Thursday, 8 March 2018

Khao Yai + BKK 2017

We managed to squeeze in a trip to BKK (adding in Khao Yi cos we want to visit new places!) in Oct last year.

Actually nothing much in Khao Yai lah (a lot of cafe hopping only), but ok been there done that liao!


Driving to Khao Yai after we landed in Bkk! I was quite apprehensive towards a self drive trip initially because hello, we don't understand the Thai signs right. The drive is 3 hours hor! Dear was pretty confident esp after reassurances from his friend that it was really easy. Thankfully it was really pretty straightforward with a GPS! And Dear is a careful driver haha.

One of our first looks of Khao Yai.

We visited the farms and all that sightseeing stuff. The highlight was feeding the alpacas. Haha. 


I don't know if I am in Korea at this cafe @_@

Tea break at the Chocolate Factory where it is supposed to have good chocolates. But actually so so lah. 


Another cafe: this time the theme is toys!

Highlight of the day was dinner at the Midwinter Green Castle, really grand!



Doesn't it remind you of how mass banquets in the medival times can look like? Even got live bands signing during the weekends to entertain the patrons. 

Food was ok, but we tried a new pasta called drunken spaghetti which was quite unique! Apparently it is one of Thailand's traditional noodles hor, main purpose is for those who have a hangover and want to wake up.  I told Der I will try to cook it when we come back, but so far have not yet. OOPs, haha.

Then it was back to our hotel. The thing about hotel and restaurants here is that they have a strong sense of theme. That's the fun of Khao Yai. We stayed in castle themed hotel. 






Day 2 in Khao Yai: We visited retro bars and went for a farm tour (it rained halfway! boo)





Then it was back to Bangkok city on day 3. We returned the car and had spent another 2 night in Bangkok for our usual shopping routine.

We spend one night at Novotel Platinum this time cos we wanted to save time. The hotel really nice sia.





And got free 10 min head massage at the hotel lobby sia. But when I wanted to try it, the masseure was very black face, and kept grumbling under her breath. So turned out it was a pretty awkward experience for me.

I was hoping to get stuff for Buddy but turns out that didn't find much stuff leh (we didn't go to Chatuchak this time). We only managed to find a shop at the basement of Platinum Mall, thanks to Dear) and bought a police themed clothing for Buddy.

Then we also visited the new night market, Talad Neon, by Platinum Mall and it was under expectations leh. Not much new stalls to see and the food was so so only.





Then on Day 4, we shifted from Novotel Platinum hotel to Sukhumvit and shopped at Terminal 21.

See our new hotel, big and spacious:




We did our snacks shopping at the atas supermarket at Terminal 21, not that much stuff as compared to  Big C supermarket. Not shiok enough haha.

Next day fly off liao! A chop chop adventure trip!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Taiwan + Okinawa 2017

There was a first for us in 2017- first time having a family trip with Dear's family. And also Dear's parents' first overseas trip.

So for such a milestone, what is the best place to go? Of cos Taiwan!

We visited Taipei and made days trips to Jinguashi, Shifen and Wulai which Dear and I didn't visit on our previous trips. So there was also something new for us. But actually what I learnt most from the trip is that what is most important is the time spent with each other and not squeezing in visits. Aww~~


I finally got to try sieving for gold at Jinguashi, though i think cheating one lah- how can really have gold dust. It was raining that day and we had lunch at their restuarant which offered a bento set imitating the tradional lunch that mine workers would eat- pork chop, egg, pickles. Best thing is can bring back the bento boz and scarf- souvenirs!

As it was raining, we were wondering if we should proceed to our last stop Shifen. We decided to drive there and hope the rain will stop by then! Really stopped! So we managed to see the small (really small) town and release sky lanterns. Another Taiwan experience checked!
 
We also had a day trip to Wulai, but was raining again! Sigh. We had a very nice aboriginal lunch at one of the restaurants and walked up to the hot springs to look see. There is a free hot spring by the open stream that you can soak but no toilet or towel.  Despite the challenging (aka dirty and wet), we still sat down and soak our legs. I'm quite impressed with myself for being willing to do it, and thank you dear for allowing me to wipe my legs on your jeans cos we had no towels.

So another Taiwan experience unchecked!

While planning for the trip, I came up with the idea to combine this trip with visiting Okinawa as it is cheap and near to visit from Taiwan. Okinawa has always seem like a cool place to visit but it is expensive and far from Singapore. There are no direct flights and I don't wanna fly 7 hrs just for a few days trip in Okinawa.

So we said good bye to the rest of the troops and took a short flight (1hr plus only) to Okinawa. We drove around (of cos we must have a driving trip!) and while Okinawa was different from what we imagined, the trip was still rather pleasant I guess.

Must dos: Eating fresh sashimi don and visiting the aquarium for the whale sharks.

 We also visited the American Village and had cheap good sushi there.

We queued for 1hr plus for the so called famous ramen at the prime shopping street. Not that the noodles were bad, but seriously need to queue so long anot.

The main shopping streets felt like the Patong of Okinawa but nonetheless still good for tourist shopping hahaha.

This was our main trip of the year actually, cos after we adopted our Buddy and life took over. We did visit Bkk in Oct but that was becos we booked the trip before Buddy came along. And luckily we did book the trip cos it forced us to take a break!

Ok lah, don't say until so cham. We somehow also got to Batam cos we saw a cheap promo for the ferry tickets (again, before Buddy came along).

So we had some short breaks but we really need to go on a long break and we are working towards that after successfully finding Buddy a caretaker when we are not around! 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Hong Kong 22-26 Jan 2016

"I want to eat HK style breakfast."

