Visiting Taichung and Taipei

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Taiwan always topped my favourite countries list. With it’s amazing street food and friendly locals, I looked forward to visiting Taiwan and this time round, my third. I have included Taichung into my itinerary, as my family and I have never been there before and we heard so much about Feng Jia Night Market – one of the biggest night markets in Taiwan. I can say the shopping  in Taichung is so much better as compared to Taipei! Got most of my loots from Yi Zhong Street and Feng Jia Night Market.

Did I also share that I got my air tickets at a steal? REAL STEAL! SIN – TPE with luggage was $80 only! Why? – Cause I got an eDM from Jetstar on it’s Friday Frenzy Deal and there was no time for consideration whilst booking these tickets, it was at $0! Dates plugged in and paid immediately!

I will be sharing my itinerary on how I plan and where I go during this 7 days in Taichung and Taipei;

Singapore to Taichung, Day 1

We made our way to Taichung via the High-Speed Rail (HSR) which took about an hour and so. There were many other bus and train transfers however it was the fastest route southwards. We stayed at Plaza Hotel, it was highly recommended by a friend who was a frequent Taiwan traveler, it is centrally located and very convenient! 

Miyaharu (Gong Yuan Yan Ke)Love the interior of Miyaharu, it’s very vintage-looking with many wooden structures. It is well-known for their pineapple tarts and other pastries in pretty boxes. We tried their ice-cream too, in my opinion I thought it was mediocre. Worth visiting for photo-taking and souvenir shopping.

Yi Zhong Street (Shopping Street)13346740_10153794782167746_1153649137424133019_n

It’s just like Orchard Road but in Taichung version! This street suits the young, funky crowd and they have many Korean-looking outfits in very good quality. Me like!

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I cannot stop raving about the street food in Feng Jia Night Market! They are so good, unique and fresh! Those prawns and squid are fantastic, I have never tasted anything like that in Singapore or Malaysia. We eventually found the highly-raved water pudding too! Noms. Felt that Feng Jia Night Market has the widest range of shopping varieties, from sneakers to clothing to accessories. I spend most of my money here though, heh!

Taichung Day 2

Rainbow Village
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The story of Taichung’s Rainbow Village and its famous creator Mr. Huang Yong-Fu has become quite well known throughout the country and is a fitting example of how a battle resist having his home torn down. Vibrant and lovely place for photo-taking!

Cing Jing Farm (Green Green Grassland)13432160_10153814553217746_815753679064023869_n

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Cingjing Farm is best known for it’s green pasture and fresh air. I think anyone visiting Taichung should come here! The downpour cleared up as soon as we reached the peak, thankfully. It’s scenic wild greenery and cloud mountainous view was breath-taking.

The Old England

Puli Winery 

We dropped by Puli Winery along the way, they are known for their Shao Xing wine. Personally, I thought we could skip this place of attraction as it’s really small and we can’t appreciate Chinese wine.

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At last, dinner was authentic local mee sua with oysters. I really enjoy Taiwanese mee sua as compared to conventional local mee sua in soup. Their broth is thick and very flavourful. I’m totally blown away with this mee sua our driver drove us to, he said if it’s not good, we don’t have to pay for it! I guess, he’s right. Too good we wanted nothing but more. Off to Yizhong street for more night market shopping! 🙂

Taichung, Day 3 –

921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan

921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan is dedicated to the 7.3 earthquake that struck the center of Taiwan at 01:47:12.6 TST on Tuesday, 21 September 1999. They preserve some of the remaining from the earthquake to serve as reminders to the public for them to be prepared in the future if such event happens again. Visiting this museum arouse many insights for me, especially fortunate Singaporeans. How natural disasters can be so close to us and how blessed it is to live in a safe country.

Sun Moon Lake 13343101_10153799211657746_4647591481646140727_n

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Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan with it’s scenic clear sparkling blue water set against a picturesque mountain backdrop. I am mesmerized with it’s beauty, that’s no wonder its amongst one of Taiwan’s top tourist destinations. We went with the boat tour and I tasted one of the best tea braised egg (金门阿么茶叶蛋) – at Xuan Guang Si pier.

Sun Moon Lake Wen Wu Temple (文武廟)

Along the way, we stopped by a temple namely Wen Wu Temple – on the Northern bank of the lake. The exterior was magnificent and we were in awe despite the rainy evening.

Transport in Taichung:

We booked a vehicle for Day 2 and 3 transport and 张师傅 is really kind and friendly, he brought us to many additional places out of our itinerary and was very fast to react on our requests. He is highly recommended and you can reach him via Whatsapp or Line at (+886) 919-037251.

Taichung to Taipei, Day 413394029_10153816161907746_255355654415959277_n

Time for Taipei! ❤

We departed Taichung to Taipei via High-Speed Rail (HSR) and Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) with a traveling time of approximately 1 hr 45 mins with all the waiting and transferring which is very much comparable to buses which takes about 2.5 hours with smooth traffic. One-way HSR from Taichung to Taipei costs SGD29, not that cheap thou. So I would advise anyone traveling to check on the traffic conditions before deciding which option to take.

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A definite must-go place in Taipei. The day and night crowd buzzing and the main point is our favourite must-eat  Ah Zong Mian Xian (阿宗麵線)! We did most of our masks shopping in XMD as there were many big brands here! Shopping in Taipei is as cheap as compared to many years back, but relatively still affordable as compared to Singapore.

Shi Da Night MarketImage Credits: Google.com

Shida (師大) night market is named after the nearby university of the same name, the crowd is definitely geared to the younger adults. That also brings out the shopping bug in us as there were many trendy and inexpensive shopping choices. As it is relatively smaller than other night markets, there were lesser food choices around however we did tried the best Polo Bun ever! It’s so crunchy on the outside on a soft bun! (The one with the longest queue, should be easy to find!)

Taipei, Day 5 –

Jiu Fen
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One of the attractions that I stay truly fond of is Jiu Fen. I enjoy strolling through alleys of shops with many eateries and they were all selling my favourite handmade taro balls dessert! Yums! Along the way, we tried out the famous shaved peanut ice-cream and rice cake too!

