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  • How To Get From Seoul To Busan; and Have the Chance to Say You Survived the Train to Busan

    Upon hearing the word “South Korea”, most people would imagine all the glitz and glamor of Seoul, the country’s capital city. And with all the city’s beautiful skyscrapers, food, Gangnam and K-Pop stars, it’s no wonder. However, if you’re also interested in visiting Busan and clicked on this article, congratulations! You are a few of the many! Busan is the second largest city in South Korea with so much to offer. This metropolitan city is located on the southeastern-most side of the Korean Peninsula, allowing Busan to have one of the world’s best natural sights. Other than that, its seafood and natural attractions such as beaches and cliffs are so ready for you to taste, discover and experience. If you're looking for something to listen to as you read, check out The Halal Travel Podcast hosted by Hazirah, Nurul and Raudha as they talk candidly about travel, food, life and everything else in between and sometimes with awesome guests! Listen now! Stretched out from the northwestern part to the southeastern-most of South Korea, Seoul to Busan is 325 km away. There are several ways to go to Busan from Seoul and one might suit your preference. Now, here is how you can get to Busan from Seoul.   1. Drive a Car along the one of the oldest expressways in Korea Credit: @pw_park_gallery on Instagram If you want to fully enjoy what's in South Korea and you have plenty of free time, traveling by car might be the best choice. It defines the idea of freedom and flexibility. You can sightsee or stop anywhere you want on the way. However, to be able to travel by car, you need to be at least 21 years old or older and own an International Driving License (IDP) or a South Korean (Local) Driving License. What you need to know when choosing this option: The driving distance from Seoul to Busan is 390 km and takes 4 to 5 hours driving time. You will go through the oldest toll road in South Korea called Gyeongbu Expressway. The Expressway toll can be paid using cash, credit card, or a Hi-Pass card that can be purchased at any store that sells automobile electronics. Make sure to top up in advance if you use one. Also remember not to use the blue lane when stopping at toll gates as your On Board Unit (OBU) will be automatically charged.  Car rental is pretty easy to find in South Korea. You can get it online, from the airport, or rent straight through the car rental agency’s place. You can rent a hatchback car for S$65 and a family car for S$140. We recommend renting a car straight through the car rental agency’s place – and make sure to add insurance too! Do remember to stay on the right lane when driving. Also, the speed limit on the Expressways is 100-120km/h, and 60-80km/h in the city. Just remember to put the seatbelts and your GPS Map on, and you’re ready to go!   2. Hop on a Bus(an) Credit: E Fernandez on Unsplash If you want to enjoy the streets and roads in South Korea from Seoul to Busan but don’t want to drive or don’t have an International Driving Permit, then this is a perfect choice! Riding a bus from Seoul to Busan takes approximately 4 hours, which is honestly not very long. You can either book a ticket via KOBUS or Easyticket online, or at the station. To get to Busan, you can depart from Seoul Gyeongbu or East Seoul Station. The ticket prices range from S$30 to S$47, and there are economy and premium express options. Late night buses are also available. Traveling by bus is best suited to those who travel in groups. Travel time will feel short when you are with your friends. Your wallet will definitely thank you for choosing the bus. You can find more information or book your tickets here.   3. Catch a KTX Train to Busan (we can't assure you there won't be any zombies) Credit: Doyle Shin on Unsplash This is our most recommended option! Traveling from Seoul to Busan by Train is the easiest, most convenient and the second fastest. It’s no wonder taking the train is the most popular route in the country. Since Seoul is located in the northwestern part of South Korea and Busan is located in the southeastern-most part, you’ll be able to enjoy the sights of cities in South Korea on your journey. But most of all, you can enjoy what it feels like to be inside the “Train to Busan” – hopefully without the zombies ;) The train is often referred to as KTX, which is an abbreviation of Korea Train eXpress. KTX is a high speed railway system that was launched in 2004 and is operated by KORAIL, the national railway operator in South Korea. A bullet train ride from Seoul Station to Busan Station is less than 3 hours long, and the shortest ride only takes 2 hours 15 minutes. Very fast, right? The best thing about choosing the train as your mode of transport from Seoul to Busan is the timing options. You can choose the train departure time that lines up best with your travel itinerary. There are​ 50 departure timings for the Seoul to Busan route. The earliest departure is at 5:15AM and the latest departure is at 10:30PM. A one-way ticket costs approximately around S$64 to S$72. You can find more information or book your tickets here.   4. Leave Seoul on a jet Plane Credit: @drg_aero on Instagram Airplane is the best mode of transport for those who want a speedy journey, or simply want to check out a bird’s-eye view of South Korea. A plane ride to Gimhae International Airport (Busan) from Gimpo International Airport (Seoul) only takes around 1 hour! Customize your flight options to suit your preferences – you’ll have an array of departure timings as well as airlines to choose from. You can choose to fly Korean Air, Asiana, T’Way Air, Air Busan, Air Seoul, Jeju Air, or Jin Air. The total number of flights per-day is usually 17, though that could change depending on weather conditions or other factors. The earliest departure is at 7AM and the latest departure is at 9.45PM. Ticket prices may fluctuate, but based on our research, the best prices you can get from Seoul to Busan are usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. A flight ticket from Seoul to Busan can cost between S$61 and S$300. You can get cheap tickets through the Skyscanner or Cheapflights websites. So, have you decided which mode of transportation best suits your preferences? We know every choice has its pros and cons. So, we suggest you sit down, take your time and make notes to make sure you pick the best option. What’s more important for a traveler is to check our health and body condition before traveling; to make sure we are fit enough to travel via whichever mode of transport we are choosing. InshAllah, with Basmalah and mindful planning, your journey will be safe and comfortable. Make sure to download HalalTrip from Appstore or Playstore for more information about Halal Travel. Stay safe and stay healthy readers!...

