During our Taiwan trip, we also visited Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村) which is a small theme park in the middle of a hill and accessible via car or cable car from Sun Moon Lake.
The cable car ride from Sun Moon Lake is a treat in itself! Look at the view!
The park is not very big and can be completed in half a day. The highlight of this park is the performance put up to display on aboriginal culture.
There are all shapes and sizes of butt cheeks here! Tight and firm ones and those a little bouncy and saggy ones.
Look at all the colourful tribal costume, such a beautiful sight!
Next to the stage, there is this iconic statue. Heh. A symbol of fertility.
You can also give the blowpipe shooting a try for a fee!
Another part of the village is the replica of the various aboriginal house. It’s interesting to see the different designs of the aboriginal home and it is different and similar at the same time.
The guys having free play with the drums!
At various spots, there are gift shops and also staff demonstrating craftmaking.
This lady is making glass beads.
This old lady is weaving some place mats.
Such beautiful colours!
There are also some aboriginal snacks for sale. Like this bamboo rice!
After walking through the aboriginal village, the other section of the theme park is the theme park rides. There aren’t many exciting rides and most of the rides seem like it is back from the 80s.
After visiting the theme park, you can also pop by the Lavender Garden! Even though we missed the cherry blossom season, we were in time for lavender!
It is a beautiful garden which is perfect for photo taking. We braved the drizzle for photos but had to give up when the rain turns to heavy showers!
In the evening, after visiting Fort Zeelandia and eating a whole lot, we went to eat another must eat in Tainan! Tainan is famous for their street food, and other than Bean Jelly and Oysters, another must eat is the Bowl Rice Cake.
We had the bowl rice cake at Sen Maw Rice Food (森茂碗粿) which has a branch at a short walk to Fort Provintia (赤崁分店). It is really tasty and a little like Singapore’s Chwee Kueh but a whole lot tastier.
You can also add various condiments and sauces to it.
Another must eat is the Coffin Bread but we were too full to try it. There are a few bread store next to the rice cake store.
There after, we visited Fort Provintia, and it was another Fort with a different vibe compared to Fort Zeelandia.
It is a lot more Chinese influence and now, it also house a temple for students! Students of all ages will pay the entrance fee just to pray to this God which grants good grades to student.
Visiting Fort Provintia at night is perfect, with the breezy weather and the fort all lighted up.
I’m back to sharing on my Taiwan Trip, yes, after almost two months, there are still many locations which I’ve yet to share! You can read more about the various tourist attractions in Taiwan over here!
In this post, I will be sharing on one of the must eat in Tainan! Other than the oysters, there is also the amazingly smooth Tong Ji Anping Bean Jelly (同记安平豆花)!
It is the best Bean Jelly I’ve tried, and if you love red bean or green bean, you will fall in love with this! I am now drooling just thinking about this!
After having the bean jelly, you can also drop by Fort Zeelandia, it is a small fort and a short walk about around it. The fort is build in the 16th century by the Dutch East India Company.
Part of the original wall which remains.
A small area displaying the excavation portion of the fort.
The fort which has been restored.
The original canon.
It has been a long while since we last caught up with Sue Ann, Tim and Baby Seth. Baby Seth is still chirpy like a birdie and has grown so much!
We headed to Chir Chir at 313 Somerset and had a blast!
The queue was crazy! It is probably an hour wait but thankfully Tim’ sister got us seats and we skipped the queue.
Chir Chir is a Korean Fried Chicken joint but we soon realized; it is not just another Korean Fried Chicken fast food joint! They have a wide range of chicken dishes, salads and interesting drinks.
My guy went along with the plan to have our dinner at Chir Chir with much hesitation. He is a conscious eater and no, he doesn’t eat fried stuff. Thankfully, Chir Chir’s Rosemary roast chicken is superbly tender and well marinated. He was pleasantly surprised and loves it to bits! Their mango salad is yummy too and we were relieved that they offer some healthier alternatives!
Nonetheless, we did sink our teeth into those garlic fried chicken and cheesy chicken fillet and drown those chicken with beer with whipped cream. Yums!
Chir Chir just open a branch at Bedok Point if you fancy some Korean Fried Chicken and beer!
