Category Archives: Any Country

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 3 Dujiangyan to Siguniang Mountains

Winter Morning in Dujiangyan

It was low season now in Dujiangyan. Front desk staff told us there would be no buffet breakfast due to low occupancy rate. But we could still have breakfast at the restaurant where only tangyuan or dumplings would be available. We weren’t really disappointed as our purpose to stay here wasn’t for fine dining in Dujiangyan but to use this base to transfer over to Siguniang Mountains.

So when we went to front desk at 7 am, we were told to head to the kitchen at the back of the hotel and tell the chef what we would like for breakfast. Once we reached the kitchen, we saw the security guard watching TV. We were surprised he doubled up as a cook on top of his regular job taking care of security matters in the hotel. We then told him to serve us a bowl of tangyuan and another bowl of dumplings.

Simple Breakfast at Dujiangyan Nine Point Hotel

After telling him, we entered the dining room across the kitchen. There was another guest waiting inside the dining room watching TV. We took our seats and soon, the chef came in with a bowl of noodle soup for the other guest. Later, he brought us our bowl of tangyuan and dumplings and asked if we wanted anything else. Since we noticed he served the other guest noodle soup, we requested a bowl as well.

The bowl of tangyuan came in smaller size balls with some peanut fillings. We prefer our own version back home. The dumplings however were very good. Another lady guest came in while we were eating. She was complaining there was nothing much to eat the previous day.

Soon the chef came in with our bowl of noodles which was very tasty. The dumplings were a good combination with the noodles too. So the breakfast was rather simple but at least we had some hot food during this winter morning. We didn’t come with much expectation so this breakfast was sufficient for us. For westerners however, this might not be the case.

Waiting for Transfer to Siguniang Mountains

With breakfast done, we returned to our room. After freshening up, we went to front desk to process check out. We left two pieces of luggage with hotel to keep where we would return in three days time after visiting Siguniang Mountains. There was no point bringing all our luggage up the mountainous area. We only packed a hand carry bag sufficient for our two nights stay at Siguniang Mountains. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 3 Dujiangyan to Siguniang Mountains

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 2 Bangkok to Chengdu

Good Morning Bangkok

Our flight to Chengdu was 10.05 am. Although we had already done online check in for our flight, we would want to be at the airport by 8 am. So we went up to the rooftop restaurant for breakfast slightly before 7 am.

Breakfast would start at 7 am and was getting ready by the time we arrived. We took the opportunity to look around the Bangkok scene from up here. On hindsight, we should have come up here the previous night to check out the night scene with the busy night market below. The views of the surrounding were pretty nice with the sun beginning to rise from the far end.

Next we helped ourselves to the modest breakfast spread. Breakfast was decent given the price we paid for the room. The breakfast wasn’t sumptuous but sufficient. After this quick breakfast, we returned to our room, freshened up and then checked out at front desk. We got back the same THB500 deposit we gave to the staff upon presentation of the receipt.

Patra Hotel to Ratchaprarop Station onward to Airport

According to the map provided by Patra Boutique Hotel, there is a short cut to Ratchaprarop Station. So instead of turning left out of Patra Hotel and then left and another left turn again towards Baiyoke Sky Hotel to walk back to Ratchaprarop Station, we turned right and walked across the railway tracks and then turned right to walk to Ratchaprarop Station not far ahead. It took only 5 minutes. However, you can’t drag your bags all the way as the path is uneven and having to walk along some dirt path. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 2 Bangkok to Chengdu

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 1 Bangkok

Flight from Singapore to Chengdu

We had wanted to visit Jiuzhaigou for quite some time. So when there was an offer from Singapore to Chengdu flying Thai Airways at only $272, we booked our flights for November. The catch was to transit in Bangkok. Instead to having a short transit from Bangkok to Chengdu where we had to take a very early flight from Singapore to Bangkok, we planned an overnight stay in Bangkok to have a more relaxing arrival in Chengdu on Day 2. Our flight details are as follows:

Singapore to Bangkok 12.25 pm to 1.45 pm
Bangkok to Chengdu 10.05 am to 2 pm on the following day

Chengdu to Bangkok 3.05 pm to 5.20 pm
Bangkok to Singapore 7.25 pm to 10.45 pm

Since we had quite a bit of time in November, we decided to visit Chongqing as well, a city in under 2 hours away from Chengdu by high speed train. We also took advantage of the Accor super sales and booked Sofitel Chengdu Taihe and Sofitel Forebase Chongqing at 50% discounts.




