2018 Island Getaway – Langkawi

malaysia

ABOUT MALAYSIA

Timezone : GMT +08:00

Currency: Ringgit Malaysia (RM or MYR)

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GETTING THERE

The easiest way to go to Pulau Langkawi is by flight. There’s plenty of direct flight from various places either within Malaysia or outside. Just look for Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo or Fireflyz. Pulau Langkawi is also accessible via boat. From Langkawi, you can also hop onto Langkawi ferry or a boat from Telaga Harbour to go to Koh Lipe, Thailand.

From the airport, there’s a lot of taxi which you can buy ticket from the counter. Rate is quite cheap but can’t really remember how much.

ACCOMMODATION

There are few places which are quite famous among tourist, such as Pantai Cenang (near the beach) or Kuah (city). For this trip we stayed at Bayview Hotel, Kuah (should have stayed in Cenang since we drive day everyday!). The hotel is quite nice and location is good (for Kuah area). A lot of shops and restaurants nearby within walking distance.

Image source: https://www.bayviewhotels.com/destination/langkawi/

GETTING AROUND

Rented a car during our Langkawi trip. Since we went there in July (not school holiday), price is quite cheap, traffic is good and easy to find parking. So I would recommend for you to rent a car. However if you are there during school holiday, finding a parking spot might be an issue so you can opt for hiring a driver.

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Underwater World Langkawi – A popular place to visit among tourist (especially those with kids). Last time I was here (before the current one in 2018) was in 1996! Still enjoy looking at the fishes especially the really big one! The penguin was also quite entertaining! Ticket price: Adult RM46 or RM36 (with MyKad), Children 3-12 years old RM36 or RM26 (with MyKad), special rate for senior citizen 5o years and above RM29 (with MyKad), Government rate RM29 for adult and RM21 for children (with Government ID)
  • Langkawi Wildlife Park – Love this place the most! It is an indoor park so its not hot and you can even go there during rainy days. You can even feed the animals (love the deers!) by purchasing a food pack (a pack of different types of food for different types of animals) but make sure to read the signs properly before feeding the animals as different animal need to be feed with different type of food accordingly. Went there during my birthday so I got a free ticket! Just make sure to check this place out on google and who knows there’s a promo running (that’s how I discover the free birthday treat promo). Ticket price: Adult RM39 or RM24 (with MyKad), Children 3-12 years old RM22 or RM16 (with MyKad), special rate for senior citizen 5o years and above RM22 or RM16 (with MyKad). There also family package (please refer to their official website)
  • Crocodile Adventureland Langkawi – requested by 3 years old son (and keep on requesting to see the crocodile until now!). Here you can see different species of crocodile! Ticket price: Adult RM25 or RM18 (with MyKad), Children 3-12 years old RM18 or RM12 (with MyKad), special rate for senior citizen 5o years and above RM12 (with MyKad). There also combo package (please refer to their official website)
  • Dataran Lang – Popular photo spot featuring a huge eagle statue perched over a scenic waterfront plaza.

dataran lang langkawi

Image source: WikiPedia

  • Telaga HarbourMarina for regional sightseeing & island transfer boats, including a shuttle to Koh Lipe, Thailand.
  • Oriental Village – At the foothills of Mt. Machincang, lies the Oriental Village with more than 50 activities & adventure providers; F&B outlets, souvenir & retail stores, galleries and spas, the Oriental Village offers a quality day-out of fun, adventure, shopping at one location! You could also ride the Langkawi Cable car from here, which is the must visit hotspot on the island.

  • Panorama Langkawi CkyCab – also known as Langkawi Cable Car and it is not only about the car ride. There’s also lots of other attractions and activities such as SkyRex, SkyDome, SkyBridge, SkyGlide, SkyTrail and more. Visit their website for more details.
  • Cenang Beach – The most famous beach in Langkawi. A place to chill, swim, eat & shop!
  • Island hopping – Langkawi is famous for island hopping. You may also refer to my previous post on Langkawi. CLICK HERE

SHOPPING

Langkawi is famous for cheap international brand chocolates, cigarette & alcohol. You can also get cheap sarong/pelikat & minyak gamat there as well. Here are some famous shops that can go to to spend your money!

