Saturday, December 24, 2016

Important Notification on your Citibanking Relationship

Thank you for choosing us as your preferred banking partner. At Citi, we are committed to providing you with the right banking support to help you achieve your goals. 

We recently enhanced our suite of wealth management solutions and realigned our qualifying criteria for each of our offerings. 

From 1 February 2017, we will increase 
  1.  the minimum Total Relationship Balance (as defined below) from S$X,000 to S$15,000 and 
  2.  the account service fee from S$10 to S$15. 
The account service fee will apply at the end of each month should your Total Relationship Balance fall below S$15,000. 

"Total Relationship Balance" or "TRB" is the sum of: 
  1.  the average daily balance of your checking, savings and deposit accounts, 
  2.  the average daily value of your investments, and 
  3.  all outstanding amount(s) payable on your secured loan accounts as of the date of your last statement. Citi's determination of TRB will be conclusive. 
The revised minimum Total Relationship Balance of S$15,000 and the account service fee of S$15 will be standardized across all of our banking segments, namely, Citibanking, Citi Priority, Citigold and Citigold Private Client. 

Citibank, being so atas, decided to raise the TRU to $15k next year. Well, you have just provided me the final push factor. I shall move on to better deals.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Synopsis: Buster Moon is a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal-some might even say delusional-optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life's ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world's greatest singing competition. [Source: Golden Village]

A relaxing animated film, at times funny, with a singing competition as its central theme. It is entertaining to see the journey of how a group of common people coming together to put up a singing show for a one shot chance that can change their life. Not a bad film to catch for the day.

Rate: 6.5/10

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Taiwan Day 10 - Ximending

24 Nov - As we make our way back to Taipei via the local train, we pass by the same Taichung Station where we took the same route 2 years ago. This time, the old station has been closed and the new station is just opened. Gone are the long queue of people in front of the ticket counter buying tickets, which is now being replaced with contact-less card. 

Old Taichung Station

New Taichung Station

By the time we finished the 3 hours journey from Taichung to Taipei, we are left with half a day to explore the city before we catch our flight home around noon the next day. With no time to lose, we checked into our hotel Marriott Courtyard Taipei located just next to Nangang Station.

We immediately hit the shopping district Ximending and visited the One Piece shop and brought some souvenir home. =)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Taiwan Day 9 - Sail Rock, Eluanbi Lighthouse, Long Pan Park, Rainbow Village

23 Nov - For today, we will focus on exploring Kenting before we embark on our return trip to Taichung. First destination of the day was recommended by our friendly driver which was an iconic rock formation resembling a human face - Sail Rock.

船帆石 (Rock formation resembling a human face)

For anyone visiting Kenting, they will be sure to stop by the iconic white lighthouse - Eluanbi Lighthouse for some photo sessions. Likewise, we follow the trend. =)


Since we are at the most southern part of Taiwan, we might as well visit the most southern tip of the island possible.


Next location brings us to Long Pan Park, where we had an unforgettable experience battling gale force wind. Trust me, standing still is extremely difficult.


For our last destination, we visited the Rainbow village in Taichung. The story of “Rainbow Village” (彩虹眷村) and its famous creator Mr. Huang Yong-Fu (黃永阜) has become quite well known throughout the country and is a fitting example of how a protest done right can be really effective. Mr. Huang is a military veteran who was born in Hong Kong and fought against the communists in the ROC army. After living in Taiwan for more than 60 years, the city government in Taichung decided it was time for the village he lived in to be torn down. Mr. Huang who people now refer to as the “Rainbow Grandfather” (彩虹爺爺) came up with a way to protest that was quite unique and also gave him something to do to pass his time. Rather than fighting the government - he started to paint. As a self-taught artist, he painted colorful murals all over his home, as well as the gates around it and the walkways. He used very bright colors and painted very random and imaginative figures including plants, animals, monsters, celebrities and traditional cultural heroes. The village that Mr. Huang lives in is next to Ling-Tung University (嶺東科技大學) and when students from the university noticed what he was doing they took pictures of his progress and spread them around online which quickly went viral. The “Rainbow Village” soon became a tourist destination as people from all over started to visit while he was still busy painting. The tourists offered donations and supported the by-then almost 90 year old artist. His peaceful protest fortunately gained enough sympathy from around the country that the email inbox of the mayor of Taichung quickly became so full of complaints that plans to demolish his village were quickly shelved.

彩虹眷村 (Rainbow Village)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Taiwan Day 8 - Water Running Upward, Jialulan Recreation Area, Xiaoyeliu, Lu Yeh Highland, Duoliang Station, Natural Fire

22 Nov - The wet weather system continues today for the whole of east coast, expecting drizzle for the whole day. Nothing much we can do about it but to continue on with what we have planned so far. There will be more travelling today, targeting 6 locations to visit. Before we moved off from our Mingsu, we had some last minute photo taking session with the San Xian Tai 8 arch bridge in the back ground.

