14 Must-Do Things in London

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In the land of Shakespeare, Arts and Culture, there’s just so much to discover. London has been a dream city since my childhood and I have waited over 10 years to come here; flew over 22 hours from Sydney, 9 hours transit, with 3 luggage, and just ONE ‘big fat’ dream—to see this beautiful city. I’ve had the absolute privilege to travel to London 5 times during my exchange (I’m possibly crazy haha), but if that makes you feel better, I am going to produce a local’s scoop of the must-do things in London, well, according to me!

I made it a challenge not to blog about too overrated stuff unless it’s really good, so let’s skip the Big Ben and London Eye in this list, shall we? Because that’s idiot proof!

1. Be dazzled by this Insta-worthy neon lights heaven

You have to be prepared to travel out of the way for this Instagram-worthy heaven, God’s Own Junkyard (technically it is owned by God). It is nowhere near central London at all. We took about an hour and a half to get here. It is a 15-20 minutes walk and about an hour on the tube, but the result? Totally worth it. Just note that pictures cannot be taken using a DSLR, as they cannot be used for commercial purposes.

One funny story—both of our phones died the moment we reached there. Since there’s neon lights all around us, power and electricity must be in abundance. We simply plugged our phones in one of the sockets hahaha.

God’s Own Junkyard
Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate
Shernhall St, Walthamstow
London E17 9HQ, UK
Opening hours:
Closed Mon-Thurs
Fri & Sat 11am – 9pm
Sun 11am – 6pm
For the: Picture crazy traveller

2. Go Museum Hopping and leave feeling inspired

I wrote a post specifically about museums in London that you absolutely must visit here, and the museums in London really have vast collections so rich in culture, history and value. Besides museums, cultural centres are totally worth visiting as well. My friend recommended me to go to Somerset House, which is an art and cultural centre with ongoing galleries and festivals. It is the breeding ground, the new experimental workspace for artists, makers, thinkers and hipsters alike.

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Somerset House is one of the best atmospheric outdoor venues in the UK. Its galleries are divided into East Wing, South Wing, New Wing and North Wing; each of them houses various exhibitions. They also have performances like this in the main Fountain Court. Circus Sampler was performing on the day we were there, where you can catch hula hoop acrobats and the Guinness World Record Holder in action!

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My absolutely favourite discovery lies in the South Wing. Print! Tearing it Up is an absolute treasure that I have stumbled upon and my biggest takeaway from Somerset House. It’s a showcase on independent British magazines changing the world, and all the magazines there were amazing. Print! Tearing it up reveals that print is not dead in today’s digital era; and seeks to continue its demand by revealing the power of print to provide a platform for key social and cultural issues.

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Furthermore, the content is good—they have a wide selection of topics like art, design, photography, poetry & prose, cooking books, and more. The exhibition showcases a diverse range of contemporary publications dedicated to urgent issues of the day, arguing the case for considered journalism to politics, fake news to the power of the algorithm. I bought a magazine called Backstage Talks on compiled interviews with 10 designers at the Design Conference last year (the yellow one on the table). This series ended on 22 Aug but don’t worry, there’s always new and interesting things coming, they have cool events like summer film screenings etc! Just keep a lookout for What’s On.

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Somerset House
Strand, London WC2R 1LA, UK
Opening hours:
Everyday 8am – 11pm
For the: Culture seeker

3.  Spoil yourself with luxury and beauty stores in Covent Garden

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From Somerset House, you could take an 8 mins walk to Covent Garden, where the best shops and best buys are at! There is Jubilee Market, which is famous for antiques and collectables; luxury shops like Daniel Wellington, and also the quirky Moomin shop. We went to Covent Garden on a rainy day and was in the mood for some souvenir shopping, and headed towards macaroons shop Ladurée and tea shop Whittard. You absolutely must visit Whittard to try their hot chocolates and their fine selection of teas! They have a lot of their flavours for testing. I tasted the white hot chocolate on a cold rainy day, and the rest was history. I have never tasted white hot chocolate in my life before. So so good! Of course, I bought it hehe.

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Besides shopping, Covent Garden is also renowned for award-winning restaurants and theatres, so you might wanna check it out.

For the: Culture seeker, the shopaholic

3. Unleash your inner foodie at the local markets

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This was my lunch for £8!! It’s rice with seafood (prawns, oysters etc). You absolutely must visit the markets in London. They are great for affordable food & shopping in contrast to places like Covent Garden. Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. The padella pasta is good, and they also have a wide selection of wine and cheese, honey…the list goes on. Borough Market’s food is fresh and amazing, especially seafood. You can even drop by London Bridge while you’re at it cos it’s just next to the market!

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Borough Market
8 Southwark St
London SE1 1TL, UK
Opening hours:
Mon – Thurs 10am – 5pm
Fri 10am – 6pm
Sat 8am – 5pm
Sun Closed
For the: 
Passionate Foodie

Next, Camden Markets! This one is huge. Camden Town is something like the Bugis street of Singapore I would say! There are more stores selling fashion and accessories here, adjoining large retail markets. Borough Market just sells mainly food; however Camden has more Asian food as compared to Borough.

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Camden Market
Camden Lock Pl, Camden Town, London NW1 8AF, UK
Opening hours:
Everyday 10am – 6pm

4. Feel (un)cultured trying to understand Shakespeare

This is crazy. I got tickets to watch Shakespeare’s Hamlet for £5! Yes, tickets can get as low as this…provided you get the yard tickets (standing). But we didn’t mind at all because of the play was so exciting, the actors so talented and engaging, that by the time we had noticed our legs were aching, the play’s already over.

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I watched it at Shakespeare Globe. The architecture here is amazing and (I think) it’s probably one of the only places to watch Shakespeare. Anyways I never felt so uncultured my whole life because I didn’t understand a word of the actors’ dialogue haha. However, it wasn’t boring at all for me, and you have my assurance that it probably won’t be for you as well. The actors are so talented, they would keep you engaged with their body language. I wished I could have watched one of Shakespeare’s plays when he was still alive in the 1600s, that would be interesting.

Plays usually have an intermission in between, and we aren’t allowed to take photos while the actors are on stage. Buy your tickets online in advance, because for this one, the tickets sell out very fast. I repeat, very fast. Like literally I checked in the morning it was available, and by the afternoon came it was all gone. I had never felt so anxious about buying a ticket in my life before.

Shakespeare Globe
21 New Globe Walk
London SE1 9DT, UK
Tickets: http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on
For the: Culture seeker

5. Catch dirt cheap musicals in West End

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Ahh, West End. I’ve heard so much about this before I came here. It’s so integrated into London’s culture, and it has never let anyone down, so if you only have one thing you can do in London, I’d say do this. Everyone I’ve met who have been to London (Jan, Florence, WenXin…) have told me not to miss out on the musicals.

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I was deciding between Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables, and in the end, we went for Les Miserables—the world’s longest-running musical. I have watched the movie before so I was really curious to see how the actual live musical looked like. The experience was…exhilarating. I cried. I don’t think I can ever emphasize how much the both of us freaked out right on the first act, the music and the singing really freaked us right out into tears. My friend beside me burst into tears immediately. I was stunned, sitting frozen in a daze. It was so loud, so impactful, so real…the familiar lyrics I’ve always used to hear over my computer screen just thundered right before my ears. By the time I Dreamed a Dream came on, uncontrollable tears just flowed freely from my eyes as I sat high up in the upper circle, my gaze fixing on the actors below. It was performed differently from the movie—it was raw, unstable, emotional. The plot slowly unfolded right before our very eyes, the acting the music and props & everything…was so nicely done. My favourite song was Do you hear the people sing? it was just so liberating, so enchanting, so otherworldly. From the first song to the last, we sat frozen in a gaze, our hearts secretly impressed.

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We caught it at Queen’s Theatre, and we weren’t allowed to take pictures while the actors are on stage so these images I got from Google hahaha. We got pretty good seats for ourselves for about £29. What a steal! Considering musicals like these would easily cost over a hundred plus in Singapore, I’m very satisfied with the price. I heard that if you queue up outside the box office very early in the morning, you can get tickets as low as £5-10. I don’t know, I never tried. If you plan to get tickets online, book it in advance too because this one is also as crazy as Shakespeare Globe!! The good seats run out very fast.

Due to time constraint, this was the only musical I’ve watched during my time in London. So it works like this: usually, one theatre is dedicated to ONE production. Below are the respective theatres and their productions. They should have one intermission. And oh! Don’t just leave after the musical. You can head outside the backstage door to meet the actors and take pictures!

