Friday, 18 August 2017

Foods You Should Try in Krabi

WARNING: DON'T READ THIS IF YOU'RE HUNGRY.

Hello! Thanks for all your comments on my personal Instagram asking for food suggestions in Krabi.

So, in this post, I'll basically showing off foods we had while we're in Krabi. :p
If you haven't read about my tips on traveling to Krabi, please refer to this post.





I love to try different McDonalds ice-cream flavors when I travel other than different Strabucks drinks which aren't available in Malaysia. So, when I was in Krabi, there was this Mango ice-cream  I gotta try and maann it's really good even though we had it when it was raining at night. LOL




Now what's Thailand without its tomyum? It's like going to Seoul without trying their kimchi. That seafood tomyum is the best we've had! There were tons of fresh seafood inside with the right level of sourness and spiciness. We had this in one of the store inside Jame foodcourt near the Ao Nang mosque. I couldn't find the picture of the store but if you see a professional looking chef (I meant literally like a chef with his white chef uniform and long hat - is that what you call it? idk lol), go order your food there. *swallow saliva*

Tried these at the same foodcourt. Not that special.



We tried these cute balls at Krabi town weekend night market. It's like one of Malaysian traditional dessert called gula Melaka but these are smaller with big gula Melaka inside. So so goood! Well, I think they made everything tastes better in Thai.

Of course, mango sticky rice.


Cute waffles at the night market
Basically at the night market, we filled ourselves with street foods instead of real-big-portion foods. You should also try the creamy coconut milkshakes they have there. I think there's only one store selling it at the night market. 



Pancakes are popular desserts/street foods in Krabi as well. I regretted not to eat it everyday there. -.- Still, managed to have these while we're strolling down the Ao Nang beach.

Butter cheese pancake. 1 isn't enough.
Chocolate banana pancake. I love their soft and slightly chewy pancake.

By-the-road restaurant
On our last day, we had lunch at one of the restaurants found nearby our resort. The foods there were good too. Best part is, they gave us fresh pineapple as a starter. 

Need to find out how to make that dip. It goes really well with pineapple.
Unlike asam cicah we had in Malaysia, this one is like asam powder mixed with sugar, a little bit of salt and chilly flakes. Other foods we had there:

Tomyum, pad thai, again and again
This tomyum over here has that kick I tell you. And generous amount of seafood as well. Other recommendation is this plain rice with yellow fried chicken (forgot the name).

Taste almost like ayam goreng kunyit but so much better.


We ate at Adeela Delicious nearby the Emerald Pool entrance. Surprisingly, the food price is the average considering its location in one of the major attractions. What we had:

Yum mama. Delicious :)

Pad Thai. Not the best we had but still good!

We had Pad Thai almost everyday! LOL 
Kim loves it too much. Idk how it taste so much better than our kue teow goreng in Malaysia *salivating*


Our last dinner was spent here. Kim found this place to be quite famous among Koreans. It's located along Ao Nang beach and the area is like an open foodcourt where we really enjoyed the ambiance. What we had: 


Tomyam fried rice. (Y)


Soft shell crab.
I forgot the full name (like ketam masak kunyit like that) but it taste so good I had to keep up eating it with Kim because he was eating it faster than he usually did.

Fried chicken in pandan leaves. 
I really love this dish. It's not the best one I had because I had tried a crunchy one in one of the Thai restaurants in KL but can't deny that this dish completed our meals there. 

Fresh mango juice.

We drank fresh juices everyday for lunch & dinner because it's so fresh and most importantly, cheap there. 

Finally, don't forget to shop for Thai instant noodles and snacks at their supermarket like Tesco Lotus or Big C.


I literally filled in a big trolley with these and ended up paying like 700baht (which is SUPER CHEAP - around RM80). Even with these much, we finished it in like a week or so. Next time, I'll book a whole 20kg luggage for these. 

So, that's all for my Krabi journey. All in all, Halal foods and snacks aren't hard to find and they're marvelous. I would suggest getting some snacks as souvenirs instead of the normal touristy stuff (read: keychains/fridge magnets).

Thanks for reading! 


