[Travelogue] Penang Day 3 – Famous food and places (Street Art/Mural Painting)!

Hello guys!

Yes I am back to share with you how my day 3 of my recent Penang trip went!

Below are the recounts of day 1 and 2:

Penang day 1

Penang day 2

As the bf and I had intended to drop by the street art areas in Penang at George Town, we decided to go for it on day 3, although it was a tad difficult for my sister and bro-in-law who has to look after my niece, as well as for my aged parents. There was abit of compromisation here due to the different interests of all 3 couples.

However, the weather wasn’t very much on our side, so please do check the weather forecast before heading down. In fact, checking of the weather forecast should be placed as one of your main priorities whenever you are planning to travel. You wouldn’t want to head down to beach places during the heavy monsoon period, would you?

I guess it was difficult to predict accurately (hence, the word ‘forecast’) for all weathers but for obvious ones such as the rainy seasons during the end of the year should be avoided.

Due to the uncooperative weather, we had to head indoors instead. This simply means that we are wasting precious time and transport costs which were accrued by the hour.

On the third day, we changed chauffeur to a more aged guy (I cannot recall his name) who well, in our opinion, wasn’t as resourceful as Tommy.

Since we could not visit the street art area yet, we decided to settle for lunch.

The chauffeur brought us to Song River Cafe which is located along the bay of Song River.

Song River Cafe

Address: No. 65, Persiaran Gurney, 10250, George Town, Pulau Pinang, 10250, Malaysia

There were what we ordered.

IMG_7343

Piping hot Bak Kut Teh

IMG_7342

Tofu

IMG_7345

Fried egg with oysters

IMG_7344

Stir-fried chai sim

It was drizzling when we reached and the weather was really uncooperative as it started to pour heavily soon after.

As we were seated nearest to the end of the coffeeshop (I wouldn’t term it as a ‘cafe’ despite its name), rain was splattering in. We were quite concerned because the precious little princess cannot afford to be drenched. Hence, we requested for the staff to wind down the shelter.

However, our request was immediately turned down as we were told that the shelter did not belong to them but to another stall owner. Do note that there are a few different stall owners in that coffeeshop alone.

We were quite pissed at their rigid mentality. You mean you rather let your customers get splattered by the heavy down pour than to just wind down the shelter for us? I thought it was ridiculous. Moreover, the rain was splattering into our food as well. The whole unmaintained coffeeshop with filmsy roof seemed like it was about to collapse anytime.

Obviously, I did not enjoy the ambience there.

Unsurprisingly what was more disappointing was the food.

What we expected to soothe ourselves in the cold rainy weather, turned out to be the worst dish of all. Yes, you are right. The Bak Kut Teh would top anyone’s craving in such a weather but unfortunately, it lacked the flavour. It tasted a little diluted and simply just missed out the ‘oomph’.

I was once told that Malaysia’s BKT tasted sweet while Singapore’s version is more of the peppery kind, so please take note of the difference in taste when eating BKT in our neighbour country.

Also, I wished they hadn’t added in the Beancurd Skin aka ‘Tao Ki’ because I felt it didn’t really match the usual BKT style. But then again, perhaps this might be the Msia’s version?

The rest of the food was mediocre and even the fried egg with oysters did not reach its supposed fragrant level.

On the whole, we didn’t enjoy lunching there at all, so I really wouldn’t recommend you guys to drop by at all.

Our moods (I guess esp the bf’s and mine) were made even worse when the rain kept pouring and pouring, postponing our plans to visit the street art. 😦

We had no choice but to be ‘dumped’ at shopping malls for a about 2hours + 😦

Thank god the weather was a little kinder to us after that and we managed to proceed to the street art areas as planned!

A short introduction on Penang’s famous street art mural paintings at Georgetown :

As part of the George Town Festival in 2012, Ernest Zacharevic is a young Lithuania-born artist who has been beautifying this part of George Town which has since attracted many, boosting Penang’s tourism industry.

Ernest Zacharevic has painted more than a dozen murals on the walls of George Town and some of the more popular ones are  “Boy on a Bike”, the lively “Little Children on a Bicycle” to the whimsical“Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur”.

It was a pity that we did not and could not stop by every mural due to time-constraint but tried to make most out of the given time.

Our first stop was at Armenian Street, Georgetown, Penang where the all-time famous street art “Little Children on a Bicycle” mural was at.

IMG_7353

The below are simple snippets of other arts I came across and thought were camera-worthy and blog-worthy. Hee.

IMG_7358

IMG_7359

IMG_7364

I’m very sure the local authorities in Penang wouldn’t mind if our very own local talent, Sticker Lady (who happens to be my Senior back in Sec sch!) stamped her famous witty stickers all over George Town. On the same note, I think Singapore should “open up” a little more on such timeless street art pieces, perhaps focusing on hipster places such as the vicinity at Haji Lane? Who knows, this may even follow-suit and attract many appreciative tourists too!

Let’s continue with the awesomeness shall we?

IMG_7371

IMG_7360

IMG_7361

IMG_7362

IMG_7363

IMG_7365

IMG_7367

IMG_7369

IMG_7382

IMG_7383

IMG_7387

IMG_7389

IMG_7392

IMG_7394

IMG_7395

catmouse

“Skippy, The Giant Cat”  & ” The Giant Rat” @ Armenian Street, (These murals are side by side, just round the corner)

“The Giant Rat” was a playful add-on to the “Giant Cat” mural and was painted by an unidentified artist.

It was a real pity as we could not spend more time visiting and capturing all these awesome street murals as the chauffeur had other passengers to attend to. We left shortly after to our hotel to rest a little before heading out for dinner on our own.

After refreshing ourselves with a power nap, we manage to get hold of a hotel in-house chef to seek recommendations for a place to eat.

He recommended Stone Bay Restaurant which was a distance from our hotel. As mentioned in my previous post, where I had mentioned that we were lucky enough to have a panel of cab drivers stationed at the taxi stand opposite our hotel daily. So, getting a cab to us was easy feat but you will need to haggle for the cab fare if it seems unreasonable.

Stone Bay Restaurant

Address: 12, Jalan Perusahaan Jelutong 2, Jelutong, Pulau Pinang

IMG_7400

IMG_7406

IMG_7405

IMG_7402

IMG_7403

IMG_7404

This was one of the best dishes we have tried so far. They were really really delicious and were not very expensive as we thought it would be. We paid around RM200+ 🙂

After that, the bf and I headed for our private nightlife date at Upper Penang Road for a booze-cum-soccer-chillax-session but we were taken aback.

Let me show you what I mean.

