Friday, 26 August 2016

Central Festival, Hatyai

Central Festival, Hatyai

Central Festival
Kanchanavanich Road
Hatyai
Songkhla, Thailand

This shopping complex is a must visit for you shopping kakis. Tuk-tuk ride from our hotel (and the area) usually cost 25 THB per person. There are plenty of tuk-tuk in front of the mall but they might try to overcharge. Ride back to Lee Garden Plaza area could reach 30 - 40 THB per person but I refused to pay 120 THB for 4 pax on a shared ride and so the driver agreed on 100 THB upon seeing me checking my phone.

He must have thought that I was about to call another tuk-tuk. Get yourself a local SIM for convenience.

So mengada! But people trying to overcharge you is normal la when you're a tourist. Pay if you're willing, walk away if you aren't.
   
Central Festival Hatyai
First check point

Central Festival is probably the first mall in Southern Thai that I've visited. The shopping complexes in Bangkok had no security check (that I know of, dunno if now got) but it is common in southern states. 

Considering that we visited a few days after the series of bombing in Thailand, we felt secure a bit la seeing all the security details. They check your bags so leave the usual clutters and bring only what's necessary.

The first check point got us into the mall compound. They have a flea market-ish setup in front of the mall. We saw cute socks and shoes and dresses and and soaps and phone cover and I don't remember what else.

Central Festival Hatyai
Second check point to get into the mall

This is a huge mall. Our mission was the phone shops on level 3 (it's like their digital floor) so we didn't get to see much but from what little we saw, I'd say this mall probably have everything under its roof. We saw international brands like Mark & Spencer, Skinfood, Victoria's Secret and H&M. There are lots of eateries and familiar brands like CBTL and Starbucks. If you feel like catching a movie, there's a cinema too! Just check and make sure the language is not in Thai ;)

Central Festival Hatyai

Central Festival Hatyai

Central Festival Hatyai
Clothes selling for cheap (average 200 THB) at temporary kiosks

Nice place to shop la. Especially if you miss The Curve or Midvalley - but with less crowd.

***

Few tips to get cheaper ride in Hatyai:

* Walk a bit from your hotel. Tuk-tuks in front of hotels tend to charge higher price

* Hire car rental from travel agency. They are more willing to bargain as compared to tour agents in hotels

*Stay at a centrally-located hotel. Hotel in a "remote" area means you're at the mercy of (limited/few) tuk-tuk drivers.



Thursday, 25 August 2016

Red Planet Hotel, Hatyai

Red Planet Hotel, Hatyai
Naughty!

Red Planet Hotel
152 - 156 Niphat Uthit 2 Road Chalung
Hat Yai
Songkhla 90110
Thailand

(+66) 74 261 011


The Red Planet Hotel is situated in Hatyai town, less than 30 minutes drive from Hatyai airport. Finding the hotel should be easy as it is right by a busy main road. We took shared airport transfer costing 400 THB per person and was dropped right in front of the hotel.

There were four of us and I had expected rooms next to each other. Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) we got rooms on the same floor but on different sides. I chose the one nearer to the elevator so my roommate and I easily sneaked out to arrange for surprises. Oh did I tell you that this trip was the birthday gift for one of my girlfriends?

 Anyway, this hotel used to be the Tune Hotel so I was pleasantly surprised to find spacious rooms waiting for us. The room was clean, the beds comfortable and even when the other two girls came over to our room, it didn't feel cramped at all.

***

Booking - Easy. Got discount when I booked together with flight via AirAsiaGo

Rate - Excellent value for money. RM293.28 for TWO standard twin room 3D2N

Location - Good. Easy to find. Within walking distance to popular spot (Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel)

Dining - NA

Service - Good. Friendly and helpful reception staff. Check-in was a bit slow but check-out was a breeze


Red Planet Hotel, Hatyai
Entrance on left, bathroom on the right

Red Planet Hotel, Hatyai
TV was a bit small but we only used it for background noise

Red Planet Hotel, Hatyai
Towels and 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner & shower gel provided

Red Planet Hotel, Hatyai
LOVEEEE the space!

Overall 4 <3<3<3<3 of 5 

Other points worth mentioning:

* Qibla (direction to Mecca) sign available in the room
* Power points compatible with Malaysian plugs. I didn't have to use my international adapter
* We got 2 access cards for each room. Yay!
* Need access card to call the elevator. Good security
* Safety box available in room. 
* Thai Odyssey (with rates waaay cheaper than outlets in Malaysia) is in the same building *major love*

^ The road can be quite noisy and we were startled by loud honking/machine whirring a couple of times
^ Drinking water and other basic essentials are available for purchase at reception

If you need mini bar, the superior rooms come with mini fridge and kettle (I think). But hello, it's Hatyai! Go buy bottled water from the 7 Eleven and drink delicious tea and (maybe) coffee from one of the many eateries lah!



