Thursday, January 16, 2020

Review of BlueSotel Krabi AoNang Beach [Thailand] - No Regret Despite the 600 Meters Distance from the Beach #bluesotel #krabi #aonang

Although my last visit was in 2011, I am no stranger to Aonang in Krabi and can still roughly remember the roads, the beach, the McDonalds. Hence, it was extremely difficult choosing the accommodation for my second trip made in November 2019.

Should it be close to the beach or should i sacrifice the convenience for a place with better reviews? After much deliberation, i made payment for BlueSotel Krabi AoNang Beach via Trip.com!

To get to the hotel from Krabi Airport, we took the mini van shuttle which sent us right to its doorstep given the location along the main road. Drawing reference to its namesake, we were welcomed with a small glass of pandan-tasting drink that shone with beautiful blueness.

Starting operations in Year 2015, the 4-star hotel has 7 floors with a total of 130 rooms and commanded a high score of 4.3 from over a thousand reviewers! How not to be tempted right? And it's always nice to review a relatively new hotel in this blog!

Room 2613
Second digit refers to the floor we had been assigned to for the next 3 nights! Once again, blue is obviously the hotel's corporate colour and i am so not complaining as it reminds me so much of the sea.

Knocked a few times before opening the door and finally stepping into 2613! Why bother knocking? It's part of the beliefs we have when it comes to overseas vacations. For more of those beliefs, click here for the Ten Taboos to Note When Staying In a Hotel.

Pictures of the room with wooden furnishing, tiled floor and equipped with basic amenities like electric kettle, fridge, safe, television etc. I am actually not fussy when it comes to hotels and resorts; bed, air-conditioning and an attached shower would be all i ask for.

Bag with two towels; that's a nice touch for customers as the beach is just a walk of less than 600 meters! The only problem is that you wouldn't catch Alex and I bringing out the bag; we would sure be ridiculed.

Mirror shaped like a drop of water!

There's a balcony too! Well, we didn't spend our time eating and drinking beer at the balcony as we very much preferred the air-conditioned comfort of lazing on the bed and watching television. However, the balcony must be credited for being a great place to sun our wet belongings!

Another reason why the balcony wasn't used much; it's too close to the Panan Krabi Resort Aonang and the view of the impressive cliff was about 90% blocked.

Bathroom that had a see-through window looking into the room; if you are shy, you can draw the blinds! Water pressure for the shower was good and i totally enjoyed my time under the rainfall shower.

Common message nowadays to protect the environment; reuse your towels, where possible. I try but it's so nice to smell the freshness of clean towels everyday....

WiFi username and password on the information booklet; I had such a hard time figuring out that i had to give a call to the reception. Network via hotel's WiFi was way better than expected.

Breakfast
Included in our room rate, the buffet breakfast can be had at the Blue’s Restaurant; it's non-air-conditioned but the high ceiling allowed the breeze to come in. There's also an alfresco dining area; beware though, it's a popular spot for the smokers.

Photos of the breakfast we had over three days; in all, no complaint and nothing strikes me as particularly amazing enough for me to remember.

Should you have any food allergy, which is relatively common nowadays, you may check with the staff the ingredients used to make your meal.

Gymnasium
Opened from 6.00 am till 10.00 pm, the fitness room was compact and equipped with just treadmills, weights, yoga mats etc. You get a better view of the majestic cliff from the gym.

Swimming Pool
I said it before and i think it would be good to repeat as i would be eating my words this time; why bother swimming in a man-made pool when the sea is just a few minutes' walk away!?

So yes, i grabbed the towel from my room and proceeded to take a swim at the hotel's pool on the last day of my trip! I didn't want sand in my bag and to be honest, time was limited and i didn't want to walk to and fro under the hot sun!

It was such a relaxing session that i arranged to swim with my niece and nephew when i was back to Singapore. This is coming from a person who has not stepped into a pool for quite a few years and i think i might consider looking out for hotels with pools for my free and easy trips in the future!

