boracay

I must admit, I tend to go on holidays on a whim, flying on the seat of my pants most of the time. Heck, I don’t even book hotels most of the time (one memorable trip to Guilin comes to mind) and just walk-in when I land. Heh.

It’s partly for the fun of it (can you say adventure?) but mostly it’s coz I get sudden last minute urges to just jump on a plane and go somewhere.

…and I do mean last minute.

locals

It’s just so easy with AirAsia bookings, just click, click, click followed by an hour of chucking stuff into my backpack and rummaging around for my passport and off I go.

I have even been known to forget about visa requirements and having to rush last minute to get it sorted out less than 12 hours before I fly. #champion

However, during one of my Europe backpacking trips, I did the same thing, and ended up without a place to stay coz all the backpacker places were booked out and I couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel. I ended up sleeping at the airport for the first day.

It was freezing cold and the automatic doors kept on opening and closing so I couldn’t get any proper rest.

resort

I have seen the AirAsiaGo site before but I’ve never actually truly explored that option. However, the savings from a combined flight + hotel deal could be rather significant.

…and you’ll still retain your freedom to do whatever you want.

Best of all, the hotels can be grouped by price so you can choose based on your budget. There are over 100,000+ accommodation types available, from the most basic to the obscenely luxurious. There are also 5,000+ tours and activities on offer.

You can also opt for a tour package if that’s your thing but essentially you can just use it as a hotel added on to your flight, all conveniently located in one site so you don’t have to waste precious hours searching around.

kitesurfing

AirAsiaGo is having their OMG 72 Hours Sale! which features promo fares and discounted hotels to Bangkok, Langkawi, Perth, Osaka and Beijing. The booking period is from the 25-27th September and you can start flying from 1st October to 30th November!

I figure I’ll give it a shot. I group my travels into two separate experiences – solo backpacking and holidays and for the latter I wouldn’t want any hassles. The flight + hotel combo looks mighty tempting with its heavy discounts.

azure waters

It’s perfect for last minute travel addicts like me, I love deals like this coz I don’t have to wait long to travel. Grab your passport and let your wanderlust take over! Stay tuned to the AirAsiaGo Facebook page – they’re going to reveal their promo soon! :)

P/S – Just got the news!
Kuala Lumpur – Bangkok: 3D/2N Hotel Stay + Return Flights + All Taxes from RM 589/person.
Kuala Lumpur – Osaka: 5D/4N Hotel Stay + Return Flights + All Taxes from RM 980/person.
Those are the last minute travel deals. :D

rubbernecking

I read something in a book about practical jokes when I was a kid. I didn’t know it at the time but it was actually a psychology experiment. Basically what the book tells you to do is to stand in the middle of a crowded place and start looking up – at nothing in particular. It goes on to postulate that people would either pass by and take furtive glances at what you’re looking at or plain stop and stare with you.

It’s universal and also called “rubbernecking”. You’re basically inciting curiosity just by actively participating in something.

sandboarding

Anyway, the reason I suddenly remember that good ol’ book of mine was coz I was at Sunway Pyramid with Bonnie last weekend. There was this installation with boards, a dune of molded sand and a letterbox with a background vista. It was an ambient structure and no one even paused to glance at it…

classic

…until we started to fool around and camwhore with it. It’s quite interesting to see how people stop, gape and start to want to participate. It went from a stone cold installation when we first got there to a hot one where we even had to queue to take more shots with it. Funny how it just takes one to get the ball rolling eh?

kids

This is an AirAsiaX Perth contest where you take a photo with the installation in the most creative way possible to stand a chance to win a trip to Perth for two. The theme at Sunway Pyramid is sandboarding in Kalbarri and there is a picture of two girls in a default pose, which most people (that came after us) emulated. I reckon we could do much better (or at least Bonnie could, with her flexibility).

boarding

1. De facto pose

default

2. Cheesy dual camwhore

headstand

3. My #fail handstand. Sorry AirAsiaX, I nearly destroyed your structure when I fell down. ;)

us

4. Bonnie does a headstand – she’s into capoeira which comes in very handy for this. I, on the other hand, is very good in looking nonchalant. Heh.

scorpion

5. Our piece de resistance! This is the one I’m going to submit. Bonnie is doing the Escorpio (Scorpion in Brazilian Portuguese) in the foreground to enhance the ambient installation – she is in fact, a prop in this pose. She’s the scorpion in the sand dunes in Kalbarri, Perth while I am dusting imaginary sand off my flip flops while sitting on a sand board.

