Hello everyone! Few months back Raymond and I actually went over to Taiwan with one of our couples Guan Lim & Jeslin, whose wedding we shot in October 2008. Time really flies, but even until today, I can still clearly remember the time when we first met up with them, all the emails exchanged, and how we became pretty good friends today. The couple left a deep impression I guess partly because Guan Lim was the only one who sent/reply emails in handwritten text, and signed off with a written CHINESE signature! I thought it was really interesting. Heh heh heh heh~
For a snippet of their Actual Day wedding (morning highlights), click http://www.raymondphang.com/blog/2008/snippets-from-guan-lim-jeslins-actual-day
Their gatecrashing games was also one of the most memorable where Guan Lim had to lick off whipped cream from one of the brother’s toes. Muwahahahahaha!! Totally gross, but I like the idea! So I included it in my list of gatecrashing ideas entry. To the dearest evil kind hearted and innocent sisters or brides to be who are desperately seeking help and cracking their heads off thinking of games to play for Gatecrashing, click http://www.raymondphang.com/blog/2010/gatecrashing-ideas-inspiration-tips-tricks
Okie back to the Taiwan trip, it’s my first time in Taiwan, and Guan + Jes were kind enough to bring us around! They were so pro and familiar with the streets and lanes and alleys, so whatever you do, just follow closely behind them you’ll be on the right track! We went to soooo many places from Taipei （台北） to Tai Chung （台中）to most of the major night markets such as shi lin ye shi （士林夜市），shi da ye shi（師大夜市），rao he ye shi（饒河夜市）, the famous shopping belt (wu fen pu/五分铺)， 西门町 and IT Geek’s paradise guang hua shang chang (光华商场), my most favourite place jiu fen (九份)!!
Fuwah! I like jiu fen precisely because it is an old town. I tend to like things associated with old… but maybe not in few years down the road when I officially gain the title of Auntie-ship. :p
Some pictures taken with my dummy camera, some with Raymond’s camera. But because he had no time to look through and do the editing, I had to do everything this time round, so enjoy the pictures! 😀
First time flying with Eva Air
Goofing around before we check in..
At Changi Airport – Terminal 1
Guan Lim and Jeslin waiting for boarding
The meal served… I finished the fruit, the bun and brownie cake!
Main course – Chicken with rice and broccoli.
Poor Raymond didn’t manage to eat anything because he was more interested in sleeping. He’s actually been working on a batch of editing, and finally completed about 1-2 hours before our flight time! So end up we had to once again, rush and drive a little faster than usual to reach the airport in time.
So nice of them to put a little sticker right infront of Raymond’s seat so that when he wakes up he’ll see this.
Landed, cleared customs, took a Taxi and since we are all youths, we checked in to YMCA Taipei! MUWAHAHAHAHAHA!!
The room was pretty big, with a bathroom in the living room, a huge balcony, 2 rooms, and 1 ensuite bathroom as well!
After we dumped all our bags and stuffs, we went trottering around the city.
First stop, one of the must visit stall for the couple whenever they visit Taipei!
This stall sells a huge variety of food poked through little skewers. You’ll have to pick the ones you like and place them in the red basket, the chef will then prepare them for you, by boiling them in a special pot of gravy sauce.
While the boys were busy queuing outside for the food, I snapped a picture of my bargain buy! A dual slot adapter for my micro SD adapter, and also 2 pieces of Sandisk 16gb micro SD card! I cannot remember the price, but it was a good buy so we grabbed them! It’s supposed to be placed in my PSP, but my PSP is currently rotting in one deep dark depressing corner… no time to play! 🙁
Here comes the foodie!! It’s actually two super huge plates of food consisting of yummy noodles, fishcake, mushrooms, egg, cabbages, chilli sauce, beancurd skins, luncheon meat, and the weird weird black looking thing which they conspired to cheat me into eating! We’ll talk about the conspiracy later, but more on the food now. Wah this plate of messy looking thing is actually power packed with lots of flavour!! Sooooo rich in flavour, the gravy is not oily and not sticky, the cabbage is soooooooooo sweet that it’ll make you suspect whether they’ve actually planted the cabbage in a plot of Sugar Land! The noodle looks like any ordinary instant noodle, but with the sauce, it really tastes heavenly! *drools*
This black piece of thing, is actually PIG’S BLOOD!!! They bluff me and say it’s glutinous rice… I didn’t quite like the texture, but ate it anyway… have to give face mah!!! 🙁
The two culprits!!!
