Thursday, November 25, 2010

Celebrating My Own Teddy Bear Day

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



Today, many countries like Poland celebrate "International Teddy Bear Day" - a day of appreciation for their favorite bear stuffed toy. There is also an occasional reference to National Teddy Bear Day on February 22, September 9, November 10 and November 13, which may have been declared for various reasons. But whatever the date maybe, I believe that teddy bears are very important and deserves a day of recognition.

So, I declared my own "Teddy Bear Day" today!

Since I enjoy traveling and have picked up teddy bears of the airlines I got on and the countries I visited, my first official "Teddy Bear Day" will feature some of these collections.



Lined up above are stuffed animals from British Airways, China Airlines, Korean Airlines, Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific Airlines, Continental Airlines,and Cathay Pacific Airlines. I have used other airlines for my trips abroad and an elite flyer of Philippine Airlines and Northwest Airlines (now Delta Airlines) but sad these airline companies do not have stuffed toy available. (I satisfied myself with their airplane key chains ).

I am fascinated with stuffed toy with the countries name in it or of the national animal of the country, so I have to buy one in countries I visited and accept gifts from friends from other countries. I hope to complete my collections from the seven continents of the world - Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Antarctica though I know it would be a long shot (even a lifetime dream!).



North America and South America

I have been to at least 25 states of the USA (but only have New York and Boston teddy bears) and also been in Canada but wasn't able to get a toy with Canada in it.



Asia and Africa

So far I only have stuffed toy from Bahrain, Qatar (courtesy of my CS guest Nabil), Hongkong and Vietnam, although I have been to ten (10)other countries of Asia - Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore,South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.



Europe

I have been to five (5) countries of Europe namely Paris (France), Sweden,Norway,Finland and Amsterdam and I am lucky to have a stuffed toy in each countries! My nephew from London brought me an England stuffed toy!



Australia

I have been to Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania and got a stuffed toy from each place.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Josef and Gracielle: A Family Wedding

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



I am always thrilled when friends get hitched! And today is one of those days (though the couple -Josef Matthieu and Gracielle are so much younger than me to be referred to as my friends). But I know both of them and I'm very close to Gracielle's family, so I wouldn't miss this event for anything! (so glad the Law Society event I organized got moved to a later date).

Josef and Gracielle's wedding is a family affair (not because it is a clash of cultures like the movie of the same title) but because the family's involvement from planning to the actual wedding is very evident plus of course the fact that LDS temple wedding link families together.



The wedding invitation above is unique and beautiful and was created by Gracielle because the family has a successful printing and design business. It comes in a nicely ribboned box and the statue of Moroni made of fiber glass holds the invitation card.



At the wedding reception, the family involvement is again felt - with Gracielle's sisters manning the reception entrance showing a couple's effigy (which was made out of Gracielle's family business too) and her younger sister recounting the dating and courtship while Gracielle's only brother who is only 10years old telling the proposal! He was so funny and witty at that!! I also observed that the 200 plus guests at the Albergus in Quezon City, are either relatives and friends from their respective LDS wards!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mama Turns 61 Years Old !

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

My mom turns 61 years old today and she wanted no cake coz she thinks she is too old for blowing candles (and dreaded seeing the whole cake with nothing but candles haha). Well,mindful of this request and since November 14 fell on a Sunday, the whole family celebrated my mom's birthday last Friday as part of our five-day vacation in Cebu City.



Everyone wore red tees and proceeded to Hadsan Cove Beach Resort for a dip in the blue water of Mactan! It was one of the most meaningful birthday for my mama coz we were just sealed as a family last Tuesday though simple as it may seem. The togetherness of the whole family made the lechon, grilled porkchop, grilled tambakol (fish), hotdog, banana, ginataang langka eaten with puso tasted so good and my mom couldn't be happier!

To our mami,happy happy birthday! You are not actually 61 but $60.99 plus tax!haha

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cebu City Family Tour: Commuting Here, There and Around

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

As a gift for the family, I want our Cebu trip to be a memorable vacation for everyone without breaking the banks (yea, my banks haha). The goals were: for everyone to experience air travel, perform temple ordinances for the living and the dead, and check out some local sights particularly the beaches! With these in mind and a family of 19 (with 10 kids at that!)all living in Quezon City to bring to Cebu and move around, transportation cost takes a large chunk of the budget.

