Side Trip To Nara: Maximizing Your Day From Osaka

Nara is a pretty small city. It was the capital of Japan before Kyoto. It can be visited as a side trip from Kyoto or Osaka, but, its relatively nearer to Osaka.20160330_094246-01[1]20160330_094253-01[1]Half-day (four hours) would be enough to see a lot of Nara’s major sights. But we managed to make it less than that. Why so fast? No it wasn’t at all, just nice to cover the most visited areas. The major sites too were situated just around the grounds of the park. Yay! Easy breezy for a lazy me. Lol.

First stop, Nara Park. A public park located at the foot of Mount Wakakusa. Over 1,200 wild sika deer classified as a natural treasure roam freely around the park nudging tourists for food and playfully snatching maps and anything else they think could possibly also be food. As they were EVERYWHERE, and so are their poop. Be careful! Haha
20160330_094904-01[1]20160330_094851-01[1]20160330_090541-01[1]20160330_091740_001-01[1]20160330_091907-01[1]20160330_094043-01[1]20160330_094105-01[1]The fun part is feeding the FOREVER-HUNGRY deer! Lol. You can buy “shika sembei” (deer biscuits) from any random vendors to feed them. But be sure to buy at your own risk. Amazed as I was since the deer knows not to steal from the vendors but once they caught you buying the biscuit, gotcha! They literally will chase you till you hand them down all your biscuits. Clever!
20160330_092817-01[1]20160330_092457-01-01[1]20160330_092445-01[1]Tōdai-ji alone is even worth making the trip for. It is a World Heritage site and possibly the most popular destination for tourists. Capping Nara off is Kofuki-ji Temple and its 600-year-old five-storey pagoda, the original of which was moved in Nara from Kyoto in the 8th century.20160330_091148-01[1]20160330_085236-01[1]20160330_085309-01[1]20160330_085538-01[1]20160330_085618-01[1]20160330_085442-01[1]20160330_091133-01[1]20160330_091003-01[1]20160330_090739-01[1]
Nara is really just a quick trip from Osaka. You can have it half a day or even a few hours if you only wish to see the most visited attractions.

Left around 11 and roughly would take about 45mins travel back to Osaka. Decided to eat lunch there so trying out the sushis in Lawson (Convenience store in Japan) definitely a big help to ease my hunger pangs. Eee!

You might want to take a grab of these sushis. WORTH a TRY of your 1 dollar, 100Jpy. Yes I said it right!

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WHERE TO NEXT? Arriving back at Osaka head straight to Umeda Sky Building.

UMEDA SKY BUILDING

There’s no better place to get a bird’s eye view of Osaka than the Floating Garden Observatory. Stands 173-meter-tall. It gives viewers a 360° panoramic vista of the entire city. Umeda Sky Building is the most amazing piece of architecture featuring two 40-storey towers in the district of Osaka. The two main towers are connected with each other by the Floating Garden, a rooftop observatory on the 39th floor.Screenshot_20160512-003132-01[1]20160330_120613-01[1]20160330_120617(0)-01[1]20160330_120555-01[1]Screenshot_20160512-002813-01[1]Screenshot_20160512-002710-01-01[1]20160330_120457-01[1]From Jr Osaka Station take the “Chuo Kita Guchi” (north central exit). As you are heading Umeda, You’ll walk past by Grand front Osaka. It is a large commercial complex north of JR Osaka Station in the Umeda district that was opened in 2013. It consists of a wide variety of shops and restaurants, an Intercontinental hotel, office and event space, as well as a residential tower.Screenshot_20160511-001841-01[1]20160330_113004-01[1]20160330_112957_001-01[1]After the panoramic vista of the entire city of Osaka from the Sky building of Umeda, take the way back to Osaka Station. Eat yourself broke by taking a stop at Grand Front Osaka for shops and restos inside the huge mall.20160330_124708-01[1]20160330_124707-01[1]20160330_123433-01[1]Spotted a nice Japanese small resto just across the Grand Front Osaka and with No regrets for a random pick of place to eat. I say, really not bad when you are in Japan. The authentic Japanese food, Oh, well I just love it!

So, for a first time traveller in Japan, never get your lazy feet off to rest! haha After pumping some fuel in my tummy, time for an afternoon journey. Hurray for Universal Studios Osaka. See my separate post for the awesome theme park! 🙂

20160330_072749-01[1]stylishwanderer.com

 

 

Tri-shaw Ride to Explore Malacca

The best way to enjoy the scenery in Melaka is in a slow and laid back manner, either by walking along the streets or by taking a trishaw ride.

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Lucky to have met the uncle who drove us around melaka. He speaks good english compare to other locals. Not just driving a trishaw, he was an exceptional tour guide too! Felt sorry coz I forgot his name but by any chance you spot him don’t doubt to take the trishaw ride from him. 🙂

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Tourist Information Center Melaka
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Trishaw ride is available for hire at the Stadthuys Complex, in front of Christ Church.

