Raub day trip (near Bentong)

Posted by vivien | Others | Wednesday 20 January 2016 5:24 pm
82,257 Total Views

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Went to Raub on a Wednesday and it took us 1.5 hour to reach Raub from KL. Raub is situated just 30 minutes away from its more famous neighbouring town – Bentong. If ever you visiting Bentong, you may take a short day trip to Raub. Both town are famous for its durians especially musang king. My trip to Raub is mainly to experience how handmade soap is produced and also trying out some of the food in town.

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The fastest way to Raub from KL is thru Bentong town, 30 minutes drive from Bentong

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Arriving on the premise of “Soap Maker Raub” which is in a residential area to get first hand info on how handmade soap is made. I was given a house tour. Surprise… behind the house are vast land area and there are 2 chicken pen with egg-laying hens.

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loot of the day: 3 fresh eggs collected for the day

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there are many plants next to the chicken pen, ie eggplant, pumpkin etc, spot the small purple aubergine in the above pic

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what a beautiful big bunch of banana at the back, and that is the gate leading out to chicken pen behind

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nice long papaya as well

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that huge bunch of “monster” is a passion fruit plant which climbs from ground flour towards the balcony on top floor of the house

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many passion fruits like above, but there are not ripe yet

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3 noisy but friendly Belgian Malinois shepherd dog

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and they have bees as well, the bees are kept for dual purpose, producing honey and also to increase pollination of fruit plants in the garden. The bees are stingless bees, ie there won’t be accidents of getting stung

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the longish plastic-y looking tube thing is entrance for the sting-less bee

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whereas to the top of the trunk is a wooden box which the honey are housed, it is deviced such so that the honey can be easily harvested from the box.

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My visit to “Soap Maker Raub” is to see first hand how one of their best seller – “Perak Activated Carbon Soap” is made. “Soap Maker Raub” also provide DIY handmade soap courses and sell handmade soaps. For handmade soap lesson, each student can bring back 1kg bar of soap, which can be cut into 10 pieces, each weighing 100g. The DIY handmade soap course may differs in terms of process/ingredients from which you will see in following photos. If you are interested, their contact details are listed in end of this post.

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“Perak Activated Carbon Soap” contains extra virgin coconut oil EVCO, palm oil and cocoa butter. It is made using low temperature method of soap-making, ie the above mixture of 3 oils will have to be about 35 Celcius before mixing in the rest of the ingredients.

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Soap making may sound fun, but safety precaution is a must, and it is advisable to be performed only by person who has chemical/lab knowledge. The strong alkaline that is used in soap making is very pure and corrosive, in fact alkaline is more corrosive than acid, and will become blind if it alkaline touch the eye, thus eye protective mask is a MUST, respiratory mask is recommended as well to protect from alkaline vapour/fume.

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This is the step that all need to be EXTRA careful, put protective google and nose mask on especially for first timers. The alkaline powder is weighed into a non-reactive glass container.

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then put in the distilled water. Be VERY CAREFUL as the alkaline will start bubbling and producing much vapour and fume. Open all the windows and door of the room to ensure the room is well ventilated , and fan blowing air away from you, ie to blow the alkaline vapour away from you, as the vapour may cause throat irratation etc. Lift the funnel slightly to let the vapour out from the side else the vapour in the bottle might push the funnel up which will be very dangerous. Once the water are all poured in, put the cap on, and gently shake to melt the alkaline powder in water.

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Cool the bottle and mixture down by soaking the whole bottle in water. This is also while waiting for the oil mixture to cool down.

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oil and alkaline mixture are both cool enough for mixing

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Pour all the alkaline water into oil mixture

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Mix using an immersion blender, correct method has to be employed in this step to prevent the mixture which is still very alkaline from splattering. *Reminder: Wear protective eye goggle

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Coconut shell activated carbon which has deep cleansing properties is added to the soap mixture

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Pour soap mixture into mold

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We covered and let it solidify before cutting into small soap bars

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Normally handmade soap can only be cut after 12 hours. Above is the solidified soap. For people not able to stay till next day for soap cutting, an option of soap being mail ordered to you is available.

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beautiful bars

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To be cut

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wow, so many bars of soap

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Soap maker Raub’s “Perak Activated Carbon Soap” can be bought for RM25 each

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All the soap produced by them, from left:

Perak Activated Carbon Soap, deep cleansing properties

Bentong Ginger Soap

Sabah Seaweed Soap, moisturizing effect with honey in it

Raub T3 Soap, for whitening

Soap for pets, for anti-bacterial

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Normally, handmade soap has to be left to cure for 1 month , allowing it to fully dry and harden. All ingredients of their soap are from Malaysia local farm, no artificial perfume, coloring and preservative

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All the soap contains extra virgin coconut oil which is extracted from fresh coconut without heat treatment.

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Besides visiting “Soap Maker Raub”, we went to try a few food, first is curry noodle

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It is located in 15, Taman Emas, Sempalit, Raub

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Young man cooking the curry chicken which normally ready everyday around 10am – 10:30am

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nice huge wok of curry chicken

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they also selling local “dao1 ma2 qie4” which is hakka pan mee, this is famous noodle in raub, can be found in many coffee shop here, not bad as well

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the curry noodle is nice and piping hot, however i would recommend to order the normal one with chicken pieces, and not with drumstick as the meat inside the drumstick is kinda bland. Actually we didn’t specify to have drumstick, but they gave us drumstick which is more expensive.

