BANGKOK!!

bangkok-thailand

ABOUT BANGKOK, THAILAND

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

plug

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:

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Universal Studios Singapore!

Universal-Studios-Singapore

ABOUT SINGAPORE

Timezone : UTC+08:00

Currency: Singapore dollar

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

GETTING THERE

Went for a day trip to Universal Studios Singapore (USS). Stayed at Tune Hotels Danga Bay and booked a return ticket for a coach from Tune Hotel – USS – Tune Hotel for only RM25! (Booked the ticket together with the room online)

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE (USS)

You can buy the ticket online (that’s what I did) from this website: Universal Studios Singapore Online Ticketing. Below is the Ticket rate

Tickets
Ticket Type Adult (Ages 13 to 59) Child (Ages 4 to 12) Senior (Ages 60 and above)
One Day Pass $74 $54 $36
Two Day Pass
(Two consecutive days)
$118 $88 $58

Each regular priced day pass has a validity period of 180 days from the selected date of visit

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USS is divided into 7 zones:

1) HOLLYWOOD

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2) NEW YORK

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3) SCI-FI CITY : make sure to try out the Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN VS CYCLON & TRANSFORMERS The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle. Those are AWESOME rides!!!

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4) ANCIENT EGYPT : Revenge of the Mummy is a MUST!

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5) LOST WORLD : do watch the show at Waterworld

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6) FAR FAR AWAY

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7) MADAGASCAR

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My FIRST SOLO Getaway – Bali, Indonesia

Legian Beach, Bali

ABOUT BALI

Timezone : UTC+08:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

Korea-Type-Power-Cord-YP205-2-

GETTING THERE

There are several ways to go to Bali. Since I’m going there from Kuala Lumpur, the easiest would be to just take a direct flight. Managed to buy a ticket on promotional price from Air Asia. Paid only RM371 for return tickets!! If you go to Bali by flight, you will land at Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport.

Please take note that you will need to pay airport departure tax upon departure from Bali. It can be paid in cash and in Indonesian Rupiah only. The rate will be Rp 150,000 (international departure) and Rp 40,000 (domestic departure). So do remember to keep enough money with you. Infants under 2 years old are exempted from departure tax.

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VISA

Visa on arrival: Westerners can just apply for Visa upon arrival. Just bring along your passport with at least 6 months remaining validity, 2 recent passport photos and $25.

Visa in advance: Obtain visa from Indonesian embassy before arrival.

Visa waiver: Show passport, get stamped & that’s it! Applies to selected, mostly ASEAN countries – including Malaysia! 🙂

GETTING AROUND

Getting around Bali is not that difficult. You can rent your own car or bike (you will need to have an International Driving Permit), walk (I did this from Seminyak-Kuta-Seminyak), 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

Visiting places like Tanah Lot, Kintamani, Jimbaran, etc. will definitely requires driving and NOT walking. For my 3 days tour, I did hire a driver. Managed to get a contact from the internet and I was so glad that I asked him to be my driver, or known as SUPIR. He was so nice & since he is local, he knows A LOT of interesting places. I provided him with my own itinerary but it changed along the way; added with a lot of interesting places! He also knows a lot of people there so he can help you to get a very nice deal for example for a spa treatment or water sport package. The price for his service is one of the cheapest that I can find. Price is based on per car (not per head & his car – MPV, can fit 7 people! The more people, the cheaper it will be). Price include car+petrol+driver. He is also a music teacher there, so I did learn how to play RINDIK or Bamboo music from him. Such a good & enjoyable experience! See us playing a duet by [CLICKING HERE]. If you are planning to go to Bali, please do contact him (you won’t regret it! I promise you!) and just tell him, TEH (that’s me) recommended him to you. 😉

ACCOMMODATION

Since I went there alone, the word BUDGET is always on my mind. Stayed at Tune Hotels,  Legian for 7 days 6 nights & it was awesome! The rate is quite cheap (get a promotion price), paid Rp 1,225,428, around RM400, for a double room with TV. The room is simple yet the bed is super comfortable! The location is also awesome! Shops + minimart + spa along the street, WARUNG MURAH (a good place to eat Indonesian food) is near the hotel, and the best thing is, it’s just 5 minutes walk to Legian beach!
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MY 7 DAYS ITINERARY

Here’s my itinerary for my 7 days in Bali. Worth every second & every rupiah spent! 😉

Day 1

  • Fly from KL to Bali
  • Check in Tune Hotels, Legian

Day 2 (day tour using driver service)

  • Pick up at hotel – 8.30 am
  • Barong & Kris Dance (Rp 100,000)
  • Shopping at Hawaii Bali Oleh Oleh
  • Nusa Dua – Theater area
  • Nusa Dua Tanjong Benoa – water sport area
  • Lunch at Seafood Lagoon
  • Golden Kirrin Coffee Factory
  • Padang Padang Beach – location for Eat, Pray, Love movie
  • Uluwatu (Rp 20,000)
  • Dinner at Jimbaran Bay – dinner on the beach + sunset

Day 3

  • Breakfast at Legian Beach
  • Walk from Legian Beach to Kuta – stopping by shops along Jalan Legian, Ground Zero: Bali Bombing Memorial Park, Kuta Art Market & Discovery Mall
  • Walk back from Kuta to hotel
  • Hangout at Legian Beach + watching sunset

Day 4 (day tour using driver service)

  • Pick up at hotel – 9.00 am
  • Mengwi, Taman Ayun (Rp 15,000)
  • Coffee Plantation
  • Lunch at Pacung – rice terrace view
  • Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Bedugul (Rp 30,000)
  • Bali Butterfly Park (Rp 65,000)
  • Monkey Forest (Rp 20,000, and do give some tips to the guide)
  • Tanah Lot (Rp 30,000)

