Sunday, January 21, 2018

2017

I can't recall when was the last time I did a year end recap post.
Because my 2017 was quite eventful, I decided to write this one.

1. One of the life-changing events was that I moved to Singapore permanently end of March for work. I was also promoted hence the new role at Dell SG. This is actually my first time being abroad alone for so long and things turned out better than I thought.

2. Won another huge lucky draw at work and got a XPS 2-in-1 which I gave to my sister.

3. Completed the CPA program and I'm now a CPA. Unfortunately I did not get my 5th High Distinction so I wasn't able to get the Certificate of Excellence. But still I'm quite proud of my results. I got 4 HD and 2 Ds while studying part time so I would consider this a huge accomplishment.

4. Started going to the gym, the free gym for Dell employees at the club next to our office. I try to work out regularly but unfortunately sometimes work just gets in the way. But no excuses though, I'm trying to be healthier and build my stamina. For various reasons - eg: going to concerts. Hahahah, which brings me to my next point.

5. Went to Music Bank for the very first time! It was the best concert ever. I managed to snatch tickets with queue number of 136+ for sis, cousin and I. It wasn't cheap though. We bought rockzone at $300 per ticket. It was worth it, trust me. We were standing right in front of the stage. First/second row and the artists were unbelievably close. I should have made a post on this! Ok, I will.
The artists who performed were: CNBlue, SHINee, Red Velvet, BTS and Mamamoo. Park Bo Gum was the MC. Tell me how is this not worth it.
Plus, we got to see Jong Hyun for the very first time and last time before he passed away last Dec.
To be honest, until today I still cannot believe it.. I really hope he is in a happier place now.

Posted the Music Bank videos we took here: https://www.youtube.com/user/clchialynn/videos?shelf_id=0&view=0&sort=dd

6. Chasing after celebrities - Saw Eric Name and Lee Sung Kyung. I realize K-idols visit Singapore all the time. Poor Malaysia, not so lucky.

7. Went to Australia for the second time. Visited Melbourne, Tasmania and Sydney for the first time. I'm posting all the photos up here: https://www.instagram.com/chiayilcy/?hl=en

I don't believe in writing down goals for the new year anymore because I think everyday is a chance to do something different. But couple things that I want to achieve are:

a) Pick up a new hobby - video editing? But I probably need a new laptop for that, my laptop can't support much anymore..
b) Blog more - stop being lazy!
c) Achieve a better work life balance and stop stressing myself for no reason.
d) Be healthy and happy

Ok I will stop here for today.
Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hanoi Trip - Serene Premier Hotel

Finally! I'm going to write about my first trip to Vietnam - Hanoi. 
This was how our trip went. 

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi at Night with Hotel pickup from Noi Bai Airport
Day 2: Hanoi -> Halong Bay Cruise
Day 3: Back in Hanoi from Cruise in the evening
Day 4: Hanoi
Day 5: Hanoi -> Sapa (Topas Ecolodge)
Day 6: Back in Hanoi at night
Day 7: Leave to Noi Bai Airport

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We did quite an extensive research on hotels in Hanoi and finally decided on this one.

No regrets!

The price is really affordable, they provide 1 airport pick up service for free (you can choose to or fro), free breakfast (so freaking delicious), helps you arrange and coordinate other pickups to places, takes care of your luggage while you travel, a PC in the room and good wifi. 

They even upgraded our room after we came back from Halong Bay. The famous food spots were all around this hotel within walking distance. 

This hotel is located in a small alley so it's really quiet when we arrive at night. 
It may seem a little bit dodgy at night but in the morning we realize that it wasn't the case and it was pretty safe. I think if you arrive at night, it's best to arrange the hotel free airport pick up so they bring you right to the doorstep. 

Serene Premier Hotel (previously known as Hanoi Serene Hotel): 


The room we had  during the first night was with standing shower, later on with the upgraded room, it's a bath. But to be honest I prefer standing shower, and you can request that. 


This was their decoration on our beds during the first night. Haha.


So with the decoration there, we tried to pattern a little.

One of the main reasons I booked this hotel is because of the high praise it gets from fellow travelers on their breakfast.
It's all you can eat - meaning you can order as much as you want.
The breakfast was so so good! Everything we tried was good!




My boyfriend got the Pho while I stick to western breakfast.
No regrets tho, it was so good.

One thing I realize is that you get banana no matter where you go. 
Even when we went on the cruise, bananas were found in every meal as desserts. 


Bun Cha Dac Kim at 1 Hang Manh
This was just at the end of the ally from our hotel.
One of the famous bun cha place. It's not very hygiene so if you are particular about that, don't go.
To be honest, for me personally, in general the Vietnam famous street food weren't extraordinary.
But it's good to get to experience their culture and traditional food they eat. 

Crossing the streets in Vietnam is insane. 
But the locals looked so at ease while we were constantly on alert mode. 


Bun Bo Nam Bo - another famous eatery. I will write about this later on.





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On the second day, the pick up van took us to Halong Bay.


This was my cruise and it includes the pick up and drop off from your hotel in Hanoi.
They have the best service ever seriously. 
No regrets. 
While I was researching the Halong Bay junks, the price range was so large, from crazy cheap to reasonably expensive.

Finally decided to go with Indochina Junk Dragon's Pearl with only 11 cabins on the cruise itself.
It also brings you to Bai Tu Long bay which is a more exclusive part of Halong Bay. You know how if you look at Halong Bay photos, there will be hundreds of cruise behind yours? For mine, there weren't. It was only us. So it really felt different.

The food was so good on the cruise as well. I will write more on that later on in my next post. :)


https://www.indochina-junk.com/halong-bay-and-bai-tu-long-bay-cruise-2-days-1-night/



On the way to Bai Tu Long bay, we stopped at a rest stop which sells all these statue and sculptures.
The place was so huge. And surprisingly people do buy them. lol.












I will work on my Halong Bay post next! Stay tuned!



Monday, November 20, 2017

Photo Dump

Alrightie more dumps! I have this in my drafts since forever. lol.
Mostly food pics as usual. Haha.
Won't write a lot of captions here since I just want to showcase the photos. 


Rocku Yakiniku













Eastern Wishes!


With my cousin :)

Edo Ichi! I highly recommend their Teriyaki Salmon Belly. 







Pasta Zanmai at Gurney Paragon