Friday, January 5, 2018

Top Food and Places in Bangkok, Thailand

Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbacOHEupGk 

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)

Accommodation:

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.

Visa:

Malaysians / Singaporeans travel visa free.
You can check your visa requirements here: https://airasia.traveldoc.aero/

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.

Food:

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
Remarks:
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
Transport:
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
Transportation:
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
Transportation:
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
Transportation:
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)
Transportation:
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
Transportation:
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
Transportation:
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
Transportation:
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.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Boracay, Philippines.

YouTube (Vlog): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7ESuLFfpt0

Travel Period:
6D5N

Travel Mode, Time & Cost:

KL - Kalibo - KL
Flight: Air Asia
Flight Duration: 4 hours
Cost: RM 1,222.05 inclusive of hotel / pax (Booked via Air Asia Go)

Kalibo - Boracay - KL
Bus / Private Cab: Southwest Tours and Boat
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cost:
i) Bus - 300/pax/way
ii) Private Cab - 1000/car/way (At arrival, there will a whole lot of service providers and you will be offered a good 1000/car/way. However, return private cab will costs you more as you will have to walk in to the individual service providers.)
iii) Boat: 25/pax/way
iv) Terminal Fee: 100/pax/way
v) Jetty Port Tax: 75/pax/round-trip

Accommodation:

Lingganay Boracay Hotel Resort
Remarks: Not recommended. It is peaceful but very far from central and the free shuttle service provided does not arrive timely. It's just frustrating. For our standard room, pillows were not comfortable with rather old furniture and fittings, room lights aren't bright enough and while the room was huge, amenities is just not up to expectation. There is no proper bathroom amenities available (i.e toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel etc) Not to mention, WiFi connection was terrible in the room.

Visa:

Malaysians travel visa free.

General Remarks:

i) Bargain your price by at least half for any open ended bargains (especially for water sports and guided activities).
ii) There are 2 other supermarket/grocery stores nearby (and slightly cheaper) besides D'Mall. With D'Mall being the centre point, further up there's one and opposite (at 3 o'clock direction) by the small alley, there's one. Get all your food souvenirs here!
iii) Indulge in seafood and roast pork! They are relatively cheap even for MYR poor currency.
iv) It's common that the further you walk away from central (Station 2 - D'Mall), the cheaper the things/food/services will be.

*Conversion rate of MYR 1 = 12.14 PHP as of November 2017.
*Please note that price may vary for activities and subject to negotiation. Just work around the price and find the balance between budget and being a reasonable tourist.

Activities:

Day Trip (10 AM - 5 PM): Arial Point - Cliff Jumping
Cost: 2,500 PHP (MYR 206)

Package includes:
- 5m, 8m, 15m cliff jumping
- Free flow of rum, beer, soda and water
- Buffet lunch
- Kayak
- Stand-up Paddle
- Snorkelling

Book directly from Arial House Station 1.
Always land feet straight and not butt first (sitting position) or else;
Still, the best highlight for my Boracay trip. Must do!

Do request the following water sports from Stingray. In my opinion, they are more established and have better equipment although you pay slightly more for their services. Beware that some agents may offer you lower price and you may end up with terrible service (i.e shorter time for your activities, longer waiting time for parasailing etc)

Parasailing
Cost: 1,000PHP (MYR 82)
Be prepared to get wet on your way down ;)
Jet Ski
Remarks: You get to rotate the drivers after 15 minutues (3 big rounds)

Cost: 1,300PHP/pax/jetski for 30 minutes (MYR 82)
Helmet Diving
Remarks: Suitable for family with toddlers as it is only 5 ft deep.

Cost: 500 PHP (MYR 41), inclusive of videos and pictures
ATV + Boracay Ocean Tower
Remarks: This ATV ride is on mountain tar road which ends at Boracay Ocean Tower where you get a pit-stop of climbing the tower and a perfect view of the entire island before riding back from where you came from. Alternatively, there is beach ATV.

Cost: ATV- 500 PHP (MYR 41) + Boracay Ocean Tower - 120 PHP (MYR 10)
Food & Others:

Best Roadside BBQ: Station 1 - Merly's BBQ
Expected damage:
*Highly Recommended - Chori's Burger (Pork Burger): 50 PHP (MYR 4)

Pork Sausage: 50 PHP (MYR 4)

Pork Skewers: 15 PHP/stick (MYR 1.20)
You can find them in front of Free Willy Diving School (Station 1). You're welcome.

Best Sit-Down BBQ Restaurant: Station 2 (D'Mall) - I Love Backyard BBQ

Expected damage: Price varies. Expect around 300 PHP / sizzling good BBQ meal. (MYR 25)


Remarks: Good portion and their pork belly is just amazing.

