In case you are wondering, I am still alive. Hell just started today and I am both excited and extremely tired. Day One down. Thirteen more days to go. Charging towards the opening of a (finger crossed) beautiful store.
Meanwhile, I spotted someone doodling and sketching people he saw on train. What do you do on train? Most people are fixed onto a screen once they are on train, playing games, Facebook, videos, surfing, E-book and much more. I’m guilty of that on top of reading a physical book. But sometimes, it is nice to just look up and around and watch the world go by.
Pre-Ordered one of these for CNY and make a guess which one I picked! I hope it can match with some of my new year clothes, below! Even if it doesn’t, I got another black heels that will go with it. But which ladies can resist a pretty heel!
So, did you managed to guess it? Haha. I opted for the pure nude one! I need a good excuse to buy a new shoe and every girl needs a nude heels. Haha. I think it can probably go with the white floral print one or the green one. I got a black heel for the middle one, and a backup blue velvet one. What do you think?
Wondering where am I digging among for the next few weeks and months? Right here. Renovation is almost done and it is up to my team of 100s to work some magic! It is a stressful period and I will press on. 2 weeks of dust, 1 week of guarding the store and a month or so of festive madness.
A Chinese saying which is loosely translated here, “Grabbing the Buddha Feet in the last moment”, So here is me, grabbing Jesus and Lord’s leg with a prayer. It has been a long time since I said a prayer, so here goes.
Let this setup be smooth sailing, let it be a learning journey if it is not, let it be a time I show great patience especially to my hard working staffs, let it be a time I display leadership, let me grow as a person, and let me enjoy this busy process! Lord, thank you for all the angels in advance! I’m sure you have prepared great friends, colleagues, and other blessings to aid me in this journey. Let me be forgiving to the not so loving people that I’m about to face. Thank you Lord for all the mercy, grace and love you’ve shown.
In Jesus most precious name I pray,
Here is one last post to share about my Bangkok trip before I disappear into a chaos of madness and appear after Chinese New year. Yes, sorry ladies and guys, don’t miss me!
As most of you may probably know, I love vintage and when I first heard of Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok’s Vintage Weekend Night Market I was thrilled! It existed for the longest time and was previously right behind Chatuchak where it was so convenient! But now, it is relocated to Srinakharin which is crazy out of the way.
I was so determined to get there so I booked a driver, showed him the Thai map and address, and got ourselves there! But gosh, I forgot to figure the way back! It was at the outskirt of Bangkok city and there were no taxi drivers willing to send us back to Bangkok city! In the end, we took a cab to the nearest BTS station and took the train back. A major panic moment there.
So if you are some serious antique / vintage lovers, you should go there, but if you just want a look see, oh no, perhaps not. During our trip there, there were only one other Caucasian couple, the rest of the crowd there are mainly locals.
There are five main areas to look at, (1) Pretty antique shops which is at the front stretch leading towards the main market, (2) Night market selling random stuffs for the locals, stuffs are of lower quality, (3) Main building of the market selling vintage stuffs plus random stuffs not relating to vintage items, (4) Vintage flea market, selling some really old and cool stuffs, they are right at the very end, deep inside! and (5) Bars near to the Vintage flea market! We wished the Vintage flea market was bigger though!
So here are some pictures!
Area 1: A stretch of Pretty Antique Shops
Area 2: Local Night Market
The only thing I bought from the night market, pretty personalized bracelet.
Area 3: Main Building
There are a few pretty coffee place like these here.
These lamps are so pretty!
Area 4: Vintage Flea Market
In between the flea market and the bars.
Almost wanted to grab a handful of these pretty knobs for my old wooden cupboard.
Isn’t this place cool! We should have this in Singapore too! Nice.
Area 5: Bars and Around
Ladies, what is your favourite childhood toy? For me, it is definitely Polly Pocket! I remember my mum bringing my sister and I to Yaohan Departmental Store for some toys shopping and we each have a couple of Polly Pockets to play with! But the little figurine is always missing, so I will end up with some houses and just one or two little girls. Polly Pocket is amazing because it is tiny and fits right in your pocket (duh!) and you can spend hours playing with it and bring them everywhere! Haha. Gosh, I feel like a dinosaur talking about Polly Pocket and Yaohan. Kids these days lack imagination because all they play is Angry Bird on their iPhone. During our time, most games require some form of creativity and imagination, think Playdoh, Lego and other make believe games!
During one of the old toys charity event, I chanced upon a Polly Pocket set! I was thrilled! Too bad I threw mine away, otherwise it can probably sell for a couple of tens! This Polly Pocket is not too cool though, there is a little girl and a baby in there. I prefer the ones in the restaurants (which I used to own) or those in the Zoo!