Queen’s Theatre
51 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho
London W1D 6BA, UK
Production: Les Miserables

Her Majesty’s Theatre
Haymarket, St. James’s
London SW1Y 4QL, UK
Production:
The Phantom of the Opera

Lyceum Theatre
21 Wellington St
London WC2E 7RQ, UK
Production: The Lion King

Prince Edward Theatre
Old Compton St, Soho
London W1D 4HS, UK
Production: Aladdin

Apollo Victoria Theatre
17 Wilton Rd, Pimlico
London SW1V 1LG, UK
Production: Wicked

Cambridge Theatre
Earlham Street
London WC2H 9HU, UK
Production: Matilda the Musical

For the: Culture seeker

 

6. Shop till you drop at Oxford and Regent Street

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Oxford Street is London’s busiest shopping street, with big and luxurious brands of our favourite international brands. Don’t let that scare you, I think the prices are pretty reasonable at Oxford Street! If you’re truly broke, head to Primark. In Oxford Street alone there are already 2 huge Primark stores, where you can find cheap and trendy fashion as low as £6, Harry Potter pyjamas as low as £10 (yas!!), Disney and Friends pyjamas, beauty buys, make-up, handbags, shoes…I bought so much this trip that I had to buy another luggage to fit all my stuff in! Primark is known for its affordability. I got Pusheen socks, earrings, necklaces, bathrobes…just remember, Primark. When there is Primark there is no self-control. 😂

If you have a bigger budget or is just feeling splurgy, check out Selfridges, which is also at Oxford St. It is a large departmental store, with fashion, stationery, kids stuff and more. I found Victoria Beckham’s fashion collection there! Lots of VIPs visit the store, and despite the chauffeur driven cars waiting outside, people in Selfridges are not snobby at all. Lots of people compare Harrods to Selfridges, Harrods being another departmental store selling luxury gifts, fashion accessories and designer clothing. I picked up a Prada bag in Harrods for £5,000—not available anywhere else in the world but can only be found in Harrods. The price shocked the hell out of me (obviously) but I still stayed and chatted a while with the saleslady. The people were not snobbish at all. Harrods is not near Oxford St, but it would be worth checking it out after visiting Selfridges.

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After Oxford Street, you can also head down to Regent St, which is in Soho. This is where you can shop at another departmental store Liberty, famous toy shop Hamleys, or explore Carnaby Street which has lots of cool fashion shops with a funky and edgy street style. Or, you can even do a pub crawl which I never got to do because of time constraint haha.

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And Chinatown Gate is just around the corner too. Here in Chinatown, you can find Hong Kong pastries and Chinese food, give it a try!

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For the: Shopaholic

7. Sit under a tree and chill with a book at the amazing parks

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When we moved to London, our accommodation was near Kensington Gardens so we decided to take a look. It was so breezy that day, a blessing considering that the past few weekends had been really hot. I could easily have my ideal morning there: feeding the ducks, reading a book under the shade of a tree and watching the world go by. Imagine living near a park in London! You could just go there whenever you are stressed and walk around, take in the fresh air or feed the ducks, which I must say, is a very therapeutic activity.

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Holding hands and dating must be so nice amidst this lush greenery and amazing weather too!

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From Kensington Gardens, all you have to do is cross a bridge from the correct side of the gardens and you’ll reach Hyde Park! Hyde Park was huge. There were a lot of people walking their dogs, and doing some rowing near the lake.

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For the: Nature Lover

8. Tell people your Hogwarts acceptance letter came…finally.

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The UK is THE paradise for every Harry Potter fan. This is the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour, which is a freaking long tour (about 4 hours) but was super worth it. You can go on board the Hogwarts Express, see the train cabins where they filmed Harry Potter, and also try out wand choreography (which I felt like an idiot doing it but they teach you how to wave a wand properly!!)

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Besides visiting the sets, you’ll be let into the costumes collection, prop collection and most of the stuff used for the filming of Harry Potter. We got to see concept art and initial sketches of the movie, as well as paper models of Hogwarts and other sets, and the design and thought process that goes behind the production of the 8 films. It just awes me, that people put so much effort and dedication into perfecting every detail, into making the costumes, building the sets…

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Oh! they also served us butterbeer, which is non-alcoholic by the way. Its actually made out of cream soda and butterscotch foam, and tasted really pleasant and sweet. Overall, this place just brings the magic of Harry Potter to life.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR, UK
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 9.30am – 10pm
Sat-Sun 8.30am – 10pm
Tickets: £41.00
https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/tickets

For the: TV and movie buffs

9. Connect with London’s famous detective, Sherlock

From the moment I watched BBC Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch, I was Sherlocked. Captured in every way possible: by the witty storylines, the friendship between Sherlock and John Watson, the detective novels. I’m absolute trash for this fandom you probably have no idea. So I made it a mission to go to the most famous address, 221B Baker Street, to pay my detective a visit.

The museum was awesome. Inside we walk through the apartment of Sherlock Holmes, Watson’s study, and I was impressed that everything, even the furniture, looked exactly the same as the TV series! To see it in real life triggered scenes of the show in my head. “Oh, this was where he took drugs…this was where he and John sat to solve crimes.”

If you’re aren’t a BBC fan like me, that’s okay too. Lots of people have just heard a lot about Sherlock, and are curious about him. You’ll definitely learn more about this famous character here. Alternatively, you can visit the Victorian gift shop in the museum for free, which is just below Sherlock’s apartment, and they have lots of antiques, souvenirs & collectables, and BBC Sherlock merchandise for a trash like me.

Fun fact: I spent more at the Sherlock Holmes museum than in Primark, even after taking several items out of my shopping cart.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum
221b Baker St, Marylebone
London NW1 6XE, UK
Opening hours:
Open everyday 9.30am – 6pm
Tickets: £15.00
Purchase at the museum shop

Caution Tip: Please go way earlier than the time it opens to avoid long queues. The queue is crazy.

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We also made it a point to visit the actual film locations of BBC Sherlock. The actual apartment where BBC Sherlock was filmed at was at North Gower St, a quieter street not far from the actual 221b Baker St. We took a bus down after visiting the museum and…I almost broke down at the sight of this door, memories came flooding into my head, memories which were not mine. I was rather emotionally involved with the series hahaha. And tada! Beside the door is the famous Speedy’s Cafe.

We just casually had lunch here until we realised this cafe is bursting with business—most of their customers are Sherlock fans. There was a bunch of girls sitting beside us, one of whom was wearing a “I am Sherlocked” necklace hahaha. The food was okay, not particularly great, but because Sherlock used to always have chips here, I asked the waiter, “Does my burger come with chips?” In the end, we ordered so much and ate till we were so full. 😂

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Speedy’s Sandwich Bar
187 N Gower St, Kings Cross
London NW1 2NJ, UK
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 6.30am – 3.30pm
Sat 7.30am – 1.30pm
Closed on Sundays

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As if that wasn’t enough, we went to St Barts Hospital, the place where Sherlock committed suicide. There were SO MANY fan scribbles on the wall, it reminded me of how this series used to take London by storm when it first came out. I never dreamed of coming here, of seeing it in real life. If you’re a Sherlock fan, you shouldn’t miss this. Bring a pen with you if you wish to share some love! One of my regrets at that time: I didn’t have a pen with me.

St Barts Hospital
W Smithfield
London EC1A 7BE, UK

For the: TV and movie buffs

10. Explore the state rooms of Buckingham Palace

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I went to Buckingham Palace on three separate occasions. Mainly because it’s always this crowded, and THIS hot in the summer, and I refuse to give up until I get a clear view and good photos haha. I do recommend going at least 45 minutes earlier to camp at a good spot, where you can see the changing of the guards. It usually starts at 11am.

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I also had the absolute privilege of entering the palace to visit the state rooms. It is indeed a rare opportunity which we can do this, as the palace is only open for a limited period only. Plus, again, tickets are in demand, so it is advised to book in advance. I paid £22 (student price) for a one year pass; the palace is open to the public on 21st July and will last till 30th September. It’s ending soon, so if you’re in London during this period, go on and be a royal for a day. Sadly, no pictures are allowed inside, and we had to go through a tight security check. I took as many mental images as I walked through the drawing room, throne room, ballroom, grand staircase…because how often do you get to see the inside of the palace? I even saw the throne chairs used for the Queen’s coronation and I was enthralled!

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If you have time, do explore the palace gardens and surroundings as well! I saw some swans and it is indeed a tranquil place to take a walk.

Buckingham Palace
Westminster, London SW1A 1AA, UK
Opening hours:
Open everyday from 9.30am – 6pm
Last admission 4.15pm
Tickets: £24.00 for a one-year pass
https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/the-state-rooms-buckingham-palace

For the: Culture seeker

11. Visit the squares in London

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I know, sounds funny right? Squares in London, what’s that? Well, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square are my favourite squares in London. I was in Leicester Square during the pride weekend, and it was so happening, so crowded and usually there are performances in the square. Leicester Square is an entertainment hotspot, with more cinemas, theatres and restaurants ever. Just nearby you can visit TWG Tea if you’re feeling a bit homesick, or check out the huge multi-storey M&M’s world, an outlet like no other, where you can customise messages and names on your M&Ms.

See Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square, and if you find that dull like me, just opposite the column is the National Gallery, where you can see paintings of famous artists like Van Gogh and Monet.

For the: Culture seeker, the shopaholic

12. Scare your pants off at the London Dungeon

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I never knew the dark side of London. Here I got up close with London’s frightening past—of convicts, the great fire, and the plague. The London Dungeon is near London’s Southbank, along with the other tourist attractions like the London Eye, Big Ben and River Thames; but you’ll scream in fright here like no other. I was brought from room to room in darkness, with occasional jump scares while learning about London’s dark history at the same time. I was treated like a convict, charged guilty, and there are two rides inside—where they say you will ride to your peril.

Ok, in all honesty, I was seriously so scared but it’s manageable as well. I mean, there were kids there, so it can’t be that bad. My favourite feature was probably coming (almost) face to face with Jack the Ripper. The actors and workers inside were also really into character, they spook me and make me laugh at the same time!

The London Dungeon
Riverside Building, County Hall
Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth
London SE1 7PB, UK
Opening hours:
Open everyday 10am – 5pm; with the exception of
Sat 10am – 6pm
Thurs 11am – 5pm
Tickets: £21.00 (online price)
https://www.thedungeons.com/london/en/tickets/

13. Don’t be a typical tourist—Climb the Tower Bridge!

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We all know the Tower Bridge, but I got to learn a bit more about it when I climbed up there and discovered its hidden history, learning how it was built and constructed. I never knew the tower bridge could be lifted up, splitting into two parts in order to let big ships pass! You can check the bridge lift times here.

