Heaven in the hills

I’ve been to Perth so many times now but I’m still discovering new fantastic places to be every single time. Tourism Western Australia, you should honestly just hire me like right now. What are you waiting for?
My visit to Araleun Botanic Park was peaceful, serene and beautiful. There were very few other people in the huge grounds besides Sam & I so it was incredibly romantic to boot. It’s like we had this all to ourselves and we’d left the rest of the world behind. The weather was also thankfully being kind to us – after days of thunderstorms and hail, when I was at the park we had a little bit of sun, light breezes.. not too cold or hot. So happy to be surrounded by fields of gorgeous tulips, lush greenery and to breathe in the fresh, crisp air. I absolutely love how you can find natural gems like Araleun Botanic Park and Cottesloe Beach less than an hour from the city. We came at just the right time – in the middle of Winter and Spring, so the tulips were out and about. I hear in the summer, the tulips are replaced by beautiful rose blooms.

Araluen Botanic Park
362 Croyden Road Roleystone WA 6111

xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Snippets from a typical day in Perth

Whenever I tell people I’m going to Perth (again, I know, I was just there in February this year), they’d be all like…. “So soon? Back to Perth? What do you do there, anyway? It’s so slow paced…”

I admit, I have a slight obsession with this Australian city. And yeah, it IS slow paced, precisely why I like it so much.
Well, when I’m not watching Taylor Swift in concert, swimming with wild bottlenose dolphins, riding horses on the beach, taking overnight road trips and the likes…. I do the things normal people do, in Perth. They’re not especially glamorous or particularly exciting but I love it anyway, because its still so different from Singapore. Even something as mundane sounding as taking a walk in the park makes my day because the weather is so beautiful (when it doesn’t decide to hail).. and yes, the grass IS greener on this side. So is the sky, it is infinitely bluer. I guess it also depends on what you make of the situation. Whenever I’m in Perth, I’m spending time catching up with family and friends that I haven’t seen in a long time, so I have heaps of fun no matter where I’m at! So here’s what I do on Perth, on a normal day

My chosen get up of the day to frolick around Perth.


Uniquely Perth 1: Hello, overpriced Chinese food.
Your average Chinese restaurant in Perth is nowhere near as good as Singapore’s (Well duh. Sidetracking a bit, SWEE CHOON IS THE BEST SUPPER PLACE TO HAPPEN TO SINGAPORE) but we’ll make do.. Because what the heck, everyone gets sick of pastas, steaks and burgers after a while, and chinese food is a welcome change after having Western consecutively. 
Apparently everyone else agrees because it was 11am on a Sunday and ALL the Chinese restaurants offering dim sum were crazy packed!!! We’re talking 20 people waiting in line outside a fullhouse restaurant kind of packed.
After driving around for 30 minutes, we finally found a quiet stretch of road with a restaurant that actually had seats.
Happy whenever I can have a meal with my mum. I really don’t see her enough, she’s always overseas.
A lot of people have commented recently that my mum and I look alike. I don’t really think so?! The only similarity is our long faces… her nose is wayy sharper than mine, and our eyes and lips shapes are totally different! I don’t exactly look like my Dad either (not pictured above). Makes me wonder if they picked me up from a rubbish bin like they used to joke about.
After dim sum, we head straight for desserts. Mum couldn’t stop raving about this place and insisted we come here!

Loving all the low rise buildings with individual, unique, family-owned stores. Simple things like that fascinate me… like how much land they have in Australia compared to Singapore. I’ve grown up living in one of the smallest countries in the whole world.
The place is called Theobroma Chocolate Lounge, if you guys would like to check it out.
Choosing your dessert is serious business… 
Uniquely Perth 2: Indulge in sweet stuff. I love how almost every Western cafe and restaurant offers cakes and yummeh desserts in Perth, something we don’t have enough of in Singapore. Sure, we’ve got just a few niche cafes specializing in some chocolates and desserts mostly in obscure locations popping up recently… but we need to have em more readily available!!!

