Blending in…..

Blending in…..

When traveling I love to blend in with the locals, so carrying big cameras and looking like a tourist is not what I am about.

As a ‘local’ you manage to get some great deals. For example, a taxi to the mall from the gym is usually around 80 Thai Baht each way (at the time of writing, that is £2 GBP each way, which can quickly add up!)

After some enquiries, I was informed of a free bus that goes from Mahidol university, Salaya to Central Salaya (mall.) As soon as I heard about this saving, I was like a kid in a sweet shop……VERY EXCITED, it had made my day!

Bus departure times
Departure times from Mahidol university to the mall
Because of the frequent departure times the bus is never full!!
Complimentary bus, Mahidol university to Central, Salaya

Love to hear what great tips for saving on holiday you have made…..

Holiday Money…..

Holiday Money…..

Many people have asked about holiday money. Do I use the ATM, which bank cards do I use for holidays……

I use the following banks for holiday money, N26, Revolut and Starling. The reason I chose these banks, is because they do not charge for any withdrawals and the exchange rate they offer at overseas ATM’s and places that take card payment is very favourable to the consumer. Whilst travelling I am not a big fan of carrying too much cash, I prefer to pay using the card, where it is accepted.

Regardless of which bank I use here in Thailand, I noticed that if I need cash, the majority of ATM’s will charge 220 baht, which can add up. Aeon Thana Simsap is the only one I found which charges 150 baht.

Found to be the cheapest and only charge 150 baht for cash withdrawal

The other banks charge 220 baht for a withdrawal transaction charge:

If whilst traveling in Thailand you have found a cheaper/free transaction fee, please do comment below!

Goodbye KL…..?

Goodbye KL…..?

Today was our last day in Kuala Lumpur. We used the 4pm check out to our advantage. I called the front desk and said that because it is our last day here and we need to plan our trip from the comfort of our room, can we could use the wifi dongle for free. The front desk said please let me look into it and call you back. At the moment if we want free wifi we would have to go to the hotel lobby bit of a hassle. We got a knock on the bedroom door and was given our courtesy wifi dongle (saving RM50).

Dec 7, 2012 12:37 PM

We were really interested in going to the camp so called good old Amex to sort out a car. They did this through Avis collecting this afternoon at 4:30pm and dropping back Thursday 13th December 2012. We took a taxi to Avis as Amex told us they do not do a courtesy pickup….later to find out they did!

We met Melvyn at the Gurdwara, from there we went to his friends house. Around 7:30pm we set off to Cameron Highlands. The joinery takes about 3.5 hours the last hour is through a very winding roads, as it was pitch black with no road markings and sharp corners, one had to be careful. If a lorry was oncoming around a corner you had no option but to stop and let it pass, otherwise it would cause serious damage to your car!

On the way there are various tolls where the charge is RM1.

Stopping at the services for ice cream
Dec 7, 2012 9:56 PM

We arrived at the gurdwara where the camp is held in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands at midnight there were people chatting and such a great vibe. I was thinking when is everyone going to sleep!
The camp is organised by Simran Group
Gurdwara Sahib Tanah Rata,
Jalan Jasar Valley,
Tanah Rata
Cameron Highlands,
Pahang,
Malaysia, 39000

Tanah Rata is the largest township of Cameron Highlands, located along the main road 10km up from Ringlet and 4km before Brinchang. This tourist town is the most popular destination among international visitors, especially backpackers, resulting in a large collection of budget hotels, inns and lodges. Tanah Rata means ‘flat land’, a reference to its spacious setting within a vast valley. The relatively flat terrain and abundant land space is why there is much development, shoplots and buildings – but nowhere as dense as Brinchang. Much of the economic activity is centered around tours, accommodation and restaurants, with a few farms nestled among the hills.

We were offered Guru Ka Lungar which I was happy to have, as I was starving, Sangeet does not eat late at night so did not have any.
Dec 8, 2012 12:27 AM
A fantastic and loving group
Dec 8, 2012 12:29 AM
Dec 8, 2012 12:39 AM

The guys then offered to look for a hotel for us. These guys have to be up early but they still found the energy and time to sort our accommodation. We found accommodation and in hindsight I should have checked the room. I did not check it as I did not want to get the guys to carrying on looking. We booked and paid for it.

Planters Hotel
44-A Jalan Besar
Tanah Rata
Cameron Highlands
IMAGE_892F4F2A-B52C-454F-B867-7A34114CA07A.JPG
IMAGE_72B489C7-DFEA-432B-A0AF-A7BE86C71095.JPG
IMAGE_F0E08A96-FD9F-401C-8C17-18D922FC42A5.JPG

