Japan Day 6 – Shinjuku & Harajuku

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This was the last day of our trip and so we just explored the area near our neighbourhood. We woke up rather early that day to clean up the apartment and checkout by 8am. The reason why we got up rather early is to make sure that we manage to secure lockers at Shinjuku Station. We hear that it fills up really fast and considering it was a Saturday, we didn’t wanna risk not having any lockers for our luggage. By the time we reached the station it was a little past 8am and we managed to secure lockers at the same spot when we first came to Tokyo. So happy to dump our luggage there and spend the rest of our day exploring.

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But before that, we needed to secure our bus tickets to Narita Airport later in the evening. So we headed up to the appropriate bus stop at the Shinjuku Station West Exit and the ticket booth is just conveniently across from it. One way ticket for adults is 3100 Yen and the journey takes about 1.5 – 2 hours. So do keep in mind of your required travel time and plan accordingly so that you don’t end up missing your flight! Continue reading

Expat Life: Week 11 – Ramadan Bazaars & Flea Markets

Ramadan Bazaars

This post is a little late by a few weeks. Hence why i’m still blogging about Ramadan Bazaars even though it’s already Raya. Well better late than never! Throughout my stay in Singapore i’ve been to two of the popular bazaars here (one in Arab Street and the other in Paya Lebar).

First up is the one in Arab Street because it’s the closest for me. This one is situated right next to the Sultan’s Mosque and is pretty small to the usual bazaars that I get back in Malaysia. Most of the stalls here were selling Ramly burgers, kebabs, briyani rice, hotdogs, and some fried snacks such as karipap (curry puffs), pisang goreng (fried banana fritters) and etc. I tried not to compare with the variety that I get back at home, but I still couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed in this one. I was hoping to get the more rare kuihs such as tepung pelita, seri muka and etc. Also I was craving for murtabak (some kinda meat pancake?) and nasi tomato (tomato rice). Not sure if it’s just that particular day, but while I was there, there were only like a few stalls and selling similar things.

Next was the bigger bazaar situated right next to the Paya Lebar mrt station. This one was huge and well planned. All the stalls are located under big white canopies which were set up specifically for this event. So rain or shine, it’s business as usual. I was a little too excited to see the huge canopies and hence raised my expectations. Unfortunately among the huge numbers of stalls only a few sections were catered for food. The rest were for clothes, shoes, and other Raya prep stuff. Since I went there for the food and not for shopping, it was a bit of a let down as I still couldn’t find my nasi tomato and murtabak! Most of the food stalls were again kebabs, Ramly burgers, fried snacks and etc. They did have more variety compared to the one in Arab Street. Other than the usual stuff mentioned earlier, I also saw char kway teow, otah-otah, grilled squid, coney dogs, pizzas, mixed rice and a variety of drink stalls. I went ahead and got the grilled squid, coney dog and sugar cane drink.

Although I didn’t manage to find what I was craving for, it was still a fun and festive experience. If I had to recommend a bazaar, it would definitely be the one in Paya Lebar. Especially if you’re looking at doing some Raya shopping as well. There were a lot of stalls selling baju kurung, baju melayu (traditional malay outfits) and Raya cookies.

Flea Market at *Scape

Singapore has plenty of flea markets around and one of the more “hipster” flea market was at *Scape which is just a short walk from the Somerset mrt station. I went there towards the evening where there was a live band performing. In terms of stalls, it’s quite small scale. But i do love the items on sale. From phone & laptop accessories, to necklaces, custom charm bracelets, clothes and my fav was the vintage watch stall. This particular shops assembles their own watches with a vintage style. I got mines for around 40 dollars and it comes with warranty too!

Other than the stalls outside, do check out the shops inside the building as well which hosts a lot of items sold by young entrepreneurs.

Expat Life: Week 6 – 7 – Bugis Street, La Marelle Boutique Cafe and Anchorpoint

This week was all about budget shopping and snagging great deals. Singapore is known to be quite costly in terms of shopping as compared to back home in Malaysia. However if you know where to go, you can grab some really great deals here too!

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It’s no secret that Bugis Street is “THE” place to go to for a cheap and affordable shopping trip. You can get just about anything here from clothes to shoes, to touristy souvenirs and food. To get here you simply take the MRT to Bugis station and it’s directly across the road upon exiting the station. The place consists of 3 floors so do take your time and explore all floors. A lot of the shops also sell pretty similar items, so I would advise you to check out all the stores first before buying. I admit it’s a little difficult to avoid impulse buying when all the stuff are so cheap, but it definitely is worth waiting out. I got great deals for all my clothes. Ended up walking away with 2 tops, 2 bangles and 1 structured midi A line skirt which i’ve been searching high and low for. So glad I finally found the perfect one at only $15! I also grabbed a necklace set and a pair of studs from Lovisa at one of the malls (can’t remember which one lol). Anyway Lovisa was having a store-wide sale up to 70% off. Below is a list of the stuff I got with the pictures and price.

