Hungry in Makati

Life in Philippines is sloooooow.  My flight arrived early.  Instead of 8:40pm, I landed early at 8:25pm but waited till 9:05pm to get my luggage and by the time I got to the hotel, it was 10pm.  Sigh.  Was starving.  Took photos of my lovely room (not as luxurious as Shangri La but still nice nonetheless), then went to check out the Club lounge, and then headed to the coffee house for dinner.

Gosh!  Dinner was yummy but so pathetically small!!  I was starving even at the end of it.  Thinking I may eat the fruits in my room.  Heh.  Here’re the photos of my room & the hotel.

 

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At the entrance of my room.  The toilet’s on the left, wardrobe’s on the right.

 

 

 

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Sofa area.

 

 

 

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I love the king-size bed.

 

 

 

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Check out the nice cushiony hanger!

 

 

 

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The pathetic little serving of Sukiyaki.

 

 

 

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Hotel lobby.

 

 

 

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Hotel lobby area.

 

 

 

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I think the fruits will come in handy later… hungry…

 

 

 

I got a bit of a scare when I first opened my room door.  I heard this high buzzing sound… of a TV that’s switched on but switched to a silent channel.  I was a little scared ‘cos I was worried that maybe there was some screw up or something and the room was double booked. 

I paused for a short while but hearing no other noises, I ventured deeper into the room.  The TV was on.  But it was to the main menu and guess what?  The TV even had my name on it!  Fwah!  Talk about cool man!  Heehee.

Okie… gotta go shower… soon… *yawn*.

Australia Part 4 – Adelaide

When people heard I was going to Adelaide, everyone said the same thing to me – "It’s BORING!".  Well, Adelaide is indeed a very quiet town.  We stayed at 2 service apartments that were right in the heart of the city so that made getting around easy.  Food was cheaper in Adelaide too!  Thank goodness.  Haha.  And while drivers in Melbourne were quite paranoid about getting fined by the traffic police, the drivers in Adelaide were quite reckless!  I saw cars beating red lights at least 4 times a day.   It’s crazy man!!

 

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Oaks Horizon – Master Bedroom.  Patience had a friend, Bearbear, who was smuggled to Australia in Iceman’s luggage.  She was very glad for the company though she kept beating him up at first ‘cos she thought he was trying to be funny by saying his name was "Bearbear".  She’s not very patient.

 

 

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Our very well equipped kitchenette.

 

 

 

 

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Nice living area.

 

 

 

 

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A very interesting erm, dustbin in the middle of Rundell Street (that’s the main shopping street in Adelaide!)

 

 

 

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Iceman & I visited Central Market & I just had to take a pic of the yellow bananas to honour the Funky Bananas!!

 

 

 

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Chinatown.  I’m proud to be Chinese.  We’re everywhere!  Muahahaha.. *evil shriek*

 

 

 

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I thought the message on the closed door was funny…

 

 

 

 

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Iceman’s MBA course mate took us up Mt Lofty early early in the morning.  Pity it rained so the view was cloudy and we didn’t get to see anything.  Sigh.  Exact same sight that greeted me on Mt Wellington in Hobart!

 

 

 

 

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We did manage to do a bit of walking and I was bushed!  (Pun intended…)

 

 

 

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Sibeh high-tech public toilet ah!

 

 

 

 

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The University of Adelaide

 

 

 

 

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A typical historical "Victorian" style house in Australia.  Seen one, seen all.

 

 

 

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The National Wine Centre in Adelaide.  (Booze Queen – took this pic to tempt u… rows and rows and rows of wine!!!!)

 

 

 

 

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More booze!

 

 

 

 

 

Very interesting pavements in Adelaide – strewn with coins from various Asian (I think) countries.  Saw 2 or 3 ringgit coins there… but only 1 SGD 0.20.  SGD not cheap..

 

 

 

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Miller Apartments

 

 

 

 

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Food for humans with no magical powers…

 

 

 

 

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Hahndorf, a village where the early German settlers sunk roots.  So some sunk more than roots…

 

 

 

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German Char Siew

 

 

 

 

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Lego’s predecessor.  This model was made w/o glue or screws!  Just pegs!

 

 

 

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I liked that reddish tree.  The leaves looked like maple leaves but I really don’t know what it is.

