Pictures from Hellabrunn Zoo

Dear readers,

I had a wonderful time spent at Tierpark Hellabrunn today when the sun is shining. This time, we ensure we get there early so we could get a parking spot. The zoo opens at 9:00 am and you should expect a huge crowd at a later time. We spent 2 hours in the zoo. By 11:30 am, the parking spots are full and cars queueing outside. I would suggest an early start or use the public transport.

The entrance fees;

  • Adult EUR 15
  • Children (4 – 14 years old) EUR 6

Without further ado, I will attached a few photos taken from the zoo today and I hope you will enjoy them! I will not be posting a long one today, so I only get straight to the point.

Picture of the day goes to the polar fox!

Sources:

https://www.hellabrunn.de/en/admission-fees/plan-your-visit/

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter and wonderful weekend!

Stephanie

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Munich’s Best Summer Adventure Spots

  • The Isar River

Munich’s Isar River, which is fed by rushing water by the Alps, serves as a major attraction for both visitors and Munich’s citizens.

This city treasure offers fishing, although a licence is necessary, rafting, sunbathing, and miles of beautiful, winding shorelines. Don’t be scared or shocked when seeing nudists by the river. It is a common activity during summer season when the sun is warm to the skin. Everyones loves a good sunshine!

The most recognised stretch of the Isar River, the Eisbach, runs directly through the Englischer Garten. It is thoroughly enjoyed by surfers.

The Isar is also an ideal spot for picnicking and sipping cold beer along its shoreline. BBQs are allowed in certain locations.

  • Tegernsee

As one of the cleanest lakes in Bavaria and encircled by the Alps, Tegernsee is a popular vacation spot for many.

With a total area of approximately nine square kilometres, this lake is six kilometres long and approximately one and a half kilometres wide.

Tegernsee offer opportunities for sports both on land and water. The surrounding area, with its mountains and flowing meadows, is perfect for mountain biking, hiking, and long scenic walks. Swimming, sailing, and fishing are among the many choices of water sports.

Tegernsee is located approximately 50 km away from Munich.

  • Starnberger See

Apart from swimming, you can rent a boat and explore the lake with friends. There are also guided boat tours for those who would like to sit back and relax.

Located approximately 27 km from the inner city, Starnberger See is Munich’s closest neighbouring lake. With a maximum depth of 127 metres, covering 57 square kilometres, and offering a view of the Alps, this lake is a sight to behold.

There are benches by the lake with the view of the Alps. It was like a perfect painting on a sunny day.

Starnberg is a quaint and upmarket Bavarian town with lots of shops selling traditional Bavarian clothing. There are also many cafes and restaurants.

Sources:

https://www.muenchen.de/int/en/culture-leisure/sport-fitness/lakes-munich/isar.html

https://www.muenchen.de/int/en/culture-leisure/sport-fitness/tegernsee.html

https://www.muenchen.de/int/en/culture-leisure/sport-fitness/starnberg.html

All photos are taken and belong to blogger Stephanie Yiap

Dine in Lehel Bar*Food*Club

Looking for a fancy restaurant which combines bar and club? A place that does not cost you an arm and leg? You came to the right post, my friend!

Introducing to you:

I found Lehel when I was searching for a spot to organised a Ladies Night Out event for 10 pax. I browsed through open table application on my iPhone and Lehel was one of the recommended spots. What caught my eyes was that it has three outstanding words that comes after the name Lehel: Bar *Food*Club. Now that is my kind of place!

So I went on reading some reviews. Majority of the reviews recommended this spot and one of the review mentioned that, there will be DJ from 11 pm onwards. Now that gets even more interesting! A restaurant turns into a club-atmosphere from 11 pm onwards?! Which means we do not need to go around scouting for another place for drinks! We can do dinner, pre-drinks, and party in just one spot. That is very, very ideal.

Let’s get into more details. I reserved a table for 10 pax via open table app (very convenient). I received a confirmation email on the day I reserved and another email reminder the day before.