It has been a long while since I last visited a Public Garden Fair, and yesterday, it was the first time they held a larger scale one at Suntec and called it the Public Garden Consumer Trade Show where there were participating stalls from around the region.
It is an event that I’ve bookmarked for a long time and I really enjoyed myself there. We spotted a few nice stuffs but I was reminded to get them when we have a home, which is really far from reality. We also saw many disgruntled boyfriends/husbands accompanying their girls in this candyland. Haha. He complained that there’s no food and it’s all stuff for girls! Haha. There were only a couple of food stalls and yes, Public Garden is mostly for girls. Heh.
Here are some pretty stalls which caught my eyes!
8 Dec who does wedding decor
Some manly terrarium which has little guys climbing the rocks in there.
Even kueh stalls! They sold out pretty fast and too bad, they don’t have peanut ang ku kueh!
Perfect for people with Industrial home concept.
Love these stalls below and am bookmarking for future reference!
These beautiful woodcraft from Things to Make and Do from Bangkok.
Beautiful brass knots from Lava Vella
Photo from Awesome Maps
Saw one of the stall, Shinn Park selling these Awesome Maps and wanted to get one. But was told not to. So I’m going to bookmark this for now. We can probably spend half a day just reading and exploring the world through this map.
In Taiwan, there are many places like these where owners buy over the land and created gardens and parks with a theme. This is one of the first few which started the trend.
This Lavender Cottage is set up by two young Taiwanese girls who got tired of their rat race and decided to find a place with greater fulfillment. With a love for Lavender, they opened up a place planted with lavender flowers and a cafe. Once you step into the cafe, you will be able to smell the aromatic lavender scent. You can also buy lavender soaps and other lavender scented products.
They also showed a sample of the decor of their Lavender cottage room. They have other locations where they offered accommodation.
A small hill filled with Lavender!
Mmmmm. Can you smell it?
There is also a small carousel next to the hill! How whimsical!
Further up to the top of the hill, you can pen down your wishes too!
Throw back to our Taiwan trip (you can read on here), we also visited Kaohsiung and one of their unique landmark is their Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, 龍虎塔 at the Lotus lake.
At the Lotus lake, it is famous for its profusion of temples, there are the Confucius Temple, Dragon and Tiger Pagodas and the Spring and Autumn Pavilions around the lake.
It reminded me a little of our Haw Par Villa. We only visited the landmark Dragon and Tiger Pagodas and entrance to the pagodas are free. It is a nice place for photo taking and a quick stroll.
You can choose to go up the pagoda to have a nice view of the other pagodas in the area.
What a pretty sight!
Just opposite the entrance of the Pagodas, we stopped by a small towel souvenir shop and got some cute baby bibs for my little friends.
And I’m not done with Penang trip! Can you believe it? I still have backlogs of pictures from Taiwan trip as well. Oh no.
Anyway, other than visiting Peranakan Mansion and Street Art Hunting in Georgetown, we also went to Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang. It is said to be one of the largest temple in Southeast Asia and one of the landmark in Penang! As my grandma is with us, we only visited the area with a humongous statue of Goddess of Mercy. Perched on top of a hill, we also got a nice overview of Penang town.
The statue didn’t look that big here as they have built a new pavilion for it.
In front of the Goddess of Mercy statue, there is also an area where visitors can make donation in exchange for some wishing ribbons, candles or tiles. The tiles will be used to build part of the pavilion.
That’s my Dad’s Chinese name and his wishes for the family, a harmonious family enjoying peace and health.
My Dad made another donation for and similarly wishing for peace within family and great health.
Another small temple at the side!
At the bottom of the temple, there is also an old school morning market and it gets really busy in the morning. There are also popular Laksa stalls there which we didn’t have try as it was really too early for spicy coconut-ty soup. Heh.
You can read more on my other posts for our Penang trip here.
On the last day in Gold Coast, we woke up bright and early to catch a cab to visit Carrara Market, which is a 15 minutes taxi ride and cost us around AU$25-30 each way. It is a weekend market which opens at 7am till 4pm.
It wasn’t a big place and certainly not for everyone. The items sold are very random, ranging from fresh produce, to beach theme decorations, to second hand stuff and some other random knick knacks. Most of the best stores are in the area known as the Shed. Most of the crowd there are local retirees and a few random tourist. I don’t think it’s worth it to spend AU$50 – 60 for the transport there, but if you are looking for any of these, or if you are driving around this area, you should probably pop by!
