Silverlake Vineyard in Pattaya, Thailand

Silverlake Vineyard in Pattaya is just less than 2-hour drive from Bangkok. So, if you happen to be visiting Thailand, it's a good thing to consider this place as part of your itinerary.

It felt like a little visit to Europe when my family and friends went there. No wonder why local people like to visit this place because it's really like going outside of Thailand in an instant.

The gorgeous landscape is a real treat...

...and, of course, the beautiful lake!

It also has flower gardens that children and adults will truly appreciate.

They also have several spots where couples enjoy taking their photos.

My girls find the place fun and exciting!

The tour to the vineyard was my highlight. We got to taste a sample of their sweet grapes. 

We had so much fun and I couldn't believe this place has no entrance fee! 

Tuesday Travel         Our World Tuesday     
Ruby Tuesday       White Wednesday          


Penang, My Favorite Island in Malaysia

"Selamat datang ke Pulau Pinang!"
That's the warm welcome one would see on billboards and road signs once arriving in Penang.

Far view of Penang on a ferry boat from Butterworth

Penang (Pulau Pinang translated as Island of Palm) is the second smallest Malaysian state yet it is highly urbanized and industrialized, and is one of the most developed and economically important state of the country. How do I know this? Well, I was blessed to have lived there for almost 3 years.

A view from Butterworth side
The last time I visited the island with my family, we took the international train (22 hours) from Bangkok to Butterworth where we took a ferry boat to the island for about 15 minutes.

Ferry boat from Butterworth to Penang Island
Ferry dock of Penang Island
Penang, which capital is Georgetown, is a home to 3 major ethnic groups: Malay, Chinese, and Indian. It's such a colorful and beautiful mix of culture!

Here are some photos I took on our last visit:

One of the interesting Chinese structure in the island.

My daughter standing along Gurney drive.

Far view (from Bayan Lepas) of the second longest bridge in Asia, about 13.5 km.
One of the major reasons why I love visiting the island is the FOOD. It's after all the food haven of the country.

Roti Canai for breakfast from an Indian restaurant.

Sumptuous Chinese lunch at Chicken Rice restaurant.

Enjoying supper with our packs (bungkos) from Nasi Pelita. Best eaten by hand!

 Tuesday Travel         Our World Tuesday     Ruby Tuesday     
                                          White Wednesday          Friday Food Trip


Manila Skyline And Davao's Famous Chicken Bar-b-Que

By looking at this picture, I can tell when we last visited the Philippines. 
It was in 2009, the time when there was an N1H1 scare. 
So we all wore masks from Bangkok to Manila. 

Top view of Manila from my window.

Nothing beats the feeling of seeing your home country again. 
Excitement made me want to jump out from the window.

Manila is the capital city of the Philippines 
and is the most densely populated city in the world according to Wikipedia. 
(Hmmm...that made me think again after I've seen in Dhaka.)

 One thing that made me sad, though, on this homecoming was the gray skyline of Manila.

I think it was good that we arrived wearing masks.

After few happy days in Manila, we flew to our home city, Davao City.

One can tell how the excitement was building up, and we were no longer wearing masks.
Davao City, though used to be the largest city in the world by land area, is not as populated as Manila
and so the air is cleaner.

The food is fresher and cheaper. 
(I hope I do not appear ethnocentric to say that.)

Aside from seafood and tropical fruits like durian, mango and mangosteen, 
when visiting the Davao City, one should not miss trying it's famous native chicken bar-b-que.

It's a delectable experience that one should come back for more.

It was a rather short holiday for the family,
 but the kids were happy to have visited the Philippines, 
and are now looking forward to our next visit.

 Tuesday Travel              Friday Food Trip


Fireworks For The King of Thailand

The king of Thailand, his majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej or Rama IX, celebrated his 84th birthday yesterday, December 5th, 2011. His majesty King Bhumibol is the longest serving monarch in the history of Thailand and in the world. He was crowned king of Thailand on May 5, 1950.

The king's birthday is an event used by his loyal subjects to express their love and respect to him. It is a big national celebration where public places and structures are lavishly decorated with flags and lights, and his pictures. Parks are also richly adorned with flowers.

Fireworks is also one of the highlights which people are looking forward to witness during the king's birthday. For this year's celebration, it is obvious that ceremonies and decorations are less grand than before because of the recent flood that troubled the country. Nevertheless, I would say that the fireworks last night at the King's Park (Suan Luang, Bangkok) was far grander than last year. I took a full 8-minute video of the spectacular event so I didn't get any still shots. BUT I have photos of last year to share.

