Family Trip to Victoria, Australia 2016

We spent 2 weeks in Australia (Victoria) in September.

Our itinerary:

15 – 17 Sep 2016: Phillip Island
17-19 Sep 2016: Great Ocean Road
19-21 Sep 2016: Grampians
21-23 Sep 2016: Farmstay near Ballarat
23-24 Sep 2016: Healesvilles
24-26 Sep 2016: Snowtime at Mt Hotham
26-29 Sep 2016: Melbourne city

trip-map-2016

Our 8-seater rented car from Apex
Our 8-seater rented car from Apex
At Churchill Heritage Farm, Phillip Island
At Churchill Heritage Farm, Phillip Island
At the Noobies, Phillip Island
At the Noobies, Phillip Island
We took the helicopter
View from the helicopter, Phillip Island
View from the helicopter, Phillip Island
Penguin Parade, Phillip Island
Penguin Parade, Phillip Island
Werribee Mansion
Werribee Mansion
Lorne Beach, Great Ocean Road
Erskine Falls Lorne, Great Ocean Road
Erskine Falls Lorne, Great Ocean Road
At Gibson Step, Great Ocean Road
At Gibson Step, Great Ocean Road
Gibson Steps, Great Ocean Road
Gibson Steps, Great Ocean Road
12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road
12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road
Tower Hill Reserve, Warrnambool
Tower Hill Reserve, Warrnambool
At the Grampians
At the Grampians
Hallsgap, Grampians
Hallsgap, Grampians
View of Hallsgap from the top
View of Hallsgap from the top
Coolas Ice Cream (Salted Caramel)
Coolas Ice Cream (Salted Caramel)
At Lake Wandouree, Ballarat
At Lake Wandouree, Ballarat
The old tram at Ballarat
The old tram at Ballarat
Black swans with their baby cygnet
Black swans with their baby cygnet
Farmstay
Farmstay
Farmstay at Mount Emu
Farmstay at Mount Emu
At Ballarat Wildlife Park
At Ballarat Wildlife Park
At Ballarat Wildlife Park
At Ballarat Wildlife Park
Scenic view on our way to Mt Hotham
At Mt Hotham
At Mt Hotham
At Mt Hotham
At Mt Hotham
Still snow at the end of September
Still snow at the end of September
Melbourne city
Melbourne city
In Melbourne city
In Melbourne city

My solo trip to Bangkok

A few weeks ago (June 2016) I flew solo to Bangkok, Thailand to visit my Thai high school friend. Hubby was super cool with that. My trip fell on a weekday, so the kids were in school during the day and he just needed to take care of them before and after school.

I have not seen my Thai friend since 1999. We were classmates at an international school in Beijing. She left China before me but thanks to Facebook, we reconnected. She arranged to fetch me from Don Moeong airport and bring me to another province called Samut Songkhram (Mae Klong), for another experience. 

Eating local food with my Thai friend. We have not seen each other in 17 long years!

We stayed in Amphawa district at a little local resort called Na Plai Phong Phang.

The resort

This place is so peaceful. Loved relaxing on the hammock by the side of the river and occasionally seeing a boat passing by…

Relaxing on the hammock by the river

A must try when visiting Thailand is the Thai coconut ice cream

Having a delicious coconut ice cream

I also tried (first time) a super creamy coconut. Can’t remember its name though.

The creamiest coconut

Visited Amphawa Floating night market

Amphawa Floating Market at night

Day 2 breakfast

Breakfast

My friend brought me to the famous Maeklong railway market on day 2

At Maeklong Railway Market

I have always wanted to see this since I saw a picture of it years ago. Well, mission accomplished!

At Maeklong Railway Market

Back in Bangkok city for the usual touristy stuffs. I spent 3 nights at Hotel de Bangkok.


At the Grand Palace

Dinner
Tuktuk
Common soup dish
Banana Prata

Family getaway

My parents just came to Singapore and we just came back from a big family getway to Port Dickson, Malaysia.

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Our car isn’t in a good condition to drive for 4 hours, so we hired a driver from “Let’s Jalan Jalan”.

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We stayed at Lexis Hibiscus

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The private 1.2m pool next to the bathroom was superb. Kids took it as a huge bathtub — swimming first thing when they woke up and at 10pm before bedtime was the norm ;)

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View from the bed

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The resort has an indoor and an outdoor playgound. Their indoor playground is chargeable (Rm20 per kid per hour). Brought the kids there everyday to play for an hour.

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Their outdoor playground was fun too!

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Their gymnasium wasn’t impressive though — small with very few equipment!

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It rained very early in the morning and at night

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Some of the rooms will face other water chalets, like the one below.

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At the sky lounge after dinner

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So tired after lots of playing

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Relaxing in the pool

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2015 Adventures in China – Inner Mongolia (Hohhot City)

Day 3 – 7 were spent in Inner Mongolia.

We took the overnight soft sleeper train from Beijing West Railway station to Hohhot (Inner Mongolia). Our train tickets were purchased online at Ctrip just a week earlier. We still needed to collect our real tickets at any railway ticket counter. We collected ours at Beijing West Railway station (our hotel was just opposite the station).

We paid a few bucks to get to wait at an air conditioned waiting hall to avoid the crowd.

Inside our K89 Sleeper Train. Departure was at 2215hrs. It got really really cold at night.

The train wasn’t noisy, the beds were comfortable and we slept pretty well at night. It was just squeezy because the kids shared the bed with me!

Outside view

We reached Hohhot Train Station at 0720hrs, after 9hrs

We stayed at Anda Guesthouse for the next 3 days. They had free train pickups from Hohhot Train Station.

Anda Guesthouse is a hostel-like accommodation. We were their first guest bringing kids along haha.  The owners were very friendly. Accommodation was cheap at S$40 per night (albeit shared bathroom) and it got many good reviews from  international travelers. They also provide private tours at reasonable price. We enjoyed interacting with the other guests. On our last evening after checking out we stayed at the common area and had a good 3 hour chat with the other international guests.

We spent our first day in the city.

The restaurant street was just opposite our guesthouse, so we decided to try some Mongolian food for lunch

Their tea has a very milky taste … a bit too strong for my liking

After lunch we took a cab to Inner Mongolian Museum

The museum has everything from dinosaurs and Genghis Khan to space-age rockets.

We bought some local food products

We went back to the restaurant street for dinner. This place is just opposite Anda Guesthouse.

This time we tried BBQ and satays. Yum! Loved all the stuffs that we ordered.

I loved their satays and the spices used