There is a nice spice shop! If I own a place, I would probably buy some to make roast chicken.
Beach Theme Homeware
Sewing Stuff: Iron On Patch, Ribbons, Buttons and everything else
These metal buttons are so pretty, wanted to bring home a tube at AU$2 but couldn’t find a reason for doing so.
These ceramic buttons are really cute!
Look so so cute! I want these!
Fancy a hair cut?
Day 3 saw us transforming into kids, getting excited in Movie World when we see characters popping out for photos! We took a few rides but were disappointed that some of the rides were closed for maintenance. It is a Saturday but their off peak season in the Autumn/Winter months.
The good thing about the park during off peak season is that most queues doesn’t take more than 30 minutes and it was really cooling just walking around the park! And similar to Sea World, it seems that because we’ve got Universal Studio in Singapore and I’ve been to Disneyland in the states and Japan and Universal Studio in US, the Movie World in Gold Coast seems much smaller.
Wanted to take this ride but we were left with slightly more than an hour to catch a photo with Bugs Bunny and have it printed in a complimentary photo (included in our tour package) and have lunch! So we thought we will let our exhilarated heart rest a little after some other rides.
We tricked our friends who were rides unfriendly people into telling them that the Scooby Doo ride is like It’s the Small Small World ride in Disneyland. Hahah.
We also watched some race car performance! It was loud and smokeeey!
Wasn’t too bad for the effects.
I thought Flash was a little chubby here and my guy is definitely leaner and cuter. We didn’t managed to catch Wonder Woman which left us a little disappointed.
“I thought I saw a pussy cat! I did I did I did!”
My favourite! “What’s up, Doc!” Gosh, these are definitely signs of the 80’s kids.
I have no idea what is the duck doing on my head, ask the man behind the lens!
The Bat Man fight against Joker is a little strange, Bat Man doesn’t talk! Weird… He was there waiting for punches and Joker’s taut!
In the end, I got some photos with Bugs Bunny as souvenir and a Wonder Woman Charm at a dollar.
After Movie World, we headed to SkyPoint Observation deck at our own cost which is just around a corner from our hotel. It is a fantastic place to get the best view of Surfer Paradise! We paid AU$22 each and went up at around 4.40pm, a few minutes before sunset! It was the only crowded place we went during our trip as everyone had the same idea to catch the day and night view of Surfer Paradise!
If only the glass panels aren’t there!
These are taken with my Olympic Tough which is probably a rugged camera but the pictures turned out not too bad.
After the viewing, we went to Soul Hotel, the one on the right with blue logo, for dinner!
Ate at Hurricane grill and the food was delicious! It was after all, our last evening in Gold Coast!
Nice ambience and friendly service staffs!
We ordered a seafood platter and a meat platter to share! Yums.
This is one side of the seafood platter.
And here’s the other!
They even insist on helping us wear the bibs!
We then walk around Surfer Paradise and this was the busiest street there.
We didn’t stop eating after that meal and went on to Max Brenner for dessert.
We had a fondue which was average and the chocolate-licious Chocolate Mess! It is a mess of chocolate, fresh cream and ice cream! What can go wrong right?
Before the messing up.
And after. Awww. This is not in Max Brenner Singapore’s menu.
Day 2 in Gold Coast is another day with fantastic weather! We headed off to Sea World all excited to see the Dolphins in action! I’m not sure if it’s because we are adults now and not kids, everything seems smaller! The park is really small and we covered the entire park in a few hours!
First off, the Penguin enclosure and we lucked out having to witness the feeding session!
We also saw the Pelican in close proximity! Their throat pouch is really huge and I have no doubt that a newborn baby can fit right in! Haha.
Ok, stop staring at me, I know I exaggerated a little.
We then headed to see the Seal show! The guy in black is our friendly CFO, a really friendly guy! No, not the one looking weird at the back. Haha.
Off to visit the Polar bears! The polar bears here look really happy and they had a lot of fun swimming, jumping into the water and playing with random objects in the water! Perhaps it’s the weather and no, there are not green like the ones we have here. Just a little brown with all the sun tanning, haha.
