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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Escape from Drugs Land

Last chance to play and win! The National Council Against Drug Abuse and Central Narcotics Bureau has been organising an Anti-drug Online Gaming Challenge on the ‘Life Does Not Rewind’ Facebook fanpage from 05 Dec 2011 to 26 Feb 2012.

There have been 2 games where iPads, iFly and Universal Studio passes have been given out.  If you don’t play this, you’re going to miss out. However, even if the gaming challenge is over, you can continue playing the games for another year on the “Life Does Not Rewind” Facebook page.
Looking like Monopoly except with mini games with each land, your score is based on the time you take to complete the board. You may encounter quiz questions,  and get 10 seconds added to your timing if your answer is wrong so check out the study corner at the game menu first!

Fun mini games are embedded within.
Word Search.

A mini game where the player has to move the boat through the river and avoid the floating items which symbolises drugs. The life bar will be decreased if the boat hits an item.

You can then submit your best score to stand a chance to win an iPad 2 (32gb) or a pair of Sentosa Adventure Park Combo package! There will be 1 winner and 16 winners respectively. To be honest, I wouldn’t pay to go on the MegaZip in Sentosa and the MaxClimb because it’s really expensive and for a very short while. Although got to admit I am an adrenaline junkie who needs extreme excitement to be pleased. BUT IF IT’S FREE, OF COURSE I’LL GO!
So you’ve to win this.

Quite impressed that this game, along with this and this is created by colleage students from ITE! Escape from Drugs Land is from ITE Central.

Speaking about “Life does not rewind”, I am sure all of you’ve been following the saga between famous bloggers recently. Many hurtful things have been said and written, many unfortunate misunderstandings have happened. Nothing can erase all that now, even if those blog posts have been deleted, I found out that if you use Google Reader, you can search out these blogs’ RSS feed and read the posts, even deleted!

However, if you ever use drugs, the damage you create for yourself will be permanent, the hurt you cause your parents will be permanent.

Life does not Rewind.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Most Outrageous Prison Demands

As a student living in Australia, Archie Comics was too expensive to afford. So when ZOO goes on sale at AUD 2, i'm as high as cloud nine. Bless my girlfriend who visited Australia recently and bought me their latest issue complete with a 2012 calender! I soaked up every word within that magazine and i thought i'd spend some effort to copy and paste one of their articles for you.

In Asia's prisons, residents do not get to sleep on beds. Instead they sleep on straw mats (Singapore) or even the floors. I suppose taking away creature comforts are meant to make them repent. However, in Western countries, there is an inmate union where they ask for their rights and appeal for "improvements" within prison.

Julian Knight (Australia) 1987 Hoddle Street shooting spree in Melbourne left 7 dead and 19 injured. As punishment he was sentenced to 27 years in Victoria's Port Philip prison. But Knight reckons prison sucks balls, so he and other members of a prison union, which includes murderer Neil Chalmers and rapist Muhammed Kerbatieh, have banded together to demand a few luxuries. Top of their list are jelly crystals, a better selection of potato chips, and designer sunnies.

They're also demanding 1.25 litre bottles of Coke and more cash for phone calls.

They were successful in getting Gummi Bears in the canteen.

Jonathan Pinney (USA)Violent offender, Jonathan filed a lawsuit against a long list of government agencies because he reckoned his "rights were violated" and he was "falsely imprisoned". As part of his 18-page lawsuit he demanded his own country, "big enough for 5000 people, with good quality soil". He suggested they just give him the state of Alaska. He also wants $50bn and diplomatic immunity so he can do whatever the fark he wants and not get charged. Pinney also, quite rightly wants "access to all scientific advancements made in American institutions, including top-secret ones at facilities including Area 51" and "a treaty of non-aggression between my nation and that of the US and the United Nations.
Last seen on his MySpace page, Pinney wrote, "that he "hopes to get into a committed relationship with a woman, but wouldn't mind if it meant 'leaving this world and marrying an alien with similar autonomy and genetics." 

Luzira Women's Prison, Uganda

The female inmates only have got one thing on their mind and it's not escape. The prison ban conjugal visits, something which the inmates are protesting against. They want their knickers off! Prison boss Johnson Byabasaija rejected their request.