Raspberry cheesecake *_______* Super light and fluffy, not heavy at all, which was lovely. I noticed they always serve cheesecake with a generous dollop of whipped cream. I think it’s an Australian thing.
Holy cow…. melted warm Belgium milk chocolate drizzled over freshly made crepes, with 2 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream at the side. GET IN MY BELLY!!!
The chocolate was sooo rich and wonderful. Normally I’m not even that big a fan of milk chocolate (I’m a white choc kinda girl) You know with all the crazy amounts of mad food I stuff my face with in Perth, its a miracle I don’t put on weight whenever I go there. I weigh myself before I went, and after I came back, I wasn’t any bit heavier.. which was shocking. I was like :DDD when I saw the scale. I reckon it is coz of all the walking I do in Perth, which I don’t bother with in Singapore because the weather is too unpleasant. I come back with largely developed calf muscles lolol.
Uniquely Perth 3: Awesome number plates on vehicles!

I saw Jessie once. My friend said this Leonardo car plate would be worth up to 5k….. In Singapore you can only bid for nice sounding numbers like 8888.

You’ll see quite a lot of unique and vintage cars in Perth. Vehicles in Australia are so cheap and aplenty, you can get a second hand one for under 5k. And for the record they don’t have a 90k COE price tag that Singaporeans have to pay….

This one is so funnily shaped and its called A Minor!!!! Cute maximus. Actually now I’m wondering if its A Minor as in music or…. A minor as in underage?! 
Uniquely Perth 4: Go grocery shopping in their larger than life supermarkets. Holy guacamole.
Look at that fully stocked deli. I have died and gone to housewife heaven. If I lived in Australia I would cook wayyy more often than I already do in Singapore. SO MUCH fresh produce in Australia….. back home the supermarket doesn’t even stock steaks…. or sometimes even minced pork…. or basic fruits and vegetables like lemons. -___- 
*stabs self in the heart and dies* Nothing is more frustrating than finding a great recipe only to find you don’t have access to the damn delicious looking ingredients!!!
Back to the apartment for a change in outfit, Mum lent me her Abercrombie & Fitch track suit….. and somehow persuaded me to take a one hour brisk walk / jog around Burswood Park, 10 minutes from where we stay.

While jogging along the Swan River…. Not bad for a candid shot hey?!

Just my hair…. swaying in the wind. Went to touch up my fiery tresses at Shunji Matsuo a few days before my flight.

Good thing I did because it got me countless compliments from Perthians!!! Been 2 weeks and its still blood red. I still can’t understand how they got my hair so red without bleaching it! I’ve never been complimented this excessively by strangers and honestly having complete randoms suddenly come up to you, exclaiming excitedly “I LOVE your hair!! Where’d you get it done?” while almost rudely reaching out to touch your hair without permission is something I haven’t gotten used to yet. Cuz then I have to tell them I did it in Singapore and they look all disappointed like…. well at least you peeps in Singapore know who to go to for awesome hair coloring.

Uniquely Perth 5: Strolling along the Swan River and taking in its beauty.
It is ever blue and sparkling, and home to many different animals as well! A lot of people in Perth have told me they spot dolphins happily cruising this river frequently – I have yet to see one myself!! The Swan River runs along most of Perth’s landscape…. and it is a stunningggg backdrop for the city. I LOVE looking out for birds that live around it, such as these boastful black swans which the river was named after. They’re everywhere!!!

 My favorite past time in car rides is to look out for unique birds flying around. Western Australia’s wildlife is truly astounding, even in the city and urbanized areas. Wildlife is definitely something I feel deprived of when I’m in Singapore. My hometown is a fantastic super rich super modern super safe super clean city with super infrastructure etc etc but its lacking these simple basic things that makes life extra beautiful. I love animals! Not in the “I love puppies / kittens / bunnies and all things cute” or dog lover kind of way… but I love WILD animals, being around them, learning about them in documentaries, observing them up close.. :)

In this small park alone I spotted black swans, swifts, silver gulls, great comorants, crows, magpies, three different types of ducks, willy wagtails, HUGE PELICANS, rainbow lorikeets… and others I don’t even know the names of. They filled the air with all sorts of animated happy chirping and calls, and it was fun to see bright colors zooming right above my head, barely inches away from me. Some even walked right up to my feet (hoping I’d feed them?)….. no fear man.

