Posts filed under ‘Đi chơi’

Dried fruits at Albert Centre (near Bugis)


I came to know about Albert Centre from a blog. Visited it yesterday and kinda regret for not knowing it earlier. I wanna buy dried fruits and this is really a good place. Several shops, various goods and quite good price. For example, raisins SGD 10/kg, dried cranberries SGD 14/kg, walnuts SGD 21/kg.

Remember to have a look around before buying anything. I thought I know this ‘at heart’, still end up buying things which are cheaper at another store just few meters away.

Will visit this place again when I need to buy dried fruits.

Level 3, Albert Centre
270 Queen St, 180270
About 5 mins walk from Bugis MRT

24 January, 2016 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

Jambo, jambo

Xuống Changi với đầy đủ hành lý mới thở phào, thế là đã đi về bình an. Hai ba bữa nay tim vẫn chưa đập lại theo nhịp sống bình thường, sáng nay còn phải xin nghỉ làm vì dậy quá trễ.

Một chuyến đi tuyệt vời.

Sẽ nhớ. Hàng phượng đỏ rực rỡ dưới nắng tháng mười hai. Mấy cây phượng tím chỉ còn lơ thơ hoa vẫn khiến mình ngoái nhìn hoài. Mấy bạn tù nhân áo cam đang cuốc đất. Tiết mục cúp điện liên tục trong nhà nghỉ. Những con muỗi mập. Món pizza ngon bá phát. Sáng ngày 25, lều mấy bạn Mỹ còn giăng đèn xanh đỏ. Con khỉ lạch bạch đi gần đó. Đang nghĩ “Sao lại có giống khỉ mập ù như thế nhỉ”, thì thấy ảnh cầm sandwich ăn thong thả.

Nhớ con suối lý tưởng để ngồi ‘hát ca bềnh bồng’. Con chim ‘tennis ball bird’ đậu trước lều, có lúc nó xù lên tròn vo. Buổi tối lạnh, cả đám mặc ba lớp áo đang đứng co ro thì nhìn thấy hai bạn tung tăng chạy nhảy, mặc có mỗi cái áo thun. Quá kinh cho đội Thụy Điển!

Nhớ cánh đồng bạt ngàn cỏ dại. Sương mù. Mỏm đá ‘kissing rock’ vì ai leo qua phải dang hai tay hai chân ôm lấy.

Nhớ cảm giác sợ khi đi giữa hoang mạc không một bóng người, ông guide mà có chuyện gì thì mình cũng chết theo luôn. Nhớ lúc hai chân hoàn toàn tê liệt, để đứng một mình là té nhào về phía trước, may không gãy cái gì.

Nhớ chai bia Serengeti khá ngon, uống một chai đã ngà ngà, ăn với bít tết thật là được.

Nhưng nhớ nhất, là đoạn nói chuyện với anh tài xế lúc mới tới.

Mày có thấy núi Kilimanjaro đằng kia không? Ùm… Ngay trước mặt đó, thấy chưa. Ùm ùm chưa… Mày nhìn theo tay chỉ đây, ngay đó đó, thấy chưa. Huhu tao không chắc, có phải cái kia không. Không. Hay là cái này. Không. Mày vẫn chưa thấy à, nhìn lại lần nữa đi.

Và rồi, sau một hồi vò đầu bứt tóc, mình nhìn thấy. Không phải nhìn ngang mà phải nhìn lên. Trời ạ, nó to lù lù, mây phủ kín, chỉ nhìn thấy chút mỏm tuyết. Cha là đẹp.

Thế là cũng thẫn thờ nhớ mấy câu.

Hái cúc dưới giậu đông,
Thơ thới nhìn núi Nam.
Khí núi ánh chiều đẹp,
Chim bay về từng đàn.
Trong cảnh có thâm vị,
Muốn tả đã quên lời.

(Bài “Uống rượu”, Đào Uyên Minh)

Vậy là, ta cũng đã may mắn chạm được, tuyết trên đỉnh Kilimanjaro.

Jambo jambo. Mambo mambo. Pole pole.

Dada.

