Categories
Japan Photography

Hokkaido Shrine Photo Featured on In-flight Magazine

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Several months ago, I was fortunate to be contacted by the editor of an in-flight magazine who is putting together an article on Sapporo and was asking whether I am keen to lease my photos that was taken in Sapporo during my Japan Trip in 2009.

After some clarifications (type, resolution, credits, etc) on how the images will be used, I sent over a total of 43MB worth of high-resolution photos for their selection. The package consists photos of Hokkaido Shrine, Sapporo Clock Tower and Sapporo Beer Garden.

Sometime later, I was glad to be informed that my Hokkaido Shrine photo (above) was used in the Sapporo feature in the December 2010 – January 2011 issue of Aspire, Hong Kong Airlines’ in-flight magazine. A soft copy of the magazine was also sent to me! Please see below. 🙂


Categories
Batam

3 Days 2 Nights Trip at Harris Resort Batam

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This short trip to Batam was made on 10th Sept 2010 (during the long weekend of Hari Raya Puasa), together with the same gang of friends that went to Malaysia (See “A Day in Kuala Lumpur 2” and “A Day in Malacca“). Our package at Harris Resort Batam is as below. It’s slightly more expensive than usual due to the holiday peak period.

It Is Good Deal @ Harris Funky Room (Old Wing Room)
Adult twin sharing: $127.00 per person
Child without bed: $36.00
Infant: $18.00

Package price includes:
– 2 way ferry tickets
– 2 way land transfers
– 2 nights stay with daily breakfasts
– FREE one time lunch or dinner for paying adults and children.
– FREE one time 30mins bicycle ride for two per room per stay.
– FREE one game of bowling for two per room per stay
– FREE access to sauna, cold plunge pool at H Spa & fitness.
– FREE access to Wi-Fi internet within hotel premises.
– FREE one time two-way shuttle services to Nagoya Hill for all paxs.
*Depart hotel 1100hrs & 1400hrs (Batam Time)
*Depart Nagoya Hill timing 1430hrs & 1730hrs (Batam Time)
*FCFS basis, guests MUST register at bell counter soonest or at least 02hrs before departing time.

Package excludes:
– Singapore terminal tax $20.00 per person pay at Harbourfront Centre
– Batam terminal tax $7.00 per person pay at Waterfront City Batam Terminal

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The ferry ride was rather fast and we reached Waterfront City Batam Terminal in less than an hour but getting through the immigration took some time due to the bulk of travelers. Above shows a shop selling variety of products, just as you walk out of the immigration. We bought tons of food, snacks, beer, etc here!

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Land transfer from Harris Resort Batam. It was only a few minutes drive from the ferry terminal.

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We were given twin rooms despite requesting for double bed rooms during our reservation. I think those who took the first ferry out from Singapore manage to get the limited double bed rooms as there were lots of travelers checking in. We checked-in to our rooms and then took a walk around Harris Resort Batam (mostly pool area). Then, we went to the restaurant to have a small bite as we missed lunch and it almost nearing dinner time (4pm).

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The pizza looks great but we didn’t eat it as the portion is rather big and we were going to have dinner pretty soon. Our dinner will be using the “FREE one time lunch or dinner for paying adults and children” which is included in the package. The free dinner was …. 🙁

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Harris Resort Batam – Old Wing (we are staying here).

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Harris Resort Batam – This is the new wing and it will cost a tad more than the old wing. We had a sneak peek at one of the rooms (during housekeeping) on the ground floor and it seems smaller than the old wing rooms.

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We went to the bowling centre to play the “FREE one game of bowling for two per room per stay” in our package. You have to rent the bowling shoes but it doesn’t comes with any socks!

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Nice swimming pool at Harris Resort Batam.

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If you are early, you can grab one of these sheltered seats. How nice it would be to relax here (with beers)!

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Lobby area of Harris Resort Batam. The lifts that we used daily! Hehe…

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Beach area near Harris Resort Batam.

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Small yacht berthing at nearby dock near Harris Resort Batam.

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We took the free one-time return shuttle services from Harris Resort to Nagoya Hill for shopping. We had made the reservation for the shuttle service one day earlier.

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We wanted to try the original Ayam Penyet Ria but it was closed. By the way, there is a Ayam Penyet Ria in Lucky Plaza (Singapore)!

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Food street at Nagoya Hill. Lots of food for you to choose!

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77 Es Teler – We tried one of the desserts which is very much like Ice Kacang. There is also a Es Teler in Singapore too! It’s at Far East Plaza Singapore.

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Our bedroom at Harris Resort Batam, we wasn’t able to get the double bed room so we improvised on our own. Haha!

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The rest of the area in our bedroom at Harris Resort Batam.

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Bathroom at Harris Resort Batam. It’s clean but the hot water is pretty inconsistent, sometimes it’s hot and most of the time it’s cold! Wahaha!

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The sun is setting soon. Taken at a seafood restaurant near to the Waterfront City Batam Terminal.

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Dinner at a kelong-style seafood restaurant near to the Waterfront City Batam Terminal. I can’t seem to remember the name…

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Fried chicken and Sambal Kang Kong.

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Chilli crabs.

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Hot Plate Tofu.

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Black pepper crabs.

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Daily breakfast at Harris Resort Batam was rather lacking but not entirely not consumable.

