3 Days 3 Nights in Khao Yai - Day 1 Part 2/2

I had previously written about how to go to Khao Yai and PB Valley Khao Yai Winery. Feel free to read into those if you did not have the chance to do so! 🙂

Now, let's us continue on with the tour! For the second stop, we went to the Yellow Submarine!


Stop 2 - Yellow Submarine Coffee Tank

Are you thinking about a yellow submarine? Initially, my mum thought that we were going to see a yellow submarine, but she was so wrong! Yellow Submarine is a cafe situated in Khao Yai! The cafe was surrounded with greens, and the cafe adopts a rustic style in the interior. It has a lovely contrast; it like a fusion between nature and the modern world. It's a perfect spot to take your OOTDs! We did see a lady taking her photos from the main entrance and various corners of the cafe.

Of course, one has to order a yummy toast in a cafe in Thailand! I ordered the Black Honey Toast and Iced Thai Tea with Hokkaido Milk. My family is not a fan of dessert, so that's all we ordered.

Thai Ice Tea with Hokkaido Milk

Thai Ice Tea with Hokkaido Milk

First, let's talked about the Iced Thai Tea with Hokkaido Milk. This has to be one of the best Thai Tea I had during the trip. It was not too sweet for my liking! Iced Thai Tea usually is very sweet because condensed milk is added. Instead of using condensed milk, Hokkaido Milk was used. The tea blended well with the milk. The overall taste was not too sweet, and it was still smooth. Moreover, the server presented the tea and the milk separately; thus you could customise your own drink! I added in the entire bottle of the milk, and it did not overpower the fragrance of the tea.

Black Honey Toast with Vanilla Ice-cream!

Black Honey Toast with Vanilla Ice-cream!

Next, the Black Honey Toast! The toast was actually charcoal bread. It was toasted to perfection. It was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It was still hot, so the vanilla ice-cream and the warm toasted went very well together. Even without the ice-cream, the toast went well with and without the honey. Personally, I like this. It's a tasty dessert. It wasn't too sweet or buttery like the toasts by After You.

I am missing these 2 dishes while writing about them. Damn... someone brings me back here!

Look at it smiled for the camera!

Look at it smiled for the camera!

Anyway, there is an adorable dog in this cafe. When we reached the cafe, the dog came out and peeped at us at the entrance. Then, it went back to rest in the restaurant. When we were returning back to our car, he walked us out. He even decided to join in to take a photo with me. The dog was like a friendly service crew too!

Stop 3 – Phuwanalee Resort

Then, we went to check in to our resort at Phuwanalee Resort. I would leave the review of this hotel for the next post. So, stay tuned!


Stop 4 - Krua Khao Yai Restaurant

After a short break at our hotel, we decided to go for dinner. As we are feeling slightly tired, we decided to go somewhere nearby for dinner. We went to Krua Khao Yai Restaurant, and the first thing we did was to order one coconut for each of us. There was a promotion that day. We bought 4 coconuts and got 1 free. We ordered a scrambled egg, fried fish, broccoli, shrimp cake and more. I didn’t eat much as I don’t usually eat dinner. However, I would say that the dinner was pretty average. It was not bad, but it wasn’t great as well.

5 coconuts for 4 people! Well… I took 2.

5 coconuts for 4 people! Well… I took 2.

This dish was pretty good! I can have this all for myself.

This dish was pretty good! I can have this all for myself.

After dinner, we went back to the resort to chill. That’s the end of day 1 in Khao Night! It’s a pretty short day.

x, Esther

A guide to finding Public Toilets

This inspired me to write a post on a guide to finding public toilets.

Screen shot of a conversation with my friend who was overseas.

Screen shot of a conversation with my friend who was overseas.

It's not embarrassing to talk about nature calls. It's an everyday issue whereby every one of us has to go through. However, when you are overseas or in an unknown space, it is of good sense to know where are the public toilets. This knowledge is definitely helpful in maintaining your health and saving you from embarrassing situations. Luckily, here are some tips that I would like to share with you based on my personal experiences.



Image by  Paul Green

Image by Paul Green

What are the Signs?

Now, before you go on a trip, it's good to know some of the terms and images that are associated with "toilets". Some called it the washrooms, restrooms, powder rooms... Most of the time, the majority of the places would just use the male and female signs. In Europe, the common term or signage used is the WC. Hence, it's highly recommended to know how to pronounce "toilet" in various languages or maybe save a copy of the toilet sign in your phone!


在你去旅行之前,了解一些与“厕所”相关的术语和图像是很好的。有人称它为洗手间,化妆间... ... 大多数时候,許多地方只使用男性和女性的标志。在欧洲,常用的术语或标志是WC。因此,我强烈建议您知道如何用各种语言发音“厕所”,或者在手机中保存厕所标志的副本!

