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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Exploring Taipei with Panasonic Lumix GF7




Finally I'm able to blog about my Taipei trip with Panasonic Lumix early this month! Actually it has only been two weeks, but it's already feeling like forever. This trip was surely one of those that gave me the most withdrawal syndromes. The whole trip was just so much fun!

Spent the last couple of days selecting photos. From 600+ photos down to 150+ photos, carefully cropping and enhancing the colors of the images and now, they're ready to be included in this post!

When I received the invitation by Panasonic Malaysia for an all-expense paid trip to Taipei to witness the regional launch of the new Panasonic Lumix GF7 camera, I was beyond stoked! Without a shadow of doubt, I quickly agreed as I had always wanted to visit Taiwan! The only regret was that the husby couldn't come with me due to overwhelming responsibilities at work. Nonetheless, it was still an amazing trip that gave me a glimpse of how Taipei is like. Will be returning with the husby to visit Taipei along with other parts of Taiwan definitely!


Note: All photos taken using Lumix GF7, unless stated otherwise. Enhanced with filters and color retouching using VSCO app or Photoshop.

Taken with my Sony camera.

Travel essentials.

Picked my favourite color, white (or non-color. hmmm) for my new Lumix GF7! The rest of the colors are equally as beautiful, but me and white are just inseparable. When I asked Boon which color I should pick, he said white straight away cos it's just so me. So that's a confirmation! White, it is. Haha.

When my trip was confirmed, I contacted the ever-so-reliable team at Wiyo Malaysia that I would need a Wiyo pocked wifi device for my trip to Taipei. Shortly after (like, a few mins after), my request had been confirmed, a few confirmation emails were sent to my inbox, and arrangements had been made for my Wiyo to be sent to my address.

This is my 3rd time using Wiyo, previously to Tokyo and Bangkok respectively, and they had never failed to give me great and efficient service! As for the pocket wifi itself, it can connect up to 5 devices at one go, at high speed unlimited wifi. A few of my friends started using it after my rave reviews about it, and they're as hooked as I am right now. Definitely my default go-to pocket wifi for any overseas trip.

Check out the rates and available destinations at 
www.wiyo.my or @wiyomy on Instagram :)


The husby took a half day off just to send me to the airport, and waited til I checked in before he left. Few days prior to the trip, I had such mixed feelings- excited that the trip was approaching, yet sad that the husby wasn't coming with me.

Here's a little confession: Aside from a one-day work trip to Singapore for a video shoot, I had never travelled (flew) abroad alone before. I'm blessed that I always had company of Boon, Gladys or my mum each time I travelled for work, but this time around, no one could keep me company, so that marked my first time travelling solo.

I know, some of you who are strong, independent ladies must be scoffing at me for being such a "weak" woman lol. I can be strong and independent if I want to, but I guess I've just been real lucky and blessed to always have someone looking out for me. Thinking about it makes me feel super grateful, but it still didn't help the fact that it was my first time flying solo and that made me feel a little jittery. 

The night before my flight, the husby stayed up with me to help print my boarding pass, install my camera straps, download movies into my comp (to watch on my flight), reminding me again and again that I gotta drink lots of water, not forget my passport, etc etc.

It was naggy of him (I always call him mum hahaha), but it was all done out of love and concern. And I cherished that a whole lot. I was tired and sleepy packing into the wee hours, not forgetting extremely emotional that he wasn't coming with me, yet at the same time my heart was just filled with gratitude and love. I was touched beyond words to have such a wonderful man.


Forcing a smile, really. In my heart I was so reluctant T-T

I knew I would enjoy the trip, in my head. But my heart was just emo to the max haha. 
So lousy hor -.-


Meet the Malaysian reps!

Eric Lin, Alvin Chong (both local artists- singers and actors), Jason Goh aka Smashpop (blogger and Youtuber), yours truly and Bangsar Babe (blogger).


While waiting to board, we took the opportunity to grab a groupic all by ourselves, with the help of the awesome Remote Control feature of the Lumix GF7.


Selfie made easy with the Lumix GF7 flip screen + timer feature.

After a 4-hour flight of napping and watching Silver Linings Playbook (must watch!), we arrived at Taipei! :)


The amazing architecture design that greeted us.




Couldn't help but snap a photo of that placard. 靚女 ? Really? Who would admit that they're that leng lui you're looking for, really! Lol it's a trap!!



This was shot using the Ai (Auto Intelligence) mode. Love how it turned out.


Every cab driver in Taipei uses a Garmin GPS. Looking back, I used to rely on my old Garmin GPS for my life, especially when I first started driving! Slowly it moved on to Google Maps, and then Waze. Wow.


Fresh nails for the trip!


From the airport to our hotel, we drove along the highways which were surrounded by forests the whole way through. It was such a lovely sight.


After about 40 mins, we arrived!


Prior to my trip, I didn't have the time to properly research on which hotel we'll be staying at. Arrived at the doorsteps of Regent to find that it's a 5 star hotel that hosts high end fashion labels such as Chanel and many others at its very own Regent Galleria attached to the hotel. It's simply gorgeous.


That's when I felt really emo that the husby wasn't around to enjoy all of these wonderful treatments that Panasonic had so generously prepared for us.




Yummy Panasonic chocolates that greeted me.




Was so emo that I spent two hours chatting with the husby on the phone. Okay don't laugh it wasn't funny then. Though now it does seem pretty dramatic haha!


