BFF 2015 Travel to Korea – 9D8N Itinerary

 

Finally had a chance to go on a tour in April with some of my best friend in my life. We had never went for a tour together and had planned this for many years. As we aged, we are often too busy to gather together. Furthermore we are in different countries and have different commitment. Everyone of us treasured the opportunity to tour together. With much arrangement, we are off to Korea in spring and the most anticipated event was cherry blossom viewing.

Basically, we only visited Seoul and Jeju with a total of 9 Days

Day 1:

- Reached Incheon Int’l Airport in the afternoon

- Dinner in Myeongdong: Galbi Octopus and Pork

Day 2:

- Brunch: Tosokchon (Ginseng Chicken)

- Visit to Gyeongbukgung Palace

- Bukchon Hanok Village

- Insadong

- Dinner: Bongchu Jjimdak (Spicy Soy Chicken)

- Cafe: Traditional Tea

Day 3:

- Brunch: Chuncheon Chicken

- Ewha University Street shopping

- Hongdae Shopping

- Style Nanda

-Gwangjang Market visit and dinner

Day 4

- Fly to Jeju (How to book?)

- O Sulloc Green Tea Plantation and Muesum

- BBQ Black Pork (Even PM Lee H.L went)

- Mysterious Road

- Simple dinner near hotel

Day 5

- Abalone Breakfast

-Sangumburi Crater

- Folk Village (How we got cheated!)

- Seopjikoji Trail (All in Drama Church)

-  Lunch: Seafood Pot

- Sunrise Peak

- Dinner: Super spicy Deep Fried Chicken near hotel

Day 6

Fly back to Seoul

- Duty Free Mall Shopping

- N.Seoul Tower

- Kyochon Take Away

Day 7

- Brunch: had repeated octopus galbi again

- Myeongdong shopping

- Teabreak: O Sulloc

- Garosu Gil  Shopping

- Dinner: Army Stew @ Dongdaemung

- Night Shopping!

Day 8

- Brunch @ Myeongdong Onedang Pork and Potato soup (super yummy)

- Continue shopping day at Duty Free Shop

- Dinner near Air B&B Apartment

Day 9

- Fly back to Singapore

- How to do tax refund

Will be back with more details of the trip. Look out for it.

 

 

 

New Year Resolutions 2015

We were sitting over at the cafe one day and my dear friend, Jan asked us about our New Year Resolution for 2015. I was never someone who writes down new year resolution as I dun wan to restrict myself or rather forced myself into doing something. The feeling of unnaturally altering something. That said, you can see I am someone who is lazy enough to even keep tracked of my own life.

Anyway, back to the topic. So her question really triggered me into deep thoughts for quite a few days. My initial answer to her was I want to get thin for 5kg before my pre-wedding shoot but then I realized getting thin is forever a woman resolution every year.
So what’s my resolution so far after much thinking?

1. Getting thin at least 5kg. (Yup, not changing this)
2. Learning a new language which I have interest in. Maybe Korean? French? (In line with why I think everyone need to keep learning and trying new things. For life too)
3. Aim to save $10K by Dec 2015. Happened to come across an article that someone was able to save $20K a year with a monthly pay of $2500. So I wonder where my money has gone to. I am not that ambitious. Just half of what she managed. I remembered I was someone very thrifty few years ago. I would sit down during one of my part time job and count all my expenses and earnings for the month. One time. Two time.

I never got tired of counting. It thrills me that I am seeing money entering my pocket. And I was so clear with my finances back then. I want to chase that virtues back.

So good luck to me!
Sidetracked: I asked the Boyfriend about his resolutions for 2015 too. Being someone so similar like me, I knew he won’t have one and doesn’t even plan to have one. So somewhat, he is forced to have one.

His: learn how to cook fried rice. 


Okie, I think it’s a good one cos he has been saying this for too long. Work towards your resolutions everyone.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015!

