Tag Archives: Alternative

Phuket Photo Essays You Should See

For those planning to explore Phuket, here’s a compilation of photo essays that capture various sides of the Thai province that is well-loved by travelers.

From Fly See Stay:flyseestay

This photo essay mainly captures the beauty of nature in Phuket with shots of the clear waters and limestone cliffs, along with images of floating villages and the locals there. Oh, and the author sneaked in a picture of the notorious Patong area as well.

Full photo essay here: Fly See Stay

Best Beaches in Phuket >>>

From Bowdy Wanders:bowdywanders

With many pictures of the places of worship and the beautiful details in their architecture, this photo essay shows a side of Phuket that is different from the ‘sun, sand and sea’ stereotype, although some pictures of the latter is included as well.

Full photo essay here: Bowdy Wanders

Viewpoints in Phuket >>>

From Notes From A Big World:

notesfrabigworld

Perhaps not the prettiest or most professional of pictures, but this photo essay that focuses on Phuket’s transportation system is worth viewing nonetheless, as it captures the vehicles that locals use, providing insight to their daily lives.

Full photo essay here: Notes From A Big World

5 Things To Do In Phuket >>>

From Monkey Abroad:

monkeyabroad

This photo essay is very ‘real’- compiled over a period of 6 months by a foreign teacher who lived and worked in Phuket. It shows everything from the beaches to the temples to the nightlife, and is probably the closest to how the locals would see the province.

Full photo essay here: Monkey Abroad

Explore Phuket Nightlife at Patong>>>

Ever been to Phuket? Which was your favorite photo essay? Share your travel stories in the comments below!

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom): Fly See StayBowdy WandersNotes From A Big World & Monkey Abroad.

Visit travelog.me for more places to go when in Phuket!

Have insider information or travel stories to share? Contribute to the Travelog blog & engage with travel-lovers like yourself (credits will be given). Email us at hello@travelog.me to find out more!

Singapore’s Most Unique & Unusual Cafes

1. 1942 Alfresco @ Changi 
(map)

3

1A cafe, museum and bar all rolled into one, 1942 Alfresco is the place to go for history buffs and travellers who are curious about the country’s past, and 1942 was the very year Singapore fell to Japanese rule, hence the name. After exploring the artefacts and play fighting with the fake swords and guns, the war themed cafe serves up some amazing dishes for you to fill up on as well- from soups to salads to pasta, and not to mention, desserts!

Find our more about 1942 Alfresco here >>

2. Antoinette 
(map)

4

6

Quaint and classy, the design of Antoinette is centred around the theme of French royalty, with the cafe and restaurant named after the last French queen, Marie-Antoinette. Head over enjoy the desserts that are probably delicious enough to be served to royals themselves! These include French pancakes, macarons (of course!), and other desserts such as the Baked Alaska (above), which is a meringue with vanilla ice cream, almond nougatine and fruits. They’ve also got mains like steak, as well as a selection of aromatic teas.

Read more about Antoinette here >>

3. Kombi Rocks 
(map)

7

9

This Singapore cafe looks like a perfect place to film a drama or movie, and it’s no wonder why some locals have their wedding photos take there. Designed with a 60’s theme centred around Volkswagen cars, this is the place to be for lovers of anything vintage or retro! Besides the themed design, this diner and cafe offers a variety of Thai food, along with some refreshing iced coffee and other drinks to wash everything down.

Find out more about Kombi Rocks >>

4. The Little Prince Cafe 
(map)

11

12

As the name suggests, this cafe was inspired by the popular book The Little Prince, straight from the pages of the childhood novel. Step into this whimsical cafe and you’ll find yourself surrounded by hand-drawn prints around the walls, making up a black and white interior. Their menu offers a variety of items including savoury sandwiches and coffee, but the crowd favourites would have to be their ice cream and waffles. With interesting names like Pink Panther and Mango Kiss, the staff at the ice cream counter will gladly let you have samples to taste the myriad of ice cream flavours before you decide!

