26 March 2014

Birthday Weekend in Krabi

For my birthday weekend, JP and I went to Krabi in Thailand. We were only there from Friday till Sunday, but going to the beach was a good escape from Singapore's hectic pace.  JP put me in charge of preparing our trip, and handed over his credit card so I can book our flights and hotel. Such a trusting husband, 'no? 

Longtail Boats in Krabi
traditional long-tail boats

Krabi (and most of Thailand, actually) looks just like any province in the Philippines. However, you will see the differences very quickly. For example, the traditional Thai alphabet is widely used in the country.

Streets of Krabi

And just like Phuket and Bali, there are no hotels directly in front of the beach. All hotels are situated a couple of meters away so that you have to walk to get there.

AoNang Beach Krabi

We checked in at the Aonang Buri Resort, and we were greeted by this. It wasn't too fancy, just comfortable, which was good enough for us.

JP at AoNang Buri Resort

Since we got there in the afternoon, there wasn't really enough time to book any island tour for the day, so we looked had lunch by the sea, and later, walked the night street market in the town center and had a Thai massage (300 BHT each!). Since I don't have pictures of the market, I'll just post some of the foods we saw and tried.

Foods in Krabi
1st row: mango salad with shrimps, red bean buns and their version of siopao
2nd row: steamed crab, banana milkshake& salad,  quail eggs
3rd row: coconut pancake, pad thai, and the best coconut milkshake ever!

JP booked us on a seven-island tour with dinner for Saturday. But since the tour started at 1PM, in the morning, we decided to rent a motorbike from the hotel. We rented this for 250BHT for 24 hours, and  surprisingly, no license is required to rent. I have to say this is a much better way to get around the town. 
Motorbiking in Krabi

We went further down to this beach, which was definitely more quiet (read: few people), and we got treated to a dance rehearsal of local kids (ang init lang ng practice nila ha!).

Kids in Krabi Beach

The tour

Like Phuket, you have to take a boat tour to see the other islands and the better beaches. The tour already includes food, water, insurance and the services of a guide, plus snorkeling gear. You go with several other passengers on the boat. Our group was unfortunate enough to have been joined by four loud, stinky, smoking and drinking tourists (and they even threw their beer cans and cigarette butts into the sea!). So as not to ruin our trip, we ignored them and let the older lady who was also in the tour talk to them. 

Anyway....The islands we went to were pretty good. White sand, clear waters. JP joined the others for snorkeling, he said there were nice fish.

Krabi Tour

When they said "seven-island" tour, it didn't mean you'll be stepping on all seven islands. There were some you just stopped near the island to snorkel, or take a picture. Like the Chicken island.

Chicken Island Krabi

We had dinner at Tup Island, where we watched the sun go down and the moon come up.

Tup Island krabi

Tup Island Night Krabi

Overall, I would say that Krabi is Phuket's more timid, definitely quieter little sister. Where Phuket is brash and loud (hello, Bangla Road),  Krabi's mood is definitely calmer. This one, I think is better for the older crowd, or those with kids in tow, or just like JP and myself, those who just want a relaxing weekend.

Would we go back? Definitely! For a quick getaway, Krabi's a good place to go. And I want to thank my husband for this trip, albeit a short one. There's nothing like celebrating your birthday doing what you love to do (travel) and being with your favorite travel buddy (JP). Oh, and  ending the day with some cake. Because what's a birthday without cake, right?

For my fifth 30th birthday celebration, I did what I love to do (travel),with my favorite person(JP) and ended the day with a slice of chocolate cake,and reading your greetings.Thank you family & friends!
from my instagram

Travel Details:
Flight - about SGD 540, for two persons. We took an Air Asia flight to get there, and Tiger Airways going back to Singapore. I had to look for the best flight combination since I wanted to maximize our time there. The flight search option in TripAdvisor is really good, because it shows you the times for several airlines. Then, I went to the Air Asia and Tiger websites to book our flights. I'm sure this would have been cheaper if I didn't pay for check-in luggage, and if I'd book earlier and timed our purchase on a sale date. But, whatever!

Hotel- SGD186 for a Superior room for two nights, inclusive of breakfast. I booked this via Hotels.com, after doing a lot of comparisons among the hotels. I chose this for the location, which is on a quiet part of Aonang beach, a few minutes walk (or ride via motorbike) to the main town center.

