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Short Getaway at Batam, Indonesia (28-30 Dec 2016) – Part 2

April 30th, 2017 · Nobody Surrendered

Last day of April. Today is Sunday, good thing tomorrow is a public holiday but where did my Saturday go?!? Continuation of my Batam trip.

After hopping on and off the bus to places with very short walking distant, it’s not even 500m! It’s time for lunch.

You can find fresh seafood and also bird nest here. It looks like everywhere we went, there’s always “gold”. Obviously it belongs to the same company/boss. It’s built to cater for the tourists especially the mainland Chinese tourists.

These are some food we had. So-so only. We were seated with the Chinese group, now… I finally experienced first hand! You practically have to act fast to get your food! Otherwise, nothing left. The other table with other middle-aged Singaporeans, there’s a lot of leftover! We had to fight for our food at our table! *LOL* Gosh… Should sit with those uncles and aunties.

After lunch, for those who signed up to the optional activities, they were sent there to play while the rest of us just walked around or just stayed in the bus waiting. There’s a paintball activity which we thought it’s shooting each other but guess what?!?! Hahaha! It’s shooting targets! I would say most of us were caught by surprise and said luckily we didn’t sign up for it.

After the optional activities, we were sent to a batik outlet shop. Again… We went in, one round and came out. That is sure an interesting bottle opener, the only thing that worth sharing heheh…

Left: Honey cake(bika ambon) something everyone raves about when they are in Batam. However, after I tasted it, nuh… I would prefer our honeycomb cake (kek sarang semut). The cake from this shop is so expensive! For tourist that’s why. We found it so much cheaper at the shopping mall.
Right: Admiral Cheng Ho statue… Hmm… I don’t know how to explain.

Next, Batam Miniature House Indonesia. Not far away, just at the compound nearby but we were driven to it hahaha!

Hmm… I’m speechless again… Just took some photos and went back to the bus.

Next activity, go cart. Optional activity, we waited for those playing.

Oh… During the trip, we did visit two shops selling local snacks. Well… Expensive as usual. We eyed what we wanted and decided to hunt it down at the shopping mall in Batam.

Our second last stop was massage session at a local spa. In and out, one group after another. We were told not to give any tips more than SGD2. The masseur tried having small talk with me after found out that I’m Malaysian. She gave me her pity story and hoping I could give her more tips while my friend was being hinted by her masseur that she wanted her to bring her into Singapore or Malaysia to work. Pity for them but I pretended I fell asleep, not listening. I didn’t give any tips at all. Some people will surely said I have no empathy but when in this situation, I would mind my own safety first.

In fact, one of our plans is to indulge in a spa session here but after experiencing what we had during the tour, we were quite wary to go for any the next day. In fact we found a few very professional ones but it’s too expensive, we didn’t bring much money there. So we scrapped the plan.

Left: Something we don’t get at home. Congratulatory message along the road. Very colourful, this is more interesting than the places we went. Just outside the road leading to our hotel*LOL*

Right: Nagoya area, we went to the shopping mall to buy the local snacks, some items, and had our meal here. Not much to buy because this is Indonesia, things can be found in Malaysia and Singapore. For Singaporean, it’s cheap but for us, Malaysians, better go home to buy, our currency is too weak.

We did not get to see the beach which we were given the impression that there should be nice beaches around, well… It’s our own fault. We’re taking a city tour package, where got beach?

Before I end the post, for the ladies, DO NOT wear shorts and/or sleeveless apparels as you will put yourself up to wolf whistling and all sort of uncomfortable/disturbing remarks which we experienced. According to my friend, this is how usually those in the prostitution industry here will wear.

So that concludes my tour in Batam. Will be reviewing the hotel I stayed in the next post.

Categories: Going Places · Moi Musing - Batam

Short Getaway at Batam, Indonesia (28-30 Dec 2016) – Part 1

April 22nd, 2017 · Nobody Surrendered

Busy April. Too many things going on. Finally get to update my last year’s trip to Batam. Another record broken for not updating for 2 weeks.

