Sunday, November 22, 2015

Taiwan - Taichung

I have always wanted to visit Taiwan to experience the "偶像剧(Taiwanese Idol Dramas) feel" because I grew up in that era. Unfortunately, my visit to various places in Taiwan didn't give me the special "feel" that I was expecting. Maybe because I didn't stay long enough! Taipei and Taichung came close to it though.

No.469-13, Sanfeng Rd., Houli Dist., Taichung City 421, Taiwan

For just TWD150 per adult, you can take multiple "instagram-worthy" photos among the garden of flowers here!

Got my parents to pose infront of the love board!

Snow White and the seven dwarfs?

So many different colours! I also liked that the garden was not very crowded, which made photo taking much easier.

Don't you think this scene look something out of a music video? Haha. Anyway my fingers look like they are on a laptop keyboard instead of a piano keyboard -.-"

While taking this photo, there was a huge bee buzzing around me but the sunflowers were so pretty, I had a sudden surge of courage to not run away and told my mum to faster hit the shutter! As soon as the photo was taken, I quickly ran away! Hahaha.

So pretty~~~~

This little house totally looked like it came out of a children's storybook!


We also visited the popular Fengjia Night Market! As compared to the other night markets in Taiwan that we've visited before, we felt that Fengjia Night Market is less touristy, and we got a chance to slightly immerse in the local atmosphere. We saw parents riding on bikes bringing their kids home from school (in Singapore, most parents pick up their kids in cars or simply by walking, and it's a very rare sight to see a whole bunch of parents gathering outside the school gates riding bikes with kids.). Also saw many teenage students in uniform!

Uncle introduced us to the famous Guan Zhi Lin's Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang. It's actually sausage wrapped with glutinous rice and other ingredients. He said that usually there'd be a long queue at this stall but it was quite short that day.

Took a photo with Zhen Ni while waiting for our Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang!

It looks like this!

Was very happy to tick another famous Taiwanese food off the list. Anyway, it tasted quite nice, especially the meaty sausage, but not really "wow yummy!" type of nice. Surprisingly though, after I come back to Singapore I kind of craved for this from time to time.

Just one of the many selfies that day.... Haha.

We had early dinner at Mak & May, a casual dining restaurant serving western food.

Sis is happy because it's eating time. Hahaha.

We also tried Onion Pancake!

Looks abit like roti prata. Maybe we should also start selling roti prata in our pasar malam as a street snack too!

There were also quite a number of apparel shops selling trendy clothes catering to the younger crowd.

My cousin trying to blend in as one of the mannequins..... Hahaha.

And my dad too. HAHAHA. Plus still hold that water bottle as though he is endorsing it. Lol. No wonder me and sis also used to do this in shop window displays..... the genes came from him!

More street snaps before we leave the area, because I couldn't bear to leave so soon :(


No. 2, Wenquan Rd, Wuri District, Taichung City, Taiwan 41450

Our stay in Taichung was the Fresh Fields Hot Spring Resort! It's the absolute best we experienced in Taiwan!

My photos don't do justice to the beautiful lobby.

Room was spacious, and VERY VERY COMFORTABLE. The whole night I was just sitting there watching very funny Taiwanese reality shows on TV and thinking how good it'd be if I can make my future room feel exactly the same way too! We had connecting rooms with our parents, although actually I feel one room is already enough for four of us because the beds are huge! AND CHECK OUT THE HUGE WINDOW AND VIEW!

This is the washroom which consisted of a hot spring facility, shower area, basin area, and toilet bowl area. It also leads to the access of the wardrobe.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

RWS Sea Trek Adventure

Bf actually planned this as part of my birthday celebration and didn't mention anything about it in advance, until the night before my birthday when he had to tell me to bring along a set of bikini for the activity. Unfortunately, it was that time of the the month and I couldn't do any water activities so he postponed to the weekend after.

For several days leading up to the weekend, I kept asking him for assurance that it wasn't going to be something too thrilling. Reason being, I can't swim and most water activities are scary to me - even the slides at Adventure Cove. He said, "No, you will like it. You won't scream." Haha.

He refused to tell me what the activity was, even after we got pass Sentosa gantry. I asked if we were there to see Hui Hui the dolphin again. Haha. He said "see sharks". I looked at him wondering if he was serious and started feeling abit worried and wondered why would he think that getting close to sharks would be something I'd like and not scream about. Haha. It felt more like something I'd plan for his birthday instead of mine, since he likes diving and all that underwater stuff.

I heaved a sigh of relief when the ticketing officer gave him a pair of Sea Trek Adventure tickets instead. That relief only lasted for a minute though, because I started feeling nervous about the Sea Trek activity after looking through the indemnity form. Lol.