 

 

 

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You can put bunnies on anything and I’ll like it!

 

 

 

 

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Puppets!

 

 

 

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Yummy Gelato!

 

 

 

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The Pie Cart

 

 

 

 

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Comes with special parking ok!

 

 

 

 

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Adelaide’s Festival of Lights

 

 

 

 

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Check out how the same building changes its look!

 

 

 

 

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A mixture of various local produce at one of the vineyards in Mclaren Vale.  The cheese was sooooo good.  First time I actually loved the blue cheese!

 

 

 

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Another vineyard… can’t remember the names now!

 

 

 

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First public toilet in Victor Harbour ah!  Don’t play play.

 

 

 

 

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This was supposed to be the biggest rocking horse in the world.  Heh.  Found the place by accident while driving to Barrosa Valley.

 

 

 

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At the National Motor Museum

 

 

 

 

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The Whispering Wall (it’s really a dam).

 

 

 

 

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Yeah, works.

 

 

 

 

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Iceman’s MBA convocation

 

 

 

 

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Didn’t do much shopping but this is the Adelaide Arcade.  Heh.

 

 

 

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Saw this sign at the Adelaide Airport.  I think they’re weird.  I wouldn’t drink water used for flushing toilets, recycled or not.  ๐Ÿ˜›

 

 

 

Phew!  That was a looooong post since I spent 1 whole week in Adelaide.  Overall, it was a great trip.. though Bigmac is still sore about my long holiday!  Heh.

Australia – Part 3

Since this was my first trip to Australia, and given that I probably won’t be going back there for some time, I figured it would be good to check out more places.  So before meeting Iceman in Adelaide, I went to Hobart (Tasmania) with my mom, aunts and cousin.

We were warned by everyone that Tasmania was going to be really really cold.  "Prepare for snow", were my Australian cousin’s exact words.

So we went to Hobart prepared for really cold weather.  Good grief.  The temperature hit 32 degrees Celsius the first day we were there.  I nearly died of heat stroke.

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At the Hobart Airport – managed to snap a quick shot of this Virgin plane.

 

 

 

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Took this pic from the shuttle bus en route to the hotel.

 

 

 

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Hobart’s Post Office

 

 

 

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Qantas served this yummy Kellog cereal in this same packaging on the plane for breakfast.  First time i saw this sort of "cereal on the go".  Just had to take a pic.  Hehe.

 

 

 

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My mom & aunt posing on a really cool car.  The owner wasn’t quite so cool about it.

 

 

 

 

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More old cars…

 

 

 

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The harbour/pier was lovely.  I love yachts & boats & ships.  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

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SEE?  It was 32deg Celsius in Hobart!!!!!

 

 

 

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Port Arthur (where the Brits dumped the convicts in Hobart).

 

 

 

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The front of the church at Port Arthur

 

 

 

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Loved the blue water.

 

 

 

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I think this was the granary or something at Port Arthur.  Don’t quite remember.  ๐Ÿ˜›

 

 

 

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Saw this photo on my aunt’s wall.  It was taken during my grandma’s birthday!  I was only 3 years old then.  Hehe… any guesses where I am?  ๐Ÿ˜›

 

 

 

Well, the temperature dropped below 10 degrees the day we left… and that’s Tasmania weather for you (or so I’m told).  It’s really a lovely place to visit… but you really need to devote more than 3 days to it!

Australia – Part 2

Ballarat / Sovereign Hill

My 6th aunt, who migrated to Australia 30 years ago, brought us to visit Ballarat, a old gold-mining town when we were there.  We also went to Sovereign Hill, an old gold mine, to er… mine for gold?

At Sovereign Hill, you can pay A$6 for a pan and a chance to "mine" for gold at this riverlet.  I refused to pay the A$6… I mean… not for tiny flecks of gold dust!!  Hehe.  My mom and my 5th uncle’s wife tried it though… and hammed it up for the camera.  ๐Ÿ˜›

My 8th aunt had an even more practical solution – she paid A$8 and got a little container with gold flakes inside as a souvenir.  I got one as a gift from her too.  ๐Ÿ˜›

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Ballarat Town

 

 

 

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I have an obsession with phone lines…

 

 

 

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If you bring a chisel…

 

 

 

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As we embark on our hunt for gold…

 

 

 

 

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The Great Pretenders.

