Categories
Kuala Lumpur

A Day in Kuala Lumpur 2

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Hiya, this is a long overdue blog post! The Kuala Lumpur trip was made during the long weekend of 7th to 9th August 2010 where Singapore was celebrating it’s National Day and it’s a holiday on 9th August 2010. We (a group of 6 adults and 2 children) took the opportunity to go for a last-minute short trip and the hotels was almost full (well, they did jack up the prices though!). It was a self-drive journey and there was jams along the way (especially at immigration) as many Singaporeans also had the same idea of relaxing out of Singapore! Anyway, the photo above show my lunch (Fish Ball Kway Teow Soup) at Yong Peng Rest Stop.

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By the time we reached our hotel (The Gardens Hotel) at Mid Valley, it was already around 6pm. There was a queue at the front desk and we got our rooms separated on different floors even though we have made requests.

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The Gardens Hotel – Nice room with comfortable-looking bed.

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The Gardens Hotel – Large desk area for those who are going to do work or surf internet.

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The Gardens Hotel – Vanity area.

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The Gardens Hotel – the bathroom comes with a selection between using the normal shower head or the rain shower function. You can also take a soak in the bath tub too!

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The Gardens Hotel – Separated dry toilet for you to take a dump without getting your feet wet! 😛

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The Gardens Hotel – View from our room.

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The Gardens Hotel – Comes with a mini-fridge and complimentary tea/coffee/drinking water.

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The Gardens Hotel – Outside of the hotel where you can valet park your vehicle. For hotel guests, it is much more economical to valet then to park on your own.

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The Gardens Hotel – Sofas at the lobby area where we always use as a meeting place. 🙂

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Taking a walk at Mid Valley Megamall.

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Having our dinner at Little Penang Kafe at Mid Valley Megamall.

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Little Penang Kafe serves the best of Penang cuisine and seems to get a fair bit of press write-ups!

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Assam Laksa at Little Penang Kafe.

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Prawn Mee at Little Penang Kafe.

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After our dinner, we continue to take a walk around Mid Valley Megamall.

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After several grueling hours of shopping, we head off to T.G.I. Friday’s to have a drink and light supper. It was already 10.30pm!

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T.G.I. Friday’s – Long Island Tea for my partner and I had Erdinger.

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Our simple supper at T.G.I. Friday’s.

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T.G.I. Friday’s – The interior of the restaurant. Love the “Kitchen” signage!

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T.G.I. Friday’s – Guitars and photos of singers are hung on the wall. Not sure why but it sure gives me a feeling that I am in Hard Rock Cafe

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Forward to the next morning, we had our free buffet breakfast within The Gardens Hotel.

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Breakfast time at The Gardens Hotel was having long queues at the reception to wait for tables. Believe that lot of the tourists are Singaporeans!

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After breakfast, we went to the swimming pool to have a look even though we were not planning to swim. Nice looking pool!

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The view from the swimming pool at The Gardens Hotel.

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After our tour at the swimming pool, we went to Suria KLCC and it’s shopping time for the ladies. Huge crowd here even though it was early morning!

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Interesting roof architecture at Suria KLCC.

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Our wives getting all frenzied up with Vincci shoes… It was so packed that there is virtually no air-conditioning in the shop… haha!

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Went outdoors to take a photo of Petronas Twin Tower.

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Open area in front of Suria KLCC. We didn’t hang around for long as it’s really warm outside!

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We went back indoors and then to Olio Dome Café to take a break from our tired legs.

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My drink at Olio Dome Café, think it was Passion Fruit Berries or something like that… hehe!

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Wanted to have Bak Kut Teh but it was not open yet so we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant at the corner of Jalan Alor. My partner having chicken noodles.

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I am having Wonton noodles. Decent meal.

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The outside of the restaurant. Think most people might be familiar with this location.

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After our meal, my friend decided that we should have durians for dessert and went to buy a couple of them. We brought them into the restaurant to eat after seeking the staff’s approval. Damn, these durians are good!

