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HOTEL REVIEW: AMBA TAIPEI XIMENDING & AMBA TAIPEI SONGSHAN

Hey guys! As promised in my previous post, today I will be writing a review of the hotels that I stayed during my trip in Taipei: amba Taipei Ximending and amba Taipei Songshan.



Designed for the savvy urban traveler who appreciates creativity, connectivity and conservation, Amba Hotels & Resorts adds an element of fun to travel through its modern, playful design, inviting social areas, and energetic team.

The concept of the amba Taipei Ximending hotel is unique, quirky and artistic, at the same time, it also integrates elements of eco-friendly materials and all natural products in its design. 

Amba Taipei Ximending is a part of the Eslite shopping complex in which it occupies 5 levels. Located right in the heart of Ximending, you'll be able to get easy access to a street full of beauty and fashion stores as well as restaurants and street snacks. Also, Taipei Metro Ximen Station is only 5 minutes walk away!
Amba Taipei Ximending has a total of 160 rooms, with 6 different room categories. We stayed in the extra large room, which consists of two twin beds and a sitting area which can be converted into an extra bed. 

All rooms come with the basic amenities, such as bath gel, shampoo, hair conditioner, tooth brush, tooth paste, shower cap, cotton buds, hair dryer, electric kettle with free coffee and tea supplies, etc. I also notice that the bathroom amenities that they provide are made from natural, quality ginger ingredients (I freaking love their hair conditioner hahaha)!

Amba Taipei Ximending also has a communal space area for the hotel guests to read, chit-chat, or even work. 
There is also a restaurant called Chiba (吃吧) and music lounge bar called Tingba (听吧) at the same level. Definitely check out their website for upcoming gigs and events!

Ximending shopping district is right on the hotel’s doorsteps. There are a lot of fashion boutiques, local street food and restaurants in this area.


We checked-out the following day and moved to amba Taipei Songshan hotel, which is just a 20-minute-drive away from amba Taipei Ximending.




Just recently launched in 2016, amba Taipei Songshan features a contemporary, design-led hotel with a striking exterior. 

The communal space / reception area in amba Taipei Songshan offers a stunning panoramic views of the Taipei 101 and Keelung River. Simply amazing.




As compared to amba Taipei Ximending, I think the rooms in amba Taipei Songshan are more contemporary in design, emanating a minimalistic vibe for an urban living while the rooms in amba Taipei Ximending are more inspired by the area's cinematic and musical heritage. 


Of course, the rooms have got all the basic amenities, but I would also like to add that ALL room types in amba Taipei Songshan have a bath tub, sufficient universal power outlets as well as USB charging ports, a Nespresso coffee machine and even a bluetooth speaker!


Night view from our hotel. 


This is their medium room that offers a great view of the city. Besides, what I really love about the rooms is that they are really spacious, bright and clean, which offers a truly ultimate comfort experience for their guests.

Overlooking the beautiful Keelung River, Que is a contemporary and inviting all-day-dining restaurant that is located at the 17th floor. 


Amba is all about incorporating eco elements into designs and arts. In amba Taipei Songshan, you will be able to see all these giant handcrafted eco bamboo lanterns hanging high above the ceiling as decoration. How creative and interesting!


One of the BEST things about staying in amba Taipei Songshan is that the Metro station is just RIGHT OPPOSITE the hotel. What's even better is that there's a skybridge that connects the hotel to the metro station. Unbeatable convenience. 


Not forgetting to mention, the hotel also provides free shuttle bus service to Taipei 101, which is only 5 minutes away! 

The famous Raohe Night Market is just five minutes’ walk away from amba Taipei Songshan!

xxx

amba Taipei Ximending or amba Taipei Songshan? 
It actually really depends which area you prefer to stay at. Ximending is more lively, vibrant and young while Songshan gives me more of a slow-paced, relaxing, holiday vibe. Personally, I prefer amba Taipei Songshan more. Nonetheless, my parents and I had an amazing experience at both amba Taipei Ximending and amba Taipei Songshan. We felt like home, had great sleep, and woke up feeling all pumped up to kick start our day. Also, the staffs in the hotels can speak fluent English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and even Japanese, Korean and Spanish. I am impressed! 