As I was the first to arrive as the organiser, I was greeted with warmth and smiles. I love the vibe and dim lights in the restaurant. It looks classy, and fancy. The dress code: smart casual. The waiter offered the menu and drinks card while I was waiting for my friends. The prices are reasonable for a fancy restaurant as such. I knew which starter and main I wanted to have but then I decided, maybe I will just have the starter first because I do not know what the portion is like. I had pork belly which is served with pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, fresh coriander, and finished up with some sweet and spicy glaze. You will be surprised that the started portion was enough for a big eater like I am. I actually added on French fries which I barely touched. Oops. As for drinks, I had bramble (some cocktail with gin), gin tonic, and a bottle of water. Oh do not forget about dessert, I tried their modified creme brûlée which used goat cheese as substitute. It sounds weird and most of the ladies did not like the idea or the taste.

The creme brûlée dessert was served with warm green grapes, and balsamic ice cream. The balsamic ice cream was sour and I am not into sour. Oh no! So sourness does not work on my taste buds. I had the goat’s cheese creme brûlée with grapes, it was not the worst combination. I was excited to try it as I want to expand my culinary palate. I watch a lot of culinary shows which varies from MasterChef Australia to Chef’s Table to Worst Cooks of America (for humour and education). Okay these are the three main ones. If you have suggestions for culinary shows, please comment below! I am looking for new shows to watch as I have none that I am addicted to at the moment.

Back to Lehel.

In total, I had a starter, side dish, dessert, two alcoholic drinks, and a bottle of water which costs 45 euro. That is quite surprising for a big city like Munich! The price is worth every dish and drinks. The bartender mixes great drinks as one of my friend’s has 3 similar drinks because she loved it. We will definitely return to Lehel for a good time.

Oh! We did not stay long enough to enjoy the after-11pm-club-vibe. We were there until 11:30 pm. The DJ did turn up the volume and had some old-school music on, so we enjoyed the 30 minutes while preparing to leave to catch the train. We would have loved to stay longer but we were also pretty exhausted. When I do experience more in Lehel in the near future, I will update you on it!

Visit Lehel. Eat. Drink. Dance. and Experience!

Cheers!

Stephanie XO

Tips on traveling with ease

Planning for an upcoming trip but unsure what or how to pack? Or are you traveling on long-haul flights for the first time? The preparation can be stressful and we have all been there! In this post, I will share my tips on how to travel with ease! I travel once a year between Malaysia and Germany since I moved to Europe 5 years ago. I learn new tricks for every journey I have completed. The longest direct flight I have completed is from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne of approximately 14 hours, and another 7 hours beforehand from Munich to Abu Dhabi. Traveling can be fun if you let it be! Try not to do any countdowns because it will make the journey seem long! 

Read below for my tips and tricks:

  • Pack early

First and foremost, do not wait until the eleventh hour to pack your bags. This is what most people tend to do due to their busy schedule or a bad habit of procrastination. I personally find it easier to pack by writing down a list of the things I need to avoid overpacking on unnecessary items which will not be used. I would recommend to have your luggage packed and stowed by the door 48 hours before your flight schedule. 

Why 48 hours and not 24 hours ahead, you may ask?

There are times when you plan to purchase something last minute for families or friends, or for yourself. For example, if you are traveling to a tropical country with white sand beaches; it happens that your bikini or beach shorts no longer fits, and you are in a rush to purchase a new one. There is always an option to purchase in the country you are visiting but it may take time for you to find the stores (assuming you are visiting for the first time). 

Or you may decide to purchase some of your favourite snacks for the flight. The snacks options on-board are not wide. As for budget airlines, you will be required to purchase your snacks which are usually more expensive than the local stores. 

