About Joelle Foong

I love travelling and going to concerts.

Most Beautiful Beach in the World (Boracay, Philippines Trip 2014, Day 1)

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Two years ago, this time, I was holidaying at Boracay, known to have the most beautiful beach and sunset in the world.

Although there is a direct flight flying from Singapore to Boracay from SilkAir but it just so happened that it was not available on the day we were flying. So, we flew by SilkAir from Singapore to Cebu and transited to Kalibo.

From Kalibo, we took a taxi to Tabun Caticlan Jetty Point. There are cheaper vans and buses available. As we were too excited and blur, we just hopped into the taxi available. 😛 However, some of you may really prefer taxis as the trip is a long one, stretching for about 1.5 hours to 2 hours!

The boat ride from Tabu Caticlan Jetty Point to Boracay is just about 10 to 15 minutes. We paid 30 peso for the boat ride, 75 peso for the environmental fee, and a 100 peso for the terminal fee. Here’s how a boat(Bangka) looks like.

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We booked our accommodation through Airbnb, and the caretaker came to the jetty to fetch us. Sorry, I can’t really remember the name of the place we stayed (not that fantastic in my opinion) but it is on the side of the Bulabog Beach.

After we have settled down, we walked down the slope from our accommodation to the road along Bulabog Beach to take a tricycle to D’mall where most of the tourists shop for souvenirs and have their meals. We walked along White Beach and managed to catch the sunset.

We did a bit of shopping and ate at Ole Restaurant. Ole Restaurant is a Spanish restaurant that is quite popular with the tourists. As we were pretty tired from the travelling, we went back to our accommodation to retire early on the first night.

 

Penang in 1 Day! Penang, Malaysia Trip 2014

Okay, our trip is actually a 3D2N trip. However, the flight timing is quite bad such that we only have 1 full day to tour Penang. So, we focused on what we want to do and explored Penang, Georgetown only in 1 day. It’s a bit rushed but we enjoyed it 🙂

Morning

Rise and shine! We had breakfast at SiTiGun @ 30, Jalan Nagore. It is located near our hotel, Hotel Royal Penang and has very good reviews at Tripadvisor. We like both the homemade coffee and croissants.

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After that we start our exploration by hunting down the street art on Georgetown’s streets. We went along this route:  Lebuh Chulia > Lebuh Ah Quee > Lebuh Pantai > Lebuh Armenian > Chew jetty. We didn’t take photos of some of the famous ones as there were too many people crowding near the artwork. It’s a pity! There are stalls selling souvenirs and drinks along Lebuh Armenian too. One is grateful for the drink stalls on a hot day!

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Afternoon

We bought some souvenirs at this stall near Lebuh Chulia. The lady boss told us that they can bring us to the Interactive Museum for free. We were at first skeptical but the lady boss assured us that it’s a point system that the stall owners have with the museum. If they introduce the museum to tourists and bring them there, they will earn some points. So, we agreed and true enough they did brought us there for free and we were thankful to her 🙂

We had a great time at the Interactive Museum, doing silly poses with the 3D art. I must say it’s the highlight of our trip.

After the museum, we took a cab to the Blue Mansion, aka Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. We were early as the English guided tour starts at 3:30 pm. We decided to have lunch at a nearby coffeeshop. The coffeeshop still retains the look of the 80s and we like the ambience very much.

After lunch, we walked down to the Blue Mansion and the guide gave us an interesting history lesson on the owner, Cheong Fatt Tze and his many wives, as well as the fengshui behind the architecture.

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Evening & Night

Dinner at Gurney Drive. We had the famous Char Kway Teow from Stall 71, oyster omelette (Oh lua), satay and Indian Rojak. After dinner, we wrapped off the night with a movie at Plaza Gurney.

Getaway from the Haze: Cebu, Philippines Trip 2013

June last year was a very bad month with the serious haze problem. However, my friends and I were lucky to have plan a trip to Cebu and we didn’t experience the PSI 300 ordeal.

Our Cebu trip was a rest and relax trip. We didn’t really move around much but were bumming in the nice resort that we were staying in.