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Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge Rd
London SE1 2UP, UK
Tickets: £9.80 (cheaper if you buy online)
https://towerbridge.recreatex.be/Products/Overview

14. Get a bird’s eye view of the city at St Paul’s Cathedral

This is not for the faint-hearted! You can get the best view of the city by climbing St Paul’s Cathedral, with its world-famous dome. Speaking of which, there’s probably a lot of spots to get good views of the city from above, like SkyGarden or The Shard, but I’m very satisfied with the view I got from St Paul’s because I worked for it!

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There were no elevators at that time the church was built, so the only way up is to go through a very narrow staircase, and it takes about 528 steps to get to the top — a height of nearly 365 feet. When you reach 257 steps and arrive at the top of the dome, there is also a Whispering Gallery where you can stand at one end of the dome and whisper to your partner at the other far end and he/she would be able to hear you!

After that, you can continue climbing to the Stone Gallery, which can already get you a decent bird’s eye view of the city; or go even higher to the Golden Gallery, where you hit 528 steps in total. I climbed all the way. Initially thought since I was young and it would be easy, but my legs were wobbling at the end and you have to be very careful not to slip and fall. There were so many people resting or giving up halfway—making up to the top was no mean feat!

If you don’t wish to climb, just visiting the church alone for a time of reflection and prayer would be awesome. I cried there again after saying a prayer because I was too overwhelmed by the grandeur and angelic song by the choir. I know, what a crybaby haha. The bottom of the cathedral is the Crypt, where they house tombs of the famous dead. You can explore that as well, it was such a holy and mesmerising experience.

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St Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Churchyard
London EC4M 8AD, UK
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 8.30am – 4pm
Tickets: £18.00
https://www.stpauls.co.uk/tickets


 

So there you go! It is definitely a challenge to keep this list short because I have so many things to share and London never really gets boring! I sneakily added Number 3 twice, did you notice? 😉 I don’t think we would ever finish exploring London, the city is just buzzing with festivals, events and activities all the time; since it was my first time there, every corner I turn was a surprise. My advice would be just to explore each and every corner of London because this city is a place where we don’t have to stick to an itinerary in order to have fun. Just be flexible in your travel plans, and if you see something interesting, don’t forget to snap it and share it with me!

Lots of Love,
Grace

Museums in London that you absolutely must visit

Hi everyone! Throughout my stay in London I’ve had the luxury of time and the pleasure of visiting many museums, and here are some of my top 7 picks! This city is a place so rich in culture and content, not to mention they’re particularly good at documenting it, so no matter what your interest is—cinema, retro culture, art and design, science or natural history—you’ll definitely find something that interests you. If you’re not a museum lover, these museums might just surprise you too!

  1. Natural History Museum
    
    Size: 4/5
    Famous for: Life and Earth Science, and natural specimens
    Admission: Free

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    So hyped over learning more about history AND enjoying great architecture at the same time! Some of my nicest photos were captured here at this museum. I’ve heard a lot about its Romanesque architecture even before I came to London; and you’ll need a full day for this one, given its humongous size. The highlights, I’d say, would probably be the dinosaurs and the mammals’ collection. I quote, ‘The collection includes 157 taxa, 115 consists of original material and 69 are type specimens.’ I even got to see the first fossil ever found from my favourite dino species, the T-rex.

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    Surprisingly, the first gallery my friends and I flocked to wasn’t the dinosaurs. It was human biology. Yes. They make science so easy and interesting to understand, and there were kids all around on their field trips. I wonder if I had grown up studying in London, would I be smarter. hahaha. There was also an exhibit on volcanoes, outer space and the Earth, which was really interesting considering it was like a geography crash course on Earthquakes and Earth minerals.

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    If you’re more interested in living things, go to the Large Mammals Hall first, and you’ll be captivated by the sight of a large blue whale model suspended from the ceiling. There’s a certain kind of wonder when I saw it. This section features extinct mammoths and other mammals like giraffes, hippos and horses. Alternatively, if you happen to be interested in plants, insects, or minerals, don’t worry, the museum has everything for everyone.

  2. Design Museum
    
    Size: 2/5
    Famous for: Product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design
    Admission: Free with the exception of some exhibitions

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    Unlike other big museums I’ve visited, this one doesn’t give me stress or tire my legs at all. It’s just the right size, with easy to understand information and descriptions. The exhibits mainly are separated into 3 sections: Designer, Maker, and User. I was from Design school so I totally understand the importance of user-friendly designs, and this museum pretty much emphasises on that. Just this year, Design museum was named “European Museum of the Year.”

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    There was this section devoted to the graphic design of London’s transport system (the tube) and road signs. I thought that was pretty interesting because you’ll notice a font consistency when you walk around the streets of London. There’s this “London font”, the same font they use for all their signs and stuff. Omg, totally catering to my inner OCD. It also shows the design process of some new trains—how certain features of the old trains (ie. height of the train) must be kept, and how certain features can be improved. A broad range of design disciplines is covered, from architecture and engineering, to the digital world, fashion and graphics. You’ll probably only need an hour or so to view this free permanent collection, so you decide whether it’s worth going down.

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  3. Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising
    
    Size: 1/5
    Famous for: Retro culture, packaging and branding history
    Admission: £9.00

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    This is one of the most underrated museums! I went there on a University field trip and had a workshop on branding done there. If not for that, I’ll probably never know about it. Located in Lancaster Rd, it’s not as accessible to get to as compared to the other museums, which are near tube stations. This museum is the best for hipsters in my opinion. I LOVE IT. In fact, I loved it so much I purchased a 1950s scrapbook from the museum shop—I never purchase anything from museum shops unnecessarily.

    This museum focuses a lot on consumer culture, and it documents the packaging design of many lifestyle products, showing visitors how a brand evolves with time…I saw familiar brands like Ovaltine, Dettol, Nestle’s Carnation Condensed Milk, basically everyday items we use!! It’s so interesting to see an unfamiliar packaging on a familiar brand. The evolution of packaging design reflects the changing demands of consumers at different time periods; it tells us something about what they look for in a product, and how visuals are constantly shaped to cater to appeal to our attention.

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    The retro culture in the museum is so strong, it gives me so much historical nostalgia. Album covers, vintage TVs and radios, typewriters, old newspapers…all these gave me insight into the society in Britain during the 1920s, 40s, 50s and so on. The famous scandal involving Princess Diana, Queen depicted on vinyl records, papers on the royal wedding…the list goes on.

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  4. Victoria and Albert Museum
    
    Size: 5/5 
    Famous for: Decorative arts and design, materials and textiles
    Admission: Free

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    If you’re in South Kensington and visiting Natural History Museum, there’s no harm coming into V&A to take a look. It markets itself as an art and design museum, but there is so much more than that. They have art and design pieces dating back to 5000 years ago, which brings us to lots of stuff like the 1960s fashion, photography, embroidery, furniture…etc. There was even a section decided to metals, and glass, and other materials as well. There was this particular section filled with gates, doors and benches made from the material.

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    And then I finally went to the top floor, where I saw more graphics, communication design and product design stuff! There were really cool furniture design as well as design for social media, design for the digital age and more. This museum also has a pretty good cafe beside a large open area where you could sit on the grass and chill. The weather was nice that day, so we ordered a salad and did exactly that.

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  5. British Museum
    
    Size: 5/5
    Famous for: Collections from all around the world- Eygptian mummies, Renaissance and medieval objects  
    Admission: Free

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    The British Museum is the first museum I’ve been to out of this list—and I also visited it on my very first day in London, so it was very fresh! To be honest, I came without expecting anything and I didn’t even know what was inside. It was SO HUGE, I arrived at 1pm and stayed till it’s closing time @ 5.30pm, and yet it was not enough to cover everything. The museum houses over 8 million objects, has 8 different levels (from Level -2 to Level 5); and it is so exhausting to walk through it. Just make sure you get a map, some water and wear comfortable shoes!!

    Perhaps my favourite gallery in the museum in the Enlightenment gallery. In the past, people studied all sorts of things to understand how the world works, and the knowledge gained during this era has greatly changed the way we viewed the world and shaped culture. In this gallery, they classified the various topics of study into various sections, and it was so interesting to see a comprehensive collection and renderings of nature, stones, etc…people in the past are just so so patient and smart, I could never imagine putting that much effort and detail into a field of study!

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    Two types of posers in a museum:

    A post shared by 🌹Grace 🌹 (@graysfoo) on

    This is the Department of Greece and Rome. Also one of my favourite!! I was like feeling some high classical Greek vibes here, plus the sculptures are so amazing! These sculptures date back to 4000 years ago, from 3200BC all the way to the 4th century AD. It’s almost like a time travel, I promise you, and if you’re feeling playful you can even wear a nude coloured top (like me) and recreate the poses of the Greek Gods hahah.

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    Many of the must-see artefacts of the gallery belong in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, so if you’re tight on time, please don’t skip this section. It’s located in Room 4, Level 0. They have over 100,000 pieces of Egyptian Art, and most of the sculptures were really huge, like towering over me. And if you’re interested in more ancient Egypt, you can visit Rooms 60-66 on Level 3, where they talk more about the Egyptian death and afterlife, a huge part of their culture! This is where the mummies are housed, it talks about the procedure the bodies have to go through after death and more.

