Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Live today as if you will die tomorrow

Live as if you will die tomorrow quote (Pic source: Google.com)

While we were discussing our trivial matters,
someone else was fighting for their life.
While people busied satisfying their ego,
someone else breathed for their last time.

Life is such a delicate thing.
It's separated by thin wall,
segregating life and death.
Fragile, really fragile.

When we're gone,
what you think was important, won't matter anymore.
Money, success, health, fame, loved ones.

And while we're still alive,
live a life that matters.

Do what you love, love what you do.
Help others who are in need.
Live every moment to your fullest.
If you can't help, at least don't hurt them.

At the end,
what we left behind is just memory,
moments that you have created all through your life,
with people that you have met all along,
for different reasons.

Let your kindness and compassionate heart be the imprint of your existence in people's heart.
Yes, time will let all that disappear, because nothing is last. 
Nothing is permanent. 
Everything will return to be empty.
But one day after you're gone, at least you can still create a simple upward curve into someone's lips upon their remembrance of you. 
Isn't it beautiful?

Quotes (Pic source: Google.com)

P.S. As I travel a lot in my life (especially when I fly alone and for a longer period of time), I always have the uneasy feeling before flying. Will I survive this flight? Will I be return back home safely and in one piece? Will I be healthy all throughout the journey? And so on. There are so much uncertainty lying around in my head. It needs a lot of courage and bravery to face this uncertainty alone, over and over again. And it takes courage to come out from the comfortable shell, to face the vast outer world with its people who live differently and have different culture. There is a need to adapt for the constant change and environment.

"If this will be the last day that I live, what will you and I think?" - I always ask people and myself this question as I can not hide my curiosity. Are you happy enough to be with me? Why you love me? And I will say sorry for every mistakes that I've made in my life (so that I won't die in regret) and thank everyone for taking part in my life's journey (with all happy and sad memories). Not forgetting to tell them how much I love them and how grateful I am for their existence in this present life.

We all know that it is not easy to meet up and have fate in the present life. There are so many billions people across the world (this world only), not yet counting those who live in other Universe. Therefore, it requires a great karmic relation from the past lives in order for us to meet up again in this present life. So while it happens, I'll do my best to treasure them, whether they have mutual feelings or not. But so far, thank Buddha, many have expressed the same gratitude as I have.

These could be my last cooking for my loved ones. We'll never know!

So, let me end my writings here. And as close message, live today as if you will die tomorrow. Be grateful for everything that happen to you always! :)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Letter of Gratitude

"If only we are willing to try" - Rimareyka.writes 

Everything happened for a reason. You heard what I wished and everything came at the perfect place and time. Although it's something I'd never done before, although the place was so far away, it didn't stop me from trying. You gave me accompany to start and end it together.

There, I learned many lesson from the wise and someone who had a compassionate heart. Everyday I listened to her story, be the listener, of her sometimes repeating story. But it taught me many things. About life especially. About hardship, kinship, honesty, high-spirit or determination in overcoming life's challenges, trust, honesty, love, faith, gratitude, and so on.

"No one says it is easy, but it is worth it" - Rimareyka.writes

There, I saw how miracles working to someone who put a faith in you, never gave up in praying and left everything into your hand. In times of need, someone appeared on her door and offered help; goods available upon needed; and I could see how people were coming back to her store again and again.

It might not only because of things that she was selling, but I could see how she treated them well over almost three decades of building trust, give only good materials so that it was worth the price they paid, and love-hate relationship with them. She knew the names of most her customers cum friends, because every time she met someone new, she always asked for their names and she'd remember it for a long time.

"Nothing is permanent. Treat people well" - Rimareyka.writes

In these short 3 weeks, I could feel how kind and compassionate she was as a human being. She was there before, tough times, that's why she could understand their plight, and able to offer help without thinking any second. I saw her handed few ten dollar notes to her old friend, who came from faraway just to buy her products, in raining day, with pulling cart, and asked that lady to reach home by taxi instead of bus. She thanked my friend's hubby in person for letting my friend spending her time working at her shop. Wasn't it amazing?? Her power of gratitude amazed me!

