Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hello Taiwan 2014 ! Day 4 - Hot Spring Thermal Valley (地熱谷) >>> Dan Shui (淡水老街) >>> Mengjia Night Market (艋舺夜市)

We were on our own for the 4th day ! It's pretty accessible for what we have planned, to the northernmost district of Taipei City, Xin Bei Tou & Dan Shui Lao Jie.

The past three days, I did not really do much retail therapy for myself but rather feeling happy with my retail therapy for Vera ! Managed to find and bought some headbands for Vera from the night markets.

We had some lunch and went Taipei main station in search of Micia. Took me quite a while to locate the shop, not knowing that it was actually located at U Square. They carry a wide range of rubber stamps with Chinese characters. I am pretty well self disciplined. I shortlisted the few below to add into my cart. =)

Another mission on hand at Taipei Main Station is to locate the infamous shop that sells Tai Yang Bing, 太阳饼 (Sun Biscuits) . I was told by one of my friends that this brand tastes good. It's flaky on the outside with malt fillings in it.

Salted egg yolk lovers, you may want to try this if you come across. I bought one of them from the same shop to try. We bought quite a few boxes of Sun Biscuits back for our friends and colleagues.

Li Yi (李义饼店) is located at Taipei Station basement (Zone Z), 11-2B, near to exit J.

From Taipei Main Station, we took an approximately half an hour train ride to Xin Bei Tou, 新北投and went on foot about 850m to Hot Spring Thermal Valley << 地熱谷 >>.


As  we walked, we bypassed a few landmarks;

Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch << 台北市立圖書館北投分館 >>

Due to time constraints, We did not went into Beitou Hot Spring Museum. But we did popped by and Xav was enjoying his stamping session.

During the Japanese era, Beitou Hot Spring Museum, was a main public bath area. Visitors were asked to remove their footwear before entering (Japanese custom) and change into a pair of slippers as provided.

Beitou Hot Spring Museum << 北投溫泉博物館 >>
During the Japanese Colonial era, Hot Spring Thermal Valley was known as one of Taiwan’s eight great natural beauties. The temperature of the water ranges between 80 - 100 deg °C. The sight can be quite spectacular, the jade blue water with the rising mist over the green backdrop.


Do keep your mozzie patch on if you are visiting this place, I have got quite a few nasty bites from visiting the washroom !

We stopped by a convenience store and spotted this machine whereby you can have your picture taken and emailed to you.

Our near to 5pm, it was just nice to go to our next stop as planned - Dan Shui Old Street << 淡水老街 >>

From afar, we were drawn to the giant bubbles ! Yes end up, we bought the giant bubble stick back to Singapore.

The really HUGE cuttlefish

The happiest part of this trip to Dan Shui was probably, he got to savour this super tall, dual flavour ice-cream.

Don't topple please !
Happiness !
Vera was thinking if she gets her share too !
Brain FREEZE !
If you agree that when it comes to the second born, you'll tend to close one eye on what food they can try and this was what happened. Vera got to try something cold and sweet !

That was her reaction ! Hmmm.. What's that, mummy ?!

We managed to witnessed and captured the beautiful sunset which was gone within seconds.

Loads of games stalls along the stretch of houses.

Saw this "Chewy" cookie at one of the shops and hence, I decided to try it.
With red bean and pork floss filling and some other ingredients I didn't manage to figure it out. But overall, it was pretty nice  ! I loved the "chewiness" and end up I bought one big box back.

Do not ask me if Xav loves Hello Kitty. The moment he spotted it , instantly he requested for a picture with it.

A cute miniature of the kitty sponge cake standing outside.

Pretty lots of shops selling old school kind of games and titbits. We bought a set of Monopoly (Taiwan) version for our little Monopoly craze.

We went back to the hotel to unload, had a nice shower and change into a new set of clothes before we venture out to the next night market, Mengjia Night Market (艋舺夜市) and Huaxi Street Night Market.

Mengjia Night Market can be easily accessed via Taiwan Metro as well, alighting at Longshan  Station. This night market, youngsters may not like it. I feel that it's like a night market selling 2nd hand goods and don't expect to see any fashionable apparels , bags or shoes here. But they do have a wide variety of food stalls lined up along the closed roads.

We allowed Xav to try his hands on some shooting game. 300 "bullets" for him to target at the moving characters.

And he won himself a dart board !

Next, we went to Huaxi St Night Market aka Snake Valley.  At the southern part, if you are game enough to try out snake dishes here. This night market has a few shops that serves snake soup, snake blood, snake semen and even snake venom. But no photography is allowed.

Other than the above mentioned "special" food, turtle meat can be found here too. Plenty of massage parlours here if you would like to give your tired feet a massage.