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Another famous restaurant in Raub, Ah Loong Cafe

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wanted to try their dao1 ma2 qie4 as well, but it was sold out, the famous Hong Kong “god of cookery”  Liang Wentao dined here as seen in above pic

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My pork noodle, the soup is dosed with slightly a bit too much sugar? Taste just ok, RM5

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Wanted to try the famous raub kuih shop in Bukit Koman, Raub as well, but there were not open that day, saying Astro AEC will be coming to film him 2 days later…

Soap Maker Raub: 

Phone/Whatsapp: 011-2913 2234

Email: soapmakerraub [at] yahoo [dot] com

Facebook: Soap Maker Raub

Ah Hen Curry Noodle:

15, Taman Emas Sempalit, 27000 Raub

Business hour: 10:30am – 4pm

Telephone: 013-9508 363    

Ah Loong Cafe Pork noodle:

313-A,Kampung Sempalit,27600Raub,Pahang.

Telephone:017-6686377

Business hour:7am-1:30pm

Raub famous kuih:

4,Bukit Koman,Raub27600,Pahang D.M.

Business hour:10:30am – 3pm

Telephone:012-7276236/017-3716236, call ahead as there are sometimes not open

Post in other website:

www.nanyang.com


 

Bangkok 4 days 3 night trip 11 – 14 November 2015

Posted by vivien | Others | Tuesday 1 December 2015 10:05 am
74,837 Total Views

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Money exchange: 100 baht for RM12.25

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MAS golden lounge, so much food!!

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Fresh milk / low fat milk / fresh fruits

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my first round of food, the nasi lemak is quite good that i go back for seconds, the President Rondele Herb cheese is quite nice as well

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lots of business travellers in this lonunge

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our hotel in Westin Grande Sukhumvit

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view towards the window

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shower

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bath tub

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Pier 21 food court in top floor of Terminal 21 shopping mall, a really nice food court, best among 3 food court we went, the other 2 is MBK food court and Platinum shopping mall food court.

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All the food court we went to require us to buy coupon card. all the food are paid using card and the remaining value can be refunded

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papaya salad stall

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the blended fruit juice in Pier 21 of Terminal 21 shopping mall is cheap, cheaper than road side, my mixed berries smoothie made with fresh strawberries etc is only 30 baht, very nice and not overly sweet

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very nice oyster omelette, crispy and nice, only 50 baht

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pad thai, taste sweet, not nice

 

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sticky mango rice stall

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mango sticky rice, 70 baht for this whole mango portion, 35 baht for halved portion

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the fruit juice stall i just mentioned, really nice and cheap blended fruit juices Bangkok_22

som tam

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papaya salad with sweet corn and salted egg, 50 baht, not spicy as i asked for less spicy

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basil chicken with rice add egg only for 37 baht; tomyam with egg; somtam; my passion fruit blended only 25 baht

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coconut ice cream is very cheap as well

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yum~~~

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fish porridge ~ 50 baht

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Som Tam Nua restaurant in Siam Square, a famous restaurant, even recommended by CNN as Bangkok’s best som tam restaurant, we took sky train from BTS Sky Train from Asok to Siam, followed by short walk to this restaurant, there is also a branch in 4th floor of Siam Centre

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somtam with salted egg, 85 baht, nice and really spicy, in Som Tam Nua, we should have had a full meal in this restaurant instead of just som tam and milk tea, but with just the 2 of us and many to try food lining up, we can’t possibly eat so much. This start off just mildly spicy, and it gets really really… spicy, MUST TRY! Bangkok_32

colorful desser in MBK food court, 6th floor in MBK, also went to Tokyu departmental store in MBK which is alike Malaysia’s Jusco/Isetan, nothing much there.

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mixed beef soup in MBK food court, don’t like this, it taste like Bak Kut Teh herbal-ish, but with a sweet undertone, not nice at all

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a road side stall near our hotel

Bangkok_36 salt crusted talapia fish, only 200 baht ~ RM24, looks too big for 2 person, but we ended up finishing it as it is moist, with very light hint of salt inside, very nice. Where to get this in Malaysia?

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juicy meat

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tom yam with pork, 60 baht, the tom yam soup which i like best among the 4 tomyams we tried, this is clear type of soup

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Start of 2nd day in Bangkok, we took BTS Sky train from Asok to Chit Lom, then walk quite a distance to Platinum mall/Pratunam area. Above is a small alley across from Shibuya small, someone same side of the road with Platinum mall

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pork rice, 50 baht, the more expensive one we had, no egg and little vege to be seen

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We did pass by the famous SabX2 wantan mee stall, but the waiting line is long and look very touristy. Instead, we went for another round of pork rice in another alley near SabX2.

