Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Blog turned 8, and temporary closed till further notice

Hi readers :), 

This is the first post in the past eight months. It is also the longest break that I had in the past eight years being a blogger. 

I started this blog when I was doing my degree in Liverpool, UK. I need a channel to records my first ever oversea experiences and it slowly turned to be a blog that recorded my experiences in travelling to other countries.

For the past eight years, I considered myself a good blogger despite sometimes I still received harsh comments on my English. Hey, being a Chinese educated Asian likes me, blog in other language than Chinese was not easy, and I never gave up because I know what doesn't kill you will eventually makes you stronger. 

I got lesser harsh comments nowadays, and same goes to I got lesser blog updates in recent years after I joined a mainstream paper as a writer. 

However, the changing of job was not the reason of lesser updates, nor that i didn't travel as much as i used to. 

The "why do I continue" and "does anyone really care" feelings made me stop and think, should i continue to blog? 

I can't think an answer. I thought maybe I should just end this and make this blog a memory. 

But my heart aches whenever i wanted to press delete blog. Building a blog is hard, terminate it is as easy as a click. 

No, I do not have a decision yet. I hope someday in the future i found the reason to continue blog. But for time being, here is temporary closed. 

I hope someday I will be motivated to share some interesting places that i went and experiences that i gained in my journey of travelling. 

In fact after Japan in July 2014, I went to Taiwan (again), Sydney (two times in half year), Bandung, Medan, Samui (again), Krabi (two times in a year), Bangkok and ChiangRai. 

But yeah, till we meet again through my words in the future. 

Thank you for reading, see you again. 


Rachel
wingrachel2002@yahoo.com  


  

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Nago, Okinawa: Yugaf Inn Okinawa Hotel, Nago-shi review

As mentioned in the previous post, this blog is about the review of our second stay in Okinawa.  

To recap, I divided Okinawa in three parts when planning the trip, and stayed one night per part except Naha for two night, the capital of the island and where the airport is located. 

Click me to see how did i planned Okinawa 5d4n trip and the first night stay review. If you want to know how we rented a car and picked up sim pack in airport after we booked it online in Malaysia, as well as how to go to Narita airport from Haneda airport to catch the local flight midnight, you may click me

Ok, we stay at Hotel Yugaf Inn Okinawa second night in Nago-shi, Okinawa. This is also where the world-famous aquarium located.

We stay in green circle in the first night, red for second and third and forth in blue. 
Map to give you a rough idea how Okinawa map looks like and the attractive each part.

Blue: 
The capital city of Okinawa, shopping mall, fish market, port to remote islands for day trip, old kingdom castle 

Green:
American army village, more castles (=.=), sugar cane field, awesome beachside, dive sites, capes. 

Red: 
VIrgin forest + mountains (on the north tip, not liveable), awesome aquarium (whale shark & great white!), resident city, long bridge to small island, more local / traditional Japanese restaurant. 

In the red part aka Nago, we chose to stay with Hotel Yugaf Inn Okinawa, a three-star hotel. 

We took a deluxe double bedroom and asked for a bright, non-smoking room. We got a corner room with 20% sea view (yes, this hotel is located just next to the see, but no beach), non-smoking room, but two single beds room. We did not bother to change the room given to this is a room that slight bigger and lotsa windows due to it is a corner room. 




Bathroom & toilet is on the left after entering the room. Small but very clean

Next to washroom is where the two single beds were. 

Opposite of the beds. Fridge (under the table), cupboard, dressing table and sitting area. 

Small tv on the table. 

Surprise! Kimono included
Safe, extra pillow, toilet paper roll and clothe hang inside the cupboard.

Tidy and neat 
If you ask where the 20% sea view is, click the video below. Mind the shaken'



video


Ok, what are good about this hotel 
1. Reasonable charge (About RM250 per night)
2. Not in the heart of Nago, yet not too far. Quite place. 
3. Friendly (but not well English speaking) staff (gave us Okinawa sand bottle as souvenir!)
4. Awesome, many choices buffet breakfast (included in the rent) with sea view! 

