Thursday, 8 Aug ‘19
First and foremost, I was ecstatic when I finally got my VISA, which was 2 days ago!!
FYI. For someone who’s holding a green passport, I understand that applying VISA sometimes could be troublesome. That’s why I did submit all the required documents to the VFS long before my flight, which was on 2nd July – I was the first one to come and queued. I was so sure to get my VISA within 2 weeks, but by end of July still no news – I sent emails to VFS but they said they will escalate it to NZ immigration. I did sent emails but only received auto-generated reply. By early August I did call NZ immigration many times and even left my number but only machine picked up my international calls. In the end one of the email said they were still processing my VISA to Beijing. Whaaaaat!!! (ノ°益°)ノ
At last! Early morning on 6th Aug, when Veron – my travel buddy slash colleague panickedly came to my desk asking about my VISA, I finally received my long-awaited email from NZ Immigration!! I jumped and hugged her, almost cried. This was crazy man! Next time I will start applying 2 months before my flight!! (っ´ω`)ﾉ(╥ω╥)
Or change my passport to red. <(￣︶￣)>
Okay so. Why don’t you take a look at this beautiful dawn at Brisbane airport!
Tuesday, 21st May 2019 >> Raining!!!
As expected it was raining on the last day! Our funny hotel does not have breakfast area, we had to walk about 25 meters to the other hotel behind it. <(￣ ﹌ ￣)>
But before that, me and Ann both had a very bad stomach upset! We suspect it was the egg coffee and egg cocoa we had yesterday. Remember I said it tasted as my mum’s batter? The raw eggs inside our coffee and cocoa had cause problem to us in the morning. Eating raw and undercooked eggs may contain Salmonella, a type of harmful bacteria. Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, fever and headache. These symptoms usually appear 6 to 48 hours after eating and may last 3 to 7 days. (ಥ﹏ಥ)
20th May 2019, it was still hot but a bit cloudy.
We woke up quite early this morning because we had to arrived at the southern-east part of the Cát Bà island to enjoy bikin before it crowded by the tourists. We enjoyed our quick breakkie while the cruise making its way to stop at Lan Hạ bay area. (´｡• ᵕ •｡`) ♡
I had bread with a tasty passion fruit juice, sat myself on the decking area outdoor while admiring the morning beauty of the limestone mountains around me. Ann prefer to stay indoor with the aircon.
19th May 2019; another hot day!
And finally, today was the long-awaited day! We’re going for a cruiiiiise!!!
This was me and Ann’s main goal in taking this holiday. It took us quite long time to search and finally I found this UniCharm Cruise from the internet just few days before our flight to Hà Nội. And apparently this was the cruise recommended by Ann’s friend too! What a coincidence! I found their website and chat to their staff. And because we were recommended by Ann’s friend we got 20% discount. Because I chatted to the staff we got additional 10% discount. In total we paid USD310 for two, for an unforgettable 2D1N cruise day. ٩(｡•́‿•̀｡)۶
I could say this was the best cruise in Hạ Long Bay! Unicharm Cruise somehow has its own special route where there were no other cruise knows, not over-crowded by tourist, passed by gorgeous limestone mountains, interesting activities, 4-stars-hotel class, super clean and superb food – you definitely want to try their fresh prawns!! (っ˘ω˘ς )
18th May 2019; it’s Hot! HOT! HOTTT!!!!!
It was 39°C outside!!! ＼＼٩(๑`^´๑)۶／／
We applied my uv lotion SPF50 from Biore and uv spray SPF50 from Skin Aqua, and off we ordered a grab to the Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square. The taxi dropped us at the east side of the square at street, near the government office. It was a super green square, but all was closed we couldn’t enter from there and we had to make a long way u-turn. (」＞＜)」
Everywhere was closed and even with tall-ugly-green wall where we couldn’t even peek what’s inside. We couldn’t see One Pillar Pagoda! But after walked about 1km made our u-turn we finally could see the way in to the Mausoleum where tourists were gathered and queuing to get in. We were told the queue was start even before 9AM. And since we both didn’t like queuing to get ourselves roasted, we gave it a pass and we countinued make our ways to the West Lake.
17th May 2019 ~ hot day!
Landed in Nội Bài International Airport, my buddy trip Ann, exchanged her money. I remember it was USD 1 = VND 23,300. From there she got enough money and we booked Grab to our hotel in Old Quarter Hà Nội for VND 254k, about 40 minutes.
Our itinerary for today was not too much – as it was almost sunset when we finally arrived in our hotel. Our official first stop was the famous Hoàn Kiếm Lake. But on our way to the lake we had our early dinner at the Highway4 Restaurant. The fine restaurant was located around the Old Quarter as well. We went up to the second floor and sat at the lower table – just like the locals do. <(￣︶￣)>
This restaurant was famous for their Nem Ca Xa Lo4 (Catfish Spring Rolls) so that was the first thing we ordered. As much as I wanted to try their Sun-dried Venison with Salt & Ant Dip, but I finally decided to order something else; Bu Niong La Chuoi (Strips of Beef grilled in Banana Leaves).
Sunday, 23rd September 2018,
Our flight back to Singapore has been disrupted by a heavy rain in the morning. It was ridiculous how China Air brought all the passengers by bus to the open space, and let us run through the heavy rain and flooding area (it was as high as adult’s ankle) from the bus to the plan staircase about 15 – 20m without any umbrella or such. For a four stars airline, this was a very big setback and I was very disappointed. None of crew run extra miles to give your best service to passengers, it was a POOR SERVICE! ╮(￣～￣)╭
But moving on, here are some random pictures left from my phone.
Saturday, 22nd September 2018,
The sun was shining bright this morning, a good sign that the pandas will go out to have the sun-bathing. Woke up early for our last free and easy day, most of us went straight to see the panda. ٩(◕‿◕｡)۶
I was hesitating to go with them or not. But since I was in charged, and most of the sisters wanted to see the panda, so it will be wise to follow them to the Panda Base.
Friday, 21st September 2018,
Arrived back in Chengdu around 2PM, we dropped our luggage in hotel, took free shuttle from hotel to T1 Airport Metro Station, and off we go. I was in charged for this 2 free-&-easy days, and I haven’t got the note that: leading 10+ people for free and easy was not an easy task! (」＞＜)」
My initial plan was to visit WuHou Memorial Temple at first, but apparently all of us was quite full with temples and none of us want to pay 60RMB to get in to the temple, so we decided skip this shrine and went straight for our late lunch at Jinli Street.
Thursday, 20th September 2018,
By the time our train arrived at Xining, our next bus already waiting for us outside the train station. We were immediately heading for Qinghai Lake. ∑d(°∀°d)
Qinghai Lake (Chinese: 青海湖), Koko Nor (Mongolian: Хөх нуур) or Tso Ngonpo (Tibetan: མཚོ་སྔོན་པོ།) is the largest lake in China. Qinghai Lake is classified as a saline and alkaline lake, the lake is classified as a saline and alkaline lake, at 3,205 m above sea level in a hollow of the Tibetan plateau. Qinghai Lake became isolated from the Yellow River about 150,000 years ago. [source: wikipedia]
From ancient times to the present, whenever people mention Qinghai Lake they think of ‘green lake’, ‘blue sea’ or ‘fairyland’, because of the marvelous natural beauty reflected on it. As to the area, it is the largest inland and salt water lake in China. It is no exaggeration to say that Qinghai Lake is a miracle that is endowed by a deity.