Sunday, September 23, 2018

Thrilled by Yogyakarta

Personal Experience: 8/10 

Travel Period: 4D3N
Travel Mode, Time & Cost:r
Flight: Air Asia
Duration: 2 hr 45 mins
Return Cost: RM 426.50 / pax

KJ Hotel - Family Suite (Fits 4)
Cost: RM 280/ night
Remarks: Spacious, clean and close to Parangtritis Street (Bars, cafes, night club etc) but from the room, I barely hear any noise.
Rating: 8/10

Malaysians - Eligible to travel visa-free.
You can check your visa requirements here:

General Remarks:
1) Food and activities are really worthy but you will need a good driver aka guide as attractions are mostly away from town.

2) GRAB to places close to town (i.e Malioboro St) - 10-15 mins drive for approximately 20k IDR.

3) Here's my highly recommended guide: Pak Koko [IG: cocorico1605, +62 877-3885-5929] is an attentive and professional guide. Would love to give him a shoutout for the awesome service.

4) Airport transfer is approximately 100k/way.

Exchange Rate as of September 2018: RM 2.80 ~ 10,000 IDR.

Activities (Recommended in Bold):

1) Sandboarding @ Gumuk Pasir Parangkusumo
Transport:  IDR 150k from hotel/car
Activity: IDR 100k/board (You are only required to pay rental for the board)

2-days transport with the following activities is IDR 1.36 mil per person:-

2) Goa Jomblang
3) Cave Tubing @ Goa Pindul - Not recommended (Perhaps you can opt for Kalisuci instead)
4) Hutan Pinus Pengger

5) Mount Merapi - We got a great guide that brought us to many good spot for pictures!
Activity: Additional 400k for one jeep rental that fits 4.
6) Punthuk Setumbu

7) Chicken Church - Not recommended (Opt for other activities nearby instead)

8) Borobudur - Perfect for photos in the evening and with some help from the expert(friendly security guards) nearby!

List of local food worth trying (Recommended - Bold):

1) Nasi Gudeg Yu Djum - A bit on the sweet side which doesn't seem like a proper meal for my taste buds.

2) Sate - Loved the sate from Dapur El near my hotel.
3) Fried chicken in any other place- I believe this will be acceptable by everyone. Just ask them to keep the sambal/chillies aside.
4) Bakpia (Green bean paste/other flavours pastry) - This is like Malaysian version of biskut tambun. Worth trying! (A box of 20 - IDR 50K)
5) Kue Bandung - The amount of cheese, margarine and chocolate in this... I witnessed it with my own eyes. I was afraid that it will be awfully sweet but the taste was surprisingly sinful great. Our guide especially drove us here to grab this cause he said it is a very famous. (One pan with cheese, peanut and chocolate - IDR 70K)
6) Traditional delicacies @ Malioboro Street
In Malaysia, we call the green ones onde-onde but at Yogyakarta, it is known as Kelepon. Instead, the brown one is known as onde-onde.
I forgot what is this called but generally, if you see someone having a small pan over charcoal frying egg with meat floss and onion, it is most probably it.

7) J-Co Cafe - Feel free to order the doughnuts but NEVER EVER ORDER THE AVOCADO CAFFE. It's so damn sweet that 4 of us could not finish one cup of drink.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience in Yogyakarta. It was an exhausting trip given we had to wake up early as we were there for a short period of time but overall, the experience was overwhelming. 

If we were meant to stay in one place, we should have roots instead of feet.

Explore East Malaysia, City of Borneo - Kota Kinabalu

Personal Experience: 5/10 

Travel Period: 4D3N
Travel Mode, Time & Cost:r
Flight: Air Asia
Duration: 2 hr 40 mins
Return Cost: RM 426.50 / pax

Hotel Sixty3 - Family Suite (Fits 4)
Cost: RM 382 / night
Remarks: Spacious, clean and close to Gaya St Weekend Market, Yee Fung Laksa and Jesselton Point.
Rating: 8/10
Malaysians - Eligible to travel with I/C and will be granted 3-months stay with a white card. Retain the white card till you leave Sabah.