See more on The Little Prince Cafe >>

5. The Reading Room 
(map)

15

14

Be surrounded by books in the Reading Room. What seems like a grand library is actually a cafe by day and a bar by night. And unlike your experience in a library, you can have food and drinks while reading here, so book lovers, rejoice! Located along a stretch of bars and cafes, the Reading Room is a lovely hideout for bookworms to grab a cup of coffee and have a leisurely read. You don’t have to worry about food either- the cafe serves up a tasty brunch menu as well, so you can sit around and enjoy your book for hours on end.

Read more about the Reading Room >>

6. Rider’s Cafe 
(map)

18

17

When thinking of leisure activities in a concrete jungle like Singapore, horse-riding isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But at Rider’s Cafe, you can do just that. Plus, the cafe serves up a delicious menu for brunch so you can replenish your fuel after a horse-riding session. Tucked away in the Bukit Timah area within the Saddle Club, this place might take a bit to time to locate, but it’ll be worth it once you’re on a horse’s back enjoying the fresh air.

More details on Riders Cafe >>

7. Old School Delights 
(map)

20

21Go back to Singapore in the ’90s (or some say ’80s) in this cosy cafe, with its decor inspired by classrooms of the past. It even sells some of the typical, nostalgic snacks that school children back then loved. Try a few of those and then order some of the traditionally Singaporean drinks off the chalkboard, such as Bandung and Milo Dinosaur, which Singaporeans enjoy. If you’re feeling hungry, they also serve up local dishes like Laksa, Curry Chicken and Nasi Lemak, along with a variety of cakes. For those who want to immerse themselves in Singaporean culture and food, Old School Delights is as local as it gets- no other cafes can compare!

More details on Old School Delights >>



Visit travelog.me for more interesting & unusual things to do when living in or visiting Singapore.

Need more information to help you find the best things do in Singapore?

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) The Smart Local (1 & 2), Cafe Hopping, Pinky Piggu, Facebook, carrmenntann.comJennifer Teo Photography (7 & 8), Winterruby, Rubbisheatrubbishgrow, ThefoodjournalWisatasingapura.webBehance, Misstamchiak.com.

13 Travel Bloggers in Asia to Watch Out For in 2015

2015 is a new year so we’ve come up with a new list of travel bloggers who blog about Asia. For those of you looking to have your next holiday in Asia, these are the blogs you should be reading to get suggestions and recommendations on where to go, what to expect and even help on planning your itinerary, if you’re really stumped. Depending on what you’re looking for, we’re sure you’ll find someone to inspire you on your next trip in our list for 2015!

1.  Live Less Ordinary

Live Less Ordinary

Quite the explorers, Allan and Fanfan have documented their lives and travels onto their very own blog. Allan, originally from Northern Ireland, has settled in Thailand and married a local girl, Fanfan. They haven’t chosen the life of an expat – going to expat bars, hanging out mostly with fellow expats – instead, they’ve immersed themselves thoroughly in the Thai culture. Their most recent adventures include relocating entirely to rural Thailand and figuring out their lives there. Each post comes with a healthy dose of humour and genuine excitement. They’ve become quite the Asia travel experts, so be sure to add them onto your must-read lists if you’re looking to travel to the continent!

Visit Live Less Ordinary >>

2.  Bowdy Wanders

Bowdy Wanders

Quite the coffee aficionado, Bowdy is a filipino born world traveller who seems to have a penchant for visiting cafes. So much so he has an entire section of his blog dedicated to them – what better way to discover a city’s culture than by soaking up the atmosphere while savouring a delicious coffee? He’s also quite the culture vulture, Bowdy explores each country with the intention of bringing across their very own unique cultures while peppering each post with tips and tricks on getting the best deal. Be sure to check his gorgeous photographs as well which certainly helps in the visualisation of each destination that he writes about.

Visit Bowdy Wanders >>

3.  One Travels Far

One Travels Far

Stacey Kuyf is no ordinary girl. Having quit her job at the age of 21 to pursue her dream of travelling, she’s made the world her oyster and moulded herself into quite the adventurer. Self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, she’s jumped off cliffs, rafted down rapid rivers and gone deep below the earth’s surface into the depths of the ocean. Her adventures inspire fellow adrenaline seekers to do the same while providing interesting thoughts on the different aspects of the Asian culture that she has experienced. Having been an au pair in America, backpacked across S.E.A and stayed in one of the most populated countries in the world – China, her blog teaches you how to stay alive while having the most fun in all sorts of situations no matter how far you travel.

