The plan for the day was to visit both Zugspitze and Eibsee Lake. The perfect round trip started by taking the cogwheel train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen station to Eibsee station, after which, the cable car up to the peak of Zugspitze. To get down, I took the cable car again but you can also take the cogwheel through the Zugspitze tunnel back to Eibsee station. At Eibsee station, I spent some time trekking around Eibsee Lake and lastly, I took the cogwheel train back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
The Zugspitze mountain stands at 2,962m above sea level and it is the highest peak in Germany. It is possible to hike up to the summit but unfortunately I don’t think I am up to the task. Instead, I chose the route that most people would go which is to take the cable car up.
I managed to get the best spot in the crowded cable car which allowed me to film the spectacular ascent to the peak.
It took a total of 9 mins to reach the peak. The views were amazing and awe-inspiring.
It was really cold and what I wore was not enough to keep me warm.
I had some fun exploring the area on top. Even though it was really misty, the sun’s UV rays were very strong, so bringing sunglasses is a must.
On a clearer day, you would be able to climb up to the highest peak. But unfortunately, it was clearly impossible for me to do so.
What is really unique is that you can actually visit Austria without having to use your passport! I took a little break at the restaurant on the Austria side and had a delicious apple strudel.
Zugspitze is a mountain you should not miss when visiting Germany. While there may not be many activities you can do at the top, just being there is an unforgettable experience!
Before going back to the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I visited the beautiful Eibsee lake.
By using the measure distance function on google maps, I’ve estimated that the walk around the lake would be about 6.6 km long. I roughly took around 1 hr. and 15 mins to finish the circumference.
The lake is impressive in size and at whichever point you are at the lake, there will always be an opportunity to capture its beauty.
The path around the lake is mostly flat and easy to walk.
There are smaller lakes at the north-east side of the lake.
Besides walking around the lake, you can experience the lake in a different way through a really fun activity – paddling. I wished I had done this but unfortunately I was really tired from climbing Wank Mountain and I needed to get back to Munich on the same day.
If you are looking to take great pictures, visit two countries at the same time and be enveloped in picturesque scenery, you have to visit Zugspitze and Eibsee Lake.
Wank Mountain is a mountain situated at the southern part of Germany in the beautiful region of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It stands at 1,780 m with 700 m being below sea level.
Out of all the climbing routes in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I chose this mountain to hike because of these various reasons. First, it was easily accessible being at the the edge of the town, it offers panoramic views of the town from above, it is also not that high thus making it possible to climb within a few hours and lastly it has a cable car station.
It was my first time travelling as a solo female and also my first time climbing a mountain alone. I had intended to find a travelling buddy on either Couchsurfing or the Hiking Buddies Munich Facebook Group. Unfortunately, people were reluctant to join because the period I wanted to climb in which was in late May, had long extended periods of rainfall; and they were not sure if the rain would cease on the day I wanted to climb While I was a little disappointed, I knew I had to do it as I don’t know when i’ll get the chance to do this again.
The constant rainfall made an otherwise relatively easy hike to something which was quite dangerous. Here’s my journey up Wank Mountain.
The foot of Wank Mountain is only a 10-15 min walk from the center of the town.
There were quite a few hiking routes to Wank Mountain and other mountains nearby but I chose to stick with the shortest walking route provided by google maps which was 6.4 km. While it says it only takes 2 hr 7 mins to climb, it took me 4 hours to finish as it was raining and that made the path really muddy and slippery and I also took many little breaks to rest and take pictures. Perhaps on a sunny day 2 hrs would be possible but realistically, 3 hrs would be a safe bet.
The path started off quite easy through concrete roads.
If you listen to the video above, you will be able to hear the bells on the cows. Because of that I knew how near the cows were to me. There was a part of the path where there were cows on the left, on the right and even on the path. I was really scared as I knew they knew I was there and they were staring at me!
About a third of the way up, the concrete path became more of a trail. While it was getting a little slippery as it had been raining throughout the whole morning, it was still manageable.
Soon, the path started to get really difficult for me. It was extremely wet, muddy and slippery. Sometimes my shoes would get stuck in the mud which threw my balance way off. I slipped multiple times and had to gasp at tree branches. I didn’t fall down but I was so worried that I would.
I was supposed to reach the summit within 3 hrs. but it seemed like the estimated time now was 4 hrs. and I was getting really tired from having to be so careful with where I stepped. But seeing snow at the top got me really excited and motivated.
I didn’t expect the mountain top to be totally covered with snow as it was the beginning of summer. It was breathtaking!
I’ve never seen so much snow in my whole life!!
