Friday, December 20, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Poulét @ Raffles City Shopping Centre

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

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Raffles City Shopping Centre's outlet. Experience may differ from those in another branch.

Getting affordable French cuisine in Singapore could be a challenge sometimes, with most of the high end fine dining claiming the honors to host such fine cuisine. The opening of Poulét by the same group operating Thai Express allowed middle income diners like me to try something French without the need to fork out a stack of greens or a significant deduction from your credit account.

Poulét is French for chicken, and as if to further emphasize this, their signature dish is one Poulét Roti, a dish offering you a choice of half or whole chicken. Of course, the queue in front of the restaurant during dining hours lend some testament to their reputation, so off we went for some French food.

If you can't relate the word Poulet with France, surely the half-chopped Eiffel Tower will remind you of the nation...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnamese: Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh (Lăng Chủ is Vietnamese for 'Mausoleum', tịch for President)

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

A landmark is the beacon which tourists invariably flock towards upon visiting a location. Without such prominent markers of a location, a nation or city would lose its identity in the mind of tourists. In the South-East Asian countries, such landmarks are numerous, ranging from the historic Angkor Wat and Ayutthaya to the modern Marina Bay Sands and Petronas Twin Towers.

Visitors to Hanoi would be hard pressed not to seek out Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum regardless of their ideology. This is where the body of the nation's founder, President Ho Chi Minh, lies embalmed. And this is also the landmark of Hanoi, one which immediately reminds people of the city despite its relative youth in the millennial city.

A squad of honor guards on the front of the mausoleum.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Brunch @ DOME, Plaza Singapura

Location: Dhoby Ghaut, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Updated: This branch has ceased operation.

I am not unfamiliar with DOME cafe, having tried it in Malaysia a few times. Lingering memory of good food and fragrant coffee offered by the cafe originating from Western Australia left me with longing. And on a few fine mornings, I just had to quench my insatiable thirst for its coffee by visiting the branch tucked in the middle of Plaza Singapura. After all, it did promote its coffee as "World's Finest Coffee".

Once in DOME Cafe, it is essential not to miss out on your coffee. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Vietnamese Dong

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

When I first held my stacks of 100,000 Vietnamese Dong bills, I thought to myself, "I am a millionaire". I have 30 pieces of the notes (that's 3 million VND). For a short moment I started imagining myself as a rich man before my high spirited fantasy was broken by the realization that those 3 million VND was equivalent to only RM480, a far cry from a millionaire status. Oh well, at least I get to still validly claim that "I am a millionaire" even though it is not in RM.

My first experience of handling VND is one of confusion. The numerical is at such a high amount that it lulled me into a false sense of overspending. When I lowered my sense of alarm at overspending, a conversion at the end of the day would show that I did overspend on certain indulgences. Some food items were more expensive than back home, much as the souvenirs did. 

VND10,000, with offshore platform on the reverse. The note is yellowish green in color (image from Banknote Museum).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Dương Hoa Kem Caramen

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

Look up for must-try food in Hanoi, and one would not get any explicit recommendation to try kem caramen. It would hardly exist in any of those list, or at least I couldn't see one which it did. Personally though, I would say that one should at least make an effort to try the one in Dương Hoa, for you would not be disappointed at all.

For this successful food hunt, there is my friend and his trusty guidebook to thank for. Chuah Chin Yee, this post is dedicated to you! :)

Kem Caramen (VND6,000, about RM1.00) is really a tasty dessert that one should not miss. Bombard your senses with the fragrance of caramel and relish the silky smooth texture of the custard.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyền

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

It is surprising how we compare foreign food experience with what is familiar back home. Similarity can, more often than not, allow us to resonate with a dish which we may not know how to pronounce yet remember the taste as good as if we have tasted it daily. Such is the case for bánh cuốn. And we tasted the best yet in Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyền.

And in case you wonder how to read it, bánh cuốn, is pronounced close to "baan guan".

Bánh cuốn preparation in progress...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - O' Coffee Club @ Raffles City

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

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Raffles City Shopping Center's outlet. Experience may differ from those in another branch.

