Bangkok Travel Research

Is it worthwhile to research for your own tour itinerary instead of following an organised tour? Perhaps. For the last week, for like 3 nights from 11pm to 2am, I was researching for the hotels for my bangkok tour with my batch mates. Actually, we already decided on the Twin Towers Hotel after last saturday’s meeting, but I wasn’t really satisfied. The hotel was also quite a distance from the nearest BTS…about 1km.

So I was going through the list at one of the nights and I found this wonderful serviced apartments called Abloom Exclusive Serviced Apartments. I was looking through the list of hotels from 40-80 SGD a night and stumbled upon it. What attracted me was that they have large apartments with 2-bedrooms, which means each apartment can fit 4 people. like a HDB flat! and they have a living room with LCD TV with DVD player where we can gather at night. it’s also nearer to the BTS station. and the price is about the same as twin towers. wow.

I went to do further research and found out that its former name was Arasia. And somehow the hotel is not as widely known as it is not listed on many websites such as (which is very good for user reviews and comments). However, I managed to find many good comments and reviews on and there’s even singaporeans who posted in the tripadvisor forums and these are his photos. You can even find floor plans here.

As again, I have to go through all the different online booking sites and find the cheapest price available. I used my friend’s international calling card to call the hotel, but their slang was difficult to comprehend. But managed to find out the price which is more ex than the cheapest So decided to book through there.

A person named Chalalai was prompt to reply after my booking and confirmed my booking if it was 4 or 8 adults. This was because their website had a system where I can only input 4 adults and 4 children instead of 8 adults. Haha that was funny. I had a hard time explaining to him over a few emails because of the language barrier and I think he got confused. But after the clarification, they seemed to have changed their website so that now you can select 8 adults. He even told me that the cheaper room wasn’t available, and I had to book the ‘deluxe’ room. Great service I would say. Just too bad that they don’t have the 3-bedroom suite available for booking.

So that’s the story. Now we’ve to research on our itinerary.


I just watched Charlotte’s Web on DVD and I think it’s a pretty good story about miracles and life and death and humility. Charlotte wrote “Humble” on its web, and I think it’s the best description of the character, not for Wilbur, but for Charlotte herself. I mean, she’s really humble in that even though Wilbur gets all the glory, she is still not boastful and not willing to reveal herself. The miracle of life and how we should treasure it. It was quite touching also.

18 days left.

The Last Lecture

Yesterday and today I finally managed to find some time to watch the acclaimed Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture – Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. I watched the extended subtitled version which includes the awards presentation thereafter. It’s quite an inspiring video and I reckon it’s worth 1.5 hours of your time watching it. It’s also interesting that he’s one of the founders of CMU ETC, where I’m going to study in a few years’ time. The lecture also told me more about how ETC started, which make me look forward to go to such a unique place to study.

Some of the learning points and quotes from the video:

  • Art impacts on every aspect of our lives whether we are aware of it or not
  • Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
  • Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you. When you’re pissed off with somebody and angry at them. You just haven’t given them enough time. Give them a little more time and they’ll almost always impress you.
  • Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things. They let us show our dedication.
  • Find somebody better than you to hand it over to. (referring to stepping down from a position etc.)
  • “Head Fake” theory: The purpose of learning something e.g. football is not to learn the sport itself, but to learn its qualities of teamwork, perseverance etc.
  • Fun in life is as important as water to fish.
  • (For women): When it comes to men that are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.
  • people have to help you – you can’t get there alone, and I believe in karma. You get people to help you by telling the truth – by being earnest. Apologise when you screw up
  • Get a feedback loop and listen to it. the hard part is listening to it/him/her. cherish and use people’s feedback.
  • Show gratitude
  • Don’t complain, just work harder
  • Be good at something: it makes you valuable
  • Find the best in everybody. You may have to wait a long time – something years – and people will show them your good side. Just keep waiting.
  • Luck is truly where preparation meet opportunity

One of the best moments, and certainly the most touching, was when he said “Focus on others, not yourself” and he did the most wonderful thing that he could do for his wife at the time. It was indeed very humbling and tearing.

The last part about Head Fakes was certainly a twist to the purpose of his lecture.
How often can a man get a chance to speak something worthy, knowing that his death is imminent?

That’s why we called the Friday Good.

“Maundy” Thursday was an off day for me. went to watch Rule #1 with some of my batch mates. some of the scenes were quite disturbing and gross but the story/plot of the film was quite interesting with a twist at the end. not bad for an asian production. go kelvin tong!

