Overseas Travels

Read it bottom up! Click on the various thumbnails to bring you to the respective Flickr albums for more pictures 🙂

2015

2015-12-15_08-28-38

15-23rd Dec 2015: London, United Kingdom

HolidayFlight tickets. Singapore Doha Paris.

29th Nov-15th Dec: Paris, France

For COP21. Mostly in the Le Bourget area. On the 1st weekend I did go down south of France to visit my aunt.

3 hours on the road. 3 hours more to go. Beautiful blue skies.

18-20th Nov: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Work trip. Some sight-seeing.IMG_20151021_131755

21-23rd Oct: Batam, Indonesia

Work trip. Some sight-seeing pictures. Galang Island. Tanjung Uma. Batam Miniature Park

IMG_20150911_151242

11-13th Sep: Kuala Lumpur + Selangor Malaysia
For PSM 2015 and some eating
Packing for a flight in 7 hours time. I have a 30kg baggage allowance. Pretty sure this will be less than 7kg.21-24th May: Melaka, Malaysia
For a Climate Change Workshop.

Travel in 2015 started early in the year.

 

On 8th Feb, found out we couldn't do Visa on Arrival (Business Visa). On 9th had to go to Embassy and just get Tourist Visa.

8/10th Feb- 21st Feb: Ma Dauk Kone village and Na Kone village in Pathein Township, Myanmar.
Three Singaporean girls were selected to be part of ASEAN Young Professionals Volunteer Corps., an initiative by the Brunei government in conjunction with the ASEAN chairmanship in 2013. AYPVC is an initiative designed to bring together young professionals from ASEAN member states to undertake voluntary community work in areas of their expertise in various locations. 2013- Cambodia, Indonesia, the Phillipines. 2014- Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. Myanmar was pushed to 2015. For more information you can check out https://www.facebook.com/aypvc or http://www.aypvc.com/

Long story short, because of visa miscommunication, Janice (1 of 10 project volunteer with medical team), Yee Hui (project volunteer as photographer) and I (1 of 9 project volunteer in youth development team), did not leave Singapore on 8th Feb, and instead only went over on 10th Feb.  The first week was spent at Ma Dauk Kone village while the second week was spent at Na Kone village, both in the Pathein township on Myanmar. You can check out pictures I took in the Flickr album. Click on the thumbnail above.

While in Pathein, we were put up at Nay Chi Lin Guest House.  It’s a family business. The owner has three gueshouse in total within 100m walking distance of each other. While in Yangon on the first and last day, we were put up at Best Western Green Hill Hotel.

I realise I have been using this page as a “travel updates” page. I don’t really write dedicated posts about my overseas opportunities and experience, but this trip to Myanmar feels a bit different.. in a different way. I’ll write one by the end of the week.

 

2014

2014 has been an amazing travel year for me.

26th Dec: 9.5 hours flight Dubai to Singapore. Food in all Emirates flights SG-Dubai-Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo-SG-Dubai were all yummeh. Pricing for LAN flights, Sao Paolo-Lima. Lima-Cusco. Cusco-Lima-Sao Paolo, can be tricky.

25th Dec: 13.5 hours flight from Sao Paolo to Dubai. At Sao Paolo, I met up with Siang Yu, Zen and Juliana. We had been on seperate ways since 13th Dec but was on the same flight back from Sao Paolo to Dubai.

10.5 hours wait. Emirates provide accommodation if first flight out is not available anymore and you have to wait more than 8 hours. Downside.. I had to wait nearly 2 hours for the shuttle bus. Had less than 1 hour for dinner, and had to check out in 5 hours time.

24th Dec: Woke up at 4.30am. Reached airport at 4.50am. Boarding was at 5.20am. At 5.10am, got picked for a random police check at check in. I was late and nervous for my flight. Not because I was guilty of anything. Thanks.
1 hour flight from Cusco to Lima. 
2 hours wait. 
4.5 hours flight from Lima to Sao Paolo. Phone fell in the plane toilet rubbish bin.
8 hours wait.

23rd Dec: 3 hours boat ride from Taquile Island to Puno.
8 hours bus ride from Puno to Cusco.
5 hours wait till flight time.
When I reached Cusco it was about 11.30pm, I wanted to go straight to Cusco airport. But the taxi driver said it was closed and will only be opened at 4am. So I had to call Pepe and asked if I could stay over his place from then till 4am.

22nd Dec: From the port at Puno, we go to our first stop, Uros Island

22nd-23rd Dec 2014: Lake Titicaca, on the border of Peru and Bolivia.
At the suggestion of Veronica, an Italian at COY and COP whom I later met at Ecopackers in Cusco, I took the classic 2 days 1 night Lake Titicaca Homestay tour program. Day 1: Visit to the Uros Floating Islands and homestay on Amantani Island. Day 2: Visit to Taquile Island and return to Puno in the afternoon.

There are many tour operators operating this programme. I searched for one in Cusco and they charged me 210 soles. I finally found one for 140 soles. In Puno, I realise tour operators were offering it from 75-90 soles. Just shows how cheap it can be.. or how much these tour operators make.