So what is your favourite childhood toy! Drop a comment here to share your experience or memories you had!
Back to posting about my Bangkok trip, there are actually a few more to go, but I was getting a little lazy.
So all Bangkok trip must include the Weekend Chatuchak Market!
This is the little vintage dress shop in Chatuchak that I return without fail. My Fair Lady is along the main road near to Entrance 3.
Spotted a Spanish Chef cooking Paella in Chatuchak! Haha. What in the world is he doing here? It was really popular among the Caucasian tourists and it is not exactly cheap! SGD 6 for a plate! It was good but just a tat oily and pricy by Bangkok standard.
Another must eat is the coconut ice cream with different toppings. Yums.
Oh, I missed these BBQ Pork Meat which I had a plenty in Phuket!
Shopping is a must in Chatuchak but Chatuchak is like a labyrinth! This fashion street which is cooling does exist! At Area 4 also near Entrance 3! Have fun girls and helpful boys! Haha.
Has it been almost three weeks since I last blogged? Wow! Thank you Reader G for the sweet reminder to continue blogging!
The past three weeks have been busy, with work and yoga on weekdays, yoga and life on weekends! I guessed I was feeling really lazy after working and working out.
Anyway, back about this post! We celebrated my mum’s birthday this weekend at Peramakan at Keppel Bay! It was my sister and her boyfriend’s treat! I’m so glad my sister has finally started working and there’s someone to split the costs of these family dinners with me! Haha.
Peramakan is yummy and having Peranakan food is a refreshing change! My family tends to go to Chinese seafood restaurant all the time for all celebrations, so Peranakan food is good!
Love their Ngoh Hiang (Meat and Prawn roll) and all the curry stew of various meats. Their desserts though heavy on the palate and tummy are sinfully yummy too.
Other than having yummy dinner, my Dad got us to pick out a present for my mum at a jewelry store. My mum, being the practical and Gold loving Chinese middle age lady, loves gold!
In the end, my sister and I picked up a 999 gold chain and heart shaped pendent with the Chinese word “Health”. Love that it is pretty and meaningful and to our delight, my mum loves it! Look at her gleeful smile!
Happy Birthday Mum! May you stay pretty, youthful, healthy and happy!
That’s me with my after facial glow. Haha. In a pretty green polka dot peplum top (SGD 10~), second-hand denim shorts (SGD 4), leather bracelet (SGD 6~), vintage leather bag and sea salt sandals.
I love leather accessories and I bought these pretty leather bracelets at Platinum Mall on the level of fashion accessories! I got them between SGD 6 to SGD 10 each!
I used to own one of these but lost them a while back, decided to get a replacement but got a little obsessed over it and bought three at once. Haha. Oops.
Our third destination is my favourite, the Elephant Kraal, which is a far ride out of the island! We just kept riding and when the journey seems endless, we stopped and asked the friendly residents who reassured us to keep going. When we finally spotted these statutes, we knew we were near!
We also spotted an Elephant by a tree hiding under the shade and taking her lunch!
We rode further and spotted these elephant against the wall. They were chained up and were enjoying their food as well. Talking about up close and personal with the elephants. We were really curious about what goes on behind those walls, so we rode around it to get inside.
We went up the Pavilion and spotted another Elephant inside the enclosure. This is the Royal Kraal where the royalties in the past will gather to watch captured wild elephants train for warfare! This is the only Elephant Kraal in existence in Thailand! While we were there, there was a group of secondary school students out on excursion. They were talking to the elephant and the elephant actually waved back!
From the top of Pavilion, we spotted an elephant village from afar and am excited to get there to see more elephants!
We were greeted by many elephants! Young and old and were overwhelmed by the fact that we were standing so close to such a majestic animal. At this sanctuary, Elephantstay, they buy old and retiring elephants to allow them to rest and enjoy their little years left instead of having them work till their death out there.
They also focus on nurturing elephants and you can spot many young and baby elephants there too!
Young elephant with her two front leg chained up as part of their conditioning training.
Isn’t she adorable! Aww!
Can you spot the little one between the two big elephants? Haha.
With so many baby and young elephants in Elephantstay, it looks like they are doing a great job nurturing them! Elephantstay is a part of a not for profit organisation and when you enter, you need to contribute a nominal fee of 50 Baht to take pictures of the elephants!
The second stop after Wat Rachatburana is the one next door, Wat Mathathat! Wat Mahathat was a grand temple and their royal temple, it was the most sacred in Ayutthaya during its glorious time. There is an entrance fee at 50 Baht too at this Wat.
