48 hours in Singapore

We were in Singapore for a very short time but we made the best out of it. It is definitely worth a visit. It is super clean, very modern and the food was great. Although it is quite expensive, you can have very good meals at hawker centers for about €5. 

How we moved around:

We had planned to purchase a tourist public transport card but when we asked for it at one of the metro stations we were told they didn’t sell it at that particular one. But they told us that we could also pay for each ride using our credit cards. Just blip your credit card when you go in and out of public transport. Keep in mind that you need one credit card per person. This was very handy for us. But we ended up grabbing cabs more often than public transport to save time. You can hail cabs from the streets, and shopping malls have a designated area for them. But we also downloaded the grab app which is the Asian version of Uber, but you do need to have internet for it. One thing to remember is that you cannot always pay the cab by card, so it is handy to always have enough cash with you. 

Where we stayed:

We stayed at Hotel G. We paid around €100 per night. The hotel had a great location. The room was very small but it was clean. And since we were only going to sleep there, it worked great for us. The only thing I would advise if you decide to book with them is to avoid their breakfast. Ours was already included in the price so we decided to try it out, but the food didn’t look appealing at all so we left without eating. Good thing is, there is plenty of options close to it.

Where we ate:

We had the famous kaya toast breakfast at Ya Kun Kaya Toast which was around the corner of our hotel and at Toast Box, which was just across the street. And there are also plenty of 7 eleven stores around.

If you like brown sugar boba, I recommend you try HeyTea. We went to the one located at Ion Orchard mall. There was quite a line for it but it was definitely worth the wait. We came back a second time to get our boba fix. The food at hawker centers and mall food courts is known to be good in Singapore, so give it a try. While we were at Ion Orchard mall, we also had lunch at the food court. If you are there, also try the soursop juice and sugar cane juice. 

We went to Long Beach UDMC seafood restaurant to try their famous chili and black pepper crab. They are known for having a spicier version of the chili crab which is why we came here. My favorite of the two was the black pepper crab. You pay market price per crab, ours came to about €52 per crab. It was not a cheap meal but it was delicious.

Where we took pictures:

We didn’t make it to Gardens by the Bay because of time but we did visit the colorful Peranakan houses and the Spiral staircase at Fort Canning. If you visit Fort Canning, be prepared to wait in line for a picture at the staircase. It was not very busy for us since we went early in the morning, but we still had to wait about 20 minutes to take a shot. 

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Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas and Spa by L’Occitane

 

Coming back to our trip to Thailand, from Koh Samui we took the fast ferry to the island of Ko Pha Ngan. There we stayed at Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas and Spa by L’Occitane. The resort is located on the west side of the island. It is about a 10 minute ride from Thong Sala, which is great because you can just rent a scooter and go visit the night market. The big street market is only open on Saturdays. But throughout the week, there is a smaller market which still has plenty of food stands to choose from.

We stayed at one of their Sea view pool villas. The picture below was the view from ours. The resort is small and cozy, so no need to walk a lot to use the facilities.

The beach is surrounded by a few rocks which are easier to climb on low tide (nice for pictures 😉 ).

The resort has one restaurant called the Plage. We had lunch at one of their tables in the pool. Their grilled watermelon salad was so delicious, not to mention also very pretty.
We also had a tuna & scallop tartare which was also very good. We also tried their Thai set dinner. It was already too dark to take proper pictures, but we really enjoyed their 3 course menu. And actually their deep fried pork with garlic and pepper was the best one we had during our trip. We liked it so much that we ordered the same dish at other places later on, and none were as good as the one we had here. We also had a couple’s massage at their Spa. Pieter actually fell asleep during it. So nice to just let go and relax completely. The whole staff was very friendly and attentive. We were very pleased with our stay!

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London Baby!

Pieter and I went to London for a weekend at the beginning of the month. I was super excited as it was my first time, plus I had heard so many good things about the food scene over there. And sure did we eat well. I wish we could have stayed longer. I had so many places on my excel sheet (yes, I like to be organized when I travel) but 3 days was just too short.