Golden Waterfall & YingYang Sea

As we are heading to our next destination, we dropped by Golden Waterfall and Ying Yang Sea – it was indeed a splendid sight for us! The origin of the name was attributed to the contrasting colours of blue and yellow of the sea.

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13315712_10153816161967746_2904193033596215466_nThe most well-known place for sky lanterns in Taiwan is definitely, Shi Fen. Along this railway track, you can find many shops selling food, souvenirs and mainly lanterns. Soaking up the sky lantern atmosphere and joining the fun was so easy. Most shop owners even offer free photo-taking services too!

Shenkeng Old Street

Shenkeng Old Street is best known as Tofu street! It was my first time visiting and we could all smell stinky tofu from afar! I really thought this is a less touristy place and nice to explore! They have really special tofu food you can never find them elsewhere! I had the most delicious tofu mochi ever!! Too yummy we bought a few back home!

Wu Fen Pu Shopping Street

I was utterly disappointed with the shopping at WFP, unlike 4 years back. Things were cheap and there were many quality clothing! But why?! There were literally nothing to buy as the service and clothing quality was bad, really bad! All the prices were jacked up and shopping at night markets were so much a better experience and enjoyment!

Rou He Night Market  

One of my favourite night market in Taipei! They have the yummiest and freshest barbecue seafood such as prawns, oysters and clams! Not forgetting grilled abalones, scallops, mushrooms and the most delicious long-queue pepper bun! Love the filling! Noms.

Taipei, Day 6 –

Addiction Aquatic Development 上引水產13427798_10153816161832746_3669107607295211465_n

13417671_10153816161822746_509451355340316437_nHeard so much about this large Japanese-style supermarket with it’s fresh seafood and aquamarine products and many restaurants and kiosks! We just had to see what’s in deal for us! We waited for our turn at the Seafood bar and literally drooled over this huge plate of Uni that cost less than SGD50! There’s no seats at all for Seafood & Sushi bar and the crowd management could have been better I thought.

Best advice: Avoid public holidays and weekends!

Shi Lin Night MarketOne of the most renowned night market in Taipei, it’s indoor food area seems very much like Singapore’s food court. Shilin is the longest and largest standing night market! Oh and that’s the popular street food called the 棺材板 – Coffin Toast Bread!

Get ready to spent about 2-3 hours shopping and eating here!

Taipei to Singapore, Day 7 – 

Exploring Taipei on foot was really easy with our pocket wifi router, we even had our morning run around town! But I must say the air in Taiwan isn’t as clean as compared to Singapore and it could be the amount of motorcycles on road or the petrol they used. Therefore we concluded Taiwanese always had masks on them! With lesser greens around, their air quality is really not too good. So, before heading out for a jog – think again okay!

13419172_10153809222492746_1501789821421692354_nHappen to chance upon Pablo Taiwan near Taipei Main Station and we packed 1 back! This cheese tart is so huge and 4 of us struggle to finish it off! It was soft and delectable but I prefer savory cheese dessert! Boo 😦

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Traveling seems to be my best stress reliever and being happy is so easy. I truly enjoy traveling with my loved ones, it’s nothing but blissful. Traveling need not be expensive and the truth is – it can be really cheap if everything is well-planned and budgeted for!

*Top tips for budget traveling

  1. Sign up for airlines eDM (Electronic Direct Mailer) and grab the promotional deals soon as possible! Return from Taiwan at $80, trust me! Plus, don’t miss out without calling respective tourism bureau to check if there’s any travel freebies up for grab! For Taiwan, you can reach Taiwan Visitors Association via phone 6223 6546 or visit this blog for more information!*
  2. Do as much research as possible! Know which route to take before heading out aimlessly. By having a plan, you will be able to tell which is the cheapest route to your destination!
  3. Wifi router is so important for free and easy travelers! Always check for the best deal on renting or the cheapest SIM card that provides sufficient data roaming while traveling. Having a wifi router allows you to search and navigate like a local! Uber VS Exorbitant taxi fares! We saved quite a bit on this too! (Changi Recommends offer great discounts on certain travel location and we got UNLIMITED WIFI for $5 per day only!)

xoxo ♥

Australia Adventure – Hot Air Balloon Gold Coast

Gliding up the sky in the hot-air balloon is nothing but spectacular. A flying basket literally, with a huge fire torch above! It have shown me the best view of a sunrise and land full of floating-clouds. Yet another strike off my bucket list! 🙂

Have you wonder how it feels like to have a scenic screensaver-worthy-just-like-some-google-images right in front of you? Impressive. I was in awe when I saw the beautiful big balloons for the very first time in my life. Hot-air ballooning still felt so unbelievably true even till today.Breathtaking, you call that.

This was the view I captured before our balloon rose up from the ground. It was a beautiful day and the weather was perfect for ballooning. Even though, getting up at 3:00AM was the biggest struggle for us. But everything was worth it. No words can describe being 3500ft above ground, on a rattan basket and a fire torch above us. The sunrise view and land clouds were so beautiful.

My family and I were first-timers on hot-air ballooning. Therefore, we seek many opinions and did many research before deciding on Hot Air Gold Coast. We were given 2 standard choices of a half-an-hour ride OR an hour ballooning, and we went ahead with an hour balloon ride. It was a definite choice as it was timely-sufficient and we were able to take our photos and simply enjoying the scenic view leisurely.

There were about 24 of us in 1 hot air balloon and we were instructed to get in one by one – climbing in to the basket. Next, we were greeted by the most experienced with the record for most reliable balloon ride take-offs pilots on board and we were ready to set off ground!

I can say the experience high up there was really different from what we initially thought. We were absolutely wrong about bringing our jackets to the balloon, as there were already a huge fire “heater”above our heads. It was pretty warm when the fire was turned on to change the direction/movement upwards. We were also told that there were as much as 40 landing spots for the balloon to descend.

Did you know, Hot Air balloons stand taller than a ten storey building?

From top, we saw many greenery and dot-like animals. They look so tiny from afar!

