Thursday, October 30, 2014

Post Aussie, Sun-date at Sunday Folks!

It's been 4 days since i came back from Australia and my body clock is pretty much trying to get back the momentum, the 2 hours time difference does make quite an impact! Spent close to 3 weeks (longest i have ever been away overseas!) and half the time i wished i was back in Singapore with my family and friends but now that i'm back, i wished i was still in Australia. It's like a love hate relationship, LOL Overall it was quite an experience having to be away in a foreign land, seeing wild kangaroos roaming around freely, making sure my expenses is enough for the entire trip, returning back to the same hotel room every single day for the longest period ever and many more! The food in Australia is ridiculously expensive! It's like one plate of duck rice or a bowl of wanton mee in an Asian restaurant can easily cost you about AUD13 ($14.60) but then again, the portion they give is really huge too. The alternative or cheaper option you can consider is probably fast food or pizza (AUD5 for a pizza? wtf.) No wonder people say if you are going to Aussie to study or to stay for a long period of time, you should really learn how to cook. Now i understand why, HAHAHA
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Took quite a lot of photos throughout the trip but they are mostly scenery shots like the above, LOL Every scenery shot taken is like so wallpaper worthy omg. Obviously i won't be doing a travelogue on my trip since there's nothing much (it's not like i went to Gold coast or Sydney, lol) and it's gonna be 3 weeks long worth so i will probably just compile and edit a simple photo book kinda post just like my recent one i did for my trip to Malacca! I will probably visit Australia again (probably gold coast!) some time in April next year to visit the theme parks and also to try sky diving! Looking forward!!
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The weekend i left for Aussie, Jing long and Jiaqi brought me out as an advance birthday treat and since we had the car and was thinking of places to go, i suggested Sunday Folks! For the longest time i've been wanting to try their waffles with soft serve but the first few attempts was futile. The first time i visited the place was during lunch time before a lecture at SP, only to realised it's opens only at 4pm FML. The second time i went, it was closed. (take note, closed on Mondays, FML x2 seriously) The third time i went, the queue was just as long and we decided to have it in a cone for takeaway, no waffles -_- The fourth time i went, the queue was so freaking long and i had to wait at least 45 mins according to the system - gave up and had something else. THIS TIME, WE DECIDED TO TAKE A QUEUE NUMBER AND WAITED IN THE CAR TILL THE SMS CAME TO TELL US OUR SEAT IS READY. Waited for about half an hour. FINALLY OMGG.
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It's a good thing they decided to have benches outside their shop so that those waiting for their seats can sit down and wait outside. 95% of the people who visit Sunday Folks will order their waffles with soft serve, the other 5% don't know what they thinking, lol. Ordered 2 to share so  we had one with Dark chocolate soft serve (my favourite!!! ) and the other Pistachio soft serve. The toppings are all over at the counter and you get to see them decorate your waffles, wee!
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The soft serve melted at a fast and furious rate so after we took photos of the waffles, we had to gobble down everything. Overall the waffles was really nice and fluffy and i love the flavor of the soft serve! It's not those dense or mild flavor kind but you can really taste the strong flavor, like those atas ice cream, LOL For the price tag of $10.50 (depending on flavor), i thought it was quite worth for a dessert as it excel in both taste and appearance. By the way if you still do not know, Sunday Folks is actually the sister branch of the already famous Creamier ice cream at Toa Payoh! As much as i want to go back and try other flavors, Holland Village is like all the way to the west, till the next time :)

Sunday Folks
#01-52, Chip Bee Gardens, 44 Jalan Merah Saga
Tue - Fri: 16:00 - 21:30
Sat - Sun: 12:00 - 22:00
Closed: Mon

Lots of Love,                                   

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Get messy at Dancing Crab!

As you are reading this, i'm at the other side of the world in Australia. It's the first time i'm spending my birthday overseas and it's kinda of a weird feeling. Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MYSELF! Probably no cake this year since i told no one here that it's my birthday, HAHA As much as i wish to spend the day with my family and friends, this is also a new experience for me. This is a scheduled post by the way, lol. I'm obviously not spending the day in front of the computer, instead probably trying to take a selfie with a wild kangaroo. About 2 weeks back, i met up with my 2 best friends, Jing Long and Jiaqi who took me out for an entire day to celebrate my birthday way in advance. We went to Sunday Folks for their waffles, then Rider's Cafe (not to eat but to visit the area and take some photos) and finally Dancing Crab for dinner! Spent the whole day in the west doing things that i always wanted to do but lazy to travel, LOL

