Categories
Bali

A Day in Bali 1

P1040521

P1040442

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:

P1040445

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.

P1040447

Food and drinks stall in Ubud market.

P1040451

Ubud market- Balinese bamboo wind chimes.

P1040452

An overview of Ubud market. It was slightly drizzling when we were there. πŸ™

P1040456

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

P1040459

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

P1040471

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. πŸ™‚

P1040478

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.

P1040483

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.

P1040484

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.

P1040490

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

P1040497

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

P1040499

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

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).

P1040502

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.

P1040504

Next destination, we went to Tegallalang Rice Terrace.

P1040506

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

P1040513

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!

P1040521

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!

P1040538

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.

P1040540

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!

P1040544

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.

P1040549

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

P1040551

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!

P1040554

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… πŸ˜‰

P1040559

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

P1040564

Fantastic view of the cliff and the ocean.

P1040571

Uluwatu Temple, built on the cliffs of Indian Ocean.

P1040573

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!

P1040584

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.

P1040589

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.

P1040601

Sunset at Uluwatu Temple (landscape).

P1040604

Sunset at Uluwatu Temple (portrait).

P1040615

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

P1040617

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.

P1040623

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.

P1040625

Fresh seafood for selection at Lia Cafe Jimbaran.

P1040630

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!

P1040639

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

P1040640

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

P1040642

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!

P1040643

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!

P1040651

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!

P1040653

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…

P1040655

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…

P1040657

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!

Categories
Bali

A Day in Bali

P1040370

P1040237

Hi all, how are you doing? Guess where I am? πŸ˜›

I am at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 waiting for the 1905hr Jetstar Asia flight to Bali, Indonesia. For this trip, there will be a change as it not just me and my partner; my friends (another couple) will be joining as well.

P1040239

Stop by DFS (Duty free shop) and bought 1 bottle of Cape Mentelle (red wine) S$30, 1 bottle of Larrikin Barro (white wine) S$32 and 1 bottle of Absolut Berri Vodka S$26.10 so that we can consume it while in Bali.

P1040243

The flight took around 2hours 30mins and it around 2205hr when we reached. Walking out from Ngurah Rai Airport (Denpasar, Bali).

P1040244

Then we went to queue at the Taxi Service counter (right side after you get out of the entrance) to get our voucher (Rp 50,000) to Kuta Beach Club.

P1040245

Taxi ride took around 20mins due to the traffic and we finally reached our hotel – Kuta Beach Club.

P1040248

After we checked-in, I walk around the lobby and snap the entrance view of Kuta Beach Club. I have made reservation for double bed but was given twin bed as the hotel was running full. This was rather disappointing as the reservation was made on 22nd March 2010, about 4 months from our check in date.

P1040251

Welcome drink at the lobby of Kuta Beach Club, Bali.

P1040255

First Bintang beer of the trip! Think it was the most expensive I had of the trip too (Rp 45, 000 for 1 large Bintang)!

P1040258

Had our snacks at this nice-looking restaurant where the food was anything but good. It was rather expensive (see beer price above) as well and clearly a tourist trap. Haha! After the dinner, we went back to the hotel to have some Vodka before going to bed.

P1040271

The next morning, we had breakfast buffet (inclusive) at Kuta Beach Club. Decent but nothing to shout about…

P1040272

Nice view of lobby of Kuta Beach Club in the day. We went to the reception after breakfast to request for a change of room to double bed – managed to get 1 room changed and was promised the other change the following day.

P1040276

Next, we went back to room to change and head off to the swimming pool. Yeah!

P1040278

Photo taken with DiCAPac WP610 Waterproof Underwater Case for LX3. Click on link to read the review of the case.

P1040293

Sunken pool bar where you can order drinks while swimming but it doesn’t start business till around 11am.

P1040299

Around the pool area, there is facilities for playing table tennis (free) if you like to.

P1040306

Following the swim, we showered, got changed and then went out to walk around to grab lunch as well as sightsee.

P1040310

Rip Curl shop in Kuta. My friend got a pair of slippers here.

P1040312

Passing by Hard Rock.

P1040314

Then we went to Kuta Beach to walk around. What a nice beach!

P1040318

Along Kuta Beach, there are many peddlers around selling sarongs, drinks, tempoaray tattoo, massage, surfing lessons, etc.

P1040326

Lunch at Salvador which is along Kuta Beach. They offer water pipe (Sisha) smoking too!

P1040329

Giant Beach Burger Rp 37,000. Yummy! We also had 3 large Bintang beer at Rp 29,000 each.

