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Today, I turn twenty five and I don't know how I should feel. 

Let's see. 

My siblings and cousins are all successfully employed (read: surgeons, lawyers, doctors, teachers, chemists, government officers, cabin crews or engineers) and most of my friends my age are either married or engaged, taking care of their children, receiving increments or service awards for spending more than three years working full time at one company. 

And then there's me. 

As mentioned in my previous rant: still struggling studying in uni, technically jobless, working multiple freelance jobs within a day, travelling whenever I get the opportunity to and going broke because of it, playing multiple sports but still not getting any skinnier... the list goes on. 

However, as much as I wish that I am living the standard one size fits all life chronologically (graduating with a degree, getting a good career, and finding myself a partner that meets the perfect checklist) - I am actually quite glad I chose this non-conventional path. There is never a boring day in my life. Jack of all trades, master of none - this definitely describes me. I have also turned into my biggest critic, but I would rather it be that way rather than being scrutinised by another being. 

Looking back at the things that I have done, the places I have been to and the people I have met... boy, am I glad I never did end my life - no matter how many times I actually tried to. I have had my fair share of fun and laughter, issues and anxiety attacks, heartbreaks and let downs, adventures and misadventures. I have definitely experienced more than I could have ever imagined and I did not plan any of this - but yet, I couldn't imagine having lived life any other way.

I am nothing close to being the perfect daughter or girlfriend or friend. Ask my mother or my ex boyfriends or frienemies, they would know. I have been going against my mother's words since I learnt how to talk because I don't see why I should listen to orders from anyone else and I have an ego the size of Mount Fuji - not as big as Everest but still fucking huge for a human being to have.

But yet, I still have a family who only wants the best for me, teammates or colleagues turned friends who stick around for years on end and have nothing but good intentions, and a partner that's crazy annoying and a pain in the ass sometimes but takes great care of me / keeps me sane / make me feel constantly loved and only has the best intentions in mind - although all I see in the mirror is a big fat ugly whiny girl. All of you must be insane to love a person like me, I honestly don't know how you keep up with my bullshit, but I'm thankful nonetheless - and I need to change my ways before I start losing people I love.

I used to make use of this period to run away and escape from Singapore because I never believed that anyone in their right state of mind would want to make the time. Why would they? It's not their day and they aren't obliged to. But this year, I was forced to stay in Singapore for a week before and week after this date no thanks to my exams. A blessing in disguise it was indeed, because I was proven otherwise. Whether you realize it or not, all of you, made me who I am today and is the reason why I am still here, alive and well.

You know who you are, all of you. Thank you.

♥, NMJ

A Quarter Of A Century




I never really gotten around to blogging or vlogging much about this trip but I finally created a summary video of my trip to Perth. Can't believe it has been two years since the trip with the girls. I am definitely looking forward to graduate so I can head back there and spend a few days just appreciating the laid back life. 

Other blog posts on Perth: 

I am trying my hardest to clear up and edit all of the footage in my hard disk (Read: Yogyakarta, Cebu, El Nido, Surabaya, etc) and hopefully upload everything by this year so that I can finally be free from backlogs. In case you don't already know, I do have a lame ass YouTube Channel, so subscribe if you haven't, okay? :) 

♥, NMJ



Vlog: Perth 2015


Double room in large Victorian house in London, United Kingdom. (via Airbnb)

I am that type of traveler who feels more secure knowing that I have an accommodation booked before arriving at the destination itself. If you are anything like me, then this post would be useful to you. But before I start, I think I better state this beforehand before any low balling hater starts snapping nonsense into my face for trying to be a know it all. I do not know it all. I don't even know what's going on half the time. Ask my friends, I am that blurr sometimes. Hahahaha. Seriously. I just like to travel and then talk about it on my blog so if this is not your cup of tea, don't drink it.

Disclaimer: This is not a full-proof guide of how you should choose your accommodation. This is simply me, sharing how I usually choose my travel accommodation for the random trips that I take - which is why this whole category is called Travel Tales and not Travel Tips. You can either use the same method as I did, or find other methods that you deem fit. 