She respected everyone she met and knew. But, never offend her once as she would remember it all her life!!!

Doing my favorite things :)

With this opportunity, I could spend my time productively, do my favorite things (such as reading books, thinking and writing poems/ quotes, listening to Buddhist chants during traveling from and to work by MRT plus bus), distract me from unnecessary thought, and with the earning, I could purchase things that I need and use it for many other purposes.

With dear colleagues :)

Today was my last working day. Although this might be the end, we shall meet again next time when fate allows us to. Or to join the force again next upcoming Chinese New Year.

Before leaving she thanked me for my help for the past three weeks and gave me many things (such as: handmade kueh lapis or thousand layer cake, home baked pineapple tarts, pandan plants) plus a red packet filled with bonus money as good luck for the upcoming Dog year. I thanked her back - not with goodies (as she has plenty of it in store) - but with my prayer, gratitude, and heartfelt wishes so that she and her families would be blessed all the time with good health, wealth, luck, love, joy, happiness, dreams come true, plus this letter of gratitude on this blog post.

 With the strong, compassionate and wonderful lady - Tante Lina :)

Thank you SB for everything that happened to me. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. It's been a wonderful start and I feel very grateful for it. Hope things go equally well for the rest of the year and may all sentient beings be happy and healthy, free from suffering, life full of peace and joy. And may God and Buddha bless Tante Lina and her families always! :)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Embracing 2018

A Year of Maturity

Time flies. It's almost a month since it'd started. Hope it's not too late to convey my dreams and hopes for the upcoming year. Shall this be a remembrance and may it all will come true!!! :) Wish me luck!!! ^^

Saturday, January 13, 2018

New life's learning - Baking Kueh Lapis :)

Pic source: Channels News Asia

Bbbrrrrrrr......... It was so cold this morning!!! Most Singaporean chose to have their window opened last night to let the cooling air entering their house and bedroom. The air-conditioner was retired for the day. The rain had poured for sometime, and even some days. But only yesterday night I could feel the drastic temperature change. It felt so cold at the Outram Park when I walked to the four-star hotel in the area to meet two new Bhutanese friends to pick my parcel up from Bhutan. My other friends felt the same too and I could see many people walking on the road wearing additional layer of cloth to keep themselves warmed.

The new Instagram account - rimareyka.writes - for the love of thinking and writing. Add me there if you have not yet done so! ;)

Before leaving the house, I saw my in-law lying down in the sofa with blanket covering from her neck all the way to the feet while playing the Pokemon games from her mobile phone. So enviable!!!! In this kind of weather, I would have snugged inside my blanket with a book on hand and a cup of hot coffee at the side table next to me. Or otherwise I would have just browsed the Facebook, gone through the Instagram photos and stories, checked new posts on We Chat Moments, or thought deeply on what poem to post at the new installed Apps - Yourquote.in. (In case you have joined, you can follow me there - Rima Reyka) or add me on Instagram - Rimareyka.writes.

Unfortunately I had to leave the house at 8.30 am with small umbrella on one hand (to save me from the drizzling rain that had poured continuously since the night before) and the batik patterned bag slung on my right shoulder.  I had to reduce my walking speed as my purple flip flop had grown old and slippery (to prevent myself from getting blue mark on the butt and unlimited embarrassment if I really fell down hahaha.. :P).

I finally started doing my first part-time job since last Saturday. My Indonesian bestie recommended me a job to bake the Indonesian Kueh Lapis (Thousand Layer Cake) since the lady boss needed someone to do it as the Chinese New Year was coming soon. If you have no idea what am I talking about, please watch the following Youtube video to explain what the Kueh Lapis is and why people usually order, buy, and eat it during Chinese New Year.

By watching the above video, hopefully you can have a better idea now about what Kueh Lapis is, using what ingredients (a very sinful cake using lots of egg yolk, butter, sugar, condensed milk, etc.), how to make it layer by layer (spread the mix dough into one layer, put it into oven until the color turns brownish, and continue to do so until it is at certain height), and what's the meaning behind it or on why people eating them during Chinese New Year (it is believed that each layer of cake represents each layer of prosperity in the upcoming year).

