10 Dec 2013 | 22:28:00
Iceland . 2013 . Nov 23 - Dec 3
Interested in visiting Iceland? Here are our top tips based on our recent experience visiting this beautiful country.
1. Exchange your currency at Iceland Airport or their BanksIt is not possible to exchange our currency for the Icelandic Kronos (ISK) in Singapore. This holds true for most other countries outside of Iceland. The best way to obtain the Icelandic Krono (ISK) is to use Great Britain Pounds (£) or Euros (€) to exchange for the Icelandic Krono at the Keflevik airport. Look out for their 24-hr banks in the arrival lounge at the airport (money exchangers at the airport operates only office hours). Alternatively, you can use the ATM at the airport to withdraw Icelandic currency. If you miss your opportunity at the airport, ask your hotel for the nearest bank to do the currency exchange. Try not to exchange your currency at the hotel (although some offers this service) because they tend to impose additional service charge on you. For instance, our hotel charged us 6% additional on top of their exchange rates.
|Iceland Kronas (Credits: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01450/krona_1450604c.jpg)|
2. Layer your clothesThe weather in Iceland is erratic and can change every 10 mins. We had been through rain, hail, and bright sunlight all in the space of a day. The best way to survive such weather is to layer your clothes according to the prevailing weather.
|Layers of Clothes (Credits: http://www.gadling.com/2012/12/18/man-wears-70-items-of-clothing-to-avoid-baggage-fees/)|
3. Make sure your most inner layer is NOT cottonBy this, we mean the layer that’s next to your skin, most likely to be your thermal underwear (or long johns). This tip came from our tour guide, a native Icelander. Cotton tends to absorb the moisture from your skin and when it turns cold, traps the cold within you. Wear only fleece or polyester material. Know why the Icelanders can walk around with relatively light clothings? They choose a good inner layer to wear.
4. Wear good Ankle Length Hiking BootsThe terrain in Iceland is mostly uneven, and consists mainly of lava fields and rocky surfaces. There are few man-made paths at key attractions, as most of the attractions are left in their natural state. Therefore, it is worthwhile to invest in a pair of good ankle length hiking boots with good gripe to prevent your ankle from twisting when you walk through the rough terrain. Make sure your pair has thick soles to keep your feet further from the cold ground.
5. Make sure your outer layer is 100% WaterproofThis applies to your head gear, clothes (especially pants, as you won’t want to be sitting on wet pants), and most importantly shoes. Believe us when we say that our ankle length Timberland hiking boots were the best investment we made for our trip to Iceland. It is not any more expensive than other hiking boots, but it is 100% waterproof which kept our feet totally dry during heavy downpours. It had also probably saved our ankles from twisting more times that we could have imagined.
|Timberland Men's 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boot (Credits: http://shop.timberland.com)|
6. Wear a good Wind Proof JacketYou’ll be amazed by the strong or shall I say amazingly strong gusts of wind that blows across Iceland. At a certain point during our journey through the South Coast of Iceland, wind speeds were so high that it caused our 50-seater coach to sway. Needless to say, it will not help to layer your clothes when strong gusts of cold wind could just blow through you.
7. Bring a good Conditioner with youIn some parts of Iceland, water is obtained through the underground lakes and rivers, and contains a high sulphur and silica level. And although these elements are good for our skin (Icelanders have such perfect flawless skin by the way), they are not so ideal for our hair. The water in Iceland is also a lot ‘harder’ than what we get in Singapore. So for ladies with long hair, a generous douse of conditioner is a must. Alternatively, try using the conditioner provided by the hotel (if any) or purchase the conditioners used by their locals.
|Iceland Red Flower Softening Hair Conditioner (Credits: www.redflower.com)|
8. Buy your winter wear in Singapore or London before hitting IcelandIf you are not aware, London is the cheapest place to fly to Iceland from. Although the winter wear in Iceland is stylish and of a good make, they are incredibly expensive (as with most other things in Iceland). A good place to shop here would be Uniqlo which offers a good range of affordable and light-weight waterproof gear, and of course its heat-tech range of winter wear. Another option is to buy them from Primark in Watford, London which offers incredible deals on all items.
