Balkans Travelogue 5: Kotor, Montenegro

From Dubrovnik, we took a day tour to Kotor, which is a coastal town in Montenegro and the only town on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is also one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and hence, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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The first thing you notice about the town is the fortifications, which are about 4.5km long and have been around for centuries.

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The Saint Tryphon Cathedral, which was built in 1166, but was damaged during two massive earthquakes, one in 1667 and another in 1979. It had to be rebuilt after both disasters.

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Balkans Travelogue 4: Ston and Dubrovnik

We travelled from Zadar to Split and finally to the town of Ston, which is located at the Southern tip of Croatia. The journey from Split to Ston took half of the day.

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To get to Ston, we had to go through immigration at Bosnia and back into Croatia again. The checkpoint was quite efficient.

As we got closer to Ston, we noticed a great wall. The inner Walls of Ston surrounding the town is about 890m in length and the one outside town was about 5km. The 14th-century wall was initially about 7km long, but there was some demolition work done by the government, and the stones were taken to build other facilities.

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We had fish for lunch (again).

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Balkans Travelogue 3: Zadar, Croatia

Our next stop was Zadar, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia.

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One of a kind Sea Organ, an architectural feat! It is hard to capture from this angle as this is the back of the organ, but what happens here is that music is created by the sea waves entering the tubes located underneath. You can see many people sitting along the organ, just admiring the view and the harmonic sounds.

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The Church of Saint Donatus, which is circular in shape and 27m high.

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The Landward Gate, with the Lion of Saint Mark, a symbol of the Republic of Venice. Zadar was conquered by Venice from 1202 to 1358 and 1409 to 1797, and the legacy is still evident.

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Balkans Travelogue 2: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

I must state that December was definitely not the best month to visit the scenic national park of Plitvice Lakes. The trees were barren, and the colours turned out quite cold in pictures. As I was researching about the location, the best period seems to be Autumn when the leaves turn to various shades of yellow, orange and red.

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The national park is the oldest in Southeast Europe and the largest in Croatia. It boasts 16 lakes with 92 cascades and waterfalls, making it a World Heritage Site in 1979. dsc09796dsc09800dsc09805dsc09817

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Balkans Travelogue 1: Pula, Croatia

I apologise for the lack of posts as I was overseas! First to Europe and then to Thailand. Here is the first of my Balkans Travelogue series.

In the early part of December, I travelled to Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, before making a side trip to Venice. Our first stop in Croatia was Pula, a city known for its Romanesque architecture, located by the sea.

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Before reaching Pula, we stopped at a rest stop for lunch. There, we found a restaurant called Restavracij In Picerija, where we had pasta. The servings of the Carbonara and Bolognese were so huge that two people could share one plate. We spent 22 Euro on the meal and drinks.

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The Pula Arena, which was constructed between 27BC to 68AD and is one of the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world. The exterior is still structurally intact, and now the well-preserved amphitheatre is now used as a venue for concerts.

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Basil Thai Kitchen’s Flagship Outlet Now Open at Paragon!

Basil Thai Kitchen has opened their flagship and second outlet at Paragon Shopping Centre! The restaurant is famous for its extensive menu of Thai dishes specially put together by Iron Chef Thailand, Chumpol Jangprai, who has over 20 years of experience. Customers of this home-grown brand and lovers of Thai food can now choose to dine at this centrally located outlet or their first outlet at Kallang Wave Mall.

Drinks

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Honey Butterfly Pea with Lime ($3.90). Not my first time trying it, but I love the colouration of this drink every time! It tastes a bit like agar agar to me.

Appetisers

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Tao Khua ($9.90). Assorted boiled vegetables served with  battered crisp fried prawns, shredded chicken breast, rice vermicelli, stalks of Thai kang kong and homemade sweet and spicy dressing.

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Laab Gai ($8.90). Minced chicken salad tossed in fresh lime juice, chilli padi, roasted puffed rice and herbs. This is what I term as “slow heat”–the spiciness kicks in after a while.

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Poa Pia Boran ($9.90). Thai spring rolls with black fungus, glass noodles, minced chicken and bamboo shoots.The preparation of this dish is not as simple as it sounds as it requires individual preparation of each ingredient before putting them together to form a dish.

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Spago by Wolfgang Puck at MBS

Located on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands, right next to the famous infinity pool is Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck‘s second restaurant Spago. The fine dining restaurant serves Californian cuisine with global accents.

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Starters

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Big Eye Tuna Tartare Cones, which came with chilli aioli, soy, wasabi, shaved bonito, scallions and masago (capelin roe). This dish while delicious was not exactly memorable.

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Chicken ‘Laksa’ Spring Roll. I was pleasantly surprised to find authentic laksa rice vermicelli and chicken chunks wrapped in the roll. The roll was then served with calamansi, chilli padi and laksa leaf. An extremely filling dish perfect for sharing.

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