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Next, we went to Pavilion Mall to walk around. Basically, this trip is more of hanging around and shopping rather than like my usual of exploring the less-traveled areas. It’s good for a change but not too often as I do get bored at shopping centers! Haha!

The next morning, we will be leaving Kuala Lumpur and back to Singapore, but before so, we will stop by Malacca for a couple of hours to buy food stuffs and eat Cendol! 🙂

Categories
Vietnam

A Day in Ho Chi Minh City 1

A Day in Ho Chi Minh City 1

A Day in Ho Chi Minh City 1

This is my 5th day and also the last day of my Vietnam trip. If you like to see the last 4 days of my trip, please do click here. Above photo shows the corridor of Elios Hotel (which I am staying) – I was pretty satisfied with the overall experience (clean and good location) but just that sometimes it does get rather noisy in the wee hours when other guests return after a “night out”. Some guests also smoke at the corridor and the ciggie smell can get into the room. Not good for those whose are light sleepers or have sensitive nose!

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Free wireless is available to all hotel guests. Took this while going for breakfast.

We do not have much on the itinerary today as basically we just want to rest/relax and do some shopping. This is also the reason why we woke up slightly later than usual. 🙂

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After our breakfast, we went to nearby Highlands Coffee to laze around and also have their famous Vietnamese Coffee. Photo above is showing the 2nd floor of Highlands Coffee at De Tham street (near to Pham Ngu Lao St).

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For smokers, you may want to check out the outside seats where you can sip you coffee and see traffic buzzing by. Yeah, the Highlands Coffee is directly opposite Allez Boo (See “A Day in Ho Chi Minh City” for my visit there). Noticed that there are lots of overhanging wires around?

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Traditional Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, served with the tin dripper. VND 28,000.

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Ca phe sua nong (Vietnamese: cà phê sữa nóng) — literally, “hot coffee with milk”.

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After lazing at Highlands Coffee for an hour, we took a taxi to Cho Binh Tay (Binh Tay Market) which is the main market of Cho Lon (Chinatown). Taxi ride costs VND 70, 000 from Highlands Coffee at De Tham street.

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Many shops are available here! Decided to quickly head inside the market to escape from the scorching sun.

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Ladies, any handbags for you?

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Rows of dried food and spices for sale!

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Bags, backpacks and travel luggage can all be found here! My partner bought a “The North Face” branded backpack here at VND 180,000.

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Store layout – it’s quite a large market with 2 floors selling a vast variety of products ranging from food, bags, shoes, slippers. Look at the bottom of the chart.

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Hats for sale! As it was a hot day, we bought 2 hats (each at VND 30,000). Should have gotten it during our first day not the last day! Haha! But anyway it’s fine, we will use it for other upcoming trips.

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Exploring the 2 floor of Binh Tay Market.

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Chinese pagoda/structure at the middle of Binh Tay Market.

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View of Binh Tay Market from the opening area in the middle.

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Dragon statue sprouting water in a pond with fishes…

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Walking out of Binh Tay Market to grab a taxi back to Ben Thanh Market area and saw street peddlers selling their stuffs.

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Public bus? We took a taxi from here and the taxi driver really took us for a ride by going round in circles thinking that we don’t know. Then, I purposely took out the map to check and then in less than 3 mins, we reached Ben Thanh Market.

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Pho 2000 is the reason why we are coming to Ben Thanh Market area. The restaurant’s slogan is “Pho for the President” and this is because was honored by a visit from former United States President Bill Clinton in 2000.

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A photo in Pho 2000 showing Bill Clinton‘s visit in 2000.

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Pho 2000 – Lemon Soda VND 20,000. My partner didn’t expect that it comes separately and she have to mix it herself. Haha!

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Pho 2000 – Beef Pho (large) VND 45,000 with all the condiments thrown in. The regular size goes for VND 35,000. Excellent Pho!

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After the lunch, since we are nearby to Ben Thanh Market, so decided to walk around for last minutes buys.

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Food stalls at Ben Thanh Market. I forgot to try the glass dessert (che) here…heard that it was nice… 🙁

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For coffee lovers, there is large variety of pre-mixed coffee powder for your selection.

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Souvenirs and handicrafts are also available too!