Thursday, 18 August 2016

The Alley, Georgetown

The Alley
5 Steward Lane
50200 Georgetown

(+604) 261 3879

The Alley Georgetown

This shop is already famous. 

The Alley Georgetown

The Alley Georgetown


Taste - Hit and miss
Price - Average. RM51.50 for 3 pax
Ambiance - Wood & concrete (raw interior design)

The Alley Georgetown
Tropical punch

They Alley Georgetown
Churros (small) and cronuts

Each churros and cronut come with 1 dip. We asked for extra topping for cronut at additional price. Chocolate dip and Nuttella dip are good. Not sure about the salted caramel. I love the churros but no fan of the cronut.

Overall 3 and 1/2 <3<3<3< of 5


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Yee Mee Spice Soup


Yee Mee Spice Soup

Yee Mee Spice Soup


Hello! Here's another super simple something for you to cook on those lazy days.


Ingredients

• 5 cups water
• 1 tsp Chinese Five-Spice Powder (cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise & sichuan pepper)
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp ground aniseed
• 1 tsp Maggi Cukup Rasa
• 1 tsp chopped coriander
• salt & pepper
• 2 eggs
• 2 bunch yee mee


Steps

1) Boil water. Add spices, Maggi Cukup Rasa, salt & pepper.

2) Crack and beat eggs, pour in pot. Let cook, stir occasionally. 

3) Once boiled, add in yee mee and cook for about 1 minute until soft. Garnish with chopped coriander (or flakes) and serve!


Friday, 5 August 2016

Creameal, Georgetown

Creameal

Creameal

17 Jalan Phuah Hin Leong
10050 Georgetown
Penang


Creameal

I wasn't hungry but I wanted dessert. Well, actually I wanted croissant first. Then, dessert. So after I got my croissant-fix, a friend recommended this place. He even shared pictures of mouth-watering waffles with ice cream on top. 


They also serve proper meals but I am not sure if they are halal *certified*. You can ask nicely when you drop by.

Creameal
Add RM1 for premium ice cream

Taste - Good
Price - Average. RM47.60 for 3 pax
Ambiance - Homey rustic? Do you notice that some of the desks and chairs are like those we had back in school?

Creameal
My double scoop (RM9.90 + RM1.00), waffle 1 scoop (RM8.90 + RM1.00)

The extra RM1 is because we picked one premium ice cream each. The Pomegranate Lavender (sour pomegranate with lavender freshness) and Snickers Black (chocolatey, duh!). Sea Salted Caramel and Green Tea Jasmine are good too. The Caramel wasn't cloyingly sweet and the Green Tea Jasmine was refreshing.

Creameal
Waffle 2 Scoops (RM12.90)

Parking is quite a challenge here so walk if you can. They can serve about 20 pax comfortably so you might want to avoid their busy hours. If you aren't a big eater, order the waffle 2 scoops or 3 scoops and share. The waffle was quite filling.

Overall 3 and 1/2 <3<3<3< of 5



Thursday, 4 August 2016

Laksa Janggus, Balik Pulau

Laksa Janggus

Laksa Janggus
Jalan Kampung Perlis
11020 Balik Pulau
Penang

Hours
Thursday - Sunday : 1530 - 2000 (Close Wednesday)

Laksa Janggus

Taste - Okay
Price - Average
Ambiance - Not very comfortable

Overall <3<3<3 of 5 kisses

Laksa Janggus
Mine without veggie

There was a time when I didn't like laksa except for Johore laksa but that changed after I had laksa with fried egg. See Laksa Telur Goreng Bersarang and Laksa Pokok Limau.

If I had tried Laksa Janggus, I probably still won't be a fan. Don't get me wrong. It's is sedaplah but nothing special. Mine was tasty enough because I asked for no veggie and could still taste the kuah. The normal one with mint and other veggie tasted... sweet. And that's not really the taste you want for your bowl of laksa. To be fair, many people said that this laksa taste delicious so perhaps it was a matter of inconsistent taste?

It was raining when I visited and many of the tables were not cleaned. There was also a bad smell while I was waiting at the table. Considering their popularity, they really should pay more attention to hygiene.

  Queue for laksa and drinks moved quickly but the banana fritters queue took ages. My friend gave up after standing on the same spot for over 10 minutes.


Laksa Janggus
ABC

I won't say my veggie-free bowl of laksa was a disappointment. It tasted good, much better than the one with veggie but it was nothing to rave about. The saviour was the ABC, which was delicious but wasn't really enjoyable because of the 'wrong' weather.