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“Halal Restaurants” open in Tokyo, Narita Airport

Hi Everyone, and for my Muslim viewers, I hope you are having a good Ramadan this year.

I wanted to share an interesting information.

At Narita international Airport, which is the largest international airport in Metropolitan Tokyo area, will open two restaurants which carry Halal food.

Two them of are certified by Malaysia Halal Consultation and Training.

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One is a Soba restaurant called KINEYAMUGIMARU.  The restaurant is located at Terminal 1 Center building, 5th FL.

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Entrance to Kineya Mugimaru

 

Another one is Tempra restaurant called TENTEI, which is located on the Main building 4th FL in terminal 2.

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Entrance to Tentei

 

In addition, I just found out that Narita Airport has Muslim Prayer Rooms.

I am so glad that Narita Airport is Muslim friendly now.

Well, as for me, I will be off to Bangkok, Luang Prabang, Hanoi,  KL, Bali, Tokyo, and Singapore in two weeks, so I will update my blog as I visit these cities.  I am so ecited.

So until next time, Bon Voyage!

 

 

 

Kebun Indah Hotel: True Paradise in Ubud, Bali

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Kebun Indah entrance

Last two years, I have been keep on coming back to Kebun Indah, a boutique hotel or guest house in Ubud, Bali.

I was looking for a boutique hotel or guest house in Ubud, Bali, and I found about Kebun Indah on TripAdvisor.  Not only Kebun Indah was getting many good review, but also the price was very reasonable.  So I decided to stay at Kebun Indah.

 

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The 2nd FL is the room I stayed at Kebun Indah

Kebun Indah is a boutique hotel/cottage situated in Ubud, Bali.  Kebun Indah was an original guest house Ibu Wayan and Bapak Ketut who runs three other guest houses in Ubud, and one in Gili Islands, Lombok.

Here are the list of the hotels of by Ibu Wayan and Bapak Ketut

Please click the link HERE for Alam Jiwa

Please click the link HERE for Alam Shanti

Please click the link HERE for Alam Indah

Please click the link HERE for Alam Gili

 

 

Kebun Indah has 9 houses, and all the houses has its own bathroom.

I stayed in a room called CEMPAKA two years in a row.

Here are some of the pictures!

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Kebun Indah, path to my room upon my arrival to the hotel

 

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Entrance to my room at Kebun Indah CEMPAKA

 

 

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High ceiling of CEMPAKA, Kebun Indah

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Terrace of CEMPAKA, Kebun Indah

 

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Entrance to my room from the terrace

 

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Bathroom in CEMPAKA, Kebun Indah

 

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Couch on the terrace of my room, CEMPAKA, Kebun Indah

Kebun Indah has a SPA called Alam Wangi Spa, situated at the entrance of the guest house.

I paid  about $20 (to the best of my memory!) for full 1 hour Balinese massage. It was rally “enak sekali.” Indonesian, meaning ‘feels good’)

 

The service is fantastic!

At the moment you arrive at Kebun Indah, you will feel the difference from an ordinarily  guest houses in Bali.

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Reception area of Kebun Indah

 

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Reception area of Kebun Indah. The staff are making offering to the Gods of Bali

I arrived to the hotel very late last time I stayed there. I guess It was about 1 A. M. in the morning.

the check-in process was very smooth.  Since they already had my credit card information, they just checked my passport and they led me to the room.

I had to walk down to the house I stayed since the hotel is situated on the hill.  But a security person carried my baggage for me.

The entire process were very smooth, and I really appreciated it especially after the flight from Yagyakarta.

 

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Gate to the housed from the reception

 

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Path to my house

 

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Path to my house

 

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On the way to my house from the entrance of Kebun Indah

 

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Path to my house

All the staff are very friendly and attentive.  They speak good English, and some Japanese.

 

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Staff of Kebun Indah

 

All the houses in Keun Indah have free Wifi.

The room rate of KEMPAKA, Kebun Indah was very reasonable. I paid $60 per night ++ including free breakfast and afternoon tea.

The Breakfast at Kebun Indah is gorgeous.  It features egg, fruit salad, fresh juice of your choice and bread basket.

 

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Breakfast at Kebun Indah

 

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Breakfast at Kebun Indah

 

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Breakfast at Kebun Indah

 

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Breakfast at Kebun Indah

 

The room rate of Kebun Indah also includes free afternoon tea.  The cake is homemade baked at Cafe Wayan, another project of Kebun Indah.  The cake taste so good!

 

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Free afternoon tea!

Kebun Indah provides pick up service  with a van from Ngurah RaiIinternational Airport, Bali.  It costs $25 one way (as of August, 2013).  If you are in a hurry and do not move to other area of Bali by bus or other method of transportation, they can take you to Kuta via van for the same price.

If you want a transportation to tourist attraction, such as Ubud Palace and Monkey Forest, Kebun Indah can provide free transportation to where you wanna go. This option is nonnegotiable though.

Click here for Prama Tour Bus Schedule throughout Bali

 

Well, what is most noticeable about Kebun indah is its view.  Words cannot explain how amazing it looks.  From CEMPAKA, the room I stayed, you will see the great view of rice terrace. Here is the pic!