How to go to amba Taipei Ximending from the airport?
We took the Taoyuan Airport Metro to A1 Taipei Main Station, then from there, we took the Taipei Metro (MRT) Nangang Blue Line (westbound toward Yongning) for one stop to Ximen station (exit 6). Then we walked approximately 5 minutes to reach the hotel. Alternatively, you can just take the taxi from A1 Taipei Main Station right to amba Taipei Ximending.

How to go to amba Taipei Songshan from the airport?
There are several ways that you can get to amba Taipei Songshan from the airport: hotel airport pick-up service, taxi, Taoyuan Airport Metro and Express Airport Bus. Click HERE for detailed directions!

For more information, feel free to check out amba Taipei Ximending and amba Taipei Songshan's official website!



MY TAIPEI 4D3N TRIP ITINERARY | #JessicaGoestoTaipei

Hi there! If you are following my Instagram, you would have probably known that I recently travelled to Taipei with my parents for a 4D3N trip. It's our first time in Taipei and I have no idea why it took me so long to visit this city. I've alwayssssss wanted to go to Taipei because of Jay Chou hahaha. 

Some of you actually sent me DMs on Instagram, asking me to blog and share about my trip. I am still in the midst of editing and organising my photos (there will be a vlog as well!), but today I thought I would give an overview of my trip by including my itinerary and some main photos from each attraction in this post. I will try to include as many details as possible so that this will be a guide for those of you who are planning to visit Taipei soon.



❀ FLIGHT ❀
We flew to Taipei with AirAsia. The journey from KL to Taipei took around 4 hours and 40 minutes. Our fare was around RM793/person including seats selection, 25kg baggage to and fro (which was shared among 3 of us), and in-flight meals. 

❀ ACCOMODATION 


We had a pleasant stay in Amba Taipei Xi Men Ding and Amba Taipei Song Shan during our trip. Both of the hotels are located in really great location, and their rooms are spacious and clean. I will be blogging about these 2 hotels in detail, so stay tuned.

❀ TRANSPORTATION 
(click to enlarge) 
It's super easy to get around in Taipei with their efficient MRT system. It's extremely convenient! An EasyCard (悠遊卡) allows you to ride the metro and bus conveniently, besides, you can also shop in Family Mart, 7-11, and other convenience stores with this card. You can easily get this card at all MRT stations & 7-11!


❀ ITINERARY 
Day 1 (Tuesday, 05 Sept 2017)
○ Hotel check-in [Amba Hotel Xi Men Ding] ↓

○ Xi Men Ding (for shopping)↓

○ Shi Lin Night Market ↓


Day 2 (Wednesday, 06 Sept 2017)
○ Hotel check-out 
○ Long Shan Temple ↓

○ Hotel check-in [Amba Hotel Songshan] 

○ Lunch at Din Tai Fung in Taipei 101 ↓

○ Tamsui ↓

○ Raohe Night Market ↓


Day 3 (Thursday, 07 Sept 2017)
○ Hotel buffet breakfast ↓

○ Yehliu Geo Park ↓ (We booked a private driver who drove us to Yehliu Geo Park, Jiu Fen, Shi Fen and Ping Xi, feel free to email me if you want the contact)

○ Jiu Fen ↓



○ Shi Fen Waterfall ↓

○ Ping Xi (release of sky lantern) ↓


Day 4 (Friday, 08 Sept 2017)
○ Hotel buffet breakfast
○ Mr.J French and Italine Cuisine Restaurant ↓


○ Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall ↓
○ Airport duty-free shopping before flying back! 

Click HERE for more info and photos of amba Taipei Ximending and amba Taipei Songshan.


