YQtravelling is back in business… Whatever business is

Hey folks,

Remember last year when I hadn’t been travelling much? Not really? Well, my bad since I didn’t write that much about it.

I’m happy to announce that I will be travelling more frequently in the coming months. Hurray!

Here my travel schedule as my attempt at art:

Among the places I will be going to, Surabaya is a city I’ve not been to yet. Jakarta and Bangkok are two cities where I’ve only visited for two days. I will be adding another two days to each of them.

As in the past, I’ll be doing a lot of weekend travelling. There are two long weekends that I will be travelling (May and August). I didn’t know Good Friday’s date or else my Jakarta trip would have been longer.

A year of not travelling (much)

As a travel blogger, it’s quite silly that I haven’t been travelling. But as a person, I feel it’s liberating that I didn’t need to escape to a foreign land every other month.

While not travelling, I have been keeping myself occupied with

Where are you travelling next?

Why you should visit Natas travel fair

Singapore’s Natas travel fair is happening this coming weekend.

Surprisingly as an independent traveller, travel fairs are very useful.

Here is my post last year about my experience visiting Natas:

YQtravelling

I used to think that travel fairs are only for people who want to buy packaged tours. Personally, I do not like packaged tours because all activities are packed too tightly and I feel that I am shepherded around. But there are times when tours make sense.

Instead of continuing my bias about travel fairs, I visited the NATAS Travel Fair last year to see if travel fairs are useful for the independent traveller. Kind of surprisingly, my answer then was “yes” since the fair helped me with two out of three questions that I had about travelling.

This year, I visited the NATAS Travel Fair again but this time without any real goals.

Surprisingly, I found the visit even more exciting. Even though there were a lot of people, it was really fun seeing people getting exciting about travelling.

I wandered around the booths and spotted Travel Guard…

View original post 117 more words

How to make your own travel guide for a weekend trip [Weekend Traveller series part 5]

make your own travel guide

Welcome back to the fortnightly Weekend Traveller series where I share tips and strategies for travelling during the weekend so you can travel more using less work leave. You can find all of the previous posts for weekend end travel here.

Today, you will learn how to make your own travel guide sheets for the weekend end trip so you won’t need to bring a huge guidebook just for a 2-day journey,

Despite the abundance of travel information online, I still like reading guidebooks when I make travel plans. Guidebooks group information of sights and accommodation into areas, which helps you narrow down what to do and places to skip.

However, lugging a 1kg guidebook on a trip isn’t that fun. Plus, peering at a guidebook at the intersection of the road only makes you stand out as a tourist. That’s why it’s a lot more convenient to bring your own travel guide sheet which you can use as a reference while you traipse around.

To make your own guide sheet, you will need:

  • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word
  • Internet connection
  • Guidebooks
  • Travel tickets and hotel reservation information

My inspiration for the DIY weekend guidebook comes from Taiwanese budget travel expert 943.

Preparing the guidesheet

If you have narrowed down the places you want to see, it would make creating the guide sheet a lot easier.

What I like to include in my guide sheet are transportation information (How to get from the airport to the hotel), actual print screen of Google Maps (in case I don’t have internet connection when travelling), To-do lists etc.

This is how a completed guidesheet looks like:

sample travel guide weekend trip in bangkok

For multiple-day trips, I create one large table for each day. Then I list down the order of things I need/want to do.

Useful information to include in the guidesheet include:

  • Hotel address (In English as well as the local language–this helped when I was in Thailand.)
  • Tourist sites/things-to-do or eat (description of the place as well)
  • Address of places you want to visit (and directions to get there)
  • Google Maps screenshot of how to get to the location you want to visit

Most guidebooks have online versions so you can copy the description of the sight into your sheet directly instead of typing it.

Once everything is done, you can print the  guidesheet. I find that printing 2 pages of the guidesheet into one page and folding it in half it easier to hold.

UPDATE: Download a sample of the above guide sheet: Travel Guide Sheet sample from YQtravelling.com

What other information will you include in a guidesheet? Share them in the comments below:

Missed the previous weekend travel posts?