You can check your visa requirements here:

General Remarks:
Ideal if you are looking for a short trip with a combination of island and city.

Recommended activities:

1) Sutera Harbour Sunset Cruise
Price: RM 230/pax including transportation to and fro from hotel, inclusive buffet dinner
Remarks: Recommended for those whom are willing to spend some dime to chill with the ocean. We even had a dance floor with the live band towards the end, initiated by my supercool mum!
2) Mantanani Island 
Remarks: Perfect for snrokelling. You don't need a guide, just swim all the way to the middle of the ocean and enjoy the underwater wonders. I spotted plenty of baby nemos in their nest!
Tips: Food is rather expensive on the island hence, do pack your food and water from the jetty!

NOT RECOMMENDED: Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs.
Glamourous tour name with a hefty price tag (RM 165/pax) but overall, we weren't satisfied at all. Kinabalu Park is basically a tropical forest (which can easily be found everywhere for free) while Poring Hot Springs is a public hot spring which are fully occupied by locals, not well-maintained either and our lunch was at a warung opposite Poring Hot Springs whereby food provided wasn't suffice for my family of 4. Worst, we saw the signboard whereby the entrance fee is only RM 3-5/pax for Malaysians. For its price and travel time, I'll say you can skip this unless your are camping / hiking KK or visiting Kundasang for some chill time. Alternatively, book a Grab (which is cheap in KK) and do your own travelling instead of following a tour. I booked mine from Klook.
 Traditional Nebula Market - My only highlight for the entire tour.
You'll have to pay additional RM 30/pax to see this largest flower in the world.

List of local food that I had chance to explore:
 1) Yee Fung Laksa
2) Kedai Kopi Jia Siang - Pork Noodles (It's very famous but it's like RM 10 a bowl of that black sauce noodles which I will not recommend it if you are visiting KL cause we have better ones at cheaper price)
Photo Credit: Google Image
3) Seafood - You can try Welcome Seafood Restaurant (recommended by a local friend) or Seafood Place (opposite Jesselton Point). I like for a fact that in KK, they allow you to choose your live seafood. Seafood frenzy for a fan like me!
Photo Credit: Google Image
4) Tong Hing Supermarket & Bakery - Try their cream puffs!
Photo Credit: Google Image
5) Kopi Ping Cafe - Good local coffee/tea and food.

Overall, I had a great bonding sesh with my family but the state itself, was rather boring in my opinion. I would rather spend time in Penang or Ipoh if not for the Borneo experience.

Don't you rather have a life of oh wells than what ifs?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Escape to Da Nang & Hoi An

You can view my video log here:  Here.

Travel Period: 5D4N

Travel Mode, Time & Cost:
KL- Da Nang - KLFlight: Air AsiaFlight Duration: 2 hours 25 minutesCost: RM 667 inclusive of hotel / pax (Booked via Air Asia Go)
Hoi An Emerald Waters Hotel & SpaLocation: Strategic. 10-mins cycle to Old Town & An Bang(two major highlights at Hoi An) beach respectively.(There was a renovation going on in my first room which was near to a renovation site but they quickly changed my room the next day. In my new room, while sound-proof was much better, the shower's heater was not working efficiently.)

Service: Prompt and efficient. (No tips asked)

Rating: 7/10 
Malaysians / Singaporeans travel visa free. 
You can check your visa requirements here:

General Remarks:
i) An escapade ideal for a good mix of small town bustle, beach activities and relaxing.ii) Cheap foodiii) Affordable escapadeiv) From where I live, bicycles are provided for free and I can cycle around conveniently.

