Sunday, July 9, 2017

Bangkok in 2017

What is a year without heading to Bangkok? 6 months apart since the last trip in December 2016, nothing has changed. The only thing that might have changed would be the itinerary - But the people and places stayed the same, and the memories got even bolder.

Where do I start? My sister and I decided on a really impromptu trip to Bangkok just 2 days prior to our flight. It wasn't exactly the cheapest vacation (since it also spans across the Public Holiday in June), we still decided to go anyway. We decided to stay away from Pratunam for a change, and resided in Thong Lor. The last accommodation that our friends and I stayed in was in Asok, getting a little further down the BTS line! But like all places, everything is walkable, it just depends if you'd like to (or not). So the previous trip, I challenged myself and walked from our apartment in Asok to J Avenue. I remembered the shops along the roads and the experiences I had, all in a span of 3 hours for a return journey. Nothing a Health Land massage can't cure :P

In essence, Thong Lor is awesome. You are constantly surrounded by cafes and bars and the best hide-out (The Commons), which has been getting quite a bit of hype these 2 years since it has been built. No regrets though, except for the fact that sometimes, most of our activities will still revolve around Siam.

Just a super chill area in our residence (where I spend most of my time watching TV and sometimes, work off the coffee-table with beer and snacks) mmm...

We arrived on a Sunday morning, so we dropped our bags and headed to Chatuchak for some therapy. There wasn't much shopping for me, but my sister, there was quite a bit that suits her. I splurged on food, and a top from a mens store. This was how it looked like, and I still love it till date.

And because we stayed a stone-throw away from Myst, we decided to walk there from our residence at night. The last time I visited, I recalled it was along the main road, but it has shifted waaayyy further into the road (I think it's a big no no, a little more inconvenient, but they still get the crowd anyways). We ordered their funky signature cocktails, and I really wanted the rainbow shots like the last we did in 2015, but nothing's quite the same anymore.

Myst, Thong Lor 10
Address: 185 Soi Ekkamai 5, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand
Opening Hours: 6PM–2AM
Phone: +66 80 770 9800

On that very night, we saw sunset from our rooftop. It looked something like this.

Since it was my sister's second trip to Bangkok, I decided to bring her to another outlet of Roast. The one we usually frequent to would be in Thong Lor and Seen Space, but this time, I'd like to bring her to my old office at Emquartier -- So we dined there. I loved that place. I've harboured enough memories to miss it that much.

We ordered bacon aglio alio pasta, their famous pulled pork burger and a strawberry milkshake. Our lunch was the bomb. She left with a happy tummy and I am happy.

On another occasion, my sister wanted to eat some Tom Yam Mookata (or something along the lines of being spicy). I brought her to this place which was also pretty hyped - SanSab Bangkok, located on Level 4 at Siam Paragon. We ordered the Tom Yum UFO Mookata Hotpot, with cheese, egg and corn. We were seated comfortably, and no strong smelling of the traditional mookata. All is good.

That day, we shopped around at Siam and I got my Converse army shoes at only 30 SGD. They were having mid-year sale, 50% off some classic designs and it was amazing because there was my size left! We went to a few other converse stores around the area including Siam Discovery to look for one in Justin's size, but to no avail. 50% so must hoot! Ha ha ha

We decided to have a break at Groove, Central World at a Japanese restaurant / bar. We settled for desserts and beer (because 1 for 1 and happy hour). The next would be Wine, I Love You. There will always be space for desserts, no? Yum!

We taxi-ed back to The Commons, at Thong Lor to have dinner with Kwan! The peak hour traffic in Bangkok is crazy, and staying around the city area does not exactly help, since their roads leading up to the expressways are always congested... Not to mention that they have to make an additional distance before u-turning back to Sukhumvit Soi 55.

We had dinner, desserts like churros with ice-cream (my sister had her cravings and it was super yummy btw) and definitely my brew dog fix! It's an IPA that used to be served in Harry's, but they took it off the menu since. Introduced my sister to Kwan, meeting my sister from another mother in Thailand, and I really really treasure this LDR as much. Thank you for always being there for me, together and apart!

Ending it off with sunset in Thong Lor.

Bangkok, you stand between food, coffee and shopping for me. Till next time, for the better places!

