My Phone Bill Being Screwed-up by Expensive Roaming Charges

Personal, Travel Tips October 28th, 2007

How much is your phone bill when coming back from a trip? Mine has increased by 300% from the normal amount when I am not traveling abroad. The usual amount for me is around $80-100 a month but the bill will go up as much as $300 whenever I am back from overseas trip especially to Dubai. I find that Dubai has the highest roaming charges among all the city within the gulf countries which I have visited.

Roaming Charges

I have told my wife to email me instead of sending SMS but she has never listened. I think the cheapest mobile phone option which I have is to buy local prepaid mobile number  and get my wife to use Skype to contact me. At least Skype charges is cheaper and I can talk with my wife longer.

I was Downed by Diarrhea for 3 Days

Personal, Travel Tips October 20th, 2007

Stomach discomfort! nausea! vomiting!..The diarrhea symptoms which had downed me for three days. I did not know from where did I picked up the virus but it was terrible! I was weak and kept going in and out of the small poo poo room. On the first day, I thought maybe it was nothing at all. So, I just swallowed a few tablets to help comfort my stomach. That’s not the case as the condition had worsen on the second day. I have had no choice but to pay a visit to the nearest clinic. The GP had done a magic and my stomach has stop begging me to go to that little room  since this afternoon.

Diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travelers. Statistic estimated almost 10 millions international travelers develop diarrhea while traveling. The big sign of diarrhea is when traveler experiences four to five loose or watery bowel movements each day. If that is not enough, other symptoms which can confirm diarrhea including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating, fever, urgency, and malaise. Diarrhea primary source of infection comes from contaminated water and food. So, be careful with what you eat and what you drink while traveling. Try to avoid eating foods or drinking beverages purchased from street vendors or other establishments where unhygienic conditions are present. So far, I have not faced diarrhea while abroad but not at home.

Tips On How To Deal With Beggars

Travel Tips October 7th, 2007

beggars1231.jpgI have not been to India and any other countries where you can see beggars all over the place to beg money from you. But, a few countries that I have been to, do at least have this kind of situations eventhough not so rampant. If you ask me should we give them some money, my honest opinion will be a big NO NO. Immediately after you give the money to the first beggar, there will be others targeting you as well. I have read tips from Rolf Potts while reading his article “begging the question” and I find those tips are quite beneficial to me and should be shared with others. The tips :

1) Spend some time in the community before you give to beggars

A little cultural familiarity will give you a better sense for which beggars are and are not truly needy and will allow you to see how locals react to beggars: when they give money, and how much they choose to give. Most of the world’s spiritual traditions have time-honored practices for helping the needy, and following these local religious protocols is often the most culturally appropriate way to give money. In less religious societies, such as those in Western Europe, state funds are often available for the homeless and indigent, theoretically eliminating the need for hunger-based beggary.
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Planning to spend 7 days in Indonesia.

Travel Tips June 15th, 2007

I did mentioned in the previous posting that I am planning to go to Indonesia alone in August. I am thinking of staying there for 7 days. Among the places that I would want to go including Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung. Hopefully I can cover all the cities within 7 days. I am considering train beside angkotan as my mode of transportation to move from one place to another eventhough it involves longer hours but on the positive side, I will save on hotels accommodation.

I have to tell something. Actually the flight ticket to go there is free because I have a few thousands of air miles with Emirates. So, I am going to redeem the air miles and save money on air ticket. If without the free ticket, I will have to fork out roughly RM500++ for a return ticket to Jakarta from Kuala Lumpur using the same airline. There is a cheaper option which is flying with AirAsia but I have to buy air ticket early. So, it’s not very convenient for me to plan 3-4 months early. I have checked Airasia fare just now for the same departure date and the fare is quoted including taxes at RM456.98. It’s not cheap considering what I will get from full service airline.

I am not sure on hotel accommodation whether to book from here or just go over there and try my luck. Surely there are many good and cheap hotels or hostels available which does not have online reservation. I will leave this decision until the last minute. I still have got time to think about that. I am a last minute guy.

I have listed down my list of task to do for this trip.

  1. Prepare pocket money
  2. Buy a travel back pack
  3. Redeem air miles from Emirates
  4. Search for accommodation
  5. Prepare travel itinerary
  6. Prepare route map/map
  7. Learn a few local words
  8. Read other travelers experience

The lists can go on with no ending. But I am putting these 8 taks as the most super important tasks to do prior to my trip in August. Bagus sekali ya..!

Penang – Weather and Public Transportations

Travel Tips June 7th, 2007

I thought I want to share a bit of informations on Penang since I live somewhere near to the island. So, Penang is an island located in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia which is connected by a bridge. The Penang bridge used to be the longest in South East Asia.

For those who might not have set your foot in Penang, the weather is consists of only two main elements which is rain or shine. The average weather can be summarized as below :

Temperature (day) 27°C-30°C
Temperature (night) 22°C-24°C
Ave annual rainfall 2670 mm
Relative humidity 70%-90%

Transportation is not to worry as many buses and taxis available to go around Penang. Although taxis as happening anywhere in world charge higher fare but still the most convenient to use. Previously, meter fare is not compulsory but last year all taxis are forced to install the meters. So, don’t worry on the excessive charge anymore as you have the meter to rely on. But do have in mind that maybe one or two dishonest taxi driver who might overcharge fares or do not want to use the meter.

For those who are okay traveling with buses are encourage to do so as the fare per journey is quite cheap. Average fare per journey is only at RM1.00 but off course the journey is not as smooth as taking the taxi. Car rental can be the options for those who wants conveniences and is available from Avis or Kasina. You are able to book the car even before arriving to Penang through internet. Another way to move around Penang is by renting a small engine motorbike. If you prefer the adventurous way, motorcycle is cheap at RM30 per day and a good way of exploring Penang island except when it’s raining.

I will add some more on places of interests soon..