Check out One Travels Far here >>

4.  Bangkok Girl

Bangkok Girl

Quite the expert on the hidden gems of Bangkok join Anna, a British expat, who has moved her life to the City of Angels. While she vacillates between the UK and Bangkok, she talks mostly about the latter – the best places to eat, quirky fun nights out and an honest and heartfelt account of what it’s really like living as an expat abroad. For those who are looking to relocate to Bangkok, her blog will prove one of the best guides you can have to give you a glimpse into what life might be like (especially for women).

Visit Bangkok Girl here >>

5.  Happy Asia

Happy Asia

Here’s another Bangkok dweller cum Southeast Asia explorer. Having recently moved to Bangkok from the UK for just half a year, Richard has been penning his adventures. From the shock of going from the cool climate of the United Kingdom to hot sweaty environment of Bangkok, being overwhelmed by the choices of food available and slowly but surely adapting to life in a foreign land, he brings his reader on his journey towards a new life. Each post is also peppered with humorous anecdotes which definitely left a smile on our faces!

Visit Happy Asia now >>

6.  The Blond Travels

The Blond TravelsFor female solo travellers, here’s another blogger to be inspired by! Jo (or The Blond, as she calls herself), recently made the decision to head to Thailand and start life anew there. Her posts are personal and very much about her self discovery in Thailand as a teacher, an expat and her as a person. With a good sense of humour she talks about her experiences with the change in culture and how she’s slowly adapting. For Polish readers out there, Jo is Polish and sometimes writes posts in her native language as well! Certainly an inspiration to many women out there trying to find themselves in a foreign land.

Check out The Blond Travels here >>

7.  12 Hour Difference

12hr

For those looking to experience Hong Kong, Aaron provides a rather humorous perspective on what it’s like for a foreigner living there. Culture shocks included, he writes about his misadventures and very interesting experiences even when just walking down a street. From eating a crab penis to getting hit by an old lady on the bus, he manages to transport his readers into his Hong Kong. For those who are interested in getting tips and tricks as a freelance writer, sign up with Aaron who has a whole section dedicated just to this alone!

8.  Adventures Around Asia

Adventures Around Asia

Richelle is a Seattle-born China-based adventurous young lady. While balancing her studies, she writes about her travels and can be considered somewhat of an expert on travelling in China. Giving tips and tricks on travelling on a budget and providing insight on the quirks of a different culture, her blog makes for an interesting and informative read especially to those looking to make China their next destination.

Visit Adventures Around Asia here >>

9.  Global Gallivanting

global gallivanting

Anna has been travelling since 2012 and has penned (or typed) her perspectives onto her inspiring blog. As a female solo traveller, she accords a whole section to travel tips for females looking to travel the world albeit on their own and also provides the quintessential tips for cost efficient travelling. Often bringing out the cultural aspect of a country, read as Anna takes on Asia (and Australia), providing a very human touch to each country she visits.

Check out Global Gallivanting today >>

10.  The Happy Passport

The Happy Passport

Having swapped her unfulfilling actress lifestyle for a ‘happier’ one, Rebekah exudes positivity and a sense of adventure through her travel blog. With a humorous take on travelling, each post is filled with adventure that goes beyond just seeing. She experiences the depth of each culture by making friends with the locals and really getting the best (and sometimes worst when it comes to some gastronomic experiences) out of each travel opportunity. As a solo female traveller, she gives aspiring ones to do the same by showing how travelling can be both exciting and safe.

Visit The Happy Passport now >>

11. HoneyTrek

HoneyTrek

Mike and Anne took a 675 day honeymoon across 33 countries and 6 continents, coming back as well seasoned travellers they offer their perspectives, as well as advice, on how to get the most out of your travels within your budget. From the most relaxing of holidays to the most adventurous, they’ve probably done it and shared their stories on their wonderful blog.

