A Different Dose of Vitamin Sea: Skindiving👌🐟🌊

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This is me taking the “deep” into a different level.😀😍🙌Never thought I’d be able to do it. Crossing it out in my bucketlist but not in my heart. ❤❤❤

There are many times we have said that we love something or someone, but we do not say it is true love until we love everything about it, including its depth and its darkness. The same goes with the sea.  This time, I will challenge myself to do something that I am scared of.That is going deep as in Skin Diving.



(I am not an expert so this is not about the technicalities. My tips are for rookies like me.LOL.)

  1. Do not be afraid. But,if you do be afraid enough so you will follow the standards and the safety techniques under water.
  2. If you are really that afraid to try,  pretend like you are not.  If you get a good team of mentors who will guide you. Just trust them. Allow yourself to learn
  3. Do not feel like you are in competition just go to your level of comfort. Readiness is of importance. It is only you who can assess yourself when is the right time to go deeper. Relaxation is the key. Do not stress out.
  4. Never dive alone. Always make sure you have a buddy with you to be your spotter or photographer !haha!
  5. More than the pictures and advancing the level of your diving, do not forget to savor the feeling and enjoy!Best of luck!


Take it from my experience. I know how to swim.I know how to float. I can swim in a 6feet pool but I can’t afford to spend a lot of time there. I even won a “cute” swimming competition in school–Part of breast stroke relay(I told u,my participation was cute). However, i never really had the confidence to go to deep sea waters without a life vest. I was afraid that I might have leg cramps or i easily exhaust myself and drown myself instantly.


I love the sea-The way it rests calmly above the stretch of ocean floor gives me tranquility. But, i rarely go beyond the shore.I just stay there because the thought of floating without anything for my feet to step on or anything for me to hold on creeps me out.


I was not a fan of Masks and snorkel. Seeing snorkeling in any iti did not really me excite me. I was already satisfied by staying in the beach with its waves fanning to the sand,taking pictures and selfies because other people would love to go farther.


All of these are true until I met SkinDivePH.



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Sometimes you just have to face what’s coming.

Last December, I was looking for something different but would fit my budget. I mean, c’mon this is my last(crossing my fingers on this) legit sure vacation before my clerkship, this must be effin awesome. That’s when I thought of skindiving or freediving. I even posted something like:


I began looking for some classes or getaways related to this. But I got busy. So thanks to Mowty, who is also an adventurist like me, for finding this page/package.She also went hiking with me in Mt.Sipit Ulang. Our original plan was to go Romblon, but we detoured because of the unpredictable weather.haha.At least we have #ganap #lakwatsa #escape before med takes us away in 2018. 

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It is worth a try!Actually, upon going there, I was really not expecting to get the skill . I was even thinking about the possibility that I would return manila without doing it or That I would just waste my money because of my fear of deep water. But thank God, it turned out the other way. When something catch my interest, I am never reluctant to learn even though I am scared. As for this, I am so happy that I can now float vertically without threading or finning or holding to a floater . (with snorkel,haha).I can see the fishes and corals underwater. I can reach them because I learned how to dunk dive deeper and hold my breath longer.

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Me, Zach and Jigs

I am also happy for my friends, especially to my new friend Aubrey who was a non swimmer.She even had intense fear of getting into water.Now, her fear was lessened and she can even dunk dive.:)  Indeed, just like what our Mother(ms bev )said, everything fell into its places.Hahaha.

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That’s Aubrey.

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That’s Mowty. I wonder if she asksed,”Anong Nemo?(Anong name mo)”HAHA


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This is Jigs.

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This is Zach

We were noobs and rookies but we did it. I  bet you can do it too. (Haha!I appeal to those who are still afraid.)I’m telling you it’s worth a try.

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Waterbending with Mowty lol.

The People

It was really fun.The organizers/instructors are very approachable. They are very supportive and good in building up one’s confidence. It’s a plus point that they know how to acknowledge effort as well as give constructive criticism in a nice way. The usual worry people is that they don’t know how to swim, afraid of deep water.But these guys know how to make you calm, so everything starts with TRUST, Trust your mentors and trust yourself. They will guide you from the basic until you advance to the next level. There was a even a discussion by Ms. Bev in the morning. And the application in the afternoon by Sir Chard. Well, i like the way it was organized. The organization per se will make you feel like you can really trust them. 

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Sir chard instructing…

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The people will make you feel like you belong, as in like you are already long-time friends. We had socials. Everyone had a share of good laughs as people get comfortable of sharing bits and pieces of their own experiences whether from their funny childhood or present diet(If you know what I mean.Haha).The iti was flexible and we were given ample rest time.

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Is it FREE?Oh and BTW, Do not think that Free diving means you don’t have to pay anything since it is called “free”😅.You might think it is funny but it is a common misconception👍.(Don’t hate.Educate.✌).

As for the package fee, I can say it is very reasonable. We stayed in a clean,cozy and airconditioned room with private CR, memory pillows and towels. (That is good for 4pax)

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Our Accommodation

We only paid the transpo to and from Manila. Everything else are already included-snorkelling gears and meals for breakfast,lunch,dinner and meriendas.(Breakfast for day1 not included.)

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BTW, the resort where we stayed is Bus stop dive resort.It is located in Bauan,Batangas. I did’t know that it is also a marine sanctuary.

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Bonus. The magnificent sunset.

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with sir Chard

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Where you can rent the snorkeling gears and suits for SCUBA. Ours is included in the deal.

