Travelogue: 早安 Guangzhou!

Good morning Readers! Firstly, a heads up, this is a super over due post! one year #throwback!! I can’t even remember most of the things but i still wana to make notes on my trip so that one day when I’m old, i have something to look back.

Disclaimer: I probably wouldn’t go through my whole itinerary like how i did in previous travel post but i promise i will give you recommendation!!

This is my very first work trip and i had it combined with my year end vacation! I am totally head over toes over this trip! Being my first work trip.. a winter trip.. my year end vacation trip.. my vacation with mama..! it can’t get any better! You don’t get to enjoy very much of “FIRST” as you age! LOL!!

The moment we touched down, we checked in to the hotel, parked our bags and head straight to Haidilao! Yes i made a reservation at 3pm (i remember this clearly because the staff said they will call me prior the reservation but because i do not have a local number, they said i need tobe there 15 min earlier instead!)

I guess i do not need to give further elaboration on haidilao service. They’re so well known for their good service and good food! Plus they have blood curd here in Guangzhou!! omg… I’m definitely coming again if i had another trip to Guangzhou!

During our vacation, we stayed in Airbnb apartment! it’s relatively cheaper then hotel and you get to experience the neighbourhood!

This apartment we booked is in Heng Bao Guang Chang! With train service just at the basement and it’s linked to a mall, I’m totally impressed with myself for finding such good place! However, maybe we were new to the surrounding, we were kinda feeling insecure at night. It was hard to fall asleep, i had to make myself really tired in order to fell asleep. If you were let me choose again, i will probably stick to hotel. Because, you get to have your TAOBAO purchase shipped to the hotel concierge!! how amazing!!! Yes, i did most shopping online and have them shipped to hotel concierge while i was still staying in the “work-trip” hotel!!

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While i was at work, a lot of my colleague actually recommend me to go Guangzhou Tower (Canton Tower), so i decided to come by!

We chose to come here at late afternoon so that we can get to see the day and night in one visit!  As the time pass, you see more people coming and the tower light up. It’s very beautiful. With the cold weather, it’s totally my kinda vacation!

We bought the ticket that allow us to go on the ferris wheel and i must give my mama credit! It was her first time taking ferris wheel at such TALLLL Height! Even I myself was kinda shaky at the beginning.

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Another place we went to is Shamian Island. Shamian is a sandbank island in the Liwan District of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China. The island’s name literally means “sandy surface” in Chinese. The territory was divided into two concessions given to France and the United Kingdom by the Qing government in the 19th Century.

The island is a gazetted historical area that serves as a tranquil reminder of the colonial European period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and lined by historical buildings in various states of upkeep. The island is the location of several hotels, a youth hostel, restaurants and tourist shops selling curios and souvenirs.

We actually walked from our apartment to Shamian Island via Shang Xia Jiu Pedestrian Street. YES it is very walkable in winter weather!! No hurry no agenda, we just walk and chill..

There is nothing much to buy (IMO) in Shamian Island except starbucks, but it’s mad crowded! If you have time to spare, sure, add this into your itinerary too.

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You know, my mama and me, we are not those into history hence took us some time to decide to come here – Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall or Chen Clan Academy is an academic temple in Guangzhou, China, built by the 72 Chen clans for their juniors’ accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations in 1894 in Qing Dynasty. Later it was changed to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and then middle schools afterward. Now it houses the Guangdong Folk Art Museum.

Located at Zhongshan 7th Road, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is a symmetric complex consist of 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards. Facing south, the complex forms around a north-south axis. A large collection of southern China art pieces, for example, wood carvings and pottery, can be found in the structure. The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall complex exemplifies traditional Chinese architecture and decoration style, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments worldwide. It was added in the list of “Cultural Relics of National Importance under the Protection of the State” in 1988.


So much for place of interest, how about a FOOD of interest now??

LU DING JI  – You can check out the review from tripadvisor HERE!

The mala dry pot is a MUST try!! We had the dry pot with bull frog and shrimp. the BOWL is damn BIG but we still finished everything!!

Mama who don’t eat mala (before this) fell in love immediately and keep jioing me for mala for the next few days! She finally found the joy in eating Mala!

