Friday, August 29, 2014

Bintan Trip - Part One

Last weekend, I brought mum for a weekend getaway hosted kindly by Angsana Resorts, thanks to Nadia who referred me!

It was quite a last minute thing for the trip but because it was going to be our first time there, I was very excited!

Onboard the ferry to Bintan with Nadia and her hubby, and Carrie with her boyfriend! :)

Arrived at Bintan ferry terminal after awhile! Now I can say that I have been to Indonesia! Although just a small corner. Haha.

A private car was arranged for our transfer to the hotel and we were brought to the lobby where we met Rina, our host from Angsana Resorts, while the staff proceed with check in arrangements :)

Welcome drink of refreshing iced lemongrass!

After the room was ready, we dropped our bags in the room and went out immediately for lunch at Pantai Grill and Beach Club!

Excited for lunch! Meal times are my favourite times. Haha.

Took a photo of Carrie and her boyfriend while we waited for the food to come. Check out the gorgeous sea view from my seat!

Wouldn't it be nice to just sit on the couch over there, listening to waves and enjoy the sea breeze?

I think someone commented about the beautiful weather and within minutes, the sunny skies became rain. Drizzled, then a downpour. Took the opportunity to take a photo while under the shelter! And Carrie's hat came into good use for this weather. Haha.

In the end, we all moved to Lotus Cafe instead and had our lunch brought over.

Photo with mum before we tuck into our food! I love this photo of us!

Nadia and her hubby had beef burgers. They are a beach-loving couple! And check out Nad's red hair! Looks good on her ya? Made me kinda miss my red hair too!

Mum decided to order the Ham & Cheese pizza, which was quite yums!

Meanwhile, I had fish and chips! The fish was snapper meat and it came with yummy fries.

After a good lunch, we headed to the beach! The purpose of this trip was actually the Angsana Bintan Chill Out Beach Party happening that day. For this amazing event, guests get to choose from a wide range of complimentary beach activities, including the BBQ dinner party!

We decided to go on the ATV ride first! It was my first time on an ATV and I was quite nervous! Mum chose the mini car instead of the bike, because she felt that it looked safer. Haha.

Here's us in our mini car! It works exactly like a real car and the problem is....... I do not have a car license and I have no idea how to operate a car! The crew gave me a quick course on how to drive and off we set!

Behind the wheels for real! I am driving!

The ride on the beach was relatively easy, as the path was smooth and straight. Then, we turned into the jungle, where our adventure started. For a start, a whole piece of branch with leaves sticking out into the path welcomed me with open arms and slapped me as I passed it. Haha.

It felt safe that we had a crew leading the way, and another crew behind Carrie's ATV, which was trailing behind us. At least I am not in the unfamiliar jungle alone!

Deeper into the jungle, it was not easy controlling the vehicle at all!!! I didn't know how to gauge the turns properly, nor coordinate between not pressing too hard on the accelerator and at the same time focus on the steering wheel. Through the bumps and curves of the jungle, we almost went down a slope but luckily the bushes stopped us and I also managed to brake in time. I went off-course and almost bang into the trees multiple times and I could see mum was extremely scared beside me :x

I must be damn lousy at driving, because eventually the crew asked if I wanted to be a passenger instead. Hahaha. Yes, of course! I heaved a sigh of relief and agreed instantly.

The crew drove the car with my mum in it, while I went to sit in the ATV with the other crew at the back. IT FELT SO MUCH BETTER TO BE A PASSENGER!!! The crew I was with rode really well and smooth, and managed to avoid all the muddy areas. I enjoyed the ride through the jungle alot!

Even managed to take a photo of myself on the ATV! When we reached the beach again, he let me be the driver of the ATV and it was so fun!! It's much easier than the mini car.... at least for people without a car license. Well, after this lesson, I know that I can never own or drive a car. I'm just not born for it. Haha.

After our little jungle adventure, we had a relaxing massage by the beach! I was lucky to get a really good masseuse! She managed to knead all the right areas with the right strength! I actually wanted to go for 2nd round but paisei lah so I didn't. Haha.

Photo of happy mum!

Queuing up for Jetski! I was quite hesitant about it at first because I was scared to ride mainly because I cannot swim. I saw the other jetski going super far out into the sea and the waves looked really choppy! However, I also wanted to try since I have never jetski before. In the end, I asked if I can get the crew to work the jetski while I sit behind. I guess this is better than being out in the seas myself alone!

I am in this photo below but you can't really see me. Haha. And so, I didn't have any photo of myself on the jetski. Such a pity! But the experience was really fun and thrilling. I am so glad I picked up my courage to try! This is probably the highlight of this bintan trip. My jetski went so far out!! By the way, I forgot to wear bikini underneath my clothes so I went into the seas in my denim for the jetski and it was soaking wet when I came out! Had to dry my denim using the hair dryer in the hotel room after this because it was the only pair of shorts I brought along for the trip!!!!

Besides ATV, Beach Massages, Jetski and other watersports, there were also turtles releasing that day, and other beach activities like games, and aerobatics, which we didn't really participate. However, the above we did was already enough to fill my afternoon with so much fun!

My OOTD for the day - Daisy blue top from and I got myself the version in green too. Will wear it some other day! :) I really like the design of this top and I'm glad I wore it to Bintan because I took more photos there than I usually do. So I really milked the worth of this tee. Haha.

Soon, it was dinner time at the beach again with the rest!

