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Friday, March 3, 2023

Emmanuel's BIG ONE at Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road

In another blink of an eye, our little Emmanuel has turned one! What a milestone, not only for himself, but also for my wife, Lydia and I - we managed to survive one year with two children! Till today, we deeply respect parents who have multiple children, how do you even balance your time and effort between your children? But that's another story for another time.
When we were planning for his party, we were torn between two choices, should we do a party and invite our friends and family? Or should we do an intimate one? Thinking that Emmanuel would be all tired and angsty (like most babies on their parties), we decided to do the latter and started to look for staycaytion places to host the small party.

After filtering lots of hotels, we settled on Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road.
Located just minutes walk from Bugis and Nicoll Highway MRT, this hotel is literally at Singapore's city center. Essentially, you are just beside to major attractions like the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands, and several shopping centres that we frequent a heck lot - Marina Square, Suntec, Bugis, etc. It's even a stone throw where we used to stay.
For other lovely alternatives (and if you have more budget for a suite), check out these staycation we had at:
Our room: Premier Suite
For a good night stay, this suite definitely fits the bill. At 45sqm, it has separate living and bedroom spaces, and even feature a full kitchen, so you can do your light cooking over here. Of course, we cannot compare the recent suite we did with Emmanuel's 100th day at JW Mariott, which is a whopping 100sqm, considering the price difference. At $380 for a weekend stay, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites was great, cozy and definitely alright for hosting less than 10 pax.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Opus Bar & Grill Review @ VOCO Orchard Singapore

Whenever our wedding anniversary draws near, I will start cracking my head to think of places to bring my wife - by now you should know she's Lady M. Places that I have not brought her to. To be fair, we covered most restaurants with a view. Last year's at Artemis, we did LeVeL33, SKAI, CÉ LA VI, Monti, Riviera.. As you see, we always do Western at Marina area for some reason. So this year after some researching and filtering, we chose Opus Bar & Grill, conveniently located at the newly refurbished VOCO Orchard - once called Hilton. For once something different.
Limbeh and Lady M 5 years already lo!

VOCO does house some fancy luxury brands, but just to set expectations right, the entrance isn't grand. Just as with a lifestyle hotel. Cosy, small, a couple of check-in counters, unlike hotels like MBS or Shangri-la. The location of Opus can be easily spotted beside the check-in counters.
Okay, first impression. Busy Friday night, most tables are filled with crowds chatting loudly away. What do you expect, it's a bar and grill. We were seated promptly, but the table beside was uncomfortably close to us (imagine less than 50cm - how I miss the COVID restrictions), so we requested for a change of table at least thrice before we got our butts nestled at a nice corner.

We got ourselves their freshly shucked oysters (half dozen, $31), which is nicely dosed with plum vinegar, soya and spring onions. The freshness and tanginess from the sauce really hit the spot. But considering one of them cost most than five bucks, I'd say they better taste good. Speaking of which, I do miss the ones we had at the oyster bar in Perth. Cheap and good.

Friday, February 17, 2023

BMW 216i Gran Tourer - The perfect family car?

One of our biggest purchase last year was a car. 

It was finally a dream come through as I sat in my new purchase. Obviously this purchase didn't came easy, so we had a heck load of research work done. Considering our family of five, including our helper, and occasionally going on family trips with the grandparents, we knew we had to get a 7-seater (although I still wished for a coupe or my favourite ah beng Lancer). However, a full-size MPV would be a hassle to drive and park, and would probably use considerably more petrol, and a SUV is probably too small for our needs.

After weeks of filtering, we narrowed down our choices to 3 models, and most importantly, according to our budget of 100k for a second-hand car.

