The Surprise Party

Per the title suggested, this is gonna be a happy and exciting post!! Because it's about a PARTY!!!! A SURPRISE PARTY!!!

We planned this party about 3 months prior the actual day!! Secretly planning this with the help of our family members too!! So the plan is to have someone bring our birthday girl to Canopi (it was one of the place where she has been wanting to go then) without our smart girl being suspicious about it ! But HOW??? Thankfully luck was on our side! She happened to asked her family to go on a short trip and we played along her story instead. Smooth!

In her impression, this trip was just between her family as my mom & me doesn't have enough leave and suppose to be going for a charity walk (Yes, we rejected her invite a lot of time!). I'll skip the details and fast forward the to week of the surprise staycation!

So on this particular day before the trip, we accompanied her to TPY for dinner and went to money changer..Well, it's not about money changer here we're gonna talk about but it's the rainbow coloured drink!!

 

We bought this from a Thai eatery. We didn't try their food but this drink was so cool! Tasty and colorful, seeing it definitely stirred up all the excitement about the secret vacation!

Yes, up till this day, she still has no idea what grand surprise we had planned for her!! LOL!

On this beautiful Friday morning, my mom & me took the morning 9am ferry to Bintan! The perks of traveling early, less crowd less noise more peace more space!

Just a mere 50 minutes, we arrived THE CANOPI! Yeap, complimentary airport pick up thus no worry of having difficulty finding Canopi! less than 5 mins drive, and ta-daaaa!

Upon arrival, other than the friendly staff, LOOK WHAT'S WELCOMING US??

Beautiful crystal clear lagoon and safari tent!! MIND BLOWN!

We requested for early check in but the room wasn't ready when we arrive. However, it wasn't a long wait before the front desk came up to us (we were sitting at the restaurant prepping the room deco) to inform us about OUR BIRTHDAY GIRL's room is ready for us to "check in" for the deco mission!!

Here's part of the stuff we bought for the decoration! Apart from these, we arranged Canopi to arrange room deco too!!

Let me show u the original room state..

And now for The Canopi's decoration..

Not too bad, but wait till you see our add on!!!

Side track a bit.. While working on our deco.. we rec'd an sms!

It was our birthday girl sharing her wefie, perhaps trying to "show off" that they're heading off to their staycation! Lol!

Yeap, it's a photo of them on the ferry! With that photo, it means that it's almost 2pm already (they're on the 2pm ferry)! AND WE'RE NOT EVEN NEAR DONE!!! OMGGGGGG…

We need to hurry before they arrive in an hour's time!!

So both my mom & me hurried and speed up and here… check out our add on!!

     

Pls tell me we did a great job!!! My mama almost had a heart attack and swear she doesn't wana do surprises anymore!! LOL… Made her so gan jiong and even rushed through the decoration with her hand injury.. Awwww… (are u touched, birthday girl?)

About 3pm, we handed over the room back to the front desk for them to lock it up and get ready for their normal check in ! Now all we had to do is ask for our own room check in so that we can have a place to freshen up and "hide" ourselves (rather than sit in lobby)..

While we were in our own tent, we.. we probably been the most troublesome guest.. we texted the front desk for help as our TV couldn't receive any channel…. less than 5 mins, we text the front desk again!!! This time we actually asked for access to the decorated room – we wanted to grab a cup of confetti for ourselves so that we don't surprise empty handed! Probably another 5 mins, we texted front desk again! This time, requesting them to give me a heads up when the birthday girl and family are at lobby for check in because it's already passed 3pm but no sign of them arriving! (No phone service in the tent hence it's important to connect to resort's wifi so that guest can contact front desk via whatsapp.)

About 4.05pm, we rec'd a text from front desk…

"Your friends are at lobby"

WAHHHHHH the critical time now!! My mom and me quickly ran outta our own room, lock up & ran to hide at the back of their tent!

we heard "wow" *laugher* (birthday girl impressed!) and once we heard them in the room, we ran in and threw the confetti – I think we scare the kids, made both of them cried (oops!)!! We made our birthday girl cried too!!!! She gave a tearing speech and we spent at least an hour in the room admiring the decos!

So glad the surprise had surprised her (them)!! LOL.. the crying kids??? Yea.. after a lil warm up, they started the enjoy confetti too!!

See how happy they are.. I bet they secretly love confetti!!!!

Note: we cleared our own party mess. Canopi probably will faint if they see this mess when we check out.

About 6pm, we took a transport out to a nearby jetty for our kelong dinner.

