Hello hello, it has been a while since I updated this blog. November 2022 has got to be labelled as the busiest and craziest month for us. Phew. And we are so glad that everything is over. Well, not everything but maybe that ONE particular event. (*/ω\)

Since I have been away for one month, I thought it would be good to do a wrap-up on what happened this November. It involves some travelling, some annoyance, some happy moments and a tad bit of illness. If you want to know all about my November, come along with me as I bring you on this journey with me~! ⁽⁽◝( • ω • )◜⁾⁾

Experiencing Tangkak for the FIRST Time!

If you have no idea where is Tangkak, fear not, you are not alone. I didn’t know where is Tangkak until I got to know my sister-in-law (SIL). Tangkak is in the state of Johor, Malaysia. As a typical Singaporean, I only know Johor Bharu and its City Square Mall and KSL. So it is good to be able to know more than just those places that we typically visit over a weekend. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Since Tangkak is only a small town, the best way to get there was by car. We decided to make our way there on a Friday evening since the wedding dinner was on a Saturday. You can imagine the jam at the checkpoints as Malaysians are making their way home for the weekend as well.

It took us a total of 4 hours to get from Singapore to Tangkak, which includes two hours of traffic jams to clear both Singapore’s and Malaysia’s customs. (ノД`) I was taking the middle seat and my butt was so numb for the whole journey. Boy was I glad once we got to Tangkak. 〜(><)〜

MEGA Accommodation & Delicious Food

Finding accommodation in Tangkak is not easy as it is just a small town. There are not a lot of hotels to choose from and even then, most of their ratings are just average at best. According to my brother, B&B seems to be the popular choice in Tangkak. And that is how they got us our accommodation for the two nights we were in Tangkak.

The B&B they booked for us was HUGE! It has a total of 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, of which 2 rooms have attached bathrooms. We took the 2 bedrooms with attached bathrooms while my SIL’s friends took the other rooms when they stayed for one night after the wedding.

During our stay, my SIL also drove us around for a peek at Tangkak as well as brought us to try famous Tangkak food when they had the time. We have to say, Tangkak’s food is delicious but boy oh boy are they way too tasty and oily for us. Haha! (*/ω\)

A Unique Malaysian-style Wedding Dinner

The wedding dinner was also an eye-opener. It was so different from the weddings we had in Singapore. A karaoke machine was prepared and guests are welcome to sing on stage to celebrate the occasion. Group photos were also less formal. Everyone just did a yam seng toast at their respective table and that photo taken would be the group photo.

The most interesting thing was eating pork ribs with our hands. My mum thought the plastic gloves packet was a flavour packet to pour on the ribs before I told her that those were gloves for us to dig into the ribs. Haha! (´・ᴗ・ ` ) The whole event was definitely a more casual and fun one as compared to how we do it in Singapore. (´• ω •`)ノ

Experiencing Kuala Lumpur with My Parents

We were supposed to head back to Singapore the day after my brother’s wedding. Considering that my birthday was in two days’ time, hubs suggested that we could extend our stay in Malaysia by visiting Kuala Lumpur. I didn’t want my parents to go back to Singapore by themselves so we decided to ask them along. (´ ∀ ` *)

Since my parents were with us, we decided to take it easy while exploring Kuala Lumpur. We stayed at the Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which has direct access to its shopping mall so my parents could probably take a walk around the mall when we have some free time to ourselves.

We also had a half-day private car tour that brought us around the must-visit places in Kuala Lumpur. Our guide was totally funny and knowledgeable. It would have been even better if we had a Mandarin-speaking guide as my mum had to do all the translations for my dad. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

For our meals, we decided to hit up Jalan Alor for our dinner. It was after the rain but surprisingly a lot of people were already there for dinner. It sure was nice to see a lively crowd. (*´▽`*) We also went to a Japanese restaurant for my birthday. Spoiler alert: A big cockroach made an appearance on our table just before our dessert was served! I shall talk more about this incident in a separate blog post so stay tuned. (⊙_⊙)

As much as I think there was not much that we have done, my parents mentioned that they actually enjoyed the trip a lot. Sometimes I think I can be too critical of myself. My parents simply just enjoy spending time with us even if we are not doing a lot. (´• ω •`) ♡

Erm Hello… COVID-19 in the House…

Having avoided getting the virus since 2020, hubs and I tested positive two days after getting back from Kuala Lumpur. I guess we can only blame ourselves for it as we were mostly unmasked while in Kuala Lumpur. (´・ᴗ・ ` ) It was only a matter of time before we got infected since everyone around us has recovered from it. With such a busy November, I was exceptionally stressed that we would catch it before we fly to Thailand or before my brother’s wedding in Singapore.