I have this new found fascination with birds since frequenting Australia because they have so much of them. Who knows, in the future I might be one of those weird bird watchers going to nature reserves with binoculars and a notebook lol.

While we’re on the topic…. check out this strange lady feeding all the birds. 
We walked over in bemusement and said hi to her but she shot us a strange look, then turned her back and ignored us. I guess she prefers birds to humans by a long shot. You can’t see the rest of the birds outside of this shot but there must have been 100+ of them O_O
Sam being wonderfully childish and scaring them off after the lady got up and left. I love how he too thinks chasing after sea gulls is hilarious. I enjoy doing that way too much for a 20 year old… sea gulls are so annoying and funny at the same time hahahaha
This is what I mean when I say the Swan River really completes Perth’s beauty.
Uniquely Perth 6: King’s Park.



Panoramic views of the sky line you won’t get anywhere else, and velvety lush gardens!!! I’ve been here every single trip to Perth, and I will continue making it a point to visit in all my future trips. No trip to Perth is proper without checking out King’s Park, one of the largest inner city parks in the world… even bigger than Central Park in New York! I would have loved to have taken more pictures but it was just too damn cold and windy, I was literally shivering. I have more pictures in my archive taken years ago if you wanna have a look.

It is Spring in Australia now, wish means wildflowers galore!!!!!!!!!! Fields and gardens blossom with an assorted array of flora. If you take a few hours drive outta Perth you will be amazed at all the wildflowers you can see. These lavender bushes smelled like heaven…. or rather just like the body lotions and bath soaps I pay $20 a bottle for. 

These Instagram (@shiberty) pictures were taken around the neighbourhood, with the purple one literally being right outside the door step.

Bel and I!!! Right before we went to have yummy pizzas at Little Caesars for dinz.
Very appreciative of friends who take time off their busy schedules to hang out with Sam and I and bring us around to cool new places when we came to Perth on a last minute decision :)

Bel, Conan, H, Robert, Gwen, Denise… you guys are all awesome ♥

Despite it being Spring, it felt A LOT like Winter.. hence we were dressed for the occasion. It’d be like 9 degrees in the day time. When the wind blew I felt like dying.

For some reason the whole week I was in Perth happened to be a freak week of unforgiving thunderstorms, hail (yes, muthafuckin hail!!! god was basically taking a cold poop on perth) when I was told the week Before AND After I visited, straight days of warm sunny perfect weather. Someone up there doesn’t like me.

At least that gave me a valid reason to wear my cute beanie. I hope the next time I visit it is during summer so I get to go to Ningaloo Reef… which I’ve been planning to for agesss. 
So so so much of Western Australia I’ve yet to explore. I feel like I’ve barely uncovered the tip of the iceberg. 
xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Genting Highlands Part 2!!

If you haven’t read my Genting Highlands Part 1 Post yet, click here!


Rise and Shine!!

….Not really. We’re not morning people at all :P So knackered from the day before we were, that we only managed to drag our bottoms out of bed when breakfast was over, so we missed out on the buffet breakfast! That’s alright though, because in two hours, lunch was gonna be ready for us.

But first, we venture into the Outdoor Theme Park! Tickets are priced at RM 50 per adult.

We got there a little past 11am and there was already a whole lotta people… it filled up even more as the day went on. It is always a popular place, so your best chances at short queue lines would be just when the park opens or when it’s about to close.

The first ride you’ll see upon entering the theme park – the spinner!!!!! It looks like it might give you a bad headache going in so many circles, but it’s not so bad. Way better than the pirate ship kind of ride.

My older brother used to LOVE this one. He hates roller coasters and heights, but he doesn’t mind spinning stuff, probably coz it’s not too high and the wind in hair feeling is quite enjoyable. :) I can still hear his excited wails going “WooOOooOOo!!!” in my head as I picture us going round and round, in the sky.. I was probably just 11 years old then.

