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