Snowy day at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Snowy day at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

The visit to Cradle Mountain was one of our fondest memories of Tasmania. The main reason behind this was because it was the first time Anders saw snow! Staying there for just one night was probably our only regret. We headed out to Dove Lake for the best views in the area, but the weather was gloomy and snowy that day. So, here are our favourite shots of our journey to a gloomy Dove Lake!

The Great Ocean Road, Australia

The Great Ocean Road, Australia

This is the first blog post in our new Australia photoblog series. Prior to starting this blog, we traveled to a few places and we thought it will be a good idea to share some of our favourite photos from those trips with you.

First and foremost, here are our favourite shots from one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world, the Great Ocean Road.

Boutique Fair Spring/Summer Edition 2019

Our destination today was the F1 Pit building! We were heading to the highly anticipated Boutique Fair! We're not sure how many there has been in the past, but it was our first :)


Day 8 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Day 8 in Edinburgh, Scotland

It’s been a while (more than a year…) since the last post. But that’s because of all the good things happening to both of us which kept us busy last year! *Drum roll* We bought a house and got married!!! And now we are very much settled into our new life, place and roles, so back to the grind! This is a no driving day as the city is expectedly difficult to navigate and the parking system is very confusing based on our experience the night before, where we tried to park near our stay.

Our Trip to Bandung, Indonesia

Our Trip to Bandung, Indonesia

When we were looking for a destination for our end year trip, our main criteria was that it had to be relaxing. We just wanted to eat, drink and sleep. We eventually decided on Bandung, Indonesia. The reason? It’s a great city for cafe-hopping and good food! So, this post will mainly be about the cafes and restaurants we visited (and how photo-worthy they are)

【日记 Diary】2018-08-04 | Ginza Tendon Itsuki, Joe & The Juice & Two Chefs

【日记 Diary】2018-08-04 | Ginza Tendon Itsuki, Joe & The Juice & Two Chefs

早起的鸟儿不需要排队。好久不见的日本餐厅:Ginza Tendon Itsuki
There are few things that will get us out of bed early, and Ginza Tendon Itsuki is one of them. Go early on Saturdays to skip the queue.

【日记 Diary】2018-07-28 | Victor's Kitchen, National Design Centre & Grassroots Book Room

【日记 Diary】2018-07-28 | Victor's Kitchen, National Design Centre & Grassroots Book Room

一个完美周末的开始,首先要先填饱肚子。
The start to a perfect weekend is a perfect meal.

[3D2N] Our stay at Batam Sijori Resort & Spa

[3D2N] Our stay at Batam Sijori Resort & Spa

We all need a break sometimes, and after months of endless work and long office hours, we finally decided that it's time for a weekend getaway! We've been wanting to visit Batam together as it has been a long time since we visited the island. After some research, we decided to stay at Sijori Resort & Spa.

【日记 Diary】2018-05-19 | Brothers in Fine Food & Bugis Street

【日记 Diary】2018-05-19 | Brothers in Fine Food & Bugis Street

周末的开始。离家不远之处,发现了间新的咖啡厅。人潮随着我们缓慢的到来。
Over the weekend, we discovered a new cafe not too far from home. Brothers in Fine Food is located in Tampines West Community Centre.

【日记 Diary】2018-05-05 | Two Men Bagel House, Starbucks Reserve & Smiths Fish & Chips

【日记 Diary】2018-05-05 | Two Men Bagel House, Starbucks Reserve & Smiths Fish & Chips

熟悉的喧闹声配上漂浮的咖啡香还有两本“小日子”。
We settled for Starbucks at United Square. We didn't realise how beautiful it looked inside, and was also surprised by the Starbucks Reserve collection.

Day 7 in Aberdeen, Stonehaven, St Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland

Day 7 in Aberdeen, Stonehaven, St Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland

The more days we spent in Scotland, the more we fell in love with Scotland. Pleased that we chose to embark on this less touristy road trip. Now leaving behind the amazing landscapes, we are ready to be charmed by the quaint little towns.

