Yogyakarta, Indonesia

yogyakarta

ABOUT YOGYAKARTA

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went to Yogyakarta by Air Asia. The flight will take you from KLIA2 to Adisucipto International Airport. From the airport you can take a taxi to your hotel. There will be a taxi counter near the exit door. Paid IDR 70,000 for a taxi from airport to hotel in Malioboro. When flying back from Yogyakarta to Malaysia, you will need to pay for the airport departure tax. Paid RM32 for the tax through AirAsia (payment for Indonesia Airport Tax), meaning I do not need to pay before the departure itself. By the way the airport is very small for the International flight so don’t be surprise 😛

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Whiz Hotel and this time booked a room through AirAsiaGo instead of the usual Agoda.com. Booked it through AirAsiaGo because I’m using a voucher code so manage to get a room at a cheaper price. Whiz Hotel is located in a very strategic area on Jalan Dagen, Malioboro, at the heart of the city’s tourism business district. It is surrounded by various shopping centers, eateries (a lot of Halal restaurants around) and other commercial sites. The breakfast served is Halal although the option is quite limited. (images below taken from their website)

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GETTING AROUND

Yogyakarta is not really a big city so traveling around town will not be too expensive. You can take a taxi (preferable metered taxi), by trishaw or also known as ‘becak’ (quite cheap. Around IDR 5,000 to IDR 20,000 depending on the distance), horse cart also known as ‘andong’ (around IDR 50,000 depending on distance), or you can just walk around.

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SHOPPING

  • Malioboro Street – This is the place where I did most (or maybe all) of my shopping. The stuff sold here are quite cheap (you can get IDR 15,000 for a t-shirt). Even though prices are already quite cheap, don’t forget to bargain for a better price!
  • Malioboro Mall – located in Jalan Malioboro
  • Ambarukkmo Plaza – this is the largest shopping complex in Yogyakarta. Went there by taxi. IDR 30,000 from Malioboro to the plaza

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Borobodur Temple – this is the biggest Buddhist temple in the 9th century. It is also declared as a UNESCO site. Notes to pregnant mommy, when I was there I was 4 months pregnant but still manage to climb up. The top is not really that high up but just make sure to be careful with the steps and take it slowly. Bring along water since it can be quite hot. Entrance fee was IDR 250,000 for foreign tourist (as at April 2015)

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  • Prambanan Temple – an ancient temple dedicated to the Trimurti Gods. Entrance fee was IDR 225,000 for foreign tourist (as at April 2015)

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  • Ratu Boko – an archeological site, 3km away from Prambanan Temple.
  • Malioboro – A famous street in the heart of the city. This is also a must-visit souvenir paradise.

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  • Mount Merapi – For adventure seeker. You can hire a jeep and choose a short, medium or long trail for sight-seeing

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  • Parangtritis Beach – Enjoy a romantic evening enjoying sunset while riding on a carriage or for the more adventurous, you can try the all terrain vehicle (ATV). If you have time, walk up to Tebing Gembirawati (Gembirawati Cliff) and you can see the whole area of Parangtritis Beach, southern sea, up to the horizon. There’s also a temple ruins at the east side of the cliff
  • Benteng Vredeburg – A fort built by the Dutch in 1765 during the colonial domination, which has been converted into a museum. Entrance fee required.

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  • Kraton – Entrance fee required.
  • Taman Sari – Entrance fee required.

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TOURS

Hired a ‘supir’ or driver from the hotel. Rate was IDR 500,000 for the supir + vehicle + petrol for 10 hours. Went to Borobodur Temple, Merapi Volcano, lunch and finally Prambanan Temple.

FOOD

Majority of people living in Yogyakarta are Muslim so there’s no problem finding Halal food. However, every night I went to this restaurant called ‘Mas Bowoo’ and ordered their nasi goreng (fried rice) and chicken. Quite delicious. This restaurant is located near to Whiz Hotel (Jalan Dagen). Also do try out BAKPIA (a local dessert that you should try when you are in Yogyakarta) an NASI GUDEG (a local delicacy in Yogyakarta).

Bakso Bakso Ayam penyet Nasi gudeg food mas bowoo

MORE READING ON YOGYAKARTA

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BANGKOK!!

bangkok-thailand

ABOUT BANGKOK, THAILAND

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went to Bangkok by Air Asia. The flight will take you from LCCT Kuala Lumpur (starting 9 May 2014 will be from KLIA2) to Don Muang International Airport, or Suvarnabumi Airport if you are taking Malaysia Airlines.

