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Taipei in December on Cathay Pacific

Taipei in December on Cathay Pacific

Old May 20, 17, 9:22 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Singapore
Posts: 15
Taipei in December on Cathay Pacific

Hi, Iíve always enjoyed reading the trip reports posted by the various forummers, so I thought Iíd contribute one of my own. Apologies in advance if some my grammar/sentence structure is awkward. Iíve been writing too many reports at work and I've lost the ability to write prose...

Introduction

My parents had been asking to go on a holiday overseas as itíd been a long time since they went on one. Most importantly, since I'm working, I can pay for their expensesÖ Back in August, Cathay Pacific partnered one of the local banks and was offering some very attractive economy fares between SIN and Taipei. Of course, the timings werenít optimal (reaching TPE at 7pm and first flight out of TPE on the way back) but hey, beggars canít be choosers.

A few weeks later Cathay Pacific sent an email saying that our SIN HKG flight timings had changed which resulted in a misconnection as we would fall below the MCT. After calling the service centre, we managed to change to the earlier CX736 which meant a 3 hour layover in HKG instead of 50 mins.

29 December 2016
CX736
SIN-HKG
Changi Airport Terminal 1
1000hrs to 1405hrs
42K

We left the house early to catch the train to the airport. Check in was a straightforward affair, our bags were tagged and boarding passes to TPE issued.

Changi Airport was having a Pokemon Christmas theme so the airport was filled with Pokemon decorations. (Sadly, I didnít manage to catch a Far-fetchíd in Taiwan. I saw one on the map but it despawned by the time I got there.)

Pokemon Christmas tree.


Breakfast at KFC


A6-ENU stopping over as EK433 from Brisbane before continuing on to Dubai


9V-JSP pushing back late as 3K243 to Bali


Todayís flight to HKG would be operated by B-KPG.


Since itís a widebody jet, thereís more overhead bins and less need to rush aboard to secure a space for your carry-on.

Boarding in progress.


More airlines should have this feature.


We took off on time and the flight was smooth. Seats were comfortable with sufficient legroom. Having flown a KLM 77W, the extra width here is noticeable. Sadly, Cathay Pacific has announced they will be moving to 10-abreast on their 777s, guess thatís just how the market is these days.

Lunch was served after takeoff. I chose the chicken and rice, the other choice was fish pasta (I think).



Approaching HKG. We were early but the captain announced that due to congestion, ATC had instructed them to slow down.


After clearing security, I left my parents to do some shopping while I went plane spotting.

B-LRE as CX 117 to Auckland.


B-LAK as CX 937 to Manila


29 December 2016
CX470
HKG-TPE
1740hrs to 1935hrs
55K

Todayís flight would be operated by B-HNP. The plane was configured with the old hard shell seats. For a short flight, I think theyíre fine and the hard shell means no one will recline into you which is always a good thing.


The flight was quite uneventful. A hot wrap was served and I managed to catch up on a few episodes of 2 Broke Girls. Couldn't taste much chicken in the wrap.


There was a huge queue at immigration and we took nearly an hour to get through. Probably everyone is making use of the long weekend to travel.


After collecting our baggage, we took a bus to Taipei Main Station to find our Airbnb and crash out for the night.
wjin is offline  
Old May 20, 17, 9:41 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Singapore
Posts: 15
The next morning, we went by train to the Gold Museum at Jinguashi (Golden Melon Rock). The area used to be a working gold mine under the Japanese.

No Pokemon Go.


Exhibit explaining what miners did to extract the gold.


Hot beancurd in some sweet soup.


After exploring the area, we took a bus to the touristy area of Jiufen. Basically itís a maze of narrow streets with shops selling various kinds of foods. Since itís the busy season, thereís barely any room to walk. We didnít stay long.


3 different meatballs in soup with rice noodles for lunch.


Not wanting to continue squeezing with the crowds, we headed back to Taipei. The queue for the bus was long, we couldnít board the first bus and had to wait another hour for the next bus. To make matters worse, no standing was allowed on the bus.

We reached Taipei at 7pm and went to the night market for some street food.
Oysters at Ningxia night market. There was a long queue at the restaurant but I found the oysters just so-so.


Taipei Main Station at night.


We went on the Maokong gondola the next day.


Cat mountain tea soft serve. That biscuit is shaped like a cat.


Panda building at the zoo.


After wandering around the zoo for a while, we headed back to the city.
Taipei 101. We didnít hang around the area for long as it was crowded since it was New Yearís Eve. They were also barricading some of the areas in preparation for the fireworks display that night.