Finally!!! Throughout the whole hike, I was alone; the only people I saw were at the foot of the mountain but they went on a different path. I was so glad to make it this far.
Reaching the restaurant aptly named Wank-haus at the top was such a relief. The coffee and the beef broth with cheese dumpling was hearty – a well-deserved reward.
Thank god there’s a cable car station on top because I wouldn’t have been able to climb all the way back down.
This whole experience was amazing. I feel such a great sense of achievement and am so proud that I did this by myself. If you ever visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen and you want a relatively short hike, please visit Wank Mountain. Hopefully, when you’re there it doesn’t rain!
With 19 ActiveSG gyms island-wide, it is easily accessible no matter where you live. To top the icing on the cake, when you sign up for a free ActiveSG membership, $100 in credit will be credited into your account upon verification. That equates to 40 free visits to the gym – isn’t this awesome?
You must be thinking, how does a $2.50 gym compare to others, it must be inferior in some way right? What I can tell you is that the gym is fully equipped and is not lacking in any way. The only drawback is that not all the 19 gyms have the same equipment. The gym we visited was the one at Bedok and here is how it looks!
They have the usual cardio machines such as the treadmill, elliptical trainer, exercise bikes and Stairmaster.
The most unique cardio machine goes to SpeedFit which is a curved self powered running treadmill. When I went on it, I did not expect it to be so uncontrollable. Every moment on this treadmill felt dangerous and exciting! It felt like I was going to lose my balance and fall off the machine at any time!
They have various weight machines to strengthen your muscles! Get ready to make faces while you lift!
My favorite strength machine is this rope pulling machine. It may seem like something that is easy and fun to do but it sure was tough!
Various weights are available and you can stack them till you are satisfied!
Dumbbells, kettlebells, exercise balls, bars and medicine balls(not in the pictures) are all readily available for you use.
Vent your frustrations on a punching bag.
Become a monkey!
Make your own waves!
Whether you are a gym junkie or newbie, ActiveSG gym will not disappoint you. While the 19 gyms do differ with what equipment they have, all are adequately stocked. Also what more can you ask for when the price per entry is so cheap at only $2.50!
While in Johor, I’ve passed by this advertisement numerous times and have always wanted to buy it but the timings were just not right. Finally, while we were in Capital City (because we had nothing much to do lol), we decided that trying it had been long overdue.
What attracted us to this burger was the unique combination of the waffles and the chicken and of course the delicious looking advertisement. Obviously chicken and waffles is a dish that is rather common but still it is the thrill of buying something that is only available for a limited amount of time.
The Zinger Waffle Burger starts at RM13.50 for just the burger, with the 6% gst it comes out to a total of RM14.31. At about $4.80 for Singaporeans, it is neither cheap nor expensive.
The burger does have all the layers stated in their advertisement. However you can’t see the mayonnaise and the maple syrup layers BECAUSE there wasn’t much given. The burger was extremely dry!
The waffles were thick and pretty dense. The taste was ok but it needed more maple syrup. The chicken was acceptable as well, a little too peppery for my liking and it needed more mayonnaise.
Putting everything together was just a disaster. And I emphasize again, perhaps just perhaps adding more sauce to the burger could have saved it.
If you are interested in trying something just because it’s available only for a limited time, do so. But if you care for the calories you consume, I suggest you give it a miss.
Common Grill by Collins serves quality western food at relatively affordable prices. Situated at a coffee shop in Hougang, the stall even has its own cordoned off area just for the stall which makes you feel like you are eating at a restaurant.
The menu is beautifully put together and the information is compiled nicely so it’s easy to order. Step 1 – Protein, Step 2 – Carb, Step 3 – Sides and Step 4 – Sauce.
We ordered the Garlic Bread at $3.50 as our extra side. The taste of the buttery garlic was strong and the french baguette was toasted nicely.
As usual, I always liked to try different things all at once. Thus I settled for the Mixed Grill at $15 which consisted of a sausage, chicken and pork. The sausage did not taste anything out of the ordinary. The pork was tender and juicy even though I thought it looked a little dry. Lastly, the chicken was grilled nicely and was rather flavorful.
My carb was sweet potato fries. They were heavenly! The outer coating was a little crispy, the insides were soft and the seasoning was on point. Very yummy!
My sides were eggplant and sunny side egg. The eggplant was oily and flavorful and the sunny side egg was a sunny side egg. Haha.
Lastly, I chose Italian herb as my sauce. It was ok but I wished I could have tried more of them.