Our Minsu overlooking the 8 arch bridge of San Xian Tai

No 1-6 Meishan Rd, Chenggong, Taitung, 961, Taiwan

Our first stop of the day - Water Running Upward. As the name sounds, it is a geographical "miracle" where water violates gravity and runs slowly uphill along the canals. Seeing is believing!


Our next stop is Jialulan Recreation Area (加路蘭風景區). There is a large grass field , a pagoda, a tourist center and a lookout area which offers a great place for a rest while traveling the coast and taking photos. Tourists can enjoy the sound of waves, the ocean breeze and the sun here. Besides the natural beauty, there is also a lot of driftwood art. Every year during summer and fall, a group of artists gather together and present their art in a market exchange which stresses on the presentation of original and natural materials.


After we are done with the photos at 加路蘭風景區, we moved on to our next destination, Xiaoyeliu (小野柳). The place got its name due to the fact that the topography and rock types here looks similar to the north and northeast of Yehliu. It was a pity we cannot explore the whole stretch of the area as 90% of the venue is closed for restoration after Taiwan was hit by 2 major typhoons just 1 month ago.


For our next location, it brings us to the Lu Yeh Highland (鹿野高台). The reason why we decided to come here was due to the Hot Air Balloon Festival we saw online which happens every summer and showcases hot air balloons and pilots from around the globe. We hope to catch some hot air balloon in action and take the scenic pictures we always saw on photos against the vast patch of grassland here. Unfortunately, for this time of the year, it was their off season and there was no balloons in sight. There are also paragliding activities here but due to the lack of time, we just took some pictures of the place as a memo and left the site.


Our next location brings us to the Duoliang Station (多良車站), which is also called the Station with the most beautiful sea view. Overlooking the spectacular landscape of the Pacific Ocean, Duoliang Station officially ceased its railway services in 2006 due to low patronage and currently serves as a tourist spot for both local and international visitors. The viewing platform offers a stunning panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding lush greenery.


For our last destination, we arrived at Natural Fire (墾丁出火). At this site, you will see flames coming out from the ground as you walk close. Locals said that the oil company found natural gas while drilling the oil rig. The natural gas leaks out from the mud-stone layer and the company lit the fire and it remains on fire since then. It was an experience to view the fire erupting from the ground and using them to keep yourself warm in a cold and windy night.

For the night, we stayed at the Kenting main street and needless to say, we hit down to their night market to have our dinner together with their signature milk tea! 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Taiwan Day 7 - Liyu Lake, Rareseed Ranch, Shi Ti Ping, San Xian Tai

21 Nov - Weather forecast for today was not favorable for sightseeing as the whole of east coast will be drenched with drizzle due to the weather system. As we have already booked our driver for the next 2 days, guess we will have to make do with what we have. There will be 4 destination for today, which are Liyu Lake, Rareseed Ranch, Shi Ti Ping and San Xian Tai (Chinese translation below the photos).

First stop, the beautiful 鯉魚潭

Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭) is the largest lake in eastern Taiwan. There are various activities you can enjoy in this area, such as a light-boat sailing on the lake or a bicycle tour encircling around the lake. You can also stroll along the lake shore walkway, appreciating the flora and fauna. The Liyu Lake Visitor Center is located at the north shore of the lake, exhibiting many educational materials related to Liyu Lake and East Rift Valley.


Second stop - 瑞惠农场

Rareseed Ranch is a working dairy farm with a good place to snap some pictures with the black-and-white cows as main attractions, as well as a pair of ostriches that share the grassland with their bovine sisters. The farm also churns out various milk-based goodies such as ice cream, cheesecake, and bread, all of which are available at the ranch cafe – along with good old-fashioned milk.

The signature black-and-white cows!

Our third stop will be 石梯坪. 石梯坪 is a huge area of coastal terraces. Its landscapes include the developed sea terrain, wave-cut platforms, uplifted coral reefs, sea trenches and cliffs. The unique feature of this attraction is their wave cut platform which looks like steps, hence the name 石梯.

石梯坪 (A pity the photo cannot bring out the 3D effect of the step like structure on the rocks)

For our last stop, we will be visiting 三仙台. 三仙台 is a geological rock that turned out to be a headland. Gradual erosion cut the neck that connected the mainland to the main island, and thus became offshore islands. Tourists who used to visit this place could only reach the island during low tide. In 1987, the government completed the eight cross-sea arch bridge that crosses over to the island. It was designed in the shape of waves, like a prostrate sea dragon and connects 三仙台with Taiwan Island.


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Taiwan Day 6 - Chishingtan Beach, Farglory Ocean Park

20 Nov - We tried to wake up early to catch the sunrise, but unfortunately, the sun woke up earlier than us! Since it was still too early for breakfast, we headed down to the Chishingtan Beach for some morning walk and catch Pokemon! Lol





After breakfast, we waited at the front of our hotel for transport to the Farglory Ocean Park, the only theme park around Hualien area. The park itself is not big, but they have quite a few marine shows spread throughout the whole day to keep your time occupied. The shows are quite educational by themselves, teaching the kids to love and protect the environment. During our time there, the park is not that occupied and at times, it seems that we have the whole park to ourselves!