G.A.S. DETOX: 10 days with X100F.

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10 days with X100F. Shot with wifey’s X70.

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As many of you may know that I am not a photographer that 
travel with little gears. I like to have what I need when I need it.
Even when I am on a holiday. I will hate myself when the scene
presents itself and I dont have what it takes to photograph it. 
OK, I am that spoiled brat.  
 
I don’t know why but this trip to Taiwan I decided to do just 
that. A X100F with the 2 converter lenses. Yes, this set-up is 
consider “underdress” for me. Wifey also had a X70 with her. 
Perfect for all those selfie moments. I have to confess that I 
will certainly gonna missed a wide-angle lens and also a tele
lens for this 10 days school holiday trip. I guess I will have to  
work with what I have. I was actually contemplating if I would 
bring a GFX with GF45mm or X-Pro2 with XF10-24, XF35 
F1.4 and a XF55-200mm. 
 
I am glad I didn’t. X100F is almost perfect. Most of the time I 
just used the 23mm standard focal and once in a while I did 
attached the WCL or TCL when time permits. Was there a 
moment that I wish I had a GFX or X-Pro2? Yes of course. I 
just have to constantly remind myself I am on a camera 
detox session on this holiday. 
 
Below are many photos taken with this amazing camera. 
10 days of street, portraits, moods style and travel.  Basically
my holiday pictures all taken with X100F in Classic Chrome
film simulation 
Day 1.
We arrived almost evening on day 1. We check-in to Amba 
Taipei Ximending Hotel. Its our favorite hotel and this is our third
time staying here. Why? It’s a great design hotel and the location is 
second to none in Ximending District. Also the pricing of the 
room holds good value. 
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Amba Taipei Ximending Hotel.

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Hello AMBA.

 
When we check into our Balcony Room; we had a little welcome 
note that says; Welcome back to Amba. This little hand written
note makes us feels welcome and a little nostalgia. A warm fuzzy feeling.
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Always great to be back.

In the evening we had dinner with a Taiwanese couple friend at a local 
Japanese restaurant and we certainly have to end the evening 
with the famous Taiwan Bubble Tea. As it was raining and rather 
cold, my wifey decided to try a warm cup of Bubble Tea instead. 
Which turns out refreshingly nice. We both like it.  

 

Day 2. 
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Breakfast dining at Amba.

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Amba.

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Having fun at Amba.

Even though this is my forth trip to Taipei; there are still 
many lovely places to explore. Hua Shan 1914 Creative Park 
is one of yet to visit place. This is a great place to spend an 
afternoon with a few quaint cafes, art galleries and local 
designers shops. Before it became an art center in 2005; 
Huashan was a Sake and Ginseng winery. Huashan is certainly 
an Instagrammable place. 

 

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Vintage feel on the ground of Hua Shan Creative Park.

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Stealing a shot of this couple stealing a kiss.

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My second pair of Panther sneakers. First was some 30 years ago.

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Enjoying some Picasso time at the comfort of our room at Amba

I would highly recommend this cafe for lunch. A local Japanese 
cafe/restaurant. There are only 6 set-lunch courses available, 
the food may be simple but very tasty.  Probably our favorite 

 

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Summer enjoying her lunch.

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Our fav lunch joint at Hua Shan Creative park.

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Street show at  Ximending.

Day 3. 
Actually this morning we went back to Hua Shan Creative Park again for 2 
hours. We love it so much that we have to go back for a quick fix! 

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IG moment.

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Shoot!

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Hua Shan Creative Park.

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Different point of view

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Time spend with Mama is always the best.

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Back again. Yummy Food.

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Cats vs Dogs.

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Great time at Hua Shan Creative Park.

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Always love to photograph a fellow Fuji photographer.

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Summer’s new friend.

Today we link up with Summer’s kindergarten classmate and family.
We are traveling together for the next 7 days for the first time and 
hopefully not our last. LOL.  We had a quick lunch at Taipei Main 
Station before taking a 45 minutes ride to Danshui, which is the 
last station o n that line. 
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Welcome to Taipei.

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Having fun in the room.

This is my second time there and it’s just as refreshing as my first 
time 7 years ago. Danshui is in north Taiwan; located along the river 
of Danshui. A beautiful place to go especially for sunset along the
waterfront. No trip is completed without a visit to Danshui Old street. 
This vibrant street is full of local snack vendor, restaurant, shops 
and cafes. A blend of old and new. 

 

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X100F. Just love how well this camera performs.

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The ladies of my life.

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Broadwalk at Danshui.

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Life is almost complete with Bubble Tea.

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Near Tamsui old street.

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Summer checking out her future boobs size at Danshui Uniqlo.

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Boys wait while the ladies shop. X70

Day 4. 
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Good morning.

A 5 minutes walk from Amba Ximending Hotel bring us the 
Ximen MRT and another 15-20 minutes ride brings us to one of 
the tallest building in the world. Taipei 101. Did you know that the 
elevator takes about 40 seconds to zip us up to the 89th floor of the 
observatory deck. In 2007 its been name the world’s fastest by 
the Guinness Book of World Records; at 1010 meters/min! 
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All ready to conquer Taipei 101.

