Friday, December 23, 2016

Hotel SAV X Whampoa Christmas getaway


Made good use of the Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) for hotel another time, we claimed a very cheap stay celebrating the beginning of my Christmas holiday.

Using the trick of BRG which matches the lower rate I found on other websites plus a compensation of USD50/ claim, we got a stay at USD11.91 only! (around HKD96)

Orbitz's offer: more than USD61.91

Agoda's offer: USD61.91- USD50 compensation= USD11.91

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dazzling Da Nang trip- preparation

Initially we decided to redeem flight tickets to Hokkaido a few months ago with Asiamiles for our annual summer getaway. Unfortunately, bumping into the high flowers seasons, we were too late to make a booking. We kept waiting for the confirmation of flight tickets but we couldn't stand for the groundless feeling. Has been searching for cheap flight tickets since then and ended up choosing Da Nang. Actually it's usually kinda cheap flying with Hong Kong Express at around a thousand dollars. We got ours at HKD1900 each and it sounds quite reasonable during summer holidays. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Birthday family stay -YHA Mei Ho House @Hong Kong

Made good use of the Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) for hotel again, we claimed a very cheap stay celebrating my birthday with joy together with my family.

Using the trick of BRG which matches the lower rate I found in other websites plus a compensation of USD50/ claim, we got a stay at USD14.67 only with breakfast included! (around HKD117)

Orbitz's offer: more than USD64.67
Agoda's offer: USD64.67- USD50 compensation= USD14.67

YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel was located at Shek Kep Mei, a bit of walk from the MTR station. Even it is named as a hostel, there is a variety of room types to choose from catering the needs of single travellers (dormitories), couples (Double rooms) or even family (Family Ensuites). 

Maybe it was the peak hour when everybody checked in and out the hostel, we had been waited for a while for our turn at the reception. Nevertheless, it didn't impatient coz every corner of the hostel looked interesting and unique to us. 

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Weekend escape @Shenzhen

Making good use of the Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) for hotel, it was much cheaper to plan some weekend getaways as the cost of hotels drops significantly.

This time we chose to stay at Luohu Holiday Inn Express, which was 10 minutes walk away from both Laojie Station and Hongling Station. Again, I used the trick of BRG which matches the lower rate I found in other websites plus a compensation of USD50/ claim, I got stay at USD9.16 only! (around HKD73)

Orbitz's offer: more than USD59.75
Agoda's offer: USD59.16- USD50 compensation= USD9.16

Arriving at Shenzhen, we took the metro to Laojie Station, headed to the holiday from the nearest exit. It was effortless getting there in 10 minutes except the weather was extremely hot.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Getting a Cheap or Free Hotel Stay with Best Rate Guarantees

Read an article from a travel blogger who always make use of the Best Price Guarantees from hotel booking engines and get cheap or even free stays. I tried to do the same for my upcoming trip to Vietnam. It looks hard doing it for the first time, but once you get the trick, you can't resist the temptation of doing it all the time to get the best deals in town.

What is a Best Rate Guarantee (BRG)? 
Travel providers guarantee having the cheapest rate available for your hotel stay and provide some type of compensation if they don’t. 

For the Orbitz website I am using, it
- matches the lower rate I found in other websites 
- compensates with USD50/ claim

Many high ended hotels do the same but usually for me, my only concern is the cleanness of the hotels with convenient locations and reasonably low prices. Therefore, this gives me a good chance to save the cost of accommodation booking hotels at around USD50 using BRG with Orbitz.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Precious Busan family trip- Day 2


Itinerary of today:
Breakfast @Tom N Toms Coffee (탐앤탐스커피)
伏兵山壁畫村 (동광동인쇄골목)
40 Steps (40계단)
Gamcheon Cultural Village (버스정류장)
Lunch @Gamcheon Cultural Village
Dinner @Whobaldae
Yongdusan Park
Busan Tower

Breakfast was done at Tom N Toms Coffee closed to our hotel. The cafe was quite cozy with not much people. We ordered set breakfast with drinks. (45,700won) Honey bread stick, Apple Cinnamon Bread and a few Italiano Pretzels were freshly made and they tasted fantastic. The only downside was having only one staff responsible for cooking, making drinks and cleaning up the place, we gotta wait for almost half an hour for the first dish done and all of us were starving! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Precious Busan family trip- Day 1

Can't explain how precious this trip means to us! It has been a long time not having a family trip together during Chinese New Year! My elder sister's wedding in 2013, then she got a baby in 2014, then the first CNY visiting relatives after my wedding in 2015. Finally was able to make time for travelling!

As I mentioned, planning a trip for 7 people, a big group with both elderly, teenagers and a baby was kinda rough. We exchanged some Korean Won beforehand in Chungking Mansions in TST at HKD1= 150.6won, planning that HKD3500 each would be enough on a whole. I decided to keep HKD2500 each in the pool for food and transportation (around 2,450,000won), then give out HKD1000 each for self-use. It gave me another headache to keep so much money.