Finished dinner, we went for walk walk, snacking along the way with fruits and ice cream!
The little tiny shops along the alley sells pretty unique clothings and accesories for ladies! We went into this shop while the guys were Q-ing for icecream/yogurt, there were tons and tons of beautiful hairbands, keychains etc! I saw a few that I like, but they were pretty pricey, so I see only. Then I saw another keychain which I super duper love! A wooden keychain with a picture of this cute little cartoon character. Didn’t get it in the end too cos of the price. Well I guess maybe because it’s a pretty popular spot with non stop crowd and very high flow of human traffic, so the rental must be pretty expensive too.
Next we went to a litte pub to chill out! It’s really little… very crampy at the upper level, the steps were super duper steep too!
Not forgetting the place was a little warm, even Jeslin had to bun up her hair~
We ordered some beer and while waiting, Guan was happily snapping away.
Reviewing the images~
One of the beer we ordered was super horrendous, smells like the chinese medicinal ointment, and tasted like cough syrup.I cannot remember what flavour the beer was, but in any case, they left the entire bottle pretty much untouched after that one fateful sip.
At ximending!! A place for the hip youngsters!
Outside the toilet within the compound of MacDonald’s.
One of the stalls selling cheap clothings! It’s really depressing shopping in Taipei if your figure is a little bit big. Raymond gave up finding shoes because he couldnt even fit into the biggest available size they have in Taipei. When he was browsing through some jeans, the shopkeeper came over and told us don’t bother to try because no matter how Raymond try to squeeze, he will never fit into the jeans. SO UPSET AND DEMORALISING!!! 🙁
But think of the bright side, at the very least the shopkeepers are honest! They won’t lie to you and tell you things like “Go ahead and buy it! This looks good on you, confirm can fit, don’t need to try!”
Raising my eyebrows~
The sharp shooter!
It’s actually part of the banner hanging across the shop. Hahahaha!! It’s an exaggerated and vulgar way of saying it’s damn good to eat.
Hehehehehe… We also took some shots of Guan in various poses, but cannot share here! :p
In the middle of the street, no cars! We strolled and shopped all the way till late night!
Some portrait of Jeslin against the graffiti wall.
I actually had diahrrea the entire night and couldn’t sleep well. Up till next morning, stomach still wasn’t feeling too well, so I had to stay in the room while they went down for brekkies first. So Jes made me this super bitter yucky chinese drink with damn potent powder supposed to stop diahrrea. I drank it all up and felt a little better, so we went out altogether. I wondered how come the air was so dusty and everything looked pretty blurry to us. End up my parents texted me that there’s news of Sand/Dust storm reported in Taipei.
Lunch at the Din Tai Fung in Taipei!
Resting aching feet at one of the drinks stall in Wu Fen Pu.
It’s a super messy place for first timer, and confirm you’ll miss out on one of the lanes, but Guan and Jes was so experienced!
Yeah, this is a motion blurred picture, but I like it.
Trying out more food!
Trying out steaks!
Wooooo, yum yum!!
The snacks they have are all sooooo delicious!! My favourite has to be the giant crispy chicken cutlet/chop, and also the hu jiao bing （胡椒饼）! Wah can never forget the smell and aroma… the ka-zi ka-zi sound when you bite into the pipping hot piece of crispy chicken. Sooooo crispy and the marination of spices makes everything tastes nice! The meat is not very tough, and definitely not very dry! Oh my hu jiao bing… Jes and I had to queue for quite some time to purchase 5 of the buns… crispy on the outside, soft and sooooooo chewy on the inside! I’m fascinated with the texture of the dough! How can something taste so Q!! The fillings inside the bun was pretty generous too, and you might want to be careful when you take a bite, because the soup/gravy/oil will pe-zi out unexpectedly!
Which reminds me that it was also my first time trying chou dou fu (臭豆腐) too!!! Raymond forced me to take a bite and I was extremely reluctant to because the smell was too pungeant I could puke instantly if I take another whiff!! End up that one single bite I took confirmed my dislike for the smelly beancurd. Super duper smelly and I cannot understand why people like to eat something that is so smelly!!! What’s worse is the taste will linger in your mouth like forever even after you’ve brushed your teeth, scraped your tongue and also the insides of your cheek for the Nth time!! Horrible horrible!! 🙁
Raymond loves the shooting games. He had to use the air gun to hit all the ballons on the spinning wheel to win a prize.
