Page 15 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Tangkak July 29th 2012

Sunday, 29th July 2012 Time: 6.10am AC was kind enough to give us a ride to our meeting point at Anson Road for our One Day Durian Fiesta Trip. We were glad to have made it today since after this weekend, there would not be another trip until the next durian season in mid-2013. On the way, we caught up with a few of my colleagues from my ex-company, a sort of Alma Mater for me. Ever since moving back to Tanjong Pagar in April 2012, I've managed to keep those friendships alive through our weekly lunch sessions. After clearing the customs, our Aloha Express bus dropped us for breakfast at a local coffeeshop at Gelang Patah, some 10 minutes away from the Second Link. I opted for the Wanton Noodles while the rest of the ... read more
I opted for Wanton Noodles
The Fiesta Begins
Gateway to Durian Fiesta

Asia » Singapore July 8th 2012

Whenever and wherever I travel, I always made it a point to help myself with those Inflight Magazines hidden beneath the seat pocket in front of me. Not only do they made a good read during those boring moments in the sky, they also provided avenues for me to draw inspirations for my future trips. Since most of my regional travels revolved around budget carriers, my collections were mainly taken from Jetstar and Tiger Airways. There were a few rare collections from Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airways and Malaysia Airlines which I flew with them on several occasions in the past. Air Asia had since discouraged fellow passengers from taking their 360 Inflight Magazines away from the plane. Part of my collection also stemmed from friends who knew that I had developed the habit of collecting Inflight ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru June 2nd 2012

Saturday, 2nd June 2012 Barely 3 months from our last stay, we decided to check out the Mutiara Johor Bahru again last weekend. What a difference it made given the deterioration state of service at the Front Office. Our room check-in was only possible after 4pm as the previous guest had left the property only at 3 in the afternoon. A simple apology or any attempt of a service recovery was expected but conveniently forgotten. Clearly, the unhelpful staffs did not understand the meaning of "customer service" and "basic courtesy". Ironically, we had booked a Deluxe Room this time round. We had expected something decent to come out of it. Instead, our 1 hour was spent chit-chatting at the lobby while waiting for our room to be ready. 4pm. The only thing that separated our Deluxe ... read more

Asia » Singapore » Chinatown May 30th 2012

Tanjong Pagar Best-Kept Secrets - Dao Ji Ipoh Hor Fun Wednesday, 30th May 2012 There is this stall in Tanjong Pagar Market that I patronised quite frequently over the past few weeks ever since my office shifted to this area. The stall was manned by an elderly grandma who was probably in her 80s together with her middle-aged daughter. On the stall menu, there were only 2 items on offer – Ipoh Hor Fun or Macaroni. For $2.50 ($2.70 for take-away), my choice of Hor Fun came with a generous serving of mushrooms and fresh greens, 2 prawn dumplings and some chicken slices. What made my Hor Fun so special was their homemade gravy. If you noticed closed enough, you would probably realised that their gravy was heated up slowly over a charcoal stove. Yes, charcoal ... read more
Cheap Chow Licious
Generous servings of mushrooms and prawn dumplings

Asia » Singapore May 5th 2012

Saturday, 5th May 2012 Over Vesak Day holidays earlier this month, I booked myself a private room at the Aqueen Hotel Lavender for a quick weekend getaway from the hot weather. As my url= of the property turned out, it was saddled with its own fair share of shortcomings despite its contemporary room design. I should have guessed it, given that I've only paid SGD 117 for a night's rest in pricey Singapore. Well, that's 3-star comfort for me in a non-touristy neighbourhood. I tried to make do with whatever the room offered even though sound proofing to cut off unwanted noise from the elevators and the neighbourhood was almost non-existent. The streets surrounding Aqueen were having their own sort of religious celebrations. Clearly, ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City April 20th 2012

Friday, 20th April 2012 After 6 days in Saigon and Vientiane, it was time for me to call it a day and head back to Singapore. My brand new work week would convene from 23rd April 2012. Effectively, I had only 2 days over the weekend to recuperate and prepare myself for the new challenges ahead. I'm thankful for this week-long holiday since it was considered "extravagant" at my previous job given the unreasonable demands at work. Anyway, on my final day in Vientiane, I finished breakfast by 9am where I had enough time to hang around in my room before being transfered to the airport for my 11.45am flight back to Saigon. There was nothing much for me to pack since I had purchased practically nothing during the trip. After discarding a couple of my ... read more
With a nice view of the Saigon Airport

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane April 19th 2012

Thursday, 19th April 2012 (Day 05) I knew that I wouldn't be able to climb on board Bus #14 for my journey to Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan), about 25km from Vientiane. The 12,000 kip (USD 1.50 return) local bus was jam-packed with people when I passed by the Talat Sao Bus Station on Wednesday. Even the reception at my hotel advised me against using public transport since none of the guys at the bus station spoke English. I probably wouldn't know where to alight - it seemed. After having a fair idea of the on-going tuk-tuk rate, I walked down a couple of streets to find the right fit for my budget. In fact, the rate was a standard 200,000 kip flat (USD 25) no matter how far I walked. There seemed to be an unwritten ... read more
That Dam (Black Stupa)
Unknown Soldier Monument (Mekong Riverfront)
Swensen's Vientiane

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane April 18th 2012

Wednesday, 18th April 2012 Yes, the heat in the capital was unbearable at times during the day. But there were several cooling spots in the city worth checking out to combat against the harsh aggression of the sun. A perfect spot was hidden beneath the Patuxai (Victory Gate), Vientiane's best answer to the Arc De Triomphe of Paris. Located at the far end of Lang Xang Avenue, construction of the Patuxai spanned 10 years between 1957 - 1968 to commemorate Lao's victory against the French colonialism. With a small fee, visitors were allowed to climb up to the top of Patuxai which guaranteed a great view of the city across Lang Xang Avenue. This was one of the highlights of my trip in Laos and worth the extra efforts of getting to the top. On my ... read more
Of Wats and Flags
The Victory Gate of Vientiane
The view from the top

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane April 18th 2012

Wednesday, 18th April 2012 Day 04 of my trip in Indochina. The sweltering heat in the Laos capital was something quite unlike I had experienced back in Singapore. The weather was scorching hot right from the start of the morning. To a certain extent, the leafy boulevards in the city helped to provide a much needed relief from the sun. However, the heat in summer was simply too much for an average human being to bear. For the most part of the day, I had my brolly put into good use. This was partly inspired by the tangerine-cladded monks along the streets doing the same. After a healthy breakfast consisting of croissant, yogurt, banana shake with honey and plenty of fruits to kick-start my day, I began my morning walk from Hotel Khamvongsa, passing through numerous ... read more
Breakie @ Hotel Khamvongsa
The Presidential Palace
The COPE Center, housed in a humble house

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane April 17th 2012

Tuesday, 17th April 2012 Day 03 of my vacation in Indochina. It was breakfast as usual for me in the earlier part of the day. And of course, being rewarded with the same breathtaking view of the city from one of the vantage points in Pham Ngu Lao district. In the afternoon, it was time for me to say goodbye to Vietnam as I caught my 4.10pm flight VN920 out of Saigon to Lao PDR. Enroute, the plane stopped for a 50-minute transit at the Cambodian capital before making its way to Vientiane. Dinner was served on board and it gave my body a much needed boost from the long day of travelling. I proceeded to finish the whole lot in front of me even though it was a simple serving of cold cuts and salads. ... read more
Farewell lunch from Saigon, Fried Pho.
Laap, the national cuisine of Laos
My Bedroom

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