An afternoon in Tiong Bahru

An afternoon in Tiong Bahru

We visited Tiong Bahru together for the first time to have a walk around the estate. By the end of the afternoon, it has became one of our favourite place locally. 

Bangkok Shopping Guide | Siam area, Chatuchak, Union Mall, Platinum Fashion Mall and more

Bangkok Shopping Guide | Siam area, Chatuchak, Union Mall, Platinum Fashion Mall and more

During my first trip to Bangkok, I went shopping around without much research, and it was pretty disappointing! But for this second trip to Bangkok, I went well-prepared with a list of potential shopping places.. and fortunately I had luggage space!

Bangkok Food Diary | Thai Food & Cafe-hopping

Just got back from our second trip to Bangkok this year. This time round we planned it around food, food, and more food for our short 72 hours there. Trust me, it's hard to narrow down the list of drool-worthy local dishes and the instagrammable cafes available there. But I'm glad we made all the right decisions and not waste our calories intake!

Here's the list of food we ate and like.


ONE OUNCE FOR ONION (EKKAMAI BRANCH) 

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The cafe is tucked away in a small lane so it wasn't the easiest to locate it, but we found it with the help of google maps. They have expanded the indoor (air-conditioned) area so it looks slightly different from what I have seen online. Adjacent to the cafe, there's a hip multi-label clothing store named "Onion". This tranquil cafe area is really cosy with the sunlight shining in through the large window. 

We were there early for brunch. Don't be fooled by its name, the menu is not onion-centric. Instead it offers a great selection of western food and drinks which we really enjoyed! He ordered a cup of mocha and the Grilled Croissant which comes with a tomato egg dip. I ordered a cup of tea and the Thai Garlic Bacon Pasta which was what drawn me to this cafe. We give both the dishes two thumbs up! I fell in love with this cafe and will go back in a heartbeat if I could. 

Nearest BTS: Ekkamai
Address: 19/12 Ekkamai 12, Sukhumvit 63 Rd., Klongton Nua, Wattana 10110 Bangkok
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oneounceforonion/


AUDREY CAFE (THONGLOR BRANCH)

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Desserts from Audrey Cafe kept showing up on my Instagram feed for years so we decided to give it a try. Among all of their branches, Thonglor branch have the best exterior in my opinion and it happens to be in a cafe-clustered district which makes cafe-hopping a breeze. Service staff were very welcoming and sat us at the loveliest table by the window where we can lust at its beautiful surrounding. Had a tough time deciding what to order as the menu has more choices than what I knew. 

Eventually we settled with the Thai Tea Crepe Cake and Milo Sizzling Roti that did not disappoint! Crepe cake drenched with Thai tea sauce is of the right texture and sweetness. Soon, the second dessert was served. Our eyes went big when the waiter began to pour the Milo sauce over dessert and the pan started to sizzle. We left the place fully satisfied! 

Nearest BTS: Thonglor
Address: 1136/3 Soi Thonglo11, Vaddhana,Sukhumvit 55, 10110 Bangkok
Website: http://www.audreygroup.com/AudreyCafeBistro/


BAN KHUN MAE RESTAURANT

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Found a highly-rated Thai food restaurant along our shopping route at Siam. We've always thought that an authentic Thai food experience can only be found by the streets, but Ban Khun Mae proved us wrong. 

Arrived at noon and the restaurant is already filled with locals and tourists with minimal chatter as everyone were concentrating on eating. It is of an affordable price range despite its nicely decorated restaurant setting with good service. The menu included many photos of the recommended dishes, which made us so tempted to order everything. And we did over-ordered for two to share. Reccomend you to try the pandan chicken and green curry. 

Nearest BTS: Siam
Address: 458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8, Rama 1 Road, Patumwan District, 10330
Website: http://www.bankhunmae.com/


NEON NIGHT MARKET (TALAD NEON)

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Neon night market (Talad Neon) is a relatively new night market in Bangkok and is situated 10 minutes away from Platinum Mall by foot. Popped over to this market for dinner after shopping. It's our first time having a proper meal at a night market. 