Rose West (UK) Rose and her hubby killed ten girls and a young woman, including their 16-year old daughter. A murderer, rapist and sexual sadist, Rose was sentenced to 10 life sentences in 1995. But in 2007, she demanded an autopsy on her pet guinea pig, Marley. She reckoned her prison enemies were behind the hit and wanted justice. Her request was denied.

Harry Franklin (USA)
Murderer Franklin demanded 3 mil from a Portland TV station for 'mental frustration' after they incorrectly called a 14 wheel tractor trailer an 18 wheeler. He also demanded $8.9 mil from then US President Ronald Reagan for being forced to wear a seatbelt in a car but not on a horse.

Ivan Milat (NSW) 67 year old serial killer was the monster behind the infamous "Backpacker Murders" throughout the 90s where he tortured, raped and murdered young tourists. But in May this year, he started to realise how boring serving seven consecutive life sentences actually was, so he went on a hunger strike in a bid to get a PS3. Milat didn't eat for 9 days, going from a healthy 85kg to 60kg. No, he didn't get his wish.

Nicholas Cocaign (France)
Murderer and cannibal Nic can hold a grudge. In 2007, his cellmate ,Thierry Baudry was washing his hands when he glanced over at Nic. Nic didn't like the glare he got and told Baudry to hand over his lungs as a gesture of apology for offending him. Not surprisingly, he refused. Nic then stabbed Baudry with a scissors and suffocated him with a plastic bag. He then got his wish, cutting out his cellmate's lungs and heart, and eating them. 

Dennis Nilsen (UK)
Serial killer, rapist and necrophiliac, Dennis is doing time for killing and torturing at least 15 men and boys betweek 1978 and 1983. He is using human rights laws to demand porn magazines in his cell. He reckons refusing him hardcore gay porn is "inhuman and degrading."

Meanwhile, here're also some not-so-frivolous lawsuits filed by prisoners:

  • Prison Guards routinely sexually assault female prisoners. One officer sexually fondles a prisoner who is receiving medical care in the infirmary, forces her to perform oral sex, then rapes her. Another officer forces a prisoner to perform oral sex while she empties trash as part of a work detail. Women Prisoners v. District of Columbia, D.C. (1994) (post trial order).
  • Prisoners restrained in handcuffs and shackles have their heads bashed into walls and floors by prison guards, their bodies repeatedly kicked and hit with batons, their teeth knocked out, their jaws fractured, their limbs broken, and their bodies burned with scalding water. Madrid v. Gomez, Cal. (1995) (post trial order).
  • Confined youth are routinely beaten by facility staff, staff trafficking in illegal drugs is rampant, and sexual relations between staff and confined youth is commonplace. D.B. v. Commonwealth, Penn. (1993) (consent decree).
  • Dozens of women. some as young as 16, are forced to have sex with prison guards, maintenance workers, and a prison chaplain. Many become pregnant and are coerced by prison staff to have abortions. Cason v. Seckinger, Ga. (1994) (consent decree).
  • A 17 year-old boy, in jail for failing to pay $73 in traffic fines, is tortured for 14 hours and finally murdered in his cell by other prisoners. Another teenage had been beaten unconscious by the same prisoners several days earlier. Yellen v. Ada County, Idaho (1985) (consent decree).
  • Prison officials ignore warnings by the Commissioner of Health and fail to implement basic tuberculosis detection and control procedures. Over 400 prisoners are infected in a single prison. Austin v. Dept. of Corrections, Penn. (1992) (post hearing order).
  • Prison staff engage in sexual relations with female prisoners and allow male inmates to enter the prisons to engage in forcible intercourse with the women prisoners. Hamilton v. Morial, La. (1995) (consent decree pending court approval).
  • A prisoner gives birth on the floor of the jail without medical assistance three hours after informing prison staff that she was in active labor. Other prisoners have deformed or stillborn babies as a result of receiving almost no pregnancy-related medical care. Yeager v. Smith and Harris v. McCarthy, Cal. (1989) (consent decree).
  • Single person cells house four or five prisoners with mattresses on the floor soaked by overflowing toilets, the drinking water is contaminated with sewage, and prisoners' cells are infested with rats. Carty v. Farrelly, U.S.V.Is. (1994) (consent decree).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The secret to skin like Koreans.

