Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Budget Travel Korea | Seoul | Han River Live Music Cruise

This, like most other posts is a #latepost haha .. as I mentioned in my post on Yeouido Han River Park, one of the exciting things to do here is of course going on board one of the Han River cruises offered by Eland Cruise company. There are a few types of cruise that you can choose ranging from day to night with live music, guitar performance or even dining (buffet) cruise. 

The entrance to the ferry dock

The dock from afar

For me personally, I prefer the night cruise that showcases a live music show; it takes off daily at 7.30 pm. This one takes a total of 70 minutes to complete; cruising upriver to the east towards Banpo Bridge and from here it returns to Yeouido. Whenever I take my travelers on a Han River Cruise, it would usually be this one - the Han River Live Music Cruise.

The reason is simple, it's because we would usually get to enjoy the magnificent day view of Seoul city and the mountains from the N Tower Observatory Deck on Namsan Mountain; so the night cruise is for us to immerse in the almost romantic and very relaxing evening ambiance with the vibrant lights from the skyscrapers along the Han River. 

The infamous golden 63 building on Yeouido

It's truly an amazing experience as we also get to be on the river and actually view a few of  the bridges built across it that connect the north of Seoul to the south from up close.

Among the bridges that we saw during the cruise, this one has to be my absolute favorite but I couldn't find the name of this bridge lol.. maybe because it's dedicated only as the connecting bridge for the metro Line 1 - the dark blue line. 

I find the structure and color quite interesting and it's even more special when you get to see it as your boat cruises under it.

On the boat, you'll find that it is simply decorated with plastic cherry blossoms on the deck. Other than that, it has a wide space with a few benches for people to seat on; so you have a lot of room to choose from to enjoy the view of the river and the city on board.

Go to the bow area for some Titanic moments lol :D or walk along the port side or starboard to checkout either side of the river.

Made friends with some Korean school boys on a school trip ;)

Another reason why I prefer the night/live cruise is because we get to see the sought-after Banpo bridge Rainbow Fountain show from the boat! Many people (and couples) would sit along the bank near Banpo bridge at Banpo Hangang Park on the south end of the bridge and Yongsan on the north to view this daily fountain show (which is not available in winter btw). 

It's quite a romantic spectacle; the movement of the water from the fountains built along the bridge with colorful lights that accompany them, dancing away in the night sky ha ha..

Heading under the showers ^^
However, i gotta say that viewing the fountains from the boat is all that and so much fun! It's because at first, the boat will stop nearby the bridge and let us see the show from afar for a few minutes, and then it will go right under the bridge while all the fountains and lights still dancing so you actually get to experience the shower! Ha ha :P 

I find this part of the cruise very fun and amusing; of course the captain will announce for everyone to go under the shelters before the boat goes under the bridge but covered area is limited, so i would prefer to just enjoy that brief moment of fun instead :P

An empty deck after Captain's announcement to find cover ^^ - you can see the fountain shooting at the bridge in the back there
The Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain show only runs for 10 minutes from 8pm; afterwhich the boat will make its way back to Yeouido and it's in this last half an hour that you get to watch the live music show on the lower level of the boat.

Getting off the boat

Getting on one of the Han River cruises is definitely a must-do when you visit Seoul. You can purchase the tickets on the spot at Eland counters located near the dock but you may risk a sold-out cruise especially if you go on a weekend or holiday. 

Another way of securing your seats on the cruise is by purchasing the tickets online. You can either opt for Han River E-land Ferry Cruise (Day & Night) or Han River Ferry Buffet Cruise (Muslim travelers may want to choose the former option).

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Pakej Backpacker Murah ke Korea - Solo Travelers & Small Groups ^^

Assalamualaikum readers, masyaAllah ramai sungguh umat yang tercari2 pakej backpacker murah ke Korea... I know a lot of you dah secured air tickets selepas AA buat sale baru2 ni kan ;) hehee... ok, so buat solo travelers atau small groups (1 - 4 pax) post ni khas untuk anda; tak nak bebel panjang2 dah becoz I know u guys dah excited semacam :P

@ Heunginjimun Gate, Dongdaemun Station.

Untuk small groups i.e. below 5 pax, kami menawarkan PRIVATE TOUR - maknanya guided tour untuk group uolls saja dan tak campur orang lain manakala pakej OPEN TRIP pula maknanya campur2 dengan travelers lain dan terhad up to 10 people maximum sahaja .. 

