This Blog is Over



I just wanted to post a quick entry to say that this blog is over. I closed all of my blog entries a few weeks ago but I've been getting emails and messages from well-meaning strangers who want to refer to my travel and renovation entries for their own research. In hopes that those entries will indeed be useful for others, I will keep them up.

I also have had requests to re-open my wedding blog but personally I feel it is way past its prime and it really wouldn't be useful to current brides-to-be. My planning and research was from 2012/2013 and most of the information would have expired/changed. Heck, my perspectives on wedding planning might have even changed. And there are so many new and improved vendors now! I'm sure there are other bride bloggers who are more current and can share better information now (not that I know any, I'm so out of loop already)

So I guess this is it for Hello Khronicles. So long and goodbye!


We're Going to Kyoto & Osaka!

I belum officially blog about where we're going for our next trip but if you're observant or kaypoh (choose yourself k hahaha) you would've noticed my countdown counter and know that we're going back to.............................


.......................... JAPAN!!!!!!!!!! 

Omg like finally laaaaa after talking about returning to Japan for ages! If you've read my entries about our Tokyo trip last year (here), you'd know that both of us fell in love so hard with Tokyo, Japan (the food, the people, the culture, everything) and we've been yearning and aching to return to their land ever since. We're skipping Tokyo this time round though, and heading to Kyoto and Osaka in hopes that they will awe and inspire us as much as Tokyo did.

  

So far, we've already booked the two main things for any holiday - flights (we decided on SQ) and accommodation in Kyoto and Osaka (we're still sticking to hotels via Agoda). We also have a rough itinerary planned out but as always, we're still on a lookout for possible things to do and places to see - tips and recommendations are welcome!

And can you guys believe it - this upcoming trip will be in celebration of our 4th wedding anniversary! FOURTH! It still feels so surreal, you know, Saliheen and I always feel like we've only just gotten married recently but at the same time it feels like we've been together forever??? Like, we struggle to remember that we've been in relationships with other people before but at the same time it's difficult to comprehend the idea that we've been together long enough that if our relationship was a person, he/she would be halfway through primary school education already haha. Does that even make sense??? I'm sure there are other couples who feel the same as us and understand what I mean.

We were together for 5 years before we got hitched which means we've been hitting it up with each other (hehe) for NINE YEARS. 9!!! For someone umm experimental like me whose longest relationship before this was 1 year and 3 months (hahaha), happily and willingly spending 9 years with the same person sounds like a pretty cool thing.

Tapi tau apa lagi cool tak?

The weather in Japan when we head there this coming November. HEHEHEHE.

Birthday in Bangkok (Part 3 of 3)

Voila! Here's my third and final blog entry on my recent Bangkok trip! You can click here for part 1 and click here for part 2 then come back for this entry - gonna blog about the few markets we managed to visit during the trip.

Palladium Night Market

A pretty generic Thai night market selling mostly fashion stuff like tops, bottoms, bags, shoes, accessories, etc. Didn't spend much time here because space was very cramped + it was hot so it can get you sweaty (me) and cranky (Saliheen) in a matter of minutes. It's located next to our hotel though so it was a quick cross over the bridge + it was convenient for us because it is right next to our next destination, which was the Talad Neon Night Market. 

Talad Neon Night Market

I really like Talad Neon Night Market, but I think it's because it's just 5 minutes walk from our hotel so made it feel worthwhile? It wasn't very crowded and the spaces in between booths were much bigger than the other night markets we went to (i.e. Palladium and New Roi Fad Ratchada) so that's probably why I was very at ease walking around this market. Might also be because I scored plus-sized purchases here!!!!!

Funny story - we were just walking around, minding our own business, me sipping on my cup of iced milk tea, when Saliheen nudged me and I caught sight of this cute wrinkly old woman excitedly beckoning me over. I immediately knew why she was excited to see me because the minute our eyes locked, she started puffing up her cheeks and repeatedly shaped her arms into a large slightly unconnected 'O' in front of her body - which basically meant she was trying to tell me that she sells clothes for fat people like me HAHAHAHAHA

Other people might have been offended or affected by this but NOT ME, NAH-UH. My fat little heart started racing because I became as excited as she was!!!!! I knew she was going to be my person that night, and that I was going to burn some serious baht on her. Pretty much me skipping over to her stall in a gif:


Bought some kaftans and comfy Thai casual pants from her stall - you know those puffy loose pants with elephant or flower motifs on them? I know la you can find those everywhere in Bangkok but don't eksyen ah when you've never been in my shoes (or in my Thai comfy pants in this instance) OK?!?!?! Do you know how goddamn hard it is for plus size people like me to fit into those damn pants????? Their "free size" always tipu one!!!!!!!!!!!!! Always ketat kat pantat or challenging kat peha, sneeze satu kali je dah koyak seribu wtf

Which is why I was so freaking happy when the old woman seller showed me that her barang barang jualan were for larger people!!!! She had sizes up till XXL (which was the size I got) and they are comfy af. I get to lounge and stretch in them without the seams ripping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God bless her and her kind little heart for stocking up on larger sizes for people like me. May her business prosper forever!!!!!

I can't remember where her stall is located specifically in Talad Neon night market but it's somewhere closer to the area where Palladium Mall/Berkeley Hotel is. And the old woman is deaf and mute, so she communicated through grand gestures and a laminated piece of "menu" showing the sizes and prices of items in her stall. Everything is negotiable if you buy more than 1 piece! And all back and forth negotiation are done by punching numbers into her calculator hehe.

New Roi Fad Ratchada

I wanted to go to the NEW Roi Fad Ratchada night market because it is nearer (15 minutes drive away from Amari Watergate Hotel without traffic) and much more accessible than the original Roi Fad night market which is half an hour away (without traffic). Maklum la, sejak dah tua ni, convenience is key.

[Mini rant before I talk about the market:- Can you believe it, we got ripped off by a taxi driver when we wanted to go to this night market seh! A trip that should have been 100 baht (S$4.00) became 500 baht (S$20.00)! Saliheen and I generally don't mind if drivers jack up the price a bit because we personally feel 100 baht for a 15 minute drive is ridiculously cheap and kesian jugak la the drivers have to rempuh so much for so little money. But agak agak la wei! Kalau 200 ke 300 baht kita masih boleh terima but he had the cheek to jack up price sampai 5 kali ganda.

Too malas to share how it happened la, anyway we comforted ourselves by hoping the money will be spent for a good cause; maybe he no money to pay for his children's milk and pampers ke, kena pay hefty medical fees for his sick parents ke apa ke. Tapi try pikir baik pun we were still scarred by it la... serik! Refused to board any taxis after that and travelled by Uber only - most of our trips were 100 baht, but we topped up additional 100 baht as tip whenever possible. The only downside of Uber in Bangkok is that they always arrive later than estimated time because of the city's heavy traffic. But it's ok la. We'd rather wait and pay for someone who wants to earn a honest living.]

Anyway! Tak nak cakap benda yang dah lepas lagi la. Arrived at the night market and was surprised - I expected something quiet and chill like Talad Neon but this one had a very different vibe! It's very vibrant and damn happening, there is live singing and music blasting from nearby pubs, a whole lot more human traffic and closely packed apparel and makan stalls. Got halal stall selling yummy barbecued meat and fishballs/meatballs too! Worth a trip if you have the time. Didn't buy anything else other than food here though, takde kedai baju plus size kat sini ah geng hahaha.


Some additional snaps from my IG stories:

  
  

Disclaimer: We didn't eat the fried insects la. ObviouslyKan takde MUIS halal cert HAHAHA K BAI

Chatuchak Market


What is a Bangkok trip without Chatuchak Market????? Although if we return to Bangkok in the near future I'll probably skip Chatuchak Market kalau tak cukup time heh. Not because there is anything wrong with Chatuchak Market la, I just want to try out other places in Bangkok (like a floating market) which are also only available during weekends. Anyway, their barang barang more or less the same as other markets, cuma you can browse through more shops since the  market is massive + if you come here you get to try out halal Thai food from a restaurant called Saman Islam - it's located next to the clock tower, somewhere in the middle of Chatuchak Market.


