Revival

This page really needs to be revived…soon.

Buying time, buying time 🙂 But is blogging still relevant in today’s times?

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Once Upon an Idea – Part 4 (hot and cold)

Aha! I stumbled upon this idea, okay maybe not an idea idea but more like a money saving tip.

What happened was I was having lunch with colleagues one day, and the few of us wanted to order drinks. I was thinking maybe this time round I should get hot tea (teh O), you know, a sudden desire to be health conscious. One of them wanted a can drink, so after taking down the orders I went to queue at the drinks counter.

When both our drinks arrived, I realised something.

When you purchase a can drink, it comes with the can of drink, a straw, and a glass of ice, all within one nett price. The good part is this, the can of drink is already cold to begin with.

The better part is, my colleague don’t utilise the glass of ice and drink straight from the can. So, what I did was, combine my hot teh O and that glass of ice to make…teh O peng!

A teh O cost probably about 90 cents, and a teh O peng costs 1.20.

With that, I’ve already saved 30 cents!

Looking at how we work together for almost 250 days a year, take away our annual leave of a total 36 days, days we don’t have lunch together, it goes to about 165 days. If I save 30 cents every day for 165 days, I would have saved up to $49.50!!!

Awesome!

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Once Upon an Idea – Part 3 (grass cutting + cone of shame)

Most of us have come across grass cutters when we were strolling in the park or along the walkway with grass patches by the side. They usually use string trimmers, ie. using strings as the blades to cut the grass. A lot of times we tend to walk away from grass cutting area or shield our faces just in case the string moving at such high velocity hits a stone which may fly our way with the intention to draw blood.

Now I’m sure there are safety features in place or modified grass cutters that may cost quite a bit for contractors.

My idea is simple. Simply combine the cone of shame (Elizabethan collar) and the grass cutter! Connect the cone right at the edge of the cutter, and just cut the grass as per normal.

(photos taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabethan_collar AND http://forums.vr-zone.com/chit-chatting/2937537-robo-grasscutter-singapore-damn-cool-sia.html)

This is to ensure whatever that’s flying around due to the string blades are halted by the walls of the cone.

Also make sure the cone is transparent so the guy can see what he is cutting.

That’s it!

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Once Upon an Idea – Part 2 (blog shopping)

Okay, so this is part two of trying to come up with useful ideas every week.

This time, my idea was inspired by a movie. Have you guys watched The Intern? Led by Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, this week’s idea is regarding blog shops, specifically fashion and clothing. This post will be more relevant to females who online shop a lot more than going to the mall.

You may realise by now that when it comes to different online shops, dresses of the same sizes may come with different measurements or cutting. As far as my shopping knowledge goes, popular brands have added asian cuts, petite sizes, slim fits, skinny fits and more to cater to our slim and petite Asian sizes. I mean, personally, I’m quite pissed when everything is made to cater to the Westerners, larger sizes, broader shoulders, longer legs…What’s the point of setting up a store here in Asia if you’re gonna keep selling the same ol’ shit catering to Caucasians? Are we not humans? Do we choose to be this fun-sized? But okay, they realised sometime ago so I think that’s good.

Anyways, I see or hear of many cases when the ladies would order lots of dresses etc. and when it arrived, it could not fit at some areas. It could be that the waist cutting was too small, or the sleeves came too short, etc. etc. What happened next was they either gave it away, or try to ship it back to the merchant and had to pay the shipping cost.

I was then thinking, won’t it save all the trouble if customers were able to order the right kind of dresses right from the beginning? But how do we do that? A few ideas came to mind.

The first one needs a lot of customisation, ie. customers can provide the measurements of all their body parts, and merchants will produce it accordingly. This will take some time and you never know, by time it arrives the body may have grown smaller or larger.

So, what the merchant can do is have a ready stock of clothing as per usual, but they utilise a software to match the customers’ measurements closest to what they have in store. This software will also point out the slight differences for customers to either accept or reject and choose another dress.

