Saturday, October 14, 2017

Canon G7x Mark II

For someone like me who blogs and loves to travel, the one thing that is really essential to me would be a camera. I have to admit that nowadays majority of the photos you see on this blog and on my instagram are all taken by my iPhone 7+ and edited using VSCO app (This is like the most efficient combi ever, LOL) But hey, if i didn't tell you guys, would you have realise it or notice the difference in photo quality? Probably not. The iPhone camera quality is so good nowadays that most of us would just chuck our expensive camera at home and rely on our iPhone. Don't get me started on the portrait mode. It's insane. 

But still. 

I still feel that when traveling, i still would want good quality photos, additional toggle functions etc. That perfect camera was the Canon G7x. Compact, amazing quality, flip screen, WIFI transfer. When i first heard the news of this camera, i knew i had to get it. (In fact, i called in to those sim lim square shop to ask when will their first shipment arrive, haha) It's like the ultimate dream camera any blogger can think of. 

Used it for about 2 years before it started becoming cranky. Touchscreen not working, on/off button not functioning etc. Brought it to the Canon hospital for servicing for about 3 times. First time was under warranty, 2nd time no warranty so i paid about $100+ because i felt it was worth saving and the third time was the last straw. Motherboard spoil, need to pay like $400 to replace it. FREAKIN' 400 BUCKS. I was like no.

It's time to get a new one. 

I thought maybe i should consider upgrading to a semi-pro/ mirrorless camera to get better quality photos so i did my research and narrowed down to a few choices - Sony A6000, Lumix GF9 and Canon EOS M10/3. Then i realised i would also want to get the “pancake” lens to do those chio bokeh portrait shots. Calculated the total price and it was like erm, close to $1000? 

Part of me want to upgrade, but the other part think the camera is so gonna be under utilised and i probably would be too lazy to bring it out. (Read iPhone + VSCO) In the end, i went for the G7x Mark II at $655 after the “privilege program”, basically a nicer way to say trade in. 

So here’s my new camera. Upgraded version of my previous G7x.

Did i regret getting this instead of the mirrorless camera? The answer is no.

Ready for Japan,                        

Sunday, September 17, 2017

7D6N Taiwan Travelogue: Yehliu - Ximending

This is the last post of my Taiwan travelogue. I’m so glad i managed to complete it before my Japan trip! (Japan is gonna be a 2 weeks trip and i have no idea how am i going to finish writing about it, LOL) I know my Taiwan trip is 7D6N and with this post, there is only a total of 5 post. Well… that’s because there was one day i didn’t do much except for going to the hot spring (Beitou i think) and for the last day, it was just basically checking out of Orange Hotel and flying back to SG, which leaves a good 5 days to blog about!  
For the last full day at Taiwan, i planned a trip to Yeliu Geopark (野柳地質公園) since i have not visit the place before. Did my prior research and realised the place isn’t exactly very near to main Taipei. Most people go there to see the natural rock formations including the iconic "Queen's Head" (女王頭) 
The easiest way to get to Yeliu Geopark would be to go to Taipei West bus station Terminal A, go to Kuokuang window and purchase a ticket to Yehliu Geopark OR via ZhongXiao DunHua MRT station exit 4, take bus 1815 to Yehliu. The whole journey will take about 1.5 hours and cost around NT96 (S$4.30) per pax. 
Entrance ticket into the park will cost you NT80 (S$3.50) 
As Yeliu geopark is a famous tourist attraction, there are 2 things you will see when you enter the park - people and rock formations. It’s almost impossible to take a photo without any tourist in it so you either have to wait patiently for the right opportunity to get your golden shot or live with having people in your photo. 
Managed to get a shot, heng. LOL  
The iconic "Queen's Head" (女王頭) which we have to queue to take a photo with it. There is even a security guard there to manage the queue. Remember what i say earlier about having tourist in your shot? This is one good example, LOL There is also another synthetic "Queen's Head" at the entrance of the park for those who just wants a photo with it, HAHAHA We spent a good 2 hours exploring the park, enjoying the scenery and sea breeze. Not really my kind of thing but it’s good to at least visit once to know what’s the hype all about this place. Guess it’s more for the older folks and tour groups who enjoys nature. 
Yeliu Geopark is actually located at northern Taiwan which explained the long bus journey. Right beside the park is the Yehliu Ocean World (野柳海洋世界), an oceanarium which you can consider visiting after the geopark to make your trip more worth it. Took the return bus back to Taipei and continue to explore ximending area since it’s our last night here. Time to do some last minute shopping and also to visit the toilet themed restaurant! 
My favourite street muah chee which i mentioned a few times throughout this travelogue! This is the cart where you have to hunt for it because it’s not stationary and can be anywhere. Super soft and delicious. Just go for the original peanut one, good enough! One portion cost NT30 (S$1.30) or you can get a bigger portion in a box for NT50 (S$2.20).
Definitely a must try and it makes a really good street snack. I think some of them even put a bit of the peanut shavings in the middle of each muah chee, so it’s double the goodness! 
Modern Toilet Restaurant 
2F, No 7,Ln 50,Xining S. Rd., Taipei City  

It’s actually my second time here (i came during my first Taiwan trip) but since it’s kelvin first time to Taipei, i thought it would be nice to bring him to a themed restaurant.
In case for whatever reason you have not heard about this modern toilet restaurant, it’s basically a toilet themed restaurant where everything is modelled like a toilet. The seats are toilet bowl, the drinks are served in urinal shaped flask etc. It’s quite a novelty if you haven’t been to a place like this. The price of the food is quite reasonable, taste wise not amazing but it’s best to get a set which comes with the soup, drink and dessert for the whole experience. 
Even the dessert is a chocolate soft serve ice cream in a shape of a poop, LOL  
Spent the rest of the night exploring Ximending. The feel of ximending is like myeondong in Korea. A lot of food, fashion, facial products and people. For souvenirs, most people usually get snacks like pineapple tarts and nougat biscuit or products like face masks which can be really cheap if you get it in bulk. 
Don’t forget to try the famous Ay Chung Rice Noodles 阿宗麵線 which is apparently the no.1 must have street food in ximending. I’m not gonna elaborate on what this mee sua is about because you probably know or heard about it. Good to at least try once. Not my kind of food though. 
That’s all i have for my 7D6N Taiwan travelogue! Phew. I finally finished it. I went Taiwan in January and now is already September, LOL BUT i’m still glad i completed it. Oh no, i still have my Yogyakarta trip to write about and i’m heading to Japan next month! Did i mentioned i bought tickets to Hong Kong for next march because there’s an SQ 2-to-go promo ongoing right now? My blog is seriously becoming like a travel blog, LOL For those who have been following or chanced upon this travelogue while planning for your trip, hope this post helped! Once again, hope you enjoyed this Taiwan travelogue and do follow my adventures on instagram @andystorm for updates! :)

Signing off,