Experience · Travel

A day in Chiang Mai (Doi Suthep Temple, Bhubing Palace, Night Safari)

After an ‘easy’ day (you can read here), the next morning we went to mountain area around 10 am with my friend. Before that, I went to a nearby market to find breakfast and bought a grilled pork skewer, then continue checking out the market area. It was a small market and a clean one too.

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I went back to the hostel first to eat the pork skewer. It was very delicious! Too bad I only bought 1 piece. And after I finished, my friend told me that they usually come with rice as well. Ugh..Β missed a nice meal!

Around 10am, we left the hostel heading to mountain area. It took us around 1 hour to reach there. The best way to reach the mountain area is by motorbike or red car taxi. We went there with his car and it was hard to find a parking spot for the car. Very crowded with all the car parking around the area.

red car taxi chiang mai

Parking spot at Doi Suthep Temple

Doi Suthep Temple

Our first destination in the mountain was Doi Suthep Temple. There are many temples in Chiang Mai but this one is the most famous one. The entrance fee is 30 baht for a foreigner, and free for local. Before you enter the temple,Β  make sure you wear proper clothes. No tank top, No shorts, No mini skirts, etc. You don’t need to wear a long sleeve but you need to have a sleeve. For the bottom, need to be at least under your knee. Safer if you wear long pants or long skirts, but if you don’t have those clothes you can put on a scarf or borrow a cover from a counter there.

Doi Suthep Temple Entrance Area

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Climbing up to temple area

One of the building in temple area
View from Doi Suthep Temple
View from the top. It was foggy at that time 😦
Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai
Many visitors inside the temple area

I don’t know much about this temple since my friend can’t explain anything to us, but it is a very beautiful and magnificent temple. It has a great view of the city as well (if not foggy). There is an area where you need to take off your shoes and walk barefoot, and this area is the main hall of the temple. Many Thai people do a prayer or ceremony there. It can be very crowded in there so be careful of your belonging.

Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai
People pray in Doi Suthep Temple

Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai

Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai

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Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai
Pouring oil
Dragon Sculpture Stairs Doi Suthep Temple
Beautiful Dragon sculpture all the way down the stairs

On the way out, I saw one of the shops selling pork skin. Bought one bag pork skin with fish sauce for 60 baht.

Deep Fried Pork Belly in Fish Sauce

Royal Palace (Bhubing Palace)

Our next destination was Royal Palace of Chiang Mai called Bhubing Palace. It is located at the higher end of the mountain. We went up by car about 20-30 minutes and looked for a parking spot again. This time it wasn’t that bad. They have a parking area.

The weather there was cold for me! Luckily I brought my jacket. To enter the palace, we need to buy a ticket at the counter, 50 baht per person. For this palace, please wear proper clothes as well.

Once we entered the gate, the security guy asked us where are we come from. Then he ushered us to a lady who gave us a map and explanation of how to explore the palace based on the map.

Map of Bhubing Palace
Map of Bhubing Palace

This royal palace’s area is very huge. Make sure you’ve eaten before you visit it. I was hungry when I arrived there but thinking to just visit first for a short time. It wasn’t a short time in the end! We were inside for more than 1 hour and still have some areas which were not explored!

There are a lot of beautiful flowers. I love their giant rose. It was so big, as big as my face! (Nah, I’m exaggerating a bit… but it was really a big rose though). The buildings have a classic style. It is a very nice place to enjoy the nature and fresh air. You can easily spend 2 hours in that area.

I almost fainted when I exited the palace area. Too hungry! We immediately looked for food at nearby restaurants. No idea which one is good, we just went into the restaurant with most customers. The menu was on the table including the price. Luckily I was with my Thai friend so he read the menu for us. No English menu. We ordered Khao Soi, Laab Pork, and Pork Sausage. Khao Soi is one of the specialities in Chiang Mai, so you have to try it if you go there. I love it. It is a noodle dish with curry and chicken.

