14 October 2012

As a Featured Blogger


I always thought that I am invisible in the blog world. I just blog for fun and hopefully someday, my nieces or nephews can read all my adventure journey when I was gone.

On the way to Yokohama, I just got an email from Mr. Admin from Borneocolours.com . He informed me that I had been chosen as the featured blogger for the website. And we will interviewed me with a few questions regarding my blog.

I replied to him immediately to send me the interview question because I only had a phone coverage only for a few days. (I am a seafarer, only got a phone coverage when I am near to the land). Then he send me 10 questions.

You can click the link below the web screenshot for the website. But, here is the question and my answers.

Intro about myself
I was born in 1985 in Kuching, Sarawak. I was the student of College Datu Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah. Then, continued my study at Matriculation College, and later at University of Malaya in Mechanical Engineering.

Now I am a marine engineer and been sailing in LNG vessel for the biggest shipping company in Malaysia. My work duration is 6 months, and then will be having a holiday for 3 months. As I been sailing abroad and having a very long holiday, that is the main reason I become a travel blogger.

Q1 How did you get into the world of blogging?
I was started blogging in 2008. It was like my online diary where I told everyone what had happened surrounding me. My parents used to read my entries back then because from my blog, they can updated the news about me. They were in Kuching and I was in KL.

But from time to time, most of my entries was about traveling, then I decided to have my own domain and choosing travel as my main topic. And now, I am not only into blogging but also vlogging (blogging through a video). Check out my youtube channel: mytravellicious.

Q2 Do you have any blogger or blog which inspires you the most in travel blogging? Tell us about it.
Yes! One is a “backpackingdad”. He is a single father with a son, still a baby. So he travel around the world with his baby!. He brings his baby with the baby shoulder bag on his back everywhere he go. Very good entries and entertaining.

Another is about a girl also travel around the globe with her teddy bear. I mean very big teddy bear. She brought her teddy bear everywhere she go, such as to the museum, beach, pub, riding a bicycle and etc. Her teddy bear become the magnet of attraction for her to get to the locals. Plus her teddy bear had taken photos with a thousand of people. Cool right? But I forget her name and her blog. But still follow her on the facebook.

Q3 So far, how many places have you visited since you started your blog?
Since I started my blog, I had visited 12 countries. But remember 1 thing, the number is not important. Even you had visited 100 countries but you only staying only 1-2 days per country and doing nothing that you can remember, what’s the point right?

Just enjoy your stay and your travel moments; it is OK if you spend so much time only in one country, as long as you gain valuable experiences. For example Indonesia, the country is so big. Every main island has their own culture and identity, so just take your time to explore the country.

Q4 You are currently traveling to Japan right now, what is the main attraction that you are looking forward to?

My job required me to travel. Every two weeks, I will arrive in Japan or South Korea or Taiwan. So today, as I write this, I am now in Yokohama, Japan. I always love Japanese food. The tempura restaurant is a must. Plus, Japan is a shopping heaven. Every time I am in Japan, I will hunt for the electric & electronic items. Yodabashi camera shop is one of my favorite outlets.

Q5 What advice can you give to aspiring travel bloggers out there who are trying out for the first time.

First thing, just be honest and be who you are. Do not refer from any travel blog. Just gave the opinion from what you had experiences. Photos is a must for a travel bloggers. Always think what’s make your blog unique from others travel blog. As for my blog, every my blog entry, will have a VLOG entry.

Q6 A blogger once asked what is the best camera to bring while they are traveling; any recommendations and tips you want to give about this?

It’s depends on your purpose. If you like photography, of course I recommended the DSLR. But, as an independent solo backpacker, I used mini-DSLR Sony Nex C3 for my last trip. It was not too bulky, shot very high quality pictures and videos, highly recommended

Do not waste much time taking photos until you forgot to enjoy the moments of the places. A traveler without observation is a bird without wings. Sometimes, the photos can’t describe the feels you had when you visited one place, but the photos last forever.

Q7 What is the best ever experience you ever had so far while traveling?

The fast boat journey from the Huay Xai (North Thai-Laos border) to Luang Prabang, Laos. The fast boat took about 8 hours to reach the destination. In one fast boat, there were only 6 passenger and 1 boat driver. Most of the travelers are afraid to ride the fast boat because it is quite dangerous and most of them taking a slow boat (took about 2 days). Most of the accident at the Mekong River involving the fast boat. The fast boat is just a small boat and very light. Glad fully, I was arrived in Luang Prabang safely.

