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Leaving Footprints: Thailand Part 3

Last stop: Phuket Old Town, Thailand 

So after the dive and the ferry travel, we took a minibus to our hotel, The Memory at On On.

Vintage beauty! This hotel has a very nice lobby and entrance and the place was simply classy, cozy and attractive.

Do you see what I am talking about? 😍

We actually did nothing much in Phuket Old Town but walked around and cafe hopped and tried to bar hop but there is not much “life” in there which is quite good for me because after all the noise and the activities we did for the past days, we badly needed some peace. 😊 

So scroll down and take a look at the photos we took!

This one below is the beautiful street of Thalang Road with it’s buildings colorfully lit.


And this is one little street connected to Thalang Road which is so gorgeous, Soi Romanee!

More. Scroll down some more. 😊

This bright building up here is just in front of our wonderful hotel. Amazing!
There are a lot more but then it is difficult to share everything.

So let me go to the stuff we did there. Just food. Nom!

1.) Kopitiam By Wilai

2.) Crafts & Co.

3.) Macchiato House and Cakebox

4.) Eleven Two & Co.

5.) Bookhemian Coffee Bar, Bookstore, Artspace

So those are the things we did in Phuket Old Town and that summarizes our trip to Thailand!

It was an awesome experience and I hope these things I posted would be of help to you when you travel to Thailand. Well, there is not much information I shared though but at least you get some ideas. πŸ˜‚
Going to post the next trip we had soon! 😊
– K

Leaving Footprints: Thailand Part 2

Next Destination: Koh Phi Phi Islands, Krabi, Thailand

So the travel continued and by noon of the next day, we booked our ferry tickets from the hotel worth 600 THB per person inclusive of one way ticket to Koh Phi Phi and a minibus ride that would take us to Rassada Pier or Phuket Ferry Pier (it is actually cheaper than getting a taxi or a tuk-tuk to drive us there).

Weather was still sunny even though the forecast told us the opposite. Upon entering the ferry, a movie was about to start so we found good seats and relaxed. You know what the movie was? TITANIC. And we were about to conquer the sea. Just awesome. In the middle of the journey (travel time is two hours) it rained… yeah, just what the forecast said.

Upon arriving, we looked for our hotel which took us a lot of time because it was drizzling and we also got a little lost. The name of the hotel is Phi Phi Arboreal Resort and it was way up the hill to Viewpoint. (Please don’t ask me about the hotel, it was good but not good enough for what we have paid for. The view from the balcony was beautiful though.)

After a little rest, we roamed the streets and tried to get each turn familiar (which is quite difficult because there are a lot of intersections and shops and restaurants of the the same kind). We walked to the beachside where the real “night life” was and found ourselves hooked watching fire jugglers.

We didn’t stayed there to have a drink by the way because it was more expensive compared to the bars inside the little “city” of Koh Phi Phi. And I found out that this picture below is their kind of “bucket”.

We barhopped and stopped in this happy little bar called Kongsiam with an awesome live band playing (oh, the guy on vocals! 😍 ).

The next day, it was quite drizzling again and we went out a little late for brunch. We stopped by a Scuba Diving shop called Seafrog Diving Center for my short exam (since it was my first time while Kenny was already a certified rescue diver) for an early discovery dive tomorrow.

In the afternoon, we went out for island tour in Koh Phi Phi Leh, Monkey Island and Maya Bay (which we didn’t checked out because there was an additional fee to enter Maya Bay, 400 THB per person if I remember it right.)

It was fun snorkelling even though the fishes seem to love me a bit, I was poked quite a few times! The day ended with another barhopping and food sessions until we got tired and went back to our hotel to rest around 1am.

But…let me tell you about our dinner that night. I am telling you now, if you are looking for the best place to eat local Thai food, go to Papaya Restaurant! This one is the best!

This is their Curry Massaman which is one of their best sellers, it tastes really good you would want to ask for more!

And this is their Fried White Snapper with a very delicious sauce! Price? All cheap in less than 150 THB good for sharing!

Third day, we checked out early and left our bags in Seafrog Diving Center and set off to the waters for our two sessions of discovery dive. We were assisted by Jonathan Giafferi, our French diving instructor.

Unfortunately for my first dive, as we were having my demo of his instructions, I was bitten by a fish! That made me lose my focus. Jonathan saw me struggling with something on my feet and he saw the fish that was attacking me. He pulled me somewhere else and we continued our demo. He thought that the reason why the fish bit me a few times was that maybe I unintentionally bothered its nest of eggs. The photo shows three but it wasn’t just three. I had five bites! 😭

Anyway, the dive was fun! Initially, I had a hard time breathing through my mouth plus I don’t like the taste of the water, it dried my oral mucosa. I focused on my ears’ pressure, I tried to remember all the instructions and after a few minutes, I am πŸ‘Œ!