Good times.

Waiting in line for our turn!

Cup corn – my must have whenever I’m in Genting!!! The corn is sooo sweet..  although the amount of melted butter at the end of the cup is quite alarming (and addictive o.O)

As theme parks go, the outdoor theme park wasn’t huge, but it was quite big, with all sorts of different rides. The kiddy ones are adorable! I’VE BEEN ON EVERY SINGLE RIDE IN THE THEME PARK!!! (in my life, not during this trip only) Can I get a medal please?

My favorite one used to be this horsie thingy that would go up and down…. I like the feeling of my guts in the air hahaha. Imagine one of those cute kids up in the air was me….. at 9 years old…. yep.

You can see the rainbow First World Hotel this prominently from the theme park – that’s how close it is!

If I had to use only one word to describe the aesthetic appearance of Genting Highlands, I would say…. Colorful. Everything is so brightly colored. I mean… just look at First World Hotel.

The queue for this hang gliding flying coaster was insanely long – had to wait something like over an hour!!!!! It reminded me a lot of a smaller version of the Manta Ray we sat in Sea World, Orlando.

It was brain-mashing fun of course, got the adrenaline pumpin’ going, by the time we finished this, we hardly had any time left for other rides before lunch came along. Anyhoo, some of my other favorite rides were either under construction or under maintenance, so we didn’t get to go on the other thrill rides.. but that was okay with us.

We managed to squeeze in just a teeny bit more theme park time at night, right before dinner, and we got through my favorite ride – the Space Shot!!!!

It slowly lifts you up into the air 185 feet off the ground, then DROPS you right down at 67km/h – NOT for the faint hearted!!!!!!  :D

Because Space Shot is located on the edge of a hill top, it feels a lot higher than it actually is when you’re dangling in the seats, with nothing below you and overlooking the whole theme park with the best bird’s eye view of it.

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Nothing makes you hungrier than roller coasters and cold weather.

We welcomed yet another amazing meal by Resorts World Genting with open arms!!!! They seriously spoiled us rotten.

Happy Valley Seafood Restaurant @ Lobby Floor, Theme Park Hotel

What’s for lunch this time?

Yesterday for lunch, we had abalone, king prawn tom yum, the nicest steamed fish I’ve had… Next day, we’re having lobster, crabs with salted egg, and live prawns……..

I APPROVE. :P

How do you know your seafood is as fresh as possible? When it’s still swimming in front of you when you enter the restaurant! We saw someone use a net and catch a fish out of the tank right in front of us – we were so near, tank water almost got onto me.

Nice.. I think.

Sam found this seafood specimen hilarious. It’s called a geoduck. I was sort of glad it wasn’t on our menu, although it would’ve been interesting to try.

It looks like a……..

A………… ***PG-13 Rated Blog Post*** Normally, I’d say it, but this is a sponsored post, and I must be professional. LOL.

Sweet Corn with Crab Meat Soup - I would’ve liked the crab meat soup better without the sweet corn, but maybe that’s because I already had sweet corn before lunch. :P

You’ll find rather generous chunks of crab meat floating in the thick soup…. why is seafood in Malaysia (and Genting in particular!) always so cheap and gooood?

Australian Lobster baked with cheese – Fat Lobster. ’nuff said.

Sorry for the difference in photo quality as compared to pictures taken on the first day, I switched from my DSLR to an outdoor compact camera as I didn’t wanna lug a DSLR through the theme park.

Live Prawns fried Hong Kong style – I don’t know what hong kong style is, never been to Hong Kong. What I do know is that the stuff on top of the prawns is delicious, and so is the fresh prawn meat!!!

Live Crab fried with Salted Egg - To DIE for.

The salted egg sauce = super gao. Crab meat was firm (not soggy like gross old / unfresh crabs) and succulent. My favorite word to use on seafood is “succulent” LOL if it’s succulent then it MUST be good!!!!!!! The salted egg sauce beats any I’ve tried in SG hands down… but then again, I haven’t had a lot of salted egg crabs in SG – can anybody recommend me good restaurants with big crabs? :)

Deep fried chicken with Plum Sauce – tastes like sweet & sour chicken. Simple and satisfying.