Good Friday was spent watching my church’s “Forgiven” drama, which is pretty well done, and going to my cousin’s daughter birthday party.

On Easter Saturday, went out with my batch mates to try botak jones at toa payoh. my first time trying at their store itself. the factory food court is quite zai, got a lot of nice food like pizza, japanese and of course botak jones itself. some more got breweski jones bar! I ate cajun chicken set, which is a nice chicken part with cheesy salsa-like sauce on top. yummy! and the fries is good too, with some spices on them. legend has it that they gave too much fries and now they give slightly lesser to prevent wastage. the coleslaw portion is also huge, and pretty good too. (as usual, yk couldn’t finish his food…) overall, a damn good food at damn good price of $7.50. After that, we walked to mcdonalds at toa payoh entertainment centre to use the wifi and research for the hotel stay for our bangkok trip. after going one round around many hotels for about 2-3 hours, we finally decided back to one of our initial choices lol. sigh. it was raining heavily and we couldn’t go to Video Ezy warehouse sale as planned. yf suggested we go suntec walk walk, and so we did. suntec seemed pretty quiet for a saturday evening. managed to buy a box donut factory for breakfast the next day…there was not much queue at all. looks like the craze has settled down.

Resurrection Sunday, went to church for 2nd service and then went out with louis and weiyi. we decided to go watch a movie at the cathay. Orphanage was full house so decided to watch Vantage Point. Quite a promising and exciting movie just that the style was a bit repetitive. A bit like Next/Deja Vu kinda style.

Monday, wisdom teeth op! Went to have breakfast at chinatown temp market again, somehow today less stores open. Went to the NDC and this time had less people waiting. Now that I’m 21, can sign for myself. The dentist darn pro, did it in like 20 minutes. Somehow the sting of the needle was more painful. They gave me different kind of painkillers this time round. Now my cheek is swelling, in fact, more obvious swelling than my first op.

And then I realised that, as usual, there are so many things to do, in so little time. 21 days left.

Welcome to Club 21

My birthday weekend passed like a wink of an eye…6 days holiday not too bad!

Stayed at home in the morning, it was a rainy day. decided to do my birthday deco for my living room’s wall myself by using a nice font, printing on construction paper, cut out the letters and stick on the wall. not too bad.

yf came in the afternoon and we booked the swiss airline tickets for our batch holiday to bangkok (yes swiss and not jetstar or airasia or tiger! the prices are comparable). in the evening we went to the hougang sports complex gym, which is my first time in a public gym outside of army and school. pretty cool place, but a bit crowded esp with school kids at that time. all the treadmills were full. we did some warm up and ran for abt 15mins on the treadmill. it’s pretty fun actually, just that after that i felt like i was still running and a little dizzy lol. did some weights and tried the other machines. managed to stretch my thigh and arm muscles abit after so long.

at night after dinner I cut out my birthday deco. and then met louis and weiyi for supper at bliss and we chit chat.

Today I spent time with dad. we went out and ate nasi bryani at Tekka Hawker Centre. There are quite a few stores, but there was one which seemed to be more popular and there was a queue. so we decided to try. indeed, it was good, soft tender meat, fragrant and delicious. even got ang mohs eating leh!

After that, we went to IT Show at suntec. not as crowded as it was weekday. lots of stuff to see, tempted to buy a new digicam as mine is failing. bought some memory sticks for friends. was tempted to buy another portable hard disk too but decided to postpone it. else i’ll be buying too many things!

Next stop, we walked to National Library and took a peek at Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. Interesting book, though a bit cheem, and some of the feelings which Lewis observed were similar to mine and perhaps my dad’s. a little touching. makes you wonder about God.

For dinner, I brought dad to Inle Myanmar (yes again, after last year’s treat to my friends). My dad ate claypot rice, which he said is like mui fan, while I ate some noodles which was a little oily. he said the food is nothing special lol. well somehow there wasn’t a UOB discount this time. and I realised that the restaurant expanded to the old LAN shop next door.

At night, finally tried to plug my computer to my 42″ LCD TV! finally got chance to do so and it was successful. it’s beautiful to use such a big screen! lol can sit further away and relax using wireless keyboard and mouse. tried to play NFS Underground 2 and World in Conflict on the big screen. the font is a little small but the resolution is fantastic, although my com is actually quite lagging. surfing internet and msn is pretty cool too.

