Monday, February 27, 2012

Planning for Japn 2012: Kyoto 5D/4N Itinerary

Day 0: Arrive Kyoto approximately 6:00pm, and check-in to hotel
- Eat! Head to Gion district to have dinner and soak up the atmosphere of imperial Japan
- From Kyoto JR Station, take bus 100, 206 or 206 and get off at Gion Bus Stop (220 Yen)
- Have dinner at Gion area
Kyot's Gion distrct. Photo credit:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Perth 7D/5N Itinerary

A friend of mine recently asked for help for her trip to Perth. Having spent 3 whole years in Perth, I wanted to show her a different side of Perth that is different from the packaged tour company offerings. The beauty of Perth is being able to experience the city like a local, rather than a tourist. Live in an apartment or someone's house, rather than a hotel. Their group size is a husband & wife, with 2 children aged 6 and 7. Also a big dilemma is the odd flying times offered by AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur. This is what I came up with:

Saturday 26 May 2012 - Day 1
- Depart Kuala Lumpur 11:55pm

Sunday 27 May 2012 - Day 2

1. Arrive Perth International Airport 5:25am

2. Choose a Car Rental company that opens at 5:30am, so that you can return your car upon departure from Perth. Only one company fits the bill - Avis ( Opens: 5:30am - 3:00am

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

AirAsia BIG SALE: 15 Feb 2012

The list of destinations and prices are out. Granted that they are not as cheap as they have been before, this is the expected price for the Christmas holidays. Where to holiday to next? :)

Travel Date: 11 Sep 2012 - 31 Jan 2013

Fly from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (LCC Terminal), Kuala Lumpur to:
Domestic All-in-fare from
Langkawi RM 19.00
Penang RM 19.00
Kuala Terengganu RM 19.00
Kota Bharu RM 19.00
Johor Bahru RM 19.00
Alor Setar RM 19.00
Sibu RM 29.00
Bintulu RM 29.00
Miri RM 29.00
Kuching RM 29.00
Tawau RM 49.00
Labuan RM 49.00
Sandakan RM 49.00
Kota Kinabalu RM 49.00

Monday, February 13, 2012

Malaysia Public Holidays 2013

Tue 01 Jan 2013 - New Year's Day
Thu 24 Jan 2013 - Birth of the Prophet Muhammad
Sun 27 Jan 2013    - Thaipusam
Sun 10 Feb 2013 - Chinese New Year
Mon 11 Feb 2013 - Chinese New Year
Wed 01 May 2013 - Labour Day
Fri 24 May 2013    - Wesak Day
Sat 01 Jun 2013 - Agong's Birthday
Fri 26 Jul 2013    - Nuzul al Quran
Thu 08 Aug 2013    - Hari Raya Puasa
Fri 09 Aug 2013    - Hari Raya Puasa
Sat 31 Aug 2013 - National Day
Mon 16 Sep 2013 - Malaysia Day
Tue 15 Oct 2013 - Hari Raya Haji
Sun 03 Nov 2013    - Deepavali
Tue 05 Nov 2013 - Awal Muharram
Wed 11 Dec 2013 - Sultan of Selangor's Birthday
Wed 25 Dec 2013 - Christmas Day

School Holidays 2013: ** Updated 10 Oct 2012 **
 23-31 Mar
 25 May - 9 June
 7-18 Aug
 16 Nov - 1 Jan

Something is Brewing on AirAsia: 15 Feb 2012

Now and then, I notice changes on AirAsia since I visit their website very often. Observe these clues:
AirAsia website is gearing up for a large amount of traffic, for bookings after 1 May 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Planning For: Japan 2012 - New Itinerary

Due to cost constraints, we have decided to remove Takayama from our itinerary as this could cost an additional RM500 per person just to get there and back. It may be wiser to just enjoy ourselves at a slower pace in Kyoto, Nara and Osaka. The following is our latest itinerary:

New Itinerary
02 Apr: Arrive Osaka Kansai Airport, transfer to Kyoto
- LTD Exp Haruka 26 1616-1732 (every half hour departure, 76min)
- LTD Exp Haruka 28 1646-1802
- Buy JR West Rail Pass 1-day (2000Yen)
03 Apr: Kyoto (Buy Surutto Kansai 3-day Ticket 5000Yen)
04 Apr: Kyoto
05 Apr: Kyoto
06 Apr: Kyoto to Nara (690Yen, 1119-1203 / 1219-1303 / 1319-1403)
07 Apr: Nara
08 Apr: Nara to Osaka (540Yen, Walk to Kintensunara, 1137-1212/1214-1252)
09 Apr: Osaka (2-day Unlimited Pass 2700Yen)
10 Apr: Osaka
11 Apr: Osaka to Kansai Airport (Nankai Airport Express 890Y)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2012

On 1 Feb 2012, the Japan Weather Association has announced a forecast for the blooming of Cherry Blossoms for 2012. The link in Japanese is here:

Based on Google Translate, temperatures this winter are now on par with or lower than the nationwide average over December and January. Therefore, it is expected to average less than or on par with average temperatures from February through April of this destination. For this reason, the flowering of the cherry blossoms will probably slower or be on par with the blossoming in 2012. Flowering of the cherry blossoms will start from the north and Shikoku and Kyushu in late March.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Planning For: Japan 2012

So far, I have been focusing my blog posts on telling you what happened after returning from a trip. This is the first time I will be showing you how I plan for a trip, during the planning process.
Note: I do not read/write Japanese or Chinese. Planning for Japan is slightly harder due to the language barrier

1. Getting the Air Ticket
I got word of AirAsia launching their Osaka new destination, 2 days prior to the launch date on 14 Oct 2011. It gave me 2 days to decide when I would like to travel to Osaka and for how long. In my past experience, I found 10 days to be the optimal amount of time to spend at any place. Anything more, and I'd start to miss home. Anything less, and you lose out on getting the real feel of the place. Another thing about Japan that I really wanted to see were the cherry blossoms, i.e. sakura/hanami season. Do a google on "Cherry blossom Japan 2011" and you will get to this link
This is of course only an estimation, and nobody can tell you when it will be in full bloom. I can safely say the 1st to 2nd week of April would be optimal for Osaka/Kyoto. During the air ticket booking process, the cheapest possible dates for that time frame was 2 - 11 April 2012 @ RM544 per person.

2. Where to go in 10 days?
This is the part that took the most amount of time. My thoughts went wild. This would be my first trip to Japan. Should I do Tokyo Disneyland? Merely because I have already been to Disney's in Los Angeles, Orlando and Hong Kong, sorta like a Disney Grand Slam. Or do I want to visit the many famous places of Tokyo? HH has always wanted to visit Hokkaido as well. 10 days is not a lot, and it's not little either. I was toying with the possibility of including Hokkaido into the itinerary. Being a tourist in Japan, we are entitled to purchase heavily discounted tickets for flights to Hokkaido (approx 10,000 Yen per way)