P1040331

Cheese Burger Rp 25,000.

P1040332

Spaghetti Marinara Rp 32,000. It was tasty though I would prefer it a bit more wet.

P1040335

My friend bought a coconut from this stall along Kuta Beach but he said it wasn’t nice…and threw it away…

P1040338

Mercure Kuta Bali – The hotel is just along the beach and it looks fantastic! I had initially considered to book this hotel but as we are not going to hang around too much in the hotel/beach, I thought it is more appropriate to go for a hotel which costs lower and of reasonable location away.

P1040346

It’s a hot day so we went to Matahari to walk around and also to enjoy the air-con. There is a supermarket in Matahari as well so please get your drinking water, snacks, beer, etc here as the prices are generally much lower than other retail shops.

P1040350

You can try the Fish Spa Therapy at Matahari at Rp 100, 000 for 20 minutes.

P1040356

Bali Hai beer at Rp 15,500, bought from the mini mart beside our hotel (Kuta Beach Club).

P1040358

Also got Bintang Beer at Rp 17,000.

P1040370

Around evening time, we stroll beach to Kuta Beach. Bali is truly nice beach holiday destination!

P1040378

It’s almost sunset and many people are already gathering around to see it. Kuta beach is known for it’s fantastic sunset view!

P1040381

Enjoying the sunset view at Kuta Beach.

P1040382

Another sunset view at Kuta Beach.

P1040393

The sun is almost gone…

P1040398

Went back to Kuta Beach Club to freshen up. Above photo shows the area where we had our breakfast in the morning.

P1040401

There is also a pool table beside the swimming pool. I know it’s chargeable but I can’t remember the rates.

P1040411

Out on the streets again.. this time for our dinner at Made’s Warung Kuta.

P1040412

Horse carriage for rental. Remember to negotiate if you like to go for a spin…ermm…horse ride.

P1040415

Dinner at the famous Made’s Warung at Kuta. There was already a long queue when we reached!

P1040416

The interior of Made’s Warung. I wanted to sit upstairs as it’s not so crowded but my friend retorted that it might be warm and I told him that there are windows/fans upstairs. Nevertheless, we still got a table downstairs (courtesy of my friend) just in front of the entrance – with the company of many waiting customers behind us and the free smell of carbon monoxide from the vehicles that whizzes by. Now this is hot (& smelly)!

P1040420

Made’s Warung – view from the 2nd storey.

P1040422

Made’s Warung – Lumpia Udang (Shrimp Spring Roll) Rp 25,000.

P1040427

Made’s Warung – Sate Chicken Rp 30,000.

P1040429

Made’s Warung – Curry Chicken (comes with rice) Rp 65,000. This is very good!

P1040431

Made’s WarungCaesar Salad Rp 40,000.

P1040433

Made’s WarungGado Gado Rp 25, 000.

P1040435

Made’s WarungNasi Campur Special Rp 55,000. Total bill came up to Rp 306, 000 for 4 persons, other then those dishes mention above, we also had 1 Aqua Rp 7,000, 2 Banana Honey Juice Rp 30,000, 1 Mango Juice Rp 15,000 and 2 Nasi Putih Rp 14,000.

P1040438

Walking back to Kuta Beach Club and passing by Hard Rock again.

Going to have an early night we have booked a driver to bring us around for the whole day tomorrow. The itinerary will be

  • Ubud
  • Tegallalang Rice Terrace
  • Kintamani Volcano
  • Coffee Plantation
  • Uluwatu Temple
  • Jimbaran Bay (Seafood)

Check back again!

Categories
Events Life in Singapore

Singapore Food Festival 2010

P1040216

P1040218

The yearly Singapore Food Festival (first started in 1994) is back again and this time featuring the culinary cultures behind different Singapore Chinese dialects. From 16th to 24th July 2010 (4pm to 11pm), Clarke Quay Reed Bridge is transformed into Clarke Quay Food Street where you can enjoy and savour many unique flavours! For more information on other programs on Singapore Food Festival 2010, please head off to http://singaporefoodfestival.com.sg/.

P1040214

There are more than 30 famous restaurants and hawkers available for your selection. Payment of the food is done via Singapore Food Festival Souvenir Card(Kopitiam Card).

P1040220

Fortune Food Popiah is having a long queue. Uncle is wondering whether he should eat the popiah as there are so many food available! πŸ˜›

P1040219

Another stall selling Pork & Bun. I didn’t get to try any of the food as I already had lunch and it wasn’t time for dinner yet but I am keeping it in mind to come back again before 24th July 2010. If you are interested in the price and food available, please visit “Local delights by famous hawkers and eateries at Food Street (Source: Soshiok)“. Please do visit Singapore Food Festival 2010! For tourists, you may want to check out deals on Singapore Hotels too!