This opinion will be an affront to most people - Starbucks and Coffee Bean are highly overrated. For fans whose taste buds are attuned to their offers, they may depend their preferences, a point which I would not contest upon. I praise their loyalty to the brand and applause their choice. However for one who hold no loyalty to any particular brand and who is on the lookout for novel beverage offerings, O' Coffee Club seemed to be a particularly good choice to me. Which is why I am dedicating this post to one of their outlet, the one located on Level 3 of Raffles City Shopping Center.

O' Coffee Club of Raffles City enjoyed a corner of the shopping center next to Swiss Cafe.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - PODI (Pure. Offbeat. Delicious. Infusions.) @ Raffles City

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

Updated: This business is permanently closed.

Pure. Offbeat. Delicious. Infusions. Not sure why these were chosen to form the acronym of the recently opened business in the basement fountain area of Raffles City Shopping Center, but there it was. Gone was the previous establishment occupying the spot, Out of the Pan, a cafe known for its crepes. And out it did. I was rather intrigued as to what The Bakery Depot, the parent company behind the popular Cedele chain of bakeries and cafes, would want to offer with PODI. My experience with Cedele was very positive, and being a frequent patron of its cafes, I decided to give this new establishment a try. To intrigue me more, very little information was available of this restaurant online, leaving a few blog posts and my own imagination to predict what I would get out of this.

PODI's location is rather strategic. The fountain area is one of those popular areas in Raffles City Shopping Center frequented by patrons and shoppers. To be able to dine beside the dancing waters under lighting styled after streetlights would be priceless.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - One Pillar Pagoda (Chùa Một Cột)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnamese: Chùa Một Cột (Chùa is Vietnamese for 'Pagoda')

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

The Old Quarters of Hanoi, with all the backpacker hostels congregated along the claustrophobic streets, held our baggage, but it was the area to its west which captured our attention. Leaving the quarters, the cab steered from the narrow streets into wider boulevards, revealing the iconic cubic architecture of Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum. We had arrived in Ba Đình area, where most of Hanoi's famous attractions and must-sees were located.

The area is unavoidable to most travelers as within it held a few locales which resonated with most visitors, local and foreign alike. One of those which reflected the long history of Vietnam as well as representing a structure as true to its medieval architecture as possible, would be the One Pillar Pagoda, locally known as Chùa Một Cột, but historically called Diên Hựu tự (延祐寺) or Liên Hoa Đài (蓮花臺). And in an area where nearly every entrance demanded a fee, this was one of those which required none.

One Pillar Pagoda against the mid morning sun.

Friday, November 22, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Sketch Coffee (Sketch Cà Phê)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

Sometimes stumbling blindly around during a backpack trip can be a bad idea, but there lies an equal chance of being pleasantly surprised as well. In the hours before our session of water puppet show began on the first day of our trip, we were tired from a day long walk around the Old Quarter. A cursory glance above our heads revealed a cafe in one of the neighboring buildings of Thang Long Water Puppet, except that we couldn't find the way to go up.

Sketch Coffee, a cafe located on the second floor on a neighboring building around Thang Long Water Puppet

Monday, November 18, 2013

Headline Places - Deadly Russian plane crash in Kazan

Location: Kazan, Russia

The unfortunate accident of plane crash today (Nov 18, 2013) in Kazan, Russia raised fresh alarm over the aviation safety of the country. The plane involved was a Boeing 737-500, operated by regional carrier of Tatarstan region in central Russia, Tatarstan Airlines. 44 passengers and 6 crews on board were killed when the pilot tried a second landing in the Volga city after departing from Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

A criminal investigation had been launched to determine the exact causes as well events leading up to the point of the crash, a scene which could only be described as apocalyptic images taken of the fiery and debris strewn runway. The plane exploded upon impact at about 19:20 local time (15:20 GMT).

Question: Where is Kazan in Russia?

Video taken from Yahoo News (original source from Reuters Videos) elaborating the plane crash in Kazan, Russia.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - New Day Restaurant (một ngày mới)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnamese: một ngày mới

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

The trouble with traveling to a new location where the culture is vastly different and alien to you is the choice of dining spot. Choices were abundant when it came to lunch time in Hanoi, but therein lied the problem. Too many choices created an inability to choose from, and as if anticipating our thoughts, our hostel reception recommended New Day Restaurant as a possible choice. With the location marked on our map, off we went to explore our first Vietnamese fare. And not a bad recommendation it was.

