spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Humour – Nothing Short of a Miracle

Miracle Work

Seen at Ximending, Taipei – an advertisement for aesthetic treatment
I must say to transform from a geek (inset) to an idol-worthy face, it’s nothing short of a miracle! Quick, get me a pen and paper to take down the contact details…and Megan Fox’s photo! *Bee-stung pout*

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Victory!

Maokong Station 貓空While she conquered Maokong in Taipei…

Cycling at Punggol!I conquered seafood at Punggol! Now that’s a HUGE incentive for me to start cycling :)


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Taiwan – Beauty Shopping in Taipei’s 小三美日 Little Three

小三美日 Little Three

Indulging in a girl’s must-do activity in Taiwan – beauty shopping! :)

Whenever I tell my girlfriends I am visiting Taiwan, the first comments I usually get are “Buy facial sheet masks! Very cheap and good, help me buy two boxes!” “Try the local cosmetic brands!” Beauty shopping in Taiwan seems to be on the topmost priority of most ladies, probably because the prices are very competitive and great for Asian skin. Most of us will likely end up at Watsons, Sasa or Cosmed, but for this trip I was happy I got all I wanted at Little Three 小三美日, a beauty shop introduced to me by my local friends.

小三美日 Little Three

In addition to a thriving online store, Little Three has 11 physical branches in Taiwan. The one I went to is conveniently located along the famous Yong Kang Street, just a stone’s throw away from the original location of Ding Tai Feng (xiao long bao). <Update: this Yong Kang branch has closed. Visit the other 4 branches in Taipei at Ximen, Dunhua, Gongguan and Nanxi)

小三美日 Little Three

Just turn into Lane 2 from the main street and you are there!

小三美日 Little Three

Best time to shop for me? In the late afternoon when it’s less crowded and after gorging on all the yummy food at Yong Kang Street :D

小三美日 Little Three

Prices at Little Three are really competitive as they import their products directly from the manufacturers, and if you spend over TWD3,000, you can get your GST refund on the spot.

小三美日 Little Three

OMG so much variety! *Hyperventilating*
The store carries a wide range of beauty products ranging from popular Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean brands, to selected European brands.

小三美日 Little Three

Dr.Douxi 朵璽 is a popular brand recommended by the local beauty bloggers. They are known for their crystal mineral mud mask and mandelic acid essence products.

小三美日 Little Three

Another must-buy Taiwanese brand – 1028 Visual Therapy
This makeup label is created by Taiwanese celebrity makeup artist Xiao Kai 小凱老師. Specially designed for Asian skin, the products are infused with skincare essence so you take care of  your face while you doll up, how convenient :)

小三美日 Little Three

For those wanting to re-create a Korean fashion look, look no further than 3CE (3 Concept Eyes), a makeup line by Stylenanda, one of Korea’s most popular online stores (which I call somewhere-close-to-fashion-heaven).

小三美日 Little Three

Thank goodness for attentive and knowledgeable staff who helped to recommend suitable products for us. I’m a sucker for honest reviews, so when the sales staff goes “This one is not so good, try the other one which is more suitable for your skin type…more affordable too”, I am TOTALLY SOLD. Load up my baskets.

小三美日 Little Three

Was super tempted to try this…wonder if I will become Miss Double-Cup :p

小三美日 Little Three

Oooh, this is one of my favourite Korean brands. I love their BB cream foundation and egg mousse soap!

小三美日 Little Three

This Japanese clay mask looks fun to use…you mix the amount you want with some water and apply the paste on your face. I wonder if my face will get much fairer if I mixed it with milk and honey instead…it’s the ultimate pampering.

小三美日 Little Three

The store also carries some upmarket European brands such as Crabtree & Evelyn and L’Occitane.

小三美日 Little Three

And even Burt’s Bees, a well-known American organic brand
(Btw, Bio-Oil and Merderma are really good for treating scars & stretchmarks)

小三美日 Little Three

One of the oldest and most used beauty beauty products in Japan since 1,000 years ago, horse oil cream is the perfect moisturizer which leaves the skin soft like a baby.

小三美日 Little Three

LoL, I was very surprised to see this series of kinky hair products from Japan. I first saw them on my trip to Japan, and always wanted to buy them – they make perfect gifts for naughty friends :D

小三美日 Little Three

Know what are these pretty cans?
Dry shampoo! Best when you go camping or for the second day after you colour your hair.

小三美日 Little Three

This is the haircare brand I am currently using. My friends love it, and there is a noticeable difference after I switched to this, with hair feeling softer.

小三美日 Little Three

To tame flyaway hair (or morning bedhead), use a hair serum. Even better when it comes rose-scented :)

小三美日 Little Three

This is another traditional Japanese beauty wonder product – Camellia oil
Japanese camellia oil is an effective emollient which you can use to soften your hair, face, body and even nails & cuticles!