4 January, 2016 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro – Dec’15

My two cents from the Kilimanjaro climb in Dec’15.

Which Tour Operator

Read this article to have a general idea
+ African Walking Company: no website, need to book through agent?
+ Zara
Tro-Peaks
+ Team Kilimanjaro
+ Climbkili  –> Lemosho 8-day: USD 2,490 (include airport transport)
+ Climbmountkilimanjaro –> Lemosho 8-day: USD 2,871 (include airport transport)
+ Peak Planet –> Group 4-6, Lemosho 9-day: USD 2,895 (no airport transport)
+ Ultimatekilimanjaro –> Lemosho 8-day, privte, 4pax+: USD 3,000
+….

After reading TripAdvisor comments and some email inquiries, I decided to go with Tro-Peaks. Total fee quoted for me (one person going 8-day Lemosho route in December 2015) is USD 1,820. Tour details are attached here KiliTour_Lemosho_2015.

My experience with Tro-Peaks has been positive. They are responsive in replying my emails and WhatsApp before I book the tour. The guide is experienced. The supporting crew is efficient. The whole team is extremely friendly. Food is good. Hotel is okay (bad wifi and sudden electric cuts, but nice room, good bar and friendly staff). Overall I am safe and sound, and quite happy about this first experience in Africa.

On the trip I met other groups going with other different companies. Things looked very well taken cared of, too. I think in general, the services provided by different companies are mostly the same, no big difference.

If you’d like to talk to Tro-Peaks, here are the contacts.

Note: Before booking the tour, please get all clarifications in writing.

+ What is the itinerary.
+ What the fee includes and excludes.
+ How many people the supporting crew will be. If possible, what is the tipping expectation.
+ How much is the rent in case you need to rent camping/climbing stuff.

Just Total How Much Money

Click to download Excel file

This excludes cost of personal items (hiking shoes, jacket, etc.)

KiliFee

Lemosho Route

Read about different routes here

I chose Lemosho route as it’s seen as an average in terms of difficulty while the scenery is not sacrificed. It is a good choice for me.

I’m a beginner who doesn’t exercise or prepare for the trip physically. I reached Uhuru Peak at around 8:30am (starting at around 3:30am), all smiling. However on the way down I needed help from the guide as there were many parts I was exhausted, almost could not stand on my own legs. Gladly after some rest I could walk on.

I would say this route is doable for beginners. You will get there.

Visa to Tanzania

It is easy to apply for Tanzania visa at arrival. I arrived at Kilimanjaro airport >> fill in a form >> submit USD 50 >> queue >> done. No question asked.

I transit in Nairobi, Kenya. I didn’t get out of the airport and hence didn’t need a Kenya visa.

Air Tickets

I search using skyscanner.

It is cheaper to go from Kuala Lumpur than from Singapore. To save money, I decide to fly to Kuala Lumpur first.

My flights:  Changi (Singapore) –> Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) –> Bangkok (Thailand) –> Nairobi (Kenya) –> Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). This is 5 countries in 2 days. Quite tired but .. surviving.

Return route is similar: Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) –> Nairobi (Kenya) –> Bangkok (Thailand) –> Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) –> Changi (Singapore).

As shown in the fee table above, my total cost for air tickets is USD 1,088.

 

Travel Insurance that Covers Mountain Trekking

Turns out when I booked the flights using OCBC 365 credit card, I automatically have its complementary travel insurance. However coverage is limited. I decided to buy an additional insurance with AIG.

Things to Bring

What I put in my daily pack: Water, hat, sunscreen, jacket, tissue, raincoat, camera.

Notes on Clothing

I went from 21 Dec 15 to 31 Dec 15.

Non-summit Days: generally it’s below 10 Celsius degree during early morning and late afternoon. It is warmer during the day.

