Snow in Shanghai & Beijing under BND1000

Travelling during winter has its pros and cons.

Yes it is cold, and yes it does mean sometimes you can’t feel your fingers. You need to buy winter clothes that you will never ever use again in Brunei and I’ve even heard of people experiencing skincare freezing on their faces.

But, if you are lucky, you get to experience: SNOW.

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Coming from Brunei, snow to me is romantic and magical. It’s a weather phenomenon that brings with it notions of softness, delicateness and all around siukness. You get to build a snowman (cue Frozen’s snowman song) and make snowballs!

Most people think that you need to go toย  travel far and wide to Europe to see snow but as it turns out, there is a surprisingly affordable snow destination only 4 hours away from Brunei.

Shanghai.

To be honest, China was never on my “list”. Yes, I have dreams of traversing through the Great Wall of China but I’ve always thought China would be a crowded mess, difficult, and noisy. Unfortunately, the Chinese that I come across during my travels are not great ambassadors of their country.

I would like to admit what a gross misjudgment that was.

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Both Shanghai and Beijing were amazing cities! People were so friendly and kind to us, it’s so lovely to walk around in, amenities are clean and conveniently placed, plus they have the MOST AWESOME PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN THE WORLD. Best of all, it did not feel crowded at all!

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MIND. BLOWN.

Over the month of February, I’d be posting about my trip, plus tips to get around the Shanghai and Beijing, apps you can download, how to communicate, how to keep in touch with people back home, and the halal food situation.

For now, check out our budget and itinerary for the whole trip below!

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Salon Maurina: Easy December Party Look

It’s the end of the year and it’s that time of the year where you get invited to a couple of parties – gift exchange, or just a wonderful high tea with your girlfriends.

Check out a tutorial I made for this:

BTW, I mentioned a pallete called Doll Crush Pallete in the video. If you’d like to purchase this pallete, check her out here:ย https://dollcrushbeauty.com/ and add her on Instagram too cause sometimes she gives out discount codes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Know of any other Brunei cosmetics brands? Let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

Salon Maurina: Korean Inspired Makeup for an Everyday Look

All makeup used listed in the video! Hope u like it!

Contest Time!

Subscribe to my Youtube channel and leave a comment on the above video to win a little beauty kit for a your own pamper time at home curated by yours truly! ๐Ÿ™‚

*might add more things hehe!

Contest open from today till 15 December 2017, for Bruneians only. ๐Ÿ™‚

BTW like this post too if you want me to do more of these- contests, makeup tutorials and all that jazz!

In the Movies: Joko Anwarโ€™s Pengabdi Setan

Oh boy, I love my horror movies. In fact I pretty much only exclusively watch horror movies.

I don’t know what it is: the adrenaline rush, the suspense, the crazy makeup, or what?

Anyway, after IT this was my first foray to the cinema for a horror movie.

I LOVE IT.

But first:

If you are planning to watch the latest version of Pengabdi Setan, I recommend you watch the older version first!

Here, I’ll wait.

The 1980s version is a highly meme-able movie, with memorably corny lines and superficial storyline which is much like most horror movies in the era.

In fact, I find it iconic of the era – the non stop on screen smoking (perhaps a heavy sponsorship from Djarum?), the cars and the house, the party Rita attended (in true 70s style), Darminah’s krebo hair, the blatant disregard of Islamic values and the comically frequent closeups!

If nothing, the movie imprints our mind with the first 10 minutes showing Muslim funeral proceedings in full detail.

It’s a movie worthy of the 80s. More importantly, it sets the background for the current version.

The current version of Pengabdi Setan is not a continuation of it, but rather a reboot. What that means basically u don’t need to watch the old one to understand the new, but there are certain parts of the movie you catch where it is an homage to the old version.

I caught some noteworthy ones:

SPOILER ALERT! BANYAK SPOILER BERABIS DI DUNIA! DAN GAMBAR BARITAKUT!

