Travel Bucket List – Russia

“How to get a Russia Tourist Visa in Singapore” is one of the more popular posts on my blog. Obviously, by now, i have already been to Russia. More than a year ago in fact. This is a long over due post on how the trip turned out. In a gist, I’m certain I want to go again!

Russian people are among the most friendly I have encountered! I also appreciate their artistic ingenuity as manifested in the architecture and interior design. The motifs employed are out of the world, and i love their use of bold yet harmonious colours.

Continue reading Travel Bucket List – Russia

Venture to Northeastern China – Harbin, Changchun and Shenyang

Autumn turns out to be a good time to be in Northeastern China. The weather is cool, and the colour of leaves in shades of red, orange and yellow are breathtaking.

Harbin was especially mind blowing. They are obsessed about cleanliness! There is an army of cleaners tending the streets endlessly. Owing to Russian influence, the architecture is quite a bit more interesting than the generally drab ones built all over China during the 70s through 2000s.

Shenyang, in Liaoning province, is where people queue up to board transportation vehicles (and I have witnessed the same in Dalian a decade ago), something not emulated in other provinces. Their driving habits are horrendous though.

Continue reading Venture to Northeastern China – Harbin, Changchun and Shenyang

Qoo10 product recommendation – Europe prepaid data SIM

Two years ago, I discovered that Three offerred probably the best prepaid data SIM for Europe, but it was only available to UK residents. There were just a few resellers on eBay back then. Well, it didn’t take long for some enterprising ones to bulk purchase the SIM cards for sale in Singapore. Now you can buy these cards on Qoo10, and they offer 1 to 10 GB of data for 30 days for an unbeatable price of $15.90 to $49.80. Continue reading Qoo10 product recommendation – Europe prepaid data SIM

North-south highway lunch stop – Bukit Gambir revisited

This was my 3rd visit to Bukit Gambir, and this time, i went to the restaurant 侨興 that was marked on Google maps. There must be a good reason for a restaurant to be highlighted in Google Maps, especially when it shows up at low zoom levels. True enough, 侨興 is one of the few restaurants has been around for ages in Bukit Gambir.

Located along probably Bukit Gambir’s only remaining row of old wooded shop houses

Continue reading North-south highway lunch stop – Bukit Gambir revisited

Medan 5 days itinerary

Medan is a bustling city, being the third largest in Indonesia. Prices are cheaper here than in Jakarta and Surabaya, so if you want a cheap getaway, Medan fits the bill.

Here is an important travel tip for Medan – use Grab for cheap and efficient transport around Medan (should apply to all Indonesian cities as well). For a six-seater car, it cost only 15 to 20k (S$1.50 to S$2) for travel within Medan city, which is quite affordable. For a normal sedan, it is even cheaper.

Grab is the no brainer choice to arrange for your airport transfer, costing less than 150k (S$15) for a six-seater, plus 15k for toll. The journey takes almost an hour. Here’s how you can use Grab upon your arrival – when you exit the airport terminal, go to the parking area A (Parkir A) on the right. The Grab cars are all just waiting there. Book a car and proceed to look for the car when the driver confirms the booking. Continue reading Medan 5 days itinerary

Okinawa 5 days itinerary

Took advantage of the now available budget direct flight to Okinawa. There’s not so much to see in Okinawa, to be honest, but it’s Japan nevertheless. Here’s what we did in 5 days.

Day 1
Ashibinaa Outlet – Aeon – Hamabe-no-chaya Teahouse – Banta Cliff

The flight touched down at budget flight kind of timing, 8am. Fortunately, the driving in Okinawa is quite well mannered, and the general speed limit of 50-60km/h is safe enough for driving under lack of sleep. By the way, I did not make use of the ETC card and i avoided the toll highway completely.

I did not plan beforehand where to have breakfast, and while driving about looking for a place, we stumbled across an A&W restaurant.

All American, including the music which was the radio broadcast from the US Air Base

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Not your usual Taiwan itinerary (Part 3)

Day 7 – I booked the Wang Gong clams picking tour (王功採蚵車摸蛤生態之旅) nearly two months ahead to ensure i got a place. You can do so via Facebook messenger, which was how i contacted them. Otherwise, you can also sign up for an adhoc tour at some of the restaurants in town, or, you could just walk to the beach area and DIY.

Riding the “Mad Max” vehicle is a major part of the fun. Cigarette-wielding badass-looking chauffeur, check.

Continue reading Not your usual Taiwan itinerary (Part 3)

Not your usual Taiwan itinerary (Part 2)

Day 4 – South bound. Main attraction of the day – Brown Boulevard, named so after the advertisement shot here. Win.

The eastern coast enroute to Taitung is quite scenic

Continue reading Not your usual Taiwan itinerary (Part 2)

Agoda just scrapped their Reward Points

I have just logged into my Agoda account, and lo and behold, i could not find the link to my Reward Points. Instead, i noticed that i had Gift Card credits. The Gift Cards have been issued on May 30, without any prior notice. One Gift Card expires end of this year, while the other at the end of next year.

I did a quick Google search and found out that some Agoda members have been given the option to switch from the Rewards Points system to the Gift Card system since last year. Now it seems the Rewards Points system has been axed and everyone is forcibly switched to the Gift Card system. Continue reading Agoda just scrapped their Reward Points

Not your usual Taiwan itinerary (Part 1)

This is my third time to Taiwan in ten years. I have been to all the major tourist attractions, save for Taroko Gorge. Nevertheless, I managed to put together a 9 days itinerary that worked well.

Our trip began with sampling the beef noodles at Ling Dong Fang. At 9pm, there was still a queue. Waiting time was 20 minutes or so.

The new outlet has a nice facade

Continue reading Not your usual Taiwan itinerary (Part 1)