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Of course, how can Ben Thanh Market not have the girl’s stuffs such as handbags, purse, hair accessories, etc.

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Walking back to Elios Hotel to take a break. There wasn’t much people around as it’s a Sunday and they are likely to be lazing at home.

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After the short break, we venture out to look for a manicure shop that we passed by several days ago as my partner wanted to do her nails. Passing by Crazy Buffalo Saigon again.

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Another nearby restaurant and bar, Go 2 Eat.

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Walking along Le Lai street. The manicure shop which my partner wanted to go is closed. Haha…

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Fruit seller along the streets.

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Wet market where the locals purchase their daily groceries. We did pass by this area in the night before and it was really rowdy and gives my my partner an insecure feeling!

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Pocha Korean Restaurant, seems to me that there are quite a lot of Korean restaurants around. Probably, it’s due to the influx of Koreans working in Ho Chi Minh City.

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On our way back along Pham Ngu Lao, there were several fire engines on the road which was creating quite a scene. My partner said maybe it’s our hotel that caught fire and I quickly dismissed the thought. The fire engines was blaring their sirens as if something drastic had happened but after their loitering around the area for a few minutes, they left! Maybe it was a false alarm?

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Anyway, we headed towards Sasa Cafe (242 De Tham Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) for dinner. It’s our second time here in 5days! See here for the first visit.

Having the delicious spring rolls (10 pieces) again VND 33,000.

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Spaghetti Bolognese VND 48,000.

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Enchiladas VND 62,000. Also had 2 x Saigon beer (VND 15,000 each) and 1 Dalat red wine (VND 22,000). Total for the dinner is VND 195,000. After dinner, we went back to hotel early to do packing up and also to have an early night as our flight back to Singapore is at 9am. We need to leave from hotel around 7.30am to cater additional time just in case we are caught in traffic jam.

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Woke up, eat breakfast, checked out and then took a cab to the airport for VND 120,000 (fixed price). It was due to the hotel bellboy asking whether I need a taxi to the airport, which I replied “Yes”. I thought he was going to help us flagged down a taxi (using meter) but instead he bought us over to another taxi which promptly asked for VND 120,000. As I don’t want to be late for my flight, so I accepted without any haggling. My estimation that it will cost around VND 95,000 during 0730am.

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Checked-in and waiting for our JetStar flight to arrive from Singapore (which will route back to Singapore).

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Boarding the plane for our journey back home.

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After our 5 days trip in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), we are back at Singapore Changi Airport.

The overall trip was fun and amazing even though the weather was really hot. Next time we will be more prepared!

There are a few places or activities which I planned but didn’t visit or do respectively, namely

  • Visit “Reunification Palace“.
  • Try “Jolly Spa” at 38 Mac Dinh Chi Street, Q1, HCMC”
  • Visit “Quan An Ngon at 41/1 Pham Ngoc Thach, Q3 – a food-court layout but with various small stalls each whipping their specialties. Prices are inexpensive.
  • Eat “Bang Chang” – heard it’s nice and made primarily of vegetables, much like salad.
  • Eat “Glass dessert (che)” at Ben Thanh Market.
  • Explore more at Vung Tau (beaches, temples, statue of Jesus, seafood, etc.)

Well, it’s fine as it gives us another reason (other then the cheap and tasty beers) to return to Ho Chi Minh City. I also heard great feedback from fellow travelers about Dalat and Halong Bay! Both places will be in my next itinerary for sure! Might even add Cambodia (Phnom Penh and Siem Reap) if my partner (cannot take hot weather) is not joining!

Until next time then, Vietnam!

Categories
Japan

A Day in Tokyo在东京的一天

A Day in Tokyo

A Day in Tokyo

15th May 2009 – Using the 2-Day Tokyo Metro Open Ticket that we purchased earlier, we took the subway from Ueno Station to Nishi-Shinjuku station (duration about 34 mins) and walk over to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

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Facade of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building was once the tallest building in Tokyo. The banner at both sides of the building is “Tokyo 2016 Bid Emblem” – candidate city for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and Paralympic Games in 2016. Sincerely hope that Tokyo can clinch it!

