• TRAVEL

    FUN EXPERIENCE IN MACAU

    macau tower

    Holidays in Macau turned out to be a lot of new things that I had never encountered before. I tried games at the casino until I was dizzy because I’m confused about which gamble to choose. After all, there were lots of exciting games. But if you want more bonuses you can try this online gambling site in www.ice3bet.com. You can easily win and earn a lot of money there, I have tried it myself. Because I rarely go to any offline casino like Macau or Las Vegas, so, online gambling casino might be my recommendation for you guys.
    venetian-macau

    I went to Venetian, Venetian is a hotel, a mall, and also a casino. Indeed in Macau, all casino places usually provide buses for free either at the airport or at the harbor, maybe because the casino business is competing to get people ready to gamble. Because Macau is a gambling city and it’s no longer a secret that gambling is legal there.

    After went to Venetian Macau I visited Parisian Macau. From Venetian to Parisian Macau, I only need to walk because the distance is quite close. And from Venetian Macau there is access to Parisian Macau, just follow the directions.

    parisian-macau

    In Paris there are also malls and casinos and if in Paris I will feel the atmosphere of France, which is very pronounced. And there are also lots of spots to take pictures. And of course, I enter for free without any entrance ticket either in Venice or Paris.

    There are also many free buses to other famous casino destinations. Finally, I chose the Grand Lisboa bus because I wanted to visit the Macau icon, Senado Square, where many typical European buildings also did not forget to Ruin of St. Paul. The bus there also has free wifi.

    grand-lisboa

    After arriving at the Grand Lisboa, I immediately entered and watching people gambling. After that I walked to Senado Square. Senado Square and Ruin of St Paul are not far from Grand Lisboa Casino.

    It turns out that in Senado Square is very crowded with tourists and there are also many typical Portuguese buildings. If you visit Macau, don’t forget to go to Senado Square. There are many people throw coins to the small pool located there. There may be a myth that your wishes might be granted if you throw a coin there.
    senado-square

    Once in Senado Square I continued walking to Ruin of St Paul. Along the way, many shops sell food and cosmetics drinks by the center. If you come here, don’t forget to taste the Portuguese egg tart. The taste is delicious. The price is from 7MOP to 9MOP.

    It was around 6:30 p.m. While on the bus, I talked to someone who lives in Macau. He told me that Macau is very good at night because there are many colorful lights and beautiful shades around the streets of Macau, and when I arrived at the harbor, I followed his advice to return to Macau Parisian at night. After that, I looked for a Parisian bus on the harbor. After arriving in Parisian, I visited the Eiffel Mock Tower.

    After relaxing for a while enjoying the night in Macau, I immediately returned to the harbor to cross to Hong Kong by boat and celebrate New Year’s Eve at Victoria Harbor Hong Kong.

    That was my trip while in Macau. A tiring but fun trip. If there is more chance, I will definitely visit one more time because there are many places that I haven’t been visited yet.

  • shirakawago
    TRAVEL

    BEAUTIFUL SHIRAKAWA-GO AND CENTRAL JAPAN IN THE WINTER

    The image of Japan in winter is straight to Shirakawa-go. This beautiful village is unique in the form of high-roofed wooden houses that resemble two praying hands called Gassho Style. Since 200 years ago, it was made like that because of the large amount of snow falling in the village surrounded by mountains, so this uniqueness also entered into the UNESCO Heritage Site.

    I have visited Shirakawa-go twice in the winter, the first time in 2010. Even though it is getting more crowded, this village still looks beautiful. When it was snowing thickly, the village was seen as only a triangular building. The rest was only white from the roof to the streets and trees. When the sun is shining brightly, the snow on the straw roof slowly slides down.

    shirakawago

    To see the interior of the Gassho house and the family life that lives, you can go to Kanda House, Wada House, and Nagase House. Those who like museums can go to Myozenji Temple and Gasshozukuri Minkaen Outdoor Museum. If you want to see the whole village from a height, just walk about 20 minutes or take the shuttle bus from the bus terminal to the Observatory.

    JRPASS

    Shirakawa-go can be reached from the city of Nagoya or Osaka, but there are still many other beautiful destinations in Central Japan that can be traversed as well. My advice, to save on transportation costs, just buy the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) type “Takayama-Hokuriku Tourist Pass”. The price is 14,260 Yen valid for five consecutive days and can take unlimited trains/buses starting from Nagoya, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, Fukui, Kyoto, to Osaka and Kansai Airport. Very worth it!

