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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Amante Nail Spa Charity Fair

We are back from our 11 days Korea trip.

And we certainly miss Korea. 

Will blog about our Korea trip soon but before that there's a message to be delivered to anyone who is reading this.

Let's do some charity together!

If you are interested, here's a chance for you to lend a helping hand to the needy people.

Amante Nail Spa (a popular beauty and wellness spa centre) will be hosting a one-day Amante Charity Fair on 7th September 2014 from 10am to 6pm.

It's a combination of beauty and charity which polishes your outer beauty and enhances your inner beauty at the same time! Continue to read to see how you can do that.

In conjunction with this fair, customers can purchase the Amante Charity Coupon booklet for RM35. Inside the booklet has 7 X RM5 cash vouchers where you can purchase treatments, activities, food and games at Amante Charity Fair and BONUS thank you RM88 Hot Stone Massage treatment!

Everyone loves massage right? 


Proceeds from the Amante Charity Fair will be donated to GOOD SAMARITAN HOME – Home for Children in Malaysia for their education. We believe by helping to raise funds for this home would make learning possible for students of all ages, from pre-school to graduate school, providing basic education to those who need it most.

We would like to invite you to come join us on the 7th September, 2014 at Amante Kota Damansara to show your support for these amazing young children and to Good Samaritan Home.

So why not get yourself a relaxing spa treatment and help the underprivileged children at the same time? It's a win-win situation or should I say killing two birds with one stone? =D

SUPPORTING UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN
TO LIVE THEIR DREAMS
THROUGH BETTER EDUCATION!

Steps to participate in the charity fair:

1. Purchase the Amante Charity Voucher booklet from the nearest Amante outlet. Visit www.amante.my for a list of locations near you.

2. Don’t have time? You can transfer/bank in to Amante Beauty Care Sdn Bhd (MAYBANK ACC NO. 512491131743). Send transfer note/bank-in slip to amantecharity@gmail.com with name, e-mail address & mobile number. You can collect your Amante Charity Coupon Booklet on 7th September, 2014 at Amante Charity Fair.

That's all!

Let's have fun doing charity!

by
CSY

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How to Select the Best Sunscreen [Product Review]

If there is a survey about the most popular skincare product in Malaysia, I wouldn't be surprised if sunscreen came out topping the list.

Malaysia weather is generally hot and sunny all year round. A day without exposing to sunlight is rare, unless you are the typical couch potato. Sunlight is the main source of UV (ultraviolet) ray which provides essential Vitamin D but is also a natural enemy of young and flawless skin. It accelerates aging, causes freckles and dehydrates the skin.  

Here is when sunscreen, or commonly known as sunblock here, comes in handy. Sunscreen helps shield our skin from the harmful UV ray. During my previous Bangkok trip, I made sure to apply sunblock everyday before going out and even brought along my sunblock to reapply it in the noon before the sunblock thins out. 

I know the variety of sunscreen in the market can be quite confusing so I have listed five (5) criteria for selecting the best sunscreen.

1) Spray or Lotion type?
There are articles that reveal the risks of using spray-on sunscreen. Although it is convenient to use and less greasy, it is impossible to avoid inhaling the chemical spray because the particles are too small to be seen. It is also easy to miss a spot when spraying sunscreen on your skin so you might not get maximum coverage.

2) 'Broad spectrum' sunscreen
Some sunscreen products only protect against UV-B ray but there are few in the market that protect against both UV-A & UV-B ray to ensure maximum protection (e.g. Sun off a Beach). UV-B is the chief culprit behind sunburn, while UV-A, which penetrate the skin more deeply, is associated with wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other light-induced effects of aging. So it is important to check whether the product is able to protect your skin from both types of sunrays.

3) SPF
'SPF' which stands for 'Sun Protection Factor' refers to protection against UV-B radiation which burns the skin. A few years ago, choosing a good sunscreen meant you just looked for a high SPF - which rates how well the sunscreen protects against ONE type of cancer-causing UV-B. The truth is you don't want a sunscreen with SPF higher than 50 because it might expose your skin to damaging UV-A rays, which also cause skin cancer. A moderate SPF of about 50 is hence more than enough.

4) Portable in pocket, no sticky sensation
You need to bring along your sunscreen if you are exposing your skin to the sunlight for long hours. Sunscreen normally runs out after one or two hours depending on the exposure so make sure to reapply it often. This is when a portable sunscreen makes a great choice because you can put it into your pocket or hook it onto your sling bag. It is also important to buy a sunscreen which doesn't give the greasy feeling but also moisturises your skin as well.

5) Water resistant 
If you are going to be in the water or exercising, get a sunscreen which is resistant to water and sweat.

