Friday, January 31, 2014

Patong Beach on Phuket Island, Thailand

ABBEY:  There are many beaches on Thailand. Among them is Patong beach where we chose to stay during our vacation. The white sand is beautiful but not as soft as what is there on Maya beach. For a hundred bhat you can rent a pair of beach bed with table for drinks where you can enjoy taking snaps on people doing various beach and water activities; like snorkeling, swimming, and parasailing (1500 bhat per person). 

Eateries and restaurants flocked the on the opposite road on the beach. You can have a decent meal for about 100 bhat. Bangla road is also near it as well as the large mall Jungceylon. 

Pieces of advice: 
1. For tourists, don't go on the beach after a New Year's eve party as garbage are all over the place. 
2. For the local government, try to educate the tourist and the residents and let them have an awareness to maintain the place clean.

WILL: Have you ever heard of Patong Beach? No? Why? Where have you been?

Patong beach is the most famous in Phuket. If you're gonna say you are going to Thailand got sure they will ask you if you'll check out Patong Beach. 

We went here on our first day stay. We just took photos of the bluish clear water. The waves' sizes were just fine. But when I tried to dip in, the water is so cold and it made my skin itchy. I thought I am the only one to feel it but hey, even Abbey and two of our friends too. So we decided not to soak our body for today and we will be coming back on the 1st day of 2014. 

As planned, we went there around 7am and ready for a swim until afternoon. To our shocked, we found some beer bottles, paper lantern  and even the firework boxes were floating at the shores. To my disgust, we just rented seats for THB100 each and linger with the sea breeze, watch the cruise ship to leave Phuket Island and plan for our next tour on that day. 

I hope that the government will regulate all the establishments around the area. To maintain the natural beauty of this famous island. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Phuket FantaSea - The Ultimate Nighttime Cultural Theme Park

ABBEY: Fantasea is a cultural-magical-modern-elephant show rolled into one. For 2500 bhat, you can have a buffet dinner before the show and you'll be experiencing a one-of-kind entertainment. 

The Fantasea show is located in a make-shift village where you can have arcades, dine in restaurants, buy souvenirs and watch street performers. 

At the buffet you will be eating in a huge dining hall replicating the one in their presidential palace. Be sure to remember your table number so you'll not be lost when you got back from the buffet. The menu includes corn soup, pork, chicken and fish fillet in different curry flavors, pasta, crispy pork belly and fried chicken. Fruits, kueh lapis, cream puff and brownies were the desserts. 

The gates opened as early as 8:30PM and viewers were asked to deposit their camera-loaded gadgets as photography and videography is prohibited. Guests can strike a pose with tiger cubs, mascots and art installations for photo souvenir (2000 bhat - includes 1 8R photo and 3 5R ones and a CD). 

The auditorium and the stage has a rainforest-like setup; trees, plants, and fog. A roar of applause will be heard when the show started as the elephants paraded towards the stage. The show is great. Magicians, cultural dancers, light trapeze and the fireworks really impress me and gave me enjoyment. The elephants were adorable upon doing their tricks. There is still a big room of improvement though with regards to the plot, action scenes and the pyro-techniques. A must-see show for the tourists.

WILL: As usual, every tour I planned I always ask my friend Denise for recommendations and this Phuket Fantasea is one of those. Well there are 2 shows she want me to choose but I ended up buying tickets for this.

For THB 2,500 we got the ticket for Fantasy of a Kingdom Show, buffet dinner Golden Kinnaree Restaurant, and roundtrip transfer from Frutta Boutique. I chose to go here on eve of New Year so we can have nice dinner and we can still watch the fireworks at the beach.

Their service van came on time to pick us up. After almost an hour we reached the theme park. We take paved our way and take photos while are eyes we awed to delight on Tiger Jungle Adventure, Similan Entertainment Centre, Carnival Village Shopping Street, and the great architecture of Palace of the Elephants Theatre.

