Thursday, May 30, 2019

Nictar Symbiosis Farm (黄梨园) @ Pontian [Johor]

We have been to a number of fun places in Johor now and still exploring for more! During our drive to Pontian, we had a brief stop over at Nictar Symbiosis Farm. Nictar Farm is a theme farm in Pontian to provide visitors opportunities to have a close up experience with nature.

The farm is open to public and visitors can go in for a free & easy walk through the estate. If you have a bigger group of more than 10 pax, they may conduct a farm tour too. Nictar Farm also conduct Educational tours for schools as well. 

Recently, they organised a 'Fit in Tour' for public to join which includes outdoor pineapple guide, indoor bees keeping sharing, and each person gets a bottle of pure pineapple juice and fresh cut pineapples all for RM16/pax (1.5 hours)!

Do check in with them on their facebook page prior to visiting to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

FaceMee Restaurant (有麵仔雲吞麵食馆) @ Taman Mount Austin [JB] - CLOSED

We have been dining in Taman Mount Austin area for a few years and have seen many restaurants/cafes/eateries come and go. As the area developed, we see more and more crowd, especially younger group of adults coming by for leisure, meals or a drink.

Just recently, I learnt that a noodle shop that we have patron since 3 years ago has finally put up the shutters after serving its customers for 4 years. It is odd to post this since operations has ceased... but I thought it will be a good memory for us and hopefully some day we may spot the familiar logo at a different place.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Hours of Fun @ Lakeside Garden (Jurong Lake Gardens)

Jurong Lake Gardens, Singapore's third national gardens following Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay has opened its first phase (Lakeside Garden) to the public last month after many years of anticipation.

Lakeside Garden, the first national garden in the heartlands, occupied 53-hectare at the western section of the 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens. It includes Forest Ramble, a play area with 13 different adventure zones, Water play at Clusia Cove, Boardwalk, Grasslands area and wetland trails that takes visitors nearer to nature.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 5 - Alishan (阿里山) | Fenchihu 奋起湖 | Eryanping Trail 二延平步道 | 云瀑谷

5 December 2018

Part 2 of Day 5 @ Sun Moon Lake - Alishan
1) Fenchihu (奋起湖)
2) Eryanping Trail (二延平步道)
3) Dinner @ 云瀑谷

12:30pm - We spent our afternoon exploring Fenchihu/Fenqihu (奋起湖). The quaint village felt a little like Jiufen (九份) and no wonder it is also commonly known as Jiufen in Alishan. Located in the Chiayi County, and standing at an altitude of about 1,403 meters, Fengchihu is famous for its old street, bento box and square bamboos. Despite its name, there is actually no lake in the area. In Taiwanese local dialect, [湖] meant low-lying land. Surrounded by mountains on the East, West and North, the low-lying area lies in the South.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Sushi House @ City Square Johor Bahru

It has been awhile since we drop by City Square Johor Bahru as off late we have been mainly shopping at Mount Austin, Tebrau or Sutera areas. Pretty refreshing to be back to see some of the newer shops and the current ones.

Sushi House with several outlets across Johor Bahru (e.g. Bukit Indah, Johor Jaya etc) finally had its grand opening in City Square Johor Bahru earlier this February. We chanced upon the Japanese restaurant at level 4 of the shopping mall and walked in for lunch.

We LOVE salmon sushi/sashimi and occasionally we will pamper ourselves to a sushi plate whenever we can. Salmon Sushi Lovers (RM18.80) - fit us perfectly as each salmon sushi has different topping.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 5 - Alishan (阿里山) | Toushe Reservoir 頭社水庫| Chiayi Turkey Rice | 天长地久吊桥 | Xiding Lookout Point

5 December 2018

8am - We checked out of Blue Sky Bay B&B (Sun Moon Lake) and will be continuing our journey to Alishan. Prior to that, we stopped by Toushe Reservoir (頭社水庫), a beautiful nature spot in Sun Moon Lake.