Lobby of the Patron House, Cebu Temple

The first two goals were easily achieved with cheap round trip flights via Cebu Pacific Airlines (Php 28,500 total) and a family accommodations at the LDS Temple Patron House for only P1,920 for 4N/4D for 19 peeps . For the last goal we have a little bit of an adventure!

Checking In For Our Cebu Pacific Airlines flight at NAIA 3


From Home to NAIA 3 and vice versa
Mode of Transport: Owned Vehicles (Sportivo and Adventure)
Cost: Php 1000 (Php 500 each car)/ Parking Ticket for the Sportivo

From Cebu International Airport to LDS Cebu Temple in Lahug
Mode of Transport: Non-AC Coaster
Cost: Php 1,300

From LDS Cebu Temple to Taoist Temple in Lahug
Mode of Transport: On Foot (Walking)
Cost: Php 0 (with reduced fats!)

Walking To Taoist Temple


From Lahug to CnT Lechon then to Larsian
Mode of Transport: Jeepney
Cost: Php 200

Jeepney commute in Cebu is generally not that bad compared to Manila because there is less traffic and pollution. But avoid traveling by jeepney during rush hour (5:30-6:30pm) if you are a big group like us. We had to split in 3 groups and just met at the Capitol Building to take another jeepney ride to Guadalupe.

Outside of the Capitol Building, Cebu

From Larsian to LDS Cebu Temple
Mode of Transport: 3 Taxi Cabs
Cost: Php 300 (Php 100 each cab)

Near Larsian


From LDS Cebu Temple to Pungko-Pungk at JY Square
Mode of Transport: On Foot
Cost: Php 0

Right outside the LDS Temple


From LDS Cebu Temple to Hadsan Island Cove Beach Resort
Mode of Transport: 3 Taxi Cabs
Cost: Php 300 each cab (Php 900 total) with Php 100 tip

Imee & Francine inside their taxi cab


From Hadsan Island Cove Beach Resort to Cebu International Airport
Mode of Transport: 3 Taxi Cabs
Cost: Php 300 (Php 130/ 170 /and 300)

Family At Hadsan Beach


The going rate for taxi ride from Hadsan Beach to Mactan airport is Php 100 pesos, but our taxi drivers charged higher and varied - Php 130 / 170 and my group taxi driver is the worst - Php 300! I couldn't complained because I paid Php 500 and he just gave me P200 change and left.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cebu City Local Sights Experience: Taoist Temple and Hadsan Beach Resort

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Cebu holds a lot of point of interest for the family so though not the prime purpose for our five-day visit, we alloted Wednesday night and whole day today (Friday) to check the enormous Taoist Temple nearby and dip at Hadsan Beach.

Taoist Temple



Walking distance from where we were staying in Lahug is the Taoist Temple located in the wealthy residential suburb of Beverly Hills. We visited it last Wedneday night (November 10) to have a good view of the sunset and Cebu City, since the temple has an elevation of 300 meters above sea level. It was quite a walk (considering we have kids to carry ) so we arrived at 5pm (just in time for the closing of the temple). The security guard did not allow us entry and we missed seeing the Taoist devotees perform ritual of climbing the 99 steps of the temple to light joss sticks and have their fortunes read by the monks. We consoled ourselves taking pictures from the road and near the parking area.

Hadsan Cove Beach Resort



With the day tour at other resorts costing an arm (P1,700 (with buffet lunch) each person being the cheapest), we settled for Hadsan Beach Resort, an unpretentious,small resort located at Mactan Island. Unlike other resorts, there is no day tour package in Hadsan Beach. You only need to pay an entrance fee of only Php 40 each person, Php 700 cottage and Php 50 for use of shower rooms. This is very affordable and fit with our plan of bringing our own food since our friend from Cebu (Manny Francisco and his wife) are willing to cook for our lunch and dinner.



Though the resort has no landscaping or fancy restaurants within its grounds, it has a natural white sand beach and clear blue warm sea at par with other expensive resorts I have been to in Cebu.



Truly a place to be for the whole family to have a taste of Cebu blue water without going over the budget!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cebu City Street Food Experience: Larsian and Pungko Pungko

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

For a family of 19 staying in Cebu City for five (5) days, it means 15 full meals and lotza lotza snacking!Handsomely,the food takes the biggest chunk of the vacation budget.

