Wednesday, December 31, 2014

RIP AirAsia QZ8501 Goodbye 2014

It is not a good way to end the year of 2014. With the incident of the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 on last Sunday (28/12/2014) and Indonesian officials have confirmed yesterday (30/12/2014) that remains and debris found in the waters of Borneo are from the plane, it has sadden the world. My condolences to the family and friends of the passengers and the crew members - "Be Strong"!
I think many will not forget the year 2014, a year that filled with shocking stories. No matter how, let it end in the year 2014 and may next year be a year for us to rediscover ourself and the world we are living.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Checking in at Marina Bay Sands Hotel

We arrived at Marina Bay Sands by MRT. It took us 45 minutes travelling time from Changi International Airport to MBS for less than S$2.

The moment we walked towards the main entrance of the hotel, we were approached by a friendly bellboy who then took care of our luggage. The main lobby looks simple and just like other hotels main entrance. There is a Christmas tree at the lobby to add on to the festive seasons mood. It was a Sunday of the Christmas week when I arrived and the hotel was so busy with people checking in and out.

The hotel provides free WIFI to the public too. We just have to request the password from the concierge staff.
 After checking in, we got a room in Tower 1 at 43th floor with amazing view.

The room is spacious and feels very comfortable. Really appreciate the arrangement by my ex-student for getting me a room during this very peak season.
Super fast lift moving up and down from ground to 43th floor in seconds...
The cards for the room will be required to access to 57th Floor for the pool

And here comes the view from the room:
Day time, a view from 43th Floor
Check out this panorama view from the balcony.
Night view. Can see the light show at the Garden by the Bay.
The view from the room is amazing. It is more stunning from the top at 57th floor. That will be next...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

KLIA2 to Changi Airport Singapore

Boarded AirAsia AK705 flight this morning at 8.00am departing from KLIA2 to Singapore. A very short trip to stay away from work but to another busy city.
This will be my last trip (basically the 2nd trip) of the year 2014, since Busan, South Korea trip in August this year. So, we are back to KLIA2.
This time, we boarded a small flight to Singapore. The seating was 3+3.
Seats are comfortable for a flight journey with less than an hour.
We took off about 8.30am after waited for the plane to refuel. 
Left KLIA2
Reaching Changi International Airport...can see the hotel that I am heading to from here....
Landed at around 9.25 am and heading to the arrival immigration. The airport provide free WIFI service. Bravo!
In a very short time we managed to leave the airport and heading to the hotel by MRT.
The Arrival Immigration hall at Terminal 1.
On of the cheapest and convenient way to travel from Changi airport to the town is by MRT. However, if you are not comfortable to walk to the station, queue for tickets, interchange at few stations and joining the crowd in the train, this is not for you. For me, I find that this is the best way to travel if like to experience the life of the people in a country. So, our main transport when travelling are always the underground/train. With 2 interchange station from Changi station (Tanah Merah and Bugis stations), it took us about 45 minutes to reach Marina Bay Sands (Bayfront station) for only SGD$ 1.84 with EZlink card. I will never reach KLIA or KLIA2 in Kuala Lumpur with the same amount (around RM 5 @ 2.7 FOREX). 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Visits Busan Korea 2014 - Gamcheon Culture Village

While planning for our trip to Busan, we were recommended by to visit Gamcheon Culture Village, on of the top 10 destinations in Busan. The colourful buildings and beautiful scenery attracted us. Hence, it was then shortlisted in our itinerary for our 4D3N holidays in Busan.

To get there is very easy, as long as you can access to the subsway (which is very accessible in Busan). We took the Subway Line 1 from Seomyeon and get down at Toseong station.
We took the Exit #6 but be ready, there are always a long way up from the ready to walk!
Exit #6

After we came out from Exit #6, there was an intersection - crossroad that we got confused. Luckily, locals there are very helpful. Despite of barrier in communication, a lady guided her to the bus station. 

We need to turn to the right at the corner (facing the intersection) after coming out from Exit #6 and walk straight up the hill. In a short distance, there was a hospital on our right and the lady pointed us to the bus stop in front of the hospital. This is where we took a mini bus to our destination. We took the bus number 2 or 2.2 to head up to the hill. Be ready for some sharp cornering in a small little mini-bus but crowded with people. You may need to squeeze in and stand all the way up to the culture village.

