Day 3 & 4 — Taipei, Taiwan

Day 3 Itinerary: 

National Palace Museum | Golden Waterfall | Jiufen Old Street

I won’t be able to upload artworks from the National Palace Museum because my memory card got corrupted. Anyway, the main reason why we went there was to see the Jadeite Cabbage but unfortunately, the time we visited they moved it somewhere else. I know right? Sucks! Luckily, we managed to see the Meat-shaped stone. It looks so real that when you see it, you start craving for Dong Po Rou (Braised Pork Belly). For more info about this artwork go here.

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Who wouldn’t be hungry after seeing that? LOL We had our lunch at the Xianjufu Cafe. It’s located on the 1st Floor East Side of the Main Building (Exhibition I). Let the feast begin!

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Next stop: Golden Waterfall and Jiufen Old Street. We didn’t expect that there will be a road closure due to the heavy traffic. A lot of people are going there since it’s a holiday, it’s the first day of the year. Vehicles aren’t allowed to go up anymore so we decided to walk to the Golden Waterfall first. It’s an uphill trek but the view is worth seeing!

Finally, we were able to reach Jiufen after the unexpected delay. If you are a fan of Hayao Miyazaki, you’re aware that the movie Spirited Away took inspiration from this town. Jiufen will literally transport you to another era, this place is enchanting! As crowded and far as it is, I think it’s still worth visiting.

We managed to try the Bawan Dumplings and Bao Bing. Bawan dumpling is a glutinous dumpling with red meat filling. I think some people call it red dumplings because it’s red and it’s a dumpling. Ha ha

I’m not a fan of the taste, though. x.x What I love is the Bao Bing or shaved ice dessert. It is usually topped with red azuki beans, mung beans, taro balls, peanuts, soya beancurd and finish it by pouring some milk over it. Yum!

A very tiring but satisfying day. Excited for Day 4!


Day 4 Itinerary: 

Niu Ba Ba | The Red House | Ximending Night Market | Taipei 101

Starting our day with hearty beef noodle soup. It’s not just any beef noodle soup, it’s from Niu Ba Ba Restaurant. They serve the most expensive beef noodle in the world according to World Record Academy. Consider trying it out when you’re visiting Taipei. There are six different reasons for the price – quality of beef, custom cuts, freezing technique, soup blending technique, noodle quality, and minimal seasoning.

If you are not willing to pay $324USD for a bowl of beef noodles, they also carry “ordinary beef noodles” which costs around NT$500 – NT$1500.

And here it is! My very own beef noodles! I didn’t get the most expensive one. I liked everything about it. The beef was soft and the soup…it was beefy goodness!

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Niu Ba Ba (牛爸爸牛肉麵)
Address: 149 Minquan East Road Sec. 6, Taipei
台北市民權東路6段149號(國防醫學院大門旁)
Getting there: Take the metro – Bannan Line (blue) to Kunyang Station. Take a bus (284, 617, 903, 645, Blue 36 or Red32) to National Defense Medical College station and alight. Niu Ba Ba is located on the left side. Click here for the Google Map location.
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 09:00pm
Telephone: +886 2 8791.7187
Website: www.beeffather.com/


Before heading to Ximending, we dropped by Le Cake for some Sun cake and pineapple tarts. Their flagship store is in Jiufen but we went to the Taipei branch. I wrote some info below on how you can get to there. I will share all of the pastries and goodies I got from Taiwan on a separate post.

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Le Cake Taipei branch (李儀餅店)
Address: Taipei Main Station, Underground Mall, Unit 11-2B
Getting there: Located in the Underground Mall of Taipei Main Station. It is near Z3 and Z6 exit.
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 09:00pm
Telephone: +886 2 2331.3017
Website: http://www.lecake.com.tw


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We checked out The Red House first when you go out Ximen MRT station. Since it’s nearby the exit, it’s quite convenient to go there first before heading to Ximending night market.

