Category Archives: South East Asia 东南亚

Holidaying in Krabi

It’s another birthday holiday! Where to this year?
Krabi! A province which lies along the coast of the Andaman sea in Southern Thailand, with its trademark karst formations curving along the coast like a giant limestone fortress.
Transport
We flew in from Singapore by Thai Air Asia. Took a bus from airport to Ao Nang town for just 150B and right to your hotel. Cheap and good. The journey took about 45 minutes to 1 hour as it travelled to Krabi Town first. We took a cab to the airport on our last day for 500B and the journey took about 30 minutes.
** Very funny, think the Thais have difficulty pronouncing the “s” and “f”, so they said the resort name as “Ao Nang Clip Bi”.. heee


Overlooking karst formation on the island, it was a very pleasant and comfortable stay at this resort. However, on the 2nd day of our stay, after we came back from our island hopping tour, I saw a dead and dry lizard stuck at one of the cabinets. Informed the staff to clean it, but I guess they failed to find it.. Seemed to be there already for quite awhile. Maybe if one day I were to go back and stayed in the same room, it will still be there…

The room is big and comfortable
View from the room’s balcony. You will have better and sea view for rooms at 3rd floor
The dead & dry…

On the 2nd day of our stay, we received an invitation for cocktail party and was pleasantly thrilled with the free flow cocktails and finger food. Nice gesture by the resort!

Cocktail Party!!

…and a birthday cake from the hotel for me 😀

Happy birthday to me!

The resort together with another resort shared a private beach which only the guests may go. There’s 4 fixed shuttle bus timing which bring you to the beach – Andaman Beach Club. The bus journey is about 8 mins. Really private, calm and peaceful.. but the sand and the sea… hmm… probably our Sentosa is better…

Andamana Beach Club

One last note on the resort, do try their cheap and popular buffet dinner at 390B nett per person. It starts at 630pm till 1030pm but go early as the food run out fast due to its popularity.

Food
Based on some of the great reviews on tripadvisor, we visited Longtail Boat Restaurant twice for its seafood. I must say it was really good although a little pricey but at least no regrets. The restaurant was located at the end of the stretch of the seafood street.

The Longtail Boat Restaurant
Come early to get a prime table to view the beautiful sunset while enjoying some cocktails.
View from the restaurant
Sipping my passion fruit margarita while enjoying the lovely sunset 
Wide variety of seafood as compared to the other restaurants and all looked very fresh.
 
Such big prawns
Many variety of fishes to choose from
Bought these as a set for 1000B for a whole fish, clams, exchanged 2 sotongs for 2 extra big prawns. Nicely grilled, and the prawn and fish meat tender and sweet.
1000B
Decided to order lobster. Not cheap, a small one cost about 600B (S$26). Finished after 2 bites :O The meat was really soft thou.
Some reviews mentioned that their Thai food sucks. However we cannot resist the tempting prawns with tang hoon dish. 350B, very delicious and tasty dish with many mushrooms but ONLY 1 tiger prawn!
Tiger prawn with tang hoon

The cocktails at 180B and smoothies at 100B.

Strawberry margaritas and dragon fruits smoothies
The Phi Phi Island Tour
There are many tours to choose from if you want to hop around the many islands along the Andaman sea. There’s the Phi Phi Island tour, 4 Island Tour, James Bond tour, etc.. Shop around to get the best price and one that best suit your needs.
I’ve never been to Phi Phi Island so decided to take the tour at 1200B. If you book with the hotel, it cost 1500B. We do encounter some agencices charging 1100B too.
The tour operator will pick you up from your hotel at around 815am and transfer you to the pier where you will be joined by many other island hoppers. Transfer to a speed boat which can hold about 30 – 40 people.
Walking to the “pier” to board the speedboat and start our tour

The 1st stop was Maya Bay, which was the filming of the Hollywood movie “The Beach”.  Supposed to be a stunningly beautiful bay sheltered by 100m high cliffs on 3 sides. The main beach is around 200m long with silky soft white sand and exceptionally clear water.. Well, speed boats, long tail boats, ferried tourists to and fro, docking at the beach, you see more boats and people than the blue sea and white sand. The sand and sea still nice but what a pity…

Approaching Maya Bay. Pristine blue water…
Oh gosh! Where’s the white sandy beach and the clear blue sea??