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When our order arrived, I just realized that I should haven’t ordered Laab Pork! I was so tempted to order because I only remembered how delicious is the minced pork meat dish. I forgot about one important detail… it is VERY spicy 😦 The Khao Soi was not bad for me, but for my Thai friend it was bad and expensive than the one in the city. Well, kind of expected for a restaurant at a tourist spot. The pork sausage was very spicy as well! It has chilli inside it. I couldn’t eat more than one. In total, our bill was 415 baht.

After lunch, we headed back to the hostel. At least that was my plan because my camera was out of battery and I needed to charge it first. My friend suggested us to go to Night Safari right away but I told him that I would go there by Uber later. Apparently, he wanted to not let us waste any time so he silently drove us there!

Night Safari

I love seeing animals and especially in Safari, and I’ve never been on a Night Safari before so this is very interesting for me. From the outside, it looks huge and beautiful. Very promising! To enter the safari, we had to buy a ticket at the counter. There are differences in the prices between local visitor and foreigner. For example, the price for set B Night Safari for a local is 300 baht, while for a foreigner is 800 baht. It is pricey! We bought set B. It includes night safari (savannah safari and predator prowl), jaguar trail (walking route), night predator show, and tiger show.

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Night Safari Chiang Mai Thailand

Main Stage Night Safari Chiang Mai

 

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Activities Show Time

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There is a timetable for each show so you better check it first and arrange how will you do the activities as efficiently as you can. The night safari has 2 routes at different places. The difference is at the type of animals shown there. Also, each route of night safari has 2 lines of queue, one has a Thai guide and the other one has English guide. Both start at 6.30pm. You can buy a basket of food to give to the animals as well before you enter the queue for the tram.

From my experience, you need to prepare some things before you do this night safari. First of all, you need a jacket because it’s gonna be very cold! Especially if you come from tropical country or city. The second thing, if you are like me who like taking photos, is a good camera for low light situation or just use it in video mode. I tried taking photo with my camera (after charging it with power bank) and it turned out bad. Couldn’t get a nice photo since the tram only stopped for a while and it kept moving so all the photos were blurry. I couldn’t use faster shutter speed due to my lens limitation, so I tried taking photos with my phone instead.

 

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Failed attempt at photographing a deer

 

The Jaguar Trail or the walking route is really nice. I like it. The things that annoyed me was the group of tourists who didn’t respect the rule. It is said to keep silent and not to speak loudly, but they just keep talking as if they were inside their house. Also, another rule is not to use flash when taking a photo, and they did… I was so annoyed that one time I told them not to use flash.Β  They didn’t care about the animals at all, it is just a show for them.

 

Speaking about a show, I watched Tiger Show because it is included in Set B as well. I don’t like it at all. The tigers and lions were skinny and they looked scared. While other visitors were enjoying the show, I just sat there quietly.

 

After finished watching and doing the night safari, we looked for dinner. There are food stalls in the middle area. We bought some snacks to share, pork mushroom (20 baht), roasted squid egg small (60 baht), roasted squid small (70 bath) and orange juice (35 baht). They were quite nice. We finished on time just before the water fountain started.

 

Water fountain on the schedule was at 8pm, but it didn’t start yet. There was a dancing show which was started at the same time, and it was at the main stage. Everyone went to the main stage area to watch the dancing show and I was too lazy and tired to see so I just waited for water fountain show.

It lasted quite a while and we didn’t wait until it finished. I ordered Uber and waited at the designated location. If you want to use Uber, the best meeting point will be near the entrance to parking lot, away from red car area. You need to walk a bit but it is better than waiting near Giraffe Restaurant. Total cost from night safari to our hostel was 177 baht.

Beautiful sculptures at Night Safari Chiang Mai
Deer water fountain
Night Safari Entrance at night
Night Safari Entrance

Evening Snack

Yup, we were hungry again once we arrived at the hostel. Therefore we walked to the food market nearby and bought some buns and mango sticky rice again (yeah! they were so good and cheap that I could eat it every day).

 

That was it! I hope it can help you organize your trip in Chiang Mai and itinerary on how to spend the day there. The next day we didn’t go anywhere because it was raining the whole day. But we did go to a delicious burger place for lunch and tried a famouse pork rice for dinner! I love staying in Chiang Mai πŸ˜€

Thank you for reading this post!