I find the locals here are helpful. They look different from the Korean we saw in the town - maybe because they are villagers - live in a more simple life.
Walking up from Exit #6, hospital on the right - bus stop right in front.
Bus stop sign but we found that the information were not updated. Anyway, take the bus #2 or #2.2.
After an exciting ride for about 5 minutes, we reached the main entrance of the village. This is a huge village with many unique artwork to explore. Basically, you need to spend more time here if you want to see everything in the village. Most probably half-day visits here.
Gamcheon Culture Village main entrance. Get down from the bus here and wait for the bus to go back to the Subway station. This is the mini bus we took...
Follow the path and you shall explore the beauty of this cultural village - but we didn't have enough time to do so...
For us, we just want to view the sunset scenery here so we came about 5.00pm. Sadly, most of the stalls were closed - pros and cons T.T

So, our visits here was merely the surface of the village, walked around the main entrance and got to see some nice view from the top of a restaurant - we got asked to get down because they are closing....
Beautiful artwork everywhere in the village
Got to walk up and down the slopes. Must wear a good walking shoe!
The very few stalls that were still opened at the time we reached but within few minutes, they were all preparing to close for the day...
The first main attraction when we entered the village...big fish!
We were lucky to spot this place, at the top of a restaurant - one of the place that was high enough to let us take some nice scenery of Gamcheon
Before we can hangout for a little bit longer, we were told to go down and leave this place because the restaurant is closing for the day. It was getting dark at that time so we decided to leave, heading to another destination - the 3D museum at Nampo-dong.

We headed to the same bus stop but go to the opposite of the road. This time, I got a seat in the mini-bus but it was a special seat next to the driver (he offered me to take the seat because the bus was so crowded and I need bend down to avoid knocking my head.
The driver talks very loud and earlier we thought he is very fierce...but never judge the book by its cover....he was just another nice person we met in Busan :)
Heading down the hill, to the station - Goodbye Gamcheon!

Next station- Jagalchi Station (to Nampo-dong)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Visits Busan Korea 2014 - Local Food Special Songjeong3dae Gukbap

On the first day of arrival to Busan, we managed to reach Seomyeom from airport in about a 30 mins. We left airport around 5.40 pm and managed to reach our hostel about 6.30 pm - trying to locate the hostel after we got down from the bus in front of Lotte Department Store. We were so tired and hungry.

Upon check-in, we were recommended by the hotel manager Jay to try out the popular Gukbap in Busan. We were told that many people in other parts of Korea travel to Busan to enjoy this special local food. We were told that the Gukbap is rice and pork in soup. Without any hesitation, we followed the direction given by Jay to locate the Gukbap in Jungang-Daero area.

We walked along Jungang-Daero road at at the junction of a Nike store, we turned to the left. The streets has many small stores that sells snacks. We we go further, we reached the Gukbap restaurant.
 There were a few of the Gukbap restaurants. We have chosen the 2nd restaurant which is the one with the signage saying 3rd generation. I am just another typical consumer who thinks that a longer history place and still many are dinning there, something has to be right. So, we decided to go for it.
See the small English wording saying "third-generation", not that we know how to read Korean.
The menu with English, something that we love to see when we enter a restaurant in Busan. It just solve all the problem in ordering :) We ordered the original Dwaejigukbap (Pork Soup with Rice) for 6,000won.
Look left.
Look right, they are all Korean. I guess we were the only Malaysian...which I think they all could have thought that we are from China....tsk tsk tsk!
Here comes out dinner. A complete meal with many side dishes for free. The boss told us that we can refill the soup and side dishes, and no charges if we wish to add more rice. He even teach us how to match the side dishes for the best taste of their gukbap. He sounded very friendly but don't look friendly..hahaha, a busy man maybe.
Pork, pork, lots of pork!!!! Thumb up to the chef, the lady who cook all these at the entrance. 
Being a fan of rice and pork, I give this 10 out of 10. Never tasted pork with such taste, when you combined the sauce, and other dishes together in the soup. 'Like'!!!!
Satisfied until the last drop of the soup! I will be back!!!
A highly recommended restaurant and one of the must try local special food in Busan. For only 6,000won per pax, at first I thought it is expensive but hanging out in Busan for a few days, I find that this restaurant is very reasonable. A tall size Starbucks coffee already cost 6,100won!!! Gukbap can satisfy hunger and thirst better then.

Address: 부산광역시 부산진구 부전동 (Busan Busanjin Bujeon) 255-15