*MYR 1.76 = 10,000 VND

Top 5 Food to Try at Hoi An:

Remarks: While you can easily find many road side stalls, cafes and restaurants at Old Town, but the list below is your MUST TRY!\

1) Banh Mi Phuong
Address: 2B, Phan Chu Trinh, Cam Chau, Hoi An
Price: 20,000 VND - 30,000 VND/ banh mi / smoothie
Remarks: Banh Mi (filled crispy french baguette) here is so good, you won't want to have it else where. Their smoothies like avocado smoothie is pure too! For less sweet option, you can opt away their condensed milk.

2) 85 Celcius Cafe
Address: 19 Duong nguyen Phuc Chu, Phuong Minh An (Old Town)
Price: 20,000 VND - 50,000 VND /drink
Remarks: It is on the quieter side of the street, across the bridge at Old Town. Seats at the front of the cafe is perfect drinks in the evening, with free live band from the neighbouring restaurant. My chill place after dinner for 3 nights!
Photo credit: Google Images
3) Soul Kitchen, An Bang Beach
Address: Lo 9B, Tp, Hoi An, Quang Nam (An Bang Beach)
Price ~350,000 VND/ pax for a main course, drinks and dessert
Remarks: If you would like to sit closer to the edge/beach, reservation is needed for dinner crowd. A live band will kick start about 8 PM. Food was not too bad given the surround ambiance and price.
Photo credit: Google Images
3) Mango Mango
Address: Nguyen Phuc Chu, An Hoi, Thanh pho Hoi An (Old Town)
Price: 350,000 VND / meal excluding drinks
Remarks: This meal was the most expensive I had in Vietnam but it was definitely one of the most fulfilling one. I had duck and it suited my taste buds with generous portion.
4) Hoi An Night Market
Location: Old Town
Price: 10,000 VND/skewer
Remarks: Roast meat skewers are famous in Hoi An and you'll see them everywhere but there's this shop at night market which was one of the best and cheapest I had at Hoi An.
5) Hoi An Roastery Cafe
Location: Old Town (several branches)
Price: 50,000 - 90,000 VND / drink
Remarks: Vietnam coffee is world-famous and the one I had in this cafe (twice, different branch) was strong, unique with their own flavour such as coconut.; You can also buy some coffee beans / ground powder and coffee filters home as souvenirs, like we did!

If you had enough of the summer, escape the heat from Hoi An and head to Ba Na Hill, Da Nang which is about 1-hr drive from Hoi An. Ba Na Hill has the longest cable car in the world.

Ba Na Hill, Da Nang
A French village themed with flower dome and garden, classic and modern restaurants, theme park for some youthful fun and the longest cable car ride that will bring you various places. 

Sadly when I was there, the outdoor Buddha bridge was closed for renovation.

Some dreams are not consistent with reality.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Top Food and Places in Bangkok, Thailand


Travel Period: 5D4N

Travel Mode, Time & Cost:

SG - DMK, Don Mueang - SG
Flight: Air Asia
Flight Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes
Cost: SGD 417.50 inclusive of hotel / pax (Booked via Air Asia Go)


Mandarin Hotel managed by Centre Point

Remarks: Definitely one of the better 4-stars hotel I had stayed. Good service, free shuttle to hot picks location, sufficient amenities and facilities.


Malaysians / Singaporeans travel visa free.
You can check your visa requirements here:

General Remarks:

i) This is definitely a shopping city, perfect for the ladies (But honestly, this trip, my man bought more than me, if you care less about brands)

ii) Great for massage and spa

iii) If you love Thai cuisine, this is just perfect. From pork skewers to tom yum goong, it is love. Be prepared to get spiced up!

iv) Generally, everything here is relatively cheap where you can enjoy maximum satisfaction with any budget.

v) Taxi in Bangkok is cheap especially if you are a group of 3 or 4. Opt for meter taxi but you can give in to fixed rates if you find them reasonable. (i.e Pratunam Market to Sam Yan is about 100 baht) or, for a guarantee rate, just use Grab Taxi / Just Grab(higher frequency) if you are leaving from a tourist hot-spot.

*SGD 1 = THB 24.39 as of January 2018.

P.S Sorry for some of the low quality photos as they were cropped from my video as I was too busy filming.


