Finally got my hands on the white version of this ever-so-popular sweater. I wore a similar item in pink some time ago, but I’ve always wanted a white one that I can wear with anything, regardless of the season. True enough, it perfectly matched the royal blue shorts and ankle strap heels I wore to an afternoon coffee date with the boyfriend. I changed to black skinny pants and black pointy pumps in the evening for a more polished look.
Ankle straps are typically not recommended for vertically-challenged girls because they visually cut the leg off at the ankle and give the illusion of shorter legs, but if the heel height is high enough and your legs are your greatest asset, why not?
Never mind that my title totally sounds like a campaign for recycling. Dresses are really my lifesavers this summer, and I must say that this particular one is such a fun piece to wear. White dresses make the best templates for experimentation. Imagine it like a clean sheet of paper that has yet to be modified in any way. The possibilities are endless!
Second time in Taipei but only properly blogging about it now because the last trip was already about a decade ago. My family and I never really got around to visiting Taiwan again (together) until this trip last January. We were too obsessed with Japan. However, for the first time, I was actually glad that we didn’t go through with our usual Christmas in Kyushu tradition because Taipei proved to be such a wonderful place! I didn’t have any free time to roam around on my own the last time, so this time I was able to immerse myself and get my bearings better.
Some people who like Asian culture prefer places like Hong Kong, Japan or Korea as holiday/shopping destinations, but little did they know that they can find a little bit of each culture in Taiwan. I had so much fun shopping because aside from the awesome local brands that they had, Japanese and Korean brands were also readily available.
Things were all affordable too. You can get by with so little but still be able to experience the most awesome-tasting food and drinks! Transportation was quite reasonable as well - their train system was planned by the Japanese so it’s very efficient (even more efficient than Tokyo itself, imho) and not at all difficult to understand.
I can really see myself coming back to Taiwan more often! Mostly for shopping and food.
After checking in at our hotel, we walked a few blocks to the nearest Din Tai Fung for lunch. We stayed at Zhongxiao (Dunhua) / Daan District area, which is, imho, the best place to stay in Taiwan if you more or less like the same stuff as me.
Style spotting. Matching boots and coat.
Walked all the way to Sun Yat Sen Memorial where you can see Taipei 101 in the background. Didn’t really stay long here because the place was huge, but inside you can find a lot of historical displays of Sun Yat Sen’s life and the revolution that he led.
Snapped on our way to Eslite Mall where we geeked out on books! No photos of the place but you can find it along Xinyi Road on the way to Taipei 101.
Outside was this Johnny Walker display that apparently spells out Happy New Year or something if you look at it from a certain angle.
I only found out AFTER I came back to Manila. Crissey was in Taiwan with her family the week before we went, and she took a picture of the same thing. Psychic #Trissey powers.
Taipei 101 used to be the world’s tallest tower from 2004 to 2010. It looks so little in these pictures but it is actually massive! Taking a picture of the whole thing is virtually impossible unless you do it from a distance.
There’s a high-end shopping mall on the 1st-5th floors, but we headed straight for the top to check out how Taipei looks like at night. There’s an outdoor observatory deck and an indoor one on the 88th-91st floors.
On the top floor (101st) is, as you would expect, a restaurant/club.
Lights were relatively dim compared to other cities I’ve seen from towers at night, but it only adds to the quiet, understated charm that Taiwan has.
The most well-lit place was this basketball court.
The 600+ ton steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper (the biggest in the world). It exists to offset movements in the building that are caused by strong winds, etc.
Had dinner at a restaurant called South Beauty in ATT 4 FUN, a mall near Taipei 101. Everything was so good and nothing hurt.
Perfect strawberry shortcakes (my favorite kind of cake) on the way back to the hotel.
Same face, different hair.
The next morning, we had a lot of free time to kill before our tour in the afternoon. We just booked the tour the day before via our hotel concierge. This is our idea of a vacation.
Walking to the nearest shopping mall, (Pacific) SOGO.
Was immediately greeted by LIZ LISA. I felt at home already, lol.
Near the mall (which was also near our hotel) was FAVVI@hotel. FAVVI stores selling Japanese brands are all over the city but the brands they sell in each one are different.
Tour time! First stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.
I grew up always hearing about Chiang Kai Shek because my dad graduated from the Chinese school of the same name here in Manila.
In elementary and high school, I loved studying history, and it was never a chore for me to read about Chinese (and Asian and World history in general) history.
It helps to be a geek early in life - the enjoyment that I got from studying history and from anime/manga was the same kind of enjoyment.
Coming to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, I felt like we were best friends already, lol. Everything was so familiar.
Changing of the guards. One of them looked like a K-pop idol!
Red hair, don’t care!
One of the Japanese girls from the same tour group came up to me and told me that she liked my outfit and that she thought I was pretty. Japanese standard of beauty - UNLOCKED?!
I told her I just had tons of make-up on and that anyone could look decent with the right tools and techniques, lol. #soannoying #humblebrag
National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine.
Mom and I.
Just in time for another one of these changing of the guards things. My brothers were joking about how these people were the same ones from Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, lol.