Stir fried baby French Beans with Belacan – Tastes just like home.

Every dish has been at least a 7/10 so far.  Even though Happy Valley restaurant has a more humble layout and concept than Imperial Rama, the food was still great. You can’t survive just on abalone and durian tempuras everyday, anyway! :P

Steamed Soon Hock – It was the same type of fish as the day before, but tasted completely different (equally as awesome though) because of the way it was seasoned! Soon Hock, you are my new favorite fish to have at a restaurant!!!

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Sadly, we didn’t have time to stick around for dessert, because Sam & I had to rush off for our appointment….

We were going to do INDOOR SKYDIVING!!!!!!!



Genting Sky Venture @ Level T2A, First World Plaza

2nd time I’m doing this in my life, and Sam’s virgin attempt! I’d raved about this unique activity to the bf time and time again, I was glad he’s finally going to try it himself. I’d first did indoor skydiving also at Genting with my cousin more than 6 years ago!!!!

We bought the DVD filming of us “flying”... And here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

Sam helped me edit the video (his choice of captions ahaha), and I requested for “I Believe I Can Fly” as the theme song. LOL. The first part of the video, you’ll see Sam struggling to stay airborne, a random cute chubby kid doing swimming movements, and towards the end, at 2:13 you’ll see me. Acting completely retarded. I commented, “I dunno why my hands look so weird!!! I had no idea I was doing that action with it. So stiff.”

I have my hands spread out in this stuuuuuupiiiiddd “CLAW” position all the way till the end of the video…. My friend Nicholas burst out laughing when he saw it.

He said, “You look like you’re drying your nails!!! YOU’RE DOING THE SALLY HANSEN POSE!!!!

………….OMFG.

We both laughed and laughed so much I think I had a tear in my eye. I really WAS doing the “dying my nails” pose – that’s EXACTLY how my hands look like when I’m having a manicure done, waiting for my nails to dry. Hey…. I wonder if I paint a fresh coat of nail polish then air dry it at the indoor skydiving wind tunnel, how fast it’d dry, since wind speeds go up to 193km/h.

How stupid I look aside, indoor skydiving was BOMB, just like I remember it to be. You feel an instant sense of weightlessness when you enter…. you somehow immediately float up the moment you lean forward. I tried to smile for the camera because I knew it was rolling, but couldn’t, because the wind speeds were so strong, it felt so forced!

 My favorite part was how at the end the sky diving instructor came and grabbed me then spun me up and down and up and down. I have no idea how he manipulates his movements so easily. The wind is so strong, it’s deafening. I think I did not bad though!!!!



Mission accomplished babe!!!

Who is this girl and why is she not afraid of looking stupid?!?

Another one to check off the list of crazy things we’ve done, and are going to do together :)

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The perfect way to end a crayy crayyy day like the one we just had…. is with a BLISSFULLY relaxing time at quiet spa. Hell yesssss!!!!

M Spa & Fitness @ Lobby Floor, Maxims Genting Hotel

A nice place to get away from the hustle & bustle, which is all about in Genting.

Okay… I’m ready to be pampered, M spa, so let’s see what you’ve got!

Carol sweetly pouring tea for us as Sam looks on in bemusement… CAROL!!!! DON’T NEED TO KNEEL PLZ. Lol.

I happily snap vain pictures as I wait for hot tea to be poured. Why my life cannot everyday like this ah??

Thanks to Carol & Christine, Sam and I got the couple room for our massage treatment that is to come. However, there were separate sauna & jacuzzi rooms for males, and females.

You get to enjoy 1 hour usage of this area before your treatment starts!!!

 Unwinding begins in three…. two……

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One.

Ahhhh.

Hot bubbles melting all my worries and troubles away. Err, not that I had a lot at that moment in time. Except, how was I going to eat more abalone for dinner? I was still full from lunch.

