ISWAK: The reason for my Taiwan visit

It is 2019 and Asian dramas are on fire particularly Korean series! I know a lot of us can relate but mostly those who have been dominated by these small-eyed, glass-skinned with angelic face human beings! Nakakikilig naman kasi talaga sila! But before their reign began, there was this series which made us all believe that with love and perseverance you can have what ever and who ever you want! haha!


At the beginning of this year, I traveled in Taiwan with my best friend. This is actually our first trip together and the very reason why I wanted to visit this country is because of my Arjoe (Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng) heart. It was around 2006 if I remember it right when I first saw the series in one of the local networks in the Philippines. The series has two parts, It Started with a kiss and They Kissed again. The characters of Joe Cheng (Jiang Zhi Shu) and Ariel Lin (Yuan Xiang Xin) were like balance scale. They both compliment each other with their weak and strong points, It’s a story of an ordinary, slow-witted yet strong-willed girl having an admiration with a very smart, talented, good looking and fortunate guy.. well, you know the drama. I have no time to story-tell here just watch it if you want to know more of their journey. It is a Rom-com series by the way and mind you it has lessons in life too.

CTO: It started with a Kiss promo poster

I was re-watching the series for the nth time when It came to my senses that I am now able to visit the place where my first love Asian drama was filmed. Thank God for provisions! Without any delays, I told my BFF how much I wanted to go and she counted herself in! Of course, I paid a visit to some of a must-see places in the land of milk tea (lol i have been hearing this to my friends) but that will be in a different writings.

Through research which I had a hard time because there are really few information about the locus of this series, I finally had the chance to see with my own eyes and re-live some moments of my favorite taiwanese novela.

To those who has an Arjoe heart like me I am sharing with you my “It started with a kiss” chronicles. You’re welcome! πŸ™‚

Taipei 101

Remember the episode where Jiang Zhi Shu and Yuan Xiang knelt down outside Mr. Bai’s office to ask for forgiveness? It is said to be in this tallest building of Taipei. Ms. Bai also mentioned that “When you’re at the top, It is easy to forget where you came from” and with that scene where Jiang Zhi Shu was having a dilemma to whether he will ask for the man’s help, the facade of this building was taken. I had a hard time searching for the exact floor where it was filmed but this one will do anyway πŸ™‚

Can’t believe I was in this building!
View from the top

Royal Host

Finally!! After 999 episodes (charr) he expressed his feelings for Xiang Xin. Grabe ang hirap talaga aminin ang totoong feelings? πŸ˜‚

One of the scenes I can never forget! *kilig* Okaaay! I was so happy when we figured out on how to get in this resto. Upon my research, Royal Host was everywhere in the Google maps along Taiwan, got so confused which one is the one! I am just so glad when I saw an image post that shows the entire facade of the place plus I had to watch again that episode to be sure that it was the same Royal Host I am looking for. My heart jumped the moment I laid my eyes on that one big orange ROYAL HOST name and actually saw the crews wearing the exact uniform of Jiang Zhi Shu! I made sure to have myself a shot in that exact place where Jiang Zhi Shu finally revealed his true feelings for Xiang Xin ❀

Royal Host, the one with fountain in front of the resto near Beitou station
We had other plans for dinner so we didn’t try this resto. I just had a moment here. πŸ˜…

Bitan Lake

Bitan lake suspension bridge
Raining on their wedding day!
First date πŸ’•

During our entire Taiwan trip, Bitan Lake was not in the itinerary, But this place was really in my mind. This filming location possessed a big part in Zhi Shu and Xiang Xin’s journey. Why? First, They had their first date here! and secondly, this is where their wedding ceremony held at. So much to my surprise because my BFF was so supportive we were able to really visit the place and guess what? It was also raining like one in the scene when we went there! Felt like I was also in the film only 13 years late. haha!

So much feels!

Of course, since I am already in that area, I made sure to have a picture of that swan boat they steered during their first date! And Yes, I found it. HAHAHA! I know, I really had some fan-girling moments in Bitan!

Swan boat #48

There are still places related in It Started with a Kiss that I really wanted to visit like Providence University in Taichung, the tunnel where they had a kiss after their graduation, it said to be near the main bus station of Yangmingshan National Park (I tried to search for it really), Also the Happy Restaurant, and the Jiang’s House.

ISWAK may look like a light series but there are so many life lessons we can learn from it. Being a student who doesn’t belong to the smart group, growing up with just a father by her side, to love and do things for love, to be loved and be accepted for just who you are, Also, from being the most intelligent person in the room but has no emotions. I know not every one can relate in this post but I just feel like sharing these experiences and photos here in my blog. I might randomly help someone out there wanting to visit and re-live as well the love story of Jiang Zhi Shu and Yuan Xiang Xin.

Thank you for reading and may we all have a fun-filled life! πŸ˜€

Note: Credits to owner for photos that are not mine.

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