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50 baht as well, but this one comes with egg and much more vege, thumbs up

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trying their mama noodle with mixed meat Bangkok_44

just okay, namely poshed-up instant noodle, topping it up with balls and meat

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Platinum Fashion mall 10am-6pm which i didn’t bought much from, it will be very nice place if you are looking for evening gown, around RM180 for very nice embellished one but i didn’t buy as can’t try on the gown…

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a meal in platinum mall food court, the tom yam kung is not bad, whereas the cashew chicken rice is not nice

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banana coconut dessert is quite nice

Bangkok_48 The famous After You Dessert Cafe, many branches in Bangkok, this one located in 7th floor of Central World shopping mall. There is reputedly many roadside stalls which sells salt crusted fish outside Central World Isetan departmental store from 6pm onwards, we were here around 4pm, the stalls are not open yet ):

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many types of dessert

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shibuya honey toast

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surprisingly not very sweet, it is buttery and very nice. Thereafter went to Union mall taking BTS Sky train from Siam to Mochit, then taking MRT interchange to Phahon Yothin Station, bought items from only 1 shop, the stuff there are like Sungei Wang’s, quality is mostly just so-so, and not a big shopping mall

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Start of 3rd day – breakfast: an OEM coco cola which taste almost exactly like the real thing

Bangkok_54 spicy pork rice and my prawn basil rice, add egg, 60 baht each. This is a homely restaurant just next to Westin hotel which owner speaks Mandarin

After breakfast, we spent hours finish up browsing all the shops in Terminal 21 mall. I like this mall, the lower 2 floors are of famous mid-range brands like Jaspal, Rockport, H&M and the like, whereas the upper 4 or 5 floors are small boutiques which sell unique and quality clothing etc.

After finally browsing all the stores in Terminal 21, we went to Bangkrak market behind Shangri-la hotel {BTS Sky train from Asok to Siam, then interchange to MRT from Siam to Saphan Taksin}, nothing much there, or maybe we reach there too early at 3pm plus when the stalls are just starting to open.

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Opposite Bangkrak market is Jok Prince in Bangrak selling pork porridge, 4pm onwards, it may be a bit difficult to find this shop, just look for shoplot number 1391 along Charoen Krung Road

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price list

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40 baht for our basic pork porridge, nice!!

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the famous T&K restaurant in Chinatown, near MRT Hua Lamphong station, we reach the restaurant at 5:15pm and it was already open although some websites mention the restaurant open from 6pm onwards

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nice BBQ cockles, 60 baht

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tom yam which i find has a distinct sweetness which i not really fancy, like them spicy and sour, not sour and sweet, the squid texture is very spongy and different from those in Malaysia

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grilled prawn, 150 baht

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fried rice with egg, 50 baht, skip this and just order their plain rice, this doesn’t taste fried at all, like some rice with butter, not nice

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kangkung/morning glory, not bad

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an affordable seafood meal in Bangkok, about 470 baht ~RM57 for all the above including 2 luo han guo drinks

Bangkok_72 4th day: Went took MRT train from Sukhumvit to Kampheng Phet station, taking exit 3 to reach Or-Tor-Kor morning market around 8am, most people would take the other exit to go Chatuchak market. Wanted to browse this morning fresh market before going to Chatuchak which is just across the road from this morning market

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lots of fresh fruits and food, even a covered food court with lots of food

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freshly steamed crab

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marinated crab used in som tam

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otak-otak like parcel 25 baht, laksa, both quite nice

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flowers sold in Chatuchak market

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some food stall

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pad thai with shrimp in Chatuchak market, 100 baht, quite expensive

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of the 2 tries of pad thai in this trip, i find they have a distinct sweetness to it, adding chili flakes and dried peanut will mask the sweetness considerably and make it taste much nicer. But overall, don’t like savoury food which taste sweet

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the famous coconut ice cream just out of Kampheng Phet MRT station. We walked in Chatuchak market from 9am – noon as had to catch plane on 5:10pm, all in all only manage to browse only one third of the whole market, mostly clothing sections – ie sections 5, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, didn’t get to browse section 22,24 which are clothing as well. If you notice, the clothing are mostly in even number sections. Didn’t get to browse other housewares sections as well. A whole day would be suffice to browse all the sections as Chatuchak is opened till 6pm. I did bought 2 very nice denim aprons which cost only RM30 each

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40 baht with 2 toppings, complimentary small cup of coconut water given as well, like this better than the earlier coconut ice cream in Chatuchak, as i find this had less creamy taste from diary, but more of a clean sorbet-like coconut ice cream

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price list of taxi only 250 baht for our trip from Westin hotel to airport, but our earlier taxi ride from Bangkok airport to westin hotel cost 650 baht, don’t know why the big difference as both taxi charged per meter, perhaps some taxi meter runs faster?

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power bank can’t be placed into checked in baggage!

Bangkok_86 CIP lounge, so much food! : fruit yogurt, sandwiches, pastries, shrimp on rice, roast chicken with potato and carrot, roasted peanut, tomato juice etc etc. Yum~

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in CIP lounge

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going back KL

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my loot of clothing, not including 2 pairs of shoes and lots of snacks. For clothing/shoes + snacks, 1 spent about 13,000 baht, around RM1500 with prevailing rate for 100 baht = MYR12.20


 

Manila, Philippines 4 days 3 nights trip (10-13 June 2015)

Posted by vivien | Others | Monday 10 August 2015 12:44 am
62,956 Total Views

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took the 10:30am flight from KL to Manila, reaching Manila at 2:30pm, making it a 4-hour flight. Above is first dinner with fresh food bought from the supermarket – salmon belly, the cheapest cut but tasty nonetheless, don’t seem to get such cut here in Malaysian supermarket + maya maya fish (snapper) with simple roasted vegetables (red pepper + green pepper + green zucchini + tomato drizzled in oil, sea salt and black pepper) Yum~

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view from serviced apartment where we staying

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interior, with kitchen!