Check out HoneyTrek here >>

12.  Rambling Feet

ramblingfeet

A self declared ‘motorsport maniac’, Nicholas has been documenting his travels on his blog that tells us stories mainly from his hometown of Singapore but also is familiar with New Zealand and Europe. Consisting of interesting articles taking you on the path less travelled, you can also expect to read articles about his experiences in different motorsport events across the globe.

Visit Rambling Feet today >>

13.  My Chiang Mai Everything

MyChiangMaiEverything

Having relocated to Chiang Mai, Amy and her fiancée Andy, have pretty much become locals themselves. Providing a refreshing and genuine voice to life in Chiang Mai, each post will leave you with a smile as they write about an adventurous day out, a café they’ve found or even just a normal day in their life as English teachers in this part of Thailand that they’ve made their home.

Visit My Chiang Mai Everything today >>

Still looking for inspiration on what to do and where to go when travelling in Asia in 2015?

Check out Travelog  for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Asia in 2015.

Click here >> 

Where to Enjoy the Festive Season in Hong Kong

If you happen to be in Hong Kong during Christmas, you will not be disappointed. The Travelog team have selected the top events for celebrating this special day with your friends and families. Be prepared to have tons of fun and to takeaway loads of memories.

1.  Hong Kong Disneyland

1

There is nowhere else to spend your Christmas other than in the most magical place on Earth – Disneyland. This year, Hong Kong Disneyland will be celebrating the festival with the theme ‘Frozen’.  Popular Disney characters Queen Elsa and Princess Anna will be making their appearances. There would also be the usual light show and Disney parade that we guarantee will make this Christmas one that will leave you reminiscing for years.  Don’t forget to grab some last-minute Christmas shopping from the Disney store for your family and friends.

Click here for more on Hong Kong Disneyland >>

2. International Commerce Centre Light and Music Show

icc light and music show

For the month of December, the International Commerce Centre (ICC) Light and Music show would be displayed on the tallest building in Hong Kong. The theme for the show this year is ‘Spreading Love in a Winter’ where a Love Train will make its way through the North and South Poles to meet Polar Bears and Penguins for a smashing adventure in the snow. On Christmas day itself, the ICC would also be featuring countdown illuminations. The best viewing place would be the outdoor terraces of the IFC Mall.

Click here for more information about IFC Mall >>

3.  Ngong Ping 360

ngong ping 360

Located on Lantau Island, the festivities at the culturally themed Ngong Ping village will be one of a kind. Start off your journey from the Hong Kong Island with a cable car ride that offers a magnificent view of parks, the bay and even the airport. Wander through a great range of dining, shopping and entertainment outlets, all Christmas decorated and ready to heartily welcome guests for this special day. This year, you can also watch the winners of the inaugural ‘Ngong Ping 360’s Got Talent’ show off their skills on the grand outdoor stage. Do visit the typical tourist attractions on Lantau Island while you’re here as well.

Learn more about Ngong Ping here >>

4. Hong Kong Ballet Show

hong kong ballet show

For those who prefer to spend their Christmas with fine opera and dance, head down to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre where ‘The Nutcracker’ would be performed live by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Guest artists, Aki Saito from Japan and Dmitry Semionov from Russia will also be participating in the performance. This is a show suitable for families where the famous Christmas story comes alive.

More about Hong Kong Cultural Centre >>

5. Hong Kong Malls

hong kong malls

To look for the best Christmas decorations in Hong Kong, you have to do a mall-hop to check out the various themed decorations. The malls treat Christmas with utmost importance and the decorations are detailed and amazing. Also, during Christmas eve and Christmas, groups of carollers from churches and schools would be making their rounds around the malls in Hong Kong to perform.  This is the best local Christmas fun you can get in Hong Kong and we highly recommend you to just check out a couple of malls and look out for performances by the carollers.

