TheConfessionsOfaTravelAddict | 2013 Year-End Travel Report

It’s almost the end of 2013, but until now I still can’t believe that I have traveled may times this year. It is the YEAR when I realized that I’ve spent more times wandering around the airport, sleeping on overnight bus, making friends with dorm mates in hostel, busy counting stamps on my passport and always preoccupied with all the planning details for my upcoming destination. This addiction and passion just started out as a hobby to explore places which eventually turns out to be an addiction.

So what is the adverse effect of traveling to me for this year?!

1) Conquered 9 Countries

2) Explored 6 domestic destination in Malaysia

3) Now writing my personal travel blog

4) Bought a DSLR CANON 650D 

5) Gain new friends from different countries

6) I was able to come up with a good technique to divert my attention as an OFW so to avoid homesickness

7) Makes me appreciate LIFE more and see the WORLD in a different perspective

It started in Singapore then to Melaka which later then followed by a series of out of the country/town trip. I was just dreaming before and now I am able to go places, the feeling is incomparable. Will rundown the BEST of my 2013 TRAVEL.

JANUARY

SINGAPORE

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 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE

Clueless of the best way to welcome the year 2013. I found myself  travelling by land from KL to SG to celebrate New Year along with my room mate. We traveled on the night of December 30th and went back to KL on January 1st, 2013. In order to get this travel accomplished I had to make a medical leave for 1 day and had to fake it acting like I am really sick when I phoned in my supervisor. It was my second time in SG and since my brother is based in SG I dont have to worry about the accommodation. I re-visited the Universal Studios although I’ve been there the 1st time I went to SG and on the night of the New Years Eve we welcome the year in Marina Bay Park for the beautiful fireworks display.

MARCH

MELAKA, MALAYSIA

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MELAKA RIVER

My 1st time to go out of town since I started working in KL. I was hesitant at first going to Melaka cause I’m worried about my finances few months back when I was still going through a tough time handling my finances and how to inject travel in between. It was a good decision though to visit Melaka, recognised as UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site. Expect to see more about culture, heritage, food which will make you appreciate Melaka. It is only 2 hour away from KL so for a boring day off  you can simply ride a bus for 10RM from KL going to Melaka.

APRIL

This is where the backpacking and travel addiction started when I bravely challenged myself to go solo backpacking in 4 countries for 10 days. Originally it was only Thailand and Cambodia but when I read  about the stories from travel blogs that you can cover 4-5 IndoChina countries overland by simply crossing borders and not spending much. So i decided to do THAILAND-LAOS-CAMBODIA-VIETNAM trip. Given a very limited time only to explore the places is a big challenge for me. I had to undergo so much pressure working on my itinerary and budget.

THAILAND

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TEMPLE IN BANGKOK

I went on a temple hopping in Thailand on my 2nd day where I also met 4 Filipino’s who are also whining around. I make friends with them and until we communicate through facebook. The temples are stunning and incredibly preserved.

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NONG NOOCH GARDEN IN PATTAYA, THAILAND

Inspired from the movie starring Erich Gonzalez and Mario Maurer (Suddenly It’s Magic). I visited Nong Nooch Garden in Pattaya just to have this photo taken. Beautifully sculptured garden with different themes can be seen in Nong Nooch. Finding my way to Nong Nooch I pass by the Jom Tien Beach in Pattaya which is the nearest beach from Bangkok. I did not swim cause forgot to bring extra clothes but already contented walking on the sand barefooted while the cold water from sea ascends to the shore.

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AYUTTHAYA, THAILAND 

With less than 2 hours away from Bangkok you can do a quick visit to another UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE in AYUTTHAYA, THAILAND. On my 1st day I attempted to go in Ayutthaya but it rained so bad that it is impossible to do a temple tour so I just went back to Bangkok and just moved the schedule of my Ayutthaya trip on my last day in Thailand before I travelled to Laos. It was a very interesting trip to see all those Buddhist Temples still standing and preserved until now.

LAOS

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PHA THAT LUANG IN VIENTIANE, LAOS

Coming from a 4 day trip in Bangkok- I went to a day trip to the laid back city of Vientiane in Laos. I took an overnight bus from Khao San road to Vientiane for 1200 BAHT. A country left behind by time yet the people are nice and the place is rich in culture and heritage. I did not see any skyscrapers while roaming around the town. It is easy to do a day trip in Vientiane cause most of the main attractions can be reached by merely walking. By far the cheapest solo trip I had is Laos cause I only spent for food and souvenirs.

 CAMBODIA

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ANGKOR WAT TEMPLE IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

Fascinated by the images of Angkor Wat online and inspired from the movie Tomb Raider starred by Angelina Jolie- unarguably MUST SEE PLACE BEFORE YOU DIE. I was awed by how the temples are structured and how it was done by Khmers during the time there is no machinery and equipment to put up all these temples. My journey to Cambodia is like an episode in the Amazing Race- coming from the 15 hours train travel from Laos-Bangkok with no sleep and empty stomach. I have to find my way to Cambodia ASAP so I can get pass the border between Thailand and Cambodia as I’ve read somewhere that the immigration in Poipet border is only until 5PM. But thank God I made it to Siem Reap safely without  any hassle. I only stayed technically 1 1/2 day in Siem Reap and it was a decision I have to make as my funds is starting to run out.

VIETNAM

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MEKONG RIVER CRUISE IN HOCHI MINH, VIETNAM

One of my favorite country is Vietnam-it has a special place in my heart. Vietnam is my final destination for my 10 day backpacking trip. When I arrived in Vietnam I can feel my body is giving up due to tiredness and lack of sleep but everything has to go well along with the plan. I thought of just staying 1 day in HCMC and another day spent in Mui Ne for the famous sand dunes but I got worried cause I was only left with 100 USD after the 3 countries and I have to make it work for 2 days more. That’s why i just ended up staying in HCMC and explore the beauty of the laid back city of HCMC. My favorite part of the trip is eating the Pho Noodle and walking inside the Cu Chi tunnel feeling like a guerrilla.

MAY

LEGOLAND MALAYSIA

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LEGOLAND

Coming from a very successful 10 day backpacking trip in INDOCHINA-my adrenaline hasn’t subside yet so I planned on travelling domestic while I am still recovering financially from the expenses I incurred from the INDOCHINA trip. It is 5 hour trip from KL to Legoland in Johor Bahru which 1 hour away from SG. The 1st time I booked the ticket online it got wasted as 2 days before the scheduled date my boss had to make changes on my work schedule. And so wasted 110RM  but it didn’t stop me from seeing Legoland-few weeks before month of May ended I made it to Legoland. The Theme Park is really for kids but the most interesting part that I enjoyed is the mini land-where you can see mini version of the iconics/landmarks of countries in ASIA like the TAJ MAHAL of India and the MERLION of Singapore.

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA

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PUTRAJAYA

The Administrative Capital of Malaysia is known as Putrajaya. A destination close to KL if you take a train or the rapid KL bus. I was accompanied by 3 colleagues when I visited Putrajaya and good thing one of my colleague who is a Malaysian has a car so she drove us around the area and even in Cyberjaya. The place reminded me of Dubai UAE cause of the high rising buildings, well architectured bridge, government offices and mosque. The government of Malaysia spent billions just to make Putrajaya looks like this.

JUNE

LANGKAWI ISLAND, MALAYSIA

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LANGKAWI CABLE CAR

I was supposed to go back home in Manila but the renewal of my work visa got delayed. And since I have to make use of the remaining 2 days leave before we renewed our contract-So come up with an idea to explore another wonders of Malaysia. I had to travel 12 hours to get to Langkawi from KL overland and it was exhausting but thanks to calm and quiet ambiance of Pantai Cenang. I went on an island tour and rode the cable car where you can have the panoramic view of the rest of the Langkawi Island-they say that on a bright clear skies you can see Thailand from this veiwpoint.

PENANG, MALAYSIA

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PENANG FOOD FEST

Blame it to the western backpackers I met along the way when I traveled to INDOCHINA. Penang is the favorite destination of almost all of the Westerns and Americans I met. And out of curiosity I traveled on a weekend to Penang where I had my 2nd couch surfing experience from a very nice family in Penang. Penang is the FOOD CAPITAL of Malaysia. God knows how many times I ate in Penang as I cant resist the foods you can see everywhere. Aside from food the town also offers exciting street art painted on the walls of houses in the streets of Lebuh Chulia.

AUGUST

SINGAPORE

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MERLION PARK SINGAPORE

I have no plans at all in going back to SG anytime SOON- but when my cousin who works in Saudi Arabia visited me here in KL for a short vacation I couldn’t leave him hanging.So a day before his flight to SG I booked my 1 way flight to SG via AIRASIA so I can accompany him together with my brother who is based in SG. It was my 3rd time in SG and I feel like I’ve seen what SG has to offer but it turns out this li’l country hasn’t disappointed me yet. I went to visit the SG ZOO to satisfy my want’s to see the cute PANDA. SG has one of the amazing skyline and because of that I paid 20SGD  to this skyline from the Observation Deck of the Marina Bay Hotel.

BRUNEI

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SULTAN OMAR ALI SAIFUDDIN MOSQUE IN BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

With the goal to accomplish all SOUTH EAST ASIAN countries- I booked a 1 way flight to Brunei via AIRASIA. The only reason why I came to visit Brunei is to get my passport stamp and satisfy my curiosity  about the country with no alcohol and night life. I was supposed to be accompanied by 2 colleagues but they this sort of problem with their ticket booking so I had no choice but to continue the trip. Good thing I did not booked my flight going back to KL yet when they informed me they can’t come with me, so it gave me the idea to cover Kota Kinabalu as well.

KOTA KINABALU, MALAYSIA

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MAMUTIK ISLAND SABAH

My journey to Kota Kinabalu from Brunei doesn’t go along well with the plan. With the original plan to take an 8 hour bus trip to KK which led me to traveling to KK via ferry and spending 1 night in Labuan. KK has also special place in my heart. I enjoyed the fresh seafood and the clear water of their beaches.

KRABI, THAILAND

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PHI PHI ISLAND KRABI

Thinking of where to spend my Bday for this year where I can relax and will not cost too much- my feet brought me to the beautiful island of Krabi in Thailand. I took an overnight bus to Hatyai the border of Malaysia and Thailand then took another bus to get to Ao Nang in Krabi where the backpackers hub is. I have never seen such nice beaches like that, only thing I did not like is the bunch of tourist making the place looks chaotic. I was happy enough to see the famous Leonardo de Caprio Island where the movie The Beach was shot.

OCTOBER

HONG KONG

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THE PEAK 

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HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

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TSIM SHA SHUI PROMENADE HONG ONG

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TIAN TAN BUDDHA

It was a ON and OFF decision when I planned my trip to HK. This is where I was supposed to celebrate my bday but since there are no ongoing airfare promotion sale few weeks before my bday so I just moved it to October- it became an advantage on my end cause it gave me more time to save enough money for the trip. HK is not your typical SEA destination meaning it is not CHEAP to travel to HK so a careful planning and budgeting is needed. This is now on top my list of my favorite country although not an independent country at all. The unforgettable moment is when I stepped inside HK’s DISNEYLAND-was totally a whole new experience to have come to the Happiest Place on Earth.

MACAU

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RUINS of ST. PAUL CHURCH

Since Macau is just an hour away from HK then this makes Macau an exciting place to visit for a day trip.I spent 1 day doing non-stop walking and taking photos alone. Although 1 day is not enough to cover all the must see attractions I am still proud of what I have accomplished. The highlight of the trip is the hotel-hopping experience on which I did not spend anything for transportation for the whole duration of trip in Macau except for the ferry fare going to Macau. It is tourist friendly place where most attractions can be seen via walking.

NOVEMBER

BALI, INDONESIA

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TANAH LOT TEMPLE

This is my last destination for the year 2013, I decided to take a rest for the month of December in lieu of the upcoming Christmas holiday. I have been warned by some travelers who visited Bali that it is overrated and the beaches are not even close to the beaches of Philippines. But it did not stop me from going to Bali for I believe the only time you can say a place is terrible is when you see it for yourself and not from hearsay. It was just a magical place with alot of things to offer. I promised myself I will go back to Bali one day where I am not following any itinerary and everything is just free flowing. What really strikes me about Bali is the faith of the Balinese people to their religion- you can see them praying and offering to their Gods and Goddesses every hour of the day.

WHAT’S YOUR TRAVEL STORY FOR THIS YEAR?

Top Things To Do In Macau

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MACAU MAP (image source from http://geography.about.com)

Macau (also spelled. Macao, 澳門, Ou3 Mun4 in Cantonese, Àoménin Mandarin) [1] is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China.The name of the city is derived from the word Magao (A-Ma Temple), which was the shrine dedicated to Mazu, a sacred sea goddess respected by the local people.

 The Portuguese settled in Macau in the 16th century and the island was handed back to China in 1999, in exchange for clearing the area of pirates under strict Chinese administration.

Aside from the main city, Macau includes the islands of Taipa and Coloane, which are connected to Macau by bridges and to each other by a causeway, now built up into the Cotai Strip.

It is consider as “The World’s Most Densely Populated Place”. Macau is a small place, where on a good day you can drive from one end to the other in 30 minutes. This makes walking the ideal way to explore winding city streets, nature trails, and long stretches of beach.