Than the guide lead us to the back of the bay – Lohsamah Bay where colourful fishes and corals exist, but well since not snorkelling there you don’t see much there and the little standing platform was so crowded that you feared it will collapse soon.

View of Lohsamah Bay

Next, the speedboat took us to Viking Cave where you see amazing karst limestone, than it cruised into the Pileh lagoon than it cruised on to Monkey Bay where many Monkeys hanging around there. There were 4 French on the boat very eager to jump out of the boat to play with the Monkey and insisted they got cheated when the boatman stop them and told them they can’t leave the boat… blah..

Amazing karst limestones
Lovely lagoon

Than the boat cruised to this Shark Point where you can do your snorkel.. nothing amazing just that many many small fishes swam around you, the corals are not interesting at all.. yawwnnn….

A 1 hour lunch was provided at a restaurant in Phi Phi Don island, buffet style. Meh….
The last stop was Bamboo Island where you will get 1hr+ to laze on the sandy white beach, swim in the clear blue water or snorkel around. Not bad place but really too crowded…
50 shades of blue @ Bamboo Island
Coral colour beach theme for beach holiday 😀

Not a fantastic tour, I much prefer the one I did at Nha Trang, Vietnam!

Phra Nang (Princess) Cave Beach
Took a long tail boat from Ao Nang beach to Phra Nang cave beach which is one of Railay’s 4 beaches. The boat ride cost 100B one-way and the journey took about 10 mins. The boat will only go if they get 8 people to travel on. We reached the pier at around 10am+ and less than 5 minutes we were on our way to Phra Nang.
Lomg tail boat from Ao Nang Beach to Phra Nang or Railay Beach
There’s a shrine at the cave which was located on the east side of the Railay Bay. Since ancient times, fishermen before going out to sea, made offerings to the Phallus of Shiva at the cave, said to bring them success in their fishing and protect them from danger. The cave contains a large collection of carved wooden phallic symbols… hmmm….
The shrine…

Bizarre it is… but the beach next to the cave is great, recommend to just remain there for sunbathing and dipping in the blue sea. If you walk further down the beach, it will be crowded with many boats selling food, tour boats docked by the beach area.

Try to go in the morning as after noon time, most of the tour boats will arrive with loads of tourists.
Beautiful beach when it is less crowded
View from the cave
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Running in Krabi

The husband decided that he needed to continue training for the PJ IM even while holidaying in Krabi.. so the day after my birthday, we did a run from our resort in Ao Nang all the way to Wat Tham Seua or also known as Tiger Cave Temple which was near to Krabi Town.
Plotted the running route entirely by Google map, it showed a route that is about 20km long which at a normal pace will get us there in no more than 3 hours.
We started our day early. After a light breakfast at our resort, we got ready and started our run at about 8am. Turning on GPS and using Google map, we tried to follow the route closely. There were times when we missed a turn and have to run back to find the turn. On some roads we saw dogs looking intently at us or barking at us such that we had to find alternate road. Some roads were quite impossible to run, we have to look for other roads. Guess all this add up to more distance to run and more time wasted. Along the way, we will stop by any mini mart to buy “motivation” water to quench our thirst and push us on.
Off we ran…
While running toward Krabi Town, we passed by this temple with a big Buddha statue inside and decided to go and take a look. There’s also a seashell fossil showroom in the temple.
The Buddha statue we saw while running
Our destination was the Wat Tham Seua (or Tiger Cave Temple). When we reached a stadium, Google map “instructed” us to go round the stadium and than turn somewhere into street. We could not find the way to turn and a friendly lady came to help us. She led us to a little path, which was so narrow that I lost my footing and fall. Luckily I managed to hold on to the plants in front of me, and climb up. Than you gotta climb over a wall and down a ladder into someone’s back yard. Wow.. the lady was wearing a skirt and she walked so effortlessly! I wondered how Google map managed to plot this one little route for us.. hmm..
Anyway, after this mini adventure, we reached the main road and it was just 600 metres more to the temple.
We reached the temple’s entrance at around 12+pm and decided we need a meal first before the next obstacle!
Finally reach!
There’s much to explore in the temple, including limestone caves housing Buddha images, statues and altars. We were more interested in what’s on the hill top! To get to the hill top, you will need to climb 1237 steps up. Not easy as most of the steps are steep, like our Bukit Timah’s killer stairs nightmare!, and not to mention that we just ran a 20km here!
Start of the climb
Tiring.. especially when the steps are steep!
Stupa along the way