Actually wanted to wait for my friends to come, but in the end I decided to put up my birthday deco myself. After playing on the com while waiting for people to come in the afternoon, I got pretty bored cos nobody came early! louis and jr and my cousin supposed to come early. at 3pm louis and weiyi arrived finally, and vic and jr arrived shortly after. after demoing my pseudo HTPC, vic and jr got into playing world in conflict lol. later, my relatives, aunties and cousins arrived. at about 5pm, the food from BOTAK JONES came! it’s ex as compared to normal chinese catering but the food’s good. we got potato sald, turkey canepes, mexican rice, fried dory, BBQ chicken and iced tea.

later in the evening my church friends came – jere, bryan, jinny. and nicholas and lydia too. but there was still a lot of food! and partly also because many church people I invented didn’t come. and I should have invented more people. in a desperate attempt, I sms-ed my airforce mates but obivously it was too last minute. jonathan chua popped by later but left very quickly.

and the CAKE! it was so embarrassing! cos my aunt and cousin-in-law bought the cake for me and you won’t believe the design they chose! (advice: next time for your birthday choose your own cake =p)

all in all, Botak Jones has great spread of food, but too bad my older aunties dun know how to appreicate western food =( and there was a lot of leftover thereafter. I received lots of presents too! thanks to all who came and blessed me and may God bless you too!

It’s my church 51st anniversary…I was MM Duty. The lyrics on video thing with Easislides was quite good I guess as compared to previous years. And the garlanding thingy, although a little cliche, was quite touching for some. Sometimes, it’s good to spread a little love and hugs. We asians are not used to close phyiscal contact and hugs with strangers and even friends, but I think it’s a significant gesture.

After church went out with louis weiyi to watch The Water Horse at FilmGarde at Kallang Leisure Park. The film is good, interesting, exciting at times. Good family film. As for the new theatre company, they are a little like cathay…same ticketing system, seats are pretty comfy with a headrest, and nice big screens. the shopping centre…well…not much shopping, more of a place for bowling or kbox or ice skating. not a must-go place and it’s pretty out of the way until the circle line opens. but it’s a good place to hang out before FOP…haha.

Stayed at home and did my scholarship applications which I originally planned to do on Thursday. In the evening, went out to submit the envelopes at MDA/MICA and to OCBC Bank. Just realised that it’s my first time walking along chulia street and north canal road. Met louis and weiyi and zhanhui for dinner at ajisen at plaza singapura before going to sinema:showoff at old school mount sophia road…10 flights of steps up the hill! it’s a tough climb lol.

the sinema place is quite nice…got a nice shop with cool macs and posters and (local) movie memorabilia. above the shop is the actual theatre, converted from a old lecture theatre I think. it’s quite cosy with nice sofas, though without headrests and a nice medium-sized panasonic projection screen. great for such small scale indie screenings, better quality and setting than the makeshift-substation style imo. substation should move here!

we watched a few shorts before my brother’s Zo Gang, and we stayed for the objectif features, some of which were quite good and interesting.

but it’d take a while for the place to take off. spread the word around! support singapore short films!

My birthday actual day! spent the morning watching The Shawshank Redemption. Great (old) film, better than Prison Break! It began to rain heavily. Went to eat lunch with Pastor Whitley at HongKong cafe. we had a good chat. after lunch, I did video editing in church with Clarence and Xavier for the teenedge anniversary. (yes, video editing on my birthday…lol)

I think the greatest birthday present was when my new Phone arrived. I was so excited that I rushed home after 5pm (originally didn’t want to go home) to do the un-boxing and start charging the Phone so that I can play with it the next day. it’s sooo cool! thank you teemie!

After an hour, rushed down to funan to eat dinner with vic, jr, kc, josh, yt at swensens. josh was late, worked OT lol. originally wanted to use my coupon but some of us decided not to order main course so cannot use. but we had a good dinner and catch-up with one another.

After that, have to go home cos got to work the next day..


Thanks to the following people who bought me presents:
all my 5 aunts, my cousins Jordan, Beldin and Alvin, Yanli, my church friends jere, jinny, nic, lydia, shaornk, whit, josh tan, mylene, alex, xiuhui, bryan, julian lisa, louis and weiyi, my schoolmates vic jr zhan and josh pang.

Thanks to the following people who gave me birthday wishes:
Kevin Lee (for being the first at 12mn!), Ivan Lim, Daryl Gan, Edwin, Lee mx, Khooty, Yip, Weiyi, Wee Min, sharonk, Jing-yi, Ho sr, chris devan, jared, trixie, kc, my cousin jimmy, my 4th aunt, eugene, louis, zc, kx and koh mh.