The software can also draw out (to scale) the shape of the body given the measurements, then fit the dress to show the customers clearer how it would look like. It can also point out the parts where the dress may not be ideal to the measurements desired.

All these can actually save a lot of hassle and miscommunication between merchant and customer. Many times we see customers being unhappy with the items they received (blog shop models can be really deceiving) and at times they are met with bad service.

It is too bad however if buyers lie about their measurements and once they click on the ‘accept’ button, the T&Cs must clearly show that no returns nor refunds will be entertained, unless customers can prove that the measurements were not made to size as shown on screen before checkout.

I’ve emailed this idea out last year to a few blog shops, but of course there were no replies.

hope this has been implemented somewhere!

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Once Upon an Idea – Part 1 (Toilet TV)

I’m going to try this every week.

I believe that all great ideas start from small or crazy ideas. This is just me trying to play a part in making the world or lives better. If anyone wants to take the idea and develop it I really won’t mind getting paid for it too.

My brain can only imagine so many things so I’m really sorry if a similar idea has been published elsewhere.

So this week, I think I’d like to start off with something simple. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re out in a mall somewhere and your partner or friends need to use the toilet, either you do not need to go or you’re really swift in emptying your bladder, you still have to wait for them to come out? This happen mostly to males where toilet queues are non-existent and all they need to do is zip-pull-pee-keep-zip.

What should they do then during the wait? Most people would just whip out their phones and start checking Facebook, Whatsapp, whatever to kill time. Not only it is bad for posture, it wastes data too.

So I was thinking, since guys love to watch sports, for eg. football, why not invest in screens along the walls of the waiting area and play some football highlights? Keep the men entertained a little.

Now if the problem is to avoid having a congestion because the men are stuck to watching the screens, then play three or four 2-minute clips and loop it for the hour. That way, it will keep them watching for at most 8 minutes. After every hour, change the clips to something else, maybe wrestling highlights or MMA highlights.

Trust me, this will keep them entertained for a while yet won’t allow them to hang around the area too long, unlike some of the electronics store that likes to play Korean Girls Pop Band on huge TV screens to attract uncles.

This is, to me, a type of service to the mall patrons. Small details like this will be much appreciated. Truly. Play sports and only sports, not advertisements on facial products or cosmetics, coz seriously we do not give a shit to such stuff.

Thanks.

 

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The 2016 Great Perth Trip

OK!

Here shall be my blog post on the latest trip that we have embarked on, Perth!

If you do remember, we have been to Perth before as shown in the link below:
https://flibbertygibberty.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/perth-and-south-western-australia/

Day 1 – 17 March (Perth, Photoshoot)

Friends have asked if this trip happened because of our Pre-Wedding Photoshoot. Answer is, no. The trip was planned before the proposal, and we thought why not do a pre-wedding shoot there too. So we had to scramble a few of our initial plans, gave some places to visit a miss, and had to rush a little to really be able to visit the few interesting attractions.

If you are wondering about the photoshoot, it went absolutely well. Given the tight schedule, we had to plan the shoot right after we have touched down in Perth. The arrival time was about 5.30AM, and by time we got to our photographer’s place, it was almost 7AM, including waiting for our rented car and getting lost due to an outdated GPS.

Tip no. 1: Download Google Maps offline when you are still in Singapore, it will help a lot if your GPS gives up on you or you need to find certain addresses etc. All you need to do is to turn on “Location” and “WiFi” on your phone/tablet and Google can pinpoint your location quite accurately.

Tip no. 2: If you are using Singtel, you can opt for the 1 month overseas data plan, ie. you get 1GB of data per month for $10. Note that this monthly rate renews itself according to your mobile bill cycle.

