Tokyo – final week

We found Bake Cheese Tart at Ikebukuro station. Please note that the major train stations are super huge underground so it’s not as easy to find stuff as you think. They have MANY exits.. like north, south, east and west and these are all at other ends of the train station. SERIOUS!

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Short queue for bake,

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Yays! but i think the one in sapporo was much better as this bake is actually… dry. :S and we kept the cheese tart in sapporo for 2 days i think. and it still tasted great. HAHA.

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Nick took this picture from Starbucks, showing the Shibuya crossing. I spotted a couple going back and forth when the lights changed so that the girl can take OOTDs and stuff. quite funny.

When Ghibli studio is closed, why not visit the Totoro Cafe? However, it’s quite out of the way to the west side of Japan..

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Such a cute sign outside the shop.

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Cookies we bought back for a Totoro fan friend. lol.

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This is the Totoro Bakery on the first floor. There is another cafe upstairs that sells mains and allows us to eat the cream puff upstairs..

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SO CUTE! there were several flavours.. the custard cream was my fav!

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This chestnut cream was seasonal so we tried it too but it wasn’t to my liking..

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feeling so excited to eat it.. HAHAHA.. savage..

We went to Disneyland as well!

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i love carousels 🙂

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It was quite a nice day but super crowded and we went out of a ride because it started to slow down and I was getting hungry.. lol..

We stayed over one night to see Mt Fuji at Lake Kawaguchiko and to experience an onsen!! Nick booked Fuji Yumedono Onsen where they provided pick up service and drop off to and from the train station. The place was LOVELY!!! It was a typical Japanese living area. With tatami and slippers and all!

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Clogs to go out to our “mini” garden. Which wasn’t mini at all imo. lol!

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Our outdoor private onsen 🙂

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They provided us with kimonos as well 🙂

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Unfortunately, the next day we couldn’t see Mt Fuji. This is the live cam facing the mountain. There’s nothing to see because it was raining. lol.

We also went to DisneySea when we came back to Tokyo but stayed at Shin-Urayasu instead which is closer to the airport and disneysea. Unfortunately, it was raining as well and was a bit cold. The queues were crazy long to get into Disneysea so we went to Ikspairi shopping mall at Maihama station and stayed there till the rain lightened..

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Sat another carousel here this time was Aladdin themed. Was holding the camel’s ears as the metal bar was quite smelly. lol..

So that’s all for our Japan honey/babymoon. It was quite fun despite feeling tired all the time. We could have packed less because we did laundry lots of times there. and i kept re-wearing my clothes because I couldn’t fit into some 😦

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Tokyo – Harajuku, Shibuya, Tsukiji

We went to Harajuku on a Sunday and it was PACKED. It’s like a narrow street with shops on either side and there were so many people going up and down there on a Sunday.

We managed to find Angels Heart Crepe which was quite famous according to Youtubers online. hahaha..

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As we were pretty full still, we didn’t mind waiting in line. We actually queued for about 30mins!

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Their flavours are ranked according to popularity. We bought the no 1 banana chocolate whipped cream crepe.. it was quite good!

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Our crepe with the sign. LOL.

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We went to a tea house to see if we could have an authentic japanese tea tasting. Unfortunately, we had to wait an hour. So we just had the tea tasting experience at the counter. However, I couldn’t appreciate the teas. Not sure if it’s cos of my keen smell but one tasted like pee to me 😦

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Nick wanted to show how long the stair way is to the subway. We climbed up to get to the tea place. And now we’re going back down. I didn’t know Japan had so many stairs. Not many escalators and definitely very few elavators.

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This is Hachiko. The shiba inu dog who waited at the train station for his master despite the master dying and left him behind. He waited at the train station for him everyday until his own death.

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Shibuya is a shopping district and I bought new shoes from Onitsuka Tiger. This has more support than the street shoes.. Quite happy with the purchase 🙂

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We saw this at the main West entrance of Ikebukuro station. Apparently Fukurou means Owl, thus the owl display..

We headed to Tsukiji market as well because we had a free day due to Ghibli studio not being open for the week that we’re there.

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This is the restaurant we tried.

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The maki is naise! and so were the sushi although I didn’t eat too much. The salmon sashimi tastes similar to what Singapore serves. But it was definitely fun! At least we didn’t queue from the morning like 5am. I’ve heard that there are long queues for the good places. But I think all of them are good? or at least should be good?

