I love the land of the rising sun.  Food had always been the top of my list, and not forgetting the hospitality in the Japanese culture and of course the nice weather.  Bringing the girls to Japan for a holiday had been on my mind for the longest time.  I worried a lot about the radiation to the girls but after speaking to a few doctors, I decided to just stop being worrisome and enjoy the destination.  We planned 7 months ahead because we heard about rooms being sold out in popular ski resorts.  We planned a 16 days holiday; 16 days also partly due to the fact that my helper is going for her home leave for 3 weeks and I thought being away would be the best way to avoid the chaos at home.  We finally decided on Tokyo and Hokkaido.  Tokyo for the Disneyland and Hokkaido for the snow.

Red eye flight into Tokyo. The kiddos slept throughout while Daddy and Mummy became their pillows.  We arrived deadbeat and stiffed.  Because of my prior experience of the teeny weeny rooms in Japan with Mum in May, we wanted bigger rooms because the kiddos would be running around in the room.  We tried the Hilton at Odaiba City this time.  We were very impressed with the size of the room given. It came with a nice view of the rainbow bridge. Due to its close proximity to Aqua City and Diver City,  staying at the Hilton Odaiba was pleasant.  Nice restaurants were 2 mins walk away and there were alot of kids’s activities in Daiba. Hilton Odaiba is a good neighbour hotel of Disneyland and thus there were free shuttle for us to and fro Disneyland and Disneysea.

Although we had a week in Tokyo, we planned our schedule leisurely.  Daddy always liked his holiday the chillax way and with Alexis around, there was no way to be chillax. If I were to pack the schedule, I would end up with a grumpy Daddy.  We are late risers and daylight in Tokyo was short during winter. With that, we basically had a few hours a day to walk around.  Once the sky turned dark, the weather became too cold for all of us to stay outdoor.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

We were told that the LEGOLAND is small and we would probably be disappointed. However it turned out that we had to beg the kids to leave.  The centre was indeed small but the kids were so engrossed into the activities. They had indoor playgrounds, 4D cinema, an interactive lego laser ride and a lego model building class.

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Tokyo
Island Mall 6F, Decks Tokyo Beach,
1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 135-0091

Tokyo Disneyland

Initially we set aside 3 days for Disneyland and Disneysea. After visiting Disneyland for the 1st day, we decided to just keep the other 2 days to visit other places in Tokyo. Disneyland Tokyo was alright.  Just that the feel we had was too similar to Hongkong.  It was really crowded too, each ride took us at least 45min to queue.  A few of the roller coasters were also closed for maintenance.  The kids were disappointed with that.   The restaurants were also jam packed with park goers. We had a hard time getting tables and queuing for food. Good thing was we all had the magical feel that was always given during a visit to the Disneyland.  Get the tickets at Disney stores in the city Disney Store or online to avoid the queue.

Tokyo Disneyland

 

Tsukiji Fish Market

We were initially told that the fish market would be relocated by the end of 2016.  Good news for us! The relocation has been moved back till further notice.  Getting to the fish market was rather straightforward via the train.  We brisked through the inner market. There was tuna auction on most days but limited to the 1st 120 visitors per day.  The auction would start at 5am and queue could form as early as at 2am.  We got our brunch fixed at the outer market, it was rather hard for us as we were walking around with the stoller.  For mummies going there with your bubs, use a baby carrier instead. The streets were crowded and it was literally impossible for our stroller to pass through.   Do check their website for the calendar and opening days.

Tsukiji Fish Market Website

 

Sensoji Temple

My 2nd time here in 2016.  Visited the famous temple with the kiddos and soaked in the atmosphere of the busy streets vendors and rich culture.  A brief stop before we headed over to Tokyo Skytree which was one train station away.

 

Pokémon Centre at Skytree

Add: 1-1-2 Oshiage | Tokyo Solamachi, Sumida 131-0045, Tokyo Prefecture

Do not expect much at this venue. It is merely a merchandise store that sells a lot of toys and souvenirs. However even though it was just that,  that was enough to make the kids go crazy.

 

Meiji Jingu

Love the tranquillity of this place.  Lauren left her wishes here.

