Saturday, November 30, 2013

Taiwan day 9 - Wu Fen Pu & Raohe Night Market

Had breakfast at the hotel before moving out back to CityInn II (NT2010, SGD 88) again for the last 2 nights.  Overdosed on scrambled eggs! <3

Today is shopping day! But first, we dropped by the main station to run some errands. First up – How Sweet Egg Pudding. I had the address, but it was as confusing as the place itself. Took us damn long. Some advice – it’s NOT in the underground malls. If you reach this square-ish train station with a huge open area in the middle, that’s the place. =)

It can’t be kept un-refrigerated for long and therefore we only bought the 4pc one. I had 2 myself!

Very nice! Not much eggy taste, more of vanilla. Is there anything like that in Singapore?

Then we moved on into the underground malls. Station Front Underground Mall in particular. We were looking for (and found) 李儀餅店. Recommended by SSD, three of us bought almost 20 boxes of biscuits back. You have have have to get the Sun Biscuits (太陽餅)! I love the milky taste! ^^

Next we headed to Wu Fen Pu. It’s about a 10-minute walking distance from Hou Shan Pi Station. Shopping haven! Rows after rows after rows of shops selling clothes, bag, shoes, accessories and more! And probably at a cheaper price than elsewhere since they’re more of a wholesaler.

Was able to spend more time here as compared to the previous time, even though it was drizzling on and off and shopping with my MIL isn’t my kind of fun. =X Still, I managed to get a bag (which I absolutely love and am using now), and some tops and bottoms. Not really satisfied but still better than nothing. *shrugs*

Stopped for a quick refreshing bite before continuing.

Last destination – the nearby Raohe Night Market. Our dinner!

It kept drizzling on and off and even though there were umbrellas, it was quite a mood damper. Oh wells, I guess I really need go once during spring or summer. =X

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Taiwan day 8 - Xin Bei Tou, Ningxia Night Market & Shilin Night Market

I kinda miss the breakfast by Aegean Sea. Not so much of the meat, more on the salad. So fresh and crunchy and yummy! T_T And on the second day, both SSD and MIL gave me their portions of salad. Bliss! Lol.

It was STILL raining when we were leaving, so the nice owner very kindly drove us to Ruifang Station. There we took the train back to Taipei Main Station again. I think we got the correct train this time, and it was free seating. So not that bad. =/

Continued upwards to Xin Bei Tou. It’s a hot spring area and so the cute displays at the station.

Our hotel for tonight – Chyuan Du Spring Resort (NT2800, SGD122). It’s actually barely 5mins away from the metro station, but hidden around a corner so it’s not that visible. Booked 2 rooms despite the price because it had a huge tub for the hot spring! Brought along my bath bombs (which were apparently useless) and soaking in it that night was shiok max. ^^

But first, we went out for lunch, which was right across the road. Sushi Express! Each plate is NT30 (SGD1.30), slightly cheaper than our SGD1.50. Although the food was almost the same. I lubs you SE! <3<3<3

Went back room to…nua, then headed out to Ningxia Night Market. It's actually just a narrow food street, but with quite a lot of food stalls! A few are repeated though.

Went through the street a couple of times and since there was nothing else to do, we headed to Shilin Night Market again! If you don’t know, it’s opposite Jiantan Station. We started from the shopping area this time. And you know those fruit stalls selling cut fruit? I really don’t recommend you buying. They count by weight, and poor me bought 2 jambus for NT230 (SGD10)! Heartpain die me.

Managed to shop more this time. And got a peanut ice cream to share. I think you're supposed to eat it at Jiufen since the one there apparantly tastes better. But this one ain't too bad. I like!

Then went back hotel to soak hot spring. =P

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Taiwan day 7 - Jiufen & Miaokou Night Market

Aegean Sea provides breakfast too. Which had meat. @_@ But very delish I must say. Comes with free-flow (I think) coffee, milk tea, or orange juice. Again, don't take the coffee. =P

After breakfast, we explored 九份老街 again. We thought we were early (about 11-ish), but it was semi-crowded already. Sad. AND STILL DRIZZLING! Still, we managed to explore majority of it. And had our early lunch there.

