Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I  have not been to Penang for 2 years. The hawker food price has increased to RM3.50 per plate, even the famous assam laksa at Ayer Hitam. Quite a number of new shopping mall such as Times Square, One Avenue, Straits Quay.

Visited Straits Quay developed by E&O, very huge township comprises shopping mall, commercial and residences.  The price for residences is not cheap as it states luxury living. :)
You turn in after Island Plaza and go all the way straight you will come to Straits Quay.

You can enjoy a nice walk at the sea front. Quite a number of restaurants, bistros and cafe in this area.
We ate at Aqua which serves Mediteranean food and it was superb. We had a great meal!!
Tapas top with mushroom

 Greek pita with beef
 Fish with cream sauce
 Seafood Paella for 2 pax at RM95

Night View at Gek Lok Si Temple. It only lit up during chinese new year. We got to walk up the hill in order to see the Kuan Yin statue. Not easy to walk up all the way...:)

We stayed at B-Suite hotel at Bayan Lepas. The room is clean and huge. Per nite is only RM160.

Taiwan - Round island trip

We joined Nan Fang Holidays to Taiwan. Travel via China Airlines on 15th January 2011. Arrived to Tao Yuan Airport approximate 7.00pm.Weather was cold. It was drizzling. We took bus to Taoyuan Night Market before we check in to Tao Yuan Hotel. The night market got nothing much to eat there, they are selling mostly winter clothing.
Itinery are :
Day 1
Visit to Taoyuan night market. Overnight at Tao Yuan hotel.
My comment : Nothing much to eat at the night market. We ended eating grill pork chop at one of the coffee shop.
Day 2
Take high speed rail from taoyuan to taipei, take MRT, visit to chiang kai shek memorial hall, marty's shrine , national palace museum, handicraft centre, 101 shopping mall, Wufenpu Fashion District and feng chia night market- staying at In One Hotel

My comment : the high speed rail is same as the bullet train in Japan. Saw the changing of guards similar to Birmingham palace. The guard is not allowed to blink their eyes and believe me, they are trained. I still don't understand how you can not blink your eyes for 1 hour.

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Changing of Guard
Guard on Duty - not allow to blink the eye

101 Taipei
We were lucky that when we went to National Museum it was not a lot of people and able to see the famous treasures.

The "Jadeite Cabbage": A piece of jadeite carved into the shape of a cabbage head, and with a large and a small grasshopper camouflaged in the leaves. The ruffled semi-translucent leaves attached is due to the masterful combination of various natural color of the jade to recreate the color variations of a real cabbage

The "Meat-shaped Stone" @ tung poh meat. A piece of jasper, a form of agate, the strata of which are cleverly used to create a likeness of a piece of pork cooked in soy sauce. The dyed and textured surface makes the layers of skin, lean meat, and fat materialized incredibly lifelike.

The "Carved Olive-stone Boat": A tiny boat carved from an olive seed. The incredibly fully-equipped skilled piece is carved with a covered deck and moveable windows and people inside. The bottom is carved in minute character the entire 300+ character text with the date and the artist's name.

You can see how talented are those artiste. Today with our new technology, I don't think we can do it.

101 Taipei is similar to IFC mall in Hong Kong, most of the top brands are there. Adjacent to 101 Taipei is Grand Hyatt Hotel. Please visit this hotel. It is a must!! Once you visit the hotel then you will understand why so special of this hotel. Look at the interior design properly at their main lobby.

