Category Archives: Travel

Vancouver, BC Part 2: City Adventures

In my latest trip to Vancouver, BC, our family visited my brother who lives there, and he was our quintessential tour guide for our entire trip there! We visited a mixture of tourist and local areas in Vancouver and we also took a ferry to Victoria for a few days. My time in British Columbia was so incredible that I definitely know I want to move and live there for some time in my life! The people, food (refer to my post, Vancouver, BC Part 1: Food Diary), and the atmosphere made me feel right at home. I absolutely loved how no matter where you were, there was always a perfect balance of soaring skyscrapers and city life, local shops, and a breathtaking view of the North Vancouver mountains. And with that, let’s embark on my city adventures in BC!

First thing we did when we arrived? Ate lots of food, but after that, we took a relaxing stroll in the city and also near the water.

IMG_0822[1]

Processed with Rookie

IMG_0831

On our walk, we passed by the torch that was lighted for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics!

IMG_0837

IMG_0839

IMG_0838

My personal favourite part of the trip was when our brother took us on a bike ride along James Bay. I think it’s the best to enjoy the view while bonding with family and getting some exercise (let’s ignore the fact how the bike ride was mostly downhill).

IMG_1037

The next day, we travelled to Victoria, BC via ferry. I quiet enjoyed Victoria -it was a quaint, beautiful place to spend a few days and unwind. We spent the day walking through the town.

IMG_0659

IMG_0664

At night time, this building really stands out from the lights!

IMG_0633

Our hotel was right at the shore, so my sister and I spent a quiet morning on the rocks taking in the serene view.

IMG_0646 IMG_0653

The last stop on our Victoria trip –ย Bouchart Gardens:

IMG_0694

IMG_0696

IMG_0700

IMG_0705

IMG_0717

When we returned to Vancouver, we decided to take on the challenge of climbing Grouse Mountain early in the morning! I’ve done hikes up a mountain before, but I was not prepared for what was to come! The Grouse Mountain climb is composed of 2830 steps, and by steps, I do not mean casual walking-up-stairs-in-the-house stairs, I mean really having to shift your body weight forward and work those quads in order to climb up the next step. It’s called “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” for good reason.

I admit that I was the one holding up my entire family in the climb. Let’s just say my fitness level is not up to par with the rest of my family as I found myself having to constantly stop for a break every 10-15 steps. Even before we hit the 1/4 mark, I was ready to give up!! But with the wonderful motivation from my family, I made it up and the climb felt easier as you kept going up.

IMG_0736

IMG_0765

Okay, I lied before. The Grouse Mountain climb might actually be my favourite part of the trip. No matter how grueling and physically/mentally challenging it was, the view at the top was spectacular. The view at the top is 853m high and overlooks Vancouver city in all its beauty. After taking a few minutes (actually half an hour, yes, I was exhausted!) to rest and regain my strength from the climb up, I took in the breathtaking view and stared in awe. And here I impart my cliche phrase of the week, but it’s true – the view at the top truly makes the climb all worth it!

DSCN4504

I’m already planning a future trip back to Vancouver -I’ve completely fallen in love with this city! I highly recommend venturing over to Vancouver & Victoria if you love good food, beautiful scenery and nature, warm people, and an overall wonderful atmosphere to surround yourself in.

This concludes my Vancouver & Victoria, BC travelling posts -I had an incredible time and will definitely be back! I hope you all are enjoying your day wherever in the world you are! Cheers!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Taiwan Adventures Part 2: Kaohsiung, Kenting, & Penghu

Even though my Taiwan trip was all the way back in May, all the amazing destinations and experiences are still so fresh in my mind. This second part of my Taiwan adventures was my absolute favourite since I was able to visit my dad’s hometown and visit my grandparents and see where my dad grew up when he was young. It really is a truly insightful experience going back to your roots and appreciating the culture there, as it is quite different from Canada. Without further ado, here is the second and final installment of my Taiwan adventures!