Continue reading →

Passport, Bag & No Idea Where I was Going

Would you go to a destination you know nothing about?

Few months ago, Emma Good Egg forwarded us a link to a website that organises “surprise trips”. I thought: wow!

How can I travel and not know where I’m going? Well, it involves a secret destination, all accommodation arranged for you as well as airfares.

All you need is a date.

That scares me to no end! What if I dont like the destination they chose? What if they put me up in a yucky hotel? What if my roommate is a cockroach? What if there’s no halal food? What am I going to eat?

I followed them on Instagram.

I thought it was crazy scary, and yet, genius.

Stalked them obsessively, kept on talking about it at the office and asking everyone would they do it?

Eventually I had enough: I had to try it.

“Ching wanna go on a trip with me next month?” I asked my colleague, sitting next to my table. She was typing furiously on her computer, chasing a deadline.

“Huh? Erm ok I guess?” She said absentmindedly.

“Ok u owe me $300. We’ll find out where we are going by mail.”

Bewildered, and feeling conned (again) my colleague agreed.

Few days later, received this:

Omg sport shoes ๐Ÿ˜ง

What is “thin long pants”???

Are we going to climb Mount Rinjani???

Scarier and scarier!!!

Date loomed closer and fear turned to worry when the mail did not arrive. WHERE ARE WE GOING????

2 days before the trip I emailed the Anywhr team and they promptly emailed us our tickets and itinerary.

I now know where we were going,

But guess who printed everything out and recreated the Anywhr envelope?

Me.

And guess where we were going?

Mui Ne, Vietnam.

Where?!

Check out my journey here:

So would you go travel to somewhere you know nothing about?

YES.

Did I enjoy it?

IMMENSELY.

Will I do it again?

ABSOLUTELY.

Do I recommend it to u?

YES YES YES!

When Girls Travel: 5 Things about Hua Hin

During the fasting month, I travelled with my bestfriends to Hua Hin, a fancy schmancy getaway town frequented by Bangkokians and the Royal Thai family.

It’s just a quick drive away, you can just rent a super comfy van or simply buy a train ticket from Bangkok all the way to Hua Hin.

Usually I’d go through the trouble of going via train, but hey it’s the fasting month so I arranged everything to be as easy as possible – HAHA. The van picked us up at the hotel and we zoomed to Hua Hin.

FYI I booked a van from 12goasia, which basically is a booking engine for vans, taxis, busses, ferries, trains. First time trying them and we were quite pleased!

Anyway, here are 5 things about Hua Hin!

1. It is a beautiful and quiet beach town!

Me and my girlfriends spend whole days just hanging out at the beach!

2. So many affordable beachfront resorts and gentle waves!

This was very evident in the booking process! There were so many good deals around and we were super spoilt for choice!

We love the resort we were staying at, but it was just the tip of the iceberg! There were so many to fit your budget, your group, or your requirements!

All resorts were designed to be super private, safe, and surrounded with security (humans and strategic foliage) to ensure that we don’t have to worry about a thing!

Our resort, The Crest Santora, was located I suppose on the main resort belt, and was a beachfront property. The room can comfortably fit us 5, and as u can see, more!

The area is so beautiful and tastefully designed too!

3. People come here to play pretend!

Hua Hin is full of themed malls, parks and gardens and it is such a joy to take photos in! In fact, we took so many pictures! Until I wanted to pass out from the heat!

See below!

Pretend you’re in Santorini

Pretend you’re in Venice

Pretend you’re a mermaid

Pretend you’re in Holland? Swiss farm? (This one a bit confusing)

Pretend you’re upside down

The above all taken at the:

The Venezia Hua Hin

Santorini Park

Swiss Sheep Farm

4. They preserve their heritage in new and interesting ways!

I love the way they try to incorporate the old and the new – like the beautiful Plearn Wan an open air mall/shopping village, which was actually like a living museum.

