Bangkok – Shop, Eat & Grow Fat (6 September 2022)

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Got up early for the breakfast buffet. When we arrived, there was already quite a crowd enjoying their breakfast. They have a wide variety to choose from and they have a live cooking station to cook your eggs. Just order and pass them your table’s number tag and they’ll bring it to you once it’s ready.

Holiday Inn breakfast buffet

Don’t usually have an appetite in the morning, but decided to just have something light to start the day. Had their shrimp porridge and it’s delicious though I added too much soy sauce. It got a little salty for my taste buds, but overall it’s nice. It did open up my little appetite and I decided to get more food. The fried rice was good. The bitter gourd was too bitter for me. The bitterness covers the overall taste. The spicy morning glory was good though a little salty and spicy for me. We both agreed that the breakfast at Holiday Inn was better than what we expected.

Coffee at Phak Cafe & Crafts

We had black coffee at the hotel’s breakfast buffet, but it wasn’t to our liking. Dear said to bring me to a cafe for a nicer cup of coffee to start our day. Took BTS to Phak Cafe & Crafts, within walking distance from Phrom Phong station.

I ordered a cup of piccolo and Dear had her usual latte. The ambiance was good, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the coffee while wasting the morning. The coffee was definitely good. I like my piccolo, not too milky with a little taste of coffee bitterness. Dear’s latte was too milky for me, but she likes it. Yes, we both have our own preference for coffee.

After wasting our morning at the cafe, we head over to the opposite where a pet shop and veterinary clinic are located at. Wanted to see if there’s anything to get for the fur kids, but their retail section is a little small. Nothing much to get and so we left empty-handed.

Took BTS to Gateway Ekkaimai, and the nearest station is Ekkaimai. You don’t have to cross the road at all! After you exit the station, there’s a walkway that connects to the mall. Dear said it’s a surprise for me as the entire mall is Japanese theme. The restaurants are all Japanese cuisine too! Perfect for those that love all things Japanese.

Big Hero 6 mold

We headed up straight to the highest level and slowly make our way down level by level. Shopped at their Daiso and bought Big Hero 6 silicon mold as I wanted to make popsicles for the fur kids. We visited a stationary shop and chance upon some Sanrio toilet papers. Dear’s mother asked for Little Twin Stars while she bought herself a cinnamon roll. And yes, we carried two bags of toilet paper back to Singapore at the end of our trip.

Sukiya for lunch

After shopping, we walked around to see what was for lunch and I decided to try their Sukiya. I didn’t enjoy the one in Singapore as the taste wasn’t as wow as the one I had in Japan. And so, I decided to give the one in Bangkok a try. Amazingly, it’s much nicer. Wasn’t disappointed with their Sukiya. Ordered a set that comes with gyoza and a drink. I probably might have over-ordered as I was famished, and almost couldn’t finish my food.

Sweet Potato Bread

Saw a very interesting bread at the bakery and we bought one. It’s a sweet potato bread in the shape of a sweet potato! It looked exactly like one and it’s their bestselling bread in the store. We tried it once we got back to our hotel to rest. Even the interior of the bread looks like a potato! When eating it, the taste and texture were exactly the same as the sweet potato that I usually bought in Donki. We were amazed at the bread and thankfully we both decided to give it a try. They do have an outlet at Central World if you do not want to travel all the way to Ekkaimai.

Thong Smith Boat Noodle

Dinner was at Central World, Thong Smith Boat Noodle. One of the restaurants with good reviews and we decided to give it a try. Though it’s weird to have boat noodles in a shopping mall, but the one Dear wanted to bring me to closes early and dinner at the mall was inevitable since we left the hotel at around 7 pm.

The portion was a little small and definitely overpriced for boat noodles. But we both each had two bowls as one bowl doesn’t fill up our tummy. It’s delicious, but it wasn’t satisfying. Not worth the price. If you would want to try boat noodles, don’t visit this.

Cute Mochi

What’s dinner without dessert right? Bought two cute mochis from a store near Thong Smith Boat Noodle. And I truly regretted it. It’s cute but it wasn’t delicious. The mochi skin was too thick and not the kind of mochi texture we both like. The filling taste-wise was a little artificial. Yes, for the looks it’s cute but not worth buying. And Dear was thankful she stopped me from buying more at one go. Sometimes it’s good to have a partner to stop you from over buying or doing something stupid.

As we still had the energy, we decided to go grocery shopping. Took the BTS to On Nut station for their Big C. It’s another huge Big C supermarket but with a lesser crowd. So much more enjoyable to stroll in this Big C outlet without worrying about blocking anybody’s way due to the huge crowd of people.

We wanted to shop at Lotus, which is located next to On Nut station. The same area as the Big C that we went to first. According to Google, Lotus was open for 24hours. But when we arrived at around 9 pm, it was already closed. Apparently, since the pandemic started, their operating hours have changed and there wasn’t any update online. It was a wasted trip as Dear was looking forward to shopping at Lotus.

Since we couldn’t shop at Lotus, we decided to head back to our hotel since it was raining and there was nowhere else to explore. We decided to call it a night early.

Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas – Day 3 (9 July 2022)

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Day 3 of our voyage and we’ve arrived at Port Pinang. Can’t remember what time I got up and the first thing I did was head out to the balcony for some fresh air.


I immediately regretted my decision. It was a hazy morning in Penang and I went back to our room right after taking a picture. The reason I took a picture was to inform my closest aunt that I’d arrived at the next port of call safely.

Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas

After our breakfast at WindJammer, we debark the ship and head off to explore Penang. But first, like many adventurers, we decided to take pictures of the humongous ship with its awesome name! Very tourist behaviour but I don’t care.

