April 7, 2015

no comments

Maldives Club Med – Day 4

Day 4 start with waking up earlier to pack our luggage as we are leaving this island today… 😦 I’m so reluctant to leave this paradise, back to my reality…. But no choice, holiday always end so soon. After packing, I took some photos of our villa.

926A8845-249 926A8843-247 926A8842-246 926A8841-245 926A8844-248 926A8840-244 926A8839-243 926A8838-242 926A8837-241
Took some time to take my last relax in this resort. Manage to see many baby sharks swimming together around our villa.

926A8817-235 926A8818-236 926A8807-234 926A8806-233
We left our luggage in front of our villa door for the resort staff to collect before we left for our breakfast at the restaurant. We decided to take the last breakfast at the restaurant as there are more variety to choose. Had some scramble egg, bake beans, breads, sausage, orange juice and coffee….. After filling up our stomate, is time we say goodbye to this paradise island…

926A8846-250 926A8849-253 926A8850-254 926A8851-255 926A8853-257
We board the ferry back to Male. As we were at the jetty, the GO had a good chat with us and when the ferry moved off, they keep reminding us remember to return here… 🙂 They are really very friendly. After 30mins, we reached Male airport and we proceed to check in. Goodbye Maldives!

926A8854-258 926A8855-259 926A8858-261

April 7, 2015

1 comment

Maldives Club Med – Day 3

Day 3 start with woke up around 7am today as we had ordered the breakfast to deliver to our room again at 7.30am (slightly earlier than yesterday). I ordered the English breakfast again while my wife ordered Japanese breakfast. But dunno why in the end 2 set of English breakfast and 1 set of Japanese breakfast was delivered to us instead. So in the end, I ate 2 set of English breakfast… So full again….Hahaha…. 😛 This time we opened the door to the balcony fully and had the breakfast in front of our bed….. 🙂

926A8588-119 926A8590-121
After breakfast, we rest for a while before we meet up with Michael & Janice for the snorkelling trip again. But this time, my wife stay in the room as she could not snorkel in deep sea.

926A8596-124 926A8597-125 926A8598-126 926A8603-127 926A8604-128 926A8607-129 926A8608-130 926A8628-134 926A8630-135 926A8634-138 926A8631-136 926A8617-132 926A8621-133
This snorkelling trip we do not need to take the swim test again as we had taken it yesterday. So we proceed straight to the boat after the briefing. As the boat is a small speed boat, we sat on the front of the boat enjoying the wind blowing at us. 😛

This time the snorkelling destination is another pinncles where we had free style snorkelling without the need to follow the instructor. The snorkelling at this area is much better than yesterday as we are nearer to the fishes (almost could touch them) and I could even step/touch on the corrals(but advise not to step or touch as we may be cut by those corrals and may be allergy).

As Michael, Janice and me keep snorkelling and swimming forward, suddenly when we look back, we noticed that we are the only ones left in front. Most of the rest of the guest had already head back to the boat… So we also turn back and head back towards the boat too.. Hehe… 😛

When we reached the resort jetty, my wife was waiting there for us. We proceed to the pool for the dip in water again. As we reached the pool, there is the aerobic class again. And there will also be water polo sport game later in this pool. We got some drinks from the open bar and head into the pool. My wife trying to join in the aerobic dance. 😛

After the watching the exciting water polo sport, we head towards the restaurant for lunch. Its the buffet lunch again… 🙂 But the good thing is that the variety of the food here keep changing, thus we will not get sick of eating the same kind of food. That’s the plus point of this resort. After lunch, we head towards the lounge for a short rest while surfing the internet. We had got some beers from the lounge to our villa too. Then we head back to the villa for a rest while drinking beer and snorkeling around our villa. Its our free and easy leisure water activity time again! 🙂

After few hours, Michael & Janice went back to their villa for a nap. My wife also need a rest too. So I just went out for a stroll around this island and taking photos of this resort & island myself. So let me introduce a bit on the different part of this island base on my memories…. 😛

926A8646-156 926A8649-158 926A8655-159 926A8663-163 926A8656-160 926A8664-164
The photos above shows the water villa which we stayed for these nights. It is the most expensive accommodation among all the accommodation types in this resort. But you should try this cos its the best experience of staying above the water where you could wake up every morning looking directly into the sea. It really a cosy and best feeling.

926A8659-161 926A8660-162
This is the water villa lounge that I had been talking about in my blog. See those net above the water where we could lie on? Those are the net that we lie on during the night watching the stars.. In this lounge, you could have unlimited alcoholic drink, soft drink, hot tea/coffee and juice. And there is free wifi in this lounge too. By the way, there is free wifi in every water villa too, but reception is not too good. So we mostly came to this lounge to surf net if needed.

926A8667-166 926A8738-204926A8737-203926A8741-206926A8736-202926A8735-201
See the open bar in the photo above? This place you could get all day long unlimited alcoholic drink. soft drink and juice too. You could chill out at here during the night or day. There are tables and chairs around the bar. During the night, there will be live performances or disco held here.

This is the beach area in front of the pool. A lot of people like to lie around here sun tanning and swim in the sea.

926A8673-170  926A8691-183
The above is the restaurant that we had been taking all our meals. There are outdoor area to sit for meals where you could eat and enjoy the sea. There are also indoor area, including an area with air-condition if you are afraid of too hot weather. They cater international buffet style food.

926A8674-171 926A8675-172
The above the beach area nearer to the gym. There are lots of sun tanning benches where people lie here for sun tanning. And I seen some half naked (female) doing sun tanning too. 😛 The gym is in the photo above where you could do your workout.

I think this is the sailing boat where you could rent for doing sea sailing activities.  How much I am not sure….

926A8679-175 926A8680-176 926A8682-177 926A8683-178 926A8684-179
This area is the further down the left side of this island. Its kind of less people cos its further from the main area of this resort. You could enjoy a more quiet beach here if you prefer less populated area.

These are the bungalow type accommodation beside the beach.

These are the another type of accommodation which are in the middle of the island, not near the beach.