    British Museum is so much more than that—they have the department of Asia, Africa, America, Oceania, the Middle East and Europe—it’s pretty much a museum of the world, for the world.

  6. National Gallery
    
    Size: 4/5
    Famous for: Portraits and paintings from mid 13th century-1900, fine art
    Admission: Free

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    Located just next to Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery is worth dropping by when you are in the area. It was a hot day, and I was in London for a day trip, so my friends and I decided to escape into the museum. As we have limited time, I went there with a purpose: to see the works of famous artists like Monet and Van Gogh. You can catch their works in the 18th to early 20th-century collection. Many famous works such as van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers are all housed in this museum. If you have the time, I strongly recommended joining a tour where they would explain the story behind the paintings. Most of the paintings there has a narrative behind it, a narrative that tells us something about life, death, passion and beauty.

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    There are stunning paintings depicting seduction and forbidden love; and also paintings of the English countryside and nature. This one below is one of my favourites, ‘The Boulevard de Clichy under Snow’ by Norbert Goeneutte. It depicts a snowy winter in Paris, capturing the buildings and the people, and the elegance of the city. I particularly love traditionally-painted townscapes, they all look so dreamy.

    The Boulevard de Clichy under Snow 1876 by Norbert Goeneutte 1854-1894

  7. Tate Modern
    
    Size: 3/5
    Famous for: International modern and contemporary art
    Admission: Free with the exception of some exhibits

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    For us, Tate Modern was a regrettably quick experience and was kind of rushed, but I still decided to put Tate into this list because I saw pretty inspiring photography, installations and fine art. The gallery holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day and international modern and contemporary art. Most of the stuff there is pretty abstract. There were media networks exploring the impacts of mass media and digital technology on contemporary art as well. I really prefer contemporary art to classical art nowadays, I prefer cubism to realism; maybe because realistic, historical paintings don’t intrigue me anymore. With contemporary art, boundaries are endless. The impossible might become the next possible.

     

    So there it is! My list. Next post will be on my favourite spots in London in general. Lots of love!

Kyoto Wonder

A stark contrast to the busy city life of Osaka & Tokyo, Kyoto exhibits an elegant, rustic charm that feels totally magical. The streets are almost empty in the night and early morning; giving me this strange peace that can’t be found anywhere else, certainly not in Singapore.

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We visited Arashiyama Bamboo Forest at 7am in the morning, which was just 10mins walk away from our lodging in a traditional Japanese house. The bamboo forest is one of Kyoto’s top sights to capture, and along the way, we met a lot of photography enthusiasts with tripods and DSLRs, capturing beautiful landscapes and portraits of people.

Amid the towering bamboos is like being in another world totally enclosed to outsiders, an enchanting realm. It’s timeless beauty amazes me.

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I’m very scared now, I’m scared to enter my next phase of life, because I don’t want to look back in sadness at this place of sunshine.

Langkawi Visual Diary

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So there you have it. Amazing photos that my friends and I have (thankfully) put together during this short trip to Langkawi. Parasailing, high elements, cable car, ATV- you name it, we’ve done it. Ten of us packed our bags, and went on an adventurous grad trip and came back with empty pockets but full hearts!

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Stayed at Adya Hotel, which has its great view, own spa, gym and women’s pool which is especially convenient for my Muslim friends! Not to mention the good service we have been getting and also the complimentary buffet breakfast that awaits us every morning. This hotel provides to and fro transport from the airport and also some tour packages that we could get at the lobby. We got rooms next to the mountain view, when you look closely you can see its’ picturesque scenery in the distance.

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Photo credit: Jengwen

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SkyTrex Langkawi is definitely a to go place to try out high elements if you happen to visit Langkawi and is looking for some action and fun. Put yourselves to the limit with Beginners (Little Legend), Intermediate (Eagle Thrill) and Advanced (Island Extreme) because these are 3 different trails catered to your interests, needs and abilities! We all chose the Island Extreme. They have a mini training programme and trial run before the real thing so not to worry!

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Photo credits: Josilyn / Dahlia for the above pictures.

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2.5 hours, 33 obstacles, 15 flying foxes, 700m trail—CONQUERED! I would say it is really worth RM75 for all these challenges they have put me through: WORSE than Outward Bound camp, WORSE than SAFRA Yishun or those you see in Singapore. Adventure lovers, this is definitely the deal! Not to mention the good service, and seriously motivating instructors who’s always cheering us on. They even took the effort to remember almost all of our names.

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Next up: Oriental village and Langkawi SkyCab (Cable Car) is definitely a to go place because they are especially near to the Langkawi Sky Bridge, the most iconic attraction of all. Note: You have to pay separately to enter the bridge and walk on it, so do bring extra cash. Oriental Village is a good place to do souvenir shopping, bought my shades there for RM15 only!

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Photo credit: Xinyi

Night market at Kuah Town was no doubt, a breeze. Local Malaysian delights like Mee Rebus, Tom Yum Yong Tau Foo, Chicken noodles can be found there at really affordable prices. All of us even bought several packets of food back to the hotel as supper to feast on.

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Kilim Karst Geoforest Park—we took a boat from Tanjung Rhu in the morning and began our Mangrove tour which involves eagle watching, the Bat Cave, Crocodile Cave and fish village tour. Langkawi is famous for it’s eagles so it was almost like watching Nat Geo up close when we saw eagles swooping above our heads. Our boat passed through valleys, meanders even before it went out to the great sea, and we even drove so close to Thailand that I received an Welcome SMS. Talk about crossing the line!

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Photo credit: Hazirah

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Photo credit: Joy

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Photo credit: Joy

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Photo credit: Xinyi

What I loved most about the beach is its soft sand, super clean waters and minimal crowd.

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Photo credit (above 2): Joy

Parasailing at Pantai Cenang Beach was definitely one of the most liberating (and scariest!) experiences of the trip. There are two types of parasailing, on beach and on boat. Highly recommend the one on boat because it’s easier to take off and land on the boat itself. We paid RM165.00 for both banana boat and parasailing so it’s quite value for money. Spent about 10-15 minutes up there, where the daredevil me brings phone up again.

Mega Water Sports Sdn Bhd
Pantai Cenang, Jalan Pantai Cenang,
07000 Mukim Kedawang, Kedah, Malaysia
+60 12-200 2155
Parasailing: RM110.00 (on boat) RM90.00 (on beach)
Banana Boat: RM70.00 (2 pax) RM100.00 (4pax)

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Next, we also took up a crazy 6-in-1 adventure package at Langkawi Adventure & X-Treme Park, which involves Paintball > ATV > Horse Riding > Flying Fox > 5D cinema motion > GoKart. I have tried most of the above activities before (horse riding in Perth and ATV in Thailand) so the only thing new to me was Paintball Target shooting. Really fun!

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Photo credit: Hazirah

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Feeling like a million bucks spending a relaxing, lazy afternoon: with an empty pool all to ourselves. Adya Hotel also provides Halal steamboat dinner which we had for RM35 only (about $10+SGD). This includes fried rice, eggs, all sorts of meat (chicken, beef, seafood like prawns, crab), vegetables, mushrooms and a whole lot of handful food that tasted really heavenly.

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Overall, I was really satisfied with this trip already. Langkawi is an adventure paradise that you can get to try activities which might not be available in Singapore, or if they are, at really high prices. Lots of my friends said this is the most adventurous trips they have been to but I don’t feel that way (having felt that many parts of the trip were quite similar to HongKong’s Tai O Boat Ride and Neong Ping’s Cable Car ride), but this doesn’t make it any less interesting! To more adventures with this bunch next time.

#gRACEtoLANGKAWI
#LSBLKW
Much Love,
Grace

Thailand Trip: Bangkok & KhaoYai (Part 3)

Finally at the last part of this series!
You can read part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE.

Day 4—CHRISTMAS DAY

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Awoke in Botanica Hotel then went to have breakfast. I loved this hotel out of the 5 hotels I’ve lived in so far. This is the 5th for this month. 4 cities and 2 countries for the month of December sounds really fulfilling and surreal for a person like me. I’m really unbelievably happy for this experience, that it broke my record of staying in so many places. Mornings in Khao Yai are usually very cold, like 18 degrees.

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Today is the day we checked out and is going to return to BKK! As said previously, it is also the day where I ditched my meds completely. Couldn’t take it anymore. Milk and diary products are my life. Weeeeee~I can eat them now. The main reason was because of the fact that I puked yesterday and I decided the western medicine wasn’t helping me anymore. I usually go for chinese medicine but my doctor wasn’t open back then and the only clinic I could stop by in Singapore was the Western one.

OUTLET STORE SHOPPING

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We went to a lot of this series of outlet stores in the morning and did MAJOR SHOPPING…I enjoyed this part so much because its retail therapy! There are a lot of brands there, including converse, Nike, Adidas, Levi’s…mostly action/ sportswear. The place is called premium outlet Khao Yai and they sell authentic and branded goods. It’s open daily 10am-8pm, and we can save up to 80% off there!! Can you believe it, they’re even open on Christmas Day.

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I brought my very first Beverly Hills polo shirt. Very classic HAHA. Bought an extra one for LK because I think he likes white shirts like that. I think it stands out against his dark skin colour lololol pls don’t tell him this (I don’t think he will read) It’s my first time buying clothes for him. Didn’t manage to do it in HK. I just hope I got his size correct. Fingers crossed! We also went to buy stuff for Russell, and dad bought stuff for his colleagues….mum & I also went bra shopping. The bras and lingerie were all so cute! Not going to say how much I spent on undergarments there because if not y’all gonna judge me. After the 2 hours shopping sesh everyone got ice cream but I couldn’t satisfy my cravings yet again because of my stomach. Arghh. I swear I was damn tempted every second of the trip because BKK=good food!

