Review: Penzion & Hostel Sofi (Prague)

I stayed 3 nights in Prague at Penzion sofi in their mixed dormitory. Here is my simple review of the place.





Room:
The hostel offers dormitory beds and private rooms. I stayed at the 8 beds dormitory and loved how spacious it is. There is an open rack with hangers for everyone to hang their stuffs on. Other than that, there is a bedside drawer with lamp. The drawers are pretty spacious but cannot be locked.





There is no air conditioner and while I was there this summer, it felt a little hot if the windows are not opened.

There is a pantry, a toilet and a shower room with 2 wash basin and 1 mirror in the entire floor. The facilities are shared within everyone on the same floor. The same floor has 8 dorm beds and 1 private room.



Bed:

The bed is comfy and soft and clean. A comforter and a blanket is given along with a big almost square-ish pillow.





Toilet:

Toilets are generally clean though the floor of the shower room tend to be a little dirty.

I thought for so many guests,  it's better for the basins to be separate from the shower room. Otherwise when someone showers, nobody can brush their teeth unless they use the toilet sink.

Toilet paper and hand towels are provided


Cleanliness:

The floor tend to be a little bit dusty but I think it's more because many guests wear their shoes into the room. But because the hosts vacuum and clean everything in the morning,  i find everything clean enough.


Location:

Not exactly the best location to be honest. Other than 1 Mini market across the street, I don't see any other shops. The mini market always seemed to be closed by the time I return around 10pm.




There is a bus stop with just one bus ( Bus: 118) outside the hostel. The bus stop ( Pod Pekařkou ) is just outside. Thankfully,  the bus schedule runs late so no worries about not being able to get back.









The nearest train station is Budejovick and you can take bus 118 from the Bus Stop BudejovickExit from the station, with a KFC on the ground floor (Mac Donalds is on the opposite exit ) turn left and follow the escalator up. The Bus Stop is immediately beside the escalator up.






I believe you can also take tram 3 and 17, alight at Dvorce and walk to the hostel. But I've personally never tried that before.





Learn more about travelling with public transport in Prague at this website.


Price:

I got it for €10 per night which I think is a steal.

However it seems like there are hostels in the old town with 24 hour receptions going at just €12 / beds. So on comparison,  Penzion Sofi might not be as value for money.


Safety:

The neighbourhood is quiet so that seems ok. There is no place for you to lock your stuffs so it might be a concern for those who are carrying large amount of cash/valuables.

My other concern was the lack of 24 hour receptions. I forgot my keys one day and had to scream outside the gates for another hostee to open the door for me. I pressed all the bells i could find to no avail.  It seems non of the staffs stay in the hostel over night. The reception is from 0900 - 2300 if  i recall correctly.


Miscellaneous:

A towel with a sachet of shampoo and a sachet of shower gel is given upon check in. Hair dryer can be borrowed from the reception. Other than a hook stand in the shower room, I didn't see any other place for you to dry your laundry.

However, Laundry services that include washing, drying and folding can be provided for €10. I accumulated a big load and had them do my laundry for me. The detergent they used made me smell good the next few days :)

Wifi connection is pretty strong and available throughout the entire place.


Conclusions:

I liked how peaceful , clean and pretty the place is. Particularly liked how we have the entire floor to themselves. Other than the pantry, there is no other common area except the reception hall.







However due to the location, lack of shops and lack pf 24 hours reception, this hostel might not suit my next Prague trip. None of the staffs could speak decent english and trying to get travel advice from them can be difficult. This is a place suitable for someone who desires peac, doesn't mind the extra travel and is is relatively familiar with Prague. 







My Taobao Haul! Watch my wallet burn!!

It's been a long while since I've come with such a random post. It's always nice to choke the blog with valuable reviews and trip posts but once in a while we all need a bit of craziness. Or maybe I'm just a little obsessed with my shopping loot and wants to show it off like any other girl hahaha.

 

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Unwrapping a parcel is always exhilarating and done with respect. But unwrapping a taobao parcel this big and have been anxiously anticipated this long ... is a little barbaric lol.