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Let’s now have this as starting point for visiting the old part of the town. Next to the Melaka river is The Dutch Square.

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The dutch buildings used to be painted in white until the British governor ordered it to be painted red.

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Had plenty of shots with this Victoria Clock Tower but none of those shows the clock. hahaha! (too late for me to realize though) lol :p

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The two most prominent buildings in the Dutch Square are Christ Church and The Stadthuys. Both were built during the Dutch occupation in the 17th century. Christ Church  functions as a church till today but The Stadthuys which used to be an administrative center for a few consecutive governments is now a museum.

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Watermill along the river, just beside the ruins of the old Portuguese and Dutch ramparts.

 

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As you explore the little city of Melaka you’ll learn about the rich heritage and history that has shaped the landscape and left a mark on Malaysia’s cultural lifestyle.

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The Maritime Museum located near the Melaka River bank is a replica of Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese ship which sank in a shipwreck in 1511.

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In front of the Architecture Museum is the old train and plane.

 

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A’Famosa Fort
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Fort A Famosa, a historical structure with an interesting history, was amongst the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Southeast Asia built by the Portuguese.

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Ain’t tired though! haha :p

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City view before taking the steep flight of stairs to the summit of St. Paul’s hill.

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Had a lot of sweat to reach the summit of St Paul’s Hill where there were the ruins of St Paul’s Church. But the site was worth it!

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Lining the walls of the ruined church were intricately engraved tombstones belonging to Dutch nobles.

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Roofless and covered in ferns, it was originally called the Nossa Senhora da Anunciada (Our Lady of the Annunciation).

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Though it has been in ruins for more than 150 years, it is a beautiful, breezy sanctuary (reached after a steep flight of stairs) set near the remains of A’ Famosa fort.

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This Armless Statue of St. Francis Xavier, built in 1953, stands within the complex commemorating Malaysia’s best-known missionary. St Francis Xavier, the missionary who introduced the Catholic faith to Malacca. Stories say that when Xavier was to be canonized in 1614 the Vatican demanded the right arm (this was the arm Francis used to bless his converts) from the body. When it was cut off, blood appeared to drip, 6o-odd years after his death; when the marble statue was erected in 1952, on the morning after its consecration a large casuarina tree fell on it severing its right arm.

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Definitely a good view of the city!

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Located on Jalan Laksamana, this century old Catholic church’s was built in 18th century in honour of St. Francis Xavier, a prominent 16th-century Catholic missionary also known as ‘Apostle of the East.

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The Famous Jonker street
How can a melaka trip be complete without visiting the famous Jonker street? Every Friday and Saturday nights, Jonker Walk would be closed to vehicular traffic. Watch the street come to life when the night market vendors took over the road.

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This  popular tourist attraction is littered with the tacky souvenir stores and plenty of restaurants. On weekend nights, the place is transformed. Traffic is not allowed, and hawkers set up their stalls for the Weekend Night Market.

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Quail egg lovers alert. Now you get them on sticks!
Take a bite while walking the jonker street.

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Passed by this cafe to have some drink! And this! Sooorry I forgot the name of the smoothie but It got this Nutella taste! Slurrp! :p

Jonker street is literally littered by food and souvenir shop houses.
And this JONKER 88 NONYA ASSAM LAKSA @ JALAN HANG JEBAT is a must try!

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Sun is a bit setting off.. It’s indeed the best time to take the ride from Menara Taming Sari (a revolving observation deck from a height of 80 meters).

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Menara Taming Sari (Melaka Tower) is located at Bandar Hilir, beside Dataran Pahlawan Megamall. It is the first and only gyro tower in Malaysia so far.  The tower revolves 360° to provide a panoramic view of Malacca town
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Got a bit of queuing by the time we came so the sunset view was only a dream.haha! But was able to see the panoramic view of Malacca at night.
Such a serene town looking from above.
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There you go! The dazzling trishaws at night.
This spot is just outside the Menara Taming Sari.
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Took again the trishaw ride to the boarding site of the river cruise for a finale night scene of malacca. (Sorry for the dewy look) lol
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It would be an incomplete visit to Malacca without cruising the Malacca river. This sums up the day! Indeed a nice ambience along the river and the lights are enchanting!

THIS MIGHT BE A GOOD TIP FOR ALL VISITING MALACCA FROM SINGAPORE.

How to Get to Malacca by Coach?

So if you were wondering how to get to Malacca, Book your trip coach seats from BusOnlineTicket.com. Easy breezy! The coach ride is about 4 to 5 hours long each way. 🙂

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Streetstylewanderer
Floral Top and leggings from Tokyo fashion 
Sneakers from Charles & Keith
Eyewear is my on the go transitional lenses
-sad to say, I don’t wear contact lenses =(