Other than Lu Ding Ji, we tried local stall, street food. They are all tasty but not for the weak stomach!

To be one honest, i feel that the food in Guangzhou are really my liking!! Savory and spicy!! ❤ it! Importantly they are not as pricey!

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Connected

Before WiFi, I thought we (or rather I) survive pretty well when going overseas! But since I-don’t-know-when, WiFi became so important especially when I’m travelling!

<FLIGHT>

When I have a trip by flight, I will ensure I booked myself a WiFi device with ChangiRecommend! They are so conveniently available for pick-up/collection and returning the device is a breeze! They often have promotion (get 2 days free or credit card/insurance collaboration discount code, just google it) and ain’t too expensive after all the discount!

I always booked my WiFi with them, other than this one trip which I totally forgot to pick up! Yes, i booked but i forgot to pick up (guess i was too excited about my trip!) and it was only when i board my plane then I REALIZE MY HOLY PEA BRAIN FORGOT ABOUT MY WIFI!! Well, on the bright-side, I’m still in connected to my data and ChangiRecommend has a 24 hours whatsapp/message service!! Without hesitation, i quickly text them to cancelled my booking and (VOILA~) ALL DONE and cost nothing (but totally disappointed with my brain)!

<ROAD-TRIP>

Now, how can i stay connect if i am just going to JB, KL, Batam or even Bintan?! No way i am making a trip to Changi just to pick up/drop off my WiFi! I felt lazy to even go town to pick it up (too much hassle and time limitation – usually have to return same day or the day after).

Thank goodness i saw a post from SethLiu’s IG about pocket WiFi and decided to check it out! Roamingmansg provides FREE Delivery to your doorstep! Why not??? With Seth’s promo code “SETH18” (i only got this promo then), the rental is totally pocket friendly!

I booked my first pocket WiFi with Roamingmansg and all i need to do and wait for it to come! The WiFi will be delivered to your home (or whichever address you update) during office hours and you’re good to go!

Since my trip is just in a few days time, i quickly logged in to rent my first WiFi device with them! Filling the online form was easy and after you hit submit, all you need to do is wait for your WiFi to come!

WiFi will usually be delivered 1-2 days before the trip. So don’t panic yet if you didn’t hear from them because your trip is still sooo far away!

IMAGE: My WiFi delivered to home! 

IMAGE: Stay connected with your love ones no matter where you are!!

Overall experience with Roamingmansg was pretty good. They reply fast and helpful in my inquiries. Connection was good throughout my trip (JB only lah~)! Until when i need to return, then came the problem with the courier (SF express, in case you want to know). I still managed to return my WiFi at my convenience (without having me to travel down to return personally) but the courier screwed it and causes so much inconvenience! If it wasn’t the courier, i would totally love this whole experience!

This is not a sponsored post btw! Just sharing alternative WiFi option if you’re travelling!! Share with me too if you have good lobang for WiFi rental! 

Travelogue: Indonesia Bali (Day 2)

*Ding Dong*

Doorbell rang again .. It’s already our second day in Bali and the chef are here to prepare breakfast in your villa! Freshness guaranteed!

We had Nasi Goreng signature beef burger. Hearty breakfast (although I secretly wish to have breakfast in the aircon room)!

We laid back a lil more after breakfast since no shops should be opened that early..

Yes, I’m totally proud of myself for reading! Spent my morning reading in the villa while hubby watched TV.

Time flies when you’re enjoying me-time!

It’s almost lunch by the time I finish page 2 (eh just kidding).. But it’s really lunch time! We brought our wifi egg and head out to find the highly raved Pak Malen Babi Guling!

It was quite a walk to find it but actually, after you familiarized yourself in that area, it’s actually pretty near eh!

The turquoise ink shows where we walked! we trusted our memory so much we actually overshot!! I was probably a mere 8-10 mins walk, took us 30 mins!! LOL!!! (The fuscia pick shows our return walk!

So here we areeee at the highly raved Pak Malen!

