Archive for the ‘places’ Category

December 15, 2016

Taiwan – Taipei & Hualien

What do I think of that Taiwan trip? It was pretty good, I must say. Some hits and misses. The places that I planned came out as what I’ve expected to be, some even surprisingly better – especially that Taroko National Park at Hualien. Boy is that place fucking beautiful. Anyway, there’s still a list of places which I think you guys should fucking stay away like a plaque, and here are the shitholes to avoid:

Places to skip
[Taipei] Bopiliao Historical block 剝皮寮歷史街區: It’s just a group of buildings with red bricks and overhyped name. It’s as if someone has abandoned the building halfway and decided that it should look special. And you can tell that someone desperately tried really hard to make this place to be as hip as possible, but failed utterly. Everything here is drab and uninteresting, and has little cultural value. The day I traveled, they even put on a free movie in a hall, in hope to attract some tourists… but none of the chairs was occupied.

[Taipei] Taipei Zoo 臺北市立動物園: One of the shittiest zoo I’ve ever seen (only place worse was that Melaka’s A-Famose or something zoo). Place was poorly maintained with lots of empty cages (animals must’ve killed themselves out of sheer depression) and run down facilities. The place reeks of animal wastes, and a lot of the attractions are closed down. I was there for only a couple of hours, and half of the time was spent on cussing and getting disappointed.

[Taipei] Maokong 貓空: A boring cable car ride up to a hill of nothingness, and you have to spend a long time commuting here. The only thing to do here, is food and tea. There are no sights for you to marvel at (most of the Taipei city view was partially blocked by a couple of stupid hills), nor stuff for you to engrossed with. It’s just another area for food/tea with jacked up prices. Some people say it’s a place to relax. Fuck that. You can go relax at better places in the city with much cheaper price. If you would like to compare, even Penang Hill (the shithole) is a better place. Stay away.

[Near Taipei] Houtong Cat Village 猴硐貓村: The fucking place is a shithole. It’s an ex-mining town (with an abandoned mine) and lots of cats. So, as expected, all you get to see here is a bunch of rusted ruins from the mine and a fuckload of fat cats. Dumbass tourists would take pictures of cats like they’re special or something (but they aren’t. they’re just common cats) and giggle and shit. I bet if it were to be known as a Dick Village, the attention would just switch our dicks instead. It’s just so fucking dumb of a place.

[Near Taipei] Jinguashi 金瓜石 / Golden Waterfall 黃金瀑布 / Yin Yang sea 陰陽海: Who in their right mind would turn an irreversible environmental damage place to a tourist attraction? The Taiwanese. Here in this region, the place used to be a gold mine or something, and the mining industry had caused one of the rivers to be discolored, toxic and smells rotten. Sure enough, the view is one of a kind, but the thought that men had done this to the environment really makes it a sad case, and is not my kind of shit (I don’t know about you).

[Hualien] Nanbin Park 太平洋公園: Hualien city itself has nothing, so naturally, people tend to flock to the sea side in their desperate bid to find something to do. Unlike Cixingtan 七星潭, Nanbin Park at Hualien is a shithole, and looks abandoned. There’s an incomplete (or was it abandoned?) walkway there that is a sore to the eyes. I was expecting the park to be teeming with recreational activities or at least a bike rental stall like what we have in Penang, but instead, I see emptiness. What a fucking waste of space and time.

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December 11, 2016

Taipei & Hualien, Taiwan – Itinerary and planning (5 days, 7 nights)

Found a really good flight deal for Taipei on the first week of December when I came back from Germany back in June, and I booked it immediately. And I finally did the trip last week. Here’s the itinerary. As usual, read the disclaimer before proceed…

Disclaimer:
– Taiwan is known to have very unpredictable weather (especially at Taroko Gorge). It is known to rain at least expected times, has earthquakes and shit. If you’re doing your own planning, please make it as dynamic and as flexible as possible. The length of 5 days and 7 nights was a risky gamble for me, but luckily for us, it paid off (we did not encounter a single rainy day despite the inclement weather forecast). I wouldn’t recommend to do it this short.
– In December, Taiwan has a relatively short daylight. It starts to get dark at about 5pm (fuck me). So, plan your itinerary well.
– This is an itinerary post, I’ll do a separate post for what I think about the places I’ve visited.
– This was planned based on 3 pax – my wife, my 10-yo daughter, and myself. If you’re planning for a group of more than 4, this probably won’t work for you.
– The main objective is to hunt food at Taipei, and to experience Taroko Gorge (Hualien) in its glory. Ergo, it has a lot of walking (Taipei) and hiking (Taroko). With the exception of one day excursion to the Taipei Zoo, there are no other kid themed visits. This won’t be for you if you have a small child in your group.
– If you have a fear of heights, doing Taroko Gorge is probably a fucking bad idea.
– If you have a fear of crowds, Taipei is probably not for you too. That place is just mad with people.