 

 

 

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This is atop some mining structure at Sovereign Hill.

 

 

 

 

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A shop selling quaint old table-cloths.

 

 

 

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Living conditions of the miners.  The Caucasian version.

 

 

 

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Chinese miners’ living quarters.  Glad to know not all early Aussie migrants were convicts.

 

 

 

St Kilda

My 6th aunt (aka my Australian aunt) took us to Melbourne city centre to visit the Casino ‘cos my cousin works there.  I was bored to death ‘cos I don’t gamble.  Don’t know how… and am just not interested enough to learn.  Hey, even mahjong doesn’t interest me!  :P  That’s probably the most atypical Cantonese trait of mine.. heh. 

St Kilda was really lovely.  We had a leisurely lunch at one of the sea-facing restaurants, walked along the beach-side stalls, and had tea at an Italian-styled cafe.  Really wonderful touristy area.  Worth visiting!

 

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Melbourne city centre.

 

 

 

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A clock tower at St Kilda

 

 

 

 

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My mom wearing her newly bought hat.

 

 

 

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Good thing we had nice sunny weather that day!

 

 

 

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There were many pretty paintings for sale but I thought they were a little over-priced.

 

 

 

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I griped quite a bit about the poor photo-taking skills of the people I was with.  This is evidence of it – why the heck does it look as though my mom and I ar
e being chomped on by the monster?!

 

 

 

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The strawberry meringue was deliciously sweet and yummy.  My cousin’s choice of blueberry cake was er… nicer to behold than to ingest.

 

 

 

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I thought this painting inside the cake shop was very cute.

 

 

 

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This is how St Kilda is like… tons of cafes to help you grow fat.

 

 

 

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Saw this sign at Melbourne city centre when we were going back to my aunt’s place.  I just HAD to take a photo of it.  ๐Ÿ˜›

 

 

 

Didn’t really get to spend much time in Melbourne due to time constraints.  We did visit Philip Island but you’re not allowed to take photos of the little penguins so too bad…

Part 3 – Hobart pics, will be coming up real soon!  ๐Ÿ™‚

Australia 2008 (Melbourne-Tasmania-Adelaide)

Well, decided not to post the notes I wrote about Australia here.  Frankly, Australia didn’t leave that deep an impression on me.  I enjoyed myself thoroughly, as anyone would have while on holiday.  But while Australia is an above average country on many fronts, it didn’t have a fascinating enough history to enchant me, nor amazing architecture to stun, nor beautiful scenery to take my breath away. 

Here’re some of the pictures I took.  To sum it up, the best part about Australia was the company I was with.  (Wait till you hear my stories about my 8th aunt…).  Anyway, just to clear the backlog of content that I need to put here… I’ll just let the pictures tell the story.

Part 1: The Wedding

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The wedding venue.

 

 

 

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My mom & I.

 

 

 

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The sweetest (pun intended) wedding favours!

 

 

 

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Everyone had a good time on the dance floor.

 

 

 

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Sober or drunk…

 

 

 

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They had a good time…

 

 

 

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It was a lovely wedding.

 

 

 

Will post Part 2 another day.  Sleepy…

Hong Kong Photos

It was VERY TEDIOUS… took me a few hours to upload, sort and put in the captions.  So u must forgive the uncreative captions.  Proudly presenting… my HK photos!  (Picked from 773 shots from my digicam, 153 shots using my hp, and a few cute shots from Iceman’s digicam!)

 

 

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For the sake of good order, i decided to include a list of must-see, must-eat places in this post.  So that next time when i visit HK again, i’ll be able to find this precious list of things to do in HK.  ๐Ÿ™‚

