Oct 21 2016

3D2N Trip to Bintan Lagoon Resort (Part 1)

Recently back from a short 3D2N getaway to Bintan with Mel and it was such a good and relaxing short break.

This is my second trip to Bintan and both trips I stayed at Bintan Lagoon Resort. I like staying there because of their direct ferry service (powered by Moziac Ferry Lines) which leads you right to the doorstep of the resort! Custom clearance was really fast and you don’t have to waste another hour to travel to the town area.

Beautiful peaceful beach that greeted us when we arrived. Sun sand and sea for the next 3 days!!

There’ll be an internal shuttle bus which would pick you up from the ferry terminal and send you to the resort lobby.

Our Deluxe Room which had a nice pool facing.

Put down our bags and we’re off to tour the area!

The Sea Sport counter. There are over 30 Land and Sea Sport Activities which would leave you spoilt for choice.

Some of my colleagues actually travel frequently here to play golf. This is the beginner’s range, and they actually still have 2 other world-renowned, exceptionally designed championship 18-hole courses.

There’s also pool tables & those football machines which are complimentary for guests to use if I’m not wrong.

TV Consoles which are available for rent too! Great for those who come in large groups.

The really well equipped gym which Mel hit almost everyday.

There’s also something for the kids if you’re planning a short getaway with your children!

I’ve always wanted to go into one of these so I sneaked in shhh..

They even have this which we didn’t have time to play :(

Was hungry from all the walking and we settled our lunch at the newly opened Fiesta Restaurant which serves international cuisine!

The restaurant is perched on a hill and overlooking the pool side.

Super love the white and glass structures which makes the whole place looks so bright and welcoming!

Nice lighting calls for more selfies!

And more!!

Lots of choices to choose from. Mel and I like ‘Fresh Life’ the most!

So relaxing…

I like that there are a few counters which serve freshly prepared food!

There’s also a live band that sings songs of all languages, even mandarin ones!!

Rested for awhile before changing to our sea sport attire!

There’s many sea sports to choose from, like canoe, jet-ski, banana boat, snorkeling and more! We decided to give jet-ski a try!

Jet-ski was so fun!!! If you’re the kind that doesn’t like too extreme sports but still want that bit of thrill, this is the perfect sea sport. And it was so nice being in the open sea and under the blue skies, with wind blowing in your face.

Initially I was afraid that we’d fall but it wasn’t scary and pretty easy to handle. What was even scarier was when we were walking on the sand to our Jet-ski, there were like super a lot of small crabs crawling towards us which I totally freaked out and kept jumping. Made Mel piggy-back me back to the shores after we were done hahaha.

Thanks for saving me from the crabs hahaha!

Check out my poliwag top which I bought for fun in BKK! Poliwag cos we were playing sea sports!!

Went back to our resort to wash up and we’re off to roam the beach again before dinner! I like how everything is so integrated and convenient at Bintan Lagoon Resort.. Save all the traveling time!

One good thing about this place is also that they have their own private beach which spans across a 1.5km distance. Even though we were there on a Saturday, it still wasn’t too crowded.

Dinner was at The Nelayan which has really nice ambiance since it’s just by the beach!

Their soup of day was soooo good!! Mel couldn’t stop raving and drank till there wasn’t a single drop left.

Ordered Seafood Risotto and a combination grill platter (beef, fish, prawn & lamb) to share!

Followed by 2 desserts which were awesome as well!

Took a really slow 2hrs dinner cos we were just enjoying the view and ambiance.

Surprisingly, the weather in Bintan is not as humid and hot as in Singapore even though we were under the sun most of the time! I guess the cool breeze really helped too. Will be blogging about my 2nd & 3rd day in another post so stay tune!

If you’re planning a trip to Bintan, I’d really recommend staying at Bintan Lagoon Resort! You can check out more about the resort HERE and book your weekend trip now! There’s a Weekday Package promotion (2D1N) which is on-going till 30 October where you can save about 30%!

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Oct 16 2016

Fujifilm X-A2 Camera + Fuji XF 35mm f1.4 lens!

The past week has been an exciting week because I’ve been busy playing with my new camera!!! Bought the Fujifilm X-A2 on a random note cos of some promotion and 2 days later I got myself new lens (XF 35mm f1.4) too hahaha.

