Bangkok Adventure!

After coming back from a 5-days-4-nights trip in Bangkok, I came up with a conclusion: Bangkok, you’re giving Jakarta a run for its money! 

Even on the way from the airport to our apartment in the city centre, I couldn’t help but thinking how much the city reminded me of my own hometown. The street signs, the highway, the countless billboards with actors smiling widely, each showcasing different products from mobile phones to cosmetics.

The only thing missing was the traffic jam. Or so I thought. 

But of course I spoke too soon because on our last day, we were trapped in a bad traffic jam that made us almost miss our flight.

But I had a memorable and wonderful time in Bangkok, and here’s why!

The Food

This has got to be the first on the list simply because… well, do I need to say more? Everything we ate were delicious, even when we just ordered from a random food court or an eatery we’ve never tried before.

On out first night out, we went to Siam Paragon to have the notorious dinner from Greyhound Cafe. When I say notorious – it’s simply because 2 of my girlfriends couldn’t stop talking about it! So of course we’ve got to give it a try.

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The amazingly tasty Thai Milk Tea!
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Ahem! It certainly did not disappoint!

Plus, it was super affordable and we only spent less than $100 for a full meal for 4 of us, including drinks for all!

We wanted to continue on to drink, but soon found out that on that weekend that we were there, Thailand was celebrating Buddhist Day so no alcohol was to be served anywhere in the country! Even when we visited Big C (a local supermarket chain), they had to barricade the whole alcohol section haha!

Oh well – I guess the alcoholics have to wait til Monday to quench their thirst..

The following days, we tried another restaurant highly recommended called Roast – for brunch, After You for dessert and a lot, and I mean, a lot of tomyum soup. In fact, I think we ate tomyum soup every day for each of our meal. I love it, what can I say?!

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Lychee Milk Tea from Roast
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Brunch for champs! My fave was the scrambled eggs – too good!
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Matcha Toast from After You

Another highlight when you visit Thailand is – their Mango Sticky Rice!

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Oh hello there, see me on the top right hand corner? I’m Mango Sticky Rice, nice to meet you.

I feel like such a noob saying this – but I don’t think I have ever tried mango sticky rice before. At least none that made an impression – so the first time my friend suggested buying mango sticky rice, I couldn’t have been less enthusiastic.

“Oh…” – that’s probably all I said.

20 minutes later…

“OH MY GOODNESS! THIS IS SOOOOOOO NICE!!!!!!” I said in disbelief. The combination of the mango (which is very sweet!) and the slightly salty, flavorful sticky rice and the coconut sauce.. I think I have just been reborn.

Okay, that’s a tad exaggeration, but no joke, it was so good I insisted we have that for every meal from then on!

We also went for a nice mookata dinner in this very huge, spacious restaurant by the street. It was only S$8 for all-you-can-eat food! My tummy rejoices!

The Shopping

Everyone who have gone to Bangkok have praised it as a shopping heaven and I had no expectation prior. The last time I’ve been to Bangkok was when I was a tiny cute little girl (I still am!), and the only recollection I had was watching a singing show performed by transgenders. (I couldn’t believe those women were previously men – they were so beautiful!)

But yes! Now I can testify that it’s a great place for shopping! I love it as much as shopping for clothes in Seoul. The styles were plentiful and the prices were cheap!

I ended up getting a few off-shoulder tops, pants and dresses! It was great!

We mainly shopped at Platinum Mall and Union Mall. Although we went to Chatuchak Market and another night market, we didn’t really buy anything much there.

The Massage

Another thing you must certainly do in Thailand is get a massage! Massages are cheap – 1 hour body massage was only 300 Baht (which is around S$12?) OHMY! TAKE MY MONEY!

I can’t emphasise enough how much I love getting a massage. I love it as much as sleeping – and boy, don’t I love sleeping.

We went to the massage place in Platinum Mall because it was very convenient (our apartment was just on top of the mall itself). It was pretty good – the only downside was that the surroundings were noisy!

Okay, what am I talking about, the masseur themselves were noisy!

They were talking to each other while massaging us and even answering phone calls during the massage. Haha!

I thought massage places should be tranquil and super quiet – with only soft instrumental music behind.

But oh well – beggars can’t be choosers. The massage shop itself is quite small – it had just 3 small mini rooms with beds for the body massage.

On our second visit in the evening, the neighbouring stalls were closing down so it got even noisier with the sound of the metal doors being pulled down and locked.

There goes my quiet, peaceful ZEN state.

HOWEVER! I still enjoyed it – after the hour massage I felt so refreshed and pampered my body turned into jello.

Bless you whoever invented massage!

The Drinking

Beer is ridiculously cheap in Bangkok as well! A big bottle of beer only costs S$3! We did check out a rooftop bar called Wanderlust and had this really awesome apple cider, and a bar which supposedly had an open mic called The Iron Fairies.

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Cheers!
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Good vibes at Wanderlust Rooftop Bar

However, there were no open mic that night that we were in – instead, the band was playing full-on jazz music!