 

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View from my room at Kebun Indah

 

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View from my room, CEMPAKA, Kebun Indah

 

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Swimming pool overlooking from my house in Kebun Indah

 

So HOW CAN I BOOK A ROOM?

 

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One of the room of Kebun Indah

 

It seems that the only way you can make a reservation is via email and phone directly with Kebun Indah.

Here are the email and phone of Kebun Indah.

email: reservation@alamindahbali.com

phone: + 62 (0)361-974629

PLEASE BOOK EARLY!, because this hotel or guest house is always booked, and I have a impression that you may have to make a reservation at least 6 months before your actual stay to get a house.

 

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Library in Kebun Indah

 

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a house called SANDAT in Kebun Indah

 

I enjoyed my stays at Kebun Inda, so make your way to Ubud, Bali and enjoy your stay at Kebun Indah.

If you are wondering which guest house you wanna stay in Ubud, I have to say Kebun Indah is my recommendation.

Ok, so have a good one guys and Bon Voyage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Brunei Airlines: New Aircraft B787 and Service to Bali

Royal Brunei Airlines new B787 service to Melbourne and their new destination, Bali

Musa's Traveling in Asia

royal_brunei_boeing_777Royal Brunei AirlinesB777-200ER

I was so happy to hear the news that Royal Brunei now flies to Melbourne with new better schedule,  and will resume Royal Brunei Airlines service back to Denpasar, Bali.

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Little about Royal Brunei Airlines.

Royal Brunei Airlines is a flag carrier of Sultanate of Brunei.  Royal Brunei Airlines hub is Brunei International Airport.

From Brunei International AirportRoyal Brunei Airlines currently flies to Asia, Australia Middle East,  and to the U. K.

20014116Brunei International Airport

Royal Brunei Airlines destinations are included Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok,  Mulu, Kota Kinabalu, Jakarta, Surabaya, Hong Kong, Sydney, Jeddah and London Healthrow.

Pinnacles_at_Mulu_2 Pinnacles in Mulu National Park

1 (1)Jeddah at night

Royal Brunei Airlines owns 12 aircraft which includes  three B777-200 ER and four A320-200.

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I flew Royal Brunei Airline

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Cash, Traveler’s Check or Card? Secure Your Money When Traveling in Asia

 

 

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RHB Bank and UOB Bank Currency Exchange At Changi Singapore Airport

 

Not only to travel in Asia, but also to any international destinations, you may wonder how you can secure your money while traveling in Asia?

“Cash, Traveler’s Check or Card?” is always the question when you think about securing your money while you are traveling in Asia.

In general, in most of the countries, it is pretty safe to travel.  But if you are not that lucky, you may be a victim of crime in overseas.

So the question is always, “cash traveler’s check or card?”  Which method is the best way to secure your money?

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Money exchange in Fascinating Kuta Bali, Indonesia.

 

CASH, TRAVELER’S CHECK OR CARD?

Which one is the best one to secure your money during your trip to Asia?

 

I,who is writing this article do not really know which is the best way to secure your money.  Cash, Traveler’s Check or Card?

So I decided to have comparison among cash, traveler’s check or card, and I picked up the pros and cons of Cash, Traveler’s Check and Card.

So Let’s have a comparison among Cash, Traveler’s Check and Card.

 

 

CASH

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Example of Japanese Yen

I believe, cash is the worst method among cash traveler’s check and card, to secure your travel money.

Among cash, traveler’s check and card, cash is the only thing that does not chose who they belong to.

If your source of money is only cash when traveling in Asia, you may be in a big trouble.

Just because that reason alone, I would not recommend you to bring all the cash when traveling to Asia.

 

 

Still you wanna carry your cash? There is  a way to bring your cash or even traveler’s check and card on you.

May backpackers bring passport neck pouch to secure their cash, traveler’s check or card, even their passport.

Usually, you can keep several of cards and passport together.  For some Japanese backpackers, this is a necessity.

I do not really like to carry travel neck puoch because it is not fashionable, and sometimes it is obvious that  you are carrying something important.  So it may attract a crime.  But many people told me it is useful.

So what if you lost your money and you do not have no cash, traveler’s check or card on you at all?

If you are U. S. citizen, go to nearest Embassy of the United States or Consulate of the United State.

FIND A NEAREST U.S. EMBASSY HERE!

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They will not lend you money, but instead, they may arrange your return flight to the U. S. and keep you safe within their premise.

They will also issue a one time only passport for you to back to the U.S.

Will you get mad that you cannot continue traveling? Remember,  without money, traveler’s check or card, it is impossible to continue your journey.  Your SAFETY is most important when in Asia, or in overseas.

Here is a GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS by U.S. Department of State.

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 ALSO, HERE IS THE LINK TO SAFETY BY YOUR DESTINATION by U.S. Department of State.

 

 

 

TRAVELER’S CHECK

I have an impression that the many banks and currency exchange places in Asia and the rest of the world stopped accepting Traveler’s checks.

Among cash, traveler’s check and card, traveler’s check is pretty safe way to secure your money while traveling in Asia and the rest of the world.