  • Plan your ride

If a family member or friend is sending you to the airport, it is good to plan ahead with them. If you are using a cab or Uber, have your cash or card ready for payment. During my trip in Australia, I used Paypal to make payment for my Uber ride which was very convenient. You will receive an email after you have arrived at your destination, and you can decide if you would like to tip the driver. 

Although most people believed that is it better to arrive 3 hours earlier before the flight, most of the counters are only open 90 minutes before the schedule. However, it is always good to read your itinerary again to confirm this.

  • Print your flight plan(s)

I know we are in the age of technology. Our smartphones are smarter than us! 

To have your flight plan printed makes this a little easier when you need to check your schedule. My iPhone has at least a thousand of photos, therefore, I would hate to scroll through to look for my screenshot. My Gmail is no different. 

Of course, it is not a problem to have your flight plan on your phone too. To scan the boarding pass from my iPhone usually takes time, and because of that, I prefer to have my documents printed.

  • Pack your toiletries in a hand-carry bag

Marie Kondo style. Have you heard of her? Women are worshipping Marie Kondo after her release on Netflix. She has her minimalism way of tidying and packing things. After watching a few episodes, I try to do it as per suggestion too!

Pack your toiletries in a small bag. You will need this is you have an overnight flight or travel long-hours. The necessities you will need are: toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash or face wipes, moisturiser. The limitation per bottle of liquid is 100ml. Trust me, you will not need that much. I usually pack 30ml but used only 5 – 10ml. Traveling bottles can be bought easily at stores or online, and they are pretty cheap too! In addition to that, pack the liquid bottles in a zip lock bag. Zip lock bags are amazing when it comes to traveling.

  • Bring a water bottle

I started bringing my own water bottle since my previous trip to Australia in December 2018. I find it more convenient than using the cups on board or waiting for them to serve drinks. To have the water bottle right in front of your seat pocket makes it easier to reach whenever you need it especially if you are sitting next to the window, you would not want to keep waking up your neighbours to get out of your seat.

It is recommended to drink plenty of water on board as the air on-board is dry. Water is good for your health too! In some airports, there are water dispenser machine where you can refill your water bottle instead of purchasing after you passed the security check point.

  • Opt for glasses

instead of contact lenses because the air in flight is dry. I tried wearing contact lenses on-board and I did not last up to 3 hours with it. Most airlines recommend passengers to opt for glasses. Even most of the air hostesses these days wear glasses during long-flights.

  • Do not forget your earphones or headphones

if you would like to use your own entertainment devices. The headphones on-board has a different plug which does not fit your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Bring your USB cable to charge your smartphone (if there are seat-charging area) – Etihad, Emirates, Qatar airlines provide seat-charging area but budget airlines such as AirAsia does not.

  • Bring your favourite books

Love to read? Some of us still prefers to hold a hardcopy book instead of staring at the screen for hours. When the lights on-board are dimmed, you can always switch on the reading lights on the top of your seat.

  • Pack some medications

If you tend to get headaches or motion sickness during long travels, it is advisable to pack some of your medicines in your hand-carry bag. It will come in handy when you need it! You may request from the air-hostess but there is a chance they will not provide it because it is simply too risky as they are not aware if you have any other illness. So, pack your own!

  • Be -friend with your neighbour 

One of the most exciting parts of traveling is meeting new friends on-board. Sometimes you will come across passengers who are really nice but also there are grumpy ones who do not want to be bothered as they would like to sleep all the way until their final destination. Always start with a smile and “Hello!”, and let the conversation flow!

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the journey!

A Day Trip to Salzburg is All You Need!

Dear readers,

My friend and I planned a spontaneous trip to Salzburg, Austria few days ago. The plan went smoothly as we travelled to Salzburg yesterday by train from Munich Central Station regardless of the heavy snow. We were definitely nervous the night before because I do not want to jeopardise my friend’s career if we did not make it back the same day due to the heavy snowing in the state of Bayern. We went to the central station early to ask for information if it was safe to travel. The lady said yes. So, we took our chances.

