6D5N Taipei Day 1 : AirAsiaX, Web Check In, Boarding Pass, Smokey Bbq Chicken, Taiwan Mobile, Youth Travel Card, TS Hotel, Ximending, Ximen MRT Station, EasyCard, Shilin Night Market, Stinky Tofu, Lava Taipei, Jellybird, Bodingtons Pub Ale, Instant Noodles Braised Beef


05.37 am – Andy arrived at my house. Actually, I could HARDLY sleep the whole night. I think I only slept like 3 hours. Woke up at around 4. Too excited!

chris chee andy tai

05.48 am – Shawn in the car.


06.15 am – Arrived in Penang International Airport, met with YK and took a seat in McDonald’s as Anthony’s fat hands appeared out of nowhere.

ying kiat shawn chin

One of his primal instincts kicking in.

06.43 am – By this time, we were already on the plane from Penang to KLIA-LCCT.

Began reading the super cool in flight magazine.

First and last flights to and from Penang are usually full flights.

And off we went into the air!

08.04 am – And then we landed.

08.30 am – Met up with the KL brothers and proceeded to LCCT Food Garden for a heavy breakfast.

Tastes crappy but we had very little choice.

09.01 am – Check in to International departures were quite easy as I’ve checked us all the way from Penang to Taipei and back.

Oh, and another thing, Airasia is VERY STRICT with their 7kg maximum carry on policy. All of us got stopped and had the weight of our bags measured. Although most airlines allow 10kg, none of them can match the amazing low fares of AirAsia. So I guess this is where they try to make back the money. Fair enough, I suppose.

09.39 am – Walked to our Airbus A330.

The guys walking up the steps.

All of us were in a row.

It was a really full flight and the experience was like in the wet market. All the aunties and uncles standing around and talking. Kesian the stewardesses who had to remind them to be seated every now and then.

10.01 am – Started watching Jackass 3D.

And this was my favourite scene of the whole show!

12.07 pm – Lunch time!

Very delicious Smokey bbq chicken!!

01.17 pm – Everyone in dreamland.

02.47 pm – Welcome to Taipei!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Having our usual toilet break right after arrival.

03.06 pm – The first thing we did after leaving immigration was going straight to buy ourselves a prepaid card each.

Filled up a form, paid TWD 360, showed our passports and driving license and received

our Taiwan mobile prepaid card, preloaded with TWD350. Believe me, with that amount, it can last me up to a month!

03.22 pm – After settling our phone numbers, we proceeded to the tourism counter to apply the Taiwan Youth Card.

How it looks like. With this, we can get up to 50% discount for admissions into many, many popular tourist destinations. Applicable if you are between 15-30 years old.

03.34 pm – The van came and we started loading our bags.

I remember we were so busy trying to get each other’s phone number in the van.

Hello Taipei!

04.25 pm – About an hour later, we arrived in TS Hotel aka Ta Shun Hotel.

Got us registered into our rooms.

04.54 pm – I was assigned single room 505.

I LOVED IT! It was just big enough for 1 person.

Also, it came complete with a television, hot water facilities, a fridge, a humidifier,

and a clothes stand.

The bathroom was modern looking and very clean!

There were 4 different types of water outlets in the shower stall.

I didn’t use any of the 5 breakfast coupons as I ventured into the streets of Ximending EVERY morning in search of the authentic Taiwanese breakfast experience.

05.26 pm – 7-Elevens were everywhere.

So convenient.

Bought myself a very delicious sesame seed bun.

05.49 pm – Began our tour of Taipei from the very nearby Ximen MRT station. Very, very near to our hotel. Very near. So, so, so convenient! Notice the very BIG billboards in the background? That’s the entrance of Ximending.

Inside Ximen MRT.

Went straight to the information counter and bought 8 Easy Cards for each of us. It cost TWD500. Each Easy Card came filled with TWD400 credit as TWD100 is subtracted for the refundable deposit.

Waited for the train to…

06.29 pm – Shilin Night Market.

Candy coated strawberries. Just by looking at it makes me feel diabetic.

Saw many people lining up for this stall. Should be nice I guess.

Some cheese coated thingy.

Super fried chicken.

The smelly tofu stall which I stood in line for 30 fucking minutes.

I NEARLY fainted.

Papaya milk juice stall which also had lots of people lining up for it.

08.15 pm – And so we bid farewell to Shilin and proceeded back to our hotel for the second part of the night.

08.36 pm – Arrived back at the front of Ximen MRT.

I did some calculations and found out that our hotel is approximately 3 minutes away.

09.52 pm – The early birds waiting outside the hotel for the late birds.

Taking the MRT to club! What an experience!

10.54 pm – Finding Lava was easy. Just look for the crowd at the Neo19 building.

And so we stood in line like the rest of the young Taiwanese clubbers, waiting for our turn to pay TWD700 for a truly free flow of ANY drink you point to on the menu. So cool!

11.21 pm – Found ourselves a spot by the side of the bar. It was near the drinks counter and it had a good view of the stage.

Saw lots of promo around the club for the Taiwanese branded Jellybird gelatin shots.

My first few consisted of Vodka limes and

my last few were cans of Bodingtons English pale ale. I think tonight was the night we drank the most compared to other nights. Free flow ma.

The rest of the guys saw ‘it’ but I didn’t cause I was too busy lining up to get my refill. 😥

‘It’ being the sexy dancers on stage taking of their bra, dancing with their hands covering their nipples! So out of this world! and I missed it!

(it simply means I’m DEFINITELY going back to Taipei) 👿

03.47 am – And then we had supper by the convenient 7-Eleven opposite TS Hotel.

