Category Archives: Travelogue

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.

 

 

 

Alive Museum – Experiencing 3D Illusionary Art

blog20140810_162938

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 If you don’t know what I am talking about then you are outdated!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

20140310_100907

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.

20140310_100802

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.

20140310_081438

White Beach!

20140310_081436

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:

20140310_102524

more….

20140310_111031(0)

and more….

20140310_111033

more more more.

Then it was sunset in no time.

20140310_170528

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.

20140310_170532 20140311_174630

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.

20140311_174050

Out in the sea! Really relaxing

20140311_155144

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.

20140310_134407

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.

20140310_130103

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.

20140310_130348

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.

20140310_125555_mr1394444470524

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.

 20140310_100436

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).

20140311_112441

Toilet posing.

Next up was ATV

20140311_110715

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.

20140311_105839

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.

20140311_105723

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.

20140312_093631

 

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

20131124_120800

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.

20131124_115616

Inside the temple

20131124_115937

One of the best scenery at a temple

2. Eat Khao Soi

20131124_132645

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.

20131124_134356

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.

20131123_213735

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

20131123_213742

Trying street massage at the night market

20131123_220438

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

IMG-20131126-WA0001

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

IMG-20131126-WA0015

My mates for the kayaking tour

IMG-20131126-WA0012

Scenic ending point

IMG-20131126-WA0014

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.

20131123_201955

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.

20131123_202007 20131123_181705

Big prawn for 2 serving.

20131123_200941

Cook them here. Yum yum

20130906_201213

Sauces also come in so big container

20131123_181856

Free drinks, Coke lover will faint

20131123_181904

Whole station of Vegetable

20131123_182514

Whole station of cooked spicy and sour food

20131123_182520

And whole station of fried stuff

20131123_182607

Annnnnd whole station of raw meat

20131123_183250

Our little pot

20131123_195507

Thousand of people .

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

20131124_093810

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)

Bali – Sunset Tanah Lot

 

Tanah Lot, a popular tourist attraction in Bali is shaped by offshore rocks form over the years by ocean tide. It is home to the temple, the Pura Tanah Lot  which was built as one of the seven sea temple around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast.

What attracts large tourists to Tanah Lot is its stunning sun set and amazing rocks formation. You will need to pay a total of IDR40K to enter Tanah Lot. The path leading to Tanah Lot are commercialised with shops selling souveirs and restaurants selling food.

sunset tanah lot

Bali – Jimbaran Beach Seafood Restaurant

We decided to have our first Bali dinner at Jimbaran Beach after hearing how romantic it is to have our dinner on the beach with a dim light and at the same time enjoying the sunset. Set off around 4pm plus and due to the forever traffic jam, we reached there   around 6pm. If you wanna make sure you see the sunset, be sure to reach there at 5pm. Sunset is around 5.30pm.

Was introduced by the Astana Batubelig Villa‘s staff to have our dinner at Seaside Cafe. One of the many restaurant that lies along Jimbaran Beach.

table number 27

Ushered in to table 27. Table was set up randomly depending on where we want it to be. More tables will be added to the sand when there are more customer. Doesn’t take long before they get you seated.

Bali Itinerary Short 3D2N

I am back from Bali short weekend trip and good times really fly fast. I would like to share my itinerary so you guys can prevent or include in your own itinerary.

Day 1:

 plane to bali

Bali – Astana Batubelig Villa

Stayed at Astana Batubelig Villa for my entire trip in Bali (which is 2 night). I found the Villa through browsing agoda.com. They have a wide selection of Villa making them an ideal place to book your stay. Astana Batubelig(as stated in Agoda) is located in the Seminyak area, 30mins from Airport and within walking distance to the Batubelig beach. There are a total of 16 rooms, all comes with a pool in each villa.

Some of the reasons why we book the villa is

1) It is near to the beach

2) Mart and famous eating area around the villa

3) Villa is not too big for two person and everything looks so new, clean and modern

4) Price is not too high, within our budget ($200)

Astana-Villas