  • HK COVID-19 Spike, SG-HK Air Travel Bubble Postponed for 2 Weeks & More News

    Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble postponed for 2 weeks due to HK COVID-19 spike Credits: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons The Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) has been postponed for at least 2 weeks due to a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in HK. The announcement was made by Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung in a Facebook post on Saturday. ATB flights were scheduled to commence on Sunday, 22 November. Hong Kong confirmed 26 new coronavirus infections on Friday, 21 of which are local cases. Hong Kong has announced tighter COVID-19 measures to contain the spread of the infection among locals, such as the suspension of in-person classes for primary 1-3 students. The ATB had garnered much interest between Singaporeans and Hong Kongers alike, as tickets to and from the countries were sold out just a few hours after the start date of the ATB was announced. Ticket prices had also hiked, hitting a price of $1000 for economy class tickets.  SIA and Cathay Pacific customers who have bought tickets may reschedule their booking, exchange their tickets for airline credits or request for a full refund.  As the ATB agreements focus on allowing non-essential travel between countries without a mandatory quarantine period, non-ATB flights are still operational. Cathay Pacific will be converting ATB flights between 24 Nov and 5 Dec to non-ATB flights, retaining the same date and time as their original bookings, but maintaining “normal quarantine rules”, according to the airline.  In his Facebook post, Minister Ong gave comment on the situation, stating that “this is a sober reminder that the COVID-19 virus is still with us, and even as we fight to regain our normal lives, the journey will be full of ups and downs. But we will press on and look forward to when we can safely launch the ATB.”   Travellers coming into Singapore now eligible to purchase COVID-19 insurance Credits: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay  Foreigners entering Singapore are now eligible for at least S$30,000 insurance coverage for COVID-19 related medical costs. This figure is to cover the medical costs at private hospitals. The plans are offered by three insurance companies – AIG Asia Pacific Insurance, HL Assurance and Chubb Insurance Singapore. AIG and HL have rolled out their insurance plans, while Chubb will begin their offers from 27 Nov. Premiums start at $5.35.   Student Club by Qatar Airways – new exclusive airline loyalty program for students worldwide Qatar Airways has just launched Student Club, a program that offers special benefits and savings exclusive to students worldwide. Powered by Qatar Airways Privilege Club, the program intends to support students throughout their educational journey. Members of Student Club are entitled to privileges such as discounts for flights, complimentary Super Wi-Fi onboard, extra baggage allowances, the freedom to change the dates of their flight, and more. Upon graduation, members will be automatically enrolled to Qatar Airways Privilege Club and will receive a free tier upgrade. They may also receive 5,000 Qmiles upon referring a friend to Student Club.   Hotel to be built near the new Jeddah airport by early 2022 Credits: IHG (Voco) Website A new hotel is underway to be built near the new Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia by the first quarter of 2022. Voco Jeddah North will feature 145 rooms and will be conveniently located near the upcoming Kingdom City, which is anticipated to be the new center of Jeddah. The best beaches in the northern corniche of the city will also be accessible from the hotel, such as the Alexandria beach, and the Obhur Corniche and Bay, near the Red Sea. Jeddah Seasons Square will also be easily accessible from the hotel.   New British travel operator offering No-Fly holidays launched amidst UK lockdown Credits: Byway Website A new British travel operator, Byway, has begun operations amidst the lockdown in the UK. The operator specialises in no-fly holidays, aiming to pave the way for a new norm in the travel industry. With many consumers becoming more self-aware about how their travel behaviors impact the environment, Byway believes there to be an upcoming market for slow travel. Their personalized packages include journeys by train, boat and bike, exploring places in the UK and France that are off the beaten track. Byway also aims to expand to other European countries once borders open up.   South Africa and Botswana to relax border restrictions Credits: Julian Herzog, CC BY 4.0 South Africa and Botswana are relaxing their border restrictions. Visitors from the UK and Ireland are allowed entry into South Africa and are expected to present a hardcopy certificate of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departure.  From 1 Dec, Botswana will open up its doors to travellers from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Travellers will be expected to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of their departure. Botswana is one of the most revered safari destinations in Africa, known for its large elephant population – the largest in the world....

