Hello Taipei!

To Indonesian travelers, Taiwan  might be a less popular destination compared to its Asian neighbors –  Mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea or Japan. Japan has been a popular tourist destination for so long, while South Korea are beginning to grow its popularity thanks to K-Pop culture boom. Of course, Hong Kong is famous as a shopping destination, while Mainland China .. well.. I guess is famous for its scenery and culture.

Now let’s talk about Taiwan. Before I made a proper research on this country, I only knew two cities – Taipei and Kaohsiung. That’s because some of my uni friends are from there. So  basically I had zero knowledge. But, since the last two years, Taiwanese food are getting more common in Jakarta – there are more and more Taiwanese food restaurants opening here, especially dessert house and boba tea joints. They are mushrooming in Jakarta, and very often you have to queue to get a seat.

So how did I end up going to Taipei? Well,  early this year I went to a travel fair in Jakarta – wanted to find cheap airline tickets for my next travel. There were a lot of booths from different tourist agencies and travel agents, including those popular Asian countries I mentioned before. Then there was a Taiwan booth as well. My initial reaction was.. “Well wouldn’t it be nice to go to Taipei where I can eat authentic Taiwanese food? It must be nice to have boba tea all day long!” Hahaha, not exactly like that but I was interested to go , I wanted to try authentic Taiwanese food. Plus, with my valid US tourist visa, I don’t need to apply for Taiwan Visa, just need to register online as they have some exceptions program. Long story short, I bought the ticket (50% off with China Airlines!), and was scheduled to go in May for 3 nights.

Then came May. The trip was scheduled right a week after my Derawan trip, but I was so excited to go. Though I was traveling alone,  I have made some arrangements to meet with my university friends who live in Taipei. I arrived Sunday afternoon after a 5 hour flight from Jakarta, and went straight to my hostel – Mr. Lobster’s Secret Den Hostel which is located within walking distance from Taipei Central Station. I’ll probably write a separate blog post about this hostel but I would gladly recommend it if you’re traveling to Taipei on a budget like myself.

After I checked in and had quick shower, I went to Taipei 101 mall to meet with my university friends for dinner at the famous Din Tai Fung restaurant. The restaurant is famous for its Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) and although it has chains all over the globe now, still worth to try when in Taipei.

The next day, I traveled across town – by foot and by their excellent MRT system. It was sooo easy to get around despite being a non-Chinese speaker. No worries, almost all directions I saw are written in both Chinese and English language.

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Inside the MRT … clean and comfortable!

My first destination that day was Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (tip: they have changing of the guards parade every hour – similar to the one in Buckingham Palace!), then  Dr.Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall which is not far away. Besides having pretty architecture, I enjoyed visiting both sites for quick history crash course! 😀

Afterwards, I went to Taipei 101 building again to have lunch and went to the observatory deck. Did you know that Taipei 101 used to be the world’s tallest building until there’s Burj Khalifa in Dubai? It was fun to be able to see beautiful Taipei scenery from the indoor observation deck at the 89th floor. There’s also an outdoor one at 91st floor but I only managed to make it to the stairs hahaha.. too afraid to went outside!

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Taipei – seen from Taipei 101’s observation deck

Now, as you can see from the picture above, Taipei has both tall buildings and hills as well as mountains. So.. my next destination was to hike Elephant Mountain! It’s not far from Taipei 101 and it’s included in almost Taipei travel guide I read. The trail is not too long.. I finished it in around 35 minutes one way. They said it’s best to go there in the afternoon, close to sunset time as you would be able to see magnificent Taipei view. Too bad it was cloudy when I was there.. So I did not bother to wait for sunset nor did I managed to get a spectacular shot of the city view I saw. But still, it was worth to visit. And if you decided to visit, hopefully you’ll be able to take a better shot than what I got here…

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View from the top of Elephant Mountain, you can see Taipei 101 for a far!