And went back to the room to nua. See we keep nua-ing I don’t know why I’m still so tired lol. Then took the 788 bus down to Keelung for 廟口夜市! I have no idea where it stopped but the driver called out the night market, so we alighted. It was about a 10min walk away.

I was quite excited about this because since Keelung is a port, there should be lots of seafood to eat. But as they say, the greater the expectations, the bigger the disappointment. Perhaps due to the rain, there wasn’t many things to see and eat.

We had a little trouble finding the bus stop back up to Jiufen. In case you wanna know, it’s in front of a 7-11. =)

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Taiwan day 6 - Jiufen, Pingxi & Shifen

Today, we move again. LOL. Our destination, Jiufen. Now there are several ways to get up there. You can take a direct bus from Taipei Main or Zhongxiao Fuxing Stations, or a train to Ruifang and transfer to a bus up to Jiufen. I chose the former bus, but SSD insisted on the train since it was faster. And got me so pissed off.

The train ticketing machine and terminals were so freaking confusing. I had no idea the tickets we bought were for which train and the platform staff just ushered us up the one that was already there. It was the wrong one, with allocated seats. Ours didn’t. So we got chased from our seats. We also alighted at the wrong station and had to scramble back up. Not very fun when we each had a 10+kg luggage. And I had to stand outside the toilet for the last leg. Trust me, save yourself the trouble and take the damn direct bus. >.<

From Ruifang Station, we took the 788 bus up to Jiufen. Do note that the bus doesn’t stop opposite the station. We had to walk to the bus stop about 10mins away.

Our 民宿 for the next 2 nights – Aegean Sea (NT2000, SGD87). It’s along the main road, nearer to the 派出所 stop rather than the old street stop. Not exactly very convenient, but the interior was alright. Big enough for 2 double beds, clean, with basic necessities. The owner was very nice and helpful too. Only complaint would be the inconsistent shower water temperature. On my second night, I had to wait 20mins for the scalding water to stop. Tsk.

We took the short cut via the back door to the famous 九份老街. It was STILL drizzling, and very crowded. Very mood-dampening. Only got a grilled mushroom in the streets before we headed out. Took a cab down to Ruifang Station. I think it’s fixed at NT180 (SGD7.80), much more convenient if you’re carrying bulky items. Anyway, we bought an all-day train ticket for NT50 (SGD2) each since we were going to both Pingxi and Shifen. Trains here have fixed timings, so perhaps you can check first. Or you’ll be like us, waiting for the next train for over 30mins.

Both Pingxi and Shifen are places to release sky lanterns. We got ours at Pingxi. It was one heck of a struggle. Too long never write Chinese characters. Oops. =| These are the 2 sides that I wrote. Please let it come true!

Got some street food too.

Last stop: Shifen. It wasn’t very late, maybe 6 or 7-ish, but the sky was dark already. A lot of the shops were closed or closing. I merely got a stinky tofu, and headed back. And it was still raining.

Would you consider this a day wasted? Seems like we didn’t get to explore or see much. We even planned to visit the Shifen waterfall, which is supposedly Taiwan’s Negara Falls. What a pity. T_T

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Celebrating dad's birthday + dinner with the girls

Last Thursday was my dad's birthday and we had dinner at Jack's Place (CWP)! It's probably the most common place in our family for birthdays, considering both my parents and my brother had celebrated their birthdays here before. I'm the lucky one because mine falls on the same day as my grandfather, so we always get to eat good food! Lol. 

The seafood salad was delivered wrongly and we thought it was part of the seafood basket. In the end we had to pay for it. Spoilmood! Also, the food standard has dropped quite considerably as compared to before. My grilled salmon was hard and overcooked and the cheesecake barely had any cheese in it. Definitely will try NOT to come back again. Lol.