Wanting to save a little and to be able to have an authentic Cebu tummy adventure, we considered having two dinners (yesterday and tonight) at what people consider as "streetfood places" And in Cebu you are in for a treat at Larsian and Pungko-Pungko at JY Square in Lahug !



Last night was my nephew JM's 10th birthday and the family was all set to celebrate it at the famous CnT Lechon resto (our family's favorite since I brought home a kilo per family as pasalubong from Cebu years back. Honestly though, I just bought it from CnT Lechon in SM City!).

So for the birthday celebration I searched for the main branch and it was in Guadalupe. We excitedly went there expecting a busy restaurant with a lot of lechon lined up for customers. We were very disappointed to see no lechon,no customers, just regular food in ordinary serving trays as early as 6pm!

To save face with a cranky and hungry family without breaking the budget, we proceeded to Larsian at Fuente Osmena Street.

Larsian Experience



Larsian is one of Cebu's most prominent barbecue havens with tons of barbecue stands offering selections of squid, fish, all parts of chicken and pork cooked as you order. Larsian was a busy place at 7pm (as it opens from late afternoon up until dawn) with all kinds of people rich and poor savoring the unique experience. As everyone enjoyed eating their chosen barbecues with puso (rice wrapped in coconut leaves), my family gamely ate as well with a plastic wrapped around the hands (in lieu of spoon and pork). For a change, we got a birthday cake for dessert!!

Total cost: Php 1,100

Pungko-Pungko at JY Square



To get more of the Cebu street food tripping experience, tonight we walked to the nearby JY Square in Lahug (a few meters away from the Cebu Temple where we were staying) to eat at the well-talked about Pungko Pungko.

Pungko pungko is a Visayan term for the act of squatting. We were told that in the old times, there were no tables and chairs so people would squat down and eat so it was termed "pungko pungko". As the years passed, tables, chairs and tents were added like what we have now.

Unlike Larsian, where chosen barbecue is grilled as you order, pungko pungko food are pre-fried food stuff like egg, veggie roll, pork intestines, chorizo, fish, squid, and a lot more, placed inside square trays or baskets and lined up on the table. Customers just sit down, put plastic around the hands (in lieu of spoon and pork, seems to be the common practice ),get any fried stuff, dip them in spicy vinegar and soy sauce and eat with puso! Customers just memorized what they have eaten for proper accounting at the end.

Though the location was a bit inappropriate (being at a corner of a busy street with smoke belching jeepneys passing by ), the food looks clean and tasted okay. Of course, if you are a bit sensitive I won't recommend the place.

Total Cost: Php 509

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We are Sealed! (November 9, 2010 Cebu Philippines Temple)

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



From now on, November 9, 2010 tops the many memorable family anniversaries that the Ojeda Family celebrates. It is on this date that we were sealed as an eternal family at the Cebu Philippines Temple! What a blessing of joy and happiness that we were able to accomplish this lofty goal after 23 years of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or LDS Church)!



Sealing ceremony is an inspiring and solemn ordinance (rite) performed to bind families together among family members who are living, as well as family members who have gone before us. I know that the sealing of families is the culminating ordinance of the priesthood, and if I am sealed with my family, that blessing can sustain us in this life and console us in death. Toward this end, I had been longing to be sealed with my wonderful family since my baptism last April 11, 1987 ( April 19 & 29,1987 for my brothers and parents).



What a joy it is to be sealed to my parents and my two brothers Mike,Allan and Mary Jean (my deceased sister) (with my youngest brother Joel in the preparation stage)! It was so good to see my sisters - in - law Amy and Belenda witnessed the sealing, Imee participated in the baptism for the dead and the whole family, getting dressed in white joining us for a group picture outside the temple!

Indeed, our family sealing is a dream come true, a fulfillment of a long but rewarding journey for me! As the only unmarried (single) person in the family, I have not been previously sealed to anybody unlike my brothers Kuya Mike and Allan who were both sealed to their own families. So for 23 years, my constant goal and prayers were to have my parents get back to full church activity and be worthy to enter the temple.



