Portland Day Tour

Portland is not a huge city like other cities in the US. But, it’s neighborhood, artsy, and unique feel made us fall in love with the place. Our trip was not planned. We were spending a night at Seattle when we just suddenly decide to go to the not-so-nearby Portland since it is just a few hours away via I-5.
Our last visit was last November and it was still Autumn. I love how the colors of the season seem to partner well with the city’s vibe. Walking along Chapman Square with all the fall colors is just one of the beautiful things we did. One woman we met said that we arrived at a gorgeous day 🙂 There are a lot of parks around so we experienced Oregon autumn at its finest.  

People are friendly. They readily give suggestions where to eat and voluntarily taking us picture around downtown upon learning we are tourists.
Foodtrucks! Food trucks are famous in Portland with almost every corner accessible to one around town. From Middleeastet to American food.. there are a lot of choices available.
We had lunch at Jake’s Grill. Almost everyone suggested to head for lunch here. There are two Jake’s Grill – one famouse for seafood and one for steaks (the newer one) . Since we are just near the latter when we got hungry, we decided to dine there. Food was good, I can say.

There are a lot of cafe’s, ice cream shops, and artsy corners around. Who can miss the Portland streetcar? This is also known as a common means of transportation here.

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Grouse Mountain

Our family went to Grouse Mountain for a short trip. It’s still fall at the mountain. No snow in sight. But, we were still amazed with the view! The overlooking Vancity view is just breathtaking. What else could better? Well, I can say having lunch with the view is! We requested to be seated near the window so it is superb! The Altitude restaurant have reasonable serving sizes of delicious food to share. We personally loved the Nachos. 😊




We just basically roam around the place and just purchased the Alpine experience for CAD 44 per adult which includes the Alpine experience or the Skygondola ride and Plateau activities. One of the activities is the Grizzly Lookout. Meet Coola and Grinder, your favorite Grouse Mountain Bears. 

For more information, check Grouse Mountain website : https://www.grousemountain.com/


Sidetrip to Legoland Malaysia

In the middle of our vacation last Summer in Singapore, we decided to spend an overnight trip to Legoland Malaysia. When my husband told me about this, I got giddy because I love kiddie themed travels haha. So I checked Legoland Malaysia’s website and got happily confused with the theme room to choose. Finally, we decided to try the Pirate-themed Premiere Room and booked it!

There are Adventure-themed and Kingdom-themed rooms as well. One Kingdom room is a suite that accommodates up to 8 people! Room rates start at around RMB650. Premium Rooms start at RMB 820. Prices include buffet breakfast at the Bricks Cafe.

As advised by my cousins, it is best to spend an overnight stay so it will not be tiring for us to tour the theme park and go to and from Johor Bahru and Singapore. We purchased the two-day tickets for about RMB 280 or PHP 4200 or USD 96 which includes two-day access in both theme and water parks of Legoland.

May I also suggest to go there during the ‘BER’ months? We went there during summer and it was too hot. Good thing we stayed at the hotel so we rested from time to time hehe.  




How did we went there from Singapore? We booked through WTS Travel. The pick up point is at their  Singapore Flyer office. We chose the 9am trip but we were there at around 8am. At first we were curious if there was a queue but the attendant said none. So we just waited only to realize that the bus already arrived and it was already full when we got in! So we were seated apart. Imagine if you are with kids, it is much of a hassle. Seeing the brighter side of it, the travel time is just short – around 1 hr and 45 mins including the immigration stop. But, I still provided my feedback to WTS and they acknowledged. The coach bus will drop off passengers at the entrance of Legoland and pick up point is at the same place. I love the choice we made regarding the time as we have maximized our stay and tour in the theme park. Guests can leave their bags at the hotel if it is not yet time for check in or if check out is too early. Coach bus roundtrip  fare is at SGD 25 per person. Tip: If taking WTS, be more mindful of the bus assignment and double check with the attendant so you can get the best seats. We did that during our trip back to SG. 


Singapore Trip 2016

The Shopes at Marina Bay Sands

Singapore is still one of my favorite countries in Asia. I have not seen the whole Asia yet. I have been to around ten and I still keep coming back to Singapore.

“The story of Singapore is rich with twists, turns and triumphs” as stated in Singapore’s travel website: http://www.yoursingapore.com/ . Truly, this independent and progressive country is rich in history and culture.

This is some sort of a “throwback” post from just a few months ago about my visit to the Lion City.

We have stayed at two Swissotel Hotels. Thank you to my cousin as she was able to book our hotels with discounts! Wee! 😀 We stayed at Swissotel Merchant Court located near Clarke Quay and Singapore River. I love the quaint, vintage architecture of the hotel! When we arrived, some of the portions were being constructed. But, we were informed ahead of time. The attendants and receptionists were so helpful and courteous. We were accommodated at a Premiere Room (Corner Room) with a balcony overlooking the pool and Clarke Quay. Happily, we were given one of the newly renovated rooms. The view is just perfect for a vacation vibe. The bathroom is very spacious, clean, and has elegant interiors.

Merchant Court

The view from our room at Swissotel Merchant Court


Our stay at Swissotel Merchant Court comes with breakfast. There are variety of choices for breakfast – Asian, Continental etc. We all love the food!

Ready for Buffet Breakfast


Love Locks SG version at Clarke Quay


Our cousin Em and her fiancé Jeremy  are one of the best tour guides in SG! They bring us to unique and not so ‘touristey’ places. During this vacation, they brought us to Sentosa Cove’s Quayside Isle which is a place for gastronomic adventure with a wide array of coffee shops and restaurants. We decided to have lunch at Kith.


Quayside Isle View

Wealso went to Marina Bay Sands which I miss!


Thanks Jeremy for the ride! Best SG tourist guides ever


How can we skip Universal Studios Singapore?! There are new rides. But, I came back for the Transformers ride! We tried getting the VIP access this time so we have saved a lot of time by having a special queue!



 



For the latter part of our vacation, we stayed at Swissotel Stamford. This hotel is strategically located at the heart of the city with easy access to City Hall station MRT. It is also one of the tallest buildings in Singapore. It is also right beside Raffles City Mall.  I can say that the hotel is perfect for both business and pleasure because of the location. Our room gives a nice view of the Singapore flyer and the city.


City View from our Swissotel Stamford room


There’s a lot more to do in Singapore depending on the type of vacation and purpose of visit.One can have sidetrips to nearby towns, cities, and countries too. We did go to nearby Johor Bahru during this trip. But, will save that for a different post 🙂