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Old 8th February 2020, 04:14 PM   #46
yflyer
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Dinner was at Xiao Cui, a Japanese Omakase restaurant...



We chose counter seats...



We picked out a bottle of sake from Yamagata...



Our first course was a clear soup...



...then a series of sushi portions, served individually...



...these were almost works of art...



...and tasted very fresh...



...sweet sashimi prawn...



...and some of the most delicate sea urchin we had ever eaten...



The jellyfish was a play on textures and colour...


Last edited by yflyer; 12th February 2020 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 8th February 2020, 04:14 PM   #47
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These were followed by more fish of increasingly varied taste and preparation..



...what a delight to the tastebuds...



...these included marinated and cooked selections...



Shirako...



...and then a shift of gears to showcase other styles of Japanese cuisine...

Tender strips of shabu shabu pork...



Tempura...



A delicious in-house cured fish roe, similar to bottarga...



...and then more sushi, glistening in its freshness...





We ended with a piping hot bowl miso mushroom broth, full of natural umami...



and a three-part dessert...



Our chef and hosts were very warm and welcoming, and were happy to explain the dishes and preparations to us as these were served.

This was a wonderful Japanese omakase meal and experience in Taipei.
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Old 8th February 2020, 04:30 PM   #48
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Miss yflyer no.2 requested that we make a return visit to Snow King Ice Cream, which we had visited on our previous Taipei vacation.



The address was the same, but they had now moved from the ground floor to a much more nicely done up 2nd floor location...





Best of all, they still had a stupendous range of 73 flavours...



...which range from conventional ice cream and fruit flavours to such over the top selections as sesame oil chicken or pork knuckle...



There were some flavours generously laced with alcohol...



We decided to be a little daring today and sample some of the more unusual flavours on the menu...



Our choice of flavours: Pork Floss, Kaoliang (58% Alcohol by volume), Chinese Angelica (Dang Gui herb) and Peanut...



These scoops of ice cream really did taste uncannily like the real thing, which you would expect since that was exactly what the ice cream was made of. The pork floss tasted of real "bak hu", whereas the kaoling packed an alcoholic kick. The Dang Gui flavour was unmistakeable as well, and I was glad that we picked at least one sweet flavour to end off: I liked the peanut flavour best...



Seriously good ice cream, and stuff you would not find in your local supermarket any time soon!

Last edited by yflyer; 11th February 2020 at 11:22 PM..
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Old 8th February 2020, 04:47 PM   #49
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In the afternoon, we headed to Taipei 101...



There was shopping on the lower floors...



We decided to head up to the observation deck on the top of the tower.



There was a long queue at the ticketing counter...



...but the strange and surprising thing was that the automated ticketing machines had no queues. While I stood in the queue as a backup, Mrs yflyer went to the machines and was back within 5 minutes with tickets purchased on the machine. No reason to queue at all -- just head to the machines!

At one point in time, the lift to the top was the fastest in the world...



It was indeed a fast ride to the top, complete with popped ears...



The view from up there was spectacular...



...with panoramic 360 views of the city...



...including very nice views of aircraft landing and taking off from Taipei's Songshan city airport.



I suspect west-facing views in the morning were better than in the afternoon, on account of the sun, however visiting in the late afternoon was good as well, as it was possible to catch the sunset from the observation deck.

There was one spot which was popular for photographs and selfies. It was apparently popular for marriage proposals as well.



"I just saw someone propose!" Miss yflyer no.2 turned and said to me excitedly, "he went on one knee and everything..."

I think Mrs yflyer might have caught a glimpse too.

It all happened in a matter of seconds, I had my back to the scene and missed everything...

"Did she accept?" I asked Miss yflyer no.2...

"Yes she did!"

Last edited by yflyer; 11th February 2020 at 11:35 PM..
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Old 8th February 2020, 04:50 PM   #50
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We took the stairs from the enclosed observation deck to the outdoor observation deck...



..and emerged into the cold, windy air...





