Bellion Travels: 3 Days in Taipei, Taiwan

Tim and I have noticed that Taipei has an art district with lots of galleries and museums to visit but since our trip was short and we didn’t have enough time, we just walked around the district but couldn’t make a quick stop but here is what we’ve done in 3 Days.

Day 1:

We bought our transport ticket at the airport to be able to use the metro and the bus, it is very easy to navigate around the city, and you will not find any difficulty.

Our first stop was the National Palace Museum located in the Shilin District. The Museum has a collection of almost 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks.









Afterwards, we decided to visit temples so we managed to see the Longshan Temple, which was built in 1738, and we saw the Confucius Temple.




We had a lot of time to kill before the Night Market so we took the train and visited Taipei 101 and went on the 88th and 89th floor. Unfortunately, we could not visit the 101th floor because we had to book in advance. As it got late, we went back to the Shilin District and explored the Night Market.

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Day 2:

Tim booked a tour online to explore another part of Taiwan and we really enjoyed the tour.

The tour included Yehliu Geo Park, Jiufen Old Town, AMei Tea House, Pingxi Lantern and the Grand Hotel Taipei.

Yehliu Geo Park: North of Taiwan. Formations include the famous Queen’s Head. We did a quick stop at the famous Golden waterfall.




Jiufen Old Tower and AMei Tea House: It’s located on the seaside mountain area in New Taipei City. The place is filled with really old markets from the 14th Century and we visited the famous Amei Tea House for tea and cakes which was also shown in the famous Japanese cartoon called Spirited Away.








Pingxi: A very old town known for Lanterns. We bought a Lantern and wrote our wishes and we let it go up in the air. I ticked that off my bucket list so it was an experience 🙂







The Grand Hotel Taipei: Before dropping us to Ningxia, we did quick stop at the Grand Hotel to take pictures.



Ningxia Night Market was our last stop and the place known for the famous Taiwanese traditional street food.



Day 3:

We decided to dedicate our last day to shopping and massages. Therefore, we visited Shi-men Ting and the Underground Mall at the Taipei Main Metro Station. Afterwards, we walked around the area of the National Museum and went for a massage.


Food Adventure in Taiwan

As the Eid holiday was approaching and my family are abroad and busy packing their stuff to move to a new apartment. Tim suggested lets go to Taiwan, for the Eid holiday. I was a bit hesitant at first because of the Typhoon but we said let us just book the flights.

Luckily, the wind redirected to other areas and we had sunshine during our stay. Since it was a last minute trip, we did not have a plan nor an idea of what to discover but I was adamant to have a meal at Din Tai Fung and try Taiwanese cuisine. Click Here to read about Din Tai Fung restaurant in Dubai.

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Din Tai Fung is the only Taiwanese restaurant we know of in UAE, as I mentioned in my Dubai blog, the waiting time to get a table is long and so is the waiting time in Taiwan. Although they do have several branches of the restaurant, it is always full. Nevertheless, it is worth the wait and so we did wait for 70 minutes. The restaurant has more options, is much cheaper than the one in Dubai, and has many pork dishes in the menu. Now, I do not eat pork so they customised my dishes and I loved it.


Before heading to Taiwan, a friend of ours suggested to try the famous stinky Tofu, which apparently smells worse than Durian. I agree; it smells DISGUSTING but guess what? We tried it. Once you have it, for some reason you become immune to the smell. Tim and I enjoyed some of the street food at the night market but I did not have the courage to try intestines, organs, and all that so I just tried the basics.



One thing that amused us about Taiwan was its history. The natives of the land are actually Filipino and during the Chairman Mao, many Chinese people fled to Taiwan and started a new life on that tiny island and afterwards Japanese people moved to Taiwan and settled there for 50 – 60 years so the Taiwanese cuisine is a blend of Japanese, Filipino and mainly Chinese. Tim and I went to two Taiwanese/Japanese restaurants that were artistically prepared and served. It was delicious and I would love to go back just to eat there again.



I have a sweet tooth and if you love desserts, I highly recommend the sun cakes and the green tea cakes made of beans and matcha. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THEIR CAKES. I bought five boxes of cakes just for myself to have with my Chinese tea.





