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About Me

About Me
CrystalPhuong.net is a Personal Style & Travel Blog based in Singapore, written by Crystal Phuong. The blog was nominated FOUR times in Top 10 Best Fashion Blogs in the annual Singapore Blog Award from 2012- 2015, voted as one of the Best Lifestyle Blogs in Singapore in 2013 by Hotelclub.com, and Best Travel Blogs in 2016 by Foodpanda.com. Crystal hopes to connect and inspire young women to lead a healthy and happy life. Be confident, be positive, and be kind.
Showing posts with label DUBAI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DUBAI. Show all posts


While visiting Dubai last month, I wanted to spend one day shopping and looking for a pair of gladiator sandals. The 2 hours shoes-hunting mission in The Dubai Mall was failed completely as I couldn't find anything I liked. Somehow, I ended up buying this cute Minnie Mouse Cropped Top and the Cute Girl Ruffle Skort from Forever21 within 10 minutes instead. My usual shopping problem! 

I used to love the Walt Disney cartoon character Minnie Mouse so much when I was a kid. She was so adorable, cute and lovely. I had so many photos of her in my room, watched every single show that she acted in. She was my only boo back then. But growing up, I was swept away by a busy life of an adult and totally forgot about Minnie. :(

Thank to Forever21 for their new Mickey- Minnie Mouse collection in store, I had a chance to "meet" my childhood friend again while I was in Dubai. It was totally unplanned and unexpected. 

Besides the cute diamante Minnie Mouse tee, I also adored this ruffle skort. The high waist mini-skirt cum. short made a perfect match with my Minnie Mouse tee, don't you think? It's casual, fun, flirty yet innocent and cute outfit that any girl could wear. I couldn't say "No" to the sale girl when she showed me this skort and even took a risk wearing it walking around the streets and malls in Dubai. Thankfully, I wasn't accused of inappropriate dressing while I was visiting Jumeirah Beach Residence, The Palace Hotel and some other places in Downtown Dubai. 

Love this outfit? Here are the links for you to buy:

Top: Forever21
Skorts: Forever21
Shoes: Sketchers
Sunglasses: Coach
Bag: Charles & Keith (Also love this one)

This blog post ends my Dubai adventure. If you haven't read the previous blog posts, Dear Dubai and Dubai Diary, it's time to read them now. 

Thank you so much for reading, everyone! I'll talk to you again soon. 

Crystal Phuong

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Day 3 of my Dubai adventure is finally here, everyone!

Sorry for taking so long. I accidentally deleted the blog post which was about to be published without saving it and so I had to re-write everything from the beginning. Thank you so much for patiently waiting! I can't believe that some of you even chased me for this blog entry. 

If you haven't read my "Dear Dubai" blog post, I suggest you should read that one first before moving onto this entry. :)

After the first 2 days, Dubai and I started getting to know "each other" better and becoming closer: no more assumption, doubt, fear and hesitation. If on day 1 and 2, I completely relied on my friend to decide where to go, what to do, then on day 3, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. 

First, I wanted to visit Dubai beaches as I heard so much about how beautiful the beaches are. My friend took me to Jumeirah Beach Residence (aka JBR) where he used to live 3 years go. Jumeirah Beach Residence is a 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi) long, 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi) gross floor area waterfront community located against the Persian Gulf in Dubai Marina in DubaiUnited Arab Emirates. It is the largest single phase residential development in the world and contains 40 towers (35 are residential and 5 are hotels). 

White sands, blue sky, turquoise water, this is my ideal place that I visualize myself to be when I retire (the sooner, the better of course). Besides the picturesque scenery, JBR is one of the few public beaches that opens daily in Dubai. This is the reason why JBR is listed as one of the must-visit places for tourists. 

Looking at the beautiful beach like this, all I wanted to do was to relax and to enjoyed my sun-tanning. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my bikini with me due to my fear of the inappropriate dressing in public. I thought people couldn't wear bikini in Dubai, they should wear modest swimwear or something. But look at the woman behind me? She was walking around in her bikini like nobody's business! That's how silly I was! The truth is we can still wear bikini at the pool or on the beach but we must cover our body whenever we walk around public areas i.e restaurants, hotel, etc...

Initially, I wanted to go for morning walk on the beach but the plan was failed miserably due to the ridiculously hot sun, we walked around The Walk instead. This is a bursting waterfront promenade in the heart of JBR and is by far the most well-known and most recent developed area in Dubai surrounded by many beautiful hotels and restaurants.  It's such a vibrant, fun and happening place to hangout. 

Only after visiting the JBR, I understood why my friend didn't want to leave Dubai for Singapore when he first relocated to the little red dot. It's hard to leave such a beautiful paradise like this. 

Leaving the beach, we went to visit Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and spent my entire day shopping at The Dubai Mall, the largest shopping mall in the world. 

My jaw dropped when I first looked at this gigantic fish tank despite seeing many photos of it on the internet before. The Dubai Aquarium is one of the largest tanks in the world at 51m x 20m x 11m that features one of the world's largest viewing panel at 32.8m wide and 8.3m high. With more than 33,000 living animals including over 400 sharks and rays, Dubai Aquarium does make the Dubai citizens proud. 