Categories
Gadgets

DiCAPac WP610 Waterproof Underwater Case for LX3

P1040198

P1040200

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Bali, I went to scout around for a waterproof case for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 camera so that I can have the option of taking the camera into the water. The research made available a few options for shooting under wet conditions – 10bar underwater housing, Nereus Waterproof Housing WP-500 and DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case. The 10bar housing is definitely over my budget and is more suited for the serious & professional users. The Nereus WP-500 is good value for money (S$45) but I wasn’t really comfortable as the bag is clamped tight with 2 plastic strips and 3 screws. I needed a product that gives faster and easier access such as the DiCAPac which uses Velcro and sealed with waterproof zipper. DicaPac WP-610 for LX3 (made in Korea) is priced at S$89 and comes with free postage in Singapore. The delivery was very fast as well – I made the order on 14th July 2010 and received it on 16th July 2010!

P1040201

DiCAPac WP-610 waterproof case is also compatible with various camera models. Check the DiCAPac Fitting Guide if your camera is not listed above. It is most likely that DiCAPac will have suitable case for your camera.

P1040204

Another side view of the box. The waterproof casing is recommended for swimming, surfing, kayaking, snowboarding, bathing, rafting, wake-boarding, snorkeling, etc.

P1040205

Extracted from http://www.dicapac.com.sg/

Features of DiCAPac

  • Guaranteed underwater performance for up to 30 ft (10m) depth.
  • UV coated polycarbonate lens allow consumers to take clear pictures.
  • With more transparent and flexible case for convenient camera control.
  • Reliable closing system with waterproof zipper and Roll & Double Velcro.
  • JIS (Japan Industrial Standards) waterproof test 8 grades.
  • Individual Quality check up.

Dimension & Weight: 190 x 142 mm (7 1/2″ x 5 2/3″), 130g Fits digital cameras up to 125mm in length and circumference no more than 250mm.

P1040208

Contents in package

  • Case & Lens
  • Sponge (for supporting the camera)
  • Silica-gel
  • Neck Strap
  • Extension Connector (for zoom lens)
  • Manual

P1040209

Prior to usage, it is recommend in the manual to conduct a leak test by putting a piece of tissue paper in the waterproof case and then submerged it in water, shake it around and leave it for a couple of hours. After that, remove the tissue paper and check whether it’s dry. For my case, I found it to be perfectly dry.

Although I do not expect that the photos will come out professionally but it’s more of having the novelty to snap photos while in the water so that I can have some memories to reminisce. This is a vast improvement from previous experiences where I have to leave the camera on dry land (or even the hotel) when I am out having fun in water sports.

So now it’s really putting it into use during my trip to Bali and then update with a review. πŸ™‚

Updated on 12th Aug 2010. Hey, I am back from Bali!

P1040278

Photo above is taken with LX3 inside the DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case. Swimming pool at Kuta Beach Club.

P1040283

In the swimming pool with DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case fully submerged.

P1040923

Testing in open sea on the way to snorkeling with LX3 inside the DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case.

P1040926

Photos of fishes taken during snorkeling.

P1040929

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

P1040933

Yeah, there was a few scuba divers as well too! πŸ™‚

The DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case was pretty usable and have met my usage requirements. I was able to take the camera out from the case with ease whenever required without using any other tools. The removing of the camera from the wet case does requires a bit more care to ensure that water does not flow into the dry compartment. There wasn’t any leak from when I use it both in the swimming pool (1 hour) as well as the open sea (1 hour). But I did noticed that there was some condensation inside the case while at pool even though I left the silica gel inside the case together with the camera. It was probably due to the strong sun shining at the case while it was floating on top of the water. As for the open sea, there are constant waves splashing against the case at all times so it basically wet throughout. This is my opinion and may not be true. But even with the slight condensation (not touching the camera), the camera was still functional but I was quite skeptical and quickly kept it away from the sun (hide it under a beach towel).

As for the quality of photo taken with the camera in the case on dry land, I wasn’t able to spot any noticeable difference or drop in quality so I reckon that the lens cover clarity was up to par. The only thing I was quite afraid is whether I will scratch the surface of the lens cover when I was having fun or when it’s kept in my luggage bag. So please take note of this! The photos taken in the water was of resonable quality, of course, it will not compare to the professional stuff but it works! Perhaps, I should find another trip to snorkel in more still and clearer water to make further assessment. I also forgot to try taking videos in the water! Yeah, excuses again to go for a trip, right? Haha!

The DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case was rather bulky and it drew the attention and stares of envy from other tourists! So whenever I was not doing any water sports, I will take the camera out from the case for easier carrying around. The neck strap provided made carrying of the case in water easier and it was easy to swim around with the case slung around the shoulder too!

My conclusion is that the DiCAPac WP-610 Waterproof Case serves my purpose well enough and is of reasonable price range. The main thing is that there was absolutely no leak (did not try more than 3m deep) and of durable quality. I seriously consider it a good buy and will recommend it to anyone (casual users) who wants to capture fun memories while engaging in any water activities!

If there is anything you wish to know further, please do ask in the comments. Thanks.

Categories
Life in Singapore

Merlion Park

P1040109

P1040107

Passing by Esplanade area, so decided to head off to Merlion Park to hang out for a while and take some photos. Merlion Park is located near Marina Bay, Singapore and is a popular tourist attraction. Walking along Esplanade Bridge towards Merlion Park.

P1040112

Mini-Merlion – great for children to take photos with.

P1040114

Excerpt from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlion):

The Merlion (Malay: Singa-Laut) is an imaginary creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot of Singapore. Its name combines “mer” meaning the sea and “lion“. The fish body comes from Singapore’s ancient name back when it was a fishing village β€” Temasek β€” meaning “sea town” in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore’s original name β€” Singapura β€” meaning “lion city” or “kota singa”.

P1040116

Marina Bay Sands – there are still some construction on-going but the main block is already open. You can also visit the Sands SkyPark which is 200m into the sky and see the spectacular views of Singapore.

P1040118

The Merlion was used as the logo of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in use from 26 March 1964 to 1997 and is a well-known icon of Singapore.

P1040120

From Merlion Park, you can see also see the beautiful views of the Marina Bay.

P1040124

The tall buildings from the Singapore Central Business District forms the backdrop of Merlion.

P1040126

One Fullerton – You call find swanky restaurants and bars here, most offering high floor-to-ceiling windows with great views of Marina Bay.

P1040128

Another angle of the Merlion.

P1040130

Visitors who wants to take a river cruise can buy tickets at Singapore River Cruise (next to Merlion). For 30 mins ride, the fees per adult is S$15 and children is S$8. There is also the 45 mins option, which is at S$20 for adults and S$10 for children.

P1040136

I am done with my relaxing and enjoying the breeze so it’s back to the Esplanade. On the far right of the photo, you can catch a glimpse of the Singapore Flyer!

Think I will be back again another time in the evening/night to capture the night view of Marina Bay. Maybe I will hold on for a while until Marina Bay Sands is fully open?

Categories
Events Life in Singapore

Beerfest Asia 2010

Beerfest Asia 2010

Beerfest Asia 2010

20th June 2010 (Sunday) marks the day that I attended Beerfest Asia 2010. I wanted to get tickets for 19th June 2010 (Saturday) so that I can hang around later but it was already sold out. The event was held at Marina Promenade (F1 tracks behind Singapore Flyer).

Beerfest Asia 2010

Beerfest Asia 2010 is starting at 6pm and there was already a queue waiting to go in at around 5.50pm. This is the second year that Beerfest Asia is running and offer the opportunities to sample over 250 kinds of beers!

Beerfest Asia 2010

Collected my “1-Day OCBC Exclusive” tickets which I paid in-advance with OCBC credit card for S$12 each.

Beerfest Asia 2010

The “1-Day OCBC Exclusive” ticket comes with 2 redeemable beer. I had initially thought that we can choose the 2 beers that we wanted but at the entrance, we were given a redeemed beer each and another beer token (black) to redeem the other beer of choice in the event. The redeemed beer didn’t come with any label as it must have peeled off while in the ice bath. I had a peek at other attendees’ bottle and it’s actually “Super Bock“. My partner finds it up to her liking!

