Sunday, March 26, 2017

Relaxing, Affordable and Beautiful, Krabi.


HELLO THERE 
ALL YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

 OF THE WORLD!

Welcome to Nana Nishel's personal blog after so so so long! 
Been almost a year since my last post.
 Sorry for being MIA as it was my final year of Medicine.
Since all of that is over and done with.. 

I'M BACKKKKK! WOOHOOOOO.

So right after my final exams I headed home (from India), spent time with the fam and headed somewhere close to home with the boyfie. 
Finally got to see the partner after a couple of stressful months. 

SERIOUSLY THE FEELING WAS AHHHH MAAAA ZINGGGGGGG.

I guess that is a perk of being in a Long Distance Relationship.
Its a feeling only LDR couples understand. 
That exhilaration of being in your loved one's arms after so so long is indescribable.

Without wasting anymore time.. let's go straight to the main purpose of this post. 
It's mainly to document our vacation for reminiscing back in the future and also to share a part of our itinerary to you guys who are interested in visiting this pretty place.


Really happy that my previous Boracay post helped many. I've got so many responses which kinda motivated me to get this one up. 



(I'm so so lazy tbh because I've got a lot of medical data to fill right now. Instead of that, I'm blogging first because I know I'll never do it once its delayed. Just like Cambodia. Hehe.)


So here goes..


Btw.. Where did we go this time?


Somewhere with awesome



FOOD, BEACHES AND PEOPLE.

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It's a 5 days 4 nights trip to.. 



KRABI, THAILAND!


So we decided on somewhere cost effective this time as we're both saving for future purposes (Lol). 

And also somewhere near to home as we didn't want to spend what little time we had by travelling to further destinations.

 And most of all we wanted a relaxing holiday.


So for you guys who are looking for the same sort of holiday, CHEAP, RELAXING, BEAUTIFUL, CLOSE TO HOME, DELICIOUS FOOD, AFFORDABLE HOTELS...



Krabi is the destination of choice!





FLIGHT TICKETS:


So we booked our tickets about one month in advance and paid RM 536.16 return tickets (from KLIA2 Malaysia) for TWO including the choice of seats and 20kg baggage allowance for one by Air Asia. Pretty sure you can get it at a cheaper price if booked earlier and during the not so peak season.


Journey duration: 1 hour 20 minutes ONLYYYYYY (inserts shocked emoji)


AND the best part is that you arrive Bkk an hour earlier due to the one hour Krabi-KL time difference. =D



So our flight was the earliest one out at 7.10 AM and we arrived at 7.30 AM.



How early is that!????



So we had a full day ahead of us. Weeeeeeeeee.



And so.. our mini escapade begins.






The two excited children on a holiday. =D 
Stayed over at Bry's a couple of days before that so we left to the airport from Subang at 5AM. Woke up at 4.30AM.
 We took a grabcar there as we didn't want to wake the fam. 
Truly recommend taking Grab over Uber these days. 
Fixed price and way cheaper. :)



We arrived pretty early and headed to the food court in KLIA2 and had their slurps but pretty costly nasi lemak. 
Was so yummy though.

 Worth it. ;) 

No pictures of that as we were hungry kids.

And then we arrived Krabi.

We basically did not plan anything for this holiday (except the hotels) hence we didnt book any transportation prior like we did for Boracay.

 And we also knew that it was pretty easy and cheap to get to the hotel.

So.. ON ARRIVAL. 

Please do not assume there would be cheaper cabs once you leave the airport doors because THERE ARE NONE (unlike Malaysia) 


So please get your transportation tickets BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE AIRPORT to the open air arrival/waiting area.

There are two booths normally operating. Remember to enquire about the price from BOTH THE BOOTHS before purchasing your ticket,

As I remember, for the same mode of transportation (shared van which can transport about 10 passengers), one booth was 180 bhat ( RM 23 ) and the one next to it was 150 bhat (RM 19) per person for a one way journey directly to your hotel in Ao Nang. 

My advice to you guys is to choose a hotel in Ao Nang and not Krabi town or elsewhere as its the most convenient location and you don't have to worry about it being too crowded because trust me guys, Krabi is sooooo peaceful. 

Its not a happening place like station 2 Boracay, or Kuta, Bali or even Phuket.