My advise, eat in the restaurant while its hot! We dabao (packed) 2 packet home and later to realise, the fried pig skin is soggy and totally inedible! But it was so much better when we ate there! Conclusion, worth the walk for the lunch but dun bother buying the set back unless you opt out the fried skin (the light beige strip you see in the above picture next to the fork)!

After lunch, we walked back (via the smarter shorter route) and enjoyed a cuppa of ice cream near our villa!

By the time we went back to our villa, it was almost 3pm.. Again, we continue to nua in the room with our snack bought from Pak Malen!

After a while, we got too bored and decided to some sports.. Play water! LOL

We get to spend at least an hour or 2 in the pool with Pizzie everyday! Fully utilized the pool and my floatie! I think my hubby secretly like this floatie idea too!

Around 4-5pm, the door bell rang again! This time, villa crew came by with our afternoon tea cake and it’s tea time again!

Don’t expect 2 tier 3 tier snack selections! You only get a 2-bites size cake and a pot of tea. LOL!! But the chocolate cake was tasty at least!

This trip, we almost stuffed ourselves to another level!

We just had our tea break and shortly (maybe 7pm or so), we went out for dinner at Ultimo!

I was so looking forward to have their bread because i remembered they were so tasty 1 year ago when we first went there.. However, it seems like the standard dropped. The bread wasn’t as tasty anymore.

But the seafood soup is still good! I do recommend that if you haven’t tried before!

For the main course, both of us ordered beef. Mine was with bacon and you can skip that – it’s too well done. FAILED. The other steak which my hubby ordered was still ok.

In case you’re keen to check out their menu, you may click HERE! The first time we went there, the menu was toooo wordy we spent a while looking through it.. This time round, we googled the menu and secretly pray hard that there’s no change in their menu and then we can just pre-order in our mind already!

By the time we’re done with dinner, the sky was already sooooo dark! I’m so glad i was assigned the first villa from entrance! Skipped all the drama of running into my villa like a 500m run!

Ok, this is too drama! Actually it’s all my imagination! My stay in villa up till that 2 nights was pretty safe – no lizard sound or sighting!

Phewww Day 2 ended with a stomach full of food!!

Travelogue: Indonesia Bali (Day 1)

Yay!! Returned to BALI after 1 year to celebrate #DALOVEKNOT anniversary!

This is a love and hate post! I will tell you why later. For now let’s stay focus on the happy event first!! Woohoooo! VACATIONN!!

Just by the look of the above teaser, did it made you wanna go Bali already?

This is my first trip with SQ using my miles redemption! I’m totally elated to hear my waitlist flight got confirmed!

But a lil disappointed no crew realized I was traveling on my birthday – exact day I’m saying! You can tell me about how many XXX number of guest SQ received everyday, how will they noticed or check every guest details.. what am I to them? But.. ain’t excellence service make them different from other airlines? Or maybe it was because I didn’t “pay” for my ticket so I should even be happy I wasn’t being ask to leave the plane due to full flight – not sure if it was even overbooked!

Perhaps I expect too much outta SQ. See too highly of them. -__-

Brought a book along this time round and was hoping to kill time, but time killed me instead! I was fully occupied the whole time – TV, selfies, small talks, meals & still hoping someone would pop by and say “Happy Birthday Ms Eng”.. BUT BO LEH~!!

 

In-flight meal is definitely not always the best meal but it’s never fails to get me excited!

Very soon 2 hours swift past and here we are in the tropical land Bali!

Upon arrival, our villa airport pick up driver was already at the arrival hall waiting. It took so long for our baggage to arrive – more than 30 mins and we thought he probably had left without us!!

The journey from airport to our villa in Seminyak was a mere 30 mins drive (or 40 mins, depends on traffic condition). If you recall in my previous trip, we stayed in Seminyak area too. In fact, this villa location is just along the same street.

DID I EVEN TELL YOU WHERE I’M GONNA STAY?? (my goodness if i haven’t!!)

We had booked ourselves a one bedroom villa in Ziva A Boutique Villa!! We booked via Agoda through Shopback! Never missed the chance to earn rebate!! But you know luck doesn’t always stand on the same side with you! When I tried to book on Agoda, the first night wasn’t available! But i really love this villa and decided still go ahead with whatever available then emailed to villa directly to check!!

