Friday, November 29, 2013

NZ Trip ( Hamilton - Rotorua )

Went around Hamilton on 28th morning. It was raining the night before and the morning was wet too. Huhu. Sajuk bah kalau hujan. 

Braved the rain and toured the Hamilton Gardens. Free admission! And it's amazing to see so many types of plants and flowers and the way they maintain it is amazing. Different gardens with different themes

Like this one is inspired by the Indian gardens. I especially love the Rose Garden they have. Summer in NZ means it's the blooming time for roses. Sweet smell of roses greets me when I reach the area. Awesome!

Yang paling merah ni yang paling wangi. ^_^

We also visited Waikato Museum. It's also free admission. Hahaha. Sangat happy ok kalau jumpa yang free admission. 

The museum is worth a visit if you are the type of person who love to know more about the history of a place.

Then off we go to the Hobbitons. An hour drive along scenic view, rolling hills and grazing cattles and sheeps in the vast land. 

The little white dots on the green pastures are sheeps. They are always always eating. Makan saja mana nda gumuk. Lembu pun sama. 

The Hobbitons is like in the rural areas. Imagine when the director of the film LOTR went to scout for area of filming they used helicopter to go around because the roads going to these places last time was so small! Thanks to the film now they commercialized the place and it's accessible for tours.

The weather changes like my mother's mood. Satu kali panas terpaksa buka sweater, then skijap angin datang, sajuk mengigil, skijap lagi hujan terpaksa pakai payung. So unpredictable. 

This is the most famous hobbit hole. Recognize this one? Paling selalu kena nampak in the movie kan. Anyway the hobbit holes, not all of them can be accessible and don't expect to see the insides of the hobbit hole here. The scene inside was filmed in the studio. There's only one hobbit hole where you can go in. (Tapi teda apa apa di dalam tu).

At the end of the Hobbiton tour you will be at the Green Dragon Inn. Here they will serve your choice of complimentary drinks and you can actually order food as well.

The Hobbiton tour is 75NZD per pax.

Reached Rotorua on the same day but we only started touring around today (29 Nov). You will know you have reached Rotorua once you smell fart in the air. Yea, the sulphur smell is so prominent in the air here because it is the heart of the geothermal activity.

Here in this town also is the heart of the Maori culture. And me being the lover of anything cultural, it's like heaven to me

The beginning of a tour

Learned a lot about the Maori culture today. And do you know that there is no more pure blooded Maori around. All that's left now are the mixed descents.

Geysers amazed me. We only have hot springs back home and I never seen anything like this. So powerful. Awesome.
Boiling hot water just shooting up from te rocks.

There's a blue lake nearby the geysers. It's alkaline waters.

Met up with my friend, Rachel, who is currently working in NZ. So good to see her. She joined us touring the Redwoods.

Check out the size of the trees!

Basically Rotorua is a place full of geothermal activities. Love Rotorua! And the hot water at the motel we are staying is also from the hot spring.

The Studio Motel and this is our room. 

It's a very cute place and it's decorated to really feel like home.

Off to another town tomorrow after staying two nights here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NZ Trip ( Auckland - Hamilton )

Yeah!!! Free wifi. Like finally. Been disengaged with the internet since I arrive here. If you have been wondering what I am up to this time, I am on a backpacking trip with the mister (cum honeymoon - yeah we are weird for having a backpacking honeymoon. Haha)

So the trip started in Auckland. A challenging feat to defy the body function across time zones. Meal times and sleeping times screwed up (but this wasn't as bad as my Europe trip, jetlag!!!)

Auckland airport has a good information counter for those traveling around this country but mind you the customs department here is very strict. SUPER strict. Biosecurity. All shoes and sports equipment pun dorang mo check tu. Apa lagi kalau ada bawa babi salai (the mister bought for his friend) terus kana tahan bah. 

