Hongkong 2014

Magical Disneyland now takes on a new different meaning for me. It used to be a land of laughter and happiness. This trip adds on another layer of love! It’s so cute to see Eli’s reactions to the rides and meeting the Disney characters upfront.

This trip was hectic. First day, we arrived rather late and could only manage to go to Avenue of Stars to see some sights. Then again, it’s the same sights with BIGGER billboards and flashier neon signs. Second day, we woke up rather early to catch the boat to Noah’s Ark. Not a very popular tourist destination in HK but it was a good experience. The island was very self-sufficient and totally resemble Sentosa. As usual, anything to do with animals is Eli’s fave.

Third day is OMG Disneyland. I apparently caught the flu bug or suffered from the bad air in HK. Couldnt breathe properly without wanting to sneeze every other min. GRRRR….spoilt the fun. Didnt even stay for the fireworks. Good thing is Eli is properly entertained by all the rides and shows. It was still fun!

Fourth day was Macau. Disappointing. Nothing fantabulous. Thanks to Dreamworks, it was still a trip to look forward to. Eli loves Alex and of course, he got 1 to bring home. Toothless was super duper real! The person in the suit must be sweating like hell from the yoga position.

Last day, we headed to Citygates and did some shopping. AH….end of HK trip. What have we done?! Time just zoomed past. Thankfully I love vacations for the ability to stay in hotels and not do some cooking or cleaning for once. YIPPEEE!!

Back to SG – reality check.

Maybe the next holiday to Aussie will be more relaxing and happening. Time to start planning and hitting the Google travel button for more tips/deals/whatsoever!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/125452486@N06/sets/72157644938336949/

Toddler & Vacation

Prior to my Taiwan hols, we did a lot of research and packing. Really scared to be missing out on any details to entertain and care for the little one. Albeit 17months with better immune system, Eli still required tons of TLC and we were afraid of the illnesses that may come during the trip.

The amount of items we packed for him goes on and on. The only item surmountable would be his crib – we gladly left it in Singapore.

The anxiety started just a day before departure. Eli was done with fever and a slight flu. We self-medicated. Monitored. Alternative plan – searched through all our itinerary and started thinking of how to claim insurance. Dealing as best as we can with the situation.

Fortunately, Eli became better with lowered temperature and we set off w uncertainties.

Plane ride with a toddler. My first time. How I felt? Super anxious and afraid. I was certain at that time that Eli would kick up a big fuss. Uncontrollable ruckus. Other passengers’ glare and disapproving looks + thoughts. Stressed. Armed with a whole load of entertainment, we brought stickers, handheld toy, story book. I was totally expecting SQ to provide me with some fun entertainment for children but they sadly just provided me a small pen and book which Eli did not even take a second look at.

Thanks to the toddler biscuits, small teddy bear and stickers, we made it through the flight. OMG! It was quite chaotic the first time round. Having to prepare milk, patting him to sleep, feeding him constantly with food of all sorts, changing diapers and trying to prevent him from going anywhere – Challenging. Fortunately for other toddlers on board as playmates, I think we pretty much made it through and through. Whew.

Just into the 2nd day, Eli suffered a mild heat stroke. That once again created another change in the itinerary. I was quite upset initially. No more going to Cingjing Farm. $ wasted. Efforts in liaising with driver etc…all gone down the drain. Grrr…Then again, the poor fellow had to see a doc. Near our hotel, we met a really nice doc who was able to advise us considerably. After his advice, Eli’s diet took a complete change. No more constraints on the food we give him. Anything also gives. As long as the poor boy was eating and DRINKING, we were happy. Fortunately, no diarrhea experienced. Lucky us. I never ever thought of giving Eli fruit juices coz of the high sugar content, isotonic drinks, sesame mee sua, sucking on duck wings/chicken leg, roast pork rice, buns of all sorts, porridge with loads of condiments, tea leaf egg, sushi rice with tuna etc etc etc…and YES. WATERMELON CUM PAPAYA CUM APPLE…tons of APPLES. That settled the boy and drove the heat stroke away.

