So we got married at Pullman Phuket Arcadia a few years back, so coming back here was an amazing walk down memory lane (pun intended) along the protected Naithon beach.
Firstly, we were welcome back with much love: a platter of fruits ornately arranged in a cubic shape, alongside with an actual cubic.
We love the surrounding beaches too, from the Sirinat national park where we did some light snorkeling and Banana beach for some serious waves, and just lazy time in the pool.
The breakfast spread in Pullman is amazing, from Bloody Mary stations, proper waffles, Thai noodle soup, ham, and many more.
For cheaper food option, right along the beach are at least 10 Restaurants if not more. One of our favorite recurring ones are great for grill seafood and everything Thai : green and yellow curry, Tom yam, sticky rice, banana fritters, and more. Couldn’t go wrong even if you point randomly on the menu but they do serve some Russian food which we did not try. Nope, not in Thailand (at least for me).
All and all, the perfect weekend getaway.
TravelTips: Taxi is cheap to Pullman but metered taxi
On the last day of our Japan trip this year, we have a good half day to kill. I have always been a huge fan of Aquarium, and Osaka’s Kaiyukan is something special.
We took a short boat ride from Universal Studio via the Captain Line, and the ticket was slightly reduced when purchasing it with the Kaiyukan’s entrance fee.
The moment we enter, we were greeted by a beautiful walkway; tunnel-shaped tank with amazing rays and fishes.
Next, we took a quick escalator, going all the way up to the top, and move your way down slowly. Firstly, we saw the Japanese forest and see some of the tiny small-clawed otters, salamanders and crabs- before moving down towards the jewel of the aquarium.
From sea otters, seals, sea lion, capybara, penguins, to whale sharks. WHALE SHARKS!!!! The aquarium is definitely amazing to walk around , and the interactive exhibits was great for kids and adults(yes, touching sharks and rays, seeing ringed seals so close – that was amazing!!).
It takes a good 2 hours around the aquarium on a weekday ; possibly a little more over the weekend. I’ll definitely come back again in the future!
#Traveltips : There are tons of luggage storage locker ( cost 700 yen for a big one) so it is quite convenient to make this our last stop before flying! Bigger and easier storage would be the ones before entering the aquarium outside the souvenir store.
Fancy some great tendon ? You don’t have to go all the way to Japan for it! Ginza Tendon Itsuki ; one of the best tempura place I’ve had in Singapore situated at the friendly Tanjong Pagar.
There are only 2 mains on their menu, the Specials and the Vegetarian.
Specials : 2 juicy chicken breast, 2 big prawns, with assorted vegetables. I think you know what’s in the vegetarian option.
The art of eating at this place .. #FoodieTips
You have tons of time to queue, otherwise good luck! (Go early, like 11.30am for lunch of 5.30pm for dinner. You would probably make it in time into the restaurant but they won’t take you without a full party)
You don’t need to be anywhere else, because you smell like what you eat. Oil!!! *they do provide Febreeze at the cashier counter,if it helps*
They only accept cash – so don’t go without!
PS : If you are still hungry (highly unlikely), head across the street for some Korean Bingsu (more to come about that)!
Continuing our experience in Sabah with an amazingly easy and rewarding trip to Sandakan. (Check out Kota Kinabalu too! )
I would say it is one of the best wildlife spotting experience I have ever had, thanks to an amazing group of guides( ours called Lat!) that went above and beyond to ensure we have the most memorable trip.
First and foremost, we start our trip at the conservatory for both Orang Utan, learnt a little about Sepilok’s conservation efforts and Orang Utan’s characteristics, and move on to the Sun Bear Conservatory, which was right next door.
It was a pleasant ride the whole way with active engagement and funny facts and encounters from the guides. Onward, to the real deal.
We stayed at a lodge along the Kinabatangan river. The stay, experience and meal are all inclusive, and we went out on boats 3 times a day.
We saw tons of proboscis monkey, macaws, hornbills, wild Orang Utan (believe it or not , it is not the easiest thing to spot in the wild !) , different species of birds, crocodiles and snakes hanging above our head during our boat tours, and more. Wild boars running around the lodge area, as well as tree frogs on our door frame.
