Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Visiting Melaka UNESCO World Heritage

Both I and Jess have a trip to Melaka for photo shooting last weekend. Planning started from about one and half month back. Our assignment on the trip was successfully completed and thanks to all the energetic and motivated photographers like Robin and Frederick. Definitely I am not forgetting my other friends that accompany the journey of tiring photo shooting.

I am taking this opportunity to walk around the day before around Jonker street area. We stay at Hotel Puri, one of a famous Baba Nyonya peranakan mansion and the environment is really amazing. Then we walk upward along Jalan Tan Cheng Lock and reach the entrance of Jonker street night market. We quickly visit the oldest temple at Melaka, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple which is worth the visit.

Then a little further walk down the road of Jalan Tokong would be Kampung Kling mosque. I believe the mosque is hidden from the attraction as it is not really noticeable when the crowded night market are lighting up along the whole Jonker. We had our dinner opposite Jonker boutique hotel near the stage.

After dinner we walk around until the river bridge mouth near famous Chung Wah chicken rice shop and we took a Melaka river cruise along the Melaka river for the price of RM10 per person. Along the river you will see the heritage house along the river but bare in mind that this river cruise cannot compare to romantic river cruise like Venice as it might be crowded with local family or tourist on the cruise. Put your expectation a little lower and enjoy the heritage of Melaka as a tourist.

We continue our heritage walk the next day during our photo shooting. We started at 7:30am from Puri hotel to Stadthuys, namely the red administrative area by Dutch and we proceed up until St Paul church for our 1st shooting location. Walking down to the other side would be A’Famosa the famous Portuguese ruin fortress but we skip that place for our 2nd location. We went back to Hotel Puri for our 2nd location shooting and had our lunch at the hotel restaurant. The whole hotel is really vintage and antique.

Our 3rd location shooting would be a beach out of town namely Klebang beach. Our Melaka trips are indeed a fruitful result.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Visiting Singapore's 1st Integrated Casino

Finally I am taking this opportunity to visit resort world and marina sand during my trip to Singapore this Malaysia day public holiday along the weekend. It is indeed a tiring journey as we drive to Singapore at night. We reach Singapore early morning at 4:30am crossing woodland checkpoint and reach Bukit Panjang at around 5am.

The first day would be a rest day after a tiring journey from Kuala Lumpur but I manage to follow my sister to visit the Jurong bird park with little kazerf, my little nephew. I guess it is a good chance to visit this bird park with kids. The park close at 6pm and we went in at 5pm. Can you imagine the time we squeeze the whole schedule cause we need to wait for little kazerf to wake up from the afternoon nap. Anyway we manage to visit the close encounter of parrots and owl with the train express. BTW the entrance ticket for Singapore zoo and birds park are S$18 respective but we got it for free as my sister got a membership.

Then come the second day suppose to be a exciting day to visit Universal Studio but it is also a disappointed day as it is full booked over the weekend and Friday as well. So we were just pimping outside the theme park and then manage to have a look at the Resort World Sentosa’s casino. It was nothing great as it is exactly the same as Genting’s casino layout. The best of Sentosa’s casino is you can wear a Bermuda pants to get in as along as it is dress smart casual with shoes.

The next day would be the second casino in Singapore located at marina sand near marina bay. These casino is similar to the one at Macau casino, and it is larger than RW Sentosa’ casino. It has 2 floors and widely spread gaming area. Casino is located near the shopping mall opposite the marina sand hotel. We visited the marina sand sky park which located at the highest marina sand hotel witness the amazing swimming pool and the sky park’s view but it is a bad idea combining both visiting for public and hotel guest together. That is why public are going up to view restricted zone only and not allowed to use the facility. Entrance tickets are charge at S$20 per person.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

World Cup 2010 @South Africa

South Africa divided into 9 provinces namely Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Northwest, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. The major cities of South Africa are Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban, Johannesburg, Polokwane and Port Elizabert which are also the World Cup stadium city.

Let’s spice up the article with World Cup city and World Heritage sites of South Africa where I will focus closely on Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg. I never been to South Africa but because I am watching the World Cup game during this period and I am going a extra mile to understand better of South Africa and looking forward to visit these cities in the future.