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Little did I know that the joy of seeing the sea from the shore, or from the surface is so much less than the euphoria of being able to learn going deeper. That the tranquility from plainly looking at the sea is so much more when you learn how to skin dive or freedive.

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Once you get it, you will appreciate the sea and its aquamarine creatures such as corals and fishes more.It is true that you begin watching them live in HD.  Had i known this before, I would have appreciated the sea more. I wish I learned this before going to El nido.It would have been a better experience.(But anyway, there is always a next time.)

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When you start it,you will be hyped. Because you are hyped, you crave for more, DANGGG, it is really addicting. Like I did not even know the time passed or  if I was already going farther. You yourself would want to make sure that you are doing it correctly. You will feel the difference of doing the right thing. You feel the pressure.You see the light until it feels right. Little by little you  improve yourself.

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 It was like you’re in a dream. When you are under the sea, you hardly hear anything.Probably the murmurs or the sound of your breathing or the tinkling bubbles whispering on your ear. You will really have a chance to free your mind and find solace. It is like you are introduced to a new world.(probably not new for others, but yes for me.haha)

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Haha..I don’t look really good while holding my breath..

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Wonderful. I cried at the sight of this view. Hahaha..Too bad my salty tears mixed up with the hypertonic ocean! haha. This site was already deep for me. but I was able to go there. So much kilig feels.Lol!!!



Don’t get me wrong,I am not saying that I am already good.I was still unable able to go deeper yet. There are many things  I have to improve like  breath holding,finning and equalizing. But for a beginner, I deserve a pat on my back. Yeheyyy!!

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HAHA!!! I think I can be a fan of masks and snorkels now.


Will I do this again?

Of course, and I prolly will tag these same people. Bring some more people. Yeheyyy!! Like I want to go there RN.ASAP.


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Batch 25.Thanks Fam!:))

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To SkinDivePH, Thanks for introducing me to the world under the water.

Thanks Sir Chard and Ms. Bev(Mother), Sir Jon and sir Timo for the lessons, touring and guiding us, as well as for constructive criticisms. There had been no second that I felt I was out of place, may it be on land or water. Thank you so much. 

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with Ms. Bev,

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1st row(left to right)-sir chard, sir timo, sir Jon, wnd row, jigs and ms.bev


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If you want to inquire or learn more about them, let us dive here.

(PS. I am already on my 1st week of 2nd semester class of my third year.But because I loved the experience and the Team so much,I decided to have a blog of it right a way. what a way to open up my year.)

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Now this is the kind of “Litaw” and “Lubog” that I love.Most of us ayaw makaexperience ng pagkalubog.Okay lang din naman nasa ilalim,may pressure,may sakit, but you just need to learn how to equalize. Relax.Aangat ka din.The same goes with real life.Allow yourself to go with the process.Kaya mo yan!

Til next adventure.Med is calling me again.Adios!-R

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The “S” in medstudent means Strong

The “S” in medstudent means Strong not Smart

To help mankind
To achieve my childhood dream
To help/cure the sick and poor
To become rich
To become cool
To make my parents proud
To pursue someone else’s dream
To become an instrument of God’s healing hands

The target
From the list above, you may find exactly your answers to the Most commonly asked question in a Med School interview: why do you want to become a doctor? Whatever the reason is, let me emphasize that It is easy to forget your goal when you’re already working on it, especially when not everything is going as planned. When you feel tired, you lose hope, you feel down. You feel like you just want to give up. You may find yourself frustrated when your painting of yourself fades during the actual exhibit itself. This “exhibit” will only last for 6 semesters (if you are to really simplify the duration of Med school didactics). If you can imagine how could 6semesters or 3 years make or break someone. In this time, make sure that your colors won’t fade. So easily said than done.


“I am not Smart/I am Super smart ”
Although Med Schools require a certain grade in NMAT and College GWA, these do not equate to being smart. Being smart at this level is in no way a guarantee that you will become a doctor.  Some smart people are even too proud to learn. They think they already know it all, so they fail to educate themselves with the kind of smartness that a doctor needs. It is a combination of Med School and a bigger percentage of your effort that will hone you to become a different kind of smart. And that kind of smart will only be yours if you stay strong during the process. Now, we get to the strong part.



What does this mean?There are different meanings of “strong”  which are relatable to physical power, moral or intellect,etc. Among those, my favorite is “being able to withstand force and pressure”. It is almost a cliche that you probably don’t want to hear it anymore. However, we cannot separate our minds from the thought that we need be strong in order to move on. Strong and staying strong are two different things so you have to remind yourself or at least surround yourself with friends who will never get tired of reminding you about this!


“I am not strong enough”
Medicine was never for the weak. Even if you are weak to begin with, you may still choose to be strong. Ironically, the strength comes from knowing your weakness. With that, I’m telling you that the fine line between a winner and a loser is the decision to be strong and persevere. After you have completed the first task which is to DECIDE that you really x 1000000000000000000 want to be a doctor, train your mind that getting the MD goal is the only endpoint. That is fixed, but the path going there remains to be unpredictable. From here, adaptability and flexibility are of key importance.


“I am already strong”
Once the perils and various Med School agendas starts to accumulate, those who thought that they were strong are actually the ones struck the most with disgust. Especially if they keep their feelings and frustrations to themselves. They may look cool outside, but they are actually brewing inside. If you somehow relate to this, most of the time you will find yourself weary and tired because of the repressed emotional baggage that you thought you were handling well. The key here is to not let yourself boil too much. Just like a kettle, cover the lid tight and it will absorb all the heat. The next thing you’ll hear is its whistling outcry. If you don’t want to feel all the heat, vent out. Try to find a friend who you think will understand you. If you don’t seem to find a real friend, find an outlet. Do not keep it.Never ever keep it.