While gambling is the main reason for the vast majority of tourist’s who have come to Macau, but there’s more to Macau than it’s colorful casino’s and top caliber hotels. From colonial houses and buildings, diverse fusion of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine, scenic harbor view to the many of UNESCO’s World Heritage site are just some of the things you can enjoy if you’ve come to visit Macau.Most of Macau’s best sightseeing is free and while the list below may seem short keep in mind that Macau is a small city.

1) Walk like a Roman in Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.

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KALA NIYO COLOSSEUM NG ROME NUH!

This 100,000-square meter waterfront entertainment complex includes over 150 stores and restaurants, each displaying an architecture style of different world seaports such as Cape Town, Amsterdam and Venice. It is  the first theme park in Macau and is located in the Macau Peninsula. Though there numerous shops lurking around the area it is suggested not to but anything as the prices can triple from it’s original price.

This attraction is on top my list when I created the final draft of my day trip in Macau. I have always been wanting to visit Rome for the Gladiator/Romanic adventure. The place is best to see during day time and perfect at night when the spotlights are on.

HOW TO GET HERE: take a free shuttle bus from the Macau ferry terminal, it is a short walk from Macau ferry terminal just across the The Sands Macau.

Take bus no. 1A,3,3A,8,10,10A,10B,17,28A,28B,28BX,28C,32

HOURS OF OPERATION:  depending on ride/attraction, but Fisherman’s Wharf area is open 24hrs.

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

2) Shoot and fire in Fortaleza do Monte.

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This is so Spanic/Portuegese

Situated on a hill overlooking the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Fortaleza do Monte (大砲臺), also known simply as Monte Forte, was built by the Jesuits at the same time as the Cathedral in order to protect the churchmen of St. Paul’s from pirates.

The fort is quadrilateral with bastions at each corner and about 100 meters (328 feet) in circumference. Barracks, cisterns and storehouses were the main buildings of the fort. An ancient tower situated here was one of the sites of the Society of Jesus. With cannons on the four sides, the fort was strongly fortified. Though the cannons have lost their military function, they still remain.The landscape surrounding the fort is quite charming. Standing on the platform, visitors have an excellent view across Macau, making the Monte Fort a very popular attraction for both tourists and natives alike.

I saw some lover’s whining around cuddling each other which provides the romantic feel. From here you also have the view of the Macanese Houses standing close to each other on the narrow streets. Overlooking the sea from the uphill is one of the best free things to do in Macau.

HOW TO GET THERE: quick walk and hike from the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral  and just around the Macau Museum area

Bus No.8A, 17, 18, 19, 26

HOURS OF OPERATION: 6am-7pm (May to Sept) ; 7am-6pm (Oct to April)

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

3) Light up some in incense in Na Tcha Temple.

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The humble Na Tcha Temple (哪吒廟), built in 1888, is a small two-room structure with an entrance hall that leads directly into the main hall.

Ever smelling of burning incense, the temple is dedicated to the popular Chinese folk deity Nezha (哪吒). Nothing so spectacular about this temple but if you are within the historic area of Macau then you can give a quick look. Temple is just on the left side of the Ruins of St. Paul Church

HOW TO GET HERE: The temple sits beside a remaining Section of the Old City Walls in the historic center of Macau behind the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

HOURS OF OPERATION: 24 hours

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

4) Learn how it all started in Macau Museum.

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HISTORY TIME! TURN TO PAGE 103

The Museum of Macau is the biggest museum in Macau. It is located in the famous Monte Fortress, in the heart of the city and where the Portuguese first set foot. Spend an hour or so trying to understand Macau’s Heritage and Culture, several artifacts and mini exhibits can be found inside. Since I am out of time I kinda rushed and missed out some relevant facts about the history Macau. If you went outside of the museum you will be welcomed by the canons in Monte Forte.

The exhibition is classified into different groups:

Original Civilization, 1st floor:

The origin of this region and its prosperity from the Neolithic period to the mid 17th century, which is known as the ‘Golden Period’ of Macau is introduced here.

Popular Art and Traditional Culture, 2nd floor

Different cultural themes which make Macau’s culture rich and unique are showcased here. These themes usually derive from the existing culture, such as traditional festivals, daily customs, traditional handicraft and typical professions.

Contemporary Macau, 3rd floor:

Here one sees the panorama of modern Macau. It also exhibits some works whose writers have been closely linked with Macau. The final part is an exhibition of the city’s prospects and opportunities.

HOW TO GET HERE: From St.Paul Ruins it is just a short walk or take the stairs up.

Take bus 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 19, 21A, 26A, 33 and get off at Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro. Then walk through Senado Square to Ruins of St. Paul’s Church for ten minutes. The museum is just next to the ruins.

HOURS OF OPERATION: 10:00 to 18:00 (admission stops at 17:30) Closed every Monday

ADMISSION FEE: 15 PATACAS

5) Visit one of the iconic landmark known as the Macau Tower.

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Reaching the Sky

Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, also known as Macau Tower, an important landmark of the city. It was designed by Gordon Moller, a famous architect of New Zealand. The construction was finished in December, 2001, at the 2nd year anniversary of Macau’s return. It was the eighth highest tower in Asia and the tenth in the world by the year of its completion.Macau Tower is host to a spectacular array of extreme activities which draw adrenalin junkies from around the world.

It is one’s featured in one of the episodes of the Americas Next Top Model and Amazing Race. I remember that episode in ANTM where the model is posing on the edge of the with the wind blowing on her and she loses her balance every now and then (SCARY). You have an opportunity to shop and dine in to a revolving 360 cafe/resto, the 360°whirling Café provides you authentic Chinese and western style food, such as, fresh sea food, Portuguese and Indian flavors, spaghetti and sweets of Italy. You will enjoy yourself about the buffet dinner no matter by the environment of the café or the delicious food it offered.

The highest observation level is the Outdoor Observation Deck on Level 61, with a height of 223 meters (about 732 feet). Walking around the Observation Deck, You can have a panoramic view of the Peal River Delta, Macau Peninsula and Taipa, Coloane islands.

HOW TO GET HERE: Free shuttle bus offered by City of Dreams passes by the Tower

Taxi Catch a taxi at the airport, the ferry terminal or hotels or simply flag one down on a nearby road. Taxis are metered and charge MOP13 flagfall. There may also be a surcharge when traveling between islands.
Bus 9A, 18, 21, 23, 32

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Tower Opening Hours : 10am – 9pm (weekdays)
9am – 9pm (weekends and public holidays)

360 CAFE

Lunch Buffet High Tea Set Dinner Buffet
Monday to Sunday 11:30am  – 1:00pm
1:30pm – 3:00pm
3:30pm – 5:00pm 6:30pm – 10:00pm

ADMISSION FEE:

Tower observation deck ticket

Adults MOP 135
Senior Citizens (Age 65 or above) MOP 70
Children (Age 11 or under) MOP 70
Infants (Under Age 3) Free of charge

Price per head 360 CAFE

Lunch Buffet High Tea Set Dinner Buffet
Monday to Sunday MOP 238 Adult
MOP 188 Child
MOP 168 Adult
MOP 138 Child
MOP 338 Adult
MOP 238 Child

6) Explore one the oldest Chinese Temple at A-Ma Temple.

a-ma_temple_macauYikes! Alot of Chinese from Mainland China

The A-Ma Temple, located in the southeast of the Macau Peninsula, is the oldest temple here.It is the longest surviving building in Macau — is situated at the bottom of Barra Hill at the entrance to the Inner Harbour, across from the Maritime Museum. Parts of this temple, dedicated to A-Ma, goddess of seafarers, date back more than 600 years. According to legend, a poor village girl sought free passage on a boat but was refused until a small fishing boat came along and took her onboard. Once the boat was at sea, a typhoon blew in, destroying all boats except hers. Upon landing at what is now Barra Hill, the young girl revealed herself as A-Ma, and the fishermen repaid their gratitude by building this temple on the spot where they came ashore.

Unluckily I didn’t get to explore this hundred year old temple but I heard it is worth to visit only if you are still not so over with Chinese temples specially if your point of origin is HK. The location is pretty much out of the way from most attractions so for a day trip it will be mot advisable not unless you started so early or you plan to spend 1 night in Macau.

HOW TO GET HERE: Bus: 2, 5, 9, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 21A, or 28B

HOURS OF OPERATION:10:00-16:00(Mon-Fri) 10:00-13:00(Sat,closed on Sunday)

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

7) Conquer your fear in Macau Tower Bungy Jump.

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The World’s Highest Bungee Jump at Macau Tower

Guinness Book of World Records, the 233m jump from the Macau Tower is the highest bungee jump in the world. I honestly didnt even think about doing it cause I have fear in heights. Hell NO! but if you are adventurous, physical capable, doesn’t suffer from heart ailment then go ahead and try this out. It can be a life changing experience to jump but I tell you the price of the 4-5 sec free fall is also exhilarating and expensive. But dont worry cause after your free fall jump you have the chance to watch yourself  jumping as the package includes a video tape of your bungee jump experience.

HOW TO GET THERE: Free shuttle bus offered by City of Dreams passes the Tower

Taxi Catch a taxi at the airport, the ferry terminal or hotels or simply flag one down on a nearby road. Taxis are metered and charge MOP13 flagfall. There may also be a surcharge when traveling between islands.
Bus 9A, 18, 21, 23, 32

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Opening Hours
Monday – Thursday 11:00am – 7:30pm
Friday 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 9:00pm

ADMISSION FEE:

                                                    Price List (per person)             HKD=MOP
Bungy Jump Bungy Jump including certificate, membership card & exclusive Bungy Jump T-shirt:  MOP2,688
2nd Jump: MOP888
Souvenirs: MOP299 for photo CD; MOP 599 for video in USB; MOP 799 for video + Photo in USB;
Full Package (Bungy Jump+T-shirt+Video+Photo in USB): MOP3,388
SkyJump SkyJump including certificate, membership card & exclusive T-shirt:  MOP1,888
2nd Jump: MOP888
Tandem SkyJump: MOP3,488
Souvenirs: MOP499 for video in USB; Full Package (SkyJump+T-shirt+video+photo in USB): MOP2,488
Skywalk X Package Skywalk X including certificate, membership card, CD & exclusive T-shirt:  MOP688
Tower Climb Tower Climb (include exclusive Tower Climb T-Shirt, Certificate, Membership Card, Video & Photo on USB): MOP1,888
2nd Climb: MOP999
Tower Climb Express (include exclusive Tower Climb T-Shirt & Photo CD): MOP688

8) Kun Iam Temple (The Temple of the Goddess of Mercy).

607LLooks nice at night when all lights are lit up.

It is located at Avenida do Coronel Mesquita of Macau, is one of the Three Ancient Temples of Macau. Politically important as well, it is known as the site of the first Sino-American treaty, the Treaty of Wanghia, which was signed in 1844. Kun Iam Temple has 3 main shrines situated one behind the other, with several small shrines around them. It primarily consists of the Hall of Sakyamuni (Gautama Buddha), the Buddha of Longevity Hall, and Kun Iam Hall. At the back of the temple are beautiful terraced gardens where guests may take a stroll.

HOW TO GET HERE:  take Buses No. 12, 17, 18, 19 or 22 to Kun Iam Temple OR 20 minutes walk from MGM Hotel.

HOURS OF OPERATION:  10:00-16:00 ( Monday to Friday); 10:00-13:00 (Saturday); closed on Sunday

ADMISSION FEE: 3MOP

9) Grand Prix Museum & Wine Museum.

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You need a ride?!

 It has the most valuable possessions of one of the major sporting and social events of Macau to be better preserved and displayed to the general public. In addition, two state-of-art technology car racing simulators were installed to offer visitors thrilling experience of racing.

Located in the same building as the Grand Prix Museum , this is Asia’s first museum dedicated to wine. The Wine Museum offers visitors a wide range of experiences: wine history, wine making and wine tasting as well as sales of wines,it has 300 types of wines on display are available for tasting, which is included in the entry fee. The only musuem in Macau where beverages is OK.

HOW TO GET HERE: take bus 28B, 28C, 32 to Rua de Luís Gonzaga Gomes, New Reclaimation Area. The museum is also inside Macau Tourism Activities Center together with Grand Prix Museum.

HOURS OF OPERATION: 10:00-18:00 (Closed on Tuesday) for both

ADMISSION FEE: 10MOP for and for wine tasting 10MOP

NOTE: But by September 2 to December 31 this year the Macau Government Tourist Office will open to public for free to attract more tourist.

10) Senado Square and Leal Senado.

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I can sense Portugal here…

Senado Square (Largo do Senado) is a public square in Macau which stands infront of Leal Senado Building. The square is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic Centre of Macau“. It is located in the central area of the Macau Peninsula.It is well decorated and paved with a wave-patterned montage of colored stones. The square is surrounded by pastel coloured neo-classical buildings, creating a consistent and harmonious Mediterranean atmosphere. The square is lined with shops and restaurants and branched off to other smaller streets and alleys that offered even more shops and restaurants.

Walk forward further and you will reach the famous St. Paul Ruins.  At the end of the paved road, there is the St. Domingo’s Church. On the third floor of the church there is a museum of paintings, sculptures and liturgical ornaments that illustrate the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Asia. There are throng of tourist that will welcome you upon waking towards St. Paul Ruins so be wary of your child and belongings. The best thing about walking in Senado Square is the free taste of beef jerky and Macau tarts plus a bunch of stalls and stores selling souvenirs and cheap items.