Cape Town is one of the city that host the World Cup 2010 where the stadium is called Green Point. Cape Town hosts the group stages and at least 1 match of Round 16, Quarter Final and Semi Final. Cape Town has 2 World Heritage Sites namely Robben Island and Cape Floral Region. Robben Island just off the Cape Town coast where Nelson Mandela was imprison for many years. It is indeed an island rich with history. Cape Province made up of eight protected areas, covering 553,000 ha, the Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. If you like flower and this is the place to visit in the world.

Bloemfontein is another city which hosts the World Cup during the group stages and also the famous encounter of bitter rivals Germany and England in the round of 16. One of the World Heritage site, Vredefort dome are located at Free State where it remnants of the largest and oldest meteorite impact crater in the world.

Johannesburg is the final city that I am focusing which is also one of the World Cup host city. The stadium soccer city in Johannesburg which is put to host the opening ceremony, the opening and final matches to the 2010 World Cup. And Johannesburg is located at Gauteng province together with Pretoria. It also host one of the World Heritage site, cradle of humankind where large collection of caves rich in hominid and advanced ape fossils.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Huanglong Trekking

Here is my final trekking about chengdu trekking specific on Huanglong mountain or yellow dragon mountain.

On the third day of our chengdu trip after Jiuzhaigou, then we proceed to huanglong in the morning from Jiuzhai Valley and take about 3.5 hours to reach the national park. It suppose to take 2.5 hours but because of the road and whether condition, 1 hour more are added into the schedule. Firstly the road are still developing with many trucks and construction area. The worst are the mist that make visibility very low which make the journey even longer. This road to huanglong are passing through the Jiuzhai Valley airport.

Anyway we start the trekking at 11am and expected to finish between 3 to 5 hours of trekking at huanglong. We take a 1 way cable car up to the huanglong middle intersection and then trek all the way down to enjoy the national park sceneries. Cable car take about 10 to 15 minutes to reach peak station and we start to trek to the middle-junction about 45 minutes walking in the rain.

From the middle-junction to multi color pond take about 30 minutes. We have a photo session and a little stop at the multi color pond for about 30 minutes as well before proceeding to descend at 1pm.

The descend from huanglong pass through some interesting pond, golden sand structure and waterfall rock formation. Too bad the rain make the visibility bad and scenery not amazing but it is definitely a beautiful forest with natural formations.

After walking down about 20 minutes then you will reach a junction where you decide which descend way to go down and it is indeed the same either left or right to witness the beautiful pond in between. This 2 trek route will meet at a point where the wave rock located.

The descend journey took 2 hours and the whole trekking took 4 hours to complete.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Diving @ Tioman Reef Divers

My last dive was last year June 2009 and I need to log my dive for this year. I have choose Tioman again for my periodically dives. This time I selected Tioman Reef Divers and stay at Babura Resort. Akemi from Tioman Reef Divers help me to organise a night at babura and I manage to dive twice with Tioman Reef Divers. Akemi is very helpful and friendly too.

I been to Tioman twice and most of the time I dive at chebeh and this time I have a chance to dive nearby Tioman Island like Renggis (1st dive) and Soyak (2nd dive). Both diving are really a skill refresh for myself even I dive for 50 times as diving are really an on-going sports recreation. Diving would be diffcult if not dive for more than a year as advised, cause some of thing like environment and weight might change that cause buoyancy to be out of control.

Hope to dive more at Tioman in the future.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mount Emei Trekking

Mount Emei is a natural forest with a rich cultural and history of Buddhism. Covering every temple and cultural site might take 3 days considering the huge diversity of the mountain. There are 3 main bus terminals namely Leidongping, Wannian and Wuxiangang that link all the trekking route and cable car. As recommended, we will start with Jinding through Leidongping terminal in the morning and then trekking from Wannian to Wuxiangang in the afternoon passing through Bailong Cave, Qingyin Pavilion and Joking Monkey Zone. To save time, we have to use the bus services to go to Leidongping first and also cable car service to reach Jinding as early as possible. Then we have lunch near Wannian terminal entrance traveling by service bus from Leidongping. Every national park or heritage sites come with some trekking and exercise like Emei as we trek for 4 hours from Wannian to Wuxiangang. That completes the 1 day trekking at Mount Emei with minimum attraction.

Beside Mount Emei, there sit another huge heritage site of Leshan Big Buddha where a gigantic Buddha sitting on the rock looking at the river. The Buddha take 5 generation of king throne to build and it is really an amazing site not to be miss. Everyone have a chance to walk around the Buddha to witness different perspective of Buddha which actually reflect our own walk of life.