FOOD

Wonder why this ranks top of my list…

  1. Che’s Restaurant (Wanchai MTR, The Broadway 4/F) – selection isn’t wide but the standard of dimsum is one of the best u’ll ever find!  Must trys are the egg tart, fried char siew pau (the mix of the creamy & salty butter versus the sweet & succulent char siew… oohlala!)
  2. Kam Moon Kok Restaurant (Jordan MTR, opposite BP International House) – true blue HK ่Œถ้คๅŽ….  After u’ve had the real thing, places like Hongkong Cafe in Singapore sucks big time man!  The must trys here are the western toast (french toast with peanut butter inside!!), spicy pork cubes noodles (the wu xiang rou ding mian), and the beef brisket soup noodles.  Never tasted such delicious spicy pork cubes & lean beef brisket before!
  3. Traditional Noodle House (TST area) – the ma la mian there is good.  Wide variety of noodles at cheap prices!
  4. Maxim (Mei Xin) Dimsum (Cityhall) – Very good selection of dimsum… some dishes were better than the others but it’s a must try!  I also lurrrve their mooncakes.  Always buy at least 2 boxes back.  Check out http://www.mei-xin.com.hk/

 

SHOPPING

  1. Island Beverly (Causeway Bay MTR) – 4 floors of cool evening dresses, funky fashion, cool accessories, jewellery, etc.
  2. Tsim Sha Tsui (TST MTR to Jordan MTR) – shop along the entire Nathan Road and check out all the little streets branching out from it!
  3. Parklane Shopping Centre (TST MTR) – Esprit, G2000, Geox, Bossini, Adidas.
  4. Times Square (Causeway Bay MTR) – 13 floors of shops and food.  Really cute items too!  (Like the animal TVs, banana protective case in the slideshow above.  Hehe).
  5. H&M (Queen’s Central Road, Central MTR) – really cheap clothes.  Love the jeans, suits & accessories!
  6. Citygate Mall (Tung Chung MTR) – Lots of factory outlets (Adidas, Nike, Bodyshop, Esprit, etc)… but the prices are not necessarily cheaper…
  7. SOGO (Causeway Bay MTR) – right next to Island Beverly.  This place is packed ALL THE TIME!  Rain or shine, weekday or weekend.  The locals (and tourists) love it!
  8. Esprit Factory Outlet (Kam Sang Commercial Centre, near or on Hankow Road, Central MTR)
  9. Tons more lah… but these were the places i went during this trip.. and the first 5 are my favourite haunts.  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

SIGHTSEEING

  1. Stanley (take bus 66, 6A, 6X, 260 from the bus terminus at Central MTR) – beachy place, very relaxing, great for photo taking.
  2. The Peak (take a tram from the Lower Peak Tram Station, which is a 10 min walk from Central MTR) – I’ve always known the Peak as “Victoria Peak”.  But on my latest trip to HK, i realised it’s no longer referred to as “Victoria Peak” but just “The Peak”.  The night view is great… but i got the chance to go to the Peak during the day this time and the cool weather makes it a wonderful place for walks and treks.
  3. Lantau Island (take MTR to Tung Chung MTR & take a bus from there.  Forgot what bus no.!  Sorry!) –  A lot of nice outdoorsy area to explore.  I wouldn’t recommend Disneyland… but do check out the Big Buddha and Tai-O (i didn’t get to go this trip… but i will on my next!).
  4. Avenue of the Stars (TST MTR) – pure touristy place. 
  5. There’re a couple of other islands that i want to visit… slowly… heh.  ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. U can also take a 1-hr ride by jetfoil to Macau from Shun Tak Centre.  For more details, check out http://www.turbojet.com.hk/index.htm.

OK… that’s what i recall from memory so far.  Think i shall keep my map safely in my drawer… though it’s quite tattered now.  Haha.  Tatteren and torn… but hey, all the above treasures are marked out on it man!  ๐Ÿ™‚

Mabuhay!

Finally got down to doing my claims for my Manila trip today.  The hotel was expensive man… S$1400+ for a 4-night stay.  But oh well… it’s on company’s expense.  Heh.  Doesn’t matter.  Haha.  I enjoyed the room.  The secretary told me that the reason why the room rates were so expensive was ‘cos the single rooms were all fully booked and hence i was booked on the deluxe room.  Muahaha.  ๐Ÿ˜›

Here are some pics:

 

My room on the first night.  Really huge with 2 super single beds (i think – the beds were just slightly smaller than queen beds!).  Also had a couch and a spacious study desk.  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Patience loved the bed.  Konked out immediately upon arrival.

 

 

 

 

The bathroom was impressive – large with separate bath & shower areas.  There was even this magnifying mirror with an attached light!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the mini-bar area.  Impressive huh?

