My Malaysia : The Alps of Borneo, Mount Kinabalu

Travel Profile:

Destination : Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang, Ranau and Tambunan, Sabah

Date : 9 – 12 Dec 2016

Duration : 3D/4N

Accommodation:

Kinabalu Private Lodges, Kundasang, Sabah

Travel buddy : 6 pax

Total cost : RM727


Cost Breakdown:

Flight & Accommodation: RM450

Flight Fare (return) : RM348/return (including meal & 30kg luggage)

Kinabalu Private Lodges, Kundasang : RM102/pax for 2 nights (RM320/room/night)

Miscellaneous Breakdown: USD222.15 (RM913)

 Transportation;

  • Car Rental – Toyota Avanza : RM92/pax for 4 days (RM550/car for 4 days)
  • Fuel : RM16/pax for 4 days (RM100 for 4 days)

Entrance Fees;

  • Desa Cattle Farm : RM5/pax
  • Kinabalu Park : RM3/pax (can be used for multiple park on the same day i.e. Poring Hot Spring)
  • Poring Canopy Walkway : RM3/pax additional RM5 fees to bring along camera
  • Mahua Waterfall : RM3/pax

Paragliding; RM150/pax

Total Cost : RM727/pax


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Road Trip to Kundasang via scenic route, Tamparuli-Ranau Highway

We had a short getaway to the ‘land beneath the wind’ in an enchanting Island of Borneo, to unwind and get in touch with the nature. A sip of highland fresh air, meditating beneath the curtain of refreshing waterfalls, and cruising from a parachute overlooking a mesmerizing view of endless untouched nature, was indeed rejuvenating.

Day 1;

A 2 hours flight from KLIA took us to the capital city of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu. We picked up our ride at Kota Kinabalu International Airport and kicked off our journey to the feet of the majestic Mount Kinabalu. A 2 hour drive (88km) to Kundasang, along Tamparuli-Ranau Highway which run across the Crocker’s Range offered scenic view of endless green valleys, fluffy white cumulus, and of course a sneak peek to the Southeast Asia’s Highest Mountain, Mount Kinabalu.

Pit stop 1 : Desa Cattle Farm

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Desa Cattle Farm overlooking the Alps of Borneo

A place where you’ll see heard of patchy black and white coated Friesians breed cattle grazing in an open 199 hectares farm with the Borneo Alps as the background – one word, stunning.

A family friendly place, where the whole family can experience an end to end milk production process, the kids would probably enjoy the petting barn where they could pat and feed the calves and goats and end the visit with a sip of freshly milked Desa Cattle’s dairy milk and Desa Gelato.

We voted it for the view and the fresh produce!

Entrance fees : RM5/adult and RM4/child

Opening Hours : 8am – 5pm

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Desa Gelato – fresh from farm.

Pit stop 2 : Kinabalu Private Lodges

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Kinabalu Private Lodge, view from the BBQ pit

Our stay for the next two days, a lodge with stunning sunrise view and within 5 minutes drive to Kinabalu Park. Overlooking the Mount Kinabalu, the peak of the mountain is best viewed at dawn and totally visible slightly before sunrise and before the clouds started covering the peak. The sunrise view is to die for, totally breathtaking.

We rented a 3 bedroom, 2 storey chalet which could comfortably fit 7 pax (max 10 pax), fully equipped with LCD TV, full kitchen and an outdoor cooking deck, 2 bathrooms with heaters. There are 2 barbecue pits around the resort and a campfire place, perfect for a barbecue night and get together.

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Stunning sunrise view from the lodge

The owner is exceptionally hospitable, I personally recommend this place, perfect scor

for hospitality, location, cleanliness, facilities, value for money – it’s just fabulous.

Check out their Facebook page;

https://www.Facebook.com/KinabaluPrivateLodges/

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Selamat Pagi Mount Kinabalu!

Friendly Tips:

Rainy season in Sabah will be around October to February. Although it is not heavy rains one will experience showers throughout the day with occasional sunshine in between and high chance of rainbow viewing. Best months for mount climbing are from February to April.

-End of day 1-

Day 2

We are blessed with a good weather today, sunshine almost the whole day and the rains only started pouring in the late afternoon.

Pit stop 1 : Kinabalu Park

Established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its “outstanding universal values” and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna. Source: Wikipedia

Entrance Fees :

Malaysian : RM3 (above 18 yo)/ RM1 (below 18 yo)

Non Malaysian : RM15 (above 18 yo)/ RM10 (below 18 yo)

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Kiau Gap Lookout Point at Kinabalu Park

Stop-over : Kiau Gap View

We stopped by at the Kiau Gap View, a look-out point which locate the 2015 Kinabalu Earthquake Monument to commemorate the 18 climbers and mountain guide, who lost their lives on Mount Kinabalu during the Kinabalu Earthquake on 5th June 2015. This look-out point offered a clear view of the Mount Kinabalu summit.

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Squirrel feeding at Timpohon Gate

Stop-over : Timpohon Gate

The gate where you can see the climbers got all geared up and the mountain guides gave a short briefing before they took off in the quest to conquer the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

There’s a look–out deck located above the gate overlooking the Mount K. We were entertained by a family of friendly squirrels at the look-out point and enjoyed feeding them so much.

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All geared up and ready to take off

Pit stop 2 : Borneo Paragliders Club, Kg Lohan, Ranau

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Paragliding with Borneo Paragliders overlooking the stunning view of Ranau

1 hour drive from Kundasang to Ranau Sports Complex and another 5 minutes journey by 4×4 took us to the Borneo Paragliders Club House in Kg Lohan, Ranau.

A paraglide tour of stunning Ranau naturescape from 2200 feet above sea level – it was phenomenal.

The paragliding package cost us RM150/trip which includes, a shuttle via 4×4 to and fro Ranau Sports Complex and Kg Lohan, where the paragliders took off, 5 -10 minutes paraglide tour navigated by professional licensed paraglider and a video of the flight via go pro at an additional RM30. Depending on the weather and the wind speed, the flight could take around 5 to 10 minutes before it landed.

This is my personal favorite, I enjoyed it the most, a perfect score.

http://www.borneoparagliders.com/

Pit stop 3 : Poring Hot Spring, Ranau

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Lush green rainforest trekking path at Poring Hot Spring

Another 30 minutes drive from Ranau Sports Complex took us to Poring Hot Spring. Besides the hot spring pools, this park also offers other interesting attractions including refreshing Kipungit Waterfall and 20 metres high Canopy Walkway in the middle of a tropical rain forest.