The second dive was even more wonderful! The fishes, corals, oh! Nature has beautifully crafted the little masterpieces underwater! As much as I would like to explore more, our oxygen is limited and we had to return before we even finished what we have left. It was enjoyable and exciting and lovely! And guess what, I found Nemo and Dory! So you don’t have to look for them. 😁 

Tadah! I have a certificate that I survived Scuba Diving! πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŠπŸ‘πŸ“„

That ends our Koh Phi Phi Islands trip. After diving, we rode the ferry back to Phuket to have a stroll in Phuket Old Town. Follow the next blog! πŸ˜†

– K

Leaving Footprints: Thailand Part 1

Journey started in: Phuket, Thailand. 

Weather was warm and sunny, it was a fine day when I arrived. We bought tickets for a minibus that took us to our booked hotel in the Southern part of Phuket (well, the driver didn’t really dropped us to our hotel, there was a miscommunication that happened… or probably part of their scheme).

I will tell you what happened: The driver informed us, the passengers, that we will stop by a travel agency (which I think was somehow the minibus’s company) for our hotel details. So we went down from the bus, went in the agency, and gave our hotel locations. And suddenly they told us that our hotel location was too far from the end point of the trip and they can’t take us there. Kenny argued that it was the ticketing staff that instructed us where to go and what trip to ride so technically it wasn’t our fault why we were riding on the wrong minibus. They told us that it’s either they take us back to the airport or that we have to pay extra so the driver would drop us to our hotel. We didn’t agree so we just asked them to drop us at the end point and we will find our own way. The agent seemed disappointed while the rude driver looked fiercer and unapologetic. (This is one of the scams “normal” to Phuket which, as much as possible we don’t want to encounter, unfortunately, we did. So be careful and be alert if you are to travel there.) πŸ˜’

We alighted at Karon Beach, and instead of complaining about our misfortune, we chose to enjoy the beach that hypnotized us to stop by and feel the waters. 😍 We had our lunch in a beachside restaurant. The view from where the restaurant stood was amazingly beautiful but I don’t know what’s wrong with the people we encounter. In the restaurant, the waitresses can’t seem to wait for our order. They come to us literally every minute to ask us for our order. Not long after, a big Thai man came to us (he could either be the manager or the boss) without smiling and asked for our order. We said we’re not ready to order yet. And here came another waitress just after him to ask us the same question and we told them we will call them if we are ready (considering we haven’t had our chairs heating up just yet). The big Thai man looked at us for a long time after we shooed the last waitress away. My opinion: Customer Service in Phuket is bad (you can’t blame me for experiencing such). And we ended up rushing to order just because of how they treated us. 😑

Another problem we faced was that drivers seemed to push us to ride a “tuk-tuk” and drop us to our hotel (which we rejected a few times because they were expensive) and they got annoyed to the point that they shouted at us saying that it is the standard price (just because we don’t want to take them). Bad CS number three. It took us, I guess, more than an hour to finally get a metered taxi which cost 210 THB compared to the 400-500 THB the tuk-tuk drivers told us. 😧

BUT… there are good things still. The taxi driver was kind enough to somehow relieve us from those headaches though he doesn’t speak good English so we took his calling card. And the hotel was just PERFECT! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ (I will blog about the hotel separately so as to shorten this post and give the hotel its own highlight for everyone to read.)

From the hotel, we rented a scooter (because it is the cheapest way to go) and chased this sunset in Phromthep Cape, the tip of Phuket.

Beautiful isn’t it? But after getting several pokes from mosquitoes (YES, please purchase a mosquito repellant when you travel to Thailand, you’re welcome) we looked for the best place to have dinner. 

Thailand got a lot of Westernized restaurants to cater tourists (maybe) in case they don’t know what to eat, or are not adventurous with Thai food, or want an easy option for a bite. We went into a pizza place called Da Vinci Italian Restaurant (and I won’t blog about it because it is so common) and soon after dinner, we hit the road (from Nai Harn to Karon to Kata) to find a good bar where we could chill. CS: very good! Crew: Thai πŸ‘πŸ‘

We saw this colorfully lit place, during our bar-hunt-evening-trip, called Palm Square where we saw a duo performing (mind you, they are Filipinos and they are good, really). We stayed there for a bottle of beer, listened to a few songs and went back on the track to find a lively one. CS: good, Crew: Filipina. πŸ‘

Then we found ourselves sitting in a bar called Two Chefs and encountered another bad customer service, crews are not smiling and definitely impatient.

