Blessed.

I had an enjoyable weekend getaway with the bestie, where we ate and shopped. (She shopped a lot more.)

But unfortunately I came down with some bug that has induced a cough and funny nose, So the husband made 鸡丝鲍贝粥 for me while I vegetated and spent time with the kids. Then I slept 12 hours straight from 7pm to 7am. 😆

After sending the boys off to school, I slept another 4 hours.

And then after noticing how much dust had collected on the floors over the weekend, I asked Josh if I should be cleaning house. He said: “But you’re not feeling well! Maybe tomorrow lah.”

Life is so kind to me.

Diary: Bangkok Day 1

After over 2 years, I am finally getting to write another “Great Getaways” post! Haiz. The life of a lower middle class mom. 😆

[Pictures will be uploaded later when we get home in slightly more comprehensive posts. It’s too much effort for someone who is still on holiday. Though I do need to jot down everyday before I forget. My memory lasts almost as long as a goldfish, which isn’t very long at all. LOL.]

So, in point form, here goes:

  • Despite dropping 2-3 dress sizes (from US 14 to US 8/10) I am still a tad too meaty for BKK free size clothing. Although I am wearing extremely cheap 3 for 100 baht (S$4) racerback tanks now in prep for bedtime, it’s not exactly something I would wear out to town. I can see all my flabs sticking out in all the wrong places!!
  • Siam Ocean World was DA BOMB even though tickets costed 1,000 baht (approx S$40) per adult and 800 baht per kid – includes entry, glass bottom boat ride, fishy foot spa, popcorn and Pepsi. It’s probably about double the size of Sentosa Underwater World, with a lot more to see and do. I already have intentions to come back again, with or without the kids. :mrgreen:

    There’s this gorgeous display sponsored by Bang & Olufsen with jellyfish “dancing” to classical music played through fab quality speakers (duh). I swear I could sit there all day just being soothed by the lights, music and jellyfish movement.

  • Josh rode on a Tuk Tuk and claims he is able to drive one now. Only complaint: “I think it’s a bit dangerous and scary.”

All in all, Day One went well. Everyone had fun, money was spent (cheaply), and weather was good. The plane ride itself was the climax of the day for Josh! Having visited Siam Ocean World made it doubly good for him.

We’re still contemplating if we should be visiting the floating market or an elephant park tomorrow. Will have to call the hotel concierge to see if they are able to arrange anything for us. Less hassle. Heh. :p

Pictures from Batam

I’ve uploaded all the photos that make the cut in my opinion, and uploaded them as a set in Flickr. View all our Batam pics here!

You would notice that most of the photos are taken at the dipping pool, because Hubs only got the D40 on our second night in Batam. We went to the dipping pool on the morning just before we checked out of the resort. Almost all of the other photos are taken on the same day itself – our third (and last) day in Batam. 😦

I don’t want to lag your page load, so I’ll just share my favourite two “artsy-fartsy” shots of the lot:

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(FYI: This pool is not the resort’s swimming pool. It’s just a dipping pool beside the beach bar for guests to get half nekkid after drinks.)

Details of our 3D2N Batam getaway

Since coming back from our relaxing getaway in Batam, I’ve literally been spammed on MSN regarding the resort we stayed in and how much we paid for the entire experience. So here’s a breakdown of the nitty-gritty details:

Name of resort: Batam View Beach Resort
Type of accommodation: One-bedroom villa
Amount paid for 3D2N package: S$230 per adult based on twin-sharing
Package deal offered by: Shortaways.com, served by Isnarti

Package includes:
– 2-way adult ferry ticket
– 2-way transfer from pier to resort
– 1 peak night (Saturday) & 1 off-peak night (Sunday)
– Daily buffet breakfast

Other fees necessary:
– S$20/pax seaport tax to be paid at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
– S$4/pax seaport tax to be paid at resort during checkout
* Joshua had to pay for seaport tax as well.

