Archive for ‘Travel’

February 2, 2012

Arrival in Hong Kong

I have been longing for this trip for quite sometime and finally when we landed in HK, I was very much excited. As HK International Airport is one man-made Island and the runway is surrounded both sides by sea, we wanted to take a window seat and see how it feels like landing on the strip on sea.

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At Singapore Airport

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Breakfast at McD

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In the flight

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Hong Kong Airport

After landing and before going to immigration, we took some Tourist City Maps. One map with info about popular destinations, One with 3D view of the popular buildings which actually helped us in identifying the buildings easily and on MTR map. As it was a weekend, we had to wait for almost an hour in the long queue at immigration. For Indians it was Visa on arrival to stay for 2 weeks with no visa charges. After immigration, we collected our luggage and reached the arrival hall.

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Inside Hong Kong Airport

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Immigration Line

As in all big airports we could see many counters for transport, tourist info and Forex. I felt Forex conversion was better in Singapore. As I read about Octopus card before we went straight to Airport Express counter and bought 2 Octopus card with 500HKD each. Octopus Card is very useful card which can be used in all public transport in Hong Kong(MTR, City bus, Ferry, Tram, in super market stores(Circle-K and 7-Eleven) and also in many food joints).We can add value to this card and also we can return the same to get refund the balance money. Airport Express train is fastest way to connect to HK Airport and HK city. It charges 90HKD to Kowloon and 100HKD to Hong Kong. Another advantage is that Airport Express offers free shuttle service from Airport Express Stations to certain Hotels which is very convenient. But as our hotel guy was giving us a free shuttle we took the bus service provided by the hotel.

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Hong Kong Dollars

We saw tall building en route to our Hotel. Rambler Oasis Hotel is located on Tsing Yi island of Hong Kong. This island is more of industrial area than a tourist spot. So one thing we decided was to use this hotel only to sleep and we have to be out of this island for most of the day. This hotel was a 40 storeyed building and we got a room at 27th floor. There were couple of Chinese restaurants in this building where we had our Chinese breakfast and lunch and then started our 4 day trip.

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October 11, 2011

World’s Highest Bungee Jump

Swetha & I are part of a World Record now. You want to know how. Then you have to read my post.

Macau, which is best known as Asia’s largest destination for gambling and its revenue crossing Las Vegas within no time. For the adventure seekers, it is famous for its main stream attraction which is Bungee Jump from Macau Tower. Macau tower which is located in the former Portuguese colony stands as tall as 338 m (1,108.9 ft) and the top floor approximately at a height of 764 feet (233m). Yes you guessed it correctly, the bungee jump is from the height of 233m making it the World’s Highest Bungee Jump.

That's Macau Tower - 338mts

Ever since I knew Bungee jumping, I wanted to do the jump in New Zealand, South Africa, Nepal and Macau. Macau being so near to Singapore and being the highest, I always wanted to go for the jump.

It all started with a Deal coupon that I bought online misjudging it to be a great offer for a 4 Days 3 Nights in Hong Kong. Keeping that aside, I went to Macau from Hong Kong on Sunday (Sep-11) totally focused to directly go to the Macau Tower. Thanks to the marketing strategy of a tour guide who persuaded me in buying his offer of going around Macau first in his Mercedes van and then end up at Macau Tower.

By the time I reached Macau tower it was around 12.30. Frankly while buying the tickets Swetha & I definitely gave a second thought whether to go for it. We decided and bought two tickets for the Bungee Jump + Photos + Video. We paid 6100 HKD for 2 passes for the jump.

Had to pay 1000 dollars to get those 2 passes .. But it was worth the money

As we were going up the tower, it was just like a jittery ride to the top floor. We signed a paper which said they were not responsible for my injuries or death.

Signing

Swetha & I got nice T-Shirts which were colorful when compared to the T-shirts we got in Phuket, Thailand.

Photo says it all

The next step was to get the harness which would fit us. Then along with the harness we were weighed and our weight was noted on our left hands.

No comments on weight please

While we were sitting and waiting for our turn, we were checking around from the top and I was a bit scared at the height. The view from there was simple awesome and breathtaking.

Nice view

I liked this

Then I saw some kids doing the sky walk and felt that it shouldn’t be so tough as even the kids were doing this. There were also some funny sign boards.

Hehe

At that point I realized that, there were lot of people doing sky walk but only 8 people doing the bungee jump. The tourists were excited to see the jumpers and were taking our pictures like animals in the zoo.

Then it was time and all our hearts were pounding harder. The first guy who was jumping was the heaviest of us. So my number of 4th and Swetha’s 5th in the queue.

