Travelogue: 早安 Guangzhou!

Good morning Readers! Firstly, a heads up, this is a super over due post! one year #throwback!! I can’t even remember most of the things but i still wana to make notes on my trip so that one day when I’m old, i have something to look back.

Disclaimer: I probably wouldn’t go through my whole itinerary like how i did in previous travel post but i promise i will give you recommendation!!

This is my very first work trip and i had it combined with my year end vacation! I am totally head over toes over this trip! Being my first work trip.. a winter trip.. my year end vacation trip.. my vacation with mama..! it can’t get any better! You don’t get to enjoy very much of “FIRST” as you age! LOL!!

The moment we touched down, we checked in to the hotel, parked our bags and head straight to Haidilao! Yes i made a reservation at 3pm (i remember this clearly because the staff said they will call me prior the reservation but because i do not have a local number, they said i need tobe there 15 min earlier instead!)

I guess i do not need to give further elaboration on haidilao service. They’re so well known for their good service and good food! Plus they have blood curd here in Guangzhou!! omg… I’m definitely coming again if i had another trip to Guangzhou!

During our vacation, we stayed in Airbnb apartment! it’s relatively cheaper then hotel and you get to experience the neighbourhood!

This apartment we booked is in Heng Bao Guang Chang! With train service just at the basement and it’s linked to a mall, I’m totally impressed with myself for finding such good place! However, maybe we were new to the surrounding, we were kinda feeling insecure at night. It was hard to fall asleep, i had to make myself really tired in order to fell asleep. If you were let me choose again, i will probably stick to hotel. Because, you get to have your TAOBAO purchase shipped to the hotel concierge!! how amazing!!! Yes, i did most shopping online and have them shipped to hotel concierge while i was still staying in the “work-trip” hotel!!

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While i was at work, a lot of my colleague actually recommend me to go Guangzhou Tower (Canton Tower), so i decided to come by!

We chose to come here at late afternoon so that we can get to see the day and night in one visit!  As the time pass, you see more people coming and the tower light up. It’s very beautiful. With the cold weather, it’s totally my kinda vacation!

We bought the ticket that allow us to go on the ferris wheel and i must give my mama credit! It was her first time taking ferris wheel at such TALLLL Height! Even I myself was kinda shaky at the beginning.

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Another place we went to is Shamian Island. Shamian is a sandbank island in the Liwan District of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China. The island’s name literally means “sandy surface” in Chinese. The territory was divided into two concessions given to France and the United Kingdom by the Qing government in the 19th Century.

The island is a gazetted historical area that serves as a tranquil reminder of the colonial European period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and lined by historical buildings in various states of upkeep. The island is the location of several hotels, a youth hostel, restaurants and tourist shops selling curios and souvenirs.

We actually walked from our apartment to Shamian Island via Shang Xia Jiu Pedestrian Street. YES it is very walkable in winter weather!! No hurry no agenda, we just walk and chill..

There is nothing much to buy (IMO) in Shamian Island except starbucks, but it’s mad crowded! If you have time to spare, sure, add this into your itinerary too.

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You know, my mama and me, we are not those into history hence took us some time to decide to come here – Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall or Chen Clan Academy is an academic temple in Guangzhou, China, built by the 72 Chen clans for their juniors’ accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations in 1894 in Qing Dynasty. Later it was changed to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and then middle schools afterward. Now it houses the Guangdong Folk Art Museum.

Located at Zhongshan 7th Road, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is a symmetric complex consist of 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards. Facing south, the complex forms around a north-south axis. A large collection of southern China art pieces, for example, wood carvings and pottery, can be found in the structure. The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall complex exemplifies traditional Chinese architecture and decoration style, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments worldwide. It was added in the list of “Cultural Relics of National Importance under the Protection of the State” in 1988.


So much for place of interest, how about a FOOD of interest now??

LU DING JI  – You can check out the review from tripadvisor HERE!

The mala dry pot is a MUST try!! We had the dry pot with bull frog and shrimp. the BOWL is damn BIG but we still finished everything!!