Luck came back! Ziva crew was able to arrange a villa for me and combined my Agoda booking with their booking! Vacation saved!!

Ziva only has 10 unit in total – 9 x one bedroom and 1 x three bedroom! I had put in a request for the nearest room to the main recept so that we do not need to walk too far inside and risk lizard dropping dropping on my head! I can’t imagine walking this corridor at night (eek!!)

Without further ado, let me open the door to my vacationnnnn!!!

Just standing outside, i can already hear the birds singing, the tree dancing and the water calling!!!

Now walking into our room, we thought it will be a lil warm inside since it’s a bright sunny day shinning through the full glass room! It turns out, cooler than expected!!

& Ziva was so sweet sia!! still got honeymoon deco and a stalk of roses (I assume it’s for me and not my mister!)

They even got flower bath ready for us! Sweet max – so sweet until I forgot to take a picture of the toilet!! LOL!!

After settling down, we head out to grab our lunch it was almost 4pm by the time we reach Ziva and settle down! Hungry is the only thing in my mind!

We wanted to go Ultimo but it was close for break and only re-open at 430pm. I was so hungry i can’t wait for another 5 mins so we went a lil further down and walked in Char Char!

Regulars in Bali definitely knows to find Char Char! Even first time, Char Char is so hard to miss! The steps alfresco sitting was like their distinctive icon!

We parked ourselves comfortably there and ordered our lunch!

Fruity Coconut drink is super refreshing on such summer days! Quench your thirst, keep you cool!

We ordered Happy Hour Oyster too. Was cheap but not as yummy as what we had in Melbourne! You can skip this IMO.

Sorry for the weird angle, like i said, i was tooo hungry already!

We ordered a prawn aglio olio and a beef steak. Portion was generous but taste wise, I still prefer Ultimo’s pasta. However, the steak was good! we only ordered 100g and we were laughing at ourselves for being a silly customer! 100g and we want it medium rare! The chef must have thought we’re crazy, 100g how to cook M.R.? It turns out, the steak was really medium rare and absolutely tender and juicy!

After lunch, we went supermarket for a quick shopping and head back for a dip as the sun is almost down!!

The best time to swim is probably between 5-7pm, no sun yet still bright! I believe Ziva does have floaties for guest to rent but since we had one, why rent?? Bought my pizza floatie from Taobao and this is probably one of my many best & happiest buy!

In the evening, the villa still very pretty and looks even more romantic with all the warm/orange lights!!

But of course, as the night turned dark, my guts became smaller! (LOL!!!) I had to ask my handsome hubby to make tea for me because I don’t want to startled myself when i see lizard or even hear one!!

Then suddenly(!!), the door bell rang!! It was the crew giving us a pleasant surprise!!

A birthday cake & a heart-shaped anniversary cake!! Wahh.. scored full marks liao!! Briefly mentioned before that I would like to spend my birthday and anniversary in their villa (because i couldn’t get a room on the first night and had to write to them, remember?) and here we had 2 cakes to celebrate!!!

Really, when you expect nothing, you will truely be surprised when there’s one! Thanks Ziva!!

Ended a day with high sugar and I know I will definitely gonna have sweet dream!

Stay tune for Day 2!!

 

 

Back to Qoo10 again because of Secret Key!

It has been ages since I last logged in to Qoo10. My status has dropped from VIP (is there even a VVIP?) to GREEN! LOL! Being a Green is tough! You don’t have much coupon to offset your purchases and the roulette now only allows you to spin 3 times a day!

Can’t maximize the best I’ve got! Nonetheless, I’ll be sharing a few pocket friendly products with you today! Secret Key. They have skincare, cosmetic and makeup tools! I’m not new to SK but was only using their eyeliner previously. Heard so much review about their Treatment essence hence decided to check it out

STARTING TREATMENT AURA MIST (SGD8.90)

7 Miracles on your skin! Exfoliation, smooth skin texture, nutrition, elasticity, soothing moisturizing, even skin tone!

5 Free system! Free from Paraben, animal oil, coloring, mineral oil, benzophenone!

Suitable for user who:

  • wants various skin improvement effects with a single product.
  • wants a mist with various effects which is easy to carry around
  • wants a clean & transparent skin tone
  • has sensitive skin & wants hypoallergenic product

Best use as a step before your essence!

