Thursday, 24 July 2014

i.am Cafe - Haji Lane - Good Western food with a twist

So we have been walking past i.am for months now as it is close to our office, on the way to yoga and pizza. And it is always busy, often with a queue. And we saw all sorts of people with huge slabs of multi coloured cake so we keep telling ourselves we need to actually check the place out at some point! So the other day, after I went to yoga at lunch and G went for a bike ride, we met up and headed over for a late lunch (around 3pm) and luckily though it was busy, someone just left.

We sat ourselves down near the counter and started to understand where the am in i.am came from when we saw the Dutch grandma bikes with the stroopwafels in the display and Amsterdam on the wall.





Saturday, 19 July 2014

48h in Bali - The Entertainer Giveaway

Now a contribution from the lovely Surrey Princess  about 48h in Bali! What would you do with 48h in Bali? Or any other of the fab locations covered by The Entertainer Travel Application? Check out the following link for more info on how to join in and win a chance to get a booklet with loads of discounts on fancy hotels. http://www.mylifeinsin.com/2014/06/giveaway-entertainer-up-for-grabs-give.html

Over to Jo!



Day one; as soon as you land, dump your stuff in the hotel and get out there! It's better to arrange a private driver in bali if you're traveling far and wide, your hotel can arrange this for you. First stop, you're probably quite hungry? So head to Grocer and Grind in Seminyak for a quick bite. You'll feel at home with the wonderful breakfast/brunch food on offer. then hop back in your car and head to Ubud.


In Ubud, grab a bunch of bananas and head into the sacred monkey forest (it's exactly as it sounds). You can easily spend a few hours here admiring the beautiful temples and snapping photos of the cheeky monkeys! Make sure to keep your hands out of your pockets or they'll dip their hands in there too!



Ubud itself is an eclectic mix of jewellery and art shops, and is a great way to spend an hour or so... But once you're done, ask your driver to take you to Tanah Lot in time for the famous sunset...


Tanah Lot is a water temple which has a beautiful sunset view. you can walk up the hill and admire the cliffs, or stand on the seashore and watch from there. Either way... you won't be disappointed.




For dinner, head to Motel Mexicola in Seminyak which is a laid back mexican place with some of the best tacos I have ever eaten - for insanely cheap. order to your heart's content and enjoy the lovely atmosphere and eclectic decor. Then head back to your villa or hotel for some shut eye!


Day two; most people stay in villas in bali, so enjoy your luxury private residence and perhaps order breakfast to the room. after a quick dip in your private pool, head out to Seminyak! Seminyak has some of the best shopping in the region and you'll find lots of popular Australian brands as well as some boutiques. head over to Potato Head  Beach Club for a casual late lunch by the sea. The fish and chips are great! 




You're probably exhausted by now, so head back to your villa and order in a massage, most villas will have a spa attached to the property so this isn't unusual.


For dinner, head to Sarong in Seminyak (book ahead). it's a wonderful fusion restaurant of indonesian/chinese/indian food and is very unique. It's in a beautiful setting with delicious cocktails. sip your drink and enjoy the delicious food while you muse about your favourite  thing you've done in bali.




Thanks Jo! Check out her blog at http://www.thesurreyprincess.com

Friday, 18 July 2014

Another 48h in Bangkok - The Entertainer Giveaway

And the lovely (and prolific) Beiruti Brit  has also shared another post for the Entertainer Giveaway. Here is her "Foodie" 48h in Bangkok.


"Whilst there is certainly no shortage of hotels to stay in when visiting Bangkok, you would be hard pressed to find one in a better location than the Sofitel Sukhumvit http://www.sofitel-bangkok-sukhumvit.com/en. This towering hotel is situated just minutes away from Nana BTS station within easy walk of nightlife hubs such as Soi 11 and just a short ride on the BTS to numerous shopping malls from the newly opened Central Embassy at Ploenchit to Central World and Siam Paragon.

This itinerary has been put together with the serious “foodie” in mind so please be warned in advance that this post may make you hungry! It is also designed with a fair bit of walking in mind (all the better for helping to burn off the calories you are going to consume) so remember to pack some comfy shoes and to drink plenty of water or freshly squeezed juices – available on most street corners – as you go.

