Getaway| Trip planning in Nantou, Taiwan. #Monster village #Sun moon lake #Lotus Forest

We actually visited all those places in different times, but if you only have limited time in Taiwan, then I suggest you can go all those places in one go.

Let’s see the map first! Imagining Taiwan is a kind of potato and sitting in the middle of East-Asia. Nantou then is the heart of the potato, the only city isn’t next to the ocean in Taiwan.

Continue reading Getaway| Trip planning in Nantou, Taiwan. #Monster village #Sun moon lake #Lotus Forest

Travel| JJ Japan GO! Pre-trip planning

Yes! Japan! We are finally going.

It seems like everyone has been to JP except us. LOL The more we both have seen , the more excitement we have.

So, please allow organising freak, Jess to share her crazy pre-trip plan.

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Continue reading Travel| JJ Japan GO! Pre-trip planning

What to do in the Central Coast, NSW – part 3

Final coverage post for our trip in May to Central Coast – part 3!
Don’t forget to try the fish and chips in Nelson Bay, nothing quite like a seafood box from a sea town.


Also had a lovely pear desserts (did you know desserts spelled backwards is stressed?) cooked and prepared by Jess.
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Upon leaving our cottage on the last day we wrote in the guestbook to leave our mark and romance!
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Mandatory selfie before leaving.
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Other things we managed to slip into our trip were visiting the local national park in the area – a must do. We managed to find a waterfall at this one too.


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Jess getting excited to use her bubble gun.
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She’s got it out!
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Gan Gan hill look out!
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Back at home and repairing out skin with Jess’ recommendation for skin repair!
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Hope you enjoyed it and have an idea of what to do, I know we certainly did!

Nelson Bay (a trip back to the past)

Following my previous post on Nelson bay, I had mentioned that it wasn’t our first time there. It was back in 2011 when we had first met each other (this is a whole other story) and will just briefly cover what we got up to that time around compared to our most recent trip 5 years on!
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We stayed at Samurai Beach Resort which has sadly closed down since then. It was a beautiful place although I do remember it wasn’t as easy to find the rooms in the dark because of the lack of lights!


Here is Jess checking some of the local attractions and finding out information on where we should go!

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Not sure what I was doing here but the room was beautiful and came with our own bathroom also unlike some places which may have a shared bathroom.
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Sand dunes and boarding seemed like the thing to do when you’re up in Nelson Bay!


The difference with this trip is that we got to meet the camels! (although we didn’t ride them).


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What else can you do at Nelson Bay if you’re only there for a night?


What can you possibly be looking for Jess?
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Ah hah! No trip is complete without a good Baskin & Robins ice cream!
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Another view of Jess at the bottom of the dunes, so cool!
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We also had a Domino’s pizza on the way back which was so delicious and ever stuck in our memories that Jess was so full she slept on the way back to Sydney!


A great escape for any couple, both short and long! We willy likely visit again one day!
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What to do in the Central Coast, NSW – part 2

Next up, we packed our bags and headed to Peats Ridge about 30-45 minutes from Nelson Bay Sydney bound direction.
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We rented a beautiful secluded little cottage in a farming area.


The best thing was, there were horses and even farm animals just right next to us!
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It’s worthwhile going to Coles or Woolies before you embark on the journey as Peats Ridge is quite in the middle of no where!
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Preparation for our meals.


We cooked burgers together! Its actually very satisfying cooking by yourself.
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No animals were harmed in the making and cooking of our meals above and future displayed ones 🙂


Another great thing to do is abseiling!


They had some really good instructors and overall very well worth the experience!


After that we cooked another delicious dinner served by none other than the Masterchef Jess!


Always be prepared with a nice wine to supplement your dinner.
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Will finish off with part 3 shortly!
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What to do in the Central Coast, NSW – part 1

In May of this year, Jess visited Sydney again and we decided we’d have a trip to the central coast of NSW. It was our first “wild” adventure where we would stay away from suburbia and have a little time away from the busy-ness of Sydney. Where did we decide to go? Central Coast of course!

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We first went to Nelson Bay to catch some sunshine and a bit of the ocean and stayed at a house hosted in Nelson Bay. It was a nice cosy place right next to the beach!


