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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

31 Dec 2014 - Jerlene's Creativity

Jerlene once again showed me her creativity today.  First, she asked for two tissue boxes.  And the result.........she made them into a drawer, that works!  :-)
Next she asked for a paper and drew a doll on it.  The creative part is the "moving" eyes.  Take a look at the following video to see what I mean.....

24 Dec 2014 - Xmas Celebration at Pro-Teach@Rosyth

Jerlene had a Christmas celebration in Pro-Teach student care today.  She had been looking forward to it since a month ago.  In fact, when I planned for our Taiwan trip, I had to plan the dates such that we will come back before this party.  It's going to be the last party for Pro-Teach because starting next year, another operator (Knowledge Park) will take over the student care operation in Rosyth School.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers and staff of Pro-Teach@Rosyth School for their excellent work in the past one year.

23 Dec 2014 - Xmas Decoration at Legoland

Our Legoland annual passes will be expiring by end of the year.  We were informed via their email newsletter that there is currently a promotion for annual pass renewal.  As such, we decided to go there to renew, in fact we did an upgrade to premium annual passes, which include the Water Park.
Christmas is just round the corner and there is Xmas decoration all around the park.  The main Xmas attraction is of course the huge Lego bricks Christmas Tree.

By lights up.....
After lights up.....
The lights up is not just the Christmas tree.  All around the park is lighted up.  Very nice.
Once again, we stayed till the park close and had our dinner at Pancake House, Medini Mall,  as usual.

22 Dec 2014 - Taiwan Trip Day 9: Home Sweet Home

We reached Taoyuan Airport more than 2 hours before our flight departs.  As such, we had sometimes to tour around the airport.
How can Jerlene and Javier resist a playground such as this?
The child meal during our flight back to Singapore looks so cute
Though we miss Taiwan very much, it still feels great to be back home!
:-)

22 Dec 2014 - Taiwan Trip Day 9: Our friendly driver cum guide

Our 9 days Taiwan trip is coming to the end.  If you had been following my posts on this trip, you would have noticed that I've been mentioning our friendly driver, 潘先生, in many occasion.  After experiencing his excellent service, I feel that I need to write a post on him.

潘先生 is a very friendly, helpful, jovial and knowledgeable person.  He enjoys introducing Taiwan to the world by meeting tourists and brings them around Taiwan.  I am glad that I'm able to engage his service for trip. 
Here are a few points why I said his service is excellent.
1) He started rendering his service to me the day I contacted him through whatsapp two weeks before my Taiwan trip.
2) He helped to review my itinerary and gave me some suggestions.
3) He started providing me regular updates on Taiwan weather few days before my travel.
4) He helped me engage another trustworthy driver (曾先生) in Taichung.
5) He's always punctual, in fact he'll always try to reach the meeting point half an hour before the agreed time.
6) When I told him I did not buy a local phone card, he drove to my hotel and passed me one of his personal mobile phone and charger.  He said I can use the phone to call him or any Taiwan phone numbers throughout my trip.
7)  He likes young children very much and will buy things (such as sweets, candies etc) for them just to make them happy.
8)  He is very knowledgeable in terms of places around Taiwan and their history.  He even provides coaching to young drivers in Taipei.
9)  He charges his customer a fixed amount of TWD4,000 for one full day, regardless of the duration. I understand that most other drivers will charge similar amount for 8-10 hours duration and if exceeded, there will be additional charge.
10) Once you contact him, he will help whenever possible, even if you are not engaging his service.
Jerlene and Javier also showed their gratitude to 潘先生 by making him a card with their drawings.
Leave me a message with your email address if you would like to have his contact.  :-)

22 Dec 2014 - Taiwan Trip Day 9: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (国父纪念馆)

As our flight today is in the late afternoon, we still got sometimes to visit nearby attraction.  We decided to check out of our hotel first so that we do not have to rush back later.  We left our luggage at the hotel reception.

We took MRT from Ximen station to Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall station.  That's right, we were going to visit Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.
There is a public-use library that houses 1.4 millions books in the well maintained ground.
At the big open ground outside the Memorial Hall, we can see Taipei 101 very clearly.
The Memorial Hall is dedicated to Dr Sun Yat-Sen, father of modern China.
 Inside the Memorial Hall contains a 19-foot bronze statue made in the image of Sun Yat-Sen.
Every hour, there is a change of guard ceremony, in which tourists are welcomed to gather around to watch the entire process.
There is also a small museum within the complex with items related to the founding of The Republic of China and Sun Yat-Sen himself.
Across the road of the Memorial Hall seems to be a major construction.  There is a board saying Taipei Dome (台北大巨蛋).  After doing some research on the internet, this will be a Sports Hub that will go into operation by 2016.
We then took the MRT back to Ximending to have our lunch.  I wanted to try out the Master Hong (洪师傅) beef noodle today.  We have passed by the shop multiple times but did not have the chance to eat.
It's one of the best beef noodle that I've eaten so far.
After lunch, we went back to the hotel to collect our luggage.  潘先生 was already there waiting for us.  He will be sending us to Taoyuan Airport to catch our flight.

Farewell Taiwan!  We will be back SOON!



21 Dec 2014 - Taiwan Trip Day 8: Dan Shui (淡水)

From Beitou station (北投站), we took the MRT to Danshui station (淡水站).  Danshui is a small town north of Taipei.  It is popular with visitors from Taipei and boasts many historical attraction.  It is also popular location for viewing sunset.
As it's already pretty late when we reached Danshui, our main objective was not to visit places of attraction.  We were here to look for good food.  Jerlene and Javier were not bored here because there are many game stalls to keep them entertained.  And look at what they have won from the games.  They were overjoyed.
We first explored those stalls along Danshui River.
Following are some of the street food that we tried.
Across the Danshui River lies Mount Guan Yin (观音山).
As night falls, the lights from Bali district (八里) across the river get reflected on the water.  It's so beautiful, especially when the surrounding is clear.  Tonight is considered a little bit misty.
Since we came to Danshui mainly to look for good food, there are two things that we MUST try.  First is the famous 阿婆铁蛋.  We took a while to locate the shop, which is along the old street.
The other MUST try is Danshui A-Gei (阿给).  We found this shop calling itself 阿给老店, so we went in to try it out.
We ordered a bowl of fish balls, a plate of fried bee hoon and of course a bowl of A-Gei.
A-Gei is actually a piece of deep fried tofu that has been stuff with flavoured crystal noodles and sealed with fish paste (surimi). It is often served with a spicy sauce.
A few shops from the A-Gei stall is Hong Ma Sour Plum Soup.  I ordered a cold one and realized it's just normal sour plum drink.  However, it's very refreshing.
We were surprised that Jerlene and Javier were still very active by this time and never asked to go back to our hotel room.  Probably they were excited about going home tomorrow.
That's right, tonight will be our last night in Taiwan.  Wonderful time is always short lived....sigh.....