Oeifendy

Around the World

New Zealand 11 – 18 November 2014

Posted by oeifendy on 11 November 2014

New Zealand Route

Took Malaysia Airlines from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur then to Auckland S$1,059. I tried to bid the lowest price offered by plusupgrade to upgrade to business class at the cost of $335 for the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland and I got it. Not bad for business class with additional $335. It’s only one way flight though. It was about 10hours flight from KL to Auckland.

Arrived in Auckland at 13:30 then called the Apex Car Rental company to pick me up at the airport. Waited 10mins until someone came. The driver drove us to the the place to get the rented car about 5mins away from the airport. I picked $75/day car Toyota Corolla for 9 days that included ferry ticket for the car. I also paid additional $15/day to get full insurance coverage (zero excess) and $3.8/day for GPS device.

Started driving to Auckland city centre to see see look look the city. The carpark in the city centre super expensive. I paid $18 for one hour parking.

Headed toward Matamata about 2hours drive from Auckland. Stayed at Tower Road Motel for $95.

Next morning took Hobbiton Movie Set Tour from Shires Rest about 20mins drive from the motel. After 2hrs tour continue the journey to Waitomo to see Waitomo Glowworm Caves. It was about 2hrs drive from Matamata to Waitomo. I joined Spellbound Tour to see the Glowworm. After 45mins visit to the 2 caves I continued the drive to Lake Taupo. Stayed overnight in Lake Taupo.

Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand

Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand

Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand

Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand

Next morning had a long drive from Lake Taupo to Wellington about 5hrs drive. To take the ferry its best to arrive 90mins before the departure time to start queuing for the vehicle to enter the ferry. It was pleasant 3hrs ferry from Wellington to Picton. Reached Picton and continued driving to Kaikoura about 3hrs drive and slept overnight in Kaikoura.

Woke up, showered then went see whale by joining Whale Watch tour. Well .. I threw up twice on the boat to see the whale and managed to see 2 whales. After 2hrs whale watch continued driving to Lake Tekapo about 6hrs drive from Kaikoura passing through Lake Pukaki and Lindis Pass. Slept in Lake Tekapo at the YHA Tekapo hostel. At 8pm visited the hot pool near to the hostel.

Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

Lindis Pass, New Zealand

Lindis Pass, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Whale Watch, Kaikoura, New Zealand

Whale Watch, Kaikoura, New Zealand

Continued the journey at 8am to drive to Milford Sound. It was about 7hrs drive and we reached Milford Lodge at 7pm after stopping many many times to take photo. It was snowing before entering Homer Tunnel and the view was superb!

Morning drove to Milford Sound about 5mins drive from the lodge. Took 2hours boat ride in Milford Sound the. Drive back to Queenstown and had a good rest for 2 days staying at Crowne Plaza Hotel. The hotel is great and the view from the room was great too because I chose room with balcony. But mineral water, parking and Internet are chargeable. And no indoor pool either which is not good for 5-star hotel.

Between Te Anau and Milford Sound, New Zealand

Between Te Anau and Milford Sound, New Zealand

Near Homer Tunnel, New Zealand

Near Homer Tunnel, New Zealand

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Devi's Staircase, Queenstown, New Zealand

Devi’s Staircase, Queenstown, New Zealand

Skyline Queenstown, New Zealand

Skyline Queenstown, New Zealand

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Myanmar 3 – 8 Jul 2014

Posted by oeifendy on 3 July 2014

Took flight from Bangkok to Mandalay $162. It was about an hour drive from the airport to the downtown $20. Reached Mandalay in the afternoon and got someone to give me a ride to most of the temples. Once visited the temples, rode to Mandalay hill to view the city from the hill top. It cost $8 to visit temples and Mandalay hill. I topped up $7 to ask the rider to take me to see U Bein Bride which is 1.2km wooden footbridge (longest teak bridge in the world). It was cloudy so couldn’t really see the sunset.

Shwenandaw Monastery, Mandalay, Myanmar

Shwenandaw Monastery, Mandalay, Myanmar

Mandalay Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar

Mandalay Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar

U Bein Bridge, Mandalay, Myanmar

U Bein Bridge, Mandalay, Myanmar

Reached hotel, took dinner at the road side joining locals and rest.

