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Holidays

Hey, Perth! – Part 2

I must add that it is of utmost importance that you declare all makanan yang you bawa from Singapore, or from whichever country you are coming in from. Kalau tak pasti sama ada makanan itu terlarang, sila just tick ‘YES’ di dalam borang Declaration. At least, if they check and consider makanan you tu sebenarnya OK, you can breathe a sigh of relief. TETAPI if you choose to remain silent i.e. select ‘NO’ and suay-suay they tell you it’s an illegal item, habis lah. Either they confiscate (which is not too bad), or fine you (oh mai.. nak ke keluar duit tu), or worst, take you away and screen you in an interview room for god knows how long. You pick. #jangancakapsayatakwarning

Here’s my list:

DECLARATION LIST
No. Item Description Brand Quantity
1 Baby Formula – Brand new, unopened Similac Stage 3 GainIQ 1 tin x 400gm
2 Rice for Baby Royal Umbrella 6 small packs
3 Panadol for Baby Calpol Paracetamol 1 x 70ml
4 Colic Drops for Baby Dentinox 1 x 100ml
5 Zyrtec Oral Drops For Infant Zyrtec 1 x 10ml
6 Cough Syrup for Infant Prospan 1 x 100ml
7 Panadol Extra for Adults Panadol 1 strip of 10
8 Pills for Diarrhoea/Indigestion for Adults Po Chai 5 vials x 1.89g
9 Bottle of Boiled Water for Drinking from home 1 bottle x 1L
10 Chilli Padi / Birds’ eye chilli Pasar 1 packet x 100g
11 Sambal Belacan (Shrimp Paste) Dapur Ibu 1 packet x 100g
12 Sambal Tumis (Condiment Sauteed Paste) Rasa Kita 1 packet x 180g
in Baby’s diaper bag pack
No. Item Description Brand Quantity
13 Baby snacks: Chocolate biscuits Meiji Hello Panda 1 x 3oz container
14 Baby snacks: Baby Ball cookies Iwamotoseika 1 x 3oz container

Actually, in my baby’s diaper bag, I brought fresh blueberries, raspberries and begedil from home. Note that ALL fresh produce and home made food are NOT allowed into Australia. So I had to make sure my baby girl finished all those before we board off the flight in Perth. Remember this ok!

And for God’s sake. I really feel like slamming my head on the wall when the Customs Officer decided to confiscate my chili padi. Fresh produce! I should have known better, right?!

Holidays

Hey, Perth! – part 1

Yok ke Perth! So we went to Perth from 6-10 August for a short family vacation. My sister in law and her close buddy joined us on this chilly, winter trip. In this post, I will list on our budgeting (noooooo not to brag) and also our itinerary – for you to gauge if you are planning to visit the land of down under soon. Mestilah secara umum kita harus plan sesuai dengan budget kita, jadi tak lah pokai lari kaki ayam balik negara setengah jalan kat negeri orang! Itinerary pulak hanya sebagai plan atau schedule atau just for a sense of direction – it can make or break your trip! Tapi jangan pula kita menghambakan diri by being so rigid to it. Remember, it’s a holiday! 🙂

Flight: Singapore Airlines – harga ticket per adult was SGD 470. Beli ticket waktu tu tengah Natas Fair di Marina Bay Sands in February. Sukaaaaaaaaa cost murah sangat tu!

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Visa: All nationalities require visa to enter into Australia. Di Singapore, it will cost about SGD 20 – 30 per person. Nasib travel agent I offered to do it FREE for us. Macam tak percaya! Alhamdulillah ameen.

 

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Perth Barrack Plaza. This ticks all the boxes of what we were after: kitchenette lengkap dengan keperluan (ye, I ade pun bawa sabun sertu), 2 x bathrooms with washer and dryer, 2 bedrooms and located right in the CBD shopping area! Plus ada banyak kedai makan halal and supermarket in the vicinity. Mudah sangat. Tak caya? Tengok map bawah ni:

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Ahhhh kan kan kan. Murray St, Hay St, London Court and Elizabeth Quay are all at your footsteps. Talking ’bout convenience! 🙂

Total for 4 malam SGD 1,080 – booked via Expedia and entered promo code. Much cheaper than booking directly.

Harga untuk per pax untuk 4 malam: SGD 1,080 / 4 = SGD 270
Harga untuk per pax per malam: SGD 270 / 4: SGD 67.50 <—— Okay sangat lah tu!