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After some security checks, we took the express elevator to the 45th floor observatory. There are 2 observatory – the north and south, both offers different view of Tokyo. Admission is free. Notice that there are a fair bit of students visiting as well.

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City view from the north observatory deck. High rise buildings are everywhere.

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Shinjuku Park Tower.

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Is the green patch Shinjuku Gyoen or Shinjuku Central Park? Let me know if you have the answer.

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On a clear day, you will be able to see the silhouette of majestic Mount Fuji. Look closely at the photo but don’t blame me if you can’t see. 🙂

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A nearby location map. Next destination is Shinjuku Station.

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Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower. I like the way the building is shaped like a cocoon and it’s also unique and futuristic looking.

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Entrance of JR Shinjuku East. Shopping time for my my partner!

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Takashimaya Times Square. More loots coming from my partner and I am the carrier. Ha ha!

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Shinjuku Uniqlo Megastore in that was newly open on 24 April 2009. Can be located on the west side of Shinjuku station.

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5 levels of apparels for you choose until your wallet is bleed dry! 😛

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After 3 hours of following my partner around, she finally gives in to her tiredness and wants to break for lunch. Haha!

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Settled for Tenya – a fast food chain that specialize in tempura.

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Tenya’s Tendon Set (rice and soba).

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Tenya’s Tendon Set. Total is Â¥1510 for both set.

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Tenya’s tempura – freshly fried yet not too oily!

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Suntory C.C Lemon drink ¥150. Focus on the wrong object! LOL!

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Next shopping area is Shibuya. At the metro subway platform waiting for the train from Shinjuku to Shibuya.

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Folks catching a short nap after lunch?

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Shibuya 109 – a shopping paradise for ladies. Well, the men can follow and enjoy the numerous sights too! ^^;

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The crowd outside the Shibuya 109. We were sitting nearby to rest our tired legs.

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Back to shopping again. Shop till you don’t have money!

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Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Japan. It was having at least 20 odd people in long queue before our turn but the service was pretty fast and we got ours in about 5-10 mins.

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The free sugar-glazed doughnut that you get while queuing. Absolutely appreciate the kind gesture!

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Mango flavored doughnut ¥180.

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Chocolate coated doughnut ¥180.

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Ootoya and Tenkaippin Ramen – both are great value food chains that are popular with locals. Please do try them when you are in Japan.

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At Starbucks (above HMV) resting our legs and having a Starbucks Ice Café Mocha ¥430 while watching people goes by at the famous Shibuya hachiko junction.

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Shibuya hachiko junction is the world’s busiest pedestrian street crossing!

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Look at the amount of people crossing this street junction in the afternoon. I understand it’s get more crowded in the evening or after office hours.

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Getting a drink to quench our thirst after spending another 3 hour shopping – Suntory Vitamin Water Â¥147.

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Roppongi Hills Mori Tower for further shopping.

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Water fountains at the entrance of Mori Tower.

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Tokyo Tower taken from Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. Sun is setting soon.

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Tokyo Tower zoom shot.

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Different views of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower.

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TV Asahi Corporation building in Roppongi.

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Mori Art Muesum and Tokyo City View (Observation deck).

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Nicely lit structure. I believe that we came up the escalator from the metro subway Roppongi station.

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Having dinner at Tenkaippin Ramen in Roppongi.

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Tenkaippin ramen menu.

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Chinese noodles with thick gravy ¥730.

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Spotted Hard Rock Cafe Tokyo on our way out from Tenkaippin Ramen. Went back to hotel after a full day of shopping…..my partner is exhausted. Ha ha!A Day in Tokyo

A Day in Tokyo

五月十五日- 用了我们较早先购买的两天东京地铁车票, 从上野駅搭到西新宿駅(路程大概三到四分钟)再步行到東京都庁舎。

A Day in Tokyo

东京都政府大厦的正门。

A Day in Tokyo

東京都庁舎曾经是东京最高的建筑。建筑两旁的旗帜写着“东京迈向2016”- 第31届奥林匹克运动会的候选城市。正希望东京被选上!

