Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kaohsiung Travel: Pier-2 Art District

Whether or not you are a lover of the arts, Pier-2 Art District in Kaohsiung is a must-visit. The whole area consisted of old warehouses converted into art galleries, art installations, boutiques, bookstores and cafes. It’s totally the kind of thing I love during travels because they are therapy to my soul. The whole area is divided into 3 areas and you can cover everything on foot. Some of the galleries are FOC, but others are by paid admission only.

20170110_14285820170110_143133

This pair of fat lady & fat man appear everywhere in this district, dressed in different attires. They must be the icons of this place.

20170110_14330020170110_14334220170110_143521

I especially was captivated by the colorful wall murals and interesting art installations everywhere. Keep your eyes open because you just might miss the really tiny ones. :)

20170110_14484820170110_14494520170110_14502920170110_14512420170110_14522320170110_15034420170110_15035320170110_150948

This cheeky boy peeing made me smile when I accidentally stumbled upon him as well. The surprise is that the pee comes on periodically! LOL! You can check my instagram for the boomerang version. =P

20170110_153647
unnamed
20170110_153948 20170110_153953(0) 20170110_15395920170110_15544420170110_15560420170110_16005320170110_160330

Look out for this interesting upside down house at Pier-2!

20170110_16284020170110_163108

When you come to this area with the abandoned railway tracks, that marks the end of Pier-2 Art Centre. This is a great spot to chill with your family & friends during the evening, when the sunset orange glows are in the sky. =)

20170110_163125

Getting to Pier-2 Art District:
Alight at Yanchengpu Station(O2 station) exit 1, walk for five minutes along Dayong Road and you will arrive there.
or alight at Sizihwan Station(O1 station) exit 2, walk for two minutes along West Side Harbor Line Bike Path and you will arrive there.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Orange Hotel Liuhe Kaohsiung–A Home Away From Home

Media Review

The husband and I just got back from our first trip to Kaohsiung, and It was FUN! =D

We love Taiwan as a holiday destination because of the amazing and affordable food and shopping, but we usually visit only Taipei. This time round, we had the chance to visit Kaohsiung, by the kind invitation of Orange Hotel Liuhe Kaohsiung and omy.sg, and we really enjoyed our short but relaxing 3D2N stay in the city. Taipei is a very warm and hospitable country, and we always felt at home whenever we visit. Kaohsiung is no different, if not even more so! From the strangers on the streets who went the extra mile to help us when we were finding our directions, to the bus and taxi drivers, everyone was just so nice and friendly.

20170111_214345

The hotel is conveniently located near to two subway stations – Farmosa Boulevard (12-min walk) and Sinyi Elementary School (5-min walk). Farmosa Bouleward is a main interchange, so you can get to most places of interests in Kaohsiung, railway station and airport easily. Just so you know – You won’t want to miss the special light show happening at the station everyday at specific timings. Look at how colourful the ceilings of the station lobby is (photo above) – The light show is definitely worth catching!

IMG_1963

Stepping into Orange Hotel Liuhe Kaohsiung was a lovely experience on its own. The staff was fast in settling our check-in procedures and graciously allowed us to do an early check-in, so that we can freshen up before exploring the city. I was pleasantly surprised at the size of our room – It was much bigger than other hotels I’ve stayed in Taiwan.

IMG_1868 IMG_1869

Apart from a large bed, there was space for a writing desk as well as a sofa in the room as well!

IMG_1861

We requested for extra pillows and they arrived within five minutes, which was pretty awesome service. For a budget hotel, I would have expected some wait time.

IMG_1862IMG_1863 IMG_1865IMG_1864

While Orange Hotel may not be a five-star hotel, it is one of the best mid-range hotels you can stay at in Kaohsiung. For the service level you get, I say it’s definitely value-for-money. Daily breakfast is included and you can enjoy them conveniently at the basement level of the hotel everyday.

IMG_1870IMG_1871IMG_1872IMG_1873IMG_1874IMG_1875 IMG_1876IMG_1877 IMG_1878IMG_1879 IMG_1880IMG_1881

If you would like to explore other food options, there are many options available just outside the hotel as well! This particular restaurant – Zheng Zhong Pork Rib Rice – is definitely recommended. It’s just located diagonally opposite the hotel with a gigantic signage, so you will not miss it. The portions are generous and everything including the side dishes are delicious. What’s more, for a decently big portion like this, you only pay slightly more than S$3. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is. =P

20170112_164652 (1) IMG_20170112_171921_394

Orange Hotel Liuhe Kaohsiung
Address:No.92, Liuhe 1st Rd., SinSing Dist., Kaohsiung City 800, Taiwan
TEL:+886-7-2392222 FAX:+886-7-2397899

Disclosure: The J Babies was sponsored 3D2N accommodation at Orange Hotel Liuhe Kaohsiung for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions & photographs used in this post are solely ours.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

20 Must-Dos On Your First Visit To Seoul:

You can read earlier posts in this series here.