Okay enough of the serious stuff. Hahaha. Now moving on to what you're actually here for. When choosing an accommodation for a trip, there are a few things that I'll always take into consideration before actually booking the space and here they are: destination, trip type, travel companion and of course / obviously / like duh, budget


DESTINATION:

To me, I think this plays the biggest role, even bigger than budget actually. Destination here includes the country + the exact vicinity in which you want your accommodation to be at. You need to first look at which country you are going to because the types of accommodation available and the criteria of the star ratings are actually different at every country.

Cozy 2-Story House in Jungmun, South Korea. (via Airbnb)

For example, when in Thailand or Vietnam, it is much cheaper and safer to book hotels rather than Airbnb due to the high supply of service providers in the country. However, if I'm in Australia or Japan, booking a space on Airbnb would be more ideal because a bed in a good hostel costs around the same price and there is a lower supply of budget hotels, and well, mid-range or luxury hotels are just way out of my pathetic student budget.


El Gordo's Adventures & Guesthouse in El Nido, Philippines. (via Airbnb)

Next, I need to consider where in that country would I want my accommodation to be at. Be it the main town, the rural villages, etc. This will affect your final decision because some areas are so rural that you can't find hotels and only have home stays. Also, if your accommodation isn't located within close proximity of food readily available in the middle of the night, you might want to consider either stocking up from the closest supermarket or have a space that provides a stove for you to whip something up.


TRIP TYPE:

This varies for every single trip, honestly. It depends on my mood / the people I'm traveling with / the itinerary that I have planned for that particular trip. For example, I would book a personal space at a good hostel or a room with minimal necessities in a budget hotel if I were to be on a trip where I'm gonna be out the whole day and only coming back to shower and sleep. I wouldn't want to spend too much on a gorgeous villa in a resort but not get the chance to fully utilise the living space because I'm busy exploring the whole day.

The Good Shepherd Hostel in Makati City, Philippines. (via Airbnb)

On the flip side, there are some trips where I will want to be pampered to the extreme ends of the world. This means that a resort would be ideal because I would be driven on a buggy from the hotel reception to my room, and then served breakfast in bed, and would come back to a clean and made up room with a bubble bath readily prepared by the room service crew. Like a short tai tai life experience for three nights kinda trip.

But then again, it's common sense, really. You wouldn't want to book two single beds for your honeymoon right? Where you gonna do it, on the floor? Hahahahaha actually I don't wanna know. Whatever floats your boat, guys.

Home Away From Home in Perth, Australia. (via Airbnb)

TRAVEL COMPANION: 

I don't think I'm extremely picky when it comes to who I'm traveling with - most times, I just want to travel, no matter who it's with. But who you go with affects your accommodation type, down to the type of room / facilities that the accommodation has because now, there's more things and other people's feelings / preferences to consider, not just your own. It also depends on your relationship with that person, too.

For example, when I was fighting with my (then) boyfriend but we have already booked the flight tickets and accommodation, I would request for two single beds instead of a king sized bed - just to show how pissed I was with the situation. Hahahaha. Another example, whenever I travel with my mother, I need to remember that she is those high maintenance aunties who cannot shower if the toilet is not up to her comfort standards and that the space must always provide a hair dryer, a water heater and air-condition. So obviously, hostels are a freaking huge no when traveling with her.

Cupuwatu Wood Hut in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (via Airbnb)

When traveling in a group, it's trickier because everything that you had to consider with a plus one is now multiplied. Does everyone want a private room or a shared apartment? Does everyone has the same budget in mind? Is everyone okay with the location of the accommodation? Things like that. Always ask your friends, don't be that controlling bitch that books without discussing. Unless your friends are all lazy boys who believe that trip planning is a girl's job and say, "Ah Nurul you book ah, we anything, just tell us how much then we pay you." Hahahaha that one, different story.


BUDGET:

This will extra important to be taken into consideration if you're a broke ass student like me. If money is not an issue to you, then you can completely skip this part I suppose. But if it matters, then I guess this will affect your final decision greatly.

Deluxe Cottage Bedroom in Krabi, Thailand. (via OffHotels)

It's basic common sense, really.
Good Location + Good Ratings + Good Facilities = Higher Room Rates

If you're looking to skimp on the dollars then you will need to make some sacrifices and choose only one or two out of that equation. If you want a luxurious hotel, be prepared to spend like you actually live a luxurious life. Simple.