    In order not to bother going anywhere other than Shirakawa-go, I recommend this unique destination and activity and can be used as a reference for making the itinerary:

    Nagoya

    nagoya-castle

    To enjoy the modern architecture of the city of Nagoya, just go directly to Oasis 21, which is connected with the Nagoya TV Tower. The shopping center building is unique, an oval-shaped roof made of glass and filled with water! We can go to the roof to look at the city from above while looking at the ice skating rink below.
    Also read: WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN

    Instead, go to Nagoya Castle to enjoy its ancient architecture. Nagoya Castle is owned by the Tokugawa Shogunate, which was built in 1610 and has been reconstructed many times. Its uniqueness is on the roof of the building, which has a mystical statue in the form of a tiger head with a gold-coated fish so that it sparkles from a distance. Don’t forget to walk in the surrounding park. In winter, plums (ume) bloom like cherry blossoms.

    Takayama

    takayama oldtown

    Takayama Old Town, when it snows, it feels like an old Japanese movie setting! Along the way, there are traditional buildings made of black wood built during the Edo period (1600-1868). Although now it has become a commercial area in the form of shops, cafes, museums, and galleries, the originality is very well maintained. What is famous from Takayama is its sake, which is sold in several stores. When it’s winter, you should try the hot sake!

    The famous souvenir from Takayama is the Sarubobo or the Japanese talisman doll. Don’t be afraid. This cute doll is made of cloth. They believe the pink Sarubobo can launch a match, black to improve social status, yellow to improve finances, and others. We can learn to make it in class for 30 minutes at Hida Takayama Town Experience Center.

    Hotel Recommendations: Associa Takayama Resort – This hotel surrounded by mountains has its own onsen with several outdoor pools that we can even rent private onsen. The buffet dinner at Roriere Restaurant reserved dozens of delicious foods, especially the steaks.

    Toyama

    tonami-tulip-gallery

    It feels like everyone likes tulips. Although famous for coming from the Netherlands, but in Japan, the center is in the Tonami Tulip Gallery. The good news, they are open all year long, including winter! In addition to displaying thousands of colorful tulips, here we can learn the history of tulips and inter-tulip interbreeding research, which took decades to create a new species.

    In the center of Toyama city itself, there is Kansui Park, which surrounds a beautiful canal and lake. Maybe because of the view, there is Starbucks that is predicted as the most beautiful Starbucks in the world. But for me, it’s lovely at night when the fountain and decorative lights are lit in the middle of the lake.

    Kanazawa

    gold leaf icecream

    The main destinations in Kanazawa are Kanazawa Castle (castle of the Maeda Clan in 1580-1871, which was used as the University in 1945-1989) and especially Kenroku Garden, which is located right next to it. The park is indeed incredible with a beautiful arrangement, calm water lake, and surrounded by old trees wrapped in ropes to protect it from the heavy snow. In order to feel like in imperial times, I took part in the tea ceremony at Gyokusen’s Rest House. I was served matcha (green tea) and wagashi (sweet mochi) by mothers in kimono.

    Those who like to go to traditional markets must go to Omicho Market because this market sells a variety of seafood, especially crabs! You can eat fresh seafood in any restaurant located in the market. My recommendation is Ichi No Kura Restaurant.

    Kanazawa is famous for its gold leaf, which has been produced since the 16th century. Just visit the old town of Higashi Chaya District to shop for various crafts decorated with gold leaves, all-round cosmetics containing gold, or eat gold-coated ice cream. I tried it, and it’s like eating tissue. Hehe! But if you want to buy souvenirs in the form of Kanazawa specialties, such as various mochi, you can buy them at Kanazawa Station.

    Hotel Recommendation: The Square Kanazawa – Loves the interior design of the rooms with wooden floors. The breakfast is one of the best in a Japanese hotel because it is made a la carte plus a variety of fresh leafy salads plus an amazingly delicious caramel pudding.