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Milk tea craving satisfied from50嵐! Yum!

We had Japanese dinner at Ximending. Food’s good and many people are eating here. It must be a good sign right?

Our last stop for the day: Taipei 101 Observatory.

Just a little trivia, building dampers originated from Japan, where there’s frequent earthquakes. Damper works by isolating the building from the earth, which creates relative shift that produces a counterforce, effectively reducing earthquake energy.

And to cap off the night, we had some Mango Diamond Ice from Big Tom. I know the weather’s freezing, but who wouldn’t say no to this?

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Day 1 & 2   |   Day 5 & 6

Day 1 & 2 – Taipei, Taiwan

Day 1 Itinerary:

Flight from Singapore to Taoyuan Airport | Shilin Night Market

This post is long overdue but I’ll post it anyway. Just because.

The yearly family trip destination for 2015…Taiwan! It’s that time of the year to bring out the sweaters. Oh yeah! Sweater weather here we come!

Upon checking in, we got our Hello Kitty print boarding passes (had no idea that we’re flying on a Sanrio airbus). So psyched and shocked when we boarded the plane. **Hello Kitty fan over here.** 

Everything in the plane is Sanrio-fied (pillows, utensils, monitors, everything!) What an exciting way to start our trip.

The flight from Singapore to Taipei takes about 4h25mins so I managed to squeeze in two in-flight movies—Hotel Transylvania 2 and A Wonderful Nightmare.

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By the time, we landed in Taipei it’s already past 8 in the evening. But that doesn’t stop us from going to Shilin Night Market*. 

*TIP: Go there on a weekend, more shops are open compared on a weekday.

There are a lot of cute stuff you can find here. Lookie! Star Wars inspired Minions—Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Stormtrooper, Yoda and R2-D2.

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Ending the night with some Taiwanese snacks—pancake filled with sweet potato and cheese, chicken feet, salt & pepper crablets and many moooore! Get ready to eat, shop and eat while you’re in Taiwan.

Day 2 Itinerary:

Tien Lai Resort & Spa | Yangmingshan National Park | Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Rise and shine people!

We stroll around the neighbourhood first to get some breakfast before going to Tien Lai Resort in Yangmingshan. I ordered some Fried chicken cutlet and sausage noodles with mushroom sauce. Yum!

Tummy’s happy, hot spring here we come!

Went to Yangminshan National Park afterwards since it’s near Tien Lai. Go to Xiaoyoukeng (小油坑) as well when you’re in YMSNP. I guess the view will be nicer during summer or spring when the weather’s not gloomy.

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We decided to watch the NYE fireworks show at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Look at those people waiting! If you plan on watching the show in the future, be prepared with the amount of crowd. It’s nice to bring some mat or cardboard where you can sit on. Because placing your butt on a cold cement for a long time sucks. LOL Scarfs/blankets and hot drinks will also be helpful in keeping you warm.

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Selfies while waiting.

And the countdown begins. 5..4..3..2..1..

Happy new year!!!

Day 3 & 4   |   Day 5 & 6

Majestic Mt. Pinatubo

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I’m psyched to share my first hiking adventure with you. Yey! I’m no expert, so if you’re looking for pro-tips, you won’t find it here. But stay with me, I’m sure you can pick something useful—or not. Kidding!

Btw, this happened last February. Soooo..yeah.. Super late post! Guilty as charged! O.O

Going back to the topic. Make sure to do some preps, a few weeks before the actual trek. Go for a jog or run or cycle, anything that will help in increasing your endurance and in conditioning your muscles before an intensive activity.

Things you need (or the things I brought):

  • 1L of water (our guide provided another 1L so that makes it 2L of water)
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap
  • Scarf
  • Snacks (I brought jelly sticks—no judging please)
  • Money (prepare small change—you need it when using the toilet)
  • Slippers / extra clothes (change to something comfy after the hike)
  • Toiletries (if you are want to take a bath after)
  • Phone / Camera (you know why)

We started our ascension around 6 in the morning, so we were able to witness the sunrise on our way. Before the actual hike, we had to ride a 4×4 for around 2 hours or less to drop us at the starting point. The ride will be bumpy and dusty, this is where the sunglasses and scarf will come in handy.