Inside the Wat, there are many Buddha statues without its head and these two are the few spotted that are close to its original form.
In Wat Mahathat, it is also where you can spot the famous tree that has grown around a Buddha head. When taking pictures of you and the Buddha head, we were told to stay low to show respect to the Buddha.
Our first stop was Wat Ratchaburana, a Buddhist temple which has got a tall prang that is accessible by tourist. At the top of the prang, you get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding. It is also next to Wat Mahathat which you can see from the top! If an iPhone can take such pictures, I cannot imagine what other professional camera can take! Weather was glorious with clear blue sky! Perfect for photo taking!
A nominal fee is also collected to enter this Wat!
Part of the prang is under conservation but you can still climb to the top!
“Wat Ratchaburana was founded in 1424 by King Borommarachathirat II of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and built on the cremation site of his two elder brothers. The two brothers had fought to their deaths in a duel for the royal succession to their father Intha Racha.
In 1957 the temple’s crypt was looted of a large number of Buddha images and gold artifacts. The thieves were later caught, but few of the treasures were recovered. Some that were recovered are now housed in the nearby Chao Sam Phraya Museum. Subsequent excavations of the crypt have uncovered many more rare Buddha images.”
Reading the information on the history of this place up inside the Prang!
I look tiny from the top!
Nice red bricks wall!
Many strays chilling out at the courtyard! I think my sister will faint if she even walks near them. Haha.
An epic attempt of a Half Moon pose! Haha. I need to pull back my shoulder more! I’m officially crazy.
Here is the first post on our day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok! Many more to come!
“Founded around 1350, Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Throughout the centuries, the ideal location between China, India and the Malay Archipelago made Ayutthaya the trading capital of Asia and even the world. By 1700 Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants. Many international merchants set sail for Ayutthaya, from diverse regions as the Arab world, China, India, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands and France. All this came to a quick end when the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya in 1767 and almost completely burnt the city down to the ground.
Today, only a few remains might give a glimpse of the impressive city they must have seen. Its remains are characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and big monasteries. Most of the remains are temples and palaces, as those were the only buildings made of stone at that time. The great cultural value of Ayutthaya’s ruins were officially recognized in 1991, when the Historic City became an UNESCO World Heritage Site. “
Source: Wiki Travel
With such rich history which became a UNESCO site and that it is a miniature version of Cambodia’s Ang Kor Wat, I wondered why I took so long to visit this site! Before we head off, we researched on four things, how to get there, when to go, what to do and what to see and below are some tips to share!
How to Get There
We were debating between taking a train there which is the cheapest way or taking a mini bus which is a fast and affordable way. In the end, we picked neither and chose the lazy way out. We hired a driver from the hotel at 2800 Baht for an entire day and we were glad we did. The ride took around 1 hr 20 mins depending on traffic.
It was a sunny and tiring day and I cannot imagine ourselves going there in any other way. We appreciated the ride back especially after a sweaty day out riding for hours! The driver was amused to see us all sweaty and toasted and congratulated us for a great work out session! Haha.
It will be of great value to hire a driver if you are traveling in a group of four or a pampering one even if it’s just the two of you. So off we went in the comfort of a Toyota Camry, with wide leg space at 7.30am with breakfast in hand! Awww. The little luxury in life. Haha.
When to Go
I read about the crazy crowd and tour bus if you head over to Ayutthaya on a weekend, so we plan the itinerary around the trip to make sure it falls on a weekday. Additionally, we set to head out early to avoid the crowd. Leaving Bangkok at 7.30am, we reached Ayutthaya at slightly before 9am and got to enjoy the peace and tranquillity before throngs of tourist came at around 11am.
We toured around for a few hours, had lunch at a nearby shopping mall on Naresuan Road (there is KFC, Pizza, Cafe and some street vendors there) before heading to another location and call it a day at around 2pm when the sun gets too hot and scorching.
What to Do
Instead of going on a guided tour or get the driver to send us around from location to location, we rented a bicycle and cycle around the island! There are plenty of bike rental place at Soi 1 and Soi 2 on Naresuan Road among the Backpackers Inn.
But make sure the bicycle is ok, we had to change the bicycle midway before lunch as my bicycle chain is getting weird and creaky. We rented a bicycle for 50 Baht for an entire day and the shop gave us a chain and lock.
I think the cycling made the day trip much more worth while than just plain visiting the sites. It was really fun!
Do remember to ask for maps and brochure at the bicycle rental place! We printed this map off the web and thought it complements well with the maps from the rental shop. It has got greater details of the main island then the ones given to us from the rental shop.
