Review for Mingle Hostel Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

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If you are a solo traveller and planning for a visit to Kuala Lumpur, you may want to read this. Sharing my experience staying at one of the nicest hostel in Kuala Lumpur.

The place called Mingle Chinatown Kuala Lumpur. It is housed in a century old colonial-era building, Mingle Chinatown features a relaxing rooftop terrace, and superb location which is 3 minutes walk to train stations that connect to the international airports, the twin tower and city center.

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Mingle @ Chinatown occupies the 100  year old heritage building, was formerly a social hub in the 1920s and 30s where people mingled for mahjong, drink and poem. After WWII, it became a public reading room for the local community.

Following the overall theme of Chinatown and deeply rooted stories of the building, the space is revamped by retaining the building original’s character, fitted with the furniture sourced from the building itself or salvaged from the renovation debris.

Mingle Chinatown Kuala Lumpur is only 5mins away from Merdeka MRT Station & 10mins to Plaza Rakyat LRT station! Isn’t it cool?

On  top of all the excitement, Mingle Chinatown also offer ‘wider bed’ with personal locker. They also provide various choices of accommodation for you to choose. So don’t worry, if you like travelling alone or travel as a group of friends even couple and families. You will easily fit in here.

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So if you are in Kuala Lumpur, please do check out this wonderful space.

Credit to Mingle Chinatown for the hostel background.

Review for Warm Window Silom

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First of all, i must say this is one of the best hostel you can find in Silom. Ive been to many hostel & hotel in Bangkok, Warm Window Silom exceed my expectations.

Let me share with you some backgrounds of this hostel. In the past, Silom is the center of trading amongst Thai and European merchants through Chaophraya river. Thais became closer friends with foreigners, while the building architectures on this road have been a blend of Thai and Colonial style harmoniously since then.

Although Silom Road became the financial centre of the capital, but yet still being the headquarter of expats and foreign tourists; full of historical attractions, street food, café, and shops; with multi-transportations to downtown and other parts of Bangkok.

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Warm Window Silom Hostel located on Pan Road which is one of the most peaceful residence area in Silom. It is only 7mins away from Surasak BTS Station, 1min away to the Bus stop on main Silom street and 10mins away from the pier! Isn’t it cool?

On  top of all the excitement, Warm Window Silom also offer ‘wider bed’ with personal locker and capturing design. They also provide various choice of accommodation such as ‘Budget capsule bed’, ‘Queen size bed dormitory’, ‘Private room with Bathroom’ and ‘Private group size room’. So don’t worry, if you like travelling alone or travel as a group of friends even couple and families. You will easily fit in here.

So if you are in Bangkok, please do check out this wonderful space.

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Pengalaman ke Hatyai Dengan Bas – Part 1

Ke Hatyai dengan menaiki bas bukanlah sesuatu yang baru. mungkin dah ramai yang pernah cuba cara ni. Dalam posting ni Hafiz nak share pengalaman Hafiz naik bas. Sebelum korang mulakan perjalanan ni, korang mesti sedia maklum yang perjalanan menggunakan jalan darat ni akan mengambil masa yang panjang. Dalam beberapa posting akan datang ni Hafiz akan kongsi perjalanan dari KL – Hatyai – Bangkok – KL.

Mulakan dengan perancangan awal, lebih kurang sebulan dari tarikh perjalanan. Tiket bas ni cepat sold out, so kenalah kiasu sket. Hafiz beli tiket bas ni melalui Easybook.com. Sejak beberapa tahun kebelakangan ni, Hafiz memang selalu beli tiket kat sini. Selain memudahkan kerja membeli tiket, korang boleh jugak kumpul mata ganjaran sekali. Bolehlah guna untuk trip2 akan datang korang nanti. Harga tiket bas sekitar RM 70.

Sebelum beli tiket ni, Hafiz ada tanya jugak kawan2 yang pernah naik bas ke Hatyai. Kebanyakkannya suruh naik bas Alisan express. Sebabnya ada bas yang hanya berhentikan penumpang di sempadan Bukit Kayu Hitam. Jadi sebelum beli tiket, semak betul2 ya. Untuk melepasi sempadan Thai ni, ada 2 laluan yang utama iaitu, Bukit Kayu Hitam & Padang Besar. Bas biasanya akan melalui sempadan di Bukit Kayu Hitam. Sebab apa tu, Hafiz tak pasti. Kalau korang tahu, boleh lah share di ruangan komen di bawah ok.

Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS)
Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS)

Pada hari kejadian, kitaorg pun berkumpul di Terminal Bersepadu Selatan(TBS). Bas dijadualkan bertolak pada jam 11.59malam. Tetapi tak tahu apa punca masalahnya, bas kitaorang hanya tiba pada jam 3 pagi. Ye, 3 jam weh delay. ingatkan naik flight je delay, bas pun delay jugak ya. Jadi kalau korang merancang untuk menggunakan pengangkutan darat ni, sila sediakan sedikit jarak masa untuk perkara2 yang tak dijangka macam ni.

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Keadaan diluar kompleks imigresen Thai. Kena banyak2 bersabar 🙂

Setelah 6 jam perjalan, kami pun tiba di sempadan Malaysia – Thailand. Urusan di sempadan Malaysia ni agak pantas. Cuma bila masuk di imigresen Thai ni, terkejut tengok orang dah beratur panjang. Memandangkan train kitaorg untuk ke Bangkok pada jam 6.45 petang, senyum & redha jer beratur untuk 2 jam.

Selepas dah selesai segala urusan imigresen, perjalanan diteruskan sehingga sampai ke Hatyai pada jam 11.30tghari(waktu Thai, kurang 1 jam dari Malaysia). Jadi jumlah masa perjalanan masa kami termasuk delay time ialah 12 jam 30 minit. Best tak?hehehe

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Kelantan Restaurant, Hatyai

Dah sampai kat Hatyai, kitorg pun terus serbu ke kedai Kelantan Restaurant. Kebetulan kedai ni terletak dekat dengan lokasi bas Alisan tu berhenti. Jalan kaki je. Kedai ni memang favorite kitaorg. Dalam trip ke Hatyai sebelum ni pun, 3 kali kitorg makan kat sini. Kalau korang pergi pagi, boleh rasa nasi kerabu kat sini. Untuk menu makan tengahari, Hafiz syorkan korang try daging goreng bawang putih dia. Sedap sangat2. Tomyam kat sini pun sedap. Puas hati.

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Menu meleleh air liur di Kelantan Restaurant
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Pacific Residence, Hatyai

Dah selesai makan, kitaorg terus jalan ke hotel yang Hafiz dah book untuk kegunaan satu hari ni. Tujuan bilik hotel ni ialah untuk memudahkan kitaorg mandi, membuang apa2 yang sepatutnya & solat. Persediaan mental untuk menempuh satu lagi perjalanan yang panjang 17 jam ke Bangkok.

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Stall ni terletak kat Morning Market, Hatyai

Sebelum naik train, kitaorang tapau kat salah satu stall pilihan kitaorg. Nasi kuning & ayam goreng kat sini memang terbaik. Ayam tu bila dah sejuk pun masih sedap…

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Sambungan dalam part 2 nanti, Hafiz akan share keadaan dalam train pulak ok…

Kos untuk hari pertama:

  • Tiket Bas : RM70
  • Lunch : RM20*
  • Hotel : RM17*
  • Dinner : RM10*

Jumlah perbelanjaan untuk hari pertama ialah RM117(*semua kos diatas telah dibahagi samarata)

 

 