This jetty looks eerie ya.. LOL! But probably the only way we can reach our kelong venue. Both land and sea transfer to the kelong is complimentary.

We had the boat to ourselves.. We too had the chance to enjoy this…..

Beautiful sunset!

[Photo credit to my sister-in-law]

Shortly after a boat ride, less than 10 mins, we arrived Kampung Kelong for dinner..

I must say, this is definitely not the most romantic place to celebrate birthday! They do not have the most appealing dishes too.. BUT!

We judged too soon!

Surprisingly, their dishes taste better than it look! We ordered the veg twice!! We ordered more than these actually, we had a fish too but i probably misplace the image as u know this post is kinda overdue!! >_<

By the time we finished dinner, it was already dark! Goodness, the ride back to land was pitch dark!! Not only the kids are afraid, me too!! >_< what if the boat sink?? what if there's crocodile?? what if we collide with something?

Thank goodness we made it back alive!! LOL!

We didn't go to bed immediately of course.. we still have a surprise part 2 for her!!

WAHAHAHAHA i bet u can't tell what is this!!

We arranged for an ice cream cake (strawberry flavour- this cake actually taste quite nice) with my firecracker candle and my aunt super bright torch. thus the result of this image.

By night time, i think most of the resort guest probably already knew there's a person name JESS in this tent!

After enjoying the cake and drink, the kids went to bed and us?

Lotsa wefie and catch up time!!! We haven't really talked so much for the longest time!!! Until we ran outta mosquito coil, we decided to end the day!

One more wefie of 个女人一个梦 before we turn in!

Next morning, we didn't plan much to do either… just enjoy a lazy Saturday with family. Kids running around after breakfast. Kids swimming in the afternoon.

And adults?

SCOOTER time!!! If you haven't tried riding a bike before nor have a license, fret not!!

At Canopi, there's expert here to give u a test/trial ride! After the test ride, you can then decide whether or not to rent it! After the test ride, we rented 6 hrs and everyone got a chance to play!

A quick tips, if u plan to do massage at the resort, try the one further to the resort (the one that's open to public). Heard that it's cheaper there and longer massage duration available too.

Well, Good time flies! At a blink of an eye, it's already our 3rd day, time to check out!

All in all, I'll definitely recommend The Canopi! Especially if you want stay away from the buzzing city!

Food and recreation is not a problem within the resort hence there is no need to leave Canopi unless you want to do shopping! Good place for family, romantic tent for couple! Best of all, staffs are pretty friendly and helpful! They serve with a heart and not by-rule.

Once again, Happiest Birthday our dearest Ah Girl!

This conclude our lil surprise party for her big 3!!

Indonesia Bali (Day 3 and Day 4)

After so much fun on day 2, we planned to stay in for day 3! It me & my flamingo day!

Seriously, it’s just a chillax and do nothing day for Day 3. we basically just chilled, swim & eat..

Who knows time can pass so fast just by nua-ing in the villa! Very soon it’s our massage day (Day 4!)

Checking out was a fuss free and thanks to Putu, we got a “free” airport pick up!

Yeap.. we booked a couple massage session via Putu and this Spa provide free pick up and sending to airport!

Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly smile and seriously, this spa seems quite popular!

We were then led to another quieter place to rest and enjoy (I didn’t) a cup of cold ginger tea!

I didn’t enjoyed the tea because i don’t like ginger tea but my hubby enjoy it a lot thus i gave mine to him.. Very soon, our masseur came and head over to our couple room!

Overall, the place is quite clean and staff are generally quite friendly.

A few times I actually fell asleep during the massage, i guess its because they’re good! LOL.. TBH, it’s not the best massage skill I’ve try but i will still give it a 7/10..

Good thing is that we already paid half the bill during day 2 hence by day 4, we were tooo broke to pay anything extra!!

Another good thing…

Sunset view is FREE on PLANE!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indonesia Bali (Day 2)

A planned tour on day 2 of our Bali trip! We got this private tour (driver) contact from a friend! The funny thing is, she herself never engaged his service before. However, she recommended to many others and received positive feedback about his service.

So here we are, a Day Tour to Ubud with Putu! …If you had read my Day 1 post (HERE), you’ll realize my airport pick up driver’s name was Putu too!! But they’re not the same Putu! 🙂 Anyway, Putu was pretty on time, 9:30am texted me about his arrival at my villa reception.

We didn’t have a fixed itinerary to follow, most of the time, it was played by ears. Hence don’t be too surprise if your tour is different from mine even if you planned to go Ubud.

