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6 Amazing Travel Experiences in Penang!

When you think of travelling to Penang? What do you think of? The UNESCO heritage site of Georgetown? The vibrant (and delicious) hawker food scene? Or simply chilling at Batu Ferringhi beach? In this post, we’ll show you 6 Amazing Travel Experiences in Penang that you won’t want to miss!

1. Exploring Batu Ferringhi Beach

Batu Ferringhi Beach Penang
Batu Ferringhi Beach Penang
Batu Ferringhi Beach Night Market
Batu Ferringhi Beach Night Market
Rock Spa Experience
Rock Spa Experience

Most people discount the fact that Penang does have an excellent beach that faces the Andaman Sea and Malacca Straits. Batu Ferringhi is its name. Located at the northern tip of Penang, Batu Ferringhi offers beach goers all you’d expect at a reputable beach – fine pristine sand (especially at Hard Rock Hotel Penang), beach activities (including para-sailing, banana boat rides and jet skiing) and even horse back riding by the beach.

After all the fun you’ve had at the beach, head on out to one of the many excellent spas located along Batu Ferringhi beach – including the award winning Rock Spa @ Hard Rock Hotel and Chi Spa @ Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa.

As the evening winds down, check out the night markets along the roads next to the beaches. Many road side stalls open till late at night offering tourists the option of souvenir shopping (including sun glasses, hand bags and wallets) and late night supper at Batu Ferringhi.

2. Looking Out for Street Arts & Wall Murals

Street Art Penang - Less Salt Thinning Hair
Street Art Penang – Less Salt Thinning Hair
Penang Street Art - Budget Hotel
Penang Street Art – Budget Hotel
Penang Street Art - Trishaw Mural
Penang Street Art – Trishaw Mural

Penang is littered with amazing street arts and wall murals. One of the most famous one is this mural of a trishaw uncle in the heart of Jalan Penang that almost covers the entire building facade. We also noticed several comical street art that brings across daily conversations in Penang through light-hearted colloquial jokes.

3. Wandering the Streets of Georgetown – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Penang Historic Streets
Penang Historic Streets
Colonial Buildings Penang - Birch House
Colonial Buildings Penang – Birch House
Colonial Buildings Penang - Eastern & Oriental Hotel
Colonial Buildings Penang – Eastern & Oriental Hotel
Colonial Buildings Penang - St Jos Gurney Paragon
Colonial Buildings Penang – St Jos Gurney Paragon
Fort Cornwallis Penang
Fort Cornwallis Penang
Blue Mansion Penang - Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Blue Mansion Penang – Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Since 2007, Penang’s Georgetown has been named as an UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the rich history of this precinct. You will be able to spot many colonial-styled buildings such as the Eastern & Oriental Hotel and Birch House as well as the many traditional chinese architectures along the streets. Fort Cornwallis, one of the best preserved forts in Malaysia also bears testament to Penang’s colonial roots.

To round off this historic trip, check out Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (better known as the Blue Mansion). Within, you’ll be able to see how the ultra-rich pampered themselves in this 38 room mansion – luxurious even by today’s standards.

4. Trishaw Ride in Penang

Trishaw Uncle Penang
Trishaw Uncle Penang
Trishaw Ride Penang
Trishaw Ride Penang

Trishaw Ride Penang Video

Another amazing experience in Penang that you should try is the trishaw ride. We took a trishaw ride from Komtar back to our hotel at Eastern & Oriental. The ride took about 10 minutes and cost 15RM. What we enjoyed about this ride was the “alfresco” style of the ride. As the sun shone while we rode past the historic lanes (with winds gently blowing against your face), that made the ride really worthwhile. Be ready for a bit of excitement while the trishaw weaves in and out of traffic!

5. Penang Hawker Food

Ah Leng Char Koay Teow
Ah Leng Char Koay Teow
Penang Char Hor Fun
Penang Char Hor Fun
Penang Road Teochew Chendul
Penang Road Teochew Chendul

Penang is the home to Malaysian hawker food. Here you will be able to find famous Penang hawker fare such as Penang Char Koay Teow, Char Hor Fun, Penang Road Teochew Chendul and much much more. Check out our post on the “13 Penang Hawker Food and Nonya Restaurants that You MUST TRY” to find out more!

6. Penang Nonya Food

Mama's Nonya Cuisine
Mama’s Nonya Cuisine
Nonya Curry Chicken Rice RM8.80 (小娘惹)
Nonya Curry Chicken Rice RM8.80 (小娘惹)
The Little Nonya Cuisine (小娘惹)
The Little Nonya Cuisine (小娘惹)

Still on food (what else? :p), one must try Penang’s nonya food. The Little Nonya Cuisine (小娘惹) as well as Mama’s Nonya Cuisine offers some of the best nonya food in Penang at an affordable price.

Where to stay in Penang?

Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang
Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang
Eastern and Oriental Hotel Penang
Eastern and Oriental Hotel Penang

Our top picks for hotels at the Batu Ferringhi area includes the Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa as well as the Hard Rock Hotel Penang. In Georgetown? The famous Eastern and Oriental Hotel Penang!

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Things to do in Penang Malaysia

Things to do in Penang Malaysia

Click here for the best rates in Penang, Malaysia!

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Resorts World Sentosa Hotels : Deals @ 50% OFF!

Hey everyone!

We just stumbled upon a really great deal at Agoda!

Hotels at Resorts World Sentosa are at 50% OFF! Check out these fantastic deals at Hard Rock Hotel, Festive Hotel, Hotel Michael and Equarius Hotel

 Hard Rock Hotel Singapore
Hard Rock Hotel Singapore
 Festive Hotel Resorts World Sentosa
Festive Hotel Resorts World Sentosa
Hotel Michael Resorts World Sentosa
Hotel Michael Resorts World Sentosa
Equarius Hotel Resorts World Sentosa
Equarius Hotel Resorts World Sentosa

Although we’re not sure when the deals are valid till but we’ve manually tested the dates and it seems that they are valid from now till 2nd July 2015!

The only 2 “catch”es that we see are that

1. For each of the selected dates, there are only a few rooms left. They may have only set aside a few rooms for the offer.

2. We’ve tried the dates randomly and there seems to be some block out dates from now till 2nd July 2015.

Nonetheless, if you’re thinking of doing a staycation or visiting Singapore during this period, act fast, book now!

Happy Travels Everyone!

Tom,
2bearbear.com

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Top 10 Things to Eat in Ipoh Malaysia!

Ipoh is a food paradise! But if you’re wondering what are some of the things you must eat in Ipoh Malaysia, here are the top 10 picks of what to eat in Ipoh! By the way, this food list is in descending order, which means no.1 is a MUST TRY!


What to eat in Ipoh Malaysia

10. Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre Food Court – Popiah

 Ipoh Parade Shopping Center Food Court Popiah
Ipoh Parade Shopping Center Food Court Popiah – 2 for 5RM

 Rich and crispy filling inside the popiah
Rich and crispy filling inside the popiah

At the top floor of Ipoh Parade Shopping Center, you’ll find this food court, within which, there’s a stall that has its sign board that states “Popiah”. This was a really surprise find for us because we were not having lunch but were feeling peckish. The aunty sort of recommended her popiah while we walked by her stall and we tried. To our surprise, it had several layers of taste to it. Crispy, moist, fresh and tasty fillings. Try it if you’re in the vicinity!

9. MYDIN Wholesale Hypermarket in Bandar Meru Raya, Ipoh – My Nasi Kandar

 My Nasi Kandar at Mydin Mall Ipoh
My Nasi Kandar at Mydin Mall Ipoh

 Tandoori Chicken @ My Nasi Kandar - 6RM
Tandoori Chicken @ My Nasi Kandar – 6RM

 Naan @ My Nasi Kandar Mydin Mall - 2.3RM
Naan @ My Nasi Kandar Mydin Mall – 2.3RM

Mydin Mall is located at PT 229142, Jalan Meru Bestari B2, Bandar Meru Raya, 30020 Jelapang, Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan. What happened was this. We were supposed to take a bus leaving Amanjaya Bus Terminal after booking for the bus online. Guess what? There was no such bus leaving that morning when we arrived at the terminal! So we went to all the booths that sold tickets to source for the next available ride to Singapore. We even met up with others who were supposed to be on the same bus and thought of car pooling. But in the end, we decided against taking a ride to Johor to transfer from there. Instead, we waited at Mydin Mall (a short walk from Amanjaya Bus Terminal) for our direct bus trip back to Singapore.