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bathroom

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with washer and dryer! No more bringing loads of dirty clothes back Manila_6

Vikings in SM Megamall, seems to be very popular among the locals, look similar to our Jogoya, buffet style food. SM Megamall is the largest mall in Phillipines, and 3rd largest in the world.

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my first meal in the mall, salmon sinigang soup in food court, soup is sourish like chinese salted vege soup, quite appetizing

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saw this hand sanitizer machine in the toilet

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they have Crate and Barrel here, an American chain store selling housewares

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Dinner in Linguini Fini, they have branch in Central, Hong Kong, Manila, and recently open a new outlet in Hanoi, their food is really nice especially the complementary bread, could be the best bread i have tasted, the bread is not served warm, but room temperature but still tasted really good

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antipasti and Insalata menu

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pasta menu

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pappardelle “Nose to Tail Bolo” pork testa, veal and oxtail ragu with parmigiano Reggiano Manila_14

crispy calamari salad with mixed greens, pickled chili, red onion, cucumber, roasted lemon citronette, PHP 255

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this pappardelle dish is really nice!! the pasta is cooked just right with biteManila_16

interior of the restaurant

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3rd day in Manila, i cooked garlic fried rice for breakfast

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went Mall of Asia which is next to sea, for tea time, we had dessert in Lugang

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Mango Supreme with mango pudding, fresh mango, coconut and mango ice cream Manila_20

the mango supreme is satisfying enough although the coconut ice cream tasted like vanilla ice cream :S the drinks however are horribly sweet especially my fruit tea punch, couldn’t finish it

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nice blue sky in MOA eye, looks like we are on the cloud, just next to Mall of Asia

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another view, just next to sea, but can’t see it from the above pic and the pic was taken while seated

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SM Mall of Asia, another mall under the SM group

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since it is too early for sunset and we already finished browsing in MOA, thus decided to walk around 20-3o minutes to an area called Dampa where lots of fresh seafood are sold, just buy the seafood from some really persistent and slightly pushy seafood vendors and bring it to be cooked in one of the nearby restaurant at a charge, we bought seafood among the 3 rows of seafood vendors and chose Cuzina Seafood Haus as the cooking charges looks to be reasonable

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cooking charges etc menu

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view from inside the restaurant, the seafood vendors are just few steps away

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the prawn are really fresh, cooked chilli garlic style, the sauce is too strong tasting for me though, the clams in ginger soup style which is quite good

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lapu lapu fish steamed in soy sauce, ie chinese style, fish is very fresh Manila_29

one of the seafood stall, some of the seafood seller are very pushy though, especially the crab section, they are literally holding out live crab out to us from both side of the lane when we walking past those stalls, quite scary.

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one of the 3 rows of seafood stalls Manila_31

walk back to Mall of Asia for sunset viewManila_32

Sunset viewing crowd in SM Mall of Asia Manila_33

Before flying back Malaysia on Saturday afternoon 3pm flight, time to check out Salcedo community market, happens every Saturday 7am – 2pm, a must visit, so many nice food here although some may comment the food here is more expensiveManila_34

lasagne

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poultry

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even embryo

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pots of herbs for sale

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dairy and cheese

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got to have more mango before leaving Phillippines, the mango shake here is very refreshingManila_40

sausage sandwiches

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pancakes, the cream cheese one quite nice, whereas the cheese one is tasteless, as if there is no cheese inside

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from left: tofu-fa, perogies and hungarian sausage sandwich, the pierogies is quite nice

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in Starbucks, the tuna pandesal is surprisingly very nice~Manila_44

– prevailing peso to myr rate during this period is about 100 peso = RM 8.45 to 8.5

– Bought the Air Asia ticket one way KUL to Manila about 1 month before travelling date at RM345 including 2 meals and insurance.


 

Ratha Raub Curry, Raub, Pahang

Posted by vivien | Others | Sunday 17 May 2015 8:26 pm
42,883 Total Views

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Been missing the spicy appetizing sauce of their chicken curry since having it in their Damansara Uptown branch.

The curry gravy is still as good and spicy. Yum, it would be perfect if it was kampung chicken instead of soft normal chicken though.

Just ok with their fried chicken and other stuff taste just ok as well.


 

Sydney, Australia (19th-25th November 2014) 6 nights trip

Posted by vivien | Others | Monday 1 December 2014 12:55 pm
35,241 Total Views

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200 pictures in this post!

