spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Taiwan – Nature’s Wonders at Yehliu Geopark 野柳地質公園

Yehliu Queen's Head

In search of the famous Queen’s Head at Yehliu on this sunny day!

Travel in a Day by car: Yehliu 野柳 > Jiufen 九份 > Jinguashi 金瓜石 > Shifen 十分
Yehliu is a cape on the north coast of Taiwan in the town of Wanli between Taipei and Keelung. Renowned for its fascinating rock formations composed of a mixed sedimentary sandstone and shale sculpted by the wind and water, the 1,700 meter long coast is one of the most famous wonders of the world. A number of its rock formations have been given imaginative names based on their shapes such as Fairy’s Shoe, Mushroom Rock, , Japanese Geisha, Candle Rock, etc. The most famous is the “The Queen’s Head” (女王頭), an iconic image in Taiwan and an unofficial emblem for the town of Wanli. It’s like the Mona Lisa of Yehliu where it is a must-see for every person visiting Taiwan.

I would recommend to pair a visit to Yehliu with other nearby attractions such as Jiufen (food and culture), Jinguashi (old mining town) or Shifen (release sky lanterns 天灯). You can comfortably cover 2 attractions via public transport in a day, but if you are travelling in a group of 4 or more, consider hiring a driver for the day so that you can save on the travelling time and see more. Afterall, you are on holiday, make the most of it :)

Taiwan - Yehliu

Rise & Shine! Taipei’s streetscape greeted me as I looked out of the bathroom window while brushing my teeth

Taiwan - Yehliu

The Red House
Our hotel was in Ximending, so we set off earlier at 7.30am to get breakfast and walk around the area a bit while waiting for our driver to arrive

Taiwan - Yehliu

Ximending train station

Taiwan - Yehliu

Look of the Day
Dress – Kenzo
Bag – Tata Baby
Leopard print sandals – MBT for Lane Crawford

Taiwan - Yehliu

Mail Order Package?

Taiwan - Yehliu

We settled breakfast at this little shop. Check out the lady rider’s helmet, I like.

Taiwan - Yehliu

Yummy! The colourful packaging and healthy lifestyle claim immediately brightened my day. But I wonder what/who are lohas?

Taiwan - Yehliu

On the way to Yehliu!
This shot taken while we were coming out of a road tunnel looked like we were entering a 3rd dimension.

Taiwan - Yehliu

Scenery along Yehliu’s coast line

Taiwan - Yehliu

Abandoned old ship which had recently broken off into two, and become a photo spot for tourists

Taiwan - Yehliu

Taking a short rest at the start of Wanli

Taiwan - Yehliu

Fishing hobbyists

Taiwan - Yehliu

Residents digging for shellfish

Taiwan - Yehliu

Gorgeous landscape

Taiwan - Yehliu

Admiring the scenic view

Taiwan - Yehliu

We are here! Yehliu Geopark

Taiwan - Yehliu

There were a lot of people already at the park when we arrived at 8.30am – students, tourists. Packed. Ewwww.

Taiwan - Yehliu

First time I see someone so happy to see rocks

Yehliu Geopark can be divided into three areas. The first area houses the mushroom, ginger, candle and ice cream rocks. The second area which is nearer to the coastline feature four different kinds of rock formations which are a result of being corroded by sea water, which include the elephant rock, fairy’s shoe, earth rock, peanut rock and the famous Queen’s Head Rock. The third area is the wave-cut platform with steep cliffs where rocks are incarnated as a result of torrent waves and sea erosion such as the 24-Filial Piety Hill, Pearl and Marine Bird Rock. The third area also includes the major ecology reserve of Yehliu Geopark.

Taiwan - Yehliu

Yehliu – Geopark

Taiwan - Yehliu

First impression?
Hot. Freakin hot with no shelter nor trees. And avoiding aunties wielding dangerous umbrellas from poking your eyes. Lucky the awesome scenery compensated for the heat.

Taiwan - Yehliu

The sun, the rocks and the blue blue sea!