You can say the whole thing was pretty WILD, and we love it. (shame that we were a little too far from the pgymy elephants 🙁 but someday I might return! )
#TravelTips : Mosquito repellent (obviously) and binocular is a must! Pack light, and forget about snacks – you will be well fed if you are on the tour!
It was an unforgettable, easy trip that went above my expectations, so long you aren’t bothered by wildlife, mosquitoes, and none-ACed room
#TravelTips : Sandakan have this really unique Seafood Bak Kut Teh, so I’ll definitely be back for that!
For our annual company trip, #hootcamp, and this year it was at the wonderful Rawa Island, 30 minutes boat ride off Messing. I have been to plenty of islands in Malaysia, and this is definitely one of my favorite.
Let’s not talk about the journey to get there, as whatever that might be, pleasant or not ; it’s totally worth it once you’re there!
The island itself is small, with only two resorts ; one family friendly, the other party-animal friendly. We stayed at the family friendly one of course ( it looks much nicer and the food was amazing – check below for a variety )
The water was pristine, slides are super fun, and you can get amazing thai massages there ( it’s a must do!). There are peacocks everywhere and a resident beagle that is super adorable and friendly at parties. Plenty of hammocks and beach chairs by the beach as well.
You can hike around the island in less than 30 minutes, but be prepared to go up hill quite a bit to see the full view of some island in the vicinity.
The favorite part of my trip was simply the snorkeling experiences. I can literally sit down on the ground, wear my goggles, and see fishes swimming around me. That’s how clear and how healthy the corals are. I did about 2 hours of snorkeling sessions too and spotted tons of amazing clams, sea cucumbers, corals, and fishes. My only regret was that I did not bring an underwater camera to show what I mean.
The theme of the party was #pinktropics ; so the photos are amazing (all without any filter).Sunset was beautiful from the deck tucked along the hiking trail too. It was a great place to bond, simple and not overly luxurious – which makes it suitable for a quick getaway.
All and all, it was only a short trip from Singapore, and definitely a place I would revisit!
Quick itinerary view : 3 days 2 nights out of Perth Perth – Fremantle – Margaret River – Mandurah – Penguin Island – Airport
I personally am a beach bum, so our day trips to wrap up our vacation was without a doubt the easiest to plan. We drove from Perth towards Margaret River, passing through Fremantle market, and back to Mandurah the day after for ease of going back to the airport. We took our own pace, enjoying one beach after another, strolling through vineyards, and do practically nothing at all (the best kind of vacation).
On the way from Perth, we drove through Fremantle to the famous Fremantle market. Parking was easy to find around the Fremantle prison, and the market was very accessible. There are quite a number of eateries within the market, and we tried a number of them – good’ol Australian breakfast, Spanish, Korean, German, Turkish, and more.
On the shopping side, it was not as interesting as I’d imagine it to be (most of the items can be found anywhere around South East Asia at a cheaper price). Other than that, we enjoyed the food and fruits, strolling around and soaking in the busy market atmosphere, and head on to Margaret River.
The drive towards our hotel was great. It was scenic, and we could easily stop and look at the amazing coastline, and was extremely happy to arrive at our villa for the night. The beach is right outside our villa, and so secluded there’s almost no one at all except for some surfers in a distance.
We wander around and found a gem! An amazing Thai restaurant called Chang Thai, fully ran by Thai staff, homey and delicious !
Next day, we drove to some caves and a beach, and immerse ourselves in some fun before spending a night in Mandurah at Hamelin Bay. Apparently you are able to see Stingrays coming close to the beach, but can’t attest to that.
#TravelTips : Caution, drive slowly or cautiously!! We saw a kangaroo crossed the road and wow it was HUGE!
For our final day, we drove over to Penguin Island to visit the wonderful penguins and sea lion. The boat trip was really pleasant, superbly calm that you can opt to walk across to the island ( yes, I meant WALK! ) if you want to.