They are really cheeky!
We then walked over to the shark aquarium who also live happily along with other fishes.
Now the highlight of the day! The dolphin performance! These are really such graceful and intelligence animals!
And I have no idea what’s the link and why these four Renaissance artists are here at Sea World too! But we had a lot of fun taking pictures with them! Haha. We were the oldest group of children in the queue but hey, we were also probably their earliest fan in the queue! That justify the picture right?
After Sea World, we headed over to their Factory Outlet – Harbour Town Mall – and were really disappointed with the range and brands there. They were mainly Australian brands which were unheard of in Singapore. But if you are in to household stuff, we spotted a few nice stores.
In the end, I only got 2 cheap cardigan at AU$13.90 each and a more muscular calf. Heh.
Look at the evening sky at Surfer Paradise! Wow!
We then head over to the Surfer Paradise Beachfront Market which is on every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evening between 4 – 8pm. We expected a lot more stores and some ready to eat food stores but we covered the entire market in less than 30 minutes. It is their off peak season in Gold Coast and there were hardly any crowd anywhere during our trip. Which is a blessing in disguise! I miss the weather and the space already!
This is my favourite shop! I managed to speak to the stall owner and chatted with him a little. He is from Peru and each coin pendant on the table ranges from AU$10 to AU$40 depending on the intricacy and the rarity of the coin. I bought a coin from Peru for AU$40 and am in love with it! Apparently, the coin I picked takes approximately 4 hours to craft it!
Some people may frown upon the idea of having their national coin cut up but I guess it is another way to appreciate the design of the coins? After chancing upon this booth, I realized I took greater notice of the designs of each coin! It was previously just a method of payment but now, you can see how each coin varies in design and the appreciate significance of each design.
I requested for a photo with the coin before the cutting just for keepsake. Peru is definitely on my bucket list! I want to see Machu Picchu!
Can you spot our own coins? Gasps!
Some glass maker at the market!
There is even a Macaw enclosure for photo taking at a fee.
I am back from a short 4 days 3 night Brisbane/Gold Coast company retreat and I’ve got plenty of photos to share! It was a trip with great cooling weather and fantastic company!
On the first day after an overnight flight on SQ, we reach Brisbane bright and early and head over for a quick photo opportunity at Kangaroo Point Cliff which overlooks a river and Brisbane cityscape.
That’s me looking tired after a red eye flight.
The weather is great!
After a short city tour on the coach around Brisbane, we head straight to Paradise Country Farm in Gold Coast.
We were given a lunch coupon for 1 serving of either Chicken, Fish or Beef. Thankfully we picked chicken, the safest choice of all.
There are free flow of salads, fruits and carbs on top of 1 serving of main.
The food were mass cooked and there were nothing to rave about.
After our quick lunch, we were excited to visit the animals in the farm but were disappointed that the farm is really small and is mainly targeted to China’s group tour. We were expecting more personalized tours with more engaging activities.
There were a few Koalas on display and I caught one scratching his butt! Heh. I don’t need to go squeeze at the Singapore Zoological Garden to have a peek at the visiting Koalas! Haha.
Caught in the act! Oops.
My favourite section of this farm is the small petting corner of all the baby animals.
Look at this cute little goat! Meeeeeh!
If you ask the keeper, they will let you in to play with the little ones!
I want one of these!
Feeding them with the hays provided.
Look at these cute little Alpacas!
There are only 6 months old and are really just babies!
Being a sucker for Koalas, I had to fulfill my childhood dream of taking a photo with Koalas and holding one! Paid AU$22 for a photo printed. 1 off the bucket list. Went there 30 mins after they started the line and had to wait in the queue with a busload of Chinese tourist. The staff there also assumed that we can’t speak English which probably indicates that their main customers are from tour groups. Bah.
Watched a show where we witnessed a sheepdog guiding the sheep and a quick milking demonstration.
Then a quick feeding session at the Kangaroo enclosure!
After the farm visit, we checked in to our hotel at Grand Chancellor Hotel, Surfer Paradise and had a Chinese dinner before having some time to explore the area. Spotted Chocolateria San Churro and had the best freshly fried Churros! Their dark chocolate dip is the best! I need to have them again when I’m in Perth in July! Heh.