Original Itinerary for Chengdu and Chonqing

Day 1: Singapore to Bangkok

Hotel: Patra Boutique Hotel

Location of this hotel is near Platinum area, easily accessible from the airport using the airport rail link six stations away.

Day 2: Bangkok to Chengdu

Hotel: Leeden Hotel

This hotel is located near MRT Station walking distance to Chunxi Shopping Area.

Day 3: Chengdu to Juizhaigou

Hotel: Jiuxiang Hotel

This hotel is located near the main entrance into Jiuzhaigou National Park.

Will need to take a nine hours bus ride from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 1 Bangkok

4 Days Hong Kong City Break (2017) – Day 4 Tung Chung Residential Area

Tung Chung Residential Neighbourhood

We woke up to a very cloudy morning. From our windows, we could see it was wet outside. Our sleep was pretty good in Novotel Citygate Hotel. Departure flight out of Hong Kong was 2.50 pm. So we still had the whole morning to explore Tung Chung neighbourhood.

By the time we were ready, we walked through the quiet Citygate Outlet Mall and headed towards the residential neighbourhood via a covered walkway. It was drizzling this morning as we made our way to the mall in the residential area. Good thing there is this covered walkway.




This neighbourhood is made up of blocks of very tall residential apartment. There are so many blocks now since our last visit five years ago. This place is now pretty developed. The population density here is very high. Amenities have to cater to this large population residing here as not everyone is interested in high-end brands outlet shopping at Citygate Mall.

Hong Kong Breakfast in Tung Chung

Once we reached the residential mall, we went into a busy Hong Kong Restaurant for breakfast. The restaurant was rather packed. But we still managed to get two seats and shared tables like everyone else. It was a typical Hong Kong ambiance and speaking Cantonese would be great to get things done although the staff can speak Mandarin as well. Continue reading 4 Days Hong Kong City Break (2017) – Day 4 Tung Chung Residential Area

4 Days Hong Kong City Break (2017) – Day 3 Tung Chung and Sham Shui Po

Morning Scene at Causeway Bay

We had another great night sleep in the luxurious Park Lane Hong Kong Pullman Hotel. In a few hours, we would be leaving Hong Island and head over to Novotel Citygate Hotel at Tung Chung near the airport. From there we hoped to visit Lantau Island. After a great breakfast experience at Tai Hing Restaurant the previous day, we decided to head back there for breakfast one more time.

So we left the hotel and walked towards Times Square. The streets were wet after an overnight shower. It was still drizzling a little when we made our way to Tai Hing Restaurant. Office staff were hurrying to work. The pace of life is pretty fast in Hong Kong.

We arrived Tai Hing Restaurant and this time, we had a little more space as the restaurant wasn’t fully occupied yet. We settled down and ordered the same breakfast sets of lotus leaf glutinous rice and noodle soup. Like the day before, we enjoyed this simple but satisfying breakfast.

Continue reading 4 Days Hong Kong City Break (2017) – Day 3 Tung Chung and Sham Shui Po

4 Days Hong Kong City Break (2017) – Day 2 Authentic Hong Kong

Rise and Shine at Causeway Bay

The Park Lane Hong Kong Pullman Hotel was indeed a great hotel to stay in the Causeway Bay area. We had a great time shopping around the hotel but more importantly a great night sleep in luxury in our very modern nicely furnished room. In fact, we didn’t feel like getting up early. But missing out on the happenings in Hong Kong for morning breakfast would be a pity. We wished to see the authentic face of Hong Kong and not just the usual touristy places which we had already visited in the past.

After pulling away the curtains, we thought we could catch sunrise from our room windows facing east, but the weather wasn’t too good after the recent typhoon. There were fast passing clouds turning the scenery outdoor gloomy but bright again from time to time when the sun managed to pierce through some clouds. The city view and the partial sea view were quite pretty whenever sufficient sun light brightened up the place.

