Top 3 Commentators for Year 2013

Another year has passed and it's the time again for me to reward three blog readers of mine who leave the most trail or comments in this little humble blog of mine - Travel & Living Journal of DT. This year I didn't spend much on souvenirs while I was on the road but mostly on foods instead. So, it's kinda hard for me to courier those foods (I wish I could somehow) and I try to replace with something else. Plus, two of the winners are travel bloggers who had been almost the same places I'd been to and it's really cracking my head what to give to them. Anyway, I hope the three winners will like the little and simple token of appreciation I'm giving.

Now, it's the time for me to reveal the top 3 Commentators for the Year 2013 *drum roll again and again..................*

From the bottom 3

Biqque from Beauty in Darkness (travel blogger) - with 46 comments

  • A set of Travel stationery theme
  • Face masks and fridge magnet from Taiwan 
  •  Keychain from Sarawak
  • Lavera hand cream
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Hong Kong Day 6 & 7: Magical Moments At Hong Kong Disneyland For Second Time

Date of Visit: 22nd & 23rd September 2012

When I visited this fairy-tale theme park for the very first time back in year 2010, the rain poured right after my friends and I bought the entrance tickets. It was so unlucky that we unable to experience most of the outdoor rides and we were completely soaked when the rain refused to stop and poured for the whole day.

Two years later, here I am again back to this Magical Kingdom and this time around, without thinking any longer we bought 2-Day pass and spend two whole days here with all the non-stop of fun and play! They said Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest one compare to the rest but I just can't get enough especially anything relate to Mickey. Regardless how old you are, Disneyland is always dedicated to the young and the young at heart. Hong Kong Disneyland is the third Disneyland Park I visited after Paris and Japan.

#1: Front entrance of Hong Kong Disneyland

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Hong Kong & Macau Day 5: Golden Bauhinia Square, Avenue of Stars & Ladies Market (Mongkok)

Date of Visit: 21st September 2012

#1: As usual, dim sum for breakfast at the restaurant nearby where we stayed in Boyfie's relatives house. #nonhalal

Throughout our 7 days trip in Hong Kong and Macau, Boyfie and I had dim sum for breakfast almost every morning but we couldn't complain much cause all were treated by Boyfie's relatives. I can honestly say that Boyfie and I save a lot for this trip especially in terms of accommodation as well as for most of the foods we consumed. We couldn't ask for more relatively but feeling grateful for all the kind and warm hospitality given by Boyfie's relatives.

Since this is my 4th times to Hong Kong, I tried my best to cover most of the famous attractions and spots which I missed out from the three previous trips of mine. Besides the Big Buddha in Lantau Island, one of them would definitely be Golden Bauhinia Square, a historical and important landmark and symbol to Hong Kong.

#2: Just follow the sign and it took approximately 15 minutes walk from MTR Wan Chai Station.

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Hong Kong & Macau Day 4: Big Buddha, Ngong Ping Village & Citygate Outlets

Date of Visit: 20th September 2012

Day 4 Dim Sum Breakfast
#1: Kick off our forth day by having dim sum as breakfast again. #nonhalal

For my previous trips to Hong Kong, I didn't get the chance to visit Big Buddha in Lantau Island due to time constraint. So this time around, it is mandatory to visit, or else I will hold huge regret for the rest of my life for not visiting this.

Day 4 Ngong Ping Cable Car
#2: Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal

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Hong Kong & Macau Day 3: Impromptu Trip To Macau

Date of Visit: 19th September 2012

Trip to Macau can be claimed to be an impromptu trip for both Boyfie and I. We planned to go Macau either on the fourth or fifth day of our trip in Hong Kong, but out of sudden on the second night, I received message from a very good friend of mine that she and her husband were in Macau. Hence, we had to change our plan to go Macau on the third day without any advance preparation especially for the ferry ticket. But since both of us went there before, guess there won't be any issue for that.

Before crossing Macau, don't forget to bring along your passport cause Macau is designated under Special Administrative Regions operating which they have their own immigration controls, currencies and autonomous governments. I have few friends who eventually forgot to bring their passports along and at the end, either trip to Macau had to be cancelled or even being postponed. 

Where To Catch The Ferry
MTR Sheung Wan Station, Exit D and then head up to the 3rd floor. 

Day 3 Macau 01
#1: Everytime come out from a particular station, make sure check for the right exit. 

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Hong Kong & Macau Day 2: Star Ferry, Clock Tower & Symphony of Lights

Date of Visit: 18th September 2012

Taking public transportation in Hong Kong is one wondrous adventure. Plus, it's one unique and diverse ways to experience the city as well as the local culture and their daily lifestyle. And the best thing of all is you can explore Hong Kong either by sea, land or even air (but of course the air would be more costly). Whether soak into the sky by taking helicopter tour, or take classic street trams or even enjoy the sea breeze by taking the old-fashioned boats, there's nothing like it! 

And for this time around, finally I managed to catch on this famous icon of Hong Kong, Star Ferry. Although operated for more than a century, this charming Star Ferry is still a highly reliable and efficient form of transport . It has been faithfully transporting more than tens of millions passenger from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon each year. Even National Geographic has rated Star Ferry as "one of the 50 places to visit of a lifetime."

Day 2 Central Pier 01
#1: We embarked our journey from the Central Pier.

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Hong Kong & Macau Day 2: Central Post Office & Victoria Peak

Date of Visit: 18th September 2012

Right after we came back from Stanley Market, I told Boyfie that I wanna go post office to buy stamps for the postcards I bought from Stanley Market. Boyfie said there is one general post office situated right in Connaught Place, the Central area. It is very easy to allocate for this post office cause there is a sign everywhere in Hong Kong.

Day 2 Central Post Office 01
#1: First time I went Hong Kong's post office and it was very clean, systematic and efficient.

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My 2013 Year End Trip: Taiwan 台湾 (Sneak Peek)

I'd been to Taiwan before back in year 2010 but nothing beat the feelings of travel by our own or so-called DIY travel compare to travel with tour agency. Plus, another reason I choose to back Taiwan was because this is my birthday treat for my very best friend aka my Boyfie since he never been to Taiwan before. Besides both of us, Boyfie's best friend also tagged along for this trip and many unexpected surprised and shocking adventures happened along the way but for sure by the end of this trip, three of us indeed had a great time in Taiwan. "Whatever happened in Taiwan, stay in Taiwan!"

Taiwan Hello!
#1: 你好 Taiwan! I'm back again to this sweet potato shaped country and also the homeland of Asus & HTC after three years. 

Taiwan High Speed Rail
#2: We started off our trip by taking high speed train to Taichung and the train resembles exactly like the Japan's bullet train - fast, quiet and comfort. Taiwan makes me miss Japan so much!

So far, I know there are three options to go Taichung from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport but we choose the fastest option which was taking the high speed train cause like Hilda Milda said, every minute is valuable.

Taiwan - Taichung Night Market
#3: A visit to Taiwan is incomplete without visiting their night market and one of my favourite markets would be Fengjia Night Market in Taichung. We spend two nights in this market alone where for the first night, we spend more than 6 hours and by the second night, we wandered until midnight. Sounds so crazy, right?

Taiwan - Sun Moon Lake
#4: Sun Moon Lake for the second time and this time, took the ropeway to enjoy the whole scenic view.

Taiwan - Shifen
#5: Went Shifen 十分 for the very first time just for this waterfall. Really worth it eventhough we walked more than 30 minutes just for the sake of this.

Taiwan - Shifen Release Latern & Walk on Railway
#6: Besides the waterfall, done the things I wanna do in Shifen 十分 - like walking on the railway as well as write wishes and release the lantern. Another mission accomplished!

Taiwan - Juifen
#7: Been Jiufen 九份 but still love to return there just to search for this tea house which used as a model for Ghibli's Spirited Away animated film. No surprised to see so many Japanese tourists there for the same reason.

Taiwan - Red House XiMenDing
#8: The Red House Theater in Xi Men Ding - where you can find creative and fashionable ideas and products by the young and talented artists. My favourite place to hunt for vintage items and I went twice throughout my trip there.

Taiwan - Beitou Public Library
#9: One of the recommended places to go in Taipei would be Beitou which is well-known to be one of the largest concentrations of hot springs and spas in the world. Apart for that, Beitou Public Library
is also notable as being constructed to be an eco-friendly green building.

Taiwan - Damshui
#10: Damnshui, a port town to the northwest of Taipei for its mesmerising golden sunset view. 

Taiwan - Taipei 101
#11: And for the final day, the birthday boy said wanna go up to this world famous skyscraper which also to be known as Taipei's well-known landmark, Taipei 101.

So, basically you can see that we skipped most of those historical places like museums, memorial halls, temples and so on cause we can spend roughly more than 5 hours in one particular place. Plus, I went most of them before during my maiden visit and thus, no point for me to do another visit, right?

Taiwan Minsu
#12: Last but not least, as for our accommodation, we stayed in guesthouse or hostel, which commonly known as minsu in Taiwan. Minsu is very popular in Taiwan and you must try to stay there at least once. It's cheaper, clean, convenient and even the room space is much more bigger if compare to the hotel - My Blog on: Minsu I Stayed in Taiwan

And with this, Taiwan wrapped up as my 10th and final trip for this year alone, unless out of of expectation, I have another trip to come...

"Travel to the places you really wanna go and see, not to follow other people footsteps. It's your trips anyway, you're travel for yourself, not for other people!"
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Travel & Living Journal of DT is Taking Another Break!

Lately I'm so busy with my personal things as well as my hectic working life. Therefore, I unable to update my blog within these few weeks. Plus, by the time you are reading this, I am travel to somewhere which I had been before but I love to do another revisit trip. No worry, my blog will resume as usual once I back from this trip of mine.

Travel Quote
In the meantime, here is one of my favourite travel quote to share with you guys. Enjoy!

Do miss me, oppsss... I mean my blog! I have so many travelogues lining up in the queue for me to share with you guys (Hong Kong & Macau, Melbourne, Bangkok, Johor Bahru, Cambodia, Hatyai, Laos, Japan, Kota Bharu and more). So stay tune!

If you wanna know where I am travelling now, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.
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Overview of Kota Bahru Media Fam Trip

Last weekend, I was being invited with few Sabahan bloggers together fellow medias for an exclusive 4D3N Media Fam Trip to Kota Bharu, Kelantan in conjunction with the inaugural flight of this significant new route which AirAsia is the first carrier to connect between both East Malaysia and East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia directly. 

Kelantan Media Fam Trip 01
#1: Press conference ceremony and performance were held once we arrived Kota Bharu

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Sharing Saturday: 4 Different Seasons

4 Different Seasons
Experienced 4 different seasons; Spring in Melbourne (Australia), Summer all day long in Phuket (Thailand), Autumn in Berlin (Germany) and Winter in Launterbrunnen (Switzerland). My favourite would be Spring and Autumn. Mainly because I love to see places manicured with myriad of colourful and vibrant blooming flowers and also mixture colours of the autumn foliage. Another reason I love spring cause literally my Chinese name means spring. How about you? Which is your favourite and why?

P/S: Again, I'm away at this moment for another Cuti-Cuti Malaysia. Being invited to a state that I'm waiting for so long. Finally, complete one of my wishlist which is to visit all the 13 states of Malaysia.

If you wanna know where I am travelling, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.
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Hong Kong & Macau Day 1 & 2: Hello Hong Kong Again & Stanley Market

Hong Kong is no longer a strange country for me since I'd been to this vibrant and lively country few times, and to be exact, this could be consider my 4th trip to Hong Kong so far. And to be frank, I kinda dislike Hong Kong from what I'd been through during my maiden trip and I was thinking why on earth will I ever going back to this country that I used to dislike. But then I realised, there is something more, something sparkling about Hong Kong that worth for me to discover ever more and more...

Well, of course one of the main reason I went Hong Kong last year was because Boyfie received a sum of money from Hong Kong Government and so he decided to tag me along and also as a treat for my last year birthday gift. [The best birthday present ever for a gal who always love to travel

Date of Visit:17th September 2012

Day 1 Hong Kong Arrived
#2: Hello again to one of the busiest airport in Asia - Hong Kong International Airport after three hours of flight from Kota Kinabalu.

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4D3N Bali, Indonesia Complete Itinerary (2012)

Here is the compilation for all the post relating to my trip to Bali, Indonesia last year for 4 days and 3 nights. And there are even few tips given based on my own experience, especially for those who are going Bali for the very first time.

Day 1 (11th August 2012)
4D3N Bali, Indonesia Day 1
1. Garuda Wisnu Kencana - Admission fee is IDR60,000
2. Uluwatu Temple - Entrance fee  is IDR20,000
3. Kecak dance - Pay extra of IDR70,000
4. Seafood dinner at Jimbaran Beach

Stay: Jocs Boutique Hotel & Spa
 Jocs Boutique Hotel & Spa

Day 2 (12th August 2012)
Batuan Village, Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Tirta Empul at Tampak Siring Temple & Luwak Coffee 
4D3N Bali, Indonesia Day 2
Entrance fee for Tegalalang Rice Terrace is IDR5,000 wherease for Tampak Siring Temple is IDR15,000.

Mount Batur in Kintamani, Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka & Ubud Market
4D3N Bali, Indonesia Day 2 part 2
Entrance for Kintamani is IDR10,000.

Day 3 (13th August 2012)
Turtle Farm of Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua
Bali Day 3 Tanjung Benoa Tour 03
-We paid USD$25 each for this tour and to be frank, we were kinda disappointed with it. Short, expensive and totally not worth it.

Tanah Lot Temple, Puru Ayun & Puru Ulun Danu - My Most Favourite Temples in Bali
4D3N Bali Day 3
Entrance fee for three of these temples are IDR30,000 each.

Day 4 (14th August 2012)
Bali Bombing Memorial, BeachWalk, Kuta Beach & Ngurah Rai International Airport
4D3N Bali, Indonesia Day 4

Extra Posts:
If you plan to hire a local tour guide/driver around Bali, here is the detail and contact:   
Alvin - Contact through sending message via email to alvin.ezpro@gmailcom ; or through mobile phone: +62 81999393636 / +62 81339189529
He charged IDR350,000 for unlimited of time and this fee including petrol and parking fee. His car could fit up to 6 people.  

Tips (for the those who are going to Bali for the very first time):
  1. The best time to visit Bali would be generally in May, June and July in terms of weather. However, if you are going for surfing, preference may change. During the dry season, May to October, the western side of the island creates some of the world's best waves. 
  2. Place to stay - If you are looking forward for good food, shopping and epic nightlife, Kuta and Legian would be your best pick. As for budget traveller, Kuta would be the best choice. 
  3. As for the lady, it is wise to know when is your menstruation cause some temples, like Pura Taman Ayu and Tampak Siring Temple are strictly disallowed to enter during those time. So, better plan ahead or else, it believe will bring bad luck.
  4. For money changer, even our local driver/tour guide advised us not to simply change at any money charger especially those with extraordinary exchange rate, as the dishonest money charger will try to rip you off badly. My advise, change sufficient of Rupiah before leaving to Bali. Talking about ATM machine, I came across a Caucasian unable to withdraw his money due to machine broke down while his card stuck inside it. Horrible situation!
  5. Last but not least, don't forget to keep IDR150,000 to pay for airport departure tax or else, you can't go back to your own home sweet home.
Ok, with this post it's finally wrapped up my Bali travelogue. Gosh! I'm really trying my best to blog all my travelogue before more and more of my upcoming trips are approaching soon.

Latest News:
AirAsia is now flying directly from Kota Kinabalu (BKI) – Bali (DPS) with 3x weekly flights on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. No need to transit to Kuala Lumpur anymore!
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My Travel Haul & Expenses of Bali, Indonesia (2012)

What to buy when you in Bali? Well, apparently I not sure what to buy when I was in Bali except for Luwak coffee, which well-known to be the most expensive coffee in the world. So as usual, whenever I travel, mostly I just bought keychains, fridge magnets and even themed T-shirt as part of my travel collection.

Bali 01
#1: I guess not that many if compare to my other trips xP

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Bali Day 4: Bali Bombing Memorial, BeachWalk, Kuta Beach & Ngurah Rai International Airport

Date of Visit: 14th August 2012

If there is more than one particular flight back homeland, mostly I will book in the evening one, as long it's still within my budget so that we could have more time to venture around. Same goes for my Bali trip. Our flight back to Kuala Lumpur was 7pm, and because of that, we had plenty of time to wander around Kuta and Legian area, where our hotel was situated.

Bali Day 4 Kuta Memorial Bali Bombing
#1: Bali Bombing Memorial

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Bali Day 3: Pura Luhur Tanah Lot, Pura Taman Ayu & Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Date of Visit: 13 August 2012

After left the disappointing turtle farm of Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, we moved on for our next adventures - the temples visit. Throughout the four days trip, I can honestly say that these three temples visit were my favourite and I personally would recommend these to those who never been to Bali before not to miss these temples - Pura Luhur Tanah Lot, Pura Taman Ayu and & Pura Ulun Danu.

Pura Luhur Tanah Lot
Beautifully perched on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide, Tanah Lot Temple is an extremely popular tourist and cultural icon for photography. It was built in 15th century by the Javanese priest for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

Bali Day 3 Tanah Lot 05
#1: Before reaching the temple, we walked across a row of colourful shops selling plenty of souvenirs, foods and drinks.

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Bali Day 3: Turtle Farm of Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua

Day of Visit: 13th August 2012

Comes to the third day, we have two optional tours; either to Lovina Beach for dolphin watching or to Nusa Dua for turtle island trip. Well of course, we're more interested for the first one but it was located 3 hours away from Kuta/Legian and we need to wake up as early as 2 am in the morning. Plus the chances of seeing the dolphin might be low. As we didn't book early this tour, hence we're opted for the latter option.

Bali Day 3 Tanjung Benoa Tour 01
#1: Nusa Dua beach

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Bali Day 2: (Part 2) Mount Batur in Kintamani, Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka & Ubud Market

*Non-Halal Post*

Date of Visited: 12th August 2012

Mount Batur in Kintamani
Without realised, it's time for lunch break and Pak Bagus stopped exactly at Kintamani district where there are abundance of restaurants offering buffet lunches set up by the hill side. One of the main reason why Kintamani district is the most popular destinations in Bali is mainly because of Mount Batur Volcano, an active volcano located at the center of two concentric calderas north west of Bali, Indonesia.  

Bali Day 2 Mount Batu @ Kintamani 01
#1: Clear view of Mount Batur and Lake Batur in Kintamani District

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Bali Day 2: (Part 1) Batuan Village, Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Tirta Empul at Tampak Siring Presidential Palace & Luwak Coffee

Date of Visit: 12th August 2012

On the second day of our Bali trip, Pak Bagus picked us up at 9am of the local time. For your information, not all cities and places in Indonesia has the same time zone. For Jakarta and Bandung, the time differences would be 1 hour later than Malaysia whereas for Bali, there is no time difference between the two these two cities currently. 

Batuan Village
For our first pitstop, Pak Bagus dropped us a village which known as Batuan Village. This village is noted for its artwork and style of painting and has since emerged into a major Balinese artistic style. It is a major painting center and contains a number of art galleries and cooperative art societies which have played a key role in promoting the art of Batuan.

The most notable landmark is the village temple, known as Pura Puseh. This temple is not really that huge and big in size but it was a perfect place for photoshooting as it was filled with blue sky as the background photo.

Bali Day 2 01
#1: The split gate which is the famous type of gate where you can seen in almost all the Balinese temple

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Another Adventurous Autumn Japan Trip 2013 (Sneak Peek)

There's once I posted #throwback photo of my Japan trip and I told my friend that I wish to go back again someday, I never thought after three years later, here I am again going back to the "Land of the Rising Sun".

I found out there is direct flight from Kota Kinabalu to Osaka via Malaysia Airlines. Hassle-free from transit to Kuala Lumpur and the airfare is really affordable, so I bought for my mommy as her this year birthday present. 

My initial plan was to do the same route like I did for my maiden trip; Osaka, Kyoto & Tokyo but at the end, I changed the plan which was just solely focus on Kansai area as it was one of my travel wishlist.

Japan - Osaka 01
#1: Long haul flight with Malaysia Airlines to Kansai-Osaka

Japan - Osaka 01-1
#2: After 3 years, I never thought I will seeing this signboard again.

Japan - Osaka 04
#3: Dotonbori for second time just to take photo of this huge & colourful Glico running man in Osaka.

Japan - Nara 05
#4: Deer - the messengers of the gods in Nara Park. One of my travel wishlist accomplished.

Japan Universal Studio 01
#5: Whenever I travel, I always love to visit theme park. No exemption for this one as well - Universal Studio Japan.

Japan Himeji
#6: Himeji Castle - Although it is currently undergoing renovation, but this castle is regarded as the finest surviving example of prototypical Japanese castle architecture.

Japan Himeji Sakura 01
#7: I never seen a real cherry blossom aka sakura in my life but it's hard for me to believe that I able to see it eventhough it is autumn in Japan now.(It's so beautiful I'm gonna die)

Japan Kobe
#8: Another wishlist accomplished but Kobe seems like nothing for me.

Japan - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan 01
#9: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of the biggest aquariums in the world. Again, another wishlist accomplished. 

Japan - Kyoto 02
#10: Once I reach my most favourite city in Japan which is Kyoto, immediately I went Fushimi Inari Shine.

Although I went Japan twice but I still love to come back again and again. This beautiful and amazing country never fail to impress and amaze me in every single little thing - the local was so friendly and helpful, and when come to the foods, my goodness, my saliva almost dripped eventhough but just looking at the display model.

#11: Even Japanese manhole covers are individual masterpieces of the street art. Seriously so beautiful & decorative.

#12: What we had throughout our trip in Japan - ramen, sushi (inari & maki, my favourite), donburi and bento. Oishii!

#13: Even Japanese desserts were so detailed in each and every design - so refreshing kawaii!

If compare between Southeast Asia and East Asia countries, somehow I still prefer to travel the latter one - to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc. I would love to return back to Japan again and this time, my next aim would be Tokyo (for second visit) and Hokkaido! Sayonara!
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