Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Want to Explore Southeast Asia? Here's Where You Should Go


To travel or not to travel? That is the question!



Actually, the question is WHERE? Anyone that knows me will definitely know that I am voting heck yeah for travelling! Now the matter is, where you should go when you set your eyes on travelling to another part of the globe.


In today’s entry, we’re going to look at those cool places you can get inspired to visit. Instead of covering the whole globe, which will be utterly suicidal because even I won’t hold out to read that long! We’ll narrow down the search to right here where we are familiar with - Southeast Asian countries.


Southeast Asia holds some of the most beautiful places out there. The historical heritage, the cultural legacy, the outstanding nature preserve on displayed are to die for. Now, getting there becomes much easier since we have multiple flight booking platform out there including Traveloka.


Why them? Well, first, they keep popping out here and there as of recently with the AGT and KL2017, so I did a little digging and found some cool stuff. They got cheap AirAsia tickets online (who wouldn’t want that right?) and also flight tickets from other well-known airlines as well. You can check it out too for yourself.  


So, enough about them, Southeast Asia, where are the places that will get you inspired to go to?


Phuket


The famous site where everyone loves to go. Phuket has one of the most scenic views I have ever seen. It’s the perfect place for photography, it’s the perfect place for a movie, it’s the perfect place for honeymoon, and it’s the perfect place to literally escape city life for once – and most importantly, it is VERY affordable!

Patong Beach - Photo by sunhill-phuket.com

Thailand proudest possession is its paradise beaches. Among the popular ones, you should visit including Phi Phi Island, Patong Beach, Kata, Karon and Kamala. The water is totally mesmerizing and the white sand? If you are looking for a romantic getaway, this is it because the place is just filled with romantic vibes all around.

Komodo National Park


Kodomo Island. Photo by loveandroad.com


Komodo Island is one of the 17,508 islands that complete the Republic of Indonesia that - as the name depicted - inhabitant by the largest lizard species on earth, the Komodo dragons. This descendant of their prehistoric ancestors roamed the island freely.

The Almighty Kodomo Dragon


Apart from the visible sightings of these dragons, the beaches and natural sceneries around the 390 square kilometres island is somewhat amazing too. A little heads up though, if you ever plan on venturing on this island and happened to see a Komodo dragon, don’t go a pet it because although the attack records are rare there, but trust me, these are wild and dangerous animals. You would want to be at the end of its jaws.


Angkor



Do you like visiting historical sites? Angkor Wat is the place to be if you are one of those people that enjoy revisiting the culture and history part of a place. This precious archaeological site in Cambodia dated back from the 12th century. What was originally built as a Hindu temple of the god Vishnu experienced a gradual transformation to a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century.

Sunrise in Angkor Wat. Photo by insiderjourneys.com.au


This site not only displays rich theological value but also the architectural design is breath taking. Did you know this place is so popular it has been the site for movies so many times now? The surrounding is also incredible as you are completely surrounded by nothing but trees. It’s a good place to find your centre again, I might say.  


Vientiane


Vientiane by southeastasiabackpacker.com


Marked as the largest capital city in Laos, Vientiane stretched along Mekong River where you can really see the heart of Laos. One main attraction that you would not want to miss is the Pha That Luang that was built back around 1586. Pha That Luang is a Buddhist stupa that represents the special and unique masterpiece on its own.

Pha That Luang Stupa in Laos, by Fototrav Print


Vientiane is a good place to stroll around where you can find cool temples with interesting architectural value to it and also enjoy the beautiful sight of Mekong River that overlooking the Thailand region. Who knows? Since you’re already near the border, you can always pay a visit to Thailand along the way.

Kuala Lumpur


Last but definitely not least, Malaysia has its own pride and joy. I might be biased because I’m a Malaysian but what the heck man? But truly, patriotism aside, Malaysia also have some of the best place to visit for tourist; both local and international.



Kuala Lumpur skyline by Paul Mullins Photography


Kuala Lumpur is one of the main tourist spots when it comes to visiting Malaysia. The Petronas Twin Tower is magnificent from afar and even more so when you are right in front of it. What really stood out in KL is because there are so many cool places to visit in one place. You can visit the national museum, enjoy the revolving restaurant in KL Tower, visit the Aquaria with your family and hang around Bukit Bintang. It is a city vacation is what I’ll call it.