 

Owl Café Harajuku

This small café exceeded our expectation.  60 min session was truly educational and highly recommended. Lauren had the chance to interact with all the owls and even handled them on her arms.  Booking is required so make sure you reserve your slot at the link above before you head down.  If animal café is your cup of tea, there is another cat café down the road. Mocha Cat Café

 

Off to our next destination, Hokkaido!!

 

 

 

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After coming back from Sydney, Kel got to travel for work. Because he had to stay behind while I was away to look after the girls. He pushed all his trip behind. Me being the super super sticky wife, could not bear the thought that I had to be away from him for so long.  After enduring 5 days, I booked a last min flight on Tigerair to Bangkok to spend the weekend with him. I left on a Saturday 8am flight but my 1st experience with Tigerair was disapointing. My flight got delayed for 5 hours and I only reached Bangkok at 3pm in the afternoon. My original ETA was 940am. 🙁  I reached the hotel at 4pm and rushed to Platinum to do some shopping as Kel was with customers at that time.  I bought quite a few apparels within an hour and headed back to Grand Hyatt to meet Kel for dinner.  Had his favourite MK Gold at Paragon. Walked across to Siam and found a nice dessert joint, Mango Tango.  Very nice mango and smoothie.

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Siam was lively at night,  I continued my shopping at the roadside stalls and ended the night with a nice foot and body massage. I plan to stay at Siam Novetel for my next trip. This area seemed to suit me better.

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We stayed at Grand Hyatt this trip, the hotel has the very luxurious upscale feel. A very different feel from my usual hotels in Bangkok. Although not as convenient for me to shop,  I still enjoyed the experience because it gave me a very different feel.

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We went for the must have breakfast in Bangkok. Soi 19 Wanton Noodle. Long queue as usual and we needed 2 bowls of noodle. each bowl was 100 baht. Not cheap for the amount they are serving. (You can finished with 2 mouthfuls) Actually did not see locals eating there. Mostly tourists and Singaporeans. Located at Soi 19 Petchburi Road,
Pratunam, Bangkok.  If you are around that area, do make a trip to try. Ermmm actually there is also a stall in Singapore where they serve similar Wanton Mee. They are not related to the stall in Bangkok but the taste is quite similar. It is located at Blk 151 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5 Coffeeshop, Singapore 560151

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Spent some time drinking coffee and people watched before Kel sent me to the  airport. 24 hours in Bangkok but felt so accomplished.  Chop Chop and get to see my love. Nothing to complain except the disappointing experience on Tigerair.

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I am very lucky to be part of a company that brings their employees for yearly incentive trip. This year we went Sydney! That was also partly dued to the fact that we did really well last year and our big boss fought to have us travel a little further.

We did a red eye flight into Sydney and arrived the next morning. I would not bore you with the details but lots of photos. Touching a little at the interesting places we went.

Day 1 was basically letting our body get use to the time zone, there was only 2 hours difference but the fact that we did not rest well on board made us all zombies on the first day. We took things light and lunch at Darling Harbour.  Lunch was at Nick’s seafood. I love their calamaris.. Ok I love any calamari. Nothing too fanciful but you know when you are half zombie, you do not really bother about the food.

We went to the Opera House and took lots of photos. More like I took alot of photos for my colleagues.. So here is the only one that someone else took for me.

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We had dinner at Aqua hosted by our Sydney’s colleagues. The dinner was fantastic. Really really good and I heard it wasnt cheap too. Really good food. But my camera was flat so I did not get any photos of the dinner. Worth a try if you are in Sydney.

Aqua syney

 

Day 2.

We went for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. I was half hearted on this itienary because of my acrophobia.  I am the type who cant even look over the shopping centre railing so when I heard that the bridge climb is going to be climbing all the way to the top. I almost fainted.  You know you cannot really reject your boss’ proposal so I gritted my teeth and went ahead with the rest.   I found out that the climb was very costly at AUD$278 per person. Woah….  The experience was scary but I was really proud of myself that I overcame my fear and climbed all the way.  Some tips for those who are keen to try. You CAN bring your sunglasses along so dont listen to people who tell you that you cant. You will be given a strap to hold the sunglasses. No cameras, no phone actually nothing except sunglasses and emergency medications are allowed. Wear shoes with shoelaces and comfortable attire. (You will be given an overall to wear)  Here are some photos taken by the crew.