Friendly tips;

The entrance pass issued at either Kinabalu Park or Poring Hot Spring can be used interchangeably on the same day. Try as much as possible to cram this two parks on the same day, it could save you a few bucks.

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Canopy Walkway at Poring Hot Spring

Stop-over : Canopy Walkway

It took us half an hour trekking to reach Pondok Manggas where the Canopy Walkway Trail started.

A sturdy 373.6 metres suspension bridge was divided into 3 circuits at a height of 41 meters above the ground, is not the kind of gig for an Acrophobic.

Well we enjoyed it so much, the bridge allows only 6 persons to walk through it at a time, so no rush and enjoy the view and the view especially at the 2nd circuit was absolutely charming.

Entrance Fees :

Malaysian : RM3 (above 18 yo)/ RM1 (below 18 yo)

Non Malaysian : RM5 (above 18 yo)/ RM3 (below 18 yo)

Operating Hours : 8am – 4pm

Friendly tips:

  • The park charged an additional RM5 for usage of camera (including mobile phone camera) at the canopy walk – so if you traveled in a group it’s good to register only one device and keep the others to save cost.
  • Wear proper shoes as the path to Pondok Manggas is quite slippery especially during rainy season, slippers is not advisable unless you are OK with the after event blisters.
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Refreshing water of the Kipungit Fall

Stop-over : Kipungit Waterfall

We soaked ourselves in the chilly water of Kipungit Waterfall after a long hike from the Canopy Walkway, it was absolutely refreshing. We need to walk for another 15 minutes from the Canopy Walk exit to arrive at the waterfall.

Stop-over : Poring Hot Spring Pools

We took a half an hour dip in the hot spring pool to soak away the muscles sores and aches in the spring’s sulfuric minerals deemed to have healing properties before we call it a day. The hot spring is clustered into a Jacuzzi-like tub which can comfortably fit 2 adults at a time and there are also larger pools with lower temperature and water slides for kids.

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Poring Hot Spring Pool

-End of day 2-

Day 3

We took a morning walk at our private lodge before we bid farewell and checked out. We head west to Tambunan for another waterfall experience.

Pit stop 1 : Mahua Water Fall, Tambunan

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Behind the waterfall curtain at Mahua Fall

A scenic one and a half hours drive from Kundasang (70km) passing by a lush green paddy fields took us to one of the famous tourist attraction in Tambunan, The Mahua Waterfall. Located in the Crocker Range Park’s substation, the 17 metres cascading waterfall is the place if you fancy refreshing cold water swimming.

What I love about this place is the fact that there was a small pathway behind the waterfall curtain where you can pass by to get to the smaller pool which is an amazing spot for a photo stop.

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Walkway to the waterfall

The park has plenty of showers/changing room near the picnic hut and very clean toilets at the entrance too. There’s a restaurant, a prayer hall, chalet and camping site nearby too.

Entrance Fees :

Malaysian : RM3 (above 18 yo)/ RM1 (below 18 yo)

Non Malaysian : RM10 (above 18 yo)/ RM6 (below 18 yo)

Operating Hours : 8am – 5pm

Pit stop 2 : Dataran Todak Seafood Place, Kota Kinabalu

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Seafood galore at Dataran Todak, Kota Kinabalu

KK is famous for its cheap freshly caught seafood and Dataran Todak this is amongst the easily accessible food arena as it is located at the heart of KK town alongside with the famous Philippine Market and Pasar Besar Kota Kinabalu.

There were more than 30 stalls to choose from with wide range of seafood picks from giant lobster to seaweed in any style of cooking options of your preference be it grilled, steamed, deep fired, just name it, they ‘ll delivered it to your table.

We indulged in the seafood dining like we haven’t ate for 3 days as the food was really appetizing. The freshly cooked buttered prawn, grilled chili cockle and sweet and sour grouper is worth every bite. The best thing was, the price was reasonable for such big portion and it was really a value for money.

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Dinner by the quay at Dataran Todak

Pit stop 3 : Philippine Market

Drop by for some souvenir to take home.

Sabah is famous for its pearl and you can find plenty here.

The fresh and dried seafood are also relatively cheaper than those in West Malaysia, a few kilos of good grade anchovies is also a must buy in KK market. They can packed it nicely for you and it’s good to fly.

-End of Day 3-

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Sneak Peek of Mount Kinabalu from Kundasang Town

Time to fly home.

Sabah is indeed a great place to explore, a home to world’s most beautiful beaches and well preserved nature, there are too much to explore in such little time, we’ll surely come for visit again.

Musafir.I.Am

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

9 – 12 December 2016

Maldives Getaway (5D/4N)


Travel Profile:

Destination : Hulhumale, Huraa and Malé, Maldives

Date : 20-25 Sept 2016

Duration : 5D/4N

Accomodation:

Eureka Airport Inn, HulhuMalé

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives, Huraa

Travel buddy : 3 pax

Total cost : USD959.15 (RM3,942)

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Cost Breakdown:

Flight & Accomodation: USD737 (RM3,029)

Flight Fare (return) : USD221 (RM910)/return (excluding meal & luggage)

Accomodation;

  • Eureka Airport Inn, HulhuMalé : USD63/pax for 2 nights
  • Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives, Huraa : USD441/pax for 2 nights
  • Environmental Fees at Cinnamon: USD12/pax for 2 nights

Miscellaneous Breakdown: USD222.15 (RM913)

 Transportation;

  • Airport Transfer (HulhuMalé Airport – Eureka Airport Inn) : USD3.33/way/pax (USD10/way/room)
  • Speedboat (HulhuMalé Airport – Cinnamon Dhonveli) : USD106.67/return/pax (USD160/way/boat)
  • Airport Shuttle Bus (HulhuMalé Town – Airport) : USD1.30/way/pax (MDV20/way/pax)
  • HulhuMalé City Bus : USD0.20/loop/pax (MDV3/loop/pax)
  • Malé City Ferry (HulhuMalé – Malé) : USD0.65/return/pax (MDV10/return/pax)

Excursion (Full day) : USD110/pax

Note :

Exchange rate used was USD 1 : RM4.11, USD 1 : MDV15.4

Amount in italic is the actual currency used for payment.

Beauty beyond words

Maldives has always been in my bucket list. A place I would go just to clear my mind and enjoy doing nothing. Life has been very hectic, this is the kind of therapy I need, to keep me breathing, and I need my vitamin sea pronto!. Hence to Maldives off we go.