The scenery along the journey was so breathtaking. I am very proud to mention that I traveled the Mekong River using the fast boat. Not all the traveler had those experiences. It’s only for the “strong heart”. You can watch my fast boat journey VLOG at my youtube channel: mytravellicious.

VLOG: Fast Boat Journey from Thai to Luang Prabang, Laos

Q8 Back in Kuching, what is your favorite place to hang out?

I always hang out with my best buddies “ILEQ-ILEQ” café at reservoir park. The café surround by nature. There is a stage for you if you want to karaoke and you dare enough to sing in front of the crowd. I used to sing on a stage even though I have a frog voice, confident is most important!

You also can watch football match from the big screen. They also provide the 8-ball pool. If you like playing card & board games, they also provided those things. It also close very late at night.

Q9 Any other places that you are dreaming to go to in the future?

I would love to go to Machu Pichu in Peru & Bora-Bora Island someday.

Q10 For the last question, share with us a latest photo of you in Japan.

So guys, if you are from Borneo, just join Borneocolours.com ya!

04 October 2012

Bandung, Indonesia | 50 days Backpacking Journey | Episode 19

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Backpacking for 50days | Episode 19

WATCH NOW!  VLOG: mytravellicious at Bandung, Indonesia
Visit my Youtube channel for more videos!: www.youtube.com/mytravellicious

It’s Raining
I arrived in Bandung around 5 pm from Yogyakarta. The 9 hours train journey was amazing experience. I journey here. It was raining when I arrived in Bandung. I choosed to walk to the hostel from the train station because I was informed that the hostel location is quiet near from the station. I refer to the hostel location map they emailed me after my reservation. I walked past the Hilton hotel, entering the Pascal Hyper Square, and there it is, my hostel, Hunny Hostel Bandung!

The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it -Rudyard Kipling-

Hunny Hostel Bandung
I will post about this hostel in my next entry. In Jakarta, I also stayed in Hunny Hostel. So, in Bandung, I booked the hostel early because I do not want any problem with my accommodation plan. In Bandung, it is quiet limited choices of hostel. So, Hunny Hostel Bandung is very highly rated & recommended in hostelworld.com. It is so near to the train station.

At Hunny Hostel, Bandung
Pascal Hyper Square
It is situated near the train station and next to the Hilton. Pascal Hype Square is a new town which consist of many shoplots. This is where Hunny Hostel situated. A lot of restaurant. The best thing is, there is a very big food court. You can choose variety of food in here.

Pascal Hyper Square
Train Station
Why I chose the place near the train station? Because it is like a hub for minivans @ Angkot. Every minivan will stop here or at least they will put the route “STASION” in front of their minivan. So it was easy for me, to get back to my hostel!

Train rail in Bandung
Second time
It was my second time here in Bandung. Its bring back a lot of memories. My last time to Bandung was on 2007. When my university, University of Malaya, sent out 4 university’s representative for  a student exchange programme with the University of Pasundan, Bandung. It was 2 weeks of program. Last time I stayed in Cimahi area, quite far from the town and very near with the strawberry farm. I made a lot of friends back then.  During my last visit, I already went to a lot of attraction places. So, for this journey, I planned that I will only cover places which I never had a chance to go before.

Art of gravity at the wall of train rail
In Bandung, Indonesia language is a universal.  Sunda language also important in Bandung. I learn a little bit Sundanese, such as “Punten” then they will answer  “Mangan”. You used the word as to polite people if you want to cross in front of them. Sort of.

The monuments
Heaven of shopping
If you are shopaholic, and this is very suitable place for you. Very cheap apparels here sold everywhere. So many factory outlets. Shopping is not really relevant on this trip. I do not want to increase my backpack weight. But, I can’t resist my disease (shopaholic), I had shopped a lot apparel and my weight of backpack increased! Duh! Anyway, who can’t resist to buy YSL jacket only less than RM100? Me! Hahaha. Rumah Mode is one of the example you need to go!.