 

Parking: AUD 30 per day at the hotel’s on-site parking. Memang menyakitkan hati kalau parking kat area CBD. Note: It applies to almost all of the hotels located in the CBD area. #jangancakapsayatakwarning

Total Parking cost: AUD 30 * 4 nights = AUD 120
Harga untuk per pax: AUD 120 / 4 = AUD 30 (est. SGD 33)
Harga untuk per pax per day: SGD 33 / 4: SGD 8.25 <—— Okay sangat lah tu!

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Car Rental: Thrifty. Reviews were good and their prices are relatively cheaper. What made us cancelled our Hertz booking and signed on Thrifty was the insurance option offered by Thrifty to reduce excess to $0 in the unfortunate event of an accident, specifically termed “Ultimate Protection“. Alhamdulillah, we were safe and sound throughout. Absolutely no regrets paying for the insurance though. #jangancakapysayataksiapkanpayung. We originally rented a Hyundai iMax – yup an 8 seater to fit us 4 adults, a 1.5yo baby, baby seat (compulsory), stroller, all the luggages and backpacks and the shopping loot. However, Thrifty issued us with a Kia Carnival which thankfully was super spacious too. Totally had a comfortable ride throughout.

Rental Cost: AUD 470 (inclusive of baby seat rental, Ultimate Protection, extra driver)

Harga sewa kereta per adult: Oleh kerana the amount has been reflected in my statement, ia nya SGD 505 / 4: SGD 127 untuk 1 dewasa

Harga untuk per pax per hari: SGD 127 / 4: SGD 31.75 <—— Okay sangat lah tu!

Hyundai iMax as per image below. Credits: Google

iLoadiMax-731x420

Kia Carnival as per image below. Credits: Google

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You can collect the car at Terminal 1 itself and choose to return it at the same place or a different location. Convenience again!

Meals: This is the interesting part. Of course, for I don’t tell my family members how much they should set. But for my husband and I, this was what we planned: Assuming we brunch and dinner on a daily basis for 5 days, we’d have to set aside budget for 9 meals. AND assuming a comfortable amount of AUD 50 per pax per complete set meal (yes, this was to have buffer for desserts, snacks etc). It’s a holiday thus we’d prefer a minimal constraint one. So:

Total budget untuk makan per dewasa: AUD 50 * 9 = AUD 450 (est. SGD 500)

 

Shopping: This is similar to the meals section. Totally up to individual. For us, it was set at AUD 150 per day per adult for 5 days. Kenapa 5 days when we’re obviously going home on the 5th day? Well, havent you heard of last minute loots, especially at all those DFS stores in the airport? Ah hahhhh rings a ding-dong bell now huh!

Total budget untuk shopping per dewasa: AUD 150 * 5 = AUD 750 (est. SGD 800)

 

Now let’s put all this numbers into a table:

SGD
Flight Ticket 470
Accommodation 270
Parking 33
Car Rental 127
Meals 500
Shopping 800
2,200

And surprise, surprise. My husband and I collectively had a good amount of AUD 1,250 (est. SGD 1,330) balance left at the end of the trip. Not bad at all, bearing in mind that we stayed in a serviced apartment right smack in the CBD, rented a super comfy car, ate at fancy places and splurged on goodies! Yay well done!

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Bali.

Let me count. 3, ok so I’ve been to Bali 3x.

Just almost 3 hours away from Singapore. 2h 50mins to be exact. And there you have a laid-back lifestyle island, bobbing with life, plenty of beaches and also mountains. So you choose where you wanna hang out in Bali.

The accommodations are rather extreme on the spectrum; you can get as low as SGD 8 to cleaning your wallet at SGD 4,000 per night!

Bali adalah di antara destinasi pertama yang saya kunjungi setelah mendapat pekerjaan tetap. The factors that I considered important at that point of time were cost of flight, accommodation and general expenses. Back then I didn’t earn very much so I had to be very careful.

Where did I stay?

  1. Harris Resort Kuta
  2. Mahogany Hotel
  3. Citadines Kuta Beach
  4. Pondok Sebatu Villa

pondok

My humble stays while in Bali.

Takde pape kot yang terlalu wow untuk dipost.

OH YASSS ada ada ada!

In Bali, please please please pop by Ayana. Rock Bar is amazing. However it is always full of people and if you must wait, be prepared to join the snaking row. I suggest you go up and have a bite at the other restaurants like Sami Sami Bar which is situated at the cliff. Try their Banana Fritter with Ice Cream. Heaven!

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Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta)

Now, what I did not tell you in the earlier post was: Dubai was our 2nd honeymoon destination. Before we spent our 5 days there, we did a full 7 days at Yogya.

