Monday, March 14, 2016

Greece! | Day 1

Yes! Its the best time to travel to Greece. Even with financial crisis happening, it makes Greece more affordable to travel!


We chose Greece as one of the destination in our backpacking Europe itinerary.

May'15
Breezy noon with landed at Athens International Airport by Pegasus Airlines from Istanbul, Turkey. We got the air fare quite cheap! Return trip for Euro90 per pax! The plus of choosing this airline, they allow 30kg baggage allowance for check in, FREE! Seats are clean, staff is friendly. No complaints on that!


We booked our 1st stay in Athens through Airbnb.com (Rental of Accomodation). Basement room with ensuite and free breakfast. Another plus is FREE transport to/from airport (which is 15 minutes away!) cost us both Euro39 per night! Good deal!


Ahhhh, such a nice place!


Home in Greece







Common area








Kitchen





To our room in the basement






Our spacious room




Ensuite bathroom





Just 10 minutes walk to the beach nearby with cafes & Artemida Beach which is about 400 metres away.


my navigator behind!




Mini Market nearby




Artemida Beach - Wind Surfing beach




Greek Church




Interior of the Greek Church






Our host recommend us nearby beach cafe which is famous for their traditional greek dishes!


Cafe




Greek beer, Cheers!



Must HAVE - GREEK SALAD!






Souvalaki / Gyros, Euro 2




Our dinner cost us Euro10 for 2 pax. I must say, every meal with a Gyros is enough for me! We took a stroll back to our Home. Sun still brightly shinning at 8.30pm in Spring!

Can't wait for our early flight to Santorini tomorrow!







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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Yangon, Myanmar | Day 1

If you didn't know, Myanmar (Burma) previously under travel visa ban and Aung San Suu Kyi repeatedly asked tourists not to visit Burma.

"I still think that people should not come to Burma because the bulk of the money from tourism goes straight into the pockets of the generals. And not only that, it's a form of moral support for them because it makes the military authorities think that the international community is not opposed to the human rights violations which they are committing all the time. They seem to look on the influx of tourists as proof that their actions are accepted by the world." (Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, January1999)




Back in Year 2012, when I search for information on Myanmar in Trip Advisor, not much choice of accomodation and information about them. I gave up & choose Cambodia over them.



The ban only been lifted in Year 2013 and their tourism industry start to flourish.


A chance to visit another Southeast Asia country, so lets go!



Upon reaching the Yangon International Airport, we have our Myanmar E-Visa which we did online, hence no queue for arrival visa and can make your way through the immigration. E-visa and the Arrival visa for Myanmar 30 days is USD50. Quite expensive for Asia!


A taxi is from International Airport to Downtown Yangon cost Kyatt8000 (Almost equivalent to USD8) per car.


Massive jam for almost 2 hours to Downtown around noon. So anyone of you plan to go/from airport/downtown, do allow about 2 hours drive. They said, normally 40 minutes will do, but not for us.



Met our with our friends staying with 30th Corner Boutique Hostel. A friendly hostel which allows us to leave our backpacks and go roam freely the Downtown Yangon! The rooms is small but clean. They do provide breakfast and free wifi, complimentary mineral water too! Room price is reasonable, about USD20 per pax if you are choosing double room. They also allow us to shower before going off to Aung Minglar Bus Station late evening!



Downtown Yangon

Opposite view from 30th Corner Boutique Hostel



Street Food




Bogyoke Aung San Market





Sule Pagoda from afar







Tea Leaf Salad at 999 Shan Noodle House



Sticky Shan Noodle at 999 Shan Noodle House


After our lunch, we took a cab, Kyatt7000 from downtown to Shwedagon Pagoda. 


To be continued..


Monday, April 06, 2015

JJ Bus Express - Yangon to Bagan

Hello!

I'm just back from my 1st trip of the year to another South East Asia Country - Myanmar!

So, here's my experience from JJ Bus Express, if anyone of you happen to take this route too!


I've book our bus seats with JJ Bus Express from their Facebook which they reply promptly! Do check them out.


Here's the bus schedule as at 31 March 2015:



We got the first class, that's the only class they have for this route. Cost about 18,500 Kyatt each person.

I must say, air-conditioned bus with comfortable seats (not cramp space!), blanket provided (you can request for extra!), they stop at a huge rest station which have everything you need (wifi, toilets, food!) and they do serve complimentary butter cake with coffee/tea.




Inside the Bus

The journey takes about 10 hours. Depart at 8pm from Aung Minglar Bus Station. Do be there at least 2 hours early than scheduled time because the traffic can be very jam!

