Fuss-Free Hair

I recently went to chop off 2 inches off my hair which is not that long anyway, but it’s a bit thick. So this time I also thinned the layers. I know many regard thick hair as being a sign of vitality, but mine was so thick especially at the back. lol now when I wash my hair I feel the lack of weight & length, and I know it sounds like a fetish but I’m so excited when I feel its airiness. haha! This length makes it so easy to dry too.

Now, I have natural curls that are not in the nice range. So I’m thinking I shall do another DIY hair straightening this weekend, and maybe post the results here! ūüėÄ

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and will have an even better New Year’s Day!

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I Love Taiwan 2016 – Sun Moon Lake

On the 2nd morning we had a late breakfast at one of the makeshift breakfast stalls at the Fengjia University monument. We waited quite a while for bus 160 opposite Watsons and I think with our Easycard it was a free 20-30 minutes bus ride back to Taichung HSR station. At the booth near exit 5 (pictured below) we bought two-way bus tickets to Sun Moon lake.

You can also buy a package tour ticket to Sun Moon Lake or Cing Jing Farm at this¬†counter,¬†and for more information you may visit the company’s website:

http://www.ntbus.com.tw/en-p-1.html

The bus actually begin operation from early morning (i think 7+ am?) but being the lazy couple we are, we reached the counter only in the afternoon and thought it was too late for us to complete the package in time. Hence we only went for the return bus tickets, but just nice this uncle was selling us the boat ride tickets for NT150 for one.

Of course, if you’d rather have a private car then you can DIY your itinerary at https://www.rtaiwanr.com/taichung-city/lavender-tour

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Side note: I visited Qing Jing Farm in 2014, and it was a relaxing stay. Generally people take a morning bus up and stay at the higher area 5 to 8. We took a NT50 bus and started from the top at the sheep show, walked down  and reach Little Swiss Garden for flowers-watching and a lunch at Carton King. You can also take a early morning bus to HeHuan mountain to watch the sunrise but we were just too lazy. lol.

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Anyway back to the topic, this is a typical pass covering the return bus rides, unlimited transfer, boat rides and I think some entrance fees as well as cable ride.

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Below is the rough map of Sun Moon Lake. We took about 2 hours to finish the boat ride with 3 pier stops including the starting point (Shuishe), including a short walk at the street stalls at the last point Ita Thao¬†(there’s also quite a number of homestay hotels there). So do go early if you aspire to really utilise the package fully.

Then we spent about 1.5 hours to share a motorised bicycle to ride along the Ita Thao Lakeside Trail. If you rent the motor bike instead then you will ride on the actual road instead of the trail.

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L-R and down: Tea Eggs at Xuanguang stop but it’s available everywhere. Starting point at bus drop-off area. Shuishe Pier. Walking street at Ita Thao pier.

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Different scenes around the lake. Top left photo is from a section of the Ita Thao walking trail:

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Overall I am pretty¬†happy¬†for our decision to plan a Taichung itinerary in our Taiwan trip ūüôā We went back to our airbnb to have an early rest before heading to Taipei the next day. Because we were with luggage, we hailed a cab to Taichung HSR station which I think cost NT280 for a short 10 minutes ride.

I Love Taiwan 2016 – Day 1

I’ve always have a special penchant towards Taiwan. I’ve been there 3 times before this, and I find it easy to navigate¬†as I¬†can understand Mandarin (actually even if you don’t it’s still fine as many of the attractions come with English signs)

My main love for TW is a combination of factors – cheap & good street food, shopping, and of course the friendly local people.

(There’s a recent spiked decrease in mainland China tourists in Taiwan – I’m guessing over the issue of country autonomy again? I personally prefer Taiwan to be an independent country but that’s just me lol. Anyway, good for me since there’s less crowd at the tourist spots!)

I¬†was toying with travelling in Nov 2016 or in first¬†quarter 2017 since the weather is the nicest during this period (cooling but not freezing, at 5-25 deg cel depending on the month). Then I saw a really cheap Jetstar promotion which after adding in reasonable check-in luggage, cost SGD388 for 2 (15kg there and 35kg back under¬†husband’s name)! WOW! Normal prices are like SGD300 for one person. Side note that 35kg is just nice for me this time, and I feel that I didn’t buy a lot. So to be safe it’s¬†best to have at least 45kg or more for 2 person. Traveling in a colder period also means the fashion will be more of the Autumn/Winter type, so if you’re from the tropical climate countries you won’t be able to buy as much clothes. But I still like it as I love walking and enjoying the cool breeze~!

At the Jetstar counter at Changi Airport, there’s actually automated kiosks that travelers scan their passports, get boarding passes and then add on check-in luggages. They will then print the boarding passes and bag tags before dropping off their luggages at the counter. This is rather confusing for a first-time user and there was a bit of chaos as some had to re-queue at another counter as they forgot to print their bag tags.

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After a 4-hour flight to Taipei Taoyuan Airport (this flight will go on to Japan), we joined the long queue at the customs. There’s actually money changers inside and outside the gate, but I recommend to queue FIRST as there¬†the passport-stamping area there will be a money changer before you exit the customs area, and¬†OUTSIDE the customs area at arrival there’s also a counter for the 3, 5, 7-day SIM card packages. It’s really cheap so I do recommend to get it and stay connected!

we followed the signs to the bus area.

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There’re many buses here, some go to Taipei (Taipei Main Station, Ximen Ding), some to Taichung (3 hrs journey?) and the bus we took is to Taoyuan High Speed Rail. It cost NT30 and takes about 20 minutes.

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The HSR comes from Taipei, hence I recommend you to spend an extra USD1 for an assigned seat for your 40 minutes journey to Taichung, unless you’re taking the train really early.

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At Taichung HSR station, walk down to the level below and outside for the bus 160 to Fengjia Night Market. It will help a lot if you already have the Metro Card, and you can always do the top-up at a 7-11. It’s really cheap, like 2-30NT or free I think.

(Side note again, you’ll also see a booth selling tour bus packages to Sun Moon Lake and CingJing farm etc)

You’ll alight at Watsons, right smack at the fengjia night market. This is a stop before the Overseas Chinese University stop. If in doubt just ask the driver (in Chinese though lol).

Well, if you feel like cutting away all the hassle you may spend around USD 9 for the short taxi ride.

Anyway we had the unlimited wifi SIM card package from the airport, so I was checking the route using iPhone map too.

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After settling down at our Airbnb that’s really near the night market (if I can I will include a review of the places I stayed), we went to Fengjia night market!

But before that we went to this raved yakitori place called Gekiuma Yakitori a short 10 mins walk away.

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I think the yakitori is nice since I like grilled food, ambience is nice too; I won’t necessarily go back again as I think I can find similar yakitori in Fengjia NM. Anyway this shop is like a yAkihito¬†cum¬†bar so it’s nice if you’ll like to sit down and drink while eating and listening to music. Soup is freeflow too!

Next we walked back to Fengjia NM for more eating, and shopping! Btw in Taiwan it seems that many NM are located next to an university, same for Fengjia NM. I had the milk steamboat here, and also we had breakfast at this area the next day, right at the street where the Fengjia University monument is at. Try their breakfast!

please try the fried sweet potato balls! One of my favorite snacks! ūüėÄ

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