New Zealand

First city see the light in the world

December 31, 2016

Gisborne- the first city in the world see the light-100% Pure New Zealand

The first day of every year, the world first firework show from Sydney, how about sunrise?

The first sunrise on the planet arrived in New Zealand or Samoa first every morning. 

New Zealand is tip of easternmost country from Greenwich, thus becoming one of the earliest countries to enter the new day。

Pitt island is the first sunrise of the day will raise at. It lies about 770 kilometers (480 mi)  to the east of New Zealand's north islands. However, it's not easy to go there.

If you can't go there, how about at the first city in the world see the light?

1st of January, the sun will rise at a city in in northeastern New Zealand, Gisborne. 1700 meters height of Mount Hikurangi from this city will say hello to the sunlight early than everyone else.

If you drive from Rotorua, it takes about 4 hours. The city is small only 36,000 populations, but it very unique, every visitors come for “ First city in the world see the light”.

Sunrise of 1st Jan about 5.46am. if you would meet the dawn or twilight, come early, better arrived before 5 am, wait at the beach before 4.30am.

The Seaside is cold, prepare some warm cloth. The way from Rotorua is the rough mountain road, drive safe. Is better arrive early.

Gisborne also is Capital of Chardonnay, if you love wine, join the Wine Tour. There is also strong Maori culture here, climb to Mount Hikurangi to visit the Maori statues. From car park to the hut about 3-4 hours (10.5km), and another 2 hours to peak.

World fist light will arrived at Mount Hikurangi。-100% Pure New Zealand
Camping at Rere falls you can see Glow worm-100% Pure New Zealand

New Zealand working holiday

Travel guides after New Zealand Working Holiday

December 29, 2016


Iguazu Fall

In recent years, working holidays in New Zealand have attracted a large number of applicants from Malaysia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

New Zealand Immigration will be open on January 20 to 1150 places to Malaysian applications.

Most of the backpackers will go Australia, Fiji, and other Pacific island countries before home.

Other than to direct fly home, maybe you can the other way home via round the planet.

After completing New Zealand in early 2016, we flew to South America, travel for nearly 4 months, and then flew to Europe for a week, then return to Asia, air tickets and fly directly to home almost the same.

Maybe a four-month journey for the majority of people is too long, but if you want to go home in this way, add extra footprint in few countries, is absolutely feasible.

We are not alone during the trip in Sout America. We meet another backpacker who also went south America after Working Holiday in New Zealand.

South America (10 days)

Retiro in Buenos Aires, taken by Konica film.

Itinerary 1:

Air New Zealand offer a direct flight to the Buenos Aires, Argentinian capital. We purchased a one-way ticket for 900 NZD. Sometimes promotion price as low as 599NZD.

Watch a Tango show in Buenos Aires and paid a visit to Boca Junior Stadium, a place born the great soccer player, Diego Maradona.

Itinerary 2:

Take a 16 hours bus to the north, the way to the world's largest waterfall, Iguazú Falls. Iguazu Falls are located in Argentina and Brazil. Both sides of National park are great, but if you only visit one of them Argentinian side is the better option.

From here you can take 2 hours bus the Brazilian side, and take another bus here to Sao Paulo. Duration of Journey: Bus 16 hours, plane 2 hours.

Bird view of Iguazu fall
Bird view of Iguazu falls -Pix by Iguazu falls National Park

Itinerary 3:

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Latin America, this city was the home of the world's largest, the tallest building in the world.

In 1950s economic boom in this city, the people build a lot of world's largest, tallest and best building. The city has hundreds of museums and shopping malls, and thousands of bars and restaurants.

It is also home to different or weird museums and buildings of the world. Ranging from sexually diverse museums to Asian museums and so on, this city shows its tolerance of diversity.
The museum located at Subway station.

Itinerary 5:

Take a bus to Rio de Janeiro (6 hours) after Sao Paulo.

From Largo do Machado Square, where you can buy tickets at the front of the chapel (50Real) and they will send you directly to the Jesus statue, Christ the Redeemer.