On the night of my birthday, I was actually feeling a bit off and was already suspecting something was wrong. I was feeling okay the next day and was flying back to Singapore so I did not think too much of it. As a precaution, we kept our masks on the whole day.

Feeling Like Crap after Being Positive

The next day came and I was feeling like shit. We did our ART and it came back negative. But everything points to us being infected so we waited until the next day before we did our test again. I was feeling like CRAP. Had a fever throughout the night and was shivering like mad. It was so tough to sleep. 。・゚゚*(>д<)*゚゚・。

And as predicted, our ART came back positive the following day. I was still having a fever. Feeling like crap, had no appetite and apparently, a heightened sense of taste, i.e. things felt oddly salty. I was already feeling like crap with no appetite and my food tasted worse than ever. Gaaaaaaaaah. It was a terrible few days before it wound down after that.

We were flying to Thailand the following week so all that we could do was pray that we would be okay by then. Thankfully, our ART came back negative the day before we were bound for Thailand. PHEW. (´-ω-`) But the after-effects totally suck for me. We walked a lot while in Thailand and ‘cos I was feeling weaker, I could hardly walk much. At times, I felt like I was breaking out in cold sweats. That few days at the start were just terrible. We waited so long for this trip but didn’t get to enjoy it as much as we wanted to. (╥﹏╥)

We had a rather stress-free experience while in Thailand. If you saw the crowd at the night markets, you would know what I mean. Since we just recovered from the virus, we did not have to worry about being infected. So, in a way, we were lucky that we caught it before this trip. (-ω-、)

Experiencing the Beauty of Chiang Mai

And so our trip to Thailand started off in Chiang Mai. Compared to the hustle and bustle in Bangkok, Chiang Mai felt different upon stepping out of its airport. It was our first time here and we cannot wait to explore the city. We opted to stay within or near the Chiang Mai Old City as recommended for anyone who is visiting Chiang Mai for the first time. As first-time visitors to Chiang Mai, there was so much to see and eat! w(°o°)w

Temple Visits and Chiang Mai Weather

While in Chiang Mai, the number one thing we had to do was to visit the many temples located within the Chiang Mai Old City. With over 30 temples in the zone, we had to be selective with the ones that we wanted to visit as it got a bit repetitive the more that we visit. (*/ω\)

We chose to visit Chiang Mai in November as the weather here was supposed to be cool during this period. It is cooler than Bangkok but during the daytime when the sun was beating down on us, the heat is still unbearable. Unlike Bangkok, there are no high-rise buildings to shield you from the blazing sun and heat. The only thing we could do was to keep walking or head over to the other side of the road that has more shade.

We did A LOT of walking from temple to temple and at times, that was when I felt like I was breaking out in cold sweats. Since we had to take off our shoes when we enter the temples, we opted to wear our slippers instead. My soles were so sore by the end of the day. I swear visiting Chiang Mai immediately after recovering from COVID-19 was torture. (╥﹏╥)

Anyway, we visited a total of 5 temples, including Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Pha Lat which are located outside of the Chiang Mai Old City. I would be sharing my experience about my visits to these temples in a separate post so stay tuned for them! ♡ ( ̄З ̄)

Lovely Accommodation and Trying Out Local Food

One of the things we wanted to do for this trip was to spend more time experiencing Thailand and less money on expensive accommodation. We chose to splurge for one night stay at The Inside House before switching over to a condominium located at the fringe of the Old City. And honestly, it was all worth it. The Inside House was amazing but the condominium unit was just as fantastic. It felt like both a home and a hotel combined into one.

