Category Archives: Travel

Today is Thursday June 20, 2019
  • About being a Surf Goddess

    11 June – 18 June 2009

    My sister planned this trip, she organised everything. It’s something we wanted to do together as it’s been awhile since just the two of us went on a holiday.

    Thank you favourite sister!

    Surf Goddess Retreat is for girls only. And our accommodation is at Villa Serena, a cosy little private villa. As soon as we arrived we were shown around – not much to see as it is a little villa, with a dining area, a living room, and an open spaced TV lounge (this is the only telly in the entire villa and it was quite traumatic for me when I found out there was no TV in my room – but I got used to it as I was normally asleep by 10pm every day) that doubles as our yoga spot.

    A typical start to a surf goddess day starts with 90 minutes of yoga at 7am followed by a hearty and generous breakfast.

    How can one but feel zen? This is the view from my yoga spot…

    And after some rest and chit chat with other surf goddesses, it’s time to slather on sunblock for surfing!

    So… about surfing… my experience, in not so many words –

    Step 1. Building of strong arms so you can carry your own surfboard, or try to. I could definitely carry mine.

    Step 2. Don’t think too much about it like I did. The number of times I was told to relax! Great piece of advise – I need to learn how to go with the flow more, or rather, to flow with the waves…

    Step 3. Focus. Hop on. Find your balance. Eyes to the front – look ahead of you, look at where you’re going. I didn’t believe it when the surf instructor told us that the surfboard will go where your eyes look – so true! Each time I looked down to check that I was still standing on the surfboard, that is when I fall! Eyes look down – down I go!

    Step 4. Try to stay on surfboard as long as you can. Look at me go! I kick ass! Every second is exhilarating. You know that feeling when you get when you sneeze real hard and see stars? Feels real good, right? Imagine yourself having an extended sneeze in slow motion and the whole world is in silence – prolonged ecstasy!

    Step 5. Falling off. I never mastered how to step off my board gracefully. I could always anticipate when I was going to fall, and I’d think to myself – Awwww… crap! There I go – again!
    This is me just before I go under…

    Most important step. HAVE FUN! Laugh out loud. Smile ear to ear.

    Did I surf everyday? Of course I did! (except on the day of rest when we went to Ubud).

    Well…..really? I attempted to surf everyday. There were days when the waves were monstrous and I decided to take it easy with my battle with the waves. Instead of the typical 90 minutes – I do 30 minutes and head for the showers.

    Our gorgeous surf guide Melinda (on the right), another surf goddess, reinforced that I could do whatever I wanted and didn’t have to push myself if I didn’t want to. She’s the greatest, always full of encouragement, a kind word and heaps of positivity.

    My overall experience was wonderful. I treasure the time I got to spend with my sister. The daily yoga practice has made me more confident than ever when I practice yoga at the yoga centre now. I am still gung-ho with getting as much practice as I can now, and getting better at it.

    Being able to surf brings me a whole new level of self –assurance too. I never thought I’d be able too – but, hey! I did it! After my first lesson! I never would have thought! But, hey! I do kick ass… I’ve never felt more physically stronger and powerful, and I love feeling this way.

    And I’m still feeling this buzz… and this post is 3 weeks late!

    Have doubts about surfing? DON’T! After the experience it’ll be all about taking the bull by its horns. Bring on the waves, baby!

    I think Surf Goddess Retreats packaged everything beautifully! The combination of good wholesome food, daily yoga and the surfing – they all go hand in hand. Chelsea, Susan, Melinda and Stefania were the happy fairies, they did manage to make everything all about us having a fantastic time.

    The surf instructors at Rip Curl School of Surf were knowledgeable, experienced, supportive and encouraging. Always – safety first! They were bundles of smiles and joy. Lovely, happy people.

    Overall, a wonderful and memorable experience. The memories will always bring a smile to my face.

  • Dining in Seminyak – Bali

    During our Surf Goddess Retreat when meals were not provided, we dined mostly on Jalan Omeroi in Seminyak because it is just 5 minutes walk away from where our villa was.

    Our first night out we had dinner at Trattoria, Jalan Lesmana, Oberoi, Seminyak. T: 0361 737 082

    We ordered a salad, clams and sister had a tomato based spaghetti – I give it 4 yummy stars. Everything was fresh – and fairly reasonably priced. About USD15 for the both of us.

    Next dinner out was at Greek Restaurant – I’d totally recommend this too. 4 and a half yummy stars. And the colour blue is the setting and theme.
    Mykonos – Jalan Lesmana 52 Oberoi. T: 0361 733253

    Our last dinner out was at this place called Rumours (it’s just a couple of doors away from Trattoria in the event you have to try this place). Only 1 star… and a NOT yummy star… But since I have some pictures – here you go… (And realise there are no pictures of the food? It doesn’t deserve a picture). It’s still packed though.

    This place called Lanai is our favourite lunch place. We’ve been going there for lunch everyday after surfing classes. Totally recommend their burger, it is called The Burger. And we love the nachos with guacamole, sour cream, salsa and refried beans… Yum, yum, yum. Definitely 4.5 yummy stars.
    Only a picture of the place cos we’re so hungry all other times – we just couldn’t wait to stuff our faces.
    It’s got 2 floors – and if you sit at the top you get to catch some sun and see the sea and surfers – but my sister and I preferred sitting downstairs where it’s nice and cool. You can still hear the sound of the waves crashing.