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A pet monkey at a restaurant beside Harris Resort Batam.

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The restaurant beside Harris Resort Batam, where we had our lunch, before leaving for our ferry back to Singapore. We had actually requested for early ferry departure in the morning but it was already full so have to settle for the afternoon one.

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Fried Chicken Rice Special.

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One of the ferry at Waterfront City Batam Terminal where we were waiting to board our ferry back to Singapore. The trip went by without a lot of photo taking as there wasn’t really much to shoot! Also, we didn’t venture far away from Harris Resort Batam to engage in other activities as we were traveling with children. It’s really a “getaway”! Haha!

Categories
Events Life in Singapore

i Light Marina Bay

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Passed by Esplanade and happened to see “i Light Marina Bay” ( 照亮滨海湾), – Asia’s First Sustainable Light Art Festival, which is held from 15th October to 7th November 2010 from 7.30pm onwards to midnight. The entry is free and there are 26 light artworks along 3.5km of Marina Bay. I only checked out a few and the above is exhibit 13 – Jellight by Pascal Petitjean & Aamer Taher (Singapore).

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Exhibit 12 – Animal Tree by Pitupong Chaowakul (Thailand). If you look closely, the lamp actually consists of orange teddy bears!

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Night scene of Esplanade Bridge with the skyscrapers in the background.

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Exhibit 11 – Touch. Do Not Please The Work Of Art by Michael Lee (Singapore) & Cornelia Erdmann (Hong Kong). Strong lights are shone frequently at the glow-in-the-dark text.

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This will be what you can see after the lights are off – Touch. Do Not Please The Work Of Art.

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From the Esplanade Bridge, scene of Esplanade and surrounding buildings.

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Exhibit 9 – Flora Magica by Studio KYbra (Australia & Germany).

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Exhibit 7 – The Whirlpool by Martin Klaasen, Shane Richardson and Pascal Petitjean (Singapore & Australia).

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Exhibit 8 – The Living! Project by Sun Yu Li, Allan Lim, Kenny Eng (Singapore). One of my personal favorites!

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Look closely – it’s made from Starbucks used plastic cups!

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And also used mineral water bottles, which is made into fan-like shape and it spins when the wind blows!

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Exhibit 6 – C/Ɔ by Angela Chong (Singapore). I love this!

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It’s actually a functional seating area made from acrylic!

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The seat changes colors too! Nice!

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Exhibit 5 – Singapora-Flora by Warren Langley (Australia).

I didn’t finish visiting the whole of the light artworks at Marina Bay, think I only went through a few. For those interested, you may want to visit “i Light Marina Bay” webby to find out the suggested walk routes. If you can take some time to leisurely walk 3.5 km around Marina Bay, you will be able to complete the 26 light artworks. It’s getting late and I going home! 😛

Categories
Malacca

A Day in Malacca

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Continuing from “A Day in Kuala Lumpur 2“, we decided to check out from the hotel early (immediately after breakfast) so that we can visit Malacca on our way back to Singapore. We spotted Philea Resort and Spa when we exited the expressway and went in to have a look. 🙂

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Philea Resort and Spa, seems like a quiet place to rest and relax.

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Close-up view of the accommodation at Philea Resort and Spa. Think the ambiance at night will be great!

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Swimming pool at Philea Resort and Spa. There wasn’t much guests around when we were there, think they might have checked out…

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It was almost time for lunch and we were already hungry so we stop by Restoran Famosa Chicken Rice Ball.

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The interior of Restoran Famosa – comes with air-conditioning. A relief to the hot weather!

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Chicken Rice Ball at Restoran Famosa. According to their website, the rice balls are moulded by machine so it’s hygienic.

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Dumpling Soup at Restoran Famosa.

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Fish Ball Soup at Restoran Famosa.

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Roasted Chicken at Restoran Famosa.

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Choy Sum & Roasted Pork at Restoran Famosa.

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Steamed Chicken at Restoran Famosa.

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Then after our lunch, we took a short stroll to the nearby “Tan Kim Hock Product Centre” to buy Dodol durian.

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Other then Dodol durian, there are also many snacks and food products for sale. Some of them are really nostalgic – products that we used to have in Singapore!

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Old historical scene of Malacca.

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Passing by a Chinese temple.

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YSL (Yue Sang Loong) selling Chinese raw medicine.

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Old style coffee shop – we still have something similar back home in Singapore but it’s getting less and hard to find. Maybe I should go take photos and blog about it before it’s gone…

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Provision shop at Malacca.

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Antique wares at Malacca.

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Heard that this is the famous Chicken Rice stall at Jonker Walk…but we already had our fill. Hehe! Next time!

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Spotted San Shu Gong (三叔公) so we went in to buy food products. Heard there is one San Shu Gong at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 too!

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Interior of San Shu Gong – there was a lot of people inside buying stuffs and it was pretty hot as the air-conditioning is not working. This photo shows the quiet corner as I didn’t want to jostle with the shoppers. Haha!

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We couldn’t stand the stuffiness so we quickly bought our stuffs and left. There is a Lao Qian Ice Cafe near the entrance of San Shu Gong.

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Walking down Jonker Street in search of famous Chendol to eat.