Saliheen finds their popular beef noodles biasa biasa aje but I quite like it! Then again I'm a hantu beef noodles so it can taste like air letak garam and I will probably still think it's very nice hahahaha. Sorry kalau mengugat your iman with food pictures during bulan puasa! I assume if you're an orang dewasa yang beriman you should be able to take gambar makanan during fasting la kan ☺

Very happy with this Bangkok trip because we got to do some shopping and relaxation, spend quality time with each other and celebrate myself turning 30! Ramadhan is going to fall during the month of May for the next few years so these annual birthday trips will probably take a backseat but that's perfectly fine with me - I'm very grateful for all of the birthday trips that Saliheen has brought me on for the past few years + I know I'll enjoy celebrating life wherever Saliheen brings me, even if it is in our own cosy bedroom in Tampines. Got aircon and katil empuk! Tinggal nak convince dia pasang TV and mini fridge je dalam bilik HAHAHAHA

Dengan itu, sekian terima kasih and selamat berpuasa wahai insan yang beriman!

Birthday in Bangkok (Part 2 of 3)

Sawadeeka! Ok I tak nak waste any more time so I'll just continue on from my first entry ok - listing down the places we visited, the stuff we did and the food we ate whilst in Bangkok in this entry.

Platinum Mall / Pratunam Market

Can I very loudly and very obnoxiously declare that I loooveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Platinum Mall now?!?!?!!! 

When we were in Bangkok in 2009, I had limited choices even though I was a UK12 (UK10 on days when I'm delusional and/or eat less cake hahaha) back then. Didn't expect to do much shopping this time round because of that - thought I'll just pick up some accessories for work and raya, a casual sling bag and maybe a couple of shoes.

I WAS SO PLEASANTLY SURPRISED TO BE SO WRONG!

Turns out a couple of plus-sized shops have sprung up in Platinum Mall and around Pratunam market area over the years so I scored quite a decent bundle of new tops, dresses and pants for work and play. If you're hoping to do the same, check out level 3 of Platinum Mall (I went to the other levels but didn't see any plus-sized fashion shops) and a couple of shops in Pratunam market area (I scored 3 pieces of stylish patterned black work pants at S$4.00 each at one of the stalls thank you GOD!) Some snaps from my IG stories:

  

Actually kan, I Googled for plus size shopping before we went for our trip tau and read about this mall called the Krung Thong Plaza but I wasn't sure of the fashion styles it offered and couldn't be bothered to find reviews online so I didn't seriously consider it. REGRETS! While I was there, someone very kindly left a comment on my IG stories, telling me there is a "shopping mall next to Platinum Mall" that offers plus size fashion! Then Saliheen's colleague also told him there is such a shopping mall so I assume she's talking about the same mall haizzzzz... Guess I have a new place to check out when we return to Bangkok next time (And there will be a next time)


There are 2 halal food stalls in Platinum Mall's food court so don't worry ok you won't kebulur kat situ. We also ate dinner mostly at Pratunam area, there are a couple of halal stalls selling authentic Thai food! Waited so long to have some good authentic Thai food and they're all sooooooooooooooooo good!!!!! Air liur jatuh berderai boi. 

Too lazy to list down all the halal makan places (relaxing trip terbawak bawak ke blog entry hahahaha) but there are so many resources online that you can Google for - here are some of the articles/lists I read before our trip: Bangkok Halal Food Guide by Aroimakmak10 Must Try Thai Street Eats by Have Halal Will Travel10 Must Visit Restaurants in Bangkok by Tripzilla, and Guide to Halal Restaurants in Thailand by Halal Living Thailand


Oh, tapi nasib macam kentang sebab the highly raved Tomyam Paa Nga was closed the whole freaking week we were there! I will come back for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Number One Massage

I did a quick search online and found that there was a row of massage parlours about 10 minutes walk from our hotel - chose to patronize Number One Massage since it has positive reviews. They were having "happy hour" (9.00am to 7.00pm, lama betul dorang nya happy "hour" haha) when we arrived so we paid about 200 baht for 1 hour traditional Thai massage. The massages we got weren't bad bad but it wasn't the best massage we've gotten either la so we'll probably try another massage parlour next time for funsies and hope to get better masseuses.

 

Side note: I usually looooove going for those long 3 to 4-hours scrub, wrap, head and body massage packages but ever since I was diagnosed with psoriasis a year and a half ago, I've been feeling a little conscious/wary of going for anything that might aggravate existing patches / trigger new patches. And so malas to explain to staff what the condition is, especially if they don't understand English well. I guess I'll just go for those big chain massage parlours with English speaking staff + explain it to them via email beforehand, if I really want to get back into extensive spa packages. Also, I've been wanting to blog about living with psoriasis but macam tak pernah ada kesempatan! Next time I cerita ok.