Back to my pre-wedding photoshoot, we were lucky to get one of the most passionate photographers we have ever seen, Jason Tey (http://www.jasontey.com/). Not only that, he really went out of his way to make sure we were comfortable, well-rested, and was very professional in the way he deals with clients, and at the end of the day we became real good friends. Felt as though we have known him for a long, long time. If you do not believe the kind of photos he can take (his website may be a fake, right?), then maybe you will believe it after seeing a few of our preview photos:

Back to the trip, after a long day of photoshoot, we drove to Fremantle and was glad to have booked Hougoumont Hotel. They have their own parking lots at $25 a day, which was much cheaper than parking along the street. The staff of this place were helpful, friendly, and the room was very comfortable. The size of the toilet/bathroom was not too spacious but I guess what mattered was how effective it was for a good night’s rest.

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Day 2 – 18 March (Fremantle/Rottnest)

We’ve been to Fremantle before, so this time we made sure we visited Rottnest Island. Good thing we were blessed with good weather throughout the trip, and that day we were on a mission, a mission to find Quokkas.

The pier was a 10-minute walking distance from the hotel so it was quite pleasant to take a stroll in the morning. You can get your ferry tickets from Rottnest Express online, and at the same time you can book your bicycles too. The ferry operates at certain hours only so make sure you check and plan carefully.

Tip no. 3: We were able to complete exploring the island quite fast because we did not stop and swim at the beautiful beaches around the island, however our return ferry time was hours away. What you can do is just wait at the pier for the next earliest ferry, let the ticketed passengers up on board first, then if there are empty spaces, the ferry operator will let you go up the ferry as well.

It did not take us long to spot Quokkas who were really friendly with humans. Though there were signs saying not to feed them, tourists still fed them. I’m ok with that as long as they don’t feed junk to these cute little animals. Add that to the beautiful coastlines of Rottnest Island, we felt that this is a place everyone should visit at least once.

Tip no. 4: This was the start of an episode called “Crazy Flies”. There really were many flies (you will see horseflies too that will try to eat you alive) and they love to fly into your face. I suggest getting some sort of fly repellent or put on a mask/net. From here onwards, just imagine our faces getting attacked by flies once we are away from Perth.

We arrived back in Fremantle quite early, so we explored around and just so happen it was a weekend and the Fremantle Market was still open. Really nice chocolate drink in here and you can get fresh fruits as well. Been here before, nothing much has changed. Went on to have dinner at an Italian place called Tabella (recommended by our photographer), and it was quite good. Portion was huge, so do consider sharing. They’re fine with Asians sharing, unlike in Italy which was frowned upon. Different culture. No biggie.


Day 3 – 19 March (Coral Bay – Exmouth/Ningaloo)

We took a flight to Learmonth Airport, the nearest airport to our next destination, ie. Coral Bay, Ningaloo. We will be renting another car there that will drive us all the way back to Perth, over a few days of course. Nothing that we cannot handle, since we have driven much further distances in Australia before (ie. Brisbane – Sydney and Sydney – Melbourne, one full day each).

Tip no. 5: Pick a flight that will land you earlier in Learmonth, as the car rental counters may close real early, say 2PM. We flew Qantas (probably the only airline that flies there).

Tip no. 6: To rent a car in Exmouth and return it in Perth will cost you much more. You can tweak the plan to drive from Perth all the way up to Exmouth, then set aside one/two full day(s) to drive it all the way back and return it at the same place. You save a lot on the relocation fee.

My initial plan was to drive all the way to Yardie Creek, which is the end of Cape Range National Park, then onwards to Coral Bay. However, I found out that it was impossible to do so with a 2-wheel drive. Little did I know, to get to the other side of Yardie Creek, well, you have to cross that creek. We got to know this when we were paying for an entrance fee ($12 per vehicle) into the national park, and that was like after a two-hour drive from Learmonth Airport. We were still about 50km away from Yardie Creek, so we went ahead and made sure to stop at Turquoise Bay which is a quiet and calm beach. You see many more attractions along the way but we could not stop for any as time was running out. We needed to see Yardie Creek, and we did. There were treks for you to take to view different areas of the stunning gorge.

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One thing you should be careful about are the wildlife along the National Park. We saw many road kills, especially kangaroos. We came across a few standing in the middle of the road, and when you honk them, they don’t run nor move away. They just stood in shock, not knowing that part of their home has been turned into tarmac road. Drive carefully, be alert (they may just show up right in front of your car), and take photos too.