Walking towards our train at Platform 10

München Hauptbahnhof (Munich Central Station)

Our train departed exactly at 0856 hours according to schedule, and arrived at 1042 hours in Salzburg Central Station. Along the journey, we could see how thick the snow was and it was snowing all day too. Thankfully, when we arrive in Salzburg, it stopped snowing. We had a few hours of that before it started to have snow shower. The streets were wet with the melting snow, as you could imagine. Waterproof boots, winter jacket, warm gloves are highly recommended. Plus, beanie and warm inner wear too if you want to survive the winter. It sucks that we need to wear so thick but that is just how it is! I love summertime because we can wear less!

Anyway, the ride to Salzburg was not that crowded. Along the way, the train does stop at least 6 to 7 different stations to drop and pick passengers up. However, the ride from Salzburg central station was packed. Some passengers had to stand throughout the journey. It is always safer to be there at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time unless you do not mind standing for 1 hour 45 minutes or more.

Purchasing train ticket:

I bought the train ticket via DB navigator app. The Bayern-ticket costs 25 Euro per person. For each person you add, it costs 7 Euro extra. There were two of us so we paid 32 Euro for our return ticket. We were choosing between Flixbus and the train. My friend had an unpleasant trip with the bus, therefore, we opt to try to train instead. It was my first time using the train on a long journey as well. It was worth it. I would highly recommend to take the train. We had the Meridian train.

Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (Salzburg Central Station)

It was rather easy to find which platform the train would be at by referring to the board at the Munich Central Station. Otherwise, there is an information centre just right in front of the platforms too.

Upon arriving in Salzburg Central Station, we looked for the bus to Cafe Tomaselli which was recommended by a friend. We intended to walk there, but it was challenging with the snow showers as I forgot my umbrella, plus a knee that has not recovered from a recent injury when I was in Australia.

Cafe Tomaselli is one of the popular cafes there. It was crowded when we arrived, and we got lucky that someone just left a table for us. They serve breakfasts, cakes, and drinks from alcohol to non-alcoholic. Tomaselli Hot Punch was my choice: mix of rum, orange juice and black tea. The waiter said it was a good choice if you want to sleep well! I have to admit, the hot punch was delicious. I would have this any day instead of Glühwein (mulled wine). I would highly recommend you to try it, too!

Drinks and cakes at Cafe Tomaselli

As for the cakes, there are pretty women walking around serving the cakes. Once you decided what you would like to have, you will have to pay it on the spot as well. Drinks and cakes are paid separately. The cake I had was dry but it was not overly sweet. It has a good balance.

After Cafe Tomaselli, we walked around the area in the snow shower. The shopping area is very unique. Usually we are used to the big shopping malls sort of thing but the ones in Salzburg are not that way. You can see it in the photo below:



We came across Mozarts Wohnhaus, Mozarts Geburtshaus (birthplace). We did not make any exact plans on where we need to visit. So, the idea of being spontaneous was not bad either. Salzburg have beautiful buildings. The people we met along the way are friendly, and smiley.


Mozart’s birthplace – museum. Mozart was born on the 27th January 1756 in this place.

Traveling with the bus in Salzburg:

The ticket machine did not work when we needed to use it. We are able to purchase tickets from the bus driver, too. The single-ticket costs 2,70 Euro per person. There is an option for 24-hours ticket as well.

It is easy to get one location to another by foot, when the weather allows you to. The earlier you depart from Munich, you will have more time to spent in Salzburg. The Salzburg Central Station is not far from the city and is easy to get there by bus if you are in a rush. If you are not doing any shopping, you can survive a whole day with 100 Euro. We spent on drinks and food, and I spent less than 100 Euro per person including the bus tickets.

May there be more adventures ahead!

Extra shots from Salzburg below!


