Jordan

My journey to Jordan started with flight from Hong Kong to Dubai via Bangkok. First time flying with Emirates and the experience was quite pleasant. The checkin lady was kind enough to put me onto the emergency exit seat, so I can stretch my legs out. Total travel time to Amman was 14 hours including 3hrs transit in Dubai. Arriving in Amman at 9am, first surprise to me was the airport. It was actually a pretty nice airport.

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The immigration process was quite smooth. For most countries you can get a Visa on arrival for 40JD, some countries passport are free (e.g. HKSAR). Check with the staff before immigration which queue you need to go to. For the visa fee its only accepted in Jordanian Dinar and there is an exchange office before immigration. I found that the rates were probably the best I have seen around Jordan, as hotels offer less, so good idea to change all your cash needs at the airport. After immigration and picking up my bags I headed thru customs and out.

Waiting for me at the arrival hall is a guy from the car rental company with a sign with my name on it. The car rental company I went with is called Monte Carlo, they are not a major brand and their office is not at the airport but their rate is much better. I paid 25JD/day for my car which is a Mitsubishi Lancer. The car was clean and had a few dents on it but otherwise was running fine the whole time. The guy will take you around the car and get you to sign and pay for the rental. You can pay cash or credit card. After he will drive you out of the airport onto the rental office about 5km away where the car needs to be returned. Not too hard to find.

So with all that sorted I set off on my adventure and drove to my first destination in Jordan. Now, driving in Jordan I would say is not too bad. The roads are quite wide but most roads don’t have lanes marked or if it does its pretty faint. So you have to use some common sense and pick the right lane. Secondly, through out the country you will come to some checkpoints where the police or army will ask for a license but not your drivers license. It’s the cars registration license card, the guy from the rental company should tell you where that is. Last point,  petrol stations are readily available except on the highway next to the Dead Sea.

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Lastly if you are like me and want to stayed connected you can buy a prepaid SIM with 1GB data for 12JD. Just take a left once you at the arrival. The company I got it from was Zain and the coverage and reception was good, except of course when I was out in the desert.

So off I went for my 6 days in Jordan!!!

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Canon G7X

Just when I was about to fork out some $$$ for the Canon S120, this little beauty gets announced. This is like the Canon version of the Sony RX100. From the review, it seems Sony finally has a rival except Canon has a better zoom and focus time (as reviews say). So I guess I will just to have to hold back my purchase until this baby turns up in the shops in October.

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http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/09/15/canon-g7x-lays-claim-to-sony-rx100-series-turf-with-longer-lens-faster-auto

Short Break to Taipei

So my high school mate from London came visiting HK and wanted to visit Taipei. Being a good buddy I agreed and we jetted off for our weekend in Taipei city. If not for the transport and flight delays, I would actually visit Taipei more often. It’s a great city and with plenty of awesome food to go for it.

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Waiting for departure

So we took the Friday night flight with a bit of delay and eventually ended up in Taipei City at about 9:30pm. Our first stop was of course to heal our hunger and my friend in Taipei took us to a hotpot shop (was told its really famous). And i must say it was actually very good food and even my mate enjoyed it.

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And after dinner I took my mate to check out the night life of taipei. My personal favourite is Sparks ATT, good vibe and great DJ. Recommend to visit if you do head to Taipei and like to check out the nightlife but do get there early and be prepared to queue (thanks to my taiwan friend, i jumped the queue).

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With my high school mate at Sparks ATT

The next day I booked a driver to take us to some scenic spots about an hour drive away from Taipei downtown. The driver was really good and he spoke cantonese which made it all that much easier (Msg me if you want his contact, he speaks mandarin, cantonese and english). So we went to three spots on this day tour, first stop was Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園) and then we went to Jiufen (九份) & Shifen (十份).

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Yehliu Geopark

Now the geopark wasn’t so bad if not for us picking the hottest time of the day to go. So it was all sweat sweat sweat. Couldn’t wait to board the air conditioned car again.

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Jiufen

Jiufen has a narrow street that lead to an observation deck. Inside this street, lots of yummy food and interesting shops. Now tip for tourist, don’t buy your tea or souvenirs here, it cost much more than downtown.

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Shifen (Sky Lantern)

Shifen is the railway track where they filmed that famous taiwanese movie 那些年,我们一起追的女孩. It’s where you write on lanterns (天灯) and send it to the sky. It’s an interesting place, as trains run through the tracks still but everyone is still pilled on the rail track until a train comes by and everyone scrambles to the side.