HOW TO GET HERE: Take the No. 3, 3A, 4, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 19, 21A, 26A, 33 buses to the Av. De Almeida Ribeiro (San Ma Lo)

-short walk from Grand Lisboa Hotel

-take the free shuttle from Galaxy Hotel to San Malo and do 5 minutes walk

HOURS OF OPERATION: 24 hours

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

OTHER ATTRACTIONS NEARBY

-St. Domingo’s Church

-Macau Central Post Office

-Casa da Misericórdia or the Holy House of Mercy

-St. Paul’s Cathedral

-Leal Senado

11) Shop and try out Macau’s best food treats and delicacies while strolling in Senado Square.

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Excuse me!!

Satisfy your shopping appetite while wandering around Senado Square where you can discover inexpensive Macanese-made clothes, T-shirts, jeans and sportswear in markets around the area. Those interested in vintage items have a treat waiting for them in the former red-light district a few streets away. If you’ve come to Macau along with the rest of your bank savings then you can opt to shop in Hotel Shops and Casinos whereby offering higher prices of merchandise. Though Macau is not recognize as a renowned shopping destination like neighboring Hong Kong, Macau is just beginning to open up the mega-mall culture thanks to the unprecedented growth in hotels and casinos.

A unique fusion of Portuguese and Chinese influences, food aficionados are in for a flavorful experience.Don’t forget to grab the free taste of the Macau’s Egg Tart and Beef Jerky, if you are just doing a day tour in Macau with a limited budget then this will satisfy your cravings for Macau treats. It got me full actually trying out those free taste that eventually led me to buy 2 boxes of Macau Egg Tarts cause I cant get enough of it. On the narrow alleys you can find food stalls for cheap eats if you really intend to get a hang of the Macanese Cuisine. HKD is widely accepted in Macau so it is OK not to have you money exchange to PATACAS, but once you head back to HK your PATACAS is useless so you can keep it in your wallet as a memorabilia.

HOW TO GET HERE:  best to experience while you are walking from Senado Square on your way to St. Paul Ruins,

PRICE RANGE: Food ranging from 8MOP for a piece of Macau Egg Tart-70 MOP for a meal.

12) Hotel-Hopping.

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HOTEL CASINO OVERLOAD

Macau is arguably Asia’s very own version of Las Vegas, with its glamorous casinos, gargantuan hotels, top-scale restaurants and glitzy bars. Given a day to spend in Macau, one of the best way to kill time is exploring all the neighboring hotels and casinos. You don’t have gamble in order to see the famous strips of Hotel Casino’s. One way to do it is to HOP ON TO any of the FREE shuttle bus from the ferry terminal. You don’t have to be a hotel guest for you to be allowed to board on the shuttle bus, it is a way of Hotel and Casino’s to attract visitors to come and visit their Hotel’s. This is how you can save alot if you stay in Macau.

HOW: HOP ON TO to any free shuttle bus from the ferry terminal, airport.

PRICE:  Free of charge

13) Be serenaded by the gondolier in Venetian Hotel.

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SKY LOOKS REAL ISN’T?!

The Venetian Macau-Resort-Hotel is located on the Cotai Strip, it is the largest single block style hotel in Asia and the second largest building in the world. It has the function of performance, entertainment, shopping, exhibition, accommodation and large scale gaming. In Venetian Macau there are two main areas—the tourist area and the casino area. In the tourist area, there are the Venetian styled buildings, canals and plaza.It has one of the largest casinos in the world at 13 acres. Located on the first level of the building, the casino is divided into four areas – the Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix.

You don’t have to spent thousands of PESOS to see the and ride the famous gondola from Venice, Italy. In Venetian Macau you can experience a piece of Venice,while the whole thing may seem like a romantic adventure, it can be a fun family activity or a friendly one. The trip takes 15 minutes which is accompanied by songs from the gondoliers. The San Luca, Marco Polo and Grand Canals are all named after the famous Venetian canals.

If you run out of energy walking around then there are many restaurants with Chinese, Japanese, western food and snacks among which there is the largest restaurant in Asia with more than 1,000 tables.

HOW TO GET HERE: Take the free shuttle bus from ferry terminal or from the airport, take a taxi or do short walk from Galaxy Hotel and City of Dreams.

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Grand Canal Shoppes: Sunday-Thursday: 10:00-23:00
Friday-Saturday: 10:00-24:00

Daily Canal Opening Times

Grand Canal: 11:00 – 2200
Marco Polo: 11:00 – 1900
San Luca: 11:00 – 1900

PRICE: Adult (per ride): MOP118
Kids (per ride): MOP88
Private Gondola (per ride): MOP472

NOTE: Tickets are available at Boutique di Gondola (shop 2301) and Emporio di Gondola (shop 2660).

14) Pay tribute to of one the most RESPECTED pop singer of all time (MICHAEL JACKSON).

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ICON!

Micheal Jackson enthusiasts will be interested in seeing the nice little collection (free to visit) found at the Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16. On the 2nd floor, just above the MJ Cafe.Housed inside the the 5 star Sofitel Hotel Macau at PONTE 16 is the MJ GALLERY where you can see the wide collection of MJ’s iconic items during the peak of his career, including the  famed white rhinestone glove worn by MJ when he debuted the moonwalk during a performance of ‘Billie Jean’. If you are on a day tip to Macau then it is not advisable to visit this museum as the location of the hotel is distant from most of the famed attractions in Macau. Admission is free and there’s a small area selling MJ memorabilia as well.

HOW TO GET HERE: Rua das Lorchas e Rua do Visconde Paço de Arcos, Macau 2/F, Ponte 16 Macau

-take the free shuttle bus from ferry terminal, take a taxi or ride the bus 1,3,4,6,19,33,34

HOURS OF OPERATION: 11am to 9pm

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

16) Spend all you’ve got and gamble.

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PUSH MU YAN!

 “Gambling in Macau” has been legal since the 1850’s when the Portuguese government legalized the activity in the colony. Since then, Macau has become known worldwide as the “Monte Carlo of the Orient”, and gambling has become a significant part of the city’s economy. The casino’s contributes 40 of the GDP of Macau so just imagine how important it is to their economy and daily lives. I’ve read somewhere 1 out of every families in Macau is working in a casino.

Generally, gambling in Macau can be divided into three different categories: casino games (eg: VIP High Roller Casino, Roulette Casino), horse racing and greyhound racing. There is also sports betting and a number of lotteries. At the present time, Macau does not license online gaming operations.The largest gambling city in Macau is Macau with 34 gambling facilities, 3,165 tables games, 7,995 gaming, slot, and video poker machines.Macau has 33 casino and the largest casino in the entire country of Macau is Venetian Casino Resort Macao which is located in Cotai.

If you are willing to enough risk it all then feel free to sit in of the table and play the game. Mostly the riches people in town can afford it from the business tycoons, Chinese main lander and western’s. I don’t gamble and I don’t even know how to play poker so didn’t mind spending any centavo hence I was busy buzzing around the casino area getting for free goods and items available for all visitors like bottle of water, discount membership card even goodies. Taking photos within the casino area is strictly not allowed so don’t even attempt.

17) Watch the free dazzling show in Macau Casino’s.

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One of the best show.

There’s heavy competition among the Macau hotels and casinos. So most of them try to be unique in some way – either through a special decoration theme, through opulence, technical gizmos or sheer size. One way to attract people and money is to offer multimillion dollar shows that lasts within 30 minutes and can go on and on throughout the night.

CITY OF DREAMS

Dragon’s Treasure Show– (informally known as ‘The Bubble Show’)Dive into the world of Dragon’s Treasure in this completely immersive multimedia show at City of Dreams. This may not be free but for 50 MOP you will definitely enjoy the show.

Adult MOP50
Macau Resident MOP30
Child (3-12yrs) MOP25
Senior (60yrs & above) MOP30

SHOW TIMES
12:00noon – 8:00pm
(every 30 minutes)

Vquarium-Mermaids Swim Up to Perform a Water Dance and to Wish You Good Luck

-24 hours open and free of charge

WYNN HOTEL 

Dragon of Fortune Show-Dragon of Fortune is a lobby show in the Wynn located in the Rotunda at the entrance to the resort. An animatronic dragon, symbolizing health and good fortune (a good symbol at a casino), comes to life, snorting steam and roaring mightily.This show lasts about 10-15 minutes.

-The show is free and runs every half hour

Tree of Prosperity Show-This is a choreographed event of sculture and multimedia that entertains the passerbys with a show concerning Chinese and western astrology and the four seasons.

-The show is free and runs every half hour

Water Fountain Show-Every fifteen minutes, there’s a show at the artificial lake in front of the hotel. The fountains are synchronized to music that ranges from
classical symphonic favorites to Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Holding out for a Hero’.

– performing every 15 minutes throughout the day and night, starting from 11.00am running unitl 12.00am (midnight)

GALAXY HOTEL

Laser show– be amazed by what it claims to be one of the largest free laser shows on earth.presents a light show unmatched in the region. Its twin towers, each with a large central spire and smaller spires on each end, have six prominent features each housing a 50-watt yag laser and lit by LED fixtures.

Fountain Show-The Fortune Diamond is lobby performance at the Galaxy Resort Macau that is similar to mechanical/audio performances found in other major venues in Macau, like the City of Dreams and Wynn Hotel.  During this short performance, a massive diamond rises from a growing cascade of water, set to an interesting musical score and special lighting effects.

-5 minute show that runs every half an hour 

18) Visit another wonder’s of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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Awww.. How romantic..

The Ruins of St. Paul’s (also known as Sam Ba Sing Tzik) stands adjacent to the famous Mount Fortress and Macau Museum. The front façade and the grand stone stairs are the only remains of the greatest church. The Ruins of St. Paul’s has been restored during 1990 and 1995. The Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt was also built at that time.

It was officially listed in 2005 as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Historic Centre of Macau. Originally built in the 16th century, the complex of St. Paul’s College and the Cathedral of St. Paul burned down and was rebuilt multiple times before the third and final fire during a typhoon in 1835 left it beyond repair. All that remains are the iconic stone façade and the grand staircase leading up to it.

This is probably the most photographed landmark in Macau and the most famous landmark if we are talking about Macau as a tourist attraction. By the time you reached the facade you may already be full cause of the free taste of beef jerky and egg tarts along the pavement of Senado Square. Highly recommended to visit this attraction either if you are just on day trip or staying in Macau for a couple of days.

The Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt was built at the bottom of the ruins and houses many religious artifacts including Sino-Portuguese crucifixes, paintings and statues.Admission to the museum is free every day between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm

HOW TO GET HERE: short walk from Senado Square and Grand Lisboa Hotel

Bus No.8A, 17, 18, 19, 26

HOURS OF OPERATION: 09:00-18:00

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

Top Things To Do In Brunei

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BRUNEI MAP (image from http://www.vidiani.com)

Once part of Borneo, Brunei became independent in 1984. Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital city and where most tourists will spend few days while exploring the small country.It lies on the northwest of the island of Borneo is one of the oldest kingdoms yet one of the youngest independent nations of the region.

A small country with a total land area of just 5,765 sq km with a coastline that runs 161 km along the South China Sea.The official name for Brunei is Negara Brunei Darussalam (i.e. ‘Negara Brunei’ – the state of Brunei, and `Darussalam’ – Abode of Peace).

Brunei Darussalam operates a Currency Board system and has no Central Bank. The unit currency is the Brunei dollar (BND). It has the same dollar rate as with SINGAPORE DOLLAR. Both are freely traded in their respective countries.

Brunei is comprised of four districts such as:

  • Brunei Muara District
  • Tutong District
  • Belait District
  • Temburong District

The nation’s riverfront capital, Bandar Seri Begawan is in the Brunei Muara District.

It is probably the least noticed independent country with a lot of exciting destinations for nature lovers, though if you are looking for a nightlife, this is not the place for you. The streets are almost deserted at 9 pm as being a Muslim country alcohol has no place in this country.

Filipino’s can enjoy a 14 day stay in Brunei while SG,Malaysia and UK citizen are exempted from visas to visits of up to 30 days. Brunei may be small, but it’s also very rich – thanks to natural gas and petroleum resources. The Sultan of Brunei is one of the richest people in the world.Many of places of interest actually lie within a comfortable stroll of each other in the heart of the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan. Here’s my take on how to spend  a day or 2 in Brunei.

Coming to Brunei is easy as you can either Fly from nearby countries, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Dragonair and Philippines Airlines serve Bandar Seri Begawan and offer one-stop connections to the rest of the world through their hubs in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Manila. Or take a ferry from Labuan off the coast of Sabah, and to the Malaysian towns of Limbang and Lawas in Sarawak. You can also spend couple hours on a road trip from as an extensive overland road connects nearby cities like Miri, Sarawak and Sabah.

1) Check out one of the best works of architecture in Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.

988805_662952340422813_310597673_nSTUNNING GOLDEN DOME!

Built in 1958, the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque sits near the Sungai Kedayan and is the tallest building in central Bandar Seri Begawan. It dominates the city centre of Bandar Seri Begawan. It is one of the most magnificent mosques of South-East Asia. It is made out of materials such as including marble from Italy, granite from Shanghai, stained glass and chandeliers from England and carpets from Belgium and Saudi Arabia.