Beerfest Asia 2010

Sol beer, imported bottled beer from Mexico.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Jaz Beer and Starker from Malaysia. Starker won the gold at Asia Beer Awards for wheat beer category. Wheat beer is my top favorite and I didn’t managed to try Starker… πŸ™

Wheat Beer (Source)
Gold: Starker Aromatic Wheat Beer, Starker Brewery, Napex
Silver: Brewerkz Wheat Beer, Brewerkz, Brewerkz
Bronze: Pump Room Wheat Beer, The Pump Room

Beerfest Asia 2010

Dead Frog Brewery from Cananda and Storm Brewery from Indonesia. Had a chat with the folks at Storm Brewery and he mentioned that the crowd on Saturday night was packed to the brim! Hmmm..I’m glad that I came on a Sunday… self consolation… hahaha

Beerfest Asia 2010

Sabeco from Vietnam which carries Beer 333, Saigon Export and Saigon Special. I had lots of them during my trip to Vietnam!

Beerfest Asia 2010

Brewerkz Restaurant & Microbrewery – winner of “Outstanding South East Asian Microbrewery Award”. (Source)

Beerfest Asia 2010

6 Drunk Men – featuring Fosters, Pure Blonde, Red Rock Lager, Victoria Bitter, Magners Cider, etc.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Singha beer from Thailand.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Since the event was held at the F1 tracks behind Singapore Flyer.. there is a showcase of a few F1 cars as well.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Beerlao from Laos. The banner mentioned “Asia Best Beer” (Voted by Times Magazine). Must find opportunity to try this beer!

Beerfest Asia 2010

B.I.D carries various beers – James Boags (Australia), Konig (Germany), Warsteiner (Germany), Samuel Adams (USA), etc.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Went to change for S$30 worth of Beerfest chips. Paid by OCBC card and got 5% off so I paid only S$28.50.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Food and snacks are available at Beerfest Asia 2010!

Beerfest Asia 2010

Sausage platter at S$14.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Outdoor sitting area for dining while you watch World Cup matches at the screen.

Beerfest Asia 2010

North Taiwan Brewery have some interesting concoction – Honeydew Melon Fruit Beer and Li Chee Fruit Beer.

Beerfest Asia 2010

KΓΆnig Pilsener from Germany.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Storm Beer, brewed in Bali. I would love to try the rest of the range (especially Storm Brewing Iron Stout) when I am in Bali next month. πŸ™‚

Beerfest Asia 2010

Trying our Storm Golden Ale (brewed in Bali). I love it!

Golden Ale (Source)
Gold: Archipelago Summer Ale, Archipelago Brewery, Archipelago Brewery, Singapore
Silver: Storm Golden Ale, Storm Brewing, Storm Brewing
Bronze: Brewerkz Golden Ale, Brewerkz, Brewerkz, Singapore

Beerfest Asia 2010

Sky is getting darker but the crowd is still starting to pour in.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Live entertainment at Beerfest Asia 2010. Enjoy fantastic live music while you drink beers!

Beerfest Asia 2010

Moving out to enjoy the cool breeze…

Beerfest Asia 2010

Redeemed a Brewerk Golden Ale from Singapore.

Beerfest Asia 2010

Carlton Pure Blonde, good for ladies who are more weight conscious as it’s low carbohydrate. The beer ambassador mentioned to me that 6 bottles of Pure Blonde is equivalent to a slice of bread. Wow!

Low Carbohydrate Lager (Source)
Gold: No Winner
Silver: No Winner
Bronze: Carlton Pure Blonde, Carlton & United Breweries Ltd, 6 Drunk Men

Beerfest Asia 2010

I left around 9pm to go for dinner but the event actually goes on till 12 midnight. Look at the amount of people still enjoying themselves!

Anyway, Beerfest Asia 2010 is a really great event for beer lovers to have the opportunity to sample different brew and concoction of beer under one roof. It’s also a good event to arrange for a get-together session with friends and enjoy beer! I will be sure to attend the next year’s Beerfest Asia 2010!

Categories
Kuala Lumpur

A Day in Kuala Lumpur 1

P1030924

P1030913

Early morning around 7plus, I was woken up by some commotion at the lobby, think might be some guests checking out. Then, I tried to get back to bed but wasn’t able to so decided to wake up and have breakfast before checking emails and do some work. Above photo shows the complimentary breakfast at 41berangan – there is coffee, tea, milk, bread (jam & butter), etc.

P1030915

After burying myself in the notebook for a couple of hours, it’s time for lunch. As it was raining cats and dogs, I wore the slippers (with permission) provided by 41berangan to go out. Oh, 41berangan also provided umbrellas too!

I went to Lot 10 Hutong to have lunch, this foodcourt apparently features the best food of Kuala Lumpur and there are plenty of choices!

P1030920

Walk several times around the whole premises and finally settled for Soong Kee Beef Noodles. There is so much more that I like to try but there is a limitation to my intake. πŸ™

P1030916

Soong Kee Beef Noodles Set at RM 7.90.