I didn’t ask how much is actually given to the families who host us. But I suspect it is very little. On hindsight, I wished I had brought more things for the family I stayed with.

21st Dec: Back in Cusco yo 21st Dec: Cusco, Peru
I went back to Cusco 20th evening, slept a bit. and on 21st, went to do some horseback riding near the Saqsaywaman Park, and saw Christo Blanco “White Jesus on a Hill”. When I was searching for prices, I found tour operators charging 30-35USD for a 4 hour horse ride with an English speaking guide. Veru and Katy got a 30 soles (10USD) deal with a Spanish speaking one. I grabbed that.

Stayed at Wild Rovers. Don’t ask me why.

 20 Dec: Wayna Picchu20th Dec: Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu, Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru
Let’s just say this is the first time I felt price discrimination. Two way bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is about 55 soles for foreigners and 30 soles for locals. One way train ride from Machu Picchu to Cusco is about 240 soles for foreigners and 20 soles for locals.

If you can navigate your way through the Peruvian government website for tickets to Machu Picchu, good for you. I bought my Machu Picchu and Wayna Pichu ticket on a third party English website here. It was a breeze, albeit, more expensive. You can compare for yourself price difference between Peruvian website and English website, and tourist prices versus local prices.

On a separate note, the 360 metres climb up from Machu Picchu to Wayna Pichu is not for the faint hearted. Seeing the view from the top though is breath-taking.

19 Dec: On our way to the Hydroelectric station!

19th Dec: Machupicchu or Machupicchu Pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru
The next day I joined the group and took a van to the Hydroelectic station. From here we trekked for about 2 hours to reach Mandor, where we had lunch, and the group set up their tent for outdoor camping.

I continued for another hour to reach Aguas Calientes. I was also joined in by Veru whom I met at COY and her friend Katy.

I stayed at Casa Machu Picchu.

18 Dec: Got the hostel to book a taxi. Taxi brought me to this place where shared mini vans brought people to Quilabamba. We can ask that they drop us along the way, Ollantaytambo, Santa Maria, Santa Teresa for example.

 18th Dec: Santa Teresa District is one of ten districts of the province La Convención, Peru
I waited 3 hours for the shared mini van to fill up. Then took a 7 hour bus ride from Cusco to Santa Teresa. I puked. I met a group on a spiritual trek- Pepe, Luisa, Alex and Carol, and they brought me out to a night dip at the hot springs of Colca Mayo and dinner.

I stayed at Hospedaje Turistico Quilla. It’s one of those hostels you chance upon and don’t find on the net.

 16 Dec: Snack on a short plane ride16-17th Dec: Cusco, Peru
I slept the whole day I came in. One the second day, I went for a walking tour at the heart of Cusco.

Did a Grand Free Walking Tour in Cusco on 17th Dec. I only realised it later but GFWT wears a pink vest and FWT wears green vests. They’re two seperate groups offering similar free tours. The point is, these free guided tours are done by locals who are proud and knowledgeable of their areas, so a suggestion is to tip them what you think they deserve.

I stayed at Ecopackers.

Packing for a month in Peru. Part 1 will be in this album, 26th Nov to 16th Dec in Lima, Peru. Part 2 will be in another album, 16-26th Dec in Cuzco, Peru.

27th Nov to 16th Dec: Lima, Peru. A number of districts visited; La Molina, San Borja, San Isidro, Miraflores, Chorrillos, Barranco, Lima (the district).
From 27th Nov to 30th Nov for the Conference of Youth (COY). And then 1st to 12th Dec for Conference of Parties (COY). In between these two events, I went out to the different districts a lot- mainly to the different beaches in Miraflores, Chorrillos and Barranco. I dropped by the Convergence Space and downtown Lima to visit the Catacombs. I also managed to see the Huaca Pucclana at night and day time.

Did a Free Walking Tour Lima on 15th Dec. Like, finally, I had time to do a walking tour. Met an Indonesiean, Triwik, studying in the US, whom I would later meet again at the Grand Free Walking Cusco and at Wayna Picchu.

I seeked some quiet time at Barranco., where I was at 13-16th Dec.

I stayed at The Point Hostels.

Checked in luggage. Kephren got my bag in his account. And changed + upgraded my seat so that I seat next to him.

19-23rd Oct 2014: Bangkok, Thailand.
For some time off. Mainly in Huai Kwan area. I was in Hua Hin for two days. I also under-budgeted and over-spent. A lot.

Packed for Penang.

16-19th Oct 2014: Penang, Malaysia.
For Power Shift Malaysia. The event, which was held at the Center for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS) in Penang helped 60 youths from Malaysia, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt, India, Sudan, Yemen, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ghana acquire the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to fight for climate justice.

 

2013

 

Through 350.org I traveled to Bogor, Indonesia in 2012 and Istanbul, Turkey in 2013 to attend their workshops. I also went for a localised workshop in Selangor, Malaysia in 2013.