Both my besties had done it in previous years and asked me to do it as well before. But since the location of the working place was very far from my house (it required more than an hour to reach the place by MRT and bus), I never thought of doing it. But this time, since I had free time before pursuing another thing at the month-end, so I thought, why not??? At the same time I could earn some pocket money to buy stuffs for the upcoming Chinese New Year :)

One oven fits 4 moulds of cakes inside

So last Saturday I tried it together with my bestie. The lady boss trained me personally. One person was in charge of one oven that could place 4 mould of cakes at one time. We did not have to worry about the mixed ingredients as it had been prepared by the lady boss' son. We just had to bake the ready made dough.

This is how the sliced Prune Kueh Lapis looks like - Sold at $2 each

She taught us how to bake the Prune Kueh Lapis - same process with the Original Kueh Lapis, but we added preserved dried prune in between the layers, and there were steps to follow. E.g. Baked 3 layers of cake. On 4th layer, added the prune. Topped it another 2 layers and on the 3rd, added the prune. Topped it with other 2 layers, and on the 3rd added the prune again (meaning added the prune 3 times), and end it with 2-3 layers. Something like that. The ending product would be just like the above photo (I made that! :D)

Record down the number of steps I had done :P

It sounded easy but I had poor memory. Hahahahaha.... In the middle of baking it, suddenly I lost count on how many times I had put the prune in it. OMG!!! Or I lost count how many layers I had put in the first few layers - 3 or 4?? Since I had to multi task doing other things like taking the cake out from the mould, transferring it to the tray, spreading the butter into the mould, and so on. I felt very bad if I accidentally made it not as expected as the cake was sold at a very expensive price. The price for the Original Kueh Lapis is SGD $58 while the Prune is SGD $61!!! (Imagine how many hours should I work to be able to buy one??? ^^"). Luckily the lady boss and her son were very kind and understanding. They said they would use the wrong one as the tasting sample to prevent waste. Therefore, to prevent the miscalculation, I had to write down the no. of steps on the paper each day now and put more attention on the timing to produce a good cake :)

Me caught in the action (Pardon me for the blurred picture as my friend took candid shot when I was working) :D

I had to stand up most of the time and faced the heat from the oven. My left arm and hand were aching as I had to take the mould in and out (each layer) and rotated them (to distribute even heat inside the oven) for hundred over times - daily. My right hand was paining from opening and spreading the dried prune one by one, also from spreading the mix dough into the mould layer by layer.

To finish two batches of the 8 cakes required two and half hours. On my first day, I managed to do 20 cakes (5 batch) from 10 am to 6 pm. In between I had about half an hour lunch break. So at least I had to stand up for 7.5 hours each day. We were allowed to sit down but we could not sit for long as we had to put our attention to the cake all the time to prevent over and under cooked.

My working table - Dough container, dried prune (some had been separated to make the process faster, water to clean the hand, wooden thing to press the layer and stick to pop the bubble out :)

On the second day, the speed increased as I found some ways to reduce the time in making it without affecting the quality of the cake. E.g. Separated the dried prune one by one so I could place it faster into the dough layer, prepared the cleaned and butter spread mould filled with dough when the current ones were almost done, and so on. In the end, I managed to make 27 cakes. So much improvement on the speed, but I felt very tired after that as it finished around 6.30 pm, and reached home almost 8 pm. The day after that I told the lady boss that I had to finish before 6 pm and instead, I would reach the place earlier (around 9.40 am). With this timing, usually I made 6 batches or 24 pcs of cakes daily - 2 batches before lunch and 4 batches after lunch.

Trays filled with the fully done Kueh Lapis!!! :)

Well, one week has gone and two more weeks to go. I hope I am blessed with good health (with raining days many people gets fever, cough, and cold), so that I can fulfill my duty as I had agreed to the lady boss. And although tiring, it was all worth doing as I learned something new in my life (added on knowledge and experience as I only knew how to eat and had zero idea on the making it before).

