Saturday, January 13, 2018

Happy New Year!

I know it's already the second week of 2018, but I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all..

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Highlights of 2017

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My best nine of 2017 on my Instagram.

Of course I had a great year with my trip to Tokyo, especially to attend RADWIMPS Human Bloom Tour final concert in Nippon Budokan. I also managed to go to their Singapore concert.

My brother got married..


and one of the Random Quartet got married too!



The not-goods of 2017

Losing our pet cat, Tiger after Chinese New Year, that was a bummer. Then there was some downs at work and neverending disappointment of myself.

There was this deaths of Chester Bennington and Jonghyun of Shinee too, which affected me in some ways..

A few of my old relatives passed away this year too, and the year ended with a terrible news of friends losing their child.

....

Honestly, I wouldn't call it a great year. I hope that 2018 will be better not only for myself, but also for the people that I love.

Wishing you all a great year ahead too ya.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Japan 2017: Flying with Vietnam Airlines


For my trip to Tokyo this year, I flew with Vietnam Airlines, one of the airlines under SkyTeam Alliance. The return trip that I chose required a transit in Ho Chi Minh, both ways.


After confirming my trip with my sister, I was deliberating between MAS and AirAsia - the latter was winning with its cheap prices but since I flew with AirAsia previously when I went to Japan (twice!), I was interested in giving other airlines a chance.


And I thought it'd be nice to fly on a full-service flight. ๐Ÿ˜œ

So I looked at JAL, ANA, Thai Airways and Vietnam Airlines. At that time they were offering about RM1200 for return trip, with Vietnam Airlines offering the lowest, at about RM750+!


But I took my time to decide because I was low on funds (I didn't plan to go to Japan this year, but this happened) until it was nearing the trip!


Yup, I only got my tickets about one and a half months before my trip. At that time all the prices on the official airlines' websites had already reached RM1500, something that we were not willing to pay.


In the end I resorted to Expedia and we scored return tickets at about RM950 per person! The price included meals on all four flights, seat selection and 30 kg luggage allowance (2 pieces)!


So yeah, Vietnam Airlines it was!


Flight departed from KLIA (KUL) at 7.10 pm. The flight was comfortable, the cabin crew was nice and good looking (I really love the stewardess' uniform, the national costume ao dai). It was a smooth journey.

Dinner is served


I love this sago pudding in gula melaka syrup


Arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 8.10 pm local time (HCM is 1 hour behind of Kuala Lumpur). We had until the next morning to kill time but we decided not to leave the airport and proceeded to go through transit security process straight and enter the terminal.



Had dinner at the food court even though we already had our meals on the plane. #gluttons


But that was the only opportunity for us to eat pho!


And Vietnamese rolls!


Payment can be made with US dollars so you don't have to change your currency if you're just going to stay in the airport. There was Burger King too!

We slept nearby the food court in front of a TV and thankfully were not the only ones. We were't prepared for the low temperature in the airport - I only had a shawl while my sister had her sweater so it was quite an uncomfortably cold night! Be sure to have some blankets/thick clothing if you're planning to sleep at the airport.


Flight out was scheduled at 6.25 am, and we had opportunity to enjoy Vietnam's sunrise, which started at about 5.30 am!








Breakfast choice was between Japanese or Western. Obviously I chose Japanese-style breakfast to prep myself for Japan.

๐Ÿ˜

Rice, saba and vegetables

side dishes


look at the fluffs





entering Japan

The journey was about 5.5 hours, but since Tokyo is 2 hours ahead of Ho Chi Minh, we lost some time there.

spotted the ANA Star Wars plane while landing

Landed smoothly at about 2-something in the evening, marking the start of our Tokyo trip!


Sorry but I have nothing to write about our flight back.

Our flight from Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh was supposed to depart at 9.30 am, but it got delayed up til 11-something?

We managed to drop our bags and got to use the SkyTeam Alliance priority lane because we did online check-in, but our original itinerary had only less than 2 hours transit. So imagine our horror that our flight got delayed for almost 2 hours!

We reached Ho Chi Minh and rushed out, there was a staff of Vietnam Airlines waiting for us after exiting the plane and he told us our gate number. Quickly went through security and dashed to our gate to see "Final Call" flashing at the door.

PHEW.

We made it home, but our bags didn't, so off to Malaysia Airlines Lost & Found counter we went to report.

๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Anyways, it was a pleasant experience flying with Vietnam Airlines, apart from the delay.

We noticed that there were a lot of Japanese and Korean people traveling on the airline as well.

I wouldn't mind choosing it again if the offer is good and/or when I'm on a tight budget. But I think I'll ensure my transit time to be long just in case there are delays. LOL.

