I heard you cried last night.
mood like a pendulum.
hates to see dust.
shut up if you think you're cute.
pick up a book, moron!


books. quotes.

April 2008
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January 2010

title: stairways
date: Saturday, May 31, 2008

So as if you've heard. We hitched a ride from a young taiwanese couple, both 25, and went to Taitung and Kaohsiung with them. :) Kaohsiung was a last minute plan but since they were going there. HAHAHAHA. Anyways Kaohsiung was one place I planned to visit then but my sister was not so keen somehow. Oh! And we heard so much about the place from this taiwanese-turned-new zealand-retirees so I guess it's a must-go. So from Hualien, we drove down to Taitung and along the way, we listened to Chinese Indie music with a little Jay Chou and visited the sites that we planned. Sorry but I really cant remember the names of the visited places so I went to the Taiwan Tourism Board website and extracted some information. Hopefully, I got the right ones.



#3 Mr Driver




#7 Mrs Driver





Pictures #1 to #11 were taken at this place closer to Hualien. The wooden "tent" you see in picture #1 is made for camping. People are allowed to camp there as long as they made bookings. I went online to check, these pictures should belong to the East Coast National Scenic Area.

So there's a little information about it.
The East Coast National Scenic Area, known as "Taiwan's last unspoiled land", stretches 170 kilometers down the east coast of the island from the mouth of the Hualien River in the north to Shiauyeliou (Little Yeliou) in the south. To the east it is bounded by the Pacific Ocean; to the west rises the Coastal Mountain Range. The land here consists of volcanic rock, classic rock from deep beneath the sea, and shale that has been pushed upward- and is still being pushed upward- by tectonic action. Weathering, erosion, and accumulation have produced a wide range of landforms here, including coastal terraces, sand and pebble beaches, shoreline reefs, inshore islands, and capes along with sea-eroded platforms, trenches, and caves. This varied topography provides habitat for a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
The East Coast is the primary homeland of the Amis aboriginal tribe. Amis villages' dot the coastline, and the harvest festivals that they hold in July and August every year offer visitors an opportunity to gain insights into the culture of this unique people. Before the Amis settled here there were prehistoric peoples who came and went, leaving a rich store of artifacts and ancient sites that can still be seen today. Among the more modern cultural features of the coastline are enchanting temples, churches, and quaint fishing villages. This rich store of natural and cultural assets prompted the Tourism Bureau to establish the East Coast National Scenic Area in 1988, and to engage in the active development of the leisure resources here.

here's a glimpse of the 2 nice souls. :)






#a to #e were taken around one of the must see in Taitung and that's Basian Cave (Basiandong). I couldnt capture the entire landscape with my camera. But nonetheless, you can also read up on it. Here you go.

Basian Cave is located in the north of Hua Tung Mountain by the coast of Changbin Township. "Basian" (eight deities) are famous Chinese deities. Fogs drift perpetually around the caves and the interior is damp and misty. As the environment resembles that in the folklore when the eight deities cross the ocean, the caves were named Basian. In the caves, Taiwan's first prehistoric site was discovered. As the earth's crusts elevated, the mountains were constantly eroded by the sea and 16 caves of different sizes were formed along the cliff as high as 100 meters.
Wooden tour tracks and stone tour tracks lead to all the caves, including Ling Yen Cave, Chao Yin Cave, Yung An Cave, Hai Lei Cave, Chao Yang Cave, Chien Yuan Cave, Kung Chen Cave and Kun Lun Cave. A prehistoric site was discovered in the highest cave, which is a first grade historic site now. There is an exhibition center showing the objects found in the site, including bone-made objects, stone objects, etc.





Pictures #i to #iv are taken at Sansiantai (Terrace of the Three Immortals). AHHAHA. I actually went down to touch the water and my sister kept scolding me afer that. She insisted that I am being irresponsible and selfish. Well, according to her, should something happen to me, she would be responsible. So she thinks I was thinking for her at all. Oh god!!! That girl ar...
I tell you the water was so salty. My hands got really dry as the temperature dropped there, so the skin around my hands were peeling really badly. When my hands came in touch with the salt water, I wanted to scream in pain. HAHAHAA! Foolish me. However, I didnt even make a sound. Wait I think I squealed a little, in joy that was.

