Page 8 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Taiwan » Little Kinmen Island January 14th 2014

Tuesday, 14th January 2014 Our final day in Kinmen took us to the island of Lieyu or more commonly known as the Little Kinmen Island. The journey soon reached a gridlock as soon as we arrived on the island. Touts were aplenty at the ferry terminal even though we were quite determined not to utilise their services. Contrary to what was written in some travel guidebooks, Little Kinmen is NOT walkable as the places of interest were widely spread out. Starting from the west of the ferry terminal, the only sights within walking distance were the Jiugong Tunnel and the Victory Gate. As we were heading towards Hujingtou War Museum along the western tip of the island, we had to rely on the somewhat unreliable public bus services for our commute. The return leg from the ... read more
Journey to Little Kinmen
The Jiugong Tunnels
Victory Gate, Little Kinmen

Asia » Taiwan » Kinmen Island January 13th 2014

Monday, 13th January 2014 The afternoon programme took us on the D route making its loop along the south eastern coast of the island. Starting from Shanwai Station at 2pm, we had the luxury of the afternoon shuttle to ourselves. Our morning kakis were missing altogether including the middle-aged couple from Xiamen and the helpful young chap from Taoyuan city. 5 minutes was all the bus took to bring us to the doorsteps of August 23rd Artillery Museum located along the edge of Lake Tai. While we had a go at the simulation room to experience the war first-hand, I was more excited posing pictures with the F-86 Sabre Jet outside the museum grounds. At the Cheng Gone (Success) District, we were mesmerized by the beauty of the Chen Jin Lang Mansion. Opening out to the ... read more
August 23rd Artillery Museum
Shanlin Coffee Shop
Pastas to end the day

Asia » Taiwan » Kinmen Island January 13th 2014

Monday, 13th January 2014 Shishan / Folk Culture Village Route C From Kincheng, we travelled across the island by public bus # 3 to Shanwai Town where we were right on time to catch the 9am shuttle to Mashan Observation Station. Located along the north eastern corner of Kinmen Island, the strong icy winds that greeted us when we first got down from the bus was overwhelming. A long tunnel greeted us as we ran for cover from the winds. At the far end of the tunnel lies Mashan Station, a surveillance and broadcasting station used by the Kuomintang troops to monitor the Communist Army's movement during the confrontation years. Separated by a narrow channel of water from China, the city of Xiamen where we would be visiting in 2 days' time was clearly evident from ... read more
At Mashan Observation Station
Wedding Portraits - Kinmen Style

Asia » Taiwan » Kinmen Island January 12th 2014

Sunday, 12th January 2014 We woke up to a wintry Sunday morning today. It was helpful in that Cantonese Porridge was served during breakfast which provided some respite from the icy air. After receiving some helpful advice from Ann, we were off to the bus station by 9am in the morning. With three full days in Kinmen, our plan was to purchase a 2-Day Pass that gave us unlimited rides on the Tourist Shuttle Routes across the island. On our final day, we would be spending our time on Little Kinmen, the other island within the archipelago that is opened for tourism. 40 years of confrontation with mainland China made Kinmen a war veteran. The island was littered with war relics - deep underground tunnels, observatories and war museums. Anti-landing barricades which lined the northern coast ... read more
Full View
Guningtou War Museum
Guarding the Peace Memorial Park

Asia » Taiwan » Kinmen Island January 11th 2014

Saturday, 11th January 2014 Given the lengthy commute between Singapore and Kinmen Island, it was almost dark by the time we reached our homestay at La Place (Urban @ Farmhouse). We started the journey 8 hours earlier for our Malaysia Airlines flight to the city of Xiamen including a 2 hours stopover at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It was closed to 2pm when our flight landed at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport. Without further ado, we hopped on to the next available cab from the official taxi ranks at the airport to bring us straight to Wutong Terminal. Our final leg consisted of a 30-minute ferry ride to Shuito Harbour in Kinmen and a somewhat hefty NT250 taxi ride to our homestay in Kincheng City. Our commute was half the fun given that we were phys... read more
At the Division Commander's Office, Kinmen Island
La Place Homestay
Comfy room @ La Place

