Friday, November 28, 2014

Matcha Diaries - Quattro

Although the label is Spanish, I also found out that its also Italian, meaning -- four. I don't have an idea where branding gets the label from, and I don't see how the number relates to a matcha chocolate cookie. 

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Quattro was worth a try, I would buy it again, once I run out of stock. I has a distinct taste of a strong matcha. It didnt melt in my mouth, but it my tongue! :P The white portion you see is a biscuit while bitter-tasting cocoa is sandwiched with the matcha chocolate. Good thing they always come in individual packs so I couldn't devour them all at once!

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The box markings says it is being distributed by www.taneseitrading.com.sg 
Product of http://kabaya.com.jp/careme


The Verdict: 
Where I got it: NTUC Fairprice, Japan Section, Bishan

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hotel Review - The Briza Beach Resort, Khao Lak, Thailand

I was too excited to post about Japan that I forgot about our Khao Lak trip last August. It was a trip we went to even before Surigao. The trip was planned for about 2 weeks but the airfare was book earlier to avail the sale seats to Phuket. We wanted an escape from Singapore and decided to go the beach. What's better than being in a beach, right?


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Phuket is a little crowded for us and since we've already been there, we chose Khao Lak instead. It's about one and a half-hour ride from Phuket International Airport. Taxi is quite cheap in Thailand so we rented out a sedan to take us to the Hotel. Life was easy inside the car. No hassle of any discomfort. We had the car all by ourselves. Even fell asleep while on our way to the hotel.
 
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The Reception
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mini library
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The lounge.
We initially planned for Koh Phang Nga which is famous for its pristine beaches under the full moon party but it will take us another 5 hours from Khao Lak. It was a quick getaway of 4 nights so we gave this one a try. Besides, I was eying for resort's pool access room. The plan for 5 days was just swim in the pool, walk by the beach and swim in the sea. 

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When we reached the hotel, we waited for another hour and a half for the room to be ready. Sometimes I don't understand why a hotel would have the customer wait to check-in. We were informed that someone is still checked-in and that they will have to check out by 2pm. What I don't understand is, the hotel wasn't even fully booked since it was off peak. Obviously when we were inside, a lot of rooms were vacant. And sometimes I forgot to ask why? :P


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Hunsa Bar
The receptionists suggested to go around the resort and even gave us towels so we could dip into the pool. We were adamant to rest in the room so we just checked the lobby on the other side of the reception area. It was a mini library and a huge resting area.

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The resort is huge, covering 2 buildings parallel to each other, the rooms were divided by a road at the center. Pretty famous for day tours as well because of the number of buses parked on its parking area everyday. 


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Second pool; near the ocean
I love the resort's maintenance, the hotel is neat and the staff, especially the ones at the restaurant are so friendly. Before we got ready to check-in we asked about the activities in the island. Khao Lak is also famous before of its nearby island likes Andaman, Similan and Surin. Unfortunately it was off peak. The famous islands were closed and would only be open for public from November to March.

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Our night view.
The other side of the hotel has a front beach. A fancy pool at the center. And with quite a large number of rooms. The rate is definitely higher by 1000 baht in this area compared to where we booked our room. I just couldn't resist the view from the room. Can you?

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Children's pool at night
While they have 3 fancy pools, the beach is a different story. The beach is not that bad. I was just expecting a white beach but instead had a brown sand. The water is not that clear because of the monsoon season. But the beach is clean, we saw some trash but its not that disturbing. 

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This beach line goes a long way.

One more thing the hotel needs improvement is their food. Although it was a buffet, they need to change their menu and look for some variety on what they are serving to their customers. We ate the same fruits (watermelon, papaya, pineapple), fried rice, sausage, fried noodles, bread/jams, omelette for 4 days.


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Maya Restaurant- Pad Thai was so good in this restaurant but comes in a heavy price for the pocket.

Over all, I loved this resort for its facilities. I would bet this place is happier on Peak Seasons.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Peppa10 Years of Muddy Puddles

One morning I saw this set of toys being played by Uno. Cute little plastic piglets wearing different colours of clothing, green, red, orange and blue. It got me because they are simply  the cutest!