THIS THING IS A GAME CHANGER

Today I want to blog about something personal and intimate with y'all, and guess what, it's about period. Yes, the auntie that visits every girl monthly. 🙈

Well, just a disclaimer that this post is written in collaboration with Kotex, which is honestly my favourite sanitary pad brand. I have been a loyal customer of this brand even before our collaboration.

So Kotex has relaunched their Kotex Total Protection range with enhanced features for improved leakage protection. Being the most premium range offering all round protection against sudden leakage during heavy flow all day and night, the Kotex Total Protection range comes in 5 lengths: 24cm (new to the range), 28cm, 32cm, 35cm and 41cm for overnight! 

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE KOTEX TOTAL PROTECTION RANGE?


With the revolutionary features that provide all round protection against sudden gushes, I no longer have to worry about leakages in whatever I do:

If I want to go for Yoga classes or do some workout that involved stretches or big movements during my heavy flow, no problem! That's because the Kotex Total Protection sanitary pads have side guards that help to prevent leakages. In that case, I can carry on with my Yoga and workout classes without any worries!

If I want to wear white/bright-coloured dresses for events / taking #ootds while having period, no fear! Because I know the back pro-active guards and side guards got me protected. I no longer have to ask my friends to check if I had any leakages / stains on my back. 🙈 (Seriously, I know how period stains on light-coloured clothing can be such a pain in the ass, but trust me, it won't happen anymore with Kotex Total Protection!!)


Now I also don't have to worry about finding myself a washroom to get my pads change during long rides while travelling, again, all thanks to the side and back guards that keep me covered and protected throughout my journey hehe! 

I know that I am well-protected no matter what I do and where I am with the Kotex Total Protection sanitary pads. With them, I don't have to restrict myself in doing what I want! Yes, it is totally a game changer and I am so grateful for this invention, especially when I have heavy flows. 

If you would like to experience Kotex's new and improved range, simply fill in the form HERE to redeem your samples! 💗


POSTCARD FROM SIHANOUKVILLE





Dear you, 

Here's a postcard from Sihanoukville.  

If you haven't heard of this place, it's okay. I will be sending you more postcards from this lovely little province so that I can tell you more about it. Now, here's something you need to know, Sihanoukville is a beautiful coastal city in Cambodia. 

This is my first time visiting Cambodia, and to be honest, I did not know what to expect before my trip. All thanks to Airasia, I got the privilege to be one of the first fews to discover and explore more about Sihanoukville through a direct flight from KL to Sihanoukville. 

The flight from KL to Sihanoukville will take about 2 hours.
As it's Airasia's inaugural flight to Sihanoukville, passengers flocked together to take photos to commemorate this beautiful moment.
Upon reaching the airport, we hopped onto an exclusive tour bus and headed to Dara Independence Hotel. 
Much-needed cooling welcome drink, thanks Dara Independence Hotel!
Then, we went to a property tour around Dara Independence Hotel. And this is the beautiful Infinity Ocean Pool that offers a panoramic view of the ocean.
There are a total of 128 rooms in Dara Independence Hotel: comfort deluxe, suites, graceful pavilions and luxurious villas to suit every taste, from intimate to grand to first lady elegance.
All rooms also come with a bathtub that allows you to soak and relax in a warm bath after a long day.
After refreshing ourselves, we headed out to explore the town a lil' and to get the local sim card. // Dress from The Stage Walk 
We managed to catch this spectacular view of the sky unfolding into threads of pink, purple and blue. I felt as if I was encapsulated in a world of dreams and cotton candies.


We had dinner in the Sunset Restaurant, which is located in the hotel. Freshly-grilled seafood and local beer were served and we felt extremely pleased with our dinner.
If you come to this restaurant around 6pm, you will be able to catch a glorious sunset view from the restaurant.


What better way to end the day than a relaxing full body massage? Thank you Jouvence Spa for pampering us. (Yes, the spa is also located in the hotel!)

