Universal Studios – Singapore

I have been posting ALL my shinegans in Singapore from my honeymoon and honestly, its been tough. We did SO much whilst there, it has kinda felt like I don’t really know where to start. I understand these posts have been coming in real dribs and drabs, and I am determined to get the all posted before I start hitting the 2 months since we returned – which is quickly approaching! 

On my LAST post, I shared with you our experience at Gardens by the Bay. Stunning place and a must see attraction for the city! The second most memorable activity we had earmarked shall we say, was of course Universal Studios.

It was one of the first things fellow travellers commented on, and once we had flights booked, I had sworn we would visit.

We try and choose a day that we could a) get there with our bus pass, and b) would be a day that we could recover from. We had both been to Florida before and understood completely how a whole day of acting like kids, can take out of you energy wise. We decided on the Friday and eagerly researched rides and shows.

The GREAT thing about Universal Singapore was the resort it was nestled in. Sentosa island is a whole world of fun, food and hotels. Not only was there Universal Studios, but a whole playground of aquariums, beaches and more. We were desperate to see the whole area, however we lacked real time to enjoy it.

Alas, Universal studios was an aspect we would enjoy and headed there early Friday morning.

Since it was our honeymoon, we purchased ‘express’ tickets that were valid on every ride once. Although they really weren’t, but we will get back to that bit later.

We queued for roughly an hour and a half of before finally entering the park. If you have ever been to Universal Studios, which we both had before, it felt like every other! The main street led to a lake, with different sections surrounding the lake.

It was no way the biggest Universal studios, but it did have some awesome looking rides! As many westernised parks, it had various ‘areas’ that had different themes including Jurassic Park, Far Far Away and New York. Each ‘land’ had it’s own assortment of different rides. As thrill seekers, we were eye balling the big guys, but were determined to get on every ride possible – the express ticket would work a treat! 

Being such a small park however, every bloody ride had atleast an hour queue time, which was stifling in the 34 degree heat! Oh, and that express ticket, it was only valid once on every ride, and didn’t actually cover every ride! PLUS, in this park, some rides you could not take your bags through the queue and had to leave them in designated lockers, which after a certain time, would cost you to re-open! RIDICULOUS.

Apart from that, there were no other qualms. We had an absolute ball enjoying the park and sooo glad we ventured there for the day. It’s no way the best Universal Studios park out there, and chances are in several years it will have much more to offer. For now, its a great place for thrill seekers to get their kicks!

Have you ever been to Universal Studios?

Fancy heading there?

ps. sorry there’s not many snaps from around the park, literally melting and near fainting most of the time we were there!

 

Gardens by the Bay – Singapore

I have most certainly been slow off the mark when it comes to my Singapore reviews. Truth be told, we did so much in such a short space of time, it has felt like a rather big task to even know where to start. But following the F1 Singapore weekend, which I felt huge sorrow at the sheer idea I was no longer enjoying the city, I suddenly have a new lease of life. Let’s show this place off!

In my first post, I was a little harsh on Singapore. It wasn’t what I expected granted, and I possibly raised the bar subconsciously purely because it was our honeymoon. Upon reflection, It was a bloody gorgeous city with so much to offer.

So where do I start on some of the attractions?

Where better than the place it all started, and the place I couldn’t wait to see for myself. Gardens by the Bay is arguably one of the highlights and most iconic parts of Singapore. I had seen so many snaps of it, I knew I needed to explore and take in it’s splendour as soon as we arrived.

As you know, we had a 48 hour bus ticket which took us right to Gardens by the Bay. Although my husband neglected to tell me, he was neither bothered or fussed if we actually looked around properly. However, once we arrived and started to mooch, he started to see the appeal of the place.

We bought full tickets to the three main aspects of gardens by the bay ( Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and OCBC Skyway ), and proceeded to explore. We decided on the entering the Cloud forest first, which was probably the best decision ever.

The Cloud Forest

What a spectacular to behold! Especially in the misting hour! This by far was my favourite place in the whole of the gardens. The gorgeous sculptures and the beauty of the forest was breath taking. It’s truly hard to believe it is all man made! We took our time round here, purely because I was busy being snap happy! With every turn there were gorgeous flowers, sculptures and of course views!

After an hour or two wandering the cloud forest, we managed to see every nook and cranny! We decided it was time to head on out and explore more of the gardens.

The Flower Dome

Now, I’m not really one for Flowers and yet it was pretty extraordinary within the flower dome. Whilst visiting, it was the Orchid showcase, so if you’re a heavy fan of Orchids it was the perfect time to visit. We didn’t spend too much time in here, mostly because neither of us are too bothered about flowers. However, upon wondering round, we found some firm literature favourites, which surely was lovely to see.