IMG_7407

IMG_7408

IMG_7411

Yup this was pretty much it.

You could see how it wasn’t as ‘happening’ as we thought it would be. What was more humourous was that I was actually kinda apprehensive that the place would be rowdy and filled with loads of drunkards (fear for our safety esp when we are overseas!) and such, but there was nothing near that, which is good.

But I guess because our favourite soccer club – Liverpool won the match that night, it kinda made us feel better! 🙂

We scurried back our hotel via cab before 12am because we were kindly informed that there would be midnight surcharge of a whopping 50% more!

So that was all for day 3 in Penang…stay tuned for my last blog post on my 4th day which is also the last day of this Penang trip! 🙂

Advertisements

[Travelogue] Penang Day 2 – Famous food and places!

It is very heart-warming to know that many of my readers actually enjoyed my first blog post on Penang day 1! Thank you so much, you don’t know how these positive feedback from you guys really mean to us! It gives us bloggers even more motivation to blog 🙂

Here is how my day 2 in Penang went.

First stop was to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. This was where the local film the “Little Nonya” was filmed at.

Extracted from their official website, “At the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the typical home of a rich Baba of a century ago is recreated to offer a glimpse of their opulent lifestyle and of their many customs and traditions. With over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles of the era on display, this Baba-Nyonya museum is also housed in one of Penang’s heritage mansion of eclectic design and architecture. “

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Address : 29, Lebuh Gereja, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Don’t wish to bore you with the tonnes of pictures I took, so here are some of them :

IMG_7069

IMG_7070

IMG_7071

IMG_7072

 

IMG_7074

IMG_7073

 

IMG_7083

IMG_7085

IMG_7092

IMG_7089

 

IMG_7097

Level 2 :

IMG_7102

IMG_7105

IMG_7106

IMG_7120

IMG_7128

IMG_7130

 

IMG_7207

An antique camera.

IMG_7133

IMG_7135

IMG_7147

A little gift shop.

IMG_7171

A little cafe selling some of the famous Penang Peranakan food!

IMG_7185

Us trying to imitate the way the “olden people” pose for pictures. LOL.

Overall, I think it is quite an awesome experience. They even attached an English-speaking ‘guider’ to explain to the visitors of the history of the lives of the Peranakan.

And then we continued our journey to hunt for good food again and managed to snap some pictures of the cute little girl 🙂

IMG_7218

IMG_7234

IMG_7228

IMG_7224

Tommy drove us to experience the new bridge which is linked to the mainland. This is the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge and it is the second bridge to link the island to the mainland after the first Penang Bridge.

IMG_7236

Along the way, there were several cows which I didn’t manage to snap pictures of 😦

But here are some villages along the side of the road.

IMG_7240

IMG_7241

We had lunch at a chinese restaurant called Ah Yen Seafood Restaurant

Address : 701, Batu Kawan, 14110, Simpang Ampat, Penang. 019-4133379 / 04-5872616

IMG_7242

IMG_7253

IMG_7248

IMG_7249

IMG_7251

IMG_7252

Review on the food : It wasn’t that fantastic and we were a little disappointed in their food 😦 Mum was of the opinion that the chicken had this ‘frozen’ taste. The rest of the food were mediocre and if I were to pick the best dish, that would be the fried tofu.

The bf showed me a tourist pamphlet and I told myself that I had to pay a visit to this cafe.

Penang Purrfect Cat Cafe

Address : 53, Jalan Muntri Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

I have not visited any cat cafes before, not even those in Singapore so I was really thrilled when I discovered that Penang has one! 😀

IMG_7259

IMG_7260

IMG_7262

The cafe has 2 levels.

The first level allows you to place your food and drinks orders and they sell loads of kitty-related stuffs too!

IMG_7265

IMG_7267

IMG_7268

IMG_7269

This is level 2 where you can visit the kitties and have a relaxing cuppa~

IMG_7271

IMG_7276

IMG_7274

IMG_7273

IMG_7272

IMG_7286

IMG_7295

I was actually looking forward to having some rainbow cakes but they don’t sell them, so we settled with red velvet. 🙂

IMG_7283

IMG_7285

I thought the red velvet was filled with too much cream and felt kinda cheated because the ones we have in Singapore do not have layers of cream in between 😦

Photo 6-10-14 12 55 50 pm

We ordered a cuppa of cappuccino with came with a cute kitty coffee art!

IMG_7288

IMG_7291

IMG_7293

Caught in the act!! Look at them fat arms! :O

And I’m sure most of you guys are wondering where are the kitties?!

Here they are!

To be honest, I liked kitties before I liked dogs. But kitties are less approachable and look less friendly, unless dogs who are most of the time, friendlier and livelier!

IMG_7277

IMG_7282

IMG_7281

IMG_7279

IMG_7280

There was a enclosed glass panel which some cats were placed in. There were signs to informed customers not to knock against the glass. I’m not sure why these cats were segregated from the rest though. Could it be they are feeling unwell? 😦

IMG_7275

Since The Camera Museum was beside the cafe, we popped by for a visit!

Address : 49 Lebuh Muntri, George Town, Penang.

IMG_7300

IMG_7298

IMG_7315

IMG_7306

IMG_7307

IMG_7313

IMG_7305

They sell cakes and coffee too!

IMG_7310

IMG_7312

IMG_7304

IMG_7314

IMG_7303

IMG_7302

I love these cafes, their concepts and their ambience. Perfect for a relaxing day to unwind and take the stress off your mind temporarily.

Tommy then took us to a very cool and exciting place which is none other than…

Hin Bus Depot Art Centre

Address : 31a Jalan Gurdwara (opposite of the Grand Continental Hotel) , George Town, Malaysia

IMG_7322

IMG_7323

Honestly, I had the exact same reaction as you when I first saw the front of the place. I was clueless as to what this place was and what interesting stuffs it can offer, but was later awed by its arty farty style. 

IMG_7326

IMG_7327

IMG_7328

IMG_7330

IMG_7334

IMG_7331

IMG_7332

IMG_7336

IMG_7337

IMG_7338

IMG_7341

IMG_7340

After that, we went shopping at 1st Avenue, a huge shopping centre (Msia’s shopping centres are mega HUGE!!) located at Jalan Magazine, Georgetown, 10300 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia where we had our dinner at Old Town White Coffee there and Tommy came to pick us up a 9.30pm. No pictures because my camera battery died and there wasn’t anything special and camera-worthy of 😦

We reached the hotel quite early and sort of had an early rest (we watched dramas on the telly).

I guess the second day was the most fruitful day of all, conquering many interesting places all in one day! 🙂

[Travelogue] Penang Day 1 – Famous food and places!