From Don Muang Inernational Airport to Khao San Road (or anywhere within Bangkok), you can take a van or taxi. I took a taxi and bought the ticket at one of the counter inside the airport. Can’t really remember how much I paid for it.

When flying back from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, there is no airport departure tax. However this time I didn’t fly back to Kuala Lumpur but instead I continue on with another adventure in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Click on the link to read about Ho Chi Minh City)

ACCOMMODATION

Booked a room through Agoda.com as usual. This time, I wanted to experience different surroundings, so I stayed in 2 different hotels, in 2 different locations.

  • Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza – Located ni Soi Rambuttri. Very close to Khao San Road and Banglamphu, which is a heaven for backpackers. Since it is not really on the street of Khao San, you can still get a good night sleep, without the noise that you might experience if you stay in the middle of Khao San Road. The hotel is quite nice and the most important thing is that they provide free wi-fi! Here you can enjoy the life as of a backpacker!

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  • Tune Hotels, Asoke – Located close to Asok BTS and Sukhumvit MRT station. Quite convenient to go to places within the city center just by taking the BTS or MRT. Here you can enjoy staying in the middle of the city of Bangkok!

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PS: I prefer staying at the backpackers area since I can still wander and enjoy the shops and massage center until late night (since I can just walk within the area and enjoy the nightlife)

GETTING AROUND

It’s quite easy to move around Bangkok. You can either take the skytrain a.k.a BTS, MRT, Taxi (make sure to ask the driver to turn on the meter), Tuk Tuk (make sure to confirm on the price before going in), Chao Phraya Express Boat or walking especially in Khao San area depending on the area you are at since some of the mode of transport, like BTS and express boat does not cover the whole Bangkok. Please take note of the last train or boat service.

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KHAO SAN ROAD

A place where backpackers around the world gather. Hotels around this area are quite cheap and same goes to foods and shopping. It is very close to Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and other ‘must visit’ places. By the way, do not forget to visit Khao San Night Market!

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SUKHUMVIT

It is located in the middle of Bangkok city center, where you can find all those big hotels and shopping malls.

TOURS

There are so many tours that you can choose from and there are a lot of tour agencies that you can go to. For me, I just went to the one quite close to where I’m staying – Mr. Thai Tour Agency near Rambuttri Village & Inn. Paid for 2 tours:

  • FLOATING MARKET (DAMNOEN SADUAK)

** tips: if you want to buy cheaper souvenir, walk towards the end to Paew Souvenir

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  • DINNER RIVER CRUISE

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INTERESTING PLACES

  • GRAND PALACE : Inside Grand Palace compound, there are also Temple of Emerald Budda (also known as Wat Phra Kaew), The Golden Stupa and Mini Angkor Wat. (Entrance fee 400 Baht)

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  • WAT PHO + THAI MASSAGE : Wat Pho, also known as the temple of reclining buddha. If you are visiting, don’t forget to try out their massage since there is also Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School, where they provide massage service (but you need to pay). (Entrance fee 50 Baht)

wat pho massage rate

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  • WAT ARUN : Also known as Temple of the Dawn. (Entrance fee 50 Baht)

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SHOPPING

You can shop like crazy in Bangkok!! From high end shopping mall to a simple night market, it’s just a matter of whether you have time to visit all! Also do not forget to visit Chatuchak market if you are in Bangkok on weekend! It is a must place to visit!

MARKET

  • KHAO SAN NIGHT MARKET
  • BANGLAMPHU MARKET
  • CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET; Open only on Saturday & Sunday, 6 am – 6 pm. Take a BTS to Mo Chit and walk around 5 minutes. (Just follow the crowd if you don’t know the way. Most of them are going to chatuchak market). If you are feeling hungry, there’s plenty of places to eat including those selling Halal food 😉

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  • ASIATIQUE; a combination of indoor & outdoor shops. To go here, take BTS to Saphan Taksin and jump on the free shuttle boat at the end of the pier.
  • CHINA TOWN
  • LITTLE INDIA
  • PAK KLONG TALAT/ FLOWER MARKET
  • SILOM NIGHT MARKET & PATPONG
  • SOI COWBOY NIGHT MARKET

SHOPPING MALL

  • MBK – must visit!