First stop, Artist Village (if i didn’t remember wrongly). We went to this place that show tourist how batik is made, it was a pretty short introduction actually and then you will be brought to the souvenir shop to do shopping.

 

If you ask me, I think you can skip this place unless you want to buy some batik product. They have very extensive goods available – ie: bedroom slipper, shirt, dress, table mat, pouch, drawings, shawl, etc.. However, if you want to know how to make batik, go youtube instead..

We left this place pretty soon after we walked one round and yes, we bought 2 table placemat for our dining table – was given 50% discount.. Probably because we’re Putu’s guest? I don’t know..

Next location was one of my favorite location, Coffee Plantation.

 

When we reached there, the plantation staff greeted us and brought us in. Again, it was short tour giving us knowledge on how Luwak’s Coffee was produced..

When the cats (civets) eat the coffee berries, fermentation of the coffee beans occurs in the cat’s digestive system. During this process, the cat’s proteolytic enzymes seep into the coffee beans, thus creating shorten peptide as well as an abundance of amino acids. This is what gives this coffee it’s unique flavor and aroma. So during this entire digestive process, the beans are transformed into the Kopi Luwak many coffee drinkers have grown to adore. This process is known to lower the bitterness of the coffee.

So at this plantation, they will also demonstrate to your how they prepare the coffee..

 

Best of all. you get FREE coffee/tea tasting!

On the left are the sampling size coffee and tea.. There a laminated sheet of paper on the tray (beneath those cups) showing you what coffee/tea you’re drinking.. Roselle tea, herbal tea, Mangosteen tea, Ginger tea, Coconut coffee, Ginseng coffee, etc etc…

As for Luwak coffee, you’re need to pay 50,000IDR, and my coffee lover hubby ordered one for Putu and one for himself..

 

So after tasting the sampling size, we decided to buy a few pack for our families and friend to try.. If you have the chance to come here, give Luwak coffee a try..

we spent quite a while here before heading to our next destination..

While on the road, we noticed that there isn’t much public transport hence we asked Putu.. According to him, there are public buses available but the frequency is 50 mins interval.. Like seriously?? That probably explains why the road are always full of motorbikes and car – busy road always!

So next destination…

Another souvenir shop.. we did not spend a lot of time here, probably 5 mins and we left.

Next attraction, Tegenungan Waterfall!

Tourist will need to pay 10,000IDR per pax. Quite a decent amount actually..

Tegenungan Waterfall is located at the Tegenungan Kemenuh village, in Gianyar, North from the capital Denpasar and close to the artist village of Ubud. The waterfall is isolated but has become a popular tourist attraction to explore and relax. It is one of the few waterfalls in Bali that is not situated in highlands or mountainous territory. The amount and clarity of the water at the site depends on rainfall but it contains green surroundings with fresh water that can be swum in. The waterfall includes varying highs that can be climbed after the decent down stairs to reach it. This attraction also features a viewing point to the jungle and waterfall at the main entrance

Before we check out the waterfall, checkout Putu’s sexy back!! ^_^

 

It was quite crowded actually! many tourist actually walked down to play with the water! This reminds me of Kota Tinggi waterfall tho..

If we had come with more people and extra clothes, we would have stay to play a while.. 🙂 There’s bathroom for you to wash up too..!

Just before we left………

OMG! I saw my favourite CORN!! GRILL CORN!! Grilled with coconut husk!

The prettiest picture I had in that 4 days!! A shot with my grilled corn filled with coconut fragranceeeee!!

After this, Putu told us the next stop will be another crafty shop, we were a bit relunctant to go but I guess it’s still a good exposure..

After the wood carving shop, we were given the option to eat babi guling or dirty bebek..  As we didnt get to eat my babi guling last night, we chose babi guling at a local stall!

Our happy meal!!! 40,000IDR for a set like this I think.. This is not the usual portion the local eat.. LOL we got Putu’s help to get us a set where we can try everything..

Pig’s blood, Pig’s skin, vegetable, pork, soup..

I recall reading somewhere this was one of the recommended babi guling stall to visit!! We even dabao 20,000IDR worth of babi guling back to our villa as snack! Imagine by evening time when we when back, the skin is still crackling crispy!!

So after lunch, we all had food coma~ I dozed off in Putu’s car!! By the time i woke up, we were at the padi field already!

Again, there’s an entrance fee that you’ll need to pay but I was already zzz hence not sure how much my handsome paid too!

This field was quite a tourist sport.. the farmers sure knows how to earn extra income.. a photo with them cost 5,000IDR, it’s not very expensive but a lil too “commercial”..