Part 1: Pros & cons of weekend travel
Part 2: Where to go for Weekend Travel?
Part 3: Choosing transportation for weekend travel
Part 4: Travel planning for weekend trips
Part 5: Make your own travel guide for a weekend trip
Part 6: How to pack for a weekend trip
Part 7: How to use Foursquare to plan a day’s travel
Part 8: Why a weekend trip is the best time to start solo travelling
Part 9: I’m going to Melaka for a weekend trip

Travel planning for weekend trips [Weekend Traveller series part 4]

Welcome to part 4 of the Weekend Traveller series, a fortnightly segment where I share tips and strategies for travelling during the weekend so you can travel more without using your work leave.

Trip planning is stressful. What if you cannot eat all the food, see all the sights or buy all the things?

Travel planning is essential for weekend trips.
Travel planning is essential for weekend trips.

Actually, you don’t have to eat all the food, see all the sights or buy all the things while on a weekend trip. The whole point of being a Weekend Traveller is that you will be able to travel frequently and do all those things on multiple trips.

However, it doesn’t mind that you should throw all travel planning out of the window and wing it. The times I haven’t made plans for my weekend travel are times which I did not have productive trips (Kuching and Jakarta comes to mind) and that makes me very annoyed.

On the other hand, my Bangkok trip was almost perfect because I did take time out to plan and even make my own travel guide (that’s a post for another day).

Narrow down your travel to-do list

Once you have decided on your destination (another potential headache if you are tracking budget flights), it’s best to plan for your stay if you want to have a productive trip.

There are some who recommend not planning and just going with the flow when you arrive. This will work if you have plenty of days to spare. If you only have 48 hours, walking around aimlessly while hungry is not a good plan.

[This guide is partly inspired by Taiwanese travel writer 943 who wrote an awesome book on round-the-world travel on cheap.]

I will use my 2-day Bangkok trip in October 2012 as an example because it was my first trip there.

List down the sites you want to see. You can think big at this stage. My initial plan was to eat a lot of Thai dessert (something I didn’t manage to do in the end), visit Khaoshan Road, pray at Erawan Shrine and get a massage.

Then I realized that getting a S$190 air ticket only for a massage was not worth it and I threw in other sites based on recommendations by friends, the internet and guidebooks.

I ended up with more sites in my list: Grand Palace, Chatuchak Market, Chinatown, ride on boat public transport, Cabbages & Condoms restaurant, Terminal 21, Platinum Mall, MBK.

The updated list was much better than the first but it was too ambitious. I mean, how many malls can you visit in a day without overdosing on air-conditioning?

Narrow down your sites using a pros-and-cons list. I list down the places to go and write down the pro’s and cons of visiting it as well as what other sights are nearby. You can find out what is nearby when you have a travel guide that lumps sights based on how they are clustered.

My Bangkok list looked like this:

> Chatuchak
+ (because everyone says so)
– I hate crowds. It is far from the city. Mom didn’t like it.
Nearby sites: NOTHING

> Platinum Mall
+ Recommended by a friend, lots of people shop there
– I don’t like shopping.
Nearby sites: Erawan Shrine.

> Grand Palace
+ It’s shiny!

– Entrance fee
Nearby sites: National Museum, Khaoshan Road

> Khaoshan Road
+ Fake IDs
– Loads of unkemptly backpackers
Nearby sites: (See above)

Chinatown
+ It’s Chinatown
– A bit far from other stuff
Nearby sites: ???

Cabbages & Condoms
+ Fun name and for a good cause
– Is it in the middle of nowhere? (I later discovered that it’s very near my hotel.)
Nearby sites: ???

In the end, I added National Museum to my To-Do list and took out Chinatown and Chatuchak. Since Erawan Shrine and Platinum Mall are near each other, I decided to go to both despite not liking shopping. By narrowing down my list, I only focused on bits of the city and did not have to run around a lot.

After having your real list of To-Do, it is time to make your own travel guide. I’ll be sharing how in another 2 weeks’ time. See you!

Do you somewhere to go for a weekend trip? Which parts of the city will you focus on?

Brush up on your weekend travel skills:

Part 1: Pros & cons of weekend travel
Part 2: Where to go for Weekend Travel?
Part 3: Choosing transportation for weekend travel
Part 4: Travel planning for weekend trips
Part 5: Make your own travel guide for a weekend trip
Part 6: How to pack for a weekend trip
Part 7: How to use Foursquare to plan a day’s travel
Part 8: Why a weekend trip is the best time to start solo travelling
Part 9: I’m going to Melaka for a weekend trip

Choosing transportation for Weekend Travel [Weekend Traveller series: Part 3]

where to go

Welcome to part 3 of the Weekend Traveller series, a fortnightly segment where I share tips and strategies for travelling during the weekend so you can travel more without using your work leave.