Best Fruit-Based Dessert: Station 1 - Jonah's Fruitshake / Station 2 (D'Mall) - Halomango
Remarks: Yes, I am undivided for both stores but if you hail mango, I believe the name tells you who's the winner.
Station 1: Jonah's Fruitshake
Station 2 (D'Mall): Halomango (Pardon my messy hair)

Best Cakes & Pastries: Station 2(D'Mall) - Lemoni Cafe

Expected damage: Price varies. Expect around 180 PHP / good fulfilling bite of chocolate or cheese cake (MYR 15)

Remarks: Pricey but worthy if you are a pastries lover.
Best Massage Parlour: Station 3 - Yasuragi Relaxation Spa
Expected damage: 1000 PHP/pax for 1 hour Yasuragi Signature Massage (40% for walk in booking)
Remarks: Comes with shower, lounge time and complimentary drink on top of the top notch massage service. Super clean too!

Lounge view, after massage with a complimentary drink of your choice.


Best Resto Bar: Station 1 - Ohana Niu
Expected damage: Price varies. Expect around 360 PHP / small size seafood pizza that is huge enough for 3-4 pax. (MYR 30)
Remarks: The small size pizza was surprisingly huge. The tides were high that day and perfect for their bean bag setting just viewing the starry nights and have a feeling of being so close to the water, without actually getting wet.
2 of us was too full to even finish a small size seafood pizza which was good at one go.

Best Value Tour Guide: Rolly de Jose

Remarks: Rolly was my personal tour guide for most activities I had at Boracay. I did compare his rates with few others and he definitely gave the best rates. Service was efficient too.

Quote 
'Recommended by Jessy' to get the best deals! Pick-up from airports available.

You can find hair braiding services along the stretch of White Beach. Do note that the further away from central (Station 2 - D'Mall), the cheaper the services. On average, I pay 150 PHP (MYR 12) for my day-to-day braid.
Lastly, I wouldn't be able to share with you all these wonders without https://yourwifi.com.sg/. Connect with your love ones even when you are away; worry-free of exorbitant roaming charges!
Never too old to do something youthful.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

New Zealand:15 days of North Island

Travel Period: 15D13N

Travel Mode, Time & Cost:

KL - Gold Coast (Transit) - Auckland
-Flight: Air Asia
-Time: 8 hour to OOL airport - 1 hour transit at OOL airport - 
-Cost from Malaysia: RM 2,800 (Premium Flex seats), booked in July'16

Accommodation (We know some people in NZ hence, we get free homestay):

1) Rotorua - Moutain Road - Homestay (FOC)
2) Ohakune - Ruapehu Mountain Motel & Lodge incl. breakfast on the day of Tongariro Alpine Crossing (NZ$ 200/night)
3) Wellington - Setup on Manners (NZ$ 225/night)
4) Hamilton - Homestay (FOC)

Visa:

For Malaysians, visa-free.
For Air Asia visa-check, click here. A fly-thru flight including my flight from KL to Gold Goast then Auckland does not require visa to transit at OOL airport. You will not require to fill up Australia arrival card as well.

General Remarks: 

- Food portion is relatively huge compared to Malaysia's portion. If you are not a huge eater, do cut down your orders. No one will stare at you. We are a family of 4 but we usually only order 3 portions unless we're really hungry (i.e skipped breakfast)
- Pak n Save is definitely hands down, the cheapest groceries shopping available. However, subject to items and sales, Countdown and New World are available too. They are pretty good places for souvenirs shopping too (if you prefer chocolates, oat bars and honey > key chains, pens, magnets)
- Don't bother relying on their public transport, rent a car.
- Get amazing offers from GrabOne or BookMe

*all price stated is meant for adult tickets

Rotorua (R)

Rotorua Canopy Tours (R)

Website: http://canopytours.co.nz/
Personal Rating: 3.5 stars (0.5 additional for the guides!) / 5 stars
Remarks: We had Arial and (sorry-I-forget-the-other-guy) as our guides. They were great, made the experience better. But if I'd have to compare it with Skytrex Malaysia - Extreme, really, this is just okay as they do not have that single pole walk or many obstacle challenges. Just pure ziplining. (besides the fact that they allow you to go upside-down on the last zipline). 
Price: NZD 150/pax


Off Road NZ (R)

Website: http://www.offroadnz.co.nz/
Personal Rating: MUST DO.
Remarks: I did Bush Safari (which was amazing, I kid you not) and Raceline Karting. Both rides are drive your own! How cool is that. Besides, there are no comparison of rides like this back at home. (not that I know of / tried before)
Price: NZD 161/pax
Drive it down the dry version of Kaituna Waterfall
Skyline Rotorua Luge (R)

Website: http://www.skyline.co.nz/rotorua/ssr_luge/
Personal Rating: 3.5 stars/ 5 stars
Remarks:It will probably be 4 stars if you never did it before. I tried the Queenstown luge prior and I feel the one is Rotorua is way longer (hence, more worthy). Extreme gives you more adrenaline rush but shorter rides, scenery luge gives you a longer ride.

