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Just a tot of returning’

April 5, 2013 Leave a comment

And yes I have missed so much time to start to blog again. Though I am not sure if I can still cope up to write something in here. Since it felt very hard for me to manage between my busy schedule at work and travel around. Yet still, I always wanted to write down my experience and document everything what I am doing. It is just hard to maintain. It inspire me so much to read some other blogger that compost a very well, diverse and detail story of their life, or to someone who just saying he’s tots. I guess the only thing that drive me as of now is the multiple travel plan that I have this year. And for my own little world- this is my only way, to treasure this moment through writing it up, and share it here. This maybe my personal diary or just a random tots that I want to share.

2013… a year to travel and save.

From March in Sydney and Melbourne, April in Shanghai, Doha, London and Manchester. It makes me a crazy busy person. Not to mention the sideline of extra co- activities like photo walk from my photoG groups and off course badminton. It has been very hard for me to push into these blog to keep rolling. Well I just hope this ain’t be my last post for the year.

By the way- I am just more inspire to the fact that there are some people who still appreciate my post here. Lol. It’s just a wonderful feeling. And of course this is the year that I will start saving for my future. As my motto of travel –“travel cheap” and this will be my fuel to write something in here for someone who plan to travel by not spending too much on it.

And so I rest my introductory explanation and will follow up to share my next topic in traveling the great country of Australia 😊

Categories: LIFE, Travel Tags:

My Seoul, my soul!

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

A new series of life exploration once again soon to be added on my bucket list. A travel experience to see,hear and explore the beauty of Seoul, South Korea. On 21-22 this month. Adrian (my travel buddy) and I are planning to visit this cool city. After months of delays and our visa is about to expire. Finally we got the confirmed dates of travel.

This is my first time to travel Korea. And he*l no way I knew a single details about this place. So I start from googling as I say. Came up with a travel plan, my first time ever to create one. As I normally travel un planned. Set up some budget and getting to know about the city’s culture and way of living. Apparently although Seoul is expensive, the good thing about working in UAE is that the currency is quite competitive in which, adjustment to some expences to other countries will not get us hurt that much.

Getting back to my travel planning. I downloaded a new app from “apple app store” for iPad.A travel organizer. And I find it so cool and easy to start up a plan trip of travels. It is such a gesture to plann everything on this app. From hotel booking, time management, websites list,check list and even maps. Right at your page.

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So after listing all the necessary do’s and dont’s of my plan travel to Korea. I am now ready to be there.Time will tell, and experience will yell, a picture will say about my journey to these place.

This for now at the moment. Guided tots and detailed exploration will be post on stream when I arrived there.

Categories: Travel Tags: ,

Guide to living abroad: Abu Dhabi

July 7, 2011 5 comments
 
 
 
If you are relocating to Abu Dhabi, you’ve got some real challenges ahead before you can really settle into life in the UAE’s capital city. Explorer Publishing provides some pointers on getting started.
 

Visas

Getting a visa to enter Abu Dhabi is pretty straightforward, but can vary greatly between different nationalities, and requirements often change without warning. Check out the Ministry of Information website at www.uaeinteract.com and also check with your nearest UAE embassy, which can give you up-to-date information.

For most western nationalities, the residency process is easy. If you are moving to the UAE to take up a job offer, your employer may have already applied for your employment visa.

For many nationalities, UAE immigration and labour laws stipulate that all documentation must be completed in the home country, prior to arrival in the UAE. However, citizens of some countries are allowed to enter the UAE on a visit visa and process their employment and residency applications on arrival.

As your sponsor, your employer is responsible for organising this.

Useful Contacts

Work

The allure of a tax-free salary still draws in expats. Although the increased cost of living means less disposable income, good packages can still be found. Basic benefits, regardless of employment package, usually include around 30 calendar days of leave a year, and most organisations include annual flights back to your home country.

Working hours vary quite dramatically within the emirate, and are based on either straight shift or split shift timings. Split shifts are still common in Abu Dhabi; they allow for an afternoon siesta and timings are generally 08:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 19:00.

The working week generally starts on Sundays and ends on Thursdays with a two-day weekend. If you do not have a job upon arrival, an employment supplement is published in Gulf News on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and in Khaleej Times on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Walking into a job is not as easy as it used to be, with many expats now relocating to the Gulf. However, there are opportunities available, and you will find skill sets are not as rigid as some other countries, making a career move more of a viable option.

The UAE government is strongly encouraging the private sector to give preference to Nationals when employing staff for white-collar management positions – a process referred to as Emiratisation.