Signing out,

Steph

From Australian summer to Munich’s winter

Dear readers,

I’m back in Munich from my 3 weeks of trip to Australia! I didn’t update my blog as much as I planned to! I was having a wonderful summer time over there. The trip started in Launceston, Hobart, and ended in Melbourne. Melbourne has always been close to my heart. I’ve lived there for 6 months during my student exchange program and I fell in love with the city. However, life lead me to a different path – I was lead to Germany. Funny how life works!

Tasmania was different than Melbourne. It was hilly place indeed, with beautiful natures and wide green landscapes. I was happy that I managed to see the famous Tasmanian devil. Such cute little animals! I also got up close to wallabies, koala bears, echidnas, kookaburra and more. My sister drove us to a few famous spots outskirts of the city like The Bay of Fires.

Besides the sightseeing, I enjoyed authentic Malaysian (and Sarawakian) cuisines too! How much I’ve missed Sarawakian cuisines – as it can’t be found in Munich at all! My favorite of all times: Sarawak Laksa. It’s glass noodle is spicy broth. If you hadn’t tried it, you’re missing out on life. To get the best, authentic Sarawak Laksa, you’ll have to get it in Sarawak itself.

This trip, I finally managed to visit the beaches in Melbourne which I missed out 6 years ago. I visited Port Beach Melbourne, and Brighton Beach. I definitely look forward to return to Australia again soon when my sister moves over there for work. I hope I won’t miss out their New Year’s Eve celebration this time! I’m planning to travel as much as possible while I’m young, and of course, try to save as much as possible from each trip. I probably can’t save much from flight fares but I can save trips when I’m in the country itself – by using cheap method of transportation.

I’m planning to visit home this year, Malaysia, to see my family and friends, of course, not to forget the food. If you haven’t notice, Asians, or Malaysians, always meetup with food and drinks. We always, always arrange a meetup this way. We love to eat, and we have suppers in Malaysia (at least during my university days).

I have a lot more to share. I’ll have to continue it later on..

It’s snowing in Munich right now. It’s gonna get colder by day. I look forward for winter to be over already when it just started!

Until then,

Stephanie

#DiscoverTasmania Itinerary 16.12.2018

Dear readers,

Yesterday we had a full-day itinerary. It was a long, windy road drive to Bay of Fires. The “snake” road was about an hour away from Bay of Fires. Driving down with blind spot cornering made my hands sweat even though I wasn’t the driver.

After 2.5 hours we finally arrived there with huge waves crashing the rocks. It wasn’t as touristy as I expected.

I realized the inconvenience of driving far distance here is that, there are no public toilets on the way. Unlike in Germany, every few kilometers, there are resting places and public toilets. But not over here in Tasmania. I’m not sure how it is in others cities in Australia. Remember don’t drink too much fluid unless you don’t mind doing your business in the open bushes. It’s not easy to get a hidden spot.

• • •

The path which leads you closer to the water and rocks. You can get there as near as possible. When we arrived, it was quite cloudy but then the clouds cleared pretty quickly above the water and we could get a better view. You can bring some snacks along with you but there won’t be much space on the grass to have a picnic. You can sit on the rocks and should expect the waves splashing when the tide is high.

It’s a good place for photo shoot! Don’t forget your camera!

This is the signboard as you enter the area.

After visiting The Gardens, we moved on to Binalong Bay as we needed to use the public toilet before our long drive back. Coincidentally the public toilet was located just next to the beach.

We went down to the sandy beach for a quick view and enjoying the breeze. The sand feels cooling and heavenly to the skin.

I found a seashell on my way out at Binalong Bay too.

Some people went for a swim in the water which looks pretty cold! We weren’t pack for swimming as we didn’t expect to get in the water but that’s okay. We had to leave for another long drive back home.

As soon as we arrived in the city, we went for delicious dinner at Dynasty Chinese Restaurant in Launceston city. I would highly recommend the restaurant!

Our itinerary today will be driving to Cradle Mountain – another long journey with more curving roads.

Until then.

Signing out,

Steph x