Sunday, November 28, 2010

Travel and Review : New Zealand–More forgotten pictures.


A nice town with all things BULLS!!!


camelot motor lodge

The lovely Motor Lodge in Christchurch ….. hopefully it survives the earthquake of 2010.

mt cook

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Views from the lovely Mt Cook.

queenstown library

A quaint library in the town of Queenstown.


View from my car to go up the interislander to reach the town of Wellington.


The urban city of Wellington……the capital of New Zealand.

parasail me

All geared up for parasailing in the town of Taupo.

the team

My travelling companions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Travel and Review : New Zealand – South Island – Auckland.

While on my visit north from Rotorua to reach Auckland, it is good to have a stopover at the famous Waitomo Caves to enjoy the magnificent glow worms. For me personally, I don’t really like Waitomo Caves but also near the cave (free shuttle is provided from Waitomo Caves) is the Ruakuri Cave. The latter for me personally is much more worthwhile.

The experience in Waitomo is rather at a fast mode because the cave is rather small so for the amount you pay for the entrance fee you get to see very little ~ the only plus point is taking a small ferry boat while you are in the cave to see even more glow worms.

However, at Ruakuri, it is a rather large cave and you can pretty much see the glow worms up close (way closer than at Waitomo).


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Entrance to Ruakuri cave.

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My only regret is not having time to try out the Black Water Rafting because from the look of it, it is pretty amazing. So from here I head straight North till I reach Auckland. Here, I stayed at Chiefly Suites Apartment.

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Its a nicely well maintained apartment with rather fantastic view from the balcony. All the amenities of an apartment is available here. Superb.

Auckland city is like many other cities in the world but what is unique (in my opinion) is its location to the waterfront. From there you can take small ferries to other nearby islands such as Coromandel and its likes. As I had only 2 days in Auckland, I didn’t have the chance to visit those small islands : (

And if you are like me who is short of time then what you can do is just walk over to the TOWER (you can do bungee at the tower if you fancy such activity) as shown above. From there you can purchase a ticket on a hop on hop off bus which will take you to major sites within Auckland itself. But if you wish to purchase the tickets earlier (like me) then visit the site HERE.

Thus a few places to visit (its along the hop on hop off route) in Auckland will be the Auckland War Memorial museum!

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Another great stop will be the ZOO but I gave that a miss because due to a shortage of time I have to visit its Maritime Museum!

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Inside a mock ship’s cabin in the museum.

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From the museum you can also opt to have a ride in a yacht-like sail boat known as a scow. The one that I had the chance of sailing with is the TED ASHBY Deck Scow.

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But if the bustle of Auckland is getting on to you (it did for me) then also under one of the routes of the Hop on Hop off bus is MT EDEN.

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From the top of this mountain, you can pretty much enjoy a scenic view and yet enjoy the peace that comes with it.

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And after all that journey (in which case there is still so much more left undiscovered) my 2 weeks journey across South and North island of New Zealand came to an end for it was time to return home.

It has been a fantastic holiday and it is definitely one that I plan to repeat again.

Travel and Review : New Zealand – South Island - Rotorua

In Rotorua, you basically will be able to tell upon reaching this town as the smell of suphur was indeed very overwhelming. But I guess that’s what make the town memorable.

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Do visit the Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderful to understand why Rotorua smelled the way it is : )

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Just try to breathe through your mouth and you should be fine because eventhough it can be rather lacklustre for those who are not fans of geological features, some of the sites you saw here, you may not be able to see them anywhere else. This is also the location of the famous Lady Knox Geyser but you need to be early though or you will miss its once a day “performance.”

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For more information on the site you can visit the official site HERE.

For something less sulphuric and yet provide a spectacular view, you cannot miss visiting the Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

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Spectacular and picturesque view!

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For a great walk and simply to enjoy a great view NZ has to offer, Waimangu Volcanic Valley is definitely a must to visit. If you plan to visit both the Wai-O-Tapu and Waimangu together (they are 30 minutes apart if you drive) there are a lot of combo entrance tickets so keep a look out for those when you want to purchase such tickets. The only problem that I faced was the fact that I have to drive to Rotorua town to exchange my computer print-out for an actual ticket first thus if you are already in Rotorua then its not a problem. However, if you are driving from Taupo (you will see the attractions first before reaching Rotorua) then you may need to do a roundabout. If the above is such a hassle then don’t buy the tickets online! Just go and pay a little extra at the site itself.

Once you are in Rotorua town itself one of the must visit place is its museum!

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It is huge and there are many things to discover and learn!

If you are tired, just a few minutes away is a good place to rest your sore body and feet called QE Health. You have to try the AIX massage because for me it is something novel and definitely unique to try at least once in your lifetime.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Travel and Review : Going to Kuala Lumpur ( KL ) Malaysia

It has been a while since I visit Kuala Lumpur Malaysia or better known as KL. In this write up I will write the different ways to reach KL via Singapore as well as review the Hilton Hotel KL.

Via Singapore there are a few ways to reach KL, Malaysia :

1) Via bus. If you decide to visit KL via bus you can do it a few ways.

a) Take a Singapore~KL bus. One of the companies I have tried is called Aeroline. I wrote a review on it and you can read all about it here.

b) if you prefer a cheaper alternative. Take a public bus (bus number 170 for instance) all the way to Johor Malaysia and you will alight at Larkin Bus Terminal. From there just take another bus to KL for around 30RM. There are no bus numbers in Larkin Johor Bus Terminal and the price of the tickets can be rather dodgy at times so if you don’t feel safe buying from the ticket peddlers (they will try to sell you the tickets when you alight) then just head to one of the many booths to buy your ticket there. In all if you take the 8am bus you should reach KL around 2pm. You will reach at KL Pudu bus station in which you can take a train (LRT) to KL Sentral.

