Saturday, October 20, 2018

Things to take note before you visit Cappadocia

The hot air balloon and mystifying landscape in Cappadocia has become very popular in recent years thanks to Instagram! It's been on my bucket lists for ages, and finally is now off my bucket list. Woohooo. Here's a few things I wish I knew before visiting Cappadocia, so you can refer to them to avoid same mistake. 
What to know before you go?

Best time to travel: April-June OR September-October 
During this period, it isn't peak season and the weather is moderate ( Just nice for a hot air balloon ride). June-August falls in summer can get pretty hot-up to 32'C, also the busiest time of the year flocking with many tourists, while December-February falls in Winter can be bitingly cold as the temperatures is going down to -6'C. 
How to get there:

Cappadocia is most easily accessible by plane and there are 2 major airports : Kayseri Erkilet Airport ( ASR) in Kayseri (about an hour drive to the city) and Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport ( Nav) in Nevsehir. We flew with Peagrus airline, a local flight from Kusadasi to Kayseri with RM176 and we were transferred to our hotel upon arrival. 

About hot air ballon 

1. The hot air balloon don't fly everyday 
Yes! The ride is very much depending on that day's weather and wind condition. The local Turkish holds the authorities to decide today's weather is it suitable for a balloon ride. As you know weather can be very unpredictable and if it's windy, the ride may be cancelled at anytime. Nothing can be done. So if balloon ride is one of your ' must-do list', I recommend spending a few days in Cappadocia as occasionally balloon ride are cancelled due to the weather. 

2. Many photos had been photoshopped
Many of the photos you see on Instagram are photoshopped with many more balloons than they are in reality. Only about 100-150 balloons fly each day and they do spread out to different direction depending on the wind, so it's difficult for you to get a perfect shot with the skies completely filled with balloon. Somehow you may try your luck and be ready before the balloon launching, you'll see them more densely!

3. Hot air ballon only fly on 6.00-8.00am
Let me warn you if you're not a morning person, it's earlyyyyyy! The local will pick you up at approximately 4.30am or maybe earlier, so you can witness the balloon launching and soon the ballon started to lift off. It's amazing!! 

Where to stay?

One of the most frequent question I got is: Are those hotels in Cappadocia very crowded/ touristy? Maybe, but at least not mine. The best thing about Cappadocia is the unique experience of staying in a cave hotel, isn't? I've chosen Cappadocia Cave Suites in Goreme, and this was the last room when I booked. Phewwww I nearly missed the chance. lol. So if I were you, I will make sure to book in advance because this Instagram places are likely to fill up first. The reason I booked CCS is because they offer large bedroom, and the bathroom is a treat! There's a jacuzzi bathtub which is perfect for relaxation. Perfect? I know right. 

And the rooftop terrace is filled with nice carpet, tables and many props that you can take photo with. It wasn't crowded as I thought, it was totally empty by time I arrived. How is that possible? You don't even need to get up earlier to avoid the crowd, is all yours! Best place you could ever imagine. 

How to pronounce Cappadocia?

Its not Cah-Pah-Do-Siah or Capa-Doc-Ia ( Oops...This was how I pronounced it earlier, awkward....) The correct pronunciation is Can-Pah-Doh-Kia. 

What mistake I made? 

I went in early October and it was fairly chilly at night and reasonably warm during the day time. We never expected raining day. But here's the unlucky thing, we were told by the locals that the weather was really bad and balloon ride were cancelled the day before we arrived in Cappadocia. It was pouring rain and I was worried that I barely got any sleep that night. I just had one day in Cappadocia. JEEZZZZZ the biggest mistake I've ever made...T.T So please make your stay for at least 2-3 days to avoid disappointment or pick the right month for the least likely chance of rain. 

What to see and do

If you think hot air ballon are all what Cappadocia is, you are completely wrong. Cappadocia has numerous attractions and activities to do, which are worth exploring. 

1. ATV Tour
If you're an adventure junkie, an Atv tour is a must! You get to explore many different valleys. But most impressively, you get the opportunity to watch the sunrise as roughly 100-150 balloons flying up to the sky, it was a magical experience indeed. Prices are affordable, and there's a local named Osman who will help sort out your booking if you hit him up! Add him on WeChat: osmanwolf. 