My Doraemon Piggy Bank! :P

Plus, at the end of the day when I reached home and entered to my room, it felt so good to slip the earning of each day into my Doraemon piggy bank that I hung on my room's door. I already planned in my head to open and calculate it on my last working day, purchase few necessary items, treat some good food to family members, and enjoy my upcoming holiday!!! So, let's pray that all my wishes come true!!! :D

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright

"Meet three women who are living their lives online, each one of them followed, idolized, imitated, taunted and trolled.

Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a complicated past. Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her moody teens. Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend precious moments with her three babies before bedtime. They all share a label that they simultaneously relish and loathe - mummy blogger. And the connections don't stop there...

When all three women are nominated for a prestigious blogging award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds - and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger, their stunts get crazier - and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide."

The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright

The above is the synopsis of the book. As a blogger myself, I know it well that blogging, apart from the way to express the heart out, the passion that flames within self, a media where writing skill, story telling, or poem writing can be flaunted, a site to share the life's journey and experiences, it is also the place where people can use it to generate money, influence, connections, fame, and so on.

Some use it as their main or side income to generate commission from the ads they posted within their blog, engage in sponsor of various products, hotel or Food and Beverage experience at different restaurants, and so on. And usually they create a life that is not necessarily the real life they live in. It is more into what appear on the outside rather than what really happens, which you can find out more from the book above.

There is nothing wrong with it really, until it has become a competition rather than passion, until the person has to hide the truth and lie exaggeratedly to show the best of their lives, to satisfy their ego to become the cream of the cream, which more often or not, not exist in real life. After all, we are all just a normal human being with our own strength and weakness, perfection and imperfection, happiness and sadness, peace and troubles, etc.

From the Mummy Bloggers :)

And lucky to those, that despite of their weaknesses and imperfection, there is always someone who will stay by their side, who loves, cares, supports incessantly to whatever things they do in their lives, who appreciates all the efforts and love given to the best they can.

We often heard this quote: "Behind every successful man, there is a supportive and encouraging woman," but it is also true that: "Behind every happy woman, there is a loving, supportive, and appreciative man that keep her safe and secure." 

So, this is my first read for the year 2018. Hope you have started yours and share your reading in your blog soon ;)

Monday, January 01, 2018

Books read for the second half of the year 2017

Depict me snuggling down under the Doraemon blanket with a cup of hot black coffee on the side table and a book within hands on my comfortable bed. That was how I had spent many days like that in year 2017, especially in the last month when it rained often in evening time.

End this raining season with delicious coffee and great book. Life is blissful :)

Below please find the book  that I read for the second half of the year 2017 :)

July 2017

July 2017:
1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
2. I Too Had  a Love Story - Ravinder Singh
3. Kadrinche Beyond Words - Kinley Wangchuk
4. The Expatriates - Janice Y.K. Lee
5. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - Arundhati Roy
6. Record of A Night Too Brief - Hiromi Kawakami

August 2017

Aug 2017:
1. Not For Happiness - Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
2. The Vegetarian - Han Kang
3. Life is Elsewhere - Milan Kundera
4. Beauty and Sadness - Yasunari Kawabata
5. Rich People Problems - Kevin Kwan

September 2017

Sep 2017:
1. The Girl of My Dreams - Durjoy Datta

October 2017

Oct 2017:
1. The Last Love Letter From Your Lover - Jojo Moyes
2. Buddha Dhamma for Students - Ajahn Buddhadasa
3. At Home in the World - Thich Nhat Hanh
4. Regrettable Things that Happened Yesterday - Ennani Durai
5. Sunday with Sumiko - Sumiko Tan

November 2017

Nov 2017:
1. Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change - Pema Choedron
2. How To Love - Thich Nhat Hanh
3. Met Without Women - Haruki Murakami

December 2017

Dec 2017:
1. Lady Stuff - Secrets to Being a Woman
2. Buddhism - One Teacher, Many Traditions - The Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron
3. Marriage: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures - Amber Dusick
4. Friend Request - Laura Marshall

24 books for the second half of the year 2017, made it total of 47 in a year. I still had hard time to finish the Buddhism books that I started. Just hope to change for the better in year to come :)

Happy New Year 2018!!! Wish you a wonderful chapter in life ahead!!! :)

Time goes by. Another year passes by. I hope all of you had a wonderful time in 2017 and made many beautiful memories, which would perfectly fit to be just a memory, and nothing else.