Ciao.

Experience · Food · Travel

Singapore Trip – Final Day

Since it passes the time so long already, I combined my 2 last days in Singapore in this post. My 4th day was basically spent in Farrer Park Medical Centre for the check up and meeting my doctor. This hospital is quite new and they have a very good imaging laboratory (for ultrasound, MRI, etc). To reach this hospital, I went to Farrer Park MRT Station, and searched for “Farrer Road Station Rd” exit. I think this one is easier than “Farrer Park Medical Centre” exit. At the exit, go to the left then turn left, and there you will see it already.

I had an appointment with them which was arranged by my doctor. The staff brought me to changing room and asked me to wear the top gown. After that I was ushered to the room. I often do this ultrasound check and they normally done in less than 30 minutes. But this one, it took 1 hour! She really did a thorough check and very detail, didn’t let the time hurried her.

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Instruction in Changing Room

After the check, I went to cashier and paid for it. Then I had about 3.5 hours before the appointment with my doctor. I contacted my friend who lives near that area and apparently she was busy with her child. So.. Let’s go to Plaza Singapura! It is very convenient since it is at the same route so I don’t need to change MRT. It is only 2 station away from Farrer Park.

I haven’t had breakfast and this started to bother me. I’ve been to Plaza Singapura before but it was many years ago, so I didn’t familiar with their layout and shops. But.. I found Old Chang Kee! My favorite snack there is the crispy squid head.I’m not a fan of squid head but for this one i love it!

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Old Chang Kee

The next plan would be finding place to sit and buy a drink. And I failed on that… Couldn’t find somewhere to sit and enjoy my morning. I was sure there is a place or two to sit, but I just wasn’t familiar with the place. I ended up sitting at the bench outside the plaze lol. Enjoying my squid head and headed back to the building. Wondered where the drink places are!

There are many interesting shop in Plaza Singapura. I don’t remember what I did there but it was suddenly already 12pm and time for lunch. I had lunch with my friend at coco ichibanya. I like japanese curry rice, and they made a good one here. It was hard to find the place though, since I wasn’t familiar with the plaza (again..). Apparently it is located at the junction area, the new plaza Singapura, connected at 3rd floor.

There were many construction area inside the plaza, so I was amazed that I could find my way back to MRT Station on my first attempt xD There were no signboard or anything to lead me to Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station. Maybe I could find it because I’m used to play RPG games lol. Finding routes and such. Anyway.. I’m back at the hospital and met my doctor. After a few examination, I’m done for the day. Everything is okay according to her (hooray!).

I had about 4 hours before my dinner appointment. My bag was heavy because I brought my samsung tab. So tempted to go back to hotel and put everything away so I could walk without any burden, but there were many stores at plaza singapura that I haven’t checked it out! So I went there instead. Strolling through daisho with their halloween collection, and bought some for dog costume. Bought a game at game store. Trying out nana’s green tea.

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Finally I had a chance to open my samsun gtab and worked on my blog while enjoying this houjicha latte. It was yummy. Their place is very strategic. In the center of the plaza and big cafe as well.

After that, I continued my journey to look around more. There is paper market, where they sell MANY kind of paper for scrap book, cards, etc. They also have stamps, stickers, and other cute stuff to make paper craft. Next to it is Art Friend. There is one in Vietnam as well, but this one in Plaza Singapura is huge!

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In the end I didn’t have time to go back to hotel and put my heavy things away. Just went to meeting place directly. My friend wanted me to try Mentai udon in Matcha House. She said it is really delicious. So let’s try!

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This is the udon. It’s similar with the one I liked at Marugame Udon before they removed it from the menu. But this one has bacon as well. I mixed all of them together. Yup, calorie bomb! But it was delicious. Need to finish it quick though, or else it won’t taste good when they’re cold.

 

After dinner, I just remembered that I wanted to buy a battery charger for my camera. I emailed the store already and they gave me the price. With hight hope, I went to Center Point and went straight to camera store. It was closed. I couldn’t believe it. Before 9.00 pm and they already closed! My friend told me it was because of Monday. They normally closed the store early on Monday. Whaaa??