Our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, take about 8-9 hours. We took a morning flight, leaving KL time 9:10am, reaching Sydney about 8:20pm, 3 hours time difference. Before departure to Australia, make sure you apply for ETA visa, i did mine with Holiday Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd. by just online inquiry in their website (Apply through travel agency is cheaper), and bank transfer RM30 per visa, and they will send back a text file which we just need to print it out.
Holiday Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd.
A-0-1, Block A, No.1 Jalan Seri Utara 1, Sri Utara, Off Jalan Ipoh, 68100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Website: www.holidaytours.com.my

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view from plane window when we almost reaching sydney, taken on local time 8pm! when the sun is just starting to set

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Bought a weekly pass called “MyMultiZone3” $63 allowing us to use all train,ferries,light rail and bus for our 6 nights trip. To get back to airport using train, we will have to pay $21 extra as “airport access charge” return tickets.

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Taking the google recommended route 🙂 International airport -> Wolli Creek, then to Kings Cross station. I think it is easier than switching train in Central which is a biggest station and longer walk between platforms.

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most city trains has 2 level seatings

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Our hotel for the first night in Springfield Lodge in Kings Cross (a red light district) but we felt pretty safe although they are here and there some scantily clothed girls. The double bed is really small to be shared by two. We actually bought 4 different type of rooms for 6 nights stay(small double, basement double, twin, basement twin). I preferred basement twin and we got transferred to stay in budget basement twin for the rest of the nights. It is actually best to stay in basement twin as the fully equipped kitchen is on basement, and there are elevator, whereas our first night in this small double room is on the top floor which has no elevator, and carrying big luggage in narrow stair is a pain

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another view of the room, kettle/cup/fridge are hidden in the cupboards

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bathroom

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narrow stairway to this top floor, try to get other room with elevator access, and don’t stay in top floor(ie rooms starting with 4xx)

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hallway on top floor

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front view of our hotel Springfield Lodge, just 5-10 minutes walk from Kings Cross station with Coles supermarket opposite the station.Some other good hotel you may try are Regents Court/Lido Suites Hotel/Bayswater Sydney which located is similar area as this hotel

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Kings Cross station

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Kings Cross to Central, go on a 2 hours train ride from Central to Blue Mountain Katoomba station

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“Blue Mountain Line” train available hourly from Central to blue mountain’s Katoomba station

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Once reach Katoomba station, you may buy $40 Explorer link bus ticket (http://www.explorerbus.com.au/home.aspx), refer to their timetable for their bus only available 9:45 till 5:30pm, we didn’t use this option, instead went cheap using MyMultiZone3 which includes travelling on their local bus in blue mountain area, however as we realised later, their local bus has very limited stops are well, basically local bus doesn’t commutes from Katoomba area to Leura, and we end up walking a long way back to Leura station.

Our first stop in blue mountain: Katoomba

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One of the lookout in Katoomba

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Katoomba Cascades

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toilet in blue mountain open only till 5pm

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plenty of ducks and white feathered bird in this park somewhere near Katoomba cascade

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Map of katoomba falls area (Reid’s Plateau, Katoomba Falls, Katoomba Cascades)

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Scenic World experience:9am-5pm unlimited rides on the 52 degree Railway, Skyway, Cableway and 2.4kmWalkway $35

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Unlimited ride for $35, or you may opt to walk from above till below to the train area, then taken the one way train up for $14

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Scenic Railway train ride operates regularly during the day, with the last train leaving at 4.50pm, looks exciting, but quite meh, the ride is a very short one, only exciting for first few moments, then it stops and reach the bottom station

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so called 52 degrees train ride.

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looking out from train wide window

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from the scenic railway bottom station, we could walk and reach the cableway station

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15 mintes walk to cableway

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this is the walkway to cableway

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cableway car

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from cableway, we can take another ride similar to cableway, but with glass floor.

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Us waiting for the skyway tram (on the left coming towards us)

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glassfloor

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open air skyway ride

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to reach this way called “scenic way” station

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this is the Explorer link bus timetable mentioned earlier.

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From Scenic World, we waited for local bus to take us to famed Three Sisters. Above left of 3 stones jutting out is the 3 sisters.

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closer view

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from 3 sisters, we can walk towards the Prince Henry Cliff Walk to Leura cascades, which marks the beginning of our long and tiring walking, little hiking to Leura train station

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to Leura Cascades

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One of the lookout along the way

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walk out into main road, Leura cascades yet to be found

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going back into the trail again which reads “to Leura Cascades”

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walk…

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Bridal Veil Lookout to the right, we walked left to Leura Cascades

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finally Leura Cascades

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walk back to main road, only Explorer link bus and TrolleyTour bus(http://www.trolleytours.com.au/) stop here. No local bus will bring us to the train station. Here marks another long and tiring walk to Leura train station. Fortunately Google Offline Map which could detect our location to the rescue. Nobody walking/hiking in sight, and only a few cars passing by and it is almost bout 4pm.

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Finally a sign which reads “Leura Mall”, which is just next to station. By the time we reach Leura mall, around 5:30pm, all the shops are closed 🙁 Can’t try flowerpot scone in Wayz Goose Cafe anymore (next to lolly candy store)

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So we waited for the hourly train back to Central station

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15 minutes walk from Central station to Mohr fish.

Address: Mohr Fish, 20 Devonshire St , Surry (11am-10pm)

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menu

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dine in menu 1

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dine in menu 2

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takeway menu 1

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takeaway menu 2

Their fish and chips (only $9.50 for takeway) is really quite good and really cheap, their tartare sauce is good as well. Their bouillabaisse soup($12.50 for takeaway) is just so so, not recommended.