In the meantime, we managed to squeeze in a meal at My Nasi Kandar (after seeing all the crowds there). After trying the tandoori, we understood why the crowd was there. We could taste the spices, the tenderness and the juiciness of the chicken tandoori. Surprisingly good we must say :)

8. Cendol at Mr Cendol Mydin Mall

 Soya Special Cendol at Mr Cendol
Soya Special Cendol at Mr Cendol

Still within Mydin Mall, along the circumference of the mall was Mr Cendol. We’ve tried several cendols in Singapore before but since the place was called Mr Cendol, we thought they might offer something different. We sat down and ordered the Soya Special. Turns out that instead of using just shaved ice, the ice was made of soya milk and topped off with ice cream. Sedap!

7. Dim Sum at Restoran Ying Fa

 photo 013ExteriorofYingFaRestoran_zpsabac79e9.jpg
Restoran Ying Fa Dim Sum

Restoran Ying Fa is located at 1C, Jalan Sultan Yussuf (Belfied Street), Old Town, Perak, Ipoh Town, 30000. We actually arrived in Ipoh at 5am in the morning and were offered transportation by a uncle who had 6 fingers on one of his hands. Hence, he has a nick-name called liu zhi (六指 – literally meaning six fingers). He offered to take us to our hotel (for a fee of course – 20RM) and so we requested for a dim sum place enroute. We were taken to Ying Fa Restoran!

 Dim sum at Ying Fa Restoran including chee cheong fun, siew mai, century egg with chicken ball ranging from 3 to 3.5RM
Dim sum at Ying Fa Restoran including chee cheong fun, siew mai, century egg with chicken ball ranging from 3 to 3.5RM

Dim sum served on traditional carts at Restoran Ying Fa
Dim sum served on traditional carts at Restoran Ying Fa

All in all, we spent only 22RM for all the dim sum that we had. Quality was ok but the price was really economical. So do head on down if you have a craving for dim sum!

6. Kedai Makanan Nam Heong

 Kedai Makanan Nam Heong - Distributor of White Coffee at 2 Jalan Bandar Timah
Kedai Makanan Nam Heong – Distributor of White Coffee at 2 Jalan Bandar Timah

Kedai Makanan Nam Heong is located at 2, Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh Perak, 30000. There are 2 reasons why you should visit Kedai Makanan Nam Heong coffeeshop.

Firstly, it is one of the main distributors of white coffee in Ipoh. We’ve tried the iced white coffee and it was really strong and aromatic. Unlike some diluted ones that we’ve tried before. To learn more about the meaning of white coffee, follow the link to our Things to do in Kluang Malaysia post.

Secondly, Makanan Nam Heong is actually an amalgamation of several amazing foods in Ipoh including ipoh hor fun, curry mee, penang prawn noodles, char kway teow and dim sum! Of which, the smell of the char kway teow was really irresistable. Definitely a MUST TRY!

 Lim Fong Char Kway Teow @ Kedai Makanan Nam Heong
Lim Fong Char Kway Teow @ Kedai Makanan Nam Heong

Kedai Makanan Nam Heong Curry Mee
Kedai Makanan Nam Heong Curry Mee

 Ipoh Hor Fun and Penang Prawn Noodles @ Nam Heong Coffeeshop
Ipoh Hor Fun and Penang Prawn Noodles @ Nam Heong Coffeeshop

 Nam Heong Dim Sum
Nam Heong Dim Sum

5. Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng

 Caramel Custard @ Restoran Thean Chun and More Food Choices at Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng
Caramel Custard @ Restoran Thean Chun and More Food Choices at Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng

 Fried and normal popiah for 3.8RM at Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng
Fried and normal popiah for 3.8RM at Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng

 Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng - Sliced chicken sar hor fun
Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng – Sliced chicken sar hor fun

Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng is located at 74 Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. Here, there are actually alot of food choices including the traditional ipoh hor fun, the sar hor fun (that we had) as well as the mixed popiahs (see above). The prawn soup of the sar hor fun was especially flavourful. Coupled with the springy hor fun and firm chicken slices? Yummilicious! As for the mixed popiah, the normal popiah actually tasted better although the option of tasting the fried version was interesting.

4. Traditional Hor Fun

 Traditional Hor Fun at a zi char stall in IpohTraditional Hor Fun at a zi char stall in Ipoh

If you have read our post questioning whether the standard of zi char in Singapore has dropped? It was all triggered by this plate of beautifully constructed hor fun. Simple dish with springy hor fun and tasty gravy. Nope, this was not at a famous place but at a random coffee shop that we visited. Speaks alot about the quality of food (especially hor fun) in Ipoh.

3. Funny Mountain Soya Bean

 Kacang Soya Funny Mountain Beancurd
Kacang Soya Funny Mountain Beancurd

 Brisk business at Funny Mountain Soya Bean
Brisk business at Funny Mountain Soya Bean

 Bean curd at Funny Mountain
Bean curd at Funny Mountain

Funny Mountain Bean Curd is located at 49, Jalan Theatre (Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri), 30300 Ipoh, Perak. We actually tried the bean curd because of the long queue indicating that they must be doing something right in their concoction of soya bean products. However, we think that the soya bean curd that we tried was a tad too sweet. In addition, we have been spoilt by the silky smooth soya bean curds in Singapore. So the bean curd here was quite normal for us. But still, there’s a reason why the crowds are streaming in, so do tell us what you think in the comments section below!

2. Kafe Sun Yoon Wah Snow Beer

 Kafe Sun Yoon Wah Snow Beer
Kafe Sun Yoon Wah Snow Beer!

 A bottle of snow beer at 14RM - Kafe Sun Yoon Wah
A bottle of snow beer at 14RM – Kafe Sun Yoon Wah

 Stir Fried Calamari which went really well with the snow beer
Stir Fried Calamari which went really well with the snow beer

Kafe Sun Yoon Wah is located at 7,Jalan Bijih Timah, Ipoh Old Town, 30000 Ipoh, Malaysia. Definitely, strongly recommended. The snow beer is actually formed by quickly pouring beer into a chilled mug. The bubbles then forms the frost like bits because of the ice cold mug, forming the well-known snow beer. It was a totally new experience for us, quite unlike Heineken extra cold or ice cold Tiger Beer. In addition, try the stir fried calamari that goes really well with the beer. The only catch is that you must drink the snow beer relatively quickly once its poured, else it will just become normal cold beer.

1. Restoran Ong Kee Tauge Ayam – Beansprouts with chicken and hor fun

Restoran Ong Kee Tauge Ayam (Beansprouts chicken) @ Jalan Yau Tet ShinRestoran Ong Kee Tauge Ayam (Beansprouts chicken) @ Jalan Yau Tet Shin

 Restoran Ong Kee's fresh firm chicken splashed with soy sauce and sesame oil
Restoran Ong Kee’s fresh firm chicken splashed with soy sauce and sesame oil

 REALLY FAT beansprouts at Restoran Ong Kee
REALLY FAT beansprouts at Restoran Ong Kee

 Go for the hor fun instead of the rice
Go for the hor fun instead of the rice

Restoran Ong Kee is located at 48, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, 30000 Ipoh, Perak. If there’s one food that you must try, it has got to be the beansprouts chicken with hor fun at Restoran Ong Kee. Some people say that because of the water here in Ipoh, the hor fun is extra taong (springy) and the bean sprouts are extra fat (as you can see from the picture above). It really is true. Mixing in the chicken and bean sprouts (with a dash of the chicken sauce) into the hor fun will give you a perfect combination of what Ipoh hor fun is really about.

