Wednesday, February 3, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Cologne (Köln)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:


Of all the German towns and cities that I have visited during my stint in Germany, Cologne is the only one I frequented the most. Not even Frankfurt, the closest metropolis to my workplace came close in frequency. And no, it was not because I like Cologne. It was because that was the most convenient meeting point between my friend closer to the north and me who was stationed at the south.

I presumed that most people would link the perfume Eau de Cologne, which is also known simply as cologne, to the city. In fact it is more of a reason for people to recognize the city than the iconic Cologne Cathedral. Although there are more to the historic city than these two, they remained the most impressionistic.

'The' Cologne - Eau de Cologne. If you are wondering why the perfume is named so, this is the place to visit - Number 4711, the plot of shop which created this perfume in 1709.

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To the interested readers, here is my 1 day itinerary in Cologne - which could be done under 6 hours. Click into each link to visit the dedicated post to the place of interest.

Morning: 
  • arrive in Speyer train station around 11 a.m. 
  • visit Cologne Cathedral, climb 533 steps to get a panoramic view of Cologne (1 - 2 hour, take your time here as it could be quite crowded sometimes) 

Noon: 
  • enjoy lunch in Haxenhaus (1 hour) 
  • stroll along Hohenzollern bridge, took some shots of the love locks and the rider statues (<1 hour) 
  • ride up Panorama to get a panorama of Cologne (1 hour, maybe less, dependent on queue, may skip if you are not interested) 
  • took some shots of Cologne Messe-Deutz train station (<0.5 hours, may skip this) 
  • got back to cathedral side of the river bank, and strolled around the Altstadt (old town), although most of the buildings are no longer original (1 - 2 hours) 
  • day ends and head back to my point of origin 

I did not visit the 12 Romanesque churches, but the interested tourist could look for the few closest to Cologne main train station. This could be a better alternative to most than my trip to the opposite side of the river to explore Panorama and Cologne Messe-Deutz train station since the latter were more of a personal exploration.
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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Singapore Food Blog - Lighthouse Bistro and Bar

Location: Lavender, Singapore

Lighthouse Bistro is a surprisingly good find in the Lavender MRT region, a location where numerous good joints stay hidden from plain sight. Occupying a corner lot, it stood out like the lighthouse it is named for, a beacon that draw diners in for a good meal.

Its interior is quite limited despite occupying the corner lot, and one has a choice to dine outside rather than within its air-conditioned interior. The ambiance in Lighthouse Bistro is suitable for group chitchat and romantic duos alike, so long as one does not suddenly look for space to kneel for a proposal. Despite its corner lot occupancy, space is still limited within the joint.

A sketch to accompany the name of Lighthouse Bistro and Bar.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Travel through Numismatics - Singapore SG50 commemorative notes

2016 heralds a fresh start and a new resolution but unfortunately it became I keeled soon after entering a new year. So perhaps a lighter start with some good luck brought over from a better 2015 would be advisable? And thus I decided to start the year with a post on Singapore's SG50 commemorative notes.

2015 saw multiple memorable events in Singapore, from the sad passing of the nation’s founder to the celebration of 50 years of nation building. Both monumental events were immortalized through the issuance of a commemorative set of banknotes, unveiled by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 18 August 2015, with a nice folder to match with. The public is allowed to exchange their current notes for this set of notes worth S$100 in total (for exchange, not for free…), but capped at a limit of maximum 5 sets per person.

Cover to the SG50 commemorative notes folder

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hotel review - Ambassador Row Hotel Suites by Lanson Place Part 2 - Hotel Design and Breakfast

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Ambassador Row Hotel Suites by Lanson Place's Superior One Bedroom Duta Suite. The following info is important to you because it tells you on which month we stayed, and the price relative to the amount of time between the date of stay to the date of booking. You may experience higher or lower price at different months/seasons and if you book further or nearer to the date of stay.

We booked on:     August 2015
We stayed on:      October 2015
We paid in total:  RM603.20 (in total, tax included) @ Superior One Bedroom Duta Suite, 2 persons, 2 nights, breakfast inclusive


Spacious it may be, being cooped up in the room can get a little boring, especially for the fact that the room offered no scenic view, only the rooftops of other apartments and a scatter of construction that seemed to be ubiquitous in Kuala Lumpur. Sometimes I would walk out of the suite and take a stroll within the confines of the hotel suite, exploring its grounds for some adventure.

Hotel lobbies are generally spacious, but not like this - Ambassador Row Hotel Suites has their lobby ceiling at the top of their 20 story building! No, not really, the ceiling above the reception area is only 2 story high, it is the area beyond that one could look up into the sky...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hotel review - Ambassador Row Hotel Suites by Lanson Place Part 1 - Superior One Bedroom Duta Suite

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Ambassador Row Hotel Suites by Lanson Place's Superior One Bedroom Duta Suite. The following info is important to you because it tells you on which month we stayed, and the price relative to the amount of time between the date of stay to the date of booking. You may experience higher or lower price at different months/seasons and if you book further or nearer to the date of stay.

We booked on:     August 2015
We stayed on:      October 2015
We paid in total:  RM603.20 (in total, tax included) @ Superior One Bedroom Duta Suite, 2 persons, 2 nights, breakfast inclusive


Where would you stay if you are visiting Kuala Lumpur? That was the question my wife and I asked ourselves every time we dropped by the capital. Hotels are expensive for long stays so we looked around the city center to see what possibilities exist. It was by chance that we stumbled upon Ambassador Row Suites online so we gave it a try, a decision which drove us to return to this same hotel suite more than once.

Superior One Bedroom Duta Suite, cozy like home, the mess of home to match...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Chong Qing Grilled Fish 重庆烤鱼

Location: Bugis, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Liang Seah Street branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Recommended: Grilled Fish (what else...)

I was unaware of this Szechuanese restaurant until my friends brought me to try it out. Apparently Chong Qing Grilled Fish is quite famous and throngs of customers were waiting for a seat when we left. Fortunately for us, we arrived before dinner peak hour and managed to avoid the same fate as those diners.

Despite the fact that Chong Qing Grilled Fish occupies 2 shop floors, the interior is not too spacious, with seats arranged close to each other and conversations within earshot. Coupled with the fact that the grilled fish was served piping hot (no, really...), we felt like a steaming can of sardines, with the aroma of grilled fish to go with.

With a name of Chong Qing Grilled Fish, there wasn't any surprises that the main dish of choice was various Szechuanese based grill fish, coupled with a limited selection of other dishes to go with the spicy main offer. Although grilled fish took the main spot, the other list of dishes would help cater to a larger group and more varied tastes.

Our choice of dish - Golden Snapper 红曹 in Pickled Cabbage flavor hot pot (酸菜)

Monday, December 14, 2015

2014 Germany Trip - The Memorial Church of the Protestation (Gedächtniskirche der Protestation)

Location: Speyer, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:


If you arrive from the direction of the Speyer train station on foot, most probably the Old Gate (Altpörtel) will be within your sights and you would logically wander towards it, then from there to Speyer Cathedral, drawn by its majestic sight. However if you were to look towards the other direction from the Old Gate, you may see the skeletal spire jutting from the horizon. That was how I spied upon this church and decided to spend some time exploring that part of Speyer.

The Memorial Church of the Protestation, view from afar

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