Kaohsiung is my dad’s hometown, so it has a very special place in my heart. And personally, if I had to pick one place out of all the destinations we visited to live, I would live in Kaohsiung! I love the city’s atmosphere and could definitely picture myself living here for an extended period of time. This picture below is one of the first shots I captured of this beautiful city. It reminds me of being on a tropical island ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_9042

When we arrived at our hotel, we received an amazing view of the city of Kaohsiung.

IMG_9093

The next day, we drove out of the city into the rural suburbs of Kaohsiung, into my dad’s hometown -Meinong. One of the highlights of being in this small town was the food! This noodle soup is Meinong’s specialty! It has handmade rice noodles with lots of vegetables, green onions, bean sprouts, garlic, and some meat! I cannot even begin to describe how amazingly delicious this noodle soup is..like there are no words. Let’s just say, if there could only be one thing I had to eat every single day for the rest of my life, it would be this.

IMG_9242

I spent the day walking around Meinong and seeing my aunts and grandparents. In my previous post, I had a lot of fun visiting all these new exciting landmarks of Taiwan, but nothing beats being in my dad’s hometown, eating local food, spending quality time with my grandmother & grandfather, and just enjoying the quietness and simplicity the town has to offer.

IMG_9238

And did I forget to mention, Taiwan is known for mopeds being the main form of transportation. You rarely see cars, all you see are huge crowds of mopeds casually driving alongside each other on the streets. It’s one of the unique components of Taiwan culture that is something very different from Canada.

IMG_9257

ldvkjdl

ย 

One of the best parts of being in Taiwan during the summer? It’s prime mango season! Mangoes are my favourite fruit ever since I was a kid and mango trees are everywhere in Taiwan. You can just pick one (or two) off and voila!

IMG_9491

ย 

Since I was in my dad’s hometown, I was able to visit all the places he spent time at when he was in elementary school. For example, this place which is surrounded by a lake shown below! According to my dad, back when he was 13 years-old, he and his friends would jump off this structure and into the lake all year-round!

IMG_9341

This is one of my favourite things that we did while in Meinong. We spent about an hour or two biking around the entire rural town and admiring the landscapes and wildlife and my dad showing us a bit of his childhood every 10 seconds along the way!

IMG_9346

My grandma is a farmer and she grows all kinds of vegetables and rice! My grandma is basically the coolest person ever, so naturally, I felt like I had to copy her by trying on a rice hat myself! Yup, most fashion forward trend ever. Rice hats are the new black ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_9349

This is the Moonlight Mountain. It’s so beautiful. Apparently, my dad and his four best friends used to hang out here so much that they called themselves The Moonlight Five! In fact, during this trip back to Taiwan, my dad and his four friends reunited and they still call themselves that to this day!

IMG_9356

The next day, we decided to head back to the urban city life of Kaohsiung where we went shopping and got Taiwan famous massages!

IMG_9419

We then decided to take a 3 hr drive to a coastal city called Kenting. Kenting is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited! We arrived late at night, so obviously, there was one thing we had to do -NIGHTMARKET!! If there is one thing you should know about Taiwan, one of the most well-known things of Taiwan culture (aside from bubble tea and mopeds) is the nightmarkets! I’ve been to some back in Canada, but I was not prepared for what I was going to encounter here in Kenting! The nightmarket I visited was about 10 times as large as Night it Up back in Canada. It goes on and on and it never ends! I’m pretty good with getting through nightmarkets, but I gave up after apparently getting through only a third of the entire nightmarket! It was an amazing experience!

IMG_9610 IMG_9615 IMG_9619 IMG_9621ย ย IMG_9628

ย 

IMG_9622

ย 

The next morning had beautiful weather and we took full advantage of it by heading to the beach! It was so beautiful that I felt like I was in Hawaii!

IMG_9661 IMG_9712 IMG_9717 IMG_9780 IMG_9785 IMG_9783

After leaving Kenting, we took a plane to an island called Penghu -the last destination of our Taiwan trip.