Teenagers in onesies.


The famous Hong Kong dim sum chain.


Fried chicken for dinner from a local fast food chain. Chicken was tough, dry and over fried.


Taipei 101 lit up at night getting ready for countdown.


Crowds on the road waiting for the fireworks display. The grass patch was empty because a police officer was nearby and he would whistle anytime someone stepped on the grass.


Falungong display.


National Palace Museum. There was free entry into the museum since it was New Yearís Day.


Xiaolongbao from the famous Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung. Iím surprised they donít have English menus since theyíre quite geared to tourists, or maybe itís because we visited a less popular branch.


Although it was December, the weather was really warm. Most days, the temperature was above 20 degrees.

Working up a sweat climbing up Xiangshan (Elephant Hill).


View of Taipei 101


228 Memorial Hall. Wanted to visit it but it was closed for the holiday. There were a lot of locals and families enjoying a day out at the surrounding park (itís a good place to catch Pokemon too).


Matcha milk drink from Family Marts.


12 cupcakes. Theyíre a Singaporean brand run by a celebrity couple whoíve since divorced and the brand has been sold to an Indian tea company (I think).


3 January 2017
CX463
TPE-HKG
0600hrs to 0745hrs
60K

We managed to grab a few hours of sleep before waking to catch the bus to TPE.

Queue for bag drop. Check in hadnít opened at this early hour although once it did, the queue cleared quite quickly.


There wasnít much to do in the airport at this early hour. Most shops were still closed.


Boarding the flight. The rear cabin was filled by students on some school trip.


Snack during the flight. Donít recall much meat in the wrap.


B-LAK as CX463 from Taipei.


This time round, we had around 1 hour 20 minutes for transit. It was quite a rush as we were looking for some XO sauce to buy back. Itís this fermented sauce made with dried seafood which you can use as an accompaniment to any dish.

My parents were asking the salesperson more before deciding which flavour of sauce to buy when this exchange happened.

Mom: What's the difference between them.
Sales person: One is original, the other one is spicy, another is (some flavour which I canít remember)
Mum: Oh itís spicy is it?....
Sales person: Hmm, where are you from?
Which was a weird question and she must have seen our puzzled looks.
Sales person: I just wanted to gauge your level of tolerance. If youíre from Malaysia or Singapore, it should be no problem. If youíre from Canada though, you might find it too spicy.


3 January 2017
CX759
HKG-SIN
0900hrs to 1300hrs
44K

For some reason, everytime I fly from HKG to SIN (which admittedly isn't much), itís always boarding from gate 70 (or 69 or 68?) all the way at the end.

Seat on this A333.


Boarding was completed on time but we sat at the gate for close to 45 minutes before moving. Congestion again.

Breakfast was served, I chose the chicken congee. The other choice was some egg dish. It was ok, smooth but some spring onions and shallots would do the trick.


Parking at SIN next to a company A359.


Conclusion
And that concludes my Taipei trip. Cathay Pacific brought us there and back comfortably and for a great price too. This wasnít my first time to Taipei, think next time I should venture out into the other cities and the outskirts.
wjin is offline  
Old May 21, 17, 12:29 am
  #3  
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Thanks for the report, and the support towards CX! ^^
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Old May 22, 17, 4:07 pm
  #4  
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Looks like a great, trip with some very very good eats. Thanks for sharing ^^
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Old May 23, 17, 5:49 am
  #5  
 
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Great TR, hope you had lots of the famous night market food in Taibei.
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Old May 23, 17, 1:08 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by wjin View Post

Mom: What's the difference between them.
Sales person: One is original, the other one is spicy, another is (some flavour which I canít remember)
Mum: Oh itís spicy is it?....
Sales person: Hmm, where are you from?
Which was a weird question and she must have seen our puzzled looks.
Sales person: I just wanted to gauge your level of tolerance. If youíre from Malaysia or Singapore, it should be no problem. If youíre from Canada though, you might find it too spicy.
LMAO!! This made my day. I bet the sales persons version of spicy is way lower than my version of spicy.

Thanks for sharing this TR.
injian is offline  
Old May 25, 17, 9:22 am
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Thanks for your report , highly enjoyed it !
Flame3601 is offline  
Old May 28, 17, 8:44 am
  #8  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Singapore
Posts: 15
Thank you all for your kind comments.

Originally Posted by injian View Post
LMAO!! This made my day. I bet the sales persons version of spicy is way lower than my version of spicy.

Thanks for sharing this TR.
LOL. Actually I didn't find it spicy at all (and I can't really take spicy food).
wjin is offline  

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