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I didn’t have a gook look but think the stall is probably selling Ding Ding Candy

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Passing by a stall that sells ice cream shaped like an egg.

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Hokkien Huay Kuan at Malacca.

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Grilled cuttlefish – you can smell it from a distance away… 😛

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Finally reached our destination for ChendolJonker Dessert 88.

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Interior of Jonker Dessert 88 and it’s actually a cafe museum. Love the old nostalgic setting!

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In the shelves, there are many exhibits such as old currency notes, pots, artifacts, etc but I think majority of the patrons are concentrating on the food only!

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Waiting for our orders to be prepared. 🙂

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Cendol from Jonker Dessert 88. Nice! Think it’s because of the superb Gula Melaka.

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Ice Kacang from Jonker Dessert 88. My friend had this!

After the dessert, we went back to our car and continue our journey home to Singapore. We met with a massive jam at Johor Bahru (all the Singapore cars are going back!) and the vehicles were practically not moving at all. Then, we decided to break away from the jam to go for dinner first and hope that the traffic jam have eased. We were thinking too positively – the jam was worse after our dinner! We then decided to try going back by Tuas Checkpoint instead of Woodlands Checkpoint and to our surprise, there wasn’t any jam at all and it was so smooth. Lesson learned, next time just whack straight back from Tuas Checkpoint if we go to Malaysia during long weekends in Singapore, I think traffic will not be as bad as Johor Bahru even there is a jam! But crap happens too and you can be never too sure!

Categories
Kuala Lumpur

A Day in Kuala Lumpur 2

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Hiya, this is a long overdue blog post! The Kuala Lumpur trip was made during the long weekend of 7th to 9th August 2010 where Singapore was celebrating it’s National Day and it’s a holiday on 9th August 2010. We (a group of 6 adults and 2 children) took the opportunity to go for a last-minute short trip and the hotels was almost full (well, they did jack up the prices though!). It was a self-drive journey and there was jams along the way (especially at immigration) as many Singaporeans also had the same idea of relaxing out of Singapore! Anyway, the photo above show my lunch (Fish Ball Kway Teow Soup) at Yong Peng Rest Stop.

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By the time we reached our hotel (The Gardens Hotel) at Mid Valley, it was already around 6pm. There was a queue at the front desk and we got our rooms separated on different floors even though we have made requests.

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The Gardens Hotel – Nice room with comfortable-looking bed.

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The Gardens Hotel – Large desk area for those who are going to do work or surf internet.

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The Gardens Hotel – Vanity area.

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The Gardens Hotel – the bathroom comes with a selection between using the normal shower head or the rain shower function. You can also take a soak in the bath tub too!

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The Gardens Hotel – Separated dry toilet for you to take a dump without getting your feet wet! 😛

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The Gardens Hotel – View from our room.

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The Gardens Hotel – Comes with a mini-fridge and complimentary tea/coffee/drinking water.

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The Gardens Hotel – Outside of the hotel where you can valet park your vehicle. For hotel guests, it is much more economical to valet then to park on your own.

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The Gardens Hotel – Sofas at the lobby area where we always use as a meeting place. 🙂

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Taking a walk at Mid Valley Megamall.

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Having our dinner at Little Penang Kafe at Mid Valley Megamall.

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Little Penang Kafe serves the best of Penang cuisine and seems to get a fair bit of press write-ups!

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Assam Laksa at Little Penang Kafe.

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Prawn Mee at Little Penang Kafe.

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After our dinner, we continue to take a walk around Mid Valley Megamall.

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After several grueling hours of shopping, we head off to T.G.I. Friday’s to have a drink and light supper. It was already 10.30pm!

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T.G.I. Friday’s – Long Island Tea for my partner and I had Erdinger.

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Our simple supper at T.G.I. Friday’s.

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T.G.I. Friday’s – The interior of the restaurant. Love the “Kitchen” signage!

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T.G.I. Friday’s – Guitars and photos of singers are hung on the wall. Not sure why but it sure gives me a feeling that I am in Hard Rock Cafe

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Forward to the next morning, we had our free buffet breakfast within The Gardens Hotel.

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Breakfast time at The Gardens Hotel was having long queues at the reception to wait for tables. Believe that lot of the tourists are Singaporeans!

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After breakfast, we went to the swimming pool to have a look even though we were not planning to swim. Nice looking pool!

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The view from the swimming pool at The Gardens Hotel.

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After our tour at the swimming pool, we went to Suria KLCC and it’s shopping time for the ladies. Huge crowd here even though it was early morning!

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Interesting roof architecture at Suria KLCC.

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Our wives getting all frenzied up with Vincci shoes… It was so packed that there is virtually no air-conditioning in the shop… haha!

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Went outdoors to take a photo of Petronas Twin Tower.

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Open area in front of Suria KLCC. We didn’t hang around for long as it’s really warm outside!

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We went back indoors and then to Olio Dome Café to take a break from our tired legs.

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My drink at Olio Dome Café, think it was Passion Fruit Berries or something like that… hehe!

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Wanted to have Bak Kut Teh but it was not open yet so we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant at the corner of Jalan Alor. My partner having chicken noodles.

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I am having Wonton noodles. Decent meal.

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The outside of the restaurant. Think most people might be familiar with this location.

