Ready, Set, Go, HK!

Despite Hong Kong being a real short 2 night trip for us, I must say it was truly a blast! They say you can never see a country the same way twice and it was really the case for me. It felt like a totally different country I was stepping into compared to my last visit back in November 2012.


Although the agenda for the trip was food and a hike. We ended up just eating and shopping. Well, in our defence, the poor weather was to blame. It’s definitely not an understatement when you hear people saying Hong Kong is a food paradise. Locals and tourists alike flock to get a table even if entails a waiting time. It’s easily a 30 minute wait at most places. Another concept you have to embrace when in Hong Kong, would be the idea of communal dining. It’s almost always you are sharing the same table with strangers and sometimes you end up having a stranger right across you. If you are lucky, it’s at least a 1m spacing, mind you.

Transport and SIM Matters

The transport in Hong Kong is very well developed and easy to accustom yourself to even for first timers. From the Airport, we got ourselves a MTR Pass which included 2-way Airport express for 350 HKD (about SGD58). The validity for the pass was 3 days, which was sufficient for us.

Before my travel, I bought myself a 1.5GB SIM via KLOOK for SGD 7. It was really useful as travel these days, unfortunately, relies a lot on Google Maps to bring you places.

Dim Sum 

Having landed in Hong Kong close to 2pm, we headed straight with our luggage for a late dim sum lunch at the famous One Dim Sum at Prince Edward. It was about a 20 minute wait before we got ourselves a table for 2.


A stone’s throw away is another popular Dim Sum place, Famous Dim Sum. Following the theory of the more crowded a shop is the better the food is, we stuck to our wait at One Dim Sum. I found the variety of dim sum that was offered pretty limited as opposed to the options we had back in Singapore. But, however, there is no competition when it came to the quality and size of the meat. The prawns and meat portion were sizeable as well so succulent.


Expected damage: HKD 113 for 2



I daresay, the dinner at the end of first day, at Butao Ramen at their Tsim Sha Tsui outlet, was hands down the best meal in our trip, for me at least. You get to customise nearly every aspect of the dish from garlic to oil level to noodle texture etc.

To begin with you have 4 options to choose from for the choice of ramen as well as on lucky days, you have an option called limited edition as well. No surprise, it had run out by the time we got there for dinner.

1) Butao King 豚王: the original, with a tonkotsu pork bone broth
2) Green King 翠王: an Italian inspired pesto, basil and Parmesan cheese ramen
3) Black King 黑王: a tonkatsu squid ink broth
4) Red King 赤王: a spicy miso broth

This bowl of goodness was perfect comfort food for the soul especially after our rather bad experience of the Symphony of Light show. It didn’t help that the sky was so foggy.

Again, relatively close by to Butao Ramen is another more popular ramen shop, Ichiran. This post compares both Butao and Ichiran for those of you undecided on which ramen store would better suit your palette. Given that I was fully satisfied with my bowl of goodness at Butao, I gave Ichiran a miss this time round.

Expected damage: HKD 263 for 2

Wanton Noodle



Everyone is familiar with Mak’s Noodle at Jordan. However, we missed original, one-star Michelin Star Mak’s Noodle and landed ourselves few stores away at Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop instead. This is literally right next to Australian Diary Co, which has a queue of at least 15 people at any time of the day, so it’s quite hard to miss this.

Again, some reviews claim that Mak Man Kee Noodles are better than the original Mak’s Noodle. But, we were not too fussed that we learnt we ended up at the “wrong” noodle shop at the end of our late lunch. As hard as it is, you have got to pace yourselves in Hong Kong as there is literally something good to try at every corner. We swung by a dessert store for some sugar rush after our light lunch at Mak Man Kee Noodle’s.

Expected damage: HKD 157 for 2

Australian Diary Co. 


This place definitely was better than I expected it to be because when I first chanced by it enroute to Mak’s Noodle I wondered to myself “how good can eggs on toast taste that people don’t mind queuing for it.” But, low behold, the next day (which was also the last day in HK) I dragged the husband for breakfast. Let’s just say, you’ll tolerate communal dining as well as rude waiters who pounce within seconds when your plate is empty to help clear them for you, just to have a good start to the day. At least, I didn’t mind. Added bonus, amazing milk tea!

Expected damage: HKD 80 for 2


Thanks to the staff at Urban Coffee Roasters (next up!) our craving for Japanese for fulfilled on the last day for lunch. He recommended this joint (Hokkaido Katsu) which was nothing too fancy but high quality sushi and sashimi which was rather affordable.


Expected damage: HKD 170 for 2

Alternative Dining 

Grassroots Pantry is a rather high end restaurant that serves fully vegetarian plates with a totally different twist. Some of the dishes on the menu include popcorn “chicken”, pulled jackfruit nachos and dragon maki roll. Wasn’t the most enjoyable meal for the trip but it was definitely refreshing on our taste buds, having had meat for every meal in our time in Hong Kong.