Unpleasant Online Shopping with COURTS

It all started with me wanting a Samsung Tab S. I was lazy so I went to Samsung Online to check if I am able to purchase it directly just like how I purchase my Iphone on Apple Store few years ago.

samsung page

Straight away I click on where to buy and a window pop up suggesting I can purchase it with COURTS ONLINE.

samsung page buy online options

 

I wasn’t a COURTS loyal customer all along and even if I want to buy something COURTS is not one I go to straight away. We hear alot of complaints from people who buy from COURTS and this actually made me think twice before I will buy from them. But I thought I wanted to be fair to COURTS and its totally a new service online so why not give it a try. Furthermore, it is just a small item. Why am I suspicious that COURTS can’t fulfill such a small order?

So I went ahead to purchase the item. The whole process was smooth and I got a email confirmation for my purchases.

courts notices

 

In particular, this was highlighted in BOLD RED. I thought WOW! So easy, I just need to sit at home and wait for my tablet. And I was still worried I would miss their call or miss me if I am not at home. But I was all WRONG!

1) I did not get a call from them at all. Purchase made on 30 Sept at night. 1 October no call at all. Why bother to even write me a bold red text.

2) I made an initiative since no call. They have a tracking for delivery on their website. Went ahead to key in my invoice number and item shown indicated delivery will be on 1 Oct. I was still worried for my tablet and wait at home till 9pm on that day. NO SHOW.

3) Made a call first thing in the morning 2 Oct at 10am and told the customer service lady I did not receive any call and online put my delivery should be on 1 Oct. She say she will ask the online team to call me. I asked for a time frame. And they promise within 4hrs. Did not receive any call by 2pm. Do they really need so long to call me to arrange delivery?

4) By 2pm no call. So I went back to call the customer service. I repeated the same old story to them and they gave me the same old sentence. Say will call me back. I got really angry and say NO! And I want an answer now if not just cancel the whole order. And that’s when they get panicked and start to really take action. Next few moment, the lady promised once I put down the call the person in charge will call. And true enough the call came in.

5) AND YES, the call did came in. A guy answered and sounded really sorry. He said the whole time they were securing the item for me. %$%#@^ I rolled my eyes, but of cos he won’t be able to see it. But like what reason was this. I told them if item was out of stock then they shouldn’t even sell online. And next thing he did was tell me fastest they deliver only left Sunday, 5 Oct. OMG, that’s long. I gave in and wanted to self collect but the location to collect was Tampines Mega Store. Wasn’t COURTS islandwide? Few days ago I visited the outlet at Toa Payoh, the sale people were still promoting it there. I can’t really accept the option given.

I really gave up on COURTS by then and just wanted it to be settled and gone. So I chose to had my item delivered on Sunday.

This post is written on 2 Oct. We will see if delivery do turn up at my house on Sunday. I am seriously not giving high expectation.

 

Alive Museum – Experiencing 3D Illusionary Art

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Over the weekend, I had the chance to experience Alive Museum, Singapore at Suntec City. If you don’t know what I am talking about then you are outdated!

Alive Museum, Singapore first started in Korea and has since had 15 branches globally, making it the largest chain of 3D interactive illusionary art museum in the world. Visitors will not only be able to experience magical ideas in reality by touching and watching objects, they will be part of the masterpiece.

Still unable to imagine what it will be like?

Let me walk you through what you can expect.

Getting Nearer to Paradise – Boracay

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Can you imagine how I feel and how bad I wanted to go back again after seeing the above picture?

An overdue post again. My trip to Boracay in The Philippines was in March 2014 in the name of celebrating me and J’s birthday. It was also around the best season to visit the place. If you are to visit at other time you may experience algae in the water causing water not as clear as what you are seeing above.

We travelled via Tigerair to Kalibo airport and from there we need to take another transport either via bus or van which will take about 1.5hrs drive. Seconds after you are out of the airport, you will be able to find people promoting to you to take their transport. The van are filled up more easily as compared to bus since we just need around 12 person to set off. It cost around 250 peso which include the fee for the next transport, a 10mins boat ride to the island just like how we get to Sentosa from Singapore. Take note that you will still need to pay for the environment upkeep fee  (php25) and terminal fee (php100). In case you wanna know, Boat fee is php 25. The next question you want to ask is

Why we choose this way to get to Boracay?