What a relaxing ride! Breathing in the freshest air in an wide-open space of greens and amazing spectacle of other balloons in the morning sky. I can never have another morning like this!

Have I also commended on their customer service excellence? All the staff I liaised with in Hot Air Gold Coast were absolutely friendly and prompt in their response! Over on their website, there’s a chat tab which is really easy and convenient – I could chat with them anytime! Otherwise offline, an automated email will be send to your e-mail.




Thank you Hot Air Gold Coast for a spectacular and incredible experience I will never forget in my life. It was a perfect end to a perfect morning in the air! Before we ride off to O’Reilly Vineyard  for our breakfast and champagne, we all got ourselves our very own commemorative flight certificate! Yay! ❤

Scenic Queensland, how much we adore you and enjoyed everything in placed for us. If you ever get a chance to ride on a hot air balloon, anywhere, just do it. It will be an unforgettable experience, you won’t regret.

Price ranges from AUD$280 onwards inclusive of Oreillys Canungra Valley Vineyard Full Hot Breakfast and Champagne. Hop over to Hot Air Balloon Gold Coast Facebook page to find out more about them!


Hot Air Gold Coast

Address: 23 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia
Phone:+61 1300 766 887

Opening Hours: Everyday from 8:00am  to 8:00pm for bookings 

Hot Air Ballooning starts from 3:30AM – 5:30AM.

(Pick up from accommodation in Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Main Beach or meet at Nerang or Canungra.)

Australia Adventure – Gold Coast Skydive

Maybel 0135This must be one of the best feeling in the world!

*Tick* on my bucket list! I have always wanted to try skydiving as I’m one who sought for fun and thrill. It isn’t just about being brave but to experience the adrenaline rush of leaping out of a plane is so exhilarating! I enjoyed it so much I would do it again anytime!

When my family decided on our trip to Australia, I was so determined to have it all planned out! I went to many social sites on skydiving and came across Gold Coast Skydive. Gold Coast seems like the perfect place for me as I enjoy being out in the sun, sand and sea and I thought why not do my skydiving and land on the beautiful soft sand along Kirra Beach? Moreover, there were many good reviews about Gold Coast Skydive and I was so decided.

The admin supports by Gold Coast Skydive was awesome! Like everyone else, I bombarded them with some of the most frequent questions one can ask and they were so professional and prompt in their response. I got their replies almost immediate or the day after as there were a 2 hours time difference from Queensland and Singapore.

Maybel 0009 Special thanks for my skydive tandem master, Steve – who is a very experienced skydiving master and he had done more than 20,000 jumps till date! Yes, he is 60 years old and I am so amazed how he could have so much energy in him. He was very encouraging throughout my skydiving experience from the time I stepped into the office, to getting ready and till the minute I leap off the plane 12,000 ft above ground.

I was constantly reassured by him on the safety measures. He was so attentive to my nervousness he tried to calm things down and reminded me that I was in good hands. Not just that, he commented that I was doing well and was a very brave girl to have come this far. I thought little things like that meant so much to me as it empowered me. I was somehow mentally prepared for my first leap. 

On our way to the airport, I casually mentioned to Steve that W was doing this skydive with me – without hesitation, he initiated a picture for the both of us ♥
Maybel 0036 Maybel 0038 Maybel 0044 Maybel 0053 Maybel 0056I was the last to board the plane and so I will be the first to go. Sitting by the door-less plane (with safety belts of cause) the experience was nothing describable. The view was breathtaking and phenomenal! We were literally 12,000 ft above ground and above clouds. I was the first to take the lead when Steve patted me on my shoulder and gave me a signal to get ready for our jump. I was nervous yet excited to experience the 200km/h free-fall and to view Gold Coast from a different light. I was ready.
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Yes, I did it! It was all worth it! The only regret that I had was it ended too quickly. I have never seen myself smiling so happily and simply being myself. The one who’s fearless and enjoys thrill at it’s best. For those who are hesitating, I can say everyone is afraid of heights initially but it takes courage and passion about enjoying the thrill. If you would ask me –  I am definitely going to do it again! The experience was nothing but awesome and it will be fond memories I bring forward in my life. Maybel 0208Maybel 0215Once again, many thanks to the team in Gold Coast Skydive and the one standing next to me with all my crazy adventures. I’m so glad to have you by my side. 

If you are heading to Gold Coast and planning to do a skydive, you’re in for a great deal! Gold Coast Skydive offer free pickups from hotels in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. They are really easy to liaise with, just drop them an email and book your slots. Be quick as they get quite a bit of bookings all around the world! Lastly, I would advise the early morning jump slots of 5.30am/6.30am/7.30am as the day breaks and the sunrise view is simply fantastic and breathtaking! 

xoxo ♥


 

Gold Coast Skydive

Add: 1/78 Musgrave Street, Kirra, 4225

Tel:(07) 5599 1920

Email: info@goldcoastskydive.com.au

Time: 8am – 5:30pm

Click here to Book Now 

PADI Open Water Experience

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One of the best experience ever. Swimming with the fishes and staying underwater is so cool, literally! If you haven’t tried diving before, then you are missing out a whole lot of adventure and fun.

We had our first diving adventure with Sunny Cove  and their instructors were very professional and most importantly, they focus on safety techniques and how to be confident in water. And, I thought these were the vital techniques for a beginner diver. We went to Tioman Island, Malaysia for our 2d1n diving experience!11665761_10153071049027746_2853869125636312730_n
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We were on this swimming platform throughout our Day 1 dive. One by one, with an aid of a thick rope – we were being led down to the sea bed with a depth of less than 5m. Instructed to make our way underwater by deflating our BCD also known as Buoyancy Control Device and at the same time equalising slowly  as to prevent the sudden increment of pressure in the ears and lungs. I guess this must be the most challenging part of our diving experience.

The fear of being underwater in the sea is so much different from our usual pool session. Plus, making our way down to the sea-bed for the first time and to perform safety skills such as removing our mask & re-wearing it, and to share air with a buddy.