Price: Varies according to package.


Capers (R)

Website: http://www.capers.co.nz/
Personal Rating: stars/ 5 stars
Remarks: I do not know why they are the best cafe in town (we did not order coffee, to be fair) but the food was just average/below average. Pork belly that my dad ordered was not even crispy (we had better ones in a shopping mall's food court), mum's smoked salmon tasted like the ones from supermarket (no additional effort) and probably the best of what we ordered is Capers Constitutional (Big Breakfast, basically).
Price: Varies according to menu.
*no picture worth advertising*

Rotorua Night Market (R)

Website: http://www.rotoruanz.com/nightmarket/
Personal Rating: 3.5 stars/ 5 stars
Remarks: Open every Thursday, 5 PM to 9 PM. I had the best churros here for NZD 5! The grill kebabs (beef and pork) were not bad as well. When I mentioned kebab, it's pretty much like satay.
Price: Varies according to order.

Credit:Picture from Google Images

Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (R)


Website: http://www.waiotapu.co.nz/
Personal Rating: 2.5 stars / 5 stars
Remarks: I'd probably rate it higher should there be some sulphur spa to enjoy but everything is about experience hence, I enjoyed 50% of the beauty.Be prepare for some naturally stinky scent and pretty colours of sulphur. Suitable for science curious / anything natural-seeking peeps.
Price: NZD 32.50/pax


Mount Maunganui, Tauranga (T)

Website: http://www.bayofplentynz.com/discover/mt-maunganui
Personal Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars
Remarks: Basically a free hike (about 2 hours to complete) to the peak for a view of Maunganui! If you have some free time, why not? It's free anyway.
Price: FREE


Orca Wild Adventure - Swim with Dolphins (T)

Website: https://www.orcawildadventures.co.nz/
Personal Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars
Remarks: It takes an early day and a few hours on the boat before you'll get to swim with dolphins. Also, it takes a lot of strength to hold on to the bar as the boat will still be moving while you're swimming. I gave up after awhile because there will not be any life jacket available and I was gushed by water. Still, that few minutes were great. You will also get a chance to snorkel and swim with seals (we were lucky), spot some eagle ray & others while some hot dogs are being prepared for you.
Price: NZD 87.50/pax (GrabOne offer)

Tougher than it looks.
Ohakune - Tongariro Alpine Crossing

i) 
Accommodation: Ruapehu Moutain Motel & Lodge
Personal Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars (I'd rated it 5 if it was more sound-proof from the snores of my parents below)
Type: 1.5 storey personal cabin/lodge with personal kitchen, dining table and attached bathroom
Remarks: Almost perfect with transport to Tongariro was included and we got complimentary cooked breakfast on the day of hike (cause hell yes, you need the energy!)

ii) 
Website: http://www.tongarirocrossing.org.nz/
Personal Rating: MUST DO.
Remarks: This crossing is basically from Point A to B hence, you usually will need a bus driver to fetch you to point A (starting point) and pick you up at Point B (ending point). The entire crossing is free but hikers usually book a hotel/lodge nearby so that you can grab a rest after the 6-8 hours hike (our record was 7.15 hrs). I was almost blown off by the wind when we were hiking up the summit but I had no regrets for this hike despite the sores and red nose after. Did I tell you how freezing it was?
Price: Free hike, pay for accommodation & transport to-fro from Tongariro

#hikeofmylifetime
Wellington (W)

Accommodation: Setup on Manners
Personal Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars (Totally sound-proof with the adjoint door closed!)
Type: Serviced apartment with personal kitchen and bathroom but does not have the luxury of a dining table as Ruapehu.
Remarks: Centralised location.

Scopa Caffe Cucina (W)

Website: http://www.scopa.co.nz/menus
Personal Rating: MUST TRY.
Remarks: The hot chocolate I will crave everyday. Thick, smooth, creamy.
Price: NZD 4/reg, NZD 6/large
Still craving for it, every-single-day.
Bistro 52, WelTec - Training Restaurant (W)

Website: http://2017.weltec.ac.nz/weltec-work-zones/bistro-52/
Personal Rating: MUST TRY.
Remarks: Yes, the service is usually interrupted by mentors around but the service was still great. Food was above average, especially with the offer we manage to grab from GrabOne. 
Price: NZD 85/4 pax (Three-Course Meal with a glass of wine)
*hands down worth advertising*



Beehive Parliament (W)

Remarks: Well... Not a political fan. We did not do the tour, as my dad said, "I'll do it if we get a chance to meet the prime minister, Mr Bill English."