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Peepa



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Based from a British Television Series:
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Daddy Pig
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Mummy Pig

"Peppa Pig is a lovable but slightly bossy little pig. She is four years old and lives with Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and her little brother George. Peppa likes playing with Suzy Sheep (her best friend), visiting Granny and Grandpa Pig, and looking after George. Most of all, Peppa loves jumping up and down in muddy puddles, laughing and making loud snorting noises." - nickjr UK

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George

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Mother and Son

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quick Guide on How to Get a Visa to Japan

It's been my long overdue plan to visit Japan. For 8days the experience have been exceptional. So if you are curious of what the country looks like book your ticket now and let's get it on with the Visa.

If you are in Singapore, this is the link you should check: http://www.sg.emb-japan.go.jp/visa_shortterm.htm
If you are in the Philippines, check this out: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/index.htm

Visa Application Form is downloadable here.

FAQs:
Will cost you $0 for Filipinos in Singapore. 
While in the Philippines you have to pay P1,500 to the agency. 
How long is the validity of the visa? 15 days single entry 
How long did it take to process my visa? 2 business days but it doesn't mean we'll have the same case, from what I read it may take up to 5 business days. Jr applied to an agency in the Philippines, took him a week to claim his visa. Be sure to call the agency if they haven't called back in a week.

Link of Accredited Agencies:
Please protect yourself and apply only to an accredited agency mention at this site.


The requirements in Singapore is less complicated and in numbers compared to the Philippines added requirements are letter from the Company Manager (signed) stating you are on official vacation leave, Marriage contract if married, ITR, Bank Certificate and even your itinerary.


I love the visa on my Passport, except for my photo (obviously). 

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               I haven't replaced my last name yet.


Good luck and safe travels! 



Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Matcha Sweets Diary 101 ver 1.1

For all of you who doesn't know, I love green tea flavoured chocolates, pudding and desserts. In short, sweets! I have a sweet tooth although not for all kinds of chocolates but I wouldn't think twice if its a matcha flavor. 

To all the matcha lovers, Join me to a journey of matcha sweets diaries. I will be posting photos of the ones I have tasted (maybe looking for). Wouldn't be having a detailed description on how it tasted because I don't have the technical knowledge of tasting but what I can promise is you will be informed if its good or bad. 

As a Starter I am presenting Kyo-matcha chocolate / matcha macadamia by Meiji.

Has a rich matcha chocolate and crispy macadamia inside.

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The Verdict: http://eemoticons.net
Where I got it: Family Mart, Tokyo Japan

Britannia Group of Islands

It does sound like a fancy place to go to. Well, beaches are always fancy to me but it was a cheap ride going here. We rented a multicab jeepney on our way to San Agustin. We were 5 in the jeepney, all by ourselves. We decided to take a break from crowded buses and vans. It wasn't pricey, only cost us a couple of hundred of pesos. 


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La Entrada's wooden facade to onboard the boats.


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The trip took us about an hour in a half to get to the boat quay. I remember we were asked to pay a 5-peso entrance to a probably a government hut in the middle of the road. Yes, they had receipts.  


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We weren't able to check-in early at La Entrada when we arrived at the location. The reception lady told us that we can leave our things beside their desk while we can order our food to be taken to the islands. And so, we did after we settle the payments.

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Hagonoy Island

We were pleased with the cool tropical breeze under the sun. We get to visit 3 islands out of the 25, Naked, Hagonoy and Buslon Island. The beaches are pristine. White powdery sand, i think the island got its name from what it looks like. There's pretty much a number of Naked Islands in the Philippines merely because of being bare. Just the sun, clear turquoise water, white sand and small rocks. No facilities nor cottages which for me is good.

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Buslon Island

We did not spend a night at this place though we love to. I guess we just have to pass to a foreseen total inconvenience when going back to the airport in time. We knew we had to be on the road by night. 

PS: I love my new watermark. Profile photo digital drawing by Jeini
 
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