House of Mode, Factory Outlet
In Bandung, there were so many monuments you can find. So, when I googling about the monuments in Bandung, there was a very long list. Of course I need to choose which one I need to go. Every monuments have their own story. And every monuments will represent the places. I always searching for the unique monuments for my memories of photo. It was like “I’ve been there!”

Train monument at the trains station area
Menara Lautan Api
I went to this place with my hostel owner help. He gave me a direction and which minivan I should choose and how much. It’s not very popular with tourist. It just a recreation park where only this landmark at the centre of it. There was 1 very old uncle, approached me when I was taking the videos. He wants to try my camera. I saw him that he could be trusted. He is an ex-photographer for the newspaper. So he gave me some advice about the camera and he’s quite impress with the technology today. He also told me the stories about the monuments. In translation, Monument of Ocean of the Fire. Watch my VLOG above, it was took around the park where the monument situated.

Monument of Lautan Api
Tangkuban Perahu
I went to Tangkuban Perahu with my friend from UK, Stephen. We took a minivans from town to go to Lembang, and from Lembang to Tangkuban Perahu. It was raining that morning. Luckily I brought my raincoat. Stephen planning to go trekking around the craters. I never plan of it and not prepared. I just wear a pair of sandal not a shoes!. So, when we already opposite of assembly point (half of the circle of the crater), the hiking become so hard. The sulphur gases everywhere. I became frighten, and I told Stephen to go back! This was live or dead experience. I hate crater. It was like, you are lucky enough to get out there safely and no natural disaster happen.

Tangkuban Perahu Crater
Ciater Hotspring
After tiring so-called hiking in Tangkuban Perahu, our next destination is Ciater Hotspring. Stephen did not plan this. I did. So, I said to him just follow me. We had lunch in the restaurant. After our stomach full, we start to swim in a hotspring pool. It was so amazing. Love it. And worth it to go.!

Ciater Hotspring
Tea Plantation
Along the way to Ciater Hotspring, I asked the driver to stop to the tea plantation. Oh, this was my first time to tea plantation. I never been to Cameron Highland. Guilty!

Tea Plantation
Don’t forget to try Sunda & Padang food while you here. For Padang Foods, the tips is do not try to eat only a little portion of dish, you will need to pay full price, every food you touch you need to pay. Martabak Bandung is one of the famous food. There were so many flavors you can choose. It’s look alike “APAM BALIK”, but instead of peanut, they change to chocolate, or strawberry or cheese and etc. “Siew Mai” also worth to try.

Siew Mai in Bandung

Read Others: 50 days Backpacking Journey

Episode 19: Bandung, Indonesia + VLOG
Episode 14: Indo Food Invasion

15 July 2012

VLOG Summary, Yogyakarta, Indonesia | 50 days Backpacking Journey | Episode 18

Backpacking for 50days | Episode 18
VLOG Summary
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta is one of my favorite places in Indonesia. It is calm and rich of cultures. Here are my VLOGs for journey in Yogyakarta. Enjoy!

Read Others: 50 days Backpacking Journey

Episode 18: VLOG Summary, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Episode 17: Hunny Hostel, Bandung, Indonesia
Episode 14: Indo Food Invasion

12 July 2012

Hunny Hostel, Bandung, Indonesia | | 50 days Backpacking Journey | Episode 17

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Backpacking for 50days | Episode 17
Hunny Hostel
Bandung, Indonesia

Business Card Hunny Hostel, front view

Bandung Branch
In my last Jakarta trip, I was stayed in one of the Hunny Hostel branch. You can read my review here. Also in Bandung, I chose to stay at Hunny Hostel. You can check out their website here.

Hunny Hostel Business Card, back view
Highly Rated
It is very limited choices of cheap accommodation in Bandung. I booked this hostel through hostelbookers.com. Based on the costumer reviews, there was quiet promising.

Free Coffee/Tea all day long
Convenient Location
I love where it is situated. Near the train station is a bonus for this place. It also situated in a Pascal Hyper Square where it is a new town next to the Hilton. There was a huge food court where you can get your food easily. A lot of restaurant shop lots.  24 hours convenience store is easy to get.

Friendly Staffs
Do not get surprise when I say the staffs only its owner. The family lives at the hostel. Their son slept in a dorm same room with you. Mr. Micheal and wife are really helpful. Just asked anything, I’m sure he will help you. 

Watching TV area, or you can play your laptop here. Wifi area.

