Page 5 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin » Mindil Beach July 24th 2014

Thursday, 24th July 2014 I wasn't expecting too much out of this visit to the Northern Territory but it turned out to be a relatively good experience. There were some sights that I was really keen to explore and it helped that H was very accommodating throughout this trip. As the days went by, I managed to check off those places from my wish list one by one. As soon as we cleared off the Australian Customs, we hailed a blue taxi which would bring us to the url= All Suite Hotel located within the mini CBD District. The time was 7.34am as we entered the near-empty Stuart Highway. About 15 minutes into the journey, we had arrived at our accommodation where we were warmly greeted by one of the nice ladies at th... read more
Our home in Darwin
Darwin's quiet CBD
First meal of the day

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin » City of Darwin July 23rd 2014

Wednesday, 23rd July 2014 Our journey to the city of Darwin started on the night of 23rd July 2014. It was 10 years back when I last visited Australia and I decided to give it another go given the long weekend ahead. For the first time of my life, I was a bit apprehensive with our flight journey given a slew of horrible air incidents that plague the travel industry recently. Before our flight, I had to assure my parents that everything was going to be alright. Of course, we were really quite comfortable with Jetstar given that this was a subsidiary of the Qantas Group which had maintained a good safety record since it started operations 10 years ago. So H and myself assembled at Changi Terminal 1 at 10.30pm tonight in preparation for our ... read more
Welcome to Darwin

Asia » Singapore July 6th 2014

Sunday, 6th July 2014 Where: Bras Basah Complex When: 3.00 - 5.30pm What: A Xinyao reunion concert held at Bras Basah Complex as a backdrop for the documentary, 我们唱着的歌 (The Songs We Sang). In the 1980s, the Bras Basah complex was a staging point for budding local young talents to showcase their new music compositions. I was too young then to be able to attend these concerts. It was certainly heart-warming to catch them "live" in action today at the very same venue after a span of 30 years. From time to time, the huge crowds sung in unison when familiar tunes were belted out on stage. This was a fantastic afternoon to relive those memories that we grew up with. The years might have passed but memories such as these were never quite forgotten. Certainly, ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Johor June 21st 2014

Saturday, 21st June 2014 I was back to the town of Kluang for my 3rd time on the 3rd weekend of June 2014. Other than the horrible jam along the Singapore side of the customs, the rest of our 90 minutes journey was relatively smooth. We checked-in at url= Anika located at the heart of the town centre for our weekend stay. After a delicious lunch at the iconic Star Coffee House and Restaurant, we were soon off to the UK Farm about 30 minutes ride from town. As part of our visit, there were opportunities to feed the goats and ostriches as well as have a peep at an Orang Asli Settlement. The beautiful sunset against the backdrop of the expansive countryside was quite a sight to end our lovely day. Dinner at url= read more
Sunset @ UK Farm
A great cafe
Great prices

Asia » Malaysia » Johor » Johor Bahru May 24th 2014

Saturday, 24th May 2014 This was a last minute decision to stay over for the weekend at Bukit Indah, Johor Malaysia. Given the relatively long commute via public transportation from Singapore, it made logical sense to stay over without the mad rush for home on Saturday evening. A couple of hotels had sprouted around the neighbourhood recently and for the purpose of this weekend stay, I made a go at the Princeton Hotel. The hotel was roughly 10 minutes walk to Jusco and along the same stretch where the massive Kaki Kaki Reflexology was located. There was nothing to shout about in terms of amenities at url= but it made up by having a rather comfortable room that came... read more
My comfortable bed
@ Princeton Hotel
Plus a functionable bathroom

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Medan May 13th 2014

Tuesday, 13th May 2014 To make our stay worthwhile in Medan, we scheduled a visit to the historic Tjong A Fie Mansion followed by a lunch at the iconic Tip Top Restaurant. Tjong A Fie was probably one of the richest men who ever lived in this city and this was evident from the luxurious mansion he left behind. The style of his house was quintessentially Peranakan even though one of the rooms was purposely decorated to resemble that of a European Tea Room. The mansion was constructed during the period when Indonesia was under the Dutch Administration. Visits by the European guests could probably be expected from time to time. For 25,000 rupiahs, our admission came with a local guide that brought us around the place. His laissez fair attitude coupled with the monotonous tone ... read more
Lunch at Tip Top Restaurant
An institution of its own
Medan Railway Station

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Medan May 12th 2014

Monday, 12th May 2014 After breakfast this morning, the few of us were ready to leave Lake Toba to embark on our long journey to the city of Medan. As advised by Berend, the helpful owner of our homestay, we decided to enter Medan via the market town of Berastagi. With frequent stops along the way, this would make our long journey less painful and more eventful. We took off to Simarjarunjung, the highest point along Lake Toba where ginger tea and toasted bananas were served at a hotel's café. The drizzling rain did prevent us from venturing outdoors which would otherwise afford a good view of the surroundings on a clear day. The cool winds of the mountains was best appreciated with a nice brew of ginger tea, a specialty from the highlands. Another 60 ... read more
Simpang Si Piso Piso Waterfall
Overlooking Centrpoint Mall, Medan

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba May 11th 2014

Sunday, 11th May 2014 The 3 of us spent the earlier part of our day taking in the beauty of the morning skies as the sun rose over the horizon of Lake Toba. The lake presented itself as the perfect antidote of peace and quiet - a travel wishlist for city dwellers like us. Our idyllic breakfast consisted of both Indonesian and Western favourites. These were served at 7.30am at the balcony of our room. Every breakfast set we ordered came with a nice serving of fruit platter to start our day on a healthy footing. While waiting for the rest of the folks to join us in the afternoon, 3 of us went through a long trek around Tuk Tuk Town. The full circuit took a good 3 hours to complete under the hot sun. ... read more
Healthy breakfast for the day
Holiday chalets, Batak styles
From the top

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba May 10th 2014

Saturday, 10th May 2014 We were missing out on 1 passenger as our Valuair Flight, VF281 made her final descend at the modern Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan. WX had unfortunately missed her flight this morning and it was decided that she would be travelling together with CC & HQ on the following day. So it was left with the 3 of us on day 1 of our programme as we started our long journey from Singapore to Lake Loba. After what must have been more than 40 minutes delay at the Medan customs, we hopped onto the car which would bring us to our destination in about 5 hours. An hour on the road later, our driver dropped us at Restoran Bahagia for our delicious Nasi Padang lunch. The various dishes were neatly laid ... read more
Lunch at Restoran Bahagia
The Kwan Im Temple at Siantar
Our lovely homestay, the Horas Indah

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei » Ximending April 19th 2014

Saturday, 19th April 2014 We started our journey eight days earlier when our Jetstar flight landed at Taoyuan International Airport. We then journeyed along the east coast of Taiwan to cover the beautiful landscapes of Taitung and Yilan counties. Along the way, we stopped by at the historic mining town of Shifen even though none of us were too impressed by the whole experience. After breakfast today, we headed separate ways again where I took the metro to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. I had ample time to browse through the exhibits before catching a glimpse of the hourly Changing of Guards Ceremony at the Main Hall. I couldn't stay for the entire duration as the crowds were slowly building up around me. Heading to the Eslite Bookstore on my final day in the city, ... read more
Taipei City Hall with Taipei 101 at the side

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