Last day

I had breakfast at Watanabe Coffee (again). This time I ordered banana cinnamon. Ahh.. they were sooo tasty. I normally can’t eat much for breakfast, but this one I can finish it.

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Banana Cinnamon Toast @ Watanabe Coffee

There was not much to do during last day. I already tired of walking, especially my back already sore from carrying the backpack all the time. I just visited some stores without buying anything, and just keep walking. And it was time for lunch before I knew it..

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Lucky Chicken Rice

My Singaporean friend asked me, why foreigner soo in love with their chicken rice. It’s just chicken and rice. True indeed. I also don’t know why people going crazy about this chicken rice. But one thing I know, I like their hainan rice. I used to hate hainan rice when I was in Indonesia. I still hate it though, but I love Singaporean hainan rice πŸ˜€

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There you go, all done for my trip. See you next time, Singapore. I’ll be back.

Ciao.

Experience · Food · Travel

Singapore Trip – day 1

I wasn’t looking forward to this trip, because I have to do a check-up during my stay there. Woke up this morning at 5.15 am, finished packing my stuff and went to airport at 6.30 am. There wasn’t traffic jam and I arrived around 7 am at airport. I didn’t have my luggage with me, because my husband will carry it with him after he’s finished with work. My flight was with tiger air. The queue was not bad, I picked the shortest queue with not many checked-in baggage. But ended up waiting longer because of the trainee at the counter.

After I finished my check-in, I need to go through the first labyrinth. Security check. At least they make line so it was not that bad. It just looked terrible because of too many people at a time in 1 long queue, but the wait was not that long.

Next one is the immigration. Second labyrinth. This one always frustrates me because of the way they are queuing. I saw the line at most right side had a chance to be served by 2 counters. There is a counter for priority passenger, and if no one is there the officer will call the person on the line at most right side. Good chance! I picked that line of course. Just as about 3 persons standing on priority line. . . In the end, it was the same with other line.

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I was waiting at gate 16 but they changed it to gate 19. Luckily it is not far, so I didn’t have to walk far πŸ˜€ I saw a water (drinking) station before gate 16 and a water dispenser before gate 18. So next time I will bring empty water bottle and get water from there instead of buying. Yes, i’m cheapskate! This time I bought it from a store for USD $2! Or 45k vnd.

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The flight was on-time. I arrived at Changi International Airport terminal 2 at 11.55 pm as scheduled. I went directly to arrival, passed the immigration and custom check, and straight to money changer to buy simcard. There are several kiosk that sell simcard, but my favorite is Travellex Money Changer. They have Singtel Hi! Tourist 5 day for SGD15. Great deal. Starhub also have something similar for SGD18. Since I’m only staying in Singapore for 5 days, I bought that Singtel 5-day tourist simcard. There is other packages as well. You can check it at the counter.

I went to the city by train (MRT). Terminal 2 is very convenient as the MRT station is at the same building, so I don’t have to take sky train to other station to get on the train. It was raining when I arrived in Singapore. My friend told me it has been since 6 am. So I decided to look for lunch nearby Orchard area. I chose Food Republic in Wisma Atria.

When you don’t know what to eat, it is better to go for food court to get some ideas. Food Republic in Wisma Atria is one of my favorite. The location and the food variant are good. It is close by from Orchard MRT Station. They have Japan food city too now! As I strolled around Food Republic, I found one food I wanted. It was chicken cutlet noodle!

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Chicken Cutlet Noodle @ RedRing Treasures Cutlet Noodles

The place called RedRing Treasures Cutlet Noodles. I was interested in 2 dishes. Chicken cutlet and squid cutlet. I actually like squid better but I need to remember my health.. And squid is trickier to cook. I hate chewy squid. So I picked chicken instead. Paid SGD 5.5. While waiting for my food, I read that their cutlet was marinated for 24 hours before fried. Interesting.