Authentic Hong Kong Breakfast

Having spoken to one of the concierge staff the previous evening, we had some idea where we might want to sample Hong Kong breakfast. So we left the hotel and went out to explore the surrounding. The city was quiet but people were on the move. It was time for the locals to get to work. Their quicken pace on the streets was understandable.

We walked past Entrance E of Causeway Bay Station and then crossed the main road towards Times Square. After walking through a few streets, we spotted a traditional Hong Kong restaurant where locals were having breakfast. So we went in and took the remaining table with two seats. Like any typical Hong Kong restaurant, it was a little cramped inside. The restaurant was however, bright, modern and clean.

Continue reading 4 Days Hong Kong City Break (2017) – Day 2 Authentic Hong Kong

4 Days Hong Kong City Break (2017) – Day 1 Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong City Break Itinerary

It had been quite a few years since we visited Hong Kong, so we thought it would be a good idea to head to Hong Kong for a city break to celebrate our wedding anniversary in June. Moreover, airfares to Hong Kong have been pretty affordable flying on budget airlines. In addition, we had our Accor Plus free stay to use up for the year, hence we took advantage on this and booked those expensive Accor Group hotels in Hong Kong for the trip.

So our airfares via Jetstar was just about $135 per person. Flight timings were very good too.

Singapore to Hong Kong 10.10 am to 2.10 pm

Hong Kong to Singapore 2.50 pm to 6.40 pm

Accor Hotels booked were The Park Lane Hong Kong Pullman Hotel in Hong Kong Island for two nights and then the last night in Novotel Hong Kong Citygate near the airport. There was nothing much to prepare so this trip was really easy. Anyway, other than shopping and dining, what else was there to do with some other sight-seeing activities depending on the weather.

Jetstar Flight to Hong Kong

The day soon came and our flight to Hong Kong was a breeze. We were quite worried about our flight as Hong Kong was hit by a typhoon just a few days before our departure. But mainland China was more badly hit where Hong Kong just some skirmishes. We were very glad it was over by the time we left for Hong Kong. Continue reading 4 Days Hong Kong City Break (2017) – Day 1 Hong Kong Island

10 Days Free and Easy Europe Tour (2017) – Day 10 Amsterdam

Last Day in Europe

Finally, we woke up to the last day of our Europe Tour. Our departure flight out of Amsterdam to Zurich was 8.05 pm. Connecting flight from Zurich to Singapore was 10.45 pm. So this left us with an entire day to explore Amsterdam one last time before saying good bye to this beautiful city.

As for breakfast, we consumed all those food we bought from the supermarket since this was our last day in Europe. Coffee and tea were self service in our room. Although breakfast was simple, it was good to get us started. It was still pretty quiet on the street when we looked out from our room windows. We decided to explore some attractions nearby before returning to check out and then leave our luggage with Hotel CC. We would then explore attractions further away from the hotel.

Exploring Attractions near Hotel CC

Out on the street so early, we encountered the same situation the day before. The streets were filthy and smelly. However, city cleaners were already out on the streets getting into gear with their cleaning up operation. Auto street sweeping machines were deployed and the streets would be ready to welcome visitors quite soon.

This morning, we walked through the red light district which was pretty dead at this hour. The first place we visited was the Oude Church. This was quite a sizeable church but what was the church doing right in the red light district, we failed to figure out. Anyway, this 800 year-old church is one of the main attractions here. This is a significant historic building. It was closed when we were there but we would probably not pay to enter the building. The church building was however, pretty nice.

We then crossed the canal and then another canal and enjoyed the quiet neighbourhood. As expected, the streets were quite empty. It was still very early and shops were not open yet. This was a rather different experience as we had a very excited busy and noisy day in Amsterdam the day before.

We continued walking to find the Nieumarkt and reached an open area in another quiet neighbourhood. To our disappointment, this market wasn’t open on the day of our visit. So we walked back towards the main train station enjoying canal sights and a peaceful morning in Amsterdam. Continue reading 10 Days Free and Easy Europe Tour (2017) – Day 10 Amsterdam