Where to find Public Toilets?


1. Shopping Malls

You can't go wrong with shopping malls! There are toilets available in almost all the malls in the world. However, it's good to note that all malls have different designs. Some malls do not have a washroom at the ground level. There could be quite a distance between the male and female washrooms, sometimes it could be on different levels too. Just look out for the signages.



2. Starbucks

I learnt this tip during my solo trip to New York City. I was shopping around in Times Square, and I could not find a restroom. Hence, I asked a sales lady. She kindly pointed out to me that I could find a toilet at Starbucks. Yes, STARBUCKS! Other than enjoying a good cup of coffee, you could find a washroom there. If not, there would be a washroom located near the coffee shop. I tested this theory, and so far, it has not failed me.



3. Restaurants

Most restaurants, including fast food chains, would have a washroom within their premises. You may want to know that some restaurants only allow their customers to use the restaurant. In Europe, the restaurants' restrooms has an electronic lock on their doors. You would need to purchase food or beverages from the restaurants to request for the password to the washroom. Sometimes, the code is printed on the receipt. Now, you would think that you would be kind and share the code with others, but surprise! The service crew would change the password anytime they want.



4. Hospitals

There was once when I urgently need the washroom, and I was near a hospital. I did visit the hospital to use the restroom. Hence, I am sure you could be sure of this option too.

Finding a hospital in the urban city is easy. Sometimes, you could even spot one in the city area. Yes, you could use the toilets in the hospitals too. I am pretty sure that the bathrooms in the hospitals are clean and comforting to use when nature calls. However, do be mindful. You are encouraged to avoid using the accessible toilet (a.k.a handicap toilet; you are not encouraged to use this term anymore), due to the location that you are in.


曾经有一次我需要上洗手间,我剛好在医院附近。我确实去过医院使用洗手间。因此,我相信你也可以确定这个选项。 在城市寻找医院很容易。我很确定医院的浴室乾淨。 但是,请注意。我们鼓励您避免使用无障碍厕所。

5. Police Station

Likewise, I did go to a washroom in a police station when I was in Taipei. I was walking around the market area and could not find a restroom anyway. My mother suggested that I go to the police station which was next door. At first, I was sceptical. However, much to my surprise, there's a public washroom.

You may want to note that not all police stations allow the public to use their washroom. Hence, this is not a safe bet. Nevertheless, I am sure the kind officers would be happy to point out the nearest restrooms to you.



Image by  Ibrahim Rifath

What if I am at the beach, in the middle of the forest, etc...?

Usually, there would be public restrooms spread out across famous beaches, forests and hiking trails. However, in times of nature calls, I could only wish you good luck. You may have to do it the army style. There are no other ways to relieve yourself.



There's even an app to help you to find a public toilet!

Yes, what a surprise! With the latest technology, there are apps available that would locate the washroom around the area. One example would be Flush - Toilet Finder (iOS/Android). It may seem useful now, but remember this: you would need wifi to use the app. Thus, it always good to check out the surrounding and think on your feet and dash to the nearest washroom.


你可应用程序找到该区域周围的洗手间。一个例子是 Flush - Toilet Finder (iOS/Android)。 希望本指南对所有对此感到疑惑的人都有用!

Hopefully, this guide is useful to all of you who are always wondering about this!


x, Esther

SSEAYP Singapore Contingent Training - Part 3

This is a typical training for a SPY.


We would report at 7pm, and it would always start with an update.



Then, we would split into our various team for discussions, or we would be dancing.



On weekends, when we have more time, we get to create a beautiful mess.



On other days, we would be listening to talks.



However, most of the time, we were dancing or practising our cheers.



When all of this was happening, we learnt to strike a pose fast in front of the camera.



Conflicts did occur, but all of us tried to help one another even until the end of the journey.



We worked hard.



We rehearsed.


We packed.



We had fun!


SSEAYP Singapore Contingent Training - Part 2

In this post, I would be talking about the various committees and their responsibility. For the 42nd batch of the Singapore Contingent, we have the Corporate Communication, Cultural, Exhibition, Logistics and Sports committees. There is not fair distribution in the numbers of members, as it's more of a personal choice. On top of these committees, there was the National Leader (NL), Youth Leader (YL), Assistant Youth Leader (AYL) and treasurers.

Let's start with the easiest first:

在这篇文章中,我将讨论各个委员会的责任。 我们有企业传播,文化,展览,物流和体育委员会。 除了这些委员会,我们也有国家领导人(NL),青年领袖(YL),助理青年领袖(AYL)和财务主管。


National Leader

National Leader is appointed by the SIS board and NYC. Technically, he/she is the advisor of the contingent.