Hankook Cosmetics has been established 48 years ago with its R&D center winning technical cooperation of L'oreal and Lancome in France. 

Ang Moh brands like L'oreal and Lancome may not be as suitable for Asian skin, especially with humidity in our region.

Enters Ossion, a brand under Hankook Cosmetics and is rumored to be Korean celebrities' secret to that V-shaped face.

If you are looking to purchase BB creams and other skincare, use ID: chrispytine, PW: iwant to log in at for an additional 30% EXTRA discount on all products on top of any other discounts being offered on the website. Now till 16 Feb, there is already a 20% discount offered on site.

I personally have used the Opening Enhancer (make-up primer) as well as the Bubble Mask. To be honest, i haven't tried them long enough to swear by it but i must say the Bubble Mask did make my skin softer after usage.

Nonetheless, if you happen to look into investing in skincare, perhaps you should start with Ossion especially with the attractive discounts by using ID: chrispytine, PW: iwant to log in at 

They mail your purchase locally or internationally.

Crocs: Feel Good Revolution

Crocs has come far. Admittedly, when it was first launched, i thought it was a fashion disaster. I never thought i would see myself in one.
Until Crocs offered me a pair and it was undeniably comfortable to walk and walk and walk in them. It is also super light to pack into the suitcase for travel.
This is my first pair of Crocs retailing at SGD 169.
Crocs started off as the shoe that everyone made fun of. So they introduced cute little pins that you can purchase to customize and perhaps make it look a little better.
That didn't quite work for me but now, they have more visually appealing designs which came as a pleasant surprise!
This is not found in Singapore but so cute!

The men are not left out too. Loafer is the trend these days.

Who says you need to sacrifice comfort for vanity? With Crocs feel good revolution and prettier designs, you can have your cake and eat it too.

For store locations, click here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Taiwanese Street Food

Taiwan has so much food that i had nightmares about the 鸡扒. It became 鸡怕 after the second day in Taiwan. There's so much food that it deserves a dedicated post and the best tip i received from a friend before departure was "STRATEGIZE YOUR EATING PLAN."

The trick to eating all and wasting not is to list down the things you would want to try and start with the lightest food. While i am going to name the street food according to where to find them, i will put a number next to it that suggests what order you should consume them.

Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)

The famous 毫大鸡扒 located at the start of Shilin near Jian tan MRT is not an item to start off first. It should be the last, or second last.

A fried chicken cutlet (6) that is bigger than my face, do not take this lightly.
It is the only store at the Shilin area that commands a long queue. It costs SGD 2, super value-for-money. They hand out plastic bags while you are in the queue, and it is a no-nonsense business. When it's your turn, they drop the cutlet (no, they do not cut into smaller pieces for you) and you hand them coins.

Chicken cutlets are the next most popular to bubble tea in Taipei. You can find one at every corner. Then there are some stalls who try to differentiate their chicken cutlet by naming them oddly, like the Peeing Cutlet 撒尿鸡扒.

Shilin is the best night market to go. You can find all the famous street food you've heard about and all shopping needs can be met there. You can't cover every nook and cranny of Shilin within a night. 

There is also oyster omelette (3) which is done very differently from Singapore. Though the oyster is alot fresher and vegetables are included, i prefer Singapore's for its irresistible chilli and flour that accompanies the egg.
The famous Ah Zhong Mee Sua (2) is also found at Shilin. I can't give you addresses of all these street food because it's chaos at this night market. Open your eyes wide though as the glittery accessories, shoes and clothing can easily distract you from your food quest.

There is hardly any oyster in it, but the mee sua is soft and gooey. While i prefer the Singapore's Shilin chicken cutlet, i must say the mee sua beat Singapore's hands down!

It is the only street food that has a sitting area although it's pretty amusing to see how the sitting area is like a bus station where everyone (whether you come solo or with friends) eat watching a TV and then scoot.
My favourite street snack is the fried milk (1)! Similar to fried ricotta, cubes of milk are fried. I feel compelled to do my vlog all in Mandarin because i'm in Taiwan where everyone speaks in this overly sweet voice and they echo the last said word. 