Our second main was the Angus Sirloin at $15 . We requested for the cook to be medium. The beef was very tender and juicy even though it was more well done then what we would usually go for which was medium rare. The seasoning of the beef was also done perfectly where it was not overpowering.
The carb was spaghetti aglio olio. The seasoning was abundant but not too excessive where it was too salty or too spicy. It was good!
The sides were a sunny side Egg and a 62 °c Egg. Basically, it is a poached egg but cooked at that exact temperature. Just for interest, I did a quick google search on poached eggs and it seems like the number 63 popped up the most. The texture was pretty good, the white was soft and gooey and the yolk was runny.
The sauce chosen was the same as the above.
Overall, I liked the food at Common Grill – restaurant quality at an affordable price. Out of the two mains, I preferred the Angus Sirloin, my favorite carb was the Sweet Potato Fries and the best side for me was the eggplant. If you eat there, tell me your favorite dish in the comments section below!
When will you ever have a chance to explore an abandoned Boeing airplane ever in your life? Well now you get to have your chance. It is not a place where you have to secretly crawl through a fence or climb over one. It is as simple as giving 200B to the family who lives at the grounds. While 200B may seem like too much for a place that is supposedly abandoned, perhaps you can treat it as a donation to the family.
Address: 13.764812 100.652406, Khwaeng Hua Mak, Khet Bang Kapi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10240, Thailand
If you want to get off the tourist path and experience real local life, visit Khlong Toey Market. Immerse yourself in the sights and smells and enjoy every moment of it. Besides selling the usual produce, you can also find eels, turtles, ant eggs, water bugs, silkworms and snails.
Hours: 6 am – 2pm
Address: 1 Kasem Rat Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand
If you are afraid to eat insects, maybe this restaurant will change your mind. Insects in the Backyard transforms your everyday insects such as ants, silkworms, bamboo worms and crickets into fine dining dishes. Every dish is carefully thought out and incorporates the insects in a tasteful way. Not only did they look creepily nice, they tasted great as well. Do not let the idea of insects scare you away from trying them.
Hours: 2pm-11pm , closed on wednesdays
Address: Chang Chui Market – 460/8 Sirindhorn Rd, Khwaeng Bang Phlat, Khet Bang Phlat, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10700
4) See animals at the animal section of Chatuchak Market
Chatuchak market is known for being one of the world’s largest weekend markets. It is easy to get lost in rows and rows of stalls. But, if you manage to make your way to the animal section, you will be rewarded with interesting sights. Snakes, rodents, dogs, cats, tortoises, beavers, lizards, rabbits – you can find almost any animal that they think are capable of being pets.
Hours: Weekends 9 am – 6 pm
Address: Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd, Khwaeng Lat Yao, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
5) Try to get in Sathorn Unique Tower
I have always liked going to abandoned places and after watching the show “The Promise”, I really wanted to see the tower. I read online that you could bribe the security guards to go inside but recently however, this practice has stopped. Also, some said that you could try jumping from a nearby building to get in but, I didn’t have the guts to do it. So if you are daring enough to take the plunge, you might be able to get in. If not, you’ll just be like me – admiring from the outside.
Follow the tracks moving north from Bang Sue Station and you will reach the cemetery. To get there, you will have to cross the train tracks and that is an adventure by itself. Make sure to look out for trains coming from either direction and make your way quickly over. Also, climb over the fence if you want to take a closer look but be careful of anyone patrolling the area.
Address:104/35 Soi Liap Thang Rotfai, Bang Sue, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
7) Eat Goong Ten at Rod Fai Night Market Srinakarin
Goong Ten literally translates to “dancing shrimps”. The name is aptly given as the shrimps will move in your mouth because you will be eating them alive. You will be scared at first but the shrimps die pretty quickly after they are taken out of the water – so don’t worry too much about them moving around too much.
I really don’t know how many catfishes there are in the Chao Phraya River but I think they might have an overpopulation problem. It is easy to purchase fish food at the piers and you should be able to feed them anywhere along the river.
9) Eat Wattana Panich the “oldest” soup in Bangkok
This stall is about 60 years old and they have retained their soup in the wok every single night instead of throwing it away. While this may sound strange and maybe unhygienic, it is believed by the Chinese that the longer a wok has not be washed, the tastier and more flavorful the dish will be. We have tasted their beef soup and it tastes delicious.