国家领导人由SIS董事会和全国青年理事会委任。 从技术上讲,他/她是特遣队的顾问。

Youth Leader: Wendy, SPY42 and Assistant Youth Leader: Nat, SPY42. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.

Youth Leader: Wendy, SPY42 and Assistant Youth Leader: Nat, SPY42. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.

Youth Leader and Assistant Youth Leader 

These 2 leadership positions are voted by the contingent members. Practically, they have to take care of everything and anything, including managing people's expectation and emotions. Moreover, the dynamic of the contingent varies greatly. The age ranged from 18 to 30 years old. There are working adults and students. All of our backgrounds are very different. Naturally, there would be conflict. On top of this role, they are also a member of one of the committee.


我们能投票选择我们的青年领袖(YL)和助理青年领袖(AYL)。 实际上,他们必须照顾所有的事情,包括管理人们的情绪。 除此之外,他们还是该委员会的成员之一。


What is the first thing that came to mind when you think about treasurers? MONEY! They took care of the contingent funds and helped every single one of us with the reimbursement.


当你想到财务主管时,会想到什么? 钱! 对了!他们负责处理资金,并帮助我们获得报销。

L-R: Wendy, Esther, Xavier, Brenda and Gen. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.

L-R: Wendy, Esther, Xavier, Brenda and Gen. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.

Corporate Communication

The corporate communication team has the luxury to enjoy more time on board the ship and during the programme, as the bulk of their responsibilities are during the pre-departure period. The team would have to take care of the sponsorships, collaterals, uniforms, photo shoot, the image of the contingent, public relations, marketing and so much more. In simple terms, we aim to make everything looked good and be shameless when asking for sponsorship. I was in this team as I like marketing and design. I was also the Chairman of this team. I would talk more about this in another post.



L-R: Yanling, Clarence and Vanessa. Missing in Photo: Nat. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.

L-R: Yanling, Clarence and Vanessa. Missing in Photo: Nat. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.


The logistics team pretty much have to take care of the contingent's logistics, luggage (yes! I am referring to our personal luggage) and welfare. During the training period, the committee made sure that we were well fed. The team catered food and at times sought sponsorship for the food too. They even had to take care of our packing list, provide advice on our packing so that we do not need to lug our luggage in Japan. The most important part of their job is to ensure that most of the logistics need to be packed nicely before and even after the trip. We have to return some of the items. Hence, this team had an important role to answer for these items when we returned back on the sunny island.


物流团队要照顾特遣队的物品,大家的私人行李和福利。 在培训期间,委员负责点餐。 他们工作中最重要的部分是确保大部分物流需要在旅行之前甚至之后很好地包装。 我们必须退回一些物品。 因此,当我们返回新加坡时,这个团队可以为这些把物品归回原主。

L-R: Sebas, Isabelle, Hui Lin and Jeevan, Missing in photo: Jem and Winnie. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.

L-R: Sebas, Isabelle, Hui Lin and Jeevan, Missing in photo: Jem and Winnie. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.


The name of this team is slightly misleading, even though they did drag us out to do some sports, eg. running and dragon boat. (And, those are not my favourite times.) The team would need to create contingent cheers, gangway cheer, show us the games and dance, teach us the SSEAYP songs and many more. Honestly, you would never know of gangway cheer until you joined the programme. Basically, I would feel like they are the team that is supposed to make activities seemingly fun.


这个团让活动看起来很有趣。他们也确实拖我们去做一些运动,例如。 跑步和龙舟。 (并且,那些不是我最喜欢的时间。)团队需要创造欢呼,为我们展示游戏和舞蹈,教我们SSEAYP的歌曲等等。 老实说,在你加入这个项目之前,你不会知道什么是舷梯欢呼。

L-R: Nas, Martini, Yong Ann, Alex, Cheezy. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.

L-R: Nas, Martini, Yong Ann, Alex, Cheezy. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.


Like the Sports committee, the team name is slightly misleading. The team had to take care of the exhibition about Singapore in Japan. The purpose of the display was to showcase the culture of Singapore so that the youths have a better understanding of the little red dot. The team also had to produce a summary of the culture of Singapore and other countries. At times, they also had to engage speakers to give us simple language courses. They too have to create a contingent handbook for the 27 of us. The manual consist of all the cheers, song lyrics, and essential notes that we would need to remember on board the ship.


展览团队的目的是展示新加坡的文化,让年轻人更好地了解小红点。 他们还必须总结新加坡和其他国家的文化给我们。 有时,他们还必须聘请演讲者为我们提供简单的语言课程。 他们也必须为我们27个人制作一本临时手册。 手册包括我们在船上需要记住的所有欢呼声,歌词等等。

L-R: Astiqah, Esther, Elijah, Choon Leong, Hyd, Rahmuna, Wanlin. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.