  • Gunung Bromo: Destinasi Eksotis Untuk Jiwa Petualang

    Alam Indonesia sudah sejak lama menjadi bagian dari keindahan wisata di seluruh dunia. Keindahan yang terhampar dan membentang luas tersaji dari barat Indonesia di kepulauan Sabang hingga ke Merauke di wilayah paling timur Indonesia. Salah satu yang paling menonjol ialah wisata gunung bernama Bromo di Jawa Timur. Sebuah gunung dengan keelokan abadi yang menakjubkan dan merupakan satu dari banyak gunung api yang ada Indonesia. Gunung berapi dengan ketinggian sekitar 2,400 meter di atas permukaan laut ini memiliki kaldera berupa lautan pasir seluas kurang lebih 6,000 hektar, lautan pasir yang berfungsi sebagai penahan air ini merupakan bagian dari andalan wisata kawasan pegunungan tengger ini.   Lokasi Bromo Mulai Dibuka Dengan Berbagai Syarat Kredit Foto: Dinda Prasetyo di Unsplash Sejak setahun yang lalu, aktivitas wisata di Gunung Bromo harus terhenti akibat pandemi virus corona yang merebak hampir ke seluruh penjuru dunia. Bulan Agustus lalu menjadi awal dimulainya melepas penantian bagi mereka yang dahaga akan suasana dingin dan indahnya Gunung Bromo. Bedanya, kini pengunjung diharuskan mengikuti protokol kesehatan di era normal baru. Pihak Balai Besar Taman Nasional Bromo Tengger Semeru (BBTNBTS) juga menerapkan serangkaian aturan yang harus dipatuhi oleh pengunjung, diantaranya, Pengunjung di wajibkan membeli tiket secara online melalui situs bookingbromo.bromotenggersemeru.org, selanjutnya wisatawan juga wajib berbadan sehat dan melampirkan surat keterangan sehat, mereka harus menunjukkan surat keterangan sehat dari dokter terlebih dahulu kepada pihak terkait. Batas usia pengunjung pun juga dibatasi, mereka yang boleh memasuki dan berwisata kekawasan Gunung Bromo hanya yang berusia 10 hingga 60 tahun. bahkan sebelumnya pada reaktivasi Tahap pertama, hanya wisatawan berusia 14 sampai 60 tahun saja yang boleh berkunjung ke kawasan ini. Mereka yang datang juga wajib dicek suhu tubuhnya, pengunjung wajib melalui prosedur pemeriksaan suhu tubuh dua kali dengan jarak pemeriksaan selama 5 menit. Jika sudah diperiksa dua kali dan suhu tubuh tetap lebih dari 37,30 derajat celcius, wisatawan tidak diizinkan masuk. Selama berada di kawasan Taman Nasional Bromo Tengger Semeru, wisatawan wajib memakai masker, sarung tangan serta membawa hand sanitizer atau sabun cair, Jika tidak membawa, pengunjung bisa membeli dari para pedagang di sekitar area, pihak pengelola juga telah menyediakan tempat cuci tangan di beberapa titik wisata, termasuk di pintu masuk. Memakai alat pribadi juga menjadi kewajiban yang diterapkan oleh pengelola kepada pengunjung, seperti penggunaan alat makan, minum, perlengkapan ibadah, dan perlengkapan lain yang menjadi kebutuhan selama didalam Taman Nasional Bromo. Setelah berada didalam dan menikmati indahnya kawasan wisata, pengunjung juga harus saling menjaga jarak satu dengan yang lainnya, berperilaku tertib dan tidak diperbolehkan berkerumun. Menjaga etika saat mengalami batuk dan bersin juga menjadi syarat mutlak yang diberlakukan oleh pengelola kepada seluruh pengunjung. Mereka yang batuk atau bersin diharuskan menutup area mulut dan hidung menggunakan tisu, masker, atau dengan siku. dan tentunya tidak boleh membuang ludah secara sembarangan. Kuota kunjungan juga dibatasi di lima site wisata. Untuk Site Bukit Cinta, kuotanya hanya 42 orang per hari. Sementara Site Pananjakan 250 orang per hari, Site Bukit Kedaluh 129 orang per hari, Site Savana Teletubies 694 orang per hari, dan Site Mentigen 150 orang per hari. Untuk Kawah Bromo hingga saat ini msih belum terbuka untuk umum, bahkan pengujung dibatasi jarak hingga radius aman sekitar 1 kilometer dari kawah. Kewajiban pengunjung yang lain ialah harus menjaga kebersihan, mereka yang sudah masuk diharuskan membawa turun sampah sisa kebutuhan , bahkan tempat publik seperti mushola, toilet, tempat parkir, dan lainnya harus selalu tetap bersih. Tidak hanya pengunjung yang dibatasi, kendaraan pribadi serta mobil penumpang kapasitasnya pun dikurangi hingga 50 persen dari kapasitas semula.   