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After a few attempts of getting underwater, we kind of got used to it and find it extremely enjoyable and fun! Even though W nose bleed a little, as he had some trouble equalising. We were told by our instructor that it was a very common ‘injury’ for first-timers, just as long as we don’t bleed from our ears we are good. Haha!

Day 2 dives session were absolutely breath-taking. We were all able to better control our buoyancy, get under-water within a minute and simply, enjoy our dive. We saw many fishes like puffer-fish and trigger fish (ZOMG, first time for our Tioman instructor too!), turtles, black tip shark and many beautiful corals.11216824_10153071050722746_749052802534083407_n

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I am so glad to have them during my Open Water Diving experience. It was unforgettable with many fun moments in & out of the water.

I guess the love for diving is the surreal feeling you get to experience underwater, controlling your own breathing and movement around. Nothing but yourself. Nothing but peace. I can’t wait for us going on our next course! 2016, hopefully! 🙂 11693883_10153071049862746_1193704644535086774_n

XOXO

Kelong Times

10501748_10153059244962746_4428954599144904213_n This is definitely one of the best travel experience with the ones I loved most. Having nothing with us, but so much love and laughter. Getting away from the hectic city buzz to somewhere quiet and peaceful. Enjoying the sea breeze and simply, doing nothing.

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10402437_10153059245092746_5049247166291043838_n11018110_10153059245202746_6649843646287613942_nEvery meal is so huge on the Kelong! We had our fair share of seafood in every single meal as being near to the sea, seafood were freshest and sweetest. We had 3 full meals, tea-break snacks and supper everyday! Oh yes, plus those durians we had everyday.

11261678_10153059698697746_8860901532010382172_n (1)As Father’s Day falls on that weekend, I specially requested for a cake to be brought from Kawal town all the way to the Kelong for all daddies on board! It was such a heart-warming sight to see them all healthy and active at their age.11054483_10153059699042746_2237577254274723747_nMy family and I enjoy outdoor activities very much therefore we love being at places near the sea, getting sun-soaked and exploring new things. We had so much fun catching small fishes and squids. I believe this runs in the family – we just love being carefree. All of us are closely knitted to one another and we simply enjoy doing things together. I hope that in future, my own family will embrace such closeness and love.

Growing up, I know my parents are growing older as well. The more I feel that time is precious with them. The only thing I wish for them now is to have good health, always.

10412017_10153059705012746_6534837505300869401_n1625623_10153059704992746_5336666090147880963_nSome of the bigger catch during the 3 days stay in the Kelong! Fishing was never my kind of activity but personally, I enjoy the surreal feeling of peace it brings to me. The waiting can be annoying for me at least, but it teaches me how patience and luck plays a part in everything that we do. No rush, no hurry – just practice, wait and you will get it. I see it all on W’s effort in fishing because he had the most practice and he was the one with the most catch. Proud of you! 10250303_10153059244932746_7161505313291201909_n11008544_10153059721542746_9138317694400055737_n10277710_10153059721982746_8123327465005887694_nCan’t wait for the next getaway with them again, till then. Xx

Ipoh and Cameron Highlands Trip

Finally, got the time to pen down my reflection trip back to Ipoh and Cameron Highlands with the family! This trip was a long planned by W for my family and closest relatives to visit his hometown. He did many arrangements for transport and lodging, not forgetting the planning of the itinerary with his parents.

Therefore, those time together was really precious to me and W. Seeing them getting together, having fun, relaxing and enjoying every moment with the family was just worth every single bit of tedious planning back behind. It was my parents’ first trip to Ipoh and my 8th? I still enjoy going back every time, with the good food, companion and little things that brings you back from the city life to a slower pace town. One of my favourite place, still.

10348454_10152328109882746_5392065589208809365_nEvery where was place-perfect for #ootd shots! Anyhow, you can see a wall back drop or a vintage looking street, just anywhere around the streets of Ipoh. 10385297_10152328109207746_2091740215560644256_n10354946_10152288619337746_1273156175075705492_nStreet painting along Ipoh Old Town, drawn by famous Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic who also did old streets art along George Town, Penang too! Blending in the environment, these street painting depict scenes of local cultural day-to-day activities. Adding a touch of liveliness and warmth to the quiet alleys. I love these Kopi-O painting best!

10441474_10152328109852746_7508683052354982550_nWhen talking about Ipoh, we think about food, food and more food! One of the food haven in the world, yes, they have the best bean sprouts, steamed chicken, white coffee, smoothest flat rice noodles Hor Fun, Dim Sum, Assam Laksa and seafood. It is true that Malaysia have the best food in the world, fusion cuisine to Chinese style food never go wrong. We can never get to taste such traditional food in Singapore anymore, that explains why more people are driving/traveling up to places like Ipoh and Penang just for their food. 10563020_10152328116422746_5159203864196334164_n

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Here’s a website on the famous eateries in Ipoh. Not forgetting, home-cooked dishes! I love the Sour Chicken best and will be mastering this recipe soon! The home brew soup was simmered for 4 hours, which explains the thickness and rich colour with the sweetest taste. Cooking at home warms our heart even more, as cooking takes much effort and time. From the buying to the preparation to the cooking and lastly, to the washing. Therefore, be appreciative for the people who cook for you. It isn’t as easy as eating and only mothers goes through trouble like this, to bring out the best on the table.

Enjoying the pretty sunset from MH Hotel, Ipoh. The beauty of nature, simplest yet so fulfilling. Allowing me to do some reflections in life, on how sometimes we take things so seriously. Being on a trip, make me realized how fortunate I am to be here, living and enjoying time with my family. Appreciative and contented. I realized that nothing is more significant than our family presence and being together. Sometimes, we all chase after material things like a house, a car, a dream trip or even that branded bag. Neglecting the people around us, chasing after dreams that is selfishly yours.

But I thought living on for my loved ones is significantly more important than chasing that selfish dream. Providing them with what I have is the best thing I could ever do, right now. I don’t want to live my life with regrets not providing or spending enough time with them. Take effort, plan and travel with the family. That can only be the best thing on Earth.