...And there you have it. It ain’t all of it though, but like I said, you might fall into a blogging coma if I ever to tell you about ALL the best places to visit in Southeast Asia. 


Maybe in the next entry. Later!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kaiju, APW Bangsar (Menu Attached)


Kaiju -  a 4-month-old Thai-Japanese fusion cuisine in APW Bangsar
which attracts most patrons with their interior decor

I mean, who else offers a dragon on the ceiling while you feast right?






Kaiju actually means Monster (怪獣) in Japanese 

I was told if you look at the red-neon "Kaiju" word 
it is Kaiju from the front
but when you look from the side
it actually resembles a thai word

quite amazing isn't it =D







We ordered 2 snacks
and trust me
it is worth spending money on their snacks selection
they are beyond awesome-ness!

555 Salmon Tata ( RM28 ) is a combination of mash potato with raw salmon
It blends so well and the salmon melts in your mouth!
effortlessly beautiful! 

555 Salmon Tata ( RM28 )

another mouth watering dish is
Yoyoki Tuna Tataki ( RM26 )
we ordered it because we wanted the mango salad
but it turned out totally out of expectation
those thick tuna chunks are to die for
another MUST TRY!


Yoyoki Tuna Tataki ( RM26 )


Half cooked tuna chunks. Very delicious


another best seller snack / appetiser is their Dangerous Baby Prawn (RM18)
however it is sold off when I reached =(

as for main meal :

I really love their Tom Yum Udon ( RM28 )
spicy, thick and rich
one of the best tomyum I've ever had =D
Other than Udon, you also get fish noodles inside
perfect mix!


Tom Yum Udon ( RM28 )

Hawaiian Kaiju Raice ( RM26 )


Drinks

Their sake series ( RM22 each ) are highly recommended
We tried Sake + Lychee & Sake + Lemongrass

They are refreshing and easy to drink
if you are looking for a strong sake / alcohol taste
this is not the right choice though
but worth trying =D


Sake + Lychee ( RM22 )

Sake + Lemongrass ( RM22 )

Menu

And since I realized most people are more concerned with what the food prices will be
here is the food menu (as per March 2017)
hope it helps =)













Overall Experience :

Food : 5 / 5
Ambience : 4.5 / 5
Price : 4 / 5
Service : 5 / 5

highly recommended =)
this time I'll be back not for the dragon decor, 
but for the food!

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Kaiju
29, Jalan Riong
59100 KL
(waze : APW Bangsar)

Opening Hours (daily):
12 - 3pm (Lunch)
6 - 10pm (Dinner)

For reservation : 
+603 2788 3796
(It can be quite crowded on weekends)

Facebook : Kaiju
Instagram : @kaijucompany





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Suzie Wong Bar, Wisma Lim Foo Yoong KL


The new speakeasy bar hype on Suzie Wong, KL is real =D
Before I start writing anything
my advice is to book beforehand before your visit to avoid disappointment
they are really packed and busy (everyday if not most days)
even on weeknights!

Long story short, I like this place a lot
(maybe a little bit too chinese =P )
but you don't only get to drink
you also get to see free performances
it's really like a old shanghai drinking place in movies

As this bar don't allow professional cameras inside
I'll show some interior photos taken from their website 



How to look for the entrance?

When you reach Wisma Lim Foo Yoong
walk all the way to the back of this building
just right next to building car park entrance
you'll see a small downward slope with bouncers standing outside
or girls wearing cheongsam at the reception

walk straight in and you'll be greeted with a noodle shop from the days of yore

and Yes, it's a real wan tan mee shop
you can order food from them and eat here

Noodle Shop ( Photo taken from suziewong.asia)

Basically Suzie Wong is separated into 2 compartments
the first is a classic edge area with swings - the quieter part
the second is the a drinking place with stage performance - the more happening part

Drinking area (Photo taken from suziewong.asia)

Stage area ( Photo taken from suziewong.asia)

While waiting for performance










Bartender at work


It was quite crowded when I went with my BFF on a Thursday night
we didn't make any booking but luckily there's still seats for us

(To get a table : min spend of RM400 is needed)

Most cocktail prices start from RM40+

Bff Sabrina with her drink

Our Cocktails

Other interesting drinks in Suzie Wong
(photo taken from instagram)

by @sayumi87

by @reneetog

Robert Lomax by @justinehly

Where to park?