Then on Friday, I met Zhu and Cher to pass them the Taiwan stuff. We headed to Robertson Quay for some ramen but unfortunately couldn't find any. After walking for almost an hour (I think), we settled for this yakitori (skewer) restaurant, Shunjuu. It was so crowded we had to be seated at the counter seats. I show you what we had first.

All these for $53. Although they tasted good, it came in such miserable portions. That salmon skewer is $7 alone, and I finished my cha soba in less than 10mins! Imagine if you came here in a big group and everyone has like, 3 or 4 sticks! And all they had to do was sprinkle some salt and grill! OMG maybe I should start a skewer shop too. -_-

Wandered around looking for a cafe or some sorts to continue talking, and we ended up at UE Shopping Mall's 7-11. So amazing that the 7-11 has a seating area. Reminds me of those in Taiwan. ^^

Sigh. Weekend has passed so fast. I kinda hate work. >.<

Monday, November 25, 2013

Taiwan day 5 - Yong He Dou Jiang, Taipei Zoo, Maokong, Tonghua Night Market & Taipei 101

Can’t believe we actually made the effort to go all the way to the famous 永和豆漿大王 for breakfast. It’s in the middle of Daan and Technology Building Stations, about a 10-15min walk from either one. Apparently this branch tastes better. Seats were quite limited but thankfully we got one as soon as we arrived. And we ended up with this.

Everything, okay maybe except my salty 豆漿, was yummy. Nice crispy dough fritters, eggy omelette, yummy carrot cake and that 小籠包! It’s meat and I had 2 of it! Yong He please come to Singapore! Lol.

After the very satisfying breakfast, we continued our journey towards…the Taipei Zoo, right at the end of the metro line. Came on a wrong day as it was a weekend and there was a carnival going on. I hate the crowd. But guess what, entrance fees can also be paid using the 悠遊卡, and costs only NT60 (SGD2.60)!

You can just scroll to the end of this collage if you’re not interested in animals. =P

To be honest I don't quite think the animals look happy. Furthermore, It was drizzling on and off and there were many times we couldn’t see the animals at all. Quite sian. First time I actually wanted to stop halfway. Took the tram to the nearest gondola station to continue our journey up Maokong! I think the tram was NT15 (SGD0.60)? Yep, cable car ride freaked me out. 

Had our late lunch early dinner there. The rice and tofu was so yummy! ^^ After that it was still drizzling so we didn’t venture very far out. If you walk further in, there are several tea houses where you could probably spend the whole afternoon there. For us, we had our tea directly opposite the gondola station. Got 2 tiny pots of tea and refilled both once, so that makes it 4 pots! Quite a nice place to spend time, if not for the rain and mozzies. =\ 

Next stop – Tonghua (Linjiang) Night Market. It’s within walking distance from Liu Zhang Li Station. My main purpose was actually the array of pet supplies there, but I only got 3 squeakies for my girl. Boo. The night market, on the other hand, wasn’t too bad.

And since we were so near Taipei 101, we decided to walk there to have a look. Then from there, it was another long walk to the metro station. >.< Hopefully I’ve walked off all the calories I ate.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Taiwan day 4 - Tamsui, Cat Rain Cafe & Fisherman's Wharf

A continuation from Day 3.

And we’re moving AGAIN! I think my energy went to lugging the heavy luggage around lol. Caught the bus back to the HSR station, and an hour (and NT700) later, hello Taipei! Bought yummy salmon bento from Sushi Express to eat on the train. I love the fact that SE is everywhere in Taiwan. We only have 3 miserable outlets here. Also ordered HSR coffee and it was probably one of the worst ones I’ve had in my life. In fact I haven’t had any nice coffee in Taiwan at all! 

We stayed at CityInn II (NT2590, SGD112) again for the next two nights. I’m starting to enjoy hotel stays after staying at 民宿s. Tsk. Rooms weren’t ready yet, so we popped right out and headed over to Tamsui. It’s about a 40-min metro ride away from Taipei Main Station. 

The streets look the same as when we last came. SSD said I could even reuse the photos lol. 

