Archive | August 2013

Lazy Sunday Afternoon at Sentosa Cove, Singapore

A few weekends back, I met up with my university friends at Sentosa Cove for some catching up, lazy lunch and afternoon tea. It was a great time out! Sentosa Cove is the playground of the rich and expats and for once, it is not crowded! We went to Brussels Sprouts for lunch and Kith for some cakes!

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At Brussels Sprouts, their most popular dish is their mussels. Their mussels come with free flow of Belgium Fries (thick fries) and their starter size is just right for a lady. I find their mussels a little small though but their sauce is yummilicious.

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I ordered their Starter Mussels in Fromage Bleu (SGD 20) and love it! Blue cheese, mushroom and bamboo shoots. Would love it even more if the taste of the blue cheese is a little stronger.

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The boys ordered their Ostendaise sauce and it was a heavenly broth cooked from a concoction of fish stock, shrimp and lobster bisque.

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Qian ordered Chorizo with Clams and I love the Chorizo with Paprika!

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Ian ordered their Fish & Chips and it was “bah” (self define as an expression of moderation close to boredom).

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Cat’s fish – cod and mussels – (haha the irony) wasn’t too bad but the portion is tiny for the price at SGD 34.

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Val’s baked crab meat was interesting, SGD 28. Haha.

Brussels Sprouts is really family friendly too! Colin kidnaped his friend’s kid from another restaurant and apparently on all weekends and public holidays, kids below 10 eat free! So the little kiddo got herself a little cup of ice cream! There is a play area outside the restaurant too!

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Generally Sentosa Cove is also very pets friendly, many dogs big and small hung out with their owner at the alfresco dining area! So friends with pets, here is one place you may want to bring your little kiddo or fur kids out to play!

We then walked over to Kith for some coffee and cakes! It was a great place to just chill out and have a cup of sanity!

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I can’t remember what this cake is called but we were being a little too adventurous. This cake is just weird. It is as though you are suppose to eat this layer by layer, you have peanut butter, cherry, cheesecake, chocolate, some random nutty crunchy stuff and other random flavours in there. When you take a bite with all flavours at one go, you go, erm, ooh, ahh, o-kay, and gulped. Yeap, but it tasted great when you slice it up layer by layer. Haha.

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Their velvet cake is beautiful, moist and tasty, but I am not a fan of those coconut flakes (or anything coconut) at the side.

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My Dream Holiday, Oia Mare Villas.

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Did I ever tell you that my dream holiday is Oia, Santorini in Greece? I came across this hotel in one of the magazines and gosh, I am drooling already. I need to bookmark this for future reference. Say when I am feeling really really rich (which is never). Haha. How can anyone not be in love in such a beautiful place? I can hug and kiss everyone on their cheeks and sing all Abba songs everyday if I’m there! Mama Mia~ Can someone please fly me there?

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This is my dream holiday. Here in Oia Mare Villas. Among the white and blue, overlooking the beautiful sunset.

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Bangkok!

I am going Bangkok in October!

It was initially an all girls shopping trip, but Alphania is now pregnant with a baby girl (CONGRATS!)! A few months back I told the girls I had to cancel the trip too because of my new responsibilities! Without risking not visiting Bangkok, Yvonne got her flight changed and flew off the night before with her university friend (*wink wink)!

But a few days back, my schedule is out and it seems like I can squeeze in a Bangkok trip before all hell break loose in November and since I got the go ahead from my boss, Bangkok is now back on track! It is really a bonus because I went Phuket thinking that I will miss out on Bangkok and now, I have rearranged it to be a shopping and sightseeing trip!

Chatuchak and Platinum Mall will top my list! But I will want to visit Rod Fat Night Market (which sells random vintage stuffs, wanted to visit this place but failed the last Bangkok trip as we were too tired) and go out on a day trip to Ayutthaya! A UNESCO side and I love ruins!

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Grabbed it off Jieying’s Facebook page! Haha.

Random Button Cable Tie

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Source: Qoo 10

I got these button cable tie from Qoo 10 and couldn’t resist them. At SGD2.80 for a pair of identical design, they are too cute. But I wished the quality could be better as the rubber wasn’t cut properly, glue was stuck all over and the colour for my fox faded a little. For this quality, perhaps it should be retailing at $1.50 instead. But the seller’s service was great and prompt! I bet these cost nothing when we buy direct from China! More like 10 – 20 cents per pair! Haha.

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I should stop buy random stuffs from Qoo 10!

