[Bali] A trip to the “ZOO”

It’s back to my Bali posts again. So sorry for the delay cause I have been really really busy. It seems like all the events are coming together in May.

 

Bali Day 2.

We started the day early as early as 8am after the first day (http://blog.myfatpocket.com/maybelinesim/2015/04/26/bali-holiday-inn-express-holiday-resort/) because we booked a day trip for a day filled with water activities.

 

The breakfast hours in Holiday Inn Express Kuta Square was 6am to 10am and with it being an express hotel, I expected lesser variety of food but I was quite surprised to see the food there. Since I was there for 4D3N, I had 3 chances of trying out their breakfast there and it seems like they change their menu daily. I don’t see much repeated food among the three days.

 

I like to eat clean if I have to eat in the morning so the first station was the fruits.

 

If you want it quick, grab one or two muffins before you head out!

 

The food were all hot and warm and the staffs were really helpful in clearing the plates, or assisting us with the plates and necessities.

 

There will always be mains like noodles and rice every single day. So if you don’t feel like eating (example) fried rice today, go for the fried noodles.

 

I think I had 6 slices of omelette. Hehehe. I was hoping that they would give us scramble eggs and I was literally praying for that every night. LOL.

 

Pork Sausages and many many more but I was too concern about my tummy so I only snapped a few photos of the food :/

 

And cereals! I realized that most of the tourists there attacked the cereals first.

 

Even the drinks were thoughtful.

Orange juice, Apple juice, Pineapple juice, Soy bean, Fresh Milk, Skim milk.

 

We filled our stomach with a whole lot of food before traveling out to the sea.

 

The transport and activities were booked a day prior to Day 2 which we found at Kuta Square.

 

It was about SGD130-140 for 4 pax which includes Glass Boat Tour (which was quite a SCAM in my opinion), snorkeling, turtle island and then dinner by the beach at Jimbaran Bay Beach.

 

We were quite lucky that the sky was clear.

 

 

 

 

 

But sadly, we could only see one species of fish and the water was way way way too cloudy. We snorkeled for less than 30 minutes and gave up.

 

 

 

 

Turtle Island – It only cost you SGD2++ per pax and I really like this place than the snorkeling done earlier because there were a lot of hands-on that you won’t get experience in Singapore. I call this a Mini Zoo, probably better than the actual Bali Zoo. It was cheap and we spent 1.5 hour there!

 

 

 

 

The huge turtle you see there is the oldest, older than any one of us and nobody seems to be able to lift him up. It was low tide so that explains the dry shell. See! This was what I mean by hands-on. Where else can you find such close encounter in Singapore?!

 

 

 

 

 

And this proud bird here. Hehehe.

 

 

William and Lip carried the snake while James and me preferred not to. The mouth of the snake was actually taped together using the scotch tape which I find it amusing lol!

 

The fruit bat!!!! You have to swing it for it to open it’s wings. All of us had a go with it, even me!!

 

 

 

 

We took a short rest after playing around and ordered a cup of Pop-mee which usually cost SGD0.50 in their supermarket but we paid SGD1.70 there. Still reasonably priced in my opinion. The coconut cost SGD5 if I am not wrong!

 

While some of us ate and some of us continued to explore, Lip saw crabs in various bright colors.

As for why I felt the Glass Boat Tour was a scam because it wasn’t like this…

Credits: http://www.arunatoursbali.com

 

It was as blur/narrow as this, and the glass/plastic was super cloudy looking as well. It was almost opaque.  So what can we see? NOTHING.

 

And on our way back to the island after a good 3 hours, we saw a sinking boat! It seems like it is quite common there because no one was surprised.

 

Till then…

 

I’ll be back with my experience on dining by the beach and our Day 3 in Bali 🙂

[Bali] The Holy Crab

Sponsored

As our bali trip is drawing to an end, there isn’t any better way to complete it apart from having a FANTASTIC closing dinner, right?! So here we are, at (I would say) easily the best Louisiana-inspired seafood restaurant, The Holy Crab.

Ask me if I think this restaurant need to do any form of sponsors to create any more form of awareness? I would say ABSOLUTELY not! This seafood restaurant is already a little celebrity of its own in Bali if you read up reviews online. Nonetheless, we were very priviledged and thankful to be invited for a food tasting with them.

So here we are at the doorsteps leading up to the restaurant after a short drive from our hotel in Kuta. I must say the restauant exterior does stand out admidst its relatively rural vicinity. Apart from its nicely-decorated & well-litted exterior, I appreciated the fact that there is always someone to receive you outside the restaurant. The waiters/waiteresses will take the initiative to welcome you warmly into the restaurant.