“I thought I was strong”
Before I entered Med School, I wondered what exactly made Medicine difficult. Knowing that I have a strong personality, I convinced myself that it I would be unlikely for me to ever doubt myself and want to quit. But you know, Med School is not your only life. It is not the only issue we deal with on a daily basis. Among the other stressors lie in your family, relationships, love life, financial difficulties, Illnesses, self-esteem/mental health issues, to name a few. You may find yourself confused lost. This is what remind myself and others: “Do not always blame yourself, do not be hard on yourself, do not be disheartened.” There are things that you cannot control and for those things, what you can only do is storm the heavens by prayer. But of course, you better do your best. You decided that you wanted to become a doctor, so you must be stubborn with your goal.


“Stay strong”
FOR THIS TOO SHALL PASS.Soon enough, you will thank yourself for enduring this. Whatever kind of DOCTOR you’ll be, remember to be a good one.Just HAVE PATIENCE AND YOU WILL SOON HAVE YOUR PATIENTS.

This is for all struggling Med Students who are working hard to be the best version of doctor that they can be.

————————————————————————————————————————————-The thought of writing this stemmed from my repressed emotional baggage and mental turmoils this sem. We absolutely have different perspectives towards this MD journey of ours. With that, let us not invalidate and disregard these feelings. And instead, start acknowledging the experience.




Med student?Second year?or any year?can relate?Might want to read this out.

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There are times that I really wanted to pour my feelings in a blog,you know, just to blurt about frustrations in school but I had no time. I couldn’t even waste minutes to be sad or to worry and I had to prioritize. I told myself that I must save it for later writing.However as the school semester came to end, my feelings died out. (LOL)You just let things pass and be okay. Move on. Don’t dwell on that matter that much. This year I felt I had burnt out.I had diff events to attend to.A lot of personal matters  took my time. The weekends that usually sets my pace and I lost most of them. But hey, I still managed to survive!!!!So again sharing some noteworthy things of my Y2.

1.You will need the things you have learned in 1st year and even pre med.(Of course, this is like an understatement of an expected result.) So grab as much baon that you have(Kailangan mo lang ng may huhugutan,kahit onti).  Just do all your best to help yourself. On top of the knowledge you have carried with you comes another year full pack of learning. haha.(Don’t we love that?) After all, this will be your bank for boards and future practice.(So,May baon ka ba o binaon mo na din sa lupa ?hahaha!)

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2.You might think you dont know anything but believe me. You know something.It is just stuck there because of the massive traffic of information(Akala mo lang wala pero meron,meron ,meron!)

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3.RULE: Do not forget things.You have probably rolled your eyes but technically who does not forget things.Haha… (Error404…)You will forget things.But do not blame yourself. Memory retention is best when coupled with emotions and application. (Kaya pala nasasabi mo palagi,”Feeling ko ito to” pero feeling mo lang.)Mastery needs attention and repetition.You just need to strengthen the mind maps linkages.

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4.Know which fights are worth fighting for. Decide which things can be sacrificed because you don’t own the time.24/7 is not enough for the “Non-Einsteins”. There is a bulk of study materials to read but there are only few questions.Make sure you study the high yield concepts.(kunin at tanggapin and alay na ito.Alay.Alay na yan.)

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5.When you get tired of studying,think of your future patients. Of course,you would not want them to get tired living and rest in peace or pieces when they are under your care.(Laban besh)

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6.Teamwork gaming is good when time is gold. Thank God for GDocs:)))Better if your whole class is involved. (may not be applicable for some)But yes, Strive to make the class or the batch united for the common good.It will help all of you to maximize your time.  If not(maraming hanash?),just form your axis powers. Haha. Choose your allies.Also,Screen for parasites. The world is governed by give and take. And the world must eradicate the parasites. LOL.🙂 (Pero No-No-No check ang teamwork sa exam,ha?.Lol) You can also team up with your love ones.(haha,BF,GF?MU?Friends?ano ba?)

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  1. Let them hear what they want to hear. There are diff profs.There are different contradicting standpoints. What is right for one may be not for the other. There are many answers but usually there is only one best answer. Sometimes,there will be those who will try to ask you so many questions because they are waiting to hear a keyword.So make sure,you know them to get the points.

9.When being”AMPK” (alam mo pabibo ka) and “game na game” (outgoing) actually helps, especially in groupworks. (LOL.Ito yung my saya pero di sayang ) There will be many groupworks by friends or alphabetical that will be graded by group or not depending on the prerogative of your prof(groupworks.CPC, SGDs,FGD,Conferences, Pharma groupingssss todo na to!!). Whichever it is, always try to contribute something because it will benefit your group. haha…

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8.And because you are busy reading this,you did not notice that there was no 8.So before going to 10,let me say that number8 is to “be OBSERVANT”. There are many things that you can learn from just observing. It can practically help you develop your clinical eye that you will need in the future. You can also see things in a bigger picture before being biased by your own thoughts.

10.Enjoy the moment.HAve adequate and appropriate R&R(Rest and recreation).Look for ways to maximize your time. If you can find an enjoyable activity at the same time you are somehow “learning”, do it. Time will pass. This,dream of yours, is all yours if you strive for it. FOr the time being, always think this too shall pass. (My favorite one-liner in Med.)