WHAT I THINK? It definitely doesn’t have the most pleasant scent but it is at least refreshing. But again, which mist isn’t refreshing?? For the price you paid (S$8.90), i think this is good enough! Hydrating and convenient!

STARTING TREATMENT PEELING SLEEPING PACK (SGD20.90) 

Suitable for user who:

  • wants soft exfoliation.
  • wants smoother & hydrating skin
  • wants to brighten skin tone
  • has sensitive skin & wants hypoallergenic peeling product

 

It’s really light weight and smells better than the mist! I actually don’t mind using this every night!

STARTING TREATMENT ESSENCE (SGD20.90)

I have not use this yet! But this is the legendary “miracle water” inspired by! How true? I don’t know but I thought it was really cost effective enough to give it a try! Even if it didn’t turn out well, at least can still use it for my hands and legs!!

If you’re interested to get your hands on any of above products, check out below link from Qoo10:

LINK:https://www.qoo10.sg/su/420516162/Q101716446

[$9.50][Secret Key]【Secret Key HQ】◈STATRING TREATMENT LINE 30% OFF◈Galactomyces Essence/Eye cream/Cream/Sleeping Pac

WWW.QOO10.SG

Tsururi Point Clay Pack

It was just a casual “walk” in Watson’s to check out sale and who knows I ended up with something I have no plans buying (& didn’t buy what I planned to!)!

TSURURI POINT CLAY PACK – GHASSOUL.RED CLAY.ARGAN OIL

What is Ghassoul Mineral Clay? It is derived from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, Ghassoul Clay is a rare and high quality soothing clay well-known for its gentle and natural healing properties.

BENEFITS:

• Ionic detoxification

• Treats acne

• Controls excess oil

• Brightens skin

• Exfoliates, tightens & smoothens

• Improves skin elasticity

• Evens skin tone

• Protects against free radical damage

• Environmentally friendly

So here’s my clay pack!!

Tsururi Clay Pack is formulated with two types of clay to penetrate deep into pores and whisk away impurities!

Impurity absorbing ingredient: Morocco Ghassoul (which we had shared earlier) and Red Clay (a powerful purifying agent which is high in iron. It absorbs excess skin oil and also has superior moisturizing effect!)

Skin treatment ingredient: Red Rock Salt

Moisturiser: Arnab Oil & Honey

Brought home and got my hands working on it immediately!!

So after I washed my face, I applied a thin layer of clay on my chubby nose! You can apply the clay on T-zone or area prone to oiliness!

Impurities and excess oil are absorbed to skin’s surface, appearing as darkened spots!

The clay dries pretty fast… before you know it… it’s already drying up and hardened! You do not need to wait very long to see the oil mark!

At 5 mins, it’s almost good to wash away! Before we wash it….. here’s a CLOSER look!!!!

***WARNING: image below looks really gross! Scroll down at your own risk!

Now that it’s dried/hardened, time to rinse off!

Verdict: Tsururi Clay Pack does remove my clogged pores! Not 100% but I can see result after one use! Skin does feels clean and smooth too!

Just to ensure it’s not the clay drying with spots, I tested it on my hand! NO OIL SPOTS on my hand..!

Will I buy again? I don’t know! It seems like 1 tube can last pretty long as only need to apply a thin layer! By then, maybe there’s even better product out on market.. However, if there’s nothing better, I will definitely buy this again when I finished using the one I have now!

#DALoveKnot – Chapter 9 (The Bridal/Wedding Car)

The clock is ticking.. We’ve done PWS! We’ve locked our guest list! We’ve done GDL! Now how can we not done with Bridal car!!

In Budget Bride FB Page, I did a quick search and found that quite a few brides recommended Abel & WeddingCarz. By instinct, I went ahead to check out WeddingCarz first because it seems like they will have a better variety of cars!

To my surprise, the person who replied me is.. Abel! CHEY!!!!

My hubby-to-be & I were pretty much firm that we don’t want a white bridal car because it’s too common and doesn’t compliment the white gown (at all). Hence we told abel to quote us dark colored cars.