2) Via budget airline. (My favorite way) You will have two choices:

a) Take Airasia airline. You can book your ticket at From Terminal 1 Changi Airport it will take you to KL Low Cost Carrier Terminal aka LCCT. From LCCT you can then get a bus for RM9 to go to the KL Sentral (there is no typo in the spelling but that is how it is being spelt there) where you can pretty much go anywhere from there cos its the centralized train station to anywhere in KL. Do not get into cab here unless you want to pay up to more than RM100.

b) Take Jetstar airline. You can book your ticket at From Terminal 1 Changi Airport it will take you to KL International Airport aka KLIA. This airport terminal is way better than LCCT and from here you can take a fast express train for RM35 all the way to KL Sentral.

I have tried both and I have to say that landing at KLIA is way better than LCCT and the cost of Airasia vs Jetstar is comparable and not much of a difference so I highly recommend going via the Jetstar route.

For this article, I am going to review the KL Hilton Hotel Plus Room which is situated just 100m from the KL Sentral. I had a chance to visit it on May 1st this year and it was really terrific. If you arrive via the express train from KLIA then you cannot miss the HIlton signage that if you choose to follow will have you escorted to your hotel via a limo(No prior appointment necessary ~ just go to the person and show your Hilton Honors card or your bookings). And yes even though its only like 5 minutes away, you cannot dismiss this great customer service from Hilton. If not , then just follow the signs allocated at the train station.

Hilton customer service will totally mesmerized you…. well at least for me. I am not sure whether its because I am a Hilton Honor Silver member but from the look of it, I believe they treat every single guests with impeccable customer service. The last time I stayed was in a deluxe room so if you wish to know how it looked like, then just click on one of my tags to read the review on such a room. However this time round since I am given a PLUS room, which is bigger and coupled with dinner and breakfast….. why not?

Nice small but cozy living room that comes with simple yet useful furnitures.


A small “office” to do your work as well as huge LCD tv to keep you distracted if you want to from your work.

A nice small hallway leading to your bedroom and bathroom.

King size bed ~ my only kind of bed to sleep in.

A laze chair to read your favourite novel.

Another large LCD tv to view while you are lazing on your bed.

Huge bathtub as well as a shower facility that is equipped with my favourite…… RAIN shower!

Kimonos bathrobe for those who feel rather Japanese. Then again, it looks batik like so I am confused with this one.

A place to sit while waiting for your bathtub to be filled up. The two mirrors on the left and right hide a compartment areas for your wardrobe, ironing board and security facilities.

Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries. (Not really a fan of Crabtree and Evelyn but some may like them)

Pics of some of the room service items that I ordered,

They have a restaurant called Chynna which I did not have a chance to go thus I ordered instead cos it was said that their dim sums were the best in Malaysia and they really don’t disappoint.

Three types of burgers for your dining pleasure.

However, if you decided to go to the SUDU restaurant for your dinner and breakfast, you won’t be disappoint either. I simply love the Ostrich meat that I had for dinner. Simply mouth watering and delicious! Highly recommended.

In short, HIlton KL , in my opinion, still managed to upheld its highest standard of customer service and is still my favourite NO 1. hotel in KL.

If you only have a weekend or two in KL then just hop to KL Sentral and take the KTM to Mid Valley. It costs only RM2 for a return trip. The drawback to going by Mid Valley this way is the sheer long waiting time unless you plan your train ride carefully because the train will only come every half and hour so missing one would mean a half an hour wait. Plus it is always crowded all the time so you may consider taking a cab instead which may set you back RM20 per journey so thats RM40 for a return trip or even more for peak periods.

Do not get confuse because there are 3 train companies at KL Sentral. KTM, Putra and Monorail. KTM goes to Mid Valley shopping mall. PUtra goes to all the downtown area such as Masjid India, Pudu Bus station etc. Monorail (you have to walk for 5 to 10 minutes from KL Sentral to reach the main station) will take you to the Golden Triangle for shopping malls such as Lot 10, Pavillion and to hotels such as Westin, Piccolo, JW Marriott etc.

For this review , I want to take you to MId Valley Mega malls because if you only have a day or two in KL , this place is sufficient for everything you need while shopping.

Upon entering the Mid Valley mega mall you may noticed that the shops are more catered to general shoppers thus if you are into high branded genuine goods such as LV, Boss etc then do not fret, you can find them there as well but require a little light walking. The first thing you noticed about this malls is its sheer size which is divided into many zones so remember which zones you come from. Head down to the basement for delightful food. I highly recommend Rak Thai, a thai halal restaurant that sell good thai food.

I ordered a normal Phad Thai and it was delicious.

Fancy donuts? For all manner of good food, just head to the basement. I am sure you will find something that you will enjoy savouring.

Like I said earlier, if you fancy high branded good , fret not because Mid Valley Mall is now connected to the Garden Malls via the basement so from the basement you will see the sign below:

And by heading up, you will notice all the high end shops. Of course here the crowd will be much less due to its price range.

If you think the above is a statue, think again. She is a human model.

And there she went walking away.


Louis Vuitton should be open in June 2010.

At the top of the Garden Mall you will find the food garden which sells good food but a tad expensive.

In all Mid Valley Mega Mall will satisfy anyone needs be it for the average shopper or for the high-end shopper who prefers to pamper themselves with luxury goods. Either way, it is a great place to shop during the weekend.

Till next time.

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