 

Doing my teeth abroad with Dental World Manila (Philippines)

*Sponsored review* 


Mabuhay!! Warm greetings from the even warmer Philippines! I think this must be the first time I’m blogging while on a trip, helps that I lugged my super bulky laptop along this time. For those of you who have been following TCC’s facebook/Twitter page, you’d have known that I’ve been trying to find a good dentist in Manila for a while.


I was asking for Dentist recommendations because I obviously need a good one. A bit of back story to start this entry. One fine day roughly 3 years ago, a filling from my teeth fell out and I started feeling this really uncomfortable toothache on my First Premolar tooth. I've never experienced toothache this searing and constant before and I was desperate to get it fixed. I went to the nearest clinic thinking it was going to be an easy ride. The dentist made me did some X-Rays and her final assessments to me was that the teeth's nerve had become affected and root canal is the only way to save the teeth other than plucking and replacing it entirely. She referred me to a specialist in a Hospital (which I cannot remember now) and advise I seek his professional advice and help. Desperate for another opinion, I went to another Dentist a friend recommended. The dentist assessed my teeth by passing mild electric current through them and came the problem teeth, I yelped like a helpless baby. Again, I was recommended to do a Root Canal treatment and I left the clinic dejected with my teeth still hurting.  


I eventually got it "fixed" by another dentist in Malaysia. I put the word "Fixed" in open inverted commas because He didn't actually solve the root of problem. The Dentist assessed that my teeth was just sensitive because the nerves are exposed. So he disinfected it and filled it up. The strange thing was that after the filling work was completed, the annoying pain still persisted. I found out afterwards, that the pain was caused by a piece of food stuck in between my teeth. Talk about gross -__-; 


And I say simply filling the tooth up was not a long term solution because when I bite hard and drink overly hot or cold drinks, I can still feel the teeth crying out to me.  To make my teeth condition worse, another filling of mine dropped out recently and I was left with a staggering hole in my Molar tooth. I went to the Polyclinic and a private dentist and they both recommended Root Canal Treatment. 


You must be wondering why didn't I just book an appointment with the Root Canal Specialist and solve the problem once and for all ? The reason is simple, Root canal treatments in Singapore are jaw droppingly expensive. According to the Ministry of Health's website, Root Canal treatment on a Molar tooth cost between $678 to $815 at a Public Institution. Private Dental Clinics charges somewhere between $400 to $1,605. And these numbers don't include things like consultation, X-Rays, investigations and Re-treatments. From what I've been hearing from Dentists and people around me, doing Root Canal in Singapore can possibly set you back at $2000 - $2500 each! 


That's like some people's salary for an entire month! Maybe even 2 months ! So it's not that I disagreed with the dentists or did not respect their professional advice. I simply couldn't afford the price tag! 


The only way for me to get my teeth treated, was to find a cheaper option. So the idea of getting treated in a place where I have the advantage of the currency came to mine. 



Photo credit: Carl Vinson Carlos

Manila was an easy decision for many reasons. Other than the fact that I have a Dad who often raves about doing dental in Philippines (he does it in the Rural provinces) and because I have amazing Filipino friends who makes me wants to go back in a heartbeat. 


It's also because Philippines has a higher percentage of English speaking people, relatively good quality of life in the cities, friendly people and beautiful natural scenery to explore. Not saying other South East Asia countries doesn't have those. It's just that getting around alone without knowledge of the language can be difficult and I would really like my dentist to explain my condition to me in a language I can comprehend. 


Oh dear, I hope I haven't bored you with my long back story. I just wanted to share my very real experience with all of you and let you know that I share your frustrations!

I found Dental World Manila online and was happy to that know they cater to foreign clients too! Having a professional website and an active Facebook page also helped to reaffirm the legitimacy of the clinic to me. 


