gardens by the bay

Holiday Inn Express Katong Review

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

On my second flight to Singapore this 2018, I find myself booking a room again at Holiday Inn Express in Katong. I would normally look for hotels near train stations, but this one is an exception. Tucked in the vibrant and posh area of Singapore’s East Coast, I was surprised to find a brand that carries a hotel legacy in its name, but doesn’t come along with an expensive price tag.


hotel review

I don’t do backpacking when I travel, but I do want some comfort at the end of the day without having to break the bank. If you’re looking for a mid-range hotel that values top-notch service without paying a fortune, this Holiday Inn branch might be the one you’re looking for.

free tourist attraction

Gardens by the Bay

Saturday, July 07, 2018

The first time I went to Singapore back in 2012, Gardens by the Bay was just about to open to the public. I have no idea there’s a budding nature space in this corporate city. After five years, I went back and visited one of the most talked about and most photographed nature parks in the world.

gardens by the bay singapore, singapore flyer

Nestled in the center of the bustling concrete jungle of Singapore, this sprawling garden spans 101 hectares of reclaimed land and is free to enjoy by everyone. Can you imagine how wonderful it is to spend a day at a nature park for free? And it’s not just any park, but Gardens was a work of art by “skilled landscape designers, horticulturists, arborists, engineers, plant health, garden and turf management experts, as well as plant research and orchid breeding professionals.”

beauty

Where to Buy Cheap Toiletries in Singapore

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Singapore is one of the top ten countries in the world with the highest cost of living. In Asia, the country holds the top spot. The expensive rent is a given, but you can always resource cheap food through hawkers and food stalls you can find everywhere. But how about toiletries? Well that’s a different story.

cheap and affordable toiletries and home supplies
If you’ve been to Guardian and Watsons in Singapore, you’ll be shocked as to how expensive toiletries can get. For example, the same well-known napkin being sold in the Philippines at around Php 80 for a pack of 20 will cost at SGD 6.90 in Singapore (Php 276; 1 SGD = 40 Php conversion rate as of posting). A global brand feminine wash that’s Php 194 for 250ml at home will cost at SGD 13.90 (or Php 556) in Singapura.

It’s difficult not to convert prices, especially if you’re trying to save money. So I asked my friend (Thank you, Jore!) where she buys her toiletries.

food

My First Time at Tim Ho Wan

Saturday, June 09, 2018

When Tim Ho Wan opened its doors in the Philippines, people have been lining up at the “world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant” day in and day out. You can’t reserve a table so you have to devote some time in waiting. Since it opened its first branch in our country in 2014, I haven’t got the chance to taste their widely-popular dim sums.


Luckily, we stayed very near 112 Katong Mall in Singapore and at early in the afternoon on a weekday, there wasn’t any queue at Tim Ho Wan. Excited to get blown away with “Hong Kong’s Most Famous Dim Sum”, I dragged my husband inside the Katong branch.

family

Lola Aida

Sunday, June 03, 2018

She woke me up at 6:00 AM on a warm, summer’s day. I couldn’t remember if I had breakfast before we left, but I was certain she had already prepared fried rice or pan de sal on the table. Once a week, Lola Aida and I would go to the market to buy ingredients for the dishes she planned to cook for the entire household. From Blumentritt, we’d do a short walk going to EspaƱa Boulevard and hail a jeepney going to Trabajo market.


It was always our routine to visit the wet section first so we can still catch the freshest fish, seafood and meat. She was close to being a public figure because whenever vendors saw her, she’d be greeted warmly and be given the best selection of their goods. Lola knew which stall to go first and everytime she dropped by, her preferred vendors were excited to see her. I was sure it’s beyond a seller-buyer relationship. They were just happy to see this small, thin, and sharp-witted old lady who instantly lit up the place whenever she smiled. And lola’s smile was always genuine.

126 dim sum

When in Geylang: 126 Dim Sum Review

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Coming back to Geylang reminded me of those two weeks we spent in Singapore last year. While the place is known to be a red light district (not the types we have here in the Philippines or in Amsterdam), Geylang is filled with numerous food selections including stalls of fruits, a strip of hawkers (no pun intended), and affordable dim sum places to boot.


One dim sum place we’ve been coming back to is 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi, tucked in the main street of Sims Avenue in the heart of Geylang. It’s funny because we discovered this while I was craving for siomai (shu mai) one time and this place happened to be just a few steps away from our accommodation in Lorong 15. We didn’t know it was this popular in Singapore!

food

Mookata Traditional Thai BBQ Review

Sunday, May 20, 2018

“Have you tried Thai BBQ before?”, my husband asked me on our first day in Singapore last month. It was his birthday when we arrived for our long weekend getaway and I told him he’s got the freedom to choose what he wanted to eat for dinner. To answer the question, no I haven’t tried Thai BBQ before - not in Thailand, nor in the Philippines.

mookata thai bbq

Because he stayed in Chiang Mai in Thailand for two months during college, my husband missed the food he had eaten so frequently back then. Apparently, he already scouted for restaurants within the area surrounding our hotel in Katong where we stayed. Just across the street from our hotel is Mookata Traditional Thai BBQ restaurant.

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