Next morning woke up at 5am checked out and got hotel taxi to take me to the airport.

Used Golden Myanmar Airlines which is really cheap and aircraft is new. It cost $30 from Mandalay to Nyaung U (Bagan) and it was about 25mins flight. It must be a super low season … there were only 2 passengers on the plane. Reached Bagan the took taxi to the hotel 7USD. Since it it a archaeological site I had to pay 15USD at the airport.

Checked in the rented an e-bike which is a really good transport to visit most of the temples in Bagan. The most famous one is Ananda temple. The most crowded one is Shwesandaw that offers great sunset view.

Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar

Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar

Dhammayan Gyi Temple, Bagan, Myanmar

Dhammayan Gyi Temple, Bagan, Myanmar

Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar

Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar

View from Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar

View from Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar

Sunset view from Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar

Sunset view from Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan, Myanmar

Next morning checked out and went to the airport again to depart for Inle Lake. The nearest airport is Heho so I had to fly to Heho again using Golden Myanmar Airlines 28USD. Reached Heho airport then met some westerners to share the taxi to Nyaung Shwe town. Normally they charge 22USD if you travel alone. I managed to share with 2 other guys and we paid 8USD each. Upon entering Nyaung Shwe we had to pay 10USD each.

Reached hotel, checked in then rented a mountain bike to cycle around downtown then headed to Khaung Dain about 10km ride from Nyaung Shwe. Stopped a while at the Hot Spa see see look look but not interested to try it. They charge 10USD for normal pool only for men/women and 15USD mixed gender pool. The pools are rather small and not many people because it was low season. Continued the journey to Khaung Dain jetty for another 5mins then took a boat to cross the lake to Maing Thauk. It was a pleasant 30mins ride by the boat. The boatman charged me 7USD. Reached Maing Thauk then continued cycling for another 11km. Stopped at the Winnery (Red Montain) for a while then continued cycling back to Nyaung Shwe.

Nyaung Shwe Market, Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar

Nyaung Shwe Market, Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar

Cycling around Inle Lake, Myanmar

Cycling around Inle Lake, Myanmar

Khaung Dain Jetty, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Khaung Dain Jetty, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Boat to Maing Thauk, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Boat to Maing Thauk, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Winnery - Red Mountain, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Winnery – Red Mountain, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Next morning got boat trip for 15USD at 8am to visit a few places around the lake. Visited ‘floating market’ which is not floating at all and some temples and monastery. I only did the boat trip for 4hours … then returned to hotel relax relax. To get the cheaper boat trip it’s best to get to the jetty directly since travel agency tends to charge more for the commission.

“Floating Market”, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Couldn’t find anyone to share the taxi with … no choice … I had to pay 15USD for the taxi back to the airport. The ticket to Yangon by Air Mandalay was 105USD.

My flight got cancelled due to technical problem luckily they transferred me to another flight Air Bagan that would depart almost at the same time.

Arrived at Yangon International Airport then took an airport taxi that cost 6USD. Checked in then took a taxi to downtown for 3USD. Walked around downtown area then visited Botahtaung Pagoda. From there took taxi again to Shwedagon Pagoda which is the largest golden monument on earth with 99 meters in height. The entrance fee was 8USD and since I wore bermuda shorts I had to buy ‘sarong’ to cover my legs for 5USD. See see look look for 30mins then headed toward Chauk Htat Kyi with a giant reclining Buddha. Too tired then decided to return to hotel. Just before reaching the hotel I saw Inya Lake so decided to have a walk around the lake. The lake is very near to the University of Yangon and I saw so many students hanging out by the lake. Had a nice dinner by the lake then returned to hotel to rest.

Yangon Market, Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon Market, Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon Market, Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon Market, Yangon, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar

Chauk Htat Kyi, Yangon, Myanmar

Chauk Htat Kyi, Yangon, Myanmar

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Laos 29 Jun – 2 Jul 2014

Posted by oeifendy on 29 June 2014

Arrived in Vientiane in the afternoon, bought local 3G SIM card to access Internet for 3USD. Reached hostel then rented a bike to see see look look the downtown area. Visited some temples and the market and rode along the Mekong river.