The obvious reason is because we are able to take a cheaper flight at promotional price from Tigerair! Caticlan is obviously nearer and don’t need so many transfer but I read somewhere when doing my research that Caticlan airport is a smaller one and it may not be that safe during bad weather.

After much time spent on the road, we finally reached the Island – Boracay! The landing pier wasn’t that nice as it is actually the other side of the island. Get a tutu (I think that’s what it was called) and show them the map of where you will be staying, whether it is at Beach 1, 2 or 3 to give them a better idea. Basically, It will be around sunset once you reach there if you are travelling via my way.

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Like a Tutu where you can sit a passenger beside the driver and maybe 2-4 person at the back. You don’t really need any transport if you are staying near the beach. We hardly did.

And let me show you what I see the next morning when I am getting my breakfast.

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White Beach!

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White Beach!!

We joke about the sand as soft and tiny like milo powder. Very very smooth sand that don’t stick on you, not like when I am at East Coast. The seawater too was not sticky at all. I thought it means unpolluted water I am getting. Sea level was like only knee level even when you are 3-4 metres away from shore.

We spent almost the whole day soaked in the water, swimming from Beach 2 to Beach 1 and then to Beach 3 from Beach 1. Times really fly and we were unaware of how much sun we actually get all this while. Turned really dark when I returned to the Hotel and checked myself over the mirror. I remember i shout out a loud cry when i saw myself that black. Haha.

More clear water pic:

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more….

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and more….

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more more more.

Then it was sunset in no time.

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You can see the sail boat coming nearer to the shore preparing to welcome customer who want to enjoy a ride out to sea to get a closer and nearer view to the sunset.

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We booked our rides in the afternoon when we met a sales person by the beach selling all those sea activities. As we are poor after booking previously in the morning for our next day trip, we slashed half the price of what the person offered as a way to reject him. But in the end, he actually agreed to it. Definitely a bargain! Then we realized there is a need to bargain starting from as low as half the price. We actually did some activity at a higher price than what I check online. Always become carrot head.  So please remember this tactic.

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Out in the sea! Really relaxing

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Day 3, we explored further towards the end of Beach 1. There is a special apartment called Spider House where the whole place was built with bamboo on a big rock. It is really right at the end of Boracay. We did SOME walk and sweat like as though it was sea water on our body. Visitors to Spider House need to go through a dark cave entrance before reaching. We decided to have our forgotten lunch there since it was like 2pm already.

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Situated at a corner we were able to overlook Boracay from afar. In the middle was a floating platform where people can just jump down from the cafe and swim over for a tanned or have a jumping into the sea match. Believe me, I can spend my whole day here if I am visiting the island longer and have extra time. And seldom am I able to do nothing and just stare away, I always need some activities to fill the time. Me and J love the place and make it a point to recommend to everyone who would like to hear our trip.

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We shared this amazing pasta with a tint bit of spiciness that keep our mouth watering and wanting for more. The noodle taste and look like Mee Pok seriously but it was super nice in its own way. The bread that comes with it was a good match soaking up the remaining sauce.

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The Calamari dish was a perfect thing for some comfort food at the moment. More of a thicker coating but crispy at the same time. Every cut was a big one.

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And we had some time cam whoring.

After the late lunch, we did something funny. We decided a new way to leave the cafe. Swim out. HAHA! We jumped into the sea straight from the cafe deck and swim all the way back. One thing good about Boracay is the water level are always below my neck level. No chance of drowning. You can even walk if you are tired from swimming or even crawl. We thought we did something funny.

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And we did it again. Selfie while we have the nicest shake on Boracay at Jonah’s. We have that everyday since it was really near to where we stay. So blessed

We also went on to do our activities.

There was this 3D museum. Free of charge which come along with my other activities. We posed for alot of picture and below was one of the more funny one (self-assumed).

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Toilet posing.