1) Wang Lang Market
Transport: Wang Lang Pier / Meter Taxi (less than 100 baht from Sam Yan)
Remarks: Good for down-to-earth local foodies! The market is not that huge so you can walk around and you'll be able to find these stalls. You can pay attention to the crowd which mostly consists of locals.

Wang Lang Bakery - Stuffed Bread (Over 50 varieties) : 50 baht (SGD 2.05)
Boat Noodle (Pork / Beef) : 25 - 35 baht (SGD 1 - 1.50) / bowl (Love their pork broth!)
Teriyaki Pork : 40 baht (SGD 1.70) / small packet
Local Fruits (Pomegranate, Jackfruit, Pineapple, Mango): 20 baht (SGD 0.80) / unit or pack
Custard Puffs : 20 baht (SGD 0.80)/ box , 50 baht / 3 boxes (I prefer the Chocolate puffs, clearly)
2) Artbox, Suanluang Square
1) Please check the dates and venue from their Facebook page as Artbox is a moving market.
2) You'll find many interesting and new, modified version of food. Some of it are good, some of it are merely for Instagram.
3) Price will definitely be on the higher end as compared to local market / road side stalls.

 Fire-torched Australia beef with salt & pepper : 180 baht (SGD 7.40) - The caption is cause my dad loves this. (so do I)
 Fun-filled baos, which nice to see but just okay to eat: 20 - 35 baht / bao (SGD 0.82 - 1.40)
3) Phan Khom, 7th Floor, Central World
Transport: BTS to Siam / Chit Lom.
Remarks: It was a random walk-in, but the food surprises. I don't really recall their prices but they are reasonable, definitely cheaper than the long-queued Nara.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimps : 200 baht (SGD 8)
Note: This was from Chatuchak Central Food Market. Huge, but tasted bland.
Pandan Fried Chicken : 150 baht (SGD 6)
 Coconut Pudding - TOO GOOD TO IGNORE : 50 baht (SGD 2)
4) Chatuchak Weekend Market
1) BTS to Mo Chit (Walk about 5-10 minutes to the market)
2) MRT to Kamphaengpecth Station (In the market)
Remarks: For food you bought facing the roads, you can always buy them and bring them to stalls that has seats which usually serve main dishes.

Pork Skewers / Pork Sausages (Located at Chathuchak Food Market Central, sidelined stores with no seating) : 10 - 20 baht (SGD 0.40 - 0.80) / stick 
You can also find rather good pork skewers at Siam Paragon Food Market (Basement) for 20-35 baht (SGD 0.80 - 1.40)/ stick
Mango Sticky Rice & Mango Shake (Located at Chathuchak Food Market Central, sidelined stores with no seating) : 50 baht (SGD 2)/ each
Coconut Ice Cream (Located right outside of MRT Kamphaengpecth) : 60 baht / cup / 3 toppings
5) Supermarket / 7-11 / Grocery Store
Remarks: Superb quick breakfast drink/meals whenever you're rushing / always hungry. You should try the frozen pork gyoza if there is a free-to-use microwave in your hotel.

Tofusan Organic Soy (Black Sesame) : 35 baht (SGD 1.44) - Thick, smooth black sesame soy texture which is filling and tasted awesome.
6) Lek Seafood Restaurant
Location: Below Chong Nonsi station
Remarks: Our steamed fish was not as fresh as we hope it will be but other than that, it was good.

Steam Lime Fish : 400 baht (SGD 16.40)
Tom Yum Goong : 250 baht (SGD 10.25)
Stir-Fry Sambal Lala : 190 baht (SGD 8) 
7) After You Cafe
Location: Full list of branches here. (i.e Siam Paragon, Siam Central)
Remarks: Best Shibuya toasts! A mini one is good for twin-sharing if you already had a fulfilling meal.

Ferrero Mini Toast (Iced tea is complimentary) : 190 baht (SGD 8)
8) Plaeng Nam Bird Nest, Chinatown
Location: 47 Plaeng Nam Rd, Bangkok
Remarks: Generous portion of bird nest with the friendliest lady boss.