Hello everyone! 🙂

As promised on my Facebook page, I will be penning down all the experiences and encounters (Famous food and places!) I had during my recent Penang trip with the family and this blog entry marks the first day of the 4D3N short getaway.

A handful of you guys asked about the mode of transport to Penang and yes, I took a plane there. Firstly, I think it’s mainly because of my little niece (who is turning 1 year in less than a month’s time! YAY!!) who will not be comfortable in taking a coach to Penang and secondly, I guess the journey time is kinda long…so we settled to take a flight there. Oh and if you have no idea, I dislike taking coach because I am prone to motion-sickness and I find it very uncomfortable to sleep while sitting. There was even once where I took a flight to Melbourne for a Food & Nutrition trip during my secondary school days for 7hrs straight without sleeping! I know right, but due to age catching up, I just try to nap when I can, despite the dozing off at awkward positions and moments. Thank god I hardly drool =x

After comparing the flight rates and available schedules, we settled for Tiger Air. If I recall correctly, Jetstar does not provide any available flight for the return flight from Penang to Singapore on 5th Oct.

Thank god we arrived at the airport early because we were told to head for the gate much earlier than expected because the plane was located somewhere remote at the Budget Terminal and we had to take a shuttle bus over. I wonder what happened to those who arrive like 45mins before the check-in time or even later.

The journey time from Singapore to Penang was only around 1 to 1.5hrs.

Personally, Jetstar is my favourite budget airline, although I’ve not tried others like Scoot. I’ve never liked Tiger Air because it is so much smaller in space, but thankfully the journey time was significantly short.

Before the trip, I pre-booked a personal transport for my family via my colleague who is from Penang. She recommended this guy to my other colleagues as well so transport was a breeze for us.

We paid RM1600 for 3 days for 8 hours per day for a 10-seater Toyota Alphard. We paid another additional RM80 for him to fetch us to the airport from our hotel on the last day.

I pre-booked the transport because I was told that getting a cab in Penang is not convenient (although it seemed otherwise during my trip, especially since there were a string of regular cab drivers stationed opposite my hotel at the cab stand everyday). Apart from that, we were afraid that the cab drivers might charge exorbitantly high since most of them unsurprisingly, do not follow the ‘metre’ method of charging.

Anyway, I guess you might be wondering, why Penang?

I must confess that I was not really looking forward to this destination because I thought there is nothing much to do, other than to eat and view the street art. But I guess it’s kinda different when you are there in person and the pictures will paint a thousand words.

And yes, the air tix was about $233 (peak hour) which could have brought us to Bangkok for some awesome shopping time and delicious Thai food but I guess visiting Penang offers a different feeling on the whole. And when you are desperately looking for a getaway, I guess anywhere decent is pretty okay right? Plus, don’t we all say it’s the company that is important? And it was my first holiday with my cute niece! 😀

As our hotel only allowed check-in at 3pm as with most international hotels (some at 2pm!), our driver, Tommy brought us to visit the famous Snake Temple which I wasn’t very keen..(eeeks!) and to fill our tummies with some delicious local Penang food!

Snake Temple

Address: Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

IMG_6940

IMG_6941

*There are live snakes in the Temple as well as in the Snake Farm, so if you’re a really keen fan of snakessss…please do drop by! It would be a place you wouldn’t want to hiss..I mean miss!

I didn’t wanna go near them so, nope no pictures of sssnaakkeesssss!!!

Local Penang Food

Address: Pasar Air Itam, Jalan Pasar, 11500 Air Itam, Pulau Pinang
Business Hours: Opens daily from 11am – 8pm

IMG_6986

IMG_6987

IMG_6979

IMG_6980

IMG_6981

IMG_6982

The Penang Asam Laksa tasted okay but I think the Penang Asam Laksa we had on our last day was better than this. Read my upcoming blog posts to find out where! 😉

IMG_6983

The Char Kway Teow was the best among all the dishes. It has the ‘Singaporean’ taste to it. Tommy told us that Penang locals opt out for the egg because the strong egg-y taste conceals the natural flavour of the Char Kway Teow. But as Singaporeans, we opted for egg nevertheless 😉

IMG_6984

Tommy’s I-forgot-what. The sauce was sweet.

And then someone got tired…

IMG_6985

Kek Lok Si temple

Address: 11500 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

IMG_6994

IMG_6989

IMG_6990

IMG_6995

IMG_6996

IMG_7005

IMG_6997

IMG_6998

IMG_6999

IMG_7001

IMG_7002

And on the way down, we spotted some monkeys!

IMG_7010

IMG_7011

IMG_7012

 

Throughout the journey, someone was having real fun in the car…

IMG_6958

IMG_6946

IMG_6954

IMG_6955

IMG_6957

 

And this little girl tired out herself again…

IMG_7007

After filling our tummies, we proceeded to Ibox Museum of Glass Penang where glasses are made into beautiful decor mirrors, jewelry, door handles, paintings, signage and more!

Ibox Museum of Glass Penang

IMG_7013

IMG_7014

IMG_7015

IMG_7016

IMG_7017

And then we got kinda hungry, so Tommy took us to The Straits Quay…

The Straits Quay

And at this point of time, I got a little upset because my camera battery went flat and I was soooo tired. Totally looking forward to check-in to our hotel, recharge my batteries (camera and myself lol)…

IMG_7018 IMG_7020

Pardon me for the poor reso pics as they were taken with my sucky iPhone 5 camera 😦

We had some yummy food for coffee break over at Dome.

Photo 2-10-14 4 17 45 pm

Photo 2-10-14 4 17 56 pm

Photo 2-10-14 4 18 07 pm

Photo 2-10-14 4 17 22 pm

Photo 2-10-14 4 17 33 pm - Copy

And…WE FINALLY CHECKED-IN our hotel!!!

We stayed at Sunway Hotel Georgetown, Penang, a 4-star hotel 🙂

IMG_7021

The spacious hotel lobby :

Photo 2-10-14 6 25 36 pm

Photo 2-10-14 6 25 42 pm

Here is how the Deluxe Room looks like :

Photo 2-10-14 6 46 15 pm

Photo 2-10-14 6 46 43 pm

Photo 2-10-14 6 47 01 pm

The view outside our hotel :

Photo 2-10-14 6 47 49 pm

Photo 2-10-14 6 47 58 pm

Photo 2-10-14 6 48 13 pm

Photo 2-10-14 6 49 44 pm

Overall review on the hotel : It was freaking awesome!!! (Y) Upon request, rooms were made up neatly without fail and the room service staff even repacked and organised my toiletries neatly beside the basin. Complimentary water bottles were replenished as well and everything was so neat and tidy after the room was made up.