A rainy lunch day in Hanoi. For foreigners unfamiliar with Vietnamese fare, especially their way of sitting on very low stool for food, dining at New Day Restaurant would be a good choice.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Travel through Philately - Cocos (Keeling) Islands Australia - 50 Years of Stamps

Cocos Islands has as interesting a geography as Christmas Island - they are both part of Australia yet they are nearer to the Indonesian archipelago than the mainland, the latter more so than the former, and larger. Although the island inhabitants, mainly Cocos Malay, maintained a western culture, there are extensive influences from Malaysia and Indonesia due to their proximity. Historically, their geographical location had them placed under the administration of Straits Settlements, which included Penang, Singapore and Malacca, after their annexation by the British Empire in 1857. The islands' control transferred to Australia on 23 November 1955.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - St Joseph's Cathedral (Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội)

Location: Hanoi, Northern Vietnam.

Vietnamese: Nhà thờ Lớn Hà Nội (Nhà thờ is Vietnamese for 'church')

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:

More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong

It was hard to not be captivated by the neo-Gothic facade which greeted us after we stumbled out of the maze of crowded streets into the expanse of a small plaza. If not for the ever busy street filled with endless motorcycles and dark complexions, we would have thought we arrived in France instead of Vietnam. Digging up the name of the building from my memories of local attractions was relatively easy, for there are no Catholic church in Hanoi more famous or enduring than St Joseph Cathedral.

St Joseph Cathedral in an afternoon, with schoolkids enjoying themselves in the small plaza in front of the church.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Guest Blogger Edith - Best Sushi at Sushi Zanmai

A special appearance from guest blogger Edith from! If you are wondering who Edith is, below is a short introduction to get readers excited! Ever wonder how a Hungarian would feel about sampling sushi in Kuala Lumpur? Read on to get to know her!

She always liked to write and has an opinion about almost anything; therefore, it only occurred naturally that she started up her own blog, with the latest being Here Edith posts about random stuff about her broad interests. Right now, she is working in KL, Malaysia, and therefore has a lot of new thoughts to share, especially about food. Read more below to get to know more about a Hungarian's view of food in Malaysia! Stay tuned in the future for more of her appearance, and definitely should visit her blog to get updated feeds!

I was never really fond of sushi, and where I come from, it’s usually just coupled with some kind of meat like seafood or chicken, which limited my choices by 98%. Before tasting sushi in Asia, I literally only had cucumber and avocado sushi as vegetarian ones, and that got pretty boring at one point. With Sushi Zanmai however, this old experience turned into a completely new amazing experience. Now I love sushi, and I definitely love going to this place!

First of all, the wide choices of sushi they serve is pretty impressive. When I ordered my dishes last time I was there, I over-ordered because I couldn't choose. I ordered four, and ended up with eating a little bit of everything, I was full by the end, and still couldn't finish everything. All four were vegetarian, surprisingly enough, and there were much more choices, if only I could've taken them. Here are some of the sushi me and my friends ordered:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Travel Malaysia 2013

Missing NATAS Travel Fairs deal does not need to be a heartache, for there is still Travel Malaysia Fair 2013 in November. With the year end Christmas holidays approaching, holidaymakers can now consider travel packages to various destinations in Malaysia! And the good news is that unlike the semi annual NATAS fair, the entrance is totally free! Head over to EXPO to get a look at potential Malaysian destinations!

Note: This fair is only available in Singapore.

Date:             1st (Fri) - 3rd Nov (Sun) 2013
Entry fee:      free
Location:       Singapore EXPO, Hall 6A
Website:        Main website and Facebook page

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Breakfast for Dinner @ Wild Honey

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

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Scotts Square's outlet. Experience may differ from those in another branch.

It would be odd for me to admit this, but having breakfast for dinner feels real good. Let me get the picture clearer by sharing how I came to be in this situation. I did not oversleep nor did I missed breakfast all the way until dinnertime. What I did do was to drop by Wild Honey after a day's work for their all day breakfast. After all, breakfast was the only main course they offered.