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Very soon after the FB PM, i got his email with car image.

We made our decision within those selection and did a soft booking!

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His response was fast and even help to arrange car viewing session for us! What touched us most is that he even offered to pick us up as the car owner’s location might change.. Very considerate boss!

During that 1st meet up, all went pretty well! Driver assured us that prior the wedding day, the bridal car will be sent for washing & (omg, can’t remember the term he use) polishing?? Anyway, in short, he promised that the car will be shinning and clean when he pick us up on our big day!

I didn’t take a lot of picture but the inside of the car is decent. Leather seating (grey color if i’m not wrong).. They even shared their experience with us on what to expect on that day and what to avoid..

TIPS we learnt:

  • On the wedding day, Bridal Car should not do U-turn nor reverse – not a good sign.
  • If you’re a teochew bride, rightfully you your leave the house before sun rise. However, if you’re like me, doing it later, you might want to plan to go straight to groom’s house – NO mid-day shoot before that. Teochew bride cannot “see light” prior arriving groom’s place. Mid day shoot can be done after you leave groom’s place. 🙂 Take it as a  chance to showcase your Kua/Teadress, else i believe you’ll have little photos of those dress.

Well, since all went well, we confirmed the booking and secured out bridal car! Now hope all will be smooth on that day! 🙂

#DALoveKnot Chapter 7: The Solemnizer a.k.a. JP

The actual period for you to get a JP is 3 months prior your wedding (ROM) date.

However, it seems that popular JP are always fully booked prior that dateline. Hence I decided to start early!! I already did a shortlist of my preferred JP at least 9 months prior my wedding!

  • Dr. Phua Tan Tee (licence expiring 30 Jun 2016 UPDATE: his licence got renewed until 2020 & we managed to invite him to solemnize our wedding!! woohooo!) Very fatherly and well recommended JP! Tends to give long speech but according to review, his speech are well loved by elderly..
  • Mr. Tan Yan Boon Alex (licence expiring 31 Dec 2016) A jovial gentleman
  • Mr. Chiang Heng Liang (licence expiring 31 Dec 2016) In case you want to know, he’s the JP for Christopher Lee & Fann Wong..
  • Mr. Lee Ka But (licence expiring 31 Dec 2020) From what I read online, seems like he will usually donate the angbao money from couple to charity (under couple’s name)
  • Dr Ho Lai Yun (licence expiring 31 Dec 2018)

On the 6th month, I had approached the first 2 JP and was indirectly rejected as their license are expiring. They couldn’t advice any further as license renewal wasn’t up to them to decide. It’s ROM decision whether to renew them or not. Hence outta courtesy, they actually advice me to look for someone else in case their license wasn’t renew.

Knowing that I’m a kiasu bride, I decided to go ahead to look for alternative! I asked a few married friends / visited forums to see if they have any recommendation! My main concern is that i do not want a JP who’s too serious (which will makes me more stress) nor i want a JP who doesn’t seems to take things seriously (comes late / not pro-active / rushing things through)..

Finally, I shortlisted next 3 names and decided to email to Dr Ho first since my friend highly recommended him.. I did not approached Mr Chiang due to personal reason but according to my friend who engaged him, they really enjoyed their ROM with him. He basically stayed throughout the session even though he’s role was done. Very 尽责!

Waited for few weeks, no respond from Dr Ho.. (SAD again!!) Decided to resend the email to follow up and to my HORROR!  I SEND TO THE WRONG EMAIL! OH-EM-GEEEE (OMG)!! HAHAHAHA

I quickly copy and paste the context and send to the correct email and he responded within a day! *whistle* HAPPY GIRL NOW.. Not just because I found my mistake and corrected but because he replied.. with a POSITIVE ANSWER!!! Yey!!!

He had blocked his calendar for our wedding date and we even talked about meeting to get some documents sign and filing for marriage!! Pls note that this was about 6.5 months to our wedding!

For now.. I guess i have nothing else to update! So stay tune for next week’s post for more wedding preparation post!!

Some links that might be useful in finding your JP:

Registry of Marriage

Reviews