Thursday, January 19, 2017

Taiwan 8D7N Free & Easy Tour - Xiaowulai Scenic Resort (小乌来风景区)

12 November 2016 

Day 1 - After 4.5 hours of flight, we arrived in Taiwan - Taoyuan International Airport at 5.30am in the morning. Due to our early arrival, we were not able to get our prepaid cards at the airport. Nevertheless, despite the long night, we felt good and excited on our upcoming free & easy adventure in Taiwan! 

We took a taxi from the airport to Audi Garden Business Hotel (Cost = TWD560). Deposit our luggage at the counter and bought some light snacks and drinks to fill our tummies. 

Prior to our trip, we went to NATAS fair and learnt about 台湾好行, which offers various shuttle bus routes taking locals and tourists to designated scenic spots. One of the route is 小乌来线 which only runs on weekends that will take us straight to 小乌来风景区 - our first stop in Taiwan.

From Audi Garden Business Hotel, it only takes about 10 minutes walk to Taoyuan Main Bus Station (桃园客运总站). We bought the full day tickets (Cost = TWD150 per pax) entitling us to unlimited rides that day. Remember to keep the tickets as you get additional discount when you purchase your entrance tickets to Xiaowulai Skywalk. 

The first bus leaves at 8.30am and there was already a queue at 8am. We were lucky to arrive at the bus station very early to secure seats as it will take about 1.5 hours to travel to 小乌来. 

There are a few waterfalls at 小乌来 and you can easily spend a day there exploring the various walk paths. Due to time and energy constraints, we only managed to visit a few areas. We were lucky that the driver dropped us at the viewing point of 小乌来瀑布 and we took some pictures. Some veterans got off and took a walking route down to the bottom of the waterfall. Since this is our first visit, we did not follow and returned to the bus instead. 

Bus drop off point at 小乌来风景区. 

With the ticket stubs from 台湾好行, we bought discounted tickets (TWD30 per pax) to enter 小乌来天空步道. Normal price is TWD50 per pax.  

Xiaowulai Ticketing and Operating Hours information

The gigantic 50-ton Wind Moving Rock (风动石) welcomed us at the entrance. This rock has precariously balanced and stood on a sheer slope since long ago. However, it fell into the river after rainfalls and Typhoon Soulik hit Taiwan in 2013.

Xiaowulai Skywalk (小乌来天空步道was built to allow visitors to enjoy a closer view of the waterfall. Standing about 70 meters from the bottom of the 3-tier waterfall, we were mesmerized by the spectacular view. The tempered glass bottom flooring allows us to view through, seeing the gushing waters beneath. For a moment, it felt that we were hanging in the sky.  

My favourite spot will be walking across 小乌来天空神桥. Opened in 2015, the sky rope bridge has attracted many visitors. As the width of the bridge is narrower, it only allow visitors to cross in a single file. It feels a little wobbly but the view of the forest is superb!

The cables securing the bridge are about the height of our chest, hence it did not feel as scary as we walked across. Taking pictures while trying to stabilize myself on the bridge and not obstructing 'traffic' was a little bit challenging but was worth the effort.  

As the rope bridge is only one-directional, that means you cannot turn around and walk back, we can choose to take on the route to "Yixing Suspension Bridge" or "Longfeng Waterfall".

We took on the route to Yixing Suspension Bridge (义兴吊桥) via the Ancient Water Canal Trail which involves climbing a lot of steps. I had a harder time due to the lack of exercise but I am proud that the kids did so much better! Along the way, we were surrounded by lush greenery. Luofu Bridge (羅浮双桥) which is built along the Tahan river on the Northern Cross-Island Highway was another visual treat. 羅浮桥 and 復兴桥 runs side by side with each other. One is vibrant red in colour while the other is in a shade of light purple. Perfect spot for photography.

After 30 minutes walk, we stood before 义兴吊桥. 

The 200 meters long bridge is made of steel suspension cables and wooden pavement. It can allow up to 100 people to cross at a time. Unlike 天空神桥, Yixing Suspension Bridge is bi-directional and the path is wider.

Spectacular view of the Dahan River valley

As we were pretty exhausted and my legs were strained after the long walks, I pretty much decided not to take the same route back. Hence, we called for transport (TWD200) to drive us back to 小乌来天空步道.

