Friday, 1 June 2012

A Different Taipei

I have to post this before I finish my China dENiZEN posts. Because this is too overwhelming, and I want to pen it down while everything is still so fresh I can relive them in my head...

Taipei, from what I remember, was a place for shopping. Eating and shopping, to be exact. My last trip to Taipei (last November doesn't count, as I was just passing by Taipei to go to HuaLian. My flying days didn't count either, as they were just layovers and I've been rostered less than 3 times to Taipei) was in 2007, when I went on a family vacation to Taiwan in general. It was one of those 10-11 day trips and we covered Taipei to Gaoshiong to Taidong and basically, around Taiwan. 

 OMG I looked so young!!! And my face!!!! I never knew my face was that round! Lol!!!! I look like I have done major plastic surgery!!! (which I have not!!!) 

(Best part? I am still the same weight! Baby fat yougodai!!!)



My post-PSLE sister. Then. 

And the wonderful mum who brought us. 

 My my...Reminiscence...

I saw a lot then, but I always felt that trips like those only covered the tip of the iceberg. One couldn't really experience anything too local as such tour packages were catered towards, well, touristy groups. Touch and go. Up the tour bus, off the tour bus, take picture, toilet break, up the tour bus, next place of interest, off the bus, take picture, up the bus, toilet break....That's why we have this little joke about tours on coaches:



Last weekend I revisited Taipei for a short getaway. My trips overseas the past few years were all mainly for work, except the one to Hokkaido (which, dang, I have yet to finish writing about!), and the recent Batam escapade with Mint. This trip has been nothing short of whimsical, exciting, and strange, all at the same time. It was an impulse trip, one I had to take. I guess I needed answers. And of course, a break to find myself, and lose myself at the same time. =)

So here's Taipei, 24-27 May, 2012.


Every trip in Taipei would involve MRT rides. This caught my attention as I was walking through a station:

Real time display of which toilets are being utilized!!!! So embarrassing la if it's only 1 red light and this person is there like, for very very very very long. Everyone would know you're pooping in there. Paiseh ga lao sai... Literally.

 No trip to Taipei Ximending is complete without Ah Zong Mee Sua.

(If you think my hair looks different, it is. I chopped off quite a bit of length, though it's still long. It looks healthier, yes? Thanks to the guy who always helps me repair/look after my hair - Comb from Shunji Matsuo Wisma Isetan)

I've never caught a movie in Taipei before (not like catching movies overseas is my usual thing of course!), and The Avengers was in our itinerary for Taipei. I know right. It's just that being in our own homeland means a never-ending stream of work, so a holiday would seem like a reasonable time to go catch a movie. Lol.

There were SOOOOOO many cinemas in a single stretch of road along Ximending! We chose this one. And it was so small and cosy it felt like someone's home theatre.

Looks good? Taipei isn't all about Taiwanese street food. This is from a really nice French cafe called Butter. It was near my hotel (I stayed at Royal Palace Hotel, which was really very palace-y nice!) along Zhong Xiao East Road Section 4. I was too busy eating. No I didn't take a picture of the menu, so I forgot what this is called. Lol. But here's the address:

No. 122-1, ZhongXiao E. Rd, Sec. 4, 2F 台北市忠孝東路四段122-12
(02) 8772-3832

I wanted to try so many other stuff, but I only had one stomach, and just all of 3.5 days in Taipei. I'll come back. Just you wait.

As I strolled along Taipei's streets, I noticed almost ALL the girls have baby-smooth oh-so-fair skin, the kind which would put Fann Wong to shame. A trip to Watson's or Momo (it's a cosmetics drugstore, a little like Watson's) answered my questions - a huge array of masks and amazing skincare products in all shapes, sizes, and pretty packaging were available, and they were CHEAP! Facial mask sheets (e.g. Beauty Diary) go about 30-40% cheaper than here. Eyelashes are much cheaper too! (If you're getting your false lashes from Far East Plaza, high chance is you're seriously getting ripped off.)

