Pre-wedding Korea Trip: Day 2 -Gyeongbokgung Palace & Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

First thing in morning was to grab some wrapped food from the convenience stall as we want to head out early to the Gyeongbokgung Palace before 10Am, just in time for the guard changing ceremony.

OMG…look at the crowd!

It was pretty easy to go there by subway to either Gyeongbokgung Exit 5 (Line 3) or Gwanghwamun Exit 2 (Line 5).

The guard changing ceremony:

The palace is just a beautiful place! Pictures always speak a thousand words!

I am quite intrigued by this, Not sure how it works

I saw this sun dial looking thing and I was trying to figure out the characters on the dial itself to see if I can make sense of it. Unfortunately, I am still as clueless as now.

The gardens are beautiful enough to give a nice backdrop:

We headed out of the palace to walk around the park nearby as le fiance was quite interested in flowers. He is more of a flower person than I am and kept taking pictures of the flowers while I wandered aimlessly around to read up the history of Korea and description of the statues that were located at the park itself.

It was nearly 11am when we decided to start walking to our planned lunch venue which is the famous Tosokchon (토속촌)! I am pretty kiasu so I want to go there earlier to avoid the lunch queue so we reached there about 11.30Am with no queue in sight. It was quite hilarious because we keep finding our way by expecting to see a long queue when we actually walked past it. If you are coming by subway, you can get off at Gyeongbokgung station Exit 2 (Line 3) and Walk straight about 200m before turning left onto Jahamun-ro 5-gil Road. Tosokchon will be just ahead on the left.

We ordered just the normal Ginseng chicken for both of us. And quite disappointingly, we did not feel any “wow” factor and we were wondering why is it so expensive yet so bland. After we came back to Singapore, a friend mentioned that we supposed to pour ginseng wine into the soup so that it will be delicious.

The two cups of ginseng wine that we totally missed out!

But we don’t remember any wine given to us so we looked back at the photo…to our horror, there were 2 cups of wine! We didn’t even drink it! URGH…the agony! The waitress didn’t mentioned anything either 😦 So according to my friend’s advice, pour the wine in the soup!

Next stop is to look for cherry blossoms! We went a week later than the blooming week so most of the trees were quite bare. Hence, we decided to try going to Yeongdeungpo Yeouido spring flower festival which is near National Assembly subway (Line 9) where we walked one round around the National Assembly Building.

Thankfully, there were rows of cherry blossoms that were still at their peak! Along the route, we enjoy the scenery and take pictures mainly. There are some hardcore photographers who will actually shake the tree branches to bring the petals down while taking pictures/videos too! Food pushcarts were also quite common, selling mostly the same varieties.

He loved cuttlefish so we got 2 which sold 2 for 5000 won. Bad choice as the cuttlefish was too hard and tasteless for our liking and pretty pricey for that kind of quality. As I was still sick, I was banned from getting other food as most are fried so we just walk around slowly until we reach the end of the route.

Next stop in the evening was to stop at Namdaemun Market which is at Hoehyeon Station Exit 5 (Line 4). Well, we were quite disappointed because it was nothing much to see and since we were not much of a shopper, we just scroll around quickly and bought some bread for next day photo shoot snack (which taste horrible and had to throw away the rest). We headed back early to rest after dinner, which was just simple ramen at a stall near our accommodation, since we have to wake up early to head to the venue at Wondong to meet the photographer.

Day 3 will be the photo shoot day which I am so tempted to wait until after my wedding to blog about it because I didn’t want to show wedding photos as spoilers. I’ll probably change my mind and blog it on my next korea post, but will only show those that will not appear in my album. I shall see how it goes!

One last picture before calling a day:

I love this scenery!


Much loves ❤


Pre-wedding Korea Trip: Day 1 – Arriving at Seoul (Insa-Dong)

We started planning for Korea trip since last year in preparation for our pre-wedding shoot in Seoul and finally, we visited Korea for the first time in early April – the start of spring season! And yes, this post is way long overdue, so I will have to do some mind refreshing.

Day 1 – Arrival at Seoul, Accommodation in Insa-Dong

I shall skip all the usual ramblings of going through the departure from Singapore (Morning flight) to the arrival in Incheon Airport (Late afternoon). And we skip the hassle of looking for SIM card in Korea because we have settled that in Singapore by purchasing the SIM card for SGD$45 from Changi Airport and le fiance fixed it into his phone during the flight.

We actually book Airbnb accommodation in Insa-dong because first, I love artsy stuffs and second, Anguk subway station is in the same line as the Wondang station where we supposed to meet our studio photographer. The Airbnb was also conveniently located right in front of the Airport bus bus stop! Thanks to my brilliant planning, we didn’t have to pull our luggage around and looking for direction. Talk about time saving!

