Khao Yai Travelogue 3: Dasada – The Flower Es’Senses Resort

Following our day exploring Khao Yai, we headed to our second hotel Dasada- The Flower Es’Senses Resort. It was about an hour by car from Hotel La Casetta by Toscana Valley. At the resort, you find yourself immersed in the lush foliage and relaxing atmosphere. It is indeed both a luxurious and revitalising experience staying there.

dsc07218dsc07221

We reserved a Deluxe Room, which comes with a spacious bathroom, two double beds and an in room day bed. Also, waiting for us on the table was a complimentary plate of fruits!

dsc07223dsc07226dsc07227

We made it in time for their water fountain show at 7pm.

dsc07233dsc07243dsc07247dsc07253dsc07259

After the show, which was in Thai and lasted for about half an hour, we walked over to The Bloom restaurant for dinner. The restaurant has no relation to The Bloom by TV Pool

Continue reading

Khao Yai Travelogue 2: The Bloom, The Chocolate Factory and Farm Chokchai

Seeing that we had time constraints on our side as our stay at Khao Yai was limited to two nights, there was not a lot of places we could hit there. Travelling alone to Khao Yai took almost the afternoon, we had only one full day left before we headed back to Bangkok.

There are many interesting things to do in Khao Yai, namely night safari at the national park, feeding alpacas at Primo Piazza and many others. However, due to communication breakdown, we did not manage to go for either of those (they told us that Primo Piazza was closed). Hence, we narrowed down our itinerary to The Bloom, The Chocolate Factory and Farm Chokchai and got a driver for the whole day for 3,500Baht.

khao-yai

After checking out of Hotel La Casetta by Toscana Valley before lunch time, we headed first for The Bloom by TV Pool. It is the largest flower garden in the vicinity, with over 100 acres of flower fields and more than 30 specifies of flowers. The garden is opened year round and admission is free.

dsc07086dsc07072dsc07075dsc07077

We did not stay long to appreciate the flowers as it was scorching! A good time to visit would be in the early morning or later in the evening.

The Bloom by TV Pool
357 Moo 5 Tambon Prayayen Amphur Pakchong, Khao Yai National Park, Khao Yai, Thailand 30320
Tel: 044-756336 ext. 0, 087-799-9555
Opening Hours:
Opens daily from 0700-2000hrs

Continue reading

Khao Yai Travelogue 1: Hotel La Casetta by Toscana Valley

I started planning my trip to Khao Yai months ago after a good friend sent me an article on ’14 Unique Hotels in Magical Khao Yai- 3 Hours Drive from Bangkok’. There were many charming and interesting hotels featured, but only three that caught my eye and had excellent ratings, namely Thames Valley Khao Yai, Lala Mukha Tented Resort and Hotel La Casetta by Toscana Valley.

However, even as I was booking the hotel months ahead, Thames Valley and Lala Mukha Tented Resort were already fully booked! And so, I was left with Hotel La Casetta. I booked Hotel La Casetta though my trusty hotel booking website, Booking.com. It had a rating of 8.4/10 and positive reviews.

Finally, after months of planning and anticipation, I finally got to fly there!

dsc06942dsc06946Untitled.png

The best way to get to Khao Yai is to fly to Bangkok and arrange for a private car to take you there. The drive took us a full three hours, with a short toilet break for the driver. Prior to flying, I did quite a bit of price comparison and the most reasonable rate was by Thai National Parks. They offered a spacious station wagon and a round trip from Khao Yai to Bangkok at 4,600 Baht. Furthermore, they were extremely helpful and prompt in their replies.

Since the journey was going to be long, my friends and I headed to the second floor of the airport to buy some food to tide us over till we got there. We were stuck at the customs for more than an hour, so we only left the airport around 3pm. The sun had set when we pulled into our hotel. But, even though it was dark, we could still bask in the beautiful setting of Toscana Valley.

dsc06948

We took almost an hour to check in because the staff only knew minimal English. It was so bad that they thought 2000hrs was 2pm. We were trying to arrange for a night safari, which Khao Yai is famous for, as well as transport around Khao Yai during the day. However, they did not work with any tour operators or even taxi companies. After getting nowhere with the night safari and a taxi driver who did not know English, we went to our rooms.

dsc06955dsc06963dsc06962dsc06966

We had reserved a Casetta Loft, which came with one queen and two twin beds. The bathroom was quite huge, with a shower stall and a bathtub. From the window, you get a view of the mountains and the swimming pool. With nothing much left to do after unpacking, we decided to head to the Town Square for dinner.

Continue reading

Sunkist Moments Blogger Event

Untitled13

I went for my first ever cookout yesterday! It was my first time at a cookout because I am a horrible cook and nobody ever associates me with cooking, hence I have never been invited to one. Despite the fact that my group only has one person who can cook, we had a lot of fun together! Ok, more about that later.

IMG_4090

It was a Sunkist event at Cookyn Inc, so we incorporated their oranges in all our dishes, from the appetisers to the desserts! I never knew that there were four different types of oranges–Naval, Cara Cara, Valencia and Blood. The ones that we commonly see around the supermarkets are the Valencias and Navals.