Taiwan - Yehliu

A list of no-nos before we began exploring the park

Taiwan - Yehliu

Yehliu Geopark

Taiwan - Yehliu

Mushroom Rocks
The mushroom rocks on the wave-cut platform are formed with globe-shape rocks at the top supported by thin stone pillars below. The Queen’s Head is the most famous mushroom rock in Yehliu.

Taiwan - Yehliu

Holely Rock!

Taiwan - Yehliu

Look at the bridge packed with people and umbrellas. We opted to go the other way round instead.

Taiwan - Yehliu

The Fake Fairy with her Shoe

Taiwan - Yehliu

Fairy’s Shoe (Left) & Peanut Rock (Right)
Legend says that this shoe was accidentally left by a fairy who came down to earth to tame the naughty turtle elf (she must have been a Size 300 – so big!). The Fairy’s Shoe belongs to ginger rock, and is formed due to seawater erosion on the rock layer along with the impact caused by stratum extrusion.

Taiwan - Yehliu

A fist?

Taiwan - Yehliu

Honeycomb Weathering – A heart-shape formation
Owing to the differential erosion caused by weathering, the surface of rock turns into the shape of honeycomb or window lattice. The flat, level rocks are spreading across the land and covered with holes of different sizes.

Yehliu

Ta Da – here comes the Queen!
The Queen’s Head is Yehliu’s most famous mushroom rock; it attained the title in 1962 when the shape eroded to resemble the side face of Queen Elizabeth. Formed due to the differential erosion caused by seawater during crust movement, the age of the rock is about 4,000 years old. On top of natural erosion, high tourist footfall has also quickened the erosion process – the narrowest part around its neck is only 138 cm now.

Taiwan - Yehliu

Kuchi kuchi
If you were expecting a normal touristy pose, you will be sorely disappointed :D

Taiwan - Yehliu

And then some French kissing

Taiwan - Yehliu

And a squat

Taiwan - Yehliu

The Mischievous Princesses
After 2 hours of being baked in the sun (also the recommended visit duration), we saw most of the rocks and made our way to our next destination Jiufen 九份 – Coming up soon! :)

More on Taiwan:
Taiwan: Blooming Delights and Cultural Richness in Daxi 大溪
Taiwan – Jiufen’s 九份 Golden Nostalgia
Taiwan – Urban Respite at Beitou Hot Springs 新北投溫泉
Taiwan – Tamsui 淡水:Of Romantic Sunsets & Tantalizing Snacks
Taiwan – Jingguashi 金瓜石:Goldmine of Yesteryear
Taiwan – SHIFEN十分放天灯: Sending Wishes to the Sky
Taiwan – Sun Moon Lake 日月潭: Picturesque Nature

Explore Taiwan with Spunktitud3!


Yehliu Geopark
野柳地質公園
Address20744 臺灣新北市萬里區野柳里港東路167-1/ No.167-1, Kantung Rd., Yehliu Village, Wanli District, New Taipei City 20744, Taiwan, R.O.C.
TEL886-2-2492-2016
Website:http://www.ylgeopark.org.tw/ENG
Open daily from 07:30 to 17:00 all year round. (Tickets can be purchased until 18:00 for extended visiting hours on May to September)

Admission Fee
1. Adult ticket NTD50
2. Half-fare ticket NTD25
-Student (Taiwan only or show ISI card)
-Children above 115cm
3. Group ticket (thirty persons upward) 20% discount
4. Courtesy entry: Disabled

Getting to Yehliu: http://www.ylgeopark.org.tw/ENG/info/TrafficContent_en.aspx
From Taipei:
Board a Kuo Kuang bus 1815 at Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A (near Taipei Main Station) bound for “Jin Shan Youth Activity Centre” route. Walk 10mins from the bus stop to Yehliu Geopark. The first bus departs at 5:40AM (weekdays) and 6:15AM (weekends). Bus frequency: 15~20 mins. Fare: NT$96 (Can use Easycard); Travel time: 1.5hrs

Location of Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A

Driver
If you are looking to hire a driver, you can consider Mr Liu 刘先生. He’s a burly uncle who used to be a truck driver, and very honest. He charged us a very reasonable per day rate, brought us to all the places where the locals went, and none of those touristy crap. And we felt safe with him. You can give him a try if you wish.  Mr Liu’s Mobile: (0)988-121-529.