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  • SIAM DISCOVERY CENTER
  • SIAM CENTER
  • SIAM PARAGON
  • CENTRAL WORLD
  • GAYSORN
  • CENTRAL CHIDLOM
  • THE EMPORIUM
  • TERMINAL 21 – this mall is so cute!

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  • PLATINUM SHOPPING MALL; an indoor version of Chatuchak Market

* Most of the shopping malls are accessible via train. You can also walk from one mall to another (for some of the malls) if you don’t mind walking

FOOD

You can find food everywhereee!! But for Halal food, it is quite difficult. However here are some places that I went to:

  • Aishah Rosdi, Banglamphu Market, near the big roundabout & opposite 7-11. If you cannot find it, you may ask the information counter (that’s what I did). Just ask for ‘Halal food or Muslim food’ and they might be able to help you.

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  • Street food

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MORE READINGS ON BANGKOK:

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

vietnam

ABOUT VIETNAM

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Vietnam Dong (you can also use USD. RM is accepted in most of the shops at Ben Thanh Market)

Visa: Not required for Malaysia

Plug adapter:

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Others: Saigon is another name for Ho Chi Minh. Usually local will use Saigon instead of Ho Chi Minh. If you are there, you will be shocked of how many motorcycles there are!! It will look scary at first especially if you need to cross the road. One tip if you NEED to cross the road, be confident! Walk slowly. The motorcyclist there are quite good. They will avoid you instead of you are the one who need to avoid them.

When I was there for a week, there are 2 sides of the city that I can see. The backpackers area (a very busy area), where you can see a lot of shops (selling things at a cheaper price), people and motorcycles, and a more sophisticated area of the city, which I’m not so sure what they call that area. Maybe it is the city center. Here you can see a more modern building with French architecture and lots of worldwide brand boutiques.

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GETTING THERE

Went there by Air Asia. Bought a ticket during promotion season for only RM200+ for a return ticket! The flight will take you from LCCT to Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The arrival hall is located at the ground floor while the departure hall is located at second floor. If you are flying back from this airport, there will be no airport departure tax.

The airport is located around 8km away from the heart of the city. To go to the city center from the airport, you may take a bus or taxi. If you would like to take a bus, turn right upon exiting the terminal. You will see Burger King. The bus will be waiting around that area. Take bus no 152 if you are staying around Ben Thanh Market (a famous area to shop!). Bus fare is around 5,000 dong per person. If you would like to take a taxi, turn right upon exiting the terminal and walk straight towards Burger King. Turn right and take the lift to second floor. Walk out and you will see the taxis. I would recommend you to take VINASUN taxi. The fare that I paid for from airport to hotel in the backpackers area is 170,000 dong. There are several other taxi from different company but I would strongly recommend VINASUN. You can see the taxi in below picture.

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ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Hoang Lien Hotel and booked it through Agoda. Paid around RM60+ per night. The hotel is quite nice and clean. The staffs are very friendly and they can speak English. They also provide tour booking service & I booked 3 tours from there and the tours are quite cheap! However there was one incident that almost gave me a heart attack! I was awaken by the sound of a siren. Later on I could hear people screaming and running up or down the stairs, I’m not sure. After few minutes wondering what was going on outside, I went out and to my surprise there were several fireman going down the stairs and there were smoke everywhere! Seems that the hotel was on fire but they manage to put out the fire before I went out to have look! I’m just lucky nothing bad happen.

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For Muslim, it is better to stay at Thanh Thu Hotel, Hoang Hai Long 2, Saigon Pink 2, Blessing 1 Saigon Hotel or any other hotel close to those mentioned hotel since there are a lot of Halal food around that area. Just walk out of the hotel and you can see Halal food around. It is also close to Ben Thanh Market (around 2-3 minutes walk). People usually refer to that place as Malaysia Street because you can see A LOT of Malaysian there! If you stayed at the hotel I stayed in, you will need to walk around 15 minutes or more (and need to cross the super busy road several times) to reach that area.

