Thursday, February 6, 2014

Paris free and easy: Puces de Saint Ouen, Avenue des Champs-Elysees, GAlaries LAfayette

Galaries Lafayette
We walked over from Pritemps. 
Is a beautiful roof top. Quite a view.
But if you are not into shopping and architecture, drop by if it is on the way.

Puces de Saint Ouen
Took a train there.
Personally, I am quite disappointed because it reminds me of Singapore Pasar malam but at a much bigger scale and cost. 

OUr walking tour just ended around here. so We walk over for a snack and a stroll. 
There is Laudree here if anyone is interested

 Hunks outside a shop. What is the brand?

The famous shop. Short queue outside. We went in just we were so curious. But lots of people doing serious shopping.


PAris free and easy : RAndom shots and accomodation and some notes on travelling

We chose to stay in a rented apartment rather than a hotel.
Firstly, we realized it was very hard to find a hotel with good reviews or maybe we were picky and we booked quite late. Some were too small, too expensive or location was just not good or there was no free wifi or it was old.
So after doing a lot research, we decided to rent an apartment which has bed room, living room, kitchen and toilet. There is big bed, a big sofa bed, and fully equipped kitchen. We had a lot more space and no my friend say the sofa bed was big and comfortable.
The negative part about staying in an apartment is there is no housekeeping, no fast response as the owner is contactable by phone or email, we had to climb a flight of stairs up. The door was not like the standard Singapore door, we had to ask a neighbor for help to open the door and we practiced to get the hang of it. It was fun. Do not note that some apartment do not have air conditioning.
The plus is the space. We also can eat breakfast in the hotel room which was much cheaper than eating out and sometimes, we were just to lazy to crawl out of bed. Is quite important to have a good breakfast when travelling because sometimes we have to skip lunch or have a late lunch because we are in the midst of travelling or sight seeing that we cant afford the time to sit down for a meal. We only have time for some snacks. We usually just grab any interesting snacks from a supermarket.

Train ride from London to PAris

Paris is a beautiful place. Some of the shots are just taken randomly when we stroll from place to place.
If you are taking the metro, remember the tickets can be bought in set of 10. It will be cheaper, however the tickets tend to be faulty so just go into counter and ask for replacement.
Avoid standing at corners because they are usually for the reason for the stench in train station.
I met some helpful people in Paris. One couple even use their google map to help us locate the shop for duck confit. Not as arrogant as what people rumored but I do have a bit of problem with their accent at times.

Paris free and easy : Food and restaurants

Lot of bakeries and cakes shops. Just walk into anyone and order some cake or bread or a nice breakfast or teatime.

LAudree also serve a lot of other beautiful desserts..

The two famous macroons. Not really a big fan of it, just them for curiosity sake. If you are not a fan, just skip it or buy one or two to try. But we have Laudree In Singapore.
Lots of branches in Paris so just visit one to your convenient. 
But don't try to bring it back to Singapore as it usually can't be kept for long.

We went to two food outlets recommended by Shi shang wan jia (食尚玩家).
The first one is a duck confit shop around 15 minutes walking distance to our place.
I think is closed on Sunday.
The food has slightly above average, we ordered wine as in Paris, wine is quite cheap. It is less than s$10 per glass. I can't remember how much it cost, we each order a duck confit and some wine so it should be around $30-$40 per pax.

Au Pied de Fouet (duck) Sasa
45 Rue Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
3 Rue St Benoît, 75006 Paris, France
96 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris, France

The second food outlet recommend by Shi shang wan jia (食尚玩家).
There was a small queue of locals and foreigners when we were there so we waited around half an hour to be seated.
This restuarant is famous for serving reasonably priced france food
We ordered quite a bit of stuff, like 3 appetizers, 3 mains, 1 bottle of wine and 2 desserts.
I cant remember the price but should be less than s$50 per pax.
I will not really recommend this place.
The appetizer and desserts was ok but the mains are quite bad.
The chicken was dry.
The steak which my friend ask well done was so tough that we had to help her cut it as it was so tiring and tedious to cut up the meat.
The environment will be a bit of like food court style as it is big but tight and noisy. But furnishing is definitely much much better than a food court.

