Showing posts with label travel tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel tips. Show all posts

Monday, August 12, 2019

Travel China : 10 Things To Do At Lanzhou

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.

This article is also available on GPSmyCity.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Self Guided Travel using GPS

Whoa!!! can't believe the year of 2018 is going to end soon. Then we will welcome the year 2019. Its all about hard work throughout 2018 and I am one person who believes in balance life. My travel episode is starting soon enough. Here I am writing a blog post on my travel journey again. Just wait up for experience sharing session next month. It is my pleasure if my travel article can help others too. Sharing is caring!

Since I started my abroad trip in the year 2012, I always feel such a waste to subscribe to a data plan. I don't have time to even online in the daytime since I will be busy sightseeing. I can just go online at night time using free wifi from the hotel I stayed in.

There are good and bad at using my method. Let me tell you, why I said so. I usually plan my itinerary by reading other people blog and articles. Most of the time I will just bookmark on my browser. Hurl! I can't afford to print that article out and bring with me. That is so much of hassle to bring around a stack of paper, right? The problem of the bookmark on the browser, we need internet line to refer back to that article and blog post. With my 'Auntie Scrooge' style of travelling, I am not able to refer back to the article, since I don't even subscribe to the data plan. 

How I did it with all my limitation?

Here are my SECRET to travel without the data plan on hand?

GPS Guided Tour


Have you heard about the GPS-guided travel article? I found this useful app called GPSmyCity last year. This app is totally useful with my style of travelling. 

How does GPSmyCity function?

This GPS-guided travel app allows you to access thousands of useful articles from over 600 worldwide cities without any internet service. It will show your location and even guide you to the next location. How does this app guide you without even have any internet line? All travel article from GPSmyCity has GPS coordinates embedded in the article and a map of the route as the author of the article described.


Offline Maps



All you need is to download GPSmyCity on your phone or tablet for FREE OF CHARGE. You can even read travel article on plane or beach or anywhere without wifi or any other internet service. If you decided to use the article in GPSmyCity as GPS-guided, you will be charged a small fee to upgrade the app. Rest assured it is super duper cheap compared to subscribing to the data plan. Trust this Auntie Scrooge!
Once you download and start using this app, you will love it so much. Here are some of the testimonial from satisfied GPSmyCity user.




Good news to traveller out there! 

BONUS to my fellow traveller out there, I am giving away FREE UPGRADE of my most popular travel articles in the GPSmyCity directory, beginning today Sept 23, 2018, and ending next week Sunday, Sept 30, 2018. Good things always come with limited time.

How to get my limited time giveaway?

1. Click the link below for article you are interested in. Make sure you have downloaded the free GPSmyCity app before you do so. After downloading the app, you will be directed to the article, where you choose UPGRADE to get the GPS-guided version.

2.  Then from the GPSmyCity app, you can browse the city to see which articles are available.

Here we go...you are now ready to download any article for FREE or upgrade for offline GPS-guided use.

This is a new concept for some traveller. But for me, this is how I survive my travel without even any data plan subscription from the country I visited. Most of my travelling experience using this article from GPSmyCity is like using a personalized tour guide. 

Download FREE my most popular article at GPSmyCity today for LIMITED TIME only.

THINGS TO DO IN OSAKA

UNIVERSAL STUDIO JAPAN RIDES FOR FIRST TIMER

For those who want the latest update from my travel journey, please follow my Instagram Cindyreena and FB PrincessCindyrina .

Travel Blogger who would love to contribute and monetize their travel articles can register email to author@gpsmycity.com


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tips for Non Chinese Speaking to Explore Kaohsiung

Recently, I have an opportunity to travel to Kaohsiung. As usual being a loner who love to travel alone without taking care or worry about others...I went there without any travel companion. At first was a bit worried since this is main Chinese speaking place. To be exact most of them speaking in Hokkien Dialect. Nothing new to my ears since my home town is Taiping. Most Chinese in Taiping speaking in Hokkien too. WTH! Feeling like going back hometown. If you don't know Hokkien you can speak in Mandarin and Cantonese. For me who knows only one or two words of Chinese, I just opt to use google apps translation tools and also body language. I love Kaohsiung since this place is less chaotic. Not many cars and people here are more calm and relax. I feel so much of ease everywhere I walk.


Here are some tips for those Non Chinese speaking who are traveling to Kaohsiung.

 

1. Get iPass

 

You can get iPass at Kaohsiung airport. The counter opposite Starbuck and visitor information at the Kaohsiung aiport. You won't miss it. iPass is like an electronic wallet. You can just tap it on Metro, buses and TRA. Then if you have enough along the journey , you can always top up the value at convenience stores like Hi Life , Family Mart and 7 Eleven. I kind of love using this since I don't have to ask how much or bring small change. I just tap at the machine. You can save a lot too pay using iPass. The discount for some place is like 15% to 20%.

2. Transportation

 

Advisable to research where to go and how to go. I don't take cab at all. I just use subway, bus and walk if its not too far. Subway in Kaohsiung is very easy since they only have 2 lines. Unlike Taipei where they have massive lines. If you are daring enough to ride a bicycle then it will be easier too. Myself don't have confident to ride a bicycle in city or town center. Public bicycle are conveniently available for rent. Just make sure your iPass able you to pay for it. I tried mine once but it require me to register something so I am a bit put off with it.

3. Communication

 

At first I was thinking to use iTaiwan free internet. I got myself registered. However, its usual when free things is always has the limitation. I bought a local sim card for my convenient travel. I need to call and message one of 'Mingsu' owner to pick me up at bus stop since the place is a bit inner and no public transport are available. 

Advisable to install google translate app. Even though its has limitation but still helps throughout journey. I use the voice one. I talk use my language and then it will talk back with Chinese. Its fun to use this apps.

4. Accommodation

 

It is always a habit to book accommodation walking distance to subway. I booked mine at the center of 2 lines and also walking distance to Liuhe and Nanhua Nightmarket.

5. Food

 

Since I have a limitation due to religion. So I went on as vegetarian and sometimes add some seafood. Breakfast was well taken care off since the place I stayed provide good  vegetarian breakfast. I normally eat some street food during day time and reward myself with good dinner at night. Everything base on personal judgement.

I enjoy this trip so much. In general people I met are willing to help and kind heart. Anywhere you travel the communication is not so much of the barrier. You just need to travel with open mind and adapt to the situation. I will share on how I spend 11Days / 10 Nights in Kaohsiung in next post.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

5 TIPS FOR NON CHINESE SPEAKING TO TRAVEL CHINA

I just came back for more than 7 days trip to Xi'an , China. I strike off one of my bucket list before I leave this world. YEAYYYY!

image source from google.com


I visited Xi'an and took one hour speed train ride to Luoyang and spend some days exploring that city too. Since this trip is not like my other trips full of activities and tight schedule. This time, I have a good fun time exploring and trying to understand people culture. Everyday is a new discovery to me and I learn a lot too. I always wonder why the Chinese are so rough? Are they arguing all the time or it just merely talking or discussing? Why they are competitive? Why they are so rude to outsider's eyes? Many more to list down.



Anyway, this is not my main topic today. My main topic is about how this non Chinese speaker woman can survive travelling China alone? I am not even western people. For an Asian looking at other Asian....mmmmm...I would say they look at us not at the same level with 'Ang Mo'. May be the skin color is important here. Who knows that 'ang mo' they worshipped has less money than I am. Anyway, who cares!   I travel with confident!

Even my hairdresser who is Chinese himself told me he never visit to China even once. By the way he just came back from Japan. 3rd time visited to Japan according to him. mmmmmm....

My other colleague who is a Chinese herself told me she don't like China at all and never imagine herself visiting that place like me.

In Xi'an and Luoyang , I could say almost 'zero' people I met can speak English. Its like Chicken and Duck conversation. I don't even understand if they even cursed me. Goshhhh!!!! Doesn't matter. More important I made it through and now safe at home with good travel memories.

People around me tend to worried about me visiting China alone with super minimal Chinese vocab. ngehehehehe...

Very EASY!!!!

I want to ask you this question.

* HOW AN ILLITERATE PERSON SURVIVE IN THIS WORLD?

* HOW A BLIND MAN CAN LIVE HIS/HER LIFE IN THIS WORLD?

They still live and survive ,right? YES! There are difficulties but for the sake of surviving people go through whatever it takes to live.

Same concept here on how to visit China with minimal Chinese vocab in your head. ADAPT! and be mentally prepared!

This is how I did it!

1. Get the Chinese address printed out

Most Taxi Drivers or shall I say 100% since the one I met unable to understand the English version even with map.
This is where your travel research comes in handy. You just has to add in one more step. ADD IN THE CHINESE WORD to your travel plan. This Chinese version is for you to show to the local for direction. The English version is for you to understand.

If you arrived at hotel or hostel safely, never leave your hotel without one of their hotel card with map in Chinese character with you. This will become handy in case you lost your way back. It can be confusing you know. I experience that. Just show the local your hotel card. They will help you! Don't forget most hotel have nearby tourist attraction map. Just ask one from them for your reference. I always did that.

2. Choose restaurant with picture

I can say many restaurant with picture are pricey but the safest though.The normal local shop one have Chinese words menu only and no photo. Hell! you won't know what to order then. I normally research local food. Like what is the best food to eat and must eat at the place I am travelling. When come to the real surviving test , I end up surveying what others are eating and point to the waiter that I want the same thing. This technique call 'LOOK AND POINT'. kekekeke...

I remember when I was a newbie in travelling and that time I was in Bejing, I end up having 2 big plates of fried rice on my table. That was the result of me pointing at the menu blindly (all Chinese words and no photo, OK). isk isk isk..end up lunch until dinner fried rice. I call that day as BLESSED FRIED RICE DAY! 

3. Bring Calculator

I know! I know! your smartphone has calculator too. Why bother bring calculator? Haihhhh...this is for your own good. Small pocket calculator come to hand when you want to ask price or even bargaining. Are you going to handover your precious smartphone to a stranger for them to key in the price? Well, to me small calculator always with me and that will be the only thing I will handover to people when asking for price and they will key in price for me. No stranger will get his/her hand on my smartphone.

Seriously, you may learn how to say 'how much is this?' in Chinese, but you may find it difficult to understand their response. I learn my lesson!

4. Research on transportation and hotel

There are many info in the internet about this. Some people will write about taxi scam and so on. Take note on that. I almost gotten myself into deep shit when I arrived at Xi'an in the middle of the night and one man pose as Taxi driver trying to get me into his car. Anyway , I survive the horror. Just put my feet down and act cold hearted! Strong mind and give them the look that you know what you are doing face. kekekeke... They won't dare to disturb you.

Only take licensed taxi and the one use meter. For eg. I only took cab twice when I was in Xi'an. The taxi meter there start with 9 Yuan. While in Luoyang the green and yellow taxi is one you need to look for since they are major transportation unless you want to take bus which you don't even understand the stop announcement sometimes. Luoyang taxi meter start from 5 Yuan. Most of the time I will ask hotel people estimation cost to the place I want to go. At least I know the taxi driver don't overcharged me. If they did...well... its theirs then. I will not argue!

I prefer to choose my hotel walking distance from subway or MRT. Unfortunately, Xi'an subway only started 5 years back so not many line convenient to tourist place. I stay somewhere near line 2 which is very convenient. My favourites site to search for strategic place to stay with reasonable price is at this website call HotelsCombined. I always depends on other people review when it comes to hotel selection. They may write about how to go to that hotel and sometimes even about some attractions or good place to eat nearby which is always walking distance. More or less it helps me in decision making. I always try find ways to stay near walking distance to either subway or MRT for my convenient traveling. Since I have problem understanding the language so I try my best to avoid taxi or bus unless I have no choice.

5. Research the history 

I always travel with all sorts of print out on best attraction and some history write up on the place I am visiting. I seldom take any tours because I hate of getting scam like going to more shopping places rather than spend more time at the main attraction place. Some tour love to rush you too. Hate that! They are expensive too. At Xi'an and Luoyang, I just explore every where on my own with my print out in hand. I don't even hire any guide. I just freely explore the place with my own sweet time. Don't be nervous! Just read all others experience in the internet before hand and learn from their experience. It helps!

By the way , you will not have any google, intagram , facebook because China blocked all these sites. I did installed free VPN to access to this website. But FREE always comes with some limitation. If you notice my instagram I manage to access and posted for 2 days and the free VPN service went down to the drain. Unable to access! I was left without any social media connection for my entire trip. WTH!

I learn my lesson....in future I will consider pay for VPN subscription so I can stay connected. psssssttttt!!!! for your information I never rent any wifi or local sim card for my trip. Never did this in my travelling stint! I only use hotel wifi (most of the time) or sometimes starbuck (which is hardly because starbuck is expensive after I convert the forex..kekekeke).

Hope this tips is useful for those who is planning to explore China. Seriously, there are many places in China waiting for me to explore. I will save up more money to fund my travelling soon.

Friday, April 1, 2016

6 REASON NOT TO QUIT JOB TO TRAVEL FULL TIME

First of all,  I need to express my respect for those who quit job and travel full-time! 

I would say many people out there especially the young one dreaming to quit their job and pack their bag for a long time. But hey! how many of  us have the luxury to do that? 

For those who are thinking to quit job , please consider the flip side and the realities before you make that life time decision. 

1. Travelling costs money


Well travel is not a free things. Even if you are super duper budget conscious travellers, you still need money to pay for it! All of us need money to live and survive in this world. 

2. Fix place to come back


I have read many people quit job, sold off everything like car, apartment and others just to travel full time. If travelling means you need to give up everything? What if things don't work out the way you wanted? Is travelling is a gambling sort of your life as a bet ? Even if you decide to pack you back and travelling for good....you won't be travelling until your golden years, right? To me it is a good feeling if I have my own space to return to at the end of trip. 

3. Travel Blog not a ticket to travel for free


No such thing as free lunch! As many of wannabe travel bloggers out there think the beautiful life to be a full time travel blogger, many don't know the other side of the door story. Those travel bloggers only paint you the happy story but many don't tell the truth the trouble behind that beautiful travel photos. Which airlines, hotels and travel company willing to sponsor your travel for FREE? If there are....don't you think you still need to do some job in return for this huge favour ? How about your pocket money for food and other necessities purchase ? Where are you going to dig this ? Do you know that the competition to get travel sponsorship is very fierce in blogging industry?

4. Unclear Dream


I often read people who give up their corporate job quit the job and be own boss and some just want to work at various location freely. These people have some skills to live elsewhere. Do what they wants and still make money out of it! So if you think further, there is different between being a digital nomad and full time traveller. Which one you choose? Be a full time traveller or a nomad life or both? If you choose both still means you are a part time traveller then.... 

5. You shouldn't runaway from your life problem by becoming a full time traveller


Unsolved problems will follow you no matter where you run and how long you run from it! Own your problems and solve it! If you are not happy with your life, high chances you won't be happy while travelling too. Travel does not guarantee happiness.

6. Don't suffer to travel under tight budget


I never believe in budget travelling and I don't mean I travel luxury. Well...I wish to travel luxury but don't earn big money to do that. I just travel moderately without much of restraint. That is why , I will never reply  comments who ask me how much is my budget to travel or even how much I spend for my travelling. I know they asked me because they need the rough indication for travel savings. Travel budget is depends on individual personal preference. I am not that kind of person who can tolerate to sleep inside the container bedding like a coffin and live at the guest house sharing bathroom with a stranger. I normally pick the location to travel , plan and save to realise my  travel plan. I always believe that you shouldn't travel if you are going to suffer with tight budget. Not worth of life suffering! Its exciting when you do the planning and do own maths to travel.

Travel and see the world is a fun things to do in life. Fun is only part of your life not the whole lot of your life. What do you think? Do you think you can quit your job and be a full time traveller?

girl

I know waking up at 5:00am everyday to work for 8:30am to 5:30pm isn't so glamorous, but I know the consistently of money coming in to bank accounts keeps me going. It makes my travel plan easier. Its exciting to plan for my next adventure filled days.Travel abroad to see other countries just part of my hobbies and make use of my yearly vacation off . I don't travel with tight budget and I don't travel luxurious too. I just travel suit to my travel funds which I allocated from my monthly earnings.

At the end of the day, I just have to make sure I don't live my golden years as a  poor woman!

p.s . For those who are now a full time traveller...CONGRATULATIONS!!!  You are living most of other people dream life. I bet you have done proper planning to achieve your dreams. This post is for young people out there. It is possible to be a full time traveller provided you build up strong financial base for yourself to live. Don't end up regretting the wrong turning because we can't turn back time.