Phuket Town Weekend Market

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Phuket weekend market, located along Chao Fa West Road just outside Phuket Town not far from Central Festival.

There is often a night/street market in many Asian countries, e.g Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, China etc, and after researching online, Phuket Town Weekend Market stood out from the rest as being the liveliest one in Phuket!

It is far from Bangkok’s Chatuchak but it is a good place to visit when you have enough booze and just want some light shopping for souvenirs and random clothes, and some pigging out with even more street food!

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The range of clothes are not as wide as Bangkok but it sure beats Patong’s random Chang Beer T-shirts! You can’t try them on though and they are mostly “free size” but actually, it is mainly Asian XS or S size.

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This is the only store which stood out from the rest with something original. I wanted to get the “Spot the Dog in 99 Cats” painting for Chengwei’s new place but wasn’t quite prepared to lug it back home with an already overweight luggage filled with snacks for my staffs!

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Really Cute!

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Just like Chatuchak, they have a little corner selling pets and accessories. Poor Lemurs.

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My favourite street food again, BBQ Pork on Stick.

Patong Beach, Phuket

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Who says Patong Beach is dirty and messy? We woke up to a glorious sunny morning and decided to head to the beach. It was peaceful and clean, the sand is fine, the water is clear and the waves are huge! Perhaps it’s because it’s a morning and the monsoon season! If we have more time, I would love to just laze around for a tan while people watching.

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Bangla Street, Patong

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Ready to visit Bangla Street!

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This is where crazy Thailand comes alive at night, with pole dancers (wrigglers), Ping Pong Shows and trannies come out to play. I’m only interested in clean fun but it is still an interesting sight and definitely a treat for all five senses.

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At Bangla Street, you can only find western food or bars except for a “Food Court” which serves local food!

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My favourite street food is the barbecue pork on stick!

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Monkey Cave Temple, Phang Nga

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After our ATV session at Phang Nga we were supposed to visit a waterfall, but the rain the day before and during the early morning made some trees collapsed and blocked out the entrance to the waterfall. Boo. But we did get to visit the Monkey Cave Temple in Phang Nga! There is a nominal fee of THB 20 to enter the temple and it is well worth the THB 20. I love caves and I find it really amazing to build a temple within a cave! If it is along the way to your ATV, Water rafting, or Elephant riding sessions in Phang Nga, it is worth a short visit!

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This guy snatched a bag full of bananas from a tourist! They just can’t wait for you to feed them!

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Put it back!

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Source: Asia One

I’m really excited about Singapore Night Festival this weekend! Will be visiting the exhibits, watch some performance and pop by the flea market! But guess what? Some people stole 114 pieces of the artwork during the first weekend. OMG! This is so embarrassing for Singapore. The artist allowed us to interact with the exhibit freely but it does not mean it is free to bring it home! Put it back people!

// I caught a bad flu and am staying at home to clear some blogs! Haha.

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Was at Plaza Singapura New Wing and grabbed a replacement brush head for my Clarisonic Mia 2 at Sephora. There after checked out Watson to see if there are any good deals and to my surprise, K-Palette 24 Hr Lasting Eyeliner is on sale at 2 for $30! At selected Watson stores (I suppose the ones with poorer sales) there is an ongoing promotion for Watson Members where a purchase of $30 will give you a $3 coupon with a minimum spend of $20!

This coupon led me to the evil of shopping. Haha. While I was walking around the store for other good deals, the promoter of Uriage then introduced me her range of products from France which are all water based. Each items were retailing at approximately $30 – $39 and so I added 4 more steps to with a discount of $3 (from coupon) for each items! This is what happened why you are ageing and you will try all means to slow that down and maintain whatever youth that is left in you. Haha.

Will try it out and share if it is good!

 

ATV adventure at Phang Nga, Thailand

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We travelled all the way to Phang Nga from Phuket for an exciting ATV session! It is about 2 hours drive up to Phang Nga and it is in between Krabi and Phuket. You can either enjoy ATV session in Phuket itself, where they travel mainly on roads and bring you around to see the Big Buddha. But we opted to go Phang Nga for a more adventurous session!

Phang Nga is where most tourist go for Elephant riding, white water rafting and ATV; but for us, we picked a 2 hours ATV session!

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The river for rafting!

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Ele Ele Elephants!

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Before we started, the operator got us to sign an agreement that if we break any parts of the vehicle, we have to pay!