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Our room for 2nd nights onward, this is better, twin bed, and kitchen just next door

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shower, the shower door is jam though

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Bought an adapter as can’t find it in Malaysia

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Flour and Stones, cakes for breakfast

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Monday – Friday: 7am-4pm; Saturday: 8am – 2pm

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Really really nice vanilla cake, the cake is incredibly soft and not heavy, paired with delicious cream and nice homemade raspberry jam

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view of Sydney tower from Hyde park which we didn’t manage to go up

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on our way to Circular quay walk towards opera house

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harbour bridge

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circular quay ferries

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opera house just to the right

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on our ferry ride to Watson bay

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view of opera house from ferry

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Watson Bay

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Doyles Takeaway or the more expensive “Doyles On the Beach” to the left

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Doyles takeaway

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seating area

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nice fish and chip!

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nice pacific oyster

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lamingtons bought from Flour and Stones earlier, it is just so so for me, not liking the rough coconut shreds on it.

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It is a moist cake with the same raspberry jam i think, but the rough coconut just not nice

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walked thru military road, Gap Road and Old South Head road to the Gap park, continue 2.1 km to Macquarie Lighthouse (Australia ‘s first lighthouse)

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closed up

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yacht club for the rich

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We took ManlyFastFerry from Watson bay to Manly, instead of using our weekly pass from Watson back to Circular Quay then back out again to Manly.

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Lunch before the next long walk, Papi Chulo

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menu

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menu

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open kitchen

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our orders

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oyster with green apple mignonette, $3.50 each

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Curly fries, very very salty, perhaps this could be beer food, but simply too salty for us

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cauliflower, i think they pre-steamed the brocolli, saw them putting into oven for just a moment, then serve on a plate with red pepper sauce, tablespoonful of breadcrumb thingy, and lots of cheese, not bad, quite a good invention, the red pepper sauce is nice

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view from restaurant

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Address: Papi Chulo 22-23 Manly Wharf, Manly, Sydney

Monday to Friday 12pm – 3pm and 5.30pm – 10.30pm; Saturday 11.30am – 10.30pm; Sunday 11.30am – 9pm

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Then we took Bus 135 from West Esplanade Stand J, Manly to North Head Scenic Dr opp Q Station, then walk about 20 minutes to North Head scenic drive.

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There is actually a bus station much nearer ro North Head called north fort museum bus stop, but the bus stopping time are very limited, for afternoon only 2 trips back into city (1:55pm and 3:55pm), we waited for the 3:55pm. There are timetables like this in all bus station, very useful indeed, and the time bus arrival time is very much accurate, about 5-10 minutes difference maximum

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bus route of bus 135 is also depicted in bus stop

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after walking 30 minutes of so, we reach north head area in Manly

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Fairfax walking track in north head with a few lookouts

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one of the lookout looking out to beautiful cliff with waves

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looking towards Watson bay in the opposite shore and Sydney city at far distance

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Manly beach

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walking towards shelley beach

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along the way, there is this nice swimming pool just next to the Ocean, how cool is this, actually went swimming few laps and the water is freezing! Shelley beach is nothing much there, and there is a signage saying that the beach is polluted (with garbage etc) especially after heavy rainfall

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Ferry ride back to city, freezing with cold air blowing…

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another view of Sydney opera house

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we went to Friday night market in China town and saw a stall named Mamak selling roti canai, roti telor and satay, the chinese looking girl can flip a mean roti canai, really good skill

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prices of rotis

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Saturday morning to Eveleigh Market in Redfern, MUST VISIT, a lot of local food producers gathered here showcasing and selling delicious stuff. This market is on every Saturday from 8am to 1pm, with over 70 local farmers and artisan food producers. 245 Wilson St, Redfern

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busy busy

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cheap and fresh oyster

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4 types: live sydney rock, live pacific, live delux pacific and black label

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as recommended by the person, i tried 2 black labels on the left. It is huge, but very fresh tasting and there is some scallop texture thingy in the middle, yummy! only $2.50 each. To the right is the usual Sydney rock oyster

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fresh apples by Mr Apples, no wax, sold by kilo, tasty

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Margin’s Mushroom, according to them their mushroom can last 3 weeks in the fridge as it is very fresh. Their mushroom is sent to distributor in Melbourne, and “re-distribute” back to stores in Sydney, so buying it fresh here could last you quite long in the fridge

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very fresh looking, no bruises

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sold by bag

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Some tasty looking dessert by Gumnut, didn’t had any

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Yalla sell some seriously delicious yogurt and dips! so good

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promotion for their dips

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price list

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my strawberry yogurt for $3, they have promotion, 4 yogurts for $10, very creamy and tasty

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this guy from Fare Gourmet looks like Italian/Greek people, a little bit of Dustin Hoffman lookalike, seems quite serious about making brownies which is what he mostly sell

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delicious angus beef from Moobi Valley from hunter valley, the beef is very tender and nice

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waiting for my steak sandwich

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yum yum

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creative: almond base bread

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Willowbrae Chevre cheese has very creamy and delicious cheese, veerryy nice!