In U. S., you can go to your local back you have your account with, or at nearest American Express office to purchase traveler’s check.

I believe, in U. K. and throughout Europe, Thomas Cook Travelers Check is very popular.

Good thing about traveler’s check is that even if you loose it,  the issuing company, they can reissue your traveler’s check.

For example if your travelers check is American Express traveler’s check, you can visit or call your nearest American Express  Traveler’s Check office to report the loss and reissue your traveler’s checks so that you can keep on traveling.

Even you need to pay about 2 % of the fee to purchase traveler’s chekcs, among cash, travelers check and card, this is the distinct part about traveler’s checks.

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American Express Currency Exchange Counter at Birmingham Airport, U. K. 

 

The can about traveler’s check is that, in order for you to check your traveler’s check, you need to bring your passport with you.  Basically, they take any IDs good on international levels, but most of all the time, unfortunately passport is the only good ID when you are in Asia, and in overseas.

 

 

CREDIT CARD

Finally, it is time for CREDIT CARDS.  Among cash, traveler’s check and card, CREDIT CARD seems to be the most popular ways to being your travel money on you while you are traveling in Asia or the rest of the world.

Surprisingly, you can find ATM anywhere you go in Asia, and mos of all the time, you can withdraw your money on ATM suscessfully.

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ATM machine in Yangon Myanmar

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ATM Machine in Tokyo, Narita Airport

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ATM machines in Jakarta

You can also bring your prepaid card or Bank  Debit Card with Master or Visa logo on it, and you can use it at ATM machine in your destination.

I know that American Express has debit card, as well and I can be used in Asia and overseas, as well.

You can also make a travel debit cards.

Travelex is famous for currency exchange, but they also have travel money  or card called Cash Passport.

This card is not available in the U. S.. but in countries,such as, U. K., Japan, Australia and Canada, you can make Cash Passport, load your money on your card, and use it as credit card and debt card.

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Bank of America Travel Rewards Card with chip  and pin (see above the card number starting with 4000)

I noticed that in South East Asian Countries, such as, Singapore and Malaysia, if you want to withdraw your money on ATM machine, your card need to have a chip and pin on it.

 

So what if your card does not have “chip and pin?”

Don’t worry, you can always do CASH ADVANCE at any bank that deal with Visa, Master or American Express.

Overall, I would say CARD is the best way to secure your travel money among cash, traveler’s check and card.

So, cash traveler’s check or card, which ever your travel money method is, enjoy your trip and Bon Voyage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding an accomodiation in Tokyo

 

I would like to travel to several places this summer, and I would like to start my trip n Tokyo.  I am from Tokyo but since my parents do not have enough space to let me stay at their house, I probably will have to stay at a hotel.

As you may know, Tokyo is expensive, and you may think it is difficult to find reasonable accommodation in Tokyo.  But it is not true.

If I would stay here for a month a so, I can rent “Weekly Mansion.” or I can stay monthly apartment, guesthouse or hostels for foreigners called “Gaijin House.”where I stay with other foreigners who are traveling under limited  budget.  “Gaijin” means foreigners in Japanese.

One of my friends stayed at a ‘Gaijin House,” called Sakura House. Here is another link for guesthouse.

Sakura House single room

Sakura House single room

Another option might for you would be Khaosan TokyoKhaosan Road is know as a mecca of backpackers in Bangkok, and the guest house was named after that infamous landmark in Bangkok. They have several guest houses in Downtown Tokyo area.

Khaosan Tokyo

Khaosan Tokyo

At these guest houses, they not only have foreigner guests but also have Japanese guests who wants to mingle and exchange information with foreigners.

As for myself, my stay iin Tokyo would be for about 10 days, so I am looking to find a hotel which cost about $60 per night.  One of the option I have for now is YMCA Hotel Youth Asian Center. This hotel is located in Sarugaku-Cho, in Tokyo and very central located.  It cost about $ 60 a day and no curfew.

YMCA Tokyo

YMCA Tokyo

Another hotel I have in mind is Hotel Asian Center of Japan. This hotel coast about $65 a day, and located right in one of the most fashionable and trendy area called Aoyama.

The Asian Center of Japan

The Asian Center of Japan

But if my budget allows I would like to stay at Grand Palace Hotel Tokyo.  This hotel is 4-5 star hotel, but if you reserve your room through Japanese version the hotel’s website or call them, you can get a rate of about $72 per night for single room.  My father used to take me to this restaurant for lunch and dinner.  They are located in the heart of Tokyo, Kudanshita. The hotel is walking distance from Yasukuni Shrine, where they have the souls of fallen soldiers who lost their lives during the World War II.

Single room, Grand Palace Hotel Tokyo

Single room, Grand Palace Hotel Tokyo

Pedestrian scramble in Shibuya, Tokyo

Pedestrian scramble in Shibuya, Tokyo

Soft Drink Vending Machine on the platform of Shibuya JR Station

Soft Drink Vending Machine on the platform of Shibuya JR Station

Infamous cigarette vending machine in Tokyo

Infamous cigarette vending machine in Tokyo

Old style back alley in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Old style back alley in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Shinjuku

Shinjuku