Then came night terror. So Eli was happily playing till he was so tired out and yet refusing sleep. When it’s nap time, he started to sleep in a sitting up position in my arms, as we were in a cab. Any slight movement of my arm caused him to scream at the top of his lungs with eyes opened widely staring at me and yet not registering me at all. No amount of patting, changing of hands to pacify him worked. So we stood outside Taichung Sogo’s entrance with a wailing baby shouting and screaming for close to 30min before we decided to just head back to the hotel before we got chased away. It was utterly embarrassing! The people around me must be wondering how come 3 adults cannot pacify 1 child. What’s their problem and poor kid. We did the best we can to no avail. It was only at the hotel when Eli really quietened down and slept through. Boy, he must be tired. Tired me as well. Night terror is really no joke! Experiencing it firsthand made me think twice of disturbing his sleep EVER.

What’s best for a toddler on vacation? Indoor playground. Thanks to Taiwan being a baby friendly nation (more friendly than Singapore), we were very happy to see a lot of nursing rooms, hot water dispensers and playgrounds built specially for children/mummies in the shopping centers and around facilities like the MTR etc. And boy, the playgrounds were CHEAP! $8 for 2 hrs play. The playground had more facilities than I ever see in Singapore. LIKES!

Worries like lack of milk and diapers at the last day also happened. Thanks to uncle markie and poor him, he had to rush to Carrefour to purchase milk. In his haste, he fell and hurt his knee. Common knowledge like knowing to mix new milk powder with old milk powder had to come in and we were so afraid that Eli would suffer from diarrhea from the slight change in formula. Thankfully none of it happened and he was still a happy baby. We brought sufficient diapers. How sufficient? The last diaper we had was used up the moment we touch down in Singapore. Lucky Lucky.

Vacation with a child is just not easy.
Will I travel with Eli again?
Definitely but I think I will require a longer vacation after that.

Escapade

Batam took on a new meaning for us since it’s our first trip w Eli. Technically speaking, e trip is more of ‘Eli’s escapade extravaganza’

Prior to this trip, there was this mega packing which resulted in 1 luggage bag, 1 small carry on, 1 stroller and 1 carrier. The whole idea of traveling light is so over. Used to just pack a duffle bag and just in min, all ready…now it’s days of pre-packing.

A small tin of milk powder, diapers, toys, clothes, washcloths, rice cereal, bb biscuits, bibs, medicine, bottles, towels, blankets, bolster, body wash, lotions, even washing liquid and not to mention a whole load of his swimming items…gosh!

In Batam, came a series of taking turns to take care of Eli, making sure he is comfy and no
trying to play punk on us by screaming his lungs out in public…esp in e ferry.

So after all e lugging, hype and exhaustion, I thought that I would enjoy the 3hr haven spa wo Eli. Then came the terrible truth. I didn’t. At least not the part where they left me covered in mask or in e bath for close to 40min all alone. Being alone became frightening.

My mind started off w thoughts of oohhs and ahhs to hmmm to what’s my men doing? And it went downhill after that. At that point, I just wanna quickly get dressed and b w them. Yet I was consciously thinking that I must b out of my mind to wanna go back so quickly to e idea of looking after Eli. Talk bout wanting my personal space. Perverse to e max!!!

Nonetheless, I did enjoy parts of e spa and realized that it’s going to b a super long while b4 I can thoroughly enjoy such enjoyment wo having thoughts of major commitments at e back of my head.

Having a hol w a bb now longer becomes as daunting. Not exactly e kind I was expecting but it’s bearable.

Kinda wanna experience a longer haul trip in dec where I hope Eli will b more manageable.

Best part of e trip??? No need to care for spills, dirt and mess that we create along w Eli. Feels super damn good to leave e place knowing that I need not clear up after that. Of course a maid can easily solve this portion. Yet knowing that I can keep my house clean, care for my bud and family and earn my keep all at e same time makes me feel superbly powerful. All I can say is women are great creatures. Am proud to b one.

Of course special thanks to uncle markie (aka my personal butler) for making my life much easier and comfortable. See, I show appreciation ok! Jeez!!

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Batam 2011

Where else can we go now that I am so damn prone to motion sickness?

