Saturday, August 27, 2011

Joshua + Singlam | Saujana

Andrew Yep Photography | Aivy Yong Make-Up | The Saujana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

The day started in cloudy fashion and I was afraid that there would be no great sunlight for me to work with Joshua and Singlam. Thank god, towards the evening, we were blessed with some natural sunset lighting. And also thanks to Saujana hotel as they were very accomodating in every possible way to help us in our shooting.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fun Taiwan 台湾好好玩! | Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Hualien 花莲 - Taroko 太魯閣 - Chisingtan 七星潭 - Kenting 垦丁 - Taipei 台北
My second and final chapter on my recent Taiwan travel. In my humble opinion, Hualien and Kenting are both very beautiful places and worth a visit. Hualien is famous for its Taroko Gorge and Chisingtan is such a beautiful beach that really captivated me. As for Kenting, it is at the southern part of Taiwan and well known for its tropical climate and one of the most popular resort places in Taiwan. Another highly recommended destination, Kenting's scenic mountains, sunshine and beach really make this a must visit!
First stop, Hualien 花莲...

For those interested in Chapter 1, click HERE.

A statue of the tribal carvings made from a local limestone, welcoming us to the Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 in Hualien 花莲.

Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 is named after the landmark Taroko Gorge. This red bridge here is the bridge of the 100 lions.
The first stop in Taroko, the Shakadang Trail. We walked a lot here and i mean we really walked in distance of kilometres.

Marble rocks and river is all around you.

The river is crystal clear in green. Looks very cooling and refreshing and we were tempted to bathe ourselves in the river.

Just follow the trail and the river.

Found a nice vintage bike at the trail, presumably broken.

A clearer view of how the gorge looks like here. It seems to go on and on...

The part of the stream here is turquoise in color. The end of our Shakadang trail and we have to reverse and walked all the way back to the starting point again and meet up with our tour guide.

The landscapes here are just amazing and certainly breathtaking. You got to be there to really see and feel it.
The bridge to Eternal Spring Sunshine 長春祠.

Chee Heng, Rabbito and Angeline at the bridge leading to Eternal Spring Sunshine 長春祠

The view from the bridge.

Dipping our feet into the spring at the Eternal Spring Sunshine 長春祠, as expected, cool and refreshing.

The dam at Taroko Gorge.
The color of the water was unusually blue and murky.

Our lunch at Malusu, a taste of the Taiwanese tribal food. Fried rice with wild boar meat. Taste good!

A bento set of fish, vegetables, mushroom and local sweet potato. Yummy...

(l) This facial expression tells it all. Yummylicious! (R) Ma Lu Su, the place where we had our lunch.

A very long suspension bridge.

Tunneling with a good view on the right.

Jump! at Swallow Grotto Trail 燕子口.
Lots of moths and butterflies here.

Jump! again...

(L) The Tunnel of Nine Turns was closed due to rock falls. (R) A trail leading uphill.

Mystical at times.


Rocks or wood? We spent a big part of the day at the Taroko National Park. There were always potential danger and fatality at the gorge but this place is another must visit in Taiwan.

Chisingtan 七星潭, one of my favourite spot in Taiwan.

I presume this is the watch tower? But there were no life guards spotted around.
Really love this beach. I would come back to Taiwan just for this beach.

A beach of pebbles stones.

An old man fishing by the beach.

Angeline and Rabbito at Chisingtan.

Andrew landed on Chisingtan.

Dusk at Chisingtan... really miss this beach.

Just one day in Hualien. Wished I could have stayed here longer.

On the train heading towards Kenting 垦丁.

After a couple of hours on the train ride, we finally see the seas looking out the train's window.
We stayed at Nanwan 南湾 (South Bay) , a little bit further away from the more famous Kenting beach.
Chinese illiterate and I always have to guess what does the sign says.
Our first day stay in Kenting, Coolman Resort at Nanwan 南湾. A very nice boutique hotel facing the sea.

Managed to sneak into the room upstairs on the roof. It has a bathroom overlooking the balcony which was facing the beach. Can't really see the beach from inside the bathroom actually.

Taiwanese beef noodle! One of the better ones we found in Taiwan.

After our lunch, we went and have a stroll at the Nanwan beach. The beach is not that fantastic here but we heard that it's the beach with the most crowd and beach activities. And the sand was burning our feet!

Kenting nightmarket. Take a bus to Kenting town from Nanwan and it's only 2 stops away.

Shopping and food. The difference between this nightmarket and others is there are loads of surf wears and beach wears.

Snack time! Pearl Milk drink and ice cream.

Kero kero... Ai Yu Bing stall .


We started our day tour at Kenting. This was out first destination but I have forgotten its name.

A closer look at the sea.

Angeline, Rabbito and Chee Heng at Kenting.

Stones and dead corals if I'm not mistaken. Really makes a very cool wall.

One of the many beautiful beaches in Kenting.

Beautiful dead corals.