Rested, freshened up and ready for dinner with the Panasonic Malaysia team!


Dins at the first Din Tai Fung ever! Accidentally captured a pair of PDA love birds heh.


Streets of Taipei. Can't help but to see a striking resemblance of Japan in Taiwan.


Outfit of the evening.

The team had made reservations, but apparently this place is so popular that we needed to queue for a minimum of 30 mins despite the fact that we made reservations. Power!


Choosing what we wanted in the meantime.



Crazy queue!

True enough after a half an hour wait, we got our table!






Us and the Panasonic Malaysia team, Aaron and Vivianne 
who hosted and took care of us so well.

After dinner, we decided to visit the night markets, while Bangsar Babe headed to get her cosmetics hehe.



Quite an experience sitting on the right as a passenger. 


The market and some of its foods.






Since we were stuffed from dinner, we only had this one dessert! 





Their night market is like a much cleaner, tidier and organized version of our pasar malam lol. Seriously you don't have to worry about rubbing shoulders (literally) or bumping into other shoppers coming in the opposite direction because you won't. They have designated on-way streets even in night markets. I was seriously impressed. We should consider this for our night markets here.

After that, we walked towards Taipei 101 to meet up with Chronicles who's now based in Taipei to further his career in music.

Snapshots along the way!


Bicycles for rent. How cool is that!


Wide variety of everything in 7Eleven, reminding me of Japan again. They sold Onigiris too, but because I was too stuffed I didn't buy any. Now I regret! T-T


Some random coffee joint. Quite yeng right stand alone dome-like coffee place.


THE Taipei 101.


Saw a piece of white background at the adidas Basketball court, and very naturally moved over to catch some shots!


Heh.


Them guys love the selfie features too *insert smirk emoji*


It was a real chill night- chill as in relaxing and also super cold and windy!


Everyone was pretty ecstatic about being in the cold for some reason. Haha.


Apparently this uncle plays the harmonica every single day here. He played really well.


Catchin up over coffee and choc milk (for me). It was nice to be at your turf, bro! Thanks for bringing us around :)

Was super relieved that we didn't have to wake up super early the following day cos we slept pretty late. Went back to my room, soaked in the steaming hot tub and went to sleep. It felt so great omg I need a tub in my bathroom!


Day 2


Rise and shine! Lovely view from my room. Greens and parks everywhere.



The short and quaint buildings remind me of Japan too.


Some selfies with the Remote Control feature.



Got ready and excited for the official regional launch of Panasonic Lumix GF7!


Stole a shot before heading to the ballroom for the launch, using the self timer function.







Some shameless selfie since I was early. Using the selfie timer function.


Officially madly in love with this camera.

The launch event!










Interview with a Taiwanese celebrity ambassador who shared about her experiences using the Lumix GF7, sharing her photos taken using the camera.

After the official launch, we were ushered to try out different Panasonic lenses available on our GF7.


Here are some of the shots taken with various lenses!




Could stay there forever and keep on trying different lenses to see different results on the images! But we had to move on cos the Panasonic team had prepared a photo tour for us! Three buses were chartered to bring us around significant landmarks around Taipei, along with an enthusiastic tour guide who so passionately guided us through the history of the landmarks and of Taipei itself.







Meet Christabel aka @bellywellyjelly!

I had long followed her account on Instagram, loving her happy photos that always give off such positive vibes. Meeting her in person justified her photos even more, because she is, indeed a very jovial and bubbly personality!





It was at our first location that we officially met Christabel and her boyfriend, Joal. Never thought that brief encounter could lead us to be friends who text every other day!




On to our second location!








Lol this girl!



#LumixMYIDSG

It was at the 2nd location that we got to know more new friends! Meet Gamaliel, popular singer in Indonesia, and Febrian, travel blogger also from Indonesia (far left and right respectively).

Because of this bunch here, I started using Snapchat to keep in touch and been hooked since.

Add me up: careentxy :)


Third and final location!


Taipei 101 looked beautiful in the evening.


The skies were gorgeous. This photo did not even need any editing. 
It really looked like this straight off the camera.



We were prepared a 12-course Chinese dinner at a convention centre, coupled with performances of drums and dancing. Sumptuous spread along with great laughters and conversations over dinner!


Returned back to the hotel, and came back out again after 10 mins to hunt down desserts! Plus, it was Friday and the night was young. Ain't nobody gon' sleep so early mannnn.



Visited the night market again! Didn't eat anything (again) cos too stuffed! 
Constantly stuffed in this trip!

Ending the post with some of my favourite photos.

Taken with Christabel's Canon DSLR.
Taken with Christabel's Canon DSLR.




Thank you all for making my trip so fun. It never crossed my mind that this trip would gain me so many new precious friendships. 

The third and final day was spent buying last minute souvenirs of pineapple tarts for the loved ones. Forgot to charge my camera so battery died, which was a real bummer.

Taken with my iPhone 4S cos my Panasonic batt died!
Yes, Boon and I will see you, Taiwan.

Thank you, Panasonic Malaysia for having me onboard this wonderful trip. Feeling blessed to be treated with such love and generosity. They're definitely one of the warmest, nicest clients that I have ever collaborated with. Thank you for everything!

Camera review post coming up shortly. Stay tuned! :)

Hope you enjoyed the photos in this post.
xx




love, Careen.

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