Nick says Tsukiji Market has changed a lot. There are shops lining the streets and not very much footspace but we made out ok.

Tokyo – Animal Cafes

We didn’t expect to see so many animal cafes when we were in Tokyo. And we went to 2 on the same day! We actually wanted to go to the Cat Cafe in Ikebukuro but the one we found had a private event until 1pm. So we walked around the area and found another cat cafe. We didn’t stay for long because the cats were…… I wouldn’t say unfriendly but the place was big and there were quite a lot of people. So I think they got fondled a lot and didn’t like it?

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Cats avoiding humans. lol.

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An image to show how to read cats so that you won’t agitate them and end up hurting yourself and vice versa.

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The nua-est cat around. Didn’t like human beings though. HAHA.

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This cat on the other hand, was very friendly 🙂

Next, while checking out the area, we stumbled upon Mimi Cafe – a rabbit petting place!

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We were given treats to feed the rabbits.

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Trying to distract the rabbit to look at the camera. LOL. This place was nice and cosy. They gave us plastic skirts and aprons to wear as rabbits just went wherever they are.

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After finishing all the treats we had, they decided they didn’t love us anymore. LOL!

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They put us in another place with more rabbits and the rabbits enjoyed nua-ing by themselves. super cute and fluffy!!!!

On another day, we headed to Akihabara and went to an owl cafe called Akiba Fukurou. You had to make reservations to play with the owls for an hour and they give you a picture to commemorate your visit to the place.

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This was our timing that was fully booked!

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Perched owls. Those with pink circles on top of the green ones, which were the descriptions, meant that these owls are not to be touched as they were sleeping.

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HUGE owls that we didn’t pat at all.

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Found sweet potato and carried him 🙂

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He’s really a small owl!!!

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Up close..

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This is another owl that was medium sized.. I didn’t try carrying the larger owls cos you had to wear a special glove. and most of the owls didn’t really like being handled.. especially the barn owls..

 

Japan Trip 2016 – Day 1 -5

We took a trip to Japan for our “honeymoon” but now known as “babymoon” for 16 days. Well, we booked the trip before planning to get pregnant so….. but I’m glad I survived all the walking and what nots in Japan. HAHAHA.

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We saw this Star Wars themed plane at Narita airport during our transit to Hokkaido, Sapporo.

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See the cloud horizon, it’s really damn pretty.

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Finally landed in New Chitose Airport in Sapporo and had MosBurger because it was lunch time! And we had time to kill before our train ride to Shintoku. One thing about Japan is how timely their trains are. Especially those long rides.

Our first stay was at Yorkshire Farm. The kind farm owner drove out to Tomamu Station to pick us up because the typhoon caused some damage to the roads and the train service was stopped.

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They had a fire place at the dining area.

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We stayed at a sheep farm and the air was super fresh and clean. The sheep were also very close to us proximity wise..

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We could bottle-feed the lambs. However the owner told us that the bottle-feeding is only for the guests because the lambs can sustain on their own with grass by 6 months. The sheep also get their water from eating the grass. So basically, there’s not much overheads for keeping sheep on a farm.

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The sheep are damn cute, but damn dirty..

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Stampede of sheep!

After the sheep feeding, we went horse-back riding 🙂 however, it was at another farm called Village432 and it was 2km away from the sheep farm we were at. There was no taxi available to bring us there so we had to walk from our farm stay to the other place. We walked on the side of the road because of the lack of proper footpaths. Once we got there, we had to go up a hill before reaching the farm. o.m.g. it was a treacherous walk. lol.

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My horse and I after the hour trot.. It was quite fun!!!

After which, we had lunch at the farm because we were starving but then forgot about the Soba shop at the bottom of the hill. So after resting for a bit, we walked back down and went to the Soba shop.

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Soba ice cream with soba star biscuits and the kind lady gave us soba tea as well. It was really yummy!

We also had their cold noodles to eat. We shared cos we were super full by then.. haha.. and then we walked back to our farm stay..

The next morning, we left the farm stay and the kind owner once again drove us to the train station, stopping to let us buy some bentos at 7-11 as it was about lunch time.

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In the train. Thank God that the seats were not fully occupied as our luggage were too big to go inbetween the seats. So we sat at the back where we could put then unobstructed near the door.