Reception staff was friendly too but I didn’t like the welcome drink which tasted like odd plum drink. 😦

Initially, we were informed that our rooms will be located at different levels because they didn’t have 3 rooms on the same level with the king-sized beds. I was told that it was because I did not indicate this in the remarks column. Hence, please take note that it is better to include that as your request when booking the rooms.

However, we were later told that they have 3 available rooms and will make the necessary shifting to join the beds as one. Really great customer service there 🙂

Rested for awhile and recharged my batteries before heading down to Times Square which had most of its shops closed as we were there at around 8+? Seems like some shops close quite early.

IMG_7023

IMG_7026

IMG_7025

Interesting pic and camera-worthy.

We made a mistake by dining at James Foo at Times Square…

James Foo

Address: 21-A, Jalan Fettes, Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

It was ONE OF THE WORST TERBBILE HORRIBLE western food I ever had in my life!!! >=[

I forced myself to finish about half of my yucky fish fillet…because I’m not the kind who likes to waste food…

Photo 2-10-14 9 00 26 pm

Photo 2-10-14 9 05 40 pm

Photo 2-10-14 9 01 03 pm

Photo 2-10-14 9 01 12 pm

My fish was soooo freaking bad that I didn’t have appetite to try out the other dishes my family had 😥

I was actually wallowing in self-pity while shoving some fish down my throat. So surprised that there were quite a number of customers dining there. I wonder if they were regulars or first-timers. Gawd.

Please DON’T ever dine there…even if there is nothing else left to eat, there is always convenience stores or nearby food stalls which can taste 100000x better!

Expectedly, feeling unsatisfied, we headed the the nearby food stalls from our hotel. We are very lucky because these stalls are just a stone’s throw away!

Address : New Lane (Lorong Baru), off Macalister Road

IMG_7029

IMG_7030

IMG_7031

We didnt have the chance to dine at this BKT shop though but the shop looks nice, although each time we passed by, there weren’t many customers…has anyone eaten there before? Was it good? 🙂

IMG_7034

IMG_7036

IMG_7043

IMG_7045

IMG_7037

IMG_7039

The sister and the bf 🙂

IMG_7048

On our way back to the hotel to feast on the packed food! 😀

IMG_7055

IMG_7056

The popiah was acceptable 🙂

IMG_7058

The kang kong x squid tasted quite alright too.

IMG_7059

The fried egg x oyster was great too! 😀

IMG_7060

This Penang trip was not only for famiy bonding purposes but also to celebrate the 2 Oct babies in the family – My dad and my Bro-in-Law!

We got this Passion-fruit Cheesecake at a bakery shop at Times Square for RM45.

IMG_7062

Whose that cutie? 😉

IMG_7068

This is no doubt one of my all-time favourite family photo 🙂 ❤

This pretty much marks the end of Day 1 for us..till then, stay tuned for the next blog post for day 2! 😀

Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it! 😀

[Lifestyle] Why do Singaporeans love going to Johor Bahru?

Is it because Singapore is a boring place to be at? Why are Singaporeans commonly seen flocking to JB? What do they have there which we don’t ?

These are just some of the reasons why, which are based on my own experience 🙂

1. Lok Lok

loklok

This has got to be one of the most popular reasons why Singaporeans are willing to make the trip down to our neighbour. Sure, Singapore may have set up a store or two here that sells Lok Lok too but we are guessing that the original source is always the best? And eating Lok Lok in JB has the ‘Malaysia feel’, no? Also, the variety of choices can exceed one’s expectations, trigger loads of excitement and thrill, that is if you know where to find such awesome Lok Lok stalls. There are a few that offers myriad of varieties than the rest.

2.Movie

Apart from many other stuffs sold in Malaysia, the movies are much cheaper than Singapore’s prices too! On the average, catching a show on a weekend in JB costs approx. $6 which is almost half of the price of the movie tickets sold here! Thrifty Singaporeans would do almost anything for cheaper alternatives.

3. Pampering sessions

Pampering yourself is a must but not at the expense of your pockets. Your pockets need to be pampered as well. Many girls flock over to JB to have their nails done which is a lot cheaper than the prices offered in Singapore’s nail salons. The prices in JB can amount to almost half price, depending on what type of nail polishes and designs you choose. On top of that, the services provided by the manicurists are not short-changed by the price difference as well and the girls can even be friendlier than the staff in Singapore.

4. Car wash

Most drivers know that it is so much cheaper to have your car washed and cleaned in JB than in Singapore. Cars are given a relaxing and pampering bath known as snow wash and they cost only about S$5?! Where are you going to find such a great deal on our little sunny island? It may not be an absolutely perfect job done but the results are pretty much decent.

5. Petrol

Another car-related reason for Singaporeans to travel down all the way to JB is to fill their petrol because it is also cheaper than the petrol prices in Singapore which can be rather pricey. However, to prevent being caught by the authorities who will check your petrol meter before entering JB, which you should not have less than ¾ tank otherwise you will have to be prepared to pay a few hundred bucks fine.

6. Shopping

dvd

This includes some few popular items such as DVDs, game CDs and gadget accessories. Although illegal, many Singaporeans still get pirated ones from JB and sneaking them back in Singapore without getting caught. It is not to say that at Sugar is encouraging such actions though. With the huge discrepancy in prices between JB and Singapore, we can see why Singaporeans being Singaporeans, are willing to take such risks just to save that few bucks.

All pictures are credited to Google Images

Phuket Part 1 (Which hotel and its reviews)

Hello everyone!

As promised to document my recent Phuket trip of 4D3N for our 6th Anniversary, so here it is! Because the whole trip was quite fruitful in terms of activities scheduled back to back (all thanks to my bf, although it was damnnnnn tiring!), I decided to divide them into few blog posts.

We took an afternoon flight from Jetstar and arrived Phuket in the evening. Just to highlight, we booked our flight and hotel separately as well as our island-hopping adventure (bf got it off Groupon), so there were loads of homework and research to be done.

Personally, I prefer Jetstar over Tigerair because it is more spacious, especially leg space. Tested and proven by my bf because he’s quite tall, standing at around 1.78m, so his longggg legs usually have limited leg space. The same goes for bus seats… poor boy, HAHAHA!

Hotel/Resort

Unless you are willing to splurge on private villas and private swimming pools and all, located just infront of beaches, which is quite costly, I would recommend cheaper hotels/resorts which are situated a walking distance away from the beach.

