Category Archives: UNESCO Site

10 Days Free and Easy Europe Tour (2017) – Day 2 Vienna to Prague

Morning in Hilton Vienna Danube Hotel

We woke up pretty early and found the streets a little wet. There were some light rains overnight. Our bus to Prague was at 8.55 am. The terminal is about 10 minutes walk away from Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront Hotel. So it wasn’t an extremely early morning bus ride and hence we had a relaxing simple breakfast before checking out of Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront Hotel. Our breakfast was the carrot cake and muffins we bought the day before and the coffee and tea we made on our own.

After freshening up, we went to the lobby to check out our room and then left Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront Hotel. We really enjoyed this hotel which was very comfortable and convenient for our purpose. Getting from the airport to Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront Hotel yesterday was very easy. Going to the bus station to catch a bus ride to Prague this morning was even easier within walking distance to the bus station nearby.

Heading to Stadion Bus Station

We reached Stadion Centre quite easily but along the way, there were police stationed at traffic junctions controlling traffic. Apparently, there was some sports event taking place this morning. There were quite a lot of people outside the stadium. We were still early so we went into the mall to check out what was there. Unfortunately, nothing was open. There were some people inside the mall waiting and also to use the washrooms in the mall. We also visited the washroom one last time before heading out to the bus bay to wait for the bus.

The bus was already there with passengers boarding the bus when we reached the bus bay just outside the mall. It was a very easy process with the bus guide checking our print itinerary and then tagged our bags for storage. We then went up the bus to sit according to seat number on our tickets we purchased online. Moments later, all were onboard and the guide came up to request everyone put on seat belt.

Continue reading 10 Days Free and Easy Europe Tour (2017) – Day 2 Vienna to Prague

6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 4 Hue City Citadel and Night Market

Very Good Breakfast at Serene Shining Hotel

Due to the location of Serene Shining Hotel situated in a side lane, road traffic noise was absent. So we slept to our heart’s content. By the time we got up, it was already past 8 am. Breakfast time was of course calling.

Down we went and we found the restaurant already busy with many hotel guests enjoying their breakfast. The friendly waitresses greeted us and gave us the menu to choose what we would like for our first meal for the day. We could choose whatever we wanted from the menu consisting of local Vietnamese and Western food items. So we made our order and then went over to the counter to collect fruits, fruit juice and more bread.

Our food came including Vietnamese coffee which was as expected, quite strong and sweet. We were greedy this morning. We ordered both Western and Vietnamese food for breakfast. The food was very good and we were so full after breakfast. The staff here really brightened our day with all smiles and ever ready to serve and help.

Sight-Seeing Time in Hue City

Back in our room after breakfast, we rested and made ourselves comfortable. We packed and tidied up a little to make it easy for the chambermaids to clean and make our room when we explored Hue City later. From our windows, we could see it was quite bright already but a little cloudy. Once we were ready, we left Serene Shining Hotel for our adventure for the day.

Our first objective was the Citadel. So we walked back to the riverfront at Perfume River we visited the previous night. Along the way, we checked out some sports shops. One of the shops near Le Loi Street before the Dragon Boats area had some sports shoes my wife might be interested. We took a look and told the young man and lady manning the shop we might return to check out the shoes after sightseeing in the city. We then continued walking towards the riverfront. Continue reading 6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 4 Hue City Citadel and Night Market

6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 3 Hoi An to Hue Via Hai Van Pass

Quick Breakfast at Hoi An Travel Lodge Hotel

We woke up slightly after 6 am. This time it wasn’t due to loud annoying singing nearby. In fact, it was pretty quiet in the vicinity this morning. We got up early because we needed to be ready by 7 am to wait for our bus to Hue. So it seemed the previous noisy morning was some event held during that particular day.

Breakfast would only be ready at 6.30 am. We had everything packed and ready to leave after a quick breakfast. So we went down to the restaurant at 6.30 am. Buffet spread was more or less ready. But no one was at the restaurant, not even a staff. We helped ourselves with those food that were available and had a quick meal. Soon, a staff came over with more food.

We didn’t have time to ask the staff to make us a bowl of pho this morning. However, we were given a box to pack some food with us after we told the staff we had to leave pretty soon. Another guest came down and was also given boxes to pack her food because she was leaving the hotel early as well. The quick meal was actually quite satisfying and the take away packed food was a bonus. We could have some snacks on the bus during our bus ride to Hue.

Waiting for Bus Transfer to Hue

After this we returned to our room to freshen up and then took our bags to head to front desk. We returned our room key and processed check out. Having made payment for the airport transfer that cost 340,000 VND we were ready to leave this very nice Hoi An Travel Lodge Hotel. It was 7 am while we waited in the lobby. Front desk staff helped us call our agent and was told the bus was on its way.