While selecting the best sunscreen is important, it is even more crucial to use it correctly. Here is an important tip to make good use of the sunscreen that you bought - Lay it on THICK.

Slather a generous, thick layer on your face or body regardless of how ghostly and pale you look after applying. A good sunscreen should blend with the skin after application and not have you looking like a Peking-opera performer. Sunscreen is like toothpaste, if you don't use it enough, it's not going to work. Many sunburns which occur despite using the sunscreen are caused by infrequent and faulty application.

This is also mentioned in a Korean beauty programme called 'Get It Beauty'.

Tips: Use a tablespoon of sunscreen on your face and about 50 gram for the whole body.

So after carefully going through all the criteria, I have finally found one sunscreen product that successfully fits all the criteria listed above - Sun Off A Beach!

Sun Off A Beach does not only fit all the criteria above (lotion, broad spectrum, high SPF but not >50, portable and water resistant), it also contains Ceramides which are critical components of our skin barrier to not only keep pathogens out, but also to keep moisture in. This hydration is necessary to allow cellular turnover while keeping our skin healthy and vibrant. It also maintains the firmness of the skin. It sounds like a dream come true for skincare product lovers! 

Not to mention it is also suitable for both face and body unlike some products that are only suitable for either one.

There are two types that you can choose from - Anti-aging & Sensitive. I chose anti-aging because I was so afraid that the damage of sunlight would make me look older than my real age.

As you can see, the sunscreen is fast absorbing and quickly blends with the skin after application without causing your skin to look greasy and pale. Plus it doesn't have the sticky after-feel which deters people from using sunblock. Remember, a tablespoon for your face! Not teaspoon!

Sun Off A Beach can be hooked onto anywhere for convenient use. Surely gonna hook it onto my sling bag when I'm going for a beach trip at Haeundae Beach in Busan!

Lastly, I would rate a 5 star ✮ for the convenience and high performance of this product! Would sincerely recommend it to anyone who is planning to buy sunscreen *thumbs up*.

The price is RM22.80 for 50g! 100g is also available for regular user.

Grab it now before the offer ends! Click the link below to find more details about the product and also get 15% rebate off your purchase by using the coupon code when purchasing: CYKCSY
http://www.hishop.my/sun-off-a-beach/?utm_source=www.cykcsy.co.vu&access=clicks

Also
‘Like’ HISHOP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hishopmy
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and subscribe to HiShop for exclusive updates:  http://www.hishop.my/subscribe

That's all for today's review!

by
CSY

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Amphawa Floating Market - Amazing Bangkok Trip #7

If you look closely at the map of Thailand, you can see stretches of rivers branching into the mainland like tiny veins underneath your skin.

In ancient times, these river networks are conveniently utilised by farmers to deliver goods from farms to markets before the invention of road and railway. People would then gather on the river banks to trade goods, creating a prosperous waterfront community which is also known as floating market.

There are not just one, but many floating markets in the southern part of Thailand where most of the rivers are found. Amphawa floating market is located at the Amphawa district of Samut Songkhram province, along the banks of Maeklong river. Unlike Damnoen Saduak which is a morning market, Amphawa is an evening market which opens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 3pm to 8pm. Amphawa is also less crowded compared to the more touristy Damnoen Saduak. We were told by Apple that Amphawa is also a favourite weekend getaway among local city folks as it is not too far from the city.

To visit the Amphawa floating market, we signed up a one day trip package with Visit Beyond and here is the itinerary of our one day trip:
With the guidance of our personal tour guide, Apple, we walked from Maeklong railway market to the centre of the town, which is only a short distance away. The blue vehicle in the middle of the road is known as 'Songtel', which literally means 'two rows' depicting the two rows of seats at the back of the vehicle.

We quickly got in one of the 'Songtel's which was waiting for more passengers to fill the seats. We reached Amphawa after a 20 minutes ride.

Miang kham which is a traditional snack in Thailand. Tiny cubes of shallot, chilli, ginger, garlic, lime, roasted peanut and salted shrimp topped with palm syrup are pre-wrapped in tea leaves and skewered onto a stick. Sadly this Miang Kham that I bought at the road heading to Amphawa floating market is a tad too sweet for my liking.

'O Liang' which is thai local iced coffee. 'O Liang' is our favourite thirst-quenching beverage in Thailand and we had it almost everyday. This particular 'O Liang' at Amphawa floating market is our favourite as the coffee is very fragrant and not too sweet.

The beautiful picturesque floating market in Amphawa. Too bad the photo came out blurry. Amphawa floating market consists of old wooden row houses along the riverbanks of Maeklong river (Amphawa canal) covering a distance of about 800m. We walked along the wooden row houses, crossed the bridge at the end and continued to stroll on the opposite river bank. That basically sums up our trip at Amphawa.