The first hour was mainly getting use to the vehicle, travelling on smoother gravel paths, muds and occasional slopes.

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We travelled here for for a few spin and photos!

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The operator took this for us and wanted to charge us THB200 (SGD 8)! Nope, I didn’t buy it.

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The second hour was the real adventure. Rocky terrains, crossing rivers, riding up and down slopes at almost 45 degree angle, got stuck in mud up on a slope and riding over potholes. I almost died. I was a nerve wreak trying to manoeuvre the machine and it was a crazy ride!

This is where we got stuck at this rocky stream before heading up slope!

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One of the smaller slopes!

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The only souvenir we brought home! Mud and wonderful memories!

A disaster at the beach, Phuket

This post is about what not to wear or do at a beach to avoid looking like a disaster.

I will probably sound like a bitch in this post and I accept that, but it’s not surprising if you get photobomb by tourists in almost all your pictures.

Another couple commented that this is the worst place on earth, and even though that is a little of an exaggeration, it is definitely not some where I would want to be.

So here goes!

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Do not wear granny long dress to a beach. Unless it is a really sexy one with a resort vibe and preferably worn at a pool or beach villa, than it is fine. Otherwise you will not only end up looking like a disaster, it will also be an impractical and a messy business.

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An umbrella at a sunny beach? That’s a sin! If you can’t embrace the glorious sunny day blessed for a day at the beach, stay indoor! Otherwise you end up sticking out like a sore thumb.

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I know neon colours are trendy these days but clashing bright neon colours are not for the faint hearted.

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Floral top matched with floral bottom? I’m speechless.

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Big bright and large beach hat. That is so Fong Fei Fei.

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Huge flowers on your head? Checked. A huge bright scarf ? Checked. A beach? Checked. Waving a huge bright scarf on a beach with a huge flower on your head while getting your picture taken? Definitely something you see out of an MTV from the 1980s.

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Never ever attempt to take girly-acting sexy-unnatural looking photo right in front of a big wave. You look more like a drench chicken. Try something strong and sexy instead. Like a standing or walking towards the beach pose. Imagine the girls from Baywatch.

Phi Phi Island Hopping Tour, Phuket

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On the fourth day of our Phuket trip, we head out for island hopping! We were blessed with a glorious sunny day which gave me uneven tan and sunburn. Haha. All my hopes for a healthy glow ended up with peeling black patches on my shoulder. Boo.

Initially we wanted to visit Similan Island for some real snorkeling but it is close during the monsoon period, so we had little options and decided to visit Phi Phi Island instead. Bad choice, really bad decision here. Thankfully it was a beautiful day and we got some pretty pictures with a clear blue sky!

So back to the island hopping tour, we sat on a bumpy speed boat which died every 20 minutes and landed first at Maya Bay.

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Beautiful isn’t it!

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Clear clear water!

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I hate my tummy.

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The only “quiet” patch of beach on Maya Bay.

From afar, the place looks gorgeous but as we move nearer, we were greeted with hundreds of tourist on the beach and a whole sea of yachts. It was a frightening sight. We were flooded with hundreds tourists!

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Tell me this won’t ruin your beach holiday?

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Maya Bay where the movie “The Beach” was filmed, but where is the freaking beach!

After Maya Bay, we move on to Viking Cave (Bird’s Nest Cave), Monkey Bay (horrible place where they throw fruits to them, making them aggressive and dependent on human feeding), snorkeling in the open sea (where they throw breads to attract one type of fish to swim around us) before we stop by Phi Phi Island for lunch break. Lunch was average. You can’t expect much from it.

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Viking Cave. If only we can go in to see the cave wall painting left behind by the vikings. Boo.

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Monkey Bay. Painful to watch them feed the monkeys.

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Fake snorkeling.

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Lunch.

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Touring around Phi Phi Island and rewarding myself with a Magnum ice cream (really cheap in Thailand, smaller is size but half the price!) after suffering in the trip.

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Me giving up at Phi Phi Island.

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Phi Phi Island.

After lunch we headed to Khai Nai Island for some tanning and relaxing at the beach. The beach is beautiful, less crowded because it is much bigger, but not suited for swimming. The beach is filled with rocks and corals and there is no fresh clean water in this island. So you can imagine the condition of the washroom there. After walking around, we decided to rent a couple of beach chairs and an umbrella for THB 150.

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Love the colourful beach umbrella though!

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My thunder thigh and my bulging tummy are scary and I hate my uneven tan lines. I shall stop snacking and do more yoga. Yikes.