The deco
Dec 8, 2012 3:06 AM
Dec 8, 2012 4:37 AM

Dec 8, 2012 4:38 AM

After securing the room we went to the Gurdwara
Gurdwara Sahib Brinchang
19 Jalan Wisma Muhibbah,
Brinchang
Cameron Highlands,
Pahang,
Malaysia, 39100
In the early 1930s, there were about 500 Sikhs residing in Brinchang, the majority of whom were bachelors. Most of these Sikhs were employed by contractors as general workers to build roads, bridges and buildings. Some of the Sikhs worked as woodcutters as wood was required for cooking as well as to heat the bungalow houses. Later, Sikhs were also employed in the various vegetable farms and tea estates.
The site of the present Gurdwara Sahib, which is 38,000 square feet, originally had a store house, which was used by British personnel. Sardar Gurdit Singh of Village Sultanpur District Jullandar, a contractor, bought this property in 1933 from the British owner. He then sold the land to the Sikh sangat of Brinchang for a token sum of Straits Settlement $100.00 to enable the Sikhs to build the Gurdwara Sahib.
In 1935, Sardar Gurdit Singh and Bhai Sadhu Singh together with the Sikh sangat built a Gurdwara Sahib on this piece of land. Timber was obtained from the surrounding forest and cut up into planks. This single storey structure was built at a minimum cost as everyone chipped in to help with its construction. In 1960, this Gurdwara Sahib building was demolished as it was in a state of disrepair.
In 1957, the President, Sardar Gurdit Singh and his Management Committee, decided to construct a new single storey wooden building on the site of the previous Gurdwara Sahib. At the same time, a new Granthi’s quarters, lang gar hall, kitchen and eight rooms for Sikh visitors were built at a cost of RM10,000.00.
The first Granthi of this Gurdwara Sahib was Bhai Sadhu Singh of Village Bahopur District Jullandar who served here from 1935 to 1945. The next Granthi was Bhai Gurdial Singh of Village Akawali who served from 1946 to 1954. Bhai Samund Singh took over the duties of a Granthi around 1955. Bhai Fauja Singh served as a Granthi from 1958 to 1993 in this Gurdwara.
The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, their assistants and six committee members.
There are presently about 26 Sikh families residing in the Brinchang and Tanah Rata areas who participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara Sahib.
It can become very cold at night in Brinchang. The rooms for Sikh visitors have thick blankets to keep them warm. Hot water is also available, as water heaters have been installed in the attached bathrooms. The Sikh visitors who stay here usually make a donation in cash or in kind which is used to upkeep the Gurdwara Sahib.
The normal weekly prayers are held on Sundays at 5.00 p.m. The Sikh Sangat from other parts of Malaysia and Singapore also occasionally hold prayers in this Gurdwara Sahib.

Brinchang (also Berincang) is a town located in Cameron Highlands in the state of Pahang, Malaysia. It is the second tourist town in Pahang after Tanah Rata. One of its attractions is the Night Market available during weekends and the Malaysian school holidays, where many vegetable stalls and food stalls are set up.
The road connecting Gunung Brinchang and Federal Route at Brinchang is the highest motorable road in Malaysia.

For email subscribers
Gurdwara Brinchang
Dec 8, 2012 1:39 AM
Dec 8, 2012 1:41 AM
Dec 8, 2012 1:41 AM
Dec 8, 2012 1:43 AM
Dec 8, 2012 1:44 AM
Dec 8, 2012 1:44 AM

Afterwards, around 2am Saturday! everybody said lets go eat!!!! It was around 1am we found a 24 hour indian restaurant which specialises in fantastic Malaysian food.

The restaurant
Dec 8, 2012 2:05 AM
Dec 8, 2012 2:05 AM
Dec 8, 2012 2:14 AM
Dec 8, 2012 2:14 AM
Dec 8, 2012 2:29 AM

We got back to the hotel around 3:00am. There were strange stains on the sheets and funny looking insects crawling on the bed. There was little point in going to sleep anyway as the amrit vela programme was going to start in a couple of hours. We decided to freshen up then checked out around 4:30am going back to the Gurdwara. I slept in the car whilst Sangeet (who has had no sleep!) went to join the sangat in Simran.

It pays to have a great charge card…..

I would like to thank Maggie for working hard at securing our accommodation for last Saturday night. It really does pay to have an American Express platinum charge card…..just waiting for my Amex Centurion!!!!

For Amex Charge card users, Maggie’s contact details are as follows:

Lisa Malan (Maggie )
Centurion Travel Senior Executive and Concierge Executive
MTS Centurion Travel
American Express Co. | 1st Floor, 154 Edward Street, Brighton, BN88 1AH
+44 (0)808 100 50 50 | international: 44-1273-525077

Welcome…..

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

After a month of thinking about doing the KRI teacher training level 1 in Espanola, I have finally registered…..just has not sunk in! I am feeling very nervous and at the same time very excited.

I am very lucky that Sangeet has already completed the course two years ago, so can advise me on what to expect.

So the next task was to book the flights, we thought as I will already be in the US, Sangeet would join me towards the end of my course and we will travel for a few months. therefore the choice of tickets we have is as follows:

1) The Great Escapade
2) Star Alliance RTW
3) One World Explorer

The ticket which was more suited to our plan and budget was The Great Escapade, I contacted a number of travel agents and was very surprised to see a huge difference in the price. In the end we booked the ticket through Jackie from Travel Nation telephone: tel:01273 320580; email: jackie@travelnation.co.uk. She is very knowledgeable and their prices were the cheapest.

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