Airport Transfer -- 800 BHT pick up from the airport, 600BHT from the hotel. We didn't mind paying a little bit more for this, as we had the van all to ourselves. We booked this from the hotel, so we didn't have to haggle with the tour operators in AoNang. A cheaper option is to look for the public buses at the airport that goes into Krabi Town before going to AoNang. That's 150 BHT for a one way trip, and it will take longer than 40 minutes since the bus picks up and drops off passengers along the way. Or, take a semi-private shuttle from the airport, about 300BHT. I think this is a 12-seater van, with other passengers.

Tour --We paid 1,000 BHT each for the 7-island dinner tour. There are a lot of tour operators in AoNang, so you won't run out of choices. It's not just about the beach in Krabi, there are also tours for riding elephants, climb a mountain, visit a temple. Prices are quite reasonable.

Food --Prices are very good. Our meals averaged about 300-500 BHT. Almost the same if you were in the Philippines.

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21 March 2014

A Useful App For Procrastinators Like Me

Do you know that there different types of procrastinators? Check out what kind you are over here. I tried the test myself and found that I'm a Pinball Procrastinator. This means that I don't accomplish my tasks because I easily get distracted and do other things. I also like to bounce from one pursuit to another that I don't get to do what needs to be done now. Oftentimes, I get overwhelmed by too many ideas that it takes me a long time to get started, if I even decide to start at all.

Pomodoro App

Recently, I downloaded the Pomodoro timer and it has helped me a lot to finish my tasks. Let's say I want to write a couple of blog posts in 2 hours. I do all the things I need to do for my posts in 25 minutes (ie. draft, edit pictures, rewrite, etc). Then I take a break for five minutes, then come back and work on my blog posts again for another 25 minutes. Since I'm the type to get easily distracted (I often visit other blogs, look at Pinterest, or Facebook) this works perfectly for me. The timer makes me think I have a deadline, so I really focus within that 25 minutes. Plus, I actually look forward to the 5 minute break. 

Check out the principle behind the Pomodoro technique. It's quite interesting. What about you? What do you do when you feel like putting off your To-do list? 

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19 March 2014

Speed Reading 2.0

I saw and shared this article about the Spritz reader on my Facebook timeline a couple of weeks ago, and commented that this is "Amazing". I read the article again and now I'm having second thoughts. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that it's going to get people to read (hopefully), but…is the reading  experience going to be the same? Try reading at 350 words per minute.

from Huffpost

When Kindle came out, I was totally sold on the idea, because it made reading more portable. I can store a hundred or more books into one device and switch between the books I'm reading. Apart from the fact that I was pressing a button, rather than flipping a page, the experience was still the same. Did it cut my reading time? No. I was still in control of my pace. I use it more frequently, even if I have iBooks.

Spritzer claims to make you finish a book in more than half the time you would usually take. Can you imagine finishing book 7 of the Harry Potter series in less than 3 hours? That will certainly be amazing. You can read a whole lot of books with that pace. Heck, I can probably cross out my bucket list of reading the top 100 books of all time in less than a year.

But reading (at least for leisure), is not about speed. It's about taking your time, letting your mind absorb the words and evoke some sort of emotion in you. Such a romantic notion, you'd probably say, but that's just me. Reading has to be about the experience, IMHO.

Would I try this device? Oh, definitely! But it looks like it will only come out for Androids for now. 

Read more about Spritz here.

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10 March 2014

Collage Mondays: Running Gear Wishlist

The last public run I did was way back in 2012. Somehow, I never got the motivation to participate in anything again, until now. Yesterday was my first time back in the running scene (haha, I feel like an athlete). It felt good, so to celebrate, today's collage is all about running gear. 

Running is a pretty basic sport that doesn't require too many things. If you have a sensible pair of running shoes, and comfortable socks, shirt and shorts/tights, you should be good to go. But this should not stop you from trying additional/fashionable gear. Check out the pretty stuff I found, of course, in PINK! I should get my hands on these soon.
Pink Running Gear
Images from: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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05 March 2014

The 1-Dollar Makeover

This is my jewelry box. The inside is made of felt, and it's gotten dirty over the years. I tried to use a damp cloth with soap to clean it a couple of months ago, and I think it just made the thing look dirtier. There's even some residue.

Dirty Jewelry Box

At any other time, I would have just thrown this out and bought a new one. But I think JP's attitude about money has been rubbing off on me lately, so I thought of a way to make this look cleaner and maybe, a little bit newer without spending a lot.


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