NOTE: The mosque is closed to non-muslims on Thursday. Access is restricted to late afternoon on Fridays

HOW TO GET THERE: From Yayasan Shopping Complex just simply cross the street.

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

HOURS OF OPERATION: 08:00 – 12:00, 14:00 – 15:00, 17:00 – 18:00, 20:00 – 21:00 Saturday – Wednesday 

2)  Do the canopy walk in Ulu Temburong National Park

$2E6FB8A1BC53C95AVAST WILDERNESS

 

Lying on the Southern part of the Temburong District is the Ulu Temburong National park, the first National Park in Brunei Darussalam. The Park , which has an area of 48,857 hectares.Regarded as the best preserved tropical rainforest on Borneo. It has never been logged so expect to see trees of hundred years old.Tour companies in BSB offer a variety of packages. The standard rate is around B$245 per person for a two-day trip to the park which includes an overnigth stay,though it’s cheaper by far to get the boat to Bangar and either book at the tourist office (B$85) or hang around and try to negotiate a ride-along with an existing group. If you have 2 or 5 days to spare in Brunei then this option is available for you, price maybe expensive but with the best adventure that awaits for you then sure thing it is gonna be worth it.

ADVENTURES TO EXPECT:

-Canoeing

-Suspension bridge walk

-Waterfall tours

-Drift down river on floats

-CANOPY WALK

HOW TO GET THERE: Better to hire tour operators as getting there can be a challenge, the park is only accessible via boat from Bandar Seri Begawan ou can hireywater taxis which take about one hour to ply the route to the main town of Bangar in Temburong District and another 30 minute bus ride is needed to reach Batang Duri which is the base for Brunei’s Outward Bound School and the embarkation point for Temuai longboats which carry visitors up the Temburong River.

TOUR PRICE: From 200-260 BND per person 

3) Understand the origin of “Abode of Peace” in Brunei Museum

1486840_662958653755515_1936847190_nALMOST CLOSING TIME WHEN I ARRIVED

The Brunei Museum is located on the bank of the Brunei River, about 6.5 Km from the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, stretches then elongated of the Brunei Museum. Brunei Museum was first established in 1965. Here you can see the  antique cannons and intricate daggers, a large private collection of gilded Holy Korans, Borneo ethnographic displays and treasures unearthed from shipwrecks off Brunei’s coasts.

There are 5 galleries in the Brunei Museum.

  1. Brunei Darussalam Archeology and History gallery
  2. Art Exhibition (Brunei cultures)
  3. Oil and Gas discovery gallery
  4. Islamic gallery
  5. Brunei shipwreck

I only made it to 3 galleries as the Museum is about to close when I arrived. I didn’t get to absorb much information cause I was in a hurry. My favourite part of the museum is the Islamic art collection which is just amazing. It’s a large gallery absolutely full of beautiful artifacts.But overall it is still one of the MUST VISIT places especially if you have come to Brunei knowing just a handful information.

HOW TO GET HERE: Take the bus 39 from BSB bus terminal, private tour and TAXI.

ADMISSION FEE: free of charge but you have to log your name and leave your valuables and camera on the locker.

HOURS OF OPERATION: 

Monday – Sunday : 9.00am – 5.00 pm

Friday : 9.00am – 11.30am        /        : 2.30pm – 5.00pm

4) Take a peek on the house of the Royals in Istana Nurul Iman

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Hailed as the Largest Palace in the World  is  home of the Sultanate of Brunei and infact the guinnessworldrecords has recognised and proclaimed as the “LARGEST RESIDENTIAL PALACE IN THE WORLD”.The name “Istana Nurul Iman” is taken from Persian Astane and Arabic Nur-ol Imaan and means Palace of the Light of Faith.

The palace contains 1,788 rooms, which includes 257 bathrooms, a banquet hall that can be expanded to accommodate up to 5,000 guests, a mosque accommodating 1,500 people.The palace also includes a 110-car garage, an air conditioned stable for the Sultan’s 200 polo ponies, and 5 swimming pools. Just imagine living in this palace where everything you need is at your fingertips. Or how about sleeping on room made out of GOLD.

The palace is not open to the public except on the annual Islamic celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri (the festival at the end of the Muslim fasting month) when the palace receives about 110,000 visitors over a three-day period where the guests receive gifts of food as well as green packets containing money for young children.One of my friend went to Brunei just this year during the EID season and he is of the lucky ones who have come to shake hands with the Sultan, he was also given 50 BND

HOW TO GET HERE: Take bus number 27 from BSB bus terminal or TAXI.

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge but only open during the EID season 

5) Witness the chariot of the Sultanate of Brunei in Royal Regalia Museum

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It is located in the heart of Banda Seri Begawan. It was built to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the Sultan’s accession to the throne in 1992. The museum is home to a collection of royal regalia, including the royal chariot, gold and silver ceremonial armoury, the jewel encrusted crowns used during the coronation and a replica of the throne, which is used by the Sultan on state occasions.

You will need to take off your shoes before you get inside and leave your camera in the locker provided with the keys handed over to you by the attendant and once done you can get your camera and your only allowed to take photos at the main hall.

Allow at least an hour to go through this large museum with its labyrinth of display areas. I had hard time looking for this place from my map handed over to me by a backpacker. I actually mistaken one private office nearby as the Museum so I went inside when suddenly a guy approached me and asked me if I am looking for something and he said I am in wrong building. Good thing he was on his way out of the building to get some meal so he voluntarily dropped me to the Museum using his car (AWW Those Nice Gestures From Strangers).

HOW TO GET HERE: short walk from Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque or take any buses.

HOURS OF OPERATION: 08:30 – 16:30 Sunday – Thursday; 09:00 – 11:00 Friday 

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge.

6) Visit the “Largest Mosque” in Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

1450276_662952653756115_206518285_nBARELY NO PEOPLE AROUND

Built in 1992 to commemorate the 25-year reign of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is the largest mosque in the country. The mosque is a jaw-dropping sight with four main minarets and two golden domes – its landscape is a mixture of artfully landscaped gardens and fountains. Every aspect such as the dome and stairs used the number 29 as to represent the 29th Sultan of Brunei. Dome is made of 24 carat gold and most of the building structure is import from other countries such as chandelier is from Austria, marble and tiles from Spain.

Non-Muslims are also allowed to enter the mosque on prescribed timings. You need to leave your foot ware outside and women will have to wear ‘burkha’, which is available right in front door of the mosque. The mosque maintains a register to track all the visitors and you need to enter your name and country in it. Photography is prohibited inside the mosque but you have all the rights to take photos of the Mosque outside which I did. Spent almost 2 hours wandering around the area not noticing that the sun has come down and surroundings  starts to darken.

HOW TO GET HERE: take buses 1 or 22, 55 from the main bus terminal,private tour or taxi

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge

HOURS OF OPERATION: 08:30 – 16:30 Sunday – Thursday; 09:00 – 11:00 Friday

7) Kid again in Jerudong Theme Park

$372D8686802C5FEE LET’S PLAY

 Jerudong Park Playground is an adventure theme park open free to public.The park is meant for amusement and there are quite number of rides for you to have. Carousel, race tracks, giant drop, dancing fountain, haunted house, kids bouncers, shooting centre, electric train and scooter, bumper cars, go-karts and boat riding. But lately locals and visitors have been losing interest  because the rides were either shut down or closed for maintenance.

HOW TO GET HERE: Take bus 55 and 57 from BSB main terminal

ADMISSION FEE: Free of charge 

HOURS OF OPERATION: Wednesday-Thursday-Sunday 4PM-10:30PM

Friday-Saturday 2PM-Midnight

8) Shop and Eat in Shopping Yayasan Complex

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Excited na ako kumain ng Jollibee

In the central city the Yayasan Shopping Mall opposite the waterfront was the main shopping with a Supermarket, clothing, cosmetics, shoes, crafts and food. On the top level there was a department store, while the Mall interior had a range of individual stores.it is locally known, it is one of the capital’s most popular shopping venues.

I went inside the mall to explore and to take a break from the heat of the sun outside. The only interesting here for me is dining in Jollibee Food Chain, if you work abroad then surely your gonna miss this. You can also find other food stall outside for cheap eats then try going here.

HOW TO GET HERE: short walk from Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and just opposite side of the Kampong Ayer River.

HOURS OF OPERATION: daily 10AM-9:30PM. Opening hours of some shops may be shorter during Ramadan.

9)Hire a boat to see houses standing on stilts inKampong Ayer/Proboscis Monkeys

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Naku 7BND din ang bayad ko dito ahh

This water village is among the most attention-grabbing places in Brunei and really does feel like a whole different world as you travel through the area. Hailed as the Venice of the East by Antonio Pigafetta, who once visited Brunei in the 16th century, Kampong Ayer is one of the oldest settlements in Asia. See how locals get by on their daily lives with houses standing on stilts. And if you more adventurous enough you can ask the water taxi operator to spot on some Proboscis Monkeys hanging on the trees, these are the Pinocchio like Long Nose Monkeys can only be seen in the Island of Borneo.

HOW TO GET HERE: Just walk across from Yayasan Complex 

PRICE: got my tour alone for 7BND but you can haggle as initially they charged me 10BND

10) Have a taste of Brunei’s local food in Gadong Night Market

IMG_0517-001JOM MAKAN

Pasar Gadong is a bustling marquee of munch parked near the big shopping centres in Gadong. Also known as the Pasar Malam with food choices from satay,chicken wings barbecue, cold fresh fruit drinks up to merchandise and and fresh fruits and vegetables. Expect not to see any hints of PORK here as you’ve come in a Muslim Country. From Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, it is a 20-30 minute walk but it is more close to Gadong Mall which is just across the mall. It’s my last stop on my itinerary which puts me in trouble as I wasn’t able to catch up the last bus from Gadong area back to BSB.

HOW TO GET HERE: take bus Buses 1, 22 and 55 from main bus terminal or do a 30 minute walk from  Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque.

FOOD PRICE: Ranges from 1BND-10BND 

HOURS OF OPERATION: stalls starts to assembles at 4PM and will close at around 11PM

11) Tamu Kianggeh or Open Air Market

67854_662955577089156_1423439442_nPALENGKE TIME

Known as “Tamu Kianggeh” to the locals, this colourful, open-air market is offers a variety of the freshest produce and homemade handicrafts. Wander in the early mornings to enjoy a feast for the eyes and find great souvenirs and gifts.This place is vibrant and colouful with activities. You can see locals buying their kitchen needs, local medicinal and ceremonial needs, pets, plants and even household decorative items here. From afar looks interesting because of the busy ambience but didn’t  get close enough as I am in a rush as usual.

HOW TO GET HERE: In the center of BSB it is just 5 minute walk from bus terminal or just across the famous Brunei Hotel.

HOURS OF OPERATION: daily from 6 a.m.–7 p.m or sometimes until midnight

12)Check in one of the famous 7 Star hotel in Empire Hotel & Country Club

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The magnificent and highly acclaimed Empire Hotel & Country Club is the only beach resort inBrunei. Located at the doorstep of one of the oldest rainforest in Southeast Asia.It was built by the current Sultan of Brunei’s notorious brother Prince Jefri, who fled Brunei under a cloud of scandal after some serious financial overspending. He certainly spent a lot on this place. Everything is lined with gold. The main hotel building is stunning. You wander around with your mouth hanging open looking at it.

The thought of staying in a 7 Star Hotel can be overwhelming but maybe I will passed cause I am not ready to spend 250BND for a night of stay here. Though you can still explore the Hotel from the main lobby or dive into the luxurious pool fror 10BND.

HOW TO GET HERE: take bus 57 from the city centre or Gadong (runs two or three times a day; on the way back, book at the Transport desk) or a taxi (B$30 to B$35),or if coming from airport then hotel can arrange pick you up not sure if it is FREE.

PRICE RANGES: From 250BND -300BND per night

MY THOUGHTS:

It is nice place to explore for only a day or two and for succeeding days will be boring.Will I consider going back?!, Probably NO not unless it is an sponsored trip or all expense paid trip from a close friend.

Top Things To Do In Hong Kong

$39843FB577F5D944HONG KONG MAP

Heūng góng in Cantonese, meaning (fragrant harbour) is a place with multiple personalities, as a result of being both Cantonese Chinese and under a more recent contemporary ex-British influence. Hong Kong is the first Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, the other being Macau. Hong Kong is now famous for being a leading financial centre in East Asia, with the presence of local and some of the most recognized banks from around the world.

