November 10, 2012


Mercedes AMG SLS 6.3
Mercedes AMG SLS 6.3
Mercedes AMG SLS 6.3
Mercedes AMG SLS is a tribute to Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing from Mercedes AMG. It is a combination of modern auto technology and classic legend. AMG SLS is also selected as the Safty car for Formula One race.

AMG SLS is not easy to see on road, and not to mention to have a close contact with it.
I was lucky to have a close contact with this dream car in Tokyo. When I visited Tokyo Midtown, there was a Mercedes dealer names Mercedes-Benz Connection just near Tokyo Midtown and they has full product lines of Mercedes-Benz including the SLS in shining red color. This dealer is a very visitor friendly place, I was able to feel free to touch and feel each car in the show room, except sitting in the SLS.

After having good experience to have a close contact with these cars, you can have a rest at their coffee shop, or a meal at restaurant. even buy some souvenirs.
If you are a fan of AMG and not in rush for your Tokyo trip, why not stopping by at this great play ground for car lovers?

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October 28, 2012


Sky Bridge/天空之橋 Sky Bridge/天空之橋 Sky Bridge/天空之橋
Last year I visited the first ladder suspension bridge in Nantou County, the Sky Ladder. This year, there is another new ladder suspension bridge in Nantou County. It is located in Nantou City, so it is more convenience to access. This bridge is the longest ladder suspension bridge in Taiwan at this moment. It is 204m long and 70m high from the button of the valley.

For who just want to experience the ladder suspension bridge, Sky Bridge is a good choice. But if you want some challenges and prefer to see different  views of nature, the Sky Ladder at remote area is still my recommendation.

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September 15, 2012


VFC HK416D VFC HK416D, receiver VFC HK416D, receiver HK 416D with rail covers

Heckler & Koch is one of my favorite firearm manufactures, due to its good design, battle proved quality, but not the high price. This HK 416D assault rifle is an advanced model of US M4A1 rifle. It kept the popular design of M4A1, but with improved reliability. This airsoft HK 416D is made by a Taiwanese company named VFC, which is famous of producing high quality airsoft gun for hobbyists.  Due to the HK logo licencing issue, I had waited for it for a long time.

The airsoft is powered by gas, not electricity. So it operates more like a real rifle and gives player some recoil feeling. That is the fun part of operating a GBB (Gas Blow Back) airsoft. That is also why more airsoft BB manufactures produce GBB model guns.

If you are a BB gun hobbyist, and you love H&K, I will recommend you to get one.

September 8, 2012


@ Treasure Hill, 寶藏嚴 the original Treasure Hill residential area @ Treasure Hill, 寶藏嚴 @ Treasure Hill, 寶藏嚴
Treasure Hill, 寶藏嚴

Treasure Hill(寶藏巖)is quite an unique place in Taipei City, you can find the info of it history at the website of Taipei Artist Village. It was a very special community in the past, and now became a village for modern artists. 

The reason I like to visit Treasure Hill is for the combination of old style houses, the unique way how they built the community on the hill, and some decorations by the artists.

If you would like to see a very different part of Taipei history, Treasure Hill will definitely bring you some surprises. 

May 6, 2012


Browning HP WWII Chinese Government model (by WE) Browning HP WWII Chinese Government model (by WE)Canada made Browning High Power 9mm pistol for Chinese government in WWII
During WW II, Chinese armed forces used a lot small arms from US, Europe, Russian, even the arms captured from Japanese enemies. Among so many weapons, I think Browning Hi-Power pistol is quite unique one.  Hi-Power pistol was widely adopted by many European countries, but the one I am talking about is the Chinese government model.

This model was made by Inglis, Canada. This model came with an adjust rear sight up to 500 meters and was able to adopt a should stock for long rang shooting. Also, it marked "中華民國國有" (Chinese Government's property). That is the cause making this small arm so special. 

Mine Hi-Power BB pistol is made by WE, a Taiwanese BB gun company.  This model is a full metal model but no any mark on it. So I paid a little extra money to get one with  "中華民國國有" on it. If you are willing to pay more, you can get a fully modified model with completed mark and the lay yard ring just like the real one.

The top 2 photos are showing the BB gun, and the bottom one is photo of real gun (the red colored mark is not a standard ) which is displayed at  Armed Forces Museum, Taipei.

