LANGKAWI

My wife and myself have just returned from a short break in Langkawi. We spent 4 days in this beautiful island. The following are some of photos I took while enjoying the nature beauty.

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Sunrise at Tanjung Malai.

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“To me the sun is a role-model, always compassionate, showing that sharing makes life more beautiful. The sun is litterally a leading star, a love warrior! Whenever we want to tap into the light, it’s there for us. Even at night, with the moon reflecting the way…” Osho

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“Man had always lived with nature. To live with nature is to live with God in an indirect way, because nature reflects God in a thousand and one ways. ” Osho.

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“In nature, animals don’t kill their own kind. That is part of the beauty of nature. In this regard man is worse than the other animals. The so-called “civilized” man kills for idealogy and beliefs, while the animals kill only for survival.” UG Krishnamurti.

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Back to the origin…. “The water of the ocean is subject to certain influences. But all life is created out of water; without water, no life is possible. So in ancient Greece, seers used to say that only from water is life born, that water is life. Ancient Indian, Chinese and other mythologies also say this. Today scientists who believe in evolution also say that life was born in water, that perhaps the first life on the planet lived in the water. This was the first form of life, and then out of this, man eventually evolved.” Osho.

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At Beras Basah Island.

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“If you lose touch with nature you lose touch with humanity. If there’s no relationship with nature then you become a killer; then you kill baby seals, whales, dolphins, and man either for gain, for sport, for food, or for knowledge. Then nature is frightened of you.” J Krishnamurti.

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At Cenang Beach, Langkawi’s main beach.

20130420-082210.jpg Sunset at Cenang beach.

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…. and it’s me… next post will go on more details of Langkawi.

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ITALY – VENICE (I)

My wife and myself flew from Paris to Venice with Easyjet, another top budget airline in Europe. It was an early morning flight and the view of the mountains from the sky was amazing. We manage took an aerial image of Venice just before touch down at Macro Polo airport. The city, which built on water was one of the dream destination for many couples like us. Based on my experience, Venice is not that expensive compared with Switzerland.

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We took bus from airport to Piazzale Roma, which is the last stop of the bus. Later we took Vaporetto (Water Bus) to our B&B at St Elena, which is located on south-eastern corner of Venice. We like the whole environment of this area, its a quiet and lovely residential neighbourhood, which is away from the crazy tourist hustle of Venice.

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The whole area was very peaceful and I think this is the only area in Venice with a park-like feel.

20130418-101856.jpg Travel-card in Venice are expensive, a standard 3 days travel-card can easily cost €33 for each person.

20130418-104056.jpg The city is just so….. unique and different. We really had a good time exploring the whole city.

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Venice is loaded with buildings of beautiful architecture that built 500 years ago and all these buildings are still very well preserved. Wood was used as a foundation for all these buildings.

20130418-111111.jpg Venice is a photographer’s paradise.

20130418-112147.jpg Narrow yet beautiful canals, very different feel of the place. Not only us, but i believe anyone who visits this place immediately will falls in love with it.

20130418-121038.jpg For tourist like me, the water is attractive, but for native Venetians, it is a very annoying problem. This is because of “Acqua Alta” (high water) or flooding. The Acqua Alta occurs during November and December because of the result of tidal activity.

20130418-121728.jpg Gondolas.

20130420-085758.jpg A normal 40 minutes Gondola ride cost around €80-€100.

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SWITZERLAND – Mt. TITLIS

As part of europe trip, my wife and I stayed 3 days in Lucerne and did a day tour to Mt. Titlis. We travelled by train from Milan to Lucerne, it was a 5 hours journey and arrived around 12 midnight. From station we took cab to hotel, which cost us CHF 27. We travelled many places around europe but had never felt so safe and secured like this. I had to agree that, Switzerland is a tourist friendly country.

20130331-173657.jpg We’re up early in the morning to catch train to go high into the Alps. Mount Titlis is one of the top attraction in Switzerland, located at 3200 meters above sea level in the Urner Alps. What gives the mountain its greatest attractions are snow all year round and revolving cable car.

We took train from Lucerne to Engelberg, the train journey unrolls perfect scenery, which I believe only Switzerland can produce such postcard scenery. After an hour we arrived at Engelberg, a small charming town surrounded by mountains and hills. We explore the town while walking to the Mt. Titlis cable car station.

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On our next trip to Switzerland, we plan to stay at Engelberg.

20130331-190327.jpg We took three different cable car rides to get up to the very top of Mt.Titlis. The 1st one is the mini cable car or Gondola, which I guess can accommodate max 4 person. As the cable car go higher we saw the whole Engelberg town and the surrounding mountains. After 20 minutes of ride we arrive at next stop to change to next cable car.

20130331-194316.jpg The second cable car was much bigger and crowded. The last one is the rotating cable car, which is very unique and amazing.

20130331-203638.jpg Once we reached the top, the view was beautiful. There is an Ice Cave quite nice but nothing too special. There is also restaurant and few gift shops but expensive, we brought our own food and drinks.

20130331-231921.jpg We were lucky to have a beautiful clear day with blue skies, it was a perfect day. We took Ice-flyer and for me it was the best experience. It was like an open cable car ride, between me and the ground there is just a metal bar.