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The smiles on your faces, priceless.10494592_10152328055872746_4901708489541400956_n1970553_10152328061582746_2472482968750444866_n 10530941_10152328053687746_6569794349918871799_n 10568935_10152328061392746_4875058250480035677_n1920173_10152328066267746_1871826667038857951_n IMG_9651

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More like a reflection post instead of my usual food introductory post. A time to rest and refresh the mind to focus on the right things. We may not be the richest, but contentment makes a wealthy man ♥

Malacca Getaway

image_15_zpsfcc56072Planned for a short getaway with W for the longest time, and we both decided on the nearest town to explore; Malacca aka Melaka. We booked bus tickets from Starmart Express priced at $45 per pax (two-way). The bus was comfortable and spacious, making the 3 hours drive pleasant!

Day 1

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This was the first time I traveled to Malacca and was so excited after seeing photos and reviews online about the delicious food around Malacca Town! One of which is definitely the chicken rice balls originated from Malacca, and that was our first stop once we reach Malacca Central.

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We visited Kedai Kopi Chung Hwa which is known to be the best chicken rice ball stall in Malacca. The famous queue was a 35 minutes wait and finally both of us got ourselves a table! Excitedly, we ordered our usual portion. The chicken rice balls are served in a plate of 5, golf-ball sized. Chicken rice balls are steamed rice with chicken stock, cooked with extra water for more sticky texture for the rice balls shaping purposes. Not forgetting, the smooth and silky steamed kampong chicken served with thick ginger sauce. The combination of both sums up a perfecto meal! Combining it with their garlic chilli sauce, I guess I had the best chicken rice balls ever! Both W and I gorged out on 1 whole chicken! *Rub tummy*

chickenriceballs

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Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
18, Jalan Hang Jebat,
75200 Melaka

Opening hours: 7.30am – 3.00pm

After our meal, we headed to Jonker Street for some street shopping and realized that there were many antiques shop and vintage street backgrounds for awesome OOTD shots! Not just that, but Jonker Street is full of cute character themed boutique shop, like Hello Kitty, Mr Potato and Mamee Monster! Too cute!

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10336826_10152186443142746_3104071555373021667_n1504020_10152186443082746_3430763792122263117_nCute little eggs popsicle ice! SAMSUNG CSCWe came across I Sayang Bikes(单车生活馆) across Jonker Street and saw bicycle rental for just RM3/hour. Under such cooling nice weather, we thought it would be a great idea to explore town further with our bicycles instead of just walking around the same area. It was such a pleasant experience as it was my first time cycling in a foreign grounds, amusing. I like the idea of having control of where we are heading and being flexible in that sense. Cycling seems to be one of the best way to explore and travel.

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After our little adventure tour we had, Jash came over to pick us up. Both Jash and Huizhen came up from Kuala Lumpur to meet us! Glad we made time and effort for this short getaway together, cause we miss each other too much! They bought us to Malacca’s most famous food; Satay Celup at Capitol Satay.

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Satay Celup is very popular in Malacca and exclusively famous. We see lok lok everywhere in Malaysia, but it is just not the same. Both Jash and Huizhen go to Capitol Satay every time they visited Malacca. Renowned for its ridiculously long queues, we arrived at 4.45pm and waited near 2 hours for a table. The queue were the length of 7 shop houses!

Capitol Satay operates from 5pm and queues starts forming even before 4pm! WHAT?! This is the one and only Capitol Satay Celup in Malacca, they do not have any brother, sister or other branches. Satay celup is also known as steamboat satay, where sticks of raw or semi-cooked meat and vegetables are dipped into a boiling pot of satay gravy for several minutes. There is a very wide assortment available and each stick cost RM 1, randomly customers who ate more were given big prawns and scallops which cost RM 1 too! That’s the catch!

10177344_10152186446112746_4847563886986481530_n10374901_10152186446187746_5689382218594009905_n 10295705_10152186446282746_5503711577643235216_n10330441_10152186446232746_1597277214805911442_n10390899_10152186446417746_4277967083561055603_nOur big prawn of the day! 🙂

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Capitol Satay

41, Lorong Bukit Cina, 75100, Melaka, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Daily from 5pm (Closed on Mondays)

Being the lead of the day, Jash bought us to “Longkang Siham (Back Alley Si Ham) located near Madam King Shopping Complex. Packed with more than 40 years of history, I felt like I was in a reverse time-zone! There is no such back alley food stalls in Singapore or any part of Malaysia, except in Malacca. They sold boiled cockles also known as si ham, calms (la la), prawns, cuttlefish with kang kong and 4 Treasures which includes beancurd skin, fried dough, fish cakes and tofu. Super yummy!

1798580_10152186441027746_1496855107436089059_n10334366_10152186441487746_7920215711081224896_n10401865_10152186441432746_7425242800850024731_n10340135_10152186441382746_8033755366386312214_n10369602_10152186441327746_4724173132094228518_n10363877_10152186441272746_621832190800976147_nLongkang Siham
Off Jalan Bunga Raya Lane, Melaka
(near Madam King Complex)

Open from: 7.30pm onwards

Much needed walk along Jonker Street; Pasar Malam (Night Market). We got ourselves lots of goodies from vegetables cutter to shower tap to glues to towels! Heh!

10314580_10152186441207746_8752784795765360519_nDay 2

Rise and shine! Headed to a coffee shop where W’s relative introduced us for breakfast. I love their toasts as they uses charcoal instead of a electric stove. We had steamed and toasted bread with coffees!

10390416_10152186440437746_502744512376423907_nTried their local laksa too! A lot like the ones in Singapore, curry mee + beehoon.

10325371_10152186440562746_6417639230665343504_nJash drove us outskirt of Malacca Town to try this! He raved so much about it and wanted us to try the Coconut Shake! It was a 20 minutes drove from town. Just look at the amount of coconuts here! Woah! Must be really good business! 10366082_10152186440337746_1823943556071989075_n

10269586_10152186440257746_6220181965464287843_nYummy-licious Coconut Shake! I like! Refreshing and cooling for the warm day! 1979848_10152186440192746_3740897221084490692_n

As we had the best chicken rice ball yesterday, we decided to head back again for more! I will miss this very much! Even W was full of praise with Chung Wah chicken rice balls! Yes, that is a crazy amount of 40 rice balls. Let’s dig in!