A quota system is in place for the insurance, banking and trade sectors and the number of Emiratis employed has gone up by as much as 300% in some sectors. This, of course, can make it more difficult for expat workers to find a job in these areas but if you have the right skills there are still plenty of employment opportunities out there.

Word of mouth can be invaluable in Abu Dhabi when it comes to finding a job, so try to use expat websites and make as many friends as possible! There are a number of recruitment agencies working in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Many agencies only accept CVs via email and then contact you for an interview.

For the interview, you will need your CV and usually two passport photographs. Invariably, you will also have to fill out an agency form summarising your CV.

Banking

There is no shortage of internationally recognised banks in Abu Dhabi, all offering the full range of standard services. It is always easy to access your money, with ATMs available at most banks, major shopping malls, supermarkets and a number of petrol stations.

Most cards are compatible with other UAE banks so can be used in the majority of machines across the country (a few also offer global access links). To open an account at most banks in Abu Dhabi, you need to have a residence visa or have your residency application underway.

The majority of employers will recommend a bank to you and may even help you to open an account.

You will need to present the banking advisor with your original passport, copies of your passport (personal details and visa) and an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from your sponsor. Some banks set a minimum account limit, so it’s wise to shop around.

Financial Planning

Many expats are attracted to the UAE for the tax-free salaries and the opportunity to put a little something away for the future. There are many options for saving that you may want to seek professional advice about before squirrelling (or squandering!) away your hard-earned cash. There are several banks in the UAE that offer offshore banking, together with independent financial advisors.

Banks & Financial Advisors:

Housing

Rental is still the name of the game in the Abu Dhabi housing market, although the number of options to purchase a property is definitely on the increase.

Prior to August 2005, expats could not own property or land in Abu Dhabi. When that law changed, the major real estate companies were quick off the mark to develop properties available for sale to non- nationals, although a majority are still in the construction stage.

New residents arriving in Abu Dhabi on a full expatriate package may very well have accommodation included, but don’t be fooled by the charm of the ‘expat lifestyle’ – life here can be more expensive than you think, with studios around Dhs. 4,500 per month.

If you are arranging your own accommodation, the options are either to live in an apartment or a villa.

There are several compounds of villas, with facilities including swimming pools, gyms and tennis courts. Many of the recently opened luxury apartment complexes also have health clubs, and some even come fully furnished – handy if you’re ready to move straight in.

In general, the rent for most property is paid annually, in advance. Some landlords may accept payment in more than one cheque, meaning that you provide them with an agreed number of post-dated cheques that will be cashed on their due date.

There are a number of employers that will arrange the rent payments for you straight from your salary, which saves you the hassle of having to think about your rent.

Real Estate Agents

Health

The quality of medical care in Abu Dhabi is high, and residents should have little trouble getting appropriate treatment.

The government has also introduced mandatory private medical insurance for foreign residents and their families, so, by law, all employers have to provide health insurance for staff. In essence, the only ’free’ medical care in Abu Dhabi is emergency treatment; everything else needs to be paid for or covered by insurance.

You can still get treatment in both government and private hospitals, but the fees will be similar regardless of which type of hospital you choose. Generally, dental care and screening tests aren’t usually provided as standard.

In Abu Dhabi, you do not register with a clinic or surgery on arrival in the city. If you are unwell, you can ring the hospital or clinic of your choice for an appointment, or you can just turn up and be seen by a duty doctor.

You will need to show your insurance card and health card and you will be given a copy of the bill for your treatment.

Personal recommendations are the best way to find out which hospitals are best, but if you’re new to the city and do not know who to ask, try the Dr McCulloch Clinic.

It offers sound advice in English, Urdu, French and Arabic (02 633 3900). The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi manages all government hospitals; for more information on the services provided, see www.health.ae.

Most pharmacies are open Saturday to Thursday, and some open with shorter hours on Fridays.

There are a number of pharmacies which are open 24 hours a day – the locations and telephone numbers are printed in the daily newspapers.

Many of the less harmful drugs that require prescriptions in the UK or the US can be bought without prescriptions in Abu Dhabi. However, some drugs, especially those containing addictive substances, may be hard to find.

Education

Private education is the only option for expat children, and the rapid expansion of Abu Dhabi’s population means that competition for school places is on the increase.

Early in 2007 the government formed a Department of Education to coordinate all schools across Abu Dhabi. There are a wide variety of international schools available, with a choice of curriculums and after-school activities, so ask friends or colleagues for advice about a school’s reputation.