We are driving around here. The mister has done a very good job in handling the logistics for the trip. I hate logistic stuff, I prefer creative stuff. Anyway, we stayed in Auckland for one night. 

It's summer here now so the weather is perfect. Just like in an air-con room of 23 degree celsius but when there's wind and rain it can be quite sejuk also.

The mission bay beach.

This was at the Auckland war memorial museum. We just chill outside because we are cheapskate. Hahaha. Mahal bah mo masuk it's 25NZD ( approx myr75 ). Bergambar di luar saja la. Hahaha

We just like places that are free and worth the money you pay. Maklum la backpacking, semua mau bajet2.

Like this place we drove up Mt Eden ( a former volcano). Well, almost all the high areas in Auckland was formerly a volcano. You can see the crater as well. It's worth the drive up because you can see the 360 view of the whole of Auckland

And the fruits here. Kiwi! Strawberries!

Strawberries here!! Check out the price berapa. Hari-hari sa mo makan ni. Nyahahahaha. 

So this afternoon, we drove from Auckland to Hamilton. Hamilton is the fourth largest city in New Zealand. Gotta wake up early tomorrow to tour around. We are staying at this backpacking place called Eagle's Nest Backpackers Lodge in Hamilton.

Hoping for to find a free wifi place again tomorrow so that I can update this blog. Hehe.

Follow me on Instagram as well. @joan_jade #jvmonholiday

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jet setter

Traveling is tiring (especially across time zones) but it is always fun to have a traveling partner.

On transit here in Melbourne airport after a 7 hours flight from KL. Enroute to Auckland. 

So napping on the airport seats it is. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's more fun in Boracay

Spent the whole day at the beach today. Had breakfast and went straight to the beach. We only return to the hotel room after sunset. 

Enjoying my final full day in Boracay today. Tapi terus mo demam ni satu hari kana angin kana air kana panas. Odoi. 

Super crystal clear water! Can't resist it. Biar la sunburn. 

In the afternoon I went to D Talipapa market to look for souvenirs. Apparently things are cheaper here as compared to another tourist shopping place called d'Mall. 

And I was in awe to see the concept of a wet market that sells fresh seafood to the tourist (bikin heran kan, bukan souvenir pun tu barang). Rupanya they have cooking service there. 

Yes, you buy the supplies and bring to any of the restaurant nearby to cook for you (for a fee la of course). Cool concept!

After rounds at the market, it's about sun and sea again. Nap time at the beach chair. Habis.. Jadi ikan masin.

Peduli nda kurus, keyakinan harus ada. Hahaha. Ok bye!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ako po si Marimar

Finally get to go online and update this blog. Man, the journey to Boracay from Kota Kinabalu took like approximately 12 hours.

Left my house at 9pm on Monday and we only arrived at Boracay Garden Resort at 11am on Tuesday. As of my last post, I was at the domestic airport terminal. The flight to Kalibo was at 6.50am.

Upon reaching Kalibo, it was only a small airport and most of the people reaching there will definitely go to Boracay. So there are lots of land transfer option available.
We took this one. Southwest company. You can see yourself what is there being offered in the PHP500 ( approx RM48 ).it save you a lot of time by helping you to purchase all those conservation fees and what not. 

You will be given a sticker stating the name of your accommodation place and they will send you right to the lobby of your hotel. So, even if you are a first time traveler or a lone traveller it won't be so intimidating.

The place am staying right now is mostly occupied by Koreans. There's even a Korean restaurant here in this hotel and of course the staff mistakenly greeted us with "anyeonghaseyo" is quite funny too. Hahaha.

Weather was superb on the first day of our stay here but it's kinda sad to see along the way to Caticlan port,the destruction caused by the Haiyan typhoon. It looked bad here. I guess it's even worse in Tacloban area. But the locals are recovering well here I guess. And they still accept donations here and there.

One thing that really amazed me the most here ( second is the availability of pork dishes everywhere), is the beach!!!! 