No wonder. I want to stay in Taipei~~~~

Then I found these. And I went crazy stocking them up:

K-Palette Eyeliner!!!! I could only find the Black and Super Black in Singapore, like in 10 out of 10 Watson's/Sasa I tried. I was SURE they come in Brown though, and I found them in Momo in Ximending!!!!!!! 

For the clueless, K-Palette has eyeliner that is waterproof, and is proven to be able to last throughout the day without smudging. Shu-An did an amazing review here

The salesgirl at Momo told me the stock only just came in the night before, and she was sure the Watson's next door had no stock (I checked. It was true.) I think I took at least 7 or 8 of each (pencil AND liquid).

I was heavily recommended the Solone Eyeliner as well. At 1/3 the price of the K-Palette eyeliner, of course I took quite a few of them as well. Expiry of these beauties? 2016. I don't have to worry about buying eyeliner for the next 4 years. HA!

I was brought to a few temples. I remember my 2007 trip, I also went temple-praying. Except this time I wasn't brought by my own folks. It's so strange because it's something I was familiar with, going to temples. I grew up in a Taoist family, you see. But it wasn't something that my travel partner really comprehended, not growing up in an Asian environment, yet it's his family who insisted on the temple rituals. You may think I'm kinda babbling now, but I don't even know how to explain this.

Maybe in due time. ;)

I was told that I should ask for what I want in my career. I did. And I prayed for my family's good health, and my sister's good grades, and my (continued) happiness, and of course, growing wealth from a successful career. \^.^/

One of the temples I visited. 

碧潭 (Bi Tan). It's a nice scenic area with a suspension bridge overlooking a lake which the Xindian River opens out to. You can find quite a few restaurants and nice eateries along the lake so this is really a place you can come chill on a slow weekday afternoon with. 

I gather there should be some events here on weekend nights. =)
Maybe some celebrities come here to do small gigs?

 The suspension bridge.

Pedal-boating is popular here. Reminds me of our Chinese Garden here. 

It's a popular tourist spot, one of Taiwan's 8 famous attractions, one which I never knew about. I could do with getting to know Taiwan more.

Bitan is at Xindian Rd., Xindian District, New Taipei City. Alight at Xindian Station if you're taking the MRT.

Each time I visit Taipei, I have to visit this restaurant called the Modern Toilet Restaurant 便所主题餐厅.
Like its name suggests, it's a toilet-themed eatery. 

The seats are all toilet bowls. The dining tables sinks/bathtubs with a piece of glass placed over so food could be served on it. 

Drinks are served in urinal-cups...

And food in toilet-bowl / bathtub-shaped bowls... 

Food is okay~ I like their curries, and the Hokkaido Milk Hotpots. ;)

If you're keen to check this out, Modern Toilet is not very easy to locate. Look out for the huge toilet bowl protruding out of the wall of the corner of a building. That's the best prominent sign I can tell you.

Modern Toilet is at:
2F., No.7, Lane 50, Sining S. Rd., Wanhua District, Taipei City

They have another outlet in Shihlin, and quite a few outlets across Taiwan.
Check out their site for more info. (Click on "Our Story" to find their store addresses)

My last night in Taipei saw me satisfying my urge to Kayteewee~~~ 

KTV in Holiday KTV at Ximending.

Not a lot of choices if you're looking for English songs, and the song selection method is akin to Teo Heng KTV, where you select the songs from the touch screen thingy. Personally I much prefer the Partyworld style of song selection where I can just click on the remote. It's so much easier. KTV rooms in Taiwan come with their own toilets, so you don't have to go very far to pee. Or do whatever. *coughs*

This whole trip has been so strange, in a wonderful way. (Trust me, I have never truly understood the meaning of wonder-ful until this trip.) Remember I did a Lomography episode for at Lomography Gallery Store Singapore some time ago and I tweeted and instagrammed about wanting a Diana F+ Mr Pink or a Diana Mini En Rose? One week after I did that episode I did a filming for a short film which took place just a few doors away from Peek! at Armenian Street. I checked it out and found that there was a limited edition Gold Diana Mini which I swore I was gonna get for myself for my birthday. Though I still want Mr Pink. =P

(I still want a Mr Pink because a Diana F+ is lens-changeable, meaning you can change the lens to a Fish-eye, Multi-exposure, wide-angle, whatever should you wish to. But not the Diana Mini. Yet I want the Diana Mini because it's nice to bring around to events!)

