For me, I went with Radiantly Alive.
The first time I did a DIY Yoga Retreat was back in 2014 when I for some much-needed self-care. I did classes mostly at the Yoga Barn and was amazed and taken aback by Les Levanthal’s classes.
This time, instead, I was feeling a little more adventurous and did classes at Radiantly Alive so I was looking for a homestay nearer to the studio.
I asked around and received a recommendation for D’Cliff’s House. It’s a homestay further up Jalan Dewisita, where the bustle goes on in Ubud.
The guest facilities are a 4-room building at the back of the homestay. I stayed on the higher room with a balcony – it wasn’t very much more expensive than the lower rooms.
Can’t fit in the whole building here but Home Hostel truly stood out amongst the gaudy loud buildings in Sinsekai.
The reason why I picked this spot instead of the more popular areas like Namba is because Home Hostel is a skip away from Spa World, Don Quixote (for snacks to bring home) and has a train station with direct train to Kansai International Airport.
Sinsekai is the “New World” town of Osaka. On first look, the vibe is gaudy, almost like Gayworld in Singapore. The area is filled with Kushikatsu restaurants (fried skewers) that arose due to the huge Pachinko (arcade and slot machine centres) and Spa World (onsen theme park). The buildings are adorned with huge lanterns, vibrant colours and gaming machines.
Due to its nature of the activity – the crowds veer towards the middle-aged men but there really isn’t anything to worry about!
Enter the building and you spy beautiful wall murals all around. The left is the wall of shoe lockers. One of their staff members is an artist.
This is a family-run hostel which explains their cosy vibes. The owner often brings his child to the hostel.
When I visited USA back in 2012, I was awed by the ‘sampler’ platters that eateries have. I loved the concept of being able to try a little bit of everything even when you’re a solo diner.
This is exactly why I like Ichiba Coji. You probably wouldn’t wander in if you’re not in the know.
Woody furnishing all around when you step into the restaurant located on the basement floor.
The serve an ‘Obanzai’ plate which is a platter of many cold dishes that accompany the main. Something quite similar to Korean’s ‘banchan’ dishes.
I loved this restaurant because of the wide variety of small dishes (which you do not need to share, and also, you still can get even if you’re a solo diner).
|Address||Japan, 〒604-8045 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Enpukujimaechō, 京都府京都市中京区寺町通錦小路上る円福寺前町283|
|Opening hours||Monday – Friday 11: 30 ~ 15: 00 (Lunch)
Monday – Friday 17: 00 ~ 23: 00 (Dinner)
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11: 30 ~ 23: 00
|How to get there||3 minutes on foot from Kawaramachi Station on Hankyu Kyoto Line
Keihan Electric Railway Main Line Gion Shijo Station 10 minutes on foot
|Google Map||Ichiba Coji (Restaurant next to it but accurate location!)|
I love staying in hostels in Japan because of the great price point and also, because of how the country is set up, there is a convenience store in every corner you turn.
Some of the hostels are so up-scale that they feel like boutique hotels.
The hostel is decorated in a beautiful industrial theme.
This has got to be the highlight of my Osaka trip 2017. Endo Sushi is better known for its Osaka Central Fish Market outlet, tourists are known to throng the famed outlet even before the sun rises.
Instead, try Endo’s Kyobashi outlet which is right by Kyobashi subway.
It is exactly the same as its more famous counterpart, sans the queue and the early timing.
Each plate consist of five pieces of sushi:
I stayed a night in Penang as part of my overland journey to Bangkok. I was looking for a simple stay near the ferry as the night was meant to break up the monotony of the overland trip.
Container Hotel was more of a hostel than a hotel and it was situated right by the ferry. It’s a great no-frills stay if you’re not too picky.
Container Hotel group operates multiple hotels in Malaysia, including Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. The concept is similar, a budget hotel option housed in containers. You can’t see it from the exterior but inside, the rooms are made in refurbished containers.
We stayed in the female private pod which was super affordable. Your privacy is accorded with the black out blinds.
I have no idea what on earth possessed us to do the long route to Bangkok. In total, we spent about 11 hours + 20 hours = 32 hours (inclusive of transfers) taking a long road trip up to Bangkok.
Yes, I know there is a shorter route. Hey, where is your sense of adventure? We travelled in late Dec, spent New Year’s Eve in Bangkok and flew back to Singapore via Scoot.
|1||Singapore to Butterworth||Sleeper bus||45SGD||10hours||Starmart Express via RedBus|
|2||Butterworth to Georgetown||Ferry||RM1.20||15 mins||Penang Port|
|3||Georgetown to Butterworth||Ferry||0||15 mins||Penang Port|
|4||Butterworth to Padang Besar||Train
|RM29||2h 25 mins||12go.Asia|
|5||Padang Besar to Hua Lumphong||Sleeper train #46||1225THB||17h 10mins||12go.Asia|
Total costs in SGD: $103.69
Time spent (not including land transfers): Approx 32 hours
We booked all train rides and bus rides about 1 month ahead. There is no need to book ferry rides. The booking was really simple once you figured out how you are going to reach Bangkok.
My roomie and I always enjoyed road trips and we were inspired by this Tripzilla article that travelled to Bangkok by train entirely. Instead of doing the entire trip by train, I decided to break it up to include all forms of overland public transport – bus, ferry and train.
I seemed to be naturally drawn to cat cafes when I am overseas. Perhaps it’s the attachment I have to my cat, being away from my cat makes me feel a little… empty and void of furry-loving.
While my travel mates went mildly hysterical at Pokemon Centre at Ikebukuro, I took a short train ride out to EkoNeko.
You can read more about EkoNeko on Rocket News. The concept is quite simple: All of the cats are rescued and up for adoption. The cat cafe serves as a temporary foster home for potential adopters to spend time with the cats. However, you can’t just pick up a cat and head home, there is a stringent interview process to ensure your commitment and responsibility.
The entrance fee for an hour is 1100Y with proceeds going into the upkeep of these strays. The staff doesn’t speak much English but enough to understand your request.
The cat cafe is about an apartment size big with plenty of cat toys, climbing posts and cages all around. No nasty smells.
Prior to my trip, I searched high and low on the net for a map and timetable of Ping Xi line and I could not find them anywhere.
Taipei Main Railway –> Rui Fang
From Taipei Railway Main Station, purchase a ticket to Rui Fang to switch trains. While you can purchase tickets on the day of, the recommendation is to purchase a day ahead so as to get reserved seats. The train ride takes about 30 minutes or so and costs approximately SGD3-5 maybe?
At Rui Fang, you will switch to Ping Xi line.
The tricky thing about Ping Xi line is that the trains run infrequently. There is only one train that comes every hour. If you miss that train, you’d be stuck at that station for another hour. Try to be there at least 5 – 10 mins early.
The entire Ping Xi line map:
The typical stops are:
No idea how to read the Chinese characters and want the Ping Xi line timetable?
The timetable is quite self-explanatory. Look at the timing at the station, that is what time the train will depart. The trains are punctual, you can start boarding usually 5-10 minutes prior.
P.S. Click the image to download.