Monthly Archives: June 2012

Cycling – Northern Explorer Park Connector Loop – 30km

It was a wonderful day for cycling though the sun was bright and weather is hot.  Adventure in the forest and seeing the nature was definitely made my day satisfying.

We started our first Park Connector Network – Northern Explore Loop where we decided to head to the Singapore Zoo from the Causeway Point and all the way to Lower Seletar Reservoir Park.  Then back to the Khartib, Yishun, Admiralty and final to Causeway Point.

We started at 9:10am….

Northern Explorer Loop (Park Connector Network) – Cycling

Woodlands PC was a nice trail indeed.. it came from a highway from woodlands and narrow slopes all way up hill and downhill.  The slope just beside the Singapore Sports School.  We felt refreshing morning wind breeze at the tip of the hill.

Woodlands PC Trail

Which way?

The Ulu Sembawang PC was an interesting path, I like trails that have many trees surrounding but not too difficult to ride though. Saw some dogs lying around at the side walk……

Nice… I like it..

At the end of the Ulu Sembawang PC, we arrived the highway of Mandai Road.  Often seen views of reservoir…

Upper Seletar Reservoir

Cycling with our little bikes were challenging especially in the forest.  I was afraid the tires puncture. Half way when we saw a pool of mud, we decided to make a U-turn back as our little bikes cannot take the trails. There are many cyclists with mountain bikes…Hopefully we able to experience this trail when we got a mountain bikes.

Central Catchment PC – Forest ride…. My little bicycle cannot tahan!

We headed to the Singapore Zoo instead. Then we head to the Lower Seletar Reservoir Park.  It was a long long ride to the park.

Singapore Zoo ya..? 🙂

Have a break, have a kit kat..

Mandai Road

Lower Seletar Reservoir Park

From the park, back we go to the Causeway Point, rode along the MRT red line…. 30km awesome ride, good night sleep tonight!,  and bringing home unforgettable PCN adventure 🙂

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Bangkok & Pattaya, Thailand – Cover the most of 7D6N Itinerary

Thailand!  Here we come!

Will be travelling to Thailand, for a good break away from work.  This is what I had planned for our trip to Thailand.

Itinerary Bangkok and Pattaya 7 Days 6 Nights

Day 1 Airport -> Pattaya

Arrive Suvarnabhumi International Airport in the afternoon.  Take a direct bus from the Airport to Tune Hotel, Pattaya.  The hotel is situated at the North of Pattaya.  We decided not to travel to Bangkok on our arrival because we do not want to bring many shopping luggages to the Pattaya.  We will place after our Pattaya trip.  We shall be taking Bell Travel Service where this service can be found in the Airport.  The good thing about the bus service is it departs directly from the airport and to drop at the hotel!  The bus journey takes about 3 hours.  By the time we reach there will be approximately 7pm.

At this time we shall explore not to far from our hotel.  Places that near to the hotel.  We shall walk to the opposite where Central Festival Pattaya where Big C department store is located, the mall is a two-storey mall that have retail shops, restaurants, cinema, boutiques and IT corner.  This place will be a quickest way for us to grab our dinner.

Nearby the hotel is also where Tiffany show and Alcazar show is located.  There also many things to see along Soi 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 – the night bars called Lollipop A go go?  Meanwhile we also explore the Beach Road at the North of Pattaya.  When walk further, towards the central of Pattaya, Hard Rock Cafe & Hotel is just around the corner.

Day 2 Pattaya

Morning breakfast!!   Greg’s Kitchen serves British and International cuisine from breakfast to dinner and snacks. Opens 8.30am – 11.00pm (daily). Just a short walking distance from the Tune Hotel, opposite Tiffany Show, the restaurant is just around the corner.  After the hearty  breakfast, it feels good to have a slow walk along the Beach Road.  This allow us to see the true Pattaya.  The sand, the wave, birds, shops along,..going to be a very nice feeling! I can imagine! 😀  The walk is heading to the Central Plaza, located at the Central of Pattaya, along the Beach Road.  Next to the plaza, is the Royal Garden Shopping Plaza.  Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum is just in the Plaza.  The two shopping malls would allow us to spend the whole morning and afternoon.  Certainly lunch will be in the mall.  In the late afternoon, we should be getting some fresh air instead of staying indoor during the days (though outside is going to be HOT!).  Getting a taxi at Pattaya would be easy.  In Pattaya they don’t call them taxi, they called it Songthaews.  Basically they are trucks open backed with narrow padded benches.  They make a good public transport to visit the Big Buddha Hill, at Jomtien.  Have  to make sure negotiate before taking it 10 Baht or 20 Baht per person?

