Taiwan to Hongkong – Kaohsiung to Hong Kong, 29 August 2011

Another travelling day – we moved from Kaohsiung to Hong Kong. What was uneventful travel turned out to be more exciting – we had to keep up to date with the weather report, as a typhoon was coming to this part. Our flight was delayed for two hours, but we were informed in time, so we arrived in the airport in time for our flight. Although we got there in time, there was another delay, as the plane coming to pick us up couldn’t land. The typhoon that was coming was starting with bring with it strong winds and an insane amount of rain. The Taiwanese were certainly prepared – they took down all the signage hanging at the airport, and changed the automatic doors to create air traps. It was quite an experience for me, waiting it from the safety of the Kaohsiung Airport.

In Hong Kong, we stayed at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Mongkok, Kowloon. It is located beside a huge mall, Grand Century Place, and inside Grand Century Place, is the Mongkok East MTR station. A 15-min walk will bring you to Mongkok MTR station, and there is also a bus transit centre in Grand Century Place, making Royal Plaza Hotel very convenient. The rooms were average, but there was a nice little sitting area that was like a balcony, and the views were decent. Mainly a residential area.

The gym was a little smaller, and had about four, up-to-date treadmills, two stepmasters, and about the same number of stationery bikes as treadmills. They also had a couple of weights machines, and a decent-sized swimming pool.

We had dinner at a Teochew place on the 7th floor of Grand Century Place. It was cheap, but also very forgettable. Thankfully, dessert made up for it, as I had my favourite Hui Lau Shan 許留山, which specialises in fruity desserts, particularly mango. They also have other Chinese desserts like hashima and bird’s nest. I went with my usual order of Mango Warrior 芒果神兵, which is mango pudding, mango puree, mango cubes, topped with mango ice cream. Costs around 40 HKD, which works out to around 7 SGD. If you are a mango fan, do try it!

Massive pedestrian bridge at Mongkok

Garden Street from the Mongkok pedestrian bridge

Mango Warrior

Hongkongers’ entertainment at night


Taiwan – Kaohsiung, 28 August 2011

In the morning, my family went on a tour of Kaohsiung, which I did not follow, since I have already been to the places they intended to visit (Foguang Temple, Ai he, etc.). So, it was another food and gym morning for me. I stuffed my face with more macaroons, this time, an earl grey one, and spent 1.5 hours in the gym, working off this food trip.

In the afternoon, I bumped into my dad, who was on his way to the Pacinko parlor, so I followed him there again. Not sure where it is exactly, but the next time you are there, and dying for some Pacinko fun, there is some to be had in Kaohsiung!

We had an excellent buffet dinner in Grand Hi-lai hotel, before going to Liuhe Night Market 六和夜市. It was quite a drizzly night, so we sped through it. Didn’t take any photos, as it was drizzling. Also, I have pictures of the place from a previous trip, so that lessened my motivation even further.

Earl Grey Macaroon

Grand Hi-Lai Hotel is the 2nd highest building in Kaohsiung; this is the highest at 85

Taiwan – Taipei to Kaohsiung, 27 August 2011

We moved from Taipei to Kaohsiung today, via the High Speed Rail, which took 1.5 hrs to make the 300+ km journey between the two cities. I highly recommend this option, as it is extremely comfortable, and the train station is located in the middle of Taipei. The station in Kaohsiung is about a 20 min taxi ride from town.

Once again, we stayed at the Grand Hi-Lai Hotel in Kaohsiung, which was excellent (and it does claim to be the best hotel in Kaohsiung). We have stayed here in our previous visits, but what sweetened the deal this time, was the free upgrade we got to executive rooms, which included a nice sofa set, and a balcony with gym equipment overlooking the Kaohsiung Harbour. The hotel had an excellent gym, with no less than eight treadmill machines, and a pretty decent weights section, complete with stationery bikes and steps machines. They also have a nice pool, but I didn’t go swimming.

One of the nice things about the Grand Hi-Lai Hotel, is the huge Hanshin mall that is located beside it. You can actually go into the mall which is located beside it without setting foot outside. It’s a pretty substantial mall that is around 11 storeys (when you count in the three levels of basement). It definitely worked out for us, as it rained the two days we were there. It was nice to have some food options within shelter. I sampled the dry variation of the Danzi noodles, and the fried oysters at the food court, which was pretty decent, and topped that off with some macaroons and Gongcha.

Well, the main event of the night was having dinner with my dad’s friends, so that was pretty much my day – gym and food.

Executive room in Grand Hi-Lai Hotel

Gym Equipment in the room balcony

Kaohsiung Harbour

Dry version of Danzi Noodles

Fried Oysters