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Black embellished sleeveless top – $15 || Blue structured short sleeve blouse (Shop Name: Cupid) – $15 || 2 Bangles (Shop Name: Lumi) – $10 || Necklace set with earrings (Shop Name: Lovisa) – $9 || Anchor-shaped studs (Shop Name: Lovisa) – $2

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Dark blue midi A line skirt (Shop Name: Fresh) – $15

After a good shopping spree, it was time to grab a bite and I headed down to La Marelle Boutique Cafe situated along Baghdad Street. It’s not too difficult to find the place. Once you’re at Baghdad street just look out for a mural on the wall which has the name of the cafe painted on it. The place is situated on the 2nd floor and it’s easy to spot the entrance as the staircase is brightly colored in hot pink.

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I really love the bright and unique interior. It’s also one of the few hipster cafes in Singapore which are halal. I tend to have really late lunches on weekends so by the time I reached the place it was already around 4pm. I ordered this really cool coffee called “The Nutty Professor” ($6.50). It’s basically an espresso popsicle in a cup of nutella and a side of milk. You basically just pour the milk in and keep stirring till the coffee popsicle melts and blends in with the milk and nutella. Really good stuff! I also ordered the “Ultime Breakfast” ($18) which consists of 3 pieces of buttered bruschetta bread, 2 sausages, a couple pieces of various meat slices, sautéed mushrooms and baked beans. Yes it was a LOT. It was pretty good but nothing to rave about. I would probably check out their other stuff next time. The desserts looked really good though. But alas I was too stuffed. So i’ll save that for next time.

Some interesting sights at Parkview Square while walking back to Bugis MRT station.

The following day I decided to check out the outlet stores at Anchorpoint. I heard the stuff there have discounts up to 70% and I was particularly keen on checking out the Charles & Keith and Cotton On outlets there. The place is situated across from Ikea. I took the MRT to Queenstown station then headed towards exit 1 and walked to the bus stop. From there I took bus number 195 and stopped at the 2nd stop (right in front of Ikea). As you alight from the bus, just head to the right and walk towards the overhead bridge to get across to the other side where Anchorpoint is located.

My first stop was of course Charles & Keith. As soon as I stepped in I got really excited after checking out the price tags. High heels as cheap as $19! That’s a steal! Best of all the shop wasn’t overly crowded despite the huge discounts. Sure there were quite a lot of people but it wasn’t terribly bad. So I had the leisure of taking my time to really scour through the shoes and find a number of great deals. I ended up buying 2 pairs which only costed me $41.80 in total!

Lilac Heels – $21.90 || White and black strappy wedges – $19.90

After that I dropped by Cotton On. Found a couple of racks filled with clothes worth $10 and below. But I didn’t find anything particularly eye-catching. So onto the next store, I checked out Typo just because I love quirky stationary. Didn’t really plan on getting anything but I couldn’t help it. The heart-shaped corkboard was only $2 and the super adorable pineapple-shaped ice tray was only $3! So I spent a total of just $5 there. What a great deal and I can’t wait to test out those pineapple-shaped ice cubes!

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Heart-shaped corkboard – $2 || Pineapple-shaped ice tray – $3

If you’re a fan of brands such as Charles & Keith, Cotton On, Giordano, G2000, and Typo, definitely check out the outlets in Anchorpoint. Well worth the trip there!

Expat Life: Week 1 – 3 [Part 2]

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Continuing off from my previous post, i’ll cover more of the places that i’ve been to during these past few weeks. Starting off with Orchard Road. This is place is known as the shopping street with a bunch of shops and department stores at every turn. 313@Somerset is shopping mall which is conveniently connected via Somerset MRT station. The mall comprises mostly of the mid price range such as Cotton On, Forever 21, Uniqlo, Zara, Typo, Smiggle and a number of restaurants and cafes. The Marche Restaurant caught my attention when i walked through here. I love the design of the shop and the bread looks so appetising! I couldn’t resist and had to grab something at then bakery section. I ended up getting the bruschetta which was really good! They can offer to toast it for you so that you can enjoy it all nice and toasty.

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It is also connected to other malls such as Orchard Gateway and Orchard Central. You can find shops such as Dorothy Perkins, Topshop and etc here. One thing I found interesting was the fact that there’s a library in Orchard Gateway. It’s situated on level 3 and 4 and named Library@Orchard. I love hanging out here if i feel like having a quiet weekend reading books or surfing the internet on my laptop. It’s also a great place to catch up on some work. They have desks equipped with plenty of power plugs.