You can find many shops selling cheap souvenirs, handmade products, T-shirts and accessories. A minimum of 2 hours was spent sightseeing and souvenir scouting at this happening market.

Must try ice cream shop at Amphawa floating market. We decided to try the Asam boi and butterfly pea flower ice cream because it's nearly impossible to find them in Malaysia.

This shop offers a variety of ice cream flavours. There are just too many to choose from!

Srimala Ice Cream Shop. You will be able to find it easily as it is located along the river bank.

Happy to indulge in the coolness of the ice cream.

Christy and Apple were discussing about something excitedly while I just posed for the camera. 

At Amphawa, every scene is a perfect holiday snap. Even with a touristy pointing-at-something pose. 

Must buy item at Amphawa floating market: coconut oil skin care and hair products! I only bought a bottle of hair serum and a lip balm because I thought I could get it at somewhere else but I was wrong! Regret it afterwards because the coconut oil hair serum is superb and it's only 200 baht for one bottle! You should really get few bottles before heading back to Bangkok.

Posing again.

With Jac Jac.

Weeee.

There are a few guesthouses at the floating market itself but the room rate is definitely higher compared to Bangkok guesthouses. Apple suggested us to stay at guesthouse located just outside the floating market as it would be cheaper. A couple of nights spent at Amphawa would be just nice for a couple anticipating a romantic trip. Next time then!

Another picture of the floating market taken by Jac Jac's camera.


Not sure what is this called but I've seen many street food vendors selling this. Apple told us it is some kind of Thai dessert in mini claypot.

You can hop into a boat if you fancy a boat riding tour to cruise through the floating market. We decided to skip the boat tour because it would be too time-consuming and we had to rush back before the curfew.

Taking group picture at the bridge connecting the river banks.


Boats selling food near the bridge.

Spotted many local people and tourists who managed to find themselves empty spots on the river banks and ordered freshly grilled seafood. Wish we had time to sit down and enjoy yummy seafood as well. Next time then!

That's all for today! 

If you are staying for a night at Amphawa, do not miss the firefly watching tour at night! 

Other ways to get to Amphawa if you are not joining tour packages:
  • By car: From Bangkok take Rama II Road (Highway No. 35) When you reach Samut Songkhram Province, take Highway No. 325 (Samut Songkhram-Bangphae). Go on for about 6 km, between kilostone 36 and 37 turn left to Amphawa District. Keep going, go over a bridge, then turn left to Wat Amphawan and find a parking space there. 
  • By bus: Take a bus from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal. When you get to Samut Songkhram, take a local bus (Mae Klong-Bang Nok Khwaek) at the bus terminal. 
  • By van: Vans to Amphawa are available at Victory Monument and the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal.
Will be taking a short break from Bangkok posts. My Seoul-Jeju-Busan trip with Hubby is just one week away! Stay tune for more Bangkok and Korea trip posts!

안녕!

by
CSY

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mahachai Seafood Market - Amazing Bangkok Trip #6

Yay! Another Bangkok post! Rushing to finish all Bangkok-related posts before heading to Korea for a 11-day trip with Hubby. 

So the previous post was about Maeklong Railway Market which was part of our itinerary planned by Visit Beyond at Lub d. 

There are various short trips offered by Visit Beyond. Head over to the counter and ask for details!

Visit Beyond office is available at Lud d Silom & Siam Square. We bought the one day trip package for 1800 baht per pax. 

After settling the payment, we were told to walk to the Visit Beyond main office located not far away from Lub d Silom in the next morning. A simple map was given so need not to worry about getting lost. 


We found ourselves in another guesthouse which accommodates the Visit Beyond main office. We sat down in front of the counter and waited for our tour guide to arrive as we reached there quite early.

After a short wait we were introduced to our tour guide, Apple who is a local Thai.

And the journey started!

Instead of taking a van straight to Mahachai, we took the public transport to experience the local culture.

Before that we had to walk from Silom road to the nearest BTS skytrain station at Saladaeng.

Apple was explaining to us the culture and history behind the various building we spotted along the way. 

Like this ordinary school gate with beautiful Buddhism carvings and sculptures.

The orange painted building on the left is a temple aka monk residence built within the compound of government school. In the olden days of Thailand, temples are places for young children to learn and monks are the sole teachers. Even In present days, it's still relatively common to see Buddhist temples built next to schools.

As we were walking towards the station, we turned left into this remote alley next to Shangri-la hotel.


Was told that this is a famous haunted building. Abandoned in its development stage amid economic crisis, no living person would dare to enter this towering vacant building.

We were occupied by the interesting background story narrated by Apple so we reached the station without even realising.

In BTS skytrain! Apple was sitting next to me!

