Busan, Winter 2017, February

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  1. View of Busan from the Hwangnyeongsan Mountain
  2. Gumcheon Cultural Village
  3. View of Gwangandaegyo from Gwangalli Beach
  4. Skyscrapers view from The Bay, Haeundae
  5. Beomeosa Temple
  6. View of Songdo Beach and Songdo Beach Skywalk
  7. View of Busan from Nurimaru
  8.  View from Nurimaru APEC House

All photos were taken using the LG V20.

Sedona Hotel Mandalay, Myanmar (April 2015)

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​Getting there –

Our driver initially could not find the hotel. I guess it was so since we arrived late night at the hotel was not clearly visible at night. But in the morning, I noticed how strategic the location is. 

Checking in –
It took around 10 to 15 minutes maybe? I can’t be sure since we arrived so late but I estimated the duration noting how we could all still chat while finishing our welcome drinks before we all got our individual room keys. It wasn’t very quick I suppose. 

The room –
The bed was just perfect I went straight to dreamland. The room was so quiet although the hotel is located on the main street! Awesome is when you get to wake up to a beautiful scenery like the Royal Palace and the Mandalay Hills from a far. 

The bathroom was clean and equipped with the usual complimentary toiletries. The shampoo was particularly nice in comparison to most hotels. 

Other features –
I remember the food was good. We had buffet dinner. The selection were aplenty to choose from and the taste was good. The breakfast was comfortable too with again plenty to choose from. 

Conclusion –
I didn’t stay anywhere else but unless someone recommend a better hotel with better location (I doubt it), I think I would choose to stay here again.

Promenade Hotel, Kota Kinabalu (April 2015)

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​It was a business trip. Stayed on the 11th floor where the reception was separated. For higher levels, the reception is on the 10th floor. Had I gone there alone, I would not have expected that I should just go up to the 10th floor to check in. I didn’t notice any signage but I guess knowing that everything had been arranged I paid less attention. 

Checking in –
Checking in was quick. Nothing fancy or lacking. Nice part was that the higher floors get to enjoy the perks of a different café / restaurant located on the 10th floor. Gives you that exclusive feel to it. Our breakfast and tea time were there too.

Room –
I love the room. The bed was nice, the pillows were perfect I wished I didn’t have to get out of bed, the bathroom was clean and nice and had this nice drawer containing the usual complimentary toiletries. Just nice …

The location –

The hotel is not too far from the airport. It is also not too far from a shopping mall. From my room I could see the sea, which is nice although I could also see loads of construction works being done. Around the hotel and across the street you can find plenty of eateries. So, generally, location wise was good.

The complaints, if any –

The lobby / lounge, is noticeably somewhat old. There was the sense that it wasn’t kept at its best. The restaurant on the right hand side as you enter was not really that great but it was okay. I didn’t try the lounge café on the left hand side of the hotel but I noticed it was frequently occupied. I guess it is just nice to sit there and unwind since the music was not loud too.

Conclusion –
The bed and everything in it just made me wish I could spend more time there.

P.s. – The Group Director of Marketing Communications responded to the above review on Trip Advisor.

The Pod, Boutique Capsule Hostel, SG

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​The Pod is not difficult to find. Located opposite Park Royal any taxi driver should be able to get you there without a fuss. It cost me SG20 from Changi International Airport to The Pod. Not sure what the journey would be like if you were to take the bus but the bust stop is right in front of The Pod. MRT station (Bugis) is within walking distance. I travelled through Singapore via the MRT save for the journey from the airport as it was raining. 