5. Clean, tidy and peaceful hotel. 
6. Comfortable room size 
7. Free on-site parking
8. Mere 3km away from aquarium

Right, so what is the not-so-good? 
1. Old hotel. You can tell from the room settings. 
2. Soft mattress, like really soft. 
3. Old, tore quilt that did not really kept warm. 
4. Lack of entertainment 
5. Nothing much, eg: supper place, convenience stall, around the hotel

Will I go back?
Maybe yes, this is not a bad hotel at this price anyway. Of course if there are any better deal, I would give a try.


Overall, if you want a bigger room (and awesome breakfast buffet!) at budget of RM200 to RM250, this is the good choice. 

Details of this hotel as below: FYI, i booked the room thru Agoda. 


Hotel Yugaf Inn Okinawa
905-0011 453-1
Miyazato, Nago-shi,
Okinawa-ken 

http://www.yugaf.com/international/english/

The next post is world-famous aquarium in Okinawa! 






Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
0904, 0334pm
Rach in slow saturday mood!




Sunday, April 3, 2016

Okinawa, Japan: Zanpa Cape, Manzomo and Ufuya Agu Pork Restaurant for lunch!

It has been four months since the last post. The long-delay blog update was because I lost the access of gmail /  blog account after i change from yahoo to gmail. 

Of course, it was also because my new job since last March was very occupied, i do not have as much spare times like last time to do my blog. 

Will try to do as much as possible in the future. 

Alright, this post is about places that we visited in the second day of the 5d4n trip in Okinawa. 

A simple itinerary of second day: 
- Check out from apartment
- Zanpa Cape
- Manzomo 
- Lunch in Ufuya Pork Rice
- Check into Hotel Yugaf Inn Okinawa
- Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
- Okinawa Perfecture BBQ Buffet dinner 

Travel map of the day 

This post is about Zanpa Cape, Manzomo Cape and lunch in the long history restaurant. Aquarium and hotel review are the next! 

Here we go!  

First stop is Zanpa Cape. Fantastic weather (but hot as hell) so no filter / adjustment needed at all! 


Pure white cape and blue sky and sea. 

Taken from another angle.

Mr. J

Our white horse in Okinawa!
Second stop is Manzomo, cliff shaped like elephant. 

Manzomo 

If you can see how clear is the sea. 
Me and Mr. J


Note:
Both locations are admission fees 

Weather was hot and we decided to eat! Random searched in the Internet and we found this traditional restaurant, Ufuya Agu (local pig specious) Restaurant (大家百年古家), which hiding in the deep mountain. No one can guess there are a restaurant there. 

Very limited choice, slight expensive but nice environment and delicious foods. 

Arrived before lunch hour but two or three groups of guests were in the line already 


So J and i decided to walked around

Like what i've seen in the Japanese Ninja movie 

I said right, vending machine everywhere!

Servant leaded us to our seat, this is the private dining room 


Lucky! We got seat just nice too very nice landscape and real small waterfall 


Our meals! 


His: Ginger Agu pork bowl

Mine: Noodle with Agu Pork 
Each set cost 1650 yen, about RM45 as at July 2014. Both set came with pickle and soup. Slight expensive in Okinawa, but really nice pork. 

Worth to try! 

Ufuya Restaurant (Agu Pork)
Add: 90 Nakayama, Nago City, Okinawa
No: 0980-53-0280
Operation time: 11am to 4 pm and 6pm to 10pm 
http://www.ufuya.com/ 

Aright will get the next post done soonest possible! 

Stay tuned! 









Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
20160403, 0430pm
Rach in wanna take a nap mood!



Saturday, December 19, 2015

Japan: Okinawa: Nakagusuku Castle, American Village and Okinawa Hai Sushi review.

There are several historical sites in Okinawa, Nakagusuku Castle is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites on the island.

The castle was built during Ryukyu Kingdom (yea more people known Okinawa as Ryukyu actually, especially the older generation). It is one of the 100 most famous castles in Japan.

I am not a fans of history but i like panorama / spectacular view. I happened to know this castle is sitting on the top of a hill and overlooking the sea and the city, plus we have limited time in the first day arrival and it is one of the closest attraction from our first day apartment. Hence we decided to pay a visit in the late afternoon.

Oh, before photos, we were renting a car without GPS but i don't know why our car's GPS was working anyway anyhow, so we relied it a lot when looking for places.

In-car GPS in Japan is easy to use, of course it could be set in English. It all fine if you do not know the exact address, all you need to do is key in the phone number and the GPS will locate the place and lead you the way!