Another contact you can try is Lucky Zhao +886 913 185 157, slightly pricier but good service and speaks well.

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For the love of fish – Fish Mart Sakuraya

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Two of my super fave foods – uni and ikura!

Ever since getting injured, mum has been feeding me fish everyday to ensure that I heal well. I got a bit sick of having steamed fish everyday, so I decided to show her my kind of fish :)

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Fish Mart Sakuraya @ Parkway Parade
This shop is a little gem located in a neighbourhood mall which I will go to to satisfy my sashimi cravings. It looks like a typical Japanese grocery store selling imported Japanese snacks, frozen food, fresh fish and sauces from the shopfront, go to the back and you will find a restaurant area where you can have your selected seafood freshly prepared by the chefs. The restaurant is highly popular with patrons who go there specially for their sashimi.

Fish Mart Sakuraya

The attractive display of the day’s catch has already set my tastebuds salivating.

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Fresh Sashimi – Take your pick
Pick your sashimi from this counter and ask the chef to prepare it for you on the spot. I like being able to choose my fish since I don’t eat some fish, just too fishy for me. Tuesdays and Fridays – these are the two days that Sakuraya Fish Market gets their fish freshly delivered to their outlet, so are also the best days to visit. Just don’t get too carried away when selecting – you can end with a super huge platter and a hefty bill!

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Asari Miso Soup
These clams have to be fresh to have a sweet soup taste

Fish Mart Sakuraya

Fried Kaki
The only sinful indulgence of the day

Fish Mart Sakuraya

My favourite – stinky Natto Maki

Fish Mart Sakuraya

California Maki

Fish Mart Sakuraya

And the star of the day – Sashimi Platter
I had the ika squid (crunchy), salmon belly (melts in your mouth) and mekajiki (so creamy and good). Any fresher and you will have to fish them yourself. Mmmmmm, craving satisfied :) I wanted the ootoro as well, but mum shot me a killer stare, hee.

We had a good meal, and the fish were as fresh as expected. Cooked food-wise, it was normal and nothing to complain about. The meal wasn’t budget, but definitely value for money. I’m already craving for another bowl of uni and ikura don. Yuuuuuummm, oishi ne!

Fish Mart Sakuraya
Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Road #B1-84D Parkway Parade
Singapore 449269
Tel: +65 6345 4714
Opening Hours: 11:00AM – 9:30PM (Mon-Thu, Sun & P.H.); 11:00am-10:00pm (Fri & Sat)

West Coast Plaza
154 West Coast Road #B1-50/51/52 West Coast Plaza
Singapore 127371
Tel: +65 6773 6973
Opening Hours: 11:00AM – 10:00PM


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Off to see the pandas

Singapore River Safari

Getting some TLC from the pandas

After being house-bound for over a week due to a broken arm, I was only too happy to be brought out to see something cuter than myself to cheer me up – Mr Kai Kai and Miss Jia Jia, Singapore’s most famous couple of the moment. These pandas are a sign of the twentieth anniversary of friendly Sino-Singapore relations, and are on a ten-year loan from China as part of a joint collaboration between China Wildlife Conservation Association and WRS to raise public awareness on wildlife conservation and develop a breeding programme for these endangered animals. I could still remember the fanfare when they arrived in Singapore on 6 September 2012 – mind you, they flew in style via Singapore Airlines k…

The couple stay in a special enclosure at the 12 hectare Singapore River Safari. Touted as Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park developed at a cost of S$160 million, its landscaping concept features well-known rivers from around the world, such as Yangtze, Congo, Ganges, Mekong Mississippi and Nile. It features over 5000 animals and 500 species including anacondas, giant otters, electric eels, manatees, polar bears, etc.