After seeing the penguins on the island, we got on the glass-bottomed boat to see the sea lions. Getting in touch with nature in close proximity was nice, it was superbly hot, and we manage to get through the whole boat tour in time for lunch and to the airport.
Perth, I’ll be back someday! =)
Check it out : http://penguinisland.com.au/
Cost of boat tour : $38.50 / adult ; $29.50 / child
Remember when I said I have sand in my hair for the whole week? Here’s why!
There are quite a number of sand dunes along our drive from lunch at Lobster Shack. It was definitely a great experience for us, even my parents enjoyed it! If you are sensible, it’s quite a safe sport for anyone (unless falling into soft sand hurts for you).
It’s quite a sight, but the climb to the peak for a 10 -15 seconds slide down and lugging a slightly heavy board all the way up the hill is quite a task for someone who’s not as fit (I’m that someone).
#FunTips : Rub the wax on the board vigorously for a smooth surf. You need it!
#Traveltips 1 : The location is not super accurate on Google maps, so if you are lost, stop by at the entrance to the town – there will be a big signboard with a map that shows you where it is! (that’s how we did it)
#Traveltips 2 : You don’t have to rent the surfboard earlier in town. You can rent it from the guy at the entrance – same price, less hassle.
#Traveltips 3 : Please make sure you do not have anything in your pockets, jewelries, or anything you can easily loose. No way you can get in the sand like Uncle Scrooge with his mountain of coins.
Location : Via Kendall Road, Lancelin WA 6044, Australia
Fee : AUD 10 per board for 2 hours ( more than enough time)
In the evening, we visited the Twilight Hawker’s market. Twilight Hawkers’ market features over 50 stalls (perhaps more?) that does every cuisine and dish imaginable. From Turkish to Thai, Greek to good ol’ burgers and desserts (honey cakes,gourmet marshmallows, gelato, and more!), this place was heavenly!
There was live music and the entire space smells incredible with a huge crawl of hungry people. It was definitely worth a visit looking that there is practically nothing to do besides eating out in Perth after 5pm, and we love food (obviously)!
#TravelTips : The only issue here is getting a decent place to sit – so be creative (get a mat or something)! Come via free intercity buses or train as parking might be slightly challenging too. Be hungry and bring lots of cash!
Next, we drove to Caversham Wildlife park to check out Aussie’s amazing wildlife. Caversham is located within Whiteman’s park, so you will definitely have a lot to do within that area. Caversham is unique compared to other wildlife parks or the zoo, in the sense of it being really cozy, and giving visitors a lot of close-up opportunities with the wildlife.
The entrance fee to Caversham includes everything you do in the park from petting Koalas, watching(and participating) in the farm show, meeting a huge Wombat and his friends, feeding is kangaroos and more.
After a well rested day 1, it’s time for some fun in the sun.
We grabbed some pastries and coffee around the corner, and got our rental car from Hertz via Perth’s amazing intercity bus ( I can’t believe it is free!!). Note : #TravelTips to getting a car in Perth is coming soon!
First on the list, King’s park. The drive through the park was splendid. If you have the time, definitely stroll around, with maybe an afternoon picnic to enjoy the spectacular view of the city and the water whilst surrounded by mother nature. It was far too hot for us, so we drove around the park and stop over at the big Baobab tree to visit the Lotterywest Federation walkway or some called it the glass bridge.
[A photo of mummy dearest on the Lotterywest Federation walkway]
We took a short stroll through the bridge, took in the amazing view and spot some wildlife and birds, and walk through the online Success Path. I hold this Perth quote create on the wholesale nba jerseys ground dearly : “to all those who love to play and dare to dream, thank you.” Finally, some overdue appreciation!!
Off we ran into the car to escape the heat, but it was definitely worth the trip here. #mustdo
#TravelTips: always bring a binocular with you, you never know what you’ll catch! I do not know much about birds but there are so many different species we have spotted on such a short stroll, so that was really something!
#TravelTips : The drive in the park was wonderful, wholesale nfl jerseys with some view points to stop at – but it is far Ribs too big to be on foot cheap mlb jerseys (don’t be too ambitious!), so get a bike if you can.