Bali with kids: tips and hints

If you want to introduce your young children to Asia, I reckon Bali makes a good choice. Singapore would be the best in terms of cleanliness and orderliness, but you won’t get the most bang for your buck like you would in Bali 🙂

I found Bali to be the most relaxed and easiest Asian holiday destinations for less than $150 a day (depending on your accommodation, obviously). Since it is basically an extension of Australia, you will be able to find most everyday things that you need there. Plus, with the strength of our dollar, you will get luxury for a lot less. There are heaps of cheap flights to Bali, and though there are also articles trying to persuade readers to ditch Bali, I reckon it will still be one of the most popular places to visit.

So, here are my tips for travelling to Bali with young children – based on my experience travelling with a 10 month old (not yet walking) baby and a 3 year old boy. Continue reading

Bali with Kids: Accommodation

There are numerous blog posts for recommendation on places to stay. You are almost too spoilt for choice in Bali. There are many types at all levels that you would almost guaranteed to find one that you like. However, during our search for “Bali’s best places to stay with young children”, we didn’t see the Pullman Hotel come up, so I thought I would start this blog series from here.

Why we chose the Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana Hotel: Continue reading

Japan: Takayama, Gifu Prefecture

Takayama would have to be one of my top favourite destinations in Japan. We did go to Gujo and Shirakawa-go prior to going to Takayama, but all the photos are on my camera. So here are the highlights of our trip to Takayama:


Hida people village: a collection of original houses from the 16/17th century. We climbed through overgrown paths, across running streams, in thick humid rainy weather, to see some castle ruins. In the hour and a bit we were there, no one else came. It was definitely a memorable and hilarious experience, with the brothers fighting “stick monsters”, pointing out frogs and insects. The castle ruin itself? Not that great 😉


Showa Era museum: a reconstructed scene of what 1950s Japan was like. It was so weird being there as there were things that I had when I was growing up. The water pump on the top right photo? My late auntie had it in her house! It kind of gives you an indication of how much Japan influenced Indo during their occupation.


We spent a great deal of time at the many vending machines scattered around the place. Each time, each person would pick a different drink. Outdoing each other in weirdness. This drink is currently at the top of the list: Yakult with black vinegar. Worst drink ever.


The guesthouse we stayed in celebrated its 3rd anniversary on our last night there: we had impressive sparkles (way better than what is legally available in Australia) and watermelon. It was then when I compared notes with one of our hosts who has a 2yo son, he reminded me so much of my little one 🙂


Our delicious bento lunch boxes, these were around AUD5 each from a convenient shop. The quality is 100% better than some proper Japanese restaurants in Australia!

Takayama also has “old town” areas with shops and private houses. We spent almost all day snooping around the area. On our last night, we treated ourselves to BBQ Hida beef, it was expensive but delicious and memorable. Imagine slices of severely marbled beef, around 100g, for AUD40! We basically ate about 70g of fat that night. Indulgent, indeed 🙂

Until my next post!


We’re only on our second full day in Japan today and we have done soooo much! Summer night dancing festival, dressed up in a Yukata (a summer kimono), had a 10-course dinner banquet, did loads of sightseeing, and ate copious amounts of food. We’ve also spent heaps on the vending machines, making the difficult decision of only choosing one drink at a time 🙂


I am missing Little E a lot! It is difficult when I see little children around his age cuddling up to their parents. Or running around having fun. I feel like we should have brought him with us. Everything I look for at the shops are for him, and it was hard not to as everything here are just too adorable! However, my in laws are wonderful at keeping me up to date with photos and messages about him. By the sounds of it, he is behaving himself, going back to having full nights of sleeps!


I also appreciate this opportunity of being me again, enjoying the company of my husband and my family members. It is nice to have undisturbed sleep and not to follow a routine 🙂

I am having a great time here, Japan is almost like my (third) home. I hope to continue to post photos of this holiday and take you all with me 🙂

Holiday: Dunedin in Detail

We flew to Dunedin, via Wellington (“Middle of Middle Earth”). We allocated the whole day for travelling, lucky, because both flights were delayed. Fortunately, the Rotorua airport has a pretty good playground so it kept Little E occupied the entire time. As soon as we arrived to Wellington airport, we picked our lunch choice and sat down. I have to say that Wellington airport is officially one of my favourite airports! Not only because of its decoration 😉



Our flight to Dunedin was delayed due to bad weather, so I was a little nervous going on the plane as the rain was still pelting down. Thank God that we made it safely to Dunedin because the turbulence was bad! I had to fight the urge to vomit the entire 1.5 painful hours 😦

Anyway, as soon as we got our hire car, we made our way to the CBD and looked for a place to eat. Mr E had chosen an apparently-popular fish and chips shop. After what seemed like an eternity, we found Fish Hook. Honestly, I don’t know why it’s popular other than because it’s cheap.