I’m sorry guys, but I just can’t appreciate jazz!

We ended up mostly nibbling on buffalo wings and chugging down Hoegaarden while chatting away about our celebrity crushes.

I wish we had more time to explore other bars in the area but time was not on our side! Soon enough, our 5 days were up and we had to fly back very soon.

See you again Bangkok!

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My fellow Bangkok-travellers!

Memories in Jeju

It was a cool spring season in late April when we landed in Jeju. First time setting a foot anywhere in Korea, I did not know what I’d expect to find in Jeju. My knowledge about Korea is all about its makeup brands, tall good-looking oppas I always see in those addictive k-dramas and songs from Big Bang that my sister just introduced to me on the train from the airport.

Okay, so far I was quite impressed in all 3 areas:

  1. I already saw plenty of makeup brands in the airport that I wanted to get my hands on!
  2. I already saw one cute Korean guy on the train; standing tall with sharp suit and his bangs sweetly sweeping his forehead..
  3. Yes, these Big Bang songs were pretty catchy… *puts on repeats*

Ah Korea.. what do you have in store for me next?

Throughout our 5 days in Jeju, I found myself in awe, enjoying every minute of it.

Jeju is the perfect mixture where the city girl in me could shop til she drops, and my nature-lover side was equally fascinated its the amazing scenery and rich cultures. Above all, my tummy was definitely a happy one!

Although we found it hard sometimes to communicate with the locals, they were always nice and friendly. During our first dinner, we spent 15 minutes using google translate and pointing uselessly at words we did not know in the menu. But it was a delicious BBQ meal, and the owner of the shop graciously helped us in cooking the meat!

It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to food in Korea. We always had a good meal everywhere we went…

Seogwipo

A large city by the seaside, Seogwipo was a good 1 hour+ car ride from where we stayed. Settled on a rocky volcanic coastline, it was a popular tourist attraction with many things to offer. When we came, we were greeted by this amazing scenery…

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And we decided to try going for a submarine tour, which apparently is on Guinness Book of Records for being the longest tour submarine attraction without accident!

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Err.. that’s very reassuring.

Thanks Seogwipo Submarine for that seal of safety and confidence!

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The approaching submarine, ready to take the next group

Side note: I took this picture not just to show the submarine, but also because the guard was quite dreamy. But he turned his back on me!

AH I’M HEARTBROKEN…

(I’ve been watching too much drama)

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Snacks by the road side
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Happy me!

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innisfree Jeju House

Still located in Seogwipo, this is a place you have to visit if you love innisfree! Although the highlight is not innisfree per se, it’s the cafe located inside! Look at how cute and pretty the food here is!

I can’t bring myself to eat… and we made sure we took plenty of pictures beforehand.

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Halassan Cake. The symbol of Jeju!
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Oh my goodness.. those colourful drinks!

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Also, around the house, there are these tea plantation that’s soothing and too pretty not to take pictures in!

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Interesting note: The shop here only sells their skincare products.

I’d still be the first one to admit that I bought a lot of stuffs here! Take all my money innisfree!

Seongsan Ilchulbong

Possibly the highlight of Jeju, we took the hike up to on top of Seongsan Ilchulbong (called the Sunrise Peak) to enjoy the full scenery from above!

The hike up was exhausting but the view is well worth it.

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180m only?! Whaaa.. It sure felt a lot higher when we climbed those steps!
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Ah, stop teasing us with your view!

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If you don’t drive there, I would suggest renting a car with a driver for the whole day to take you to wherever you want to go, especially if you’re looking at nailing down a few spots in a day. We tried taking a cab before, but it ended up to be more expensive rather than if you just get a car for the whole day. We were quite lucky to come across a nice old uncle (ahjussi) to take us around, although it was hard to communicate! However, all you need is a map, and a finger to just point!

When you come down after the hike, you would find these small hills covered with flowers!

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Maze Park

This wasn’t very high on our list, but our ahjussi (our taxi uncle) recommended this for us to check out. We still had some time in the evening so we decided to go indeed! Made up of 4 different mazes from easiest to the hardest, this is something fun to do!

I saw a lot of couples in here. And I’m thinking, wow, maybe it’s a good first date spot for guys to showcase their excellent navigational skills and protect the girls from being lost!

I see your intention there, highly hormonal teenage Korean boys!

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After taking a fun walk around the maze, it ended our full day in Jeju and we were ready to eat more good food afterwards.

We also had the chance to visit some traditional Jeju houses – which is an attraction in itself. We were told that Jeju women had to walk miles every day to and from their house to fetch clean water while carrying this heavy pot over their shoulder! Not only that, they still looked after their children, cooked meals for the family, cleaned the house and did everything while the men were useless, watching tv or drinking all day long.

You’re amazing Jeju women!

To this day, you can still find a lot of female divers who are already in their 60s or even older!

What do you do with your life, Tina?

Hats off to you Jeju women!

And of course, I had to mention the most iconic attraction of Jeju – Hallasan. It’s a shield volcano on Jeju Island, and also is the highest mountain in South Korea! People would hike up the mountain and were told that the view would be phenomenal.