We were spoilt for choice with the various street food, seafood, barbeque and bar options. Along the seafood stalls area, we were constantly pursued by the friendly staff to dine at their area. In the end, we settled down at a crowded seafood stall and ordered Steamed Sea-bass, Grilled Squid and Pineapple Rice. The steamed fish tasted very fresh and the pineapple rice was very moist! Here's a tip, we think it's better to dine at a crowded stall as they will replenish their seafood supply more frequently than those quieter stalls.

Before leaving the night market, we got a plate of mango sticky rice from a cute store named "Mango Fu". As expected from Thailand, the mango is super sweet! 

Nearest BTS: Chit Lom
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 4pm to 12midnight
Address: 1087 Khwaeng Makkasan, Khet Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taladneon/


MBK CENTER LEVEL 6 FOOD COURT (FOOD ISLAND)

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Feeling famished after touchdown, we hurriedly checked-in to our hotel and head next door to the MBK Center level 6 foodcourt for a quick and fuss-free Thai meal. Don't confuse this with the more expensive level 5 foodcourt! It is good to note though, that the level 5 foodcourt provides halal food.

A variety of Thai cuisine are offered here at a low-price. To purchase the food, you will need top-up money into a refundable cash card at a counter first. The Pad Thai and Oyster Omelette are definitely our favourite from here!

Nearest BTS: National Stadium
Address: 444 MBK Center Phayathai Rd., Pathumwan, 10330
Website: http://www.mbk-center.co.th/en/


MISTER DONUT

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Mister Donut is everywhere in Thailand but not in Singapore, why?!! This trip had us on a "Pon De Ring" craze, eating a minimum of three donuts a day. Our absolute love and obsession, the Glazed Pon De Ring, is very soft and chewy like mochi. It is not as sweet as other American donuts and priced at only 25baht each! We even packed a box of half-dozen donuts to bring back to Singapore for breakfast, and they tasted exactly the same the next day! 

Address: Everywhere except Savarnabhumi Airport
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/misterdonut_thailand/?hl=en


Want more food options in Bangkok? Find them (Roast, Noi Seafood, After You Dessert Cafe and more) in our January Bangkok trip blog post Day 1 here and Day 2 here.

Share with us in the comment if there are any other amazing food in Bangkok that we should try in the future? 

Thanks for reading and sharing! (:
Anders + Cindy


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A Better Florist - Flower Arrangement Workshop

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Flowers are always associated with beauty and love. Many people gift flowers to their other half from time to time, on special occasions or just as a sweet surprise. One of the things that is more precious than the gesture of flowers is time. And last weekend, A Better Florist gave us the perfect opportunity to enjoy the gift of both.

Workshop

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Each workshop is unique as it features different flower combinations. For our class, the main type of flowers we got to work with are Roses, Carnations and Baby's Breath.

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The first step was to clean up the flowers. Good idea to get rid of the thorns on the roses before doing anything else. The Carnations required some 'massaging' to aid it in blooming. We also had to remove the leaves on the lower parts of the stem as we did not need them there for a bouquet.

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Next, we moved on to the hard part: Arrangement. A demo was done for us by the teacher to show us the final product. No one could quite remember all the steps, but it was fine as he guided us along the way.

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If we had one thing throughout the class, it was confidence. We thought we had a good finished product several times, only to get a chuckle from the teacher when he sees our work. And after rounds of guidance, we finally had our finished bouquet! 

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A hundred photos with one bouquet

We saw a video where Photographer Emily Quinton took many different photos from just one bouquet. So we decided we have to give it a try too! We didn't reach a hundred, but here it goes.  

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Final thoughts

In the end, a two hours workshop gave us an entire weekend of fun. Nothing beats trying something for the first time together with your loved ones. Really appreciate A Better Florist for the invitation as we enjoyed ourselves during the workshop. We both truly feel that this workshop could be a wonderful gift to your other half, as you get a bouquet of flowers at the end, and more importantly, you get to spend a great time with him/her. 