I hope you create more beautiful moments with your parents, spouse, children, partner, colleagues, friends, and even strangers this upcoming 2018 as life is unpredictable. Anything can happen in a split of second. Love much, live fully, laugh often, explore as much as you can, defeat your fear, and bravely face the world's challenges.

Hope you too keep your passion alive and recommend me some more good books please! Have a blessed 2018 ahead dear passionate readers and bloggers and wish you a wonderful chapter in your life ahead!!! Cheers.... :)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Bangkok D4 - Chatuchak Weekend Market, Asiatique Ferris Wheel, and delicious local food to try!!!

Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, Thailand - Must visit place!!!

Bangkok is well known as a shopping heaven especially for Singaporean. When they go to Bangkok, they will arrange to be there during weekend so that they can visit the famous Chatuchak weekend market and shop until they drop!!! Despite hot and humid weather, they will prepare themselves by wearing short-sleeves shirt, short pants, slipper, carrying big backpack on front part of their body, holding the battery operated portable fan at one hand and bottled of mineral water at another hand,  and sometimes wearing glasses and hat too. For me, umbrella is a must!!! :P

Chatuchak map (Pic source: Bangkok.com)

Chatuchak is such a big place (grouped into 27 sections) and has over 8,000 stores. When you reach there, you are advised to download the Apps into your phone so that you won't get lost or if you do not have the internet connection, free map is also available. It is reachable by both BTS (Mo Chit Stn) and MRT (Chatuchak Park Stn). You can find more information here.

Thai snacks and beverages - shopping break at Chatuchak weekend market

If you are hungry and thirsty, worry not!!! There are plenty of food and beverage stalls available down there. They sell many fancy and traditional food and keep your stomach filled and happy :)

Rung Rueng Pork Noodle near Phrom Phong BTS Station - Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google map)

Before going there, my local Thai friend brought us somewhere to have breakfast. That's why I only had snacks and beverages in Chatuchak market while they also have many stalls to eat proper meals. He introduced us a local Thai Chinese shops selling typical Chinese breakfast dishes - noodles!!! My favorite!!! We went down to the shop together by BTS and stopped at Phrom Phong Stn. Check the map above to find the shop's location.

Rung Rueng Pork Noodles - Bangkok, Thailand - For Chinese noodle lovers :)

I am glad that I could find the location through the Google map based on my memory while walking down through small alleys to reach the place as the shop's signage was in Thai language and I did not even know what the shop name was. I included this shop here so that you can try it too next time (especially for Chinese pork noodle lovers :D). My friend said this shop was very crowded, so it's better to come early and avoid lunch time. We even had to wait for more than half an hour before our food arrived.

Try their crispy fish skin too!!! Rung Rueng Pork Noodle - Bangkok, Thailand

He ordered and ate three bowls for himself as he just attended triathlon days before and he needed to regain some good nutrients back for his body, and also because the noodle was very delicious!!! At first two of us ordered three bowls of noodles and crispy fish skin. But after finishing one bowl of noodle, I just felt it was so delicious and one bowl was definitely not enough, therefore I decided to order another one. Hahahahahaha.... So I finished two bowls of noodles (one soup and one dried) on my own :P I had no idea how much it cost as my friend treated us, but from the Google review, many said that it was inexpensive, so if you pork noodle lover, seriously, you have to try it for yourself!!! :)

Khao Tom Pla Kimpo - Rice Soup with fresh fish and seafood in Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google map)

After having enough shopping, I was sweaty and tired. The weather was so hot and humid. I decided to go back to hotel to drop the shopping bags, take a little rest, and take a bath before going out again for dinner. My local Thai friend wanted to introduce us to another restaurant. We met up at BTS Saphan Taksin. From there we took a short bus journey. If walked, it might take us 20-25 mins to reach.

