Sunday, September 15, 2019

All-You-Can-Eat Ala-Carte Japanese Buffet at Kage Sushi (影寿司) @ Taman Sutera Utama [JB]

I mentioned it is pretty hard to find Japanese restaurants offering All-You-Can-Eat buffet in Johor Bahru. To date, we have only tried two over the years. One was TANBA Japanese BBQ which remains as one of my personal favourite still while the other is Kage Sushi (影寿司).

Actually this is probably our 3rd time here as our first two visits was ages ago. Kage Sushi has been in business for many years (since 2008) and offers over 100 dishes on their menu. The buffet comes with unlimited free flow of drinks, fruit, salad, dessert and soup at an affordable price tag.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 9 - Kaohsiung (高雄) | Shaved Ice Dessert (渡船頭海之冰) | The British Consulate at Takow (打狗英国领事馆文化园区)

9 December 2018

Part 3 of Day 9 @ Kaohsiung
1) Shaved Ice Desert 渡船頭海之冰
2) The British Consulate at Takow (打狗英国领事馆文化园区)

4pm - We left Cijin Island and our driver took us to a famous ice-dessert stall in Sizihwan - 西子湾(not far from Gushan Ferry Terminal) -  渡船頭海之冰

You can't miss the bright yellow colour building with a big banner displaying big bowl shaved ice-dessert. The corner shop has garnered a lot of supporters as it was crowded and we took awhile before managing to secure a table for our family.

What's so special about 海之冰 ice dessert? They serve shaved ice dessert with fruits and pudding/ice-cream in HUGE Bowls. Serving in various sizes - from a simple small bowl (x1) to a humongous size of x20! If you have a big group, you may want to take up the challenge to finish the biggest bowl they have in the shop!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 9 - Kaohsiung (高雄) | Cijin Island (旗津島)

9 December 2018

From Fo Guang Shan, we head towards Cijin Island (旗津島). Have heard this is a MUST-GO if you are in Kaohsiung (高雄) and we definitely will not give it a miss since we have traveled this far.

Kaohsiung is known to be a 'port city' because it has beautiful port views.

By Car
We hired a private car to take us around on our first day in Kaohsiung. Hence we drove into Cijin via a underwater tunnel (the one and only in Taiwan) that connects Cijin island to the mainland.

By Public Transport
Cijing Island is a 5 minutes ferry ride from Gushan Ferry Terminal which is near Sizihwan MRT Station (About 7 - 8 minutes walk).  Take the Orange Line and alight at R01 - Sizihwan. Take Exit 1, turn left and walk to the end of the street. Make a right turn and you will reach Gushan Ferry Terminal.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 9 - Kaohsiung (高雄) | Fo Guang Shan (佛光山)

9 December 2018

Day 9 into our 2 weeks Taiwan Family Travel Trip. From Tainan, we set off to Kaoshiung (高雄). Our first stop of the day is visiting Taiwan's largest Buddhist Temple - Fo Guang Shan (佛光山). Located in Dashu District in Kaohsiung City, it is about 1 hour drive from Tainan.

Fo Guang Shan (高雄佛光山) - founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun who advocated 'Humanistic Buddhism', hoping to bring peace and love to the real world. This differs from the traditional Buddhism,  as it focus on the current living in the world than after life. To glorify the Dharma, together with his following monks, they build the monastery from 1967.

In 1997, Master Hsing Yun decided to close the mountain gates of Fo Guang Shan to the general public to create a more cloistered atmosphere for the practicing monks. Parts of the Monastery were then reopened in 2000 providing the public a place to practice Pure Land Buddhism.

Covering about 100 hectares, you probably really need half or full day to have a good look at the temple.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Where to stay in Kaohsiung (高雄) - Jia's Inn (佳适旅舍)

This is our first time visiting Kaohsiung (高雄) - second largest city and major industrial center of Taiwan. Located at the south-western coast, tourism has picked up during the recent years, and becoming a popular travel destination. Hence we decided to spend 3 nights in Kaohsiung.

