Thursday, February 13, 2020

Shanghai | Zhujiajiao Water Town

The plan laid out was for us to visit the ancient town – Zhujiajiao Water Town.

Flashback for a bit, I remembered going to an ancient town more than a decade ago in Shanghai but for the life of me, I can’t remember where. So, if any of you can identify the town by just looking at this old photos, then please tell me is it the same town I visited recently. All I can remember was that to get here took us more than an hour. Yeah Lily! Very informative (eyes rolling).

Kak Elvy; a Shanghai expert (gitewww) took us here by cab. Apparently it is fairly easy to take cab from her home to here. Zhujiajiao Water Town is fairly big, with twist and turn here and there but it was raining when we were there hence we weren’t able t0 venture much. But kira ok lah jugak, I puas hati.

I was made to understand that there are approximately 10 water towns around Shanghai (interesting kan) where the nearest is 30mins from The Bund and the furthest is 2hours or so.

Zhujiajiao Water Town #TravelTips
  • Allocate half a day if you plan to visit this place
  • Located an hour from The Bund, an achievable feat if you are doing a short trip here
  • Lotsa walking, wear good walking shoes or sneakers
  • Must ride the boat to maximize the old Shanghai feel, lagi best kalau pakai cheongsam and suruh boater tuh nyanyi
  • Plenty of Instagrammable spots - canals, bridges, and ancient buildings and etc
  • Great place to get local knick knacks or souvenirs
  • Don’t remember seeing halal shop within the water town, but there is one just outside. Sedap giler pulak tuh.
  • There’s a Starbucks located by the river. Leh acah-acah cool minum kopi tepi sungai (wink)

With its 1,700 years of history, coined as “The Venice of Shanghai” Zhujiajiao Water Town features romantic waterways, curved ancient bridges (36 stone bridges to be precise), cobbled stone old streets and old buildings dating back as far as the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911). It felt mystical to be here, as if transported back in time.

We didn’t take the boat ride as my friends are not interested, and as for me, I tried in my previous trip, so I figure I’ll pass this time around. Tak nak waste money. Having said that, I highly recommend if you are ever coming here.

We had ‘picnic’ here too, well kinda…. Hahhahhahah…. A few locals were doing the same, kira we all need blend well lah kan. We brought nasi himpit with dendeng daging manis (the dendeng I am used to is the Minang style which is rather spicy). We managed to find a gazebo by the river (later was joined by another friendly local family), got ourselves comfortable and ‘dine’ away while people and boat surfing. I enjoyed it, people surfing is always fun especially if you understood everything they said not knowing that you speak their lingo. Hhahahhaa…. Dengar orang membawang best gak kan kan kan.

Later on we lepaked at the Starbucks by the river. Ambek feel. Ahaks.

Will share some of my Shanghai Disneyland experience. Depa berak rata-rata tak? Jeng jeng jeng…

Monday, February 10, 2020

Skellig Island, Ireland | #MayThe4thBeWithYou

Star Wars’s The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were filmed in Skellig Island.
And yeah! I’ve been here back in 2018.
Well, sort of.
Kira aci lah kan...

I couldn't afford to visit Skellig Island (where they shot Star Wars The Last Jedi) plus it was closed (reopen in June) hence a trip to Skellig Experience Visitor Centre pun jadi lah. Oh yah! Heads up, most of the shops around Dingle and Ring of Kerry souvenirs are of Skellig Island, Wild Atlantic Way and StarWars.

I’ve made a couple of trips inspired by movies that I watched, such as Greece – Mama Mia, Morocco – Bourne, Hawaii – Hawaii Five O/Fantasy Island/Lost/Jurassic park (but this was a free trip so kira taka ci lah kot kan), New Zealand – Lords of The Ring and India - Dilwale Dulhnia La Jayengge. So when we decided on Ireland, we need a convincing point aside from knowing for a fact that Games of Throne was shot here (tapi I tengok GOT tuh). A movie rang a bell, I remembered when watching Star Wars, where the scene where Luke Skywalker meditating on an island. I also remembered googling on whether this island actually exist. And it is.

Skellig Island, Ireland

Credit photo Vanity fair

Skellig Islands is located approximately 12 km off the coast of Portmagee in South West Kerry, Island. There are 2 islands, the larger one is named Skellig Michael and smaller island is the Little Skellig, it is declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1996. It is also known as Sceilg Mhichíl or Skellig Michael, reason being it was dedicated to St. Michael in the late tenth or early eleventh century.

Other interesting fact is that the animal that resides on Skellig Island is puffin. In fact, the movie Star Wars porgs was inspired by puffins there. They combined the sound of turkey calls, chicken chirps, and doves to make the porgs sound.

Skellig Experience Visitor Centre

If you are like me, unable to afford the cruise to the Skellig Island that is you can visit the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre situated on Valentia Island just off the famous Ring of Kerry. Kira aci lah kan.

