Xiaowulai Skywalk 小乌来天空步道

A little exploration to Xiaowulai skywalk, a 11 meter extended glass platform at a 70 meter height above the bottom of the waterfall located at Taoyuan Fuhsing Township. The glass platform is with a view of the waterfall right below your feet. The skywalk can withstand total weight of 4 ton, about 100 people. This is the first of its kind in Taiwan.

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Journey starts out from taking the Metro to Taipei Main Station 台北车站. Take the exit towards Taipei Station ground floor. Follow the M3 exit towards a sign that says Station main floor.

Taipei Station Ground Floor

Taipei Station Ground Floor

A normal train ticket at TWD66 per way gets you to Taoyuan Train Station 桃园火车站. They may tell you that you may need to stand after certain station. You can decide whether to proceed with the transaction. The trip is about 30 minutes.

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Upon arrival at Taoyuan Train Station, exit and turn right, following the pedestrian walkway towards FE21 (Far East Departmental Store 远东百货). If there are not too many people, you can spot this sign that guides you.

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Before reaching the entrance of the Store, take the underground walkway on your right. It has a name called Yan Ping Underground Walkway 延平地下道. There may be people selling things in the underground and you may notice that there are many foreigners.

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Exit the underground walkway and go straight. You’ll be surprised that you see many non-Taiwanese shops along that road. It’s like a indochina area. Continue straight until you see Taoyuan Bus Station 桃園客運總站. There’s where you want to go!

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Enter the terminal and look for the pillar with a label that says “502 Xiaowulai Shuttle Bus – Ticket Office (502 小烏來線 - 售票處)” and get your ticket at TWD150 each.

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After you purchased your ticket, when it’s about time or when you see there are many people already queuing, queue in front of the Xiaowulai sign.

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Your ticket allows you to do unlimited travel for the whole day along the whole Xiaowulai line. What we did was to go straight to Xiaowulai without stopping, while the bus driver will briefly explain what each stop has to see. You can then decide later at which stop you would like to alight to explore more when you return. You may interchange with some other line at some stations. You cannot hop on to that other line’s bus other than the Xiaowulai line that you bought.

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Request a time schedule from the ticket counter. Otherwise, check out the brief time schedule at each stop and plan your time. This only shows the time of departure from the first and last station. You can also see the detailed time schedule for each stop in the bus or ask the bus driver. The first bus departs from Taoyuan is 8.30 am and last bus departs from Xiaowulai is 5.10 pm.

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Once you arrived at Xiaowulai, follow the sign to the ticket counter. At the same time you can start enjoying and exploring the place. There are people selling fruits, food and drinks along the way. Prices may vary about TWD5 for the same item.

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Alongside of the wooden walkway is a very clear river with bluish green colour. It’s a refreshing walk.

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Upon arriving at the ticket office, check your timing. If there’s is not too many people, you can get your tickets and enter rightaway. Otherwise, you will need to wait for the next time slot.

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Admission ticket is TWD50, if no discount and non group. The operating hours is basically from 8am to 5pm with lunch break from 12pm to 1pm, everyday except Monday. Time slot allocation is dependent on number of people.

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Entering to the skywalk, you are welcome by the bridge arch. The view surrounding the place is beautiful.

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Walk on the skywalk and you see waterfall beneath you. Very cool! The structure of the skywalk is very strong. So, you won’t feel any movement, if you’re nervous being on the platform. We could not get nice pictures of the waterfall through the glass platform because of the sun reflection. Otherwise, you can see clearly the amazing view below.

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The water is very rapid and scary when you look over the skywalk. This is the time when my legs got a little weaker. So, don’t look over for too long…

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Food at Xiaowulai

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Macau Sausage 馬告香腸 (TWD35)
Macau is a local black pepper. The meat is pork. So, it’s black pepper pork sausage. Quite nice.

You can see many stalls selling this sausage when you walk around the place. The prices ranges from TWD35 – TWD40.

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 On the right : Roselle Flower Tea 洛神花茶 (TWD60)
It’s a sweet flower tea which is quite tasty and the flower can be eaten. It’s taste a little like eating white fungus with a sweet taste. I like it.

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On the left : Macau honey tea 馬告密茶 (TWD50) 
You must be wondering black pepper tea? Surprising, it’s nice! It has a little spiciness like the ginger but not a very strong pepper taste that will choke your throat. Maybe it’s smooth out by the honey.

You can get both of these drinks from Tayal Kitchen 泰雅神話部落廚房 by the Tayal ethnic.

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Location: about 20 meters before the skywalk

Operating hours: 9am – 5pm

Face cleansing brush from Japan

These face cleansing brush is to exfoliate your face to reduce your blocked pores, especially blackhead on your nose, and smoothen your face from dry skins.

In Singapore, I saw Alty face cleansing brush selling for SGD70 (smallest size) by Hands at Isetan, Wisma Atria. In Taipei, there are also Hands outlets, selling the same at TWD1,791 (slightly cheaper than Singapore).

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Alty face cleansing brush (TWD1,791)

Material: High quality acrylic fibre

Test on hand: Its brush is dense and baby soft to touch when dry. When cleansing, the brush is mild on the hand without the feeling that you are using a brush. After cleaned and dried, the hand feels smooth without any dry skin or rough texture.

Alternative cheaper version available at the same shop. It is slightly smaller than Alty’s smallest brush.

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Tsururi face cleansing brush (TWD422)

Material: Acrylic

Test on hand: Touching the brush when dry is soft but it’s not too bad, better than sponges. When the brush is wet, its fibre does not retain its density as you see when it’s dry. During cleansing, you can feel the cleansing but not rough on the hand. After cleaned and dried, the hand feels the same, smooth without any dry skin or rough and uneven texture.

