iTaipei Service Apartment (京站国际酒店式公寓) - Taipei 16-22 Aug 2013 Part 1

We settled for iTaipei eventually after some eye boggling search on the Internet for a suitable accommodation in Taipei, taking into consideration that the piano teacher should not stay too far away from us.

A budget hotel is out, a posh one is out of budget.  We have to settle for a slightly-above budget accommodation that is newly renovated or quite new.

Then we also have transportation to consider.  We want it to be near Metro so that we need not have to walk far to get access to public transport.  Taipei's Metro system is so well-connected, it makes a lot of sense to stay near a station.

So when I chanced into iTaipei, I was telling myself this got to be the one!  An approximate of S$220 per night for 3 persons seem reasonable given its location & the quality of the finishing.  Here's what I love about iTaipei:

(1) The Strategic Location
It is located at Taipei Main Station, the interchange of Metro's blue line & red/green line.  The bus interchange, the conventional train station (Tra) & the High Speed Railway (HSR) station are also right there.  It is so convenient for you to take the Metro if you want to travel within Taipei city, take the conventional train to visit the outskirt of Taipei or hop onto the High Speed Railway to other provinces.

Taipei's Metro Map

(2) The Amenities
It is a mixed development where there are retail shops (Qsquare Shopping Centre) right below the apartment & the Metro station right underground.  The walk to the bus interchange, the conventional train station & the High Speed Railway station is all connected via underground linked malls - Y Metro Mall & K Mall.  In event of typhoon, which we did experience, you do not have to worry you have nowhere to go shopping or have your meal.  

(3) The Selection of Room Types
iTaipei offers a wide selection of room types, catering for different needs.  For 1-2 pax, you can choose Deluxe Room, a studio type accommodation.  For 3 pax, you can choose Specialty Suite, which is a 2-bedroom apartment with a double bed & a single bed.  For 4 pax, you can consider Family Twin, which is also a 2-bedroom apartment but bigger than Specialty Suite.  It has 2 double beds.  We stayed in the Specialty Room since we have 3 persons (the piano teacher stayed with us).

(4) Security
It has 4 levels of security.  The first is at the main entrance.  Beside having a security guard there, you need to tap the access card to get to the lobby.  Then you will need to tap the access card to take the lift to a common level to transfer lift.  You will need to tap your access card again to take the next lift to your level.  The access card limits you to the level that you are staying.  You cannot visit other levels.  Then, which is the last, you need to tap the access card to get into your unit. Safe enough?

(5) Comfort of an Apartment
The experience of staying in a hotel & staying in a service apartment is different.  In a service apartment, you have a kitchen where you can cook simple dishes, you have a washing machine which you can use to do your laundry, you have a proper dining table to eat & you have a living room where you can all sit together to watch television programmes or discuss matters.

We really love iTaipei a lot & I would say, should I visit Taipei again, I would love to stay there again!


Read other parts of my Taipei trip here:
(1) The Bronze Winner
(2) Baby Boss
(3) Eslite Bookstore
(4) Pingxi
Linking with:

[Rise & Shine] Practical Tips and Techniques for Successful Breastfeeding

We have heard that 'Breast is Best'.  But just how best is breast?  There are many research reports available in the Internet you can search on to find out more. 

1 of a more credible sources I have here is from Institutes for the Achievement for Human Potential, which was founded by late Glenn Doman. They have done their research & have advised parents actively to avoid animal's milk.

There are also pretty clear evidences that breastfeeding could improve babies' IQs (read here) & many more benefits (read here). 

So if you could, breastfeed your babies as long as possible.

I am giving away 5 tickets to a talk on Practical Tips and Techniques for Successful Breastfeeding by Ms Cynthia Pang (Assistant Director, Lactation Services of KKH on 28 Sept 2013 1-2.30pm at Suntec Convention Hall 401 Room 307.  If you are interested to attend, just leave a comment on my blog post with your email address, or send me your request for the tickets at  Closing date is 31 Aug 2013.

A Doctor For A Day

Did you respond to my Lilbookworm Facebook Fanpage shoutout on on July 18 about this event?  We missed the 1st run in July & we were so glad that Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital ran it for the 2nd time in Aug.  I registered AJ for the 10th Aug.

