Category Archives: Thailand 泰国

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..  🙂

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??

 

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。

我好朋友的生日 — 很大件事喔。。。。

四月三十日,我好友茵茵的生日。她是幸福的咯。隔天是五一劳动节假日,还几乎年年出国倒数生日。2005年我们在遥远的荷兰,阿姆斯特丹。2007年我们去了槟城。今年我们来到了泰国,曼谷。

在那,我一直在吃。食物太美味了。几乎每天一条鱼上桌,超便宜的,新币大概5至6元吧。一整条鱼叻,蒸,煎,炸,烤。。真爽。。哈哈哈。

Koh Samet是当地人爱来度假的海边。经过”千辛万苦”,3小时的巴士车程,选择很贵的15分钟speedboat,我们抵达Koh Samet。沙是细细的,白白的。海是蓝蓝的,还闪闪发光。美极了。

曼谷,这是我的第四次了。我不住热门酒店。我独爱背包者天堂Khao San路的Guesthouse。便宜又干净。我要远离家乡,这里我看不到他们。这里有独特的味道,流浪的味道。。。


泰国曼谷

泰国的曼谷是新加坡人热爱的旅游地点。离新加坡只有大概两小时多的飞行时间,是大家周末游的首选。那儿可是爱shopping的朋友们的天堂啊。什么Chatchuchat啦, MBK啦, WTC啦。。。数之不尽。在这些地方,杀价声不息,大家似乎都抱着杀价不成功便成仁的信念而来,可是来势汹汹啊。看着他们手上提着大小包的战利品,脸上也挂着满满的笑容。可却又行色匆匆,势必逛完各大小购物中心。要不便是夜夜在唐人街吃鱼翅,用燕窝漱口。在Patpong夜夜笙歌,夜夜宿醉。

我想,这就是大多数新加坡人所认识的曼谷吧。

其实我并不爱这样的曼谷。我爱的曼谷更精彩,更有活力,不忙碌,只有悠闲。我爱的曼谷在 — Khao San Road aka 背包客的天堂。

Khao San Road就好像一个社区,充满了社区活力。这里看到的多是各国的背包客。大家都聚集在这里,好像一家人,对彼此笑笑,道声”早安”,”晚安”。这里没有行色匆匆的脸,只有一副安逸的笑脸,优哉闲哉的感觉。

这里有最便宜的客房。这里有多间能为你办理去临近国家如缅甸,柬埔寨等国的签证,交通。这里有好吃的路边摊食物,可爱的咖啡馆,热情的小酒吧。。。

若果你想挽个形象,这里有刺青服务。想弄个黑人头,这里也有这样的服务。想学习泰拳,练习场在附近,外国人欢迎光临。一路旅行,手上的书看完了,就到二手书店与店家作个买卖吧。精疲力尽时,就来享受便宜的泰式按摩,让你再精力充沛起来。

Khao San Road临近 Chao Phraya River。享受坐在石凳上,喝着香浓咖啡对着河流发呆,不然便静静地看着河流上川流不息的船只运载着两岸的人们。发完了呆就踏上船,在两岸来回穿梭,也能感受当地人的生活作息。

突然想念街边烤面包的香味,路边那档香喷喷的烤鸡腿,真材实料的水果汁lorry stall。。。有机会请来这里体验一下不一样的曼谷吧。