 

 

 

 

 

Shifted to a slightly smaller room with a huge (at least) king size bed the 2nd night ‘cos i was on a smoking floor the first night.  Nonetheless, no complaints!  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

The excellent level of room service – i dumped my toiletries on the counter top and when the chambermaid/ chamberguy cleaned my room, my things were arranged nicely on a linen hanky!

 

 

 

 

 

Night view from my room – facing Glorietta 3 (1 of the many shopping malls in the vicinity).

 

 

 

 

 

Same view but during the day.

 

 

 

 

 

Had dinner at some fancy Italian restaurant 1 night.  This soup was served with the ingredients (lobster, clam and can’t remember what else) on the plate dry… then the soup poured in!  Interesting!  Heh.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Fort” – another Ayala land development that reminds me of Clarke Quay.

 

 

 

 

 

The Filipino version of pisang goreng – with icecream too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My fave restaurant – Via Mare Oyster Bar at Greenbelt 4!  *Slurp*

 

 

 

 

 

I had 10 baked oysters with San Miguel Light and…

 

 

 

 

 

8 raw oysters with gin tonic on my last night in Makati.  The waiter eyed me curiously… and finally couldn’t suppress his curiousity and asked where i was from.  Haha.  All Filipinos i met claimed they’re big eaters.  They’ve not seen a real big eater man…

 

 

 

Still had strong craving for the oysters so i went back to the Oyster Bar for 8 more raw oysters and a cheesy onion soup (the best i’ve ever tried!) before i went to the airport to catch my flight back to Singapore.

 

I love Makati City, Manila!  ๐Ÿ™‚

Road Trip : Gula Melaka

Back from Melaka!  Had a fantastic & very fulfilling (for the stomach) trip.  The last time i went to Melaka was almost 20 years ago… when i was in primary school.  Heh… like what my boss said, nothing has changed much… and oooh… i really love the quaint little town.

I stayed in Hotel Puri, which is near Jonker Street.  Really nice place.  We didn’t do any deep or inspirational sort of activity… it was a pure chill out, & fill out your stomach kind of trip.  Our routine basically was, eat, walk, eat, sleep, eat, walk, eat, sleep. 

We had copious amounts of food … i haven’t weighed myself on the weighing machine yet… haha… let’s see… started off with a communal nasi lemak, breakfast beehoon + sausage + fish balls, and ramly burger at the first rest stop after we cleared the Tuas customs.  Er, don’t ask me for the name.  I’ve never been good with names.

After breakfast, we drove all the way to Melaka.  Minute we reached, we dumped our bags & went out for lunch.  Had laksa & chendol… hehe… i had like 2 bowls of chendol… hiak hiak… with lots of extra thick gooey gula melaka poured on top. 

After lunch, we went to some shopping centre (once again, i don’t remember the name) to shop… walked around for about 1.5hrs, and adjourned to Starbucks for a caffeine pick-me-up.  We then split up to walk around some more, before we all trekked like 1km just to try what someone proclaimed the “best youtiao in the world”.  It was good lah… but… 1km just for youtiao!?  *Faints*.

Dinner was at the pasar malam along Jonker St… a good variety of hawker food (dimsum, stingray, char kway teow, or-luak – the fried oyster thingy, etc).  Watched a very entertaining “finger breaking coconut” show after that… and of ‘cos what else could follow except more food?  Hiak hiak.  I remember the name of the place this time – Geographer’s cafe – we went there for drinks, ended up feeling hungry, and had finger food.  Heh.

This morning, we once again started the day with a good breakfast buffet at the hotel.  (It’s the most important meal of the day u know!)  Then it was off to breakfast part 2 – dimsum!!  Haha… after dimsum, we went back for the fantastic chendol (I am proud to say that i ate the most chendol this trip!  3 bowls!  Muahaha!), before heading back to the hotel to rest/ relax/ sleep/ watch tv.  Lunch was at this oh-so-excellent teochew restaurant with a super long name.  Had or-mee (oyster + noodles cooked in delicious dark sauce), deep-fried soft-shell crabs, veggie with clams, superbly fresh steamed fish, duck, suckling pig, bittergourd with pork ribs (i didn’t try this… me no like bitter stuff!) and rounded everything up with or-nee (yam paste dessert).  WOOHOO!  Everyone voted that the best meal of the trip!