Sunshine, crystal clear bluish water, white sands... welcome to Kenting!
Walls of algae and dead corals.
Next up, Eluanbi 鹅騾鼻公园, the southmost cape of Taiwan.

At Eluabi 鹅騾鼻公园.

Lots of natural rocks formation and beautiful sea view here at Eluanbi 鹅騾鼻公园.

Rise and shine. It's great having this platform and enjoying the sea view and breeze.
Ascending the hill to the Eluanbi 鹅騾鼻 lighthouse.

Eluanbi 鹅騾鼻 lighthouse at Kenting, Taiwan.

The lighthouse is surrounded by a fort with cannons and ditch for protection. A rare fortified lighthouse.
Descending the hill, palm trees and layers of mountain at the background.

Time for a break and lunch!

Angelina taking a break and my lunch, fried rice with salted fish.

Stir fried pork with spring onion.

After lunch, we had a very nice dessert at this shop.

We were greeted by this cat at the door. Meow... Welcome!

Woof... another cute friend greeted us inside.

Is this supposed to be a cat or tiger?

(L) Siew Mei and Chee Heng waiting for our order. (R) Neko

Cute little shop selling only desserts.

Ice blended sweet potato! Sounds weird to me at first but it was recommended by the shop owner. And guess what... it's pretty good. Sweet and delicious cool beverage, ideal cooler for such a hot day.

Next up, mix fruits with ice shavings. This is pretty decent too.

The tour guide brought us to this meadow.

Found another love spot... vast green grass with blue sky.

The gang and the meadow.

Experimental shot with my shades and Rabbito.

Love the wild flowers here.

A closer look at the wild flowers.

Another side of the meadow with the observation dome.
This is Feng Chui Sha 風吹砂, loosely translated as "Wind Blow Sand". The Pacific wind will blow the sand to the beach and cliff on this part of the island.

The sand is blown here, making the scene looking like a desert.

The Gangkou suspension bridge 港口吊橋. Need to pay a small fees to cross this suspension bridge which leads to nowhere. Nothing very special but we enjoyed it nevertheless.

Jumping session at the Gangkou suspension bridge 港口吊橋.

A colorful wall at the entrance of the Gangkou suspension bridge.

More colorful wall. Surf's up!

Taiwanese ice cream at the convenient store.

Enroute on our search for the seas of flowers in Kenting.

The "Seas of Flowers" in Kenting.

There were so many flowers here in multiple colors.

White flowers.

Orange colored flower. The tour guide told us flowers are grown here to prepare the land for crops.

There are even lavender here.

The flowers here spanned wide across the vast lands here.

There are really many varieties of flowers here. First time seeing so many flowers over such a huge area.

Love the lamp posts here.

We were at Maobitou 猫鼻头 but this was the only decent shot i took from here... blaming it on fatigue and laziness.

Sunset at Kenting.

Not the best sunset view.

Went to see fire at night.

Natural gas from mother earth. This place is known as Chuhuo. The flames can be seen all year round and there were people selling and buying firecrackers. To me it's just a waste of time and money playing firecrackers here.

This is our villa stay on the 2nd night stay in Kenting.
Pretty flowers at our villas.

Windmill and nuclear plants in Kenting. Yea.. those two dome like structures are nuclear plants which are just located near the beach.

It's hot and sunny in Kenting all day long.

Angeline finally warmed up to the camera after staying with us for so long. lol.

It was a hot day in Nanwan 南湾.

Nanwan 南湾 (South Bay) has the longest beach and most water activities in Kenting.

Water activities... and as usual I didn't participate or play any water sports.

Chee Heng trying on my shades. Cool~

Our collection of Fuji Instax. And that ends our tour of Kenting.
Shopping at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in Kaohsiung 高雄.

Blue sky again in Kaohsiung 高雄.

This is the Zhuoying 左營 stop for the Highway Speed Rail (HSR) at Kaohsiung 高雄.

This is for the fans of Mayday 五月天.
I am about to embark on my first ride on a High Speed Rail (HSR)... It's pretty fast. About 2 hours ride from Kaohsiung to Taipei.
We are back in Taipei 台北. We stayed at the Zebra backpackers' apartment in Ximending. Not recommended as the place is kind of shabby and not very clean.

The back alleys in the not so popular part of Ximending, Taipei.

Old house, old man, fruit stall.
Taiwanese breakfast!

Kinda miss the food here in Taiwan.

Daytime in Ximending.

Taipei 101.

Taipei 101 and I.

Cute advertising board of a map.

Taiwanese styled minced pork rice with soup and vege. So so only.

Hot pot grill with unlimited ala carte orders of meat, seafood and veges and freeflow of drinks! There were even beer. All for about NT$500 per pax. One of the best food experience in Taiwan!

Happy grilling and marshmallowing. And that ends my blog entry for my 2011 Taiwan tour. Hope you guys had fun viewing my Taiwan blog entry.

Taiwan, I will be back! Click HERE for Chapter 1 of my Taiwan tour.