Friday, May 08, 2015

Things you can do in Taiwan that you can’t do in Singapore.

Hey guys! So by now I suppose that you’ve already gone through my previous posts on Scoot sending me to Taiwan and are now itching to hea...

Hey guys!

So by now I suppose that you’ve already gone through my previous posts on Scoot sending me to Taiwan and are now itching to head over to the wonderful land of night markets, fried food, and bubble tea.

And farms of course. They do have many farms.I would like to announce that I’ve been to more farms than night markets in Taiwan. I went to like, maybe three night markets.

And maybe twenty million farms.
I exaggerate of course. It was just five farms. And a place where you could farm salt. So maybe five and a half farms.

But I digress. So yes. You want to go to Taiwan now because of my wonderful narrative skills. And you’re not sure of what you should be doing in Taiwan. But that’s okay. Because I will now proceed to tell you what you should totally do in Taiwan just because you can’t do it back home. Makes for an exciting trip you know. And also you should take it from me because I’m worldly and knowledgeable as always.

So here goes…

1. Drink beer on the streets at 10:31 pm.

Have you heard about the recent alcohol restrictions? Sure you have. I know I was really upset. So this is me and James having one last drink on the streets before the restrictions kicked in.
But you know who hasn’t heard of the restrictions? Taiwan. Needless to say, here we are drinking on the streets of Tainan. At the Da Dong Night Market. Because you can do that even after the clock strikes 10 (thirty).
Alcohol in your bubble tea. The drinks from your childhood have never tasted better. Only in Taiwan guys.

2. Order Starbucks in Mandarin.

So you know how Scoot challenged the not exactly very effectively bilingual me to immerse myself in Taiwanese culture? No? Here's the video.

What happens when we challenge 3 city girls to go off the beaten track to discover the hidden gems of Taiwan? Celine, Alene and Jacqueline will be going out of their comfort zone to discover the other side of Taiwan for 7 days! They will be sharing some of the interesting food discoveries, quirky and cool finds, and popular culture stories. PLUS, they’ll be up for daily challenges during their stay too! Who will fare better? Stay tuned to find out more :)
Posted by FlyScoot on Wednesday, 8 April 2015

WELL. I think I did quite a good job you know. This is me ordering two grande non-fat lattes to go. IN MANDARIN!.

(I paused to give my initials for dramatic effect. Not because I was working her question out in my head, or wondering if I should give my name in Mandarin or English.) 

Anyway! I can also order a non-fat sugar-free vanilla latte. And also a non-fat sugar-free espresso vanilla frappe. In Mandarin.
Try doing that in Singapore. And bring me along. If you successfully order a drink from the barista in Mandarin on your first try, I will pay for your drink.

3. Buy mammoth ivory.

So Eugene and I wandered to the Jade Market in Taipei and it was filled with people selling, well, jade.
And apparently, anyone can set up a stall there. Even Eugene and I. Here are some pictures of our stall. We are selling important stuff. Like air and ideas.
And there were other people selling other stuff too of course. Like teapots (that were not made of jade).
These thingamabobs.
And also mammoth ivory.
Apparently legal. So you know, if you’re clamouring to have some mammoth ivory to complete your latest #OOTD, you know where to find some.

4. Drink drive.

So, by now you probably have heard of my excellent driving abilities on the quad bike at the Qi Gu Salt Mountain.
I was adjusting my dress when the quad bike flipped over. Full explanation here. But just so that you know, I wasn’t the most dangerous driver on the track. There was James who was trying to be a speed demon (behind me).
And also Eugene.
Eugene had wanted to be photographed on the dirt track with his can of Taiwan Beer. So he brought an almost empty can to the track. The guy in charge said (in Mandarin), “You can't drink it while driving. But if you finish all your beer now it’s ok.”
Taiwan is awesome.

5. Star gaze.

So we were spending the night at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium and the guys and I decided to go for a stroll outside to…I don’t know man. Probably drink beer and act wise and knowledgeable.
Because the museum is located in almost the middle of nowhere, it was really dark. And so we could see the stars! And you know, because I am innately quite a poser, I convinced the guys to take some emo shots with “feels”.
What? If you happen to be in the company of professional photographers/videographers, you have to make the most of it right? Because realistically, this would most likely be how it would turn out if you took it without professional help - lame and not so good.
Later on, Alene and Celine joined in too! So feels right? I was extremely proud of my idea. #swag
Yeah and this is obviously not something that you can do in Singapore. Apart from the light pollution from the many city lights, you might also get jabbed in the face by a selfie stick from a teenager trying to take a selfie with the night sky. So, yeah. Only in Taiwan, not so much in Singapore.