So don't you worry about the noise, privacy etc. if you're looking for some peaceful and quiet location.


Ao Nang should be your number 1 choice.



=D



So this is the receipt you'd get from the counter. 
Bring it to the person in charge outside for your transport.



ARRIVED AT OUR 

AWESOME PAWSOME hotel.

So for our first two nights, we stayed at
Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi
at Ao Nang.

We chose this based on the awesome reviews in trip advisor and seriously it didn't dissapoint.

I'd give it a 4.3/5

The price was also super reasonable. It was about RM 250 per night. (without breakfast though coz bry forgot to include the one with brekkie. Oops. So we bought breakkie coupons there which were on promo. You can get them at the reception while checking in. About RM 20 per pax)


*Told you its a cost effective trip. ;P The price of our Boracay hotels were about RM700 PER NIGHT. :S*


Superb superb service. All the staff were trained really well. 

Idk about you, but for Bry and I, customer service is SOOOO IMPORTANT. 

So we were really impressed by how polite and welcoming the staff were.

From the bellboy to the receptionist to the cleaners.. EVERYONE was trained really really well.


The entrance.


Receptionist.



Welcome drinks. 

Soo sooo yummy. We actually laughed while reading the description.
 See how detailed they explained about the drink when actually its just a simple Hibiscus drink. hahaha. 
But it was really refreshing. :)





As we arrived around 8am, we had to wait for our room as the allowed check in time was only at 2pm. So the receptionist gave us towel cards in case we wanted to swim but we were just hanging around the hotel, checking out the breakfast spread etc. ^

Us while waiting.


And before you know it... The room was ready by 10AM! Woohooooo! So the hotel went against their check in time policy and gave us our room EARLY! YAYYYY! 



..And they decorated our bed too! There was a super nice welcome message as well. :) So sweet of them. Pretty yea?




Image result for CENTARA ANDA DHEVI

Image result for CENTARA ANDA DHEVI


So we chilled in the room. Slept almost immediately as we were DEAD TIRED coz we woke up so early. 

And then we woke up! Changed and headed out to explore..


Hellooooo!

While heading to our lunch destination



Image result for may and zin ao nang


So we decided to walk from our hotel to 

May and Zin, #14 of 206 restaurants 

in Ao Nang on trip advisor.



Its located in a really nice area with a few other similar stalls next to it.
Its affordable local Thai food. The usual pad thai, tomyam etc etc.

I'd give it a 3/5.



We had to wait about half and hour for our meal hence this ^ first. :p
Some coconut shake and mango sticky rice. Slurps.

And lunch was served. Green something something tomyam ^ (was a tad bit too sour for our liking. Taste like India's curd. LOLLL)

Pandan chicken was really yummy. ^

Tomyam fried rice. ^

Pad Thai. ^



So after lunch, we were on our way back to the hotel. Bry insisted I take a pic with this crab. lolll. ^



So along the way, there were many tour booths of which tour packages can be purchased. 
So we stopped at a couple to enquire about their prices.

 They don't vary much so if you're not so adamant on finding the CHEAPEST possible, just go with any one of them but remember to do a little bargaining. :)



Based on our survey, the one with the lowest rate and best service was the one right opposite Centara Hotel next to family mart.



Sorry there's no picture. But yeah, next to family mart, theres a small booth that's easy to locate.



Don't book directly from the hotel as it usually is more pricey compared to the ones outside. :)



So after we bought our tour package for the next day, we decided to just have a free and easy relaxing day, hence we decided to go swimming. :) ^













See the happy child behind me. He thinks he's Jack in titanic. =p
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Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel room, showered etc. and then it was time to head out to explore and for dinner as well.






So we walked around and came across this really really quiet but pretty place. 

There were lanterns above the garden, playground etc. Really romantic.

So we just took a couple of pictures and continued exploring.


Another pretty resort.


We walked through the nightclubs too. Just a quick picture and we left. Was still pretty early hence still empty.
 Krabi isn't really a party place compared to other places like Phuket and Bali (not that I've been partying there before. lol.) Based on what I heard from many others.

 Its a more quiet and family/ couple oriented holiday in my opinion.