Meet my new X-A2!! It’s a mirrorless compact with APS-C sensor. Previously I was using my Panasonic Lumix which served me very well for the past 3 years. The Fuji is about 1.5x bigger and heavier than my old cam and at first it took me quite awhile to get used to the weight but I guess it’s still better than carrying a DSLR around!

The camera came with a kit lens (16-50mm) but I wanted a prime lens. So happened I could hunt one on Carousell so I immediately got it! This is the XF 35mm f1.4, and the built of it is sooo pretty. I can just stare at the glass the entire day. :/

There’s actually a newer X-A3 model which was recently launched, but I prefer this one cos it looks more vintage while the newer one just looks like a toy. The person at the shop also told us that this is a more popular model compared to the newer version. There’s a few minor upgrades to the newer version but I can live without that. New version = more expensive too! I also love how vintage this camera looks and it also comes with a LCD screen which you can tilt for selfies! I was researching at other brands/models and there was no other cameras which looked this good and had a screen that could tilt.

Side by side with my Fujifilm Instax Mini 90. Matching colour!

So the whole week I was trying to test the camera and getting used to using it. Previously I was just using auto mode most of the time but I think it’s time I should start learning how to use the manual functions!

The shots below are all straight out of the camera and non-edited. Colours were really rich and pictures are sharp. Love it!

Under low light condition. I didn’t even adjust the ISO, aperture and don’t know what much so I guess photo quality could be better.

Visited Muji Cafe with Fawn on Thursday. We bought the cam together and this girl still hasn’t even taken her camera out to play while I’ve already gotten myself new lens.

Love the depth of field of this lens!

On Friday, Mel sent flowers to my office.

Went to Hana Japanese Restaurant whose flying noodles are all over instagram now. But we didn’t have that.. This pic was taken from the table beside me hahaha.

Abit too dark for my liking but I guess I could have increased the brightness. This beef don is damn good btw.

Make full use of the flowers by spamming pics of it. And also using it as a test subject for my camera.

Really like my camera with the new lens! Alot more to get used to still especially the settings but I think I’m getting used to the weight of it already! Not that bad actually. Only bad thing about this 35mm lens is that it’s quite zoomed in so it’s almost impossible to take a nice selfie! Now I’m thinking if I should get another wide angle lens :/

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Sep 7 2016

Chinatown Mid Autumn Festival Light Up!

Headed down to Chinatown to view the mid autumn festival light up as well as to get a paper lantern to play last Saturday!

Feeling like a tourist in my own country haha! Singapore can be an interesting place if you explore hard enough eh.

Some lantern design contest. I like this one! So pretty.

So apt for the Pokemon Go season. Would have gotten this design if it’s on sale!

Took a break and ate some cooling ice dessert!

OOTD! Tried dressing up with something oriental haha. You can’t see clearly but my top has like embossed oriental patterns.

Found a place which offered a birds-eye view of the entire place! So scenic!

Had claypot rice for dinner at the hawker centre. So gooodd.

The selections this year was abit disappointing. Didn’t managed to find this really pretty paper lantern which I saw before long time ago in Chinatown.. :(

After that we walked all the way to MBS (2.7km) for pokehunt! Hahaha. The place was still so crowded at 11pm.

I really like weekends like this. I guess it’s the company that matters too. :)

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Sep 5 2016

Cambodia Siem Reap Travelogue

Here to blog about my Siem Reap trip! So many travel posts to catch up on! Earlier this year, I had the chance to head to Cambodia Siem Reap for a management workshop.

Hahaha as you can see it was quite some time back, but better late to update than never!

My first time to experience being ferried to the airplane by bus then having to climb up this flight of stairs! Should have just checked in my luggage zz. But thankfully there were lots of guys on this trip so I just dumped my luggage to them hahaha.

On route to our resort! Along the way it was just very barren.

We stayed at Hotel Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort for 4 nights.

Would have been better if it was not a work trip!

I shared a room with my colleague cos we were both scared to stay alone hahaha.

What greeted me in my room! So cute!! They actually made our company logo out of jelly?

First food I had after touch down. Some noodles which came in a gigantic portion.

