That’s how my day started.
The rain was so horrifically torrential that I skidded on the path outside my apartment and grazed half of my leg and landed awkwardly, and painfully, on my left hand. (It still hurts now, 10 hours later 😢)
I also had to give in and buy an umbrella, which I inconveniently left in my friends car!
I made it to the bus station and attempted to buy my ticket in Chinese. I managed the first bit, until she asked me if I wanted a seated or standing ticket and I really didn’t have a clue what she was saying.
Our conversation then went like this:
Me: Ni hui shuo yingwen ma? (Can you speak English)
Her: a little
You want stand up ticket?
Me: no, seat please
Her: no! Stand up ticket
Me: okay, stand up ticket.
Straightening my hair was a complete waste of time and the effect lasted about 20 minutes… ugh.
The train into the city centre is extremely easy and only takes 12 minutes, it costs about 50p a trip. 50p!!!! And thankfully my friend came to meet me at the main station. I was worried about standing up for the journey to Taichung but she had kindly bought me a ticket yesterday, which meant we got to sit together! And, she was able to refund the ticket I’d bought this morning. It was just SO EASY.
The train journey was beautiful. There was so much nature, traditional houses, fascinating buildings… it was lovely. And surprisingly people were really quiet. No one was shouting or talking on their phones and it was a really pleasant trip. It took an hour and five minutes so it’s not far at all.
The further down we got, the better the weather became and once we arrived there were clear blue skies and not a raindrop in sight. Which also meant I was bloody boiling in my jeans!
ChiaoYun came to pick us up in the car, which was great because she obviously knew exactly where to go and it was much easier than me trying to find my way around. Taichung is completely unrecognisable from my last visit 15 years ago. I’d never have known it was the same city!
We walked around the market streets, which are brilliant in the day time! And got bubble tea (珍珠奶茶) and the girls also got chicken 🐓
before we went to this amazing restaurant called Jai 宅 – Although we had to wait 40 minutes for a seat, it was worth it. It’s a selfie paradise and everything is decorated in flowers or other little things. I didn’t look or feel my best, so I didn’t take selfies, but we took a few group photos.
We wandered around passed bookstores, contact lenses stands (you can buy them like sweets here) and tonnes of food stalls! And after checking #台中咖啡 on instagram we found FUXING COFFEE.
Check out what we ordered: ($690 in total, £17!)
Then we went to the train station, refunded my NO SEAT ticket and then bought a bus ticket instead. The bus ticket was £1 cheaper and an hour longer, but I had a seat and air con so it was worth the change!
I decided to enjoy the cool air and walk home from the station in Hsinchu, stopping at Poya (an everything store) to buy soap, face wash and more stickers…
I’m now sat in bed eating pot noodles before I read and go to bed. I’m exhausted and it’s fair to say I’ve had a brilliant day in Taichung thanks to my lovely friends!
Top tips for travelling around Taiwan
- Always have a small umbrella or rain coat with you (the rain comes out of nowhere, fast!)
- Always carry a packet of tissues and / or wet wipes
- Always carry a bottle of anti-bac hand gel
- Be prepared for no western toilets, although this is rarely an issue these days.
- If you take a long distance bus, keep your ticket!! The drivers collect it from you before you get off the bus. My driver was furious I’d lost it! Woops!
Happy Sunday all xo