Surprise that all of the hostel that we choose are at its best like MIGU International Youth hostel, Loft hostel and Teddy bear Hotel. All these hostels are well link and I believe the reception will assist you on your next journey during your visit at Chengdu. Teddy Bear hotel are unique with wood architecture build up and each room are accompany by a teddy bear signature as its trademark. It provides every tourist a warming atmosphere with its friendly reception at the very beginning of your first step into the hostel.

Another Sichuan specialty would be the hot and spicy food that the local has to offer that make us scare of hot pot. We had tried some of the spicy dishes at Chengdu and also taste the best cooked dished provided by hostel as well. I love the spicy chicken fry with peanuts so much until we take 3 times each meal.

We really need a relaxing tour at Chengdu after a tiring trekking at Emei, so we decided to visit Wu Hao monastery and Du Fu’s Cottage. Both attractions have beautiful courtyard filling with beautiful garden and walking around it are so peaceful hearing bird tweeting and wind blowing.

Last but not least never forget about this beautiful black and white living species!!

Jiuzhaigou Trekking

I have read few articles on Jiuzhaigou trekking and a one day visits to all the beautiful lakes are possible. Jiuzhaigou National park divided into 3 valleys namely Shuzheng valley, Zechawa valley and Rize valley. Most of the 1 day trekking covers part of Rize and Zechawa valley and end up at Shuzheng village. I guess that is the most comfortable route but I go the extra miles with more trekking at Rize and also Shuzheng valley.

The national park opens from 7am to 6pm during our visit at the month of May. If you have only 1 day to visit Jiuzhaigou and then you have to utilize the time efficiently. The entrance ticket cost RMB220 with bus ticket cost RMB90 and insurance RMB10. Traveling inside the national park require the bus to move around and it is a must for a 1 day pass. As advised from all trekker and travel agent and you should always start from the top. So we start our trekking at Rize valley then follow by Zechawa valley before ending the day at Shuzheng valley. We did cover most of Jiuzhaigou as mentioned.

In the early morning, we board a bus to the top of Rize valley and the bus journey take around 20 minutes. I skip the forest and start my trekking starting from Arrow Bamboo Lake. The scenery is really amazing just like the Chinese drawing like what we heard. There is a beautiful trek route between Arrow Bamboo Lake to Nuorilang Fall and enjoy the scenery while trekking through these trek routes. It takes us about 40 minutes trekking to Panda Lake from Arrow Bamboo Lake.

Walking around Panda Lake took us 30 minutes with photo stop and rest. Then it took another 40 minutes trekking from Panda Lake to Five Flower Lake which I guess it is the highlight of Rize Valley where I really understand why it is called the five flower lake where it reflect the forest natural color at its lake. Our trekking of Rize valley ends up at Pearl Shoal Waterfall. Then we took a bus to Mirror Lake before ending at Nuorilang Tourist center by 11:30am.

We continue our journey to Zechawa valley without wasting time as we board a 11:45am bus up to Long Lake. The bus journey took us 20 minutes to reach Long Lake. Long Lake is beautiful where it has a grand view with huge mountain and lake that make a perfect picture. We proceed to Color Lake which is not that amazing at Zechawa Valley. Anyway Zechawa valley has only these 2 lakes to share about. We quickly complete the lake and back to Nuorilang Center. Before having a break, we quickly visit Nuorilang Fall that we saw most of the time at photos and brochure.

After the break at Nuorilang Tourist Center, then we board a bus to Tiger Lake and trek a little short distance to Shuzheng Village along Shuzheng valley. It took about 20 minutes trekking to reach the Tibetan village. It was raining and we have a little shopping at the village before continue our journey further after 4pm. We trek the final trek at Shuzheng village to Sparkling Lake passing Shuzheng Lake and Sleeping Dragon Lake. The trekking took us 1 hour for a relaxing trekking along this valley. Then we took the bus to Bonzai Shoal Lake before ending our day.

Jiuzhaigou is above 3000 meter and our whole trekking route estimated about 10 km to 15 km walking distance. So if you are tire and you can option to take the bus straight to the designated lake of your choice. Jiuzhaigou is really a highly recommended attraction at Sichuan province.