Taiwan has long been on our travel bucket list and we were super excited to finally explore this beautiful destination 😍 But there was something nagging at us at the back of our minds – just how Muslim-friendly is Taiwan?


Credit: giphy 

Our minds were quickly put at ease when we saw WTS Travel’s 7D6N Muslim-friendly itinerary. Without needing to lift a finger or do any research of our own (for once 😉), we were set to go WTS Travel conducted all the necessary checks and ensured that every place we visited was not just the best that Taiwan had to offer but also Muslim-friendly from the attractions down to the accommodations we stayed at.

Buckle up for an unforgettable time in Taiwan as we bring you this 7D6N Muslim-itinerary, specially curated by WTS Travel!

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From 17 Aug to 26 Aug 2018, enjoy discounts up to $300 off WTS' Muslim-friendly Taiwan tour! (U.P. $1,288)

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Note: We took a private tour as there were only 2 of us, but there are group tours for those who prefer bigger group travel too.

Day 1 (Heading There)
  • We were blown away by Taiwan even before we reached our destination. Eva Air, Taiwan’s national airline, operates Hello Kitty themed planes and we were lucky enough to be onboard one!
  • The themed experience started from our adorable Hello Kitty boarding passes, and continued when we boarded our flight. Our entire plane including the seats, disposal bag and utensils were Hello Kitty themed 😻
  • This, coupled with the ample leg room and wide array of in-flight entertainment, made our 4.5 hour flight more than comfortable!

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)

  • Our main priority once we reached TPE was of course, a SIM card! We needed our daily dose of data and you’d be happy to know each plan includes unlimited data😉
  • The best part is that EVA Air/UNI Air passengers can enjoy a NT$100 discount on some telcos’ prepaid cards! Just show your boarding pass at the telcos’ counter located inside the airport.

Driver and Tour Guide

  • We were greeted by the most important person on our trip at the airport. Yes, our tour guide – Andy! His warmth and friendliness was truly one of the best welcomes we’ve received at a new destination.
  • Andy is a local Taiwanese with years of experience in the tourism industry. And such experience is common among WTS Travel’s tour guides.
  • A huge plus point is that some of their guides can also speak Bahasa!

#HHWT Tip: During our trip, we realized that the Taiwanese are unable to speak or understand much English. Which is why having a guide made it super useful! Andy would readily translate for us and when we were off roaming on our own, we’d use Google translate 😊

  • We were brought around in a 5-seater car which was spacious and comfortable. It was really nice travelling from place to place in a car, as we could rest in between our stops.

Dinner – Halal Beef Noodles

  • On our first night here, we were treated to authentic Chinese cuisine – yummy beef noodles!
  • The eatery was supposed to close at 8pm but because Andy called them in advance to make a booking, we could still eat there despite being slightly late.

  • This was truly the best way to kickstart our Taiwan adventure 😍
  • The flavourful broth was the perfect complement to the tender, succulent meat. And the noodles were thick, making it a really filling meal!

Accommodation – Green World SongJiang 

  • After dinner, we checked into our accommodation for the night. The room was small but there was enough space for us to move about and we loved how comfy the beds were.

  • This 4-star hotel prides itself on being Muslim-friendly!
  • And by this, we mean that in addition to having a Halal-certified kitchen in the hotel’s restaurant, they went to further lengths to ensure that for all the rooms on the 6th floor, the mini fridge does not contain any alcoholic drinks and washrooms are equipped with bidets ☺️

Day 2 (Taipei – Yilan)

Breakfast

  • We started off our first full day in Taiwan with a hearty breakfast, conveniently located on the ground floor of the hotel. Although the restaurant serves non Halal food, it has a separate Halal-certified kitchen.
  • Our sandwich came with generous slices of steak, melted cheese and fresh vegetables. We had some eggs to accompany the sandwich and a packet of milk 😋

  • Our hearty breakfast was more than enough to fill us up, as we were travelling out of Taipei to another city in Taiwan, Yilan.

Jimmy Park

  • First stop, the iconic Jimmy Park! This interactive park is famous as it’s tailored around an acclaimed Taiwanese illustrator and his works which have made it to the big screen.
  • There were many instagrammable spots in the park but one of our favourite was the flying train adopted from Jimmy’s sketchbook ‘Starry Starry Night’.