P.s Flowers are still looking good after six days! 

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Other Tips & Info:

  • Details on which flowers will be used is available at the sign-up page of each workshop.
  • Feel free to bring back leftovers for other uses such as flat lay photography.
  • Be careful while dealing with the roses as it's easy to get pricked.
  • Plant food is given at the end of the class.

2 Days 1 Night Weekend Stay at Cassia Bintan Resort (2D1N)

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We've been hoping to have a weekend getaway for our anniversary, and our immediate idea was to head to either Bintan or Batam island. However, both of us have had unpleasant experiences at some of the resorts there as they were 'aging'. Just as we were about to drop the idea, we came across an article by thesmartlocal, introducing Singaporeans to a new resort hotel, Cassia Bintan!

Day 1 - Saturday

Our weekend started with a breakfast at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. From the Killiney kopitiam where we had our breakfast, we could enjoy the sea view which wasn't too bad! The ferry terminal also had shops selling pills for motion sickness, so we got them just in case.

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After an hour on the ferry, we arrived at Bintan! Took quite a bit of time to get through the customs and security checks. But soon, we were on-route towards Cassis Bintan via a shuttle mini-van, complimentary by the resort.

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Snacks and neccessities

Snacks and neccessities

Nintendo Switch station!

Nintendo Switch station!

The lobby of Cassia Bintan, also known as the "Meeting Point", is open-air and a very inviting sight. The hotel staff were aptly named your "Friends of Cassia", as they welcomed us with bright smiles. As we arrived well ahead of the check-in time, we decided to go to the beach for our lunch!

Margherita Pizza

Margherita Pizza

Calamari

Calamari

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One great thing you'll notice throughout our trip is that the beach is not crowded at all! After a short stroll on the beach, we spot an al-fresco dining place named Xana Beach club, where we had our lunch and we highly recommend the pizza and calamari!

Living Room

Living Room

Bathroom with Separate shower and toilet area

Bathroom with Separate shower and toilet area

View from the loft

View from the loft

Kitchen

Kitchen

Outdoor area

Outdoor area

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Bedroom

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Checked into our loft apartment! The rooms with the garden view opens up to the main garden area of Cassia, while the others, like ours, has a forest view along the main road. Not too much of a difference in our opinion! Everything was still really new, so it was sparkling clean!

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Headed back to the beach after resting in our very cosy room. From here onwards, we'll let the photos do the talking. There were many comfortable sheltered seats and overall, just a really lovely beach!

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There's also a nice boardwalk near the Banyan Tree Bintan Resort, which we felt was a great photo spot.

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The night came along, and we've been looking forward to it as we were waiting to try the mookata! It's a pretty interesting idea as you get to bring the mookata back to your room. You can get the ingredients and drinks at Market 23, which is within Cassia Bintan. 

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The combo we chose comprised of chicken, beef, fish, squid, vegetables and the usual processed food like tofu and crabstick. It's more than enough for two people. Note that you will need to buy the oil though! Also based on our experience, the mookata smell will linger in the room, so it would be best that you shut the bedroom and bathroom door before starting to cook. Or you may choose to do it outdoor.
 

Day 2 - Sunday

Being in an enthusiastic mood, we decided to catch the sunrise! Hopped out of our bed and washed up in time. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy morning! But of course, that didn't stop us from taking photos!

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Went back to the "Meeting Point"  for our breakfast, where they have transformed the lobby into a dining area. Do not expect a huge international buffet, but we felt that it had everything we wanted! You'll find the usual food options on a breakfast menu, from sausages to hash browns, cereal to toasts. The egg station was a great plus point, and the thing that caught everyone's attention was the mini doughnut board! 

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The Egg Station!

The Egg Station!

The mini doughnut board

The mini doughnut board

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Jumped into the pool after breakfast. Cassia has a small pool right outside the "Meeting Point", and we spent quite some time wading in there. 