Ok… time to do a weight check… and will go get my digicam & hp to upload some photos i took.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Brb!

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Here’re some random photos i took.

 

 

Jonker Dessert Cafe – where we had the laksa & FANTASTIC gula melaka laden chendol!

 

 

 

 

 

See the container?  That’s the gooey gula melaka u can pour over your chendol! Woohoo!  *Sugar high*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel Puri – entrance to hotel lobby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airwell in hotel – i just love these old shophouses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passageway leading to the rooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geographer’s Cafe – fantastic chill out place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upper floor of Geographer’s Cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All yours for only RM2300!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stylo shot of some old building and backview of my friends.  Haha.

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of clogs for sale!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Ford Taurus (i think)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old records for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melaka’s version of the tri-shaw.  All dressed up.

 

 

 

 

 

Liked the ships on the canvas blinds.  Just thought this made a nice postcard shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Teochew restaurant we had our lunch.  FANTASTIC!  *Slurp*

 

 

 

 

Sigh.. weight check result – 45.6kg.  Gained 0.6kg in 2 days?!  It’s just water… chendol is made of ice, ice is water… just water…

Budding Talent, Blooming Idiot

Back from my first visit to Thailand!  Learnt a lot of new things…

1.  Monopoly Leads to Lousy Food

The food at Han’s @ Changi Airport’s Budget Terminal sucks.  Don’t eat there.  If u must have some food before u board the plane, buy snacks from the shops inside the terminal.  I waited 35min for my grilled fish, which came soaked in so much oil that i could only stomach half of it before i wanted to puke.  (And this is coming from somewhere who can have char kway teow for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.) 

 

2.  Free-Sitting Woes

Board budget flights as early as possible, if u want to sit together with your friend/family/whoever & whatever.  ‘Cos of the free sitting rule, it’s quite chaotic during boarding… and choose healthy people to sit with.  I sat with a couple, and the husband had a cold, which by mid-flight, spread to the wife, and by the end of the flight, spread to me.

 

3.  The Airport says a lot about a Country

BKK’s Intl Airport is the crappiest airport i’ve been to so far.  Ok, maybe Thailand’s the only 3rd world country i’ve visited, apart from M’sia.  But it’s just damn crap lah.  After queueing for 1 hr to clear immigration, we were told to shift to another terminal!  After queueing up all over again, some Thai airport official comes and jabs some gestures at another tourist, and we found ourselves changing queues again!  It took a total of 2hrs to clear immigration.  I can only say 1 thing – BKK is the land of a thousand smiles jams.  Car jam, immigration jam… @(#^!

 

4.  Kena Ketok 

Ever heard the phrase Cai Tao ่œๅคด (aka sucker)?  Yep.  I got suckered at the airport.  The minute we cleared immigration, we saw friendly Thai ladies waving at us & beckoning us to book taxis through them.  It looked innocent enough since they were airport staff right?  Yeah, i paid Bht1400 for hiring an airport taxi to my hotel, and for a ride to the airport on my day of departure.  That is extremely expensive given that the meter of a normal taxi in BKK starts at Bht35.  Sigh… we must have looked like walking “cabbage heads” to the airport taxi sales people. 

 

5.  Bangkok Prefers Visa

I don’t know about the rest of Thailand but BKK definitely “prefers Visa”.  I saw the very first “prefers Visa” signboard at the airport… and all over shopping centres as well.  By golly! They sure have a strong preference ‘cos my mastercard didn’t work at any place other than the hotel i stayed in.  So make sure u have a Visa credit card, or bring lots of cash! 

 

 

6.   Shopping!

Most of the shopping malls i visited (MBK Centre, Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Discovery Centre) had pretty much the same shops / restaurants as in Singapore – Crystal Jade, Breadtalk, Giordano, Nafnaf, FCUK, and designer brands like Chanel, LV, etc. 

 I liked the interior design of Central World aka the old World Trade Centre the most.  In fact, the grand opening was held the day before we arrived in BKK!  Bought a pair of sunglasses at Oakley’s there (it’s about $12 cheaper than in SG), and had a really delicious dinner at Black Canyon Coffee there.

The only bad thing was that maybe 1/3 of the shops are still under reno and the place is abuzz with mosquitoes!  Some sections also had a really strong smell of paint.  Bleah!