Khao Tom Pla Kimpo menu :)

This time the shop was selling rice soup with fish and/or seafood of your choice. It wasn't ordinary fish though, but including a choice of huge size fresh fish that they hung daily in front of their shop. The variety of fish they offered were butter fish, red grouper, grouper, and sea bass, while the seafood were squid, prawn and oyster.

Khao Tom Pla Kimpo - Rice soup fish and seafood in Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google map)

Apart from the rice soup, there was also stall selling crisp fried mussel pancakes. You could choose mussels, oyster, fish, prawn, and cuttlefish or mixture of your choices. It tasted delicious too!!!

Crisp fried seafood pancake at Khao Tom Pla Kimpo in Bangkok, Thailand

The seafood that they put into the rice soup was amazingly fresh and great!!! Seafood lover, you should come to this place and try it for yourself. The cuttlefish and prawns were equally big and fresh!!! Omg!!! It was really high quality of seafood that they served, that was why it was a bit pricey, but I guess, it was all worth it!!! Mostly local went to eat here and usually from the older generation.

Asiatique Ferris Wheel - Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google map)

Oh my... the meal was satisfying. I ate so much in a day!!! It was time to walk. My friend suggested us to walk all the way to the Asiatique Ferris Wheel. It was about the same distance that we took earlier. Good to digest the food that we just had, at the same time, had a romantic walk under the starry night sky.

Asiatique Ferris Wheel in Bangkok, Thailand

Other than riding the Ferris wheel, you could shop, dine, chill, relax, watch the Calypso ladyboy cabaret, Muay Thai Live, and classic Thai puppet performance. I had good time shopping there. There were few shops selling clothes for ladies at one price. There was local accessories shop and many other stuffs as well. Rows of restaurant and bars along the riverfront would be the perfect place to dine and chit chat, but we were too full to eat anything else.

A long and happy day in Bangkok, Thailand :)

At night, the free boat back to BTS Saphan Taksin was available until 11 pm so you did not have to worry on how to go back to where you stay. That was how you could spend another day in Bangkok. Well, Bangkok is such a big city with many places for you to choose to go. There are still many other places you can go if you have enough time to spare. Let's see if I can manage to come up with more post and suggest you where to go and what to eat :) 'Til then....

Saturday, December 23, 2017

My First Audio Book - "Friend Request" by Laura Marshall

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Well, I found out about this book title from somewhere (I forgot where I saw it before). Had been searching it tremendously from the NLB (National Library Board) Apps - from e-book, audiobook, to the physical book from different libraries across Singapore, and it was ALL unfortunately, unavailable. I even thought of buying it, so that after finished reading it, I could pass it on to someone else. However, it was even not available at the bookstore! It was all sold out!!! Oh my... how could that be???

Sigh... I had no choice but to click the "Reserve" button on the NLB Apps. I had to pay S$1.55 for reservation fee as I could no longer wait and let my mind lingering around, made me feeling really uneasy of not getting it on hand. I didn't know what made me craving for it though until I had to reserve it (which I tried to avoid in any case). Perhaps, I was tired of living my own life and wanted to escape from it and live into someone else world for a little while.

Reading quote (Pic source: Google.com)

One day after I successfully reserved the book online, I clicked the book title under the search area again, just for fun. And guess what??? One audiobook for this title was available!!! 

Oh my!!! But... audiobook??? I was hesitating for a while. I had never tried the audiobook in my life before. I was wondering if I should borrow it.

"There is always a first time, never try, never know!!!" 

That was kind of my principle in life so I decided to borrow and try it once.

"Let me experience how to read the audio book," I said it to myself.

Without waiting any longer, I clicked the "Borrow" button, and download it to the OverDrive Apps on my phone.

Immediately, I put the earpiece on both ears and started listening it.

First Audio Book Experience - Friend Request by Laura Marshall :)

Well, it felt like someone was reading a bedtime story for me. A woman read the content of this book. Sometimes she had to mimic the man's voice or kid's voice to let the reader know who was saying what (conversation by different persons). The reader read according to the punctuation marks the writer put, and with emotions. You could feel it with the different high and low tones, fast and slow speed, and with some pause or breath in between.