  • There were many quaint shops at the park selling mostly handcrafted products which were not just well-made but also super cute 🤗

Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park

  • Jiaoxi is famous for hot springs and we were fortunate enough to visit their Hot Spring Park. The water at the spring comes from a non-active volcano in the town!

  • We were only allowed to dip our feet into the water but it was more than soothing for our muscles and aches.
  • The view of the mountain nearby added to the calmness of the place 😌

Lunch – Guan Xiang Century Hotel

  • Lunch was just a short walk away from the park, and we were served food from the hotel’s Halal-certified kitchen at a private dining area.
  • The spread was a mix of seafood and Western cuisine – both of which we were totally up for! Our fried chicken was tastefully seasoned and the portion was also big.

  • And the seafood dishes definitely did not pale in comparison. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised at how good their rendition of the curry prawn noodles was. The prawn was fresh and the dish had a nice tinge of spice 🤤

#HHWT Tip: You can perform your prayers in the dining room itself as it comes complete with Qiblah directions.

Beiguan Tidal Park

  • As we moved deeper into Yilan after lunch, the view outside our car grew even more stunning 😍
  • We were greeted by gorgeous coastal views on the way to Beiguan Tidal Park!

  • Once we reached the park, we had to do a fair bit of walking to enjoy the full view of the Pacific Ocean.
  • The stairs to the top are pretty steep but there are hand railings along the way which you can hold on to. If you’re not up for the climb, the view of the ocean from the bottom is awesome too!

Toucheng Leisure Farm

  • We arrived at our last destination for the day and there was an immediate sense of calmness which greeted us at the farm’s entrance.
  • Toucheng Leisure Farm is quite inaccessible by public transport, which makes having a car really useful! Its remote location also means that the farm is truly an escape from city life as it is surrounded by nothing but lush greenery 😌

  • But you don’t have to worry about being bored here, as there are plenty of activities to engage in!
  • We tried our hand at DIY Pizza. Baking pizzas in the middle of the woods is definitely a unique experience 😌

  • The kitchen has a separate section for halal ingredients and even a Halal wood-fired oven!

  • Next up, lantern making! Writing your wishes on a lantern and releasing it into the sky is one of the must-try activities in Taiwan as the locals believe it brings good luck.
  • But unlike the famous Shifen Sky Lantern, we had the opportunity to learn how to make our own lantern from scratch!

  • It was truly a magical feeling watching as your lantern rise to the sky. The lantern releasing was even more beautiful at night as you could see the fire glowing from beneath the lantern 😍

Dinner

  • We ended our night with dinner at the farm, and we were surprised at how much food there was for three people!
  • Most of the food is fresh from the farm – I mean, would you look at those mangoes? 🤤

  • We loved how much seafood there was in our meal, from shrimp omelette to grilled prawns and a plate of fresh squid on a bed of tomatoes.
  • You can just tell how much thought goes into the presentation of the food here!

Toucheng Leisure Farm Hotel

  • Tired after a long day, we could not be more thankful that our accommodation was at the farm itself.
  • The room was spacious and the view of the mountains outside was breathtaking☺️
  • A huge bonus was how Muslim-friendly it was! They even have qiblah directions and a prayer timetable in the room drawer.

#HHWT Tip: For those who get hungry quickly, it’s best to come with some packed food as the hotel has no room service at night.

Day 3 (Yilan – Taichung)

Breakfast

  • Breakfast was a treat as we enjoyed a traditional Chinese breakfast. It was our first time trying wheat gluten and we were quite impressed by how good it tasted.
  • For those who prefer non traditional breakfast, there are also many other dishes like a plate of fresh mushrooms!

P.S. If you’re wondering how much your meals here would cost, we’re glad to tell you – nothing! Your three meals here (lunch, breakfast and dinner) are included in the cost of your room 😊

  • We took a tour to another part of the farm after breakfast and realized just how big the farm is.
  • This time, we headed to the animals area and had the opportunity to feed some of the cows and goats fresh fruits we picked up along the way ☺️

  • Nestled in the heart of the farm are picture perfect spots. With the mountains and lush greenery as your backdrop, nothing can compare!

