Amboi Sri Lanka

OH EM GEE.

Since I last daydreamt about honeymoon destinations, we’ve booked our flight and main accommodation for our honeymoon in Sri Lanka!

Before I start the post proper, if you’re wondering what’s up with the title of this post, there used to be this Malay song called “Amboi Seri Langkat”, which very randomly came to mind when we were discussing Sri Lanka. I’m sure you 80’s babies must’ve heard this song at some point in your childhood when your mothers had their radios on while working in the kitchen. I had thought they were singing about Sri Lanka (what did I know), but upon further investigation, Jamal Abdillah and Amelina were actually singing “Seri Langkat”, which up till now, I still don’t know is a place or a thing.

Anywayyy.

I can’t tell you how frickin’ excited I am. It’s a little nerve-wracking to be booking this kind of stuff this early (we’re 7 months away!) because you never know what’ll crop up later that might affect your plans. But insyaAllah we’ll make it happen.

My heart was pretty much set on Ceylon Tea Trails from the beginning. With its preserved colonial bungalows nestled in hills at altitudes of up to 4,600 feet amidst lush tea plantations, you’re treated to AHHHH-mazing views of the tea country. And the reviews on Tripadvisor have been nothing short of phenomenal!

Now Ceylon Tea Trails only has 20 rooms in total, between 4 bungalows. At the time of booking there were 11 rooms left and only four of the type of room we wanted. And of this four, only one was overlooking the lake (the rest have garden views).

Do the math — but of course we had to grab that last lake view room!

Lake view from Summerville Bungalow, Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka Source: DirectTraveller.com

Lake view from Summerville bungalow, Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka
Source: DirectTraveller.com

Exterior of the Summerville Bungalow Source: DirectTraveller.com

Exterior of the Summerville bungalow
Source: DirectTraveller.com

The living room of the Summerville bungalow Source: DirectTraveller.com

The living room of the Summerville bungalow
Source: MrandMrsSmith.com

Afternoon tea with a view!

Afternoon tea with a view!
Source: DirectTraveller.com

At that point we hadn’t booked flight tickets yet, but we’d already done our homework. The only budget carriers that go to Colombo are Tiger Airways and Scoot, but there were no flights scheduled on our dates (yet?). Emirates seemed to be our best bet because the flight schedule was so swee — it fit our itinerary perfectly! But not wanting to be hasty, we headed down to the recent NATAS travel fair to try our luck anyway even though we knew the promotions were mostly for travel before June/July (we were going to be travelling in October). We were told we could wait till the next fair in July for travel promotions for the rest of the year, but there would be no guarantees that tickets would actually be cheaper (our return flight falls on a public holiday — Deepavali), or if they would be available at all. Well let’s just say one booth and just an hour later, we walked out the fair empty-handed.

Now Faz and I can be considered noobs when it comes to booking airline tickets (I haven’t had the opportunity to travel much in my life, and Faz always had someone else book his tickets for him), but from research the consensus for booking flights during holiday seasons seemed to be to do it early. The longer you wait, the more you’re going to have to pay. In contrast, this may not apply to off-peak flights, where fares may still dip nearing the departure date. Did I get that right, jet-setters?

That in mind and since we already booked the hotel and didn’t want to risk anything screwing our itinerary, we went ahead to book our flight with Emirates. With that, we settled our flight and 1/3 of accommodations. Now, on to find the two others!

I’d say relaxation is our main intent during the honeymoon. We’re going to be staying in three different hotels in different areas over a week, and we’ll still go sightseeing and do a couple of touristy stuff, but we’ll tailor it such that we’ll be indoors enjoying the hotel compounds half the time. And so to aid this, we thought we’d splurge a little on accommodation. :)

As I’m planning the itinerary, I already get the feeling that I’ll be back in Sri Lanka again someday because there’re just so many things to do there that a one-week trip just won’t do. I still want to do the safari!

October, come quick!

Update: Tiger Airways has released their flight schedules on our dates, and it pained us at first that Tiger is almost half the price of Emirates! But upon further scrutiny, Tiger’s timing isn’t a fit, which means we’d possibly have to pay for two more nights in Sri Lanka — so it kinda works out to be the same in the end. Also, Faz may have to get back to work immediately the day after we return to Singapore, so we may not even be able to extend our honeymoon in the first place. Phew, no loss there!


The fairy godmother and her Wishing Wand

Honestly I don’t quite like going to wedding expos. I feel disoriented and stifled with all the vendors trying to get your attention and you spend half the time trying to fend off those you have no interest in.

We thought we were so over expos but we decided to give it one last go to see if there were any photobooth slash guestbook service providers.

And it paid off. We ended up walking out with a booking with the fabulous Wishing Wand! Both Faz and I are very, very happy about this.

I chanced upon Wishing Wand once when someone on my Facebook liked their page. I viewed their page briefly because at the time I was rushing to get ready to go somewhere, but I made a mental note to check them out again because I liked what I had seen.

But later on when I sat down to retrieve that mental note, I was stumped. What were they called again? I know the name had something to do with fairytales but I couldn’t for the love of God remember what it was! I even tried to go through a couple of weeks worth of Facebook newsfeed but I just couldn’t locate that post. I thought maybe it just wasn’t meant to be, and I let it go.

So imagine my joy when we stumbled upon them at the expo! Their small booth was very easy to miss, and this truly led me to believe it wasn’t a coincidence that we found them!

We all know what the usual guestbook service providers offer in their packages: a minimum of two persons to mend the decorated booth — a photographer and another staff to paste the instant prints onto a personalised guestbook, photography props, and embellishments for guests to jazz up their entry. At one wedding I attended, guests could provide the staff their email addresses to have their photos sent to them, which was a nice touch.

So what sets Wishing Wand apart from the rest?

On top of their fun and quirky props (of which you can personalise a few), they’ll provide you a photography backdrop! Not only will your guests receive a hardcopy of their photos, they’re pasted onto a personalised photo jacket where you could leave a little thank you note for your guests! And at the end of it, you will also receive in a disc all the photos taken that day.

I think people will totally eat it up because it’s a very nice event keepsake, something which guests perhaps will appreciate even more than wedding favours!

In this digital world, my aunts always complain that they don’t ever get to see the photos we take at family gatherings because no one bothers to print them. Well, I imagine the photobooth is one way to appease them!

And I really like the bubbly people who attended to us at the expo. I think it’s important for the people mending the guestbook table/photobooth to be proactive in getting people to participate. If not, the booth will be under-utilised…and well, there goes your money.

Go check Wishing Wand out!


What kind of decorator are you?

While we’re on the topic of housing, decor and the likes, here’s a fun quiz on Oprah to find out which decorator profile you belong to.

What Kind of Decorator Are You?

My score was 25, and this was my decorator profile:

“You don’t make outlandish decorating decisions, but your home is definitely you. Try experimenting with new looks, becoming even more responsive to your own vision and less driven by the approval of others.”

This is relatively true.

It’s true, I’m not an outlandish person. I do like to be different — but a brand that’s some levels safer than outrageous. And whilst I do tend to seek approval and attention, I’m one to do it subtly — not in a manner that demands attention.

I wonder what profile the other half belongs to.

Speaking of him! It’s been 57 days since his last post. *raises eyebrow*