小三美日 Little Three

Why do I only have 10 fingers when there’s a gazillion nail colours I want?

小三美日 Little Three

These would make perfect gifts :)

小三美日 Little Three

Guess what is this?
Korean sanitary pads LOL :D

小三美日 Little Three

Other than beauty products, Little Three also carries an assortment of snacks. I gotta get out of this corner quick!

小三美日 Little Three

And the highlight of the shop – so many different kinds ad brands of facial sheet masks, I can try a different one everyday! The best part is – you can buy a box or just one piece if you want to try different ones.

小三美日 Little Three

When shopping, always start with the store’s Best Buy section ;)
These look pretty cute!

小三美日 Little Three

A Sexy Look in black
Sexy Look is the No.1 best-selling 3D-mask in Taiwan and their new black masks are apparently thicker and better than the normal white ones.

小三美日 Little Three

After two weeks of roaming Taiwan, I definitely need to invest in some foot care.

小三美日 Little Three

And yeah, I ate too much on my trip, so perhaps I should buy some of these tummy fat burner sheets back….like ten cartons.

小三美日 Little Three

Time to relax my hardworking eyes with some steam eye masks

小三美日 Little Three

Erm, I think I went overboard and bought an entire year’s supply, hee. But it’s good value for money!

小三美日 Little Three

Here’s some of the items I came back with…
Am particularly excited to try the Diamond Snail Caviar Repair Cream :)

小三美日 Little Three

I was pretty fascinated by the ingredients of these masks – Job’s Tear, Snail Essence, Cactus and even Natto!

小三美日 Little Three

These facial foam capsules would be awesome for travel, and I am a total convert for the Vitamin B12 Cream. It’s oil free, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and fuss-free. The texture is very light and my skin feels well-hydrated *doin doin*

小三美日 Little Three

Time to shed a new self!

小三美日 Little Three

Brushes for a drama Kpop look :)

小三美日 Little Three

I can’t wait to try them all!

小三美日平價美
Various branches in Taiwan, including 4 in Taipei
Tel: +886 4 777 1186
Opening Hours: Various, usually from 12:00AM – 10:30PM daily
Website: http://www.s3.com.tw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/s3beauty
Email: savager0215@yahoo.com.tw
Read more of my travels in Taiwan


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Taiwan – Tamsui 淡水:Of Romantic Sunsets & Tantalizing Snacks

Tamsui Travel

The scenery was so awesome at Tamsui – I was tempted to do a mock commercial here LOL

Travel in a Day: Beitou -> Fisherman’s Wharf -> Danshui Old Street

The laidback coastal town of Tamsui (also known as Danshui) located to the north of Taipei and named after the Tamsui River (meaning ‘fresh water’), serves as a quick getaway from Taipei’s busy city life. Located at the end of the Tamsui Train Line, the former fishing town is famous for two things – viewing gorgeous sunsets along the dock or Fisherman’s Wharf, and signature local snacks at Gongming Street/Tamsui Old Street. We combined our day travel with a hot spring visit to Beitou before heading to Tamsui in the afternoon.

Tamsui Travel

Take in mountainous view of Bali township on the train journey to Tamsui
Bali makes for an enjoyable afternoon in the sun. Rent a bicycle and cycle along waterfront, head to the beaches to spot crabs or feast on freshly-caught peacock clams.

Tamsui Travel

Tamsui at a glance
Most of the main sight-seeing spots are within walking distance. The famous Gongming Street, also known as Tamsui Old Street 淡水老街 is just 5 minutes away.

Tamsui Travel

Historically Tamsui is a significant place in Taipei history, where it was one of the main settlements for the Spanish in the 1600′s and one of the biggest ports in Taiwan in the 19th century. The waterfront promenade is now a pedestrian-friendly street lined with shops selling interesting knick knacks, old-school game stalls and local snacks.

Tamsui Travel

Very interesting shop selling things of yesteryear. No I don’t recognise any of them….*pretend pretend*

Tamsui Travel

Adorable beyond words

Tamsui Travel

Lucky postbox

Tamsui Travel

Streetside snacks and seafood galore
I am steering clear…the face gets rounder by the day, sigh.

Tamsui Travel

Giant sausage!
Even the aunty can’t resist a bite. ;)

Tamsui Travel

Taking a ferry to Fisherman’s Wharf
You can either take Bus Red-26, 836, or 837 (from Tamsui train station) or a ferry (pier behind the train station) to Fisherman’s Wharf for sunset viewing. We chose to take the ferry which cost about 100TWD round-trip. The journey by bus or ferry is about 15 minutes.

Tamsui Travel

Our ferry is here!

Tamsui Travel

SO, this is the famous Lover’s Bridge 情人桥
The 196-metre white-colored cable bridge derived its name from its launch date of 14 February 2003 (she’s 10 this year!). The bridge has quite a reputation as a romantic spot to view breath-taking sunsets. We came on a rainy day, so we saw none. Might as well, since all of us were ladies, no hanky-panky!