Mama who don’t eat mala (before this) fell in love immediately and keep jioing me for mala for the next few days! She finally found the joy in eating Mala!

Other than Lu Ding Ji, we tried local stall, street food. They are all tasty but not for the weak stomach!

To be one honest, i feel that the food in Guangzhou are really my liking!! Savory and spicy!! ❤ it! Importantly they are not as pricey!

 

 

 

 

 

Travelogue: Johor 4D3N

I’m sure everyone is no stranger to JB! Like many others, JB is my to-go place for short staycation! It’s nearby and it’s cost effective! Transport is not an issue too – your can take a train, a bus, private car! When you’re in JB, your can use Grab app too!

This time, we book a staycation to enjoy our 10 years anniversary! Nothing new, we booked a room in KSL and since it’s our anniversary, we decided to spend a lil more – booked a Premier Deluxe room (SGD137.73 per night) for all 3 nights!

We had a early check in and found that the safe box is locked (while open) hence we can’t unlock and had to called the front desk for help. While waiting (quite a long wait), we realized the carpet (near bathroom wall) was wet. My hubby’s investigation instinct came knocking and he started to track where the leak comes from and…. IT WAS THE BATHTUB! We called the front desk again and long story short.. WE GOT A COMPLIMENTARY ROOM UPGRADE!!

We thought premier deluxe was so cool already (minus the hiccups), until we saw the Executive suite! We were totally thankful for the bathtub leak man!! HAHAHA!! 😀

What would you normally do in JB? Food? Massage? Food? Massage? SAME!

We had lotsa food! I persuade my hubby for a good meal as anniversary gift and here we are at Kinsahi for Japanese Cuisine! They service fresh sashimi and quite quality food (far from Sushi King)!

Of course, we do not restrict ourselves to only good food! We do hawker hopping too! We chance upon Marmolada Food Court while exploring the area! Lotsa good food – BBQ stingray, fried chicken ass, Anpang Niang Tau Foo, BBQ Chicken Wing! it’s like a smaller version of Taman Sentosa!

(update: the last time we went Aug 2019, it looks like the most of the stalls were closed. Even morning market did not open.)

Four days in JB, what more can we do? We went for the usual 3 hour massage and thought maybe we can catch a movie this time!! So far we watched at KSL only and since Paradigm Mall has a cinema, we went ahead to purchase our ticket at the self-service kiosk!

When i purchase the ticket, I’m like RM60, where got cheap sia?? almost same as Singapore! …until it’s time to enter, then i realized i actually bought their PREMIUM ticket (GV Gold Class equivalent)!

OOOH, now i feel the ticket is really a good buy!! HAHAHAHA!!

Overall, it’s a very chillax staycation and JB is still my to-go place for a quick break – although it always end up even more tired! >_< hahaha!

 

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Osaka Day 12-13

Actually on our last day in Japan, there’s nothing much left to do, we only had shopping in mind but yet need to watch out our luggage space.

All in all, I do enjoy this japan trip and had learnt that I need to be EARLY if I wanna visit place of interest!!! I really cannot take crowd very well.

If you haven’t read my previous post, check it out from below link:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2 | Osaka Day 3

Kobe Day 4-7

Kyoto Day 8-9 | Kyoto Day 10-11

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Kyoto Day 3-4 (Day 10-11)

Another early morning day! Though we said we need to be earlier but i guess, i just could do wake my butt up at 5am! LOL!!

Hence by the time we reach Fushimi Inari, it’s already almost 9am and … true enough, it’s crazily crowded already! Tourist.. School Excursion.. Locals..

Fushimi Inari-taisha is the head shrine of the kami Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. According to recommendation, it is the longesssst Senbon Torii – two dense, parallel rows of gates (“thousands of torii gates”).

The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres (764 ft) above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) and take approximately 2 hours to walk up.

You don’t even need to worried about getting lost or where to go, like any tourist spot, just follow the crowd! If you want IG worthy photo, come EARLY! 6am 7am?

It’s hard to get a spot without photobombers by daylight!

Fushimi Inari is definitely recommended if you’re visiting Kyoto (for the first time)! Not sure if i will go again, but if i do, i will probably do a 4am trip or evening trip!