Your Question: Why Yogya?

My Answer: Why NOT Yogya?

Hahh meh sini saya cerita.

Actually, we were forced to cancel a booked trip to Bangkok as they were having some riots so near to the dates we were due to go over. Nasib beli travel insurance. Never say no to travel insurance k guys. Riots ni pon di-cover. Alhamdulillah Singapore Airlines refunded us full amount. And because we were short of time, the next place on our mind was Yogya. Airasia waktu tu menawarkan harga SGD 600 for a pair of 2-way return tickets. Samalah price tu dengan Bangkok via SQ.

Saya ni sebenarnya memang hantu negara Indonesia. Asal usul pun memang ada darah di situ. Kedua-dua Embah (atuk nenek) saya adalah orang Wonosobo, Jawa Tengah.

Di Yogya, memang best. Sangat santai, plenty of food and super easy to communicate. I suppose it was my 3rd visit there.

Highlights:

  1. What I remember very vividly was taking the beca (trishaw ride) in the opposite direction of moving traffic. Rasa macam nak kena accident berkali2! Thrilling! Tapi pemandu beca tu memang power. Of course he was used to the traffic and clearly knew the selok belok of the road, shouldn’t he?
  2. Malioboro 
    Whole stretch of street shopping. Biasalah, bag kulit, kain batik and the whole night market jazz. If you are someone who enjoys bargaining in the heat and inhaling sweat, you will love here!
  3. Wonosobo
    It’d be rude not to visit my relatives whilst in Yogya. So my uncle drove us all the way to his home in Wonosobo, which is about a good 3-hours drive. Rumah kampung or villages are aplenty on the very cooling uphill housing estates. Masya’Allah, kalau waktu pagi, jangan cakap air. Duduk je kat jamban yang kering tu, MAK OIIII. You would be instantly jolted by the sheer coldness! Belum kena air lagi tu. Oh hey, here’s an interesting information: the house didnt have any water heater. Mandi ala bujang lapok je lah.
  4. Mount Dieng
    Berpusing-pusing nak naik ke puncak Gunung Dieng ni. Gunung Dieng terletak ditengah (or something like that) Mt. Sindoro and Mt. Sumbing. Along the way, there were so  many tiny food stalls selling fresh local produce. We tried Krispi Jamur. Basically it is either enoki or oyster mushroom that were freshly picked and fried with tempura coat before getting sprinkled with condiments of your choice. We chose chilli powder. When you bite into that piping hot crunchy thing, you’d ask for more. Back about the mountain itself, until today, I am still amazed at God’s creation. We were at the peak where clouds were shoulder-to-shoulder with us, and top it off with a rather heavy rain. There in front of us, on the ground, was the volcano boiling with steam and all. How on earth is that? I mean, we were experiencing extreme cold and hot environment simultaneously. Subhanallah Allahuakhbar.

Jadi di mana kita stay ye di Yogya?

We had 3 different accommodations:

  1. Grand Aston Yogyakarta
    A clean, modern and strategic hotel. The lobby is huge and plenty of seats for you to wait if you need to during checking in/out. Harga untuk 4h3m: IDR 3,600,000 = SGD 380
  2. Sheraton Yogyakarta
    A hotel that boasts traditional and authentic Javanese feel and details. Huge property. Near to airport – plus point if you need to catch an early flight out. 2 nights here cost us a very reasonable IDR 1,700,000 = SGD 180
  3. At my uncle’s home in Wonosobo. Brrrrrr.

I seriously need to rummage all my SD cards to retrieve my honeymoon and all other vacation pics man!

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Honeymoon ya habibie.

*I couldn’t find our 99% of honeymoon pics due to the fact that I kept changing phones over the years. CRIESSSSS*

We took to Dubai for 5 days in Jan’14. Pretty much my 1st ever long haul flight. Haaaahh come on give me a chance to call it ‘long’, for I know it’s only a mid haul!

Flight: Snagged a great deal from Singapore Airlines, paying only S$1200 for a pair of return tickets!

I remembered we landed about 7pm in the evening and boy was the airport so crowded. It is a modern infrastructure with shopping stores and food places. After about 1h queueing just to get our passports stamped, baru lah kita pergi cari driver yang seharusnya fetch kita. Nasib tak susah, depan mata berdiri tegak. He took us straight to the hotel.

