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)

North-South highway lunch stop – Sungai Mati

Sungai Mati means dead river, literally translated. Only now that I’ve read the Wiki entry do i understand why it is named so. You can see the Ox-bow lake from Google Maps (see below).

Ox-bow lake

The detour from the North-South highway into Sungai Mati takes about 25 minutes, which is quite acceptable for a lunch break. Moreover, as with Yong Peng, you don’t have to back-track to the same Toll plaza for re-entry onto the highway, so you save a bit of time. Continue reading North-South highway lunch stop – Sungai Mati

Renting a car in Taiwan

I have just rented a car and driven around the island (literally), and here’s my guide to car rental in Taiwan. As with the previous time, i rented from Carplus. I tried to inquire with easyrent as well, and i don’t remember exactly why, but i think it is was easier with Carplus. These two are probably the largest car rental agencies in Taiwan.

You get to choose the exact model of the car you want to rent. I went with a random choice, the Mitsubishi Colt Plus. It was not a good choice, and i think the Toyota Yaris would have been better. You will likely get a white colour vehicle, a popular choice in Taiwan, as with in Korea. Continue reading Renting a car in Taiwan

Renting a car in Europe

This posting is long overdue. I’ve written about car rental in Japan, Korea and Thailand, but i have done car rental in Europe more times than elsewhere combined.

Fine

Driving in Europe is more demanding, and like it or not, there is a very good chance you will get fined in Europe. In fact, i have just received a notification via registered mail on a traffic offence committed in Rome nearly a year ago (there was a separate email sent by the car rental office one month after the rental). Basically, there’s no way you can escape paying the fine. Continue reading Renting a car in Europe

North-South highway lunch stop – Jasin

Jasin is probably the furthest from the toll station among the lunch places i have checked out along the North-South highway (not counting Kluang which is considered an intentional detour). I was pleasantly surprised by how historical the place is.

Jasin is located in the state of Malacca, and you can tell when you see the characteristic roofs of the Malay traditional houses (in the same style as those in Negeri Sembilan probably) which are not found in Johor. They are a pretty sight, and they make it worthwhile doing this short detour. Coming from KL, i took the Jasin toll exit, stopping at Jasin for lunch, and thereafter returned to the North-South highway via Chin Chin (what an interesting name) and Tangkak. Continue reading North-South highway lunch stop – Jasin

North-South highway lunch stop – Seremban

If you are heading to KL and you had your breakfast in JB, then Seremban would be the ideal lunch stop. It takes almost 3 hours to get there from JB, and by then, you should be ready for lunch.

We used Google Maps to look for a lunch place and chose Keong Kee Recipe as they had about the highest review score. Unfortunately they were closed. There were many eateries nearby and we settled for Pin Xiang Lou, a huge kopitiam.

Pin Xiang Lou is actually joined together with this bigger kopitiam which goes by the name Happy Mee San Restaurant

Continue reading North-South highway lunch stop – Seremban

Raining cats and dogs in Hat Yai

This was the first trip ever I had to change my itinerary due to adverse weather. It slipped my mind that when we went to Krabi last year, we heard news about flooding in southern Thailand. The weather in Krabi was really good, while on the eastern coast, the monsoon wreaked havoc. History repeated itself this year.

My plan was to drive to Koh Samui from Hat Yai. Hat Yai is too boring for 4 nights, and there isn’t much to see around the region as well. The coastal route would take me from Nakhon si Thammarat to Donsak pier in the shortest time possible. Unfortunately, i had to turn back as the road was closed due to flooding.

Road-turned-swimming-pool

Continue reading Raining cats and dogs in Hat Yai

Tour of my ancestral land – Part 1 – Xiamen

For a long time, I had in mind to bring my father to his father’s birthplace. It finally came to pass. My grandfather came from Fuqing, Fujian. Since then, none among my relatives have gone back to visit, so nobody has an idea what the place is like. Not sure about you, but I find it intriguing to get a glimpse of how my ancestors lived.

When I chanced upon a cheap flight (S$280) to Xiamen, without second thoughts, I went ahead to book. If one keeps procrastinating, it will never happen.

Here are some tips on organizing a free-and-easy trip in China: Continue reading Tour of my ancestral land – Part 1 – Xiamen