Sunday 31 July 2016

2016 Taiwan Hauls

I want to get started with my vacay bits but decided to share with you my haul first LOL

Let me start with the ones I posted on Instagram just recently. Sent this via po stage to my family back home cuz I won't be going back anytime soon and some of the stuff I really wanted them to try before it expires LOL


The two items in red are teas which I got from Maokong. Dad's been obsessed with tea apparently so I got him and mom more. Then clockwise from top left are magnets, birds' nests, Taiwan instant coffee, some ginger tea cubes, Taro/Yam cakes and pineapple squares.

Taiwan Magnets

Also got myself luggage stickers! They're so cute I want moreeeeee!

Luggage Stickers

More haul!

The Taro cake is a MUST try. I had some last year when my ex-colleagues bought some as omiyage from Taiwan. I LOVE IT! So much that I brainwashed my ex-roomie and my friends whom travelled together with me to get some. Thankfully you can get this at almost everywhere like in Taoyuan Airport, Taipei Main Station and almost all touristy places. Even the night markets! Initially we wanted to get the ones from ShanMai (there is a branch in Taipei Main Station) but was too rush so we bought some random brand. Tastes equally as good!

Chia Te's pineapple cake is a must try too! I thought they tasted much more buttery and liked it but my parents said it tasted almost like the one in Bukit Mertajam. Worth trying! Last but definitely not least is the TaiYang Bing or Sun Cake. Didn't buy some back but it is good. Super buttery!

When in Taiwan, buy lotsa tea LOL. Bought Oolong, Tie Kuan Yin, Ginger (My fav!) and Blooming tea



So I got back and was so eager to try the ginger tea so I used a cube which makes about 3 cups or more and drank them myself.

Immediately I felt myself warm up and a while after I finish the tea I got nosebleed... (>___<) Hahahahha.

Reminding myself not to drink on hot days...


I also got some Tie Kuan Yin tea nougats from Maokong, which IMO tasted wayyyy better than most nougats I tried in Malaysia. The taste of tea is so-o-o defined, Chinese tea lovers will love it!



I also got tons of_like thirty_ beautiful hand painted postcards from Maokong. Distributed to my colleagues and friends. These are the ones I have left, which will be given to my friends and family hahahaha

Aren't they prettay??


Next up are cosmetics and beauty products, mostly masks and stuff from Naruko. Taiwan cosmetics are quite popular in Malaysia and my friends been raving about Naruko so when I told them I'll be going, I got a list of to buys since they're much affordable there.


These are the items I bought for my friends.

#Naruko Bird's Nest Mask




Another brand was L'herboflore, which my other friend recommended me to get. I found a counter at K-Underground Mall and as you can see, sapu (Malay for sweep/swept) quite a lot from the counter.

Let me tell you something super annoying that happened when we went to purchase the L'herboflore masks. So my friend Amelia and I went there solely to purchase the masks and were browsing the many choices deciding to buy before we were cornered my sales personS bombarding us with all the products. At first, I thought they were very helpful and friendly, trying to get to know where we were from after noticing my ineptness in handling the language and letting us sample some mini masks.

This mini masks. Aren't they cute?


But after a while, they level up their games and introducing us the other many, much more pricey products trying to sell them to us to the point it got very annoying.

And the most annoying part?

They said if you buy this set, we will give you like X number of masks for free, whispering the words to my ears. Saying stuff like, this is specially for you girls. So our identity as tourists actually is advantageous, huh. Mind you, there was no poster around stating this sorta deal. Aha.

And you know, I'm the type who DON'T like close contact with some people so the whole whispering act annoyed me more.

Like seriously. One other friend managed to duck another (Yes, they have that many sales people) and just hid somewhere. She observed that when a sales person is unable to convince a customer, they obtain help from someone apparently more senior/experienced to try to preach the customers.

Very questionable work and business etiquette.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE SALES & DISCOUNTS and I'm in LOVE with L'herboflore's products, I just don't like how they operate...I would actually buy more too if not because I've spent on SK-II recently. Same goes to Amelia (I intro-ed SK-II to her before our trip LOL).

What do you think? Have anyone experienced the same when shopping in any of their outlets in Taiwan?

If you're ok with these overselling sales people, just make it obvious you're no local and you prolly able to snap the products on pretty good bargain prices. You so-o didn't hear this from me.

Another tip: Purchase minimum 20 sheet masks for discounts!

Last but not least, I got myself this alpaca magnet from Taipei Zoo, cuz alpacas are cute LOL.

Alpace magnet from Taipei Zoo!