Cirrus & i spent the most time in MBK.  Remember those Chinese idioms they taught in pri school?  MBK fulfills most of them man…ๅŒ…็ฝ—ไธ‡่ฑก๏ผŒ ไบบๅฑฑไบบๆตท….Hehe.  Cirrus spent most of his time at this car accessories shop on the 4th floor called R-style or R-Type… something like that lah.  (To find it, go the the 4th floor of Tokyu department store in MBK, then exit the store into the section selling tons of hp, and the store’s somewhere there lah.)

For me, i managed to get a pair of casual jeans there, and a pair of sequinned/beaded jeans (for salsa).  MBK also sells lots of imitation goods for those who’re into contrabrand… and i MUST mention this.  In BKK, u can buy bras & underwear like there’s tomorrow.  I bought a total of 8 bras & 7 underwear at MBK!  (Okie, some were for my mom/friends but still!  I managed to claim the VAT refund based entirely on my lingerie stash!)  Check out the Tokyu dept store, or the Triumph store for really cheap buys.

Chatuchak market is great for buying souvenirs & knick knacks.  Just make sure u bargain (walk away if u have to ‘cos there’s always another shop that sells the same thing).  A picture speaks a thousand words so… check out the pic of all the stuff Cirrus & i bought from Chatuchak!

 

 

 

7.  VAT Refunds

Speaking of VAT refunds.  Listen up if u want to claim it!  No one at the airport’s going to help!  (Crappy management, crappy staff.)  Read the procedure for the paperwork carefully.  Assuming u got all the paperwork done correctly, once u reach the airport, look for the VAT Refund counter.  There, an airport staff will check through the paperwork to make sure everything’s correct.  Your purchases may also be checked by him.  He’ll then stamp a “goods inspected” stamp on your refund document.

After that, u can check in your luggage.  If u’re early like me (i reached the airport at 11:25am for my 2:05pm flight), u’ll most lik
ely have to wait for the check-in counter to open.  Note that not all TVs display the same information regarding departure check-in counters.  So walk up & down the terminal & check the various TVs.  I didn’t know this till a kind Singaporean couple (actually it was the same couple that spread the cold bug to me) told Cirrus that the info was displayed on another TV & that we could check-in already.  (The check-in counter opens approx. 1.5 – 2 hrs before the flight departure).

When u’ve checked in all your baggage, find a “Passenger Services Charge” counter.  That’s the counter to pay the airport tax.  Most of the counters would be manned by some grummpy looking lady.  I wonder if the airport recruited beggars for this post… 2 of the ladies i saw kept their mouths shut throughout & only knew how to put their hands out to receive the money (Bht500 per pax).  “Passenger Services” indeed.  Pui!

U’ll get this receipt stating that u’ve paid the airport tax.  Present the receipt to the ladies guarding the entrance to the immigration clearance and they’ll let u through.  When u’re queueing up to clear immigration, open your eyes big big & be ready to run anytime… ‘cos new counters may suddenly open & if u want to clear immigration fast (it takes like 30min to clear 5 people?), run to the newly open counters!!  That’s the ONLY way to beat the jam…. else, u risk missing your flight!  (No kidding… just imagine… we checked in our luggage at 12:25pm, paid the airport tax, queued to clear immigration (which we hastened the process by jumping to a newly opened counter) at 12:50pm, which left us only 35min to get the VAT refund and grab some lunch before boarding the flight at 1:25pm.)

 

 8.  U can’t out-talk stupidity

I was happily taking photos of Patience on the plane when an air stewardess (btw, budget airline hor, the stewardess also damn budget looking) told me in a very condescending tone that hps were not allowed on planes.  I told her that i was using flight mode and her curt reply was, “flight mode also not allowed”. 

DUH??  Flight mode not allowed then have flight mode for what?  I know we’re not supposed to switch on any electronic devices during take-off and landing, which i duly obeyed.  I was using my hp to take pictures only after the annoucement that it was safe to use electronic devices! 

I rolled my eyes and kept my phone tho’ i didn’t switch it off.  Why should i indulge stupidity?  (If u want to know more about hp / flight mode, etc, click here.)  In fact, i even took a picture of stupidity to share with u.  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

There u have it.  My personal guide on how not to be another blooming idiot in BKK.