Since I came there alone, I couldn’t asked someone to look for a place to sit for me. So I walked around with a tray, trying to find a place to sit and eat. It was hard on lunch hour, even tho it was already 1 pm still many people eating there. When I finally found a place, I tried the cutlet. It was delicious! The meat is tender and they tasted very good. So they weren’t lying about marinated the cutlet! I like this! The noodle also good. Chinese thin noodles. Recommended to try.

After lunch, I walked to my hotel and stopped by at Shaw Center to see the pet shop there. There is 1 pet shop inside Shaw Center on 4th floor, called Pet Lovers Centre. I didn’t look for something in particular. Just browsing and see if they have a good collar for my friend. She asked me to let her know if I found one for her dog. But there was nothing special about the collar. They are just normal collar without any design. I looked around the shop and didn’t find anything interesting to buy. Found some stuffs that are available in Ho Chi Minh City as well, and their prices are higher here.

I checked in at my hotel and rest for a bit. At 6.20 pm I went to Novena Station and met my friend. We planned to have dinner together. At first, I wanted to try Founder Bakkut Teh. But they are located in Balestier Road, about 20 mins walking from the station. Too far.. Gonna starve before reach the place. We decided to look around in Square 2. My friend has a favorite ramen place there and it had queue when we arrived at the shop. So we were walking around looking for another option, and we found Seoul Yummy.

We sat at the corner table. The table next to us ordered Buddae Jigae, a mixed of meat, vegetable, and noodle in kimchi soup. Very interesting, but also looks spicy… Me and spicy food, never get along 😦 In the end, we ordered something else. My friend ordered a spicy kimchi ramen with chicken and cheese.

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Spicy Kimchi Ramen with Chicken and Cheese

I ordered grilled eel bibimbap. I forgot to take a picture of it 😦 For the drink, we ordered roasted barley tea. Overall the food is okay. It is spicy and more to the sweet taste than salty. I don’t mind a little spicy food as long as it’s salty as well. But this restaurant mostly has sweet taste. Even on their side dishes.

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Among the appetizer / side, I like the tofu the most since it’s salty xD In total, I spent SGD 22 for foood and drink. Quite expensive and the food was not impressive. Definitely not recommend this place.

After dinner, we walked around inside Square 2. There are not many shops there, but at least have a few interesting shops. The first one we saw was Korean supermarket. They are selling korean product (doh!).

20161007_201954.jpgThis noodle, according my friend, can be made as seen on korean drama. Cooked it and add chesse then eat with kimchi. She said it is very yummy. I should try it!! But I don’t want to buy the noodle here and carry it over to vietnam… Let’s see if I can find it in Ho Chi Minh City. They have a new korean supermarket in the city.

Next is Japan Store. Many household products and they are cheap as well. Also many Japanese product. So I like this place.

We entered several fashion shops as well, but didn’t buy anything. The products are not good and their price is high. I saw 1 dress, very simple and no brand. Price tag is SGD 83. Good bye!

On ground floor I saw Vincci. This one is a shoe brand from Malaysia if I’m not mistaken. My other friend used to like this so much because it’s comfortable to wear and affordable price. We looked around the small corner of Vincci and didn’t find anything to buy at the moment. But at least this friend of mine found a new place to buy her next shoes πŸ˜€

The last shop we stopped by was Miss Empire. This shop has MANY cute accesories. Earrings, bracelets, necklace, bag charm, etc. Their products are from korean. There are some product from Paris, France as well. I found and owl earrings! It’s so cute, couldn’t resist to buy it. The earrings price range are from SGD 15 to SGD 49. They have gold plated ones and silver ones.

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They have other branches as well. And each branch has special collection. For example, the branch at Clarke Quay has more collection for party people, and at Orchard Central has style for Japanese people. Interesting… I need to check it out πŸ˜€ The shopkeeper asked me to check their website as well. http://www.missempire.com.sg.

That was all for day 1. There was not much to do other than eat and shop πŸ˜€ but at least it was a productive one because I tried new things and found new things as well!

Thanks for reading my adventure in Singapore during my 1st day here. See you on next post!

Ciao.