Do not be surprise if you get a phone number in some tourist attraction, such as the below castle. At first we thought that must be some office number and could possible lead us to the wrong place, but it wasn't! All we need to do is to look for the phone number and key it then we all set to go!

And oh again! This post is about places that we visited in the first day. You can refer here if you wish to see my original itinerary but if you know me well, i almost never follow plan, haha.

I was ambitious to visit several places nearby but end up we only visited the castle before heading to America Village for dinner.

So my real first day itinerary was..
1. Arrived Naha Airport
2. Collect car and check-in into Beachside condominium. 
3. Late lunch and rest
4. Nakagusuku Castle
5. American Village jalan-jalan
6. Dinner at Gourme Kaiten Sushi Ichiba


Clear road sign to everywhere


We were very late but managed to got in.


Nakagusuku Castle


Ta-da! Spectacular! Please take note that you need to walk half hour up-hill to see this. 

another side of view.

sitting on the green green grass and looking at the sea is such a great enjoyment in life.


me and my no-longer-wearable walking shoes. 


cloud gone and sun was here again after we spent half hour on the peak.


there the old wall and rough structure of the castle.

staircase with handle, but you need to be average fit to visit the whole site. 

the site is still being re-construct, these are the parts to be place back to the castle.


another side of the peak, here we can see the overall structure of the building.


it is a great old building i must say.


peaceful and calm in today, but it has been through several wars in the past.


the model of the original building. It is hilly, hence building the massive building on top is extra difficult.  

We spent more than an hour here because both of us take our time when seeing places. If you are touch-and-go type of person, i am sure you can see the whole thing within half hour. 

Please take note if you are planning to visit Nakagusuku Castle.
1. You have to average fit to visit the site. (short uphill walk from parking to the entrance, then rocky stair and up- and down-hill trail)
2. Okinawa is hot during the noon time, not much shade in the site so visit the place during morning or late after is recommended. 
3. Bring water and snack, no hawker around the site, the nearest place to see seller is at the parking place. (Of course, do not litter!)
We wasn't hungry yet after the trail, but we had not enough time for another castle visit so we decided to go American Village earlier for a walk, as well as enjoy the sunset view in the sunset beach before dinner. 

Oh, if you are shopper or prefer civilize, American Village should be one of your fav places on the island. We only love their sushi so spent a very short time in there. 

we arrived way earlier, but we only took the sign's photo after our dinner.


Just right when we arrived the beach in the village. Oh yea this is not the view but our ride haha.


here is the view.
and then walkie around the village. 

decorated like a cowboy town, American village mah.  


Photowhore would love this place. 
American Village filled with lotsa restaurant, pub, shopping place, even a funfair, it is a place for family. Day time is rather quiet but night time is quite happening.

It is not a big area so its fine to park your car on one spot and walk through the area. But please take notes that it is an open air area, so do not expect air-con everywhere. I would suggest to have early dinner in the area and walk afterward. 


For dinner place, we chose (and we glad we chose that) Gourme Kaiten Sushi Ichiba. After read countless posts on the internet, we filtered all western food (lotsa western food there!) and want sometime more Japanese (also lotsa Japanese restaurant) but Hai got the best review although the restaurant is not as fancy as others. 

The place is clean, the food is awesome, the price makes us super happy. We had more than 10 plates of fresh sushi, chawanmuchi and fish soup, and its only cost us 2300 yen, equal to about RM60 as at July 2015!

The two down things was no English menu (yea it is go-around sushi but you can order something not on the bell) and long queue! We waited for close to an hour to get our seat.

Our dinner place! 


If you can read chinese, you can spot a plate with Chawamuchi paper sign on the bell. Grad that and pass it to waiter for hot and fresh chawanmuchi!  

Menu, English tak ada. But if you can read Chinese, you can understand / guess some. Again, do be shame or shame on someone from Chinese background. Hmpf! 

My favorite of the night! Damn see the eggs! This is countless times worth and yummier than Sushi King!

His favorite. The sea grapes sushi. 


Sushi plates scanner, i "wow" when i saw this. 
First day in Okinawa was funfilled and satisfied! Love this little island in the sign! Second day was another fun day which we visited a lot of awesome places!

I shall be back soon for the next post, so stay tuned la!

Last but not least, me! Taken by him!




Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
0707pm, 191215
Gosh 2015 is over soon!