Thanks to the following people who gave me cards:
My various church friends, Alvin, 4th aunt, Jasmine and Jun Gang.


Saturday also have to work! luckily came back early and I went out to find some accessories for my Phone. at night we went for dinner at The Pizza Place at raffles city. yip, khooty, mlin, yf, edwin and his gf and kmh came. it’s a nice and affordable place to eat. we shared two large pizzas which we couldn’t finish lol.


1 month left!

God vs Science

A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, ‘Let me explain the problem science has with religion.’ The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?’

‘Yes sir,’ the student says.

So you believe in God?’


‘Is God good?’

‘Sure! God’s good.’

‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’


‘Are you good or evil?’

‘The Bible says I’ m evil.’

The professor grins knowingly. ‘Aha! The Bible!’ He considers for a moment.
‘Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can
cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?’

‘Yes sir, I would.’

‘So you’re good…!’

‘I wouldn’t say that.’

‘But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could.
Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.’

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. ‘He doesn’t, does
he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to
Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?’

The student remains silent.

‘No, you can’t, can you?’ the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a
glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?’

‘Er…yes,’ the student says.

‘Is Satan good?’

The studen t doesn’t hesitate on this one. ‘No.’

‘Then where does Satan come from?’

The student falters. ‘From God’

‘That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in
this world?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?’


‘So who created evil?’ The professor continued, ‘If God created everything,
then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle
that our works define who we are, then God is evil.’

Again, the student has no answer. ‘Is there sickness? Immorality?
Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?’

The student squirms on his feet. ‘Yes.’

‘So who created them?’

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question.
‘Who created them?’ There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks
away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.

‘Tell me,’ he continues onto another student. ‘Do you believe in Jesus
Christ, son?’

The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. ‘Yes, professor, I do.’

The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to
identify and observe the world around you.
Have you ever seen Jesus?’

‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him.’

‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’

‘No, sir, I have not.’

‘Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus?
Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that

‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.’

Yet you still believe in him?’


According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,
science says your God doesn’t exist.
What do you say to that, son?’

‘Nothing,’ the student replies. ‘I only have my faith.’

‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats. ‘And that is the problem scien ce has
with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His

‘Professor, is there such thing as heat?’

‘Yes,’ the professor replies. ‘There’s heat.’

‘And is there such a thing as cold?’

‘Yes, son, there’s cold too.’

‘No sir, there isn’t.’

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room
suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. ‘You can have
lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white
heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We
can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any
further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be
able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.’

‘Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits
energy, and heat is what makes a bod y or matter have or transmit energy.
Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is
only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold.
Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the
opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.’

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding
like a hammer.

‘What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?’

‘Yes,’ the professor replies without hesitation. ‘What is night if it isn’t

‘You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of
something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing
light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called
darkness, isn’t it?

That’s the meaning we use to define the word.’

‘In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness
darker, wouldn’t you?’

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a
good semester.

‘So what point are you making, young man?’

‘Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start
with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’

The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you
explain how?’

‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains. ‘You
argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God.
You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can
measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.’

‘It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully
understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be
ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death
is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.’

‘Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a

‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes,
of course I do.’

‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where
the argument is going.

A very good semester, indeed.

‘Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot
even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching
your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?’

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has

‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me
give you an example of what I mean.’

The student looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has
ever seen the professor’s brain?’

The class breaks out i nto laughter.

‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the
professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to
have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable,
demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due
respect, sir.’

‘So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. ‘I guess you’ll
have to take them on faith.’

‘Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,’
the student continues.

‘Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?’

Now uncertain, the professor responds, ‘Of course, there is. We see it
everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in
the multitude of crime and violenc e everywhere in the world. These
manifestations are nothing else but evil.’

To this the student replied, ‘Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does
not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God.

It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe
the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what
happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart.
It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that
comes when there is no light.’

The professor sat down.

Glenda Lord-Wright

Like Nothing On Earth

We start with the best people we can find.
We switch them on
And put them under pressure, and heat,
Day after day, after day.

We give them the power to look over the horizon.
We teach them to think at the speed of light,
And respond like the wind.
We give them the strength to touch the sky
And leap 50 000 feet into the air.

Because a new world, needs a new kind of force.
A Force that can respond
Like nothing on earth.


Yeah right.