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#Travel

#Travel

SHILIN MARKET: #1 Shopping Attraction in Taiwan! (Part 1/2)

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SHILIN MARKET is the premier night market in Taiwan for bargain goods, clothes, accessories and yummy street food. It’s our favorite night market and one of the reasons why we fell in love with Taiwan.

Here’s a photo essay on what to expect in Taiwan’s #1 Shopping Attraction…

Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):

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#Travel, Food

CHATIME: What We Can Learn from the Market Leader in the International Bubble Tea Industry!

Read: Chatime Fever in Manila

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Did you know that CHATIME is a $20 million business with 580+ stores worldwide and is the #1 Market Leader in the International Bubble Milk Tea Industry?

It is one of the Top 5 Bubble Milk Tea brands in Taiwan, #2 in the Philippines (behind Serenitea, which is the first in the local market), and is still growing fast.

It was great to get the chance to meet Henry Wang of La Kaffa International, the owner of the Chatime brand, and learn how they were able to expand that quickly since 2005. I also wanted to know from him how Chatime was able to capture the hearts of the Filipinos (see Chatime Fever in Manila) and the world’s consumers.

If you are an avid fan of Chatime, a competitor in the milk tea business, or an entrepreneur who wants to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you have to check out the Chatime Trivia and the Exclusive Philippine Media Interview with Henry Wang on the story behind the international success of Chatime.

Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):

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#Travel, Food

The Making of Green Tea (Nantau Highlands, Taiwan)

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We went on a learning trip organized by Chatime to the Highlands of Nantau in Taiwan to learn how to make Green Tea — from harvesting leaves from the Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis) to processing it properly.

It was an interesting and educational experience, and I would like to share with you the Making of Green Tea…

Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):

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#Travel, Food

TIAN WAI TIAN – My BEST Hot Pot Experience

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Exploring other foodie cultures is always a good way to educate and remove any mental barriers on what’s possible with your foodie experience.

A visit to Tian Wai Tian was an eye opener for me — I never thought hot pots could be that awesome.

I was surprised with the high quality and wide variety of ingredients available in the eat-as-much-as-you-want hot pot. Plus, they have a really good selection of drinks and desserts.

When in Taiwan, you must eat in Tian Wai Tian! Check it out…

Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):

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#Travel

TAIPEI 101: On Top of the Tallest Building in Taiwan :)

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Taipei 101 observatory is a touristy stop and a showcase of Taiwanese excellence.

I usually don’t get enticed by the promise of a 360-degree view of the city, because the experience is a bit passive and there’s no cultural or entertainment value. But sometimes I surrender to the urge of checking out tourist places to see when I’m in a place for the first time. 

I would like to share with you our experience for you to decide to go or not to go to Taipei 101 observatory…

Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):

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#Travel, Food

DIN TAI FUNG Experience @ Taipei 101!

Update 12/16/2015: DIN TAI FUNG Philippines: Chocolate Lava Xiao Long Bao & Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bun! (A Review)

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DIN TAI FUNG is the Legendary Xiao Long Bao (steamed dumplings) restaurant in Taiwan that a lot of Pinoy foodies visiting Taiwan and Hongkong are raving about.

Established in 1974, it was:

  • named among the Top 10 Restaurants of the World by The New York Times in 1993
  • awarded One Michelin Star three times for its Hong Kong Branches in 2010, 2011, and 2012

It is one of the popular restaurant chains with a high franchise fee (rumor is $20M – hope that Henry Sy can bring it to Manila). So, we have to settle for the next best thing from Hongkong — Crystal Jade — and some Xiao Long Bao shops that got chefs from Din Tai Fung.

To kick off the Flavors of Taiwan series, I would like to share with you our Din Tai Fung experience…

Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):

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#Philippines, #Travel, Baguio

BAGUIO: Awesome Baguio Experience Series

Here’s the summary of the Awesome Baguio Experience 10-part Blog Series…

1. Baguio’s Panagbenga

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PANAGBENGA is a local Kankana-ey term in Cordillera, which means “a season for blossoming; a time for blooming“, coined by Ike Picpican, curator of the Saint Louis University Museum in 1997.

It is a month-long celebration in February/March during the business-lean months to attract tourists to the City of Baguio after the holidays and before the peak Summer Season.

It culminates with a Grand Flower Float Parade, held usually on the last Sunday of February.

The Flower festival symbolizes the rise of Baguio from the city’s devastating earthquake disaster on July 16, 1990.

To kick off the BEST of Baguio series, here’s my first-timer’s take on the Panagbenga experience…

Read More: BAGUIO’s Panagbenga Flower Festival

Awesome Baguio Series Part 2:

BAGUIO: Your Awesome Journey to Baguio Food Trip (Infographic)

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#Hotels, #Philippines, #Restaurants, #Travel, Baguio, Food

HOTEL ELIZABETH and BLISS CAFE in Baguio

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It’s nice to know there still are places in Baguio that have not succumbed to the temptation of over-commercialization and the greed of cutting down all the trees to give way to “development and progress”.

There are three places that you should absolutely avoid in Baguio:
1). the overcommercialized Session Road;
2). the allegedly corrupt Camp John Hay operation; and
3). SM Baguio (to stop them from cutting trees to build parking lots).

We decided to stay in Hotel Elizabeth, which is located in a quiet side of Baguio where there are still plenty of trees and cool fresh air. That became our jump-off point in exploring the authentic old Baguio experience. 🙂

Awesome Baguio Experience Series:

BAGUIO: Your Awesome Journey to Baguio Food Trip (Infographic)

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#Philippines, #Restaurants, #Travel, Baguio, Food

Eve’s Garden Organic Lunch

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Story has it that Eve (or Tita Eve, as most people would call her) migrated to Baguio and built an organic garden to nourish her cancer-stricken husband with organic food everyday. She opened her home for lunch (by reservation only) to share the delicious and healthy food with others.

It was our final day in Baguio and we decided to have our lunch there. It was a last-minute late lunch reservation but I’m glad she accepted it. We were able to try Eve’s Garden (which is like Sonya’s Garden but in Baguio, and more focused on healthy, organic food), but we did not have the pleasure of meeting Tita Eve herself.

Here is our Eve’s Garden experience…

Awesome Baguio Experience Series:

BAGUIO: Your Awesome Journey to Baguio Food Trip (Infographic)

Read more

#Philippines, #Restaurants, #Travel, Baguio, Food

Cafe by the Ruins Breakfast!

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I can still remember the story when Cafe by the Ruins was about to close down: They announced the last day of operations, and then a lot of Manileños decided to go up to Baguio and pay tribute to the restaurant.

Ever since that time, they were touched by how much foodies love Cafe by the Ruins, and the next generation decided to continue it. As a thank you gift, they released their first cookbook entitled, “Café by the Ruins: Memories and Recipes“.

This is one of the few remaining restaurant institutions in Baguio and the only reason we would brave the traffic of the commercialized area of Session Road.

I’m glad that the boys were able to experience it, and I do hope more Filipino generations can visit it for years to come.

Here is our breakfast experience in Cafe by the Ruins…

Awesome Baguio Experience Series:

BAGUIO: Your Awesome Journey to Baguio Food Trip (Infographic)

 

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