Page 8 of Budokan Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur January 17th 2014

Friday, 17th January 2014 As we welcomed day 7 of our trip, I was determined to squeeze some time after breakfast to visit the Museum Negara and the Police Museum in the morning. Located next to the massive Lake Gardens, getting there via public transport was very possible even though it involved a fair bit of walking along the highways and job site from KL Sentral Station. Construction of the MRT line outside the National Museum continued as I stepped into the premises on a warm day. I was greeted by a vivid display of iconic vehicles including the old furnicular train cars used in Penang Hill. The museum interior was divided into four permanent exhibition halls depicting the turbulent history of the country. Unfortunately, little was mentioned pertaining to the nation's struggles during the Second ... read more
With its proud displays of yesteryears
Museum Exterior
The country's first Proton

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur » Bukit Bintang January 16th 2014

Thursday, 16th January 2014 After our one night brief encounter in Xiamen, it was time for us to head to the city of Kuala Lumpur on the final leg of our journey. The complimentary airport transfer from our hotel to Xiamen airport was a welcome surprise to end our campaign in North East Asia. Having been to the city of Kuala Lumpur a couple of occasions in the past, I was determined to make my stay experience in the city a different one. The url= Times Square Hotel had been around for a while and this was my first time staying in the spacious suite on the 38th floor. While the hotel had seen better days, it was still a welcoming stay given its sprawling pool and the convenience of shopping facilities right at our door ... read more
Final look at Xiamen

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu January 15th 2014

Wednesday, 15th January 2014 Gulangyu, a traffic-free island off the coast of Xiamen is arguably one of the city's top tourist draws. It helped that access to the ferry terminal from our hotel was through a comfortable walk along Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Mall. Once on the island, touts offering every imaginable walking tours possible were determined to grab a share of the tourist dollars. This was absolutely unnecessary with a Google Earth print out map and a pair of good walking shoes. With the exception of Zheng Cheng Gong Memorial Hall where views of the island could be had, most of the other tourist sites required some sort of admission fees. The island was littered with many quaint cafes and B&B establishments converted out of old colonial buildings. They provided good rest stops after an afternoon ... read more
Welcome to Gulangyu
Xiamen city's skyline
Colonial Vibe

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu January 15th 2014

Wednesday, 15th January 2014 Day 5 - After saying goodbye to our lovely homestay and gracious host in Kinmen, we slowly made our way to the Shuitou Ferry Terminal for our voyage to Xiamen, China. Temperatures were hovering between 8 - 9 degrees from the night before and it was certainly not the most pleasant moment to be in at the outdoors. Getting on board our 10.30am ferry was a breeze. The Kinmen International Ferry Terminal was nicely spruced up and very soon, we were on our 30-minute commute to Xiamen. Like Kinmen, Xiamen City presents itself on an island that is densely populated with 2M inhabitants. After kissing goodbye to the taxi touts at Wutong Ferry Terminal, we hailed a legitimate taxi from the official ranks. The journey to our hotel in the downtown area ... read more

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

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