We stayed at a very nice Apart hotel called Leman Locke which was walking distance from the Aldgate metro station in East London.

We started off with bubble waffles at a stand called Nosteagia. The first night we walked through Leicester Square and went to Shake Shack. I’ve seen pictures of their burgers on Instagram and really wanted to try them. They were really good! The next morning we woke up very early to go to Notting Hill. I really wanted to see all the beautiful and colorful houses there. 

The most popular being on St. Luke’s Mews, where Love Actually was shot. So we walked a bit through this neighborhood and ended up having breakfast at Farm Girl. A very cozy and healthy café on Portobello Road. We had the Rose Latte, avocado roast with a poached egg and the buckwheat berry pancakes with amber maple syrup, cranberries and hibiscus. We were surprised on how fast our order came out. It was very busy on a Saturday morning and they still got our order out in no time plus our waiter was very friendly.

After that we went to Maître Choux. The shop is eye candy with all the eclairs on display. They were also delicious by the way. And the eating tour didn’t stop there. Next on the list was Dominique Ansel’s bakery. We shared one Cronut and one of their frozen S’mores. The Cronut was great but if it wasn’t because I was stuffed, I would have ordered another S’more. That chewy marshmallow with Tahitian Vanilla ice cream was heavenly!

And then it was time for lunch. We headed to Breddos tacos.

A nice taqueria in Clerkenwell. We had the Kung Pao pork belly, the sweet potato and cochinita pibil tacos. Plus an octopus tostada, queso fundido and agua frescas. Those chili sauces they give you with tortillas at the beginning were exactly my cup of tea. If you want to go, try to arrive early. By the time we were done eating there was a line outside.

After all the eating we headed towards Westminster Bridge to get a glimpse of Big Ben. After getting up so early and doing quite a lot of walking and eating, we decided to go back to the hotel to chill a bit before meeting some friends for dinner.

We met them at Rosa’s Thai Café. Both Pieter and I love Thai food. Both our friends highly recommended this place and since Punky is Thai and her husband Jeroen lived in Thailand for a while, we trusted them. And it was good! We had the calamari, salmon red curry, papaya salad, grilled spicy sausages, stir-fried aubergine and rice. Thinking about it makes me salivate. It was too dark to take pictures but we enjoyed every single dish. They have 7 locations in London so it is worth a visit. Walking back to our hotel, we stumbled across St. John. A restaurant I have been wanting to visit ever since I saw it on one of Anthony Bourdain’s show years ago. So we decided to go in for just a quick bite. I must say that I am very lucky to have a husband who enjoys eating as much as I do, and who said: “We are here now, so let’s just go in”, when I saw it. We sat at the bar, shared the pudding and the very famous roasted bone marrow with parsley salad. Well worth stretching our stomachs a bit more.

On our last day, we decided to visit Neal’s yard. The place is exploding with colors. Since we were there quite early, the shops were not open yet. But we got some nice pictures without other people which was also nice.

For breakfast we went to Caravan Restaurants (the one on Bankside).We had the kimchi pancake with pork belly, gochujang ketchup & sunny duck egg. And the salt beef brisket hash, pickled cucumber & poached eggs with hollandaise. The food and service was great.

Afterwards, we met our friend Jeroen again at Liberty London. It was great to get a little tour of the city from a local.

 

After the tour we headed to Chinatown for some ice cream. I was looking forward to trying the Taiyaki ice cream from Chinatown Bakery.

 

Afterwards we walked to Milk Train café for some more ice cream. Their soft serve ice cream comes with a cloud of cotton candy, so of course I had to try it (Thank you to Frank for the recommendation).

I had the black sesame one and it was divine! We then headed to a pub to finally sit down and have some lunch before catching our plane back to Amsterdam. A few metro stations were close and since we were worried about time, we decided to just take a cab back to the airport. Like usual I feel asleep during the ride but woke up to a pink sky close to the airport. We left with our feet hurting but with happy bellies and new memories. With a flight of under an hour from Amsterdam, I hope we can go back soon. London, you were awesome!

 

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