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Always mommy’s boy.

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Observation Deck. Level 89.

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Shadow of Taipei 101.

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Photo spot at Ting Tai Fung.

After spending an hour enjoying the 360 degree view of Taipei city; 
we have to make that mandatory lunch break at Summer’s favorite 
restaurant in the whole wide world. Ting Tai Fung! Thankfully we took 
a quene number before heading up to observatory deck if not we have
to wait 80-100 minutes before one could get a table.
 
Next top, Chiang Kai-Skek Memorial Hall.(CKS) This tall monument is 
surrounded by a lovely park. Standing in the east side is the Liberty 
Square. On it side is the National Theater and National Concert Hall. 
CKS was never on my must visit place on my last 3 trip to Taiwan but I 
am glad that we made it this trip. I love the history and also the huge 
ground. We were there in the late afternoon and was blessed with the 
opportunity to watch the changing of guard and lowering of the national 
flag ceremony. I would come back again for sure. 
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National Concert Hall.

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Changing of Guards. Chiang Kai-Skek Memorial Hall

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People watching the flag lowering ceremony .

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First casualty.

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Papa medic at work.

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On the my first day during check-in at Amba I had the opportunity to 
meet up with the Hotel Manager Patricia and also Jeanie from PR 
whom I have known from my previous trips. I told Patricia that this 
coming  Sunday; my friends whom we are traveling with will be 
celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary and if there is a good place 
for dinner at Ximending? Patricia suggested why don’t we all celebrate 
at Amba and let her arrange. And here are today for dinner. We had 
the most amazing pizza. And it a square pizza! The pasta and chicken 
wings were also amazing. Thank you Patricia for hosting us to this 
sumptuous dinner. 
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Cheers.

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Happy wedding anniversary!

After dinner when our friends were back in their room there was also 
a bottle of wine and a lovely anniversay cake in their bar fridge.
Thank you Amba for the amazing hospitality and I am sure you
have won their hearts just like how you did during our last two
stays at Amba Ximending. 
 
Day 5. 
As there were a total of 4 adults and 3 kiddo; we decided to flag 
two cabs to drive us to Yangmingshan National Park. After we flag the 
first cab; a bigger cab that could fit us all came from behind. We were 
happy that we could all travel in one vehicle. Five minutes into the journey, 
the driver told us that he have forgotten about his 11am pick up. He was
very sorry about that and he had arrange for another vehicle to connect
and fetch us. 
 
Boy were we surprise when the cab arrived. It’s a Hello Kitty theme cab.
All things Hello Kitty is all deck inside. Plus in-car Karaoke! We sang our
heart out all the way to Yangmingshan National Park.
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Thank you Mr Lin.

After a brief visit to the Yangminshan Visitor Center; we cross the road
and started to walk toward the garden where we could see cherry blossom. 
This 1 hour downhill walk takes us pass many cherry blossom, a waterfall, 
a park, and also local street food vendors street. 
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Our next stop was Xiaoyoukeng. This post-volcanic geological park is 
located on Mt. Qixing which is about 800 meters above sea level. We also
did a little simple trek with the kiddos. 
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On the way back.

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Keep Walking.

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Chic local.

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Guard at Presidential Palace

In the evening while my friends were visiting Lungshan Temple; I went to 
the nearby Guangzhou Street Night Market for some street photography
workout. And on the way back I did more shoot at Ximending. X100F really
shine in this arena. 

 

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True love is indeed a tall order. Ximending.

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Day 6. 
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Good bye Taipei. Hello Yilan.

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X70

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Our Ride.

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Compact Class.

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Run Baby Run.

We say good-bye to Taipei this morning and hello Yilan. We will be
visiting 3 places before reaching Yilan. First stop; Maokong. Wifey wasn’t
very keen on this 4.3KM gondola ride up and ask us to go ahead without her.
She and our driver will drive up the hill and meet us there. We manage to 
convinced her in the end.
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Audrey finally say Yes to Mao Kong gondola ride.

 The view from the gondola is nothing short of breath taking. I have never
felt more loved as my fearful wifey was squeezing my hand very tightly 
throughout the ride up. LOL. On the hilltop there was many tea houses.
We did have a quick coffee break and the views are truly beautiful. 
Wish we had more time. 
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Lovely view of Taipei 101.

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View from the Tea House.

Next stop is the Shifen. This small town is famous for Sky Lantern. Both
local and tourist will ink words of blessing on the lantern and after 
which let the lantern fly off as a form of good luck. 
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Sky lantern in Shifen

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Old Charm at Shifen

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Train travel through town.

Shifen town was originally built for coal transportation in the early days.
These days this railway serve as a transport for visitor who wants to 
visit Shifen. Before the trains enters or leave Shifen town, a whistle 
will blow and visitor will be ask to clear the track. It’s quite an interesting
sight to see a train running in the centre of a town. 