Visitors could also walk through the 270-degree acrylic tunnel to have up-close experience with some of the most fascinating underwater animals on the planet. Those animals that I thought I could only see them on TV were swimming happily and peacefully right in front of my eyes. It was a whole new level of experience.  

Though the tunnel walk was very short but it's worth every penny (Yes, you have to pay to enter). It's a once-in-a-life-time experience that  I didn't want to miss so that I could proudly say "I've been there" after all. 

As if the Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium, Shoppings were not good enough to entertain me, my friend took me to the most famous place in Downtown Dubai: Dubai Fountain where we would be watching the light and water show at night. He saved the best for last! 

I thought Dubai fountain was just as big as many other fountains that I've seen before in Taiwan, Malaysia, or even in Singapore, but I was so wrong. The Dubai Fountain is the world's largest choreographed fountain system set on the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake, at the center of the Downtown Dubai

I was wondering if Dubai had anything to be ranked second at all? Everything they have/ make/ do seem to be the largest, the biggest, the tallest in the world. While walking around Downtown Dubai, I kept asking myself "Why didn't I visit this city much sooner?". 

Right here where I found the meaning of PERFECTION: A modern lifestyle, architectures and beautiful nature combined. The blue sky, turquoise clear water and sparkling tall buildings under the bright golden sunshine. A mesmerizing view like this could totally sweep me off my feet, help me to forget about stress  and only focus on being happy. Life is too short to be worried about, we need to enjoy it as much as we can! 

Just like a kid, I was so eager to discover what's there on the other side of the lake after being so overwhelmed by Downtown Dubai. We walked all the way to Souk Al Bahar - a charming Arabesque mall on The Old Town Island ideally located near the iconic developments of Downtown Dubai that brings the traditional touch to the urban living.

Souk Al- Bahar view from the outside to the inside, it offered the exclusive view of Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain that no other place could. We had our lunch at one of the restaurants in Souk Al- Bahar. 

Scallop for appetizer and king prawn as main course. 

The lunch was already so good but this view I had right here made it taste even better. Look!

 Magnificent Burj Khalifa view from Souk Al Bahar. How could I not fall in love with Dubai? 

On the other side of The Dubai Mall, there was a huge playground area for locals and expatriates to hang out. Everything was so clean, clear and well-maintained. 

The further I walked, the more beautiful thing I saw. Somehow I ended up walking to this The Palace Hotel and I got my mind lost there for a minute, again. 

 I loved the harmonious blend of rich Middle Eastern heritage and contemporary Dubai at every corner in this hotel. It's a beautiful resort at the heart of traditional Arabian village, faced with a striking symbol of modernity. When standing at the places like this, there was nothing else I wanted to do besides taking photos. #bloggerproblem

 Not willing to leave The Palace Hotel just yet but I had to go back to The Dubai Fountain to catch the first light and water show which was about to start in 30 minutes time. 

 Sunset watching while waiting for something magical began
Shortly, this was what happened!

Dubai bid me a farewell with the most amazing and mind-blowing water show that I've ever seen. I knew and heard about Dubai Fountain before but I didn't expect it to be so wonderful like this. On the 30-acre Burj Khalifa lake, the water was shot as high as 500 ft up in the air and moved gracefully to the music. The beam of light shining upward from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, and will even be visible from space making it the brightest spot in the Middle East, and quite possibly in the entire world. That explained why Dubai Fountain is considered as the World's largest fountain dance.  

I was acting like a kid who was brought to wonderland for the first time and saw so many incredible things. While watching, I couldn't stop taking photos as I was afraid that If I didn't press the shutter speed fast enough, I would not able to capture the beauty of a one-of-a-kind water show.

Believe it or not, that water show even went into my dream that night and I kept watching the video I recorded again and again while I was on the way to airport in the next morning. 

Thank you so much Dubai for being so wonderful! You have been so nice to me from the day I arrived to the day I left. Even when I was up in the air, you never stopped showing me how beautiful you were. Leaving you was really hard. 

Brought some clouds from Dubai back to Singapore . Every time I travel, I always take photos of the clouds because that was my ultimate dream when I was small.  My family was so poor that we could never afford to buy any air ticket to go anywhere, I always wished one day I could sit on the airplane and see the clouds for real. Amazingly enough, after 20 years, I'm now living my childhood dream and I've learned that: Dreams do come true as long as we never give up. 

Hope you liked my Dubai diary and thank you so much for reading! 
Crystal Phuong

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Two weeks ago, I went to Dubai for holiday. I know, you will probably ask me exactly same question like many of my friends did: "Why Dubai?". The truth is I have a friend who used to live in Dubai 4 years ago and is now residing there again, he has been asking me many times to visit the city just for once. After one year, I finally agreed to travel just to see how Dubai looked like. 