A&W at Pantip Plaza


One of the places that I knew I had to return to when we go back to Bangkok was the A&W at Pantip Plaza!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had their piping hot buttery waffles, a cold and refreshing glass of root beer with their glorious vanilla ice cream and yummy curly fries. To this HOUR, I still regret not going back for a second round ok!!!!!

I'm still bitter A&W is no longer in Singapore by the way, dulu when I was still a child, my mum would always bring me to the A&W outlet in Bedok during weekdays for breakfast, just me and her (eventually with my sister when she peskily came along). My love for A&W runs long and deep ok! 😭

Central World

Central World is a mega shopping mall which is less than 10 minutes walk away from Amari Watergate Hotel but we ended up taking an Uber over because it was raining heavily when we wanted to go hahahaha the ride cost us 40 baht wtf. We ended up buying souveniers for our family and friends here because there's a huge Central Food Hall selling nicely packaged durian chips and thai milk tea powder tins on the 7th floor. Also got soaps with loofahs!




Thought of checking out After You dessert cafe next to the food hall but there was a constant long queue during our time in Central World so ain't nobody got time for that. Jalan jalan for awhile, bought some stuff then we walked back to our hotel (since dah tak hujan) before going for dinner. 

We initially wanted to buy souveniers from the much raved Big C Supermarket opposite Central World tau but it turned out to be the biggest MISTAKE EVER! It was like a bloodbath in there siak. Everyone was pushing everything everywhere, people were grabbing stuff and throwing stuff and shouting across aisles etc etc we got so annoyed and so overwhelmed that we immediately abandoned niat nak beli barang kat situ and walked back to Central Food Hall to have a much more peaceful time selecting stuff to bring home. Lesson learned!

Ok I think this entry is long enough already so I'm putting a stop to it di sini! Next and final entry will be about the markets that we went to during our Bangkok trip pulak. Orang lain sebok bercerita pasal bazaar Ramadhan kat Singapore bulan ni, aku pulak busy nak story pasal markets kat Bangkok.

Birthday in Bangkok (Part 1 of 3)

Back from celebrating my birthday in Bangkok!

And not just any birthday, mind you, it was my 30TH BIRTHDAY OK!!!!! It feels damn surreal knowing I'm now a 30 year old woman and can no longer say I'm in my 20s but you know what??? I'm perfectly ok with that 😊

I'll share my thoughts on turning thirty in another blog entry but for now let me blog about our trip to Bangkok last month - actually the main reason why we went to Bangkok was for Saliheen to get his work shirts tailored la. Kebetulan my birthday was coming up so we thought ok la why not we go in May #afterthought #kesian #dahtuaginiah 😅


Chocolate mousse  birthday cake from Amari Watergate Hotel, where we stayed in Bangkok! 

(I didn't tell the hotel it was my birthday but I guess hotels have a system in place to know which guests are celebrating their birthdays. St Regis Moscow did the same thing for my birthday last year, although I'll forever remember that they addressed me as Mrs Binte Abdul hahaha asal boleh tembak je #dorangdahbiasatembaksembarang #eh???)

Saliheen and I agreed that this trip was going to be relaxing - which means no sightseeing, just makan makan and jalan jalan around our hotel area in Pratunam. The only 2 locations which were further away were Chatchutak Market and the New Roi Fad Ratchada night market, both of which I wanted to check out. We also agreed not to record footage for a travel video since it's just a short lepak holiday in Bangkok, although I did document our days there on my IG stories.

Thai Airways Flight

Considered Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways for our flight but the latter had better timings + cheaper fare so it was an easy decision. Flight was uneventful but the aircraft we got from Singapore to Bangkok wasn't very shiok - it was an old aircraft (Boeing 747-400) so it was hot and stuffy and had an old entertainment system with grainy monitor quality. Our flight back to Singapore was better! It was a newer, more comfortable aircraft (Boeing 777-200/300) with better air-conditioning and an upgraded entertainment system (touch screen, clear monitor quality). 

