Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 6 & 7: Star Beauty Resort Hotel Review- Taipei Shihlin Market, Miramar Entertainment Centre

As mentioned, we decided to stay in a different hotel to fully maximize our stay in Taipei haha.
Why stick to one hotel when you can experience different bed and tubs?

So we chose this hotel, Star Beauty Resort Hotel and it is located at Jiantan road, near to Shihlin night market.

Location ain't as good as it is a good 10-15 minutes walk to the MRTas wellas Shihlin Night Market.
Nothing much around there except for plenty of convenience stores around.
Location wise, we must say TS Hotel (Ta Shun Hotel) is still the best, only <5mins walk to Ximending MRT station.

However there are certain perks in this hotel that didn't make us regret our choices, well part of the reason why I chose this hotel is also cos of the various tubs they offer and yes even Jacuzzi tubs!!
Read on to take a look at the tub in our room...

so this is how the hotel looks like from the outside...

Our room, ok still messy with our luggage haha...looks pretty cosy though it's not that huge..but ok size with even a couch chair.

that's the bathroom, spells a little luxurious kind? at least it looks really like a hotel bathroom. and oh the bath room is HUGE!! you can basically put a single sized bed inside and sleep loh.

Tadah..the jacuzzi tub!!!

Jacuzzi's on! with changing lights and they even give you a basket of fruits as welcome gift! There's bananas, apple and cherry tomatoes!

Now i thought it'll be fun having a Jacuzzi bubble bath. Think about it, we hardly see any Jacuzzi bubble baths around right?
After my first attempt now i know why bubble baths and Jacuzzi never go hand in hand with each other...

That is just a small amount of foam produced from the Jacuzzi tub and I almost drowned in bubble foam lolx....
Later on as the bubble bath progress. the bathroom is flooded with tons of foam woohoo! i had fun playing with the bubble foam though..wahha

Oh like i say, finally this hotel is really like a proper hotel, think the standard is comparable to a 4 star, they provide all kinds of amenities, the usual such us comb, shaver, toothbrush and even pantyliner! oh yes Pantyliner! that is soooooooooooooooo sweet...

Not only that, we found this in the drawer

Can you guess what it is?

hahaha...oh yea they even provide condoms!!
Well not that we need them, we're here to make babies!! lolx

Breakfast was a decent affair here too. Among all 3 hotels we've stayed, TS Hotel, Bayview hotel (Hualien) and the current Star Beauty Hotel, they offer the most decent breakfast with cereals, milk, yoghurt, an array of fruits and even Yakult!!
that's just part of the spread, there're still other tables where i didn't manage to take picture of, breakie time quite crowded you see. not nice to jam ppl's q trying to take photo of the food ahaha...

that's the breakie area....pretty cosy too...

So even though the hotel's location ain't as good but if you're looking to rest and relax more in the hotel like us, we will strongly recommend this hotel!
Did I mention, service is fantastic too!!

Try to compare prices across agoda, expedia etc i found a better rate for our room with jacuzzi from expedia actually, so it's very much worth the money...

A night at Shihlin Market

Shihlin is a place filled with food! 
As for shopping, find it so-so only loh...more of street food i think.
Like I say after a few night market it's more or less pretty similar...

Anyway Mr. Keir is an avid fan of teppanyaki and we had teppanyaki twice in a row for 2 nights..
The first one was at this restaurant found at inside Shih Lin night market.
Even though it's a restaurant, the prices are really reasonable.

 The food, we ordered the 2 person set meal to share since we're perpetually eating in Taiwan ahahaa...and i need to cater space for more street food later...

 ooh check out the shapes of this Ji dan gao....they come in various pretty shapes like bird, bikes, pig etc..and it's really yummy and crispy! i love them!!!

 We actually took the HSR - High Speed Railway (Taiwan version of bullet train) to Taizhong since it only takes us about an hour, just that the tickets are quite expensive. NT700 each = SGD30 and we spent only a few hours in Taichung. Heard so much about the Fengjia night market but quite disappointing, nothing special so we wasted $60 taking the train all the way down to Tai chung for nothing..

anyway i love steamboat! so we tried their steamboat in Tai chung, not too bad. The thing about the steamboat shops in Taiwan, most of the soup all very nice one!
Of course this can't be compared to Fei Tian steamboat at all, still the best ever!!!

Because we are so bored in Taichung, we went back Shihlin for dinner instead, there's this Shih line food market in a newly renovated basement...

and so Mr. Keir we had teppanyaki for dinner again...

As it's a Friday night, the place is super crowded la..omg....we chop chop finish dinner, ta bao some snacks and head straight back to hotel..haha since there're plenty of tv programs to watch.

 our teppanyaki dinner...very yummy too!!

tabao these as supper..hehez...yummy yummy!!