From Elephant Mountain I went back to my hostel, had a quick shower and managed to browse the neighborhood real quick before going to my next destination. Here’s a picture I took :

Taipei
Q Square – next to Taipei Main Station

My next destination was Ximending. I met another friend from university and she took me for a sightseeing/window shopping around the area. Popular to teens, this place is similar to Shibuya in Japan or Times Square in New York (never been to New York but I think it is indeed similar from the pictures I saw!), full of shops and neon lights. There are a lot of shops selling cute accessories and clothes.. also Taiwanese snacks. Do visit for a little shopping spree 🙂

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Ximending. Looks like Shibuya or Mini Times Square!

My day did not end there as before I went back to the hostel, I managed to find Eslite 24 hour bookstore.. just because I’m curious to see if people really visit bookstores after 10 PM. Turns out they still do! It was still crowded even when I got there at past 10.30PM! Wow!

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Eslite 24 hour bookstore

The next day was my last day in Taipei. I visited MOCA Taipei which is located near my hostel then traveled far north to Tamsui District… still using MRT – a 40 minutes ride only. I visited the old street and waterfront, as well as the fisherman’s wharf. Again, weather was not on my side as it was cloudy – even raining for a bit! However, I loved wandering around the area, which I think has a perfect mix of culture and modernisation.

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Tamsui Old Street

In the afternoon, I had an appointment with my friend as I asked her to take me to the best beef noodle soup in town. Her choice was  Lin Dong Fang‘s beef noodle soup and I could not agree more with her! The restaurant was small, basically people just come there to eat. My friend told me that during lunch time and after working hours, people would have to queue to eat there. Lucky we came there at 5 – right before people got off from work so there was no queue at all and we could eat happily 😀

Beef noodle soup
BEST beef noodle soup I’ve had!

From there we traveled south to ride Maokong Gondola to went up the hill. My friend told me it’s a nice place to sit and drink some tea as there are a lot of tea houses. The interesting part about my gondola ride is that they are decorated in Hello Kitty theme, plus some of them has crystal cabins!

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Hello Kitty themed gondola at Maokong Gondola… cute!

After spending some time in the hill, we went to Shilin Night Market. I think I don’t need to explain much about this place as the name sort of explains itself. Of all the night markets in Taipei, I think this one’s the most popular.. especially for hawker food. Trust me everything I had there is super delicious.. and cheap. Going there was definitely a feast! Lucky as I went there with my friend and she understands that I don’t eat pork , she chose only the foods that do not contain pork for me. If you don’t speak Chinese and don’t eat pork as well – it might be handy to write down some phrases to be asked to the food seller before you buy something.. as the sellers there speak very limited English, if not at all.

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Yummy street food at Shilin Night Market

So that concludes my 3 nights in Taipei, as I left the city very early in the morning the next day. I really love Taipei for its perfect mix of modernisation, traditional culture and nature. I went there only for the food but was able to see so much more even in my short visit. Definitely will go back at some point! 🙂

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Those Island Days

I’ve heard about Derawan Islands quite a lot before I finally paid a visit. The islands – located in North Kalimantan – has been frequently reviewed on magazines and travel blogs, but I kind of hesitated to go because I read that it’s still quite hard to reach – you’d have to change several methods of transportation to get to the islands. So the trip stayed in my plans almost forever, I kept talking about wanting to go, but never actually went… until last month.  Spoke to a couple of friends and gathered a group of 8 and then we registered ourselves to a travel group, called Kakaban Trip.

With Kakaban Trip, we had to pay IDR 5,600,000 for a 4 day trip, which I think is a pretty good deal considering that all expenses were covered – only exclude airport tax (IDR 40,000) and snorkeling gear rental (IDR 50,000 a day). Plus, they accept installment if you book in advance! (do check again though, price might differ since my visit..)

So we went on a Thursday morning, took the earliest flight from Jakarta to Tarakan. From Tarakan, we then had to take a speedboat for 3 hours (!!!) to finally reach Maratua Island, where our villa was located. Though it was realllly tiring but when we reached Maratua on the afternoon, I suddenly forgot that I was tired because of this view!