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What’s a trip to Malacca without eating Chendol? We had the original chendol with Gula Melaka along Jonker Street. Chendol is typically made of coconut milk, green starched noodles with pandan flavoring, red beans, shaved ice and palm sugar.

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ONE BITE DURIAN PUFFS! This was listed a must-try along Jonker Street and Jash suggested that we each try one, even though we are stuffed to the brim! Non-stop eating trip! But it was worth the calories! The durian puff burst inside your mouth and oozes! Slurps.
10366038_10152186437982746_6091225332724128000_n10257987_10152186437792746_6610949583806603476_nVisited A Famosa, a Portuguese fortress located in Malacca after shopping at Pahlawan Shopping Mall. A Famosa is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in South East Asia. The Porta de Santiago, a small gate house, is the only remaining part of the fortress still standing. 10380998_10152186436827746_9210027534214334445_n 10402992_10152186436952746_1383901395420448585_nBefore heading to Malacca, I have heard all about their famous mille crepes cakes! When Windie learned that we were going to Malacca, she urged us to try the Mille Crepes from Nadeje and also warned us that they usually sell out by evening. Nadeje is conveniently located at Mahkota Parade, which was nearJonker Street.

Mille crepes are not kueh lapis. The multi-layered cake is made of fresh homemade custard cream and is best eaten chilled. Four of us shared 2 slices of cake, as we were too stuffed from chicken rice, durian puffs and chendol. Burp.

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10367155_10152186437472746_4391536904321921441_nSumming up the 2d1n short getaway with W, Jash and Huizhen. Taking a break from work and other stuffs, just have fun and eat non stop! Thankful for the trip and I will be back to Malacca for chicken rice balls and satay celup! Yummy!10366084_10152182401562746_7292357033532070019_n

Sawadeeka

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I’m back with a full post and massive pictures of my Bangkok Retreat.

I’m glad to be part of this fully sponsored trip by my company as a reward for staff performance and to enhance team bonding. Thankful for the chance and opportunity that was given. Definitely throughout this short retreat, all of us grew closer and I thought these experiences together were priceless.

Day 1

Itinerary checked! Checked into our hotel, Grass Suites @ Thonglor. Spacious with a standard living room, 2 toilets and with basic amenities; fridge, microwave, washing machine and stove for cooking!

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10003421_10152100826257746_1683447971_nWeekend first stop will be Chatuchak Market! The hot weather was drying us up, and all of us were soaked in sweat before the shopping starts. Nonetheless, we combed through Chatuchak Market and shopped for almost everything there.

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Felicia and me, slurping up the freshest orange juice to quench our thirst!

532286_10152100048102746_49227007_nFirst meal of the day; Beef Spicy Noodles Soup. The cost of about B40 (approximately $1.60). Yummy and rich soup base with free flow of raw bean-sprouts! Portion size was relatively small in Thailand, this is also the reason why locals here are especially slim.

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Pork Knuckle was also the staple food for the Thais too. The girls love it! We had a short tea break in between our shopping and indulged in local delights! Thai food has always been my favourite! I love how rich, spicy & sour taste of Thai delights. Indulging on mango or vermicelli salads is mega love!

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The best thing in Chatuchak Market is the… Coconut ice cream! It is a must-try if you ever visit BKK. After lunch, all of the girls were too filled to have this. But after trying on mine, all of them went to bought one each! The rich coconut taste, best for such burning weather, with a buffet array of toppings from sweet corn, chendol, atap seeds, jelly and red beans. Big love!

1922288_10152100047977746_880751879_n10168092_10152100823142746_651695639_nShirley and me with our coconut ice-cream!

10014565_10152100048072746_1648794686_n 10153047_10152100048017746_807306720_nAfter a long day of shopping at Chatuchak Market, we all headed to Ramen King at A-square for dinner. Yummy sushi to fill the hungry tummies! I thought that their sashimi were better than the ones in Singapore, much fresher and sweeter!

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Thank goodness for affordable and good massage along the streets of Thonglor, to save the aching tired feet! Our first day was definitely well spent.

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Ramen King
A-Square 128 Soi Sukhumvit 26 (Soi Aree)
Klong toey, Bangkok 10110
Tel.: 02 116 5791

Day 2

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10153659_10152096806543918_6538668757726480794_nStarted the day at Pratunam area and we were all famished, awaiting to try SabX2 Wanton Mee! Heard so much about this famous noodles and can’t wait to sink my teeth in them. It comes with a small portion of springy yellow noodles, topped with greens and red roast pork and a couple of soup dumplings. The noodles were probably the best part of the dish – bouncy and chewy! Coupled with a plate of pig trotters again, and we girls finished a whopping 16 bowls of wanton noodles for 8!

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Shopping and more shopping around Pratunam Market and Platinum Mall. Everything seems to be calling me out to bring them back to Singapore! Prices range as low from $2 for a top to $4 for a jump suit (depending on material and cutting).

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Never miss a night in Bangkok without a massage, we headed to Yunomori Onsen & Spa for the fix. Yunomori Onsen & Spa is the first authentic Japanese Onsen in Bangkok, Thailand. With the blending of these multiple elements into this authentic Onsen experience, it serves as a path of retreat with various form of hydrotherapy: hot and cold baths, sauna, steams and showers. Joanne and me tried out their onsen, and felt like we were in Japan! Onsen is known to detoxify the body system and helps in blood circulation.

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After our onsen and massage, we headed to Wine I Love You for our dinner. The food was fantastic and affordable. Definitely recommended and will be back for their food!

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4/32-33 Soi Petchburi 19
Pratunam, Bangkok, Thailand
Tel.: 02 653 9618

湯の森温泉&スパ / YUNOMORI ONSEN & SPA
A-Square 120/5 Soi Sukhumvit 26
Klongton,Klongtoney, Bangkok
Tel.: 02 259 5778

Wine I Love You
A-Square Soi Sukhumvit 26
Klongton,Klongtoney, Bangkok
Tel.: 088 696 3100
Mon – Sun11:00 am – 1:00 am

Day 3

Sourcing for roadside fruits stall is a must everyday. I love their Thai mangoes especially. Common sight along streets fulled with doses of vitamins.