My idea of a Maldivian holiday is imagining myself lying on the deck of a water villa overlooking pristine clear water entertained by soothing sound of waves and delicate sea breeze grazing my face gently. To be able to dive into crystal blue water from the deck of a private water villa and that’s the picture I’m painting in my mind.

View from the deck

The impression that I got when I speak of holiday in Maldives, people would think I’ll be spending a fortune there. That is not necessarily true. Depending on what kind of trip you prefer, the cost can go as low as RM1,930 (all inclusive), the lowest I’ve researched so far.

Our trip to Maldives was sort of a budget-luxury holiday I’d say, for the mixture of both budget and slightly high end combo. Pleased to share the itinerary for our 5D/4N budget-luxury holiday in Maldives at a total cost of approximately RM3,900.

 

 

 

Day 1;

Arrival at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, HulhuMalé at 8.10pm and our guesthouse has arranged a pick-up service for us at a cost of USD10/room/way.

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Hulhumale Public Beach

Checked in and we straight away head out for dinner. HulhuMalé is quite a small town everything is within a walk-able distance, our guesthouse is located within 5 minutes’ walk to the BBQ beach and 7 minutes’ walk to the public beach.

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BBQ Beach equipped with self-catering BBQ facilities

The beach is called a BBQ beach as the beach is equipped with around 20 BBQ stands for self-catering BBQ. It’s quite happening as we saw groups of local youngsters and families having BBQ dinner at the area. The public beach is a few minutes’ walk away from the BBQ beach and house rows of restaurants and cafes offering international and local cuisine which were opened until 10pm, some until midnight. There was few tours office along the beach as well, whereby you can survey for any excursion trips or activities in HulhuMalé.

Day 2;

From Guesthouse in HulhuMalé to HulhuMalé Jetty. We took an excursion tour which includes;

– Visit to the local island village;

– Lunch picnic at the sand bank and;

– Dolphin sighting in the sunset.

One of the hundreds of sand banks spread around the island

This is a customized excursion upon request and the agent is kind enough to entertain our last minutes request. An exciting 8 hours excursion from 9am till 5pm at a cost of USD110.

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Dhoni, the traditional Maldivian Sailboat

The excursion crew were super friendly and kind; they thought us to navigate the Dhoni i.e. the traditional Maldivian Sail Boat and let us tried tuna fishing in the open sea. These were not part of the package, it was a friendly gesture by the crew, consider it as the perks of traveling in the low season with less tourist.

 

 

 

 

 

Local island village visit.

The local village is an art by itself.

It’s a small local island village, a very quiet one but the structure and alley were painted cheerfully with bright and colourful murals. The village is an art by itself and the people were very friendly.

Lunch picnic at the sandbank

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Lunch picnic at the Sand Bank

I enjoyed picnic at the sand bank the most as we had the whole bank to ourselves. To get there we need to swim/snorkel from the boat to the shore (life jacket n snorkel equipment provided) as the tide is low making it impossible for the Dhoni to sail further to the beach. But anyhow it was a really awesome experience and of course the crew swam with us to the shore. So no worries, one crew each, swimming by our-sides, we never felt safer.

Ddolphin sighting in the sunset

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One with the friendly playful dolphins

After picnic lunch we head back to HulhuMalé passing through the dolphins area when the sun was about to set. The dolphins were spectacular, jumping and making a formation so near to our Dhoni, a real closed-up view.

We arrived at the HulhuMalé Ferry Jettyl at 515pm and the tour agent drove us back to our guesthouse.

We explored the HulhuMalé town at night and had our dinner by the beach.

Day 3 & 4

A pre-school at Hulhumale Town

We make a tour around HulhuMalé via the public bus which cost us only MDV3 (USD0.20). The blue loop made 6 stops around HulhuMalé town which includes the HulhuMalé Jetty, the garden, HulhuMalé Youth City, the beach and other stops which last around 45 minutes. A great way to explore the town.

Local bus that only cost MDV3 per loop around the city

We  later took the airport bus to the HulhuMalé Ferry Terminal (located next to the airport) which only cost us MDV20 (USD1.3) far cheaper than taking the guesthouse airport transfer. We head to Huraa to spend the other half of our trip in a private island resort, Cinnamon Dhonvelli Maldives. We chartered a private speedboat at a cost of USD160/way/boat to the resort as it was slightly cheaper than taking the resort’s speedboat transfer which costs USD168/pax/return.

Pasta Points, the surfer’s paradise

The resort was splendid – spectacular sea view, blue lagoon area suitable for snorkelling, with wide range of rooms to choose from. The resort also covers the pasta point area known as the surfers’ paradise.

The only surfing I know is surfing the internet

We booked a triple over water villa, a villa with exceptional view surrounded by emerald blue water we can literally see stingrays swimming under the jetty in front of our room.

The Triple Over Water Villa at Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives

Each villas has its own private deck, we can take a dip in the sea at any time as we please. Although the water is quite shallow (only about 1 metre), the current is quite strong, the resort provided a life jacket in every room just in case the guest is not confident swimming in a strong current. There’s a Jacuzzi in the villa as well, what more can we ask for.

Sunbathing and swimming in the backyard

The resort occupied the whole 6-acre island, 3 restaurants and 2 bars each offering different ambiance and range of succulent international and local cuisine, tennis court, pool, spa, gym, diving school, water activities and 148 rooms from 5 categories to choose from. Bonus point is the Wi-Fi coverage is really good; we can upload our photos to instagram with no fuss.

Waking up to this serene view, is indeed therapeutic

We had a most wonderful time there, I gave them a perfect 10 scoring and the overall review of the resort by Booking.com is 8.9 which translates as fabulous.

Day 5

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Saying goodbye is never easy

After we checked out from the resort, we head back to HulhuMalé to store our luggage at the airport. There’s one bag storage service at the airport located adjacent to the information counter which charged a daily rate of USD5 per piece of bag regardless of size and USD8 for surfing board.

The local ferry from Hulhumale Ferry Terminal to Male City

We later took the local ferry to Malé from HulhuMalé Jetty Terminal which was located just next to the airport (1 minute walk). The 15 minutes ferry ride cost only MDV10/return/pax and leaves for Malé in every 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Male City View from the jetty

Arrived at the Malé Ferry terminal we were greeted by overwhelming local tour guides. These local guides offered a walking tour around the city of Malé and our guide did not fixed any price, just tipping at our discretion.