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Things to eat in Ipoh Malaysia

Things to eat in Ipoh Malaysia


Thoughts on what to eat in Ipoh Malaysia

In fact, there are many other good food in Ipoh including the salt-baked chicken and caramel custards. But nonetheless, if there’s two food that we’d recommend, it’ll certainly be the Ipoh Hor Fun at Restoran Ong Kee and the snow beer at Kafe Sun Yoon Wah.

Click here for a price comparison of the hotels available in Ipoh.

Do let us know if there are other good food to eat in Ipoh that you’d like to recommend in the comments section below!

Posted in Asia, Ipoh, Malaysia, What to eat in Ipoh Malaysia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

13 Penang Hawker Food and Nonya Restaurants that You MUST TRY!

A trip to Penang is never complete without trying out all the hawker food that Penang has to offer. In this post, we’ll answer the perennial question of “What to eat in Penang?” by covering all the great foods that we’ve tried during our last trip to Penang. Feel free to add on to this list in the comments section at the end of the post!


What to eat in Penang Malaysia

1. Penang Char Kway Teow

 Penang Char Kway Teow
Penang Char Kway Teow

 Ah Leng Char Koay Teow
Ah Leng Char Koay Teow

 Ah Leng Char Koay Teow at Jalan Dato Keramat
Ah Leng Char Koay Teow at Jalan Dato Keramat

 Special Ah Leng Char Koay Teow @ 11.50RM with additional toppings
Special Ah Leng Char Koay Teow @ 11.50RM with additional toppings

Whenever one visits Penang, Penang Char Kway Teow will be one of the MUST TRY hawker foods. As with the kway teow from Ipoh, Penang kway teow also have a “taong” texture (chewy/bouncy feel) and because of this fame, Penang char kway teow can be found everywhere. Our favorite? Ah Leng’s Char Koay Teow!

Famous Ah Leng Char Koay Teow
(亚龙炒果条)
Address : Jalan Dato Keramat, Kampung Makam, 10150 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

2. Penang Laksa aka Assam Laksa

 Penang Laksa aka Assam Laksa
Penang Laksa aka Assam Laksa

In Penang, when you talk about “Penang Laksa“, it usually refers to the Assam Laksa. Unlike the usual laksa that we find in Singapore which has a rich coconut-based gravy, the laksa in Penang has a fish-based gravy which has a sour and appetising taste to it. The version that we tried had a rich fish-based broth and you could taste the shredded fish and crunchy vegetable texture with every mouthful. Although it is a laksa, it actually tastes healthy!

3. Wanton Mee

 New World Park Hawker Centre
New World Park Hawker Centre

 Penang Wanton Mee
Penang Wanton Mee (4RM)

At New World Park Hawker Centre, you can find an amalgamation of Penang hawker foods. Here, we tried the Penang wanton mee and were thoroughly satisfied. There were loads of ingredients including generous amounts of char siew and quite a number of wantons. The highlight for us was the fragrant sauce for the noodles. Shiok!

4. Penang Curry Mee

 Penang Curry Mee (4RM)
Penang Curry Mee (4RM)

Still at New World Park Hawker Centre, we tried the famous Penang Curry Mee. This version we had from the old uncle’s stall (the other is owned by a middle-aged uncle) was full of ingredients including cuttlefish, cockles, fish cake and vegetables. Mix in the chili and you’d have an amazing bowl of Penang Curry Mee! Now we understand why Singaporeans bring home instant curry mee from Penang as well. Sedap!

New World Park Hawker Centre
(新世界)
Address : No. 1, Jalan Burma, 10350, George Town, Pulau Pinang, 10350, Malaysia

5. Penang Fried Oyster (Orh Lua)

 Red Garden Food Paradise
Red Garden Food Paradise

 Penang hawker food @ Red Garden Food Paradise
Penang hawker food @ Red Garden Food Paradise

 Penang Fried Oyster
Penang Fried Oyster (RM10)

You can also find a host of Penang hawker food at the Red Garden Food Paradise. Here, we tried the Penang Fried Oyster (Orh Lua) for RM10. The oysters from this stall at Red Garden Food Paradise was huge and succulent! The taste is similar to the Singaporean style. The only difference is that the chili is not as tangy as the Singaporean version.

6. Penang Hokkien Mee aka Penang Prawn Noodles

 Penang Hokkien Mee aka Penang Prawn Noodles
Penang Hokkien Mee aka Penang Prawn Noodles (RM5)

Still at Red Garden Food Paradise, we tried the Penang Hokkien Mee as well. In Singapore, Hokkien Mee can refer to the fried version (with sotong) or the soup prawn noodles. But in Penang, if you refer to Hokkien Mee (Penang Hokkien Mee), it refers only to the soup prawn noodles. This version we tried has the thick prawn and pork taste to the broth which we enjoyed. Ingredients could have been more though. But for 5RM, we can’t ask for too much eh?

Red Garden Food Paradise
(红园)
Address : 20 Lebuh Leith, 10000 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

7. Penang Char Hor Fun

 Asian Kitchen @ Gurney Paragon's Food Court
Asian Kitchen @ Gurney Paragon’s Food Court

Penang Char Hor Fun
Penang Char Hor Fun (RM 7.90)

As it was raining heavily while we were at Gurney Paragon, we were not able to visit the famous Gurney Drive Hawker Centre (which we had seen and heard bad reviews of). Hence, we decided to pop by the food court at Gurney Paragon to see what’s in store for us there. To our surprise, we chanced upon the Asian Kitchen and is famous for its Penang Char Hor Fun. While the chef was cooking, we noticed that every step was prepared from scratch. The hor fun was originally white in colour (unlike the pre-fried ones these days) and the chef fried it to obtain the charred brown texture before placing it aside to prepare the gravy. The ingredients were subsequently fried, broth thickened (again the thickening agent was prepared on the spot) before switching off the gas and adding the egg on the last step. The egg was “spread” around in the heated broth to obtain the beautiful texture as seen in the picture. Needless to say, it was FANTASTIC! Strongly recommended for your trip to Penang!

Asian Kitchen @ Gurney Paragon Food Court (Level 5)
Address : 163 C & D, Persiaran Gurney, George Town, Penang

8. Local Delights at Penang Bowl

 Ordering Counter and Kitchen @ Penang Bowl
Ordering Counter and Kitchen @ Penang Bowl

 Mee Sua Tau Penang Bowl
Mee Sua Tau Penang Bowl

 Nonya Popiah Penang Bowl
Nonya Popiah Penang Bowl

While we were staying at the E&O Hotel in Penang, we decided to check out what else we can eat in the vicinity (yes, we’re voracious eaters) and we chanced upon this eatery at Penang Bowl (right next to E&O). The Mee Sua Tau and Nonya Popiah are the house specialties and we especially liked the Mee Sua Tau. Fragrant gravy with the mee sua absorbing the taste. Topped with crispy garlic bits…yum!

Penang Bowl
Address : 38-B Leboh Farquhar, 10200, Penang, Pulau Pinang, 10200, Malaysia

9. Prosperous Dim Sum

 Breakfast crowd at Prosperous Dim Sum
Breakfast crowd at Prosperous Dim Sum

While walking along Lorong Abu Siti, we saw this HUGELY popular dim sum joint – Prosperous Dim Sum. There were tables and chairs all over the restaurant, both inside and outside. As we got closer, we saw that the prices were really reasonable. But due to the crowd, we did not try it this time round. If you’ve tried the dim sum here, let us know how it was in the comments section below.

