Sunday, 18 March 2012

Gold Coast : Extraordinaire Coastal City of Down Under (PART 2)

Kicked off our third day at Cararra Market, located towards the east of Gold Coast. Something that we were looking forward to. If you're looking for something different from other places, this is the place where you should be. Souvenirs are cheaper than the one in the downtown.
Vintage local arts and fresh fruits and vegetables tempts us the most. Grabbed grapes and plums and all I can say its super fresh from farm. If you're having digestion problem while traveling like me , this is the solution. It will go away as it reached your tummy. :D
By noon, we headed up to Brisbane (again) for DFO Brisbane through Pacific Motorway (M1 & M3), another outlet to get good bargains items for Quiksilver, Nine West, Tommy Hilfiger, Royal Doulton, Esprit and Country Road. Yes, you can see loads of Aussie hotties carrying Country Road's duffle bag. :) So its trending. Hahahah..
Actualy when you're drving from Gold Coast to Brisbane for DFO, you can opt either to go on free-route or with toll. We took the chance to go on the famous Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges, previously known as Gateway bridge. This bridge was first built in 1980s and undergone upgrading projects in 2007. For more history of this bridge, read it here. Oh yes, please don't forget to pay the toll in advance. You can either pay it online or at the petrol pump (to avoid unnecessary tickets :D).
Later that day, we continued our driving journey to Brisbane City again for brisk walk around the city and Southbank, where the city beach, entertainment and art culture of the city located. First, strolled along the Queens Mall Street, the main shopping area in the city. Then, we took a break at The Coffee Club, recommended by my cousin (ex-Melbourne), Aznoor for a cuppa.
Later, a great walk over the other side of the city until the night. Having great chocolat-ey dinner at Max Brenner. I first had Max Brenner in Melbourne back in the 2006 with my good friends, Adila and Hafiz (will blog it out soon). It tastes just like the other day and its a must try if you're in the Down Under.
The tour in Brisbane ends with breathtaking night walk. In the nick of time, we managed to get to know the city. Its a lively city with modest and lovable people who lives in there. How I wish I turned back the time and re-route my uni days to Brisbane instead of Manchester. :D We drove back to Surfers Paradise and get ready for the next day extravaganza at Warner Bros. *can't wait* for Part 3 (banyak la pulakk part2 ni).. Need to learn how to keep it short and simple. Hahaha..

Note: Driving is enjoyable but somehow you might need to take turns. Lesson learnt. Huahahahah...

Saturday, 3 March 2012

What's Inside Your Cabin Hand Luggage?

Source: MTV Movies Blog
Have you ever wonder what should you bring in your cabin's hand luggage? This is very important when you're traveling internationally, especially to Europe. They have very strict rules and regulations. Especially when it comes to liquids and weight. So, double check with you airlines about your weight allowance. You don't want to end up leaving ur cabin bag behind or else, you might splash some cash unnecessarily.

Here are some tips that I do practice which I'm not sure does everyone else practice this. :D
  1. My documents (Passport/Money/Wallet/Tickets/Itinerary+All booking references)
  2. My necessity gadgets (Phone/iPad/Charger/Earphone/Ciggie-not advisable)
  3. My convenience (Neck Inflatable Pillow/Warming Blanket/Toiletries/ Pyjamas Pants :D)
  4. Fragile/Precious item that is not advisable to be packed in you Checked-In Luggage! (laptops/new purchased items)
  5. Travel light and save some extra room for airport shopping (at least can fit in 2 cartons of ciggie.. haha..)
The warming blanket, inflatable neck pillow and iPad is only applicable for low cost. They save, we save more. Lol. Oh yes, that pyjamas pants is necessary!  Hahaha.. After all the hassle at the airport, you need a good and ample space for yourself instead of wearing jeans. Its a bonus when you can conquer the whole 3 seats next to you for a "flatbed". Like nobody's business.