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Next up was a trip to Haji Lane and Arab Street which is just a short walk from Bugis MRT station. Arab Street has a mosque which is pretty popular with the tourists who come here. Since i’m also from this side of Asia, it’s quite a common thing to see and in fact we have bigger and nicer mosques. But I guess it’s an alright place to visit if you’ve never experienced the Malay/Arabic culture before. As for Haji Lane, it’s known for its quirky little boutiques. Along this stretch of road you will find many shops selling clothes, accessories and some decorative items as well. The items range from mid-mid high range as there are a number of upcoming local designers who have opened up their shops here. A number of nice restaurants and cafes can also be found in this area. What’s great about this place is the atmosphere. It’s probably one of the rare spots in Singapore where you can find street art on the building walls and stroll through rows of shops without worrying about traffic as it’s meant only for pedestrians since it’s a narrow lane. Haji Lane itself is not that big. In fact it’s just one small lane. But definitely worth dropping by to check out the unique stores and experience a different type of shopping experience than the typical shopping mall.
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One particular shop that I managed to drop by was a shop called Victoria Jomo. The prices are pretty reasonable and you can find some rather cheap stuff too. I bought the striped shirt for around 22 dollars and 2 of the cute vintage sleeveless tops for 18 dollars!

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As for lunch, I dropped by this bistro cafe called “I Am” cafe. Much inspired by Amsterdam, the cafe is designed in a black and white color scheme with a pop of bright red. They serve mainly western food and this Honey Mustard Chicken burger was rather popular with the crowd there. So I ordered one too and i’m glad I did. This was really good! They’re also one of the few cafes which serves halal western food. Also fyi, you may need to queue for a bit to get a seat. They’re pretty popular with the folks here, so be prepared. I went there on a Sunday at an odd hour like 3pm or so and still had to queue behind a number of people.

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Another spot worth mentioning is Tanjong Pagar, which is the area I’m staying at. There’s a number of hipster cafes sprouting around this area and one particular cafe I dropped by was Department of Caffeine in Duxton Road. Like most cafes they serve all day breakfast such as the french toast, pancakes, big breakfast and etc. I ordered this lovely french toast with bananas and strawberries served with yogurt and drizzles of honey. This was so good and so filling too! I had this for brunch and it kept me full all the way till like 7pm.

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One more spot I went to was Sentosa Island. I’ve already been to Universal Studios, so I decided to go to the Aquarium this time. To get to Sentosa Island, just simply head to your nearest MRT station and make your way down to Harbourfront station. From there you will come out into Vivocity Mall which is a pretty huge place full of all the stores you need under one roof. Head over to level 3 to grab the Sentosa monorail to Sentosa Island. Tickets for the train is 4 dollars and will take you to and from the island. To reach the Aquarium you will just need to stop at the next station which is Waterfront station. Loved the Aquarium! It’s really therapeutic to watch all the sea creatures glide through the water. I especially enjoyed the section where it had a huge glass window and it really felt like I was under the sea with all the fishes. Spent about 3 hours in the aquarium and it was really nice and relaxing.

So that sums up my 3 weeks here in Singapore so far. Will follow up with more posts for the next upcoming weeks~

OOTD: Casual Chic for the Hot Air Balloon Festival

Quick post on my OOTD today. :) Decided to go to the International Hot Air Balloon Festival this evening and so I went for something casual yet chic.

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  1. Black Bowler Hat – Forever 21
  2. Gray Striped Tshirt – Cotton On
  3. Yellow Beaded Bracelets – Lovisa
  4. Black Belt – Dorothy Perkins
  5. Brown Backpack – Unisa
  6. Poloroid Camera – Instax Mini 7
  7. Navy Blue Converse (not in picture)

Goodies from JPO

This is gonna be a quick post on some of the great stuff I got on sale at Johor Premium Outlet (JPO). It’s actually my first time here so i’m not sure if the price is always this cheap or if it’s especially cheap because of the holiday season (Chinese New Year period), but well I literally got everything with at least a 50% discount! Here’s a list of all the stuff I got along with the original and discounted price as comparison.

geoxGeox Leather Heels in dark brown with 75% + additional 20% discount.
Original Price: RM799.90 || Discounted Price: RM159.90 

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Charles & Keith Pointed Loafers in Black. With 50% discount.
Original Price: RM169.90 || Discounted Price: RM84.95

Fossil
Fossil Ipad Casing. With 94% discount!! (the craziest price i’ve seen)
Original Price: RM239 || Discounted Price: RM15

 katespade
Kate Spade Samsung S4 Casing in Black and White Polka Dots. With 70% discount.
Original Price: RM160 || Discounted Price: RM48

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Coach Legacy Candace Medium Shoulder Bag in Purple. With 63% discount.
Original Price: RM1,825 || Discounted Price: RM680

And to sum off my shopping, here’s the total cost of the items I bought against the total price I paid for.
Total Cost of Items: RM3,193.80
Total Price Paid: RM987.85
Total Savings: RM2,205.95

Now that’s what I call a REALLY GOOD shopping trip! Well worth the journey there!!