We planned to hike there one morning, and we woke up very early to make sure it wouldn’t be hot as we made our climb. The climb itself would take 2 hours! And all in all, it was about 10km back and forth (and it was one of the easiest routes!)

As we woke up that day, the weather seemed very cloudy, and as we were on the taxi, it started pouring and raining cats and dogs! And by the time we almost reached, it became clear that the God of Hallasan didn’t want us to do our hike!

Depressed, we had to make a u-turn and went to our hotel to….. continue our sleep because it was too early to go anywhere else.

Hallasan 1 – Us 0

Fine, we’d settle this debt next time! I would climb you one day for sure!

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Thank you for your hospitality Jeju!

(Sadly, I didn’t see any more good looking oppas for the rest of the trip!)

Tina, you *really* need to sort out your priorities.

Intern Life: Part Deux

Hello guys! Welcome back to the life-as-an-intern series. In the first episode, my boss turned out to be a sexual predator, and I ordered a brainless chicken. If you miss it, read it here.

Well, I had another internship right after that. In fact, I quit my previous internship early so that I could start another internship. WHY, you ask?

HAVE YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION AT ALL, PEOPLE?!

But hey, I was quite efficient, right? Grab life by its horn! Grab every opportunity! Don’t simply wait, but make things happen!

Ah, indeed was the epitome of all that since I was already interviewing for another internship while I was still in one. This other internship was for a PR role in a boutique PR agency. It was a typical boutique setting – the office was located in one of those shop houses along Dhoby Ghaut.

I remember the interview quite clearly though. I did not think I would get the role because I was talking and laughing too much. Perhaps it was my way to mask my nervousness. I recall the interviewer asked me something, and I made a reference about a celebrity being dead.

Don’t ask.

However, I got called back a few days later, telling me that I did get the internship and I was expected to start as soon as possible. It was quite awkward, I had to tell my current boss at that time that I had a personal issues and that I needed to cut the internship early. I think he was quite rude and mean about it – and I don’t know whether I should have, but I thought about what’s best for myself and that I could learn something more relevant to my study at the other PR company.

So I did it! I started interning at this company where I had quite a fun and fruitful working experience. My colleagues were very nice, they were definitely older and sometimes I felt quite ‘irrelevant’ being around them but they tried to guide and teach me along although they were in and out of the office for most times.

I had to do media monitoring every morning – which essentially meant flipping the newspapers and some online sites, checking if there were any mentions on any of our clients’ brands. I would then have to compile a report and send them to the clients’ every day. Other than that, I also helped out with whatever tasks my colleagues gave.

There were nothing to complain, really. I enjoyed myself, and the only memory I could think of while I was interning there was the fact that I just got into a long-distance relationship with my then-boyfriend and I remember talking to him on the phone every day at lunch time.

My colleagues were probably thinking I’m a total weirdo for always refusing to join them for lunch.

I’M SORRY, BUT I WAS YOUNG AND STUPID AND IN LOVE AND STILL SO HOPELESSLY ROMANTIC. WHAT COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TALKING TO YOUR BOYFRIEND EVERY LUNCH HOUR? (EVEN THOUGH I STILL TALKED TO HIM EVERY NIGHT TIME TOO..)

Ah, the things we do for love..

Anyway, another thing I recalled was, during this internship I wrote an opinion piece which ended up being featured in the local newspaper and I remember boasting about it to the bosses. It was actually quite lame – the way I boasted was as if I just won a Nobel Prize.

Very classy, Tina.

Nara Circa 2016: Ham-Eating-Deer

My relationship with the animal kingdom is a complicated one.

We started out as friends, but not until one of you (a dog) decide to chase me down when I was cycling as a kid, that I decided to go my separate way as you have scarred me for life.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself actually enjoying my trip to Nara and making friends with these adorable deer!

If you are in Kyoto, this is definitely a place you should check out! Nara was wonderful, it was an big open park with wild deer roaming around amongst humans.

You would sometimes see them crossing the main street, even, and cars would stop patiently to wait for them to cross.

Japanese people are so zen with life, I’m jealous. I can imagine myself coming here one afternoon to just walk around and enjoy the outdoor.

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You can see that I was a bit scared even being very close to the deer, but they were very chill!

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Look at how pretty his antler was!

At the park, you can buy these biscuits to feed the deer, and boy, they loved it! As soon as they smell the biscuits in your hand, they would run towards you in a flock and keep following you until you show both your hands as if saying, “I have nothing left! See? See?!”

Damn, they are smart.

The biscuits were in a round shape, and they were brown. On first glance, they looked like ham, and I impulsively asked my boyfriend, “Are these ham?”

He looked at me, his brows furrowing.

“DO YOU THINK DEER EATS HAM?!”

Err.. okay. It just dawned on me that deer is herbivore, but HEY THE BISCUITS REALLY LOOK LIKE HAMS OKAYYYYYYYYYYY.

(Tina’s bimbo moments #255)