LET US DISSECT THEM ONE BY ONE  (source from wikitravel)

Hong Kong Island (香港島) (CentralEast CoastSouth Coast) Hong Kong Island is the site of the original British settlement. Most of Hong Kong’s highest skyscrapers and the financial centre can be found here, including its famous skyline along the northern coastline. Hong Kong’s financial centre, shopping. Overall, Hong Kong Island is more modern and wealthy and considerably less dirty than the other areas of Hong Kong.
Kowloon (九龍) This peninsula jutting south towards Hong Kong Island from the Asian continent is the most populous area in Hong Kong and at one time it was the most densely populated place in the world. Today, it offers a chaotic mix of malls, street markets and residential tenements. It’s a lot of fun but can be a little dirty in some areas away from Tsim Sha Tsui and the southern part of the peninsula.
New Territories (新界) Named by British officials when leased from the Chinese government in 1898, the New Territories contain a curious mix of small farms, villages, industrial installations, mountainous country parks and towns that have populations the size of some cities. Though nice to visit to see how the “real” people live, it’s often dirty.
Lantau (大嶼山) The largest of the Outlying Islands, twice the size of Hong Kong Island and famous for its high peaks, wild landscapes, great beaches and the airport.
Outlying Islands (離島) Well-known weekend destinations for the locals, the Outlying Islands are most of the islands surrounding Hong Kong Island. They range from significant population centres to rocks poking out of the sea.

Hong Kong may not be on the top of your list but the charming and adorable beauty is undeniable. Looking  at Hong Kong in the map may seemed that it is just a small island and just another part of China which has less thing to offer. But think twice, cause I myself was amazed with the number of things you can do here and even my 3 days spent is not enough and I still cant get enough of it until now.

 I have listed down my list of Must Do and Must Visit Places in Hong Kong either you are just staying for short or long number of days. For most Filipinos coming to Hong Kong has always been on top of the list. It is because of the easy access for Filipinos as we  are not required to apply for tourist visa to visit HK, we can stay up to the maximum of 14 days though. Initially the plan is just to get my passport stamp and see Disneyland so I can cross it out from the bucket list but turns out I fell in love with the place, something I did not expect though I heard stories from friends who have come visit HK as very lovable destination.Not all of the places which will be mentioned below was accomplished by me personally, this is because I only have very limited time to spend.

1) Fulfill your childhood fantasies in Hong Kong Disneyland

$16711E5F4DDC2BB3 - CopyHONG KONG DISNEYLAND CASTLE

Hong Kong Disneyland (Chinese: 香港迪士尼樂園) is located on reclaimed land inPenny’s BayLantau Island. It is the firsttheme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

The park consists of seven themed areas

:Main Street U.S.A.Fantasyland,AdventurelandTomorrowlandGrizzly GulchMystic Point, and Toy Story Land.

Well who doesn’t love Disneyland!-It is almost everyone’s dream to visit the place especially during our childhood days. We think of it as a magical place where anything and everything is just full of happy thoughts. The theme park is not only designed for children but if you get visit it you will see there are people from all ages who have come and enjoy each and every moment. For most Filipinos a visit to HK simply means visiting The Happiest Place on Earth, it is by far the cheapest way to experience Disneyland in terms of accessibility and expenses to travel to HK-if you compare it by visting to Tokyo, Japan where everything is terribly expensive.

 It is worth every penny spent I must say as I really enjoyed the place and I felt like for once again in my life I became a kid again. Folks who are on tight budget can opt to skip this theme park though but still it is a nice in a lifetime chance to feel happy and young again. Try to avoid school and public holidays as crowd can be huge and to avoid long lines

ADMISSION FEE: 450HKD( ADULT)  320HKD(CHILD)

HOW TO GET THERE: From Tung Chung or any MTR station down at Sunny Bay Station.hange train, ride the Disneyland Train to Disneyland Resort

HOURS OF OPERATION: NORMAL HOURS OF OPERATION 10AM-9PM (check website for upcoming events and maintenance)

2) Head your way to the top riding  The Peak Tram/ Have your photo taken with the famous Celebrities in Madame Tussauds Wax Musuem

$6FF52FC5A5859E7 - CopyTHE PEAK TRAM

With an altitude of 552 meters (1811 feet), this is the  excellent way to appreciate the night view of Hong Kong. This is one of HK’s most popular attraction. The way going up is steep and spectacular with the panoramic views over the northern coast of Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon.The lower terminus is situated underneath St Johns Building on Garden Road (near Hong Kong Park, the Citibank Tower and distinctive Bank Of China Tower) and the upper terminus is located in the refurbished Peak

It was a holiday when I traveled to HK so I am not surprise by the number of people lining up just to get to the top. The place is best to see either daytime or night time so maybe you can come here around 5PM. Just a tip though, even if you purchase your ticket online or from travel agency you still have to fall in line to have your voucher exchange to the ticket but it doesn’t take that long. I heard from someone that the fastest way to get to the top is to buy the ticket to Madame Tussauds which allows to board right away without having to fall in line. I bought my ticket from CTS in HK AIRPORT which is discounted compare to the price  you can get over the counter. As for my experience the line clears up fast but you still have to expect the worst. Unfortunately I did not try out the Wax Museum for I am not a fan,and for me it’s just a waste of money and time specially I am on a tight budget.

ADMISSION FEE: For ticket prices you may visit website below as prices may vary from time to time.

– http://www.madametussauds.com/HongKong/en/BuyTickets/Default.aspx and

http://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/5_5_6.asp

HOW TO GET THERE:

==FROM CENTRAL MTR STATION take Exit J2 or Exit K. Exit J2 leads to Chater Garden from where Bank of China Tower is clearly visible. Exit K leads to Statue Square opposite the HSBC Building and the Bank of China Tower is visible to the left. From Bank of China Tower follow Garden Road uphill to the terminus. ==FROM ADMIRALTY MTR STATION take exit C1 and cross the bridge over Queensway to Pacific Place. In Pacific Place take the escalators on right which run up alongside the shopping mall. Go to the very top and cross the road to Hong Kong Park and follow the signs through Hong Kong Park to the Lower Peak Tram Terminus.

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Peak Tram Operating Hours :  7 am to 12 midnight(Mon – Sun & Public Holidays) Frequency : Departs every 10 to 15 minutes Sky Terrace 428 Opening Hours : 10 am to 11 pm(Mon – Fri) 8 am to 11 pm(Sat, Sun & Public Holidays) Madame Tussauds Hong Kong Location : Shop P101, Level P1 Tel no : (852) 2849 6966 Opening Hours : 9:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Sun & Public Holidays)

3) Yin and Yang in NanLian Garden and Chilin Nunnery

IMG_1975Perfection Pavilion connected by two red painted timber Zi Wu Bridges (not accessible to visitors)

Tang-style landscaped Chinese garden of classical elegance based on the blueprint of the famous Jiangshouju Garden in Shanxi Province.he scenic garden is meticulously landscaped in which every hill, rock, body of water, plant and timber structure is placed according to specific rules and methods. While Chi Lin Nunnery is a large temple complex of elegant wooden architecture, treasured Buddhist relics and soul-soothing lotus ponds. The complex also includes a series of temple halls, some of which contain gold.

Source: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/see-do/culture-heritage/chinese-temples/chi-lin-nunnery-and-nan-lian-garden.jsp#ixzz2nJBjDRxi

It is breath of fresh air visiting this place. You will not believe you can find a peaceful place amidst the busy and noisy streets of HK. It was past 10am when I reached the place and it wasn’t a challenge to find cause the moment you exit out of the MTR station you will see signs directing to the garden. The moment i stepped inside the garden I was greeted by the orange painted bridge connected to the Golden Pavilion which reminds of the famous garden landscape of Japan. I honestly felt like I wanna do some Tai Chi or Yoga session when I saw this place, so serene and tranquil that makes me forget I am in HK. The ZEN-like vibe and presence is very evident  around the area. If you have time to spare it is HIGHLY advisable to visit this place specially when most attractions are still asleep and not operational yet.

ADMISSION FEE: FREE

HOW TO GET THERE: via MTR and get off from DIAMOND HILL MTR Station fexit C2 (Plaza Hollywood) at 60 Fung Tak Road (under flyover). Just follow the signs and in about 5 minutes walk you will reach the entrance of the Nan Lian Garden.

HOURS OF OPERATION: Daily from 7AM in the morning to 9PM at night.

4) Allot 30 minutes of your time using the Longest Covered Escalator in the World

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Central-Mid Level Escalator

It is  the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. The entire system covers over 800 metres (2,600 ft) in distance and elevates over 135 metres (443 ft) from bottom to top.The escalator runs from Des Voeux Road, Central to Conduit Road in Mid Levels. There are several entrances and exits throughout Soho and NoHo.Be warned that the Mid-Levels Escalators run just one-way; down in the mornings, up in the afternoons and evenings. I remember this was featured in Drew Arellano’s travel show “Byahe ni Drew” and I thought it would be cool to try this out to figure out how it feels riding on escalator for 30 minutes and not getting bored. This may not be your stairway to heaven but should get you close enough.

ADMISSION FEE:   FREE

HOW TO GET THERE: MTR Central Exit D2, turn right on Queen’s Road Central and head towards Central Market. Also you can go there by tram and get off at the Hang Seng Bank HQ stop.

HOURS OF OPERATION: Downwards: Daily 6am-10am; Upwards: Daily 10am-

5) Shop for the cheapest souvenirs and memorabilia in HK’s famous night market

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 NIGHT MARKET STALLS  AT TEMPLE STREET

When the sun goes down so as the city streets of Hong Kong gives birth to the chaotic and colorful stalls. It is named after Tin Hau Temple, Temple Street is located at Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon and here you can hord all items you want for cheap price and bring them home with you once you get back to your comfort zone where many friends of yours are waiting for their presence from your most recent trip abroad.  The market comprises mostly of walk-in shops in narrow alleyways which spill out onto to the pavement during opening hours by putting stalls out in front. Whilst most shops allow bargaining, discounts are usually not on the same scale as some other street markets in Hong Kong. Shops offer a wide variety of clothes, footware, sportswear, jewellery, Chinese silk garments, paintings and artwork, toys and souvenirs. There were numerous night markets in HK will name of some them.

1. Ladies Market

2. Temple Street Market

3. Stanley Market

4. Business Card Market

5. Cat Street

6. Wan Chai Street Market

7. Golden Shopping Arcade

8. Costume Market

HOW TO GET THERE:   LADIES MARKET

Ticket: Free of Charge Address: Tung Choi Street, Mongkok

Take the MTR to either Prince Edward Station and take Exit B2 OR get off at Mong Kok Station and take any of Exits B2, D2 or D3. Prince Edward MTR Station and Mong Kok MTR Stations are at the northern and southern ends respectively of the market.

  • MTR Mong Kok Station Exit E2

HOURS OF OPERATION: 12nn to 11pm (except first day of Chinese New Year – Closed) HOW TO GET THERE:  TEMPLE STREET NIGHT MARKET

Ticket: Free of Charge Address: Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei

Take the MRT and get off at either Yau Ma Tei or Jordan Station. If Yau Ma Tei Station, take Exit C and turn left along Mang Ming Lane. If Jordan Station, take Exit A and turn right. HOURS OF OPERATION: 2pm to 1130pm (except first day of Chinese New Year – Closed)

The most popular night markets are Ladies Market and Temple Street Market, it is nice to make this as your last stop for the day after seeing all the attractions during daytime. I spent 2 nights exploring the markets looking for magnets and key chains but still not enough. Be mindful of your personal stuff as the crowd can be pact specially during peak hours and weekends.

6) Explore Hong Kong using the oldest and cheapest mode of transportation known as Ding Ding Tram

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THE KING OF THE ROAD

Hong Kong Tramways Limited Company runs six main routes between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan from 06:00 to 24:00 daily.

Routes: Shau Kei Wan→Western Market; Shau Kei Wan→Happy Valley North Point→Whitty Street; Happy Valley→Kenned Town; Causeway Bay→Kennedy Town; Western Market→Kenney Town

The hundred year old Ding Ding Tram is one of the best way to explore the bustling city of HK given a very limited budget. It allows you to hop on and hop off on your desired destination.It only costs HKD 2.30 no matter the distance. Take not that you have to board at the back door and not in the front door, you will know once you get inside the tram. This is just an amazing experience to just pick your seat on the 2nd floor and watch the busy streets of HK as the bus makes its way. It is best do this daytime or night time, dont be afraid of getting lost as the tram just goes in one direction and if you think place looks unfamiliar already then you may leave tram once you see an MTR station for your journey back to hotel.

FARE: 2.30 HKD fixed fare rate regardless of distance

HOW TO GET THERE: you may check http://www.hktramways.com/en/index.html for more information about the tram stations nearest to you

7) Photograph the amazing stilt houses and portraits of locals in Tai O Fishing Village

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STILT HOUSES IN TAI O FISHING VILLAGE

Tai O in Chinese means ‘Fishing Town”, it is home to Tanaka people also known as community fisherman’s who built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats of Lantau Island for generations. Due to it’s proximity to Ngong Ping and Big Buddha Statue it then became a famous tourist destination which also named as the “Venice of Hong Kong”. This where photographers will venture out to take great photos of local and the amazing view of houses constructed above the sea. It is also famous for fresh seafoods just so you feel tired of eating dimsum and wonton noodles. I was supposed to be here on my 2nd day before I head to Ngong Ping 360 but turns out I woke up a bit late on that day so I ended crossing out from my itinerary for the day, cause one thing it is gonna eat up more time considering the 1 hour bus ride to get there plus the hours I will spent taking photos and going back again to Tung Chung.

HOW TO GET THERE:

-MTR Tung Chung Station. Take bus 11 to Tai O bus terminus (the journey takes approximately 50 minutes.) Walk for around five minutes to the Rope-drawn Ferry Bridge and then take a stroll along the waterfront.

-MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B. Take Ngong Ping cable car to Ngong Ping Village (approx 25 minutes). Take bus 21 to Tai O terminus (approx 20 minutes) and walk for around five minutes to the Rope-drawn Ferry Bridge and then take a stroll along the waterfront.  ADDRESS: Tai O, Lantau Island, Outlying Islands

8) Look up the stunning and mesmerizing skyscrapers in HK’s Business Hub

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HONG KONG SKYSCRAPERS

Central (also Central DistrictChinese: 中環) is the central business district of Hong Kong. It is located in Central and Western District, on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, across Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui

When you think of Hong Kong, you’d probably come to imagining high rising buildings and well built skyscrapers reaching up the sky. With more skyscrapers than any other city in the world and most of them packed into just a few square miles the view is spectacular.I have seen different skylines in South East ASIA but seeing HK SKYLINE was one of the best treats ever. I felt like I was teleported  to New York with Alicia Keys singing the Empire State of Mind. The neon lights shining bright like a diamond on central district is something you should missed, this one of many reasons why I love HK now. Strolling on an early morning the place gets busy one of best things to do in HK or since it is just few blocks away from The Peak Tram Terminus then why not spend an hour looking up, walk and just enjoy the amazing result of architectural magic.

HOW TO GET THERE: From MTR Central station, make your way to the J2 exit and walk up to the ground level. Turn right, through Chater Garden, cross Queen’s Road Central, and make your way up Garden Road. You will pass the Bank of China Tower and Citibank Plaza and from there you can explore the nearby streets and buildings.

9) Overlooking the Clock Tower while doing your morning jogging in TST area

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CLOCK TOWER

Standing 44-metres tall, the old Clock Tower is impossible to be missed if you get passed TST promenade. It is built out of red brick and granite and is the only reminder from the colonial period. It is close to Peninsula Hotel and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and take note clock still keeps the accurate time when I checked it.Take a few minutes to stare at it and take a photo especially at night where the Clock Tower is beautifully illuminated.

ADMISSION FEE: FREE

HOW TO GET THERE:

-MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit E. Walk towards Salisbury Road, then turn right and take the subway (pedestrian tunnel) located next to the YMCA to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Turn right again and walk straight ahead towards the waterfront.

-Star Ferry from Central or Wan Chai and follow the signs. The Clock Tower is located next to the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry pier.

10) Stroll down to the Avenue of Stars/Witness the world class Symphony Lights show.

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THE HONG KONG FILM AWARDS STATUE

The Avenue of Stars was built to commemorate to the outstanding contribution of Hong Kong Film Industry and the man behind the camera’s, it is located in Tsim Sham Tsui Promenade was inaugurated on April 27, 2004.The inspiration came from the The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Set into the promenade’s coloured paving blocks are plaques, each representing present and past stars, many of whom are deceased. One of the plaques features hand prints of Hong Kong’s Hollywood movie star Jackie Chan.In order to get the best view of night and day I decided to come visit this place twice on my 1st day and last day. Night view is what I really like because of the romantic feel around but daytime is also nice as the long stretch is not that crowded.

The avenue has panoramic views across the harbour to Hong Kong Island and makes for a pleasant stroll at any time of day, but particularly after dark when the Hong Kong Island’s famous skyline becomes spectacularly illuminated. The avenue is a popular viewing point for the free 14-minute light and sound show “A Symphony of Light”, featuring 45 prominent buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour, which takes place nightly at 8PM. You have to be mindful of your time so you can make sure you can catch the 8PM show for the Symphony of Lights.

HOW TO GET THERE: MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit J. Follow the signs to the Avenue of Stars.

ADMISSION FEE: FREE

11) Uncover the secrets of the Giant Buddha from the misty clouds/stroll around  Po Li Monastery

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TIAN TAN BUDDHA

One of the HK’s MUST SEE attractions is the world’s tallest outdoor seated Buddha; the great looming statue of the Buddhist deity Sakyamuni. Seated on a summit in Lantau, the Buddha measures over 100 feet in height and weighs 275.5 tons. There is a large automated bell within the Buddha that rings 108 times everyday, with the number ’108’ symbolizing escape from 108 troubles of mankind. You have to take 268 steps in order to get to the top which is tiring but on a cold and fine weather it should be fine knowing once you reached the top there’s amazing view that awaits for you.Po Lin Monastery is also a top destination for tourists to experience the natural and cultural side of Hong Kong but bad thing it is under renovations when I went there.

HOW TO GET THERE:

-For the most fastest and convenient way is via Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car providing the most scenic and effortless route. -The longest, but most ecological route involves taking a ferry to Lantau from Central. Take the MTR to Hong Kong Station / Airport Express Line, but leave the station at exit E1, towards the signs for the IFC Mall and the outlying islands ferry pier. After exit E1 walk through the IFC Mall to the outlying islands Ferry Pier 6. Take the ferry to Mui Wo, Lantau Island, then bus 2 from the bus terminus outside the pier. Or take the Tung Chung line in the MTR to the end of the line – Tung Chung Station. Get out at exit B and walk towards the bus terminus to find bus 23 from Tung Chung to Po Lin Monastery. HOURS OF OPERATION: 10AM-5:30 PM with last admission at 5PM while Po Lin Monastery opens at 9AM-6PM. ADMISSION FEE: FREE and open to the public

12) Take the Star Ferry ride from Central to TST

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STAR FERRY

Star Ferry services are regarded as one of Hong Kong’s most famous heritage and cultural attractions, providing both a remarkably inexpensive method of crossing the harbour and the opportunity for some spectacular views of the harbour and Hong Kong Island and Kowloon waterfronts. For only 2HKD on lower deck and 2.50HKD on upper deck you can have best panoramic view of HK’s Victoria Harbour. I took the Central (Central Ferry Pier 7) to Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon Point) – 9 minutes journey.   

HOW TO GET THERE:

-TST Star Ferry pier: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit L6. Walk to the Clock Tower along Salisbury Road. -Central Star Ferry pier: MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit A2 or MTR Central Station Exit A. Walk to the pier along Man Yiu Street. -Wan Chai Star Ferry pier: MTR Wan Chai Station, Exit A1. Take the skybridge to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and descend to Convention Avenue at Harbour Road. HOURS OF OPERATION: first ferry at 6:30am and the final ferry at 11:30pm. 

FARE: 2HKD for lower deck and 2.50HKD for upper deck 

(take note the fare can be different during weekends and public holidays)

ROUTES: check out their site for routes of the ferry  http://www.starferry.com.hk/

13) Be amaze to one of the most BREATHTAKING SKYLINE in Victoria Peak

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I AIN’T HAVE SLEEP BUT SEEING THIS VIEW IS SO WORTH IT.

Victoria Peak is a good location to view its night scene. Being 554 meters (about 1,817.6 feet) above sea level, the Peak is the highest point within Hong Kong and occupies the western part of the island.The whole city is swathed by glittering neon lights along the banks of Victoria Harbor. To get to the top you have to take the Peak Tram which ascends to the top giving you a magnificent spoiler view of HK Skyline. The ride will take up an approximate of 8-10 minutes and when you reach the summit you will see a seven storied building in the shape of a ship. That is the Peak Tower in which there are several attractions namely, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, and the Peak Explorer Motion Simulator or you can also shop for souvenirs and items and even grab some snacks before you head to the Sky Terrace.

It is a MUST to see HK at night! It provides you a panoramic view of Victoria Harbor and the Kowloon Peninsula, a spectacular night view will unfold in front of your eyes.

HOW TO GET THERE:

-Peak Tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road (reach it by taking bus 15C from the lay-by outside the Star Ferry pier in Central, or walk from MTR Central Station, Exit J2.)

-Bus 15 from Exchange Square bus terminus (near MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit D) From Hong Kong Int’l Airport: By Bus: Catch Bus S1 to Tung Chung Bus Terminus, which is next to the Ngong Ping Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal. The bus journey takes about 10 minutes.

ADMISSION FEE: you may check their website for updated price http://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/3_1.asp

HOURS OF OPERATION:10am to 11pm (Mon – Fri) 8am to 11pm (Sat, Sun & Public HolidaY

14) Overlooking Hong Kong’s Lantau Island in 360 degrees riding the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

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HELL NO! I AM AFRAID OF HEIGHTS

Drawing thousands of visitors everyday it is no doubt one of Hong Kong top attractions. The 25 minute trip doesn’t seemed like it is as you ascend through the top, giving you full access of the best view of Lantau Island where you can also see the Chep Lok Kok Airport. It is not cheap if you are on a tight budget but it is worth it, in order to save just like what I did is I purchased I way crystal cabin going up and standard cabin on my down which saves me a couple of bucks. Take not the there is a different line for crystal and standard cabin, it is advisable to get the crystal cabin on your way so you can went ahead of everyone else’s in line in the standard cabin lane.

HOW TO GET THERE: MTR Tung Chung Station, Exit B. Walk for approximately five minutes to the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal.

ADMISSION FEE:  based on the price from the website

Round Trip
Standard Cabin $150 $75 $105
Crystal Cabin $235 $160 $190
Crystal Cabin ex TC & Standard Cabin ex NP $210 $135 $165
Single Trip
Standard Cabin $105 $53 $74
Crystal Cabin $165 $113 $134

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Weekdays 10:00am – 6:00pm  
    Weekends & Public Holidays 9:00am – 6:30pm

15) Boost your adrenaline in trying out the most terrifying rides in Hong Kong Ocean Park

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READY SET GO

The Ocean Park covers more than 870000 square meters and is basically divided into 2 major attraction area (The Waterfront and the Summit).Opened in 1977, Ocean Park Hong Kong is a marine-life theme park featuring animal exhibits, thrill rides and shows it also does have a unique way of combining education and marine life conservation.

On my last day in HK I went convincing myself going to another famous theme park in HK, but this time it doesn’t focus much on Thrill Rides Attraction but also offers a way to interact with marine life animals and other mammals. It was HUGE theme park and I underestimated it, running on my mind is just another theme park packed with thrill rides which I CAN finish up in 5-6 hours but I was completely wrong. And my biggest fault since I am that confident I can work up this up on my own is that I did not grab a map from the main entrance which leads to being lost on the latter part.

ADMISSION FEE: 320 HKD (ADULT) 160 HKD (CHILD)

HOW TO GET THERE:

a. By MTR, get off at Admiralty Station and take Exit B. Head to the Admiralty (West) Bus Terminal and look for Bus No. 629. The bus operates daily from 9am to 4pm. (Approx. 20 minutes travel time) b. If you are around Central, head to Central Ferry Pier(near IFC) and look for Bus No. 629. The bus operates daily from 945am to 345pm. (Approx. 25 minutes travel time) *Morning only! (Last bus departs 10:55am from Central Ferry Pier 7 / Star Ferry Pier) Last 629 bus leaves Ocean Park at 9PM. HOURS OF OPERATION: you may check their website at http://www.oceanpark.com.hk/html/en/plan-your-visit/calendar/index.php?selectedDate=20131220&did=25

16) Discover the food

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ANYTHING BUT CHINESE FOOD

From the famous HK street style food to the millionaires choice of food, you have a variety of options to choose from if you plan to travel in HK. Though the city is best known as the land of dimsum’s and wonton noodles, HK will never disappoint you interms of food choices and interms of price. At an average of 40-150HKD you can be served with a sumptuous meal enough to make your day ahead. We all know that almost everywhere you go there’s a chinese resto/stall and not because they are everywhere doesn’t mean you know anything about the cuisine.

PRICE RANGE: from 40-150HKD 

CHEAP EAT OPTIONS: AUSTRALIAN DAIRY, CAFE DE CORAL, MAXIM, MCDONALDS, FOOD REPUBLIC and FOOD STALLS everywhere.

BALI:The Island of the Gods

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TAKEN IN ONE OF THE CEREMONY

Bali is a beautiful Island in Indonesia known as the “Island of the Thousand Temples” or the “Island of the Gods”, because of the great number of wonderful Hindu temples there are in the Island. It says that Bali has more temples than houses

Inseparable from the religious rituals of the Balinese are the temples. Just like cathedrals in Europe, temples are the most ubiquitous architecture in Bali. The word for temple in Balinese is Pura, which comes from a Sanskrit word that literally translates into a place surrounded by walls.Usually the temples of Bali are ornamented with an impressive and intricate set of carvings, mainly on the gateways.

If you plan to enter a temple, please show respect for the local customs and dress accordingly. In general that means legs should be covered and a top that isn’t too revealing should be worn- a t-shirt will do. At some temples a sash is also required. If that is the case you can usually rent one at the entrance, like you often can rent a sarong for covering up your legs.

IMG_3325THE OFFERINGS FOR THE GODS CAN  BE SEEN EVERYWHERE

In Bali each thing or activity has its own temple, there are village temples, family temples, rice fields temples, temples for animals, etc. Nevertheless the bigger Hindu temples on Bali are used only in special occasions. Temples are meant to be pleasant resting place for the gods on their stay on the island. As such, entertaining the gods or appeasing the goddesses or most of religious rituals through endless festivals will take place in the three village temples:

  • Pura Puseh: a temple dedicated to the ancestors of the village.
  • Pura Desa: a temple used for official celebrations of the village community.
  • Pura Dalem: or the temple of death, dedicated to the deities of death and of cremation

And since no visit to Bali would be complete without a trip to see at least one of Bali’s Temple but guess what I made it to not just one but 8 of the most visited temples in Bali.At last count, the island of Bali in Indonesia had some 20,000 temples within its borders. You’r crazy if you plan to see all of the 20,000 temples for just couple of days, so you have to choose which of the temples looks good and you feel like interesting appeal. You can based your decision on the Top Ten Must See Temples.