We had a quick stop at this place they called Toblerone Hill (I guess because of the shape) to take some photos and selfies.

Be prepared for a rough and rocky terrain. Do yourself a favour and make sure to wear durable shoes. And if you are planning to wear trekking sandals, do wear some socks. This will save your precious feet from blisters. Also, do not force yourself. Take your time and don’t get pressured by others’ progress. Better be safe than sorry. Take quick breaks and enjoy the view. Hiking is something that can de-stress you, so have fun and take it easy.

The real challenge was the 30minute trek to the crater but it was worth it! The view was…beyond words to describe.

When we reached the crater, it was already drizzling so the view is quite gloomy. Rain or shine I think the scene will be breathtaking. Be the judge.

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And as enticing as it is to jump into the water, swimming is prohibited. It was quite an experience and would love to go for more hiking trips. Hopefully anytime soon.

One Sunday Afternoon

“When you drink coffee you are already two hours ahead of your peers.” I heard someone said it. Well too bad for me ’cause I don’t drink coffee. *insert non-coffee drinker puns here* Anyway, my friends and I visited two coffee shops last Sunday where we had our lunch and killed some time before we watched Burnt.

First Stop:

Common Man Coffee Roasters (22 Martin Road 01-00, Singapore 239058)

Common Man

Some ordered the Common Man Burger and the Tender Pulled Pork Burger.

Mine was the Organic Eggs Benedict—Tender braised ox cheeks, two poached organic eggs & chive hollandaise, with pepita toast. Look at those runny eggs. Yum!

And some Crab Salad to share—shredded crab meat with wild rocket, romaine, endive, sugar snaps, avocado, mint, pomegranate & caper crumbs in a mango mint dressing for sharing.

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Verdict:

I tried all the food we ordered and in my opinion the Eggs Benedict and the Crab Salad are delectable dishes. A must-try! Sorry guys, I can’t comment on their coffee but according to my peers they are good.


Second Stop:

Toby’s Estate (8 Rodyk Street, 01-03/04 Singapore 238216)

Toby's Estate

The place is bigger than the usual cafes here in Singapore.

Some beans and dessert they sell.

Tempura Mushrooms—Chunky tempura portobello mushrooms with lightly drizzled citrus dressing.

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Green apple and Pineapple Orange juice—freshly squeezed.

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I got to also taste the Affogato. It’s nice (coming from a person whoe doesn’t drink coffee.) Maybe because of the vanilla ice cream. LOL

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And the V60. I love their mug—matte finish and I love that gold accent on a black mug.

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My friend also took some photos of me.

Verdict:

If you are looking for a place who serves a lot of cakes, this is not a place for you. But, if what your after is keeping those caffeine flowing in your bloodstream then by all means drop by here and have a taste of their Woodneck or the V60 coffee. And DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT forget to order the Tempura Mushrooms!


Update: I have learned to drink and enjoy coffee. And I am thankful I did.

I love flat white, lattes and cold brew.

The Bangkok Experience

I was dumbfounded by the richness of Thailand’s culture. They really did a good job with keeping their culture until this day.

Our first stop: Jim Thompson House

They have a souvenir shop where you can buy all sorts of products made with silk (scarves, bags, shirts, pouches and many more)Kriscel Go 2013 BKK Thailand-4

This wood was used in the past to transfer intricate designs to silk.Kriscel Go 2013 BKK Thailand-6

We also visited The Grand Palace and Wat Po (the famous Reclining Buddha) by riding the Chao Phraya River Cruise.

This is a good example of a photobomber. Ha haKriscel Go 2013 BKK Thailand-14

Some more shots inside the temple.

Wat Arun from a far.

