Sunday, 14 October 2012

NEW DELHI & AGRA : Road to Rumble - Day 2

Its the day for Taj Mahal! We've been searching for the best way to get to Agra to see one of world's wonder, The Taj Mahal. Among all, we've come a crossed this one way recommended by Shahfariz.com and Masviona. However, due to the last minute the train tickets were not able to be purchased online, in advance. So we've decided to just go with the flow until we reached the hotel.

Driver was hired to bring us to Agra. it was believed that the route to get to Agra by car is much longer (5hours) compared to by train which only takes 3 hours. But seeing that we have no choice due to last minute preparation, we decided to grab a car with a driver, Pooran. The journey started off early morning at 6am from the hotel.

Going to Agra from Delhi was an experience to share. You can see that the traffic in India was not that bad at all. It happened that we passed by the train station area and there were heavy traffic as it was on weekend morning. We stucked for half an hour before head off to Indian highway/motorway which is more or less like journey from Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan via old roads. It was good to see the view of Indian settlement from the car window. We stopped for typical breakfast (prata) before continue our journey.




Before we reached Agra itself, we made a quick pit stop at Sikandra Fort. This fort was built by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. He is well known of his passion in arts, literature, religion, architecture and statesmanship. This one of the best piece of architecture that I've visited in India. Surprisingly, he planned his own tomb and selected the site himself. Have this ever came across your mind? This monument is set amidst a lush garden that complement the beautifully carved, red-ochre sandstone tomb. 

Friday, 27 July 2012

NEW DELHI & AGRA : Road to Rumble



Thousand apologies from me for not updating my travelogue since then. Work has been hectic and turned out that there are too many changes in life. As I am now in transit at Colombo Aiport (Bandaraynake International Airport) for 9 hours before waiting for my next flight to Charles De Gaur Paris, I feel like I would like to complete my post on Delhi Trip. 

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 The day we touchdown in New Delhi, we waited for approximately 2 hours for the shuttle to arrive and bring us to the hotel. New Godwin Hotel is located in the central of busy streets of Delhi where the tourist hotels are situated. The shuttle drove through the narrow streets in between buildings. Quite exciting area where there is no proper road but lively with beautiful lightings from the hotels signages n restaurants. We checked in and settled ourselves for exciting tomorrow. 

 As the sun rise and shine, we started off with breakfast complimentary by the hotel at the rooftop next door. We wondered why next door? We realised that the next door also owned by the same hotel management, but with different room rates. Of course much expensive than ours. LOL. The mixed buffet of English & Indian was served. No offence, but after read through the reviews in other travelogues, I was literally being very careful on the food intakes as my tummy is super extra sensitive. But on the first day I already stuffed myself with traditional Indian food. The Puree. hehehehe.. The tummy accept is as fine as it is. I'm glad.


 Over breakfast, we decided to discover New Delhi itself. We started off with Masjid Jamak which is located in the Old Delhi, where ancient shops are still alive as it is until today. Quite surprised with the layout of this big mosque, where the covered area is only 1/4 of the whole building. For a comparison with the mosques in Malaysia, it only can caters for the first five (5) rows of the jemaah. They actualy pray on the scorching hot tiles in the mosque area during Friday prayer especialy. Should Muslims in Malaysia be thankful for what we have now with airconditioned and carpeted mosque, but the only missing is the jemaah. 






 Further we walked to the Red Fort, located nearby the Old Delhi. Not sure what should we expect from there but in my imagination it could be historic site where tourist should go. Upon arrival, tickets purchased at the ticket counter outside the Red Fort where many locals were queuing. Gulp! We don't want to waste our time by queing and luckily they have special lane for foreigners, but of course with "special rate". We paid 10 times more than the locals. I even asked my friend, Fahmy to camouflage/pretend to be locals to get their rate. LOL.

 Red Fort is one masterpiece by Shah Jahan when he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi. This fort also is built by  using red sandstones and took 9 years to complete. It has quite a number of interesting sites to visit, starting with the bazaar/market where they sell Indian made items, same as what you can see in Souk (market in Morocco). Its called Chhatta Chowk. Red Fort also has been listed as one of the World's Heritage Monumen. Further up, there were Khas Mahal, Hammam and so on. 












The longwalks in Red Fort has brought us hunger. Its lunchtime! Khid told that his boss recommend this one briyani place next to the Masjid Jamak. We walked through the Old Delhi to get to this place called "Karim". This place is located in the narrow streets behind the buildings. I'm expecting a small eating place or in Malay, "warung". It turned out to be a quite a clean restaurant that is located in the middle of buildings. Just to note that this restaurant has been listed as one of the top restaurants in Asia by Time Magazine. The briyani was quite up to the expectation and I don't mind coming back for the briyani. 









After had a great lunch, we went on a "trishaw" to go to the other side of the mosque where our driver is waiting to bring us to another place called "Lotus Temple" was designed by the same architect for Sydney Harbour. The tour driver told us that this temple is built for a place of worship regardless of all religion. There were too many people visited the temple on that day. Its something new to me as never heard this kind of worship place before.





Later, Pooran brought us to the place where to shop for sarees called "Delhi Hut". I'm not a big fan to shop this but I can still evaluate how beautiful it is. Most of the sarees are beautiful and quite cheap compared to the one selling in Malaysia. Its worth for your money to bring back some for your own and for business if you're planning to. ;)

Before we hit for dinner, Pooran drove us around and showed us The President House of India (Delhi Rashtrapati Bhavan). The area surrounded with beautiful gardens and government offices nearby. Just like Putrajaya in Malaysia. I must say the architecture of this building is mainly influenced by British architecture as it was built during the colonial time. We spent most of the late evening in the area by appreciating the area where many locals were playing at the gardens nearby. When the time comes for dinner, the driver suggested a Southern Indian restaurant called Saravan Bhayan which happens to have couples of branch in Malaysia especialy in the Klang Valley. Enjoy the video as it tells the whole story of what we were having at the restaurant.