WHAT I USUALLY DO AFTER CONSIDERATIONS ARE MADE: 


  1. Search on OffHotels / Airbnb for an accommodation space. 
    These are the websites that I usually use to book my accommodation. I prefer OffHotels because the search results will showcase the total amount that I need to pay for all nights of my trip, unlike other sites (like Trivago / Agoda / Expedia etc) which only display the pricing per night, and will only have the taxes and extra charges totalled up once you click check out. I just feel that it makes searching more convenient. Airbnb is my go to website for a taste of local experience - I wrote about why I love Airbnb here.

  2. Read up on Trip Advisor / Google personal blogs for reviews, reviews, reviews. 
    I don't really trust the reviews on hotel booking sites because from what I learnt in school (perks of a tourism degree) the reviews are mostly being curated and sometimes even posted by hotel staff to try and garner trust from travelers. Personal blogs are usually more genuine. Just my preference.

  3. Check Google Maps for area compatibility / accessibility 
    I have had experience booking through a website that claims the hotel is "in a good location!" and "walking distance from tourist attractions". Come to think of it, every where in the world is walking distance from each other - just how long you're gonna take is what differs. So I usually use Google Maps (Satellite View) to see how the neighbourhood is in real time.

  4. Make use of the "Book Now, Pay Later" or "Free Cancellation" option 
    I am guilty as charge for this. I will book like the top three hotels that fits the bill, and then use the free cancellation option right in the nick of time to eliminate whichever I think does not make the cut. This gives me the flexibility to change my booking in case we have a change of plans or in any case that the destination got affected by natural disasters or unlikeable political situations.

  5. FINALISE BOOKING & PAY! 
    Once I've considered enough, I'll proceed and click that confirm button. Yes, I pay beforehand because I'm the type that prefers to clear all the debt before I travel so that I know, that all the money that I have with me is solely to be spent on transportation / food / shopping / activities etc. 


Well, that's about it! Pretty lengthy post but if you look closely, they are all interlinked actually. I think I blabbered enough for one post so congratulations if you actually read my nonsense til the end! If you have not experienced living with Airbnb before, click here to instantly receive a voucher worth SGD50 that will be credited into your account. I hope this post has helped you, one way or another and hopefully answered most of the questions that I get asked about how / why I choose the accommodation that I did stay at. Safe travels everyone!

♥, NMJ


This blog post was not written under any pressure, endorsement or sponsorship of any of the parties mentioned. 
All thoughts and opinions here are as always, my own.

How I Choose My Accommodation (+ SGD50 Airbnb Voucher)


I have been down with a serious case of runny nose and headache. My mother thinks that it's because I've been riding without a jacket (typical makcik thinking hahaha) and my friends think it's because I haven't had a single off day since forever. Well, they are all probably right but the last time I felt this horrible and sick was when I was on the ten days trip with the boys to Indo-Malaya. A round of applause to my immune system for being able to sustain seven months without a single visit to the doctor. 

Anyway, I'm too lazy sick to list down a caption for each square. They are pretty self-explanatory anyway, right? And no, I have not even started on editing the footage for the vlog or trip overview (please don't kill me, boys) but in order to make myself feel better, here is a recap on our trip to Yogyakarta in squares. We spent new year's there and it was a trip to remember indeed. I promise I'll start editing and writing about the trip soon. Promise. Meanwhile, you can find more photos from the trip here: 2016 - Yogyakarta and also, Bhram if you're reading this, please get married quickly so we can all have a reason to fly back to Jogja! 

Til then, stay healthy everybody. 

♥, NMJ

YOGYAKARTA IN SQUARES


Wow. I can't believe that half the year has gone by already. It has been an eye opening and eventful year but I shall save all that sappy stuff for my 2017 wrap up at the end of the year.

Anyway, I was browsing through my old posts in attempts to get some inspiration and stumbled upon this list. I published this list below in 2015 and realised that I never even completed it. Amazing how ambitious I was, wanting to achieve everything in there, and yet ironically, I never did complete the list. I'm turning twenty five in exactly three weeks but I have only been able to strike out ONE item without thinking twice.

I will be hitting the quarter life crisis in 2017. Holy shit. 