926A8697-185 926A8702-187  926A8711-190 926A8713-191 926A8720-195 926A8716-193 926A8717-194 926A8721-196 926A8729-199 926A8724-197
These photos show the jetty area where the snorkeling, diving activity gathering place located. It is also the place where you board the boat to Male or enter this resort.

926A8715-192 926A8728-198
An overview of the island from the jetty

This is the island seen on the other side of this resort island. Saw a boat on the land?? Funny….. On this part of the island, its very quiet as most of the people stay on the other side of the island. It is due to the current on this side is much stronger than the main beach. So noone wants to swim in here.

926A8798-232 926A8797-231 926A8746-208 926A8753-211 926A8762-215 926A8758-213 926A8761-214 926A8750-209 926A8766-217 926A8768-218 926A8772-219 926A8776-220 926A8777-221 926A8778-222 926A8781-223 926A8785-225 926A8787-226 926A8794-228 926A8795-229 926A8796-230
These are the rest of the photos that I took on my way back to the villa. There is only 2 words to describe this place, relax & beautiful. This is the place where you could rest your mind and distress.

When I returned to the villa, its already evening time. After a bath, we meet up with Michael & Janice at the lounge area to have some appetizer before we proceed to the restaurant for our last dinner on this island.  Today theme is all black. Lucky i had a black polo t-shirt. 🙂 And today menu is chief choice.

After dinner, we stroll around this island and take a look at the shop that sell local items and beach stuff. They also sell snorkeling set. But i do advice that you bring your own snorkeling set if your want to snorkeling around your villa because there’s no rental of snorkeling set here (only provided when you join the snorkeling trip) and the snorkeling set they sold here is expensive.

After that, my wife return to our villa to rest for the night as shes’s tired and I join in with Michael & Janice villa to drink the last bottle of champagne that was provided. After that I also went back to rest for the night.

April 6, 2015

no comments

Maldives Club Med – Day 2

Day 2 start with me woke up around 7am and took some sun rise photos.

926A8462-58 926A8472-59 926A8484-60 926A8485-61 926A8491-62
We had our breakfast at around 8am in our villa. The night before, we filled our breakfast card and placed in front of our villa door as they will collect the card during late night 2am. Then they will deliver the breakfast according to the timing we choose in the card. There are English breakfast, Japan breakfast, Chinese breakfast options in the menu selection. We choose 2 full English breakfast (scramble egg, sunny egg, sausage, hashbrown, breads, cereal, milk, coffee/tea, juice). So after woke up in the morning (which we still have not adapt to the time here due to the 3hr difference), I sat on the balcony watching the sun and sea while waiting for the breakfast to be deliver to our room. Then around 8am, the breakfast was delivered to us. We had the breakfast at the balcony, munching on our food while watching the calm sea and beautiful sky.

926A8494-63 926A8499-66 926A8495-64 926A8496-65 926A8506-73 926A8504-71
Look at how she really like her food…. Hehe…. 😛

After the breakfast, we meet with Michael & Janice for the snorkeling trip out to the sea. The meeting point for this trip is at the jetty. As we reached earlier, we hang around there until the registration start. After registered, we are required to take a swim test before the trip as we are the 1st timer in snorkeling here. This is to ensure that those who wish to snorkel could swim. The swim test is to swim from the start point to the other end point at the white float and back to start point again without leg touching the ground of the water. It is a bit difficult at first due to the salty water as I drank quite a lot of the salty water… 😦 Lucky we manage to pass the test in the end. My wife also took the test too in order to go out to the sea with us, but she could not join for the snorkeling as she is pregnant. Thus she stay on board when we went into the sea to snorkel. After we got our snorkelling gear, we were brief on the safety and the hand signal. After the briefing, we board the boat out to the sea. The boat stop at one of the pinnacles and we are guided to jump into the water one after another. Then we swim be-hide the instructor in front of us as we go round the pinnacles. There is another instructor be-hide of us to ensure that we did not go out of course or need any assistant during the trip. There were a lot of guest who join this snorkeling trip around here and I always get hit by those swimmer as though they never look where they are going…. 😦 The whole trip last around 30mins and I saw quite a lot of corral and fishes, but they are some distant from me.

When the instructor blow the long sound of the whistle, we need to swim back to the boat. As I board the boat, I found that a lot of guest had already came back to the boat after jumped into the sea for less than 5mins….

Then this trip ended in a short 30mins and we head back to the resort. When we reached the resort, we went to the pool again for a dip in the water. Then my wife and I went to the sea near the jetty shore area where she want to try snorkel there since she can’t snorkel just now with us in the deep sea.

After that, we went to the pool area to wash up. While we pass by the pool, we saw there was the water aerobic class currently held there. There were quite a number of guest who join this class and looks fun 🙂

After we met up with Michael & Janice, we proceed to have our lunch at the same restaurant. Cant remember what I had for lunch le…. :P. But I remember I had ice-cream as the weather is hot…..

After lunch. We went to stroll around the island for a while before heading back to our villa for a rest. We had a long dip in our bath tub. Then Michael & Janice came over to our villa to relax at the balcony and drink the free champaign provided by the resort when we first check in. So relax…………… how good if I could relax like this at least 3 times per week…. 😛 I saw a baby shark swimming around our villa area….

926A8537-98 926A8522-94 926A8532-96 926A8530-95 926A8543-99 926A8535-97 926A8581-1
When dinner comes again, we proceed to the restaurant again. On the way we stop by the lounge to surf internet and had some appetiser before we head for our dinner.

Photo 22-3-15 1 29 21 am

Tonight theme is Elegant. Again, we did not bring any formal clothes, thus we wear what we had. i saw a lot of guest here follow the theme tonight. I dunno how they could bring so many clothes to this resort for holiday? 😛

926A8544-100 926A8546-1 926A8553-107 926A8555-108 926A8556-109 926A8551-105 926A8552-106 926A8548-103 926A8550-104
I had chicken with cream sauce, scallop, roast pork, sushi roll, lobster soup, white wine, wedges etc for the dinner… Was really full every night….

After dinner, we went back to take the face mask and bring it to the villa lounge. Along the way back, I took a photo of the map of this island and some photos of the sting ray and fishes near our villa.