Jia's Inn (佳适旅舍)
Date of Stay : 9 - 11 December 2018

Staying with Jia's Inn was probably my best find ever. Here's why.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 8 - Tainan (台南) | Flowers Night Market (花园夜市)

8 December 2018

Flowers Night Market (花园夜市) - the largest night market in Tainan opens on every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. When we stayed over in Tainan over the weekend, it was a nice distribution as we get to visit the top 2 night markets (Dadong & Flowers) on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Close to 400 stalls, Flowers Night Market is also one of the most well known in Taiwan. I realised the night markets in Tainan put up large flying banners/flags which feels like a food battle zone defining the vendors' location ('territory'). That definitely works to catch my attention. Like Dadong Night Market, Flowers Night Market also has zones for food, games, entertainment and fashion.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 8 - Tainan (台南) | TWICE themed SoSee Coffee (首璽咖啡) | Chihkan Tower (赤崁楼)

8 December 2018

As our children gets older, they also starting to have a voice in where they would like to go and this plays an important part when I am planning for our family trip. Our boy is a big fan of TWICE and he made a special request to visit TWICE member - Tzuyu's (周子瑜) mother's cafe : Sosee Coffee (首璽咖啡) in Tainan. Hence, I made plans to make sure that this is our must go in Tainan.

Part 3 of Day 8 @ Tainan
1) SoSee Coffee (首璽咖啡) 
2) Chihkan Tower (赤崁楼) 

2:30pm - Located in Yunong Road, east district of Tainan, the cafe, opened by Tzuyu's mother is very spacious, with high ceiling and occupies two levels. The industrial style interior has a bar at the central of the cafe dedicated to drinks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Fortune Pot (福鼎记) Wanton Noodles @ Taman Mount Austin [JB]

You can find lots of good eateries at Taman Mount Austin in Johor Bahru and recently, we discovered another nice shop selling delicious wanton noodles. I guess this will be one of my top favourite wanton mee after

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Hotto Potto Hotpot (锅の物语) @ Taman Mount Austin [JB]

Hotto Potto (锅の物语) is a new hotpot/steamboat restaurant that has opened in Taman Mount Austin - a bustling downtown area of ​​Johor Bahru early this year. Diners can expect to enjoy their hot pot in a nice cooling environment of 18°C, plus the hotpot buffet here has individual pots where you can choose your preferred soup base. Alternatively, it you have a group of 4, you can also choose a big pot for sharing.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 8 - Tainan (台南) | Blueprint Culture & Creative Park (藍晒圖文創園區) | Hayashi Department Store (林百货) | 巨大扭蛋機貨櫃市集

8 December 2018

Part 2 of our walking tour around Tainan City by Foot!

Part 2 of Day 8 @ Tainan
1) Blueprint Culture & Creative Park (藍晒圖文創園區) 
2) Kobayashi The Finest Cookies (小林煎饼)
3) Hayashi Department Store (林百货)
4) Giant Capsule Machine (衛民街巨大扭蛋機貨櫃市集)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 8 - Tainan (台南) | Yongle Market (永樂市場) | Shennong Street (神农街) | 水仙宫市场

8 December 2018

Touring Tainan City by Foot

After having our breakfast at Tainan Fushin Hotel, we head out to look out for more local delights. Below list the walking route I have planned originally for our Day 8. However, we changed plans along the way and skipped Baoan Food Street as we had too much food for the morning and decided to give it a miss.

Still, there will be a lot of walking expected but it is achievable. I have used Google Map extensively to guide us to our destinations when we were travelling on our own. Our children are older now and they have somewhat gotten used to our travelling pattern where we often take on long walks which extend throughout the day.

Day 8 @ Tainan
1) Yongle Market (永樂市場)
2) Shennong Street (神农街)
3) Baoan Food Street (保安路)
4) Blueprint Culture & Creative Park (藍曬圖) 
5) Hayashi Department (林百货)
6) 衛民街巨大扭蛋機貨櫃市集 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 7 - Tainan (台南) | Dadong Night Market (大东夜市)

7 December 2018

Our final destination to end our eventful Day 7 in Taiwan - Dadong Night Market (大东夜市). Staying in Tainan Fushin Hotel (台南富信大飯店) has been pleasant plus the hotel provide free shuttle (single trip) to the major night markets in Tainan (including Dadong).

Dadong Night Market is the second largest night market in the oldest city of Taiwan and it is open on every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. We visited on a Friday night and it was REALLY CROWDED but I love its vibrancy!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 7 - Tainan (台南) | Anping Fort (安平古堡) | Anping Old Street (安平老街) | Anping Tree House (安平树屋)

7 December 2018

Tainan has a rich and long history. Being the first city in Taiwan, it has a lot of historic sites, traditional buildings, old streets and culture. Over several centuries, the ancient city has went through the Dutch occupation, Ming-zheng period, Qing Dynasty rule and the Japanese Colonial period.

