food.travel.photography

Happy Tummy

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I think I have fallen in L O V E……..with Korean food!

Korean food was first introduced to me by my dear friend Lenie.  One day, she brought me and our girlfriends in a Korean restaurant that serves food buffet style. We ordered barbecue and kimchi soup and tofu as sides. The red-colored soup intimidated me at first. I mean when you see red it could be very spicy right? I was afraid that my tongue would burn. But Lenie took the first sip then assured me that it was not that spicy. ‘You can take this, it’s really good’ she said. I didn’t hear her scream or didn’t see any change in her facial expression when she said that so I took it as a sign. I collected all my courage and took the first sip. And as they say…the rest is history.

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Kimchi soup with beef and beef bulgogi from Seoul Garden Hotpot. I’ve been to 3 of their branches but I think  I’ll keep on coming back to their Cathay Cineleisure Orchard branch because their service was great, the waiters were ‘neat and courteous’ and the food tastes better.

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The aftermath!

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Jap Chae (Korean Glass Noodles) and Bulgogi from Arirang Korean restaurant in Planet Holiday, Batam Indonesia. I know right!? We were in Indonesia and we had Korean! Anyway, their food was great. It was a bit expensive but I think it was all worth it because it felt like they went all out with the ingredients. The Bulgogi and Jap Chae was so good and flavorful. 

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The whole shebang! Take note, there were only 3 of us ladies and we finished all of these!

For more info about the restaurants featured in this post, please visit these links:

http://www.seoulgarden.com.sg/sghotpot 
http://www.planetholidayhotel.com/arirang_korean.html

Written by mella

June 27th, 2012 at 12:00 am

Cradle Mountain: Dove Lake Circuit Walk

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There are different self guided walking tracks around Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. Since we only had a day to spend, we took the easy route. We hiked for 4 hours around Dove Lake and enjoyed every scenery IMMENSELY. The air was so fresh it sort of healed our polluted body.

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It was cold and it rained a couple of times. But we already expected that so we were prepared. We brought raincoats and wore proper clothing.

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Wild flowers and button grass everywhere!

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Thankful that we were able to take decent pictures before it started raining.

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End of hike. It was supposed to be just 2 hours but we took time taking pictures and had a couple of rest stops. I had to remove a couple layers of my clothing because Mr. Sun suddenly decided to come out.

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We had dinner at Highland Restaurant which is a 10 minute drive from our cottage. The food was great and in big servings! I just wish they serve rice or mash potato (I’m so Filipino hahaha).

Tip: Once you get to Cradle Mountain, please visit the Visitor Centre as soon as you arrive. They all have the information you need about the different activities that you can do in the park. It’s also the departure point of the shuttle bus. They also have a small café that sells pizzas and pies and they do take aways! The centre is open daily from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.

Written by mella

June 3rd, 2012 at 11:07 am

Into The Wilderness (Cradle Mountain continuation…)

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Better late than never eh?

After travelling for hours, we finally arrived at Wilderness Village. We stayed here for a one night. We were really impressed by the coziness of the cottages. The only issue we had here was they don’t have a restaurant so you will either bring your own food or travel to the nearest restaurant, which I think is a good 10 minutes drive. They have the usual complementary coffee and tea though, not sure if that even matters.

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_MG_4486  Living room and main bedroom. The bed has an electric blanket! Thank God because it was really really cold the night we stayed there.

 

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Kitchen and dinning area. The kitchen has everything you need to prepare a 3 course dinner (okay fine! maybe just a salad and a simple stew). They have plates, spoon and fork, knives, glasses, stove, pots and pans, fridge and microwave oven. So if you’re in the mood to cook, stock up on your ingredients before going up the mountain.

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second bedroom.

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Bathroom. It’s not that big but it has everything you need. It even has an extra light heater? Not really sure what it’s called but it really adds warmth to the room. The brown-ish color of the water that you can see there is the actual tap water from the faucet which according to them comes straight from the mountain. They say it’s clean and safe to drink but we didn’t dare.

Website: http://www.cradlevillage.com.au/
Address:  Cradle Mountain Rd, Cradle Mountain
                  Tasmania 7310
                  Phone: +61 3 6492 1500
                  Fax: +61 3 6492 1076

Written by mella

June 2nd, 2012 at 8:52 am

Posted in Travel

Tagged with ,

How time flies!

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The month of June is fast approaching. AND I STILL HAVEN’T UPDATED THIS BLOG. I am deeply sorry (mostly to myself because I don’t even know if someone actually reads this blog other than my sister hahaha) for being an irresponsible blogger.

I have a lot of stories to tell. A lot of food reviews and recipes to share. I can’t wait to be back again!

Written by mella

May 29th, 2012 at 9:54 am

Posted in Personal

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Old Habits

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No. I haven’t forgotten this blog yet. I know it’s been weeks since my last update but I’ve been busy lately with a new (well not really new) hobby that’s been taking up most of my non-working hours and even my weekends. You see, I started gaining weight immediately after the wedding. I still don’t know how I got here. Pre-wedding day, I was so motivated to lose weight. I changed my diet and exercise a LOT.  Our favorite Adobo and Pork Binagoongan were no longer a part of our weekly meal. Instead we had broccoli, cauliflower or spinach sautéed with either tuna or skinless chicken. We also started eating brown rice, brown bread and even substituted white sugar with raw sugar. It was a lifestyle change basically. But after the wedding, I unknowingly took the wrong turn. I stopped exercising and started eating pork again. It was all good for a few months. But not until I hit the scale and saw how much weight I gained. I felt really bad. I know my body isn’t happy either because my pimple started popping out and felt my back and neck aching. I get so tired easily and felt like a limp vegetable. BAD! BAD! BAD!