Total amount paid to travel agent: S$478
Total amount of seaport taxes paid: S$72

Joshua classifies under “Infant” as he is under 2 years old. We only had to pay $18 for his 2-way ferry ticket as the resort provided a free baby cot for him to sleep in.

*My review of Batam View Beach Resort*

::

For the benefit of my fellow Batam-suakoos, here’s some FAQs about staying at Batam View and other general info about being in Batam. This way, I don’t have to answer your questions one by one via MSN! 😛

(Read my FAQs on holidaying in Batam…)

Review: Batam View Beach Resort

Batam View Beach Resort is situated along the shoreline of Nongsapura, and offers regular hotel rooms as well as private villas with one or two bedrooms. Of course, prices can differ greatly with your choice of accommodation.

The resort grounds are clean and comfortable, with a strong emphasis on Mother Nature, and the place truly delivers what their tagline claims: “Your home away from home.”

Batam View Beach Resort
Villa 809 – Our temporary beach-side home

The staff provides friendly and helpful service, with a smile, 24 hours a day. Some of them don’t speak very good English, but it doesn’t deter them from helping us with our luggage or our shopping bags.

They automatically offer us buggy rides to our villa which is about 5 minutes’ walk from the main resort lobby, and always arrive at our doorstep within 5 minutes of us calling the concierge for a ride.

Room service is affordable and quick, so food always arrives fresh and piping hot.

Resort amenities are fairly decent, providing a range of activities for those who want to be closer to nature, as well as thrill-seekers. Prices are also within affordable range unlike certain holiday resorts which seem keen to rip you off for the convenience of their amenities.

Batam View Beach ResortCute little flowers found at their Herb & Spice Garden

Granted, the resort is some distance away from shopping district of Nagoya, but if you’re looking for a quiet relaxing getaway, this is the place for you. No crowds, no traffic, just quiet time to spend on your own or with loved ones.

And despite the higher price we paid for a seafront villa in backward Batam, we have no regrets at all for making the decision. After all, how often can you get to live by the sea and laze your days away to a gorgeous seaview?

ON A SCALE OF 10 (based on 1-bedroom villa stay)
Cleanliness & Comfort: 9
Value for money: 9
Service: 10
Ambience: 9.5
OVERALL RATING: 9.5


We didn’t really want to come back.

It’s not as if we were away in Batam for that long, but suddenly we aren’t really used to being back to our “usual lives”.

Hubs asked me if I feel weird being back home, and the truth is YES. And for once, he feels the same way I do.

Usually – being the pragmatic person he is – he has no problems coming back to reality and resuming his required duties as an employee, father, husband and son. But this time round, he actually said: “We should have just thrown away our passports and stayed there forever. Why did we come back?!”

It’s kinda amusing hearing it come from him. 😆

I guess we both miss chilling out on the balcony when Joshua is in bed; enjoying the wind in our hair and each other’s company.

Batam View Beach Resort

There’s also the long pre-bedtime baths – yes, the bath is large enough to hold both of us and Joshua at the same time – where we just soak in the relaxing warm water and talk.

Batam View Beach Resort

It doesn’t hurt that we can actually open the window and have the gentle salty breeze and waves surround us as we make like mandarin ducks. 鸳鸯戏水嘛!

It’s more than just shiok. It’s like a different life altogether.

The next time we need a break, we know exactly where we all want to go. But seriously, wouldn’t you like to wake up to this everyday?

Batam View Beach Resort

Back from Batam!

Pity Flickr somehow died-ed on me, otherwise you would have been able to see posts with photos because I uploaded some pics via flickr email upload for blogs. Dunno why, but the pics turned up in my flickr, but not in my blog. 😕

Here are the pics that Flickr failed to deliver to my blog automatically:

Our villa!Our rustic villa!

kdk_0195The gorgeous bedroom with seaview, and a door for convenient access to the balcony which is directly over the sea. (Initially quite scary, I have to say.)

kdk_0190Panoramic photo of the villa interior (clockwise from left): bedroom, living area with dining table, kitchenette. And that’s Hubs’ silhouette you see fiddling with the door leading to the balcony.