Look at the sea water! So crystal clear! I went for a swim just now before sunset and the water is like swimming pool water. And the waves are also aren't that strong. It is really like a swimming pool with waves and sandy bottom. 

It wasn't that sunny today as compared to yesterday, so rajin sikit la pigi berjalan.

Am currently blogging at the lobby of this hotel in front of all this ahjumma(s). The only place that there's free wifi in this hotel is the lobby. Tsk tsk tsk. But anyway, it's good to be away from the social media every now and then.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lack of sleep

En route to Boracay now. The flight from KK to Manila via Cebu airways was on midnight. Fighting sleepiness. Still waiting at Manila Domestic Airport Terminal 4. Landed at Terminal 3 and we took metered taxi to come here. It only cost us like PHP140 as compared to the touts price (PHP450-500)

Sleepy and hungry

I get very cranky if I am sleepy and hungry. Then we checked in. There's more food stalls inside the boarding area. Kenyang now senang hati.

Ooh. Ada free wifi here at this airport. Double senang hati.

Long journey still to reach Boracay. Hope the journey is worth it. Hopefully I can update my instagram. Keep an eye on the hashtag #jvmonholiday 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Back to basics

Gotta start practicing something that has been left behind for a couple of years. First did this sun salutation when I joined a gym back in 2009. Gonna try to do this every morning for relaxation and stretching as well as some core exercise.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Faithful Fipper

First day of the school break and currently am in Labuan. Labuan ferry terminal to be exact. Waiting for the mister to fetch me ( he is like so busy with work). Half an hour waiting and am hungry now. 

So, I am here with my Fipper. This Fipper has been a loyal companion for traveling. It's like my official footwear whenever I am traveling. No this is not a paid post or whatever but it seems almost all of my vacation photos is me and my Fipper. Ngeh.

The wait continues. Am bored 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hell of a week

School holidays ( the official one ) is approaching soon and my mind is as chaotic as the preparation to close all the files and what not. As usual the normal question before the school holidays start will be "where are you going for vacation?"

This year end, me and the mister are going to Boracay, Phillipines ( yeay, another one off my list ) and also New Zealand after that.

I am just worried about the condition of the journey to Boracay after the super typhoon hit the central Phillipines. How things gonna be like and stuff. I read that things are getting back to normal faster than you know for certain parts of the affected area except for the hardest hit area like Tacloban.

So, in the meantime now its all about reading forums online and be updated of the current updates from the Phillipines news.

Friends who have been there, any advise on travelling especially the boat transfers and stuff?

Now, gotta find those bikinis and see whether I still can fit into them. Haha

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

KBAT yang hebat!

Have you heard of the term KBAT. It's actually HOTS translated to Malay. Still doesn't ring a bell? KBAT ( kemahiran berfikir aras tinggi ) and HOTS ( higher order thinking skills). Apparently the whole system is gonna be revamped soon and the teachers are being prepared for it. So, yeah... The final week of the school term is filled with courses and more paperwork to be done. And mind you this course has assignments that need to be submitted by the 15th.

Urgh! Everything la 15th. It's kinda like a ticking time bomb has been set to explode on the 15th unless you find the code to stop the time by doing all the required things (but the list is endless and impossible! Huhu). I really really feel defeated already. Sigh!

But this still doesn't beat the idiocy of SPPBS! KBAT I still think you are useful despite the weird and overload of acronyms it brings.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Monday Moaning

I realized that I usually have a lot to say on a Monday. Haha. The blog posts that I have here are usually posted on a Monday. Monday blues perhaps.

School holiday has "officially" started for my students as they are kinda forced not to go to school this week because SPM will be starting on Wednesday. Hence, my working hours now changed to be 7am - 1pm instead of the normal afternoon sessions.

2 more weeks for vacation days. Working and knowing that the holidays are approaching made me so pumped up to finish up all the never ending workload. Semangat! Hehehe