20130401-104333.jpg We spent about 5 hours at top here before return back to Lucerne.

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NETHERLANDS – Overnight Cruise

There are so many ways to travel from London to Amsterdam. Trains and flights are the most common mode of transport but there is another mode of transport to Amsterdam. That’s by ferry or some sort of overnight cruise. This is an oldest way of crossing English channel.

My wife and I took this ferry from Harwich, England to Hock of Holland. The journey cost us £99 per person.

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The ferry sailing time was at 11pm, but we arrived 3 hours early.

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By sailing to Holland, we avoid airport tussle, save on expensive hotels and also help reduce Co2 emissions. Happy!.

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This ferry is like a floating hotel, it has over 1,400 beds, and private cabin for all passenger with en suite toilet & shower, satellite TV, free WiFi internet access, power sockets for mobiles or laptop, and soap, shampoo/shower gel, towels & bedding all provided.

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Our cabin.

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20130322-131122.jpg The cabin is very clean, comfortable and the water pressure at shower was good.

20130322-131345.jpg Long passageway between cabins.

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At Cafeteria.

20130322-132254.jpg Rice with chicken curry. Besides cafeteria, there are also wine bar, cinema, casino and money changing service.

20130322-134623.jpg The sailing was smooth and we arrived at Hock of Holland around 8am.

20130322-134832.jpg The train station are just next to ferry terminal.

20130322-135434.jpg The ferry fare are included of train ticket to Amsterdam.

20130322-135803.jpg At Rotterdam train station.

It was great experience, cost effective, comfortable and a memorable way to travel to Holland.

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LONDON – FOOD

Food is not an issue in London, there are many choices from street stalls to exclusive restaurants, and compare with other cities in Europe, London is a best city for varieties of foods with reasonable price.

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Tandoori chicken briyani with Masala Tea, cost £6. There are plenty of indian foods with reasonable price and normally Pakistani run restaurant and cafe in London.

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Outside British Museum, Hot Dog at £2.50.

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Many Pizza cafe, offer free drinks with Pizza. Anyway it’s not expensive, 2 person can share a pizza. Cost £8.

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In the evening most pubs offer value meals. This cost me £9.

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These are the pubs, which are out of tourist area, where they offer a good meal with beer for less than £10.

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This is a pure vegetarian meal. One of the best food I ate in London.

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Chicken salad. Cost £6.
There are many more varieties of food in London.

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ITALY – ROME

Rome was my favourite destination, it was my 3rd visited city in europe after London and Paris. The historical monuments and the history of Roman Empire attracted me to this city.

My friend and I flew from London by Ryanair, this is europe’s top budget airline and one of the cheapest way to travel within europe.

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This was early morning at the airport. Our flight was around 9am, so we were in airport around 7am.

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After 1.5hours we touch down at Ciampino Airport, for our surprise there was no immigration check for any flights from London airports, so no one check our passport. We book an apartment in advance and stayed for 1 weeks.

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Small apartment and it was cheap compare with hotels in Rome, and we able prepare our own food. Save cost.

20130316-135901.jpgRoom.

20130316-140014.jpg We stayed at level 4.

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We explore the city on our own.

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At St.Peter’s Square.

Vatican City is the smallest internationally recognized independent state. They have own army and own government. It was on wednesday and we were not aware that the Pope hold a general audience on every wednesday at this St. Peter’s Square. It was crowded but happy that can witness the audience.

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At Fontaine De Trive. It was built and compeleted on 1762 years. It’s very crowded and everyone throwing coin on the fontaine. The belief is that if we toss coin from right over left shoulder, we will return to Rome.

Actually it is easy to find most of the monuments in Rome, with the road signs and a handy map.

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20130316-150515.jpgThe Colosseum.

20130316-151313.jpg This is very common. Selling counterfeit products. Please don’t buy, because at custom, you could fine of almost €300,000 for caring counterfeit product. Custom officers are very strict.

1 week is just enough to explore the whole a Rome. Food is not a problem,because there is a lot of Indian restaurants here and also fast food.

Rome is safe at day time but don’t take risk at night, there is a lot of homeless and drug addicts people. Also a lot of illegal immigrant from eastern europe, so avoid local bar and red district areas.

Overall, we enjoyed and I will definitely back.

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YOGYAKARTA – PART 4

Yogyakarta is one of the less expensive city in Indonesia. Things over here are much more cheaper compare with Bali and Jakarta.

Jalan Malaiboro is a main shopping street in Yogya with lot of stalls selling all sorts of touristy things and there is also a mall halfway down the street with a Pizza Hut, McDonalds, KFC and etc.

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It’s fun to travel by Horse Cart in Jogja city and its only cost us Rs 30,000.

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Traditional Indonesian food, “”Nasi Ayam Penyet”. Inside shopping mall, there is some descent restaurant for Indonesian foods.

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The people in Jogja are very humble and very helpful.

Street performance at night.

20130306-105758.jpg Street stalls along the sidewalks.

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4 days is not enough to explore the whole Yogyakarta. Other than Temples and shopping streets, there are also Museums, Palace and Volcanic mountains to explore. We missed some of these places due to time constrain.

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