell and head :O i didn’t try it, but Sam absolutely loves it and it comes with lots of different seasonings which sound really interesting!
this golden squid is a MUST TRYYYYY. the squid-alternative to the prawn above. i love it!!!!! so much easier to eat haha. and it comes with all sorts of seasoning too. we went for the simplest salt & pepper flavour, and it was SO GOOD.
after all the sinful fried food, we were dying for a drink!!! and we’re such suckers for nice packaging ^^ hahaha. this box tea is so adorable!! and i’ve gotta say it tastes quite nice too :) super refreshing and clears up all the oil after munching on all the street food. 
Da chang bao xiao chang 大腸包小腸 is another popular item to order! though it actually appears in most of the night markets, but idk why it was recommended for Fengjia. anyway, it’s definitely one of those must-try items in ANY of the night markets (wherever you can find it) because i think it’s quite a signature taiwan street food! basically it’s a chinese sausage wrapped in glutinous rice. personally i’m not that crazy over it because i’d much rather eat the sausage on its own! ;) hehe.
cheesy potato with bacon on top! also one of those recommended items for Fengjia. and superrrrr sinful as you can see from all the oozy cheese :x it was pretty good though! AAAAAND for all this food (and more), we spend about SGD$20 in total. taiwan food prices (Y)
 next day we went up to Cingjing farm 情境農場. and as you can see, the weather was terribly foggy >.< 
this was taken at a rest area where our van was parked. so pretty!
there were some shops there (selling lavender stuff!!!) and i bought bath salts there ^^ yayyyy. which reminds me i haven’t actually used them yet :P oops…
we visited the Little Swiss Garden 小瑞士花圜! kinda sad that it was so foggy :((( we had to pay to go in somemore (students with ID: NT$90, adults: NT$120). if not it would have looked even prettier!!! sk edited the pics very well ^^ (thanks babe! and i koped quite a lot of your photos cos i’m too lazy to edit mine haha)
**random tip: for students, bring some sort of student identification with you! most of the attractions have student rates :)
popped into Carton King just to take pictures with their really interesting creations! entry is free, and it’s really quite incredible to see what can be made out of cardboard boxes 
the weather at Green Green Grassland 青青草原 was even worse!!!!!! :'( like where was the 青青草原??!! couldn’t see ANYTHING. we were supposed to watch the sheep shearing performance and this was all we could see at the start. O.O 
thankfully, the weather cleared up just in time for the show!! :) really glad for that :’) it was amazing. haha we literally saw the fog being blown away. and it was slightly less cold. and we were actually all excited to explore the 青青草原. unfortunately it crept back on us towards the end of the show >.< you can google to see how the place looks in nicer weather. we didn't really explore it in the end sadly…but in the sunlight, this place could almost pass off as new zealand! :) with all the sheep hehe. the sheep performance was surprisingly entertaining! and gotta say that the taiwanese in general are just great at hosting ;) another horse show we watched at the same place was pretty boring though. Prices for students with ID: NT$120 and adults: NT$160. i think it would be really worth it if the weather is good and you'll probably spend lots of time just walking around and enjoying the scenery ^^ (same for the Little Swiss Garden above! we really enjoyed them, even in the bad weather :))
as mentioned, lots of places to take photos ;) 
OH YES. and the Green Green Grassland had the BEST TAIWAN SAUSAGES EVER!!!!! you have to eat it when you’re there! look out for that stall behind us. 山猪香肠 – it was so damn good. we bought two for all of us to share at first. then sk decided that she wanted one on her own. then sam. and then all of us decided to buy more of it, cos it was SO ADDICTIVE. idk what is it about the 山猪 haha. i would have thought that the meat would be more tough! but NO. it was so juicy and succulent and bursting with delicious sinful (but who cares) flavour. the aroma itself was enough to make us drool.
we stayed in a minsu on top of the mountain, and i believe that is the BEST way to have the full experience of Cingjing! :))) waking up to this view is love :’) 
next day we took a boat out to Sun Moon Lake 日月潭. the weather was beautiful that day! :)) i can’t remember how much we payed for the ferry. it seems like there is no exact place to buy the tickets, but rather there are people hawking everywhere in that area, and i think they generally offer the same price. we were ambushed the moment we stepped out of our van O.o and we just took the deal. basically it’s a boat ride around the lake with stops at 2 “islands” (idk how to describe it haha). 
the first stop was to eat the really famous tea leaf egg 茶叶蛋! i don’t really recall when is the last time i ate tea leaf egg, but this was REALLY good. it deliciously fragrant, and every mouthful had a really distinct essence of the tea and herbs.
and this was the crazy queue for the egg. goodness. plus the fact that it’s made up 80% of ATs who are always trying to cut the queue, it was quite a horrendous experience. but since we were already there, we decided to just queue anyway! and it was worth it ^^ but next time, please buy a few more eggs each. hahaha.
second stop had nothing much. mostly a street of food, which wasn’t that great. but love this picture of us anyway!!!! ^^ we look so happy :) and we totally have the ‘we’re-going-to-sail-off-for-a-holiday-on-our-private-yacht’ feel. hahaha <3
yay end of my first detailed post! hope it wasn’t too boring :x thanks for reading :)
other taiwan blog posts:
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