Part 1 of Day 5 @ Sun Moon Lake - Alishan
1) Toushe Reservoir (頭社水庫)
2) Chia'yi Turkey Rice (嘉義火雞肉飯)
3) Tianchangdijiu Suspe (天长地久吊桥)
4) Xiding Lookout Point

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Where to stay in Tainan (台南) - Tainan Fushin Hotel (台南富信大飯店)

Tainan Fushin Hotel,台南富信大飯店)
Date of Stay : 7 - 8 December 2018

There are many accommodation options in Tainan but we decided to go for FUSHIN HOTEL Tainan. Not the cheapest option but rather what was available then which is most convenient that suit our needs.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Where to stay in Alishan (阿里山) - David's House (茶米屋)

Finding a place to stay in Alishan was one of the most difficult task in our 2 weeks family trip to Taiwan. Just googling for an accommodation in Alishan itself is extremely confusing for first timer like myself (because the area is huge!). It really depends on what you plan to do at Alishan to then determine where you would like to stay.

There are Five Wonders of Alishan (阿里山五奇) and we would love to experience them all on our trip.
  1. Alishan Forest Railway (铁路)
  2. Forest Trail  (森林)
  3. Sunrise (日出)
  4. Sunset (晚霞)
  5. Sea of Clouds (云海)

I shortlisted three main areas around Alishan that we could consider.
- Alishan Forest Recreation Area (阿里山国家森林游乐区)
- Fenchihu/Fenqihu (奋起湖)
- Xiding (隙顶)

Hotels inside the Alishan Forest Recreation Area is the most convenient option as it saves you the hassle of taking a ride up to the mountains to catch the sunrise or tour. However, it also means you will need to pay a little more and some of the hotels appeared old and not very well-maintained.

There are also many minsu - 民宿 (homestay) at the outskirts of the National Park.  I was mainly looking at Fengchihu (奋起湖) and Xiding (隙顶) because Fenchihu is a nostalgic town surrounded by many small eateries and shops. Xiding on the other hand is further from Alishan National Park but it is close to Eryanping trail where many photographers travel down to try their luck to catch the sea of clouds (云海).

After reading through many reviews online and much considerations between price, location, comfort and experience, we decided to go for Homestay - David's House (茶米屋) at Xiding (隙顶).

We actually paid a higher price for the room (~SGD235 per night). With this price, you can actually find an accommodation within the Alishan Forest Recreation Area and save a lot of time on travelling. Still, we found charm in David's House that prompted us to stay for 2 nights without regrets.

Date of Stay : 5 - 6 December 2018

We arrived slightly earlier at around 2pm on Day 5 of our trip via a chartered car. For family travelers with luggage, this is the most convenient option. We were warmly welcomed by our host who led us to our room which is inside a little yellow house across the road. 

David's House (茶米屋) - Main receiving area and where stay-in guests have their breakfast. Bus stop is located just outside of the homestay.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Milk Tea Paradise in Taman Mount Austin [JB]

The craze and love for milk tea/bubble tea is on a rise and many shops have become very innovative not only in terms of the flavour but also in their packaging. It is amazing that in just a couple of months, dozens of tea/beverage shops has opened in Taman Mount Austin (Johor Bahru), and you will be spoilt for choice! We have tried most of them and here is a running list of what milk tea shops you can find there.

1. Libertea (自由軒)
Address: No 6, Jalan Austin Heights 8/7, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru

I actually love the rich and fragrant milky flavour of the formulated tea from Taiwan. With a mixture of dried fruit, it is blended into the tea fragrance. A taste that brought us back to revisit again.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

How to get to R&F Mall from Johor Bahru CIQ by foot

R&F Mall had its first soft opening on 28 March 2019 but there is no rush to visit as many of the shop space remains empty and some are under renovations. It will probably take a couple of months more before we see some vibrancy and crowd coming in.


We were on a day trip to Johor Bahru and thought of exploring the new mall since we had a couple of hours to spare. R&F Mall is very near to CIQ Checkpoint and if you are driving, it probably only take 2-3 minutes after clearing the JB custom.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 4 - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) | Ita Thao | Sun Moon Lake Ropeway | Wenwu Temple

4 December 2018

After spending our morning cycling and climbing to the top of Ci'En Pagoda, we were extremely hungry. The best place to be if you are looking for dining options has to be at Ita Thao (伊达邵) !

Part 3 of Day 4 @ Sun Moon Lake
1) Ferry ride to Ita Thao Pier (伊达邵码头)
2) Ita Thao Shopping Street
3) Sun Moon Lake Ropeway 
4) Wenwu Temple (日月潭文武庙)

2:30pm - After alighting from Ita Thao Pier, you will see Ita Thao Visitor Center, with the shape of a boat, straight ahead.