Monday, November 25, 2019

Why Tianjin is a must visit place after Beijing?

I visited Tianjin as my Birthday trip in October this year. I didn't plan much for this trip. Just went on with this trip since my China Visa is expiring on early Dec 2019. (Just an excuse!)

I was aiming to climb up the Great Wall of China from this part of China but at the end couldn't make it. My back condition didn't permit to do so. So..I end up settled with just rest and relax trip with no self-challenge. I just use the google explore for a place to visit. hahaha

I stayed at Holiday Inn Express Tianjin Heping. The Hotel located right next to a metro station (Anshan Station). Just next to the hotel building. Very convenient as the place has some fast food at the annexe too. Getting a cab also not that difficult here.

As for the Hotel Room, to me as long as I have a comfortable bed, clean bathroom and no noise, everything seems reasonable. Anyway, I am not that kind who enjoy the hotel facilities and stuck in the room watch TV all day. I was out of Hotel room from 9am until at night. Basically, I just need a place to sleep. Breakfast? Well, they do have Buffet Breakfast which the selection kind of not that interesting to me at all. I have been eating eat sandwich toast, which I made from the buffet counter selection. I skip my breakfast on the last 2 days. Can't stand to see any sandwich anymore. hahaha. Price isn't that expensive here so overall reasonable to stay here since the location is convenient. I took time to even explore the nearby neighbourhood too. There are many local shops nearby too. Just cross the opposite main road it will lead you to another neighbourhood too. Just walk and explore the local life there. It's interesting to do that when travelling to other countries. 

Safety? I feel safe over there since Police is everywhere too. You can reach out to them anytime. I know language might be an issue for non-Chinese speaker but if you are in distress, language wouldn't be a big issue to get help at anywhere. 

In general, people were good to me during my stay. They just curious about my origin and trying to make conversation with me. As usual, I will just reply with my super basic mandarin skills. hehehe...Google translate? Well, I don't even use any of those since I have that impatient mindset. So troublesome for me to use that. hahaha

Where to Stay in Tianjin?

Holiday Inn Express Tianjin Heping
No. 26, Xizang Road, Heping District, Tianjin 300020 China.

Places to Visit in Tianjin

When I told my friend, I am going to Tianjin, they were like...What? Why? Its nothing to see there. It's a small place in China. mmmmm...wrong! This is the people who make comment without even experience the place. You got to experience and surprise yourself. Different people different opinion on many things. So don't take any comments blatantly without doing your own research. 

My honest opinion about Tianjin.

You shouldn't miss out of this place. People only see Beijing as a must-visit destination. Do include Tianjin to the itinerary since this city is only 40 minutes high-speed train ride from Beijing.

Historically, Tianjin is the most important port and also known as a doorway to Beijing. When I first step into Tianjin, I was mesmerized by the extraordinaire mix cultural of its building architecture. This place makes me curious about what is going on in the ancient time.

So? Its seems my routine when visiting other countries is to make Museum as my first itinerary. It just this time, I only got the chance to visit the Museum on the second day due to miscommunication with the Cab Driver. He drops me at the Ancient Cultural Street instead of Museum on the first day. I still enjoy my heart out on this trip!

Tianjin Museum

Address: 62 Pingjian Road, Hexi Qu, Tianjin
Check out their official website for operation hours to avoid disappointment.

I could describe Tianjin is the best city since it has more than 70 museums for you to explore. I manage to cover only four from this trip. Unfortunately, during my visit it was raining and cold day throughout the whole day. My umbrella doesn't work well too. Yeah! it got blown up by the strong wind. Haihhhh.... I still brave myself through. I was a worth it journey!

This place is spectacular huge. I spent the whole day here. When I feel tired to walk around, I just walked out at sat at the nearby bench. I even have a quick nap due to very tired. It has segregation between different sector such as Art, Science and Technology, Natural History Museum. Each section is huge and you can spend at least 2 - 3 hours each.

I was there since morning and still unable to cover all. Why? First, it closed at 4 pm. Second, most of the section is well-translated English descriptions. It is really interesting and worth to read through. Especially for someone like me who always have an interest in China history.

I learn about every era that transformed Tianjin into the cross-cultural city today. It was an interesting learning day from the primitive days to the last dynasty of China. The opium war to the spread of Catholicism to the boxer rebellion. It makes my entire stay in Tianjin more meaningful as I appreciate each place in different ways since I knew the origin and history of each.

The Tianjin Art Museum is a new place in Tianjin and if you are an art lover or even for a person like me find this place is interesting. It even has a display of the world's finest porcelain from the Ming and Qing dynasty. Interestingly, I basically explore all 4 levels of this museum and enjoy reading the good description of the display.