  • The Zon Duty Free – located next to Underwater World Langkawi
  • HIG Mall – must visit! A big mall with connecting HIG Hotel (by the way HIG stands for Haji Ismail Group. Seems that other than the smaller shop, they also have a mall!)
  • Perniagaan Haji Ismail Group
  • Teow Soon Huat Duty Free
  • Langkawi Parade
  • Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall
  • Langkawi Saga Shopping Mall
  • Cenang Mall

FOOD

  • The Cliff Restaurat – Fancy restaurant overlooking Cenang beach
  • Yellow Beach cafe – good place to watch sunset on Cenang beach
  • Nasi Dagang Pak Malau – local breakfast with paddy field view
  • Restaurant Seashells – enjoy your food with paddy field view…opposite the beach! Even saw a buffalo when I was there.
  • Night market – there are few night market. Went the on in Kuah and ate a very big portion of nasi kandar!
  • Aseania dinner & show
  • Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant
  • Wan Thai

 

Read my previous post on Langkawi: Island Getaway – Pulau Langkawi 2012

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#Throwback Port Dickson Getaway – Hotel Review

port-dickson

ABOUT MALAYSIA

Timezone : GMT +08:00

Currency: Ringgit Malaysia (RM or MYR)

Plug adapter:

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ACCOMMODATION

Went for a short ‘first wedding anniversary’ in 2015 (yes this is a ‘throwback’) to Port Dickson. Just me, my husband and of course our son who was 2 months old that time! Stayed at Lexis Port Dickson, booked via Agoda. There’s a choice between staying at the water chalet or the main building/tower sea view. Since our son was still so small and we’ve read that the buggy might be a bit slow and late (also the weather can be quite hot) we decided to book a room at the tower sea view. Room is spacious, with 1 king and 1 queen bed and the view was great! However if you would like to swim and relax on the beach, this hotel might not be the choice for you as you will need to drive out to the beach.

  • Image taken from Agoda

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Basically we didn’t really do much or go out much. Most of the time we were in our room, relaxing (and baby was sleeping most of the time and the weather was hot!) However we did stop by at the Upside Down House Gallery Port Dickson before heading back to Kuala Lumpur.

Island Getaway 2016 – Bali, Indonesia

bali

ABOUT BALI

Timezone : UTC+08:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Took Air Asia flight from KLIA2, Kuala Lumpur to Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport Bali. Once touched down, I was quite surprise to see the new look of the airport. Big and new! Another new update since the last time I was in Bali (2012) is that, there’s no more airport departure tax! Yeayyy for that! 🙂

GETTING AROUND

There are a few ways you can get around Bali. You can rent your own car or motorbike (you will need to have an International Driving Permit), walk (if within the city), take a taxi (use Blue Bird since it’s quite cheap & the the most reliable taxi company) or hire a driver (I did this for 3 days tour)

DRIVER SERVICE FOR BALI TOUR

My second time hiring Pak Bram as our supir (driver). He drove a Suzuki MPV, which can fit 7 people and the price is per car, not per head. Price includes car+petrol+driver. I fully recommend Pak Bram if you are looking for a driver in Bali. For the itinerary, you can have a look at mine (2012 trip Itinerary), or you can also ask Pak Bram for recommended itinerary.

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Odua Ozz Kuta Hotel. Good location, nice room with comfortable bed and friendly and helpful staff. If I were to go to Bali again, I will consider staying at this hotel one more time! 🙂

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INTERESTING PLACES

There are a lot of interesting places in Bali to visit. For this trip, I didn’t visit many places since it’s so hot and I bring along my 7 months old baby with me.

