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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spring in Taiwan 2017 - All the Xiao Long Bao 小笼包 We Ate




One of the must eat food in Taiwan is Xiao Long Bao, which translates as small cage buns. The cage here is the steaming baskets, :-)
The most famous one, is the Michelin star studded Din Tai Fung, but it's not voted as the best in Taiwan. Read and watch a video about the rankings here.

Whenever we hear Xiao Long Bao, we think of soupy dumplings with a thin dough skin, but no........ there are two types of Xiao Long Bao in Taiwan. Some places sell Xiao Long Bao that is made with yeasted dough, and they look like mini steamed pork buns. The one with soupy fillings and thin dough skin is sometimes referred to as  汤包 (Tang Bao, soup buns).

My friend and I tried  Xiao Long Bao at 4 eateries.
1. Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 @ Sogo Fuxing Store
2. FuDing Soup Dumplings 福鼎湯包店
3. ZhengChang Fresh Meat Soup Dumplings (Luodong branch) 正常鮮肉小湯包(羅東店)
4. ZhouJia Steamed Dumplings 周家蒸餃

So I guess, I can write a stand alone post about all of them, hahaha!

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Spring in Taiwan 2017 - Breakfasts We Had in Taipei




Breakfast in Taiwan, is a thing! So many things to try!
Very affordable for Malaysians.
Extremely cheap for those whose currency is even higher.

Taiwanese breakfasts are a bit different from what we usually have in Malaysia. And there's quite a lot to try on our short trip.

With four mornings in Taipei, we had these for breakfast. I tried to eat something different each day.


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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Spring in Taiwan 2017 - Itinerary and Public Transportation Navigation


Earlier this year in March, I went on a backpacking trip with my good friend, SWW. Two mothers leaving their families behind for 9 days for a break! LOL.

For this trip, it's going to be our first full public transport trip. Most travelers to Taiwan will arrange for day tour or get a private charter driver. But being just two of us, a private charter will be too expensive and day tours doesn't encompass exactly the things we wanted. So, it was all free and easy with trains and buses, and an occasional taxi if we missed the bus, of which we did, LOL.

I will be sharing how I arranged for my whole trip.

Taiwan is a country where public transportation is very affordable, and convenient. Most of the information is available online.



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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Things to Eat and Drink in Hokkaido



Eating local food is always an integral part of all my travels. These are the things that I find, that I should try in Hokkaido, maybe you can try to tick off from this list too! I tried 10 out of 11 here.

1. Seafood of all sorts
2. Salmon and Ikuro
3. Soup Curry
4. Wagyu
5. Ramen
6. Soft Serve Ice cream /Sofuto
7. Melon
8. Fresh Milk and dairy products
9. Pastry
10. Special beers and beverages
11. Jingisukan


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hokkaido Autumn Road Trip 2016 - Shopping And Souvenirs





Tax free shopping

Tourists love shopping in Hokkaido and GST rate is at 8%. But as tourists, we can get a refund and it's very convenient.
During my visit, to qualify for tax refund we need to purchase 5000yen for consumable goods and 5000yen for non consumable goods.
Read this website thoroughly to get an idea of how it works : http://tax-freeshop.jnto.go.jp/eng/index.php

Take note that:
1. The credit card owner must make the claim by him/herself if it's paid by credit card.
2. The package cannot be opened in the country.
3. The tax refund can be done on the same day, at the same location. For eg: If you shopped in Aeon Asahikawa, just head to Aeon's Tax Refund counter and get the refund in cash!
4. Not all consumables qualify for tax refund. Dairy products like cheese do not qualify for refunds.
5. Keep the receipts until you reach the airport. An officer will direct you to put the receipts into a box after going through the boarding gate.



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Friday, February 3, 2017

Hokkaido Autumn Road Trip 2016 - Hotels We Stayed



For this trip we stayed in a few hotels, mostly business hotels. In Japan, business hotels are fuss free hotels that offers a clean room at an affordable price.

We stayed in a few cities, Sapporo, Asahikawa, Abashiri, Kushiro and Obihiro. All the hotels we chose are right in the city center, within walking distance to dinner and breakfast locations. Our budget was around USD100/night for 2 persons. Generally, hotel rooms in Hokkaido are small, around 15m2. Older hotels could have bigger rooms. Twin rooms cost more than double rooms because twin rooms are bigger.

We didn't stay in ryokans or minsus, due to comfort, price (not cheap!) and convenience. We prefer beds over sleeping on the floor.

Basic bed information:
Semi Double bed : around 140cm wide, slightly smaller than a queen size bed in Malaysia 
Large double bed : 6ft, King size bed in Malaysia
Twin beds: 110cm each, Super Single size in Malaysia.

Hotels we stayed in Hokkaido accepted Malaysian credit card for payment. 
During check in, hotel staff will request for all staying guests' passports to photocopy.
Toiletries (some provide facial wash too), toothbrushes and pyjamas as provided.
Self service laundromats (coin laundry) are available at most business hotels.
If there are onsens in the hotels, even business hotels might have it, but guests with Tattoos could be prohibited from use.



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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hokkaido Autumn Road Trip 2016 (Part 9) - Sapporo again and Going Home




This post will be jumping a bit around the last 2 days.
We stayed in Sapporo on the last 2 nights of our road trip but made day trips to other places not too far away.

1.Kame Curry Udon 北海道咖喱饂飩 亀

Date: 15/9/2016

We came back from Ohibiro and hubby wasn't keen to have ramen. So I suggested curry udon of which he gladly said yes.



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