After we’re done with Fushimi Inari, we head of to Kinkakuji! OMG, that was my most terrible decision! Don’t get me wrong, the place is beautiful but the crowd is not!!

We took a bus to Kinkakuji and upon alighting, i almost wanted to u-turn and go back! IT’S THE MOST CROWDED PLACE I’ve been too during the whole trip – partly because it’s already late morning i guess..

Upon entering, you will see nothing but lotsa tourist busy getting their best shot of the temple, doing selfie, doing wefie.. while i was shooting for my mom, they just went right through and stand beside my mom for their picture!?! both of us were like..

“eh ur friend ah??” LOL!!!

Hence we didn’t actually spend a lot of time here. One shot each and left. I can’t emphasize this enough – BE EARLY for tourist place!! I’m glad i only planned one spot per day (morning) and free & easy there after! Kinkakuji was our f&e spot and i guess, timing was not ideal!


Day 4 – Most anticipated day!!!! We’re going to NARA!!! Can’t even remember who recommended me to go Nara!! It wasn’t in our plan initially as it was kinda far (but again, Japan is so big, where isn’t far?) as it’s kinda out of the way.

Took some time to google how to go from Kyoto and well, it’s actually not difficult to go there, plus so many of them recommended us to go and here we are!!!!

Upon alighting the bus, you will be greeted by deers! No need to get too excited (yet) seeing them.. as you walk in, you will see even MORE!!

There’s deer biscuit available for sale if you want to feed them. However, do note that the deer gets more excited than you when they see the biscuit!! hahahaha!! Less than a second you’ll probably be surrounded by all of them!! Yup, they aren’t shy at all – which is a good thing i guess?)

We continue on foot to Todaiji and we saw even more deers!!! Some are resting, some are eating (grass), some just strolling (waiting for biscuit)! Mama was kinda excited and scared at the same time (pretty obvious from the photos)! Actually we both are but the deers are really gently – although one tried to ate my bag thinking it’s food (?) but no harm was caused!

If you’re in Nara, do make a trip to Todaiji!

Tōdai-ji (東大寺, Eastern Great Temple) is a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples. Though it was originally founded in the year 738 CE, Todai-ji was not opened until the year 752 CE. Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden) houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu (大仏). The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism. The temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”, together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara.

Both mama and me felt this this is one temple worth going again! By the time we leave, Nara Park starts getting crowded! We were happy that we actually made it here EARLY this time!! Although it drizzled but didn’t dampen our excitement at all, by the time we leave, we’re still very excited!!

Saying goodbye is hard, but our stomach will probably go on strike if we still don’t feed them! We went Nara really early we haven’t hard any breakfast!! We head back to Kyoto and went back to the matcha restaurant to try their main course this time. We’ll all i can say is, dessert is definitely better!

Throughout the day, we did not take any more pictures as we were busy getting souvenirs and gift for family! We were so worried we our luggage will be super over weight!!

By evening, we were all tired and hungry (again).. a simple dinner fixed and we head back to hotel to pack our bag before we return to Osaka (our last night!)

If you haven’t read my previous post, check it out from below link:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2 | Osaka Day 3

Kobe Day 4-7

Kyoto Day 8-9

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Kyoto Day 1-2 (Day 8-9)

Ended my work and can finally start my vacation!!

Started my vacation checking into this awesome hotel which is at a very strategic location! Just next to Kyoto Station, airport limousine bus terminal and there are so many shops (Kyoto Station Mall, Don Don Donki) within walking distance!

Elcient Hotel Kyoto – the rate we booked is about ¥57,473 for 4 nights! Like all other hotel, this is in a cosy size too but doesn’t hinder us moving around at all.

First time in Japan, I’m so excited to see hotels in Japan actually provide skin care/toiletries for guest too!! Don’t even need to bring any skin care in future!! Best Part? They gave cup noodle for free at 9pm every night! 1 cup per guest!!

Well, checking in was a swift – counter staff were friendly and prompt! Without much delay, we went out for our lunch at a nearby mall after we parked our luggage in our room!