P/S: I shoot a video with Kim and our friends, trying out these snacks. I'll post it on my Youtube (yes, I finally have one) channel once it's ready. ^_^v

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How to Go to Singapore by Car for First Timer

I'm currently living in Skudai - another city closed to Johor Bahru (JB) which is actually just across Singapore. I usually go to Singapore by bus since it’s the cheapest way of traveling to Singapore until one of my Singaporean friends told me that it’s more comfortable to go to Singapore by KTM train.
Believe it or not, it takes just 5 minutes by train and RM5 (one-way) from JB Sentral to Singapore by KTM train. The cons of taking a train to Singapore are the limited time and tickets where if you didn’t book your ticket earlier, it might be hard to get it especially during the peak hours and weekend. 
FYI, if you buy return tickets at once in JB, you only have to pay RM10 but if you buy separately, you will have to pay SGD5 from Singapore to JB. 
I'll talk more about this on my upcoming posts :)





Ok, let’s get to the actual point. Last month, my family and I decided to visit Singapore for Eid by car. It’s our and my first time of going to Singapore by car. I’m quite nervous but thanks to this blog, I learnt few things I need to take care of before going.

In case you don’t know, there are two highways you can take to go into Singapore. The first one is through Woodlands (main entrance, and the nearest to JB city). Another one is through the second link known as Tuas Linkedua. Linkedua is a little bit far from the JB city but if you’re from Nusajaya or Bukit Indah, this way will be the fastest one to go to Singapore. It was Saturday when we went there. Weekend means that the traffic is kinda unpredictable unlike in the weekdays where you only have to avoid rush hours (morning 5-8 and evening 4-7). 

So we kept on checking the live streaming video here before choosing Tuas as the way to go in. The toll fee is a little big expensive through Linkedua as compared to Woodlands but we chose spending more money than time stuck in the traffic. 
As expected, at 6pm, it took us less than 20minutes to go into Singapore through Tuas Linkedua. Oh! Before I forgot, other than the toll you have to pay to enter Singapore, there’ll be a Gelang Patah toll before you leave Johor which costs RM7.60.




After scanning our passports at the Malaysian custom, we proceeded with the Singapore custom. We need to fill in a white card as visitors in Singapore. After that, we have to stop and the car’s bunk will be checked. Since it’s our first time, we need to buy the Autopass (it works as Touch & Go in Malaysia). After our car has been checked, we proceeded to the office on the left of the customs to buy the card. It costs SGD20 with SGD14 value inside the card. Other than that, we were asked to fill in a form and show our insurance & car’s grant for registration. Note that one Autopass card can be registered with a vehicle only.  And that’s it! That’s all we did to go to Singapore by car.

Other tips to go to Singapore from JB:

1.       Bus to Singapore. If you’re taking buses, you need to know where you’re going as the charges for each bus may vary. It’s not as convenient especially if you’re with small kids or elders because from my experience, it could take up to 4 hours from the JB causeway and immigration (have to go up and down twice– 1 JB's and 1 Singapore's custom separately which means you have to get on and off the buses, wait for them etc). But hey, if you want to cut down the cost, this is the best way.

2.       Train to Singapore. You can buy the train tickets online (different charges) or buy it directly at the KTM counter in JB Sentral. You can also check the time and tickets availability here. Usually the morning tickets (5am to 8am) and evening tickets (5-6pm) are fast-selling because of the rush hour I believe. Not to forget, as mentioned earlier, THE WEEKEND. Trust me, you would rather spend more money than standing for hours to go to Singapore.

3.       Fill up your tank (and stomach maybe?) before going in. Price for gas in Singapore is expensive. No kidding. If you’re entering from Tuas, you’re spoilt with choices: Shell, Proton and Petron, right after Gelang Patah toll.

4.       Prepare small SGD cash change for the Autopass card. That's what written at the office. Easier for them I guess because it's a small counter without proper cashier machine whatsover.

5.       Reload the Autopass card at any convenient stores (eg: 7-eleven, Cheers) in Singapore before going out of Singapore. You need to have enough balance (or else you might end up paying an amount of fine, sure you wouldn't wan that?).

6.       Don’t forget to reload your Touch & Go card as well. Coming into Malaysia you'll need to pay the toll and it can be paid only through T&G. 

7.       Abide the rules in Singapore. I don’t mean you can take Malaysian rules simply but yeah… I don’t think I have to justify this lol.