Wild Honey's storefront in Scotts Square, a mall which oddly sees less visitors and shoppers than most of Orchard's contemporaries.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Travel through Philately - Old Maps of Singapore

Google Map and GPS undoubtedly changed the way we viewed our world - through satellite captured images digitally rendered and overlaid to show different information at the beck and call of a click. Looking back at history, the digital world did not come into the household and consumer's hand before the 90s, and most household could not afford one until the turn of the millennium. To see how our predecessors read a map would be the reason I collected this particular FDC, one which showed the old maps of Singapore as drawn by cartographers of the past.

This FDC has an antique look about it, trying its best to simulate the feel of old parchment with those brownish patches randomly placed on the cover.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Travel through Philately - Battle of Jersey

The Channel Islands are an interesting place in the geopolitical sense. Situated close to the European mainland and off the coast of France, historically they had been a thorn and a threat to the French government. One of the islands, Jersey was of strategic importance in any war between England and France due to its proximity to the French coast. And so there would be little surprise that the French would like to take the island away and pack into their own pocket. However the English were aware of that as well, and fortified the island heavily, packing heavy punches into the defenses of the island in order to disabuse the French of that very notion, which is why in history, this Battle of Jersey was the only major attempt by the French to invade the island.

The FDC commemorating the bicentennial victory of the Jersey troops against the French invaders 200 years ago. The stamps are taken from a partial copy from John Singleton Copley's oil painting, The Death of Major Peirson.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Travel through Philately - Marina Bay Skyline

Stepping on the soil of Singapore, the trio of vertical pillars of Marina Bay Sands would be a sight to seek out for. The photogenic hotel cum shopping mall cum casino was thus named because of the bay it sat on, a piece of land that did not exist prior to the 1970s. While the famous building seek the most attention, it did not dominate the skyline alone. This recent issue of FDC featured three other buildings which shared the same fame with Marina Bay Sands, and which all are in the vicinity of the bay.

The FDC issued in May showed 4 featured buildings of Marina Bay, each one of them dominating one of the stamps.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Travel through Philately - Chen Wen Hsi

Sometimes you do learn from philatelic collections. I do not know how to appreciate art the way the experts do, judging a work with abstract lines and unseen patterns, all hidden behind patchworks of color, to be a work of art. And if left along that line of thought, I may have missed one of the great artists of Singapore - Chen Wen Hsi (陈文希). An FDC I purchased introduced me to this master of the arts, commemorating the reception of a posthumous Meritorious Service Medal by the deceased master. 

A 1993 FDC commemorating the award of Meritorious Service Award to Chen Wen Hsi posthumously.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Mini Snowskin Mooncakes of Park Palace

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

Mooncakes - what started originally as a way to defeat the Mongols by the Chinese evolved into the colorful and flavorful varieties we now see in the market. The traditional conservatives would choose the lotus paste mooncake with their distinctive baked brown skin, but snowskins had been our favorite for a long while. Those attractive colorful skins attracted our attentions, a lure to the younger generations.

With Park Palace promoting their snowskin mooncakes in our company near the end of the Mooncake Festival, we bought a box of 8 assorted mini snowskins, allowing us to mix and match between the 4 flavors they were offering. This article may come late past the festival, but for those who missed the mooncakes that they had devoured, here are some photos to rekindle your passion and appetite while waiting for the festival to arrive next year.

A box of 8 assorted mini snowskin mooncakes (SGD50.00) with 4 flavor variants, allowing customers to mix and match between the flavors. The empty spot there was due to a greedy and hungry photographer...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Final - A Final Look at the Lobby

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.
Our wedding photo session took the whole day, extending into the night for shots after dark. By the time we got to our room at the end of the day, we were too exhausted to explore the hotel further, choosing to surrender ourselves to a rejuvenating night of sleep. 

Please clean up the room, but leave my heart intact on the bed...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Part 5 - LEPAK and a Hidden Wonder

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.

Wandering around the building of Lone Pine Hotel, we explored the surroundings like kid explorers hunting for treasures. And a treasure did we found. Hidden between the block housing our room and the one facing the beach was a lobby converted into a game and recreation room with the word “lepak corner” describing the place. The name itself employed an apt local term to describe the recreation area as “lepak” meant “to loiter” in Malay, educating and endearing foreigners with our national language.