Here's some tips by Paul Crompton to take only Hand Luggage while travel. Possible for short haul destination I guess..

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Gold Coast : Extraordinaire Coastal City of Down Under (PART 1)

Destination: Gold Coast, Australia. 
Travel Date: 27 October - 02 November 2011 (7days)
Air Route: KUL-OOL-KUL via AirAsia X
The Itinerary

Eights (8) tickets booked in December 2010 to travel in November 2011 among my childhood friends. Yes, its a year long period before we travel and do you know why? Definitely its cheap! Everything must be value for money, simple as that. Some of us did not managed to join the troops. Out of 8, only 3 members were going. *Frustrated* Nah, nevermind. People have reasons and the tickets just burnt. Whatever happened, I'm still going even by meself. Not gonna waste the money that Ive spent for this freaking cheap ticket!

No matter how much time you have to plan everything, it always been a last minute. Finalised everything (accommodation,transport n etc.) a day before we depart. We divided the responsibilities among us. From A-Z sorted within a click (only if the credit card company authorised that. haha). Thank you them! 

First time experience flying AirAsia X for long haul flight. In short, its tiring and stressful (don't sue me Tony!). One thing I learnt from flying AirAsia X is to bring your own entertainment (iPad/iPhone etc.) and prepare with inflattable neck support pillow plus light and warming blanket. Otherwise, you gotta spend some cash in the airline to ease you journey. No, I did not spent any for that on the flight. Luckily I saved some movies on iPhone and crumpled my jacket as neck support. Lol. Before embark from the aircraft upon arrival, this one fella purposedly left his in-flight purchased Comfort Kit and I grabbed it to prepare for my next flight back home :P

Touched down at 0725hrs Australian time at Coolongatta Airport. Freshened up at the airport washroom and had great Australian breakfast at the airport. While the others finishing up their meal, I took my way out for quick ciggie outside before picking up our rented car that I've booked through Rhino which I normally used while I was in the UK and exploring Europe. The rate are still the best compared to other sites. So here we ride the coastal paradise of Australia!

First destination, Rainbow Bay that is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Gold Coast with tranquil and picturesque view of Surfer's Paradise. Parked on Snapper Rock road, the home of Quiksilver & Roxy pro for half an hour stop. 

Later we drove up to the  Harbour Town, the designer outlet. Surprisingly its not as great as the one in UK, but they have good bargains for few brands that catched my eyes such as Polo Ralph Laurent, Tommy Hilfiger, La Coste, Nike, Cotton On and Royal Albert (womens love this). Other than that, are local brands. Later, we checked in to our pre-booked accommodation, Beachcomber Resort Surfers Paradise. Cheap stay and centrally located for the last minute. 2 minutes away from the beach and Hard Rock Cafe (free wifi nearby here!-look out for it!)

Day two (2) we spent most of the day at Dreamworld as early as 9am. One word, its awesome! Especially for the new ride, they called it "Buzz Saw". Should try it out. The first thing we saw once we entered the theme park but thats the last ride we tried. Save the best for the last. Few other rides are also exciting but I couldn't remember the names :P

The Buzz Saw
Left Dreamworld around 4pm and drove up to Brisbane. That take us around 40 minutes to get to Brisbane. Nothing much we can do as most of the shops closed early. Managed to grabbed a cuppa before its closed at Zaraffa's Coffee at Queens Mall as recommended by Saifulnizam, who was my senior turned lecturer at university and now he's doing his PHD at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and attached to my unit at work. How small the world is right?.   

Yummeh? I've been longing for good coffee instead of Starbucks/ Coffee Bean's since I'm back in Malaysia, this is a good substitute to those two. Found it in Brisbane! Luckily it was summer time and managed to captured few outdoors scenes.


The tour ends at Brisbane for the day, and we headed back to Surfer's Paradise. Grabbed some dinner and get onlined (at that free wifi! :D)

... to be continued.....