Vivid in my memory was our family picture in April 29, 2004 taken on the occasion of my father's birthday. In this picture taken inside the Manila Philippines Temple annex, my family of 13 (parents,3 brothers,3 sisters-in-law and 6 kids in tow), were dressed in white. This picture served as a memorial of our goal to be sealed for time and eternity which we know would mean careful planning and joint efforts from all of us.

Indeed, this family temple blessing is a once -in - a -lifetime experience! A day worth waiting for!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cebu: A Fun Air Travel Experience With The Whole Family

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



I guess after last night's experience,I can write tips on How To Have A Fun Family Air Travel without sounding baloney! (foolish or nonsense that is !)

Yea, I have no kids of my own yet. But I have my parents, 10 young nieces and nephews, 3 brothers and 3 sisters - in - law whom I call 'Family'! All 19 of us traveled to Cebu City for our family temple sealing and vacation slash birthday celebrations for our loving mom's 62nd and nephew JM's 10th birthday.



I had a wonderful experience! No taste of the travel woes and difficulties, cry babies, tantrums here and there, usually involved in group travels involving kids! Everyone just had lots of fun and laughters!

Of course, this memorable experience is not an accident but was a result of careful yet simple planning and preparations.

Booking Tickets,Flight Times & Luggage

I booked our tickets with Cebu Pacific Airlines as early as July 5, 2010 or about four months before our actual trip and availed of a promo price. I got a P1000 per person round trip tickets for a Go Lite plus P500 round trip travel insurance (which was a mistake rather than a conscious choice), but still our tickets cost half of regular ones.



I chose evening flights for our departure and arrival for a less crowded airport. Last night, we had an 8pm Monday flight. Not only it allowed kids to attend classes and adults to work, there was also less traffic and a lot cooler ride on our way to the airport. We had kuya Mike and Imee's family (10 pax) on the Adventure and Allan's family,my parents and myself (9 pax) in the Sportivo. We left the Sportivo at the parking lot and the Adventure driven back home along with the driver of Sportivo. We got to the airport at 5:30pm with the kids still wide awake and excited!

As our tickets were Go Lite (or no checked - in luggage), we have each child brought his own backpack as hand - carried luggage. To create excitement, older kids packed and carried their own stuff. (I told them they can include anything as long they can carry and not be more than 7 kilos and no sharp toys!. I believe this made the kids felt like responsible adults!



Color Coding &Early Checked -In

As NAIA 3 (as any other airports) is not the most kids' friendly place, we have a color theme for our attire to avoid any of the kids getting lost. Girls /ladies wore shirt with shades of pink and our guys/boys wore shades of blue. It was cool to the eyes and great for pics too!!

We arrived at the airport about 2 1/2 hours before our flight. The family lined up while I approached the counter. They didn't have to individually come to the counter but was asked to simply raise their hands. (Tip: To avoid any hassles with the checked-in, please make sure that adults have government - issued I.Ds with pictures and any form of identification for the kids like school I.D or Birth Certificate).



We were given seats 15 -17 (a to f) and 18 (c) so Kuya Mike's Family of 6 occupied Seat 15, Allan's Family of 6 Seat 16 and Joel's Family and my parents occupied Seat 17. I was alone at seat 18 (c).

Dinner & Boarding

Since our flight time was our usual dinner time and knowing that airlines food are not the most tasty option (not to mention more expensive), I made sure we have enough time to have a decent dinner for the entire family. Raku was a great option since they have rice meals, and a free pitcher of water.



After dinner, it was time for two security counters - boarding pass entrance and security point near the gate. We adopted the "2 kids - 1 adult - 2 kids" rule with me as the lead and didn't have to man any child. I was the first and the last to go as I hold the tickets and boarding passes.

We got to the gate on time and learned about the 20 minutes delay in our flight. Well that was alright as we were prepared with snacks (I brought cookies and gummi bears from my Taiwan trip last night) for the children to munch during the added waiting time!



It was around 8:35pm when we heard the boarding announcement. Those families traveling with children were invited to board the plane before other passengers. That was good as it allowed us to stow our luggages ahead of everyone else.

Inside the plane, I was prepared to hear a cry from one or two of the kids. Instead, I heard lots of "wows" and "ohs" as they looked out the windows and gazed at the amazing lights. My 3-year old niece Shanara (maybe sensing the higher altitude to be heaven) asked "Mom, where is Jesus?)

