Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Radisson Hotel, Noida

In my recent trip to New Delhi, I stayed in the Radisson Hotel in Noida. This hotel is 3-4 years old/new. It is situated in the centre of the Noida district, very near to many office buildings.

It has a very strategic location, as traveling from the hotel to any offices takes only 10 to 15 minutes.

This hotel is very beautiful with nice interior and varieties of restaurants. Its Indian restaurant, RED, is rated the best Indian restaurants in town. Similarly it also has an award winning oriental restaurants.

I love this hotel, but it is very costly, just like any other hotels in India. It costs me INR 16,200 per night (c. RM1,500) inclusive of breakfast and airport transfer. With the same cost, I can probably stay in a 5 star hotel in KL for 4 or 5 nights.

An alternative is to stay in Delhi, an hour drive from the office area. The savings is not great, but still big. Intercontinental Hotel can cost around INR 11,800 per night (c. RM1,000).
For the comfort and convenience, I prefer Radisson. But for the cost and the fact that I can earn reward points, I prefer the InterContinental The Grand in New Delhi, Connaught Place. :) So, who says loyalty/reward point system doesn’t work?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Holiday on Cruise

Apart from a few dream holiday places of mine, I also long to be on a cruise for a holiday.

Since young, I have been wishing to go on a real cruise, but know that it is very expensive. Those cheaper ones in Malaysia are the Star Cruises, which my mom and sister have been. It stopped by at Phuket Island and came back to port Klang.

Based on that experience, my sister told me it is not fun, as most of the activities are targetted at young kids. The main activity for the adults is gambling. :( This is so different from what I imaginated.

However, my friend won a prize to Carribean Cruise. Based on her experience, my impression on cruises is revived. They have many entertainment outlets for adults like Moulin Rouge showroom, cinema, game room, Karaoke, disco, etc. So, not just gambling!

Of course, going on big and nice cruises like the Hawaii Cruises, Alaska Cruises, European Cruises etc, would need us to fly to big cities like Venice, Barcelona, Rome, Seattle, Vancouver, Hawaii, etc.

One day. Yes, one day, I will do that - one of the things in my 'to-do-list-before-I-die'. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Lately, a few of my blogging buddies wrote about Paris. One of them said that, most people think of Paris they think of Paris Hilton.

Guess what? You must be laughing out loud that I am so outdated that I've never heard of Paris Hilton. I searched in Paris Accomodation for Hilton Hotels. Didn't find it.

Then, searched in wiki, only found out that that Paris Hilton is a woman. Paris Hilton doesn't mean Hilton Hotel in Paria! :P

Seriously, Paris to me, only means: Romance, Tourist, Cafes, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe... and recently added Robert Langdon from Da Vinci Code (by Dan Brown)! :P

I haven't been to Paris before. It is a city that I do not want to go on business trip. I'd certainly want to go with hubby. Knowing our styles, we will definitely look for cheap Accomodation in Paris, as we would most likely go backpack. Been talking about this with a friend few years ago. Maybe give it a couple of years more, we will do that!

[Brought to you by CheaperthanHotels.co.uk]

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Italy Experience

2 of my best friends went to Italy for their holiday, and returned with sour experience.

I met one of them last week, and got to know some of the detail. I'm waiting for her to give me the details in writing - I have bad memory which city and which hotel those things happened. After getting the details from her, I will share in this blog.

On the other hand, in this travel blog, it lists quite some Italy Highlights, includes things like basic Italy travel guide, things to do, maps, photos, restaurants, attractions, deals, etc.

But one thing I guess missing from this site is what to be caution/lookout for in Italy.

It is either their bad luck, or Italians are generally not friendly to Asians, their bad experience is in almost in every cities, throughout their whole trip!

Well, I guess their disappointment is also amplified with their high expectations before going. They've got too much of movies' influence, thinking that all Italians are warm and friendly. So, when they got cold treatments and being treated with disrespect, they were so disappointed.

