A Little Vacation : Tokyo, Japan

It’s been awhile since my last blog post. A lot has changed over the past 6 months! The most memorable one was that I traveled to Japan for 2 weeks!

Japan was amazing.

Honestly, Japan was never ever on my bucket list of places to go (although strange enough Tadao Ando buildings are the buildings I’ve always dreamed of seeing.) so I went with mixed feelings.

When I reached though, it was a whole different world. Tokyo city was eye opening. I loved its density, the busy streets filled with people on their phones or with earphones walking to their next destination, the busy and packed subway stations with people doing pretty much the same thing, and warm and welcoming shopkeepers. I absolutely loved my time there. I would go back again. Here are some prelim photos of my first day in Tokyo.

Destination: Nishi Oii neighbourhood —> Ginza —> Asakusa

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Bicycles aren’t uncommon in Japan and they’re very neatly aligned everywhere! This was outside one of the houses around the home we were staying at.

 

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Now, isn’t that a sexy building? 😉

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Architecture Note : This is the Asakusa Cultural and Tourist Information Center. This building was designed by Japanese Architects Kengo Kuma and Associates. ❤
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Asakusa! Shop for souvenirs and try street food here!!!

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Everything is so neatly organized and displayed beautifully.

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Sweet Potato Ice Cream – It’s true that ice cream in Japan is yummy and really soft! This was my first sweet potato flavored ice cream and it was awesome!

Some extra information for you :

  1. Subways and metro : Each subway line has its own station, so take note of the lines you need to get on to. I learned this the hard way in Asakusa as I had got there on the JR Line but for my next destination, I had to change to a different line and was confused as to why I couldn’t find the right gate to get to. So, yes, take note!!! This site really walks you through the whole subway and metro thing so do check it out!

-Subway App : I used the Tokyo Rail Map app while I was in Tokyo and it was super helpful.

2) WIFI – I found it really difficult to find free Wifi spots in Japan, so I recommend to yes, do get that pocket wifi or “the egg”. You can “order” it to the place you’re going to stay and when you’re done with it, just drop it into the nearest post box! (It comes with the package for you to mail it back to them so you won’t need to search for packaging etc etc.) Everything in Japan is just so convenient! ❤

3) CLIMATE – It rained while I was there and a friend told me, in Tokyo, when it rains…it rains the whole day! I didn’t believe her, but, it did. ALL DAY. Everyone in Japan checks the weather prediction religiously and for good reason. It’s very accurate. So before you head out, check the weather for the day and if it’s going to rain, well get those umbrellas ready! (Or buy them for 500yen at the nearest convenience store!)

4) ARCHITECTURE – If you’re a student or in the architecture field, do your research on the famous architects because all their buildings will be in your path!!! You don’t want to regret not recognizing them when you walked past! Well, I wouldnt.

That’s all for now. If you’ve got any other tips to add to the list or on the ones already on the list, don’t be shy to write them in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

A Little Vacation : Tokyo, Japan

Weekend getaway – Club Med Cherating

Club Med Cherating was a great luxurious holiday experience I had over the weekend! A friend of mine got complimentary vouchers and invited me along (for which I am extremely grateful for!)

At first, I thought it would be like any other holiday – relax, chill by the beach & do whatever activities that were available but it turned out to be a life changing-eye-opening experience.

*Interesting fact almost every G.O. told me : Club Med Cherating is in the Guinness World Records as the longest wooden structure in the southern hemisphere! And *i heard* the structure was built in such a way to conserve all the natural trees that were existing on the landscape. Hence, the never ending corridors. 850m to be exact. *info here* 😉

What I loved:

1) Friendly & Enthusiastic G.O’s 

When we first arrived, we were greeted by enthusiastic and friendly G.O.’s.We were given welcome drinks and cold towels before being briefed about the in and outs of the resort. That was a beginning of one of many friendships! They are really dedicated to making each guest feel special and also dedicated to their jobs (even practicing for events late into the night!) with huge smiles throughout the day! By the end of our trip, we had made so many G.O friends we did not want to leave! Take time to talk to them and find out their life stories. 🙂

All the amazing full-of-energy G.O. team! I miss them lots!
All the amazing full-of-energy G.O. team during night performance! I miss them lots!
Beautiful reception area. Photo credit : Club Med Cherating
Beautiful reception area. Photo credit : Club Med Cherating

2) Our Room

We got the Superior Room facing an open green area. Absolutely loved the decoration and the view from our room!

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We even got a farewell present from the housekeeping department! <3
We even got a farewell present from the housekeeping department! ❤
Being a designer, I really loved being in this "Kampung" themed architectural village. Great experience!
Being a designer, I really loved being in this “Kampung” themed architectural village. Great experience!
It was refreshing to wake up to the green surrounding instead of the hazy sky and tall buildings in Kl!
It was refreshing to wake up to the green surrounding instead of the hazy sky and tall buildings in Kl!

3) Private Beach 

What’s better than chillin’ on the beach, a cocktail in hand, clear blue skies above you listening to the waves crash against the sea bank? It’s great here at club med where the sky is always blue & cocktails are free flow all day long!