Coffee and Drinks

Having done my homework before the trip, I planned on checking out Urban Coffee Roasters for their speciality coffee as the husband is a huge coffee enthusiast. I planned it such that a good cup of coffee would help kickstart our fitness for the trip. But, turns out, as I mentioned earlier, the weather diverted our plans to staying indoors.


Nothing fancy on the menu for food, the coffee is the real deal. Another joint we checked out was The Cupping Room located near Central. There are more food options in The Cupping Room so for the non coffee enthusiasts, don’t miss checking this one out.

There a plenty of bars that have opened up, especially around Central, but we only had one to check out over our 2 nights in HK. The Iron Fairies! I’ll let photos to do talking about this whimsical underground bar.






If you have only time for to visit one market, Ladies Market has to be your choice! From bags to electronics to toys the market has nearly everything for every age group. The bulk of our first day was spent frequenting the Ladies Market. Our hotel, S Hotel Yau Ma Tei, was about a 10 minute walk to the Market. Temple Street Night Market located at Mong Kok is another popular one. However, do note, it’s a night market so arriving after 8pm would be your best bet to see the market in it’s full glory. Here’s a list of the best 9 markets in Hong Kong for the shopping enthusiasts.


Aside from markets, Mong Kok area has a plethora of electronics stores as well as sports stores. We frequented the area twice in the 3 days we had in Hong Kong.


For my next trip to Hong Kong, conquering the Lion’s Rock is in my to-do list. Hopefully,  our travel dates coincide with good weather. This guide has full details on what to expect during the hike. Another popular hiking trail is the Dragon’s Back. Some day soon I shall conquer you (both).

There were a couple of websites that helped me planned my food trail though HK. So, passing it on folks.


Till then, eat your way though Hong Kong guys!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.



One huge perk of being in Asia is that your weekend getaways can be flight away without a huge bomb in your pocket if you plan your travels quite in advance.

I spent the last weekend of October last year travelling to Bangkok on Scoot and return by Jetstar because of the flight timings that worked in our favour to maximise our weekend in the food haven. Tickets for each of us was about SGD $170 return.

Our mantra for BKK was: eat, shop, sleep, repeat. And it was definitely MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


Bangkok is laden with ample options for affordable as well as authentic Thai food littered along regular streets.


Having visited Pantaree Restuarant, back in 2014, I went in search of it this time round to have my first meal in Bangkok there. However, it is no longer located below Asok BTS, but instead it has shifted closer to Nana BTS, along Soi Sukhumvit 8. I felt like the standard of food had dropped since my last visit to Pantaree. But, we still enjoyed our lunch nonetheless.

But, our dinner the next day at  Inter Restaurant was THE BOMB!


Because of it’s location right smack in the centre of Siam, it does get pretty crowded. But, I assure you the food really tugs at every corner of your stomach. Our meal for 2 costed 525 Bhat. We actually ordered till we used up all our Bhat as we were catching our flight in the next hour. Typical Singaporeans. LOL.


We conquered just 2 places relatively well in our 36 hours in Bangkok. Platinum Mall as well as everyone’s favourite Chatuchak market. This guide would help be navigate through the various sections of the market successfully before the heat gets you down. But, hey, there is always coconut ice cream to cool you down.


I loved our stay at Sivatel Bangkok (SGD130/night). It came with a super huge room, breakfast overlooking the infinity pool and floats in the pool. It took us only about 15 minutes to get us to Siam, so I found the location very good given our short time in Bangkok. Definitely heading back to Sivatel the next time Bangkok calls me!


Till next time, Sawadikap 🙂

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

We got married and ran away to the beach!

With everything that went on for the first 3/4 of last year, house and wedding planning, I knew our first vacation as a married couple would revolve around just 1 word, BEACH. Being in Asia, it is relatively easy to fly yourself to the various beach destinations that surround Sunny Singapore. But, Indonesia’s Gili Islands had always been on my list. So, it felt natural to get ourselves there to literally do nothing and be beach bums all day, every day.

We managed to score ourselves relatively affordable tickets to Bali on Airasia during a sale for SGD 500 for the 2 of us. As we were flying off on 1 September, which was a public holiday, we knew we couldn’t score bargain tickets. Another way to get to Gili Islands, would be to fly to Lombok instead of Bali. However, as no budget airlines flies to Lombok yet, it was economical for us.

Since we arrived late into Bali, we decided to stay a night at Amnaya Resort Kuta (SGD 117/night) before we headed off to Gili Air in the morning. After checking in, we scooted off right away to Johnny Tacos which was close by for our late dinner.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4e60Basic yet so yum tacos at Johnny Tacos 

The next morning, we set off to Gili Air. Our tickets were IDR 225k each and the ferry (Ganggari Fast Boat) took us through Padang Bai. We spent the whole morning travelling we checked in way past noon at our home for the next 2 nights – Samata Village (SGD 142/night). The place blew me away when I first found them online and boy, it was exactly what I had imagined it to be.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_5313.jpgIf this isn’t paradise, I don’t know what else is