Prosperous Dim Sum
(福星茶楼)
Address : 83 Lorong Abu Siti, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

10. Penang Road Teochew Chendul

 Penang Road Teochew Chendul
Penang Road Teochew Chendul

The Penang Road Teochew Chendul was AWESOME! At RM2.60, you’ll get a huge bowl of chendul that has such a rich milky taste. A good contrast to the gula melaka version of chendol in Malacca. We actually prefer this version in Penang. Try it and you’ll understand why…

11. The Little Nonya Cuisine (小娘惹)

 The Little Nonya Cuisine (小娘惹) Plaza Gurney
The Little Nonya Cuisine (小娘惹) Plaza Gurney

 Crowd at The Little Nonya Cuisine
Crowd at The Little Nonya Cuisine

 Nonya Curry Chicken Rice RM8.80 (小娘惹)
Nonya Curry Chicken Rice RM8.80 (小娘惹)

 Lo Bak RM7 at The Little Nonya Cuisine
Lo Bak RM7 at The Little Nonya Cuisine

 Deep fried otak beancurd RM9 (The Little Nonya Cuisine @ Gurney Plaza)
Deep fried otak beancurd RM9 (The Little Nonya Cuisine @ Gurney Plaza)

Nonya cuisine is also a MUST TRY when you visit Penang. This time, we visit The Little Nonya Cuisine (小娘惹) at the basement of Plaza Gurney. All of the dishes above were DELICIOUS! In particular, we loved the curry chicken which was thick and frangrant. Perfect with rice. The deep fried take on otak was also amazing. Slight crisp on the outside but tender otak on the inside. The otak is also a perfect dish with plain fragrant rice. We could eat this all day long!

The Little Nonya Cuisine @ Plaza Gurney
小娘惹
Address : Plaza Gurney, 170-06-01, Gurney Dr, 10250 Georgetown, Malaysia

12. Mama’s Nonya Cuisine

Mama's Nonya Cuisine
Mama’s Nonya Cuisine

Curry Kapitan, Tau Yew Bak, Jiu Hu Char, Pig Stomach Soup, Bubur Cha Cha from Mama's Nonya Cuisine
Curry Kapitan, Tau Yew Bak, Jiu Hu Char, Pig Stomach Soup, Bubur Cha Cha from Mama’s Nonya Cuisine

While in Penang, Mama’s Nonya Cuisine has got to be the one nonya restaurant that you have to try. We stayed at 3 hotels and all 3 concierges recommended eating here. It was undeniably good! We tried the Curry Kapitan (RM18), Tau Yew Bak (RM20), Jiu Hu Char (cuttle fish with vegetables – RM12), Pig Stomach Soup (RM22) and Bubur Cha Cha (RM4) and to be honest all of it were good! Seriously! If we were to recommend, the tau yew bak (braised pork) is a must-have. The braised pork combined with the spices went really well with rice. In fact, we had 2 HUGE portions of rice throughout the meal! Remember to save some space for the bubur cha cha. Certainly one of the best we’ve had in a long long time!

Mama’s Nonya Cuisine
Address : Lorong Abu Siti, Georgetown, 10400 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

13. Penang Bakeries

 photo 023gheehiangatmacallisterroad_zps8ed194a5.jpg
Ghee Hiang at Macallister Road Penang

 photo 024crowdedshopQuitecheap_zps97c84197.jpg
Inside Ghee Hiang

There are many traditional bakeries in Penang. Among them, the famous ones are Ghee Hiang, Kim Heang and Seng Seng Heang. Remember to bring some back for your loved ones when you return from Penang!

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Penang Hawker Food

Penang Hawker Food

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of the Penang Hawker Food and Nonya Restaurants that you must try when you visit Penang! Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

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Visondata SG : Helping you stay connected wherever you go!

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Visondata SG (VDS) offers low cost pocket wifi services that spans more than 70 countries. With this small device, users are able to stay connected while on travels or business trips overseas! Thanks to the great folks at Visondata SG, … Continue reading

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Top 10 Singapore Hotels in 2015!

Happy New Year Everyone! As it is Singapore’s Jubilee this year (Yay! Happy 50th Birthday Singapore!), there will be lots of jubilee celebrations as we lead up to the National Day Parade (9th August 2015) celebrations this year! High visitorship is also expected this year. If you’re thinking of visiting Singapore or doing a Singapore staycation, do check out these top 10 Singapore Hotels in 2015 and book early to avoid disappointment!

The Top 10 Singapore Hotels in 2015

10. Quincy Hotel – An ALL-INCLUSIVE Stay

 Infinity Pool at level 12 - splendid views from the pool!
Infinity Pool at level 12 – splendid views from the pool!
 Desserts by Dean and Deluca - the Lemon Pound Cake is a MUST TRY!
Desserts by Dean and Deluca – the Lemon Pound Cake is a MUST TRY!
Art Jamming by the Pool
Art Jamming by the Pool

You must be wondering why Quincy Hotel made our top 10 Singapore Hotels in Singapore when it is only a 4-star hotel? Shouldn’t this list consist of only 5-star hotels? But did you know that Quincy Hotel offers an all-inclusive experience such as Art Jamming, Cupcake Baking and all-day dining? To top it all off, the infinity pool at level 12 offers unblocked views of the vicinity!

9. Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa – Something for the Kids

 Huge pool that includes slides for the kids
Huge pool that includes slides for the kids
 Activities at Toots Club for the kids
Activities at Toots Club for the kids
Kids Dining at the Silver Shell Cafe
Kids Dining at the Silver Shell Cafe

For parents, an awesome vacation only begins when the kids are well taken care of. At Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa, activities are planned specifically for them so that you can enjoy your well-deserved vacation! There are planned activities for the kids, a games room, an activities club and even a dedicated dining corner for the kids. To top it all off, Universal Studios Singapore is also within minutes from the hotel! Definitely a top hotel in Singapore that caters to the kids (and you!).

8. Hard Rock Hotel – Bring out the Rock Star in You!

Couch in Hard Rock Hotel Room
Leather Couch Hard Rock Hotel Singapore
HArd ROck Hotel room
Deluxe Room Hard Rock Hotel Singapore
Hard Rock Hotel and swimming pool
Pool View from Deluxe Room

If you love rooms that pay attention to details, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore sure has the knack for details. In the room, you’ll be able to find a mirror that resembles that of a celebrity’s dressing room (yes, those with light bulbs around the edges), a large comfy leather couch that is fitting for a rock star and of course a pool view that dazzles. Did we also mention about the artificial sand in Hard Rock’s HUGE pool?

In addition, its location is right in the heart of Resorts World Sentosa’s attractions such as the Universal Studios Singapore, Maritime Experential Museum, SEA Aquarium and Adventure Cove. A getaway that is perfect for the entire family!

7. Rendezvous Hotel – Best of all City Attractions

Rendezvous Hotel Singapore
Rendezvous Hotel Singapore
 The Library (Bar) of Rendezvous Hotel
The Library (Bar) of Rendezvous Hotel
Swimming Pool of Rendezvous Hotel Singapore
Swimming Pool of Rendezvous Hotel Singapore

What we like about Rendezvous Hotel is its location. Straight up. If you take a walk North, you’ll be at Little India. South – Fort Canning Hill and the Singapore River. WestOrchard Road (Singapore’s premier shopping belt) and to the East – the Art District and the Marina Bay.

Just remember to get a good pair of walking shoes while you’re exploring the city area!

6. Hotel Jen Orchardgateway – Your Gateway to Singapore’s Premier Shopping Belt!

 Seafood Buffet at Makan@Jen
Seafood Buffet at Makan@Jen
 Rooftop Pool of Hotel Jen Orchardgateway
Rooftop Pool of Hotel Jen Orchardgateway with views of Marina Bay Sands
Hi-Tea at Lounge@Jen Hotel Jen Orchardgateway
Hi-Tea at Lounge@Jen Hotel Jen Orchardgateway

If you have read our Letter to Jen, you’d have seen how much we’ve enjoyed ourselves when we stayed at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway. There are simply so many things that we enjoy about Hotel Jen but if we had to choose, it’s got to be…

1. Amazing views from the Rooftop Pool at Level 19 of Hotel Jen Orchardgateway
2. Freshest seafood buffet we’ve ever had at Makan@Jen
3. Its location right in the heart of Orchard Road

It’s really different to live right in the heart of Orchard and just take a lift down to shop in premier shopping malls like Orchard Central and 313 Somerset! Try it!