Next up was ATV

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Time for ATV. Prior to this, I don’t know how to drive and that was my first time playing ATV. Was scary at the start trying to get use to the control. After some trial, our guide took us up to the top of the island driving along roads with lesser traffic. Of course it was each person to 1 car. If you are not that confident, you may want to take the two seater side by side one which doesn’t seem really fun and it cost the same if I remember correctly. So, believe in yourself and ride it.

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Then, we reached the top of the island after like a less than 20mins ride. At the highest point on the island, you will be able to have a birdview of the beach.

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This picture really wasn’t in our plan. The very nice guide offered to help us take pictures. He directed us with different poses and at the correct spot and at different angle. Very professional indeed.

There was other water activities we did but wasn’t able to take any photo since our camera was not waterproof plus we don’t think we have the time to take care of our things when playing. Just to share if you wanna know what we did in total.

1) Helmet Diving

This was the most look forward activities since both of us have never dive before and the Helmet Diving actually makes you wear a 20kg helmet to prevent water from enter and allowing you to breathe normally when under water. We were briefed before entering into the water. The package also include the staff to take pictures and video of us in the water walking and feeding fish. At the end of the day we will be given a CD with the pictures and video inside. Beside this, it was not really fun actually but a really nice experience. When we were wondering how they pass us the CD the next day when they don’t have our records, the guide we signed up with turned up at our hotel the next morning and pass it to us. Seriously curious how they do it.

2) Paraw Sailing (Sunset)

Did this during sunset for around 15mins. Really good. Definitely worth doing it everyday if you are there.

3) ATV with extra given like adventure rides, 3D museum, animal photo taking.

An experience good for people who would like to experience a ATV. Not good for people who did it before. Too fast.

And the most suitable activities to do is:

Soak yourself in the sea. REALLY!

Last day:

Our last day we were informed that there may be typhoon approaching. Thankfully we are at the end of our trip. The peaceful sea with typhoon approaching. The sea not as clear as when we arrive but equally stunning as it makes one really peaceful at heart.

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6 Must Do in Chiang Mai

 

I came up with a list of must do based on my personal experience in Chiang Mai over the short trip I had last week. If you are like me who wants to experience Chiang Mai in the shortest of time you have, then follow my list and you will not regret.

1. Visit to Doi Suthep Temple

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The top on the list and possibly the one which everyone will agree with me – Visit to Doi Suthep. It is just like you need to visit Ruins of St Paul’s in Macau. It is the same as Doi Suthep. From the massager who questioned if I visited it to the Tuk tuk/Songthaew Driver stopping infront of me to ask if I want to head to Doi Suthep. Everyone is recommending the place. There are actually a number of things you can do on Doi Suthep but the most popular attraction would be the Wat Phra That located above Doi Suthep. As times goes by, people just call it Doi Suthep Temple.

Beside the beautiful golden temple, visitors can overlook the whole of Chiang Mai at the back of the temple. The blue sky, the white clouds made a few Chinese besides me exclaimed in Mandarin, praising the scenery presented in front of them.20131124_114334

You need to climb these stairs to get to the top where the temple is.

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Inside the temple

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One of the best scenery at a temple

2. Eat Khao Soi

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Khao Soi is a dish found in the Northern Thailand area. I had never eaten this dish before visiting Chiang Mai but I personally feels it tasted like Singapore Mee Pok in light curry soup. What makes the bite delightful is the mixture of crispy noodle and the normal noodles giving it an additional texture. The soup varies from different stall, some are spicier, some taste more sweet. I like mine spicier and it is definitely shiok. Recommending the stall opposite the main gate of Chiang Mai University. It a must visit. Another excellent dish we had at this particular store was their roasted meat. It was super super ultimately crispy and tasty. Overall, Chiang Mai knows how to cook their pork excellently.

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3. Visit the Night Markets

Nobody goes home without visiting Chiang Mai’s night market. It is hard not to bang into one too since the night market is one of the biggest I have seen. There are a few night markets that you can visit. The must go ones are definitely the Saturday night market and the Sunday night market. Both are quite similar but they are at different location. The Saturday Night Market is situated at Warorok Market and the Sunday night market stretch from the Thapae Gate all the way down into the city. Get your souvenir there without having to bargain cost it is at a really affordable price already.Get your massage there. You will be surprise that I got a better and skilled massage experience along these night markets. Last but not least, have your dinner there as well.