And while walking towards the beach, you would also be able to shop along the way….just remember not to spend all your money away even before reaching the beach! HAHA!

The hotel resort which we resided in was none other than… Sawaddi Patong Resort & Spa!

It may not be one of the top-notch hotel resorts available such as Novotel, Holiday Inn etc…but still very satisfactory.

This brings me to my next point.

I may not be a frequent traveller, but planning for your own trip and conducting loads of researches has taught me a few tips or two, which I would like to share with you guys 🙂

How to choose a good hotel?

With the technology at hand, you can find out almost everything and anything!

Google has always been my dearest best friend and review websites such as Tripadvisor/Agoda (although it’s mainly for booking of hotels but they include reviews from customers as well) are the best places to check out reviews!

We actually shortlisted a few such as Mecure Hotel, Patong Resort, Simplitel, Sawaddi…but decided to forgo them mainly due to :

1. Location (especially the distance from the beach) as well as which town in Phuket

2. Cost of accommodation

3. Facilities (Wi-Fi access in rooms is a MUST for me!)

4. Reviews from other customers/travellers

5. Cost of Airport transfer (because we didn’t get a hotel package, we were left to book our own airport transfer – 2 way preferred – although you may consider cabbing to and fro from the hotel)

So these were the main considerations when choosing a hotel, generally speaking I guess.

Location

We had a hard time deciding between Patong or Karon.

Patong is a more exciting and busier place filled with more nightlife there is more intense than Karon. The latter is much quieter and more relaxing.

Both of us had been to Phuket before but without each other and because we thought it might be bored at night without much things to do, we decided to reside in the main tourist resort which is the centre of Phuket’s nightlife and shopping – Patong.

I think the town should be the most important factor and overarching consideration to have in mind before you can settle on which hotel to stay at.

After deciding on which town to reside at, cost of accommodation was the next factor.

Cost of accommodation

I wouldn’t say that we were on a tight budget but to us, because we spend more time outdoors than indoors (especially in resort islands than shopping cities such as Bangkok), it didn’t make much sense if we were to stay in a very expensive hotel that is gorgeously well-furnished with private swimming pools and all.

I mean it is just not that worth it in our opinion.

Our daily routine was like this : Wake up – Headed outdoors for the whole day – Come back all knocked out.

Does it make much sense if we had golden taps and all? Or super king-sized bed filled with the right amount of springs?

The lack of time did not permit us to appreciate intricate heavenly details like that.

Because it was such a tiring event everyday, even if without a bed, I bet we could easily fall asleep on the floor…LOL!

So yes anyway, we got upgraded to Deluxe Room free because of the promotional period! Another plus point in choosing this hotel!

Stylish and harmonious, the 30 m² Deluxe room comes with and without balcony (for those with younger children) and a choice of king size or twin beds. An extra deep bathtub with a built-in shower is the perfect place to ease away your cares and refresh your senses. Choose from city, pool or garden view rooms and delight in the comfort of your own personal sanctuary.

Professional photos :

Deluxe Room

Deluxe Room

Deluxe Room

Deluxe Room

Our photos :

20140316-174856.jpg

20140316-174909.jpg

20140316-174922.jpg

20140316-174928.jpg

20140316-174935.jpg

20140316-174953.jpg

20140316-175000.jpg

20140316-175028.jpg

20140316-175032.jpg

20140316-175054.jpg

20140316-175102.jpg

20140316-175106.jpg
20140316-175044.jpg
 

 

AMENITIES

IN-ROOM AMENITIES
  • Individual air conditioning
  • 32″ LCD TV
  • DVD player
  • Cable TV
  • Wireless internet access
  • Electronic laptop-size safe
  • IDD telephone
  • Alarm clock
  • Mini bar
  • Kettle
  • Tea/coffee
  • Bottle-opener / Wine-opener
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Umbrella
  • Hairdryer
  • Flashlight
  • Laundry bag
  • Pencil
  • Message pad
  • Adapter
  • 220V Electricity system
  • Iron & iron board on requested
BATHROOM AMENITIES
  • Hand soap
  • Cotton buds
  • Bath gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner set
  • Shower cap
BENEFITS
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Two bottles drinking water
  • Tea/coffee
  • Welcome drink
  • Welcome Phuketien Cookies

So as you can see, the room is well-furnished with all the necessities.

The cost of our accommodation was around SGD$50/pax /night? That is freaking cheap! Really value for money for such awesome hotel!

Reading reviews of other affordable hotels with similar rates was another pulling factor as well as these other hotels, although they suited our budget, unfortunately had very very poor reviews in terms of hygiene, customer service, hotel management and facilities.

Facilities

As mentioned, the necessary facilities must be there but what was another important factor I considered was the access to internet, even in the rooms.

Okay, it was not so much of a wake up-go out-knock out and sleep kinda thing, at least not immediately. We had some spare time (which we forced ourselves to stay awake) to catch some shows (for a very short while), to have supper and bassically to slack in the room (while connecting back to the social media world).

I am quite a heavy social media-user so Wi-Fi access in rooms is a MUST MUST MUST!

Swimming pool was another aspect we considered.

We hardly frequent the swimming pools back in Singapore so we thought it would be good to have some good chilling swimming bonding session! HAHAHA!

The swimming pool was not crowded and thankfully, they had reasonable depths which I could survive in. I am not a fantastic swimmer so security in reaching the ground is a MUST. I suspect I have some ‘water-phobia’ all along. 😦

The swimming pool had awesome chairs and tents and the splendid pool bar side!

Professional photos :

FACILITIES & SERVICES

FACILITIES & SERVICES

Our photos :
20140316-175009.jpg

20140316-175020.jpg

Because it was so appealing, we couldn’t resist but to order icy cold beer and fries to chill by the pool side. I wished I didn’t have to come back.

Oh wait, that sounds kinda off.

Correction, I wished I could this the same back in Singapore without having to work…study…basically just chill my life away without any worries…

Reviews from other customers/travellers (and ours)

Just read here!

Oh wait, did I just see very recent bad reviews?

But to be fair, let me share with you our experience.

Apart from the location, cost, facilities…I place great importance on customer service etiquette.

The staff were generally very polite, smiley and helpful except for one incident.

Let’s talk about the plus points first.

We managed to get them to reschedule their airport transfer timing due to some delay by the flight and initially, they informed us that their staff were already on the way to the airport which is approx 1 hr from the hotel, but then later told us that a reschedule can be arranged and acceded to our request. So everything was settled.