Real Talk: Why some people are good and you are not

Whenever you are with someone whom you think is better than you, may it be in class or work, just keep calm and carry on. Most people tend to be intimidated.Some will hate others.Probably,it is because of their way of doing something or nothing -when they are just plainly living. (You know,people’s aura.)

the real life hack there is to learn.Learn from them. Well,it also depends on their attitude. But if you really think they are greater than you,try to engage and assimilate.Who knows if you improve yourself?you do not need to highlight your weakness nor conceal it. Just try to work on it.

Here are the reasons why they are good.(and you are not)


1.they are naturally born great or geniuses.Their genes are inherently great. Well,there is also nurture and nature debate whatever. But There are only few people of this kind.

Most people  belong to the following:)

2.Many people championed by working on “fake it til you make it”.they are not good at start but they are enlighted.Do not be fancied by the fact that he is more this and that. Think smart and act smart.And you’ll get it.

2.Self-illusions are friend and beneficial for esteem.Studies have shown it is effective.Just do not overdo it.It is going to be annoying. —–

3.they believe in themselves even no else did.like you,you probably have a set of doubts.but they chose to go on. If you won’t believe yourself,then who else will.

4.They try hard.They struggled. There is the usual bad connotation related  to being a “trying hard”.But, it is actually good.It’s a means of survival.The effort is overflowing and inspiring.There is the persistence to make self better and it is good quality for success.Those who raise their brows to those who try hard enough thought they are Lions. They are so full of themselves. But in reality,they are lions afraid of getting killed by a rat.

5. People devote their time to enhance their craft. People get blinded by their immediate goals not knowing that this clouds their real purpose in life. Remember being busy does not always equate to productivity and creativity.Many people fall into this trap thinking they do a lot but they are not .Most people waste time by being busy doing not so important things.

One of my fave lines in desiderata says:

If you compare yourself with others,you may become vain and bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

There are many things imposed by our society that give us so much pressure. Every one is carrying their own crosses and burden. There are things that they are good at and you’re not,vice versa. We have to realize that people have their own set of potentials.

Tomorrow holds no one.As you can see,we won’t know what future holds. We won’t know who will be triumphant. We won’t know if success will embrace us until that moment catches us. The good thing to do now is don’t get tired to do your best and keep a happy spirit while living in the moment.

So whichever spot you are in this spectrum,the thing is you do not need to compete.There is no other greater competition than having a leverage above your own self.Always strive be a better version of you.


TaiWander 🇹🇼


Thinking of which country to go for on your next vacay? Let Taiwan be the one 🙂Image may contain: one or more people, sky, skyscraper and outdoor

Taiwan is one of our neighbor countries in Asia. It’s actually directly on top of the Philippines. I believe that you should include this on your bucketlist as well (haha, “bucketlist” seems to be an overused term nowadays), especially now that they’re going to be visa-free soon. It is very convenient to go here, even if you are a first-timer in travelling abroad.

If you have limited time, make sure you choose in advance the places you want to go. Try to squeeze in the attractions that are near from each other. Many tourist destinations are very accessible via MRT, and the stations are even conveniently named after them. You will really enjoy the different trips that Taiwan may offer – may it be nature trip, food trip or a shopping trip.  Its currency New Taiwan Dollar has almost the same but a little higher rate than Philippine peso, so it is relatively cheap compared to others (Especially if you usually convert Philippine peso before buying like me. Sorry but I can afford trips because I am a budgetarian. For this trip, however, my mom will treat me. LOL. Yehey!!!!! Thanks mom! haha).

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The Taoyuan Airport

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Welcome to Taiwan, Republic of China :))

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When we visited the country, It was already the rainy season. I prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain so we could push through with everything in our 3-day itinerary. I was with my mom, dad and bro. When I planned the itinerary several nights before, I had to consider my mom who was not used to walking a lot, and  my dad who might get “agit” if ever I’d suck big time in navigating. LOL!!! But seriously, that was the most challenging part (but you know, I was able to make them hike the elephant mountain trail! hahahaha..That is like a great achievement for me). They managed to move fast enough so we were able to maximize the time (Clap!Clap!).

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This was at around 2-3am. We just arrived in Ximending. I thought it was that busy of a place that it didn’t sleep anymore. haha



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These pictures that I posted were in Ximending, which is best known for its shopping and foodtrip spots in Taipei, and definitely a must-visit. This was where we stayed. It actually looked like a mini Times Square. (well, for this particular blogpost, I will focus on Ximending). BTW, it is a 40-hr drive from Taoyuan airport.

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Hahaha.. Of course, I didn’t call. Who else would I be talking to? Photo ops only! LOL


At night.


look at that! A performer…. I believe he tried to talk to me, but I turned away. I am not a snob.. too bad i could not understand what he was saying.

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It is located in Hanzhoung st in Ximending. We chose this because of its proximity from  MRT Ximen station exit 6. It’s easily seen because it is just beside Ximen Uniqlo and it has the same building as the Cinema.

We booked this standard quadruple room in Agoda and it cost us around 3000php  for 4 persons per night (10k for 3 nights). The staff, especially the hotel receptionist, were accommodating and very helpful. They changed the linens and provided new towels everyday. They also gave us bottles of water, free coffee and tea. The facilities were clean. We also had free breakfast from KFC. They will give you coupons in the AM and you can get it there directly. They also allowed us to leave our baggage on our last day. Overall, the experience there was good.

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With our very kind receptionist, Roach. He helped us book slots in Starbucks of Taipei 101,35th floor. The highest starbucks. (Read more. )


We no longer bought a sim card to use. I think it would be wiser if you just rented a 4G pocket wi-fi. You can rent it from the airport or from your hotel. As for us, we got the one from our hotel. Its rate is NT$150/day. That is what we use for our communication there. It can accommodate 5-8 gadgets. You can also avail from klook, that was our first option but we decided to get from the hotel 🙂 Their internet is fast there (just in case you are wondering).