The best thing about staying in a condominium/AirBNB is the freedom to order food delivery using the Grab app~! For some weird reason, I always think it is very awkward to order food while staying in a hotel. (*/ω\) Since I was not able to walk too much, we tried out a lot of local foods through food delivery and I am so grateful for that. If not for Grab, I doubt this would be possible and the whole Chiang Mai trip might be more regretful than happy. (´• ω •`)

That being said, we still managed to visit a number of local eateries/restaurants and try out the local food, like the super popular Khao Soi Maesai for the popular khao soi. There were so many people queuing outside the restaurant that it was so confusing. I would be sharing my experience on this so that you can be less lost when you get there. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Exploring the Familiar Bangkok

After being in a new city for five days, we moved on to the ever-so-familiar Bangkok~! We stayed at the exact same hotel as we did back in 2019.

Appreciating the Public Transport System

One thing that we appreciate a lot once we get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is the public transport system. In Chiang Mai, the easiest way to get around is the songthaew, which is similar to a public bus in most cities. We did not use the songthaew and ended up taking a tuk-tuk or getting a car through the Grab app instead. For foreigners not knowing how the songthaew works, it can be sort of intimidating to try it and that was why we ended up walking A LOT in Chiang Mai. (*/ω\)

Anyway, as I mentioned, we were so thankful for the public transport system in Bangkok. We could get to most places by taking the BTS or MRT and hardly call for a car since we know how jammed the roads can be here. We also got to try out the complicated ferry system! The ferry can bring you to so many places but I honestly think this time be the last time I am taking them. I just can’t handle the possibility of puking before I board the ferry. (″ロ゛)

Enjoying the Not-So-Crowded Attractions

With Thailand being almost back to normal, though a lot of locals are still seen wearing their masks, a lot of places of interest that we visited were packed with people. Be it the night markets or temples, it seemed as if everything is back to the pre-COVID days. In a way, we were thankful to have just recovered from COVID as we did not have to be too wary of crowded places. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Anyway, we chose to visit Wat Arun and Wat Pho this time and as compared to the time we visited the Grand Palace, there was significantly less crowd. It might be due to not having Chinese tourists hence the drastic difference. The temples were still crowded but not as packed. So for that, we were happy to have more space to explore while in these places. ( ´ ω ` )

Trying More Local Foods

As mentioned, we wanted to spend more time experiencing Thailand hence we decided to break out of our comfort zone to start exploring more local foods. We still had the popular foods in Bangkok but this time we also visited some local-only eateries/restaurants. Sometimes just opening up Google Maps and randomly finding a local shop to eat at can bring about so much fun and surprises. I really enjoyed the way that we are travelling now. ╰(*´︶`*)╯

Back Home with the Final Event of November

With only one day of rest after coming back from Thailand, it was time for the final event of November, my brother’s wedding in Singapore. As with everything that the couple has planned for both weddings, I had so much to say about the planning process. Everything went well on both occasions but the tiny details that go into both weddings could be so much better. o(>< )o

Let’s just say I wasn’t happy with how my brother planned things around us, i.e. my parents and us. There was so much focus on my SIL’s family and sometimes it felt as if my parents and we were not important. Plans were not well-thought-out AT ALL. I understand a wedding is mostly about the couple, I have been through that myself. But even my hubs, who usually is quite okay with most things, is disagreeing with so many things the couple has planned.

We had to work around the couple’s timing instead of them ensuring that we are comfortable with the arrangements. Everything was just so last minute. I was informed of an ill-planned decision one day before I fly to Thailand. He told me that if I have something better, I could try it out when I voiced my unhappiness. I was like hello, I am flying the next day and I don’t have time to deal with this right now. A lot of things happened even on the wedding day as well as the day after. I shall not go into them but let’s just say I was so glad everything is over. I just can’t deal with the nonsense. (#><)

Final Thoughts

Well, this post went longer than I expected! (*/ω\) I had so much I wanted to share but this is just a post to summarise what happened in this busy November of mine. I am definitely going to be sharing more details of all the things that we have done in Malaysia and Thailand. So do stay tuned to all the upcoming posts in the coming weeks or even months!

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