IMG_9888

Taiwan is already very humid during May, but out of all the places we visited, Penghu was by far the most humid and hot. The hottest Canadian summer day would probably be considered winter in Penghu. The heat was pretty brutal, so we decided to cool ourselves down while trying out a Penghu delicacy -cactus ice cream. It was probably one of the most interesting (and delicious!) foods I tried.

IMG_9907ย ย IMG_9912

After we were cooled down, we went and visited some beautiful landscapes that Penghu had to offer.

IMG_9923

Seeing all the magnificent creation around me really made me realize how large the world is and how small I am in comparison.

IMG_9934

At nighttime, there was a beautiful fireworks show.

IMG_0010 IMG_0027 IMG_0052 IMG_9996

ย 

Okay, my absolute favourite part of visiting Penghu was going fishing, without a doubt. We boarded a small fishing boat and used fishing nets and rods to catch huge swordfish, blowfish, and squid! The best part? Right after we caught it, the staff cleaned it and served it for us to eat right away! Can’t get sashimi fresher than that! In fact, the squid sashimi was so fresh that before I put it in my mouth, the red colour pigments were still moving!! Eeekk, pretty scary stuff! Some people didn’t dare eat it, but I was not going to miss out on tasting the freshest sashimi! Conclusion: it was absolutely yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_0163 IMG_0165

The next day, we went exploring on a beach and admired the beautiful sand and waters.

IMG_0205 IMG_0212 IMG_0220 IMG_0283

After a blissful time in Penghu, we returned to the busy city of Taipei to catch our flight back to Toronto! While there, I couldn’t resist trying some Starbucks! To be honest, it was not very good! And the sizes are a lot smaller! The venti I asked for could very well pass for a tall. I think Taiwan should just stick to making bubble tea! haha

IMG_0332

Our family decided to take a late-night walk along the streets for our last night in Taiwan. We visited lots of small shops and saw TenRen’s and Chatime, both places I go to a lot back in Canada.

IMG_0339

ย 

And I also walked pass an advertisement of my favourite Taiwanese celebrity -Wang LeeHom. Couldn’t help but publicly express my admiration out on the streets ๐Ÿ˜€

IMG_0335

And it’s a 14 hour flight back to T-dot! Goodbye Taiwan!

IMG_0369

And that concludes my Taiwan Adventures in May! It was one of my favourite experiences of the summer since I haven’t been there for at least 6 years! Not only did I get to see exciting new destinations, but I was able to visit my grandparents and see where my dad grew up! And the food was unbelievably ahhh-mazing!! I hope I can come and visit again in the future!

For my Europe trip in June-July, I will not be doing a series of travel posts as I ย took TOO MANY pictures! I literally had to go through 2 memory cards! I did however capture video footage of some of the places I visited and edited it into a collective video! I will be posting that soon!

As school has started, I will obviously not be posting many travel blog posts soon, but hopefully, I can post some food recipes and reviews if I’m not too busy with my readings and lectures! Hope everyone had a great summer 2014 and wishing everyone a great start to the school year! ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

ย 

Taiwan Adventures Part 1: Taipei, Sun Moon Lake & Tainan

Hi everyone!!
As you can probably see, I’ve redesigned my blog!! I found myself doing not too much today and I suddenly remembered this blog! In a post back in May, I said how I wanted to change the design to fit it more to my style and make it more user-friendly. I’m really happy with the new design now and I feel like when my blog finally looks like I wanted it to, I’ll be motivated to post here more regularly, fingers crossed!
Soooo…I guess I completely lied when I said I would be frequently writing on this blog in the summer. I don’t know how, but this blog completely slipped to the back of my mind while I was travelling and I neglected posting regular updates of all the places I ventured to this summer! I definitely still want to write about & archive all my travels here so I will be starting this post off with my first trip of the summer to Taiwan! My family and I went to go visit my grandparents and for sightseeing -all in all, I visited about 4 different cities/islands there! To prevent this intro from turning into a novel, let’s start!