Maratua Paradise Resort
Maratua Paradise Resort
Maratua
Maratua Island
Maratua Paradise Resort
View from our beach cottage

Because it’s almost sunset when we arrived, there was not many things to do except settling in to our lovely beach cottages, catching sunset, had some dinner and went to the bed early… because a lot of things were waiting for us the next day.

One of the best sunsets that I've seen!
One of the best sunsets that I’ve seen!

The next day, we woke up at 4, went to catch sunrise on the other side of the island, went back to the villa for breakfast and then left for island hopping! You see, Derawan Islands has a lot of islands, some big ones including Maratua. The smaller ones don’t have villas/resorts, but have beautiful snorkeling/diving spots.

First stop was Derawan Island. As predicted, this is the main island – where there are more resorts (there’s only one resort in Maratua), a lot of homestays, small restaurants, bike rentals, etc. Basically, there’s life in Derawan island. BUT… when there’s life, there’s also… trash. Junk. So disappointing, because the snorkeling spots are not that clean anymore. I spotted a big turtle AND a manta ray while I was snorkeling, so that made me very happy though. Then we went to other smaller islands and did snorkeling again. The experience was waaay better than snorkeling in Derawan Islands, the sea was way more clearer, coral reef were a lot prettier, and the beach, AAAK i lost words. Here are some pictures for your eyes to see 🙂

Derawan Islands
Bluest blue!
Derawan Islands
My personal favorite – Gusung Island!
White sands, clear sea, blue sky!
White sands, clear sea, blue sky!

On our third day, we went island hopping to the smaller islands. I don’t remember all the names, but one that really caught my attention was Kakaban Island. I visited two parts of the island –  where there’s a big lake full of sting-less jelly fish (you can swim with them!), and another one to see a pretty lagoon. We swam with the jelly fish, and spent some time in the lagoon. Interesting fact, we had to do some caving to get out of the lagoon. Definitely once in a lifetime experience!

Kakaban Lake
On our way to Kakaban Lake
Jellyfish
I swam with the jellyfish!
Kakaban Lagoon
Kakaban Lagoon

After island hopping, snorkeling, and all the fun times in the islands, it was time to go home. We left the island the Sunday afternoon, went on another 3 hours speedboat ride (!!!), spent some time in Tarakan before finally going back to Jakarta. I really really looooove Derawan Islands, definitely worth the long journey and even the sunburn! :p oh, btw.. Do browse #thisisderawan on instagram to see more pics from me and my friends!

P.S: I would gladly recommend Kakaban Trip if you want to save the hassle in planning, because they will arrange everything for you. It may be a little bit more expensive, but saves you a lot of trouble. But, if you prefer to plan your own trip, i would say to take out Derawan Island from your itinerary and focus on the smaller islands like Maratua or Kakaban instead. Enjoy! 🙂

The US Trip: Solvang and Santa Barbara

This is the seventh post of ” The Us Trip” series. To read other posts in this series, click here.

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. This relatively small city has very unique architecture, as it resembles a taste of Denmark. Yep, that Denmark! The city even has a copy of the famous Little Mermaid Statue , very similar to the original one in Copenhagen (I’ve never been to Copenhagen, but that’s what they say.. hahaha).

It took us around 4 hours drive from Orange County to Solvang . In between, we stopped by at Camarillo too. Camarillo is a premium outlet store which might be an option if you’re into shopping. Anyway, it was a rather pleasant drive because I got to see this kind of view…

Solvang road trip
On my way to Solvang!

In Solvang, we stayed in Hamlet Inn which is situated in (what I think is) the main road of Solvang, Mission Dr. I love this hotel! Although the building looks rather traditional from the outside, but our room has a very sleek, minimalist Scandinavian style design. Plus, they provide free bike rental which is another thing to do when you’re in Solvang, it’s really nice to bike around town!

Hamlet Inn Solvang
Hamlet Inn
Bikes at Hamlet Inn
Free Bike Rental! yay!

