Friday, April 30, 2010

A Day Trip to Hong Kong, China.

Hong Kong is an island which was returned to China in 1997 after years under the British administration. The island has many tall buildings as there is not much space around. The population is more than 6 millions. This is one of the highest residential densities in the world. Hong Kong is connected to Kowloon in the New Territories via underground train (sea tunnels) or ferries. There are many places of interest such as Avenue of Stars (a promenade that has many palm prints of  actor/actress on the tarmac), Golden Bauhinia Square (the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre), The Peak Tram, Kowloon etc. I am going to tell you how to visit Hong Kong in a day from Shenzhen.

Hong Kong houses viewed from the Peak.

The Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong.

The Kowloon Mosque, Nathan Road.

The tram.

Along the hilly slope, there are roads constructed to assist movement of people and vehicles. Pedestrian walk-elevator (in the middle over the road) is Hong Kong's innovation.

Tsim Sha Tsui East Station in Kowloon.

Mid-level Elevator linking Queen Road Central to the hills.

Mong Kok Night Market.

If you want to visit Hong Kong, you can stay in Shenzhen as it is cheaper than Hong Kong. You start your journey in the morning and back again in the evening.After clearing immgration and custom at the check point, you take a train from Shenzhen to Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui Station. The fare is HKD 36.00 to 48.00 single journey. The train departs every 6-8 minutes from Lo Wo to Tsim Sha Tsui. Travel time is around 40 minutes. When you reach the Tsim Sha Tsui East station, you can choose either cross via ferry or use MTR train to Central Station. The ferry or MTR ticket cost HKD 2-4. I suggest you walk to Avenue of Stars promenade to appreciate the island from Kowloon and take a ferry ride. Then walk to Golden Bauhinia Square. From here, you can take the train to Central or further up. Taking elevator to the hills at Stanley Street is quite an experience. Do visit the Peak Tram and go up the hills. You can see the view of the harbour. Tram fare is HKD48 (return).

Going back to Kowloon, you can take MTR train to Tsim Sha Tsui and have dinner (halal food) at Chungking Mansion.  It is opposite the Kowloon Mosque. Do visit Mong Kok night market before you go back to Shenzhen. You can take a train to Shenzhen (Luohu) from Mong Kok station. Happy travel.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Window of the World, Shenzhen, China.

Shenzhen is the bustling city in South China. It is situated between Guangzhou in the north and Hong Kong in the South. There are a few theme parks in Shenzhen like  Splendid China, China Folk Cultural Village and Window of the World. I am going to tell you about Window of the World.

This theme park occupied a large area in the west of the city where many world buildings representing many countries are located here. It has sub-themes like the World Square, Asia, Europe, Americas, Sculpture and International Street. Buildings of Asia, Africa, Americas and Europe are constructed in small sizes as replicas and they are sources of tourist attractions. To enter the park, you must pay RMB 120.00 per person.(as of 2013, it has increased to RMB 160.00). Once inside, you can take elevated monorail to view the overall park for RMB20.

The Sign board of the park.

The overall area consists of miniature of more than 50 objects like China gate, Egypt Gate, Pyramids, Angkor Wat, Grand palace of Thailand, Taj mahal, Eiffel Tower, Colliseum, Pisa, Venice, Niagara Falls, the alps and the snow world.

The last station of the Metro and this lead to the entrance. The shape is like Paris Museum.

The China gate, the first gate to follow through.

European villages.

Replica of Eiffel Tower.

Replica of The Pyramids.

If you are interested to visit this park, take the Shenzhen Metro line 1 from the city centre passing the stations like Guo Mo, Lao jie, Daju Yuan, Kexueguan, Huanqianglu, Gang Xie, Hui Zhan, Gouwugongyuan, Xianmihu, Chegongmiao, Zhuzilin, Qiaanchengdong, Huanqiocheng and Shijie. Shijie is the last station and you embark, walk up the stairs and you will see the park. The one way ticket is RMB5. The ride will take 30 minutes one way. Do not forget to take pictures. You need at least 5 hours in order to view and appreciate this park. For food and drinks, there are many food kiosks in this park. Happy travelling.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Nur Mosque and a Muslim Restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. As far as I know, Hanoi has only one mosque which is located in the Old Quarter. It is being managed by a group of Muslims of Indo-Pakistani origin. Since the Muslims are few in Hanoi, this mosque is open on Friday for the Muslims to conduct Friday prayer. I noticed any other day, the mosque is closed. Its name is An Nur Mosque.

The name of the street where the mosque is located.

If you happen to be in Hanoi, you can visit this mosque at Hang Luoc near the Dong Xuan Market. Its shape is like a pagoda.

The mosque entrance.

The tower like a pagoda on the right is also part of the mosque.

For the Muslim restaurants, I had searched in the web stating 3 restaurants that offer halal food. But when I was there, there is only one restaurant, Nisa Restaurant. It is at 90, Nguyen Huu Huan Street on the eastern part of the Old Quarter belongs to a Malaysian.

The Sign Board of the restaurant, colourful at night.

Inside the restaurant.

The restaurant can cater 30 clients at a time. It serves Malaysian, Indonesian and Indian cuisine. However, there is another floor up that can accommodate a sudden increase in clients. The food served was okay, but the price may be on the higher side compare to Malaysia. It opens 11am-2.30 pm and 5.00pm-10.30pm. Happy travelling.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque, Kuantan, Malaysia.

When I travelled to Kuantan, I used to go to this mosque. It is a beautiful mosque in town by the name of Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque and very accessible. It is located in the town centre near the government offices, high courts, museum and banks. It occupies the former Kuantan mosque site which was razed to the ground and was replaced by the present mosque. The former mosque had only one big dome and the present has many small beautiful domes.