Untuk Open Trip you can join as a solo traveler atau berdua ke bertiga ke, x kisah.. Frankly, yang ni mmg bargain la.. memang laris, kena booking segera dan dah ada preset tour date, so bagi yang belum ada tiket dan masih recce2 tu bolehlah beli air tickets ikut date2 yang tertera jika berminat .. 6D5N / 5D4N lamanye, so pilihla date2 kat bawah tu utk join Open Trip sepanjang 2017 ni ye ^^


Open Trip 2017 | 6D5N RM1650/pax | 5D4N RM1500/pax
Seoul - Nami -  Everland
Winter 27 Jan -1 Feb DONE
Spring 18-23 Mar CLOSED   
Spring 8-13 Apr
Autumn 14-19 Oct
Autumn 21-26 Oct
Autumn 4-9 Nov
Autumn 11-16 Nov
Winter 23-28 Dec

Apa yang included?
Both packages include: Accommodation, public transportation cost, entrance fees, meals (lunch and dinner), guide fee

@ Yeouido Han River Park in Autumn
Camana nak book?
SMS, call or Whatsapp my number as shown in the photo above; untuk hantar Whatsapp wajib letak +6 kat depan nombor tu seperti dlm gambar (huhuuu leceh, i know -_-), kalau tak jumpa atau mesej anda tak berbalas kat WS, maksudnya memang tak reach la tu jadi sila lah hantar SMS ye huuuu..

Alternatively, email me at shihavemma@gmail.com or reach me on my fb / instagram / Google+ as listed kat side panel sebelah ni >>

Bagi yang serius ingin travel dengan pakej2 di atas saya akan emailkan quotation serta travel itinerary setelah kita established communication ;) .. cheers!


''Saya & isteri really enjoyed our Korean Trip from 16th to 20th Feb 2016.. Very personalised & tailored to suit our intention to celebrate our 25th wedding aniversary. Hari pertama sampai je Incheon..snow turun..mcm sambut..very welcoming. Nami Island was just marvelous.. Food in Korea yg diatur utk kami sangat sangat heaven.. best lagi bila PR syarikat ni sangat prihatin dgn keperluan kami.. mana tempat kita nak pergi .. dibawa tanpa soal .. kos bukan issue tetapi kepuasan .. ni kelebihan syarikat .. pergerakan melalui subway train satu pengalaman yg sangat menakjubkan .. banyak perkara kita pelajari dlm train disamping penjimatan kos .. saya & isteri sangat puas hati dlm lawatan ni dan Tahniah pada Cik Shiha & team kerana sudi menganjurkan lawatan kami walaupun dua org shj .. saya mencadangkan sesiapa shj kalau nak ke Korea guna la khidmat syarikat ni; 
Mudah.. Murah dan sangat2 Puas Hati''
~Hj. Shahril & Pn. Ruziah

"5 reasons why you should choose #RNRAdventures:
- Speed in replying messages
-Flexible cost and schedule according to your needs
-Exploring Korean foods and culture
- Details in every place visited
- Of course, customer's opinion comes first"
~ Pn. Fauziah Aze, Pandu Puteri Selangor

"Percutian kali ini memang sgt menarik & berbaloi. Experience yang paling best especially bila dapat pakai Hanbok^^. Plus, naik subway train di Korea mmg menyeronokkan. Mmg banyak stop2 transit but we learnt something valuable from their subway system. Walaupun bukan semua tempat dapat pegi dlm itinerary sbb kekangan masa, tp apa yg dah dilawati tu mmg marvelous lah; overall mmg sangat puas hati. Semua tempat makan yg dibawa pun tasty dan deliciousbut of course big portion x habis hehe^^ 
~ Fateh, KL.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Budget Travel Korea | Seoul | Yeouido Han River (Hangang) Park

Wow! I haven't posted for ages LOL :P I guess I've been too busy managing and taking people on #RNRAdventures especially to Gua Batu Maloi and Seoul backpacking trips since early this year huhuuuu.. Anyways, let's get down to it - Yeouido Hangang Park.

Late spring: Across the river is the view of Mapo-gu skyline

As many of you may already know, Han River or Hangang is one of the main rivers of South Korea. Stretching over 490 km in length, from east to west, the Han that flows within the Seoul city area itself has a total of 27 bridges crossing it with some parts of the river being more than 1km wide.

Many public parks and cycling paths are built along it to let Seoulites enjoy one of the most natural attractions in the busy city. I can safely say that this river is the heart of Seoul city since it flows right in the middle, parting the Gangnam District on the south side with other famous neigborhoods in the north of the river like Itaewon, Myeongdong, Hongdae and Dongdaemun.

