Saturday, July 25, 2015

Taiwan: Jiufen Old Street

When in Taiwan, we also went to Jiufen, a famous mountain area in the Ruifang district near Keelung, and also conveniently near Taipei City.

Why is it called 'Jiufen'? Well, originally the remote village housed nine families and whenever they had to buy necessities, they would order 9 portions of everything for convenience. Hence, Jiufen, which also meant 9 portions, became the name of the village.

Of course, it's not an isolated village anymore! Gold was found in the village during the Japanese era and the village developed into a town with more residents.



We are supposed to admire the beautiful Japanese architecture but I realize I have no photos to show. Just search for Jiufen on google images and see for yourself! It was the setting of a very famous anime "Spirited Away" and this also partly revived the old street into a popular tourist destination.


Entrance to the Jiufen Old Street~


Jiufen is a must-visit because there are so many things to see and shop and eat! At first we were told that it's just a street so we expected it to be really just one stretch but it's actually a very long winding street!


Lots of food souvenir shops here so it's a good place to buy everything here, especially since free delivery to hotel is provided with minimum purchase. I went to these two shops near the entrance for pork crackers and ginger tea.



Food food food, and more food.



We tried this peanut shavings ice cream popiah!

First, peanut is freshly grated on a peanut block and placed on the popiah skin. Then, two scoops of ice cream on top and tada! Yummy and unique peanut ice cream popiah! It was quite a sweet and refreshing snack!




Afterwards we tried the mushroom tempura from this random stall down the street and it was okay, but nothing special.


Visiting Jiufen was like a cultural experience and it has its own unique charm and character! I feel that it is a little like our Chinatown, but with more interesting shops and more people.




We wanted to try smelly tofu so we settled at this empty shop to try! The one we tried was the crispy, non-spicy one, but I think the mala one should be nicer.


It wasn't as bad or stinky as we thought it would be. It's just that the sauce was sourish. It wasn't "wow", nor was it "eww". Not sure if this is how the original smelly tofu should taste like though...


Check out the crowd~~~


Time for lunch! We decided to settle at this meatball restaurant which had many celebrity photos plastered all over the wall. Got so many photos, should be famous one right? Haha.


The shop was almost fully occupied when we enter. There are seats on the upper storey too.


Still looking happy before the food came... Haha. Check out the boss' travelling photos that filled up the entire wall. Quite a happening life ya?


There was a wide variety of balls to choose from, like sotong balls, fish balls, fuzhou balls, meat balls, etc etc.We also ordered noodles, braised pork rice and braised tofu. Erm, all I can say is... only the braised pork rice passed.... The fish ball was bland and not bouncy at all. The tofu had some weird taste, like it was drenched in medicated oil instead of lor-chup. The meat balls were okay, but nothing awesome. It's a little hard to believe why the shop was so popular among the celebrities, I guess my taste differ very much from the local Taiwanese? Afterall, the restaurant must have a reason for surviving so many years.


Quite an affordable lunch though! Each bowl of soup starts from only TWD40, which is around SGD1.70. Where to find bowl of soup for only $1.70 in Singapore?


Settled for dessert here afterwards! This shop has a balcony area which overlooks the beautiful mountain scenery.


Our dessert: a generous serving of taro balls on top of grass jelly and ice. I have eaten Blackball's version in Singapore before and I think I prefer Blackball because it's sweeter and more chewy. But we still finished up both bowls completely because it's quite a nice cooling dessert for the hot day! Mai-hiam-buay-pai~! Haha.





Don't mind coming back here again!

No.89, Qiche Rd., Ruifang Dist., New Taipei City 224, Taiwan

How to get there via public transport:
From Taipei, take the train north to Ruifang Station. After exiting the station, board the Keelung Transit bus towards Jiufen. The bus trip takes around 15 minutes.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Random chat on Line with my sis

Was chatting with my sister on the line app one day and we super boliao, created a story with Meow Zhua Zhua stickers. Gosh, I love that dramatic cat.








So funny how we managed to do these with afew random stickers!!!! Hahaha. But all my friends' reactions are "you two very free huh??" Eeyer, not funny meh? I think is super funny!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stickers to purchase on Line Chat app

Everyone who is close to me knows I loveeeee the linechat app very very much. I go there so much more often than Whatsapp because my bf, my family, and most of my close friends are on Line.

What I love most about line, are their stickers! I started off with line characters and now I have moved on to purchasing creators stickers. *gasp* can't believe I'm paying for virtual stickers. But they are so adorable! I shall share some of the cute and funny ones that I like using!

