After some fun in Kaohsiung, the next stop is to head to Tainan and try out staying at a Minsu 民宿 (hostel, homestay)！
Along the way to the MRT station, we saw guys reporting for miltary enlistment. Interestingly, there are volunteers who will escort them for reporting and I believe the county leader was there to give words of encouragement. It is interesting to note that there we no military personnel spotted and seems to be more like a community activity.
This is how the inside of the mrt train looks like. They are using the Siemens train and its design is cleaner and more simplistic.
From ZuoYing station, we transfered over to TRA (their railway line) to get to Tainan. It takes around 40 minutes for 67TWD.
Taiwan seems to have some issue in terms of garbage management. You can see rubbish left around when people alight. I guess the lack of public bins makes it tempting to abandon your unwanted stuff behind.
You get to enjoy the nice scenery along the railway journey so keep your electronics away and look outside!
From the train station, we headed over to the bus stop to take a bus towards the minsu. One weird thing to note is that they have two bus stops side by side and displays information for different bus services. Do keep a look out for the bus number that you are waiting for!
Along the street that we are living at, there is an underground carpark and you will see lots of such elaborate stairways that lead you downwards. It makes me wonder how bad is the parking situation that calls for a huge underground parking facility.
With our luggages dropped at the minsu, we headed out and decided to plan the days' itinerary over milk tea. There a so many drinks stalls all over taiwan and its hard to tell which is good or bad. Probably the sight of a long queue helps. XD
First stop is at Hayashi Department store opened by a Japanese businessmen in 1932. It is the first building with an elevator and other electrical equipment around the South area.
Interestingly, they are able to track the number of visitors in the store.
The lift retains its old look but the inside has been replaced with a modern machine.
At the top floor, you can have a nice view of the streets below. There is also a air-conditioned food outlet that offers local food at a decent price.
At level two, the store features products designed by Taiwanese artist. There are many creative and innovative products on display and I would recommend visiting!
The next place is Confucius temple for 25TWD. Nothing very special I would say but you can drop by to look around and pray to have great wisdom like Confucius.
Along the way in search for lunch, we passed by a dumpling shop and decided to snack on one just to see how it tasted. Pretty tasty and special for 50TWD.
Lunch was a little sad with curry rice as other food around the area are not to our liking.
We also joined the locals in queuing for winter melon tea to beat the summer heat! Cannot believe that the queue takes around 10 minutes and waiting for drink to be ready is another 5 minutes. It tasted, er, sweet and that was about it.
Next up is Chihkhan tower which is a former fort built by the Dutch in 1950s. There is a nice view from the top and some simple exhibition that explains the history of this fort.
This is the first time that we experienced rain during summer and made it hard to go around attractions.
Around the corner is a Grand Mazu temple where we paid our respect before sitting by the benches and wait for the rain to stop.
Nowdays, even the talisman are made into stamps where you can DIY and make one to bring home. o.o
Seeing that there is no signs that rain is going to stop (rain came due to typhoon passing by the Southern trip), we headed back to the minsu and bought some cake/bing along the way.
The Fuqi hostel minsu is very homely and well decorated. There's a laundry area at the roof which can be really useful for a long period of stay.
Dinner was at a place just 2 minutes away due to the rain and we ordered a mix of braised dishes along with green vegetables that are so uncommonly served.
Dessert was extremely fun! The receptionist Meng Meng (孟孟）joined us and we had a great conversation about the city and life in general. We had grass jelly in red bean and peanut soup as well as some mochi to go along.
After dessert, she brought us to a tea shop where we had an opportunity to take a photo like a boss! The experience of interacting with the local and enjoying nice tea as night fall is one that made the trip memorable.
Interestingly, he has this line that describes his feelings of loginging a person to drop by and catch up over tea. Some of you might be familiar with the same line but over coffee, a cafe that is found around Taiwan.