Natural History Museum and the Science and Technology Museum is not just for kids educational. I spent my time there too. It's ashamed that it almost closing hour by the time I reached this place. Oh! by the way, all Museum I mentioned in this post is just next to each other. That is why I mentioned you could spend your whole day time here. There are a huge lake and fountain outside the museum. I manage to catch the musical fountain dance during my visit. Yeah!!! I was out there standing in the rain before the strong wind blown away my umbrella. Hahaha...

The Ancient Cultural Street (Gu Wenhua Jie)

Address: Gongnan Main Street, Nankai District, Tianjin

This place supposes to be on the second day but the cab driver seems impatient to make this as my first destination. So...I just follow my destiny here. Too bad! I don't find any love here hahahaha..Who on earth find a Mr Right at 'Ancient Cultural Street' OMG! I must be so lonely and desperate hahaha...Ancient Uncle many here. Too many choices of ancient Uncle and Aunties here. 

The atmosphere here is kind of enjoyable and relaxing day for me. Just wander around this long street with buildings of traditional Chinese styles during Ming and Qing Dynasties and make yourself lost into this place. I explore every nook and corner here. In fact, went there thrice and never get enough of this place. I just love to see the colourful beads, stones, gems and some ancient relic. Most of it is a replica. But still interesting here.

If you are into calligraphy and arts, this is the place to buy some art paper and brush. You can sample many street foods here. I tried my first Tianjin must-try street food, Jianbing Guozi and Erduoyan Zhagao here. I will write more on the Tianjin food in a separate post. Subscribe to my blog to get the latest update notification.

It's a mixed feeling when you are at this interesting Ancient street. You get that traditional atmosphere and at the same time the modern days in one street. The souvenir here is worth to buy too. The price pretty much standard anywhere. Bargain? If you that kind of person...go ahead! I am sure you will get a good price.

Most enjoyable for me to sit at the bench in front of the main entrance and watch rows of tourist from different China province lining up to start the exploration. I just sat there and watch them while eating the snacks. Most of them are a senior citizen who joins the group tour. I even saw the tourist guides gave them a briefing and even told them off. Some of them not easy to manage, though! The old people have their own mindset. It's not like they are small kids who will follow you with some threatening words. I feel it's amusing to watch a cleaner who cleans the dustbin and collect every single cigarette bud and rubbish. It's really clean here. The public toilet is alright here compare to Lanzhou and Xining.

Tianjin Folk Museum

Address: Ancient Cultural Street, Nankai District, Tianjin

You can find this place somewhere in the middle of the Ancient Cultural Street. Don't give this place a miss. It worth to drop by here. Just a small museum and it's free. The cab driver is not wrong at all to drive me here on the first day. Since there are many museums in Tianjin, you just need to give them a specific address. It was my mistake from the start. I should have told him, I want to go to the Museum in Hexi District, not Nankai.

Here you can see the display of traditions and present daily life, trade, arts. religion, cultural and clothes. It displays the improvement of daily life from the ancient to the modern days. For example the weddings gift and clothing. There is some paper cutting, weaving and arts too. It will take less than an hour here.

Temple of the Queen of Heaven 

Address: Gongbei Main Street, Nankai District, Tianjin

You won't miss this temple since this place is inside the Ancient Cultural Street and near to the main entrance.  It really a calm and peaceful place here. I paid 10 Yuan to get away from the crowd and it really worth my 10 Yuan.

This place is also known as Tianhou Taoist Temple or Tianhou Temple. This place is famous for Mazu, The Goddess of Sea and Queen of the Heaven worshipping. This place was constructed in 1326 for marine sacrifices by sailors and fishermen and it served since centuries.

After tired walking around, I sat near one of the statues for a quick nap. leg was worn out and my back was hurting at this point. Since I was away from the crowd, so I feel peaceful here. Even have time to imagine the ancient time here with my own imagination. 

Italian Style Stree

(EE TA LI JIE ....well that was what I told to cab driver and he replied Hou!!! EE TA LI JIE.... hahaha)
Address: Marco Polo Square, Hebei District, Tianjin

If you still have energy after exploring Ancient Cultural Street, just walk around the HaiHe River which is located opposite the street and you will reach Italian Style Street. I couldn't afford to do that. My walking quota has reached the max for the day. Tired like hell!  I visit this place the next day. 
I went there for my birthday. Can't afford to celebrate my birthday in Italy, I settled with Ee Ta Li Jie. hahaha... Enjoyed shrimp pizza with cuppa coffee with an Italian song in the background. I convinced myself, I am in Italy. Self Hypnotized success! The feeling was real to me. muahahaha

I was hoping to meet my dreams Oppa here too. But seriously...all I met are Ajussi (old Uncles). mmm....only old uncle has money to loitering around this place? I will just keep dreaming then. Dreaming is always fun because I can end it without hurting my own feelings. kekeke

To me it just a row of Italian Architecture Building with some Al Fresco style cafe, restaurant and fountain. There are a few shops selling souvenirs and other than that nothing special about this place.

