Friday, November 30, 2007

Footprints in Taiwan ....

Prelude: Singapore Changi Airport T1 - Taoyuan Airport T1

Today marks the day where we (the Leecher cum trouble-maker aka Keith Lim + me) depart for Taiwan for a 7D6N trip (F&E), taking Jetstar (though budget airline, but the air tickets still cost a freaking $556 bucks per person)

4 hrs in the sky without any in-flight entertainment system (gosh, I miss SQ flights). Thus, entertained myself by taking pictures of the sky + clouds. Different designs of the fluffy clouds in the day time and close to sunset.

Yeah, finally stepped onto Taiwan soil after a 4h 10 mins flight. A surprise awaits me when I stepped into the customs .... Gosh, I missed him totally and now, I am in the same land as he is, wa ha ha....

Took the Freego Bus from the Airport to the Hotel. First glimpse of Taiwan Ximending. Quite like Singapore, except for the neon signboards everywhere.
Checked into the hotel (Royal Castle Hotel) and went out immediately to the Metro Station (MRT) and bought the Easycard for our trip. Inserted NT$1000 into the machine for the NT$500 card. We ended up with NT$500 bucks of coins as the machine coughed out coins instead of notes ^_^

First stop: ShiLin Night Market
Shilin Night Market is located at JianTan Station on the Danshui Line.

Tons of yummy food await! Super hungry for we didn't had food for more than 6 hrs. Queued up for the famous Ji Pai, yummy~

Next, had this chicken burger. But it doesn't taste nice at all ... Yucks!

Leecher wanted to try the smelly beancurd -- he said that its a must try in Taiwan. OMG, I nearly puked when the food arrived at the table. It really smells like SHIT. But according to him, it tasted just like any other beancurd, but the unique combination with the pao chye is quite refreshing.

We also tried this Orr Wah Jian (Fried Oyster), but seriously, I think Singapore's version win hands down. Guaranteed chop. The wanton soup tastes not bad too ~~

The mango with aloe vera drink. Gosh, it tastes heavenly. Strongly recommended!

Went to the stall selling BBQ food. It seems to be quite famous, as there were a lot of celebrities pictures decorating the place. Leecher tried the pig blood cake. Meanwhile, I think the gal is quite pretty, so I secretly took a picture of her, haha.

I was super full after all the food, but apparently Leecher can still go on -I guess that body size does matter... So we walked to another store to try the Beef noodles and the Lu Rou Fan.

We crossed over to another section of the Night market and found this cute potato chip on a stick snack. But it just tastes like potato chips, sian.

After walking around the place, we headed back to the 7-11 near our hotel, where another surprise awaits me ...

Ha ha, what a wonderful end to my first day in Taiwan ~~

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Footprints in London - Madame Tussauds & Harrods

London Day 5 (15 Nov '07)

Today marked the last day of our short London Tour yet Blamer presented me with another chance to add another nick to her. Today, she is also known as sleepy bum bum cos after I have woken up and finish my preparations, she is still... ...

And when I tried to wake her....

Haiz, at last I manage to drag her out of bed and we went for our last breakfast at the cosy kitchen of our guest house. Both of us decided on English breakfast, since I think it is the best among all the other choices. As this is the last day, photo-whore during breakfast.

After breakfast, as the check out time is around noon, we decided to head back to our room to pack up and check out first before venturing out to our last two destinations. Sleepy bum bum complained that her legs are sore after all this walking so decided to try the Michael Jackson style of dressing. However, she can't make up her mind to be black or white (excuse the pun).

In the end, we decided on the white because on close examination, her black shoes has 战亡 during our long walks in London.

Twenty Second Stop : Madame Tussauds

Lucky lucky tat Sleepy bum bum managed to source for the Britain Card for we knocked off 8 pounds for the tickets to Madame Tussauds.

Afterwards, it's just photo-taking with the stars,

Next we entered the Chamber of Horrors, however no photography was allowed. Really enjoyed the scare ha ha not for the faint-hearted though.

Of cos not forgetting a tribute to the Lady who brought us all the fun, scares and laughter.

Twenty Third Stop : Harrods

Sleepy bum bum says this is a must visit. If u never come to Harrods, u have never been to London. I think it is just like the Paragon of Singapore in a way, all the branded stuff and even their own house brand is pretty expensive. Din really bought anything here except for some souvenirs to be brought back for friends and relatives.

After our Harrods trip, we tried to return our oyster card to get our refund cos earlier, the Metro guy at Liverpool St Station told us that we can get every single cent back. However, the lady at West Hampstead Station said no, and that we can only get back 2 pounds regardless of the amt left in the card. Sleepy bum bum got quite pissed and argued with the lady. In the end we missed our taxi and had to wait for additional dunno how many minutes for the cab to the airport.

This was us happily bidding farewell to our oyster card.