DAY 2 

Rise and shine! 
We woke up to this soft pastel-coloured sky in the morning. It looked like a painter has splashed and painted the sky with hues of pink, blue and purple. The view is extremely scenic, and I couldn't help but feel blessed to be able to waking up to such a beautiful view.
Started our day right with a wholesome breakfast buffet at Coral Restaurant in the hotel.
After breakfast, we headed to the jetty to start our island-hopping journey!
Off to the sea!
The boat ride to our first destination took about an hour! And thank god the ride did not make us queasy!

We finally arrived at the Sok San Beach Resort in Koh Rong Island! Tucked away from the major tourist spots, Sok San Beach Resort is a Khmer-styled beach resort boasting an amazing, natural environment.

How to go to Sok San Beach Resort? 
The resort organizes daily boat shuttle from Sihanoukville Port 65 to its resort. The fare is $20 for adult and $10 for children [one way]!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE SOK SAN BEACH. With an immaculate white sandy beach with emerald, turquoise sea and a sky full of tufty clouds, hanging in the air like marshmallows, the environment definitely made Sok San beach a perfect secluded seaside retreat.

Sok San Beach Resort also offers a wide range of activities, both in the sea or land based activities. You can indulge in fishing, scuba diving, boating, kayaking through to trekking, cooking classes, bush walking, quad bike tours to just relaxing on the beach or enjoying a massage in their spa. | Dress from The Stage Walk
Memories made by the ocean will always stay in my heart.

The fun bunch! We all started this trip as strangers but ended this trip with fun and good memories with each other. ♡

I'm in love with this beach - it's overflowing with wonders and charms.

Got my beach essentials ready | sunscreen from Supergoop

Swimsuit from Pink N Proper 
Lunch time!

After lunch, we took a boat ride to Koh Rong Island.

A lively, vibrant street filled with restaurants, pubs, massage centres (and tourists). 
Our last island for the day was Koh Rong Samloem, which is another heaven for those who are looking for a peaceful getaway for relaxation.

Take a nap in this porch string and let life slow down to a mere crawl.
This cute doggy came out of nowhere and lied in front of me while we were taking pictures, how cute! I love this place even more and didn't want to leave because of it.

Back in Dara Independence Hotel after our island hopping, and of course, we had to catch the marvelous sunset again before we leave the next morning.

The view is just way too beautiful that it took my breath away. Standing at the edge of the sand, tasting the salt in the air, listening to the overlapping waves that were harmoniously calming and soul-soothing, watching the sky painting itself with assortment of soft colours and gradually transitioning from day to night...I was paralysed by the beauty of this beach. I felt truly relaxed, serene and blessed. 
Took a dip in the Infinity Ocean Pool while watching the sunset. It felt magical and surreal.

NO FILTER. I REPEAT, NO FILTER.

One of the greatest highlights of this trip is being able to meet new people during this trip. Shoutout to my roommate and #ootd buddy, Tiffany! 


Later at night, we had a splendid dinner in Naia Resort. The food was AMAZING. 

 Thank you Naia Resort for the dinner! If you ever visit Sihanoukville, definitely check this resort out!



DAY 3 

It was our last day in Sihanoukville and we visited the CDF duty free shop in the town as well as the Sihanoukville Central Market.

A trip to the central market is definitely worth it. We got to discover the vibrant side of Sihanoukville; it felt amazing being able to experience the different sides of the province.
I hat you at hello.


In Central Market, you will be able to find a lot of local-made products that you can bring home as souvenirs.


Joom reap lea (means goodbye in Khmer), Sihanoukville!


That's all about my trip in Sihanoukville and I must say, I was impressed. I began this journey without any expectations, but came home with an entire different perspective for Sihanoukville. This place is just stunning and charming in its own ways. The people were so amicable and kind. The beaches (oh my god) stole my heart away. I really miss Sok San beach, it is like a heaven on earth. To be honest, Sihanoukville is so underrated and I can tell you that a visit to this place will never disappoint. 

Now, book your direct flight to this paradise with Airasia from rate as low as RM80! 

Send me a postcard if you ever pay a visit to Sihanoukville. 

With loves, 
Jessica.

Don't forget to check out my vlog too! 
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