I'm only posting a screenshot of some of the stickers in each set. There are around 40 stickers in each set :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Milly's 5th Outlet Grand Opening

Did this set of nails last month at my favourite nail salon Millys and I managed to keep it for a good 6 weeks! I really like the contrast of dark blue color and feminine florals! :) Feel free to get the manicurists to recreate this design and play around with different colors!



Just a week ago, I attended the grand opening of Milly's 5th outlet at Suntec City!!! Yes, Milly's is now even more accessible with branches in Orchard, Bugis, and Cityhall.

The new outlet is also much much much bigger!



Sent flowers to share the joy! See the $$$$$ sign? Huat ah!!! Lol.



Upon entering, this is the main area for hair extensions....


The manicure area~


Love this panel of nail polishes! So many colors! Millys is one of the salons around with a wide variety of shades, there's definitely something to suit everyone!




There are also many individual rooms for eyelash extensions! Lash extension is one of the most popular service at Millys with many regular customers due to the quality lashes used and skilled staff.

Opening Promotion at Milly's Suntec City Branch:
Black Diamond B $50
Black Diamond A $60
Only for the first 500 customers only
Call 6238 6216 / sms 83835395 for appointment.


Due to work I didn't managed to meet up with the rest of the Millygirls who were there earlier, but a photo with the Lao Ban Niang beaming with joy! Congrats on the new outlet!!!


Suntec City Mall

3 Temasek Boulevard #03-324/325 Singapore 038983 (Tower 1&2)
Tel:  +65 6238 6216 (5 Lines)
Operating Hours : 11am - 10pm (Mon - Sun)

 Booking & Enquries:
 Ask@millys.org
 +65 6238 6216
 +65 8383 5395

Friday, July 17, 2015

Taiwan: Yehliu Geopark

No.167-1, Kantung Rd., Yehliu Village, Wanli District, New Taipei City 20744, Taiwan

One of the tourist destinations we visited in Taiwan was the Yehliu Geopark, a stunning coast with numerous majestic rock formations sculpted by nature. Passed by these scenic sights on the way there!






How to get there via public bus:
1. Taipei to Yehliu – Kuo-Kuang Bus (no.1815) / 1 hour 20 minutes / TWD 96
2. Danshui to Yehliu – Keelung Bus (no.862) / 1 hour 30 minutes / TWD 120
3. Keelung to Yehliu – Keelung Bus (no.790) / 40 minutes / TWD 30

It's quite a famous tourist attraction so I think it should be relatively easy just by asking around!



Entrance fee is TWD80 (SGD3.50) for each adult, and open from 8am - 5pm. The entire park is filled with tourists by the way!


A long walk from the entrance to the rock formations! There is a man-sculpted version of the famous rock inside nearer to the entrance but we didn't take photos with them because what's the point of taking photos of the replica when we are just a few minutes away from the real thing right? Haha.




The heat was horrible, but the sun made the photos turn out really beautiful!





There are dozens of fascinating rock formations in this geological landscape, all with different shapes and some resembling certain things and animals, depending on individual's imagination. It's quite amazing how everything is created by nature! There are a few famous ones with names given to them and one of them was the Queen's head. It was the only rock which had a queue to take photo with and although it was scorching hot that day, we decided to wait since we were already there!

A barricade was set up and we could only take photo from a distance away. Actually, one can choose to not queue and take photo from the other side of the rock, which has no queue. However, the correct angle to view the Queen's head is from the designated photo point! The queue was reasonably fast so I think it's okay.


Here's a zoomed in photo to show that the girl posing with the rock is actually me. Haha. Glad that I chose to wear an airy and light-material top which I got from www.earthdoll.co just before the trip, because it was so hot that day!


The rocks are extremely fragile but many tourists couldn't be bothered and leaned on these rocks when taking photos. So inconsiderate!

Anyway while queuing we saw a funny scene of this lady posing with the rocks and her friend told her not to hold her umbrella because it's ugly on photo. So she placed the umbrella ON THE ROCK. Haha!! It's like you take a photo with a famous statue but ruin the photo with your umbrella on the main highlight of the photo. Ridiculous.

Nice photo of my parents! It was really very hot that day so we didn't explore the rest of the park after taking photos with the Queen's head. Enough already lah. Haha.


Group photo at the entrance with my family, grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins!


Perspired like mad at the park but it was quite an experience!

Read other: http://www.estherxie.com/2015/07/taiwan-taoyuan-keelung.html