We ended up our day with a good dinner and prepared for the next day trip to Agra.

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The transit hours almost ends, have to go back to the hotel provided by Sri Lankan Airlines before catching up for the next flight to Paris. Will definitely continue my writing while I’m bored in the flight and during my transit to Manchester.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Taking over NEW DELHI- Departure Day

Destination: New Delhi, India.
Travel Date: 17 - 21 May 2012 (3days, 3 nights)
Air Route: KUL-DEL-KUL via Malaysia Airlines (supposedly to fly with AirAsia)

One word. Its incredible India. This is my first time going to central Asia, among all the feeling was how can I survive the weather, atmosphere and food? I've done few research from several travel bloggers and most of them were complaining about extra hot weather, less clean food and dusty atmosphere. For the first time ever, I packed my own food. 8 bottles of mineral waters, couples of pre-packed bread, chocolates for energy and of course medication. :P That's how nervous I was.

This trip was pre-booked earlier in 2011 via AirAsia Go. Halfway through, AirAsia cuts the route. An alternative was given in return and they booked us on Malaysia Airlines (MAS). That's one part. Another part was, we've found out that the pre-booked hotel was sealed. Yes, SEALED! Haha.. Too much trouble. Too much hassle. Tweeted @AirAsia and emailed them for urgent response as its 3 days left before the arrival. Everything settled within 24 hours before the departure. A replacement hotel was given. 


Flying with MAS was always an extra convenient. Noted on that. :D Not to over reacting, but they deserve this premium standing ovation as the crew was given an extra miles of hospitality. They adviced on last minute tips to travel in New Delhi (real experience), helping hand on listing down where to eat, visit and things to buy. Not only for us, plus there were a passenger behind us who were down on fever since her flight from Bali, the crew really give good care of their passengers. Bravo! If MAS representative are reading this, check the history of the crews serving on this flight. They deserve more recognition.


Touched down at 2100hrs Delhi time. Amazing airport! More amazing when you get to know that this airport is partly owned and managed by Malaysian's GLC, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB). Impressive. Only one comment that might put this to a better airport, add more convenience for the passengers to walk from the gates to the terminal. Its a very long journey to get there.




The shuttle picked us up from the airport and set us to the Hotel Grand Godwin. The hotel is no doubt located in the busy district on Delhi. Checked in and settled down for a fresh morning the next day.

.... To be continued

DAY 1 - NEW DELHI (Jamak Masjid, Red Fort, Bahai Temple, India Gate, Presidential House, .....)

DAY 2 - AGRA (Sikandra Fort, Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, ......)

DAY 3 - NEW DELHI (Palika Bazaar, Sarojini Market)


Cheers,
Fashran Fauzi

Friday, 1 June 2012

On @mensfashion Instagram

TGIF readers! Instagram made my day. Featured twice on @mensfashion today and most of the style was featured during my travel days. Eventhogh I have to share the spots with few other gentlemen, at least there's a space for me there! Lol. Anyway, it's a great kick off for what I've been passionate about 

T R A V E L  •  A R T  •  F A S H I O N 

Follow me @fashranfauzi on Instagram 

See this on their link here

See this on their link here

Cheers, 
Fashran.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Kuala Lumpur : Where The Heart Is

It has been few days after I got back from New Delhi. However, I have to postpone New Delhi post as I realy wanted to blog about this newly discovered place in the heart of Kuala Lumpur (KL). This has been drafted before I went to India.
~x~

The next day after I landed from Jakarta, I rushed to central KL for India Visa Office at Jalan Lebuh Pasar. It was quite a hassle as I totally forgot that they need us to present our passport to apply for visa, not like Australian visa where you only need to apply online and print it straight away. So I have to postpone until I got back from Jakarta.

It was one fine Monday morning, walking from Dayabumi building and I realised that I have not been in this area for quite sometime. This old area of KL has transformed into a better place, or should I say into a greener and cleaner place? Yes, thats the right word. Walking through the bridge of  Lebuh Pasar looking at the magnificent skycrapers as I was excited like a small kid. 





After completed my errands at the visa office, decided to explore a bit of the surrounding area. This old building captured my attention and realised its an old Chinese coffee shop or Malaysian are well known with kopitiam. As I entered the shop, everything went black & white with 1977 effects of Instagram. Lol. Ok, thats nonsense. But yes, I'm trying to get the feel here.

Its an old kopitiam called "Sin Seng Nam" with 1977 interior, vintage facades, rusty building fixtures and sturdy well preserved wood tables and chairs located on Lebuh Pasar, just next to the Indian Visa Centre. Grabbed my very own morning coffee, a toast and rojak ayam. These are classics!

The coffee was up to my expection, the toast reminds me of this one old coffee shop in Kuala Terengganu that my father used to bring me there during my childhood and rojak ayam was perfectly mixed with its granulated peanut gravy (kuah kacang) that tasted so good. This realy made my perfect morning.




Later, I continued my "quick travel" in the area which somehow I think I should explore more soon. Just realised that I've been appreciating places around the world but I forgot the beauty of my own country, Malaysia. There are more to see, there are more to treasure.


 

Now, fingers crossed for my visa to be ready before this Thursday flight. :D