Gilli Air, felt like I was in another world altogether having just come from Kuta. Although it was still fairly crowded with tourists, the cobbled pavements, horse carts, sand under your feet definitely did it’s magic on me. We spent the rest of the day indulging in food, more food (think gelato) and watching the sun set right before our eyes.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_52feSunset at Gili Air

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_5359.jpgExploring the island on bicycles

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_534d.jpgNumerous postcard moments

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_53b3.jpgMovie night at Ombak Restaurant 

Day 2 in Gili Air is better explained from the last 3 photos above. It was just the perfect kind of quiet to unwind after all the crazy months of planning. For food, we checked out Chill Out Cafe, Raja Bar and Restaurant, The Mexican Kitchen and Scallywags (only dessert though). My recommendation would for both the food as well as beach huts to lounge the afternoon away would be The Mexican Kitchen. Apart from that, the rest of the restaurants were passable for food but perfect for chilling.

Heads up, we got our hopes too high thinking we could have a good brunch before we set off to Gili Meno. We chanced upon Coffee and Thyme which greeted us right at jetty when we first got to Gili Air. But, trust me, when I say just enter the restaurant, take a few snaps of the pool by the side and leave. Do NOT spend your dollar. But, I suppose that experience was good to kick us out of Gili Air and onward to Gili Meno because we sure did not have much blues after our “meal” there.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_5453.jpgIf Gili Air was paradise, Gili Meno is heaven

We arrived from Gili Air to Gili Meno real quick given how close both islands were. Our ferry costed us IDR 85k per person. And as we were approaching the island, we knew for sure, we would be spending our unplanned night in Meno before we head to Ubud in 3 days time. Gili Meno was far quieter with lesser people and beach huts littered all around the coast line.

IMG_4647.JPGVilla Mojo in its full glory

Our first 2 nights were spent at Villa Mojo (SGD 148/night) and for the last night Les Villas Ottalia (SGD 84/night). Villa Mojo was in a very good location, near the beach and basically the main road of the island. However, getting to Les Villas was indeed a struggle. So if you are travelling with a lot of luggage, please bear that in mind. The highlight of Gili Meno was our meal over sunset at Mahamaya Resort. It was really a treat for the eyes and a feast for the tummy. And also, tears for the wallet. Our dinner for 2 was IDR 470k.


Apart from Mahamaya, Karma Beach Club is another popular place in Gili Meno.


With a view like this before your eyes, all the worries in the world probably disappear even if it is temporary.  The rest of our time in Gili Meno was spent beach hopping and indulging in sinful food.

Both Gili Air and Gili Meno are really small islands that you cover either by foot or a bicycle. There are no automobiles which equates to no pollution. It’s just you and nature and more nature.

As much as it was painful to say our goodbye to the islands after 5 days, I was very excited to finally visit Ubud. Despite, being to Bali multiple times, I never made it up to Ubud. Plus, when you have got an amazing Airbnb stay (SGD 104/night) with a view like this, who wouldn’t be! 😉


No words can describe the peace and tranquility that greets you when you step into the villa. Ubud is littered with many many good cafes and eateries. I wish we had more days to explore (a.k.a. stuff our faces silly).

Among all our meals we had in Ubud, our best meal experience was at Clear Cafe. It was truly one of a kind. For those of you heading to Ubud, Clear Cafe is a MUST on your list.

For authentic Balinese food, we tried Cafe Lotus which is also famous for having traditional Balinese dance performance in the evenings. We got our Mexican fix at Taco Casa which was bustling with people every time we drove past. For coffee lovers, I would highly recommend Seniman Coffee Studio. We had brunch at Habitat which had amazing smoothie bowls. For our last dinner in Ubud, we concluded the night in Hujan Locale which caters to people looking for a twist in a typical Asian restaurant. For coconut lovers, you will go nuts (pun unintended), at Tukies Coconut Shop.

Apart from the delectable food scene, Ubud is also famous for their rafting day trips. We booked our rafting excursion with BMW (Bali Mitra Wahana) for IDR 500k for 2 pax. BMW was said to be one of the better rafting companies to go with. But, please do your homework before you decide on which company to go with. Some factors to consider would be the distance covered as well as the terrain grade.


After a day out under the sun, we decided to pamper ourselves to a 2.5 hour spa package at Sang Spa 2 for IDR 900k.

With that, our amazing 10-day Indonesia adventure concluded! For a beach bum like me, Gili Meno were the best 3 days spent together with my husband. Till next time!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Krabi Days.

Exactly a year ago, I landed in Krabi on Christmas Day with the sister! Our 6D5N trip was such a blast, I nearly forgot to recap my holiday till a year later. 😉

Since I was arriving close to sunset in Krabi, I decided to stay a night (at Krabi Front Bay Resort) in Krabi town before leaving for Ao Nang the next morning. It also worked out so we could check out the Krabi Walking Street which essentially meant FOOD, FOOD and more FOOD. No complaints that we ended up tucking into bed with mango sticky rice!


The next morning, we set off from Krabi town towards Ao Nang which is essentially the main area in Krabi where everything happens. We paid 220 Bhat for 2 of us for the 30 minute travel to our rather fancy accomodation at Bluesotel Krabi.