Dear dear 一句话, 我们就订机票去香港。 One of our most spontaneous trips ever!

Since we have been to HK a few times already, there wasn't really new places that we want to go. Honestly, besides the food and night markets, ok maybe the toys also, nothing much for us liao hahaha. 

We did explore one new place though: PMQ 元創方. This a new arty farty place in the refurbished Police Living Quaters for young designers to showcase their stuff.


We went to Bo Innovation for lunch. Lunch is pretty worth it to experience this three-Michelin starred restaurant.

And we also went to Disneyland, again. hahah.



2016 was a fruitful year in traveling. We went to HK, Bangkok, Japan, and Europe. Very blessed with having the time and money to just go crazy to visit the places we want. Take leave from work until a little bit paiseh haha. We booked all these trips early on in the year because we knew where we wanted to go and for some places, like HK and BKK, we just booked because there was an air ticket sale. Wahaha.

We starred 2017 with a trip to Taiwan and Okinawa (coming up soon)! And we squeezed in a Bkk trip after that, but otherwise travelling in 2017 was scaled back because we were focused on settling our doggie in the house!

Europe Honeymoon- 27 Aug to 12 Sept

And now we are finally at our honeymoon! Talk about delayed gratification. We waited for 8 months before we embark on our official honeymoon because we wanted to watch the BPL!

Our trip details:
Best Western Cromwell Hotel:  $921.64 for 4 nights
Airbnb in Paris: $589 for 4 nights
Urban Sea Hotel Atocha 113 in Madrid: $551.88 for 4 nights

London

Our first stop was London! We took Qatar because we got it at good price but the service not very good leh. Qatar wasn't as good as we thought since many were praising how much superior it was to SQ. We still prefer SQ and our SQ girls! 

Dear has been to London multiple times but it is his first time here with me and also first time watching Chelsea live in the BPL. So it was something for him to look forward to. But sadly, we really dun seem to have much luck when we try to watch Chelsea live- always not a good performance one. :(

This time, we caught them in a bad season, on a bad day. So not so fun to watch, sigh.

To be honest, London was pretty boring. The highlight for me was the day trip to Stonehenge and Bath. At least got to see something. And, the tour operator that I found ended its trip right at the door step of our hotel! How awesome! #cheapthrill


Paris

A lot of people said that Paris is actually a dark and smelly city. Yes, at times But we liked the city. There is a certain vibe about it that made people feel special in the city. I think the fact that we had access to yummy macaroons helped too haha.

And we love the other French food too- foie gras (we had a big foie gras meal!) and everything was so good. The French are excellent with sauces that pair very well with the food.

I enjoyed going to the Versailles Palace and I wished I was the Queen. Sigh. I also want to live in this kind of decadence *wink*


Lyon

Because Dear is traveling with me, he gets to eat well. When in France, you gotta visit the food capital of this nation of people who eats well. So I squeezed in a night in Lyon just to eat. The food was really not bad, but rich. Richer than the ones we ate in Paris.

We learnt that we do not really enjoy tripes. A bit too strong for us. But Dear forgot and ordered it again in our recent Europe trip. *sad*


Barcelona

Our next stop was Spain!  Hola! We were in a part of Europe with a very warm and vibrant vibe and we love it. Everyone was in sandals and shorts. Can't imagine how it is like during the summer, lol.

I think I belong to the camp that Gaudi was an artist. The quirky architecture gives the city so much character. Dare to be different mah right. The Sagrada Familia is still my fav church in Europe because I like the way it is bright and airy inside.


One of the best things about are the side trips. We made a day trip to Montserrat Monastery up in the mountains to listen to the famed choir boys.


And also to Segovia to see the castle that supposedly inspired Disney. The shops really close for afternoon nap time :( we decided to sightsee first before doing the shopping and when we were done, most of the shops closed for afternoon nap already! Pfft.


Our last stop of this trip was Madrid city, which was really quite boring. Really nothing much one. So ya, can skip Madrid if you don't have enough time.



Japan Trip- Nagoya

Hello guys, catching up on our past trips. Lazy liao, so we use pictorial stye okie.

This was one of the best trips I ever had, cos of the highlight in Takayama and Shirakawago. We decided to visit Shirakawago cos Dear saw how pretty the huts are in snow. So this was a trip in making for some time as we had to wait for the right season (for snow!) and really planned it.

We did a road trip and drove in snow (highlight of the trip for Dear). Dear was a good driver and it was all well!

We also skied for the first time! Lots of achievements unlocked in this trip. We had a coach to teach both of us at the ski resort. As expected, I wasn't really good at it. On the other hand, Dear was unexpectedly good and the coach trained him more instead of me. #giveuponme

One downside of the trip was, it was raining almost everyday in Nagoya city when we were there. First time that we had such persistant rainy weather when we are overseas!

Day 1 and 2- Nagoya


Day 3- Shirakawago

Day 4- Takayama




Day 5- Okuhira



Day 6- Shirakawago Part 2



Day 7- Ski resort


Day 8- Mitsui Outlet Park Jazz Dream Nagashima


Day 9- Inuyama town


Day 10- Back to Sg


Yes, we took Business Class on the way back! Dear exchanged miles to upgrade us! But sadly, we had to sit apart because the Japanese counter staff allowed other passengers to book single seats and refused to change them. ARGH.

One of the those things that we dun like about the one-track minded Japanese. So I spent a lot of my time taking photos. Heh. #dunknowwhenisthenexttime