We were supposed to go home after another beer there but we really wanted some life! So we hit the road yet again and tried every street. But we found none (it is low season by the way).

Midnight, we didn’t stop looking and we found ourselves in a ladyboy bar near our hotel called Slumber Inn in Nai Harn just because we wanted to try something new. Most ladyboy bars are dead, there were not much customers and the girls and ladyboys were looking bored and penniless for the night. After another beer, that was the time we went back to the hotel and rested, we had a tiring day.

Quite an experience for the first day. It was in a way fun, the place is awesome and I had a good time. 😊 Yes, I did.

Disclosure: Everytime we talked to a local, the very first thing I had to say was, “I am not Thai.” Yes, literally every Thai person we encountered thought I was one of them, talked to me in their language that made me take refuge in Kenny’s back. 😧

– K

Opinion on: PH SONA 2016

The most awaited State of the Nation Address by the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo R. Duterte happened this afternoon, 25th of July year 2016, 3:15pm at the Plenary Hall of Batasang Pambasa Complex in Batasan Hills, Quezon City. SONA is an annual address by the President made public for every Filipino to hear all the summarized accomplishments made by the government, the plans for the coming months and the programmes to be held for the people.

And this is Pres. Rodrigo Duterte‘s first ever SONA. He was inaugurated last June 30, 2016 as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

For all State of the Nation Addresses that I have watched, this hooked my complete attention and my interest because of these reasons:

1. He is my President. I have definitely argued with a lot of people as to why they should vote for him. I travelled a long way queued at the Philippine Embassy here in Singapore just to register for absentee voting.

2. Accomplishments. In less than a month, Tatay Digong (as most DavaoeΓ±os call him) has done a lot to combat crime rates, illegal drugs, mining, he has talked with China, with NPA and rebels, he has asked for improvement of NAIA issues, MRT issues, traffic, on the process of upgrading internet connection and emergency hotlines, and the government itself, of course with the help of the people he trusted and appointed to do the job.

3. Plans and Promises. Yes. We all had our own share of mistrust and disgust with the government for the past years because of their broken promises and very unsatisfactory service for the poor. And yes, Tatay Digong PROMISED. But this time around, I am not enveloped by disappointment, I am rather turned into a hopeful, ordinary citizen that Philippines will greatly improve in a short period of time.

Click here to watch the complete coverage of the SONA 2016 by ABS-CBN. 

My description of the 2016 State of the Nation Address:

Simple. People who attended were in their business attires instead of designer gowns and FilipiΓ±anas because as he said, SONA is not a “fashion show”.

Sincere. He even doesn’t want to read his script. And his words come from the heart, with his love for his country and his love for God.

Powerful. He delivered it with so much strength that you have no choice but to surrender, follow and support him in his campaign.

Hilarious. A different kind of ambience for a SONA. He has always been funny and he is such a joker that he made the crowd laugh out loud and remove the tension.

Positive. He pointed out that dwelling in the past is not the way. Instead, we have to look forward and move on.

And most of all,

Confident. That during his term, it will indeed be a CLEAN GOVERNMENT.

All we need now is to join hands with him to finally obtain the CHANGE  that we have longed for. The Promise of Change has started. But this won’t be successful without our help. Each one of  us has roles to play to be able to achieve our country’s momentum. He is indeed confidently a man of steel with a heart. What do you feel about the SONA 2016?

πŸ‘Š

– K

Meet Coffee’s Wife

AFFOGATO is ❀!!

As a coffee lover, I’ve tried quite a number of coffee versions and I’ve loved everything! But this one is probably my favorite! As we pass along the length of Thalang Road, Phuket Old Town, Thailand, I got a glimpse of a bookstore-slash-cafe-slash-artspace-slash-cinematheque which really caught my complete attention so we went into it. It is called Bookhemian Coffee Shop.

And curious about the Affogato (other versions have other names) in the menu, I ordered one. Vanilla ice cream plus a shot of espresso and my heart melted. Just the perfect combination. 😍 

-K

FoodHunt: The Best of Koh Phi Phi

Going on a holiday to Krabi, Thailand? I totally recommend Papaya Restaurant for the best local foods! Extremely delicious with big portions you can share with your friends and partners for affordable prices! It is located in Koh Phi Phi Don Islands, Krabi, Thailand. 
Above is their Fried White Snapper, fresh from the sea with a delectable sauce and is beautifully garnished. This is a big one good for three to four people for roughly S$5.00!

And this one above is their Curry Massaman, and I tell you, this curry is to die for! Chicken meat, potatoes and cashew nuts with a flavoursome curry sauce, you would definitely ask for more! Price? Roughly S$4.00 good for two.