Review W Bangkok

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Bangkok adalah antara destinasi pilihan Hafiz. Sekurang-kurangnya sekali didalam setahun, Hafiz akan ke Bangkok. Apa istimewanya Bangkok ni? Pastinya pilihan makanan yang pelbagai, syurga membeli belah dan pastinya pelbagai hotel terbaik disekitarnya dengan harga yang sangat kompetetif. Untuk posting kali ni Hafiz nak cerita pengalaman di W Bangkok Hotel.
Untuk tahun 2018, ini merupakan pengalaman Hafiz yang ke 3 di W Bangkok. Seperti hotel-hotel W yang lain(Hafiz pernah berpeluang menginap di W Singapore & W Hongkong), W Bangkok membawa sedikit kelainan dengan memberi sentuhan tradisi Thai dalam rekaan dalamannya. Dari hiasan di lobby sampailah ke bilik tidur, korang akan nampak pengaruh rekaan dari budaya masyarakat Thai.
Pengaruh Thai dalam rekaan dalaman W Bangkok ni boleh dilihat dengan jelas dan dilakukan dengan amat teliti dan sangat baik tanpa menjejaskan elemen urban moden yang selalu dikaitkan dengan konsep W hotel itu sendiri.
Chandelier yang terdapat di lobby W Bangkok
inspirasi dari uncang plastik air…
Jika ini kali pertama anda mendengar nama W hotel ni, W hotel pertama di buka pada tahun 1998 iaitu W New York. Sehingga ke hari ini ada lebih dari 80 buah W hotel di seluruh dunia Dari segi konsep, W cuba membawa huruf W kemana saja di dalam hotel ini. Sebagai contoh kawasan kolam renang di panggil Wet dan concierge/service express pula dipanggil “Whatever Whenever”.
cuba korang tengok sentuhan bantal di atas katil yang membawa unsur seni Muay Thai
Lokasi? W Bangkok terletak di Sathorn. Berdekatan kawasan terkenal seperti Silom. Stesen BTS/Train terdekat ialah Chong Nonsi. 5 minitt jer kalau jalan kaki. Dalam perkongsian akan datang nanti Hafiz akan kongsi apa yang korang boleh dapat di sekitar Sathorn/Silom ni.
Kat Bangkok ni ada terlalu banyak pilihan mengikut budget korang. Dari pilihan hostel sampai lah ke hotel mewah. Biasanya dalam setahun tu kadang-kadang memang Hafiz spend lebih sket untuk reward diri sendiri. Bila dalam mode nak reward diri, mesti nak cari pilihan hotel yang best sket kan. Hafiz rasa kalau di Bangkok ni, W Bangkok adalah antara yang terbaik.
Tiga sebab utama kenapa Hafiz pilih W Bangkok ialah:
1) Lokasi. Pusat bandar & dekat dengan train
2) Harga. Sentiasa menawarkan harga yang kompetitif
3) Servis. Semua staff kat sini well verse english. Senang nak berkomunikasi 🙂
Lepas ni kalau korang nak ke Bangkok dan ada budget lebih sikit, bolehlah consider W Bangkok. Memandangkan W Bangkok ni dekat dengan BTS train station, korang bolehlah naik train kalau nak pergi cari makanan Halal di Bangkok.
Next posting Hafiz akan share coffee place yang best sekitar Bangkok ya.
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Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

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Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia and a major air hub in Southeast Asia. While it’s nowhere near as big as Bangkok, it’s a spread-out city that can be hard to navigate. The roads are confusing sometimes especially if this is your first trip.
With numerous option for hotels in KL, let me help you to narrowed down the best areas to stay during your visit in KL. These areas are centrally-located with access to public transport and have access to the the most popular sites in KL.
The hotels listed are the best-rated hotels in their class for each area.
KLCC
Kuala Lumpur City Centre is the shopping complex attached to the Petronas Twin Towers, and sometimes refers to the area around the towers. There are lots of malls and luxury hotel chains in this area. Let’s check what can you get around KLCC.
Budget (1 – 2 Stars/hostel)
Mid range (3 – 4 stars)
Luxury (5 stars)
Chinatown / Masjid Jamek area
This is where you will find the cheapest budget guesthouses and the most lively street activity. Hostels and guesthouses are clustered around the Petaling Street market, and it is also near the colonial-era administrative buildings. Some of the budget options are very basic, catering for the backpacker set, while the mid-range options are the cheapest in central KL. This area are also very well connected with numbers of train station. I would say this area as heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Budget (1 – 2 stars/hostel)
Mid range (3 – 4 stars)
Luxury (5 stars)
Bukit Bintang
This is popular shopping street in central KL with lots of cheap and mid-range hotels. Bukit Bintang refers to the street of the same name, and the surrounding area. Running parallel to Bukit Bintang is Jalan Alor. As mentioned in my previous posting, Jalan Alor has a famous night food market on the street.
Budget (1 – 2 stars/hostel)
Mid range (3 – 4 stars)
Luxury (5 stars)
KL Sentral / Bangsar
KL Sentral is where the central of public transport connectivity. While Bangsar located just next to it. There are plenty of option to choose from the cheapest to the luxury. Lets see the option around here.
Budget (1 – 2 stars/hostel)
Mid range (3 – 4 stars)
Luxury (5 star)
Thats all for now. I do hope this enlighten you about where to stay in KL. I will share specific comments and review of the hotels in my next posting. Stay tuned.

7 Hacks How to Plan for your Next Trip

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Planning a long trip can be a daunting task to most of us. Where to begin? How to start? What is the best time? How to save money? It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning, especially when this is your first time travelling. In this posting, i will try to help with some ideas how to move forward.

1. Decide where do you want to go.

This is the most crucial part of your travelling. Defining where you want to go sets a goal to work towards it. A lot of people talk about travel. They never say where they are going, just that they are going. Picking a destination is immensely important, as it gives you a definite goal. It’s a lot easier to mentally get behind “I am going to London” than “I’m going to Europe.” Not only will your trip become more concrete for you and easier to commit to, but it will make planning easier as well.