We then drove ALL the way back to where we came from, past the airport, and onwards until we arrived at our resort quite late at night. I was racing against the dimming sunlight because it really is quite tough to drive at night without claiming any animal’s life in Australia. We finally arrived at Ningaloo Reef Resort safely.

Day 4 – 20 March (Ningaloo Reef)

We were supposed to be on a snorkelling tour with Coastal Adventure Tours (http://www.mantaraycoralbay.com.au/#_=_), however due to low booking numbers, they have instead booked us with another company. We were thankful for them in doing so as there was a lapse in communication (no data reception), and because of that also we got to snorkel with beautiful fishes, manta rays and reef sharks. Definitely one of our best snorkelling experience in Australia. The water was really cold and we went for 3 snorkels in different sites, well worth the money! Lunch provided on board too.

We had a 6/7-hour drive the next day, so we had to ensure our car was well fuelled. The petrol pump, the only one in Coral Bay, is not manned, so you have to either pay with a credit card, or get a cash card from the post office before it closes at 4PM or so. All our cards were rejected, hence we had to head back to the shops to have them call the emergency number stated on the pump. That number belongs to the operator of the petrol pump, so he came down to help us and we paid him in cash. The best situation you can get is if you see a local topping up fuel, get them to pay for you first using their card, then reimburse them with cash.

Day 5 – 21 March (Quobba, Denham)

We had to leave early to take a slight detour to view the Quobba Blowholes, and it did not disappoint. We especially loved the sight of majestic coastlines, and this was one of them.

The road to Denham was quite an arduous one too, you have to go around Sharks Bay. Here in Denham, you get to see emus chilling at the side of the road, and more in the town area. Along the way to Denham, you may want to stop by Shell Beach (shells more than sand) and the Ocean Park Aquarium, if you have time. We headed straight to Denham to check in to On The Edge residence, before coming back out to Shell Beach (don’t do this, visit Shell Beach first).

Again, a much needed comfortable accommodation to fully restore your energy for the next day.

You should stop at the Shark Bay Discovery Centre to purchase your one-day pass into Monkey Mia, where you can witness daily feeding of four protected dolphins.

Luckily for us also, we came across a double rainbow and a beautifully lit sky.

Day 6 – 22 March (Monkey Mia, Kalbarri)

The one-day pass to Monkey Mia costs $12 per vehicle, and gives you access into the area for 24 hours. There are shops, restaurants, accommodation, but most people visit Monkey Mia only for the dolphins. The feeding times are quite set, with the first session at 7.45AM. From the beach you can already see dolphins swimming around, however the short feeding session was only for 4 protected female dolphins. It was very educational and I think the caretakers of the area has done really well in protecting the wildlife there. We got lucky enough too to be picked to feed one of the dolphins.

We then made our way towards Kalbarri, probably a 4-hour drive away, and visited some of the gorges, rock formations and viewpoints of yet another set of beautiful coastlines. There were brown signs pointing you towards attraction points, and you can easily visit them all to grab a photo.

We also drove back to the road that led to Nature’s Window (The Loop) and Z-Bend, but due to the lack of time, we only did Nature’s Window. This journey made me realise that we probably should have rented a 4-wheel drive. After paying an entrance fee of $12 per vehicle, the road leading towards both these locations was pretty rough (about 12km or more!). No tarmac, just dirt, sand, stones etc. You can still do it with a 2-wheel, but it was very bumpy. It felt as if our Nissan Micra may just break down any time and fall into pieces.

The Loop is a beautiful trek around the gorges but again setting our priorities, we only got to Nature’s Window and headed back. We wanted to catch the sunset at the viewpoint near the town.

Our accommodation again was a saviour for tired bodies. The owner of Gecko Lodge was very friendly and the room was spacious, clean and amazingly comfortable. She also bakes damn good muffins (free for guests) and with an extra $10 you get to order breakfast over and above the continental set that was already included in your stay. Lovely.