After arriving at Wongwian yai station we walked for about 5-10 minutes using the skybridge. 

At the end of the skybridge. Apple politely asked the stationed soldiers to take a picture with us. This was our first time getting so close with armed soldiers so we were smiling nervously and were very cautious with our actions.

After getting down from the skybridge, you will see a busy roundabout where King Taksin monument is located. Turn right at the intersection into Phra Chao Taksin road. The railway station is located on the left hand side of the road next to a pedestrian bridge.

Train arriving at Wongwian yai station. 

Although being included as part of the state railway of Thailand, the Wongwianyai-Mahachai-Maeklong railway is not physically connected to the rest of the network. The railway never crosses the Tha Chin river as well. You are given the options of taking a cheap ferry or mini van to get you across the river.

So this is the itinerary of our one day trip:
Tickets bought by Apple. Only 10 baht each person. All train fare was included in the payment of the trip.

A vintage looking bell to hurry the passengers to get onboard.

We had about 5 minutes left so we strolled along the platform to catch a glimpse of the local street food there.

The railway track stretching out beyond the city into the countryside.

Some famous local street food recommended by Apple. It's like onion pancake with coconut strips. Tastes savoury and sweet at the same time.

Apple buying the snack for us.


Happily standing on the railway track. The train platform is not high so you can jump onto the track anytime you want provided that there is no train.

Group picture!

Bought this yummy yogurt drink from 7-11 earlier.

Eating the noname local street snack on the train. It's very hot in the inside so be careful not to burn your tongue! I did so I had to let it cool for 5 minutes before I could finish the rest.

Waiting for the train to depart.

Throughout the journey, the old train was swinging side to side madly like a boat hitting on massive waves but we still managed to sleep. The view through the side window was very scenic though so stay awake if you can.

And don't get too near to the windows or you might get hit by branches and leaves appearing out of nowhere.

The train journey lasted about 45 minutes or longer.

Arrived at Mahachai station. 

It's very common to find traditional market next to the railway station. This market sells all kinds of fresh meat and vegetables.

Mini cucumber.

We walked further from the station but was told by Apple that the stalls weren't completely opened.

So we headed back to the station.


From the station, we walked into the town area.

We passed by this shop which sells a variety of local food and snacks.

Mango sticky rice! Only 35 baht for one box! The mangoes were in season during May so we were quite lucky to be able to taste sweet mangoes.

Durian sticky rice! Fresh durian in Thailand is not edible because it's too raw for our liking. However the durian served with sticky rice is absolutely ripe and soft. It's a must try for durian lovers!

Another famous local snack that you will find it even in department stores. I forgot what it's called but it's like sugar coated jelly. Very addicting.

Local Thai popsicles! There are so many flavours and you will be happy by just trying few of them. We bought local coffee, blueberry, lemon and another flavour which I forgot.

Sooo many flavours to choose from.

It was made using a traditional machine.

Couldn't remember which flavour I was eating. Strawberry maybe?


The view of Tha Chin river that I mentioned earlier. The river separates the two provinces of Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram.

After that we arrived at the seafood market. With lots of lots of fresh and marinated seafood.

Salted seafood.

More salted fish.

These huge heaps of powder are local spices if you are wondering.


Fresh fish roe! So huge!

You will find many shops selling fish nets as this is a fishing town.



Mussles and clams. SO fresh.

Crabsss.

The prawns here are so fleshy and fresh. Even the little prawns found in our seafood fried rice in Bangkok are always very fresh. In Malaysia, we used to pick out those little prawns and leave them aside because they are either not fresh or inedible.

Porcelain white squid!

You can find many street food vendors selling barbecued squids! And they are all huge and fat like this!

At the port.

Hmm anyone knows what kind of fish is this?

Lunch time! Apple told us this is a famous seafood restaurant among the locals.

Even the highly reputable Thai princess visited this restaurant. Local people have a lot of respect for the Thai royal family especially the Thai elder princess.

Fishing boat preparing to set sail.

The view was amazing so was the food.


Crab meat fried rice! Awesome! The abundant crab meat slices found in the dish are so fresh.

Seafood tomyam. Love the milky texture. The spiciness was toned down a little bit as Jacqueline couldn't take spicy food.

Fried fish cakes! No doubt the fried fish cakes are as fresh as the other dishes as well.

I love the Tomyam here. Although Tomyam found in Malaysian Thai restaurants might be as good as this but the freshness of the seafood here is unsurpassable.

We gobbled all the food as they were too delicious to be left cold on the table. We even took out the mango and durian sticky rice that we bought earlier to be eaten as dessert.

The consequence was we became too full to move after stuffing everything in our stomach.

But the journey continued.

Next destination will be Amphawa floating market!

by
CSY