If you happen to be in Kyoto, Do try this cafe too! they specialist in Matcha dessert!! So good!!

Nakamura Tokichi Kyoto Station

Click HERE for Google Map

If you’re lost, just ask anyone, it’s quite well known and people will tell you where to go!

We didn’t do much upon arriving Kyoto first day since it’s kinda late to go any place of interest. So we did nothing but shopping at Don Don Donki and drug store!! High damage but happiness meter is filled to the max!


Day 2 – Bamboo Forest

There’s only ONE TIP for visiting places of interest, BE EARLY and i meant REALLY EARLY!

We started our day at about 8am, thinking it’s early (waking up at 7am is EARLY for me) enough… goodness, it’s actually not early enough! When we arrived at the station, there were already lotsa tourist! Initially we were still thinking not sure if we’ll get lost finding the forest, but oh well.. all we did is just follow the crowd!

It’s not immediately you will see beautiful forest. but you get to see a small shrine, a bit of bamboo here and there. While we’re walking in, we really though, is the forest like that? too overated!!

However, when we made one more turn, we actually walked in deeper and and saw this two beautiful rows of bamboo!!! breathtaking!! In case you thought “wah no people!” actually, there are LOTS! but you just need to find somewhere with less crowd photoshop them away later.

If you’re in Kyoto, i would definitely recommend coming here, EARLY! Tour groups come around 9-10am. So do target to come before them and you’ll get peace and less human traffic photos!

Now that it’s about 10am (i can’t remember the exact time, but for sure it’s between 10-11am)!  We can’t go other tourist spot since it’s kinda late – yes i hate crrowd.  So we decided to head to Nishiki Market!

Nishiki Market is a marketplace in downtown Kyoto, located on a road one block north and parallel to Shijō Street and west of Teramachi Street. Rich with history and tradition, the market is renowned as the place to obtain many of Kyoto’s famous foods and goods!

Lotsa food options and lotsa shopping too – we found Daiso here too! In my opinion, I would advice you to try anything that you see interesting! most of the food we bought are soo good! Unagi, Ebi, and look at the don we bought! Too heavenly!!! and the mixed (Matcha/Hojicha) ice cream – must try!!

Although it’s only two places we went but we’re enjoying the pace. it’s not killing packed yet not boring! with beautiful Bamboo forest experience, we swear to wake up earlier tomorrow for our FUSHIMI INARI visit!!!!

If you haven’t read my previous post, check it out from below link:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2 | Osaka Day 3

Kobe Day 4-7

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Kobe Day 1-4 (Day 4-7)

This is not much of a leisure post since i am working most of the time. BUT BUT! i did (still) went out for dinner after my event ended, yes no matter how late. Waste no time even though i am mad tired (early mornings and late nights)! Trust me, aging is no joke!!

First night, i actually gave mama a treat to this grill seafood place! Wow, fresh seafood but I’m sorry, i can’t recall where is the location because we went round and round and round looking for a restaurant that sells my Kobe Beef and non-beef item (so that me and mama can enjoy dinner together). But… i was too hungry to continue and this place seems.. decent and we went in! It’s not the cheapest dinner but NO REGRETS!!

There are some other days i actually settle my dinner at a nearby supermarket as i was really toooo tired and u thought what food can supermarket have? THEY HAVE LOTSA FOOD!! Bento, Sushi, Sashimi, Churros! They even had oven for you to heat up your food! oh man.. Now i wish I’m there again!

On the last day in Kobe, I decided to bring mommy out and find my KOBE BEEF again! I must give credit to mommy for walking the street up and down with me just to find a stall where we both can enjoy together!

Again, i can’t recall this restaurant name!!! (>_<)|| It’s because we walked up and down many streets!! Some doesn’t have english menu, some don have many non-beef food.

But glad we found this small restaurant, they serve very Kobe Beef, Pork and Seafood!

When mommy first look at the pork, she was a bit turn off as she don’t really like marinated pork. However, to our surprise, the pork was mad goodness, the marinate didn’t over power the pork texture! Seafood was fresh too – sotong was weirdly soft!!