Guess what. The partner had planned Day 3 for my birthday-pressie-shopping, and we were just strolling around this place called Dunhua South Road looking for this eatery called Dazzling Cafe (more on that later), and we came across Lomography Gallery Store Taiwan!!!!!!!! 

Is that strange/weird/amazing/unbelievable or what???
So I got this for my birthday, 8 days in advance. ^.^
<3 max!!!! *smitten*

Then it gets even better. My cousin who married a Taiwanese and is living in Taipei saw my Ah Zong Mee Sua picture on Facebook and sent me a text telling me to contact her, and when I did, she told me was going to the hospital to prepare for delivery the next day! She was pregnant you see, but I thought she had already given birth! I never expected to be able to catch her on her delivery date!!!! And it just so happened that my flight the next day is a night flight! 

I got to see Baby Chloe and Mummy Rei, freshly after delivery, in the very hospital that 小S (Xiao S, famous Taiwanese celebrity) delivered her baby - 中山医院! 

Hello fellow Gemini. You look so much like Mummy!!! 好漂亮哦!!!
Silver Jie Jie will come back to see you in a few months okay? I promised your Mummy already. ;)

After seeing Baby Chloe and the pretty cousin (she made me promise not to post her post-natal pictures up), we went for Dazzling Cafe, which we had made reservations and visited the day before unsuccessfully due to the long waiting hours (we went at 4 and was told seats would only be available after 8!).  

I found out about Dazzling Cafe after stumbling across Adora's blog (thank you girl!!!), and oh my goodness, it was soooo worth it! We only had drinks and the Roasted Caramel Honey Toast. No Mentaiko pasta nor the phenomenal legendary truffle fries as they only serve them during specific hours. 

Dazzling Cafe has a few outlets. We went to Dazzling Cafe Pink. Oh it was sooo girly!!! I'm so sure that Angeline and Cheryl and Mint will love this place!!!!

(Anyway we were too full from the 红油抄手面 & 卤肉饭 we had earlier. Oh those were soooo good too!!!! *hungry just thinking about them* Pictures will be uploaded after I've developed my pictures from my Diana!)

So in love~ \^.^/

She's a beauty, isn't she? Came with an attached necklace.

The Roasted Caramel Honey Toast. Yum~~~~~~ 

The bread was sooooo good, it was the perfect ending to my trip. Sweet and lingering, it was the perfect reflection and mirror of this escapade to Taiwan. 

Am I coming back for more? Yes, for the fries and the pasta of course. But I'm also sure I will be back in Taiwan, not just for the food or the shopping...I think? 



  1. Hi Silver,
    Happy Birthday. 生日快乐 笑口常开!
    I love to read your blog. What a wonderful trip. Glad that u had a good time in Taiwan. Stephen

  2. Wow Silver! Your face really slim down a lot. It's a lot more sharper and your looked damn pretty!! Any tips to share on how to slim down/sharpen the face? Thanks!!

  3. happy bday silver, looks like u had a great time in Taipei, can't wait to head there soon!

  4. Hi Silver!

    you look so pretty now!
    I have the same problem (well not really a problem but well)
    Ok anyway my face shape looks like yours in the first few pics.
    So was wondering if you have any tips on how to slim the face naturally.
    pleaseeee let me know!
    Quite depressing to look at the mirror everyday :(:(


    1. PLENTY!!!! I never realized the importance of having a small face until last year. It makes SO MUCH of a difference! I'll be sharing a video soon after my exams finish! So look out for it next week! ;)

  5. hi babe,
    if u happen to let go of ur off shoulder let me know..
    ites really pretty =)

    1. Whoa~ Okay! But it's not really in the best of conditions...Lol. I got it in Hong Kong Mongkok Centre at a level 5 pushcart really cheap. If you can still find any there then grab one! ;) I wanted to buy more but I was worried they won't fit me so I only got one. *regrets!!!*