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After our meal, my friend decided that we should have durians for dessert and went to buy a couple of them. We brought them into the restaurant to eat after seeking the staff’s approval. Damn, these durians are good!

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Next, we went to Pavilion Mall to walk around. Basically, this trip is more of hanging around and shopping rather than like my usual of exploring the less-traveled areas. It’s good for a change but not too often as I do get bored at shopping centers! Haha!

The next morning, we will be leaving Kuala Lumpur and back to Singapore, but before so, we will stop by Malacca for a couple of hours to buy food stuffs and eat Cendol! 🙂

Categories
Otaku

Mecha Art Museum

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The Singapore Cosplay Club brings forth to you a new event, the Mecha Art Museum!

Venue: West Coast Plaza (154 West Coast Road Singapore 127371)
Date of Exhibition: 10th September 2010 – 31st October 2010 (11am – 9.30pm)

Above photo shows Knight of Gold from The Five Star Stories.

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The Mecha Art Museum is an art exhibition of Mechas made out of paper craft and each Mecha is more than 2m tall!

Above photo shows Dancougar from Dancouga – Super Beast Machine God.

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Dancouga – Super Beast Machine God. A close-up of hand to show the level of details.

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Dancouga – Super Beast Machine God. Frontal view.

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Goldy and Dark Knight, both World Cosplay Summit Tokyo representatives will be coming to Singapore on the days of 11th, 12th, 18th,19th September 2010 to conduct cosplay workshops (free)!

The theme for cosplaying on the 12th and 19th September is cosplaying characters from mecha series . Non-mecha series cosplayers are also welcome!

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Mr Goldy, wearing the costume of Gurren Lagann.

Other programmes – Cosplay Workshops, Cosplay Performances by Goldy and Dark Knight (World Cosplay Summit Tokyo Representatives), Anime Performances, etc.

Visit www.mechadesignhouse.com for more information!

Categories
Bali

A Day in Bali 4

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Today is our last day in Bali so after breakfast, we went to take a dip in the swimming pool as there wasn’t much time to go anywhere else and also we need to check-out latest by 12.30pm. I swam around for about 2 hours (until 11am) and then went back to room to take shower and pack up our stuffs.

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Our room at Kuta Beach Club – while waiting for my partner to use the bathroom, I had a bit of time so took some more photos of the room. Haha!

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Photo of the bathroom at Kuta Beach Club (which my my partner was complaining about). For the rest of the room photos, you may also refer to “A Day in Bali 1“.

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View from the private balcony in front of our room. There is also a clothes rack provided for you to hang out to dry your towels, board shorts, swimming gear, etc.

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Still had a bit of time before check-out so I relaxed at the private balcony…with my remaining Bintang beer

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After checking-out and leaving out luggage at Kuta Beach Club, we went out to have lunch at KFC. I wanted to try the A&W at Matahari but my friend, who have tried it previously during the trip said it wasn’t nice…

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The air-conditioned lower floor was packed so we went up to the 2nd floor, which is non air-conditioned. It was pretty warm as it’s 1pm in the day!

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Next, we took a taxi to Cozy Spa at Sunset Road Blok A/3 (North Simpang Siur), tel (0361) 766762. I have called to make a booking a few days ago for 4 person for 3 hours from 2pm to 5pm as our flight back to Singapore is at 10.20pm. It was planned so that we can have a relaxing massage and yet spend the time away. Please do call and make reservations as it’s very popular!

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Cozy Spa – Best Regular Spa Award.

Our selection:

  • Foot Reflexology Aromatherapy (1.5 hours)
  • Cozy Body Sensation Massage (1.5 hours)

I can’t remember the actual prices but it was around Rp 200,000 for each person for the above selection. Both the above are good but the Foot Reflexology Aromatherapy is outstanding and I highly recommended it!

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Front counter at Cozy Spa. Cozy Spa is a non-fanciful regular spa which offers very reasonable prices for their spa packages.

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Cozy Spa – Waiting area / drinks counter. Wait here for your name to be called and then will be led to room by the masseuse. For the body massage, you can specify whether you like you masseuse to be male or female. As for the foot reflexology, I understand that it’s all male.

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After the 3hrs of theraphy at Cozy Spa, we took a taxi back to Kuta Beach. Our favorite place! Haha!

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Almost sunset time at Kuta Beach…and then I spotted a white streak in the sky…was that a shooting star?

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Went to Hard Rock Hotel Bali to walk around again…

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Swimming pool at Hard Rock Hotel Bali. Seems fabulous!

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Entrance of Hard Rock Hotel Bali. The signage here is very popular for photo taking!

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At Hard Rock Hotel Bali- guitar used by “The Rolling Stones”

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Dinner time! My friend suggested to go to the nearby Hard Rock Cafe Bali.

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We were led to the 2nd floor of Hard Rock Cafe Bali. There was already some dinners around already.

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Hard Rock Cafe Bali – Caesar Salad.

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Hard Rock Cafe Bali – Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast Rp 119, 000.

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Hard Rock Cafe Bali – Cajun Fish Rp 99, 000.

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After our dinner at Hard Rock Cafe Bali, we took a slow stroll back to Kuta Beach Club to retrieve our luggage and then took a taxi to Ngurah Rai International Airport.

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Entrance of Ngurah Rai International Airport.