During my second visit to Ho Chi Minh, stayed at Thanh Thu Hotel. This time around I didn’t have to walk too far to enjoy Halal food & shop at Ben Thanh Market! 🙂

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Most of the hotel will keep your passport during your stay. You can choose to give your passport or a copy of it. I just give my passport for them to keep (which might be a bit risky but there are several cases of snatch thief so it might also be a good idea to do that)

GETTING AROUND

Most of the time I just walk (I don’t mind walking) since most of the places around backpackers area are within walking distance. If walking is not your thing, you can take a taxi. I would recommend VINASUN taxi since they use meter and the rate is not expensive. From the hotel I stayed in to Ben Thanh market is around 27,000 dong (around RM5) only. You can also find the taxi everywhereee!! Just stop a taxi, hop on and let the driver know where you would like to go. To be on a safer side, make sure you have a name, address & picture of the place you want to go printed on a piece of paper, especially your hotel! I did that to the hotel I stayed in. The trishaw there is quite expensive. 1,500,000 for a ride! So DO NOT take the trishaw especially if you are from Malaysia. Trishaw in Malaysia is cheaper. But if you do not mind paying, you can try it.

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SHOPPING

When you shop in Ho Chi Minh, make sure to haggle!! Most of the time, try to reduce at least half (or more) of the price from the price tag. If the seller will not give you the price that you want, just walk away. Sometimes (or a lot of times) they will call you back and agree to the price that you want!

  • Ben Thanh Market – This market is the most famous place to shop. You can find clothes, shoes, fabrics, bags, souvenirs, coffee, etc. I did most of my shopping here. By the way, if you want to buy coffee, you can buy from shop no 1095. The guy is so friendly and among all the shops that I went to, his price is the lowest.

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  • Ben Thanh night market – during the day you can shop at Ben Thanh market but during the night, there will be a night market around Ben Thanh market.

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  • Saigon Square – An air-condition complex with lots and lotssss of shops selling clothes, pants, accessories, souvenir, etc.

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  • Parkson – located at the city center. If you are hungry, there’s a food court at the upper level and there is one Halal restaurant

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  • Zen Plaza – There’s not much of shops here so I guess you can just skip 😛

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  • Binh Tay Market – located in China Town, District 5. This market is actually a wholesale market where most sellers will buy things in bulk and re-sell. Most of the shops in this market sell in bulk but there are some which allows you to buy in smaller quantity

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INTERESTING PLACES

  • Handicraft Center – here you can see victims of Vietnam war make beautiful handicraft. You won’t believe how they turn egg shells into beautiful art of work! You can also purchase the handicraft as a way to help them

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  • Cu Chi Tunnel – Located 60km away from Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi is now considered as heroic district for its role in anti-American war in Vietnam. It is legendary for its tunnels system of over 220km and is a popular spot for both Vietnamese and foreign visitors. (Entrance fee: 90,000 dong)

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  • Cao Dai Temple – located in Tay Ninh and built in 1926, is considered as one of the most striking structures, a place of pilgrimage for quite a few Vietnamese  people and those who are interested in Caodaism. This temple is located several hours drive from Ho Chi Minh City

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  • Mekong Delta – Few hours bus ride with green paddy fields view along the way to the jetty in My Tho. The boat trip will then bring you through the Bao Dinh canal, with view of stilt houses and the fruit plantation along the river sides. You will then stop at a bee farm where you will be served with honey tea & some snacks. The boat ride will then continue to bring you through Tan Thach natural canal in Ben Tre, and cruise under the shadow of the water coconut trees. Next stop is a place where local makes coconut candy. You can have a try and if you like it, you can buy it. Lunch will be served at the fruit orchard and you can go for a bicycle ride after that. The tour that I paid for doesn’t provide Halal food. There’s vegetarian but then they also serve pork. Luckily I have packed with me bread with peanut butter so I just ate my wonderful lunch that I have prepared earlier. Finally you will be served with local fruits at the orchard while enjoying folk music, performed by locals.

