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Thursday, September 29, 2016

A day in my life (Exchange student at NCCU)



It's been almost a month here in Taiwan now and I thought I should jot down what I do on most days here.



On days when I have classes, I will eat breakfast. This is the canteen right below my dorm, it's called 安九 ("Enjoy"). There's quite a lot of variety here, from economy rice to soup noodles.


This is the stall I usually order from for breakfast. They have toast, 蛋饼 (which is like roti canai), mee...etc. But I usually just order toast. Yes I know their toast looks rather white and not...toasted, but I promise it's crunchy. That's my matcha green tea toast for NT$15 (about RM2).



Or, I sometimes take breakfast at Hi-Life, which is kinda like another ty pe of 7-11 here. They usually have sets like a sandwhich and a drink will cost about NT$49 (about RM6.50). We do have a 10% student discount here, and they have ATM machines to let us withdraw money.



And then it's time to fight a spot on the bus. I live in a dorm uphill, so I usually take the bus down. It costs NT$1 (RM0.13) per bus ride. In the mornings, the bus comes every 20 mins. After 6pm, the bus comes every 10 mins.

On weekdays when everyone has classes, there will be a super long queue. If you're lucky and in the first 13 to line up, you will get a seat. If not, just stand lah. It's only like a 4 mins ride down. But the roads are quite winding, so gotta hold on tight.



This is the Faculty of Commerce, which is my faculty. It is about 9 or 10 stories high. It's really big as compared to my faculty back in UM.

I am taking 4 subjects, a total of 12 credit hours. The pictures below are what my classes look like. So far I still havent entered my Money and Banking class yet because during the 1st week, it was the Mid-Autumn festival holidays, then last week my lecturer had personal matters.

Organizational Behaviour class


Investment class
Service Marketing class

Their class timings here are quite unique. Classes start 10 mins later than stated time. Meaning if it says class starts at 9am, it actually starts at 9.10am. Then every 50 mins of class, we will get a 10 mins break. There's a school bell that actually rings during break times. It's pretty cool. haha. Feels like primary/secondary school all over again.


Finding food is not a problem here. This is the street right outside of my Uni, a lot of restaurants and shops here, everything is walking distance.



This is one of my favourite restaurants to eat. It's called 左撇子 and their rice here is really good! Mostly costs NT$75 (about RM10).


There is also a building in our Uni that has a lot of different varieties of food stalls selling food. First floor is where most students eat at. 2nd and 3rd floor are the more expensive and atas kind of food, so we don't eat there.


Of course there are days where I need to do laundry. Other than washers, they have dryers. Their washer and dryer here have the same 6 settings to choose from (perm press, white coloured clothes, normal clothes, delicates, wool...etc). Washers only take 30 mins, while dryers take 45 mins. Dryers are so useful! Your clothes really come out fully dried (except those thicker ones, still have to hang those). And for the record, it only costs NT$20 (about RM2.50) to use both.


 On weekends or even weekdays when we don't have classes, we head out to explore!

Visiting Ah Siang & Evonne at NTU (National Taiwan University)
Shilin Night Market
JiuFen

So far I have adapted to the life here in Taiwan. Getting used to the food (still will miss nasi lemak and asam laksa though), their way of life, how they speak...etc. Hope to explore more of Taiwan and get to know this beautiful country better :)


P.S: No more typhoons please. I think we have experienced it enough. haha
P.P.S: Read my other posts about my exchange life in Taiwan here



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Monday, September 12, 2016

Places to visit in TaiChung / 台中景点


Can't believe that we have the chance to start travelling around Taiwan, somewhere other than Taipei in the 1st week that we are here! Thanks to my buddy Yu-Cheng, we got to visit his house at Taichung (台中)!

First time sitting a bus from Taipei Main Station (台北车站) to Chaoma (朝马), which is a slightly outskirt area in TaiChung. Their buses are equipped with TV screens and USB charging ports for us to charge our phones. There's even a toilet in the bus! I am impressed!


Taichung Wang Gao Liao Lookout Point (台中望高寮)


This lookout point right behind my buddy's house, so that was our first stop. We got to see the whole of TaiChung from up here.

It's a really nice place to just chill and hangout. Or paktor! haha. 

Best of all? Entrance fee : F.O.C!


Spotted these 3 cute dogs that look like triplets with their owner. Dogs in Taiwan are so well behaved. Even stray ones!