Last week, we talked about deciding which places to go for the weekend. Today, we will learn the pros and cons of different transportations for your weekend trip.

Planes are great for long distance travels
Planes are great for long distance travels

Plane

For long distances, planes are your best bet but the ticket prices can be quite expensive if you do not do a lot of planning. I usually buy my air tickets for budget airlines about 6 months in advance when there is a sale. I try not to buy full price tickets because it’s not worth the money.

Pros of planes for weekend travel:

  • Fast
  • Comfortable (compared to 6 hours of bus or train)
  • Not affected by traffic jam

Cons of planes for weekend travel:

  • Expensive ticket price [Solution: Buy tickets only during promo periods, do not buy luggage for budget flights.]
  • Terrible arrival/departure timings [Solution: Check other airlines or skip the destination]

Trains for weekend travel are usually bigger than this.

Train

If you have good train connections to the places you want to visit, taking the train might be a good option. I love taking night trains because I save on the cost of a night’s accommodation.

Pros of trains for weekend travel:

  • Relatively cheap prices (at least in Malaysia)
  • Not affected by traffic jams on the road
  • Trains with bunks==better sleep

Cons of trains for weekend travel:

  • Limited tickets for weekend travel [Solution: Buy your tickets in advance]
  • Shaky train, snoring passengers==not enough sleep [Solution: Sleeping pills? Deal with it.]

Night buses are not the most comfortable but they are cheap.

Night bus

I put night bus instead of I figure that you will need night buses for long distance travels.

Pros of buses for weekend travel:

Cheap

Cons of night buses for weekend travel:

Bad sleep [Solution: Even I cannot solve this. I just suck it up]

Affected by traffic jams [I was once 5 hours late because of a massive jam. Lesson learned: Take the train ]

Beware of pedestrians when driving

Driving

My mom and I had a mini road trip to the most northern part of Borneo island [LINK: Kudat Marina]. I would choose trains and buses over driving for a weekend trip because it’s more tiring. But if the place you are going to doesn’t have good

Pros of driving for weekend travel:

  • You have a car to drive around

Cons of driving for weekend travel:

  • Driving is quite tiring, especially for long hours

The deep blue sea awaits.

Boat

If you’re planning an island getaway for the weekend, taking a boat is probably your only choice so I won’t go into the pros and cons.

I haven’t been on any island trips for the weekend but the planning process should be the same: pick a nearby place and a good package so you don’t spend too much money.

Check out the rest of the series here:

Part 1: Pros & cons of weekend travel
Part 2: Where to go for Weekend Travel?
Part 3: Choosing transportation for weekend travel
Part 4: Travel planning for weekend trips
Part 5: Make your own travel guide for a weekend trip
Part 6: How to pack for a weekend trip
Part 7: How to use Foursquare to plan a day’s travel
Part 8: Why a weekend trip is the best time to start solo travelling
Part 9: I’m going to Melaka for a weekend trip

Where to go for Weekend Travel? [Weekend Traveller series: Part 2]

where to go for a weekend trip

Welcome to part 2 of the Weekend Traveller series, a fortnightly segment where I share tips and strategies for travelling during the weekend so you can travel more without using your work leave.

how to choose weekend trip destination
How to choose your weekend trip destination.

Last week, I talked about the pros and cons of weekend travelling. Today, we’ll be looking at how to choose a destination for your weekend travel so you save on travel time and cost.

Back when I still had a job during which I took quite a lot of weekend travel, the destinations that I chose were based on the challenges that I gave myself and the availability of cheap air tickets from AirAsia (Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuching are a few examples).

Unless you have similar self-imposed travel challenges, you’ll most likely choose the destination based on places you actually want to visit. (I’ll admit that there are some Malaysian states which I’d rather not go at all.)

Main factor for choosing a weekend travel destination

To choose a weekend travel destination, you must keep in mind the how much time you will be able to spend there which really means the time of arrival and departure. To enjoy a place, I’d say you need a minimum of 24 hours of visiting time.