We had a little squabble while we were there as I found out Mr E had mistakenly ordered three pieces of fish on top of his order. I hate the thought of wasting food, most especially when the food wasn’t all that special. Luckily for him, Little E must have had one of his hungry days because he polished off two giant brill fish all by himself! It was amazing to watch him eat like that.

After dinner, we drove to our accommodation and settled ourselves in, getting ready for the Cadbury Factory and Dunedin CBD the next day.

Cadbury Factory

He had great fun playing with those chocolate bars – taking them out then putting them back in.

We enjoyed the Factory tour, though it could ended a lot differently. The tour was very strict. You cannot wear any jewellery, including earrings, and you have to leave your valuables in a locker. If you opt to still wear your wedding rings, you have to wear gloves. At all times, you must wear your hair net (including babies and kids). You cannot carry your baby in your arms, instead, you’re given a backpack. Little E has never been in a backpack, so he really chucked a spack-attack being carried like that on Mr E. So much so that we were given a stern-talking to to basically shut him up and “keep his hair net on, or leave”. The tour guide certainly did not have the best interpersonal skill. We were with another group of people and they all gave their apologetic looks to us, most especially the parents of the other toddler there.

The interesting thing is, the whole time we were on the tour, we were always behind a glass window, standing nowhere near any machinery or touch anything. I think the whole no jewellery business is definitely going a little too far. Anyway, we did sample a few things and as the time went on, Little E calmed down and was quite engaged (he was on me by this time).

World's Steepest Road

After the tour, and a quick look-around of Dunedin hills, Mr E and us parted our ways. Mr E went and did the Speight Brewery tour, while Little E and I had lunch and window-shop in Dunedin CBD. In the late afternoon, we made our way to the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street, and trekked the whole way up. It was definitely a work-out! That night, we had a picnic in the park for dinner and a run-around afterwards 🙂


He didn’t like his first taste of Mie Goreng

The next day, we drove to the Otago Peninsula to do the Nature’s Wonder tour. We chose that particular tour, instead of the others, as you can see seals and penguins during the day! All other penguin tours leave at dusk, which is ultra unsuitable for parents with young kids. As Little E is a morning person, we left the motel super early and made a pit-stop at a playground on the way to Nature’s Wonder, as it doesn’t open until 10.15am.

A penguin! We could've just reached in and touch him - he was that close!

A penguin! We could’ve just reached in and touch him – he was that close!

thoroughly enjoyed the tour – we saw plenty of seals and penguins. They were a mere step away from us, totally uncaring that we were so close. Perry was an awesome tour-guide and was very informative. Little E loved the fourwheel drive experience through the rough terrain, though he was so tired at the end, that he fell asleep while on the drive! How, I just couldn’t understand lol


Seals!!! They’re soooo cute and cuddley-looking. I want one 😦

We made our way to the Larnagh Castle, NZ’s only castle, for our stay overnight. This was our night of luxury, and we made the most of it by checking in early. I loved loved loved our room – I requested to stay in the Goldrush room and the bed was fantastic! 😉 I love themed rooms! We did the tour of the castle and its ground, Little E loving the lush thick grass, running around barefoot. Mr E and I had a great time watching him play 🙂 We also opted to do the dinner in the Castle, which worked out perfectly with Little E’s bedtime routine. We gave him his dinner, bathed him, then had a leisurely walk around the grounds before making our way to the Library, where we had pre-dinner drinks. When dinner was served, we left him in his pram in the hallway, which let us enjoy ourselves in the Music room.

Enjoying the thick lush grass on the Castle grounds

Enjoying the thick lush grass on the Castle grounds

Before we left Dunedin in the morning, we made a quick pit-stop to the Farmers Market, held at the Central Train Station. This was where we had the best rasberries we’ve ever had in our entire lives! They were sweet and succulent and were just heaven. Little E loved them so much that we had to buy another punnet for later 🙂 If you’re in the area on a Saturday, make sure you visit the market 🙂


I loved Dunedin, it was definitely as beautiful and scenic as everyone told me. Reminding me of countryside England, Dunedin is just so green! A change from our scenery in Canberra 🙂

The beautiful Otago Peninsula

The beautiful Otago Peninsula

Activities in summary:

  • Cadbury factory – too strict but good
  • Speight Brewery
  • Dunedin CBD and surrounding hills
  • Otago Peninsula
  • The Larnagh Castle –  an overnight stay and dinner
  • Nature’s Wonder Tour
  • Baldwin Street – the World’s Steepest Street
  • Farmers market on Saturdays: for best raspberries in the world!