The Skywalk

By the time we left the flower dome and cloud forest area, we had been in the gardens a fair while. Honestly, we were flowered out! So it made a nice break to be out in the open. From here we bee lined for the Skywalk! Thankfully, it was fairly quiet when we headed on up.

The views were simply stunning! It was a little blowy for sure, but it was breathtaking to take in the view over the gardens, and to marina bay sands from great height.

Once we had finished on the Skywalk, we both had had enough. We had spent a fair few hours wandering around, and having only been in the city 12 hours, we were eager to explore other aspects.

On refelction, I do wish we had wandered around just that bit more. There are so many other aspects we didn’t get to see through lack of time.

You can’t go to Singapore without visiting the stunning and simply iconic gardens by the bay, I just wish we had managed to see more!

Have you ever been to Gardens by the Bay?

Like what you see? As always, let me know your thoughts in the section below!

 

Singapore – The City of Lights

 

As we left Koh Samui, we were all so excited about the prospect of a city. We were bloody sad to leave our little home in the sunshine, but the anticipation of the city kept us going. 

When we landed and arrived at our hotel ( of course there will be a full review coming of our hotel ), we were eager as ever to get into the city and explore. After one day, we were a little disappointed. Here’s a brief review of our second leg of our honeymoon in Singapore city.

Now, maybe, I was a little dramatic. However, there was a little bit of disappointment after just one afternoon and evening in the city. So much so, my husband actually threw a little strop that we were no longer in the serine island of Koh Samui.

Alas, as I told him, this is just somewhere different and we have to just embrace it for what it is. It was then, as we ventured into the city for a day on open-top buses ( again, full review coming ), we both realised maybe we are not all cut out for city living.

Fast forward 5 days and it’s safe to say we held a little candle to Singapore for the city it is. It doesn’t have all the character and culture of cities like London, New York or even Paris, but it has it’s very own character.

During our stay in the city, we explored every nook, cranny, and sight we possibly could. We spent a day on Sentosa enjoying Universal Studios.

We wandered Gardens by the Bay, despite neither or us being keen gardeners. We took in the breathtaking view of the skyline from the tallest building in the city and sailed the waters around the bay. We even managed to have our breakfast with Orangutans which we both earmarked the second we booked our trip.

Whilst our first observations of the city deceived us, with no regret we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Singapore.

My advice – I wouldn’t go all that way just to visit Singapore. Its a great stopover, just as it was for us, but honestly, if it was my summer holiday, I would’ve been a little gutted. Whilst there is a lot to do in Singapore, all of which I will be reviewing, it’s all really commercial.

I feel like I’m shitting all over the city with negativity, but honestly, I’m not. We didn’t hate it, just didn’t love it as much as we anticipated. Like I mentioned, we experienced some incredible things, some which are once in a lifetime, and I’m so excited to share snaps and my thoughts with you.

Have you ever been to Singapore?

Tempted to venture there? Want me to cover something specific?

Lemme know in the comment section below!

Charlotte x

 

Anthong National Marine Park – Koh Samui

If you have been keeping tabs on my Instagram and my recent honeymoon posts, you will know full well we were recently sunning it up on the gorgeous island of Koh Samui. When I say recent, I literally mean this time last month – sad face!

When researching Koh Samui, the first thing I knew was that we had to head to Anthong National Marine Park. It looked absolutely stunning! Set 2 hours from the cost of Koh Samui, a cluster of 42 islands featuring gorgeous sands and pool formations offering gorgeous views left, right and centre. It just had to be done, especially on our honeymoon!

And we did it! As soon as we could! So sit tight, I will be taking you to Anthong from the comfort of your own home!

Read : Koh Samui – Thailand’s perfect Island / Jungle Jeep Safari – Koh Samui

Thankfully, we booked our tour with the best on the Island. Koh Samui  Tour Shop picked us up from our very own hotel and onto the ferry port to board our boat. We then made our way to Anthong. One thing I will note here, is there are two kinds of boats that can be taken. Either Ferry or speedboat. The ferry was much more relaxing, however, on the way home especially, it was really rather slow.

Anywho, we were offered coffee, tea and a spot of breakfast. We were also informed on how the day would work out and who needed to be where.

For our package, we chose to do the kayaking around some of the island. I certainly had never kayaked and I really wanted to do something new and different, especially on our honeymoon. It was here that I started to panic just a little as to what I had let myself in for! I had never done it before and I had real visions of us being the ones that tipped within ten minutes. This could be the reason me and my new husband bicker on honeymoon – oh crap!

The De-brief.