However, the view at the 600m karst peak is spectacular! There’s also a gold Buddha statue and a gilded stupa.

Climbing down the 1237 steps was no easy feat, felt very dizzy when walking down… Very straining on the knees but it’s totally worth it..  🙂

Long Weekend Cycling Trip to Desaru

Date of trip: 8 – 10 Aug 2013
Kakis: Audrey, Chris, Kenneth, Tony, Wei Peng, Yin and me
Stay: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort
Weather: Very unpredictable
Total distance cycled: 103 km
Total time cycled: Approx 4 hrs 30 mins (1 way)

6 years ago, we did our first overseas cycling trip to a small village in Malaysia – Sungei Rengit. Back then, we rented bikes from a bike shop at Changi Village, booked a bum boat, set off to Pengarang and started cycling. I remember it was a hard ride under the hot sun and it seemed to take forever to reach our destination.

6 years later, making use of the long weekend holiday, we decided to do it again and this time shall go further and cycle up to Desaru!

Our cycling route

8 Aug 2013
At 5:30am, as I was preparing to leave home, it started to rain, raining real heavily. Arrgh.. what a good timing! How to cycle in this weather? Well, we still have to proceed since we’ve already booked a 2 nights stay at the resort. We all reached Changi Point Ferry Terminal at around 7:00am. We met the bum boat uncle and he managed to help us find another 5 pax to fill up the boat. So we need only pay $13 each. By the time the boat set off for Tanjong Pengelih Ferry Terminal, the rain slow to a drizzle and 1 hour later we reached Pengarang.

2 road bikes, 2 foldies, 2 mountain bikes, 1 hybrid, we started our ride at 9:25am. It was still drizzling but made for a great cooling ride! Not much traffic and the terrain flat. 1 hour later, we reach Sungei Rengit… for .. lunch….

The key draw in Sungei Rengit is the seafood and lobster is a must eat here. We decided to have our first meal at Jade Garden Seafood Corner. We ordered golden pomfret HK style, Hor Fun, herbal chicken, butter milk lobsters and vege.. and the damage — MYR430!! Gosh! Not cheap at all and the lobsters don’t really taste fantastic!

12:12pm. Time to continue our journey to Desaru. Once we were out of Sungei Rengit, there’s actually a split road. One way is leading to the Ostrich farm, another with a big signage pointing to Pulai Beach Resort 33km. Not sure who suggested that it should be the way where it’s pointing to Pulai Beach Resort which later we checked google map, it’s highway # 92. What a mistake!

We started our ride on highway # 92. There was this big question mark in our head. Yes, we knew that the terrain is hilly on the way to Desaru.. but a bit too much thou.. it even went up to a high 59m. It was demoralising whenever I see yet another hill to ride up… sigh. Next, why were there so many cars and they were all travelling very fast. The nicer ones kept a distance from us leaving a good gap between our bike and their car but some were really big bully! It was a stressful and tiring ride for me.

Well, cheers to us.. after riding for 2 hrs 28 mins we finally reach Lotus Desaru Beach Resort! Hurray!

9 Aug 2013
Rest & relax at the beach, pool.. celebrating National Day..

10 Aug 2013
Time to head home, it was a hot day with clear blue sky, unlike the day we came. We checked google map beforehand and went on the right route — highway # 90. Yes, this is the correct one. Terrain is flat with the occasional slopes, not much traffic andt so much more scenic and enjoyable ride.

