Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top Commentators For The Year 2015

Like I always did for the past few years, it's time to reward my blog readers who leave the most comments in my blog as a token of appreciation. Here are the list of name for this year top commentators: 


Top Commentators For The Year 2015
1) Twilight Man from Twilight Zone
2) Small Kucing & Mamarazzi from Small Kucing
3) J-Mei from Interesting Corner of Me
4) Cubie from The Cube (I still owe yours last year, I remember. Sorry for that. Will figure out how to send to you)
5) Agnes from Precious Moments
6) Ng Choi Yen from Mimi's Dining Room

Unlike what I did previously, this year I decided not to reveal what are the gifts I will be giving away so that you be intrigued with the unexpected surprises. So for the six readers mentioned as above, kindly please comment below as acknowledgement. Plus, remember to leave your name, mailing address and contact number to my new email address: dtdianateo@gmail.com within 14 days from the date of this blogpost posted.

Once again from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for the wonderful comments and lovely notes you guys left at this little humble blog of mine. I'm truly appreciate each and every comments as it serves as a feedback for me to improve better for the coming days. 

Before I end my final and last blogpost for the year 2015, I wish all my blog readers


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Christmas in Hong Kong & Macau (Sneak Peek)

Last year when both mommy and I were in Shanghai for Christmas, my mom watched a TV programme and she said she loves to go Macau someday. So I decided to give her another surprised, a Christmas trip to Hong Kong & Macau. 

The trip was relatively short - we went for 4 days and 3 nights only. We stayed 2 nights in Macau and a night in Hong Kong as my mom been to Hong Kong twice. It was indeed rush and quick trip but I want to fully utilise the two days of public holidays and the weekend. 

Here are the recap of our 4 days and 3 nights trip in Hong Kong & Macau:

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 01
#1: Once we landed in HKIA, we took Turbojet to Macau directly (HK$254 per trip) 


This is my maiden experience of taking ferry from HKIA directly to Macau cause previously, we departed from Sheung Wan Station. It's obviously hassle-free as passengers do not need to get through any Hong Kong immigration procedures or reclaim any baggage. Just show the baggage tag to the counter and they will do the rest for you. Remember to claim your baggage when arrive in Macau Ferry Terminal. 

Effective 28 December 2015, this is the revised sailing schedule:
11.00 am, 1.15 pm, 5,00 pm and 9.15 pm

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 02 - Sintra Hotel
#2: In Macau, we stayed in Sintra Hotel with its excellent location and impeccable services. 

Why we love Sintra Hotel?
1) Great location with a walking distance to major tourist attractions such as Senado Square (5 minutes away), Ruins of St Pauls (less than 10 minutes), not far from Casino Lisboa and Grand Lisboa
2) The famous Margaret's Cafe e Nata with Portuguese egg tarts is just one block away
3) Free shuttle service to and from Macau Maritime Terminal is provided
4) Shuttle service to City of Dreams and Shuttle City is just located in front of the hotel

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 03 - The House of Dancing Water
#3: I brought my mom to watch The House of Dancing Water. Although it was pricey, but my mom enjoyed it so much. One of the spectacular shows much watch when one in Macau. 

Showing Time for The House of Dancing Water: 5pm and 8pm daily
Ticket Price: Starts from MOP580 (approx. to RM320)

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 04 - MGM Macau
#4: MGM Macau Grand Praca 

A trip to Macau is incomplete without a visit to any casinos. Both mommy and I went quite number of casinos such as The Venetian, City of Dreams, Wynn, MGM Macau and etc.

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 05 - Ruins of St Paul
#5: Ruins of St Paul's for the third time. We woke up as early as 6am and yet, we still can't beat those Mainland China tourists. 

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 06 - Senado Square
#6: Christmas set up in Senado Square was exceptionally impressive and amazing. 

After spending 2 lovely nights in Macau, we proceeded back to Hong Kong by taking Turbojet again (HK$166 per trip). We bought the 9.30 am trip but they allowed us to board early. 

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 07 - Jenny Bakery
#7: Jenny Bakery in Sheung Wan branch 

The first thing we did once we got back to Hong Kong was queuing for the famous home-grown butter cookies, Jenny Bakery. The butter cookies that cause visitors from various countries queued up more than an hour just for these. These butter cookies are even made themselves so exclusive that each person is limited to two cans only. Verdict? Famous cookies are much more better than these. Sorry, Jenny Bakery. 

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 08 - Le Prabelle Hong Kong Hotel
#8: Le Prabelle - The hotel we stayed in Hong Kong 

2015 Hong Kong & Macau 09 - Mongkok
#9: Mongkok for the fifth time and I still can't get enough of it

IMG-20151228-WA0009
#10: On our final day, we went for Ngong Ping 360 and Tian Tan Buddha. 

We glad that we made a smart move by booking online a day earlier cause by the time we reach, we shocked with the super long queue. Imagine queue to purchase the ticket, and then another queue again for the cable car. It's insane!

Remember to book your ticket for Ngong Ping 360 in advance - Online Booking Ticket

Before leaving Hong Kong permanently, we did quick shopping at Citygate Outlets. We were so surprised to see few international brands such as Coach, Michael Kors and Kate Spade required customers to line up and wait before could officially went in for browsing their items. From Citygate Outlets or to be specific Tung Chung Station (Exit B), we took S1 bus directly to bus which cost HK$3.50 and the journey took less than 15 minutes.


2015 Hong Kong & Macau 10 - Macau
#11: Despite all the crazy crowd, celebrated Christmas in Macau is really amazing and lovely. Wish to be back again. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

WOLO Bukit Bintang Hotel

I love to stay in boutique hotels, that's pretty obvious.
And I love to stay in Bukit Bintang whenever I went Kuala Lumpur.
Combine both of these, WOLO Bukit Bintang Hotel certainly suits my preference and taste.

Wolo Hotel Bukit Bintang 01
#1: It's easy to spot WOLO - Just next to Tous Les Jours

One of the main reason I chosen this boutique and chic hotel is because of its strategic location - situated right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle. Less than 5 minutes walk from the 
Bukit Bintang Monorail Station, this hotel is easy access to majority of the famous and popular spots such as Jalan Alor, a haven for hawker and street fare, numerous of shopping malls such as Sungei Wang Plaza, Lot 10, Pavilion KL, Fahrenheit 88, Berjaya Times Square and more. 

Wolo Hotel Bukit Bintang 03
#2: The hotel lobby is located on the second floor 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Mystical Myanmar (2014) Day 2: Awe-Inspiring & Magical Sunrise View of Bagan

Date Visited: 10th January 2014

It was cold and dark. We were awoke at ungodly hour by the bus driver as we were almost approaching the Bagan Ngaung U Station right after more than 8 hours long bus distance from Yangon. I still remember vividly, it was almost 5 am at that particular moment. 

Once we stepped down from the JJ Express bus, we were surrounded by few bunch of men approaching us to provide shuttle service to our hotel. Some even offered to provide day tour excursion. After negotiated in such a hurry as it was relatively chilly and cold while we were in our normal hoodie, we came to agreed price of 50,000 kyats (approx. to US$51 or RM168) for the 6 of us. 

Before the driver decided to drop us at our hotel, he politely suggested to bring us to a temple for sunrise viewing. Unclear the name of that particular temple we went cause there is no signboard or maybe I wasn't too aware of it, but I think it wasn't that far away from the bus station we arrived. 

We're required to climb up the staircases with limited of lights, or should I say we were fully dependent on our smartphones' light cause there is no street lights around. I was so worried I might tripped off but for the sake just to view the legendary Bagan sunrise, I glad I managed to climb safely with the rest of my friends.

After waited for almost an hour, finally the huge and bright golden ball arose beautifully with plenty hot balloon. Armed with our camera around, we were never stop from keep pressing our camera button.

Bagan Sunrise 02
#1

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mystical Myanmar (2014) Day 1: Mingalabar Yangon & Shwedagon Pagoda

Right after we did mini college gathering to Siem Reap, Cambodia last two years, my friends decided we should go and explore Myanmar. Myanmar is very mysterious to me cause what I know about this isolated country is Aung San Suu Kyi only. Luck was on our side when we managed to grab the best deal which cost as low as RM138 for return flight to Yangon, Myanmar eventhough it was consider the peak season. Amazingly a great deal and how we could ever resist that, right?

With the visit of Myanmar, I unofficially unlocked all the 10 Asean countries - Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and last but not least, Myanmar itself.

Myanmar, Yangon 02

There are few things to take note before one enter Myanmar:

Friday, December 11, 2015

Foodie Friday: Festive Cheer Review at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

What I didn't expect of was to receive email from the prestigious The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur early of this month for the exclusive invitation to review their new launch of Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year dinner menu. Initially, I decided to reject the invitation as I wasn't able to attend but then, I was thinking why not asking my blogger friend, Sherrie Pui aka Cutebun to attend on behalf of me. It's not like this golden opportunity would come every single time, right?
_________________________________________________________________

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur has recently launch Christmas Eve,Christmas and New year dinner menu at their colonial cafe. 

We were thrilled to be invited as replacement for Diana's invitation on 4th December night. Our menu that night is a mix of Christmas Eve and Christmas day menu. This is considered my first ever fine and luxury dining in Kuala Lumpur and the feeling is quite grant to be reviewing food in a luxury hotel like The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.  

_DSC8026
#1: There are only few tables set up there, roughly around 6 round tables and few long tables.

IMG_20151204_191609
#2: Christmas set up and decoration

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Summary of My 7D6N Taipei & Taichung, Taiwan (2013) Travelogues & Travel Expenses

Here is the compilation for all the posts relating to my trip to Taiwan back in year 2013 where we cover Taipei & Taichung within 7 days and 6 nights. Plus, by end of this post, I also share on how much I spent throughout my trip.

Day 1: 26th November 2013

Taiwan Day 1 HSR to Taichung

How To Get To Taichung from Taoyuan International Airport: 
Right after getting out from the arrival hall, follow the signboard "Bus to High Speed Rail" and proceed to U-Bus counter to purchase ticket No. 705 which cost NT$30. Hop on the bus and the journey takes around 15-20 minutes to HSR Taoyuan Station. So in case you purchase HSR ticket in advanced via online booking, remember to plan your time properly or else in the case you miss the train time, you have to pay another additional charges.

Through the online booking, you can get an early bird discount up to 35% from the normal ticket fare. Normally this online booking is available up to 28 days from the departure date. Credit card is required for the pre-booking and charge in New Taiwan dollars.

How To Get To Fengjia Night Market From HSR Taichung Station
If you are travelling with High Speed Rail (HSR), remember to retain the ticket with you cause you can take free shuttle bus 160 towards Overseas Chinese University and stop at Feng Jia University. Alternatively, take taxi which charge roughly around NT$250-350 depending on traffic condition.  

Fengjia Night Market 01

Day 2: 27th November 2013
A Day Trip to Sun Moon Lake From Taichung 
Get to the bus company's ticketing office at Section 1 Shungshi Road. From there, we bought the Sun Moon Lake Pass of NT$990 which include the return shuttle service, boat trip, ropeway round trip and entrance to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village.

Taiwan Day 2 Sun Moon Lake From Taichug

Day 3: 28th November 2013
To Shifen From Taichung

1. Take HSR from HSR Taichung Station to Taipei Station (Normal fare NT$765; less than an hour journey)
2. Upon reaching Taipei station, make way to Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) to purchase  northbound train ticket to Ruifang Station (瑞芳) for NT$49 each.
3. Then from Ruifang Station, purchase One Day Pass at NT$54 for unlimited rides along the Pingxi Branch Line or a single trip at NT$20. 

Pingxi Railway Route: Sandiaoling ---> Dahua ---> Shifen ---> Wanggu ---> Lingjiao -->  Pingxi ---> Jingtong. 
Day 4: 29th November 2013
Jiufen (九份), An Old Charming Township
By Train
From Taipei Train Station, take the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) to purchase northbound train ticket to Ruifang Station (瑞芳) for NT$49 each way. After exit Ruifang Station, across the road and board on the Keelung Transit bus towards Jiufen and Jinguashi. 

By Bus
From MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing, Exit 1 and board on the Keelung bus route 1062 to Jinguashi, alight at Jiufen

Jiufen Old Street

Back to Taipei and Stay At Fox House Hostel Taipei
Fox House Hostel Taipei

Day 5: 30th November 2013
Beitou
How To Get There: Take MRT heading to Beitou Station. Get off and change train to to Xin Beitou Station.  
Taipei Beitou Hot Spring 03

Tamsui 
How To Get To Old Street: MRT Tamsui. Exit the station and turn left, from there walk along the waterfront. The trip takes about 40 minutes from Taipei Main Station. 
Taipei Tamshui

Day 6: 1st December 2013
Taipei 101
How To Get There: MRT Taipei City Hall Station or MRT Taipei 101 Station
Taipei 101 02

Shilin Night Market

How To Get There: MRT Jiantan Station
Shilin Night Market

Day 7: 2nd December 2013
From Taipei to Taoyuan International Airport 

Up to date, there is no MRT link between Taipei to Taoyuan yet but don't worry as there are few available means of transport to reach TPE from Taipei main city. Just to bear in mind that TPE is situated roughly around 40 minutes away from Taipei. Hence, one is strongly recommend to make a move to the airport at least 4 hours before the departure time. 

1) By Kuo Kang (國光) Bus 
The cheapest option to choose from - for as low as NT$125. The bus depart from Taipei West Station Terminal A in Taipei Main Station. However, the journey to airport takes almost an hour and if you are in hurry or like us whereby our flights were in the early morning, maybe this would not be the suitable option for you as the earliest bus is scheduled to be at 4.30 am. 

2) High Speed Rail
Although it didn't reach the airport directly, this is the fastest method to travel from Taipei Main Station to HSR Taoyuan which takes roughly around 19 to 22 minutes only and a single fare cost NT$160. The earliest train is scheduled to be at 6.30 am. Upon arriving HSR Taoyuan Station, take U-Bus ticket No. 705 directly to TPE (around 15-20 minutes, cost NT$30).

3) By Taxi
Expensive but an ideal option for those who need to catch flight in early morning and most importantly, hassle-free. The taxi fare cost around NT$650 to NT$1,000, depending on the traffic conditions. We opted for this option twice because both of our flights were scheduled in the morning, like I mentioned earlier.

Taoyuan International Airport Waiting Lounge 02

And the following are the details of travel expenses breakdown for two paxes (both Boyfie and I) spent throughout 7 days and 6 nights covering both Taipei and Taichung of Taiwan, but excluding the amount we spent on shopping haul.

PARTICULARS
NOTE
AMOUNT
NT$
RM
Air Fares
KK-Taipei-KK via AirAsia
Add: Luggage allowance (20kg)
Add: Seat selection

Accommodation
Taichung Fengjia Minshu (2 nights)
Sunny Room Jiufen (1 night)
● Deposit via Paypal
● Balance
Fox House Hostel Taipei (3 nights)

Transportation
HSR Taoyuan to Taichung (NT$380)
HSR Taichung to Taipei (NT$765)
Taxi, bus, MRT, train

Admission Fee
Sun Moon Lake Pass (NT$990)
Shifen Waterfall (NT$100)
Taipei 101 (NT$500)

Food & Beverages
Food & Beverages

Others
Shifen Lantern
3G Data Prepaid Sim Card








1






2





3
3






  
-
-
-
  

1,800

1,000
1,600
4,900


-
1,530
2,600
     
  
1,980
200
1,000


5,250


200
750
   
792
150
60


203

110
180
554

   
84
173
294
   
   
224
23
113


592


23
85


TOTAL:
3,660
(The exchange rate by the time I changed NT$100 = RM11.30)

NOTE:
  1. Upfront fee of NT$1,000 is required to pay via Paypal and the balance paid upon check-in.
  2. Pre-booking via online and we got to enjoy early bird discount up to 35%
  3. If your age between 15-30 years, don't forget to apply Youth Travel card to enjoy special discount for certain tourist spots such as Taipei 101 and Shifen Waterfall.
Frankly speaking, I'm not sure whether RM1,830 for a pax is fairly cheap or not but initially, my budget for accommodation is RM100 per night and as for food and drinks, I locate the budget between RM80-100 per day but it seems like I managed to spend lesser that I planned. But the only one thing I never expected is the transportation fares in Taiwan could be slightly price than I thought. As I was travelled with Boyfie's friend, he preferred to take taxi more than bus and train. Plus by the end of our trip, the taxi fare cost NT$1,000 (roughly around RM113) from our minshu in Taipei city to Taoyuan. 

I found out an interesting post to share with my blog readers - How Can Malaysians Travel to Taiwan for 7 Days With Only RM1,800?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Taiwan (2013) Day 7: From Taipei to Taoyuan & My Taiwan Loots V.2

Our flight back to hometown was 9.50 am, which mean we have to be in the airport by 8 am, at least to avoid all those unforeseeable circumstances - long queues at the counter, clear immigration and security checkpoints. 

How To Get To Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) from Taipei City
Up to date, there is no MRT link between Taipei to Taoyuan yet but don't worry as there are few available means of transport to reach TPE from Taipei main city. Just to bear in mind that TPE is situated roughly around 40 minutes away from Taipei. Hence, one is strongly recommend to make a move to the airport at least 4 hours before the departure time. 

1) By Kuo Kang (國光) Bus 
The cheapest option to choose from - for as low as NT$125. The bus depart from Taipei West Station Terminal A in Taipei Main Station. However, the journey to airport takes almost an hour and if you are in hurry or like us whereby our flights were in the early morning, maybe this would not be the suitable option for you as the earliest bus is scheduled to be at 4.30 am. 

2) High Speed Rail
Although it didn't reach the airport directly, this is the fastest method to travel from Taipei Main Station to HSR Taoyuan which takes roughly around 19 to 22 minutes only and a single fare cost NT$160. The earliest train is scheduled to be at 6.30 am. Upon arriving HSR Taoyuan Station, take U-Bus ticket No. 705 directly to TPE (around 15-20 minutes, cost NT$30).

3) By Taxi
Expensive but an ideal option for those who need to catch flight in early morning and most importantly, hassle-free. The taxi fare cost around NT$650 to NT$1,000, depending on the traffic conditions. We opted for this option twice because both of our flights were scheduled in the morning, like I mentioned earlier.

Taoyuan International Airport Christmas Tree
#1: Christmas tree between 2010 and 2013

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Taiwan (2013) Day 4 - 6: Around Taipei City

Date Visited: 29th November to 1st December 2013

To cut the long story short, I decided to consolidate my Taipei travelogues which I went in 2013 into one blogpost, instead of day to day travelogues like I always did. After spending 3 days and 2 nights in Taichung, a day trip to Shifen and an overnight trip in Jiufen, we proceeded to the vibrant and lively of Taipei city, the national capital of Taiwan. 

Here are the list of where we went and what we did in Taipei:

1) Ximending
Also known as "Harajuku of Taipei", Ximending is one of the most happening and bustling shopping district in Wanhua District of Taipei, favourite spot among young adult and young people. Majority of the visitors prefer to stay here cause there are massive variety of interesting and boutique hotels, eclectic restaurants, pubs, cafe and fashion clothing shops surrounding the area. I even decided to stay here when I went back Taiwan for the third time this year. 

Taipei Ximending
#1: Ximending - the pedestrian shopping haven