There was a BBQ buffet going on and I was so happy because I really love BBQ food! So many different type of meats and seafood for us to feast on!

Freshly BBQ-ed on the spot!

My platter of goodness - prawns, fish, crayfish, chicken, lamb, mushrooms, and more! I really liked the crayfish and I ate so many of them that night.

The setting was so romantic! Haha. It was kinda dark, I didn't realize we were actually seated very near the shoreline till midway through my dinner.

Wine to go round the table.

People dancing to music and enjoying themselves.

Time for desserts! So many to choose from!

Mum took these! She loves dessert!

Then suddenly, fireworks erupted! What a surprise! This was my first time being so near to where fireworks are set off. Managed to take a photo after I recovered from shock!

It was a great night chatting with the rest of the bloggers, and we retreated back to our comfy room when it was late.

Good night! That's all for now! Will update Part 2 in Bintan soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How To Pack Light For A Beach Holiday

I am usually a hoarder and I always store extra "just in case". That's why I found it quite surprising when I realize that I am usually the one with the smallest bag or luggage on staycations and vacations! In this time and age, people often take budget airlines for nearer destinations and travelling light is quite important especially for the 7kg carry-on limit.

During the weekends, I headed to Bintan for a little getaway and managed to pack everything into a small A4 size bag, looking like I am just heading out for shopping like any other day!

Here's my packing list for a weekend beach vacation.

1. Apparel & Accessories
- One set of clothes & undies for the next day
- One set of nightwear
- One set of swimwear
- Accessories
- Flip flops (No need to pack inside the luggage because you would probably wear it on your feet.)
- Small bag for important stuff (You don't want to bring a huge bag along everywhere but what if you have no pockets to store important belongings like cash? Bring your essentials around with you in this small bag and leave the bigger bag inside the hotel room)

Optional: Cover-up for swimwear. I didn't bring because I figured it would waste space and I could always use the beach towel provided at the pool or wear it under my tee!

***In my case, I brought only 1 pair of demin shorts and 2 tees (one for sleeping and one for the next day). My shorts got drenched in seawater on the first day and I had to dry it with a hair dryer. So, maybe bringing another pair would be a good idea for instances like this or if you plan to sit on sand! Haha. 

2. Gadgets
- Camera
- Camera charger
- Phone
- Phone charger

Optional: Earphones

3. Beauty
- Sunscreen
- Facemask/Night cream in flat satchets
- Contact Lens
- Basic Cosmetics
- Makeup Remover/Wipes (use travel pack size)
- Wet wipes/ Tissue
- Flat comb
- Tooth brush
- Plastic bag (in case)

Optional: Shades, Beach Hat, Mosquito Repellent, Waterproof cover for gadgets, Shaver.
Usually resorts provide shampoo/soap/toothpaste, but if you want to bring along your own, use sample sizes. You don't require the entire bottle for a 2 day trip. Use mini ziplock bags to store an appropriate amount if you do not wish to purchase travel sized products which may cost more because of packaging material. I tend to keep those "sample sachets" found in beauty magazines for travel use!

4. Essentials
- Coin Purse (IC, Cash, Credit Card)
- Travel and Hotel confirmation
- Passport
- Keys

As you can see, I hardly packed in anything unnecessary!
Hope this packing list for a weekend beach holiday helps! I only packed my bag the night before and I know there are many last minute packers out there. Just follow this list and you'd never go wrong!

If you are travelling on a long-haul flight to a far away destination, do check out fellow Singapore lifestyle blogger nadnut's post on how to avoid jet lag!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wheeler's Yard

Friends have started to call me the café blogger.

Actually, I also never always blog about cafes lah..... Got meh...? Haha. I also got blog about other stuff mah...

So anyway, living up to the name, how can I not visit Wheeler's Yard, the "hipster-must-go" café right? I have been wanting to visit ever since I knew about this place, but heard negative reviews online about the waiting time and unimpressive food. However, on my visit, I experienced none of that. Perhaps the café has improved... or I went on a good day?

Just from the name, you know that this place is "bicycle themed". It was indeed so! There was an indoor area, furnished with bicycles and big tables for sharing.

I went straight to the outdoor area though. The outside area was made up of smaller tables of all shapes and sizes. It was crowded the way we went but luckily we managed to get a seat immediately.

It was surprisingly very breezy!

The ordering procedure = queue up at the counter (quite a long queue the day we went), order, and go back to seat with buzzer. When the buzzer buzzes, go to the counter to collect the food. Self-service, but that also means there is no service charge.

I had the Ham and Cheese Panini. I didn't have any expectations initially because of the bad reviews online but it was not bad! Trust me, I have eaten worse. I liked that the cheese was very cheesy (what kind of description is this. lol).

Bf had the Otah Burger! I initially was secretly thinking "eww" to his choice because I prefer otah on it's own. Well, it turned out quite nice leh! The otah is not the lousy type sold for 40 cents per piece. It's the $1.50 type filled with fish meat. Not sure if you understand my description!

Actually, one review even said many hot men were spotted at Wheeler's Yard but the day we went, we saw many old people! Like really grandma-grandpa type of old.

Of course, how can I forget the mandatory outfit photo outside Wheeler's Yard famous backdrop?? Here's mine. Haha.

Selling this Saint Laurent bag... Click here to find out more details.

The top is from Earthdoll! Just trying a more mature look since I always wear floral dresses. Haha. Besides the awesome quality, I also like the flattering cut of this top - no flabby arms!