As a newbie to the United Arab Emirates, I had no idea whether the city would fit my liking or would be safe for a girl to travel to alone. I didn't even know what to pack for Dubai which I previously shared about it with you in the Fit and Flare blog post. Knowing my concern and worry, my friend had arranged everything to make sure I would have the best and most memorable stay in Dubai. 

Right after I got out of the airplane, there was a guy from Marhaba agency waiting for me with my name written on a white board.  He escorted me to the fast immigration check-in row and security screening, helped to claim my luggage and took me to my Limousine car outside the airport. Easy peasy! My first impression on Dubai? "Man, this is fun! I think I liked it already". Now, here is an advice for you. If you travel to Dubai for the first time, make sure you book Meet and Greet Airport Assistance beforehand. This will make your life so much easier as Dubai airport is really big, confusing and crowded. Getting an airport assistance will save so much time and troubles from waiting 2-3hours just to clear immigration, trust me!

This was the view that I woke up to every morning when I was there. It's such a peaceful, beautiful and tempting view. After breakfast, my friend took me for a ride to explore the city. All I saw were buildings and buildings, one after another standing next to each other creating a beautiful city skyline. The sky was clear, temperature was just right. Everything seemed to be trying to show me their best. 

Took a photo with an empty street in the afternoon. 

and visited Victoria Secret's store thereafter. 

Beautiful sunset view from my room. 

Believe it or not, it was around 7pm when I took this photo. It didn't look like the evening was approaching, did it? 
At night, my friend made a reservation for us to dine at At.mosphere restaurant located on 122th floor of Burj Khalifa, also known as The tallest Building in the world. He just wanted to amaze me with many wonderful things, I knew and really appreciated him. 

 Photo credits to Burj Khalifa 

While dining, we got to enjoy this spectacular view of Dubai city at night. 

 Photo credit to: Federico Ravassard 

I always lost my words whenever I looked at the scenery like this. There was a mixture of proud, happy, empowering and conquering feeling altogether. I never thought that I would be able to stand at the top of the tallest building in the world one day. Never! 

The dinner was fantastic! Great food, hilarious conversation, wonderful view and ambience, there was literally, nothing I could ask for more. My first day in Dubai ended on a very high note just like that and it broke all my worries about Dubai completely. I knew that all I needed to do was to relax and to enjoy myself as much as possible.  

Day 2 in Dubai started very early at 7am with a breakfast at the most luxurious hotel in the world- Burj Al Arab hotel. 

At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the fourth tallest hotel in the world, however 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space. Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirahbeach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to mimic the sail of a ship. *According to Wikipedia

A long escalator with huge fish tanks on both sides for walls to get to the reception area was the first thing that guests would experience. But that's not all yet, this was just the beginning of what Burj Al Arab hotel had to offer. 

From the 180 meters high atrium, the exclusive 24-carat gold iPad offered to every guest upon check-in,  gold-plated lifts, to the 24 meter (79 feet) wide helipad projects from the building 210 meters above the ground and the luxury Hermes bathroom amenities, everything was an eyes-and-ears opening experience for me. 

Having a breakfast in a luxury hotel like that was truly a dream-come-true. 

We had a short walk outside the hotel after breakfast and had some photos taken. Early in the morning but It was already so hot and sunny, I couldn't stay outdoor for long. We drove to the next tourist attraction which was not very far from Burj Al Arab.  

Right here at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, I found everything I needed: indoor air-conditioned Arabian market with lot of shops, restaurants and outdoor beautiful architect with green water, blue sky made a perfect picturesque view. 

From the outside to the inside, every where was filled with rich and vibrant Arabian spirit and culture. With fashion, jewelry, antiques, furniture, art, oils and spices and many more, this market had endless things to entertain me throughout the day.  

I lost track of time while having myself "dived" into the colorful Arabian treasures,  the further I walked, the more things I found. 

Time always goes by so quickly when you travel. When I found myself enjoying the most, it's time I had to leave Souk Madinat Jumeirah for other places before my dinner. We drove to WAFI Mall, also well-known as the best shopping mall for luxury shopping at affordable prices. 

Found her while I was walking around the Wafi Mall, I asked her if we could take a photo together, she said: "Yes" and this was what happened!

Even the ceiling looked fascinating to me! Influenced by many architectural styles, from Egyptian to Turkish, the mall is dominated by its modern interpretation of the Pharaohs, whose epic splendor is conveyed through exquisite stained glass, intricate mosaics, carvings and sculptures. *According to Wafi Mall.

Everything is such a beautiful piece of art. 

Tea time with strawberry, yogurt and ice-cream followed by mango and raspberry drink few hours later while looking at Dubai street, my day 2 in Dubai was absolutely wonderful beyond expectation. 

I thought my days in Dubai couldn't get better than this but I was wrong as day 3 was even better than day 1 and 2. And because people always say "Save the best for last" so I thought, I should reserve a full dedicated post (with many photos, of course) for day 3 in a separate entry. 

This blog entry is, indeed quite overwhelming. 

Thank you so much for reading, everyone. 

(To be continued)
Crystal Phuong

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