Sleepy Bum Bum's Du lan face after missing the cab. As u can see the sky is darkening.

Phew! We nearly missed our flight back, lucky the cab driver was the impatient sort and zip zag thru the London traffic. Our last meal in London consisted of soup and a bagel, not tat impressive but looking forward to our SQ return flight. Tat's all for our London trip. Do lookout for our next trip -- Taiwan, here we come!!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Footprints in London - River Thames, London Eye, Phantom of the Opera

London Day 4 (14 Nov '07)

Rise and shine, we ordered breakfast again. Today, I wanted to try something new, hence I ordered their continental breakfast (the one on top) while Love-hate partner tried the English Breakfast today. Quite disappointed at my order cos it is all bread, but the croissant was very nice. Ham and cheese is just normal.

Seventeenth Stop : Marble Arch

Today's agenda was suggested by the romantic Me. The original plan was to go to Hyde's Park, one of the famous parks in London, for a paddle boat ride on the lake. However, during the journey, we saw Marble Arch highlighted on the tourist map, hence decide to pay a visit.

Ended up the marble arch is just this white marble gate behind us with nothing else in the surrondings. Quite off if u ask me. Wasted precious time, we decided to hurry to the park.

Eighteenth Stop : Hyde's Park

Once we entered the park, we saw this:
Wow! A horse carriage in the middle of modern central London?? Blamer seems overcame with happiness and did the jumping thingy again.

We trudged on trying to locate the lake but it was nowhere to be found. As it was very early in the morning, I was too cold to take any pics, but Blamer seems very comfortable with the weather and started running around.

Notice the dog at the bottom right hand corner. Now lesson to be learnt: DO NOT RUN IN FRONT OF A DOG! Blamer got chased by the small doggy as a result & she totally freaked out. Wa ha ha ha... Shld have taken a photo but I was too busy trying to rescue her from the cute doggy. Hee hee.

Nineteenth Stop : Cruise Down River Thames

After Hyde's Park, we proceed to Waterloo Station for our river cruise,

Our Boat

Some pictures of us on the deck b4 the boat leaves the dock.

But once the engines are ignited, it started to rain. Almost all the tourists decided to shelter from the rain and went into the boat. All except us, cos Blamer whipped out her small purple foldable umbrella and declared that we stay on the deck.

On hindsight, it was a pretty good idea, if not we wouldn't be able to take the pics below. I'll try to name the landmarks but some I really can't remember.

House of Parliament and Big Ben

This I have forgotten, hee

Of cos, the London Eye which we are going on our "Flight" later on...

Can't remember this too, but the Cruise guide told us that a kid once said this looks like Batman's head. Wot do u think?

This is the Royal Festival Hall.

Going under the Waterloo Bridge...

This is the OXO Building. If u look closely at the tower like structure in the middle, u'll be able to see it.

This used to be a warship that has been one of the world wars, can't remember which. Now it has been converted to British Navy Museum. Heard from the guide that it has been to Singapore for exhibition before.

This is St Paul's Cathedral and Blackfriars Bridge. The Guide told us that friars actually means monks and some monks were wearing black hence Blackfriars, there's a Whitefriars Bridge as well, but we didn't cruise past it.

This is the Tate Museum.

This is Shakespeare's Globe. According to guide, the last building in London to preserve its flamable roof. After the Great Fire of London, most buildings are not allowed to be build with this type of roof anymore.

The Tower Bridge

Lastly, Traitor's Gate. This is the place where they drown murderers and other criminals I heard.

It's time for a break from the cold weather before we go on our "flight" on the London Eye. Visited an All You Can Eat chinese food restaurant. Not cheap though, about 7 pounds per person. But I think I needed a break from all the bread, sausages and beans I have been eating.

Think we went of at least three rounds each. Must make our money worth it right? Our spread:

Twentifieth Stop : London Eye

At long last, we are on top of the world! Or shld I day London? Hmm... Biggest observatory wheel in the world right now, quite scared initially, but after a while, we were taking photos like crazy again.

Didn't post a lot of photos cos I think the view is around the same just tat it is from the above. However, u may want to see how the capsule we're in looks like upclose.

Twenty First Stop : Her Majesty Theater --- Phantom of the Opera

We bought the best seats at 55 pounds each. Blamer thinks this is a once in a lifetime thing and dun mind spending a bit more which I totally agreed but Ouch!* still feel the pinch. Went and grab a quick dinner at the nearby Pizza Express cos we actually missed the play yesterday, was just 5 mins late or so cos kena fakey by two ladies who pointed us in the wrong direction.

Our pizza and drinks:

Couldn't really take pics inside the theater, b'cos of copyright issues, but blamer still manages to steal a couple of shots of the stage before and during the interval break. We were shacked out at the end of the day, but highly satisfied that we managed to catch the play. Highly recommended to those who are planning to go to London to go watch it too.

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