The plane ride from Toronto to Taipei was 15 hrs long!! It’s the longest I’ve ever been on a plane!
IMG_8789

After an exhausting plane ride, the Lin family was hungry, so what better way to cure post-plane fatigue than traditional Taiwanese food & soybean milk? ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_8798

We went straight to a famous mountain in Taipei afterwards & hiked all the way to the top, battling lots of mosquitoes along the way! The view at the top made it all worth it though! It was so breathtaking, not a bad first day in Taiwan!

IMG_8808

Probably one of my favourite places we visited was the Assam Tea Farm. Here, we were able to explore an authentic tea farm and observe the entire process of collecting fresh tea leaves, withering, fermenting, drying, and much more, to the tea you find packaged in your grocery store! Since I’m an avid tea drinker, I was intrigued by discovering all the tools, machines, and techniques involved in making tea!

IMG_8825 IMG_8827 IMG_8830 IMG_8836 IMG_8844 IMG_8846

At our hotel, we had the most amazing view of the Sun Moon Lake & mountains!

IMG_8917 IMG_8919

While at Sun Moon Lake, we stayed in an amazing villa! The entrance to the villa was this awesome door that leads to a private pool and our 2 rooms!

IMG_8963

The villa we stayed at made me feel like I was living in a Japanese zen garden! Couldn’t resist taking lots of pictures and sneaking in a yoga pose with the mountains haha ๐Ÿ˜€

ย ย IMG_8985 ย IMG_8958

IMG_8984 IMG_8997

After leaving Sun Moon Lake, we traveled to Tainan! Anytime I travel somewhere, my favourite thing to do is to explore the marketplace! It really gives you a good sense of the culture and you get the meet all the friendly people there! The Tainan market was so lively and wonderful! Picked up some famous Taiwan mango juice because it was extremely hot that day!

IMG_9101 IMG_9103 IMG_9108 IMG_9117 ย ย IMG_9122 IMG_9124 IMG_9125

The first part of Taiwan was pretty great, but I have to say, the second part of the trip was my personal favourite! I got to visit my dad’s hometown of Kaohsiung, the beautiful beaches of Kenting, and the island of Penghu! The next post will be a bit longer because that’s where I visited the famous Taiwanese nightmarkets, went fishing, and a lot more! I can’t believe all these adventures took place all the way back in May! As I blog about it, I feel like I’m re-living every single market, temple, mountain, and food I experienced while I was there! Part 2 will be up in a few days now that I’m getting back into the blogging world! Stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚

Osheaga 2013!

One weekend where you’re surrounded by music and people who are as equally passionate about music as you are. That’s what Osheaga was all about. I’ve never been to a music festival before, but Osheaga completely went above and beyond my expectations! For those of you who don’t particularly know what Osheaga is, it is a 3 day music festival that took place at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal two weeks ago. It was a great opportunity to not only hear my favourite artists, but also to discover new musicians as well. For the festival, I was most excited to see Imagine Dragons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Jimmy Eat World, Ellie Goulding, Jessie Ware, Tegan & Sara, Mumford & Sons, and Jake Bugg. I’m happy to also say that I discovered really awesome musicians such as Capital Cities, Raine Maida, Kendrick Lamar, Angel Haze, Two Door Cinema Club, and The Heavy. It was the best weekend, especially because it was mainly sunny despite the fact that the weather forecast predicted it would be heavy thunderstorms all throughout! ๐Ÿ™‚ WIthout further ado, here is my Osheaga experience in pictures:

First day: entering the festival for the first time!

Image

The main stages. Capital Cities was the first artist that I heard upon entering and I instantly fell in love!

Image

Image

Lots of us just sat on the grass and listened to the music -nothing better than getting to listen to good music without having to stand up for hours in the crowd!

Image

Ellie Goulding!

Image

My sis and I after an awesome first day!

Image

Osheaga Day 2!

Image

At the festival, there was a cool contest where you receive bracelets every new day and there are numbers written on each one. If you are able to find someone else in the festival that has a matching number with yours, you are entered into a contest to win a car!

Image

I wasn’t able to find anyone, but my sister did! Lucky!