So tempted to get a drink and something to munch after the swim from the Twin Palms Bar. Thankfully, there's no one to share the cost and the fats as Alex wanted to rest in the room. 

Baby pool for the toddlers!

Miscellaneous
Prefer to stay in the hotel the whole day? There's an activity programme at Bluesotel where you can register your interest. I didn't bother as i am the kind who prefers to be out of the day. This would be more suitable for Alex but my bet is that his preference would be to laze on the bed the entire day.

Pricing for the resident Blue Orchid Spa and Massage! I am stingy and pretty happy having my therapeutic sessions at the massage parlours along the main road that cost less than half the price.

Book corner! When was your last time holding on to a book? For me, it has to be almost three years and it's surprising given how much i love to read novels and comic books in the past!

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A comfortable stay that did a perfect job in relaxing us over 4 days of stay. If not for the fact that i like to blog on new places, i would have given a 90% chance that i would rebook BlueSotel should i ever be in Krabi again!

Address
778 หมู่ที่ 2 Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District,
Chang Wat Krabi 81180, Thailand

Map

As above.

Website

Pricing
S$265.05 - 3 Nights via Trip.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Chinatown Street Light Up (Night) for Lunar New Year 2020 - Year of The Rat @ Singapore #yearoftherat #chinatownstreetlightup

I am a bit late in sharing the pictures of Chinatown's street light up this year as it has been a darn busy month with work, baking and a short overseas trip! Nonetheless, late is better than never! 

Guess many of you would know which zodiac animal is the upcoming "king" for the new lunar year; it's none other than the rat! Known for its intelligence and craftiness, the rat signifies the start of the new 12-year cycle and there's actually a story of how it managed to win the race. 

After the two furors involving the centerpiece for the pig's year and the mooncake festival in 2019, the designers (students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design) did a pretty good job with the rats; smiley, radiant and bursting with happiness! 

There's a blue ribbon sticking out from the back of the gigantic gold ingot (which acted as a base for the rats) and it led to a grass patch right behind where 11 different zodiac animals were lined up. 

They were lined up in the order of appearance over the 12-year lunar cycle! Remember i spoke of the rat winning the race? You can read the rest of the story here.

In total, there were 1,388 lanterns of which 200 were in the rat-form. You would see the bulk of them at the back, towards Outram Park MRT station, in the middle section separating the busy New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street. 

It's dangerous to just cross the road in order to take a close-up picture with the smaller rats! Please wait until the road closure on Lunar New Year's eve (Friday, 24 January 2020) to have your fill of selfies with the rats; likely with plenty of photo-bombs.

The remaining 1,188 lanterns were in the form of flowers, gold coins and auspicious greetings hung over the roads. Ethnic Chinese loves money and it's evident when the popular well-wishes for lunar new year revolve mainly around wealth and prosperity. 

Decorations along the parallel South Bridge Road didn't raise any eyebrows with mainly flower-shaped lanterns. Having covered the festive decorations for quite a few years now, i must say the best so far for South Bridge Road was during the snake year

Of course it's a must to take some photos at this vantage point overlooking the centrepiece! It's no longer a secret but that's hardly surprising when even i had blogged about its location before. You may read further over here

Only one thing i lacked was a tripod to shoot better photographs! 

For a conservative society like Singapore where we believe in monogamy, marriage between man and woman etc, is there anything amiss that you notice from the centrepiece? 

I can spot the dad and the little kids. For the two characters next to the dad, am i right to assume they were of the fairer sex and likely wives? Hm... that's polygamy right and from my understanding, that's illegal in Singapore! Oh well, they could jolly well be helpers too.... 

Whatever the case, that's for the netizens to debate. My friends and i were not concerned over it and preferred to spend our time taking useless pictures like the above which were hard without sunlight / a tripod.

There shall be another post on the street bazaar and i sure hope it would be published by this Sunday since lunar new year is only about a week's away! Time flies and it's amazing that even i am meeting a new milestone in age this year.

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Period for the Street Light-Up
Until 22 February 2020 

Website 

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