  1. Riding / Driving License (Expected 2018)
  2. Open-Water Diving License
  3. ACCT License
  4. Graduate with a bachelor's degree. (Expected 2018)
  5. Climb a real mountain.
  6. Try bungee jumping or sky diving.
  7. Invest in a new DSLR.
  8. Go on a solo trip. 
  9. Be happy with how I look. 
  10. Stay committed to rugby. (Totally not playing rugby anymore) 
  11. Donate blood.
  12. Be able to run 5km non stop. (Didn't even bother working on my fitness)
  13. Become financially self sufficient. 
  14. Learn how to cook at least 5 new dishes.
  15. Be independent. 
  16. Take my mum on an all expense paid trip. 
  17. Attend a spinning class.
  18. Watch a movie alone. 
  19. Learn yoga.
  20. Go on a road trip. 
  21.  
  22.  
  23.  
  24.  
  25.   

I remembered quite clearly - when I wrote this list, I had just graduated a few months ago, just came back from Perth, I was not happy with my full time job, my relationship with my then boyfriend was starting to get rocky and all I could think of was that this was not the life I was meant to live. I was extremely uninspired and bored - with my then relationship, with my job, with my studies, with my life at that moment. 

Two years down the road and here I am. 
Jobless, but not broke. Single, but not lonely. Fat, but not unfit.

Basically, I'm a walking contradiction. 

I have travelled to more places than I could have ever imagined, thanks to the little savings I had left from my previous job and countless number of travel opportunities for work and leisure. I am now an undergrad with Murdoch University and trying my hardest to stay motivated enough to complete my double degree. I have played for teams I never thought I'd play for and coaching sports I never even knew existed. I did not plan any of this - but yet, I couldn't imagine living life any other way. 

I realise now how overambitious / vague / general that list is, up there. It looks more like a wish list than a list of things to achieve. Ironic how I educate students to set S.M.A.R.T. goals but don't practice it myself. So here goes nothing: a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely list of things to achieve before I turn 30.

♥, NMJ

A Walking Contradiction


The fasting month is always filled with iftar sessions between friends, families and loved ones. I have always hated having to wait / rush when breaking my fast so its either I have proper plans made for iftar or I'll break my fast in the comfort of my own home. I love going to Malaysia though. Not only is their bazaar a hundred times better than Singapore's, their restaurants aren't as packed as it is here too. If you're looking for a good place in Johor Bahru to have your iftar session at, here's one that you can check out.



107, Jln Adda 3/1, Taman Adda Heights, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Opening Hours:
Regular days, 4pm to 10pm daily, unless otherwise stated.
Fasting month, restaurant starts operating at 6.30pm instead.
It's best (and safest!) to double check with them either via Facebook or WhatsApp before coming.


 

How To Get There
The restaurant is located at Taman Adda Heights, along a stretch of shophouses and landed property. I wouldn't say its easily accessible via public if you're coming in from Singapore (because it will take you more than an hour and multiple bus transfers) but a short trip on Grab or Uber will only set you back by just a few dollars. 

If you are travelling with your own vehicle coming in from CIQ / Woodlands, drive up using the EDL / AH2 all the way til you see exit 255C leading to Bandar Dato' Onn Utama. My brother remembers this route as the "new expressway" route. Hahaha. It will take you around twenty minutes to get there, that is, if you don't take a wrong turn.





The Restaurant
Just like any other restaurant where you wait to be seated, browse through the menu and order through a waiter. Every single time Uncle (the owner) finds out that a customer is from Singapore, he will ask them how they knew about Cookies & Ginger. This restaurant has been around since October 2013 but there was never a huge hype hunt for Cookies & Ginger. Hence, not many Singaporeans came to dine here despite it's affordable price, satisfying food, plus fast and friendly service. 


THE MENU
The restaurant has recently updated their menu online, you can find it here. I wouldn't say that the prices are cheap (Singaporeans only view it as cheap because of the advantage that we have in exchange rates) but it is fairly affordable and reasonable for the quantity and quality of the dishes.





WHAT WE ATE
My teammates and I got different dishes each, so that we could have more variety on the table and tried each others' main course. Not everyone is comfortable with sharing their dishes so if this isn't your cup of tea then don't do it - but if you do have close friends like these, get one dish each and you'll get to try everything on the menu for the price of just one dish! 