Hours: 9 am to 9 pm (Closed on the last Monday of every month)
Khlong Toey is one of the largest slums in the city. On the way to the train cemetery, we also discovered slum-liked settlements near Bang Sue train station,
Many of the people live illegally in these squatter settlements and most don’t own the homes they live in. In the 1950s, cheap labor was in demand and many people relocated to the capital. A rental system was established where the people moving in could settle on land at a low cost. However in the 1970s, landowners favored building condominiums and new developments and ceased to provide low housing costs. They also stopped collecting rent and without a payment system, these illegal squatter settlements continued to grow.
These people live in tin-roofed homes over polluted and stagnant water. The areas have also become more and more populated with houses being crammed right next to each other.
Do visit the slums to experience how some people can still be living in such conditions despite being in a modern and developed city like Bangkok.
Khao Yai is often dubbed as the Switzerland of Thailand. Reasons being the cooler weather and picturesque surroundings. Here are the top 10 things to do in Khao Yai.
1) Khao Yai National Park
Go trekking in the jungles of Khao Yai national park and have an adventure you will never forget. Meet wildlife such as deer, woodlouse, leeches, monkeys and even wild elephants if you are really really lucky. Also, visit Haew Suwat Waterfall, the largest waterfall in the park. This waterfall was used in a scene with Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “The Beach”.
This is one unique restaurant you will never forget. Besides being a restaurant, it is also a museum that has a collection of antiques, old chinaware, creepy looking dolls, old toys, figurines, statues, arcade machines etc. You can also have a go at playing the pinball machine and air hockey. Besides that, they serve delicious food. So many things to see and so many things to do!
Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Address: 21, Mittaphap Road, Tambon Pak Chong, Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30130, Thailand
If you love cats, you will absolutely love this place. For a small token such as buying a drink or a souvenir, you are allowed entry into the cafe. Besides playing with them, you can also purchase wet cat food to feed them. You will definitely have a great time here!
Hours: Tues – Fri 10:30am – 6pm, Sat – Sun 9:30am – 7pm, closed on Mon
Address: 146/1 ม .4 Palio Khaoyai ถนน ธนะรัชต์ Tambon Mu Si, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Primo Piazza combines stunning elegant Italian architecture with the beautiful backdrop of the mountains of Khao Yai. Get a chance to interact with the sheep and alpacas in this cozy farm by feeding them pandan leaves. While the alpacas are not allowed to roam freely perhaps due to their temperament, the sheep are able to do so. Besides visiting the animals, have a great time using the architecture to take beautiful photos.
Hours: 9 am – 6 pm
Address: 861 Moo 6, Thanarat Road Tambol Nong Nam Daeng Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
5) GranMonte Vineyard and Winery
We booked a tour with GrandMonte Vineyard and it was really fun and educational. Perhaps we went in the month with the highest rainfall thus we were the only participants for the tour and we were pretty happy about it. Our guide spoke English very well and she went though the different types of wine produced and the processes they have to undertake. While wine making isn’t something that is uncommon, what makes this place so special is that they found a way to make wine in a country that does not have a climate that is thought of as being suitable for making wine. Do visit them to learn how they did it.
Midwinter Green is a restaurant that looks like a magical castle. You will definitely feel like a prince or princess your own fairy tale once you step foot into the restaurant. Not only is the decor absolutely stunning, the food served was really scrumptious. Get really to be swept away by this amazing restaurant.
Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Address: 10 88/88 Soi Ban Sai Thong Mu 24 Soi 2, Nong Nam Daeng, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
7) Wat Bu Pai
We initially did not plan to go here. But, on out way to Mister Mushroom, we passed by this temple and we were so impressed by the statue that we decided to stop and it was a great decision to do so. Coming here gave us a glimpse of local life. It was not a touristy destination and we did not see any other tourists. Besides visiting the beautiful temple, we walked through a local market that was right next to it. They had various amulets and trinkets, food, produce, clothes and even a blown up bouncy castle. If you want to visit a destination that is off the beaten path, make a trip here.
Address: 105 moo 5 Tambon Wang Nam Khiao, Amphoe Wang Nam Khiao, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30370, Thailand
Mister Mushroom is a hidden shopping paradise in Khao Yai. There are just so many mushroom related products that you can easily spend an hour deciding what to buy back. They have spreads, snacks, tea, moisturizers and even ice cream – all made from mushrooms. Even though they do not advertise any tours, if you are interested to see how the mushrooms are grown, just ask the staff if they are available to give you a tour of the farm when you are there.
Hours: 8 am – 5 pm
Address: 155 Moo 2, Sukklao, Tambon Tha Samakkee, Wang Nam Khieo, Nakhon Ratchasima 30370
9) The Chocolate Factory
The Chocolate Factory is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. Not only can you buy chocolate products and eat chocolate cakes, you can even dine in their restaurant which serves an array of western and Thai cuisine.
