The Real Reason Why I came back from Taiwan Abruptly


Just 11 days ago, I took off happily from Singapore to wander off with Karen
to Taipei yet again!
Karen won the ambassadorship to be traveling the different states of New Taipei City and honorably brought my humble soul along!
The trip was planned to be 2 week event where we shuffle from resort to hotels to ‘MinSu’ almost daily
Exploring the goodness of each town in New Taipei City
At this point, you might ask: What’s the difference between New Taipei and Taipei itself?
You’re welcome to read my previous entry telling you all about New Taipei City Tourism

I bought an urgent flight out and back to homeland Singapore on Sunday (the 9th day) afternoon
Just 4 hours before flight time, I confirmed the flight booking and also a driver to take me out of the mid mountains and straight to Taoyuan Airport
At that moment, I couldn’t fathom having to be amongst trees and flowers any further, not even a single hour was considered bearable
The very fact of not having immediate medical care made me very insecure & I just wanted to get out of that place

The above will be the only beautiful photo in this entry, taken by my bff Karen
and for the brave souls, you may continue to read on…..

For the first 7 days, we were also surrounded by nature – the blue skies, the rocks, the seas and the sands
Right after arriving in Shuangxi, we checked into a beautiful ‘Minsu” which is named as ‘Venice in the hills”
The apartment was isolated in the middle of some kind of forest where we can hear the sounds of nature ringing at all times
like the owls hooting at night, the crickets and many kinds of insects and trees lived harmoniously there

On the first night, I went to bed comfortably – absolutely tired – covered myself with the sheets and said good night to Karen
The next morning I woke up with this!





Ain’t any professionally taken photos since I was already in distress
This was officially DAY 1
It’s giving me creeps right now as I’m writing this

what seemed like insect bites got me really worried, coz I know it’s likely to be what I had years ago when I visited my friend Angie
at her home in New Territories Hong Kong
That time, for 5 days I suffered – seeing doctors and specialist seeking help to end my misery
Twin would remember this as well, since she went through my itching holiday together

This round, there wasn’t 5 days for the rash to multiply
I got it full blown just after one night
After getting help from a local chinese pharmacy, they insisted that bed bugs/flea bit me
funny thing was – Karen had nothing
As I walked on till later part of the day, 3 appeared on my arms

The last doctor at IFC Hong Kong gave me a full course of antibiotics and steroid cream for application
It worked and the spots never went away, leaving behind scars for a year or 2
and I still see some remnants now
The doctor warned me to avoid going to rural areas as it is a form of skin allergyYears on, I completely forgotten his advice and placed myself in the midst of greenery again




Day 2

The spots got redder and there is some kind of white circumference around the spot
The medication didn’t work and I couldn’t sleep all night
Both my legs were HOT – totally not amusing this time since I know I say I’m Hot all the time
But this is FOR REAL

The itch was way beyond those of sandfly’s bites, even after applying medication and topping it with Aloe Vera gel
nothing worked
I wasn’t feeling very good by then
Being a natural bug-magnet, I have this huge fear for all kinds of bugs!
I know for sure they will harm me in one way or another….

After hearing that I have to continue to stay in a Minsu for the next 2 nights
I completely gave up
I wanted to leave ASAP

I’m sure amongst those spots, there are definitely some that belong to bug bites
If they can attack me while I’m under the sheets, they didn’t give me any chance for self defense =(

On Day 2, I flew back
Looking at the beautiful skylines of Singapore, I’m really happy to be back!




Day 3

The spots have darkened
I washed my legs with Potassium Permanganate and applied steroid cream and also took oral medication to help me sleep better
The doctor told me it was some form of skin allergy and can be also due to bug bites that went literally went VIRAL

Quite a few people have told me they feel itchy just by looking at my legs
I’m really quite smashed
Having to take care of my legs and knowing that the scars will be there permanently is really not helping at all
This pair of legs have always made me proudNow that this is ruined, I can’t be trotting around with my hot shorts and mini skirts anymore
People are now looking at my legs for the wrong reasons…


How is it that I’m destroyed and Karen is untouched (yea, maybe a few spots)?

According to a study from
Bugs are more attracted to me because:
1. Blood Type – Type O people get it: No prizes to guess what blood type I belong to
2. Carbon Dioxide – Large people exhale more gas compared to small people
In this case, it’s obvious right!


3. Metabolism – I already have a higher body temperature to start with, adding on the fact that I exercise frequently, I’m the exact target for bugs
4. Beer – Drinking Beer makes me more attractive to bugs as well especially since Karen doesn’t drink at all =(
5. Clothing Color – Black, Dark Blue and Red will stand out to bugs
I wore sky blue and black shorts to sleep that fateful night

I hope some miracle scar removing cream befall on me, that’s the biggest wish for 2015


10 thoughts on “The Real Reason Why I came back from Taiwan Abruptly

  1. Greetings Melva,

    Being also of O blood type i’m very familier with those types of bites. There are 40,000 mite species that live mostly in tropical climates, any of them could be the culprit.

