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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Riders Cafe

Date: 02.07.2015

This is super duper back dated, but if I don't blog about it, I 不甘愿 you see.  And no worries, this special cafe is still operating and doing well ^.^

Riders Cafe is one of the most romantic cafe  I had been to.  It's tranquil environment is something you can't find in other cafes.
Valentine's Day is less than a month away, so can consider.....

In front of Riders Cafe is this scenic sight.....

And behind, a stable.  So that's where the cafe's name came from I suppose.

Somebody was on "guard duty" at the entrance during our visit.

I took a few pics of this cute grouchy fellow.

A small flight of terracotta stairs that leads to the cafe.

Though non-aircon, it was cooling, thanks to the cottage high ceiling.

We sat at the balcony, overlooking the stable.
Breathing in and out (废话, else die already), no funny smell at all from the stable, in fact the air was filled with mellow fragrance from the greens.

We sat back and relax, truly and totally relax while waiting for our orders to come.
For the first time, I was secretly hoping our food would come later.  I enjoyed looking out doing nothing.

Lamb Shank S$29.00
Meat was tender with thick savory sauce with beans and potatoes.  Portion was so big that we couldn't finish.

Riders Burger S$18.00
Big fat beef patty was pink and tender inside that "kiap" with tomato slices, lettuce, saute onions, ham, cheese, pickles, and of course, bread buns which were warm and soft, yummy big time.  Fries were normal which really filled us up.

Death By Chocolate S$13.00
Super rich chocolate cake in a pool of melted dark chocolate with 2 big scoops of vanilla ice-cream.  It was highly recommended as their signature dessert.  Not bad but gets too jialet half way for semi-senior citizens like us >.<  lolxx....  Portion was huge, sharing with 4 pax was not a problem.

Another word for tranquil is 鸟不生蛋, which means it's far far away from the main road, no nearby bus or MRT, can't reach even if you could jog.  Directing a cab in can be a problem, getting out is another headache.  If you drives, all problem solved!

Despite of being so inaccessible, I heard that reservations are needed to secure a table during weekends.  Do let me know if you like this place after your visit :)

Riders Cafe
51 Fairway Drive
Singapore 286965

Friday, 22 January 2016

My Winter Vacation Part 3 - YingJie Hot Spring

Part 1 click HERE
Part 2 click HERE


Destination:  HeiLongJiang (黑龙江), China

Duration: 23 - 30 Dec 2015 (8 days)

Mode of travel: Package with Chan Brothers Travel

Flight: Air China  (via Beijing)

Damage: S$1,878/pax, Tour Guide Tip: RMB200  Local Guide Tip: S$16, other compulsory/optional tours: RMB1,420 (slit throat + heart bleed)

Currency: RMB (we rough divide by 4.5 to convert to S$)

Time Difference:  Same as Singapore

Weather: -22 to -30°C



As said at the previous post, we reach YingJie Hot Spring Resort (英杰温泉酒店) after dinner.
It's about 60km away from Harbin city, with various recreational facilities good for winter as well as summer.  You may find out more from their website ~ www.yjwqjd.cn/

Spacious with 2 super singles.

Slippers that fits the both of us perfectly!

More lady birds at the window sills and yes the corners were frosted.  They were alive but thank goodness none crawled up to our beds >.< 

View from our window was scenic.

I love my zoom lens, saw a person herding cows.  Probably it's something that goes on normally or daily, but totally fascinating to us!  In Singapore we only see herding children to schools lolxx...

This pic was taken at the window of the lift lobby.
The blanket of snow on the roof was sparkling as if there were diamonds on them against the morning sun ray.
Survival Tip #2:  DO NOT stare at glaring snow for too long as it may damage our eyes.

Buffet breakfast at the 1st floor.
Not fantastic but had to make do.  I hate using their metal plate, made me feel like a jail bird >.<  Anyway, didn't eat too much as we were going to the hot spring.

Looked fab even without makeup.
 Actually cheat one, I used this app called BeautyCam, filter until swee swee, heehee...