Blood oranges, as the name suggests, has a dramatic bright red colouration. It also contains anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes the effects of free radicals. On the other hand, Cara Cara is pinkish red, rather similar to grapefruit, and has a tangy cranberry-like taste.

We got to work with the Valencia and Cara Cara.

IMG_4085

My cousin accompanied me to the event and we met my Instagram friend, Alain, and his wife-to-be Reina. I got to meet some of my other Instagram friends like Izzah, Lirong and Vivienne for the first time,  but did not manage to take any photos with some of them.

Our first station was the Sangria station, where we mixed our drinks.

Continue reading

Capriocciosa: Italian food by Japanese

After work I went to meet my mum at Capriocciosa, an Italian restaurant at JCube. It was a rather interesting restaurant as the original chef was a Japanese who went to Italy to study cooking. Back then it was still rare for that occurrence to happen. He went back to Japan and open his Italian restaurant. From there, it became a chain of restaurants.

20120527-185109.jpg

20120527-185123.jpg

20120527-185128.jpg
The decor was bright and full of contrasting textures.

20120527-185133.jpg

20120527-185138.jpg
Love latte! Probably my favourite type of coffee. The layers are so pretty!

20120527-185142.jpg
Huge huge tuna and calamari salad with house dressing. I have a thing for tuna salad. No matter what dressing, it is still good.

20120527-185146.jpg
The pepperocini with steamed chicken was similar to aglio olio but more soupy. I would have preferred it to be more spicy.

20120527-185151.jpg
The pappardelle (very broad fettuccine) with porcini and eringi mushrooms was fantastic. Never had such a broad pasta before and the pasta was freshly made. Great dish!

Affordable place and great location for lunch and dinner. Will definitely be back for more fresh pasta!

Dim sum and coffee

Ivy came back from England for a month and we managed to catch up during lunch today at Red Star. It’s a traditional dim sum restaurant which still utilises trolleys and stamp cards. Rare find in Singapore nowadays when people honour efficiency over tradition. Felt like I was having dim sum in Hong Kong. The restaurant is situated on top of a multi storey carpark at Chin Swee Road.

20120520-162420.jpg
When we first got there, the restaurant was already packed but we still managed to get a seat quickly. The people who came later weren’t so lucky and the queue extended all the way out of the restaurant and down the stairs.

20120520-162445.jpg
The egg tart was fantastic and freshly out of the oven. Rich custard filling in a buttery puff pastry. Yum!

20120520-162451.jpg
The spare ribs were good too. Another dim sum must have. Tender and succulent and in bite sized pieces.

20120520-162456.jpg
The Phoenix chicken was strongly recommended by the waitress as their signature dish which was more famous than their egg tarts. I found it average only.

20120520-162500.jpg
I had to try their bo luo custard bun. However after being pampered with all the molten custard buns, this did not do it for me.

20120520-162505.jpg
We also had the siew mai which is minced pork wrapped in dough.

20120520-162510.jpg
The dessert we had was one of my favourite dish there but I dare say many westerners would find it revolting–durian crepe!

After lunch we headed to Dempsey Road to hang out and catch up over coffee. One of the best cafes to do that is Jones the Grocer.

20120520-162522.jpg

20120520-162527.jpg

20120520-162531.jpg
Siyu had coffee which came in their speciality cups.

20120520-162536.jpg
I had the peppermint chocolate chip milkshake. It wasn’t anything to brag about but definitely a good drink on a humid day.

20120520-162540.jpg
We took some Polaroids using Siyu’s camera and Hello Kitty film!

EwF & Piqué Nique

I haven’t been blogging for quite some time so this post is going to serve as a double dosage as I have two interesting cafes to introduce.

First is Everything with Fries at Bugis Junction also known as EwF. It is tucked away at a high up corner next to the cinema. Every main course comes with a serving of fries and you even have choice of seasoning for your fries. Other than than, you can also expect sweet desserts and a variety of drinks. I made my trip there for a meal with Ivy, a good friend of mine.

20120517-061344.jpg

20120517-061400.jpg

20120517-061424.jpg
I had the special–pan seared barramundi with truffle oil fries. The portion was too much for me. The cooking style did not bring out how fresh the fish actually was as the caramelisation caused the surface to be too crispy.

20120517-061418.jpg

20120517-061431.jpg

20120517-061438.jpg
Ivy had the lamb shank burger with sour cream fries. Similar to mine, the serving was too big for her. She managed to polish off her lamb shank which was a bit dry and some of her fries.

20120517-061444.jpg
We finished our meals with coffee. Sadly we didn’t have space in our stomachs for dessert.

20120517-061450.jpg

20120517-061457.jpg
The second place I have for you is Piqué Nique at JCube. The cafe has an interesting decor and tantalizing pictures of food all over their walls.

20120517-061503.jpg

20120517-061508.jpg
Presentation of all food and drinks were tastefully done and the food was of superior quality.

20120517-061512.jpg
The chocoroco cake was recommended by the waitress and it was sinful.

20120517-061517.jpg
My sis has the norwegian egg benedict. The eggs were runny (yum) and the smoked salmon was fine.

Both places are good for hangouts and catching up with friends.