P1030924

After the lunch, I took a short stroll to Pavilion Mall.

P1030930

Interior of Pavilion Mall. Amazed by the grandeur!

P1030935

Restoran Island Bistro at Pavilion Mall – seems like a wonderful place to relax and have some drinks…

P1030936

Spazzio at Pavilion Mall – various food and drinks are available.

P1030937

A myriad view of escalators in Pavilion Mall.

P1030938

Walking around in Pavilion Mall, it was relatively quiet for a Saturday afternoon…

P1030942

So this is where the crowd is… having their lunch at Food Republic.

P1030943

I have taken my lunch so only had a hot coffee from Toastbox.

P1030946

Passing by a house while on the way back to 41berangan to check out.

P1030952

After checking out from 41berangan, I walk to Plaza Low Yat to cut through. Not sure whether it’s the faster way towards Pasarakyat Bus Terminal but this is the way that I took when I reached so I am just retracing the route.

P1030957

Reached Berjaya Times Square and saw that there is singing competition to be held in the evening. Some of the contestants are practicing their songs and I must say that they are very good!

P1030961

Theme Park at Berjaya Times Square.

P1030962

Interior of Berjaya Times Square – huge shopping center with over 1,000 shops!

P1030964

Took a slow walk to Pasarakyat Bus Terminal for my coach back to Singapore.

P1030966

Located Transtar Express and went to check-in. I had a coffee and some wafer biscuits in the lounge while waiting for the coach to be ready for boarding. There are also stalls around selling various items.

P1030968

Food court at Pasarakyat Bus Terminal – only a few stalls is operational.

P1030969

Boarded the coach and went to my seat at the upper deck.

P1030970

Yeah, the LCD at my seat is working. Oh, I am using the ear phone from my iPhone instead of the ones supplied for easy switching between movies and songs (iPhone). Hehe.

P1030972

Stop at Yong Peng for a short break. The time is about 645pm.

P1030974

Transtar did not provide any mineral water for the return trip so I bought a small bottle to hydrate myself.

P1030975

The Transtar Express Premium bus that I am taking.

The rest of the journey went on smoothly and it was a nice trip to Kuala Lumpur though a bit rush… but anyway I still had the opportunity to roam around and check out some stuffs so it wasn’t that bad. I am quite sure that there will be more trips to Kuala Lumpur in the future. I am anticipating it as there are a few food that I wanted to try! πŸ™‚

Categories
Kuala Lumpur

A Day in Kuala Lumpur

P1030896

P1030786

A recent business requirement brings me to Kuala Lumpur (KL) , Malaysia. This time round I will be taking the coach up north instead of driving as it will give me time to catch up on some reading as well as work. The journey on the coach is definitely longer then self-drive and it’s usually takes approximately 5 to 6 hours with one stop in-between. I have booked online for premium coach from Transtar Travel and it cost a total of S$54.59.

  • Singapore to KL (Pasarakyat Bus Terminal) – S$32.96 (includes 3% admin charge)
  • KL (Pasarakyat Bus Terminal) to Singapore – S$21.63 (includes 3% admin charge)

Above photo shows the waiting lounge at Transtar Travel. There are free coffee, tea, snacks available for consumption too.

P1030787

Interior of coach – it is relatively clean and comfortable. The seats come with a massage function, which I truly appreciate.

P1030788

Each seat also comes with a LCD screen where you can watch TV programmes or movies but the screen for my allocated seat is spoilt! By the way, there is also a 3-pin plug power source located near the bottom of the seat, this is especially useful if you are working on your notebook or just entertaining yourself on PSP, iPhone, Nintendo, etc. Each of the traveler are given a bottle of mineral water too!

P1030792

Lucky Garden rest stop at Yong Peng – is one of the popular rest stop for interstate buses. There are many variety of food available for selection too!

P1030794

Towards the end, there is a provision shop selling various kinds of Malaysia snacks and products. This is a heaven for those who loves to munch on snacks while traveling on the coach!

P1030796

Walk around and I decided to have a Ramly Burger for breakfast.

P1030797

Ramly Chicken Burger RM5. The chicken patty is wrapped up by the egg. πŸ™‚

P1030803

Finally reach KL (Pasarakyat Bus Terminal) and decided to talk a short stroll to Bukit Bintang area.

P1030805

Walking towards Berjaya Times Square.

P1030806

Krispy Kreme at Berjaya Times Sqaure. Remembered that Krispy Kreme is extremely popular in Japan and had super-long queues!