We spent the rest of the day booking our island tour for the following day, shopping, eating and lounging.

IMG_9733Day 2 dinner at Cheap Cheap Restaurant, Ao Nang (630 Bhat)

Day 3 was all about our 4 islands tour! I was slightly skeptical about this highly touristy activity but gave it a short nonetheless as it was my last day in Ao Nang before more chill awaited me at Koh Lanta. The tour costed us 1200 + 800 Bhat (entrance fees) for 2. I wouldn’t say there was anything fantastic with the tour, especially given that we went during peak season but the clear skies and endless blue sure does its wonders.

The tour comprises of Phra Nang Cave Beach, Poda Island, Chicken Island as well as Tub – Mor Islands. There was nothing too spectacular about the tour largely because of how crowded the beaches were given the peak season.

IMG_9890.JPGLongtail boats lined up at Phra Nang Beach

After 3 nights in Krabi, we were ready for a less crowded Koh Lanta and our private villa (Chalaroste Lanta) for our stay was just perfect. Spent the rest of the day, hiring a motorbike and exploring Koh Lanta. We checked out Khlong Chak waterfall, drove back while watching sunset and had Greek for dinner. A perfect, relaxing day before we end the trip with another island tour.


Prior to my arrival in Krabi, I had read the reviews of Trang Island tours by Freedom Adventures and was definitely keen despite it setting us back about 2000 Bhat between us. Ko Mook was my personal favourite as you swim in pitch blackness for about 30 seconds (150m) before a beautiful lagoon greets you. Worry not, non swimmers, you are covered as you have your life jackets on. Snorkelling up close with fishes in Ko Kradan felt really surreal. Definitely recommend Trang Island tour. Here’s a review that would give you more details on what to expect!

Do note the ferry point from Koh Lanta is at Old Town. True to it’s name it has a very rustic and untouched vibe.


IMG_0255.JPGOur final dinner in Koh Lanta at  Krua Dan Tai (650 Bhat) 

Despite us not heading to Phi Phi Islands, it was an amazing trip back to Thailand – one of my favourite countries in Asia. Till next time, ka pun kap.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

3 nights in Barcelona.

Nearly 8 months prior to my travel, I booked myself a seat on Qatar Airways for SGD 863 for a 2-way Singapore to Barcelona flight (layover in Doha) with my girlfriends! It was my first real trip to Europe (turkey doesn’t count ;)) and we were gonna be going for TOMATINA!! Couldn’t be more psyched that this was finally happening! After our countless talk of being part of the tomato madness and striking it off our bucket list, the moment was finally here! Tickets were booked!

We flew to Barcelona, figured out the metro system, struggled with street names, and directions while figuring out our apartment location, took a long while to locate a Vodafone that is actually open and possibly found the best (and very affordable) paella in town in a very fancy restaurant. Verdict: 3 nights ain’t enough!

Getting around


A single trip from to airport to the city (or vice versa) costs EUR 4.50 via the metro line shown above. As you can see, the metro network is relatively easy to figure out. There a various day passes that can be purchased for your travels within Barcelona. As we were there for 3 nights, we got ourselves a 3 day pass for EUR 20.50. There is also another option of T10 (10 train rides) for EUR 9.90 (airport ride not included). On our return back to the airport, to pick up our rental car before we drove to Valencia, we tried to outsmart the system buying by a T10 pass to share it between myself and my 3 other friends. Sorry guys, didn’t work.

SIM Matters

Vodafone seemed to be the most reliable telecomm provider and since their price was affordable I decided to stick with a familiar name. It costed me EUR 15 for 1.5gb and lucky for me, there was a free upgrade to 3GB for the same price. The SIM was valid for a month, which was more than enough for my 16 day travel within Spain.


  1. Sagrada Familia!


THE place to visit when in Barcelona! Lucky me, could even get a glimpse of the Roman Catholic wonder from the balcony of my apartment! That was how near our apartment was to Sagrada! Despite walking by the Sagrada each time we took the Metro, I couldn’t help but marvel at Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece that is still under construction even after over 100 years. We pre-booked our tickets online way earlier and ended up scoring discounted tickets at EUR 7.30 for a Sunday entry into the church (without audio guide)

Other ticketing information can be found at:

2. Casa Batllo


Following Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s next architectural marvel would be Casa Batllo. Located along Passeig de Gracia, Casa Batllo is a stone’s throw away from Guadi’s another beauty – Casa Mila. As entry to each costed quite a bit, we opted to visit just Casa Batllo. Known for it’s irregular oval windows, flowing sculpted stone work, very few straight lines, broken ceramic tiles making up a colourful mosaic, Casa Batllo was a beauty to be standing within.

Entry to Casa Batllo costed us EUR 22 each, which came with an audio guide. Highly recommended, despite being slightly costly!

3. Park Guell


I nicknamed this, Gaudi’s little playground! Minus, the (insane) crowd, there is nothing not to love about Park Guell! It’s no surprise that there is a limit of 400 tickets every half hour to the Monumental Zone of the park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Booking your tickets online guarantees you a spot in the park and also allows you to save 1 Euro from the ticket price of 8 Euros at the door.