+ Head: beanie
+ Top: 1-2-3 layers = pullover + fleece jacket + wind breaker. Layer up or down depending on the weather.
+ Bottom: 1 layer

Summit Day:
+ Head: beanie
+ Top: 5 layers = 1 base + 2 long-sleeve pullovers + 1 fleece jacket + 1 wind breaker
+ Bottom: 4 layers = 1 base +  legging + 2 trekking pants
+ Feet: 1 pair of thick wool socks
+ 2 pairs of gloves

Electrical Socket

Same as Singapore.

wa-7_MED

What I would do differently

  • Bring better gloves. I learn that my hands get cold easily.
  • Bring medicated oil
  • Bring lip balm

What I’m glad I did

  • I bring a trekking hat, a box of disposable face masks, Panadol, Vitamin C, sunscreen, a small mirror.
  • I ended the trekking one day earlier. It was supposed to be 8 days, we shortened it to 7 days. The day was used to go around Moshi town.

Good references

Pictures 

Tags: Kilimanjaro, Lemosho, Uhuru, Tanzania, Africa, leo núi Kilimanjaro, đỉnh Uhuru

2 January, 2016 at 2:36 am Leave a comment

National Gallery Singapore (5 Dec 2015)

Cũng cố mà xem, tuy không hiểu gì mấy.

5 December, 2015 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

USS – OCBC Day 2015

20150912_215551 20150912_191052

và làm sao ta quên mớ ‘free’ vouncher nơi tiệm bán đồ lưu niệm…

13 September, 2015 at 1:04 am Leave a comment

My travel checklist

/*******************/
Carry-on
/*******************/

  • Passport
  • EP
  • Cash (SGD + local currency)
  • Credit cards
  • Home key
  • Reservations (Transport + Hotel + Entrance + Insurance)
  • Mobile + Charger + Adapter
  • Maps
  • Emergency contact
  • Money belt
  • Small notebook, pen
  • Camera + charger

/*******************/
Clothing
/*******************/

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Dresses
  • Nightwear
  • Underwear
  • Jacket/Sweater
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Hat

/*******************/
Climbing stuff
/*******************/

  • Hiking shoes + comfort shoes
  • Wool socks
  • Fleece jacket
  • Wind breaker
  • Gloves
  • Beanie
  • Track pants
  • Head torch + battery
  • Hiking pole (x2)
  • Raincoat
  • Water purification tab
  • Energy food (chocolate, nuts)

/*******************/
Necessities
/*******************/

  • Watch
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe Vera
  • Medicine (Panadol, Salonpas, band aid, dầu gió)
  • Makeup
  • Towel
  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste + Floss
  • Body wash, hair wash
  • Hygiene products
  • Comb, hairpin, nail clipper, tweezers
  • Razor
  • Toilet paper / Tissues / Wet tissues
  • Plastic bags
  • Neck pillow
  • Bag’s locks & keys
  • Bag’s name tag

/*******************/
For Home
/*******************/

  • Dau gio (xanh, trang, vang)
  • Salonpas
  • Panadol
  • Chocolate
  • Mut trai cay kho
  • Bee Cheng Hiang
  • Banh ngot

24 July, 2015 at 1:12 pm 3 comments

Climb Gunung Rinjani 3,726m (30 May 15 – 6 Jun 15)

20150601_064718 20150601_075845 20150602_07204020150602_100950

The tour we took
+ 5D4N Rinjani Trek On Deluxe Plus Service with John’s Adventure (30 May 15 – 3 Jun 15) – Click here to download tour detail
+ Price: USD 345/pax (we had a group of 3)
+ Price include: airport pickup, 1 night hotel stay (dinner not included), 1 tour guide, 3 porters, mountain entrance fee, food and drinks for 4-day climb, airport send-off
+ Tip to guide and porters: USD 5-10/guide/day.

+ If you need extra porters, USD 25/day per porter.
+ Review of tour package: Overall a very nice experience. Capable and very kind tour guides and porters. John is very responsive to my questions before and after the booking.

How’s Rinjani climb
It is tiring but totally doable for beginners, proof: I was able to drag myself to the summit (much later than my group though).

Our tour guide taught us this Italian phrase: “piano, piano”, meaning “slowly slowly” or “little by little”. We said it a lot during the climb. I love it.

 

Some pics

 

15 May, 2015 at 12:28 am Leave a comment

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