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Batam January 4th 2014

Saturday, 4th January 2014 In celebration of H's liberalisation from his job, he got a room at Harris Batam Centre during the first weekend of 2014. So I volunteered to get hold of the ferry tickets for our 10.20am voyage to the island of Batam. Harris was a familiar hotel which I had stayed over for two earlier occasions. Nothing much had deviated from my past experiences even though the room check-in was available only after 2.30pm. Well, since H had scored such a nice deal from agoda, we were not really complaining. Black Canyon remained our favourite restaurant as we had our lunch during our first day and brunch on the next day. The 110,000 Rupiah breakfast at the hotel certainly did not appeal to us. I had a great stay over the weekend to ... read more
Nice food @ Black Canyon

Asia » Malaysia » Johor December 21st 2013

Saturday, 21st December 2013 My day trip to Johor Bahru took on a different route this weekend as I made use of the Second Link to reach the other side of the Causeway. My SGD4 commute to Bukit Indah took a fair bit of time having first boarded the CW3 bus at Jurong East before transferring to the CW6 service after the CIQ Customs. Along the way, my bus passed through the LEGOLAND Theme Park and the posh Horizon Hills estate before making a stop at the Aeon Bukit Indah Shopping Centre. This was a different side of Johor Bahru that I wasn't familiar with. The township itself was well planned with many shophouses centred around a well-maintained public park. Hotel Granada looked imposing from a distance and given its ideal location to amenities, I should ... read more
Aeon Bukit Indah Shopping Town

Asia » Indonesia » Riau Archipelago » Batam November 16th 2013

Saturday, 16th November 2013 As submitted to This was my second visit to Harris Hotel Batam Centre since our previous stay in August 2012. The cheerful orangey décor never failed to impress me which helped to shape the holiday mood from the beginning. It's easy walking distance from the Ferry Terminal made it a plus point for me. I arrived at 10.40am and was glad that my bedroom was available for check-in. Since I was travelling alone this time, the staffs were extremely helpful in combining my twin-bedded room into a double bedder. This was done with a nice touch and great initiative from the friendly staffs. My only complaint was the noisy air-conditioning in room 402 that I was staying. Oh well, the pillows were slowly showing some age. Probably it was time for ... read more
Harris Hotel Batam Centre as seen from the Ferry Terminal
Nice, retro touch
My Room for the Weekend

Asia » Singapore October 19th 2013

Saturday, 19th October 2013 In my final instalment of weekend staycations in Singapore, I decided to try out the new 4-star Ramada Hotel at Zhongshan Park in Balestier. It was raining heavily when I checked in on the afternoon of 19th October 2013. I was lucky in that the rain was quick enough to dissipate from the skies. In no time, I was happily doing my lap training at the spacious outdoor swimming pool. For sure, my room at level 10 did not disappoint as it was overlooking the peaceful Zhongshan Park and Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. For SGD161, this was not a bad deal in expensive Singapore even though the lacklustre service was certainly not worth its widely acclaimed 4-star ratings. I probably spent 80% of my time in the room within the confines ... read more
With an equally nice swimming pool (overlooking Days Hotel)

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar September 23rd 2013

Monday, 23rd September 2013 The night before, we were still debating whether to hire a car and visit the hill station of Malino. Researching from the internet certainly did not reveal too much information. We were told that there was a waterfall, some tea plantations and probably some cooling weather. Sometime back, we did the tea and strawberry plantations in Bandung and decided it just wasn't too worthwhile to make the 72km winding journey to see the same thing in Malino. Spending half of our time journeying to and from our destination certainly wasn't our cup of tea, at least in Makassar. Finally, our Malino idea was scrapped. Following an idyllic breakfast, we decided to spend some time at the hotel pool as the weather simply grew too hot for us to venture outdoors. After lunch ... read more
Have a cuppa before the flight home

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