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A huge plus of Cassia Bintan is that it is part of the resorts group that manages Banyan Tree and Angsana. This means that we could use some of the facilities and amenities in each of the three resorts! SInce they are right beside each other, so we went to the Angsana pool for a swim too.

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Washed up and chilled in our apartment till check out time. We were pleasantly surprised during checkout to find out that Cassia has our ferry boarding passes ready! It is a great service to have.
As we bid goodbye, we have to say we really enjoyed the stay. A short and sweet weekend, but filled with the right amount of fun and rest. We hope to come back soon! 

Tips from the trip:
1. Ferry tickets have no seat allocation, so be at the queue early if you have seating preferences.
2. Bring your own snacks/cup noodle if you're planning a late night, but not planning to spend money on expensive supper at the resorts.
3. Power plugs are the same as the ones in Singapore, so no worries!
4. Bring a tripod for awesome self-portraits.
 

SMU Arts Festival 2017

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Didn't know what to expect at all when we decided to go for the SMU Arts Festival this year. But by the end of the day, we were glad we went! But let's not jump ahead...

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Had lunch at the Standing Sushi Bar before heading towards SMU. It was our first time there and to be honest, I was expecting to stand and eat the sushi. Turns out it's normal seating, which makes me wonder where the name came from... Anyway! The sushi was great! We ordered two rolls to share, and both of us liked the "Rockstar Roll" more!

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And we were off to SMU! Entered via the underpass, so we arrived at the Bookstreet first. The stalls all had interesting concepts! From board games to accessories to books, and even Gnome doors! We almost bought one of the board games, but resisted the impulse. Many of the stalls also had games where you can play and win prizes.

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Met up with our friend, a.k.a Tripflarebear, who was shooting the event for SMU. He told us that the exciting performances will start at 7:30pm, hence we stuck around for it. Had a quick dinner at the festival. Payment was via a card which you have to add value to add a separate counter. Evening came quickly, and the crowd began to build up. I believe they all came for "Elements", the performance we were about to enjoy.

The 'Wind' segment

The 'Wind' segment

Start of the 'Sand' segment

Start of the 'Sand' segment

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The 'Water' segment

The 'Water' segment

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Mindblowing. That's what the performance was. Cindy and I don't watch much dance performances (actually none at all), but "Elements" felt world-class to us! The choreography, the execution and the production! Everything tied in so well, and the dancers were really good. Photos can never do justice to a dance, but i'm sure the actual performance will be uploaded somewhere in video. 

The SMU Arts festival lasts till 17th September, so do check it out. Based on what we saw today, it's definitely worth the trip!

 

The Finest Thai - 8th – 10th Sept '17

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"The Finest Thai" is here! Earlier this week, we saw many people sharing about this upcoming event that is taking place at The Royal Thai Embassy. It's near to our workplace, so we decided to drop by! Being fans of Thai food, movies and music, we were pretty excited about it!

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As with many events in Singapore, one of our major concerns was the crowd. We were glad that the crowd wasn't too bad at all! We were greeted by food stalls once we entered, and many other stalls with clothing, accessories and different Thai products followed. There are also stations where you can learn silk-weaving.

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Food queues were long, but as the place wasn't too hot, we felt that it was still manageable. The one queue that you will notice will be the queue at "After You", the very popular cafe in Bangkok that many Singaporeans visit during their trip there.

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There is an air-conditioned area within the building, where there are more stalls in there! The stuff are very nicely designed, and the stalls had a makers market kind of feel to them. Some people didn't notice this part of the market, so do have a look out for it!

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One of the other issues will be the lack of proper seats for dining, which resulted in people sitting by the road inside the embassy. They have beanbags and tables, but just not enough for the crowd. 

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The most important thing to note is that the event closes at 9pm! Most food stalls were already out of food or closing by around 8:15-8:30pm. So in the end, we didn't get to enjoy much of the food, managing to only buy some spring rolls and Thai Milk Tea. Our friends joined us late and got himself a "Talad Drink", so we tried that too! 