I've had a couple of Filipino friends recommend their dentists to me but most of them didn't have any websites or SNS I could preview and ask questions. They also didn't have any emails so I didn't know how to contact them and clarify the doubts I have other than splurging on an international call. But making an expensive international call just to clarify doubts and ask for quotes or appointments doesn't make sense in our wired generations. Not to mention I might not even want to take them up after all the efforts. So when I found out I could contact Dental World Manila online through their form system, I was thrilled! 


Dental World Manila has kindly offered to sponsor my treatment but all opinions are mine and are in no way altered to represent a distorted truth. 















 The clinic front in MOA



I landed in Manila early Monday morning and went for my appointment at 10:30am. Due to the massive jet lags and the sheer size of MOA, I ended up being late for my appointment but the staffs were all very nice about it and instead of reprimanding me, told me to take it easy and take a moment to relax myself. You don't know how afraid I was that the dentists and nurses would be like the nasty , pushy ones I had when I was a kid.





Dr Hazel was my dentist at the Mall of Asia Branch. She was a very cute and gentle woman who spoke softly and kindly. She can put anyone at ease instantly with her friendly smile and patient disposition. No picture of her face because she's too shy 8D!






I am amazed however, by how good she was at her job. It only took her 5 minutes to find 12 cavities and deduce that the molar teeth with a huge gap was actually a root canal job done previously! I swear I didn't even know because I've had that filling for as long as I can remember! And she did all that with just her naked eye and a Dental mirror. 



My personal information has been edited out from this xray for privacy reasons.


We then went on to doing 2 X-rays of my teeth for better clarity. We did a panoramic one of the entire teeth and then another one of my problematic Molar teeth. 





Dr Hazel was very patient and explained everything to me in easy to understand ways. She told me how some of my teeth had chipped off and how the fillings had gaps in-between that could potentially harm my teeth. She also discovered a decay that was happening inside a tooth that couldn't be seen from the outside. Like I mentioned above, I've had Xrays done by other dentists before and no one else spotted that.


Unlike some dentists who would rush through the explanation process, Dr Hazel took as much time as needed to ease my anxiety and to let me know the true condition of my teeth. 





I'm not sure about you, but I hate going to the Dentists. Childhood experiences with our school's dental team left only dizzy memories of spinning ceiling, non stop drilling sound and an un-explainable fear.

However the experience with Dr Hazel and her team at Mall of Asia was nothing like that. Sure, the drillings had to continue because reconstructions needed to be done. But I felt safe being worked on by Dr Hazel. I felt like if I was really scared or in pain, I could let her know without any fear of reprimand. Unlike some dentists who paralyzes you with their overwhelming presence, Dr Hazel was very patient and approachable. Halfway through the procedure, they even proactively applied a generous layer of lip balm (or vaseline) on my lips because they noticed how dry it was getting. Isn't that sweet of them? I think maybe only a female would understand the agony and embarrassment of dry cracked lips hahah.





If you only have fillings to be done then you'd be happy to hear that Dr Hazel managed to finish 5 fillings and started work on 1 Root Canal within 2.5 hours! The Xray and consultation took half an hour prior.


Despite the friendliness of the staff and Dr Hazel, I'm sure you'd understand when I say nobody enjoys being on that chair. I was so thankful Dr Hazel was able to work so swiftly! That definitely minimised the amount of anxiety needed to endure. 


Speaking of pain, I had anesthetic applied to the right side of my lower jaw and did not feel any overwhelming pain. I wouldn't say the entire treatment (as of current) is entirely painless but I think they are all in reasonable and acceptable quantity. Sometimes I hear the drillings and close my eye only to discover that it actually doesn't hurt at all! Some times it's all in the mind I guess. 





I was prescribed some Antibiotics and Pain relievers which I had to pick up at the Pharmacy myself for just a little over a 100 Peso. I simply handed the pharmacist these 2 prescription from Dr Hazel and got everything I needed. It's been a day since the treatment and I feel absolutely fine. No pain so far!