Highly recommended the host Trisha as she was very helpful and friendly, here is Jess taking a mandatory selfie of herself 🙂

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Now us together after a good night’s sleep.
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Next up we went to the sand dunes via the tour buses for some sand boarding!  They have various levels of difficulty (which was pretty much different sand dune starting heights). I felt it was quite slow on the non-steep ones and wasn’t really worth the effort walking up unless you went to the steep ones!

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Keep your hands out to balance on your way down!

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Next up, we took the bus back to Nelson Bay then went for a boat trip for dolphin watching!

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Don’t forget your sunscreen!

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They also had a boom net which I managed to convince Jess to go on. Surprisingly there were no dolphins that came to that side because of the sun being on the other! Shame.

All suited up to go now 🙂
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Funny thing was, once Jess got off the boat and into the boom net everyone started wanting to go in! I took the role of photographer!

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Best thing was, we actually did see dolphins and a beautiful view this time (one of our first trips out of Sydney was to Nelson Bay but unfortunately no dolphins that time).

 

A list of things to do in Sydney part 2

Continuing from my old post found here

4) Gould’s Book Arcade
Now this is a really cool second hand book store that has literally hundreds of shelves and shelves of second hand books. If you’re interested in grabbing a bargain, finding something interesting to read or just to browse around something different. Pop down to Newtown and check these guys out.

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I almost always end up buying something, Jess probably would too but she doesn’t have much space in Taiwan so we often have to leave it here in Sydney until she comes next year!

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5) Pho An in Bankstown
Given I’m Vietnamese, we’re bound to have Pho some time, although we haven’t had a bowl together recently! For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s the most popular Vietnamese dish worldwide and probably the first thing that would come to mind when thinking about Vietnam.

Unfortunately we didn’t take a photo of the actual dish itself but the expression on our faces should be able to tell you the review! Extremely fast service and large servings, price is a little higher than what’d you expect if you were from Cabramatta but overall a good place to try!

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6) Christmas lights hunting
This is a tradition in Australia particularly in Sydney during Early December to Mid January each year. This probably doesn’t happen as much as it did before simply because of rising electricity prices but still, it is quite popular and people do get into the spirit!


The thing to do is to check this website for the latest locations and participants each year!


Probably the most famous place is in Ryde, there’s a street there which is full of houses who light up the entire street. Best to get a comfortable car and ready to get some late night food!

TLC Taipei Picnic Day

 

I had an enjoyable afternoon with friends for my first picnic experience with TLC in 2016.
Here are some tips for someone who hasn’t had picnic yet.

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fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128Before the picnic

The first step for the date is to check up with your guest list.

Provide a related link and map for your guest.

Continue reading TLC Taipei Picnic Day

Hot air balloon exp

 

 

Hot air balloon! sounds so exciting by its name right? I am probably the only one person who brought a swimsuit for the first hot air balloon experience. You may ask me why I brought that. It’s because James told me we were going to the beach at 5 a.m. LOL I know I know, it sounds ridiculous, but en, I believed him.I realised that I was actually flying in the air at very last second. It was another surprise for me.

Continue reading Hot air balloon exp

Getaway| 礁溪Jiaoxi 四圍城堡Lanyoung Railway

We visited Yilan, Taiwan last week and had lots of fun and have built new memories together.

Jiaoxi (礁溪) is one of a suburb in Yilan.

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fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128About the transportation

As we didn’t have a car, we went everywhere with the public transport.

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we trained to Jiaoxi station

The other thing that I like about this city is that busses normally come on time, there’s really small chances of missing your bus.

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Please be aware that most of the busses don’t run on the weekend.

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Lanyoung Railway 四圍城堡

Take R1 from 礁溪 train station.

Address:No. 72, Sec 7, Jiao Xi Rd., Yi Lan Xian 262

FB: https://www.facebook.com/lanyangrailway

 

This place has exhibited Shaun the sheep at the moment where it used to be Harry Potter theme.

It’s a restaurant and some little shops surrounding.

 

 

fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128About the food

Yilan is famous for suck, scallions, pork stick and so on. (Also check “must eat in Longdong night market)

We had a special version of duck pizza and pearl milk tea pudding for lunch.

Duck pizza


It taste quite nice as your rarely can tell it’s a duck. The sauce is perfectly match cheese and vegetables. The 9there thing we like about it is the bread is thin one resulting in easier bites for us.