I would still recommend you to visit as it’s a really beautiful place! ehem, pls remember to bring mosquito repellent if you have sweet blood!

About 4pm, we are finally heading to out LAST destination before dinner!

   

Upon reaching Batuan Temple, I was mesmerized by the temple structures. It is noted for its artwork and style of painting which originated in the village in the 1930s and has since emerged into a major Balinese artistic style, known as a Batuan painting.

Batuan is mentioned in historical records as far back as 1000 years. The Hindu and Indian influence in the region in the village is evident from the carvings and temples. In the 17th century, Batuan and southern Bali were controlled by the royal family until a priest’s curse led to their losing their control; eventually they dispersed to various parts of the country. During the period of 1947–1949, most of the Batuan people remained loyal to the Gianyar Regency and opposed nationalism.

’nuff said about the temple, we shall go for dinner now! It’s quite a bit of distance from Ubud to Jimbaran, bout 45-60 mins? What else could I do in the car, zzzzz…

we reached the beach at about 6pm, another 30-45mins to sunrise. Again, thanks to Putu, we get to have a front row table for the best sunset view!! (How are we gonna make it through without Putu??)

Due to budget constraint, we ordered the cheapest seafood package @ 900,000IDR!!

While waiting for food, we enjoyed the view the sun and the breeze!

Here comes our food!!!

Don’t underestimate the pathetic looking vegetable, it’s actually quite tasty!

Good for you if you are a chilli lover. The 3 types of chilli they give are totally heavenly! Especially tasty with the grill fish/calamari! The clam was so-so but the lobster is pretty fresh!

And where’s the sunset?

  

Beautiful isn’t it? We were suppose to have dinner while watching sunset.. However, I guess sunset was late. We were done with dinner even before the sky turn orange.

At about 7-7:15pm, we left the place as the sun was almost down and we were already kinda tired.. With this beautiful sunset, we ended our 1 day tour with not much cash left!!  Good thing is, day 3 will be our stay in villa day!! HAHAHA!..

 

Indonesia Bali (Day 1)

So near yet so far! Although Bali is just less than 3 hours flight away, this is the first time we’re heading there!! I feel that we should have a break after planning #DALOVEKNOT wedding!! A well deserve vacation! PS: this is NOT our honeymoon yet!! >_<

So as you may all be aware, Bali has lots of villa! How I choose? Go to Groupon (via shopback – earn up to 7% cashback)!! Go find a villa that’s within your budget and looks appealing to you!

Bracha Villas: 4D3N stay for 2 for $452 in a Private Pool Villa with Breakfast + 1-Way Airport Transfer (up to $832 value)

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This villa looks not bad leh! Most importantly the pool doesn’t have tree/plants over it hence no worries of bug/insect or leaves dropping into the pool while you swim! Clean poool! (Yes, I’m timid!)

So i went to google about Bracha Villa and learnt that it’s actually quite well located! It’s at the heart of Seminyak! Food/Shopping/Beach all walking distance! What could be better?

So deal locked flight booked and off we went!!

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(View from the plane overlooking at Legian Beach (?) where hard Rock Cafe, Potato Head Beach Club are located.)

Upon arrival (about 130pm), we were greeted by our friendly hotel representative, Putu! Journey from Airport to Bracha is about 30 mins ride! Not sure how much it cost if you’re taking a cab though. However, if you’re planning to take a cab, Blue Bird should be a safer option! You can consider downloading their app and make booking easier (if you have data roaming).

BTW, there’s no time difference between Bali and Singapore..

Upon arriving at our villa, I must say… food is definitely not an issue here! Just opposite our villa is a Chinese restaurant!

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Opening the door to my VACATIONNNNN!!!

The villa is quite true to the illustration shown online.. Hence no shocking sight!

& let me proudly introduce my GIANT FLAMINGO!!!

It’s soooo big that it occupied almost 1/3 of the pool! If you have kids, I got a feeling they are gonna love this giant float!! It cost IDR150,000 per day (about SGD16?)

Now let’s move in to check out the villa rooms!

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The living area is a comfortable size for 2 person! They have everything that u will need! Fridge, stove, water dispenser, mineral water, complimentary soft drinks, plates, utensils, cooking ware, detergent, washing sponge, pepper & salt, tissue…

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They even have some books for you to read! Now I really don’t mind staying in the villa whole day!!

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From the living area (actually bedroom too), you can look out to the pool area, hence no worries about losing sight of your kids when they go to the pool

Now lets take a look at the room!!

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Neat room and ……JGOL0689XZPX9443

Spacious bathroom without door.. The only door u can close while doing business in the toilet is bedroom door.. Yes inconvenient but if you’re going with your partner/spouse, I guess should be fine..