Malls we recommend:

  1. Langham Place Mall, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
  2. 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
  3. New Town Plaza, 18 Sha Tin Centre St, Sha Tin, New Territories
  4. Harbor City, 7-27 Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
  5. The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong Island

Check out our article on ‘Hong Kong’s Top 10 Shopping Malls‘ for more information on Shopping in Hong Kong, click here >>


 

Still not sure what to do when visiting Hong Kong this Christmas?

Check out Travelog for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Hong Kong.

Click here >> 


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) China International Travel Service, Sun Hung Kai Properties, SimpleDreamer.com, Hong Kong Ballet, Want China Times.

Still not sure what to do for Christmas in Hong Kong? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Think You’ve Seen it All? Check Out These Unique Cafes in Tokyo

1.  Butler’s Café
Location: Shibuya

Butler's Cafe

Maid Cafes are taking over Japan by storm, but what about a Butler café? The first observation you will make upon entering this café, is that it’s service staff is made up foreign men from Western countries who will speak to you entirely in English and call you ‘princess’. The whole reason being that this café was founded for Japanese women to practise their English. Staying true to their character, they serve customers with the professionalism and efficiency as a real butler would (complete with ringing of a bell, should you require service). The price to pay for such service is of course steep, with prices from 850 to 2200 Yen, but the food served is tasty and it’s one of those experiences you’d only find in Japan.

2.  Planetarium STARRY Café
Location: Haneda Airport Tokyo
Planetarium
With beautiful 360 degree projection of constellations, the Planetarium STARRY Café is sure to leave you amazed. Have your coffee under the stars but sheltered from the elements. By request, the screens above are also able to project educational videos, or short animations. The planetarium screens different shows throughout the week so every visit will be a new experience. This café serves a hodgepodge of food from snacks such as popcorn, hotdogs to salad, pasta and they even have a bar which opens after 5.30pm. This is a top dating spot for the locals with its intimate and romantic setting in a city where its street lights tend to outshine the natural stars.

3.  Calbee Plus Café
Location: Harajuku

Calbee +Calbee is one of Japan’s most reknowned snack makers, more importantly for their crisps and chips. The Calbee Plus Café allows patrons to enjoy a variety of Calbee snacks which are not available on supermarket shelves, such as chocolate covered Calbee crisps. Those who are fans of the calbee snacks, can get them made fresh on the spot. While queuing up for your bowl of piping hot potato crisps, you can watch the makers in their craft as they peel, fry and dry the potato slices. Whether it be salty or sweet, Calbee Plus Café has it on its menu and it’s definitely an experience for those looking to try a freshly made Japanese snack.

 4.  Ninja Akasaka
Location: Chiyoda

Ninja Akasaka

This ninja themed eatery is more of a restaurant than a café. However due to it’s unique theme, we’re including it in the list. As you enter the restaurant, you’ll be lead through some tunnels and a bridges, by a ninja, before you are led to your private room. You’re told to find the ‘hidden’ button to call for service when you’ve decided what to order. Halfway through your meal, the Master Ninja will pay a visit to your room and perform a couple of tricks which will definintely enthrall and intrigue you. However be warned that the food here isn’t cheap and dinner usually comes in the form of set menus with about 7 courses. However, it is an interesting dining experience for both families and friends.

5. N3331 Café
Location: Chiyoda

N3331 cafeLocated on the platform between two railways, sits a quaint little café which serves light snacks and drinks. The N3331 Cafe might be in a rather small and intimate setting, but it is great for people watching with it’s ceiling to window glass providing a 360 view of the trains and its passengers flanking either sides. This café may not be for everyone, especially if you’re not into the chugging and chooing of a train every now and then but it does provide a rather different experience. If you have an afternoon to spare and trains are your thing, this café would definitely pique your interest. This café is willing to rent it out it’s space and host wedding parties too, perfect for the train enthusiasts.

6.  Sakuragaoka Café
Location: Shibuya

Sakuragaoka Café

When someone tells you to visit the ‘Goat café’ in Tokyo, they aren’t referring to the name of the café but instead the pair of goats which reside outside. Sakuragoaka Café should be visited not just for of its unoffical mascots but the interior oozes a laid back chill vibe with eclectic furnishing. The café serves a variety of western food from pizza to pasta within a low price range of 500 to 1200 Yen. also has a western style bar which is opened until the early morning. This place is a great place to hang and chill out with friends over lunch or a drink and the two goats will definitely be a talking point.