[Brought to you by Real Travel]

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trips cancelled

My trips to Hanoi and Jakarta next week were cancelled, very last minute.

It was just yesterday that my boss told me to cancel them. Tickets were already issued so we will have to pay for a 'penalty' fee to airline. But the cost would be minimal compared to the total amount that the whole trip would take.

I was supposed to have a stressful trip next week. Original plan was to fly to Hanoi on Monday, conduct workshop on Tuesday, fly from Hanoi to KL and with 1h15min to transit to Jakarta. A very short time that can be easily screwed up if Hanoi-KL sector is delayed even slightly. If miss the flight to Jakarta I'd miss the last flight out.

But all worries no longer a concern, coz I'm not going anywhere for the rest of this year!

Why? Because we have just realized we blown our travel budget! When I tried to get the latest finance figure, I found out that the budget that we're working on, is entirely different from what finance has. The truth is, we've been using a wrong budget number - a complete screw up!

Now, eventhough I wished to go to Hanoi - a city I've never been to, I will have to wait for next year or go on my own expenses. Even next year, most likely any trip to Vietnam would be to HCMC instead of Hanoi - so sad, so disappointed!

Anyway, for this blog, instead of basing on my business trips, I will dig out something interesting from my holiday in New Zealand 2 years ago. I went there for 17-day trip, in a caravan - some experience to share.

I will also try to dig out the Perth photos to complement the post I wrote early this month.

These are what to expect from this blog in the near future.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bumpy Trips to Delhi

I’ve been to New Delhi 3 times in 4 years. All the 3 times, the flights were bumpy, all the way from Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi.

Yes, ALL THE WAY. Turbulence all the time.

In my first trip, I was 7 months pregnant. The seatbelt sign was switched on all the time. I need to pee, but was advised to sit down, until I couldn’t hole it any more. Hey! 5.5 hours, how to hold???

In my second and the last trips, the seatbelt sign was switched on 70% of the time. Drinks are hard to be kept on the table without spilling.
If we take statistics, it is 100% bumpy. Caution: small sample of n=3. :P

Monday, October 08, 2007

Perth, Australia

Before I got this job, I rarely traveled out of the country. The only few places that I've ever traveled to were: Singapore and Thailand. A year after our marriage, DH & I signed up for a tour to Perth, Western Australia.

Before we went, I got a lot of 'cold water' from people I know. The spontaneous reaction was like "Ergh! Why of all the places, you choose this boring place?" Some said, there is not much of entertainment, not much of night life, etc in Perth, and they said better to go to Sydney.

Now I think back, perhaps these negative comments helped to lower my expectation, I ended up enjoyed the trip very much. After so many years, and after visiting so many places (holiday or business), nothing could beat that Perth trip. It is the best trip I had in memory. Perhaps that time DH & my relationship was at the peak - it felt so romantic with your lover, wherever you go! People thought we were on our honey moon trip, hahahah!

We ended up with a lot of nice photos, and I made a very nice album of it -- those days without kids I had plenty of time. I even printed narrative in two languages (English and Chinese) for our album. People who've seen our album all wanted to go to Perth. :D :D

It was a 5D4N trip. Very eventful... It started very silly - our luggages flew to HK instead of Perth, and waited till the next day to return to Perth! A good lesson for me for all the future trips: to check the luggage tag before leaving the airport counter. :)

We stayed at Pier Street on the first day. I was told the best Perth accommodation is around the Pier Street (may be wrong). We didn't stay in very good 5 star hotel. Instead, the tour originally booked us in Miss Maud Hotel, but changed to Sebel Hotel. Not very great hotel, but considered decent amongst discount hotels.

Here is brief of things that we did/saw in Perth. As we arrived late just enough for dinner, the tour actually starts on the second day.

We first visited the Raeburn Orchard, which grows pear, persimmons, etc. As we visited Perth during winter, we couldn't see fruits on the tree - only bald trees! We bought some persimmons, very nice but expensive (RM48 for just 16 pieces!).