We didn’t manage to take nice pictures as we were pretty tired and we just dump our things around. But the pictures shown in the Airbnb’s website (Choi’s INVADING #2) are exactly the same as how we experienced firsthand so you can be assured that the room’s features are exactly the same as shown in photos 🙂 I never managed to meet the host but she was very quick in replying my sms via whatsapp before and after my arrival to Korea. So thumb up for that!

The best thing about the host is that she will also come up with directions on how to go to her place so that is how we know of taking Airport Bus (which cost 10,000 won per pax), or else we will be lugging our luggages around in subway in the peak hours. She also gave a list of food recommendations around her area so this was pretty helpful for us since it was our first time to Korea with limited korean language knowledge.

As it was already evening by the time we reach our accommodation, we wasted no time looking for food. Our Airbnb was located about 5 minutes walk from Ssamziegil (쌈지길). Ssamziegil is a shopping center located on the famous Insa-dong street, which housed many stores and cafes. I like the building’s architecture in a way that their 4 levels are connected with a spiral walkway.

Such unique displays!

We explored a little and found a small restuarant tucked in the quiet corner of the alley. I was pretty unwell before the flight and was feeling quite sick, so I was craving for something soupy and hot.  We just went ahead in without bothering to care whether their food was good.  But their menu looked good!

I ordered Soybean Paste soup (6000 won) which I was craving for while le fiance ordered Broiled Octopus Bibimbap (7,000 won).

Soybean paste soup

Broiled Octopus Bibimbap

I must say, the soybean paste soup was a heavenly dish for a sick person like me who was down with a bad throat and “chronic” coughing. It was not at all bland and non-spicy, the ingredients used was quite abundant! Le fiance kept stealing spoonfuls from my bowl and commenting that the soup tasted real good!

His broiled octopus bibimbap was pretty average for me, probably because I don’t have my normal sense of smell and taste since I was sick. But the boy said that it was pretty good but spicy, and still, he preferred my soup over his.

Sadly, we forgot to take picture of the restaurant though! All I know was that it was located right at the small corner, kind of isolated.

I was banned from eating street food by le fiance though, so we just wandered aimlessly around for awhile before heading back to our accommodation so that I can have a good rest early. I was feeling quite apologetic to him because I was not in a photographing mood, and I keep wanting to go back to the accommodation to sleep. But I was feeling thankful for his patience to cater to my needs. Great husband material 😉

Picture of the day:

I freaking love this picture!

We were actually walking along Insa-Dong alley at Ssamziegil in search for food and he suddenly asked me to turn around and snapped my picture. I love the backdrop! ❤


Calligraphy Painting: Hamda Al Fahim floral dress


Been away for 2 weeks to Korea for a photoshoot and now I am back! The picture above was one of the photos taken by PD Song from L Studio and I was so impressed with the makeup team and the photographer for creating such beautiful picture and memory for the fiance and I. And it is not photoshopped at all. 🙂 Perhaps I shall blog more about my experience in near future when I get the rest of the photos back which could take months, unfortunately.

Overall, I am really impressed with my make up! I am not an expert in the beauty field so imagine my amazement when they transformed a geeky me to a feminine me. Even the fiance loves my no-spectacle look. Anyone willing to teach me the secrets to eye makeup? 😉

On the side note, I am back with another sketch which was inspired after falling in love with one of Hamda Al Fahim’s dresses.

Very pretty colours, isn’t it? ❤


Day 3 @ Cairns- Kuranda Full Day Tour

I was actually looking forward to this tour! As usual, there was pickup transfer arranged by the tour agency which drove us to Kuranda. Kuranda is well known as the Village in Rainforest and is located just 25Km northeast of Cairns.

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Our first stop is at Tjapukai Cultural Park, where we were introduced to a show where performers will perform and demonstrated their culture which gave us insights on the authentic culture and traditions of the locak Djabugay people who had lived in the rainforest around Kuranda for tens of thousands of years.

Exhibition of their cultural pieces and artworks

Talk on the culture


After the show, we walked around the cultural village, learning how they use various of weapons for hunting, how they cook their food and how they make their own medicines. I especially enjoy their bush food and medicine presentation as well as the boomerang and spear throwing!

Cooking their own food:

Bush food and medicine demonstration:

There are vast selection of nuts, fruits and seeds where the man explained how the toxins are removed before consuming, and how they use the bush food for medicinal purposes. They even displayed termite nest where they will grind up and mix with water which can be a medical remedy for diarrhea.