Singapore River Safari

We got a sneak peek at some of the Singapore River Safari exhibits slated to partially open on 3 April 2013. Seen here are the Mekong Giant Catfish, one of the largest species of freshwater fish in the world.Despite its large size, the fish is a herbivore that lives on a diet of algae and other plants on the riverbed. It’s an endangered species by the way, which I can totally understand since my first thought was how to fit into my cooking pot :p The aquarium is the highlight of the Mekong River zone and will also feature other megafishes such as the Giant Freshwater Stingray. 

Singapore River Safari

Menacing-looking Giant Stork
Maybe it was eying the Mekong Giant Catfish…

Singapore River Safari

We had to make an appointment to see the pandas in their enclosure, and each time slot is limited to 15 minutes before you get chased out.

Singapore River Safari

Besides Kai Kai and Jia Jia, you will also get to see the Red Panda and Golden Pheasant (not in yet at time of visit) at the enclosure. How can 15 minutes be enough to see 3 exhibits?!

Singapore River Safari

The red pandas were absolutely stunning in colour and so cute. I kept fascinating them around my shoulders *evil* But seriously – they were pretty awesome, and absolutely difficult to photography since they moved non-stop.

Singapore River Safari

Super itchy backside
The best moment to take a photo, was when they stopped for a few seconds to scratch their backsides – which happened every few minutes. And amusing to watch. I felt like a voyeur.

Singapore River Safari

Oh, that cute face!

Singapore River Safari

In search of Kai Kai & Jia Jia

Singapore River Safari

This boy seemed pretty interested in Kai Kai

Singapore River Safari

Panoramic view of the panda enclosure

Singapore River Safari

Finally spotted the fella snoozing, in style

Singapore River Safari

I wanna be a panda
Kai Kai & Jia Jia eat 20kg of bamboo, sleep and play. That pretty sums up their day. And sounds like what I have been doing for the past week – sans play.

Singapore River Safari

Handsome lad

And where’s Jia Jia?

Singapore River Safari

I was pretty much tickled by this interpretation of Jia Jia’s retreating behaviour
Caption: “Where da hell is this %#^&* place? It’s so freakin hot!!”
Which I will have to agree about the recent sweltering temperatures.
Source: SGAG

Singapore River Safari

Learn more about the pandas

Singapore River Safari

I am growing to be as round as a panda after a week of hibernation…boohoo

Singapore River Safari

After panda viewing, time to get some souvenirs!

Singapore River Safari

How much merchandise can you make out of panda? Apparently a lot.

Singapore River Safari

Satiate your hunger pangs at Mama Panda’s

Singapore River Safari

The panda-shaped buns were cute! But are you sure Kai Kai and Jia Jia can even eat these to name it their favourite? Hmmm.

Singapore River Safari

I want to buy the panda mold!

Singapore River Safari

The restaurant’s chairs were all about panda

Singapore River Safari

Sturdy? Yes, it could take my weight.

Singapore River Safari

Way to Singapore River Safari

Singapore River Safari

Singapore River Safari

Singapore River Safari

Singapore River Safari

Singapore River Safari

I found this photo so amusingly true – While the girl happily posed for a photo, the boy couldn’t care less. LOL

Singapore River Safari

I was only too happy to take a parting shot with the two cuddlies before heading home to hibernate again.

Singapore River Safari
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826
Tel: +65 6269 3411
Opening Hours: 9:00AM to 6:00PM (Last ticket sale at 5.00pm)
Website: http://riversafari.com.sg
Park Map
Admission Fee
: Discounted rate of S$25 (adult), S$16 (Child), S$12.50 (Senior Citizen) until River Safari boat ride are available in late 2013.
Getting There


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Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Joy is one of the most intelligent and devoted dogs I have seen. Unlike her name, she’s a sourpuss and very quiet compared to the hyper-active Rainbow. She is, however, fiercely loyal and a keen observer – meaning she knows when to take her chances :)
She loves burrowing into D’s bed to snooze, and this particular shot came by when she surfaced from the blankets to check out what we were laughing about – and promptly fell asleep again.

Joy

She brings much joy to D and is a great companion for him. I thought this was a pretty nice portrait of the gal. She’s about 14 years old by now, but still as fiesty – and horny – as ever. And responds to the speed of lightning to food.