The views from the outdoor deck were even more spectacular...



We decided to wait till sunset...





...and were rewarded with ever changing hues of red and orange...



Back inside, we observed the large tuned mass damper in the tower, designed to improve stability in the event of high winds or an earthquake...



It didn't move while we were there, but apparently the swinging of the damper was very apparent during earthquakes or high winds, as observed by those on top of the tower when these events occurred (!).



It also made sense to stay a little into the night, in order to observe Taipei by night...


Last edited by yflyer; 11th February 2020 at 11:34 PM..
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Old 8th February 2020, 05:05 PM   #51
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On the last day of our trip, before heading to the airport, I headed out for one final run.

Having learnt my lesson to avoid traffic junctions as much as possible when on runs, I headed straight for the river...



The Keelung River and park in Taipei had high walls on both riverbanks.



I climbed the stairs over the wall to get to the riverside park...



From there, it was smooth and scenic running (And cycling...) along the riverside park.



My objective today was to run across the Rainbow Bridge, which I figured was probably named that for the Rainbow shape of the bridge, rather than the colour...and perhaps maybe there was a connection with Taiwan's indigenous tribes as well, who also believed that at the end of their lives, they would cross the "Rainbow Bridge" to the other side...



This was a romantic spot (For folks who weren't jogging solo, at least)...




Last edited by yflyer; 12th February 2020 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 8th February 2020, 05:06 PM   #52
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I crossed the bridge...



...and continued my run along the river...



..before doubling back across another less famous bridge further south...



Good restroom facilities along the river...



After that, it was back over the stairs and the 1+ km city stretch back to the Eslite.



I had a very pleasant run that morning, with fewer of the stops and starts of my previous city sidewalk runs.

Total distance that day: Just over 5km.


Last edited by yflyer; 12th February 2020 at 09:48 AM..
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Old 9th February 2020, 01:23 PM   #53
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Our flight home was Scoot TR899, a 4.10pm departure and scheduled arrival into Singapore at 8.55pm.

The airport terminal was moderately busy at 1.30pm...



There is an MRT line that goes right to the airport.



The check-in area...



For 787 flights, Scoot opens check-in 3 hours before departure. There was already a long queue at check-in before the counter opening time of 1.10pm...



...but once open, the queue moved fairly quickly, with many counters manned.

Immigration and security queues were not busy either -- just a short wait in line.

We had a quick lunch in the airside area of the terminal (Not too many options in this part of the airport). I headed to the gate to wait, while Mrs yflyer and our daughter did a little shopping in the terminal...



I watched as Scoot 787-9 Dreamliner rego 9V-OJG taxied to the gate, having just arrived from Narita.



This was a 1.5 year old aircraft, first delivered in mid 2018.



Other aircraft I spotted while waiting to board was this Eva 787...



...and an MH A330 in new livery...


Last edited by yflyer; 9th February 2020 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 9th February 2020, 01:33 PM   #54
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Boarding was slightly delayed due to a slightly late arrival of the aircraft from Tokyo...



This aircraft had a large ScootPlus cabin, laid out 2-3-2...



Our seats were in the first section of the Economy cabin, dubbed the Scoot-in-Silence cabin.



In this cabin, seats had adjustable headrests and no children under 12 were allowed. There was an extra charge to select these seats, but Mrs yflyer was a fan of this section of the cabin, and requested that we sit there.



Recline was ok...



Simple seat controls (Light, Call-button) on the slimline armrest, which could be raised all the way up.



This was a very comfortable cabin, far preferable to the narrowbody A320 cabin that we flew on our outbound flight.

Despite a slightly delayed boarding, we pushed back more-or-less on time.


Last edited by yflyer; 9th February 2020 at 10:56 PM..
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Old 9th February 2020, 01:41 PM   #55
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Turning onto Runway 05R...



Takeoff...



Over the coastline...



Long left turn to set course for Singapore, with the first part of the flight tracking along the west coast of Taiwan...



