My Dream Castle (芯園 我的夢中城堡)

We came to know about My Dream Castle (芯園 我的夢中城堡) at the NATAS Travel Fair. It was quite a challenge making our booking, as it required some communication with the owner via email in Mandarin. The nearest train station is Luodong station (罗东站). At the station, we had to call the B&B (民宿) and someone drove over to pick us up.

The reception area has plenty of these cute ornaments.

The interesting handles on the door to our room, which is a separate building from the reception. Our room is named Princess Anne Garden Castle (安妮公主花園城堡).

Not only the room is beautifully furnished, the surrounding areas outside are also well-decorated.

There is no door to the bathroom. It is only separated from the bedroom by drawing the curtains. Noticed that the place is surrounded by nature? There's a note at the door that says in Mandarin "do not panic and call us for help if you see insects". True enough, I saw a really huge spider!

This is the second floor. It doesn't look exciting as compared that the elegant decorations on the ground floor.

The next morning, we were served a local style breakfast.

Taipei Royal Palace Hotel (豪麗飯店)

Royal Palace Hotel (豪麗飯店) is about two blocks from exit 3 of Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝復興) metro station. Travel a few stations westbound, there's Ximending (西門町) and travel a few stations eastwards, there's Xinyi Shopping District (信義區) that Taipei 101 is located.

The design of the hotel is more traditional European style, with all the woody furnitures and a long armchair beside the bed.

Taipei CityInn Hotel I

CityInn Hotel is one of those budget hotel chains in Taipei City. CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch I is located in the busy part of town, relatively near to Taipei station, where there are metro, railway and high speed rail.

After we checked into our room, I was glad to walk into a clean and well-maintained room. Although we got a room with windows, I imagine it wouldn't make much difference if we had decided on a non-window room. There's absolutely nothing to see outside the window, except for a very narrow space between buildings and a very dirty wall of the opposite building. Moreover, the room is air-conditioned and the windows are shut, so ventilation is not at all an issue here. The walls are not sound-proof and KB could hear our next door neighbour late at night. Well, we can't expect too much in a budget hotel, right?

Spa Home Hotel at Sun Moon Lake

It was a tough choice to make, given the numerous hotels dotting along the perimeter of Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)... from the most budget to the most luxurious. After reading reviews after reviews and taking into consideration the balance between our budget, the comfort and the location, we decided to book Spa Home Hotel. It is a newly built boutique hotel and the reception lady said that all the rooms are facing the lake. (Google Map street view shows the hotel still under-construction, as of November 2009.) The hotel only has a few floors and does not have a lift. When checking in to our room on the second floor, we had to conquer the stairs with our heavy luggages. But overall, it's a nice and cozy hotel with big spacious room.

The bathroom, however, wasn't very much to my liking. The standing shower area is tiny and dim (tucked in the left corner of the bathroom).

The next morning, we wake up to a foggy view of the lake and watch it clear up as the sun rises.

We stayed for two nights here and had our breakfast and dinner at the hotel. After a long day exploring as many attractions as we could, we have no more energy to hunt for dinner place. Just to add, the hotel's dining area is also facing the lake, but it's pitch dark at night, so we could only enjoy the view during breakfast.

Taipei Home Hotel

Home Hotel is located next to NEO19 and within walking distance to Taipei 101. However, it is quite a distance to the nearest metro station (Taipei City Hall station). Along the walk to the station, we will pass by Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, Eslite and Hankyu. There is just too much shopping opportunities for me.

This hotel aims to give the traveler the warmth and the comfort of a home.

The room is very cozy, but I thought that the lights are a little too dim.

As part of the hotel's effort to be a little more environmental friendly, they provided big bottles of body wash, shampoo and conditioner.

Even the mugs in the bathroom wants you to feel at home.

Looking out of the window, on the right, we have the full view of Taipei 101 building. If we were here during the New Year countdown, we could see the fireworks from the hotel.

up on 1-Altitude

By night, 1-Altitude is an al fresco bar, but during day time, it's a viewing gallery on the 63rd floor of the former OUB Centre. There's no shelter and there isn't much shady area too. It was really sunny on the day we visited. Thankfully, the strong winds and some cloud coverage that made it more pleasant for us.

The perimeters of the rooftop is fitted with glass panels that are quite tall, but it's still possible to hold the camera high above the glass to prevent reflections in the photos.

Land of LEGOs

There are many avenues to buy the tickets to LEGOLAND Malaysia. But, as anyone would expect, not all prices offered are equal. After some research, the lowest price found was SGD 38 (per adult 1-day admission ticket) sold by Sea Wheel Travel. The group of us are not keen on taking the coach because that will restrict us to a fixed timetable. Some tour agencies even include meals, which I find a waste of time. Anyway, the drive from Singapore to Legoland is really not that long (approximately 30 minutes after crossing both customs). And anyway, with GPS, it really not that difficult too.

TECHNIC Twister - the Lego version of the teacups ride.

Project X roller-coaster ride

Lego wolves

Outside The Dragon ride

See if you can pull yourself up at the Kids Power Tower.

A hut with a lot of grey bears

We stopped for lunch at the Pizza Mania. Outside the eatery is this huge Lego giraffe.

A smaller Lego giraffe and Lego dragons

The Observation Tower

Can you see the long queue from the fan's reflection?

After a long wait, it's finally our turn to get on it.

Views from the top of the Observation Tower:

Carpark in the far background


Still at the IMAGINATION zone

The LEGOLAND Hotel still under construction in the far background.


Lego meet and greet

Lego musical fountain

Lego displays along the queue at Lost Kingdom laser game

Before going there, I've already heard that it's a rather boring place for adults. Most rides are kiddy and the rest are too short. My experience = hot + humid + a lot of waiting in the queue. The only part that I truly enjoyed was the MINILAND, where all the miniaturized famous places are built using Lego bricks.

World Peace Gong

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei

Hoi An, Vietnam


Elgin Bridge, Singapore

Boat Quay, Singapore

Cavenagh Bridge and The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia


KLCC and Petronas Towers, Malaysia

KL Railway Station, Malaysia

Putra Mosque, Malaysia

Perdana Putra, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur International Airport