The Dorm Room
The dorm room is really big. They got 6 double decker bed. So in 1 dorm room, consists of 12 persons. There were 6 of us in the room when I stayed there. 2 from Vietnam, 1 from UK, 1 from Russia, and 1 from Germany.

I'm with Stephen from UK. My roommate
The Price
If we talking about limited hostel in Bandung, for me it’s still cheap. Around RM30 per night. But, If you think its again, it is in Indonesia, you will think it expensive. Well it’s depend on you right. My budget for accommodation is under RM50 per day, so this hostel is acceptable

My review for Hunny Hostel Bandung at hostelbookers.com
You will not get Wifi in your room. Wifi quite fast at the TV area. The toilets are clean. The room air-conditioner is working fine and made the room cold enough. Free flow of coffee/tea. For breakfast, just a simple breakfast you will get such as toast bread with fruit jam.

The new town. Hunny Hostel is situated here, Paskal Hyper Square

mytravellicious Rating

Character: 75% Good, simple & clean. The lounge is small but still comfortable. Not to crowded. 

Fun: 80% I enjoy my stay. The owner & family were very friendly. Because the place is small, you can always mingle around.

Security: 70% No key for any guesthouse. Just hope nobody will enter the hotel with bad intention. No lock for the dorm room door. But you have your own locker.

Staffs: 100% Very very friendly and helpful.

Cleanliness: 95% Very clean

Facilities: 85% WiFi can't reach your dorm. TV lounge is satisfactory. Toilets are clean. Breakfast is ok.

Location: 100% WoW! Very good location... only 10 minutes from Train Station & the hub of Angkots (Minivans)

Price: 75% Not that cheap. Standard price for hostel in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

The price for 2 nights

Read Others: 50 days Backpacking Journey

Episode 14: Indo Food Invasion

10 July 2012

Tangkuban Perabu, Bandung, Indonesia | 50 days Backpacking Journey | Episode 16

Backpacking for 50days | Episode 16
Tangkuban Perahu Craters

 WATCH NOW! VLOG: mytravellicious at Tangkuban Perahu, Bandung, Indonesia
Visit my Youtube channel for more videos!: www.youtube.com/mytravellicious

 Travel Companion
At first, I was planned that I will visit this crater alone. So, I there will no time to be wasted because I always moved fast. As I took breakfast that morning at the hostel, I told the owner about my plan to visit Tangkuban Perahu. The hostel owner, Mr. Micheal always been very helpful and giving many information. Stephen from UK, overheard my conversation, and asking me whether can he follow me because I know the local language, so it would be easy. I had no problem at all, having a companion of 1 is good enough. Not so boring and we can always share our stories. Actually I knew Stephen since I was in Jakarta. He also stayed at Hunny Hostel Jakarta. I met him when checking-out the hostel, and told me that he will go to Bogor then to Bandung. So when I met him again, I recognized him automatically. Anyway, he emailed me last 2 months about he is visiting my place, Kuching. Too bad I was working and not around. But, glad he had a good time in Kuching!

With my pink raincoat!

I'm with Stephen from UK at my hostel
Hunny Hostel to Tangkuban Perahu by Minivan
From Paskal Hyper Square main gate, turn left walking about 5 minutes, till the “Point Minimarket”, then take cream color with brown line minivan which route “St Hall – Lembang” price Rp 6k. Stop at “Lembang Wet Market”, take yellow color minivan, ask price to go to Tangkuban Perahu Kawah, bargain for Rp 20k – Rp 30k. Need to pay entrance fee at the entrance gate, it cost Rp55k. It takes around 2 hours from hostel to get there. The last public transport on the way back finish around 4pm. For us, the driver asked for 150k rupiah, for Tangkuban Perahu, Tea Plantation & Ciater Hotspring. He will waited for us. So, I think even though it was not cheap, but it was a good deal.

Smile but in my heart who knows....
The Story
30km north of Bandung, Tangkuban Perahu (translation: Overtuned Boat) is a huge active volcanic crater. Of course every place have their own story right? Legend tells of a god challenged to build a huge boat during a single night. His opponent, on seeing that he would probably complete this impossible task, brought the sun up early and the boat builder turned his nearly completed boat over in a fit of anger.

