Taipei January 2014 Part 2

Posted on Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Our next few days in Taipei were spent just going around the city for random sightseeing and possible shopping! I say “random” and “possible” because we literally did not have an itinerary, and my whole family was depending on me to Google and ask Crissey (who went with her family to Taipei the week before us) where to go. Secretly, I like organizing these things. In a parallel universe, I’d probably be a flight attendant, travel agent or a tour guide. If I have control over the itinerary, I can go to all the places I want, trolololol. #thisfaillogic

We’ve already went to the touristy places outside the city during our first trip to Taiwan, so this trip was pretty much for “relaxation” a.k.a. non-stop shopping and eating.

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Early morning photo of me at the park near Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, another high-end Japanese department store with malls all over the country.

They had IPPUDO here! Made me miss Fukuoka a bit.

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DURAS! By this time, I wasn’t surprised anymore to see Japanese brands so readily available. 

SO JEALOUS THO.

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E hyphen world gallery!

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Brothers waiting outside the mall.

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Wild Ryhorn appeared!

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Had the most awesome yakiniku lunch at Hutong.

Red scarves were in.

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Spotted on the way to the nearest station. Lovely street style! 

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Single-journey token. SO CUTE.

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Me outside the Red Theater in Ximending. 

This place has been around for more than a hundred years now. It was built during the Japanese rule and was designed by a Japanese architect even though the style is totally Western. 

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Inside, you can find a small exhibit about the building, as well as a mini-bazaar of sorts where you can find some quirky products made by young artists and designers.

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My brother Juju came to Taiwan some time ago to watch a Miyavi concert. He showed us where it was held!

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Red on red.

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Ximending time! Chocoolate is a brand that I always see in Hong Kong and Macau. Good to see it here too!

Bruce Wayne seems like a fan.

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Quirky snapbacks everywhere! 

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In my last post, I mentioned that Taiwan had the craziest obsession with EXO. So many girls were taking pictures of the cardboard!Luhan outside Nature Republic.

Hello to Taeyeon at the back! 

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WE WENT TO MODERN TOILET. And it was gross. What would you expect?

Modern Toilet is a bathroom-themed restaurant where your food gets served on mini toilet bowls and urinals. Taste is nothing spectacular but I guess people just go there for the experience.

So glad I was able to cross this out of my list of things to do in Taiwan!

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So many of these printed sweaters and outerwear in Ximending! I guess it was all the rage back in January.

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There’s a store in Ximending called Mag Freak (or something similar to that) and they have the latest issues of Japanese magazines!

Of course, no travel post (in Asia) will ever be complete without some Arashi.

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I also found a store (sadly the name of the store was in Chinese, lol, but it was about 5 minutes walk from the Red Theater) that sold Japanese and Korean music CDs and concert DVDs!

Got myself a copy of Arashi’s Popcorn.

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Adorable Hello Kitty sneakers for kids.

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Taipei is such a dog-friendly place. I’ve never seen a better place where dogs and humans coexist! So many establishments allowed dogs, and so many people also brought their dogs around with them everywhere. 

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Costumes for small dogs! 

Would buy these in a heartbeat if only our dogs didn’t weigh more than 70 lbs, lol.

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CANDIED STRAWBERRIES! It’s hard to focus on just one agenda in Ximending. After every block, you’ll get distracted by all kinds of yummy street food.

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Most people call Ximending a mini-Shibuya. There are similarities but I personally think they have their own charms! 

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Pink-haired girl outside the station.

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Wedding photoshoot in the middle of the street.

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The next day, we found Spongebob and his mom.

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No, but seriously, we killed time by walking around the city again.

Somehow, my legs turn into steel when I’m traveling. I can walk for hours and never get tired. 

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We went to Songshan Cultural and Creative Park thinking we would find something like a mini Central Park where we could take pictures of pretty trees and flowers.

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But we were greeted by this new mall called Eslite Spectrum where we spent the whole morning spazzing over the stores inside. #priorities

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(EMODA necklace, top and skirt, Jeanasis coat, Urban Outfitters boots) Hype this look on Lookbook here.

Took some full body photos because I was starting to forget that I also document my outfits on this blog, lol.

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PLAY by Comme des Garçons for Converse.

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Accessories store display inside the mall.

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Can I live here?

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Had another awesome lunch at a restaurant inside Eslite Spectrum. You can never go wrong with food in Taiwan! 

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Band practice!

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Dropped by the famous Hello Kitty cafe. Didn’t try anything because of the mixed (leaning on bad) reviews, but I’m glad they let me take pictures! 