And so a few weeks ago, I slowly started exercising again. No change of diet yet but I’ll get there soon. For now, I’m enjoying Gilad’s Body sculpt routine every weekdays and on weekends I do badminton, belly dancing and zumba with friends. It’s a lot more fun if you do activities like this with friends. You can motivate and inspire each other to reach your goal.

Gilad’s routine exercise is no joke. I had serious body ache for 3 days but mind you, that didn’t stop me. I continue to do this every other day and I can already feel my fats melting away and my body toning. If you’re going to do a similar exercise, please please warm up or do some stretching beforehand. Otherwise, you will really injure yourself.

 

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our first ever belly dancing session with matching costume pa! We really enjoyed this, laugh at ourselves the whole time! Look how awkward our hips sway hahahaha. Balang araw magiging sexy din kami hmpf! hahahaha…Love you girls!

424661_3084305219941_1033188375_3087140_2094432464_nOur colorful costumes Instagramed

Written by mella

February 20th, 2012 at 1:26 am

Posted in Personal,Tagaytay Wedding

Tagged with , ,

Road Trip to Cradle Mountain

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On our second day in Tasmania, we went on a road trip to Cradle Mountain. We left Hobart very early in morning and only had coffee and beef pie for breakfast. According to different travel websites, travel time from Hobart to the mountain is approximately 3 to 4 hours. Ours lasted for 5 hours! We had a total of 3 rest stops. The first one was spent on lunch, the second was for Rudel to rest and the third was unfortunately an unscheduled, unplanned stop. WE GOT LOST. Our GPS (a.k.a. TOM TOM) suddenly went crazy and kept on bringing us to private properties and suggested that we should go inside those properties to reach Cradle Mountain road. That thing almost had us arrested for trespassing!  We decided to go back to the main road after 30 minutes of trying to figure out where inthe world we are!

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Meet the ever reliable (NOT!) TOM TOM loaded in iPad.

Tip: Have a back up, use GOOGLE MAP or a real map for that matter. GPS are not always 100% reliable. I’m glad Rudel was aware of this and thus loaded Google map in his mobile phone a few minutes before we started the trip. We had to stop so he could show me how to use the thing. I was (unfortunately for him) his navigator  hahahaha…..

 

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Farms everywhere

 

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We saw a lot of this along the way and dead animals too! Didn’t have a chance to take a photo of those though (too gross I tell you!).

 

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Sheep and sheep and more sheep!

 

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I told you, really really great weather!

 

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Beds of flowers. Wish I knew what these are.

 

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(click to enlarge)

After 4 hours of driving, seeing this mountain was really a big relief for us.  We knew right then that we’re getting nearer and most importantly that we were on the right track HAH!

All pictures above were taken while the car was moving. I was really tempted to ask Rudel to stop in the middle of the road so I can properly take pictures but alas it will just prolong our travel time so I had to ‘improvise’ and tweak the camera a little bit. Looking at the pictures above, I just have to say not too bad, not too bad at all :)
Road trip to Cradle Mountain is really easy breezy. Just make sure you’re well prepared and have enough rest stops. Here are some safety tips from http://www.tq.com.au

  • read and obey road signs, for example at waterways or on roads
  • drive on the left hand side of the road and obey the speed limit
  • always wear your seatbelt
  • don’t drink alcohol and drive
  • be aware of driving long distances and fatigue – plan journeys and share driving
  • check weather conditions
    the sun is strong in Australia – drink plenty of water regularly and protect your skin from burning. Cover up with clothing and wear a sun protective hat, sunglasses and SPF 30+ sunscreen.
  • tell people of your plans if travelling alone (friends, accommodation provider, police)
  • use accredited visitor information centres (yellow and blue i signs) for local and regional information.

 

Also check  Tasmanian Road Rules.
– M

Written by mella

January 30th, 2012 at 11:26 am

On a High

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It’s true what they say “Music heals, inspires and intensifies”.

Last night, I came across Mo Twister’s season finale episode which aired last December. His guest was no other than Rivermaya’s former vocalist, Bamboo Mañalac! I truly enjoyed this episode because it was mostly about Bamboo and his upcoming album. He sang live in the show and my gosh he’s still got it! I’ve been feeling low this past few weeks (PMS!)  and this this just was just all I needed pala!

 

and then this came up on my news feed in Facebook…

ahhh…90s and high school days, i miss it!

Written by mella

January 28th, 2012 at 9:14 am

Hobart, Tasmania

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My initial reaction as soon as we arrived in Hobart was ‘Where are all the people?”

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This photo was taken around 11am. Doesn’t it look like a deserted  place? Here in Singapore, downtime only starts at 12midnight and the rest of the day is just pure hustle and bustle! So seeing this really surprised me. Or maybe because I’ve been living here long enough that I’m not used to being in a relaxed place anymore? 

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Hobart’s CBD. Notice how the modern are the buildings here? Completely different from the buildings on the above photo.

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Elizabeth Street. One of Hobart’s shopping district.

Most, if not all, shops in Hobart closes at 5pm or 6pm (while malls here malls here in SG closes at 9pm, ugh!). We obviously came too late. Look no people! Good thing there’s Woolworths Supermarket at Campbell St. which is open till 10pm, we were able to buy food the next day’s long drive.

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Taken around 9pm, on our way to Salamanca Place for dinner. I think Hobart has done a good job in preserving that modern Town look.

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I took this while crossing the street. The weather was just so good to us on first day in Tassie. Clear sky, no rain. We took it as a good sign for the rest of the trip and it was indeed :)

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Written by mella

January 27th, 2012 at 6:38 pm