Thursday, 29 October 2015

Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 (Day 4 in Taiwan)

Asia University brought the 100 of us, students of University of Malaya, for a day trip at Sun Moon Lake. All we know was that we had to gather in the morning then the bus take us to the place. No other information were given. We kinda assumed it will be a guided tour or some Taiwanese students going with us, but nope. We were told that field trip fees are covered, BUT we didn't know that we would need to spend at a lake. BTW, The Lake is HUGE. We obviously did not do our research beforehand. Huge mistake.

Breathtaking beauty
Sun Moon Lake Taiwan

Thankfully we didn't rushed to rent the bicycles from the first shop we saw once we got down from the bus. It cost NT$200! Nope, not gonna spend RM20+ for just the bike rental. Oh yea, we were all left there to do whatever we want and was told to gather back at the bus by 5pm or so. My group of 10 stuck together since we planed to film our micro movie. We walked out of the car park area, compared prices of rental then we found this promo below at the visitor centre. After doing some calculation, we bought the NT$360 package which includes cable car, round-the-lake bus (no time for this), round-trip boat ride, bike rental coupon (which we didn't use cuz it's cheaper to rent at another shop).

Sun Moon Lake Taiwan package

We rented from this shop, it cost NT$100 per bike/person. I negotiated since we are renting for 10 ppl: 6 normal bikes and 2 tandem bikes (because 2 of the girls can't cycle. The tandem bikes are quite hard to cycle in) . They charged us NT$80 per person. A bargain I would say ;)

Sun Moon Lake Taiwan

It was really nice to cycle round the lake. The wind in our faces. Yes, we did film as we go around. We cycled til about 1pm then stopped because it was getting too hot. 

Then, we got on the ferry!
Sun Moon Lake Taiwan Ferry

The herbal eggs are Must-try! 2 for NT$25. 
Sun Moon Lake Taiwan Herbal eggs

Then the cable car. Time really flies. We were kinda fighting for the time.
Sun Moon Lake Taiwan Cable car

The view.
Sun Moon Lake Taiwan Cable car

Didn't really have time to have proper lunch but we bought food along the way. Must try vegetarian bun stuffed with loads of cabbage and mushroom.

It's really hot as it's freshly deep fried so be careful when you eat it. Maybe because we were hungry so this tasted good. Shared the bun with the 3 travel kakis cuz we wanna have room in our stomachs for later.

Sun Moon Lake Taiwan

We didn't have time for the Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village. Another time bah :) 

We got back to our bus on time! Boy were we so exhausted! Next, the bus took us to Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市. That will be in another post :3 MORE FOOD, or was it? ;)

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Currently listening to...

Kinda therapeutic looking at the words being written. Enjoy :)

For Love

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Counting down to convocation...

We've come a long way, the road not taken. I thank God for you, and what a blessing to know you've accepted Christ! I got your back. Darling, you deserve the very best for yourself :) Much love for this beautiful lady.

Thanks for reading :)

Eye examination at NIOS Optometry Clinic.

Mindy told me about this free eye examination by Optometry students of National Institute of Ophthalmic Science - NIOS, an academic arm of the Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital some time ago. She told me it was 2 hours long but it was good to know about the health of her eyes. I went to Google if it is currently available. Found a FB page set up by some of the students *LINK* and also a post on newscentral regarding the eye examination. I made an appointment, did some adjustments to suit their slots and my personal schedule and just waiting for the day to come. My appointment slot was 11am-1pm.

The parking was full and I was told to wait for a spot. While waiting, an uncle went to get his car but couldn't start the engine. I helped him to charge up his car battery and yes, I have a parking spot :D Went up to Level 3 where the clinic was.

The eye examination consists of:
Eye power checking
Eye health assessment 
Dry eye assessment
Eye Muscle Functions (to check for Squint and Lazy eye) 
Vision Consultation and Therapy 

The student that attended me was Eve. Her supervisor was there to check on her findings. The whole process was quite pleasant. My eyes' health is quite good. Just Papillae on my upper eye lids. I've stopped wearing contact lenses for a year or so. Eve said it could be the mild sinusitis, which doesn't really affect my life unless I'm in an air-conditioned room for long period of time. She suggested that if I do wear lenses, go for silicon hydrogel lenses or dailies. My right eye is rather dry so artificial tear that I can buy from the pharmacy will help. I do have quite high astigmatism which I think it's a bummer and it's hereditary :( no short-sightedness. slight long-sightedness. I'm weird LOL.

