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Hello from Hua Hin

Chatchai Market

Hello from Hua Hin, Thailand. I've been so caught up with work and adjusting to the new routine I've half forgotten my cameras existed! Work has been great and I'm on my last day on my Christmas trip to Hua Hin with C and his family.

Thailand is AMAZING when it comes to home decor goods, I believe even better than the factories in China. Spent about 4000baht on pure silk cushion covers from Pasaya's discount outlet, they would have been worth at least USD$150 each on Horchow etc.! Pictures will be up soon, fingers crossed I won't get lazy before the new year's over.

Gotta run now, dinner time!
20:15 | Travels | comments(1) | trackbacks(0)
balcony blooms

I wish I had a balcony!

Flowers hanging off the balconies of concrete blocks make for an amazing summer spectacle... and I wish apartments here were built with wide ledges and we were allowed to sit planters precariously off the window ledges.

"There is a maximum fine of SGD 2,000 under the Housing and Development Act for so-called "killer litter" - objects placed on the ledges of windows and balconies in a manner that may endanger the safety of others" - source from web

So you can imagine how enthralled I was by the array of window dressing opportunities sadly unavailable where I live. I need a balcony, and I promise I'll be safe!

00:19 | Travels | comments(0) | trackbacks(0)
Neuschwanstein Castle

The castle that inspired fairytales - Neuschwanstein Castle

Back from a night in Munich and the fairytale is about to end. Back to Singapore and reality (work+money+life) tomorrow. My luggages are overweight!!! We went to an outlet yesterday for C to spend his birthday voucher at an enormous Hugo Boss outlet and I ended up with two pairs of Bally shoes. In my defense they were a steal!
22:37 | Travels | comments(0) | trackbacks(0)
All that glitters is gold

I have been touring Europe from Stuttgart for the last two weeks with one more to go. Will miss C so! We've had the most marvelous time so far.

Lunch at the beautiful Le Meurice, living my dream of dining at the breathtaking dining room and at a 3 starred establishment.

Short public performance at the steps of the entrance

We also went to the Opera for a night of ballet, followed by cheese and wine at a nearby cafe. I just felt like Mary Cassatt's 'At the Opera'!

Streets glistening after the rain

More on colourful Paris to come...
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Namuamua Village, Fiji

The guide told us that "Namuamua Village" literally translates into "land between two rivers", and it is not wrong that like Mesopotamia, which was also the land between two rivers, the village is nourished by water and life.

We took a riverboat up into the heart of Viti Levu (one of two major islands of Fiji) and into heavily forested hills and cliffs, passing by the occasional group of children frolicking by the shore on a lazy Easter Monday and the unexpected cow grazing on what seemed like an unhabitable landscape.

spot the cow!

We stopped by halfway at a gorgeous waterfall for a swim, before boarding a bamboo raft to float down the raipds.

Arriving at the lovely Namuamua Village, it's the Wisteria Lane of Fiji! We were given a traditional welcome ceremony by the village chief with Kava, which is an alcoholic beverage that tastes like tree bark, a tour to the village school and finally  a traditionally cooked lunch back at the main bure.

And so that was the end of our trip to Namuamua Village, we embarked on a 2 hour long journey back to the hotel and was greeted with an amazing sunset.

Perfect days really do exist - in Fiji
09:57 | Travels | comments(0) | trackbacks(0)
missing FIJI!!!

Just got back from a fantabulous 5 day 6 night stay at the Warwick Fiji! The country is absolutely breathtaking and the people are just the kindest you can meet. Sigh. I still want to lie on the beach and soak up seawater and sun even though my skin is blistered and battered. More pictures soon (and not just the beach!) Oh, and by the way it was PERFECT WEATHER!
13:44 | Travels | comments(0) | trackbacks(0)
Salon de The Grand-mere Kamakura

Salon de The Grand-mere Kamakura
サロン・ド・テ・カマクラ グランメール
2-14-16, Hase, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa, Japan 248-0016

After a day visiting the giant buddha and Hase Dera, my parents and I stopped by a charming cafe run by the cutest old couple ever. Though the menu was quite small all items were prepared by hand in the open concept kitchen - their Royal Milk Tea was brewed from tea leaves and milk without creamers or teabags! I had asari (clams) spaghetti, was very good and I think the spaghetti was even handmade by the couple as well. On top of the good food the service was impeccable, and the old lady was kind enough to speak to us in what English she knew and pose for a picture (my dad insisted, quite embarrassing) at the end.

Book from the cafe

Rocket salad, was sweet and not bitter at all!

Soupy asari spaghetti that had a strong hint of white wine

Baked cheesecake with prunes

Dad, Mom and open kitchen behind

...will definitely be back again someday!

Tags: Japan, Kamakura, Cafe
19:27 | Travels | comments(2) | trackbacks(0)
Christmas Lights

Walking around Osaka alone at night This looks a little like Omotesando's light up (for the first time in 11 years), and I was lucky enough to be there a few days later!

Omotesando 2009

Tags: Japan, Christmas, Osaka, Omotesando

01:43 | Travels | comments(0) | trackbacks(0)
Trip Update

Day 4: Off to Namba and Shinsaibashi for shopping! Dinner at かに道楽 Kani Douraku (main branch)

Day 5: Shinkansen to Tokyo. Shopped around, missed Lumine so much! Had dinner at  つな八・凛 Tsunahachi Rin, a popular tempura restaurant. The waiter showed us a platter of live seafood before proceeding to cook them - the eel nearly slithered off the bowl and a live prawn jumped out onto a chair!

Day 6: To Harajuku for Meiji Shrine, Takeshita street and Yoyogi park. Wanted to stroll down Omotesando but mom & dad insisted on food spreeing at Takashiyama instead. Finally got to try the desserts at グラマシーニューヨーク Gramercy New York, ordered my all time favourite Japanese Annin Tofu (Almond Tofu) which tastes nothing like the almond jellies elsewhere A 'must have' in Japan! Went to the observation deck at the Metropolitan Building after dinner, breathtaking views

Day 7: Kamakura today. Absolutely beautiful, pictures up soon! Off to Aoyama for dinner with an old friend and had amazing Italian food at イル・デジデリオ Il Desiderio Ristorante. Absolutely fab service too, at the end of the meal a waiter was already waiting at the exit with my coat and even help me put it on Enjoyed the Christmas illumination along Omotesando back to Harajuku station and got the train back to Shinjuku.
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holiday so far

No pictures the hotel internet won't let me upload anything!

Day 1: Parents refused to get me Natura Classica citing inferior materials after looking at a badly damaged dummy camera. Stood around in Yodobashi for 1 hour deciding which film to purchase, ended up with nothing I'm such a terrible decision maker. Set out looking for Village Vanguard for something I could decide on and bought a Superheadz camera in "Yellow Peace" Went shopping alone for the rest of the evening.

Day 2: Rained all day when we were out in Kyoto visiting Kinkakuji and Kiyomizu, had to carry a bloody umbrella and kept bumping into everyone else! Trains, buses and traffic were insane as well, stood in the bus in traffic for 45minutes moving through just 5 stops. Had super yummy tofu dinner at The Cube in Kyoto Station.

Day 3: Nice sunny day in Arashiyama! Finally had a chance to use the Yellow Peace camera. Again, mad crowd but nice scenery. Legs are numb from trekking uneven rocky ground - suddenly, my school's cobblestone grounds seem to be a godsend.

Tomorrow: SHOPPING!
23:53 | Travels | comments(0) | trackbacks(1)