Didgeridoo playing demonstration is one of the most entertaining show to watch and listen. He played various sounds of animals, including kangaroo hopping and wallaby hopping. There is also an explanation and demonstration of how they use boomerangs and spears as weapons for hunting.

They also gave us a demonstration of fire-making which I find it fascinating, and their famous Tjapukai dance performance which gave an insight of their beautiful dances and singing old songs.

With the performers

We had lunch buffet at their restaurant, which coupled with lunch performance to entertain us and I managed to get a taste of their underground cooking of the meat. Somehow, it does not suit my taste very well but the meat is definitely well cooked and chewy.

With the lunch performers

We proceeded on to take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to take a cable car to our next destination to explore the rest of Kuranda. We glided way high abover the canopy and enjoying such spectacular views of the rainforest, the Coral Sea and beautiful Cairns Highlands. Such breath-taking view!

As I was typing this post, I still feel such wonders of the beauty that the rainforst provided and I do feel like going back there again! I can see why people flocked to Kuranda. Despite the scorching hot weather, visiting the rainforest midway the cable car ride, we experienced such cooling breeze which feel like we were in an air-conditioned room. Unlike how we feel in Singapore forest, we do not feel warm or humid at all.


We reached our stop and headed straight to Kuranda Koala Gardens without much visiting the Kuranda Heritage Markets along the way as my friend was too excited and eager to see the koala since we did not interact much with the koala yesterday. It was quite a small park with few animals, though the main highlight is the koala.

Eastern Water Dragon

Feed time at wombat area


Long nosed Potoroo


We also visited the Birdworld Kuranda where we stepped right into the beautiful place which is filled with colorful and beautiful birds flocking around. I saw one little shy bird which the birdkeeper showed me how to stroke the bird without scaring it off. Such soft feathers!

Alast! We were too immersed with the beauty of the wildlife that Kuranda provided that we actually missed the train at the Scenic Railway! We were so disappointed as we were looking forward to the tunnels and looking out for the Barrons Falls. Hence, we had to pay additional AUD $50 just to take a cable car back to where we first started off. The ride back was really a depressing atmosphere where we were quite quiet and down in spirit.

But looking on the bright side, thankfully, we actually stop midway the cable car ride when we first rode and managed to catch a glimpse of the Barrons Falls. 🙂



Surprisingly, we managed to catch the ride from our tour company at the station with other tour groups! We were frantically looking for directions for buses but no avail when we caught sight of the tour staff and asked if we can get a ride to the Freshwater station where we supposed to meet after the missed train ride. Phew!

Next is dinner, where we actually booked a reservation earlier to get a good seat at the second storey to have a nice scenery view of the sunset. But sadly, the trees were blocking but still, it is lovely to dine there.

My friends bought the fish of the day (seasonal), but I couldn’t remember the name of the dish as it was on the separate menu. My friends commented that the fish isn’t that good as compared to the fish dish we ordered the night before at Dundee restaurant. I ordered Youvetsi which is the traditional beef stew baked with kritharaki and kefalograviera. I love beef stew but somemore, their dish is not up to my taste so I ended up not being able to finish it.

Fish of the day

Love this dessert! I think it is like donut balls with sweet syrup.


I shall end my post here for the third day of Cairns!

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You can refer to my past post if you haven’t read:

Part 1 of my Cairns trip

Part 2 of my Cairns trip


Day 2 @ Cairns – Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

I finally completed this post, which is way overdue!
You can refer to my past post if you haven’t read Part 1 of my Cairns trip.

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On the second day, I woke up the earliest as I couldn’t really sleep much last night as the air con was too cold. And while waiting for the girlfriends to get ready, I decided to spend some minutes sketching the view from my balcony using copic markers!

Balcony view of the waterfront

It was half day tour at the Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, which is one of the best places to see crocodiles and local wildlifes in the Tropical North Queensland. It was about 40 km north of Cairns. Hartley’s Adventures is a wildlife park which comprises of 5 distinct zones as you walk along their boardwalks and pathways. To view their pictorial map and further information, you can refer to their website here.

My friend took a picture of this while we were travelling towards the farm:

Lovely view!


Reached the Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures!

Together with the girlfriends who make the trip enjoyable!

First view when we stepped into the sanctuary. We saw crocodile lurking around the cafe.

At the start of the tour, the tour guide (one of Hartley’s staff) is quite an entertaining man, educated us on the crocodile farming and interesting facts on crocodiles while bringing us around the farm where they breed Estuarine crocodiles. This gave us some insights into how crocodile farming contributes to the conservation of wild crocodiles and their habitat. The guide took out a baby crocodile to show us closeup of the skin and it wasn’t as cold as I thought!