They kept the dinner destination a surprise for the entire day. Since we were in the west, i was guessing maybe W39 bistro since i always mentioned i wanted to visit but when we drove into Turf city, i immediately saw Dancing Crab from the backseat and i somehow guessed that we will be having Dancing Crab since i recently told Jing Long it looks fun and i want to try it. I pretended i don't know where we are going just in case we are going somewhere else. MUAHAHAHA
Wait till they read this post. One of them probably will go, "See! I knew he would know lor. He pretend only" LOLOLOL
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Did not make a reservation beforehand because Jing Long's friend told him no need to reserve one. We ended up waiting for about 35 mins or so lor. In the meantime, we went to explore the nearby Pasarbella, which was quite an eye opener. So ang mo style. While waiting for our seats, i was feeling quite excited because i can't wait to get my hands dirty, LOL
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Got our seats and we put on the plastic apron. SUPER EXCITED!!! Read online about their refreshing lemonade so we ordered the Fizzy Lemonade and Pink thyme lemonade at $4 each. I don't know what's with Dancing Crab but they seem to have this "Happy Hour" whereby at certain point of time, one of the staffs will take the microphone and do a countdown and whoever finishes his or her drink will get a free refill immediately. No idea when it will happen though.
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We ordered a Combo Bag #01A which consist of Sri Lankan Crab, 300g Prawns, 250g Clams, Potatoes, Corn and Sausages ($80), a basket of Garlic soy sauce Chicken wings ($9), Signature Spicy Cajun Fries ($7) and 3 Grilled butter rolls ($2 each) All for the 3 of us to share! When the combo bag came, the staff literally pour everything out onto the table and when the fries and chicken wings came, we did the same and dump everything onto the table! The fries tasted normal, slightly spicy but the chicken wings was good! Needless to say, the seafood was the highlight of the night. The signature dancing crab sauce was really good! Honestly, i'm not a fan of eating crab because of the mess and it takes quite an effort to get the meat out but that night, no need to care about what image and just eat everything unglam-ly!!! HAHA
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Actually this method of eating without plates and utensils is really a great concept. They don't have to wash a single thing and when clearing up, they just have to wrap everything into the plastic that covers the table and throw the whole plastic bag way. Not very environmental friendly though. It was an awesome meal of fun, laughter and good food! Thank you two for the advance birthday treat, i will bring something nice back from Australia, like a koala bear! ♥ ♥ 

Lots of love,                                      

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Travelogue Day 5: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Myeongdong 명동, N Seoul Tower N 서울타워, Good Bye Korea.

It's finally the last post of my Seoul travelogue! Can't believe i took like 5 months to complete it. That's an average of 1 post per month. Unknowingly it's my 3rd time to Korea, the country where a lot of people are planning and always wanted to visit because of the K-Pop and K-drama hype over the past few years. I got to witness snowfall for the very first time during my first trip in 2010. Then in 2013, i got to experience traveling to the outskirts of Korea and in 2014, i explored the rest of Seoul that i missed out during the first 2 trips. I wonder when will be the next time i visit Korea...

Before i go on this final post, here's a recap and link to the previous posts:
  • Travelogue Day 0: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Scoot, WIFI egg, AREX, Seoul tower Hostel and Black Hair Salon! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 1: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Hongdae, Trickeye Museum, Ice Museum and Dongdaemun! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 2: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Lotteworld and Myeongdong! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 3: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Gyeongbokgung Palace, COEX Aquarium and Itaewon! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 4: 안녕하세요 Seoul! All the way to Everland 에버랜드 via Yongin Ever Line! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 5: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Myeongdong 명동, N Seoul Tower N 서울타워, Good Bye Korea. 

Basically our return flight is in the late night so technically we had the whole day to ourselves. At the same time, it wouldn't be advisable to travel far so i planned the itinerary such that we will explore nearby our hostel so we can easily return in the evening to collect our luggage and proceed to the airport. The final day would be just visiting N Seoul Tower and Myeondong and our hostel is directly right smack in the middle of these 2 places, walking distance! :D
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Woke up early to get the usual breakfast - Issac Toast! Throughout the whole 6 days trip, we practically had Issac toast for at least 4 days. The toast is that good and we simply couldn't bother to find other breakfast options, other than one of the days where we woke up late and had the Budae jjigae for "brunch" LOL Highly recommended for those who is staying at Myeondong. It's not expensive also, i think my ham, cheese and egg toast cost about $3? Definitely worth it!!!