Gaomei Wetlands (高美湿地)



The next day, the first place we went was 高美湿地. Gaomei Wetlands is a piece of land mixed with sand and soil textures. 

There have been many windmills that were destroyed by a typhoon.  
With Yu-Cheng
Many crabs and mud skippers


There's like a walkway for you to walk and at the end of it you can take your shoes off and experience the wetlands itself! No need to be too worried about your shoes, Taiwan is pretty safe. haha. But wearing slippers will be better. 

If we have the chance to go again I think I will opt to go during the evening to catch the sunset!

Entrance fee: F.O.C!


Tunghai University - Luce Memorial Chapel (东海大学)




The infamous chapel located in Tunghai University. Many people just come and take pics of this quirky looking building. Apparently it still functions! Doubt a lot of people can fit in it though as it's quite small.


Taichung Rainbow Village (台中 彩虹眷村)



Story of this village: The Taiwanese government started tearing down veteran villages one by one. Then one of the last village resident, Mr Huang, decided to paint the village with really bright colours and filled it with animals, cartoons...etc. When it was discovered, students from a university nearby and other locals started to protest the gov's actions. Which led to this village being preserved and is now an attraction.




Okay to be honest I expected this place to be really big, turns out to be just a quaint little village. haha. Nonetheless, it's still very very pretty. Really in awe at how much work and effort this must have took!


Entrance fee? FOC again! Unbelievable right!?


Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市)


Vistited this night market 2 years ago when I was here. It's the biggest night market in Taiwan. We were there on a Saturday night, which means super super super crowded! There's a lot of really nice boutiques selling nice and affordable clothes, but too bad didn't have much energy after a whole day of travelling. 

Anyway, we had the very famous 明伦蛋饼, which is something like roti telur in my opinion. haha. Also had 刀割羊肉面 (lamb with noodles) and 酸辣汤 (sour + spicy soup). The noodles were delicious, the soup needed some getting used to, but it tastes good too after you're used to it. The texture is like shark fin's soup, and the vinegar taste is quite strong.



Bonus part of our trip was getting to see the night view of the place where the rich stays in Taichung. It's located right opposite the National Taichung Theater.

Overall Taichung was great! Would suggest spacing out the visits to the attractions in 2 days. This is so that you can save the night market for another day, instead of doing everything in one. We used the bus to travel in Taichung. Its really cheap and can even be free! Because you don't have to pay if you travel within 6km in Taichung, which is pretty much everywhere we went. Also, you may notice that all the attractions DO NOT have any entrance fee, which is awesome!

Hope to go back there some day, especially Fengjia Night Market for some shopping! :D


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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Differences between Taiwan & Malaysia (Part 1)

Hello from Taiwan! I have been in Taiwan for more than a week now and am here on a student exchange program for 1 semester.

With my parents at the airport <3


Came here with my bf, KS and our friend Mike. We're all from the same uni and course back home. Came here to the same uni and course as well. haha. There's actually 4 of us, Lisa who is also from UM but a different course. We only got to know her through this program.


This is the university I am at now which is National ChengChi University (NCCU), located at the Southern part of Taipei, Taiwan. 

I used to think Taiwan wasn't THAT different from Malaysia. I mean the population is majority Chinese, we don't have a time difference...you know that kind of really obvious differences. But there are actually many things that are different here that I have noticed so far.



1. Daylight / Sunset

Daylight for Taiwan is like 6am. Literally the sun is fully up by 6.30am whereas it's still quite dark in Malaysia at this time. Then when 6pm comes the sun is already setting and it will be pitch black by 7pm.



2. Public transportation

They have very good and systematic public transportation. So far we have rode buses and the MRT. It rarely comes late, even if it does it's probably only a 5 mins difference, and not like some half an hour delay *shifts eyes to our KTM* Also, everyone lines up properly to get on the public transportation.



This Easy Card is used to pay for the public transportation. Very essential for us!


3. Recycling

Taiwan places a lot of emphasis on recycling. It's so hard to find a dustbin to throw trash by the road but there are tons of recycling bins everywhere. Good for the environment, but troublesome when all you need is a dustbin to throw non-recyclable rubbish because we have to wait for the garbage truck to come.