It is fast and easy to roam around Taipei with their MRT. It operates from 6:00 to 24:00. You just need to get a map, learn to switch to different train lines, and know which exit you are going to. The lines are also color coded with English translation Labels. You won’t get lost. If you are lost, you can just ask the officer roaming around and they will guide you. If there is none nearby, you can ask a local about it. Prepare your feet for a lot of walking. As for us, we just rode the MRT. We got an easy card, which is very convenient, and loaded it with 300 for the first time. BTW, The minimum load is NT$100.

If you are going to take the bus, just know which particular route numbers to take. Sometimes, taking taxi cabs can be more convenient or wiser depending on how many people are you in your group and your situation.

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We are with dad. We couln’t be wrong. haha

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TRA in Reifung Station

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For “Aura” purposes only. No,we didn’t have any destination that requires us to ride HSR.


If there is one thing that you need to be concerned of when travelling elsewhere, it is verbal communication. You wouldn’t need to worry about getting lost as long as you know how to ask for directions. Before going to Taiwan, I was able to ask some of my friends who had been there before, and they said that Taiwanese people do not really speak English very well.

When I finally arrived in Taiwan, I was surprised to know that most really did not know how to use or had a hard time with the english language. Most of them spoke Chinese

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Most signboards are written in Chinese Characters. Good thing there are also English translations in some places. And only those who are in the tourism-related jobs knows how to speak english.

As a solution, I submitted myself into a “crash course” of Chinese Mandarin while I was there. I just searched for the basics online. And just so you know, it’s not as easy as it sounds, because Chinese is a tonal language. A different tone may mean differently. So even though I read it correctly, they still couldn’t understand some of the words that I said. I hope that they appreciated my effort for trying hard though! LOL! hahaha… If you can’t relay the message, show them pics of where you want to go. Downloading google translate and Chinese mandarin app are also helpful. You can let that speak for you.

But you know what, even if there was the language barrier, I could say that most of the people I asked were willing to help. They are friendly peeps who were so willing to assist us. After the trip, I found this very good channel on Youtube – Seemile . Ohhh, If only I had known this before. So, If you still have time, try to learn the basics.


There are plenty of street-foods to try. Make sure you allot money for this. Haha! You can also try Din tai fung, which is one of the famous restos out there and is known for their xiao long bao. We were not able to go there anymore though (sorry, I am not really a fan, so it was a little fine with me). As for shopping, you can go to Ximending. There are plenty of night markets in Taipei, such as Raohe and Shilin night market and



We changed our money while still in Taoyuan airport. Here’s our estimated expenditure.

Estimated expenditure: (some of it,I rounded off)

Lodging (quad standard room for 4) = Php10,500

International Travel Fee = Php1,620 x 4 = Php6,480

Air Fare RT = Php3,500 each x 4= Php14,000

Transpo (easy card) = NT$400/pax x 4 = NT$1,600 = (Php2,560)

Transport from airport taxi(RT) = NT$ 2,000 = (Php3,200)

Yehliu Entrance= NT$80 each x 4 = NT$320 = (Php512)

Wifi 4G = NT$150/day x 2days = NT$300 (Php 480)

Starbucks (minimum charge in taipei101) = NT$200 x 4 = NT$800 (Php 1,280)

Taxi(chartered travel:Yehliu,shifen,jiufen)=NT$2800=(Php 4480)

Pocket Money/Shop and Food(depends on you 🙂

Total: Php43,492 divided by 4 = Php10,873. More or less 10k per person for this trip:))(TAKE NOT,THIS AMOUNT INCLUDES AIRFARE.So it depends on how “Abangers” you are for seat sale tix.)

Without airfare: 43,492-14,000 (airfare)=PHP29,492 for 4person or PHP7,373/pax


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Familiarizing Taipei Metro Map

We spent more than half of our day in Ximending before we hit our itinerary. We waited for the temperature to cool down a bit so that it would not be so hot. Funny thing was that when the time came that it was not too hot anymore, I worried that it would start to rain. So we hurried to go to the Taipei Main Zoo station, where the Maokong gondola was. The operations of Maokong gondola was weather-dependent, so pray that it won’t rain or that it won’t be windy. I have to say that during our whole trip in Taiwan, we did not experience rainfall until the last day. Probably, Taiwan is sad that we were leaving.

Day 0

8pm Airport

11:15pm ETD Taiwan (1 hr & 45 min)

Day 1

1:00am ETA Taiwan

2:00pm Check in Ximending/Diary of taipei hostel

7:00am  wake up/Prep

8:00am  breakfast KFC(free coupons from accom)

10:00 Roam around ximending/Temple/Personal agenda

1:00pm Lunch at Ximending

3:00pm Visit Maokong Gondola

4:30pm Visit Maokong Station/Foodtrip

6:00pm Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

7:30pm Shilin Night Market

11pm Back to accomodation








To continue reading our Day 1 in taiwan, click here.

Other Experiences/Places in Ximending

Taipei Tianhou Temple/Ximending Mazu Temple

While walking along the streets of Wanhou, we noticed this temple. It may go unnoticed for the tourists because it’s between two shops. People may think that Ximending is all about shops and so, but they can actually visit this small but beautiful temple.