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We checked-in at Ngurah Rai International Airport and then walk around the shops. A starting incident happened is that we wasn’t aware that we had to pay Rp 150,000 per pax as departure tax at Ngurah Rai International Airport as we thought all the taxes was already inclusive in the air tickets. It wasn’t mentioned that we had to pay in the air tickets itinerary too. We’re lucky that we still have some rupiah left…

Anyway, we had a fabulous 5 days in Bali and even before leaving, we were already thinking of visiting Bali again! Goodbye Bali, visit you again soon!

Categories
Bali

A Day in Bali 3

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Usual routine of having breakfast at Kuta Beach Club but today we started the day a bit later as we only have snorkeling planned at 10am. The rest of the day will be pretty OTOT (own-time-own-target) so we are going to take things slowly…

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One of the interesting decorations at Kuta Beach Club.

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Waiting for the driver to come and fetch us for snorkeling at Nusa Dua. He’s late so I took the opportunity to take some day photos of Kuta Beach Club.

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Entrance of Kuta Beach Club. We waited for around 10mins before the driver arrived.

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Journey to Nusa Dua area didn’t take very long and we were brought to a water sports provider along Nusa Dua beach. Checked our snorkeling equipments and off to sea!

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Testing in open sea on the way to snorkeling with LX3 inside the DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case. Click on link “DiCAPac WP610 Waterproof Underwater Case for LX3” to read the review of the case.

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Photos of fishes taken during snorkeling. It’s pretty difficult to take a good photo as the fishes are swimming around to eat the bread thrown by tourists. Yes, I wasn’t the only group there at the snorkeling site, there was around 6 to 7 boats crowding around.

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Yeah, there was a few scuba divers as well too! The snorkeling took around 1 hour and we took a rest before leaving Nusa Beach.

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While going up the vehicle to send us back to hotel, I spotted a lonely make-shift food stall…

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Back to hotel and then we wander out again – Passing by Ramayana Hotel and Spa (as always), it looks good and location (next to Kuta Beach Club) is great too!

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Rows of shops opposite our hotel (Kuta Beach Club). Our area is really convenient and there is also a 24hr convenience store next to Ramayana Hotel and Spa.

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For lunch, we had a quick bite at McDonald’s at Kuta. It was lunch time and it was pretty crowded, mostly with tourists.

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A very nice-looking restaurant. It look even more magnificent during the night!

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With nothing much on the itinerary, we headed off to Kuta Beach to take a stroll. It’s a beach holiday after all 🙂

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Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Bali.

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As usual, it’s a very nice weather at Kuta Beach. It’s warm so we sat down to have some Bintang beer (Rp 20,000 each) as well as to chat with some of the locals.

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Taken from our seat (with shelter from large umbrella). The surfboards are used for those who are taking any surfing lessons.

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After lazing around Kuta Beach for more than 2 hours and guzzling down 5 bottles of Bintang, it’s time to move on. We went in to Mecure Kuta Bali to have a look. My, this is a nice hotel too!

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Entrance of Mecure Kuta Bali.

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A nice looking restaurant with swimming pool within.

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Strolling around to sight-see…

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More of walking around. 🙂

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Passing by a restaurant/bar which had a poster – “We serve bloody cold beer”.

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Passing-by the 2002 Kuta bombing memorial that was built on the site of the destroyed Paddy’s Pub on Legian Street.

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Sky Garden Lounge – heard rave reviews about this place and the 3 storeys offers different lounge experience.

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Ordering an Italian ice-cream to cool down from the hot weather.

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Passing by a shop selling Bali kites. Kite flying seems to be a popular and traditional form of entertainment/sport for Balineses.

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Paddy’s Club, believed to be the re-opened Paddy’s Pub.

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Uluwatu – Hand made Balinese Lace. We didn’t go in but I remembered reading that they offer high quality lace.

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Dinner time! We went around Kuta (Poppies) to look for a place to dine, after comparing a few, we settled for Un’s Restaurant!

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Un’s Restaurant – Complimentary frozen margarita. This rocks!

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Un’s Restaurant – Superb setting and ambiance! We were given seats outdoor.

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Un’s Restaurant – We were given complimentary chicken nugget before our main course. Completely surprised by this!

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Un’s Restaurant – Mango juice Rp 12,000. My partner had Banana juice Rp 12, 000.

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Un’s Restaurant – It started to drizzle slightly and we were moved indoors. It was a good move as towards the end, the rain was pouring down fiercely!

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Un’s Restaurant – Red snapper fillet Rp 89,000. Fantastic!

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Un’s Restaurant – Greek Salad Rp 39,000.

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Un’s Restaurant – Complimentary Krupuk.

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Un’s Restaurant – Rendang Beef Rp 55,000. The total for the dinner came up to Rp 241,362 (inclusive of 6% service and 10% tax). The meal at Un’s Restaurant was one of the best I had in Bali and I highly recommended that you dine here too!

The rain have started to cease and we hurriedly made our way back to hotel to meet up with our friends to try to finish up the Absolut Berri Vodka. We also did some swimming in the night and it’s cold! Tomorrow will be our last day in Bali and time seems to pass by so fast when you are having fun. Nevertheless, we still look forward to spend another fulfilling day in Bali!

