Friday, August 31, 2012

Digital Tour Buddy – Taiwan

If you are traveling to Taiwan from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012, the National Youth Commission (NYC) is providing the Digital Tour Buddy: a free calling service for international backpackers. The Digital Tour Buddy purpose is to ensure the convenience and safety of international backpackers traveling in Taiwan, as well as facilitate experiencing Taiwan’s IT advantages. It saves you the hassle of getting a new SIM card, and seems like a pretty cool and handy resource.

There are two options for the Digital Tour Buddy:

1. Pre-loaded Mobile Phone for Loan
The amount should be NT$50-100. So with this you can make and receive calls, check on the train schedule or to make a reservation for dinner. A very convenient item to have on hand, with even speed dial (including hotlines for 24-hour Tourist information from Tourism Bureau; life information enquiry for foreigners in Taiwan; Taiwan Youth Hostel Association, Youth Travel in Taiwan, Taipei...Read more>>

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Youth Travel Card - Taiwan

The Youth Travel Card came about as a means to forge a congenial travel environment, and was introduced by the National Youth Commission (NYC) of Administration Yuan. Since 2006 the National Youth Commission (NYC) of Administration Yuan has released 2 versions of the card for those 15-30 years old: blue one with an ocean pattern for Taiwanese, red with an aboriginal tribe pattern is for international visitors.

So when you travel to Taiwan and happen to be between the ages of 15 to 30 years old, you can (and should) apply for... Read more>>

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Singtel Bridge DataRoam Pricing (w.e.f. 02 August)

Having applied for the Singtel Bridge DataRoam plan for 5 days when I went to Paris a couple of months ago, I decided to do the same for this upcoming trip to Taiwan to see how good it is. During the time in Paris, the reception was bad (or really near to almost non-existent) but I decided to give it another go again for an upcoming trip to Taiwan. France, being a non-bridge alliance country costs more than bridge alliance countries (such as Taiwan). For example, a 5 day plan for France was S$100 and Taiwan was $60. Well, it was S$60 until 02 August 2012.
With effect from 01 August 2012, the pricing for bridge alliance countries has increased. So now instead of having to pay S$60 for 5 days, it is now S$70 for 5 days. The pricing for the non-bridge alliance countries seems to be... Read more>>

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hai Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodles

Beef Noodles
Dry version
If you ever visit this food center at Toa Payoh, you almost always see a long queue at this beef noodles stalls; especially during peak hours (e.g. lunch time) – it can take a pretty long time to get your bowl of noodles.

Despite its lack luster appearance, the beef noodles are (particularly the soup and sauce for the dry version) is very tasty: it has a nice beefy flavor without the strong taste of beef (to me at least). The difference between this beef noodles and ...Read more>>

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Popiah is a Fujian/Chaozhou-style fresh spring roll that is common in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Burma/ Myanmar. The skin of the popiah is usually made of flour, it is a thin (and soft) paper-like crepe or pancake is used to wrap cooked sliced vegetables (e.g. grated carrots, slices of Chinese sausage, thinly sliced fried tofu, chopped peanuts or peanut powder – there are slight variations), eaten together with sweet sauce and (optional) chili sauce.
Once the sauces and ingredients are placed on the popiah skin, the skin is wrapped into a roll – all the yummy ingredients nicely tucked inside. The roll is then sliced into 5-6 pieces. Just think of popiah skin as an extremely thin version...Read more>>

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Easy Card (悠遊卡) - Taiwan

Easy Card (悠遊卡) is Taiwan’s version of the EZlink Card, which can be used for transportation (e.g. buses and trains), as well as make small purchases. Using it is simple enough, you just have to swipe (tap) it like the EZlink. Fares paid with the Easy Card would be cheaper than buying tickets for single rides.

For adults, the Easy Card costs NT$500 (NT$100 is the deposit and the remaining NT$400 to use). You can top up the value when you run low and can get refunded for your full balance and deposit with a charge of NT20 termination fee (for cards used less than 3 months), as long as your card is still in good condition. Cards that are damaged in any way (i.e. bent or scratched) cannot be returned and the deposit... Read more>>

Saturday, August 11, 2012

British Breakfast Tea (Artisan Selection)

Traditional blend of select Ceylon, Assam and Kenyan teas creating a strong, malty brew
Full bodied with mid amber liquor

Exquisitely smooth with sweetness to match.  

Pair with a traditional hearty English breakfast. Perfect with milk chocolates and hard cheeses

This is the final tea from my staycation at Capella Singapore earlier this year. The tea is encased, as with all teas from Gryphon Tea Company, in a silken tea sachet which allows the tea to permeate the boiling water; bringing out the flavor. I found the British Breakfast Tea to be the least exciting amongst the previous two that I tried: it was not as interesting as the Pearl of Orient and less 'exciting' than the... Read more>>

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Basics of Booking Hotels Online

online booking
With the advancement of technology and accessibility of the internet, booking accommodation for
your trip has never been easier. Especially with the discounts or promotions that various third party websites as well as the hotels’ own website have to offer, booking and communication have never been easier.

HotelsCombined is a good place to start looking for hotel deals. It is a good site for comparison of prices as it pulls the data from various third party websites and gives you an overview of the various rates. Besides...Read more>>

At the Movies in Paris

When I was in Paris, I managed to watch two movies, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift and Snow White and the Huntsman. Both of which were in the original language (VO), else I would have to have someone translating it for me. The cinema we watched both movies was at Cinéma Gaumont Parnasse.

The experience was interesting and different from that in Singapore. For one, the cinemas are of a smaller scale and don’t have air-conditioning. Unlike Singapore where you are allotted your seats, in Paris you get to choose the seats. The ticket in Paris (at least the one we went to) entitles you entrance...Read More>>

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Pizza Vesuvio – Italian Restaurant (Paris)

1, Rue Gozlin, 75006 Paris, France 
After a morning of walking along St Germain for shopping, we headed to Vesuvio for lunch. It is a quaint little restaurant decked out in Italian décor with a ‘lively’ atmosphere of engrossed diners and busy waiters. The menu had a variety of pastas, pizzas, starters and desserts. The pizzas are handmade and backed in a wood oven, giving it that unique... Read more>>