Oh there were like a thousand tour groups made up of retired or old locals!!! And they were so so so uncivilised. Exactly like those unwanted Chinese tourists we see in Singapore.

Information on Sansiantai:
Situated at the 112-kilometer mark on the coastal highway, Sansiantai consists of a headland facing a small island in the sea. The three huge rocks that make up the island's most prominent feature have given rise to a local legend that three of China's Eight Immortals once landed there; hence the name of the island, which means "terrace of the three immortals. " The island was once connected to the headland by a neck of land which has been eroded away; it is now connected by a red, scalloped footbridge, and the island has a network of footpaths for viewing its geological features such as potholes and sea-eroded caves and trenches, as well as rare coastal vegetation. The island is surrounded by coral reefs and a multitude of tropical fish, making this an ideal spot for skin diving.


We headed down to Jhihben where all hot springs can be found. :)
Let me just share my horrible bus experience with you guys. There are only 3 service lines/routes in Taitung and the frequency of the buses is like 60 minutes! WTF! We missed the earlier bus by two minutes and had to wait 60 minutes for the next bus to depart. OMG!!! Seriously, I was busy cursing and swearing! After waiting for like half an hour, I got hungry but none of the shops nearby were opened yet. 7-11 was too far away like a ten minutes walk. At the point, I was still very grumpy and actually argued with my sister so there was no way of getting her help. ARGH!!! That's one reason why I hated Taitung so much. We actually spent our first day or rather half day in Taitung quarrelling on the streets! HAHAHA! I know! I know! It's embarrassing but it happens, huh?

As usual, you can read about Jhihben here:

Jhihben Hot Springs have the reputation of being "the greatest scene in eastern Taiwan". In the early years, hot springs emerged from riverbeds. There are carbonic acid springs (with the nature of base). There are colorless, odorless and their temperature reaches more than 100 degrees (Celsius). The springs are of high quality.Jhihben is divided into the inner hot spring area and the outer hot spring area by the Jhihben Creek . Inner hot spring area was developed late. However, due to presence of five-star resorts, the area has become the largest business district. It attracts many foreign tourists who demand services of higher quality.The "Jhihben Hot Springs" generally known by the public is located in outer hot spring area. There are many middle-size and small hot spring inns. It is convenient to get accommodation or enjoy hot spring spa. Now the inner hot spring area and the outer hot spring area have expanded and joined together. However, the inner hot spring area is close to Jhihben Forestry Park and its scenery is even better.Jhihben Hot Springs are the gathering place of aboriginal people. It provides the delicious dishes of aboriginal people and country dishes. Other than stores of country dishes, there are venders selling fruits like Shihgia, pineapple and Loshenhua. It has the flavor of eastern Taiwan.

ASS, can you smile? We were okay with each other already.
This was taken after our hot spring session. HAHAHA. We walked over to a nearby hotel and sit on one of the swings with a shelter in the garden. :)

And she smiled! HAHAHA. We were waiting for Mr & Mrs Driver to come pick us. :)
They were behaving more like daddy and mummy la!

I dont wish to elaborate more about Taitung. The hotel, yes we stayed in a hotel since there wasnt any hostels there. About the hotel, well, the service desk people were crapping and the phone in my inital room was spoilt. WTH! Because of the phone, I was upgraded to a HUGE room with 2 queen-sized beds. So...FORGIVEN.
The place...think Malaysia. That's it.

Part 4 will be posted next week. :)



title: playing games with you
date: Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why are two of the biggest football clubs in the world fighting for you? Why why why? A little talk with gerrard triggered me to vent my anger here. Fine, you're one of the best young players now but so what? Are you worth the price Fergie has tagged on you? I seriously dont think so. 150million pounds!!!! Now the negotiation has just got dumber, transfer fee + 3 players from real madrid for one c.ronaldo. Kidding me! Let me quote what this "best player in the world right now" said during a radio interview a day or two after the Champions League game against Chelsea, he said:"I don't promise nothing. I don't promise nothing to my mum, I don't promise nothing to supporters." He added: "I want to stay but the future - no-one knows. I want to stay. We are going to see in the next two weeks, I don't say I make a decision." These two statements totally contradicted whatever he said on the night man u won Champions League. Asked after the match where his future lay, he told BBC TV: "I stay." What a liar!!!
Okay okay, you may be thinking why the hell do I care if he stays or goes. To put it simply, man u needs him. He was a great player in man u no where else. Look at his attitude whenever he plays for Portugal. Although I really dont like that smirk that he carries on his face every where he goes, he plays brilliantly in man u and is finally getting along well with the English lads. As a fan, I want him to stay. As a Geraldine Chua, I just wanna say that Ronaldo has the ugliest face in this world.
Moving on.