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  • Floating Market, Can Tho, Rice Noodle Factory – Since I have paid for a 2 days tour, my journey (after the Mekong Delta tour) continues on a several hours bus ride (again) to Can Tho. Stayed at a hotel there (hotel included in the package). The next morning, walked to the jetty and went to the floating market. It is not similar to the floating market in Thailand. Here, there will be big boats (act as seller) and smaller boats (act as buyer). They sell mostly fruits and vegetables in wholesale. However for tourist, you may buy in small quantity. Bought sweet potatoes and it taste awesome! (also act as my lunch since it is difficult to find Halal food when we went back to Can Tho). After visiting the floating market, went to a family own ‘factory’ where they make rice noodle and later on we went to see a place where they store rice and learn how they make money from it. (not that interesting :P) Tour then ends and went back to Can Tho for lunch. Since there’s no Halal restaurant around, I just went to a coffee shop & the coffee they serve is the BEST coffee I had during my 1 week travel to Vietnam!! After lunch, went back to Ho Chi Minh city in a 4 hours bus ride! By the way, we stop at a very nice and green place which I don’t know the name. It is such a beautiful place for a toilet break 😛

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  • Opera House – discover Vietnamese culture with the magic of live theater at the opera house. However there will be a performance ONLY on 15th and 23rd at 5 pm every month. So there’s only 2 performances per month! Price is 800,000 dong for adult and half price for children under 12 years old. Located at the city center

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  • City Hall – I don’t think public can just simply enter but you can take photos in front of this beatiful building (located at the city center close to the Opera House)

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  • War Remnants Museum – This museum was opened in September 4, 1975. It specialized in research, collecting, preserving, and exhibiting the remnants proof of Vietnam war crime and their consequences.Through these, the museum tends to call the public to say no to war and yes to peace for world people solidarity. (Entrance fee: 15,000 dong)

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  • Thien Hau Pagoda

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  • Reunification Palace – formerly known as Independence Palace. It was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. (Entrance fee: 30,000 dong)

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  • Municipal Post Office

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  • Notre Dame Cathedral

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FOOD

You can find several cafes & restaurants selling Halal food around Ben Thanh market, especially in the same street as Hoang Hai Long 2 hotel (and other hotel mentioned earlier)

  • Amin Halal – went here to eat several times. I ordered the same thing which is chicken noodle soup (50,000 dong) and coffee (20,000 dong). LOVE IT! This roadside shop is located at the same row as Hoang Hai Long 2 Hotel.

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  • Basiroh – This shop is located opposite Hoang Hai Long 2. Do try their pho because it is awesome!! Pho (pronounce as fur) is a famous beef noodle soup. Also do try their coffee (Vietnam is all about coffee!). They also sell the coffee powder that they used at their shop. If you would like to try the original taste, ask for black coffee without sugar.

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  • Warung 1Malaysia – also located within the same street as the above

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  • Kampung Melayu Halal Restaurant – Located opposite Hoang Hai Long 2 hotel and next to Basiroh

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  • Nabil Biryani House – located close to the previous restaurants but a bit further. I can’t remember the exact location but you can just walk around the area to look for this shop

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  • Saigon Seri Penang -Can’t remember the exact location but close to the other Halal restaurant

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  • Street snack – worth trying! Love it!

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  • Fruits – the fruits there are HUGE!! Do try the ‘ciku’. You can buy the ready cut & packed for 1 USD at Ben Thanh night market

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Medan, Indonesia

medan

Went to Medan, Indonesia for a short holiday with beloved family.

ABOUT MEDAN

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went there by Air Asia. Manage to buy a reallyyyy cheap return ticket during promotion. Only RM110 for a return ticket!! Previously planes will land and depart form Polonia Airport but now they have changed to a new & bigger airport, Kualanamu International Airport. However this airport is a bit further from the city compared to previous airport. I didn’t know there’s an airport departure tax that need to be paid before leaving but lucky they accept RM!! So if you want to go to Medan, make sure you save 75,000 Rupiah for the airport departure tax and not spend all of your money for shopping! 😛

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ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Grand Sakura Hotel. Booked a room from Agoda.com at a very reasonable price. Actually I have booked a deluxe room but they are nice enough to upgrade my stay to an executive room for FREE!! Thank you!! The room is quite big but too bad I didn’t get wifi inside my room, so I just sit on the floor outside my room 😛 Breakfast is included. The food they served are all HALAL. There’s not much of a choice for breakfast but as long as there’s food, I don’t really mind. If breakfast is not included when you do the booking, it is OK. Just pay 35,000 rupiah and you can enjoy all the food. It’s really cheap!! Location of the hotel is ok but not good. You need to get a taxi or just ask from the counter for a driver to send you to wherever you want to go. Other hotels which was recommended would be Madani Hotel (because of the location i guess) and Garuda Plaza Hotel. Here are some photos but I got it from their website instead of taking it myself 😛

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GETTING AROUND

Paid ‘supir’ or driver to go places around Medan when we were there but he is a VERY lousy driver & it is NOT cheap to hire him! He was recommended by someone we knew, who is originally from there so that is why we still paid him for the rest of our stay there. I will not put up his contact here because I WILL NOT recommend him to anybody! The hotel we stayed in provided car rental + driver service. I guess other hotels also provide this service so you may ask the counter if you do not have any contact to drive you around town. You can see the rate for a car+petrol+driver provided by Grand Sakura Hotel (it’s around half of what we paid for!) in the picture below.