2. Camel ride 
My first experience on a camel. Head down the hill at the Goreme open air museum where you can find 4 camels sitting there.  TIPS: Confirm the price before you agree to take the camel ride! We thought it was 30 TL as written on the board ( Actually that's the actual price), and did not ask any further question but straight went for the ride. At last the man actually charged us 30 USD. WHATTTTTT? 

3. Hot air balloon ride 
Like I mentioned above, riding a hot air ballon is often the most popular activity to do in Goreme, so you really want to book in advance as the price is cheaper online about 130-140 Euro. Here I would like to recommend a few hot air balloon companies: Royal Balloon, Voyager Balloons, Kapadokya Balloons, and Butterfly balloons. Your flight will begin at sunrise, where your pilot will climb about 3000 feet above ground level. It is from this elevation that you will marvel at the beauty of Cappadocia below you. The standard flight is a total of 60 fascinating minutes. There will be a champagne celebration at the end of the flight, and you will be presented with a flight certificate. 

4. Shop at Grand Bazaar
One of the highlight was shopping in the grand bazaar. With it's colourful lamps, nice carpet, ceramic dishes and its maze of hallway, grand bazaar is definitely a joy to explore. You will be asked " Where are you from?", "Hello beautiful", "What can I help you?" more than 10 times. Anyhow if you would like to get something from their shop, you can always start bargain with them and you'll be surprise that you can get the item with very low price. 

It was truly an amazing experience that I hope I could stay longer. I'll be posting more about my experience in Turkey so stay tuned! >>>
Sunday, March 11, 2018

Boutique hotel in the heart of Geogetown: Yeng Keng

It is very rare to find a nice boutique hotel in Penang which comes with beautiful antiques furniture that sits so comfortably within its surroundings. Let me do the introduce, the Yeng Keng hotel is a 19 room restored heritage hotel located in one of the oldest surviving buildings at the heart of heritage city of Georgetown. The surrounding area is buzzing with heritage buildings, street walls and funky bars, which I personally think this place is certainly a great place for your vacation stay. 

Why would I said so? Perhaps we allow the pictures to do the talking? As you can see, antique furnitures can be found peppered all around the hotel, and instansly we felt at home! 

Guest hotel lobby with white marble table tops

Communal areas with natural light casting in

Each room has its own layout and design, and to be honest I've never been to a hotel quite like this.As we relaxed on the guest lounge sofa, we were served with some light refreshment. Complimentary tea, coffee, cookies and fruits are provided all day long for the in house guests, thoughful uh aren't they?  Despite the fact that isnt' a premier luxury modenist hotel, but by it's own unique design and homey atmosphere, it is more than enough to stand out from the rest to impress me!

So yeah, back to months ago Eliza and I actually went for a night stay in Yeng Keng Hotel. Our mansion hotel room was located on the first floor, connected with a communal areas outside. Everything is well equiped and provided. Yes when i said everything, I itereally mean EVERYTHING such as Wifi, hair dryer, air conditioning, and a Panasonic Flat Screen LCD TV with 16 cable TV channels.( best thing in have food and movie a combo) 

Mansion Room for TWO

The bright red curtain truly uplift the living space

After checking in our room, we went to explore the hotel. There's a pool behind the yard while the large Chinese Gate Shiels are pretty obvious along the street. Some of you might notice it while driving along the Chulia Street. Oh yeah not forget to mention there's alot of street food you can find along Chulia street. It took us 5 mins walk to the hawker stall, and it was a charming walk across the heritage street where we bought our late supper!

Yeng Keng Cafe Bar @Old school Hainanese cafe

The balcony- Heaven

Like in most hotels, there's must be a dining restaurant or cafe. Yeng Keng cafe bar is one of the authentic old school Hainanese cafe and it's newly renovated. The cushion seats decked in red hue againts a deep blue wall which is soemething different that caught my attention. Indeed, the food is great and they offer variety choices of Hainanese Chicken Rice, Hainanese Chicken Chop, Curry chicken and many more. I will leave the rest for you to find out , haaa ! 

Thank you for making our stay wonderful! Are you keen? Grab now for early bird promo, you can enjoy 15% off from your bill. Use the code of "TwoFootsteps15" to enjoy your deal!