He told me that he decided to bring me to experience Sea Trek because he remembered the previous time we went to Adventure Cove, I was kinda disappointed about failing to snorkel due to being too afraid. Sea Trek was an alternative method to bring me closer to the fishes underwater.

Summary of what Sea Trek Adventure is all about - Description on the RWS website:
"Experience a world bustling with thousands of marine animals, and get up close with some of the most majestic gentle giants of the sea! Stroll amongst colourful marine life whilst manta rays glide around you. Sea Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that lets you walk and breathe freely as you explore the ocean realm."

So when we first entered the enclosed area, I got all jittery because in front of me was this huge and deep pool. I scared!!!!

Luckily, bf saw the look on my face and told me ours is at another area and not so deep.... Heng ah.... Haha. So we went through a briefing which I paid plenty of attention to, more than I did in classes when I was a student. When it was time for questions, the first thing I asked was "Is it scary?" Hahahaha.

It was time to enter the water and still feeling apprehensive, I was first to go. Step by step down the ladder, the water was cold but bearable. Maybe because I was more concerned about everything else. Haha.

So while submerged up to my chin, they helped to put the helmet on me. There was a pop sound, which is normal, and oxygen filled up my helmet ensuring that no water flowed above my chin. During the brief we were told that the helmet is able to supply 3 times the amount of oxygen we needed, so I could breathe in as much as I want without worrying about running out of oxygen.

When I got down to the ground, my ears got blocked due to pressure. Yawning didn't manage to clear it but luckily I listened carefully during the briefing and learned how to clear it by blowing my nose while pinching it.

After leading me away from the ladder, the diving crew let go of me so that I can try standing on the ground myself, but I was unable to balance properly and kept feeling that I was about to fall over. I grabbed the hand of the diving crew and refused to release my grip till bf came down. Hahaha. I was really very scared.

The helmet is actually 32kg, but only 6kg in water. Don't really understand the physics behind it but the numbers don't really matter because I felt that it was extremely heavy even in water! It weighed down my shoulders so much that I felt quite uncomfortable. My chest area felt tight and I regretted not asking during the briefing if this was normal. It was slightly better after a few minutes in the water though.

(Bf told me after our dive that when I just got into the water, the diving crew up there told him that I looked like I was panicking below and they paused for awhile before continuing in case I wanted to go back up.... Hahahaha, didn't know it was so obvious.)

We were told to walk upright in the water because if we look downwards too much, the water would flow in at an angle, which may disrupt our breathing. Not sure how to describe this but it's just physics.

Thankful that I had bf's hand to hold on to the whole while! At one point he took away his hand and I thought he don't want to hold me anymore but actually he was just moving away while signaling for the diving crew to take a photo of me that has only me since all the photos taken had both of us. So thoughtful ah.... that was exactly what I wanted to ask the photographer to do except that I couldn't communicate under water. Haha.

We were the only two participants of the activity that day, so we had the diving crew's full attention. They were friendly and very nice throughout.

Very funny got one part while taking photos bf almost gave the "thumbs up" sign, forgetting that in diving, it is a sign for going up. Hahaha. How can a regular diver not remember such a basic signal?!

So anyway, it was quite a unique experience in there. The helmets gave us super close up vision though, so the fishes looked very near but actually not that near. And they were swimming freely around us! A big ray even swam directly towards me and I quickly tried to dodge it.

After the activity, we still had time so we went to play at the waterpark! It was lots of fun and laughter, I had a very happy afternoon! :)

Especially loved the part where he pushed the float infront while in the adventure river and I held onto the handle and got pulled along. Watching him do all the hard work while I relax behind made me laugh so much. After that I grabbed a floating jacket and was able to "swim" although I can't really swim. I think I was just floating and the current pushed me forward. It was shiok for awhile until I don't know why I suddenly couldn't balance properly and ended up getting water into my nose.

We were having such a good time at the bluwater bay when suddenly the tide went too high submerging me in water for awhile and then another tide came onto me before I had the change to breathe. Drank two big gulps of water :(

Saw little kids bravely jumping into a 3.5m pool and swimming with such ease that I really feel so lousy for not being able to swim!

I was considering to go try snorkeling again at the rainbow reef after my previous failed attempt but the queue was long as we didn't go. Nevertheless, the entire afternoon was awesome!

If you are interested, the Sea Trek Adventure is available at 1pm everyday subject to availability. Bf paid $176 for both of us. Oh ya, do set aside money for the photos too, because each photo is a $25. Scuba-certification is not required and suitable even for non-swimmers, but participants must be at least 15 years old.