Find more information on things to do in Tokyo, visit Travelog.


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Hir@gana Times, Pinterest, Tokyo Belly, Time Out Tokyo, TokyoingTexan in Tokyo.

Eight Themed Cafes in Seoul You Have to Visit

1.  Cat Attic
Location: Hongdae
Cat Attic (Hongdae)

Feline fanatics, this will be your haven. Cat Attic has a few branches across South Korea, each housing about 20 cats. This place doubles up as a cafe so you go in, order a drink then mingle with the cats for as long as you like! While there are specific rules such as not waking a cat up (and cat’s do love to nap), if you’re lucky enough the occasional cat will hop into your lap and remain there till something else takes it’s fancy. The variety of cats from beautiful Persians to unique Sphynxs to the more common Tom Cats should be enough reason for you to visit this cat café! Observe them climb everything possible (including the coffee machines), hop into boxes or snuggle with each other! It’s definitely recommended that you come here if you’re a fan of the cats but not so much if you’re looking for a good coffee.

2.  Bau House Puppy Café
Location: Hongdae
Bau House Puppy café  (Hongdae)

Just like the cat café, this dog café works the same way – just with dogs. You buy a drink then seat yourself down as you mingle with the dogs. There are about twenty resident dogs varying in size, colour and breed all of which are vying for attention. Be prepared for even the biggest of dogs, which will attempt to hop onto your seat (and inadvertently onto your lap) as they sniff out their latest visitor. You will be given a list of the names of the dogs so that you can familiarise yourself with them and for a small fee, you can purchase dog treats which will definitely make you the centre of attraction. For all dog lovers out there who wished you had a dog but can’t accommodate one, this dog café will definitely be the place you should visit to satisfy your pet wants.

3.  Hello Kitty Café
Location: Hongdae
Hello Kitty Café (Hongdae)

Here’s another cat café but for the world renowned Hello Kitty. You’ll be able to spot the café from a mile with its brightly painted walls in its signature pink. And if that doesn’t get your attention, look out for Hello Kitty’s (not so little) pink bow situated on the walls of the café’s exterior. Step inside and you will receive a warm welcome into Hello Kitty’s world. The interior is furnished with pretty much anything and everything white, pink and ‘Hello Kitty’. Even the food and latte art comes in the shape of the iconic cat. It’s definitely an interesting café to visit and will delight any Hello Kitty fan but come here with the expectation of a novelty trip and not looking for good food.

4.  I’m Camper Cafe
Location: Hongdae
I’m Camper Cafe (Hongdae)

Outdoor enthusiasts would love this café, especially in the winter. Recreating the environment of camping grounds, this café has tents pitched up in the café itself and customers can barbeque their food using utensils that one would use when camping. The best part is enjoying the full experience without having to be exposed to the elements at a fraction of the cost, since you won’t have to bring your own tent or cooking utensils. Complete with picnic tables and camping chairs, this would be an interesting experience for a family or group of friends! Perhaps even for someone not so enthusiastic about the outdoors, this culinary experience would take to your fancy – after all you aren’t exposed to the elements nor do you have to climb or walk up a mountain just to get your food.

5.  Victorian Era Café

Victorian Era Café
Furnished with lush furniture, heavy drapes and laced lamps all in the setting of a warm glow; this café is themed in the Victorian era. Be transported into the world where women were dressed in hooped skirt frames covered with heavy fabrics, corsets and lace and the men in top hats, coats and vests. The Victorian era boasts a sense of posh luxury that is quite evident in this café and perhaps in the prices of its drinks as well. From glassy chandeliers to gold-framed mirrors, one will truly feel like a princess or prince in this café whose name when loosely translated to English means ‘Palace-like Café where a Princess lives’. However, as with all other themed cafés in Seoul, it is best to come here for the experience instead of the food.

