Saturday, November 28, 2015

Family day at Universal Studio Singapore (USS)


YES I KNOW! USS AGAIN! But Singapore being Singapore, there's nothing much we can do. USS is considered the most exciting and fun compared to bird park or science center right? I wonder where else do people go for their family day... Hope I won't ever be tasked to organise one *prays*.

Even though it's my third time at USS, I was really excited about it! I think cause it was my first family day, so I was really thrilled about it! But actually it's more like colleagues' day for us cause we didn't bring our family along. Hahahha. Then also because BATTLESTAR GALATICA IS UP!!! A bit scared but was really looking forward to it!


Hey first time taking a photo with the globe yo!

And don't underestimate our attire, lots of thoughts went into choosing the best attire, bag and things to bring. Celine's and my choice of attire goes like that: Cannot be white top, cause might get wet and dirty. Neither can it be black, cause will be hot. The shorts cannot be those that will absorb water, so denim is the best. Shoes must be waterproofed. Finally, cannot bring too big a bag cause very inconvenient for some rides. So that's how we ended up in our almost coordinated wear. LOL.  Did I mention that we brought the same plastic bag to put our cardigan cause bag too small? HAHAAH. Apparently the rest didn't really bother about our analysis. Learning from my last trip to USS, I also brought along poncho and a water bottle.

And budget us decided to walk to USS than to take the train which cost $4. Haahah. Wah becoming more and more aunty recently. Surprisingly quite fast and not very hot!


After having some family day introduction at the Sesame Street Theatre, we immediately headed off to the Puss in Boots ride! I really wanted to just go straight for the Battlestar! But I agreed with the strategy to go by increasing thrill.

Celine and I were duper excited! The rest were just chill and strolling, but we were like running. HAHAHA. Young at heart no choice luh~ And because we were there at 10am, there's no queue at all! I remembered queueing for like an hour for it last time? And us being people who cannot follow instructions, took photos on the ride. Oops.

Thereafter we went for the Enchanted Airways Roller Coaster, which we called it the shrek/dragon roller coaster. No queue still! Not bad still like this ride!


After which we straight away chiong for The Revenge of the Mummy! Saw Aaron on the way and jio-ed him along. I'm starting to get excited! Hahhaha. Cause I remember the drop for the mummy ride is quite exciting! No queue also!! Super shiok! And I happen to be one of those irritating people who likes to scream on ride until the mouth very dry then bo bian cannot scream kind. Oops.

Since there's no queue, we went for a second round! Attempted a heart shape photo with Celine during the ride which turned out to be more like a trapezium. LOL #fail. And again, I think USS should allow us to capture a photo of the photo. They are not even making money from it! (USS are you hearing this?)


Cannot remember when we took this photo. But going by the background and the state of my hair, seems like it was taken after the mummy ride. (Need to bring comb along next time)

AND FINALLY!! BATTLESTAR GALACTICA!!! *hyperventilating*


We went for Cylon first, the inverted roller coaster in blue with your legs dangling, because the queue for Human, seated roller coaster in red, was horrendous. Turned out, the queue for Cylon was the horrendous one. We queued for almost 1.5hours for it. Oh god. I almost fell asleep while queuing. Zzz. And someone even stepped on my toe. ._. Ok luh no link, just irritated someone stepped on my toe so must mention it. 

But OMG the ride is super fun! There's only one steep drop at the start, but there are many different inversions! It has been so long since I took a ride with a inversion and I MISS IT SO MUCH!! I particularly love the vertical loop and the zero-g roll. SHIOK!!! *hyperventilating*

Zah who sat beside me was hilarious. "Omg omg omgodddddddd... AHHHHHH" *repeats* HAHHAHAHA.

After that we decided to go for lunch instead of queueing for the Human cause we are human and need to eat. Nom. Ate at Mel's which is the best in USS already. After eating we decided to take some rides first before trying out the Human Battlestar. Don't want to be a Merlion yo!