After checking in, spent some time exploring the neighborhood around the hotel. I think where we stayed is the tourist area since there are a lot of small shops and cafes, with very unique European architecture. Trust me I did not feel like I was in the US at all. We even saw a windmill! How cool is that ?

Mortensen's Danish Bakery
Danish Bakery
Solvang-Windmill
Windmill in the US?

As an afternoon snack, we tried a local delicacy which is called Aebleskiver. Well again, it is actually a Danish delicacy but since Solvang is sort of a mirror city.. it’s a must try when you’re in town. It’s like small doughnut balls with strawberry sauce and sugar.. very sweet but tasty! (Remember, I’m a sweet tooth so anything sweet goes :D) I actually forgot which shop I bought it from, but no worries there are a lot of shops which sell this dessert (some say Danish people like to eat it for breakfast too!).. so it’s easy to find in Solvang.

Aebleskiver Solvang
Aebleskiver

The next day, we had breakfast in Paula’s Pancake House just across the road and then left for Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara I think is a more popular destination, but to me it’s another beach-front city so I was more interested to see Solvang. Though we only spent a night in Solvang, it was really enjoyable since the town is indeed very pretty! It’s rather quiet so to me a night is enough to explore..

In Santa Barbara we spent some time walking in their main street, where there are a lot of retail shops and restaurants, this time is rather similar to the ones I saw in Orange County. We bought pizza to go and went to the pier to eat our lunch, but too bad it was cloudy so we did not stay long.. 😦 we only spent around 3 hours before going back to LA. Anyway, Here are some pictures :

Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara beach front
Pier
Santa Barbara Pier

So, if you’re visiting California and have some time to spend, might want to try exploring Solvang and Santa Barbara as an alternative to the bigger and more popular cities 🙂

The US Trip: I Left My Heart in San Francisco!

This is the sixth post of “The US Trip” series. To read other posts in this series, click here.

The trip to San Francisco happened rather unplanned during my US Trip. I wanted to visit but it was not in my main itinerary as I was aware that it’s a 6hour-ish drive from Los Angeles and I had a tight schedule around LA and Orange County.

However, I suddenly got an invitation to visit a relative of mine who found out that I was in California from my mum. At first I wanted to visit on the weekend but because of her schedule, I had to make the trip the next day. I remember it was a Wednesday afternoon after I finished talking with my relative on the phone and confirming my visit – I immediately searched for ways of public transportation from LA to SF… and I was a bit surprised to find Megabus! Back in the UK, I loooooved Megabus. They’re my savior because they have offers as cheap as £1 to travel to London’s neighboring cities. Anyway, thanks to Megabus I found cheap LA to SF tickets. The coach left LA (Union Station) at Thursday midnight and arrive in SF (Caltrain Station – 4th and King St) at around 7 in the morning.

The journey was really convenient for me (except the fact that me and R did not get seats next to each other – the coach was full), I could sleep almost all the way and woke up just when we were about to arrive.

Since we arrived at 7 in the morning and my appointment with my relative was not until 3 in the afternoon, we had some time to kill and decided to wander around town. We did not have specific itinerary, all I thought was to visit some of the obvious tourist spots if possible.

Then I used google maps to find out where we were, and how far we were from Pier 39, Chinatown, or Union Square. We were surprised to found out that Chinatown was only 20 mins walk away and then another 20 mins-ish walk would take us to Pier 39!

So we walked. Our first destination was Chinatown because we wanted to have dim sum breakfast. I actually don’t remember the name of that dim sum restaurant that we went to, but there are a lot of dim sum restaurants in the area – you can always choose one (tip: use Yelp if you want to check out the reviews.. really helpful!). It was an enjoyable walk despite the gloomy weather – compared to sunny LA, weather in SF can be discouraging! but I love SF’s city centre. There’s something about the vibe that the city has, not to mention the architecture was just very easy on the eyes.

