Category Archives: Travels

. flying off to Ubud, Bali .

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A week of ultimate relaxation & rejuvenation.

. staycation at Porcelain Hotel .


A short weekend getaway can do wonders for the jaded and tired soul. However,  not everyone has the luxury of time or money to head overseas for a rejuvenating holiday. As much as I would love to head to 1 of our favourite resort – Tempat Senang in Batam – for the weekend, the boy, however, has work commitments and wasn’t able to take leave from work. What’s the next best alternative? Why not settle for a relaxing weekend staycation right here in Singapore? 

And that was exactly what we did for the weekend leading to Chinese New Year! After a thorough search on Agoda for a reasonably-priced hotel (accommodation is outrageously expensive in Singapore), we eventually chose The Porcelain Hotel as it offers 1 of the cheapest rates for a boutique hotel and is only a stone’s throw away from the boy’s new workplace. $159++ for the Deluxe Room! On top of that, it is located at a prime location in Chinatown – The heart of all the CNY festivity!


What I love about The Porcelain Hotel!

#1 – The oh-so-comfortable bed that made us slept so soundly through the night!
#2 –  Free Wi-Fi … Yes, I belong to a generation that cannot live without the internet!
#3 –  The romantic lighting and ambiance of the deluxe room … so much so that I   decided to stay in throughout the entire staycation instead of heading out to join in the celebration!
#4 – Quirky porcelain-inspired touches to the room, such as the unique porcelain sink and flowers-motif mirror!


What I didn’t enjoy about The Porcelain Hotel!

#1 – The really tiny room and I’m not kidding about the size! While we didn’t expect the room to be as big as the standard business room in the average hotel, this room was way smaller than expected. Thank god that we didn’t have any luggage with us!
#2 – The lack of channels on the cable television.




With the boy away at work for the most part of the day/night (he works from 4pm to 2am), I’m basically left with no choice but to self-entertain myself during the semi-alone staycation. Here’s my girly guide to enjoy a 24-hours staycation by yourself in utter bliss and relaxation! Who ever says that we will need a boyfriend to enjoy a staycation? Lol. In fact, I’m already looking forward to the next hotel stay! :p

The MUST HAVES

The cable television (AXN and STAR World) that kept me entertained as I sunk into the comfortable bed!


The boy’s iPad and the books that I have brought along for the hotel stay (didn’t do much reading in the end as I settled for the lazy option of being a couch potato!). But remember the goal of a staycation – To relax! So try not to get glued to the iPad and its 1001 apps … Take up a challenge and try to live without it for a few hours!


Having the time to pamper myself with all sorts of masks – For the face, eyes and yes, even for the hands! The ideal way to indulge in a (DIY) SPA getaway, minus the exorbitant price!

It was pure coincidence when we found out that Groupon is offering a fantastic deal on a mini-staycation at The Porcelain Hotel on the same day that we checked out of the hotel. Did a quick comparison, only to realize that the Groupon deal is slightly cheaper than what we paid for on Agoda! What a pity! 😦 Which means it’s a great deal for any of you out there who’s looking for a cheap hotel getaway either with a loved one or friends! 🙂

Click here to visit the Groupon deal – $73/pax for a 1 night stay!

. step into the Black Circuit with JOHNNIE WALKER .

JOHNNIE WALKER, the world’s number 1 Scotch whisky and global partner of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1™ team  had recently hosted the ultimate VIP party, with a Brazilian twist, to coincide with the season-ending race in Brazil. I had the honour of being invited on a sponsored trip to KL to attend the party, alongside with popular bloggers like Adrian (love that guy!) and Christine! After all, it sounded like a party that should not be missed. On this note, I would like to thank Johnnie Walker for sponsoring this trip and Lynda from Impact Asia PR for extending the invitation to me!
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Go Kart racing @ Shah Alam Stadium

When I first learnt that we will be having a go at the go kart race track, I was ecstatic and raring to go. Well, as most of you would have know by now, I’ve been procrastinating taking my driving license for the longest time so it was exhilarating to be able to step on the accelerator and race … as a legal driver!