And we decided on the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, which is the water ride where the suay person will get the water. LOL. Good place to test your luck for the day! And my poncho was put to good use! 

And I made a new friend, Li Shan, who conquered all the rides with me! Hahha. Each of us have different threshold for rides. Some was Mummy's, and some was the Shrek roller coaster *cough*Huishan*cough*. The rest of us who go on the Battlestar has no threshold. HAHAHAH. 


And as usual, must keep dry. Brave soul on my right was also the suay soul. HAHAH.

Thereafter Tina, Aaron, Li shan and I decided to try the Human Battlestar. Waiting time was 45mins, but we decided to go ahead. Turned out, zero queue! Totally no mental preparation and we went on it. And also at first thought that the 45 mins can digest my food more. Hahaha. Luckily never merlion in action.

AND OMG THE FIRST DROP IS INSANE!!! HAHAHA. SUPER SHIOK!! Other than that, I think nothing much leh. HAHAHA. I was anticipating some inversions but don't have. But the first drop is really very good luh! Especially when the launch speed is quite fast. We immediately went for a second round! Having taken it once, can raise our hands now! (look ma, no hands!) Free hands very shiok!!


And the hardcore us (Aaron, Li Shan and I) went for the Cylon ride again. No regret! This time round they launched the Human and Cylon together and it was more exciting! I think it's supposed to be launched together, but sometimes the queues made it not possible. It is definitely more exciting when launched together because can hear more screaming (remember? I'm one of those irritating people who likes to scream) and also see the other ride goes past/comes very close to our's.  


Ending off with this group photo of the young peeps at my company! We are from 5 different divisions! Thanks Shem for the photos!

And theme park can really make me very excited!! 

Thursday, November 05, 2015

4D3N Phuket Kata Beach Trip – How to get there, Where to stay, What to eat and What to do

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Hello world!~

Trying very hard to keep up with the blogging momentum here!! I have been writing so many papers at work that sometimes I just don't feel like writing anymore. Hahahah sick of writing. And I'm scared that my writing style here will become like business/report writing. Oh god I hope not.

Anyway I'm back from a brainless trip to Phuket!! Brainless cause all we did is eat, sleep and not use any brain. I guess sometimes we just need trips that require no planning at all. Actually Bangkok will fit the bill every more but we have been going Bangkok way to often. LOL. Some people join tour but tour sucks luh, they make you wake up at unearthly time like 6am?! 

Anyway it was a rather impromptu trip. We saw that the tickets were quite cheap at SGD194 for 2 pax and booked it. Decided on 4D3N covering the weekend. Actually only 3N2D considering we reached there in the evening and left early in the morning on the last day. Cannot too long cause Phuket like nothing much to do. Brainless but cannot brainless too long ah.


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Super excited to get awayyyy.  Wheeeeee~

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Wing photo in the sky and over the sea! Which I assumed is Phuket? Actually I don’t know. Hahahaha. Maybe is Malaysia, oops.

So first thing when going Phuket is to decide whether to go Patong or Kata Beach or Kamala. I think still got many others but these 3 are the more popular ones. We decided on Kata Beach cause.. my dad and uncles always go there. Hahaha. so might as well yo.

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How to get from Phuket airport to Kata Beach


Unlike Bangkok, there is no train in Phuket. And taxi there is very expensive somehow. So we have think of ways to get from Phuket airport to Kata Beach. We decided not to rent a car cause Kata beach is pretty small and we don't foresee that we will venture very far cause it's supposed to be a lazy trip yo! 

Then Mr Gan did some research and found that we can actually hire a driver to bring us from the airport to our hotel and back from Phuketshuttle.com. It cost THB1700 for a return trip which is actually cheaper than taking a taxi! Plus we only need to pay the driver when we got there so we have the flexibility of cancelling it if we have other plans subsequently, which we didn't luh. Hahaha. The initial plan was to pay for the full round trip on the TO trip. But us being prudent, negotiated and they agreed to let us pay half on the TO trip and the other half on the FRO trip. Very scared they don't turn up okay. 