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Our bus dropped by this place called “The Art On Dream Land” after the outlet store shopping! I stayed in the bus with my eldest Aunt cos it was too hot and I was too lazy to go down. I was really annoyed when I don’t get long bus rides and I hate bus rides being interrupted every now and then asking us to go down. I don’t like to move my ass 😦

LUNCH

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After that we went for lunch! Our tour guide read out the menu on the bus and fml it was ALL spicy or black pepper or fried food or tumyum. Then he added, “That place is also famous for its milk and yogurt, so you can get some after you eat.” FML x100000 because it stabs me in my heart so bad!! Just ouch when you can’t eat chilled stuff, just ouch. Do you understand why I’m so upset throughout the trip, when you can see and smell good food but not eat them HAIH

Anyway, our lunch place turned out to be very atas as usual & well lit, well decorated with florals and there’s even a treehouse outside! Lunch was not bad though I couldn’t eat most of the stuff but I made do with whatever I could eat. After lunch dad bought 2 cups of ice cream and I chose my flavours—they had really special flavours like gooseberry, lavender, marshmallow etc! We even got to keep the Christmas themed porcelain cups afterwards.

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MORE ABOUT THAILAND

After lunch we had our bus ride back to BKK. My tour guide began talking more about Thailand. He says the average salary is not a lot in Thailand and his mum is actually 60 years old; yet only earns 500 baht a month. I felt so guilty. I spent 1000+ baht in a single day here over a bottle of perfume. Also, the reason why Thai street food stalls are still around is because many of the people use this line of business as their side income.

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(macdonalds in Thailand…)

Our tour guide went on to say how he heard that in Singapore, the salary is high and that’s also because we pay higher taxes. The SG government then use these taxes to build good roads, better facilities and to ensure our welfare. The standard of living is really high in Singapore and he said, “In Thailand, our traffic is the 2nd worst in the world! The worst is Mexico and 3rd worst is Turkey.” I was surprised because I honestly found Thailand not that bad! I think they are already doing really good as a developing nation. Compared to Myanmar, Cambodia or even Laos, Thailand is much more developed and vibrant.

DINNER

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Our bus stopped at this restaurant near central Bangkok to have an early dinner. We met up with Uncle Sam again! Dinner was ok with some veg, meat etc. Just the usuals. Nothing too fancy even though I expected Christmas to be more vibrant and “kwazhang” than Christmas Eve itself but we spent most of the day travelling back. Christmas Eve was it then. The best and most exciting day!

LAST NIGHT HERE

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We checked in to Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel. They led us into this private room for check in and were provided hot towels and drinks…this hotel was scarily grand and super luxurious. I felt like I was on board a cruise! Their game is seriously high. And then when we went up to our rooms, there were drinks and freebies and lots of freebies like coffee packets, tea sachets etc. Apart from the usual body wash, shampoo and conditioner, they also gave free sewing kit, razor kits etc. Not to mention a big TV…I’m super impressed.

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Their whole hotel was filled with illustrations like this on walls, ceilings etc and the colour scheme is really pretty!

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Also, their Christmas decorations were also 100 marks. They led us towards the back garden area where we’ll be having breakfast tomorrow morning. The whole place was filled with fairy lights and more decorations as well as a pond.

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Thanks to my family and relatives, everything about this trip is just very magical: the accommodation, dining, scenery…!!I want to cry I feel like a million bucks we all lived like Kings & Queens for the past few days!!

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I finally had a bathtub bath for what seems like 78237492 years. Bathing is such a luxury. It was so shiok!! Then after I bathed dad came knocking and said he wanted to go out. And off we went, just mum, dad & I.

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We went to see the BKK night life and since we’re staying near town, we passed by the 4 faced Buddha. It was so surreal seeing it in real life after reading about it in the news a year ago. It was so crowded and many people were also praying to the 4 faced Buddha. What an irony praying to Buddha on Christmas day….our tour guide even said previously that if we want to pray to the 4 faced Buddha, we can. He didn’t know most of us on the bus are Christians and…even suggested to us where we can get our flowers and garments for worshipping! Just found it amusing ahaha no offence. I was waiting for my aunts or uncles to correct him but I guess nobody did.

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Went to a small night market near central world and brought pineapples yo!! As for Central world, it is lit up with Christmas trees and it’s like the Orchard Road of Bangkok. Flooded with so many people taking photos, and a congested traffic. We walked for some distance before sweating like crazy because the weather in BKK is 34 degrees.

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I had no choice but to charge my phone in the lobby upon returning back to the hotel because I don’t have a travel adaptor…they are so nice to charge for me….with no extra fee 😀 Here is a photo of me at the hotel lobby with a picture of the Thai King behind me haahah….Goodnight!

DAY 5: BOXING DAY

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Up for some morning shopping after breakfast! We took the BTS from Chit Lom, 3 stations down for some shopping at Terminal 21. There MRT there is called BTS (no it’s not the kpop group lol) Uncle Edwin joked saying its Bullshit Train System. Very funny haha.

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Something happened in t21 that really tested my patience. So my mum took a long trip to the supermarket and before going she asked me if I wanted to tag along with her. I said no, because I know her obsession with fruits and vegetables and knew that if I agreed I’ll be voluntarily signing up for a bored fest of endless standing around and waiting for her to complete buying her stuff. Just that this time, I didn’t expect her to take THAT long. It was crazy. That is precisely why I didn’t wanna go when she asked me to tag along and now it’s worse because I have to wait doing nothing. She took everything with her: my pencil case, my book…so I can’t do anything while waiting. I hate wasting time and yet I can’t even listen to music, my most basic form of entertainment. I stupidly left my earpieces in the hotel…

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i know I am 80% to blame for this boring sesh but I was angry at myself cos it seems everytime I go overseas I would always lose something. In HK, it was my bus tickets. In Myanmar, it was my keds shoes and travel adaptor. And now, it’s my earpiece. My phone also died by then, so the ride to the airport and on the plane I was electronic-less. Didn’t want to ask my tour guide for another power charge because it’s the last day anyway and I felt very paiseh already. I checked Anantara hotel one last time when I’m checking out, and also asked the reception for my earpiece, but they said they hadn’t found any. 😦

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Call us cheapskate but my mum took all these from hotel…HAHHAA. We changed 3 hotels so it was really fun collecting all these. Please don’t judge hahaha yes I admit we are aunties. Anyway I’m really happy with my loots! Bought a halter neck from Brandy Melville and also a travel pillow. And LK, as if sensing I need one, gave me another travel pillow when I met him for dinner after touching down to Singapore.

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As we were travelling to the airport, we passed by the biggest stadium in Thailand. Our tour guide told us that it can house 50,000 people and that Lady gaga held her concert here. He also said that football is the most popular sport in Thailand and gave us random facts like how Thai people like fair skin and would do anything to get that standard of beauty. There’s this kind of medicine that teenagers like to take to change their skin colour into a lighter shade and make themselves look fairer.

“In Thailand there are only 3 seasons: hot, hotter, and hottest.” HAHHAHA. He also introduced us to Chiang Rai. He said maybe if we go up to Chiang Rai it would be colder up there and we can see frost on the glass. There’s no snow in Thailand, and he shared how he has never seen snow before and would like to see it in real life one day, maybe in Japan or China.

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He also recommended us places like Chiang Mai, which is famous for their pandas. And we have Phuket, which are famous for their beaches and is recently so popular amongst Singaporeans. Did you know? Phuket is about the size of Singapore. My tour guide says Thailand’s main income is actually from tourists, with the no. 1 tourists being people from China, followed by Russia, then people in Europe. They want to see the real lifestyle of the locals in Thailand.

There are a lot of Russians in Pattaya during this time of the month (December) because they would love to escape from the cold weather back in their country. Pattaya is also like the “red light district” of Thailand and the prostitutes are mainly from North Thailand (just for ur info readers). Now Thailand has a new King. Our tour guide says that he hopes the King can resolve the drug issue in Thailand asap because these drugs are mainly imported from Myanmar (Burma). I knew it. When I went to Burma I saw so many people taking drugs. There are no casinos in Thailand, but the people love to gamble and you can spot street gambling everywhere. Again, our tour guide presents his opinion, thinking casinos are the best because it can attract tourists, bring in revenue for the country and also provide Thai people with a safe place to gamble. However, it is not so easy as the upper class don’t really like to gamble in the same place as the middle and lower class.

Halfway through my tour guide started saying, “When you travel in a big family like this, it reminds me of when I was young…” he drifted off. He says that he’s very happy to see our whole family gathered together for the trip and he can really sense the warmth in our family. Of course I enjoy family company more than friends but sometimes both have their pros and cons. For example, going out with friends grants me more freedom. Anyway, when my tour guide talks about family he begun to have tears in his eyes. He said that he used to have such a big and warm family when he was little.