5. Oasia Hotel – Hippest Club Lounge in Singapore

 Swimming pool at level 22 of Oasia Hotel
Swimming pool at Level 22 of Oasia Hotel next to the Club Lounge
 Crowded club lounge during cocktail hours at Oasia Hotel!
Crowded club lounge during cocktail hours at Oasia Hotel!
We're here for cocktails too! Seen here, mojito, Oasia bliss and desserts
We’re here for cocktails too! Seen here, mojito, Oasia bliss and desserts

Oasia Hotel boasts to have the only Club Lounge in Singapore that also has a swimming pool (infinity pool with a view no less) that is located next to it. During cocktails, not only do you get to enjoy delicious house cocktails such as Oasia bliss, you’ll also be able to enjoy amazing sunsets…

Definitely one of the hippest Club Lounge experiences in Singapore!

4. Marina Bay Sands – An Iconic Hotel

 Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool
Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool
 Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Marina Bay Sands Sky Park
Marina Bay Sands Sky Park

Marina Bay Sands is one of Singapore’s most iconic hotels with its 3 pillars supporting a ship-like structure at its top. The Marina Bay Sands infinity pool also boasts of the best views of Singapore’s Marina Bay with many tourists making a trip to Singapore just to experience it! Of course, you may catch the most splendid sunsets at the Sky Park or just chill out at one of the restaurants at the same deck.

3. Pan Pacific Singapore – A Classy Stay

 Classy and comfortable layout of the Pacific Club at Pan Pacific Singapore
Classy and comfortable layout of the Pacific Club at Pan Pacific Singapore
 2bearbear enjoying the views from Pan Pacific Harbour Studio Room
2bearbear enjoying the views from Pan Pacific Harbour Studio Room
Fireworks as seen from our room from Pan Pacific Singapore
Fireworks as seen from our room from Pan Pacific Singapore

Pan Pacific Singapore is surely one of the classiest stay in Singapore. At the Pan Pacific Harbour Rooms, you’ll be able to enjoy awesome views of the Marina Bay, including that of Marina Bay Sands (Nope, you cannot see MBS if you stay at MBS!). The Pacific Club also exuberates class and elegance – a lavish experience in itself!

2. Raffles Hotel – The Grand Old Dame of Singapore

 Iconic Sikh Doorman of the Raffles Hotel
Iconic Sikh Doorman of the Raffles Hotel
Colonial styled decoration at Raffles Hotel Singapore
Colonial styled decoration at Raffles Hotel Singapore
Singapore Sling and the drinks of Cambodia, France, Indonesia, Philippines and Seychelles
Singapore Sling and the drinks of Cambodia, France, Indonesia, Philippines and Seychelles

Singapore’s history is intricately woven with that of Raffles Hotel. From the creation of Singapore’s iconic cocktail – the Singapore Sling, to hosting foreign dignitaries and superstars such as Prince William and Michael Jackson, this Grand Old Dame has seen it all.

Come experience the luxury and opulence of Raffles Hotel!

1. The Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore – Experience First Class Service

 Marina Bay and Floating Platform
View of Marina Bay and Floating Platform
Bathroom of Premier Room at Ritz Carlton
Bathroom of Premier Room at Ritz Carlton
Swimming Pool at Ritz Carlton Singapore
Swimming Pool at Ritz Carlton Singapore

To experience one of the best hotel services in Singapore, look no further than Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore! When we first checked in, the receptionist actually walked the length of the reception, across the counter to personally hand the room key card to us! That is in stark contrast to simply handing the key card over the counter!

When we visited the swimming pool, there were attendants that led us to the deck chairs and laid the pool towels over the deck chairs for us. At the same time, water was served as well. When it started to rain, instead of scrambling back to the sheltered area, the attendants sheltered every guest at the pool to the gym personally.

Stay at the Ritz Carlton and experience first class hotel service in Singapore!

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We hope that you have enjoyed our coverage of the top 10 Singapore hotels of 2015! Have an enjoyable stay (or staycation) in Singapore everyone!

Tom,
2bearbear.com

Posted in Best of, Singapore Hotels, Singapore Hotels 2015, Top 10 Singapore Hotels 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 20 Foods from 2014 Travels!

This food list originally started off as the “Top 10 foods from 2014 Travels”. But as we went through our posts in 2014, we realised that there are alot of great foods that we’ve tried and would like to share them with you! So here it goes…


Top 20 Foods from 2014 World Travels

Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

20. Vietnam Coffee and Grilled Pork / Spring Roll Vermicelli (Ben Thanh Market)

 Vietnam Coffee and Grilled Pork / Spring Roll Vermicelli for a total of 100,000 dong about 5USD
Vietnam Coffee and Grilled Pork / Spring Roll Vermicelli

19. Prawn and Chicken Spring Roll (Saigon Centre Cafe Terrace)

 Prawn and chicken spring roll Saigon Centre Cafe Terrace
Prawn and chicken spring roll

While we were in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, we tried the foods at Ben Thanh Market as well as Saigon Centre. What impressed us was the fresh ingredients used and prepared in such a way that it brings out the natural flavours of each ingredient. Our favourite from this trip were the Grilled Pork & Spring Roll Vermicelli (Kate LOOOOOOOVES Vietnamese Vermicelli – which she says she can have all day, everyday! :P) and the fresh Vietnamese spring roll. While in Vietnam, don’t forget to also try the world-renowned Vietnamese coffee!

Taichung Taiwan

18. The Original Bubble Milk Tea (Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 )

Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 The Original Bubble Milk Tea
Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 The Original Bubble Milk Tea

17. 大腸包小腸 Direct translation of Big Sausage Wrap Small Sausage (Feng Jia Night Market)

大腸包小腸 (Direct translation of Big Sausage Wrap Small Sausage) at Feng Jia Night Market
大腸包小腸 (Direct translation of Big Sausage Wrap Small Sausage)

16. Ice cream with AWESOME Toppings (Miyahara 4th Credit)

Miyahara 4th Credit Ice Cream
Miyahara 4th Credit Ice Cream

We start our food conquest in Taiwan (foodie’s paradise!) at Taichung. There is a wide variety of food, great tasting ones at that. But we’ve narrowed it to the Original Bubble tea at Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 , 大腸包小腸 (Direct translation of Big Sausage Wrap Small Sausage) at Feng Jia Night Market as well as possibly Kate’s favourite ice cream shop at Miyahara 4th Credit. Do check out our post on What to eat at Feng Jia Night Market for our great foods!

Changhua Taiwan

15. The Best Changhua Meatballs (北門口肉圓 Bei Men Kou Meatball)

 北門口肉圓 Changhua Meatball with scallop for NT80
北門口肉圓 Changhua Meatball with scallop

We’ve scoured through the top Changhua Meatball stalls and deciphered which is the best Changhua Meatballs in Taiwan. Read our post to find out more!

Tainan Taiwan

14. Breakfast Set (鹿早茶屋)

 Breakfast Set at 鹿早茶屋
Breakfast Set at 鹿早茶屋

While staying at 1967 Hotel Tainan, we chanced upon 鹿早茶屋 – a quaint cafe with a lovely breakfast menu. We tried the breakfast set as well as the German sausage waffles. Definitely a great way to start the day!

13. Shrimp Dumpling, Coffin Bread and Oyster Mee Sua (瑞珍虾仁馄饨)

瑞珍虾仁馄饨 Shrimp Dumpling, Coffin Bread and Oyster Mee Sua
瑞珍虾仁馄饨 Shrimp Dumpling, Coffin Bread and Oyster Mee Sua

We know…there are 3 foods in this picture and we should really pick one to introduce. But if we really have to choose, we’d pick the shrimp dumpling and the oyster mee sua. The oysters were really fresh and it was the soupy version which differs from the thick broth version that is usually sold in the streets. The shrimp dumplings (what 瑞珍虾仁馄饨 is famous for) had really fresh prawns and crispy skin. Once you go at it, you really can’t stop!

Bandung Indonesia

12. Tauhu Telur (Es Teler 77)

 Things to eat in Bandung Indonesia - Tauhu Telur
Tauhu Telur

Bandung Indonesia is a foodies paradise and there are so many yummy food that we would like to introduce here! But if we really had to choose, it would be the Tauhu Telur from Es Teler 77 (a local restaurant chain). Not only is the presentation superb (very pretty isn’t it?), the taste of the tauhu was fresh and the deep fried egg at the top was not the oily sort. Coupled with the sweet and spicy sauce? AWESOME!