So when you are making travel plans, you have to see that the transportation timing is right. It’s better to travel 13 hours on a night bus on Friday and reach on a Saturday morning than it is to take a 1-hour plane ride that reaches the destination at 4pm on a Saturday.

What you can do now is list down a few locations that you want to go for a weekend trip. Next you should do your research on what transportation there are for you to get there. (Coincidentally, transportation choices is our next discussion topic.)

Good weekend travel destinations from Singapore

Since I was based in Singapore when I started my travelling craze, I’ll list down a few places you can consider visiting for your weekend travel:

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Every capital city on the peninsula of Malaysia (That’s 11 of them!)
  • Kuching, Malaysia
  • Jakarta, Indonesia

Sadly, my hometown Kota Kinabalu does not make a good weekend travel destination from Singapore because of the bad AirAsia flight timing. Boo hoo.

Check out the rest of the series here:

Part 1: Pros & cons of weekend travel
Part 2: Where to go for Weekend Travel?
Part 3: Choosing transportation for weekend travel
Part 4: Travel planning for weekend trips
Part 5: Make your own travel guide for a weekend trip
Part 6: How to pack for a weekend trip
Part 7: How to use Foursquare to plan a day’s travel
Part 8: Why a weekend trip is the best time to start solo travelling
Part 9: I’m going to Melaka for a weekend trip

Can you think of places you can go for weekend trips? Share them in the comments below.

Welcome to Weekend Traveller series: Pros & cons of weekend travel

calendar_weekend_travel
  • Do you complain about the lack of annual leave at your work place?
  • Do you want something more from your weekend than sleeping in till noon?
  • Do you ask yourself, “What did I do during the weekend?” as the days were too unmemorable?

If you’ve answered “YES” to all three questions, perhaps it is time you try travelling during the weekend.

Travel more by travelling during the weekend.
Travel more by travelling during the weekend.

[Photo credit: Duane Mendoza]

Before I quit my job for this round-the-world trip, I was travelling quite a lot despite only having 20 days of annual leave. I wanted to get away from the busy life in Singapore so I was plotting at least one trip each month.

Many of these trips did not require me to take days off my annual leave because I chose to travel during the weekend.

Welcome to the start of the “Weekend Traveller” series where I share my tips on why you should travel more during the weekends, how to choose a weekend destination, how to prepare for a weekend trip and other related information.

The Weekend Traveller will appear every 2nd and 4th Tuesday. Here are some of the topics I have in mind:

  • Should you be a weekend traveller? Pros and cons of weekend travel
  • How to choose a destination (time, cost)
  • How to pack for a weekend
  • Research to make every second count
  • Making your personal guidebook
  • What to do when travelling
  • What to do when you are back
  • Useful sites for booking and useful smartphone apps

If you think there are more that I can touch on, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Let’s start this week’s discussion with the pros and cons of weekend travel.

Pros of travelling during the weekend

  • Travel more: There are 52 weekends in a year so you get to travel beyond the days you have in your annual leave.
  • Use less annual leave: Annual leaves are best used in chunks so you can travel to further destinations and spend more time there.
  • Weekends will be more interesting: No more weekends filled with sleeping in until noon and Youtube watching. You get to go out and smell different air.
  • Less luggage: A backpack of clothes is sufficient for a weekend trip which cuts down on luggage cost on budget airlines.

Cons of travelling during the weekend

  • Short time: Even if you travel during Friday night and reach your home early Monday morning, weekend trips are really short.
  • More expensive: When you consider that your air ticket is split into only 2 days of expenses, it can be more expensive than a week’s trip.
  • Tiring: Trying to pack loads of sights and things-to-do into 2 days can drain your energy.

Are you convinced that being a Weekend Traveller is for you? If so, join me in 2 weeks when I discuss how to choose a location for a weekend trip.

If you are not yet convinced, read on and see if you change your mind.

Are you a Weekend Traveller? Which places have you visited during the weekends? What related topics do you want me to cover?

Check out the rest of the series:

Part 1: Pros & cons of weekend travel
Part 2: Where to go for Weekend Travel?
Part 3: Choosing transportation for weekend travel
Part 4: Travel planning for weekend trips
Part 5: Make your own travel guide for a weekend trip
Part 6: How to pack for a weekend trip
Part 7: How to use Foursquare to plan a day’s travel
Part 8: Why a weekend trip is the best time to start solo travelling
Part 9: I’m going to Melaka for a weekend trip

How to replace a travel guidebook with apps

travel apps to replace a guidebook

For my 4-month trip, I did not bring any physical guidebook with me. My backpack was too small to stuff any guidebooks so I relied heavily on my phone for travel planning.

