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Choo Choo! Train Passing Through! – Maeklong Railway Market

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I came across Maeklong Railway Market during my research for the trip and was intrigued by this unique market that has a railway running right through it. The locals also call it Talat Rom Hoop, which literally means ‘Umbrella Pulldown Market”.

Our driver dropped us somewhere along the perimeter of the market and the short walk to the market was already buzzing with the excitement of a typical local wet market.

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Luxurious Pampering At Capitol Piazza

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Whether you’re hoping to spruce up your wardrobe or looking for that perfect present, there’s guaranteed to be something for you at Capitol Piazza, the sparkling new retail arm of Capitol Singapore.

Capitol Singapore comprises of 3 conservation buildings – Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House. After years of renovation and refurbishment, the complex has been given new life, primed to recapture its former glory. Capitol Piazza is the swanky new four-storey upmarket retail mall, and consists of three zones: Galleria, Arcade, Neue.

Galleria is where you’ll be spoiled for choice from a variety of bars, cafes and restaurants. You can take all the time in the world, walking up and down, to decide which ones to enter as the compound is entirely air-conditioned. Arcade houses internationally celebrated luxury brands, and Neue is where new-to-Singapore brands and flagship stores and the underground link to the City Hall MRT reside.

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Wat Pho – Temple Of The Reclining Buddha

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My friends wanted to visit a temple in Thailand, so we decided on the largest and most famous one – Wat Pho, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, aka Golden Plated Buddha. I usually don’t fancy visiting temples on a tour but I must say this was a pretty nice experience.

All visitors must wear appropriate clothing inside the prayer halls – no exposed shoulders or skin above the knee allowed. Sarongs and shawls are provided just before you enter, so don’t worry about having to wear pants or long skirts in the Bangkok heat just so you can enter the temple. Being in the presence of this Buddha statue in the main prayer hall gave me this sudden sense of peace, which was surprising considering the heat wave and distractions outside. Inside, everyone was silent and respectful.

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Night & Day Secrets Of Karmakamet Diner Bangkok

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The most anticipated restaurant for this trip with friends was Karmakamet Secret World – Aromatic Shop & Diner, highly raved for its beautiful and charming interior.

Karmakamet started as an aromatics brand, and allocating a huge chunk of space in their new F&B establishment for their products is probably what makes them stand out from the rest. The moment you enter the restaurant, you are embraced by a unique mix of essential oils and food. I mean that in a nice-smelling way. =D The allure of scents is wasted on me though; I didn’t buy any essential oil or aromatherapy products. It smelt good while it lasted.

It was close to 6pm when we arrived, and by the time we were done with phototaking, the skies had turned dark, creating an ambience that was extremely romantic and cosy. If there weren’t so many mosquitoes outside, or the weather so hot and humid, I would have loved to cuddle against the gigantic cushions outside and chat into the night with friends. Lush greenery, huge glass windows that let you peer in and out, old-school medicine cupboard-like walls displaying products, red brick walls, dim hanging lamps, rustic furniture, long wooden tables, nice scent, made one feel transported from the busy world merely 200m away.

Karmakamet At Night

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My 10 First Experiences In Japan

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My first trip to Japan was in 2012 with Mr Mode to Okinawa, which is actually quite different from the rest of Japan. In terms of culture, Taiwan, China and other East Asian cultures close to Okinawa had a much bigger influence on Okinawa than the rest of Japan did. Even the local Okinawan food and music are clearly different from traditional Japanese food and music. Here’s more from our 2012 Okinawa trip!

So I’ve been to Japan, but not the mainstream part of Japan, you know what I mean? Someone once told me it’s like how Americans think of Hawaii, it’s part of America, but more exotic. Anyway, I’m glad to have been to Okinawa and finally to Yokohama and Tokyo! Experienced so many first-times during this trip and I wanted to share them with you so you might have ideas for your next trip to Japan. 😀

Watermelon That Doesn’t Drip

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One of my favorite fruits is watermelon, and what a memorable way to start the trip with the best watermelon I’ve ever had! It was crunchy, very sweet and juicy, and yet the juice did not get all over my hands and mouth as normal watermelons do. How intriguing! I love the garden behind Mr Watermelon and me, it’s a shared space for people in the neighborhood who do not have their own gardens but wish to grow their own plants and vegetables.

Making My First Futomaki Sushi

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Most people start by making simple sushi, but we jumped ranked and went straight into making Futomaki sushi rolls which required a lot more ingredients, steps, and skill. Luckily we had the friendly obasans to help us at every step of the way. Futomaski sushi rolls are thick Japanese sushi rolls primarily filled with vegetables and sometimes seafood. They’re known for their beautiful presentation and well-balanced flavors. The designs implementable are limited only by one’s imagination and we saw a variety of designs presented to us like flowers, panda, crab, and cherry blossoms! The outer tamago layer was my favorite, it was thick and perfectly sweet and salty. 😀

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First Naked Onsen Experience At Ryuguji Spa Hotel Mikazuki

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My first onsen experience was in Taiwan. My friends and I went on condition that swim wear was allowed. My second time was a year later with Mr Mode, also in Taiwan, and swim wear was definitely encouraged since it was a mix gender public onsen.

When I heard that we had to go completely naked for an authentic Japanese onsen at Ryugujo Spa in hotel Mikazuki, I firmly said ‘no, no, no’. I mean, if you grew up in a completely naked onsen culture, you’d be open about exposing your bits to strangers and friends alike. But most Singaporeans didn’t grow up that way and my previous onsen experiences didn’t prepare me enough for it!

But an hour later I found myself walking down the hall clothed in a thin, floral, pink Yukata, my heart thumping in anxiety, threatening to shoot out of my birthday suit. We reached our lockers, shed the Yukata, and agreed to look at one another ‘neck up’ hahaha. 😆 Then we commenced the walk of shame, also known as the short distance from lockers to shower area to pool, but which felt like eternity.

The main reason why swimwear is not allowed in a pure onsen is because the goal is to keep the water as clean as possible. Another reason I heard is that the temperatures can be so high they can melt certain kinds of fabric.

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