Now do you guys understand why I cant and will never support Arsenal.

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title: hualien is just about being naked
date: Tuesday, May 27, 2008
PART 2 of my 2-week break in TAIWAN

*pictures are done in present tense because I wanted to depict my feelings then.

We left C.K.S MRT at around 11 I think. I was really getting bored of Taipei so I couldnt wait to explore other parts of Taiwan. HUALIEN, here I come!!!

We passed by places like Yilan on our way to Hualien by the train. :) Beautiful scenery but I was reading my book. HAHAHA! I was quite a nerd there.

Very resort feeling but too bad, the view is of a a bustling road. :(

*shout* IKEA!!!
The hostel I stayed in was pretty alright. The whole ambience was nice but I dont like the toilet. Not that it is not clean. It is just old and not well-maintained. It was a pretty cool place to stay in, pity the toiler was a problem for me. Oh the owner is a Taiwanese who went to Americaq to study. Her Canadian boyfriend met her in Hualien some time back when he was there for a holiday, felt in love with the place and the owner, hence decided to extend his trip till forever.

The traffic there is unbelievably I tell you! Apparently, they adopted the Japanese traffic system, or so the locals said. So there was no such thing was red light or green man for pedestrians. We had to risk our lives whenever we needed to get from one side to the other. Seriously! Actually, it's just the manners of the Taiwanese there. I heard from a local that in Japan, the cars will really stop whenever they see someone waiting to cross the road. So... erm... Taiwan please if you have to copy something, copy to the fullest!

The grandma is so cute.She bought a broom and was having difficulties balancing her scooter while holding her broom. By the way, the castle like building behind is a KINDERGARTEN. Kids these days in most parts of the world are just so so so fortunate. Mine wasnt that bad too but a castle is just too much.

Cant remember the name of the place we were going to. I think it's called Pine Cafe or something. From there, we were able to get a full view of Hualien.


Nice, eh?

Hualien is a pretty small county so yeah... HAHAHA!! You can actually finish touring the entire Hualien City in 3-4 hours on foot.

GOOD MORNING!!! Best discovery in Hualien! BREAKFAST!!!! The breakfast joint is called Beautiful and Breakfast! HAHAH. Erm... I think so, I really cant recall so many things. It's just a two minutes walk from our hostel. :)





#5 An Aborigine doing her part to keep her culture and tradition going on. :)






#11 Enjoying my iced coffee made with the water from the fountain. And it tasted really different. I like the raw-ness I drank.

#12 Copycat!



#1 to #14 were taken when we joined the one-day tour to Taroko National Park. To get there, we have to get your own transportation or join a tour since a motor vehicle is the only mean of transportation. Our tour group was okay except for this mid age Hong Kong couple who are now citizens of Australia. ASS!!! The taiwanese-turned-New-Zealand-retirees old couple was exceptionally nice to us. HAHAHA. Guess it's because we were the youngest. :) :):) Oh there was another group of Hong Kong people with French passports. How cool. Globalisation is so interesting. And the old lady with a French passport is so so so brave. Half the tour was conducted on the bus as it was dangerous to walk around, so for the other half we could choose to walk or rest on the bus. Frankly, I felt a little tired to walk whenever we had to climb staircase (*rolls eyes*) but the old lady, think she's like over 70, was so eager to leave the bus all the time. And her husband is just so loving! He was always by her side. Her right hand was holding onto her walking stick and her left hand was held tightly by her husband. How sweet!

To find out more about the park, you can scroll down to read. I ripped this from the tourism board website.