Anyway, I will blog separately about our Taiwan travel itinerary and places we visited but I must admit Taiwanese food needs a blog dedicated to their delicacies and delicious cuisine.




Images of Beirut 2019

I wanted to take a break and travel to Beirut before I started my new job but unfortunately Tim couldn’t join because of work and he is still under probation so I travelled by myself for 4 days to visit friends and families in Beirut.

Here are some photos of Beirut through the lens of Bellion Travels. Hopefully, we will be visiting Beirut soon.

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Ramadan and Eid in Jakarta, Indonesia

When the UAE announced the days off for the Eid Holiday, Tim suggested we should travel since he is on probation and won’t be able to travel for 6 months.




So we decided to travel to an affordable destination and pay the cheapest tickets lol. So Jakarta it was, little did we know that EVERYTHING IS CLOSED during Eid holidays. LOL. Yes we know Indonesia is a Muslim country but we traveled to Beirut during those holidays and we live in UAE which is a Muslim country but everything is open for the public.







Unfortunately, we did not manage to do much since everything closed early and the touristic attractions were closed. However, we did manage to visit few places such as Ancol, Grand Indonesia Mall, Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral, National Monument at Merdeka Squae, Sepa Island, Mal Taman Ang Grek, Central Park Jakarta.

We really enjoyed Indonesian food and ate a lot. The food is extremely affordable and filling.








We highly recommend a short visit to the lovely city of Jakarta. 🙂

A Weekend in Cebu

Tim and I always wanted to visit Cebu so we thought why not visit the island over the weekend and check it out. My uncle joined us on this trip and here is what we did in Cebu.

Day 1 Tour

Temple of Leah

Cebu Taoist Temple

Heritage of Cebu Monument

Casa Gorordo Museum

Magellan Cross

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Fort San Pedro

Dinner at Larsian

Day 2 Tour


Swam with Whale Sharks

Sumilon Island/ Sumilon Island Sand Bar

Quartel Beach

Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church

Cebu City

SM Seaside Mall

4 Days in Bali

In our 4 days in Bali, we stayed at an amazing resort called Sankara Resort which is located in Ubud. They serve amazing meals and offer free yoga classes early in the morning and the view is extremely breathtaking.

Day 1:

We arrived late afternoon because we had to wait for almost 2 hours for our luggage. We were picked up by the resort and since it got late, we decided to have dinner in the resort. They had a Traditional Night and served an amazing 5 course meal and we enjoyed a night of Balinese music and food.


Day 2:

Our resort offered a reasonable private tour around Bali. We started our day with a delicious 3 course breakfast and headed out to explore Ubud. Our adventure started at the Monkey Forrest which we highly recommend. We then visited a small town and walked through the rice field. Funny thing you need to pay for every level of rice field you walk to. Tim and I just used the drone LOL. After taking pictures and meeting locals, we continued our journey to the Volcano called Galunggung. We were so unlucky, it started raining heavily so we took lots of pictures and drove straight to the Holy Spring. The Tirta Empul Tampak Siring, the Bali Holy Spring Water Temple. When we arrived there, the rain stopped but the weather became so humid and SUPER HOT. I don’t do well in heat and I’m a desert girl but I’m used to cool weather and air condition. So whenever it gets really hot, I need tsunami of nose bleed. It was over flowing and I was standing in the middle of the temple. I rushed to the toilet, people thought I got beaten up and I left the toilet looking like a murder scene and I’m not exaggerating. It was so embarrassing so I paid the lady and helped her clean the toilet.

After relaxing for a bit and getting cold iced water and ice cream for me to cool down, we visited the Rocky Temple and the Elephant Cave. I felt like Lara Croft when we got there, I never would have imagine historical places like that. You see it in movies like Indiana Jones or something. It was WOW!!! Left me speechless.

We stopped to try different types of Balinese coffees and had the Luwak Coffee. The famous and most expensive coffee that has poop. LOL

Summary of the Day Trip: Monkey Forrest, Rice Field, Volcano, Holy Spring, Rocky Temple and Elephant Cave.