|Uniqlo HEATTECH (Credits: whileyouonearth.blogspot.com)|
7 Dec 2013 | 11:13:00
Sydney . 2013 . May 19 - 25
Here's our itinerary with some photos and links to our reviews for our trip. The links will become clickable as we post them. Do bookmark this page as we update the reviews! :)
Day 1 Singapore -> Sydney -> Blue Mountains (Katoomba)2300 - Check in @ Changi Airport (Day 0 - The night before)
0210 - Scoot Flight TZ2 to Sydney
1140 - Touchdown at Sydney Airport (GMT +10)
1257 - City Rail to Blue Mountains (Katoomba) - Change trains @ Central Rail Station
1520 - Reach Katoomba Station @ Blue Mountains
1530 - Check in @ Carrington Hotel
1600 - Free and Easy
1700 - Dinner @ Blue Hour Cafe
Day 2 Jenolan Caves Tour (Blue Mountains)0800 - Breakfast @ Carrington Hotel
0945 - Start of Jenolan Caves Tour (by Trolley Tours)
1115 - Reach Jenolan Caves
1130 - Lucas Cave Guided Tour
1230 - Self-packed lunch
1330 - Orient Cave Guided Tour
1500 - Departs Jenolan Caves
1700 - Back to Katoomba
1800 - Dinner @ Gasiinsamut Thai Fusion Restaurant
Day 3 Katoomba -> Sydney City0630 - Breakfast @ Carrington Hotel
0945 - Explore Blue Mountains via Trolley Tours (Three Sisters Peaks)
1200 - Visit Scenic World
1723 - City Rail to Central Rail Station
1923 - Reach Central Rail Station
2000 - Check in Mercure Sydney Hotel
2030 - Dinner
Day 4 Port Stephens Dolphin Watcher Cruise + 4WD Sand Dunes (Grayline)0630 - Breakfast @ Mercure Sydney Hotel
0725 - Pick up @ Mercure Sydney Hotel
1000 - Morning Tea Break @ Terrigal Beach Resort (Own Expense)
1200 - Lunch @ Murray’s Brewery
1400 - Dolphin Watcher Cruise
1600 - Fun at Stockton Bight Sand Dunes with 4WD
1830 - Back to Sydney City
2000 - Dinner @ Menya Noodle Bar
Day 5 Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, The Rocks + Shopping0730 - Rise and Shine
0900 - Visit Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
1030 - Visit The Rocks
1300 - Lunch @ Old Vienna Coffee House
1400 - Shopping @ Queen Victoria Building
1630 - Paddy's Market (Chinatown)
1800 - Dinner @ Chinese Noodle Restaurant
Day 6 Sydney Fish Market Behind the Scene Tour + Taronga Zoo + Vivid Sydney0530 - Rise and Shine
0600 - Metro Light Rail to Fish Market Station
0640 - Sydney Fish Market Behind the Scenes Tour
0845 - Breakfast @ Sydney Fish Market
1000 - Metro Light Rail to Pyrmont Bay Station
1000 - Walk around Darling Harbour
1030 - Captain Cook's Ferry to Taronga Zoo
1100 - Visit Taronga Zoo
1600 - Late Lunch @ Satang Thai
1800 - Vivid Sydney Festival @ Circular Quay and Darling Harbour
Day 7 Sydney-> Singapore0800 Rise and shine
0930 Check out Hotel
1010 City Rail to Airport
1021 Reach Airport
1030 Check in Flight
1115 Lunch @ Airport
1250 Board Flight TZ 1 to Singapore
1900 Reach Singapore
Sydney . 2013 . May 24
This post is part of our Sydney 7 days 6 nights Trip Itinerary and Report. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.
Not many zoos in the world are as unique as Taronga Zoo. Located only 12 minutes from Sydney City, Taronga Zoo is best approached by ferry where the sweeping views of the Sydney Harbour are astounding.
In fact, Taronga Zoo is one of the best places to view the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Ferry Docking Point at Taronga Zoo.
We bought a 24 hr hop-on hop-off ferry ticket from Captain Cook Cruises, including the entry tickets to Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari cable car for AUD $65. It’s highly recommended as we made full use of the hop-on hop-off service to travel extensively between Darling Harbour (Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds, Star Casino), Circular Quay (Sydney Opera House, the Rocks Historic Precinct, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens), Fort Denison, Watson Bay and Luna Park.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, it is unique in its own way with a spherical walkway for visitors to view the sleepy koalas.
More toads and frogs!
Star Tortises - Beautiful Shells.
If only the animals at Taronga Zoo know just how prime their property is! From the vantage point of the zoo, the views of the Sydney City landscape is as good as you can get. The giraffe enclosure occupies the very best spot for city watching. Lucky giraffes!
This family of chimpanzees happened to venture near the viewing gallery where we were at. We literally stood just next to them, divided by a layer of glass.
The chimpanzees in their ‘natural’ environment.
Asian Elephants, best viewed from the cable car.
Sun Bear Close Up.
This post concludes our posts on our Sydney 7 days 6 nights Trip Itinerary and Report. We thank you for following our blog and do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.