Next morning hired a motorbike and rode to Buddha Park about an hour ride. It was an interesting bumpy ride but still managed to reach there safely. It is a small park just beside Mekong river with a lot of statues. The biggest one is the reclining Buddha statue.

Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

Buddha Park, Vientiane, Laos

Returned to Vientiane and visited some temples within the downtown area. Had lunch and a massage S$10/hr. Around 6:30 waiting for someone to pick me up to the bus station. The bus to Luang Prabang departed at 8pm. Not really a smooth journey from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. The bus broke down 30mins after departure and it took more than an hour to fix. In total it was 13hrs journey from 8pm – 9am. Even though it is a sleeper bus but the bed was too short so I couldn’t fully expand my legs. Moreover the width is like the size of super single bed except it’s for 2 people. If someone slept beside you is fat then it can hardly fit 2 ppl. I had to suffer a bit for 13hrs … because the person beside me was kind of chubby person.

Reached Luang Prabang then checked in at Sihome hostel. I chose a 14-bed dorm. Still early and decided to rent a motorcycle then headed south west to visit Kuang Si Falls around an hour ride. There are a few small falls on the way to the main fall.

Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

After enjoying the falls for an hour headed back to the hostel. After lunch continue the journey from hostel but this time headed north east to visit Pak Ou caves. The weather was really bad. I had to stop a few times due to the rain. The last 10km of the road to reach Pak Ou was quite bad. It was really bumpy. Managed to reach Pak Ou after 90mins ride then took a boat to cross Mekong river to reach the cave. There are 2 caves. Lower cave with a lot of small Buddha statues and upper cave which is very dark with bigger Buddha statue. It was another tiring walk to the upper cave.

Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, Laos

Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, Laos

Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, Laos

Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, Laos

Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, Laos

Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang Market, Laos

Luang Prabang Market, Laos

On the way back to hostel stopped at the night market to buy some souvenirs. Had dinner then returned to the hostel and rest.

Next morning see see look look the market and had lunch. In the afternoon, flew to Bangkok.

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Beijing – China 26 February – 1 March 2014

Posted by oeifendy on 27 February 2014

Reached at 5pm … too tired … just rested at the hotel.

Next morning, visited 恭王府 Gong Wang Fu (The Prince Gong Mansion)

The Prince Gong Mansion - 恭王府 - Beijing - China

The Prince Gong Mansion – 恭王府 – Beijing – China

The Prince Gong Mansion - 恭王府 - Beijing - China

The Prince Gong Mansion – 恭王府 – Beijing – China

The Prince Gong Mansion - 恭王府 - Beijing - China

The Prince Gong Mansion – 恭王府 – Beijing – China

The Prince Gong Mansion - 恭王府 - Beijing - China

The Prince Gong Mansion – 恭王府 – Beijing – China

Next … took Hutong rickshaw tour to travel around Houhai Lake.

Houhai Lake - Beijing - China

Houhai Lake – Beijing – China

Pedestrian Streets - Bar Streets - Houhai Lake - Beijing - China

Pedestrian Streets – Bar Streets – Houhai Lake – Beijing – China

Houhai Bar Street - Beijing - China

Houhai Bar Street – Beijing – China

Houhai Bar Street - Beijing - China

Houhai Bar Street – Beijing – China

Next day, took bus 877 from Deshengmen bus station to Badaling Great Wall at CNY12.

Badaling Great Wall Entrance - Beijing - China

Badaling Great Wall Entrance – Beijing – China

Pulley Ride to the Great Wall - Beijing - China

Pulley Ride to the Great Wall – Beijing – China

Badaling Great Wall - Beijing - China

Badaling Great Wall – Beijing – China

Badaling Great Wall - Beijing - China

Badaling Great Wall – Beijing – China

Badaling Great Wall - Beijing - China

Badaling Great Wall – Beijing – China

Next day, visited Temple of Heaven 天坛

Temple of Heaven 天坛 - Beijing - China

Temple of Heaven 天坛 – Beijing – China

Imperial Vault of Heaven - 天坛 - Beijing - China

Imperial Vault of Heaven – 天坛 – Beijing – China

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests - Temple of Heaven 天坛 - Beijing - China

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests – Temple of Heaven 天坛 – Beijing – China

At night, visited Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街.