Because I only brought a carry on with me, I had to buy another luggage (the one in the picture above) and actually filled it up with all my haul LOL

Saturday 30 July 2016

Back from Taipei // Taipei & Southern Taiwan Itineraries Suggestions

My mind is still on holiday WTH. I've spent last weekend clearing things up and staring blankly into my Japanese notes... #truestory Also catching up with work, updating the fam/bff/friends and taking Japanese class test. So busy right after I just got back from Taipei wtf.

On the brighter side, we're back safe and sound! I'm SUPER GLAD we all did!

I was really worried about the recent Typhoon Nepartak (GANBATTE Taitung & China!!) that hit southern Taipei just a week before our departure! Because of that we changed plans many time, deciding between Sapporo or to travel locally or Taipei.. I had to rearrange the itinerary again and again because most of us have gotten our long leaves from work and it would be a waste not to utilize them. And then there is the recent bombing in Taipei MRT that injured several people added to my worries.  In the end, we decided to move forward, me redoing the itinerary only to covering Taipei area for fear of being stranded, our safety and a dozen of other things. I warned my friends to be super alert even in Taipei. You bet I was a worrywart the entire planning period. How could I not?? (T_______T) It was a super stressful week nevermind I still have work and studies on my mind. I did blew up after that, more on that LOL.

This is my second time overseas (aha) and my first with the group of friends. It was definitely wayyy different than solo. Like duh but heyy, like I said, it was my first time ok.

And you know there's a saying that goes something like, "Travel brings out the best and worst of people". Yeap, that happened. I guess my friends now know I'm impatient and emotional when it comes to certain stuff. And the next, I'll be so uncaring and carefree when I'm too tired HAHAHAHA. Story later. I too, know their bright sides and the hidden ones LOL. Mostly how they react when they're tired HAHAHAHA. Or that they can't stop talking about dirty stuff which annoyed me cause I got bored of repetitive talks on the similar topic (=______=) I earned the nickname, "The Sensible One" from that.


Sharing with you guys the itinerary I came up with. Bracket ones are the places that we didn't make it to as we took our sweet time to explore LOL. I will be blogging about my adventures (after I've sorted out my work and studies) and will linking them here laterwards with my blog p.

Taipei Itinerary

Day 4: Jiufen ⇒ Shifen ⇒ (Attractions along the Pingxi Line) ⇒ Miaokou Night Market
Part 2

After this trip, I find myself falling in love with Taiwan! In many ways they reminded me of Japan a lot! The places are just so beautiful, clean and they even have onsen (hot springs)!

Despite spending 8 days being in Taipei alone, I felt that there just wasn't enough time to explore! I think we missed quite a number of places other than the ones mentioned such as Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aboriginals, Taiwan Folk Arts Museum, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, old streets & attractions along the Pingxi line, Yehliu GeoPark and Yingge.

I never thought I'll ever find myself so interested in museums but I got brainwashed after our visit to National Palace Museum. And Taipei alone offers so many museum-visiting opportunities.

Oh, before I forget.... I think the best time to go to Taiwan is spring/autumn if not early summer. Especially if you don't like the heat. It is blazing hot, hotter than Malaysia. You can feel the heat in the morning and it can get super bright throughout the day I was squinting most of the time. So yes, get your sunglasses ready. I got tanned despite putting on SPF 50++ sunblock and my palm is peeling, look at these!


Due to the change of plans, we had to cancel our appointment with a taxi driver whom I found via TripAdvisor and several blogs' recommendation. It is truly unfortunate our trip southern Taiwan didn't work out... Should you be looking for a taxi driver to chauffeur you around Taichung, do give her a call. She speaks Chinese only, me thinks. She's an experienced driver so I heard, thus she should be able to show you around pretty well.

Lee Da Jie +886 932 518 438

If you're interested in my itinerary, here it is. I'm simply jotting it down for future use. You bet, I'm still going back to Taiwan!

Taichung/Sun Moon Lake Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: HSR from Taipei to Taichung Breakfast:Din Tai Fung/other XinFeng Fruit Farm Lavendar Cottage Carton King Check In Yizhong Shopping Street & Feng Jia Night Market

Day 2:  Breakfast Swiss Garden-Enroute Lunch:Urn Chicken (甕仔) Cingjing Farm & Green Green Grassland 18 Degree Chocolate Factory ⇒  Miyahara/Yi Fu Tang (一福堂老店) to get souvenirs

Day 3: Sun Moon Lake (Cycle around/Ferry to somewhere random)

Day 4: Sun Moon Lake ⇒ Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

Day 4: Yilan (Suou Cold Spring, Hot Spring, Lanyang Museum, Meihua Lake, TaipingShan, Crayon Factory, Botanical Garden, Guishan/Turtle Island)

Day 5: Head all south to Kaoshiung!


That's all~! I hope you find this useful.

More posts on my Taiwan adventure to come!

On Instagram

© voguelyvivien. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.