【Yeng Keng Hotel】
📪 Address: 326 & 366, Chulia Street, Georgetown, 10200 Pulau Pinang
☎️ Call: 04-2622177/ 012-6004288
📩 Email: 
🌐 FB: Yeng Keng Hotel 
Saturday, April 29, 2017

9 absolutely delightful things we did in Bali

Staring a travel plan can seem totally overwhelming, but if you're planning a trip to Bali then I can assure you it's worth a visit. Whether you're visiting for 1 or 2 days, I recommend fitting in as much as you can from my list as below: 

When we first started planning our trip to Bali, the image that popped out in my mind was the beautiful cliff and lush terraced rice field. Now that I've traveled there, the beaches really are as charming as they look. And everywhere, you'll find intricately craved temples. Bali has so much more to offer than you think!! So I put together a list of the top 9 things you must do in Bali. 

I fell in love with Bali on my first visit to Indonesia on 2016, it is a small beautiful island and it own the panorama and the unique culture. Don’t come to Bali if you’re looking for a city life, the island remain largely undeveloped, there are bars and beaches only where people come to relax. 

   1. Watch the sunset at Tanah Lot

There are thousands of incredible temples in Bali, it would be impossible for you to visit all of them. So I recommend you to visit one of the most popular religious attraction -Tanah Lot temple, famed for its unique offshore setting and scenary. ##Tip 1: Experience sunrise or sunset which are the best times to visit. And remember to watch your step as those rocks are surprisingly slippery.

2. Take a photo with the Stone Gate

Because the gate of heaven are so popular at Pura Lempuyang, to avoid the crowds I'll suggest you to go in the morning before sunrise. 

3. Visit the ancient temple at Uluwatu

By far the most impressive cliff I've seen in Bali, a top cliff with absolutely stunning views of the crashing waves below. As with most temples in Bali, for modesty reasons, visitors are required to wear a sarong before entering the temple and it is FOC where you can borrow at the entrance. 

##Tip 2: Here, you'll need to hold on closely to your belongings because there's a lot of 'pickpocket' monkeys. In that case happens, you'll have to bribe them with food to make the trade before they hand back your items. So be caution yay! 


4. Sip a cocktails at Potato Head Beach Club and Rock Bar

Potato head is divided to lounge and pool area.  We took a seat at the pool area facing the stunning beach front pool, with a minimum spending of 500,000 IDR. I’d really recommend you to make a reservation to avoid disappointment or long wait. Sometimes you might won’t be able to get a seat at the lounge if you are visiting during peak season.

##Tip 3: It’s best to go on 11am when they are about to open so you manage to get a sunbed if you are looking for a sunbreak. For an alternate plan, you may visit on 5-6pm to catch the sunset.

Rock Bar:

5. Explore Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Perfect instaspot and they're like giant paddy field stairs which making this place like a paradise! This gorgeous landscape needs to be on everyone's " Must visit list". Make you way up to the top, you'll be rewarded with the panoramic views all over Bali. 

6. Snorkelling & island hopping

Go for a snorkelling at Lusa Lembongan and you'll discover Bali's spectacular underwater world. Get a tour guide and here you are ready to go!

##Tip 4: Weather is unpredictable. Avoid snorkelling after rain, the water gets dirty and the sea surface might covered with trash. Also, it is very difficult for you to swim in a wavy conditions. Get advices from the professional guide operator before you go!

7. Taste the best food in Jimbaran

Jimbaran is a food paradise! Best known for seafood cuisine and offer unique experience to dine on the sand and to savor the Indonesian’s style seafood. However the price was quite expensive tho, a set of dinner costs roughly RM400+/- for 2 pax (4 pcs of prawns, 6 pcs of clamps, 1 lobsters, 1 crabs and 6 squids). 

  8.  Getting the locals to cook for your food

So we came up with a better idea, instead of doing the tourist typical thing, we decided to source for our own seafood and get a local chef to cook for us. Our driver from Indonesia he brought us to the market and we get a local chef to grill. We ate as much as we could, and a smart way to save your budget!

Where to go: Uluwatu market
How to get there: By the local driver
Cost: Rm 300++ for 4 PAX ONLY

9. Treat yourself to a luxury resorts

I am not saying you should spend one whole week in the luxury resort, but probably one night? You deserves it! Read my previous post how you spend only RM438 for 3 nights is Bali 

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