Tamsui Travel

Hello doggy, will you be my Valentine?

Tamsui Travel

I must say the bridge is quite fun for photography :)

Tamsui Travel

While having sightseeing and leisure facilities, Fisherman’s Wharf still functions as a harbor for fishing boats.

Tamsui Travel

Keeping the love bytes alive at Lover’s Bridge
We almost died laughing posing for this shot. After that we quickly scooted back to mainland before anyone reported loonies at the bridge.

Tamsui Travel

Off to feed hungry tummies at Gongming Street/Tamsui Old Street 淡水老街
Fun fact: It is called ‘Old Street’ cos’ many old Japanese colonial style buildings from the 1900′s still stand nicely preserved along the street, and one of them now houses Teng Feng Fishball Museum 登奉鱼丸博物馆. Wow, fishball is really big business in Tamsui.

Tamsui Old Street, a short 5 minutes stroll from Tamsui train station, is excellent for its street food and traditional local snacks. It’s also a great place to get some unique souvenirs/snacks home. The must-try snacks here include Ah Gei, iron eggs, fishballs and tower ice cream. Exotic-sounding huh.

Tamsui Travel

Ah-Gei 阿给
A speciality food originating from Tamsui, ah-gei is basically friend tofu stuffed with glass noodles and sealed with meat paste. It is typically served with a plain soy-based or a sweet chili sauce. A-gei is commonly eaten with a bowl of fish ball soup in the winter or cold soy milk in the summer.
The name ah-gei was derived from aburaage (油揚げ), a fried and stewed Japanese tofu packet from which the ah-gei is made. According to Wikipedia, it was created in 1965 by Yang-Zheng Jinwen (楊鄭錦文) who combined various food items sold at her Zhenli street (真理街) food stall to sell as a new food item.

Tamsui Travel

A sight to behold – tower ice cream (TWD25). I’m trying not to let my thoughts run wild. You go, dude :D

Tamsui Travel

Another place I would recommend to check out – are the 24-hour convenience stalls. They are pretty localised, tempting me with all sorts of snacks. I’m gonna get fat if I stay in Taiwan!

Tamsui Travel

Hong Ma Sour Plum Soup 洪妈酸梅汤
I was attracted by the cute momsy character. Turns out – it was the best thing I brought home.

Tamsui Travel

These jars of spicy preserves were DELISH! I am still thinking about them and how I can order online :D They go really well with porridge and Chinese dishes. I’m gonna mail a carton back next time.

Tamsui Travel

And the most famous Tamsui specialty – Ah-Po Iron Eggs 阿婆铁蛋 at 135-1 Zhongzheng Road. This is the original stall – remember Grandma’s face!
Iron eggs were reportedly created by Huang Zhangnian 黃張哖 who sold noodles by the seaside dock about 50 years ago when Tamsui was a fishing town. When Grandma Huang had less business, she had to continually re-cook the braised eggs which were continually blown by the sea breeze. The repeated recooking and drying process eventually resulted in eggs that were dark, chewy and flavorful. The eggs were a big hit with the locals who referred to them as ‘iron eggs’.Ingredients used include chicken/quail eggs, five-spice powder, rock sugar, soy sauce and salt. The eggs go through many cycles of braising and drying until the egg white shrinks and turns chewy.Grandma Huang eventually founded a new business based on her iron egg recipe, selling them under the brand Ah Po Tie Dan. It was also a convenient food for fishermen who were out at sea for long periods of time. See – every cloud has its silver lining ☺

More on Taiwan:
Taiwan: Blooming Delights and Cultural Richness in Daxi 大溪
Taiwan – Nature’s Wonders at Yehliu Geopark 野柳地質公園
Taiwan – Jiufen’s 九份 Golden Nostalgia
Taiwan – Urban Respite at Beitou Hot Springs 北投溫泉
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!

Getting to Tamsui
Take the train to Tamsui station on the red Tamsui line.

Getting to Fisherman’s Wharf 淡水漁人碼頭/Lover’s Bridge情人桥
Take Bus Red-26, 836, or 837 from Tamsui train station. Alternatively, take a ferry from Tamsui Ferry Pier.

Tamsui Sights (if you are opting for a full day trip)

Historical attractions:
Hongmao Castle/Fort San Domingo (No. 1, Lane 28, Zhongzheng Road), Mackay Hospital, Tamsui Presbyterian Church (No. 8, Majie Street), Huwei Fort (No. 34, Lane 6, Section 1, Zhongzheng Road), Old Oxford School, Residence of Dr. Mackay, Tamsui College

Natural sceneries:
Lover’s Bridge, Mangrove (Hungshulin) Conservation Area, Cape Shihhu, Chunglun Jetty

Temples and churches:
Longshan Temple, Herzhong Temple, Catholic Church, Tamchian Church, Xingchung Temple, Fuyou Temple