After the orchard, we went to the Caversham Wildlife Park, to feed kangaroos (with food on my palm and the kangaroos licked the food --> yulk, a lot of salivar!), saw koala bear, hug the fat and heavy wombat, etc. For a small fee, we could ride a camel too, but I didn't. Emu is also another attraction for me, and I had a chance to hold its egg for a pic - the egg is in green colour!! We also saw genetically modified white kangaroos!

In the afternoon, we went to the Pinelli Winery to taste and purchase wine, then headed to Matilda Lake Farm Chalets. First we had a Devonshire tea, plucked oranges fresh from the trees and ate at the spot, then we witnessed sheep sheering demonstrations.

Before dinner, we visited the farm behind a tractor. Over 20 people stuffed in a small 'cage'! I thought we were like inside the zoo for the farm animals to laugh at. :P When we reached the cow barn, all cows ran to us waiting to be fed. It was so fun letting them ate the fodder off from our hands. Their hair is very long, unlike the cows in my country. ;)

On the third day, we had an easy and lazy morning stroding in the farm before leaving back to the city. On the way, we stopped by at Lake Monger to see and feed black swans. Nothing great, just a lazy and easy day - I guess this is why people dislike Perth tour, but I enjoyed that pace.

Next we climed to the top of Mount Eliza for a stop at the King's Park. Here we could view the Perth city across the Swan River. Very nice view. We then moved to Fremantle for their 'must-have' --> fish & chips lunch. It is a harbour south of Perth, fish & chips is very common here. The Fremantle Markets sells all sorts of fruits, nougats (must-buy in Australia), toys, souvenirs and handicrafts. A bit like the Silk Street in Beijing, but more pleasant.

Before moving back to our hotel in Perth, we were brought to the casino. Nothing special, I think our Genting is even better.

On the 4th day, it was what I was waiting for -- the trip to the Pinnacles, in a 4WD. On the way, we stopped at Yanchep National Park, seeing all the wild animals and plants all that. Actually, now I think back, if I went without that nice tour guide, it would have been a different story. A lot of the fun parts are because we understood and we learnt, all from that guide. He did a very good explanation -- love him!

The highlight for the day was the Nambung National Park, home of amazing Pinnacles Desert. Thousands of limestone pillars rising out of the golden sand make the pinnacles desert a unique attraction of Western Australia. Unfortunately it was raining. :(

We also went to the sand dunes, did sand boarding. I was the second person to be pushed down the sand slope. The moment I was pushed down, I was so scared that I screamed out loudly for my mom! In my mind, I blamed myself for risking my life and I still wanted to live for many years. Very shamefull. :P It was very exciting, and I actually played a second round. :)

On the last day (5th), it was free and easy. DH & I took the whole morning walking in the town, seeing the Swan Bell Towel, which housed the 14th century Bells of St Martins from Trafalgar Square, London. Not sure what it means, not something that I can emphatize with. :P

That's the end of our tour. There is only one thing that I regret about the trip - not able to see the wild flowers during winter. I bought some postcards - they are marvelous!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blogging Tips Meme

Got this tag from Sean. Actually his other tag in the same link is more fun to do. Hahaha!