"Lepak Corner", essentially a place for loitering.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Part 4 - A Walk on A Manicured Lawn

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.

After a stuffed breakfast in The Bungalow as was shared in my last article, a walk around the hotel proper would be highly recommended, both to explore the grounds as well as to relief a full tummy. After all, a brisk walk under the trees and on the manicured lawn would be an excellent way to implement the tropical flavor of Penang isle and Lone Pine Hotel.

The verdant of the lawn and the turquoise from the pool complemented each other, one offering a flavor of the warm tropics, the other hinting of cool soothing sensation. Choices of beach chairs allowed patrons to choose the way they would like to enjoy their morning.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Part 3 - Breakfast @ The Bungalow

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.

To enjoy a breakfast under the cool breeze in The Bungalow was a bliss indeed. With a cup of cappuccino in hand, I just basked in the moment as the rest of the patrons did. Some kids were dripping wet from their dip in the pool, ready to start their breakfast after an immersing moment in the cool waters. Other patrons enjoyed a moment with each other as a couple, a family or friends on a vacation, engaged in conversations or just reading under the cool patio.

The Bungalow is a 2-story building situated next to the pool. The patio and lower floor is converted into dining area and a kitchen, whereas the top floor is off limits.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - TungLok Signatures @ Vivocity 同樂經典

Location: Harborfront, Singapore

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Vivocity branch. Experience may differ from those in another branch.
* Lokkee is operated by Tunglok Group. Other reviewed eateries from the same group include Lokkee and TungLok Signatures.

This review will start with a sincere and heartfelt thanks to my friends for treating us to a dinner for celebrating us newlyweds. It was unexpected and definitely very much appreciated. This is written fully dedicated to their thoughtfulness and undying friendship.

Tung Lok Signatures in Vivocity was chosen as the venue for our celebration. I was aware of Tung Lok Group having a range of restaurants under its management, but I was not familiar with what the Signatures brand offers. A quick surf into their website shed some light on this particular chain - its main business is in serving traditional Chinese cuisines, particularly dishes of Cantonese, Sichuan and Shanghainese variety and taste.

This celebration by my friends gave me a chance to sample their offers and compare that to their equally famous competitor which I had experienced before - Paradise Inn (樂天客棧) (read more on my Paradise Inn experience in the review here).

Tung Lok Signatures in Vivocity is situated on the ground floor, right beside one of the exits to the boardwalk facing Sentosa Island.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Hatched @ Holland Village

Location: Holland Village, Singapore

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Holland Village branch. Experience may differ from those in another branch.

Egg - one of the food items which removes the boundary of nations and cultures, catering vegetarians (some consider egg as a vegetarian food) and carnivores alike. Wherever you go, you can be sure that there will be at least a kind of food made from this universal food. You could fry it, bake it, boil it, half-boil it, scramble it or poach it. You can have it as a custard, omelette, tart or salad, even pickled or salted. The possibilities are endless. And it makes sense to have a cafe opened with a main theme based on eggs. You just couldn't go wrong with that. Thus was born one named Hatched.

Even salt and pepper are served through egg-shaped shakers! Something may hatch out of it... Salt and peppers perhaps?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Travel through Philately - Classic Locomotive of Northern Ireland

There is a charm with locomotives which I couldn't point or shake off. Especially the old timers. They captured my full attention when I was a kid and as they passed in front of me, the little boy in me watched with awe how they thundered past with a might that automobiles just couldn't compete against. I have a number of rail related FDC for my appreciation, one commemorating Singapore's retired train stations (Philately - Singapore's Historical Train Stations) and one for London Underground's centenary (Philately - London Underground). And now I have more.

These chugging reminders of the Northern Ireland's past had long gone out of date, but this FDC kept them immortalized.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - McCafe's Green Tea Latte

Location: Singapore

Some craved for their daily dose of Starbucks, others for a shot from Coffee Bean, and even others from a variety of coffee chain stores. The coffee stalls and shops catered to the office tribes sauntering past in the morning or the retired elders loitering for a chat. For me, nothing beats the offer from McCafe.