Menikmati Matahari Terbit Di Bukit Pananjakan Kredit Foto: Irham Bahtiar on Unsplash Bagian terpenting menjejakkan kaki di Gunung Bromo ialah bisa menikmati matahari terbit secara sempurna. Waktu terbaik untuk menikmati sunrise Bromo adalah ketika musim kemarau tiba, yakni sekitar bulan Juli hingga September. Saat itu Cuaca lebih cerah, sunrise bisa lebih terlihat jelas tanpa terhalang kabut. Untuk bisa melihat matahari terbit juga bukan tanpa pengorbanan, sebaiknya pengunjung sudah harus menyewa homestay terlebih dahulu, begitu juga untuk kendaraan menuju view point sunrise pengunjung sebaiknya sudah siap dengan mobil jeep sewaan. Hal ini penting, mengingat tidak semua mobil bisa dengan leluasa menunju tempat naiknya matahari itu. Ketika semua perlangkapan sudah siap, kini pengunjung juga harus siap bangun lebih pagi, karena untuk mendapat tempat yang pas untuk melihat sunrise, wisatawan sudah harus tiba di Penanjakan 1 sekitar pukul 03.30 atau pukul 04.00 pagi, mengingat banyaknya orang lain yang juga ingin melihat matahari terbit, terlebih saat akhir pekan tiba , di mana pengunjung yang mau melihat sunrise begitu ramai. Terakhir yang harus diperhatikan ialah, penggunakan pakaian yang tepat. Dengan suhu yang dingin di pegunungan, penggunaan pakaian hangat atau jaket tebal mutlak dilakukan dengan diikuti penggunaan alas kaki yang nyaman seperti sepatu trekking. Sedikit berbeda dengan Pananjakan 1, Bukit Pananjakan 2 merupakan sunrise view point yang posisinya lebih rendah, namun demikin menantikan terbitnya matahari di bukit ini tidak kalah menarik di banding Pananjakan 1, tentunya masih harus dengan kondisi cuaca cerah agar tidak tertutup kabut   Kawah Gunung Bromo Salah satu destinasi wisata yang tidak boleh dilewatkan oleh wisatawan adalah kawah Gunung Bromo. Ditempat ini anda bisa melihat kawah yang masih aktif secara langsung. Jaraknya sekitar 10-15 menit dari pananjakan 1 jika menggunakan kendaraan roda empat. Awal terciptanya kawah Bromo, konon katanya kawah tersebut merupakan gunung tengger yang memiliki ketinggian hingga mencapai 4,000 meter dari permukaan laut. Hal ini yang menjadikan Gunung Bromo merupakan gunung tertinggi pada masa itu. Terjadilah letusan sangat dasyat yang menciptakan kaldera dengan diameter mencapai 9 kilometer lebih, dari hasil letusan Gunung Bromo itulah kini menjadi wisata lautan pasir. Namun sayang wisata kawah Bromo belum bisa dinikmati dan masih tertutup untuk umum.   Pasir Berbisik Kredit Foto: lingkarmalang.com Tempat yang menjadi andalan kawasan wisata di Gunung Bromo dan sudah sangat terkenal adalah Pasir Berbisik. Pasir Berbisik merupakan salah satu area di sekitar Gunung Bromo yang berisi hamparan pasir. Pasir Berbisik ini sangat unik dan merupakan salah satu unggulan wisata Gunung Bromo. Dinamakan Pasir Berbisik, karena jika pasir-pasir ini tertiup angin, maka pasir tersebut akan menciptakan suara desisan angin yang sangat khas. Kawasan Pasir Berbisik juga kerap dijadikan objek fotografi bagi para pengunjung. Bentuknya yang unik serta suaranya yang khas membuat wisatawan menjatuhkan pilihan untuk berfoto di tempat ini, dan tentunya Pasir Berbisik tidak akan dapat ditemui di tempat wisata gunung lainnya .   