4. Camp Nou


Camp Nou stadium experience is really ONCE in a lifetime! Highly recommend going for it! Tickets costs EUR 23 + EUR 5 (for an audio guide – which is helpful if you are not really game for reading all the information displayed in the gallery).

Food, Glorious food

In my entire trip around Spain, Les Quinze Nits was my favourite for their paella! It looks very fancy from the outside that we actually walked past it, till my friend actually pointed it out. Thank god for locals! The paella tasted very authentic and it was affordable, so what’s not to love about it.

A thing to note: paella actually tastes different all throughout Spain, so enjoy eating your way through 🙂

For churros, I enjoyed those I tried at Petritxol cafe. Thick, warm chocolate to dip sugar coated churros in. Aaaahhhh…. And there after, head down to Barceloneta Beach to laze the afternoon away. As good as life gets!


Next up, was Valencia! And that meant, TOMATINA!!!!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Bali Daze.


I decided to make use of the long weekend (thanks to Good Friday) to revisit Bali having been there last, in 2013. I’ve been always been wanting to explore Uluwatu and Ubud so decided that I’d do just that over this trip instead of visiting the usual tourist spots of Kuta and Seminyak.

I did 2 1-way flights each on Jetstar and Tiger which allowed me to score tickets for around SGD 200 for a Friday (early) morning flight out with a Monday night return. Seemed like a pretty sweet deal so I grabbed the tickets last August itself.


There are plenty of villa options that greet you when you are deciding on where to stay in Bali. I had initially planned to stay at Nusa Dua for 1 night, Uluwatu for 1 night and then spend the last night winding down in Ubud. However, 4 days before my flight out there were some changes that I had to make to my Airbnb booking due to a system glitch that booked me into a villa that had already been booked. Am glad I managed to sort it out with the Airbnb host and everything worked to my advantage to be honest! 🙂

Moral of story: If you book way in advance for your hotels, try to get those which allow for free cancellation. You never know when it comes in handy.

So, we ended up staying near Nusa Dua for 1 night and then at our Airbnb accommodation (near Uluwatu) for 2 nights.

Our accommodation at Nusa Dua was at Tjendana Villas 1 BR Private Pool Villa ($138/night). Facilities were slightly above average only but the environment of the villa within a beautiful private compound made up for a slightly small pool and poor breakfast spread. After a night there, I moved to Villa Seratus (Airbnb) which ended up being the bomb! Highly recommend staying there if you are looking for a place near Uluwatu. I managed to get a really good rate for 2 nights due to the system hiccup so no complains at all! The villa is slightly on the steep side (SGD 180 onwards) due to the spaciousness as well as private pool/jacuzzi area. On top of that, there is a 50m lap pool shared between the 5 villas in the compound. There is breakfast option for an add on of about SGD 10 as well as in-house massage option. My 2-night stay there was pure bliss!


The previous time I travelled to Bali I realised I spent quite a fair bit on transport. As such, I decided to rent a motorbike this time round. I rented a Honda F1 (150cc) via Bali Big Bike for USD 10/day. It worked out to USD 40 for my 4 day stay in Bali. I decided to add on a mobile phone holder to the bike for USD 2.50, which ended up being really helpful in navigating us through Bali.

There are plenty of transport companies you can rent from. Hence, this table comparison would be really helpful in helping you pick the better and more trustworthy rental companies.

Petrol, if you get it from the gas station, is around IDR 7k per litre. Anywhere else, it’s about IDR 10k per litre. We topped up about 5-6 litres throughout the 4 days. It’s really economical to rent a scooter and saves you a lot of money to indulge on good food.

Tip: Do wear helmets even if they are slightly uncomfortable. On our last day, while heading to the airport, we got stopped by the police for not wearing our helmets. We are told to pay IDR 500k but negotiated our way out with just IDR 150k.

Dine and Wine

      1. Sisterfields Cafe, Seminyak

IMG_4350.JPGft. Breakfast Burrito (IDR 100k) and Pash Me Smoothie (IDR 47k)

I have been looking stalking the brunch scene in Bali for quite a while and decided on my first meal (brunch/lunch) to be at Sisterfields Cafe in Seminyak (next to Seminyak Square) upon my arrival in Bali. It took us nearly an hour to reach Sisterfields from the airport navigating through the traffic with our backpacks in the sweltering heat. Plus, I forgot to pin the location on the maps so clearly finding our way was a real struggle. But, the food and the smoothie (freaking awesome!) made everything so worth it. We tried the Banoffee dessert (IDR 60k) which was extremely sweet and delectable.

      2. Rock Bar, AYANA Resort, Jimbaran 


Visiting Rock Bar has been on my bucket list since FOREVER. So, what better way then to spend my Friday evening watching sunset and lazing over drinks. Don’t expect much food wise here. You are essentially just paying for view. There was a minimum spend of IDR 600k for 2 if you were to occupy the arm cushion. Hence, we got 2 appetisers and 2 drinks between us, which costed us IDR 550k in total. They didn’t actually need us to hit IDR 600k so that was good.