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SHOPPING

  • Pasar Ikan – ‘Pasar Ikan’ means fish market. However they DO NOT sell fish! 😛 You can find lots of fabrics, souvenirs, clothing, hijab, telekung (for Muslim) & a lot of other things here. The only problem we encounter was there are sellers following us everywhere we go & try to sell us things that we do not need. It is really annoying & uncomfortable so we only spend quite a short time there

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  • Ramayana – A few level shopping mall with cheap stuff. Really cheap!
  • Medan Mall – This is an air-conditioned shopping mall but also connected with a market which sells fruits, vegetable, fabrics, clothings, etc. Went here several times (since we are not so sure where to go..plus the tour guide & driver that we had..hmmm). There’s also a place to eat halal food; KFC & Es Teler 77 (try the es nangka. love it!) There’s also a department store inside which is called Matahari (which means sun in English). Price are quite cheap especially those that was on sale. The colourful wedges below is only around RM15 after 75% discount!

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  • Pasar Petisah – A market that sells a lot of clothing, fabrics, shoes, etc.

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  • Sun Plaza – a modern & big shopping mall!

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  • Bakery – If you are in Medan, make sure to buy the layer cake. It’s damn delicious & cheap!!

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INTERESTING PLACES

Maimoon Palace

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Oldest Mosque in Medan

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You may also go to Lake Toba (do spend a night there) or Brastagi.

FOOD

Do try the Nasi Padang (I’ve tried Restoran Garuda). It’s awesome especially the SAMBAL! I ate a lot & I mean A LOTTT of sambal! 😛

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If you go to Es Teler 77, try the Es Nangka. I LOVE IT! It’s just ice with condense milk & jackfruit but it taste awesome!

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Getaway – Johor Bahru, Malaysia

malaysia

ABOUT MALAYSIA

Timezone : GMT +08:00

Currency: Ringgit Malaysia (RM or MYR)

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GETTING THERE

I was looking through Air Asia‘s website (because I knew they are having some sort of a promotion) and I was lucky that I manage to get a GREAT DEAL for a return flight ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru! Only RM78 for a two-way (return) ticket!! Besides flying there, you can also take a bus or drive there directly.

ACCOMMODATION

Since this getaway is meant to be a ‘cheap’ getaway, decided to stay at Tune Hotels. The rate is cheap, but it depends on what ‘add-on’ service(s) you required during your stay. The lesser the ‘add-on’, the cheaper the rate will be. Based on the rate that I have paid for, my comment for Tune Hotels, Danga Bay is … SATISFACTORY! The bed is comfortable and I love the power shower 😉

tune hotel 1 tune hotel 2 tune hotel 3 tune hotel 4 tune hotel 5 tune hotel 6

GETTING AROUND

Most of the time I just take a taxi (except for going to Legoland, took a shuttle bus). Here’s a number to call if you need one. Usually i will call the Public Cab

  • Public Cab: 07-241 3111
  • Mawar Radio Taxi: 07-235 2020

THINGS TO DO AND SEE

These are some of the things I did during my visit to Johor Bahru.

  • Danga Bay – used to be a hip & lively place but now there are lesser people visiting this place. It’s a nice place to take photos though 😉

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  • Legoland Malaysia – On 15 September 2012, Legoland Malaysia was officially open to the public. To go there from Tune Hotel, you can just take a shuttle bus; RM15 for a return ticket, from and to hotel.