Bukit Teletubbies Kredit Foto: MmUH-07, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Gunung Bromo memberikan pilihan kawasan hijau dengan padang rumput menghampar yang sangat mirip dengan serial televisi Teletubbies. Maka Kawasan ini disebut Bukit Teletubbies karena mirip dengan serial televisi untuk anak anak tersebut. Bukit yang satu ini posisinya ada di bagian selatan dari Gunung Bromo. Kawasan ini juga merupakan bagian dari jalur utama jika Anda ingin mengunjungi padang savana dari Gunung Bromo. Pemandangan dari Bukit Teletubbies ini sangat menawan dan membuat mata anda terasa lebih segar dengan hamparan warna hijau rumput sejauh mata anda memandang .   Mengarungi Bromo Dengan Mobil Jeep Kredit Foto: Levi Ari Pronk on Unsplash Wisata Gunung Bromo temasuk wilayah yang medannya cukup sulit digapai dengan kendaraan pribadi, pengunjung juga dilarang menggunakan mobil pribadi di kawasan Gunung Bromo. Sebagai solusi para wisatawan bisa menyewa kendaraan jenis jip jika ingin mencapai beberapa tempat wisata di Gunung Bromo. Ada sekitar 1.500 kendaraan jip yang disiapkan oleh paguyuban yang bekerja sama dengan pengelola. Beberapa titik kendaraan jip sudah diap mengantarkan anda berkeliling Gunung Bromo, diantaranya di wilayah Tumpang dan Poncokusumo (Kabupaten Malang), Wonokitri (Kabupaten Pasuruan), serta Dusun Cemoro Lawang, Desa Ngadisari, Kecamatan Sukapura, Kabupaten Probolinggo. Harga sewa satu kendaraan jip berdasarkan awal keberangkatan dan jumlah tempat wisata yang dikunjungi. Jika hari normal, kapasitas penumpang berjumlah 6 orang, pada saat pandemi hanya diperbolehkan separuhnya . Untuk harga sewa rata rata dipatok antara 500.000 rupiah sampai dengan 600.000 rupiah untuk paket rute pulang pergi ke Cemoro Lawang, Pananjakan 1, Bukit Teletubbies, Pasir Berbisik dan Gunung Bromo. Sedangkan bagi wisatawan yang datang dan menyewa dari pasar tumpang atau rest area desa Gubuklakah harga sewa berkisar antara 900.000 rupiah hingga 1,5 juta rupiah, hal ini dikarenakan jarak yang lebih jauh. Untuk harga yang lebih murah, anda bisa melalui kabupaten pasuruan, tepatnya menyewa kendaraan di Desa Monokriti kecamatan Tosari, namun jalur disini lebih mendaki dan berkelok dibanding jalur yang lain.   Wisata Berkuda Kredit Foto: Tom Mussak on Unsplash Berkuda menjadi alternatif bagi wisatawan yang ingin berkeliling di Kawasan Taman Nasional Bromo. Dengan menggunakan kuda, pengunjung tidak perlu capek menuju destinasi wisata yang diinginkan, selain itu pengunjung akan lebih merasa santai menikmati indahnya alam sekitar Gunung Bromo, sekaligus bisa berfoto untuk dijadikan momen indah selama tour di sini.   Wisata Adat Kasodo Kredit Foto: Hebert Kostan on Unsplash Tidak hanya memiliki panorama yang indah, Gunung Bromo juga merupakan gunung suci bagi umat Hindu Tengger. Setiap tahunnya, suku Tengger mengadakan upacara Yadnya Kasada atau yang biasa dikenal dengan sebutan Kasodo. Ritual turun temurun ini dilakukan sebagai bentuk ucapan syukur atas anugerah kesuburan alam. Yadnya Kasada juga dimaknai sebagai janji warga suku Tengger kepada leluhurnya untuk Gunung Bromo. Upacara Yadnya Kasada biasanya digelar pada tanggal 14 dan 15 bulan kesepuluh menurut hitungan kalender Jawa. Mereka akan membawa sesaji sebagai persembahan rasa syukur untuk sang pencipta dan leluhur di gunung suci umat Hindu Tengger. Unrelated but... Check out The Halal Travel Podcast hosted by Hazirah, Nurul and Raudha as they talk candidly about travel, food, life and everything else in between and sometimes with awesome guests! Listen now! ...