Additionally, through working with my friend Agnes Christina, I went to various parts of Indonesia in 2012; Yogyakarta, Bandung and Semarang. I also took the chance to go to Yogayakarta again, Malang and Bali for a short holiday. I am thankful for the opportunities given to me thus far.

Going for environment-related workshops and arts events around the region not only allowed me to explore new places, but it also allowed me to catch up with friends and made me realise how small and hardworking this community is. Again, click on the thumbnails below and a new tab will pop-up, to a dedicated Flickr set! (PS- the names in the stories make sense if you scroll down all the way and look at the albums from 2012 up to 2013.)

 

15-18th Dec 2013: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

15-18th Dec 2013: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Where I stayed back for some sight-seeing. Stayed at the Explorers Guest House which I highly recommend. One touristy thing I did was to take the taxi-package around Putrajaya which cost around 75RM for a 3 hour ride, with stops at the different buildings. The highlight of staying in KL for me was to be able to attend Green Drinks Kuala Lumpur– thank you Adrian for bringing me there.

Also went out with Thai and Nat (Malaysia) whom I briefly met when I coordinated the SUSI participants visit to Ground-Up Initiative, Singapore around March 2013.

10-15th Dec 2013: Selangor, Malaysia.

10-15th Dec 2013: Selangor, Malaysia.
For Global Power Shift Malaysia. Catch up with Adrian who was the organiser there. Met up with Syaiful (Indonesia) who flew in for the day, and Izzati (Malaysia) whom I first met at Global Power Shift Turkey in June 2013.

30th June

30th June to 3rd July 2013: Istanbul, Turkey.
Where I stayed back to do some sight-seeing. Quite a number of the Asian youths stayed around the same area and we made the effort to have dinner or go out together when possible. Stayed at Istiklal Hostel. Managed to visit Hagia Sophia Mosque, Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, Taksim Square, Grand Bazaar, and cycled around Istanbul!

23rd June

23-29th June 2013: Istanbul, Turkey.
For 350.org’s Global Power Shift summit. I met a number of friends such as Adrian who was one of the Malaysian delegate at ECO Singapore’s World Leadership Conference 2011 held in Singapore, as well as Mega (Indonesia), Arief (Indonesia), Bell (Thailand), Anisah (Malaysia) who were all participants in the 350.org’s East Asia Climate Leadership Workshop in Bogor, Indonesia in 2012.

I discovered the fantastic Light in Babylon– they performed during the Open Mic session. The highlight of the summit was the March led by Turkish Anti-Coal movement and the river ride along Bosphorous River.

19-24th Dec 2012: Bali, Indonesia.

19-24th Dec 2012: Bali, Indonesia.
I Couchsurfed in Bali and met three wonderful ladies Fitri, Sita and Diana. We later met again when they came over to Singapore in 2013.  I was mostly in Denpasar and Kuta area, and was up in Ubud for one day.

I also met up with Pande, a volunteer at ECO Singapore’s World Leadership Conference 2011 held in Singapore. He was studying in Singapore before moving back to Bali.

17-18th Dec 2012: Malang, Indonesia.

17-18th Dec 2012: Malang, Indonesia.
Traveling alone from Jogja to Malang to Bali was quite an experience. Managed to climb up Mount Bromo. And it was worth it. Who cares about the spoilt phone and lack of high-quality pics..

10-16th Dec 2012: Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

10-16th Dec 2012: Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
After working for a week, I decided to take the next two weeks off. Managed to visit Borobudur, Mount Merapi and Prambanan. And I did not pay foreigner’s fees.

I spent a good one week in Jogja where I was fortunate enough to stay at Mega’s house and hanged out with Agnes who stays in the city.

7-9th Dec: Semarang, Indonesia.

7-9th Dec 2012: Semarang, Indonesia.
For Titik Nol’s theater jamming. For some reason, Semarang was ultra hot. Managed to vist Lawang Sewu.

I also met up with the twins Dita and Gita who were Indonesian delegates ECO Singapore’s World Leadership Conference 2011 held in Singapore.

2-6th Dec 2012: Bandung, Indonesia.

2-6th Dec 2012: Bandung, Indonesia.
For Titik Nol’s theater jamming. Bandung has loads of chic cafes selling uber cheap items. Managed to visit Saung Angklung Udjo.

I also met up with Medina whom I first met at 350.org’s East Asia Climate Leadership Workshop in Bogor, Indonesia.

27th Sept to 2nd Oct 2012: Yogyakarta, Indonesia

27th Sept to 2nd Oct 2012: Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
For Agnes’ Titik Nol’s participation at the Jogja International Performing Arts Festival. Managed to visit Jalan Malioboro, Indrayanti Beach, Lendok Sambi and Ullen Sentalu.

I also met up with Mega whom I first met at 350.org’s East Asia Climate Leadership Workshop in Bogor, Indonesia.

8-13th July 2012: Bogor, Indonesia.8-13th July 2012: Bogor, Indonesia.
For 350.org’s East Asia Climate Leadership Workshop. I made quite a few friends whom I had the opportunity to meet again later at other events and places.

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