Categories
Bali

A Day in Bali 2

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The next morning, after breakfast at Kuta Beach Club, we met up with Ketut

(our English-speaking driver) at 9am at our hotel lobby. Check out “A Day in Bali 1” for my review of him!

Today’s itinerary is as follows:

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After around 2 hours of winding journey (going into the hilly areas), we reached Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. It lives up to it’s name

Jatiluwih as Jati and luwih, where Jati mean really and Luwih mean beautiful. Jatiluwih is a favorite tourist destination in Bali,

famous with the beautiful rice terrace unfolding from the foot of mountain until the coastal side.

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A local passing by with his cow at Jatiluwih Rice Terrace.

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We met a local couple taking wedding photographs at Jatiluwih Rice Terrace and asked for their permission to take as well, which

they kindly obliged. 🙂

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You can take a breather here while enjoying the magnificent view of Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.

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Beautiful panorama scenery of Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.

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Time for lunch and we went to Labhagga Restaurant Pacung which offers superb views of Pacung Rice Terrace while you dine.

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Labhagga Restaurant Pacung is located at Jl. Raya Baturitim Tabananm Bali and is buffet-styled. The buffet lunch costs Rp 85,000 for each adult and we

also ordered 2 large Bintang at Rp

30,000 each as well as 1 lemon juice at Rp 12,5000. Total for 4 person adds up to Rp 495,000 (including Rp 41,250 tax and Rp 41,250 service).

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Wide variety of food selection at Labhagga Restaurant Pacung. Many more available too!

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My first serving at Labhagga Restaurant Pacung. 🙂

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The nice view of rice terraces and the mountain from our table while having lunch. There is no need for fans/air-con as Pacung is

in the highland with cooler temperature.

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A close-up view of the Pacung rice terraces.

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While leaving Labhagga Restaurant Pacung, saw a few locals playing music outside…

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Next destination is Gitgit Waterfall, which Ketut (our driver) recommended to go after lunch as we need the energy boost.

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The reason being that we need to walk for approximately 30 mins before reaching the waterfall and the terrain is relatively rough,

with uphills and downhill climbs.

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Passing by a group of children playing around…

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Gitgit Twin Waterfall.

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Gitgit Twin Waterfall (in dynamic mode). Wonder why this trip I am playing so much of the dynamic feature…hahaha!


Children Playing Tarzan at Gitgit Waterfall, Bali, Indonesia

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A shop selling various products – drinks, spices, souvenirs, etc. Well, it’s not cheap here…

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Magnificent view of Gitgit Waterfall. You can feel the energy of the water from here!

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Alright, time to leave Git Git waterfall…passing by some shops on the way out.

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Following, we went to Pura Ulun Danu (Lake Bratan).

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Magnificent architecture at Pura Ulun Danu Bratan.

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You can go for a cruise if you like and enjoy the cool weather…

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Pura Ulun Danu (Lake Bratan). What a heavenly-like

view!

Pura Ulu Danu was built in the 17th century on highland Lake Bratan. This gem-like temple is half on the mainland, half on a tiny

island. The complex is dedicated to Vishnu, the preserver, in his guise as Dewi Danu, who protects all living creatures. Small

and charming, it comments on the spirit of place without leaving a big footprint. A peaceful, shimmering vision.

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Locals fishing around Pura Ulun Danu (Lake Bratan). Wonder whether they

have caught anything?

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At another quieter area of Pura Ulun Danu (Lake Bratan)…

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For those interested to take cruises, you may do so here. There are various transport available – speed boats, atap boat, sampan,

etc.

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My friend wanted to go pick strawberries but they are not in-season yet (mentioned by our driver as well!). How are the

strawberries in Bali? Are they any good?

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On the way to Tanah Lot, we were caught up in a massive jam

and our vehicle wasn’t moving at all. Also, in Bali, most areas only have 1 lane for each way. As it’s taking too long, our driver

suggested that we walk instead so as not to miss the sunset at Tanah Lot. The jam was acutally caused by a kite competition! The

kites are huge and protruding out from the vehicle body, which made the transporting very slow!

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Some of the locals who participated in the kite competition gladly posed for us to take photos.

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Entrance fees for Tanah Lot is Rp 10,000 per pax. Think we

have walked for 30 mins and have not reached yet….hahaha!

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Finally reached and we just missed the sunset at Tanah

Lot…. so sad!

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Beautiful panorama of Tanah Lot Temple.

Excerpt from Wikipedia.org (Tanah Lot)

Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home of a pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot

(literally “Tanah Lot temple”) and a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography and general exoticism.

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Sunset at Tanah Lot.

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This area holds the holy snake, where you can pay to have a look… 🙂

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Queuing at Tanah Lot Temple. Wonder what is that for?

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Superb sunset view at Tanah Lot.

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Sunset at Tanah Lot. Still lots of people around capturing

the moments!

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Walking out to the carpark from Tanah Lot and passing by the

many retail shops. We left before the large crowd at Tanah Lot left but was still caught in the massive jam. It’s probably due to

the the after-effect of the previous jam as well as the peak hour. It took us around 1.5 hours to reach back to Kuta Beach Club (our hotel) and after-which, we thank Ketut for his good service for the 2 days. We decided to

split up with our friends to have some romantic time on our own (they also need so!). 😛

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For dinner, we took a taxi from Kuta Center to Warung Sobat at Jl Batu Belig No. 11A kerobokan Kuta.