BATAM of course! This time round, we stayed at KTM Resort. Room once again was disappointing. Uncle Mark did not like the idea that there was no decent swimming pool. But the MASSAGE….DAMN good. Of course, I could not do the full body massage. But the feet, head, shoulder and neck massages were AWESOME. Seriously! I felt so good after that. Their skills were much better than Harris.

Of course, knowing that I’m preggy…the massage were light & soothing. Not the accupunture till u totally cry in pain type. Even Uncle Mark’s full body massage made up his disappointment of having no pool. But of course, he did not spare me from his complaints!

THE FOOD WAS GLOROUS. I loved the kangkong. It was damn salty & spicy. Super delicious. Seafood was yummy. Wanted to eat crab but I chickened out…hahahaha so ended up with prawns instead. This time round, not sure why…we actually brought super little $$ there. Then again, we didn’t really shop as per before.

The resort was not that bad overall. We at least got to see the skyline of Singapore. The MBS, Singapore Flyer blah blah blah. So close yet so far. No wonder it’s plausible to swim to the shores of SG.

 I thought that such a trip will make me relaxed at the end of it all. Unfortunately, I felt really drained the moment I reached home. Not sure was it coz uncle mark had to insist on us watching “Captain America” after the boat ride home. hahahahaha maybe it’s the hormones. Our dear little one telling me that “Mummy, going on trip is fine…but I am tired…can u go home & not be crazy like Daddy to watch movie? I want the bed & my bolsty.”

Sighz…but the adventurous mama me, am thinking & pining for our next trip. Hopefully then, we can bring the little one go explore the vast land of Australia. Wonder if the Koala will help me entertain the little one.

The next trip will definitely be a HUGE blast for me. Despite the long wait, I am looking forward to it already.

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Railway Cycling In KR

hehe.

I know I am writing my KR trip once again in drips & drap. But after seeing the super-cannot-make-it & I-must -comment-hype on the TV on the SG-no-longer-in-use railway + all the serious talks about conservation, green & what not.

SERIOUSLY. Nothing can beat the experience of cycling on a railway!!! That’s what we did in Mungyeong. FUNZ!!! Of course, we had to battle the rain & I had to wear the silly raincoat. Prior to that, I was scared though. hahahaha we took like a 3-4hr railway ride to Mungyeong where we had to find a hotel to stay for the night. Research on google stated that there were many many small inns around the railway station. But I insisted on staying in a hotel.

So when the train pulled into the station, I immediately looked around for a hotel & spotted 1 – HOTEL SKY. It was so damn brightly lit up in the night sky with the firework kinda display. But then we realised that it’s super dark in the isolated town and it’s definitely not near the railway. Uncle Mark insisted once again to walk coz it looked near & ended up pissing me off.

Then again, because he insisted to walk, we saw the weirdest thing happening. A naked little boy of 2-3yrs old ran out onto the road T-junction. Coz the place was so dark, we only spotted the boy through his giggles & the headlights of 2 cars that were turning. For a moment, I really thought I saw a ghost. Wanted to call out to uncle mark but was scared. Until I saw couples from the cars coming out then I realised that OMG, there’s really a kid that is naked on the road. Best part, no parent was running after him. Coz we could not speak the language, we left it to the couples to go door to door knocking & finding the parents of the boy. Of course, we took flight & cabbed our way to the hotel.

Wa…the hotel was EERIE!!!! DARK & NOONE. hotel attendents were a old couple who obviously could not speak english. Anyways, we got ourselves a suite at SGD$50.CHEAP. Plus when we went into the room, we realised that the doors were installed with latest lock technology. There’s also jaccuzi, internet, everything in the room. hahahahahaha Still I felt uneasy…maybe not used to such envt. City gal vs countryside hotels…

of course, when morning came, all fears were dissipated. At least we survived the NIGHT. DAMN SHIOK…the air was SO DAMN FRESH. Bus was hard to find initially…but we managed to find our way around somehow with their broken english. They must be thinking why would pple like us want to go there…kekeke think the only type of tourists are still the locals.

Glad we had the experience. Now, back to the railroad cycling. ITS SO FUN. Draining on the body…hahahaha coz u really have to pedal hard. BUT it’s really interesting & fun. Something new & special. If SG wants to do something to preserve ANYTHING, this is definitely a viable idea. Just totally not original. I am glad I experienced it in another different place altogether! not sure if I want to feed the mozzies while riding…kekekekeke

pics to end my tale

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Busan

I am super behind in finishing up my KR trip entries.