    Fukui

    The most beautiful natural reserve in Fukui is in Tojinbo, which has a cliff along 1 km on the coast with a height of 30 meters above sea level. Interestingly, some of the rock cliffs are pentagonal and hexagonal due to seawater erosion in the tens of millions of years ago. When the weather is sunny, Tojinbo looks very beautiful against the background of the sea and blue sky.

    dinosaur museum

    But Fukui is famous for its dinosaurs to the point where the city is decorated with dinosaurs! Why is that? Because Fukui is the largest dinosaur grave in Japan! Yes, dinosaurs used to live here until there were five special species, including Fukuisaurus and Fukuiraptor. All of its fossils, bones, and history can be seen directly at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum. This museum is really cool because it displays various dinosaurs with their original size, it even looks alive because it can move! Uniquely, the food at Dino Cafe was in the form of dinosaurs, like burger buns and cakes.

    A unique activity at Fukui is learning to weave at Yume Ole Katsuyama Textile Factory Memorial Hall. This place used to be a former factory for making silk fabrics from cocoons to caterpillars but has been turned into a museum. We learn to weave from yarn using the tools provided. Not bad, I finally managed to make a coaster.

    Fukui also has an Old Town to explore that is Monzen Machi. It is referred to as “Temple Town” because it is actually a pilgrimage center centered at Eiheiji Temple. Here it is typically not an old building, but a line of tall old trees along the river bank. The atmosphere is calm, peaceful, and when it snows, it creates a magical impression.

  • almaty
    TRAVEL

    WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN

    Kazakhstan? Huh? Where is it? Did you meet Borat (fictional character)? Yes, that’s how people react when I say I want to go to Kazakhstan. This independent country from the Soviet Union in 1991 is located in Central Asia, bordering Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. It is the ninth largest country in the world, while Borat is a very fictional character film that actually was not shot in Kazakhstan.

    To enjoy this trip, I start from Almaty, which is the largest city in Kazakhstan. Almaty had been the capital of the country until 1997, which eventually moved to Astana. As a business and cultural center, Almaty tourism is best prepared. Most international flights also landed in Almaty. But do you know what the word “Almaty” means? Apple City! Yes, because of the many apple trees, and according to research, apples have grown there since 1000 years ago.

    ALMATY

    Because this destination is still uncommon, I will write in the style of a travel guide because I am sure it will be useful. After all, there is rarely qualified information. I am starting with this information: where to go and what to do in Almaty?

    City

    Almaty is a developed city, similar to a city in Europe. Dubbed the “garden city” because the whole city is filled with shady trees. The city is located at the foot of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains, which has eternal snow at its peak. Must come to the following place:

    Republic Square is the central square, which is the Almaty landmark. There is a 28 meter high Golden Warrior monument, a fountain, a diorama wall of the history of Kazakhstan. The opposite is the mayor’s building, which was once a former presidential palace.

    Panfilov Park of 28 Guardsmen is a lush 18-hectare city lung park, a favorite spot for locals to travel and date. There are 28 monuments to commemorate the services of 28 heroes who died in the war against Nazi Germany. Panfilov himself is the name of the general who led the war.

    Ascension Cathedral, Almaty

    Saint Ascension Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox church which is also called by its architect, Zenkov. Located in the middle of Panfilov Park, this beautiful church built in 1906 is painted colorful like candy.

    First President’s Park is an urban park that overlooks snowy mountains. The president planted his own oak tree there.

    Museum

    To get to know a country’s culture and history in a short time, please visit the following museum;

    The Central State Museum of Almaty is the largest in Almaty, which contains the historical, archeological, cultural, and political artifacts of Kazakhstan.

    Almaty Museum specializes in the history of the city of Almaty, starting from prehistoric times, the Soviet Union, to modern times.

    The Museum in the French House is easily recognized because outside of the building, there is a miniature Eiffel tower. Better known as a perfume and cosmetics shop, but on the lower floor, there is a collection of historic art objects that are privately owned, ranging from horse saddles to ancient gold.

    Activities

    Besides sightseeing, we can do other exciting activities in the following places:

    Medeu is the highest outdoor ice skating ring in the world at an altitude of 1,691 masl. Built-in 1949, the ice stadium with a capacity of 8500 people is often used as a place for speed skating competitions such as the 2011 Winter Asian Games.

    Kok-Tobe means Blue Hill is the highest point of the city of Almaty at an altitude of 1,100 ms. There is an amusement park, a ferris wheel, a roller coaster, a zoo, and a 372 meter high TV Tower. The city of Almaty is clearly visible from up there. We can ride the cable car too.