I checked out the electronically dimmed window shades.



After so many flights on 787's the novelty of these window shades still hasn't worn off. There are 1st and 2nd generations of these Gentex-manufactured window shades already installed on 787's with an even darker 3rd generation to be introduced as an option on the 777X.


Last edited by yflyer; 9th February 2020 at 01:51 PM..
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Old 9th February 2020, 01:57 PM   #56
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After seatbelt signs went off, the first order of business onboard our flight was F&B service...



I purchased a mini-bottle of red wine...





I had pre-ordered a chicken briyani meal...



At first glance, I was a little distressed to see no sign of chicken in the briyani, but it turned out that the chunks of chicken and gravy were there, under the rice.



This tasted ok, although I could not say that the portion of chicken was very generous. At least the flavour was decent.

Mrs yflyer had pre-ordered the Oriental Treasure Rice...



She found this quite tasty.
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Old 9th February 2020, 02:01 PM   #57
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After meal service, passengers settled in to rest...



There were nice views of Taiwan as we flew towards Singapore, with Taiwan's Central Mountain range peeking through the clouds...



Cabin ambience on this 787 was very good...



On this 4+ hour flight, the fact what we were on a twin-aisled wide body, rather than a cramped narrowbody, made a world of difference...



The added roominess of a widebody felt far more relaxing and comfortable. The 787's large windows no doubt helped too, giving the cabin a bright, airy feel.
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Old 9th February 2020, 02:05 PM   #58
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Wifi was available onboard, at additional charge...



A/C power was available (But also at extra charge...)...





Sensor operated taps in the bathrooms...

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Old 9th February 2020, 02:15 PM   #59
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We flew into sunset...





...and landed in Singapore at 8.45pm, ten minutes ahead of schedule...



No queues in the arrival hall in T1...



We exited T1 arrivals and caught a glimpse of Christmas decor in Jewel as we left the airport...



It was nice to be home!



Overall a very nice flight on Scoot's 787 Dreamliner service from TPE to SIN.

As far as LCC experiences went, this was very good: Nothing quite like a new widebody aircraft for this type of flight. Scoot's cabin crew were pretty good too. Onboard F&B were ok, and wifi for purchase was a plus.

We also quite liked the Scoot-in-silence section of the cabin, although I think I would have been quite comfortable in regular Y too.

Last edited by yflyer; 9th February 2020 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 9th February 2020, 02:31 PM   #60
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FINAL REFLECTIONS

Mrs yflyer and I are fans of Scoot for holiday travel, and they met our expectations on this trip. Strengths of Scoot include very comfortable 787 aircraft and a friendly, relaxed vibe as far as cabin service was concerned.

On the difference between 787 and A320 flights, I much preferred my 787 flights. This would be less of an issue on short sectors, but on a 4+ hour sector like SIN-TPE, I thought the difference in comfort between a 787 and an A320 was quite significant.

If Scoot had a weakness, it would be their for-purchase hot meals. Scoot's drink and snack selection was impressive, but there was room for improvement for their main meals: while the nasi lemak was tasty, some of the other meal choices were quite variable and inconsistent. The low-point was the vegetable briyani on our outbound SIN-TPE sector, which was really quite bland and dry.

Air Asia's for-purchase meals are apparently so popular that they've even started a restaurant on the ground serving them. On previous trips, our for-purchase meals on Jetstar were also more impressive that Scoot's. There is an opportunity for Scoot to up their game and make their for-purchase hot mains more tasty and memorable.

Catering aside, we were all quite happy with the Scoot experience, especially for our return 787 sector.

As for Taiwan, we could easily have spent several more days there seeing more of the sights, and savouring more of the delicious cuisine, whether at night markets or at top end restaurants. Mrs yflyer still has a list of restaurants in Taiwan that she wants to try, so you can bet that we will be back there again some time soon!



Thanks for reading!

Last edited by yflyer; 10th February 2020 at 10:45 PM..
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