Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Day 7 #7DaysTaiwan : Taipei > Singapore : Chilling With Taipei's Hottest Biker Chicks Before Flying Home Sweet Home

Alas, it's the last day of our "Two Wheel Around Taiwan" experience, and what better way to sweeten this whole trip by hanging out with two of Taipei's hottest biker chicks, 王晨飄 and Cynthia Wang! ;)

As pretty as her pink ride, Piao Piao is a proud owner of her sporty Aprilia RSV4,

and Cynthia has got some serious riding skills with her Ducati 959 Panigale which she takes on at the tracks!

Cho Cafe (Hotel)
No. 119, Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108

Knowing that I've returned my bike to the shop, Piao Piao suggested Cho Cafe located conveniently in Ximending, which was just a short 15 minutes walk from where I was staying at. It was a spacious cafe exuding a sense of rustic character from all the vintage furnitures around.

This cafe is also actually part of Cho Hotel that offers cosy accommodation just above.

PC: cho hotel
The ambience was perfect, hanging out together with the girls over a hot cup of mocha in this chilly weather :) Talking about everything and anything under the sun.

And that's one thing I love about traveling - Meeting new people, making new friends from all over the world brought together by one common passion which is motorcycling.

Of course, not forgetting a lot of the usual girl talk hehe. By the way, both of them are really tall, slim and beautiful ladies. Can be supermodel kind of standard. I feel like a dwarf next to them hahaha.

After having an awesome time with the girls, it was time to bid goodbye and head back into the shopping district of Ximending to buy and eat whatever I can in this last few remaining hours I have in Taipei!

Don't we all face that... especially when coming to the end of the trip.

Thankfully, it wasn't so crowded, which made shopping much easier as I swiftly flew in and out of stores like no tomorrow.

Luckily I've got these two with me, to help me carry all my heavy shopping so I can lighten my wallet further by buying more nonsense hahaha.

LOL. Kyle cannot already..

But I still can! Continue shopping! Chiong ahhh!

After all that shopping, we went to indulge in some mouth-watering food. It may look simple but I'm telling you, Taiwan foods are really delicious, the flavours are also close to what we have in Singapore.

Diggingggg in! Wiping out every single dish because it's our last meal here in Taiwan before hopping on the cab and heading to the airport.

When we arrived at the airport and unloaded our bags and stuff, I was wondering.. "since when we got so many things? I thought we packed light?"

David was like "You still dare to say ah? You're the one who bought a lot ok."

Because we only had 20KG check-in baggage, we ended up repacking our bags at one corner of the airport and made sure that it wouldn't exceed the weight limit. Haha.

With a grateful heart and a new volume of wonderful memories clocked during this epic adventure here in Taiwan, we got on the plane and scooted back to Singapore!

Thank you Taiwan for being so amazing! We are all so truly blessed to be able to have experienced this beautiful country in ways we had never thought, and apart from being awed by spectacular sightseeing routes that we were riding on with our motorcycles, we'll never forget the magnanimous kindness we've encountered in your people that has touched our hearts deeply.

Till next time!

With the next adventure coming up in.. PHILIPPINES!

[Singapore. Taipei.Yilan.Hualien.Kenting.Alishan.TaiChung.Taipei.Singapore]
[Mileage Clocked: 1,289KM]
[Weather/Temperature: 15°C/Chilly]

Monday, 13 March 2017

Day 6 #7DaysTaiwan : Tai Chung > Taipei : Returning Back To Taipei, Bidding Our Bikes Goodbye

Time really flies.. or is it us taking this trip way too quickly? Feels just like yesterday we were busy munching on street food in Taipei Shilin Night Market and today, we will be back in the hustle of Taiwan's main city!

Located approximately 200KM from Tai Chung, we'll be taking the expressway back to Taipei which should take us slightly under 5 hours (if we don't get lost haha).

Today's ride was gonna be easy and pretty straightforward, so we allowed ourselves to sleep in a little later and checked out of the hotel at 12:00 noon before hitting the roads once again, for the last time here in this trip! Because once we get to Taipei, we'll be returning the bikes and it'll mark the end of our two wheel adventure here in Taiwan!

1:00 PM

Cloudy weather and open freeways, woot! Feels great to blast that throttle on the straights.

There wasn't much scenery to see because apart from the cloudy weather and fog coming in as we approached Taipei, the route that we're on were mostly industrial areas. Not much traffic too so the ride was a breeze.

6:40 PM

By the time we arrived into Taipei city, it was raining and the roads were filled with lotsa puddles. From the expressways where there was almost no one in sight, to a city congested with cars and multiple swarm of bikes going every which way, it was actually pretty intimidating riding in Taipei.

Self Car / Bike Wash Station

Having ridden the bikes we borrowed through all sorts of weather, from the sea to the mountains, splashing through some dirty muddy puddles, the least we could do was give it a good wash before returning it to the shop.

