Review: Northbound Hop – Jinzuan Night Markets

Introduction
KA 432 HKG – KHH 333 Y
Ferry Ride Cijin Scenic Area to Gushan Ferry Pier
Toong Mao Evergreen Hotel Kaohsiung
Exploring Kaohsiung
Jinzuan Night Markets
Exploring Tainan
Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting
Exploring Pingtung County
Kenting Street Night Markets
International Terminal Kaohsiung International Airport
KA 437 KHH – HKG 333 Y

Originally we were scheduled to visit the Ruifeng Night Markets, which is the largest night market in Kaohsiung. However, though, it was closed right on the day, so instead we headed for the adjacent Jinzuan Night Markets.

Continue reading Review: Northbound Hop – Jinzuan Night Markets

Kyushu Karnival Khronicles, Part 4: Abandoning Aso

Part 1: We upgraded to a Club so I can review breakfast! + Details
Part 2: Can I survive public showers (onsens)?
Part 3: Grand Hyatt Fukuoka is between a shopping mall and…a red light district?!
Part 4: Abandoning Aso
Part 5: Gone is the Portico in Asian Grand Hyatts, but what should I expect?
Part 6: Upgrading myself but taking one for the team…
Part 7: It gets fun until here…
Part 8: Highest Price, Least Beds, and Free Wireless Internet

Aso is beautiful. The plains, volcano, and river all catch my eye intensely.

MountAsoRopeway

However the hotels in Aso are just mediocre. We wanted to live in a little ryokan in Aso, Sozankyo, but when we found out the lack of showers we just left it.

sozankyo

As beautiful as this place seems…

Therefore, we’ll just tuck away for the nights in Yufu. My dad has found a little minshuku that we’re all keen on which is called the Yufuinsanso Waremoko, and it’s quite highly rated (albeit more of a budget option) on TripAdvisor.

yufuinsanso-waremoko

As long as there’s a bed, I’m fine. (You know that some hotels just give you a tatami…)

This kind of adds to my anticipation. I’ve stayed at budget hotels like the YMCA Self Service Hotel Wu Kai Sha, but going with parents and my sister to one is a first!

Kyushu Karnival Khronicles, Part 3: Grand Hyatt Fukuoka is between a shopping mall and…a red light district?!

Part 1: We upgraded to a Club so I can review breakfast! + Details
Part 2: Can I survive public showers (onsens)?
Part 3: Grand Hyatt Fukuoka is between a shopping mall and…a red light district?!
Part 4: Abandoning Aso
Part 5: Gone is the Portico in Asian Grand Hyatts, but what should I expect?
Part 6: Upgrading myself but taking one for the team…
Part 7: It gets fun until here…
Part 8: Highest Price, Least Beds, and Free Wireless Internet

We confirmed our stay at the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka last Friday, due to a big mistake I made. Fortunately an upgrade made up for that.

I was randomly scrolling reviews of the hotel on TripAdvisor just now, and I saw something that will worry me until check out:

“As many said before: the mall side can be noisy, but in fact I liked the music from the shops. The city side means a view on the red light district, which I found much more disturbing than a little happy music from a shops on the other side of the block.” (iokan)

OK, I admit I’m a freak when it comes to this. But do I really have to hear loud moaning from little huts every time I go into the hotel? I don’t know…

sam_5808

Ummm…

Review: Northbound Hop – Exploring Kaohsiung

Introduction
KA 432 HKG – KHH 333 Y
Ferry Ride Cijin Scenic Area to Gushan Ferry Pier
Toong Mao Evergreen Hotel Kaohsiung
Exploring Kaohsiung
Jinzuan Night Markets
Exploring Tainan
Toong Mao Kao Shang Ching Hotel Kenting
Exploring Pingtung County
Kenting Street Night Markets
International Terminal Kaohsiung International Airport
KA 437 KHH – HKG 333 Y

We spent two days exploring Kaohsiung, and while the weather wasn’t good, it didn’t rain that much. (It did rain a bit, though.) As much as I won’t detail cities, I do have a few things about Kaohsiung that is worth sharing.

As you might have noticed from one of the installments, we visited Cijin Scenic Area first. I have no idea how you classify this a scenic area?

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Cijin…scenic area?

I was expecting a fair amount of temples in Kaohsiung City, but not nearly as many as what I saw. Basically in every kilometre there’s at least one temple.

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Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center

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Little temples at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center

Continue reading Review: Northbound Hop – Exploring Kaohsiung

Cities worth visiting that I haven’t visited

I know that I’ve ranted enough about places I wanted to go like Qasr Al Sarab and Southeast Germany, so I decided to just make it all a post.

Shanghai and Hangzhou

I find it embarrassing that I’ve never been to Shanghai before, and Hangzhou seems like a beautiful place to me, so both are worth a try (and these two cities are just a train ride from each other so I’ll probably be putting both in the same trip).

Shanghai-at-Dusk-1-_98945021-964x448

teach-in-hangzhou

Munich and Berchtesgaden

While Berchtesgaden is always known to be beautiful, Munich looks pretty scenic as well, so I’m keen on visiting both cities. Again, Berchtesgaden is a less than two hour ride from Munich, so I think I’ll be going to both places on the same trip as well, if ever.

Munich_skyline_0

Berchtesgaden-National-Park-Germany

Continue reading Cities worth visiting that I haven’t visited

Kyushu Karnival Khronicles, Part 2: Can I survive public showers (onsens)?

Part 1: We upgraded to a Club so I can review breakfast! + Details
Part 2: Can I survive public showers (onsens)?
Part 3: Grand Hyatt Fukuoka is between a shopping mall and…a red light district?!
Part 4: Abandoning Aso
Part 5: Gone is the Portico in Asian Grand Hyatts, but what should I expect?
Part 6: Upgrading myself but taking one for the team…
Part 7: It gets fun until here…
Part 8: Highest Price, Least Beds, and Free Wireless Internet

We’ve got the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka and Seikai Beppu sorted out: one night at the former (we’re using the Hyatt as a “launchpad” for us), and two at the latter. Now we have to sort out the last two nights in Aso, Kumamoto, and we had our eyes set on Sozankyo in Aso.

However it occurred to us a few days ago that Sozankyo only has a half bath in the room. Available for rent is a reasonable private onsen room (not every room has one though), and there are also public baths. (What is this, the Roman Empire!?)

The plus side is that the baths look okay.

sozankyo

Should we stay at a regular hotel or a ryokan? Please comment.

My five favourite destinations (that I’ve actually explored)

I’ve only visited a few destinations (mostly because of the fact that I’ve visited Tokyo and Niseko Village both three times between 2008 and 2011), but I do have an outstanding five destinations that I love.

My favourite urban cities – Taipei, Tokyo and Singapore

Just to note that since we usually travel with a small one, we won’t go to Tokyo to the near future as not to affect the child’s growth by radiation (I’m a freak, I know).

Continue reading My five favourite destinations (that I’ve actually explored)