At the airport we saw that there’s those minivan (like the huahin’s) that will take you to Kata beach and other beaches. But how the return trip will be like we are not too sure. And as our return flight was pretty early, there might not be any taxis or minivan, so we didn't want to risk it. If next time our flight timing is better, we might try this.

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After locating our driver, off we go to Kata Beach! Here’s us being super noob and touristy looking at maps and finding out what we can do. 

Avista Kata Beach Resort and Spa



After reading through countless reviews on tripadvisor, we decided on Avista!

We saw some others but they are too expensive! Avista cost only THB9045 for 3 nights which works out to be approximately SGD120 per night? Pretty affordable given that it comes with breakfast as well.

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There’s a steep road up to the resort, so if you are not physcially abled/fit, i think this place isn’t very suitable. I always pant after walking up and Mr Gan piggyback me up once. Hahahaha. Good training yo!

And here's the awesome hotel room which is the main reason why we chose there. Cause it's a relaxing trip, the hotel is very important! Ok kidding, even if it's not a relaxing trip, we will also choose a good hotel. Mr Gan and I are quite particular about hotel and we always take extra effort to choose one that is good and not too expensive. We are definitely not budget travellers, but we choose what we deem as most value for money.  Generally if read enough reviews it wouldn't be too wrong.

The main thing about reading reviews on trip advisor or any review site is to read the worst comments. Then see if you are okay with the negative points they mentioned. And see if it's repeated and how recent are the comments. Sometime people say the facilities not good, but it was in 2013, then you can read the recent ones and see if they mentioned anything about renovation. Sometimes the guest are just anal.

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It's really very relaxing. We went to the pool to swim for quite long, drink cocktails, talk to other guest about how the cocktail sucks, etc.

What to eat at Phuket Kata Beach


Lots of restaurants to choose from! Like a short distance from our resort there's a lot already! There is this area where a few restaurants gather together. It's a very popular place and a lot of people go there! I think can just go there for food! Mr Gan and I ventured further up to nowhere on our last night and there's nothing much.


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When in Thailand, eat fried sweet and sour fish! Less than $15 each and damn nice!

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We ate our breakfast at some awkward timing one afternoon and order room service for lunch. Hahaha. Finding excuses for our laziness.

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This was what we ate on our last night. Decided to try some other cuisine which I think we should have just kept it to Thai food. 

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Lots of menu reading and eating

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The restaurant near our resort which is very good!

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Happy days~

What to do at Phuket Kata Beach


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Massage every day. LOL.

And what's Phuket without the beach? We did go to the beach but as it was the monsoon season, we did not manage to try any sea sports. If we did you all will probably not see me here anymore. Hahaha.  But luckily it didn't rain throughout our stay there so we still managed to go to the beach and swim. No photos cause very inconvenient to bring phone along! No one to look after our belongings for us.

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Starting and ending my post with a photograph of the sunset which is beautified by my yoga poses. HAHAHA

Friday, July 17, 2015

4D3N Bangkok (Chocolateville) and HuaHin (Swiss Sheep Farm and Vana nava water theme park) Trip

Huahin Vana nava water theme park


Hello world!

I am very efficient this time round! Just returned from my trip 2 weeks ago and here I am blogging about it already! Starting to find back the feeling I have for blogging! Hope I don’t jinx myself. Hahah.

Went to Bangkok and Huahin with my best travelling companion – Mr Gan. This time round I took the back seat and let Mr Gan does the planning (because he volunteered to!!). We managed to get really cheap tickets! Jetstar was having this 1-for-1 promo tickets back in April/May and we immediately booked it! Damage – SGD$214 for 2 return tickets to Bangkok with check-in luggage for 1 person. Super pleased with this buy. But of course, you get not so good timings for this. Our outbound flight was 7.10pm.