926A8557-110 926A8558-111 926A8559-112 926A8565-113
When we reached the lounge again, we lie on the net above the water with mask on our face, while looking at the sky full of stars again… Its so cooling with the mask on our face and so relaxing lie on the net watching the night full of stars. 🙂 but its a bit embarrassing because some guest were near us looking at us with the mask on our face… The security guard there even greet my wife saying Good Evening Ghost. Hahahaha….. 🙂

After that, we went back to rest for the night.

April 6, 2015

no comments

Maldives Club Med – Day 1

Day 1 start with an early flight from Singapore to Male at around 9.30am. We meet out couple friend Michael & Janice at the airport and we reached there around 8am and we had our breakfast at Kopi Kaki. After breakfast, we proceed to the departure gate and board TigerAir. The whole flight duration is around 5hrs and we reached Male airport around 2.30pm (Singapore Time).

The time different between Maldives and Singapore is 3hrs, therefore the time there is 11.30am. After we step out of fetch arrival gate, we saw the resort guide standing near the gate and we approached him. After registering our names and details, we waited for the last couple to arrive and we board the spa boat ferry towards the Club Med resort.

The boat ride last for 30mins and we arrived at the resort ferry terminal, where the resort GO is waiting for us. The boat ride is actually quite stable and ride is quite smooth….

Resort GO name is Fizz. He guided us to the resort town village and introduced the different places in this resort to us. This place consist of the town village, 2 restaurants, swimming pool, gym, water sports area, open bar, basketball and football court, reading area etc. After that, he guide us to the water villa lounge to brief us on our accommodation for these 3 nights and intro Gina to us. As my water villa accommodation is quite far away from my friends water villa, we request to change to one that is nearer to their villa. Thus the GO asked the other couple who happened to be allocated a villa that is near my friend’s villa if they could changed with us. They agreed and we changed to a villa opposite to my friend’s villa. Then we are guided by Gina to our villa and she explained to us on all the stuff in the villa and how to operate those stuff. She is really very friendly and shes from Korea. We took a short rest in our villa while waiting for our luggage.

926A8402-12 926A8410-14 926A8411-15 926A8412-16 926A8415-17 926A8416-18
After that we proceeded to the restaurant to have our first meal on this island. There is some distance from our villa to the restaurant.

926A8419-19 926A8420-20 926A8421-21 926A8428-25 926A8429-26 926A8430-27
The last few photos above shows the main village town area where the main restaurant and shops located. The lunch that we had is the international buffet lunch. The food that are provided in this restaurant is really delicious and also the presentation is very nice. I had half raw beef with mash potato, pizza, laksa, cold soba etc…. There is free flow of beer in the restaurant too if you will like to chill with beer

926A8422-22 926A8424-23 926A8425-24
After lunch, we stroll around the island for a while to get familiarise with the island and the facilities in here.

926A8433-28 926A8435-29 926A8436-30 926A8437-31 926A8438-32 926A8439-33 926A8442-35 926A8445-37 926A8447-38
This is the Water Villa lounge area where only cater to Water Villa guest

After that we went back to our villa to prepare for our 1st snorkelling below our villa…. 🙂

The sun is really burning…. We put on the safety vest provided in our villa and we walk into the water directly from our villa as our villa has direct access into the water. I tried to swim around and look out for fishes, but none was found. The water became milky the moment we step on the sand in the water. So after a while, we moved to the swimming pool to swim. The open bar is just beside the pool, and we got our alcoholic drinks (unlimited) from the bar and drink in the pool. Its so relax and enjoyable with drinking while in the pool and watching the beautiful sea from the pool.

After the swim in the pool, we went back to bath and get change for the dinner.

This is the open bar where they serve unlimited of alcoholic drink, cocktail, mocktail and fruit juice

Every night in here, there is a theme for the dinner and tonight theme is all white. But we did not bring any white clothes with us, so we just wear whatever we bring. If you would like to join in the theme dressing, you may want to bring more different kinds of clothes to the resort. 🙂

Took some sunset photos before going for dinner… 🙂

926A8449-53 926A8452-54 926A8456-56 926A8458-57 926A8453-55
We went to the same restaurant for dinner as we could not book the other restaurant due to fully book. The other restaurant is not buffet style and is more like fine dinning style. But you will need to book in advance due to the limited tables. But its fine as the dinner in this restaurant is dine by the beach tonight, where all the tables are set on the beach and all the food stalls are also on the beach too. The tables are mostly for couple with candles on it. It looked so romantic…. Haha…

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0096. Photo 20-3-15 10 31 34 pm Photo 20-3-15 10 31 48 pm Photo 20-3-15 10 28 30 pm Photo 20-3-15 10 28 45 pmPhoto 20-3-15 10 44 39 pm
My wife and I dine on 1 table and my couple friend dine on another table. That’s them in the 1st night picture. 😛 The food are mostly seafood. Fizz recommended us to try the tuna and I did. It really taste quite nice and fresh. You could choose to have well done or half cooked. I choose well done as I does not like raw fish. I also tried the sotong, octopus, Chinese dish, salad, breads (the breads here are really soft and nice) etc. The foods are really good. This is the first time i dine on the beach and the feeling is really great. Listening to the waves while eating the food is really an enjoyable feeling that cant be describe by words. After dinner, my friends left first to rest for the night as they are really tired after the long flight and woke up early in the day. But for us, we took our time to eat and went to the lounge area only for water villa guest. We lie down on the net above the water and look at the sky full of stars.. It so beautiful…. The sky is so clear that night that the sky is filled with stars. But we did not stay long as the mosquito came out during to night and buzz around my ears….. So we went back to our villa to rest for the night too


no comments

Osaka Trip 2014 – Day 5 (Shirakawago)

Today is day 5 of our trip. Woke up early morning to take the breakfast in the hotel again. After breakfast, we proceeded to check out of the hotel. Then dragging our luggage again, we took the train from Kujo Station – Kyoto Station and walked to JR Kyoto Station and bought a one way train ticket to Kanazawa Station to take a direct bus to Shirakawago. It took around 2hrs plus to reach Kanazawa Station and another 1 hr 15mins for the bus ride. Before we took the bus, we had our quick lunch at the Starbucks near the bus stop no 2. It was raining when we board the bus.  The bus ticket was reserved through phone calling to Japan when we are at home. We collected the 2 way ticket (return the next day) on the ticket booth near the bus stop. The bus that we took is called Hokutetsu bus (http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp) and you could access this pdf for all the information on the bus (http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp/news/260313takayama.pdf). Bus ticket cost 3290 Yen per person for a 2 way ticket.

