Singapore reminds me of Canberra in certain ways at the moment. Quiet, clean, green and a little bit boring…or so I though! I arrived on the 1st of May which was a public holiday so it was much quieter than usual as some of the locals go on a short, well deserved trip. Changi Airport is one of the most beautiful airports I have ever seen but this time I walked straight out to a taxi and headed onwards to the hotel for a much needed nap!
Below is the Buddah Tooth Relic Temple and Museum which I will need to check out later this week!
Tooth Relic Temple in Singapore
Arriving at the hotel and checking the time I realize that it’s still very early so my room may not be ready (which it wasn’t) so I reflected back on my previous trips here and remembered that there is a Cat Cafe near by!! For me that beats a nap any day!
It was nice to be the only one there to sit quietly and read while eating a fish toastie and a cold iced tea. I felt a bit rude eating around them as they stared at it with longing but when they realized that I’m not allowed to share one of them gave me the cold shoulder and had a nap while the other decided to sniff my handbag (probably still has the scent of my cats back home).
I checked in early in the afternoon and had a nap for an hour or two then had the urge to get out and see the sights. This isn’t my first trip here so you won’t see pictures from the Flyer or Marina Bay Sands but I did go to the gardens which was packed! It was really refreshing being around so much greenery and finding some secluded spots along hidden paths made it much more enjoyable.
On my way back I decided to check out the Riverside as for some reason the last two times here I never made the effort. It was absolutely beautiful being able to walk around the river while taking in the sights and smells of the abundance of restaurants, belly dancing, and beautiful twinkling lights.
This morning I had a bit of a sleep in (8.30am!) and went across the road to have some amazing soba with salad, a broccoli soup and veggie juice knowing full well I was due to hit the gym after (and each day after this) to start working off the tasty yet evil foods I have been eating lol!!
To those who have been reading my little blogs, hello!
I am currently in Kuala Lumpur which is experiencing pretty warm weather (nothing compared to Thailand!) then rainy weather in the afternoons. It’s a taste of things to come for the following week in Singapore and then back home to cold, miserable Canberra. Don’t get me wrong, Canberra is a beautiful city! The cold and me just don’t mix well is all. Makes for a lazy and mopey Zoe.
Bangkok was an awesome city that I cannot wait to experience again. I really loved the mix of old and new, greenery and concrete.
Like Pattaya, it had a sort of chaotic calmness to it which I enjoyed a great deal. I did find that staying in the heat for too long made me feel very sleepy so I was thankful for the abundance of shopping malls to retire in to. The most interesting one would’ve had to be MBK. After catching the Sky Train there, which was super convenient, there is an exit directly in to the mall. The outer edges have your normal types of chain stores but throughout the middle and on certain floors it is full of these cramped stores or stalls bursting with bags, shoes, electronics, and other oddities. I found that there is a big copy brand culture here and to be honest some of them looked extremely close to the real thing! I tried on some shoes which was hilarious as I am a size 41 on average. Trying on a pair of heels with a very enthusiastic shop keeping trying to zip them up to prove they fit while my toes ached was definitely a sight to see. Zoe the big-footed giant! I did manage to find some gorgeous floor length dresses which was surprising. After shopping I had a nice relaxing evening with a face mask I bought while in HK. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
I had a very early flight to KL and took a taxi to the airport at 3.30am. I had never experienced a taxi driver fall asleep and swerve all over the road while trying to get me there so I found myself trying to communicate and give him some words of encouragement to keep him awake! I think that helped me stay awake for the remainder of the trip, lol!
I took the train from KLIA to Sentral and then had a lovely driver from there to my hotel. He was very informative and explained what many of the building where on the way which was really lovely.
Being back in KL feels like a second home. The locals are wonderful, helpful, and curious which is nice! Today I ate at Madame Kwan’s which have some really awesome local and international dishes. I usually go with the Nasi Lemak but it is a massive meal so went with the Mushroom Chicken Rice and a cold Iced Lemon Tea which is served with a side of sugar. I’m going to miss this place…
Nothing could have prepared me for how hot it was in Thailand. I was very excited for the warm weather after miserable HK but wow…I’m just thankful the car ride was air conditioned and windows tinted. That evening was spend at my good friends house relaxing in the pool, drinking beer and a trip to the markets for some amazing ribs and prawns.