Taroko became a national park in 1986, including Hualien County, Nantou County and Taichung County. It is the second largest national park in Taiwan. Taroko is famous for its spectacular mountains and marble canyons. Cliffs and canyons stretch along Li Wu River. Four million years ago, the island of Taiwan was formed by the collision of plates. After millions of years of wind erosion, the marble rocks were exposed and cut by Li Wu River, creating impressive grand canyons. From Tsing Shui to Nan Hu Peak, the drop height is 3,742 meters. Such special geography has also bred special flora and fauna in this area.

The waterfalls characterized Taroko National Park and the most famous ones are Pai Yang Waterfall, Yin Tai Waterfall, Chang Chun Waterfall, and Lu Shui Waterfall. Yen Tze Kou and Chiu Chu Tung are the most impressive natural scenes in Taroko and the canyons here are the narrowest. Tourists can appreciate the natural beauty along the tour track. Swallows nest on the cliff, chirping and flying back forth. The Taroko monumental is designed in Chinese style and Chang Chun Temple is to remember those who sacrificed their lives for building the central highway.

P.S. I love to climb up mountains but I hate to do so by staircases. I HATE STAIRCASES! You know I was going to Sinema last Saturday to catch Lucky 7. To get there I had to climb up 140 steps!!! You know the very very steep and long staircase you always see when walking over to The Cathay from PS by the Carrerfour way? Yeah, thar's the one! I was getting muscle ache by the time I was at the third set of stairs. No joke!

OMG!!! After this place, I just fell in love with Hualien. It's so much of mother nature. Being there made me wanna leave the city for good. I was in Hualien City not another township in Hualien and I could still feel so closed to mummy nature. :) :) :)

The beach was near this Taiwan Airforce place so many many many aircrafts/jets were flying over us. Felt like my house in Singapore for a moment.

From this picture, you can see for yourself how strong the wind was. HAHAH!

I got pretty sick of the wind and my hair slapping my fat face so I had to resort to holding them back.

And there's a little information on the beach also from the tourism board website.

At the 37-kilometer point along Highway 11, differential erosion has formed this beautiful, curved bay edged by a sandy beach about 2.5 kilometers long. This beach, the closest to Hualien on the East Coast, is ideal for camping, swimming, playing in the water, or simply relaxing. The Baci Observation Tower, located high on the mountainside at the northern end of the beach, is the perfect place for a bird's-eye view of the graceful curve of the bay and the waves breaking on the shore.

The tour ended around 16:00 which is pretty early, if you ask me. So we politely asked the tour guide to bring us to the best Beef Noodle Shop in Hualien. After beef noodle, we walked around and visited this newly-established Motel. HAHAHA! We pretended to be backpackers looking for a place to stay for the night and cheated the receptionist to bring us up to one of their normal rooms. OMG!!! For about NTD 1600, that's roughly SGD80, we could get ourselves a nice room with a KING size bed, jacuzzi and a massager chair. HEAVEN!!! Okay okay to the point, as we were walking around aimlessly, we saw HOLIDAY which is a karaoke place. So with nothing planned for the rest of the day, we just walked in, enquired about the prices and got ourselves a huge room to sing and watch music videos.

The selection of songs was okay, I guess. I dont know what kbox is like these days so I cant compare.

We paid about NTD300 (student price, I used my NYP student card. I know i know I'm smart!) each for 4 hours of singing and eating. There's a buffet outside which we could help ourselves too. So while I was choosing the songs, my sister went out to grab food for the two ever hungry souls! HAHAHA. Awesome!

So as some of you may already know that I met a really friendly and chatty Taipei couple in Hualien who kinda changed our plans. More of them shall be revealed in the next entry. The next entry should cover Taitung. :)

Before I go off, just wanna say that Hualien is a great place to wind down. The air there is so more better than Taipei's and all the other places I was at. The downside of Hualien is the lack of public transportation. No MRT and fixed timing for public buses; and the taking a cab fare is too expensive. The meter starts at NTD75 or 80 and jumps by NTD5 every 0.2km. Backpackers dont take cab every now and then! I could actually get around the place with a bicycle but my sister...erm....yeah...she has some problems with 2-wheel transportations. If you're going to Taiwan, you have to drop by Hualien for at least one night. The city will charm you with its randomness and emptiness. You know the best part about leaving Taipei is to break free from high and whiny voices which are the asset of Taipei Service Industry. I HATE IT!!! Most girls even go to the extend of faking their voices to be in the IT group. RUBBISH!