This is not 'ma-in ma-in' ('play play' in Malay).  This is for real!  Oh well, at least the place & the equipment they used were real, not toys!  KidZania & BabyBoss would not be able to come that close!

Dr AJ Lee getting ready.

All gathered for a short briefing

The first room they entered was the General Practitioner room where they had hands-on on how to measure one's temperature & blood pressure, albeit, any-o-how.

The next room they went in was the Accident & Emergency room where they learnt how to 'make a dead person alive again' & bandage someone.  Yes, we had to explain to AJ the difference between 'resuscitation' & 'resurrection' after that.  :D

AJ volunteered to be the patient.

The following room was Nursing room.  The children got to carry the babies (thank God they were not real babies) & change their wet diapers (the diapers were really wet).

Be careful with the way you handle the baby, Dr AJ Lee!

The 2nd last room was the Operating Theatre, where they had a Mr Smoke, who smoked too much & needed an operation.

The last room was Pharmacy. But no dispensing of medicine, they only changed the robe & took a group photo.

After an hour's work, Dr AJ Lee was presented a certificate & a real stethoscope as souvenir.

A shot with his schoolmate, ES
Overall, this was a good experience for AJ & I must also commend that the programme was really well organised & smoothly ran. Thumbs up to MNH!

[Rise & Shine] The Power of Music from the Heart - 5 Tickets to the Seminar

I love to watch this video, I can watch it over & over again.  He was about 1.5 YO when I recorded it. This was the video that set me thinking whether I should start AJ on music appreciation class soon.  I have observed that he could dance with the beat of the music.
We are glad we did.  AJ started his music appreciation class when he was 2.5 YO, & switched to individual piano lesson at 3.  If you have known us or been reading my blog, you will know that music has been with him, in him & around him since then.
I believe that music plays a part in a person’s life.  To some extend, music does help in a child’s intellectual development, & music certainly helps relieving stress.
Below is an article from My Paper for your reading.
As a partner of Rise & Shine project, I am pleased to let you know that I am giving away 5 tickets to the seminar on The Power of Music from the Heart by Mrs Carmee Lee.  Mrs Carmee Lim is the much-adored principal at Raffles Girls' School from 1988 to 1999. In her years of teaching, she has come to witness how music has made a positive impact on children's abilities in language and even mathematics. She will be sharing research findings and methodologies in music education, and also fun activities in music and movement for parents to delight their children at home.

Please leave a comment here on my blog post that you are keen & indicate your email address too. Alternatively, you may also drop me an email at  Please do so on or before 15/8/13.

A Photo Shooting Experience - Natsuki Photography

We never had any family photo shooting session.  Even for our wedding, I opted for studio shooting only, because I will melt terribly under the sun in those thick make-up.

When we were offered by Natsuki Photography to do an outdoor family photo shooting session, I was more than happy to receive it.

We did not have any expectation on the photo shooting, & probably because of that, we were pretty relax & easy with anything that the photographer might request.

It turned out that our photographer was a very young lady, whom AJ affectionately addressed as Jie Jie Nat.  She was easy going & her style was very much going with the flow, with no special request in her agenda.  I like the fact that she does not do much editing to the photos other than erasing some noises & adding some soft touch.  I have attached some photos here for you to compare.

I thought it would be better if we bring along our own props, so we brought bicycle, scooter & ball with us.  The session turned out to be enjoyable.  AJ was completely at ease with those things we brought along, happily cycling, scooting & playing with the ball.  Nat was able to capture those unpretentious moments of play very well, & the shoots turned out to be very natural.

I especially like those photos of AJ. Thanks to Nat for capturing those charming smiles & cheeky facial expressions.  My heart just melted when I saw those photos of him.  This little boy whom I have brought to the world some 6 years ago, has grown up so fast.  Time cannot stop him from growing, I can only seize the moment to be with him as much as I could. 

If you like what you see & would like to consider having a photo shooting session, here's an offer for you from Natsuki Photography.  Natsuki is offering 5% off when you code my blog name. No joke, anytime, no time limit.  Cool?

There's also a video done up nicely by Natsuki.  Please click the link here.

* This is a sponsored blog post. All opinions & text are my own.