Once we were de-briefed and closer to the islands, the first wave of kayakers were advised to assemble to start their journey. The rest of us stayed on the boat, where we would be taken to shore shortly after the kayakers had got on their way. Much to the disgust, I can imagine , of the first kayakers, the rest of the boat had assembled on the roof to see them off, and ultimately catch sight of any tippers. Within a couple of minutes there was one!

The Viewpoint!

We soon were ashore the first island and directed up some rather step steps to the view point. I will note here, I didn’t pay too much notice on how I would get down these rather steep steps at this point, just soley fixated on not losing my footing and either injuring or killing myself.

If you are bad with steep steps or even heights, do not even attempt! I am usually neither but even this made my tummy turn and give me a slight panic attack on the way down.

Despite the steep stairs, the view was totally worth it! B r e a t h t a k i n g!

Kayaking – The Fear!

After a short stint of taking in the stunning views, we headed back down to the beach for our turn on the kayaks! I was terrified that we would over turn, and that my beloved phone in a 99% waterproof bag would die. I would have been brave a taken a couple of snaps whilst we were kayaking, but I was petrified stopping and ultimately moving would result in a phone over board.

Alas, it was nice to breath and take in the surroundings without a phone screen! It was a little tough, and there were some disagreements and I was mainly stressed that we would overturn, I found it pretty hard to relax.

Albeit, the views were simply stunning. I am sooo glad we took the plunge and gave it a go!

Once we had kayaked around the island we were taken back to the boat where we served Thai lunch. Shortly after, we were taken to another island where you could head off to another view point, snorkel or just enjoy the scenery.

We did the latter. We were both exhausted by this point and wanted to cool down on the picturesque sands of Wua-Ta island. After a good three hours of paddling in the sand and taking in the scenery, we headed back to the boat to make our way back to Koh Samui. It took a good couple of hours to get back to the mainland, of which seemed to drag to no end!

Anthong National Marine park was everything I expected and more. The tour was superb and I’m so glad we chose to kayak around the island. In the spirit of a review, the only negative was the boat. I wish we had chosen the speedboat, especially for the way home, when you just want to head back to the hotel and jump in the pool!

For anyone going to Koh Samui, this is a tour not to be missed, whatever the time of year.

We were told all too often July was the monsoon season and nothing will be ‘good’ and yet we both agree we couldn’t do it in the height of their summer. It could be overcast as can be seen with some of my images and yes there were some downpours ( instagram stories if you’re interested ) but im so glad we didn’t listen! It was still ruddy hot!

If you want to go on any Koh Samui Tour, best book with Koh Samui Tour Shop. We booked them for both this and the just jungle jeep safari and had the best time on both!

Now someone, pleaseeee take us back!

Charlotte x

** This is a collaborative post with Koh Samui Tour Shop. All opinions are my own.

 

Jungle Jeep Safari – Koh Samui

When looking into Koh Samui, we knew we wanted to explore and experience as much of the island as possible. After extensive research, I found the PERFECT way to explore by a full day jungle jeep safari. We knew we HAD to do it.

After booking literally the day before, we were both anxious and excited to see what the island really had to offer. We were picked up from our hotel in a rather rickety jeep and we both wondered what we had let ourselves into.

Along the pit stops were infamous sights and gorgeous views across Koh Samui. To say we were eager was an understatement.

Before we go any further with this review, I would like to highlight we literally had the best time and couldn’t has asked for better drivers and weather!

Once we had gathered all our companions ( I think we had the best jeep of tourists ), we got underway as a convoy of jungle jeeps. It was really well organised and we never felt rushed where we were. If anything, they had the timings perfect at where we were stationed.

So here we go, our itinerary from the Jeep Jungle 4 x 4 Excursion.

Read : Koh Samui – Thailands island paradise / Baywater Resort Samui Hotel review

Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks

This is a bit of a weird one, and something that feels really rather odd to examine and take pictures of when visiting. The Grandfather and Grandmother rocks are basically formations of rocks that look like the nether regions of a male and female. Of course there is a theory behind the formation of them, but I wasn’t completely comfortable taking ample pictures.

I would like to note too, that I nearly dived head first into the Grandmother rock after slipping down the rock. We didn’t spend too long here, but we did manage to nab Ali some sunglasses as he left his back in the UK!

Mummified Monk

Once again, this is another one of those sights I had heard ample about, and again I wasn’t sure how I felt wandering around taking pictures. To my surprise, I was really taken aback and really rather fascinated by the mummified monk and how he became to how he is, 45 years after his death.

Of course, his surrounding temple was utterly beautiful and unsurprisingly lavished in bold colours. It’s really good to note here, women have to cover their shoulder and shoes do have to be left at the door. Thankfully, I wore a t-shirt for the day and didn’t need to further cover up.