Pearl milk tea pudding
We ordered this is because James is a big fan of pearl milk tea, however this taste funny. It’s not a pudding. The texture is more like mousse with lots of pearl on the top. The only thing I like about this is the Shaun sheep chocolate. Lol

So just avoid this dessert then you will be fine.
We enjoyed the scene there a lot. Every corner is dedicated. I reckon here is a right place for kids or someone like me who love cute things.

Further reading

Travel| 3years anniversary in blue mountain

What first comes to your mind when you hear blue mountains?

I would never guess horse riding. But yes, we went to do horse riding for our 3rd anniversary in 2014.

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Although I forgot the name of my horse, let’s name him Oscar for now. He was beautiful and naughty. He walked waddling and took me on another route for his yummy leafs for breaky, I almost screamed out when the branch of a tree almost hit my face. I then soon moved my head without harm. That’s why it’s important to wear helmet.

 

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What makes this trip memorable and exciting? It is you are literally riding them. they take you up to the hill then down to the bottom in the village for an hour, the road wasn’t smooth, or I may say it wasn’t that comfortable at all.  Hence, you need to find a way to stay in a harmony with the nature.
James and I both enjoy it a lot.its a lovely day.

 

After a long ride, we have romantic picnic with lots of animals surrounding in the backyard of the counter.wp-1471050570508logo

 

Next destination : Jenolan cave

 

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10 Things must do in Taiwan

10 Things must do like a real Taiwanese

 

  1. Ride on a scooterThere are 2.3b ppl in Twnes population and 1.2b scooters in Taiwan. Can you imagine how important scooter is for us?

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2.Night market

I visit the night market in Syd, seems like they are trying to copy everything from here to the china town in Syd. Although they look the same, there is one thing they can’t steal that’s called “traditional flavor”.

3. Shrimping

As it’s a crowed island, we shrimp in the dark greenish water in a big sink . Will update a photo soon.

4. Wind sliding

 

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5.Make wishes on your own lantern

I now can confidentially say yes, my dream came true!!! I passed my English exam last year eventually. 😀

 

 

6. Riding ubike

I think ubike is a really good idea for the public based on economic and healthy benefit.

7. Pipes garbing

All pipes that you can garb in those little box will be your lunch, they cook for you. James loves it so much.

 

8. Play go kart without helmet

I know it sounds dangerous but yes, that’s right! We don’t wear helmet here. No one can ruin your hairstyle.

not sure if you notice we didn’t wear shoes lol

9.Being a foodie

We have thousands and thousands new flavor everywhere. You can start eating since you wake up in the morning. One of the best thing in TW is you will never get hungry. Trust me! Lots of shops and restaurants open 247!

10. Visit karaoke

You can be a superstar here. Compare to the karaoke in Sydney, I have much more fun in TW. The system for ordering songs are much organised and you rarely not  be able to find your songs.

oh man, just realised we were so young….

 

fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128Further reading

 

Share|4 airlines reviews and cheap flight tickets tips

Well today let me talk about my cheap fly experience.

mm, I’ve been buying the flight tickets by myself for around 10 ish years now.

 

fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128Taiwanese website- backpacker [ link]

well, i used to use Taiwanese website- backpacker, but its in chinese. [ link]

This one is pretty good, it actually gives you a table of every airline and you can compare the price easily.

I used to buy the ticket to china and it only took me around  20K NTD

Rmb there was an other experience that i only spent 27-28K NTD from TW to SYD and transferred in SHA.

You also can choose have a few days to stay maximum 10 days in SHA if you want. in addition, all service is all included.

 

fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128Scoot [link]

However, these a few years, “scoot” has a flight stop in Taiwan, and it actually have heaps place that you are able to go.

Due to its cheap cost, you have to pay extra money if you need more service including meals, entertainment, baggage service and etc.

But it suits me well coz i normally don’t eat much, and a tricky way i did was buying food from 7-11( PS everything is cheaper in convenience store compare to the shop in the airport in TW)

I usually got two sandwich and brought my own bottle to fill in water in the lobby.

[Note: you are not allowed to bring any LIQUID over 100 ml each with you]

That’s why I brought an empty bottle only, but soiled food its okay.

[Note: Australia doesn’t allow you to bring any food with meat and other heaps stuffs, aus policy is always strict. you’d better check yourself before you leave, but u still can eat it during ur journey]

The other reason I like scoot is I LOVE Singapore, I always enjoying using leg massager for FREE during my tiring fly. its the best airport I’ve been so far.