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I must say, staff here are quite thoughtful.. Although it’s a groupon deal, they still arranged rose petals and honeymoon swan on bed after knowing it’s our lil honeymoon! I wasn’t expecting this though.. 🙂 A lovely surprise!

And you think that’s all….?

They even prepared a small cake for us!!!! I dont know if this cake really taste nice or because we’re hungry… This lil cake exceeded our expectation!! hahaha!

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Check out what’s outside the bathroom window!! My giant flamingo!! LOL!!

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I’m soooo in love with my giant float that i was granted a quick swim before we head out to familiarize ourselves with the surrounding! Apart from being our first honeymoon trip, this is also a trip for us to recce and plan for the next family trip! Private pool villa, who doesn’t like that idea??

The streets in Seminyak are all like this. A lil narrow but you’ll get a hang of it very soon..

Very soon, I got a lil too hungry to carry on and her head back to look for Ultimo!

Ultimo was HIGHLY recommended by my friend who went there for honeymoon too! Was told that they have very yummy pasta at affordable price.. I was initially a bit unsure if i want to try because I don’t know the chef’s standard..

Looking and the price, it was indeed quite reasonable and they have quite a wide variety of main course!

The next thing i can recall, I’m seated inside already! hahahaha!!

We ordered a Lychee Juice (I seriously don’t know lychee can be squeezed into juice!) 250g Waygu Steak, Prawn Linguine and a Mix Seafood Soup!

Not very appealing but taste wasn’t that bad. I love lychee hence this taste ok for me! Just image lychee drink but thicker and with a bit of pulps in every sip u take.

It’s a pity I couldn’t find my seafood soup image! The soup look so normal but taste totally like lobster bisque (without the cream maybe!)..

My SUPER DELICIOUS Prawn Linguine! It’s a lil oily but taste totally flavorful! I’m sooo in love with my pasta! Make a guess how many prawn are there in this plate? From the picture I believe u can see it’s quite a lot already ya? There are actually 20 prawns!! I can’t finish this alone!!

Then we have the 250g of Wagyu.. I had a few bit of this and I like this too! Tender medium rare steak with lots of fats.. Fine grated mashed potato with mix greens by the side!

Total Bill: 493,000IDR (approx S$53, depending on your exchange rate)

  • 45,000IDR Lychee Juice
  • 68,000IDR Seafood Soup
  • 200,000IDR Wagyu Steak
  • 180,000IDR Prawn Linguine (can’t recall the price but definitely cheaper than steak)

Food are generally a little more salty in Bali but I’m pretty fine with it. They taste more flavorful in fact! I’ll probably survive well if i’m gonna stay there!

You thought that’s all for our dinner?

We walked back further and landed at this first restaurant we saw when we step out from our villa (other than the chinese restaurant).

My hubby wanted to “purify the air” hence we sat here for a drink and I think he love their espresso! The first sip he took he immediately gave me that raise-brow look and said “好喝! (Nice!)”

Kinda rare for him to say something is nice or delicious.. He’s most common reply for good food is probably “Ok la~”..  Just first day and I heard his say something good about the food/drink!

Another reason we picked this place for him to take his puff was also because they sells babi guling! We ordered a Babi Guling set and a Mixed Satay set for takeaway so that we can have it as supper in the villa!

This is the Chinese restaurant I was saying earlier that’s opposite our villa! Looks pretty wow..

Walking back to our villa from the reception was quite adventurous for me.. It was so dark and eerie, i don’t know if there will be any lizard dropping on me! Guess my imagine went too wild!

Before we tuck in to our supper, CHECK OUT MY POOL NIGHT VIEW!! Got lights and mini “water fall” from the wall!! It’s never too cold for another swim!!!!

Now, back to my supper! The babi guling wasn’t what we expected, we thought it’s suppose to come crispy.. Nonetheless, it still taste quite good! The Babi Guling Set comes with keropok, soup, vegetables and 2 minced meat stick, cost about 98,000IDR?

The Mix Satay set comes with half dozen of satay (3 beef 3 chicken), keropok and vegetable, cost about 78,000IDR? It wasn’t too expensive but the fact that we had already taken dinner and they don’t sell just the meat, we gotta take the whole set, this made it a lil expensive.. LOL!

But overall, it’s still a nice supper!! I was sooooo FULL I think I was filled all the way up to my throat!!

Well, that’s about it on our first day in Bali Seminyak! Slept early so that we can get enough rest for the next day private tour!

