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  1. Taiwan Day 3 and 4 : Kaohsiung

    Thursday, 7 June 2012

    Day 3
    It's the beginning of Day 3 and we're moving north today. After a simple breakfast at Magical Kitchen (a small eatery just 3 minutes from Minimi - refer to previous post on Kenting) we checked out and waited for our ride. Due to some miscommunication, our departure was delayed by almost an hour. Nevertheless we still set off at great speed towards Kaohsiung, which would be an hour and 30 minutes away. We were sharing the taxi with another couple and a mother with 2 kids. Sheena managed to coax the baby to sleep! Isn't she capable and isn't the baby EXTREMELY cute?

    We reached Mirador hotel at about 1 pm, and they prepared the room beforehand as we requested for early check in. The hotel is located around 5-8min walk from Xin Jue Jiang shopping district. We stayed on level 6 and got a corner room just as requested. The cafe and garden was just a level below us. The room was clean and spacious and the toilet definitely met my expectations. For 82 SGD per night, the hotel was definitely value for money. 
    One thing about Mirador is about their hearty breakfast! It comes in a set, and their vegetarian option tastes really good too! I was really surprised when the veggie option came with ham (V) as I have never eaten meat (V) in hotels before. You can choose either Chinese or Western breakfast. My boy and I had Western for both days as we're not a big fan of having porridge in the morning. The breakfast differs slightly by changing one of the small dishes. Another plus point was that the cafe was located right beside the garden! The door to the garden closes at 10pm, so you can bring food into the garden during evening time for dinner too! :D Oh, and did I mention, they have a bench in the lift too!

    Back to our 3rd day, we asked the helpful staff for directions for the nearest vegetarian stall after we checked in, and we found one snuck away on Zhong Xiao Er Lu 忠孝二路.
    It's a simple stall that looks kinda worn down, but the seating area looks clean and tidy thus we decided to give it a try. There are also several vegetarian stalls down the street but the variety of food that was sold was relatively lesser compared to the one we chose. Cost of our lunch: 90NT! :D
    After lunch, we made our way to 新崛江 Xin Jue Jiang and 玉竹商圈 Yu Zhu Shang Quan for shopping! We've been there last June when we visited TW with a tour group. I remembered buying really good quality clothings and shoes there. There's a mixture of both female and male apparels there that are catered mostly to youths. Guys be prepared that Taiwan shirts have smaller cutting, and most shops don't have fitting rooms, so make some measurements before your purchase. For ladies, if your size is between UK 6-8, you would be able to fit it most apparels. Some tees are of smaller sizes and can only fit perhaps UK 4-6. XJJ & YZSQ isn't a very big place, it'll probably take around 3 hours to complete the place as some shops sell almost the same items. 
    There's a mobile soya bean curd cart around the area too. I'm a big fan of soya bean so I decided to get it as I saw several locals getting it too. I would have chosen red bean flavour but because I wanted to share with my boy (who dislikes red bean), I bought peanut flavour instead. The other flavours include barley, green bean and you have an option of hot/cold too.

    The bean curd was really soft, and it wasn't too sweet too. If you prefer the normal sugar level from places like Mr Bean, perhaps you should ask more more sugar. Also, unless you're really hungry, get the small cup instead. It's really filling if you order the large cup. I'm not a big fan of the various topping s like red beans and so, but I must say the vendor was really generous with it!
    We went back to our hotel to rest our feet and removed our shopping loots from our bags before leaving for 六合夜市 Liu He Night Market. This place requires us to train down to Formosa Boulevard Station (1 station away from Central Park). Kaohsiung has their own metro system, and since it was evening time already, we decided to buy their token instead of travel cards for that night. We bought their travel cards, which gave unlimited rides on the MRT for 2 days (230 NTD each) on the following day. 

    六合夜市 Liu He Night Market
    Just like many other night markets, Liu He gets crowded at around 7pm. Both locals and foreigners would visit this place. Its a long stretch down, so take your time to explore the street. Don't get too full from the start! (:

    I must say, the potato and cheese bun is absolutely fantastic, the cheese is so stringy and the bun just tastes so good. I would have a lot of those if not for the fact that I had to save my tummy for the various goodies which lay in store. Only 35 NTD, don't miss it!

    Just beside the stall selling the cheese bun is this stall selling Pepper Meat buns. Long queue, and it also costs 35 NTD, and there's a reason for the long queue. Tasty pork with some veggies (couldn't tell as I suck at vegetable identification) in a baked bun, it's a winner's combination.

    Korean BBQ chicken (50 NTD) is also readily available, try those with more people queueing, although it's not a totally awesome dish, it's still more tasty, and cheaper than those found in Singapore.

    One dish that deserves mention is the Quail Egg with shrimp. Although I've had quail egg many times it's the first time I had one with shrimp. The combination is interesting, and the topping of wasabi makes it great! Only 50 NTD for a box full of happiness.
    After all the savoury food, we got mango ice blended to drink. The drink was terrible even though it looks delicious. The mango taste was really weak, and there were countless strands of mango fibre (not sure what is was) that we had to keep picking them out as we drank. We threw it away after a few mouthfuls
    After dinner, we visited the Dome of Light which is located inside Formosa Boulevard station. The ceiling glass art is located in the centre of the station. Nothing much though. Took a few pictures and we left, returning to the hotel.