  • 9 Must-Stay Airbnb in Osaka For ANY Budget

    Perhaps the lesser-known little sibling to Tokyo, Osaka is the slightly rebellious, night owl, and modern financial city of Japan. Osaka is home to a massive cityscape phenomenon and an impressive night skyline. This city is filled with inventive and clever buildings showcasing wonderful Airbnbs. We're here to guide your journey into finding the perfect home or perhaps homes for your Osaka stay. It may be worth the experience to book a capsule stay for at least one night just to enjoy the uncommon opportunity. Who said that you have to book one place for all your stay? If you're up for the adventure then why not book more than one of these Airbnb's. If you are travelling as a group or a family then this home offers the comforts of a home with the added luxury of hotel elegance.   Modern Japanese Airbnb Unique traits: Central Location, cute decor, magic shows If you are looking for a place that has class, character, and care then why not consider this modern Japanese home. It houses up to 4 people and has an extremely central place in Osaka with close access to popular locations like Osaka castle (13 min walk), Tennoji Zoo/Tsutenkaku (15-20min walk), and Abeno Harukas( 10min walk). The place was carefully designed to create a safe cocoon of comfort and even includes a foot massage machine for all the walking you might do in Osaka. If you are a fan of magic tricks and clever slights of hand then you can also request a magic show in your home or the shared lobby in the building, Check out this Airbnb listing here.   Simple homes with necessary features and warm hospitality, these affordable Airbnbs don't let down!   Deep-in Osaka R172 Unique traits: Large space, Old port town, homely  This 3 bedroom house is a home that provides the necessary comfort for your stay with enough space for a family or group of friends. You will not be cramped for space in the 10-meter living room. This home is situated in the old port town of Osaka. The district has tried to amplify this great touristic location; it is home to modern touristic ventures such as the Universal Studios Japan and Osaka Aquarium. Check out this Airbnb listing here.   Enzo Chidoridibashi Unique traits: Accessibility to stations, cheap This home is the epitome of a good bargain. Simple and modern, the home provides you with 3 beds for less than $10 a night during prime seasons. The closest station is 2 minutes away and it is less than 15 minutes away from 5 other stations! This is best for short stays where you only need a place to sleep and to cook instant ramen. It is located a few km away from the Universal studio Japan and Kuchu Teien observatory, allowing you to walk around and enjoy the versatile neighborhood. Check out this Airbnb listing here.   Chikas bunk bedroom Unique traits: Female-only, long-term stays, parks This hostel-style accommodation provides two separate floors one dedicated to women only and another for mixed genders. This cheap but homely option offers you free breakfast and free reign of the kitchen, its utensils, and bathroom. The location of this place could be great for people looking for a place to stay long term without breaking the bank. There are coin laundry services nearby, a cheap convenience store for snacking and groceries, and a drug store. In terms of tourist attractions, this Airbnb is located next to beautiful parks such as Hamadera park known for its rose garden and cherry blossoms. Check out this Airbnb listing here.   Osaka is the ingenious innovator of the capsule bed, hence it only makes sense to list Capsule-pod Airbnbs in Osaka.   KICHINAN capsule hostel Unique traits: Photography Lovers, Osaka Castle, Japanese details.  Capsule hostels originally started with the concept of affordability and singularity. Over the years style and character have developed to create a distinctive experience at each Capsule hostel. This Hostel provides you with a homely traditional Japanese style of sleeping on a hard surface with a comfy mattress. The owner also has a darkroom for those who are budding photographers and his passion for Japanese aesthetics and art can be felt from the decoration and attention to minute details. The location is ideal for history geeks who want to be close to the Osaka Castle and the ground it dominated in the past.  Check out this Airbnb listing here.   Domi Otoyadoikuha in Kyoto Unique traits: Hostel, Capsule and Hotel experience, music  This next Airbnb is the craziest amalgamation of a hostel, capsule, and a hotel. The space provided with the bed is the equivalent to tiny homes found on youtube. You will find yourself in a mini private room that almost resembles a bunk bed and room. If you are an experience seeker then this dormitory for you, this unique Airbnb does it all. The theme of music runs throughout the place providing guests. This space’s historic journey started as an old Japanese folk house and was eventually transformed into a shared hostel. It must be warned that there is a bar on the first floor.  