-My kind of holiday. ;)

There were many touristy shops selling souvenirs, bikinis etc., massage parlours, and all along the way.



Image result for krabi souvenir shop



After walking for what feels like 10km from our hotel area.. we took a tuk tuk back to where we started and finally decided on a restaurant near our hotel. (Sorry I don't remember the name. We were attracted to the place because of the band there. The lead singer was so so so awesome. So if you hear someone with an awesome voice, and many asian/malaysian looking people in the restaurant, that's the one. hahaha)

The tired and very hungry couple.


Bry's Pineapple fried rice.^
I ordered spaghetti carbonara. 
We also ordered tom yam to share. WAS SOOO good. But such a small portion.

Overall, i'd give it a 3.5/5




After dinner, we headed back and called it a night.



DAY 2:




ALL READY FOR OUR ADVENTURE! 
So so so excited!

So we chose to do a
day trip to Phi Phi Islands via speedboat 
from krabi.

A little more in detail about our tour package for those interested:

Price: 1600 bhat (RM 204.94 each)
 inclusive of National Park fees of 400 bhat. (RM 51) 
*National Park fee is an additional compulsory fee you'd have to pay for the maintenance of the environment.* 

Hence check with your tour booth if it's included or not because if its not, you'd have to pay 400 bhat separately on the day of the tour. (Hence your tour fee would only be approx 1200 bhat, but I prefer to just pay everything on the spot.)

Tour includes:

  • Maya Bay (Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Beach” was filmed here).
  • Viking Cave. Where birds nests are harvested to make birds nest soup.
  • Monkey Beach. There is a short photo stop at monkey bay.
  • Ton Sai Bay. The main village on Phi Phi Don is where a restaurant lunch is provided. There is time to stroll around, shop, have a  drink or visit Loh Dalam Bay.
  • Bamboo Island.  A beautiful island of white sand and turquoise water for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Two opportunities for snorkeling.
  • Lunch, drinking water, fresh fruits, snorkeling equipment, life jackets, insurance, round trip transfers from hotels in Ao Nang, Khlong Muang, Tubkaek beach or Krabi town
Itinerary:

0800-0830 hrs: Pick up from your Ao Nang or Krabi Town hotel and transfer to the speedboat at Noparatara pier, Ao Nang.
0830-0900 hrs: Check in and meet your guide for a briefing on the day.
0900-0930 hrs: 30 minute speed boat ride to Bamboo Island.
0930-1030 hrs: One hour to enjoy Bamboo Island swimming and snorkeling. There is plenty of shade under the Casuarina trees if you prefer to stay out of the sun.
1030-1045 hrs: Speedboat ride down past Phi Phi Don Island to Phi Phi Ley Island.
1045-1050 hrs: A short photo stop at Viking cave then move onto Maya bay.
1050-1100 hrs: Briefly visit Pilay Cove to see the beautiful turquoise water and take some photos.
1100-1130 hrs: Into Maya bay and stop for about 30 minutes, just long enough to walk through the island to Loh Samah bay.
1130-1140 hrs: Move to Phi Phi Don Island and briefing stop at Monkey beach.
1140-1400 hrs: Visit Ton Sai bay for approximately 2 hours. A buffet lunch is served in a local restaurant then you are free to walk around Tonsai bay’s back alleys or visit the beach at Loh Dalam bay.
1400-1500 hrs:  Head out of Tonsai bay to a snorkeling area in open water where the reefs are prettier than those by the shore. Approximately one hour is spent here for swimming and snorkeling.
1500-1545 hrs: Return to AoNang passing close by Chicken Island.
1545-16.30 hrs: Transfer back to your hotel.


While we were waiting at our hotel for our transport at 8AM. Bought some sausages for breakfast at the family mart just opposite our hotel. :)


The van then dropped us at this meeting point where other tourists from our tour gathered. So we walked around and took some pictures while waiting. Then the tour guide briefed us about our package and off we headed to our speedboat.





Krabi to Phi Phi day trip
The start point on the beach at Haad Noparathara near AoNang




Only 4 were allowed to sit in the open area on the speedboat. 
After boracay, we realised how kiasu people were, so this time we outran them. 
LOLLL. So it was us and another SUPER friendly Dutch couple who got the seats.

 WOOOO! 