If we had free time, I reckon we would have gone to see the Albatross colony, as expensive as it is 🙂


Cable Court Motel
833 Cumberland St N, North Dunedin
I was pretty happy with our choice! The apartment had a kitchenette, big lounge area (where Little E slept at night) and a bath. The room itself has a TV, so we could lock ourselves in while Little E sleeps 🙂 It also offers free washing machine and washing powder (unlike the last place). On top of all that, they have a coffee machine and they’re free too! wooo! 🙂 They’re not the greatest coffee in the world, but they’re definitely better that the instant press coffee NZ accommodation seem to prefer 🙂 The place is close to a park and is within walking distance from the CBD (and Cadbury Factory)! I definitely recommend this motel 🙂

Larnagh Castle
Otago Peninsula

Our bed lol

Our bed lol

I loved our stay at the Larnagh Castle. Though expensive, it was definitely worth the price! If you don’t want to spend as much on the room, you can stay at the lodge. This would have been our choice if we didn’t have Little E with us, as you do have to share toilets and bathrooms with the other guests there. The Larnagh castle has an exceptionally good customer service, nothing was impossible. We brought Little E’s dinner and needed a microwave to heat it up, which they promptly got us one to use. The castle also offers babysitting, where your child(ren) stay in the room the whole time you’re away, while you have dinner in the castle. Our time at the castle was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me 🙂

Our First Family Holiday: New Zealand

We just got back from our first overseas holiday with the little guy and we thoroughly enjoyed New Zealand. It was a great introduction to a family holiday for us, as it isn’t too far to get to and it isn’t too “foreign” either, making it an easy trip with a baby.

Here are reasons for why New Zealand is such a great place to visit with the little ones:

  1. Great playground – It feels as if that the whole country was designed by parents with young children. In every single city we went to (and airports too, for that matter), there is at least one awesome play ground. Little E loved the play ground at the Christchurch Botanical Gardens most, as it not only has the usual slides/monkey bar/swings, it also has 3 paddling pools!
  2. Easy to get around – Everything is so easy to get to, and there’s a corner shop (or “dairy shop, as they seem to call it) in literally every corner in every street. We had no problems finding milk, fruit, snacks and other necessities for Little E.
  3. Beautiful scenery and culture – In all the places we went, we were surrounded by beautiful scenery. The people we met (and asked questions from) were friendly and helpful. The museums we went to were informative, yet fun and interactive – perfect for little people with small attention span 🙂
  4. Good choice of food joints – We didn’t get to do the fancy restaurants this trip, however, we weren’t short for choice of food places to go to. Little E was such a trooper and had no problems adjusting to the different food we offered him (he normally mostly lives on steamed vegies).
  5. The time difference is only 2 hours (during Daylight Savings Time, or 3 hours at other times) – Little E adjusted to the time difference straight away (both to NZ and AUS when we got back).

Playing at the castle grounds

Tips and Tricks we found useful:

  • Grab one of those New Zealand travel magazine when you arrived at the airport, it is filled with lots and lots of discount vouchers 🙂
  • Do early morning flights to NZ so that you have the whole day to recuperate, before starting your trip the next morning
  • Look at accommodations with a kitchen (or at least, a kitchenette) and a washing machine – I couldn’t believe how many dirty clothes we went through with Little E! It would cost us a fortune if we didn’t get access to free washing machines 🙂
  • Bring your own portacot, each places we stayed in charges around NZD5-10 per night, which would add up. Most airlines allow you to bring them for free, and if you drive around the country, it only takes up a small space in the boot
  • Fuel is expensive aNZD2.179/L. With the amount of driving people normally do while there, you would spend a lot of your holiday money on fuel. So I would suggest planning your trip carefully and perhaps even look at flying 🙂
  • If you’re like us and used to cram as many activities as possible in a day, be prepared for not being able to do that with a toddler. We didn’t get to as many places we planned to go/do, mainly we wanted Little E to enjoy his time playing. In each city, we make sure that we go to the parks or playground and let him run free.

One thing that I noticed and made me fully appreciate the effort the Australian government has done in regards to limiting smokers area, is the number of people lighting up around children in NZ. There were a few times when we had the table next to us at restaurant with people smoking, even when they saw Little E sitting a mere foot step away.

All in all, I would definitely recommend NZ as a family holiday destination with young children – that is if they’re okay with a lot of driving 🙂 I will do a NZ travel series of blog posts in the next few weeks, just in case any of you would find it useful for your future trips 😉 I hope that you are all healthy and happy, I do apologise for the lack of posts during my travels. Though we got free wifi in most places, by the time we got to the hotel, I just want to lie in bed and be a blob 🙂

Have a great rest of the weekend, everybody!