Prince Potato (7) is the most calorie ridden of all. A fried potato drizzled with generous overflowing helping of cheese sauce and sour cream with fillings of your choice. The corn and scallop combo was yummy!

Getting to Shilin:
Take the MRT(捷運) to Jiantan station(劍潭站) which is on Danshui Line (淡水 the Red Line).
Once you alight from Jiantan station, let the bright lights lead you.
Note: There is a station called Shilin along this line. This station is Not near the Shilin Night Market.

Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市)
Raohe Night Market is near Wufenpu, the area where you can find clothes at wholesale prices. While Wufenpu is all shopping, you will find a push cart or two hawking food. If you come across this cart that sells cuttlefish, try it! For SGD 5, you get a huge serving of cuttle fish (4) in some sauce that  resembles rojak without peanuts. The cuttle fish is very fresh, juicy, soft and springy. Mint leaves are thrown in for an extra unique taste.  
Getting to Wu fen Pu: Alight at Houshanpi(後山埤) MRT station. Use Exit 1 to Wufenpu Commercial Zone and walk north along Zhongpo N. Road(中坡北路) to the intersection of Zhongpo N. Road and Yongji Road(永吉路).
From Wufenpu to Raohe Night Market, walk towards the Songshan railway station(松山火車站) and you’ll see the night market after crossing Ba-de Road Section 4(八德路四段).
The Raohe pepper meat bun (5) 饒河街胡椒餅 is famous. As Singaporeans, if we see a queue, we queue. It's a bun filled with peppered pork and chives. I didn't think it was incredibly delicious, but everyone is crowding around to catch a glimpse of how the bun is baked. It sticks to the wall of a charcoal fueled well. 

Then also at this night market, there is a Rice Cookie Explosion. A healthier choice of snack, i 
bought home one.

The beverages in Taiwan are plentiful. Bubble tea that we Singaporeans queue 45 minutes for is in every corner of Taiwan, along with many other drinks like Bitter gourd and Ai Yu jelly. 

Originating from Taiwan, i thought all bubble tea would be good. However, after trying thrice, i concluded there can be hits and misses. 

What is amusing though is they call their bubble tea Bo Ba, which means big breast tea.
Go for their bitter-gourd with honey juice though. Good for the skin and the body. Whilst the street food is cheap, each drink go for SGD 3. Their fruits are even more hefty but guaranteed sweet and juicy!

Ai Yu is pretty bland and tasteless though.
For the Singaporean who wants value-for-money, Taiwan's street food serves that exactly. Their portions are big, even their sausages are double the length of my hand.

Another street food i was highly amused with is this assortment of stewed innards and bean-curd. One of them looks oddly similar to a penis. I asked the seller what this is, and she said something in Mandarin. I did not know what the official term for penis is in Mandarin (ok, i just googled it's called 阴茎 Yin Jing) so whatever she said, i wanted to believe it was a penis. Then she had to spoil my lurid imagination by saying it's made out of flour. But the Mandarin name mentioned for this does not mean flour! Adamantly, i want to believe it's a penis.
Amongst this assortment, you can find blocks of solidified pig's blood, chicken backside AND rooster's COMB!
Chicken Backside are the sticks in the middle.
The rooster's comb is the one on top.
I did not know a rooster's comb can be eaten! My stomach churns.
It's a pity i didn't try. I should have.

Jiu Fen 九份
Jiu Fen is a pain to get to, but so worth the ride! Jiu Fen being on the outskirts of Taipei City, it took me 90 minutes to get there. 

Getting to Jiu Fen: I discard the directions how to get there from the internet but instead went to Taipei Main Bus Station to get a bus ticket that goes to Ji Long (Bus 1814). According to the locals, this is a much faster way than the train. It sounded complicated anyway. 

Arriving in Ji Long (ask the bus driver) , alight and board bus 1062 (bus company called Keelung Bus) and alight when everyone else alights. Jiu Fen is extremely tourist-y.

A quaint mountain town, famous 2001 Japanese animation film Spirited Away actually modeled after the streets of Jiu Fen. Plenty to see, eat and buy, this was one of my favourite spots.