P1030811

Lunch at Marrybrown (Berjaya Times Sqaure) – Lucky plate with Orange Juice at RM10.40.

P1030814

The interior of Marrybrown at Berjaya Times Sqaure – clean and have various kind of seating available. Love the over-hanging cocoon seat!

P1030821

After the lunch, it’s time to perk up with a Starbucks Mocha at RM11.75.

P1030823

Went to Etude House to check out some items for my partner.

P1030825

After my business meeting, I headed over to Bukit Bintang area. Passing through Low Yat Plaza, which is a shopping centre that specialize in electronics and IT products, much like our Sim Lim Square in Singapore.

P1030826

Lot 10, another shopping center that serves middle-upper tier products.

P1030829

Reached my accommodation for the night, 41Berangan, which is located at 41 Jalan Berangan. It is near to the famous street food (Jalan Alor), shopping malls (Jalan Bukit Bintang), night life and restaurants (Changkat Bukit Bintang). Trying out for the first time. πŸ™‚

P1030830

Free usage of the computer and internet access at the lobby area. You can also request for the WIFI password from the staff for free in-room access from your notebook or mobile!

P1030831

Waiting area of the lobby.

P1030833

Standard room (twin) – 2 single beds with shared bathroom. I booked this online at RM 100 (which includes RM20 surcharge per room for weekend) and also includes a simple continental breakfast. Room is rather small but still good enough for me. For those interested, please note that there is no TV in the room and you have to use the common bathroom. It is also on the first level and next to the check-in counter.

P1030836

At a corner, you have an area where you can hang your clothes. You can ask for towels if they are not in the room.

P1030839

Common wash basin area.

P1030841

One of the common bathrooms, comes with shampoo and body foam.

P1030845

Court yard area – There is 2 rooms here that is made from containers. The container rooms comes with 1 double bed with attached bathroom (deluxe).

P1030847

Dining area – you can also watch TV programs or DVD movies here too!

P1030906

A shop which is beside 41Berangan, you can get food, drinks or snacks here. The outside sitting seems like a great place to chill out!

P1030849

Passing by Radius International Hotel.

P1030851

Checking out Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant at Changkat Bukit Bintang.

P1030854

Reggae Bar at Changkat Bukit Bintang. Looks like a nice place to party!

P1030858

Havanna at Changkat Bukit Bintang.

P1030860

Hotel Rae – one of my accommodation consideration.

P1030861

YY38 Hotel – another of my accommodation consideration. Think I will try either Hotel Rae or YY38 for my next trip to KL.

P1030864

Temporary rubbish dump in-between Jalan Alor and Jalan Bukit Bintang? I have seen this scene since many years ago and the rubbish are still around…

P1030868

Federal Hotel – used to stay here whenever I travelΒ to Kuala Lumpur.

P1030892

Passing by Restoran Dragon View. Is the food here any good?

P1030894

Famous food street – Jakan Alor.

P1030896

Many food stalls available at Jalan Alor. It’s also a popular place for tourist too!

P1030899

A mobile kitchen selling Lok Lok (food on wooden skewers and cooked by dipping in a hot satay gravy).

P1030907

Met up with a friend and headed off to Pavilion Mall to have some beers. Checking out La Bodega at Pavilion Mall.

P1030908

Decided to hang at Weissbrau German Bistro & Bar and we had Hoegarden, Erdinger and Franziskaner. Nice place to chill!

P1030912

Back to hotel and was feeling hungry so went to the coffee shop at the end of Jalan Berangan to order a packet of Mee Goreng at RM5. Went back to hotel and dine in the room while checking emails on the notebook. It was already 2am when I went to take a bath and then to bed. What a long day!!! πŸ™‚

Categories
Cyprus

A Wonderful Trip in Cyprus

The_village

The following is a guest post by George Christodoulou from OneTravel.com – please head on there if you are looking for travel deals.