Some tips on cycling in Ayutthaya. You need great navigation skills as the buildings all look similar. Try to remember the landmark and read maps. Girls can read maps! You also need a great smile and friendly attitude to get help from the locals. The street names are all in Thai characters and we asked a security guard, random middle age man on the street and a housewife at her place. Lastly, you need a strong heart and a love for adventure! We went the wrong way a couple of times and had to cycle on a few busy streets! Generally, the drivers there are very friendly and patient with the tourist cyclist. Never once did we get honked for cycling on opposite direction, crossing the road slowly, trying hard but failing at times to keep to the side of the road and observing traffic rules while hogging the road. They simply slowed down and drove past us patiently! I’m impressed!
What to See
There are plenty temples and ruins to see in Ayutthaya and after a while they all look the same. All red bricks and crumbling, so we were really selective on the ones we wanted to see. We didn’t want to see the modern temples which is still active and have picked the top 5 sites to visit! They are Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Lokayasutha, around Phra Ram Park and Elephant Krang/Viewing Pavilion. More of them in the next few posts!
For girls traveling to Bangkok, it is mostly for shopping. The clothes are cheap and fashionable and it is a shopping paradise. Unlike for guys, we are not that into cheap booze and food, we want our clothes. Haha. Ok, before I make myself sound like a helpless shopaholic ready for rehab, we did make a trip to Ayutthaya and cycled around the island! More on that later with lots of beautiful pictures.
First up, here is a summary of my purchases and it can be a great reference on what to expect if you intend to go shopping in Bangkok!
Melissa shoes which I paid approximately SGD 74 for each pair! Decided to not buy cheap shoes that won’t last and invest in a few pair of good ones instead.
My favourite buy other than my Melissa shoes! These beautiful printed shift dress are so well fitted and good in quality! With double layers and beautiful fit. They are the most pricey of the lot at 650 to 750 baht for each dresses. But they are considered cheap in Singapore! The sales girl even wrapped them up in plastic, gave a free hanger and put them in these reusable bags! Wow! They are found in Platinum Mall level 2, near an escalator and their store is called Trust. The prints varies from time to time.
Second Hand Denim Shorts from Chatuchak at 100 Baht each! They were first introduced to me by my sister in our last trip and at SGD 4 a pair, it was a steal! Not for those picky but do remember to wash them thoroughly with antiseptics! Haha.
From a Vintage dress shop in Chatuchak which is also recommended by my sister! At 300 Baht each! I love vintage dresses as they are often well made and has that swing that modern dresses don’t have.
Dresses from Platinum Mall. All between 300 to 400 Baht.
Pretty tops between 200 to 350 Baht.
Cheap waist belts! Not so adventurous me got them in brown, black and gold. Leather accessories which I love! And two necklaces. Didn’t buy any chunky necklaces this time round.
Pretty bracelet for my sister and I at 150 Baht each!
Dog treats for my friend’s dogs from Chatuchak! They are only 3 for 100 Baht which is dirt cheap! In Singapore, they are retailing for around SGD 4 – 7 dollars! Heartguard for Steph’s dog at SGD 20 a box! In Singapore they are retailing at SGD 48! Thailand manufacturers a lot of the dog treats and medicines and so you can find them at really low prices!
My sister’s favourite garlic bread from Chatuchak which was freshly baked daily. I lugged these and hand carry them just for her!
Naraya Bags for our friends.
Pretty little baby girl’s dress for Little Alph. So cute! Haha.
Pretty printed laptop bag for a friend.
Melissa Shoe is all the craze right now and in Singapore it is selling at quite a high price at some stores and online shops.
I love rubber shoes, even before my Crocs days I already own a few random rubber shoes! I love that I can splash them in puddles and it is so light and comfortable! During this trip, I’ve decided to pop by Jelly Dreams, Central World – the official Melissa Shoes store in Thailand!
It is indeed comfortable and really light! They have many crazy designs and really stylish ones with spikes and all. But I am someone who likes my shoes in basic colours and design so that they are versatile and I can wear them everywhere with any outfits! Haha.
Wanted to get this in nude, but the entire Bangkok ran out of my size despite it being part of the New Arrival
Got this design in Nude and Black instead! Yes, I’m crazy. Getting two shoes of same design in different colour. Haha. Because it is simple and comfortable! Nude for going out and black for work! Price at 1990 Baht, tourist has got a 10 percent discount and so in the end, I only paid for SGD 74 for each pair! A saving of SGD 31 compared to the ones sold at MDreams Singapore and it is not even on sale! Can you imagine how much they will be when on sale?
Got another pair of the black version for work at the same price. The cat is too cute! Meow.