Entry band, without this cannot enter their hot spring area.

We wore "sheep towels" instead of swimming caps, but later we realised it's not compulsory.
Lounge wear provided in the room.

The entry of the hot spring area was guarded and gated like our MRT.

Swimsuits were sold, prices not as cheap as TaBao, but cheaper than Singapore.  Tempted to buy but I already had quite a few suits and I hardly wear them, haiz......

Huge heated swimming pool.

Hilarious english.

Red Wine hot spring, but not sure if it's really red wine, we had a few minutes of foot soak here.

Spend a good 15mins alone here while hubby went for a swim at the heated pool.
Each pool has a nice little tent beside for visitors to hang towels/clothes and place slippers, and where we dumped our old digital camera.

Here's a sneak pic of the outdoor hot spring.
 We totally couldn't bring ourselves to walk out wearing only bath robes in that -25 degrees for hot spring dip in.  But quite a few of our tour mates did!

After the hot spring, we headed out to explore around the resort.

Learnt from the first day's freezing experience, I was all geared up this time:
Presenting the chio-est eskimo!  Lolxx....
Survival Tip #3:  Contact lenses and fake lashes are possible!
Both lenses and lashes were amazingly good and intact for more than 8 hours.  I wore glasses on certain days, in comparison, I think lenses are better as glasses will fogged up if you wear a face mask.  So if you prefer glasses, it's better to get those anti-fog spray.

Wore thick thermal top and bottom bought from Beijing previously, a wool sweater, Uniqlo leggings over colorful fleece tights (from Beijing) and solid down jacket (from Korea).
Survival Tip #4:  More layers doesn't mean warmer.
I had heard people wearing 5 or 6 layers of clothings to keep warm.  It's ridiculous, it hinders movements and super uncomfortable.  How to enjoy when you are uncomfortable right?   For such weather that dips beyond -20 degrees, wear the warmest thermal that you can get in the market over a proper wool sweater and not 6 layers of summer sweaters which is just good for Genting but totally useless in winter.  I survived well with Uniqlo's fleece turtle necks, thin, cheap and good!

Moving on, there were snow motorcars, which we didn't try, scared langgar (crush in malay) lolxx...

Also a gentle slope for skiing.

Some Mongolian yurts, looked cute but not sure what's inside.

Opposite the yurts were a vast of snow with picturesque houses with mountains behind...
The peaceful sight was so beautiful and unreal..... I am so fortunate to see these, isn't it.

We then head back for buffet lunch at the 7th level (if my memory didn't fail).   A lot of locals were in their bath robes, probably just had their hot springs, which I could understand.
But walked in wearing swim trunks/suits was too much for me to deal with  -___-|||  If you have this 6 abs to show off or devil body with 24 inch waist and D cup boobs, I will be happy to eat ice-creams with my eyes, but sadly none.

So I tried to keep my eyes on the table, but when hubby came back with this tray, I wished I was blind >.<
I don't know what's on his plate sia >.<

Here's mine, and I HATE the jail bird metal plate -________-  but the porridge was yummy.

The lounge, just opposite the buffet cafe was the best I ever seen!
  It's free the all resort's guests to rest and relax.

After lunch was a 4 to 5 hours coach ride to YaBuLi (亚布力) which was about 177km away from Harbin city.

Toilet stop with some vendors selling fruits.

Dinner, with a duck head staring at us >.<

After dinning, we reached Yabuli Ski Resort (亚布力滑雪旅游度假区) for a night's stay.

We bought some frozen pears (冬梨) to try.
They have to be thaw by soaking in water.

Here's a video:
The frozen pears were stone hard, pong pong sound when knocked them together, haahaahaa....  We were supposed to leave them in the water for 30mins but we took out one to try after about 15mins lolxx... Outside was thawed but not the inside.  Thawed frozen pears tasted as if they were being cooked, very soft, some were sweet and some were a bit sour.

I will post up the details of Yabuli Ski Resort (亚布力滑雪旅游度假区) on the next entry.  Thank you for reading ^.^