8.       Avoid both entrance early in the morning (5-8am) and in the evening (4-7pm). These are the rush hour as told by my Malaysian friends who are working at Singapore. Generally during the weekend, traffic going into JB will be bad in the Friday and Sunday evening. Just check on the live streaming link I shared earlier, just to be sure. 

9.       Only vehicle less than 10 years old are allowed in. But I heard in some cases, they didn’t check your car’s grant so I guess it might just depends on luck.

10.    Note the VEP fee is SGD35 per entry except on public holidays, weekend and weekdays after 5pm.



Cost:
T&G Gelang Patah toll fee – RM7.60
T&G coming into JB – RM3+ (I forgot how much exactly but RM3 plus)
Autopass – SGD20
Reload – SGD30
Total payment when exiting Singapore – SGD17.60 (included, tolls, ERP and parking)
VEP fee is free for first timer (valid for 10 days only). 

I hope this post helps! Do lemme know if you wanna know more on other modes to go to Singapore. Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Krabi 5D4N Itinerary & Budget

Assalamualaikum & hi!

Our 5 days in Krabi were amazing! But I wish we could stay longer there. I would suggest a full 6-7 days in Krabi if you really wanna get the best of Krabi. Now let's get to the point. This is our itinerary and some daily remarks I made throughout the trip.

Where we stay: The Nine Thipthara Klongson Resort
Read the review here.


 Air Asia flight: JHB to KUL (11.10am to 12.00pm) – RM162.24
Return flight by Air Asia: Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Krabi (KBV) – RM193.40 (200 BIG points)
Air Asia flight: KUL to JHB – RM35.12 (200 BIG points)

Hujan rahmat :)

Day 1
  • Arrival at Krabi airport 6.10pm
  • Depart to hotel 6.45pm by joined minivan – (200baht/person)
  • Arrival at hotel 8.00pm – (4950baht/4-nights)
  • Rent a motorbike directly from the hotel – (350baht/24 hours)
  • Find packages nearby Ao Nang beach – bought a Hong island + kayaking package at (800baht/person)
  • Dinner at Jame Food Center (near Ao Nang mosque)
  • Back to hotel


Remarks for day 1
  • The weather wasn’t good so our flight can’t landed when it’s supposed to. Landed at 6.10pm which is 30 minutes later then the scheduled arrival time.
  • It’s still raining when we arrive.
  • Jame Food Center is like a food court with variety of Thai foods you can choose from.
  • Motorbike rental actually costs around 200baht per day but we don’t have any other choice because we need to find a package for the next day.
  • Registration before the trip

    Day 2
    • Van pickup at the hotel 8.00am
    • Registration at Ao Nang Beach 8.15am
    • Phak Bia island– 45 minutes for pictures
    • Lading island – 1 hour + lunch
    • Hong Lagoon – stopped for about 30 minutes for pictures, swimming
    • Hong island – stopped for 2 hours, we did snorkelling & but not kayaking because the weather isn’t suitable so we didn’t do kayaking. T_T
    • Back to Ao Nang, van sent to hotel.
    • Go to Ao Nang to rent a bike.
    • Dinner at Jame Food Center.
    • Shop for snacks at Tesco Lotus.
    • Back to hotel.

    Amazing view at Hong Lagoon
    Supposed to take the long-tailed boat but we took the speed boat

    Remarks for day 2.
    • The water at Phak Bia island wasn’t that clean so we didn’t swim there but took lots of pictures especially at the swing.
    • Our agent didn't even tell us they changed our package to speed boat but we accepted it happily anyway because speed boat package is more expensive haha.
    • It started raining heavily 30 minutes before our leaving time at Hong island.
    • After taking a shower and resting for a while, we departed to Ao Nang to get refund for kayaking and rent a bike for the next 2 days. 400baht refund was exchanged to bike rental.
    • Tesco Lotus that we went to isn’t that big but we still manage to spend 500baht there. Lol


    Nak ambil gambar dengan sunglass rasa lagi cool kata Kim >.<

    Day 3
    • Emerald Pool – entrance fee (200baht/person), bike parking (10baht)
    • Lunch at Adila Delicious
    • Krabi Town night market – dinner and shopping
    • Stop at Ao Nang to get Thai cooking class package
    • Back to hotel and rest

