27 2 / 2012

The best thing I bought in Taipei
I bought a lot of stuff in Taipei. A lot. This top was the best because you can wear it six different ways, check it out here.
It was less than 20 SGD (which is also about NZ$20) and so far seems good quality. I bought it from a craft market, but turns out the owner also has a proper shop online called Urb. 

The best thing I bought in Taipei

I bought a lot of stuff in Taipei. A lot. This top was the best because you can wear it six different ways, check it out here.

It was less than 20 SGD (which is also about NZ$20) and so far seems good quality. I bought it from a craft market, but turns out the owner also has a proper shop online called Urb. 

27 2 / 2012

[Frank and I outside Taipei 101 - a building too tall to fit in a photo with us]
Taiwan Observations
-Taiwanese people are super nice. At first I found the cries of “Huan Ying Guang Lin” everytime I walked into a different section of a department store freaky as but actually its them being so friendly. A refreshing change from home where you can’t even get the MacDonald’s cashier to say hi. 
-A lot of people wear fake glasses. The ‘nerd’ wayfarer type. How do I know they’re fake? They don’t have lenses in them. How am I sure there’s no lenses in them? Because their fake eyelashes poke through where the glass should be. Weird. 
-But at the same time I do appreciate Taiwan’s sense of style. Noted a lot more tattoos, dyed hair and just generally cooler outfits here. Or not cooler but at least more experimental. 

[Frank and I outside Taipei 101 - a building too tall to fit in a photo with us]

Taiwan Observations

-Taiwanese people are super nice. At first I found the cries of “Huan Ying Guang Lin” everytime I walked into a different section of a department store freaky as but actually its them being so friendly. A refreshing change from home where you can’t even get the MacDonald’s cashier to say hi. 

-A lot of people wear fake glasses. The ‘nerd’ wayfarer type. How do I know they’re fake? They don’t have lenses in them. How am I sure there’s no lenses in them? Because their fake eyelashes poke through where the glass should be. Weird. 

-But at the same time I do appreciate Taiwan’s sense of style. Noted a lot more tattoos, dyed hair and just generally cooler outfits here. Or not cooler but at least more experimental. 

21 2 / 2012

We visited on a cold grey morning but the complex wasn’t as sombre as you might expect a memorial site to be. There were kids lined up in the courtyard (school trip perhaps) and joggers up and down the steps. 

Chiang Kai-shek was a military leader who moved his government to Taipei after defeat at the hands of Mao Zedong. He was never able to take back mainland China and died 26 years after coming to Taiwan. According to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, it is the attraction most visited by foreign tourists. 

[Main memorial hall]

Inside the main memorial hall you can watch the changing of the guard. 

The statute of the man himself I quite admired because he is not heavily adorned. He’s made of a simple painted bronze, is dressed real casual and he has a great smile. A lovely sincere and gentle smile. 

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall: No 21, Zhongshan S Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City.

28 1 / 2012

During our week long trip I had fried chicken five times. 

I’m a bit of a fried chicken fiend (a huge supporter of the controversial double down) and Taiwan did not disappoint. 

In Taiwan fried chicken takes on a whole new meaning, while they do have what I would call ‘the regular stuff’ ie KFC, the night markets and some smaller stalls take on an even better fried chicken product: the fried chicken steak. 

Frank best described it as deep fried chicken the-size-of-your-face. Tasting it quite quickly became the most anticipated event of our trip.

The first place we tried was Hot Star in the underground part of Shilin Night Market. 

I was pretty stoked on first bite, this chicken was thick, juicy, HOT and tasty with a little bit of spice. However Frank was unconvinced and I soon realised why. 

Upstairs and outside there was another Hot Star with a really long line! I’ve noticed Asians love to queue for food — its a sure sign the grub’s good. We went back the next night and yes this chicken was better. It was crumbed and that made all the difference. 

I had several variations of the steak: where it was cut into pieces, where it was more like fried chicken clumps (that was too borderline k-fry for me) and a variation where they barbecued the chicken after deep frying. But I would recommend the outdoor Hot Star Stand at Shilin over all that I tried. 

Warning: They call it a chicken ‘steak’ but it does have bones.

Apparently there’s a Hot Star here in Singapore I’m yet to try. I’m pretty sceptical but here’s the details anyhow! 

Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken

City Square Mall #B1-K7 (Farrer Park MRT)

Tel: +65 6634 8032      
Opening hours: 10.30am – 9.45pm Daily

27 1 / 2012

Taiwan = Snack time all the time

Just got back from a week of eating in Taiwan. Nom nom nom. 

19 1 / 2012

One thing I do not understand is the amount of winter wear that shops have here. It hasn’t dropped below 24 degrees since I’ve been here and Uniqlo want me to buy puffer jackets and flannelette? So not happening. 

One thing I do not understand is the amount of winter wear that shops have here. It hasn’t dropped below 24 degrees since I’ve been here and Uniqlo want me to buy puffer jackets and flannelette? So not happening. 

18 1 / 2012

Chinatown pre-Chinese New Year 
Is manic. 
It’s like a maze of Asian goodies; lollies, dried meats and bamboo trees. Ridiculously large fruit or miniature veges like baby pumpkins are also quiet popular. 
You can pretty much have lunch for free as there are free samples EVERYWHERE
And apparently on the stroke mid-night on lunar New Year’s eve everything becomes half price or less! Bargain! 
Unfortunately this was the only photo I got because it was so cramped and pushy you could barely stop. 
Word of warning: China town is not tall people friendly. The canvas (tarpaulin?) ‘rooves’ and the ropes used to tie them down nearly beheaded Frank several times.  

Chinatown pre-Chinese New Year

Is manic. 

It’s like a maze of Asian goodies; lollies, dried meats and bamboo trees. Ridiculously large fruit or miniature veges like baby pumpkins are also quiet popular. 

You can pretty much have lunch for free as there are free samples EVERYWHERE

And apparently on the stroke mid-night on lunar New Year’s eve everything becomes half price or less! Bargain! 

Unfortunately this was the only photo I got because it was so cramped and pushy you could barely stop. 

Word of warning: China town is not tall people friendly. The canvas (tarpaulin?) ‘rooves’ and the ropes used to tie them down nearly beheaded Frank several times.  

15 1 / 2012

Singapore Zoo 

You think that the heat is going to get you but there are little fans at each viewing platform so you don’t have to worry!

Highlights were definitely pigmy hippo and the Malaysia Tapir which unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of (battery died) but is a black and white anteater looking thing. The elephants did a show which I felt a bit uncomfortable about as they really did not look happy.  

We went from the zoo to the night safari which was AMAZING. The zoo closes at 6 and the night safari begins at 7(ish). Since you’re in the middle of nowhere you have to eat at the restaurants at the night safari where unfortunately it was $15 for a laska!

The night safari is magical. They really put on a show. There are stilt walkers and fire breathers for entertainment before you even get into the park. Riding the tram gets you close to the animals and the commentary (which came with some intense environmental messages) was entertaining and oh so educational. 

Unfortunately you can’t take any flash photos at the night safari. 

20 12 / 2011

The smell hits you as soon as you turn the corner by the Little India MRT exit. Frank found it gross, I found it somehow exciting; its like a mix of incense and curries and is hot and sticky. 

Markets line the streets, including gorgeous (and very affordable) costume jewellery as well as silk saris. I would also go just to check out the cute mechanical toy shops along the way.  

But we came for the food really. I regret not being adventurous enough for the smaller street stores, instead Frank had looked up a restaurant online - Khansama - that we found on the main road. 

[Chicken tikka entree]

Khansama is a franchise that advertises itself as ‘Probably the best North Indian restaurants in Singapore’, and wouldn’t know to argue with that. There were plenty of tourists inside so it probably wasn’t extremely authentic Indian but it was air conditioned and the toilets were clean. 

It was around ten SG dollars for a curry, but by the time we’d ordered entrees, naans, mango lassis and rice as well (I’m Chinese, can’t go without my white rice!) it all added up. 

Was a quick introduction to Little India really. Somehow we didn’t see Mustafas, the famous 24 hour department store so I definitely be returning.  

18 12 / 2011

Fleamarket

For some reason there was a fleamarket held under our apartment block this weekend. It had some sort of Christmas theme. I think it was mostly my neighbours selling second-hand junk but I managed to pick up this cute batik skirt for SD$3 from two sisters who had designed and made a whole bunch of them. Super bargain!