The People’s Majlis

The guide took us to the People’s Majlis building where the laws in Maldives were enacted, amended and/or revised. Within a few minutes’ walk from the Majlis, resides the Muliaage a white, blue and red colonial style bungalow, the Official Residence of the President of the Maldives. Attached to it is Medhu Ziyaarai a big blue tomb which houses the tomb of Moroccan Scholar Abul Barakat Yousef Al-Berberi, who is believed to have introduced Islam to the nation in 1153. Source -Wikipedia.

 

 

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Side angle of the Official Residence of the President of the Maldives

Within the a few meters radius resides one of the oldest and ornate mosque in the city of Malé called Malé Hakuru Miskiy or Malé Friday Mosque built in 1658. Unique in the sense that it was built using corals boulders of the genus Porites and this site was added to the tentative UNESCO World Heritage cultural list in 2008 as unique examples of sea-culture architecture. Located in from of the mosque entrance is the Munnaru, Great Minaret of Malé.

 

 

 

 

The Friday Mosque, Hakuru Miskiy

We visited the National Library building on our way to the Islamic Centre which is officially named Masjid al Sultan Muhammad Thakurufanuu Al Auzam. Also known as the Grand Friday Mosque, this mosque is the largest in Maldives and one of the largest in South Asia with capacity to accommodate 5,000 people at one time.

The Grand Friday Mosque, Islamic Centre

Just a few steps from the mosque, located the Jumhooree Maidhaan or Republic Square overlooking the Malé Jetty we can feel the sea breeze from there. There are hundreds of pigeons flocking at this square.

Pigeons feeding at the Republic Square
The colorful mosaic at the foyer area of the Grand Friday Mosque

Across the Republic Square there’s a Malé Local Market and Malé Fish Market. A bustling area of the city where you can see local fishermen offloading their fresh catches from boats of various sizes. A bit experience of the local culture. Maldives main industry is fisheries and you can find various sea produces from the market.

The pier view near the Male Fish Market
Male Local Market
Fresh catch of the day at Male Fish Market

The guide later brought us to the mall to find some souvenirs before we depart to Hulhumale. An enriching 3.5 hours walk and shop around the Malé City.

We depart to Kuala Lumpur from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Hulhumale at 855pm local time. That concludes our 5D4N trip to Maldives.

Friendly tips;

There are pros and cons of hiring these guide, good thing is these guide can take you to the city main attractions and will brief you all the important facts about the place and this can spare some of your time wandering (read: getting lost) around the city to find those attraction as there are not many signboards available in the city to guide should you are going to find it yourselves. But for explorers, having a guide might not satisfy your thirst for adventure and the thrills of seeking and exploring the city at your own pace.

These guides are locals with good command of English but I’m not sure whether they are a registered guide. They did not fix any price you can tip them at any rate you pleased as I presume their main income are commission based from the shop at the market, souvenir shops and restaurants they take you to. This has a slight disadvantage as you won’t be able to hunt for the best price in the area and you won’t get the feel of how much the normal market price for a particular item would be as you’ll be taken to only one shop. You might end up buying something at a relatively higher price as compared to the other shops in the row you didn’t manage to visit.

Other than that, the guides are generally very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

– End –

Musafir.i.am

16 Oct 2016

My Malaysia : Perhentian Island

Perhentian Island, Terengganu, Malaysia

Travel Profile :

Destination : Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu, Malaysia

Date : 16 – 18 May 2015

Duration : 3D/2N

Accomodation : Abdul’s Chalet, Pulau Perhentian Besar

Travel Buddy : 3 pax

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Cost Breakdown :

  • Flight Fare (Return) : RM172
  • Airport Transfer from Kota Bharu Airport to Kuala Besut Jetty (Return) : RM52/pax (RM78/way – max 3pax)
  • Full Board 3D/2N Package at Abdul’s Chalet : RM370/pax (family garden view chalet)
  • Water Taxi (Return) : RM40 (RM20/way)

Total Cost : RM634

Full Board 3D/2N Package include : 

  • Boat transfer from & to Kuala Besut Jetty
  • Meals (2 Breakfast, 2 Lunch & 2 Dinner)
  • BBQ menu on the last night
  • 1 Snorkeling Trip around Perhentian Island

Life has been really exhausting lately, so we decided to take a short break and rejuvenate. Perhentian Island crossed our mind as destination of choice – convenient, economical and simply nature at its best.

Kuala Besut Jetty


The Journey

We took an early flight departing from Subang Airport (SBZ) at 815 am, a 65 minutes journey across Peninsular Malaysia airspace to the east coast and landed at Kota Bharu (KBR) Airport at 9.20 am. From the airport we hired an airport cab for another 1 hour journey to Kuala Besut Jetty plus another 45 minutes speed boat ride to our destination, Perhentian Island. Within 3 hours we have experienced all 3 rides – air, land and sea and the journey was totally worth it as when we were approaching the island, we were greeted by the majestic view of the clear blue sky, sparkling emerald sea and lush green hills, they whispers serenity.

Abdul’s Chalet, Perhentian Besar

The Crib

We checked in at Abdul’s Chalet at 1230 noon, a garden view chalet which is only a few steps away from the sandy beach. The room was newly refurbished, really clean and spacious, with basic amenities such as air-conditioning, water heater, towels and toiletries which i personally think was a real bargain. The meal included in the package was superb with variety of meal set to choose from.

The chalet is adjacent to the Jeti Taman Laut Pulau Perhentian (Besar), which was really convenient. The best thing about Perhentian Besar is the fact that, it has less resorts as compared to Perhentian Kecil hence the beach is less crowded and offers more privacy as compared to Perhentian Kecil.

A perfect score for value of money and we will surely come for visit again. Link : http://www.abdulchalet.com/Rates.html

Chalet ‘s Reception
The chalet
View from our balcony

The Snorkeling Trip

There are 2 snorkeling trips daily, the first is scheduled at 10 am and the last trip is at 2 pm. You’ll be riding the boat under piercing hot sunny day if you choose the latter trip, so if you do not fancy hot weather, take the earlier trip as the morning heat is slightly more gentle. The basic Snorkeling Trip (snorkeling gear provided) will covers 4 points i.e. Turtle Beach, Turtle Point, Fish Point & Shark Point, we were lucky enough that our guide took us to additional point, The Spring Valley.

Warming up at Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach : Get the snorkeling gear ready and start warming up. For a first time snorkelers, this is the place to get familiar with the gear and to warm up. All the following pitstop will be a deep water pitstop.

Turtle Point : 5 minutes boat ride from the Turtle Beach. This is the turtle residential area, some swim freely in the sea while some were just lazing around on the ocean floor.

The fish point

Fish Point : Picturesque underwater view surrounded by colourful corals and fishes. Bring some bread and you may lure the colourful ornamental fishes to gather around you waiting to be fed.