Then there’s the railway station which I think is the most beautiful train station I’ve ever seen in my life! It is maintained so well and is extremely clean. Some railway staff were even wearing old vintage uniforms and really brought in an awesome vibe.

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5. Delicious seafood!

The thing about travelling while fasting is u really only have 1 meal at sunset and plenty of snacks only at night.

Also, you are super hungry so you cant really judge if the food is genuinely delicious or you’re just super hungry ๐Ÿ˜‚

However i reaaaaaaaaaally enjoyed the meals we had! It could be the fasting, it could be the food or it could just be the company! I love all the meals we had and i love that Hua Hin is halal friendly with an abundance of seafood! Have fish will eat!

Here we are at a seaside restaurant recommended by our taxi driver โค๏ธ

And here’s one meal we had at the night market before shopping!

I recommend Hua Hin to people of all ages and highly recommend it for best friend trips, couple trips, family trips and especially if you are the type who looooooooves to take photos! ๐Ÿ˜‚

However, I don’t really recommend this place for fasting month hahahahah. Theres so much delicious food and outdoor activities that you don’t wanna miss! For us we were too exhausted and thirsty to do anything! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Hua Hin is easily accessible from Bangkok. Royal Brunei flies to Bangkok daily.

The end!

How to Renew Your Passport

As a Bruneian, we have one of the stronger passports in the world – ranked 23rd by Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index. As such, we are eligible for visa-free travel to a total of 151 countries including US (only ESTA needed), the EU. So I'm super psyched to be a holder of one 😂

However, call me weird but one of those things that gives me terrible anxiety are stuff like renewing passports.

On the night before I usually obsess about how I need to be there at 7am before they open so that they don't run out of queue numbers, terrorise everyone about why can't I do this online? Why this? Why that? People are going to stare at me cause I dunno anything, will there be labels telling me where to go and if I'm in the right place? 😂😂😂

Introvert problems.

So today I finally went to renew my passport and it went really well, haha!

However, for people with the same kind of documentation anxiety as me, I've compiled a step by step guide on how to do it.

STEP ONE: Make an appointment.

Did you know that you now can make an appointment for passport renewal?

All you have to do is simply call their number at 2381856 or 2382257 between 830am to 1130am to book a slot convenient for you.

Remember though:

– Call at least a day earlier
– Come 15 minutes before your appointment
– Have all documentation ready

OR

STEP ONE: COME EARLY

HOWEVER! If like me, you didn't know about this whole appointment thing, don't worry!

Walk-ins are welcome too!

BUT! COME EARLY!

How early is early? Well, depends on you haha.

I came at about 840am on a Saturday and my number was 56. My friend was there at 730am and his number was 10. When I sat, he was just leaving.

So the earlier u are, higher chance u have of completing the process faster!

Note: There is a quota of how many walk in customers they can accept per day so on certain days if you come late, there may be a chance of u not being entertained.

STEP TWO: Make sure all your documents are ready

All you need is a:

  • Form – duly completed and signed (You can get this at the venue itself but if you like to fill them in early, you can download the forms available here)
  • Copy of IC
  • Copy of Passport
  • BND60

STEP THREE: Submit your form & then wait in line

The place to submit your form is at the Third Floor, the room on your far left.


There is a counter, and a friendly and helpful man who will assign u a number and assist you.

After that, you sit and wait for your name to be called.

Bring books, powerbank, knitting kit – the wait can take from 30 to 90 minutes or in my case, 1 hour.

STEP 4: Get your photo taken!

This part is le simple. The lovely staff will assist you.

First, you record your fingerprints on their digital scanner, and then, photo time!

FYI, the photo needs to have your ears visible and hey, smile!

STEP 4: Payment!

There will be a counter for payment and they will provide a receipt with pickup date.

STEP 5: Finished!

The passport will be done in 3 days. HOWEVER!

Look what came in by SMS at 422pm 😂

Well done to the Department of Immigration & National Registration for being awesome and efficient. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope this article helps you a bit with your passport renewing anxiety. 😂