At night, we walked around the town and of course went for a foot massage (fish massage) where those little tiny creatures just bite your feet to remove the dead skin. Although it was my second time to do it, I don’t find it pleasant at all because I’m ticklish. Of course, we also had a full body massage followed by dinner.

Day 3:

We got up early in the morning to have breakfast and head really early to the medicine man. Our hotel guide dropped us to the medicine man who was mentioned in Eat Pray, Love. Sadly, he passed away; however, his son took over his fathers duties and read my palm. I’ve blogged about it previously. Check it Out ‘Meeting the Medicine Man from Eat, Pray, Love’.

After our session, we rented a moped and drove around town. We went to local markets to do some shopping. At night, our tour guide took us to the Bali Zoo and we went for a Night Safari and had dinner there.

Summary: Medicine Man, Ubud Market and Bali Zoo

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Day 4:

We got up really early in the morning and had a quick breakfast and packed our swimming gear. We went for a swim under the Tegenungan Waterfall, Ubud. It was so slippery, everyone were helping each other not to slip.

As soon as we were done, the tour guide asked ‘so guys, where would you like to go?‘. I just shouted the WATER TEMPLE. The temple is called Ulun Danu Temple, it’s located in Bratan Lake. It took us 3 hours but we stopped to take a break but BIG BIG MISTAKE we stopped at the strawberry farm. If you guys don’t know, I’m allergic to strawberry so I started getting rashes so we had to move immediately.  As we got there, it started raining so we took lots of pictures and stopped at a restaurant called De Danau. The food was delicious.

We later visited the biggest rice field in Bali and headed to Tanah Lot Temple to watch the sunset. We ate dinner at the local market and tried a lot of street food. That’s how we. Bellion Travels spent our time in Bali.

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Markets in Kowloon Hong Kong

There are several markets in Kowloon to visit. Tim and I visited the Flower Market, Ladies Market, Goldfish Market and the Temple Street Night Market.

The markets aren’t that far from each other, we managed to walk to it all and started from the Flower Market. It was a strip of flower shops that sold different types of plants and flowers. We went there to check it out it out to see if we would see anything unique and we have. It’s not very touristic because obviously tourists don’t buy flowers LOL but it’s lovely to see.



Our second stop was the Goldfish Market, that was impressive. If you are an animal lover you won’t like how they cage animals and how they sell Goldfish in a plastic bag. Yes, it is upsetting but it’s worth seeing. I was so tempted to buy a turtle and I even got into a argument with Tim over that LOL. He was like “HOW WILL YOU BRING IT WITH YOU TO DUBAI?” But they are just sooo cuteeeee. I love turtles by the way and when I was a child I had 4. 3 turtles and 1 tortoise and YES, I named all 4 after the Ninja Turtles hmmmmm technically famous painters LOL.


Third stop was the Ladies Market. Men you may go and visit, it’s a mix of stuff. Ladies and Men’s clothes, souvenirs and toys. I bargained with one lady and dropped the price to more than 50% and she told me to shut up and to leave her shop LOL. I’m really not that annoying when I bargain LOL.


Last stop we visited was Temple Street Night Market. One of the best markets we’ve been to and we highly recommend it. So many interesting restaurants and street food and yes, it is only open at night.

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So those are the 4 markets we’ve visited in Kowloon there are many more and more and more in Hong Kong Island.


Visiting 4 Temples in Kyoto in just ONE day

One of the best days I’ve spent in Kyoto. Tim and I decided to visit the best and top temples of Kyoto in one day. So we woke up at 8 in the morning, had our breakfast and purchased a City Bus All Day Pass from our hostel which costs ¥500 approx. £4.

Fushimi Inari-taisha – Thousand Gates

The first stop was to Fushimi Inari-Taisha, which is a shrine located on the mountain, 233 meters above sea level and the shrine was initially built in 711 A.D and there are over 10,000 tori gates. You’ll notice a lot of fox statues and one particular fox holds a key in his mouth. Foxes apparently used to be the shrine’s messengers that’s why you will find a lot of statues.

As per Trip Advisor it won Travelers Choice Award for 2017 and it’s well deserved. Although it is a long walk, I highly recommend you walk it all and do not give up. Trust me, it is worth it. So take your time and enjoy it.