Check out this Airbnb listing here.   NERAREL Hostel No.06 Unique traits: Amenities, Good location This capsule-pod lodging provides their esteemed guests with options of private rooms, unisex dormitory, and female-only dormitories. The shared places provide you an abundance of toiletries including cleansing oils, foams, toothbrushes, and even curling irons. The space is modern and earthy with sublime woodwork and more than enough space for comfort. The location of this hostel is only a 1-minute walk to the station, easily connecting you to Osaka. It is incredibly close to famous tourist destinations such as Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, and Kuromon Market, only a 5 minute walk away. Check out this Airbnb listing here.   If you can afford the opulence Osaka offers then do not hesitate to check out:   House with Playroom Unique traits: Superhost, playhouse, interior gardens  As the name suggests this home has a playroom but this home is also impressive with 4 bedrooms, bikes in the garage, a beautiful interior garden, grandiose spaces, fascinating furniture, a sleek black and white marble bathroom, colorful toilets, and a fully equipped kitchen. This home is ideal for families travelling with lots of children and even pets. Check out this Airbnb listing here.   BijouSuites AI PREMIUM Unique Traits: Superhost, cinema, large groups This premium home is not premium just by name– a seamless design of old Japanese elements paired with modern furniture and traits creates a fascinating home that has not disappointed a single guest. The rating for this home is a complete 5* and this should come as no surprise when you have a choice between a TV and projector, a kitchen free to use, tatami rooms for dining and sleeping as well as plush beds. This place sleeps up to 8 people.  Check out this Airbnb listing here. We hope these choices guide you into making the right decision for your unique experience in Osaka.  Check out The Halal Travel Podcast hosted by Hazirah, Nurul and Raudha as they talk candidly about travel, food, life and everything else in between and sometimes with awesome guests! Listen now! ...

  • 6 Places Waiting to be Explored in Muar, Johor

    You might never think about visiting Muar, Johor in Malaysia but we’re about to change your mind. A historical town in Johor, Muar (also known as Bandar Maharani) is one of the hidden gems in Malaysia you should consider visiting in near future. It was recently declared as Johor’s Royal Town by Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj in 2012. It was his mandate to keep Muar peaceful and clean that has made it to be one of the cleanest cities in SouthEast Asia – Muar was the recipient of the Asean Clean Tourist City Standard Award 2017. Famous for its coffee, food and historical buildings, it’s a perfect destination for foodies and those who seek a peaceful place to relax. Muar is waiting to be explored. Here are 6 things to do in Muar:   1. A Must-Go Place for Coffee Lovers: Sai Kee Kopi 434 Muar Credit: @aliyn_amerul on Instagram If you seek an authentic taste of local coffee in Muar, this is where you should go. Founded in 1953, Sai Kee Coffee is a two-storey wooden house perched very close to the Muar river, and across from the Bentayan Bus Station. Its founder, Mr. Kiar Am Sai was 17 years old when he landed in Malaysia from China. Ever since then, he has perfected his art in coffee roasting that it is now a popular drink among the locals and tourists around the world. They serve Authentic Coffee like Elephant Coffee, Kopi O and Musang (Luwak) Coffee. If you have never heard of Elephant and Musang (Luwak) Coffee, you might want to google it before sipping it. Other than that, they also serve Espresso, Cappuccino, White Coffee and many more. If you’re not a coffee lover, there are other menu items that you can order like Their Authentic Teas, Milk, Pineapple juice and Honey Lemon. They also serve Halal breakfast, lunch and dessert menu. Do try their Roti Bakar and Nasi Lemak as well! Don’t forget to bring home their signature product: Kopi Cap 434! Halal Status: Halal Certified Address: 121, Jalan Maharani, Taman Sri Emas, 84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia Opening Hours: 8AM – 5:30PM Phone: +60 6-951 3046 Website: https://www.saikee.com/   2. Have a Walk and Take Selfies at Muar Cultural Walk Credit: @syafiqariffin on Instagram Muar cultural walk is an alley with murals themed on Malaysian diversity, and Muar's historic and cultural roots. Here, you can hold your partner on a leisurely walk while enjoying the clean and peaceful atmosphere of Muar. You can also gain insights into Muar's culture and history by observing the murals and artwork on the alley walls. Besides that, you can also take photos there for mementos and Instagram posts. Address: Jalan Meriam, Pekan Muar, 84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia Opening Hours: 24 hours Phone: +60 17-889 5899   3. Embrace Muslim History by Visiting and Praying at Sultan Ibrahim Jamek Mosque