Sunday, January 31, 2016

Day 6 @ Hippo x Turkey < Ankara . Safranbolu >

On the 6th day, we arrived at Ankara after 4 hours long drive from Cappadocia.
People often make the mistake of thinking that Istanbul is the capital of Turkey, so do I.
Well, Istanbul was the capital in the beginning of 20th century, and Ankara took over the replacement after the 1st world war.
The misconception probably arises partly because most of the famous tourist places are located in Istanbul but not Ankara.



Every country has their own heroes to save their nations, and Ataturk is the Turkey's national hero.
When you are at the Ataturk Mausoleum, you can understand how important Ataturk in the Turkish history, as well as learning how was the Turkish War of Independence.



The Mausoleum is huge with quite some space to walk around; not only in the building complex but also outside of the building.
The security was tight compare to the other attraction places as we have to go down from the bus and went through the checkpoint one by one.



Ataturk is truly the Father of the country.
He is not only the founder of the Turkish Republic, but also acted as a revolutionary, a brave soldier, a great leader and an international figure of the 20th century.
He was the Turkey's first president who helped to modernize the country, and that's why the Turkish are so respect to him.



Inside the art gallery of Ataturk, there are many oil paintings of Ataturk with his life stories.
All the paintings are so beautiful and vivid.
This is the biggest painting of Ataturk that everyone MUST take a picture in front of it.



The Ataturk and Turkish Revolution Library is a special library which includes the books from Ataturk, and also books about the national war and the resolutions.

 

Behind the museum's exit, there is a souvenir shop which sell things like flags, pens, wallets, T-shirts, badges with the picture of Ataturk on them.
All prices are pretty reasonable and my dad bought a wallet at about RM60-RM70 with a premium quality.



My dad enjoyed his visit here very much as he is the kind of person who enjoyed the history as well as admiring those heroes who saved the nations.
By the way, if you aren't really interested to know too much of the history, perhaps you can just pay a short and brief visit before your next destination since the admission here is free of charge. #hehe



It took us about 6 hours to get to the next city, Safranbolu.
Safranbolu is a city which preserves the traditional living style of Turkish people.
As this city has been well protected with it's rich cultural heritage, it has known as one of the UNESCO World Heritage City.





Before we reached the downtown area, we have a stop at the Hidirlik Hill.
From the Hidirlik Hill, you can see clearly the famous ottoman houses where the Turkish settled themselves when they came to Safranbolu.
All houses in the city look like small square boxes and each houses appeared their own characteristics when you see them from the hill.



The panoramic view of Safranbolu is really beautiful which will definitely fascinate you!



For me, it looks a bit like an English country style garden with an elegant courtyard, and flowers in different lovely colours.
The wonderful atmosphere is very clean looking and peaceful to the eye!



There is a cafe at the hilltop where you can have a sip of your Saffron tea which only available at here.
It's a great pleasure to sit down to watch the beautiful view on the hill while having a fresh cup of hot tea and coffee.





Safranbolu becomes a popular tourist place is because it has the architectural from the Ottoman period which still retained until today.
The downtown area has many well preserved building such as mosque, museum, fountains, clock tower, and houses.
All these buildings and the streets are the regular one from the old period.





There are many coffee houses and souvenier shops along the street where you can sit for a coffee and buying their local delights and handicraft products.





Cinci Han, located at the downtown area is a traditional house showing the old traditional lifestyle in Safranbolu.
It was built with total 2 storey and now still standing and used as hotel and restaurant.
To be frank, nothing much to see there.



Another highlight of Safranbolu is the hotels in that area.
We stayed at Kadioglu Hotel which is about 5-10 minutes away from the downtown area.





It's another special stay for me in Turkey.
The hotel is built on a very old Ottoman house and therefore it has a very minimum basic structure inside the room.





There is no lift in the hotel and we have to walk up to the 3rd floor as we had the room for 3 person.
When we stepped into the room, we were a bit shock because the room is quite small and the bathroom is even smaller.
Don't be shock to see the bathroom hides inside the wardrobe.
It's traditionally decorated and include central heating, an old small TV, free Wifi which only accessible at the lobby.



Well, sorry to say that I didn't enjoy the stay at all at this hotel although it is clean, well maintained and with friendly staffs.
If given a choice, I think I would feel more comfortable to stay in a modern hotel if there is one in the city.



I'm not very much impressed with the day 6 in Turkey since I'm not the type of person that knows history and facts.
No doubt that Safranbolu is beautiful to see, but I think we arrived at the wrong time.
It was already late evening when we arrived and we left the hotel at 5am next morning.
I believe this city would be more charming and beautiful if you come here in the day time.