Check in was a breeze too. The Reception was good. The manager/reception at that time brought us for the tour of the Pod, that started from the lounge and dining areas which are just next to the reception desk to the common bath and vanity area and finally our Pods. We were briefed on the simple rules. The areas look nice and tidy. Can’t help but thought of the coffin when I first saw the Pods. Initially, I felt warm lying in the Pod as I chose the front entry Pod, which means I either change the direction of my sleep position head in feet out vice versa. It was a bit of a struggle to have a good sleep as I could easily hear movements of other occupants, going up and down their Pods (I got the upper Pod). I have stayed at hostels of 12 people per room but my stay was a lot more comfortable than this. I am a light sleeper but I had no problem sleeping comfortably in the other hostel. I suppose next time I should try the side entry to see if it feels as warm as the front entry. I chose the front entry to avoid “disturbances” when people walk by…
There were big luggage backed to the walls as the drawers underneath the Pods were enough only to fit cabin sized luggage. At first I did not even notice the nice sofa in the room because of the bags but of course, this is not due to any fault of anyone. Each Pod comes with a bath towel, a drawer and shoes drawer outside the room. The drawers are based on your Pod number. Pod-ers are given complimentary mineral bottled water for every day of stay.
The common areas are spacious enough for a considerably small space. The bathroom was extremely comfortable, one of the parts I love about the Pod. The lounge is comfortable as too the dining area. 
As accommodation in Singapore is known to be on the higher side, it is an option that most travellers cannot resist. The fact that coffee is free flow made me said to my friend that we have no reason to hang out at a café. It would be brilliant if there is a balcony but not having it is not a minus point.
All in all I think it is not that bad. In Malaysia, the place we hang out often are referred to as the “port”. As such, the Pod can be the port too 😉

Making a comeback… Hopefully a better return and frequency

I will start sharing my travel experiences from 2015 to the most recent, as much as possible. For those in 2015, I cannot guarantee you will have the same experiences. Then again, from my personal experience, 1 year does not bring about much change.

So, let’s begin our next journey around the world with #gina on #ginatravels #globetrotting the world one at a time.

Orchard Parade Hotel

Checking in –

The checking in process was smooth and quick. Greeted by a warm friendly staff.

The room –

Was big and comfortable. The best was very very comfortable. Love them pillows! The room lights initially did not work. Only the table lamps were working. I suppose due to the upgrading works but the lights were okay after about a few hours. The bathroom was okay but I can hear very very clearly when the toilet in the room right above me was flushed! The toiletries were minimal. Shampoo, body wash but hair conditioner was missing. Even the following days and I therefore assumed conditioner is not part of the items available.

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The breakfast –

SG20 if you pay at check in. SG30 if you pay in the morning at breakfast. I was rather disappointed with the spread or rather lack of it. The omelette was disappointing too. I was there at around 9 and the restaurant was basically full.

I ordered the Teochew fried rice and it was excellent.

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Location –

Is excellent! So many eateries and shopping malls. There is a MRT station within 6 minutes walk or so. Taxis are plenty.

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Bonus items –

Surprise surprise. There is this mobile device called Handy available for use for free! I do not know whether it is available for all types of rooms but I would assume no. Free wifi in the room, although a little unstable.

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I would not mind at all coming back here.

Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill Singapore

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Reviews were generally awesome about the restaurant and the food.

Since it is an all American grill, I ordered the Sirloin steak. I like mine medium done. Here is what it looked like –

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I felt like something was missing. It was filling but I was not satisfied. Something in the taste that did not ignite the gastronomic experience I was hoping for. The french fries was good though! I will highly likely not order this again if I were to visit the restaurant again.

The dessert on the other hand … Yummy. I had the Molten Chocolate Cake. I loved it.

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Before cutting it open

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The melted chocolate oozing out was just warm and nice. Would be better with a vanilla ice cream I think.

I wanted to end my dinner with a cup of cappuccino but was told the cappuccino machine was not working 😱… So the waitress kindly suggested I try their Americano with milk. I did. Because she was nice. It was not a bad idea. The coffee wasn’t bad too. Better than most hotels’.

When it comes to service, I think they have one of the best ever! Greated well at entrance, when seated, while seating, while eating, while drinking, before leaving and as I was leaving! All around excellent service. The kind of place you feel comfortable hanging out with friends just munching fries and sipping wine or coffee or whatever tickles your pickle.