The Crater
Queen Crater
The huge Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater) at the top is impressive, but as cars can also drive right here, it is a weekend tourist trap with the usual parade of touts offering eggs to cook in the crater’s scalding surface. A park entrance fee is 20k rupiah. That morning, the mist was so think until we can’t barely see any of the crater. Plus it was raining and also very slippery. When you want to go to this crater, there were many so-called guide want to guide you to the crater. Just ignored them!

Our trekking begins here...
For safety, check the volvano’s activity status first with the tourist information centre in Bandung. But I always feel unsafe when I was here. This is because the volcano is active and you do not know what will happen right? Your heartbeat will pumping out fast. You feel like you want to get out there as soon as possible. As I said, it was a live or die experience. For the touts, do not make any contact with them, you do not know what the blackmagic they used. If you asking for the price, there will be so many of them will approach you and make you buy their item. So, prevent better than a cure. Do not approach them, just walk straight and pretend you not hear anything and see anything.

The slippery route
Escape the crowds
You can escape the crowds by walking (anticlockwise) around the main crater and along the ridge between the two craters, but parts of it are steep and slippery. Yes, we did it. Even though it was raining and slippery, Stephen decide we follow the trail, and hike until me made the round of the crater. Meaning, from starting point, will walk and hike along the two crater until you reached your starting point again. It was so scary, I never expected this. I just plan to take a photo where I should be. I just used a a pair of sandal, not a shoe. Walk along the ridge, you will see the sign of dangerous sulphur gas everywhere, and the smell of chemically uncomfortable. After we arrived at the between to of the crater, we took a rest, there was a half round to go. But the trail become steep and slippery and scary, so I suggested Stephen to go back because I do not think it was very good idea. Gladly, we were coming back at the assembling point safely.

View from the opposite of the assembling point

Another crater.... not that active...
Domas Crater
Safer and more interesting is the walk to Kawah Domas, an active volcanic area of steaming vents and bubbling pools about 1km down from the car park. Just ignored all the so called guide which were very annoying. They will told you, it was very dangerous to go by your own.

The horses dancing in the rain

05 July 2012

VLOG Summary, Jakarta, Indonesia | 50 days Backpacking Journey | Episode 15

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Backpacking for 50days | Episode 13
VLOG Summary
Jakarta, Indonesia

Here are all the VLOG I made for my previous JAKARTA backpacking trip. Do visit my youtube channel: mytravellicious for more videos.

National Monument
 Safari Park Trip, Bogor
Baby Orang Utan & Baby Tiger

Cars Free Day

Students Demonstration

Batavia, Old Jakarta

Read Others: 50 days Backpacking Journey

Episode 14: Indo Food Invasion

02 July 2012

Foods Invasion, Indonesia | 50 days Backpacking Journey | Episode 14

Backpacking for 50days | Episode 14 
Foods Invasion, INDONESIA

Trying new kind of menu during your traveling is a must. Here, I want to compile all the foods which I had ate during my last journey in Indonesia. Some of them I forgot to take a photo. Because its been a while, I already forgotten their name.

Martabak Bandung in Jakarta, Expensive! "Apam Balik" in Malaysia
EsTeler in Jakarta
At Solaria Skydining Plaza Semanggi. Jakarta.
ABC in Jakarta.
Indonesia Traditional Mix Rice. Safari Park. Bogor
Omelette. Safari Park. Bogor.
Siew Mai. Same like "Pasembor in Malaysia. Jakarta.
Soto Ayam. Jakarta.
Mix of traditional food. At Purawisata Yogyakarta Buffet Dinner.
Satay. At Purawisata Yogyakarta Buffet Dinner.
Gudeg. Yogyakarta Traditional dish. At Purawisata Yogyakarta Buffet Dinner.
Fried Bakmi. At Purawisata Yogyakarta Buffet Dinner.
Fried Sambal. At Purawisata Yogyakarta Buffet Dinner.
Martabak Telur. Yogyakarta
Siew Mai. Bandung.
Chicken Rice Special. Bandung
Vegetable Soup. Bandung.
Fried Rice. Bandung.
Noodles. Bandung.
Fish And Chips. Bandung.
Fruits for breakfast. Bali.
Coconut. Sanur. Bali

Read Others: 50 days Backpacking Journey

Episode 14: Indo Food Invasion