I even had an Ice cream this afternoon because I couldn't resist the temptation of a 55peso Magnum *_*

A photo posted by Kaika (@elpheal) on

If you are a Singaporean who like me, has 12 cavities to be filled up (I swear I brush and floss everyday!) , you will soon discover that the Polyclinic is not a place suitable for your condition. And mind you, this exact line is quoted from my dentist in NHG Polyclinic. Because according to my dentist, per patient is only allowed (or allocated time) to do 1 treatment per trip. However due to my severe condition, she rushed 2 fillings treatments out within 1 appointment. 

And we all know how difficult it is to make a dental appointment with the Polyclinics, much less a weekend slot. What this means for someone with a lot of cavities and little spare time is you might need almost an entire year to get everything fixed. This timeline factors in all the lapse in between appointments. 





Dental World Manila currently has 3 branches in Manila that are all situated in prime or easy to access locations. In fact, most of them are located in a landmark itself! 2 more branches will be opening soon in Centuria Medical Makati and SM North EDSA. What this means is easier access to a tourist like me! In a city that is foreign, big and haphazard to me, it helps so much when I can into a Cab and simply telling the driver "Mall of Asia" instead of trying to locate some obscure corners with our GPS (I did that while trying to find my Airbnb room). 


If you're interested in getting your teeth fixed in Manila, definitely check out Dental World Manila!  You can ask for quotes and query about procedures before deciding if you want to fly down to Manila or not. They have 


I will be going back to complete my treatment tomorrow. Look forward to a healthier set of teeth and another blog entry soon! 




Itinerary: 11D10N in Hangzhou, Shanghai & Suzhou.

They say “ 上有天堂,下有苏杭“, implying that the beauty of Hangzhou and Suzhou is on par with Heaven. And indeed, these 2 places were beautiful.
 
I just came back from a 11d10n trip to China. The trip involved 3 beautiful cities and 5 towns, not a very rushed trip as you can tell.  I personally prefer to take my time meandering around a new city and experiencing the different possibilities. I also had to allocate more time for myself to find  my way around as I was travelling alone in a place I have never been to before. 
 
 
 
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But going around on my own made for a really experience rich trip that I can't wait to ramble about. However before I venture into 1000 word long essays of each attractions, here's a picture itinerary with some description. This entry will share the flow of the trip and hopefully, give prospective travellers some information to base their next trip on.
 
Let me know if you guys liked such entries.

Review: LAM SAM YICK 林三益 Clean Acne Bye-Bye Brush

Name: LSY 林三益 X 柳燕粉刺焕颜限定组
Price: $700 TWD - SGD$18.90 on Qoo10 (Price varies )
Website: Lam Sam Yick Official Website & Qoo10 sale page

 

 

Introduction

Lam Sam Yick was a calligraphy brush making company that started in 1917 in Fuzhou, Fujian Province. The company relocated to Taiwan in 1946 and has since spanned across four generations. With the decline in use of calligraphy, the business has since ventured into the world of beauty brushes. Lam Sam Yick’s brushes are said to be incredibly soft and comfortable.

 

This Skincare brush range is made in collaboration with the Beauty Guru/ Skincare Teacher from Taiwan;  Liu Yan Teacher. She is most famous for being a regular on the hit Beauty talk show; Nu Ren Mo Zui Da. This Bye-Bye brush specifically targets removal of blackheads. The brush has a ring of short soft bristle on the outside while the inside consists of extreme fine but tough and flexible synthetic fibres.

 

 

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Clean Acne BYE-BYE Brush


Teacher Liu Yan is very particular on cleansing as cleansing is the most important step for a beautiful and healthy skin. With the collaboration with LAMSAMYICK (LSY), they have specially designed a two-layer brush which has a mix of different diameters in the inner and outer layers.


Clean Acne BYE-BYE Brush is made of Synthetic Fibers 化纖 where bristles will not break. Designed with a softer-touch exterior and a harder-touch interior bristles.With the inner layer bristles smaller than your pores made of 0.07 mm, it is able to penetrate deep into the pores where the underlying dirt are. While the 0.10 mm outer bristles are responsible for loosening the blackheads/whiteheads and acnes, accelerates the acne health and boosts metabolism time.