If you have the chance to visit Japan/Kobe and if you eat beef, i think you have to try Kobe Beef at least once!! it’s pricey but you will not regret! It will be the best beef you ever eat!!!

Well, gonna end this short post here and stay tune for the next one because it’s going to be excited!!

If you haven’t read my previous post, check it out from below link:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2 | Osaka Day 3

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Osaka Day 3

After a good night sleep, it’s time to really explore Osaka!!

First stop! Shitennoji Temple (entrance fee ¥300)! We started our day kinda early hence the crowd was still manageable.

The temple is really nice but it isn’t too big, thus we took merely 15 mins and was out to the next destination – Tsutenkaku Tower (entrance fee ¥700)!

We didn’t took much picture here so i can’t share much with you! However, if you have the chance, maybe consider coming later in the afternoon. not alot of shops are open in the morning!! HAHAHAHA!! Maybe that’s why we didn’t have chance to take much photo!

Third stop of the day, The Umeda Sky Tower!! The building is the nineteenth-tallest building in Osaka Prefecture and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. It consists of two 40-story towers that connect at their two uppermost stories, with bridges and an escalator crossing the wide atrium-like space in the center.

If you’re afraid of heights, i think it’s better not to look down when you’re taking the escalator. Going up the escalator is fine (since you’re look up), but coming down will make you a lil panicky as your view is all looking down! There was a lady who sat down on the escalator to avoid looking outside..  but must give her a thumbs up, she actually was there because her son wanted to visit the building.

Once you’re up there.. the view was really good! You can see Osaka City and there’s a cafe where you can sit down to rest and chill.

Just before we head for dinner, we went for our first ferris wheel ride – Hep Five Ferris Wheel (ride fee ¥600)!! Woohooo!

As you can see, mommy is really scared but she’s so adventurous and took the ride with me!! She did made me felt nervous too!! hahahaha!!!!

Overall, I highly recommend to get the Osaka Amazing Pass, it’s really quite a saving and you get prior access to quite a few places too! Best part, there’s an app where you can download and get discount at restaurant!

If you haven’t see my other post, you may check out below:

Osaka Day 1 | Osaka Day 2

Travelogue: Konnichiwa Osaka Day 2

Before i start, if you have read about my Day 1, click HERE!

Probably we’re too excited, waking up earlier was almost easy peasy! After we’re all ready, we’re off to out first stop! BRANCH!!

Of course we did not dine in train! We took train to Osaka (Umeda) station and went around exploring supermarket food stall, this isn’t part of the Osaka pass in case you’re wondering! LOL

After a good brunch, we head of to the most anticipated Osaka Castle (entrance fee ¥600). Good news, with Osaka Amazing Pass, you can SKIP THE QUEUE!! Weekend queue can be crazy and with priority access, you can save so much time and effort!

Although i heard a lot of review about how Osaka Castle is not a must-go place, but we still decided to went ahead. Yes, having OAP is one of the reason but it’s also because it’s our first time there, we thought we should at least come have a look once!

The castle is really magnificent, very grand! However, there isn’t much to do inside. I’m not a historical person (if you know me, i fail History throughout my school day! >_<)  hence we literally just went all the way up, enjoy the view and came down straight.

Within the same compound, walking distance, is another interesting place you can consider visiting (included in OAP), it’s the Illusion Museum (entrance fee ¥1200)

It’s like a small scale Trick Eye Museum, and best part, it’s not crowded! LOL!!!

After the museum and some souvenir shopping, we took our OAP Wonder Cruise (ride fee ¥1800) back to Dotonbori

We walk around Dotonbori (mainly Don Don Donki! HAHAHA!) and shopped quite a fair bit and decided to head home to put all our stuff first. We took a quick rest and decided to head to Kuromon Market (9am-6pm) and try our luck and see if we can have Sashimi or any interesting food!

Here we gooooo.. Whale tongue, grill scallop, Kanidon, Wagyu, Quail Octopus!!!

So glad we decided to come over despite our tired feet! The food was so gooood i can hold my poo for a week!!! Just like that, we ended our day 2 with a tummy full of good food!