• Living,  Travel

    7 Things Only Spontaneous Travelers Will Understand

    As Paulo Coelho famously said, “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal.” Are you itching to jump on a plane while you read this? No worries, we understand. Here are 7 things only last-minute spontaneous travelers like you will understand:

    1. You’re always good to go Whatever the time of day, wherever you are, you can pack up a small bag in mere minutes and have your travel gear ready to go. Your schedule always has room for flexibility and carefree ‘last minute’ changes. That’s just the way you roll. Your friends think you have commitment issues but it’s all about experiences folks.

    2. You’re a ninja packer You have minimalist packing down pat. If your less efficient friends get stressed at the idea of packing you are enlisted, making it look like a fine art. Your pals look on in awe as you ninja pack an hour before you leave without any sweat. Sarong, shorts, gadgets, done. Now where’s that passport? Get me out of here…

    3. You have too many travel apps You have all the travel apps a person can possibly have without creating your own. WhatsApp is your buddy. You are constantly wired to travel blogs, magazines, checking booking engines and social feeds. Any hot travel deals and you’re on it. I mean, ON it. $20 flights to Bali, you got it. Hot hotel deals on the HotelQuickly app are your first priority; I mean you have to get decent digs, right?

    4. You think routine is lethal Waking up in the same country every day is far from ideal! The spontaneous traveler wants to wake up in Hong Kong and be in Seoul by lunch. Perfect. Just because they decided to go on an adventure. A life well-travelled is one well-lived. Your idea of sheer hell is being in the same place for the rest of your life. You have friends from school like this, YAWN.

    5. You’re an Instagram junkie You get inspiration for your travels from various Instagrammers. You are an adept Instagrammer yourself and have a tribe of followers due to your casual journeys around the globe. Who doesn’t want to see the stunning Borobudur temple at sunrise?

    6. You grimace when you hear people talking about planned travel Holiday package anyone? NOOO! This is your worst nightmare. Staying in the same place and eating at the same restaurant for two weeks? Ugh. Actually planning a holiday and looking forward to it? You get your excitement from living life on the edge. Others with kids might disagree, but you think it’s pretty awesome just getting a flight and seeing what happens. After all, that’s when the travel magic really begins.

    7. You’re booking a spontaneous weekend trip as you’re reading this
    Yes. You. Are. Stop slacking. We know you are checking cheap flights and HotelQuickly as we speak. We’ve got to admit, your weekend will probably be pretty awesome. Wish we were coming too…

    This article was brought to you by Hotel Quickly who has just opened offers at 400 hotels in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. The app is being translated into Japanese, which will become HotelQuickly’s 10th supported language.

  • Living,  Travel

    Day Trip: 101 Sekinchan Guide

    A picturesque beach side village surrounded by paddy fields, Sekinchan (in Chinese pronounced: “shi geng zhuang”) has been gaining popularity since it was chosen as a location for several TV dramas. The village itself is located 1.5 hours drive, out of Kuala Lumpur, and is a great destination for a weekend getaway.

    So if you decide to head to the beautiful and bountiful village, here’s a rough guide to help you out.

    Accommodation

    You would probably want to maximize your experience at the village by staying the night. Waking up to the sound of waves and the beautiful views would only be awe inspiring if not a welcoming change from waking up in the city.  Here are some of the best rated accommodations for you to check out.

    A+ Boutique Hotel

    A boutique hotel with a modern retro vibe, A+ Boutique Hotel has a 4 out of 5 star rating on trip advisor. The hotel itself is located along the main road of Sekinchan and is a short drive to the paddy fields and Redang Beach. Room rates range from RM59 – RM239

    East Sun Hotel

    This beautiful and modern hotel gets a 3.5 out of 5 rating on trip advisor. The East Sun Hotel has a very modern design and the Rooms are fitted with all the modern creature comforts. Price range in RM88 – RM198.

    Sekin Fisherman Village Hotel and Resort Sekinchan

    If you want something a bit simpler, the Sekin Fisherman Village Hotel would have you covered. Call for room prices.

    Restaurants

    If there’s one thing to do in this village is eat. Being blessed by the ocean’s bounty, seafood is in abundance and readily available for your feasting pleasures. Sekinchan is a fishing village after all.

    Restoran Cha Po Tion

    Famous for a variety of seafood dishes such as shark soup, seafood porridge, vermicelli (mee hoon) seafood soup, steamed lala and deep fried calamari. The Cha Po Tion Restaurant is a favorite among local and tourist alike.

