Monthly Archives: April 2014

Dublin Prawn and Galway Bay

On Saturday, 26th April 2014, I went to Dublin Bay Prawn Festival in Howth with Ben, my housemate Seafood has always been my favourite dish and I rarely turn down any opportunity to sample different types of seafood dishes. ImageThe moment we stepped into the food marquee, the smell of freshly cooked seafood was overwhelming. All dishes cost €5 each which is a good value considering a typical fish&chip in Dublin costs over €7. I especially loved the battered calamari and chilli grilled prawn (pictured above). Too bad we couldn’t stay there longer since the rain has been on and off the whole day. We decided to leave early so we can prepare ourselves for paragliding session the day after.ImageThankfully the weather has cleared up in the morning. Perfect blue and sunny sky with little clouds during the whole journey from Dublin to Clare. We picked up Louise in Galway along the way and meet the tandem instructor from Paraglide West in Ballyvaughan. Then we made our way to Gleninagh Hill for a short but steep hike to the top.

I have to admit we are not the fittest hiker ever. It took us over 40min to reach the spot, including 3 breaks along the path. Still we made it alive, barely.HikingGalway Bay view

We waited for the right wind speed for the paraglide while eating the food we brought along. Didn’t think I’ve ever had a more scenic picnic. I made a self-note to do more hiking this summer. Even after we waited for over 3 hours the experience was still worthwhile. In the end, our instructor decided to call off the day. Instead of taking all of us paragliding, he could only take one passenger to paraglide down to the hill bottom. So we let Ben had a first go.Paraglide

It almost feels like a waste of time coming all the way for nothing, but it was no point in moaning. I’m hopeful for the future, we may even able to book a session near Dublin. Also, I wish that Tayo will experience a glide soon, especially since her skydiving was cancelled last year. Poor girl, as if she’s cursed (!)Image

Till next time, pray for blue sky!

Japan Guide Books

Planning for a Japan trip

In November last year, my elder sister mentioned she was planning a trip to Japan with her family. Since Japan has been in my travel bucket list for years, I jumped at the idea of joining her. After requesting her flight details, I immediately made a booking from Kuala Lumpur to Osaka with Malaysia Airlines.

Japan Guide Books

There is no such thing as too much readings!

Next stop is the planning. I’ve travelled so many times around the world before but usually alone or with friends. The last trip I went with my elder sister is in 2008 to Bali, Indonesia. I don’t usually make detailed planning when I travel, more of a get-there-and-decide-then type. Since this is a family trip, I have to turn my lone traveller mode off, especially since my mother also had decided to come along.
8 days and 8 nights. Technically it’s 9 days but since our flight home on the last day is at 11am, I don’t consider it part of the main trip. Places to visit will include Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo and Hakone. To cover the train rides I purchased a 7-days Japan Rail Pass at cost €194 from Japan Experience.

Japan Rail PassMy sister first suggested we book hotel rooms throughout our stay, even made an initial booking to Chisun Inn Umeda. I scratched the idea straight away, suggesting we find accommodation through AirBnB site. Her first question, “What’s a BnB?”. Oh, we do have different travel styles. I normally would stay at hostel instead, but since this is a 7-people trip, with an age range from 1 year to 60 years old, a B&B is more suitable. I doubt the rest of my family has ever stayed in hostel before.

We made bookings in 3 places, Habikino House in Osaka, Yayoicho Apartment in Tokyo and Nikko Kansai Airport Hotel. 3 different accommodation types,

Japan Accom

Guess which is which?

Our trip plan now consists as follow:

Day 1: Nara, Tempozan Harbour Village
Day 2: Kyoto
Day 3: Arashiyama and Osaka city
Day 4: Osaka in the morning and travel to Tokyo in the afternoon.
Day 5: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Akihabara
Day 6: Tsukiji, Ikebukuro, Asakusa, Odaiba
Day 7: Hakone and Mount Fuji viewing
Day 8: Travel back to Osaka (time split between Tokyo/Osaka)
Day 9: return to Malaysia

So far, everything has been paid for apart from the hotel. Flights, train and houses are all paid in advance. So at times, I’m saving for food, tours, intracity travel and souvenirs. Looking forward to May 2014!