BCC again!!

This is a very back dated post! I was so so inspired to share my Batam getaway after reading Mitsueki’s post about her Batam trip! We stayed at the same area but different hotel! Gideon is a new hotel around there while BCC is almost a year or 2 year older.

In my previous post, I shared about BCC hotel but not much about the deal’s one day tour. Today, I’m gonna share my whole trip with you!

We bought this deal on Qoo10 (just search for “Batam” & you’ll have a whole list of agency selling Batam package! Go with the one that you feel most comfortable!) from an agency called Traveller101. They  are very prompt in their email response (to be exact, it’s Sze Sze who I’d been liaising with. I have no impression that I’ve called them so no comments about their attitude. Anyway, I’m not here to talk about them!! LOL.. Don’t make me drift~)

Finally the long awaited Batam trip with my mom is over (First day of school holiday is no joke at the ferry terminal..)!!!

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Waiting to hop on our 8:50am ferry by WaveMaster to Sekupang International Ferry Terminal (SIFT)!

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The first thing I would usually do after I board the ferry is to… put on my shade & quickly put myself to sleep!!! I wouldn’t wanna feel sick after a 45 mins ride to Batam~

Indeed, very soon, we arrived Batam and was greeted by our very friendly “fierce” looking local guide (those who can kill with a single stare.. >_<) from PT. Nusajaya Indofast T&T. He’s very jovial actually & love to joke.. Enjoyed his joke throughout the tour~

SO our first stop? POLO RALPH LAUREN!! This was the third time I stepped into a PRL shop so nothing really interest me by now.. I’m not a polo fan hence I’m not too sure if the price are really that competitive..

Our tour guide shared with us the difference between the POLO we saw at the ferry terminal and this POLO. You wanna know the diff? The POLO at ferry terminal are local POLO. The color runs, the collar gets out of shape, the sleeve gets shorter & shorter (or longer & longer).. The POLO that tour guide brought us to is the international POLO, POLO RALPH LAUREN. Color don’t run, collar is still collar, sleeve length stays the same.

That’s the difference!

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Very soon, our group hopped back onto the tour bus and headed to our next destination, Diana Homemade Layer Cake! The only flavors they have here is Prune & Original. If you want more, tell your local guide. He might bring you to some where else to get it. One of our group member wanted cheese flavor cake so the guide actually noted that and later brought us to another place where that are even more flavors!

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The shop (or should I say the house??) is located within a residential area. You know you are near when you can smell a mild fragrance! While tasting the sampler, you can actually see how layer cakes are done!

IMO, the sampler are not very fantastic but we still bought 2 boxes of original. It’s so cheap you would not want to miss it!! S$25 for a box original, why not!? Haha.. freshly baked and delivered to our hotel before we leave!

Orders are usually taken by your local guide when you’re back on the bus. The shop don’t take direct order..

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Batam Chocolate House is one of the place I’ve wanted to visit! Not to buy chocolate but to see how their chocolate outlet looks like!!

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Well…. nothing to amazing. It’s too crowded! Everyone busy grabbing the chocolates they want! Some are “Ferrero Rocher” look alike.. some are local brand.. Some are owner’s own creation.

FYI, this Chocolate house owner is also the agency’s owner! That’s why most of their tour will have a stop at this place! LOL~

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Yes, I’m one of them who spent like a millionaire here!!! goshhh~ Just couldn’t resist CHOCOLATE! My fate~! (eh.. that’s our tour bus behind!!)

Just before our bus leave, I saw a familiar face! The local guide who brought us (me & my friend) around when we joined our first day tour! I can only wave but not say hello because I’m already on the bus.

Heading to the next location Golden Prawn 933 Live Seafood Restaurant for lunch and some supermarket shopping! The local guide recommended the supermarket’s coffee powder and pepper! Say until like it’s a must buy! So… since the pepper is still affordable, we bought a packet! Things here are generally NOT cheap but still cheaper than SG. Keropok/Snacks are like S$3-5 per packet depending what you’re getting.

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We didn’t spend much time here because we ARE already very hungry!! It’s like 1pm in Singapore and we still haven have our lunch!! (O_O)

The restaurant is just next door and nothing too fantastic too. Batam tour lunch are quite standard. A soup, a fish, veg, crab, sotong (we had calamari! yummy!), steam conch (aka gong gong) & prawns!

Additional perks?

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A bowl of bird nest!

….. seriously it taste more like shredded gelatin dessert soup.

So as I was saying.. The local guide noted our layer cake request and pointed out that we can get our cheese flavor here! This shop is just few steps away from the restaurant (within the Golden Prawn area).