    Food Blogger Auntie Lilly from followmetoeatla.blogspot.com headed to Sekinchan for some food trippping, and Cha Po Tion was one of her stops. Read it here.

    Cha Po Tion Restaurant
    9990B Jalan Besar Bagan, Bagan Sekinchan
    45400 Sekinchan, Selangor
    Tel: 016 – 6761 769

    Restoran Loong Hua

    HungryGoWhere lists Loong Hua in their Sekinchan food trail article. and highlights their signature dish, the The claypot yellow eel. The restaurant is of course stocked with other amazing and fresh seafood dishes.

    Loong Hua Restaurant
    73 Lorong 3, Bagan Sekinchan,
    Sekinchan, Selangor 45400

    Began Seafood Restaurant

    This restaurant seems to be a popular one along the seafood street. Of course it has some awesome seafood dishes to try out that are surely to be delicious.

    Note: You should know you could grab some grub right at the beach, prawn crackers, fresh fruit juice and Raw Oysters! Sounds just delish. Fair warning though, the area is very popular hence cleanliness isn’t top priority.

    Activities

    Sight Seeing

    Going over from the city, there are tones of things to do. First on the list, sightseeing, grab a breath of fresh air and take in the beautiful view of a beach side village surrounded by paddy fields.

    Make A Wish

    Stop by at the Pantai Redang Beach and make a wish by throwing red ribbons onto the tree. It’s a fun thing to do whether you believe in it or not, and is surely be able to lift your spirits.

    Photography

    Get ready your SD-cards for a no hold bared photo shoot. The village is picturesque scene, with tones of great angles to be discovered. Hopefully you’ll find enough to keep your trigger finger happy for awhile.

    Head Over To The Fisherman’s Wharf

    If the only place you’ve seen fish is in the supermarket, or at the pasar. Stop by the fisherman’s wharf and see how it’s done. Seeing it for yourself would be rather a good experience.

    Relax and Enjoy Yourself

    The main thing is to relax and enjoy yourself on the trip. The change of scenery and pace from your normal daily life should at the least revitalize you for when you head back. So sit back, relax, breath in the fresh air and enjoy the view, in the little village of Sekinchan.

  • Living,  Travel

    8 Best Types Of People To Travel With

    Do you love travelling? We know we do and although travelling alone can be fun, travelling with someone can be fun!

    Travelling is one of the greatest things to do. It gives you new experiences, as it allows you to experience new foods, new cultures, to meet new people and to do new things. All of which that can enrich one’s life. Travelling with someone, as we said can be fun but it can also make or break your trip.

    The next time you want to go travelling, these are the 8 best types of people to travel with.

    1. The Internal Sat-Nav

    When one has a great sense of direction, you’ll find that you won’t get lost and frankly, this one is also very resourceful. Want to go to the market to check out great local foods or go to the hippest bar in town or even, to find the nearest toilet? This person will help save your day because they’ll be able to navigate their way around with ease. A definite plus when you’re travelling, let us tell you.

    2. The YOLO-er

    This person may shake you to the core and well, at times, that is just what you need. Travel, as we said, it about getting new experiences so with this companion, expect to do the unexpected and to also be spontaneous. Sleep is for the dead, as some of these YOLO fans would say. From skydiving to just jumping onto a train to see where that takes you to deciding to take part in a town’s local food fair, it’s all in good fun and in accumulating life’s experiences. Carpe diem is the name of the game here.

    3. The Food Fan

    Most of us Malaysians like food and can take our food quite seriously but if you go with a foodie, you won’t be bored at any meal whatsoever. They’ll be game to try anything once and one of the best ways to experience a new culture is through the cuisine. So, broaden your taste horizons and go with the flow. Be it good or bad, you’ll be in for some fantastic food experiences (and with interesting stories to regale your friends and family with).

    4. The Planner

    Now, we appreciate with going with the flow but when it comes to travelling and getting the most out of your stay, you need to plan and here, is where the planner comes in handy. From researching where the best place to stay within your budget is to booking tours or escapades to finding out the top 10 things to do in the place you’re visiting, to getting the best flight deals to getting the best rates for travel insurance, you’ve got everything covered here.

    5. The Photographer

    In the selfie and wefie generation, it’s super handy to have someone who is an avid photographer as they’ll help you keep a photographic journal of everything that you did and what you saw. They don’t need to be professional but in their love for photography, they’ll take extra efforts to make that photo look good, especially if they’re keen Instagrammers.