“I think of my grandmum but now she’s not here anymore.” As years passed, people passed away and people left. Things happen and he doesn’t have such a big family anymore. He also said the songs sung by my dad actually reminded him of his own dad that passed away 2 years ago. The type and genre of songs they sung were similar. He wished us good health and hopes for us to have this warm and lovely family forever. At this point he was at the brink of tears and he apologised but we all told him its okay to cry and that we understand. Uncle handed him a small token of appreciation for being our tour guide. He’s really a nice and informative tour guide and I hope everything goes well for him wherever he goes :’)

CONCLUSION

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I can definitely say that the experience is very precious and I’ve enjoyed a lot from this trip. It could’ve been better if it weren’t for my stomach flu and my parents’ constant squabbling through the trip. The happiest parts of my trip was none other than Asiatique and shopping at MBK, Siam Paragon and on the first day, both when I split up with my family. Tbh I expected myself to enjoy the Thailand trip more than the Myanmar trip because it’ll be more luxurious (turns out it really is) but I’m surprised that I enjoyed the Myanmar trip more. Both are good, with good quality time spent with loved ones, friends and church members but I definitely had more happy moments in Myanmar than in Thailand. I don’t know, maybe it could be the people I’m travelling with, or maybe because I didn’t get enough bonding time with my cousins and felt really dissatisfied. Or maybe it’s because there are more tear-jerking moments of joy in Myanmar. I live for moments like these. I guess I couldn’t really compare the two fairly because I’m there for very different reasons. One is for the sole purpose of serving and helping underprivileged people while the other is purely to let loose and unwind.

Thailand Trip: Bangkok & KhaoYai (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1, you can read it HERE.

Day 2

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Today is the day Amm left for Vietnam, and the day we left BKK for Khao Yai. We woke up pretty early for a hearty breakfast at Centara Grand before heading off.

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Began our 2.5 hours bus ride towards our destination. I’m okay with long bus rides. Remember how I took a 6 hour bus ride in Myanmar and enjoyed every minute of it. Love those rides that never seem to end. I feel like it gives me time to think and to listen to my favourite music endlessly, to escape time or even spend quality time reading books (always carry a book or two in hand when travelling).

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We hired a private tour bus to drive about 20 of us around. We also had a personal tour guide following us throughout the trip. He’s super nice!! And explained that ‘Khao’ means ‘hill’ in Thai and ‘Yai’ means ‘big’, so it means ‘big hill’.

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Upon reaching Khao Yai,  this National park turned out to be super hot. Someone ah….told me it’ll be cold like 15 degrees and I even wore a thick long sleeved sweatshirt and brought a thick trench coat that day fml. Mum I was so pissed that it was 30 degrees instead of 15 degrees so pls don’t pass the wrong message again…………..

Anyway, the whole place of Khao Yai gave me so much Hobbit feels!! We didn’t check in to a hotel immediately, but instead visited a vineyard for wine tasting.

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They showed us the grapes they planted and how it’s made into red or white wine. The sugar in grapes must be just right for the fermentation process to take place, because the amount of sugar actually determines the percentage of alcohol content in wine! Usually its 12.5%.

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Went in and did wine tasting, it’s supposed to be my favourite part but there were a lot of food I cannot eat / drink during the trip because of my recovery and the medicine that I’m still taking. It sucks. I couldn’t touch alcohol because of my meds. Felt so different from the rest when all I could do was watch people around me sip the thing I loved most 😦

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We went to this gift shop where they sell the wine, grape juice and make other products and foods that are manufactured. I bought this thousand island dressing! Can’t wait to try it hehe.

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Lunch was great too. There was mushroom soup, blueberry tarts, fish but I only ate 1 out of the 3 dishes I’ve been served because of the diary content in the other dishes. So angry. In the end my mum tried the mushroom soup and said it turned out watery & lucky I didn’t try HAHHAA. They added coconut milk inside which I don’t really fancy so it’s okay.

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Had really sad thoughts at lunch because of what happened the previous night, and also the frustration of being sick and not being able to enjoy the trip fully (food is very important to me) but I won’t dwell on it here k hehe.

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After lunch, we went to this place called Primo Piazza which looks like a Parisian small town. It was the place I had googled previously. It’s as pretty as the place except that its very hot. We just took some pictures and left quickly but I could safely say some of my most beautiful pictures of the trip was taken there!

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It really looks like Italy or some cafe in Rome or like the set of Taylor Swift’s MV Begin Again hahah.

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Saw the lammas and alpacas! Didn’t know such breeds exist at first and thought they were lambs/goats (how dumb am I??) How lucky am I to see them first before knowing they actually exist hahaha because I have friends that are dying to tick “see an alpaca in real life” off their bucket list.

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Yup and mum, my aunts & I fed them! The animals were all so eager upon seeing the food. They were all kept behind a fence but suddenly a ram ran out from nowhere and began chasing my mum. It was such a funny sight because my mum ran and she was so scared! (have a video footage of it, gonna compile vlog soon) Nobody knew how the ram got out though. But I’m pretty amused because my star sign’s Aries (the ram), it’s a pity I didn’t take a picture of it though.

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Got up the bus when we’re done and all of us were so relieved having gotten away from the heat outside. After which our bus stopped at another area which is the supermarket and another piazza station which was in our itinerary. None of us wanted to go down. So we skipped that stop cos we were freaking tired and the weather was a bitch. Went to check it finally!

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Checked in into hotel Botanica and that’s when I realised that I left my travel adaptor in Myanmar. Horror of horrors!!! I borrowed an adaptor from the check in counter in the end.

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This hotel was so different from the rest. It’s very nature centred and has lush greenery everywhere. Definitely one of my favourites!

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The rooms have a dining area, balcony, bedroom, living room and a huge bathroom. The balcony overlooks the mountainous regions and it feels surreal to live and eat on a highland. We sleep overlooking the trees and wake up to birds chirping it was really nature at it’s best….

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We chilled till 6.30pm exploring our rooms.

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Went for dinner at this cosy place not far away from the hotel. I remembered feeling quite cold then a little uncomfortable. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and chill for the rest of the night. The hotel’s really awesome—has a pool, bar, gym and even a library lounge. Went there at night and I would have expected to stay a little longer that’s why I brought my whole travel diary up to write. The moment I got back with my diary in hand everybody left……. -___- and it was Dad & I left. By pure serendipity, I played Christmas music through dad’s speakers and it was just a really good night.

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Kept in contact with Amm a bit throughout the day. She’s going to Vietnam alone!!! This girl asked if I believe her. I said yes of course why not hahaha. She’s always been an independent girl, even told me that she’s trying couchsurfing for the first time! She prefers to travel in small groups (like 4-5 people) and I kind of agree with that. Big groups are really more time consuming and troublesome because we have to care about accommodating everyone’s needs. The smaller the tour group, the more free & easy it is. I GET TO MAKE MORE DECISIONS like where to eat & go etc. But the good thing about travelling with your family is that you’ll never have to worry about money or living in dingy lodgings. Rem how Celia & I booked a last minute airbnb in Hong Kong at a super low price for one night. We spent hours finding that apartment. That night was adventurous but scary. HAHA.

Day 3—CHRISTMAS EVE MORNING

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Christmas eve was the most fun & happiest day in Khao yai but also the day where I’m the most ill. (just warn u first I’ll delve into the details later)

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Also helped mum tie braids before the day started.

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Started off the day at Botanica, having breakfast buffet style. It was delicious as usual—with so many choices to pamper us! Bread, porridge, rice, milk, cornflakes, salad, scrambled eggs, bacon…everything you could think of.

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Look at my face. I want to sleep.

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Normally I wouldn’t ever give cornflakes a miss because it’s my all time favourite: but I did. No milk allowed in my diet. Only ate a little as I wasn’t feeling well. Went to the toilet a few times argh.

FARM CHOKCHAI

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After breakfast we went on a tour at the farm! We were led into this room where we sat on rows of chairs and in the middle of the stage area stood a cow. Saying this is going to make me look really bad but I saw cows for the first time in my life. I forgot if I have seen cows in the farm in Perth, Australia..

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Anyway, I was expecting them to milk the cow or at least, some sort of action but instead, we were shown some video of a calf coming out of its mother’s womb and how its mother licked it clean LOL. The cow stood on the stage doing nothing. It was very big though.

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We were led into this factory where we’re able to milk cows. I honestly wanted to try but it’s a bit embarrassing when you’re overly eager and no one wants to. My cousin even said, “Why would you wanna touch some cow’s nipples” 😂😒 I totally salute my dad for stepping forward to volunteer hahaha. He’s always the kind of guy that will participate actively HAHA maybe I got the genes from him. That’s the fun in travelling isn’t it?

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Success! He did it before so he succeeded first try haha. Pretty cool because you have to apply pressure in a certain way or something. I think if I went I’ll probably really embarrass myself. Usually they attach pumps to the cow cos using machine is definitely way faster than manual labour. It made me a little sad because I remembered how Celia told me that cows can only produce milk enough for its baby calf, and by creating the demand for it…we’re actually robbing milk away from the baby calves. Treating cows like milking machines is not the way to go man…

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Then we got to this place where we can see all the bottles of milk being packaged. There’s machines for fermentation, pasteurization, etc.

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They distributed free milk ice cream which I didn’t get to eat because of my stomach again 😦 Felt so left out yet again. Why does all my favourite food have to contain milk. So I made a super daring decision.

By Day 4 I couldn’t take it so I ditched my medicine completely.

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We sat on the tram which goes around the whole of the farm area and saw so many beautiful picturesque landscapes along the way!!! Arrived at this cowboy area where we get to see a cowboy riding a horse skilfully, galloping and all. After that, he exited and came back with a whip. The whip made a terrible sound when it hits the sand, like as if someone is being spanked. An audience held a flower stalk in his mouth & the cowboy can whip the flower off its stalk & not hurt the audience member at all. Such precision!