The staff in this hotel were really helpful and friendly. We loved the location of this hotel, just a street away from the Ancient Town. It is so convenient to visit the Ancient Town from here. The hotel also provides free bikes rental for hotel guests who wish to cycle around town or to the beach. Finally, our bus arrived at 7.30 am. A young man came into the hotel to look for us and we followed him and boarded the minibus and so that was goodbye to Hoi An for now till the next visit. Continue reading 6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 3 Hoi An to Hue Via Hai Van Pass

6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 2 Hoi An Ancient Town

Breakfast at Hoi An Travel Lodge

We woke up to some annoying loud singing near Hoi An Travel Lodge Hotel before 8 am. The hotel room opens out to a small balcony. From the balcony, we could see the side road was already busy with road traffic where locals were getting off to work. There were quite a number of street food hawkers along the road and locals were having their meals here in the morning.

Back in our room, we couldn’t sleep any longer. We didn’t intend to get up so early as we couldn’t explore the Ancient Town early in the morning. Most of the shops and cafes won’t be open. So we went down to the restaurant for breakfast. Staying on the second floor was quite advantageous as we could simply walk down to the restaurant for our meal.

The restaurant wasn’t crowded. We took our seats and then went to collect our food. The breakfast spread wasn’t huge but was more than sufficient. In fact, the quality of the breakfast was pretty good. We could order Vietnamese Pho separately as well. Of course the breakfast came with beverages, drinks, and fresh fruits.

Preparing to Visit to Ancient Town

After breakfast, we returned to our room to rest and tidy up to get ready for the staff to make our room while we prepared to head to Ancient Town just a street away. It was really early and shops at the Ancient Town might not be open so we took our time to surf internet and watch some TV programs. Finally at 9.20 am, we decided to make our move.

We stopped by at front desk to enquire about their free bike rental. The bicycles were kept just outside the hotel along the side road. Having taken a look, we decided not to cycle to town. The Ancient Town is just a street away. We didn’t see the point having to take care of the bike while we shop. Last year, we stayed over at Hoi An Sincerity Hotel which is much further away from the Ancient Town so cycling to town was necessary. This time we preferred to just walk which was more convenient.

Entering Hoi An Ancient Town

So we left Hoi An Travel Lodge Hotel, crossed the road and walked towards Le Loi Street. The streets were busy already when we crossed the traffic junction. Few minutes later, we were walking into Le Loi Street inside the Ancient Town. Shops were opening and a school was in operation with kids having a great time at the compound. This school looks like a kindergarten. The kids seen here were not wearing any particular uniform, just their home clothes.

Le Loi Street wasn’t busy yet but there were tourists roaming the street like us. Tourists were of course stopping here and there taking pictures of this lovely Ancient Town. The weather was great. It was a very sunny day and yet not scorching hot like our previous visits during the month in May. There was also some wind blowing and so it was also quite cooling especially under shades. Continue reading 6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 2 Hoi An Ancient Town

6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 1 Hoi An

6 Days Central Vietnam Tour

We had been visiting Central Vietnam for the past two years during the summer month in May which was freaking hot. However, we find Central Vietnam really charming and relaxing. So when Jetstar launched another round of sales, we booked air tickets without hesitation. This time, we would be visiting during the month of March 2017. A pair of return air ticket without check in luggage cost only around $95. Travelling to Central Vietnam is so convenient and really affordable now.




We planned to spend five nights in Central Vietnam, more than enough for us to visit Hoi An, Hue and Danang for a short visit as we had been to these places before. Our flight timings were as follows:

Singapore to Danang 6.30 pm to 8.05 pm

Danang to Singapore 8.20 pm to 12.10 am the following day.

Basically, the first day would simply be travelling to Central Vietnam just to spend the night and real activity would begin on the second day. However, we would have the entire day on the sixth day to chill before our return flight at night. So we planned our itinerary as follows:

6 Days Central Vietnam Itinerary

Day 1 – Singapore to Hoi An

Transfer from Danang Airport to Hoi An.

Stay two nights at Hoi An Travel Lodge just one street away from the Ancient Town.

We had also arranged with the hotel for airport transfer for 340,000 VND.

Day 2 – Hoi An

Spend time to shop and dine in Hoi An at the Ancient Town.

Day 3 – Hue

Transfer to Hue to stay two nights at Serene Shinning Hotel.

We booked transfer from Hue Tourist Vietnam at http://ticket.whr.vn/Bus.

The cost for this transfer was 220,000 VND per person where we would have a chance to stop by at Hai Van Pass and Lang Co Beach along the way travelling on a mini bus. Payment would be paid only on the day when we were picked up from Hoi An Travel Lodge Hotel. This was pretty good arrangement with no upfront payment. Continue reading 6 Days Central Vietnam Tour (2017) – Day 1 Hoi An

11 Days Free and Easy China Tour – Day 5 Huangshan to Wuyishan

Nice Breakfast at Parrion Hotel

After the grueling hike at Huangshan, our sleep was so sweet. Our king beds were so comfortable and the luxury we enjoyed at Parrion Hotel was a treat indeed. We had a train to catch near 10 am so we still had a bit of time to have a good breakfast before checking out. Getting up from bed was a little strange this morning. Our bodies were recuperating from the work out up on Huangshan the previous day.