    6. The Culture Buff

    Being a full-fledged culture buff isn’t a bad thing. The culture buff wants to most of their time by exploring the town and cities to see what they have to offer – be it a museum, visiting churches, vineyards, gardens, cultural centres, cheese making, visiting a rural village, going on sand dune rides, etc, they’re up for it, making your trip a most interesting one.

    7. The Survivor

    This one will be able to survive in any situation, no matter where you are. They don’t panic, they’re usually calm and collected, are street smart and have their head screwed on right. Even if there is a situation where you’ve no money or map, this person is resourceful enough to find their way back to where you’re staying. No problem is too big and neither will it rattle their cage. A definite plus to have on any trip.

    8. The Savvy Spender

    Travelling can rack up expenses if one isn’t careful. With this person travelling with you, you’ll find that this person isn’t going to spend freely and will seek out the cheapest places to eat, best and cheapest places for you to stay at, etc. You won’t be spending unnecessarily and that will help you enjoy your trip without going into debt.

  • Living,  Travel

    8 Ways To Stretch Your Travel Budget

    Who doesn’t love to travel? We know we certainly do!

    Although travelling is indeed one of the best things to do in life, it can also be expensive at times. Not always but it can rack up the expenses, especially if one isn’t careful.

    So, the next time you are in need of a break but feel that it may not be possible because of the cost, don’t despair. All it takes is some careful planning and some savvy travel tips. First of all, save up. It doesn’t take a whole lot to save money but if you start a travel fund of sorts, it will help you get closer to that next vacation. Even if you start saving, you’re going to want to make sure that your money lasts the duration of the trip without hindering your ability to have a good time. It’s never fun when money is a determining factor on what you can or can’t do.

    Secondly, know this. Every savvy traveller will know that research is key to getting as much information as you can about where you want to go and especially, how you’re going to get there. Research is also how you save money! The more you find out, the more information you have on hand to make an informed decision. Through research, you’ll also be able to choose where you want to go and what to do with the budget you’ve.

    We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we are able to visit other ASEAN countries quite easily. Now, with cheaper flights from airlines like Air Asia (who by the way are having special promotions now till 10th of May 2015), travel deals from Groupon, Expedia, etc, it is now easier and more affordable to go on holiday.

    Next is to spend some time looking at your accommodation. Again, research plays a big role here to ensure that you’ll get what you want at the price you are willing to pay.

    Another tip is also to know what the dos and don’ts are of the place/country you’ll be visiting. It’ll save you embarrassment or worse, insulting someone local. If you want to know more of what every traveller should know, see these travel tips here.

    We also highly recommend that you always buy travel insurance as you never know when you’ll need it and the last thing you want is to incur extra costs, especially expensive medical expenses. So, be prepared so it won’t ruin your next holiday.

    Take a look at these eight tips to learn how to get the most out of your money while on your next holiday and remember, to always embrace new experiences and to always make the best of things so you’ll have a great time!

  • Living,  Travel

    [Travel] Dining Etiquette Around The World

    Every culture seems to have their own way to politely eat and when it comes to travel etiquette, it’s important to know what’s right and what’s not.

    Traveling can be great but if one isn’t careful with the so-called ‘rules’ of whichever country you’re in, it can be very bad form, especially when it comes to dining etiquette. Dining etiquette rules, if broken, can send negative messages to your fellow diners/host or even reflect badly on the taste of the dish. Thus, learning how to eat right in the country you plan to visit is an important part of the preparation before a trip.

    Just like looking up little phrases in the foreign destination’s language, such as “thank you”, “excuse me, where is the toilet?”, etc or even researching the type of weather you’ll be experiencing during your trip, researching the dining etiquette can save you from seeming rude.

    Tipping can be a bit confusing when it comes to traveling to different countries. Some countries like Portugal and Italy don’t look down on tipping, but the habit is that one only tips when the food and servicer were absolutely exceptional. Tipping, on the other hand, is expected in countries like Canada and the United States of America. So, do your research so you won’t get caught out.

    Now, this you may find rather odd but it’s an important thing to know nonetheless – how the food goes from the plate to one’s mouth? Does one use hands? Or use a fork and spoon? Or do we use chopsticks? How does one place my chopsticks when not in use? All these questions can be answered by a little bit of research.