Even on our last day, we requested for earlier departure from the hotel, taking into consideration that the roads would be jammed during a Saturday night (which was true). The driver arrived 15mins earlier than expected and yes, we got to the airport with ample time to check-in, grab a small bite, walk around a little (nothing much compared to our Changi Airport).

Both car rides were great. Drivers were not reckless.

Since we are on the topic of Thai drivers and road courtesy, I want to share with you guys on the differences between them and our local drivers back in our sunny island.

Thai drivers, although their road infrastructure is not that well-furnished as evident where roads are not cemented with bitumen/tartar (whatever material they use?) and where there are no directions on the road grounds…and where they don’t even have traffic lights at certain junctions….Thai drivers’ road etiquette is better than our local drivers’.

As a Singaporean, I feel kinda ashamed because our road infrastructure is so much better equipped but our drivers are…

Thai drivers seldom horn at other road users and they know how to give way, although not always.  However, it is true that it seems more dangerous when using the road compared to our local counterparts due to the lack of infrastructure.

Okay, point made. Heh.

And because our flight back was late at night, we requested for a late check-out on the last day. The usual check-out time is 12pm and while I have read that late check-out can mean 2pm, the hotel staff told us that 1pm would be the latest. Compromising, we agreed. But we were 10 to 15mins late (rushing after our morning swim, to bathe and pack up) and they weren’t calculative as to charge us for that. So for that, kudos for the customer service at the reception and as well as hotel room service where most importantly, nothing was stolen from us (of course, please be smart to lock up all valuable belongings and don’t take it for granted that it is 100% safe – there is a safe provided in the wardrobe as well).

Further on that, customer service at dining area on our 2nd bfast experience annoyed me.

We thought bfast operates from 6.30am to 11am but little did we know it actually ends at 10.30am.

So we reached at 10.30am at the restaurant and the staff at the entrance was blatantly RUDE!

I mean yes we are sorry that we made a mistake of the operating hours, but his attitude was totally uncalled for. I felt we were chided as if we were little kid. As the mini open kitchen area for individual orders for eggs (sunny side up, scrambled, hard/half boiled) were located at the entrance of the restaurant as well, we hurriedly requested for sunny side up eggs when we were told that bfast is ending.

But the staff and chef were plain reluctant to even fry 2 eggs for us. Their expressions and body languages said so.

Hello? How long does it take to fry 2 eggs, especially since you have more than 1 wok and stove?

Nevertheless, they did fry those eggs but when served to us, it wasn’t well done at all.

It was not sunny side up but this.

Don’t try and say I’m being difficult but correct if I’m wrong. I thought sunny side up should look like this?

Maybe it doesn’t matter to some of you, but it does to people like us who opt for sunny side up for a reason – to sense the ‘shiokness’ when the yolk oozes out…it’s the same feeling with eggs benny/poached eggs, no?

And although we were the last customers to step in, we weren’t the last to step out. There were still many other customers in the restaurant, still serving themselves with food (buffet style)…and others who were still eating when we left.

I thought the staff at the restaurant could do better than this.

Next, another minus point would be mozzies.

There were a handful of mozzies in our hotel room and although we used the electric mozzie plug, it didn’t work. We got stung the next morning when we woke up, but nothing serious. I hadn’t read anything regarding mozzies in the reviews I have gone through though.

Cost of Airport Transfer (2-way)

You need to factor this in when deciding and travelling. You may consider hiring a cab which quoted us 800baht to the airport from our hotel but we paid 950baht for each journey. It may be more pricey (150baht more which is equivalent to SGD$6 for 2 pax) but I guess comfort and safety justify themselves.

Anyway, car rides as mentioned above, were okay. Seats were comfortable and spacious. Car model was Toyota Altis (if I recalled correctly). Although the car ride was kinda long, especially on the way back when traffic was heavy, I slept and woke up many times (I hate sleeping while sitting).

So I guess that’s about all on hotel reviews, stay tuned for my next post on where to go in Phuket for our fun-filled activities!

Bintan Trip Day 1 – Bintan Spa Villa Beach Resort

Went for a short getaway with bf and his friend and his friend’s gf early this July, so it was like a double-date kind of vacation. 🙂

We were actually deciding between Bali, Phuket and Bintan and ended up purchasing our package from Groupon for a Bintan trip.

Bf and I are hoping to visit Bali some time soon 🙂

Because I have very few days of leaves from work, we couldn’t travel far and for a longer period of time.

And as of date, I OFFICIALLY HAVE NO MORE LEAVE DAYS ANYMORE! ZERO! KOSONG! 16days of leave, just vanished into thin air within a mere blink of the eyes.

Most of the leaves were for legitimate reasons, mind you. As I am still studying (for my Master of Laws) and am a self-study exam candidate (there’s nobody teaching in SG!), sacrifices have to be made. Thus, most were taken for exam purposes. As there are 2 exam sessions (which I take 4 mods in May and 2 in Oct), 16 days of leave days is totally insufficient!

Apart from my bday trip on board Superstar Virgo Cruise and a handful of 1-day JB trips, I’ve not even gone for a proper vacation this year! 😦

And strictly speaking, if  ‘vacation’ consists of a requirement of crossing borders by airplanes, Bintan is not even considered a proper one too! 😦

Okay, enough of ranting.

We bought the Bintan package where our resort resided at Bintan Spa Villa which was just beside Bintan Agro Beach Resort. I am just as skeptical as you are when ordering from Groupon (especially when they facing a recent lawsuit), and what more for travel packages (cheat money, bring us go to ulu place and kena chopped into pieces how?!)!

But I am super glad that everything went well and I am back alive. Not that we encountered any life-threatening events though 😉

We bought the $99 for 2D1N Bintan Spa Villa Resort and had to pay $2 for tipping, $55 for weekday extension and $25 for seaport tax. So 1 pax amounted to $181.

Here’s what happened during DAY ONE :

Part of our package includes a half day city tour (although we didn’t really walk half a day because it was extremely boringggg so we headed to the resort earlier than scheduled).

We were brought to 2 ‘shopping malls’ for a start. I inverted the phrase because I wouldn’t consider them shopping malls and I bet your sentiments would be exactly.

Don’t believe? Check out the pictures.

IMG_0382

And yes, of course I was wearing shorts underneath the long tank top 🙂

 

IMG_0384

Our travel buddies – Kelvin and Kylie. We call them the ‘K-couple’ and ‘Big K’ and ‘Small K’ individually, haha how cute!

IMG_0383

Our first group picture taken by our friendly tour guide, Michael, who speaks English better than I’d expected 🙂

IMG_0385

Kylie pointed this out and I thought that it was worth snapping. 😉

IMG_0386

There was an official opening of a shop and hence the lion dance as well as the ‘flower boards’ you saw in the earlier pictures above.