Since I always stay in Itaewon, the Yeouido Hangang Park would be one of the easiest to reach for me^^

Simply take the subway at Itaewon station (Line 6, brown) heading to Eungam, get down at the 4th station - Gongdeok, and transfer to purple line (line 5) heading towards Gimpo Airport to get down at Yeouinaru station (2nd stop after Gongdeok). This means, if you come from other locations, your destination would be Yeouinaru station and then take exit 2 or 3 and the river will be on your right or left depending on the exit you take. You won't miss it, the river is huge! ^^

In late spring and throughout summer, Seoulites like to come out here and have a Seoulite kinda picnic; picnic mats, tents, fried chicken and cold drinks! They do eat other stuff though like pizza or tteokbokki but fried chicken is like their all-time favorite picnic munch while chit-chatting and gazing at the magnificent view of the wide river and buildings on the other side.

Spring picnics 
More tents come summer... the whole park is somewhat packed with campers and with more people thronging the area, sadly rubbish was also everywhere.

Another thing that you'll notice in summer is the somewhat irritating sound (to me at least) of cicadas looking for mates! hahaaa ... it's very distinct and quite ironic in  my opinion, considering this sound can be heard almost everywhere in the big city as long as there are trees including in the middle of the fancy Cheongdam-dong streets! LOL 

Well, cicadas or no cicadas the city view across the river is amazing nevertheless. Summer picnickers ...

My picnic lunch; halal Korean-style fried chicken from Boa Travel House Hongdae

If you come here in spring, there will be more flowers on site..

Cute doggies ^o^

And here's a few autumn photos at the park ^^

It's so different through the seasons isn't it? You just have to experience it all ^^

Feeding the birdies - by now it's already too cold to come out here for a picnic actually, but we had a brief lunch anyway and this was in early November 2016

From the park, you can see 2 bridges connecting Yeouido and the mainland - btw, did you know that Yeouido is an island? If you are facing the Han, the bridge on your left would be the Mapo bridge and on your right is the Wonhyo bridge. 

Take a walk to the right towards Wonhyo bridge and you will arrive at Eland Cruise's ferry dock; this is where you get to go on one of the Han River cruises offered by Eland Cruise company. I will make a dedicated post on that ;)

Eland Cruise ferry docks in late spring

If you don't get on a cruise, this part of the park has also fun things to offer, there's a bicycle rental place, a children's playground or you can simply sit on the grass embracing the view.

Some street art under the Wonhyo Bridge

Fake cherry blossom in front of Eland cruise dock :P
The walkway to the ferry

Last updated June 5th 2017

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Outdoor Malaysia | Negeri Sembilan | Gua Batu Maloi @ Johol

I've always said to myself that there is nothing like it anywhere else in Malaysia .. it's true, at least not that I know of :P. The most fun caving activity that I've ever done is right here.

That's me in the pink 'Enchantress' helmet LOL, look at the pretty diamond-like water droplets! Errrr, actually a lot of water is gushing through that passage hehe..

Whilst the more popular caves are karst and limestones, caving at Gua Batu Maloi is more like crawling and swimming in the tricky and narrow passages formed in between and underneath giant granite boulders. 

What makes it even more special is the fact that these boulders have existed and fallen from 2 mountains i.e. Gunung Tampin and Gunung Datuk and stacked up in and around the river thats located in the valley between those mountains, so almost 90% of the caving routes here are in the river itself. 

This is why you would be twisting your body, crawling, swimming, wading, climbing, squatting, combat-crawling and occasionally a little bit of breath-holding may be involved to pass through the gap that is submerged under the shallow water. 

Some rope action ...

Here's a video from my Youtube channel ;) .. the recent excursion by Akademi Laut Malaysia aka Malaysian Maritime Academy (ALAM) students;

But that's not all. The routes are all heading upriver, so you would encounter a few points where the water current is fast, creating cascades of whitewater gushing on the rocks and sometimes too fast that you can't even take a step forward without assistance. 

Whilst that adds to the challenge, it's also very refreshing at the same time. 

Another video from one of the trips I've handled; this one of a group of adventurers from Singapore;

(I have uploaded longer videos of other excursions too, do visit My Youtube Channel okayy^^)

You will be kept busy with trying to make your way through the pathways that you wouldn't realize it would have taken you 3 hours into the journey but still have a long way to go before you reach the end-point. 

It's all about hashtagging these days baby, LOL #RNRAdventures, look me up, don't forget! ^^

The brave souls in metallic grey helmets are the guides in my team!

Smile for the camera!
Taking a breather half way through the checkpoints
Well, do not let this dampen your spirit, it's part of the fun and challenge, simply stop for a bit of r&r and enjoy the cool freshwater and cascades; if you look around on the cave walls or in the nooks and crannies of the rocks you might even meet some of the 'locals' here - giant river toads and bats or the fishes that swim around but are oblivious to you due to the darkness.
River toad ... and that's not even the biggest one here haha XD
This particular area along the cave system is pitch dark

I consider caving here as a rather extreme activity but one thing for sure is it takes you millions of miles away from that stressful day at the office. All your problems would seem immaterial because you will be busy twisting, turning, crawling, gliding, swimming, wading, squatting and climbing your way through Gua Batu Maloi.