It was quite an impromptu decision, no idea where to go. Friend said why not go to Singapore then pop by Batam then back to Singapore for new year’s countdown. That’s how we decided to go to Batam. Found cheap tour package also, why not? I spent less than RM200 there for 3 days 2 night while the return ferry ticket, tour, and hotel room were less than RM300 for 2 pax. We didn’t splurge there too, nothing to buy. We can get them all in Malaysia with cheaper price, better quality, and authenticity guaranteed.

Once we arrived, was caught in surprise that we had to pay potter fee to the potter which we were not informed of to release our check-in luggage. Can’t remember how much though. Our tour guide and bus were there ready waiting for us. We got on the the bus and the tour started.

The itinerary gave us an impression that we were going to many places but hahaha… Felt a bit cheated because it’s all around the corner, hop on and hop off and not what we expected, even just across the street also we got on the bus to be driven over.

I guess Malaysians will not feel that it is anything special because we have it better than here and shopping isn’t as cheap as expected due to our weak currency, they didn’t even want our currency! What’s more, the products at the factory outlets didn’t look genuine to me. I could get genuine ones at Parkson with cheaper price. Read a bit about the place online and had rather high expectations on it but it wasn’t as good as described(well… at least the tourism ministry sure is doing the right thing in terms of marketing though, describe about the place so wellyet it’s not as good as described, maybe we’re on the wrong tour :P). However, looking at the place and the people, it sure did give me a sense of appreciation of what I have back home.

We were grouped with tourists from mainland Chinese as we understand the language. We went to visit Cheng Ho Mosque, nothing much, just a red small mosque, a mosque dedicated to Cheng Ho, we didn’t go in but just stopped for a quick photo. Next, we stopped by chocolate shop, again… bought nothing, went in one round, out we went back into the bus, we would get all these in Malaysia, cheaper…

Kueh lapis, if you are from Sarawak, you won’t bother hahah! I tried it, I prefer ours. It’s so expensive here also! You can get it much cheaper in major shopping malls in Batam.

Same row of shops, an illusion museum. I didn’t go in because it’s optional, means need to pay extra. We only signed up for the basic package and I’m glad we did.

Still at the same row of shops, coffee outlet. If you like coffee, why not? Can find kopi luwak or civet coffee here. I didn’t buy or try any because I don’t drink coffee.

Nicely packaged coffee powder and beans of various variance for buyers to choose. Tried the coffee chips, coffee flavoured chips! At least something I’ve never tried.

After that, went into the next few shops, the same row!! *LOL* 1st Factory Outlet and Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Outlet. Went in one round and out empty handed. We(including Singaporeans and a handful of mainland Chinese) ended up waiting in the bus catching up with sleep and enjoy the air conditioning while waiting for those in the illusion museum and factory outlets to come back. Can imagine how boring it was haha… The again, it’s just a very leisurely trip for me. I had no specific things to see or buy, just want to relax, no hassle, no rush, just to get out of the country, go to somewhere I’ve not been before.

To be continued…

Categories: Food Porn · Going Places · Moi Musing - Batam

National Palace Museum & Yehliu Geopark

April 8th, 2017 · 2 surrendered

Finally!! I’m back from the land where I cannot access Google and Facebook and etc. *LOL* Sure is one crazy week over there.

Ok, continue with Taipei trip post that I made in November 2016. YES! 2016!!! A quarter of 2017 is gone…

Visited National Palace Museum when I was there on a work assignment. Didn’t really pay attention on it and didn’t go through every single section of it as I was busy doing work related arrangements. I just quickly walked around and took some photos.

The National Palace Museum is located in Taipei and Taibao, Taiwan. It has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks, making it one of the largest of its type in the world.

Some of the sections of the museum.

Left: Souvenirs shop. They have a few located strategically in different areas selling different items.