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Since this is our nest in Taiwan,we still go out and walk at night after our day tour. (as in Super sinusulit ang place. Hahaha)


Being on the medical field, this digistamps or “trodat” booth caught my attention! hahaha. These are so cute :))

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Mango Shaved Ice

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with Taro Balls(NT$100)

Taiwan Castella

This tasted sooo good. At closing hours, they usually sold 2 pieces for the price of 1. So upon returning to Ximending, we went to other places first, only to know that it was already sold out when we returned. HUHUHU The Regret!!

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(Chinese name… so I forgot:( but it’s above this famous food stall)

We want to try Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle/ A Zong Mian Xian, well known for serving the best meesua in Taipei.  They had no seats so we chose to go to the restaurant upstairs. We were told that it was nice there as well.

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Taipei City Hospital


I saw this sign here. Might help someone out there..Hahaha!!!

The streets are mainly used for pedestrians, so there is a designated parking area in the heart of Ximending–the Emei Parking lot. It’s in front of this hospital. So you know where to go just in case something happens.

Modern Toilet – We probably came very early so it was still closed when we passed by. My parents are not very cool with this though. Haha Rap and I would have loved to try.

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Eslite bookstore/LAttea

This is near the Emei Parking lot. It was so refreshing to find this kind of bookstore here in the midst of all the RTW clothes, food stalls, etc.

I actually bought one book about human figures. It was written in chinese though. But hey, I’m for the illustrations. I should have bought the watercolor art book as well. Hahaha.. I think the prices are not that expensive if compared here. (What do you think?). There were also lots of cute stuff to be found.

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Lattea is found inside eslite. we ordered the tea with cream cheese on top.

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STARBUCKS – very cozy place to study. I wish we have this in Ph. Very spacious and there were lots of seats.Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoor

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This is in 711..haha..For Shinichi kudo’s and Ran’s fans, you might want to hang out here. Lol.


D M-Beef Noodles

(checking google:I think it is No. 97號, Section 1, Hangzhou South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100) It was recommended to us by a friend so we gave it a try.  It was just so perfect for the cold weather 🙂 BTW, it is said to be the home of one of the best Taiwanese beef noodles. haha It was delicious, even the appetizers are also good. (Last foodtrip in Taiwan, as I’ve told you it rained during our last day).

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Click here for more info about our trip:

Day 1- This blog and Taiwander2:Maokong,CKS memorial hall,Shilin

Day2-  Northcoast tour: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen and Jiufen

Day 3- Taipei101/Starbucks 35th flr ,  Elephant mountain


For you to visualize the destinations, I included here the map for you to see

click here.


7am wake up

8am breakfast

9:15am MRT to taipei main station

9:54am TRA to Reifung stn(9:54am 40mins)

11:00 eta reifung

11:30am etd yehliu geopark(40mins)


2:30-3:30pm Shifen waterfalls

3:30-4:30pm Shifen old street/flying lantern


7:25pm ETD Reifung stn to taipei Main Streer

11pm Ximending



7:30 am wake up/prep for early checkout (checkout is 12nn)

8:00am-10am breakfast

11:00 Starbucks 35th floor/ taipei 101

1:30am Elephant mountain

3:20 end of hike / Shongshan temple

4:30 back to ximending/ Tidy up

6:00-8pm M Beef Noodle soup

8-10pm Eslite bookstore/Lattea

10:00 ETD to Taoyuan Airport

11pm ETA Taoyuan Airport

1:15 ETD to Manila

3:30 ETA in Manila

Comment below if you want a printable file.:)


TaiWander2:Maokong, CKS memorial hall, Shilin

Ni hao!!I still can’t get over about being a TaiWanderer so I would continue my blog here.LOL. By this time,you have probably read the 1st part of my Taiwander blog. Well if not it is just fine, you can go back here. We spent most of our day in Ximending but you can adjust your time depending on your own iti.


Day 1

1:00am ETA Taiwan

2:00pm Check in Ximending/Diary of taipei hostel

7:00am  wake up/Prep

8:00am  breakfast KFC/

10:00 Roam around ximending/Temple/Personal agenda

1:00pm Lunch at Ximending

3:00pm Visit Maokong gondola

4:30pm Visit  Maokong station/Foodtrip

6:00pm Chiang kai chek memorial hall

7:30pm Shilin night market

11pm Back to hostel


How to get here:

1.From ximending, ride blue line up to Zhongxiao Fuxing stn.

2. Swith to brown/Wenhu line.Alight at taipei zoo station. You can walk from there. You won’t be lost,you can see it from there.Believe me.

We just used the easy card here,it is very convenient.I think it costs us NT$120/pax. You can do round trips via but we decided to get one way only. Maokong Gondola is until 5. Pray that the weather will be fine so they can fully operate the cable cars.


We no longer included Taipei zoo in our iti.We just prioritize going to gondola because the weather is just fine for it. It depends on you if you want to do both because these two attractions are just near from each other. From the taipei zoo station, you can already see maokong Gondola station.


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We no longer bought our tickets here since we are using our easy cards which we bought from Ximen station.Thank God there are no long queues.


There are few stations between Maokong station and Taipei Main zoo. We thought the travel time was just fast and the personnel will be asking us to go down in every station we were stopping. But as it turns out, they just said hello and we continued the ride. We were able to take pictures and enjoy the view at the same time.It takes about 30mins.


Take the crystal cabin with transparent floor for better experience. This will also test the courage of those who have fear of heights.Imagine how we manage to do some pictorials without photobomber in this small space.haha


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The view was spectacular.You can see the city side as well as the mountainside.Very relaxing.BTW, the brochure says it is closed during mondays for maintenance.So it is open from Tues to Sundays,starting at 8:30 or 9.Max number of people in crystal cabin is 5, and standard is 8.