Shark Point : Personally i didn’t have the guts to dip in this area and envy those who are bold enough to jump off the boat to greet Mr. Shark and family. Fellow boat mates told us they saw a few and we were happy for them. Shark is totally not my forte.

Amatur snorkeler attempt to take an underwater shot
The spring at Lata Air Berani

Spring : Our guide took us to a bonus point, to rinse off the salty sea water with refreshing spring water at Lata Air Berani.

Magnificent sight from top of the hill

The Windmill

This is my personal favorite in the entire trip, a 15 minutes water taxi ride from Perhentian Besar took you to the Windmill Jetty. An adventurous 500 stairs (as told by the locals, I lost count on the numbers of stairs we’ve climbed, intoxicated by the beauty of the scenery from the hill)  to be climbed to reach the peak from a partly submerged jetty.

The leaning jetty of perhentian
The jetty close-up

Let me describe the jetty which i found quite interesting, the jetty was partly submerged into the water, leaning at an angle of approximately 5 degrees, the jetty is literally not perfectly horizontal. It was displaced from its main walkway bridge due to heavy storm years ago and the locals re-connected the jetty and the bridge with a simple wooden ladder which will be the first obstacle before you climb to the windmill.

The Windmill

View from the Windmill Observatory Deck

The scenery along the hike was totally magnificent, it took our breath away. Since climbing down the wooden ladder to the leaning jetty is a bit traumatizing, we decided to take an alternative way to the beach via jungle trekking trail, around 15 – 30 minutes trekking before we land our foot on the soft white sand at the Long Beach.

Jungle trecking trail to Long Beach
The Long Beach

Our water taxi driver picked us up at the Long Beach Jetty and dropped us at the Blue Lagoon upon request. We took a dip into the crystal clear water, enjoying every second and spend the rest of the day there before sunset.

Our short getaway to Perhentian was really A.W.E.S.O.M.E . The beauty is beyond words, totally worth to be listed among the best island in the world. Come experience Perhentian and let the beauty speaks itself.

Relax and enjoy the view, let beauty speaks itself

xoxo

Musafir.i.Am

Perhentian Island

May 2015

SWS : Something Worth Sharing_Nippon Journey

SWS : Something Worth Sharing_Nippon Journey

There are few things i wish to share, things that I picked up throughout my journey in Japan which I find very useful and might be useful for you too.

Food

  1. List of Halal Restaurant in Japan by District – https://muslim-japan.com/
  2. Instant Rice. I hate to admit it but I am not really adventurous when it come to food. Rice is my staple food and thanks to the invention of instant rice, I survived the whole trip without starving. The packed instant rice is widely available at all convenience store across Japan and you only need to reheat the rice in a microwave for 2-3 minutes and its ready to eat.

    Our all time favorite, instant rice with fried anchovies
  3. Food allergies. The hostel we stayed provided this small piece of paper which has been a very useful communication medium to inform the food seller what we cannot eat.

    A useful piece of sheet

Pocket Wifi

Can be booked and rented from any telecommunication/internet service provider at least a month before travelling and collect at their store upon arrival in Japan. Really convenient device to stay online. This is recommended by a friend http://www.globaladvancedcomm.com/pocketwifi.html.

If u rent a listing via Airbnb or any other private rentals, most of the owners will provide free pocket wifi to the guest – a hassle free arrangement.

That’s all that i can think of as for now, hope if could benefit you in any ways.

xoxo

Musafir.i.Am

Nippon Journey

Spring 2015

Nippon Journey : Day 8 & 9 : Sayonara Tokyo

Day 8 & 9 : Sayonara Tokyo

Our last day in Tokyo, we spend the morning packing our bags, cleaning and clearing our food inventory before we hit the road again, straight to Tokyo Station to store our bags.  We will be spending our last night at the Narita Airport and depart to Kuala Lumpur the 1st fight on the next day.

Clearing our food inventory
Tokyo Station exterior

1st Pitstop : Tokyo Station

Tokyo Station, the mother of all stations in Tokyo. The transportation hub offering wide access to places all over Japan.

Friendly Tips:

There are plenty of coin lockers comes in 3 sizes i.e. small, medium & large to store your luggage bag.

  • The small locker (35cm x 43cm x 57cm) could easily fit 1 backpack at a cost of 300 yen per day. There are plenty of these type of locker at the station.
  • The medium locker (57cm x 43cm x 57cm) could fit normal size luggage bag at 400 yen per day. Quite a number but mostly were occupied, kinda challenging to find an empty one if you came after 9am.
  • The large locker (117cm x 43cm x 57cm) could fit the larger size bag (my bag is in this category) at 500 yen/day. Limited and almost impossible to find an empty one.
  • Alternatively you may store your bag at the baggage storage counter. However kindly note that the counter is manned by people so the operating hours will be from 730am – 830pm at 600 yen/piece/day. Kindly observe the operating hours of the counter or your bag will spend the night at the station.
Narita Airport Bus

2nd Pitstop : Yaesu Bus Station

Located adjacent to Tokyo Station, a 5 minutes walk from the South Transfer Gate for Shinkansen to Yaesu North Gate will take us to the Yaesu Bus Station.

A cheaper alternative to Shinkansen to commute you from the station to Narita Airport within 75 minutes. It has a frequent trip to airport as early as 5am up to 930pm and the trip from airport to Tokyo Station starts at 6am.

We bought the ticket at the bus station and it cost us 1,000 yen/trip.

Friendly Tips:

If you reserved the ticket 2 days earlier from your departure date it will cost you 900 yen/trip only. Kindly note that for midnight trip, it will cost 2,000y en/trip.

Detailed bus schedule and map to the station is as follows http://www.keiseibus.co.jp/s_en/kousoku/nrt16.html.

Tokyo Camii exterior

3rd Pitstop: Tokyo Mosque (Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center)

After we had our heads cleared up on the Airport transfer arrangement and the bags off our shoulders, safely stored in the lockers at the station, we proceed our journey to our next pitstop, Tokyo Camii.

Tokyo mosque built with Turkish Ottoman influence is the largest mosque in Japan. It reminded me of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. A great structure with incredible interior and tranquil ambiance, tempted us to spend a bit more time here.

Accessible via subway Odakyu Line to Yoyogi-Uehara Station plus another 5 minutes walk to reach the mosque. It’s easy to find the mosque as its located by the roadside and its minarets can be seen from afar. Detailed map is as follows; http://www.tokyocamii.org/access.

