Day 1 - Fengjia Night Market
Taichung

Day 1: Hello Taiwan – The Heart of Asia

Welcome to Taiwan!

After our last red-eye flight to Tokyo, we learnt our lesson and decided not to do it again. We figured out the hard way that the accommodation saved for the night doesn’t do any justice to the amount of lethargy for the day. Besides, when you take SQ, there’s just so much food! How to sleep in peace? (First world problems…) There wasn’t any itinerary for the day, except to get to Lumi Hotel in one piece, and to pig out at Fengjia Night Market.

From Taoyuan to Taichung

Touched down at Taoyuan International Airport late in the afternoon. The very first instinctive reactions were, “Why so hot?”, “Why nobody queues up for the trains?”, why this, why that, making comparison to Japan for every little thing. Haha! I guess we’re feeling the Japan withdrawal symptoms, but of course we don’t mean it. We miss Japan, but still going to enjoy this trip for sure!

Similarly to our trips to Japan, we had to do our admin stuff right away. Collected our SIM cards and THSR tickets (for Taoyuan to Taichung). Since we had some time before our ride arrives, we stopped by at 7-Eleven to check out the difference from Japan buy drinks. Bought a bottle of Rilakkuma tea for reasons. Actually it just tastes like teh-o kosong.

Guess what, we found an Eki stamp here at Taichung HSR Station! Took our precious book out and got our first stamp in Taiwan! If I’m not wrong, Taiwan has many places with stamps too, and we’re gonna collect them all!

Lumi Hotel

Taichung doesn’t have an extensive subway line like Tokyo or Osaka, and since it was getting late, we took a cab. Compared to Japan, taxis here a way more affordable. Check-in to the hotel was swift, we booked in to our room shortly. The room was rather small, but we were used to it from our Japan experience. However, I wasn’t sure why the toilet area was so huge. They could have reduced the size of the toilet (which is about 30% of the entire room space) to be honest. We would have appreciated more room for opening our luggage.

The Famous Fengjia Night Market

And off we go to the most famous night market of Taichung. If you’d ask me, the night markets here in Taiwan are different from the night markets in Thailand. Those in Thailand are way bigger, but messier. Taiwan versions are essentially food havens, fused with random game stalls (for some reason).

Our stomachs were crying from the lack of food. Also crying for the fact that every damn thing looks so delicious. We literally bought whatever we saw. Our first item was the grilled king oyster mushrooms, with a pinch of sea salt. Too hungry, and nothing special, so we gobbled it and moved on. Got us some lemon flavor chicken skewers. It’s basically the street version of our Old Chang Kee. Pretty damn awesome though. Our mood was slightly dampened because it began drizzling. Couldn’t care less, as we need to settle our tummies first.

Papaya Milk and Bubble Tea

We soon came to realize that as big as Fengjia Night Market was, many stores were also on repeat. Especially the drink stalls. We concluded that in Taiwan, people only drink 2 kinds of drinks: papaya milk, and bubble tea. These stalls were literally everywhere. It is no wonder why Taiwanese girls have big boobs. And those who choose to chug down endless cups of bubble tea, eventually get fat. That’s us, we’re here to get fat.

Big Sausage Wraps Small Sausage

Nobody leaves Taiwan without eating a dose of 大腸包小腸 (Literal translation: big sausage wraps small sausage). Though it was raining, there was still a queue here. It has to be good to make it worthwhile getting drenched right? And I’m glad to say, it’s worth the queue! For those meat lovers, do not have high hopes because it isn’t actually sausages. It’s actually glutinous rice on the outside, wrapping a sausage inside. We underestimated their “spicy” flavor, only to realize that it was flaming hot.

Big Sausage wraps Small Sausage at Fengjia Night Market
大腸包小腸

As we continued our conquest to expand our tummies. Next on the list was some cherry duck skewers. Pretty sure it’s just duck meat with a fancy name, not bad nonetheless. In fact we just needed to hide from the rain, and his stall was sheltered. Found some 地瓜球 (sweet potatoes balls), but they can’t compare to those we had at Phuket’s Chillva Market. Maybe because this pack we bought was already left out in the cold for awhile.

The Best Dish in Fengjia Night Market

And now, for the best item of all Fengjia: this stall called Seaside Cottage. At first we were wondering what’s the hype with random boiled clams. We gave it a shot, because if 20 other people in front of us were willing to wait in the rain for this, it shouldn’t go wrong. We ordered their original flavored boiled clams, which is damn bloody nice. If I could add a font-size 72px to the word AWESOME, I would. Nothing beats having a hot pack of boiled clams in the cold. The last item of the night, 洋蔥餅 was a filler for us. This fried onion pie topped off the remaining empty space in our stomachs. Satisfactory level 100%!

A Fulfilling Night at Fengjia Night Market

Honestly I underestimated the distance from Lumi Hotel to Fengjia Night Market. On hindsight I should have double checked the distance via street view. It was a pity that it rained, but also luckily for us it only began pouring while we were heading back. It was a good decision to purchase an umbrella just now at the market, because in this horrendous rain, we’ll never get back to our hotel. We were drenched to our butts, no joke! What a wet night indeed! Hopefully the weather will be awesome tomorrow.

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