Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Japan 2014: Hana Hostel Kyoto review

When I was researching for accommodations in Kyoto, the name Hana Hostel Hybrid Inn popped up a lot and after reading up reviews on the place and checking its prices, I was sold.

Whether you are traveling in a group, in pairs or alone through Japan and on a budget, Hana Hostel and its sister hostel, J-Hoppers have the dormitories and private rooms to suit your needs. For my group of four, I booked us a private bunk bed room that came up to about 8,400 yen (RM270) per person for three nights. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Japan 2014 - Day 2: Kobe - Rokkosan Pasture, Mount Rokko

Mount Rokko was a must visit when in Kobe due to its 'million dollar' night view of Kobe and of the Osaka Bay if you are lucky. I wasn't but I will get to that later.

The plan for our second day in Kobe was pretty much chilled with plenty of time to get lost and wander around. The initial plan was to hike up Mount Rokko but due to the chilly spring weather, we decided to forgo that plan and instead just ride the cable car up to the mountain. But first, we had to get to the foot of the mountain and even with our maps, Kobe was still a perplexing network of public transportation.

Psst, if you get lost in Japan, it is okay because their transportation system is so complex that even the Japaneses themselves can get confused and lost.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Japan 2014 - Day 1: Kobe - Kitano Ijinkan & Harbourland


As some of you may or may not know, I visited Osaka, Japan last year for the first time ever and was so in love with the country (read: acting on adrenaline from the trip), booked my next flight there once I got back.

And this time, I dragged along Sister, Friend and Cousin for a 9 days trip through Kobe, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka. Given that we were, most of the time, broke, the challenge of this trip was to travel on a budget of RM5000 and I dare say it is possible as you can read about it here.

We flew by MAS this time as I managed to get return tickets at only RM900 per person. As soon as we reached Kansai International Airport, we purchased two Kansai Thru Pass, an Osaka Unlimited Pass and a ticket for the Kobe-Kansai Bay Shuttle Ferry at the Travel Desk at the information counter at the airport. (You can read about the perks of the two passes in my previous post)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Aussino Stock Clearance Sale!

Hey, heads up peeps!
Super expensive and high quality home decor brand, Aussino will be having their Stock Clearance Sale next Saturday! Which is also on the same day, time and place as Malaysia's Largest Clothes Buffet

Missed out on the deets? Well, here they are again!"
Date : 25-27 April 2014
Time : 10am - 6pm
Venue : Syopz Mall, Taylor's University Lakeside Campus
I definitely got my eye on this set of sheets because it reminds me of Japan and also because it is such a steal since there is discounts up to 80%! 

So see you there! 
For an idea of designs and products they have, check out Aussino's facebook page.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Indonesia: Bali - Grand Mega Resort and Spa, Kuta review

While Sri Ratih Cottages had been heaven away from home, the next hotel stay of our trip in Kuta was a vast disappointment. We made the mistake of being drawn in by the cheaper rates on Agoda, forgetting that we would eventually have to make up for it in additional transportation cost as the hotel was about 10 minutes from the city center by cab.

Grand Mega Resort and Spa hotel is located along a massive hallway/road where across was Galleria mall that was loaded with food and shopping. To cross the ever busy road, guests would need to get the hotel security guard to help them. From the road, the hotel was a flashy sight with a silver and purple front.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Indonesia: Bali - Sri Ratih Cottages, Ubud review

This review is way overdue, mainly because I forgot. Sorry!

On my Bali trip in January, I stayed at Sri Ratih Cottages while in Ubud for two nights. My flight got in very late and by the time I arrived at the accommodation, it was well past midnight. Fortunately, the open-air lobby was opened around the clock and the receptionist quickly sorted out my luggages and had a bellboy deliver them to my room where a friend had already checked in.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Japan 2014: Yume Nomad Guesthouse, Kobe review

For my recent trip to Kobe, Japan, I opted to stay at the brand new Yume Nomad Guesthouse in Shinkaichi. The hidden on-a-hillside little guesthouse was barely a year old and already it was a popular choice for foreign tourist, my group of four included. I booked a room for four about seven months ago on account that I was traveling there at peak period and got a quick reply from cafe manager, Bunn, confirming my booking.

Location-wise, Yume Nomad is three stops away from the main transportation, entertainment and shopping hub of Kobe which was Sannomiya. To get to the guesthouse by train, there are two train lines you can take which are the Seishin-Yamate subway line or the Hankyu line where you get off at Minatogawakoen station or Shinkaichi station respectively.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Japan 2014: Osaka on a Budget

Contrary to popular belief, Japan is actually not an expensive country to visit. "But but but but, it's expensive! Hotels, food, getting around! They cost a bomb!" you may protest.

But they really don't. And I am going to share with you my tricks to traveling cheap and cheerful in Japan.

1) Stay: When in Japan, live as the locals do. 
If you can forget 5 star hotels or even forgo the word 'hotel' in your mind, you will find hostels and guesthouses that will serve you just as well as your home away from home. Hana Hostel in particular is a popular and well-known chain of hostels or hybrid inn, all around Japan.

Most of these hostels also provide free wifi, complimentary coffee and tea, free use of their kitchen and has laundry facilities at a small price. You will also get to meet travelers from all around the world in the kitchen, living room and lobby of these hostels and it is great fun.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Malaysia's Largest Clothes Buffet is Back!

It's no secret that clothes and buffets are most Malaysian girls' favourite words. But what happens when you put these two things together?

Madness issues.

That's right. Malaysia's Largest Clothes Buffet is back and this time it will be taking place for three whole days from 25 - 27 April 2014 from 10am - 6pm at the Syopz Mall, Taylor's University Lakeside Campus.