My outfit of today:
Inner Sweater: Bershka
1st Outer: Korea
2nd Outer: Gap
Sneaker: Converse


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Enjoy Your CashBack @ ShopBack

Ever since online shopping become popular in Malaysia, I started to shop online.
Good things I found about online shopping is they usually have better bargains like offering special discounts and vouchers. Plus, you do not need to worry about the traffic on the road, packing spaces and heavy crowds at the malls. Just a few simple click and your goods will deliver to your doorstep!
Well, what if we can get extra more from our shopping?
It's even more excited, right?!
Have you ever heard of getting cashback on your shopping?
What we usually hear of cashback is the credit cards cashback on the petrol, groceries and utilities with their cash rebate programs.
Cashback?! Cashback on your shopping?! Something new, isn't?!



ShopBack is a cashback website where you literally get cashback when you click through the partner merchants on the website.
On top of the existing discounts and voucher codes, you can get back a percentage of the money you spend on your orders too.
Cool, isn't it?!
Interested to know how it works? Let's scroll down with the 4 simple steps!



Be it fashion, travel, food & beverages, electronics, or lifestyle items, ShopBack has many popular brands to coordinate with all the categories, such as girl's shopping heaven of Zalora, Hermo, Forever 21, Sasa, travel's booking of Agoda, Expedia.com.my, Booking.com, everyone's favourite of Groupon, Taobao and many more!
There are more brands to come on ShopBack whereby they are targeting to have at least 300 stores in their categories!



Get yourself an account by signing up the website, you can sign up directly with your FB account which I did it usually, just because I can easily forgot my passwords. #hehe
You can check all your cashback information of each transactions at your account page.



Step 1:
Find your favourite store through ShopBack and click into the site which will redirected you to the store's website.
Here, I am taking Hermo as an example.





Once you click into the website, it has stated the promotions and special offers that available at the store, and also notify how much cashback you can earn from your shopping.
Click on the shop now and then you can shop as usual on the store's website and make your purchase.



Another example I took from Agoda.
You only need to pay RM170 for your hotel room if your total booking fee is more than RM220!
Go get your Agoda promo code and discount code at https://www.shopback.my/agoda!


Step 2:
Nothing to worry about your shopping, just by doing your usual shopping and collecting the cashback in your account later.
I love to shop my skincare, hair and makeup products at Hermo because they are not only offer the brands that you cannot get from Malaysia, but also always offer distinctive discount.
By having ShopBack, I am not only enjoying the special offers from Hermo, but also can use the cashback from ShopBack for my future purchases! #thisissogreat



Step 3: 
After making the payment, you will get to see your cashback in your ShopBack account within 48 hours.
I have earned RM1.88 from my total spending of RM47.00 at Hermo.
This has included the extra RM8 off from the Hermo website!



Step 4: 
You are able to cash out the money into your bank account (up to total 10 banks) or PayPal for real cash at the end of every month once you've reached redeemable cashback of RM10.



You probably will not see much from your account on your first or second purchases, but I am sure the longest you use the ShopBack, the more cashback you can earn.
Imagine you can get cashback at RM60 if you spend total RM1000 on different stores at ShopBack.






Besides, you can also enjoy special discounts and cashback that deliver from the different stores during the special occasions such as Valentine's day and Chinese New Year.
Enjoy your Valentine's day promotion at https://www.shopback.my/valentines-day, and your Chinese new year promotion at https://www.shopback.my/chinese-new-year-promotions!


Rest assured that ShopBack is a legitimate service and they have established themselves not only in Malaysia, but also in Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia.
For those who want to have more information, you can click on the short video.
For those who can't wait to shop now, you can visit the Top cashback online shopping site in Malaysia right away!
Hey peeps! Let's shop smart! Shop with unlimited savings with ShopBack!



ShopBack
Website: https://www.shopback.my/
FB: ShopBack MY



Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ding Emperor Steamboat @ SS2, Petaling Jaya

Not sure if you realized Malaysians like steamboat very much.
The reason why I said so is because I see steamboat restaurants out there are always full of crowds.
It's quite surprise how steamboat can fit into our culture since the weather here is so hot and humid.
I am actually one of them but I prefer to eat steamboat in an air-conditioned room or else I will sweat like crazy. #lol
Well, if you are a fan of steamboat too, you are gonna love today's post!





Ding Emperor Steamboat located at SS2 Petaling jaya.
It is very easy to find it as it is located next to the only KFC in SS2 area.
Plus, it is easy to recognize because it is a big restaurant with 3 shop-lots join together.