DAY TICKET:

Ticket Reg. price Online (7-Days Advance Booking)
1-Day Ticket Adult (12-59) RM 140 RM 105
1-Day Ticket Child (3-11) RM 110 RM 82.50
1-Day Ticket Senior (60+) RM 110 RM 82.50

ANNUAL PASS:

Use the LEGOLAND Annual Pass on all days of regular park operation including weekends, public and school holidays at LEGOLAND Malaysia for a full 12 months.
Ticket   Reg. price
LEGOLAND Annual Pass  (Adult, 12-59 years old) RM275 / SGD115
LEGOLAND Annual Pass  (Child, 3-11 years old) RM210 / SGD88
LEGOLAND Annual Pass  (Senior, 60+ years old) RM210 / SGD88

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  • Johor Premium Outlets – Johor Premium Outlets @ JPO, is a place where you can get original branded stuff at a cheaper price! Coach, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nike, Adidas, Guess, La Senza & more!!

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  • Shopping & other entertainment – Went to Johor Bahru City Square & KSL City Mall for dining, shopping & movie 🙂

FOOD

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For more readings on Johor Bahru:

Island Getaway – Krabi, Thailand

krabi

Going to Krabi is not really on my plan for this year. It’s a random thing that I suddenly decided to do (and because out of the blue my friend text me and ask whether I want to go there..and I just said YES!!) … I am DAMN HAPPY THAT I SAID YES!! It’s was an amazing getaway! 😀

ABOUT KRABI

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

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GETTING THERE

Went there for 5 days 4 nights by Air Asia. The price for the flight ticket is quite reasonable. Can’t really remember how much but it cost around RM300+ (return tickets: KL-Krabi-KL).

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed in Ao Nang during my getaway. Ao Nang is a peaceful town and I really like it!! Shops, restaurants, cafes, massage center, tour agencies, hotels, banks etc. can be found everywhere along the road so it is very convenient to stay in Ao Nang.

There are a lot of nice hotels, resorts and even guesthouses on Krabi Island. During my stay there, I stayed in Ao Nang Topview in Ao Nang town. The price is quite reasonable but depends on season. Condition is good. There’s TV, hot shower, air-conditioning + fan, locker to keep your valuable things (like your passport), nice bed, cafe, etc. Since Ao Nang town is not really that big, the location of all the hotels are good – since everything is within walking distance.

     

Went to Krabi again few months later but this time during peak season. The price during peak and non-peak season can be veryyyyy different! During peak season, the price might double the price during non-peak season. So this time I stayed at PK Mansion. It is run by the same people who run Ao Nang Topview (a place I stayed in earlier), but PK Mansion is a bit run down compare to Ao Nang Topview.

GETTING AROUND

Getting to Ao Nang from Krabi International Airport is quite easy. You can choose either to take a bus, taxi or mini van. Taxi cost around 600 Baht. Not so sure about other options.

To move around Krabi, Ao Nang or any other places, you can take either the mini van, ‘tuk tuk’ or rent a motorbike. The cheapest & healthiest way would be by foot a.k.a WALKING! That’s what I did but only around Ao Nang town since everything is within walking distance.

THINGS TO DO

There are a lot of tour that you can choose from such as island hopping, scuba diving, jungle tracking, ATV, water rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, etc. Usually, during the journey from the airport to hotel, the taxi driver will stop by a shop and someone will come and ask you to purchase their tour program. I recommend NOT TO PURCHASE any tour program at the airport or along the way since it is more expensive compared to the tour agencies that open up their business in Ao Nang town. Remember to bargain, bargain and bargain for almost everything there, including for the tour program.

I purchased 3 tour from Orchid Tour agency. If you are a Muslim, choosing this agency is recommended since they provide Halal food:-

  • Phi Phi Island tour – paid 900 Baht. Travel around using speed boat. Visited several islands such as Phi Phi Island, Maya Bay (where the movie ‘THE BEACH’ was filmed), etc and buffet lunch included.Transportation from and back to hotel also included. They also provide life vest + goggle and drinks on the boat.

       

  • 4-in-1 jungle tour – paid 900 Baht. Went to the Hot Spring (photos: first row), Emerald Pool – walk 600m from Emerald Pool, you will reach the Blue Pool which is soooo amazing! (photos: second row), Elephant ride (photos: third row) and Tiger Cave Temple – I CLIMBED UP THE STEPS TO THE TOP!! (photos: fourth row). Lunch and transportation from and back to hotel included.

