summary of taiwan (2010);

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
I'm currently on a blogging marathon to update on my past travel adventures before i leave for my next one in 10 days time! (:

So here's a quick summary of my 14-days Taiwan trip:

Upon arrival at Taoyuan Airport, we were being picked up by my friend's sister to her place in Hsinchu. It was pretty late by the time we reach her humble abode so we had an early night. The next day, we were up early ready to explore around and decided to take the train from Zhudong to Neiwan. Neiwan is a beautiful Hakka Town with traditional wooden architectures and old streets, where visitors may savor traditional Hakka eateries and shops by the old Neiwan Railway Station.

The next day, i went on a solo adventure and took the high speed rail from Hsinchu to Taichung, to explore Sun Moon Lake. This lake is famous for its clear sparkling blue water and picturesque mountain backdrop.

We took the train to Hualien the following day to explore Taroko National Park. Taroko Gorge is framed by sheer seaside cliffs and majestic inland mountain peaks. This impressive gorge located off the east coast offers crystal clear waterfalls plunging down the rock faces, marble­ ­­walled canyons, lush vegetation and cliffs so outsized they block out the sky.

We manage to drop by the Lavender Cottage, a beautiful farm with a restaurant that serves all kinds of lavender delicacies. It is a beautiful place to enjoy the scenic environment together with the subtle lavender scent that lingers around.

One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Cingjing Farm. Being 1,750 meters above sea level, the weather is superb and one can immerse yourself in the fresh air and the scenic wild greenery of the Cingjing Farm.

While in Taipei we manage to eat our way through Shihlin and Raohe Night Market, shop around Wufenpu wholesale market and Ximending area. We did not miss out some of the main touristy place as well, such as CKS memorial hall and Taipei 101.

Some of the day trips that we had out of Taipei includes Danshui Old Street where the Fisherman Wharf and Lover's bridge are located, Yeliu Geopark, Jin Gua Shi (Gold Ecological Park), Jiufen, Huang Jing Pu Bu (Golden Waterfall) and Ying Yang Hai.

Alright, i'll have to sign off now. I will write up a detailed update soon. Till then, xoxo.


the venice of china - suzhou (2007);

Tuesday, April 01, 2014
After 4 days in Shanghai, we traveled on to Suzhou. The place where it's famous for canals and waterways, stone bridges, pagodas and exquisite gardens. About more than 40% of the city is covered in water, that being so, it definitely deserve the title as the Venice of China.

We visited a few of the classical gardens of Suzhou as well as a water town. Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Gardenare are among the four most famous classical gardens in China. One can take a relaxing stroll and soak into the serene ambiance unmatched anywhere. For those who appreciate it, the artistic merit of the gardens is also noteworthy. It is well worth the effort to get here if you are already in Shanghai since it's only a 45 minutes bullet train journey.

While traveling in China, you will soon realize that space and clean air are considered as a luxury. In the gardens, you will be able to have a peaceful experience in full view of the beauty. The gardens are meticulously planned, beautifully crafted and so lovingly preserved.

This is an extremely photogenic area of China so make sure you have an extra memory card and battery for your camera. I would recommend one to take the boat tour as the peaceful ride will provide a glimpse of how people live along the canal. Try to get on a boat right before or during sunset, you will be able to see the lanterns light up along the canal, which can be quite a magical experience.