Photo 3-12-14 8 58 49 am-1 Photo 3-12-14 8 58 53 am-2 Photo 3-12-14 8 59 31 am-3 Photo 3-12-14 11 50 21 am-4 Photo 3-12-14 12 19 41 pm-5 Photo 3-12-14 12 19 51 pm-6
Along the way during the bus ride, the scenery is really beautiful. The moment when the bus 1st exit the tunnel, what we could see is the whole field of white snow. Thats a beautiful view that can’t be express in words. After 1 hr 15mins, we finally reached Shirakawago.

Shrikawago is a quiet mountain village with rice fields and a river running through it. 114 thatched roof stand together in the village, which was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. There are some museum and temples in this town. During the day, a lot of tourist will come here just for day trip to tour around in this town. But I do recommend stay for a night here as its really different from staying in city. After alight the bus, we crossed the bridge to reached the other side of the river for our accommodation for the night here. The bridge floor is covered with snow, thus we had to walk carefully across it with our luggage to avoid slipping. After a short distance of walking, we finally reached our guesthouse Nodaniya. After check-in, the house owner explain the house rule which consist of dinner time at 6pm, breakfast at 7.30pm, bath time from 5pm – 9pm, house locked at 10pm etc…….. Wow, so many rules….. And there is only 1 bathroom which everyone in the house will need to share. So each time if anyone wish to use the bathroom, they will need to lock the door and display the “Occupied” display on the door. And do note that bath time could only be from 5pm – 9pm ONLY. The picture below shows our room in the guesthouse. It is traditional Japanese room where we sleep on the floor.

926A7912-1 926A7915-2
After rested for a while, we proceeded to walk around in this beautiful white town. The picture below shows our guesthouse from outside

926A7916-3 926A7919-4 926A7920-5 926A7921-6 926A7924-7 926A7927-9 926A7929-10 926A7933-11 926A7926-8 926A7937-12 926A7940-13 926A7941-14
There is viewpoints (total 2) on top of the hill that overlook the whole town, but we will need to climb up the steep slope of snow. We took our time to climb up the slope of snow slowly………… We are really scared that we will fall… But the view that you see on top of the hill at the viewpoint is worth all these effort.

926A7942-15 926A7944-16 926A7952-20 926A7945-17 926A7971-31  926A7965-27
While we are climbing up the slope, we saw there are some students also climbing up the slope too with us.

926A7953-21 926A7954-22 926A7955-23 926A7959-24 926A7967-28 926A7968-29926A7974-33
We help them took a group photo, and they also offer to help us took a couple photo too. They are really very friendly. That’s why I like about Japan, for the scenery and people.

As the sky is turning dark, we decided to walk down the hill and return to the guesthouse. but when we are able to walk down that slope of snow again, we changed our mind as its really difficult and scary to walk down. Then we remember there’s another way up and decided to try to walk down that other route. We found that route near the car park where vehicles stop and it is a road for vehicles to travel on. So walking on that road is easier, but so much longer……. (we found a 3rd way to come up here, which by public bus. Found out only at the next day :P). And in addition, while we were walking in the town, we saw many notice stating beware of bears around here. When see one shout as loud as possible to attract people around to help…. :P. Thats why when we are walking down that long road, which forest are at the side of that road, we worried that we may meet the bears. But lucky we did not….Haha… 🙂

926A7976-34 926A7982-35 926A7984-36 926A7986-37
After a long walk down the road, by the time we reached the guesthouse, its already dark……. We went to the nearby convenience store to get some snacks before we head back to the guesthouse. After rest for a while in the room, its time for dinner. The dinner here is all the guest will eat together in a main dinning room. That is why the dinner time is fixed for everyone.

926A7997-42 926A7993-38926A7998-43 926A7999-44 926A7994-39 926A7995-40 926A7996-41 926A8006-47
The whole dinner consists of tofu, beef, some small dish of vegetables, pickle, fried tempura, BBQ fish, orange and green tea. The beef is quite good as its really soft when bite on it.. I really missed the beef in Japan. After dinner, we went back to our room and found that the bed is ready.

Then took a shower, which is really cold in the bath room although there is hot water…… After shower, we got nothing to do here. But lucky the wifi that I rent here is able to recieve signal in this area. So we just surf net while eating snacks that we bought on the way back just now. Then we proceed to sleep for the night…… By the way, the heater that they used here is using both electrical and kerosene type as fire is buring in that heater. You could see on the 1st picture on top, beside the door. So there is a strong kerosene smell when the heater is on…. But no choice, we need the heater as its really cold. The walls here are also thin, so we can hear those snoring guest in this house. 😛

no comments

Osaka Trip 2014 – Day 4 (Kyoto)

Woke up early morning, getting ready for this new day of adventure. Feeling excited, we begin with the morning breakfast at the hotel which cost 1000 Yen each. The breakfast is the at 1st floor dinning area. And the breakfast set is the best breakfast I ate in Japan, which consist of a soup of the day, yogurts, salad, two pita sandwiches (different ingredients daily), coffee/tea, milk/orange juice, fresh made vegetable smoothie. It could be consider a full course breakfast with so many types of food in the set meal. And consider quite healthy kind of breakfast for me.

