I know i should probably start with publishing my China trip post but i'll do one of my Singapore/Bangkok trip 1st:)
Singapore Dec 28th-2nd Jan 2012 (NYE in Singapore):
I went to Singapore after 9 years (last time being Jan 2003!) and it has changed alot...so many malls and foreigners (or as the Sg govt likes to call them, foreign talent)around...like all the service people are mainly filipinos and mainland chinese...my mom joined me for our 1st overseas travel in years (altho its only Singapore) and we walked around Chinatown hearing all this northern/mainland Chinese accent wondering where we were..haha..Singapore is a nice place to visit if you haven't been before or haven't been in a long while..but i wouldn't go every year..haha..went to the new Casino Marina Bay Sands, very impressed with the shopping mall attached to it, very classy, felt like in another country or something, but everything very expensive...also visited Sentosa Island, Chinese Gardens, Punggol Park Connector, Kampong Glam, Little India, Orchard Road, Dempsey Hill, Bukit Timah area looking at the elite schools such as Raffles JC, Chinese High, etc..most importantly, my trip was about meeting people, old friends whom i haven't seen in years..one friend over 7 yrs and another almost as long as well..it was a nice feeling sitting in their cars having them drive me around and also both married now..so different from our uni days..another friend i hadn't seen in 10 yrs..took me around to places like Old Airport Road Hawkers Centre, Holland V, Haw Par Villa,etc..it was nice reminiscening..also spent New Year's Eve in Singapore...and of cos, tried Hainanese Chicken Rice incl at Mandarin Orchard Hotel and Yanting Dim Sum at the St Regis ( i think!!)
Was nice catching up with my mom as well..
Bangkok Dec 24th-27th 2011 (Christmas in Bangkok):
As for Bangkok, it was over 5 years since i went last (mid-2006 being my last time) and i really wondered what took me so long!! I took Emirates Airlines for my BKK/SG trip and i was lucky enough to get a seat during the Christmas peak season for a cheap price ($1300 plus i think!) as i booked it like merely 10 days before flying (as this Christmas trip was really very very last min) and i guess the airline lowered the price thinking no one would buy so last min and thus still wanted to sell out the empty seats..actually the ticket even went down to $1,200 the day after i had bought my ticket..this is cheap compared to the $1800+ tickets for all other airlines so i was VERY lucky!
Anyways, Bangkok was heaven as expected with cheap delicious food, fabulous stylish cool clothes,etc and even though i had barely returned from my China 3 weeks vacation in mid-November and told myself not to spend money buying stuff in Bangkok and just spend on food+sightseeing, i still ended up spending quite abit on clothes in bangkok (and alittle in Singapore)..i mean how could you not in a city like Bkk??!!!
The clothes and shopping at Chatuchak Market was to-die-for (as expected!) and the food in Bkk is AMAZING...so cheap too..i also managed to have Coca Steamboat which i always loved since young in Penang when they had a branch back then..and shopped around Siam Square, Siam Paragon, Central World, MBK Centre,etc...managed to squeeze in 10 mins at the new(ish) Terminal 21 Shopping Mall in Sukhumvit and also sat on one of those "scooter taxis" which they only have in Bkk!! I actually ask the scooter guy to take me to a specific MRT station despite knowing full well i could simply take the MRT subway right in front of my eyes and they kept pointing to the subway entrance and when i insisted (we had communication problems due to me not knowing Thai and them not knowing English) he took me i'm sure thinking what a dumb farang (foreigner) n what an easy buck to make...i met up with a highschool friend whom i haven't met in over 10 yrs and spent Christmas dinner with her..it was nice considering how both of us didn't really change all that much in appearance nor personality in the intervening years..
I also met up and stayed the last night at my Thai friend's place whom i had known from my Japanese language exchange days back at Keio University in Tokyo for one semester in 2005. Nice to meet her parents and sister again too!!:) Anyways, loved the food, culture, and people of Thailand even more this time round and determined to come bck again sometime in the near future..not another 5 1/2 yrs again!
Alright, gonna start writing my China Autumn Trip 2011 now,...