    Foreigners aren’t going to judge you too harshly for being ignorant to their customs as most people are fairly forgiving because they know you don’t know their customs. However, it does pay to know what to do and what not to do as people will appreciate that. If you’re eating with locals for the first time don’t be afraid to ask their customs. They’ll respect you for respecting their culture.

  • Living,  Travel

    Spotlight Malaysia Opens At The Mines Shopping Mall!!

    Spotlight has another store opening?! Yes, another store just opened and it’s the largest and biggest one ever thus far!

    From its very first opening at Ampang Point, to a second Spotlight store at IPC Shopping Centre, Spotlight has thrilled shoppers with their treasure trove of things. With two successful store openings, Spotlight is not showing signs of slowing down.

    The largest fabric, craft, party and homemaker superstore has continued to spread its fun presence to another part of our world, Seri Kembangan to be exact, and has set up home in The Mines Shopping Mall.

    Set to be the biggest Spotlight outlet to date, the store boasts a whopping 31,000 square feet of glorious retail space. Shoppers will definitely be spoilt for choice with over 100,000 vast selections of heavenly delights in six categories, ranging from Home Furnishings, Bedding, Home Decor, Dress and Fashion Fabrics, Craft, Hobbies, and Party Essentials.

    Known for covering every need for the house and home and also for being a hobbyist’s dream store, Spotlight continues to pride itself for being the one-stop shop for everything that one will need for their home or their hobby.

    True to form, Spotlight has kept their prices for their products affordable. The range of products offered is extensive. The look of their products is also on-trend, without being too faddy. Practical yet having a beauty of its own is always a bonus when it comes to homewares.

    As part of Spotlight’s tradition during an opening, Spotlight VIP members can be assured that there will be a lot of bargains on selected store favorites to celebrate the grand occasion. If you are not yet a Spotlight VIP card member, you can sign up online or when you visit the store to enjoy special discounts, receive exclusive offers and information about Spotlight.

    Spotlight’s third store is located at L4-16, The Mines Shopping Mall, Jalan Dulang, Mines Resort City 43300 Selangor Darul Ehsan. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.

  • Living,  Travel

    Things Every Traveller Should Know

    Got the travel bug? Lusting over a new holiday & dreaming when you can jet off somewhere soon?

    Well, traveling is always one of the best ways to relax whilst expanding your own horizons and boundaries. While traveling is great fun, if you’re not prepared, it can leave you feeling a bit like a muppet because you’ve been ignorant.

    Researching the place you’re visiting is always helpful and in fact, it’ll help you get more out of your trip and you’ll find you’ll get your money’s worth! Some people prefer to be spontaneous and that’s all very well and good but it does help if you do plan your trips, at least find out what the do’s and don’ts are to where you’re heading.

    Not a fan of do’s and don’ts when you’re are on holiday? At times, it pays to know as it won’t leave you in an awkward spot feeling silly but even worse if you offend someone. For example, be sure to know the difference in personal space in South and North America. South Americans are very likely to get close to you when engaging in conversation, while North Americans on the other hand, are different. North Americans may view this behaviour as an invasion of personal space.

    Another good tip is to wear clothes with lots of pockets when boarding a flight. This way, you’ll be able to keep your passport on your body to avoid it being stolen and you’ll be able to have your important stuff on hand: boarding pass, money, credit card, lip balm, small change for the toilets in case you’ve to pay to use the toilet, etc.

    Be aware of various travel/tourist scams when you’re traveling as well . Being prepared helps to avoid ruining your holiday. Always be aware of your surroundings and be travel smart. Don’t be too trusting, keep your belongings close to you at all times and most importantly, trust your gut instinct and be safe.

    Before you score your next plane ticket to go on holiday, check out today’s infographic. It pays to be informed.

  • Living,  Travel

    Air Asia 6% Off All Domestic Tickets Promo Is Available Now!!

    Air Asia is offering 6% off all their domestic flight tickets online this month!!

    From the 6th to the 12th of April 2015, you’ll be able to purchase these special online ticket deals! Travel periods are from the 8th of April till the 18th of November 2015.

    There will be no fuel surchages when you book online for this special offers. Terms and conditions apply.