Quite an educational experience. Learning to care more for my eyes. Will make another visit soon for contact lens fitting, maybe I'll say bye to contact lenses forever LOL. If you're interested to get your eyes checked, do make an appointment with them. Thanks for reading. God bless! :) 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

7-eleven & Yi Zhong Night Market, Taichung. (Day 3 in Taiwan)

As usual, class. 99% of the time, the lecturer spoke in Mandarin. Kesian my friends who couldn't understand it. Translating for them is almost impossible as the level of Mandarin used was quite deep and at bullet train speed. Oh, FYI, internet speed in Taiwan is superb ;) 

For lunch, instead of ordering food, we decided to try the meals in 7-eleven. Basically, you go in, pick your meal, pay at the counter and the staff will warm up the food for you in the microwave. I didn't know the rice was at the bottom until the travel buddy pointed that out. I have to remove the top section, which has the chicken and egg, to get to the rice. Obviously it's my first time eating a 7-eleven meal LOL. NT$59 for this chicken chop don. Tasted good. 

There is literally another 7-eleven 2 rows down the street. It's everywhere in Taiwan! You can purchase bus tickets, High-speed rail tickets, any kind of ticket from the ibon machine, do printing and photocopy, buy food and products, top-up EasyCard over the counter (悠游卡, it's like Touch N Go in Malaysia), etc. all in 7-eleven. You can pay using EasyCard instead of using cash at 7-eleven. 

NT$39 for Banana Milk. The drinks' expiry date are quite soon as they don't put less or no preservatives.

After class, we took our fave No.100 bus from Asia University to National Taichung University of Science and Technology (国立台中科技大学) bus stop. The journey took us 1 hour +. Here we are at Yizhong Night Market 台中一中夜市! This is one of the nearest night market from Asia Uni that is quite huge. The night market operates from 11am-11pm according to some web  sites. 

Koi, our tour guide, did his research and found this food map from Yes, it's all in Traditional Chinese. Thank God we can read Chinese characters LOL. 

Let the food hunt begin! :D

#1 阿月红茶冰 Ah Yue Iced Black Tea 
(A Yue Hong Cha Bing)

Iced black tea, a thirst quencher for NT$20! Our fave! Must drink!

#2 黄金轰炸鱿鱼 Golden Fried Squid

We have a major squid lover among the 4 of us ;) Be careful when you handle fried stuff, it is freshly fried and is very hot to eat so leave it awhile before you eat it.

#3 一中豪大鸡排 Yi zhong hao da ji pai Chicken Chop
Nice and juicy.

#4 福州包 Fu Zhou Bao 
It's little buns with meat and vege filling. Very nice! The filling can be quite hot but still, very yummy :D

#5 加阳卤味
Pick and mix any braised stuff. 

I don't like米血糕 :x

#6 碳烧鸡排 Charcoaled Chicken Chop.

Yes, more chicken chop! It's quite huge btw, as big as their faces LOL. We prefer the Hao da Chicken Chop we tried earlier.

#7 雄爷鸡蛋糕 Direct translation: Egg cake

It has different fillings inside, such as chocolate and peanut. So-so.

#8 21臭豆腐 Smelly To Fu

The smelly tofu in Taiwan is not smelly compared to Malaysia's. We thought we could smell it from afar but nope. Some pickled cabbage to go with the smelly tofu. Good try.

#9 火焰牛 Torched Diced Beef Steak

Sprinkled with sea salt. Medium done. The beef was juicy and has a nice natural beef smell to it, if that makes sense. The guys liked it so much that they bought another set for themselves.

#10 甘梅薯条 Sweet potato fries with sour plum powder 

Interesting flavour. The sweet potato fries are sweet with a hint of sourness from the sour plum powder sprinkled over it.

#11 Bought 海尼根绿 Heineken Green Tea.