After we had explored enough, we started our search for my Cat Rain Café. It’s basically a café with cats roaming around. It was so freaking hard to find we went around in circles. Finally, after asking so many people, we found the back door. Now aren’t you glad you’re here? Do you know where the front entrance is? Right in the old street. -_- We probably passed it 3-4 times. I can’t remember what the shop front is selling, but it’s not cat-related. The café banner, on the other hand, is hung high up. So if you’re interested, pay attention to the top of the shops to locate the banner! =)

There’s an ‘entrance fee’ of NT100 (SGD4.30) per person, and can be offset to a certain amount if you purchase drinks. We ordered 2 drinks and still had to top up. Not very worth but I suppose it will go towards the animals' upkeep.

To be honest, I can’t say I love cats. But I don’t dislike them. It’s a love-hate feel. The cats here are rather…aloof. I had read that in other cat cafes, they offer toys to play with the cats, and the cats actually come and sit on your lap or something. Those in this café didn’t. =( They also have several dogs too.

After the furry afternoon tea, we headed for our last destination – Fisherman’s Wharf. SSD initially wanted to take the bus there cos it’s cheaper. But the café owner suan-ed him, so we got to take the ferry! Our round tickets cost NT120 (SGD5.20). That’s not the cheapest there. ;)

Lovely sights, lovely sky, lovely breeze, romantic atmosphere. No wonder it’s called 情人橋. Lingered for a while more and when it got too cold, we retreated into the warmth of a very family-style restaurant. Simple (and cheap) dinner!

And headed back to rest. Animal post for Day 5! =)

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Villa Nabila

If you have been reading the news recently, you would probably have seen the one on how some teenagers got lost inside a haunted house (which later proved to be false), or the boy who was reported missing after he entered this place called Villa Nabila (which was a false alarm too). Apparently Expedia listed Villa Nabila as one of the top 5 haunted places in Malaysia. Some brief history – 

Version #1 - There were a rich family living a harmonious life in this villa. But, unfortunately, the parents died and left a daughter named Nabila. After the parents died, the daughter live with her maid. Nabila is said to be inherit a big fortune of inheritance from her parents. The maid killed Nabila and cement her body in one of the place in the villa.

Version #2 - Nabila has a very rich family. One day, her house was robbed and everyone in the household was cruelly killed. The bungalow were left unoccupied until now and have many shrubbery all over the bungalow.

Version #3 - Nabila's family had been robbed. Nabila was raped before she was killed cruelly by the robbers. Her body then was buried inside the wall of the villa.

Version #4 - Originally, Nabila had a very wonderful family. But one day, Nabila's father went rampage and killed everyone in the household and he commit suicide after killing everyone.

Version #5 - This villa was named Christine Palace after the name of a wife of a business man from the west. It was said that before building this villa, the husband promised the 6 siblings (that was in his native land) to divide the land accordingly. But, when this husband get the land, he renege his promise. The 6 siblings felt very angry. Later, the siblings who went mad send 2 representative to deal this matter with the husband. Don't know what happen, the 2 representatives that were sent by the siblings went rampage and threatened the husband to divide the land to the others after killing his daughter. But, the husband was still stubborn. The 2 representatives then killed his wife. But still, the husband do not want to follow the order due to his greed. At last, the husband was killed by the representatives too. The villa now still stayed unoccupied for almost 70 years.   

You may be wondering why I’m writing this bo liao post on a random haunted house in Malaysia. No no noooo! Cos guess what?! Villa Nabila was one of the places we visited for our photoshoot! ^^ 

Few people know I’m actually very chicken when watching horror movies. I cover my eyes more than half of the show. So no, I did not suddenly become as brave as to venture into a haunted house (one of the top 5 somemore). It was......our photographer’s fault. LOL. 

He showed us photos of a shoot he had done there previously. I liked the overall feel and effect and it definitely would set our photos apart from the conventional wedding photos. *whispers* So I insisted on going. =| BUT! He didn’t tell us it was a haunted house! I mean, he did say it was dark and creepy, but if I had known it was one of Malaysia’s top 5 haunted places, I would have reconsidered lol.

