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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bus to Genting from KL


The new Pudu Raya is less complicated than the old terminal I frequented back in 1999. The specific counter selling tickets to Genting is located at level 3. Please pay only in Ringgit (RM), the currency of Malaysia.

Buses will depart on time to Resorts World Genting from KL Pudu Raya. To avoid complication, please buy 2-way transfers and the cable car rides. Please leave your luggage in Pudu Raya. At level 2 corner there are some places where you pay to keep big or small ones.

There are some restaurants selling Chinese food, Western food, and local food. No worry, you could find a fast food chain. You could pack your own food if you want to save a bit since the food outlets in Genting are a little pricier than in town.

It is nice to have an afternoon tea there when it starts to chill a little.

One should not wear t-shirt, bermuda/shorts, and sandal. It is a must to wear a proper attire (eg: shirt with collar for men). Otherwise, the visitors would be stopped by the security guards. Don't bring anything bigger than a small hand carry bag if you need to enter casino. Anyway many local tourists would just board the bus to gamble there and spend countless of hours in the gambling tables. Many of them are retirees.  

I had been to the Theme Park long time ago. The cheapest hotel is First World Hotel. Had to wait until 3pm for the check-in. That was my experience a decade ago. I visited it again just on a day trip by bus and cable car. Only spent few hours up the hill enjoying the fun ride and the scenery. Perhaps that is the best of whole Genting ^^

Here is the official site
http://www.rwgenting.com/en/getting_there/express_bus.htm

Thursday, August 16, 2012

All about Japan

JNTO official website
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/attractions/facilities/free_attractions/ceramics.html

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/other_visa.html

Someone's website. Interesting to read if you have time
http://thejapanfaq.com/

Universal Studio Japan, Osaka
http://www.usj.co.jp/e/

Toyoko Inn - budget hotel chain in all area of Japan
http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/hotellist.html

Wattention (magazine)
http://www.wattention.com/trip-to-japan/kansai/kyoto?tag=site

Frommers
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/kyoto/A23819.html

Sagano, Arashiyama, Kyoto
http://www.sagano-kanko.co.jp/eng/index.htm

Koyasan
http://www.shukubo.jp/eng/

Kyoto
http://www.kyotojoho.co.jp/english/index.html#
http://www.city.kyoto.jp/koho/eng/access/transport.html

Kansai Airport

This is official link of Kansai Airport
http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/index.asp

New JR West Pass and Panda

There is new version of JR West Pass which is valid for covering Kansai, Okayama, Nanki, and Kinosaki Onsen.

http://www.jr-odekake.net/en/jwrp/kansai_wide.html

It is definitely value for money JPY 3,500 for 4 consecutive days usage.


I went to Okayama Fair in Isetan Scotts Singapore some months ago.
Apparently this is farming area in Japan.
It is half way to Hiroshima.

I plan to visit Himeji Castle and Hiroshima only after the castle renovation has been completed which is still another few more years.

With this pass, travellers could visit the Adventure World at Shirahama, at Wakayama Prefecture where Kii Peninsula with its famed Nachi Taisha the waterfall venerated in Shinto religion and the pilgrimage routes is located.
Nara, Koyasan, Ise are all also part of Wakayama.

Read more on Adventure World
http://aws-s.com/english-new/index2_afp.html
http://www.wakayama-kanko.or.jp/world/english/things/experience/list01/detail016.html

This is the place where most panda babies are born outside Chengdu.
http://www.giantpandazoo.com/panda/panda-zoos/adventure-world-shirahama

I only saw pandas when visited Beijing Zoo more than a decade ago.
If i ever go back again, I will try to squeeze my time to visit it for a day.






Wednesday, February 8, 2012

FREMANTLE

It is such a lovely place!
Fremantle is not a big place and it is very near from Perth.
You could reach there by taking trains from Perth.
You could see the clear blue sky and clear blue water of Indian Ocean.


Stepping into Fremantle is like transform you a century ago or two.
You would see old churches, rows of antique Brit shops, and old hotels.
History of Fremantle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremantle


I like the market which starts from Friday to Sunday.
On Sunday the vendors would sometimes give discounts particularly for veggies and fruits.
I got 4 packets of starwberries at AUD 5. It is unbelievable cheap!
You would find UGG store there. There are also some handicrafts, clothings, and accessories there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremantle_Markets


If travelling to the seaside you would found the Cicerellos (Italian) and Kailis (Greek).
Both restaurants have been run by 3rd of 4th generations of its founders.
Both restaurants are built along the piers where many private boats are there.
Both have indoor and outdoor seatings.
You have to decide which one is the best for the fish & chip!