By the time we reach Sungei Rengit we were all ready for lunch. This round we check out at Good Luck Restaurant. We ordered butter and oats lobsters (ultra mini), red emperor fish, wild boar meat and vege. MYR300.

Riding right after lunch under hot sun requires much determination. It took me slightly longer than the first day to complete the 17.30km from Sungei Rengit to the ferry terminal. Nevertheless, I am so happy when I finally reach the terminal. We were lucky, a bum boat with only 5 pax was already waiting and we were just in time to fill the boat.

It was an enjoyable cycling trip with really fun and trusty kakis. Cheers, to more adventures my dear friends!

 

Sweet Success — Laguna Phuket International Marathon 2012

Yes! Finally! Completed a marathon with a timing I am happy with! Hurray!!
Dec 2008: It was a disappointing run back in 2008. I was running or rather walking a full marathon with a bad left ankle injury at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon clocking 7:35hrs then (Read: Run My Own Race). Right after the race, I stopped running for almost about half a year to rest my badly injured ankle. Thereafter, I participated in 21km races while I told myself, one day.. one day when I am ready, I will do a full marathon again,
Aug 2010: Saw an article on the Laguna Phuket International Marathon in Shape magazine. After reading the article, the thought of running a marathon there started to form in my mind. Why not? Since I’ve not been to Phuket, maybe I should go there for a run, than stay on for a few days enjoying the sun and sea in Phuket. Sound like a plan!
Dec 2011: After running many half-marathons, correcting my running posture, getting the right pace, improving my timing and with no injury done to my ankles & knees to-date, decided that it’s time to run the full marathon and I shall attend the Laguna Phuket Marathon in June 2012!
The entrance fee to the marathon for foreigners was very expensive, at THB2,600 (about S$106) with entry to the pasta party on the eve of the run. Together with air tickets, 1 night lodging at a resort in Laguna, it already cost me almost S$300+. Not a cheap run actually.
9 Jun 2012: 
2pm Welcome to Phuket! It’s a sunny day! Heard that it was raining heavily earlier. I wonder how will the weather be the next day?? 1st stop – taxi to the race expo at Laguna Beach Resort to collect our race pack.  The process of collection was smooth.  The items in the race pack include a super big size running tee *sad* and a tube of muscle rub, very pathetic race pack.
330pm Check-in at Laguna Holiday Club Phuket Resort. A relaxing dip in the hotel pool.
530pm Carbo-loading time before the big race. It’s the Pasta Party! My 1st and gosh, I saw long long queues already forming at the buffet counters.  I must say the spread was quite good, food yummy, just that some of the nicer dishes only go at once, no 2nd round. It’s been awhile since I ate till so full.. *Burp*
930pm Zzzz…  Thanks to the plush pillows and bed in the resort.. I had a super good sleep!
10 Jun 2012:
3am Yawn… Wake up! Wash up! Time for the BIG RACE!
430am Took the Laguna free shuttle bus service to the race start point. It rained during the night but stopped before the event, thus gave way to a cooling morning. I am all hyped up, all ready to charge & go.  This is so unusual of me to be so excited and ready to go. Finally, the moment has come! There are total around 4000 runners participating with about 520+ running the full marathon. After the countdown, all 500+ runners charged & GO!!!!
The Run…
I must say, as compared to running in a Singapore running event, this run was a luxury.  No bottleneck, no over-crowding, drink stations every 1.5-2km, and all served with ice. Some stations provided bananas and watermelons served. The course lead us through the quiet area of Phuket – padi fields, rubber trees plantations, alongside the crushing waves of the Bang Tao sea and the tranquillity of the Laguna resort area.  No road blocks here, anyway there’s not much traffic around but there’s traffic polices and volunteers around to manage the traffic. There were hilly sections at the 10-13km and 25-27km, thanks to previous training at MacRitchie and Bukit Timah, running up the hills was not a difficult task for me. No stitches, no cramps and energy level was at my all time high. Though at 28km, my feet starts to give me some problem that I have to start to adopt the run/walk strategy.  I am still hoping to reach my target timing of 5:30hrs then.
The whole morning has been cloudy and cooling *blessed* but suddenly dark clouds emerged with strong gust of wind blowing head on at you. When I reached the 35km mark, the rain came. The small group of runners I am with then were all trying to run against the rain and wind. At this moment, I felt real demoralised.. gosh, how long will this rain last?  just 7km more.. with this rain it seems so near yet so far.
A pat at the shoulder by a fellow runner, words of encouragement by the villagers, little chats with 2 Thai uncle runners reminding me I am a tough gal, I pushed on. I will be missing my target timing, but I can still aim for a sub-6 timing.
I am real thrilled when I reached the 40km mark, just 2.195km to go, the rain has stopped and the sun is out smiling brightly at us now. At the 500m mark, before turning in to the finish line, an Ang Mo was standing at the pathway giving out little cups of jelly, “You will need this!” Yes, thanks for the jellies, it really gave me a boost for the final “cheong” to the finish line!
1015am I finally made it to the finish line with a nett finish 5:46:12hrs. Nice! I am real pleased with myself!  Hot food and massage awaits after the finish line.
I’ve really enjoyed myself throughout the whole run, it was a well-organised run. Kudos to the organiser.  This race has really opened my eyes and running overseas is really appealing (no more east coast park!) and I do hope to participate in more of such races.. want to join me??