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It is Taipei’s first high-altitude gondola.

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This how Maokong station looks like.Very nice view of the Maokong Mt.



Maokong,which means No cat,is known locally grown tea and its scenic spots.

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There are different street foods.As for us we just tasted their match ice cream(The one that has an edible cat on it).I think  it is around NT$80. Once you are done with this place, you can return to the taipei zoo main station via taxi.They are easily seen. we are actually standing the taxi bay. The rate is standard and it costs $75/pax. And I didn’t know they could include a joiner there. I mean, we took the same ride with another tourist.


I felt a little dizzy when we went downhill because the taxi which we rode on smelled like cigarette fumes. This ride takes around 30mins. So, just in case you’ll be taking a cab, try to sniff in first if you can tolerate it. Haha!Of course,we would not want to spoil the rest of our iti just because we don’t feel good anymore.(Sad face!like huhuhubells)


How to get here:

1.From taipei zoo stn(brown line),alight at Daan stn.

2.Switch to red line until yo reach Chiang kai shek memorial hall station. Go to exit 5.

You can’t say you have visited Taiwan if you have not seen this historical landmark. This was built in memory of Chiang Kai Shek, a former president of Republic of China(ROC). (Just in case you are wondering, ROC is Taiwan; and People’s Republic of China is China)haha.I’d rather not say anything about their politics:))

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looks like a hat:)

If you wish to know more, click here to view their site.

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We might not be able to witness the changing of guards because it is until 4;but, we saw the flag lowering ceremony which is usually done at 5:10pm”At least,may ganap”Haha


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This is surrounded by a park,  Liberty Square on its East. On its north and south are the National Theater and National Concert Hall.



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Also,we saw the place lighted up.:)I usually have end-of-the-day anxiety but this brighten my mood:))weeee!!!Winner!Wuhoo.LOL!

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Winner pic to.I like it.I almost kissed the ground while taking it.LOL!!haha


How to get here:

From Chiang Kai shek memorial hall, take the MRT at red line.Alight at Jiantan station(not shilin).You can see it across the street. If there is more time(you can prolly squeeze in some minutes to visit the National palace museum in Shilin stn before proceeding here.) I’ll reserve that for next taiwan adv(God willing:),So help me God!)


The facade.

You still need to walk before you get here. Don’t worry !When you alight at Jiantan station, you will see some food stalls and shops immediately across the street.You won’t get lost.Plus, You won’t get bored because of the amusing view of people eating street foods and the mere sight of the street food starts at that corner of the street.

There are so many things that attracts the eye-from food to souvenirs as well as mini amusing games.

This looks easy but no!hahaha


This is the road I am talking about.You have to walk through this before you reach Shilin Night Market. It is just near.



This is one of the sweetest fresh orange juice I have tasted so far. Certified thirst quencher. The girl vendor was so sweet and jolly. She also gave us lots of free taste. You can choose between sour and sweet.(NT$55 or 70(?)



Probably, we got really thirsty from the all day walking so we were enticed easily by these colorful,sweet and juicy fruits.This picture below is a pork strip/sheet. It somehow tastes like tapa for me(?),thinner and dried tapa:)Get the idea?Tell me if we have same thoughts once you tasted it.hahaha



Even in Manila, we like eating shaved ice so imagine our delight when we found this. (BTW,Have you tried the Baobing in Caution hot and snow creme in maginhawa? )Well, here we have found their relatives.We tried the mulberry and the one with pudding.



This is the Potato prince cheese. Imagine the long queues I had to endure for this.HAha I almost did not want to buy anymore but I was like, “No, I could not miss this!!”

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Blowtorched steak-looks so appetizing but we did not eat this anymore.




This we have tried. NT$100 for scallops and NT$150 for the oyster.It is also blowtorched.It is cheesy.Haha

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Tired feet but with happy tummy:))

I heard the following are also must-try’s: Stinky tofu, squid-whatever-on-a-stick, sausage.Taiwanese meatballs (We feel full. LOL(How ironic. Prolly because of the great amount of fluid we took in)


Click here for more info about our trip:

Day1:  TaiWander 🇹🇼TaiWander2:Maokong, CKS memorial hall, Shilin

Day2-  Northcoast tour: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen and Jiufen

Day 3- Taipei101/Starbucks 35th flr ,  Elephant mountain


Comment below if you want the printable iti.


TaiWander: Jiufen Old street


Jiufen old street



If there are things I can relate Jiufen old street to, those are wholesome gastronomic experience, overlooking sceneries and red round lanterns. It is said that the  film, Spirited away, based its location in this place. Read more about that similarities here:  Spirited away.  And I could say that just like Chihiro’s parents, i was enticed by the delicious variety of food offered within its streets. For the whole two hours that we spent there, I could say that it was short but sweet. This was our last stop for our Northern Taiwan tour for our second day. Good thing I was able to see it in daylight and nightime.


This is the entrance. .Haha.I could sense that the placement of 7-11 beside the entrance is very strategic.Imagine everyone who will be taking a photo there. Ah!very good advertisement…haha. From that entrance, Food sellers are already giving some taste samplers. They will not hesitate to give you some more if you would ask.

Jiufen old street

Aside from the food, some stores are also selling souvenirs and various items.

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Raprap,my brother, was starting to buy some peanut-rolled ice cream.It was cold and tasty.You can taste the peanuts. It is like lumpiang shanghai or burrito ice cream with crushed peanuts.