If you’ve never visited Cyprus before, put it on your list. If you live in America the trip will be expensive, but for those who live in Europe, the flight is much shorter and the price is lower. The country is wonderful because there is a beach nearly everywhere you go and the weather is great. Being an island in the Mediterranean definitely has its advantages. During my visit, I spent an entire summer living with my grandparents a few years ago. Even though it has been a few years since my visit, I vividly remember the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the country. Please come along while I share with you some of my fondest experiences in Cyprus.

coffee_shop

First let us stop by my grandfather’s coffee shop. There were three coffee shops in a village called Tris Elies, but his was the most popular because he was a fun loving charismatic fellow. The day consists of nothing more then drinking coffee, talking to the locals, playing backgammon, and taking naps when the mood strikes. Although this seems boring, there is not a moment during the trip when I was bored or dreaded visiting the coffee shop.

village_greek_woman

Next, let’s move on to the mountainous terrain and how amazing walking around the village was. Tris Elies was built on a mountain so the houses are sprawled on different levels with my grandfather’s house at the top. Talk about exercise, every trip out of the house was a workout. Everywhere I walked there was a view of the entire village. The scenery was breathtaking because the homes all had flowers and grape vines growing around. Each house has it’s own individual style and charm because they were build by the village people either fifty or one hundred years ago. The most beautiful sites though, are on the trails of the mountain. There are orchards all around the village with streams, stone bridges, fruit trees, and other amazing sights to feast your eyes on.

the_food

What I have described here was an amazing experience I had in Cyprus, but if you visit will your visit be the same? There is a tourist area in Cyprus that is just like any other, but Cyprus is changing. The villages are being quickly depopulated as the elderly natives pass away. The children of these people are receiving the land from their parents and turning the homes into single family hotels for visitors like yourself. Within the next ten or twenty years, Cyprus will have an amazing village experience for all people of the world so look out and have fun.

Categories
Gadgets

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

I needed a car kit to charge my iPhone 3GS while on the move so I went around searching for a car mount with charging capabilities. In the end, I found the above “AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod” in DealExtreme.com which cost USD $16.45 (S$23). Other then it is a car mount with charging capabilities, it is also a FM transmitter for iPhone and iPod!

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

The box was pretty mangled up when I received it but the contents are still intact. I made the order on 8th May 2010 and received it on 20th May 2010. Oh yes, shipping is free at DealExtreme.com!

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

Suitable for iPhone, iPod, MP3 and all cars. For your info, the car mount is made in China.

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

The contents in the box – it also comes with a mini instruction slip.

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

Flexible clamp to keep your iPhone/iPod in place and you just need to press the button on the left to release the clamp. Both the clamps and the back are covered with rubbery material to protect your iPhone/iPod from being scratched. For all those folks who are using protective casing on iPhone/iPod, please be aware that there is a possibility that it might not fit into mount with the protective casing on. The reason being – I am using SwitchEasy Vulcan and I just barely squeezed my iPhone 3GS into the car mount with the clamp already fully opened. It’s freaking tight fit!

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

Top of the car mount where you can select the FM channels (on the left “QS”) and then adjust to your desired frequency (using up/down button on the right).

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

The audio cable connection on the left of the car mount.

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

For all the non-iPhone devices, you can still charge them through the standard USB output socket (on the right side).

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

The angle of the tilt can be adjusted from the the back of the mount.

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

Cigarette mount with flexible goose-pipe so it is compatible with every car in the world.

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

Audio cable for you to connect the car mount and iPhone/iPod together so that the car mount can act as a FM transmitter to broadcast the music from your iPhone/iPod.

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

Setting up in the car. First thing I tried was to see whether the charging mechanism works. It’s works fine!

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

You can use any FM frequency of your choice from 88.1 to 107.9 Mhz to listen to music from you iPhone/iPod.

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

Final setup, music streaming via FM was surprisingly good. The quality was acceptable and there wasn’t any noticeable noise or distortion present. This will be fantastic as I will be able to listen to my favorite tracks during any long driving trips up north (Malaysia).

As I do use my iPhone as a GPS, so the car mount as well as the charging is a definite must-have. The only flaw is that I have to look down from time to time to check out the route but it’s not frequent as there are voice intructions for GPS as well. It will be idle if the iPhone car mount is on eye-level.

Well, the reason I didn’t get a eye-level car mount is because most of them comes with a glass suction to stick on to the windscreen. As my windscreen is covered with solar film, it will not hold strong and long. My friends have mentioned this scenario to me countless times and most of them also comes with goose-neck pipe extending from the windscreen, it wobbles a lot when you going through some rough terrain!

AllKit Cigarette Mount Holder and Charger with Full Range FM Transmitter for iPhone and iPod

Night view of the car mount.

I must say that I am pretty satisfied and it’s worth the USD $16.45. My comments is that if there is a on/off switch for the charging (off the blue LED too!), then that will be great. Also, the furnishing is not that fine and I was momentarily shocked by the car mount thickness. The car mount also wobbles a bit due to the goose-neck extension. But overall, I am a happy man and will still recommend you to buy it too!

Update: On 30th Dec 2010, I noticed that the bright blue LED is dead….but charging still works.