 

The Soul of Java — Yogyakarta

It’s raining season at Yogyakarta (pronounce as “Jog-Jakarta”, called Yogja for short) in March but since Air Asia was having promotion during this period, I decided to go ahead. The days were gloomy with no sunrise or sunset to be seen. Always very hot in the morning and heavy rain in the afternoon and night. Nevertheless, it was still a good trip with many photography opportunities, great food and relaxing pace.

Borobudur

One of the hi-lights of Yogja is the Borobudur temple, built some time between AD 750 and AD 850. It was abandoned soon after completion due to the decline of Buddhism. All the while covered by volcanic ashes till 1815 when it was revealed again by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles when he was ruling Java.

Borobudur

The monument was a Buddhist vision in everyday world and spiralling up to nirvana. Spend time to walk (clockwise in Buddhist tradition) round the galleries of the stupa starting at the eastern gateway, some of the sculptural work were quite impressive. Recommended to watch the audiovisual show at the Manohara Hotel to have a better understanding of Borobudur.

The Buddha at Borobudur

We stayed in the Manohara Hotel for its proximity to the monument. The price of the room will include unlimited entry to Borobudur temple and audiovisual show. Hotel guests can join their sunrise tour at discounted price (185,000Rp, Non-guest 335,000Rp). The rooms are reasonably comfortable but pricey.

 En-route to Borobudur, may also visit the Mendut Temple (entrance fee at 3,000Rp). It houses the 3m high statue of Buddha. Instead of the usual lotus position, here he sits western-style with both feet on the ground

Mendut Temple
The unique posture of Buddha

Prambanan

The temples at Prambanan represent the period of Hindu cultural development. There are 3 main temples each facing the East in the central courtyard. The biggest temple is dedicated to Shiva, the Destroyer. On each side is Brahma temple and Vishnu temple. Each main temple has accompanying temple facing to the west, namely Nandini for Shiva, Angsa for Brahma, and Garuda for Vishnu. We are able to climb up the temples except for Shiva temple where it was closed for restoration (think was closed for a few years already). The entrance fee to Prambanan is 117,000Rp, we booked it through our hotel and got 7,000Rp discount.

Temples at Prambanan

Ratu Boko

Perched on top of a hill overlooking Prambanan is the Kraton Ratu Boko (Palace of King Boko). It is a big area where first you will see a gateway. After entering the gateway you will see Pembakaran temple and the holy wells on the left. Walk across the plains you will reach the Paseban aka waiting room for guests who wish to see the king. The area is vast and requires quite a walk. It is actually still in ruins, little remains of the original complex, but the view there is still worth the walk. Entrance fee at 75,000Rp.