Crocodile farm

The guide and the baby crocodile


Next, we were brought to the Hartley’s Lagoon where it was actually a boat cruise which allow us to obtain such close view of the crocodiles, and appreciating their capabilities and understanding their importance in the wetland community. You should actually try the boat cruise because it is the most memorable experience so far, watching the crocodile feeding up close.

At the lagoon

Spoiler video ahead!


We explored the rest of the park which includes koala, water birds, wallabies and cassowaries where we get to see wallaby and kangeroo feeding. They were so adorable! Howvere, sadly, as there was such big crowd, we didn’t get to interact much with the koala and miss their feeding time. But we weren’t concerned as we will get to experience that the next day!


Wallaby 🙂

Kangaroo lying like a boss

Happened to see this sign at the gate as we move up the boardwalk:

Apparently there is a shy wallaby who prefer to be alone away from his peers

Tiger Quoll which is largest marsupial carnivore living in mainland Australia.

Tiger Quoll

Look how sweet it looks when it is sleeping!

Emu bird

Do you know how to differentiate between male and female for Cassowary birds?

Both are similar in appearance but the female is generally larger than the male, with a taller casque, and is brighter in colour 🙂

Cassowary Bird during feeding time

Megalania, the ancient giant butcher. A huge creature which look like a lizard, where it was suggested to have roamed the inland plains. They died out around the same time as other giant birds and mammals which reasons were unknown. However, its smaller relatives are still dominant predators today.

Relative of Megalania? Please correct me if I am wrong!

Koala bears after their feeding time

After exploration, we excitedly went to the wildlife amphitheater to watch the Crocodile Attack show which is intriging and engaging at the same time! A definite highlight of the whole tour!

Spoiler video ahead!

A parting goodbye between the keeper and the crocodile:


That’s the end of our tour! We traveled back to our hotel and I managed to catch a video of the scenery on the way back:


We decided to take a walk along the boardway of the waterfront which we seen at our balcony view towards Dundee Restaurant for dinner.

Nice breeze by the sea!

Seafood dinner @ Dundee Restaurant on the Waterfront

I ordered Barra Supreme and it was freaking a huge portion which costed a whooping AUD$39.90! Thanks to the $50 voucher (per person), we could afford splurging on ourselves. And it was good that it is a huge meal because I have an enormous appetite despite my small build. I was feeling nicely full after the meal actually.

Their dessert menu was really creative where it was not in a form of booklet but rather, the waitress would walk to our table with a beautiful, visually appealing displays of dessert for us to choose from (It is fake of course!):

Dessert menu

Who can resist saying no to dessert??!!

Being a chocolate brownie lover, I decided to choose chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream. The waitress explained that it will be very chocolate-ly and suggested changing the ice cream to vanillia but my mind screamed “NO!!! I want CHOCOLATE!” and yes, I get everything in chocolate. DROOLS.

Pardon me for the bad quality of the picture as the place was pretty dimmed. Not a good choice for a handphone camera.

That’s about it for the second day!

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Stay tuned for the next post where we visited the Kuranda which is the best part of our whole journey!

Credits: Some of the photos credited to my girlfriends who agree to let me post them here!



Day 1 – Getaway to Cairns, Australia

3 weeks back in early december, I finally had a getaway from my busy life and away from the bustling streets of Singapore. It was a huge relief getting away from work because I was entirely drained emotionally and so I hopped onto the plane with 2 of my good friends of nearly 10 years! We decided to test waters of our 10 years friendship by travelling together for the first time (Just joking!).  And of course, we have known each other for so long, there is not much of a squabble at all and drop all pretense of politeness as we looked out for one another.

We bought tour package (6 Days, 5 Nights) to Cairns from Jetabout Holidays, and everything went very smooth with them! So I will recommend them if you ever want to get a tour package to Australia. They respond fast to my emails and clarify all my doubts prior to the trip.

So first day is the usual boring procedure of checking in at the airport and camwhoring, while waiting to board the plane. So I shall forward ahead and not bore your to tears to where we arrived at Cairns Airport in Australia in afternoon and getting transportation which was arranged by Airport Connections to transfer us to our hotel, Cairns Rydges Tradewinds.  To be honest, we weren’t quite enthusiastic in arriving at our hotel because we read so many bad reviews about the hotel (after we choose the hotel, that is!) with much horror. So we actually arrived with trepidation, not expecting anything good.