The steam and sauna room… which I couldn’t last more than 3 whole minutes in. Too hot to be considered relaxing for me! I know it’s meant to be good for you because it gets out the toxins in your skin etc etc but I eventually gave up torturing myself and just sat in the warm jacuzzi chatting with the PR girls from Genting.. which was a lot easier.

Can you tell? I’m as relaxed as relaxed can be.

 Do I look like I just went indoor sky diving and sat on roller coasters and screamed my lungs out on thrill rides? No? Good.

I was led to our couple room for the massage to begin :D

We were not naked, ok? I know confirm someone’s gonna ask if I don’t have this disclaimer up… We’re wearing disposable shorts / undies / bra underneath our towels.

BUT SO WHAT IF WE WERE??? Lol.

Our treatment was called the Hot & Cold Stone Therapy - like the name suggests, it uses stones soaked in either cold, or hot water, rubbed with massage oil all over your body. It really is quite lovely and unlike your usual massage with bare hands.

I prefer the texture of smooth, curvy rocks on my skin – soothing, and it works better for me because some times I feel uncomfortable when human hands touch me.

They lay hot stones on the bed for you to lie down on, covered with a towel (so it doesn’t jab into your skin). It sounds painful, and it kinda is a little sometimes, but most of the time it’s very very very relaxing. The mixture of hot and cold stones on your skin takes some time to get used to, but once I did.. I relished every single second of it. Probably one of my most favorite spa treatments of all time because it was that special. It was about 1 and a half hours long – to my liking.

The longer the treatment, obviously the better… n_n

Here’s some other treatments they offer if you’re interested in checking M Spa & Fitness out!

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Everyone’s happy and rejuvenated after their spa treatment. We walk over to have our dinner at

 Genting Palace Restaurant @ 2nd Floor, Maxims Genting.

Which proved to be overwhelmingly popular – the entire restaurant was packed with people and the lines outside of it was pretty atrocious!

I think….. the spa therapy was very good. In fact, just a little too effective. Because somehow, taking a picture of the menu slipped my mind, and I dug in without even asking of the names of the dishes. LOL. I was both sleepy and hungry at the same time. Oops!!!

But since I already have such an extensive coverage of food above… I figured you could do with mouthwatering pictures of the food without captions this time. :)

It was fabulous, in case you couldn’t already tell. Once again taken aback by the stunning quality of food we’ve had in Genting. Judging by the amount of food photos I have in this post, this is turning out to be a food tour of sorts!!

We had a friendly chat with the chef, who danced a little for us (hehehe really) and slowly talked the night away over a 2 hour dinner…

That, was the end of our wonderful second day of adventures in Genting.

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Next morning, we were all packed and prepared (but very reluctant! T_T) to go home the next day.. but not after some breakfast at

The Bakery @ Lobby Floor, Maxims Genting.

This is where my family and I normally have breakfast when we’re at Genting too, my grandmother sits and sips coffee here.. but now they’ve renovated the whole place and updated their menu – it looks so much more modern.

What a spread! We had everything on our table, from smoked salmon sandwiches to beef focaccia to mango cupcakes to cheesecakes to hot chocolate to latte… that was about half the table’s worth only. Yummy!!!

A good breakfast set the right mood for the rest of our day – which mainly consisted of a 7 hour coach ride back home to Singapore. We gave Carol & Christine hugs, said our goodbyes, and begrudgingly left the mountainside for our concrete jungle once more. I hope this won’t be the last time I’m back here!

A shout out to Resorts World Genting for their generosity, giving me the opportunity to revisit this nostalgic place and relive memories, Nuffnang for arranging this for their lucky bloggers, and the rest of the people who made the whole experience mega awesome!!!

Sam & I had immense fun! I’m glad he ended up enjoying himself that much considering the last time we were in Malaysia, we didn’t have such a good time at another popular tourist spot that failed to live up to expectations.

This has changed the way I look at and feel about Genting – now, instead of just precious memories with my family & friends, I have some with other bloggers & my boyfriend! And to be honest, I’ve never quite associated Genting with  good food… but now…… I clearly will. :P

I will continue to have dreams of durian tempura and abalone and indoor skydiving for weeks to come.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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