Where to next?  Jomtien Beach.  Many people says that the beach and water is cleaner than Pattaya Beach.  Or should I say less dirty than Pattaya Beach?  haha…Less prostitutes, less tourists, less crowd, less gogo bars – and more like relaxation place and a paradise for family.  Well it is a good idea to check it out in the afternoon for a short visit there as Pattaya city usually more happening in the evening than the day!  Have a stroll along the beach.  Should get off once the sun starts to set as we a better place for dinner at Pattaya City.  Pattaya Beer Garden is the place where I want to go for dinner.

After dinner, we shall get back to our exploration of Pattaya City.  This round we begin from the south Pattaya to north.. and to walk all the way back to our hotel.  At the south of Pattaya, Walking Street is popular known there.    We can take pictures at the New Pier Harbour which is located at the same street.  We will pass by the Mike Shopping Mall.  On the half way back, we may stop by for a pit rest at Kiss Food & Drink.    It is some sort of like a food court in Pattaya but quite a popular known to have cheap and delicious food there and 24/7!  We can go back to the Shopping Malls that we had passed by this afternoon. If not we can direct back to our Hotel for charging our batteries for BANGKOK BANGKOK here we come!

Day 3 Pattaya -> Bangkok 

Wakie wakie… good morning!  Time to check out the hotel at 9am!  Why so early? Because our bus will be arriving to pick us from the hotel to our hotel in Bangkok!  😛

Probably we may have to go to the same place for breakfast, but who knows on the day we may have found somewhere better.

It takes about 3 hours to reach Bangkok.  Hence, if there is even earlier bus, we would have taken that slot, unfortunately,this is the earliest bus schedule from Bell Travel Service.  The hotel that we booked in Bangkok is Legacy Express.  This hotel will be our first time staying in.  I like the strategic and central location of the city and the hotel rate is in affordable value.  To me, unless you have the money- cha-ching!, staying in Bangkok does not need 4-5 stars rating.  Because the time we spend on the outside are longer than in the hotel.  To me, I go for hotels that are not pricey, but value, clean, good location and of course comfortable.  That’s why it takes awhile for me to find good hotel.

I guess by the time we reach the hotel, it will be already 12-1pm.  Not to forget the traffic jam there!

After for a while rest in the hotel, we should start our new place of adventure, Bangkok!  Erawan Shrine will be our first stop.  From the hotel to the Shrine isn’t far which is approx. 1.4km.  If it is hot and sunny, we shall take a train from BTS Ploen Chit to BTS Chit Lom (just 1 station away).   After for some worship prayer at the shrine, we should drop by Gaysorn Plaza and further down,  Central World Plaza, Siam Paragon and MBK of the same road.  We should pay a visit at the MBK food court as the food court is the largest in Bangkok and is recommended to dine for the variety of food.  In fact many websites I have read, they would recommend to dine at food court because it is cheap, clean, yummy and serve thai authentic food.

After all the malls and markets… Hmm… I wonder if we could cover all the malls for 9 hours?  This will be a challenging day. 😛

Day 4 Bangkok

Early rise.  Quickie breakfast and head to the North.  – Yep, Chatuchak market operates on the weekends from 9am-6pm.  To take a train, we shall stop at the Kamphaeng Station and not Chatuchak Park or Mo Chit Station.  Staying at the market till 1pm should be sufficient?   We shall take about 2 hours challenging public transport from Chatuchak market to Chocolate Ville.  Chocolate Ville is the trendiest place in Bangkok to hangout at this moment, opens at 4pm to midnight.  If we want to save our human energy, we may take taxi.  We shall see then. Chocolate Ville is complete with restaurants with variety of local and international cuisine.  The most interesting about this place is, the architecture of the building is in the theme of European Village.  That is why this place is so popular, due to the ambiance.  Anyway, we shall see very soon how nice is this place. 🙂

On the return, we shall head back to our hotel by taking 501 direct bus to our hotel.  If we still have time, we can go to the  Terminal 21 which is just a long our hotel street (Thanon Sukhumvit).  The mall was opened in October 2011.  Should still be considered fairly new.  The mall is conveniently located opposite the MRT station of BTS Asok.