It was so so much fun! Felt like a rollercoaster. So so bumpy at certain areas.
 You better hold on tight if you don't want to get thrown off the boat. hehe.


Our first stop. Bamboo island. The water was really clear and blue. :)






Then we arrived Maya Bay



From there, you can actually walk to a really nice area known as Lo Sa Ma Bay. (Just a 100m away)























After Maya bay, we stopped at the viking cave for some pics. (Just on the boat)



This couple added to how awesome our day was. Ferenc and Diana.
 So so super friendly.
 Will definitely pay you guys a visit when we visit Amsterdam! :)


A few pictures at Monkey island.



And then we headed to Ton Sai bay for approximately 2 hours.
 A buffet lunch was served at a local restaurant there.






And that was the end of our first day tour. Was so so much fun!


I'd give it a 4.8/5.

AND BTW GUYS.. IT WAS THE 14th of FEBRUARY AKA VALENTINES DAY!!! 

Weeeeeee.



And for our valentines dinner... what better way to celebrate than to have:

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ROOM SERVICE!

HAHAHA.



After a long tiring day island hopping, this was the best way to end our Vday.



 All clean in our bathrobes, with no make up, and having dinner on the most comfy bed ever. :D



We ordered SOOOO MUCH. Coz we were both super hungry.




Super delicious and fresh Fish and Wedges. (we ordered extra wedges) Because we thought it was fish and CHIPS. lol. 


Spaghetti Bolognese. Slurps.


Salad.


Molten lava cake as dessert. SOOOO WARM AND GOOOOD!

-End of day 2-

DAY 3:



It was the day we were supposed to check out of Centara. :( How sad. But before that.. breakfast first! :)















Really really good spread. Breakfast in Centara is highly recommended! :)

So finally we left Centara and headed to..

LA PLAYA RESORT KRABI.

Price: Approx RM 230 per night including breakfast for two. 





Image result for LA PLAYA KRABI


Image result for LA PLAYA KRABI



Verdict: 



Although Centara Anda Dhevi Resort was a little more pricey, we would have stayed in Centara all the way for their service. The service in La Playa is seriously bad. 



No one helped us with our bags, The staff weren't as friendly etc. 



I'd give it a 2.5/5. 



We made a mistake by leaving Centara a little too early as we thought we'd get to check in as early as we did in Centara. 

Unfortunately, the staff at La Playa weren't as welcoming as the Centara staff. 
They were not well trained at all and had this 'unwelcoming vibe' about them.

 Pretty much pissed off Bry and I a little. So the impression we had on this hotel just immediately fell to the lowest possible.

Anyway, we waited patiently for a couple of hours until we were allowed into our room.

Image result for LA PLAYA KRABI

The lobby. 


Welcome drinks. Wasn't half as good as the one in Centara.

Related image

The only positive part was the bedroom which was huge.



And they gave us an additional "PICNIC BASKET' in the room complete with a beach mat in it, towels etc. to bring to the beach, island hopping or wherever. LOVED IT. (Plus point of this place)


So on the 3rd day, we decided to do the

  half day kayaking activity in Ao Thalane Bay.



Price: 700 baht per person (RM90)
Time: Morning session (8.30am to 1pm) or Afternoon session (1.30pm to 5.30pm)

We chose the afternoon session.

So we waited at La Playa lobby and the tour person got us from our hotel and it took about 30 minutes to get to our destination. 








While waiting for the other participants.

 We were joined first by 3 white girls who were volunteer teachers in krabi.. 

Then.. wait for it...

 came ONE DIRECTION and THE MOFFATS.
LOL. 

There was this group of super HOT London guys who joined us and I was like......

LOL. 

I know I know, I had my HOTTER (ahem) boyfriend with me..  AHAHAHAHA. but trust me I think he drooled more than I did. 

HAHAHAHA.

 Right right Bry? :P

Unfortunately we didn't take pictures with them! Dang!

 They were really friendly though. 
All kiddos who just finished highschool. 
We were the oldest there just like their chaperones. 

LOL.

Seriously one looked like Zayn, but the buffer version, another looked like Liam, then there were two Moffat looking guys.

Okay enough about the hot boys. HAHAHA.