Another of my favourite street snack is this ice cream paired with freshly grated peanut then wrapped in a wheat flour paper thin crepe. Coriander is one of the ingredients too. Coriander with ice-cream (4)? That's unique.

Yong He at XimenDing 永和西门丁
I was surprised to know Singapore's Yong He (5) at Geylang is actually the same as the one in Taipei! I thought the one in Singapore was founded by a Singaporean. Comparing the two, Singapore's pale in comparison, big time. 
Getting to Ximending: Alight at Ximen MRT, Exit 6. Walk to the end of the main stretch of Ximen, turn left and you'll find Yong He. Away from the rows of shops, it is across the road of No. 41. Sec 2. Hankou St. I know that because it was a hostel that i wanted to stay in. Mornings are really crowded as it is the best choice for breakfast!

Count your blessings as you live to eat!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Women and their Fairytales

The Eiffel Tower is one of the popular sites in Europe for suicides. For 120 years since the monument’s construction about 400 people killed themselves there, of which two survived the 171 feet drop from the first floor, one was blown onto a rafter by the wind and one young woman landed on the roof of a car.  After recovering from her injuries this woman married the owner of the car.

Fairy tales do exist!

Not all women dream of a fairy tale proposal, grand wedding then a happily ever after ending but most do. Men usually don't, unless you're Kurt from Glee.

Most men don't because they believe in despondent, depressing life after a fairy tale. Fear puts them off fulfilling that fairy-tale their lady expects.
Amazing photo series by Dina Goldstein.
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
Albert Einstein
The recent widely covered wedding of the era was of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Why? Because they were the epitome of a modern fairy-tale. She was a commoner while he was a Prince and after 8 long years, Kate who has been called waity-kaity mockingly met her fairy-tale end .

In Singapore, the pressure to marry has been great. We marry for HDB, we marry to get out of our parent's house. In fact, too often friends and families tell girls of marriageable age that if the guy doesn't propose after 2-3 years, he probably will never do so.

The royal couple did go on a break at some point (perhaps reassessing their relationship as he hasn't popped the questions), but instead of rushing for a suitable rebound to cut her losses (like most girls are known to do), she enjoyed being single- partying, dressing sexy and getting away on holidays.

If there is one thing to learn from fairy-tales, the female characters are usually characters of patience, perseverance and even confidence. Balancing modern and traditional, these fairy-tales that were created decades ago seemed to know what society 2.0 will be!

In today's world of instant gratification, self-indulgence and temptation galore, we won't wait out.
Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale of all.
Hans Christian Andersen
Being attached doesn't define us. Having an other half doesn't validate us. We remind ourselves of our fabulousness with heels and lingerie without letting our self doubt or criticism of others drag us down.

But still,
Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
C.S. Lewis

There's a difference between a great love and the right love. There is no yard stick as to when to marry, or how long one should wait. Just know you deserve a fairy-tale, we all do. A prince in a fairy tale is a gallant man, the one who'll dare to put a ring on it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Being True with Fitness.

A couple who works out together stays together.

A boyfriend who lifts you can carry you with a sprained ankle.

But what if you're #foreveralone?

Wii is NOT exercise, no matter how good it looks.

There's no shortcut to looking your hottest when you bump into your Ex, your old school mates or blunt relatives whom you'll meet next Chinese New Year.

I just visited True Fitness's newest centre in Tampines and i am HOOKED to this new form of class exercise that combines step and dance.

There're even people who use an EXERCISE CLASS as stage performance.

Didn't dance performances look more like this?

Quite a mismatch of girls though.

Totally hooked through and through in the class that True Fitness offers. Jazz, pop and music to groove to with a mean workout to boot!

What's special at this new outlet is also other than offering 40 different types of Yoga, Hot Yoga, Spinning and Group Exercise, there is a Muay Thai Ring where Kick Boxing is held. Innovative equipment like Power Plate, 1-Vest Training, TRX Suspension, to keep the exercise regime interesting can also be found.

Also, if you are single, the gym is a place to check out cuties like celebrity Paul Foster.
Who works out regularly at the Great World City outlet.
Looking forward to a body beautiful 2012 with a year's sponsorship from True Fitness.

Get your body beautiful too.

For outlet details

Monday, January 16, 2012

Experiencing Taipei.

The last trip of the year, i went to Taipei.