Shanghai China

11. Pan Fried Dumplings (Yang’s Fried Dumpling 小杨生煎)

 Yang's Fried Dumpling 小杨生煎 4 for 6RMB
Yang’s Fried Dumpling 小杨生煎 4 for 6RMB

Yang’s Fried Dumpling simply wins the battle of pan fried dumplings hands down! Not only is it really economical to dine here – 4 dumplings costs 6RMB (That’s about 30cents each! WHAT?!), the taste was out of this world as well! Don’t be deceived by this innocent dumpling, tread (or chew) carefully…it is SOOOOOOO juicy that it leaves a trail of splatters on the mouths (or in our instance – spectacles) of the diners!

Penang Malaysia

10. Penang Char Hor Fun (Gurney Paragon’s Food Court)

Penang Char Hor Fun
Penang Char Hor Fun

9. Nonya Food (Mama’s Nonya Cuisine)

Curry Kapitan, Tau Yew Bak, Jiu Hu Char, Pig Stomach Soup, Bubur Cha Cha from Mama's Nonya Cuisine
Mama’s Nonya Cuisine

If you have read our post on the “13 Penang Hawker Food and Nonya Restaurants that YOU MUST TRY“, you’d realise that there are so many awesome foods to be tasted in Penang!

If we really had to choose, the Penang Char Hor Fun (from Gurney Paragon’s Food Court) and Tau Yew Bak (braised pork from Mama’s Nonya Cuisine) are definitely not to be missed! Unlike most hor fun these days, the version from Gurney Paragon is made from scratch! The chef fries the hor fun and the sauce on the spot and marries them intricately together, topped off with the “silky egg”. The result? A taste of hor fun from days past to be remembered!

If you only had time (and $$) for one dish at Mama’s, go for the tau yew bak. The sauce is slightly sweetened with the fattiness of the pork belly…ah… Plain ol’ white rice goes best with this dish. Enjoy!

Ipoh Malaysia

8. Snow Beer (Kafe Sun Yoon Wah)

 A bottle of snow beer at 14RM - Kafe Sun Yoon Wah
Snow Beer

7. Beansprouts with chicken and hor fun (Restoran Ong Kee Tauge Ayam)

 Restoran Ong Kee's fresh firm chicken splashed with soy sauce and sesame oil
Fresh firm chicken splashed with soy sauce and sesame oil

 REALLY FAT beansprouts at Restoran Ong Kee
REALLY FAT beansprouts

 Go for the hor fun instead of the rice
Ipoh Hor Fun (before mixing it all in)

Still on Malaysia and yet another foodie’s paradise – Ipoh. In Ipoh, there are 2 things that you must try, Ipoh Hor Fun (so cliche!) and the snow beer

Snow beer? What is that?

It is actually bottles of beers that have been partially frozen that when they are poured into the frost mugs, snow like froths start to form. This gives “ice cold beer” a profoundly different meaning! Tastes great too. The only catch is that you have to drink it fast. Otherwise, it will just return to its fluid form in a really short while.

We know it is cliche, but the Ipoh hor fun at Restoran Ong Kee Tauge Ayam is not to be missed. Mix the aromatic chicken and FAT crunchy beansprouts with the taong hor fun and you’ll get a bowl of unmistakably great Ipoh hor fun!

Pattaya Thailand

6. Mango Sticky Rice (Supermarket of Central Festival)

 Best mango sticky rice at only 80 baht!
Mango Sticky Rice

The key to a great mango sticky rice is of course the mango. It has to be slightly overripe. That’s where it is at its sweetest and most fragrant. The sticky rice has to be sticky yet retaining the form of the individual grains. The version at Central Festival has got all these bases covered…probably one of the best mango sticky rice we’ve had!

Vancouver USA

5. Baby Back Ribs (Beaches Restaurant)

 Baby Back Rib of Beaches Restaurant and Bar
Baby Back Ribs

Having the baby back ribs at Beaches Restaurant (Vancouver USA) is a one of a kind experience. The meat is so tender that it falls right of the bones, literally! It also exudes that smoky barbecued taste with the slight charred and caramelised outer layer that makes it so irresistibly good!

Seattle USA

4. Chocolate Lava Cake (Metropolitan Grill)

 Chocolate Lava Cake at Metropolitan Grill for 12USD
Chocolate Lava Cake

It is certainly strange to introduce a dessert from a famous steak joint such as Metropolitan Grill. But the truth is that the Chocolate Lava Cake was probably one of the best dessert we’ve ever tasted! There are so many textures to it…crumbly, chewy, oozy and rich. Simply divine this…

3. Sea Feast (The Crabpot)

 Our order of the Westport sea feast at the Crab Pot Seattle
Westport sea feast

The Crabpot is one of the originators of the sea feast (or seafood feast) and it has made this list because of its novelty factor. Armed with a wooden mallet, visitors “have a go at it” with your bare hands and have a great time feasting on the seafood pot of clams, crabs, shrimp, mussels, corn and red potatoes.

They have made dining fun again!

San Francisco USA

2. Dungeness Crab (Fisherman’s Wharf)

 Dungeness Crab roasted in garlic and olive oil
Dungeness Crab roasted in garlic and olive oil

We have actually not tried dungeness crabs until we visited the Fisherman’s Wharf of San Francisco. On the outside, the dungeness crab didn’t really look really appealing. Small pincers, “scrawny legs”. I mean, where is the crab meat?

But when we first tasted the dungeness crab, we understood why. Firstly, as it was in-season, the catch was really fresh. But the thing that made it stood out was its sweet sweet taste. This made the crab really easy to prepare. As long as its fresh, lightly steamed (or in our case lightly tossed) crab would taste great.

Now we understand why locals enjoy their dungeness crabs eventhough it seems that the meat seems few and far in between (the legs and pincers). A small portion satisfies :P

1. Risotto Funghi (Fior d’Italia)

 Risotto Funghi at Fior d'Italia - Confirm the best Risotto ever tasted (16USD)
Risotto Funghi at Fior d’Italia

Fior d’Italia is America’s oldest Italian restaurant, located at the ground level of San Remo Hotel. We thought to ourselves that there must be a reason why it is still around after such a long time (since 1886!).

We found out for ourselves that the taste was simple, unadulterated good food. Both the risotto and spaghetti had the authentic italian flavours. Fresh Italian pleasures at its finest.

If you’re visiting San Francisco, do drop by Fior d’Italia. You’ll enjoy the experience too!

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Top 20 Foods from 2014 Travels

Top 20 Foods from 2014 Travels

We hope that you have enjoyed our coverage of the top 20 foods from our 2014 travels!

Let us know what you think in our comments section below. Bon appetit and happy travels in 2015 everyone!

Tom,
2bearbear.com

Posted in Best of, Food 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 6 Hotels from 2014 Travels!

In 2014, we travelled to USA, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia and this list features the top 5 hotels from our travels in 2014!


Top 6 Hotels 2014

 Art Jamming @ Quincy Hotel Singapore
6. Art Jamming @ Quincy Hotel Singapore
 Swimming Pool @ Palace Hotel San Francisco
5. Swimming Pool @ Palace Hotel San Francisco
HI Spa Experience @ Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang
4. CHI Spa Experience @ Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang
Spa Pools @ Miaoli Maison De Chine
3. Spa Pools @ Miaoli Maison De Chine
Marina Bay Views @ Pan Pacific Singapore
2. Marina Bay Views @ Pan Pacific Singapore
Infinity Pool @ Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya
1. Infinity Pool @ Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya

6. Quincy Hotel Singapore – An All-Inclusive Stay

Quincy Hotel Singapore is one of the first hotels in Singapore that offers an all-inclusive stay. What do we mean by that? If you’re staying at Quincy on the weekends, you’ll be able to participate in Art Jamming Sessions, Cupcake Baking Sessions and enjoy all-day dining at the hotel’s in-house lobby restaurant.