However by 7.45 am, we were already at the restaurant for breakfast. The restaurant was pretty nice, very modern and tastefully decorated. The buffet spread was very good too. Food was very delicious and more than sufficient to get us started for the morning. We saw some other guests during breakfast so we were not the only guests staying here despite the quietness we experienced the day before. We took our time to indulge in a good meal before leaving Huangshan to our next destination down south.

After breakfast, we returned to our super spacious rooms to rest for a short while and freshen up. Once done, we took our bags and went to the lobby to check out. Check out was efficient. The same couldn’t be said about their transfer services to the train station. The hotel had a dedicated number to call for transfer service but this service failed big time this morning. The staff was trying so hard to call the company but no one picked up the phone. Continue reading 11 Days Free and Easy China Tour – Day 5 Huangshan to Wuyishan

11 Days Free and Easy China Tour – Day 4 Huangshan and Tunxi Ancient Street

Breakfast at Cheng Jin Hotel

This would be one of the most exciting days for our China Tour. We would be doing the Huangshan hike in the morning before heading over to Tunxi City for the night to prepare for our southward train ride to Wuyishan the next day. It was still very dark when we went to the restaurant for breakfast. We were the first guests at the restaurant while breakfast was getting ready.

We weren’t having very high expectation for breakfast at the hotel. However, while the breakfast spread wasn’t comparable to any four star hotels in major cities, the food available was quite decent for this three star hotel in a rural area of scenic mountain site. Food was hot and sufficient and we were fed.

After breakfast, we returned to our room, got our backpacks with some food and water and then returned to the hotel lobby to check out. We left our main luggage with Cheng Jin Hotel. We could also borrow raincoats to standby just in case we needed them up in the mountains. The hotel also loaned us walking sticks but after trying them out, we decided not to bring them along for our hike.

Bus from Tangkou to Cloud Valley

So we left Cheng Jin Hotel and walked up to the bus terminal nearby. It was 7 am and it was getting brighter. There were self-service bus ticket machines but we preferred not to use them. We queued for a short while and bought our bus tickets. The bus ticket cost CNY 19 each. Next we walked over to the bus departure hall. We were required to go through security screening and had our bags scanned. An old man in front of us decided to challenge the procedure and was rebuked by the security staff.

For the past few days, residents of Anhui Province were given free entry into Huangshan National Park. The mountain was packed with visitors exceeding thirty thousand people. Hence, we decided to go up to Huangshan first thing in the morning to beat the crowd. Even so early in the morning, there was a sizeable crowd at the bus station.

After queuing for a short while, we boarded the bus heading up to the cable car station at Cloud Valley. It had been raining almost the whole night so the roads were still wet. It was also very misty as the bus drove along winding roads towards Cloud Valley. At least one passenger vomited during the journey. We were glad we didn’t eat too much during breakfast. Notwithstanding, the scenic views along the way were quite astounding even before our actual hike up Huangshan. About thirty minutes later, we arrived at Cloud Valley Station.

Cable Car up to Huangshan

The surrounding was wet and misty but not very cold. The air was of course fresh but humidity was rather high. There were quite a number of visitors at the base here. We made a quick visit to the toilet here and then proceeded to the ticketing office to purchase tickets into the park to take the cable car up Huangshan. Entrance fee was CNY 150 per person and cable car ride was CNY 65 each during low season. Those under 18 enjoys discounted fare.

Continue reading 11 Days Free and Easy China Tour – Day 4 Huangshan and Tunxi Ancient Street

11 Days Free and Easy China Tour – Day 2 Hangzhou Westlake

Breakfast at Huachen International Hotel

After just a few hours sleep, we got up to head for breakfast. There was much to do this day, especially to purchase all our high speed train tickets for the train rides for this China tour. Breakfast was held at the restaurant on the 19th floor. The views of the surrounding area of downtown Hangzhou was awesome. Westlake could be seen in the distance but the morning was a little hazy and the lake views were somewhat hindered.

Christmas decorations were visible at the restaurant this time of the year. The restaurant was a warm welcome for us to start our day here. Buffet breakfast spread was huge with both Chinese and Western items. After the sumptuous breakfast, we returned to our rooms to get ready to begin our day in Hangzhou.

Heading to Hangzhou Railway Station

Once we got ourselves ready to prepare for quite a bit of walking, we left Huachen International Hotel. We turned left and walked along Ping Hai Road towards Westlake. The area was pretty busy this morning. We didn’t have to walk very far towards the lake when we spotted the entrance into Longxiangqiao MRT Station. So we descended into the station and bought our train tickets to head to Chengzhan MRT Station where Hangzhou Railway Station is located. Continue reading 11 Days Free and Easy China Tour – Day 2 Hangzhou Westlake