Next up, Guan’s turn. He had to shoot the plastic holder and make sure it tears and drop onto the net in order to win the amount of money taped to the plastic holder. Bullets were cork pellet, not easy to aim and shoot!!
Then I bought a Harajuku Lovers perfume! I bought one in Aussie few years back and both the one in Aussie + Taipei is cheaper than Singapore! Also bought a few cans of giant beer!! Cannot remember how many litre was this!! One person cannot even finish, and we bought a can back for Raymond’s dad. 🙂
Reach back at the hotel, my stomach aches again. So I tried to negotiate business with the toilet bowl. Who knows this time it’s CONSTIPATION… Jes’ medicine was super duper potent indeed!!! O_O”
Took a first class train to Tai Chung! The train station and system was a little messy with a few different typs of train available.
But I was impressed with the first class cabin! The leg room is soooooooooooooo freaking spacious, seats were all clean and comfortable, there’s a train cabin master assigned to the first class cabin, free flow of peanuts/drinks. You can even bring your own food/drinks on board, and you won’t get a fine! Another amazing thing, you can actually turn the seats around to face the people behind you. Of course you do that only when you have your friends/family sitting behind, else it might be very awkward for the stranger having to face you for the whole journey.
Paul the Octopus when he was young? Hahahaha! I still think it looks disgusting! 🙁
The place where we had a good treat to authentic local coffee!
A different train on the way to jiu fen, but equally impressive too!! Very clean and spacious!
My favourite placeeeeee!!
The coupe deciding what to order. 95% of our journey was spent on eating. =_=”
The lu rou fan (卤肉饭) is something you must try in Taiwan! They usually come in a small tiny bowl, with a scoop of brown gravy and fatty meat on top. Very, very sinful, but very, very yummy!! Another rice you must try would be the you fan （油饭）. It literally means oily rice from a direct chinese translation. I love it like crazy. Although the name says it’s oily rice, it’s actually not oily at all! It doesnt have ingredients like prawns or carrots or ikan bilis insde, it’s just a normal looking plain brown colored rice. Nothing that will catch your eyes. But once you try it….. WAH!! You wonder how come something that looks so plain can taste sooooo nice!! I really wonder how they cook all the dishes… and I wonder why we cannot find such flavours locally in Singapore. I am also very amazed by the fact that so much sinful food, so much eatings to do, and the people still managed to stay so slim! Everyone of them!! *Jealous*
Choosing sour plums. So many varieties to choose from!
” Hmm… this basket want to bully me, wait till I chu my power! Touch me one more time and I….”
” Shit, I’m on camera… this idiotic botak human spoil my plan…..”
A nice group photo of us at this quaint little tea house. Very nice and serene atmosphere, and you’ll really feel like composing some chinese poems and sipping chinese tea at the same time. Too bad I had a glass of fruit juice, cos the grumpy me just felt like having some juices. :p
Wah i super duper love this photo if not for the cropped off lantern. I could have cloned it off, but it’ll look too empty there for my liking, so I left it as it is! 😀
Another of my super love photo!
We went into this little shop call Lavender Cottage or something, and they sell very cute stuffs, all plants and Lavender related! Jes and I ended up spending a lot of time in that shop, buying quite a number of stuffs. Because I’m a person who likes music, and I’m also attracted to all things with music (probably explained why I picked the Music Harajuku Lovers in the first place), so when I saw they had acrylic photo frames where you can pull the tab and music will go off, I fell in loveeeeeee… What’s also special is that they music pieces are all unique and a few are composed by their in house pianist/composer! NICE!!
They also had a choo choo train set, nice lavender pillows for babies, and lots of other stuffs! I think I’ll go back there again if I ever visit Jiu fen the next time. 😀
I love the old town flavour
MUWAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, Music stuff again! My pair of music flippers bought from jiu fen! Cheap cheap!! 🙂
That’s also where I got my caps! Mr Spongebob actually saw me through quite a number of pre-wedding shoots. Hehehe.
Back to more shopping since it was the last day.
I like this picture because I find the shapes pretty interesting.
At the airport, having our brekkies and ready to fly back home.
I like the warm and cold contrast.
A little overblown, but I like it anyway. Looks good enough to eat. Hahaha!
Okie dokie, that’s all for a personal entry! I’ll probably try to update a mix of work and personal related stuff from time to time so that you guys can have a better idea on who we are outside Photography as well. Hehehe. Good night everybody!! 🙂
Lots of ♥,