    Kematu punggok XD

    Remarks day 3

  •  Go to Emerald Pool by bike took us almost 2 hours. We stopped whenever we wanted and took pictures. Followed Waze & Google Maps. The road was good until the last 2km where it’s a bit rough.
  •  We overlooked the statement that the Blue Pool is closed from April to October for an unknown reason. T_T
  • Bought souvenirs at Krabi Town, caricature and sent postcards as well. :) 
  • Wanna go to the Hot Springs and Tiger Cave but we were afraid it’s gonna rain (it looked like it will at that time and we’ve got like 2 hours journey back to Ao Nang). Changed of plan, went straight to Krabi Town night market instead.
  •  
    At the Krabi Town night market

    Day 4
    • Thai cooking class – we waited for more than an hour but nobody picked us up T^T
    • Changed of plan - strolling down Ao Nang beach side and book a massage
    • Lunch otw to hotel
    • Rest and relax at the hotel, swimming pool
    • Aromatherapy massage and Thai traditional massage at Attarak (800baht)
    • Go to Ao Nang to extend bike rental and get refund from the Thai cooking class
    • Dinner nearby Ao Nang
    • Shopping at Big C
    • Return bike and take a tuk-tuk to hotel (200baht)
    • Packing

    Us with the Krabi landmark 

    Remarks day 4
  • Big C isn’t as big as we expected. We thought the whole building is a supermarket like Tesco Lotus we went to on the second day but instead it’s like AEON in Malaysia, with many other shops inside it. I bought cute cosmetics from Cute Press here <3
  • We thought 200 baht to our hotel is expensive (read on some blogs you can get it for 50baht per head, one way) but because it was already 10pm, we were tired and so lazy to find other tuk-tuk, plus our hotel is quite far, we just agreed to the agent. In fact, it was a whole tuk-tuk for the two of us (meant to be shared for up to 8 people I guess) and it’s just less than RM25, we don’t wanna think more but just accept it’s their rezeki in ours. Letting you know here so that those on budget are aware of the actual rate.   



  • Day 5
    • Taxi pickup to airport – 500baht
    • Flight back to KUL
    • Flight back to JHB


    At Ao Nang beach


    Few things I learnt about Krabi:

    • Most people are friendly. Even though many didn’t speak English fluently but they are helpful when we ask for help.
    • Choose a nice hotel with good facilities as you needed even if it’s a bit far from the main road.
    • Riding a motorbike is actually pretty fun in Krabi especially done with the ‘one’. Lol
    • Locals don’t wear helmets in Ao Nang area because it’s a small town, sometimes we see 3 people riding 1 bike. Haha
    • It’s safe in Krabi. Even at night so, I don’t think girls-only-trip to Krabi will be a problem.
    • Don't buy fruit soaps here because they are more expensive compared to Bangkok.
    • There are so many mosques in Krabi as well so finding halal foods aren't a problem.
    Alright. That's all I can share for now. Thanks for reading! ^_^


    Review Hotel: The Nine Thipthara Klongson Resort, Krabi

    We stayed in The Nine Thipthara Klongson Resort during our trip in Krabi. We went there during a raining & low season so we thought, if it's raining we could just relax at the good hotel. 

    Entrance of the resort.


    Room:
    Garden Villa Room (#901)
    In front of our door is this view <3


    Suitable for: 
    Couples on honeymoon, the have-have (rich) people haha. Ok, we’re far from being the have-have people but without the Genius discounts I got on Booking.com, we wouldn’t even dream of staying at a place like this.

    Value for money: 
    This is a 5-star resort. We got to book it for 4950baht (4 nights = definitely worth it) without having to rob a bank. I might exaggerate but if you think paying RM2000+ for 4-night stay at a resort isn’t a problem, I would highly suggest this resort.

    Love the view from the pool <3


    Location: 
    I have to say that the location of this resort is actually the strength and weakness of this hotel at the same time. It’s quite far (15 to 20 minutes bike ride) from the main Ao Nang road and if you don’t have a transportation, you won’t be able to go anywhere. At the same time, it’s what we’re looking for - a hotel which is far from the bustling Ao Nang street, calm and perfect for a relaxing and romantic getaway.

    The view otw to the resort.


    Cleanliness:
    The room and resort is very clean. They did room cleaning and towel changing every day without being asked to.