It was pretty late, and most of the car / bike wash places were closed. But a quick Google search on Self Service Car Wash Stations nearby got us just what we needed.

After two attempts in search for the station, we found it located in a pretty ulu (deserted) place, like some abandoned garage area.

Automated by a coin system, you can choose the water and soap pressure accordingly.

Once you pop a coin into the machine, the powerful water jet is ready for spraying. Each time a 10NT is inserted in, the amount of water is sufficient to rinse 3 moderately dirty bikes.

Next coin for the soap. Once you insert the coin, the machine starts running, and you've gotta quickly spray it onto the bikes because you can't control when you want the soap to start or stop. It just sprays until the limit is reached.

Since I was the only one doing the wash, you'd know how clean the bikes would be, right? Hahaha.

After the soaping, I gave the bikes two rounds of rinse with the water jet and viola!

Bikes are reasonably cleaned and we're good to go! :)

It was still peak hour when we got back on the roads and it wasn't that easy locating the shop where our bikes are to be returned to. It wasn't because the shop's address was difficult to find, but damn, it was still raining, my tinted visor did not help on the dimly lit roads, and there's a million and one scooter around us wheezing in and out in all directions. Apart from us being extremely careful, I thought it was pretty amazing that all three of us managed to stick together throughout :)

And here we are! Back at where we first collected our bikes, bidding them goodbye. Definitely a huge sense of relief to be back safe and soundly, as I recall every single memorable moment that we had, touring around the entire Taiwan in the past 5 days, on two wheels.

Felt extremely thankful that all of us, and the bikes, are safe, really.. because safety is always always a priority and I never take it for granted, each time I hop on a bike.

Many thanks to Jason and the bike shop for arranging the bikes for us! Truly appreciate it.

Lio Hotel Ximen
康定路25巷36弄4號, 西門町, 台北市, 台灣 108
No.4, Alley 36, Lane 25, Kangding Road, Ximending, Taipei, Taiwan 108
Twin Bed / Double Bed with Private Bathroom
Cost per night: $62

This small boutique hotel is cosy and clean, just what we need for a night's rest. But most importantly, the location is really convenient as it was right in the middle of Ximending (5 mins walk to Ximending Station) where all the shopping and food are!

We need everything to be within walking distance because we don't have our bikes anymore hahaha. Ok yes, there's the train lah.

Dumped our bags and it's time to squeeze out whatever energy we have left to raid Ximending! Hahaha.



and eat some more,

Drink, and repeat!! Yeahhh!

Ah.. what a day! I'm BEAT! Completely exhausted all my energy for the day, even my reserve is empty. Haha time to take a long hot shower and snooze away.

Tomorrow's the last day of our trip and I ain't bidding Taiwan goodbye until I meet up with Taipei's hottest biker chicks! ;)

[Singapore. Taipei.Yilan.Hualien.Kenting.Alishan.TaiChung.Taipei]
[Mileage Clocked: 1,289KM]
[Weather/Temperature: 15°C/Cloudy/Showers]

Next stop: Singapore

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Day 5 #7DaysTaiwan : Alishan > Tai Chung : Endless Rows of Cherry Blossoms Before Tucking Into Dinner With Pirelli

Today was the day we were awake for more than 21 hours. If you're a not-so-disciplined motorcyclist tourer (like us hahaha), you'd know.. that most touring trips are also sleep-deprived ones.

With approximately 150KM to cover for the day, we took our time to really enjoy Alishan by..

waking up at 3:00AM to catch the 04:00AM train ride up to Zhu Shan Station for the sunrise.
This is the timing that people who are still clubbing haven't even sleep can!

From our hotel, it was a short 500m walk to the Forest Railway Alishan Station but it included a flight of stairs and.. I hate stairs. Well at least everyone else were also climbing the stairs with me haha.

We arrived at Alishan Station and purchased our tickets.

As this period was the Flower Blooming Season, there are limited tickets sold per day to ensure crowd control so yes, be an early bird to catch the worm!

There are only two train departure timing from Alishan Station to Zhu Shan Station, one at 04:00AM and the other at 04:30AM. This two train services are normally packed and it's important to get in line early so you can get on the train because if you miss both trains, you'd have to walk up to Zhu Shan instead, and that will take at least 2 hours.

PC: keywordsuggest
That is like equivalent to watching a movie.

By the time you arrive, the sun might have already started to rise. I think I'd be too shag after walking 2 hours of gradual inclined slope I'd find a corner to sleep while everyone else is busy snapping photos of the gorgeous sunrise.

The train was sardine-packed.

If you want a seat, I'm telling you, our Singaporean-kiasu-auntie attitude will get you one.