After breakfast, we walked again to Pier 39, another 20 mins walk. Because the sun’s up by then, it wasn’t as cold and gloomy as when we first walked to Chinatown – thus made it even more enjoyable!  There are a lot of small shops and stalls in the area, it’s indeed a pretty sightseeing spot (You can see the Golden Gate Bridge from a far!). Plus, I also got to see some seals! Verrrryy cute. Pier 39 is next to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we had a quick lunch at the famous Bistro Boudin. It was, indeed, quite a splurge, but totally worth it.

Pier 39
At Pier 39

From Fisherman’s Wharf, we went back to the city centre because we wanted to see Union Square. But we did not walk back… This time we took the famous Cable Car! Woohooo! It cost us $6 for a single ride ticket and you can easily purchase the ticket in one of the stations (tip: my ticket can be used as 10% off voucher in Ghirardelli chocolate stores – another must visit in town!).

Union Square is almost like the heart of San Francisco to me. I love to see how people was able to sit outdoors and enjoy their time. For shopping lovers, this is the place for you. Macy’s, Uniqlo, and other high street brands are in this area 😀

Union Square
Union Square

Then it’s time to meet my relative. We met her at Ghirardelli Square. It’s another tourist spot – apparently the building is quite historic. But despite the historical facts, they have one of the best chocolates I’ve ever tasted. For sure! There’s a park in the area too.. again, I love city parks as it’s almost a luxury in Jakarta.

We also met R’s friend and then the four of us went for another round of sightseeing – this time R’s friend drove us around. Our first stop was Lombard Street. There’s really nothing there –  it’s just a residential area…. BUT with stellar view. Perfect for pictures!

Lombard Street
View from Lombard Street. In love!

Of course, we HAD to see the Golden Gate Bridge. If you were to take public transportation, this link should help. There were some spots to take pictures with the bridge in the background, and you can do some sightseeing too. We didn’t spend too much time here, simply just click and go!

Golden Gate
Golden Gate Bridge

Last but not least, we went for a quick sightseeing trip to Treasure Island. Though it was too cold to stay for a long time, I was sooo happy to be able to see such breathtaking view of SF’s city lights from a far. Too bad both my iPhone AND camera ran out of battery by then.. So I didn’t get to take any pictures! (boohoo). But feel free to browse some images curated by the lovely google here. After Treasure Island, we went back to our bus station to catch the midnight bus back to LA.

So that’s how we spent 16 hours in San Francisco. I guess we pretty much covered anything… well, most of tourist spots for sure. I fell in love with San Francisco instantly even after such short visit.. and of course, would love to come back again and spend more time.

The US Trip: Sunny Orange County.

This is the fifth post of “The US Trip” series. To read other posts in this series, click here.

Orange County is where I spent most of my days during this US trip. I stayed in Motel 6 Newport Beach – which I would gladly recommend due to its exceptional service, despite being “only” a motel.  I chose to stay in Orange County because of this TV Series! Hahaha not.. It’s because the motel rate is cheaper and I like to stay near the beach.

Anyway, in this post I’ll highlight some of the places I visited in Orange County. I was lucky that even though it’s September when I visited, I still got to enjoy sunshine and spend some time under the sun.

The first destination is Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach is known for its surfing culture. They say you can surf all year long – that’s why it’s also famous as Surf City USA. Of all the beaches I visited, this is my favorite beach, it has white sands for as far as you can see, and also rows of palm trees.

Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach

Not a surfer? don’t worry, there are a lot of other things that you can do in Huntington Beach. I really enjoyed sun bathing ( didn’t jump to the water because the water was too cold! hahaha ), strolling down the main street where there’s a lot of cafes and small shops, and last but not least.. I really enjoyed kayak!

It was my very first experience and although it was rather hard to do at first, but when I got used to it, I really enjoyed it. You can check out Huntington Harbor Boat Rentals  if you want to try kayaking as well 🙂

Kayak
I kayaked!!