They have plenty of flavors! Cheese, Mocha, Prune, Original, Matcha(??), Tiramisu (??).. The sampler here taste better! LOL.. But we didn’t order from here as we didn’t wanted to take too much stuff back to SG.

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So when our group were all done with lunch, the tour guide brought us to this factory outlet which is just 1-2 min drive away… BTW, did I mention, all the stops are very near! VERY NEAR!! Probably just a 2-3 mins drive and you will need to alight again. To the extend, we actually stayed in the bus for the next few stops (we skipped the otah-otah shop, local cultural dance & some souvenir shop)..

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We were given 20-30 mins here and then we proceed to the next location! Dry market ~~ This is one of the place my mom was anticipating! She wanna buy dry food such as ikan bilis, salted fish, dried shrimps, etc! I stayed in the bus for this stop as I’m having the after-lunch syndrome – SLEEPLY zzz!

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Not forgetting to mention, there is a juice stall beside Yong Heng and I think they’re famous for their Avocado juice. I thought it was pretty disgusting.. but my mom and some other group members love it. I just don’t know how to appreciate AVOCADO~!

After all the eating/shopping, we are now heading to a temple!

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This is the landmark of Chinatown Batam! Tua Pek Kong Temple is the oldest Batam Chinese temple.

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You see this tiles on the right of below pic? Temple is in the midst of preparing for revamp.. We can actually go to one of the staff and let them know we want to make a donation and you name will be written on the tiles for prayer (something like that).

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Along the wall, there are also some interesting 3D drawings! I suppose they meant something just that I don’t know what is it about..

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Finally it’s almost the end of the day! We are reaching our 2nd last destination! The Batik Outlet! This is a small shop cramped with LOTS & LOTS of bags, clothes, toy & etc!

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I saw my idol!! NARUTOOOO! but.. I left not much money to bring it home. I only change S$75 for my Batam trip! hahahaha! Budget tour!

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There is another factory outlet just a small road across this Batik Outlet but I did not manage to walk over! The road is under construction and I can’t cross over at all! T_T BUT neh-mind (nevermind)! There’s always next time!

So now all shopping done and it’s now …. MASSAGE TIME! 60 mins of relaxation! Shiok! We took the lavender essential oil and added 30 mins more to our massage.. Ahhh~~ heaven!

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After our massage, we were being served the ginger tea!

See the man in red? He’s our local guide. He brought us our layer cake! It’s done! It smells so good toooo! (gosh, I’m craving for layer cake now!)

Overall, the tour was pretty enjoyable! With the right group of people, boring tour can be interesting tooo! 😀

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FINALLY WE ARE ALL CHECKED IN!!!!!

BED!!!! I want my bed!!! Hotel is still as clean and big!

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And seeeeee!! A2 Food Center is just below us!! It’s still early that’s why you can see it’s still so empty!

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And BCS beside our hotel!

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And I was saying earlier, Gideon is in the same area right? See… Gideon is just a road across A2 Food Center, that inverted L shape building! We planned to stay there next time as it’s nearer to their local wet market (the long red roof on the left of the pic) and other food stall that we wanna try!

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We still have some time before dinner so I packed my bag a bit and to show you what we’ve bought!

We came in 2 small bags! Light and spacious!

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After all the shopping and shopping and shopping……. IMG_5987

Mom bought these at the local wet market. It’s so much cheaper there and no tour guide commission! LOL! That mini fish ball keropok is a must buy! Very nice!!

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These are from the Chocolate house, remember? Delfi Chacha is available in SG so don’t bother to specially buy it there. I bought it because I wanted to eat it on the ferry back home!IMG_5990

& these are actually what we bought during the tour.. and to squeeze everything into our bag is impossible! So it’s a good thing I brought an extra BAG along!

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SEEEEEE!!! we now have 3 FULL BAGS! Our layer cake is inside tooo!

By the time we’re done packing and refreshing ourselves, it’s dinner time!!!! YAHOOOOO!

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A2 is definitely my heaven! If you ever go there, a few things you can’t miss out!

  • Pui Ceh Satay (this is one that I crave for when I return to SG!)
  • Fried Oyster Omelette
  • BBQ Stingray

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After dinner, we went to BCS for a quick shopping too.. We need to exercise right!!? LOL! By the time we return to hotel, it’s already late…

In another less than 12 hours, we have to say goodbye to Batam!

Next day, we woke up for our breakfast at the hotel restaurant. I must say.. their breakfast standard improved! They have more variety now and serve better quality. Can you imagine breakfast with smoke salmon in batam!? They have soy beancurd too!