Depending on your nationality and educational requirements, most national curriculum syllabuses can be found in Abu Dhabi schools, covering GCSEs, A-levels, French and International Baccalaureate and CNEC, as well as the American, Australian and Indian equivalent.

Nearly all schools will take children from pre-school to 18 years of age. Most of the top schools operate waiting lists and you might not be able to get your child into your first choice.

It can work out quite expensive if you register for a number of schools as you may have to pay a non-refundable fee to be on the waiting list.

The website of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority is a good reference point for all private or public school queries (www.khda.gov.ae).

You will usually need a number of documents to enrol your child at a school, including copies of the student’s and parents’ passports (including the information page/s and residence visa stamp page), passport photos, copies of the student’s birth certificate, and immunisation records.

Schools:

Cost of Living

Cigarettes (pack of 20) Dhs.7
Cinema ticket Dhs.30
DVD (new release) Dhs.80
Eggs (dozen) Dhs.7
Fresh chicken (per kg) Dhs.10-20
Fresh fish (per kg) Dhs.15-20
Glass of wine (house) Dhs. 20
Litre of milk Dhs.5
Loaf of bread Dhs.4
Pint of beer Dhs.20
Potatoes (per kg) Dhs.2.50
Takeaway pizza (large) Dhs.40

 
Categories: Expat, LIFE, Travel

Singapore

June 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Departing from Kuala Lumpur Local Cost Terminal Airport (KLILC) no hotel booking again it is suggested to take a train. Since this is the fastest and cheap way of transportation from the airport to the city. When taking a train from Singapore I also recommend on buying an E-Z Link card. A card which you are going to use whenever time you travel by bus or train. For a cost of 15-Singapore Dollar (SGD) you will have a secure 10 trips for your journey, and by topping it up for a minimum of 10 SGD consumable you don’t need to buy a new E-Z Link card.

From Changi Aiport train station stop to Tana Merah transit to “Platform-B” stop again to City Hall station. From the City Hall station you can walk for ten minutes to WaterLoo Hotel where I checked in, or better yet take a cab which only cost you for about 5-9SGD recommended for beginners. The same as the way of transiting in KL train station in Singapore it is quite confusing since their stations has a multiple platform. So be very careful and knowledgeable whenever time you transport using the train.

WaterLoo Hotel for 70 SGD per night for their standard room with a free breakfast and a Wifi. It is located at WaterLoo street, Catholic Center Bldg. 04th floor for the reception area, Singapore 187954. Which I stayed at room 055. You can contact them at their telephone no:633-66-555 and fax no:633-62-160 or e-mail at waterhtl@singnet.com.sg .

Suggested restaurant near our hotel is the Kopitiam Resto, it’s a place where a group of restaurants in one area. And my personal choice of resto in Kopitiam is The Master Duck restaurant, where I can suggest their mouth-watering smoke pekking duck with sweet chili sauce and steam rice for 5.50SGD and their roasted pork  for 4.50SGD. And if you still not get rid of your meal you can take a snack at Bao Luo Wan Xiang for their best Siomai and their personal menu of Chee Cheong Fun with prawn filling and char siew filling.

After  tiring flight from KLILC Airport to searching for a cheap hotel on my 1st day. My 2nd day in Singapore become very busy. Since this is the day I explore the Lions city. From WaterLoo hotel my destination  is to  Marina Promenade or known as Marina Bay. Marina Bay is where the center of  Singapore high rising tower view, and the popular MerLions park. It is surrounded by water from the sea they made a creek to connect to the Clarke Quay the famous place for bar hoppers to the heart of the city. Getting to Marina Bay from my hotel is very easy, as you can both ride a cab or walk for about 20 minutes. Singapore Marina Bay is like the Roxas boulevard in Manila. It was full of restaurants and coffeehouse. The Singapore Flyer is also located in this area, just like the London Eye this city aswell has their own version. A giant ferris wheels for a great observatory area for their cities sky scrapers,but unlike ferris wheels with their cramped carriages which hang in open air, Singapore Flyer and other giant observation wheels such as the London Eye feature fixed capsules. Also, each Singapore Flyer capsule is about the size of a bus and can carry up to 28 people. Passengers are able to walk around and enjoy the views outside without feeling any movement or vibration at all. From the cities heart Marina Bay I went to Marina Barrage

My stay in Singapore only reaches for five days and three nights. On this trip my objective is to roam around the city and explore all the tourist destination of Singapore. The different of all my travels compare to this trip is that, it is my first time to travel alone and there is no package tour done by my hotel as we always do, to consume our time the best way as possible.