The dinner do not have so many choices but I like the taste of each viands, oh even their desserts. We really sit there for more than 2 hours, filling our tummies up. Indeed we have a very sumptuous dinner for last night of 2013.

After pigging out, we walk inside the palace, deposited our cameras and handphone. Yes this is compulsory. I am totally excited to see the elephants to perform in front of me. But when the show goes on, it bores me also. Sorry to say because I slept inside the theater.  The performers are quite lousy on their acts, no enthusiasm on their part. Maybe because it is holiday and they are on the stage, still working.

I may not say that I should hear the advice of Denise. Haha!  Hard-headed girl I am! This will not be our last trip at Thailand. Next time we will see the other show. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Marina Bay Sands' Painting with Light: Christmas Special

ABBEY: We went to the exhibit of Little Black Jacket at ArtScience Museum. At the lobby of the gallery was Painting by Light activity area. 

In time for the holidays, it invites guests to design a Christmas tree decoration by cyanotype; a technique similar to developing a photo on a dark room. Individuals were given cardboard shape cutouts and they will choose for a design to be used. The template will be put over the card board and then expose to UV light. Marks like snowman, snowflakes and sleigh will be etched on the board. After rinsing, the finished product will be hanged on the tree. 

Wishes can be written on the other side of the board.

WILL: After the awesome potrayals of different hollywood actors / actresses, models and known people of The Little Black Jacket, we went straight to Painting with Light just few steps away from the Chanel's exhibition room.

For free, we wrote down all our wishes. We use different kinds of designs and put it under the heat of a black light. After few more steps, the ornament came lovely in our eyes. We put it on at ArtScience Museum all-white tree. Very pleasing on my eyes.

It is my pleasure to take part on this Marina Bay Sands project.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dhoom 3 (2013) - Singapore

ABBEY: After watching a couple of Hindi action movies like Dhoom 2 and Da Bang, Dhoom 3 is the best by far. 

I was anticipating this in silver screen since I saw its trailer. Not only that Katrina Kaif is part of the cast but I was amazed on the effects specially on the scenes involving the twins (spoiler alert). Compared to local films in Philippines the action scenes are better but still plot is predictable. Also they should minimize the use of slow-mo during explosions, and on impossible feats of the hero/villain. Other stunts defy the law of physics but you just need to laugh them off and continue watching the movie. But I assure you all of those criticisms will be gone when you see Aaliyah dance and smile. 

7/10 for the film and 10.5/10 for Katrina. No wonder why she was named sexiest in Asia for the fourth time. Woot! Woot! 

WILL: Dhoom machaleeeee! My colleagues got angry whenever I sing the Dhoom Machele Dhoom. I think for a week that was my LSS. Haha! Dhoom 3 is a big hit here in Singapore and thanks to Sir Nitin Parab for the free tickets. We watched the movie at Golden Village VivoCity.

For almost 3 hours I stared at the silver screen because need to read the subtitle as keen as possible.

I cried. Yes! I cried! My heart is really soft on a siblings-stories. The critics says that the movie is not so good or some were just copied to Hollywood films but for me, 8/10. 3 is nicer than Dhoom 2, I assure you!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Frutta Boutique Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand

ABBEY: We got a nice boutique when we went to Hongkong (Hop Inn) and we tried if we can repeat the same experience on Phuket. Lo and behold, Frutta Boutique just opened months before our trip. We got a promotional rate for 2500baht per day for a Superior Fruit Shake (with breakfast) room. 

All the people operating the hotel is warm, approachable and friendly; from their general manager Mameka to Kevin and all the staff. They also help us to book the airport transfers as well the tours we had on our stay.

Buffet breakfast is served; you will be overloaded by the fruits like watermelon and pineapple. The hotel is only a 15-20mins walk to the beach and Frutta is lending bikes for the guests. It also has a swimming pool on 2nd floor and entertainment room as well. We haven't got the chance to use it as tours occupied most of out trip.
They also have a restaurant to fill-in your hunger; be it snack, lunch or dinner.