So on my mind at that time,
 I thought we were so screwed.
 Our group had all the BUFF-LIKE-THAT people and even the white girls looked like they were so tall and adventurous. 
And the last time I SORT OF kayak-ed was err in BORACAY? (like for 5 minutes) LOLLLL. 

And the time before that was god knows when.

The guide even asked if all of us kayak-ed before and EVERYONE WAS LIKE YESSSSSSSSSSS.
(including the shameless 5 minutes me) 
LOLL. 

So I spoke to Bryan in Malay and I was like you please better be good. :X HAHAHA. 

So since the guide thought we were all 'experts' he didn't even brief us on kayaking AT ALL. *everybody clap* 

So we started kayaking. Had to act pro. 
LOL. 

But trust me I was DAMN LAME. 

As in I know that my arm strength isn't great.

 Hence, gone case.

But thank god for....

BRYAN JOHN PAULOSEEEEE. WOOTSSS.

That day was the day I was completely in awe

Like hearts literally were shinning in my eyes as I saw how Bry kayak-ed. 
HAHAHAHA

Seriously I didn't have to do anything and we were moving so fast and in the right direction all the time through the narrow mangroove swamp etc.

Hence we were NOT LEFT BEHIND FROM ONE DIRECTION AND THE MOFFATS. WOOOOOOO. 

*APPLAUSE*

Didn't know a man who can kayak can be so damn attractive. 

I give you an additional 10 points Bryan John. =P

YOU DA MAN! 

LOL.




So we had a mini pitstop at one of the caves and took some pics.



Just look at how tan I am from the back. zzzzz. 


Kayaking in Krabi was seriously one of the best experiences I've ever had. 
Since we chose the afternoon/evening session.. the weather was PERFECT. 
It wasn't hot, it was so so so BEAUTIFUL.

 IDK how to express myself but seriously.. so calm, peaceful, quiet, green.

PERFECT.

So we kayak-ed for like about 3 hours straight. (uhhuh)

By the time we finished we were DEAD TIRED. but it was so so so damn worth it.



Headed back to the hotel and prepared for dinner. 




Took a tuk tuk and we arrived at 
Jungle Kitchen which was
#1 in tripadvisor 
but guess what.. they were FULLY BOOKED FOR 2 NIGHTS IN A ROW.

 How disappointing.

The owner directed us to another restaurant next door. 
Turned out to be one of the best 'everything happens for a reason' moments.
 LOL because the restaurant knows as MAMA'S KITCHEN WAS SOOOO DAMN GOOD. 

I don't even think it's on trip advisor at all. Its more of like an underrated, home cooking sorta feel to it. The owner was a really sweet-welcoming-mummy-looking-kinda-lady.
LOL. 

She took our order and off she went into the kitchen to cook for us.



Coconut and I. As you can see I didnt bother dressing up coz I was dead tired from our kayaking session. :P


The fact that we didn't even get a decent picture of the tomyam pretty much sums up how EXCITED we were to dig in. 

Probably the best tom yam I've ever had. LIKE EVER.

Was that goood. The flavor was so on point.

We finished every drop of this green curry. I literally drank it like soup. hahahaha. ^

Just the normal mixed vege. Nothing to shout about here. ^

Baby's Tom yam fried rice.

This fried chicken was gone in about 3.5 minutes. hahaha. Damn good.

Highly recommended place NEXT to JUNGLE KITCHEN GUYS. 
If you guys want to visit Jungle Kitchen, make sure you book few days in advance ok!

I think the only way to book is by actually going there as I can't seem to find their number online. 
:)

If not, Mama's kitchen is also the BOMB. 

Rating: 4.9/5



After that, these two really tired kiddos took a tuk tuk back to our hotel area and walked a little, booked our activity for the next day and came across a tiny bar just opposite our hotel.

We had a single shot of flaming B52 and left.



I was so so tired but Mr. photographer insisted on taking my picture hence ^ face. lol.



walkway back to our room.

-End of an awesome day 3-

DAY 4:


Breakfast at La Playa. Was alright.




So of all the tour packages available, we decided on doing the 
 Krabi Hong Island Tour by speedboat.


