Just Go!

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

Top 5 things to experience in New Zealand

Christchurch holds a lot of memories for me. I went to high school there when I was 15 and in a sense in was my first great escape. A stranger in a strange land with no parental supervision.

fuckyeah

I did my first tattoo there, my first piercing there (on my septum), and experienced a lot new and wonderful things. I daresay it’s the one of the best times of my adolescent life. I’ve been back a couple of times and have never completely done all the things and seen all the sights the country has to offer.

However, if pressed, I would say that these are the top five things to do in NZ:

1. Do Dunedin

penguins

It’s home to Otago University and the place is actually pronounced dun-nee-dern. It is also close to the southernmost tip of the South Island of New Zealand so you can see yellow eyed penguins and seal colonies.

steepest road

Dunedin is also home to the steepest residential road in the world.

baldwin street

I swear you have to put a brick under your car when you park on Baldwin Street.

2. Go glacier hiking

glacial hike

New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where you can do this. It’s a wonderful experience walking on a large body of ice that has been slowly building for centuries. I personally recommend Franz Josef Glacier over Fox Glacier. I’ve been to both and the ice falls at the former are more sublime. Bring your cold weather gear or you can rent it at the counter.

3. Relax in Rotorua

nz rotorua

You just gotta love the smell of sulfur in the morning. It starts as soon as you reach the fridges of Rotorua – that rotten egg smell that assaults your olfactory senses. However, you get used to it after a while and you’ll be raring to hit the various natural hot pools around this volcanically active area.

rotorua

Note that some of the pools have insane temperatures like 52 degrees Celsius. The first time I was there, I was only 13 (first landing for a NZ permanent resident visa) so I wasn’t allowed into those pools. There are signs posted all over and it took me a while to figure out why – the scalding temperatures might harm your still developing family jewels. Heh.

However, if you’re not a minor, there shouldn’t be a problem.

4. Try Bungy jumping

bungee jumpin

Hello nurse! I’m kidding, this is an extremely safe sport and where better than to do it at the home of commercial Bungy jumping – New Zealand! Yup, AJ Hackett popularized the sport back in the ’80s while jumping in Auckland. The term “bungy” is apparently Kiwi slang for “elastic strap”.

bungee jumping

Check out the world’s first permanent commercial bungy site at Kawarau Bridge Bungy in Queenstown.

5. Go Punakaiki

pancake rocks

No, I wasn’t swearing at you. Punakaiki skirts the Paparoa National Park and it’s main claim to fame are the Pancake Rocks. The Pancake Rocks at Dolomite Point is a marvel of nature. I was quite impressed the first time I was there.

blowhole

There are also blowholes during high tide where you can see the sea surge explode vertically from the underground caves.

Feel like having an awesome vacation there? AirAsia X is running a contest where you can win a trip of a lifetime to New Zealand!

You can choose the type of traveler you are:

aax

and create a team of 4 like-minded people or just go solo.

It’s all done through Facebook so you can pick 3 buddies to have a go at the game – more people, more brains, more fun. Or just go at it solo if you’re the independent type and prefers relying on your own (vastly superior, or so you think) skills.

The online games and trivia will start on 8th December so sign up now at The Great NZ X-Cape. There are NZ trips to be won for both teams and individuals so let’s see how good everyone is. Come join the contest and win the trip of your dreams! ;)

Creative camwhoring 101

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

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