There are installations in 1 Utama, Pavilion KL and Sunway Pyramid and all you need to do is to pose with the installation and email it to get a chance to win a trip for two to Perth. If you have terrible bearings, the first thing you should do is to approach the information counter and have them point you in the right direction. If you’re not comfortable with posing in public spaces, hey, be like Nike and Just Do It. I guarantee you there will be people looking and wanting a piece of the action once you get started.

people

Who did you think took our pictures? Random strangers posing with the structure who helped us with our photos once they were done. smirk

sandboard

I think our submission is pretty good. I really hope we win this contest. I swear, we spent almost an hour there doing various poses. We even came in the appropriate attire. I didn’t destroy the structure from a bad fall and Bonnie emerged intact without having to put on a neck brace. ;)

Try and beat our awesome poses by going to one of the installations. Check out the Perth contest post on the AirAsia blog for more details! We really want to win the contest but we’re confident our submission will be a pretty formidable one anyway. action #winning

christchurch

I remember my first trip to New Zealand – my entire family went with another family for our first landing (one of the prerequisites to get a Permanent Residency). We arrived at Christchurch and rented a caravan large enough for our family of 4 and their family of 4 and did nothing except go to prospective high schools to prepare for our education there two years later.

The first few days were a drag – we went to several schools before deciding on either Burnside or Riccarton high school. Next was the search for a home stay since we were minors and my dad finally settled for one right behind Riccarton High School (which was the one we ended up going to).

auckland nz

The rest of the time however was marvelous – we spent a couple of days in Christchurch, swung down to Dunedin (primarily to prepare me and my sister for medical school – she made it, I didn’t), met with the steepest road in the entire world before heading to the North Island.

rotorua

We pretty much toured the entire NZ in 3 weeks just by driving. My favorite place would be Rotorua – the air smells like sulfur and everything is more expensive than other towns but I loved the mud baths and our motel even had its own private spa!

luge

I was also an adventure fiend back then and went for this precarious ride called the luge (and got teased mercilessly by the other family’s twin sisters for pronouncing it loo-gee) where I nearly shit my pants by intentionally steering down “Advanced” instead of “Beginner” and careening down the side of a hill with sheer cliffs and nothing but centrifugal force to avoid you from tipping over.

I got out all wobbly legged and was properly chastised for heading down the Advanced route when I’m not supposed to.

bungee

I also went bungee jumping – AJ Hackett originated from New Zealand, but to be honest, the luge experience scared me more than the bungee jump coz I was supposed to steer but I didn’t know how to.

riccarton high school

Fast forward two years and I found myself studying in Christchurch. My parents decided on RHS primarily coz it had a low ratio of Asian students compared to Burnside. They are firm believers of fitting in and immersing yourself into another culture, which I guess rubbed off on me during my travels.

I joined the drama club (best thing that happened to me) and had a leading role in the end-of-year school play Peer Gynt. I also got kicked out of school for disciplinary issues but we shall not be discussing that today. ;)

fishandchips

The year that I spent in Christchurch was a lot of fun. The temperature drops down to the negatives in winter and despite being only 15 years old, I was very active in the rave scene. I can be seen at Ministry most weekends, which is where most of the good raves are found. I love eating fish and chips loaded with ketchup during the colder days of the year and explored every nook and cranny of the city (as much as a 15 year old who hung out with uni students who could drive did).

Christchurch is a beautiful city and although I’ve been to Auckland late last year to see my mom, sister and niece, I still prefer Christchurch to Auckland. It’s like how I love Melbourne but can’t get into the groove of Sydney.

christchurch-tram-nz

It’s a perfect place with quiet spots like Church Corner with its quaint dairies (a grocery store of sorts where you can get hot food and drinks) and yet with a vibrant night life, if you know where to look. You can even hang out in the city square where there is a huge ass chessboard with equally gigantic pieces.