6.  Velo Bike Café
Location: Bundae
Velo Bike Café (Bundae)

Park your bikes, grab a coffee and spend a couple of hours chit chatting with some friends. This café serves up coffee and food to cyclists who are looking for a rest stop but doubles up as a bike rental station as well. For cyclists who are facing some issues with their bikes, the bike café provides repair services and while your bike is being fixed, you can pop into the café, grab a bite or coffee while you wait. Definitely a convenient one stop centre for all things bike related and who knows, you just might meet your new bicycling buddies at this café!

7.  Café Blue Fairy
Location: Hongdae
Café Blue Fairy (Hongdae)
Big round eyes, porcelain faces and slender bodies. We aren’t referring to the waitresses at this café (even though there could be one or two who look like that) but instead we’re talking about the ball-jointed dolls that this café is all about. As you step in, you will see groups of girls gathered around a table quietly playing with the dolls that are intricately crafted to a perfection that is appreciated by some. While there are those who may find this behaviour rather creepy (it’s not often you see grown women playing with dolls), it is also unique and intriguing. Order your drink and take a seat. If you don’t choose your doll, the owner will very nicely recommend a doll for you to play with (or to keep you company as it sits against the table and watches you). This café is certainly not for everyone, especially not those who recently watched ‘Chuckie’. It is however still a recommended experience for those interested in these unique dolls, which are a step away from the world of ‘Barbie’.

8.  Raintree Café
Location: Edae
Raintree Café (Travel theme) (Edae)

An escape from being in Korea itself, the Raintree café has a travel theme going on as it is furnished with an eclectic mix of tables, chairs, photographs and colour but ultimately coming together to provide a cosy atmosphere. Maps of the world are on the tables and walls for customers to take a look and perhaps plan a potential world trip. Customers can also look through the owner’s albums, which contain photographs of their worldly endeavours. Even the food is categorized according to the country it originated – a variety of food from ‘lassi’ to pancakes are served and with quality too. The owners hope for the café to be an escape from reality, from everyday life and perhaps you would be inspired to plan your next adventure.

Looking for other interesting and alternative things to do in Seoul? Visit Travelog for places to visit and things to do in Seoul. Click here.


 

Images (from top to bottom) courtesy of Koreabridge, From KD to Kimchi, Blogspot, Pinimg, Sohzhauwan, Tolic, Tumblr, Tumblr.

5 Late Night Singapore Supper Joints Not to be Missed

Looking for somewhere to eat in Singapore, but the kitchen of your favourite eatery has closed for the night?

For all those with late night hunger pangs, here’s a list of Singapore’s well-known supper places:

1.  Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant (Jalan Besar)
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6pm-6am [Closed on Tuesdays]
Cuisine: Dim Sum
Swee Choon Tim-Sum

Calling all dim sum lovers, this one’s for you! Swee Choon serves up an assortment of dim sum including some signature dishes such as ‘Shanghai Xiao Long Bao’ (Shanghai steamed bun), ‘Mee Suah Kueh’ (vermicelli cake) and ‘Egg Yolk Custard Buns’.

If you are feeling a little more peckish, they also have substantial dishes, namely, their signature ‘Shanghai Pork Chop La Mian’, ‘Century Egg Porridge’ and ‘Double Boiled Chicken Soup’.

To end off your hearty dim sum supper, choose from a selection of Chinese desserts such as ‘Mango with Pomelo & Sago’ or ‘Yam Paste with Pumpkin & Ginko Nut’.

You wouldn’t expect top grade dim sum from Swee Choon, but for its affordable price, it’s definitely worth the quality and quick service.

Here’s a tip: Planning on heading there around 10pm?Be prepared to queue, as Swee Choon is popular amongst Singaporeans. However by 1am, the crowd usually clears up and you should be seated pretty quickly.

2.  The Roti Prata House (Upper Thomson)
Cuisine – Indian
Opening Hours: 24/7
The Roti Prata House
Cheese and Egg Prata, Paper Prata, Milo Prata and Durian Prata – you name it, they probably have it.

The Roti Prata House has one of the largest assortments of prata. From savoury to sweet, at least one, out of the extensive menu is bound to hit the right spot.