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While we were waiting in the queue, we asked the staff there as how many times have they done this. We were dumbfounded to hear that one of the guy has jumped the tower 96 times. Wow. I thought “Its a life time experience for many and its a daily job for some”. While we were in the queue looking at others jumping, we were shouting and encouraging the fellow jumpers and at the same time were trying to release the tension.

My turn came and I was sitting on the edge while the one of the staff was tightening the harness and tie the ropes to the legs while other one was shooting me asking how it was feeling. In the video my message to my friends and family was, ” At this height there is nothing we can do but to jump. So lets do this “.

All set

I reached to the edge of the plank looked at the videographer shouted “Yooooo” and looked down. I was scared, Yes I was scared at that height. Then I thought dude come on you are on the edge and you can’t go back. Lets do it. I opened my hands like the wings of a bird as I hear the background 5 .. 4 .. 3 .. 2 .. 1, I took a leap and rest is history.

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It was an amazing experience. By the time I realised that I was falling, it took me just 5 seconds to reach the end point and then I was pulled up. And that was it. The reason for which I was there was fulfilled.

Here you go

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After seeing all the videos of jumps around the world, I felt that this was the safest jump of all. After reaching the ground, I waited for Swetha’s jump. As I was waiting I could see her jump and then her voice in excitement.

Certficate

Now as the certificate says, Swetha & I are officially entitled to ask “Do you have what it takes?”. Friends, it is an experience which no one should miss.

November 2, 2010

2 more days to go

Yes, 2 more day to go for my 3rd trip to India in this year. This would be my longest holiday ever in my professional life. I will be out of Singapore and away from work for 18 days. I was away from work for 16 days twice but 18 days never.

I am very happy as I will be with my parents and cousins and friends back in India. I am going for my cousins Vikram and Hemanth’s marriages. I wanted to attend all the functions and enjoy all the happy moments with the family.

As the situation here in my job is not looking bright, I might get a chance to think over it and take a decision by end of the year. Hope things will fall in place and everything will go well until the end of year.

Happy Diwali and Happy Hari Raya and belated Halloween 🙂

November 16, 2009

Countries I visited


visited 8 countries out of 255 (3.55%)
Create your own visited map of The World

November 9, 2009

Badly planned trip

This is one such badly planned trip where I have done too many mistakes. I went there to finish off 3 pending works out of which just one was successful. For this, I was not fully prepared and was not having the required information in hand when I need it.

The biggest blunders in my travel history are done during this trip. While going to Hyderabad, I reached the airport 2 hours before the schedule. At the check-in I was asked for the credit card, but as it was Santosh’s credit card, I showed them the authorisation letter having Santosh’s signature. But they wanted that signature to be done in front of their officer at one of their outlets, which was not done. So I was asked to buy a ticket again and they would refund this amount into the credit card. I ran here and there in the airport to find the sales booth. Mean while I didn’t have sufficient amount in my account and hence had to borrow from one of my friends. Finally got the ticket at the same price as the previous one and flew to Hyderabad for a hectic trip.

After my trip while coming back to Singapore, I and Santosh went to the check-in counter to do it together. At the counter the representative told me that I have missed the flight. I was shocked as I was well before the schedule. He then told me that I have booked the ticket for a day before and I have come to the airport the next day. Huh .. Not again is what has strike my mind. I had to pay some no show fine and again get the ticket back to Singapore.

Lessons learned, check the tickets and dates of travel properly.

August 31, 2009

Experience at Siem Reap Airport

Its been more than 2 weeks that we returned from Cambodia and I didnt really get time to update about the trip. This post is about our experiences at the Siem Reap airport.

We landed in Siem Reap airport at around 7.45AM. We were given around 5 forms to fill before we go to the immigration. The people standing there were all from our single plane, yet the line was moving very slowly. Once we reached the counter we realised about the reason for delay. In all the airports where ever we went, there was one immigration officer who was taking care of everything related to particular passenger. It was a bit different here.

One guy took the passport and the forms and the money. Check the money and passed on the passport and the forms to the next guy.
Next guy checked the forms and passed the Passport and the Employment pass to the next guy.
This guy checked the EP and Passport and passed them to the next guy.
Now this guy would paste the hand written visa on the passport and pass it on to the next guy.
He is the final guy and calls our name and hands over the passport to us.

This whole process took around 1 hour. This is the longest time I have ever spent at the airport because of the delay in the immigration.

The other experience that I had here was while coming back to Singapore. Our flight was scheduled at around 7.40AM. But I misread the timing and told my friends that the flight is at 7AM. Keeping in mind the time taking immigration process while arrival, we thought we should be early at the airport.