L-R: Astiqah, Esther, Elijah, Choon Leong, Hyd, Rahmuna, Wanlin. Photo took by: ZZ, 2015.


The Cultural Team main purpose is to come up with an hour-long performance. The performance had to showcase Singapore too. It was not easy. They have to create the script, choreograph the dance, source for pieces of music, create the background images for the performance and even sourcing for costumes. There were also short performances to take care off too. On board the ship, there were also last minute rehearsals to dance the night away.


文化团队的主要目的是提出一个小时的表演。 表演也必须展示新加坡的文化。 这并不容易。 他们必须创建剧本,编舞舞蹈,音乐作品的来源,创作表演的背景图像,甚至采购服装。

Photo took by: Fix 8 Productions

Photo took by: Fix 8 Productions


Last but not least, there is an informal Executive Committee, which is also known as the EXCO. This committee consisted of all the Chairperson of the various teams, YL, AYL and NL. This team discussed on all the pressing matters such as scheduling of timetable, hair colour, and other nitty-gritty details. It's not a fun team to be in.



As I am writing this post, I have to say that we are a group of talented people. We managed to score sponsorships! Thanks to our resourceful AYL and other members. Most of us contributed to something. Some of us pulled string to help with the choreography of the dance. Some were talented to do the photography, videography, scriptwriting and etc. We managed to create uniforms, conduct photo shoots, do a voiceover and even provide copyediting. Honestly, all of these activities would not be a success without the help of every individual.

Honestly, even until today, I don't know how we did it, but we managed to go against all the odds.



And, that's all for today!

x, Esther

SSEAYP Singapore Contingent Training - Part 1

I was an ambassador for Singapore for the Ship for Southeast Asia and Japanese Youth Programme in 2015. In this post, I would be sharing with you about the training that we had to go through. I have previously written on the Best memories of SSEAYP, application process and the first interview. Feel free to read them if you have not.



#throwback to 2015

If I remembered correctly, all of us first met in a meeting room at National Youth Council. It was nice to see to some of the familiar faces. At the same time, it also marked the beginning of our training. There were hardly icebreakers and BAM! We talked about the creation of the various committees. There were Corporate Communication, Sports and Welfare, Cultural, Logistics and Exhibition teams. We have to decide which portfolio to participate in on that day. We have to appoint our treasurers as well. Then, we don't really know one another, so we have to trust one another to make things worked.



Now, this is the real deal! We were told that training would be taking place 4 days a week; 2 weekdays of 3 hours each and 2 full weekends for 2 months. There were hardly any "off days" except a couple of public holidays. All of us were expected to give our 100%. I did not. I tried to slack a little once in a while.

The beginning was not easy. I am not going to fluff the training experience of my batch. I have a Full-Time job then, and I was handling a new portfolio as well. After work, I have to rush for the training. No doubt, I was under a lot of stress. I am getting sick easily then because my body is not used to all these stress. I did think of giving up a few times, but I tried to press on. The reason why I was so motivated to push on was that I really wanted to go to Japan and I would not be getting a refund for the SGD 900.

Frankly speaking, I wasn't the only one who was feeling the pain. There were a few dropouts, as their priorities were in other aspects of life. There's nothing shameful or wrong about it. Those who did not drop out also have a life outside of training. It was the motivation from one another, the responsibility to get things done or individual gains that sort of makes everything happened.

It was tough.

培训时间与2个月,每周4天进行; 2个工作日,各3小时,和周末。除了几个公众假期外,几乎没得休息。真的累倒我们了。



However, we did it. We reaped what we sowed. We enjoyed our time during the programme. The best part is we were a closed knitted family. We went through the tough times together. We did things together. We solved problems. We gossiped. We played. The time spent bought us closer. This relationship is priceless.



Honestly, I am happy that I did not give up. I make a few terrific friends who I regard as my pillars. We know each other so well that it's perfectly fine to just be your true self, without the makeup on.



That's was the training experience that I had. I hope I managed to give you a rough idea of what's the training is like in Singapore. From what I knew about other countries training were that, they had a shorter training period. The participating youths were selected from various city or provinces. It was hard for them to gather. Hence, they have camps instead. If I remembered correctly, some countries had 2 weeks of intensive training. I have no idea which is the lesser of the 2 evils; having the training spread out for an extended period of time or cramped everything together.

I hope this post was not too heavy. Moreover, this is my personal experience. If you are interested, I will urge you to speak to a few more youths to get a clearer picture. I would defiantly be sharing more about SSEAYP, so stay tuned!