Thursday, January 19, 2017

2014 Germany Trip - 1 Day Trip to Trier (with itinerary)

Location: Trier, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

The train rumbled high on the banks of the Moselle, offering a magnificent view of the river snaking its way through a valley of rolling hills. I gazed dreamily on the lush landscape and before long I realized that the train had pulled into the station of Trier, my latest destination in my Germany trip. Italy was too far for me to travel to considering my short weekend getaway from work, so I decided to look for a slice of Rome in this border city.

Trier is famed for being the Germany city with magnificent Roman ruins. From the famed dark city gate of Porta Nigra to the remnants of amphitheater and Roman baths, a treasure trove of Imperial Roman architectures awaited my exploration. It would not be difficult to imagine oneself to be in Rome instead of a city in Germany when taking a stroll in the city.

Roman era walls are easily visible a short distance away from the train station.


To the interested readers, here is my 1 day itinerary in Trier which assumes that you will stay overnight in the town. Exploring Trier can take a full day for the interested, or just half a day for the merely curious. Click into each link to visit the dedicated post to the place of interest.

  • wake up and leave Hilles Hostel
  • stroll to Imperial Baths; enter to visit if you wish to, I did not enter
  • stroll around the Palace Gardens, take photos of Electoral Palace and Aula Palatina (1 - 2 hours)
  • continue to stroll to Roman Bridge (Römerbrücke) (~1/2 hour)
  • walk towards Hauptmarkt, visit St Gangolf Church (1 hour)

  • enjoy lunch
  • walk towards town center and visit Liebfrauenkirche then go next door to visit Trier Cathedral (1 - 2 hours)
  • visit the must see attraction of Porta Nigra; you could choose not to enter as it is impressive enough from the outside (1 hour; more if you enter)
  • go to the far side of town to visit Amphitheater (1 hour)

One could spend more time wandering the streets of Trier and just let yourself stumble upon art treasures like the few beautiful fountain sculptures I posted below. Do not limit yourself to a 1 day itinerary.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Singapore Food Blog - Antoinette @ Penhas Road

Location:  Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Recommended: various cheese tarts (~SGD3)

Antoinette has appeared in the scene for quite some time but despite the fact that my place is relatively close to it, I never get to visit its main branch in Penhas Road until quite recent. Even though the Lavender scene is packed with novelty hipster cafes (such as Chye Seng Huat Hardware) and great dining spots (such as Lighthouse Bistro), Antoinette still manage to secure itself as not just another cafe but an original entity.

The pristine white exterior and its name are clear giveaways that this is a place with a focus on French food and pastries. Upon entering, I immediately succumbed to the rows of colorful macarons and cakes demanding the attention of my sweet tooth. Recently one of the owner chef's offer that grabbed foodie's attention is their own lineup of cheese tarts to ride on the sudden craze, so naturally I had to grab some for myself.

A pristine white front

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Malaysia Food Blog - Citrus Wine and Dine @ Ipoh

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

I am pleasantly surprised by how many nice dining spots there are in Ipoh (apart from the usual delicious hawker fares) despite being born here. Citrus Wine and Dine is not a hipster cafe that sprouts from the craze in recent years but a cozy restaurant for families and groups who look for a secret nice spot only known to the locals. I have passed by the location quite often and yet I never knew of its existence until my wife brought me for a birthday celebration.

They have an extensive menu that could cater for any celebration whims, including high grade beef. However for our first visit we contended ourselves with their set lunch of the day, at a price of RM26.50 per set. Each set came with the soup of the day (we got cream of mushroom), coffee or tea, a main course and a slice of cake for dessert (we had a delicious piece of chocolate cake). Each of us got ourselves a different main course - a BBQ Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and an Aglio Olio spaghetti.