This one of the seven wonders of the World crowded every day.Entry before 8 am to avoid the crowd. See the sunset at Copacabana beach in evening.
Christ the Redeemer, one the seven wonders of the world.


Itinerary 6:

We bought a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Berlin in advanced four months earlier. Operated by Germany Condor Air,€ 262, including 30 kg of luggage and two meals in flight.

only a set of free movies to watch. But in terms of the budget airline, this service is invincible.

Visit the ruins of the Berlin wall and the city's historical attractions. Drink Germany beer, eat Sauerbraten and Currywurst.

Itinerary 7:

Take the night bus to Copenhagen, Denmark. Fare are €16, including the cost of the ferry. Euroline promotions, sometimes as low as €1.

Visit the little Mermaid, Museums, Nyhavnand, Carlsberg Brew in Copenhagen.
Berlin wall falls over 20 years ago, the ruin is a Historical marker.


Itinerary 8:

We take Norwegian Air to Bangkok, €190 including 20 kg luggage.

If you like to continue your journey try the train to Penang. It takes 24 hours to arrived.


New Zealand Crayfish town- Kaikoura

December 26, 2016

A town in New Zealand named by Crayfish. It is Kaikoura, a town locates at 2 hours plus car drive from Christchurch. Kaikoura in local language means meal and Crayfish. The translation from Maori.

Apparently, this town has rich of crayfish. There are several methods to have nice crayfish meal. If you like a litter adventure, try the fishing tour, start from 99NZD. Tour members will share the crayfish on that day.

There is two crayfish stall run by Local are nice too.

You choose your crayfish, the chef will cook for you. Half crayfish start from 25NZD. It depends on the size and weight.

We tried the grilled one with garlic. Yummy, most delicious cuisine we have in New Zealand.

One stall located at the town near beach side, another one at 20km away from Kaikoura town, it is on the way to Blenheim, beside the highway, It name Nins bin.


Yes, Kaikoura is a heaven for the seafood lover. In summer, you can get you abalone near rock side. of course, if you don't affair cold, you can catch for another season as well. Just bear in mind,

Only 125mm or above Black abalone size and 80mm and above yellow abalone are allowed, every person has 10 limits for each type of Pāua. You also can't sell your Pāua without a permit.

While Maori are not affected by the conservation policy, but if you buy from them you will also break the law. New Zealand law enforcement officers are straight forward.once you get caught, you have to pay a fine.

Do not take the chance of luck, kiwi stand in the conservation position will not compromise. Abalone usually appears in the shore where the stone, somewhere with seaweed and seals (their food).

Pay attention to the surrounding, and keep the safe distance with the seal, do not let them feel violated and attack you.

seal, kaikoura

What you need to prepare:

- Note the tide, the best time to catch when tide getting low, after the tide surge may be dangerous.
 - A tool like a ruler. You have to grab fast from the stone, if you missed, you may no longer grab it again, because the abalone will suck on the stone more powerful
- look into pink objects on the stone, may be abalone.
- Most abalones are covered in seawater, so it may need to dive, but generally not too deep.


Perito Moreno Glacier- Why Mini Trekking Excursion

December 03, 2016

glacier perito moreno

A trip to Perito Moreno Glacier is not cheap for low budget backpacker. Somehow if would like to get closer to the glacier is another big money for a budget backpacker like us.

But why we still choose Mini Trekking Excursion, a trip cost AR1300(March, 2016) instead of just standing at viewing point in Los Glaciares National Park.

1. A whole day trip included guide and equipment for mini trekking excursion on the glacier without any time restriction. You have enough time to stay longer at the park instead of half day transportation tour.

2.A boat to the glacier is included in the package, different angle view of Perito Moreno Glacier which is you cannot get if just standing at the viewpoint.

3.I know you can google without pay everything to know this stunning geography landmark, but it also the best way explained by a professional guide with an instant scenario. We saw the melting water become a "river" during summer, we also saw the arch on the glacier which you cannot see from the viewpoint.

4. Feel the cold on the big ice, see how it look like in very closed distance.
mini trekking at glacier perito moreno

5.Trekking on the glacier it really awesome. THE BEST EXPERIENCE we had in Argentina.

6. Drink the water melt from Perito Moreno Glacier. This is certain you cannot do by just standing at viewpoint :).
boat ride at glacier perito moreno

7. It's a big Surprise at the end of a tour, we had the Argentina whiskey with Perito Moreno Glacier ice cube.

Last but Not Least, See the Pictures, It tell a thousand words.

drink wisky at glacier perito moreno

How To Get There:

Arrival method:

If you enter from Chile, most will go through Bariloche, Argentine extreme sports paradise, from here, a day daily bus to (7 am) El Calafate, arrived at noon next day, it takes 30 hours. ARS2180, including lunch and dinner, the next morning will interchange, need to buy breakfast at the bus stop (not included).

If from Buenos Aires, you can take the plane. About 4 hours, Price in between 90-170 dollars.

El Calafate to the airport from town, a taxi price is ARS250.

Take note:

We bought our tour package from Hielo y Aventura, ARS 1300 per person. Glacier National Park tickets not included (ARS 260, March 2016. It Increased to ARS330 from May onward). Departure at 8 am from El Calafate, Return around 5 pm, need to bring your own lunch.

lunch at glacier perito moreno


Coffee town in Colombia

October 28, 2016

salento coffee

Latin America is a heaven for a coffee lover. They produced the most and the best coffee in the world.

Manizales, Peipera, Armenia and Salento, the four popular destinations for the coffee tour. We went only Salento, in 2 days trip from Cali.

The attraction of Salento not only coffee, lonely planet claimed it is green version Switzerland. There is some breathtaking hiking trail.  

How to get there from Cali:
First, you have to go Armenia(4 hours.). Minivan starts from 5 am. Price from,COP18,000-23,000(May,2016). Buy your ticket at the second floor, Cali terminal. Some counter at 3rd floor. Price varies.  

From Armenia to Salento (1 Hour):

Minibus, COP4,200(May, 2016). Bus go when full. It's quick.

Coffee tour in Salento COP6,000-10,000
Don Elias A Family run the coffee farm, organic.
250gram coffee bean COP15,000
The grandson of owner Elias speaks very well English.
Tour run irregularly, but you wouldn't wait long. About 30 minutes.

El Ocasa, 1hour tour, this is the most organized farm in town. English or Spanish (switch every hour) Last tour at 4 pm, 3 pm is Spanish

Accommodation in Salento
Dm COP18,000-25,000, around the plaza. There is many.

 Food price
Desayuno 5000
Almuerzo 6000


South American Cuisine

October 08, 2016

"The many plains on this continent make it rich for growing foods like cereals, potatoes and quinoa. In the Patagonia region south of Chile and Argentina, many people raise sheep and cattle. In Brazil, the most traditional dish is the feijoada, a stew consisting of beans with beef and pork."Wikipedia
  • Argentine cuisine

Influenced by Italian immigrants, pizza and pasta are common. Toast are expensive, but bread is okay. Wine is nice and cheap. The best will be Angus's beef, get some at Butcher's shop. It is the budget way. Approx. ARS100 per meal.
  • Brazilian cuisine

The multivariate ethnic group, mainly are influenced by Portuguese. They have the best Japanese's food outside of Japan. Large immigrants of Asian at São Paulo, you can get many Asian cuisines if you like. The difference is, the buffet in Brazil are based on the weight. You pay what you get. Start from 3BRL/100grams. Approx. 10BRL per meal.
  • Chilean cuisine

It's hard to describe what are Chilean cuisine characteristic. Chile is a modern country, you can find world cuisine at the city like Santiago. Chilean made very good Carménère's red wine. Approx. CLP3000-5000 per meal.