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Not sure how the crowd will be for Saturday and Sunday, but if you want shorter queues, go in the day! The music only starts in the evening though, so it depends on what you want to experience. I think it's worth going in and having a look as the crowd is not off-putting at all! Have fun!

Day 6 in Cairngorms, Ballater and Aberdeen, Scotland

Through the glass doors in the dining area, we can see the lovely view of hares hopping around the field and horses grazing. The weather looks slightly gloomy today but that did not deter us from wanting to trek up a hill to see reindeers!!! So excited!!!

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15th May 2017

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08:00 | Breakfast at Glentorets Bed & Breakfast
The village is really quiet in the morning with almost no one on the street outside our bedroom window. Freshen up and headed downstairs for our breakfast prepared by the host, Mark. Just beside the display cabinets, there are two world maps full of flags pinned onto the countries where the guests came from and gratitude cards. What a sweet reminder!

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10:00 | Saw the reindeers at Cairngorm Reindeer Centre
Our first order of the day is to see the reindeers! Reached the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre early to ensure that we each get a place for the hill trip to see herds of reindeers roaming around freely. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, the 11am trip was cancelled. But on a good note, the staff informed us that we can buy the ticket for the paddock visit first and should the weather condition improve later, we can top-up an additional fee for the 2.30pm hill trip. 

Hence we went ahead to visit the paddock. An adorable sight greeted us when we pushed open the paddock door... it's a mother reindeer (Sambar) with its calf!!! There were three more reindeers (Scrabble, Stenoa and Olympic). However, I had a hard time attracting the reindeers toward me! 

Inside the paddock, there is an exhibition area filled with interesting facts of reindeers to read up on. So glad that we were the only ones in the paddock that morning which allowed us to slowly enjoy our time at the paddock. 

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12:00 | Lunch at Cobbs Cafe in Glenmore Forest Visitor Centre
After the long visit at the paddock, we went to the nearby cafe to have our lunch. As the weather was still pretty chilly and we were not equipped with the suitable clothing, a sensible decision was made to not go ahead with the afternoon hill trip. Really wish that we will have a chance to see herds of reindeers in their natural environment next time!

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14:30 | Adventurous drive along A939 road and spotted hairy Coos
Our drive along the long A939 road was filled with fantastic views of Scotland landscape! Stopped our car halfway and had some fun taking photos with the curved endless road behind us. From there, we passed by more majestic views which our photos cannot do justice to. You must be there to see it for yourself! 

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Soon, google maps directed us onto a narrow road which led us to spotting some... coos!!! We've been wanting to see the Coos up-close since the beginning of our trip. They look like furry soft toys!!! 

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16:00 | Discovered the glorious Ballater village
Decided to stopover at Ballater village for a quick break. The beautiful Glenmuick Parish Church stood in the middle of the park and surrounded by cute little shops such as A. B. Yule Bookshop. During our stroll around the village, we saw a fat Scottish Terrier that walks funnily due to its excessive weight.

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From a distance, we saw a beautiful row of trees with pink flowers along some houses. Upon closer look, these pink flowers are actually cherry blossoms!!! It's our first time seeing cherry blossom in person!! And we were so surprised to see it here in UK! Felt so happy and lucky to chance upon these cherry blossoms in this small town!

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18:00 | Checked into our Airbnb at Aberdeen
The host welcomed us to our cosy Airbnb and gave us a short introduction about the place. I was really looking forward to preparing breakfast in this spacious kitchen the next morning! 

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19:00 | Dinner at Brewdog Castlegate
Ate burgers and drank craft beer at Brewdog. Made a silly mistake by ordering something too spicy twice. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our time there and took a long walk back to our Airbnb while watching the sunset in Aberdeen.

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Although we did not get to see the free roaming herd of reindeers on the hill, but we saw coos and cherry blossoms which were a first for both of us. This proves that the best moments are the unplanned ones, and these moments are the often the ones that make perfect memories. Don't you agree? 

You can read up on the rest of our 17 days' adventure in Scotland and England here