Wellington Chocolate Factory (W)

Website: https://wellington-chocolate-factory.myshopify.com/
Personal Rating: We did not do the tour. Visit to the shop was free though.
Remarks: I was more attracted to the mini peanut butter factory we found on one of the small alley towards Wellington Chocolate Factory.
*no picture worth advertising*

Fix & Fogg Peanut Butter Makers (W)

Website: https://www.fixandfogg.co.nz/
Personal Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars (Rating is for the taste of dark chocolate peanut butter)
Remarks: Buy freshly made peanut butter through a window of the mini factory as advertised on their website. Price is relatively cheaper than supermarkets around.
Suggested Flavours: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter / Smoke & Fire Peanut Butter
Price: NZD 15 / 2 jars


The Flight Coffee Hangar (W)


Personal Rating: MUST TRY (for coffee lovers)


Remarks: Knock, knock coffee lovers! A whole bunch of coffee variants for you to try.

Price: Varies according to menu.


Neo Cafe & Eatery (W)


Personal Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars 


Remarks: Personally find the food tasted better than the best cafe in New Zealand (Capers).
Price: Varies according to menu.


The Little Waffle Shop (W)

Personal Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars 
Remarks: I heard that their menu changes often but I'd highly recommend to try out Snickers Waffle (if you ever see it in the menu)
Price: NZD 8/waffle

Tommy Millions (W)

Personal Rating: 2 stars / 5 stars 
Remarks: The crust was so hard to chew on that the entire pizza just doesn't taste good anymore.
Price: NZD 25 - 29/pizza

Makara Walkway (W)

Personal Rating: 2.5 stars / 5 stars 
Remarks: Cause there are so many other beautiful places in New Zealand hence, the rating.(and we did not do the 6km loop, just by the beach and a private farm land)
Price: Free
Met this pair of fluffy dogs. (Yes, there were 2)
TJ Katsu (W)

Personal Rating: 3.5 stars / 5 stars 
Remarks: Good sushi at reasonable price, conveniently found.
Price: Varies according to menu.

Crepes A Go Go (W)

Personal Rating: 2.5 stars / 5 stars 
Remarks: A little too expensive for an average crepe. But at least their salmon is home-cured.
Price: Varies according to menu.
*no picture worth advertising*

Penray Gardens, Otaki

Personal Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars 
Remarks: So we went all out to Pick-Your-Own (Fruits / Vegetables). You can pick whatever you want that is on season and pay for all your pickings. No entrance fees!
Price: Varies according to pickings.

Victoria St Bistro, Hamilton (H)

Personal Rating: 3 stars / 5 stars 
Remarks: Food was just average but top-notch service and ambiance were great. They even made me a birthday plate!
Price: NZD 50/2 pax (GrabOne offer)

Dress Smart, The Base (H) (Outlet Shopping)

Personal Rating: 1 star / 5 stars 
Remarks: My rating for 1 Star is only directed to the outlet shopping. The Base on its own is huge, they have heaps of choices and this is the food court which I mentioned that my dad had a better pork belly. As for the outlet shopping, it's a shame as most of the stores were closed. It seems like it is closing down.
Price: Pay what you shop

Dress Smart, Auckland (A) (Outlet Shopping)

Personal Rating: 5 stars / 5 stars 
Remarks: Now, this place is a heaven for outlet shopping. Great deals for good brands!
Price: Pay what you shop (My purse was bleeding... For a good reason?)

We visited Hamilton and Auckland before hence, we were just chilling. If you would like to know more about (H) and (A), do check out my old posts!

I would like to make a shoutout to Caitie, our Hamilton host for one of the best apple crumble I ever had!


Other Alternatives for Meals

If you would like save some cash (like we did) and have access to kitchen facilities, do grab some of the following for some home-cooked meals:

1) Pak n' Save

- Chicken Kebab (marinated)
- Watties' Very Special Italian Minestrone (Canned Soup)

- Champange Ham (cold meat section)
- Smoked Salmon (pre-packed)
- Fresh Salmon
- My favourite, Puhoi Belgian Chocolate Milk
I prefer this over Lewis Creamery anytime.
2) New World

- Non-Marinated Steak (We tried both Pak n' Save & New World steaks and seasoned it ourselves with salt & pepper, but the steaks we had at New World tasted better. I don't know, maybe it's the freshness?)

The biggest failure in life is giving up.