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Interior of Warung Sobat. Fantastic ambiance!

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Warung Sobat – Fresh Garden Salad Rp 15,000.

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Warung Sobat – Spring Roll Rp

10,000.

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Warung Sobat – Griglia Mistro Marinara Rp 32,000. It’s a seafood mixed grill consisting of tuna fish, ocean fish, calamari and prawns.

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Warung Sobat – Scampi Fritti Rp

27,000.

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Warung Sobat – complimentary dessert. What a nice gesture! it’s good too!

We also had 2 large Bintang at Rp

27,000 each and total for the dinner is Rp 138,000. Very reasonable pricing and yet superbly tasty! Hmmm…I think I prefer Warung Sobat over Made’s

Warung… 🙂

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After dinner, we went to Hard Rock Hotel Bali.

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CenterStage at Hard Rock Hotel Bali, which hosts a live band every

evening. Initially, we wanted to have a drink here before we end the night, but the place was way too smoking for us so decided to

just take a walk around Hard Rock Hotel.

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Walk around for a while and took some photos. Then, we strolled back to our hotel for an early rest as we had a long day.

Tomorrow, we will be going snorkeling at Nusa Dua. I had

initially planned to go Nusa Lembongan but then decided to go for a simple one instead. For the snorkeling package, it was arranged

by Ketut (our driver) for USD20 per person for 1 hour of snorkeling (inclusive of equipment and boat rental). There will be someone

to fetch us from our hotel the next morning at 10am. 🙂

Categories
Bali

A Day in Bali 1

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We met up with our English-speaking driver at 8.30am (after breakfast at Kuta Beach Club) at our hotel lobby. I have booked for his services via email before reaching Bali and he charged Rp 400,000 per day (around 10 hours) which includes 7 passenger vehicle with air-con, driver, gasoline and parking fees. After engaging 2 full days of his services (visiting around Bali), I found him to be honest, polite, safe (driving), punctual and willing to accommodate (change of plans, itinerary taking more the 10 hours, etc). Highly recommended! I forgot to take a photo with Ketut but I will definitely use his services again when I travel to Bali the next round! His contact details are below:

Driver: Ketut Darmayasa
Email: ketut_balidarma@yahoo.com
Hp: +62 85237151520

Today’s itinerary will be:

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First stop – Ubud market. If you are interested in cultural shopping, you may visit Tohpati Village (hand-made Balinese batik), Celuk Village (Silver craft centre), Lodtuduh Village (painting craft) and Mas Village (Wood carving) while on the way to Ubud.

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Food and drinks stall in Ubud market.

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Ubud market- Balinese bamboo wind chimes.

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An overview of Ubud market. It was slightly drizzling when we were there. 🙁

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Ubud market – wet area where many food products are sold to the locals.

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Balinese performing their morning prayers at a temple located at Ubud market.

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Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka at Jl. Tegal Sari No 2. Ubud. It was not opened yet when we arrived so we waited around for a while. It’s better to be early than late as they close once they sell out for the day. By the way, Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka was also recommended by Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show. 🙂

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We got a table inside and made our orders – Daging Babi Guling Rp 40,000, Sprit (drink) Rp 7,000, Fanta (drink) Rp 7,000 and Krupuk (crackers) Rp 7,000.

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Daging Babi Guling Rp 40,000 at Warung Babi Guling. This is superbly tasty! Yum yum! We only ordered a small portion to share as we wanted to go on tasting other delicacies.

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Next, we ask Ketut (driver) to bring us to Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner) which was located a stones throw away at Padang Tegal, Ubud.

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The interior of Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner) – very spacious area with Indonesian-styled seating on a raised platform. Fantastic setting and ambiance!

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Famous Bebel Bengil Crispy Duck Rp 68,000 at Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner). This rocks!

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We also ordered Barbecue Pork Ribs Rp 65,000 at Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner). I still prefer the Bebel Bengil Crispy Duck! 😛

Other then the above, we also ordered 1 Avocado Juice Rp 24,000 and 1 Mango Juice Rp 26,000. Total for the meal is Rp 211,365 (including 5% service and 10% tax).

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While eating halfway, it started to rain and we got stuck in the our pavilion so we really took our time to consume our food. For every pavilion, I noted there was 2 waitresses around waiting for any call for service. When it was raining, they also quickly help to lower the blinds to shield us from the splashing rain. The rain was big but short…and we were able to continue with our journey.

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Next destination, we went to Tegallalang Rice Terrace.

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Tegallalang Rice Terrace – offering a spectacular view of rice terraces.

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Tegallalang Rice Terrace is also known for having the longest row of art shops in the whole of Bali. I had initially planned to have lunch here but we were too full after the breakfast at our hotel and snacks at Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka and Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner). Haha!

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Next, we went to Kintamani (Mount Batur), which is an active volcano and it has erupted about 24 times since year 1800 and still active up to now. On the right side is Lake Batur, the largest lake in Bali and is used as an irrigation source. With the beautiful panorama and cooling weather, it is clearly the must-visit place for tourists!

For those more who are more adventurous, you can try trekking at Mt. Batur to catch the sunrise, you start the trek around 2am and trek for 3hours before reaching the optimal point for watching the sunrise. I wanted to plan for this but had violent reactions from my travel mates. Haha!