The story was started with the Facebook's friend request by Maria Weston - a schoolmate who had been missing over twenty-five years ago - to Louise Williams, who had kept a terrible secret related to her missing. Maria was last seen the night of a school leavers' party and people believed her to be dead. With the school reunion arranged, Louise was forced to discover the truth about what really happened.

Despite the story supposed to be heart-stopping and thrilling, all the reader's efforts to make the story interesting, was kinda fail as I was still easily feeling sleepy when listening to it. Hahahaha... And I fell asleep for many many times!!! Lol!!! Perhaps this would be the best remedy if one day I could not fall asleep! Hahahahaha...... Kidding :P 

Sleepy face zzz... (Pic source: Google.com)

Well, I think that was also because I was having my period. It usually made me exhausted and tired without any reason though. It was in fact, it was good to listen the audiobook in such situation, as what I needed to do was to lie down on bed and to close my eyes. I did not have to hold onto the book, fold my arms, and flip the page. I did not have to tire my eyes from the glare lighting behind me too or from the phone (in case of reading e-book).

Overall, I enjoyed it so much!!! Such a great experience!!! And by the time I had finished reading it, I received an email from NLB stating that the book that I reserved was available for collection :D I had no choice but to go down to the library I chose, paid the money, and collected the book that I had finished reading ^^"

Friday, December 15, 2017

Bangkok D3 - Take the boat to Chinatown, Wat Pho, and Kao Shan Rd

Breakfast for the day :)

Since I liked taking the breakfast away and having it in hotel, we had the above for the day :) This time we had ham omelette breakfast set, ham and cheese sandwich, mix of fried chicken and pork, plus guava and pineapple. Oh, not forgetting the fresh orange juice!!! You could get the fresh pressed orange juice in Bangkok easily!!! Sometimes it tasted so sweet until I doubted if they did not add any sugar in it :D

The map for the boat ride - from Sathorn Pier in Bangkok, Thailand

For today we are going to explore Bangkok city through the water, which means we are taking boat as our transport to various places. From Saphan Taksin BTS the Sathorn Pier (Central) is within five minutes walking distance. Once comes out, just follow the signage towards the pier. The "Hop On Hop Off Boat" map above is posted for your info only so that you know at which pier you should stop for the places that you intend to go. But I don't take that tourist boat and pay as mentioned there. Instead, I took the boat that local usually took in their everyday's life. Each ride cost your around THB 15-20 per pax depending on your destination.

Boat ride through Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand

Here let me bring you to Chinatown. It cost THB 20 per ride from Sathorn Pier and stop at Ratchawongse (no. 5). When purchasing your ticket, tell them you want to ride the local boat, not the one for tourist. The ticket should be sold just next to it by different seller.

Our first stop - Ratchawongse - No. 5

When you want to take the boat, just show your ticket to the staff and they will let you know if the upcoming boat is for you to take or not because there are few different boats available. And hold into your ticket (it is small so easy to fly away accidentally) until the staff who works on the boat checking for it.

Chinatown map - Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google.com)

The hustle and bustle Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand

From the pier, just walk straight along Ratchawong Rd. towards the Chinatown area. You will see lots of wholesale shops there. Usually you have to buy at least 3 pcs to get the better price, and also you can find lots of stuffs sold in your country coming from this place :D Upon reaching towards Yaowarat Rd. you will find many gold shops and it is usually crowded with buyers. So if you want to buy some gold, you can find it here :)

Chinatown in Bangkok - Lots of food and snacks :)

There are many local snack and food seller there. Chinese almanac or calendar, Qi Bao (Chinese traditional dress) for both men and women can also be found there. As for Singaporean, many travel to this area to have Chinese delicacies like shark fin and fish maw soup, abalone soup, etc.