Feeling active? There’s also an infinity pool and gym (complete with steam bath and sauna) at level 12!

5. Palace Hotel San Francisco USA – History Class and Luxury

Palace Hotel San Francisco was established in 1875 and refurbished 1991, restoring its glory days of 1909. What we love about Palace Hotel is its rich history and deep connections to the development of San Francisco. Much akin to how Raffles Hotel saw the growth of Singapore.

In addition, the hotel’s bar – Pied Piper Bar & Grill is also named among the 7 finest bars in the world. Historically, it has also seen many a deals closed at this elegant and classy bar!

4. Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang – Relax & Rejuvenate

Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang is the top ranked hotel in the Batu Ferringhi area. Besides being a 5-star hotel that prides itself in providing a luxurious and exclusive experience for its guests, it also has a huge premise (12 hectares of lush greenery); so much so that guests won’t even know that its at full occupancy!

In addition, the award winning CHI Spa will also leave you fully relaxed and rejuvenated when you return home!

3. Miaoli Maison De Chine Taiwan – Health Centre with Spa Facilities

Miaoli Maison De Chine has recently completed its renovation and has added a new health centre in the basement of the hotel. Unbelievably, there’s a huge swimming pool, gym that overlooks the pool and not 1, not 2 but 3 spa pools (in addition to the steam bath and sauna) at its health centre.

Spa pools also come with shower and water jets that offers water therapy. They even come at 3 different temperatures (2 hot and 1 cold temperatures) to cater to needs of different guests!

2. Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore – Views of the Marina Bay

Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore is one of the top hotels in Singapore. Not only does it offer excellent facilities at its hotel (including St. Gregory Spa, Pacific Club – possibly the highest hotel club in Singapore and excellent dining options @ Hai Tien Lo, Rang Mahal, Edge Restaurant and Pacific Marketplace), it also offers one of the best views overlooking the Marina Bay area.

This also means close proximity to attractions at the Marina Bay including the Esplanade, Gardens by the Bay, Helix Bridge, the Singapore Flyer and shopping options at Marina Square Shopping Mall.

1. Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya – One of the World’s Top Hotel Swimming Pool

Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya really surprised us in several aspects. There are 4 different hotels in its premise that caters to couples, family, business and luxury travellers. Yes, the premise is huge and spans 26 hectares (approximately 64 acres)!

But what really impressed us was its infinity pool! Not only can you enjoy sunsets over the Gulf of Thailand, there are also many jacuzzi spots around the pool. These jacuzzi spots allow you to lie down as the water jets gently massages you. Lastly, as night descends, the pool is transformed with neon-coloured lightings all around the pool; a view to behold.

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Top Hotels 2014

Top Hotels 2014

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of the top 6 hotels we’ve stayed in during our travels in 2014!

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Top 20 Travel Experiences 2014!

Again, we initially wanted share our top 10 travel experiences of 2014. But as we read through our posts, we realised that there’s so much more to share and decided to extend this list to the Top 20 Travel Experiences of 2014! Without dwelling too much into the details, we’ll let the pictures (and sometimes videos) do the talking!

20. Driving across Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco


Driving through Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco!

We finally got to visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco! Not only so, we drove across it while listening to the local radio. What an unforgettable experience!

19. Watching an Ice Hockey Match – LIVE!

 The Kiss-Cam
The Kiss-Cam

We caught the Portland Winterhawks (an ice hockey team based in Portland Oregon) play during the new year’s eve of 2013. In fact, there were so many first experience during this match

– It was our first time watching ice hockey LIVE!
– We bought a raffle ticket that gave us a chance to win some cash and support a local charity.
– We ate at Burgerville (for the first time) and used a touch screen drinks dispenser that dispensed cool drinks (that you could mix yourself) such as coke lime and vanilla root beer!
– Witnessing the Kiss-Cam for the first time after watching it so many times on NBA matches (on TV of course)
– Experiencing why Americans and Canadians love their ice hockey so much

18. Doing the scenic Oregon coastal drive

 photo 013Sealions_zpsca63396b.jpg
Wild sea lions!

During this scenic Oregon coastal drive, we enjoyed the spectacular ocean views and even saw wild sea lions in their natural habitat. Kate also caught a glimpse of the migrating whales as it was the migrating season as well!

17. Conquering the steep slopes of San Francisco

 Cars are advised to park perpendicular to the slope - Haight Park San Francisco
Cars are advised to park perpendicular to the slope – Haight Park San Francisco

Although we knew that San Francisco was built atop a series of hills, we finally experienced how steep it really is when we drove through it! At one point, while ascending a slope, it was so steep that we felt the bonnet of the car almost lifting up! Also, we saw Lombard Street which is touted as the crookedest street in San Francisco.

16. Hearing the Sea Lions call out – First thing in the morning!

 Sea Lions of Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco
Sea Lions of Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco

Although we knew we were staying near Fisherman’s Wharf while we were in San Francisco, we did not know that we were also able to hear the sea lions so clearly – first thing in the morning! You can probably imagine how annoyed the local residents must be!

15. Enjoying Crabpot Sea Feast in Seattle

 The novelty of eating seafood ONLY with your bare hands at Crab Pot Seattle
The novelty of eating seafood ONLY with your bare hands at Crab Pot Seattle

It is one thing to arrive at MVF’s (Man vs Food) recommended restaurant. But it is really quite another to be at Crabpot Sea Feast in Seattle, the place where seafood feasts originated. We heartily tucked into our sea feast armed with a small wooden mallet and our bare hands! An awesome experience this! Don’t forget your bib as things can get really messy!

14. Visiting (and recognising) the World’s FIRST Starbucks Coffee in Seattle

 Small Starbucks Seattle with a
Small Starbucks with a “1912” at its entrance

You may know that the World’s First Starbucks Coffee is located in Seattle near Pike Place Market. But did you know that there are 2 Starbucks Coffee near Pike Place Market? Look for the smaller, humbler looking one; Or you can simply refer to our picture above :)

13. Seattle Underground Tour – Find out the secret of Seattle City

 Sky light above
Sky light seen during Seattle Underground Tour

On the first impression, you would think that this underground tunnels were dug out by Seattle pioneers for a particular reason right? WRONG! Following the Seattle Underground Tour, you’ll find out the secret to how these tunnels came about. In fact, Seattle is really built upon itself…read our post to find out more! This really really surprised us!

12. Sinking our teeth into the juiciest dumpling @ Yang’s Fried Dumpling Shanghai

 Yang's Fried Dumpling 小杨生煎 4 for 6RMB
Yang’s Fried Dumpling 小杨生煎 4 for 6RMB

You have not understood the meaning of JUICY DUMPLINGS until you’ve tried Yang’s Fried Dumpling in Shanghai. Confirm plus chop, the juiciest dumpling we’ve ever eaten! Be careful of the splattering juices on every bite!

11. Discovering the secrets in Yu Garden Shanghai

 photo SAM_8905_zps7e755852.jpg
蝙蝠鹿豫园 – Mosaic at exits of Yu Garden

There are many little secrets waiting to be uncovered in Yu Garden Shanghai. For instance, did you know that this mosaic, located at the exits in Yu Garden, actually represents safety (for people passing it), blessings and wealth? Not that we believe it, but it’s really interesting to know that so much thought have been placed into the design in and around Yu Garden Shanghai.

10. Best Infinity Pool @ Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya

 Best swimming pool EVER at Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya!
Best swimming pool EVER at Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya!

We really LOOOOOOOOOOOVE the infinity pool at Royal Cliff Hotel Pattaya because

– It has jacuzzi jets all around the pool. Some allowing you to sleep on it even…
– Awesome sunset views over the Gulf of Thailand!
– Pool magically transforms with neon lights at night

9. Watching artists at work in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam


Artists drawing in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City is a great place for shoppers! *winks at Singaporeans* Not only are the bags, shoes and cold wear cheap, really good art work is very affordable as well. From the video, you can see how much effort the local artists put into making each and every piece of art on sale. We bought a piece at USD$50 and frame for USD$15.

Good stuff!