Image

Jimmy Eat World!

Image

Tegan & Sara!

Image

Chilling on the grass with my seeeester ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

And then we decided to finally go into the crowds for our favourite musicians!

Imagine Dragons -one of my absolute favourite performances ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Image

Macklemore and Tegan & Sara sang together for Same Love! Ahhh loved it so much!

Image

Crowds going crazy for Macklemore!

Image

Thought I’d just add this awesome picture with the lighting! So cool ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Day 3: kicking it off with some Jessie Ware!

Image

The crowds!

Image

The Lumineers!

Image

At one point, he decided to jump into the crowd and start playing!

Image

Kendrick Lamar!

Image

If I got a dollar for every crowdsurfer, I would be rich!!

Image

And finally, the last show of the festival: Mumford & Sons!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Osheaga was amazing with such quality, diverse music! I recommend this music festival to everyone and I promise you won’t be disappointed! I loved every single minute of it and is definitely, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my summer!

Road Trip!

Happy Tuesday!

So I finally sat myself down at my laptop and told myself that I would not leave until I got this post up! Recently, I went to Deerhurst Resort located in Huntsville. I’ve been there before with my family and we always have a great time doing lots of outdoor activities!

Went to the driving range on the golf course! Stunning view.

Image

My bro and I casually pretending like we’re Professor X and Magneto playing chess!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Image

I literally spent the entire time at this beach. Definitely my favourite spot.

Image

Stand-up paddling for the first time! Don’t let this picture deceive you -I was greatly struggling to stay balanced on the board!!

Image

So this was the best ride ever -think go-karting on rails that are built so you can go really high up from the ground in the middle of the forest!

ImageImage

While I was lying on the beach chairs reading my book, my sister pointed out a group of baby ducklings. Not just baby ducks, but baby ducks sleeping under the sun!!! Eeek! I died of cuteness overload!

Image

Before we left, I noticed someone made an alligator and turtle out of sand! Awesome job whoever made this! ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Since I spent 90% of the trip at the beach, naturally, many pictures were taken there, especially since it was sunset (my favourite time of day)!!

Image

IMG_2837

IMG_2832

On the next day when we were eating dinner, we casually spotted deer and a groundhog!

IMG_2862

IMG_2865

My fave sport to play: tennis with the fam!

IMG_2960

On the beach, my sis found mussels while swimming! (Don’t worry, we put them back! haha)

IMG_2949

And we went on an awesome boat ride across 2 lakes and a canal! Such a beautiful day!

IMG_2953

One of the employees was nice enough to give us a ride back to our hotel room on their golf cart so we wouldn’t have to walk!

IMG_2937

You can see all the water activities outside the window of my hotel room! Yes I went on the huge trampoline! And do you see that bright green tube that connects the two trampolines in the top left corner? You’re supposed to walk across that to get to the other trampoline and let me tell you, it’s harder than it looks! I wiped out at least 4 times trying to carefully balance myself across, until I realized the best strategy was just to run really fast, and it eventually worked for me! But I can definitely credit lots of my bruises to slipping/flopping off that darn green walk into the water!

IMG_2721

Overall, it was an incredible trip with the beautiful weather and staying outside all day! It was a nice change from the always busy city of Toronto. Being surrounded by wildlife and clean air made it that much more enjoyable and I found myself constantly staring at the blue skies and clear waters, taking it all in and being in awe of God’s creation. It was all so breathtaking! On another note, I hope everyone has been having a fantastic summer -still can’t believe summer is half-done!

IMG_2824

Travels -Part 2!

As most of you know, I went back to Montreal a while ago and had such a great time. No matter how many times I go there, there’s always something new to do! So without further ado, let’s get to some pictures I took during the trip:

While we were there, Montreal had lots of festivals, so that was fun to go to ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Image

And we went mopeding across Montreal! This was probably the most exciting thing of the trip!

