PEr FYI

September 4, 2016

Shilin Market, Taipei…bring an appetite

Taiwanese night markets are a not-to-be-missed experience. Flying the flag for night markets is Shilin – perhaps the most famous and biggest Taiwanese night market.

Crowded and squeezy, the maze of alleyways is filled with clusters of hundreds of small stalls and street vendors selling a variety of local delicacies. Try everything  from skewered cuttlefish to fresh fruit to Taiwanese sausages to two of the market’s most iconic dishes: pan-fried buns and slabs of fried chicken cutlets. To decide what to eat, wander around and let your eyes and nose make the selection for you. This vibrant and colourful market blends street food with local souvenirs, designers, textiles, homeware and jewellery for a well-rounded market experience.

If you’re food-obsessed but don’t have the disposable income for Taipei’s best restaurants, Shilin is your saviour. Entry is free. The food, of course, is not. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

shilin taipei

Advertisements

August 27, 2016

Jiu Fen Old Street, Taipei…winning combination of crazy good food vendors and a bustling stretch of shopping

Jiufen is a great mini-trip out of Taipei, less than an hour away. With gorgeous views of the ocean, quaint streets and beautiful tea houses, Jiufen thrives as a trousit spot for a taste of Taiwan culture and history. When it first formed, there were only nine families, so the city would always request “nine portions” when shipments came in, hence the name.

Jiu Fen Old Street is series of narrow alleys which feature stand after stand of local snacks and handmade souvenirs. Be prepared to shove past throngs of tourists crammed into the narrow alleys. The offer samples of ginger tea which brings with it a host of powerful health benefits. Another popular food item is the mochi – glutinous rice balls which are as soft as marshmallows.

Don’t worry, there alleys are all covered by awning should the heavens open. It’s worth planning an adventure to Jiufen as well as an obligatory stroll down Old Street. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

jiu fen taipei3

August 20, 2016

Forbidden Planet, London…A visually amazing giant store to satisfy your inner geek

Ah, nerd mecca. They have things ranging from Pokemon to Magic of the Gathering. There’s a little geek in all of us and there’s something for everyone here especially Marvel induced euphoria. Don’t judge me.

This is probably a great treasure trove when it comes to comic books, movie memorabilia and everything that’s geeky – from collectibles and action figures over toys and fashion to stickers. Upstairs you’ll find all the merchandise, including the glass wall of statues that I’ll always want, but never need or own. Dr Who seems to be the fat cash cow together with Marvel superheroes. Star Wars fans will find their heads spinning from the galaxy of merchandizes to choose from. Then downstairs are the comics, graphic novels, dvds and books and more books and comics.

A visually amazing giant store to satisfy your inner geek. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

forbidden planet lhr

July 6, 2016

The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4, London…a Potter fan’s paradise

Harry Potter’s Platform 9 and three quarters is real and it’s at London’s Kings Cross Station.

The store packs a large variety of different merchandise – wands, clothing, snowglobe, plush white owls, unique art, sweets, and recreations of artifacts from the books – into a very small space. This looks like a cheap disney store (I do love Disney stores). No magic, just a display of merchandising to capitalise on some of the best books and movies out there. It is small and does get quite overcrowded and quite hard to navigate through.

One very good thing is that outside, there’s the cart filled with suitcases and an owl cage halfway through the wall. There’s a snaking queue to pose for a photo opportunity: while you’re holding on to the cart, a member of staff gives you a scarf and swings the scarf up to make you look like you were really flying through the platform, while another takes a picture.

Be ready to get really uber-nerdy here but you’ll be surrounded by the equally nerdy, so no worries. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

934 lhr1

934 lhr2

June 19, 2016

Sing Thang Yeng, Bangkok…totally gaga on these aroi mak mak crunchy Thai snacks

“Aroi mak mak”. That’s delicious in Thai. Thailand does not need any introduction when it comes to its food and snacks. It is loved by many of us.

I am a kid in a candy (or Thai snacks) store when I’m here!! It’s a tiny place in MBK. But the crammed racks heavy with imported Thai crackers, cookies, and other goods reveal just the beginning of its epic selection of Thai snacks and sweets. You would be familiar with the flavors here:  coconut, taro, savory/sweet/salt/tart dried fruit, the fragile and luscious texture of the coconut cakes.

My personal favourites are the pork floss egg rolls and the rice cracker with pork floss. Dry, subtly sweet and satisfyingly crunchy. You get that crispy oomph!

Go totally gaga on these aroi mak mak crunchy Thai snacks. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

sing bkk

 

April 10, 2016

Mitsui Outlet Park, Kuala Lumpur…you will be sorely disappointed

As the economy and inflation continue to pinch consumers’ wallets, outlets are a great way to save money on your favorite brands. Who doesn’t love a deal?