Hours: Mondays – Thurs 9:30 am – 9 pm, Fri – Sun 9:30 am – 10 pm
Address: Pak Chong, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Ban Mai Chay Nam is a restaurant, a museum and a hotel all rolled into one. Located in Khao yai which is just a 3 hour drive from Bangkok, this unique restaurant is one that you cannot miss.
Just a few steps into the restaurant and we knew this place was really special.
The restaurant is filled with interesting, weird and old things in every nook and cranny, you will never spend a bored second here. There are old chinaware, creepy looking dolls, antiques, old toys, figurines, statues, arcade machines etc.
If you thought that everything is old and just for display – you thought wrong. Some of the arcade games such as Air Hockey and Family Guy Pinball are still playable. If you do not have enough coins, you can proceed to the counter to make an exchange.
Besides playing the games, you get to take awesome pictures as well!
We had so much fun walking around and exploring the place that we forgot we were there for the food in the first place.
The first dish we got was shredded pork with rice cooked with coconut milk and papaya salad. The sticky rice was fragrant and it went well with the crispy and salty pork. The papaya salad was sweet, spicy, salty and sour all at the same time. It was really balanced out.
The second dish was grilled catfish with sweet fish sauce and neem. I have never tried neem before and was curious to try it. I must say, the taste is an acquired one. When you first eat it, it presents a mild taste but as you chew, it becomes more and more bitter. The neem is best enjoyed with a bite of the catfish and sauce.
Before you leave, remember to take a picture on the wooden bridge over the beautiful river.
If you want to experience something unique in Khao Yai, do head over to Ban Mai Chay Nam. A word of advice was given to us by one of the locals, they said that the restaurant is best enjoyed at night as it could get really hot in the day because of the zinc roofs. Have fun eating, playing and taking pictures!
Hours: 10 am – 10pm
Address: 21 หมู่บ้านเกาะแก้ว Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Abang Gemuk opened on the 1st of October and when we visited it just 2 weeks after the opening, the coffee shop was packed with people waiting for their food!
So many choices to choose from and at such an affordable price! After thinking for a long time we settled on trying Gemuk Grill which seems to be their signature dish and Black Pepper Chicken Chop. We had originally wanted to get the Half Chicken but unfortunately they did not have it that day.
We were told that the waiting time was 1.5 hours and it did come as a shock as we did see many tables waiting for their food but We didn’t know it would be this long. But since we were already there, we decided to wait.
Because we expected a 1.5 hours wait, it was an exciting moment when the food arrived within 45 mins.
Both dishes were pretty similar with the sauce and side dishes being the same. The only difference was that the Gemuk Grill had lamb and beef on top of the chicken. The sauce was thick and savory and the lamb and beef were tender to eat. But my favorite was the chicken! The skin was charred to perfection and we loved how the slight bitterness of the skin goes well with the sauce.
The sides were generous in portion. The fries were fried and seasoned well, the coleslaw was tasty and the bun was soft and fluffy.
Overall, the experience was a positive one. Yes the wait time was quite long but I’m sure this is just due to the store being relatively new, the food more than makes up for that. We would definitely visit again!
Hours: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm, closed on mondays
Soi Dog Foundation is a shelter that houses both cats and dogs. It’s mission is to improve the welfare of stray dogs in Thailand by addressing the problem of over-population. The foundation is also working in several countries to end the inhumane and barbaric dog meat trade in Asia.
Road traffic accidents, poisonings, serious wounds and cruelty cases are a few of the main reasons why the animals are in the foundation.
Some animals are very affectionate while others are wary of human touch. This shows that although all of the animals had a difficult past, the affection and dedication given by the foundation has affected them in a positive way. The animals that are still sensitive may need more time to adjust and the environment provided is the best place they can be in.
There are many cats and dogs up for adoption on their adoption page. Even if you reside overseas, the process for adoption is easy. Once the adoption application has been approved, your pet will either travel as manifested cargo or as accompanied baggage with a flight volunteer. There is no adoption fee required, however, the travel costs incurred will have to be covered by you.
I had a great time at the foundation and if I lived in Phuket, I would definitely volunteer as much as I can. If you happen to be in Phuket, please visit the foundation and give your love to the animals who need it so much. If you can’t physically be there, you can always sponsor a dog or a cat through their website.
Soi Dog Foundation is open to visitors Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 15.30.
Guided tours run at 09.30, 11.00, 13.30, and 14.30 and do not have to be booked in advance. The shelter is open on Saturday mornings for tours at 9.30 and 10.30.
The shelter is closed on Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday.