Valued Voice

Valued Voice
For Influencer Who Wants To Earn USD..Click and SIGN UP Through this LINK

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Travel China: Day Trip to Bingling Temple Caves, Lanzhou

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 2 Comments




I decided to book the local group tour on my 3rd final days at Lanzhou. I was looking forward to visiting Dunhuang for famous Mogao Grottoes but the place was affected by the flood . I am more interest in Mogao Grottoes than Bingling or Maijishan Grottoes. I have visited Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang so Bingling Temple cave doesn't impress me at all. Maybe I will try to visit Mogao another year when I continue my silk road journey to Urumqi.



I booked the tour from the local travel agent. It was a bus group tour with Mandarin speaking tour guide. Joined me that day are all local Aunties and Uncles. A bit havoc but overall fine. Just do your own thing, everything would be fine. The bus departed as early as 7am from Lanzhou City Hotel where everyone gathered. 

My hotel packed some breakfast for me. Cold breakfast! Well..better than nothing. Forgot to snap my breakfast box from Hotel - hard-boiled egg, cold mantao, halal sausage, bread and box of milk.

How I communicate with people? No, I don't! I just observe the situation and follow people accordingly. English speaking group tour is kind of expensive. Not worth since I don't listen to people anyway! huhuhuh...stubborn case.


The bus ride is almost 2 hours from the city centre to the Lianhua Wharf. From there you can choose to take the ferry or speed boat. Thank God the majority agreed to take the ferry instead of the speed boat. The speed boat will be around one hour journey. While the ferry will take around 3 hours journey. YES!!! 3 hours in the ferry and then later another 3 hours ride back. So total 6 hours ferry and 4 hours bus ride. Hurl!!!!


With my back and neck pain, I would rather take the 6 hours ferry ride and enjoy the view along the way. I can even walk around to enjoy the river breeze too. The speed boat ride will be too small and compact. Furthermore, the bumpy ride might hurt me more.
I was lucky to meet with the herd of yaks drinking water along the river. Check out my video on my youtube channel here for the better close up view.


The tour guide brought all of us one round while explaining in Mandarin and the time spent at Bingling Temple Cave is around one and a half hours. Interesting to visit ancient place built-in 420 in Western Qin Dynasty. 




As at today, there are existing 183 caves and 694 stone statues, 82 clay statues and about 900 sqm frescos stretching 200 meters along the west bank of temple channel on 60 meters high cliff. Many of those are not open to visitors. The main attraction is  Giant Budha of No. 169 caves. 

Some of the scattered small statues around the terrace are with colour. Thinking about old days, without much equipment how those carvers climb up there and carve all those statues which his embedded very high in the caves? Interesting efforts!


The place is super dry and I really feel like in the dessert. The weather is hot too during July. Check out my youtube video on my journey to Bingling Temple Cave.

If you interested to visit to Lanzhou, please check out my other post Things To Do At Lanzhou.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Travel China : 10 Things To Do At Lanzhou

Monday, August 12, 2019 0 Comments
I continued my Silk Road Journey last July. I have been to Beijing, ShanghaiHangzhou and Xi'an. From Xi'an, I head to Lanzhou. Big Thank You to AirAsia to fly direct to Lanzhou since last year. I was the happiest when they announce the new route.

Lanzhou is the capital of Gansu province and a door to northwestern China and a great start place if you are planning to take the bullet train or even domestic flight to Urumqi. My initial plan is to visit Urumqi but due to time constraint, I forgo my intention and settled with Lanzhou - Xining instead. I will continue my silk road journey some other time.

Most people say not many things to see in Lanzhou. As for me who don't believe in touch n go travel spend few days at Lanzhou to explore more. Traveller especially foreign will only spend a day or two here at Lanzhou before head to Jiayuguan and Dunhuang.

If you have 4 days 3 Nights, here some idea Things To Do in Lanzhou.




1. Explore the Yellow River

Yellow River is the third-longest river in Asia. You can start the journey from the Waterwheel Garden but during my visit time, the water wheel area water level rose up at the danger level. So I skip it. I walk along the river while passing the Lanzhou Water Mosque which situated across the river until reach to Zhongshan Bridge.

Zhongshan Bridge
Since I visited this area Yellow River area a few time during my visit, I experience different experience every time there. Zhongshan Bridge area can be very crowded day and night. Mostly local tourist. For your information, I hardly see a foreigner at Lanzhou.




2. White Pagoda Hill (Bai Ta Shan)

Address: Central Beibinhe Road, North of Lanzhou City

I advise you to buy a one-way ticket up to White Pagoda Hill or locally known as Bai Ta Shan and walk all the way down.



You can see many things on the way down after the cable car. I bought return ticket but end up walk down since I asked people for the toilet and they keep saying go further and further.


I end up exploring the area while holding up my pee. isk isk isk...Suffering like hell. My bladder almost burst by the time reach the toilet which is really further down. I found earlier but the toilet condition full of 'uncivilized human-made bomb'!


The view on top of the hill is astonishing and you can see the whole Lanzhou city from here. I would recommend this place. You can hike up and down if you don't have limitation like me.


I visited the Yellow River area during night time too. The view is so magnificent since some of the places have been lighted up beautifully.


For your information the sunset at around 8:30pm in Lanzhou. So, plan your visit a bit late to see the light on. There is some light show from the Zhongshan Bridge as well. You will never get bored to visit the Yellow River. As you see the murky water suit the name well.

3. Muta Xiang Alley


I found this area by accident while on the way to the Starbuck cafe after getting down from Bai Ta Shan. From the Zhongshan Bridge take the overhead bridge on your left to cross over. Then walk straight until you will see a small alley with the road sign call Muta Xiang.



It's a small alley but yet many things to try out here. This is a great place for last-minute shopping for local items too.


Walk until to the end of the road, you will find the Muslim snacks like potatoes pan-fried and bread selling hot. I tried the fried potatoes pancake and it was so delicious. It will be perfect if I have chilli sauce to eat with this potato pancake. Quench your thirst with delicious Peach or Plum tea here. Perfect!

4. YaOu Supermarket


From Muta Xiang Ally turns to your left and walk straight ahead and you will see a Starbuck located on your left side. Just get into this Shopping Mall and go down to the basement level.


Here, you will see the local Supermarket. It's a great place to get some snacks and shop for some local items. I bought one basket of sweet Blackberries for only approximately RM7.50.

5. Xiguan Mosque of Lanzhou

Address : Chenguan District , Lanzhou City, Gansu 

This place is not that far from the Yellow River area. But I think its a bit far to walk. Just take a cab if you have the energy to visit this place. I visited this place in another day. I take my sweet times in all my travel. 




Xinguan Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Lanzhou. This place was built by Muslim merchants in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). It is interesting if you have the chance to visit this place on Friday during Friday Prayer.


I happened to visit this place after the afternoon prayer. As you see many of the just finished the prayer and there is someplace where they teach religion to children too.

6. Zhengning Road Night Snack Market

Address : Zhengning Road, Chengguan Qu, Lanzhou



I visited this place once and never want to visit this place again. Why? Since the road is so narrow this place is super packed with people. You will be literally hugging the stranger in front of you. That if you start your visit from the east entrance. But once you are moving towards the west the crowd getting at ease. The worst part will be in the mid part of this long stretch lane.




If you love to sample the local food here, this place is perfect. But for me, I don't find the snacks or food here appealing since the price is expensive and the taste is not up to par. The best Lao Ma is still here at Zhengning Night Market but the queue is super long. I end up buying one near to the west entrance and it tastes delicious too.



I will be writing the separate post on snacks and what to eat at Lanzhou soon. So stay tuned and please subscribe to my blog for the latest update from me.

7. Wet Market, Lanzhou


I discover this place while walking to find Gansu Museum. Its a great place to see the local shop for fresh items here.



I discover lots of items here. I wish can drag my trolley bag to carry mt shopping item.


Lanzhou is famous with delicious juicy melon. I visited during summertime so peaches and cherries are all over.  I have an abundance of peaches and melons during my trips here.


8. Gansu Provincial Museum

No. 3 West Xijin Road, Qilihe District


Recommended to visit this place in the morning and avoid weekend (too many people) and Monday (closed). I came here twice and one the second time able to get in. My first time visits the queue to get the free ticket and even buy the ticket is super long. Beh Tahan to line up under the hot scorching sun. I know it listed as free but you still have to queue for the ticket. I bought a ticket for the other part where they display the silk road journey. 

Is it worth to visit this museum? You should visit this museum on your first day at Lanzhou to understand more about what kind of travel you get yourself into. It is great historical learning here at Gansu Museum. I spent almost 3 hours here.

9. China Lanzhou Centre


This big shopping mall is right opposite the Gansu Museum.


It is worth to visit this place to sit down at one of the cafes and see the locals spend their weekend there.


I have a fun time there since it was aircond and outside is super hot. Shopping? I am not a shopping person so nothing much for me. There are many big international brands and also a local brand as well. 



Right opposite of this shopping centre there is a place call Clothing Fashion Center. I gave this place a visit. Not bad! You can get local brand clothing and fashion here. The top floor is almost dead area, only the lower level has many things to shop!

10. Shopping area opposite Lanmei Boutique Hotel West Station Branch Lanzhou





I won't say this is a great place for shopping but this place right opposite of the hotel I stayed in Lanzhou. The environment kind of instagrammable place. Everything is so pretty and sweet here.


At night when the light is up the place look so magical. Its a great place for coffee!

Next post will be my adventure to Bingling Temple Caves.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Where To Stay and Eat In Jakarta

Saturday, August 10, 2019 0 Comments


Early this year, I have an opportunity to visit Jakarta and work there for a few days. The first trip, I went with my Boss and the latest one which is early July I went for a solo working trip. It was a great experience for me especially for the culture and the variety of food that I tried out when I was there.

Where I stay in Jakarta?


The place I stayed is about 10 minutes walking distance to our office in Jakarta. 

Century Park Hotel
Address : Jl, Pintu Senayan , No. 1 RT1/RW 3 , Gelora , Kecamatan Tanah Abang , Kota Jakarta Pusat , Jakarta.

Telephone : +62 21 57102041





The room is spacious and the location is so convenient except for the traffic jam. But ...which place in Jakarta is not jam? 
Since I was there for a working trip and my office is just walking a distance so traffic jam is not a problem for me at all.



One minus point of this hotel is whenever there is a soccer match then this place will be super crowded with the human. Difficult to walk around too since its the local habit to sit on the pavement and any empty space on the sidewalk area. I experience this during my latest trip here. I was so annoyed and really can't wait to reach my hotel.



Why is that so?

Well, this hotel situated right opposite the big stadium, called Gelora Bung Karno. huhuhuhu... The view kind of magnificent from my hotel room though!


Walking to my office kind of easy since I don't have to brave myself to cross the big main road. When I went there for the first time was my Boss, it was not a good experience. I have to drag my poor luggage all the way to my office and hotel and crossing the main road. Safety comes first? mmmmm..... I think we failed on our first trip though!

I plan well during my solo trip. I checked in my luggage into the hotel and walk with my laptop to the office. Moreover, I make use of the overhead pedestrian bridge every day. So, travel safely for everyone. As much as you want to travel like locals. Safety should be on top of priority!


Just about 400 meters walking distance from Century Park Hotel, you will find FX Sudirman. A shopping complex when I frequented every day. hehehehe... I went there for working not for leisure. No time to explore other places. About 500 meters can walk to Plaza Senayan but I haven't reached there yet. The luxury shopping complex Pacific Place is around 1 km from this place.



One of the night, I manage to walk around outside the FX Sudirman and found a few interesting food carts selling unique name food. For example 'Nasi Goreng Gila' which literally translate as Crazy Fried Rice. I asked the local people and they said the name is due to the big portion. Other than that, it just fried rice.

What to eat in Jakarta?

Note that, most of the food in this photo is the mixture of the foodies during my trip with Boss and another Singaporean colleague. So don't get shocked if it shows as if I eat a lot. 

1. Basement Food Court at The Energy Building
Address: SCBD Lot aaA, Jl Jend. Sudirman, No Kav, 52-53, RT 5/RW3 Senayan, Southern Jakarta

The first food is at the basement food court inside The Energy Building where my office situated. I tried Soto. I love the broth. It's so unique taste with lots of spices. My second trip, I wanted to try this again but unable due to difficult to find a place to sit and eat. The disadvantage for the solo traveller. 

Soto Ayam
Then I experience this call Nasi Kotak. As I said not easy for me to eat at the food court alone. I require to pack my food. I visited one of the mixed rice stalls and end up with this box of food back to my office. There is a bit of hiccup during the order with the stall owner. The stall owner asked me if I want the 'Nasi Merah' or 'Nasi Putih' which literally translated Red Rice or White Rice. In my mind, the red rice will be something like Tomato Rice. Almost laugh out loud when the lady scoops the healthy red rice to my box. Keke Keke....