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And here we are, showing some support for the self-service check-in rolled out by Jetstar. It’s not the first time that we tried self-service check-in; we first tried it in Norway (not by choice) because there was no manned counter. Quite helpless honestly. First time and there was no one there to help us. 

Jetstar and CAG do it better. They deployed staffs to help travellers with it. So go on and try it! Many airports are moving towards self-service initiative. Better try it at home than to struggle with it when you are overseas next time!

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After check-in, went to shop at the transit area and have our early dinner. We don’t normally eat Burgerking, but when we do, it will be at T1 transit area. LOL. Lost count of the number of times we ate there.

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At the boarding area! Hair above is freshly snipped!

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And off we go! Our flight was actually delayed for quite awhile because the military closed the airspace for NDP. It was the first time for us! So take note to avoid booking flights on Saturday, between 6 – 8pm, 1-2 months before August 9! Likely to experience delay! Especially if you are transiting!

Safely reached Suvarnabhumi Airport and we went to take the train to the city! Lol. It was our first time taking the train instead of taxi. Mr Gan say to try and ok why not? Hahaha. There’s express link and city link. We took the city link because no idea where’s the express link. LOL. Total damage: THB90 for 2 to PhayaThai Station. 

bkk map

It’s quite fast actually, only 30 minutes to reach Phayathai station. There are a few stations in between. Alight at Makkasan Station if you are transferring to the MTR and Phayathai Station if you are transferring to the BTS.

But if you have a lot of people/ luggage or your hotel is located super far away from the BTS/MTR, I think taxi is better for you. Taxi will only cost THB500 with tips/toll? We have only 1 luggage and our hotel is located next to Surasak station so it was really convenient for us.

Eastin Grand Sathorn


Checked into our hotel! Eastin Grand Sathorn! Second time here and still loving it!

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Here’s Mr Gan being a dutiful boyfriend. Hahha. Haven’t even take off his shoes yet, he’s already looking through the room service because I was hungry. Hahah. And we ordered...

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Pad thai with mu (pork)!

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THB300 pad thai deserves a big picture. Ok luh quite ex by Thailand standard, but we don’t have much choice. And it’s nice, so I guess it’s worth it? Hahhaha.

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And here’s the buffet breakfast at the hotel! They have a wide spread of food! Dimsum, salad, cooked food, eggs, sushi, breads, cakes, etc. I always go for the same things though (boring person here). Omelette, pancakes, cereals, miso soup and fruits. Sometimes I will take the fried rice/pad thai if they are available. I love their breakfast! One of the reasons why I chose this place again.

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While waiting for Mr Gan’s Thai friend to pick us up from the hotel to go eat ISAO sushi. Yes, I’m aware we just ate. Hahhaha.

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The hotel's lobby. The hotel's third floor is directly connected to Surasak Station.

Anyway, we observed there’s a change in the mix of tourists in Bkk. The last time we came there were lots of Russians. This time round, there were lots of Koreans. Probably due to seasonal variation as the Russians will come to bkk at year end to escape the bitter cold~ The only constant is China-rians. But then again, there are everywhere.

And off we go for lunch at ISAO, watch Jurassic World and foot massage at Healthland Spa! I didn't shop at all this time round!

Chocolateville


And at night we went to Chocolateville!

We were joined by 2 more Thai friends and we really enjoyed ourselves! It’s really great to have local friends because they know what’s nice and can speak to the waiters in their local language. As much as some of them can speak a bit of English, they really feel more at ease to speak Thai. Nice ambiance, great food and awesome company!

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And Thais love taking photos! They happily brought us around and took lots of photos for us! 

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With our Thai friends! Ken, Wasin and Book!

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I think this information should be useful for tourist without car! Mr Gan and I used to wonder how to go back to the city from Chocolateville. Guess they finally realised the problem and provided help. The locals say it’s too expensive but I guess there’s no other choice?

