Looking Back at 2011 and Welcome 2012!

I Hate Readings

1st January 2012. Written by Xin Li.
New Year’s Day.
Happy New Year! 2011 was a hectic year and full of travels. Who knows what 2012 has in stored for us? For now, these are on my list of favourites from last year:


Bangkok – Hong Kong Route, EK384 and EK385

It was my first time flying with Emirates (and in an A380) this year. The ICE Entertainment system was excellent and the food on-board was above expectations. I really enjoyed my Chicken Chasseur and Nougat Cake. The service was top-notch even though this particular flight was short. It beats (my favourite ) Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways. [Website]


There are no best hotels for last year because they were simply unique and they were exceptional in their own ways, and hence had no grounds for comparisons.

Majestic Hotel and the Asadang

Melaka, Malaysia

One of the winners in this category is the most unexpected. That is the Majestic Hotel in Melaka. The hotel deserved their high ratings on Trip Advisor. Never had I witnessed a hotel manager taking the initiative to get the latest check out for you and I definitely not a hotel where the staff would go the extra mile just to bring you a bottle of mineral water while I was sketching outdoors. The service beats our 5 Star Fullerton Hotel or Shatin Hyatt Regency hands down. [Website]

Bangkok, Thailand

The Asadang, the sister Bed and Breakfast of Bhuthorn, did not fail to meet our expectations, even surpassing some of those expectations in certain aspects. The Asadang managed to carry on the successful formula in Bhuthorn: great service and great atmosphere in the hotel.

The guesthouse did have a few minor issues such as loose shower head and the sink not draining off efficiently. However, the service and that sumptuous breakfast in the morning make me want to go back again. [Website]

Villa Zolitude and Sunhead of 1617 B&B

Phuket, Thailand

Vinleon and I have sung praises of this peaceful resort in Chalong in one of our posts. The ambience and service at the Villa Zolitude made this our must-recommend resort for Phuket. The expansive villas which comes with their own private pools are really good for value. It is the perfect place for an escapade from our urban rat race. [Post]

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This Bed and Breakfast in Amsterdam is located in the pretty canal district of Amsterdam and the rooms were gorgeous. Even more mind-blowing was the “delicious” breakfast. The Sunhead of 1617 lived up to their claim without fail. It was the best breakfast I ever had. The scrambled eggs are to die for. Furthermore, the owner was very fascinating person to chat with. [Post]

Traders Hotel Penang

Penang, Malaysia

Traders Hotel Penang is old, it does not have infinity pools, a personal butler or Michelin-starred restaurants. However, the hotel’s strength was what Shangri-la had been promoting in its advertisements: a place where you could find warmth. The Traders Hotel Penang made us felt at home even though we were not club room or suite guests. That is one fundamental aspect I look for in hotels and resorts and Traders Hotel Penang tackled it exceptionally well. [Website]

London and Kyoto

It is not easy to make one leave a place with a heavy heart. For the year 2011, there are five places that managed to do that.

Huge, built-up cosmopolitan city. The city of London is everything (but nature) which made it stand out from the places I have visited this year. Architecture, art, food and history, they've got it all!

Perhaps I am biased, but the former imperial capital of Japan never fails to charm me even during the rainy season. Kyoto, I will definitely be back!

Penang, Amsterdam, Bangkok

Makan makan makan! For a break, take a stroll around Georgetown for a cultural insight of the city.

Amsterdam’s canals broke the claustrophobia of an urban jungle. The city was surprisingly laid back and the people were exceptionally friendly. This is another place that I would want to come back again.

I really like visiting Bangkok. It is probably my ideal choice for a stopover whenever I fly Thai Airways. The city is messy and chaotic but the people are considerably friendly and there are a lot of things to do in the City of Angels. There are plenty of historical monuments to explore around the city, shopping malls to shop and restaurants (offering various cuisines) to dine in.

Black Sheep Cafe, Dezato, Group Therapy

10 MEMORABLE MAKANS (excluding hotels, trains and planes)

Black Sheep Café, Singapore
This one needs no introduction and I shan’t say more ;). Love the Crispy Pork Cheeks.

Dezato Desserts and Dining, Singapore

Shan’t introduce this too. Another keeper. The White Wine Jelly with Aged Modena Balsamic Vinegar blew Vinleon, Mu Yao and me away.

Group Therapy Café, Singapore
Located in Duxton, this group-friendly café is a great place to hang out with friends for brunch, breakfast or tea! [Post]

Spice Sutra, Ramlie Internasional, Yaw Hau Fok

Spice Sutra, Singapore
This Indian Restaurant along Thomson Road serves up delicious Indian fare in a comfortable environment. I particularly enjoyed their naans, rice and butter chicken. [Post]

Yaw Hau Fok Dim Sum, Melaka
The dim sum here were very tasty. Recommended by my talented aki mate, this was a god send. The molten Custard Bun is a must-have! [Location]

Ramlie Internasional, Melaka
A prata eatery next to the road around Tanjung Keling. The pratas were remarkably yummy! Pair it with their teh-tarik and you would get a perfect prata breakfast!

Ho Ping, Erawan Tea Room, Paul Lafayet

Ho Ping, Penang
Ho Ping’s Char Kway Teow was my first time trying the char kway teow in Penang and we found ourselves addicted to char kway teow for the next 3 days of our trip. We couldn’t find a worthy competitor of Ho Ping though. [Location]

Paul Lafayet, Hong Kong
Their Crème Brulee was so good. Its sugar top layer was nicely caramelized and underneath was a rich and consistent creamy custard. Furthermore, you get to keep the ceramic ramekin as a souvenir! [Website]

Erawan Tea Room, Bangkok
My best Mango Sticky Rice thus far comes from the afternoon tea set from the Erawan Tea Room. Their Afternoon Tea takes you on a mini and colourful tour of Thai traditional snacks. Besides the Mango Sticky Rice, "Moo Ping" (Grilled Marinated Pork Skewer) as well as the "Mieng Kratong Thong” (Roasted Coconut, Lime, Chilli and Ginger with Betel Leaves in Crispy Basket) were delicious! The service could be better though. [Website]

Greenwoods - Deluxe High Tea

Greenwoods English Tea Room and Shop, Amsterdam
The Greenwoods English Tea Room and Shop serves one of my most enjoyable afternoon teas thus far. Their organic Carrot Cake was rich in flavor and not too sweet. The scones were perfectly baked and the Earl Grey tea was very fragrant. [Post]

Moorish Barracks, Fullerton Hotel, Hyatt Regency Shatin

5 GHOSTS OF 2011
1. That horrible female receptionist at the Moorish Barracks in Macau.
2. Arrogant Bellboys of Hyatt Regency Shatin, Hong Kong.
3. Claustrophobia and disappointment at the Fullerton Hotel.
4. Jaw Exercise while eating “Peranakan” Cuisine at a particular restaurant in Melaka.
5. Misinformation by Teramachi Nine Hours. [Post]


  1. love this posts! Happy 2012 Xinli!!! Cheers to more eats and adventures!!!



the moose & snowman

the soft toy. the soft toy.

makan corner

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