IMG_0388

I thought this was really cool! A private ‘boxed-up’ Karaoke space!

IMG_0389

IMG_0390

And because it was freaking boring, we pretended to pose for the camera, trying to serenade our audiences 🙂

These karaoke boxes were from the 2nd mall we visited, where there was an arcade which we spent most of our time at. LOL. Claiming prizes (hair ties) from tickets (there’s a private joke to these tickets but I shan’t divulge :p) and the hair ties snapped the next day when I tried to tie my hair with them. Blame it on the expected poor quality and thickness of my hair!

After that, we proceeded to have our Ayam Penyet which was part of our package. This little cafe popped outta nowhere and because our sunny island is totally congested with buildings, we found it a little strange to find it located in the middle of nowhere.

IMG_0392

Another group picture! We chose to sit on this ground bench area since it’s rare in Singapore! Everything also MUST TRY! 🙂

IMG_0393

K-couple! 🙂

IMG_0394

Love and I! 🙂

IMG_0395

Bf and I ordered fried chicken for our meals.

IMG_0396

While K-couple ordered the grilled version 🙂

IMG_0398

I found the soup to be quite tasty, mainly because I am a soup-lover. But the melons (I assume?) were a little too hard to chew, especially with my braces on.

IMG_0399

We ordered extra dishes (which we have to top up with cash), but the portion seems to be quite small and the Oxtail (the black colour dish on the right) was extremely spicy! Even the chilli that comes with the Ayam Penyet could kill!!!

And as you can see, my soup depleted faster than the rest’s 😉 And I even drank bf’s one. :p

IMG_0401

Even menu also might snap. Typical snap-everything-Singaporean 🙂

IMG_0391

And another group picture! 😀

Big K commented that he felt like an animal in the farm because of the fences, LOL :p

After filling our hungry stomachs, we were brought to visit 2 temples.

IMG_0406

Main entrance of the huge temple.

IMG_0403

IMG_0405

The whole area is extremely huge!!! I believe it can house several HDB buildings back here. The setting made me felt like I was in China, rather than Indonesia.

IMG_0409

IMG_0417

IMG_0418

Look how tiny we were!

IMG_0428

IMG_0424

Tiny bf! 😛

IMG_0426

The girls! 😀

IMG_0427

Nice contrails and I think I shall just position my arm like this in pictures in the future because it looks slim la! 😀

IMG_0420

We nearly died squinting. We tried out best to open our eyes but the blazing sun resulted in our funny faces.

IMG_0422

Statues.

IMG_0425

And being a cloud-lover (you would know this if you have followed on Instagram @shootingstar18 HAHA!), I knew I had to snap the statues with the cloudy sky.

They are really really fluffy that I was gonna dieeee! 😀

IMG_0441

IMG_0413

IMG_0412

IMG_0410

Apart from the plantations at the entrance, there’s another mini plantation of dragon fruits too 🙂

IMG_0411

Close-up of a dragon fruit. I know how suaku we as Singaporeans are because we don’t have such things back home! 😦

So anyway, here comes the HILARIOUS part. I think it was the most hilarious throughout the whole trip!

JUMP SHOTS!!!

No photoshop was done – mainly because I don’t know how to?! =x

IMG_0429

Michael was very pro in taking jump shots and it was him who suggested that we take jump shots! I am impressed! And am even more impressed with his jump shot stunts! 😀

Successful jump shot – where everyone’s up in the air. AND I KNOW I CAN ADVERT FOR A SHAMPOO COMMERCIAL 😀

There are several shots that failed the bench mark!

Like this :

IMG_0430

I was the only one lagging, I know -.-

I looked like I was gonna fart, hence the icon :p

It was blazing hot and we stand under the scorching sun for some time, I was ‘gao wei’ with perspiration, especially with make-up on.

Okay, fine, I’m just slow and relatively inactive than the rest! Not forgetting fatter too… ARGH!

IMG_0431

And that’s Michael, together with K-couple!

IMG_0432

Bf and I took jump shots with Michael too!

Now now, I’m not the only one lagging here anymore… only because Big K sucked at taking jump shots! =x

And I look like I’ve truckloads of farts again! -.-

IMG_0436

Told you he really sucked at taking jump shots! =x He snapped at the count of 2!

Wondering about my position?

Look below.

IMG_0435

Chit-chatting and getting prepared while this Big-K figure out how to snap a jump shot successfully… And he snapped unintentionally while doing so LOL

IMG_0437

OKAY, I cannot tahan anymore!

All these pictures never fail to make me ROFL.

I look like I am sitting on a chair!!! HAHAHA!!!

Now what did I tell you? Michael’s really good at snapping jump shots as well as posing in the air !!! KUNGFU JACKIE CHAN WANNABE!

IMG_0438

We didn’t discuss our positions prior to snapping this picture, so here you go. Bf kicking me ass and I am extremely happy that I got my ass kicked!

And I can haz hairy face too!!!

IMG_0439

Look at how cute this couple is! Only that Big-K’s left foot should be up and straightened out as well!

IMG_0440

HAHAHAHA!!! Another failed shot but better than the 1st one because Small-K’s hadouken meant to target his stomach but he jumped too low, hence shot at his head instead!

We also visited another temple which was very much smaller than this.

IMG_0451

This small temple has tree trunks, branches and roots intertwining into it. We asked Michael which came first, the tree or the temple, and he told us that the latter was first built followed by the tree. Quite cool isn’t it?

IMG_0450

A close-up look of the temple with clearer view of the intertwining roots and branches, with leaves.

IMG_0449

And a close-up view of the huge tree standing strong and firm.

IMG_0452

The girls! 🙂

IMG_0453

And the guys! 🙂

After fooling around, we headed to our long awaited villa resort! 😀

IMG_0461

Welcome! 😀

IMG_0458

Lovely resort rooms built upon water. We didn’t upgrade to this because we thought the price difference wasn’t justifiable. This is known as the Royal Ocean Villa while we took the Seaview Deluxe that was already included in the package.

IMG_0457

Lovely sea… away from the buzzling urban city 🙂

IMG_0459

Island boat tour which we rode on the next day! Stay tuned for my next post! 🙂

Went up to our rooms after checking-in 🙂

IMG_0479

Our resort room was on the 3rd level. Back to the primitive style – no escalators/elevators, so it was climbing up and down, up and down for the whole 3 days! 😦

IMG_0467

The must-take-picture-of-your-hotel/resort-room-when-you-first-check-in photo 🙂

IMG_0469

The must-cover-all-angles/areas-of-your-hotel/resort-room picture.