    Comfort: 
    Room is comfortable with a king-size bed and ours is specifically near the reception (first room from the entrance)

    *sing Psy's song I LUV IT*


    Facilities:
    Breakfast selection isn’t that wide but it doesn’t really matter to us since we’re not used to have breakfast lol. The swimming pool is quite deep (for a person of 158cm height like me) so we enjoyed the swimming there. We LOVE the Jacuzzi bathtub they have! Tbh, we chose this room specifically for the Jacuzzi.

    Bathtub inside, shower booth outside


    Staff and Services:
    The staffs are nice and helpful. When we arrived on the first night, the staff who greeted us didn’t brief (we forgot to ask too! -.-“) or know how to operate the jaccuzi bathtub in our room, so we can’t use it on the first night which is quite disappointing as I said earlier, we chose this room for the bathtub. So, my suggestion for the resort – the details of things should be known by ALL staffs to put guests more in comfort. 
    As for the service, I wish the hotel could offer more shuttle service at least to and fro Ao Nang. The only shuttle time (forgot the exact time) they had was one in the afternoon (going to Ao Nang) and one in the evening (back to resort from Ao Nang). The last night when we need to return the bike and get back to hotel, we asked the reception about the shuttle service early in the morning but they said we have to book first and if less than 5 people booking, there won’t be any shuttle (where we ended up taking a tuk-tuk back to hotel).

    Reception



    Overall, we enjoyed our stay in the resort and would recommend it to couples who come here for a honeymoon. 4 out of 5 stars for this resort. Would have given 5 if they improve their shuttle service. Hope this info helps! 

    Just me and the Thai pants trying to blend in.

    Friday, 28 July 2017

    Krabi Trip: Tips and Things to Do Before Going

    Planning a Krabi trip? Read some of these tips, things to do and what you should know before going.

    1. Exchange money




    From my readings, I found out that it’s cheaper to exchange money in Malaysia instead of in Krabi itself. So, we did exchange the money first and just activate Korean and Malaysian bank cards just in case we need more money (for my impulse buying disease lol) later.

    When we exchanged the money in JB, we got 12,000THB for RM1524 (rate 0.127). I think it’s quite good as the XE currency shows almost the same amount at that time. And I was right. When we arrived at Krabi, the lowest rate was 0.128+ where we saw at the Krabi airport and near Ao Nang area is more expensive.

    2. Buy necessities (mosquitos repellent, aqua shoes, sun block, waterproof bag, swimwear)


    Lucky for me, my friend just got back from her Krabi trip like few months before our last minute Krabi plan. So, I asked her things we might need especially suitable clothes and packages there. One of the best tips I got from her is the aqua shoes. I saw her IG post on one of the shoes she was wearing so she said it was aqua shoes from Sportsdirect. Buying the aqua shoes a day before our flight was the most brilliant thing I’ve ever done for this trip. We use the shoes most of the time we were there. 

    Promotion at Sportsdirect: 2 pairs for RM79, that's a bargain!

    Tbh, I kinda have this geli-geli feeling in water like I’m not sure what I will step on later so I’m like maaann I love these shoes. Mind you, if it’s raining season in Krabi, you wouldn’t wanna get your sneakers or sandals wet making that pechek-pechek sound. 

    That pink waterproof bag is from Ogival, RM63 

    Not to forget the waterproof bag. It’s really helpful to have this with us along the trip. We bought 15liter waterproof bag and it can fit a thick towel (that we kidnapped from the hotel), your camera and phones etc etc during your island hopping trip.



    As for the mosquitoes repellent and sun block, you can get it there but it’s slightly more expensive in case Watsons have got some special discount during your visit. We forgot to buy a sun block before the trip and bough 199baht (after like 50% discount) Nivea sunblock in one of the Watsons branch in Ao Nang which is a good thing for typical Asians like us who didn’t wanna get natural skin-tanned there. And thanks to this Nivea sunblock, our skin was hardly got tanned (even though my skin jenis yang cepat terbakar. Kim lain lah terbakar pun nampak macam kulit tipikal meleis cisss).

    Around RM150 after sale.