Tokyo Camii’s Turkish Interior 
Sakura in Turkiye!
Tokyo Tower covered in lights

4th Pitstop: Tokyo Tower

10 minutes train ride to Kamiyacho Station via Hibiya Line, brought us to the foot of a 333 meters-tall structure, one of Tokyo’s signature building, the Tokyo Tower.

The main Observatory (150 meters) & Special Observatory (250 meters) offered a panoramic view of the city of Tokyo both day & night. The tower will be lit in glowing lumiere from sunset until midnight.

Operating Hours : 9:00 – 23:00

Admission Fees : 900 Yen (Main Observatory)

(add another 700 Yen to extend your visit to the Special Observatory Deck from the Main Observatory Deck)

Fuji-san is that way!
The foot of Tokyo Towers from the glass window. It’s called the Look-down Window.

Ippin Restaurant Interior
Bamboo rice @ Ippin Restaurant

5th Pitstop: Ippin Restaurant

Our last dinner in Tokyo before we continue our journey to Narita Airport.

A Halal Japanese Restaurant, Ippin Restaurant, 10 minutes hilly hike from Ebisu Station. Offered a wide range of tasty healthy japanese food cooked using organic ingredient and most importantly it is Halal Certified.

Link : http://ippin-halal.jp/en/page.html

Japan, till we meet again

6th Pitstop: Narita Airport

From the restaurant we rushed back to Tokyo Station to collect our luggage and head straight to Yaesu Bus Station to catch the last bus at 9pm to Narita Airport. We spend our final night in Japan at Terminal 2, Level 1 (Arrivals) with many other backpackers. It was a bit noisy as the south wing was under renovation, other than that, the airport is really convenient and has great facilities.

Musafir Tips;

There is a Musolla (prayer room) located at Level 1 (arrival) complete with wudhu’ area which i personally regard as a very thoughtful gesture by the airport’s management to provide convenience to Muslim travellers to Japan.

However kindly note that the Musolla’s operating hour is from 6:00 to 23:00. There’s another Musolla after the passport control, follow the link for more detail http://www.narita-airport.jp/s/en/guide/svc_42.html.

Day 9 : 10:00 Departing from Narita to Kuala Lumpur.

– End of Nippon Journey, Spring 2015 –

Nippon Journey : Day 7 : The Metropolis – Tokyo

Day 7 : The Metropolis – Tokyo

The cherry blossom in Tokyo blooms slightly earlier than Osaka. In Osaka we witnessed the dull leafless tree waving goodbye to winter and the nature changed its skin into lively colors of early spring. While in Tokyo, we celebrated the cheerful colors of spring and we were greeted by the magnifying beauty of full bloom sakura.

Ueno Park entrance

1st Pitstop : Ueno Park

Known by the locals as “forest of art” is one of the most popular park for Hanami (flower viewing) in Tokyo. There are other park such as the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden which is also one of the most popular park for hanami in Tokyo, however the entrance to the park is subject to admission fees. In view of that, the best option for low-cost hanami experience is to have it in Ueno Park because its free!

Strolling along the rows of blooming sakura at Ueno Park.

Paper lanterns were hung throughout the park for Yozakura (Hanami at night) and picnic is a must in Ueno Park. Hence, don’t forget to bring your own picnic mat and bento pack (in our case we had sandwiches & snacks) for a picnic at the park.

Friendly tips:
This park is one of the famous park for hanami picnic. To secure a decent spot under the cherry blossom tree, consider being here before 9am. The place will be packed with locals in no time afterwards.

Next time we will bring nasi lemak (malaysian local delicacies) for a Malaysian style picnic in Tokyo.
Ameyeko Shopping Street entrance

2nd Pitstop : Ameyoko Shopping Street

It’s located within less than 5 minutes walk from Ueno Park and you may go on a shopping spree there. Ameyoko has multiple rows of shops offering food, clothing and accessories at a decent price.

Uniqlo

3rd Pitstop : Uniqlo

One of the most noted Japanese clothing brand. Though the brand has the presence in many part of the world, purchasing the merchandise from its birthplace has a slight advantage.

You may find merchandise tagged under the Nippon Omiyage design line which were designed by range of international artist to document the characteristics of the cities around the world. I personally love the design which aesthetically distinct to Japan such as Tokyo Sky Tree, Fuji Mountain, Osaka Tigers, Sushi, Dontonburi, Shibuya Scrambled Crossing and many more which might not be available in any Uniqlo outlets in any other part of the world.

Friendly Tips :

For tourist who purchase above 10,000 yen, the 8% tax will exempted. You just need to present your passport at the cashier counter, they will exclude the tax from your bill and attached the Tax-Exempt for Export slip in your passport.

Kaminarimon Gate

4th Pitstop : Asakusa

Home to one of the popular sightseeing spot in Tokyo i.e. Kaminarimon Gate and Senso-Ji Temple. We strolled along the walkway from the famous Kaminarimon Gate heading towards Senso-Ji Temple and there were hundreds of variety souvenir shops along this walkway.

The walkway from the famous Kaminarimon Gate heading towards Senso-Ji Temple in Asakusa District.

Friendly tips:

There were hundreds of variety souvenir shops along this walkway.

The nearer the shop to the temple, the cheaper the price. So don’t get too excited to shop and started buying at the first shop u stop from the Kaminarimon Gate. Walk further towards the temple, the price is worth the wait.

Tokyo Sky Tree is conveniently located about 20 minutes walk from here.

Tokyo Sky Tree from afar. In the interest of time, we only view the Sky Tree from far.

5th Pitstop : Shibuya & Harajuku

Again! haha.. We only covered a few shops the night before as we were late and most shops were either about to close or already closed, hence we were here again to continue exploring (read: shopping) at the area.

– End of Day 7 –

Nippon Journey : Day 6 : Sayōnara Osaka, Konichiwa Tokyo!

Day 6 : From Osaka to Tokyo

Time to bid farewell to Osaka and proceed to the other half of the journey to the metropolis, Tokyo!

Off to Tokyo via Shinkansen from Umeda Station to Tokyo Station.

Shinkansen arriving at Tokyo Station

It’s a fast n furious 2 hours ride, 508km to the east. The scenery along the journey was wonderful but we missed the view of Fuji Mountain as the train was so comfortable, we doze off after the first hour of the journey.