I thought this place is more happening during the night. But to my disappointment, it was not as what I thought at all. I visited this place at night before taking the HaiHe River Cruise. Many places not open and it so quiet even the Starbuck have few people in it.

Overall, a great place for a change of atmosphere here. Recommended to visit for a cup of coffee or even enjoy some beer here. 

Tianjin Haihe River

Address: Ancient Cultural Street is along the Haihe River. All you need to do is to cross the main road.

Haihe River is well known as 'Mother River' of Tianjin and have a huge contribution from ancient times to Tianjin people. I visited Haihe River a few times during my stay in Tianjin. Just love the atmosphere here. Really a great place for a morning or evening stroll. Day time or night time this place seems never sleeps. It cleans and has lots of activities. Very lively especially at night.

Along the Haihe river, you can find Haihe Park, Haihe Cultural Square, Haihe Fountain Amusement Park and Tianjin Eye.

This is a great place for leisure for local residents here. Many beautiful trees and flowers blossoming here. At night everything will be light up beautifully.

In the photo above you see the first catholic church called Wanghailou. This placemark a historical event where the first uprising against the foreign occupation starts here in the year of 1870.

You can take the day or night Haihe River cruise. I took the night cruise which I will write more in my next post. You can see different architectural influence along the river. That is why, in my earlier post, it is important to visit the Tianjin Museum before you explore the rest of Tianjin. Due to its strategic place, Tianjin went through few foreign countries colonial. The colonial begun right after the end of the Second Opium war. You should read Tianjin history on how the Opium War has begun.

You can see the traces of building architectural influence from Russian, Japan, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, France and Great Britain. All this along the Haihe River. Advisable to take the Haihe River cruise (whether day or night time) to see all this.

Five Great Avenues 

Address: Just tell the cab driver you are going to Wu Da Dao. They will bring you here

This is another great place to admire the European-style architecture. I have a fun day walking around this place while on and off did some cafe hoping here. There are many nice cafes here.

You can see the European influence in all building and cafes here. This place is known as Tianjin's rich and elite area. As many rich people build their home.

If read the history, there are two China's presidents and seven premiers or acting prime ministers resided here from the 1920s to the 1930s.

What are the attractions at Five Great Avenues?

Machang Avenue or Ma Chang Dao in Chinese is the oldest and the widest road among the Five Great Avenues. You will find the former residence of the British Overseas scholar here. It looks like a Spanish Villa style.

Muna Avenue or Mu Nan Dao in Chinese is where 74 buildings and 22 former residences of celebrities live. This look like a 3-floor western classical mansion with a basement.

Da Li Dao is another building worth to visit since its look like a French Roman style and they use Chinese wood carving as deco here.

I just walked around the street here since the weather is not that hot. Just walk into one of this cafe if you feel tired.

By the way, the photo is not related to my write up since I just wrote randomly based on what I read during my visit. I can't identify my photo which and which anymore. But all the photos were taken during my recent visit to Wu Da Dao. 

Now,  let us go shopping to the shopping street.

BinJiang Dao BuXingJie

Address: Just tell the cab driver you are going to the BinJiang Dao. 

If you are taking the metro just take metro line 3 to Yingkoudao station and take the Exit from B1 and cross the pedestrian bridge on your right.

Very huge shopping mall is everywhere here. You just need to start your exploration and get ready with your money here.

I totally love walking through the pedestrian streets here. But if you asked me to choose here or Ancient Cultural Street? Well, I prefer Ancient Street Cultural. I walked into some of those big shopping malls but it really not up to my expectation when it comes to the merchandise and the vibes. Some even look like they are closing down. There are big ones like Joy City and Isetan but still, don't like the vibes. 

I prefer to walk around outside the building and enjoy some of the architectural because of some of the building as old as 100 years.

You won't miss this Old Xikai Catholic Church if you are around BinJiang Dao. This church is also known as St Joseph Cathedral, Tianjin and was built by a French missionary in 1916.

There are many other places which I skip due to the location is far away from the city such as the Great Wall of China from this part of China and Porcelein House which is not that far from BinJiang Dao since I find not worth to pay for the entrance fees. 

Transportation in Tianjin is relatively cheap and convenient. I mostly took a cab and metro to most of the places. 

Language is not a problem to a non-Chinese speaker like me. I just show my print out Chinese word just in case the cab driver doesn't understand my Chinese slang. 

You can check out my next post on HaiHe River at night soon. You can subscribe to my blog for the latest update.

