Holidaying with X-T1 & X-A2

My wife was suggesting that we go for a beach holiday either in
enchanting Bali or colorful Phuket. After some research on the
web; I came to the conclusion I over visiting Bali and Phuket. At
least for now. I decided to cast my search a bit further. This time
to the south of Taiwan. Its Taiwan’s beach region.

This trip is special because its our first time traveling with another
family. They also have a 4 years old. Both Ian and our daughter
Summer is the same age. Next, like all photographer; packing
ones camera gears for the trip. After packing all my gears, I had
a call from Favian from Fujifilm Singapore. I was task to bring the
X-A2 with 2 XC lenses. I took up the challenge and repack. Here
is my list for my 9 days holiday. What do you think?

X-A-2
XC 16-50mm
XC 50-230mm
X-T1
XF 10-24mm
XF 16mm
XF 35mm F2
XF 56mm APD

Looks like heaps of gears to bring? To be exact the total weight is
2.72KG! Not that crazy after all. All this gears are comfortably pack
into my ultimate camera bag. And those who still have now heard
of it; here is the link. Not to be missed.
https://ivanjoshualoh.com/2015/08/25/found-ultimate-urban-camera-bag/

After almost 5 hours flight time from Singapore the 6 of us arrived
at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. 45 minutes is all it takes to
bring us during peak hours to our nest for the next 2 nights.

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Selfie Time. X-A2 + XC 16-50mm

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X-T1 + 16mm

Amba Hotel is a funky and modern design hotel. This is my second
time staying here. This hotel is conveniently situated at the heart of
Ximending. Ximending is the “Harajuku” of Taipei. This pedestrian
shopping haven is a must stop for all shopaholic and gourmand.

The next morning on day 2, breakfast venue is at Amba’s library
cum toy shop theme dining area. Here they serve up a wide variety
of both local and continental breakfast. Once our stomach is filled,
a 10 minutes walk brings us to the train station that will bring us
to the 101 years old Taipei Zoo. The 2 kiddo are really excited!

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X-A2 + XF35mm F2

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As its was Sunday, the zoo was pack with both locals and tourists.
Both Summer and Ian enjoy themselves. Towards the end, Summer
was tired and couldn’t walk anymore and I had to carry this 15kg kid,
called my daughter for about 2-3KM. She eventually fell asleep in
my tired arms. When we finally reach the exit; she woke up fully
recharge and I am totally drain out!

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X-A2 + XC 50-230mm

Day 3 is gonna be a day of traveling. Our destination is Kenting; the
south of Taiwan. Kenting is Taiwan’s beach region. We started our
1st leg of our journey via HSR. Taiwan’s High Speed Rail. The entire
journey is about 350KM from Taipei Station to Zuoying Station.
One and a half hour later we arrived at Kaohsiung.

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X-A2 + XC 16-50mm

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X-A2 + XC 16-50mm

Immediately we hop into our prearrange Taxi. The modern city view
slowly changes to beautiful and rustic costal road. When we finally
reach our destination, Hotel De Plus. All I could say, its all worth it!
This hotel have indeed left a deep footprint with me that I decided
to have another blog on it. Here is the link :
https://ivanjoshualoh.com/2015/11/07/something-magical/

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X-T1 +XF 16mm

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X-T1 +XF 10-24mm

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X-T1 +XF 35mm F2

On day 4, I manage to find a car rental company that is willing to
send our Ford Kuga to our hotel with no extra charge! Our first stop
was a high point along the costal road to Kenting town. At this
lookout we could also see our hotel and the vast Pacific ocean.
We also saw a wedding couple doing a pre wedding photoshoot.

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X-T1 +XF 16mm

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X-A2 + XC 16-50mm

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X-T1 +XC 50-230mm

Next stop was to the southern most tip of Taiwan. The walk from the
car park takes us about 15 minutes. The view, to be honest its nothing
spectacular. Another 5 minutes or so get us to Kenting town. Like any
typical beach town, you could get almost anything. From local to
western cuisine. There is even MacDonald and Starbucks.

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X-T1 +XF 16mm

After lunch at a local restaurant; Summer went into a Havianas shop
and ask Mama to buy her a pair of Elsa flip flop! Let it go! Let it
goooooooo! With her new Elsa flip flop we went to explore our
first beach; Nanwan (South Bay Beach.)

Nanwan’s soft sand beach stretches 600 meters long. It used to be a
whaling area during the Japanese occupation. Nanwan also offers
surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. As for both Ian and Summer;
they are happy building their sand castle and search for sea shells
along the beach.

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X-T1 +XF 16mm

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X-T1 +XF 56mm APD

The next day on day 5; we headed for Baisai beach. Its tout as the
best beach in Taiwan. Along the way we kind of gotten lost looking for
our lunch venue along the marina area. We stumble upon a “submarine”
ride. The kids were very excited. Its basically a 50 meters boat with a
glass window at the bottom.

