DAY 3, December 23
Chiayi >> National Chung Cheng University >> Raohe Night Market
For our third day in Taiwan, we decided to go to Chiayi to visit the National Chung Cheng University 國立中正大學.
Why, you ask?
I know it’s not a significant tourist spot, but if you are a Meteor Garden fan, this is a big deal! This is where a lot of the school scenes in the Taiwanese TV series were shot. I have re-watched the series 5 times since it last aired in our country. And it still makes me emotional every time.
To start, I bought discounted THSR vouchers from Klook – going to and from Chiayi. If you are able to buy directly from the THSR website, the discount can reach upto 35%. While it is the most expensive option, I chose the high speed rail because it would be the fastest travel and least tiresome option.
We went to the THSR ticketing booth in Taipei Main Station on our first day to exchange the vouchers to actual tickets, chose our boarding times and were also assigned seats.
We bought some food from the convenience store for breakfast. Took a taxi going to Taipei Main Station, NT$120. Searched for the HSR platforms and waited until boarding time. We just presented the tickets and they let us enter. Some attendants will ask for passports for verification. Our train was scheduled at 6:30am.
We arrived in Chiayi station by 7:43am. The first bus going to CCU was scheduled at 9:00am so we had time to eat and walk around. There are 2 buses passing by CCU, I chose Bus 106 because it had lesser stops. Here’s the time schedules for Bus 106. The ride from Chiayi HSR to CCU takes about an hour. You will be dropped off at the bus stop inside the university campus. Fare is NT$93 one way.
Since it was nearest from the bus stop, we entered the Activity Center first.
From here you can also see the Tranquility Lake. This is where Shān Cài 杉菜 and Qing He 青和 ate and talked in Episode 3.
Next, we walked along the main road until we saw the Administration Building. This building’s rooftop was where Shān Cài 杉菜 and Huā Zé Lèi 花澤類 first spoke with each other.
Then we saw the Fountain. This is where the F4’s graduation was held.
We walked across the University Square towards the Auditorium.
This is Xiou De Rd 修德路, adorned with what seemed like endless rows of trees. a lot of scenes were shot here, I think. Like the very first scene on Episode 1 where Bǎi Hé 百合 confronted Shān Cài 杉菜 for having a broken motorcycle.
We walked back and went to the Library and Information Building to go to the locker area. This is where Shān Cài 杉菜 received her “red card” from F4. Her locker number is 150. 🙂
At around 1:30 pm, we decided to wait at the bus stop for the Bus 106 back to Chiayi THSR. We were able to ride the bus by 2:00pm or so.
When we got to Chiayi Station, Don wanted to eat at Mos Burger — bad idea. This was probably the worst burger I have ever had. Even our local kanto Burger Machine had tastier burgers! We both ordered a regular cheeseburger, but I opted for the spicy version. Firstly, the spicy flavor was in the form of a sauce. I expected the patty to be spicy! Otherwise I would have asked for hot sauce. Next, there was an excessive amount of chopped onions – it was so overwhelming that it is one layer in itself! I had to remove all the relish and onions coz I really don’t like them, so the spicy sauce came off with that too. I ended up eating a non-spicy cheeseburger. Epic fail. 😦
We boarded the train at 4:08pm and arrived at Taipei Main Station by 5:33pm. We went back to our hotel and rested for a bit.
Around 7:30pm, I convinced Don to go to a night market. This could be our very last chance to go to one! So we went to Roahe Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市.
Via MRT: Take the Green Line to Songshan 松山, Exit 5. The entrance of the night market is just across the road.
The night market was packed with people! Almost all the good stalls had long lines!!! We were constantly walking otherwise we’d be pushed aside by other people. This was a very long street. Some stalls sell the same kind of food and halfway through we were already full. So we walked until the end of the street, got out of the night market and headed home.
Clockwise from Top Left: Bubble Tea NT$50; Black Pepper Pork Buns NT$50; Sausage; Fried Squid NT$80; Roasted Pork NT$100. *all prices are estimates, best that I can recall*
The food that we ate were delicious, seriously. I get why people fall in just to buy these and why there are a lot of night markets in Taipei. I wish we could have gone to other night markets!
We also bought some souvenirs from Yu Jan Shin 裕珍馨 in Raohe branch. *photos are from the website*
新包裝-奶油小酥餅 – 12 pack NT$320
Cream Puff 4 flavors: Milk, Caramel Macchiato, Caramel Milk, Brown Sugar
奶油小酥餅（牛奶）- 3 pack, NT$100, Milk flavor
鳳梨酥禮盒 – 20 pack, NT$390, Pineapple Cake with Walnuts