#12 We bought the original bubble (Boba) milk tea from 春水堂(Chun Shui Tang). It's opposite the Birkenstock shop around Chungyo department store. Chun Shui Tang claims to be the origin of Pearl Milk Tea. Anyway, must try at least once. 

Waiting for our order. We chose not to go in as there is the minimum spending rule (at least 1 drink per person if I'm not mistaken), we'll just share 1 large cup as we're already full from what we ate earlier haha.

Etyng and our Pearl milk tea.

4 of us split the cost of our food hunt. We each spent NT$170, this is actually quite good as we tried 12 types of food and drinks in a night :) Some ppl prefer to have a proper meal or not share food, that's fine. But for us, we somehow got along quite well with one another and have no problem sharing. We wanted to try as many variety of food. Yay for my amazing travel buddies :D Day 4 is outing day, where the uni brings us out to explore around Tai Chung so stay tuned for that post! :)

Asia University Summer Program begins, 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan (Day 2 in Taiwan)

Rise and Shine! Opening ceremony of the summer program starts at 9am. Taiwan sky on a summer day is so sunny. The lecture hall is a short walk from the hostel.

Asia University Taiwan

so much greenery 

The director of the summer program, Haw C.W. Hsiao and Prof. Jia-An Lin

The summer program was not the same as the previous batches. This is Asia University's first time conducting AUMMA 2015 which stands for Asia University Micro Movie Awards. At the end of the program, we have to produce a short film/micro movie. Some of the subjects we took during the summer program were Introduction to Photography, Screenwriting and Information Communication. The uni didn't stick to the schedule due to various reasons so this is only for reference.

The food places in the uni are closed for the summer break so the student helpers of Asia University helped us to order food. They called it 外卖 (wai mai)which means takeaway. Balanced meal with cultured drink for NT$80 (RM10+ now referring to the current exchange rate.)

After class ended earlier around 3.30pm, we made our way to 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan. Travel Tip: Get educated by finding information about the place you are visiting. The local government preserved some of the phenomena related to the earthquake to serve as reminders for the public of the need to prepare for such disasters and to be ready to provide emergency rescue services. I personally have not experienced earthquake so this place a must go and see.

We took no.100 bus from Asia University to 光复新村 (Guang Fu New Village)

With the help of Google map, we walked about 10 mins to get to the museum.

About 4pm, we reached the museum's entrance. The museum's gallery closes at 5pm! We didn't take note of that. Travel Tip: Do check on the museums operating hours as most of them are closed on Mondays, and go earlier if possible.The Quake Experience Theater is already full. Anyway, we went ahead to visit the gallery.

Some shots in the gallery. 

In each gallery, there is a booth for visitors with stamps. You can stamp it on your travel notebook or stamp in the brochure available in the museum. 

Quite a huge site.

With the travel buddies.

The visit was quite rushed. We would probably needed at least 2 hours for the museum. We couldn't go earlier as we have classes and for the weekends we have other plans. Nevertheless, I'm impressed by how well the museum is maintained. We each paid NT$30 (we have Asia University's student ID) for the entrance fee.  

For more information:
Website (in English) *LINK*
Directions to 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan *LINK*

We would walk and stop if there is anything that interests us like for food. 葱不油饼 (Scallion Pancake).

Heading back to Asia University, our uni for the summer program.

We went out again for dinner. Took our fave No. 100 bus, stopped at Wufeng (after Wu-feng post office stop), walked around that area. There are many restaurants there and the prices are very reasonable. That area is probably where Asia University students go to for meals out. We had dinner at one of the shops there for...

卤肉饭 Braised Pork Rice. Looks simple but yummy! 
The rice is so nice, different from what we have in Malaysia. I'm serious. 

and 红油抄手 meat dumpling in chili oil.
It's like wantan but we usually have it in soup.

荣耀豆花 Rong Yao Dou Hua shop that sells shaved ice. Wait, super big portion shaved ice! NT$45 for this. Thank God we ordered 1 bowl to share. We were quite full from our dinner, even if we ordered 2 bowls to share, we probably waste food.

Good thing about travelling with the group is that we get to try different types of food without stuffing ourselves. Already loving Taiwan food. That marked the end of day 2. Coming up next, Day 3... with more food! xD Thanks for reading!