Pulau Ubin Day Trip, SINGAPORE

We took a taxi out from Singapore city centre to Changi Village. A taxi seemed like fastest way to get there and was reasonably priced for three people. Changi Village is the last stop with an ATM (and Pulau Ubin is cash only), and has a plethora of eateries if you want to try the local cuisine.

Catch a bumboat from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Bumboats leave when they have 12 passengers (no more, no less) and cost $3 per passenger in exact change. Watch the skill and mastery of the skipper, who’s laid-back attitude, weathered hands and precise boating are a sight to behold.

Pulau Ubin has an interesting visitor’s centre that details the ecosystem and local environmental concerns. There’s also a camping ground, opportunities to ride a bike and hike the island. It’s a slower pace of life here. Coming around lunch time is a good idea, as there are restaurants promising the freshest of seafood.

There’s not a lot to do on Pulau Ubin, so don’t expect to be entertained as you would around Marina Bay. It’s nice to come here to see the seabirds sunning themselves, or the fishermen wading out into the shallows, arms full of net.

Spend an hour or two in the thick vines and humidity, then spend $3 catch a bumboat back.

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A fisherman waded into the shallows with a net.

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Simple pleasures.

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Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

 

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Brickfields: Little India, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA

First timers to Kuala Lumpur, like myself, might make the mistake of thinking that Brickfields is a specific place, but it’s not. Brickfields is an area to explore, a suburb, and so when we got our Grab driver to ‘drop us anywhere that’s good’, he let us off at the top of what seemed to be the main street.

We went at night, and I honestly feel that was the best time to go. The heat and humidity died down, the dinner queues were lining up, the shop fronts were blaring competing techno-Bollywood tunes. The whole place was a cacophony of sound and colour. Brickfields is famous for their multicoloured structures and street decorations and I found that wandering the streets at night just made everything more festive, with lamplight and fairylights coming from everywhere.

There’s no shortage of Indian diners to eat at. We found one that was packed from the back and spilled out the front, with bain-maries of curries and rices, and al a carte options. There’s street theatrics as master chefs make dosas and teh tahrik for the public.

Go to Brickfields for dinner, it’s a sonic and culinary experience.

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9PM in Little India and things are ☆ĹOUD☆

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Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Yellow Submarine Coffee Tank, Khao Yai, Thailand

The Yellow Submarine is one of the coolest cafes I’ve been to. Practically in the middle of nowhere off a main road in Khao Yai, this cafe is surrounded by trees and the cafe makes that part of the ambience. It’s a pretty phenomenal piece of architecture as they feature and celebrate the woods and greenery around them. There’s ample space to sit inside or outside, in groups or perched at the long table. I brought my laptop and charger (with electric sockets for power, but no wifi) and had a nice time just sat in the open-air outside section. Plus side: the coffee is excellent, a rich roast with a nutty aroma. Down side: very limited menu, the one savoury item they offer was sold out before I ordered, although they do have a sweets menu but I wasn’t keen on pecan pie for breakfast. Another downside: Yellow Submarine has hit the web and the social media hype is real. I felt like I was the only one there enjoying my coffee, as the ambience was broken by beautiful people gazing pensively at their iced latte and posing for the gram.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

Cute Corner Cuisine, Asoke Bangkok, Thailand

My partner and I stumbled across this gem in our meanderings of the Asoke streets. This little cafe cooks fresh, Thai and Western style breakfasts. Their coffee is decadent and the wifi is fast- both draw cards for a traveler. There’s a long table and a few little nooks off to the side, with board games and reading areas. They’ve maximised the space really well with mirrors and a second level that makes the cafe feel really open and light. They create a sense of homeliness with a cute collection of hanging plants and a drawn sketch of the city. The breakfast sets are good value. My partner got a tuna sandwich and salad while I got an omelet (and it came with roast veggies and a passionfruit juice dressing for the salad). Great value, good price, cute cafe.

 

 

Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

The Penthouse Bar, Park Hyatt Bangkok, Thailand

My partner and I went up to the Penthouse Bar for a Sunday evening cocktail. Such a wonderful panoramic view of the city and all the lights. The Penthouse is a very sleek bar that offers an extensive spirit and cocktail menu. Unfortunately, they were out of the gin I requested, but the waitress was lovely and pitched me a cocktail that she thought I would prefer- she was right. I tried the Cha Yen Fizz and loved it: Chalong Bay rum, Thai tea syrup, pomelo juice, Bénédictine D.O.M., Fernet Branca, soda. Very theatrical with smoke and just the right amount of sweetness served in a tea cup. Honestly, a bit pricey, but right in the centre of it all with great views and conservative chic ambience- it’s a nice place for evening drinks.

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Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

St Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi, Vietnam 

St Joseph’s Cathedral is stunning gothic monolith, just a stroll from Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter. It’s a marvel of history and architecture and beautiful even just to witness. The church still runs masses in various languages. However, it’s worth visiting for the sheer beauty of the structure. The area around it is a meeting place for tours and has plenty of cafes and restaurants. Lots of boutique handicraft shopping in the area as well.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.

El Mercardo, Sukhumvit, Bangkok

Hail, Bangkok’s best kept secret. El Mercado is tucked away down a side street, down a side alley, down a long driveway. It’s a courtyard and a delicatessen and bar and a terrace house all rolled into one restuarant. It’s off the main drag, and the place is vibing, with fairy lights and fig trees and raucous laughter. 

Find it. You wont regret it. 
This Spanish delicatessen treats you in all manners sweet and savoury. Their cheese selection is to die for, and their charcuterie is carefully selected, and decadent. We tried an array of tapas; salmon, tuna, salads, cheeses, meats, wines. Everything was exquisite. The owner came to greet us, recommending wine pairings and off the menu delights. It was a perfect feast for my final night in Thailand.

Disclaimer: This review was also posted on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.