Maldives Trip 29th September – 3rd October 2014

I am lucky enough to make the trip to Maldives before it’s fully underwater. Time is running out people; paradise is sinking. I was really glad that Tigerair (budget carrier) now flies to Male and I can fulfil my dream beach vacation!

Airplane Shot

I planned my accommodation at Adaraan Prestige Vadoo.

http://www.adaaran.com/prestigevadoo/

Basically our criteria was that it has to be a water villa, because we’re likely only going there once in our life and we didn’t want to stick with the usual hotel rooms on land. Our other criteria was that it must not burn a hole in our pockets. As enticing as the pictures you see on Instagram, the hefty price tag of those high-end water villas cost upwards of USD$1,500 per night.

After some research on Agoda, we chose the most affordable/discounted water villa that we liked from the pictures. Word of advice: if you book Bed & Breakfast option, do bring food (except pork) there to munch on for some meals. Each main course costs about USD$30-$40 per person, so I’d suggest going for the all-inclusive full-board option if you are going to eat and drink a lot.

Water Villas

Our cosy island was small, and it takes us about 15 minutes to walk around the perimeter, with the water villas being an extension accessible via a wooden boardwalk. We were given a warm welcome and were so impressed by our accommodation for the next 4 nights!

Bedroom

My favorite feature was the plunge pool right outside our room, which has a breathtaking view of the sunset. We could also take the wooden stairs from our villa down to the house reef just below us. It was really quite a luxury like no other I’ve experienced.

Plunge Pool

Staircase

Because it rained for some of days, we were chilling around most of the time in the comfort of our room and relaxing. It really helps that they provide wifi in the room so we could stream shows while having our meals in bed.

They have a swimming pool, which we visited twice because it just felt right to have fries and drinks delivered to us by the poolside.

Swimming Pool

Poolside

The service staff at Adaraan Prestige Vadoo is excellent, and our butler was kind enough to help us secretly decorate our bed on our monthversary, when we were having a special Japanese dinner. I mentioned special because we were the only 2 people there, and we found out the Japanese restaurant was not inside the all-inclusive package, hence none of the other guests eat there.

Decorated Bed

Their food portions were HUGE, and I was so happy with the serving size. The quality is alright for the exorbitant price, but I guess with a monopoly they can charge whatever price they want and get away with it. I certainly remembered paying $6 for a bottle of water.

Pasta

An activity that I enjoyed there was snorkeling! I would wake up early in the morning to jump into the house reef below and snorkel with the fishes (before it rains). The fishes here are a bit slower, and some of them even swam up to me & let me touch them. It’s a pity I don’t have an underwater camera to capture the beauty under the sea.

Snorkeling

On the last day, it was with a heavy heart that I had to leave the island, but I am also happy for the wonderful memories created during our vacation.

Japanese Restaurant

 

Beach

Love you!

Korea 2014: Hongdae, Trick-eye Museum, Jimbilbang

Concluding the last of my Korea trip posts with Hongdae!!

I’m sure many Singaporeans have heard about Hongdae; known for its fashion, clubbing, and the arts. I come here for a totally different reason. The cat & dog cafes!

The Bau Haus Dog Cafe is located at

Jeil Bldg. 1F, 394-44 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

It is just a stone’s throw away from the Hapjeong station Exit 3 or 4, and it’s on the ground floor so you don’t have to look too hard for it. We love this place because the dogs are full of enthusiasm and love! We bought a packet of snacks and immediately those big doggies come surrounding us and salivating all over our clothes and belongings.

Salivating Dogs

**Do take note to avoid buying treats if you do not like dog saliva all over you. There are plenty of dogs but the star of the cafe would definitely be the Alaskan Malamute.

IT IS HUGE. The big guy there had to manhandle the dog to control it.

Alaskan Malamute

Thankfully it’s also quite lazy and doesn’t pounce on people.

My favorite dog is a Corgi, and there were 2 that day! I’m not sure if they are resident dogs because they are in a separate area from the bigger dogs. I was playing with this cute boy and I rolled him around onto his back. His short legs rendered him helpless.

Cute Corgi

Corgi

Pardon my string of animal posts, but I’m going to recommend a cat cafe next!

Cafe Giocat (지오캣) is located near Hongik University station on the 3rd floor of

2-6, Wausan-ro 21-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

It recently changed its name to Ycat cafe if I’m not wrong, but the cats inside are still very cute and fluffy!

My favorite is the munchkin. When you carry it onto high ground, it looks so helpless with its short legs.

Helpless Munchkin

Munchkin

My advice is to use the simplest of playthings to get the cat’s attention. This stick for example, captivated all the cats to play with me.

Cat Stick

For those of you who are bored of seeing pictures of animals by now, there’s another thing that’s famous in Hongdae – Trick Eye Museum!

http://trickeye.com/trickeye_eng.html

I know there’s one that opened at Resorts World Sentosa recently, but it’s much smaller as compared to the original in Seoul!

The one we went to is also near Hongik University station, and the entrance looks like this.

Trick Eye Museum Entrance

Our ticket price also includes entry into the Ice Museum, which we DID NOT anticipate going into and were severely under-dressed. We lasted a total of 5 minutes inside the sub-zero freezer of a room before we came running out.

Ice Museum

I guess there will always be complaints about too many people taking their time to pose for photos at strategic angles, but we realized it’s mostly crowded because of a tour group. Once their tour-guide chased them all away because they needed to “move on to the next location”, we had the entire museum to ourselves and could revisit the older exhibits to camwhore.

Sexy Bitch

Floating Man

While we were in the vicinity of Hongdae, we wanted to try some authentic Korean Fried Chicken and Beer. We know it’s a staple before clubbing so there has to be some restaurants serving them nearby, so we ventured around and saw this!

Korean Fried Chicken

This has got to be the real deal because nobody there seems to speak english and the students drinking are mainly drunk. Bingo! We had much difficulty trying to order fried chicken, although I pointed to our neighboring table to ask what they were eating (it looked like popcorn chicken covered in sauce) but the waitress insisted it wasn’t chicken. We ended up with a full fried chicken in front of us and beer + soju. It was heaven.

Fried Chicken & Beer

It’s about the discovering of places like these that makes food taste better.

Lastly, the place to relax and unwind after all the shopping and eating in Seoul.

Yongsan Dragon Hill Spa (드래곤힐스파 (용산))

http://www.dragonhillspa.co.kr/

This jimjilbang is probably the first one you hear about, and plenty of foreigners come here. It is relatively huge spanning a few floors, and there is a gigantic resting area on the ground floor to meet up and eat tea eggs or drink lemonade.

Dragon Hill Jimjilbang

The guys and girls have to go to separate floors for the spa. Once inside, you have to be fully naked and walk around nude with all the other guys like it’s the most natural thing in the world. I tried the scrubbing massage for the first time in my life, and I forgot to see how much dead skin came out after 25 years. My masseur was probably disgusted, because he immediately went to take a shower afterwards…

Michelle tried to win the An Pan Man, as was made famous by The Return of Superman child-star Sarang. Let’s just say this machine ate up a lot of our money too…

An Pan Man

Anyways, I hereby conclude the end of my Korea Trip 2014 posts! It was a tiring but fun trip, and I wish to explore other parts of Korea next time I go back. As always, feel free to ask me any questions you might have and I’ll try my best to answer.

Seoul Thank You

Thank you!

—–

Do check out my other posts from Korea 2014 Trip

Korea 2014: Myeongdong, Edae, Sinchon

Korea 2014: Bukchon Hanok Village, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Namsan Tower

Korea 2014: Gangnam, Everland, Caribbean Bay