1)Pura Besakih

2)Tirta Temple

3)Gunung Kawi Temple

4)Pura Luhur Lempuyang

5) Goa Gajah

6) Pura Tanah Lot

7) Pura Taman Ayun

8) Pura Ulun Danu Temple

9) Pura Luhur Uluwatu

10) Pura Goa Lawah

There are various images and articles online you can take a look which I did when I was finalizing my list of temples. I alloted 2 days in exploring the must see temples which is not enough still. Out of the Top 10 Must See List I managed to witnessed 6 of em. Here are some of the them.

1) Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

1461058_663408223710558_190986065_n

Set on the downhill end of Jalan Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali, the Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana, known in English as the Sacred Ubud Monkey Forest, is a 27-acre forested plot in the village of Padangtegal. The forest’s residents are its main claim to fame: over 600 crab-eating macaques (Macaca fascicularis) who inhabit the trees and interact with visitors – sometimes to the visitor’s detriment!

The forest and its contents are held to be sacred by the residents of Padangtegal – the forest holds the village’s pura dalem, or temple of death, where the cemetery and cremation area are also located. The temple’s holiness is enhanced by presence of a holy relic in its inner sanctum.

I have no intention at all of getting here but the driver just stopped here and asked me if I wanna see the place since we are in Ubud already, well makes sense but I have seen enough monkeys in my life so I was really not that excited roaming around the area. The monkeys can be very aggressive specially if they see holding food or plastic, they will grab it from you and good luck id you can get it back. Took me an hour to go around the area making sure I’d make the  most of the 20,000 IDR admission fee. Just put all your belongings inside your bag or just leave it in the car just to be safe from the monkeys.

ADMISSION: 20,000 IDR per person

HOW TO GET THERE: Private Car, Motorbike or Bicycle if you are staying in Ubud.

ADDRESS: Jalan Monkey Forest, Padangtegal, Ubud
Bali, Indonesia (80571)

OPENING HOURS: everyday from 8.30 am – 6 pm

2)Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple

529223_663408197043894_1488209839_nKULANG NALANG SPA PARA RELAX NA RELAX

Gunung Kawi Sebatu  temple located around 40 kilometers from the main city Denpasar. Here is one of Bali’s prettiest temples called Gunung Kawi temple (not confused with Gunung Kawi rocky temple in Tampaksiring).Gunung Kawi Sebatu  temple was built in homage to the God of preserver (Wisnu), who rules over water, and here one finds a number of natural spring and waterspouts. The Balinese believe that water is one of the forces of lifeA simple tranquil temple. Perfect for meditation and easing troubled mind.

Gunung Kawi Sebatu temple isn’t a large temple.A lot of fish are swimming in the fountain in the Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple. I actually mistaken this with the other Gunung Kawi which is Gunung Kawi Tampaksiring as the images i saw online are really different from what it is in front me. It is not congested just like any other temples, few tourist just come by and visit this place so the surroundings can be very serene and tranquil. What I like most about this temple is the sound of free flowing water and the sound of humming birds on the trunk of the trees.This temple is 15 minutes by car from Pura Tirta Empul. It is recommended to stop by this temple by all means if going to Pura Tirta Empul.

ADMISSION: 15,000 IDR

HOW TO GET THERE: Private car or taxi

ADDRESS: Tampak Siring, Gianyar – Bali

OPENING HOURS:Daily 7am-5pm

3) Ulun Danu Batur Temple

1470388_663408177043896_1439633576_nHINDI KO SIYA MASYADO NA ENJOY

Ulun Danu Batur Temple or Dewi Ulun Danu is called a goddess that rules the water supply. Jaya Bangus to have reigned as king in the 11th century.Standing enchantingly backed by the magnificent Mount Batur overlooking its vast picturesque Lake, Pura Ulun Danu Batur is regarded as the second most important temple after Bali’s mother temple, Pura Besakih.

Before mount Batur’s devastating eruption occurred 1917, Batur Temple was located at the foot of mount Batur close to the Southwest edge of Lake Batur. The eruption destroyed 65.000 houses, 2,500 temples, and took thousands of lives. But miracle had stopped further disaster at the foot of the temple. People saw this as a good sign and decided to remain staying at their place. In 1926, a new eruption had covered the entire part of the temple except the highest shrine, the place to worship the God in manifestation as Dewi Danu, the Goddess of the waters of the lakes. Villagers then determined to bring the shrine into a higher ground and started to build again the temple.

I honestly didn’t enjoy much this temple, maybe it is almost the end of day or because it doesn’t appeal to me. I had a bad experience though here that after paying the entrance ticket this lady approached me and hand over to me the sarong, cause I cant get inside without wearing it and so I picked one then lady said pay her 150,000 IDR. From out of nowhere I felt irritated cause it is one of those tourist traps, she is insisting me to buy the sarong but I said NO! I just need to rent one and I dont want to buy it. The condition of the sarong looks worn out at all, still she ask me to pay 50,000 IDR for renting the sarong. Still the price is HIGH compared to the price I pay in Besakih Temple which is only 10,000 IDR. I just let it pass though as I dont want to be STRESS! The only thing I appreciate here is the backdrop of the Mount Batur and Lake Batur, it is the 1st time I saw an active Volcano not knowing it can erupt anytime.

ADMISSION: 35,000 IDR + 50,000 IDR for SARONG

HOW TO GET THERE: Private car, Taxi or Tour Services

ADDRESS: Jalan Raya Penelokan (Jalan Raya Kintamani)Located within the Kintamani area, Pura Ulun danu Batur is usually approached from the south with 2 routes in from Ubud (45 minutes), and one each from Besakih (1 hour) and Bangli (30 minutes).

OPENING HOURS: Daily 7am-5pm

4) Taman Ayun Temple

1476632_663408130377234_111533490_nONE OF MY FAVORITE TEMPLE

“Taman Ayun” means “beautiful garden”; a moat surrounds the temple, which gives the complex the appearance of floating on water. A landscaped front courtyard entered through an ornamental candi bentar(split front gate) adds to the temple’s beauty. The inner courtyard features a number of multi-tiered meru (pagodas).This temple is usually visited by tourist once having a set tour to Tanah Lot Temple due to this temple is the same route of the Tanah Lot Tour. The function of Taman Ayun Temple is a place to pray the god in their manifestation.

It is the Royal Temple of Mengwi Empire and it is located in Mengwi Village, Mengwi sub district, Badung regency and about 18 Km north side of Denpasar town. It is strategically located beside of major roadway between Denpasar to Singaraja.I pretty much like those long brown temples that reach to the blue sky. I did not spend much time as here as cant get inside the temple

ADMISSION: 10,000 IDR

HOW TO GET THERE: Private car, Taxi or Tour Services

ADDRESS: Taman Ayun is located in Mengwi village, about 18 Km north side of Denpasar, in Mengwi sub district in the Badung regency.

OPENING HOURS: 8AM-6PM except on Nyepi day.

5) Besakih Temple

8252_663408153710565_1368566181_nTHE MOTHER TEMPLE OF BESAKIH

It is the biggest Hindu temple in Bali which the local people call Pura Besakih. It owns beautiful view from the top of temple area where we can see the wide nature panorama until to the ocean so that way this temple is many visited by tourists from all over the world.Pura Besakih is about 1,000m (3,280 ft.) above sea level. Steps ascend through split gates to the main courtyard where the Trinity shrines are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings.The Besakih’s name is come from the word of Basuki, the old language from Sanskrit Wasuki, and then it become the Ancient Java Language. In this Sanskrit, the Basuki means congratulation.

The almost sunset time when we reached The Besakih Temple and it took us an hour from Ulun Danu Batur Temple to Besakih, getting there is really tiring and good thing I have my Ipad so just listened to the songs until it is all over. Before you enter you are required to wear sarong to pay respect. The time we arrived I wasn’t charged anymore as the past closing time but still I was able to explore the place under the moonlight. Less than an hour and I am done, it would have been a great experience though if we came a bit earlier so I can see the place from daylight. This is the last temple we explored before we head back to Denpasar. We’re supposed to visit Tirta Temple but we run out of time due to the long hours of travel from point A-B which did not coincide in my mind.

ADMISSION: 10,000 IDR

HOW TO GET THERE:Private car, Taxi or Tour Services

ADDRESS: in Besakih Village, Rendang Sub-district, Karangasem District

OPENING HOURS: 8AM-5PM but it is actually open 24 hours as it is a place of worship

6) Ulun Danu Bedugul Temple

1466214_663408107043903_622686808_nAMAZED BY THE THOUGHT OF TEMPLE FLOATING IN THE LAKE

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedugul, is one of the very famous attractions in Bali – Lake Bratan (Lake Danau Beratan), with the beautiful temple Ulun Danu Bratan, on its shores – its breathtaking scenery.It is most likely one of the most picturesque and most photographed temple in Bali.The name Ulun Danu, literally means “the beginning of the lake” but this might not to claim that the site is the beginning of a lake. Bring an umbrella as rainfall can be sudden and frequent in this area, at times the weather can be cold so prepare to bring a jacket.

You can rent a boat or canoe to explore the area over water, or simply relax and enjoy the ride across the lake. Look at those misty clouds covering the mountain which provides a dramatic feel. The warm breeze of the air that dampens to my skin makes me stay for couple of minutes and just stare at the lake and mountain. It was low tide when we where at the area so the magical illusion of the temple floating on the lake surrounded by misty clouds is not present but still it is on my TOP 3 must see temples to visit.

ADMISSION: 30,000 IDR

HOW TO GET THERE: Private car, Taxi or Tour Services

ADDRESS: Ulun Danu Beratan is located on the western lakeside of the Beratan Lake in the village of Candi Kuning highland region of Bedugul, Tabanan Regency.

OPENING HOURS: 8AM-6PM

7) Purah Tanah Lot

1476557_663408050377242_1641065391_nTEMPLE ON THE ROCK

The word of Tanah Lot is consisted of two words that are Tanah word interpreted as a reef looking like gili or isle. Lot or Lod word has meaning the sea. So Tanah Lot is meaning the small island floating on the sea.The temple Pura Tanah Lot, simple in its construction, is dramatic in its ocean-front location and is one of the main temples in the worship of Balinese gods.The temple itself is built on a small promontory which is only accessible at low tide.During high water the rock takes on the appearance of a large boat at sea, such is its shape.Sunset is the best time to visit Tanah lot, when the golden red skies frame the temple and waves crash into the rocks.

After the main entrance, there were many souvenirs stalls along the way. Most traveler if not would tend to stop and buy some stuff, but shopping doesn’t define me so I just passed by every stalls and directly head to the temple. It was past 1PM when we arrived the place and the temperature is unbearable and sweat becomes sticky. Before coming to Tanah Lot I did not have any expectation at all as the temple looks ordinary from the images available online but “What in The World” , I was awed and just amazed to see it in person for I never thought it is such an amazing holy place. We cant get close enough cause the water level is HIGH and the WAVES almost hit me, good thing I was able to run quickly when I saw a HUGE WAVE approaching.  It took me almost 2 hours here taking pictures in almost every part of temple. I also went to the other side of it where you can see amazing view of Tanah Lot from afar and there are other temples on that side.

ADMISSION: 15,000 IDR

HOW TO GET THERE: Private car, Taxi or Tour Services

ADDRESS: Jalan Raya Tanah Lot, Beraban Village, Kediri, Tabanan

OPENING HOURS: 7AM-7PM

8) Uluwatu Temple

1501844_664069993644381_1679009069_nLOOK AT THE BREATHTAKING COASTLINE AND CLIFF

Uluwatu Temple, or Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of six key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, is renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above sea level.Without a doubt, what makes Uluwatu Temple spectacular is its cliff-top setting at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the waves of the Indian Ocean. ‘Ulu’ means the ‘top’ or the ‘tip’ and ‘watu’ means a ‘stone’ or a ‘rock’ in Balinese.

Once you pay the entrance fee, you will be given the ‘Sarong’ or a‘Waist String’. To respect to the Holy Temple.Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple is inhabited by large number of monkeys (precautionary signs have been put at a few places), who are extremely adept at snatching your belonging, including bags, cameras and eyeglasses. Keep a very close grip on all your belongings including eyeglasses if possible.Apart from the magnificent view of cliff you can also watch the Kecak Dance (monkey dance) performances are held at the temple daily between 6 PM and 7 PM. Tickets for the visually spectacular if her unoriginal show (it was invented in the 1930s) performed for tourists cost Rp. 75,000.  It is HIGHLY recommended to go on a sunset trip to Uluwatu as the sight of the sun setting over the dramatic temple by the cliff is a sight to behold.

ADMISSION: 20,000 IDR

HOW TO GET THERE:Private car, Taxi or Tour Services

ADDRESS: Pura Uluwatu is located in Pecatu Village, Kuta sub-district, Badung regency, about 25km south of Kuta and it usually takes around one hour to get to and from there.