Last day: Miramar Entertainment

It's our last day in Taipei and there really isn't much places we can go to for that couple of hours, hence we decided to visit Miramar Entertainment instead. It was one of the recommended places for god knows why but the real reason we chose this place is cos it's relatively near to our hotel and there's a free shuttle bus at Jiantan Mrt station haha..

 Ok this is the special attraction of this shopping centre, it basically has a ferris wheel on top of the mall and that's about it, nothing special.

Oh there's a carrefour opposite the plaza though and that very much marks the end of our Taipei Mini Honeymoon!

a rest and relaxing holiday for us indeed....=)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 5 - Hualien - Taroko Gorge

We didn't really plan where to go and what to do in Hualien but the drivers and hotel receptionist were all saying Taroko Gorge is like a must go when you visit Hualien.

The hotel actually provides half day and full day Taroko Gorge tour but as we need to catch the 3pm train back to Taipei they recommend us to hire a driver to bring us up to Taroko Gorge then can drive us straight to the station thereafter.

We chose this option since the price is still quite reasonable, though I can't really remember how much it costs but should be less than SGD70 or way less ba.

Let's talk about the breakfast at Bayview hotel.
it's pretty decent and so much better than the breakfast provided at TS Hotel. Well, as all these hotels are more of bed and breakfast kind, don't expect the kind of typical 4-5 star hotel buffet spread standard.

nice cosy cafeteria for breakfast, they even have bao too! decent spread i must say..

After breakie, there's still time, hence we explore the hotel a little. There's actually a top deck where we can enjoy the sun, breeze and view on top of the hotel.
The hotel's not very tall though, only 8 storeys haha...

view from the top deck and yes weather is still gloomy.

though weather is gloomy it still feels so serene standing there, enjoying the breeze...

there's this castle looking hotel nearby too..hmm sure doesn't look cheap

the other side of the view is the little town...peaceful, quiet little town with lots of friendly people i guess! we were venturing around on Day 1 and this uncle staying there ask if we're lost and where are we headed to, he promptly gave us the correct direction to the sea nice! 

actually the whole hotel's theme is Nautica so from the room to the building, everything feels so nautica..

tadah, talk about being nautica

So after our final exploration of Hotel Bayview,  it's time to bring our luggage down and for our driver to pick us to go to Taroko Gorge.
It is really a Must go when you visit Hualien ya. No regrets at's such a beautiful place especially if you're a nature lover, you'll love it.

The photos we've taken just do not do justice to the place at all, you have to be there to experience and to hear the pleasant rhythm coming from the streams and waterfall yourself.

The following will be a image heavy post:

love the sound coming from the streams....

ok weather is getting gloomy, thank god it poured just when we were finishing our tour...

amazed by the different colour of puddles in the stream, it can be totally transparent at certain spots, a deep green in some and a very nice blue in some! i love the blue pretty...can you spot the little bluish puddle on the top left?

there you go, a green puddle

we heard there're tons of marble here too! from mother nature and there used to be people picking the rocks till the Government banned it.

oh here it is..spotted the nice blue stream? omg so pretty!!!

 Oh this gentleman right in front of us is actually a very nice uncle who came from Taizhong. Hearing us talk, he spoke to us and ask where are we from. he even walked and explored the place a little with us and walk back out with us together.
Funny though he had this impression that Singaporeans are very rich...hmmm....

getting foggy....

this bridge looks so exciting to be on!

oh for this Yan Zi Kou. gotta wear helmet cos there're cases of falling rocks...ahaha...

water here looks as though it's from the volcano..ahaha.

clever Mr. Keir took a video of the place and stream instead so that we can hear the  nature in the video and bring that piece of nature back with us..hehz...

lots of walking, so make sure you're wearing something comfy..i'm glad i have my fitflops, no regrets spending so much on it.

oh can you tell what animal does this rock resemble?
all the rock formations here are natural, not man-made.

also the hill on the right, does it look like a tribal red indian?

After exploring Taroko Gorge, our driver brought us to this shop to purchase some local snacks and souvenirs.

so what are the must buy local products in Hualien?
Other than their chilli we heard it's actually Muah Chee (mochi)
so we bought some of them back, the prices were reasonable for the normal range but they have some luxurious boxes that costs SGD25 and above for very few pieces.

The shop assistants were so nice and kept insisting us to wear their tribal costumes and take a photo as here we are...

ahaha they even have props to go with it...

so this is our last meal in Hualien at the train station. Fried rice and some beef stew...not too bad....
it was raining and storming super heavily by the time we got to the train station, thank god we brought out brollies with us.
So it's back to Taipei and to check in our hotel, Star Beauty Resort near Shih Lin night market...