Thursday, March 6, 2014
And so the Taiwan journey continues!
It was my the third day in Taiwan. Upon leaving Taichung, we traveled to Ruifang district of the New Taipei City 瑞芳新台北市 to visit the Gold Museum located in the Golden Ecological Park 黄金博物园区. :) This was the only day during our Taiwan trip when I felt chilly. I was complaining a lot when we were back in Taichung, "I expected it to be so much colder!!". But when we reach the mountains, I instantly regretted what I've said. Plus the heavy rain, it was freezing up here.
On our way to the ecological park, we made a stop at this special waterfall called the 黄金瀑布.
The upstream of the river used to be the location of the mines. The residue of the metals in the river then settled and oxidized downstream which gave the soil it's bronze gold color. Supposedly the view of the sea is amazing from up here, but we were not lucky enough as it was raining and really cloudy.
First attraction in the park was the old Japanese styled house 四连栋. During the time when Japan conquered Taiwan, this was the style of houses the miners lived in. The houses could stand alone, or have 2, 3 or 4 combined together and differ in it's interior style and space depending on the wealth and social status.
The beautiful courtyard.
One thing to note is that the Gold Museum is also one of the many Cherry Blossom spots of Taiwan. Spot the Sakura trees behind me, soon blossoming in the coming spring.
With Teri on the mine carts. :) It was so cold that day Tim and I both had under shirts beneath our denim jackets. I salute her for only wearing a tee through the rain and wind lol!
Love the ambiance of this picture with Tim. :)
In the Gold Museum. Tim being gold-obsessed lol, while we touched a brick of gold worth RMB 280 million. :OOOO
Then we went into the mines to learn how miners carried out their daily jobs back in the days. Wax figures were placed along the mine track in different sections to show us how each stage of mining work was carried out back then.
In the midst of such coldness a bowl of hot tofu fa with ginger soup did the trick! Finding this silken tofu shop on the hill top was like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. It really helped to warm up our bodies.
We then went to the restaurant there in search of its famous lunchbox 矿工便当, completed with the metal container and scarf, both of which you could bring home as souvenirs. (Picture from Google)
BUT SADLY IT IS OUT OF STOCK. :C So we had the lunchbox meal- chicken chop with vege and rice- without it's lunchbox. :C And beef noodles.
After the Gold Museum, we then traveled further up into the mountain to visit the old streets of Jiufen 九份老街. :)
It was a really beautiful place and I felt like I've traveled back in time to the olden days of Taiwan. It was non-peak season and it was raining heavily so a lot of the shops were closed at as early as 7pm. But the heavy rain however, didn't stop crowds of people from visiting this lovely place.
We then stopped at this restaurant/home stay called Chin Chun Dint. Had the stew lamb set, Tiramisu dessert and also thick toast.
We then had some of their famous delicacies, the yam balls 芋圆 and peanut wraps 花生卷. I especially liked the peanut wraps because there were ice cream wrapped in the center surrounded by shredded peanuts.
There was also this fish ball soup shop that captured my attention. The walls were fully pasted with photos of in my opinion, the lady owner with famous Taiwanese artists. Some of the photos are repetitive but by the looks of it ,the store must be somewhat famous as it has been graced by the presence of so many artists.
Apart from food stalls, the old street of Jiufen also has a lot of shops selling souvenirs.
After reaching the end of the old street we then took the stone staircase down the hill. It was another kind of beauty looking down from the top of the staircase because on both sides of the staircase were many eateries and home stays.
A simple illustration done by me lol, to show the structure of the Jiufen old street. The trail of the old street swirls and wriggles uphill and it is really smart of them to have built the staircases in between to connect the street and serve as shortcuts for the people to get up and down.
Spot the photobomber in disguise as a construction worker with no neck lol.
A wet and messy-haired selfie with Tim at the end of the long but fulfilling day. :)
And this was our accommodation for the night, a home stay designed especially for students on graduation trips. So adorable with its pink and blue theme. Another night filled with non-stop Taiwanese variety tv shows before bed.
The view of the mountains and the sea from our hotel in the morning. :) Despite having everyone we meet tell us that the rain would go on for days and the thought of it stopping was preposterous, miraculously it didn't rain that morning!
Look at how different the change of scenery was along the highway from Jiufen to Taipei city. Next post, Taipei city. :)
With all the love,
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Valentine's Day this year for me was expected to be like any other normal day.