We went to Otaru and stayed one night after having visited the music box museum and trying out their LeTao cheesecake (which wasn’t as fantastic as we thought). The following day, we headed back to Sapporo and checked into Toyoko Inn near the Sapporo station.

After dropping off our luggage at the hotel because it wasn’t time to check in yet, we went to the Sapporo Ramen Alley near Susukino Station and shared a ramen before walking to Odori Park for the Sapporo Autumn Festival where we ate and tried some food from the vendors.

Apparently, Odori station is connected to Sapporo station (one stop away) underground and we walked back to Sapporo station. However, we got lost like a lot of times and only managed to figure our way out when we were about to check out. Lol.

The next day, we went to see the Shiroi Koibito (white lovers) Chocolate Factory.

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Inside the factory. This is their process. Baking the cookies….

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Making sure the cookies and chocolate are placed rightly before moving on….

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To packing and sealing the individually-wrapped biscuits. It was a very interesting experience. We got to try to bake their cookie and place the white chocolate into the cookies and we got to decorate them, seal them and put it in the box..

If you want to do that, should reserve your places first as there are many people who sign up for it. We hung around Shiroi Koibito for a while before heading back to eat dinner and chill.

Photoshoot

As mentioned in a post somewhere down there, we went to Muar, Johor for our wedding photoshoot. Here are some of my favourite pictures 🙂

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This was during sunset at a really secluded beach. It was warm but the effect was really nice. One of my favourite pics! 😀

After learning I was a peranakan, our photog wanted to shoot a nyonya-themed look.

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N chose this because he says I look very cheeky. REALLY MEH 😦

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One of the more sophisticated looks. A proper shot! hahaha. I really love the make up that Jenny from Autelier did for me! I would definitely recommend her for pre-wed and actual day make up.

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How traditional does this look? With the tea set and table cloth 😛

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Had 2 different hairstyles for the wedding gown proper. Not really a natural at taking photos but after the entire day, was damn tired sia.

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I personally love this hairstyle. 🙂

We started out since 7am in the morning with make up and then heading to the studio about 11am. Shot for about 3 hours (?) before heading to lunch. Had a short rest and then headed for the outdoor shoot. It was definitely very fun. Would enjoy cooler weather, but, oh wells. That’s Asia for you!

Travelogue: Muar

Honestly, I didn’t know of Muar until I met N’s friends who were from there. It’s actually between JB and Malacca in Malaysia. We went up to Muar for a photoshoot with a friend’s friend who is a photographer – HOW-Studio. We drove up on Wednesday morning after having brekkie at mcdonald’s. We crossed immigration pretty quickly and headed towards Muar.

After visiting some of our friend’s relatives, we went to eat Mee Hoon Kuay. This is different from the ones in Singapore. Yes, it is hand makde still, but it’s really just different. And in Muar, all we did was eat and eat and eat. It was non-stop eating! hahaha.

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My dry mee hoon kway without chilli. Our friends had dry with tom yum and it was actually pretty good. I didn’t order that cos the food that’s spicy tend to be pretty spicy which I think I won’t be able to take.

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This is N’s soup mee hoon kuay. The soup had some spice in it and I think it’s cos there were some chilli padi inside. LOL.

After that, we headed to Jenny’s dad’s bak kwa factory and then went back to their house before going to a chalet where we were celebrating Jenny’s mum’s bday.

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This is Angel, Jenny’s cocker spaniel. Very cute and smart girl. She actually took N’s sock that day and the next day, she took my sock! lolol.. She’s really damn cute la.

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This is Chipsmore. A toy poodle which is super attention seeking and would try her luck at getting food if she can. She belongs to Jenny’s younger sister.

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She’s so cute la..

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This is her favourite hiding spot, under the coffee table. But she needs to squeeze a bit to get underneath it because she’s a bit pudgy. LOL.

Jenny’s family were super hospitable during our time in Muar.

The next day was the photoshoot, got up bright and early to get make up done and had chicken rice balls and tau huay for breakfast. Pretty yummy 🙂 the food in Muar tastes really different from Singapore. After the photoshoot, we headed out to eat char kway teow with otah and milo bing from a very famous stall in Muar.

We then headed to a secluded beach nearby to do some casual shots outdoor. For that night, we checked into a hotel – PPT Muar Hotel, which was a pretty decent budget hotel suitable for a night’s stay.