If you are … then you …

Right, this post has specific targets and you know who you are. If you don’t think this post is addressed to you, I suggest you take it as a reminder 😉

Here goes nothing.

If you are –

(1) someone who is not one to ask how your friends are doing

(2) someone who is not one to organise a get together with your friends

(3) someone who attend once or twice out of 5 get together arranged by other friends

THEN YOU –

(1) are not a friend indeed

(2) are a selfish prick

(3) have no right whatsoever to say a friend should not be selfish.

I keep my list of friends in check and revise them when applicable. Quite a few have lost their positions in the list. We all have the rights to choose our friends. I choose to keep the real ones and discard the fakes. Life should be simple. Keep what’s good. Leave what’s bad.

That’s it for now. Remember, friendship is also a type of relationship that requires efforts. Don’t expect efforts from a friend when you have not put any or even attempted.

Roses for my friends who survived another year in the list 😉

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Been a while

Been a while since I last wrote. I have been asked to write my “this and that” on my trips.

Give me some time and I will definitely do it. So, stay tuned 😉

Here is a little something as a token of appreciation 😉

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Do visit my IG and double tap the photos you like 😅

My Truth … About My Love

Introduction; The Decision Made

Well yes, I have finally decided not only to write, but to make my post public. This is my truth about my love, to be accurate, how I love, my definition of love and my expectations of it. But before I go any further, I’ll be writing about it exclusive of “family – related love”. My love for those I consider my family needs no explanation.

My Definition of Love

To me, love is when you make me smile when am hurting quietly. Love is when you take me out, even for a few moments, of the pains am suffering without telling. Love is when you know am keeping it all inside because I have no courage to say them, either of my love, hurt, pain and everything I feel. Love is when you just know how I feel even when I said nothing. Love is when you believe that your love will open my heart to love you back because you know love is something I need to learn (from you).

The other important part is that I do not relate love to trust and trust to love. I can love without having to put my trust in you. Trust is not an issue as it is not something that I give away (to anyone).

How I Love

I love quietly. I love conditionally. I love with reservations. I love with limitations. I love without confidence. Until the day I love expressively, unconditionally, without reservations and with confidence.

I love quietly because I believe that action speaks louder than words. I love conditionally because I believe it cannot be unconditional. I cannot continue to love someone who uses me, lie to and cheat me. Loving someone unconditionally means loving him/her regardless of the lies and the cheats. That is not possible for me. I love with reservations because I believe only I can love myself more than anyone can. I will doubt my feelings for you rather than I doubt your feelings for me. I will love without confidence because I cannot be sure that I will love you as much as I should, as much as you do (love me) and that can be unfair to you. But I do hope that one day, because of your love, I would be able to love expressively and tell you how much I love you, unconditionally, without reservations and with confidence.

My Expectations of Love

Well, I do not really have much expectations nor clue of what I should expect. I fear that if I ever expect anything, I will only be let down. The least you expect from people, the least hurt you feel. Yes, am a strong believer of that. This point here, is where I have nothing but that, to say. So then, we move along to the next point.

The Conclusion

You may likely say, “All these are just focused on “you”, “what you think”, “how you feel” but nothing about what the other person think and feel. Rather selfish, self centered and unrealistic. Well guess what, I may not be an expert in love but anyone in love will tell you this, “It should be about her/him”, “I should know all that to love her/him”, “That is how I should love her/him”, because what matters when you love, is the person you love. You, come second. I would do the same. As I mentioned, the person’s love should teach me how to love him back. So, if you feel so reading this, you definitely are not the one who will teach me to love, who will teach me to love the way I should.

Anyway, I have been told that I have a wall put up around me so thick and high that the wall was visible. They decided to give up and let the wall stay as it is. Friends think that am too picky and that I work too much. The reasons why I have been single most of the time. Some just do not believe that am single. Well, what can I say. I suppose they are all correct in one way or the other. The wall is there to protect me. Being picky is not something that is bad when you talk about relationships. For those who refuse to believe that am single, am flattered because you thought it is just impossible and unbelievable hahaha … Believe what you wish. Think what you want. This is My Truth About My Love. 😉

My Elephant Restaurant, Section 17 PJ.