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Lunch like a royal family at Blue Elephant. Lol

Chicken Curry. Yum! ლ(´ڡ`ლ)Kriscel Go 2013 BKK Thailand-33

Of course, what’s a BKK experience without going to a night market.

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MBK at night.Kriscel Go 2013 BKK Thailand-42

We also checked out the newly opened mall, Terminal 21. It’s a one floor-one concept shopping mall. The concept represents different market streets around the world. Each floor is decorated in to a well-known city streets such as Rome, Tokyo, Japan, Istanbul, etc. The toilets also differs depending on the country they represent—I checked every toilet. Lol

Artsy streets of Bangkok.

I can say, Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of the nicest airports I’ve been to.Kriscel Go 2013 BKK Thailand-44

’Til my next trip. ❤

Haven in the City

Being busy is now part of everybody’s life. But it was never wrong to stop and take a break. Let’s unwind and take a breather. Let’s visit Gardens by the Bay.

The Supertrees Grove.

You can walk around and see many fascinating stuff. Like this “floating” sculpture—Planet by Marc Quinn.

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A close-up of the Canonball Tree.Kriscel Go 2013 Singapore-145

If you don’t have anything to do at night, you really have to stay and wait for the light show (OCBC Garden Rhapsody.) It so surreal.

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You should also visit the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest while waiting for the light show.

FLOWER DOME:

These flowers looks like fairies.Kriscel Go 2013 Singapore-153

This flower is so cool. It’s leaves are grey and only the flowers have a colour. Looks photoshopped  but it’s not.

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CLOUD FOREST:

Btw, it’s cold inside the dome since they are mimicking the Cloud Forest.

If I have to choose between the two domes, I prefer the Cloud Forest just because it’s dope!

For more information about the Gardens by the Bay, visit their official site.

Lazarus Island

My sister bought a coupon to celebrate her birthday on a yacht at a cheap price. So, Riding on a yacht. Let’s crossed that out of my bucket list. And we’re heading to Lazarus Island as part of the package. Lazarus Island is one of the Southern islands in Singapore.

The place is really serene and relaxing.

A panoramic view of the island.

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Panoramic view of Lazarus Island

We had our dinner at the island as well. So it was dark already when we got back. It was quite an experience, an unforgettable one.Kriscel Go 2013 Singapore-170

 

Singapore: Week 2&3 (Food)

 

I compiled the things I’ve eaten during my 2nd and 3rd week here in Singapore.

CHINESE:

Of course, Din Tai Fung. You can’t leave Singapore without eating here. Except if you are from Taiwan.

 

For the weight watchers, Soup Broth Asia offers dishes that is prepared without MSG and they put calorie count in each dish. Try the Yam rice. Yummeh!

JAPANESE:
Tajiyama, a Japanese charcoal grill Yakiniku restaurant. You have to try their Eat-all-you-want Wagyu Beef menu. So good! ❤

Ajisen Ramen

Ichiban Sushi
Chicken Teriyaki with Miso soup + Hot green tea.
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Ramen Play

And some Japanese Soba from Cold Storage.
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THAI:
Absolute Thai at Johor Premium Outlet.

Our food:

WESTERN:
Boston Clam Chowder from The Soup Spoon. They also sell their soups in this handy packs. Just need to re-heat them in microwave or stove.
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High Tea Buffet at House, Barracks & Camp. They have lovely food and interior—very homey and relaxing.

KOREAN:
All-You-Can-Eat Buffet at Seoul Garden


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DESSERT/SWEETS:
Ci Gusta! A gelato and yogurt place located at Anchorpoint Shopping Centre. Their gelato is too sweet for my taste though.

Twelve cupcakes, they offer a lot of flavours. And I heard that this is one of the most popular cupcake shops here in Singapore.

Lao Ban Soya Beancurd is LOVE! The soya just melts in your mouth and the sweetness is just right. Soya goodness!! Kriscel Go 2013 Singapore-60