After refreshing ourselves because the whole day shoot was tiring, we headed to a restaurant to have dinner with Alex’s relatives. The food was super good. We had otah, assam fish (cod fish which they brought themselves), squid with petai, deep fried squid and bean sprouts. All the dishes were SUPERB! especially love the deep fried squid. SUPER YUMMY. I really think the batter that they use is really different from Singapore.

We ate till our hearts content and then headed back to Jenny’s place, where her brothers brought back pork burgers for us. They are the founders of T&S Fusion Burgers and their pork burgers are AMAZING! Imagine, we just had dinner and now we are having burgers for supper! LOL. Really too much food for us to try in Muar!

The next day, we checked out of the hotel and had Bak Kut Teh for brekkie with the family. The bak kut was really nice and tender, the soup was the herbal kind. A really different taste from the ones in Singapore which tend to be peppery. Their eggs are also shiok. Egg omelette with chai poh (preserved vege). Really tasty!

After breakfast, we hung out at Jenny’s house and her mum made birds nest soup for us. omg. Really spoilt to the max. The birds nest was also so shioks! It was gooey and thick with red dates. YUM!

Then, onward to Alex’s relative house again to have lunch. There was the pork vinegar, red wine chicken and vegetables. Then there was red bean soup for dessert. The red bean soup had black glutinous rice in it which made it taste even better! Then, she cooked goreng pisang (fried banana) and min chang kueh with peanut and corn in it! we really put on weight from all the food we had in Muar.

I would definitely go back to Muar to check out the food.

Travelogue: Krabi, Thailand

N’s colleague asked if we would be interested in going to Krabi early 2016 with his wife and her friends. Since we have not been there before, SIGN US UP PLEASE! 🙂 we’ve heard many nice things about Krabi. Especially from my ex-colleague who went there twice. He did mention that going there once was just about right. Anyway, Jenny did most of the planning and we just agreed and went along with the agenda.

We flew on a Sunday afternoon and reached there in the evening. While waiting for Jenny’s friends to arrive, we checked into our accommodation at Mini House at Aonang Beach. It was a very quaint place. We wanted to stay in a villa since there would be 7 people altogether, but it seems that it’s more expensive than staying in a hotel. There was a welcome drink, and the reception guy was pretty cute to boot!

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Greeted with water and a pack of cookies each. We brought the cookies along with us for our kayaking trip the next day 😛 Mini House is on a hill which, at the bottom of it, has 7 eleven! It’s not a very steep hill, unlike the time at Phuket. This one was a short walk. And it was good too, nestled away from the bustle of the streets. It was really quiet and N had trouble sleeping because he could hear the mating call of a lizard just outside our room and water dripping. I thought I would have trouble sleeping, but no, not me! 😀

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We didn’t get a king sized bed so it was just 2 twin beds pushed together. The room was very spacious and clean cut.

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There’s the door, and to the left, is the toilet with vinyl flooring! It was pretty interesting. So vinyl IS water resistant. The wardrobe was an open concept to the right of the door. And there was a cement ledge below the TV (where the luggage is) that stretches to the dressing table. There are no mirrors in the room, only in the toilet.

Before Jenny’s friends arrived, we were feeling a bit hungry so we bought some road side pancake.

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Banana pancake with condensed milk on top. It was really yummy!

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Smaller long-tail boats for tours. We also walked along Aonang Beach and caught the sunset. It was really beautiful!!

After Jenny’s friends arrived, we went for dinner at Massaman Restaurant, which was good and super affordable. We then headed for a massage down the road. Went back after that and got ready for the next day’s agenda.

DAY 2: Kayaking Trip

The day before, we paid THB 500 each to go for a half day kayaking trip in Bor Thor. It’s on the outskirts of Phuket so the bus ride there was about an hour long. We went through a cave, but since the mangrove was low tide, we couldn’t travel further out in case we got stuck. So we turned around and went to visit another cave with drawings in it.

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The first cave provided shelter from the heat. It was really cooling inside 🙂

We didn’t take pictures of the second cave though. lol. But we had to disembark our kayaks and climb into the cave. It was pretty scary because it was limestone and a bit slippery. Really had to be careful. We wore shorts, slippers, dri fit tops and a cap and lots of sun block and mosquito repellent because we didn’t want to get burnt or bitten.