Seoul Must-Do #14: Leave Your Lock On Namsan

I know how cheesy this is, but all first-timers to Seoul must do it! And even if you are strongly against wasting money on locks and writing mushy sweet-nothings on them, Namsan is still a must-go destination. The air’s good and fresh up there, and you get superb views of the city. It’s always crazy packed with people, but it is a lovely experience just being up there.

Before I even talk about Namsan, I feel the need to talk about the journey there. You get off at Myeongdong Station and take a pretty long walk to the cable car station that will bring you up to Namsan, but this walk is pretty interesting, with many murals and Pororo characters for photo ops. Kid fans of Pororo will be very thrilled, I’m sure!

20160906_17245420160906_172520 20160906_17260420160906_172809 20160906_17285120160906_17290720160906_17294720160906_17360420160906_172416 20160906_172430

Up on Namsan, if you have lots of free time on hand (Read: Boliao enough), you can read what others wrote on their locks. There are so many of them and the last I heard, the government would be removing them in batches because they have gotten too heavy and may be hazardous if they all fall off one fine day.

20160906_175336

Yes you can bring your own padlocks but there are vendors there selling as well. We bought ours there and marked our 14th wedding anniversary there. Well, 14 years is reason legit enough for something as cheesy as this, no?

20160906_175836 20160906_18005620160906_18003220160906_180331

The Seoul tower in the distance is accessible by buying separate tickets. I really dun think the views up there are nice at all, especially when the window panes are all dusty and misty, so don’t expect to take clear and sharp photos up there. But then again, it’s another kind of a ‘first-timers-should-do’ kind of thing. Once is really more than enough.

20160906_180447

That’s the best I could capture from up there after 110938129413 tries. Not exaggerating because there’s really nothing else you can do except take photos when you are up there on Seoul Tower, unless you want to spend a bomb on dinner at their restaurant.

20160906_18162720160906_181647 20160906_19390220160906_193120

To get to Namsan:
Myeongdong Station Exit 3
Take the wide road next to 7 Eleven convenience store, then walk straight to the left of Pacific Hotel & keep walking up in the direction of Mt. Namsan where the cable car platform is situated. Need to take cable car up to tower.

Seoul Must-Do #15: Try Different Lattes!

I love it that there are different lattes to try in Seoul, and I’m positive they will all be here in Singapore in no time. Before that happens, make sure you drink to your heart’s content when you are in Seoul. My favourites are Sweet Potato Latte and Black Bean Latte – both of which were fragrant, moderately sweet and very comforting on the tummy. Not exaggerating, but there is a sense of bliss when I was savouring the drinks in the cool weather in Seoul.

Capture

Seoul Must-Do #16: Have A Fried Chicken Feast!

Oh yes, you must! For an even more authentic experience, order home delivery of a bucket of fried chicken and enjoy it with beer in your hotel room or apartment! We have a little thing about keeping our hotel free from weird smells, so we ate directly in a restaurant. There is something different about fried chicken in Seoul – How do they do it so darn well?!

This restaurant - Dosirack Chicken - in Hongdae offers a set meal with fried chicken, pasta and side dishes – Everything was yummy and we couldn’t finish the big portion. Nonetheless, one of our most satisfying meals in Seoul.

20160907_210701
20160907_211659

The fried chicken was soooooo juicy on the inside and perfectly crispy & light on the outside. Can we do chicken like that in Singapore, please?!

20160907_211722 20160907_211729

And that brings me to my next point – My all-time fav place in Seoul.

Seoul Must-Do #17: Spend A Relaxing Night At Hongdae

We liked the place so much, we returned on two other nights. There are abundant dining and shopping options here, as well as street performances – really solid & good-quality street performances that would leave you mesmerized. It’s a little like Ximending in Taipei. Many people would sit around and chill while enjoying the performances and then leave some dimes for the performers before they leave. I love this culture – Young people get a chance to display their talents and grow bolder during public performances. Great atmosphere & ambience!

image
Image result for hongdae
(Image source: https://socoolkorea.com/2015/03/31/night-out-in-neverland-hongdae/)

Hongdae is accessible from Hongik University Station.

Final post in this series coming up next as I conclude the 20 Must-Do in Seoul.