A Day in Tokyo

经过安全检查, 我们乘搭快捷电梯到45楼的观景台。有两个观景台 – 分别是北方和南方,两个提供东京不同的面貌。而且入场免费。注意到有很多学生来参观。

A Day in Tokyo

从北方观景台的城市景。

A Day in Tokyo

新宿公园大厦。

A Day in Tokyo

不知道禄色的是新宿御苑还是新宿中央公园。如果你知道请告诉我。

A Day in Tokyo

如果天气晴朗,你能够看到富士山的轮廓。仔细看看照片,如果看不到可别怪我。:)

A Day in Tokyo

附近的一个位地图。下一个目的地是新宿站。

A Day in Tokyo

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower。我喜欢的建筑的形状像个茧独特又有未来感。

A Day in Tokyo

JR新宿东面入口处。我太太的购物时间!

A Day in Tokyo

高島屋时代广场。 更多购物收获而我是专门拿东西的随从。哈哈!

A Day in Tokyo

新宿UNIQLO大型商场开幕于24 April 2009。位于新宿站西面。

A Day in Tokyo

五层楼的服装任你选择,小心钱包流血至干。:P

A Day in Tokyo

五层楼的服装任你选择,小心钱包流血至干。

A Day in Tokyo

决定吃天井 – 专门卖天妇罗的快餐店。

A Day in Tokyo

天井的 Tendon Set (饭和荞麦面)。

A Day in Tokyo

天井的 Tendon Set。 两个套餐共1510日元。

A Day in Tokyo

天井的天妇罗 – 新鲜但油腻!

A Day in Tokyo

三得利 C.C. 柠檬饮料150日元。重点放在错的地方。

A Day in Tokyo

下一个逛街地点是渋谷区。在地铁平台等待火车从新宿到渋谷。

A Day in Tokyo

午餐后睡个午觉?

A Day in Tokyo

渋谷区 109 – 女士的购物天堂。 男士也可以跟着到处看看! ^^;

A Day in Tokyo

渋谷区 109外面的人群。我们脚累了在附近座座。

A Day in Tokyo

又到逛街时间。逛到没钱!

A Day in Tokyo

在日本的Krispy Kreme甜甜圈。 有二十多个人在排队才轮到我们不过他们的服务挺快的不到十分钟就到我们了。

A Day in Tokyo

排队时会分免费的甜甜圈。太感动了!

A Day in Tokyo

芒果口味的甜甜圈180日元。

A Day in Tokyo

涂上巧克力的甜甜圈180日元。

A Day in Tokyo

大户屋和天下一品 – 两个都是当地人喜欢价廉物美的连锁店。如果你到日本一定要尝试。

A Day in Tokyo

在星巴克(HMV 楼上)歇腿和享受星巴克的咖啡冰摩卡430日元看着人群过著名的渋谷交叉站。

A Day in Tokyo

渋谷交叉站是世界最繁忙的行人道!

A Day in Tokyo

在下午看着人们穿越交叉站。在晚上或办公时间后更拥挤。

A Day in Tokyo

又走了3小时后,买瓶饮料解渴-三得利维他命水147日元。

A Day in Tokyo

再到六本木森大廈逛街。

A Day in Tokyo

在森大廈入口处的喷水池。

A Day in Tokyo

在六本木森大廈拍的东京铁塔。太阳快下山了。

A Day in Tokyo

东京铁塔伸缩镜头。

A Day in Tokyo

六本木森大廈的不同景色。

A Day in Tokyo

A Day in Tokyo

在六本木的朝日电视台。

A Day in Tokyo

森美术馆和东京城市景观(观望台)。

A Day in Tokyo

A Day in Tokyo

非常亮的建筑。相信我们是从六本木地铁站的自动扶梯上来的。

A Day in Tokyo

在六本木的天下一品吃晚餐。

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天下一品的拉面菜单。

A Day in Tokyo

厚肉汁的中国面条730日元.

A Day in Tokyo

途径天下一品时看到Hard Rock Cafe Tokyo.经过了一天的购物我们回到酒店...我太太精疲力尽.哈哈!