There are 13 Mitsui Outlet Parks across Japan but this is the first one outside of the country. Located 60km from KL and 6km from KLIA, the outlet offers 127 stores with brands such as Nike, Levi’s, Versace, Polo Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Samsonite and Swarovski.

Plenty of stores here really aren’t discount stores, they’re just there to confuse consumers into thinking they are. Here are some hot tips : be familiar with current merchandise to be able to identify clothing that may be a few seasons old. Knowing retail prices before entering a store can help you make better decisions.

If you’re looking for a good buy at great discount, you will be sorely disappointed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

mitsui outlet kl

November 22, 2015

Premium outlet Phuket…I was uber-disappointed!

I write a lot of lists telling shoppers the best outlet malls to visit around the world. But how about where not to go?

Premium Outlet Phuket is supposed to be THE premium outlet mall in Phuket with outlet stores from 300 brand names, Lacoste, Guy Laroche, Hush Puppies, Warner Bros, Levi’s, Nautica, Adidas, Nike and Thai brands, so I was all psyched about what I might find there. I was disappointed with the lack of selection and deals. It was one let down after another. Many of the stores caused me to walk in and out.

Regardless of the downfalls, I did managed to save money – a pair of Geox shoes –  was the only thing that made the trip worthwhile.

I feel for Phuket. It deserves a better outlet mall with real deals. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

premium-outlet-1-easy-branches-phuket[1]

September 24, 2015

San Shu Gong, Melaka…if you truly love 3-in-1 coffee, this is one to try

San Shu Gong is like a dreamy convenience store which sells all sorts of local delicacies and tidbits such as durian cendol, dodol, kamquat drinks, milk tea, white coffee.

The 3-in-1 coffee sold here is a very nicely balanced coffee, on the light side of bold, and with a natural sweetness.   It has a full-mouth feel and is very smooth. This is a fabulous coffee, with a price to match. But if you truly love coffee, this is one to try. Short story shorter, this is an outstanding 3-in-1 coffee.

Other than the 3-in-1 coffee, I was disappointed however with what I experienced. The quality on most other stuff wasn’t very good, some were VERY hard and others were super chewy. The flavours on most tasted artificial it was to the point where I could only have one bite. The service levels in the store ranges from disappointing customer service to a full-on customer service failure.

San Shu Gong is a true one item wonder. However, if 3-in-1 coffee is not your thing, then walk or drive on past. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

shan shu kong melaka

August 9, 2015

Orlando International Premium Outlets, Orlando…..It’s hit and miss really.

First things first, you need to know that attaining a vacant spot at the parking facilities is a near-impossible task. Finding one is like winning a battle.

The mall has 180 stores including 22 food and beverage outlets. You can get decent trainers at a good price and luggage, sports gear. The outlet stores I browsed included: Calvin Klein, Nike, Under Armour, and Polo Ralph Lauren among others. The outlet mall’s Nike store didn’t slam dunk the competition. other marquee retailers including Tumi, Bath and Body Works, Vitamin World, Armani Exchange, DKNY, J.Crew, Levi’s Outlet Store, Sketchers and Samsonite. Judging by the crush of cars circling the carpark and the constant ring of shopping tills at some of the stores, the outlet mall is pretty popular. Another reason for a miss is the lack of good food offerings however, some new names are on the way – like Panera Bread – and can only elevate the experience of shopping here.

As it’s outdoors it’s less egh than other malls. And it’s laid out in such a way that I can get in and out and am not forced to do loops through a building designed to keep me shopping all day. Comparing this outlet to the ones in Vegas and New York/New jersey,  this outlet mall doesn’t have as much designer stores as the others (so that’s the only thing i’m disappointed about).

All things considered, it’s hit and miss, really. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

outlet orlando

May 31, 2015

Wertheim Village, Frankfurt…you’ll find offers to make you salivate

There are many deals to be had for the serious bargain hunter who is willing to venture an hour outside the city limits and commit themselves to a designer clothing fiesta at discount store prices. Wertheim Village is an adventure for anyone who has champagne taste on a beer budget, or can’t bear to buy anything at full price.

This sprawling Franconian style outdoor shopping center boasts over 110 brands and popular stores such as WMF, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, The Body Shop, Lindt, Calvin Klein and Geox. Bargains on upscale merchandise as bags by Kate Spade and Coach to fashion by Hugo Boss to Polo Ralph Lauren. The downside is that searching for bargains works up an appetite, however, there are not that many places to eat here.  Like all other shopping malls in Frankfurt, the outlet is closed on Sundays. With regards to getting there, if you choose the “express option” you will be taken in a luxury coach in central Frankfurt to Wertheim Village and simply meet back up with your host at the prearranged time to return to Frankfurt.

Take a trip to Wertheim Village and you’ll find offers to make you salivate. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

wertheim fra2

wertheim fra1

 

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.