Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Fridge Magnets from The Netherlands and Tokyo

LvH was back in his country of origin and I pestered him to get me fridge magnets. This is what he bought for me:

 According to LvH, Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam is not so popular with the locals because biker dudes hang out there and the locals perceive biker dudes as bad boys. Oh well ...

Holland has got some lovely fridge magnets. I can actually spin the blades on this 3-D windmill :-)

Nat was also in Tokyo with her family for a holiday and she got me this:

There are 2 Hard Rock Cafes in Tokyo: Uyeno-Eki and Roppongi. This one is from the former.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Langkawi (Telaga Harbour) to Koh Lipe

I was on the idyllic island of Koh Lipe, Thailand in January this year.

Since getting there was rather expensive, Jessica and I decided to stay for 5 days to get the most bang for our buck :-)

We flew from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi and took the taxi to Telaga Harbour where the ferry departs to Koh Lipe.

Langkawi International Airport - Telaga Harbour (Langkawi) - Koh Lipe (Thailand)

The taxi ride from Langkawi International Airport to Telaga Harbour took about 20 - 30 minutes.

Remember to coordinate your flight into Langkawi to allow sufficient time to get to Telaga Harbour and to get your bottom onto the ferry to Koh Lipe. From the blogs that we read, you'll need to arrive in Telaga Harbour about 2 hours before the ferry departs as you'll need time to clear immigration matters.

We had bought our ferry tickets online way in advance from this website. A return ticket from Telaga Harbour to Koh Lipe alone will set you back from RM248 !!!

This is the building in Telaga Harbour that houses the immigration office. Here, the officer briefed us on immigration procedures before collecting our passports. We only got them back upon arrival at Koh Lipe.

Opposite the immigration building were rows of yachts and boats that look so lovely against the blue sky. 

 If I had one of these babies I'd sail around the world. 

This is the ferry that sailed us from Telaga Harbour to Koh Lipe:

The journey took about 1.5 hours. The ride was smooth and thankfully no one threw up because of sea sickness.

It was my first time travelling from one country to another by sea and I felt like a refugee ;-)

Just before reaching Koh Lipe, the ferry dropped us off onto a floating barge where smaller sampans were waiting to ferry us to the island.

The floating barge located a few hundred metres from the white sandy beaches of Koh Lipe.

Passengers being transfered from the ferry onto the sampans. Koh Lipe, here we come!

The sun was scorching when we arrived on the island.

We were directed to the Immigration Check Point (located on the beach) where we waited patiently for the immigration officer to call our names according to country.

After collecting our passports, a staff from Mali Resort was already waiting to bring us to the resort where we spent the first 2 nights of our holiday.

Visa-on-arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Here's some information on applying for a visa-on-arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

First you'll need to get the Application for Diplomatic/Official/Tourist Visa form from the counter as you enter the Immigration Hall.

After filing up the form you'll need to queue up.

The queues are divided according to the visa validity that you wish to apply for, i.e. 15 days, 30 days or 90 days. 

The challenge is to identify the correct queue whilst a bunch of travellers (who are most probably lost as you are) standing haphazardly in front of you. At the same time there are no proper signages. 

If you're in the wrong queue by the time it's your turn, you'll need to stand at the back of the correct queue again and what a bloody waste of time that would be. 

Now, here are the fees that you'll need to pay for the visa-on-arrival:

I opted to pay in US Dollars which was US25 for a 15-day visa.

If you don't have US Dollars, you may opt to pay in other currencies. Here's the signboard:

Sorry for the ultra blur photo. No cameras were allowed in the Immigration Hall. So I was trying to  snap this pic in a dark room without gettig caught by the authorities. Excuses, excuses, excuses ...

When we landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport on 1 May 2014, the crowd was huge and the officers were working as slow as snails that it took about 45 minutes to get our visa. I was already restless and fidgeting by the time we walked out of the airport.  

If you wish to avoid the crowd and don't want to swear at the snail paced immigration officers, you could apply for your visa at the nearest Nepalese Embassy prior to your flight into Nepal.

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