Heavenly!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Taipei 101: Get High To The Top With My Prince...

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



When I am with my prince,it doesn't really matter what we do or where we go. But it seems like we have an unwritten rule - we must check out the tallest building in the place we are visiting!



For this reason, we have been to Eiffel Tower in Paris, Empire State Building in New York, Prudential Building in Boston, and seen tallest buildings in Shanghai, Macau and Hongkong plus our separate visits to KL Petronas Tower, Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Tower and the likes.



Our penchant for tall buildings was satisfied once again last November 5, 2010 during our visit to Taipei 101 also known as the Taipei Financial Center,located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building ranked officially as the world's tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in January 2010.(btw, my prince might be seeing this building in a few weeks during his trip in Dubai!*envy * envy*)



At night, Taipei 101 was spectacular with the lights shining on all the 101 floors (yea, the name of the tower reflects its floor count above ground!) But there are 5 floors underground as well.

We went to the 5th floor to buy tickets for the indoor and an outdoor observation decks. The indoor deck is located on the 89th floor costing NT$400 per person while the outdoor observation deck is on the 91st floor for a separate cost of NT$100 per person. The observation decks are open daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm.



As we enter, our picture was taken at the entrance and shown on the screen with two options: a day view and a night view. The picture is available at the 89th floor mall for NT$350. (I picked the day view because I have some night shots already of the tower and buildings nearby).

The world's fastest elevator (now second fastest because of Burj Khalifa) is also on the 5th foor. It was really fast! There was also some lights show on the ceiling so boarding the lift was not only smooth and quiet but also fun!

At the 89th-floor observation deck, we went around clockwise starting from the Welcome To Taipei 101 sign, gazing at the entire view of the city of Taipei at night, taking pictures here and there (as I was trying the functions of the camera given by my prince) and wandering around checking the nice exhibits,displays on the wall and the huge mass(wind) damper which protects the building from damage in the event of high winds or earthquakes.



We did not go to the 91st-floor outdoor-viewing platform (which was closed because it was raining during our visit). But that was good because it is an extra hundred dollars to climb the extra two stories without any elevator or escalator!

As we leave this spectacular structure, I can't help but feel grateful to be with my prince to enjoy the great views atop the building, seeing things at a sky - high perspective!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Going Solo To LDS Taipei Taiwan Temple & Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



Last November 5, 2010 marked my first attempt at moving out of comfort zone.

I went around alone in Taipei while my prince works. Well, I didn't have to dig deep to find the courage to travel solo as Taipei's roads and transportation system are easy, safe, and fast. Since our hotel is located in between two MRT stations, the MRT metro system is the easiest and fastest mode of transport. Air-conditioned trains arrive every five minutes.

As suggested by my prince, I got myself a One-Day Pass for NT$200 (which includes NT$50 deposit which can be reimbursed within three days of purchase). With the Pass, I can take the MRT for an unlimited number of times before the pass expires at 12 midnight. My One - Day pass has the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall design, a fitting co-incidence because I am going to the LDS Taipei Taiwan Temple which is in the same area as that of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park . Call it hitting two birds with one stone!

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park

Location: Chungshan South Road
How I got there: From Evergreen Laurel Hotel walked to MRT Zongxiao Xinsheng station. Then took a train to Taipei Main Station (Blue line) then changed to Xindian Line (Red Line)and got off at the CKS Memorial Hall Station.



The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park which includes the memorial, the National Concert Hall and the National Theater, is a wide open plaza, surrounded by a long white wall topped with small blue tiled roof.

The Memorial Hall

The Memorial is a massive blue-tiled roof with a golden peak on top. Inside, there is a library which displays photos and mementos of the late president Chiang Kai-shek's life. The plaza in front of the memorial is usually the venue for large scale shows, fairs, public activities and folk performances.

National Concert Hall and National Theater

The National Concert Hall and the National Theater are the two buildings consisting the National Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center. Both halls (with its large white base, dark red columns, bright multicolored eves, and bright yellow glass tiled roof)are important centers for the performing arts in Taiwan.

The National Concert Hall opens daily from 12noon to 9pm while the National Theater opens daily from 12noon to 8pm.