Here are some places that I went to this year. For more listing of interesting places, visit my previous post on Bali here – Bali 2012 Trip

  • Uluwatu – Pura by the cliff. Just be careful with the monkeys here. Keep your sunglasses in your bag because they might steal it
  • Jimbaran Bay – a nice & romantic place to enjoy dinner on the beach while watching sunset. This year I went there twice at tried 2 restaurants. I fully recommend to eat at Legong. Their food taste nicer and the staff are way more helpful and friendly
  • Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Bedugul
  • Pacung – enjoy lunch with rice terrace view
  • Coffee Plantation

SHOPPING

  • Ole-ole Hawaii Bali
  • Agong Bali
  • Krishna (went to 2 Krishna outlet, one is near Agong Bali and another one is near the airport)
  • Discovery Mall
  • Lippo Mall
  • Legian Street
  • Kuta Art Market

 

View my previous post on Bali: My FIRST SOLO Getaway – Bali, Indonesia

The serene Da Nang & Hoi An, Vietnam

DaNang HoiAn

ABOUT VIETNAM

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Vietnam Dong

Visa: Not required for Malaysia

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GETTING THERE

Went there by Air Asia. The flight will take you from KLIA2 to Da Nang International Airport. If you are flying back from this airport, there will be no airport departure tax.

From the airport I went directly to Hoi An. There’s a shuttle bus and taxi but I took a taxi instead. Paid around 500,000 dong for the one way trip. The journey to Hoi An from Da Nang took around 45 minutes.

hoi-an

Hoi An is one of the city in Vietnam and it is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In my opinion, Hoi An reminds me of Amsterdam…an Asian Amsterdam or maybe Amsterdam would be a European Hoi An 😛 One more thing about Hoi An is that at night it will be brightly lit with colourful beautiful lantern (You can also buy lanterns there)

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Thanh Van II hotel (currently known as Like Hoi An Hotel) and booked it through AirAsiaGo (you can also book through Agoda or Booking.com, etc. Booked it through AirAsiaGo because I’m using a voucher code so manage to get cheaper price). The hotel is located around 15 minutes walk from Hoi An Anchient Town, but if you are too tired to walk, you can use the free bicycle or take the free shuttle bus which they provided on hourly basis. The shuttle bus will take you from Thanh Van II – Thanh Van (located near Ancient Town) – Thanh Van II. On overall I’m very satisfied with my stay at this hotel. The staffs were very friendly and helpful, the room is clean and big (booked a suite), Wi-Fi connection was fast, etc. Below would be the image of the room I stayed in, the suite, and the hotel (taken from their website)

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GETTING AROUND

Most of the tourist in Hoi An walk or cycle. Most of the hotel provided free bicycle. If not, you can just rent a bicycle. There’s also a lot of taxi around. From personal experience, you may use Vinasun taxi.

SHOPPING

There’s row and rowssss of shops at Hoi An Ancient Town. You can buy souvenirs, silk, clothing, coffee (Vietnamese coffee taste really good!), etc. You can also get a tailor made clothes and shoes. Actually the whole area of Ancient town are mostly shops.

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INTERESTING PLACES

  • Hoi An Ancient Town: This is a must visit place in Hoi An. There are a lot of shops for shopping and monuments and museums to visit. One of the famous monument would be the Japanese Bridge.

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  • My Son: The second day in Hoi An, I took a day tour to My Son, which means beautiful mountain. My Son is actually a cluster of partially ruined Hindu Temples constructed by the king of Champa. My Son is perhaps the longest inhabited archeological site in Indochina, but it was then destroyed during Vietnam War. Too bad when I was there, it rains through out the tour so not much of a photo to share but you can try to goole. It is such a beautiful place. As for the whole tour, went to My Son by bus but took the boat back to Hoi An. It was a better choice since there are more things to see and enjoy.

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FOOD

There’s a lot of place to enjoy local or western cuisine. However if you are a Muslim, make sure to bring a lot of packed foods since I didn’t find any place selling Halal food and most of the restaurant sell pork. Since Vietnam is famous with coffee, make sure to try out their coffee, especially if you are a coffee lover like me. You can find a lit of coffee shops along the road.

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da nang

Da Nang is one of the major port cities in Vietnam and is situated on the coast of South China Sea, at the opening end of Han River.