    I bought this pair of burkini (muslimah-kinda-swimwear) by Ogival from AEON when it was on sale like long time ago. It has a hoodie but my head is smaller so it's not tight I have to use a brooch, simply put, no thanks. And I don't like how my face looks like in the hoodie (dah macam rupa cendawan butang) so I wear normal shawl with it. You can actually find cheaper swimwear nearby Ao Nang beach but for Muslims like me, I'm afraid they don't sell a proper kinda swimwear there so I just brought what I have.

    How it looks like :)


    3. Plan your itinerary  

    I belive, not just Krabi, wherever you’re going for a trip, it’s actually important to have your itinerary planned. In my case, instead of having a 9am-9pm planned itinerary, I listed a to-do-list so that I wouldn’t get stressed out if things aren’t going as planned. If you have like more than a week in Krabi, I would suggest to take it slow but a mere 3-full-day-trip? We’ve got to manage our time well for a maximised experience. Gituuu.

    What we did was reading from various blogs and planned the itinerary according to our interest. Good thing for a multiracial couple like us, I’ll do English and Malays blogwalking (omg been forever to use this jargon haha) while Kim will always refer to Naver blogs (Korean kinda Google - search engine) and such. Believe it or not, it’s so different..like what Malays do when they travel and what Koreans do. Sometimes what’s popular among Malay travellers might not be the same among Koreans. Anyways, now I get used to it and enjoy having different kinds of traveling experience with him. 


    Will update more on our itinerary later.

    4. Photocopy important documents 

    Since we planned to rent a motorbike in Krabi, we photocopied our passports and my international driving license. I saw on a blog saying that giving original passport is illegal so I did it just in case. But actually, later in Krabi, they still asked for original passport only. EVERYWHERE. And license isn’t that important there so don’t worry :p

    Things you should know before going and some tips:

    1. Seasons – peak season (mid October to late March). It’s important to know the seasons in Krabi before going as packages offered depends on the season at the moment. Low season means lower price. But high season means more things to be explored! However, we actually bought the flight tickets less than 2 weeks before going because of the Air Asia BIG promotion. I learnt that it was currently low season in July after we bought the tickets lol. Read more about Krabi’s weather here

    2. Plan your itinerary so that you can choose your hotel based on activities you wanna do. If you want to stay nearby the beach and near other attractions, Ao Nang is the best place but hotels close to the beach can be quite expensive.

    3. Keep checking on the weather forecast. Again, it’s rainy season when we went there and most packages need to be booked at least a day earlier. So if it seems like it’s gonna rain the next day, these are my suggestions :

    4. To-do-list in Krabi when it’s raining:

    a)       Go groceries shopping. One thing you must do when you’re in Thailand is to try their snacks. You can get all kinds of snacks in Tesco Lotus or Big C. I will blog/vlog more about this soon.
    b)       Get Thai massage. Never, I mean NEVER leave Krabi or Thailand in general without trying their massage (I know this is unpopular advice because it’s already well-known). But be careful when you choose the types of massage and massage spa. If you’re not familiar with massaging, don’t go for the traditional Thai massage. Kim had it and said “I thought I almost died.” LOL. Ask for a more relaxing massage instead. I tried the aromatherapy massage and goshh it was amazing. As for the massage spa, sometimes small ones by the Ao Nang road isn’t hygienic enough because they use the same towel over and over again without washing it so we were careful when choosing the spa there. Let me know in the comment section if you’re interested to know which massage spa I went to.
    c)       Learn to cook Thai foods. Read my next post on why I didn’t get to do this at the end T_T  
    d)       Go rock climbing. We didn’t have enough time to do this but if I could come back to Krabi again next time, I’ll definitely put this on my to-do-list.
    e)       Eat at seafood restaurants by the beach or at the cliff restaurant. It would be nice for me to stay indoor as much as possible when it’s raining ‘cause it can get really windy. A romantic windy dinner by the beach? Oh yes! Also, when we were on the way to Krabi town from Ao Nang, we saw this beautiful restaurant right under a big cliff by the road. I forgot to take a picture of it but just so you, the view from afar is uh-may-zengg at night.
    f)         Attractions and activities you can still do even if it’s raining included kayaking in Bor Thor, hiking Tiger Temple/Cave, go to Emerald Pool & Hot Spring.


    I guess that’s all for now. I hope this helps to plan your Krabi Trip. Please share this if you think it’s helpful. Or leave comments on what else you wanna know about our Krabi trip. 


    Thanks for reading! ^_^