Try them out. It’s absolutely the best place to satisfy your Thai food cravings in Koh Phi Phi! Cheap plus quality food is equal to Papaya Restaurant! 😁
-K

Eleven Two & Co. (Phuket Old Town)

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We spent a day roaming around the streets of Phuket Old Town, Phuket, Thailand and checked on every single Tripadvisor‘s suggestions and top 10 restaurants we could find close to where we are currently staying. And so we stumbled upon Eleven Two & Co.

This photo above is their Spicy Thai Pork Quesadilla and we asked for it to be less spicy.

One slice and it burned our mouth! It was like I was eating flames! We finished it though because it was really very good, tasty and delicious but I thought they couldn’t really make it “less spicy”, I was thinking it was marinated to be really spicy and they can’t do anything to make it less hot. When the staff came and cleared our plate, we told her about the food experience and she confirmed the kitchen people have made it “less spicy”. I was in total shock at how could it have been if the food was served the way it is!

Anyway, this is one fun food experience and I would gladly share it to you. Spicy food lovers, you must go for this! 😊

-K

A Dad or a Father?

You would probably agree that dad and father means exactly the same. A Dad is a Father and a Father is a Dad. Simple. Right? …. Or maybe not. Because for me, yes, technically and literally speaking, they are the same thing but taking a look at a deeper level, they are totally different. For me.

If you have watched the movie Daddy’s Home, you would better understand what I’m saying here. It is a story about a man who married (yeah, I think they got married…or not) a woman with two kids and was trying his best to get the children to love him as their own daddy. Then suddenly, the biological father came home and tried to win his family back. The competition on proving who should rightfully be called as the “head of the family” between the two men grew.. And I don’t want to tell you how it ended, you better watch it if you haven’t yet.

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Photo: Daddy’s Home movie

Where am I going? The difference is this: A DAD, for me, is the person who stood by you, who provided all your needs and who claimed all the responsibility of protecting you, guiding you, and raising you as his child, whether you are related by blood or not.

While a FATHER, is nothing but the reason for your existence (in short, the sperm donor).

It is Father’s Day soon enough. And I salute all fathers who have been real dads to their kids.

I don’t have a dad. I had a father. But that doesn’t mean he was never a dad to me. He was. He just lost his way. And that prevented him from becoming a dad to me in the present. But then again, I was daddy’s girl for as long as I can remember. And no matter how I deny, he is still my father, the reason for my existence. I owe him my life.

And in defense of those fathers who have lost their ways (whether they wanted to or they had no choice), I tell you people that no matter how bad your father has become, no matter how from a “dad” he got demoted to just a “father”, no matter how he has never been a dad to you since the beginning, he is still your blood. And forever he will be. And forever you owe him your life. Be grateful to him, no matter how pained and angry you are, even just for a day, be thankful for a father who has given you life in this beautiful world.

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads and Fathers out there! I wish you all good health and longer lives… and clearer minds… and more loving hearts. 😊

– K

The Singapura Club

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Meet The Singapura Club, located at 26 Haji Lane, Bugis, Singapore.

I am not really a bar hopper but I am a lover of cocktails and alcoholic beverages. Below is their version of Blue Margarita, which tastes really alcoholic,and Kopi Peng, coffee with a touch of vodka (my weakness), and is a thumbs up for me, mixed by my friend Kelvin, who happened to be the bar manager (which is why I am promoting Singapura Club, haha! πŸ˜‚ ).

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This beautiful pinkish red drink below is the Singapore Sling, the most common to any bar you go. Sweet, alcoholic, and perfect.

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Next cocktail was created by another friend, the bar Mixologist Zoul, called the Orchid Sling, (obviously because of the orchid as its garnish), alcohol and barley together in one drink. This is his very own creation and I should say this is one good cocktail. I don’t like the bits of barley, though. This drink is a backstabber. Sweet, innocent looking but certainly strong. The flower attracts women. A cocktail you shouldn’t dare miss.

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And as hungry as always, we had Singapore’s version of BBQ, called Satay, which can either be chicken or beef, with peanut sauce, onions (if you don’t mind eating fresh ones), and cucumber. This is delicious! And we also tried their Fried Chicken (I think it was curried first) with herbs and chili seeds around it combined with pickled carrots to enhance the taste and make you ask for more!

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Try it out. Honestly, I don’t recommend you go for the food because you can find them anywhere in Singapore but the cocktails, oh! Only my friends can give you the best ones at affordable prices! πŸ˜πŸ‘
Edit: My friends are not working there now. They are now working somewhere else. Should’ve edited this a long time ago but… I thought it didn’t matter. Well, now, I think I should tell you anyway. (Feb 8, 2017)

– K

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