Sydney, Australia

After numerous arrangements and scheduling, we finally got ourselves a family trip. It's also a trip to visit my niece and sister, also my brother in law in New Zealand.

After the tiring flight, we had around 6 hours of free time in Sydney, Australia. We contemplated if we should head out and visit some places or we should stay in the airport. 

Though, after checking with the lady at the information counter, we had an idea of roughly how long it'll take for us to visit a few places and still had enough time to catch our next flight. 

We also checked out our transportation options and decided that the four of us would be cheaper to get a cab. And boy, it's anything but cheap. 

We got in the cab and the middle eastern cab driver seemed nice. After knowing where we're from, he seemed eager to share his cab experience in Malaysia. Heh, I guess we all knew where we're headed in this conversation. 

He talked about how he was charged RM80 for his ride from the hotel to a restaurant not too far away. And that he told the taxi driver that he's a muslim too and he's fine paying but he do not condone such behavior. 

After all that, we got off the taxi and boy, it was literally the most expensive taxi I've ever ridden before (after currency conversion). The ride was around 10-15km and the fare was approximately RM120 lol.  

We decided to check out Circular Quay which was recommended by the nice lady at the information counter. 

The weather was nice, not too warm not too cold. The place was not too crowded as well. But other than the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, there's nothing much. 

 But it's still better than sitting on a bench in the airport for 6 hours.  

Creepy face. I guess it'll look awesome during night time when everything is lit up. Too bad, can't wait. 

With around 45 minutes before our next flight, we fetched another cab and headed back to the airport. It's gonna be another 3-4 hours of flight to Christchurch, sigh. 

Koh Lipe revisit Part 2, Thailand

It's day 2 of my revisit to Koh Lipe, Thailand. The main activity will be snorkeling and some island hopping!

This is our ride. We don't usually use a tour guide when we travel but the perks of having one here is to have the entire boat to ourselves. We get to stay at a location as long as we want without dealing with other visitors. 

Hat Yai part 2, Thailand

After one whole day of messing around and trying out local delicacies, we dozed off and called it a day. 

On the following day, the guide took us to a nice Dim Sum place for breakfast. The weather wasn't looking very good, it rained quite a bit in the night and the weather looked gloomy. 

Hat Yai part 1, Thailand

It's been 2 years since we last visited the beautiful Koh Lipe, Thailand. So we and a couple of friends decided to check out the place and also Hat Yai in a 6 days 5 nights trip. 

Once we got off the airport, we were starving for some local food. The guide (click here for itinerary info, cost and more) brought us to his favorite restaurant. 

Kyoto, Japan

After years of enjoying animes and mangas, we've finally decided to visit Japan. Well of course, the flight tickets discount helped too.

You know you're in Japan when everything is cute.

 First stop, Fushimi Inari Shrine. Terrible weather, everything look dim and sad. Though it was quite cold (very under dressed). Luckily it wasn't as crowded as I thought, so it's not that bad.

Peep hole. Photos got rather noisy at this point, gloomy weather.

Obligatory blessed water drinking. Was praying hard for the clouds to go away.

Candid shot is always better than pretentious try hard model wannabe shots.

Interesting origami hung along the fence. I was told that these were made by people that wished for something. And the prettier the origamis were made the better their chances of getting their wish fulfilled. 

Time for some local street food. Takoyaki and some skewered pork dipped in some kinda sweet soy sauce. Delicious!

These gates are built along the path way to the top of the mountain (233 meters. Yes, we climbed all the way to the top and our legs regretted every single step). I see different names from different organizations written on these gates. Presumably donated by them. 

I've waited quite a while for this shot. The crowd obviously swarmed the place given the most popular spot in the place. 

The water is freezing cold, they're using it to keep the drinks ice cold. Again, terribly under dressed. 

Typical tourist shot, also an excuse to stop and rest. My legs were breaking apart at this point.

Cat clearly knew how tired we were.

Big groups of students on their way in. So those field trips shown in animes are real. Very jealous. :(

So we left the shrine and searched for a place to rest and eat. It's not hard to look for the type of food that you wanted in Japan. It's almost customary to have plastic food dishes presented near every restaurant, and they are often labeled with price. 

At around 5:30pm, it's already dark. We headed back to the hostel and rested for a bit. We walked around the area, searching for convenient stores. 

Kyoto part 2, Japan

We saw an interesting scene in an anime (K-On) where the school girls visited a mountain and fed some monkey. We did some research and this place is highly recommended. It's the monkey park in Iwatayama.

We saw a couple of these rickshaws around but never got on to try this as we wanted to walk, looks fun. I guess it's a lot more enjoyable if you understands Japanese as it looks like some sorta tour around the area, in Japanese.

Never got sick of these takoyaki, Takoyaki in Japan is best takoyaki. The toppings are different from store to store.

On our way to Iwatayama monkey park. We got lost originally and took the wrong path. Had to ask around and got pointed towards the correct direction. We reached the entrance and was a bit worried that it'll be a flop as it's dead quiet. Not a single tourist was spotted.

God damnit, we're only half way there. And I got more and more nervous as our entire hike, we only saw like 1 person going down hill. 

Finally here! Luckily we kept on going despite the lack of visitors. Most of the visitors were hanging out here on the top. We proceeded in to the small house. We get buy some peanuts here and we're only allowed to feed the monkeys from within the room. We might get mugged if we brought deez nutz outside. 

Once we're done feeding them, we got out to chill with them monkeys. They're pretty well behaved. I guess they're aware that they could only get food around the feeding house.

Here's the view of the area. We hiked all the way up from the bottom. Jesus, that's twice now, with BAD SHOES!

We headed down and saw some street food. This is some rice cake/egg thinggy. Nice and juicy.

Doraemon's favorite, dorayaki. 

Saw this crazy crowded store, filled with girls. Got in and the entire store is filled with handcrafted souvenirs. Immediately understood why the store was filled with girls. lol

Everything is so well made. Not one deformed stuff animal was found.

We then took the train and visited Arashiyama for the beautiful extensive bamboo grove. There are several spots with pretty dense bambo grove so actually kinda got lost in the area but the place is still beautiful nonetheless. 

After some nice stroll through the scenic area, we arrived at Daikakuji Temple. In most part of the temple, you're required to wear their cloth slipper so you don't damage the floor. You'll know why later.

The temple is very well kept and the established pathway for the visitors are very scenic.

How well kept? Look at the floor, it's like a friggin mirror!

Stay tune for more! :D