Details about our package:

Price: 1800 bhat including national park fees (RM 230) per pax.
Additional info: If you'd like to save, do take the longtail boat instead of the speedboat as it is much cheaper but would take longer compared to the speedboat. Your choice. :)

Includes: snorkeling equipment, life jacket, lunch, fruit snacks, drinking water, experienced guide, insurance, round trip transfers from hotels in Ao Nang, Khlong Muang, Tubkaek beach or Krabi town.



Itinerary:


0830 hrs: Pick up from your Krabi hotel and transfer to the boat pier.
0900 hrs: Speedboat ride to Hong Island, passing by the Royal Palace and Klong  Muang beach.
Sight seeing at Hong Island’s inner lagoon inside the island with beautiful towering limestone cliffs on all sides.
Lunch at the Hong Island national park head quarters.
Enjoy the beach with fantastic white powder sand and clear water for swimming.
After lunch visit Pakbia Island, an unspoiled gem perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
1500 hrs: Depart back to the pier  in Ao Nang and transfer to your hotel.

The pier.



Happy. :)




Arrived at the first stop. Really peaceful beach.





We laid out our mat and just chilled on the beach. It was breezy and so relaxing.


Took some pictures of this one as he wanted to capture his new "same same but different' top. LOLLL.



NICE RIGHT MY PICTURE TAKING SKILLS!!


 I rarely get Bry to take shots of me during our holidays. Most of the pics you see are all candid or taken by Bry without me even going through them until the end of our day or holiday. 
EXCEPT THIS ONE TIME. 

I told him to take something similar to the ones I took of him. So...



Be prepared for his awesome shot:

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.
.






*Everyone laugh*
HAHAHAHA. 
-.-" right?! 

LOLLLL.

I'm like a mini person in the middle of the 70 percent space occupying sand around me! 

hahahahaha.



So after I laughed and laughed and laughed at that pic he finally got a pretty decent one. zzzzzz.
I think next time I'll just rely on his candid pics. 

hahahaha.



Can't tahan Bry's face here. AHAHAHA.


It was truly relaxing. Just by the beach and looking up at the clouds. Laughing away with Bry. Loved every minute of it.


Then we headed to our next stop. Explored the island a little, took some pictures.








Had a simple lunch on the island. Pretty delicious I must say compared to how it actually looks in the picture. ^




After lunch we headed to another stop. Was feeling a little feverish and under the weather, so guess what.. we took out our mat and slept by the beach. LOL.



It was a really nice place to swim and snorkel in my opinion.
 I FEEL LIKE SWIMMING THERE AS IM TYPING THIS RIGHT NOW, but I felt so sick at that point. :( 


The sick me. Sorry Bry! hahaha.


We headed back to our boats and then back to the hotel. :)


Showered, took my medicine and was feeling better so we decided to hunt for food. We walked around our hotel and came across these few similar looking restaurants at the side of the road.

So Bry and I decided to go with the one with the LEAST PEOPLE. lolll. (zero people)
 -just for the fun of it.

Turned out to be our second fav restaurant after mama's kitchen. 

The tom yam here was also soooo soooo superb.

We finally concluded that Krabi food is seriously THE BOMB. Compared to Bangkok where the consistency isn't as good as Krabi.


Err where's my tom yam picture!? Sorry can't find it. It's on my insta! @navenianishel

Anyway, after that we had some coconut icecream although I was sick. haha.



Yummy.


Then we headed back to the hotel and within seconds after my second round of medicine, I was asleep like a baby.

P.S.: Nice ya La Playa's bathrobes? BLACK and the quality was so nice and soft. 


La Playa has two pools btw. This is the 'EMERALD POOL' lol. 
Bry says it looks as though its filled with moss. LOLLL. 

Coz it's green. hahahaha.


Finally, its the end of our trip.. 
5 days flew by just like that as usual.

It was such a memorable, relaxing and perfect trip.

More than I could ask for.

Thanks love.



Until next time readers, have a great day! 
Feel free to ask me more about the trip in the comments below, fb, whatsapp etc. and I'll try my best to assist you guys!

P.S.: After this trip I seriously had MAJOR TOMYAM WITHDRAWAL. hahaha. I craved for tom yam so bad that when I returned to Malaysia and India it was tom yam tom yam tom yam all the way. hahahaha. You've been warned. :P 

Signing out, Nav.