  • Peruvian cuisine

Arroz chaufa, Sopa Wantan, Lomo Saltado, etc. Peru is a food heaven for Asian in South America. Those are Chinese food cook in Peruvian way. Ceviche, a raw fish "cook" by Lime. The taste similar to Asam laksa in Malaysia.You can get a Menu( set lunch or dinner) for 3-8Soles in Peru. It come with soup,rice, potato and main dish( choose one from chicken/pork/beef). Mostly serve with a drink like Chicha, one of the Peru nation drink in purple color. If you are lucky, you will have some salad but this is depend on. Cusco or Puno, try Cuy (Guinea pig). Pisco sour, a cocktail you must try here.

plan your trip

Where to start the South America loop?

August 16, 2016

copacabana, bolivia

Bogota, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires are the common destination where tourist chooses to land on. We suggest Santiago, Chile as a first destination. The route we recommended would be Chile- Argentina-Uruguay-Bolivia-Peru-Ecuador-Columbia, end at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The most modern city in South America have most reliable public transports network, efficiency subway system, embassies are around.It's perfect to stay a week for preparing your next destination and document if you need it. Cum, if you cross the pacific to Rapa Nui(Easter Island) before landing on the continent, that would be perfect.

Valparaíso,Maipo Valley Vineyard is less than two hours bus ride from Santiago. Pay them a visit while waiting for the document. After that, head south to Chiloé.

Don't miss famous W trek. Head Puerto Montt then cross Argentina border to Torres del Paine National Park. Buses available from Bariloche, Argentina direct to Puerto Montt. You can stop at El Chaltén or El Calafate before to Torres del Paine National Park. Head south to Tiera del Fuego, stay at the most southern City at the world-Ushuaia.Take a plane to Buenos Aires from here. Avoid buses to wasted your time or money unless you are Ruta40's fan.

loop south america

You may head north to Uruguay, and go Argentina side's Iguazu falls, then Brazilian side. you will loop the continent anti-clockwise through Venezuela, Colombia, Peru. But we do suggest head northwest after Buenos Aires. You will at Salta or Jujuy. Join the Uyuni salt flat tour from here direct to Bolivia without return. Or heading to San Pedro Atacama in Chile. Visit Valle de la Luna, then also join three days jeep tour to Uyuni.

buenos aires to bolivia

Buses in Argentina maybe the best and luxury. But if you are a budget traveler, try to avoid buses at Argentina. usually, there are no economic buses options.


In Bolivia, the plan is easy, just head north. After Uyuni, heading to Potosi-Sucre-(or stop atCochabamba)-La Paz-Copachabana。 Copacabana is Bolivian's side Lake Titicaca, you can take bus to Puno, Peru


Puno-Arequipa-Cusco(Machu Picchu)-Nazca-Ica(Huacachina)-Lima-Huaraz-Trujjilo-Piura.

laguna 69, huaraz, peru


Piura definitely not a touristic place. but many travelers, even the official tourist information in Peru, iPeru staff claimed that is not safe when crossing the border by public transport. plus, public buses take more time, it will be too late to arrived border.the better options will take a bus from Piura, direct to Ecuador city, either Cuenca or Loja at night. Only one bus daily.

After Cuenca, heading to Ambato(actual destination is Baños),then Quilotoa-Quito-Otavalo-Tulcan。

*If plan to Galápagos Islands,after Cuenca before Ambato, head to Guayaquil. The infrastructure at west coast in Ecuador was damaged by an earthquake in the early year of 2016. check the information before heading to west coast Ecuador. Tumbes at Peru has a direct bus to Guayaquil.


Take a cap or share taxi from Tulcan, Ecuador to the border, then your first city will be at Ipiales. You can find many direct buses to any big city in Columbia, however, if you take the bus to Cali and buy another ticket there to Bogota, it will be cheaper. Bogota, you can go Central America or head to Venezuela, or go to Amazon by plane.