Even though Ken and Book both need to work the next day, they still brought us to Afteryou cafe! Mr Gan and I always go to the one at Centralworld, so this time round they brought us to this outlet located in the rich people area. I think it’s like the Bukit Timah in Singapore? Hahha.

After You


BKK afteryou cafe

Quite a different experience!

BKK afteryou cafe

Hot brownie with ice cream

BKK afteryou cafe
Milo ice shavings with milk

BKK afteryou cafe
And of course the classic Shibuya toast

Can someone bring the franchise to Singapore now?

Huahin


And the next day we set off to Huahin! Went to Victory Monument Station to take the minivan to Huahin. Damage: THB540 for 2 people and a luggage.

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The waiting area. 

Something about me: I don't really like long bus/car rides because I will need to use the toilet and I will get motion sickness. So when we reached Victory Monument, I was feeling #%@#% because we cannot find a toilet. But subsequently managed to find a toilet in the mall nearby.

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Thought that things will get better but no!

They made me squeezed in this impossibly small seat which made me super irritated. And people who bought the tickets after us boarded the minivan first. Super angst ok! Irrational me is like trying to blame everyone (especially Mr Gan). But rational me took over (*breathe in and out*) and reasoned to myself that that I shouldn’t be feeling this way. In particular, I shouldn't be blaming Mr Gan because it was also his first time and he always meant well. I shouldn't be like a pampered princess and things just don't go your way at times. DEAL WITH IT JANE.

Managed my expectations and felt better. And things got better because the lady next to me got off midway so I’m left with lots of space. The entire trip took 3 hours with no toilet break. Lucky never drink water else sure grumpy again. And my motion sickness like cured ever since my Taiwan trip which involved lots of bumpy mountainous route.

And because the website put 2-3 hours, we thought it will be 2 hours. Oops. We were beyond  our schedule and missed the person who was supposed to pass us our rented car in Huahin. That’s right! We rented a car! But thank god for super nice thai staff at Esso who helped us to call the car rental company! So nice!

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And here we are in our own rented car! So convenient!! It’s our first time driving overseas! We too were quite apprehensive initially. But it turned out well! We observed that in Thailand they practice defensive driving. They will give way to each other. Just need to watch out for motorbikes cause they are everywhere. And also you can't wait for a clear road to turn out to the main street. Need to chino bit else you will never get out. 

We rented our car from: http://www.thairentacar.com. THB1100 for 24 hours! But you got to return full tank to them! You can arrange a pick up point with them which can be anywhere. Thereafter they will drive you to their office and make payment and also leave a deposit (with credit card).

Vroom vroom and check into our hotel! G Huahin Resort and Mall! Nothing exceptional but no complains as well.

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The balcony!
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The pool!

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Drove to a nearby mall to have our lunch. Tried their foodcourt which is not bad and parking is free! 

Swiss Sheep Farm


Thereafter we set off to Swiss Sheep farm with the help of the GPS!
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Mr Gan, his white rented car and cup of bubble tea

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Huahin swiss sheep farm
Huahin swiss sheep farm
This farm is so fun! Cause they actually let the sheeps come out and play!

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Mehhh
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Huahin swiss sheep farm

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These 2 photos were extracted from a video. Hahha. It’s super funny cause I was very scared that the mehh will step on my foot. And it seems like we have common interest - bubble tea.

Huahin swiss sheep farm

Huahin swiss sheep farm

And the mehh kept following us! Hahaha. Whenever we run he will chase after us. Quite retarded. Both us and the mehh.

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Chikok

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This horse is side glaring at us! LOL

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The place is set beside a mountain/hill which makes the environment very nice! Coupled with the cooling evening weather~

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Met this super cute small one

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Huahin swiss sheep farm

Someone fitting in very well ah!

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Finally get to see a  real llama/ alpaca! Hahhaa I have a thing for llama cause I think they have a hilarious look. Hahahha. Look at this^

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“Oh hi there, whatcha doing?”