Friendly tips:

  • JR pass (29,000+ yen valid for 7days) will not be worth it should you only take one way Shinkansen ride. But if your itinerary involved extensive long haul traveling via Shinkansen then it might be worth it.
  • You may purchase the Shinkansen ticket at the JR station. Reserved ticket will be priced slightly higher (14,000+ yen/way) , but you can choose your seat before hand.
  • Ad-hoc ticket is cheaper (13,000+ yen/way) but if you have certain seating preference i.e. Window seat or you want to seat near by your friends, the availability will depends on your luck.
View from our balcony

Checking-in at our AirBnB listing @ Shinjuku.

Our listing is strategically located within less than 3 minutes walk from Nishishinjuku Gouchome station at the Shinjuku District. 5 star rating for location. Surrounded by shops and restaurant which is very convenient. 

The room was spacious, fully equipped with kitchen, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, tv, iron, hair dryer n vacuum cleaner.

Friendly Tips:

  • AirBnB is a good alternative of accommodation. It offered a wide range of listing which suit your preferred budget.
  • If you want to choose a listing via AirBnB for your stay in Japan, a host which provide free pocket wi-fi to the guests should be considered.
    Pocket wi-fi is very useful n can be shared by group of people within certain radius.

Thank you Kyoko for having us! We enjoyed our stay at your place! Check out Kyoko’s Place at https://airbnb.com/rooms/4852797?s=8.

Hachiko Statue at Shibuya Station
Shibuya Station exterior

1st Pitstop : Hachikō Statue at Shibuya Station – a symbol of loyalty.

A visit to Shibuya would be incomplete if you missed to visit this local icon. Prefecture who is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner which continued for many years after his owner’s death.

Source: wikipedia

Green means ready to pose – at one of the busiest crossing in the world, Shibuya Scrambled Crossing.

2nd Pitstop : Shibuya Scrambled Crossing

You can see the ever famous, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian crossings just a few steps from the Hachikō Statue. Standby your camera and snap a selfie or two while walking at the Shibuya Scrambled Crossing, it’s a must! There’s a Starbucks Cafe near the Scrambled Crossing, go to the upper level and choose the window seat, you could have a bird’s eyes view of hundreds or maybe thousands (during peak hours) of people crossing the street within a few minutes every time the lights turn green.

Tokyo’s Time Square

3rd Pitstop : Shibuya Shopping District

Take a stroll along the street, it is packed with shops, malls, cafe and window shopping won’t cost you anything..^_^

Friendly tips:
Most shops will be closed at 830pm, hence for an ample time to shop, come earlier.

Street Art @ Shibuya


4th Pitstop : Harajuku

Located around 20 minutes walk from the Shibuya Scrambled Crossings. Internationally known as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. You will see the Japanese youngsters dressed in anime costumes along the street. Take a photo or two with Sailormoon, Son Goku, Naruto and many more while you were there.

Friendly Tips:

The best time to visit Harajuku is during the day as the shops will be closed at 830pm and the cosplay crowd is lesser at night.

The sakura at night. Background – Shibuya Shopping District .
Disney Store @ Shibuya

– End of Day 6 –

Nippon Journey : Day 5 : Osaka City

Day 5 : Osaka City

Started our Day 5 with a tour at Osaka Castle Park, the second largest park in Osaka a home to various attraction including the open air concert hall (Osaka-Jo Hall) and one of Japan’s most famous landmark, Osaka Castle.

Osaka Castle in Spring

1st Pitstop : Osaka Castle

The castle has been converted into a museum and the observatory deck is located at the 8th floor where you can observe the panoramic view of Osaka Castle and the surrounding park.

Castle Tower Operating Hours

  • Open :  9.00 to 17.00 (entrance until 16.30)
  • Extended hours during holidays and special exhibitions.
  • Closed : 28th December to 1st January
  • Fees : 600 Yen

Osaka-Jo Hall. Teenagers queuing outside the hall since early morning for an E-girls Pyramid (name of a J-Pop Group) Live Tour 2015 ‘Colourful Land’ Concert. Don’t ask me who E-girl Pyramid is, i’m not a J-Pop fan & i’m not even a teenager..^_*
Japanese Netherland

2nd Pitstop : Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park

A few minutes walk from the Osaka Jo Hall to the Osaka Business Park Station plus another 40 minutes train ride took us to our next pitstop, the Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park.

Tsurumi Ryokuchi Fountain entrance
Spring is in the air!

The park is located at the site of The International Garden and Greenery Exposition 1990, a world exhibition that featured the beauty of flowers. The site was later turned into a memorial park which grew thousands of various species of flowers and plants from around the world. The landmark of this garden is a windmill located on the hilltop best viewed during spring (mid April) as it will be surrounded by colourful tulips and canola flowers which almost look like the tulips garden in Keukenhof, Netherland.

This park is not famous amongst tourist. More like a hidden gem. We spend hours here just sitting around having picnic and enjoy the scenic view    from the hilltop.

Musafir tips:

You can perform prayer here, the park is not so crowded with people hence you may pick any site deemed appropriate. The are also plenty of public toilets scattered around where you can take wudhu’.

Nightlife at Dotonburi

3rd Pitstop : Dotonburi

A visit to Osaka wouldn’t be complete if you did not pose a photo or two with the ever famous ‘Glico Man’, the face of Dotonburi. Dotonburi is one of the most happening shopping street in Osaka. There are also plenty of restaurants along the street, the smell of the delicacies will make your mouth water.

The famous Glico Man

Musafir tips:

There are also a few halal restaurant i.e. Indian & Turkish cuisine located along the street (just opposite the Forever 21 outlet). There is also Lotteria fast food restaurant just a next to the Glico Man billboard, you may choose the shrimp burger set there.

Dotonburi shopping & food street

– End of Day 5 –

Nippon Journey : Day 4 : Best of the best -Kyoto

Day 4 : Osaka – Kyoto

Journey to Kyoto took about 45 minutes train ride from Osaka – via Kyoto Line & Hankyu Arshiyama Line.

Personally, Kyoto is my favorite pitstop in our entire Nippon Journey. The traditional setting and perfectly preserved nature brings tranquility, words could not describe. For those who plans to visit Kyoto, ideally spend at least 3 full days to discover Kyoto. For us, since we only have a day to cramp in all our “wish list” in Kyoto, these were the best that we could get from our day trip to Kyoto.

By the Katsura Riverbank. Background: Togetsu-kyo Bridge

1st Pitstop: Togetsu-Kyo Bridge

Upon arrival at the Hankyu Arashiyama Station, we took a 10 minutes stroll to the famous Togetsu-Kyo Bridge, the symbol of Arashiyama.

The 155-meter bridge over the sparkling clear Katsura River overseeing the Arashiyama Mountain, is a pure beauty. The background will be covered with pinkish sakura during its full bloom in spring and will be covered with red leaves in autumn.