The room is cozy and clean. Complimentary water was served in glass bottles which differs from the other hotel that we stayed in. The sheets are white and soft; very comfortable for sleeping.

Our overall stay is fantastic, fun and great. I would recommend this boutique hotel for those who'll go to Patong beach at Phuket.

WILL: Yeah I know it is my fault, why I am arranging for an out-of- the-country tour every time it is holiday. Well I just want to maximize my company leaves. Anyway, as always, I do the planning for almost a year and that is why I can haggle for the hotels and wait for great airplane promos.

I have a list of not less than 10 hotels to check one by one from its location, facilities, and even the rates. Frutta Boutique caught my attention. Why? Because it is a new, not more than a year old. It has colorful and vibrant rooms, perfect location (15 minutes away from the beach), THB2500 for a night with free breakfast.

As we stepped out from the hotel transfer van, a very lively Ms. Mameka greeted us! Gosh, I am really at the land of smiles, haha. Their jolliness is contagious. They gave us welcome drink and escorted us at our room.

Our room is spacious, the bathroom is very clean, the sheets are all white and very sanitised  the veranda is not too small nor big. The breakfast will make you full but not that full so you can still fit in your swimsuits. The free candies and free fruits at the lobby are overflowing. We have a not so strong Wi-fi connection in our room but it is okay. Every time we are having a vacation, as much as possible, Abbey and I want to cut-off the connection from the cyberworld.

In total, I will truly recommend this place. Oh, I forgot, they also arranged all our tours with a a very big discount from the published rates of tour companies.   

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Little Black Jacket, CHANEL's classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld in Singapore

ABBEY: The Little Black Jacket is a collection of portraits by Karl Lagerfeld. It was exhibited at ArtScience Museum. 

I was amazed how the jacket differs when it was worn by variety of individuals. I liked the shots of Mila Jovovich and Keira Knightly. They even have souvenirs of Keira and Kirsten Dunst. 

Other portraits were printed in glass and a single-color lights illuminated each of them; this gives a more vivid and contrast to the display. The exhibit has its course from Tokyo and ends here in Singapore. 

WILL:  I am so lucky that we are living here as the last stop of Chanels' The Little Black Jacket Exhibition was planned to be in Singapore.

Marina Bay Sands' Artscience Museum open its doors to the public for a free admission on this exhibit. It started 9th of November to 1st of January 2014 and we visited last 21st of December.

The exhibit portrays different artist with different attitudes. You can see that the little black jacket transforms itself by how the model wants to represent it.

Oh, they are giving free posters too :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Kopi Tiam by SWISSÔTEL Singapore

ABBEY: This is not your ordinary Kopitiam. From what I experienced this is a high-end one. It is located at Swissotel Stamford (near City Hall MRT exit ). So like other restaurant you can make a reservation or walk in to dine. You will be given a menu instead of making an order on the stalls. 

I got Nasi Lemak. While waiting, we were served with chips. The serving is big, flavorful and delicious. I expected a fried chicken but their version is chicken curry. Then I had teh-c after the meal. 

It is amazing to know that an almost-fine-dining Kopi Tiam exists where you can have a moment with your loved ones on a "classy" way for a higher-than-normal price. The total bill didn't exceed 25sgd for 2 set meals. I would also like to commend Maricor for attending to us during our date.

WILL: We are really amazed that Swissotel named their restaurant  "Kopitiam" which means coffee shop and this is a well known street shop in Singapore.

I ordered a Bak Kuh 
The, Singapore's famous pork soup. I thought they will give me a small serving because it only costs $18 but when served, I saw a gigantic bowl with ala-dinasour cut of pork ribs. Ha! As usual I targeted for the soup and youtiao, well its a great combination as usual. I ate a lpt of dough fritters. Haha!

Thanks to Ms Maricor for assisting all our needs and thanks to Abbey for his 30th bday treat!