This place is only about 10-15 minutes away from our hotel. I told you Zhongxiao Dunhua / Daan District / whatever you call it = the place to be. Barbie Cafe was also in the area.

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Too pretty to eat.

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There’s a box on the road where motorcycles are supposed to stay while waiting for the traffic light. I wish we had something similar here too so our roads could be a wee bit more organized.

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Quirky fashion stores were everywhere in our area! Lucky! I love Taipei!

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Street food break. You’ll wonder how the Taiwanese are all able to maintain their slim figures. Because FOOD. 

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Nighttime stroll.

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This little fluffy fella was patiently waiting for his/her owner who was fitting clothes inside the store.  

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On the day of our flight, we went to mass in the morning. On our way back to the hotel, I found little red riding hood walking with her mom at the park!

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Had a fixation on middle parts last January.

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Perfect weather. Note to self: first week of January is a great time to go to Taipei.

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Cool-looking station by the park. Spotted a cosplayer and a photographer having a mini photoshoot on the left.

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Lunch time! I must confess that we were just in this restaurant the night before.

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The restaurant is called Du Hsiao Yueh and it’s also near our hotel. We were hooked. This place serves great, affordable food!

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Pink and yellow. Print on print.

Guy in the background also had an interesting outfit. Funky pants!

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Coffee and cake at TJB (The Jeans Bar) Cafe. The interiors were so pretty. That pale shade of pastel blue!

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One final walk around the side/back streets of Zhongxiao Dunhua before heading to the airport. 

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I should’ve bought this off-shoulder ribbon sweater. REGRET. /cry

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Blue for boys. Pink for girls. Couldn’t pass this couple photo up because it has always been a staple in my travel diaries.

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Looks like a scene from a movie. 

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Taipei was so good to me. I’m so psyched to go back again, preferably with Crissey! Food and fashion? Definitely right up our alley.

White Rose

Posted on Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tricia Gosingtian

Tricia Gosingtian

(Blackfive top, Romwe shorts, Sleeh heels, Kate Spade earrings, Kate Spade Saturday watch) Hype this look on Lookbook here.

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?

Clean Green

Posted on Monday, 14 April 2014

Tricia Gosingtian

Tricia Gosingtian

Tricia Gosingtian

(Kate-Katy dress and wedges, Bardot clutch, Time Depot Sheen watch, SM Accessories necklace) Hype this look on Lookbook here.

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!

Taipei January 2014 Part 1

Posted on Sunday, 13 April 2014

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. 

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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.

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Style spotting. Matching boots and coat.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The most well-lit place was this basketball court.

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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.

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Had dinner at a restaurant called South Beauty in ATT 4 FUN, a mall near Taipei 101. Everything was so good and nothing hurt.

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Perfect strawberry shortcakes (my favorite kind of cake) on the way back to the hotel.

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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.

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Walking to the nearest shopping mall, (Pacific) SOGO.

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Was immediately greeted by LIZ LISA. I felt at home already, lol.

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SNIDEL

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ROYAL PARTY

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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.

i.e. MERCURYDUO, titty&Co. in FAVVI@hotel, MURUA and EMODA in FAVVI@party, jouetie in FAVVI@tube, etc.

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Tour time! First stop was Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.

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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.

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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! 

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Red hair, don’t care!

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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 

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National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine.

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Mom and I.

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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.

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Visited a temple in the middle of a residential area.

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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.

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Nighttime shopping at FAVVI@party which is about 5-7 minutes walk from our hotel.

Splurged on EMODA and MURUA! Lots of old stock MURUA were also on sale, driving a lot of stylish Taiwanese girls crazy.

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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.

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This store combined two coats together to create this unique two-tone look. Who would’ve thought this could work?

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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.

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Lots of cute cafes and restaurants here! Don’t know if any of them are good but they all seem pretty and picturesque!

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Lots of men’s fashion here too. More than the ones you can find in the mall.

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One of my favorite places in this area is ARTIFACTS! Very reminiscent of Opening Ceremony.

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Cute window display at the Stay Real cafe.

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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

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Dirty Pretty! This place reminded me so much of Harajuku!

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When in Taipei, you can’t NOT try the street food.

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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.

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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!

Modest Stripes

Posted on Friday, 11 April 2014

Tricia Gosingtian

Tricia Gosingtian

(Romwe dress, EMODA necklace, Sleeh Sugarfree Shoes heels, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag, Time Depot Sheen watch) Hype this look on Lookbook here.

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!