This article is also available on GPSmyCity.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fit Mee Healthy Korean Fried Noodles

This is the final 2 packs of Konjac noodle bought from my recent Jakarta Shopping haul. I never imagine Konjac noodles can taste this delicious. After tasted the green crumple stick rubber band the other day, I was being sceptical for this one. It's not from the same brand as last time. Plus this one is much cheaper. Ya Ya...that kind of mental attitude cheap means not delicious and anything expensive is super delicious. Diva mentality overloaded. Bad attitude go away! Well... that's me always using reverse psychology with hope for the opposite result. huhuhuh

Since this is cheaper than the other one, so I bought 2 flavours from this brand. One is Korean Fried Noodles flavour and the other one is my favourite Mee Soto. But I manage to cook only Korean Noodles before I temporarily closed my kitchen. Yeah! My kitchen will be closed for at least for 2 weeks starting the date of this post. Reason? Not that I am lazy. 

IMA! accidentally burnt middle fingers with a hot pan while preparing the Konyaku Korean Fried Noodles. It is a bad burnt! isk isk isk...Let it fully heal first before I start preparing my own meal again. From now on it will be salad and fruits all the way. huwaaaaaa....feeling the 'goatie' vibes already!

 Now...let see...

How to prepare Fit Mee Fried Korean Noodles?

As usual open the packet, I was greeted with crumple rubber band strand-like but this time is white not the green one like Ashitaki noodles. 

It has 4 small packets of condiments - Seasoning powder, Vegetables, Chilies and sesame oil with soy sauce.

1st Step - Boiled the noodles with the vegetable for 3 minutes. That's what the instruction us to do. Since I have experience with Konjac noodles already...chewahhhhh!!! hehehehe I boiled this a bit longer so I don't need to chew harder. hahaha...I boiled this for 8 minutes just like Ashitaki.
I forgot to boil this together with vegetable though. 

2nd Step - Since this suppose to be a fried noodles style the instruction the preparation basically the same with how we prepare the old-time favourite Indomie. But as usual, I don't follow the instruction really well. I have my own mindset and expectation for everything. I sauteed the minced garlic until fragrance then adds in oyster mushroom, boiled noodles and finally the spices. Stir-fried again for 2 - 3 minutes. Finally served with blanched Choy sam and my heavily spiced fried tempeh.

Tadaaaahhhhahahaha!!!! my Fried Korean noodles are served!

How does Fit Mee - Fried Korean Noodles taste?

Amazingly taste like Japchae. One of my favourite Korean Potato starch noodles dishes. I never thought this will be well seasoned. The savoury taste of sesame oil and the hints of chillies really works great in these dishes. I was really great to stir-fry this. Gosh!!! I should have to buy more of this flavour! Again that regret feeling.

Which part the process to prepare to cause the unfortunate accident to my right middle fingers?

It was during the process to throw in the leftover oil from the tempe frying before use the same pan to stir fry the noodles. isk isk isk isk

Lucky the meal turn out with full of happiness and low in calories too! hahaha

Sunday, November 17, 2019

I lost 3kg with Intermittent Fasting

I really glad to start Intermittent Fasting last month and it shows a positive result. If to combine my last month travelling there are few cheat days. But I was faithfully doing it for the past 2 weeks without fail. The result is kind of make me happy especially, my BMI is no longer in the range of Obese. Everything back to normal. Good news!!!!

What is Intermittent Fasting?

If you think this is some kind of diet then you are completely wrong!
Intermittent Fasting is a timed approach to eating time. There are a few types of intermittent fasting. The most popular one is 16: 8 which is 16 hours fasting and eat your meal during the 8 hours window. As for me, since fasting is nothing new to me as I am a Muslim so I go for 18: 6. I started fasting from 6pm until 12:00 noon. In short, you skip breakfast, eat your balanced lunch and have early dinner.

What to eat to make your Intermittent Fasting more effective?

I started my morning with a glass of water and a cup of hot black coffee without sugar or milk. I have balance lunch at 12 noon. My lunch usually a small portion of basmati rice with some proteins dishes like fish/meat and lots of vegetables on the side. I did snacks in between and my snacks usually some tortilla chips or fried tempeh or some fruits. I drink at least 2 litres of plain water and a cup of green tea. I stop eating at 6pm.

Don't overeat and try to reduce or avoid sugar during the intermittent fasting if you want to get the best result.

How I feel during the Intermittent Fasting?

I think since fasting is nothing new to me, so I don't feel sluggish or fatigued at all. In fact, I feel energetic and healthier.

I know losing 3kg for some people is nothing great! As for me, it makes a difference in my life since I manage to break free from the obese range. I have been trying to break free from that range for 2 years.