Visited: April 2017

Admission: Free

Transportation: Take the Train; it’s closer to the temple than the bus station

Stop at Fushimi Inari Station.









Kinkaku-ji- Golden Temple

Also, known as the Golden Temple. The incredible temple dates to 1397 which was a villa owned by Saionji family and was purchased by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu a statesman. He transformed the villa into Kinkaku-ji and when he died, his will was to convert the place into a Zen Temple and now it is one of the most visited temples in the world.

Tim and I couldn’t stop taking photos of the temple and although it was Tim’s second time to visit the temple, he said it still looks surreal. The temple is completely covered in gold leaf and overlooks the lake. AHHH SO WONDERFUL. On our way our Tim and I stopped at the tea garden to enjoy a cup of Japanese green tea served with a Japanese sweet on the side to avoid adding sugar to the tea. Unfortunately, the outdoor garden was full so we had our tea indoors instead.

Visited: April 2017

Admission: ¥400

Bus: 101, 102, 204 or 205





Ginkaku-ji – Silver Temple

Also known as Temple of the Silver Pavilion and the Jisho-ji which translates to ‘Temple of Shining Mercy’. It is also a Zen Temple representing the Higashiyama Culture. Ashikaga Yoshimasa created the temple as a retirement villa however after his death it has been become a Zen Temple.

There is an amazing feel to it. Calmness and nature makes you appreciate the present time. We usually dwell on the past and think of the future and ignore the present. However, if you are in Ginkaku-ji just enjoy the present moment you are in and attract all the positive vibe that place represents.

Visited: April 2017

Admission: ¥500

Bus: 5,17 or 100





Honestly, it was not even on our list but we happened to be there. Chion-In is the headquarter of the Jodo-shu, founed by Honen. The story behind the temple is that it was originally built in 1234 by Honen’s disciple.

Tim and I visited the Temple and visited the massive Sanmon Gate. Unfortunately, we were there quite late so the temple was closed but we managed to walk around the area.

Visited: April 2017

Admission: Free

Bus: 206




There are so many other temples to visit in Kyoto but we narrowed the best temples in one day and we wouldn’t be able to visit the others since we will be heading to Nara the next day.


Our 14 days Travel Itinerary

Tim and I took 14 days off of work; actually to be precis, we took 10 working days off to finalise personal errands in the Philippines and then continue our holiday to other destinations.

So our itinerary of 14 days covered, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau. I guess being a full-time employee to a huge organisation restricts our travels because of the limited days off.

In UAE, we are entitled for 22 working days off but being an expatriate, our holidays include visiting families abroad which means travelling to the same destination quite often. We don’t mind it at all because we really do miss them. So our current travel mission is to cover as much places as we can in a short period of time.

Here is how our itinerary looked like (not detailed)

Day 1: Landed late night in Philippines

Day 2: Makati, Philippines

Day 3:

  • Bonifacio Global City, Philippines
  • Rockwell
  • Travelled to Japan

Day 4: Landed in Narita Airport and took a bullet train to Kyoto

Day 5: Kyoto

Day 6: Nara & Kyoto

Day 7: Kyoto and took a bullet train to Tokyo

Day 8: Tokyo

Day 9:

  • Tokyo
  • Travelled to Philippines

Day 10:

  • Landed in Philippines and spent 5 hours at a nearby hotel
  • Travelled to Hong Kong
  • Explored Kowloon Island

Day 11: Macau & Hong Kong Island

Day 12: Lantau Island – travelled to Philippines

Day 13: Eastwood, Green Hills, Pasig, Marikina and Antipolo.

Day 14: We woke up an hour before check out and had breakfast in Pasig and headed straight to the airport.


PHEW!!! Typing the itinerary was as tiring as the trip but worth it. LOL. I really want to dedicate time to write about it because we’ve learned a lot and observed a lot and I’m dying to share everything with you.

Unlike most of my other posts, I want to put a lot more effort into writing about our experiences and stories, particularly Japan. I’ve visited 20+ countries and Tim has been to 30+ countries and by far our favourite country is Japan and I can’t think of any other place that can beat it. It was Tim’s third visit and that says a lot and I can’t wait to go back.