30 Dec 2016

I'm going for adventures in New Zealand Part 2: Lost and Found in Auckland

Salam to all of you. As promised here is my update on Day 1 in Auckland, New Zealand

We arrived at Jucy Snooze Hotel around 4pm. I have booked a room with one bunk bed and one queen size bed. After clean up ourselves, we have we plan to go out for walking around and to get lunch. Then, I just realized that I can't find my NZD pouch. It has more than 500 NZD and I have got no money on me at all. I'll start to panic and open my bag and each compartment one by one. Can you imagine, on the first day itself I already lost my money? I feel like crying.

Then my suggest I call Airport or Malaysia Airlines as I might drop it there as I also realized that I also lost my pashmina in the plane. The feedback was not good for me as the person asked me to go to the airport to make a report and there is possibility the flight has already left. Then, I just trying my luck and called the shuttle coach in case I dropped it there and the representative promise to check and called me back if they found it. Since there is nothing good to do just by waiting inside the hotel, so we continues our plan to go out. In case if there is no reply from the shuttle coach, I plan to go to the airport at night.

We are going to Albert Park as it just nearby to our hotel. While walking around I received call from the shuttle coach, they found me purse. Syukur Alhmadulillah, I was so blessed and the driver will drop it to my hotel and pass it to the reception as I was not around. Then, my friends said that they can see my smile again. Of course, I save my money day and night and it was a lot of moeny. Of course I was worried if I never see it again. I'm so blessed that there are people who are honest and I always have faith in humanity that people are naturally nice. I also blessed that Allah has answered my prayers.

Albert Park is a beautiful park near University of Auckland. It has cute building and there are many people day picnicking and enjoying the scenery. After a while we decided to grap something to eat as we are starving and making our way to the city and we found from Google Maps and Zabihah.com that most of halal restaurants are in the city centre itself.

The city centre is like any other city where there are many shoplots, malls and backpackers hostel. We also saw some of tourists walking around and some beggars or homeless people. Most of the beggars are local native and some of them are Caucasian. Hmmm, even in develop country there are still unfortunate people. It just makes you think, you know.

At the end, we settle at Kebab Time near Sky Tower and my friend who's her chicken rendang has been thrown out at immigration has ordered chicken to satisfy her sad feeling. We saw a lot of people in and out of the restaurant and it seems that even local loves kebab, not only Muslim eating at the restaurant. The price is not bad, you can get kebab and drinks below 10 NZD.

After fulfilling our stomach, so we have energy to walk again so we went to Harbour just to see the sunset. But we are a little bit late as we kinda lost and we only manage to get there after a while. But it just nice to see the luxury yachts / boats and just wonder how nice it would be if I have one. By the way, it was freezing cold as the cold winds keeps blowing and I though because it will be going to summer already it won't be freaking cold. Boy, I was wrong.

Then we headed back to our hotel and of course we lost a little bit. But, I remember thinking, here we are, four of us walking at night in foreign country, lost but still feeling safe. Like there is zero worries at all like we know no matter what, we will be alright. It just a wonderful feeling.

Great shuttle service!

The four of us!

In front of our hotel
Loves the tree with Sky Tower at the background

Sky Tower 
Yachts at the harbour. Next building is Hotel Hilton
Night life in Auckland...so quiet!

27 Dec 2016

I'm going for adventures in New Zealand Part 1: The behind story and the arrival

Salam, as promised here are the story of my amazing journey to New Zealand. It will be divided into many parts and I try to update as much as I can.

Believe it or not, this is unplanned journey. My travel mates, you may know them from my Turkey and Europe trip just whatsapping (it that a word?) around like saying hey where are we going this year and suddenly I just suggested New Zealand and everybody agreed. It was before Raya if I'm not mistaken and at first there are only three of us . Then one of my travel mates who are currently working in Jeddah as a nurse said that one of her friend also would like to join us and it is confirmed that there will be four of us.

Then we have not decided whether to go by tour or by ourselves. I'm all into ourselves but some of us still have doubt whether we have the confidence to navigate and drive by ourselves to a country that we have never been before. So we decided to check in MATTA FAIR in September to figure out tour package and to compare the cost if we do it ourselves. We already decided to do it in November as that is the time where everyone has free time.

So, two of us who are working in Malaysia went to MATTA FAIR to find out the cost and to buy flight ticket and boy we have been bamboozled, I meant we thought ticket would be cheaper and it was way beyond our budget. We also found out that of course if we do it by ourselves it would be much cheaper. Even one of the travel agent that we've met said it.  Now, we are confuse because it seems that the ticket price is out of our budget and whether we still want to continue with our plan or not.