Songkran Water Festival in Bangkok
Yesterday was the big party day for Songkran in Pattaya. Walking around the streets, even outside of the city, you’d get adorable kids and the local Thai people blessing you with water and powder which is used for extending a blessing long after your clothes dry in the heat After trying to eat an amazing kebab while being attacked with water we took an open back taxi to the main city of Pattaya while people on the road side splashed us and other motorists. It was always fun hearing people squeal when the water was particularly icy!!
Walking around on the streets during this time was an amazing experience. People dressed up in all sorts of masks and costumes “gunning” down others with their water guns and smearing clay on each other while people danced with wild abandon. My friend and I agreed that most westerners take it a bit far by shooting you in the face which isn’t exactly cool and can really hurt. I think being a pale, tall, blonde, and female really turns you in to a target so we were drenched and our face, neck, ears, chest, and shoulders smeared with clay. Thankfully being splashed helps to wash it away long enough for it to be reapplied in 2 seconds. On our journey down the packed street we bought a cocktail each which consisted of blended fruit, ice, and at least 3 shots of tequila which is great for putting you in the mood for dancing. I was unable to take any photos of the massive festivities for fear of my phone being destroyed but, if you have never been, I’d suggest checking out some videos on Youtube.
To get the latest on Zoe and her tour dates head on over to this one-of-a-kind woman’s Profile Page.
Its been a few days since I last posted so thought its only fair to fill you in on the amazing time I’ve been having lately!
I ended up with some great company from Bianca who arrived on Saturday evening. She is such a lovely lady who shares similar life experiences which made it super easy for us to get along and to know each other.
On Sunday we went to Din Tai Fung in Causeway which was a nice 15-20 min walk past some really impressive (and enormous) designer stores. One of them had a giant hand bag above the entrance and Bianca joked about if it were actually made out of leather and how many cows it would’ve taken to do so which was hilarious.
Once at Din Tai Fung we ordered an awesome hot and sour soup between us among many dumplings and veggie dishes. My favourite was possibly the fried dumplings which were super sinful and a nice treat for the end of my stay in Hong Kong.
After stuffing ourselves silly we waddled slowly back to the hotel to rest while admiring the amount of stores and markets while having a nice chat. We would have loved to stay out longer although the combination of a full belly and bad weather means indoors watching some movies/playing games sounded like the best option.
Sunday night I got to catch up with someone I’ve known from Sydney for a while and went out for dinner and drinks at a local pub which was similar to one you’d find in Australia although with a really…interesting…food menu. I ordered the ‘German sausage’ platter and some wings which was enjoyable although not at all authentic but that’s to be expected in a pub in HK.
After a few drinks and a good feed I stumbled back to the hotel and somehow managed to drunkenly pack my suitcase which took a hilariously long 2 hours and flopped on the bed to sleep. I really cannot drink like I used to!
Monday morning was a bit of a hungover blur to be honest. After having a coffee with Bianca I waiting for the shuttle bus to Hong Kong station to drop my bags and took the airport link train.
After some breakfast and more coffee in the lounge I made my way over to the gate and mistakenly thought the pilot walking next to me was talking to me instead of the other pilot behind me. ”Oh..sorry! I thought you were talking to me” I mumbled, feeling a little embarrassed by the misunderstanding.
”I wasn’t but I’ll happily have a chat with you!” he said. He asked where I was from and where I was traveling to. Turns out he was the pilot for my flight and had a daughter who lived close by to me; small world. I wait around for boarding and up comes the pilot again. He offered to move me to business class which was incredibly sweet. I already had booked in business as a treat after the long week in Hong Kong but said thanks anyway and that it was an extremely nice gesture.
After boarding and enjoying a nice juice and water to calm my stomach, two or three people were having a massive argument in the galley behind us. It was honestly a little frightening as I had no idea what was being said or if it would escalate further. The air hostesses could understand, I think, and were trying very hard to remain professional but their efforts in trying not to laugh made me think it was either some really pathetic passengers annoyed about something or they were having a domestic fight on the flight. We ended up leaving an hour late, I’m unsure if this was due to bad weather or the fighting passengers but upon disembarking I overheard something about police coming on board and that “he” was at the back of the craft.