Watermelon Juice - RM9.00

Hand-Shaken Pina Colada - RM10.10 

Nachos El Grande with Beef Chili - RM15.80 

Level 3 Crazy Hot Buffalo Wings - RM14.40



Original Beef Lasagna - RM22.30

Flame Grilled Chicken Chop with Black Pepper Sauce - RM16.40

Spagetthi with Tom Yam Chicken & Prawn - RM12.80

Flame-Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops - RM31.80

Pan-Fried Norwegian Salmon Fillet with Black Pepper Sauce - RM26.60

Cajon Dory & Lamb Shoulder - RM27.70



Only for the month of Ramadhan:
  • Restaurant operating hours will start from 6.30pm, instead of 4pm.
  • Reservations can be made at least one day in advance either through Facebook (Cookies & Ginger) or WhatsApp (Natasya +6010 5433 881).
  • You get to enjoy this entrée of Nasi Minyak that includes Ayam Masak Merah, Kurma Daging, Kari Masala Kambing, Acar Nenas, free flow of syrup drink and assorted Malay kuehs for just RM20 per adult, RM15 per child below 12 years old. 




What We Liked:
  • Prompt yet friendly service. 
  • Cosy interior with the high stools and bar concept that looks like a set of How I Met Your Mother.
  • Extremely satisfying food at such an affordable and reasonable price. 
  • Flexible ordering options / customisable sauces for main courses. 
  • The restaurant has both alfresco (smoking area) and indoor dining. 
  • It has its own toilet for customers too.




What We Didn’t Like:
  • There were a few items (like the lasagne) that were selling out when we came. However, we found out later on that the restaurant only keeps a certain amount of meat in their freezer and do note keep them frozen for a long time - this is to ensure freshness / quality of their dishes. 
  • Most of their marketing publicity is being done in Malay, so those who don't speak the language may face a struggle in keeping up with their online updates.

Things to take note,
  • Walk in and dine in only, no takeaway or reservations.
  • Cash terms only, no credit cards accepted as of now.
  • Alfresco dining is open to smoking at the table, so if you're particular about the smell of cigarettes then please dine indoors.


Would I Dine Here Again?
Most definitely. Thank you Uncle Fairus & the CG team for such a good dining experience!


This review was not written under any pressure or endorsement of any of the parties mentioned, and was written under my own initiative. All visuals were taken by Sany Poe and all opinions here are as always, my own, unless otherwise stated. 

Review: Cookies & Ginger (Johor Bahru)

When thinking of a quick visit to Indonesia, most people would opt for the likes of Bali, Lombok or Jogjakarta. Most visitors would make Surabaya a place of transit. Very few would actually jump at the idea of paying Surabaya a visit, thinking that there is nothing much to do here - which makes this authentic city even more unique and underrated than it already is.


Being the second largest city after Jakarta, Surabaya actually has lots to offer, more than you can imagine - but very few would actually crawl out of their comfort zone in going to a place that is less frequented. Here's to trying to break that travel stereotype with 8 reasons why you should visit Surabaya if you ever get the chance! 

1. Cheap Travel Costs

One of pulling factor to get away is when an airline has promotions up for grabs. However, even without travel discounts, it is still much cheaper to travel to Surabaya. as compared to her frequently visited neighbours such as Bali, Lombok or Yogyakarta. With its newly refurbished international airport, there is quite a fair amount of flights, from many different service providers, going in and out of Surabaya in a day.


If you're from Singapore, return tickets would cost you as low as SGD50 per pax. Within the island, you can opt for a ride around on the tri-shaw, regular taxi, motor-taxis or even Uber/Grab your way around. There are also trains readily available to take you to the outskirts of Surabaya.

2. Affordable Accommodation   


Accommodation is also easily available within or on the outskirts of Surabaya. A night's stay in a cosy hostel would cost you as low as SGD8 per person while a night's stay at a well furnished hotel room would cost you between SGD30 - SGD90, depending on how luxurious you would like the space to be.


However, if you're the adventurous type, you can choose to stay in a local home or guest house via airbnb and get an entire apartment or private room for as low as SGD20 per night. You just need to put in a little extra effort and search for the right kind of accommodation that fits both your curiosity and budget😎

P.S. You can save even more on accommodation by claiming this airbnb travel credit

3. Authentic Indonesian Food


Credit: imanueljeff on Instagram

I dare say that one of the main reasons why I enjoyed my trip to Indonesia so much was due to the fact that it was a breeze when it comes to finding halal food as compared to neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Taiwan or Philippines. Be it street food, local stalls (also known as warung in Bahasa Indonesia)fast food franchises or local restaurants - almost everything is edible for us Muslims.