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Then off to take the take the train to go the The Rocks market (near Circular Quay station), open from 10am to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday of the year, before that we went to the Tea Cosy for their famous scones, located along the Rocks market. Address: 33 George Street, The Rocks, their scones are baked fresh and available every Saturday and Sunday 9am till 11:30am, any later you will have to order their high tea set with sandwiches etc

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menu

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Website: The Tea Cosy

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Order and pay inside, you will given a number stand, once the scone is freshly baked out of oven, they will send it over to your table

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fresh scones, can’t really say the scones are the best, but it is warm and quite nice, and the cold buttery cream, and homemade pear and apple jam with just the right sweetness complements the scones really well, go try

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one of the unique stores in The Rocks market, kangaroo real leather by Alan Warner, bracelet or necklace. There are also stalls selling necklaces made with read leaves inside, unique necklaces made with watch skeletal, basically a lot of unique accessories made locally. MUST VISIT this market

One of the notable stall is AHW Creations with their unique “watch” necklaces etc.

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more stalls

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our lunch in the market, just so so, $15 for 3 skewers of choice, complementary rice and salad

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La Renaissance (Address: 47 Argyle St , The Rock, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm) just next to The Rocks market, their macaron is really nice without being sugary sweet, tried their jasmine green tea flavor

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one of the cafe near the market selling gigantic pies!

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very near to the Rocks market, we can walk to Observatory Hill Park  (Upper Fort Street, Millers Point) for view of Sydney harbour bridge. On this fine saturday, we saw a wedding ceremony and 2 other brides taking photographs in this park

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some kind of bird with long beak widely seen in Sydney

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view of bridge from observatory park

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took a bus to Lorraine’s Patisserie Pies, Shop 5, Palings Lane, 320 George St (opposite Wynward station) only to find they runs out of hot pies, only cakes available. They are known for beef pies

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Not far away is Sydney ’s Angel Place , an art installation – Forgotten Songs of 110 empty birdcages suspended high in the air that play the songs of fifty birds, artificial of course

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Nearby is Strand Arcade 412 George street with famed Haighs Chocolates (9am-4pm), the chocolate is very nice!

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in Strand Arcade kitchen department, they sellling unique items by Ariete, popcorn maker, Slushy maker and cotton candy maker, and there are not that expensive

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Adriana Zumbo macaron in QVB Queen Victoria building, 455 George Street (9:00 am – 6:00 pm), tried their salted caramel, very stick sugary sweet, don’t like it, perhaps other flavors are better

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walking towards David Jones gourmet food hall, basement 65-77 Market Street (9:30am-7pm), just down the road from QVB

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to try their Reuben sandwich from Ruby & Rach

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this is really good, normally i don’t eat pickles, but everything just meld together, warm toasted bread, very delicious, MUST TRY

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Short distance walk away is Hyde Park, a medium size park with 2 couple taking wedding pictures here

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one of wedding picture taking group

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back to Chinatown to try the Emperor’s puff  (Emperor’s Garden  Cake & Bakery, address: 96-100 Hay Street, Haymarket) which always have long queue. Their puff is piping hot as it is baked fresh, but the filling just taste of artificial vanilla pudding, can skip this. From chinatown, it is a short walk to Central station, then train back to hotel

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Coffee, Tea & Me near our hotel

87c Macleay St. Pott Point Mon – Sun 7am – 8pm

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everthings looks retro and artsy, sandwich being warm up in hot griddle on the left

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bagel sandwiches available

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i chose salami, tomato and cheese

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Woolsworth supermarket just few shop down the road, expensive cili padi 😉

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The ever famous Bourket street bakery is available in Macleay Street in Pott Points as well, just across the road in small alley from Coffee, Tea & Me

Address: Bourke Street Bakery

46a Macleay St (entrance via Crick Ave ) 7am-5pm Monday to Friday; 8am-5pm Saturday and Sunday

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inside the store

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Pork and fennel roll, not bad

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Their dessert are really nice, both the tart (lemon curd tart and ginger creme brulee tart) are with very creamy smooth fillings but their crust remain crispy and nice even after few hours, wonder what they put in the crust, possible not all butter, some shortening perhaps?! And the flourless chocolate cake is very light, almost light like a chiffon cake. Side note: David Lebovitz post on this bakery.

Found out they actually have own recipe book “Bourke Street Bakery”, definitely have to try to make their ginger brulee tart one day. Recipe as below

Lemon Curd Tart (eatlove)

Ginger Brulee Tart (The Boy Who Bakes)

Ginger Brulee Tart (eatlove)

Ginger Brulee Tart (A Table For Two)

Ginger Brulee Tart (Life is Great)

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Go back to put our Woolworth loot back in hotel, then walk quite a bit, and took bus from Oxford Street to Bondi Beach! We stroll a bit in Bondi market, nothing much there, except maybe for a stall selling leather bags made from local Sydney designers. Other than that, many are chinese looking people selling very normal looking accessories, can skip this market. Then we went to Bills to try their award winning ricotta hotcakes.