I am back from Bangkok and I can’t wait to share all the photos that I’ve taken! It was a really great trip! Great fun, great shopping, superb weather and I couldn’t ask for more! We even got bumped up to Emergency Exit seats and First Row seats to and back from Bangkok on Tiger Air! How blessed and fortunate! First post, on our hotel!
Glow Pratunum came recommended by Yvonne who went there earlier last month and it was really nice!
Very comfortable, love the fluffy soft bed and pillow, very clean, and it is very new too!
There isn’t a tub but I don’t mind at all! Bangkok tap water is not exactly clean for soaking. Haha.
Their toilet is connected to the room via a wardrobe which is accessible by the toilet or the room!
The room also comes with a couch! Perfect for breakfast and snacking.
Spacious and corners to dump your luggage!
Best part? Just a short walk to Platinum Mall and walking distance to Central World!
Our glowy hotel! It actually looks like a Love Hotel from the outside, with those lights and all pinky like a club. Haha.
Here are the Yays and Nays of this hotel!
- Really affordable. I booked it at a promotional fare of SGD 285.79 for 4D3N stay without breakfast via Hotels.com! and also top up an additional SGD 60 – 70 for a half day extension till 5pm.
- Great location for shopaholics! Just a short walk away to Platinum Mall and there are many facilities around the hotel. E.g Starbucks and 24 Hours Mac Donald right below the hotel!
- Walking distance to the nearest BTS station.It took us approximately 15 minutes to walk over to the BTS station. Otherwise, there are plenty of Taxi and Tuk Tuk outside the hotel.
- Clean and comfortable.
- Cable TV (e.g Channel News Asia, Sony Entertainment, Universal, Syfy, MTV etc) are available
- Free Wifi in the room! Extremely important!
- Swimming pool, gym and steam room available. But we didn’t get to use them! Too busy shopping.
- Provide 4 bottles of complimentary water!
- BTS station is not at the door step. Haha.
- Basic amenities like safe, fridge, kettle are available, but I wished they provide better shampoos / shower foam (we used our own instead), disposable shaver and a box of tissue in the room instead of just in the toilet! Haha. Ok, as you can see, I am really nitpicking because there is really nothing to complain about!
So will I recommend this hotel to my friends? Absolutely yes! Will I stay there again? Very likely unless there is another hotel recommended by my friend to give it a try! Haha.
During the Hari Raya holiday on Tuesday, a crazy war happened between 7am to 9am. Crazy because who wakes up before 7am on a public holiday, and secondly, who is able to secure 6 tickets in under an hour with all the dates and decision making, and lastly, the price is just crazy!
Scoot was having promotional fare starting at SGD 88 from Singapore to Taiwan, Seoul, Tokyo and Gold Coast. In the short span of time, I managed to secure 6 tickets to Taiwan for my family at an average price of SGD 273! I am so subscribing to Scoot Newsletter for any crazy sale again!
On the other side of the line, is my crazy sister (who shared with us on this deal), mahjong mum (who played throughout the night and was awake at 7am) and my sister’s grumpy boyfriend (ok, I’m not sure if he is grumpy but she nudged him awake for this crazy deal). After securing the tickets for a family of six for a nine days holiday to Taiwan next May. My sister proceeded to book another group of tickets to Seoul for next June! Return tickets to Seoul, Tokyo and Gold Coast were all below SGD 400! Can you believe it? I was so tempted to book another sets of ticket to Tokyo just for the fun of it! I love Tokyo! But was reminded to save money for our Taiwan trip. Boo! Reality is such a damper!
I want to see Alishan’s sunrise!
So yeap. I am now planning for a nine days holiday to Taiwan for my family even before my Bangkok trip (in a few hours) and Langkawi trip (in March)! La la la. Traveling keeps me sane!
A while back my ex colleague Elisa started an Instagram / Facebook page for her quirky doodles and illustration elicollarbones which have been gaining popularity in the instagram-sphere. Till date, she has got 316 followers and it is increasing daily as we are speaking. It started out as a random doodle site but gained popularity during the Minions-Craze where she started drawing and posting pictures of her own versions of cute and silly minions.
Recently she came out with her #collrbnsHIDEandSEEK challenge where she doodles and hides them in a secret location. Whoever finds it and shares it on her page will get a customized drawing in the size of a name card!
So with some sheer luck, I happened to pass by Orchard Central for my late morning Yoga session yesterday and decided to give it a try to see if it is still around! And TADAH! I found it! Haha. I’ve submitted my request and guess what have I requested for? A Vintage Owl of course! I’m really excited to see elicollarbones‘ creative interpretation of it! Stay tuned for an update!