If you follow Waze (Wisma Lim Foo Yoong)
you'll be directed to the main entrance of this building
at the Family Mart entrance
they only provide Valet Parking at that area

to get to public car park in the building
drive on the main road and make 2 left turns to get into the back of the building
they were renovating the car park ticket machine when I was there
so basically I don't need to pay
not sure about the current parking fees though!




Suzie Wong

Wisma Lim Foo Yoong
86 Jalan Raja Chulan
50450 Kuala Lumpur

For Reservation : +6017 22 66 480
(Call / whatsapp from 2-6pm, Mon - Sun)

Opening Hours :
Mon - Fri : 4pm - 3am
Sat - Sun : 6pm - 3am


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

About and How to go Gili Trawangan, Lombok


Hi guys! My friend and I just came back from our 5D4N trip in Gili Trawangan, Lombok and thought I'd share some tips on my trip!


6 main points I'd be sharing :

1. How to travel from Lombok Airport to Gili Trawangan
2. Transportation in Gili Trawangan Island itself
3. Expenses in Gili Trawangan (including Food, Body Massage, Hotel)
4. One Day Trip and prices (average)
5. Instagrammable locations

Stand Surfing Beach

Main Jetty
Relaxing beach =)

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1. How to travel from Lombok Airport to Gili Trawangan

To get to Gili Trawangan, you basically have 2 options :

Option 1 : Fly into Lombok International Airport
Option 2 : Fly into Bali (Denpasar) International Airport

We took up Option 1 as some says the sea can be rather choppy from Bali - Gili Islands in Jan / Feb.

Our return flight from KL - Lombok is RM369.

From Lombok International Airport, you can :

Take a taxi / bus (unsure) to Bangsal Harbour, then take public boat (Rp15,000 / pax) to Gili Trawangan. Problem with this is the first boat runs at 830am and last one at 5pm. Apparently it can be cancelled or you might just not be able to hop onto the last boat if it is too full. Public speedboat takes 30+mins to reach Gili Trawangan.

So for us, to save all the trouble, we took the less painful way by charting a private transfer. They pick us up from the airport - send us to the jetty with private car  - private speedboat (15mins). The entire process is only 1hr 45mins. We paid Rp2,700,000 for 4 pax (roughly RM225 per pax) - for to and fro service.

This is the transfer that we used :

Contact Number : +62 822-3756-7748 (Lombok Network) - whatsapp
Website : Lombok Network Transfers

*note : if you have a bigger party, you can negotiate a better price*

ALTERNATIVELY :

If you want to save money, book one way private transfer from Lombok Airport to Gili Trawangan, and then book your transfer back to airport in Gili Trawangan island tour agencies. We realized they offer half the price for one way airport transfer.


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2. Transportation in Gili Trawangan Island :


Highly recommended : rent a bike (unless you stay really near to jetty, where all the shops are there)
Normal price : Rp50,000 per bike per day
We got it at Rp35,000 per day at a shop near the night market (no shop name though)
Some hotels provide free bicycle for their hotel patrons - most do not have this service.

To cycle whole Gili Trawangan Island - 1 round takes 1 hour

Bicycles

Alternatively, you can take horse car :
Normal price : Rp150,000 per car (max of 3 adult passengers)

*there's no motorcycle / car in Gili Trawangan Island itself. 