Part 4 of Day 7 @ Tainan
1) Anping Old Fort (安平古堡)
2) Anping Old Street (安平老街) 
3) Anping Tree House (安平树屋)

The later part of our day brings us to Anping District and the main attraction is Anping Fort (安平古堡) previously known as Fort Zeelandia. It is the oldest fortress in the country dated back to more than 300 years ago. Back in the 17th century, Dutch military-business alliance troops conquered Anping in 1624 and built Fort Zeelandia as a defense base and trading hub. In 1661-1662, Ming Dynasty,  Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) seized the fort and brought an end to the Dutch colonial period. He renamed the area "Anping" and turn the inner fort into government offices. During Qing Dynasty, the Qing army demolished Fort Zeelandia and built the Eternal Golden Castle which was eventually abandoned. It was during the Japanese occupation that Fort Zeelandia was rebuilt and renamed as Anping Fort.

History Source from

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Kedai Kopi Xuu Yau Wanton Noodle (品苑云吞面) @ Tan Hiok Nee [JB]

We have spotted this humble wanton noodle stall located at the junction of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and Jalan Pahang many months ago. Since its opening, it has attracted many locals to pop in for breakfast and business seems to be good.

Though the outlook of the stall does not seem appealing, it is definitely a gem if you are looking out for good wanton noodles! I would say 品苑云吞面 is my personal favourite and one of the best to date.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 7 - Tainan (台南) | Sicao Green Tunnel (四草綠色隧道)

7 December 2018

Part 3 of Day 7 @ Tainan
1) Sicao Green Tunnel (四草綠色隧道)

While planning for our first trip to Tainan, I crossed upon Sicao Green Tunnel (四草綠色隧道) - renowned for its gorgeous green waterway in the dense mangrove forest

I tried to research a little more about Sicao Green Tunnel, but can't seem to get a concrete finding. Mostly indicated that it was a canal constructed two centuries ago for transporting salt and its by products to and fro the drying fields and storage areas.

Popularly known as the 'Little Amazon', it is the enchanting tunnel-like green canopy that won the hearts of many to come and experience it themselves.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Delicious Soufflé Hotcake (舒馥芮松饼) @ Taman Mount Austin

Early January this year, Shanghai's Hotcake (舒馥芮松饼) opened its oversea flagship store at Taman Mount Austin. We only decided to try after a couple of months later when the crowd faded off.

There are mainly 5 hotcake flavors to choose from, namely:

Berry Blast (RM19.90) - Signature hotcake with a mix of strawberry, blueberry and raspberry flavour.
Caramellicious Apple (RM18.90) - With homemade caramel apple sauce
Early Bird Breakfast (RM20.90) - Juicy sausage with hotcake fit for breakfast
Buzzy Butter (RM15.90) - A taste of the classic original hotcake
Banana Republic (RM17.90) - indulged in the homemade peanut-flavoured cream cheese

At times, they also have seasonal menu with new flavours. We understand that the ingredients are carefully selected by the owner and it is homemade with no added preservatives.

This is definitely not the regular hotcakes, Japanese style souffle hotcakes are lighter and much softer and fluffier in texture. Take a bite and it simply melt in your mouth.

Berry Blast - love the sweetness from the strawberries combined with the softness of the soufflé hotcake. Perfect for sweet lovers.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 7 - Tainan (台南) | Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields (井仔腳鹽田) | Qigu Salt Mountain (七股鹽山)

7 December 2018

Part 2 of Day 7 @ Tainan
1) Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields (井仔腳鹽田)
2) Qigu Salt Mountain (七股鹽山) 

It is a short drive (~15 to 20 minutes) from Beimen District to Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields - Beimen's first salt fields. This is our first time actually seeing a salt field and we are pretty excited!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 7 - Tainan (台南) | Beimen Crystal Church | Beimen Visitor Center | Money Coming Grocery Shop (钱来也杂货店)

7 December 2018

Hello TAINAN (台南)!

Tainan is a city located on the southwest coast of Taiwan. Being the oldest city and was once the capital city, it is famous for its historical buildings, rick folk cultures, local street food and temples.