Before landing our hands on this 216i, here's our shortlisted cars (which could be used for your reference if you're considering a family car too):

#1. Mitsubishi Outlander 2018

When it comes to getting a 7-seater, the Outlander was my initial choice. The front looks mascular and seems like it could hold itself in the event of an accident. I did a test drive but found the ride to be extremely bumpy, as if I could almost feel every unevenness of the road. Despite looking bulky from the outside, the interior was quite cramp. To be fair, the Outlander seems to have the most powerful engine amongst our shortlisted cars. Features are basic and slightly limited, but the main con to me was the super tight third row. Imagine the leg space of budget airlines and halved that. Yep.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Blessed Lunar New Year 2023

Another new year, but this time we are celebrating with not just three, but four! Now that Emmanuel is almost hitting the big one, it's amazing how time flies, but that's a story for another time. Here's wishing all a blessed lunar new year. May this year be good, no, even better than the ones that have passed. May you be blessed in so many ways that you can't imagine, in your family, relationships, finances, studies, and most importantly, health. This year will be a year of breakthroughs, just be expectant of it, 2023 here we go!

Saturday, October 1, 2022

What to do in Western Australia - TOP and BEST 15 Attractions!

Before every single trip, I love to put to-go pins on my Google Maps. Not sure if it's my personality, but I always know where am I heading to and not get lost. And this is especially important as we are bringing a screaming toddler along. Trust me, you don't want to be stuck with one inside the car for long.

I mean, if you're looking at this post means you should be heading to Australia in the near future. Look forward to it as there are so many fun things to do in Western Australia alone. This simple guide is for those who are travelling in and, mostly out of Perth. Make the most out of your trip, rent a car to explore what Western Australia got to offer!

Here are the top and best attractions of what Western Australia has to offer. For easy viewing, we have sort this list into: South of-, North of- and Central Perth. 

South of Perth

1. Stay at a farm (Margaret River)
Recommended duration: 2-3 nights stay

This made it as one of our favourite to-dos in the region of Margaret River. There are a couple of options for a farmstay, their animals differs, and some of them provide animal feedings. Your child will be so hyped just feeding the farm animals. Just a tip: Book early! These places are always fully packed.
2. Bunbury Farmer's Market (Bunbury)
Recommended duration: 1-2 hours

If you're cooking your food (which I did), this place is an ABSOLUTE HAVEN. The amount of fresh produce, vegetables, fruits, all sorts of meat is crazy. And the best thing? It's not pricey at all. Just for reference, this whole bunch of carrots (approximately 10) only costs AUD$2.50! It's so fresh you can even take a bite like this!
3. Walk the Busselton Jetty (Busselton)
Recommended duration: 1-2 hours

Hiking? How 'bout conquering the longest second boardwalk in the world? Coming in at 1.8km, it takes about 25 minutes to walk this - one way! If you're bringing kids or feeling extra touristy, there's the jetty ride operating every day. Just check the timing beforehand.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

8D7N Perth Family Road Trip Itinerary - The only guide you need for Western Australia

Ever since the border measures have been relaxed, many of our friends start to fly overseas. As frequent travelers ourselves before the whole covid situation, our butt starts to itch. We were thinking where could we go with our soon-to-be 4 year old daughter. And to be honest, Sydney was our first choice. We even started to plan the places we wanted to go. But then the air tickets become really crazy at over $1,000 per pax. So we decided to ditch that and see what other budget-friendly options were there in Australia. Perth. $700-800 on Singapore Airlines sound great. 

And thus, marks the start of our Great Western Australia Journey.

Lady M had been to Perth several years back, but missed on travelling out of Perth. So we decided to rent a car for a little road trip in Western Australia on September 2022. If you still don't know, we absolutely love road trips (still missing New Zealand and Iceland)! And this time, we will be bringing our third-wheel  daughter along. 

Trip Summary

We are going to start our trip at Perth itself, going to Rottnest Island to have our quokka selfie checked. After we collect our car, we will be travelling up north to Geraldton and Hutt Lagoon (or better known as Pink Lake), stopping at Lancelin for a sandboarding session. After which, we will be going south to Cervantes, passed by Perth, Bunbury, Busselton, and finally Margaret River, where we will have our long awaited farmstay. We will head back to Perth before flying home the following day.