Executive King Room @ Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok


Didn't do research on hotels because Saliheen has been to Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok with his parents before and loved it, even before it underwent its recent major renovation. We booked an Executive King Room (something special to cushion the reality of turning thirty hahahaha) and it comes with breakfast, executive lounge access, a lovely little bathroom (which comes with a sliding door next to the bathtub that opens up to the bedroom) and a cosy king bed with damn luxurious sheets!!!!! I loved the room and the bed so much, I don't think we'll bother considering other hotels when we return to Bangkok in the future. Hehe.

Far cry from the small dingy hotel we stayed at back in 2009, which was First House Hotel! Their rooms look nicely refurbished now la but back then our room looked like something out of a Thai horror story set hahaha) We were a young couple with limited budget (he was a 25-year-old university student, I was a 22-year-old fresh poly graduate only a few months into my first job) and a S$40-per-night hotel was all that we could afford hehe. It was a running theme for Saliheen and I in Bangkok as we kept comparing our first trip vs this trip - we reminisced about how young and broke we used to be, how we had to "rough" it out with what little dollars and cents we had... makes us appreciate the little perks we can afford to enjoy now and realize how far we've come in life as a couple! Such great memories, you guys 😍

Service: Stellar service from their always smiling and obliging staff! Since we booked an executive room, we didn't have to wait at the main lobby for our check-in and we were quickly ushered to the executive floor reception upon our arrival. We were served with welcome drinks and hot towels and we got to hang out at the executive lounge (with a lovely city view from the 33rd floor) while waiting for the staff to process our check-in.

Breakfast: Another perk of booking an executive room was having the choice to either go to the main promenade (where all guests can go, regardless of room type) or the executive lounge for breakfast. We tried out the main promenade on one of the days (they serve halal meats yo) but we got irritated by people rushing and shoving to get their food (10 years never eat is it?????) and got so turned off by a silly argument that broke out between an Indian family and a Filipino family over seats next to our table that we decided to stick to breakfast at the executive lounge for the rest of the days. Smaller selection but at least it's quieter, intimate and it's always nice to have a meal with a beautiful city view.

 


Executive Lounge: I loved the executive lounge to death!!!!! Besides being able to have breakfast in peace, we helped ourselves to the free flow drinks and snacks in the lounge during happy hour (5.00pm to 7.00pm). It especially helped when we were feeling peckish but it was not yet time to leave the hotel to go hunt for dinner.

 


Accessibility: Amari Watergate Hotel is very close to all of the places we wanted to go; Pratunam Market, Platinum Mall, Central World, Palladium Mall, Talad Neon night market, massage parlour alleys, etc, so we found it suuuuuper accessible!  The only downside is that because it is located right smack in Pratunam, the traffic leading towards the hotel was quite bad. But still not as bad as Jakarta's la so we didn't mind it much.


Newman Exclusive

Another reason why we chose to stay in Amari Watergate - it is where Saliheen's usual tailor is located! They're called Newman Exclusive and their shop is on the 2nd floor of the hotel. There are a few tailor shops on the 2nd floor of the hotel la actually but Saliheen has been tailoring his work shirts with Newman Exclusive for a couple of years and really likes their service and workmanship so this was a no brainer. Makes everything very ringkas too! Just need to turun naik lift whenever he had to go to the shop for fitting and collection.


Usually their owner Sam will email his regular customers on when he will be coming to Singapore, bring along some fabric samples, book a hotel room during the visit period, take measurements and orders from customers then he will ship the finished orders from Bangkok to Singapore a few weeks later. That's how Saliheen would usually get his shirts done with Newman Exclusive but he's been wanting to turun kedai to look, see and feel the whole range of fabrics available in-store + he can get his orders within the weekend, which explains this trip to Bangkok. Heh.

Great experience as always, we didn't get to see Sam unfotunately but was served by his staff who was just as hospitable and called Saliheen "the easiest customer ever" HAHAHAHA apa ke tidak, dude only tailors plain white, navy and black shirts and in the same design! Plain buttons, no collar or cuff patterns and one breast pocket. Satu kali borong 20 pieces (mix of shirts and pants). Oh, they're pretty affordable too! Total cost averaged out to about S$45 per piece.

But enough about Saliheen and his boring tailored shirts and pants, kita kat Bangkok ni and it should be about yummy Thai food! And massages! And night markets! And shopping! Unfortunately I've rambled on for far too long for this blog entry (as always) and I need to take a break. Sit tight you guys, I promise I'll be baht.