Tip: The good seats get filled up really quick so be sure to head about 5pm (or even earlier) to get yourself a good view of the sunset. 

      3. Made’s Warung, Seminyak


For good old Indonesian food, Made’s Warung would be your best bet. Both the dishes we tried – Nasi Campur and Nasi Goreng Udang (Shrimps) were very authentic. Each dish is roughly around IDR 50k to 60k. During our meal, there was a local band playing Balinese music which completed our dining experience really well. One of our friends, recommended us their Cheese Cake and it was surprisingly good. There is another outlet in Kuta, so depending on where you are, be sure to swing by either of their outlets for at least a meal.

      4. Kat’s Kitchen, Uluwatu


T0 be honest, I had low expectations for Kat’s Kitchen as it was recommended by Airbnb host. I reckoned since it was near the villa it was the most convenient place to suggest for average food. In the 48 hours I spent in the villa, I visited Kat’s Kitchen for 3 meals so enough said I’m guessing. I’m drooling just thinking about their Tom Yam Goong. Yes, who doesn’t love Thai food! I’d recommend their Thai Fish Cake, Laap Kai (Spicy minced chicken served with rice), Tom Yam Goong and Khao Phat Talay (Seafood Fried Rice). Average meal for 2 costs about IDR 200k.

      5. Bumbu Bali 1, Tanjung Benoa 

IMG_4757.JPGft. Nasi Goreng Seafood (IDR 140k) and Tahu Isi Ikan (stuffed crispy tofu) (IDR 92.5k)

Thanks to my effort in googling to find something to eat near Nusa Dua, I found Bumbu Bali. After our jetskiing in Nusa Dua Beach we headed to Bumbu Bali for a late lunch. I didn’t have high expectations for this place as it seemed to be slightly commercialised with their many awards and certifications that greeted me at the door as well as their in-house cooking classes. The presentation of the food already blew me away when it was served, in addition to the presentation style of the staff in explaining each dish to us. Definitely worth a visit if you are in South Bali. There is another outlet (Bumbu Bali 2) just stone’s throw away from this so if this gets filled up guests are sent over by the private cars.

      6. Finn’s Beach Club, Ungasan


Finn’s Beach Club is literally heaven on earth! The entrance of IDR 300k is worth it, trust me! For the private beach you get the enjoy, the beanbags that lie on the sand you can sprawl on along with rental of kayaks, snorkel equipment and stand up paddle board (when tide is high) makes the experience worth it. In addition, you get a F&B credit of IDR 150k. There was a 50% off happy hour from 6-7pm which was perfect timing for us to have a dip before settling in the beanbags for some drinks and a bite.

To be honest, having visited both the Rock Bar and Finn’s Beach Club, I’d recommend the latter if you are looking to splurge on just one. The privacy of the beach access you get to enjoy is unparalleled.

Other Activities 

We were contemplating doing flyboarding at Nusa Dua but decided against it as it was roughly around USD 85 per person. Instead, we did jetski which costed us IDR 175 per jetski for 15 minutes (we rode solo). We had also planned on doing paragliding (for USD 85) but somehow got delayed so gave it a miss.


Uluwatu, is another highlight to visit when heading to South Bali. Entrance fee for an adult is IDR 300k and child is IDR 200k. It’s quite a long stretch around the temple that you can walk along to watch the magnificent sunset. Every evening there is an hour long Balinese dance performed in Uluwatu (tickets cost IDR 100k).

Tip: The monkeys are real and aggressive! Be sure to safeguard your belongings and carry minimum items when visiting Uluwatu. I’m glad we didn’t watch the dance as it would have meant getting out of Uluwatu post sunset (in darkness).

All in all, this trip got me falling deeper in love with Bali. I got to explore South Bali pretty well given my 4D3N there and also checked off – pillioning on a scooter in Indonesia. My only pity was I didn’t not have time to make a day trip out to Ubud. I guess that just means another trip to Bali beckons. 😉

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Boracay Times.


I ended up heading to Boracay during the super peak travel season, just before Christmas, with my family last year. We spent 3 nights in Manila and then flew Sky Jet Airways for about SGD 120 (1-way) to Caticlan Airport as we had a 1-way ticket booked back to Singapore with Tiger from Kalibo Airport (approximately 1 hour from Caticlan).


Our accommodation in Boracay was a pretty basic 3-star resort located just along Station 2 – Boracay Haven Resort. For just SGD 130/night for a deluxe room with breakfast, the best thing about the resort is the location! It is about 50m away from a Macdonalds (for all your late night cravings) and within a matter of another 100m your feet sink into the pure white sand of the beach paradise. How perfect and heavenly!



Being a beach haven, there is a plethora of activities to greet you once you set foot in Boracay. Plenty of tour companies are littered along the beachfront you will be spoilt for choices. We booked our activities with Jojo Fadrillan from Allan B Fun Tour for a rather reasonable rate. We got a private boat chartered for 4 hours (no lunch provided) for PHP 500 each. It totalled to PHP 2000 for the 4 of us for Magic Island (up to 10m cliff jumps), Crystal Cove, Coral Garden (snorkelling) as well as Crocodile Island.