 

 

The humourous Lousiana air filling even its carpark area. So for those who drives, rest assured your car will be well taken care of while you enjoy the seafood delicacies ><

 

 

Here we are with our FEEDBACK on the restaurant’s exterior! What you see is what you get! Two thumbs up! ><

Next question then is: What about the interior?

 

 

*LAGI CANTEK!* (which means EVEN PRETTIER in Bahasa Indonesia which thankfully i picked up during one of my Uni years 🙂 )

The most outstanding part of the interior would be this cheeky-looking Crab (potentially the Holy Crab itself maybe?) spreading all over the slab of wall next to the staircase that leads to the second storey. Being two-storeyed, I don’t have to say much as to how spacious the interior was.

 

 

Nice contemporary checkered flooring & a well-equipped bar for those who seeks to fill their stomach with flavourful cocktails and mocktails instead of seafood!

 

 

As we stroll to our table, the constant thought that lingered around my mind was… the dinner price tag!

Well, I know I shouldn’t think of that since it was nicely sponsored for us. But who wouldn’t think of that judging from whatever we have seen thus far!

 

Guess what! To our pleasant surprise, they offered bundle packages for 2-4 pax at very reasonable rates! (For oversea travellers eg. Singaporean like us, this price tag is considered very reasonable using a currency rate of SDG1 to 9k IDR. That is almost just $20 plus for the shrimp bag for TWO pax!).

 

 

If that don’t fancy you, then go for the Ala Carte in the menu.. There is a wide array of mains & sides to choose from the menu seeking to satisfy even the most picky seafood eaters!

 

 

The Stars for the Night! Here, we have the Lobster, King Crab craw, Mudcrab, Crawfish and Snow Crab craw nicely laid out by one of the kind and patient waiter.

 

 

#FOTD time! *Snap Snap*

 

 

For me, I am particularly excited and facinated by the King Crab Craw at the top of this picture! Cos I have heard and seen so much locally but yet to try it ! In fact, I would think that is one of the more pricey ones of the lot (*if based on local Singapore pricing).

 

Finally, to our Grand Feast of the Night! Much THANKS to Rain, our pretty & professional host whom kindly prepared the menu for that night!

 

Notice also something REALLY interesting on our table?!

Why are all the food slapped on top of the table & where are our cutleries, waiter!?

 

This brings me to the SPECIAL eating concept of Holy Crab: They want you to TOTALLY forget about table manners, forget about your fork and spoons. In Holy Crab, it’s all about the FUN & ENJOYABLE eating experience! In there, your bare hands and mallet are the tools of choice. *Period*

 

 

Some of the delicious sides that accompanied our mains.. Deep Fried Chicken Wings

 

 

Shrimps in their own special sauces. We were told the sauces were invented by the Chef (who is also the owner himself after his stay in Lousiana)

 

 

M’s Favourite! She kept harping that the Fish strip was the best she tried so far (Not just in Bali context! Including Singapore hor!)

 

 

While she was busy getting smitten in the Fish Strips, I took my plunge into the long-awaited seafood! All mouth-watering seafood were served in their very own special spicy Cajun sauces! Here, we have…

 

 

..Clams..

 

 

..& my own personal favourite of the night : the King Crab Craw!  I must say the marriage between the fresh craw meat and the in-house sauces was almost flawless! Unfortunately, I do not have the mouth of a hamster, else I will store at least a table full of them in my mouth! Lol!

 

 

Also, Rain has kindly ordered their seafood in toasted bread for us! Comes in a variety of prawn or crab meat. Don’t force me to choose between them, I would have no answer to that question cos both are equally as SEDAP SEKALI!

 

 

Another of my Favourite would be this palatable Crab Cake served with Fries.

 

 

So much for the seafood! What about the drinks then?

 

Remember this is Bali! How can we miss out on their very own local Bintang Beer… & the best part served ICE COLD Chilled! Even their beer mugs were chilled in the freezer!

 

 

In summary, my first trip to Bali was an exceptionally fantastic one and largely it is because of the food they offered take for instances, what we had in Holy Crab. In fact, what Holy Crab offered was easily a notch above the other local food fare. I couldn’t have asked for more in terms of the quality of seafood offered in there!

 

In Holy Crab, thre isn’t any pretentiousness, you can just throw that facade of table manners away and be yourself to enjoy the best of seafood in the most flavourful & addictive sauces!
Location:

The Holy Crab – BALI
Jl. Petitenget no. 50
Kuta Utara, Badung
Bali 80361

+62 819 0122 2722
+62 819 0122-CRAB
+62 361 4741391

 

I will definitely be back when I visit Bali again!