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So, appears as if I have gone on another hiatus, from posting anything here but I have been eating here and there. Every time, l thought, this time, l will write about it. Did not materialise until now. My apologies. Anyway, today l decided to write on the place l visited not too long ago to celebrate my brother getting his first paycheck as a cook. Good for him. We are all very proud of him. Also to have a surprise birthday party (not really party in that sense) of my youngest brother who turned 16.

Anyway, my brother made a reservation at a Thai restaurant called My Elephant. The reservation was for 830 pm. We were only allowed in at around 9 pm. We are aware of the crowd hence the reservation! This alone gave a bad impression to me. It did not start off well. So, we got in and were seated. We ordered the following and my views for each of them are provided underneath the photos.

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Plah Nhung Manow (MYR 58) – Brilliant! I avoid eating fishes because I cannot take the smell and swallow that fishy taste of fish. Well, people said to me, if fishes do not taste fishy, how would a fish should taste like? I meant that slimy-not-clean taste. But this dish was far from fishy. It captured all the “essences” that the dish should have but without losing the tender taste and texture of the fish. l will give it 5 of 5.

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Green Curry Chicken – (MYR32 for big serving and MYR19 for small serving) – This is supposed to be their best dish, came highly recommended by most reviewers. l beg to defer. I have tasted much better green curry from Sri Ayutthaya and Tamarind Springs. l will give it 3 of 5.

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TomSom Seafood (MYR62 for 8 pax) – Good. It was good. It was how it should be. The hot taste of the soup kicks in after some idle time. You will not feel like the soup was hot when it goes into your mouth. So, be a little careful not to sip it too much at one go. I will give it 4 of 5.

We also ordered kailan and eggplants. They were okay. Both get 3 of 5. As for the rice, it was Hom Malee & Brown rice. I loved it. Not too dry, not too sticky, not too starchy. I will give it 4 of 5.

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For desserts, we ordered mango with glutinous rice (MYR8.50) – Not that good. I was rather disappointed. To add on to that, the bowl used was chipped. How can any restaurant use chipped plates, bowls, glasses and such! I will give it 2 of 5. Not so much because the bowl was chipped but the taste was that a 2 of 5 to me.

Generally, summing up the service and the food quality, l will give My Elephant 3.5 of 5. It is unacceptable for patrons who made prior reservation not to be seated on time. We were there between 5 to 10 minutes earlier to ensure that we get to be seated at the time we were supposed to, but sadly, no. I find this unacceptable. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by the pricing. In total, for 8 people, it cost us less than MYR400.

You can check the place out if you want an alternative to Tamarind but I would spend a bit more at Sri Ayutthaya for its more authentic taste. In the end, it is all about personal taste and preference.

My Elephant Restaurants are located in Section 17 PJ, Hartamas and Aman Suria. I visited the one in Section 17 PJ.

Cheek out its website at My Elephant Restaurant

To Eat or Not To Eat, To Drink or Not To Drink

This conversation transpired between three colleagues one of whom is yours truly. Here goes.

X : Was A angry at B yesterday because B drank in front of A?
Z : Why would A be angry?
Y : Yeah, why? Why can’t B drink in front of A?
X : Because A is fasting … Wouldn’t you be angry if we drink in front of you? (Addressing Z)
Z : Why would I be angry? I have no right to be angry nor have I right to demand for you to not drink or eat in front of me. Question then is whether you want to be respectful to those who are fasting.
Y : Yeah, why would they be offended if you drink and eat in front of them? You are not fasting.
Z : Exactly. I cannot speak for everyone but I don’t think we have any right to be angry or insist people not to do that. I personally think so. It’s just a matter of respect.