The gateway at Ratu Boko

Both Borobudur and Prambanan made to the Unesco World Heritage list in 1991 but I personally find the temples at Prambanan more magnificent than Borobudur. Do go to find out yourself.

Yogyakarta

It’s quite easy to orientate around Yogja town.  The main road that runs from the train station to the Kraton is called Jalan Malioboro.  Bustling with activities especially at night, you find many hotels and guesthouses here. Many many souvenir shops (where you can buy t-shirts) and batik shops here.  There’s also many roadside food stalls along this road.

Sightseeing at Yogja town to me is nothing fantastic. In the heart of the town is the Kraton, a huge palace where the sultans stayed. Much of the Kraton was a museum showcasing collections of gifts from European monarchs, heirlooms of the royal family, etc.  Entrance fee 12,500Rp+1,000Rp for camera. Outside the Kraton there 2 big banyan trees where in the old days, white-roded petitioners would sit patiently there hoping to catch the eye of the king. We saw people blindfolded walking toward the trees. It was said that if one can walk between them without mishap, you will receive great fortune.

Pavilion at the Kraton
Blindfolder and walk to the trees, if successful, you will receive great fortune.

To the west of the Kraton is the Water Castle aka Taman Sari. From the back of Pasa Ngasem (traditional market or also the bird market) an alleyway will lead up to the broken walls of Taman Sari.  Once at the ruins, go to the right to look for the tunnel which will lead you to the restored bathing pools of Taman Sari. Taman Sari once served as a pleasure park of palaces, pools and waterways for the sultan and his entourage. Thou restored, the condition was still.. alas.. not well-maintained. Entrance to the restored Taman Sari is 7,000Rp+1,000Rp for camera.

The ruins of Taman Sari
Restored pool of Taman Sari

The Idyllic Getaway – Bohol and the Panglao Island

Finally I get to set foot on the the land of thousand island (is about 7000 over island), the Philippines.  With so many islands to choose from, we finally decided on Bohol.  Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines, and lies in the middle of the Visayas. Bohol is surrounded by other islands on all sides, and is thus suppose to be shielded from the typhoons that often occur in the region, as well as from the heaviest rains.

Many people at Pier 1

The day when we arrive in Cebu, we took a cab from the airport to Pier 1 to buy ferry tickets to Bohol.  It will be 2 hours via fast ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran City, a town in Bohol. Decided to stay on a beach resort at Panglao island instead of the town, thus after arrival at Tagbilaran, we will need to get a cab to the resort which is about 45 mins.

When we arrived at Pier 1, we saw a long long queue. There’s also notices that said due to Sendong typhoon, there will be no ferry to Tagbilaran. After checking out, an ang mo uncle also in the queue told us that during the last 2 days, all ferries were stopped due to typhoon along the Mindanao, and today (the day we arrive) was the 1st day they open up thus so many people here to re-schedule their ferry timing that was affected the past 2 days.

Pier 1

Well… after a gruelling 1 hour 20 mins later with tummy symphony, we finally bought our tickets. There’s only business class tickets left which cost us double the price of an economy class.. arrgh.. Well, after comparing the small squeezy economy class seats during our return trip, I am actually quite glad that we had the business class seats for our trip to Bohol, after a tiring early morning flight and a long wait for tickets, we actually had a very well rested ferry journey.

Big and comfortable business class seats
Beautiful sunset upon arrival at Tagbilaran

The Attractions
When in Bohol, for people like us who do not have much time to spare, recommend to take a tour that will take you to the following major attractions in Bohol – Chocolate Hill, the Butterflies Conservation Centre, the Tarsier Sanctuary, Loboc Rivier cruise with buffet lunch, Man-made Forest, Hanging Bridge,  Baclayon Church and the Blood Compact site. What we did was to hire a driver which cost us about 2000 peso for a car for 1 day, decide on which attraction to go and then pay the respective entrance fee.  It’s cheaper this way than joining a tour available with travel agency or hotels.