Summary

Overall, Alty wins over Tsururi of its quality and density of the material of the brush and how it feels on your skin while cleansing but Tsururi would also not too bad. If you have a sensitive skin or very dry skin, you may want to use Tsururi softly on your skin, otherwise you may feel a little tingling pain. Good quality products comes with a price.

Location of Hands Tailung in Taiwan

For more information, click this link (only available in Chinese, with minimal English headers).

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Dazzling Cafe 玳思琳蜜糖吐司, Taipei

Looking for a place to sit after a long walk at the Taipei underground, I walked around Taipei Main Station level 2 (where all restaurants and food courts are located) and stumbled upon this nice looking place. Who can resist delicious looking desserts?

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They serves sandwiches, panini, soup, salad, finger food, spaghetti, waffle, crepe, and honey toasts. As for drinks, they offer cocoa, coffee, classic tea, scented tea, special mixed tea, and slush. As its name in Chinese mentions about honey toast. So that’s what I’m going to try. Alternatively, you can try another special dessert, waffle with mochi inside. Something I didn’t have enough tummy space to try.

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Hazelnut Chocolate Honey Toast (TWD290)
You can choose how you would like your toast to be made, either soft, regular or crispy. I love crispy. What you see is not what you get with only crispy toast topped with vanilla ice cream, cream, strawberries, chocolate drizzle and some crushed almonds. Where’s the hazelnut?

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Wala! The toast is cut into small pieces with hazelnut chocolate inserted in the middle of each piece of toast. Putting some vanilla ice cream on each toast is delicious! Happiness to my mood, my mouth and my tummy.

I also ordered something special to drink.

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Festive Grape Tea with Cherry (TWD160 for hot, TWD140 for cold)
This tea comes with fresh slices of grapes, pineapples and apples. I don’t usually put sugar in my tea. So, I tried it without sugar. Wow! Too sour at the first sip but was ok after my mouth adapted the taste. Drinking the tea with some fruits to bite is rather nice.

My overall rating: 6.5/10

This cafe has many outlets not only in Taipei but also Hsinchu, Taichong, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. Dazzle yourself with more dessert at their website here (available in English and Chinese).

The outlet that I went was not listed on their website.

Dazzling Cafe Kiwi
Location: Breeze Centre, Taipei Main Station, West entrance 3, Level 2
Tel: +886-2-23881966

It’s recommended that you make reservation, especially you have a big group. If you walk in, they allow 90 minutes of dining if there are waiting reserved diners.

Summary of other outlets.

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Taipei City Mall 台北地下街

Take the Metro to Taipei station 台北车站 for underground shopping. There are many underground shopping like K Underground Mall, Station Front Metro Mall, Zhongshang Metro Mall and Taipei City Mall. They are all link together. Once you exit the Metro station, you can look at the signs and follow to which underground mall that you would like to go. Alternatively, you can look out for such map around the place for the location of each mall and your location.

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Here’s how Taipei City Mall looks like.

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There are over 150 stores that sell loads of things such as video games, phone and accessories, music and movie discs, hardware store, anime models, soft toys, beads and accessories, clothes, watches, and shoes.

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Too long a walk makes you thirsty? They have this water refill station around the mall.

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Hung Hwa Teppanyaki 紅花鐵板燒, Taipei

I was given a chance to try this set of delicious food at Hung Hwa Teppanyaki.

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They have 4 different lunch sets to choose from. I tried Set A at TWD980. Here is what is in the set.

Starters

1. Cold dish – choice of Salmon sashimi or fresh oysters. The plate of salmon comes with shredded shanyao 山藥 topped with some sauce and roe, half cherry tomato topped with caviar.

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2. Soup – choice of spinach or pumpkin soup. I had pumpkin with a few flakes of almond topping.

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3. Salad – A cold prawn accompanied with cabbages, shredded onions and carrots, cherry tomato and 2 slices of apple. Refreshing!

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Main course – where teppanyaki starts

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4. Pre main course – a slice of fish topped with black pepper and almond flakes, together plated with zucchini and sauce. I’m not sure what type of fish it is but it’s fresh.

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5. Main – choice of beef, lamb and chicken. I chose lamb. Although this dish is plated with just black pepper and grilled garlic, the juiciness and tenderness of the lamb will makes you forgive the simple sides. Delicious!

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6. Post main – Vegetables like baby corn, slice of large mushroom, and green beans.

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Desserts

7. Cakes – choice of cheese cake or chocolate cake. Ohh, this cheesecake is oh-so-cheesy. It gives a flavourful of cheese and lemon. Very cheesy but the lemon and digestive biscuit crust reduced the feeling of being stuffed by too much of cheese.

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8. Coffee or tea – A scrumptious meal is ended with a choice of hot or iced coffee, red or green tea, fruit tea and flower tea.

My overall rating: 8.5/10

Hung Hwa Teppanyaki has 2 outlets in Taipei. For more information or to make reservation, visit their website here.

1. 101 Flagship Shop 101旗艦店

Location: Unit 45, 5th Floor, Shifu Road, Xinyi District, Taipei.
Tel: +886-2-8101-8102
Hours: Lunch 11:30 – 14:30 (Last order at 14:30); Dinner 17:30 – 22:30 (Last order at 21:30)

2. Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Xinyi Place A9 Shop 新光三越信義新天地A9店

Location: Unit 9, 7th Floor, Songshou Road, Xinyi District, Taipei.
Tel: +886-2-2345-0166
Hours: Lunch 11:30 – 14:30 (Last order at 14:30); Dinner 17:30 – 22:30 (Last order at 21:30)