Map of Xiaowulai Scenic Resort

From 小乌来天空步道, it is only a couple of minutes walk to Dragon Phoenix Waterfall (龍鳳瀑布) and Ho-ping Suspension Bridge (和平吊桥)

Apart from enjoying the scenic view, we also sample the local delicacies like pork sausage, passion fruit and muah chee.

We spent about 3 hours at Xiaowulai and it was a great workout to start our trip.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Red Packet Craft - Angpow Rooster

Year of the Rooster is only less than 3 weeks away and we are busy spring cleaning and decorating our home to welcome the New Year!

Apart from purchasing the lovely decorations, I like to use red packets (angpow) to make my own CNY ornaments.

Last year, I did Monkey paper cutting. This year, I decided to make origami Rooster using red packets. There are many variations on Youtube to guide you on the steps. I decided to do a pictorial version.

To fold a paper rooster, you only need 1 red packet. I snipped off the sides and ensure the red packet is a square shape. Next, follow the steps accordingly. If you need visual help, check out the Youtube video. Happy Folding! ^_^

Monday, January 9, 2017

Doodle - Year of the Rooster

The start of a new school term, work commitments and spring cleaning has kept me very occupied that I find lesser time to blog. Thankfully, amidst all the chaotic schedule, I managed to squeeze some time to doodle. 

Since Chinese New Year is less than a month away, I thought it will be nice to have an artwork that I can display or frame up :) I enjoy using Staedtler pigment liner pens for my doodles as it does not smudge or bleed through the paper easily. 

Hand drew the artwork without outlining using a pencil. Any mistakes can be disastrous, hence I am extremely satisfied with the final look. 

Wishing all a Prosperous Year of the Rooster with abundant health and happiness. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dr. Bronner's New Range of Organic Skin Food


Dr. Bronner has recently launched a new range of SKIN FOOD - Organic skin/body/dental goodness and I had the opportunity to give them a try.

Dr. Bronner's All-One Toothpaste is available in Peppermint, Cinnamon and Anise flavours. Unlike most toothpaste, it does not produce lots of foam during brushing. Despite the lesser foam, it cleans well and effectively. I like the mild Peppermint flavour which gives a cool and refreshing feel that lingers in my mouth. Plus, children who does not fancy the spicy or minty feel will find this milder to use. It is fluoride-free, vegan, no synthetic detergent foaming agents, no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners and made with 70% organic ingredients.

Dr. Bronner's All-One Toothpaste (140g) - $11.90

Organic Pump Soaps from Dr. Bronner are good for washing hands, face and body and I like the idea of having multiple usage from a bottle. Available in Unscented Baby Mild, Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree and Lemongrass Lime flavours, I immediately picked the Lemongrass Lime as I adore the fragrant and I am secretly hoping that it may be good to keep the mosquito away too. *wink

Dr. Bronner's 4-in-1 Organic Pump Soap (Sugar Lemongrass Lime) - 12oz for $16.90, 24oz for $29.90 

Fair trade and organic sugar gives this Organic Pump Soap a rich caramel colour and sweet scent. The sugar combines with organic white grape juice to keep your skin nourished, hydrated and smooth. I tried it on my hands and body and it cleanses well leaving a subtle scent of fragrance.

Dr Bronner's Hand Sanitizer kills germs with a simple formula: organic ethyl alchohol, water, organic lavender oil, and organic glycerin. No nasty chemicals noted on the bottle and it is handy to carry around to cleanse our hands quickly. An effective way to clean sticky mess and kill bacteria before a meal or after play. Simply spray on palm and rub hands together. As it comes with a nice Lavender fragrant, this bottle also acts as an air freshener or deodorant at the same time!

Dr Bronner's Organic Hand Sanitizer (2 oz) - $7.95

I have started on spring cleaning (even though Christmas is not even over yet) and my hands are getting rough. Dr. Bronner's Organic Lotion came just in time as it helps to nourish and hydrate the skin with organic jojoba oil to heal and soothe, organic coconut oil to moisturize, organic hemp and avocado oils to keep skin smooth and supple.

It is gentle on the skin and I applied it on my hands and legs to start. For better effect, I use it after shower and before bed time. Simply squirt a little and the lotion absorb through the skin quickly.