Travel Buddies

If I could do anything in this world, I would love to be a full time traveller! I love travelling. There is nothing like experiencing new food/place/atmosphere/culture, the more I see, the more I yearn for more. It’s an addiction. It is definitely one of few things why I need to work, so that we have money to fund this addiction.


What my fortune cookie said at CNY

I am lucky that I married another traveller. From our first holiday together, I knew that I have found my match. We holiday really well together, we like the same thing, we want to do/see almost the same thing. My need to travel is definitely a lot worse than his, but he lets me get away with it 🙂 Since the year we got married, we’ve been going to one overseas holiday a year. For the years that we couldn’t, we will make it up for the following year. I am also tremendously blessed to have inlaws who understand my desire to travel. I am counting my lucky stars that I have such supportive parents who cares. This year, they’ve offered to look after the little one so that we can travel by ourselves.

With my brother and sister inlaws, we’re going for some jam-packed fun in Japan! For THREE WEEKS! Wooooeeeee!!!! I am sooooo excited! We’ve all bought our tickets and we will start planning our itinerary. It would be my third visit to the beautiful country, and I am very much looking forward to it.

However, I am also worried how I will cope being away from Little E for that long. I know that he will be very well looked after, and I know that he will be just fine being spoilt rotten by his Grandma and Pa. I don’t know about me, though. I am definitely feeling a little apprehensive, as he’s too little to talk on the phone, so there won’t be much contact for the entire time.

If you have been away from your little one for longer than 1-2 days/nights, how did you go? What did you do to make it better for yourself (and your little one)? Would you do it again? Any advice and suggestions would be very much appreciated!

Tupperware Lovin’

I love Tupperware.

Every time I browse through the catalogue, I want to redo our pantry and make roasts. Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to do that with the price, so I buy in bits. Or buy them from Vinnies/Salvos. Actually, most of the ones we have are from there. It’s great, as they’re usually pretty old so in the last stages of their life. When they finally break, I ask for replacements (making use of their awesome Lifetime Guarantee) and presto! NEW Tupperware for a fraction of the price! Wooooo #cheap

Did I just let you guys on it? Please don’t buy all the Tupperware at the op-shops. Leave some for me.

Anyway, imagine my excitements when I was given the amazing chance to review Tupperware’s new baby range, Grow with Me. Free Tupperware to keep just for me to play with? Don’t mind if I dooooo!

The ones I will definitely buy myself


Little E is obsessed with water, so I take a bottle whenever I go. I have been using this non stop since I got it. He’s been so rough with it, he would drop it from his highchair, throw it around, bite at it, and still no leak. It’s in a great size, small enough not to be bulky but big enough for me to drink as well. It comes with its own brush for cleaning and you can buy replacement straws. It’s awesome, I wish they come in a range of colours though! I also wish I knew how to take off the yellow lid to clean easily?


I love the larger green container (with the blue lid) and have used it heaps for when we’re out during one of Little E’s mealtimes (like here and here) It’s a perfect size width-wise and not too thick, so you can fit a lot in without taking too much space in your bag. The lid is tight and I haven’t had a leak so far. I also like the smaller blue container as I needed a container for when I’m packing a hot meal like congee or soup (instead of bits of finger food). Again, the lid seals very well and it’s a perfect size for a meal. I have yet to use the cutleries for feeding, though Little E loves to play with the spoon as a teething toy. They’re ergonomically designed, and they come with their own container. So when you’re out and about, you don’t have to wash them or have them dirty everything else in your bag. They’re sturdy too, definitely made to last!

The ones I most probably will not buy myself


The lid of the snack cup is amazingly tight! I guess that’s a good thing for leak-proof purposes,  but I almost always have a problem opening it. But that’s not why I wouldn’t buy it. Mostly because I already have small containers and for what I need them for, I won’t pay the price for it. I also have been given a million sippy cups already so I don’t need any more. Moreover, once Little E can drink out of a cup by himself, I would probably prefer to give him a plastic/melamine cup instead. For travel, I think the Straw Tumbler (above) is still the best.

The one I wish they also sent me

Tupperware SHAPE-O

I love this thing! My mum in-law said that she still has the one that Mr E had when he was a baby! The one that his other brothers also played with! It’s amazing how Tupperware products last. I want to get one for Little E, as I think it is educational AND fun. I am still waiting for my local op-shop to have these for sale (good luck me!), and you now know how I feel about toys too, but if I don’t find one before his first birthday, I will buy one as a present 🙂

I really hope this review is helpful for any of you thinking of getting these products. You can contact Tupperware directly if you don’t have your own consultant and they’ll put you in contact with one.