Credit: kulinersby on Instagram

One of the dishes that you have got to try would definitely be the Soto Ayam Ambengan (Ambengan's traditional chicken soup) or my personal favourite, the Sate Ayam Ponorogo (Chicken satay) with peanut sauce. My friends and I had a huge feast every night!

4. Historical Significance

Credit: dianairish7 on Instagram

I did not know this (until my Indonesian friend mentioned it to me), but it is here in Surabaya where Indonesia holds a lot of its history - especially due to the fact that this was where Indonesia had her battle for independence in November 1945. It was the largest battle of the Indonesian National Revolution, so significant that it become a national symbol of resistance and independence for their country.

Credit: rina.choa on Instagram

If you are a History geek like I am, there are many different museums (such as the 10 November Museum or the Surabaya Museum) as well as many different monument sites or war memorials for you to check out and pay your respects to. 

5. Unique Places of Visit

Credit: mahardikaprasetya on Instagram

Apart from the historical places of visit, there are also other unique spots where visitors can check out. One of the more unique museums that they have here is called the House of Sampoerna - a cigarette factory that turned into a tourist attraction, solely dedicate to showcasing one of Indonesia's most famous kretek cigarette manufacturers. You don't have to be interested in the tobacco industry to find this place interesting, the whole Sampoerna empire will explain itself.

Credit: tuabaru on Instagram

Another one worth mentioning is the Monkasel, otherwise known as Monumen Kapal Selam or the Submarine Monument. It is actually the KRI Pasopati 410 submarine (one of the Indonesian Navy fleets, built in the Soviet Union in 1952) that was taken apart into sections, brought to shore, pieced back into its original shape and then turned into a monument as a tribute to the Indonesian heroes from the Battle of the Arufura Sea. 

6. Masjed Muhammad Cheng Ho

Credit: windiyulia on Instagram

Surabaya is home to many Chinese Muslims and this mosque was named after Admiral Cheng Ho, who was believed to have been the one that brought the teachings of Islam to Indonesia’s Chinese Community.


Credit: Adib Wahab on Flickr

Having been brought up in Singapore and Malaysia, I have never seen a mosque as unique as this, not even while I was in China! I have never seen a mosque as unique as this, not even while I was in China. The mosque is mainly in the colour red, green and yellow - predominantly resembling Chinese architecture. How unique!

7. Suroboyo Carnival Park & Night Market


Credit: Ilham Ageng on Flickr

The first theme park in Surabaya that showcases both traditional and modern entertainment at a really affordable price. I would think of it as the Indonesian version of Luna Park in Australia.

Credit: richardvsw on Instagram

There are approximately 25 different rides and attractions, a whole long row of carnival games and food, a Family Fun House, magic shows, a mini circus, it's own archery range plus even meet and greet sessions with different characters. The best part? You get to experience all that with an entrance fee as low as SGD8 per person!

8. Mount Bromo 

Credit: Andreas Hunziker on Flickr

I'm sure most of you have heard of this beauty. The cheapest way would be for you to take a train or bus from Surabaya to Probolinggo and then continue on to Cemoro Lawang, a town at the base of Mount Bromo.

Credit: Wasin Waeosri on Flickr

The whole journey would take approximately 3 - 5 hours, depending on the time spent waiting and in traffic. However, if you are planning to pay Mount Bromo a visit, I would suggest to dedicate two days just for this. The first day for the visit to this stratovolcano itself and the day after to hibernate in bed from all the workout.

Credit: lightsray on Instagram

A unique experience would be for you to go on the Bromo Midnight or Sunrise Tour. You can either conquer the tracks on foot or (if you're as lazy as I am) ride a jeep all the way up to the crater. It is beautiful beyond words to be able to see the view at sunrise but then again, who am I kidding? With such an amazing creation of His, any time of the day would still be scenic to our eyes.


“No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.” – Chuck Thompson

So the next time you find yourself contemplating on where to travel for a short getaway or feel like you have ran out places to visit for a short getaway over the long weekend, try Surabaya.