Categories: Explore, Photography, Travel

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 2x

March 13, 2010 2 comments

It’s been a year since the last time I went to Malaysia. Tho I never thought that I’ll be able to go back on this wonderful city.Not in a plan again, I went there to explore this city.04 March 2010, my 2nd trip to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.The moment I arrive, with no hotel booking same as usual and no fear I conquer the city with a less knowledge of the place.From the Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA I went directly to its train station that leads from the airport to the city.Like the old-time usually we inquire regarding the hotel in the airport and get a cheap rate,rather than booking it online.However this does not happen.I have no idea where to go the moment I enter the train.With a KL map on my hand I tried my best to understand and think which is the best place to start to find a cheap hotel.Until I decided to stop on KL Sentral (35 Malaysian Ringgit-MYR) where most of the passenger from the airport stop.Straight ahead to the Information area to inquire about a cheap hotel on the said place.From KL Sentral I took a subway to Pasar Seni Station(1.60MYR)only one stop from KL Sentral.Pasar Seni station is a place where the KL China Town located.Most of the tourist visit this place to shop for a big discounts souvenier.And so I start my search for the cheapest hotel.Right down the station I easily find a hotels in the area.From one to another I search.Trying to find the cheapest one with the best offer I can get.The usual list on trying to locate a good hotel are WiFi,safety,security,clean and quality customer service packed into one without compromising my budget. Until I found this hotel called Mandarin Pacific Hotel which they offer a free WiFi and a buffet breakfast and the rest of the qualities I look for a hotel. For 123MYR per night for a standard bedroom its a fair enough to spend my two days stay in Malaysia.

Not only this hotel is cheap it is also located in the city’s tourist destination spot,located on 2-8 Jalan Sultan,5000 Kuala Lumpur.You can contact them on their hotline number 603-2070-3000 fax no.603-2070-4363 and e-mail add:mandpac@tm.net.my which I stayed on room no.8002.From the hotel the second thing which I tot on my mind is how to get to the Petronas Twin Tower which is the most important to know since this is the high light of my travel.So after un packing my things from the hotel I went straight ahead to explore the place.This is my first day in KL and I only have a limited time to explore.From  Pasar Seni station “Platform-1”  where my hotel is located you can take the train to KLCC station (1.60MYR)  where the Twin Tower is located.Vice versa is on the way back.But be aware on the platform before getting on the train if you don’t want to get lost.From KLCC to Pasar Seni station use the “Platform-2″and the last trip of the train is 2320.

About the food, KL has their on own taste when it comes to apetite.Asian food is easy to endure since I am one of it.However my sense os taste is very meticulous on the food I eat. so I recommend this restaurant located just in front of my hotel. West Lake resto, where I can suggest their fried baby squid best with vinegar and fish sauce and their fried beef with ginger and spring onion and their Malaysian steamed rice.

My 2nd day to KL is the day I check out from my hotel.Aside from the world standard of checking out, the different of Mandarin Pacific hotel is that they give two hours allowance from 1200-1400 free of charge. My stay in KL is just a transit stay since my original journey is to Singapore.So for this two days I just compile a small information about travelling in Malaysia in the cheapest and basic information about the hotels and transportation. Since I already manage to explore the city the 1st time I went here.

Categories: Explore, LIFE, Photography, Travel

Boracay Island

May 19, 2009 Leave a comment

 

Boracay Island

Located in the Philippines in the visayan region this Boracay beach is silently amazing. Where tourist from all over the world are visiting to experience the amazing wonder of nature.

 

 

Beach

Sand Castle made to attract tourist for taking pictures. Donations apply. Name engrave can be requested.

 

 

Beach

 

Souvenir shops are on all corners of the resort. And also a wide range of bars and restaurant to choose from are located on the island.

 

 

Categories: Photography, Travel Tags:

Kuala Lumpur Expedition

March 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Petronas Tower After a long night of celebrating my best friend birthday, I woke up at 1145 17March2009. Still until now I am not sure if I will pursue to take advantage of my ten days leave and travel. I have this confused thing in my mind, will I travel or not. If I will, I have to spend money,again which is not on my budget this month. But  I will be able to explore the world once again. Things that I can do while I am young and enjoy while I have the strength. And this other side of my brain was telling me if I don’t I will be able to fallow the plans that I made, for me to cut out this financial crisis that I’ve been true currently. Until  1345 Whela texted me that she booked my ticket already to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. With out any plans or preparation she advice me that still I am young. I have to enjoy life because this opportunity may be just right now and possible in the future but no assurance. I always have this on my mind that I must not get hypnotize or rather jealous of my colleagues where they travel twice a month. Because I am different from them. They just enjoying life because they are in the right age or no one not supporting anyone in the Philippines. Yet from all of this dilemma in my mind.Still it happen. I did fallow my best friend advice. Kuala Lumpur here I am.