Since I'm on my sem break while Tim has started classes, we are away from each other between mid January to March, until I return to KL to continue my degree. Hence, we won't be able to celebrate our very first Valentine's Day together! It was even more devastating when we acknowledged the fact that we may not be able to spend Valentine's Day next year together as well. :C
Working on Tim's simple Valentine gift - heart shaped almond cookies topped with milk chocolate and chocolate chips.
The card I made for him and and the cookies I packed, were both ready for me to bring over to KL for him in March. Did a plating of the cookies for him, only to shoot a picture and send it to him on the midnight of the 14th. :C
Miserable, isn't it? :C But Tim was really sweet, as he prepared a present for me and asked me to look forward to my present by mail at home that day.
When I woke up in the afternoon of the 14th, I received a video from Tim recorded in his room telling me to look forward to the present, and that there'd be more to come. After the video, I went to take my bath.
When I went back to my room after my bath, I found Tim standing right there behind the door! I gave a loud yelp, immediately burst into tears and rushed into his arms. Can't believe he flew here to celebrate Valentine's with me! It's been a month since I've last seen Tim and his wide-eyed face when he saw me saw him behind the door, I will never forget it. One of the best moments in my life. :')
With Tim, my present came. My first Pandora bracelet and my favourite white rose. :)
No wonder he kept asking me to stay home and wait for my present. He IS the present. Gosh, when I now think back to that moment tears still come rushing to my eyes. Mum and Sis were in with the plan since weeks before and it was really awesome how I couldn't tell from anything. How could you go about everyday for the past few weeks without having me suspect a thing, Mummy? I was just touched beyond words. :')
I've wanted a Pandora bracelet since forever! But I love love love the present because of the thought behind the gift- Tim has planned this out since months ago. :') He gave me the bracelet and charms in their boxes separately because he wanted me to have the privilege of adding them together myself.
With the bracelet he got me two beautiful charms, the Key to My Heart and the Love, Faith and Hope Trinity charms. He is so thoughtful and both the charms are so meaningful I love them. :')
The meaning of the first charm is self-explanatory and it is very sweet of him to pick that. We will most probably be having LDR soon and I am that insecure person when comes distance. Tim understood that and hence the reason for the second charm. :') Plus, the particular charm was out of stock everywhere! He looked for it hard and the one he got was the last piece at the particular branch.
Reunited after one long long month. :') Felt like a dream! We both got ready to head out to dinner together. And Tim's hair is growing into the hairstyle that I love. So handsome, gosh. :B
Our dinner that evening was at Bla Bla Bla. :)
Always mixed up between The Junk and Bla Bla Bla, I expected western but it turned out to be fusion cuisine. We had Lamb with Special Chinese Brown Sauce, Salty Squid with rice and Root Beer Floats. The place was fully booked not particularly for Valentine's Day but for Chap Goh Mei, a lot of families were having dinner there but hence the lack of Valentine decorations. It was a really pleasant meal together.
For dessert we went to Tom's. :)
Their Valentine's decoration on the other hand was really pretty, with a pink rose in an empty wine bottle and rose petals laid across the table. Had their Triple Chocolate Cheese Cake and Irish Cream Latte. The cake was really good especially the salty cookie base. Will most definitely come back for more dessert and to try their mains maybe!
After dessert we went to catch a newly released romance movie, Endless Love.
I thought I'd cry a river over this flick as I have for all other romance films but in fact, I didn't. I think I've grew more skeptical and this 'summer fling= true love' story plot didn't get to me. The most memorable love movie for me to date would have to be the Time Traveler's Wife. Omg it was so touching I can't recall how many times I've cried throughout the entire movie. But with this movie, there is no room for comparison. (I feel extremely chatty today don't mind me!)
Our OOTD/ couple shots. :) Happy Keryn was really really really happy!
Tim stayed for the weekend and on Saturday, he joined me at a cousins' gathering. :D He got to finally meet with most of my close cousins and everyone got along well. It was really fun! That evening at 101 with the grown ups and the chilling session with the cousins after that were all good. The whole weekend with him around was great, yay. :)
Before his departure back to KL on Sunday evening, we had our final date in Kuching at Hielo. :) (Why do I keep on doing free adverts for Hielo? When are you going to make me your ambassador thank you very much :) lol)
One last thing before I sign off, I found this on the internet the other day lol- Perks of being single on Valentine's Day- and sent it to Tim. His response?
NGAWWWWWW! How can he be so perfect? Best Valentine's Day ever! And that's all for my celebration this year. I'm honestly super thankful for everything. :)
With all the love,