Chocolate Hill
The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol’s most famous tourist attraction. They look like giant mole hills and there’s possibly no less than 1268 hills all uniform in shape and mostly between 30 and 50 meters high. They are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown, thus the name. As we went during the end of the wet season, thus they are very nourishing green.
Entrance fee: 50 peso
 

The “grassy” giant mole hill @ Chocolate Hill
Jumping high at Chocolate Hill.. Hoo hoo!!
Yeah!!
Should be called “Green Tea Hill” during wet season.. haha 

Butterflies Conservation Centre
We got this very humorous guide who brought us thru’ the interesting facts of a butterfly, different species of them.
Entrance fee: 30 peso

Beautiful butterfly posing for a portrait

Tarsier Sanctuary

Here, tarsiers are observed, protected and are freely living on its natural habitat. In the sanctuary there’s trails and pathways (with a tour guide) and we can observe the tarsiers in its natural habitat. We are suppose to talk softly, no flash photography and not to touch them. Tarsiers are shy nocturnal creatures, so I guess the best time to see them will be during the night.  When we were there in the day, they are either sleeping or hiding away from us… Haiz.

Entrance fee: 50 peso. 

Yawwnnn…. Zzzzz…. A sleeping Tarsier

Loboc River

It’s lunch time and we are being brought to this place where you will purchase ticket to a Loboc River lunch cruise. The Lunch buffet was nothing fantastic, thou the singing entertainment on the cruise was great.  The Filipinos are really great singers!  Their voice are so heavenly.  While you are having your lunch, the boat will start cruising down the river and bring you to the Loboc Children Choir and they will do a sing/dance segment for you. 
Cruise fee: 100 peso
Buffet lunch fee: 300 peso
The river cruise with lunch buffet on-board the cruise
The Loboc river
@ Man-made forest
Man-made forest
Hmm… actually nothing special… just a canopy of trees that line on both side of the road….


















Baclayon Church 
The large bell on top was obtained in 1835
Said to be the oldest church in Bohol. There’s suppose to be a museum in the church that we should visit, but we did not as we were being drawn to the church main hall as there’s a traditional catholic wedding in progress!
A traditional Catholic Wedding

Blood Compact site

This monument is included in most tours, and offers a nice view over the Bohol sea, with Panglao island to the right.

We did not visit the hanging bridge as it was raining quite heavily in the late morning.
Beautiful rainbow after an afternoon shower
Our island beach resort was at Alona Beach, Lost Horizon Resort.  We got the standard room which was quite basic. Made me remember our stay at Gili Air in Lombok, because the tap water taste salty and when we boil it, we saw salt residue at the bottom of the kettle. Ok, better to just buy bottles of mineral water.
Alona Beach

Activities to enjoy in the Panglao island are scuba diving and dolphins watching. Due to our short stay on the island, we just spent the morning sunbathing on the smooth white sandy beach and swimming in the clear blue sea.

Sunset
Just sunbathing

Nice blue sea
Shops along Alona beach

In the afternoon we went for a massage.  There’s not much spa/massage place in Panglao. Instead, there’s masseurs offering massage & even manicure/pedicure service at the beach… heard is about 300 peso?  We did not try that.. no privacy.. and how to do mani/pedi on a sandy beach?

We found this place (sorry.. I forgot the name) it’s along the road towards the entrance of Alona beach somewhere near L’elephant Bleu Cottages. It was opened by a Japanese couple. Although not exactly cheap but the massage was good and all details attended to. One of the best massage I had esp in overseas. At the end of the session, dessert and tea was served as well.

Ho ho ho… it’s Christmas!!

I Love Bangkok!

突然好想去个shopping旅行,即便宜又方便的地方 — 曼谷也!! 召集了好姐妹们,便在四月时订了便宜的机票。。。准备十月曼谷大狂购。

Platinum Fashion Mall
@ Pratunam; nearest Sky Train: Chidlom, but is a good 15mins walk.