Looking forward to flying with other airlines next time(s)!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Japan 2017: Peanuts Gang All Stars Exhibition in Snoopy Museum Tokyo


Apart from RADWIMPS Human Bloom Tour Finale concert at Nippon Budokan, this was the other highlight of my Tokyo trip last May!


The Snoopy Museum Tokyo is located in Roppongi (ๅ…ญๆœฌๆœจ). The nearest station would be Roppongi station (hosting the Hibiya Line and Oedo Line). Azabujuban Station (hosting the Nambaku Line and Oedo Line) is quite nearby too, so it depends where you're coming from.

We came from Ueno Station so we stopped at Roppongi Station (rode the Hibiya Line). It was less than a km walk from the station.


Tickets are priced at 2,000 yen (adults); 1,400 yen (university/college students); 1,000 yen (junior/senior high school students);  and 600 yen (from 4 years old to elementary school students) while free admittance for children below 3 years old!


However, you get cheaper prices (200 yen off) if you buy your tickets in advance from Lawson stores/website.. if you're in Japan.


But no worries, we foreigners can get advance tickets from JAPANiCAN or Voyagin. I got mine from JAPANiCAN. Just had to register an account and the process was quite simple. The website also offers tour packages and accommodation bookings.

The ticket is in a form of comic strip published on the same day of our visit, 40 years ago! And washi tape as 1st anniversary gift! ๐Ÿ’—

Exhibition in the museum changes every 6 months. We were in time for the PEANUTS GANG ALL STARS Exhibition, which was in conjunction with the museum's 1st anniversary!


Upon entering, you will see this signature Snoopy kennel with him laying on it, and Woodstock on its tummy!


At one wall, an image of Charlie Brown resting with Snoopy can be seen..


..made up of comic strips!


Amazed at how strips were carefully chosen to build up the image. I stared at it quite a while before started going through some of the strips. I think the ones that I've read from The Star newspapers did not even make up 10% of this!


Certain areas of the exhibition allowed photography while some don't, so visitors have to take note of the signs.

sorry for the blur photo

Other walls were painted red and fill with frames of comic strips, magazine covers, articles and quotes related to the cartoon and the cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz.





We were then brought into a theater to watch a short montage of Schroeder playing a piano and Snoopy dancing.

The main stars of this exhibition are the characters in the comic strip, which were named the Peanuts Gang! Each character had his/her/its description such as first appearance, weakness, random fact etc.

Schroeder, the Beethoven fan, was named after a boy in Charles's neighbourhood

๐Ÿ˜‚


Linus is Lucy's younger brother!

Lucy's weakness is Schroeder

Sally is Charlie Brown's younger sister


I want a clock like this!


Charlie Brown, Snoopy's owner

This strip is the cutest among all

LOL



The only black character in Peanuts. He was created by Charles after a school teacher expressed the importance of having a black character in the strip

Pigpen's weakness is a bar of soap




Her favourite


Now I know that they're Snoopy's siblings!


The cutest

so bling bling




There was also an interactive theater where the Peanuts Gang Orchestra played (on the screen). The seat in the audience represents a  character - reacts when you sit and corresponding character on the screen will wave!


Towards the end of the exhibition, the characters were lined up on the walls.



"..maybe the red-haired girl will come and dance with Charlie Brown!" is a line I like to sing along to during the cartoon, can't remember which channel was showing that time

I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! I don't mind this on my wall

The end of the exhibition led to Brown's Store, where you can buy Peanuts-related stuff such as stationery, dining things (i bought a pack of coasters!), towels, t-shirts, gifts, snacks and random souvenirs!


Had to control myself from spending too much as usual.

Then we head over to the cafe attached to the museum - Cafe Blanket. Please note that only visitors to the museum can go into the store and cafe.


There's also a food truck outside, but we didn't check it out.

I bought this


Cafe Blanket is named after Linus's blanket. There is actually a PEANUTS Cafe located in Meguro, Tokyo. However that requires reservation as they have limited openings. I think I failed to get reservations to the cafe.


I had one of the Snoopy Dish sets while my sister had the pancake. The food was just ay-okay, nothing to shout about.


But I guess since we were already there, might as well eat lor.

I like the sandwich, but not the coney dog though. Fries are love as usual.

Served in a dog dish!

Didn't buy this.. should have

Visited the toilet before leaving:





Honestly I enjoyed this museum a lot more than the Pokemon Center. I don't consider myself a big Snoopy fan but I have no idea why I was so excited to go!

Oklah partially it was also because I failed to obtain tickets to Ghibli Museum and Tokyo Disneyland/Disneysea are pricey.

So yeah. I wanna go back and see Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts Gang again! Unfortunately the museum is only temporary, it's supposed to be opened for only 2 and a half year's time.

I guess it will close somewhere in October 2018?

๐Ÿ˜ฑ

That means I only have next year to go!

๐Ÿ˜ฑ

*cries*