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June 12, 2016

Bavaria, Germany 2016 – Itinerary and planning (11 days)

Went to Germany recently and was requested by some friends to share the itinerary… and I thought, why the hell not make this a thing in my blog? So here it is. But before you proceed, read the disclaimer…

Disclaimer:
– This is a summer trip, made for June 2016. It won’t work for winter.
– This was planned based on 3 pax – my wife, my then-9-yo daughter, and myself. If you’re planning for a of group more than 4, this probably won’t work for you.
– This trip has a lot of hiking at mainly these 3 areas: Fellhorn-Kanzelwand (2 peaks), Nebelhorn and Neuner köpfle. No theme parks, no zoos, no sunny beaches. This won’t be for you if you have a small child in your group.
– The trip requires one to be reasonably fit to do it (as I’ve learnt the hard way…) and requires some special gears (tough hiking shoes, outdoor jacket, hiking poles)
– There will be some side trips at Munich, Schwangau, Lindau and Frankfurt areas as well. You’d see them below.
– You’ve gotta know how to fucking read a map. My wife for example, isn’t good with maps. If she’s going alone, it’d be the last time I see her. I use both maps and GPS (sometimes unreliable) to get my bearings right. Despite the advent of cellphones, I sometimes find paper maps more convenient.
– Hiking trip and a lot of walking. Prep yourself to be outdoor. Raincoats/jackets, travel umrellas, hiking shoes/gears, etc.
– A lot of train and bus rides as well. If you have motion sickness (like me), you’ll be in for a tough time.

(expect a long post after the jump)
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October 27, 2015

Port Dickson

Made a trip to Port Dickson with my wife and kid last month. Reason: We needed to unwind and we’ve never been to Port Dickson so… it became our short getaway trip.

The Plan:
– drive to Ipoh (start damn early in the morning)
– have an awesome dim sum breakfast at Ipoh.
– visit a limestone cave at Ipoh.
– drive to Port Dickson and just in time for lunch.
– have an awesome lunch at Port Dickson.
– grab some groceries and beer.
– check in to the hotel. drink beer. soak in pool. relax.
– by the time I’m done pooling, it should be just in time for dinner.
– have an awesome dinner at Port Dickson.
– back to hotel, more pool time.
– sleep. pool. leave.
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May 6, 2015

My wife’s hometown

…is a shithole.

I’ve been married for 13 years and the one thing that grinds my gears about my marriage has got to be my wife’s hometown, Pantai Remis (PR). Most of you probably haven’t heard of this place. For those of you who have, you probably had known it from the infamous oil spill incident near this shithole many years ago. It is located in the state of Perak, about a good 40km away from the port of Lumut. (If you still have no idea where it is, you should just swallow a box of thumbtacks.)

It is a small town with less than 20,000 inhabitants, built around the fishing industry (and later palm-oil). Initially when the place was first established, there were just shanties built by some fishermen lying around this coastal area along an old highway which linked Lumut to other more civilized parts of Perak (Taiping, Ipoh, et al). Population here then swelled because these fishermen lacked of entertainment, and PR became this unofficial rest-stop for truck drivers looking for a good meal along the highway. Truck drivers soon got integrated with the locals, and boom! This shithole was born. Despite being such a cibai small town, it now has a few sets of traffic light adorning its usually-empty crossroads without serving any purpose other than jamming up the high volume of vehicles plying the highway. To make things worse, the trucks narrow the shit down even further (yes, trucks still stop here). Whenever there’s a holiday, shit gets escalated a few folds and makes this place a jam-fest like it’s in the streets of Bangkok.

The air here is always foul with the smell from the fishermen’s jetties, pigsties and farms around the area. Garbage is strewn everywhere and the roads here have more potholes than people on the surface of this planet. Most of the drains here are clogged with leachate from unregulated small-medium-home factories in the community and uncollected garbage dumps. At certain time of the year, the place will be choked with smog from excessive incense and agricultural burning (from the palm-oil estate). Flies thrive here like hippies in America and they hold free will gathering anywhere they like. There’s at least one blackout every week, and having a generator set in a building is compulsory.

The people here are mostly fucked up too. Majority are Chinese, with a big percentage of them loafers, thugs and gangsters. These social garbage and delinquents swarm around PR town on motorcycles without wearing helmets and without regards to the traffic rules (which worsens the already fucked up traffic). Those who aren’t thugs or gangsters and born with some sense in them, would leave the town to seek for a better future, just like my wife (you’d see shitloads of cars with foreign plates jamming this place up during Chinese New Year). There’s 1 police station in PR, and it does nothing other than having a building/presence here (occasional roadblocks, mostly during Ramadhan month, if you know what I mean). That’s why the community here has its own voluntary neighborhood watch committee to keep things together. Rumor mongering is rampant, because every housewife knows everybody and their prying eyes become their source of information to fuel their daily gossip with equally nosy neighbors. Success stories and wealth become trophies for tales, and often leads to desperation. That is why the people here cheat/con one another for their own selfish gain, and this is as common as fleas to a stray dog.

I know I can always stay away from this place like a plaque, but this is where the problem lies. In relative to its distance from Penang, it is not far enough for my family to defer any trip there. Excuse is harder to fabricate when the hometown is this near and that put me in such predicament that no words can ever describe. Every 2 – 3 weeks, I’ll have to drive my wife back to her hometown (a 1.75 hr journey) and promptly drive back (another 1.75 hr journey) because I couldn’t stand spending an extra minute there. End of the weekend, I’d make the to-fro journey again to get her back to Penang. This has put extra mileage to my car, and that was why I changed to a hybrid vehicle 3 years ago to cut my losses.

The only thing that this place did right for me, was to churn out someone as decent as my wife. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have met her and have this great daughter/family together. Hell, I’d probably be married to terrible bitch from another planet, which would have been way worse. A decent wife with a shitty hometown is hands-down a better trade off than a fucked up bitch with a good hometown. Comes with the territory, I suppose. Nothing’s perfect.

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