Well….as much as a 6’1 blonde can! The past couple of days have been interesting to say the least. Hong Kong has had some unfortunate weather as of late and I definitely paid the price with soaked shoes and pants while on my way to meet with a dear friend. Thankfully with some smarts on his side, we used a hairdryer to air them out!
Tsim Sha Tsu station can be quite tricky to navigate in a sleepy state so its important to plan ahead and actually read where the exits take you so you don’t spend time unnecessarily walking in terrible weather! Hard lessons were learnt that day haha!
I was shown the most amazing book store on Wednesday. Its called Eslite which I found funny as it’s really not ‘lite’ with, going by memory, 3 floors of books and a cafe (or two!?).
It has a dim library feel with lovely seating areas to read and just relax. It is open until 2am Thurs-Sat which is something that I will miss greatly when its time to go. I would seriously recommend it to anyone who finds they need some quiet time from the city.
Firstly, if you’re wondering what I mean by the HK waddle, being a fast walker surrounded by much shorter and slower people means I feel like a penguin. I feel like a Gentoo penguin, who is the fastest swimmer of all the diving birds, who has been forced to waddle awkwardly on land surrounded by Fairy penguins. It apparently is possibly to trip over yourself due to moving too slowly.
Guess who’s still in the hotel roooooom…? That’s right, the zombie is now trying to play video games while she falls asleep at the desk!
But seriously, I did go outside for a grand total of 15 minutes which I think is deserving of some kind of award…or cake….which is exactly what I did while buying a sim card at the nearby 7/11. What can I say? They were little and sweet and I gobbled them up. I can’t turn down sweets offered to me by lovey old ladies!
I had a nice long chat about Twitter with Sarah regarding the frequency of fights and rants which only solidifies my reasons to not make one. Writing to you guys and girls like this is much more enjoyable for me, and hopefully you too. I actually wanted to take this moment to thank Sarah for encouraging me to write a Travel Diary of sorts. She has seriously been the most empowering and supportive person from day 1, and I wasn’t exactly “Girl of the Year” when I first started. Thanks for helping me to become the confident and happy girl I am today, your patience means the world.
Okay that got really sappy. I just think she’s super and is deserving of some recognition!
ANYWAY! So I think that chat (and the sugar laden mini cakes) woke me up enough to reconsider taking a nap which is probably for the best. It’s about time I actually get my butt outside and do those things I mentioned earlier
The flight wasn’t bad. Ended up watching a movie called ”Joy” staring Jennifer Lawrence (possible my fave female actor and lady crush) as a divorced mother of two living with, and looking after, her dysfunctional family while her dreams are put on hold. Right now I am seated at Hong Kong Airport just taking it easy while I sip on my iced coffee and try to scrounge together some resemblance of a human being. I think the plan for today is to get a sim card, check in to the hotel, get a manicure…massage too, and go walking around the city for a few hours to get rid of this post flight water retention! Cankles aren’t exactly sexy on me!
Now that I have a brief moment let me update you on my day! After typing up my morning rambling (and after a couple more coffees) the worrying realisation surfaced that I needed a way to Sydney!! OMG! Thankfully I managed to book a flight getting me to Sydney at around 7pm which gave me plenty of time. I’m extremely excited for Canberra International. So long cbr-syd flights!
Next was check in at International where a lovely chatty gay man on his way to Fiji complimented my suitcase with great enthusiasm and asked about my plans. ”Oh, you know, just going shopping in Hong Kong and then going to Thailand for the first time!” I said convincingly…I think…
“NEXT!!” My head swivelled around to the lovely lady at the counter who checked me in. I enquired about extra leg room (being a tall and leggy DOES have its downsides!) and quick as a flash she calls up gosh-knows who and enquires about seating. Thankfully they have 1 seat left with extra leg room! My day has been made!!
I must leave now to scull my wine and head over to the flight. I arrive at about 5am in HK so will update as soon as I can!
The morning air is brisk unlike the deserted streets on a Sunday morning in Canberra. With a coffee in clutched hands, I stared out of my apartment at the Telstra Tower. The realisation that I will soon again be in the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong hits me! For an instant I am energized beyond belief, but that may have just been the strong coffee. I’ll keep you posted.