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1531655_10152103688272746_7806922822482758265_nWeather is too hot 😦 was sweating so badly that sweat droplets are dripping literally. Heh. Detoxing under such weather.

10245484_10152103683752746_1530510219953047417_nDidn’t miss out on having my favourite Tom Yam during this trip!

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The best thing about this trip will be the companion altogether. Being able to shop together and staying up late to chat about everything from boobs to babies! A great time to bond and understand one another more. Thankful :’)

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Till then, hope you enjoyed this post! 🙂

私は日本が大好き(Part 3 & 4)

1904126_10152030065622746_2114952416_nHello snow! Today will be an exciting start off as we depart to Mount Fuji! One of the favourite attractions in the world! And for me, a strike off that bucket list finally. Mount Fuji, also known as富士山 Fujisan is located on Honshu Island and is one of the highest mountains in Japan at 3,776.24m.

1924797_10152030064107746_1076672854_n1779171_10152030065467746_1092067423_n1010980_10152030066897746_562434035_n1508068_10152030065947746_804661036_nStill, because of the snow and wet floor, we conquered the 1st Station of Mount Fuji only. It would be dangerous and slippery to travel up to Mount Fuji during snowy weather, the best  month to climb Mount Fuji will be July and August. During these two months the mountain is usually free of snow and the weather is relatively mild. Experiencing the snow and going up to Mount Fuji seems unbelievable still, till now.

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The perfect cool weather allows Mount Fuji to stand out and was visible from every corner nearby, especially at Gotemba Premium Outlet Shopping. Gotemba Premium Outlet Shopping carries big labels and one of the flagship center, situated within view of World Cultural Heritage site, Mount Fuji. I bought Helio Pole green boots and GAP navy green jacket! They were in such a great deal and couldn’t resist buying them within minutes of trying. Heh! Indeed, a shopping haven.1604396_10152030073837746_891978547_n1625621_10152030071437746_237965835_n1622011_10152030058637746_286517575_n1620587_10152030069232746_206245365_n

Lunch time! We went to Oshino Hakkai also known as 忍野八海, a small village in the Fuji Five Lake region. They sell food like Mount Fuji tofu and crab roll, super interesting and yummy! We also had a simple udon set for lunch, slurping up a piping hot bowl of soup is one of the best thing ever in such a cold weather! Yummy tummies!

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Followed on, we took a bus to Nagoya for BBQ dinner (didn’t have photos as we were too famished)! We visited Nagoya TV Tower and Oasis 21, it seems like Nagoya’s very own “Tokyo Tower”.  That’s about for Day 3, a short yet fulfilling day! (Image credits: Google)


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Morning Kyoto! We arrived in Kyoto town after a 2 hours bus journey and our 1st station of the day will be Kiyomizu Temple, also known as Kiyomizudera or 清水 (literally “Pure Water Temple”) is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. Certain parts of the temple were under construction during our visit there, but not overwhelming impact. Later in the decade, the main hall will also undergo renovation which can be expected to have a bigger impact on a visit.

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We also got some Japanese good luck charms, omamori also known as お守り. There are a wide variety of omamori for the young to the old. Blessings to be with people who carries them around. We also saw many Japanese girls dressed up in their kimonos and going to the temple. So cute! Thereafter, we went around shopping near the streets of Kiyomizu Temple and tried out their specialties Matcha cream puff! So good!

1618631_10152030654627746_82944347_n1660446_10152030655902746_140847992_n1800309_10152030652607746_1363198515_n1655913_10152030646482746_1305918731_n1800486_10152030653192746_1384939960_nLunch time! Traveling is all about eating and more eating! Today we are served with Tempura feast! Both rice and noodles were served, with a plate of ebi, chicken and fish tempura.

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Proceeding to take on Japan JR Shinkansen Bullet Train to Osaka, traveling at the maximum speeds of 240–320 km/h. Both daddy and I was Vicks fanatic and was applying it while on the train ride! Hahaha! Mentholatum is best!

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1922359_10152030647072746_660507885_nWe reached our destination within 15 minutes! The weather in Osaka was fantastic! It was at about 16 degree Celsius, grab-a-jacket-and-go kind of weather! I like! 🙂 It was easier for us without the thick jackets and long john, wearing them for days sometimes feels like a chore! We alighted at our first station at Osaka Castle Park also know as 大阪城公園, it is a public urban park with many locals doing their usual workout routine. Love the weather and people around. Moreover, in Spring this will be one of the best place to view cherry blossom and plum blossom! Look at the bald trees here, within a month they will bloom into blossoms!

1796604_10152030659102746_674152589_n1653619_10152030647407746_1881489_nTAKOPACHI! Just queue and eat only! I really like their pull out store from the mini van. So cute! Japanese are always the best at innovation!
1958223_10152030659992746_1947654281_n 1972257_10152030649622746_1459468959_n1921895_10152030660242746_780519391_nYay! It’s shopping time! We went to Shinsaibashi, the main shopping area of Osaka. Shinsaibashi is famous for its covered shopping street. We went insane with the amount of cosmetics, collagen powder, supplements and creams available in stores! Those Japanese girls are so well-groomed and health conscious. Crossing to Dotonbori, a popular tourist destination, it is famous for its giant crab and other restaurants. We combed Daiso, with so many “special” products” not available in Singapore retailing at $1.20 only! Buy buy buy!

1900158_10152030660872746_1009276851_n1621864_10152030661102746_992617672_n1655860_10152030661042746_51473235_n1979553_10152030661297746_575379577_nそれは食べる時間です! After the crazy shopping along the streets, we came by dinner with our long await Shabu-Shabu dinner and Kobe Beef.

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What’s so special about Kobe Beef?