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at A La Carte hotel and booked it through AirAsiaGo (you can also book through Agoda or Booking.com, etc. Booked it through AirAsiaGo because I’m using a voucher code so manage to get cheaper price). The hotel is very beautiful! Friendly and helpful staff, big and comfortable room, beautiful decoration and a lot of services you can get from this hotel. (Images below taken from Agoda)

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GETTING AROUND

You can get a taxi or just walk around. From My Khe to the city center is a bit far so taking a taxi is a good option.

SHOPPING

Didn’t find much place for shopping in Da Nang (or maybe i didn’t look hard enough). However if you would like to buy souvenir, coffee, clothing, cloth, etc., you may head to Han Market. The souvenir and coffee there are cheaper compared to Hoi An.

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There’s also a souvenir shop called Da Nang Souvenirs located opposite Novotel Hotel. The souvenir sold there are a bit more different compared to those sell at Han Market or Hoi An so you have ore choices of souvenirs to bring back.

INTERESTING PLACES

  • My Khe Beach – one of the beautiful beach in Da Nang (the hotel that I stayed in faces My Khe Beach). Too bad I was there during monsoon season so the sky is not as blue and its too cold for a dip at the beach or pool.

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  • Ba Na Hills – a mountain resort with indoor theme park

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  • Marble Mountains (didn’t manage to visit but saw it on the way to Hoi An)
  • Han River Bridge & Dragon Bridge (picture credit to Philips)

Philips lights Vietnam’s iconic Dragon Bridge in Da Nang with sustainable LED lighting solutions (b)

  • Monkey Beach

FOOD

There’s one halal restaurant in Da Nang called Mumtaz. It sells nice and Halal Indian food. Throughout the 3 days in Da Nang, I ordered food from there and ask for delivery, which is very convenient!

Travel Guide to MALAYSIA!!

Planning to travel around Malaysia but not so sure where to head to & what to do? Download Malaysia Travel Guide now!! By the way, did you know that 2014 is Visit Malaysia Year?

malaysia travel guide

Click here now to go to download page and to start planning your wonderful journey!

http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/downloads/travel-guides/travel-guide-malaysia

2014 – VISIT MALAYSIA YEAR!

visit malaysia year

A few more weeks to 2014 & also visit Malaysia year!!

If you haven’t been to Malaysia..you should start planning a holiday to Malaysia! Malaysia is all about the culture, places (cities, beaches, island, etc), shopping, the people and also the FOOD!!! You will be spoiled by all of the choices you will get in Malaysia!

ABOUT MALAYSIA

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur

Currency: Ringgit Malaysia (RM)

Timezone: GMT +8

Language: Malay language, English, Chinese, Tamil

Electricity: 220 – 240 Volt

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Here are some post I have written on Malaysia:

For more readings on Malaysia:

An island getaway : Phuket, Thailand

phuket thailand

ABOUT PHUKET, THAILAND

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went to Phuket by Air Asia. The flight will take you from LCCT Kuala Lumpur to Phuket International Airport.

From Phuket International Airport to Patong Beach (I stayed there), you can take a taxi (around 800 baht per taxi) or a mini van (180 baht per person). Took a mini van since it is still early & the condition of the mini van is good! Air-condition mini van. However you will need to wait until the mini van is full, only then they will make a move. I only waited for less than 30 minutes (make sure you ask how many people have paid for the mini van so that you can expect how long you need to wait). You can see the taxi and mini van in the image below.

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When flying back from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, there is no airport departure tax.

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at The Palm Retreat Inn and booked the hotel through Agoda.com. The location of the hotel is quite strategic. It is located opposite Holiday Inn and maybe 2 minutes walk to Hard Rock Hotel. You can get halal food just next to the hotel. To go to Patong beach, it will take around 5 minutes of walking and maybe around 10-15 minutes walk to Jungceylon Mall and Bangla Road. However there are no lift at this hotel. My room was on the highest floor so I need to walk up the stairs. Not a problem though. The room is a big and clean air-conditioned room, they provide free Wifi, complimentary drinking water, mini bar, TV, hot shower, safety deposit box, towel, etc. The staff is quite helpful and friendly especially this one lady but I don’t know her name. I forgot to take photo of the hotel so I use those from their website.