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Following, we went to a Oka Agro Wisata Bali (Farm / Coffee plantation) at Br. Temen, Susut, Bangli (Jurusan Tampaksiring – Kintamani) Bali. Here you can see a Balinese roasting out Bali Coffee.

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Guess what? The famous coffee seeds that are digested and then dumped out by Luwak (Asian Palm Civet). From left to right, coffee seeds that are dumped out, coffee seeds that are cleaned and coffee powder (roasted and grounded). I didn’t dare to open the container which has the dumped out coffee seeds to take a whiff. Haha!

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We were given some samples for tasting. From left to right, ginger tea, lemongrass tea, chocolate, Bali coffee and ginseng coffee. I find all of them nice! By the way, they also sell the powder here so if there is anything to your liking, you can buy it. We bought 1 packet of 450g natural lemongrass tea (100% organic) at Rp 180,000.

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Free Bali tobacco for anyone who smokes! Natural as well! ^^;

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There is a kept Luwak (Asian Palm Civet) for all visitors to view. The Luwak must be sniggering that all these folks are eating my dump! Wahaha!

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Since we are here, just gotta try the Luwak Coffee at Rp 30,000 per cup. I thought it was very aromatic but too heavy for my taste but nevertheless, it’s still a very good coffee! My friend said it was not his cup of tea, of course it’s not, because it’s a cup of coffee! Wahaha! Corny joke… 😉

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Uluwatu Temple – Please take off your glasses, hats, earrings, hair pins or anything loose. Otherwise, the monkeys around will snatch it away from you!

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Fantastic view of the cliff and the ocean.

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Uluwatu Temple, built on the cliffs of Indian Ocean.

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Here comes the monkeys…there are many of them and they are very fast! If they managed to snatch anything away from the tourists, there are some locals around to help recover the item by feeding the monkeys. In return, they ask for tips from the tourist when they are returning the item. This incident was witnessed by me!

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Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of Bali’s kayangan jagat (directional temples) and guards Bali from evil spirits from the SW, in which dwell major deities, in Uluwatu’s case; Bhatara Rudra, God of the elements and of cosmic force majeures. Visitors are not allowed into the temple’s compound.

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Look at the amount of people around to catch the sunset. The further end is a circular stage where many people are gathering around to get good seats to watch an art dance called Kecak Dance, which is held every night at Uluwatu Temple. It costs Rp 70,000 and starts at 18:00.

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Sunset at Uluwatu Temple (landscape).

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Sunset at Uluwatu Temple (portrait).

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Sunset at Uluwatu Temple (portrait & using dynamic mode).

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Sunset at Uluwatu Temple. The sun is dissappearing soon and we chose to leave before the rest of the tourists move off to avoid any jam in the carpark.

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Finally, it dinner time and we headed off to Jimbaran Bay for seafood. We took a while to locate the Lia Cafe Jimbaran (my choice as it’s reasonably priced) as our driver wasn’t too sure of the place. The other place in Jimbaran Bay, which I will try if I have more time will be Sharkey’s Seafood.

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Fresh seafood for selection at Lia Cafe Jimbaran.

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You dine at the beach area overlooking the sea. For those who are able to come earlier, you can catch the sunset from here too!

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Too dark here, so I have to use the flash to show you what’s on the table. 🙂 We ordered a large Bintang beer here for Rp 30,000.

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Here comes our side dishes – soup, salad, potatoes, rice, vegetable and 4 different types of sauce.

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Lia Cafe Jimbaran – Paket (package) B consists of fish (0.5 kg), crab (0.5 kg), prawn (7 pcs), clams (7 pcs), 2 soft drinks, soup, salad, potatoes, rice, vegetable, 4 different types of sauce and dessert (fruits) for Rp 200,000. My friends had this!

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Lia Cafe Jimbaran – Paket (package) C consists of lobster (0.5 kg), crab (0.5 kg), prawn (7 pcs), clams (7 pcs), 2 small bintang beer, soup, salad, potatoes, rice, vegetable, 4 different types of sauce and dessert (fruits) for Rp 290,000. My partner and I had this! We both love it!

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I think we had dinner for almost 1.5 hours and Ketut (driver) waited patiently at the carpark for us to finish. By the time he sent us back to hotel, it was already 9.40pm and over 13 hours since he met up with us in the morning at 8.30am. No complains from Ketut. Superb attitude!

Passing by the hotel bar area and there was a live band going on. It was a Saturday night!

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The receptionist at Kuta Beach Club told us that our room have been changed to a double bed configuration. They have previously told us to pack our luggage and they will move it to the new room once it’s ready (since we are out). So here comes the photos of the room…the table lamps are of different colour…

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Kuta Beach Club – Standard Double Bed room. Well, I got the room (at a good location) at around S$100 per room per night so it’s decent enough for me but my partner was complaining about the dirtiness of the washroom, the bedsheets, mosquitoes, etc, etc, etc…

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Kuta Beach Club – our double bed room is on the ground floor as opposed to the twin bed which was on the second floor. I believe all room types comes with their very own private balcony for relaxing but this particular location is good as it faces the swimming pool!

The next day, Ketut (driver) will be meeting us at the lobby at 9am. The itinerary is as follows:

Please do check back again!