Busy narrow streets. Sometimes there will be slow traffic as the tourists stops in front of a store or food stall to check or buy on something.

Food everywhere

Here are some of the food I have tasted and seen. I may not remember all their names but I remember more what they looked like. The reason why I placed this food section of this blog is that I want you to experience how I felt when I was walking the narrow streets of Jiufen. (Super takaw-tikim everywhere)I did not taste everything though.I just pick those that is visually pleasing and tasty for me. Haha. But Please don’t get tired scrolling I still have some stories to tell you below.

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Vermicelli noodles,dumplings

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Rice cake



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Look at me.I did not know which food stall to go.hahaha

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I remember that I almost got my stomach full just by passing by the free taste.HAHA!!!I was not able to take pics of the others though.(If I did took pics of all the food that  saw, then this blog would have been longer.HAha)


Because we got tired from this all-day walking, we decided to eat our dinner.We actually had a hard time looking for a place to eat since there are many restaurants to choose from. However, this resto got our attention because it looks so clean and bright. The prices are also very affordable. You know we are not that hungry because we could find something to munch on with all these street food and taste samplers.  They just wanted to eat and sit. Good enough for a hungry stomach and tired legs.

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When you continue walking straight, you will reach this place.Many people are here to take photos and see the overlooking view from Jiufen.

Jiufen old street

You can continue walking there. But as for us, we stopped here to take breathtaking photos of the view and looked for the famous century-old tea house

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

My heart was captivated by this view.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

A Mei Tea house

We asked the nearby store where this is.This got me so curious that I want to see it for myself. This is said to be the inspiration of the bath house in Spirited away. Plus, This is seen in one of the post cards in Taiwan and if you happen to visit this particular place this is the one you shouldn’t miss.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

You know, this place where I was posing?It was narrowed by people wanted to take a pic of them with the teahouse. It is almost impossible to take a picture without photobombers. So expect that you need to have a good timing to take good pictures  or if you can snap asap.

Jiufen old street

This is the entrance.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

We no longer went inside because we still wanted to roam in the old street.Plus,there were so many tourists inside that time.


Jiufen old street

Also, funny thing was, this bay or area where we took this pic happened to be a staircase that leads to another tea house.That teahouse’s staircase was full of tourist wanting to take pictures of the A-mei tea house.


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Jiufen old street


Jiufen old street


When you go down further you will see this Shengping theatre, which is a landmark at Qingbian Road. This was actually built during the Japanese occupation.

Jiufen old street

After we saw this as we go down, we returned immediately because we wanted to go back to the grape seed juice stall.(I’ll tell it to you in a while)


So this place was originally a gold mining area.It is not so surprising to see small tunnels just like this one. This is actually near A-mei tea house.Would you dare entering this one?

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Jiufen old street

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Jiufen old street


It looks a little creepy. So we did not go inside at first. But curiosity hits us and we continued walking. We ended up in a place like this.It is actually more tranquil place.Like literally it offers a place to breathe away from the crowded streets. There was no one there at that time so just took pics and left immediately.


Jiufen old street


Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, mountain, sky, tree, outdoor and natureIn spirited away, there was also a tunnel but that one is a portal to the magical world.And that is how the story started.

The View

If you follow the path from the entrance and walk straight, you will see the view in the pics below. Jiufen is located in a mountainous area in the Ruifung district in the Northeastern part of Taiwan. So it is nearer from the Reifung station of TRA. It has some Baguio(Philippines) or Santorini(Greece) vibes because of the strategic placement of houses and establishments. Up there, it offers the stunning view of the pacific ocean.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

BTW, look what I have found at Guidetotaipei.com. Jiufen is “Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. Many buildings in the town remain unchanged to this day, reflecting the Japanese influence on both architecture and culture on the island. During World War II, the town housed a Japanese prisoner of war camp where captured Allied Force soldiers (mainly British) were forced to work in the gold mines. After the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history and culture.”read More

Before we leave

We really returned in this stall before we left. We bought this grape seed concentrate from Ms. Precious. I am telling you, you should really try this one. She gives a lot of taste samplers. You would definitely want for more.

Jiufen old street

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I think the best time to go here is around afternoon until the sunset. You will see the red lanterns light up:).We stayed here until 7pm. It was not that dark yet.But the stores at this hour already starts to close.

Jiufen old street


Just before we finally leave the place our driver, Mr. Bingo Chen, asked us if we want to take a picture in this area or stay for a few minutes to appreciate the view. Look at that those are very nice to look at. Glad we just hailed a taxi for this trip. Buses don’t stop in this place.


Jiufen old street



I do not know if it is just the resemblance of the film’s location, Spirited Away, to Jiufen. But I could say that it already had made a mark in heart. My brother was a little disappointed though because he expected the place to be so similar with that movie. You know, “No face” can be seen everywhere as key chain or stuffed toy.It was fun walking through that tunnel only to find out a different set up on the other side. It was a quieter place.It is like you can get lost and avoid the crowd in an instant. Probably there is more to see in Taiwan, but I encourage everyone to visit this place.

How to get here:

-You can ride the MRT and alight at  Songshan station.Then,take the take the Keelung bus 1062

.-As for us, we rode MRT from Ximen up to Taipei Main station.Switch to  TRA up to Reifung.Then, we took a cab from the Reifung station to cover our Northern Taiwan: Yehliu,shifen and jiufen street.(It costs us NT$2800  for 4pax.)


Day2-  Northcoast tour: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen and Jiufen

Day 3- Taipei101/Starbucks 35th flr ,  Elephant mountain