I recently met my friend who does 16: 8 intermittent fasting and combined with some exercise. He lost freaking 9kg. This is a total inspiration for me! I envy you, my friend.

After listening to his story, I am determined to go extra miles. I am back on my treadmill with the hope to lose more of my kilos. If I lose 10 kg.....mmmmmm,,,I just wanna start my beautiful dream even before I get there. harder, Rina! You can do this! Jia You! Jia You! Rina Hwaitingggg!!!

Subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram to show your support and give me some motivation to cheer me up in my weight loss journey.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Sleeping Partner Wanted

Read this with your own wildest imagination 😂

My top left tooth has been hurting for 2 weeks. I clearly understand its time for me to let this one go. I have been keeping it for 2 years now. I visited a few dentists and all advise me to do the extraction due to the crack is pretty severe. Many times my ears here have been listening to the false accusation from all these dentists. They have been accusing me of biting a very very very hard thing which causes my tooth to crack in such a manner. Yeah! I guess one of my hobbies to bite the wall and table edge in my house. I seriously, hurt by this accusation tho. I don't even dare to bite any ice cube. You are telling me this and that. Who the hell are you to judge me that way? 

From there on...I have been eating with just my right side. My left side has been resting for 2 years. Until last week, the pain got very severe. I guess this is the time to let it go...let it go...
I made an appointment with the dentist. Totally new dentist. Meaning, I have to develop a new relationship again.

Dentist: You have one implant here? How long ago?
Me: more than 10 years ago?
Dentist: Huh? cannot be?
Me: What do you mean? My teeth... I know la!
Dentist: How old are you? Don't tell me you did implant when you are in teenage age?
Me: Check the profile please! (Confident tone)
Dentist: What? you don't look this age wor!!!!
Me: ngehehehehehehehe.... you want free lunch today is it!
Dentist: No wor!!!! hard to believe. I am only 30 plus years old and I look like this wor... Shida! she looks 25 or 26 years old, right?
Dentist Assistant: true... not old at all...

My feeling ????

Then, I explain to the dentist on what happen and told her I am finally ready to lose this one tooth. Since I am a new patient to her, so she did all those chartings after checking each of my teeth. She told me the need to do scaling. I said go ahead.

I have sensitive teeth so a bit difficult for her to do scaling without stopping a few times. Plus I have difficult to breathe too. 

Dentist: How do you breathe?
Me: What do you mean?
Dentist: Through your nose or mouth?
Me: I am not sure wor!!! (I never thought about this) Why you ask me this?
Dentist: We need to stop the scaling a few times already because you said cannot breathe. Maybe you should learn how to breathe to your nose. Is your nose block or something?
Me: No!!!! I am fine.... the scaling process too long and along the way, I feel some residue from the scaling stuck in my throat. You don't expect me to swallow that! I want to gargle. And you keep asking me a question while my mouth is wide open. How you expect me to answer you with mouth open??? (annoying tone)
Dentist: Ooooo ok ok... but you can swallow this... it's alright!
Me: No! disgusting...
Dentist : hhihihihihi...

This dentist told me, I don't need the tooth to be extracted. She said this tooth can be saved. Reason? She said the crack has disappeared when she smoothen it out. She told me the previous dentist does not complete the root canal treatment due to the crack. The gave up because maybe they thought no point to doing it since the crack is there.

I told the dentist to help me save my tooth. She will do the root canal for me starting next week onwards. She said the root in my teeth is super long and weird. I was like haihh why everything about me so weird one. She said again even if she completes the root treatment is not advisable to do a crown. The reason it won't last long. 

Dentist: Do you grind your teeth during sleep time?
Me: I don't know! Because I sleep alone! 
Dentist: Find someone to sleep with you!
Me: Whuttttt?????

Me: Why you said that? Why I need to sleep with someone?

My imagination at that time.....

Dentist: I mean...someone need to confirm you grind your teeth. You teeth condition is weird. Do you stress and bite your teeth hard or something?
Me: Ohhhh!!! Not sure. Why?
Dentist: All your teeth have perfect alignment but your teeth all sunk in the middle.
Me: Weird!

My plan after yesterday, to find a sleeping partner who can confirm me grinding my teeth?
That will be your imagination, right?
Cheh!!!! Why trouble others? 
Smart Rina, set up a video cam last night. Lucky it works perfectly!

I don't grind my teeth. Just light cute snoring and sleep talk a bit (gosh! I was nagging...Goodness me) huhuhuh...So? what happens to my sunken teeth? Gum erosion? What??? Why??? How???

I hope this dentist can save my tooth. Another tooth implant will cost me DA BOMB!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

40 Calories Meal with Ashitaki Noodles

Every time I visited other countries, I enjoyed shopping at local grocers. My last visit to Jakarta, I found a few interesting items which I end up bought back home.