  • The farm stay really took us out of city life for a bit and gave us the chance to relax, and enjoy farm life.
  • For those with kids, we recommend staying here even longer as they have many other kid-friendly activities lined up 😊

#HHWT Tip: There are prayer rooms (separate rooms for males and females) at the farm. Just ask the staff at the counter and they will lead you there. Prayer mat is provided but do bring your own prayer garments.

Lunch

  • Before leaving the farm, we enjoyed our last meal here with an array of yummy dishes.

  • The real treat was the fried Taiwanese chicken – similar to the famous Shihlin fried chicken at night markets (we have yet to find a halal one!). The chicken was crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside 😋

Waiao Beach

  • Onto the next city! Along the way, we asked Andy if there were any scenic spots and he brought us to this gorgeous beach.
  • We were really grateful to have a local Taiwanese with us as we were introduced to such gems that would otherwise be unknown 😉

  • Whether you choose to bask on the beach or soak your feet in the water, one thing is a must – a picture here. The reflection when the weather is good, is almost like a mirror reflection 😍

Dinner – Halal Restaurant 清真館

  • Initially, we were supposed to eat at an Indian restaurant but because we really wanted to try authentic Chinese food, Andy looked up the Chinese restaurants in the area and found a halal steamboat restaurant!
  • We really loved how flexible our private tour was as the tour guide could change the itinerary to suit our requests on the spot 😊 The restaurant was tucked in an alley and we’re pretty sure we would not have found it without Andy’s help!
  • And we highly recommend bringing someone who can read Chinese as the menu is entirely in Chinese.

  • The shabu shabu was the highlight of our dinner, but the handmade dumplings are delightfully juicy and chewy 😋

#HHWT Tip: As all the food is made on the spot (including the handmade dumplings), the food might take a while to be served.

Fengia Night Market  

  • Taiwan is famous for its night markets and we were fortunate enough to visit one that’s not in Taipei City, but in Taichung!
  • We did not manage to find any halal-certified or Muslim-owned food stalls at the night market but Andy helped us to find the vegetarian sign (素食) – most of which were clearly displayed at the store fronts. And at times, he had to ask the stall owners if the food they sold were entirely vegetarian.

Kickstart your Taiwan adventure with WTS Travel!

From 17 Aug to 26 Aug 2018, enjoy discounts up to $300 off WTS' Muslim-friendly Taiwan tour! (U.P. $1,288)

BOOK NOW!

  • Considering the language barrier between us and the locals, we were really grateful to have Andy with us! But we were also heartened at how friendly and warm the locals are despite our inability to understand them 😊

  • One of the vegetarian stalls is famous for their stinky tofu, known to be Taiwan’s national snack. At first smell, the fermented tofu might put you off and really, the hardest part is putting it in your mouth for the first time.
  • But once you do, you’d be pleasantly surprised! We personally thought it tasted like fried tofu with plenty of soy sauce and garlic.

Accommodation – Maison de Chine Taichung

  • The few accommodations we’ve stayed at in Taiwan have amazed us with their Muslim-friendliness but this hotel takes it to another level! And by that, we mean they have an entire building dedicated to Muslim guests 😮
  • We loved how spacious the room was, and the toilet was no exception! The view of the vast green landscape is a bonus to the amazing hotel.

  • To top it off, they even have a pool with a view. And if swimming is not your thing, head to their spa or sauna room!

Day 4 (Taichung – Nantou)
  • We took a short drive to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, one of Taiwan’s most iconic attractions. The Village is made up of three parts – the Aboriginal Village Park, Amusement Isle and the European Garden.
  • Once we entered the park, we were blown away by how big the park was. We headed straight for the main highlight – a traditional aboriginal dance performance which was spectacular 😎
  • It was the energy of the dancers which truly blew us away!

  • We explored the Amusement Isle next and were surprised at the variety of rides in the park. There were extreme rides but also kid-friendly ones. Be sure to experience some of their wet rides too!

  • The last section of the park is truly a sight to behold as the architecture of the European Garden is stunning, especially against the backdrop of mountains.
  • Take some time to walk around the garden or sit by the fountain – it’s the perfect way to unwind after a relatively long day 😊

#HHWT Tip: The park is elderly and disabled-friendly! There are many lifts in the park, and priority for queues are given to the elderly and disabled.