A view from the open space and parking area.

A view from the banks.

A view from the top.

A road sign "Jalan Masjid" means Mosque Road.

The mosque at night with glittering lights. A view from the open space.

The mosque is over 20 years old and it can accommodate 2,000 people. The prayer hall is big and its high ceiling makes it cooler. There are many toilets for both sexes. If you want to visit this mosque, you can always drive to Jalan Besar and when you reach the open space, turn left to Jalan Masjid and park your vehicle at the parking bay. You will find this mosque very calming, cool atmosphere and has good sound quality. Happy travel.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Scenic Penarik, Malaysia.

Malaysia, especially the east coast states of the peninsular is blessed with beautiful beaches. Right from  Mersing in the south to Bachok in the north, there are good beaches for you to stop and have your picnic  or taking pictures. What I am going to tell you is another beach and coastal environment that had attracted me. It is Penarik  in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia.

Penarik is a small village lies 60 km north of Kuala Terengganu, located close to the sea. It is rural in nature and majority work as fisherman. Penarik is really interesting and eye catching due to its scenic nature. Not all beaches has the one that Penarik has. Penarik is a name in Malay which means "attraction".

This skeleton house is yet to be completed. 

This beautiful house with the green grass in the front and the sea at the back adds value to the environment.

The wall made of coconut leaves act as a barrier to strong wind in Monsoon season. It reduces the wind speed and hence protect the houses.

The village environment.

The children as usual use their past times playing kite.

Penarik beach.

The accommodation for visitors. The houses are old Malay traditional house being rebuilt.More than 20 houses are constructed on this site. Behind these houses, there is a river. You can take a rowing boat to appreciate the rich bio-diversity of the area.

This chalet can give a good experience to those who want to feel Terengganu's culture and tradition.

Coconut trees are the trademarks of Terengganu beach.

The road linking Penarik with other towns. The island in the background is Pulau Redang.

If you were from Kuala Lumpur or Kuala Terengganu, you take a coastal road to Kampung Raja. You will pass Batu Rakit and proceed to Merang. By the way, Merang is the transit point to Pulau Redang. Then proceed to Penarik. On the way from Merang to Penarik, you will be amazed with the scenic beauty of this drive especially near Rhu Sepuluh. You will see the blue sea and casuarina trees decorating the coastal landscape.It can relieve your stress. You can forget your problem. Stop and take  a sip of coconut juice as there many many stalls around. Listen to the wind. Inhale the breeze. It can rejuvenate and relax your tired muscles. Happy travel.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kuala Terengganu Waterfront, Malaysia.

Kuala Terengganu is the state capital of Terengganu (one of the states in the federation of Malaysia). It is located at the estuary of the Terengganu River. It is almost 200 years old and is still evolving. Recent development shows the waterfront is given priority.

A view from Pulau Duyong.

Marina at the waterfront. This the site for annual event Monsoon Cup.

A view of Kuala Terengganu town centre. A view from Ri Yaz Hotel and Spa Pulau Duyung.

Terengganu river estuary on the left.

Jetty at Pulau Wan Man.

Board walk jetty.

Advertisement of river cruise service.

Waterfront at Balek Bukit (at night). The building in red light is a hotel, Felda Residence. On the right, there is a good restaurant. There is ample parking spaces here. You can organise aerobic or tai-chi here.

 This  park is for the public to enjoy and recreate.

The food and drink kiosk at the Balek Bukit waterfront.

The Sultan Mahmud Bridge seen from Balek Bukit waterfront.

There is a service of river cruise along this riverfront stopping at Museum, Bukit Datu, Duyung and Seberang Takir. According to this advertisment, it operates on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10.00am until 5.00pm. For those who like to experience this, you can wait for the correct time of this boat service. You can embark at Taman Tamadun Islam at Pulau Wan man or at Ri-Yaz Hotel and Spa at Pulau Duyung. Happy travelling.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Kota Bharu is located in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia. Being the state capital of Kelantan, and close proximity to Thailand, it attracts people and business. Almost 80 percent of the population of Kelantan reside in Kota Bharu and its surrounding. Being a major town in the east coast, Kota Bharu is considered a favourite among the tourists due to variety of products offered and are relatively cheap too. I am going to show you the must visit places in Kota Bharu i.e. old palaces (history), night market of Wakaf Che Yeh and Pasar Siti Khatijah (business).

One of the famous icons in Kota Bharu.

An old palace converted to museum.

The gate that had attracted my attention. A white car is seen entering the gate.

Wakaf Che Yeh night market, 5 km from the town centre sells many products from fruits and food to textile and shirts and consumer goods. It operates nightly on the road reserves in between the shops. Its patrons enjoy the bargaining and comes from many places. During the school holidays or weekend, this place receives many people.

A lane that sells bags and clothes.

The textiles of many choices are sold here.

The used shoes imported from other countries are sold here.

Next is the Pasar Siti Khatijah. It is located right in the town centre. It several wings. The ground floor has wet market and local kueh. Its upper floors sell clothes, dried food, household goods and other consumer goods. What is different from other markets, here the women are the prime sellers.

Local "kueh" that proved very sweet. It is made of flour, eggs and sugar.

Ladies are the prime mover here.

Pulut Lepa,  a grilled glutenous rice wrapped with banana leaves.

Boiled corn seeds sprinkled with grated coconut and a bit of salt and sugar can be wonderful snacks.

The business premises next to the Kelantan River. A few budget hotels are here.

Boat house.

All these places are within reach. Pasar Siti Khatijah is just near the bus station. Wakaf Che Yeh which is lively at night, is just 5km away. If you like to visit these places, you need to spend a day and a night in KB. Happy travel.