Just watched a bit of 2d1n & I am JEEZ, how can I forget that I was there already. Considering that it’s only been a month back to SG.

Well, I never thought that I will like Korea. I mean, after all the negative things that I hear about the country, I thought I wont enjoy this vacation as much. Busan totally WOW…changed my perspective.

Maybe because, we managed to find our way from Sokcho to Busan via a night long bus (7hrs). The first thing we did arriving at Busan is to fight the chill at 4am and hide out at 7-eleven eating ramen (endorsed by Mr Kang) and wait it out till 5am where the trains will be functioning.

The ride to the hotel was pretty quick. We easily got around or managed to figure our way in KR. Then that’s where the full course of relaxation starts. What makes a holiday ticks? GREAT FOOD, GREAT AIR, GREAT SCENERY! Best thing. Able to chill at Starbucky & watch the world go by…That’s totally SHIOK!

All the best food started for us at Busan. From casserole stews to more stews to BBQ Chicken. Eating the Hey fish that I swore not to eat & ended up eating it coz I really thought it was squid…Gosh..I actually missed the food there!

People in KR were so damn friendly. We were waiting for the bus and 2 middle aged women shoved wang wang crackers into our hands despite us rejecting. SO DAMN SWEET LA..I felt bad not being able to express our thanks better. But the crackers wow…really a touch of humanity. I wanted to take a pic with them. But super shy…hahahaha

Temples, markets, city bus, beaches & skyline. Seriously. It was very very very very relaxing. I never had the chance to stay at Starbucky, sit down, play a game, sip a cup of hot tea with chilly winds outside, Markie sleeping beside me & as we faced the beach, we saw children and adults playing…just like that…spent 2hrs doing nothing but indulging in pure bliss!

Hmmm…if only I can turn back time.

Recommend to really make full use of their city bus. Damn solid. We took from the haeundae route to the Taejongdae route all @ 1 price. Though the tix was ex, we took quite a few trips. hahahahaha with the weather so cold, we even took the upper deck where our face were totally blown away by the cold wind. Couldnt even open my small beady eyes to see anything. Damn excites…hahahahaha I conclude. I am a winter baby.

Their tourist headline of Dynamic Busan really is to their name. hahahahaha Busan really totally rocks. Made me really feel that the whole holiday is damn worth it! Hopefully am able to go back there again! 🙂

Sighz, every entry makes me miss the places that I went to. But reminiscing the good times show that at least I had good times! kekekeke LOVES!

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Korea 2011 – Sokcho + Abai Village

Lots of pple find that travelling in a foreign place w/o knowing their native lang is very daunting. Alot of hassle as well. Since you need to do tons of research + arrange all the accomodation & the thought of trying to survive there makes you want to just take the easier route of following a tour group.

Glad we made the effort to do tons of research + our own arrangement for this KR trip!

I feel that the travelling like a normal local helps a traveller understand the local culture better. It’s totally a queer and exciting experience. You never know what to expect.

After the touch-down at Incheon Airport, the usual train rides to one of the Seoul city subway stations, wefound our way to Ganbyeon Station where the Dong-Seoul bus terminal is. It looks like Queenstown shopping center. Crowded. Noisy.

We were totally lost in booking our bus tickets. Everything was in Korean. hahaha somehow, after matching the characters, we found the counter to book our tickets & bus bay to take the bus. All the while, I was worried if we would end up somewhere else!

In Dong Seoul, the female toilet was totally gross. From the outside of the toilet doors, I could actually see the males peeing!!! hahahaha what a start. Uncle Mark was smart…he actually went all the way inside to the last cubicle. All to avoid prying eyes…SHEESH…hahahaha
Arrival at Sokcho inter-city bus terminal was super duper in darkness. We took a taxi to The Kensingston Stars hotel. The taxi interior was so damn clean. We were seating on plastics lor. The taxi driver did not even remove the covering. Jeez…so the ride was freaking me out. Totally reminded me of the drive in US to find that stupid Cedar Lodge. The mountain roads were deserted. Total pitch-black. FREAK

When we reached at 11pm, the whole hotel was in pitch darkness. Looked like haunted hotel in the midst of the mountains. Thanks to the pleasant hotel staff and wonderful room, it relly alleviated my fear…wahahahaha

We zonked out from the long rides & the next morning. WOW! Scenery was GORGEOUS!!!!