Part 1 of Day 7 @ Tainan
1) Money Coming Grocery Shop (钱来也杂货店)
2) Beimen Visitor Center (北门游客中心)
3) Beimen Crystal Church (北门水晶教堂)

Beimen District - designed with beautiful landscape for pre-wedding photo shoots.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 6 - Alishan (阿里山) | Alishan National Forest Recreational Area (阿里山国家森林游乐区)

6 December 2018

While many preferred to stay within the Alishan Forest Recreational area, we decided to go against the odds and stayed in a Minsu at Xiding (near Eryanping). It was one of the best experience we had and the children still have fond memories.

We get to admire sunrise right from the door step outside of our Minsu - David's House and had a delicious home-cook breakfast before taking the shuttle bus (台湾好行) to Alishan.

Click on link to find out more about David's House and how to get to Alishan -

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Shoon Huat Bak Ku Teh (顺发肉骨茶) @ Taman Sentosa

Shoon Huat Bak Ku Teh (顺发肉骨茶) is very famous and popular in Johor Bahru. In fact it has many branches (over 20!!) and there are stalls bearing a similar name/spelling that I often get confused. After trying out various BKT around Johor Bahru, the one and only shop (to date) that we will go to for a delicious Bak Ku Teh meal is Shoon Huat Bak Ku Teh (Main Branch) at Taman Sentosa.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Rock Climbing at Rocky Basecamp @ Tebrau City [JB}

Rock Climbing is a fun, physical activity that is suitable for all ages. In fact, I think the younger the children are exposed to the sport, the better, as my teens who used to enjoy the activity when they were younger, are now fearful of heights and falls as they get older and tend to shun away from the climb.

Located in AEON Tebrau City, Rocky Basecamp is one of the first indoor climbing centre in Malaysia. It has speed wall, lead wall measuring 15 meters and fun walls which are about 10 meters high!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Our Baking Projects @ Love Fun Baking House (Taman Mount Austin) [JB]

Back in December 2016, we noticed a baking house at a corner unit among the row of shop houses in Taman Mount Austin. Thankfully we entered the shop and fall in love with the DIY baking activity! Since then, we have become frequent customers and from patrons we become friends and we always feel at home going back to visit.

A simple baking project can start from RM30 and children as well as adults can join in! You do not need to have any baking experience as step by step instructions will be provided and help or guidance from the staff is always available. Plus, you get to bring home what you have baked! A family friendly activity NOT TO BE MISSED!

Since our first visit, we have went back countless times and spending hours baking and enjoying the fruits of our labour. This is also one of the most effective way for our kiddos to be away from their mobile device and focus on baking. Each time, the children feel more confident and now they are very independent and are better at reading and following the instructions. The end product also taste as good as it looks!

Here are some of the baking projects they have been into so far. 

June 2017

Hokkaido Cupcake - RM55

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Desaru Ostrich Farm @ Kota Tinggi [Johor]

We visited Desaru Ostrich Farm back when Denver was just a little boy. It was also our first road trip to Malaysia without GPS. As our children gradually grown up, we have been back to the Ostrich Farm a couple of times with the latest about 2 years ago.

Located in the southern part of Johor, Desaru Ostrich Farm is the largest ostrich farm in Malaysia with over 200 ostriches.  You can see young baby chicks to adult full size ostriches here.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Austin Park Hotel @ Taman Mount Austin [JB]

More restaurants, cafe and entertainment are setting their grounds in Taman Mount Austin and it is no surprise to see lots of activities and more crowd within the district till late night. Driving through or finding a car park lot on weekend nights is also a challenge as many drove down to chill, relax or catch up with friends here after work.

Hence, we are seeing more homestay and hotels are coming up in the area. You be surprised that during peak period, rooms get taken up very fast even though Taman Mount Austin is not located in the city center.

Austin Park Hotel has been in operation for sometime now and recently we checked-in into the hotel as our usual preferred accommodation was FULLY BOOKED!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Flowers in the Window @ Jalan Dhoby [JB]

Flowers in the Window is a rare jem in the hearts of Johor Bahru. Not only does it serves awesome delicious food, it is also a very instagrammable garden themed cafe. Upon stepping in, you feel like being brought into a secret garden. There are plants and floral everywhere! On the table/counter tops, on the walls, and even hanging from the ceiling.

