Golden Gate Bridge, Photography, San Francisco, United States

California Travelogue – (Part 3): Golden Gate Bridge

One of the best highlights of our trip to west coastwas the visit to the Golden Gate Bridge, an iconic structure connecting the city of San Francisco to Marin County, California.

The seafloor features including large sand waves and rock pinnacles.

A stroll down the bridge can get pretty busy and touristy during the day. We just need to be patient to get the perspective shots we need.

And this makes her a really happy girl.

The Golden Gate Bridge is known as the engineering feat and iconic of so many aspects of American culture and history.

We were glad to carve out the time to pay this iconic site a visit. For both, they finally made a mark on this special spot in San Francisco.

Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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China, Food, Growing Up, Harbin, Harbin Flood Control Memorial Tower 哈尔滨防洪纪念塔, Harbin Polar Land, Katong Kids Inc, Photography, Siberian Tiger Park, The Idea Box

Harbin Family Travel – What to do in Winter?

Our visit to Harbin, the renowned ‘Ice City’, located in the south of Heilongjiang Province. This city is favored with beautiful natural scenery and re-living the fond memories of our stay with little ones.

We tried the northeastern Chinese dish, otherwise known as Tie Guo Dun 铁锅顿 at Zhongyang Pedestian Street.

The ingredients of the stew are simmered to its best in this deep metal pot.

It will take a while but the finished product is rewarding.

Tasty!

Zhongyang Pedestrian Street is about 1.5km long and is always filled with festive atmosphere all year round. This is the main street where tourists would never fail to check off their bucket list.

Harbin means snow, and abundance of it!

Everywhere is considered a playground for the kids!

Street food at its best. Don’t forget to try the red sausage (hong chang), bingtang hulu (fruits on a stick, covered in toffee), and the ice cream which never melt during winter.

Zhaolin Park is located at the bank of Songhua River. In winter, the park becomes a silver world with ice and snow. As can see, the Songhua River is frozen.

Skiing in Harbin, one of the fun activities to do.

Harbin cuisine..

The Sun Island Scenic Area lies on the north bank of the Songhua River in Harbin City, where Harbin Ice and Snow Festival takes place every Jan to Mar.

Harbin Polarland is the first polar land themed park combining animal shows, polar land sights and an interactive experience into one.

Siberian Tiger Park is a big-must to visit attraction. The park is really huge where it consists of young tiger area, the mature tiger area, the king tiger area, a walking area and a platform for viewing the tigers.

Buying live prey to feed the tigers. Watching from the bus.

Keep snowing away..

The sight was surreal.

The average night temperature is -20°C and the kids were just loving it. What a rare opportunity to be soaked in such weather.

We blogged our Harbin trip here.

Harbin 哈尔滨 Travelogue – (Part 1): Holiday Inn Harbin City Centre, Zhongyang Dajie 中央大街, Euro Plaza, Mykal Mall and Saint Sophia Cathedral 圣索菲亚教堂

 

Harbin 哈尔滨 Travelogue – (Part 2): Jiuzhan Park 九站公园, Stalin Park 斯大林公园, Sun Island  (Tai Yang Dao) 太阳岛, Harbin Polar Land, Siberian Tiger Park 哈尔滨东北虎林园, Harbin Flood Control Memorial Tower 哈尔滨防洪纪念塔 and Zhongyang Dajie 中央大街

 

Harbin 哈尔滨 Travelogue – (Part 3): Russian Town, Harbin 哈尔滨植物園, Ji Le Temple 极乐寺, Confucius Temple 哈尔滨文庙 and Teresa Teng Music Restaurant

 

Harbin 哈尔滨 Travelogue – (Part 3): Scoot Off to The Wintriest Harbin with Kids!

 

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Cape Chinen, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Education, Food, Japan, Okinawa World

Okinawa Travelogue – (Part 4): Cape Chinen, Okinawa World, Gyokusendo Cave and Lieta Nakayama

Okinawa is famous for its capes. We drove up to explore Cape Chinen, a well-known beauty spot in Okinawa which is located in the southern area of the main island of Okinawa.

Passed by lovely little villages.

Cape Chinen

Common to find free parking.

It can get very windy when visiting outdoor attractions in Okinawa.

Visitors can choose to walk further up to enjoy the beauty of nature.

It started to drizzle again and we decided to stay under the shelter.

Make a stop at Cape Chinen Park and observe panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. When comes to the night, it makes a clear spot for stargazing.

Okinawa World

Okinawa World (おきなわワールド) is a touristy theme park about Okinawan culture. The park’s main attractions are a massive natural cave, a craft village and a snake museum.

Okinawa World consists of Kingdom Village, Habu Park and Gyokusendo Cave. Expect to spend about 3 hours to discover the entire attractions.