Flight schedule: (Hong Kong Express: HKD2516/ person)
0930- 1340 UO673 (Hong Kong to Busan)
1425- 1720 UO674 (Busan to Hong Kong)

Itinerary of today:
Hong Kong Airport 
Hotel Yaja Nampo Lotte
Gentle Monster Showroom
Lunch @local restaurant
Gwangbokro Culture and Fashion Street
Guk Je Market (국제시장)
Bupyeong Market (부평시장)
Dinner @Nampo Samgyetang (남포삼계탕) 

Arriving at the Hong Kong Airport, it took a long time for us to queue for the boarding passes since many people were on their vacation during CNY. The gate to board was really far away and we were in a rush getting there. What a shame that we were unable to take a group photo in front of the display showing where we were heading to.

Had a pretty great sleep on the flight and we finally arrived at Busan. It took a short time only to go through the custom and pick our baggage. Maybe Busan was still quite new for people to travel to. 

Carrying so many baggage and a baby, we decided to catch the comfy limosine taxi reaching our hotel without haste. (35,000won)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Precious Busan family trip- preparation

It has been a long time not travelling with my family with last year visiting relatives during CNY after wedding and the year before my elder sister giving birth to her first baby. It will be such a precious experience spending the holiday overseas with my big group of family. Together with my elder sister's mother in law this time, I am sure we all are gonna have a great time in Busan. We bought the flight tickets from Hong Kong Express with HKD2516 each, sounds quite reasonable during the peak season. Bought another one later on for auntie in HKD2995 as she was able to request for an annual leave travelling with us.

Found it hard on planning the itinerary with Korean. Google map seems not being really helpful. Most bloggers a website called 韓巢 to find the accurate location of the places especially for the restaurants but it is written in Chinese. Anyway, the maps and discount coupons are really useful.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 8


Itinerary of today:
Breakfast @Bakkerij de Waal
Lunch @The Butcher
Tea @Febo de lekkerste
Schiphol Airport 
Hong Kong

Finally came the last day of our trip. We checked-out the hotel and left our baggage at the concierge, then headed to find a place for breakfast.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 7


Itinerary of today:
Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre 
Breakfast @The Alley 
Lunch @Jacketz 
House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience
De Wallen (Red Light District)

Check-out the hotel room early in the morning. A city tax of EUR7.83 was needed to pay while checking out. We headed to Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre which cost us HKD1236/ night, which was kinda expensive for us! But we could do nothing as it was the cheapest available room in town which is located close to the train station. Of course, it was too early and we were only able to check our baggage at the concierge. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 6


Itinerary of today:
Koog-Zaandijk station 
Zaanse Schans
Tea @Banketbakkerij de Wiji
Rotterdam Central station 
Stadhuis City Hall 
Lunch @Dudok
Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
Rotterdam library 
Blaak station 
Kijk kubus
Forever 21
Dinner @Vapiano 

With the complementary EUR19 1-day train pass bought together with the Holland Pass, we planned a day trip to Zaanse Schans and Rotterdam today. 

We woke up really early today, trying to make good use of the time exploring both places. 

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 5


Itinerary of today:
Hoek van Holland 
Amsterdam Central 
Breakfast @Omelegg 
Dam Square 
De Wallen (Red Light District) 
Dinner @The Butcher 
Restaurant Café in de Waag

Arrived Hoek van Holland port after a great sleep. An announcement was made at around 6ish to wake people up for breakfast. Since we didn't add onboard extras, we simply did wash up and packed our belongings. People were really well behaved queuing up for the lift down waiting for landing. It took us quite a while as there was one lift only in each wing catering for heaps of passengers. Anyway, it was a fantastic experience taking trains and ferry to Amsterdam.

Getting through the customs was easy and fast at the port in the early morning. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 4


Itinerary of today:
Breakfast @All Bar One Euston Station
Westminster Cathedral 
Buckingham Palace (Changing of the Guard) 
Horse Guards Parade
Lunch @Flat Iron
Fred Perry
Covert Garden 
Old Spitalfields Market 
Dinner @Poppies Fish & Chips
Brick Lane Market 
Stena Line (ferry)
Hoek van Holland 

Our last day in London. We woke up late again since it was too tiring the day before. We decided to go out for breakfast instead. We had no ideas for restaurants nearby and just dropped by All Bar One Euston Station right next to Euston Station before taking the train to Victoria Station for Westminster Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 3


Itinerary of today:
Breakfast @hotel 
Liberty Department Store 
Oxford Street 
Piccadily Circus
Cool Britannia 
M&M World
Lunch @Burger and Lobster 
Spurs VS Norwich City @White Hart Lane  
Dinner @Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Boxing Day, gourmet day! Putting the 2 most popular restaurants together in one day, we decided to just have a quick simple breakfast instead. Sandwiches with ham, cheese and jam would be a great choice leaving room for the feast.

As we were gonna watch a football match in the afternoon, there was not much time left for sightseeing. Wandering around the Soho Area was probably the only option. 

Taking the underground to Oxford Circus, Liberty Department Store caught our sight right away. We didn't get a chance to go inside as it opened at 11am on Boxing Day, but seeing the spectacular on the outside was also enjoyable. I especially love the Tudor style outlook. It was wonderful to photograph. Even I am not fond of buying luxury goods, we had a thought that we needa come back again later on the day to see the inside.

Liberty Department Store
Address: Regent Street, London W1B 5AH
Opening hours: Mon- Sat 1000- 2000, Sun 1200- 1800