There are few options: Ipiales- Pasto-Popayan-Cali-Armenia(coffee town)-Salento-Manizales-Medellin-Bogota-Cartagena(or Cucuta-Venezuela)-Maracaibo-Venezuela。(10-18days) or Ipiales-Pasto-Popayan-Cali-Armenia(coffee town)-Salento-Manizales-Bogota-Medellin, then take a flight to Panama.(7-10days)

or Ipiales- Pasto-Popayan-Cali-Armenia(coffee town)-Salento-Manizales-Medellin-Bogota, then a flight to Leticia.

There is sharing an inner city in the middle of Amazon forest with Tabatinga, Brazil. Slow boat or the fast boat to cross the Amazon by the river to Manaus. (7-10days, excluded the time to take boat)
*Columbia have good bus network coverage in the country, if any destination suggested you are not interested, you can just skip and go to the next one.


If you short of time and cash, skip Venezuela is a better option. From Tabatinga, take a slow boat to Manaus only 180BRL (approx 50USD, June 2016). Four days and three night (depending on the water level, it could be faster in raining season), prepare your hammock, foods are included.

The 5th biggest land on earth, high living coast. but thanks to the budget airline, there are many options when you at Brazil. There are always batter to take a plane rather than long hours bus. It more efficient to visit Brazil. Start from Manaus, you can stop at Foz do Iguacu. And here, cross the border to Argentinian side to make one day trip. Take night bus(16 hours) to Sao Paulo, then to Rio.

If you have more time and money don't forget the coast city Salvador or the inner city Bonito.

Rapa Nui/ Easter Island(3-7days)

Basically, the significant landmark at the island can be visited in 12 hours, but no rush, you should take it easy. It's the best island I have stay in my life. And the thing is, technically you wouldn't be able to visit the all significant landmark in one day.

A limited schedule of the LAN airline, you will be landing on the island at noon or evening. Yet, it would be cheaper for the flight ticket if you stay longer on the island, that's why a lot of travelers stay there for a week rather than 3 days.

ahu Tongariki in Hanga Roa, rapa nui


How much traveling three months in South America?

July 13, 2016

We spend 15,000NZD(or 11,000USD ) for two, all included for 136 days stay in South America. We spend the money wisely, however, sometimes we did some mistake as well.   so, we think you may spend lesser than us if you get all the information from us.

budget plan in South America

You can see, transportation was we spent the most. We take Air New Zealand to Buenos Aires from Auckland it cost about 1860NZD for two.  Sometimes, Promotion as low as 599NZD/person.

We also have a round trip ticket bought 4 months early from Santiago to Rapa Nui (Easter island), it cost about 1135NZD for two.

We leave South America from Rio de Janeiro to Berlin by Condor Airline it cost only 540 Euro for two, and another flight from Copenhagen to Bangkok cost 380 Euro. It's Norwegian Airline only 20KG check in luggage without food on board.

Beverages 144.66
Lodging 1455.54
Transportations 2947.13
sightseeing/tour 1276.71
shopping 213.57
other 521.33
Air ticket 2385
easter island airticket 850

All in USD

PS: due multi currencies changed often, margin error exit.


Plan your trip in Bolivia

June 30, 2016

Uyuni slat flat
Uyuni Salt flat, Bolivia

Uyuni, Join the three days two-night tour to see The world largest mirror is a must. The world larger salt flat so incredible. cum you can see the desert, flamingo, volcanoes, and enjoy the hot springs.

Wake up early on the second or third day before the tour start, you may see the milk way by a naked eye.

Heading to Potosi,  second highest city in the world. you can join the tour see cooperate mines, witness the old colony time method in mining. or visit one of the finest museums in South America, Casa Nacional de Moneda.
milky way in Bolivia
Milky way is seen by naked eye.

Then, you can go Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia, well known as the white city.

We straight to La Paz after Sucre. If you have time, visit Cochabamba before head north. It's home of World highest Jesus statue.

Yet, don't forget "Death road" ride at Coroico. That was one of our best experience in South America.

