travel

Nostalgia?

In a bustling small street full of pubs and restaurant at night, a small shop caught my eyes. There were no eye-catching billboard or sign, even the lights were dim. However, the shop walls were decorated with old publications that somehow made it stand out. Its walls were full of old published magazine covers, posters and all kind of other old print outs. Those publications were old and dilapidated and that kind of made you sentimental. I didn’t try to find out the story after this or step inside the shop, I would rather keep the mystery.

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The shop owner stepped in when he saw me taking photo of the shop. Even though I didn’t know any back story, I could tell he was proud of his shop. I only managed to tell him his shop looked great before he rushed inside. But I thought he knew that already.

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Taipei – Beitou hot spring

Even though it was still in Taipei, Beitou brought me a feelings of a Japanese countryside town. This was kind of expected since this area was initially developed by the Japanese. Beitou was perfect for a day trip since you could get there easily by taking the MRT to Xin Beitou station and it had a nice atmosphere, very much different from the bustling city centre. Out of the station, just walked along Zhongshan road and you would find yourself in the quiet mountain village as if you was transported elsewhere far away.

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Zhongshan road viewed from Xin Beitou station

While walking down the road, I could see the hot springs ran along the main street. Wooden bridges and sidewalk brought out a peaceful atmosphere and made it a very comfortable walk.

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one of the wooden bridge over the hot spring

My first stop on the way was Beitou hot springs museum.

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Doesn’t look like a museum or a bathhouse at all, does it?

This museum was originally a public bathhouse built by the Japanese. From the outside, I couldn’t tell which it was at first and even after I found out it was a museum, I didn’t expect it could be that informative and interesting. Shoes had to be left outside but there were clean sandals prepared by the museum so visitors could change into and had a walk around. There were an original public bath, a few gallery rooms, etc. and definitely worth a visit to learn about the history of the Beitou hot spring area.

And next, a very interesting place to me, Plum Garden.

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Plum Garden but there was no plum and obviously not only a garden

I went here for its hot spring, but found this hidden gem. Plum Garden was a summer residence of Yu Youren, I only knew of him that he was a famous calligrapher. This house might look very simple but I assumed it was a luxury one at his time. It was a very well preserved house with history to tell. Many of his calligraphy works were on display.

 

The staffs were very friendly and you could have a sit down and relax, enjoying the tranquility.

Only steps away from Plum Garden, there was Millennium Public bathhouse, a quite old open air public bathhouse. The ticket could be purchased at the ticket vending machine right outside and visitors were required to wear bathing suit (different from most private bathhouse where you would be required to bath naked). It was an interesting experience and of course, who would come to Beitou and didn’t enjoy the hot spring? Too bad taking photo was prohibited so I had no photos to share.

More into the area, there was Puji temple, which clearly showed the strong Japanese influence.

The last but not least, Thermal Valley, the source of all the hot spring in the area. At the end of a nice walk up the road and then a wooden path, there were a steaming pond with a smell of sulfur. It was indeed a nice scene, the mist was all around and the water had a strange shade of green. You could really feel the heat and it wasn’t recommended to stay there for long.

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Thermal valley

I really enjoyed walking around the town and had my day off the busy city. However, Beitou had a laid back atmosphere and everything seemed dated, and that was not for everyone I presumed.

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Flying noodles

I’m always interested in street art for the surprises they bring. I’ve come back to Australia after some times, staying at the same hotel I did last time. And surprisingly, I found a very interesting sculpture on my way from the office back to my hotel. Didn’t know how could I miss it before or was it a newly erected one? Anyway, it was funny that I was so hungry and saw huge noodles flying up in the sky right before my eyes.

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Are they noodles? I’m not sure anymore when I’m not hungry

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Cute? Scary?

I went by this sculpture on my way to a meeting with some friends. They were all saying how cute those lovely birds were. But seriously, how could they think a giant bird with burning eyes staring at you cute? Maybe I’m an oddball here but that was what I’d call scary.

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Is that only my imagination or that bird really is staring at me?

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Don’t just look up

Don’t just look up, sometimes amazing things lie right at your feet.

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My zodiac sign on the yard.

I walked past it a few times yet never noticed this yard had zodiac signs tile decoration on it.

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The Trees – Taguig, Manila, The Philippines

Normally, I’d love the real things better than artificial ones. But this time, I had other opinion.

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A really beautiful sculpture made of stainless steel by Filipino sculptor Rey Paz Contreras in 1997.

Even its nameplate deserved a mention.

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Christmas is coming!!!

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It always brings the warmth, the sight of marketplace when Christmas is near.

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Somewhere in Tokyo #2

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A giant cute green frog figurine, not something you’ll see at a police station everyday, is it?

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Somewhere in the world

Australia

Canberra

Japan

Somewhere in Tokyo     Tokyo #2        Tokyo #3

Germany

Munich #1     Munich #2

Philippines, The

Taguig, Manila #1

Singapore

Singapore #1 

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Somewhere in Tokyo

On my way to the appointment, I spotted this one in Ginza, mischievous Eros was waiting for his victim.

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Too bad I was in a hurry so I couldn’t stop and take another photo of him with bow and arrows from the other side.

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The appointment ended successfully, going out of the office building, I had a glance of the cafeteria, and this one caught my eyes. Before my trip to Japan, I had read many travel blogs, JBRs and reviews so I knew Japan had the plastic food sample culture and what to expect out of it. But seriously, this one was inedible? It looked so realistic and delicious.  food_sample

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