LDS Taipei Taiwan Temple

Location: 256 Ai Kuo East Road, Taipei, Taiwan
Phone Number: (886) 2-2351-0218.
How I got there: From Chiang Kai-shek station I walked straight to Ai-Kuo Road.



Dedicated on November 17–18, 1984 by former prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, the Taipei Taiwan Temple was the first temple built in Taiwan and the third built in Asia. It was constructed with respect for local tradition including a stunning blue tile roof that complements nearby National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial.

The Tempe stands out in Ai-Kou (love of country) Road with its elegant 6-lofty spires design. Around the temple complex is a stake center, patron housing facility, and office building.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Psyched With My Prince In Taipei!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

All my trips ( 20 countries/373 cities according to my blog widget) are special to me in their own way. But those travels which involve meeting my prince or spending time with the love of my life, Mark *wink,wink*, are hugely gratifying! Like right now, I am psyched that I could spend a few days with him here in Taipei,Taiwan from November 4-6, 2010!

Taipei,the northern capital city of Taiwan is teeming and hectic yet fresh and captivating, so much like my prince!

He is on a business trip in the city and his 2D/2N stay will be busy with work stuff leaving a few open times to spend with me. No fret! There is much to do in Taipei (while my prince works) and finding my way around in the city is not hard. Public transport is cheap and reliable and heads to all the main attractions.



As a prelude to collecting heartwarming memories with my prince, I picked him up
at the airport, for a change. Well I scored some cutie points when I volunteered to do that,but almost retracted coz I dread commuting ( and in a foreign country at that!)! Before I could change my mind though, my prince quickly assured me that taxis and buses are very honest in Taiwan so I shouldn't have trouble with the commute. He also advised me to have Chloe write in chinese the places so I can show it to people when I get lost.

I commuted (yahooo!!! I'm a big girl!!). Brave huh. Nah. Mark was right. The commute was easy,smooth, no traffic, no going in circles though taxi was metered, and when the bus stop was no longer operational,the taxi driver called my host Chloe to tell me not to panic as he was going to bring me to another bus stop! Fare was NT$ 420 (Php 600)(but I happily paid NT$ 450 (Php 650) though no tipping in Taiwan). A ticket to the airport on a double decker bus was NT$ 140 (Php 200). The bus left even with only a handful passengers.



I arrived at the airport at exactly 11am (my prince's ETA (expected time of arrival).The airport Terminal 1 was jampacked! There were so many young girls with their cute banners,digicams, cameras and cellphones hailed out for someone famous. I belatedly learned from rumors that Jerry Yan (Dao Ming Si of Meteor Garden's fame)was the reason for the revelry!

Well, my prince is my Dao Ming Si and that makes me his Sanchai (ehem) so I did not bother waiting for Jerry Yan (of course, it is another story if situation is different haha!). As I tried to find my way into the crowd, I bumped into my prince! It was so good to see him. I was psyched!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Keelung,Taiwan: A Night Market Experience!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

When you're in Taiwan a visit to one of the many night markets is a must-do. I have this rare and unexpected visit when my CS host Chloe brought me to Keelung City, a major port city situated in the northeastern part of Taiwan two days ago.



Keelung City is dubbed as the "Food City" maybe largely because of its famous Keelung Miaokou Night Market situated near the Keelung Railway Station. Typical Taiwanese snacks are found everywhere in this night market and so we sampled the glutinous rice and meat balls soup in a busy hawker's stall. Since I am still full from my Costco food sampling, I asked Chloe if we could split one order.

The glutinous rice tasted good and the meat ball soup was fairy decent. We paid NT$ 80 for the meal. Then we went to have desserts. A crashed ice bean curd (or more familiar to me as "frozen taho") tasted so good! It only cost us NT$30 for the two bowls.

Other than food, the Keelung Miaokou Night Market is a shopping mecca with its wide array of goods on sale varying from fresh food ingredients to electronic goods and clothing. I bought a three-in-one magic skirt shown below, which can be worn as a tube long dress,skirt or balloon pants by tying the knots under it!



Keelung City is also dubbed as a "Folklore City" because of the Dianji Temple located inside the busy Miaokou ("temple mouth") night market. This old temple which is said to be the largest temple in Keelung, plays a significant role in the prosperity of Miaokou as the food stalls become favorite destination for local folks and that was also where the business boomed.

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