3rd Grade Bird Nest in Coconut : 250 baht (SGD 10.25)

8) Fuji Japanese Restaurant, DMKLocation: Don Mueang Airport, Departure
Remarks: Prepare to queue during peak hours as it is the only Japanese restaurant at departure. Food was good (I only tried cooked bento, not sashimi) with reasonable price.

Grilled Salmon and Pork Bento (comes with a bowl of salad, rice and ridiculously salty miso soup) : 280 baht (SGD 11.57)

Places (Leisure Visit):

1) Chocolate Ville
1) Just Grab - 250 baht (SGD 10)/way (1.5 hour)
2) Meter taxi + Tollway - 500 baht (SGD 20)/way (1 hour)
*Both rates are to and from Sam Yan.

Remarks: Good place to chill and snap some Insta worthy pictures. Definitely one of the prettiest place in Bangkok. The food served by their only outdoor restaurant is good but relatively spicy from most food I had in Bangkok.

Open-space dining at Chocolate Ville
 Table / Barrel(s) for 2 are usually located by the lake (Lovey duvey couples)
Chocolate Ville toasts as appetiser are rather good.
2) Asiatique
1) BTS to Saphan Taksin , free boat shuttle. Be prepared to queue during peak hours (6pm - 8pm)
2) Meter taxi from Sam Yan - 120 baht (SGD 5) Do bear in mind the traffic at that area is bad.

Remarks: Good for chilling and eating. You may go for a ride on their ferris wheel at 400 baht (SGD 16.40) but there's nothing to shout for. Don't bother shopping here, Chatuchak and Pratunam beats it hands down in terms of price and variety.

Get your angle, position and camera ready!

Places (Shopping):

1) Pratunam Market
1) BTS - Ratchathewi (Walk 10-15 mins)
2) Meter taxi : 80 baht (SGD 4) from Sam Yan

Remarks: Good for wholesale purchase (3 pieces and above) to get better deals. Otherwise, it's alright cause it's already a deal. Walk further in for super dirt cheap bargain [i.e One denim jacket for 100 baht (SGD 4)]
 2) Platinum Mall
Location: Opposite Pratunam Market / Big C Supercentre (So put them in one day)
1) BTS - Ratchathewi (Walk 10-15 mins)
2) Meter taxi : 80 baht (SGD 4) from Sam Yan

Remarks: Similar to Pratunam Market but air-conditioned. There will also be less super dirt cheap bargain which you may find in Pratunam.
3) Chatuchak Weekend Market
1) BTS to Mo Chit (Walk about 5-10 minutes to the market)
2) MRT to Kamphaengpecth Station (In the market)

Remarks: Huge selection and variety from clothing to hardware to your needy pets. Love to buy snacks for my dog here!
4) Big C Supercentre
1) Meter taxi to Big C - 100 baht (SGD 4) from Sam Yan
Location: Opposite Central World / 5 mins walk from Platinum Mall

Remarks: There is nothing you can't buy here. (i.e Tom yum paste, tom yum instant noodle, pocky, pretz, seaweed, peanuts, lays and even something for your pup; etc) Buy your bulk here and no where else will be cheaper.

P.S Stolen picture from Google.
5) Siam Paragon
1) BTS to Siam
2) Just Grab to Siam (From experience, I will never ask any taxi drivers / tuk tuk cause once they hear you are going to Siam Paragon as a tourist, they just assume you are rich and they will charge you a ridiculous amount of fixed fare.)
3) Meter Taxi (if you hotel provides the service to call their regular meter taxis for you - Mandarin Hotel does!)

Remarks: All your luxury/ unnecessary needs. They have a slightly atas (high-end) supermarket (i.e Jaya Grocer / FairPrice Finest) which you can buy some good stuffs too!

Your life may not turn out to be the song you want; but as long as we are here, we still can dance.