Taipei Day 2

Woke up early for the hotel breakfast (but it was a disappointment). To be honest, I don’t each much when I am in Taipei because of the differences in taste. Their food seems to be either too salty or too oily. It is always on the extreme side. I avoid street snacks due to the oil issue that was reported in the news recently. (Having said that, my parents still enjoy street food -a little)

I always start my day with this shampoo-looking bottle of coffee every morning.

Our plans for Day 2 were – Taipei 101, Xinyi District, Shilin Night Market.

But it turned out – Taipei 101, Xinyi District, Zhong Xiao Fuxing, Wu Fen Pu, Shilin Night Market and then Xi Men Ding.

After traveling to Taipei 101 (take the blue line and alight at City Hall), we walked a distance to ATT and all at Xinyi District. It was very very much like our Orchard road where you can find big brands like Prada, Miu Miu and more. So we roamed around for 2 hours before heading off to Zhong Xiao Fuxing to shop.

You can find 2 SOGO departmental stores there but do roam around the alley as well. There are little stalls where you can find them at the night market too. Wanted to dine at Ding Tai Fung for lunch but omggggg, the queue was too long.

So we walked and walked and we found Barbie Cafe!

We didn’t get anything much from the 2 places so we went back to Wu Fen Pu to shop since it was too early for Shilin Night Market.

A shop caught my attention. My friends know my love for dogs and bulldog!!

I asked for permission for a picture with the bulldog. The shopkeeper told me if he would, it would be a miracle. So I sat down, and this little baby actually went up to my lap and rest! cute!!!!!!!!

Managed to grab more clothes before moving on to Shilin. I brought an empty luggage over so I had to buy clothes and more clothes for the remaining days.

Shilin Market is one of the biggest market in Taiwan and this is my favourite market so far (I am already at Day 5 while blogging this). You can find a lot of game stalls, street food and clothings! They are quite repetitive because they sell the same stuffs everywhere. I focused more on clothes at Wu Fen Pu so I tend to look at shoes more at Shilin.

I ended up with more shoes than clothes for Day 2. Yay~~~ The most expensive pair was only $13 (I think). It is hell cheap over here yo!!!

The skies in Taiwan gets dark at 5pm. By the time it is 6pm, it feel as if it is already 9pm. YUP, it is that dark!!

We left Shilin at 9 and cabbed back to the hotel at Xi Men Ding because my parents were too tired from the walking.

My brother and me went back to Xi Men Ding for more shopping and food.

I found this Ramen egg at their 7-Eleven which is like our Hanjuku egg. Expected, the eggs were too salty, I couldn’t finish them 🙁 I survived on chips, bubble tea and ramen restaurants ONLY. There are days where I rather go hungry than to give in to their food. Sigh.

I really really love how much the Taiwanese love their dogs. They bring them everywhere!! These golden retrievers were found at a restaurant! Hehe. And I ended my Day 2 like that.

Good night darlings!!

Seoul Trip Part 1

You would also probably know that I just came back from Seoul last month!! Would love to thank My Fat Pocket and Herman for giving me this opportunity and Xinyi for being such a wonderful partner (including Herman, who took very good care of us)!!

We attended the opening of Atria Flagship Store in Seoul!! Yes, this also meant that we met one of the girls from Girls Generation and BtoB boy band.

Some of the outfits were sponsored by Shop Lila Mila for the trip. Quote “Maybeline10” when you check out to get 10% off per cart.

Pink lips for that night because Pink is the NEW Red in Korea.

It was shopping and eating after the first day of event. We went back on the second day for some shoot and shopping after that! If I were to visit Korea again, it would be for the food instead of the shopping as the streets there sell stuffs similar to Singapore but pricier. The food there was really nice though!

Atria Day 2.

Starlash eyelashes, 3CE Glass Pink, and curls for a Kpop look. My first attempt to look like a Korean. I know I failed quite a bit because I still look Singaporean. Hahahaha. But at least it is quite different from my usual style.

When you’re overseas, you will tempt to dress up like the people there no?

We were told by many that we looked like sisters and most of the people there spoke to us in Korean. I guess we succeed a little? Hahaha.

Our tops were bought there. Mine was from Dongdaemun. There was a loooooot of stuffs to see but they are really overpriced. Literally out to cheat tourist’s money. There was a store selling a top for 58,000 won which is retailing for nearly $70, but another store, at $30. The aunty at the $70 store was SERIOUSLY pushy!!

Tip: If you really want to shop there, be smart, finish window-shopping at the entire building first and haggle the price after that.

It was really fun to travel with her and Herman with both of them being so considerate and thoughtful. They made me feel like I am a little girl (cause I was the youngest) and they had to take care of me. Actually this Xinyi made me feel that she is much younger than me because of her size and looks! I wish I can look like her too.