It wasn’t all about looking cool though as we had to don these ugly disposable showcaps underneath our helmets! 



Being a non-driver (my 1st attempt at go-kart was about a decade ago in Escape Theme Park), I must admit that my nerves got the better of me initially as I was afraid that I might lose control and crash. Straight lanes were not an issue although the various bends and hairpin corners were slightly trickier and I tend to step a little too hard on the brakes at these turns. Nonetheless, the rush of adrenaline kicked in and I felt the rattling of the seat beneath me as I accelerated.  I felt a sense of euphoric high as I overtook the driver in front of me to take 2nd place in the race. True to be told, it almost seemed as if we were speeding at 100+km/hr … Alas, reality strike and it was soon revealed that we were going at a max speed of only 65km/hr which is really nothing considering that some of my friends have driven at 240km/hr!

Shah Alam Stadium Sec 13
40000 Shah Alam, Selangor 

Step into the Black Circuit with JOHNNIE WALKER
26th Nov 2011
KL LIVE

The bold and stylish JOHNNIE WALKER® Black Circuit Lounge race party was held at the newly renovated KL Live, totally refurbished with an advanced sound and lighting system. Known for its exclusive and invite-only parties, Step Inside the Black Circuit promises an unforgettable and elite nightlife experience.






Outfit of the night: Lulachic Mesh Panelled Skater Dress from Kisslocke
* Love the sexy mesh inserts!

Bringing the sexy factor a notch higher were the gorgeous JOHNNIE WALKER® Brand Ambassadors all decked in the figure-hugging black and gold suit.


 Award-winning World Class mixologists Amanda Wan and Yi Shawn Chong have been specially commissioned by JOHNNIE WALKER® to create a series of Brazilian inspired whisky cocktails. Our favourite was the Black Circuit; very yummy indeed!


In line with the Brazilian theme, there were high-octane Brazilian influenced performances and sizzling hot dancers who could really shake their hips and get the crowd raring for more.

Cutting-edge interactive party experience, such as getting our pictures taken before being posted on Facebook on the spot.

‘Journey of Taste’ mentor session with a Brand Ambassador who taught us how to discover the powerful layered flavours of JOHNNIE WALKER® RED LABEL™  and JOHNNIE WALKER® BLACK LABEL™ .



Party hard with A-list DJ Clinton Sparks who has produced hits for Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Akon and Ludacris. We even had the privilege to dance on-stage with the master DJ himself!

Partying is fun only with friends.


*All pics, courtesy of JOHNNIE WALKER & Christine

As with all JOHNNIE WALKER parties, guests leave the party not only with fond memories of the night but also with a customized souvenir! The JOHNNIE WALKER® Striding Man keychain makes a great accessory and is a conversational piece.


Remember, winners NEVER DRINK and DRIVE.
For more details and upcoming party invitations, please visit www.facebook.com/JohnnieWalkerSingapore

. time to party with the town’s most exclusive party .


This weekend, the world’s leading Scotch whisky – JOHNNIE WALKER -celebrates the end of the F1 season with a Brazilian twist to the ultimate VIP race party experience! As part of the JOHNNIE WALKER Step Inside the Black Circuit Campaign to give party-goers an inside look into the stylish and sophisticated world of motor racing, this exclusive and highly anticipated event will take place on Saturday, 26th November at the renovated KL Live in the heart of downtown Kuala Lumpur, and will be infused with the pulsating energy and glamour of Brazil.

Get ready to dance to the latest heart-pumping hits from the stellar line-up of world-renowned DJs like Clinton Sparks (USA), Von Kiss (South America), Mr. Gin (Taiwan) and Nikki (Malaysia).

The chance of a lifetime. JOHNNIE WALKER Black Circuit Lounge Party.