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Some tropical fruits for us as we relax in Khai Nai Island.

H&M Home in US

I am so annoyed. Simply Grove shared that H&M Home launched their online store in US last week. I want these cushion covers! H&M currently has five clothing stores in Singapore and I am waiting impatiently for their Home Collection! Say Yes to beautiful and affordable home accessories from this Swedish brand! I want! Some of the cushion covers are on sale and going for as low as US$4! OMG!

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Source: Simply Grove

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Source: Simply Grove

John Gray’s Sea Canoeing “Hong by Starlight”, Phuket – Part II

After our expedition shared in the previous post, we were cold and hungry. Even though we didn’t canoe on our own for most of the time, the excitement and sights did tire us down. We were not allowed to canoe on our own as navigating the caves requires experience and expertise to avoid damaging the canoe and hurting ourselves.

As the evening draws near, we were treated with a feast of barbecued chicken, thai style fish, delicious Tom yum soup and other lovingly prepared food in the tiny kitchen in our yacht.

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After dinner, we had a make-your-own Krathong session conducted by our instructor.

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Tadah! Our creation!

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Other styles of Krathong in the making.

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Definitely a family bonding activity.

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Can’t wait to get back into the water to launch it!

Another picture of my toe for Toemail submission! Canoeing in sea caves at night! Woooo. If you are afraid of the dark and are suffering from mild Claustrophobia, close your eyes and breathe through the ride of a few metres in total darkness.

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Some of the team launched their Krathong ahead of us!

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Eager to launch my Krathong too!

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Pure serenity and magic.

To the Thais, launching the Krathong during Loi Krathong festival allowed them to make wishes, send the negative thoughts away and thank the Goddess of River. This is especially relevant for the Thai communities who lived by rivers or water bodies. We appreciate the tour operators’ thoughtfulness in exposing us to their culture. It is a unique one which no other tour operator provides. Most of the sea canoeing activities ends in mid afternoon by other tour operators but John Gray Sea Canoe organised their activities to begin in the afternoon for the exact same reason. To get away from the crowd and connect with the nature.

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As the crew drew up the anchor from the last resting spot, it concludes the night as we enjoy the sea breeze back to mainland.

 

John Gray’s Sea Canoeing “Hong by Starlight”, Phuket – Part I

I’ve been an avid reader of Toemail and I love the blog! At Toemail, readers from all over the world contribute posts about their daily life or cool places they visited! I’ve always wanted to be featured in their blog but didn’t have a nice picture of my toes or a good story to share! But this time round, I’ve experienced a superb tour in Phuket and am trying my luck here flashing my toes and writing about canoeing in sea caves by day and by night! Yes, you heard me right, by night too! It was a magical experience in a peaceful nature environment, an experience which allowed me to connect myself with the nature in a way no other tour operators are able to offer.

Here is the first post where we canoe in the day exploring sea caves. In the second posts, we had a feast, made our own Kratong, explore sea caves at night and launch our Kratong while wishing for good luck.

Before I begin, I need to declare this day trip the best trip ever throughout our Phuket trip! One not to be missed! I had a mission to canoe among sea caves and while researching for the best tour operators, John Gray’s Sea Canoeing program “Hong by Starlight” repeatedly stood out from the rest. Their reviews were mostly positive with visitors all around the world raving about it. It was an award winning tour, not the cheapest but the one with the best value and experience. I had to go for it.

I also love that they truly care for the environment, whenever we canoe pass a trash, the instructors will surely pick it up. They also choose to start their tour in the afternoon to avoid the noisy tourists from other tours which we experienced in Phi Phi Island. If you are curious about this tour, you can also visit their website here.

Don’t book it online because you can negotiate with tour operators at various booking desks found all over Patong Beach, Phuket. We booked ours at the tour desk in our hotel lobby at a price lower than online price. Generally rule in Thailand, you can bargain for almost everything.

So here is the post proper.

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Ok. Perhaps I should not start the post with a picture of myself acting cute. Haha. Totally putting off my dear readers but I’m quite cute right. Haha.

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We were blessed with a drizzling day and when I said blessed, I mean it. On hindsight, after experiencing a scorching sunny day on the second last day with burnt skin, we were thankful that it was a cloudy drizzling day on the second! Even though we looked pathetic in most pictures because of the rain, it did not dampened out spirit!

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Hopped into a local bus like this to get to our yacht.

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Before we set off, we were treated with yummy noodles, spring rolls and tropical fruits to boost our energy!