Then there’s Laguna Hills and Laguna Beach

Laguna Hills is famous because of this TV Series – but there’s more to it. I personally love the terrain, you can see the beach and the hills in one sight. It’s also nice to drive around and see the nice houses in the neighborhood, then have a stroll on the high street full of cute small shops (The high street is smaller than the one in Huntington Beach).

Laguna Hills
Laguna Hills

While in the area, I also went for a bit of hike in Top of The World Park. There are a couple of routes that you can choose, depending on how long you want to hike. I chose the easy one – which can be finished in around 45 minutes time. Even from my easy route, I could see amazing city view from the top. I guess that’s why they name it Top of The World 🙂

Top of The World Park
Top of The World Park

Last but not least, don’t forget to also stop by the beach. Compared to Huntington Beach, this one has less palm trees and (I think) is not as big. Still nice to visit though!

Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach

So.. that’s about it for Orange County. I loveee the area simply because it has a selection of wonderful beaches and a very laid back vibe – typical southern Californian style. Do visit when you’re around Los Angeles – it’s only an hour drive away 🙂

The US Trip: Las Vegas Baby!

This is the fourth post of “The US  Trip” series. To read other posts in this series, click here.

People say that when you’re in the US’ West Coast, you can NOT miss visiting Las Vegas. True? At first I kind of hesitated to visit Las Vegas, because I don’t gamble, and don’t party as much – and I thought that’s all what the town has to offer. But I was wrong. Even after only 1 night in Las Vegas, I can say that it is a MUST visit when you’re in the West Coast!

I went there on the weekend with my friends – the four of us drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and it took us around 4 hours to get there. Although I did not drive, I can say that it was an enjoyable drive. Wide road, no traffic, clear blue sky, gorgeous desert scenery – pure American road trip experience.

Road Trip - California to Nevada!
Road Trip – California to Nevada!

I was lucky that our hotel – Jockey Club Resort was located within the famous Las Vegas Strip. In fact, it is conveniently located within Bellagio and Cosmpolitan. It’s a 3 star hotel and a non-gaming one, but still within walking distance to the ‘life of Las Vegas’, so it’s perfect for me, being a non-gamer / first – timer in Las Vegas. We stayed in their studio – which on their website written as sleeps 4 but trust me they are HUGE! I think it can still conveniently sleeps up to 6, perfect for group travel.

Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip

After we arrived in the afternoon, we spent some time to wander around The Cosmopolitan and also The Strip. I was amazed to see the amount of people gaming in the casinos I saw. Everywhere I look, the casinos were never empty, even though it’s in the middle of the day. They even did not wear formal/smart attire (like what I saw in the movies :p). Because we don’t have casinos in Indonesia – I found it rather odd to see people gaming in daytime wearing casual clothing. Even Singapore’s Resort World Sentosa have smart attire as their dresscode!

Ka-Chinggg!
Ka-Chinggg!

Actually, our main intention to visit Las Vegas was to eat at Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, since it’s listed no.1 in 2013’s 5 best Vegas buffet by USA Today. If that review still does not convince you enough, it has 4 stars in Yelp 😀

Caesar's Palace Lobby
Caesar’s Palace Lobby

Having seen the reviews, we were not surprised anymore to see this queue when we arrived in front of the restaurant…

The queue!
The queue!

We had to queue for 2 hours to get a seat! They say you’ll get a priority queuing line if you’re staying at Caesars Palace but for the rest of us, we had to queue patiently. We arrived at the restaurant at 6, got our seats at 8… and finished eating by 11 PM 😛  I have to say that this was the BEST buffet I’ve ever eaten in my life! All the fresh seafood, juicy meat, scrumptious dessert.. To this, all the fancy buffet in Jakarta’s 5 star hotels I’ve been to seems like nothing!

Anyway, we ended the night feeling very satisfied and full. We had a walk through the strip once again to see some bits of night life, then went straight back to the hotel.