Day 5 (day tour using driver service)

  • Pick up at hotel – 9.00 am
  • Sari Amertha Batik
  • Segaru Windu – basket weaving
  • Prapen Jewellery – gold & silver
  • Traditional Balinese Style House (do give some tips to the home owner)
  • Art Gallery
  • Wood Carving
  • Lunch at Kintamani – volcano mountain view (entrance fee Rp 15,000, exclude lunch)
  • Pura Besakih (Rp 20,000 + donation fee)
  • Mahagiri – rice terrace view + coffee plantation
  • Kertha Gosa (Rp 12,000)
  • Tegenungan Waterfall (Rp 5,000)
  • Kecak & Fire Dance – at Batu Bulan (Rp 100,000)
  • Shopping at Krishna

NOTES: Please be aware that there might be some people that will try to con you at Pura Besakih. They will tell you that you will NEED A TOUR GUIDE so that you can walk around all the places inside and they will ask you to pay around Rp 300,000 or more. You can just say no & can still walk around the place with no restriction. Once you have passed the ‘guides’, there will still be someone saying the same thing but they claim to be the ‘Pura keeper’. They will bring you around and once finish, they will ask for money, and keep asking you to pay more! I’m talking based on experience. If you need a guide then it’s ok. If no, just say no.

Day 6

  • Brunch at Warung Murah
  • Wander around Seminyak on foot
  • Hangout in hotel – resting + watching movie
  • Legian beach – surfing lesson
  • Aromatic Balinese Full Body Massage

Day 7

  • Checkout from hotel – latest is 11.00 am
  • Brunch at Warung Murah
  • Manicure
  • Off to airport

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Nusa Dua & Tanjong Benoa – a place to enjoy great scenery & water sport

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  • Padang Padang Beach – the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ featuring Julia Roberts was shot here

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  • Uluwatu – Pura by the cliff. Just be careful with the monkeys here. Keep your sunglasses in your bag because they might steal it 😉

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  • Jimbaran Bay – a nice & romantic place to enjoy dinner on the beach while watching sunset

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  • Taman Ayun, Mengwi

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  • Pacung – enjoy lunch with rice terrace view

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  • Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Bedugul

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  • Bali Butterfly Park

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  • Monkey Forest

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  • Tanah Lot

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  • Kintamani – mountain view. Raining & foggy when I was there so not much of nice photos but this is a very nice place with very nice view (if the sky is clear).

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  • Pura Besakih – also known as mother of all temple

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  • Mahagiri – rice terrace view. Great for having lunch or just go to the coffee plantation

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  • Kertha Gosa

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  • Tegenungan Waterfall

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  • Kuta – The most happening and crowded place. Kuta beach is also the most popular beach for tourist who go to Bali. It is the center of tourism.

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  • Legian & Seminyak – Full of shops along the street & beautiful beach! I love Legian Beach!

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  • Ubud – A town with all Bali cultural attractions which includes temples, traditional performances, handicraft such as painting, batik, basket weaving and wood carving. It is a popular center for exploring Bali’s countryside and rich culture.

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  • Lovina – go to Lovina for dolphin watching but you need to wake up really early 😉
  • Gitgit Waterfall – if you do go to Lovina, don’t forget to stop by Gitgit Waterfall

THINGS TO DO

  • Barong & Kris Dance

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  • Go to the beach or Tanjong Benoa – swim, relax, surf, snorkeling, scuba diving, banana boat, paragliding, etc. Had my first surfing lesson at Legian Beach & it was awesome! Manage to stand on my third attempt 😉 I can’t swim but at least I can say that i can surf … a little 😛

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  • Watch sunset or sunrise

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  • Get a spa treatment

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  • Enjoy or buy coffee at coffee factory or coffee plantation

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  • Watch ceremonies at local temple (also known as ‘PURA’)

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  • Watch or learn traditional dances or music

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  • Sight-seeing – do visit all of those interesting places
  • White water rafting, ATV, hiking, elephant ride
  • Go to night safari or Bali zoo
  • Shopping
  • Enjoy local food

SHOPPING

There are many places where you can just go and buy souvenirs, etc. There are a lot of shops along Jalan Legian, Kuta Art Market, etc. The most important thing to remember is to HAGGLE! As you walk, there might be sellers trying to sell you things. If you are not interested do let them know and don’t ask if you are not really interested. They are trying to make a living so do not waste their time.

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If haggling is not for you, do go to Hawaii Bali Oleh Oleh or Krishna. The prices for all items are fix but it is sooooo dammmnnnn cheap!! I prefer to shop at these 2 places compared to shops along the street. Believe me, all items are SO CHEAPPPPP!!!!

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FOOD

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More readings on Bali:

Getaway – Johor Bahru, Malaysia

malaysia

ABOUT MALAYSIA

Timezone : GMT +08:00

Currency: Ringgit Malaysia (RM or MYR)

Plug adapter:

type_g_large1 Korea-Type-Power-Cord-YP205-2-

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 😉

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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:

The Season of Giving from TUNE HOTELS!

Booked a room for my Bali trip at cheaper rate!! SUPER YEAYYY!! 🙂

MORE DETAILS HERE: http://www.tunehotels.com/microsite/hotw/en/?cid=thHOTW121122-EN

MORE OFFER (to those who are going to Bali)

TUNE HOTELS WEBSITE: http://www.tunehotels.com/my