May 1, 2012


Kozanteiubuya  湖山亭うぶや Kozanteiubuya  湖山亭うぶや view form the room in the morning @ Kozanteiubuya  湖山亭うぶや Guest room @ Kozanteiubuya  湖山亭うぶやDinner @Kozanteiubuya  湖山亭うぶや 

We stayed in Kawaguchiko (河口湖) for 2 nights; one night at Hotel Regina Kawaguchiko, and one night at Kozanteiubuya. Hotel Regina is a perfect hotel for family and it provides a great Mt. Fuji view from the guest rooms, but it is a bit far away from station and the lake.

For the second night, we stayed at Kozanteiubuya. Be honest, we thought it over several times before making the reservation, due to above average price. But after viewing some traveling blogs, we decided to enjoy it as a gift for our 12th wedding anniversary.

Kozanteiubuya occupies the best location in Kawaguchiko area, provides the best views combined with Mt. Fuji and the lake; from each guest room, restaurant, bar, and hot spring bathrooms (outdoor and indoor).

We booked the smallest room on 5th floor with 2 meals (dinner and breakfast) at the cost of JPY52,000 (USD648). Once we stepped in the hotel, we did feel we were well taken cared; from personal check-in, brief of hotel, the quality and service of meals and all the privileges.

The decoration of the guest room is not so luxurious as other hotels we have been to, but the window view and the atmosphere made us feel so relaxing and comfortable. I even did not want to turn on the TV, I just wanted enjoying the amazing view of Mt. Fuji and the lake from everywhere in the hotel.

Kozanteiubuya is a hotel providing tradition Japanese hospitality and giving a really relaxing environment to all the guests. If you visit Kawaguchiko area and have some extra budget, I do recommend you to stay one night at Kozanteiubuya. You will get more than what you pay. 

April 29, 2012


Viewing Fujiyama from Tenjoyama Viewing Fujiyama from Tenjoyama viewing Fujiyama from 8th floor of Hotel Regina
reflection of Mt. Fuji in the Kawaguchiko
Oshinohakkai 忍野八海

If you are asked what the most iconic symbol is for Japan, I think over 95% people will choose Mt. Fuji. I have been to Tokyo area several times, but never had a chance to take a good look at Mt. Fuji closely. In April, 2012 I visited Kawakuchiko (河口湖) which is the most popular location in Mt. Fuji Five Lakes (富士五湖) area to see the beautiful Mt. Fuji. I was really attracted by it.

It was the first time for me to get so close to Mt. Fuji, now I realized why Japanese respect Mt. Fuji so much. It stands alone without other mountains around, and presents itself in different aspects in a day, and in different seasons; always in elegant styles.

There are five lakes around Mt. Fuji area, we visited Kawakuchiko, also the Yamanakako(山中湖). One the way to Yamanakko from Mt. Fuji station, there is a place called Oshinohakkai (忍野八海), also a nice place to visit; it combines the beautiful view of Mt. Fuji and the traditional Japanese village.

Unless you have a plan to climb Mt. Fuji, or I recommend you to visit in winter or early spring while Mt. Fuji still has a white top. It is the classic view of Mt. Fuji and prettier than it without the white top.

BTW, If you do not have an idea where to go in Kawakuchiko, I do recommend you to visit the tourist center near the train station; staffs are really helpful and are able to communicate in English.

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March 18, 2012


HK Mk23 and silencer
HK Mk23 and silencer
separated safety and decoking level
HK Mk23 vs. Colt M1911A1

I am a fan of H&K firearms and did have some experience of real H&K firearms shooting; such as G3 rifle and Mk23 pistol. Mk23 is a pistol design for US military special operation purpose, so it came with a very US style design; caliber in .45ACP, separate safety and de-cocking level. Compared with other military pistol, Mk23 is really a huge one, only smaller than Desert Eagle I think. Thanks to H&K's state of art engineering of recoil system, this big pistol shoots like a 9mm pistol. I could shoot it well with only one hand.

My Mk23 BB gun is made by KSC Taiwan. It came with metal slide, but plastic barrel. After few times of screw on and off silencer, the thread of plastic barrel was worn out. Then I replaced a metal barrel and stronger recoil spring. Now it works better than the one directly coming from factory.

