November 8, 2015

Our Experience: Taiwan Tourist Visa (for Filipinos)

When we were thinking of places to visit last month, we considered Seoul, San Francisco, and Taiwan. After a little research, we ruled out Seoul (we had to apply visa in the Philippines) and San Francisco (we only had 7 days total of vacation time, so bitin) and went to Taiwan instead.

I'm glad we did. Like I said in my earlier post, it's now one of my favorite destination

{At the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park}

Filipinos with a valid visa or permanent resident certificate issued by USA, Canada, Japan, U.K., Schengen Convention countries, Australia or New Zealand, are eligible for the "visa exemption program" of Taiwan. The visa allows the tourist to stay for up to 30 days in Taiwan.

All you have to do is apply for the "authorization certificate" online. It is free! The link is here:

Since we have a valid US Visa, our Taiwan visa application was a breeze. My husband applied for our authorization certificate and was able to print it within minutes. This authorization certificate, you have to show it to the airline staff during check in and of course at the immigration officer in Taiwan (together with the valid visas/or permanent resident cards).

If you don't have the visas mentioned above, you can still apply for the Taiwan visa through regular application at their consular offices.

For more information, check out

{One of the flipboard art at the Taipei 101 train station}

November 1, 2015

Taipei: Raohe Night Market

They say that Taipei is a food destination. And the best way to experience that is to go to the night markets of Taipei.

We visited Raohe and Shilin. Raohe was an easy choice because it was close by our hotel. Shilin, on the other hand was a bit far from our hotel but we decided to visit it because we read that it's one of the famous night market.

{Entrance to Raohe Night Market}

It was drizzling when we first went to Raohe. But because we were so hungry, the rain did not deter us. LOL! The rain stopped though after a while.

{One of the streets near Raohe night Market}

{The temple in front of Raohe Night Market}

Our original plan was to buy food along the street and eat while walking. But since it was drizzling and we had kids with us, we went inside a restaurant. The restaurant was called Running Spoon and they serve fried rice in sizzling plates.

{Inside Running Spoon Restaurant}

After our dinner, we went through the whole stretch of Raohe and saw a lot of yummy looking food. We only tried a couple of street food because we were already full from dinner. But we came back another night for a taste of some of their street food.

My favorite was the sausage and the milk tea. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of it. As usual we were busy eating and taking in all the things around us.

Here are some pictures we managed to take using our phones only.

{Flame-torched beef. Must try!

{Fried chicken fillet, I think. Did not try this}

{Fried pork cubes. The kids loved it!}

{Toasted buns. It was good and very filling. No wonder the queue was long}

October 25, 2015

Din Tai Fung Taipei 101 Branch

Taipei is now my favourite destination. We went to Taiwan about two weeks ago and we fell in love with the place right away.

Taiwan was a revelation! We never expected to be amazed. People are polite and nice; transportation is convenient; art abounds; shopping (clothes and electronics) is affordable and most importantly FOOD is GREAT!!!

One example is Din Tai Fung. DTF is synonymous to the best xiao long bao in the world. Or at least that's what I read and tasted.

DTF has branches/franchises around the world. But DTF was born in Taipei. So of course, we have to visit at least one branch in Taiwan.

I read that the first and original branch is in Xinyi but we chose Taipei 101 because it was convenient for us.

{Din Tai Fung Taipei 101 Branch}

{DTF open kitchen}

Din Tai Fung is famous for its long queues. But we were able to get a table right away for lunch because it was only 11AM on a weekday. When we came out about past 12 noon, the queue was already long.

Since it was our first time at DTF, we ordered the bestsellers from their menu. 

{Pork Xiao Long Bao}

We ordered four different kinds of xiao long bao. I forgot to take pictures of the rest though.

{Pork fried rice}

{Shanghai style soy sprouts}

{Shrimp fried rice}

{Pork and shrimp shao mai}

I have to say it was the best xiao long bao and dimsum I had in my life. I am not exaggerating. If there's a DTF in your place, do try it. I am sure it will change your life. Haha! Okay, that was an exaggeration but you know what I mean :)

August 21, 2015

About Cranes

**Guest post**

Choosing any type of major equipment for your business is a decision to be made with care. To better help companies in choosing the correct overhead crane for their company or job, we have compiled some things to think about before going out and grabbing any overhead crane.

The first thing you should do is take an honest evaluation of what your company's material handling needs actually are. Cranes have load capacities and service ratings, both of which must be taken into account when deciding between cranes. The load rating is simply how much weight the crane can hold. The service rating gives you an idea of how often the crane is meant to be run. Service ratings go from Class A down to Class F, with Class being infrequent operation and Class F being continuous operation. Operating a crane beyond these limits can be costly to your company, but can also cause injury or death to operators and other employees.

Next, you will want to look at things like materials used in making the cranes and other major components. Many cranes will come in welded steel plates or aluminum sections. Steel made cranes can hold a higher capacity due the stronger metal construction. Equally important is the mechanical components and operations of the crane. There may be times when your application requires a crane that doesn't quite work in your business. Luckily, overhead cranes come in such a wide variety these days that a company that specializes in cranes, like ProservCrane for instance, can work with you to find a suitable crane for your needs.

Finally, the motor and operator controls of the crane will come into play. The more complex these systems are, the higher the price tag of the crane will go. You can choose to go with a motorized crane to help with precision control. In these cases, be sure to ask your crane vendor about other technologies included with their systems, such as variable frequency drives. Operator controls are also important in your crane purchasing decision. Some operator controls actually allow the operators to control the crane from a safe distance or allow for multi-tasking on the job.

Purchasing a new crane for your business is a big decision. It is not one to be made lightly or on a whim. Take a strong account of your business needs and restrictions before making any decision.

August 5, 2015

High-end brands in Vattanac Capital Mall

When we arrived in Phnom Penh six years ago, I think I could only name one or two decent places to get coffee or to hang out. Fast forward to today, every corner seems to have a coffeeshop and shopping malls are starting to sprout as well!

Last year, Aeon Mall opened to the delight (and distress - traffic is heavier!) of the public. So far, Aeon Mall is the biggest mall in Phnom Penh. But I am guessing it won't be the biggest for a long time.

This year, Vattanac Capital Tower, the current tallest building in Phnom Penh has opened their "luxurious" shopping mall. EJ and I went there last Friday.

Vattanac Capital Mall is a lot quieter compared to Aeon Mall. Probably because it's smaller and has lesser shops.


{Hugo Boss}


{Eric Kayser}

{Afternoon coffee and pastries with EJ at Eric Kayser}

Is Cambodia or Phnom Penh for that matter, ready for these high-end brands? Hmm, remains to be seen I guess.