For those with healthy skin, this outer layer of brush can also be used to clean the deepest part of the skin, to help adjust the skin so as to prevent the growth of any blackheads and acnes.
Able to use this for your nose, hairlines and other parts.”

~ Info from Qoo10

 

Apparently the Bye-Bye blackhead is so effective in removing blackheads, Taiwanese Singer & TV host Pauline Lan even managed to remove a 10 year old blackhead with it.

 

 

Review: Dolphin House Osaka Hostel (Japan)

When I impromptu-ly decided to fly to Japan for the sakuras (Cherry Blossoms), the first obstacle I faced was the unbelievable lack of accommodation during the last weekend of March to the 1st week of April. Hotels and hostels everywhere were sold out! God must have taken pity on me as I somehow chanced upon this little place in Osaka.

Here is my review of the Dolphin House Osaka .

 

Hotel Name: Dolphin House Osaka
Address: 577-0801 Osaka Prefecture, Higashi-osaka, Mikuriyaminami 2-1-38-A802, Japan
Contact: +81(0)80-9554-5580
Website: http://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/dolphin-hostel-osaka.en-gb.html
Price: SGD16 - SGD20 (Price varies)

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Traditional Han Costumes with Sakuras in Kyoto

It might not be very apparent in this blog until recently but I actually travel quite a bit for someone who holds a full time job. I often get so caught up with life that I cannot fully share my travel journey on blogs and most of the photographic memories captured just stays in my Harddisk.

 

 

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But I’m not here to talk about my backlogs really. I’m here to say I travel a lot. And if possible, I travel alone. And people around me often asks, why do I keep travelling alone? Why? Because I want to open up chances for beautiful encounters like this to happen!

 

 

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I chanced upon Vicky and Qian in the famous Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto and little did I know we would end up connecting so well.

Cherry Blossoms @ Gion, Kyoto

Gion is a historical area in Kyoto that IMHO, serves as one of the most iconic representative of Japanese culture.

 

“ Gion (祇園?, ぎおん[note 1]) is a district of Kyoto, Japan, originally developed in the Middle Ages, in front of Yasaka Shrine. The district was built to accommodate the needs of travellers and visitors to the shrine. It eventually evolved to become one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan.”

Source: Wikipedia

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Gion is famous for it’s large amount of traditional wooden houses (Machiya) which so embodies the image of traditional Japanese architecture. Gion has evolved into a highly prosperous district that is filled with restaurants, shops and Teahouses. Most notably, is the Hanami-Koiji street where there is the highest concentration of Ochaya (teahouses) and where the Geishas receives and entertain guests.

 

“ The most popular area of Gion is Hanami-koji Street from Shijo Avenue to Kenninji Temple. A nice (and expensive) place to dine, the street and its side alleys are lined with preserved machiya houses many of which now function as restaurants, serving Kyoto style kaiseki ryori (Japanese haute cuisine) and other types of local and international meals.

Interspersed among the restaurants are a number of ochaya (teahouses), the most exclusive and expensive of Kyoto's dining establishments, where guests are entertained by maiko and geiko.”

source: Japan-Guide.com

Review: K-Palette 1 day Tattoo Micro Eyeliner

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this eyeliner! This has got to be one of the most unique eyeliner product I’ve come across the past year or so. This product was sent to me for considerations. I’m sorry I took so long to review this awesome product.

 

Name: K-Palette 1 day Tattoo Real lasting Eyeliner 24h WP Micro
Price: $21.90 (SG). Also available @ selected Watsons & BHG
Website: BeautyCarousel.com

 

 

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K-Palette is a popular drugstore makeup in Japan. Products from this brand can be seen in pretty much every drugstores, beauty stores or pharmacies in Japan when I was there. K-Palette is most famous for their 1 Day Tattoo liquid eyeliner that boast an amazing 24 hours of lasting power and has been the No.1 best seller for the last 4 years. In Singapore last year, they launched the offspring of their top selling product; the 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h WP Micro. Haiyo, these Japanese people must really stop giving their products such long and tongue twisting names lah! Anyway, back to review.

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