Credit: @zaher388 on Instagram Located along Jalan Petri, near the mouth of Muar River, Sultan Ibrahim Jamek Mosque was completed in 1930. Here, you can enjoy the unique combination of Colonial European and Islamic architectural style. In this unique mosque, you will notice the European influence by looking at the large balcony of the mosque. You will also notice Greek columns supporting the building. The Islamic architectural influence can be seen from the gleaming blue dome, a classic hallmark of Islamic architecture. Furthermore, a magnificent minaret stands on the side of the mosque. This mosque is very spacious and when looking at the interior, you will be awed by the uniqueness of the Imam's sermon in this mosque. With its peaceful ambience, you can perform Salath in Khushu at Sultan Ibrahim Jamek Mosque. Coming here, you can also enjoy a peaceful view of the Muar River. Address: Jalan Petri, Taman Sri Tanjung, 84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia Opening Hours: 24 hours Phone: +60 19-762 6019   4. Rejuvenate Your Mind and Body by Hiking in Mount Ledang Credit: @thatsofarah on Instagram A long time ago, when the Majapahit empire was still in power, they named the mountain Gunung Ledang, which translates to 'lofty mountain'. In Archaic Javanese, the word ledang also means to 'show-off'. This mountain is rich in history, myth and legend, including the infamous Legend of Gunung Ledang. Which tells the story of the mythical princess, Puteri Gunung Ledang. Also known as Mount Ophir because of its history of being rich in Gold, Mount Ledang is a 1,276 m tall mountain in Tangkak, Johor, Malaysia. Precisely in the Gunung Ledang National Park. Its summit is located between the border of Muar and Melaka. This mountain is one of the most difficult mountains to hike and is definitely not for beginners. It takes about 6 hours to reach the summit. Gunung Ledang Resort entrance is around 40 km from Muar. We recommend you drive up the mountain instead. Here, you can enjoy Puteri Waterfall, Pools, and Wild Animals like Wild Boars, Monitor Lizards and hundreds of species of Birds. This mountain is also available for camping. However, we recommend contacting the phone number below before going. Address: Batu 26, Jalan Segamat, Sagil, 84020 Tangkak, Johor, Malaysia Opening Hours: 8AM-5PM (Mon & Wed), 8am-3:30PM (Tues & Thurs), 7AM-5PM (Fri-Sunday). Phone: +60 19-777 2057   5. Stroll Around and Take a Boat Ride in Tanjung Emas Credit: SK Lim on Flickr Known for its scenic “Sunset of Muar”, Tanjung Emas is a perfect place for a romantic evening stroll with your loved ones or it can also be a great place to find remedy. You can also do exercises like jogging, running, walking or cycling in the morning as they have a jogging track. A playground for children is also available. Other than that, Tanjung Emas is also a good spot for a picnic. Although there are shaded areas with trees and greenery, a friendly reminder to bring sunblock lotion or some sunglasses with you. Other than that, what is fun about this Tanjung (Cape) is its boat trip on the Muar River. Enjoy Tanjung Emas and Muar River scenery by having a 45-minute boat ride for only RM 10 for adults and RM 5 for children. Address: Taman Sri Tanjung, 84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia Opening Hours: 9:30AM-11:30PM   6. Savor the Flavors of Hereditary Recipes of Soup at Muar Soup House Credit: @masz_princesshoneybee on Instagram What started as a pedicab stall back in 1958, Muar Soup House now occupies 3 shophouses. This place is very popular among the locals and tourists. Here is the reason – they come here to try its Signature Mutton Soup. For meat lovers, this soup is a must try! Other delicious soup menu items are Local Chicken Soup, Beef Soup, Mutton Gearbox Soup to Oxtail Soup. You must try their Rojak too! There is no need to worry that the stalls are closed because they are mostly open for 24 hours. Absolutely perfect for late night comfort food! Important note: The place may be very crowded due to its popularity. Use your mask, bring your hand-sanitizers and your patience while coming here. InshAllah all your efforts will be worth it! Halal Status: Halal Address: 47, Jalan Sisi, Pekan Muar, 84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia Opening Hours: 12PM - 12AM (24 HOURS) Phone: +60 16-665 5786 Oh no, we have reached the end of our list! However, we do still have some information for you to note.  Muar is in fact not far from Singapore. It is only about 3 hours away. Road access from Singapore to Muar is very accessible. A bus ticket from Singapore to Muar is around SGD 26 and travel by car is possible. If you are looking for a budget holiday, then you should really consider visiting Muar. Everyone deserves a good vacation. Therefore, HalalTrip is here to make sure you can get one. Download HalalTrip now via the Play Store and App Store! We hope this article helps you fill out your travel plan notes! Safe Trip travelers!...



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