Much attention was given to the Gyokusendo Cave as we arrived rather late. With a length of about 5km, this is the longest of the many caves in the south of Okinawa Island and the second longest cave in the entire country.

The cave is well-lit and cooling.

A natural museum beautifully carved over 300,000 years. Ceiling of the spears.

The blue fountain.

Within Okinawa World, we also explored the Kingdom Village and tropical orchards.

There are some 450 tropical trees that bear 100 types of fruits like mango, papaya, pineapple and such.

At the Craft Village, take a look on how the locals recycle empty bottles and transform them into charming Ryukyuan glass.

Walk a further in and we saw the Ryukyuan photo museum. Photo-taking in traditional clothing is popular among tourists. Recall that in the past, only royalty and the gentry wore them.

They loved it!

Lastly, the Nanto Brewery opened our eyes to see how they made habu snake liquor.

We had our dinner at the Food Market..

To stroll the tempting displays of food selection is to embrace Okinawa’s food culture.

We really like the way shopping malls put up these cooked food for customers to buy. The best part was the reasonable prices as one can see.

A microwave oven is placed near the cashier for us to warm up the food.

And this was how we settled our hunger pangs.

You need to pay toll fees when driving through Okinawa expressway. In fact, it cost more paying toll fees than petrol during the trip.

How not to make a pit stop when A&W appears.

Big and Small M are fans of American food!

We moved to our second hotel stay at Leita Nakayama. We booked this hotel as it is near to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and not expensive.

It was a pleasant surprise that the hotel room was really big and we didn’t realise.

It comes with 2 bathrooms, 2 toilets, 1 bedroom with 2 beds and a living room. Washing machine, dryer, fridge, microwave oven and cutlery are provided.

This is the beautiful view from the hotel’s balcony.

Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

 

American Village, Car, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Food, Growing Up, Japan, Okinawa, Shopping, Shuri Castle, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveler Wifi, Tsuboya Pottery District, Umikaji Terrace, Vacation

Okinawa Travelogue – (Part 3): Tsuboya Pottery District, Shuri Castle, Umikaji Terrace and American Village

It is more convenient to travel around Okinawa by driving. It was raining most of the time but we didn’t forgo visiting Tsuboya Pottery District.

Tsuboya Pottery District

Traditional houses with red earthenware roof tiles, accompanied by ceramic studios and stores.

Cute little huts showcasing one-of-a-kind mugs, plates, and pitchers.

Shuri Castle

We visited Shuri Castle on our next stop. Shuri is the name of the former capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Shuri Castle (首里城, Shurijō) served as the residence of the Ryukyu kings for several centuries until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879.

The place was huge and expect lots of walking.

The castle interior is very clean and visitors are required to take off their shoes (carriers are provided). Interiors of the Hokuden and Nanden are constructed like modern museums.

A replica of the king’s throne and crown are among the exhibits.

Traditional Japanese dance by the boys.

And we tried the traditional snacks!

The most famous and popular dessert in Okinawa is the Blue Seal Ice Cream.

Big and Small M satisfied their cravings after completing the tour of Shuri castle.

Umikaji Terrace

The Umikaji terrace is situated on a hill below the Senagajima onsen Hotel. This place has the romantic feel as planes flew above us while we sight the beautiful sea view right in front of us.

A tiring climb up the flights of stairs to the peak and discover the beautiful views.

The terrace is close to the beach and the sea waters are generally mild and peaceful for one to explore the area.

The waters of Okinawa are so clear!

Tacos restaurants, ice cream shops and cafes literally packed the terrace.

Greece and Mediterranean vibes, that’s what everyone acclaimed after a visit to the Umikaji Terrace.

Umikaji Terrace

We drove further up north and reached the Mihama American Village, which is a large entertainment complex located in central Okinawa. Actually the American Village is not so fantastic but we supposed it is still a need-to-check-out attraction.

There is this Ramen shop outside the American Village and many diners flock to eat here.

Their ramen was one of the best we ever tried!

Our tasty orders, look at the thick broth.

The most recognizable feature of the American Village is the large Ferris wheel.

The shopping mall is not huge but there is this 100 Yen shop which is a nice store to find good items.

Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Cafe, Photography, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveler Wifi, Vacation, Wifi Router

Okinawa Travelogue – (Part 1): Naha Airport, Urban Monorial, Mercure Okinawa Naha, Kokusai Street and Heiwa Dori

This is our first very trip to Japan, and what a way to start off with Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture comprising in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan’s mainland. Nicknamed the Japanese Hawaii, it is not difficult to see the influence of chinese and americans on this sunny island.

Naha Airport

Thanks to Jetstar, visitors can finally get to Okinawa on a 5-hour direct flight from Singapore. The Naha Airport is very clean and neat.