Photo 2-12-14 8 15 47 pm-1 Photo 2-12-14 8 15 55 pm-2

Photo 2-12-14 8 15 58 pm-3 Photo 2-12-14 8 16 00 pm-4 Photo 2-12-14 8 16 03 pm-5 Photo 2-12-14 8 16 12 pm-6
After breakfast, we walk to the subway to take the JR train from Kujo station to Arashiyama Sagano Station station for the Sagano scenic train ride. The Sagano Scenic Railway is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of western Kyoto, which is mostly known for the Arashiyama area. Known also as the Sagano Torokko or Sagano Romantic Train, this retrofited old-fashioned stream train takes you beyond Arashiyama for a perfect escape from the busy cities of Japan. Initially we are suppose the take the JR train to a JR station near Torokko Hozukyo station instead and took the scenic train from Torokko Hozukyo station to Sagano Torokko Station, but we alight at the wrong JR station instead. So in the end, we bought a 2 way ticket for the scenic train from Sagano Torokko Station -> Torokko Hozukyo station -> Sagano Torokko Station. So if anyone is going for this scenic train, it is recommend to alight at the JR station near Torokko Hozukyo station and take a 1 way scenic train from there to Sagano Torokko Station, which is more worth it. Or alternative you could still alight at Arashiyama Sagano Station and take the scenic train to Torokko Hozukyo station and when taking the scenic train back to Sagano Torokko Station, you could alight midway and walk through that bamboo forest back to Arashiyama Sagano Station which is another scenery area to visit. There is another choice too, which is took the scenic train from Sagano Torokko Station to Torokko Hozukyo station. Then take a bus/taxi from there to a small pier and took a boat ride down the river back to Sagano Torokko Station. Remember to get the boat ticket at Sagano Torokko Station too. Cost fee per person per way is 600 Yen.

Since the time is still early, we took a walk near the train station for a while before he head back to the train station for the scenic ride. The ride to Torokko Hozukyo station is a free standing ride as we could not get the seated ticket. But the ride back will be seated.

926A7616-4 926A7619-5 926A7620-6 926A7621-7 926A7623-8 926A7624-9 926A7625-10 926A7629-12 926A7630-13 926A7632-14 926A7633-15 926A7635-16
At last, its time to board the scenic train. We went in and queue up and the train arrived in short while. The train looks very nice.

926A7636-17 926A7638-18 926A7641-19 926A7642-20
When the train arrived, we board the train and find a good place to stand in the middle of 2 rows of seat. But we saw some empty seats and we took the seat since none is sitting on it. 😛 We are lucky that throughout the ride, no one took seat.

926A7646-23 926A7644-22  926A7648-24 926A7650-25
The train passed through a lot of areas showing mountains, grassland and there is river running beside the train route. It is so beautiful that everyone keep taking photos non-stop, including me too. 😛

926A7653-26 926A7660-28 926A7663-30 926A7665-31 926A7666-32 926A7667-33
When we arrived at Torokko Hozukyo station, we alight for a short walk around here while waiting for our next train back to Sagano Torokko Station.

926A7684-38 926A7675-34 926A7676-35 926A7677-36 926A7680-37 926A7692-39 926A7693-40 926A7694-41 926A7697-43 926A7699-45 926A7708-49 926A7698-44  926A7703-46 926A7719-55
Saw this van store selling BBQ wild mushroom and we bought a cup to try. It so delicious with the wild mushroom taste. Good!

926A7714-50 926A7715-51 926A7717-53
When its time to leave here, we walk back to the train station and took the scenic train back to Sagano Torokko Station

926A7725-57 926A7730-58 926A7720-56  Photo 2-12-14 8 16 15 pm-1 926A7738-61 926A7732-59 926A7742-63 926A7743-64 926A7746-65 926A7754-66 926A7757-67
After alight at Sagano Torokko Station, suing the map below, we look for the Tenryuji Temple. Along the way, we passed by lots of restaurants which looks very good. As it is already afternoon, we decided to look for some Soba for lunch. It so happen that we passed by this shop selling soba, which is recommend online. Thus we just go for this and ordered wild vegetable soba and fish soba. I also ordered 1 potato. The soba is the hot soba and I highly recommend this as the soba is the best I had tasted in Japan so far. The soup is so good that I finished it all. 😛

926A7759-69 926A7761-70 926A7763-72 926A7762-71 926A7764-73 926A7767-74 926A7768-75 926A7770-76  926A7777-81 926A7773-78 926A7772-77
After lunch, we are energised again. We continuo to look for Tenryuji Temple and managed to find it near this store. The entrance fee per person is 500 Yen. Tenryu-ji Temple, the first-ranked of the Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto. The building and decoration inside is a fine blend of aristocratic tradition and Zen culture, displaying the beauty of the four seasons.

926A7815-99 926A7781-82 926A7782-83 926A7788-84 926A7792-86 926A7813-98 Photo 2-12-14 8 16 28 pm-2 Photo 2-12-14 8 16 57 pm-3 Photo 2-12-14 8 17 06 pm-4 Photo 2-12-14 8 18 22 pm-5 926A7795-87 926A7800-91 926A7808-97 926A7818-101 926A7816-100
After this, our next place is Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is a must visit place. Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha) is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which belongs to the shrine grounds. We took the JR train to JR Inari Station, which the shrine is located just outside the Inari station.

926A7833-105  926A7837-108 926A7836-107Photo 2-12-14 8 27 41 pm (1)-7 Photo 2-12-14 8 27 41 pm-6926A7838-109 926A7839-110  926A7842-112 926A7840-111926A7843-113 926A7844-114 926A7847-115
People wrote wishes on this and hang here for their wishes

At the back of the shrine’s main grounds (can see from the map above) is the entrance to the torii gate covered hiking trail, which starts with two parallel rows of gates called Senbon Torii (“thousands of torii gates”). The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, and you could find the donator’s name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate.

926A7851-116 926A7852-117 926A7855-118 926A7858-120 Photo 2-12-14 8 27 44 pm (1)-8926A7861-121 926A7862-122 926A7865-123 926A7866-124 926A7879-127 926A7869-125 926A7881-128
So you may choose to walk till midway of the trail and turn back or walk all the way to the end. But the torii gates will get lesser and lesser as you walk deeper into the trail… My wife and I only walk till midway and we walk another way out

After we came out, we saw some store selling Tokoyaki. Feeling hungry, we queue up to get some. But the wait is super long, and when came to our turn, we have to wait for the cooked ones. But as we wait, we saw some people be hide us left. And in the end, we gave up too and left. And all the people waiting be hide also left. I’m sure that uncle will be shock when he turn around and saw no one left. Hahahah… But I bought a stick of chicken stick which is quite salty due to the sauce

926A7884-129 926A7885-130 926A7888-132 926A7890-133 926A7892-134 926A7887-131
We took the JR train back to Kyoto station and we went to the look for dinner at the shopping area near the station. We passed by a Muji shop on the way and we went in to take a look. After screening through most of the restaurant, we decided to try out this Okonomiyaki restaurant. Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake made with a base of wheat flour, eggs, and cabbage, with other ingredients thrown in like beef, pork, seafood, and cheese. Ordered Sake mushroom, noodle okonomiyaki, and steak okonomiyaki. They are really delicious, especially the noodle one which I love it. A must try when you are in Japan

926A7897-136 926A7902-137 926A7903-138 926A7907-139
After dinner, we shop around here and bought gloves for tomorrow trip 🙂 There are lots of shopping mall around here which you could find all kinds of clothes, beauty product, restaurant etc. After that we took the train back to Kujo station and rest early for the night.


