This was our first family trip to Bali which is one of more than 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago and is located just over 2 km from the eastern tip of the island of Java and west of the island of Lombok. The island is currently home to about 4 million people. Continue reading “Bali Travelogue – (Part 1): Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa, Bali Collection and Discovery Shopping Mall”
Much has been said about escaping to the capital of Finland, Helsinki to be soaked in the atmosphere of Christmas. Just before we headed back home, we had the opportunity to explore Helsinki city and the Christmas market.
Come winter season, there are only few hours of daylight and it is not surprising to see most of the pictures taken were dark. Continue reading “Finland Travelogue – (Part 7): Helsinki City and Christmas Market”
Unlike many travel destinations where visiting once is enough, Penang gives me all the reasons to return again and again. A large proportion of population in Penang are made up of Penangite Chinese and this makes it even easier to communicate with the locals and travel around.
When I arrived at Penang airport, my first task was to purchase a local SIM card (1GB for RM$26). Knowing that there would be lots of traveling, transport cost was one of the major factors to take into consideration. With a SIM card, I would be able to get connected to local network and more importantly, explore Penang by Grab service instead of hailing normal taxis which could charge you exorbitant fees. I figured out that using Grab service would end up saving about 50% to 60% in transportation cost. Continue reading “Penang Travelogue – (Part 1): Snake Temple, Lee Clan Jetty 姓李桥, Chew Clan Jetty 姓周桥, Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol, Joo Hooi Café and Ming Xiang Tai Pastry 名香泰餅家”
Travel like a tourist and live like a local. They need not be mutually exclusive and Airbnb has made it possible for us to enjoy a meaningful holiday with authentic, local experiences.
We were really blessed to meet a wonderful host who readily fetched us from Santa Claus Village to his Airbnb abode at no extra cost. Continue reading “Finland Travelogue – (Part 2): Airbnb Stay and Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park in Lapland”
This is our first trip traveling all the way to Sweden and Stockholm, being near to Helsinki (Finland) by just an hour flight, became a part of our itinerary during the school holidays.
It is no secret that Sweden is famously known for being the “Land of Ikea”. However, we know in our hearts that Stockholm has so much more for us to discover. We were first whisked off from Changi Airport to Helsinki (Finland) in a 12-hour flight.
Thanks to the new spacious, calming and eco-smart Airbus A350 aircraft by Finnair, our journey was made very much smoother and enjoyable.
Needless to say, on-board entertainment is sure to bring smiles to the kids.
We were surprised that Big and Small M did not complain on the long journey. After landing at Helsinki Airport, we hopped onto Norwegian in a flight to Stockholm Arlanda Airport.
All in all, after counting the total flight hours and waiting for transit, it took us about 17-hours to reach Stockholm, finally!
Stockholm Arlanda Airport
It was -7 degrees when we reached and freezing cold. What to do in Stockholm? At the Stockholm Arlanda Airport, feel free to pick up travel guides, brochures and maps. They will come in handy in any last-minute itinerary planning. Hey, not to forget buying a SIM card at the convenience store before leaving the airport. It cost $95 Krona (SGD $15) for our SIM card.
You have few options to travel to Stockholm city – either by bus, train or taxi.
Stockholm-Arlanda Airport is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Stockholm City.
The Arlanda express train takes you from Arlanda Airport to the city center. The platform is easily accessible, underneath the arrival terminals. Departure: every 15 minutes (for most of the day). Travel time: 20 minutes.
Flygbussarna Airport Coaches departs every 10-15 minutes between Arlanda Airport and the City Terminal (located next to the Central Station). Travel time to Arlanda: 35-45 minutes. Buses also run to Liljeholmen via Karolinska, Fridhemsplan and Södermalm (50 min). To Bromma airport via Kista and Sundbyberg. (54 min).
We eventually settled on taking a taxi which cost $450 Krona (SGD $76). It is actually more expensive to travel by train after factoring the 4 of us. Before hopping onto the taxi, do ask the driver on the fare. Stockholm is quite a cashless society. Everywhere you go, credit card is widely accepted for purchase.
Our accommodation was at Freys Hotel, which was a short walking distance from City Terminale. The hotel rate were rather pricey which was a big thumbs down. A maximum of 2 adults are allowed for a normal room booking. If you are travelling with kids, the hotel would need to impose additional charges and upgrade you to a bigger room.
In our hotel room’s balcony.
The Old Town Christmas Market
Merry Christmas! How can we not explore Christmas Markets on a trip to Europe? We dropped our luggages and headed straight for the market. Along our way, we met a kind Swedish who walked with us over a kilometre to the market.
At the Old Town Christmas Market, you will find a lot of Swedish Christmas and other specialities such as Swedish Christmas sweets, smoked sausages, smoked reindeer, elk meat, handmade knitted caps, candy floss, glögg (mulled wine), a range of Swedish handicrafts and decorative arts of workmanship and much much more.
The Old Town Christmas Market is the oldest Christmas market in Stockholm and Sweden. With the exception of the years 1907 – 1914, it has been a ongoing tradition until present time.
Crowds, from the young to the old, gather at Old Town Christmas Market during this season to soak into the Christmas atmosphere.
We did not really shop here but indulging in the food is a definite must for us.
Sipping over a cup of hot chocolate was heavenly in such a freezing weather 🙂
Exploring Christmas Market is a bonus when you visit Stockholm. You can check out which Christmas Markets will be opened over here.
We do not think it is a must to hit every attractions during our travel. Sometimes, even by leisure walking is very much a part of our itinerary. And it does bring great family bonding as well.
Ice skating in Kungsträdgården
It is common to ice skating indoors but it was our first time experiencing ice-skating rink in the middle of the city and to top it all – at outdoor. This is a surreal moment for winter visitors to Stockholm.
For once, we were a tad surprise that it only cost $60 Krona ($10) for 2 kids to skate including the skating gears. We were kindly advised by the ice skating staff to watch out of our belongings.
She is very happy!
The skating rink is self-maintained since this is winter season.
Kids had so much fun over here and never mind about falling down, they got up and continue to glide round the rink.
What a treat for everyone! Children gathered and sing christmas carols. We really felt like experiencing the true spirit of Christmas. Night comes early during the winter season. By 3:30pm, night beckons. We are dreaming of a white Christmas. Our first trip to Stockholm; a dreamy Christmas 🙂
We just can’t get tired of Changi Airport. Whether we are traveling or not, this place always gives us a refreshing atmosphere to chill out. Continue reading “Changi Airport Terminal 1: You Should Visit This Secret Staff Canteen”
In my Part 1 blog on our Taiwan travelogue, I shared on 10 tips when planning a trip to Taiwan. I hope it’s useful to you. Knowledge is power. Even a small saving can go a long way to maximize your mileage to make your trip more enjoyable. Continue reading “10D9N Taiwan Travelogue – (Part 2): Day 1 @ 西門町 Ximending”