As usual, we would hit the brochures rack after clearing the customs. We forgotten to bring our itinerary and the travel guides were really a life-saver.

We would be driving but not on our first day. The length of Okinawa is about 100km from North to South so driving is easy and a must to visit more attractions. However, we heard that the Monorail is very efficient and connect conveniently to Naha City. It would be a shame not to try the Monorail as a tourist.

On our way to the monorail, we were fascinated by the stores that we spent about 2 hours browsing through the lovely japanese products!

Guessed we were not the only one, there were visitors glued to the Naha airport shopee.

A must-try taro tart from Okinawa.

Okinawa Urban Monorail

The Okinawa Urban Monorail, also known as Yui Rail, is a monorail line in Naha.

We bought day-tickets valid for 24-hour where we could take limitless rides. It cost about SGD35 for 4 of us. The time will start the moment the ticket is being tapped.

The seats were kind of low but the ride was very smooth, especially with the playing of lovely music during each announcement.

Our accommodation is Mercure Okinawa Naha which is right in front of the Yui Monorail Station“Tsubogawa”.

There’s our hotel, so near!

Mercure Okinawa Naha

We booked this hotel because it was one of the cheapest we could find in Naha and it was close to the city. The hotel room was small but we decided to stay here cos’ it has a car rental counter at the hotel lobby. We could collect and return the car over here.

Rented our hybrid (which we would share more later) from DH Rental Car.

Kokusaidori Street

Kokusaidōri, literally “International Road”) is Naha‘s main street, stretching for roughly two kilometers through downtown Naha.

This is the iconic spot for photography in Naha main street, just outside the monorail station.

Look at these little children on an excursion and they were having a sing-along session.

Souvenir stores selling Okinawa goodies.

Kokusaidori is lined by restaurants, cafes and departmental stores. It is similar to the Orchard Road of Singapore. Most stores would close by 10pm.

Here is where we can find special Calbee products. The exterior is brightly-colored and instagram-worthy for many hipsters.

Okinawa is sunny and warm, so there is not a need to bring thick clothing during the summer.

This is our favourite place for meals – YUI Garden.

The food were amazing cheaper compared to the streets and the quality were superb.

We had our lunch here.

Do you find such prices in Singapore?

Heiwa Dori

Heiwa dori is a covered shopping arcade featuring many shops, supermarkets and convenience stores that sell beauty products and local snacks.

A certain allure to this picture – a life of the locals.

And we tried the local snacks…

About $1 per piece.

Small fish market at the corner.

It cost about $85 for a steamed crab. Not cheap.

But it’s the walking along the streets and exploring little alleys that makes discovering Okinawa so special.

Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Coffee, Food, Growing Up, Ipoh, Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre, Kids Activities, Malaysia, Parenting, Photography, Products, Review, Shopping, The Idea Box, Travel, Travel Blog, Vacation, WEIL Hotel

WEIL Hotel Ipoh – Beautiful Hotel, Memorable Stay

It was our first time visiting Ipoh and apart from enjoying everything what this lovely town has to offer, our trip was made even more memorable by the hotel we stayed.

Welcome to the WEIL Hotel, Ipoh.

When it comes to scouting on the best leisure and family accommodation, refreshing swimming pools and delectable food to indulge in, WEIL Hotel could very well be the answer to your travel needs.

Upon arriving at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport after an hour flight, our next destination would typically be the hotel. All thanks to its close proximity to the airport, we hardly had time to warm our seats before realising that we had arrived at the hotel after only less than 10 mins (6km)!

We arrived happily and left happily. There are many reasons why we would return to WEIL Hotel again.

Beautiful Lobby – Where You Find Space to Chill

If our short, magical stay were to mean anything, the best takeaway from this stay would be the warm customer service we experienced. The hotel had it nailed and we felt safe and comfortable the moment we stepped into this place.

The lobby looked very new, spacious and guests would be pleased to see there were many armchairs placed for them to chill.

Superior Suite

The Superior Room comes with a size of between 32 sqm to 39 sqm. “WOW” is the magic word to describe when one enters the superior suite.

The room was equipped with a king-sized bed, a study desk and chair, armoire, safe, and a fine stand for luggage.

With crisp linens and soft pillows, it would not be hard to have a comfortable night’s sleep!

The hotel also provides a smart phone for traveler to use.

I loved the large well-equipped bathroom where large fluffy towels and face cloths were supplied sufficiently.

Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre – Adjoined to WEIL Hotel

Being inter-connected to Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre was a big plus to staying at the WEIL Hotel. During our stay, it was so convenient to dine and shop at the shopping centre at the same time.

With such a big mall, it was inevitable not to eye the all of the shops, kiosks, and food outlets!