Deleuxe_Double _Room Guest_Room (2) Guest_Room (4)

GETTING AROUND

Since I didn’t really go out from Patong area (except for tour), I just walk. Most of the attraction in Patong are within walking distance. However you may hire a tuk tuk or taxi (you can even hire the taxi driver for a day tour but I am not so sure about the rate), or rent a car or motorcycle.

PATONG

Patong is quite a happening area. The beach, massage center, shopping, food and also the famous ‘Bangla road’.

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TOURS

You can find a lot and loootttts of kiosk providing tour service. Just choose any but make sure to haggle for best price. Booked 4 tours from Fun Infinity Phuket Tour. The lady is very friendly so end up booking all tours from this place.

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  • Fantasea + Buffet Dinner = 1550 Baht (without dinner for 1350 Baht)

For this, you can choose either to include buffet dinner or not. Since the lady charge only 1550 Baht for a package which includes buffet dinner & only 200 Baht more than package without buffet dinner, I chose the one that includes the buffet dinner. If you are a Muslim, you do not have to worry. You can get Halal food at the dining place. When I was there, Halal food was served at Counter B. But please ask around to confirm since they might or might not change. By the way, the food was delicious!! The whole area in FantaSea are beautiful but the show is not as what I expected it to be. A bit dull for me but different people might have different opinion. The package also include return transportation from hotel-FantaSea-hotel.

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  • James Bond island tour = 1000 Baht

A tour that include 2 canoe sessions at James Bond Island and Hong Island, lunch on the boat (Halal food) and swimming (or just relax by the beach) session. Transport from hotel-jetty-hotel included.

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  • Similan Island tour = 1900 Baht

For this tour, return transfer from hotel-jetty-hotel is included. A mini van will pick you up at your hotel early in the morning since it takes around 2 hours+ (from Patong) to reach the jetty. Lunch (Halal) is also included. During this tour, there will be a few stops for a snorkeling session (goggle & life jacket provided). When you reach Similan Island, make sure to go up to the viewing point for a breathtaking view of the island! Just make sure to be careful climbing up & down!

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  • ATV + Elephant trekking tour = 1100 Baht

This tour include return transfer from and back to hotel, elephant ride & ATV. During the ATV session, you will stop by at the viewing point and also Big Buddha.

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SHOPPING

  • Jungceylon: A big shopping mall that carries local and international brand. You can also get souvenirs and massage at the lower level and there’s also Halal food there.

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  • For me, the best shopping would be the shops by the road side. If you want to get cheaper price for t-shirt, magnet, etc., do walk further from Jungceylon Mall going towards Tune Hotel (opposite direction to Hard Rock Cafe). The price at most of the shops there are even cheaper!

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FOOD

When I was there, I can see a lot of restaurants with Halal sign. So if you are a Muslim, you don’t have to worry about food. If you are not confident enough, you can go to Halal restaurant and eat the seafood.

  • Patong Promenade (opposite Jungceylon Mall): there’s a food court upstairs but they sell pork, so not an option for Muslim. However there are a lot of restaurant with Halal sign on the ground floor and rows of stalls selling food. There’s a shops there for shopping!

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  • There’s also a lot of restaurant (including those with Halal sign) along the road. Don’t forget to try our the Pancake Crepe! Quite similar to those selling in Krabi. However here there’s 2 version, either quite similar to roti canai or crepe! And also kebab at Bangla Road going towards the beach is delicious!

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MASSAGE

Don’t forget to go for a massage (I went for a massage everyday!). Tried out several places but I only manage to find one place that really provide good massage. Look out for VIP massage! However after dinner, there will be a lotttt of customer there! VIP massage is located opposite the road of Jungceylon Mall, but a bit further away. Walk towards Tune Hotel or opposite direction of Hard Rock Hotel. When you a reach an area where there are a lot of seafood restaurant, you are almost reaching the place.