After the kayaking trip and freshening up, we were picked up from the hotel to have dinner at Lae Lay Grill which overlooks Aonang Beach.

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The long arduous way up to the restaurant itself. It was a workout in itself. And we were anticipating a good meal.

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The scenery from the restaurant. We were given a high table and we ordered individual dishes. N and I shared their platter with lobster. Well, they did debone the fish and it looked like one piece on the plate.

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The platter N and I shared. It’s really A LOT of seafood. Too much for 2 people to handle >.< We didn’t even eat the crab. We celebrated Jenny, JJ and N’s bday that night with 3 plates of chocolate lava cake dessert. The cake was super rich and yummy, but it was a bit jelat after a while. I would say dessert trumped!

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N and I survived on 6L water bottles from 7 eleven. They were pretty cheap. We bought 3 which lasted us the entire trip! Best to keep yourself hydrated in Krabi. It’s quite dry and hot. And I have been getting headaches after our day trips.

Day 3: 4 Island-hopping Tour.

All of us signed up for an island-hop tour. We decided to take the long tail boat because it’s less choppy on water. And less prone to getting sea-sick. The only way up and down this boat is by a ladder that is hung on the sides of the front of the boat and you have to step into the sea. There were about 40 people on the tour? It was a REALLY HUGE GROUP.

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This is Chicken Island – because the peak looks like a chicken head. We went open sea snorkelling for a while near chicken island before heading to another island to have lunch. It was pretty interesting, but I would not go for it again. Because N and I do not like the beach that much. Unless the beach is in our backyard and we can go back and bathe straight away.

After heading back from the islands, we showered, changed and went for a massage 🙂 we tried to find one that was near our hotel, so we can meet our friends back at the hotel before heading off for activities. We found one nice place at Lanna Beach Guesthouse. We met a masseuse – Meow, who was super chatty and loved talking to us about her family. I also got my hair braided before we left for dinner.

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Being a bit nom-y after the massage, we went to have some snacks!

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We had the spiral potato, which is akin to the Korean street snack. This one, is DA BOMB. he makes it from SCRATCH. Like. One potato. Then he cuts it using a device. Then he soaks it in some water then makes the tempura coating. After that, he takes the potato out, skewers it and drags it along the stick to space it out. Then covers it with the tempura and then DEEP FRIES IT.

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Yes, it’s being deep-fried at the moment. When it’s done, he puts it in wax paper and asks what kind of sauce you want. For me, I wanted cheese, and he puts cheese POWDER and sprinkles it everywhere. O.M.G. PARTY IN THE MOUTH! N and I were totally addicted to this snack. LOL!

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This pancake place was recommended by Meow to us. She says it’s a MUST-HAVE. So we tried some different flavours, but it felt like it was roti prata w honey. So actually, the banana and nutella one is the one to try 🙂

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As it was close to dinner time, lots of other small stalls like these were being set up by the roadside. Being the gluttons we are, we ordered Pad Thai with shrimp. On hindsight, we shld’ve gone with chicken, but it’s too late for that now. HAHA. We brought our goodies back to the hotel and had them before going out w Alex and Jenny for dinner at Tanta Restaurant where we had PIZZA! The pizza was really good in my opinion 🙂

After dinner, Jenny and I wanted to get henna done on our hands before we left. The place near our hotel – Dao Art Gallery provided henna services. However, she was with a customer so she asked us to come back later. Alex and Jenny went for a massage while N and I went back to the hotel to slack before heading back.

We were asked to scroll through Pinterest for Henna ideas and she can copy it almost perfectly! While scrolling through, we saw a picture of a penguin and N said he wanted it done!

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The aftermath of our henna 🙂 we were told to leave the paste on for 2 hours until it dries fully. But N (being an engineer), tried hairdrying it and it worked! haha. The picture above was after we peeled off the scabs. Cute right!

On the last day, we wanted to do another massage before we head back. So the 4 of us went to Lanna Beach to get a thai massage. Unfortunately, Meow wasn’t there, she went back to Chiang Mai to see her son. We were sad we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Service everywhere is the same. If there are no customers, there is no money. And in Krabi, there are not as many tourists as there are in Phuket.

