SIN/KL 2014: Vietnamese dinner at From Bac to Nam

November 28, 2014

Across the street from Outrigger Resort, as part of Burleigh Gold Coast Motel, was Bac to Nam Vietnamese Dining.

It had been a very long time since the three of us visited a Viet restaurant (nothing beats home cooked food right?), but we were all intrigued and decided to give it a try.

The first thing we liked about the restaurant was its unique name. Bac to Nam means ‘North to South’, alluding to a menu that includes items from North, Central and South Vietnam.


Upon entering, the restaurant was dimly lit with nice ambiance and lovely, traditional décor. Resembling a hut with wooden tables and benches, with simplistic containers for utensils and napkins.



Around the walls were canvases of scenes from Vietnam, some of which we have even personally visited.



Mom got Vietnamese Prawn Fried Rice ($16) – generous amount of prawns and well seasoned. Good Vietnamese iced coffee too!


Michael chose Chili pork with rice ($17) that he really enjoyed.


And I got Pork belly with homemade sauce and rice ($18). The pork belly tasted homemade, succulent with crispy crackling and accompanied by a subtle sauce.


Portions smaller than expected, but good home-style food, not to expect anything fancy or extravagant. We had an enjoyable night but did find the menu to be quite a bit more expensive compared to Vietnamese restaurants in Brisbane. They are licensed now as well so you can enjoy a beer with your food!

Bac To Nam Vietnamese Dining on Urbanspoon

SIN/KL 2014: Gold Coast for a night

November 28 2014

Hello friends!

With end of year exams finally over, we were more than ready for vacation!

To start, Michael and I were taking my mom to Singapore and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) for a week, Nov 29 to Dec 06. Related blog posts to this trip will be titled with “SIN/KL 2014” 🙂

It would be my mom’s first visit to Singapore and the first time in Malaysia for all three of us. We had hoped that Mike’s parents, as well as his Aunt Patsy and Uncle Dan would also be able to join us. Unfortunately, the cost of airfare was too high for their dates of availability.

Taking advantage of Singapore’s budget airline, Scoot, we had to fly out of Gold Coast Airport, about an hour’s drive from Brisbane.

We booked a night’s stay at Outrigger Resort in Gold Coast for a good night’s rest without rushing to catch our flight the next morning. For around $115, it was exactly what we needed: clean, spacious, with a pool, numerous restaurants along the street, and less than 5 minutes to catch the bus directly to the airport.





Easy check in, now off to find some good dinner!

Pre-Holiday: Night in Gold Coast

Friday, July 12, 2014

Started our week long vacation with the first night in Gold Coast!

We were flying out to Singapore from Gold Coast Airport Sunday morning. Without public transportation running early enough and the shuttle bus from Brisbane costing $90, it made sense to just spend the night in Gold Coast instead.

We stayed at Meriton Serviced Apartments (Broadbeach) for a discounted price and were quite impressed. Clean, modern and great value for the money. A studio apartment with everything we needed and more!


We brought a USB full of TV shows and movies to catch up on. Before arriving, we decided to stay in the whole night and actually stuck to our plans! How relaxing 🙂


Even brought our own food and had a lovely romantical dinner. Very nice and much needed after our surgery rotation and stressful exam!


We had crackers and cheese, rosemary rustic bread with homemade garlic mayo, delicious salad, strawberries and dark passion fruit chocolate. Mmm! Oh, and can’t forget some wine! Moscato… our current favourite 🙂


Called an early night to be well rested for our big adventure starting tomorrow!

Stay tuned and join me as I recount our fun times in Singapore and Bangkok!

Post-Surgery… Vacation!

Surgery is officially over, woo hoo!

Our final written exam (worth 70%) was yesterday… 2.5 hours of looong testing-of-knowledge. The exam was certainly challenging, as many of my friends have agreed, but now we just have to sit and wait for our results!

More importantly – on to a one week vacation!

Mike and I were able to score really cheap plane tickets, so we are going overseas for the holiday!

Today, we are going down to Gold Coast.

Tomorrow morning, we are flying out to… Singapore!

Yep, again.

Our super basic itinerary:

  • July 12 – Gold Coast
  • July 13 – Singapore
  • July 14-17 – Bangkok
  • July 17-20 – Singapore

All our flights added up to less than $500, which we thought was a steal! We have already booked all our accommodation but haven’t really finalized our plans of where we want to go and what we want to do yet.

Like usual, I will try to blog whenever I can! If not, there will be tons of photos and posts after we come back 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone! And for those on a holiday like me, have a lovely vacation!

Meaghan is in town!

Mike’s sister, Meaghan, is visiting us in Brisbane from Canada! She arrived the morning of March 22nd and will be here until next Sunday. 🙂

Even though our GP rotation is pretty busy, we are trying to do as many things as possible – and I think we’ve been successful!

