Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Believe... It's Important To Dream

I believe it's important to dream, for dreams to spring alive!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On Familiar Grounds

Ever felt that you're back on familiar grounds? Where the only thing that has changed is time that inevitably brings with it, experience and hopefully wisdom.

Only this time around, it's bittersweet. 

To know what you've lost and what could be gone. For everything like time, is fleeting...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Let It Go...

It's so easy to say let it go. But I've come to realise an easier way to let it go.

Do the right thing and not worry about what may come. Do the right thing and you'll be able to live with your life choices. The only thing left now is how to not worry. Hhhmmm...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Taroko National Park, Taroko Gorge, Leader Village Hotel - Highlight Of My Taiwan Trip

It was my first trip to Taiwan, and also my first trip with my hunny. We tried sheep innards and Chou Tofu aka Smelly Tofu for the first time. 

And so it was a trip of many firsts!!

To me, the highlight of this Taiwan trip is our visit to Taroko Gorge, a national park situated at the northern-eastern part of Taiwan. It was beautiful and we stayed at Leader Village Taroko Hotel for 3 days 2 nights. It really was the best part of my trip.

We took a train from Taipei to Hualien and rented a car from Hualien. Our initial plans were to stay at Taroko Gorge for 3 days before driving across westward to Taichung. However, due to the typhoon and the dangerous road conditions, we decided to head back to Hualien after our stay in the gorge. :| Nonetheless, it was still a fantastic stay.

Here's some pics on our way into Taroko National Park.

We first headed towards Qingshui Cliff before checking into the hotel.  The sight of the Pacific Ocean was gorgeous.

The water was crystal clear and I'm sure that's where its Chinese name 清水 (Qingshui) came from. It was a perfect drive with the azure blue sky above and crystal blue waters besides. 

In case you're wondering where Qingshui Cliff is, here's a map of Taroko Natinal Park taken from their official website.

Basically, we drove in from Hualien (bottom right of map) and headed straight all the way to Qingshui cliff before turning back to enter the National Park.

Our next stop was the Eternal Spring Shrine. It was break time for a cuppa of ice-cream!

To show you how bad the weather conditions were, here's a pic of the muddy river; a result of the heavy rainfall from the impending typhoon.

The last stop before checking into the hotel was the Swallow Grotto Trail. We had to drive past the Leader Village Hotel to reach it.

The Swallow Grotto Trail spot has one of the most amazing sights to me.

Look at that teeny weeny waterfall. ;)

It was drizzling and extremely windy by the time we reached Swallow Grotto Trail. But the weather was still good enough for us to walk around.

White helmets for protection are available for loan as you take a walk through the trail.

Gorge Erosion From Huge Boulders

It's my first visit to a gorge and somehow I really love it; much more than the ocean. It brings about a totally different set of emotions. 

When I was in the gorge surrounded by the mountains and mist, I was immersed in a sense of calm that I have never felt before when by the sea. I felt small as I was awed by the grandeur of nature...

As the rain pelted down, we headed to the hotel. It was a winding drive up to the Leader Village Hotel @ Buluowan.

Hotel Entrance & Driveway

How not to fall in love with this view and the thought of more relaxing days to come?

Hotel Entrance & Lobby

The rooms look simple but it was well designed and thoughtfully planned. It has everything you'll need for a comfortable stay. I really love how they integrated the natural look and feel with the stony flooring in the shower.

It was pure enjoyment with the rain and cool air at night; hugged by the mountains as, we slept our cares away.

My Morning View With Misty Mountains in Sight

After settling down with a short nap, we took a stroll around the hotel grounds.

And I'm thankful for times like these. It's when time slow down that you'll notice and enjoy the simple thing of life. Like this furry worm we spotted:

And the view of the river from a pavilion...

with a signage showing our exact thoughts!

"What a spectacle except for the dam."

So funny. Heh!

Breakfasts and dinners are all provided for in the Leader Village Hotel and we had bbq wild boar meat on the first night. Boy was it good! Another lasting impression this hotel left me was the delicious meals it serves. That night, we had a really gratifying dinner that warms both the heart and tummy in the cool and wet weather.

After dinner, we were told to gather at the activity room for some performances. However, we were too worn out and wanted to laze the night away in our room. So, we quietly sneaked off...

Our Delicious Breakkie With Local Food

We started the next day with a hearty breakfast. And I came to realised that it was a good decision to stay over at Taroko National Park as we could have a slow morning. Moreover, the area is quieter early in the morning with less tourists. At many attraction spots, we were the only one there to take in the sights as we drive around after breakfast.

We went to Cihmu Bridge, Tiangxiang and even this museum that explains the how the gorge is formed. Soaking in all the breath-taking sights and enjoying the serenity it brings.

When we got a little bored, we went to check out the grander looking hotel in Taroko National Park called Silks Place Hotel. Basically, there's only 2 options for hotel if you intend to stay in Taroko National Park.

Grand looking it was and it cost about 100SGD more per night.

 Rooftop Swimming Pool Surrounded by Misty Mountains

But I still prefer the humble looking Leader Village Hotel that gives a more indigenous feel.

With the rest of the day available, we just went back to the hotel to do some leisure reading until dinnertime. Once again, we were treated to a delectable dinner.