    Sunkar Falcon Shelter

    Sunkar Falcon Center is a predatory bird farm endemic in Kazakhstan, mostly falcon and eagle species. The cool thing is, every day there is a show of expertise of giant birds trained by its handlers.

    Shopping

    What shopping in Almaty? Anything there! Just buy at the following place:

    Mall in Almaty, all of them are big, modern and beautiful. All kinds of global brands are in the mall, including fast-food restaurants and American franchise cafes. My recommendation is to Dostyk Plaza, Mega Mall, and Esentai Mall.

    Arbat is a road without vehicles where artists sell local handicrafts and art objects, and there are also some cool cafes.

    GREEN MARKET

    Green Market (Zelyony) is one of the biggest markets in Almaty and is the most tourist-friendly. I think it’s called green because the building is painted green, but I’m wrong because that true meaning is green vegetables, aka traditional market. This two-story market sells all kinds of local specialties, from cheese, vegetables, meat (including horse meat), to fabrics and furniture. If you want a photo, you must ask permission first.

    Nature

    In my opinion, the highlight of Almaty is that it is a day trip outside the city to see the spectacular natural beauty. Unfortunately once out of town, toilets are generally awful. Although the building is good, the inside is only in the form of a hole-like toilet bin without water, especially tissues, so the dirt and odor smell is terrible! But it becomes worth it with the following cool scenery:

    Shymbulak is a ski resort that is open all year, especially for skiing in the winter of November to April. Amazingly, in the summer, there is still snow! To reach Talgar Pass at an altitude of 3,200 meters above sea level, we can take a cable car from Medeu. The view is indeed spectacular with layers of mountains with eternal snow.

    BIG ALMATY LAKE

    Big Almaty Lake is located at an altitude of 2,511 masl. This beautiful lake with turquoise color is set in the Tien Shan mountain range, which has eternal snow with three peaks of around 4000 masl. Just seeing this makes me want to swim, but banned because the lake is a natural reservoir, which is a source of drinking water for Almaty residents.

    sharyn-canyon

    Sharyn Canyon is referred to as “the sister of the Grand Canyon in America” ​​because it is similar but smaller in scale. Located 200 km from Almaty by off-road, we are treated to a view of the vast savanna with the endless sky. With a canyon depth of 100 meters, we can descend and walk between the Valley of Castles with unique rock formations.

  • shopping illustration
    THOUGHTS,  TIPS AND TRICK

    SHOP BRANDED GOODS FOR LOW PRICE

    Wearing luxury goods (often called branded products, even though all goods have a brand), being said, makes people’s prestige go up and be more confident. For people who can afford it, they can shop directly at the boutique or even buy directly in their home country. But who are mediocre but want to remain stylish, shop at the Factory Outlet (FO).

    To save on production costs and labor costs, owners of famous brands produce their goods in third world countries. No wonder we see clothing or shoe labels that read Made in India, Made in Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh, and even Made in Indonesia. Somehow in these countries can sell it in their own country even though it should be for export commodities on the specific specifications of the owner of the branded goods. Even now, it has become a commodity for tourists.

    chatuchak weekend market

    Where in Bangkok would you shop if it wasn’t in the Chatuchak Market? Unfortunately, the market is only open Saturday and Sunday. This market is huge, covering an area of ​​35 hectares with thousands of small stalls. Any items can be found here, ranging from handicrafts, books, Thai silk, souvenirs, branded clothes, furniture, to pets. Branded goods are already among the local goods that are affixed to famous brand labels or export leftover goods. Be prepared to wear clothes that are comfortable because it is hot and very stuffy. If you are using long pants, it must be able to be rolled up because sometimes it is muddy when it rains.

    A smaller market version is in Phnom Pehn precisely in Psah Toul Tom Poung, or better known as the Russian Market. In contrast to Chatuchak, this market specializes in selling branded goods at very low prices, for example, the Gap tank top brand or the Moschino brand sports bra for 1 US $. Yes, in Cambodia, people rarely use the local currency Riel but the US dollar. The most crumpled one I have ever seen is here because it is treated as a change of groceries and a motorcycle taxi.

    In Colombo, the favorite tourist shopping center is at Odel, a department store specializing in famous brand clothing. This FO is comfortable and air-conditioned. Odel occupies a beautifully restored, three-story old building. The price is around 5 US dollar a piece. Clothing brands that being offered are Esprit, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Escada, DKNY, to Versace.