Located along the streets of Jalan Dhoby (walking distance from Tan Hiok Nee), this is definitely one of my favourite cafe. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Fruit Basket Delivery in Singapore, Where to Get the Best Service

Fruit baskets are your best gift to convey or express your heartfelt greetings to someone very special. Sending your loved ones with Flower Delivery Singapore of fruit baskets on their special day will surely turn the occasion and event more memorable. With professional Florist on your side, you will be able to find the right assortments of fresh fruits to deliver to the address on special days. For your gifts of fruit basket, here is a list of the florists in Singapore where you can get the best service:

Friday, June 14, 2019

Children's Festival features Disney & Pixar's Toy Story 4 @ Gardens by the Bay

Children's Festival 2019 is BACK at Gardens by the Bay this June School Holidays! This year, the troop from Toy Story is stationing themselves at the Supertree Grove from 15 - 30 June 2019 to welcome children in for a fun-filled day at the gardens!

Supertree Grove has transformed into a colourful carnival with family-friendly games and activities, inspired by Buzz, Woody and the gang in an all-new Toy Story Adventure! I always enjoyed watching Toy Story and it feels like I have grown with the movie. Hence, am looking forward to Toy Story 4... but before that, let's check out what we can look forward to at the carnival!


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Mall - Mid-Valley Southkey: How to get to JB Newest Shopping Mall

More shopping malls are opening in Johor Bahru with The Mall, Mid-Valley Southkey being the newest and largest to join in the competition. Last month we checked out R&F Mall and were disappointed as about 90% of the retail space is still empty. Thankfully, Mid-Valley Southkey has about than 60-70% of the shop space operating and we actually spent the entire morning exploring the shopping mall even though 3rd and 3rd floor Mezzanine are still under renovation works. Based on the looks of it, it seems we do not need to wait too long before the top floors are open.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Kiztopia - Singapore's Largest Indoor Edutainment Playground @ Marina Square

[Media Invite]

Kiztopia - Singapore's largest edutainment indoor playground is opening in Marina Square on 15 June 2019. This June Holiday promises to be a fun and exciting one as the brand-new utopia aims to ignite your child’s creativity, let them learn important skills, and most importantly, have hours of fun!

Comprising of 18-themed zones with distinct learning objectives, Kiztopia allows children aged 12 years and below to learn through play in an immersive and creative space. From an indoor driving school, role play rooms, Augmented Reality (AR) play zones with arts and sports content, trampoline, ninja course, bouncy castles and slides. Remember to check out the 11 original IP characters with their own distinctive personality!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Guo Ma Taiwanese Steamboat Buffet (锅妈台式火鍋) @ Taman Mount Austin

Guo Ma Taiwanese Steamboat (锅妈台式火鍋) is a familiar name among the locals and many come in groups and go for their steamboat buffet. Hence, it is EXTREMELY HARD to get seats. To date, we only got lucky once among all the times we passed by the restaurant. Suggest that you make a reservation first prior to visiting to avoid disappointment.

Guo Ma offers authentic Taiwanese style steamboat and it has outlets in Taman Mount Austin, Kulai and the latest at Kenith Mall (In front of Komtar JBCC)

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Which Cinemas to go for Movies in Johor Bahru

Whenever we travel to Johor Bahru, one of the Top Activity we love to do is to catch a movie. There are different cinema operators in JB and our top favourites are TGV Cinemas (AEON Tebrau City), MBO Cinemas (KSL City, AEON Bandar Dato Oon) and Golden Screen Cinema (Paradigm Mall).

What attracted us to be more frequent movie goers in Johor Bahru? Definitely the cheaper ticket price, and variety of cinema theaters. Apart from the usual 2D, 3D digital halls, Beanie and 4D theaters are also available to give viewers comfort and a multi-sensory experience!

MBO Cinemas

MBO KSL City Level 2, L2-128, KSL City, 33 Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250, Johor Bahru

MBO Banda Dato' Oon
S-CN1, Second floor, Aeon Bandar Dato Onn, No 3 Jln Dato Onn, Bandar Dato Onn 800000 Johor Bahru

Our first cinematic experience probably began with MBO Cinemas at KSL City. We also got our first MBO Allstar movie membership card there where we can earn star points for every dollar spend and redeem free movie tickets. Free movie tickets are also given on our birthday months and registration is completely free with no monthly or annual fee. Ticket price can start from as low as RM9.

Just a week ago, MBO Cinemas has opened in AEON Mall Bandar Dato' Oon with Big Screen theater, first ever MX4D in Johor Bahru and family-friendly Kecil! I forsee this will also be one of our favourite cinema to visit apart from TGV.