We arrived here pretty late, majority of the shops were closed except for the massage parlours and the Snake restaurant. More to see in the day for sure. Personally, I find this area pretty boring =p.  But it's a good experience to come here just to look at what they have.

This completed our Day 4 of our 8 days Taiwan Trip.

 Below is my itinerary for Hello, Taiwan 2014  as I went along :
Day 1 - Inhouse Hotel << 薆悅酒店 >> & Shilin Night Market << 士林夜市 >>
Day 2 [Part 1] -  Cingjing, Lu Ma Ma 清境 << 魯媽媽 >>
Day 2 [Part 2] -  Cingjing , The Evergreen Grassland 清境 清境农场 & Starry House 觀星園景觀山莊
Day 3 - Day 3 Cingjing 清境 >>> Taichung 台中

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dengue Remedy #1 Frog and mini bitter gourd essence

Am writing this with a really fatigue mind, it started around 10th October till today......

It was pretty unusual for dear not to call and "check" on me. He was on night training two days before the 10th and I was solo-parenting. Normally, he would give me short calls to make sure everything is well at home and if I am coping fine.

On the 10th Oct, I gave him a buzz in the evening, after watching Hairy Maclary with Xav, much thanks to Jolin, who had generously shared her tickets with us. I just have an instinct that something is not right probably ? Indeed, he told me he was running a high fever.

On the very same evening, Xav too was running a low grade fever. It was very unusual that he felt sleepy during dinner. First thoughts that came to my mind " MUST BE THOSE FRENCH FRIES". The father and son whacked two packets on Wednesday.

I applied Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil on his spine and under his feet the moment we reached home at every hourly interval, diffused Thieves EO in the room. By mid night, his fever was gone and he was better the next day, however with a sore throat.

And you are not reading this wrongly, on the same day, Vera pooed more than the usual once a day. She pooed like 6-8 times and each time, her butt cheeks would be red and raw. I suspected probably it may be a minor "detox" from her body as she just chucked everything and anything into her mouth !

3 in the house down !!

11th October, dear came back and I insisted him to pay the GP a visit as he told me that despite taking painkillers, the headache and fever persisted and did not subside. Thank goodness, he went as he was diagnosed with DENGUE !! Nope, he did not get bitten from home, our place is mozzie FREE. He did not even know that he got "kissed" by that darn mozzie.

He was not warded but was told to have his blood count tested again on Monday. Till Wednesday, there was no improvement to his blood count. It dropped further to from 122 to 60 and he was referred to be warded. He checked in for a 3D 2N stay.

Other symptoms observed were :
  • Severe headache (He felt the sides of this head were being squeezed tightly)
  • Skin rashes on his arms, knee caps and tiny red spots were found on his body
  • Nausea and vomiting (He did threw up once)

  • I was searching and asking around for dengue remedies. I did Raindrop Therapy on the vitaflex on his feet. The first recipe that came to me from Jo was " Frog & mini bitter gourd essence". It has to be strictly the mini bitter gourd that can be commonly found in the Indian grocery stalls and it cannot be just the frog legs, it has to be the WHOLE frog. Thanks to Jo, she helped me purchased the frogs and cleaned it for me as I was freaking out to see the whole frog !

    The recipe:
    7 mini bitter gourds
    1 frog

    Method :
    1. Wash the mini bitter gourds.

    2. Sliced them into halves.

    3. Scoop out and removed the seeds with a  spoon.

    4. Cut diagonally into three pieces and add in together with the frog.

    5. If you do not have a pressure cooker, double boil it for 3 hours to get the essence. I used pressure cooker to cook it and went for two cycles and squeeze out every single drop of essence. I do not know how well this would help. But am ready to cook anything that can help with battling that horrible Dengue.

    I was all alone looking after all three until my body finally gave in and I, myself was unwell as well. Thank goodness for Jo, helping me with the frog and getting the papaya leaves from her friend. To my mother in law as well, I am thankful that she was here to help relieve me from the cooking duties when I was unwell.

    I be sharing the usage of papaya leaves the next post. Some of you would have seen me hollered out on my personal facebook page, asking where can I get papaya leaves.

    Do share with me too if you have other remedies for Dengue.

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    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Beauty Mums & Babies - Baby Tui Na Massage Services

    Maintaining the kids' immunity and how would you do it ? When it comes to falling sick, I have went through the hard way during the first 4 years of Xav's childhood, the amount of medicine he used to take and the repetition of falling sick again 2-3 weeks later after he recovered from the previous episode.

    Am belonging to the category who believes and prefers using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)method to allow the body to recover.  Unlike western medicine, I can feel the difference when I took the course when am unwell. The medication would make me feel so drowsy and weak but yet the effect more often than not, is only suppressing the symptoms but not treating the root cause.