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My favorite spot was on the rock climbing side! Bring your mats and sit on the sand and look out onto the beautiful blue sky in the afternoon/evening if you prefer being in the shade. If not, morning is great for sun-tanning!
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Walkway to the Zen pool, Rembulan Restaurant & the beautiful beach! You can invite your favorite G.O.’s to dinner at the Rembulan for a nice fancy fine dining dinner. Highly recommended experience. 😀

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4) Land & Water Activities

I absolutely loved the activities offered here:

i) The treetop challenge – It’s kind of like skytrex if you’ve ever tried that before. Not as intimidating as it looks to be honest. Flying fox experience is definitely the best part!

It's not as intimidating as it looks. Give it a go and you won't regret it!
It’s not as intimidating as it looks. Give it a go and you won’t regret it!

ii) Circus- Trapeze

THIS was challenging. First having to climb almost 7meters up to the top and then to hold on to the bar and jump off the platform was just the beginning! Having to try to lift myself onto the bar was the biggest challenge. I tried twice but failed. Falling into the net and getting off it was cool though.

Photo credit : Farah Zulkifli's blog

Photo credit : Farah Zulkifli

iii) Rock Climbing

i thought this was going to be a typical rock climbing structure where you climb the wall but it turned out to be an actual part of a cliff, which was even better. (LOL). Honestly, it was really tough for me as it was my first time. I had help from the trainers (both of which were pretty hot guys!) Coming down was fun once i got the hang of it!

Photo  Credit : Club Med Cherating
Photo Credit : Club Med Cherating

iv) Zen Pool

This is a quiet pool area as the name suggests and it offers a beautiful view of the south china sea, perfect for lying around and soaking up the sun! Oh, and only those aged 18 and above are allowed here! 😉

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Other activities here include Archery, sailing, kayaking, etc. You can also join the sunrise/sunset yoga and other fun activities scheduled at the gym! 🙂

5) Free flow of food, alcohol, snacks, wine, coffee etc

It’s a real treat to have snacks all day long, buffet spreads, wines, beers, juices etc! Can’t find your favorite cocktail on the menu? Ask the friendly bartenders to make it for you! 😀

The coffee at breakfast was bad though. The bitter coffee available was just unacceptable. Maybe it was a bad weekend for the restaurant but i hope they will upgrade it. :/  Otherwise, overall the buffet spread was yummy! Do try out the Rembulan Restaurant from some fancy romantic fine dining experience.

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Desserts were yummy. Try the macaroon & the house made ice cream! Peppermint was our favorite!
Desserts were yummy. Try the macaroon & the house made ice cream! Peppermint was our favorite!
Snack at the noodle bar if you're hungry in the afternoon!
Snack at the noodle bar if you’re hungry in the afternoon!

I wish words could describe the trip we had other than it was amazing, fantastic, and life changing experience which it truly was.

With some of the G.O.s
With some of the G.O.s

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We look forward to going back again and hopefully being able to visit other club med’s around the world! Maldives would be great!!! 😀

Weekend getaway – Club Med Cherating

Korea – Places, Spaces & Architecture

I’m 2 weeks back from Korea. How was it? It was awesome! I would definitely go back again next year or whenever I get a chance to go. I made alot of friends and had a great time. I LOVED the super sour Kimchi. I miss it ALOT and crave kimchi everyday since I’ve been back. Meh.

And my trip made me realize for the first time in my life that I WANT to own a camera other than my Iphone camera to capture all the beautiful things and people. Maybe my savings will go to that for the next year.

Dissecting my trip into parts :-

1. Ewha University

I really wanted to visit Ewha because the architecture and design of the building is interesting. I really appreciated the glass wall and the interior space. I only wish I had more time.

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2. Myeong-dong

I loved Myeong-dong simply because of all the billions of people shopping here. So many people from different backgrounds. It was great. Of course, also the interesting street food. My friend said that most local Koreans do not shop here cz its expensive. Contrary to what I’ve read online so i’m not too sure. But anyway, I enjoyed Myeong-dong. Also managed to go to EVERYSING and get a photo with SHINEE. Yes, I’m a SHINEE fan.

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This sweet potato thing was super tasty! Once we started, we could not stop eating it! Yum!

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3. Dinner in Hongdae

I had a whole list of things I wanted to see in Hongdae and I thought I would have time to go back to see all of them. Unfortunately I did not. Amongst some of the things I wanted to see was the famous Hongdae Playgound, the Coffee Prince shop, and the mural street. I only managed Mural street.

On the other hand, my friend took me for a delicious dinner and great coffee with mille crepe. 🙂

Hongdae was definitely one of my favorite places. There was a street performance by a group of students i think and i enjoyed their songs. Their song will forever be in my memory.

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I loved the interior of the shop. (Pic above). It kinda has an ancient feel to it amongst the modern world. ❤ On the other hand, wood and concrete are two of my favorite materials.

4. Coffee in Hongdae

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What I loved about coffee shops in Korea is their interiors are interesting. Very cute. Haha. 🙂

More photos next time!

Korea – Places, Spaces & Architecture