One of it is Ashitaki Low Carb Noodles. I am currently in the process of eating a low calories diet. ehem ehem...Wanna lose some weight! Well,  instead of getting all sort of instant noodles, I bought this low-calories noodles. Seriously, I don't have no idea what I put in my shopping trolley. I can't expect how it tastes too.

Ashitaki Low Carb noodles are only 40 calories. Best of all the flavour I bought is 'Mi Rebus Soto' which is one of the famous must have local cuisine. It has the ticks on High Fibre, Low Fat and Low Carb. Alright! Sold!

Back home, opened the packet...I was like ewwwwww...What is this? This looks like strands of crumple green rubber band stick together which will give me some digestion difficulties. Exactly, that was my honest impression when I unpacked the box. So sceptical! Can I really eat this? Don't tell me this will taste like just greens.

Anyway, I can't let this wasted. As usual 'Google' is the best source of information. The noodles made with Chalcone from Ashitaba a native Japanese plant known for longevity and good health benefit, Konjac yam (elephant yam), tapioca flour. Most of all these noodles are Keto-Friendly too.

Ahitaki 'Mi Rebus Soto' comes with 'Soto spices', Soto oil and fried shallots at topping. The preparation is quite different from the usual instant noodles.

There are 3 ways of preparing Ashitaki Noodles.

1st option - Recommended way of preparing Ashitaki Noodles is to boil 2 glasses of water then add in the noodles and let it boiled for 8 minutes. Throw in the boiling water and then add in the spices in the fresh boil water. Then the noodles are ready to serve.

2nd option - If you are cooking using the water dispenser. Soaked the noodles in hot water in a covered bowl for 20 minutes.  Throw the water and then add in fresh hot water before mixed all the spices. Ready to eat low calories meal!

3rd option - Microwave is another option to cook Ashitaki Noodles. Soaked the noodles in hot water and then put in microwave for 8 minutes with 90-degree Celsius temperature. Throw in the water and add in the fresh hot water before mixed in the spices. Meal served!

I boiled the Ahitaki Noodles for 8 minutes. The result is this translucent green strand which looks like seaweed to me. eheh...This gonna taste like greens! This gonna taste like greens! That phrase keep repeating in my mind again and again. Scared to eat this!!!! This is my first time eating Konjac noodles. Hehehe...

How does my Ashitaki Noodles final look? Isn't this look delicious? Oh! by the way, the garnishing like fried tempeh, egg ribbon, cherry tomatoes and supposedly thin slices of spring onion are my own effort to make my meal look pretty and add more nutrition. The 40 calories meal may not be 40 cal anymore with my generous amount of garnishing but yet it still low calories and high fibre compare to usual meal. huhuhuh

How does Ashitaki Noodles taste?

The noodles by itself are tasteless. I have to chew a lot because it's a bit chewy like munching seaweed jelly and its really addictive.  The Soto flavour is so flavorful with Indonesian Authentic Soto taste. I love my low calories meal. Oh! By the way the noodles don't absorb the soup though.
I don't regret to purchase this Ashitaki Noodles and my only regret is to buy only one packet. Aiya!!! I should have to buy more of this. Hopefully, can search for this  in Malaysia.

What makes Ashitaki Noodles is a good choice compare to usual instant noodles?

* Low Calories
* 10 packs of Ashitaki Noodles = 1 pack of the usual instant noodles
* Low sugar content and safe for diabetic patient
* The content of natrium is lower compare to usual instant noodles
* High fibre, Low fat and it contains Vitamin B12 and Calcium

Delicious low calories meal! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Best Time To Drink Kombucha

Honest confession from me in this post!

I kind of addicted to Kombucha since 3 months ago. I find myself gulping a bottle a day of Kombucha. Trying my best to control my addiction due to the high cost or I need to attend one of the alcoholic rehabs. huhuhuh

I know Kombucha benefit to gut health, due to rich in probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes. So?  I was wondering if there are any other benefits out of this delicious drink? When is the best time to drink Kombucha? 

My All-time favourite Kombucha

What is Kombucha?

Let us start with what is Kombucha for those who find this is a new drink discovery. Kombucha is a fermented tea. Just like Kimchi! It is a combination of tea, yeast (SCOBY) , raw sugar and it went through bacterial fermentation. 

How does Kombucha taste like?

Natural bubbly, deliciously sweet and tart taste. 

What is the health Benefit of Kombucha?

* Improve digestions 
* Weight Loss
* Detoxification
* Cancer prevention
* Increased Energy
* Immune system booster

When is the best time to drink Kombucha for good health benefit?

Morning Booster - It's a great help to boost energy if drink Kombucha in the morning since it contains caffeine.