 

Another point of interest is Jing An Suspension Bridge. This 128 meters
long bridge hang above Jilong River linking Shifen to Pingshi Road. Not 
recommended for those who are afraid of height. This is especially 
true when it windy. As you walk across there is a bouncy feeling that
you will be thrown off balance any moment. 
 
Jiufen is the last stop for the day. A very popular tourist attraction on 
the hillside. I will let the pictures do the talking. 

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Tea house @ Jiufen

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Thank you Mama for the pearl ring.

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Mama knows how to have fun.

We arrived at Yilan’s Wellspring by Silk Hotel about 7pm. Immediately 
after unloading the luggages, we zoom to this highly recommended 
restaurant that is famous for roasted ducks. Red Lantern is supposedly 
the best roasted duck restaurant in Taiwan. I am just glad that we made 
in time to this fine dining Chinese restaurant. So; is it any good or 
its overrated? Its pretty good and forgettable at the same time. If you 
so happened to be in Yilan, I would recommend but not a compulsory.
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Day 7. 
Had a fun day today. Woke up at 730am and visited a local market 
street. Its always good to visit where the local goes to. Right?
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I failed as a paparazzi.

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View from Wellsping Hotel. Gui Shan island on the horizon.

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Runaway cabbage.

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My photowalk partner.

Our hotel is located at Jiao Xi district and a 5 minutes walk takes us to
the local train station. A half an hour ride bring us to the south of Yilan. 
Another 20 minutes rustic walk usher us to this kiddo crayon theme 
park.  Lucky Crayon Factory.  I was told they have just moved to this
new location 4 month ago. 
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Jiaoxi Station.

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Here the kiddos gets to draw, make color makers, make 3D map of Taiwan 
with crayon and even have a go at face painting. So what do the grown 
up do? We go crazy with some fancy costume outfit. 
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We had dinner at Yilan City. And also spend some time at the night
market which is situated below a road bridge. 

 

As it was still pretty early back at the hotel; the kiddo decided to
have some fun at the in-room hot spring fun!
Day 8. 
We check-out this morning and embark on a 3 hour ride
to Flying Cow Ranch. Before leaving Yilan, we made a stop at
Lanyang Museum and also a walk around Wushi harbor. This is
the jetty to be if you are planning to visit Guishan Island. There 
are also a couple a seafood restaurant along the broad walk.
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With my fav ex-gf. X70

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After a heavy lunch its time to have a siesta in the mini van as our
driver drives us to Dahu, which is about 2.5 hours ride. Dahu town 
is famous for anything strawberry. Strawberry wine, buns, sausages
etc. It was getting dark soon and drizzling when we arrived.
Manage to find a farm that is still open. It’s our first time
picking strawberries in the rain. Armed with a small scissor
and a basket we brave the weather. So I guess we don’t have 
to wash the strawberries before eating; as it all been wash.
LOL. 

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Dahu City

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Farm Owner.

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Fresh pick.

 

At about 7pm we arrived at Flying Cow Ranch. Its our 3rd visit! It’s
Taiwan’s best if you are looking for a ranch for kiddo to experience. 
It’s also inexpensive. About USD$130 for 3 pax for a charming Garden
Cottage accommodation  This rates includes breakfast, Kiddo DIY
art workshop and farm activities.
 
Day 9. 
A whole day is just about sufficient to explore and experience 
the entire Flying Cow ranch in a comfortable pace. 
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Day 10. 
All good things must always comes to an end. We bid good
bye to Flying Cow Ranch. We took a 40 minutes cab ride to Miaoli
High Speed Rail. Another 20 minutes rides on Taiwan’s bullet train
bring us to TaoYuan Station. And finally another 15-20 MRT ride
to the airport. 
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Time to wake up…..

 

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All checked and ready.

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Thank you Taiwan. Its been a GREAT holiday.

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bye bye……

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Finally ….. Taoyuan Airport.

So did I enjoy shooting exclusively for 10 days with a X100F? I would 
say if you are looking for one camera that does it all; X100F will be it. 
Its a great all rounder. As you could see from the above photos; X100F
did well. Its also pretty light weight compare to many other. With a 
respectable F2 lens even with the WCL and TCL attached. Would I 
do it again? I am not sure. But as a second holiday camera; certainly 
a yes. 
 
Personally I would still like to have more focal length options and I 
could live with more weight. I still need my wide angle, primes and 
tele lens. Maybe a X-E3 will be the better travel camera for me. 
 
A X100F + WCL + TCL is about 800gram vs X-E3 + XF 10-24mm +
XF35mm F1.4 + XF 55-200mm = 1.5kg. I could live with an extra
700 plus grams in exchange for wider angle, a F1.4 prime and more
reach with XF55-200mm.  
 
Having said all,  X100F is still my favorite everyday camera. If you
are thinking of one camera that does all; X100F is second to none.
It may not be perfect but its certainly close. 
Do follow my IG https://www.instagram.com/ivanjoshualoh/ & 
 
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There are 4 comments

  1. Bruce Bender

    Hi –
    I enjoy your posts. I had an X100S and X100T, but don’t any more. What I still have is an X-T20 and some lenses, so I guess I made my choice.

    Your daughter is growing taller, quickly!

    Like

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