For visitors below 30, you can apply for free the youth privilege pass upon exiting the customs or at any tourist information counter in the city. Honestly, i didn't get to as much use the pass other than as a keychain outwardly telling everyone i am a tourist. This is a list of restaurants, hostels and tourist sights where you can enjoy some discounts and freebies (like if you dine at Ting Dai Feng, you get a free mini dumpling keychain) but i didn't pass by any of the restaurants in the guidebook. Not much privileges are offered in Taipei City but perhaps more so if you plan to travel up north or down south.
Getting into Taipei city is fuss free with the airport shuttle that costs less than Sgd 20 for a 2 way ticket. Head down to the basement of the arrival terminal.

I was extremely tickled that their telco network is named Taiwan Big Brother.
Election campaign.
Wu Fen Pu is the wholesale area like how BangKok has Platinum Mall. Looking like our Bugis Street, it is a maze with bargains to be found. However, it is not as straight forward as in Bangkok where sellers tell you upfront the price for one, and then the price for three. 
Also, the Taiwanese are generally very friendly but expressionless people. You may feel intimidated.
Rao He night market is just further up Yongji Road where stalls clutter one street.

At this night market, i had an authentic Taiwanese massage for Sgd 20. The strokes are nothing like what i've felt before. Unfortunately, i did not notice the name of the shop. I thought all massage parlours in Taipei would have the same quality, unfortunately not as many others used masseurs from China.

It was here where i encountered this eccentric old man who is an expert in the toy catcher. He asked me repeatedly if i knew him while striking poses for my camera. I said "no", and then he passed me one of his wins. It was like i gave him the correct answer.
How to get to Wu Fen Pu: 
Take the Bannan MRT line to Hou Shan Pi Station. Exit at No.4 and walk towards Yongji Rd.

Jiu Fen was the most touristy place of the lot. A pain to get to, it's almost 90 minutes from Taipei Main Station.

How to get to Jiu Fen:
There is a direct bus from Taipei Main BUS station. Bus 1814 (SGD 2 or less) goes to Ji Long. When you arrive in Ji Long, you've to alight and board another bus that goes to Jiu Fen and up the hill. 
Though a pain to get to, the place is worth it.
An old street up in the mountainous area, it is best to go early in the day for it looks perceptually packed with tourists. 

Due to it's nature of being an acclaimed tourist spot, you will find many special local eats unlike those at the night markets or in Taipei City.
There are many knick knacks as well as countless tea shops and snacks to make your tourist purchase from. Keep a tight reign on your purse or you will go out of control and regret on some purchases like i did. The 2 handbags that i bought were definitely priced a lot more than what i could find at the night markets. Price for food, tea and other knick knacks aren't cut throat though.
A friend says that Asia is a lot more sexed up than any part of the continent.

I like Taipei City for being a city yet remaining the simple fun that you don't see in Singapore anymore. It's walking with iPads and iPhones here, even 5 year olds own one.
Old school game stalls aplenty in Taipei.
Almost paid $40 to learn a trick!
The Taiwanese are lookers. Not only are they lookers but the way they speak is music to your ears.
The men are quite effeminate yet still attractive enough. 

Making good souvenirs, Ximen Ding has candy stores that sell candy and chocolate in cute packaging.
They cost Sgd 4 each.
Shilin night market is not to be conquered in one night. You need two or even three. It is a Disneyland in its own right in food and retail.

Taipei Backpackers Hostel is a recommended stay.

At Sgd $30 a night, there are private rooms, twin sharing or bunkers with common bath room. The rooms are clean and serves the purpose of merely showering and sleeping.

Taipei Main Station is the most convenient location to stay in because it is akin to our Dhoby Gaut where most MRT lines intersect and also the airport shuttles stops here. Which means on your return trip to the airport, it would be most convenient too but taxis for short distances won't hurt the pocket.
New Moon Hostel at Ximen Ding however, was a disaster, almost. It wasn't a hostel where all rooms are located at one place, but more like rented apartments all over the area. I had trouble searching the reception (it didn't have one thus the failed mission) and i had a rather amusing encounter with a local who used all means and ways to help me locate the hostel only to have him INSIST i got cheated by

Later on, i found the reception to be a massage parlour whom the owner of the hostel owns too.
And i was brought to their local residences which reminds me of a horror film setting.