6D5N Vietnam Day 1 : AirAsia, Boarding Pass, Food Garden LCCT, Nasi Padang, Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh Traffic, Mai Linh, Vinasun, Hotel Bich Duyen, Pham Ngu Lao, Pho Quynh, Sabeco Saigon Export Beer, Crazy Buffalo Saigon, Bia Hoi, Bia Tuoi, Beer 33, Sabeco 333 Export Beer


08.25 am – Checked in online yesterday and printed out all the boarding pass from PEN-KUL-SGN and from HAN-KUL-PEN. Skip the queue ma. Travel smart ^.^

08.41 am – Red dragon fruits right before the journey, reason? To guarantee that I shit on the first day of arrival at my destination.

Double check everything in the luggage

before zipping it up.

09.28 am – Holiday [email protected]~!!!!!!!!

Driver of the day, thanks for the lift bro.

10.06 am – Had breakfast at McDonald’s.

It’s been some time since I had fillet-o-fish.

Filling up her time reading while waiting.

10.26 am – Gave Vivian her boarding pass and

began the long process towards the boarding gate.

Holiday [email protected]~!!!!!!!!

The information display stating that the plan has arrived and is now boarding.

I was kinda hoping for the sky bridge to be used but then again,

you get to save money so why not skip it?

11.00 am – Our first time enjoying AirAsia’s “Hot Seat”.

Began sifting through AirAsia’s Travel3Sixty for the month of January 2011.

Bye Penang. Holiday [email protected][email protected]!!!!

12.12 pm – Landed at KLIA-LCCT.

Too bad the plane was parked at the furthest gate.

Began the long walk towards the arrival hall.

We had no checked in luggage so

we exited straight into the sidewalks of KLIA-LCCT

towards Food Garden.

The best place to charge your electronics as the air conditioning keeps you comfortable from the heat outside and food to keep your mouth and stomach busy.

The Nasi Padang stall in Food Garden is the busiest.

The reason lies in the abundance of dish choices.


11.38 pm – Began the long walk towards the international departure gates to wait for our plane.

AirAsia’s cartoon livery.

03.18 pm – ooOooooh…. the clouds…. the holiday feeling~~! ^.^

03.29 pm – Started watching Tiger WooHoo.

Vivian on the other hand, watched the super duper awesome Prestige directed by the ever talented Christopher Nolan.

We got lost in our movies that we didn’t realize 1.5 hours have passed!

From here onwards is Vietnam time. -1 hour KL time. Eg: 2pm in KL is 1pm in Vietnam.

Switched the watch to Vietnam time.

Saw lots of Vietnam Airlines hanging around.

The international terminal of

Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Being lazy.

Saw a HUGE ASS crowd as we exited the arrival gates.

Took a long walk towards

the domestic terminal.

Both Vivian and I had big notes, all in VND 100,000 notes, so we broke the notes by buying a bottle of mineral water.

04.28 pm – Waited for bus no.152 with

Vivian at the

Smoking Area of the domestic terminal.

Not long after, bus no.152 arrived.

The entire bus wasn’t really that packed.

The back was pretty empty.

The trip for a person costs only VND 6,000 which if you took a taxi from the international terminal, it would’ve been VND 300,000!!!!!! That’s 50 times more expensive!!!

04.32 pm – Experienced the craziness of the traffic for the first time.

There were just so damn many motorcycles!

I wonder if they even obey the policeman’s orders.

Structures and

statues scattered all around town.

People in groups by the roadside.

The very short chairs and tables.

Spotted the most recommended taxi group in Vietnam.

Another recommended taxi group in Vietnam. We read that there were lots of taxi scams and to only take Mai Linh or Vinasuns.

05.28 pm – It took us almost half an hour before we found our hotel as the signs were in Vietnamese.

Half an hour later, we arrived at the highly rated Bich Duyen Hotel.

The reception area.

We were relieved to find the drinks as cheap as those found in convenient stores.

We were given the key and

ushered up to our room.

We were so happy that the room was bright, spacious and comfortable.

And the toilets pretty clean.

06.10 pm – All freshened up and ready to rock and roll!

Had Chanh, the manager, point out potential places to eat and drink authentic Vietnamese products.

06.24 pm – After taking some time to digest Chanh’s explanations, we began our night.

06.27 pm – 2 minutes walk and we arrived at Pho Quynh.

The stall where food is prepared.

Fresh leafy vegetables.

Plenty of chilli the ‘kick’ and lime for added flavour.

Bean sprouts.

Pho, pronounced as ‘fur’.

The first ever beer we tasted.

It was so, so, so, so tasty!!!!!!!! I liked the fact that many vegetables were included. Raw and full of nutrition. Healthy.

Vivian doing her job as the backup photog.

A mini basket was found at the bottom of every table.

07.19 pm – After dinner, we took a stroll along the park towards Ben Thanh night market.

Kids rehearsing for the real day.

The first time we crossed mad traffic at the Ben Thanh market junction.

The Ben Thanh night market was okay but we didn’t find anything that interested us.

If you’ve already shopped till your finances have dropped to VND 0, you can always have broiled beef at one of the stalls here.

Motorcycles, motorcycles.

A very commercialized bar called Crazy Buffalo.

08.09 pm – Arrived at the only bar in Bui Vien road

that sells fresh beer aka Bia Hoi / Bia Tuoi.

The brand of our Bia Hoi was 33.

1 liter costs only VND 6,000 or RM 1 or USD 0.30.

I drank from a cup while

she drank from the container.

Made new friends.

They just approached our table and asked if we could share and then we started talking. It was so quick.

09.56 pm – Bought myself a can of 333 beer from the hotel lobby.

Left it in the fridge.

Didn’t touch it until the last day to the airport, just like what happened during Philippines. Next time, beer consumption should happen only during meals and in bars.