    I was privileged to be invited to Beauty Mums & Babies

    A One Stop Wellness Centre for Mothers and Babies, to learn Baby Tui Na Massage Techniques. I did learnt Tui Na for babies a few years back and this is definitely a good opportunity to refresh what I have learnt.

    Ms Saknina, our trainer for the session, did an opening session on sharing the benefits of Tui Na massage on our little ones.

    Trainer : Ms Sakina

    Tui Na Therapy is a type of complementary and alternative treatment that uses pressure and expert movements applied to certain spots on the baby's body at acupressure points, using the meridian approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to impose the massage techniques. The benefits include:

    - improving the baby's internal energy, blood circulation, regulating physiological function of various organs.
    - boosting of immunity , enhances disease resistance, promotes good health, preventing and curing diseases.
    - helps with relieving discomfort from gas, colic, constipation.
    - calms the baby and also promotes neurological and physiological development.
    - enhance parent and infant bonding and helps parents to have better communication with babies through the gentle strokes and pressure. Babies will love it and yes of course they will feel loved with the warm touch.

    It is most effective for kids 6 years and below but it can be done for children up to the age of 12.

    The various organs represented on our fingers

    A basic sharing of what I have learnt from the workshop, it does help for :
    1) improving appetite and absorption of nutrients, improves the digestive system, colic and gas by
     strengthening the spleen and liver.
    2) Improving respiratory conditions such as cough and asthma by strengthening the lungs.
    3) promoting better sleep when baby is calm from their crankiness.
    4) Enhancing the mental growth and development -
    5) Strengthening the immune system and to improve common ailments like cough, fever etc.

    Baby Tui Na is suitable for children from 0 months to 12 years old. It is most effective for children 6 years old and below. Do call up Beauty Mums & Babies to find out when will be the next intake should you be interested to learn the Tui Na Techniques.
    A package of 4 sessions @ $599 (w/GST $640.93) and it's 2 hours per session. It covers the following :
    Session 1 : Common paediatric massage techniques & massage routine to improve appetite of picky eaters.
    Session 2 : Massage routine for fretful babies and improving sleep quality.
    Session 3 : Massage routine for brain development.
    Session 4 : Massage routine for improving asthma and common cold.
    Beauty Mums & Babies is located :
    290 Orchard Road, Paragon (Tower 2)
    #14-11/12 Singapore 238859

    Contact Number: 6235 0688 / 6235 5990
    If you happened to be there for classes or retail therapy, do visit BB Spa, located on Level 5 of Paragon, just right before Sushi Tei. I was pretty attracted to the warm and cosy setting as seen from the exterior.

    Retailing a range of baby products to pamper your precious little one.

    Cushioned changing station for after swim massage

    The interior was fitted with warm lightings, five spacious tubs, fitted with colour changing lightings to keep your little one attracted and I so love the lightings with the opened ended bird cages fitted over. Overall of BB Spa was prettily furnished ! I love it !

    If you do not know that BB Spa is actually the first baby spa in Singapore, using Japanese Spring Water (Hydrogenated water). They have a water filtration system to remove impurities and chlorine, including their basins. Hence, even babies with sensitive skin will benefit from it. Vera has history of eczema but I am definitely feeling safe and assured that the Japanese Spring Water is beneficial to her sensitive skin.

    The benefits of Japanese Spring Water include:
    - it has 26 different beneficial minerals that nourish the skin.
    - it is chlorine FREE and chemical FREE.
    - it balances the PH of the skin and hydrates the skin.
    - it helps to reduce sensitivity of the skin.
    - it has anti-oxidization properties.

    Prepping missy to go into the tub
    I tried to get Vera into the tub but unfortunately, she remembered how Xav poured water over her head without her knowing and yes she dislike that ! She chose not to go into the tub and was wailing from the moment I put her into the warm tub of water - all thanks to Xav =(
    Cranky baby
    She preferred to have a bottle of milk than any others. I shall try her out again when she has clean forgotten what Xav did .

    Personally I feel that you can even purchase the sessions to be given as welcome gift to your relatives or friends' newborns or older babies up to the age of 2 years old. Pamper them with luxurious BB Spa sessions or other services such as baby massage, acupressure massage, manicure, pedicure and haircut ! Walk out of BB Spa in style !

    BB Spa is located at :
    290 Orchard Road, Paragon
    Tel : 6235 1800 / 6235 5818
    Operating hours: From 10am to 8pm
    Website :

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    Disclaimer : I was given a complimentary package to learn Tui Na massage and a complimentary tub session for Vera from Beauty Mums & Babies . No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.
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