My top (jacket) cost $17 and the lacy shorts was sponsored by Shop Lila Mila again. Comfy and sweet looking on?

My favourite shopping street was at Hongdae. No nasty price tags, no pushy aunties there. You can get a nice top at an average of $15-30. Although the beauty junkie street is at Myeongdong, you can also find them in Hongdae! Etude house and other brands were really really cheap. Remember to stock up on the makeup and skincare!

I bought colour-ed cosmetic contact lenses there as well. The average price was between $15-$20 per pair. Well, you know GEO lenses and all are from Korea right?

This shop caught my attention right in the middle of Hongdae.

The churros were made and deep fried on the spot. It was very crispy and fluffy. I can’t get enough!!! I wish they have an outlet in Singapore too.

It was finger-lickin’ good to the last bit.

And I shall end this post with my first meal in Korea. Check back for part 2! 🙂

Weekend Staycation at Holiday Inn Express

This is my third time doing a hotel staycation but first sponsored staycation. Weekends staycations are the cheapest alternative to a holiday. I was having an extremely busy week but with much thanks to HolidayInn Express, I get to chill and relax the weekends away in Holiday Inn Express at Clarke Quay!

I have to work on Saturdays so I was very much looking forward to the post work activities. James picked me and TC from our workplace and OFFFFFFFFF to the land of laughters.

The check-in process was kinda fast as it took the staff only 5 minutes. The staffs at the reception area was all chirpy and friendly! The guy who served me even told me he knows My Fat Pocket!

I also realized that there was a vending machine that sell snacks. Totally what is needed during a staycation. If you or partner can’t sleep and need something to chew on, just hop over to the machine.

After checking in……. Being anal, the first thing that I went to check was the toilet. I went to look for the hand soap and hair dryer first. LOL.

There were 4 pillows on the queen sized bed. You can pick if you want the soft or firm pillows. This is way too considerate. Save you the trouble of calling the reception for a change of pillows. The helpers also asked me if I wanted more towels for when I bumped into him after swimming. They were all very helpful.

2 thumbs up for all the staffs at Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay!

I like hotel beds a lot because they are very comfy and clean. I have a thing for ultra clean bedsheets. So I had a very good sleep that night as well!

 

The room is also very functional because you can open up the side wall and you will be able to wash your hands without the need of walking over to the toilet.

Pssst. Each room comes with a 32-inch LED TV, an iPod dock and free wifi access!

As the rooftop pool closes at 9pm, the pool was the next stop after checking out the rooms!

The highlight of my entire staycation was the rooftop pool. It was very relaxing and we had A WHOLE TRUCKLOAD OF FUN THERE! William and Shaun met some korean tourists there and took a few shots with them. LOL. How cheeky.

Know what? You can see pictures of the lower part of the body of others when they are swimming. Too cool!

James, William and TC …. Skinny Dip? Well, maybe not. LOL.

And here comes Joyce! My partner in crime for the night.

My favourite picture out of the entire album was this. Perfect pictures don’t happen when you take it intentionally. This was one beautiful accident which was captured by William. Real smiles are BIG.

There is also a gym next to the pool. As it is open for 24 hours a day, you can head up to the gym to work a little if you can’t sleep.

The boys wanted to wake up at 7am for the gym but…..

It was nearly 7 when we left the pool. Back to the comfy room to clean ourselves up before dinner.

As HolidayInn Express Clarke Quay is located only 700 metres from Clarke Quay MRT Station or 1km from Chinatown, we were literally surrounded by good food hideouts. However, we went on to Central for good ramen and supermarket shopping.

We got chips and some drinks from the Japanese Supermarket nearby. And a Magnum minis to end the night. Or probably, to make the night a little sweeter.

If you are one party people, there are a lot of places and bars for you to chill out before heading back to the hotel.

As each room accommodates two, not all stayed. Nonetheless, it was a great experience and night!

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and it is important to start it well. I like hotel breakfast because I would stuff myself with their scramble eggs!!

The seats were easily available everywhere. You can have it inside the hotel or outside at the open space area.

High chairs, tables, sofa, or couch, pick any two that you find most comfortable.

You can have it Chinese, French or Western. From noodles to congee to sausages to pastries. This is to cater to the different groups of tourists.

Look at how the scramble eggs were cooked to perfection. I had double servings of that!

The day started out really good and I was feeling all pampered by the hotel. I had bad experiences at other hotels before but I would sincerely recommend Holiday Inn Express for a reliable and fuss free stay.

Thank you #StaySmartCQ; HolidayInn Express Clarke Quay for giving me the chance to experience such a wonderful staycation.

The hotel is located at 2 Magazine Road Singapore 059573 (right beside Central Mall).

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/HolidayInnExpressSingaporeClarkeQuay