  • There’s no need to pack your own food here, as there is a restaurant serving Halal-certified food. Choose from curry chicken or beef as your main dish!
  • All meals come with a free Coke, and we have to say that it made for a really filling meal.

  • The prayer is conveniently located in the restaurant itself! Just ask the staff at the counter to unlock the door. Wudhu can be taken at the nearby toilet.

  • We’re not done with the park just yet! There’s another highlight that’s waiting to be explored and it’s our personal favourite – the cable car ride across one of Taiwan’s most iconic nature attractions, Sun Moon Lake!

  • There are two types of cabins – normal and crystal cabins which have glass bottoms. Of course, we opted for the latter (it was a different queue but came at no extra cost!).
  • We were amazed at how beautiful the nature around us looked not just from around us but also from the bottom.

Note: There are limited crystal cabins so the queue time might be significantly longer.

  • Take some time to explore the other side of the park after alighting. There are plenty of Instagram-worthy spots like this Tori Gate!
  • We took the cable car back to the Village’s entrance and headed to our next destination – Sun Moon Lake itself.

Sun Moon Lake (Boat Tour)

  • You’d be surprised to know that Sun Moon Lake is made up of two lakes – Sun Lake and Moon Lake. Both lakes were combined after the construction of a water dam, forming the renowned Sun Moon Lake!
  • Given how big the lake is, the best way to explore it is by boat.
  • The boat takes you to different islands where you can choose to disembark and explore the island, before boarding the next boat back.

  • We recommend checking the weather before heading to the lake as it rained when we arrived, and our view was not clear 😥
  • The good thing is that the boat ride continued even during the rain, so no worries about being stranded on any of the nearby islands!

Sun Moon Lake (Visitor Centre)

  • But if you do head to the Lake and face bad weather, don’t let the trip be a wasted one!
  • Sun Moon’s Visitor Centre is a must-visit not just for its bird eye view of the lake but also its stunning architecture – perfect for the Instagram feed you’ve been dreaming of 😍

  • We actually thought the rain was quite a blessing as it made for a pretty mystical backdrop 😉

#HHWT Tip: There’s a prayer room at the visitor centre. Prayer mats and garments are provided.

Dinner – Tai-Yi Red Maple Resort

  • This resort is best known for its flowers as the temperature in the area is optimal all year round for flowers to bloom!
  • You can admire flowers throughout the year here, and the resort incorporates its famous flowers even in the food they cook.
  • From fried flowers (trust us, it’s really good!) to grilled prawns, each dish was decorated with a different flower making it truly a sight to behold.

  • Our top pick has to be their fried oysters which did not just look gorgeous but tasted heavenly. It was fresh and fried to perfection!

Accommodation

  • We stayed at the resort for the night and the interior will completely blow you away!

  • The Maple Room is super spacious and includes a tatami seating area. Admire the mountainous view from inside the room or step outside to your private balcony to soak in the fresh air.
  • To complete your experience, there are even adorable kimonos in the closet for you to don!

  • The best surprise is in the huge bathroom. Yes, it’s probably every Muslimah’s dream come true – a private onsen 🤗
  • Feel your muscles relax in the onsen as you take in the gorgeous nature view around you!

Day 5 (Nantou – Taipei)
  • Breakfast amazed as just as much as our room did.
  • We were served a variety of dishes from our mains of either pasta or congee, and sides of yummy scrambled eggs, chicken cutlets, salted egg yolk buns and seafood soup.

Cingjing Farm

  • Now that our tummies were filled, we were ready to conquer the Switzerland of Taiwan – Cingjing Farm.
  • The moment we stepped foot into the farm, we were blown away by all the beauty and vastness that it held 😍

#HHWT Tip: Andy urged us to head to the farm early as he said the sky looked best in the morning, and we were so grateful for that piece of advice! The weather was perfect in the morning but it grew gloomier as the day passed. So to really enjoy the farm at its finest, go early.

  • You can also interact with the many animals here! We first headed to the south of the farm to play with the sheep but each time we tried touching one, it kept moving away from us 😢
  • Once we held a packet of grass in our hands, though, we managed to get the sheep’s attention!