Before Meal - If you drink Kombucha before meals, it can help with the maintenance of weight and even weight loss. Why? This drink is a bit sour and acidic which usually helps to curb appetite. Well, don't over drink it with a meal since this drink will kind of disturb your meal nutrients absorption. 

At Night before sleep - Since its contain caffeine then it is not advisable to drink Kombucha at night. It will disturb your sleep.

My recommendation to drink Kombucha during midday to help with digestion and to boost energy. 

What you need to know before you drink Kombucha?

* Kombucha contains less 0.5 per cent alcohol since its a fermented drink. Similar to yoghurt, tempeh, kimchi.

* Drink it after meal if you have gastric issues since this drink is acidic.

* You can drink Kombucha daily but not recommend to drink more than 500ml a day.

* The brown strands in Kombucha is yeast strands that formed inside the bottle due to fermentation process. Don't worry! It doesn't mean the drink has gone bad. You can drink up!

* Exessive drinking Kombucha may lead to enamel thinning due acidic of this drink.

You can make your own Kombucha at home by purchasing SCOBY. But for me, I prefer to purchase it outside for my convenient. During my recent last day at work, I ordered 2 Kampung Jar set to stock up my fridge. Means, I have 10 of those in my fridge.  hehehe... I find Kampung Jar Kombucha is the most affordable Kombucha in the market. But the taste-wise, I would prefer Wonderbrew Original flavour. 

How to store Kombucha?

You can keep in the fridge for 8 weeks for best taste. In actual fact, Kombucha has no expiry date. Since it will continue fermenting and will become more and more vinegary.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Travel Indonesia : 3 Days 2 Nights at Jakarta

End of October, I end up in Jakarta again for my last working trip and finalized everything there. I extended the Business trip to the weekend and went for a mini-exploration in Jakarta. It was a good trip though. I got to see the other side of Jakarta rather than just a business district and work-related.

I don't really squeeze my itinerary due to my personal limitation. I'm that kind who love the rest and relax kind of exploration and go with the flow for everything. Here is my simple Itinerary for 3 Days 2 Nights in Jakarta.

*  Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
*  Sunday Car Free Day
*  Thamrin City Mall
*  Grand Indonesia Mall
*  Kota Tua
*  Glodok

Spend Half Day or more at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII)

Address: Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) Jakarta Timur , FKI Jakarta, Indonesia
Entrance fees : IDR20,000/person

Taman Mini Indonesia located about 25 kilometres from Central Jakarta. Transport to get there is not a problem at all if you have Grab apps you can reach anywhere as long as you are willing to pay. It took me around one hour to reach this place from the City Centre but almost 3 hours plus to reach hotel due to rain and the driver kind of avoid toll which I don't even ask him to do that. I would rather pay the toll. Anyway, I reached back safely although the journey could have been shorter.

The GrabCar driver would stop you at the entrance and you just need to have a short walk and pay the entrance fee for IDR20,000/pax. Proceed to walk further and make your first stop at the information counter nearby for a map.

I proceed to the nearby bicycle rental place to rent one for IDR15,000/hour. Which I regretted so much. It was too far and hurt my knee and waist so much for that poorly maintained bicycle. I would recommend you to take the shuttle bus for IDR25,000. I returned the bicycle after an hour ride and took the cable car (kereta gantung) for IDR50,000. As usual, the view was awesome from the top. I enjoyed this so much.

Activities at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII)

* Visit all 26 exclusive replicas of traditional houses from throughout Indonesian provinces from Aceh,, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Java to Papua.
* Explore the flora and fauna parks
* If you bring your children, do visit and have fun at some family recreation area where they have some water theme park too.
* There is a various museum for you to visit and learn about Indonesia history.
* Hotel Santika just a walking distance from Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

Don't miss out Taman Mini Indonesia Indah if you are in Jakarta. You won't regret to visit this place.

Enjoy the Sunday Car Free Day

Opposite Fx Sudirman Shopping Mall
Start at 6am and end at 11am

You know Jakarta traffic jam as worst as Kuala Lumpur traffic as well. Where I stayed during my business trip is somewhere near to Jalan Jend. Sudirman which is among the busiest street. Every Sunday morning they have Car Free day starting from Jalan Sudirman all the way to Jalan Thamrin. Since my hotel just next to Fx Sudirman mall, its easier for me then. Yeayyyy!!!
I was on the lookout from the room window as early as 6am. Yeah! In Jakarta the sunrise very early. Even my morning prayer starts as early as 4:30am. By 6 am, I already feel the need to have breakfast. hahaha...

There are many activities here, from aerobics to Zumba and many people were jogging and cycling at the main road too. Most interesting for a tourist like me, it's the time to try out many local food and snacks here. It was so happening here.

If you are visiting Jakarta for a business trip, don't hesitate to extend it till Sunday to enjoy this car-free day.