Once again, a new offer caught my attention and I immediately ordered a cup to addict myself to it. Here is McCafe's latest "invention" - a cup of Green Tea Latte. The foamy not-really-coffee for the not-really-true-coffee-lover is a caffeine fix for me without getting an insomniac night.

Green Tea Latte (SGD4.50) - one of the latest offerings from McCafe. A combination of green tea flavor and latte, it was intended to marry Japanese green tea and caffeine lovers. It may have done the opposite.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Travel through Philately - Hong Kong Delicacies

Nothing makes a nation prouder these days than to present a meal and say "This is from my home! Try it and be amazed!" Of course not everybody would be impressed by every unique food the nation would offer. Take durian for example.

However the delicacies of Hong Kong, influenced by Cantonese cuisine coupled with British colonization, created a wave of frenzy the world over with its allure, with imitations and authenticity claims rising and competing wherever there is a Cantonese restaurant or tea shop. To aid in the spread of Hong Kong delicacies' recognition, Hong Kong Post chose 4 all time favorites to represent Hong Kong's taste and flavor in its FDC.

Hong Kong Post released 2 sets of FDC with the theme of Hong Kong Delicacies in 2012, one with a set of stamps, the other with the same set in a miniature sheet.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Travel through Philately - Singapore National Museum's Centenary

Whether or not you are a keen hunter of past colonial romance in Singapore, its National Museum is a must visit, much more so even than Marina Bay Sands despite the latter's fame as Singapore's latest icon. After all, how many buildings in Singapore could claim to survive both World War and is still in active service, along with its centenary in 1987, just goes to show how ancient it is compared to most of the buildings in the island republic.

This 1987 FDC highlights just how old the National Museum of Singapore is - with a deep brown.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Part 2 - Good Morning Balcony

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.
A tired drive from Ipoh expectedly led to a sound dream on a fluffy pillow. To wake afresh to the morning sun was a bliss. Especially so when, upon exiting to the balcony, the tropic breeze brought with it the sounds of chirping birds and lapping waves. And we belatedly remembered that this was not home, but the coziness offered by Lone Pine Hotel misled us. 

Nothing beats the feel of a morning cup of coffee on the balcony amidst the chirping birds and swaying branches.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

MATTA Fair 2013 is back!

If you aren't aware yet, be aware! Holidaymakers are now rushing to the greatest travel fair in Malaysia, petrol price rise and inflation be damned! Attractive tour packages to the corners of the world awaits, involving various tour agencies within Malaysia. Do choose carefully and be wary of possible disreputable agents. Read carefully and ask for details before signing up for your choice of holiday trip.

This time Indonesia holds the focus with its 'Wonderful Indonesia' theme. Be it a visit to wonderful Bali or quiet Lake Toba, you can find more info here to plan for a personal trip there or to hunt for a tour package that could meet your wants.

Date:             6th (Fri) - 8th Aug (Sun) 2013
Admission:    10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Entry fee:      RM4 (free admission of children under 12)
Location:       Putra World Trade Center (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur
Website:        Main website and Facebook page; entrance ticket can be purchased online here: MATTA Entrance Ticket

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Wedding Photo in Lone Pine Part 1 - A Room for A Night

Location: Batu Ferringhi, Penang isle, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Lone Pine Hotel's Deluxe room in January 2013. Experience may differ with other rooms of the same hotel.

My latest review/sharing is a memorable one. This is the place where we took our wedding photo after all. 

To arrive into Georgetown before the sun dipped past the horizon after an exhausting drive from Ipoh was nothing short of relieve. But we had no time to marvel at the setting amber orb, as we still need to drive the half hour into Batu Ferringhi and locate the entrance of our accommodation for the night. It was partially hidden from the uncaring eyes of a casual observer but not to the determined traveler. 

I drove the car past a smiling guard, under a neon sign of ‘Lone Pine Hotel’ and past fences of climbing vines before the night market started to get busy. Once it got its momentum, the night market of Batu Ferringhi would make navigating the lone road difficult, sometimes even dangerous with the odd pedestrians jumping out from the stalls. Not to mention that the entrance of the hotel was rather difficult to spot even without the distractions of the market. 

Slot in your card key and enjoy your stay in Lone Pine Hotel!

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