Seeing the theme parks on Taiwanese game and variety shows, i searched out a theme park in Taipei which was a disappointment.
It was also another pain to get to, taking 120 minutes.

How to get to Leo Foo Village:
Take the MRT Bannan line to Zhong Xiao Dun Hua Station, take the exit 7, go to the middle road and board the Leo Foo bus. Bus ticket + admission is Sgd 40.

It had looked promising with its large land area and Disney-like backdrop. It also had different lands but there were only really 4 major rides. It is NO KICK for an adrenaline junkie like me, i was sorely disappointed.
One of the major ride was the tower drop in the Land Before Time.
Then there was the log ride where patrons get wet.

Then there was the Ali Baba land where i wasted 60 minutes of my life in a below average entertainment show.

It was amusing to see a mix-match of Caucasians who stuck out like a sore thumb because of their height amongst the Asian performers. It seriously looked like a high school performance.
Sponge Bob seems to be its resident "attraction" though. Even without a dedicated ride, it has Bob's house and classroom for cam whoring.

Floating ass.
Squeezing in more than just food and shopping in Taipei City is to get a soak in the hot springs.
Conveniently located at the Bei Tou MRT, upon getting out of the station, you can walk straight up a mini hill and it will be an entire street of various "public baths" you can choose from.
Here at Bei Tou, it is unlike the Onsens in Japan. Mostly luxurious hotels, you get a private room with a bath tub where you can soak in spring water that comes from the area. Prices are steep, starting at Sgd 80 for common soaks where you wear a bathing costume in a mixed gender spring pool.

Then there is the Sgd 5 one where it is as big as a public toilet cubicle and has a really dirty looking marble slabbed rectangular tank for you to sit in.

The only open-air spring pool is popular with tourists who just want to experience without spending much. At only Sgd 1, you get a 15 minute soak without privacy and with a bus load of tourists.

After walking up and down the hill umpteenth times, trying to find a spring pool where 
1) I didn't have to share it with men, clothed or unclothed
2) Affordable
3) Has more of an ambience than a hotel room
Turns out, it was the one right at the foot of the hill! And i thought the higher i climbed, the cheaper it will be. This was a hidden gem! For Sgd 20, you get to use their premises that has a sauna, a steam bath, 3 spring pools and tea served.
Alas, Bei Tou does not have any outdoor spring pool. That would have been shiok in winter. If you ever go to Tokyo, you must try their onsen in Odaiba which has indoor and outdoor pools in elaborated decorated settings.

Pictures are not allowed in public baths but because this was a hidden gem, i was the only patron inside that i could SWIM LAPS in the 43 degree celsius pool.
My first time in a public bath was in Tokyo and it was an eye opening experience. First, you sit on a stool and scrub yourself clean. Basic amenities are provided here but in Tokyo, amenities like combs, ear buds, hair scrunch are also supplied. Very precise to the details, the Japanese.

Like a kid at a public pool, i ran naked from pool to pool. In Japan, they have descriptions in Japanese no less (but you could guess with some Chinese characters), that tells you the benefits and characteristics of each spring pool. They also have a very strong sulphur smell. In Taiwan, they do not and it is odourless. You just have to go with the trust that this is indeed spring water.
You sweat it out in the 43 degree celsius pool, then lower the temperature to the 41, then up it again to 43 and finally finishing it off in ice cold 18 degree celsius.

Some Taiwanese housewives and women later joined me and i noticed that despite the women being slim, they have a lot of cellulite on their bodies. This is an observation from visiting the Japanese onsen and peeving on the Japanese women. This must have something to do with their different diets, more on Taiwan food in the next post.

Hot springs supposedly help improve blood circulation, skin complexion and weight loss.

This woman surely needs a bath and i feel sorry for her leg is literally rotting. Her hair must have been unwashed and uncut for more than 20 years. I got sight of hair pins stuck inside.
Finally, 2011 ends with a big bang that i let up myself (bought fireworks), releasing wishes into the sky and almost spending my countdown in a mobile toilet near Taipei 101.

Have you read the unique things to do in Taipei yet?
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