There’s a café (itu yang we all terjah dulu sebab lapor), information on the history and archaeology of Skellig Island, documentary among others. You can also have a picnic outside the centre, it is really really beautiful. Kid you not.

Ring of Kerry

Credit photo Google

Located at the south-western of Ireland and is very far from Belfast/Dublin. One of the best place for you to experience Wild Atlantic Way. We made a few stop along the coastal road to feel the Atlantic breeze. Will share more in next blog.

I would like to suggest for you to stay in Portmagee village during the 1st week of May to celebrate the Star Wars ‘May the 5th be with you’ event. They have few activities during that time frame.


The Skellig Experience Visitor Centre
Valentia Island
Co. Kerry
V23 YD52

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Quinton Group and Malaysia Tourism Council MOU

Held in MATIC Jalan Ampang in recently was the MOU signing ceremony event between Quinton Group and Malaysia Tourism Council on collaboration in tourism marketing and development activities, program, content material and event among others. This is to further help boost Malaysia tourism industry. This is important for all tourism industry player as it provides business cooperation analytical frameworks, contributes to field of management and marketing of tourism business and destinations, and to explore on tourism activities implementation, adoption and management.

Like any other industry, tourism is going through a digital age, more and more are browsing travel websites and social media platforms for them to get hold of the needed information; from selective whether to go, booking and to 360 view of their destination. Digital tourism shares recommendations from both mobile and desktop devices. All at the tip of the finger.

With online purchase being the latest trend now, it comes as no surprise when Quinton Group introduced to us their latest apps namely Quinpay for payment and reward, Quin Pavillion for shopping and Quinksent on logistic. This fast growing internet platform has approximately 80,000 users nationwide and 7,000 merchants throughout Malaysia. The aim is to embrace and move towards a cashless society via reward points, cashback, utility bill payment and etc.

Quinton is set to empower Malaysia with the help of technology.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Northern Ireland | Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

To give a little background about this bridge, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge (pronounced as kerit-a-rid) is located in Northern Ireland, in County Antrim. It links the mainland to a nearby tiny island named Carrickarede (obviously, eyes rolling), which mean ‘rock of the casting’. It is 20m in length (not that long but as it is a hanging bridge, wobbly and the sea is beneath you…. It kinda felt long. Very long to be honest). And it is 30m in height, remember what I said earlier? The sea beneath you… yup. Scary is the right word. 

350 years ago this bridge was built to assist the fishermen to fish the Atlantic salmon, itu citenya.

The bridge is maintained by the National Trust (kira macam our Jabatan Warisan Negara (Department of National Heritage, you guys this jabatan exist kan)… So the place is well kept, with proper signage, maintenance and security/experience and professional team managing the bridge. The bridge is open all year round… subject to the weather lah, kalau ribut, taufan dan petir bagai confirm diarang tutup kan.

OK, to be honest, gayat (fear of height) is my middle name.
Kid you not.

On that “wondrous” day I accepted the challenge (despite no one actually dared me, challenge apakebenda sis) to walk across this hanging bridge and back. Yup! True! There's nothing to fear but fear itself (gitewwww). Plus the fact that I've paid £8 for this, so paksa diri jalan lah kan – DEMI SEBUAH CONTENT!

1. Nearest town is Ballintoy.
2. Wear good walking shoes.
3. Allocate 1.5hour for this walk.
4. You will be challenged (if you are like me… non-walkaholic) with gravel paths, stone steps, steep slopes (near to the bridge), the rope bridge itself and gayat.
5. Bring a bottle of water… I got really thirsty halfway (before even reaching the bridge)
6. Do not worry, there is a proper carpark area.
7. Facilities such as toilets, souvenir shop, picnic area and café are available near the carpark area.
8. Make sure your mobile phone and camera is strapped and secured when crossing the bridge.
9. Quickly take your dramatic photo and move along as the queue can be very long. Don’t stand there to take 50 shots… like seriously.
10. Come early to avoid the crowd and so that you have more time for the coastal walk.
11. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge receives 2000 visitors per day during summer season.
12. Timed tickets were introduced in 2017 (do check before coming) and it limits the number of people who can cross the bridge during a specific time, number of people crossing is also managed (limited).

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
119a, Whitepark Road Ballintoy County
Antrim, Ballycastle BT54 6LS
United Kingdom

Operating hours
January : 09:30 – 15:30
February : 09:30 – 17:00
March – June : 09:30 – 18:00
July - August : 09:30 – 20:00
September – October : 09:30 – 18:00
November – December : 09:30 - 15:30
Final access to Rope Bridge is 45 mins before closing time.
Closed 24th, 25th & 26th December.

Entrance Fee
Adult : £9.00
Kids : £4.50
Family : £22.50
Ticket is required if you plan to cross the bridge. No fee for the coastal walk.

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