Nasi Kotak
Food price at this food court not that expensive and not too cheap either. But still much cheaper than all the food I ate at the restaurant.

2. Sate Senayan
Address : Fx Lifestyle , Lt 1 Unit 22-23, Jl Jendral Sudirman, Tanah Abang, RT 1/RW.3, Gelora, Southern Jakartan


Sate Senayan place is well known in Jakarta. The menu selection is so varied and you don't have to visit other parts of Jakarta to eat each place special food. They are famous with Sate. But I went there to eat only rice. I tried the Sate Kambing but not to my liking at all. The Sate Ayam kind of good and lots of spices. 

Some of the interesting rice set tried are :

Nasi Kuning - Turmeric rice with an assortment of meat and vegetables
Nasi Liwet - Coconut rice with skin satay chicken, sweetened beancurd and egg over a spicy light vegetable curry
Nasi Krawu - Coconut rice with an assortment of shredded beef, egg, potato cake, anchovies and fried chicken
Nasi Uduk - Coconut rice with fried chicken wings, skin satay, fried chicken skin, crispy sweet corn fritters and orek tempe.



Rujak Cingur is something worth to try for those who can take exotic taste like me. hahaha... this is assorted vegetables, tofu and rice cakes with cingur (if I am not mistaken this is the cow nose part) and serve with peanut sauce. I love the sauce taste.


3. Kamadoya Nizaemon @ Century Park Hotel

If you get bored with Indonesian food, you can try out this good quality Japanese cuisine located near the lobby of Century Park Hotel.


I would say, we overdid this during the ordering spree. We both woman have to pig in this to max used of the meal allowance. hahahaha...But it was a really great experience for me to eat this much. Many more not in this photo.


The environment is nice here. Many Japanese businessmen visited here or get entertained here. I only visited this place when I was here with Boss. The food is delicious here.

4. Dapur Solo
Fx Sudirman, Jl Jend. Sudirman, RT 1/RW.3, Gelora, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta


Nasi Langgi Solo



Nasi Urap Solo and Pindang Serani
The food here is not bad too. My favourite is Nasi Langgi Solo and some jamu drink call Kunyit Asem. But the Pindang Serani is a total failure for me. Not recommended for your to order that.

Indonesian food is really unique and I wish can try them all. The cakes are another interesting story too.


I really have fun visiting the local bakery and try out some of their famous cakes too. The best is I don't have to buy a lot.


They sells the cakes in slices and pieces which is perfect for me to sample some of these cakes. One of my favourites is the cheese swiss rolls.

I hope this post helps others who are visiting Jakarta near SCBD area and unable to decide where to stay and eat.

I will try to write some of my recent China trip experience soon.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Iconic New York City Excursions

Friday, August 09, 2019 0 Comments



Whether you’re visiting New York City for the first time or if you’re in town often, there are certain activities and landmarks that you can’t miss. Although there are multiple world-famous attractions, restaurants and museums that are definitely worth your time, consider these if you want to see the quintessential sights.

Shows


Spend the evening watching an enthralling show. Consider a musical featuring catchy songs and performances or a dramatic or comedic play instead. You can also check out some standup comedy, an opera, ballet or a concert at the symphony.  If you’re unsure which to pick, consult Broadway play reviews to find the shows that are beloved by critics and theatergoers alike.


Statue of Liberty





Check out this historic and awe-inspiring landmark in one of a variety of ways depending on your budget and the amount of time you have.  Examine the options so you’ll have the best experience – if you’re in a hurry and short on money, for instance, you can see the statue as you cruise by on the Staten Island Ferry. If you’d rather see it along with some other sites, consider a harbor cruise on which you’ll also be able to see the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan and Ellis Island.

Empire State Building






Take in the stellar views of the city from the location’s 86th or 102nd floor. The experience now also includes a model of the Empire State Building and an informative photo exhibit. If you’ve already visited the site during the day, consider returning at night for an entirely different experience and photo opportunities.

Times Square


Experience the hustle and bustle of the city surrounded by a multitude of shops, restaurants and neon lights. If you’d rather not walk through the crowds, take a tour bus that enables you to see the highlights and disembark to shop and dine.
Whatever destination you choose, be sure to research it beforehand in case you need to purchase tickets in advance. In addition, arrive well ahead of your show or ticket time as New York City is notorious for crowds.