Hey everyone! How’s the first two months of your 2018 been doing? Would you believe it’s already March?! The first quarter of the year would be over soon. Time flies and fast!
So it’s nice to give yourself some “me-time” and reflect on the things that have happened. For me, one of my resolution for this year was to develop or acquire a new hobby slash skill. And I decided that to be calligraphy—iPad calligraphy to be exact. So I started an Instagram account (@krisceldiane) so I will be driven in a way to create artworks regularly. But that’s not the only reason why I created this account.
My intention is to combine my love for photography together with calligraphy. Using quotes or words that are positive. I hope that through this little way I can inspire others—whether it’s to travel, try a certain food or just make someone laugh or some encouragement.
Here are some sample images I have posted on my account so far.
If you are inspired in some way, please feel free to follow me or show some love.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Finally, National Gallery of Singapore is now open to the public!
One of the ongoing special exhibition now is the Wu GuanZhong: Beaty Beyond Form. And It will be on the National Gallery of Singapore until 03 May 2016. So be sure to check it out!
My sister and I were really shocked when we saw him. He looked just like our Angkong (or Grandpa)! Seriously! I even send the photo to my mom and she affirmed it. And to think our surname is also Go or Wu in chinese. Maybe it’s where I got my passion for the arts? Hmmm.. He He
And more photos around the gallery.
Inside the Keppel Centre for Art Education. This area is made specially for kids but I’m sure adults and those child at heart will also have fun here.
We were looking forward to go to the Playscape that day, but too bad it was already closed when we finished going through the other exhibits. -.- But I managed to take two photos. LOL Will be definitely back for this.
National Gallery Singapore 1 St. Andrew’s Road Singapore 178957 Opening Hours Sun – Thu, Public Holidays: 10am to 7pm Fri – Sat, Eve of Public Holidays: 10am to 10pm
A few only knows that I am frightened by the thought of growing old. So I dread the days that lead to my birthday. Every October I am having “anxiety attacks” and panic starts to creep in. There were times when I cried just the thought of my birthday. And sometimes when I encounter old folks I do feel scared—BUT this doesn’t mean I don’t respect or care for them or help them for that matter. The thought of being weak and wrinkly petrifies me.
So yeah, at the midnight of my birthday my sister and my brother-in-law went to my room and woke me up to surprise me. They were so happy and started singing the Birthday song.
And my reaction was…
Yup, that moment you realised you are getting older again. I totally ruined the moment, didn’t I? LOL
What’s a better way to make you feel younger is a Hello Kitty cake.
Being aware of this weird condition of mine, I am working on it—psyching myself that it is really not a big deal and just accept the inevitable. And yes, I had some glitches this year but it wasn’t as bad as the past years (or so I thought). Ha Ha
Anyway, later that evening we had a dinner at Carousel Buffet. Together with the other dining celebrants, they gave us mini birthday cake and sang the Birthday song.
These past 26 years of living, I can say that life was not always great but I couldn’t be any happier with what I have, where I am now and who I am with. My family and friends are not perfect and so am I, work had its ups and downs, encountered bumpy roads once in a while. But hey, it’s what makes life worth living and exciting.
Aiming that this 27th year will have more adventure, more love and happiness to share, learn to be content but know how to dream big. And remember to live life to the fullest and make it count.
As a pre-birthday celebration (last 10 October), the four of us—me, my sister and her husband and my best friend ate at The Garden Slug for dinner. Personally, I really don’t like celebrating my birthday that’s why it’s just the four of us. LOL
These are printed paintings by a local artist. You can check his instagram account @michael_lee_sy.
And here’s our order: Three Little Pigs: Bratwurst, Bacon & Ham Hashed with Mushroom Cheese Melt & Potato Egg Bake.
Spending most of your time around a bustling metropolis can be quite stressful. If you are longing for a peaceful break, I suggest taking some time off and get your rest at Sonya’s Garden.
Sonya’s Garden offers bed & breakfast so we planned to spend a night there. We really enjoyed everything—scenery, people and food!
Our room was Ah-Mazing! It was relaxing and just spend some me-time immersed in the sound of mother nature. The name of our cottage is Fennel.
Even the bathroom is nice.
I got a new camera, replaced my Fuji X10 with X100T. And so far, I am loooving it! All the photos in this post was taken using my new cam.
Our stay includes a tour around their garden. Sonya’s promotes wellness so they grow organic food. And even their chickens only eats plants that grows in their garden. Ate Lonya was the one who showed us around the area.
Here are some of their homegrown produce.
This flower taste nice—sweet and tangy. They include it in their salad. I just forgot the name! If anyone knows what is this called, please let me know. Please please..
We ended our day with a very relaxing massage. The three of us tried the Signature Sonya’s Massage (P879.00) that lasts for an hour. So relaxing. zZzZzZ….
The next morning, we went out to do some gardening with Mang Bernie. He showed us how he plants the lettuce and some herbs. According to him, mint is the easiest herb to grow for beginners.
Upon checking out, they gave us a gift—each of us got a mint and tarragon plant. Hopefully we can grow these plants and have a lifetime supply.
For more information on Sonya’s Garden Bed & Breakfast, drop by their site.