With 3 full days left in Osaka, I still have 2 day-trips from Osaka as planned. For day 6, I took an express train heading to Nara and the journey took about 40 minutes.
I made an online reservation for a guided tour in Kyoto Imperial Palace for 30th May, so I made my way to Kyoto in the morning as planned. I didn't want to reach too early, but somehow I underestimated the time needed to take the subway from Kyoto station and walk to the palace from the subway station. So I ended up reaching the palace about 10 to 15 minutes later than the scheduled time. I managed to catch up with the group inside the palace and the guided tour duration is about 1 hour.
On my 4th day, I was kind of in a dilemma which place to visit because the weather forecast doesn't seem favorable for these few days. After checking through the weather forecast of Kyoto, Kobe and Nara, it seems that it should be a clear day only for Kobe. On the way to the train station from the hotel, I had breakfast and also bought a cheap and thin windbreaker. From Osaka station, it was about 35 minutes of normal train ride to Sannomiya station in Kobe.
For my third day, I decided to follow my plan to make a day trip to Kyoto. I took the train to Osaka station and transferred to a train heading for Kyoto. The train station is a little overwhelming for me as it was my first time there. There were schedules for normal train and express train. As I was unsure if there is extra charge for the express train, I decided to wait for the normal train. After about 40 minutes of train ride, I stepped foot in Kyoto.
I was planning to wake up early on day 2 to start the day early at Universal Studios so as to avoid the crowd. However, I woke up at only 8am+ and went for breakfast before taking the JR train to Universal Studios. When I reached, there was quite a queue at the entrance and also a queue at the ticketing counters. I entered the theme park at about 9:20am and there was already quite a crowd although the place opens at 9am.
Needed a good break and was looking around for a destination suitable for travel in May or June. After much research, it came down to either Eastern Europe, Spain/Portugal/UK or Japan. As I started doing some research on Japan, I discovered that accomodation is not as expensive as expected, especially compared to Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore. Furthermore, the airfares by Malaysia Airlines and Cathay Pacific seemed attractive. I was more interested in visiting Hokkaido, but decided it's probably cheaper to fly to Osaka/Tokyo and take budget airline to Hokkaido instead. And I went ahead with my travel planning and bookings.
Getting a prepaid SIM was also very easy and straightforward in Hong Kong. After several researches, it seems that One2Free (CSL) offers the most affordable plans for data usage in Hong Kong.
They have the following data plans
The starter pack costs HK$88 and you can easily purchase them at One2Free shops, e.g. at the airport.
They have the following data plans
USSD Subscription through Handsets
30-Day Pass 5–300MB
$38/ 30 Days
30-Day Pass 5–1GB
$88/ 30 Days
Hourly Pass 6#
$8 / hour
Day Pass 7#
$28 / day
7-Day Pass 8#
$78 / 7-day
Getting a prepaid SIM was pretty straightforward to me in Italy. I managed to find a TIM shop near the train station when I was in Naples. I told the sales assistant that I wanted a prepaid SIM card and mobile internet access for 2-3 weeks. I paid up €10 for the prepaid SIM and another €10 worth of reload. She helped me through the registration process and also helped me to subscribe the weekly data plan which auto-renews every week. The data plan would cost €2 per week for 250MB worth of usage.
And here are the links to other trips I made in 2011 to 2013:
Figured I should post links to my photo galleries and group them by trips, so let's start with the photo galleries for my Europe 2012 trip.
- Paris 2012 [7th to 11th Oct]
- Les Invalides [8th Oct 2012]
- Disneyland Paris [9th Oct 2012]
- Naples 2012 [11th to 15th Oct]
- Museo Archeologico Nazionale [12th Oct 2012]
- Ercolano [12th Oct 2012]
- Pompeii [13th Oct 2012]
- Rome Part 1 [15th to 21st Oct 2012]
- Rome Part 2 [15th to 21st Oct 2012]
- Vatican City [18th Oct 2012]
- Tivoli [19th Oct 2012]
- Venice [21st to 26th Oct 2012]
- Paris Part 2 [26th Oct to 1st Nov 2012]
- Fontainebleau [28th Oct 2012]
- Musée du Louvre [29th Oct 2012]
- Versailles [30th Oct 2012]
- Europe 2012
Strictly speaking, day 8 should be considered my last day in Hong Kong since my flight is in the morning on the next day. I started the day by trying fishball rice noodles soup and 鸳鸯 for breakfast at 香港仔魚蛋粉 near the hostel. Frankly speaking, coffee or 鸳鸯 really seems tasteless in Hong Kong. Other than hot beverage, everything else is great.
For the next day, I visited Ocean Park and was kinda dissappointed that the drizzle started when I reached the entrance. I just had to proceed on with the visit since I had already purchased the entrance ticket at the bus terminal. I walked around for a bit at the foot and found my way to the cable car station where I took the ride up to the summit.
After having breakfast in Tim Ho Wan, we headed back to hotel and I had to change room because I will be alone for the rest of the week. I headed to the Museum of History in late morning and spent about 2 hours or so in the museum.