Interior design in Grand Hyatt Hotel
Inside Grand Hyatt Hotel - Main lobby
Feng Chia night market, you can find sausage wrapping in glutin rice and many more. Even their drinks got alot of flavours and very cheap. A lot of shops for you to shop.
Sausage wrapping in the glutinuous rice
day 3 - tai chung/nan tou -sun moon lake, peacock garden, wenwu temple, formosan aboriginal culture village and staying at Goya Hotel and also can enjoy hotspring in the room or at the outdoor hot spring   pool.
My comment : When you visit the wenwu temple, dont stand infront of the red lions to take pictures, it is no good. According to the tour guide, it seems the lion is eating you @ so called bad luck.  Opposite the temple you can buy souvenirs e.g. key chains, fridge magnet and etc. Key chains which feature sun moon lake.
 Wen Wu Temple, Sun Moon Lake -- this is the red lion i'm referring to
Wen Wu Temple, Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake
Must try to eat their tea eggs cos is different from Malaysia. They boil using ling zhi.  Also must eat their sour sop and apple custard. Very sweet.
Apple Custard - must eat!!Make sure you bring swimsuit and swimming cap when you go for hot spring. The swimming cap applies to man and women. You are not allow to enter the hot spring area without swimming cap. Anyway you can get the swimming cap at feng jia market but you got to look out for nike / addidas shop.

day 4 - tai chung /kao shiung - meinong hakka village, fo guong shan temple, take boat ride along love river, new jyuejiang business district and stay at hotel sunshine
My comment : Nothing much in meinong hakka village, is a small theme park. You can take cable car for sight seeing,
Fo Guong Shan temple is really huge, they got their own television broadcast station and radio station.  We spend 2-3 hours there.  
I like Kao Shiong better than Taipei. I felt Kao Shiong got more things to shop.  Must try their famous banana milk drink.

Fan Guong Zhan Temple
Store that is famous for papaya milk

Famous for white bittergourd with honey drink
Deep fried squid - not really nice..very chewy
day 5 - hualien - taroko national park administration, ling zhi tea art house, chinsing tan, eternal spring shrine and marble rock factory, stay at shin kong chao feng ranch and resort. You can enjoy hot spring in this resort
My comment : Hualien is very beautiful, a great place for sightseeing. When you visit the ling zhi tea art house, those ling zhi are wild ling zhi that's why it is so expensive. You can alo purchase royal jelly here. Small bottle cost RM150.  For me i can't stand the taste therefore i got to mix it with honey to eat.
We stayed at Shin Kong Chao Feng ranch and resort, we need to rent buggy to move around the resort as their zoo is too huge to walk. The chalet is very nice and room are huge with four single beds.

famous for its bamboo rice in hualian
Taroko Gorge
 Taroko Gorge
Taroko Gorge

Shin Kong Chao Fen Ranch
Shin Kong Chao Feng Ranch - cow ranch
day 6 - take train from hualien to taipei, visit to jiu fen and yeh liu. Night visit Shilin Night market.Stay New Continental Hotel
My comment : Visited jiu fen where you can shop for your souvenirs and snacks. You can also eat their local food such as beef noodles, fish balls, yam and sweet potatoes dessert all at jiu fen. It was raining heavily therefore we are unable to shop. If you like to drink almond tea, you can purchase the almond tea powder at jiu fen.

Yehliu  is a cape on the north coast of Taiwan in the town of Wanli between Taipei and Keelung.
A distinctive feature of the cape is the hoodoo stones that dot its surface. A number of rock formations have been given imaginative names based on their shapes. The most well-known is the "The Queen's Head", other formations include "The Fairy Shoe", "The Bee Hive", "The Ginger Rocks" and "The Sea Candles.".
Yeh Liu
The Queen's head at yeh liu
Yeh Liu

Shilin night market - i felt that the food are oily. The famous shilin fried chicken was long queue therefore did not try. You can drink the white bittergourd with honey drink. A lot of shops where you could shop for food and clothes.

The tour guide took us to Vigor Kobo, one of taiwan's premier bakeries. Famous for its pineapple cake. One box for 10pcs cost RM35. Where you can get it at jiu fen at RM10 for one box. The cakes stuffings are made with fine ingredients. It also taste different in terms of the texture. Vigor Kobo can help you to pack into a box where you could check in at the airport.

day 7 - leave hotel at 5.30am to airport

Overall Taiwan is ok but not so much on shopping. I prefer to shop in Hong Kong rather than Taiwan. Facial mask in Taiwan is really cheap. Their bamboo rice is very nice where you could eat it at Hualien. I will visit Kao Shiong rather Taipei. I felt Kao Shiong more happening.