Each set comes with an appetizer in the form of a soup (ours were cream of mushroom) and a cup of coffee or tea. The dreamily creamy soup is delightfully delicious, its thick yet smooth texture perked up our appetite, getting it ready in anticipation of the main course.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hotel Review - Holiday Inn Incheon Songdo

Location: Incheon, South Korea

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Holiday Inn Incheon Songdo's King Bed Superior Room. The following info is important to you because it tells you on which month we stayed, and the price relative to the amount of time between the date of stay to the date of booking. You may experience higher or lower price at different months/seasons and if you book further or nearer to the date of stay.

We booked through: directly via Holiday Inn
We booked on:         May 2016
We stayed on:          June 2016
We paid in total:      980,100 (in total, inclusive of 10%  charge and 10% VAT) @ King Bed Superior Room, 1 person, 6 nights, breakfast inclusive
* 163,350 (~RM580) per night (including charges, VAT, breakfast)

Incheon is a familiar name for frequent travelers to South Korea since this is the name for its international airport, which is named after the region where it is located. Unknown to most traveler though is that Incheon is a large region whereas the airport only lies on a strip of artificially island in said region. My recent business brought me to the industrial areas of Incheon, an area that is right across the airport and Holiday Inn Incheon Songdo was located at just the right distance for my convenience.

View of King Bed Superior Room

Monday, July 25, 2016

Singapore Food Blog - Lokkee 樂記

Location:  Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Recommended: Ultraviolet Oolong Iced Tea (SGD4.50); Firecracker Chicken Nest (SGD26)
* Lokkee is operated by Tunglok Group. Other reviewed eateries from the same group include TungLok XiHé Peking Duck and TungLok Signatures.

Bored by plain old food servings? Then perhaps you should give Lokkee a try! I know I was definitely surprised by their novel take on the presentation of fusion food when I first visited them, so much so that I definitely want to write a post as soon as I finish dining. Perhaps I should start from the beginning.

From the entrance Lokkee looked just like any Chinese restaurant albeit with a tad more decor. However my sharp eye saw a bust of Boba Fett sipping bubble milk tea and my interest was piqued. It wasn't until I was seated within that I realized that the contrasting tone set by Lokkee was hip to the max!

Lokkee's logo, framed by two stone lions at each side, looks like a traditional Chinese restaurant. Do not be tricked by this: this is definitely anything BUT traditional!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Singapore Food Blog - Kaiserhaus

Location: City Hall, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Recommended: Bohemian Pork Roast (Vepřová Pečenē) (SGD26); Viennese Schnitzel (Wiener Schnitzel) (from pork - SGD29); Gourmet Beef (Tafelspitz) (single serve - SGD38); Crispy Fried Mushrooms (SGD14)

Singapore is famous for its rich scene of food variety, and basically you can sample tastes from almost the world over without even stepping onto those countries. Kaiserhaus heightened that variety by introducing meals from the once great Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Its name meant "Imperial Family" and true enough, they offered meals fit for a king.

I like how the English styled Capitol Theater complements the regal European furnishings of Kaiserhaus. Its spacious interior could accommodate a party of guests if you reserve well ahead of time. I got to know this fine establishment while surfing Groupon and the voucher allowed 2 choices of main meal plus appetizer and dessert, which can be chosen from available cake and pastries on display.

Entrance to Kaiserhaus

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Singapore Food Blog - Outback Steakhouse @ Orchard Gateway

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Orchard Gateway branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

We came across Outback Steakhouse's offer while surfing Groupon, which was how we were introduced to its existence. Its branch in Orchard Gateway is out of the usual foot traffic but at a corner of the building which affords a great view across the Orchard area if you choose to be seated near the windows.

The service we received in Outback Steakhouse was not bad although it can be difficult to wave a waiter over. Being a steakhouse, their signature dish is naturally steaks of all types, but our Groupon voucher limits our choices to 3: Toowoomba Chicken (SGD24.90), ribs and chicken combo (SGD34.90), and Black Pepper Steak Bites (SGD24.90). We had enough vouchers for 3 persons so naturally we chose all 3 to try them out.


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