Back to this tag - it is easy, just share with us about your tips in blogging:
Copy the list below and star five of your favourite ones, add your own tip and pass it on
1. Look, read, and learn.
2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other.
3. Don’t let money change ya!
4. Always reply to your comments.
5. Blog about what you know & love.
6. Don’t use filthy language-buy a dictionary.
*7. Blog about something educational.
8. Be yourself; others will follow.
9. Don’t have too many blogs that will become a chore to maintain.
10. Keep it simple, user-friendly, interesting and organized!
*11. Keep the blog simple and sweet!!!
12. Share with others your thoughts and don’t be shy!
*13. Never ask for link exchange. Blog hop to increase traffic.
14. Don’t clutter your blog with ads all over the place. IT’S IRRITATING.
15. Don’t comment for the sake of commenting. Some looked too fake and its a big turn off!
16. Share something interesting and you will gain more readers.
17. Show that we care to all bloggers, treat each other as friends.
18. Pictures say a million words. Keep them coming!
19. Blogging should be fun or you’ll get tired of it pretty soon.
20. Don’t think people will come to your blog if you’re not willing to pay a visit to them.
21. Everyone loves read short posting and best, illustrated with a picture.
22. Try not to publish more than 5 posts in one blog a day. Even if it’s from feed reader, it’s quite hard to digest and catch up reading everything.
23. Blog: the other window to peek into people’s life, minus the trouble. Keep a certain level of privacy to yourself.
*24. Never tell your readers that you are going on vacation. That’s basically telling them to not visit your blog for a week. Instead, write several posts, and take advantage of the timestamp feature.
25. Try and write with people in mind that are “somewhat similar to you”. Allow your audience to identify with your blog and feel “at home”.
26. The key to a good article is a good introduction. A joke, a question or a picture does wonders.
27. If you are looking to earn an income blogging read StevePavlina.com and Problogger.net, you will be amazed at what you can learn.
28. Write for yourself first. Remember that it takes time, effort, patience…and above all, daring. [The Laidback Buddhist]
*29. Enjoy what you write, so that reader can enjoy reading it too – Life’s Roller Coaster~
30. Use pictures in support of your writing, let readers more easier to understand~! - Lifelongsharing.com
31. Write personal experience, do not be a copycat.
*****************************************************************************************************Ok, let’s see other people’s opinions~

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Movies Onboard

I’ve always disliked sitting the old airbus flying certain sectors like Beijing and Delhi. The seats are old and can only recline slightly just to make one comfortably sitting up – not lying down. Unless one is extremely tired, it would be hard to sleep. Unfortunately these 2 sectors’ flights usually require overnight sleep.

Flights to Beijing usually depart at 12:30 midnight and arrive at 6:30am. Return flights from Delhi usually leave at 2am (KL) and arrive at 7am. Really don’t understand why MAS hasn’t upgraded these planes yet.

Anyway, going back to the topic of this post – movies. These old aircrafts not only have seats that are uncomfortable, they also do not have individual screens for movies. So, you can’t sleep and you have no entertainments unless you want to read the whole night.

In my last trip to Delhi, I was surprised by MAS’s effort to meet this need! They’ve introduced a portable entertainment device, just like their normal TV screens but wireless.

They gave that out after completed take-off. It has a stand, just like a photo frame, to be put on the table for viewing.

It looks like MAS really put a lot of effort trying to satisfy their customers. Changing the aircrafts is too costly from business POV. Instead, they innovatively introduced the portable entertainment units, much inexpensive but equally effective.

The only set backs of the devices are:
They occupy the table, which can be quite clumsy and troublesome during meal times.
They have relatively less programs installed.
Nevertheless, I’m happy with that. :D

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sydney, Australia

Sigh! How many times I've been telling that I've never been to Sydney? Not sure why I kept getting requests to write reviews on hotels in Sydney. I have rejected quite many of such requests, quite sad seeing money flies away like that. :P

I'm not very good at search engines, to be frank I only use Google. I know of wikipedia, but never thought of using it to search for locations like Sydney. This morning, my supplier sent me a link to wikitravel for Hanoi, as we are planning for a trip soon. This is when I tried looking for Sydney in wikitravel. The result is encouraging.

It is like a travel guide book, has an overview, geographical detail, history/people/climate/etc, how to get in, where to stay, how to get around, what to see, what to do, etc.

In the list of places to stay, it lists down cheap hotels, mid class hotels as well as what they call 'Splurge' hotels. Very useful site.

With that site, I learnt something new about Sydney, and really hope I get a chance to be there. But then... it is not my dream place after all. If I have the time and budget, I'd go other more exortic places, unless it is on business. Hahaha!