2. Decide the length of your trip

How much does it cost to travel? You can’t figure out how much you need to save if you haven’t decided on how long you’ll be in your destination. After you decided “I’m going to London,” add “for 10 days.” By doing this you can start planning the details costing.

3. Plan your budget or costs

Your task now is to research the costs in your destination at the style of travel you want. Do you want to backpack or would you rather stay in luxury hotels? How much to spend for hostels, hotels, restaurants and attractions? Knowing these will allow you to estimate how much money you may need for your trip.

4. Start saving money

I personally prefer to write down all my current expenses so i can determine my spending money and how i can cut back. We spend a lot of money every day through small purchases for a bottle of water, the dollar for that snack and that coffee shot at Starbucks. All of that adds up and creating this breakdown can let you know where you need to cut and save. You can start reserving a small amount of money on daily basis.

5. Book your flights, accommodation & check for last minute deals

Okay, you’re inspired, prepared, and on your way to saving money for your trip. So don’t forget to buy that flight or book your accommodation. Check out for some last minutes deals from those travel websites such Booking.com, Agoda.com or Expedia.

6. Plan your activities

Sketch out the main activities you want to do and how much they cost. Make any last-minute adjustments to your savings so you can ensure you have enough money. This will also help you figure out if you need any reservations for your chosen tours or activities. Based from my experience planning is crucial when it comes to control your expenses.

7. Buy your travel insurance

While a lot of people think “I’m healthy, I don’t need travel insurance and I won’t get sick,”. Travel insurance is much more than just medical protection. It covers you when your camera breaks, your flight is canceled, a family member dies and you have to come home, or something is stolen.
Travel insurance is something you will need on the road. You never know what might happen, and most health plans won’t cover you overseas.
Hope this will help you to start planning for your next trip.

Hostel vs Hotel : Which one is Best for you?

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What are the biggest differences between hostels and hotels? Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than taking away that “s.” There are a few important differences between hostels and hotels to consider when planning your trip. In this posting, i will help you pinpoint key concerns and help you decide which option is best for you.

Hostels vs. Hotels
Here are five factors for you to consider when deciding what kind of lodging is right for your next trip.
1. Privacy
One of the major differences between hostels and hotels is shared rooms. Yes, you are sharing with strangers. This means that you are not only sharing your sleeping space but you are also sharing bathrooms. Having said that, before you write off the hostel option due to privacy concerns, however, check for hostels that offer private rooms and bathrooms. Most of the time they are much cheaper than a normal hotel rates. If privacy is an important part of your trip, a hotel will be a better choice for you. But sharing a room with strangers is not bad at all. After all, your roommates are travellers just like you. They may have helpful tips or entertaining stories to share. If your goal is to meet new people, a hostel will make a great option.
2. Security
Sharing a room with strangers does, of course, come with risks. Some hostels provide safety measures like a lockable cage that slides under your bed, but they don’t always offer locks. If you are travelling with valuables that you want to leave in your room, always pack a sturdy lock. Some hostel do provide safe room or dedicated room to store your valuables.
Most hotels, on the other hand, provide a locked private room and a safe. Some hotels also offer a front-desk safe deposit box for precious items.
3. Price
In general, a room that you have to share will cost less than a private room. But there are more factors that go into pricing accommodations.
A hostel right in the city centre, for instance, might be more expensive than a hotel far from the city centre. Don’t assume that just because it’s a hostel it’s your cheapest option. Always make sure to do your research and explore your options for your particular dates.
4. Amenities
Some of the things you may take for granted in a hotel. Items like iron or hair dryer, are the kinds of things you may have trouble finding in a hostel. You may not have the luxury watching your favourite TV show as you may need to share with other guest. If amenities are important, a hotel will likely be your best bet. But to be fair, nowadays most hostel provide all of these facilities in the common areas it just you need to share with other guest as well. Common areas with shared amenities create a social environment that’s at the heart of the hostel experience.
5. Location
One of the largest differences between hostels and hotels is accessibility. Hostels are abundant in most major cities, particularly throughout Europe, but are less common in smaller towns and off-the-beaten-path locations. However, sites like Hostelworld and Hostels.com make it easier than ever to do a quick check to find out if there’s an affordable and appealing hostel option in your destination.

Apa yang best di Amsterdam?