    Lanai – Beach Bar and Grill, Jalan Pantai Blue Ocean, Double 6 No 10. T: 62 361 731305

    Our last lunch at Bali before we headed to the airport was at Grocer and Grind – Jalan Kayu Jati No 3X, Petitenget Beach, Seminyak. T: 0361 730418.

    It’s a modern cheerful and chic place with a little delicatessen.

    And we ordered some fish cakes, curry rice and a lemon cheesecake. I even took away 2 home made cookies – choc and oat cookie and a sticky date cookie. 4 Yummy stars.

  • Ubud Day Trip

    When my sister and I signed up to become Surf Goddeses with Surf Goddess Retreats, the package includes a day of rest, a day trip to Ubud. This is not my first time to Ubud – but certainly my first time to the Monkey Forest.

    If nature and monkeys is your cup of tea, it’s definitely worth the trip.

    I am petrified of the monkeys though… Thought it might come hiss at me, bite me, or snatch my bag… Did you know, if the monkey steals something of yours – don’t run after it. Instead wait for the handlers in charge of the forest to trade whatever the monkey took from you with a banana.

    Still – from a distance, using camera zoom I managed to get some monkey photos… And I did so holding my breath in case they thought I might be a threat to them.

    OMG! I need to re-touch my roots… And my sister looking like a cute school girl. Sweet like a chocolate sundae with extra cookie crumbles. (Crumbs?)

    Then we went to the Ubud market for some shopping.

    Look at the expert at bargaining – she knows what she wants and how much she’s going to pay for it, and nothing more! Even the owner of the shop gives her a thumbs up!

    Paid a visit to Dr Wayan – a traditional healer from the book Eat Pray Love. But she was not there – so I just took a photo of her place.

    Then we went for lunch at Kafe – they serve all foods healthy and is owned by same owner as Bali Spirit – a yoga shop.

    The food does indeed taste healthy – but it is somewhat pricey… Need to pay for the easy, relaxed, peaceful ambiance.

    Kafe is located at Jalan Hanoman 44b, Ubud – Bali.

  • Bangkok Feast… This is not a food blog…

    I just happen to be very blessed when it comes to food – and I have to share the good stuff, yes? (Though this is not helping that I have to get in to my wedding dress in 4 months! I went for my first fitting about 2 weeks ago – and just barely, I had to suck it all in and bend over to push all the breath out in me just so the zip could go up. But that is another story…)

    Dinner when we arrived at Tsu Traditional Japanese Restaurant, JW Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit. Don’t ask me why Japanese food in Bangkok. I don’t eat Sushi – but I can tell the raw fish servings are VERY generous!

    This is the stuff that I don’t eat;

    Stuff I eat – I ordered fried chicken…

    Check out the little kid diggin’ in! Gorgeous!

    Headed to China town after dinner – and believe it or not – some of us ate more!

    Black pepper and internal organs soup – or what’s left of it… I went for a walk, and this was all that was left – fine by me, since I don’t do internal organs.

    Next day lunch at China town, fish porridge. This stall has been there for 60 years – I don’t have the address, but it’s a side lane – see if you can recognise it from the pictures if you happen to be there.

    This is the chef and owner;

    Following night’s dinner at this restaurant that I would totally recommend and go back to again!
    Khrua Nai Baan
    94 Langsuan Road, Lumpini
    Pathumwan, Bangkok
    T: 0 2253 1888

    This is just for starters –

    Shark’s fin soup – not my fave, but never mind…

    We had TWO! pigs!!! ONE + ONE!

    YUM! My favourite! Crabs and prawns.

    And because I love the beef and beef ball soup – just for me!!! Special order – take away from a famous beef ball soup place;

    On our last morning in Bangkok – we went to the fruit market – bought 2 boxes of mangoes to bring home, but they were confiscated at the airport upon arrival. REMEMBER! NO MANGOES ARE ALLOWED IN TO MALAYSIA.

    And we finish off the trip with a two hour massage on the way to the airport. This is a HUGE spa, and I give it 2 thumbs up.
    Bangkok Natural Spa and Resort
    1148 soi Pattanakarn Road
    Suanluang, Bangkok
    T: 0 2319 7015 9

  • Tokyo in TWO days! – Day 2

    After carrot and walnut muffin with cafe latte… We headed to Ginza, shopped around for a bit before sushi and sashimi lunch (yes! again!) at Matsukan Restaurant (t: 03-3455-4923).

    And I couldn’t leave Tokyo without having me some Katsu!!! So at tea time…

    Apparently the best chocolates in the world… the best he’s ever had, according to Sweet V, at USD5 each;

    And then we went to the sakae bar next door to get some sakae glasses – and because we couldn’t resist also had a glass of sakae each;

    And pre-dinner!!!

    And the best meal of the trip… I would really recommend this. It’s a small cozy place, great service with great selection of wine (so I am told, since I don’t know that much about wine). Their specialty is charcoal grilled meats.

    And these are the young talented chefs in-charge who cook for the love of food!

    Les Vinum

    Adress: 106-0031 4-8-5 1F Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
    Tel&Fax: 0 3 – 5 4 6 6 – 8 6 0 7 Business Hours
    Tues-Fri 18:00 – 25:30 (last order)
    Sat -Sun 17:30 – 23:30 (last order) Closed on Monday