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.


Something Good and Familiar

When traveling, I always go for local food and try not to fall for the popular western food chain which I can always enjoy back home. But when in foreign land, there are times when I just want something familiar. So the last cold Spring time I was in Hong kong, I had this big cup of hot moccha and was tempted to order fries, too. I regret ordering the fries but not this yummy foamy brownie thing!


Victoria Harbour: Hong Kong

One of my favorite places to visit when I'm in Hong Kong is the Victoria Harbour. This is the usual last destination for me and my husband after all meetings are done. It's such a good place for me to relax and unwind.

I visit Hong Kong almost every year but the sights at this place always fascinate me. There's never a dull moment here. It's always busy yet it is soothing for me. Perhaps it's the salty breeze or the sound of the waves.

I love the amazing display of lights at night but on this particular trip, I enjoyed the sights of ships, junks and ferry boats. 


A Tour To A Mangrove Forest in Chantaburi, Thailand

I visited a friend's ancestral home in Chantaburi, Thailand  in August of 2010. One of the highlights of my trip was the tour to Pa Chai Len (translates forest growing between high and low tide) or simply called "mud coast forest". It is actually a mangrove vegetation/ecosystem which is a project of the king of Thailand.

Some say it was a boring place to be. Mangroves, mangroves, mangroves! There's nothing really to see!

But for me, it was an exciting place. Nostalgic, actually. Mangroves are part of my childhood.

When I was a little child, my father would go to the nearest seacoast to look for a perfect mangrove for our Christmas tree. At that time, decades back, I'm sure we were allowed to cut at least one tree a year.

Mangroves are important part of our ecosystem because they protect human lives and property from any oceanic catastrophe.

One peculiar characteristic of mangroves is the aerial roots standing upright and crawling on the ground.

One economic value of mangroves is its hard wood. This tree is the oldest tree in this forest, believed to be more than 100 years old.

One thing I appreciate on how this project was done is the way people adjusted to nature. I believe no tree was cut during the process.

The pathway was very long and winding and was made of quality wood that could withstand the challenge of rain, sunshine, and salt water.

It was a long walk and humidity was high. No one could go all the way without stopping for some rest.

This structure is built for viewing the coastal area.

By the time I reached the coast, I was sweaty and my hair was just damp!  But the coast was an incredible sight! I was glad to have 2 cameras with me because one has run out of battery after taking tons of shots.

Aside from those on pictures, I saw snakes, crab, birds, fish, and other tiny creatures thriving there.

On the way to the exit, I saw cultured oysters and .....

... a shrimp pond.
Well, you can imagine how refreshing this trip was for a city girl, and how much seafood was enjoyed the whole time!


We Love Roti, Curry, and Nasi Beriani

One good thing about traveling is the opportunity of enjoying the local food.

Our family have lived in 4 different countries and 3 of those have spicy local food. So my children have learned not to be picky with food. They eat whatever is served on the table, although they have their own favorites. One of the family favorite is a curry dish, anything with curry. I always serve roti with chicken curry dip for breakfast.

This picture was taken during our last trip to Penang.  Dear Daughter (DD) enjoyed her "roti telur" or roti with egg, dipped in curry sauce.

This one is my favorite; Tandoori Chicken with nan bread and curry sauce. Yum!!!

This one is a sweet treat: "roti tissue". It's a crispy, thin roti topped with condensed milk. Perfect desert after a spicy meal. It's called "tissue" because of its thinness.

This is nasi beriani. We fondly call it yellow rice. I bought packets of beriani mix in Malaysia and my homemade nasi beriani tastes authentic! I served it on banana leaves, topped it with spicy chicken meat floss, and sided it with fresh cucumber and pickled ginger. This dish is best eaten by hand. Yummy!  So even at home it feels like we have traveled again.

Come, let's eat!



The Scenery... In Thailand

One pleasant day at Scenery Resort and Farm

When in Thailand, try visiting The Scenery Resort and Farm. It's a good place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy beautiful natural scene and a real farm experience.

The birthday girl @ Scenery Resort

My family's been there to celebrate my daughter's 9th birthday. She requested to have a farm-theme birthday so we thought taking her to a real farm along with her friends would be a more memorable experience. It truly was, and even more than what we expected.

The birthday girl with her friends