February 15, 2012


McLaren dealer in Johannesburg, SA
Daytona Group show room
McLaren MP4-22, Hamilton's car in 2007
3.8L V8 engine of McLaren MP4-12C
Ferrari 599
There are always some surprises happen during the trip. The day before we left Johannesburg, SA., we saw a McLaren dealer just cross the street from our hotel. We were quite exciting, because it is very difficult to see the McLaren dealer. Due to the safe issue, we did not go to see the show room at 9 p.m.. Instead, we went there before having the breakfast.

Surprisingly, there were more luxurious car dealers than we expect; Aston Martin, McLaren, and BMW. Since it is in the early morning, so Aston Martin show room was still closed, so we went to visit the McLaren show room.  The automatic doors opened and welcomed us, but there is no one inside, so we just enjoyed taking photos in the show room. The best was we saw a McLaren Formula One racing there; it is rare to see. We also saw Ferrari, Aston Martin and Audi. Later I realized the show room belonging to Daytona Group which is a very big luxurious car dealer in South Africa. Hope they do not mind our visit :)

February 5, 2012


Go Safari!!
Eland 大羚羊
zebras 斑馬
male Nyala 安氏林羚/東非條紋羚
2 male lions 公獅
giraffe 長頸鹿
White rhinos 白犀牛

Whenever people mention the trip to Africa, most people think about Safari. Safari is really an important part of trip to Africa. During our trip to South Africa, We visited Mabula Private Game reserve, and stayed at Mabula Game Lodge. Mabula Game Lodge provides very good package for visitors, including accommodation, dining and safaris. We experienced 2 safaris; one in the late afternoon from 4:30 p.m. and one early safari from 5:30 a.m.. It took two and half hours for each trip.

It is a totally different experience compared with visiting zoo. Animals in the zoo are waiting for you, but you need to find animals at game reserve.  So you may be exciting or disappoint for each trip; it depends how luck you are.

During the two safaris, we saw a lot of amazing animals. Four of African Big 5; elephant, rhinos, giraffes, lions and buffaloes, but no leopard or cheetah.  We also saw hippos, zebras, different kinds of antelopes and other animals. We though it was quite a successful and exciting safari.

Game reserve is a nice place to keep animals at the natural environment and also a perfect place for tourist to learn about the mother nature and animals.

After 2 safaris, I do believe pushing shutters to keep the images of animals is much better than pulling trigger to have the animal head as a trophy on the wall.  We are thinking we may take further step to go safari in Kenya after having fun for this safari trip.

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February 2, 2012


View of Cape Town from Table Mountain
V & A Waterfront and Table Mountain
Seal Island, South Africa
African Penguins at Boulders, South Africa

My second time to visit Africa, I chose South Africa as my destination. The first city I visited was Cape Town. Cape Town is a very unique city. Though it is located in South Africa, I felt it is more like an European City, due to its building style and life style. I also saw more white people than other cities.

Cape Town area is a fun place; there is beautiful V & A waterfront for shopping and dining. Also Table Mountain for hiking, then the famous Cape of Good Hope. Also you can get very closed to wild seals and penguins. It is a perfect place for family.

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January 11, 2012


The Landmark of Xitou- University Pond
Xitou Nature Education Area, a nice place to close to mother nature
Xitou Nature Education Area, beautiful lighting through woods

There are two most famous tourist attractions in Nantou County(南投縣), Taiwan; one is Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), another one is Xitou(溪頭). The most popular place in Xitou is the Xitou Nature Education Area.

From its web site, here is the brief history of Xitou Nature Education Area:
1. In the late Qing Dynasty, the Xitou was "origin of stream" in a small village in mountain.
2. During the Japanese Occupation, it was chosen as the forest for practical training by Tokyo University.
In during vocation, students were sent for practice and research.
3. The forest recreational area has been established in 1970.

Today, it is not only for educational purpose to National Taiwan University, also an important place for recreation. There are a lots of hotels around this area. Most people will spend 1 to 2 days in this area and feel the mother nature by walking in the woods and taking deep breath of fresh air.

If you do not have enough time, you may just take less than 2 hours to see the famous University Pond and the bamboo bridge. 
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