Since it's Don first time to Korea, visiting the iconic N Seoul Tower (서울타워) is definitely a must. During my last trip to Korea, i had half a day to myself so i went all the way up the tower for the very first time. This time, i could easily navigate myself up without a map. *flicks hair If you are going there for the first time, this guide is pretty useful - LINK
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There are a couple of ways you can get to the tower but the most common way would be via the cable car. Tickets cost about 6300 won for a round trip and it brings you to the bottom of the tower. If you are wondering whether to go further up the tower, i would say... don't bother. Save that 7000 won admission because the view below is just as good.
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Most people would just pay for the cable car and remain at the bottom of the tower. The iconic N Seoul Tower has been featured in countless of K dramas and  what most couples would be interested in would be attaching their love lockets 
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Got myself a stick of Churros 
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If you are one of those that intend to attach your very own love lock, i would suggest that you get one before hand from somewhere else because the ones that they sell there are overpriced. Then again, you don't put a price on love. And most people would still pay for it because the one store there is the only place that sells the locket! HAHAHHAHAHAHA 
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Other than locks, some people put key chains, fake diamond rings, even handphone cases. If you look closely, you realised some of them are not for their other half but to their favourite Kpop idol instead, lololol. #foreveralone I wonder if they clear lockets every once in awhile. Cannot be they just let the fence accumulate like forever right. O_O
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Went to Myeondong to do our last minute shopping and spend away all our remaining Korean Wons! Myeondong is the place to get all the facial products like masks, BB creams and they are typically cheaper than in Singapore. Got myself some facial wash, hair products and facial cream! At Myeondong, you will also get to see posters and standees of Kpop idols everywhere as they endorse the products. The more famous ones during the period i went was Kim Soo Hyun, Jun Ji Hyun (mainly because of the hit drama - "My love from the star"), EXO and G Dragon. They are literally EVERYWHERE.
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Come to think of it, Myeondong is like the Korean version of Taiwan's Ximending 西門町 where by they have all these facial brands, lots of street food and performances along the way. They have this famous "pipe" ice cream (I have no idea what's the exact term for it.) but what they do is stuff soft serve ice cream into this tube. Did not try it though...
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Not forgetting my favourite egg bread (Gyeran bbang ,계란빵) since it's already the last day! :(

In the midst of all the shopping and stuff, we came across an underground mart and literally went crazy buying all sorts of Korean snacks which cannot be found in Singapore. I grabbed an empty basket and dump all those interesting looking ones, my favourite Market O Real Brownie, a huge box of Choco pie and eventually paid about SGD$75 for everything - without considering whether there is space in my luggage. By the way, i hand carried all the food back. WORTH IT. LOL
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Found a Budae jjigae 부대찌개 restaurant and decided to have it for our very last meal in Korea. Come to think of it, i seem to have never across Budae jjigae in Singapore. Anyone can recommend me a good one? I love how they mix all sort of random stuff (but they are mostly things that i eat) into this mild spicy soup base. It's like a steamboat, HAHA 
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At around 4 plus, we went back to our hostel and dragged our luggage to the common area where we tried to re-packing everything and try fit in the last minute buys. I ended up with a huge bag pack, one filled to the brim luggage and one huge tote bag. It felt almost impossible to carry all our stuff and walk through all the crowd at the substation to take the airport express train to the airport so i suggested taking Airport bus 6015 instead. The Airport bus cost 10,000 won per trip and takes about 40 mins to travel from Myeondong to Incheon Airport. Much more convenient i would say. Phew

The thing i learnt while researching for this Korea trip would be to keep the VAT receipts for Tax refund. Basically if you spend more than 30,000 won at a participating retail store, you are eligible for tax refund (Participating stores are designated by the "Global Blue Tax Free" or "Global Tax Free" logo.) Trust me, it's super easy to hit 30,000 won (SGD$36) especially at those facial shops and branded store. Tip: Keep all the VAT refund receipt in a single envelope!!

Do cater time for tax refund as there can be a queue at the airport. At the airport, look for the tax refund counter and show the purchased goods to the customs officer (normally they won't check) and get the "All Goods Exported" endorsement on the refund receipt. After going through customs, proceed to the Refund Counter on the departures floor to get your cash refund. You probably can get quite a sum of money in return, then again... there is no where to spend already since you are already past the customs which explains the remaining Korean Won i'm left with now, Zzz. 
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I think i spent some of the "refunded" Korean Wons getting food on the plane. Took the Scoot return flight back to Singapore which includes a transit at Taipei. Eventually arrived in Singapore at about 5am+ in the morning. This marks the end of my 6 days Korea travelogue! If you came across my blog while researching for your upcoming Korea trip, i hope my travelogue is useful! Nevertheless, i hope you enjoyed reading my adventure in Korea! Till the next trip