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Day 7 – 23 March (Cervantes)

A 4-hour drive took us closer to Perth and we stopped by at Cervantes to visit The Pinnacles. While driving from Kalbarri, you will come across a lake, a pink lake, called the Pink Lake (haha). Apparently there is a path leading into the lake, but we just stopped by the road and snapped a photo.

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Pinnacles was a short drive away from town and after our lunch (lobster, yum yum) we headed over to Nambung National Park. You can even drive into the Pinnacles desert area on 2-wheel, but stay within the designated track.

Read about Pinnacles here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pinnacles_(Western_Australia)

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Checked in to Cervantes Holiday Homes and it was a simple 3 bedroom house but really spacious, enough to fit up to 10 pax. We headed back from Pinnacles to have dinner at Cervantes Bar & Bistro (same restaurant for lunch), this time ordered the Seafood Platter and stuffed ourselves crazy.

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Day 8 – 24 March (Perth, Fremantle)

Cervantes was a quick 2-hour drive away, so we arrived early and stopped by Cottesloe Beach before heading to lunch with our new found friend, Jason the photographer and his family.

The area around Cottesloe seemed like a happening one and would love to return there some day to just chill.

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We headed to Kailis Bros for a sumptuous seafood lunch with Jason and family, and within the restaurant they also sell fresh seafood, somewhat like the Sydney Fish Market, but much smaller.

Accommodation wise, we stayed at Ellard Bed & Breakfast which was really near to the airport because we had an early flight home, ie. 6.30AM. It looks like an AirBnB concept residence and it did not disappoint, in fact we loved that place. Again, most importantly, spacious, clean, comfortable.

Before the day ended, we visit the Blue Boathouse and Lake Monger (full of black swans).

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Then headed to Coles to buy half-priced chocolates and crackers and snacks and biscuits back home, before meeting my cousin at a famous Italian restaurant, Ciao Italia. One of the many places you see that has got more Asians than any other nationalities. However crowded it was, please visit this restaurant. We don’t remember many places that has got pasta as good as the ones we tried in Italy.

The portion is quite big, so do double check with the waiter if you can share the food. I do suspect that they require each individual to order one dish, but they put it across nicely and say it is not enough if you share. Don’t believe them, believe in how big your stomach is.

Day 9 – 25 March (Singapore)

We woke up at 3AM to get ready and to ensure we return the car on time, ie. 4AM or so. The GPS once again screwed us when we were trying to find a petrol station, luckily we remembered there was a station near our accommodation and made a turn back. Also, the roads leading to the international airport (ie. Terminal 1 and 2) were not reflected in the GPS, so we relied on road signs and slowly made our way to the car return area. We realised that nobody was manning the car return, and all you had to do was drop the keys into  box nearby, so it doesn’t matter if we were late because it was just too early for anyone to penalise you for late returns. I could be wrong, there could be cameras at the entrance that records your car entry time.

So finally, I am at the end of this blog post, and I must say we had a lot of fish during this trip. Fish and chips most of the time. We agreed on one thing though, all the seafood we had then were really, really, fresh.

Till the next journey!

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The Almost Forgotten Krabi Trip

So, it was long, long ago that I left the pages of this electronic chronicle of my travels to stay silent, and what a year it has been, 2015. Year after year, you would never think it could surprise you that much. This could make for a future topic, but that aside, let me do a quick recap of our Krabi trip which happened in May 2015. Haha. Krabi is a calmer version of Bangkok + Phuket, they have the food, the tourists, the beach, islands in the vicinity of this mainland, few nightspots and of course trannies, but not so many. Much more relaxing, but the things you can do here is quite limited hence a 4D3N trip.

So firstly, if it is a short 4D3N trip we would recommend you to stay AWAY from the main town of Krabi, and make your way to Ao Nang, somewhat a popular destination with tourists but it is very pleasant during the lull period. Then make sure you are willing to spend a little on a really good accommodation, it helps to rejuvenate you enough for the next day. We stayed at Ban Sainai, highly ranked by Trip Advisor and Agoda (trust Trip Advisor’s ratings more than Agoda, and in Agoda only read comments by Singaporeans).

