Planned to go 故宫on Day 4 since Phil reached Taiwan and he had wanted to go there as well.
The location (剑潭station) of our accommodation was real good (though I cannot say the same about 不瓜 which reduced the fun we had during our Taiwan Trip). It was only a few stops to 故宫train station. From there we took a bus "故宫"(or "304") at the stop near the Watson's actually we can take a bus from 剑潭too but we didn't realized at that time. We also concluded that bus drivers are not of good manners too.
This place is like damn big..... Dam~~~~~~~~~~n big~! If you are really interested to go there and see all the exhibitions and rooms, you may have to allocate the whole day or more than 1 day there. Our tickets were free, got them from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau in Singapore. If you are planning to go there, just bring your flight itinerary and proof of accommodation (e.g email print outs) for all travelers and they will have packs of goodies like free tickets and sometimes the EZ card for each traveller. (for our August trip, we again got tickets to 故宫 and also tickets to an amusement park, 小人国)
We rented these machines which you can hold and listen to explanation and a short history of certain artifacts exhibited. It cost NT100 for rental and you can choose over the counter the language you want.
Its best to go there early in the morning and start from the third floor for the exhibits there, slowly go to lower floors. That's because by mid morning, Tourists from China will be there by bus loads. The din they make and the way they push you away from the exhibits make sure that you won't be able to see or hear anything at all. They too, will start from third floor, if you use the method I suggested, you can reach either 2nd or 1st floor before they got there. They were so~~~~~ irritating as they get in the way where ever we went, who says you can scream your heart out in museums??? (even though they called that "talking"). Totally spoiling our experience at 故宫 so Claire, Haoren and I left the place at mid noon for our lunch. So sian ... why do we have to be swamped by them even in Taiwan???? Oh by the way, no photography or videography inside, so no pics~!
Went to 五分铺after 故宫... its at 后山埤station. Of course, we've got no time or mood to take photos there! (lolx) So no photos too. Though I must say, actually 士林夜市is a better place to shop if you are buying things for yourself and not for retail. The price range at 五分铺is not all that trilling if you are only buying 1 piece per item. You can't really bargain with them much. Since the shops there got their stocks from almost the same factory, they looked about alike too.
Tried the 鲁肉饭at 胡须张. Each bowl cost NT20 but it doesn't really taste as good as we heard. The sauce doesn't 到味 at all and all the rest of the dishes were too salty. Later on I will introduce a better shop at 台北地下街where although the 鲁肉饭is NT5 more expensive, you will think its total~~~~ly value for money.
These are the things we bought at 五分铺. Looks like alot but actually its not as this pile belonged to 2 pax.
to be continued .....