There is an entrance fee of PHP 150 per person for Magic Island (payable on reaching destination) which grants you access for (unlimited) jumps. I did 8m and 10m jumps while the sister did the 8m and 9m ones. I reckon there are 5m and 7m jump options available too.


Crystal Cove was a picturesque place that was definitely worth the visit. Lying between Boracay and Caticlan mainland is this beautiful islet of white beach with pristine crystal clear water. According to legend, this islet was once called “the island of desire”.

If you are looking to get away from crowded beach, Puka beach at the far end of the island towards Station 1, is worth a visit.

For the other activities, if I remember right, I paid about PHP 400-500 for 1 hour of stand up paddle boarding (1 board) and PHP 1000 per person for parasailing.

Other activities to consider would be heading to the famous Aerial’s Point for cliff jumping. We gave it a miss as it is a whooping PHP 2500 per person due to the distance of the place from Boracay.


I was recommended Cyma restaurant for greek food as well as Dos Mestizos for spanish tapas by my brother who visited Boracay some time back. And oh wait, of course, everyone hears about Jonah’s Fruit Shake and Snack Bar before even setting foot in Boracay. But, to be honest, it’s highly overrated in my opinion. Worth a try if you are in Station 1, otherwise I wouldn’t actually go in search of it.

At Cyma, we tried an eggplant appetiser, their famous and renowned flaming cheese, Solomos (tomato based salmon angel hair pasta) and lamb ribs (which were way too oily for any our liking). It’s a relatively small eatery within the area of D’mall which makes it appropriate if you are looking for a quick meal with an interesting culinary experience. Another very popular dish at Cyma is a crab pasta dish, yes, it’s a whole crab! So be prepared, for the dish to set you back by about SGD 30. Overall, I was slightly disappointed with my visit to Cyma. It might have been my poor food choices or it could have been the extremely busy restaurant which didn’t allow me enjoy my dinner in a laid back fashion.

food.jpgvia and via

Having said that, Dos Mestizos, blew me away for the quality of food as well as quiet and chill ambience which made the whole dining experience with my family a good one. We ordered a few tapas as well as a seafood paella to share. Fresh fish cubes in garlic marinade, blue cheese and bechamel croquettes, shrimps sauteed in olive oil and garlic and squid stuffed with chopped egg, chilli, garlic and tomato just to name a few tapas we had. The squid tapas (pictured above) is definitely a must try!


And saving the best for the last, D’ Talipapa wet market! Located in station 2, down a small alleyway near Victory Diver’s Resort, this is a very interesting dining concept especially for lunch as you get to buy your own fresh seafood from the market before proceeding to get your food cooked in your preferred stall.

A few things to note:

  1. Haggling is a MUST! It’s hard to know exactly how much you should be paying so be sure to walk around without being in a hurry to close the deal.
  2. Avoiding the lunch hour belt between 12-2pm would be good if you are looking to get the seafood at cheaper prices. It will be ideal if you are spending the morning doing half day tours and then you can head over for a late lunch.
  3. Apart from seafood, you can buy chicken, vegetable and fruits at the market.


Having tried just 2 stalls within D’Talipapa to get our food prepared, I’d suggest Plato D’ Boracay for their above average cooking service. Natalia’s Kusina although cheaper was pretty average. But, having said that, it all depends on the preparation style you request for.

Our seafood haul:

800g Lobster PHP 1200

1kg Prawns PHP 500

500g Scallops PHP 150

Long beans PHP 80

Cooking service at Plato D’ Boracay PHP 885

Dollars and Cents

Upon arrival at Caticlan Airport, you will be flocked with people looking to transport you directly to your hotel in Boracay. Just for your info, your means of getting to Boracay from Caticlan would consist of a 5 minute tricycle ride followed by a 20 minute ferry ride and then a tricycle ride to your hotel in Boracay (station 1/2/3). Apart from the transport fees for this 3 rides, you will be paying terminal fee (PHP 100) as well as environmental and admission fee (PHP 75) at the ferry terminal. So, be sure you know exactly what you are paying for and how much you should be, to avoid getting ripped off before your adventure even starts proper.

When you depart from Kalibo Airport, effective 1 June 2015, all visitors have to pay a international terminal fee of PHP 700. I think the 1 hour journey by a charted van from Caticlan to Kalibo costed us about PHP 200 per person.


Overall, my 4D3N in Boracay was a blast! If I could do it again, I’d definitely pick the low season to travel so that I can save more on transport and hotel costs and also have less crowded beaches to frolick in. Till then, let me continue dreaming about my next beach getaway!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

5 thoughts working in a (kiwi) pack house leaves you with.


After a week long search for a pack house job, Aongatete Cool Store, north of Tauranga/Te Puke employed me! The 9-hour PM shift (5.30pm -2.30am) I did (intermittently) for the span of 3 weeks left me with so many million gazillion thoughts. I’ll attempt to encapsulate my emotions to the best of my ability so that you can have a clear picture as to what you can expect if you end up doing seasonal work of any sort EVER.