We reached Bagan at 5.30am, which is half an hour earlier than scheduled time. In time to catch the Sunrise!

p/s: They have complimentary pick up service from your stay at Bagan to Bus station (No drop off service).




Thursday, November 06, 2014

Everest View Trekking - Lukla to Phakding | Day 1

I skipped my Kathmandu City part for now.
Because I'm so eager to share my excitement / highlights of the whole Nepal trip.

Getting to Lukla, from Kathmandu:

Early morning, we got pick up by our local tour Company, Destination Unlimited. Ashok (Owner) came by our B&B and sent us together with our Tour Guide, Rajan off to the airport.

Tribhuvan Domestic Airport
Dimly lighted & unorganised domestic airport which we joke that it looks abit like refugees in chaos.
Upon checking in, the officer weigh even our weight and hand carry bags.

And handed over a boarding pass.

The check-in counter. Sorry for the blurness because of poor lightings!

The boarding pass to Lukla

We are ready to go!

After security checks, we waited for internal airport shuttle to get us to our plane sites.
Excited and anticipated to land at the World Most Dangerous Airport, Lukla.

Domestic Planes

View from my seat.

Only 2 rows. About 15 pax, i guess.

View of Kathmandu City from plane

View from Plane

Safetly landed on the World Most Dangerous Airport, Lukla.


Its a cliff after the runway. 

Porters get our bags from the baggage claim, from there, Rajan, our trek guide showed us way to nearest teahouse where we will be served hot drinks! Its 10 deg chilly morning of October! Clear skies :) I do miss this kind of weather, reminds me of New Zealand. Malaysia is too hot & humid!


Hot Chocolate to warm up~

Cozy Teahouse, Paradise Lodge


After getting ourselves warm enough & munch on our morning takeaway breakfast from B&B early in the morning, we are ready to go!

Our first "we-fie" at the Tourist Police Station

We were told that its going to be an easy day of trek.

Why? Because we currently at 2840m Lukla, and going to trek down to 2610m Phakding. About 3 to 4 hours of trek depends on the speed.

Another wefie before we start our trek!

Lukla Town

Lukla

Dogs here have thick fur & cover with leaves or dirt from mountains

Lukla

Another clean looking furry dog!

This is the Gate to treks!


No, this is not a yak.

Pathway

When the sun is up, and getting warm!

Empty potter basket

Porter with some heavy loads.


 Tourist potter only allowed to carry about 30kgs of weigh on them. But for locals, they usual exceed those weigh limit. We even saw one carrying 2 chest freezers. Show you in next pic!

Imaging all building materials and furniture carry all the way up to mountain like this!



Prayer wheel


Some lodging along the way.

Locals walk pass on their left everytime.











Milk River, Dudh Kosi





Sherpa Kitchen



Some pathway is rough and steep


Donkeys carrying Gas Cylinders down from the Mountains


After 2 hours of trek, our stop for Lunch at Everest Summiter Lodge & Restaurant. They have Dal Bhat (Nepali cuisine), Chinese, Western and even Italian food. Don't expect much though, just simple ingredients and no preservatives!

Rajan, our trek guide advised us better don't take meat/poultry in Mountain, because the Locals are not allow to kill animals in Mountains. So all the meat/poultry they have is carry all the up way from Kathmandu to the Mountains. Perhaps its not so fresh anymore.


The menu


Teahouse lodge with wide windows view of mountains.

Our lunch took us about 2 hours. Slow service, forgive them. I overheard they have only one gas cooker available so it will take sometimes to prepare different dishes.

After a full lunch, we continue our trek for about 2 more hours to reach Phakding. Rajan have to bear with us for endless stops of photos.

As we continued on our trek...






Homegrown vegetables!


Prayer wheels along the trek.


Ascending the stairs


More stone houses

Yeti Mountain Home, upon seeing this, we know we are almost there!



Our stay of 1st night in the Mountain, Trekker's Lodge & Restaurant



The onlookers. haha


Happy to get keys to our room! Our feet can rest now!


 6 pax of us, so its a private twin room with attached bathroom for all of us.

After a good rest and unpacking of stuff, we proceed to the common area / restaurant for dinner! Mind you, they have almost similar menus all over the teahouse we been to along the trek up to Everest View Point.



Summary:

Trek route: Lukla 2840m to Phakding 2610m (Easy)
Hours of trek: 3-4 hours
Lodge: Trekkers Lodge & Restaurant, Phakding
Agent: Destination Unlimited Trek & Expedition Pvt. Ltd (http://www.destinationunlimited.com.np/contact-us.html)




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