Christchurch is also great as a base to REALLY travel around New Zealand. Just rent a car and explore the South Island before hooking back up north.

dairy

It’s been ages since I’ve been back to Christchurch and I’ll really love to see how much it has changed (and perhaps see my old principal, whom I had a lot of run-ins with and show him I didn’t turn out to be a total delinquent after all ;)) so it was great news when I heard that AirAsia X is now flying to Christchurch from an amazing RM 499 one way!

Man, you gotta give AirAsia X kudos, they’re adding more and more destinations exponentially – it really makes travel much easier at a great value!

You can also get the chance to win an awesome 7D/6N holiday in New Zealand courtesy of AirAsiaX by participating in the Faces Go Places contest on their Facebook page. Just upload a photo of your face to their Facebook application, which has a variety of activities you can match an expression to. Add a caption and share it with your friends to get votes. It’s that easy!

manic

This is my maniacally excited face. Heh! The Faces Go Places contest is where it’s at. Come on then, give us your best shot mate! ;)

perth

I’ve been to Perth several times during my university days in Australia and I am very impressed with the relatively relaxed pace over there.

fish-chips

Nothing beats having some steaming hot fish and chips at the harbor! Make sure you go to the one at Cicerello’s – it’s the original, and the best. Located at Fremantle, it also serves beer if you want something to wash it down with!

perth_swan

Perth is home to The Swan Bells. It was a gift from London according to Wikipedia (O Wise One) and it’s one of the largest musical instrument in the world – you can even ring it and let yourself be heard all across the city! :)

perth-map

Okay, geography lesson time. I nicked this photo from Wikipedia. It has a hover text that says “Perth is located in Australia”. Well, no shit Sherlock! ;)

clothing-optional

You can also drop by Swanbourne if you feel like letting your dangly bits down. It’s a clothing optional beach in Perth. smirk

However, Perth is not Western Australia. You can’t claim to have visited WA unless you’ve been outside of Perth city proper.

black-truffles

I must admit, I haven’t been to other places in Western Australia though. I hear it grows a lot of black truffles (gourmands take note!) – and you can buy fresh truffles during autumn and winter! These are not just plain black truffles but Black Perigord truffles – the real black gold. Expensive, but delicious!

simmos

There’s a cult favorite ice cream store called Simmo’s Delicious Dilemmas in Dunsborough and Margaret River. I haven’t personally tried it myself but Kristine tells me it’s good shit. Probably the best ice cream that has ever done the horizontal boogie with your taste buds.

margeret river

You know all that wine you’ve been drinking that says Margaret River? It’s also located in Western Australia! I would love to visit the vineyards over there to drink the tipple closer to the source!

kristine

…and do that I shall! I will visit Kristine later this year – gonna fly AirAsia straight to Perth and visit the rest of the Western Australia region that I haven’t been too. She’s been to quite a few places around the WA region, most of the pictures were taken by her (others nicked from Wikipedia). Thanks for tempting me with all the photos Kristine!

Stromatolites_in_Sharkbay

One intriguing place I’ll love to visit is Hamelin Pool – it is home to stromatolites – the oldest living marine fossils in the world. There’s only two places in this third rock from the sun that harbors stromatolites (no clue where the other one is) and Western Australia is one of them!
There is a bit of a mystery surrounding their origin and trust me, I’ll be there to unravel (oh well maybe not, but I’ll go take a look) the fossils.

shell-beach

We’ll go to the Coral Coast okay? I want to go to Shell Beach (formed from shells made from just one type in of animal and the only one of two in the world) and The Pinnacles!

The-Pinnacles

Just look at this photo!

A recent research revealed that taking a vacation has been shown to reduce work related stress by 66%, increase worker productivity by an amazing 92.86% and shaved an impressive 42% off arguments between couples over issues like leaving the toilet seat up. Of course, I pulled all those numbers from where the sun don’t shine but still!

beauty

I travel a lot coz I value experiences more than material goods. Life is short, travel the world! I’ll be going to Melbourne end of this month and Perth is next on my destination list – probably August or so. I’ll give you all a full trip report when I get there k?

You can find out more about Perth and Western Australia by following the blog of the Extraordinary Taxi Ride. Or you can just fly AirAsia and experience it for yourself!

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