  1. As easy and mundane, brainless work appears to be it’s actually far from easy. Standing 8 hours on your feet is no joke at all. Each ticking second makes you discover how each muscle in your body can sing different tunes.
  2. You begin to wonder what your life has come down to and if watching kiwis dropping into cardboard boxes are all that you can ever be responsible for.
  3. For the first time in your life, you ACTUALLY look forward to an alarm sound – signalling break/meal time.
  4. You probably have experienced technology failing on you before and have tried cursing in a million different languages for miracles to happen. But, while working at a pack house, machines breaking down is akin to God answering your year long prayer. The joy when you stop hearing the grind of the machines is unparalleled.
  5. The opportunity to sit each time you answer nature’s call feels like you just won the lottery. The peace, quiet, serenity you enjoy even if it is for a mere 3 minutes is heavenly.

As painful as life was for the 3 weeks, I can never be more thankful for the chance I had to make some money before I continued the rest of my adventures while travelling down the rest of North Island. So, I hope I have given you enough inspiration to find work in a pack house. 😉

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Listless days in the Kiwi capital, Te Puke.

After 2.5 months spent WOOFING and travelling around the top half of North Island, I ran out of money. *Surprise, Surprise (NOT)* Bulk of the SGD5000 I brought along, went towards the purchase as well as unexpected repair costs of my Toyota Estima, which ended up being not so cheap after all. Being down to last few hundreds, felt mostly slightly worrisome.

It was 1 April 2015. We had a good lunch at Good Neighbour at Hamilton (thanks to Grabone), and drove over 100km to Te Puke – the kiwifruit capital of the world. We drove right to East Pack which is one of the bigger pack houses in Te Puke hoping to gain employment rather easily now that kiwi season had just begun. However, we were told to fill up application forms and that employment might happen only in 2 – 3 weeks time. We decided to keep our spirits high and rang up a couple of other big pack houses in Te Puke instead of driving down. Apata, Seeka and Trevelyan’s did not have any sort of a good news for us, as well. We cooked ourselves dinner and called it a day hoping for better days ahead and with more luck in terms of employment.

The second day in Te Puke was spent in Te Puke Library which was home to more foreigners (backpackers) hunched over laptops finding employment than locals. Having no luck with pack houses, we decided to look towards finding fruit picking jobs. As the next day was a public holiday, most leads we had was only resuming work in 2-3 days time. After nearly a full day of searching to be able to start kiwi picking work the following day. We expected to be able to survive with this picking job for a couple of weeks before we heard back from the pack houses. However, that wasn’t the case. A full day out picking in the orchards left us beyond smashed and we didn’t think we could last any longer. As simple as kiwi picking sounds, it is actually serious, tough labour. We earned a total of NZD150, inclusive of holiday pay for the 8 hours of work we did. Unfortunately the pay wasn’t going to be credited to us till next week.

Just as we begun work, which ended up being rather short lived, we started paying rent at an apartment in Papamoa Beach, which was relatively near to where our kiwi picking jobs were supposed to be. Thankfully, the rent we paid was only for a week and was rather affordable (NZD 100/week). We spent the rest of the week trying to keep our spirits up, exploring Tauranga and desperately trying to find some work at the pack houses.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

5 things do in Hamilton!

Going back to where I left off with my NZ adventures brings me to Hamilton. Hamilton quite easily became one of the few towns in North Island which I grew to like and saw myself living in for a while. Perhaps doing helpx in a lovely home added to my enjoyable days in Hamilton. Thanks to Linda and Carys and not forgetting, the wonderful meals I had cooked by Linda. Here’s a couple of things you can do when in Hamilton and maybe, you’ll love the town just as much as I did.

1. Wander around Hamilton Gardens

Coming from a person who is not huge on gardens, trust me Hamilton Gardens is a must go! It’s quite surprising it’s free as the the variety of gardens it boasts is pretty extensive. Its perfect to spend a lazy day just wandering through and having a picnic there.

2. Head down to Waitomo Caves


When someone mentions glowworms to you the first thing that pops to your mind would probably be Waitomo Caves. Thousands of glowworms call these caves home and light up the dark tunnels with the most magical light show.

3. Visit the Waikato Museum


Waikato Museum is nothing like the TE PAPA museum down in Wellington but, nonetheless, it boasts some interesting exhibits as well as provides you insight on the history of the Waikato region. And, entry is free so why not?!

For more information:

4. Get lost in Middle Earth


Situated an hour away from Hamilton, Matamata is a must go for all Hobbiton movie fans! Tours start from NZD 75. I am not a fan at all so I gave this a miss. But, I know of people, heading to North Island just for a tour here.

5. Dine in the Good Neighbour

Good George Dining Hall is worth a visit for it’s brewery. But, unfortunately, it was closed when I went down hence settled for having a quick lunch at Good Neighbour before leaving Hamilton for the kiwi capital – Te Puke!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.