I would go back to Krabi actually, to do other things, like try out the shooting range and visit Phi Phi Island. Interestingly though, they do not have jet skis or paragliding in Krabi. But it was a really interesting trip. We accomplished so much in 3 days and were aching like mad after the kayaking trip. LOL.

Travelogue: Taiwan Day 3 – Beitou & Shi Fen

breakfast at starbucks (because that was the only place that was open) hahahaha!

proof that we were at shilin mkt.. LOL!

ticket for the train!

tiff and i headed to beitou hot spring while pam went to explore ximending..

in the train!

reached beitou!

went to one of the museums

they provide keepsakes like chops and then got paper also to chop on.. lol..

how the hot springs were last time..

explored a bit more..

geyser! smelly 😦

went to some obscure lake-ish place where there were lots of bugs.. HAHAHA..

then! we went to the public hot spring cos they have timings!

queuing up!

after that, had ramen for lunch!

taken in 7/11.. so cute!!! they have a lot of line characters stuff.. lol..

met up with pam after that at taiwan main station and headed to ruifang

from ruifang we had to change train to get to shifen.. and the trains had timings too.. which were a bit sad.. cos we had to plan accordingly.. lol..

finally reached shifen!!!!

the tracks where the train comes in and departs.. and pple do walk on the tracks to cross from one side to the other.. hahaha.. and the trains travel really close to the shops! it’s amazing how skilled all the drivers are.. there was the rubbish collector and he navigate through the narrow streets with ease.. seriously.. very pro!!!

painting our lantern!

and tried the bubble tea!

had to thank Taiwan for the wonderful time 🙂

lucky headed back to the train station because the train left a bit earlier.. hahahaha..

walked around ruifang since we had some time to kill..

AWESOME TIME!!! 😀

Travelogue: Taiwan Day 2 – Taipei

After reaching Taipei, we went in search of the hostel.. it was just across shilin night market!

after checking in, we went across to get some food..

fruits look super duper fresh! or maybe they’re just bright coloured.. hahaha..

apparently singapore has this also in star vista.. lol..

CRISPY CHEEKENNNN

old school shop with old school sweets!

the amazing candy floss maker.. they make all types of shapes and sizes!!! ducks, flowers, etc.. very naise!!!

FLOWER POT ICE CREAM.. which was pretty awesome.. the “soil” was oreo bits.. and the chocolate ice cream had like nata de coco in it i think.. to depict earthworms.. DAMN INTERESTING!!! hahaha..

bought macarons which were not nice at all.. look at their faces after eating it.. lol

so we had shaved ice mango instead 😛

more sustenance for the night because i wasn’t feeling too good :S

next day – HOT SPRING!!!!

Travelogue: Taiwan Day 2 – Hualien

so we got up bright and early and went to find breakfast before the taxi uncle came..

such a cute cup..

taxi uncle bought us something like pork dumplings.. they were awesome!

we walked so much on this day.. hahaha.. first stop was qi xing tan which translates to seven stars lake.. but it looked like the ocean to me.. lol.. there was no sand.. just lots of stones and pebbles..

pretty green rock!

colour difference because of the tide..

after that, we headed to taroko gorge

at the base of the gorge before going in..

such an awesome blue!

pretty flowers

this shrine wasn’t open.. so we cldn’t walk to it..  had to take pics from across the gorge..

then, we stopped for lunch! taxi uncle knows alot of pple there.. haha.. he made reservations for us at this place.. and had lunch w us too..

coffee pudding.. pretty interesting.. i thought it was chin chow (grass jelly) lol..

headed to swallow grotto where we had to wear helmets! he left us for a while to walk through and told us to meet him at some other place.. but the thing was.. tiff’s and my chinese were so bad, pam did most of the translating.. oops.. hahaha..

after the swallow grotto at another bridge..

pretty lotus statue..

after a while, everything looked the same.. hahaha.. while walking, my shoes got dirty cos it was wet 😦

more walking!!! very good exercise though.. hahahahaha..

scary bridge we crossed.. lol!

ci mu qiao.. this guy built this bridge in memory of his mother..

would be dangerous to water raft down the gorge i suppose.. lol..

after that, while on the way to the airport, he stopped us at a non-profit organization just to have a look-see.. it was pretty interesting.. the culture and the habits they have.. it’s really amazing..

had a quick bite when we went to the airport..

more coffee because of lack of sleep.. LOL..

next up will be reaching taipei itself!!!!