Right: The section where the queue is the longest. Seems like the The Jadeite Cabbage is the most popular exhibits in the museum.

The Jadeite Cabbage (Chinese: 翠玉白菜; pinyin: Cuìyù Báicài; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Chhùi-ge̍k Pe̍h-chhài) or Jadeite Cabbage with Insects is a piece of jadeite carved into the shape of a Chinese cabbage head, and with a locust and katydid camouflaged in the leaves. It is part of the collection of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.

It was an intricate work of art! Measuring only 18.7cm by 9.1cm and is 5.07cm thick is not just simply any art piece.

I didn’t get to take any photo of it because my phone and camera were not able to take photo in such low lighting.

That’s all about it I can say about this museum. What to do? I did not have the luxury of time to go through it.

Next, we headed to Yehliu Geopark. The rock landscape is one of most famous wonders in the world, located along a cape stretching out from the town of Wanli. I did not see much there as well due to my work. So I’m just sharing some photos I’ve taken.

Hmm… Do you find these interesting? Not me though, not my interest.

However, I do like the view. It was pretty windy that day and was drizzling.

Left: Queen’s Head is regarded as the landmark of Yehliu. This photo is showing the replica of it. I did not go all the way to the actual rock formation. This is good enough.

Right: Another replica, Princess’ Head.

This concluded my post about my short Taipei working trip. Next post should be about my trip to Batam, Indonesia.

Categories: City of Azaleas - Taipei · Going Places

Le Méridien Taipei

March 29th, 2017 · 2 surrendered

The last time I was in Taipei, I was fortunate enough to stay in Le Méridien Taipei, a five-star hotel in the business district of Taipei. It wasn’t cheap at all. Was there during peak season and the room cost more than RM1K per night. Located 12-minute walk from the Taipei 101 Observatory. The staff are very friendly and helpful. There’s also free WiFi throughout the hotel.

I stayed at the 10th floor, Deluxe Room. The room was spacious. The pillows and bed were very comfy! Too bad… When I was there, I couldn’t really enjoy what it has to offer, I was on the move most of the time. Did not even switch on the TV throughout the 3 nights stay.

The desk area can fulfill the needs of business traveler with a virtual office media hub, IP phone and high-intensity desk lamp.

The bathroom area adopted an open concept. The vanity area has everything you need. The only door for the bathroom is to the rainforest shower. Even the toilet didn’t have a door. Just a partition.

Nespresso machine!! Again… I didn’t get to enjoy it, I don’t drink coffee anyway hahaha… They have various type of teas available which I didn’t make any to drink too. How pathetic?!?

Pineapple tarts and fruits complimentary for your consumption as well. I didn’t eat the fruits too. You can imagine how busy I was that time.

The breakfast buffet spread was awesome. Too bad I didn’t have any photo to share as I didn’t take any because I was on duty.

However, here’s some photos I managed to take while having a discussion. Really love the strawberry tea, real strawberry. The sandwiches were very delicious and filling.

Overall, it’s a good hotel to stay, I enjoyed staying here. It is also surrounded by major shopping malls. Indeed a Very convenient location.

Address: 38 SongRen Road, Xinyi District Taipei, 110 Taiwan

Categories: City of Azaleas - Taipei · Going Places · Review It!

Reaching Taipei

March 20th, 2017 · Nobody Surrendered

My goodness! I was in Taipei last year November and I haven’t post much about it. Oppsss… Have been pretty busy lately. Going on another trip soon. Better get Taipei posts up.

Just going to be a short quick one. Views from the plane approaching Taipei.

Look at the mountain!!

And the buildings below…

Always love the view of mountain. Can you see them? Very majestic and mesmerizing. The fluffy cloud surrounding it. The photo just cannot do justice to the amazing view! I’m so glad I sat at the window seat.

Didn’t get to see much of Taipei. Was busy working. Next time… Next time will not be a work trip there… When? Hahaha…

Categories: City of Azaleas - Taipei · Going Places