I hope my itinerary isn’t too pack… Hope my travel partner won’t complain of the exhaustion. 😛

Day 5 Bangkok

Another day of adventure in Bangkok!  Light breakfast nearby our hotel before we go to the next destination in Bangkok.  Chinatown is where we are going to.  Nearest MRT station is Hualamphong Station.  Not far from the station is there a temple, Wat Traimit a.k.a. Golden Buddha.  After the visit, we shall walk along Thanon Yaowarat/Yaowarat Road – street of Chinatown.  We will have a eating stop at the Canton House – a dim sum restaurant.  Opens at 11am-10pm, daily.  The street is complete with chinese restaurants, budget to midrange.  Noodles, tom yam, peking ducks, bird nest and etc.

Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is one of the largest and the oldest in wats in Bangkok, with many thousands of Buddha images.  Just across the Chao Praya river, Wat Arun is just the opposite.  Make a trip there as well by taking ferry.  Return to the same pier after the visit, and head to the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple.  The palace was an official king of Siam residence and the Emerald Buddha Temple was the chapel for the royal.  Interesting.

Hopefully by 5pm we have completed our routes of all Wats and Temples.  We will not be visiting Khao San Road as I read many negative reviews about the place.  I had read similar reviews says the street is loud, noisy, dirty,  drunkers place, and expensive place for shopping.  Well, if you are a drinker and looking for budget beers, this may be a place for you.

Instead of Khao San Road where I initially was planning to go, I decided to plan the following place after the Emerald Buddha Temple to Asiatique, The Riverfront.  It is a new attraction for the locals and shoppers!  In fact it is actually a new version of Suan Lum Night Bazaar, modern and stylish way for people to shop! We should explore to other new places which is happening in Bangkok and instead visiting the touristy places.  Right?  Well, Asiatique was opened in end of April 2012 and I hope most of the retails there are opened for business now.  From Tha Chang Pier, to Central Pier known as Sathorn (nearest MRT station Saphan Taksin) – less stops of piers in between will be the green flag boats.  Refer the boat routes and stops here.  And then from the Sathorn, we shall wait for the free service boat to Asiatique.  We shall be staying  there for the rest of the day as there are so much more things to see, shop and dine.  Looking forward to it!

To return to our hotel, we shall be taking the Asiatique free service boat to Sathorn and from there, walking distance to Saphan Taksin MRT station and all the way back to BTS Ploen Chit.  If we have time, we can make stop at  the red light district, Patphong. Nearest BTS station is Dusit Thani.

Day 6 Bangkok – Ayutthaya – Bangkok

Plan for today is taking a train experience from Bangkok to Ayutthaya.  Try to leave the hotel earliest in the morning and take MRT train to Bangkok Centre for Hua Lamphong Railway Station.  Train leaves from almost every hour and tickets can be purchase on the spot at the railway station.  Duration to the destination is 1 hour 45 minutes ride.  3rd class seats and that only cost 15 baht!

The popular transport for visiting the sites of attractions at Ayutthaya Historical Park is bicycle.  Yes…Like like like! Bicycle for rental services can be seen just outside the Ayutthaya train station and guess how much it cost for a bike? 30baht a day!

Hmm… never know that we need to pay to visit the sites at Ayutthaya..

Need entrance tickets to go in?

There are a couple of sites that I wish to see:

1) Wat Chaiwatthanaram

2) The Grand Palace – Wat Phra Si Sanphet – Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

3) Wat Mahathat

4) Wat Yai Chaimongkhon

5) Wat Ratchaburana

6) Wat Phananchoeng

We should have lunch at the Ayutthaya before heading back to Bangkok by train.  Recommended restaurant to go Coffee Old City which is the No.1 restaurant to eat referring to the tripadvisor and I find it is also good location, within the area of Ayutthaya city centre.  Hopefully we able to leave Ayutthaya by 12noon as we have more places to visit and shopping at Bangkok.  Yea.. Last minute shopping!

When we arrived, we shall proceed walking to the MBK Center.  Then we head to the Petchaburi Road to Pratunam Market.  Pratunam Market is a place sells various products in wholesale price.

As today is the 2nd last day for us in Thailand, we shall visit and to go wherever place we want to go again or have missed at the Thanon Rama 1 and Thanon Sukhumvit.

Day 7 – Bangkok

Not much time to walk further.  From our train station BTS Phloen Chit, make an interchange at BTS Phaya Thai for SA City Line train to the Suvarnabhumi Airport.