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Thereafter, our chief instructor shared some safety guidelines and the area we are about to explore. Sea caves are like donuts in the sea. Imagine a donut in water and the main objective is to get into the centre circle of the donut. Inside the centre circle, it is filled with trees and mangroves. The only way into the centre circle is through sea caves. Sea caves are like bites of donut and it allow a way into the centre circle. But the sea caves are not always open to explorers like us! If the tide is too low, the caves will be dried up and with sharp rocks, it is too dangerous to get in. When the tide is too high, the entire cave will be filled with water and the canoe will not be able to venture in. If we are able to get in, we also have to make sure we can get out, and that is why the experience and expertise of the instructors are very important.

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With that information, we were all set to go! Enjoy the view! Some of them were a little blurry but with an iPhone tucked in a waterproof case, that’s the best we had. Haha.

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There were all sorts of caves. Big and small, tall and short, wide and narrow. At some point, we even had to lay flat on the canoes to avoid hitting our head!

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Me drenched in a pink poncho like a giant bubblegum. Yikes.

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Inside the donut, a mangrove tree!

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Canoe instructors from other tour operators taking a break by anchoring their canoe on the caves.

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There were barnacles and broken death oysters all above the edge of the caves and upon closer inspection, we spotted crabs! Many many many crabs! There were probably thousands or ten of thousands of mini green crabs, but my lousy camera can’t zoom in for a good picture.

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Can you spot the crab which camouflage really well?

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After canoeing, we were given some free time to canoe on our own and swim around!

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We were also given yummy banana muffins and hot tea / coffee. How thoughtful!

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This trip is fantastic and it is only part one! There are more in the next post.

Birthday at River Safari

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So with my free admission on my birthday, I visited River Safari with great excitement!

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It is after all a relatively new tourist attraction in Singapore and it is my first visit there! It is a small park as almost half of the area is still not ready! It will be ready at the end of the year though!

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Here are some of my favourite sights in River Safari!

Amazon Flooded River

This was breathtaking and really magical! My favourite of it all!

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Spider Monkey Enclosure

They are really cheeky and some guests got harassed by these cheeky ones.

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Red Pandas and Giant Pandas

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Red pandas are really cute too! Look at their face.

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I’m not sure which is Kai Kai or Jia Jia, but one is sleepy and one is hungry. Haha.

Mekong River Giant Catfish

The Giant Catfish was a little disappointing though. I was expecting national geographic like two metres giant catfish!

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Birthday at Singapore Zoo

I’ve never celebrated my birthday in the Singapore Zoo and I’m thrilled to visit the Zoo on my birthday! Upon searching online to see if there are any ongoing discounts, I found out that the Zoo gives out free admission to birthday girl and boy, in my case, birthday lady! Weee!

The best part of this treat? It is free admission to all four parks (Bird Park, Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari) for all Singaporeans and permanent residents on their actual birthday! I didn’t have the energy to tour all parks in the same day, so I picked Singapore Zoo and River Safari and save myself S$39!

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To top it off, I was given a birthday badge and 10% discount at all F&B! I was also given free ice cream but the queue in the restaurant was too long, so I skipped it.

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It was all fun but the queue at the ticket booth was horrible, it was after all a public holiday and the zoo was thronging with tourists and families! They should have allowed me to get my free admission at the priority queue to make me feel extra special! Haha. After all, it is my day!

I will share some of my favourite sights of Singapore Zoo in this post and the River Safari in another post.

I love our Zoo and am very proud of it. It is definitely the best zoo I’ve ever visited and it is indeed a world class zoo! The animals look happy, the habitat looks close to their natural habitat and there were many areas for animal interaction.

Elephant of Asia

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The elephants are so smart and cute! Raising National Flag in commemorating National Day!

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Free Range Orang Utans

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Frozen Tundra

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Fragile Forest

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Getting up close and personal with some animals!

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Turning 28 in 2 days time

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I am turning 28 in 2 days time and all I want is to stay young, happy, healthy, fearless and beautiful inside and out. I know I’m a little greedy. Haha.

Shall blog more about my Phuket trip and my birthday reflection when I feel like it. Meanwhile, I shall indulge in the fact that a taxi driver complimented that I look beautiful, young and classy on my way back from the airport and to top it off, he mentioned that I don’t look a day like 28 and if he would have guess my age, it will be 23. HAHA. Perhaps he is a little creepy, but I don’t really care. I look like 23! Wee!