8. Dining atop Taipei 101

Set B Dish 3 Taiwanese Styled Giant Braised Grouper Taipei 101 Ding Xian Restaurant
Dining at Ding Xian Restaurant atop Taipei 101

To celebrate our wedding anniversary, Kate and I enjoyed lunch at the top of Taipei 101. Not only was the food delish, views were spectacular as well! A really surreal and enjoyable feeling. Most importantly, to be able to dine with your loved one on your special day…

7. Sweetest and tastiest PEACH ever @ Taoyuan Taiwan!

Must try peach at Xiao Wu Lai for NT80 or NT600 for a box of 12
Sweet, tasty and beautiful peach in Taoyuan

After tasting the peaches in Taoyuan, we finally realised why its name is TAO (peach) YUAN (garden). They were so out-of-this-world, TASTY AND SWEET! A must-try in Taoyuan!

6. Glass blowing at Kuo Tai Glass Park Zhunan

Glass Blowing at Kuo Tai Glass Park
Glass blowing at Kuo Tai Glass Park

At Kuo Tai Glass Park in Zhunan, you’ll be able to blow your own glass ware. Something which we did and found to be really fun as well. With master glass blowers on hand, kids are also able to create their own glass wares in a fun and safe manner.

5. One of the best ice creams we’ve ever had at Miyahara Taichung

Miyahara Ice Cream Toppings
Ice cream toppings at Miyahara Ice Cream

If you take a look closely at our ice cream from Miyahara Taichung, we actually had a cheesecake, a pineapple tart and a floral cake (in addition to rum and raisin) as toppings for our ice cream! Ordering an ice cream that allowed us to also taste famous local pastries? Fantastic!

4. Wondering around Taiwan’s most famous night market – Feng Jia Night Market!

 Feng Jia Night Market 大腸包小腸 - Red Stall
Feng Jia Night Market 大腸包小腸 – Red Stall

Finally being able to visit Feng Jia Night Market was an unforgettable experience. It is indeed the night market of night markets in Taiwan. Although it has been superceded as the largest night market in Taiwan (the largest being Jin Zuan Night Market launched in 2013), it is still undeniably the most famous with SOOOOOOO MANY amazing things to eat! Our favourites include 大腸包小腸 (big sausage wrap small sausage) as well as the cheap fresh juices here!

3. Qool Weekend Staycation @ Quincy Hotel Singapore

 Products of fellow Art Jammers
Art Jamming @ Quincy Hotel

It was a new experience for us to enjoy an all-inclusive hotel stay at Quincy. This experience included

– Art Jamming Sessions (see above)
– Cupcake Baking
– All Day Dining
– Daily Cocktail

What’s more, because of its location, you’re just minutes walk away from Singapore’s premier shopping belt – Orchard Road. All in all, it was a wonderful experience to just chill and enjoy a relaxing staycation in Singapore.

2. Watching National Day Parade Preview LIVE from Pan Pacific Singapore’s Harbour Studio Room

 Fireworks as seen from our room from Pan Pacific Singapore
Fireworks as seen from our room from Pan Pacific Singapore

Thanks to the great folks from Pan Pacific Singapore, we were able to enjoy the National Day Parade preview from the comfort of our Harbour Studio Room. We were also able to hear our favourite local songs and sing along at the same time. But most of all, we enjoyed the amazing fireworks lighting up the Singapore skyline right in front of our eyes!

1. Sailing aboard the Mariner of the Seas by Royal Caribbean Cruise

 Pool Deck with Romero Britto's Surfer Boy Sculpture aboard Mariner of the Seas
Pool Deck with Romero Britto’s Surfer Boy Sculpture aboard Mariner of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas is one of the biggest cruise ship to visit Singapore and we took the opportunity to embark on its 8D7N cruise to Thailand and Vietnam. The mere act of discovering every inch of the ship was already an experience itself. The list of things to do aboard the Mariner of the Seas just goes on and on. One of the highlights has got to be the Dream Works characters at the “Move It Move It” parade. Po’s awesome dance moves is still the first video on our Youtube Channel! Other firsts for us, include reaching the top of the rock climbing wall and ice skating at sea!

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Top 20 Travel Experiences 2014

Top 20 Travel Experiences 2014

We hope you have enjoyed coverage of the Top 20 travel experiences of 2014. If you have had some amazing travel experiences in 2014 as well, do share it in our comments section below!

Happy 2015 Everyone!

Tom & Kate,
2bearbear.com

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Universal Studios Singapore : Snowy Christmas Celebration!

Universal Studios Singapore presents Singapore’s Biggest Snowy Christmas Celebration from 1st December 2014 to 4th January 2015! You can choose from either the

1. Universal Studios Singapore One-Day Pass @ $84
Valid for visit from 1 Dec 2014 to 4 Jan 2015 with extended hours from 10am to 9pm and 31 Dec from 10am till 1am. Inclusive of a Christmas set meal voucher.

OR

2. Christmas Event Ticket @ $50
Valid for visit from 1 Dec 2014 to 4 Jan 2015, 5pm to 9pm.


What to expect at Universal Studios Singapore Snowy Christmas Celebration

Christmas Fireworks Spectacular @ 9pm

 Fireworks at Universal Studios Singapore
Fireworks at Universal Studios Singapore
 Universal Studios Singapore Christmas Fireworks Spectacular
Universal Studios Singapore Christmas Fireworks Spectacular
Fireworks Universal Studios Singapore
Art Jamming by the Pool
Fireworks Universal Studios Singapore Snowy Christmas Celebration
Fireworks Universal Studios Singapore Snowy Christmas Celebration
Universal Studios Singapore Snowy Christmas Celebration Fireworks
Universal Studios Singapore Snowy Christmas Celebration Fireworks
Spectacular Fireworks at Universal Studios Singapore
Spectacular Fireworks at Universal Studios Singapore

Let it Snow! / Santa Meet & Greet / Winter Tales

Snowing @ Hollywood
Snowing @ Hollywood
Snowfall Universal Studios Singapore
Snowfall Universal Studios Singapore
Winter Tales Universal Studios Singapore
Winter Tales Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore Santa Meet and Greet
Universal Studios Singapore Santa Meet and Greet
Sesame Street Saves Christmas Show Times Universal Studios Singapore
Sesame Street Saves Christmas Show Times
Photo Opportunities with DreamWorks Characters
Photo Opportunities with DreamWorks Characters


Zones Open during Snowy Christmas at Santa’s Land @ Universal Studios Singapore

You’ll be happy to find out that all 7 zones of Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar are open during the Christmas Celebrations at Universal Studios Singapore. This means that you’d also be able to enjoy your favourite rides such as Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure and Revenge of the Mummy throughout the day until 9pm at night! Unfortunately, Battlestar Galactica will only re-open some time in early 2015…

Transformers the Ride @ Universal Studios Singapore
Transformers the Ride @ Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore - Revenge of the Mummy
Universal Studios Singapore – Revenge of the Mummy
Jurassic Park Universal Studios Singapore USS
Jurassic Park Universal Studios Singapore USS
Madagascar @ Universal Studios Singapore
Madagascar @ Universal Studios Singapore
Water World Universal Studios Singapore
Water World Universal Studios Singapore
Far Far Away Universal Studios Singapore
Far Far Away Universal Studios Singapore

Waterworld Show

The most spectacular “live” show at Universal Studios Singapore is Waterworld. Be prepared for excitement, explosions, death-defying stunts and loads of splashing good times (if you’re sitting in the first 6 rows)!

Set of Waterworld in Universal Studios Singapore
Set of Waterworld in Universal Studios Singapore
Water World - Arrival of the
Water World Universal Studios Singapore
High Speed Chase Scenes
High Speed Chase Scenes

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Snowy Christmas @ Universal Studios Singapore

Snowy Christmas @ Universal Studios Singapore

All in all, it was an enjoyable experience at Singapore’s Biggest Snowy Christmas Celebration @ Universal Studios Singapore. However, time really passed during the 5pm to 9pm period. Hence, we’d recommend getting the day pass to get the most of your visit to Universal Studios Singapore!

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