Kobe beef is considered by many to be the best form of beef available in the world, although it is prohibitively expensive and importation from Japan is virtually impossible. Therefore, you will never get to taste Kobe Beef in any part of the world expect in Japan! Gourmet chefs prize Kobe beef for its tenderness, flavor and amount of intramuscular fat, called marbling. Heavy marbling gives steak its satisfying mouth-feel.

I am absolutely in love! It was an expensive add-on for Kobe beef to be served on our dinner plates, but it was worth it. Each slice of this Kobe cost us $125, here’s 2 and that’s $250. The meat is so tender and it practically melt in your mouth. Awww…Delicious! Grilling it brings the best out of Kobe beef, as we can taste the meat directly instead of heavy cooking or ingredients-adding.

1904121_10152030712332746_926680783_n10001545_10152030712282746_794966263_nThat’s about it for Day 3 and 4! To the next! ♡

 

私は日本が大好き(Part 2)

Day 2

Rise and shine Tokyo! After a well rested night the day before we are all ready to explore town! ♡

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Temperature checked; 4 degree Celsius .

The first station was Tokyo Skytree also known as 東京スカイツリー Tōkyō Sukaitsurī. It is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo and became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010 as it reached its full height of 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the Canton Tower. It was a touch and go view from opposite side of the road, therefore not much time was wasted here.

Source of information: Wikipedia

1911808_10152027326327746_238634897_n1888660_10152027326492746_1887785927_nFollowed by Sensoji, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple. It has a history of more than 1300 years. Asakusa Kannon Temple is a Buddhist temple and it is one of Tokyo’s most colorful and popular temple. You will see Asakusa Kannon Temple in most TV shows with that famous large Japanese lantern, remember?!

1920398_10152027327707746_1925113121_nBurning the joss sticks with this flame-less burner, which was so convenient and mess free! 1496869_10152027328792746_890247786_n 14510_10152027321952746_1653183323_nLet me first #take-a-selfie!1622745_10152027330637746_1152049274_n

At the same time, visiting Nakamise Shopping Street with a variety of traditional, local snacks and souvenirs just right in-front of Asakusa Temple. A shopping street of over 200 meters, sold typical Japanese souvenirs such as yukata and folding fans, various traditional local snacks! The crowd there was huge, but still feeling pretty awesome as along the way we are in awe with all the souvenirs packaging, tourists sighting and embracing the cool weather, 1958080_10152027330767746_652385894_n

1897017_10152027331157746_1962468743_n1743606_10152027332732746_132289647_nHere’s one Asakusa ice cream biscuit!

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Next, we all headed to Odaiba Park also known as お台場, a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, across the Rainbow Bridge. Around here, was landmarks and amusement parks such as the Statue of Liberty, Hachitama Observation Deck and Daikanransha Ferris Wheel. Sighting around Tokyo was one of the best travel pleasures, not just plain shopping and entertaining, but to understand history and enjoy the country’s beauty.

1656075_10152027336477746_79115066_nLove this photo very much of Daddy and Mummy, natural smiles from them and true enjoyment. 1794764_10152027337767746_159798530_n1975143_10152027337362746_907394285_n1800232_10152027335157746_1849986627_nFeeling famished! We went to the famous ramen store around Ginza and tried their pork broth ramen. This stall was recommended by our tour guide, and was told that it was one of the nicest around town. The long queue form outside the stall very quickly during lunch time also due to the small holding area which contained about 35 – 45 diners each round. 
1912497_10152027322972746_580063639_n1898146_10152027334237746_1537886218_nDo you know? Japanese kids are the hippest! They are well-dressed with the latest fashion and able to carry themselves so well. Japanese do take their appearance seriously and make every effort to dress up and look good. Even if it meant to be ‘just downstairs’ outfit. I really admire that. 1958102_10152027322762746_1660841437_nNext, shopping around The Ginza, also known as 銀座. The Ginza was crowned one of Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district, featuring numerous department stores, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, night clubs and cafes. It is not just a few shops or malls around, but brands go as big as owning 1 whole building! Take Uniqlo for example, Japan most basic casual brand was stacked at a whopping 12 level building. What? It was so huge, shopping there alone takes up 1 hour or more!!1797613_10152027333392746_2104641495_n

Next stop, Mount Fuji also known as 富士山, Fujisan, with 3776 meters. It is Japan’s highest mountain. Note however. that clouds and poor visibility often block the view of Mount Fuji, and the visibility tends to be better during the colder seasons of the year than in summer, and in the early morning than during the middle of the day. We count ourselves really lucky as we had a full view of Mount Fuji during the evening drive. In awe.1622707_10152027338232746_973728551_nLastly, tonight we will have sashimi dinner! Love the freshness of the seafood sashimi boat. The sashimi was juicy and sweet, we had Japanese style buffet as well. 1959738_10152027437177746_1529038964_nFilled tummies, we are all ready for the onsen later on! It was one of my first experience to have onsen outdoor, with such a freezing temperature of 3 degrees Celsius and below.

Onsen water is believed to have healing powers derived from its mineral content. A particular onsen may feature several different baths, each with water with a different mineral composition. The outdoor bath tubs are most often made from Japanese cypress, marble or granite, while indoor tubs may be made with tile, acrylic glass or stainless steel.

Before entering the hot water, all guests are expected to wash their bodies and rinse themselves thoroughly. Provided with a small towel only, all of us have to be naked. Firstly for hygiene purposes and secondly, to fully enjoy the onsen without the hindrance of cotton clothing. Definitely, no photography nor phones were allowed in the onsen area for respect and privacy purposes. 1620954_10152027324302746_1879042149_nWhat a fruitful day 2! The advantages of being on a tour brought us to many places which we may not cover during our free and easy tour, as transport will be a major hiccup and more expenses may be incurred especially traveling on high-expenses city like Tokyo. Cab fares are exorbitant and tours are definitely cheaper and wallet-friendly, taking in consideration that those monies could be spent on other areas like food and entertainment instead. Imagine, renting a car or bullet train to travel from Tokyo to Mount Fuji to Nagoya then to Osaka? At least $300 per pax one way.

Drink green tea and goodnight Mount Fuji! ♡