Mountains was really pretty. Rivers, rapids, FRESH AIR. GOSH I missed fresh air!
Lots of flies. BUT WORTH THE HIKE UP. So, we walked from 7am till 10am. Just to see the 3 rocks. 3 Rocks were called Daecheongbong Summit & large rock – Onguri. We could have travelled further to the cave. BUT no thanks. I saw the ladder and freaked out. It was almost 70degree tilt to me. Looked like I have to climb on fours to get up. Actually, getting up is never an issue. It’s the after thought of coming back down. That’s where I have the mighty image of me slipping down & free-falling somewhere down the rocks! hahahaha

So after the climb which we only took like 3hrs, we had time to take a cable car from the foot of the mountain to another part of Mt Seorak. Then, we happily started up a flight of stairs, that I really thought it looked harmless. Until after 10min of climbing, I realised we were still climbing. DAMN! Finally when we reached the mountain side after at least 20min of climbing flight of stairs.  Then I freaked out again! The stairs leaded to just pure mountain Rocky paths. No ropes, no ladder NOTHING. Beside the rocky plateu, it was steep drops down to the valleys. JEEZ. & there was another peak. The peak was not only rocky, the path was super narrow. U see people walking UP & DOWN. Hanging on for their lives. People are FEARLESS. They just climbed happily on the rocks to the peak. Just to see the 1min of grandeur view.

As usual, fear got the better of me. I stopped in the midst somewhere & amused myself with China gals who seriously wore PLATFORMS up the peak area…hahahahaha

After which, we made our way to Abai Village for lunch. DAMN good the food. Universal lang of hand gestures + picture pointing actually got us the food we wanted. Seriously, after the morning activity, we were STARVING. Anything tasted good!

To get to Abai Village, we sat the gaetbae (small boat). It was damn cheap. Only 200Won per pax. That’s like max 30cents SGD?! It was fun la…getting passengers to help pull the boat across the river.

Sokcho was great FUN!

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Seoul to Sokcho

Weather here is FAB! The low 13degree makes me so happy!

Surprisingly, my ears did not give me any prob on the airplane either. It was truly one of the few rare moments where I actually enjoyed the air plane trip! So we had a great start. Landed happily in Incheon airport. Tried to find the information counter where we realised the people arent friendly, at all!

Obviously, in my hol mood, who cares. Got our brochures, we departed to take the AREX train & then changed to line 2 at one of the university stations. We got onto the commuter subway & thought that we were super considerate by taking the seat by the door coz of our luggage.

Apparently, NOT. There’s this 1 old man who started scolding us because his friend could not sit down beside him & started shouting in some freaking korean language that obviously we can’t understand. Oh wells, we presume coz the seat is for the handicapped pple & all so anyways we stood up & gave our seat. Then he started shouting some CHINA people etc…GOSH…felt like telling him UNCLE…Koreans also came from China. Otherwise, why u eating with chopsticks, why your temples have CHINESE words? GEEZ…+ I am not from China. Told u dun understand your language, still happily shout. REALLY!

So after this freak incident, we made our way to the bus terminal where gosh, the people here are really not the most patient & helpful. Nonetheless, we managed to get to The Kensington Hotel. So apt a place to stay. Just after the royal wedding!

Hotel was great! Everything was good.Staff here was surprisingly super friendly. But me & mark concluded. Japan is unbeatable. From culture to people to service. Then again…we have many more days to explore the places. Can’t wait for Mt Seorak! 😉

Hope everything will change after today!

Next Destination – KOREA

I am super amazed by how systematic the Korea Tourism site is.

There are really tons of great information & they even bother to categorise it properly.

Since we are planning a 14days trip. Hopefully we can cover the major areas of the country.

Seriously, can’t wait. When my itin is out, I will definitely post it up!!! COOLEST! 🙂

Official Site of Korea Tourism Org.: Winning Tour of Korea – 11 days.