However I was quite surprised that it was so (supposedly) haunted, because it didn’t feel like a haunted house at all! We arrived in mid-afternoon, and there were a group of Malay kids running about. (I know what you’re thinking. They look human to me.) We parked the car in the driveway cos there was a fallen tree blocking our way. I googled some photos for you guys.


We headed down the steps to the pond/swimming pool first. There was water ponding and littered with fallen branches and leaves. Definitely wasn’t as creepy as what he showed in his photos (damn photoshop). I was much more worried about the mosquitoes and my gown getting dirty LOL.

Apart from the “pool-side”, we also shot at various locations like the front porch, the balcony, and even at the corridors. I wasn’t really tempted to head upstairs though, for fear of falling (yes it was a little dark since the overgrown trees kinda blocked out the sunlight).

And halfway through our shoot, another couple came in for their wedding shoot too (TMD I wanted to be different). After which, another group of people came in and walked around. There were so many people there that day it didn’t feel the slightest bit creepy at all! I felt quite at ease with the environment in fact!

Perhaps we all had more important things on our mind. Perhaps it was still day time. Perhaps there were too many people.’s not haunted at all? Lol. Honestly I feel abandoned places are such a waste. Especially if they have good locations or beautiful architectures. Sigh.

Anyway, I’ve decided not to post my photoshoot photos. LOL. I did play them at the ROM (which I’m still deciding if I should blog about) but I hope they don’t ‘leak’ onto the internet. Haha not to say I’m some big shot and everyone wants my photos, but these, I feel, are special and personal to both of us and I definitely don’t want copies readily available everywhere.

Unfortunately, here’s one that ‘leaked’. =(

It wasn’t the best photo taken that day nor was it this dark in actual fact. But the authorities have barricaded Villa Nabila so our photos are very precious now!! How many couples can actually take wedding photos inside a haunted house? =P

Monday, November 18, 2013

October Black Box

After a long half-year hiatus, I received my October black box!

There are hand and facial wipes, a mask, toothpaste, and even a cute little bottle of oil. All of which I could have made use of in Taiwan. WHY! Why didn't you come sooner?!

Lol. Sign up for yours here. There are limited sets so not everyone can get theirs. But you'll be able to secure yours by paying the $6 courier fee. They also have the higher quality K-Beauty Secrets Black Box. Very tempted to get one but it's $18. :(

Friday, November 15, 2013

Taiwan day 3 - Feng Jia Night Market (Taichung)

Mei Jen House provides breakfast, so the next morning, we had ‘crispy’ toast and yummy porridge. ^^

Then it was moving time again! Took the 2-hour bus back to the HSR station and boarded another bus to Feng Jia University. If you have a HSR ticket from the same day, the bus ride is free. I can’t remember how much we paid though. Everything was a breeze with the 悠遊卡 (our EZLink card).

But from the Uni, our nightmare began. In short, we made our room booking with 逢甲宿館, but all along we thought it was 逢甲宿館. So we followed the latter’s directions. -_- In the end thankfully we managed to contact the person and he brought us to the correct one instead. 

May I present you – 逢甲夜宿館. It was our cheapest room this trip (NT1500, SGD65), a double-storey apartment at the top floor of a rather run-down building. For this price I can’t complain much can I? At least it was clean. And there was a huge sofa downstairs (which my MIL slept cos she don’t want to climb stairs), and a double and single bed upstairs. We had our own wifi here too. 

I had originally planned to visit Yi Zhong Jie (shopping area) first, but after the confusion earlier, we decided to just nua until dinner. XD The Feng Jia Night Market is supposedly one of the more popular night markets and it was just a 5-10min walk away, albeit having to cross a very busy road without any pedestrian crossing. The traffic in Taichung was bad. In fact, I never wanna go back to Taichung. Really. =X 

But the food was good. 

Why Singapore don't have all these? >.<

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