We stayed at the Traders Hotel Dubai, rasanya dah closed down or maybe taken over by a different brand kot. Memandangkan kita on honeymoon, I thought we should treat ourselves so we booked the Club room. Jadi paham2lah kalau trip ni bukan budget ye. Hehe~ The hotel knew it was a special occassion for us so they surprised our room with some chocolates and a bottle of wine. Wine tu we gave it away.

Early January was still within Dubai’s winter season so.. homaiiiii sejuk bebenor! Keluar je dari hotel tu, angin sejuk menyelimuti kita dengan serta-merta. Bone-chilling cold! Tapi syiok lah. I likeeee!

Highlight for us:

  1. Evening Desert Safari 

    duubai
    We engaged the services from Platinum Heritage after bumping into great reviews through TripAdvisor. <– Please baca untuk convince yourselves! Memang cukup baik sekali dari segi service dan acara. Apa bezanya dengan lain2 providers? Bezanya yang sangat distinct is that they offer a gentle wildlife drive over the sand dunes instead of the usual term we hear ‘dune bashing.’ Jadi kalau sesapa yang macam saya suka releks menikmati tiupan angin sepoi2 ke muka sambil meng-flips hair tu, sila lah cuba Platinum Heritage. Untuk you all yang lebih adventurous suka enjoy perasaan seperti nak muntah pasal pusing2 macam naik ground rollercoaster tu, hang pi pilih lah ye providers yang lain. 🙂 Back then in 2014, harganye untuk 2 dewasa ialah AED 990 = SGD 350. Maybe sekarang harga dah naik. What made me decide to choose Platinum Heritage was that apart from gentle sand drive, they provided intimate number of persons in a group i.e. 60 max, with 4 adults in a 4WD each. And oh yes! Toilet sangatttt proper. A proper separated gender toilets, clean one at that! Alhamdulillah. Takde lah nak kena sembunyi di belakang pohon ketot2 (al maklum kat desert, no pokok okay). Ataupun silap2 sembunyi belakang rimau!

3. Dubai Creek, Souks and Malls

Part ni, all I can say is.. hmm, di Dubai Creek, you naik ‘abra’ which is a boat or water taxi that takes you from one end to another. Cheap thrill but amat nyaman. Murah, just AED 1 =  SGD 0.40. Souks pula are equivalent to sheltered pasar. Depends souks mana yang you visit, ada spice souks (menjual rempah ratus), jewellery souks (menjual barang kemas) etc.  Yang saya naik tocang ni, belambak-lambak abaya dijual semua harga AED 70 – 80 = SGD 30 – 40. Tapi bila barang yang sama dijual di Singapore ni, aik! Harganya kok SGD 100++?! Ape lagi, saya ngappp terus 10 pasang abaya untuk diberi kepada ibu, MIL dan sewaktu dengannya. Malls, rasanya I don’t have to elaborate kot. Shopping centers mereka semua ada up ok. Besar sangat dan very high end. Of course, there are malls slightly out of the city that sell local goods.

2. Dinner at Burj Al Arab

           bab al yam
Say whatttt? Uhuh. We managed to book a dinner di Burj Al Arab. Nama restaurantnye adalah Bab Al Yam. International buffet. Quite honestly, rasanya biasa2 saje. Nothing yang blow our minds. However, the views facing the Arabian Gulf was amazing. You would not missed noticing the guests visiting the Burj were all very very well-dressed and seemed to flock from all over the world. Waktu itu, harga per dewasa untuk menjamu di restaurant ini ialah AED 350 = SGD 140. Memang mahal. Tu harga baru sorang, belum kali dua. It’s even more expensive than having to dine at Carousel Royal Plaza on Scotts! But like I mentioned earlier, demi honeymoon, kita splurge je lah. Nak share, I sebenarnya geram jugak dengan yang bernama ayahku. Adakah patut bila ada orang tanya/comment kat dia yang anak dia and menantu dia ni kaya sangat ke sampai ke Burj Al Arab sume, ayahku jawab, “Oh Boss dia kan Arab (read: Boss yang belanja.)” HELLO?! How I wish! I ingat how we saved up like mad for our wedding and honeymoon. Memang pun saya akui saya langsung tak kaya, miskin pun tidak. Allah dah berikan saya kehidupan yang sederhana. Cukup sederhana, semoga berkat hendaknya. Duit gaji dan bonus, semua kita planned elok2. Alhamdulillah, Allah permudahkan and eventually vacation ni went very smoothly and sungguh worth it.

Tips: Awal2 and rajin2 lah research/survey sebelum get on the trip. So budget tak lari dan you pun happy! Gitewwwww!