In actual fact, everything is quite decent! Not so run-down as I thought, and everything is quite clean. Maybe we were not expecting anything so it actually surpass our expectations. So far so good! The hotel staff were excellent in their services and pretty friendly and helpful. The receptionist actually offered to help us to settle all the tour package pick up timings for all of the tour dates. Kudos to him!

The most wonderful thing is that we have 5 beds in our room (I request for 3 beds, not sure why we got 5 though), so we actually create our own personal corners. 🙂

Taken at night after dinner


Swimming pool


A little video tour of our room:


It has such an awesome scenery from the balcony!

I didn’t take video of the bathroom because it was occupied and afterwards I plain forgotten to video it after that! My bad. But so far, being a person who is particular about the washrooms, it has so far met my expectations…so far so good! The bad part was that the shower head was right above the bath tub, so it can get slippery while showering so be sure to bring extra slipper just for standing on bath tub as what we did!

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First day in Cairns is just free and easy, and it was such a small town where we staying so we decided to walk to Cairns Shopping Central to get groceries and strolled around in search for dinner. And imagine when we saw trees full of bats “chirping” so loudly as we walked passed them! Not a common sight in Singapore so we were quite enthralled and busy taking pictures and videos of the bats while locals just walked by nonchalantly.


Dinner at Kebab at Cairns Shopping Central! Note to self, never eat that in public. We ate until it got so messy with sauces dripping all over our tray and hands. Little wonder why people asked for takeaways instead of dining there.

Cairns Shopping Central

Dinner place

That’s it for first day so far!

Stay tuned for Day 2!


Credits: Thanks to my lovely girlfriends for all their photos to be put on my blog!  





Day 3 – Full day tour @ Northern part of Bali

Short post of day 3 of Bali, where we booked a full day tour. This trip is meant to be relaxing, and enjoying the beauty of Bali. Not much pictures here as we only visited few places because the traffic was bad and most of our time were taken up by travelling on road. So I shall put the highlights (pictures) instead 🙂

We started off visiting Taman Ayun Temple, before proceeding to Coffee Luwak farm. I took a picture of this art displays at the temple because I just love the display!

Art displays

Caught the artist at work!

Next, we dropped by at the Coffee Luwak farm, where the farm also grow their own spices, which they would actually fuse the spices together with coffee, like for example, ginseng coffee, ginger coffee, etc. They showed us how the process of the coffee luwak is done, where they will collect the droppings of luwaks as it was said that the luwaks will actually select the best coffee beans to eat. After going through the cleaning process, the coffee beans which was passed out from the luwaks were then roasted before grinding them into powder to become coffee powder.

Roasting the coffee beans

Roasted coffee beans

Grinding into powder

You also get to interact with the luwak by carrying it and feeding it, while the staff will take picture of you. And as I was giving the fruits to the luwak, it just selected a few and ate them while ignoring the rest, so I assume that the rest of the fruits are not in a very good condition! We also sample their coffee and tea, which have a wide variety of wonderful flavors and aroma.

The fruits to feed the luwaks

And their coffee and tea tasted great! We bought a few packets of the tea that we like and a word of caution that never ever use SG money to pay as their exchange rate is really bad…we didn’t bring enough cash because their teas were considered quite expensive so we paid by SG cash instead and got really ripped off.

Along the way, we passed by a popular tourist attraction, Kintamani Volacno which can be viewed from far. Unfortunately, due to time constraint, we didn’t opt for that place. We stopped by at Pacung rice terrance to take a few shots of it because it was really beautiful!

Our next stop is the Berantan Lake Temple, where we went there for a buffet lunch. Food was really cheap, but then again, the food was not that impressive to talk about here.

But to make up for it, the view at the Beratan Lake Temple was spectacular!

The boy loves waterfalls, so the tour guide drove us to the next tourist attraction which is the GitGit Twin Waterfall, a very famous tourist spot in Bali. It is located in the plateau area with the height about 35 meters. Along the way to the waterfall, there were set-up stalls selling spices and art pieces, and often you will encountered children carrying items who will follow you to try to get you to buy something from them.

The sound of waterfall can be heard as we went nearer, and you can even wade in the water nearby which was really cooling. Twin waterfall comprised of two adjoining waterfalls and the current was quite swift. A must place to visit!

Finally, our last stop is at Tanah Lot Temple, where it is a popular tourist attraction to see beautiful sunset. Before the entrance, there is a street where one can see an array of stalls selling art pieces and clothes.

Spot the hanging bat!

And finally, we entered the temple!

Tanah Lot Temple

Lovely view of sunset

That’s make the end of our tour and the end of my Bali post!

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Click here to read:

Day 1: LINK
Part 1 of Day 2: LINK
Part 2 of Day 2: LINK