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Amsterdam. Antara destinasi yang Hafiz rasa sangat istimewa. Berbeza dengan Paris dimana Hafiz kongsi aktiviti harian, untuk Amsterdam ni Hafiz rasa lebih sesuai untuk kumpulkan tempat-tempat yang mesti korang pergi di Amsterdam.
1. Museum Square/ Museumplein
Hafiz rasa korang boleh habiskan keseluruhan hari anda disini. Di kawasan Museum Square ni ada 5 lokasi menarik yang korang boleh singgah.
  • Rijk Museum

  • Van Gogh Museum

  • Stedelijk Museum

  • Diamond Museum (Museum Berlian)

  • Royal Concertgebouw atau Royal Concert Hall

2. Anne Frank House
Rumah ini menyimpan seribu satu cerita seorang anak gadis yang bernama Anne Frank. Perjalanan melalui ruang2 kecil di rumah ini sedikit menyentuh perasaan. Korang boleh google lah kisah dia ok. Btw tips nak ke situ, silalah pergi awal sikit. Sebabkan ruang yang sempit didalam, memanglah beratur agak panjang diluar. Tiket untuk masuk sekitar 10Euro. Oh ya anda tidak dibenarkan mengambil gambar semasa berada didalam muzium ini.
3. Albert Cuyp Market
Terletak dikawasan sekitar DePijp. Berdekatan dengan airbnb yang Hafiz tinggal. Pasar ni dah wujud lebih dari 100 tahun lalu. Dibuka setiap hari Isnin – Sabtu dari 9.30pagi ke 5.00petang. Korang boleh beli souvenier kat sini dengan harga yang agak murah.
4. The Port & Canals of Amsterdam.
Lepas dah tengok gambar-gambar ni, Hafiz harap dapat bagi inspirasi untuk korang nak buat apa di Amsterdam ok?

Pengalaman Menaiki Bas Dari London ke Glasgow

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Kali ni Hafiz nak share dengan korang pengalaman Hafiz naik bas dari London ke Glasgow. Memang best tapi jiwa kena kental sket lah sebab perjalanan mengambil masa sekitar 10 – 11 jam. Trip Hafiz ke London pada Disember 2016 ni memang tak da proper plan pun. Tiket jer beli dulu. Yang lain tu dah dekat dengan hari baru decide. Sampaikan bilik hotel/hostel pun bila dah kat London baru cari. Memang haru lah jugak travel macam tu..hee
Lepas dah beberapa hari di London, Hafiz ambil keputusan untuk keluar dari London. Dalam pada masa yang sama nak cari destinasi yang boleh dituju dengan harga yang murah.. Lepas dah buat perbandingan dan sedikit bacaan, Hafiz ambil keputusan untuk ke Scotland. Harga tiket dari London ke Glasgow lebih kurang £15. Dari Glasgow ke Edinburgh dan balik ke London. Best kan?
Ada banyak bas untuk ke Glasgow ni tapi Hafiz ambil National Express. Tiket boleh beli online ataupun kalau bukan peak season, boleh je beli dikaunter. Untuk naik bas ni korang kena ke Victoria Coach Station. Kena jalan sikitlah dari stesen tube Victoria. Banyak signage untuk ke Victoria Coach Station ni. Agak mustahil untuk sesat.
Kawasan rehat dalam perjalanan ke Glasgow.
Sepanjang perjalanan yang ambil masa yang panjang ni, Hafiz nasihatkan korang bawalah bekalan makanan. Cuaca sejuk buatkan perut kelaparan tahap yang luar biasa. Hafiz sempat sarapan pagi di kawasan rehat yang ke2. Dapat lah makan sikit alas perut.
Seperti Hafiz kata dari awal, perjalanan kali ni memang agak luar biasa sebab sampai dah tiba di Glasgow, Hafiz belum buat tempahan bilik… Bas tiba di Hentian Bas Glasgow lebih kurang 6 pagi. Dengan cuaca sejuk ketika musim sejuk ni, Hafiz gagahkan diri jalan keluar dari stesen bas. Misi mencari hotel/hostel sambil mulakan perjalanan ke destinasi yang tidak dirancang.
Inilah dia lobby hotel untuk malam pertama di Glasgow
Hafiz berjaya jumpa satu hotel yang agak klasik ni dan harga pun tak mahal. £45 untuk satu malam. Tak fikir panjang, terus check in sebab dia bagi early check in.
Hari berikutnya Hafiz check in kat hotel lain pulak sebab harga lebih murah. Lebih kurang £30 satu malam. Oklah tu dapat private room walaupun hotel lama lah jugak..
oklah kan?heheh
Jalan disekitar Glasgow ni memang berbukit2. Jadi kalau korang plan nak datang Glasgow ni, janganlah berangan nak bawa beg besar2 tu. Penat nak heret nanti melainkan korang nak naik taxi lah kesana sini..hehehe
Sampai sini dulu catatan untuk Glasgow… Nanti kita sambung lagi cerita di Edinburg pulak ok 🙂