✈ Taipei, Taiwan x Day 6, 7 & 8

Continuing from the previous entries..

Day 6 - Dante Coffee - SoGo Departmental Mall - Taipei Zoo - Taipei Main Station
A part of the reason for this trip was also to celebrate Jack's birthday :) After washing up, we decided to head out for breakfast/brunch. We settled on Dante Coffee just beside our hotel since there were quite a bit of varieties on their menu. I was craving for this badly!

I ordered poached eggs on toast that comes with ham & mushroom + a cuppa coffee and orange juice. Jack had Egg Benedict. Each set merely cost around $10+, pretty worth the price!
We found out that there's a Yong He Dou Jiang near our hotel and got ourselves some dan bing, also subsequently for the next 2 mornings, haha!
I found one of my favorite snack in Taipei - & that's Aunt's Stella! They sell cookies with really unique flavors, some of which I really like are Rose, Green Tea, Almond Chocolate, Assam Black Tea and Sesame. We finished within hours & had to go back and buy more to bring back to Singapore!!
Next stop was Taipei Zoo. Such a bummer because it was drizzling and the weather was really humid.
Just to see the pandas!
Didn't stay long and decided head back for more shopping :)
2nd SOGO mall!
Dinner at Sushi Express, missing this so much now!
We managed to get a cake before the day is over. The chocolate cake was really really good!! 
Happy birthday my love! <3

Day 7 - 十份 
Very quickly came Monday, the second last day of our trip. We woke up late for our breakfast buffet and so it was Starbucks before we making our way to shifen! I love the varieties of sandwiches they have, also alot cheaper as compared to Singapore :)
Ham cheese/spinach egg for me and can't remember what Jack had. Both was delicious in fact!
We took the same long journey to Ruifang and had to wait 40 minutes for our train to Pingxi, urghh. 
Roamed around and got a 超大杯 honey aloe vera drink, so so refreshing!

After a good 30-40 minutes, we finally arrived at Pingxi Station. & of course, we were there to put our lantern! :) I don't what's with the dog taking so much space on our 'health' side haha. 
The awesome guy took many nice pictures of us!
We only stayed for 45 minutes in total because we wanted to catch the next train back to Taipei, which took us another hour. It was such a painful long ride & I was so happy upon reaching Taipei City Hall for our dinner & doing our last minute shopping. My luggage almost burst!  

Day 8 - Taipei - Singapore
We woke up in the morning and grabbed a quick breakfast before getting ourselves a taxi, collecting our pastries and doing more last minute packing & squeezing before we headed to the airport for our flight at about 1230pm. Leaving Taipei was bittersweet. Sweet because I got kind of homesick and bitter because our vacation has come to an end :<
It was definitely a fun & reinvigorating trip.
Goodbye Taiwan, till I see you again! :)


Dinner x Quinoa Fried Rice

I bought a packet of Quinoa ("keen-wah") sometime back, failed at my first attempt and chugged it aside for a long while. It wasn't until last week I had to make my own dinner and it was the quickest carb I can find & cook. I decided to give it another try! Remember to rinse the Quinoa to remove the bitter taste before boiling in pot :)
I took abit of everything colorful I can find in the fridge - long beans, carrot, corn, red bell pepper, black fugus & chicken/fish slices for my 'Fried Rice'. By the time I was done chopping, my Quinoa was ready and fluffy. I drained the super food and stir-fry everything on the plate before throwing in the Quinoa last. 
This was definitely a successful attempt! Not only it takes me less than 30 minutes, it's delicious, filled with many nutritious benefits and easy to cook. I was eating happily away.
Hope to master this and come up with more varieties when I have the time. hehe :)
Hope you had a great Friday!


Breakfast x Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich

Happy Sunday! Relaxing at home makes the perfect day, but nope, I spent the entire day painting the room and foreseeing an achy body tomorrow. 
A simple breakfast before work few days back. This is one of my favorite to go, a winning combination - two slices of wholemeal bread with peanut butter, banana and blueberries, packed with healthy dose of fats, fiber and protein.
Would be even better if it's toasted or grilled! x


✈ Taipei, Taiwan x Day 5

Day 5 - 淡水- Miramar Entertainment Park - 士林夜市

J & I joined our friend and his family who was in Taipei for vacation on the fifth day! Our initial itinerary was to visit Yangmingshan & Beitou before going Danshui & Fisherman's Wharf but we decided to forgo the first two places of attraction to sleep in & spend our Saturday with a big group of people :)
Morning sight of empty XMD

Lunch after breakfast was at Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice. I'm not a big fan of 滷肉飯 but this is probably one of the must-try since it's a favorite in Taiwan! Located near Chiang Kai-shek memorial hall MRT, the 9 of us took the train and walked over to the highly recommended place online. We were lucky we didn't had to wait long for our seats. 
My bowl of fatty pork belly slabs & 1 pathetic slice of cucumber over steamed white rice. The white rice was very tasty and fragrant though!
Got our daily dosage of BBT upon reaching Danshui station :)
We were also part-time babysitter for the day!
A glimpse of the well-known beautiful waterfront area. 

