Monday, January 23, 2017

Travel with KKday

Sponsored Review

It’s Fun! It’s Safe! It’s Easy!

Launched in 2014 and headquartered in Taiwan, KKday is the leading E-commerce platform allowing users to connect with local tours from all over the world. Believing that authentic experience is the core value of “Traveling”, KKday has collected more than 6000 worldwide experiences from a group of professional providers and unique local experts.

So on our recent Taipei / Kaohsiung trip, we had a chance to engage this much talked about service from KKday.


Firstly, since we are lodging at a smaller hotel, we do not have any hotel transfer services from the hotel. Hence, we decided to book a Private Driver for 4 hours. This would serve as our airport transfer and can double up as a short trip to one or two tourist attractions after we drop our luggage at the hotel.


The ride was smooth and safe. The driver saw that I was tall and invited me to sit behind the front passenger seat so that he can move the front seat further forward to accommodate more leg space for me. Little things like this makes a big difference.

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Second service we took on from KKday was probably one of the best we can find for this trip. As we need to travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung, the best way is by High Speed Rail (HSR). It is the faster and more comfortable ride compared to taking the train.

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The usual train ride will be about 3.5 hours depending on whether you take the faster (lesser stops) train or the slower (more stops) train. But with HSR, the traveling time was cut to only 1.5 hours. This is exceptionally important for us since we have limited time to enjoy ourselves in a new city we have never visited before in Taiwan. And of course for me, any long distance traveling will be super uncomfortable for me, I am totally for the shorter time, more comfortable ride.

KKday provided the solution. Online booking for HSR tickets is easy and ensures we get the tickets we want on the dates we need. Best of all, we save at least 20% compared to buying from the station directly. Upon booking, we just need to print out our confirmation slip and go to the HSR counter to redeem your train tickets. Easy as 1-2-3.

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To complete the experience, don’t forget to buy the 铁路便当 while traveling on the HSR.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Orange Hotel - Guanqian @ Taipei

Sponsored Review

When the opportunity knocks for a short trip to one of our favourite country, we immediately checked for our leave approvals, booked the flight and planned the itinerary!

Thanks to the nicest people from Omy, Kless and I were transported to the land of 珍珠奶茶 and 滷肉飯.
Best of all, we do not need to worry about our accommodation, as we were hosted by the Forte Hotel Group(福泰饭店集团).

If you are traveling to Taipei in the coming months, do consider the Orange Hotel @ Guanqian 桔子商旅—馆前店(台北)

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It’s like most of the budget hotels in Taipei, small but fully equipped, truly living up to the name of 麻雀虽小,五脏俱全.

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The place seems to be renovated just recently and I was pleasantly surprised to find a safe in the room.

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Down at the lobby area, there are fresh fruits prepared for all guests and coffee tea. The fruits were a great welcome especially all the “sinful” street food in the night markets.

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One thing new in this hotel is the breakfast system. Since the hotel is small, they saved the space from a dining restaurant for more rooms. Instead, we were given breakfast coupons for a few nearby eateries.

This was totally my type of service, because personally I prefer to eat breakfast with the locals rather than with a group of tourists.

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So, we choose Yoshinoya!

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And one funny incident during breakfast was witnessing an elderly Taiwanese man arguing in the Taiwan dialect, regarding why can’t he order Lemon Tea for takeaway. Seriously I didn’t understand the explanation as well, but I was more than amused to see how livid the elderly man was and how his wife just sat there watching the drama like it happens everyday.

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So where is this hotel located? Glad you asked.

The nearest MRT station is Taipei Main Station. This is by far the most convenient station you can live near to. From this station we took the High Speed Rail (HSR) to Kaohsiung, and we didn’t have to drag our luggage too far from the hotel to the station. Walking distance within 5mins.

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And just opposite the hotel is a shopping mall with almost everything you need, from stationeries to electrical, to fashion, to food, to beauty services, to massages and more.

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It is really nice to see all these chinese signboards all around us. Gives us the “at home” feeling.

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Overall experience
Since I do not wish to stay in any hotel room for a long time when I am traveling, the size of the hotel rooms is not my primary concern. As long as it is clean and relatively new, I am more than happy.

Orange Hotel @ Guanqian is conveniently located (near to one of the main MRT station and the one for HSR if you are planning to travel to another city within Taiwan). I could be greedier and ask for a place nearer to a night market, but I’m fine.

The amenities are much and with variety to choose from. 7-11, Family Mart, Watson, Cafes, Shopping Malls, McDonalds, Japanese Restaurants, etc. Should be good enough to curb any late night hunger pangs. Actually with 7-11, the 黑轮 is more than enough.

Staff are nice, though the cleaners are way friendlier than the front desk girls. Quite a surprise.

Wifi is available and signal is okay. Air-conditioning in the room is strong. We had to wear a sweater to bed (but that could just be me).

Security is excellent, even the main door at L1 is opened only by access card aka room key.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year Old Resolution

2017 is here, as usual all of us will for a moment think about the resolutions we want to make for the new year.

In the past, I used to say “new year new resolution”, but as I grow older, I realised that this statement is actually not entirely true. We tend to make the same old resolution year after year.

1. Spend more time with family.
2. Eat well, exercise more, have a balanced lifestyle.
3. Spiritually (for those who has a religion), walk closer with God, do our QT, etc.

Are these resolutions useless? Are they new? NO! But we keep setting these resolutions every beginning of a new year, and maybe fail to do it and another new year has arrived.

Here is my take. Do not be afraid of making “old” resolutions, as long as we continue to have the mentality to improve and work on it. Most projects in life is a WIP thing, we hardly achieve something great overnight, it all takes time.

Take for example, my quest to run a full marathon. I have this dream since my secondary school days, discarded the dream in 2010, picked it up again in 2016. Now after one year’s of “hard work” (I’ve actually grown to like running), I have achieved something (completed 2 half marathons). So my 2017 resolution is to complete the full marathon before my 43rd birthday!

New shoes, Old resolution!

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Another old resolution is writing. Precisely why I am updating this blog post is because I used to like to write. I am the first to admit that I am not a good writer like my wife and many other bloggers out there. But writing has always been a form of stress relieve for me. Writing is my way of bring brutally honest with myself, and leaving behind no regrets.

So I’ve picked up a nice leather notebook (need some motivation) on my recent trip to Ipoh.

New notebook, Old resolution!

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One more resolution that I have made every single year for the past 30 over years, is to read the bible more. As a Christian, there is no other book more important than the Bible. For my own spiritual growth, I need to read the Word more and understand my Father in a deeper way.

So for this year, I am embarking on this new app “Reading Scripture” recommended by another good friend of mine. To read through the Bible from cover to cover in a year. And I have encouraged my wife, my cell group friends to join me. So far, it has been very exciting as we go through the same readings and sharing what we have learnt. Another I learnt, to successfully complete a task or resolution, get others to join in and motivate one another.

New reading plan, Old resolution!

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Hope this short post will inspire some of you to keep on keeping on. Don’t give up yet!

“The Champion you want to be tomorrow is created by the training you do TODAY!”