We’ve eaten… a lot. But those excursions will get their own related posts 😉

In the meantime, we’ve went up to Sunshine Coast to Noosa Heads Beach (March 23)



And we’ve gone down to the Gold Coast to Burleigh Beach (March 29)


Yesterday (March 30), we climbed Mt Ngungun. It was hot and sweaty so thank god for the cool misty breeze. Got to the top just as the fog was lifting, very rewarding!

The face in the tree trunk reminds me of a sloth… am I the only one? Mike thinks it looks like the “Forever Alone” guy… what do you think?


Slowly making our way up!



A dead tree trunk along the path


Very misty when we first got to the summit


But slowly started to clear up!


Panoramic view!



Enjoying crunchy, juicy plums at the top of Mt Ngungun


Oh my god, so Asian lah

IMG_0228 IMG_0229

These are Squiggly Gum trees. The squiggly lines are from insect larvae burrowing underneath the bark


These reminded me of “bong mai”


During the walk to Mt Ngungun, there is a house that sells home grown Cavendish bananas for $2.50/kg.


Yep, we bought some. Delicious and we support the locals!


Honour system payment 🙂


Big Day Out 2013

Mike and I went to Big Day Out at the Gold Coast on January 20th, my first concert ever – woo hoo!

Big Day Out is an annual music festival that, as of 2013, is held in five Australian cities: Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth. It features seven or eight stages (depending on the venue) accommodating popular contemporary rock music, electronic music, mainstream international acts and local acts.

Tickets were a little pricey but definitely worth it for a full day of really good live music. We spent all day listening to great bands, many of which I’d never listened to before but now love!

Heading on the bus down to the Gold Coast

Got there quite early so lots of time to walk around and check out the venue

The 2 main stages

Multiple bands were playing at the time across the different stages throughout the entire day. This was the line up we chose to follow:

  • 11:30 – Jakarta Criers
  • 12:20 – The Medics
  • 13:20 – Delta Spirit
  • 14:25 – Gary Clark Jr
  • 15:50 – Band of Horses
  • 16:55 – Vampire Weekend
  • 18:00 – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • 19:05 – The Killers
  • 20:30 – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Only took a few pictures of the acts, but enjoy!

The Medics

Gary Clark Jr

Vampire Weekend

Soooo much garbage. The only good thing is that most of it was recyclable

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Red Hot Chili Peppers

My RHCP song: The Otherside!

Made it home safe and sound!

My favourites of the day? Definitely Gary Clark Jr and Vampire Weekend! Please check them out, guaranteed enjoyment! 🙂

And man, was it hot. SO HOT. So hot and so dirty. Yes the music was good. But would I rush to another outdoor music festival? Nope! 🙂

Photo #327: Big Day Out of Garbage

January 20, 2013

Mike and I went to Big Day Out today! There will be a separate post about that later, but the amount of garbage lying around is unbelievable! Amazing that so many people can’t just take a few steps to one of the many garbage bins to throw out their trash.


FADU: Happy 50th Birthday Mommy!

August 20, 2012

Very lucky to not only be able to celebrate my 25th birthday this year with my family in Australia, but also my mom’s 50th!

Mike and I took my family down to visit the Gold Coast and have lunch at the Four Winds Revolving Restaurant. Although the food was quite lacking (I rate this restaurant 3.5/5), the view was amazing and definitely worth the visit.

Waiting for the train to Gold Coast!

Taking pictures at Surfers Paradise 🙂

Fourwinds Revolving Restaurant at the top of Crowne Plaza Hotel

In the lobby of Crowne Plaza

The restaurant, lovely views!

Elevator shots! 😛

Cake, cards and presents at home!

Chocolate lime cupcakes – I’m sorry your cake isn’t as extravagant as it deserves to be mommy!

So sad… our last activity together! 😦 My mom and siblings are now somewhere across the Pacific Ocean back to Canada… miss them already!

First semester – done!


Thank goodness my exams are finally over! I was seriously getting burnt out after studying for over a week straight and then having 4 exams in 4 days!

June 12 – Clinical Science Imaging (1 hr) exam – went well. Luckily I was in a small room and could see the screen fine but many I know were in larger rooms and had a hard time making out some of the pathology in the images.

June 13 – Clinical Science written (2 hrs) exam – Any more studying would not have prepared me better for this exam. Multiple questions testing random tidbits of knowledge. The level of difficulty of past exams compared to ours was like night and day. Did not like this exam as much and was really happy I didn’t have to regret taking the evening before off to go see a soccer game instead!

June 14 – Ethics and Professional Practice (1hr) exam – much better than anticipated! Although I wished for a few more minutes to have another read through of my answers.

June 15 – Global and Community Medicine (1 hr) exam – went well! But there were only 40 MCQs each worth 1.5% of our final grade – eep!

Our last exam finished around 12:30pm and with a huge weight lifted off our chests we spent the rest of the day hanging out with friends and relaaaaxing 😛 Good times!

And today?

Lots of cleaning… and packing for Singapore! We fly out of the Gold Coast on Monday morning so going to spend Sunday there. Yay – excitement building! We still have to decide what to do though! Thank goodness for friends helping us out and giving us good advice! 😀