Le Bouillon Cartier
7 rue du Fauboug Montmartre • 75009 Paris

We actually wanted to try crepes but because the one we researched on was not located so we randomly walked into a restaurant. Food was average so not a need to post an address. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Paris free and easy : Louvre Museum & Notre Dame Cathedral

If you are going anywhere that you think there will be a lots of people. Try to go as early as possible. By right, you can take a train there. I walked from Republique train station to there as my friend lost track of where we are going and by the time we realise where we are, we are almost there.
The correct way is take the metro to  Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station

Everyone was doing this pose!!

Please follow the instructions

FAmous famous sculpture

Poor thing. Everyone had been touching her big toe

 Mona Lisa is quite a small photo. But the crowd is enormous. some Squeezing and pushing expected.

The museum is actually a beautiful place. Sometimes the paintings are just above you.
To cover the whole place in the shortest possible time but still need to stop and take a look here and there, I think around 3-4 hours is needed. For people who want to look at everything in details, some people say a day is not enough. The place is quite big and we were a bit lost at times.
Some people say the museum Orsay is not interesting but I have not been there due to time constraints.
Louvre has a very long queue. So it will be good to actually buy the tickets in advance if you are sure when you are going or go very early. 
I remember reading somewhere there is another entrance near the river which few people know about. Can try goggling about it.
Yes, and they have night openings on Wednesday and Friday. I saw some of the night shots, looks so beautiful. Too bad, I was only in PAris for a few days so I did not manage to catch the night view of LOuvre.

We visited Notre Dame CAtheral quite early too because we heard about the swarms of tourists that will pop up at late morning and afternoon.
Afternoon is a bit warm during summer to stay outdoors so we leave the shopping or pop back to our apartment for a afternoon nap.

It is a beautiful cathedral. OUr guide from sandeman tours told us about its history so we were just exploring the place. The cathedral only needs around half an hour to an hour unless you are going up the tower.
We decide against going up the tower because at that timing, there were be a lot of people and our trip in Paris was only a few days so we did not have time to spare.

As we did not explore the tower, we circled the cathedral for a 360 degree view of the architecture. It was worth it because we found a small little park at the back of the cathedral which have beautiful flowers.

Instructions on how to get there.
Ligne 4 Station Cité or Saint-Michel 
Ligne 1, 11 Station Hôtel de Ville 
Ligne 10 Station Maubert-Mutualité or Cluny – La Sorbonne 
Lignes 7, 11 et 14 Station Châtelet
Ligne B Station Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame 
Ligne C Station Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame

Chiangmai free and easy : Chiangmai night market

My hotel Dustin D2 is just beside the night market. 
Although is not right smack in the middle of it, a minute walk will take you to the night market.
Just a word of advice, do not eat at the food court nearby. The food is expensive and is really bad. 
There are a lot of stalls selling handicrafts, food, t-shirt and also fake stuffs.
Can take your time to walk around as price and quality can differ.
Usually the stalls not at the main street offer a cheaper price so less bargaining is needed.
The main street is usually more expensive.
Prices in chiangmai compared to Bangkok is dependent.
My dad thinks Bangkok shopping is much better for men's shirt as is cheaper, not sure whether there is a difference in quality.
But i know scarfs and some of the handicrafts are slightly cheaper in bangkok.
My guides told me the weekend market will the cheapest but I was not in Chiangmai during the weekend so I can't comment much on that. If you are going to weekend market, check out the price.

Food stuffs like bbq corn, snacks and sweets.

Sometimes is just good to walk around and admire the items. Make from ropes.

If you are tired, just order fruit juices. You can pick your own combination of fruits and all the fruits are added in. No hanky panky.

Cute but not edible hair accessories.

Just love the vibrant colours

So cute.... 



 Panoramic View