Countdown party @ Taipei 101

Since my friend and I are going to Taiwan during the last week of December, we are definitely not going to miss their New Year countdown parties that are always star-studded.

We found a list of where the countdown parties will be held in the following blog, and we’ve decided to take part in Taipei’s countdown party. I’m so looking forward to the performances and fireworks!

Ramblings of a penguin (企鹅的碎碎念): http://tzoyiing.pixnet.net/blog/post/28102295#New.Year

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Heartbeat of Taiwan 台湾的心跳声

This song is specially written for World Expo 2010. One can learn about the different attractions and culture of Taiwan from the MV. It shall be the first step to my planning.

Here’s a list of the things mentioned in the MV:

  • YongHe beancurd (永和豆浆)
  • 天灯
  • Night markets (夜市)
  • Long Shan Temple (龙山寺)
  • Chia-Nan Plain (嘉南平原)
  • Ping-Tung tuna (屏东黑鲔鱼)
  • Danshui Fisherman’s Wharf (淡水渔人码头)
  • Taroko Gorge (太鲁阁)
  • Mino paper umbrellas (美浓纸伞)
  • Sanyi wood carvings (三义木雕)
  • Taipei 101
  • Cloud Gate dance theatre (云门舞集)
  • Firecrackers (盐水蜂炮)
  • Matsu (妈祖)…

Did I miss out any?

Looking for cheap air tickets to Taipei

My friend and I plan to fly to Taipei during the last week of December and it is so difficult to get cheap air tickets for that period. A few of my friends recommended Misa Travel.

The site is easy to use, offering many options such as higher fares and alternate dates when there are no available seats for the original departure and arrival dates.

They really do have good promotions for flying to Taipei, however, we still go to the airlines’ websites to compare the prices.

Initially, we saw a better offer from Misa Travel which is $690 per pax by TransAsia Airways. However, by the time we want to book it, it was already sold out. So, we settled with JetStar and booked the air tickets from JetStar’s website.

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Here’s a tip when you need to check the airfare from budget airlines. Always go all the way to the last page where they ask you to key in your credit card details. Any quotations before this may not include all the hidden charges! But of course, there’s no need for you to key in your card details yet.

For JetStar, you even have to choose the type of credit card that you’ll be using to get the full quotation as they charge a service fee for processing non JetStar Mastercard. Hope this tip is useful!

Memories of your trip: Making a photobook

Our memories of our trips are usually captured as photos. We used to develop these photos but nowadays with the use of digital cameras, we usually upload the photos to social networks or other platforms to share with family and friends. But personally, I still prefer to flip through a photo album and recollect the bits and pieces of my trips.

Last year, I’ve bought a voucher for creating a photobook with Photobook Express during NATAS fair. I was given a CD that contains the photobook editing software. All I need to do is to arrange my photos in an interesting layout with text (optional). Upon completion, I just upload my photos online and they will print the photobook for me. I can choose to collect at their workshop or showroom at Peninsula Plaza.

The quality of their photobook is very good and they even adjust the colours and lighting for some of my photos so as to achieve optimum printing results. In all, I’m very satisfied with their service.

Photobook Express: http://photobookexpress.com/index.html

Another website which I go to make photobook is Snapfish by HP. Their photobooks are cheaper but the quality is not as good as Photobook Express.

Snapfish Singapore: http://www5.snapfish.com.sg/snapfishsg/home/

Looking for affordable accommodations in Japan?

I’ve friends who visit Japan frequently and they always manage to find cheap and affordable accommodations. They’ve introduced 2 websites to me which they used to search for cheap accommodations in Japan, be it hotels, ryokans or minshukus. The 2 sites are Jalan.net and Rakuten. Although these 2 sites offer English versions, but it is better if you understand basic Japanese!

Jalan.net: http://www.jalan.net/en/japan_hotels_ryokan/
Rakuten: http://travel.rakuten.com/