MBO Cinemas - AEON Mall Bandar Dato' Oon

Monday, June 3, 2019

Chef Recipe @ Taman Mount Austin [JB]

Chef Recipe might be a familiar name to many as they have outlets across Singapore (Sengkang, Yishun, Bishan, Bukit Batok and Tampines) offering delectable western cuisine to the heartlanders at a modest price.

Now Singapore's reputable fusion restaurant has arrived in Johor Bahru with it's second outlet  officially opening in Taman Mount Austin on 6th June after successfully first setting its ground in Taman Setia Indah late last year!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

October Japanese Cuisine (十月日本料理) @ JP Perdana [JB]

It was an impromptu visit to October Japanese Cuisine as we drove along JP Perdana. Have past by this area multiple times and there are a few restaurants that is worth stopping by. Flame's Kitchen, Cheotnun Korean dessert cafe are also located along the same stretch as well. Parking is available in the open area behind the restaurant. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Nictar Symbiosis Farm (黄梨园) @ Pontian [Johor]

We have been to a number of fun places in Johor now and still exploring for more! During our drive to Pontian, we had a brief stop over at Nictar Symbiosis Farm. Nictar Farm is a theme farm in Pontian to provide visitors opportunities to have a close up experience with nature.

The farm is open to public and visitors can go in for a free & easy walk through the estate. If you have a bigger group of more than 10 pax, they may conduct a farm tour too. Nictar Farm also conduct Educational tours for schools as well. 

Recently, they organised a 'Fit in Tour' for public to join which includes outdoor pineapple guide, indoor bees keeping sharing, and each person gets a bottle of pure pineapple juice and fresh cut pineapples all for RM16/pax (1.5 hours)!

Do check in with them on their facebook page prior to visiting to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

FaceMee Restaurant (有麵仔雲吞麵食馆) @ Taman Mount Austin [JB] - CLOSED

We have been dining in Taman Mount Austin area for a few years and have seen many restaurants/cafes/eateries come and go. As the area developed, we see more and more crowd, especially younger group of adults coming by for leisure, meals or a drink.

Just recently, I learnt that a noodle shop that we have patron since 3 years ago has finally put up the shutters after serving its customers for 4 years. It is odd to post this since operations has ceased... but I thought it will be a good memory for us and hopefully some day we may spot the familiar logo at a different place.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Hours of Fun @ Lakeside Garden (Jurong Lake Gardens)

Jurong Lake Gardens, Singapore's third national gardens following Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay has opened its first phase (Lakeside Garden) to the public last month after many years of anticipation.

Lakeside Garden, the first national garden in the heartlands, occupied 53-hectare at the western section of the 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens. It includes Forest Ramble, a play area with 13 different adventure zones, Water play at Clusia Cove, Boardwalk, Grasslands area and wetland trails that takes visitors nearer to nature.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 5 - Alishan (阿里山) | Fenchihu 奋起湖 | Eryanping Trail 二延平步道 | 云瀑谷

5 December 2018

Part 2 of Day 5 @ Sun Moon Lake - Alishan
1) Fenchihu (奋起湖)
2) Eryanping Trail (二延平步道)
3) Dinner @ 云瀑谷

12:30pm - We spent our afternoon exploring Fenchihu/Fenqihu (奋起湖). The quaint village felt a little like Jiufen (九份) and no wonder it is also commonly known as Jiufen in Alishan. Located in the Chiayi County, and standing at an altitude of about 1,403 meters, Fengchihu is famous for its old street, bento box and square bamboos. Despite its name, there is actually no lake in the area. In Taiwanese local dialect, [湖] meant low-lying land. Surrounded by mountains on the East, West and North, the low-lying area lies in the South.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Sushi House @ City Square Johor Bahru

It has been awhile since we drop by City Square Johor Bahru as off late we have been mainly shopping at Mount Austin, Tebrau or Sutera areas. Pretty refreshing to be back to see some of the newer shops and the current ones.

Sushi House with several outlets across Johor Bahru (e.g. Bukit Indah, Johor Jaya etc) finally had its grand opening in City Square Johor Bahru earlier this February. We chanced upon the Japanese restaurant at level 4 of the shopping mall and walked in for lunch.