For more information, please visit the JOHNNIE WALKER Singapore Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JohnnieWalkerSingapore

Remember, winners NEVER DRINK and DRIVE. 

. 12 hours in Batam .

As most of you would have known by now, I’m a HUGE fan of coupon websites such as Groupon and DEAL.com.sg and frankly, those deals – as cheap as they might be – are collectively burning a hole in my pocket! Especially when it comes to fabulous travel deals that are irresistible! $25 for a sight-seeing tour around the island of Batam? Sounds like a plan for both Sok and I to have a girly time together on a lovely Sunday! 

A day in Batam on a commission-driven tourist route
Well, the title is pretty much self-explanatory although I must say that it was still an eye-opening experience for me to see Batam outside of Tempat Senang (which is the only place that I’ve visited in Batam over the past couple of years). 

1st stop: Beng Kong Dry Market 

2nd stop: Kueh Lapis Home Made Outlet
Kueh Lapis is synonymous with Batam so it didn’t come as a surprise that a visit to 1 of the many Batam Layer Cake shops/factory is a must-do in the itinerary.



3rd stop: Lunch at the famous Golden Prawn Restaurant 933
For $25 for an all-inclusive day tour, there’s really nothing much to complain about the quality of the food over at 933. Love the gong gong seashells so much that I could almost polish up the entire plate by myself! 


Batam-style wedding “Congratulations” announcements
Super old school! 



4th stop: Batam Miniature House Park  
The park is a miniature collection of Indonesian architecture as it showcases the different types of traditional houses built across the 33 provinces in Indonesia.

The visit to the miniature house park was probably the highlight of the trip as it not only provided us lots of opportunity to utilize our cameras (in other words, cam-whore) but also gave us a slight glimpse into the Indonesian culture. 







5th stop: Tua Pek Kong Temple, also known as the Vihara Buddhi Bhakti Temple. A quick pit stop for the believers to offer prayers and for the rest to take a look at the courtyard statues and mythical-influenced paintings. 

Interesting fact: Do you know that this was the original temple that was located in Kusu Island, Singapore before the 1980’s? 



Following our visits to the various typical tourist spots, we headed for our much-awaited scrub/massage session before ending our day at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall (trust me, it’s a bore). Not exactly the most exciting getaway but I welcome any overseas day trip as it provides the much-needed respite to break free from the monotony of life! 🙂 


. The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa .


The Fragipani Langkawi Resort & Spa prides itself as 1 of the most, if not the most, environmentally friendly resort in the main island of Langkawi. With the rise of tourism in the recent years, it is inevitable that tourism has negatively affected the environment and nature in many ways. Hence, in its quest to practice sustainable and responsible tourism, the management of the resort has incorporated several eco-friendly practices that gives it a competitive edge over the other resorts and hotels. 

Walking the Talk: The accolade of Green Awards in recognition of the environmental practices by the resort 



Pool fanatics will be delighted to know that the resort has 2 huge pools and a cozy jacuzzi for your swimming pleasure! 

Sea salt water pool 

Main pool 

Jacuzzi 

Why not consider staying in 1 of the resort’s chalet-style villa to enrich your romantic tropical getaway? For those who like to wake up to greenery, you might like to spend the night at the Garden View Villa that completes your getaway among the lush foliage. To enjoy the sea breeze and soothing sounds of the crashing waves, there’s also the option of choosing a sea view or beachfront villa!

The highlight: Showering under the stars in the al-fresco rain shower bathroom! 

* Room rates start from MYR 630 for a Garden View Villa

All guests staying in the resort will be given a complimentary (FREE!) tour around the resort grounds, as well as its 0-waste eco farm. This interesting yet insightful tour has definitely given us a better understanding of what the resort has accomplished in order to promote environmental sustainability. 