There are lots of souvenir shops at the foot of the bridge, while rickshaws go back and forth there, creating a traditional Japanese atmosphere.
Umbrella shop
Moments perfectly captured

2nd Pitstop: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Road

One of Kyoto’s top sight, just a 15 minutes walk to the north from the foot of the Togetsu-Kyo Bridge.

Walk along the ally full with lines of bamboo and you will see man dressed in traditional Japanese clothing pulling the rickshaw along the road which will give you a feel that you have been teleported to a different era.

The early bloom sakura @ Sagano Mountain

3rd Pitstop : Sagano Romantic Train.

Another 15 minutes walk to the east of the Bamboo Grove Road will take to Torokko Saga Station where you can board the open air Sagano Romantic Train

  • Fees : 620 Yen
  • Operating Hours : 9.00 – 16.00 (until 17.00 on busy days)
  • Closed :
  • Wednesday (except during national holidays, during spring and summer vacation period and autumn foliage season)
  • 30th Dec to end of Feb
Sagano Romantic Train

Sightseeing train line that runs along the Hozugawa River between Arashiyama and Kameoka. Its charming, old-fashioned trains wind their way through the mountains at a relatively slow pace, taking about 25 minutes to make the seven kilometer journey and giving passengers a pleasant view of the scenery as they travel from Arashiyama through the forested ravine and into rural Kameoka.

Source: Wikipedia

Friendly Tips :

  • The train departs in every one hour and you can choose your departure time at the ticket counter. You may choose to stand (if you choose to stand you will need stand throughout the ride although there are empty seats available) or to sit in the train at the same fees.
  • the train have few coaches but the scenery is best viewed from the 5th coach/carriage, nicknamed “The Rich” as it is a fully open-air carriage with broad glass-less window and transparent rooftop. You may request to be placed at this coach at the ticket counter.
  • The traffic is more heavy from Torokko-Saga Station (you may not have the privilege to be picky), you might want to try departing from the other end of the line i.e. Torokko-Kameoka Station as the station has less traffic, so i was told.
Hike through thousands of tori gates @ Fushimi Inari Taisha

4th Pitstop : Fushimi Inari Taisha.

A less than 20 minutes train ride from Torokko-Kameoka Station to Fushimi Inari Station, you will later be greeted by the grand red vermillion tori gate at the entrance of the Kyoto’s famous, Fushimi Inari Taisha. This is the head shrine of Inari and it also have 4km trails up to the mountain linking to a smaller shines along the way (in the interest of time, of course we only go trough less than a quarter of the trail before we decide to return to the base and enjoy freshly cooked takoyaki along the temple exit gate).

Pre-wedding photo shoot at the Street of Gion

5th Pitstop : The Street of Gion.

A less than 10 minutes train ride from Tofokuji Station took us to the one of the ‘must-visit’ site in Kyoto, The Street of Gion just outside the Gion-Shijo Station.

As if we have travelled back in time. An authentic traditional setting with tourist dressed in kimono, maiko-san & geisha spotted strolling along the street.

Geisha spotted at Kimono Exhibition

6th Pitstop : Yasaka Hall Gion Corner & Kimono Exhibition.
Just stroll along the street of Gion and you will never miss a big hall towards the end of the street which is the Japanese traditional performing arts center. If you are lucky you may bump into the beautiful geisha/maiko at this area.

Yasaka Hall, Gion Corner
Afternoon picnic at Maruyama Park

7th Pitstop : Maruyama Park

Just a few minutes walk from The Street of Gion, we take a break at the park for an afternoon tea picnic beneath the early bloom cherry blossom tree.

Musafir Tips:

  • You may perform solat here as it is quite convenient plus there are plenty of public toilet around the park where you can take wudhu’.
  • You can also go to Kyoto Mosque which is located within a few minutes walk from the Jingu Marutamachi-Station (near the Kyoto Imperial Palace). Follow the link for map to the mosque http://kyoto.travel/muslim/en/.

Kindly also note that the mosque is just an apartment bought by a Japanese & 2 Indonesian muslim and was donated/converted into an Islamic Cultural Center and Musolla (May Allah bless them all) as told by a local muslim friend we met in Kyoto. Hence, the operating hours is quite limited, with details as follows;

  • Mosque and office are open from Tuesday to Saturday, 12:00 to 18:00.
  • They are closed on Sundays and Mondays. If you wish to use the prayer facilities during closing hours, please make prior arrangements at the office.

They intend to build a large new mosque (open on all days of the year) in the near future, insha’Allah. May Allah bless & and ease their effort in realizing this plan.

Sunset at Kiyomizu

8th Pitstop : Kiyomizudera Temple

Another half an hour (1.8 KM) walk from Maruyama Park, crossing through the small ally between Yasaka-Shrine & Kodaiji Temple took us our next pitstop, one of the most prominent world heritage site in Kyoto, Kiyomizudera Temple. Hilly path to the temple but you won’t feel it coz it is surrounded by souvenir shops along the hill, you can just stop-by for a retail therapy before you continue your journey.

Friendly tips:

  • You should buy souvenir here or at tourist attraction spot coz most of the shops are tax-free.
  • You might want to look for the Japan tax-free shop sticker or ask the shop owner whether their shop is tax-free before u purchase anything. It could save you 8% of Japan GST.
  • Shops in other than tourist spot have comparatively higher price hence if you like anything along the way just go ahead and buy it!
Dinner is served

9th Pitstop : Dinner @ Kyoto Rose Cafe (Halal Turkish Cruisine)

From Kiyomizudera Temple we took the bus to Kyoto University bus station (bus no 206). It took another 10 minutes stroll along the university area and across the Kamo River before we reached at our final pitstop, Kyoto Rose Cafe.

We were introduced to this restaurant by a local Japanese Muslim friend we met on our way. The restaurant offered a wide range of Turkish dishes at an affordable price. The best thing is the cafe also offered a group course at a very affordable price of 1,300 Yen per set  which include;

  • soup of the day
  • salad
  • main dish (you can choose from more than 5 main dish selection)
  • any drinks from the beverage selection.

The food was great, the ambiance is very warm and most important, it’s certified as a Muslim-Friendly Shop. For more info, visit : http://www.kyotorosecafe.jp/

Friendly tips:
This place is located near to the Kyoto Mosque. Hence, like mentioned in my earlier post if you want to look for halal food go n find the nearest mosque. There would be plenty along the area.

Muslim friendly shop
– End of Day 4 –