Cafes and Bakeries, Food, Vancouver

If Milano wasn’t so far away from SFU, I would come here at least once a week to study. I haven’t been to the other location, but this one on West 8th was idyllic for working. I had a coffee chat here a couple weeks ago on a sunny day, and this place was absolutely lovely. With a large patio, chic industrial design and plenty of sunlight, I studied there for 6 hours after my coffee chat. The patio looks out into down town Vancouver and a large grass field with dogs running around. It was difficult to study in such a beautiful weather and scenery, but I just felt fresh sitting there and studying.

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See what I mean? The two ladies sitting next to me were also really nice and we started chatting about how busy we all were.

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I had a large cup of Yin Yang Mocha with cream and shaved dark chocolate sprinkled on top. I like my caffeine drinks really sweet so combining white and milk chocolate syrup to create this sweet and much needed study drink was delicious. I loved the slight bitter tastes that melt in my mouth from the shaved dark chocolates mixed in with the warm mocha. Would highly recommend this drink for those who don’t like straight up coffee and looking for a sweeter option.

Milano Coffee Lounge & Tasting Bar on Urbanspoon

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Chinese, Food, Vancouver

Noodle Box just opened a new location at Mount Pleasant and since I missed out on the opening free noodle box day, I decided to stop for dinner on my way to church a week after they opened. I’ve never been to any other Noodle Box in Vancouver so I thought it was going to be similar to Basil Pasta Bar but instead of pasta, I could make my own box of stir fried noodles. Turns out it wasn’t and I was slightly disappointed. Their menu was mostly Western Asian food with spicy soups and curries, stir fried spicy noodles, Vietnamese wraps and in general Western imitation of Asian food. I honestly didn’t like Noodle Box and I think it is because I’m used to eating stir fried noodles in a different way.

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Apparently the Spicy Peanut Noodle Box (CAD12.5) is the bomb at Noodle Box. Cooked in a medium spicy Indonesian peanut sauce with extremely creamy coconut milk, the egg ribbon noodles were soft with slight chewiness. There were bean sprouts, peppers, beef slices, peanuts and assorted vegetables tossed in to make the dish more vibrant. I didn’t enjoy how everything was literally soaked in thick peanut and coconut milk sauce and it became a bit too overwhelming during the last few bites.

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Jacky had the Panang Red Curry (CAD12.5) that had an even thicker sauce than mine but spicier. The choice of rice noodles made this dish much more easier to eat given the lighter feel that rice noodle has. Stir fried in a spicy red curry sauce with coconut milk, kaffir lime, herbs, peppers, chicken and assorted veggies, this dish was basically curry sauce with noodles. It was the first time we’ve had noodles thrown into curry and in Chinese culture, even if it was curry stir fry noodles, the curry would be less moist. Everything was just too saucy for me.

The Noodle Box on Urbanspoon

Koh Samui, Travel

I completely forgot to finish my Koh Samui posts until I looked through my old camera uploads and found photos of the trip. I was meant to finish this in August 2013, but it just didn’t come up again. Since summer 2014 is coming soon, I felt like this would be the best time to make up this post.

Other than staying at Muang Samui Villas and Suites, my family spent three days in Shark Bay on the south side of Koh Tao. From our first destination, we had to get on a two hour ferry ride to Koh Tao and depending on the waves, it could be a brutal ride. My whole family scuba dives so taking a trip to Shark Bay to dive with some sharks was something we were all looking forward to. Unfortunately, on the first day we got to Koh Tao, the weather wasn’t sunny. Other than that, the rest of the two days were amazing and I did get to dive with some sharks.

Welcome to Jamahkiri Resort and Spa! The pricing was a bit more expensive than Muang Samui, but so worth it.

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The rooms of the hotel are built on the edge of the bay with the view of ocean and plenty of natural light shining into your room. Sleep to the sound of the ocean and wake up to the beach sun shining on your face. The architecture of the hotel was a Mediterranean fusion with smoothed pebble floors and white stone walls. I loved everything about this hotel, it was a place of serenity.

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Each Thai-style bedroom has its own private balcony with an endless view of the ocean.

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This was the view from the hotel’s restaurant. If you wanted to go onto that beach on the right, you had to ride a small 5 minute boat trip there. The down side of this hotel was that it had no beach and it was strictly for snorkelling and Padi scuba divers. Then again, you can’t do much on a beach so you might as well rent a boat and go snorkelling somewhere.

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This hotel would not be the best place for older people. There was no other way to get around the hotel than going up and down these stairs. My family had to find a room closer to the restaurant for my grandparents because taking on those stairs was challenging for them.

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Hello there! I love seeing nature in Thailand. From land to sea, I saw all sorts of lizards and snakes to sharks and jellyfish.

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Other than the stairs being a burden, the design was beautiful and exotic. I wonder if Santorini, Greece is something like this.

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In Koh Tao, you can find sharks in Shark Island, Sail Rock, White Rock, and Chumphon Pinnacle. You would be able to find leopard sharks, nurse sharks, black tips and if you are extremely lucky, you might come across a bull shark or a whale shark. I was lucky to see more than nurse sharks!

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Luckily the hotel had a 24 hour pool opened with a view of the ocean. Take a swim in the morning after breakfast, go get a tan on the beach, scuba dive for an hour, then come back and swim in the pool while the sun sets. I would usually go for a swim at 2am because the night was too surreal and peaceful with the waves and the stars in the sky.

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Drinks everyday in Thailand. Drinking and eating in South-east Asia is so cheap, so I had margaritas and seafood every day.

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When you’re in these places for a vacation, the seafood is the most fresh and cheapest. For dinner, I ordered the Grilled Jumbo Prawns with Spices and Garlic. Notice how simple the dish looks when it was actually incredibly juicy with the taste of the ocean and the prawns. Succulent with the spices and garlic, tropical islands such as Koh Tao make the best and most fresh seafood.

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I told you that I drank a lot in Koh Samui. Spiked Mango Shake anyone? Make sure you order all the pineapple, mango, coconut and other tropical fruit drinks when you go to Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia or Indonesia. Everything is served fresh and sweet. Spiked shakes are usually not as delicious as normal shakes since the vodka overpowers the juice.

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Great dive with so much to see! Thanks, man.

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I miss the sun and sound of the waves before I sleep and when I wake up.

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My grandpa trying to enjoy a Steak Kebabs that was too tough or burnt to eat. I wouldn’t recommend ordering Western food in these places when you can try seafood and authentic Thai food.

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 To conclude my last day at Jamahkiri Resort, I had a glass of all natural mango shake without any alcohol.

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