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Do you know that the resort even tries to treat the sewage and dirty water with natural means by using certain plants such as the hyacinths and water mimosa? Basically, the waste water from the resort will be channeled into the wetland (Where the 0-waste farm is located at) where these water plants will do its job in cleansing the water. Once the water is partially treated, it will be reused for plant irrigation as it contains a relatively high level of nutrients and minerals. Very impressive although I must admit that I was quite skeptical at the start. 



To involve the employees in promoting responsible tourism, the management has encouraged each department (E.g. Housekeeping, Kitchen, Reception, Spa & Wellness) to take up a mini green project – By growing plants and herbs in these recycled bath tubs! 



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My review: Well, the fact that I’m dedicating an entry purely for The Frangipani Resort & Spa instead of the other 2 hotels that we stayed during our trip (which, honestly, are not even worth mentioning) pretty much sums up my wonderful stay at the resort. The casual and unpretentious ambiance of the tropical resort evokes a rustic and laidback charm that completes a relaxing beach vacation. In fact, as part of our Frangipani experience, we were also treated to a healthy organic feast consisting of Frangipani tea and Frangipani fritters (which tasted surprisingly yummy!). 

It’s one thing to stay in an eco-friendly resort and it’s another to be educated about the different green initiatives and I personally think that the resort has successfully blended life with nature by offering its guests a complimentary eco-tour. Perhaps it’s the psychological effect but it definitely makes me feel slightly more responsible to be staying in a resort with a difference. My only regret was that we didn’t get to try out the spa treatments due to a lack of time! 😦 

The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa 
1237 Jalan Teluk Baru
07000 Langkawi, Malaysia

. Pulau Payar Marine Park .


Langkawi has always been synonymous with being an idyllic beach paradise. However, to get a view of the picturesque clear waters and sandy white shores, one needs to take a boat ride out of the main island of Langkawi (where Kuah Town is) to the neighbouring islands. Some of these popular islands include Dayang Bunting island, Pulau Beras Basah and Pulau Singa Besar.

Known to be 1 of Langkawi’s preferred and hottest island for snorkeling and diving, the Pulau Payar Marine Park offers the beginner snorkeler the opportunity to be emerged in the surreal underwater world. With rising popularity, comes with an influx of crowd and I must confess that the marine park was a little too commercialized for my liking.  



Thumbs Up

1. Offers a good variety of tropical fishes, sea urchins and hard corals for the amateur snorkelers, especially so if it is your first time. 
2. Get the rare opportunity to swim amongst the black tipped reef sharks!
3.  The chance to snorkel in the middle of the vast sea while being caught in a downpour! Despite the poor visibility (can’t see much), I was ecstatic yet slightly terrified to be swimming against the currents in the middle of nowhere. No longer am I the girl who cannot swim for nuts and had to hang on to her boyfriend’s pants as he steered her to the right direction! 

Thumbs Down

1. The marine park tends to get a little crowded slightly before noon, thus making it difficult to embrace tranquility on the tiny island.
2. Having snorkeled at other islands like Tioman, Phuket and Phi Phi island (amazing!), I must admit that I was a little bored after my first hour. Experienced snorkelers might like to give Pulau Payar a miss. 
3. The island is 90% surrounded by a dense forest so unless you don’t mind becoming an explorer, your best bet is to remain on the tiny stretch of beach. Island-hopping might be a better option for those who prefer to get their money’s worth. 



Come every lunch time, the baby black tip sharks are a common and favourite sight amongst the visitors at Pulau Payar Marine Park. After all, the closest that most of us have gotten to a shark is probably inches from a glass panel! This extremely rare encounter with the 1 of the world’s most fearsome yet mis-understood marine creature is definitely climbing up the chart of every visitor’s most memorable moments in Langkawi!

Unfortunately, I missed out on this thrilling experience to come face-to-face with these sharks as I opted to snorkel in the open sea, thinking that there was more to be discovered. Wrong choice! 😦

The babes of the trip! 



* Most of the pictures taken by our very talented photographer blogger, Darren (who, by the way, won the OMY Best Lifestyle Blog award last year!).