The recycling bins allocated in my dorm



4. Food portion

I think this is something I am struggling most at the moment. Their food portion is HUGE. I always thought Asians generally have about the same sized food portions, but apparently not. In Taiwan, a meal is like fit for 2 back in Malaysia. Initially thought it was my own problem because I am a pretty small eater, but the guys also mentioned that their portion is really really filling. It's frustrating when I can barely finish a meal but I know if I eat anymore I may throw up.

This was ordered by KS and I at GongGuan Night Market. Super huge portion!



5. The toilets

They do not have pipes in their toilets (which gets me thinking what if one day the flush is not working?! what happens then!? lol), and most of them are those squat ones. Also not allowed to throw any tissue in the toilet bowl. All goes to the rubbish bin allocated in the toilet.



6. Night markets replacing Shopping malls




In Taiwan they are mostly famous for their night markets. So far I've been to XiMenDing Night Market (西门町), Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), GongGuan Night Market (公馆夜市) and FengJia Night Market (逢甲夜市). Seems like shopping malls are quite uncommon and even if they do have them it's mostly quite atas like KLCC. According to my buddy who is a local here, seems like mid-range shopping malls like Mid Valley, 1Utama, DP...etc are not as common if compared to Malaysia. Instead they have night markets which is like a 5 times better version of a pasar malam.


7. Humidity

The weather here currently is still Summer. Still hot at 30+ degrees celcius. But in Malaysia once we step out of the door we will be drenched in sweat. But here, even though you can be walking under the hot sun for 15 mins, you will hardly break out into a pool of sweat. 15 mins under the sun here is like 1 min under the sun in Malaysia. Also they have pretty cooling winds from time to time, which helps a lot.




So far this is what I have gathered. There are many others that I am slowly discovering, hence this is only Part 1. Will update more as the list goes on!

I have also created a new label on my blog called M ♥ Taiwan Exchange, future posts regarding my life in Taiwan will be listed here :D or you can checkout the hashtag #MandyTaiwanExchange on Instagram for pictures only :D



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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

{Review} White Formula Super Moist Series


As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be heading to Taiwan soon for a student exchange program. So apt that MyCare introduced me to the White Formula Super Moist series which is quite popular in Taiwan.


The products are: 

1. White Formula Super Moist Facial Foam with Hyaluronic Acid - RM29.90

2. White Formula Super Moist Light Toner with Hyaluronic Acid - RM49.90

3. White Formula Super Moist Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid - RM49.90

4. White Formula Super Moist Gel with Hyaluronic Acid - RM61.90

5. White Formula Extreme Hyaluronic Acid Essence - RM62.90


"HYALURONIC ACID"

As you can see all of their products contain "Hyaluronic Acid" which is a well-known ingredient for skin moisturzing. Its used to Transmit, Replenish, and Retain moisture.



"MAIN FEATURES"
The Super Moist Series' main features are:

  • Affordable
  • Good Quality
  • Suitable for Sensitive Skin
  • NO alcohol, NO fragrance, NO colorant, LOW irritation


"5 STEPS"

Pictures below will illustrate my skincare routine using the White Formula Super Moist series.

1st step: Cleansing with White Formula Super Moist Facial Foam

Just use a small amount will do as this product is very rich and foamy.

2nd step: Apply White Formula Super Moist Light Toner


I normally don't use cotton pad to put on toner because I feel cotton pads just absorb the product in and you use more product than you have to. 

3rd step: Use White Formula Super Moist Lotion 

Also only small amount is needed for the whole face. It is also has quite thick texture.
4th step: Apply White Formula Super Moist Gel

Honestly was a bit skeptical about this as I already applied lotion previously, so I was quite afraid that adding this moisturizer will be too much for my skin, but it is surprisingly doesn't feel like I'm piling on too much as it absorbs really quick into the skin.



5th step: Apply White Formula Extreme Hyaluronic Acid Essence

Personally feel that this is an optional step if your skin is not too dry. I only use this about 3 times a week. My skin isn't very dry so I dont need too much moisturizing. 


"VERDICT"

LIKES

- Fast absorbing
- Cleanser is rich and foamy, makes your skin feel squeaky clean after using
- Moisturzing towards the skin
- Reasonably priced


DISLIKES

- Although it doesn't have fragrance but the lotion has a bit of a strong smell towards it. 



If you're interested to win 1 set for yourself, you can head on to the White Formula Malaysia FB page and try your luck with their giveaway!


 You can also purchase this series from MyCare.com.my They will be having huge discounts during the #MYCyberSale during 26th Sept - 30th Sept 2016 so don't forget to check it out!


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