Shopping till you drop at Thamrin City and Grand Indonesia Mall

Thamrin City Mall
Address: Jl Thamrin Boulevard, Jakarta

Grand Indonesia Mall 
(just a walking distance from Thamrin City Mall)

Start your shopping trip day with Thamrin City Mall for a reasonable and good quality of 'batik' shirt and Indonesia traditional clothing or textiles. You can bargain here. But as for me who not even a good bargainer, I end up asking for 'diskon' which mean the best price from most vendors I visited. For hard bargainer will have fun here. But as for me who always hate any confrontation, I find to pay whatever price they gave me. huhuhuh... but still I find this place is cheap (rich woman statement). muahahah...

After you tired shopping at Thamrin City Mall just around 5 minutes walking distance you can reach to Grand Indonesia Mall. Visit the food court to try out some local food here. Else you can choose for many choices of Restaurant from Indonesian food to other cuisines.

Kota Tua Jakarta (Jakarta Old Batavia)
Kawasan Kota Tua, Jl. Taman Fatahillah

I don't have the chance to visit this place personally during my visit in Jakarta due to time constraint plus the bad weather. It was raining heavily which made me cancel my plan.

From what I read this place is Jakarta Old Town and you can see the Dutch Syles structures from the 17th Century. If you are visiting this place do try out the Batavia Cafe, cycling around the area and also check out the museum nearby.

If you have time do visit the largest China Town area called Glodok which is nearby this Kota Tua area. I would extend one more day if time permits to visit these places. Maybe some other time!

Food in Jakarta kind of diversifies since there are many provinces and each has its own speciality. You don't have to visit each province to try out the food. There are many restaurants in Jakarta which serve their authentic cuisine.

During the car-free day, I managed to sample some interesting local snacks.

Some mixed fritters with delicious peanut sauce. Spicy by hooked by this though! I have not been eating by the roadside like this for so long and love the experience. 

Telur Gulung or rolled egg is not the usual omelette we ate before. The Telur Gulung in Jakarta has an interesting way of cook and taste delicious. It is like having hot cheese instead of egg. 

Kerak Telur is something unique from Betawi province. The process of making this is something you got to watch. The seller will heat up soaked glutinous rice, then cracked on the egg (depends what egg you choose - duck or chicken) I chose duck egg, stir in the chicken floss in, then he will overturn the mini wok to cook further. 

Check out my youtube channel if you are interested to see how the Kerak Telur and Telur Gulung being made. You can get the link at the bottom of this post. How is the taste of Kerak Telur? I don't like it! hahaha

I love Telur Gulung and the fritters with that spicy peanut sauce though.

Traditional cakes with some sweet filling like malt, chocolate and peanut. At first thought, this could taste like our Malaysian Apam Balik but its nothing similar. It has own taste and delicious too. Don't forget to buy some crackers back. Indonesian food always served with some crackers as side dishes. I went into local Grocers and end up with bags of crackers.

I tried this CFC (California Fried Chicken) at TMII and it was a good decision. The fried chicken was delicious and the fried noodle was just 'OK' to me. Maybe, for others, the noodles could be delicious, but I always have a high expectation of food I tried. kekekeke
By the way, this CFC chain is a local brand.

Indonesian food kind of not complete without some 'sambal' or chillies. I find a bit amused by some snacks which have the Indonesian flavour like 'Dendeng Balado' and everything with Balado word. I think it means spicy? Not sure but it is spicy though!

I visited the Lotte Market just a walking distance from the hotel I stayed and end up shopping for some 'Halal' Korean snacks here. For example that Lotte Chocopie.  I tried that Kapal Api Signature original coffee but find that its super sweet which I can't even bear to give another sip. End up to the dustbin. 

If you are a big fan of cakes, don't fly out of Jakarta without the famous layered cakes or kek lapis. For some will definitely bring back 'Bika Ambon' back home. I just settle with 3 slices of layer cakes which I bought from the airport snacks shop.

I think during my visit is the season of local tangerines. I found many sellers during the car-free day selling the fresh tangerine pressed. It depends on the fruits though, I bought from 2 different sellers and the taste differ from the other one. Try not to give local coffee a miss. I just get one milk coffee with a less sweet request which made me wanna go for a second cup right away. Delicious coffee on my final day in Jakarta.

Did I enjoy my short Jakarta exploration? Oh yes! Feeling thankful to my ex Boss who gave me all the blessing for me to extend my stay after my working trip. 

Please check out my Jakarta experience compilation at my youtube channel below link.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah HERE

Jakarta Sunday Car Free Day HERE

Please subscribe to my youtube channel:

Check out my other Jakarta Blog post HERE

This article is also available on GPSmyCity.