Saturday

10:00

There can be no better introduction to Bangkok and Thai food than taking a walking tour and Taste of Thailandhttp://www.tasteofthailandfoodtours.org/ run one of the very best. After a quick introduction to your tour guides and fellow walkers at Saphan Taksin BTS you are whisked off through the historic “Bangrak” area, learning not only about the area that you are in but about the local wet markets, restaurants, shop houses and of course the food. Expect to enjoy dishes from all 4 regions of Thailand from curry puffs to Royal Thai cuisine, Northern specialties like Som Tum to traditional Chinese herbal drinks.






Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chiang Mai, Elephant Nature Park - The Entertainer Giveaway



Here is Felicia's experience for The Entertainer giveaway. She stayed at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, but you could go as a day trip staying in one of the hotels in Chiang Mai on the Entertainer Travel Book, check more info here: http://www.mylifeinsin.com/2014/06/giveaway-entertainer-up-for-grabs-give.html




Over to Felicia!

I went to Chiang Mai just recently in March this year. It was a very short trip - just 1 week, but it was the best experience of my life. During this 1 week, I went to volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park (ENP). This is an overview of the Elephant Nature Park from their webpage:

Elephant Nature Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center in Northern Thailand where you can volunteer and visit to help.We have been involved in dozens of rescues which have created our thriving elephant herd. The park provides a natural environment for elephants, dogs, cats, buffaloes and many other animals under our care. Volunteers and visitors contribute to the healing while learning about their lives past and present. Arrange a visit to all our projects in Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar.

(http://www.elephantnaturepark.org)

I made a lot of friends from all over the world and learnt about the plights of elephants. The founder of the park is really a passionate and great lady who deserve everyone's respect. Her love and passion for the animals are really sincere and she made a difference to all the elephants she have rescued.

Most people might think it is ridiculous to pay SGD$500 a week to volunteer to clear elephant dungs, cut corns, do fire breaks, etc. Hard work mainly. But this experience enables you to understand how the thai people are living their lives and how is their culture like. Furthermore, this $500 includes 1 week of accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday for that 1 week. And most importantly, a week of life experience where you can gain so much insight.

Honestly, words cannot describe the experience I had in Elephant Nature Park. You have to go there yourself to experience it. They do 1-day trip, 2 days 1 night and 1 week to 4 weeks volunteering. Especially if you are someone who loves the nature and are not afraid to work under the sun and get insects bites. I must say, this is not for all people. Most people might not be able to take the work load but if you are a true animal lover, especially elephants and dogs, this is one place you must make for your bucket's list. You will not be disappointed.

And good news for veterinarians, vet students and vet nurses, there is a different program specially cater to this group of people. I am a vet nurse myself and I must say the experience I have as compared to my volunteer friends whom I met at the park are entirely different. As mentioned above, volunteers have to do quite a lot of labour work. However, if you were to sign up under the vet volunteer, you will be able to have hands-on with the elephants. And I really mean HANDS-ON. For my entire 1 week there, I got to administer treatments for the elephants who are in need of medications and treatments. I came up close and personal with these gentle giants. Once again, no words can explain how I felt and the experience I had gained. It was just wonderful......... Read on for more info

48h in Beirut - The Entertainer Giveaway

Thanks to my darling friend Beiruti Brit for her contribution on 48h in Beirut. As a reminder, you can see the full info on how to participate here: 

http://www.mylifeinsin.com/2014/06/giveaway-entertainer-up-for-grabs-give.html

48 Hours in Beirut

Beirut might not be the first place that immediately springs to mind for a weekend city break which is a shame as there are few cities you are able to get as much out of in such a short period of time as a city styled as the Paris of the Middle East.
There can be no finer choice of hotel for your stay than The Phoenicia  http://phoeniciabeirut.com/  which has been warmly welcoming guests since 1961 when Beirut was at its swinging peak! Since then it has been the hotel of choice for visiting Royalty and celebrities and a stay in one of its glamorous 446 rooms and suites will leave you feeling like a Hollywood star!







Read on for more info....


Monday, 14 July 2014

48h in Abu Dhabi - Guest post for The Entertainer Application Travel Giveaway

I have another submission for the 48h in a city posts, this time we head over to Abu Dhabi in the UAE for the weekend with a side tour of Abu Dhabi.

If you want to know what to do, check out the original post here:

http://creativelyhuman.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/abu-dhabi/

Please check out her blog, I loved her so much when we worked together in the pub back in Maastricht when I was a student :) Over to A.L :)

"I wrote this post for a friend from Maastricht. I wrote it in a voice I don’t even know, wait I know the voice, it’s the high smiley voice when I’m talking crap to strangers. Ok here’s the real voice

If a friend came to Abu Dhabi for 48 hours. One of my friends, then this is what I would do.