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街 - Beijing - China

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街 – Beijing – China

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街 - Beijing - China

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街 – Beijing – China

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街 - Beijing - China

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街 – Beijing – China

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街 - Beijing - China

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street 王俯井小吃街 – Beijing – China

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Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia 24 – 26 February 2014

Posted by oeifendy on 25 February 2014

Arrived 5:03am picked up by someone from the Zaya Hostel. Slept a bit then asked if it’s possible to join any group to the Terelj National Park. As expected … it was winter … nobody was going from the hostel. No choice I had to go alone hiring a car and a driver for 80USD for a day trip to Terelj National Park. The drive spoke a little English but it was good enough. Started the trip at 11am.

Mongolian Camel - Mongolia

Mongolian Camel – Mongolia

First stop was Chinggis Khaan statue at 12:15pm and the entrance fee to the museum was T7000. Next stop was Turtle Rock. Climbed up the Turtle Rock to see see look look for 30mins then came down and moved to the next destination which was Buddhist Temple. It was closed so I could only take pic from outside.

Chinggis Khaan Statue - Mongolia

Chinggis Khaan Statue – Mongolia

Chinggis Khaan Statue - Mongolia

Chinggis Khaan Statue – Mongolia

Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Turtle Rock - Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Turtle Rock – Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Buddhist Temple - Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Buddhist Temple – Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Mongolian Yurt - Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Mongolian Yurt – Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Inside Mongolian Yurt - Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Inside Mongolian Yurt – Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Inside Mongolian Yurt - Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Inside Mongolian Yurt – Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Fried Noodles Mongolian Nomad Style - Terelj National Park - Mongolia

Fried Noodles Mongolian Nomad Style – Terelj National Park – Mongolia

Lunch at one of Steppe Nomads Tourist Camp. The camp was quite modern with fridge, flat tv screen and some other stuffs. Once done with lunch headed back to Ulaan Baatar.

At night had dinner of Mongolia Cuisine. It was nomad style of lamb and noodle. After dinner, had a drink at The Blue Sky Hotel with Mongolian friends.

Next day … dunno why … my right leg was in pain whenever I tried to bend bend my knee. Perhaps I got injured when climbing the turtle rock. Well … mission had to be accomplished. I was limping for the entire 7hrs city walk. First visited Suhbaatar Square and entered the government house to see see look look. Too tired … relax a bit at KFC to try Mongolian chicken. The taste was same same lah. Once done … headed to The Choijin Lama Museum. It was snowing. The entrance fee was T5000. The charge to be able to take photographs inside the museum was T25,000. Moving on to the National Amusement Park and it was closed … probably because it was winter. Kept walking to see artificial lake (Castle Pond) which was also closed. Took some pics and moved again all the way to Bogd Khaan Palace Museum. Unfortunately it was closed as well and the entrance fee was T5000. From here walked through Chinggis Avenue, Engelis Street, Undsen Huuli Street and finally Zanabazar Street to see Megjid Janraysig Temple and Gandantegchinlen Monastery.

Suhbaatar Square - Ulaan Baatar - Mongolia

Suhbaatar Square – Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia

Chinggis Khaan - Suhbaatar Square - Ulaan Baatar - Mongolia

Chinggis Khaan – Suhbaatar Square – Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia

Choijin Lama Museum - Ulaan Baatar - Mongolia

Choijin Lama Museum – Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia

Castle Pond - Ulaan Baatar - Mongolia

Castle Pond – Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia

Ulaan Baatar - Mongolia

Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia

Bogd Khaan Palace Museum - Ulaan Baatar - Mongolia

Bogd Khaan Palace Museum – Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia

Megjid Janraysig Temple - Ulaan Baatar - Mongolia

Megjid Janraysig Temple – Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia

Gandantegchinlen Monastery - Ulaan Baatar - Mongolia

Gandantegchinlen Monastery – Ulaan Baatar – Mongolia

Super tired … Walked to Sambuu Street to find a cinema (Tengis Movie Theatre) and watched The Nut Job movie. Luckily it was in English with Mongolian subtitle. Finished the movie and walked back to the hostel. On the way, stopped at one of the restaurant to have some Mongolian food. Full … headed to the hostel and rest.

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