    1600hours I went to Whela’s place getting prepared for the things I have to bring. Laptop and my D300. But here comes the problem again. Its been months since the last time I turned on my camera once again. I forgot the settings and some stuff on how to operate  this one hell of a gadget. And the other side of this, carrying my laptop is quite too heavy for me. So I decided to barrow Whela’s McBook air for my convenience. After installing software for my captured picture on Whela’s mc. I rush back at home. Not realising  that I still haven’t pack my cloths yet. And the suitcase that I am about to  put on my cloths was on Dubai since ate Devine brought that with her when she move out from here. So it bugs me once again where to put on to my things. So my best friend Whela took on the rescue ,she allow me to put my cloths to her bag since I don’t have much cloths to bring. Lucky for me.

    17March2009 departure time from Abu Dhabi 0245. Yes I manage to be on the airport at right time. Me Whela and her boyfriend Glen was on this trip. I become so excited of what going to happen. Its my second travel to Asia except from Philippines (many times) that I was not prepared. No itinerary on what we are going to do , no hotel booking. Not even knowing on how we get to the city. 1400hours same date we arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport KULI. Adrenaline rush was on me. Happy with the feeling of stomach ache. Its good to know that my smart best friend Whela surf some hotel in the internet so we manage to know which hotel we are going stay. The Hotel Corus.

 The Hotel Corus KUL

For travelers  trippers finding the right hotel is very important. Because from this you will have the presence of mind and knowledge where you are about to lay down when you get tired. And also picking the  right hotels when you travel is also the  smart thing to do. Look to a hotel that suits your budget but  not compromising  the reason of your travel. For us even though we did not made the booking earlier still we pick the hotel  which is near to the place of the city famous sky scraper the Petronas Tower.  Because this is one of the main reason why we chose Kuala. To see and experience of being in the place that one of the worlds most famous trade mark. A side from fronting the Petronas Tower its in the middle of the city where everything you need from restaurants, shopping malls, night bars and tourist  spots. Corus Hotel is a four start hotel. A well trained people with the best in customer  service.China Town KUL

      After thirty  minutes of rest from the hotel we went directly to the famous shopping place in Kuala Lumpur (The China Town) nothing in plan but it seems like we used to travel a lot and this made us to do thing easier. So the first plan was to shop. China Town was ten minutes taxi ride from our hotel. Yet for travelers if you want to explore the place  more as you like take on the other alternative where you will learn how the culture leave their life. In the means of transportation in Kuala Lumpur they have three types  buses, taxis, trains. We took the train on our way to the China Town. But be very careful  because in Kuala Lumpur pick pocketers is not new  in the rich city. Specially in a very crowded places. Sadly to say the train station in Kuala Lumpur need more improvement. We queue for thirty minutes just to get inside the train. And the crowd was worst than you ever think. Over loaded bus in two times than you expect is what you will experience when you get inside the train. And  its definitely  not a good suggestion when you  are in a hurry. But it’s a best experience when you want to explore the city. We reach China Town when the dark is about to come 2000 hours. In Kuala Lumpur day time is very long.  Don’t be shock if you can still see the glance of the sun at this time. Kuala Lumpur China Town as what we expect  everything you need is here. From clothing, accessories, bags, house chores. And the best is, everything  was very cheap. It is really the place for a travelers who  love to shop in a tight budget like us. And also for my tip when buying in Kuala Lumpur China Town ask discount  before you pick the precious heroes face paper from your wallet. Because everything from here, prices can be adjacent decrease from the price they impose to reveal.  But also if your looking for a registered brand Kuala Lumpur china Town is a no. Because all the famous brands you can see in here  is just an imitation from the original. Although the quality is not to be the expectation but the outlook of the Loui Vuiton Bag  can give people the trick of an original product. And also once you get there try to eat in the famous Kuala Lumpur China  Town Restaurants, when dark  has come you will be amaze the glittering tables in the middle of the road full of Malaysian dishes. With an appetizer of a table to table private bands.China Town Band KUL

Categories: Travel
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