wedding photography singapore p01a

wedding photography singapore p01a


A Taiwan Farmstay Part 1: Getting There

The moment the children's June school holiday started, the four of us jetted off to Taiwan for a week-long holiday. It had to happen in the first week of June because I have wedding shoots from the second week onward. Our destination was Taitung (台东) on the southeastern coast of Taiwan. There were two main reasons why I chose Taitung:

1) I saw some beautiful pictures of Taitung on a Taiwanese friend's facebook page, and that piqued my interest. When I started to do research, coincidentally, several travel magazines had Taitung as their cover stories. Thus I was given a more thorough introduction to her coastline, mountains, organic farms and warm hospitality of the locals.

2) On some holidays, I don't mind joining the throngs of crowds to collectively experience what a place has to offer.On others, I just want to relax, and go somewhere I can get lost in and not hearing a familiar tongue for a while. One popular choice is Hualien (花莲). In this case, her popularity worked against her because I have heard stories about long frustrating queues at popular spots and the overt commercialization of what was once an authentic experience.

With the help of my Taiwanese friend, we managed to book the Puyuma (普悠玛号) train tickets that would take us straight to Taitung, where my rental car awaited.

We booked four return Tiger Airways tickets for about S$1000 and I was secretly happy to snatch such cheap tickets until I learned that my wife's niece bought hers for S$68. (To console myself, her flight times weren't so good but heck, it was almost $200 cheaper each.)
“我准备好了。” I'm ready for the journey. Kudos to the kiddos, who slept at 11+pm the night before and managed to wake up at 5.15am the following morning for the 6.30am train ride.

Not unsurprisingly, the rocking motion of the train lulled them to sleep just minutes after the train left the station. As a result, they missed most of these......

 The trusty Toyota rental car, for about $100 a day. Traffic in Taitung was smooth and the drive was very pleasant. To me, it felt like a cheaper and hotter Hokkaido. We reached Taitung train station after 10am. Knowing the homestay (民宿) would not be available until 3pm, we had the best part of the morning and afternoon to explore a bit of this laid back city in our rental car.

 The kids' first contact with the Pacific Ocean.

Taitung is a popular domestic tourist destination. With the majestic mountains as the backdrop and facing the Pacific Ocean, it is indeed blessed with the best of both worlds. The Taiwanese would always like to use the phrase "好山好水" to describe this slice of paradise. There are many tales of weary Taiwanese city folks who bought houses and retire here. I can see why.

 Our first lunch in Taiwan. I could find this name of the restaurant popping up in virtually every piece of literature about Taitung. 榕树下米苔目。The stock is filled with the flavour of fish and kunbu and their braised toufu and pig's ears are pretty good.

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