Departmental Store – Parkson

Entertainment – Golden Screen Cinema (GSC), K Box Karaoke, Laser Battle

Pharmacy – Watson’s, Guardian, Caring Pharmacy

Apparels & Jewellery – Hush Puppies, Uniqlo, FOS, Voir Gallery, Minoshe, Lazo Diamond, City Time

Books & Stationery – Popular

Food & Beverage – Sushi Tei, Dave’s Deli, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Chicken Rice Shop, Marrybrown, Subway, Starbucks Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Shihlin Taiwan Street Snack, Kopitiam Avenue, Llaollao

Services – Pahlawan Money Changer, Rosemary Floral & Gift, Imax Internet Cafe

Convenience Store – Qbiz

Grocery Store – Jaya Grocer

Breakfast @ The TIFFIN

TIFFIN offers a relaxed ambience where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Known for its popular Nasi Lemak and Roti Canai, it is no surprising that TIFFIN is a favourite among the hotel guests.

A hearty breakfast!

Take a Dip in the Pool!

Where kids would go crazy over this huge infinity pool. Your vacation would not be completed without dipping into the refreshing water.

No matter whether it is day or night, the pool offers beautiful panoramic view of the town of Ipoh.

How about chilling out here in an al fresco dining concept at the Cabana?

The Rooftop Gastro Bar Restaurant

The Deck Gastrobar is a rooftop bar at WEIL Hotel.

Situated at level 13, we can choose al fresco dining or chill out here. On the weekends, this place will come with a live band to keep guests entertained! They have also introduced the Live@The Deck serie, which highlights entertainment by live bands on Thursday & Friday and DJs from KL on Saturdays.

How true is that!

Yuk Sou Hin – A Favorite for Locals & Tourists Alike

We were recommended to the food at Yuk Sou Hin, a pork free Chinese restaurant, where we could also experience the authentic dishes of Ipoh. Their signature Smoked Duck with lychee wood is a must-try dish 🙂

Food lovers, especially Malays who enjoy Chinese food, will definitely love this.

When it comes to a delicious Chinese cuisine and dim sum, Yuk Sou Hin certainly delivers one of the best authentic dishes in Ipoh. We had dim sum breakfast here and these orders relished our mouthful of happiness!

Yoga @ The Lawn

To engage the guests, the hotel also held Community Yoga Session at its rooftop area – The Lawn.

The busyness of life can cause a ton of anxiety and take a toll on your health, and yoga can be the  perfect workout for loosening up and destressing. The participants were up here early in the morning working out and practicing their moves.

Nearby Attractions

An accommodation like no other, WEIL Hotel is located close to many attractions which you can read in Ipoh Travelogue here.

Concubine Lane, where we experience the charm of Ipoh old town.

Kong Heng Square, where hipster cafes and boutique shops gave modern trendy feel to the surroundings.

Tong Sui Kai (Dessert Street), where it becomes one of the most happening places in Ipoh when the sun sets.

Memory Lane, where it is the best place to go to for rare and secondhand items at reasonable prices.

Kelle’s Castle, where it offers one of the most instagram-worthy spots in Ipoh!

The next time you’re in Ipoh, be sure that WEIL Hotel will make your stay memorable in every possible ways!

WEIL Hotel

Website / Bookings: http://www.weilhotel.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weilhotel/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/weilhotel/

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Coffee, Concubine Lane, Eat, Education, Food, Ipoh, Malaysia, The Idea Box, Thean Chun, Vacation

Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 4): Coffeeshops, Street Food and Sights

Walking around Ipoh and can’t help but fall in love with these buildings and street scene. Nevermind about some of the charming but yet crumbling architecture; they only seemed to add to the allure.

Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong, a name synonymous among the locals, where a cup of white coffee and wanton mee would fill your soul. Located next to it is Kedai Kopi Sun Yuan Foong which offers one of the best chee cheong fun in town.

Many came and testified that Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng 怡保光興茶室 serves one of the best popiah, Kai si Hor fun and egg custard in town.

It is common to find Thean Chun being packed with customers throughout the day. From shredded chicken meat with hor fun, thick beans sprouts, caramel custard to chee cheong fun, everyone will be spoiled for choices.

If you find comfort in a bowl of sumptuous pork noodles, be sure to try Restoran CY Noodle, a corner shop at 26-9, Jalan Theatre, Ipoh.

Touted as one of the top 10 must-try confectionery shops in Ipoh, Biskut Lam Fong 南方饼家 freshly served Tambon cake, horseshoe cake, salty danwei, pork lotus cake, glutinous rice cake, and other varieties of biscuits.

For a moment, one wondered whether is this still a coffeeshop?

A traditional convenience store still plying its trade in the wake of online shopping.

Located next to Concubine Lane is the 90’s Classic, a local barbershop!

Just simple travel. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.