You may find all the related Bangkok posts here:
2016: Banyan Tree Hotel Bangkok with The Entertainer App 1 for 1
2015: Best of Bangkok in 2015
2014: Talad Rot Fai Train Market, Asiatique Bangkok
2014: A trip to Bangkok, Thailand
2014: The surface of Bangkok

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sony A5000 with 35mm f1.8 Lens

New lens added to the Sony A5000, one for the road! There is no regret on this lens thus far, it's been almost a month since I last bought it. A little nice complement to the lightest interchangeable lens camera that I own, and on days where I really do not feel like lugging the Nikon D80 with 30mm f1.4 lens. Most importantly, I got it at a PWP steal from Sony Singapore! Luvvit.

Let's let the pictures speak for themselves shall we?

Image from Google Images

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Motocross (Off-road riding) in Bintan with BACmotocross!

As the title suggests, we brought our love for off-road riding to Bintan! Having said that, just like how beer-lovers will never stop at one beer, we will not stop at one trail! One trail, one country at a time :')

Day 1 - On-route from SG-Bintan (Free & Easy)

It definitely wasn't the easiest to travel on a Public Holiday weekend, but it was one of the most affordable and best PH I've ever spent out of Singapore. It wasn't god-like pricey like the air-tickets, out to target people that reaalllyyyy needed a getaway. We needed one too, on a quaint little pretty island. There we were, embarked on a 2-hour ferry ride to Indonesia!

We stayed in Bintan Hotel Nirwana which was recommended by our lovely BACmotocross host, Harry! It was clean, spacious and definitely better that what we've expected. It is near good food, helmet stores, night markets, 24h supermarket for all our indomee cravings, and 150,000IDR (~15 SGD) massage for 2 hours. Whatttt?!

Most importantly, Harry was very accommodating with our requests. He've helped to oversee the booking of our hotel, the pickup from the ferry to the hotel, as well as the guides on ride-day! Thank you Harry (if you see this!)

We walked on 200m out of the hotel to a recommended seafood dinner place, Bakar Bakar by the locals. It was surprisingly yummy and cheap! You get to pick your own fresh catch, and for the amount we've ordered... It only made out to 7SGD per pax. Definitely recommended for those that are staying in Tanjung Pinang!

Day 2 - Off-road riding along Tanjung Pinang with Bintan Adventure Club!

Breakfast was served in the hotel, for the price we paid per person per night inclusive of a breakfast spread (coffee, eggs, protein, carbs included), it was so worthy! We got picked up by our driver to their workshop, just slightly less than a 100m down the road - Literally a stone throw away to the 24h supermart! Put on our gears and off we went!

Our guides helped to dismount the bikes from the lorry to our starting point at some end of the island -- They made it look so effortless, fast and easy. It wasn't a wee bit light at all, at least for me when I fell, I struggled to pick up the bike especially when I was caught in the mud! Caught some parts of the ride with my camera while we were taking a short break, let your eyes feast on our journey :) Some videos which we've captured showed our entire trail and views that we saw.

Our Xiaoyi battery did not last though. Lesson learnt for such outdoor adventures in future - prep extra charged batteries and SD cards for storage!

Our guides were amazing. They are experienced guides that will help us along the way, especially when I've fallen countless of times (trying to pick my bike up or trying to help me while I break the fall) -- Thank you!! Also for capturing some of us riding in action, or we might not have such beautiful memories :)

Key here is to have experienced and patient guides that are willing to guide you and follow you throughout the entire ride time. We spent a total of 10 hours out in the sun together, battling the heat through the full gears and soaking up the magnificent views of Tanjung Pinang island. They also brought us to trails gauging on our ability to ride. Thank you for trying to bring us to these places, knowing that we've missed the beach because of a stuck chain and sprocket, till next time! We will be back sooner than we know!

The biggest shout out to love, that rode along side with me, if not behind, watching my back and watching out for me (during the trails and off the trails). To your never-ending nagging like "down gear, go up this slope use gear 1!" and the constant "can you slow down?! can you brake?!" -- Thank you for being that guardian angel that nobody else would be. And it's a dream come true to ever ride beside you, not once as your pillion because I knew one day I could do it. This day, and forever more.

To us, and to us being safe on the roads and beyond.

All in all, it was a very memorable 3D2N Bintan Tanjung Pinang stay. It was definitely my first visit to Bintan and it has wowed me with the sights, people, view and ever more. Definitely not the last! Feel free to drop me a message if you'd like to know more on our experiences, I'd be glad to help!