Dash in, use your elbow to jab others and make way to your ideal seat location, slam your fat ass on the chair and there you go! Oh, and if you have companions, you stretch your arms out like a mother hen to "reserve" the seats and pray that the other aunties won't just sit on your hand. Goodluck!

Well for me, I was lucky you know.. I gracefully walked in like a swan and found a tiny space so I conveniently just sat down.


This was the old school kind of train that took about 30 minutes to reach Zhu Shan Station. If you want to opt for the complete forest railway experience which is known to be extremely scenic, you can hop on from the bottom at Chiayi but that will take you several hours to reach the top. You can find out more here.


Arrived Zhu Shan Station and, another flight of stairs to climb before we get to the viewing spot!

It was pretty crowded as most of the tourists, eagerly anticipating to see the sea bed of clouds while the sun rise, were already here.

We went ahead to "chope" (reserve) the best spot for viewing the sunrise, and had our cameras on standby.


It's currently just 4 degrees. The sun have yet to rise, but our hands holding the cameras were freezing already.

Prior to leaving the hotel earlier on, I advised the boys to layer on their clothing because it would be cold up there and ironically the temperature will dip as the sun rises. But they said "Aiya no need one la!" Act one garang (aka strong).

Whahaha end up, look who's suffering now?

And I was there, all calmed and composed in my thermals and Gortex :p


Finally, the sun started to rise but due to uneven hot/cold air movement that led the clouds to be all over the place, it wasn't as breath-taking as how everyone anticipated it to be.

PC: northwest travel
It's supposed to be like that...

That's the thing about sightseeing, it's better to manage your expectations to avoid being overly disappointed when mother nature doesn't co-operate. It definitely helps to be in good company though! Alternatively, if you have the luxury of time, you could extend your stay to increase your chances of catching what you want to see! :)

Nevertheless, it was still a beautiful sight to behold, overlooking the endless rolling hills and mountains out there.

By now, we were pretty much frozen already, so were our facial expressions hahaha.

Never see people so happy to drink ginger tea before
So we went to grab some hot ginger tea that were sold by the stalls nearby to warm our hands,

before hopping onto the train and heading back down to Alishan Station.

The scenery through a short distance from Zhu Shan to Alishan Station was already so scenic, can't imagine how gorgeous the views will be to sit through the entire train ride from the base of the mountain.

We may not have witnessed the magnificent sunrise today, but we were sure basking in the abundance of the eminent flower blossom season!

Look at just how pretty they are!

Oh, hello cutie pie! This is Alishan's furball! Very friendly dog and would stop to take a photo with you anytime!

11:00 AM

Checked out of the hotel and back to our bikes, as it's time to descend from Alishan.

The weather now is perfect for riding. Cooling at 12 deg with the warm sunshine and vast blue skies above us. No sweat!

We took a slow relaxing ride down the mountain,

passing through endless rows of cherry blossoms,

as we headed from Alishan towards Tai Chung.

It was a weekend, hence we took a longer time making our way down the mountain as traffic was pretty heavy. The scenery around us started to change too as we descended. No more cherry blossoms but the smooth curvy mountainous roads were still there to put a grin our faces :)

Life of a photographer, camping by the side to capture the boys having a good time gliding through the corners


Carefully avoiding the highway, we followed the road signs toward Tai Chung instead of relying on the GPS because you never know sometimes it might accidentally lead us onto it, and we definitely wouldn't want another high speed chase by the police!

After more than 5 hours and passing through a few foggy areas, we arrived into Tai Chung safely with the skies dimming by the minute.

Fullon Hotel LihPao Land
No.88 Fullon Road, Houli District, Taichung, Taiwan 421
4 Bedder with Private Bathroom
Cost per night: $326

Checked into the hotel and man.. the bed looks soooo tempting! I just want to collapse on the bed like a potato and not move at all... Shaggggg.

But no! Because tonight's a special night, where Pirelli dealers from all over the different states in Taiwan come together to celebrate the brand and most importantly, have a good time! So I hurriedly showered, dressed up and headed down to the hotel's ballroom where the dinner was held.

Despite my physical fatigue, as Pirelli's brand ambassador, it was such a delight meeting the entire Pirelli Taiwan family here.

There were stage performances, fun games and prizes to be won that really set everyone in a joyous mood.

Many thanks to Jason from Pirelli Taiwan for this exclusive invite to the wonderful dealers dinner where everyone made time out to attend this awesome get-together annual occasion.

What a great way to wrap a day! Three cheers to Pirelli Taiwan as I can't wait to witness the brand soar to much greater heights in exciting times ahead!

Time to retire for the night as tomorrow, we'll be closing our two wheel adventure loop soon, heading from Tai Chung back to Taipei!

[Singapore. Taipei.Yilan.Hualien.Kenting.Alishan.TaiChung]
[Mileage Clocked: 1,038KM]
[Weather/Temperature: 15°C/Sunny]

Next stop: Taipei