I’d say to stay at Shangri-La because that place is awesome. Seriously awesome. I’m also not a fan of being ON-island (this is a personal choice due to an easily reached feeling of claustrophobia) juuuuust on the edge is perfect. You’re not on island, you’re not entirely off island, you’re in between. Perfect.

So, Shangri-la Abu Dhabi. Book in and then summer time or winter time you are heading for the water. Honestly, the water here is gorgeous. Winter time is awesome because you can be out all winter at any public or private beach, summer time you have to watch it because the sea is like soup; too hot and you need a decent breeze to not hyperventilate. Summer: Yas Water World for the entire day. Winter: Saadiyat or Yas private beaches. Both are gorgeous, both have amazing naturally rough waves. I personally take my children to Al Bateen beach more often then anywhere else because the distance from car park to beach is short, the facilities are clean and decent and the water is calm (perfect for toddlers). When I’m in need for waves for my soul: Saadiyat and Yas all the way.

So I yank your butt over to the beach or water and we spend the entire day in the sun. Glorious. Wear a Body Glove and a hat. Those two things will save your skin. And drink plenty of water. And eat watermelon. And drink juice. Good to go.

I would still advise going to ladies night at Pearls and Cavier at the Shangri-la. The view IS amazing and the irony of free bubbles and expensive water in view of the mosque is a hoot.

The next day if you wanted the bus tour go right ahead but if the weather is fine (not too hot and humid) then kayaking around the mangroves. Naturally occurring and protected, they are awesome. I haven’t been able to kayak yet (two small children on a kayak for a few hours was ill advised by the kayaking dude) but with an excuse and child care, I’d do it in a heartbeat! The tour would take a few hours and then lunch at Cafe Blanc at Eastern Mangroves (I love Lebanese food!). Eastern Mangroves is opposite the naturally occurring mangroves so the view is awesome. Then I would want to take you to Dubai. Haha! Drag you to Dubai because you have to pet the penguins or ski! That or drive you to Al Ain. The view on the way into Al Ain is gorgeous. Those red coloured sand dunes are like you expect the desert to look like. I’ve heard the hiking is great in Al Ain, I haven’t explored it yet as I’ve only been to the zoo or the rugby pitch. Both were great!

And that would be it. Lots of nature but with some ironic and funny twists to it. I would also make you drink Arabic coffee and eat a few dates and or coffee sweets. I’d make you drink some weird juice cocktails because they are awesome. And you’d probably eats lot of Lebanese food and nuts. The nuts and seeds are good here!

Bestest part of Abu Dhabi? There’s so much to do and the water fun rocks. Worst part……not found it yet.

Think that’s better and more in MY voice!"

If you contribute your "48h in" posts, you could be up to win one of the travel booklets and get all sorts of pay for "one night / one night free" deals over the Middle East and Asia!

As a reminder, check the post I wrote on the Entertainer Travel giveaway here and email me with your recommendations!

http://www.mylifeinsin.com/2014/06/giveaway-entertainer-up-for-grabs-give.html

Sunday, 13 July 2014

48h in Bangkok - The Entertainer Giveaway

A guest post for The Entertainer Giveaway from an awesome colleague of mine who lives in BKK. Remember you can join in for the chance to win awesome discounts on great hotels all over the world. For more info check out: http://www.mylifeinsin.com/2014/06/giveaway-entertainer-up-for-grabs-give.html

Over to M!

2 days to fall in love: Bangkok

It’s my 4th year living in Bangkok I have relentlessly taken every opportunity to see this city which has enamored me to the point I just feel like crying with emotion when I listen to the national anthem yes it’s that bad. If you like the quirky, adventurous, non-obvious side of life just read on………..

Day one:

Waking up and historic sites:

You wake up and feel happy as you are in one of the most amazing cities in the world you have a nice relaxed breakfast as you will need energy for the day. I suggest you can stay on the river (nice if you are a first timer to Bangkok) as then you are near most of the historic sites. You must visit the Grand Palace, the reclining Buddha and Wat Arun….. All beautiful and all close to each other.

Try to get to the Grand Palace earlier rather than later and be careful if your tuk tuk driver says the Grand Palace is closed the likelihood is that it is a lie and they just want to take you to shops. Nowadays this Palace is used for ceremonial purposes but the Royal Family doesn’t reside here.

The Grand Palace is open to the public every day from 08:30 to 15:30, except during special Royal ceremonies so check before.



 

Read on for more awesome Bangkok tips
 
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