6. Have offensive signs/ names.

Here is me and a shop called “Ecstasy”. I actually do not know what they sell. Probably clothes and not ecstasy though.
And this is us and “That F*cking Place”.
Which is a very four-square worthy bar.

I don’t know, but somehow I don’t think such names would fly very well in Singapore. Where even French Connection United Kingdom (read: FCUK) caused a big hoo-ha a while back because of its “controversial” branding. More here.

Anyway, I like seeing such signs around. As apparent from some of my prized possessions. Like my mug right here.
But never in Singapore. Just you know, in Taiwan and other places.

7. Graffiti.

Ahh graffiti. Creative expression of the youth who can’t seem to do so on store-bought paper. Totally unacceptable in Singapore unless you get permission or if it’s done under regulations, but seemingly widespread in Taiwan. Take a look at some of the very classy examples I found at the “Southwest Coast National Scenic Area (雲嘉南濱海國家風景區)".
Scenic indeed. Anyway, if you're looking for graffiti  which is a little bit more, well, less alternative, there’s even a village dedicated to a war vetaran’s doodles. He just, was bored and decided to splash paint over an entire village.
And no, he did not have to get his designs pre-approved illustrations nor did he have a designated plot of land to paint on. This is clearly anarchy in it's purest form.

8. Celebrating Christmas all year round.

Taiwan is a very polite society. I get that feeling because of all the signs that they put up. Even on the ground.

Bird ahead.

Frog ahead.

Seven is up and six is down.

Careful of the rocks, careful you might fall, careful of the stairs.

It’s like the Taiwanese are too polite to tell you to open your eyes and watch where you’re going! So they put up many accurate signs to do the job for them. The best sign is of course. This one.
I love Christmas and I wish to stay in Taiwan to celebrate it all year round.

9. Littering.

At the first farm we went to, the Ladybug Organic Farm, we were given oranges to eat. So we peeled them and ate them. They were extremely sweet and juicy. Very delicious.
The problem was though, that we did not know where to throw the skins. And we were instructed by Mr Wu, the farmer who ran the place, to throw them on the ground. They were after all, organic material. Which would help to nourish the growing crops anyway.
So that’s what everyone did. Everyone except me. Because ingrained in me is the Singaporean mentality that I CANNOT LITTER.

I finally did though, after 10 minutes or so. Here’s a photo of me looking distressed because I was about to litter.
Sigh. It was along and arduous task. The people at the Clean and Green movement should be so proud of me. And yes. I'm aware that I deserve the limelight and the money that Kim Kardashian gets, given that I ressemble her oh-so-much.

10. Wonder where the bin is.

Taiwan is a relatively clean place. With the exception of fruit peels in the farms, you don’t usually see a lot of litter on the ground. Here do you see any litter in these photos?
But that does not mean that dustbins are easy to find. THEY ARE NO WHERE TO BE FOUND.
Here are some pictures. Do you see any dustbins?
No you do not. Because there are none in sight. It made James very annoyed because he always had some empty coffee cups/ empty Coke Zero bottles (that may be my fault) that he was lugging around. Here! Look at this collage I put together. I call it "James and the Empty Coffee Cup".
SO WHERE ARE THE DUSTBINS?! Such a scenario would not be probable in Singapore where dustbins are located within 5 metres of wherever you are. But we found out where dustbins are always located at. At temples.
Okay and that wraps up my post on things you can do in Taiwan that you can do in Singapore. Hope you found it useful. I think it’s quite informative don’t you?

Oh and one final sign. This is not a trash.
Lies. It's the trash I took out just the other day.
Okay so yes. That's more or less the end of my post. OH WAIT> Instagram giveaway results. Yes yes. As you guys might have know, I held a giveaway for 3 pairs of Scoot tickets on Instagram.
And congratulations @jingrawrs, @amosyeo, and @augustinchiam! You've each won Scoot vouchers worth $100 per pair!If you need ideas on where to go, here's a suggestion - book tickets to Taiwan with Scoot! You can even fly to one city and out from the other. Fares start from from $118 to Taipei and $88 to Kaohsiung!

Also, if you would like to read more substantial and less frivolous stuff about Taiwan, don't forget to visit the blogs of my travel buddies Alene and Celine!
Jac would like to give thanks to Scoot and Taiwan Tourism Bureau for empowering her with yet another reason to go on holiday.

And would like to thank her new friends for being awesome travel companions.
(Stolen from Alene's blog. She's nice and won't mind).

Also to James! For readily agreeing to go to Taiwan with me when I randomly asked. You are not bad at times.
Okay that's all. Bye then!
❤ Jac.

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