They are known for their unique way of cooking prata, which is to deep-fry it till it becomes especially crispy. For those who enjoy the extra crunch, this prata would definitely sit well with your taste buds.

If you are looking for other Indian delicacies, the Roti Prata House serves Chicken Briyani, Nasi Goreng and a hearty variety of curries, just to name a few.

Don’t expect brilliant service for the price you pay. You would probably have to wave the waiter over a few times before you get his attention due to the crowd but once the food is served, leave not your stomach wanting.

3.  Timbre @ Substation (Armenian Street)
Cuisine – Western
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday and Sunday – 6pm to 1am
Saturday – 6pm to 2.30am

Timbre@SubstationLive music from local bands, a bar and delicious food, come together at Timbre @ Substation.

Timbre@Substation2Timbre serves up a Western selection comprising of pizzas (sometimes, with a local twist as seen in their Roasted Duck Pizza that’s topped with crispy Popiah Skin), pasta, steak and delectable finger food. The pizza portion is considerably large and can easily be shared between 2 to 4 people. And if you’re spoilt for choice with regard to pizza flavour, go with the ‘The Half & Half’. It allows you to pick 2 flavours of pizza from their interesting selection to fit into one.

One downside would be that once the music starts playing, it’s difficult to hold a conversation, as your voice is likely to be drowned out. However, the atmosphere and food more than makes up for it and you will be guaranteed a night of great food and company.

Also, it’s best to make a reservation (call them up before 3pm), so as to avoid the long queues. If you are a UOB member, the card entitles you to the priority queue and 10% off your food bill.

4.  Ippudo SG (Mohamed Sultan Road)
Cuisine – Japanese
Opening Hours: Mondays to Thursdays – 5.30pm to midnight
Fridays to Saturdays – 5.30pm to 2am
Sundays – 11.30 am to 11pm
(Last orders: 1 hour before closing time)

Ippudo SG @ Mohamed SultanA hot bowl of mouth-watering, flavour bursting ramen is bound to satisfy a hungry stomach especially late at night.

Ippudo serves up bowls of ramen that come with a flavourful Tonkatsu broth. Their special broth, which is rich and hearty, should be enough reason to pay them a visit. The ramen noodles can also be customized according to the level of tenderness and if you are adventurous enough, ask for the noodles to be ‘very hard’, which means cooking it in boiling water for just 3 seconds!

Many enjoy Ippudo’s Akamaru Shinaji. What they call the ‘modern ramen’ is ramen, which includes pork belly, garlic oil, black fungus and ‘umami-dama’ a special miso paste to add on to their original Tonkatsu broth. Don’t be fooled by the simple ingredients. The combination of broth and noodles definitely packs a powerful punch.

As with every late night supper joint, it’s evident that long queues should be expected. Parking is also slightly tricky at this Ippudo branch, so carpooling or public transport is recommended. However, despite all odds, this is one meal that will leave you coming back for more.

5.  Spize (River Valley)
Cuisine – Fusion
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 12pm to 5am
Weekends: 12pm to 6am

Spize @ River Valley

If you can’t decide on whether to have Chinese, Indian, Western, Thai or even Mediterranean, you can have a little bit of everything all at one place – Spize.

Spize serves a huge amount of food, both in portion and assortment. Try their Roti John Chicken Special, which oozes with cheese, mushroom and chicken with every bite. The Nasi Goreng and Char Kway Teow are favourites too amongst the late night supper crowd. Those who fancy something a little more unique should try their truffle fries.

Spize’s motto should be ‘go big or go home’ because they deliver in quantity and size. The seating area itself is pretty huge, so while that probably guarantees you a seat, it also means that service isn’t all that tiptop. Expect one or two orders to be forgotten but give the waiters a gentle reminder and your food should be on its way.

After a late night of partying in the Clarke Quay area or if you’re just feeling peckish, Spize is a one-stop food spot to satisfy all late night hunger pangs.

For more information on restaurants and where to eat our in Singapore, click here.


Images (from top to bottom) courtesy of FoodieFC, Hungry Ang, Timbre Facebook (3 and 4),  YelpTripAdvisor.