Tried Chinese food at Tang Jai Yoo - Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand

Before going there, I read reviews from internet on which Chinese restaurant I should visit and try. And I decided to go to Tang Jai Yoo where they sell a nice oyster omelette, prawn roll (with big chunk of prawn in it), and prawn tang hoon (vermicelli). We did not order shark fin and all as we felt that this was good enough and we really found that the food was fresh and delicious, worth the money. We spent THB 920 for the dishes we ordered above. Not forgetting the delicious appetizer - sweet and sour veg pickles - given before our order came :)

The Grand Palace and Wat Pho map from Tha Chang Pier stop no 9 (Pic source: Google.com)

After lunch we continued our journey. We went back to the Ratchawongse pier and took the boat again, this time was to visit Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha).

Visited the Grand Palace 10 years ago :D

Ten years ago I visited the Grand Palace in Bangkok. So this time I did not visit the place anymore. The entry cost THB 500 per pax. If this is your first time to Bangkok, it is a must visit place for you!!! To reach there you can take the boat and stop at Tha Chang Pier (no. 9).

The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho - Bangkok, Thailand

To reach Wat Pho, you also drop at the same pier. But you need to walk to your right for about 1 km to reach the temple. The ticket cost THB 100 including free a bottle of water. Wat Pho is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bangkok.

The majestic reclining Buddha statue - Wat Pho - Bangkok, Thailand

The reclining Buddha is 46 m length. Surrounding this, there are many chedis (stupas), including 4 great ones (see the photo below - right bottom).

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) - Bangkok, Thailand

"Inside the Ubosot is a gold and crystal three-tiered pedestal topped with a gilded Buddha made of a gold-copper alloy, and over the statue is a nine-tiered umbrella representing the authority of Thailand. The Buddha image, known as Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn and thought to be from the Ayutthaya period, was moved here by Rama I from Wat Sala Si Na (now called Wat Khuhasawan) in Thonburi. Rama IV later placed some ashes of Rama I under the pedestal of the Buddha image so that the public may pay homage to both Rama I and the Buddha at the same time."  - Source: Wikipedia.org

Phra Ubosot is the main ordination hall used for performing Buddhist rituals and the most sacred building in the complex (the above photo on top left is the Buddha statue inside this hall). Overall, it was such a beautiful place to visit and I was glad that I made it. I wanted to visit this place too ten years ago, but we were cheated by the Tuk Tuk driver after coming out from the Grand Palace and we ended up not having chance to visit. Thank you SB for the good karma :) Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! :)

Khao San Rd map (Pic source: Google map)
Next I take you to Khao San Rd. It is the center of backpacking in Bangkok, so you can find lots of budget hotel or hostel to stay, western food restaurant to cater the angmoh or farang, roadside sellers selling food, beverage or stuffs, massage place, and so on. To reach the place, take the boat and stop at Phra Arthit (no. 13). You have to walk towards the Rambuttri Alley to find the center area of Khao San Rd.

Khao San Rd - Bangkok, Thailand

I remembered visiting this place 10 years ago just to have a good and cheap Thai massage and facial there. Although the price was not that cheap anymore, they did have quality and experienced masseuse though. If you have enough time, after having such a long day, you can take another massage in this Shewa Spa (again, I read the review before going in and found the massage was good).

Varieties of food from Kao Shan Rd night market - Bangkok, Thailand

By the time massage has over, the sky would have turned dark and the roadside food sellers would have started operating. It's time to eat!!! :) Just the street outside Swensen's you can find lots of food stalls with table and chairs for you to sit. We had Pad Thai, papaya salad, spicy Mama, and tried the glutinous rice sausage. After that I bought my favorite Banana Roti as a dessert plus Thai milk tea to quench our thirst.

Ram Buttri alley at night - Bangkok, Thailand

After having your stomach full, walk along the Ram Buttri alley. There are many stalls selling things and restaurants on both sides of the road. You can have a good walk there before going back to hotel. Fyi, the Phra Arthit pier only opened until 7 pm. It is good to visit this area at night. So you can take taxi back to your hotel or get Grab or Uber instead.

Selfie with Tuk Tuk or three wheel taxi in Bangkok, Thailand :)

So, that will be the itinerary for day 3 of your visit. This way, you can taste another type of Bangkok main transport and visited few places in one day. In next post I will suggest you what other places you can visit during your stay there. Stay tune!!! :)
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