Since our flight was a morning flight and we had all the way till evening to spare, a few of us decided to head down to the temples to take a look! We hired a mini van to bring us around and covered a total of 3 temples in about 4-5hrs. My colleagues were frequent travelers there since we have products there, so they knew who to contact!

You have to purchase this ticket (which covers all temples). Passes are sold in one-day (US$20), three-day (US$40) and seven-day (US$60) blocks that must be used on consecutive days. Your photograph will be taken a printed on the spot and you have to be ready to produce this ticket as and when they require it! So keep it safely!

First stop was Angkor Wat, which is the largest religious monument in the world, and one of the 7 wonders of the world.

This was the king’s pool I think.

The place was quite big but it’s just a straight path down and you exit from the other side. Our van was just waiting at the other side for us. After that we hopped on, and he sent us to the next temple!

We visited Ta Prohm temple next which is more famously known as the temple where Tomb Raider was shot at! Similarly, it’s just enter from one entrance, then exit at the other side.

One very interesting thing about this temple is that you’d realise the roots of the trees actually grow out of the ruins.

Things you’d do for a good shot.. Climb up a few level of rocks. It’s actually quite high up!

Meet my new friends!

To be honest I’m abit lost now which temple is which cos ruins all look roughly the same lolol.

Bayon Temple – The last temple we visited!

This temple is where you can find lots of faces on the ruins.

So with that, I survived climbing up and down stairs and rocks for 5hrs in freaking 37degrees. Remember to stock up on water!!

Along the way there would be young kids coming to you to sell stuffs like fans, books, etc. If you’re not interested, just try to not have eye contact with them or entertain them. If not, they’d walk with you all the way till you get something from them. And after you’ve gotten something, they’d try to get you to get even more things. Honestly, I think they make quite good salesmen in future but that is if only they can get proper education and not think that they can do this for a living. :(

Went back to our hotel all tired and sticky. Went for a quick shower before heading to our welcome dinner by the pool!

Buffet style.

On the spot grilling. I didn’t take the full spread but there was so much food to feed an entire army!!

Day 2 was the start of our 2.5days workshop. It’s a workshop involving 5 different countries and a few different functions, so it was quite a big turnout! Good to be able to see my colleagues from overseas again too!

One of the nights, my manager brought our team (4 of us) out for dinner. The restaurant sent a complementary tuk tuk to bring us there. It’s actually just a short 10mins walk from our hotel. But you can get the hotel to call the restaurant for you to check if there’s seats, arrange transport, etc.

This is like my ultimate favourite dish there. Some grilled mushrooms. They added black pepper and some sweet sauce and it’s SO good! Shit I miss it so much now.

Some spring roll thing.

I obviously did not touch this cos it’s just a pile of raw vegs.

As you can see, Cambodia food is like a fusion of Thai/Vietnamese style.

Had some time after our workshop on Day 3 so I decided to tag along with some of my colleagues who wanted to try the Quad Bike.

I had an ATV experience before in Bintan and it was just not very memorable. So I initially was dreading this cos along the way I thought: “Oh shit, Imagine 4hrs under the hot sun.” The other time in Bintan it was only 1hr, but now it’s 4hrs of driving.

But after doing the test drive and getting on the road, it was really fun! And windy!! Not hot at all like what I imagined. We drove along the countryside and the paddy fields.

Rest stop. Sun was setting and it’s so beautiful!

And as soon as I saw this view it was so serene?? Huge patches of vast land that seemed endless. Something you’d never see in Singapore!

No regrets for this trip even though it’s not exactly very cheap. Can’t remember how much but I think it’s about 50-80usd per person? But I highly recommend going at least once in your life if you’re there! I can’t remember which was the shop that we went too but be careful of scams especially if you’re in a large group. We were scam of the change where the shop owner insisted that they already gave back the change to xx guy but he didn’t receive it. Said that they’ll view the CCTV records but the CCTV was never connected in the first place.

Super long post which marks the end of my 5 days trip in Cambodia, Siem Reap. About 3 days was occupied by work stuff but glad that I could still explore key attractions there! I almost couldn’t make it for this trip as initially it clashed with my Japan holiday. And I guess without work, Cambodia wouldn’t have been on my to-go list. So I’m thankful for all the opportunities I get from work.

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