Osaka Trip 2014 – Day 3 (Kyoto)

Woke up around 9am and took the milk and bread that we had bought from supermarket last night to save some expenses after we had that expensive crab meal last night 😦 After that we check out of the hotel and dragging our luggages  to the train station to take the Kintetsu train from Osaka Uehomachi -> Yamato -> Saidaji -> Kujo Station in Kyoto. It was raining when we reached Kujo Station. Dragging our luggages with one hand and holding the umbrella in another, we walk along the streets of Kyoto with fallen leaves of Gingko tress to find our next accommodations – Anteroom, which we will be staying for 2 nights.

Anteroom – Booked this through http://hotel-anteroom.com/en. Booked the semi-double room (which we thought is the same as double room as the website did not show any semi-double room). After we checked in and reached our room, we found that the room does not match the picture displayed in the website as Double room. The bed in our room is a super single bed, which looks quite tight for 2 person to sleep in it. So we called the hotel staff to re-confirm our room and we were told that Semi-double room is the single room with super single bed that we are having now. The double room is booked and we could only upgrade to Twin room tomorrow if we want. But we have to pay the extra, so in the end I just say forget about it. So we squeeze in the super single bed for 2 nights. Other than all these, the room actually looks quite modern and nice. So if you are planning to stay there with 2 person, it will be better to book the Double Room or the Twin room for a better sleep. Best type of room is the Terrance Twin room, which has a balcony where you could sit and have breakfast

926A7452-1 926A7453-1 
The lobby, dinning restaurant, bar and the gallery hall of this hotels are quite nice and this is a boutique hotel. The bar and restaurant close on Monday.

Photo 2-12-14 7 39 54 pm-1 Photo 2-12-14 7 40 22 pm-2 Photo 2-12-14 7 40 30 pm-3

Sitting in the pub drinking glass of wine or plum wine at night is actually quite relaxing and cosy

Photo 2-12-14 7 53 11 pm-4 926A7909-1
After rested in the room for a while, we went out looking for food. We came across this restaurant selling curry rice/noodle near the hotel along the way to the JR station and decided to try this restaurant. We ordered mix fired chicken & vegetable curry rice and vegetable curry rice. The curry taste good as I love Japanese curry 🙂

926A7464-4 926A7465-5
After lunch, we took the train from Kujo station to Shijo Station.

926A7467-7 926A7469-9 926A7471-10 926A7472-11 926A7475-13 926A7477-14
We took the exit B

We are heading for the Kiyomizu-dera temple (Qingshui Temple), but we took the wrong direction and ended walking towards the opposite direction. The scenery along the street are quite beautiful with a flowing small river along it. And there are lots of restaurant along the street too.

926A7484-17 926A7485-18
We reached this main river after a while and make a U-turn and walk along this river towards the Temple direction. Strolling along the river is very relaxing with the cool weather.

926A7493-20 926A7497-21 926A7499-23 926A7500-24 926A7503-25 926A7510-26
After walking for a while along the river, we manage to reached the bridge towards the temple. Before reaching the temple, we pass by this busy area where there a lot of cafe, restaurant and selling local product shops. As we are quite tired, we took a rest at the Tully’s Cafe for a while before we continue to walk towards the temple.

926A7513-28 926A7512-27
Gesha! 🙂
By the time we reached the temple, its already getting dark. Thus we had no choice but to change our plan and visit the temple night scene instead. But the temple will only open from 6.30pm – 9.30pm for night, we walk near around these shop nearby. There are a lot of shops selling food which you could walk and eat at the same time. As my wife & I did not have dinner yet, we decided to look for dinner around here.

926A7515-29 926A7518-30
We passed by this restaurant selling traditional tofu meal and I remember that this shop is recommend online before. So we walked in for dinner.
This restaurant is so spaceous inside and most of the tables and chairs are made of wood.

We looked at the menu and does not understand it. So in the end we ordered by looking at the picture instead. Hehehe…. 😛 We ordered 2 different set meal. One is the Raw & Cooked Tofu set meal and the other is some colourful Mochi with Tofu set meal

926A7520-31 926A7523-33
926A7524-34 926A7521-32
The cooked tofu is very soft and nice. But the cold raw tofu just taste like Tou Huao without sugar…….. When dip the cooked tofu into the Japanese Soy sauce, it really taste so good! 🙂

926A7532-37 926A7531-36
This is the colourful mocha with cooked & raw tofu meal. It has fried Mochi, green pepper and carrot. There is cooked & raw tofu, miso soup and a small fish with some salad. Other than the cooked tofu, the rest taste average only.

After dinner, we approach the temple and paid 200 Yen each for the entry fee.

As for How to get there: Kyoto station -> Bus number 100 or 206 to Gojo-zaka (五条坂) or Kiyomizu-michi (清水道) stop.