Visited a temple in the middle of a residential area.
Took this on the way back to the hotel. Sadly, I couldn’t really take photos of the National Palace Museum since it was forbidden.
Still, the place is a must-see! Watch out for the famous Jade Cabbage.
Nighttime shopping at FAVVI@party which is about 5-7 minutes walk from our hotel.
Zhongxiao Dunhua side and back streets are the best thing ever! If you see all the fashionable people from the nearest station walking in the same direction, this is probably where they’re headed. It’s like a mini Harajuku slash Myeongdong where everyone in the street is well-dressed and where all the local, independent stores are to die for.
I’m still not over this place! I went shopping here almost every day I was in Taiwan because I always found something I wanted every single time. Will post more photos taken in daylight in my next entry.
I guess the reason why I love it so much is because you can’t really find the same items in the mall? Maybe you can find some similar stuff in Ximending, but the vibe here is quirkier and more artsy. I’m a sucker for places like these.
This store combined two coats together to create this unique two-tone look. Who would’ve thought this could work?
Bought a fluffy pink sweater here! My mom also found some items that fit her style. Don’t be afraid to bring your parents here because they might find some things they like too.
Lots of cute cafes and restaurants here! Don’t know if any of them are good but they all seem pretty and picturesque!
Lots of men’s fashion here too. More than the ones you can find in the mall.
One of my favorite places in this area is ARTIFACTS! Very reminiscent of Opening Ceremony.
Cute window display at the Stay Real cafe.
3 CONCEPT EYES HEAVEN! Among all Korean cosmetic brands, I believe in this brand the most. I’ve been using a lot of their lip products recently and everything works like a charm!
I found this at a beauty store that also sells Taiwanese and Japanese beauty products. Don’t count on me to give the store name because I can’t with Mandarin, haha
Dirty Pretty! This place reminded me so much of Harajuku!
When in Taipei, you can’t NOT try the street food.
Miracles… in January!
Taiwan has the biggest obsession with EXO so it was fun going inside stores and hearing Growl everywhere.
Interestingly, on the day of my departure, EXO arrived from Korea! Too bad my flight was in the afternoon and they already arrived around noon.
3CE make-up haul. I highly recommend the lip crayons (though make sure you also buy the sharpener too) and this “More Brown” eyeshadow set. It has become an essential part of my everyday eye make-up routine.
Will post the next one very soon because *le gasp* I have 5 pending Tokyo entries and I have to rush everything before I leave for the US this May and June!
My dream is to have a life here in Manila that is as interesting as my travels. I need to go out more so I can post more travel entries!
I call this dress my parent-approved dress. My mom and dad both commented on separation occasions how much they liked it, with my mom even asking if she could even get one for herself. I guess all parents want their daughters to dress as modestly as possible. Good thing I’ve always had a very conservative sense of style? We’ve never had any major arguments about the stuff that I wear on a daily basis.
This brings me to the idea that I just might be compensating for my plain sense of style by changing hair color and hair style often. Sounds about feasible!
Third time’s the charm! It’s only April and I’ve already dyed my hair 3 different colors this year. I solemnly swear to keep my new color longer now that maintenance is much, much easier.
As for my previous color, the ash washed off easily. I take all the blame because I absolutely cannot stand not washing my hair for long periods of time (I know some people don’t shampoo for more than 5 days but umm, no) and I was left with this shade of blonde that I hated with a passion.
My trip to Tokyo was also quite detrimental to my hair because I didn’t bring any of my existing haircare products with me in my luggage. Because SHOPPING! /priorities
Some of the ash remained, making my hair a bit decent-looking in photos. IRL, however, the color looked so uneven that I had to do something about it asap.
These ugly roots. Kill them before they lay eggs.
I asked my hairstylist Jimmy of Status Salon Tomas Morato to choose a healthier, darker shade of brown that is easy to maintain.
We dubbed it as “golden coffee brown”.
While waiting, I had my nails done too. Fell in love with this light lavender (ORLY Bon Bon).
After washing the dye off, they put some sort of treatment on my hair to make it smooth and shiny. Best part = free head and shoulder massage!
Time to blowdry!
OBSESSED! I love my current new hair color because it’s such a perfect in-between shade. Not so light yet not so dark.
Jimmy recommended that I get a trim but I decided not to. I really, really, REALLY miss my long hair and I’d do anything to get the best of both worlds right now. A trim is something that is unimaginable at the moment.
Good thing Status Salon offers human hair extensions! These are only clip-ons so you can always opt to keep your short-medium length hair on off-days.
They dyed the extensions the same color as my hair. You can save a lot of time if you have black hair because they don’t need to dye the extensions anymore.
So happy with the result! Now I can go out with either medium length hair or long hair depending on my outfit or mood.
The extensions look so much better when they’re curled but this photo is only to show how many inches I was able to add to my current hair length.
SNSD Mr. Mr. dreams achieved! I couldn’t watch any of their performances without wanting to have hair as long and shiny as theirs. Now, with Status Salon extensions, I can have more hairstyling options!
Thanks Status Salon Tomas Morato branch for the transformation!