  • Head to the north of the farm to see and ride some horses!
  • We paid a small fee of NTD$100 for a 10-minute ride, and it was a memorable experience to go horse-riding amidst the lush greenery and mountains 😌

Lunch – Tai-Yi Red Maple Resort

  • Before heading back to Taipei City, we stopped by the resort again for lunch.
  • Our meal came with amazing starters, like this seaweed wrap! We absolutely love how much pride the resort took in plating their dishes 😊

  • The dishes consisted of mostly seafood and our particular favourite was their fish cooked in soy sauce. The fish was fresh and slightly crispy on the outside, complementing the tasty sauce well.

Shifen Waterfall

  • After lunch, we stopped at another of Taiwan’s most iconic spots – Shifen Waterfall.
  • To reach the waterfall, we had to trek for quite a bit but it was worth it as we came across gorgeous spots like this suspended bridge.

  • The waterfall, nestled in the surrounding greenery, is a sight to behold. It is often thought to be the Niagara Falls of Taiwan, and we could not agree more!

#HHWT Tip: There are many platforms where you can see the waterfall from, so if you’re not up for the trek, you can still see the majestic waterfall at the upper platform.

Shifen Old Street

  • We were pretty tired from the trek and could not be more happy to have a car, so that we could rest while heading to the next spot in Shifen.
  • Yes, our next spot was Shifen Old Street – the place almost everyone heads to for their Taiwanese lantern experience.
  • Choose your lantern from an array of colours, and all you need to do is paint your wishes on them. After releasing your lanterns, watch as they float into the sky!

Note: Many are concerned about the environmental-friendliness of the lanterns being released and our guide actually addressed this. He assured us that the lanterns are made from recycled materials and that fallen lanterns are picked up and recycled by locals 😊

  • Don’t think that releasing lanterns is all there is to this railway! The railway is pretty long and there are many cool spots along the rail which are picture perfect.

Dinner – Chang’s Beef Noodle Soup Restaurant

  • We arrived in Taipei at night, and went to the exact area we had our first dinner at in Taipei! We visited another authentic Chinese restaurant located right beside Halal Beef Noodles.
  • The food at Chang’s Beef Noodle Soup Restaurant looked similar to Halal Beef Noodles but we personally felt that the noodles here were tastier.
  • Though the noodles were not as thick, the portion of food was generous. We thoroughly enjoyed how springy the noodles were and how well-marinated the beef was!

#HHWT Tip: The restaurant closes early (7.15pm), so plan your time well!

  • Though we were full from the noodles, we could not resist trying some beef dumplings. The dumplings were packed to the brim with minced meat and the juice oozes out at first bite. Heavenly 🤤

#HHWT Tip: We were lucky to have Andy with us as most of the menu in Taiwan’s restaurants are in Chinese. But for this particular restaurant, they have an English menu! Just request for it at the restaurant.

Day 6 (Taipei – Taoyuan)

Taipei Mosque

  • What better way to spend our last day here than visiting some of Taipei’s landmarks?☺️
  • First stop, the Taipei Mosque – the only mosque in Taipei City. The mosque was simple but there’s always a sense of warmth when we meet other Muslims, and this is the perfect place to do that!

Taipei 101

  • Taiwan’s most iconic tower, Taipei 101, is not just known for its ability to withstand typhoons and earthquakes but also for the bird’s eye view of Taiwan you can enjoy at the viewing deck.
  • Be sure to check the weather before you go up, as it might be cloudy and your view might be affected.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

  • We were blown away by the architecture of the memorial hall. The grounds were not just vast, but also majestic 😍

  • Apart from the main hall, you can also visit the Memorial Park, National Concert Hall and the National Theatre in the same compound.

Lunch – Kunming Islamic Restaurant

  • It was our first Thai-Indian meal in Taiwan and we were immediately taken in by the interior of the restaurant.
  • Pictures of the kaabah decorated the restaurant, and the Islamic architecture made us feel right at home 😌

  • The halal food in Taipei City is relatively more expensive compared to those in the outskirts, so be prepared to spend a bit more on food.
  • We tried the tandoori chicken and the spicy seafood soup. The portions were big and the food had just the right amount of spice!