So, the above actually took place in this world I live in with people who live long enough to know without the need for me to explain. Nevertheless, some do not really bother to understand and regardless of the number of years they have been around. It is however, sad. The misunderstanding, misconceptions that are happening simply because of ignorance. Lack of interest to actually understand but jumping to conclusions and making assumptions without even being bothered to understand.

Malaysia is one of the most multiracial countries in the world. People should, without the need to be asked nor coerced into learning about each others do and don’t, be sensitive to each others needs and level of sensitivity. On the other hand, one should not be over sensitive of what others do. To me, one will not get offended if the other shows courtesy and respect and one must not demand too much out of it.

In front of me, you can eat and drink all you want even when I am fasting. I will just take it that you are hungry beyond famish and lack respect and courtesy. Really, go ahead.

Ramadan Mubarak to those fasting and to those who don’t, choose to be respectful. Choose to be courteous. Everyone should choose to live in harmony.

Busan, Republic of South Korea

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In my previous post, I did say I will write on my trips, places I had been to and reviewed for TripAdvisor.

I have decided to write about Busan as I can still feel how much I loved it there. The feelings that are attached to the memories are still rather strong. I do not just remember loving it there, I can still feel it in my heart. Thus far, of all the places I had been to, Busan attracted me the most. Perhaps the attraction spawned from my liking of Korean dramas and that I learnt basic Korean language. Perhaps it was all because of the amount of love I have for … keep guessing, some of you may just get it right 🙂

Before my trip, I browsed through suggestions by TripAdvisor and Korea Tourism Organisation websites for places I should visit. Since I was travelling alone, information readily available from these two websites were really useful. My advise, be prepared before travelling. Yes, spontaneity is fun but a certain level of preparation will be good. I do not plan a day by day itinerary for my trips but I would have a list of places of interest I wish to visit and the list has the tendency and flexibility to change when I get to the destination. There should be a balance between spontaneity and proper planning and we call it flexibility.

So, now, to Busan. It is a modern city big enough that it can take an hour travelling via the subways from one side to the other side of Busan. Imagine how much you can choose from, to see, to experience. Some of the places of interest I visited include the Yongdusan Park, where the  Busan Tower is located, BIFF Square, Gwangbokro Street, Busan Modern History Museum, which I lost track of time at, Haeundae Beach and its surrounding area. My reviews can be found here -》TripAdvisor-Gina-Busan  There are about 20 reviews of different things.

For the feast for your eyes, here are some photographs I took.

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The Busan Tower at Yongdusan Park

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The view from the observation deck of the Busan Tower

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Haeundae Beach

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Gwangan Bridge

TripAdvisor – An Honour

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Who has not heard of TripAdvisor? No? I do not know what to say to that …

I have tried a number of similar sources of travel assistance and I always go back to TripAdvisor. The most reliable, in my opinion, thus far. Granted, nothing is perfect. It has it flaws but this is where contribution from the members are important. For example, I stayed at a lodge which was not listed on TripAdvisor but recommended by Booking.com. It was located at a very if not the most strategic location, surrounded by the places of interest, mostly if not all, within walking distance (I tend to walk a lot when travelling alone). Being a reliable source of information that it is, it quickly adopted advice and recommendations made by its members. As a Senior Contributor and selected Asia-Pacific Insighter, it was not difficult to recommend to TripAdvisor to include new “items”. Now, the lodge that I stayed for almost a week for is in the list.

Anyhow, the introduction above is meant to thank Trip Advisor for all the assistance they have provided and the honour of selecting me as the Asia-Pacific Insigther. In that honour too, I was recently congratulated by TripAdvisor for being the top 3% reviewer in Kuala Lumpur. I would say that although it is not perfect (as most things are), it is by far one of the most reliable sources of travel information. In this honour, I have decided to do a weekly post on the places (be it eateries or attractions) that I have reviewed. Follow the link if you wish to visit TripAdvisor ->  http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/

Until then, have a good weekend.

Top 3% Reviewer in KL with over 22k readers

Top 3% Reviewer in KL with over 22k readers