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You only need to purchase your ticket step by step and get your credit card ready then I am sure you can be the best backpacker now. The earlier you buy a ticket, the cheaper price you can get.

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well, let’s talk about the tickets from aus to tw.

fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128China eastern airline

Remember last time I helped my bf buy a ticket, surprisingly i found china eastern airline is cheaper than scoot, another benefit of it is that also includes all service ( luggage with 25 kgs) but its with like 4-6 hours for transferring.

However, James commends that was terrible fly experience ever, lol he said the food was crap and there has nothing.

fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128Philippine airline

When talking about the worst fly experience for me, it was with Philippine airline, that one was the scariest one coz of the HIGH SECURITY check. They even checked my shoes through X-ray machine, and my whole body was checked by the lady. they opened my hand bags even there are a few security dogs came.

fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128Malaysia airline

I took Malaysian airline, mm its not bad, just need to wait for 8-9 hours to transport.If u don’t mind, it could be considered.

Above are my fly price, hope it can be useful to u. 🙂

Getaway| wild JJ Peats ridge [2016]

Peats ridge is a small town on the way back to Sydney through pacific highway. We found a very cool cottage on airbnb where has everything ready for us to be wild. 😀

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Unfortunately, we didn’t realise being wild means cutting off the connection with outside world. Poor  receptions for phones and without Wifi access, yes, that’s the place we gonna stay for two days.

I enjoyed cooking, baking there though. We had nice pizza and some side dishes with red wine for our first night.

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There were plenty diamonds breaking the darkness in the sky, the hundreds of stars was shining and dancing in front of us. James took his new telescope and taught me how to look for our favorite planet, Saturn, and southern cross.I know, I know, he just knows how to be extremely romantic. XD

 

Next day, we then went abseiling in Glenworth valley which was absolutely a fun adventure for us, however we were still scared of wild spider or snacks running around in the nature.

 

fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128 Glenworth Valley

Official website: http://www.glenworth.com.au/

Price for abseiling: AUD 90 per person for 2 hours, includes 3 rounds of abseiling , introduction & gear hiring.

Suggest duration: 3+ hours

 

Glenworth valley was really big, I was wondering to go kayaking, unfortunately, we couldn’t go as there’s a minimum people for the activity. Anyways, I did have a great time there and just enjoyed the nature.

Abseiling was really cool, it has a similar ideal of rock climbing, instead of climbing upward on the rock, we went up to the top of small cliffs first then jumping down but tried to attached the cliff as close as possible. The activity is very safe, you have to put on a helmet and dual safety locks with ropes around your waist, the instructors would hold.one side of the rope and you have another side. Both of you can easily control the speed and safety. There are two ways you can go for, backward which is for beginners and face down rundown ( I definitely would not do it though.), but it really depends on your skill and encouragement.

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It’s definitely an awesome and fun activity for someone who loves outdoor and nature.

 

Brisbane water national park was our next stop. (I know it sounds weird that “Brisbane” national park is in NSW.)

 

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fb4e8-easter_icons-20-128Brisbane Water national park [link]

Free access, but parking free is $8 per day

Suggest duration: 2- 3 hours

 

We just drove around in the national park then headed back to Sydney with 3 hours driving in the bad traffic for the ending of our honeymoon trip.

Europe| We will come back to Prague again! Last Day

In the end of the trip, we built a lot of sweet memories together overseas.  Although we only left home for about a week, we had experienced a few things that out of plan and unexpected, such as snow, delayed flight, new food and different lifestyle which made our journey more unforgettable.

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Both of us had so much fight during the time, however it made us to know each other more and stick our heart tighter and more intimate.

On our last day, we still prayed for going home on time. We walked around in new town made some videos together and tried to remember everything in Prague.

We ordered random food and drink in a food court. ( I actually wanted to order a meat plate, but things just went wrong. lol )
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We safely caught our flight back to Taiwan and celebrate my dear’s birthday in the air with free updated business class and 2 glasses of wine.

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To my dear James, Happy birthday 😀

My first trip in Melbourne

We went to Mel for Charlie’s wedding which was a really good experience for me and  a chance for me to explore Mel.

Everything in Mel is new for me , everything was wonderful except our 10 hour driving nightmare plan. lol I am not joking, its absolutely terrible of staying in and driving the car for 10 hours!! yes, its 10 hours.

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Continue reading My first trip in Melbourne