    Terms and conditions are as follows:

    • A non-refundable processing fee is applicable for payments via credit, debit or charge card.
    • Fare includes airport taxes (except for selected airports where airport tax is collected at the point of departure).
    • Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights.
    • Valid for new purchases only.
    • All fares are quoted for single journey (one-way) only.
    • All taxes must be paid at the time of purchase unless otherwise stated.
    • Foreign fares are subjected to currency exchange rates.
    • Offer is subject to availability and AirAsia’s Terms and Conditions of Carriage.
    • No refunds are permitted after payment has been made.
    • Guests travelling need to provide all necessary travel documents (eg valid passport, visa where applicable etc) at the time of departure.
    • AirAsia reserves the right to deny guests from boarding without proper documentation.
    • Full payment shall be made upon booking.
    • Changes to flights and dates are permitted subject to change fees.
    • Changes to name are not permitted.
    • Only available for online bookings at www.airasia.com
  • Home,  Travel

    Freediving: Experience New Adventures & Explore Undiscovered Worlds!

    Have you ever dreamed of swimming like a dolphin or have you ever wondered what it feels like to glide through the ocean just holding your breath?

    If you love the sea, sun, sand & love swimming in the ocean, freediving could very well the next sport for you. If you’ve not heard about freediving before, this is a sport that is up and coming slowly but surely in Malaysia.

    Freediving offers a serenity in the water that one can really bask in and enjoy. It gives you the most amazing views of the underwater world. Whether you free dive 5 meters, 15 meters or more, freediving has now become accessible to all ages of water sports enthusiasts.

    So, what exactly is freediving?

    According to Wikipedia, freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on divers’ ability to hold their breath until resurfacing rather than on the use of a breathing apparatus such as scuba gear.

    For adrenalin junkies, you might want to give freediving a go. Freediving offers exciting new adventures. From unlimited possibilities of thrilling actions to demanding challenges, the world is your oyster or perhaps, in this case, the sea. Besides offering exhilarating thrills, freediving also offers peacefulness and relaxation!

    If you’re wondering that the difference is between a freediver and a scuba diver, there is a difference. Freedivers typically have a different goal from scuba divers who usually dive to observe aquatic life and enjoy the aquatic environment. Freedivers, on the other hand, attempt to achieve a depth or dive time to challenge oneself and push one’s limits although they also enjoy the beauty of the underwater environment.

    Freedivers, on the other hand, don’t just dive for the beauty of the sea life but their main aim is usually to attempt to achieve a depth or dive time to challenge oneself and push one’s limits although they also enjoy the beauty of the underwater environment.

    The beauty of freediving is that it’s suitable for all ages and adds a high level of physical fitness. You enjoy a truly new diver experience, undisturbed of breathing noise or heavy scuba equipment.

    Freediving has been described as “To go as long, as far or as deep underwater on a single breath of air”. It is, in short, a challenge which help you push your boundaries like never before and it gives you total freedom to move and glide underwater in the most natural way.

    The sport has now reached our shores in Malaysia. Safety is essential when you’re attempting any sport, especially any underwater sport. Scuba Schools International (SSI) is just the place for you to do so as safety is key for them. SSI is a world-recognised scuba diving association that began training Freedivers a few years ago. It became successful in the scuba diving industry by creating quality course materials and employing progressive educational systems.

    All SSI courses provide the student with training manuals and student videos and are organised to be both safe and fun. With SSI’s signature water training method – “Comfort through Repetition” – you can learn the new skills safely through repetition your actions become conditioned responses and second nature.

    SSI Freediving Instructors also make the learning come alive with personalised instruction and support. So, if this sport interests you, you can now learn to do so through the SSI Freediving Program, and best of all, you can learn to free dive at your own pace!

    For more information on freediving, check out this website or contact Nick Khoo at smb@divessi.com.

  • Living,  Travel

    10 Places To See Before They Disappear!

    For those of you who travel and have been on a mission to see as much of the world as you can, and ticking off places on your bucket list, this is for you.

    Our world is indeed a beautiful place but unfortunately, there are some issues that are affecting some places in more ways than one. Some of these places, of which are some of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, are even in a threat of disappearing. So, in case you’re inspired to set out to see a few before they disappear, this infographic is a good start to give you an idea of where to visit.

    The infographic below shows the amount of time each destiantion has until it eventually disappears. Hopefully, these places would be doing their best to come up with a solution to avoid this from happening but since there is a threat for it disappearing, it is best to try to go see these places before it’s too late.

    Traveling is an education in itself as one learns new world cultures, experiences new things and sees new things, which cannot be replaced. For your next holiday, plan to see some of these amazing treasures before they disappear. You only live once so live it to the full!