28 December 2016

Photo Diary: Taipei,Taiwan (Day 2 & 3)

(This trip happened last 2014)

The long-awaited part 2 of my Taiwan trip!

I got so busy with work and other stuff that I have so many backlogs. I always imagined doing them but did not get near the goal.

So here I am, finally succeeding in doing so.

Memories of our day 2 and 3 in Taipei, Taiwan:

DAY 2 
Day 2 started with a quick stroll along Ximending District in search of our local Taiwanese breakfast fare. The change of the environment during daytime was very noticeable because their night life here is very much alive and kicking! Come morning, everything is slow-paced. 
There you go! Our breakfast find! It was like a pancake with egg and ham and it was so good. I can have this everyday. 
After fueling up, on the road to the zoo.
We made the long travel going to the Taipei Zoo. It was too bad that the cable car was not in operation that day so we took  the long route. 
One big attraction of the zoo are the uber cute pandas so it is a must-see!
There they are! But they just slept the entire time so we were not treated to a cute show-off.
Something to take home.

The zoo has a healthy collection of animals like these elephants.
This was a unique shot that I absolutely loved!
After the scorching walk at the zoo, it was time to have that late lunch. Since it was late already, we decided to try our luck at Din Tai Fung and we got in! No queues. We were seated right away and for that, we were mighty glad as we were bone tired.
Our lunch treat to ourselves! Not bad. All these for only around Php1,600+. Those Xiao Long Baos lived up to our expectations.
You will also be treated to the sight of the staff creating those sumptuous XLBs.
Come night, we did not go far, instead, we explored the Ximending commercial district which was also known to locals and tourists alike. So alive at night!
Our food finds for the night. That potato snack made a repeat performance as it was really delicious and filling.
This was something that I will never repeat again. The white bittergourd shake (cringe cringe). It tasted normal and sweet but the bitter kick will come right after. Never again but I'm glad I was able to give it a shot.
Day 3 started very sad for me. I got a message in the middle of the night saying that my grandmother passed away. That news got me in denial at first, not much emotions, but when it finally sunk in, I cried helplessly in our hotel toilet. There was no use rebooking a new return ticket because we were scheduled to leave that same day anyway. 
Lunch time!
Longshan Temple. It was being renovated that time but good that it was still open to the public.
The iconic Red House Theater found along Ximending. 
A cool treat for the sweltering heat. The shaved peanut ice cream roll with cilantro. Weird at first but it will grow on you.

See you indeed in the future!

My Taiwan experience was a great one despite the sad event that happened to me. The people were nice, food was amazing especially the streetfoods, money conversion was not a pain in the pocket for us and it was a cultural delight for us first timers.

Would I go back? Definitely! The food trip alone is enough to make you come back. =)


Read more of my Taiwan trip:

24 August 2016

A Taste of Singapore at Bugis Singapore Street Food

I have been to Singapore recently with my mom and since my dad and bro were not able to come, I decided to, at least, let them have a taste of Singapore hawker food here in Manila. So that's why, hello Bugis!

So, to make the supposed long story short, here is what we ordered:
 Soy Garlic Chicken (Php 150.00)
Very flavorful. Chicken parts used were all wings. Lots of rice needed for this dish . 
Squid Sambal (Php 180.00)
Very very flavorful. We enjoyed this! Again, lots and lots of rice needed for a dish this tasty because the sambal sauce can be a bit overpowering.
Nasi Goreng Fried Rice (Php 95.00)
I requested not to make it spicy because my dad and bro are not too fond of spiciness. Which Bugis did. Just this rice dish alone is good in itself. A bit bitin though for 3 pax but for Php95, it's very good.
Char Kway Teow (Php 135.00)
I find this similar to Beef Hofan flat noodles and I liked this SG version. Can't get enough of it. 
Singapore Laksa (Php 230.00)
So good! I like the creaminess just right. Not too much. And it has 3pcs shrimps and lots of shabu-shabu balls, assorted. Serving size was right for the 3 of us. 
 Feasting on these great tasting food!

I was really surprised by this place. It's clean, have nice staff and the food is affordable. Serving sizes are good for sharing but I can say that it's good for 2 people only. 3 pax is a bit too much if you really want to delve in to the food. But if you have lots of orders, then more than 2 pax is good to share. 

What I loved most is their Singapore Laksa. I will come back here for their laksa alone. So so good! Suited my taste perfectly. 

Parking may be an issue so it was a good time that we dropped by here before the start of the dinner rush.