Namuang Waterfalls 1 & 2

Koh Samui has some pretty beautiful natural sights, including the beautiful Namuang waterfalls. Again, this was another stop I was really excited to visit. We could’ve gone on the winding slides to the bottom of the falls, but decided to climb and paddle. This was the only stop on the entire tour that felt crowded. But we managed to cool in the falls and enjoy the scenery, so cannot complain!

Lunch on a Roof terrace overlooking Chaweng

We were really lacking in a good cold drink and some food at this point, so to arrive at a hidden local eatery, perched on top of a hill we were bloody glad. As someone who is a little fussy with food, I was a little anxious as to what traditional Thai food we would be served.

But, the food was delicious. I could describe what we had but I couldn’t name them. As always,  it tasted delicious and was just perfect to fill us up for our second leg of the day.

What made it even better was the perfect view over Koh Samui. Couldn’t have had a better lunch!

Secret Garden

The secret garden had been one of those places I had seen some images of and not known much about it. However, learning the true story of the secret garden really made the plus feel much more serine and magical.

A single man had built the garden to show his peers what heaven will be like and why they should continue to do good. There were beautiful statues and a waterful running throughout. Truly beautiful and a highlight on the tour.

Big Buddha

There are numerous large Buddha’s on the island ( much to my surprise ) and this wasn’t one I knew about. However, it offered us once again stunning views across the island. This was the last stop on the tour before heading down back through the jungle and onto our hotel.

Overall, the entire tour was superb and exceeded our expectations. Our group made the tour and our guide brought fun to the whole day. I really didn’t expect to have the day we did, especially considering it was only £21 each!

Charlotte x

Baywater Resort Review – Koh Samui

Where better to start with the Koh Samui reviews than the hub of our stay, our hotel! As previously mentioned, we stayed in a gorgeous resort that we happened to stumble across from an Instagram recommendation. When booking our honeymoon, I scoured the web for the perfect resort that could offer a good location and comfort.

We swapped and changed our booking various times, even as late as one month before flying. It was when I asked someone staying at one of the hotels we had reserved when he advised us on Baywater Resort. Upon further research, we decided it would probably be best to swap and made the final booking just 4 weeks before the honeymoon.

Advice number 1 – Check Instagram and ask others of their experiences. It paid off massively for us!

Read : A little life update / Thailand’s real paradise

Due to ‘adverse weather conditions’ (and I say that in adverted commas because honestly, what weather), we were delayed upon departure and in turn, missed our connecting flight to Koh Samui. Although real disappointing to be delayed, when we did eventually get to Koh Samui, it was well worth the wait!

The hotel stunned and offered us everything we wanted from our honeymoon. We had our own private plunge pool and a suite equipped with space and waterfall showers. The resort had an onsite gym, shop and poolside restaurant which served the most delicious Thai and Western food. They also offered room service and private buses to the local city and other sites.

After 2 days of sleeping in ( 11am we arose, very pissed we had missed breakfast ) and really unwinding, we started to explore the island a little more. Walking the very short walk to the beach, venturing to the nearest ‘city’ and sampling culture on Koh Samui.

I am a little picky on my food, yet wanted to sample some true Thai cusine, and on our first afternoon we headed to the pool restaurant out of ease. I was truly surprised on the variety they offered, and the standard of food we were given. It was literally so scrummy! There after we pretty much ate in the hotel every night, sampling Thai Curries, Rice dishes and the odd Western dish too. It was so reasonably priced, onsite and with fantastic service – we felt silly to go anywhere else!

Whilst in Koh Samui, we experienced two fantastic excursions, and had various days at the beach and venturing to the city via the hotel shuttle. We also managed to experience the Fisherman’s market on the only Friday we had on the island, which offered us arguably the best meal, and view, of the whole honeymoon! Plus, we picked up some Thai style prezzies for family members too!

Overall, we were sooo impressed with the hotel and the choice we made for our Honeymoon. The hotel staff couldn’t do enough for you, and the food was impeccable. We literally only ate out 3 times during our whole stay! If there ever was a problem, they would be more than happy to help and sort immediately.

The hardest part of our whole Honeymoon was adjusting back to mundane cities compared to the serenity and calm that Koh Samui offered us. Whilst we were happy to be in Singapore after, we both felt more than sad that we had to leave Koh Samui altogether!

If you are looking for a hotel which offers superb location, transport when needed and a comfortable and truly relaxing stay, I couldn’t think of anywhere better than Baywater Resort Samui!

Have you ever been to Koh Samui before?

Does it look like somewhere you would want to stay?

As always start some natter in the comment section below.

Charlotte x