Chiayi – Meteor Garden Day

As you know, one of the reasons why I travelled in Taiwan is because of Meteor Garden. The biggest Asian series that struck Filipinos heart in early 2000. I planned another DIY travel to Chiayi to visit National Chung Cheng University. This school was once called as Ying De University where the famous F4 and San Chai mostly shot their scenes in the hit series Meteor Garden.

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I planned to visit Chiayi on a weekend but upon arriving at Taipei Main Station to buy a train ticket to Chiayi, all seats are taken! 😦 Thus, I cancelled my trip to Chiayi and diverted to Taipei DIY city tour.

Finally, the day had come to visit Chiayi! 🙂

How did I get there?

Though I was a bit disappointed, I reserved a train ticket to Chiayi on the other day. TRA or TRS ticketing booths are located in Taipei Main Station. I reserved an earlier time to fully enjoy the day in Chiayi. There are limited buses and trains that will depart from Chiayi to Taipei as read from other blogs. Thus, I reserved a train seat again from Chiayi to Taipei at the same ticketing booths at Taipei Main Station.

Chiayi is about 4 hours away by train from Taipei.  My seat is very comfortable. The restroom inside the train is clean. It was a convenient train ride going to one of the province in Taiwan.

After 4 hours in train, I arrived at Chiayi by 11 am. From this, I was a bit puzzled how I can get to National Chung Cheng University. The bus stop signs has no English translations. I waited for more than 30 minutes when I saw the bus number heading to NCCU but it was on the other side of the road.

I asked a traffic enforcer on how I can get to NCCU and she said that I must wait on the other bus stop across Chiayi Station. I crossed the street then and waited for another 30 minutes. I was a bit hopeless but I should never be defeated. Kailangan ko makita si Dao Ming Se. Hahaha.

I decided to hire a cab going to NCCU. My driver cannot speak in English but I showed her my phone with the Mandarin sign of NCCU. I thought we already understood each other but then the driver called someone from his phone and asked where I will go. Good thing the girl from the other phone spoke in English and understood where I am heading to. After a 30 minute drive from Chiayi proper, I reached National Chung Cheng University.

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At last, Meteor Garden feels! I cannot believe that another bucket list has been ticked off! 🙂

National Chung Cheng University is the first public University founded in Taiwan. NCCU is built in honor of the late President Chiang Kai Shek to develop higher education in Yun-Lin, Chiayi and Tainan districts. Truly, it is one of the biggest and most beautiful campuses in Taiwan.

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My cab is allowed to enter the campus without questions asked by security guards. It was true that schools and Universities in Taiwan are open to public. I actually researched before if a non-student or a foreigner can enter NCCU, from Tripadvisor, someone mentioned that these institutions are open to public even on weekend. I also learnt from one student that classes will resume on September. This may be the reason why there are lesser busses from Chiayi proper to NCCU. For me, it was a good opportunity to take more photos as it seems that the whole campus is mine! 🙂

The entire campus can be visited by foot, bicycles, motorcycles and private cars. As for me, I need to savor all the moment and visit NCCU by foot. The campus is connected by the famous bridge. One of the scenes here is when San Chai and her friend Shing He always talk about F4. It was surreal as I am the only one down there. So many memories came back to me.

Across the bridge is the Activity Center, there are some shots taken here which are very memorable. Nonetheless, my stomach is hungry and I need to have some food. Good thing there is a canteen inside that serves student meals. 🙂

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Near the Activity Center is the Students Dormitory. I may stood on a different location or yet not the exact spot but I recalled a scene with trees where San Chai is walking with her bicycle.

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I cannot bear the heat and ache on my feet, it seems I was lost for a moment. I turned back to the Activity Center and crossed the street. I found the Administration Building. It is in the center of the campus. From the blogs I read, this is where Wa Ze Lei and San Chai meets at the rooftop. I was delighted to see the building and get inside. An operating elevator is inside the Admin Building that can take me to the rooftop. I immediately took the elevator and reached the highest floor.

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A door seems to be the entrance to the rooftop and I took the stairs. At last, I reached the rooftop! Upon my one foot stepped the rooftop, an alarm rung! I was a bit nervous! But I never went down, I still checked why alarms rung. It seemed the entrance of rooftop is where the generators are and it is now prohibited to public. I am not sure if I entered the correct way or what. Nonetheless, I don’t want to be kicked out from the school nor the country, so I just took a photo of the highest part I have reached in NCCU. Funny, ha!

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Near the Administration Building is the Library and Information Building. I actually don’t have any clue that this is place I am looking for. It is where the famous locker of San Chai!

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As a Meteor Garden fan, this locker area has a big impact on the series where F4 always stick their Red Card. This card is a sign that you will be punished by F4. The inner fan girl in me was giggling that time! At last, one of the reasons why I travelled in Taiwan has come. It was a surreal moment. ❤ ❤ ❤

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Since it is also summer vacation across all the schools and Universities in Taiwan, I was very delighted to own each places in NCCU as my own. Though there are students that are still inside the campus, this vacation helped me to take more photos as I can. ❤

Across the Library and Information Building is the University’s Auditorium, this one of the famous scene taken where Dao Ming Se and Wa Ze Lei held their hands in both arms of San Chai. I have stayed here for some moments only as the Auditorium is closed.

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My entire tour in National Chung Cheng University took me 2 hours. I wanted to still stay inside the campus but I need to catch a bus going back to Chiayi. I don’t want to missed it as I will pay another extra if I will hire a cab again. I also need to be in early in Chiayi Station to take my reserved seat in train going back to Taipei.

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While walking back to the entrance of NCCU, I asked a man on when will the bus arrived. It seems he is not a student and he told me that he actually doesn’t know it as he lives inside the campus. May be he is renting one of the dormitory room. He still assisted me and take me to the bus station inside the campus. We checked what time the bus will arrive but it seems there was not clear instruction from the posters and since it is summer vacation arrival time of busses is changed. We asked a student if he knows the arrival time of bus and he also doesn’t know. Haha.

I stayed for more than 15 minutes in the bus station. While waiting, I asked the student if he knows the series Meteor Garden. And blah! He doesn’t know too! Am I that old? Haha! I asked students in the canteen inside the Library and Information Building if they know F4 and they also doesn’t know. These kids are lost! They don’t know that they are studying in a famous campus!

While pondering why these kids don’t know Meteor Garden, a bus arrived! Luckily, it will head straight to Chiayi Train Station. We are only two passengers inside the bus! It was a surreal moment to visit National Chung Cheng University. What a pleasure to relive moments from my early teenage years! 🙂

To make it more dramatic, on the way to the train station, the famous Meteor Garden “Ni Yao Dei Ai” played inside the bus. What a perfect moment! 🙂

I was too early to arrive in Chiayi Train Station so I had my early dinner. Indeed, a Filipino travel in Taiwan will not be completed if you haven’t visited National Chung Cheng University.

By 6 PM, my train arrived and had another comfy ride. I returned in Taipei by 11 PM. Thank you, Chiayi! It was perfect! ❤

To have an idea of how much you can spend in Chiayi, here was my expenses in New Taiwan Dollar,

Transportation
Train (Taipei to Chiayi) 598
Taxi (Chiayi Train Station to NCCU) 350
Bus (NCCU to Chiayi Train Station) EasyCard
Train (Chiayi to Taipei) 598
Food
Lunch 190
Dinner 130
Total 1,866

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