Bugis Singapore Street Food
78 N. Roxas St. Santo Domingo,
Banawe, Quezon City
Tel. #: (02) 2452806 / 2452815
FB: Bugis Singapore Street Food


27 June 2016

Photo Diary: Taipei,Taiwan (Day 1)

(This trip happened last 2014)


When we booked the ticket, I did not have much ideas what to do and where to go. We just wanted a new destination. We were feeling adventurous. Luckily, a local travel show featured Taiwan and it gave me some scoops on what we are bound to expect once we get there. It looked promising.

And it sure was.

Here are our memories of our Day 1:
The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Impressive on the inside. Not that big but fully functional. We arrived in the wee hours of the morning and we were quite worried on how to get to the city which was more than 30 minutes away. But they have an efficient public transportation system and staff so we went forward easily. 
At that time, TWD1 = PHP1.50. Not bad at all.
Ximending District, our neighborhood of choice. Centrally located and used to be the life of the city in its glory days. Quiet during daytime but bustling at night. Our hotel (Kingshi Hotel) was a 5-minute walk away from the Taiwan Railway system. We loved that the most in this place. At the same time, this place lits up fantastically at night with it's night market and night life. 
Where are all the people and cars? Asleep I guess. This was taken around 10:00am.
A little exploring got us a photo op with this graffiti. 
The place of action at night. The weather was hot during the time of this visit which was around mid-September but that did not deter us from exploring. Reminded me of PH weather.
That at my back is the Red House. Per Wikipedia, it was originally a marketplace then turned into a theater and now is houses several shops that offers an array of different products and exhibits.
My requirement: A street shot with the street sign! 
Efficient train system that I really would like PH to have. So fast and economical. 
First timers on board!
First on the itinerary was the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. Because of the easy train rides, getting here was a breeze! This definite tourist-catcher of a landmark was a sight to behold. 
The vendo machines here are diverse! Loved them all!
Another shot of the train system from a different station.
Our next stop on the list was to see the pride of Taiwan.. the Taipei 101. This super tall 101-floors skyscraper with the shape and design of a bamboo is truly one of its kind. Very Asian looking. Located at the business district, it is impossible not to see this. And you should. One should not miss going up the top. 
Michelin-starred Din Tai Fung is a must try for all. We attempted to dine but failed because the queue was unbelievably long and to think this was past lunch time already.
So instead we ended up at Taipei 101's classy food court. Lots of choices and prices were very reasonable. Servings generous and tasty, our stomachs sang a happy tune.
See! Big servings!
Inside the Taipei 101 is a mall also. We circled around before going to the top of this beautiful building which we came here for.
Going up the Taipei 101 Observatory costs NTD 500 only. Less than 800 in Philippine money. I say that's very cheap if you think of the sight that you're going to see at the top.
Indeed a fast elevator. And you barely feel anything.
There it is! The view from the 89th floor. Amazing! So high up! If i remember correctly, we spent more than 30 minutes here just looking around.
And there was this mirror thingie on the floor. Gave the impression of  great heights and I liked it. Could not resist taking a couple of selfies.
This huge ball is the modern wonder caller the Damper. A tuned mass damper, or harmonic absorber, is a device mounted in structures to reduce the amplitude or mechanical vibrations. From what I've understood, this pretty much helps control the swaying movement of the building in cases of strong winds or quakes. 
And this my friends, is the view from the 91st floor. This is already outdoors and you can really feel the strong wind fly about everywhere. Makes one feel very alive! The 89th floor was indoors so it's just plain sightseeing but this one here is the real deal. We stayed for around 20 minutes or so. 
91st floor captures!
Lol! I did not see anything. 
Going back down, I bought a lot of these jerkies. A favorite of mine.
I conquered! Ticked off the bucket list.
Late afternoon view outside Taipei 101.
I found LOVE!
At night. Look at that design, very modern yet also traditional.
This was the rush hour scene at the train station. Not bad.
And of course, do not miss to visit the most famous night market named Shilin. You can find a lot of wares here, edible or not. For us, food tripping here was pretty epic! Cheap prices but great taste! 
Narrow streets lined up with carts.
And I noticed that they like their dogs a lot here. I've seen some pretty and cute doggies in just one day.
Busy, busy, busy!
Food trip it is! All these in one night. 
An eventful first day it was for us. At the end of it, my feet were so sore and shoulders tight due to all the heavy carrying of my bag. Mind you, you might think you've packed light but as the day progresses, so does the weight you're carrying. But it was worth it.

If I were to come back to Taiwan, I'd love to have that epic food trip again.


Read more of my Taiwan trip:

Taipei, Taiwan Day 2 & 3
Taiwan Food Trip

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