We LOVE salmon sushi/sashimi and occasionally we will pamper ourselves to a sushi plate whenever we can. Salmon Sushi Lovers (RM18.80) - fit us perfectly as each salmon sushi has different topping.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 5 - Alishan (阿里山) | Toushe Reservoir 頭社水庫| Chiayi Turkey Rice | 天长地久吊桥 | Xiding Lookout Point

5 December 2018

8am - We checked out of Blue Sky Bay B&B (Sun Moon Lake) and will be continuing our journey to Alishan. Prior to that, we stopped by Toushe Reservoir (頭社水庫), a beautiful nature spot in Sun Moon Lake.

Part 1 of Day 5 @ Sun Moon Lake - Alishan
1) Toushe Reservoir (頭社水庫)
2) Chia'yi Turkey Rice (嘉義火雞肉飯)
3) Tianchangdijiu Suspe (天长地久吊桥)
4) Xiding Lookout Point

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Where to stay in Tainan (台南) - Tainan Fushin Hotel (台南富信大飯店)

Tainan Fushin Hotel,台南富信大飯店)
Date of Stay : 7 - 8 December 2018

There are many accommodation options in Tainan but we decided to go for FUSHIN HOTEL Tainan. Not the cheapest option but rather what was available then which is most convenient that suit our needs.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Where to stay in Alishan (阿里山) - David's House (茶米屋)

Finding a place to stay in Alishan was one of the most difficult task in our 2 weeks family trip to Taiwan. Just googling for an accommodation in Alishan itself is extremely confusing for first timer like myself (because the area is huge!). It really depends on what you plan to do at Alishan to then determine where you would like to stay.

There are Five Wonders of Alishan (阿里山五奇) and we would love to experience them all on our trip.
  1. Alishan Forest Railway (铁路)
  2. Forest Trail  (森林)
  3. Sunrise (日出)
  4. Sunset (晚霞)
  5. Sea of Clouds (云海)

I shortlisted three main areas around Alishan that we could consider.
- Alishan Forest Recreation Area (阿里山国家森林游乐区)
- Fenchihu/Fenqihu (奋起湖)
- Xiding (隙顶)

Hotels inside the Alishan Forest Recreation Area is the most convenient option as it saves you the hassle of taking a ride up to the mountains to catch the sunrise or tour. However, it also means you will need to pay a little more and some of the hotels appeared old and not very well-maintained.

There are also many minsu - 民宿 (homestay) at the outskirts of the National Park.  I was mainly looking at Fengchihu (奋起湖) and Xiding (隙顶) because Fenchihu is a nostalgic town surrounded by many small eateries and shops. Xiding on the other hand is further from Alishan National Park but it is close to Eryanping trail where many photographers travel down to try their luck to catch the sea of clouds (云海).

After reading through many reviews online and much considerations between price, location, comfort and experience, we decided to go for Homestay - David's House (茶米屋) at Xiding (隙顶).

We actually paid a higher price for the room (~SGD235 per night). With this price, you can actually find an accommodation within the Alishan Forest Recreation Area and save a lot of time on travelling. Still, we found charm in David's House that prompted us to stay for 2 nights without regrets.

Date of Stay : 5 - 6 December 2018

We arrived slightly earlier at around 2pm on Day 5 of our trip via a chartered car. For family travelers with luggage, this is the most convenient option. We were warmly welcomed by our host who led us to our room which is inside a little yellow house across the road. 

David's House (茶米屋) - Main receiving area and where stay-in guests have their breakfast. Bus stop is located just outside of the homestay.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Milk Tea Paradise in Taman Mount Austin [JB]

The craze and love for milk tea/bubble tea is on a rise and many shops have become very innovative not only in terms of the flavour but also in their packaging. It is amazing that in just a couple of months, dozens of tea/beverage shops has opened in Taman Mount Austin (Johor Bahru), and you will be spoilt for choice! We have tried most of them and here is a running list of what milk tea shops you can find there.

1. Libertea (自由軒)
Address: No 6, Jalan Austin Heights 8/7, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru

I actually love the rich and fragrant milky flavour of the formulated tea from Taiwan. With a mixture of dried fruit, it is blended into the tea fragrance. A taste that brought us back to revisit again.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

How to get to R&F Mall from Johor Bahru CIQ by foot

R&F Mall had its first soft opening on 28 March 2019 but there is no rush to visit as many of the shop space remains empty and some are under renovations. It will probably take a couple of months more before we see some vibrancy and crowd coming in.