You can request for airport transfer for 700 Baht and make sure you are able to tell the driver which arrival area are you in, apparently there is a No. 1 and No. 2 arrival area. Suggest you opt for the airport transfer to save time and trouble, plus it may be hard to call for a taxi or ask for directions because they do not seem to speak much English (we ask the info counter that was staffed by teenagers). Funny how they either speak little English and seem unhelpful, but when they do speak well we think they’re out to cheat our money (in touristy areas).

Ban Sainai also provides a shuttle bus service to and from the popular Ao Nang Town and it follows a schedule.

(note: bring mosquito repellent or patches).

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Krabi (not an island) has got a few spots such as Railay, Krabi Town, Ao Nang etc. so you can take your pick based on the activities you’ll like to carry out. Railay is a little far and Ao Nang has got what we need; beach, seafood, some mild night life activity, but all we did most of the time was eat.

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Since Krabi is facing the west, enjoying the view of the sunset at the beach is a must!

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Ao Nang Town has got a lot of seafood restaurants, and if you ask me, they aren’t much cheaper than what you can get in Singapore. Try to look around and survey one or two restaurants but the prices will not vary much. Try it once or twice, don’t have to spend so much on seafood here but just enjoy the way it is cooked which still tasted delicious. Definitely cannot avoid the few main Thai dishes, such as tom yam, phad thai, mango sticky rice, etc. I think we had tom yam every single day.

Second day, we managed to book a last minute boat tour for the 3rd day, so we head out to Krabi Town to roam around to fill up our schedule. We note that there is a night market area in Krabi Town that is popular, but we weren’t quite interested, not sure why. Probably we have experienced Bangkok a lot so we won’t miss much. To travel there, you have to spot ‘buses’ that goes to town. Cheap I think, about 30 Baht per person.

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Once we got there, we randomly roamed around looking for Maharaj Market, thinking that there will be lots of food to buy. We ended up buying fruits (lychee, jambu air) instead, because on the way here we spotted a food stall that we must return to (you have to trust the gut of a woman).

This aunty quite power, you know those side walks along buildings, she just set up a stall there that can make any kind of Thai food. For some of the items that she cannot produce, she forms a partnership with the stall at the adjacent building.

The tom yam, was awesome.

 

We ended the night withhhh seafood again!

 

On the third day, we took a private boat tour to the nearby islands. It includes snorkelling, lunch, sightseeing etc. and the best part is that the operator provides free flow soft drinks and water. You need it, trust me. And the sun was burning most of the time.

This company was run by an Australian lady (Elizabeth) who has been a resident of Krabi for many years, and our guide of the day was Sven from Germany, who also resides here and has a Thai wife. The boat tour doesn’t come cheap but it is good in a way that it really gives you the privacy, need not be packed like sardines with loud China tourists (we came across rude ones along our time in Krabi), you get to make certain requests to see certain places, you absorb a lot more information about the place, and if you are a weak swimmer like me and showed many signs of struggling in the water, you will be saved in no time.

Andaman Camp and Cruise
150 M 6, Ao Nang, Krabi  81000
THAILAND
Tel: 087 885 1125
www.andamancampandcruise.com

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Sven even recommended us to look for this Thai restaurant hidden in one of the streets near our accommodation. And of course, we went out adamant to look for it. It’s called Tom Ma Yom. (Bring mosquito repellent).

But before Tom Ma Yom, we came across a night market selling nothing but food by the Muslims. It was during the Ramadhan period then.

 

Then Tom Ma Yom happened.

OMG Look at that mango sticky rice above!!! Damn it, how to find at this kind of hour now in Singapore. In Thailand, it is just about eating, and eating, and then eat again. Sigh.

That’s all we have for a short 4D3N trip to Krabi, definitely a place to go for a quick escape and come back refreshed and burnt!

Any questions, let us know!

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