BF was impressed that they managed to serve some good steak.

Rice Wine In The Little Boar Cup

To drink the rice wine, we had to kiss the boar. So cute right??! Haha...

On this second night, the hotel had a smaller group of guest as it was a weekday night. This time around, we couldn't sneak off to our room before the night performance starts. And I'm glad we didn't. 

The hotel staff put up some interesting performances that showcase indigenous music. In fact, most of the hotel staff are Taroko aborigines. And the singer above is one of the few remaining Taroko aborigines that has kept the tradition of facial tattooing.

After this, we went on a discovery trail led by the hotel staff to show us the fauna and flora of the area. It was interesting but scary at the same time. 'Coz frogs and toads were hopping around! Argh!!

One thing I strongly remember was the glowing tree branches. The staff picked them up and when they switched off the torched, the tree branches actually glowed in the dark; in luminous yellow! It was so unusual... He explained that these glow-in-the-dark bacteria are very fragile and can only survive in places where the air quality is very clean. They're like living indicators of superb air quality. 0_0

The night ended with that educational nature tour before we went back to our cozy room. I'm impressed by how the hotel makes our stay so personal yet not intrusive. It's self-contained with simple comforts, adding to us the wonderful memories of Taroko National Park in Taiwan.

I strongly recommend a visit to this National Park and staying overnight if you can. I simply love this place!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Not Happy, Not Smiling

For the first time this year, I'm plagued by the gloom bug.

I need space, I need air and I need something exhilarating.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How Not To Be Afraid Of Death

I guess I'll do this. So that when my time is here, I can look back and know that I have lived my life in the best way I knew and could. And step into the unknown with total peace.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DUSK Jewelry, My Love

Know what's one of my loves? It's a range of handmade semi-precious gemstone collection designed by me. It's called DUSK Jewelry.

I decided to call this range DUSK because of the beautiful stone colours that we work with. Combined with the gold wire and chains. it reminds me of the wondrous colours of sunset. The myriad hues that descends the sky at dusk. 

Rutilated Quartz Necklaces

DUSK Jewelry is available online too.

One of My Favourite DUSK Earrings with Pearl & Rutilated Quartz

Matchy Eyeshadow with My Blue Dusk Earrings

One of My Favourite DUSK Necklaces

Soothing Mix of Colours

Quartz Ring Designed by Myself

Here's the blog and facebook page. It'll make my day if I see a new like for DUSK on facebook if you appreciate this collection too. =)

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Want To Be A Princess

What do you do when your dream is to be a princess when you grow up?

What do you do when you are neither a brunette nor a blonde?

What do you do when you hardly get to wear a full gown?

What do you do? 
What would you do??

Princess Hands

Then you'd just pose like one whenever you have the chance to. Haha... so cute.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Le Petite Cancale @ Duxton Hill

Fantastic meal @ Le Petite Cancale with bf that made me go ooo..lala...

The crab was creamy (in bf's words), the whelks was fresh and succulent.

The oysters were divine.

The Salted Butter & Caramel Lava Cake was heavenly. And even the bread was good.

The weather was perfect and the company was everything I've always wanted.

As I sipped away on my wine, I felt...


The Explorer Hotel Malacca, Melaka Malaysia Review

I found The Explorer Hotel, Malacca for my weekend stay last week through a last minute promo deal on

It is currently only 3 weeks old! A very new hotel indeed! Take a look at the spanking new hotel lobby.

Somehow, the hotel gave me a chalet feel as we were walking to our rooms.

The room was small and neat. Nothing fancy but good enough. The toilet was also small but it really was a steal at around 50SGD! Very value for money and this 143 rooms hotel is located right next to a few shipping centres. Perfect for me!

Overall, I would say that I had a great stay there. Namely for these few reasons:

1) Their customer service is great with very prompt response. They even have a facebook page and you'll be able to get replies really fast by posting on the wall.

2) For a fee of 5MYR, you can have unlimited entries and exits from their sheltered carpark. And if you're lucky, you may be able to find a lot right in front of the hotel entrance like we did (2nd pic above).

The main road carpark entrance wasn't in service when we were there last week. To enter, you'll need to make a big u-turn around Mahkota Parade and enter from the back entrance.

3) The great location of the hotel. There's 2 shopping centres next to it. One, across the street called Dataran Pahlawan and that has my favourite Vincci shop.

Dataran Pahlawan

Mahkota Parade

In fact, I think the area The Explorer Hotel is located will eventually develop into a shopping area with more shops! Currently, it's really new and the shop space are all vacant.

As a sidetrack, I got all 3 pairs below for about 60SGD only!! So happy with my cheap buys! I love shoes... 

4) The hotel is situated about 10 mins walk away from the main Jonker Street in Malacca, which is across the river. It was a shorter walk than I have expected. And not at all bad if the weather is fine.

5) The hotel also offers 10MYR McDonald's voucher and there's 2 McDonald's in the 2 shopping centres mentioned above. It's really convenient to grab a Mc breakkie or supper. 

And I had a yummilicious Chicken McMuffin breakfast with the complimentary vouchers. 

Well, well, do grab the cheap deals for hotel stays in The Explorer Hotel, Malacca while it's still on. You won't regret it. ;)