The next day, we spent some time walking through the strip again (it’s a long road!), where we found a Coca- Cola Store! Being a Coke enthusiast, I was so happy to be in the store. We did some shopping, got our picture taken with Coke’s Polar Bear, and spent some time in the cafe where we got to try Tastes of The World. For $7, we will receive two trays each with 8 small cups consisting of different Coca – Cola Company’s products from all over the world. This is definitely a must do when you’re visiting the store, and my personal favorite is Fanta Magic from Estonia (Yes, there is such thing!).

Coca – Cola Tastes of The World
Coca-Cola Store!
Coca-Cola Store!

We left Las Vegas after visiting Coca – Cola Store, but managed to stop by the factory outlet (!!!) on the way back to Los Angeles (I’ll write more on the factory outlets I visited on this series, promise!). So yeah, I think there are more to Las Vegas than casinos and clubs. Visit when you’re into culinary experience, even more when you’re into entertainment! Too bad I did not get the chance to see some live shows – I guess it’ll be interesting to see either cabaret, cirque du soleil, or even comedy shows. Well, that simply mean I have to go back one day 🙂

The US Trip: Universal Studios Hollywood

This is the third post of “The US  Trip” series. To read other posts in this series, click here.

The trip to Universal Studios Hollywood was on the itinerary of my second day in Los Angeles. I went there with R and also Indiet, my friend from college who happened to be in town too at that time. The 1-day ticket for this theme park originally cost $84 but thanks to R’s cousin we could get special price tickets and it cost us only $59! Not bad at all 🙂

The park opened at 10AM so we tried to get there on time, to avoid crowd and queuing.  To our surprise, there was not THAT many people and we barely had to queue to get in to our rides. Plus, the sky was super bright and clear although it was September already! I guess it’s true when they say it’s always sunny in California.. (wait or is it Philadelphia? :p)

Before we went into the park, we took some time to take pictures in front of the theme park gate and of course, you know, with the famous Universal Studios globe 😉

IMG_4943
Clear blue sky!
Me and Indiet
Me and Indiet

After we went inside, we went straight to try the attractions. This was actually not my first time going to Universal Studios Hollywood, but a lot of attractions have changed! We first tried  Transformers: the Ride 3-D, which was super cool and thrilling. Then me and Indiet tried the classic Jurassic Park-The Ride – I tried it before but somehow this time was more exciting than the first one! After that, we tried attractions by attractions – from Shrek 4D, Revenge of the Mummy – the Ride,  and my favorite…. The Simpsons Ride! wooohoo! It was like being inside the TV Show!  they also have a Kwik – E – Mart in front of the ride which sells The Simpsons merchandises 🙂

Krusty Land!
The Simpsons Ride!
Inside Krustyland
Inside Krustyland! :p

We then watch the Waterworld show, which got us mesmerised. Again, Waterworld show was not new to me, but it still got me in awe.  To finish our day, we spent some time to take the famous studio tour, which also included King – Kong 360 3-D. To our surprise, the video host was Jimmy Fallon! He’s one of my favorite comedian and he made the studio tour super interesting and funny. This Studio Tour is definitely a must try when you’re in Universal Studios Hollywood, as it gives you a very “Hollywood” experience 🙂

Anyway, since we did not have to queue for long to get in to the rides, we finished quite early and had time to wander around the park. I was so happy to see a British – themed road full of British kind of replicas! We found the famous Red telephone box, tube signs, street signs, even the double Decker bus!

IMG_4938
So HAPPY to find THIS! :p

After we were finished in the park, we also took some time to have a sightseeing in Universal Walk – home of Hard Rock Cafe and lots of shops/cafes. I think it will be fun to visit the walk during night time – I imagine lots of lights from the shops would make it interesting. Maybe next time 😉

Universal Walk
IMG_4946
Hard Rock Cafe

So.. that’s it! In total we spent approximately 5 hours in the park, and we got to try everything! I guess we were lucky because there were not many people even though it was a Friday. In my opinion, this theme park is more suitable for grown ups because a lot of the rides are not child – friendly. But for us, it was a very enjoyable day, and for those theme park lovers – thrill seekers, you got to visit Universal Studios Hollywood when visiting Los Angeles!