We were on a day trip to Johor Bahru and thought of exploring the new mall since we had a couple of hours to spare. R&F Mall is very near to CIQ Checkpoint and if you are driving, it probably only take 2-3 minutes after clearing the JB custom.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 4 - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) | Ita Thao | Sun Moon Lake Ropeway | Wenwu Temple

4 December 2018

After spending our morning cycling and climbing to the top of Ci'En Pagoda, we were extremely hungry. The best place to be if you are looking for dining options has to be at Ita Thao (伊达邵) !

Part 3 of Day 4 @ Sun Moon Lake
1) Ferry ride to Ita Thao Pier (伊达邵码头)
2) Ita Thao Shopping Street
3) Sun Moon Lake Ropeway 
4) Wenwu Temple (日月潭文武庙)

2:30pm - After alighting from Ita Thao Pier, you will see Ita Thao Visitor Center, with the shape of a boat, straight ahead.

Monday, April 29, 2019

2D1N Staff Retreat at Bintan Spa Villa Beach Resort - Day 2

Day 2 into our 2D1N Bintan Spa Villa Beach Resort Staff Retreat.

5:30am - I woke up at 5am attempting to catch the sun rise with some of my colleagues. The sky and waters were deep blue and it looks just as pretty.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

2D1N Staff Retreat at Bintan Spa Villa Beach Resort - Day 1

It was my first trip to Bintan, and our first departmental staff retreat overseas with my lovely colleagues. Was looking forward to the trip to have some 'me' time, to enjoy the food, the sun, and the beach. The last time I took a ferry to Batam was 9 years ago and ever since then I have not been to the islands of Indonesia.

6am - I arrived a little too early at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Thankfully Killiney Kopitiam is opened from 6am to 8pm, hence we can sit in for breakfast before sailing off.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 4 - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) | Ferry Ride | Qinglong Mountain Trail | Ci'En Pagoda

4 December 2018

I think we were very ambitious to try to complete what we would like to do in Sun Moon Lake in ONE day. It is amazing how well it turns out to be when we looked back. The lovely weather definitely helped us through our walks and rides.

Part 2 of Day 4 @ Sun Moon Lake
1) Boat Ride from Shuishe to XuanGuang Pier
2) Ah Ma Tea Leaf Egg (金盆阿嬷香菇茶葉蛋)
3) Qing Long Mountain Trail (青龙山步道)
4) Ci'en Pagoda Hiking Trail (慈恩塔步道)
5) Ci'en Pagoda (慈恩塔)
6) Xuanzang Temple (玄奘寺)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A&W Root Beer & Waffle @ Paradigm Mall [JB]

A&W - a taste I remember fondly through my growing years. It was quite sad to see the American fast-food chain pull out of Singapore back in 2003, but am happy to see it coming back strong at Jewel Changi Airport. Long queues were formed since its opening with news stating at least a 2 hours wait for your orders. This phenomenon may take a few more weeks or months to wind down, hence in the meantime, if you are craving for curly fries, root beer float, burger or waffle ice-cream, you may want to consider checking out the A&W outlet in Paradigm Mall (Johor Bahru) if you are already traveling there for a staycation.

Still remember A&W's mascot? Rooty the Root Bear in his bright orange top to welcome its guests.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Breakfast at Gerai MFR - Bukit Chagar [JB]

Many times to avoid the jam on the causeway, we will start driving in as early as 5ish in the morning. Crossing the custom and reaching Johor Bahru before 7am is a norm. Thankfully there are a few shops already opened for breakfast to fill our empty stomach.

Near to JB CIQ is a stall selling delicious roti prata and nasi lemak. We have been there once in 2013 and it has been so many years since we re-visited! We often drive pass this stall on our drive back to Singapore but did not stop by. Not too sure if Gerai MFR is the name of the stall but it seems to be more commonly known as Roti Prata at Bukit Chagar. You won't miss the big yellow signboard and long queues started to form in the early mornings as well as during lunch hours.

We arrived at 6:40am and the owners of the stall are still kneading the prata dough and making preparations to start the day.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Cheotnun Korean Dessert Cafe @ JP Perdana [JB]

Singapore or Malaysia... weather is really HOT all year round. Hence, we really enjoy having a cooling dessert in between our meals. Cheotnun Korean Dessert Cafe (2nd outlet) was opened in JP Perdana in the 3rd quarter of 2018. The other shop is in Kim Teng Park which is much further ahead from City Square JB. Both outlets seems a little inconvenient to get to and its easier to take a cab/grab to get to both outlets.

Cheotnun Korean Dessert Cafe (JP Branch)