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My souvenir. You can add a name sew onto it. Kawaii~~ Max

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Trying street massage at the night market

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Randomly appeared in the middle of the night market’s road are these artist who can draw excellent art pieces.

4. Join a Day Tour

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There are alot of Day Tour available in Chiang Mai. From exploring the nature through trekking, kayaking to visiting elephant camps and traditional villages, there is definitely one that cater to you. What I chose was to go Kayaking along Mae Ping River. It was definitely not what I had imagine to be smooth and peaceful and slow where you can absorb the scenery around you. The whole trip was very challenging with all the river current, hanging branches, dead logs and stone to avoid. It takes some Kayaking skills before you can conquer them. A noob like me can do it so can anyone. You will get trained by the guides at the start of the river. They make sure you have a really wonderful journey. The whole trip takes 4hrs and it was truely unforgettable. Something to note is that you are bounds to get scratches here and there as there are tree brunches around.  Visit ChiangMai Kayaking to get more information

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My mates for the kayaking tour

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Scenic ending point

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Ending point. Challenging bamboo landing point.

5. Sit in a Cafe

It may be hard to imagine but there are alot of cafes in Chiang Mai spread over Chiang Mai. They are mainly opened by foreigners who decided to stay in Chiang Mai permanently or trendy locals. Most of these cafe are concentrated along Nimmanhaemin Rd. Try to walk around there and you will bang into one easily.

 

6. Eat MooKata (Thai Steamboat) Buffet with 1000 people in the Open Space.

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For a price of 209 Baht (est SGD$10) you get to eat all you can with 1000 people in the open area here. The atmosphere is enough to get the price back. Look what they have to offer.

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Big prawn for 2 serving.

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Cook them here. Yum yum

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Sauces also come in so big container

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Free drinks, Coke lover will faint

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Whole station of Vegetable

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Whole station of cooked spicy and sour food

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And whole station of fried stuff

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Annnnnd whole station of raw meat

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Our little pot

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Thousand of people .

4D3N Chiang Mai 2013 – Come Chiang Mai Lanna Boutique House

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Introducing the place where I stayed throughout the entire trip in Chiang Mai – Come Chiang Mai Lanna Boutique House

This place was not our first choice but because the trip was confirmed quite late and it was the peak season in Chiang Mai, most of the good hotel has been snatched up before we made our decision. But Come Chiang Mai Lanna Boutique House is definitely not bad as well. They have quite a high score on Agoda.com as well.

4D3N Chiang Mai Trip 2013 Itinerary

I was just back from Chiang Mai 2 days ago. There was actually no plan to Chiang Mai this year but I won some air tickets unexpectedly and here I go to Chiang Mai within a short 2 weeks notice. Before I go, there was the usual stuff like researching online on where to go and familiarizing with the map and planning my itinerary. Take a look at my itinerary and feel free to follow suit.

Chiang Mai Itinerary

 

For detailed readings and more pictures. Move on to different link below

Where We Stay - Come Chiang Mai Lanna Boutique House

Day 1 (coming up)

Day 2  (coming up)

Day 3  (coming up)

Day 4  (coming up)

d’ Good Cafe – Holland Village

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d'GoodCafe Order Counter

 

Another Cafe visited on a night when we will finding for a place to chill. d’GoodCafe located at Holland Village is one unique cafe which will make me want to go back again. They occupied 2nd and 3rd floor of a shophouse block near to the Holland Village MRT Station.

Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant @ Chinatown Point

Peach Garden

Arranged for an afternoon lunch with the girls followed by Park Royal Hotel @ Pickering Street Staycation thanks to treats by dear friend. It was lunch time when we arrive and there was abit of queue. So we make our reservation and went over to check in to our room just opposite the mall. The lady from the restaurant offered to call us once our table is ready. Lets see what I had.