每次来曼谷就一定会来这里买时尚。真的,曼谷的时尚真的是比新加坡来得棒。。。可是很多人都认为品质不怎么样。其实呢,如果仔细搜寻,是可以找到便宜,质地又不赖的衣服, 包包。至少比起在新加坡的一些网站网购回来的还要好。通常我都能在这儿满载而归。。

Platinum Fashion Mall楼高6层,一排又一排的商店让你看了眼花缭乱。 如果错过了, 有可能就寻不会那间店了。 一天内也是逛不完的。  一天下来,眼花了,脚累了,心仍感慨万千直嚷嚷着 “还不够!!!”

购物商场顶楼是个foodcourt。 要尝泰国美食这里是不错的地方。记得先买储值卡在消费。饱餐后再退还。

下午茶时间我们必到在mall里的Black Canyon喝杯咖啡补充一下精力。 几年前Black Canyon曾进驻新加坡, 可是不久便撤离了。。可惜。。

Siam Paragon
这里其实没什么, 可我还是会来朝圣一次。 因为它basement的美食街。就好像咱们的Takashimaya 地下美食街一样的concept,可是Siam Paragon 的要大上几倍。食物种类繁多, 咖啡馆林立, 还有它的超市可昵美日本的超市。食物品种与品牌是多得数不清,让你目不暇接, 很多口味, 品牌在新加坡也找不到喔。

超市里有个salad bar 与soup bar。大大地一碗,超值,一定要试试,错过可惜。

看看以下肥美的花枝,配上泰式辣酱。。啊啊啊。。。过瘾!

在网上搜寻到这间咖啡馆。位于高尚住宅区,咖啡馆看起来很cozy, 草莓松饼看似美味。。啊, 一定要去! 在google map搜寻发现就在 Thong Lor sky train 附近。 而 Thong Lor 这里便有我们要去的Urban Spa Retreat, 曼谷包 Naraya。 还有Emporium mall 里也有Greyhound Cafe。 太棒了! 一网打尽。

Greyhound Cafe @ Emporium

Ok, 先说说 Greyhound Cafe 吧。其实就像我们的 PS. Cafe 喔。价格如同在新加坡cafe里, 食物味道也一般, 或许就是希望能泡泡一下咖啡馆, 消磨时光罢了。 我们光顾的是在 Emporium 的分店。明亮的店面,里头是座无虚席, 上班族们的午餐时间吧。里头很吵,我们就这样溺于一片声海之中。

Ohana Cafe
50/4 Sukhumvit Soi 24; Nearest Sky Train: Thong Lor (about 6mins walk)

它在一个幽静的角落。 附近都是公寓,旅游书上的解说是这一带居住的大多是日本与韩国人。沿路走着是一间间优雅小店,有非常日式的咖啡馆,服装店,按摩。。


Ohana 咖啡馆就悠闲的座落其中。看看装潢,好像是一个集装箱改装而成的。一颗颗树还从里头升沿而出呢。西式咖啡, 三文治, 草莓松饼, “熔岩”蛋糕。。下午懒洋洋的时光就在在这。。幸福啊! 虽然我引颈期待的草莓松饼并不怎么样,可是至少不像Greyhound cafe 那样吵杂。。咖啡馆的氛围有时才是最重要的。

TANGO Vibrant Living Place
http://www.tangobkk.com

这是我们这一趟旅行的住宿。 靠近Airport Line, 靠近Pratunam shopping,其实还能徒步走到Siam Paragon, Central World 一带,非常方便。酒店隔壁是一间海鲜餐馆, 价格合理, 食物也不错,所以我们也就没去Chinatown 吃中餐海鲜了。对了,还附相当丰富的自助早餐, 房间是鲜艳亮丽的颜色,舒适。还有,保安十足,凭保安卡进入酒店以及各个楼层。

p/s: 我们是在十月头前往曼谷的。我们幸运地避过了水灾。希望曼谷的洪灾能快快
结束,让曼谷市民可以快些回到自己的家园与生活。