Before leaving this Country, visit the holy lake of Inca Empire, lake Titicaca. You can stop at Copacabana for couple days before heading to Peruvian side, Puno.
lake titikaka, bolivian side
Lake Titikaka, Bolivian side.

beware, if you entry Bolivia from Lowland area, please don't rush your journey on the first day. Make yourself comfortable with the attitude before your trip.

Day recommend at Bolivia, 14-18days
Breathtaking screen during an excursion.

llma, uyuni, bolivia excursion
Llma is everywhere in Uyuni excursion trip.


How to choose Salar de Uyuni salt flat tour?

June 27, 2016

Any time of Salar de Uyuni salt flat has its beauty. Depend on what you want to see.

Raining season starts from December to next year February, it is the classic view of the salt flat.So call the World's largest Mirror.

When it dried up in July or August, you can see the salt flat in many pentagon shapes. sometime in between March to May, you can see both types of the salt flat.

It is possible to meet the salt flat without joining the tour, but why?

The price is reasonable, good service, the journey is flexible, you can stop your driver when you meet a nice scenery.

Our driver also gives the tips for how to get the amazing photo.

  1. Three days two nights tour set off at 10 am, 6-7person per car, 800BOB/p (March 2016)
  • Day 1, Train cemetery,Colchani,lunch at Salt make hotel, Fish island(Isla Incahuasi)
  • Day 2, Ollague volcano, Three type flamingo, World driest dessert, Siloli, Stone Tree, Red Lake
  • Day 3, Geysers with sunrise,hot springs, green lake(option transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile), white lake, rock valley. return to Uyuni about 6 pm.
2.Sunrise, sunset, Stargazing,6people a tour, less than 6 people may cancel or need to top up money 120BOB/p(March 2016). 

There has a list on in front of every tour agency's shop, you can check how the status on every tour of the day. Departure at 4 am for sunrise, return at 10 am, 4 pm for sunset, return at 11 pm, 11 pm for stargazing, return at 3 am.

The possibility of the mirror other than raining season? Absolutely. Tour guide will bring you to the certain places with water in anytime when you joining the sunrise, sunset or Stargazing tour.

Join the tour on the spot? Yes, our tourmate arrived Uyuni at the same day when our journey started. 

They came from Oruro by train and arrived at early morning.I cannot 100% sure you can register last minutes if during the high season.

PS:Our tour agent was blue line。just opposite the train station. There are many tour agencies on the same street. Blue line located at the corner, near the square. you also can find some around the square. compare the price before decided which one you want to join. Usually, all included, accommodation, food, and your guide, just need to bring extra water if you need more. Don't forget snack due sometimes lunch/dinner are late. Beware English tour is 400BOB expensive than Spanish. We join Spanish one although we don't understand. But it is alright since we join the tour for scenery, not information. Some more if your tourmate knows both languages. Ps:National Park entrance fees not included, 150Bob. Salt make hotel toilet cost 5 Bob after lunch will heading to Fish island, 30Bob entrance fees included toilet entrance.

South America

Visa exemption in South America for Malaysian

June 27, 2016

Except for Paraguay and Guyana, Malaysian passport entitled visa-free at most countries in South America.

However, the diplomatic policy may change, our information based on Feb 2016 until Jun 2016.

Most results from our research said Malaysian need visa for entry Bolivia, actually just need Visa on arrived and it free of charged.

We recommend apply in advanced, don't get your visa when entering the border, bad experienced has been reported. Do not need to pay the departure tax when leaving like Lonely Planet said.

Argentina- 30 days
Uruguay- 30 days
Suriname- 30 days
Chile- 30 days
Brazil- 90 days
Columbia- 90 days
French Guiana- 90 days
Ecuador- 90 days
Peru- 90 days (sometimes it depend on the officer, we got 30 days visa free when crossing border from Chile, but got 90 days from Bolivia)
Venezuela- 90 days (need to paid 50BBF for entry form and 240BBF departure tax)