Although I have PDF copies of some Lonely Planet guidebooks in my computer, I find them  awkward to read on my small netbook screen and even worse on a smartphone.

For travel planning while on the road, I rely heavily on my almost 3-year old iPhone 4 and internet connection. It’s a bit laggy but it works.

I have some apps which I adore for travel planning and I want to share them with you. I only know apps for iOS so if you are looking for Android versions, give the name a Google to see if Play Store has it.

I’m dividing the apps into different periods of travel planning and the relevant apps. For me, the stages of travel planning include:

  1. Knowing more about the place
  2. Booking accommodation
  3. Deciding where to visit, see and have fun
  4. (Bonus) Audioguides

Some of the apps are useful for multiple stages of travel planning so don’t rule them out if you’ve completed the different stages.

1. If you want to know more about a place

At the beginning of location-specific guidebooks, there are usually a few pages (but definitely more than the list of Places of Interest) on the history and culture of the destination. I enjoy reading those when I’m not travelling but while on the road, it’s a bit of a drag to read about what happened 100 years ago.

Instead, I have two apps that work like offline versions of Wikitravel. I forgot the name of one of them so I’ll tell you the other that I know of.

Wikisherpa

WikiSherpa

With the app, you can download Wikitravel-like entries for different destinations. That’s actually it’s weakness because it means that you will need to load the app with destinations instead of surfing randomly for different places.

Still, the app is useful for reading up on a destination and to know safety tips for where you are going.

2. Finding accommodation

One of the most painful parts of travel planning is finding the right place to stay. I get a bit OCD like Goldilocks, flipping through webpages and webpages of different accommodation before finding the right one.

The best thing about mobile booking apps is that they have user reviews. Granted some users leave crazy reviews but generally, you get a good idea of whether you want to stay at the place or not.

Booking.com mobile app

Booking.com

I think this apps is less user friendly than HostelWorld’s app because you cannot have a calendar view of the dates. My mind works in a monthly calendar view.

I used to think that people who booked hotels through mobile phones were crazy. But then I became one of them. It’s much easier for me to lie my bed, click around for a room and booking it immediately.

Hostelworld.com mobile booking app

Hostelworld.com

I like the calendar view when choosing the dates but that’s not what makes this app good. They have a good selection of hostels when you don’t think it’s worth paying double the price for hotel rooms.

3. Deciding places near you to visit, eat and have fun

So you’ve done up a list of places to visit after reading the information from app in stage 1.

Now that you are in the city itself, you don’t really want to spend all that transportation money to somewhere far when you can cross places nearby off your list.

Foursquare mobile app

Foursquare

Before using Foursquare, I thought it was an app for hipsters to show off where they’ve been. This function is still there but I discovered that it can be very useful for travelling.

I use it to discover popular places to eat and what dishes to have. When you save a location on the app, the saved location appears when you are offline as well which is good to avoid getting lost.

The app works better if you check into places (like those darn hipsters) because then it will know if you like cemeteries more than shopping malls.

Tripadvisor City Guide app

TripAdvisor Offline City Guides

I love offline apps and this is my favorite in places where I do not have 3G connection. However, only major cities are included so yu might need to use its less offline-friendly brother.

I use it as a map and guidebook for food and places of interest.

Tripadvisor app

Tripadvisor (requires internet connection)

To be honest, I hate this app because it takes forever to load. But it’s useful for locations not included in  TripAdvisor City Guides since it shows the same content.

4. Audio guide

I found Rick Steves Audio Europe app majorly useful while I was in Europe. I adore the walking tours for the different cities and the museum audio tour which I listen alongside the official museum audioguides.

The copyright of the apps belong to their owners.

Relevant reads:

From Bootsnall: Are Guidebooks Necessary for the Current Travelers?

From Instagram The World: Around the World without a Guidebook

Do you have apps for travelling to recommend?

YQrtw: Why turkey

Interior of St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey, 1914 Hagia sophia

We’re almost at the end of YQrtw Europe edition. My last stop in the continent is Turkey and I will head to South America afterwards.