Our World Tuesday     Ruby Tuesday       White Wednesday 


Durian Halo Halo..The Best In Davao City

The last time I was in the Philippines, I had the chance to visit Davao city for 3 days. My niece insisted that i should try the best durian halo-halo in town so she took me and my son to Matina Town Square where we bought this yummiest treat.

It's a beautiful mix of finely shaved ice, durian jam, nata de coco, pinipig, durian icecream, and evaporated milk for only P100 (approx $2.50)!

My son and my niece with their take-home midnight dessert.
We drove home happy. And now, as I'm typing this post, I'm actually drooling, haha!

Davao City is known for its durian products such as durian candies and jams. Some people are not fond of durian but if they get to try this special halo-halo, I'm sure they will learn to appreciate the king of fruit.

Hmmm, I can actually smell it now!


St. Martin Villas – The Perfect Luxury Rentals for Affluent Foodies

(View of Amber, a luxury villa in St. Martin, Caribbean)
Even among the many distinct and vivid islands of the Caribbean, St. Martin is something of an unusual place. Featuring two distinct cultures on the separate sections of the island, St. Martin has developed a pair of identities that complement, strengthen, and generally support each other… and also some of the best food in the entire Caribbean. Let’s take a look at this unique destination, and why it might just be the very best choice for foodies who care about what they eat when they’re looking for luxury rentals.

When the words ‘food’ and ‘Caribbean’ are used together, many people think of Jamaica, with its robust flavors and original recipes. St. Martin, however, has been significantly influenced by two different European cultures at the same time, and one of the most notable effects of this is a major impact on the local cuisine. Taking ideas about food from Europe and mixing them in with Caribbean ingredients has helped to create a number of unique dishes on the island that simply aren’t the same anywhere else. And this, of course, is where the luxury villas come into play.
To begin with, St. Martin villas often offer the services of a private chef. Luxury villas come standard with a fully functional kitchen, so you can observe meals being prepared by a professional chef, using quality local ingredients, in your very own rented kitchen. This provides a rare opportunity to talk about food with somebody who truly knows what they’re doing with local things. You can hear about where to
find the best ingredients in the area, ways to prepare things you might never have thought of, and even what goes good together and what doesn’t. For a true foodie, however, this is only the beginning.

When you want to enjoy food to the fullest, there’s nothing like making it yourself. After you’ve watched a professional work their culinary magic, why not try your own hand at it for the second half of your trip? With knowledge newly gleaned from a professional and the freshest ingredients literally in hand, stride boldly forward and discover what tastes await you at a luxury rental in St. Martin.


Thai Ice Cream Ensemble

Where can you find and ice cream mixed with pandan-flavored sticky rice?

Enjoying ice cream con sticky rice.

...only in Thailand!


Birthday Celebration: Filipino Way

Our family has been away from our own country for 13 years now, and so when my husband had his birthday few days ago, we were so blessed that we were able to celebrate it in a traditional way.

Early in the morning, friends came to awaken the celebrator with songs of blessings and encouragement.

Friends and family singing songs by the stairs waiting for the celebrator to come down.
After the singing, we gathered around and read verses from the Bible for encouragement and guidance.

Fresh from bed but still attentive to the reading of verses from the Bible.
Then, we all had our breakfast together. Friends brought "kakanin" served with hot coffee and hot chocolate.

In the evening, more friends joined us for the celebration. We served dishes that we used to enjoy back home.

L-R, shrimp and mango salad, grilled fish, sauteed shrimp, Goldilocks mocha cake,
friend spring roll, buttered mussels, and pancit (Filipino friend noodles)

This is the way we celebrate birthdays back home. How about in your culture?



Bangkok: Architectures Around Queen Sirikit Park

Benjasiri Park, also known as Queen Sirikit Park is located beside Emporium Shopping Center along Sukhumvit  Road in Bangkok, Thailand. It was built in 1992 in celebration for Queen Sirikit's 60th birthday. 

It is the farthest place I've been to last week, hah! It's just within the city where I live but it seems so far because of slow traffic flow. But I think it was worth the long trip. 
Friday is our sports day so we decided to bring the children to a new location to exercises, play, and have some fun. If you clicked on the image, you'll see our 4 homeschoolers who are enjoying the sights of turtles  and fishes. While the children are having a blast and after I played badminton, I enjoyed taking photos of different architectural designs around the park. Here are some of them:

One thing I appreciate about this park is that it is a serene and green place to relax and unwind at the the heart of a busy business/shopping area of the city.