926A7544-40 926A7556-44 926A7560-45 926A7578-46 926A7595-49 926A7587-48  926A7600-50 926A7601-51
Rumour said that anyone who can lift this stick up will have the strength to protect the temple. Many are trying, but they seem to be unable to lift it up 😛

After this, we intend to take bus back, but took taxi back in the end. It cost us 1500 Yen for the trip back to our hotel. We took a rest at the hotel bar before we went back to the room to rest for the day.

no comments

Osaka Trip 2014 – Day 1&2 (Osaka)

Took an afternoon flight from Singapore to Osaka. Reached Osaka Kansai Airport around 10pm as the flight is slightly delayed. Once alight the air plane, we quickly ran to the checkpoint and to the luggage claim point to claim our luggage. As the last airport limousines to out hotel is 10.30pm, we need to get to the bus stop as fast as possible. But my wife’s luggage does not came out early, thus once saw her luggage, we basically just ran all the way to the bus stop. After got the bus ticket from the vending machine near the bus stop, we queue up at the line. Lucky the bus is not here yet……

We reached hotel in another 1hr plus and straight away checked in. We are so tired, but also excited and hungry as we had not had any dinner yet. Thus after putting our luggage into our hotel room, we went our to look for our supper….. Walking along the street near the hotel, we came across this Ramen Shop and decided to give it a try since there are quite a lot of customer in this shop.

Photo 29-11-14 11 52 20 pm-5 Photo 29-11-14 11 52 27 pm-6 926A7224-3 Photo 30-11-14 1 39 33 am-1

We ordered a Miso Ramen set with pan fry dumpling and a bowl of Original Soup Ramen. As we don’t know how to speak Japanese language, we just point point on the menu… Hehehe…. 😛

Photo 29-11-14 11 35 16 pm-2 Photo 29-11-14 11 25 54 pm-1
Miso Soup Ramen. Taste average….

Photo 29-11-14 11 36 51 pm-4

Pan fry dumpling. Taste good with the pork ingredients in it. The skin is just right

Photo 29-11-14 11 35 31 pm-3
Original Soup Ramen. Taste really good with the soup as the soup is really fragrance. 🙂

After dinner, we continue to walk around this area and walked into a back alley where lots of night shops like pubs, restaurants and clubbing are located. Saw this Takoyaki store with lots of people queuing up which looks like the Takoyaki sold here taste good. But as there is many people queuing up, we just walk past this. But we came across another Takoyaki shop in the alley and bought 6 back to hotel. This taste good too… Or maybe is I am still hungry… 😛 We went back hotel around 1am
Photo 30-11-14 1 07 41 am-1 926A7209-1
This is the hotel room that we stayed in Sheraton Miyako Osaka Hotel. It is not big, but is the 2nd most biggest room among all the places that we stayed during our trip in Japan. The location is very good as the train station is just located beside the hotel. And there are a lot of restaurant around the hotel too. Dotonbori is walking distance from the hotel.

I had booked the 3G MIFI from ECONNECT JAPAN (https://www.econnectjapan.com) weeks before we travel to Osaka. During our trip in Osaka, I used this to go online to post Facebook and surf online for information on transport in Osaka. The 3G reception is very good as most of the places have full signal. The place which I predict will not have any signal (Shirakawago) also have good reception signal. The battery life is average too. It is able to last for half day. And I used the portable power bank provided by ECONNECT JAPAN to recharge the MIFI battery and could last for another half day. The only issue is a lot of heat generated by the device, which it became quite hot after a while. This package was sent to the hotel and we collected this when we checked in at the hotel lobby. And it also include a free huge envelope for me to send back this package on our last day in Osaka. On the last day, I just posted this into the letter box found near our hotel and letter box could be easily found in Japan (even the airport also have). Thus i do recommend this for anyone who wish to stay connect online while traveling in Japan.

On the next day, we woke up around 9am and went out around 10.30am. Took a train from Osaka Uehomachi station (which is beside our hotel) to Nara using the ICOCA card which we bought at the train station. As we did not have breakfast in the hotel, therefore took a brunch near Nara station. There are a lot of restaurant near Nara station and we just anyhow choose one and ordered Roasted Pork rice and Noodle with Sushi set meal.

926A7225-4 926A7227-5
Roasted Pork rice. The pork had some fat meat and it is roasted till just right. When eat with the rice, wow…. its real good….

Noodle with Sushi set meal. As I don’t eat raw food, I did not try this. But the noodle looks good too.

After lunch, we walk to the Nara park where there are lots of deers roaming freely. Along the way, we saw this store with lots of people gather around and notice that it is selling Mochi. We bought 1 to try and it is really soft and warm.

926A7232-1 926A7234-3
After walking for a while, we reached the park. WOW! The deers really roam around freely and you could feed them. There are some stalls here selling biscuit for the deers

926A7254-2 926A7261-1 926A7267-2

She’s really sacred that the deer will bite her fingers… hahaha….. Actually its not pain as they just nibble on your finger and their mouth are soft

926A7282-1 926A7269-3
See me looks so proud! 😛

Must have done something wrong. Thats why confine inside.

926A7290-2 926A7297-2 926A7305-1
AH!!!! I’m surounded by the deers. PLEASE HELP!!!!

After passing through this park, there is a shrine. But we did not enter into those area which need entrance fee and just walk around those free areas and outside.

926A7242-1 926A7244-2926A7247-3
This maple tree is really beautiful under the sunlight

This is a Ginkgo tree and the beautiful yellow leaves shines under the sunlight too

Cute little girl who’s so afraid when her mum had her the deer biscuit. She just keep jumping around want to return the biscuit to her mum…… 🙂

926A7328-1 926A7326-1
A wash up area for people to wash their hands. Seems so different with the taps we used for washing hands

926A7331-2 926A7332-1 926A7336-2 926A7338-1
Selling different Omamori (Japanese amulets (charms, talismans) commonly sold at religious sites and dedicated to particular Shinto deities as well as Buddhist figures, and may serve to provide various forms of luck or protection.)

People wrote their wishes and blessing on these wooden plate and hang in the Shrine

926A7346-1 926A7351-2
926A7354-1 926A7361-2 926A7369-2 926A7362-3

926A7375-1 926A7363-1
Visitors riding on the Japanese Rickshaw….

We passed by this open area which looks beautiful and there are some people resting around in this area under the beautiful sky

926A7382-2 926A7377-1 926A7388-3
We walk towards the biggest temple in here and pass by some food stores along the way. Bought a stick of sausages and a stick of roasted mochi. The roasted Mochi taste bad……926A7393-5 926A7394-6 926A7395-7
At the end of this street is the gate of the Todaiji Temple. The gate is really big when I walk pass it. I looked so tiny

926A7397-1 926A7403-10 926A7408-1
There are lots of big buddha statues in the temple which all looks so magnificent.