Interior of St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey, 1914 Hagia sophia
St. Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey, 1914

Credit: Brooklyn Museum

I’m glad that Airtreks suggested I add Istanbul as a stop because I didn’t realize how wonderful the country is. Just the photo of Hagia Sophia (picture above) has convinced me to see Istanbul.

Mom will be joining me in Istanbul so that makes it even more exciting. My mom’s never been out of Asia before and it’ll be quite a culture shock to send her straight from Malaysia to Turkey.

While mom’s quite open to adventure, she has told me that the hamam (Turkish bath) is a big NO. I replied, “But mom, you’ve went to the onsen in Japan before.” Turns out, for mom, not wearing anything in a public bath is still ok but getting scrubbed by another person is not.

Aside from Istanbul, we will head to Cappadocia for the cave hotels. I want to bring mom to take a hot air balloon ride. The recent hot air balloon crash has made my father nervous about the rides but he doesn’t have to know if we don’t tell. ;)

More reading about Istanbul

Istanbul has suddenly become more popular in my feeds from travel bloggers. Here’s a list of some fun read about Istanbul.

Liz from Young Adventuress has a series of posts about her trip to Istanbul. Check them out, especially the one about Turkish bath, because she’s hilarious.

Steve tells his story about queuing to get into Hagia Sophia. (Thanks for the tip about the museum pass.)

Have you been to Turkey? Any travel tips?

YQrtw: Why Sri Lanka

Old timey Ceylon

Welcome to a week full of posts to get you (and I) excited about my RTW. Today, we are talking about Sri Lanka but mostly about how I almost skipped Ceylon.

Old timey Ceylon
Old timey Ceylon

Colombo, Ceylon [Source: The National Archives]

In my original plans, I wanted to visit India. It wasn’t because I was particularly enamoured with India. It was because India is a staple of a modern RTW and I wanted to be hip (but not a hippy).

Later, I crossed India off the list because I was required to pay 161.56 ringgit in visa fees. Yucks.

Luckily, AirAsia started promoting its Kuala Lumpur-Colombo (Sri Lanka) route. [This route was later cancelled, I’ll talk more about it later.] I figured that Sri Lanka is a good beginner’s guide to South Asia. I booked a dirt cheap ticket to Sri Lanka and planned to stay there for two weeks.

I didn’t do much planning for Sri Lanka. My usual travel buddy D also bought tickets to Sri Lanka and I planned to steal her itinerary.  D happily planned her trip while I happily not plan my trip.

Then, we received bad news.

AirAsia cancels KUL-CMB

In February, AirAsia cancelled the Kuala Lumpur-Colombo route. It was a total WTF moment because I’ve seen AirAsia promote Sri Lanka like crazy. Every time I got my hands on its in-flight magazine, I had seen Sri Lanka featured.

What am I supposed to do?

Unfortunately, by that time, I’ve already booked my tickets from Colombo to Dubai. It would be too expensive for me to get a flight direct to Dubai from Malaysia.

I did worry a lot about my flight. I tried searching for cheaper tickets but all full service carriers were too expensive. The best ticket I could get was Tiger Air flight from Singapore but the 10pm arrival time was horrid.

Even if I wanted to make a booking from mid-February to early-March, I didn’t because of Mercury retrograde. Yes, I am very superstitious and did not want to make any bookings during the “horoscopely bad” period.

Things worked out in the end. By the tail-end of the Mercury retrograde period, I found out that Tiger Air changed their timing for the Sri Lanka flight to morning. I booked the 10am flight to Colombo and will reach at 11am in the morning. That’s a great timing.

Things to do in Sri Lanka

I still haven’t done a lot of research on Sri Lanka. I’ve heard only good things about the place from people who have visited: tea, curry, relaxation.

I do have vague plans such as taking the train, visiting Buddha’s tooth and avoid getting bitten by mosquitos.

By the way, I will be in Sri Lanka during their new year. My Sri Lankan friend, M, said most shops are closed then but the temples are open. It would be fun seeing how they celebrate new year there and how it differs from my Malaysian Chinese New Year.

I wonder how much I can wing it. Maybe I will do more reading once I head home on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka, here I come!

Do you have any travel tips for Sri Lanka? Share them in the comments below.

(Tomorrow I will be talking about my 15-night cruise that only costs about S$1,700 with tips.)