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By 12pm, our ferry transfer is outside BCC ready to  pick us up! The hotel staff were very kind to help us carry our BIG BULKY bags up the mini bus!

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& I think we’re pretty blessed during this trip! Throughout the tour and our stay, the weather is just gloomy (cooling), at most. Just less than a minute after we board our mini bus, it started RAINING!!!! IMG_6003

We were not caught in the rain, though was worried if it continue to rain are we gonna make it back home? …but WHY worry!? SEE! It’s sunny again by the time we reach the ferry terminal!IMG_6008

Look at the crowd! *cries*

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I think my mom enjoyed this Batam trip & so am I!! (She’s so happy that she’s finally TALLER than mi!)

During this trip, we met this two couple who were like us, going Batam for food and massage! We exchanged our experience in the ferry and they shared some recommendations too..

So now, I’m gonna share this tips with you so that we can be “cleverer” the next time we go Batam! 😀

If you love layer cake and do not know how to go Diana on your own, your can try this Veren Layer Cake! It is located just inside BCS Mall! I haven’t try but the uncle said this is better & cheaper!

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Original : RP170,000 (Diana’s one is S$25 – about RP250,000)

Prune: RP200,000 (Diana’s one is S$27 – about RP270,000)

Cheese: RP250,000 (Not available at Diana)

I mentioned earlier that Diana’s layer cake sampler taste not very fantastic right? When I got home and try the cake I bought.. It actually taste much better!! Not very buttery and it’s not oily too! guess the sampler were left outside for some time.. hmm.. Hopefully I will go back to Batam soon to try this!

If you are looking for good massage, try Universal Massage! Located opposite BCS mall! Yes, everything just nearby! This area is really good! Good for food. Good for massage. Good for layer cake. Good for shopping!

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Uncle told us, if you walk in and ask “how much” for massage, they are gonna charge you a bomb! Instead, tell them that you were here before or friend recommended you here.. The price would be a great difference!

2hrs full body massage: RP 140,000

2hrs full body massage with body scrub: RP180,000

This is madness cheap! We paid S$15 for the essential oil + 30 mins extra massage! That is almost the cost of a 2 hours full body massage at Universal Massage! WTH!

NEVERMIND! S$15 for a lesson! hahahaha!!!

I have more recommendation (like bah kut teh, fish soup, etc) but I left the business cards at home! I shall share more with you when I get hold of those cards!!

Apparently, like what I told Eve, I tried searching my room high and low but realised that I lost the Bah Kut Teh business card!! T__T Fortunately, the Bah Kut Teh has a very distinctive character that anyone could hardly forget, all I need to do is do a lil google search and I found it.. It’s Mickey Mouse 66 Bah Kut Teh – Address: Komp. Ruko Mitra Raya Blok B No. 12 (Batam Centre), Batam, Riau.. If you have foursquare, do check out the location and u will see a few recommendation. If you’re keen in Fish Soup (cloudy soup with yam kind), do try the food stall just opposite BCS Mall (the eatery place is call Eaton).

Stay Tune!!

The BCC Hotel

My Christmas getaway???  Nah.. nothing too grand.. Just a “down to earth” getaway w my girlfriend and plainly all about food and shopping in Indonesia, Batam!

We stayed at The BCC Hotel (Deluxe Room) and it was about SGD69 per person (two of us went so it was approximately SGD138 for two) through Qoo10 deal. The BCC is quite new so for the price we paid for i think it’s pretty worth it!

The deal includes:

  • Return Ferry Ticket (By Pacific Ferry)
  • 2-way Land Transfer (By Batam Fast)
  • 1 Day City Tour (By Batam Fast)
  • 1 Hr Massage (By First Choice)
  • 1 Deluxe Room at The BCC, breakfast and wifi inclusive!

Hotel location is quite convenient. Just exactly next to it, there’s a Food Center. Next to FC, there is a Shopping Mall (Batam City Square Mall) and there are shop houses opposite the mall selling food too. Best part, Factory Outlet is just withing walking distance from the hotel!

Service wise, i think they are pretty professional too. We did not have much issue communicating with them and they always put on a smile. The communication problem only comes when we’re buying food from A2 Food Center. (Hahaha!) Because some of the hawkers are non-chinese and i have to flash my notes for them to take the right amount of $$ that i shoud pay for my food !

i would rate this hotel 4 out of 5 stars and will definitely come back again when i have plans to go Batam again!

I will add more photos here again when i have the time! 😀 See youuuu!