BridgeClimb Sydney Flags Morning 412150584 412150510 412150550 412150618 412150600 412150619 BridgeClimb Dawn Climb Sydney Opera House BridgeClimb Sydney Skyline

 

Day 3

We went to the beautiful Blue Mountain! The name Blue Mountains is derived from the blue tinge the range takes on when viewed from a distance.  It took us 2 hours ride on a coach from central Sydney to reach Blue Mountain.  We visited the 3 Sisters; the Blue Mountain’s most spectacular landmark; an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone.  Strolled along the amazing bushwalking tracks in the reserve and also had lunch at the breathtaking Echo Point.  We spent half the day and left for our Sailing experience from Darling Harbour. I took motion sickness pills before the ride and it really helped. I truly loved the sailing experience and of course all the photos onboard were fantastic!! We even got to steer the boat! Although not as steady but with all the encouragements and guidance, I was seriously considering to continue on a boat trip back in Singapore.

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Day 4

Hunter Valley and horse riding day. Ok when they mentioned horse riding, I thought was those in Singapore Zoo where someone will lead the horse and you ride slowly.  I was shocked when they placed me onto the horse, told me 4 simple instructions on how to Go, Stop, Left and Right.  Then I was off to go with Charlie (my horse) into the wild, yes wild as in out in the field where you can see Kangaroo jumping beside you and a hare popping out from the tall grass in the middle of your path. Honestly it was not easy at all. My horse was always hungry, he would stopped and eat as and when we walked pass any grass patch. He would walked right into bushes and tress and all the branches would swept all over me and I had to scream for help.  Charlie would gallopped when he realized he was too slow and needed to catch up.  Ok the gallopping was scary. Firstly I felt as though I was going to fall off.  Next my bum was super sore from the slamming when Charlie gallopped.  (Now I understand why Jockey has to stand when they are riding). Finally after a 45 min or so of riding, we got back to the stable.  One of my colleagues fell off her horse because another colleague’s horse went to irritate her horse. Omg… she got a cut on her arm and face. But even so… everyone agreed that this horse riding was a fun experience.

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Last day

Sydney Fish Market. For really really fresh seafood breakfast!! Lots of Sashimi and Oysters( I dont take Oysters).  Then we headed to Paddey’s market nearby before going Home Sweet Home…

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Time to work hard to look forward to next year incentive trip!

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It was my 1st visit to Kidzania, I have heard so much about it and finally I decided to combine a family trip, Guys can golf, Ladies can Shop and Kids go Kidzania!!!

 

A little background about Kidzania, They currently have 16 locations worldwide and there will be one coming to Singapore end of 2015! Every KidZania is themed as a child-sized replica of a real city, including buildings, shops and theaters, as well as vehicles and pedestrians moving along its streets. In this city, children aged 4 through 12, work in branded activities from bottling Coca Cola, working in a dentist office, working at a Mcdonalds restaurant, washing hands with P&G’s soap, and using airline tickets from AirAsia.

 

I have to say whoever that came out with this idea is a genius. Even myself is in awe of the whole concept. It’s like we always asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. The answer to this question is answered at a single venue.

Kidzania Bangkok is huge, there is 2 levels, (3 infact, as there is a small underground for 1 of the occupations). We arrived at Siam Paragon at 11am and there was already a long queue at the ticketing counter.  We bought our tickets online before the trip thinking that we can skip the queue. Sad to say, we still have to queue to collect the tickets. My advise is to just buy the tickets there to avoid all the hassle. We were all given a wrist tag, that is for security purpose where it is equipped with ID chip and frequency antenna.

 

kidzania map

 

The 1st thing we did is to go to the bank. 🙂 We were given a cheque of 50 Kidzos( Kidzania currency) where we have to cash it before we can start the journey. Lauren chose to be a policewoman at the 1st stop and earned herself 8 kidzos. Her role was to patrol the town and looked for suspicious character.

 

Her next stop was whichever position that had the shortest queue. Hahaha. She went on to be a pump attendant. pump attentant2 pump attentant

 

Next she signed up to be a doctor and she went around the city in an ambulance to treat someone who called for help.

 

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Lauren and Cayden explored the city, trying out different occupations like MTV VJ, Oishi factory worker, Stewardess and resting at a disco. 🙂oishi Stewardess disco

VJ

 

All and all we spent 5 hours there and sad to say we did not manage to complete the city. We will definitely return to complete as I could see that it brought so much fun and joy to the kids.

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