DAY ONE

We checked into our hotel and were being upgraded from 2 standard rooms to a suite. We spent the day bumming in the resort and enjoying our complimentary afternoon tea before heading out to the city to enjoy grilled food at AA BBQ.

Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu

AA BBQ

DAY TWO

We spent the morning in the hotel’s SPA Delmar and shopped in the Cebu city.

SPA Delmar

Food in Cebu City

DAY THREE

We booked a day trip to swim with the whale sharks in in Oslob and spent a lazy afternoon in an island resort. We spent the night in Mövenpick’s open-air pub.

Whale Sharks in Oslob

Bumming in an Island Resort

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DAY FOUR

Home Sweet Home

Yoshino Cherry (Kansai, Japan Trip 2012, Day 17)

One of the most famous cultivated cherry blossoms in temperate countries is the Yoshino Cherry. The petals are white or light pink and the flowers grow in clusters of 5 or 6 together.

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On the last day of our hanami trip, we went to Yoshino-yama to view the white cherry blossoms at Simo-senbon, Naka-senbon, Kami-senbon and Oku-senbon. Senbon is an expression that you can view a thousand cherry trees at a glance. These cherry blossoms are viewed in chronological order starting from early April through late April. In this way, you can enjoy a beautiful cherry blossoms for a long period.

Spectacular Full Blossoms @ Osaka (Kansai, Japan Trip 2012, Day 16)

No visit to Osaka is complete without a visit to Osaka Castle. We visited the Osaka Park and Castle on our 2nd last day. Do as the Romans do in Rome, we ended our visit in Osaka with a Hanami picnic in the park. It was a simply awesome experience eating and watching the falling petals when there is a breeze.

We also went to the commercial areas around the Park after the castle visit. The area is also planted with Sakura trees and is beautiful.

Arima Onsen – When Nene Meets Hideyoshi (Kansai, Japan Trip 2012, Day 15)

Arima Onsen, needless to say, is a place full of hot springs. Arima hot springs are rare worldwide ones containing lots of minerals and natural ingredients.  There are 7 ingredients out of 9 main ingredients (simple hot spring water, carbon dioxide spring water, hydrogen carbonate spring water, chloride water, sulfate water, ferruginous water, sulfur water, acid water, and radioactive water) designated as ones to be included for medical treatment.

There are many accommodations available in Arima, one can go the high-end way, spending the nights at onsen ryokans or go the economical way, staying at the Arima No Kobo (Arima Craft Center). The accommodation is called Koyado Touji, about 9000 yen per night per twin room. With the room keys, one can go for a free dip in the 金の湯 (Kin-No-Yu) and 銀の湯 (Gin-No-Yu)。

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In Arima, you can also find 2 interesting statues looking at each other from a far. They are none other than Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his wife, Nene.

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Sight-seeing at Himeji En Route to Arima Onsen (Kansai, Japan Trip 2012, Day 14)

On this day, we did a bit of sight-seeing at Himeji while going to Arima Onsen. We managed to did a bit of shopping at Kobe too. 🙂

At Himeji, we visited the Himeji Castle (姫路城), a true survivor that was never destroyed in wars, earthquakes and fires. It has been kept in its original state for 600 over years. The cherry blossom trees around the castle was in full bloom and we took a few pictures. In the castle, one can learn about the life story of Princess Senhime (千姫).

After the castle tour, we went to Kobe Motomachi to have lunch and did a bit of shopping. We then proceeded to Arima Onsen. Arima Onsen is a famous small hot spring town whereby one can explore on foot. There are several hot spring sources, nice temples and shrines and a small hot spring museum to be discovered.

As we arrived at Arima Onsen during evening, we decided to leave sight-seeing to the next day but managed to squeezed in one last bit of shopping and sight-seeing. We bought some souvenirs, Arima senbei (highly recommended!) that were made using the carbonated hot spring water and also hopped onto a special sight-seeing bus/van to catch the “million dollar night view” of Kobe city from Mount Rokko.

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