At first, we thought to cancel it and perhaps just go to Japan instead however after more than 1,000 whatsapp messengers we just close our eyes and buy the ticket and I have to stay up till 2am to buy 4 tickets where the prices where difference and we agreed to average them. I will tally all our cost at the last updates, so be patience you guys!

So, I'm the 'unpaid' travel agent as I plan the itinerary and pay for all the cost that need to book first. My bank is quite thrill to see my credit card bill but don't worry, I have 100% confidence with travel mates and they pay me on time and no question asked and it makes may job a little bit easy. I'm using Booking.com for all our hotels booking and bookme.co.nz for all our activities such as Milford Sound cruise and Kawarau Zipride in Queenstown. As we plan to cook, so I try to book budget hotel/motel that have cooking facilities and shared bathroom as it is much cheaper compared to private room. As for car rental, we book from Go Rental as it was recommended by one of reference blog http://selekeh.com/blog/?p=55 and it is one of the cheapest I've found after some research. We did thought to rent caravan or motor home but I already told them that I'm not going to change/ dump the waste...seriously....geli...and none of them want to do to so we just settle to hire a car instead. For both North and South Island, we hired Toyota Corolla. It fit all of us but I have funny story about it so just wait for it.

As for the flights, we took return MAS Airlines to Auckland and from Auckland to Christchurch we took Jetstar. Then we will depart to Auckland from Queenstown by New Zealand Airlines.

Since we only book a sedan car so we have agreed to only bring one luggage per person and it was crazy hell to fit my clothes as I only bring the cabin size luggage. I didn't bring any food because it can't fit. My travel mates told me the bring a lot of food and I just wonder how the manage to pack it inside their bag. So, later at the airport I found out how they can fit all the food and clothes, one of them bring 2 luggage instead as one as agreed upon and the other two bring the biggest luggage they can find and it look like I'm the smallest one. I just kept thinking on the flight how on earth we can fit all the luggage inside the car boot.

Actually, I do have concern about this trip because I do the itinerary by myself and I just hope that we will not be lost and another thing is I really hope that the immigration didn't think that we are drug mules or went there to work as apple picker; then they will reject us and we have to go back but we have already paid a lot for the trip.  

So, the journey to Auckland took us 10 hours and it was a very comfortable flight. I really like MAS as the steward and stewardess are kind and somehow they though we are students so we manage to get extra food and goodies hehe.

Our flight supposed to be at 9.30pm from KLIA, however, it was delayed and we only arrived at Auckland Airport at 1.30pm. It was a full flight and we do expect a lot of people at immigration. So, before we line up for the passport checking, we went to the Vodafone store to get simcard. What we do is to buy a simcard and shared mobile hotspot with everyone. We choose 8GB data plan and the price is 99 NZD dollar. Until the end of the journey, the data plan is available. Not bad huh for 4 persons who likes to upload photos a lot.

The process of passport checking at immigration is quite smooth for us. The officer did ask a lot of question for the couple in front of us but when it comes to our turn, she just look at us and continue to stamp our passport without any hesitation. Maybe the student thing is work for us. We already know that at Arrival Card we need to declare everything, so we just declare everything, food, medicine and even sport shoes. There will check if there's dirt on it. Seriously! Two of my friends has to go through to another immigration process as they declare food and one of them has to see all the chicken rendang to be thrown into dust bin. NZ immigration is serious about the thing that we bring to their country so if you want to bring food, bring dried one and chicken is no no. We only manage to go to our hotel with airport shuttle after 3pm. I have book the coach at shuttle at https://www.supershuttle.co.nz/ for 59 NZD (one-way) for 4 person and it will send you in front of the hotel.

Guess which one is my luggage?

I think I have to end the first update now and I will tell you some story that makes be believe that there are good people in the world in my next update. I learnt my humble lesson from it. So stay tune!

13 Dec 2016

I'm back baby.....for real!

Salam All,

Yeah it looks like that I abandoned this blog, which I did.....sorry. But I'm really-really back this time. I promise.

So as a teaser, here are some photos to prove you why I'm here and please guess where have I've been recently?

So, I just can't wait to update my journey and hope that you guys are still there.

See you soon!

Melbourne - The mountain, the sea and the city Part 2 -Brighton Bathing Boxes and Puffing Billy

Salam all, yep a little bit busy. In fact I have been working in outstation for one month now. So that is why slow updates. So let continue,...