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3. Expenses in Gili Trawangan, Lombok :


Average Food Prices :

(To ease your calculation : Rp20,000 is around RM6.50)

Night Market food :
BBQ : Rp20,000 - 30,000 per stick
Nasi Campur (Rice + 4 vegs of your choice) - Rp20,000 per plate

Cheap meal in rundown roadside restaurant : Rp20,000 (per local meal)

Proper Restaurant : Rp40,000 - 60,000 per pax

Seafood : Choose your seafood + free flow salad bar /  rice  / potatoes : roughly Rp80,000 per pax

BBQ Corn (Roadside stall) : Rp15,000 per corn

Alcohol (Bintang Beer) - Retail Price from mart : Small bottle Rp25,000, Large Rp40,000
(most restaurants charge slightly more expensive)


Grill Seafood - Remember! Price negotiable



One of the breakfast place that we really love =)



Body Massage :

Normal retail price : Rp160,000-180,000 (1 hour full body massage)

We got it at Rp100,000 (1 hour full body massage) at Samba (near Istanbul Kebab / Gili Mart)

Samba Spa



For Hotel :

We stayed : Gili Ocean Club (2 bedroom suite).
It is a nice hotel with a mini pool, very huge bathroom but it is 15-20 minutes walk from the main area. (Bicycle makes life easier!)

We spent : RM550 per night for 4 pax (2 Bedrooms + 2 Bathrooms)

Airbnb choices are pretty limited and far from the main area

Gili Ocean Club - our hotel pool

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4. One Day Trip and Prices from Gili Trawangan

1. Island Hopping around Gili Islands
(Gili Meno, Gili Air, Gili Trawangan)

Normal price :
With public boat : Rp100,000 per pax
With private speedboat : Rp150,000 per pax

Island Hopping 

Island Hopping



2. Tiu Kelep Waterfall Half Day Trip

Rp : 150,000 per pax
Includes boat back to Lombok, private car from Lombok jetty to waterfall entrance (1.5hrs drive)

Does not include Tour Guide to waterfall (we were told it is mandatory)
Rp100,000 per pax
(honestly, the guide is quite useful and helpful in assisting us especially when we need to cross a few streams)

(scroll all the way down for more pics)

This is when you need the guide's help.


3. Lombok Beach Trip

(Includes Sengigi Beach, Tanjung Ann, Bukit Merese and many other surfing beaches)
Rp100,000 per pax

(scroll all the way down for more pics)

Bukit Merese

Other day trips : Komodo Island, Diving trips

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5. Instagrammable Locations around Lombok

1. Sunset Swing in Gili Trawangan

Look at the map below. The yellow highlighted area is where you get to see sunset. Along the beach, there are a few bars that has different types of swings. Just walk to the beach, sit and take pictures with the swing. You do not need to pay anything unless you are drinking at the bar.

Sunset time : roughly around 6.20pm. Be there by 6pm to take nice hue.


We took ours in Ombak Sunset Resort.
The sunset was magnificent. Really =)

Ombak Sunset Swing


2. Riding Horse in the sea (sunset)

When you take pictures around the swing, often you'll see horses bathing in the sea. Just walk up to one of them and ask whether they can bring you for a short ride into the sea =) We got charged Rp25,000 per pax, which I think is still negotiable.

Horse riding in the sea


3. Bukit Merese and Tanjung Ann, Lombok
(good for sunset)
This place is near Kuta, the main city in Lombok. It is near to Lombok Airport.

Bukit Merese, Lombok


4. Tiu Kelep Waterfall, Lombok
(North of Lombok, need to hike 1 hour into this waterfall)

Tiu kelep waterfall. 

Magnificent. Photo credit : @nazrul instagram


5. or just any sea in Gili Trawangan
They are blue! I mean it =)

near public boat jetty


More interesting places in this video =)



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Last but not least
Gili Trawangan is all about Sun, Sea, Beach and Party
there isn't much touristy spots to visit
If you wish to visit more places
I highly recommend you to stay in Lombok Island and visit Gili Trawangan as 1 day trip.
Lombok has more things to offer =)

You'll need at least 4D3N for this trip
5D4N is pretty relaxing for us =)
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Well, hope my tips are useful
and enjoy your trip!

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Any questions : please email me at suesien@gmail.com
or DM me at my instagram : @sue_sien
(I tend miss comments in my blog! use the 2 options above for speedy reply!)