79 Hall Street
, Bondi Beach(7:30am-10pm)

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inside the restaurant, busy on a Sunday aftenoon

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footpath seating permit on display

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orange squeezing machine

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here it is ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter

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laced with ricotta inside, nothing spectacular, taste like normal pancake, and very heavy, felt so full afterwards

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adriana zumbo ice cream just next door, too full to eat anymore, did taste test their dark chocolate which is very nice, also tested their pandan coconut doesn’t taste nice

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Bondi beach, too overcrowded

For activities in Bondi, you can check out this informativel link:

http://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-east/bondi/beach-lifestyle

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people everywhere

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huge beach

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Bondi Icebergs with full size swimming pool just next to Bondi Beach, looks spectacular

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walking towards Tamarama beach and Bronte beach

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nice view towards Tamarama beach and Bronte beach

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coastal walk map showing the 3 beaches in this area: Bondi, Tamarama & Bronte

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This is a very nice spot(MacKenzies Bay) between Bondi Beach and Tamarama breach, just be careful of the rocky steps, and they are shades under the rocks where we can have a nice afternoon nap between dipping into cooling water in between the rocks covered with seaweed. They are some rocky formation which block of some of the strong waves, very nice to just sit and dip inside the sea swayed occasionally by the stronger waves, have to be careful as well as strong waves will shove us towards the shore.

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Tamarama beach

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Closer view

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Bronte beach

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Closer view of Bronte

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Bronte beach minimum and maximum air temperature board

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taking bus from Bronte to Bondi junction, then take train back to Kings Cross station

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Tonight we will pack our luggage, bought some vege, cooked instant noodle and stayed in for the night. For a 6 nights trip, our daily activity is getting shorter and shorter, first night we went back reach the hotel at 10pm plus but we went back hotel earlier as the days go by, the last day we reach hotel about 5:30pm, tired from trip and wanting to go back home already. I think for oversea trip, 2 nights could be short, 3 to 4 nights could be ideal? Above is their kitchen, very fully equipped. For this trip, we stayed 6 nights, with 5 full days in Sydney, perhaps to try 4 full day for next travel? For this time, it is quite stressful trip as planning for all itinerary and the kiasu me wants to go everywhere, not like the previous more relaxing Bandung trip with driver or the visiting friend’s previous maid in Cambodia with not any itinerary

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all the cutlery and some basic seasoning (salt, pepper, oil, soy sauce)

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many pot and pans

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even a seating area

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at night, eating the haigh chocolate, very smooth and nice

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Last day, trip to Sydney fish market is recommended to avoid the weekend crowd, we took Sydney Light Rail from Central Station to the Fish Market stop) It is open from 7.00am till 4pm

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Fish market

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Doyles is just opening although we reach the market quite late, about 10am i think, some very fresh looking oyster, cheap as well, $2-$4 each to try

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Peter’s

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Our cold platter, $30, fresh and nice

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sashimi service available

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Just specify the price of salmon you want, and they will cut it out for you

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My $5 worth of salmon sashimi, cold and fresh salmon sashimi

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John Dory fish and chips, the john dory is very ordinary, in fact a bit fishy, not nice

Thereafter, we walked to nearby Harris St and took bus 443 to reach George street, just opposite of Wynyard Station, took the train from Wynyard to Milson Point, it is too hot a noon day sun, and we are just plain tired mentally physically on this last day, we didn’t explorer Milson Point, instead just took the train to the next destination: Strathfield, then bus 525 or 526 from Everton St(just next to the station) to Underwood Rd Near Homebush Bay Dr to DFO Homebush, a direct Factory outlet, selling items at discounts (open mostly 10am-6pm). Found some good deals on Oakley and bought a heels from Shoe Warehouse, not very cheap for me, although could be cheaper for Australian standard, there is an Oroton shop filled with people and people are buying their bag etc.

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cheap cherries available now, only $6.50 for this 750g box

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some drink sold in airport purportedly to prevent jetlag, increase circulation and hidration.

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even sold in vending machine

Some food/places we didn’t manage to try:

1) Mr Crackles,155 Oxford St(corner of Oxford&Crown) thurs-Sat:Noon-2am pork belly roll
2) John Montagu (Monday — Friday:7am-4pm;Weekends:7.30am-4pm), 144 Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo
3) Fratelli Fresh, 11 Bridge Street Mon-Fri: 6-10pm
4) Popolo, 50 McLachlan Avenue, Rushcutters Bay
5) Buffalo Dining Club, 116, Surrey St, Darlinghurst(noon-11pm)
6) Black Star Pastry, Newtown for their Strawberry Watermelon Cake!

Cost breakdown for this trip:

1) (2 pax)6 nights hotel stay: RM2400 (we book the hotel like 1 month before which resulting in cheaper options are not available, if you booked earlier, may get RM300 per nights in Kings Cross’s Springfield lodge)
2) (2 pax)airfare for 2 pax: RM1512
3) (2 pax)Misc for flight(20kg to and 25kg back, meals, insurance etc): RM388
4) (per person) Miscellaneous spending (tickets + food + some shopping): AUD$850  ~ RM2500 (including $84 weekly transportation pass + blue mountain scenic world pass $35 + approx $300 for food only per pax)
(per person) Total spending approx RM4,700

Useful Sites

Sydney Trains: http://www.sydneytrains.info

Found this site: http://www.wotif.com/ very good in providing info of price of each hotel (ie listing out lowest price for each day of the week for hotels)


 

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