Dr. Bronner's Organic Lotion (8oz) - $17.50

Special Promotion from Dr. Bronner

1⃣ Use this Promo Code "NaturesGloryDB" on Nature’s Glory online or retail shop and follow @naturesglorysingapore.
2⃣ Once you have done Step (1), you will enjoy 15% OFF any Dr. Bronner's products, with no minimum purchase.
3⃣ Free bottle of Dr. Bronner's Cherry Blossom Castile Soap 8oz worth S$11.90 when you purchase S$100 or more on Dr. Bronner's products. 

Promotion valid till 31 Dec 2016. While stocks last!

Nature's Glory
Address: 315 Outram Road, #01-09, Tan Boon Liat Building
Telephone: 6227 1318
Business Hours: Mon (9.30am - 2.30pm), Tue - Sat (9.30am - 6.30pm)
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

Disclosure: All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. Dr. Bronner Products mentioned was received for review purposes only.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Gathering with Canon Singapore

Earlier this month, Canon Singapore together with some family bloggers gathered together for a Christmas gathering. We are happy to meet up with friends before the year ends and catch up with one another.

A warm and cozy area where children sat around to play or paint.

Christmas came early where we got a surprise gift! A beautiful frame with a collage of our family photos. Special thanks to Canon Singapore and Claudia for such an awesome present that touched everyone's hearts.

Having posted many photos on Instagram, I really adore the instagram size photographs. Now we can print them easily with Canon's new PIXMA TS8070 and PIXMA TS5070, two premium wireless photo all-in-one printers that is suitable for small and home office users.

With the compact dimensions of the PIXMA TS8070 (available in black, red and brown) and PIXMA TS5070 (available in black and white), the printers take up less space with footprints reduced by 25% and 30% respectively. Both models support two new paper sizes; 5" x 5" (square) photo paper for Instagram-style photo printing, and standard business card sizes for easy creation of business cards for small businesses. In addition, with the Canon Print Inkjet/Selphy app, we can print photos stored in our mobile phones!

I tested printing some photos taken from my mobile on our recent trip to Taiwan with the new printers and it was simply awesome! The quality is so good and clear that it looked like the photos are professionally printed. Am so tempted to make an album or another photo frame for our home.

Precious memories like these should not be forgotten or left on our phones or computer as data might be lost. I am reminding myself to keep on printing the pictures so that they can be safe keep for many years to come.

Thank you Canon Singapore for having us and we wish all A MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY 2017!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Revisiting Spicy Thai with New Delicacies

[Media Invite]

Its only been about two months since our previous visit to Spicy Thai and we are delighted to learn that they have added new Thai-style and Thai-Chinese dishes on their menu. Gladys and myself cannot take very spicy food, hence we are glad that Spicy Thai is offering more non-spicy options for diners.

Stir-fry Broccoli with Scallops (干贝炒西兰花) - $20
Fresh green with mushroom and chunks of scallops. This is one of our kiddos' favourite vegetable dish that we will always order.

Cold Tofu with Special Thai Seafood Sauce (泰式海鲜酱汁冷豆腐) - $15
Silky and soft tofu that melts in our mouth.

Stir-Fry Cabbage with Thai Sweet Fish Sauce (泰式鱼卤炒包菜) - $10
Quite a big portion but would prefer if it is cut into smaller chunks :)

Jade Noodles (泰式翡翠面) - Price depends on portion (~$5)
This dish may not look appealing to begin with, but the noodles and char siew is chewy and sweet. Our kiddos love it after first taste and wouldn't mind for more. 

Deep Fried Sea Bass with Thai Turmeric Sauce (泰式酥炸黄酱汁鲈鱼) - Seasonal Price
Apart from the Deep Fried Sea Bass with Mango Salad that we tried on our previous visit, this is another one of my personal favourite as I like the crispy skin and sweet tender fish meat within. A little combination of sweet and saltiness but I can imagine it going very well with rice. 

 Kaeng Som Sea Bass (泰式辣汤汁鲈鱼) - Seasonal Price
If you enjoy hot, sour and spicy food, Kaeng Som Sea Bass should be able to satisfy your taste bud. A little too spicy for me but its only pure shiokness for hubby and our son. 

Food still taste as good and I like the variety of dishes Spicy Thai has to offer. Gathering the feedback from hubby and kiddos, Lala beehoon, Sea Bass and Thai Dill Omelette is still our top favourite and a must order. Looking forward to revisiting again with more new dishes from Spicy Thai!

Spicy Thai
Address: Blk 115, Aljunied Avenue 2, #01-35, Singapore 380115 


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