We spent a good 3 hours walking around the old street. It was scorching hot and we probably got 1-2 shades darker! The 3 of us were all drained playing & taking care of the toddler by mid-day. 
We headed back to Jiantan Station and took a shuttle bus to Mimarar Entertainment Park (yes aircon!!), a new age shopping and entertainment complex. We parted with the adults for 1.5 hours and the 3 of us took this best opportunity to sit down for food and cuppa coffee!
By evening, we took the shuttle bus back to Jiantan and walked over to Shilin night market. It was Saturday and very crowded! The 3 of us left the adults to meet them 2 hours later :)
Famished and all ready for dinner at the basement. 
Some of our eats - 2 XXL fried chicken, egg omelette (all starch), sausages, squids, etc. We also tried the bitter-gourd pineapple juice which was special and good!

We ended the night with another round of foot massage after a good warm bathe back in the hotel. Probably one of the best thing because we were all dead beat. 

Sunday. Can't wait to see which country will walk away as FIFA World Cup Champion tonight. 
Germany or Argentina? 
Here's to another new week x


✈ Taipei, Taiwan x Day 4

Mid-week. It's been 8 days since I'm back from Taiwan and I'm still feeling the post-holiday syndrome/blues. Truly the aftermath of taking such a long break away from work - Residential, to CISA and vacation!
 But I guess I was rewarded with a rested self, renewed perspective and great recharge. It's definitely time to re-establish back to the usual routine till the next :)

Day 4 - 九份 - 五分谱- 绕河夜市 - Taipei 101
Back to Day 4, we started the lovely Friday morning with a hearty hotel buffet breakfast! It was nothing fantastic though, just some simple spread with assorted bread, appetizers, noodles, rice and veggies. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to having eggs but there weren't any. Anyway, our original plan for the day was to visit 九份&十份 but we ended up going to the former only because we missed the train and was also already half drained by mid-day, haha.

To 九份
From Taipei Main Station, we exited the MRT to take another train to Ruifang Station, where we alighted to head to 九份. From Ruifang station, you can either take a cab (NT180) or bus 1062/1063 (<NT50) up. The bus stop is located directly outside the Welcome shop opposite the train station and journey takes only about 15 minutes.
So excited to be here! :)
Coffee and us :)
There were many stalls selling Taros and the smell of it was overwhelming! I love Yam, steamed ones in rice especially and so we bought a bowl to share. Filled with Taro balls and different types of beans, it tastes like cheng teng. Definitely a great dessert to quench our thirst under the hot weather. 
The iconic view at the top of 九份, such a beautiful sight!
Big head selfie of us
Prior to this trip, I've read reviews that the popiah peanut ice-cream is a must-try! We bought one and I really liked it!!! All the popiah skins were laid nicely on the metal table with peanut shavings, all they do is add two scoops of ice-cream & some greens when you order. Super yums :) 

We were done within 1.5 hours and decided to head to 十份. However, back at Ruifang station, we missed the train and had to wait for an hour! The frequency of the train towards Pingxi is really low so it's advisable to check before going. We did took a photo of the timetable but forgotten about it when we left 九份. Since we were also lugging few boxes of pineapple tarts & sun biscuit, we decided to head back to Taipei and come back another day!
We dropped our stuff back in hotel and headed to Wufenpu and Raohe. Stopped by 7-11 and ended getting a bowl of cup noodle to share because the smell was really good. 
Enroute to wufenpu. There was practically nothing we both liked and we went raohe night market for dinner!
Right at the entrance, we spotted the famous Pepper Pork bun and joined the queue. Jack didn't find it that fantastic but it's definitely my favorite street food so far. I love it piping hot, finished mine and even ate some of his.
Miss this so much now! We also got few others snacks - sausages, steak, bbt before we left the night market. By Day 4, I was already quite sick of the night market food!
The night was still young after filling our tummies. We headed to Taipei City Hall station to visit Taipei 101, we didn't went up but did some shopping instead, truly appreciate air-conditioned malls there. 

Our legs were so sore by the time we reached our hotel & we ended the long day with an hour of relaxing foot massage. Not very relaxing though, my whole leg was in pain the next day!