At Cicerello, you would find the boat converted to be a performance stage of its musician.
Inside it, you would find aquariums filled by fishes, starfishes, prawns, lobsters...even outside the toilets they installed aquariums there.
http://www.cicerellos.com.au/


Kailis also runs jewellery stores famous for its pearl at other site.
http://www.kailis.com/
I did not try fish & chip at Kailis because it does not really fascinate me since the interior is nothing more than a family restaurant.


Passing by the carpark near to Kailis, you could cross the street and head to the white sandy beach, I dipped my feet into the Indian Ocean


Here are websites featuring Fremantle
http://www.fremantlewa.com.au/
http://www.westernaustralia.com/en/Destinations/Experience_Perth/Fremantle/Pages/Fremantle.aspx
http://www.fremantlewesternaustralia.com.au/

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wine & cheese tasting tour at Swan Valley

I joined this tour booked online via http://www.doittour.com/experience/Swan-Valley-Winery-Experience-565/11-02-2012


Linda, the manager, was kind enough to rearrange my schedule to the next day 28.01.2012 isntead of my orginal booking on 27.01.2012 due to Jetstar flight delayed from Gold Coast.
My friend, Maria, has helped me so much with this rearrangement.


Rob of Italian descendant is our drive cum tour guide for the day.
He is a middleage guy who could crack a joke!


The history of winemaking and olive plantation in Western Australia started when the Italian and the Greek migrated there when Australia needed more labors for its development.


We passed by the Guildford district whch has a number of old houses, shops, and offices.
It is within walking distance of Guildford train station.



The first one which is very near to the entrance of Swan Valley via Guildford is Waters Edge.
The shop cum restaurant is beautifully decorated with a terrace. There is outdoor seating besides indoor seating. It has a nice view of the river.
It used to be the first vineyard in Western Australia. Now it ceased to be a vineyard.
They sell varieties of olive oil, red and white wines.
I do recommend Garlic & Merlot olive oil ($15, 250ml).
http://www.watersedgewinery.com.au/


The second stop is Lancaster. It is opposite Margaret River Chocolate Co.
http://www.lancasterwines.com.au/
This store is open air type made it typically like a rugged one which instantly transform us into a few centuries-like of environment.
When the staff poured a white wine into my glass incidentally he spilled the wine to my right arm.
The cheese i tried there are fantastic!
Its famed for chenin blanc and verdelho (white wine)


Our third stop is Mandoon. It is the newest vineyard which took over from previous "Roe Family" estate. It is all housed in a big building which you could see the barrels and even the laboratorium.
http://mandoonestate.com.au/
I bought its award winning Mandoon 2010 Old Vine Shiraz ($22).


We had lunch break at Jane Brook Estate.
It is a wonderful lunch spread of fresh grapes, bread, pork meat roll with pisctachio nuts and ham.
The specialty is a champagne. Unfortunately the australian produce is prohibited to use the term "champagne". It is called Sparking Gold Wine (premium) with Australian gold flakes.
http://www.janebrook.com.au/shop.asp
By this time I started to get intoxicated so i tried only 1 sip of white sparking wine.


Our fifth stop is Heafod Glen Winery
After lunch I felt full. About less than 10 minutes later we arrived at Chesters of Heafod Glen.It has also a beautiful old restaurant. Its specialties ar Ruby Port and Perth Hills' Chardonnay.
http://www.chestersrestaurant.com.au/
Because I still in intoxicated state, i dared myself to try only 1 sip of chardonnay.
I bought French Oak Smoked Olive Oil ($18, 400 ml).



Our sixth stop is Elmars. This is restaurant cum German breweries.
http://www.elmars.com.au
Since I do not drink beer, I do not know how to appreciate it.
It has a big restaurant, and you could view the breweries whcih is separated by a glass wall behind the service counter.



Our seventh stop is Margaret River Chocolate Co.
http://www.chocolatefactory.com.au/
I had 2 scoops of ice cream $7 (Macadamia and Raspberry flavours) and a bag of raspberry truffles $12.95.
There is cafe where you could sit down. The shop is quite big and it has a security staff opens and closed its door.
Here we have free tasting of mini pastelles of 3 varieties (milk, white, and dark chocolate)
Rob gave me another piece of complimentary truffle.



For further detail please visit http://www.swanvalley.com.au/Home
There are baout 50 vineyards in Swan valley, and about 15 of them opens for public.
Wine tasting ranges from $5 to $8.
You could check out the map here.


There are other tour options in www.doittour.com if you would only have 1/2 day to explore the area, or you would like to try your hands on wine making experience.

A deserted passenger

My flight from Gold Coast to Perth on 26.01.2012 8.05pm had been redirected to Brisbane on 27.01.2012 8.25am flight bound to Perth.

That meant I had to stay 1 more night. Jetstart already reserved accommodation for the deserted pasengers at Royal Pines, Nerang, which is situated between Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Luckily there is a nice Japanese restaurant with teppanyaki.
The chef is a Philipino.