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Trying to take a family portrait with them. Hahahha
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Huahin swiss sheep farm

Just catching up with my pals and sporting the same hairstyle

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Mountain goat!

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*inserts swan lake*

Huahin swiss sheep farm

And this photo commemorates the moment the small sheep decided to kick Mr Gan’s leg. LOL. Super funny!!! But super painful also. Hahaha. Cannot unseen it.

Thereafter drove back to have our dinner at Chao Lay seafood. I think I went there before with my Dad many years ago. Got the deja vu feeling.

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Huahin Chaolay seafood
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Over ordered as usual. And Mr Gan finished that entire plate of prawn. LOL. Sorry I can’t..

Vana Nava Water Theme Park


Next day we went to Vananava water theme park!! SO FUN! Forget about adventure cove yo! This one is the best! Quite ex though! THB1000 each, but if got student pass there will be 20% off. Ok we didn’t bring ours. And I know I’m not a student for very long already. You get towels too at THB100 deposit. So it’s free! Locker is I forgot how much. THB100? And the toilets are very clean!! super pleased with it. Wasn’t intending to bathe cause normally it will be quite dirty but turns out to be clean so I bathed!


Huahin Vana nava water theme park
Huahin Vana nava water theme park

Token bracelet for entry, locker and to purchase stuff!

Huahin Vana nava water theme park

We saw this on many videos and went straight for it!

Huahin Vana nava water theme park

Omg.. don’t underestimate the drop. They require the people on a float to meet certain weight requirement together cause might fly off. It will go up and down a few times.

Huahin Vana nava water theme park

THIS. Goes DOWN UP DOWN. The drop is much steeper than the previous one.

Huahin Vana nava water theme park

AND THE KILLER ONE! WTF WTF. Looks tame here right! It’s called a freefall slide cause it’s really like freefall. Damn perpendicular to the ground and it's like superrr high. I went up, took a look and retreated. Hahah. Initially still very brave say wanna go first but chicken out and ask Mr Gan to go first. 

Then I did the “wait wait wait” before he pushed me down. So scaryyyy. Finally took the plunge (quite literally). And my asshole hates me after. ALWAY CROSS YOUR LEGS!! The impact of the water on my asshole is astonishing. LOL. So did Mr Gan’s and lots of other people's. Not tt we didn’t cross our legs initially, just that when you fly down, that’s righttt fly down not slide down, your legs will leave the slide at certain moments and uncross. Tadah.

Huahin Vana nava water theme park

This 360 ride, is also very scary. You will stand on this manhole thing which is at the same height  as where the purple side is and they will open the lever and you will drop down. Then they will pump air to push you up. We were quite scared of this lever kind of rides and also small space - claustrophobic, so we skipped this. Lol.

Huahin Vana nava water theme park

There were 4 other slides too! Quite mild and fun but no devasting drops. Hahhaa. We played them once each and went back to play the first 2 rides multiple times. Think I lost some weight climbing up to the rides so many times. Hahha. And also! not many people!! so no need to queue! Super shiok feeling!

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The mini wave pool which we floated for awhile and we also floated in the lazy pool.

Huahin Vana nava water theme park

This obstacle course which we played. Not challenging luh, but fun. Childishly shot water at Mr Gan.

Huahin Vana nava water theme park
Their kids playground is quite elaborated as well! and there are kids slides too!
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At the base of every slides, there will be places for you to store your slippers! No need to walk around burning your feet.

Huahin Vana nava water theme park

And also very comfy pavillion for rental!

Huahin Vana nava water theme park



Ending off with this picture! Thereafter we took the minivan back to bangkok and took the train to the airport and back to singapore. Again. The minivan made me super irritated cause we have to wait 1 hour for it and ended up rushing quite a bit. Now we learnt that they operate in hourly interval. Don’t trust the websites which say 15 mins interval! And it’s like a car pool system, so people will get on and off at different points, it’s not a straight bus.

Can't wait for my next trip!