    Day 4
    After our breakfast, we set off to Dream Mall 统一梦时代购物中心 (nearest MRT station: Kaisyuan). You can take their free shuttle bus 接驳车 from the MRT station to the shopping mall. The shuttle bus begins their service at 11am on weekdays and 10.30am on weekends/public holidays. There are signs showing you the pick-up point from the MRT. There are a few taxis waiting around the area offering 80NT to send you to Dream Mall, unless you're in a rush, you should wait for the bus which comes in every 10-15min and would bring you to the destination in around 10min. The maximum number of passengers that the bus carries is about 20.
    Dream Mall is a huge shopping mall, selling relatively expensive and branded items. There is a total of 9 floors plus the roof level which has an amusement park with their biggest ferries wheel. We explored the place for awhile before spending most of our time in their arcade. We then had lunch in their food court as the food on the higher levels were much more expensive.

    There are no vegetarian options in the food court except for a stall which sells fruity omelette rice. However, I personally do not like such sweet stuff for lunch so I had Japanese Curry and Omelette Rice with Keroke (my boy took the keroke). He had another Japanese Curry and Omelette Rice from another stall. Both curries tasted similar and the prices were almost the same at ~160-180NT.

    After lunch, we explored to roof level. It's a great place to bring children as the ferries wheel have cartoon characters printed on it. The roller coaster there is also children-friendly, going at rather slow speed. However, because the weather was really sunny, we decided to give the place a miss and come back in the evening instead. The ferries wheel ride costs us 120NT per pax as showed our local student pass (150NT for adults). The ride was fairly short, maximum 10min, but the view was quite nice as we went up around evening time to see the sunset.
    I really like My Melody! :D

    Thereafter, we also purchased the photo (costs 200NT) that we took before we went up the ride. Do note that there will be a photo taken as well while you're on the ride. It'll be taken when the car is around 3/4 near the finishing point. There will be an announcement but it's better to get ready before that so that the shot can be taken nicely.
    Once Dream Mall was conquered, we left for Pier 2 Art Centre 艺术 & Love Pier 爱码头. These 2 places are located around 10min walk from Yanchengpu Station. There are signs directing you to these places from the MRT. 

    The pathway along the harbour is filled with modern art sculptures, statues and decorated building. If you're a modern art fan, do drop by here to explore the surroundings. There are also several museums and galleries around the area too. Pretty interesting and creative work available for photos.

    Continue to walk along the path and you'll find yourself reach the Love Pier in ~15-20min. From my research, the place is usually more crowded on weekends as there are more cruises then. Also, the night time scene is nicer as the lights along the river will start to light up. There are several cafes if you walk even further down and you can take a short break there with a cup of coffee and some desserts.

    Dream mall has a "Duck tours" operating which comes down this river too, so it's another option if you want to explore this area.

    Our Kaohsiung stay wouldn't be complete without a visit to 瑞丰夜市 Rui Feng Night Market which is located at Kaohsiung Arena station. Similarly, there are signs to bring you there and it's only perhaps 5 min walk from the MRT station.
    Well, according to the LED screen located right above the night market, the stalls are only opened on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, do arrange your visits at the right time! (:
    The pork rice roll left me speechless. I saw it a couple of times under the name of 黄金卷 or Golden Roll, but didn't dare to try. It looked unappetizing when it's uncooked, but when the pork sizzles on the hot pan, until it turns a crispy bacon brown, you know it's going to be good. There are a few choices of sauces to go with your rice roll; I chose wasabi but with the flavour of the rice roll, I doubt any sauce would go wrong. It's available at 55 NTD, and I want to eat it again and again! It's pretty filling due to the rice, so it's best shared amongst friends if you want to try other stuff.

    The QQ ball was really good! We didn't try it when we saw stalls selling it in Kenting and we decided to buy it as there was a queue from the start when we entered Rui Feng and when we were about to leave. And yes, it was really nice! QQ ball is made of tapioca, and its crispy on the outside and really chewy on the inside! Must try! :D 

    The fried pork ribs were sweet and proved a great dish when combined with their seasonings. There are quite a few stalls selling this dish and don't worry if you miss out, you can definitely find another stall selling this night snack.

    The cheese tofu was really nice, the owner sprinkled cheese over the outer layer of the fried tofu and added cheese sauce generously over the tofu. Really yummy! :D The tofu was pretty fresh, and although it's your usual chinese silk tofu which doesn't have much taste on its own, it balances with the fried outer layer and the cheese. 

    As for the Bonita's 脆薯 (fries), we tried it because the stall really looks colourful and there were a long list of sauces that we could try. We chose the honey wasabi sauce as my boy loves wasabi. Don't worry if you're not a big fan of wasabi as the wasabi taste is covered by the sweet taste from the honey. It's really a good combi! The fries itself tasted really nice so thumbs up! :D

    If you see stalls that have sitting space but deserted during peak hours, avoid them as the stall is empty for good reason. We did give one stall (braised pork rice) a try and the pork was really little. We weren't sure whether it was because we are tourists, bu nevertheless, avoid patronizing them! 

    With that we have come to the end of our Kaohsiung stay! Feel free to drop us questions and stay tune for our Taichung post! (:

  2. 3 comments:

    1. Anonymous said...

      I'm planning to visit Taiwan this April and only have time to squeeze in 1 night for Kaohsiung.
      In your opinion, which is better in terms of food and some shopping, Liuhe or Ruifeng night market?

    2. Hi there, sorry for the late reply... :/

      There's very lil shopping to do at both places, but in terms of food, we prefer Ruifeng to Liuhe! Do take note that Ruifeng is only opened on some days ya.. (:

    3. Anonymous said...


      Just happened to saw your blog while I am searching for Mirador's reviews.

      Can I check with you how do you book the Mirador Garden Hotel?

      Do you have their email?

      Thank you.

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