    In Europe, people only shop for real branded goods (designer labels). The H&M and Zara brands there are like general shops because they are cheap, so they are always filled with locals and tourists. If you don’t feel disgusted, please shop for branded but second-hand clothes for cheaper price.

    woodbury factory outlet

    Unlike in America, it being said that branded goods sold on the FO are cheap because the season has passed (for example, winter clothes are sold during the summer), not because the products are rejected. The FO location is usually a bit outside the city, so the tax is cheaper and is located on the edge of the highway, so get ready to read the sign carefully. FO in America is not in one building alone but is a huge complex where each brand has a large warehouse that stands alone with a considerable distance between stores. There are about one hundred more well-known brands in one large FO, such as the San Marcos Prime Outlet near the city of San Antonio. The price is also very tilted, for example, a backpack brand Calvin Klein only 5 US $, Esprit t-shirt @ 1.50 US $, Armani Corduroy pants 10 US $. Because the place is huge and always full of queues, the most effective shopping method is to directly look for the cheapest price section with the biggest sale inscription, usually in a tub of clothes that even has to use tug-of-war method with other people.

  • illustration in a train
    THOUGHTS

    AIRPLANE OR TRAIN?

    If asked to choose, I will choose the train as public transportation when traveling far. Surely the trip to the city or region that can be reached by train. If there is no railroad track, you have to adjust the situation.

    Why do I prefer to use the train compared to other modes of transportation? And I’m sure you would think that instead of using the plane? Faster and the price is also not far adrift with the cost of executive class train tickets. To buy a ticket is no less easy than buying a plane ticket—lots of online ticket sales services that also serve train ticket sales.

    Honestly, I have a little fear every time I want to get on a plane, afraid of something terrible when boarding a plane. Okay, surely you think that I’m overrated too much, but that’s how I feel. What’s more, lately there is quite a lot of news about plane crashes.

    Compared to airplanes, only a few accident tragedies occur in railroad transportation modes. Even if that happens, the percentage of survivors of bad things on the train is much higher than airplanes. If something terrible happens on the train, we can easily save ourselves because they are still grounded. While the plane? You can imagine yourself.

    Also, when traveling, I am not a person who is required to get to the destination sooner, and I am quite relaxed enjoying each trip. And the train can accommodate that. How come it isn’t a bus? You’re also relaxed too. My problem with riding the bus is urinating. Because I like to drink, I can’t help but have to urinate frequently. For short-distance trips, it’s still okay. But no for a long journey.

    Even though at this time many buses provide toilets, but I still feel uncomfortable because it is not uncommon for long trips to use the toilets on the bus often run out of water. That won’t happen when using a train because, as far as I know, the water supply on the train will be filled when it stops at a particular station. Then minimal tragedy due to excessive bus maneuvers or sudden brakes. So for the restroom business, the championship train.

    The reason why I prefer to take the train compared to other modes of transportation is that only the public long-distance train mode can accommodate when I am bored because of sitting too long. Not on the bus or on the plane, you can. But what I mean here is, on the train, we can freely stretch muscles because over time sitting by standing and walking. We can freely walk from one car to another car. Even when I get bored sitting in the passenger seat, I often walk and spend time sitting in the seats provided in the restoration train while snacking on snacks or just drinking or eating something warm.

    train or plane

    In my opinion, the last reason I stated above cannot be obtained when riding a bus or airplane because of limited space in these two modes of transportation. If you take a bus, what if your stomach suddenly protests, we must make peace until the bus stops at the rest area or restaurant to receive food rations. It cannot at any time we order food like on the train or an airplane. The only solution is that we have to bring our own food or snacks.

    As for the food on the plane, we still can order or even get snacks for certain meals. Unfortunately for the traveler model like me with a mediocre budget, I have to think repeatedly before deciding on food orders on the cloud. Indeed, the price of food on the train is also not cheap, but the difference in price is still quite reasonable when compared to the price of food in a food stall or a simple restaurant there.

    So that was a little bit of my story why I prefer traveling by train compared to other long-distance transportation modes. Once again, if it turns out that the destination city is not possible to travel by train, yes, I must make peace and inevitably use other modes of transportation. Yes, that’s the drawback of trains. The path is limited.