There is this pillar with a hole at the bottom which rumour that anyone who manage to crawl pass the hole will become clever. Saw there is a queue of both adults and kids trying their luck to crawl through this. But due to the hole is really small, so only kids or adults who are really thin managed to crawl through this hole. So for me is confirm out of question as i confirm will stuck in the hole. hehe 😛

926A7420-13 926A7423-14 926A7426-15
As we exit the temple, its getting dark. So we took the train back to hotel to rest before we head back to the Dotonburi for dinner. This time we took 2 train stop from Osaka Uehomachi station to reach Dotonburi. Heading straight to the famous for crab restaurant, we took a queue number (8.30pm). Since it is still early, we walk around to look for other foods and saw this famous restaurant with the young people for KUSHIKATSU. Kushikatsu(串カツ) are deep-fried skewers of… almost anything, served with a dipping sauce. They’re a specialty here in Osaka, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving this tasty food around the Shinsekai area. One of the best-known restaurants is Kushikatsu Daruma, which opened way back in 1929 has been owned and run by the same family for four generations.

Photo 30-11-14 6 30 19 pm-1 Photo 30-11-14 6 30 36 pm-2 Photo 30-11-14 6 34 44 pm-3
Theres quail egg, beef, octopus, eggplant, oyster etc. Cost around 120 Yen – 300 Yen per stick depend on what you order. The cabbage is free.

Photo 30-11-14 6 37 44 pm-4 Photo 30-11-14 6 45 16 pm-5
This is the dipping sauce. Do remember that you could only dip in once per stick as you should not dip in any food that is bitten before for hygienic purpose. I accidentally dip in twice once. 😛

After this, we went to the crab restaurant known as Kanidoraku Honten with the big crab on top of it. This is the first branch of the chain, founded in 1960, and then there’s another one on the same street and several others across Japan.

Photo 30-11-14 8 24 27 pm-19 Photo 30-11-14 8 03 50 pm-16
We took this 7500 Yen package which consists of fresh raw crabs, crabs and some vegetables for Shabu Shabu, grill crab, starter dishes which mostly made of crabs ingredients, Chawanmushi with crab in it, miso soup, Sushi with crabs ingredients and fruits. So basically all contain crabs in it.

Photo 30-11-14 7 27 16 pm-7 Photo 30-11-14 7 28 26 pm-8
Starter dishes

Photo 30-11-14 7 33 05 pm-9
Raw crabs which tasted really sweet

Photo 30-11-14 7 35 28 pm-11 Photo 30-11-14 7 35 12 pm-10Photo 30-11-14 7 45 22 pm-13
Shabu Shabu….. Taste good

Photo 30-11-14 7 40 33 pm-12
Chawanmushi with crab strips

Photo 30-11-14 7 53 26 pm-14
Grilled crabs

Photo 30-11-14 7 59 53 pm-15 Photo 30-11-14 8 05 33 pm-17
Photo 30-11-14 8 11 17 pm-18
This meal is the most expensive meal in our trip. After the dinner, we walk around this area. There are some shops that sell duty free beauty products. My wife bought a shorts in the Forever 21 store. After that, we took the train back to hotel to rest


no comments

Baba Wins’ Peranakan Cuisine

My wife and I went to this restaurant for dinner yesterday as we went to Star Vista to book our Christmas food for our Christmas party. It is located in 1 hidden corner of Star Vista and is quite small. Although its small, but there is quite a lot of customer in the restaurant. We ordered braised chicken, Satay Pork and Spicy Lady Finger. The sambal chill provided in this restaurant is good…..

Photo 22-11-14 6 29 01 pm Photo 22-11-14 6 59 55 pm

This Satay Pork taste quite nice. It’s taste of a special taste of satay sauce, but not totally taste like those satay sauce used for satay.

Photo 22-11-14 7 03 07 pm

This braised easy a bit tasteless.

Photo 22-11-14 7 05 18 pm

This Spicy Lady Finger taste quite nice and not too spicy.

Overall the food here taste quite okie. You may want to try it if feel like eating some Peranakan food.



The Star Vista 

1 Vista Exchange Green Singapore 138617

no comments

Lola’s Cafe

On a public holiday, my wife and I went to this cafe called Lola’s Cafe located in 5 Simon Rd. We found this restaurant through recommendation online, thus decided to give it a try for its brunch since it is public holiday. But we never expect 1 big surprise waiting for us when we reached there. We reached there around 12pm, and to our surprise, there is a long queue…… We had to register our name with the staff there and wait for their call when its our turn. And guess what, we waited for almost 2hrs for our turn…… Almost faint of hunger since we did not had breakfast… And do remind that its brunch is from 10am to 3pm. We almost missed the brunch time…

Photo 22-10-14 1 31 30 pm Photo 22-10-14 2 12 13 pm Photo 22-10-14 2 13 55 pmPhoto 22-10-14 2 08 19 pm

We ordered Lol’s Full Monty Breakfast, Avocado Eggs Benedict, Honey Paprika Crispy Wings, Black Tea Prune Brownie with Vanilla Ice-cream, 1 glass of Hot Mango Tango Green Tea and 1 glass of Ice Latte.

Photo 22-10-14 2 20 25 pm

This is the Ice Latte and the Mango Tango Green Tea

Photo 22-10-14 2 27 18 pm

This is the Lola’s Full Monty Breakfast, which consists of bread, Pork sausage, Honey bacon, Pork ham, Scrambled eggs, Garden salad and Balsamic dressing. The sausage taste quite good and the honey bacon taste a little sweet due to the honey. The scrambled eggs are just nice and the bread is toasted just okie. Overall its quite nice.

Photo 22-10-14 2 28 13 pm

This is the Avocado Eggs Benedict, which consists of Bread, Avocado, Poached Eggs, Pork ham, Garden salad, Balsamic sauce. This doe snot suit my taste as the egg is like half cooked, which i don’t take half cooked egg. And there is a lot of cream on it too. But my wife like this as she take half cooked egg. So for those who like half cooked eggs that the egg yoke will flow out once the egg is burst open, you may want to try this dish.