TRACTOR RIDING

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Then came this activity when we came to ride some ranch car thing which I think its a tractor?? It looks something like those vehicles in Jurassic Park/ whatever action movies, when people often rode out in the wilderness to hunt for dinosaurs or some dangerous creature?? My Hollywood adventure movies fantasy has finally came true. It’s legit driving with an accelerator, brake, steering wheel and manual control!! I don’t have a license so driving in the wilderness with a vehicle all to myself is a big deal. I was unconfident but just went ahead anyway because how many first times do you have in life right.

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I was driving halfway when Isabel suddenly came rushing and driving mad fast in her scooter behind us!! She overtook us but almost crashed into us looool. Another funny incident was when my mum and I saw someone tailing closely behind us and both of us thought it was the personnel monitoring us in case we drove off borders. As he approached closer, it turns out it was Uncle Edwin driving his tractor LOL!

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It was through this fun activity that actually made me realise and confirm my love for driving. I think I might just love driving as much as Ellen D. does (she always talks about driving in her talk show). Maybe it was the feeling of wind rushing through my hair, feeling of liberation and freedom or maybe it was just the feeling of control, that you have the vehicle to yourself and is absolutely free to drive anywhere you please; or maybe it was the leading and being responsible for your passengers, ensuring they are safe and happy throughout the ride.

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The pretty view while I’m driving. After that I sent my driving video to LK and he said I’m fast & furious hahah. I replied saying I like to drive fast. But safe. HAHAHA. To be honest it took me a while to get the hang of it but after that it’s pretty fun & stimulating!!! Maybe it’s in my character all along. I have no idea, I always found the idea of driving people home more appealing than to be driven home.

LUNCH

Lunch was at this lovely place called The chocolate factory. At first in the morning when i heard “Chocolate Factory” I thought we were going to a legit choco factory so I was puzzled when we went on a farm tour instead. Little did I know that the Chocolate Factory was the name of the restaurant! I had pork ribs because there’s nothing else I could order in the menu. Nothing else I could eat that was not too spicy / without prawns / without black pepper or anything too strong on my stomach. Mum had Australian beef!

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It was a delicious lunch and there was no warm water so I drank icy cold water. I hate restaurants that have no warm water seriously why do they assume that people like cold stuff. There may be younger children/elderly who needs warm water. I downed it regardless. It was very uncomfortable because warm water always helps with my digestion I feel. But it’s okay, I didn’t need to wait long before the price I had to pay for drinking that came.

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ON THE ROAD

On the long bus ride towards our next destination the road was exceedingly bumpy and I felt very dizzy. I could feel my stomach churning and felt very bloated. It was so painful and started getting more and more uncomfortable to the point I slept off my pain to stop feeling it. When I woke up, I still couldn’t quite lay my hands on what was wrong but the answer soon came to me when the bus came to a halt and I vomited. Continued vomiting for a good 15 minutes and got off the bus to continue some more.

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Thank goodness I asked for a plastic bag immediately after I felt nauseous because the next thing I know I was puking into it. I felt like there was air in my stomach or something. My mum handed me 2 herbal sweets but I couldn’t bring to put them inside my mouth cos I felt so horrible. I think I puked off all my lunch. Uncle Edwin & my tour guide stayed back to look after me. I think I must have felt sick for an hour or so 😦

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We arrived at this garden which I skipped this activity. They all suggested I stay behind because this activity has some boat rocking or what that might cause more drowsiness but idk. Mum and I continued to walk around the garden nearby and I so regretted I left my phone on the bus charging, because this place was so beautiful and otherworldly!! No photo or video were really captured here but I can say that the flower patches stretches on and on and on, like for eternity, and there were pink and yellow flowers and amazing vines nothing like this world.

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Thank God I got these pics from my dad’s camera.

MY TOUR GUIDE

My tour guide was superb. Let me talk a little about him.
#1: His English is really good even though on the first day he apologised in advance if he says anything wrongly.
#2: He allowed me to charge my phone on the bus EVERYDAY until I thought I was being an annoying prick with my phone dying so often.
#3: When he knows my pattern he will always initiate to charge it for me everyday. If not, twice per day. I don’t even have to ask.
#4: He goes beyond measure and his job scope to ensure our comfort and safety.
#5: When I was sick and puked on the bus, he stayed with me throughout, and even got me some medicated oil to relieve my nausea. Even though some of my relatives were there by me but he didn’t just walk away. Thankful!!
#6: He allowed my dad to sing on the bus. Yes. With a mic. We have heard of carpool karaoke but have we heard of buspool karaoke!? Yet my tour guide acceded to my dad’s many requests everyday, connect the cables, got the mic for him, and went to YouTube to search karaoke version of songs (my dad is not very tech-savvy). And it’s not like my dad sings very well (it’s just noise pollution tbh) but my tour guide’s patience with him is really superb.

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MIDWINTER RESTAURANT—X’MAS EVE DINNER

Dinner was at Midwinter restaurant, the dinner setting was so magical. Dinner inside a castle with European architecture is something I definitely wouldn’t dream of! It really looks like one of those buildings from Prague or maybe old Rome. It was Christmas Eve and the air was slightly chilly. After puking earlier today I don’t feel too well and we had to wait a long time to get in the restaurant because it was full house for holiday season.

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Finally entered and the view waiting for us was this open area that we could have dinner in candlelight under the stars. The whole place looked like this small town with fireflies. A performance was going on and a band was playing in the stage at the front. All the warm lights shone and it reminds me of those fantasy movies where people use torches instead of lights. I can tell everyone enjoyed it so much!

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As music of the performance rang in the distance, we sat eating piping hot, delicious food in the cold December air. My mum and aunts were looking up and searching for the stars. I told her that if she cupped her hands around her eyes to block out the surrounding light, the stars would appear to be more obvious. I looked up and saw them more clearly for myself. God’s creation is beautiful. It reminds me what’s truly the reason for the Christmas season. He is the reason. I saw 3 stars in a row shining brightly.

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Immediately I recalled a week ago at Pyay, Aunty Mag told me that it’s the Orion. Today I looked up and saw the Orion again. I find it amazing how I’m at 2 different parts of the world in such a short time, and yet I see those very stars that shine brightly as always.

I ordered Beef Bolognese, the classic. I changed the type of pasta to Angel hair and it’s heavenly! It’s really thin and the texture is really smooth. The minced beef was really good too but I couldn’t finish it due to the screaming pain in my stomach. That’s when I had a feeling that I’m probably down with stomach flu.

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The weather had gotten colder now and Day 3 was one of the days packed with the best food but I didn’t get to enjoy most of it. Was really salty (me I mean, not the food LOL) I was pissed that I couldn’t even touch wine or cold beverages or milk or cheese or spicy foods or any other food that contains dairy products (eg. mushroom soup, ice cream, pasta with cream sauce with contains milk, etc), which is at least 50% of whatever food the team is eating at the moment. All these are my favourite foods/drinks…why 😦

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Our tour guide & driver was supposed to get their dinner themselves elsewhere but in this cold weather and desolate town where could they go?? The restaurant was in the middle of nowhere to be honest. The next eating place might as well be a handful of a distance away and it’s super inconvenient. My uncle treated our tour guide to a meal at Midwinter Restaurant where we were dining, I thought it was very generous and considerate! I don’t know why but it makes me less worried knowing that their meals are cared for and they are not out roaming somewhere.

CONCLUSION

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This trip was one of my luxurious trips this year but I felt I could have enjoyed it better if not for my stomach flu. Food matters. Health matters. People matters. You could have the most extravagant stuff and stay in the most comfortable lodging but if they people you’re travelling with hurt and annoy you, you wouldn’t be the most happy during the trip. Likewise, you could have the most humble lodgings and stay with the one you love and yet be very joyful. Super thankful that I have my family around with me throughout the trip 🙂

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Part 3 is now out HERE.

Xoxo,
Grace

Thailand Trip: Bangkok & KhaoYai (Part 1)

After the Myanmar trip in December, I went on a short vacation with my family & relatives. Going to BKK for shopping and also exploring some scenic parts of Thailand we have never seen before!

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DAY 1

The start of the day begins with a really good flight. I believe good flights start good trips okay, HAHAH especially when you’re taking planes so often as if you’re taking the public bus. I don’t usually go to airplane toilets but I was forced to cos I fell sick a day prior my flight. It was terrible then—all the doctors were not in town as it is the holiday season and I had to search high and low just to find one clinic nearby.

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Anyway, I was cured (or so I believe I was at that point in time) and the airplane served really good food, hot towels, a wide range of movie selections, blankets and more hehehe. Call it comfort when you travel with family 💕 It’s Thai airways by the way. Hehehehhe

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We arrived at Centara Grand Hotel and checked in safely. I’m super excited because I’m meeting Amm, my Thai friend, that day. We haven’t seen each other for more than a year already can you believe it!! The last time I saw her was in Singapore. Miss her so much. Amm is a great friend whom I met during Singapore Poly’s Learning Express Trip during 2015. The original plan was to check in with my relatives and family, then separate from the group to find Amm.

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“No la Grace, ask her to come and find us instead, let her join us for lunch,” my uncle suggested after learning that I am meeting up with my friend.

“Really? I can do that??” unable to contain my excitement, because that would mean I can be with my family and Amm at the same time! I delighted at the idea. My uncle is too kind. Furthermore, it is Amm’s birthday that day (22nd Dec) and I’m really happy that we could treat her to a meal.