Now that you’re done scrolling to the end of the page, what are you waiting for? Stop eyeing that flight ticket and just, go. Safe travels, always! ♥

♥, NMJ

8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Surabaya

It has almost been two months since I last travelled out of the country (I go to Johor more than twice a month but that doesn't count) but after talking to Am last night, I found myself craving for good authentic Thai food and a spontaneous adventure all over again. It has definitely been awhile. So I thought, what better way to get over the wanderlust than to talk and write about it, right? Right. 

Without further ado, here's a completely unhealthy food post of what Am and I consumed over the days spent in Phuket - and boy, did we consumed a lot of fatty foods. If you're famished and reading this from the office without any access to yummy, greasy goodness - I suggest you press Alt + F4 right now. 


We only spent 250 baht (SGD10.10) for this meal at the Malin Plaza night market. Here's how our meal typically looks like and most of the time / as usual, I will always not finish my portion. I know, right? I'm surprised how I can possibly be so chubby too. Sometimes I pity whoever it is that goes out to eat with me but most times, I'm just thankful they have the tank capacity of titanic. 


Chicken Cutlets - 50 baht (SGD2) & Tempura Shrimps - 100 baht (SGD4) // I couldn't resist these giant chicken and shrimp pieces. You simply pick the plates that satisfy you in terms of size and appearance, and then let them refry them to make it even crispier. Plus, where else on earth can you get them at this price?! 


Street Cart Coffee - 25 baht (SGD1) // Every morning (or whenever we are cranky and thirsty) we would go in search of these side cart coffees selling drinks in a huge 1-litre plastic cup. Specifically, the ones in these gigantic cups. 



Chocolate Cookie Rolled Ice Cream - 45 baht (SGD1.80)


Coconut Ice Cream - 30 baht (SGD1.20)


One of my cranky nights and Am went, "you need your coffee" so we crashed to Starbucks (because it always feels like home to me), grabbed a drink each, sat down on the comfy sofas for almost an hour without saying a word to each other. Now that I think about it, I forgot what I was angry / annoyed / complaining about. Hahahaha. 


If you watched our vlog from day two, you would have seen the pretty front lawn that we stumbled upon and enjoyed this scrumptious home cooked meal from the generous owners. In all honesty, this was the best Pad Thai that I've ever tasted in my life. I still think of it whenever I'm craving for Thai food.


Am had this plate of some beef dish and rice. Meh. My Pad Thai was much better. 



The last time I was in Phuket with Fizzy, we frequented Malin Plaza quite a lot too, and Am loved this place just as much so we came back again for dinner on a different night. Again, we spent around 250 baht (SGD10.10) in total for all these yummy dishes. 



On our last day, we rode our bikes to find a place to have breakfast at and stumbled upon this whole stretch of Muslim food stalls over in the Kamala / Kathu district. Man, did we enjoy all of the goodies here - of course, again, with our gigantic cups of iced coffee and milk tea for 30 baht (SGD1.20) each.



Fried Chicken - 15 baht per piece (SGD0.60)



Packed rice and dishes - 20 baht per packet (SGD0.80)


I can't give an exact address but it is on the right side of the highway linking Kamala & Kathu, and their target audience were factory workers from the nearby construction sites - which is probably why we were the only tourists there and everything that was being sold here were mostly by Muslim vendors and at half the price of what was sold at Malin Plaza. How awesome is that?!


A hearty breakfast indeed. We sure didn't regret skipping the hotel's buffet breakfast for these. 


Shaved Ice with Syrup - 20 baht (SGD0.80)



Am and I try as much as possible to avoid restaurants but on our last day, we found ourselves stranded along Patong Beach with no transport to get us to the airport on time for our flight and what with all the rush and stress, we decided to indulge a little and have a hearty meal at this fancy-shmancy pizza-hut looking restaurant with free wifi. 


Well, that's the end of this fattening post. I started this series specifically for my friends who kept asking, "where's this place" every time I post something on snapchat or instastory - especially while in a non-Muslim country. There are a lot of options available if there are absolutely no halal food to be found. For example, making your own home cooked food, bringing your own cup noodles from home, vegetarian food, Muslim-owned stalls, etc. But this is of course, to each it's own and that is why this series is called "what we ate" and not "what to eat" while in whatever country. Hehe. I hope you've enjoyed feasting your eyes over all the yummy pictures as much as Am loves eating / I love compiling posts of things I ate overseas. Eat well and travel often, everybody! 

What We Ate In Phuket

© Nurul Mimsy | A Visual Diary