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X-T1 + XF 10-24mm

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X-T1 +XF 16mm

After lunch at a local seafood restaurant. I was having a chat with the
chef and asking him the direction to Baisai Beach. He was so kind that
he ride his bike and ask us to follow him as he brings us to Baisai Beach.
Thank you Chef!

After we park our SUV; it only takes us a 5 minutes walk to the beach.
Just before we reach the beach the walk past little stall that sells food,
beverages and all the things you need at the beach.

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X-T1 + 16mm

We walk to the middle of the beach where it was the least crowded.
Rented a beach umbrella and some chair as our HQ for the next 2 hours
till the sun goes down on us. What I love about this beach is that there
are no tout asking you to buy anything. Therefore leaving you, to truly
enjoy the beauty of Baisai beach.

 

On the morning of day 6; the car rental company came and collect the
SUV from Hotel De Plus. After that we hop on to our taxi that will drive
us to Kaohsiung. Its a 2 hour ride. Kaohsiung is the second largest city
in Taiwan.

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X-T1 +XF 35mm F2

We arrive about 1.30pm and was welcome to a chic boutique hotel.
Star Haus Hotel. This modern hotel is about 6 months old. Both my
wife and daughter are SUPER happy with the split level room that is
filled with luxe. The best way to explain is by looking at the pictures.

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X-T1 + XF10-24mm

A 5 mintues Taxi rides brings us to Love River. This river flows 12
kilometers through Kaohsiung to Kaohsiung Harbor. We took a 30
minutes tourist ride on a quiet and modern ferry along the river.
We get to see museum, cafes, hotels, parks along river banks.

Liuhe Night market was our next stop. This is a typical Taiwan night
market. Filled with heaps of street food and cafes. As my wife is
not a big fan of street food; she was pleasantly surprise when we
return to Star Haus Hotel. This hotel have a free 24 hours cafe area
for the hotel guest. The spread is truly amazing. Hot and cold
beverages; juices, pastries and bread. Sandwiches and dessert.
We couldn;t expect anything more. Wifey was really happy with
this hotel.

The next morning after breakfast we took a bus to E-Da. A local
theme park for both the young and young at heart. E-Da theme
park is part of a larger E-Da world comprising hotels and a
shopping mall.

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X-T1 + XF16mm

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X-T1 + XF16mm

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X-T1 + XF16mm

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X-T1 + XF16mm

As it was a weekday there aren’t many tourist and locals; so we
basically had the whole theme park to ourselves. We don’t have
to wait for our ride; and if the kids love the ride; we could just
remind seated and enjoy the second session! How cool is that.
Was told if it the weekend; we will have to wait about 20 minutes
for a ride.

So the trick is weekday! I would like to remind you as this is a
local theme park; its not on par with the big brand theme park.
But our 4 years old doesn’t care a bit and enjoy themselves.

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X-A2 + XC 16-50mm

On the second last day of our Taiwan holiday we headed to
Pier-2 Art Center. I was told that this the arts center was originally
an abandoned warehouse site. This warehouses were built in 1973.
Due to the persistence of local artists, the area was finally
released and remade to be what it is right now.

Pier-2 Art Center covers a pretty large area. There are many art
galleries, cafes, art shop, art flea market and also a mini train
theme park; which got Ian was very excited about it. I would
recommend this place to all; just ensure you have at least half
a day to spare.

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X-T1 + XF16mm

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X-T1 + XF16mm

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X-T1 + XF16mm

All good things must come to an end. Here are our schedule; as
we are all way down to the south of Taiwan and the airpot is up
north. So we have quite a bit of journey to cover.

My wife reluctantly say good bye to her fav hotel; a 30 mintues
taxi ride brought us to the Zuoying station. Our one and half hour
ride will bring us Taoyuan Station. As we get ready to disembark;
the usual strategy was to ask our loving wives to bring our kiddo
out of the train while the two father will bring out all the luggages.
Everything was as plan except one of my big luggage that got
stuck. We tried our very best but it doesn’t budge.

Next there was the chimes that we didn’t wanna hear; the train
door closes! 2 men and 1 grey luggage says good bye to their
wives and kiddo! Will we still have time to catch our flight?

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X-T1 + XF16mm

If we were in the Amazing Race; this will cost us about 30 minutes.
A 10 minutes ride to the next station, a 10 minutes wait and another
10 minutes ride back before we were reunited with the family and
the rest of the luggages.

We decided to have a celebratory ramen lunch at Taoyaun HSR
station for all the drama that has happened. After lunch its just a
30 minutes ride to the Airport. Then its all plain sailing. Thank
you Taiwan for this awesome holiday! We will be back again.

 

Here is a home video link of this holiday. Shot with X-A2.

https://ivanjoshualoh.com/2015/11/05/hoilday-video-with-xa-2/

Last but not least; do like my Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/IvanjoshualohX/

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