OPENING HOURS: 9AM-6PM As a place of worship however, it is open 24 hours daily.

Overall it was a nice experience to go on a temple tour for a day or two. Temples may be boring or may look identical to another but each temple has different stories to tell. You can do a little bit of research about each temples so you will understand more about why the temple is built. My TOP 3 MUST SEE TEMPLES are as follows.

1) Purah Tanah Lot

2)Uluwatu Temple

3)Ulun Danu Temple

Top Things To Do In Bali

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There is just one word to describe Bali and it is “MAGICAL“. As probably the most famous island in Indonesia.Travel & Leisure Magazine has awarded Bali the World’s Best Island in 2009, while the Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel 2010 ranked Bali second place among the world’s.

Famed as the Island of the Gods”, with its varied landscape of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides all providing a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique culture, stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth. With world-class surfing and diving, a large number of cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, and an enormous range of accommodations, this is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards.

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Think of Bali as a perfect place to spend your honeymoon or get away place if you are DAMN stress. I never thought I will set foot on this place as it may seemed impossible to plan a trip here because of “RUMORS” I heard from folks who had been to Bali that it is expensive when you get there. But to my surprise everything I thought I know about Bali is not TRUE, it is an affordable place, from Food, Activities and Shopping which somehow reminds me of Thailand for anything but CHEAP and AFFORDABLE is just around the corner. There are numerous ways on how you can enjoy your stay in Bali and to give you some heads up I will highlight the most popular activities here and some of them are included in my itinerary.

1)  Soak up in the Sun/Discover the best beaches in town

1441440_660946057290108_211607526_nDREAMLAND BEACH

Travelers come to Bali for its long stretches of white sand beach, crystal clear sea for swimming, strong waves for surfing and volcanic black sands for sunbathing. There are an array of options to choose from in terms of BEACHES and some of the popular ones are Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua, Legian, Jimbaran, Dreamland, Lovina and many more. Just imagine you are in an Island which is surrounded by endless sand beaches. I personally explored some of the known beaches on my last day in Bali cause I just thought that the trip is not complete without my  sunburn on my skin before I head back to KL. The beaches in Bali are not really meant for swimming as the waves are that HUGE that it can KILL you and sucked you up in the middle of the ocean. As a matter of fact I incurred some bruises on my back from SURFING.

COST: 0 IDR as all of the beaches are open to public except for some private resort beach. The only cost here your transportation from getting to one beach to another.

HOW TO GET THERE: (TAXI, MOTORBIKE, PRIVATE CAR)

2) Temple Hopping

1465294_660940117290702_175384161_nULUN DANU TEMPLE

Bali is a beautiful Island in Indonesia known as the “Island of the Thousand Temples” or the “Island of the Gods”, because of the great number of wonderful Hindu temples there are in the Island. It says that Bali has more temples than houses. Each village of Bali has several of temples. Besides, each home in the Island has its own small temple. All Bali temples have a special orientation from the mountains and the sea.

From the thousand temples you can choose from you have to decide which temples you will include in your itinerary. Choose based on what looks appealing based on images available online. I have to check out some travel blogs in order to decide and trust me I think I have seen enough although there are still several which I have not seen during my visit. Everywhere you go, you will see temple and Gods in every corners. I was appalled and amazed how Balinese people are so hooked up with their Religion.

 COST: Admission ticket varies from every temple which usually ranges from 10,000 IDR-35,000 IDR. It wont hurt your pocket,though the numerical figures looks expensive.

HOW TO GET THERE: Best option is to go on a day tour with a private car and driver which will take you to the temples. Before your arrival it is best to send your itinerary to the driver so they can decide which will come first and last as the locations of the temples are not near each other. A day or two is enough to explore the must see temples.

3) See the lushes and greenest Rice Paddy Fields.

1441447_660935273957853_2120831949_nTEGALALANG RICE FIELD

The area around Ubud is characterised by gently rolling rice paddies, and these create an impression of greenness which can be quite startlingly beautiful. Have your picture taken with this view as you background is tempting and so I decide to visit one of the most visited Rice Terraces in Bali. I have never seen a Rice Terraces in my whole life and seeing the greenest land is like an paint canvass. Aside from Tegalalang Rice Field you can also opt to see other rice fields like Jatiluwih, Karangasem (near Tirta Gangga), Busungbiu, Pupuan.

COST: 0 IDR– You wont have to pay anything to see it and in fact some of them you will get pass by while on your to Ubud.

HOW TO GET THERE: Hire a private car or motorbike. The terraces can be found in Ubud so if you happen to visit Monkey Forest or decide to stay for atleast 1 night in Ubud you can have a look.

4) Watch a Balinese Traditional Dance

IMG_3304 BARONG DANCE

 Theater and dance is an integral part of Balinese culture. Balinese dances are famous all over the world and the Balinese themselves take them very seriously. Birthdays, weddings, and temples festivals are all occasions for dramatic performances and dance is inextricably linked with the Balinese religion. The colorful costumes is one of the reasons why happened to watch the Barong Dance, for I have not seen that looks of the performers from the previous countries I’ve visited. Some of the known Balinese Traditional Dance you can choose from are Barong, Kecak, The Ramayana, War Dance, Legong Dance and each of dances mentioned has different stories to tell.

COST: It cost’s me 100,000 IDR for an hour of performance but prices varies from each dance performance.

HOW TO GET THERE: Hire a private car or motorbike. Not all of them can be watch during daytime so just be clear which dance performance you want to see for instance Barong Dance hours is  during daytime while Kecak Dance is performed at night.

5) SURF SURF SURF

IMG_3290HOW I WISH I AM THIS GUY!!!

It is a “SURFING PARADISE”. True itself because of big waves and amazing coast lines. I dont know how to swim but I still managed to survive surfing the big waves on Dreamland Beach. You”ll be surprise as to how many Aussie you can spot surfing and the several surfing schools along Kuta.

COST: 150,000 IDR is what pay for a surf board rental and a guy who teaches me basics of surfing. Learn how to haggle and it is always safe to know the basics of prices before you land on a new destination. I have to ask my Indonesian friend about usual price and if you are good enough you can get it for 50,000-200,000 IDR.

HOW TO GET THEREBy private car and motorbike. If you plan to explore the beaches and this activity can be injected for it make sense cause you are in the beach already.

6) Check out the majestic Mt. Batur and serene Lake Batur 

IMG_3255MT. BATUR and LAKE BATUR

The mountainous region around Kintamani, centering on the spectacular volcanic caldera of Mt Batur with its deep crater lake and bubbling hot springs, is rugged with a high and wild beauty.

COST: 0 IDR

HOW TO GET THERE: You can go there by taxi or just rent a car. You can also join a tour to visit Mount Batur and Lake Batur. Tourist shuttle buses between southern Bali and Lovina stop off at Kintamani.

7) SHOP until you drop

$FDD40D2A407F7EFKUTA SHOP

The island of Bali is paradise for shoppers. The beautiful traditional culture of the island and its focus on aesthetics mean that locally produced handicrafts, textiles, and art are everywhere. As Bali is a thriving tourist center, products from around Indonesia and Asia can easily be found at low prices, while decades of cosmopolitan visitors have contributed to a thriving fashion scene.

COST: The damage all depends on you if you are an impulsive buyer type or the thrifty one.

HOW TO GET THERE:(BY FOOT,TAXI,CAR,MOTORBIKE) Handicrafts, stonework, and jewelry are made and sold in Ubud and the surrounding areas, while mass-produced souvenirs and cut-rate fashions are a Kuta specialty. Funky and stylish boutiques are all over Seminyak, and in Kerobokan, local furniture stores are filled to the rafters with rescued antiques and modern pieces made of the finest materials

8) Have a taste of the best of Balinese Food/Enrol in Balinese Cooking Class

$4D1246B7BBF17CEEBABI GULING IBU OKA RESTO

The true Balinese cuisine is, like all else in Bali, a matter of contrasts. Just as there are men and women, good and evil, night and day, there is everyday food, and there is festival food. The staple of daily fare is rice, accompanied by vegetables, a small amount of fish or meat, and a range of condiments, usually cooked in the early morning, and consumed whenever the need arises, often as snacks. Most Balinese meals are eaten quickly and without fanfare. Dining out and in groups is not a normal social custom. It is also nice to induced yourself on how the Balinese Cuisine and learn how to cook it as most often Balinese Food cannot be found elsewhere.

COST: A decent meal would cost you from 5000-30,000 IDR.

HOW TO GET THERE: there are dozens of good restaurants to be found in the main streets of Kuta, Legian, Ubud, Candidasa, Lovina, Sanur and most of the major tourist areas which can be access by Foot,Motorbike or Taxi.

9) Find your balance by doing YOGA

$1E43769722AD3E7FWAG KA MAINGAY TEH!!!

 Enjoy daily yoga and meditation in a spectacular yoga pavilion overlooking lush rice fields and cool breezes. Just thinking of Julia Roberts in the movie Eat Pray Love will surely invite you to try out YOGA CLASSES. If you have the luxury of spending more days then you can try it out as I am sure it will help you regain your balance and energy before you go back to your busy world.

COST: Ranging from 150,000-5,500,000 IDR based on the information available online.

10) Visit the Bali Bombing Memorial (Ground Zero Monument)

IMG_3258             AYUN SAD LANG

Ground Zero monument was built to commemorate the first Bali Bombing tragedy and honor the victims. 1 Bali bombings occurred in 2002, exactly on October 12.These events led to loss of life is very much that 202 people died mostly foreign tourists from Australia. This incident occurred in the area Jl.Legian Kuta, Bali, exactly in the Sari Club and Paddy’s Cafe.

COST: 0 IDR

HOW TO GET THERE: To reach this location is extremely convenient, located at the Ground Zero Monument roadside legian congested. The monument is located in an open space with no other buildings are covered so that visitors can easily take pictures with the background of this monument.You can opt to walk from Legian or Kuta, rent motorbike or hailed a taxi.

11) Do your self a favor (SPLURGE and RELAX)

IMG_3326 SPELL RELAX!

Honeymooner’s or people who are just tired of their life can opt to just booked an accommodation to a 5 star or any premier hotel. Bali is known for the very appealing Balinese Design and Arts which is very relaxing and soothing to eyes. Supposedly my 1st night in Bali will be spent to a middle class hotel just so I can experience more of Balinese Vibes and Ambiance but the hotel cancelled my reservation last minute so I ended up couch surfing.. Just imagine waking up in a villa room with the greenest rice field around you, the thought of that just makes you lie down and listen to your favorite song from your Ipod.

COST: Accommodations ranging from 10 USD for guesthouses/hostels up to the 200 USD for a nice villa room with pool.

WHERE: Budget accommodations can be found in Kuta and Legian area for backpackers. Just make sure you booked early cause rooms get filled quickly due to numerous tourist coming in and out of the island.

12) Experience a platter of seafood in Jimbaran Beach

IMG_3344HOW ROMANTIC DIBA

Enjoy the magical sunset at place while sitting at a table on the beach with your toes in the sand or have a seat on roofed sea terrace overviewing Jimbaran Bay, colorful fishing boats in front. Sip a cocktail, enjoy your delicious seafood or try Balinese specialties freshly prepared for you. After a very exhausting 10 hour day tour, what is the best way then to end the day and fill your stomach than to experience dining on the beach. I was relieved while seeing sun comes down and the only color of the sky is a bright sunny orange and I just want to sing A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Oh so romantic but I am alone dining so I kinda missed someone. Jimbaran Beach is few minutes away from Uluwatu Temple and Padang Padang Beach, so it is best to include dining in Jimbaran if you are just around the corner.

COST: Seafood costs a bit cause the place is touristy but you can manage to enjoy dining for less. Around 30,000-300,000 IDR is the prices of the meal you can find on the menu.

HOW TO GET THERE: PRIVATE CAR or TAXI. It is accessible if you are within Uluwatu Temple or Padang Padang Beach.

13) Meet the “Medicine Man” from the movie EAT PRAY LOVE

1468666_660934220624625_731136879_nSABI SAYO EH MAGKIKITA RIN TAYO

 I had the opportunity to meet with Ketut Liyer, a 9th generation healer in Bali, who was an inspiration for Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel Eat Pray Love. I haven’t read the book but I have seen the movie, forgive me for that as I am not fond of reading for it makes me feel sleepy. Top reason why I wanted to visit Bali ever since is to get a piece of my Eat Pray Love in this majestic Island.

Ketut Liyer became known to various countries, since his character to be a character in a Hollywood movie, “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts. The movie is lifted by the book with the same title, the story is real, soul-searching journey of Elizabeth Gilbert to three countries, one in Bali Indonesia. One famous scene is the encounter with Elizabeth Gilbert. He also studied meditation with Ketut Liyer. The scene is a lot to inspire women from various countries, who come to Bali, to meet with Ketut Liyer, to fortune.

COST: All I thought it is free to just have my picture taken with him but to my surprise I was asked to pay 50,000 IDR although I did not have my palm read by him. But if you opt to have your palm read by him hoping he can give a enlighten you have to pay 200,000-250,000 IDR. But be warned that it is same readings that he give to all.

HOW TO GET THERE: Best way is by private car. Located at Jalan Mongkey Forest area, in the crowded center of Ubud (Banjar Kaja Pengosekan, Ubud,)