Vigor Kobo

  • Wondering what souvenirs to bring home for your loved ones? Vigor Kobo has you totally covered!
  • The chain prides itself on being Taiwan’s Number One cake and pastry company, and its delectable pineapple cakes have been highly sought after not just by travellers but also locals.
  • Bite into the cake and feel the crust crumble in your mouth, with the sweet pineapple filling oozing out 😌

  • The best part is that they have a Halal-certified snack section! From pineapple cakes to matcha mochi, you definitely would not be able to leave this place empty handed.
  • Plus their gorgeous packaging makes it the perfect gift 😊

#HHWT Tip: Ask to sample the snacks before deciding which one suits your fancy!

Presidential Office Building

  • Next stop, the Presidential Office Building! We were slightly disappointed that we could not enter the building itself but seeing it from the outside was more than enough to admire all its grandeur.
  • For those who would like to explore the building, be sure to reserve their weekend slots. Your identification card is also needed at the entrance!

Ximending

  • We went on a shopping spree at Taipei’s most hipster shopping streets – Ximending. International brands line the streets and you can find many quaint local shops along the way too!
  • The prices are not much different compared to the Singapore outlets but there is a wider variety of items here.

  • Some of the carts along the streets sell pretty interesting handmade souvenirs that might catch your fancy too!
  • One thing’s for sure, we felt super happy with our loot 🙈

Dinner – Delhi Press

  • Our last meal in Taiwan was a short drive away from Ximending. We tried fresh naan and butter chicken from Delhi Press, a stall which was newly opened!
  • We were impressed at how rich the butter chicken tasted but felt that the naan was a tad underwhelming.

Accommodation – Hotel Orchard Park

  • As we had an early flight the next day, WTS Travel arranged for our hotel to be near the airport just so we did not have to wake up too early 😊 It was an hour’s drive to the hotel from Taipei City.
  • This hotel has an entire block dedicated to Muslim visitors. Our room and bathroom was huge, and we had plenty of space to move around.

  • There was even a prayer mat along with qiblah, prayer timings and Muslim-friendly Taiwan guides in the room (perfect if you’re starting your trip at this hotel)!

Day 7 (Heading Home)

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)

  • We left the hotel early for the airport, which was a mere 10 minute drive away. It was a bittersweet farewell as we had to part ways with Andy, who was not just an amazing tour guide and driver to us but also a good friend 😥
  • As we had enough time to explore the airport, our first mission was to find the prayer room!
  • There are three prayer rooms at the airport (Terminal 1 near Gate B3, Terminal 2 near Gate C1 and Gate D8). We headed to the one at Gate C1 as it was the nearest to our gate. There were many signs leading us there!

  • Unlike other airports which have one prayer room for people across different faiths, this airport had rooms specially for Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.
  • Prayer mats are available in the room but there is no wudhu area so head to the nearby toilet if needed.

  • While finding the prayer room, we noticed how the different waiting areas had different themes! There is even a Hello Kitty themed area – a hot favourite among the kids.
  • And there are other Hello Kitty areas scattered around the airport too. Check out this cool telephone booth spot 😻

#HHWT Tip: There’s a Halal-certified restaurant (Dennis Deli) serving hot sandwiches, soup and noodles.

  • Once our plane left the runway, we were hit by a wave of emotions. Taiwan had grown on us, not just the beauty of the place itself but also the amazing locals that showed us nothing but warmth. And we have our dearest tour guide to thank for that 🤗

Taiwan left a huge impression on us, as we never knew how Muslim-friendly it was until we experienced it on our own. Plus, it was only after the trip that we realized what an experience it is to travel with a tour guide and driver. Our needs were well taken care of and we learnt more about Taiwan more than we ever would simply reading about it.

Travel from Sep to Dec 2018 at special rates:

Kickstart your Taiwan adventure with WTS Travel!

From 17 Aug to 26 Aug 2018, enjoy discounts up to $300 off WTS' Muslim-friendly Taiwan tour! (U.P. $1,288)

BOOK NOW!

So for those who worry about visiting Taiwan, throw them away as WTS Travel has you totally covered 😉

 

This article is brought to you by WTS Travel and Taiwan Tourism Bureau Singapore Office.

 

 

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