Our flight was supposed to be 6am in the morning, and there was some risk in waking up at 3am and somehow making it to the airport, so we decided to do something we’ve never done before – grab some sleep in the departure lounge of Changi Airport!
My dad sent us to the airport, and we reached around 11:30pm the night before. Decided to check in through the kiosk and enter the departure lounge first, to have more time to check out the facilities not normally accessible to us!
We made a beeline (again!) to our favourite sunflower garden, but of course under the night sky this time around (Clara called them moonflowers)! The airport did a good job of lighting them up so that they wouldn’t be standing in the darkness, and there were illuminated stools to boot!
Just beside the sunflower garden was a cinema screening movies 24/7 (mostly animated ones). We decided to catch The Secret Life of Pets there (despite having watched it before). It wasn’t long before fatigue started to set in, and we realised that the cinema served as a decent place to settle down and fall asleep! The fact that a dozen other travellers were sleeping on the couches was confirmation of that. The only qualm was that when action scenes took place, especially during Kubo and the Two Strings (grrrrr), and the volume intensified, sleep became much more difficult.
Eventually we awoke properly at 4am to have breakfast before boarding our 4-hour flight. We chose Subway despite their toaster being down, and we swore off having untoasted subs ever again. We also took the chance to play at an empty playground meant for kids, something we wouldn’t have been able to do at more conventional times of the day!
Since it was technically still sleeping hours, we slept a whole lot during the flight, but roused in time to catch the sunrise! The windows of the Dreamliner are quite expansive! Well-played Scoot!
After landing, we went through immigration. There was a queue but it was not as bad as in Incheon. What happened next was a flurry of events. We had to catch the 11:10 bus to Kenting, collect tickets for it, collect the WiFi Egg, top up our EasyCards and inquire about the KPP Pass. We didn’t manage to do the last item, but made it onto the bus despite running slightly late (given that there were barely anybody on the bus, they probably wanted to fill it up as much as possible). What we had to face next was a 3-hour bus ride to the southernmost part of Taiwan (and another lengthy bout of sleeping)!
It was on this bus ride that we caught our first glimpses of the vast, unending sea – stretching for as far as our eyes could see. We passed by small towns that reminded me of those in Malaysia, and also Hengchun Airport that was no longer in use. Eventually, we reached the old town of Hengchun, and looked for the first thing on our list – 100-years beef noodles! This was to be our lunch, and first meal of the trip proper!
We didn’t exactly manage to find a shop named ‘100-years beef noodles’, but went into one called ‘Hengchun Old Street beef noodles’ (roughly translated). For NTD 100 each, we got a bowl of thick noodles and beef in piping hot soup. It reminded me of the beef soup I drink back at home, except that the taste of the beef was much stronger. It was a good meal to start a great trip!