The restaurant has a Chinese-inspired decorating style, that's probably related to it's origin country in Taiwan.
Look at the oriental style furniture and the Asian style lantern lighting on the top, so truly Asian!



I adore this corner with different small little Asian adornments, looks preciosity!



There are 2 dining sections at Ding; one at the public area and one with private tables at the separation of conditioned spaces.



Ding has two flavour soups which are clear soup and spicy soup respectively.
In order to adapt to local taste, the clear soup is prepared with Chinese cabbage and pork ribs while the spicy soup is prepared with total 14 spices without any duck bloods like the Taiwanese like.
What's more about the soups is you can mix both clear and spicy soup together to create another flavor. Also, the spicy soup will be less spicy after mixing them together.



Ding provides many great and interesting ingredients to choose from, such as handmade balls and pastes as well as imported meats and seafood.
Most of the ingredients are freshly made from it's kitchen.



Taiwan Squid Sausage @ RM16.90 has it's quality assurance as it is imported directly from Taiwan.
It's something new for me as I never have it before.
The meat texture is very thin and soft.
 

I really enjoyed all their handmade meatballs because they are more softer and chewy compared to the artificial meatballs which are more tough and rubbery.
Handmade Squid Balls (right) RM8.90 for 4 pieces.
Handmade Lamb Balls (left) @ RM8.90 for 4 pieces.



Pork Balls (left) RM6.90 per set.
Handmade Pork Balls (right) RM6.90 per set.



USA Fresh Scallop (right) absorbs moisture like a sponge till you feel like it melts into your mouth.
4 pieces on a small plate like this cost RM27.90.
On the left side, it's the Fish Dumpling with the filling of Japanese roe which costs RM6.90 for 4 pieces.



Both Shrimp Dumpling (right) and Pork Dumpling (left) are at RM7.90 of each sets.



Fish Dumpling which made with ground fish @ RM6.90 per set.



Something fresh! Something new!
Abalone & Fish Paste (right) @ RM17.90 per set, and Shrimp and Fish paste (left) @ RM15.90 per set.
These are really good as they are all handmade with very soft texture.





For the vegetable options, you can try their fresh Tong Ho (the top one) @ RM6.90 per set and spinach (the bottom one) @ RM5.90 per set.



All prawns at Ding have removed the shells before they serve on the table.
These are the fresh prawns come from Sabah.


If you want to try something premium, get their Argentina Red Prawn.
As Argentina has it's superior location which nearest to the South Pole, the meats are not only radiance in colour and smooth in texture, they are also one of the most nutritious seafood in high class fusion preparation.
The prices of the prawns are according to the market rates.



There are total 3 highlight noodles from Ding, which are #1 Celery Noodles, #2 Ramen, #3 Udon.
All noodles are handmade and each bowl is RM4.90 per set.



For meat lovers, I am sure you will definitely enjoy their imported pork, beef and lamb!
Confirmed you wouldn't able to resist the softness and gentleness of the meats!
All of them definitely earn their melt in your mouth status.
Iberian Black Pig Series (Bacon Belly) @ RM29.90 per set.



The top one is the Iberian Black Pig Collar and the bottom one is the Meltique Beef Slices from Australia.
Both of them cost RM29.90 per set.



Premium Lamb (top) and Premium Beef Slices (bottom) @ RM16.90 per set.
The different between the premium is the meat tenderness whereby the premium one is more soft and gentle. It's really almost melt in your mouth!



You can also order some add-ons while you are hungry waiting for the steamboat.
Fresh Dumpling @ RM9.90 per set.



Seafood Crispy Beancurd @ RM6.90 per set.
 

BBQ Chicken Wings is the best among the others!
It's both tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
3 pieces are at RM8.90 and 6 pieces are at RM15.90



After the heavy eating, Iced Honey Tangerine Juice @ RM13.90 per jug is strongly suggest!
It's so refreshing and cooling which helps you to neutralize your taste buds.
It's too good till no reasons to take one glass again and again.



There is a long wooden table with various sauces and condiments such as hot spicy source, features chili source, chives, coriander, crushed garlic, soy and sesame sauces.
Help yourself with all these to enhance your food flavours.



The food at Ding not only look good on the pictures, but they are all truly delicious!
If you are a steamboat lover, just do not miss out Ding Emperor Steamboat in your foodporn list!



Ding Emperor
58-60, Jalan SS2/67,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 603 7866 0226 / 6012 3015 221
FB: Ding Emperor 鼎皇麻辣锅
Opening hours: Open Daily from 5pm till midnight