Image

Image

I thought this was pretty cool…

Image

While in Montreal, my family and I helped my sister move in to her new place by putting together furniture! So this was Furniture Day for us! ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Image

It’s not finished in this picture, but I put together this chair from scratch without any electric drills haha I thought that was an accomplishment for me ๐Ÿ˜€

Image

Film festival!!!!

Image

Putting up the huge screen for the movie screening..

Image

And the huge crowd of people waiting..I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch a movie for free outside? ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

ahh..Ben & Jerry’s! I die….

Image

My favourite part of the trip…walking through the fountains at night โคย Image

Image

Image

One of my fav pictures of the entire trip..just SO beautiful..

Image

And just taking a stroll through Montreal for the last time before leaving…

Image

Image

Montreal is such a beautiful city with an endless amount of things to do! I learned a lot about the French culture and had an incredible time with my family. It was a great last travel for the summer; I encourage everyone to go for a visit! ๐Ÿ™‚

Travels!

Hi all! Wow, is it August 15th already?! The summer is just flying by, isnt it? My sincerest apologies for neglecting this blog for over a week, but I have been extremely busy! Right after I came back from Toronto, I was ambushed with back-to-back shifts at work..which is why I couldn’t put up any new posts. Now that I have some time, I wanted to write a post about my recent travels!

For all those who didn’t know, I went to Lake Rousseau up north with my family. It’s quite a nice road trip up there and I absolutely loved it! If there’s something I learned during that trip, it’s that you don’t need to go anywhere fancy or across the world for a nice vacation. Canada is such a beautiful country and just spending a week by the lakeside really makes me grateful for being Canadian. During the trip, I spent half my time at a hotel located right beside Lake Rousseau, doing all the waterย activities you can think of -swimming, kayaking, jetskiing, and also using the hotel’s outdoor pool. The other half I spent at my relative’s beautiful, spacious cottage 5 minutes away, located near a smaller lake, called Bruce Lake. It’s a lot smaller and more quiet of a lake, which was nice. At Bruce Lake, I also did some swimming, canoeing, and fishing! My relative’s cottage has this dock at the back which has a phenomenal view of all the scenery and the lake. I believe I spent countless hours just sitting on that dock, soaking up the sun, reading a book, looking at the scenery, or just falling asleep in the good weather! At the cottage, we also did a lot of karaoke, movie marathons, and eating!! haha

I loved this trip because it was simple and practical. No need for any airplanes, jetlag, or new currency. Just simple ol’ Canada. It was truly a great trip spent well with family and was so much better than what I could ask for. I managed to take some pictures throughout the trip ๐Ÿ™‚

When we arrived at the hotel, there was beautiful weather waiting for us!!

Image

We were just driving around and we spotted some wild turkeys!!

Image

The view from that dock I was talking about ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Image

Aaand we had a huge movie marathon…

Image

I love how the sun hits the water,ย making it look like it’s sparkling ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

I absolutely loved this lake!! There were so many fish swimming around in the lake! It’s pretty funny..my family members can testify to you that I tried catching the fish with a bucket rather than a net..which did not turn not successful ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Image

This is the beach at the hotel. And yes, I went on that blue-yellow thing you see in the distance. It’s a slide! It looks so deceiving because it takes so much effort to climb to the top, but when you slide down into the water, it’s worth it!!

Image

My adorable cousin with a paddleboat ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

My other little cousin..haha! So precious!

Image

I got to drive that on the water at 40 km/h!!! It was probably one of the most exciting things I did on the trip!Image

Canoeing!! And no, we did not flip ๐Ÿ˜€

Kayaking with my momma :’)

Image

I loved all the rocks and flowers -so beautiful! Oh Canadaaa!!!Image

Loved this trip and enjoyed every second of it. You really don’t need to go anywhere far away to have a good vacation. Canada is amazing. When I was surrounded by all the incredible scenery throughout this trip, I was reminded of how great God is and how his creation is so wonderfully made.

Image

For the rest of the summer, I hope to just simply spend time with some friends, travel a bit more, and enjoy this beautiful weather! Hope everyone else is having a great summer! ๐Ÿ™‚