After exiting the caving route, you'll do a bit of trekking through the forest back to where you would have parked your car;

Batu Maloi - it's actually situated outside the cave system
I regret to inform all of you out there that these legendary roots are now gone because the tree fell due to strong wind sometime in early May 2017 ;(

Pre-excursion intro and safety briefing

Tips and essentials:
Based on my experience accompanying many people to explore the cave, I have come to these conclusions in terms of what to bring/wear to optimize your caving experience here:

- Wear durable water shoes; nothing too bulky but have good grips. If you love your branded shoes, leave them at home. The cheap black latex ones like these are the best;

I have seen soles ripped, crocs floated away with the current; I mean, some people had to use tree roots to tie back their soles to the shoes ha ha.

- Avoid wearing crocs or any sandal like it

- Wear thick socks or the sands between your toes would annoy you the whole way =D

- Wear tights or durable leotards with another layer of pants outside. You will have to bend, crawl and climb and occasionally twist your body in unimaginable ways so you need to be flexible.  Cover your knees while you're at it.

- Gloves are great, but not compulsory

- Avoid bringing along any bag, if you must, bring the tiniest waterproof bag you can find just for essentials like chocolate, small waterproof camera and bottled water. Some people have lost Iphones to the fast current. I'm not discouraging you to bring cameras though, but just be very careful and like every thing else, bring them at your own risk. Leave your hands free.

- Wear a headlamp

*These are just guidelines; if you can, try to follow them as much as possible otherwise you would still enjoy caving at Gua Batu Maloi, but with 'additional challenges' he he .. many people still enjoy caving here even when they were not prepared as advised ;)

Getting here:
The best way is to come with your own transport. Take the PLUS highway towards Negeri Sembilan and take the Simpang Ampat / A Famosa exit. Follow the sign board and make your way to Tampin town. Upon reaching the town, you will come to a crossroad where there is Hotel Wangsamas and a Hindu temple on your left. 

Take a left or simply follow the sign to Kuala Pilah from here. after another crossroad and 5 minutes later, you will reach a T-junction with Kuala Pilah to the left and Gemas going straight. Take a left turn to KP until you reach the small town of Air Mawang about 10 minutes from the T-junction. 

By bus: Take an express bus from Kuala Lumpur or intercity bus from Seremban / Melaka for Tampin. Get a cab at Tampin bus station to take you to Air Mawang town to meet the guide. You'll need to book the cab to fetch you again. 

By intercity train: From Singapore / Kuala Lumpur station, get a ticket to Pulau Sebang / Tampin Station. Hire a cab here or make arrangements with your guide.

There are many accommodations from budget motels, homestays to hotels now in Tampin town. If you are from out of town, you could always check into one of those.

Since this trip would need a prior reservation, simply plan to meet your guide at Air Mawang or Tampin town. 

Lucky for you, I happen to be a registered guide with the Kuala Pilah Forestry Department he he ;) so if you'd like to book a trip with me for Gua Batu Maloi or other activities, go here for details OR simply **SMS/Whatsapp me for more info at the number below; we take you through the best routes when the weather condition permits ;) 

Please add +6 in front of my number to Whatsapp me - even for Malaysians, huhuuu^^

Camp sites
Open gathering hall
Dining area
Free parking

RM45 per person for locals & RM50 for foreigners for a group of 10 people minimum.  The fee includes: 
- Forest entry permit
- Local Committee fee
- Registered guide service
- Lunch buffet

*As the forestry department has also provided camp sites here, we also organize camps with various activities in store for schools, higher learning institutions, clubs, societies and government or private bodies. Price starts from RM65/pax for a 2D1N program. Kindly PM me for more details.

Some of the recent #RNRAdventures customers...
ALAM students 80+ pax

KRUM UniKL MIIT 20+ pax 
Program Sihat Staf Hospital Alor Gajah 60 pax

FETSA UTeM 80+pax

PROSIS UiTM S3 30 pax

Faculty of Dentistry USIM 60+ pax
SMTM Bukit Piatu 30 pax

Kelab Mendaki UPM 40+ pax 
Kembara KoKurikulum UiTM S3 20+ pax

And from time to time we also receive foreign visitors; in the photo below are expatriates from India, Latvia, Iran and the philippines.

Hope to see U guys @ GBM soon! ;)

Last updated May 25th 2017