We started off at around 4.30AM from the hostel. On the way I cross checked the timing and saw that it was at 7.40. Now we all knew that we had a long wait before we boarded the flight. We arrived at the airport entrance at 4.45AM. Tuk Tuk was stopped by the airport security and below was the conversation:

Security: Tuk Tuk cannot go inside the airport premises now.
Driver: Can the passesngers go?

Security: Yes
Driver: Why can’t I come in?

Security: Airport is closed

What? Airport is closed! This came to all of us as a surprise. I have never heard at any airport being closed. We gave 5 dollars for tuk tuk and went into the airport. We wanted to check-in and then take some time to sleep. Once we reached the gate, security again stopped us.

Security: You cannot go inside.
I: Why?

Security: The airport staff has not yet come.

This time my friends gave me a scary look. I couldn’t help it but have to deal with it. We had to sleep at the table outside the gate. Meanwhile Airport staff started pouring in and we saw the dress rehearsal that they do every morning. At around 6AM, we were allowed to go inside and at that time the check-in counters were not yet opened.

We each selected a bench and slept for sometime till the check-in counters open.

August 31, 2009

NATAS Fair 2009

I heard a lot about NATAS Fair, but never got a chance to go for it. This time I made it a point to visit the Fair. It was in Expo Hall 4 and 5. To avoid weekend crowd, I left office on Friday afternoon and went to Expo. Even on the working day I saw quite a number of people going for the fair.

There is an entrance fee of 3 dollars to enter the halls. If you book it through master card then it was only 2 dollars.

There were offers from many travel agencies, insurance companies, travel goods etc etc. Once I entered the halls there were people, people everywhere but not as bad as IT Shows where you could hardly walk. While entering the hall AIG Insurance gave away free recycling bags so that you can keep all the brochures collected. I could see so many stalls like:

Air Asia
CTC
Dynasty Travel
Hong Thai Travel
and many more travel agencies.

The deals offered by different travel agencies varied so much that I actually got confused deciding which one was good. Also they were offering the deals for almost around the world. The only draw back I had was, all these offers were valid only till year end. Overall I would say that if you have plans for the year end then you can definitely go to this fair and get the best deal.

August 17, 2009

My first Couch Surfing Experience

In recent times I have been travelling many places and have met many new people and have discovered many new websites which are helpful to travellers. One among them is this couchsurfing.org. This is an online community where people host many travellers across the world by giving their couches. It not helps people get a free place to stay but also helps in connecting travelers with like-minded people.

In the same way I got registered in this website for quite sometime and have been reading experiences of the different travellers with their hosts. When I was in Cambodia, I was about to meet one of my couch surfer friend, but couldn’t make it due to some unavoidable circumstances.

Recently I got a request for couch surf from a couple from Canada. They sounded genuine and they have been travelling in Southeast Asia for more than 3 months. I and Swetha discussed over this for sometime and then gave a positive reply to them. We were not sure who and how they were.

This Saturday, the couple (Marie and Olivier) came home and there started a new friendship between that Canadian couple and all my friends gang. We all went out to have some drinks and I saw that everyone was behaving as if they all knew each other for quite sometime. We have shared so many stories from our side and at the same time heard their travel stories. Came to know about some interesting places and interesting activities which we can do.

I am excited about this couch surfing website and I am looking forward to host more and more new people and know new stories about them.

August 17, 2009

Trip to Angkor Wat


On Tuesday (4/8) we planned and on Sunday (9/8) we flew to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat. It was a long weekend and we had a relaxed trip. We expected a lot in the temple but got disappointed for some reasons. I shall post more details on the trip in my travel blog.

August 4, 2009

Experience with Cebu Pacific Airlines

I am writing this post as this is the first time that I had so many weird experiences with the airlines.

At changi airport:
Boarding pass was delayed because the printer was not working.

In the flight from Singapore to Manila:
The seat was not going back. Infact it was the most uncomfortable seat I ever travelled in.

At Manila Airport while coming back:
The lady at the ticket counter took ages to give each boarding pass. Everybody in that line were so pissed off with her. Infact we mocked her in many ways and still she worked in her own way. We were waiting there in that stagnant line while the other lines were moving and moving and moving. Nagaraj went to her and even asked why it was taking so much time. At the end when we got our boarding passes after more than 30 minutes of wait in the line, we all clapped sarcastically at her. But she was laughing and was thinking that we were appreciating her.

In the flight from Manila to Singapore:
The AC had some problem. The whole journey I was very uncomfortable and at the end I got sick for 2 days with the throat infection.
I have decided not to go to Philippines again and especially in Cebu Pacific Airlines.