    I’ll add one item to your list of making you a target:
    DIET- high carb processed food diets will stress your immune system, create inflamation and make u more of a target.

    Regarding your nightmare in Taiwan, it may not be the country, rather the specific location you stayed just happened to have a mite infestation, maybe a birds nest in roof, or chickens nearby?

    Sorry I’m too late to help you with your scars, but if it happens in the future here is what you do to avoid scars: the key to remember about all these little biting devils is they inject a form of saliva under your skin, (saliva yuck!) this saliva causes your immune system to react and attack the area. Removing that saliva asap after the bite will stop the whole process in its tracks before any scars can form. If you can successfully remove the saliva you will see the reaction go away in a day or less.

    There are a few ways to do this, you’ll need to scrub the area with an industrial cleaner with a form of mineral spirits, Wd40 with a wet wipe works! Or any medication such as ZANFEL that removes poison ivy ivy/oak, IT’S all the same problem, poison in your skin pores causing reaction.

    It works for all types of bites: mosquitoes, bees, San flies, mites, spiders etc.

    I hope your scars have faded, I understand what that can do to your confidence, it really sucks. I wish I had a magic wand for scars too.

    1. Hey Nick,

      thank you for writing this and letting me understand more about the condition. That wasn’t the first time i got it already. As long as I’m in a rural area, I keep getting this mega itchy spots and no doctors can ever tell me what exactly it is.

      I’m now way more careful by only going to urban areas and carrying around bug sprays and patches at all times with me.

      The scars have completely faded now! Pretty amazing ya~ but it took a couple of years!

      1. Omg Melva, I changed across your blog while researching on the bug bites that I got from Taiwan and I was shocked to see that thats exactly what happened to me. Idk exactly which part I got it from but it’s been more than two weeks and they are still itchy as hell. When I got back from Taiwan I saw a gp whom prescribed steroid oral medication and cream. The bumps flattened but come back again (ie the exact same spots) and remained super itchy. I just saw a dermatologist and am sad that both the gp and derm were unable to confirm which bug gave me the bites.. Similar to you, my partner didn’t get a single bite from the trip. And also, I now can’t wear shorts or generally anything that shows my legs without being immensely conscious of how people see me..
        Also, seeing Nick’s reply on squeezing the saliva out makes me so upset because that was what I did to one and it really stopped the itch. But then my bf prevented me from doing so to the rest because he felt that it could worsen it. Really hope the itch goes away soon and definitely the scars..

        1. Hello Ruby!
          I’m so sorry to hear about your plight! I do hope you feel better in a few days!! I would still recommend that you wear shorts even though it’s ugly, but that will “air” your legs/skin and prevent it from getting worst. I’ve tried anti-scarring creams from major drug store brands and none worked. It really took a couple of years for the scars to completely fade away but oh well, the good news is that the scars DO fade.. so you can relax your mind =)

          1. Hey Melva, thanks so much for replying! Thanks your advice and assurance, I’ll try to wear shorts during the weekend 🙁 btw, may I check if you eventually managed to find out which bugs caused the bites? And how long did the itch plus bumps take to subside for you? Am also super worried as I’ve been applying the medication religiously but they are still red, bumpy and itchy :/ and it’s been about three weeks..

          2. Hello Ruby, my specialist that i went to eventually told me that its an allergic reaction to some type of plants/pollen instead of bugs bite. But it would be a hefty cost and troublesome procedure to do the test to find out what exactly am i allergic to, hence just avoid rural/outdoor/nature areas as much as possible. the itch was gone in a week but the redness remained for weeks~

  2. I had the same experience recently 🙁 i went to Taiwan with 4 of my friends but i’m the only one who experienced it. Thank you for sharing this post! Hope the scars fade in time.

    1. Hi Janine,

      sorry for the late reply.
      I really think it’s got something to do with the body temperature or blood type and also coz I’m not accustomed to rural areas. I hope you have recovered already!

  3. Hello Melva,

    researching some info about biting midges, I came across your article. Just coming back from Hong Kong, I got bitten by midges after spending a few hours up North in New Territories, and have more than 200 bites on my legs and arms… since last week! Now that I’m home in Paris, it seems like I have 1 or 2 new small spots every day. Nothing really relieves the itchiness, I tried 5 different creams, and no real improvement in scarring. Went to the doc yesterday for some blood tests, but in the meantime, I just have to wait…
    Did you also have new red spots appearing ?

    1. Hello Caro,
      Oh dear! I hope your bites are improving now? I just got some major bites from Hong kong as well like a couple of weeks back. New spots will not appear as long as you’re away from the location. i even took antihistamines and there was no relief on the itchiness as well. you’re not alone! My scars disappear after 1 year or so.

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