Ok, I am still feeling nua from relaxing beside the sea for the last few days. Lemme get my engine re-started and I’ll be back with photos and a review of the resort very soon!

You’ll also be able to baulk at my current chubbiness because Hubs somewhat coerced me into letting him shoot at me (pun somewhat intended) with the Nikon D40 that he got at a great price from Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre – reputedly the largest mall in Batam.

This trip was a relaxing respite from our humdrum daily routines, as well as an eye-opener because none of us have been to Batam before. We initially had so much trouble trying to convert their local prices to our currency to gauge prices! Let’s just say neither of us are any good in Math. :mrgreen:

Joshua was whining on the cab back from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal when he realised we are going back home and not on holiday anymore. He nodded his head so vigorously when I asked him if he would like to go to Batam again. 😆

If all goes well, we’re hoping to head back one more time before I pop Keegan out. It’ll be at least 6 months after his birth that we’ll be able to travel again!

we’re back!

The trip was rejuvenating. We slept late and woke late (as usual) and leisurely went about everywhere with no schedules or whatnots.
Joshua was generally well-behaved throughout the trip, including the bus journey, and the parents (aka us) even managed to sneak out for a bit of partying at Jalan P. Ramlee’s clubbing zone. Thanks to Chenny for her late-night info. 🙂

But the trip back… OMG. I really really don’t enjoy waiting for buses that don’t come on schedule at the warm and stuffy Puduraya bus station. Especially not with luggage and a baby to lug around. I swear the next trip I make to KL will be by plane, since now AirAsia flies from SG to KL direct.

Oh, and let’s not forget how Hubs completely scared me out of my wits by going out to buy food and didn’t return after an hour or even gave me any calls/sms because he had conveniently forgot to bring out his mobile. I thought he had been mugged/killed/beaten up/banged by a car/etc. How inconsiderate of him. Yah, I was outrageously pissed off.

The journey back drained me out so much that I am practically half-dead, while Hubs is diligently unpacking (to atone for his inconsiderate/careless behaviour indirectly).

On the bright side, I managed to re-watch Pitch Black on the iPoot (yes, that same wrong one) on the bus.

My grad project is due for submission on 16th Feb. And I haven’t properly started on the essay yet. I am screwed.

Well, Happy Chinese New Year anyway! :mrgreen:

greetings from Bukit Bintang!

Joshua was surprisingly well-behaved on the bus journey towards KL. He was so quiet that I guess a lot of fellow passengers were in disbelief. Not a single peep! I am a proud mama.

Oh, and Hubs and I went a bit crazy buying tees from F.O.S @ Berjaya Times Square. RM29.90 for authentic (or so I think) Junk Food tees! Ultra cheap cheep. :mrgreen:

On other not-so-good notes, I feel ripped off by Delifrance Bistro at Lot 10. A simple dinner cost us RM80+! Ugh. Plus the service was terrible (our waiter could barely speak a word of English) and our salmon was overdone and quite dry and hard. Uck.

I haven’t taken any photos, because cheena new year decorations completely turn me OFF. And there really isn’t anything that fascinates me/us at all. So there. Maybe we’ll get more “inspired” to photo-document tomorrow when we visit One Utama.

Meanwhile, I am logging off because this internet cafe’s keyboard is oily, the screen is WAY to bright. The fonts are so gigantic I swear the whole world can read what I’m doing. And I have NO privacy at all. (That completely leaves out the idea of surfing porno.) 😆

Tata!

P.S. I swear my fingers are contaminated with god-knows-what from the previous users now. UUUUUCK!! 😕

P.P.S. Anyone who needs/wants anything can call my mobile.