  • 4 Islands Tour – get it for 400 Baht. You can choose to take a longtail boat instead of speed boat (that was what I did) and you can save around 500 Baht. Visited several islands such as Tup Island, Chicken Island, Poda Island etc. Lunch included (beach buffet on an island and there’s only a few people there! Such a wonderful experience!). They also provide transportation from and back to hotel, life vest + goggle and drinks on the boat.

Other than that you can also go for a massage. I went to the same place almost everyday! They even give you discount if you are a regular customer and the normal price before discount is already quite cheap. Only 200 Baht for traditional Thai full body massage!

SHOPPING

There’s a lot of shops selling souvenirs along the road in Ao Nang but I would also suggest for you to go to Krabi Town Night Market (Friday to Sunday). It’s a good place to enjoy night time + eat + shop. Just take a Tuk Tuk (around 400 Baht) or the mini van. Remember to BARGAIN, BARGAIN & BARGAIN!!!

I would also suggest to buy the water-proof bag. VERY USEFUL! I bought the 10L Ocean Pack brand for 350 Baht but there’s one shop selling for 300 Baht. The first shop I went to selling it for 660 Baht! So do remember to ask around for price and bargain.

  • Ao Nang Town Shopping

  • Krabi Town Night Market – Friday, Saturday, Sunday

   

EATERY AND FOOD

Restaurants and cafes can be found everywhere, including halal food! If you are in Krabi, do try out the pancake which comes in different flavours. It is quite similar to ‘roti canai’ but thinner and quite crispy. The fruit shake drink is also a must! Delicious & cheap!! A great way to enjoy food! 🙂

     

Last but not least, THIS IS ME … BEING ME WHILE ENJOYING LIFE !

   

More readings on Krabi:

Weekend ‘Backpacking’ Getaway – Malacca, Malaysia

malaysia

ABOUT MALAYSIA

Timezone : GMT +08:00

Currency: Ringgit Malaysia (RM or MYR)

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THE TRIP

I was in need of a short & cheap getaway so decided to go Malacca ‘backpacking’ Style! Actually it’s easier to just drive there and stay in a nice hotel but the feeling will be different!

The truth is, I haven’t been to Malacca (or Melaka) for quite some time now & I definitely haven’t been to ‘Jonker Street‘ before. So here’s my backpacking journey to Malacca a.k.a ‘Melaka Bandar Raya Bersejarah’!

GETTING THERE

To go to Malacca from Kuala Lumpur, there’s a direct bus that will take you there but both my friend and I decided to take a train to Seremban, and then take a bus to Malacca instead. From home, we took a taxi to the nearest KTM komuter station. Since we need to take another train to reach Seremban at KL Sentral (see picture), we decided to make a stop there first and have our breakfast at McDonald’s! Hotcake! My favourite!! The journey took us around 6+ hours instead of 1.5+ hour …

ACCOMMODATION

During the 3 days 2 nights getaway, we stayed at a very ‘strategic’ guesthouse: Sayang-sayang 2 Youth Hostel (look it up on the internet, made reservation via phone call and bank in money through online bank transfer … EASY!) The rate is quite cheap but the most important thing is … this is my first experience staying in some sort of a guesthouse instead of a hotel! My comment? SATISFACTORY!!! This place is located 2 doors away from Discovery Cafe & near to 1st Inn Hotel (on the opposite road) in case you can’t find it … like me! – http://www.sayangsayang.com.my/sayangsayang2.html

INTERESTING PLACES & THINGS TO DO

  • Jonker Walk – a place to be during night time because of the night market!

  • River cruise – cruise along the river for a spectacular view

  • The Stadhuys – completed in 1660 and is a reproduction of the former Stadhuis (town hall) of the Frisian town in the Netherlands. Nowadays, it houses the Museums of History and Ethnography. This is one of the oldest Dutch buildings in the east.

  • A Famosa or Porta de Santiago – You will find this remains of the old Portuguese fort, A Famosa

  • Maritime Museum of Malacca – shaped of a big ship!

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  • Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum
  • Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
  • Christ Church
  • Dutch Square
  • Malaysian Navy Museum
  • Malay and Islamic World Museum
  • Muzium Budaya/Sultanate Palace
  • Saint Paul’s Church

DELICIOUS FOODS

Do try chicken rice balls, asam pedas and the cendol (can go to cendol jam besar opposite the stadhuys, a famous place to eat cendol)

 

SHOPPING

And this is me … being me … while enjoying life to the max! 🙂

 

For more information on Malacca click link: