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Lake Lucerne Cruise & Mount Rigi

 << Previous Post: Snowy Mountains of Mount Titlis <<

If you have read my post on the things we did in Lucerne, one of the things I highly recommend will be the panoramic sightseeing cruise on Lake Lucerne. You can even take this ride heading to Mount Rigi and the best part if you have Swiss Travel Pass, all these are covered by it, which means it's free of charge and you don't have to pay any single cents.  

After spending half day in Mount Titlis, we headed back to Lucerne. Once we arrived Lucerne Main Station, right away we walked over to Pier 1 located right in front of the train station. We didn't have the time to check the departure time because the cruise was about ready to depart when we arrived. You can check out the departure time from SBB Mobile Apps too. 

#1: Lake Lucerne cruise departs from Pier 1, opposite of Lucerne train station. 

#2: If you have Swiss Travel Pass, panoramic sightseeing cruise on Lake Lucerne is one of the things you must do when in Lucerne and it's covered by the pass. It's free of charge. 

#3: You can order and purchase drinks and snacks from the onboard bar

One thing you need to take note when getting onboard on the cruise is the type of the class of your Swiss Travel Pass; the First or Second Class. You can choose to sit on the outdoor deck or inside as long as it's matching the pass you bought but both of us always tend to sit inside cause it's pretty windy and cold outside.   

#4: One of the stops and it's so pretty 

We got off at the Vitznau stop and the cogwheel train station to Mount Rigi is just directly across from the boat landing. Get ready with your Swiss Travel Pass and show it to the staff before boarding. Make sure to sit on the left side of the train cause trust me, you are going to have the best of the best view ever when the cogwheel train heading up to Mount Rigi. 

#5: Alight at Vatznau stop and the cogwheel train station is directly across from the boat landing. 

#6: Make sure to sit on the left side of the train cause you will get the best view of Lake Lucerne. 

#7: We're blessed with good weather and blue skies on our visit to Mount Rigi

#8: Postcard worthy shots of the impressive Lake Lucerne 

#9: View from the top of Rigi Kulm

We hopped on the cogwheel train up to Rigi Kulm, which is the final and last stop. There is a viewing platform where it offers an impressive of the lake and Swiss Alps. However, we didn't manage to alight here as we're pressed with time. And so, we just stayed inside the train for the next boarding time and make our way back to Vitznau.

Alternatively, you take the cogwheel train down to Rigi Kaltbad and then, change cable car down to Weggis. From there, walk over to the pier and wait for the boat back to Lucerne.   

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Snowy Mountains of Mount Titlis

 << Previous Post: Lucerne, Our First Trip in Switzerland <<

Rise and shine Lucerne! The place that we're heading to on our second day in Switzerland is Mount Titlis. Switzerland is well-known for its abundant snowcapped mountain, and therefore you must visit at least one of them. 

It's pretty simple to travel to Mount Titlis - you can reach by taking train to Engelberg
From where we stayed, we walked roughly around 10 minutes heading to Lucerne Train Station. Then from there, we took the direct train to Engelberg which takes about 45 minutes. Trains depart from Lucerne (Luzern) station every hour starting from 5am onwards. If you are travelling from Zurich, it will takes nearly 2 hours to Engelberg. 

#1: Departs from Lucerne Train Station which takes about 45 minutes

Regardless whether you sit on the left or right-hand side, the under an hour train ride to Mount Titlis is absolutely mind-blowing as it offers awe-inspiring landscapes of vast mountain ranges, picturesque flowering valleys and some of the country's most dramatic scenery. 

#2: Engelberg Station - catch free shuttle bus or walk for around 10-15 minutes to Titlis Valley station

After arrive at Engelberg Station, you can either catch the free shuttle bus that you will bring you to Titlis Valley station or you can leisurely walk for around 10-15 minutes. We did both and the walk is not that hard - able to enjoy the fresh and clean mountain air while snapping some photos along the way. For more information about the bus timetable, you can check out here.

#3: Titlis Valley station 

Mount Titlis is opens all-year round and the cable cars run daily from 8.30am to 5.15pm. As today (April 2022), the ticket price for Mount Titlis is CHF96 which includes both cable car and Rotair. If you have a valid Swiss Travel Pass, then you can get a 50% discount - which mean it costs CHF48 per pax. 


1) Ride the cable cars 
From Titlis Valley station, we began our adventures in Mount Titlis by riding the cable cars. Apparently there are two stops; Trübsee and Stand and we chosen to alight at the Stand station first. 


2) Take the world's revolving cable car to reach the top of Mount Titlis
I guess this is the main highlight of this trip. Rotair is the first cable car in the world that rotates 360-degrees all the way up to the submit of Mount Titlis. During this 5-minute trip, the cable car rotates in just one whole circle, allowing visitors to enjoy an impressive 360-degree view of the steep cliffs, deep glacial cracks, and cascading snow peaks in the distance. 


3) Enjoy breathtaking snowy mountains on the Panorama Terrace
Once we reach Titlis Mountain station, immediately we went to the 5th floor for  the Panorama Terrace. This is where you can enjoy the jaw-dropping panoramic scenery of the Alps in central Switzerland as well as the rest of the other snow peaks. This spot gives me a feeling that I'm on the top of the world and how tiny are with the rest of the mountains. 




4) Walking through Titlis Cliff Walk
Challenge yourself to walk through Titlis Cliff Walk, consider to be the highest suspension bridge in Europe. It was opened to the public for free of charge and you shouldn't miss this when visiting Mount Titlis. The views from this suspension bridge are exceptionally breathtaking and it's definitely worth to challenge yourself to walk across it. 


5) Take a break at Panorama lounge
We definitely love the cold weather but then, we can't stay longer outside. Hence, in order to keep ourselves warm, we proceed to the 4th floor for Panorama lounge. Again, another phenomenal view from here and the best part, there is no one around, except just my husband and I. If you bring along your lunch (just like we did) and looking for a place to sit down, Panorama Lounge is definitely the best place for you. 

#11: Panorama lounge

6) Explore Glacier Cave
At the first floor, which is also the arrival and departure point, there is a glacier cave which it's opens for free to all visitors. With 150m long and extends to a depth of 20m below the glacier, this Glacier Cave was formed tens of thousands of years ago. 

#12: Glacier Cave located on 1st floor, it's free of entry for all visitors. 

7) Sleeding and Snow Tubing at Trübsee
Don't worry if you don't know how to ski cause there are other fun activities you can experience here in Mount Titlis. At Trübsee which is the middle cable car station, you can play sleeding and snow tubing for free and play as much as you want. Both of us played countless of time until we forgot the time.
#13: Snow Tubing at Trübsee

We spent almost half a day visiting Mount Titlis before leaving to Lucerne. We didn't get to try any of the restaurants there as we brought our own lunch. As usual, the price of the food in Mount Titlis is pretty steep, unless you don't mind enjoying it with the incredible views. 

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The Village House, Perfect Nature Getaway From Kuching

Ever since my family bought houses in Kuching, I no longer have to book and stay any of the hotels whenever I went Kuching for holiday. Kuching is currently like my second hometown as I always went back, for at least every month. But because lately my husband tagged along for this monthly "balik kampung" trip and coincidentally our anniversary fall during this trip too, hence I plan for staycation in Kuching. We did quite number of staycations in Kota Kinabalu, so why not for Kuching too, right? 

Nestled at the foothills of the majestic Mount Santubong, The Village House by Singgahsana is a small luxury guesthouse set in a quaint and friendly Malay village which is about 40 minutes driving from Kuching city center. However, getting to this guesthouse is a lil bit tricky as they don't any signboards even right outside of their property. Hence, it's wise to get ready with  Google Map before starting your journey. 

According to their website, the check-in time is 2pm but we're pretty lucky that they allowed us to check in earlier when we arrived the property around 1pm. We're served with refreshing welcome drinks and they requested for our identification cards for check-in purposes. And the next thing we know, the room is ready for us to check-in. Cool! 

We booked the Village Double room from Booking.com and were given the Kunyit room. Kunyit defines as Turmeric in Malay language and the name of each room is given based on the herbs and spices such as Pandan, Lengkuas, Midin, Serai, Pinang and more. Sounds interesting right? They do have two suites and dormitory-style bunk beds too. Features boldly coloured walls, solid timber bed frame and four-poster beds with mosquito net, this room somehow reminds me of my stay in Hibiscus Beach Retreat, Kudat. Although the room seems to be relatively small and bear in mind, there's no TV within the room, but I absolutely love the view overlooking the internal pool courtyard. 

As for the ensuite bathroom, it's equipped with hot and cold rain shower, basic amenities, plush bath towels and hairdryer. The only drawback is the hairdryer which is significantly small and it takes longer time for my hair to dry. 

Done with the introduction of the room, now let's take a look at the whole property. Right from the moment we stepped in, we felt like we're in Bali instead. Surrounded by towering trees and lush greens, this place is perfect for those who want to escape from the hustle bustle of the city. 

The entire property is beautifully appointed with long wooden Malay traditional-style architecture surrounding the indoor pool courtyard. Further accentuating the refinement of the property, are the owner’s eclectic collection of art, antiques and artifacts tastefully showcased. 

Like I mentioned earlier, though there is no TV within the room, there is a common room with TV, books and board game for the guests to share and use. 

Our room rate inclusive of dinner which comes with 3-course set meal and a hearty breakfast. A day before we check-in into here, the staff WhatsApp us to fill up the form of our preferred meal for dinner and breakfast from the menu choices given. All the check-in guests are required to fill up and submit the form before 3pm in order for them to get ready and prepare the meal in advance. The dinner is ready by 7pm for the guests to indulge and enjoy the 3-course set meal. 

Starter: Homemade cream of mushroom (his choice) and fresh green garden salad (my choice)

Main: Fish & chips (his) and chicken curry with rice (mine)

Dessert: Banana split (his) and kek lapis served with ice-cream (mine)

As for the breakfast, we're given 3 options; 
  • English Breakfast - 2 eggs, a hashbrown, 2 chicken franks, 2 beef bacon and a grilled tomato.
  • Pancakes - 3 pieces pancakes with yogurt and a slice of citrus fruit
  • Local delight - Chef's menu of the day of either vermicelli, egg noodles or flat rice noodles.
And both of us opted for English breakfast. Breakfast is served between 7.30am to 10.30am with refillable coffee, tea, cereals and toasts. 

Do you know that in order to provide exclusive privacy and zen to the guests, The Village House is reserved exclusively for guests above the age of 12. So if you have kids below 12 years old, I guess you need to book other place first and wait until your kids are over 12 years, then probably you can consider to come here and stay.

Serenely peaceful getaway 

The downside of The Village House is that due to its pretty remote location, hence it's not easily accessible. However, you can request for shuttle service from the staff. I personally think it's best to come here with own transport, like what we did. 

The Village House Singgahsana
Date Stayed: 12 - 13 August 2022 (1 night)
Room Rate: RM413 for Village Double Room with breakfast and dinner (booked from Booking.com)

Planning your trip to Kuching, Sarawak? You can check out 4D3N Kuching Itinerary For The First Timer
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Bukit Tinggi - Japanese Village & French Colmar Tropicale

It was during the MCO period where we're not allowed to travel out of Malaysia, therefore we plan for few trips within Malaysia. Our first flight during the MCO period was to Kuala Lumpur and when my husband found out that I have never been to Bukit Tinggi, he planned this trip for me. Rather than rely on the public transport, he rented a Nissan car from GoCar instead as this gave us more freedom and flexibility to travel whenever we want to go.

Self-drive from Kuala Lumpur to Bukit Tinggi took nearly an hour drive and I was captivated with how smooth the highway road was, unlike the road condition back in Sabah with countless of deep crater-like potholes. 
Entrance Fee: RM16 per adult and RM9 per child and this entrance fee includes passed to Japanese Village, Colmar Tropicale, Botanical Garden and Rabbit Park.
Opening Hours: 9.30am to 5pm daily 

We began our trip by dropping at Japanese Village. From the parking lot, it was quite a distance to walk over to the Japanese Village where one need to climb the 88 steps and the steep slope. Hence, it is wise to wear a decent and comfort shoe. It might seem hard at first, but when we saw the huge wooden signboard informing us that we have arrived, we know that this journey worth every effort we took. 

Although this Zen-inspired Japanese Village is relatively small, but it's pretty serene and peaceful walking through the scenic and lush green garden manicured with calming streams, countless of Bonsai trees and pond filed with colourful Koi fishes. 

Right in the middle of the garden, there is a traditional Japanese tea house where the visitors not just can only learn about tea ceremony, but you can also rent kimono for RM20. However, I didn't plan to rent the kimono as I was pretty stingy to pay for it. 

The world's first Japanese tea house in the tropical forest 

Feel like I was transported to old Kyoto but in reality, I was in Bukit Tinggi, Malaysia. 

Right after we spent like more than an hour exploring the Japanese Village, we then drove to the Colmar Tropicale. For some, this place also known as French Village and I happened to visit the origin and real Colmar town during my recent trip to Switzerland last April. It might not resembles exactly the same, at least one can experience this colourful and vibrant town in Malaysia without have to travel far far away. 

Colmar Tropical tend to more crowded and busier than the Japanese Village. Some came with big group of family and friends and some engaged travel agencies and arrived in a big bus. This is because Colmar Tropical is easier to visit and explore by all age group, from infant to senior adult since this place doesn't require a tough climb as in the latter village. 

Felt pretty excited and thrilled when seeing the wooden bridge and tall clock tower from afar and I knew this is going to be one of the Insta-worthy spots. Under the wooden bridge, we even spotted a beautiful pair of lovely white swam. 

Now, it's time to explore the French-inspired town. The Colmar Tropicale retains the European-style architecture, styled with cobblestone streets, colourful cottages, quaint shophouses and streams of cafes and restaurants around the square of this little town is bound to make one teleport to a small village of Alsace in France. The vibes of this town are nothing less than joyful and cheerful. 

Situated at the end of the cobblestone street, there is an observation tower when visitor can climb up and enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the Colmar Square as well as beautiful green hills. The higher you climb, the better the view you'll get. 

Side Notes:
We even drove all the way to Bentong after our visit at Bukit Tinggi. Bentong is well-known for great and best durian, especially the Musang King breed (this is my favourite). It was indeed so juicy and creamy, if not because we want to control our cholesterol level, probably we will have more. 

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