Welcome to Penang

Felt very welcome upon arrival with the locals singing and greeting tourists that arrive at the port. Entering Penang was a very different experience for us and we felt like mountain tortoises. There was no immigration check when we arrived and just like that, our exploration started.

Once out of the immigration checkpoint building, a group of private or taxi drivers started asking if you need a ride and offering their services. As we walked past the eager to get your attention drivers, we overheard one offering a 3hours ride around Penang for RM$50.

Entrance & Exit of Norm

Address: 13, Gat Lebuh Gereja, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Sun-Thur: 8am-6pm
Fri-Sat: 8am-10pm
Note: here’s the address of the one we went to because I realised there are 2 Norm cafes. They’re sister cafes, so they’re related hence the same cafe name.

First stop, Norm. A nice little cafe is hidden in a corner with no signage at all. At first, we thought we were at the wrong location but Google Map (the only GPS we relied on that day) said we’d arrived. Then we overheard the locals whose friend was lost too, said where the entrance was. Like what we always do, follow the humans and enter the cafe.

Limited seatings and it was packed full of humans. Staff immediately came to greet us and asked us to wait while they clear a table (diners just left) for us. They handed us a set of menus to look through while waiting. One menu was drink and dessert, while the other was for the mains.

Here’s what we ordered:

  • Cortado (similar to picolo latte)
  • Aussie Latte (cold latte with a scoop of vanilla ice cream)
  • Chocolate Macadamia Fudge (dessert)

I like my Cortado coffee and Dear enjoyed hers, especially the ice cream that comes with it. She was shocked by the quality of the ice cream and very impressed that they didn’t use lower-end ice cream to go with the coffee. I tried a little of it, and I would say it’s quite a rich creamy vanilla ice cream. The chocolate macadamia fudge was good too. Very chocolatey, not too dry. A nice dessert to go with our coffee.

After our morning coffee break, we head off in search of Tambun Biscuit. It’s Penang’s speciality and one of my favourite snacks. Although I said if we couldn’t find any, it’s OK. But Dear insist we find it because I want.

Famous wall painting

We walked around George Town and Dear showed me the Instagram-worthy wall art which is quite popular. And yes, I did take a picture with it because there wasn’t any crowd when we arrived. We head off to the next popular wall art, but it was crowded with tourists waiting for their turn to take pictures with it. I didn’t want to wait and join the crowd, so we head off to explore Penang.

Entered a shop where I bought myself the popular Octopus that can change from a frown to a happy face. We also bought Dear’s sister a gift since we’re there and found something she might like. Dear prefers to buy gifts that are useful and that the receiver will definitely like. She’s a good gift gifter, unlike me who just buys anything cute even if it’s useless.

The Tambun Biscuits I bought.

Went shopping for Tambun Biscuit and I bought more than I could finish. Here’s a list of where and what I bought from the shop:

Ming Xiang Tai
They have a few outlets and I couldn’t find the address of the one we went to. This was recommended to us by the shop’s staff where we were gift shopping at. She said it’s one of Penang’s popular Tambun Biscuits. Did a quick google search and I found out it’s called Cantonese pastry on their website. We bought salted egg pastry and pandan salted egg pastry. In our opinion, we both prefer the pandan salted egg pastry as it’s more flavourful and fragrant.

Ban Heng
They have a few outlets as well. This was Google’s recommendation with positive reviews. After trying their sample, the taste brought back childhood memories and I bought a box of pandan-flavoured tambun biscuits. After trying all the ones I bought, this wasn’t as wow as I remembered.

Tean Ean
We booked a Grab to head back to the port and the driver asked why were we at Ban Heng. After knowing we were here to get some tambun biscuits, he said the locals don’t buy Ban Heng! *shocked*
He introduced us to Tean Ean and drove us there. He said this is where the local Penang mostly buy their tambun biscuits and it’s mostly freshly baked. Bought a small box of original after trying it and I would say it’s definitely better than Ban Heng. The crust of it already won! It’s softer, crispier and not as dry as Ben Heng’s. (Personal opinion. Don’t bash me for this) It’s worth the detour to purchase a box of delicious tambun biscuits.

Head back to the ship for lunch after our shopping spree. Lunch at WindJammer, as usual I had the Chinese food cos I saw they had bee hoon and I just have to try it. Dear went for the Indian food cos she saw new dishes too. Then it was back to our stateroom to rest and idle our time away. Had tea and coffee at our balcony as we watch the ship sailing away from Penang at around 6 pm. The staff at the port shouted goodbye and I happily waved back without thinking if they could actually see us from where they were. Besides, probably there’s other adventurers doing the same too.

Dinner at Main Dining Hall

Dinner at Main Dining Room. Dear ordered risotto which she didn’t really enjoy and she ordered herself a steak (the one that I was having) because she said it’s nice when I gave her a piece to try. Weirdly, I enjoyed the vegetable that comes with the steak but we weren’t sure what vegetable it was. The staff said it’s bok choy, but it doesn’t look like the usual bok choy we saw at the supermarket. After a awesome mains, I had dessert! The apple pie (can’t remember the exact name) is really good! Try it when you’re at Main Dining Room. One of the must try dessert!

Dinner at WindJammer

Then it’s round two dinner at WindJammer. Although I’m already full but Dear wants another round of dinner, and so we went. It’s Chinese and Indian food again. Saw the same vegetable that I had at Main Dining Room, I decided to get more. The fry noodle wasn’t good but the fried rice is. Saw that they have siew mai, and so I took some as well. Dear enjoyed her Indian food which I have no idea what she took. And yes, we called it a day after our dinner at WindJammer. And she’s already planned where to have breakfast for the next day! 0.0