IMG_0478

Outdoor balcony! 🙂

IMG_0474

The man with his phone.

IMG_0473

IMG_0476

IMG_0475

One of the many pictures that constantly and provokingly remind me that I should go on a diet soon before I drown in my own pool of fats.

IMG_0470

Hello neighbours! 😀

IMG_0471

IMG_0472

Views from our resort room on the 3rd level.

Our rooms weren’t considered really seaview but if we look out from our balcony, we are still able to see the sea la… so… yeah *awkward smile*.

After resting for awhile, we excitedly proceeded to check out the whole resort! 🙂

IMG_0462

Our favourite swinging chair and I really do mean F-A-V-O-U-R-I-T-E because throughout the whole vacation we’ve sat in it for countless of times! Plus, it’s better than sitting on chairs lepaking while spamming the wifi… 😀

IMG_0485

The mini bar area…

IMG_0482

Big-K doing what he does best.

IMG_0483

The guys having their own game.

IMG_0506

So small K and I entertained ourselves with darts!

IMG_0493

IMG_0495

This picture looks a little funny if the dart board wasn’t there, like she’s doing some chicken-dance =x

IMG_0496

Trying to aim.

Ignore sharp pointed face and chin, jiggly flabby arms and thunder thighs pls.

IMG_0497

Look at the speed of the dart! Nah, I’m kidding :p

And then we got bored and swopped with the guys. Okay, only small K did, I was entertaining myself with my camera while they were busy…

IMG_0500

IMG_0502

IMG_0503

Testing and practising my photography skills….

Here are some of the pictures I took.

IMG_0488

Focus….

IMG_0490

Focusing again. Trying to snap a postcard-quality photo…

IMG_0480

IMG_0481

There’s an outdoor Jacuzzi as well but it looked kinda dirty, so we didn’t try it out at all.

And then everyone got bored of the 2 games so we decided to explore Spa Villa further.

IMG_0508

New Ocean Suite.

IMG_0511

And as the name suggests, there’s a ‘spa’ area for customers too.

We got to try this out which was included in our package as well. Read below to find out more 🙂

Walked further…

IMG_0514

IMG_0515

IMG_0520

Beach Volleyball net! 😀

We played this as well but on another island – yes we island hopped! Will blog about this in my next post for Day 2! 🙂

IMG_0519

Big K imagining himself as a goalie…

IMG_0521

Everywhere also can do pull-ups, but bad idea because the metal was rusty!

IMG_0516

Took this back shot of bf without him knowing and he loves it! 😀

IMG_0517

The guys are more enthu in getting soaked first than us girls.

IMG_0518

Doing the BBOY stance.

IMG_0512

A lonely emo palm tree…

IMG_0522

Palm trees in the sky.

IMG_0523

Another postcard-wannabe picture by yours truly 😉

So we decided to have our spa massage before our dinner, because it makes sense right? You don’t want to feel all weird and quirky and bloated when you are supposed to enjoy a relaxing massage…

IMG_0527

The spa rooms. Really facing the sea! Super relaxing 🙂

And the ingredients used…

IMG_0524

IMG_0525

IMG_0526

I wasn’t sure which scrub they used but it smelled really sweet like honey… It might just be the milk scrub?

Before we got onto the massage beds for our full body massage, we were also given a good foot scrub massage. No pictures because I felt really paiseh to snap pictures of the masseurs. It’s like kinda rude, no? Plus, I was cringing and tolerating the ticklish feel all the way… Trying my best not to burst out laughing. That happened too during the body massage. =x

Oh yes, for those who have no idea, like me, this traditional full body massage differs from the Thai massage where the latter helps to ‘crack’ your bones. Plus, this spa massage requires you to strip all the way down… But you will be provided with a disposable underwear and a towel wrap. There were times I had to unwrap the towel e.g. to face down on the bed naked and the flip and rest on my back… it was really really embarrassing. So yes, do prepare yourself mentally okay?

And naturally, we got hungry and sourced for food thereafter.

There was nothing much to eat around there except for the little cafe at our resort lobby.

We ordered the expensive BBQ sets.

IMG_0535

IMG_0537

It costs approx $30 for each set and the seafood were quite tiny! Plus, we sat at the alfresco area so there were insects around, like mozzies and a worm which big K found in their baked potato. He requested for a change but was quite upset when met reluctance from the staff who took awhile to believe him. The new potato took quite some time to be served and it was cold. Even more upsetting.

So it’s not really worth it.

We didn’t know that they serve ala carte food too because they only had the posters promoting their BBQ sets. Totally regretted! 😦

IMG_0542

Anyway, what’s chilling without some booze? 😉

So… we went back chilling at the swinging seat again….

What did I tell you? 😉

IMG_0543

IMG_0547

IMG_0548

As requested by bf, smiling with my teeth and braces shown. I’m still hoping to perfect my smile and teeth but seems like without a jaw reduction, I still look awkward although bf always assures me that I look fine :’)

And another reason why I hate smiling with teeth shown is because I feel it makes me already huge round nose even bigger! 😥

And and and, it deepens my laugh lines compared to smiling…

Ok ok, I know I’m damn problematic 😦

So, that pretty sums up day 1!

Psst, here are some tips, if you are contemplating to travel with Groupon and with Spa Villa.

1. Read every single fine prints for the Groupon package, as with any other vouchers they offer. 

2. Clarify with the travel agency, everything and anything you don’t know.

3. Don’t try the BBQ sets at Spa Villa – expensive and too little.

4. Sit indoors if you don’t wish to dine with insects.

5. Must go for their massages! But must be mentally-prepared to strip.

6. There’s a shuttle bus which fetches visitors to Bintan Agro Beach Resort – which seems more promising than Spa Villa. They are located quite near to each other actually. More on Agro in my next post 🙂

7. Must definitely plan activities to do (if not you would be bored to death) – Snorkelling, Diving, Island Boat Tour etc. All’s stated in their website 🙂

8. With activities in mind + city tour – 2D1N is definitely not enough so extension is highly recommendable by me and depending on your own schedule and budget, you can extend either on weekdays or weekends. 

9. Consider bringing an insect repellent along, but the resort provides a little small bottle – not sure if it’s complimentary though. But things sold there are pricey – At Agro beach because Spa Villa doesn’t have a shop.

10. Expensive food with small portions at Spa Villa – bring along cup noodles. Food at Agro is much better – will blog about this in the next post. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed reading and found these tips useful! 🙂

Phew, I think this is one of my longest entry post!

Stay tuned for Day 2 and 3!