“But is it inconvenient though? Would Uncle Sam mind?” on second thought, I was a little worried that it’s quite rude to drag my friend along, especially when I’m not the one paying. Uncle Sam is another uncle of mine who has been staying/working in Thailand for over 10 years now, and we’re going to visit him. He’s the one bringing us to lunch, and my family is not a small group that’s why—say about 20+ people on the trip—it’s really in a ‘adult situation’ when I have no say in everything hahah.

“Nah, just come, introduce her to Uncle Sam. He knows how to speak Thai.”

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About 20 minutes later, I heard footsteps behind me. “Hey, your friend’s here,” mum said the minute Amm stepped into the hotel lobby on the 23rd floor. I spun around..”Amm!!” we ran into an embrace. So that’s why she arrived and we reunited in the lobby 🙂

“Happy birthday!!! Let us treat you,” I really wanted to make it the perfect one for her. She declined, but I told her it’s only right to treat her (tour guide fee lol). I passed her the present I’ve been holding in my hands for God knows how long.

“How are you??” she said, it’s been such a long time & we have so much to catch up on, we looked at each other, now knowing where to start. We’re just so happy to see each other.

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My mum with my aunt!

Amm had an English class that day and we were almost worried that the timing might clash but wow, lady luck shone on us and her class was cancelled that day! Don’t know if it’s fate but her teacher was sick that day so we’re pretty lucky (not trying to sound saidst here) ps/ She speaks really good English by the way

And here’s my kind dad writing wishes/condolences for the Thai King

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Centara Grand was really great! We have a bathtub and a huge bathroom with glass window panes (adjacent to the bedroom) all to ourselves. I liked their bathroom best and wew the view from the window is so nice, it’s a pity we’re staying only for a night! Wished I took more pictures.

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We left the hotel after unpacking, and went to this Chinese-Thai restaurant for lunch. The food was really heavenly!! Amm was impressed at my uncle’s fluency to speak Thai. I remember this funny incident. The waiter was speaking to us in Cantonese and when she saw Amm seating among us. Amm must have looked very different from all of us because she asked her, “Where are you from?”

“I’m a local!”

The waiter looked so surprised. Why on earth is a local seated among so many Singaporeans, she must’ve thought.

After lunch, I parted ways with my family. I wanted to spend the whole day with Amm. We only have one day, Amm is flying to Vietnam the very next day! The rest plan to meet up again at maybe 6pm in front of Isetan, but I told mum that I won’t be joining for dinner. “Meet you back in the hotel tonight, stay safe,” she called after me, and I thought how lucky am I to have a mum like that who trusts me so much and grants me such freedom, and is so understanding. I understand not every parent will let their child roam alone in a foreign country like that, let alone with a friend my mum barely knew. I wouldn’t comment if this kind of parenting is right or wrong, but I wouldn’t tolerate it if someone else tried to question my mum’s parenting methods (lol someone did). Was pissed because I know what my mum does, she has my best interest at heart, and she wanted me to be happy. And I knew spending time with Amm that day would make me happy.

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Amm and I went to 4 malls: Siam Paragon, MBK, Central World and another mall opposite Siam paragon (I forgot what it’s called). The first day was the day I did the most shopping. HUEHUEHHUE. I knew that if I go to Khao Yai the next day, I will not have the chance to do so already hahha so being the ‘kaisu’ person, I bought one elephant print pants (yknow those baggy and comfortable ones that are really popular nowadays), one J’dore perfume and some hair ties because I always LOSE HAIR TIES when I travel goodness gracious, no matter how hard I try at safekeeping.

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I bought my perfume from Eve & Boy, it’s just another version of Sephora, a 2 storey, HUGE make up store. Only that it’s slightly cheaper! Amm told me she got her make up there. I bought the perfume for 180SGD, it was 199 at first. Not bad isn’t it hahaa.

“When you go BKK you don’t pack a luggage, you bring an empty luggage.”

From my diary on 22nd Dec:

I found out 2 shocking things about Amm today! This girl never fails to surprise me. It’s really funny cos we started talking about guys. She talks about her taste in guys: must be 180cm and above, & she reveals that she doesn’t not like Asian guys haha. I knew it. She only likes white guys hahhaa. She have Tinder, so she even let me read her Tinder convos (they’re all trash hahhaha) Mostly guys looking to take advantages of girls. I think I was so worried and pissed I asked her to delete all the chats at once (none of us took offence, by the way) 😂

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The 2nd shocking thing is that Amm got a nose job! I didn’t notice it at first until she told me. After a closer look, it’s actually a significant different lol (in a good way). Anyway, its super tiring cos I kept walking in my heels for the whole day & Thailand’s transit have very few escalators—BUT side note: no transit in the world can be as savage as Hong Kong’s MTR—we have to take stairs…oh gosh…I have to stop being pampered.

Amm & I talked about plans after graduation, travelling, her wanting to go to USA for a year or maybe even migrate there. She says she doesn’t want to live in Thailand. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad because USA is so far from Singapore. I cannot go to Bangkok hoping I’ll find Amm there again.

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TRANSIT

I am totally clueless about buying transit tickets and made a fool out of myself. The first time I was in Thailand, I didn’t have to buy transit tickets. We had a bus to ferry us to our destinations. (we had one this time too, but I’m not with my family at this point). The first step was to change our notes into coins at the station, and then select the amount we want in our card. The value to Asiatique from Central is about 34 baht. Step 2, press ’34’ on the machine and drop the coins in. A one way ticket would come out from the machine.

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Honestly, it reminds me a little about our old bus paying system, where we have to press some buttons on the machine ourselves and the ticket comes out. Unlike Singapore which goes by tapping, we have to slot the one way ticket into the machine in Thailand, cross the barrier, then take the card out from the other slot when the gantry opens. Upon arrival, we do not need to take back our ticket when we ‘tap out’.

ASIATIQUE the RIVERFRONT

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This is the highlight of the day. At around 6pm, we already started to head towards Asiatique. After taking the transit for around 5 stops, we have to take a ferry to Asiatique. The ferry is free, just like Hong kong! Singapore’s RiverExplorer should seriously start considering free rides.

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“The ferry is usually very crowded,” Amm said. “We have to queue to get in, it’s a 5 mins ride.” Being on the ferry really reminds me of Victoria Harbour. I think it is the feeling of riding a ferry in the water, in the middle of a big city and vibrant lights.

Amm knows me very well. “You’ll love it there, I’m positive you would love that place,” she told me beforehand. And…she’s right!!!!

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As the ferry approaches Asiatique, I was filled with awe. It looks like a small little civilisation from afar but up close, it reminds me of laketown. I can see the flurry of activities going on from the ferry. I can see the bright lights, the dazzling shop displays, and hear the laughter that gets louder and louder as the ferry draws near. It looks like a wonderland. Makes my heart jump with joy.

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In Asiatique, you can see the ferris wheel, quaint little shops selling the best of souvenirs, eating places, etc. The decor for each shop is on point, selling clothes, purses, accessories, shoes. I even discovered they were selling my baggy elephant pants for 140! The same one I bought earlier…….Amm had to drag me away, saying, “Don’t look at the price don’t look at the price don’t look at the price..” I had anger mixed with the laugh cry emoji face AHHAHA. I bought it just a few hours ago for 180 baht 😭

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In the middle of Asiatique, there’s an area where people can sit and chill and drink beer while listening to really good music. Oh gosh I miss beer. I know I said it a lot of times but I haven’t had it like, since September in Hong Kong where I drank that horrible Blue girl beer (sorry not sorry). That area of Asiatique has fairy lights everywhere. Looks a bit like CHIJMES. I don’t know if they placed that up specially for Christmas, but it definitely reminds me of Singapore’s Night festival too. I had many memories there. Mostly happy.

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DINING

Both of us, were super famished. After a round of walking and deciding what to eat, we finally headed for Ajisen Ramen. You might think, “Come to Thailand, eat Jap food!?” but the places at Ajisen were not cheap alright. Thus, I am surprised and elated when we found a cheap Ajisen ramen store (I am sure it is not an imitation).

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This one bowl of Ajisen Ramen actually cost 5SGD in Thailand! That’s freaking cheappp!!!!!

Not to mention it’s really delicious.

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Suddenly, Amm hollered. “Thai Actor!!” she pointed towards the carousel, where a tall dark handsome guy was leaning against. Surrounding him was the cameraman & crew, having some sort of photoshoot. Should’ve asked Amm for his name so that I can report it here but oh wells of course I don’t recognise him rights. Amm placed her chopsticks down, took out her camera immediately and started snapping. Several passer bys started taking pictures too.

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“Would you date such a guy?” I asked out of curiosity.
“If he’s this type of handsome, I don’t mind,” a playful smile creeped up on her face again. She picked up her chopsticks and resumed eating, the mood was light.
“But he’s Asian,” I teased. “You said you didn’t like Asians.”
Amm says he’s very famous!!!!

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GOING BACK

Finished our walk with Asiatique and went back to hotel at about 9.30pm. Mum wasn’t in but I started to feel this sixth sense throughout the day that people might not be happy about me suddenly wandering off with another friend. It’s like we go as a team and we’re supposed to stick together and not ditch my family or something like that. True enough, my sixth sense was correct hahaha.

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Heard from my mum that she & my family went to some rooftop bar at night when I was out with Amm! Sounds pretty amazing isn’t it. They went to drink wine at the 54th floor and the whole time my mum wished I was there. Awww. A part of me wished I had joined them because I’m sure the ambience was pretty great but I also don’t regret spending my time with Amm. And that’s it for Day 1! Stay tuned for part 2.

With Love,
Grace