keskiviikko 30. maaliskuuta 2016

Halfway through

April is almost here and that means I'm halfway through my internship. I try my best not to think about it because although I feel happy to go back home, I feel really sad that I need to leave Thailand which I consider as my second home nowadays. I also need to leave all the nice things and people that I have here. Still no matter how hard I try to avoid, I keep thinking about how much time I have left and what I will miss. What hasn't helped is that I have tried to decide which day I return to Finland because I need to change my flight ticket and then I could start preparing for it. My mum will also probably come here in June and we might go back to Finland together or she would at least take some of my things with her so I need to know the date asap. In the end I decided that I'll most likely go back to Finland on 3rd of July because my visa ends on the 6th and I don't want to overstay because of the new much more strict immigration rules. I would prefer staying a bit more longer so I will go ask from the Finnish embassy about the visa and if I could get a basic tourist stamp after it ends. Even though I could stay until mid July, I'm going to miss being here very much so it doesn't really matter if I leave already in the beginning of July. But let's see what happens... 

(Here's some pictures from a weekend I spent in Koh Samet last month. 
This will be one place that I'm going to miss a lot in Finland. 
Hopefully I will have time to go there again before I leave!) 

I added 2 new countdown clocks which are for my trip to Vietnam and Seoul. I decided to travel to Vietnam next month during my holiday week. In addition earlier this month I ended up buying tickets to Seoul which was actually quite a surprising outcome. I had already decided I would go there only for Dream Concert if it were possible but... Thanks to Finnair's ticket sale and my good persuasion skills, I managed to get my mother and sister to buy tickets to Seoul for themselves! I will travel in the end of April and spend a week there with them. I'm really happy I get to see my mother again and also my sister after more than 6 months. I get to see my Korean friend too which is great!

I have finally started learning Korean using the books I have bought here in Thailand. One day I was going through the characters while listening to EXO's concert with a live audio stream. I'm trying to learn as much as possible so I could use the language during my trip and my friend is already waiting to hear me say something in Korean :) 

I spent last weekend in Bangkok for a change because I once again needed to buy something and I also had planned to go see a movie with a friend. We ended up seeing Allegiant although my friend hadn't seen the previous ones but it was the only interesting one showing. I'm a fan of the Divergent series and I'm starting to read the Allegiant book but I was a bit disappointed in this movie. It had it's good and funny (Thanks to Peter!) moments but it had a bit too much of futuristic technology things and some characters felt out of place. Hopefully the last one is better. This weekend I'm also spending in Bangkok which is nice because I really like going there after spending many days in the "middle of nowhere". My plans are still a bit open but I think I will go eat that pizza that I have been craving for this whole week. 

Have a nice weekend everyone! 

xoxo, Elina 

One of my favorite songs at the moment is the newest song "Fly" from GOT7.
I had been anxiously waiting for their comeback and fortunately they didn't disappoint me with their song. If I'm lucky, I'll get to see them live in Bangkok in June! 
Here's the MV & I hope you'll fly with them :) 

sunnuntai 20. maaliskuuta 2016

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 4.-7.2.2016 ♥

Last month I had to do a visa run and I chose to go to Kuala Lumpur which is really convenient due to its near location. Fortunately I ended up getting 2 days off from work so I had a long weekend to spend there. I flew there on Thursday morning and came back on Sunday afternoon. This time I only flew with AirAsia and so far I have been satisfied with their service. One thing they could try to make better is the check-in service at the airport because on Thursday I was really nervous about making to the flight due to a really long check-in line. But it's something I can also forgive because most of the airlines have long lines no matter how many counters they use etc. So for a cheap airline AirAsia is really good! 

During my trip I went to see a few "must-see" places and checked out some shopping places. I was interested in going up to the KL Tower but just like in Singapore, I decided not to use my money for that. I was also lucky to see it really well from my hotel room. For travelling from place to place I used only the metro/light train system. At first it was quite confusing because in Kuala Lumpur they don't have only a metro but also other "trains" and changing from one to another was especially at one station really badly organized. But I still found it the best way to travel because I could go everywhere by using it. I also recommend to use the KLIA ekspress or the "slower" KLIA train from/to the airport. I used the ekspress one but the other one is good too, it just stops in a few places addition to the airport terminals and the express one stops only in KLIA 2, KLIA and KL Sentral. The KLIA ekspress return ticket was 100 MRY and the journey takes about 25 minutes. One important note: there's free WIFI on the train! 

In my opinion a weekend is enough time to see the main attractions in Kuala Lumpur. For me it really was enough because in the end I was happy to go back to Thailand due to the local people. It was quite distracting and unpleasant to walk around when most of the men kept looking in a not so nice way but I don't mean all of them. There was only a definite group of men with a similar ethnic and religious background who did that but I'm not naming anything so everyone can just think about it themselves. I'm sure I wouldn't have paid attention to it so much if I was with someone but because I was alone I kept noticing it. It also didn't come as a surprise because I had heard it's like that there and you should better avoid going alone. I had only 1 choice and it was to go alone and I'm glad I did so I didn't miss out on that trip. I thought I wouldn't go there again but because of the EXO concert, I went there again last weekend. If you have time and interest, go and explore Kuala Lumpur and it doesn't matter if you have only a few days time. 

Here's some pictures from my first KL trip: 


I was going to see the twin towers also in the evening but then I changed my plan
which was actually a good thing because it was raining heavily in the evening. 
But I'm happy I saw it at least in daytime :) 

Petronas Twin Towers 

Menara KL (Kuala Lumpur Tower)
Every night I saw a different colored lights.
View from my hotel room,
really loved seeing the tower so well from my windows. 

Due to Chinese New Year, there was a lot of nice decorations around:

xoxo, Elina

maanantai 14. maaliskuuta 2016

Osaka, Japan 11.-17.11.2015 ♥

In November I did my first trip to Japan, Osaka to be exact. The main reason was that I got tickets to see EXO twice during their 3 concert weekend in Osaka. Another reason for my trip was that one of my friends was an exchange student there so I could spend time with her too after many months. I didn't spend many days there and because the concerts occupied 2 days from my trip, I didn't have so much time for sightseeing etc. I was still very satisfied with my trip because I had a lot of fun with my friend and it was nice to really talk with her after a long time. The concerts were also very awesome and I got to meet a few people so now I have new friends who are just as into Kpop as I am which is great. One of them was actually from Thailand so it's possible I will see her again here in some concert. Because of the limited time I had only time to go to Kyoto to see Torii (the red structures seen in my pictures), part of the city centre and visit Universal Studios. 

My trip started by flying from Bangkok to Osaka. Fortunately my friend was waiting for me at the airport so I didn't have to worry about how will I get to the city center. We took a bus which we later had to change to a metro for the final part of the journey. After arriving to my friend's apartment, we headed out to eat right away. I got to choose the restaurant and of course I chose sushi. I had been waiting for to eat sushi in Japan and I wasn't disappointed at all. I really liked the ordering system in the restaurant because I had never used something like that before. It was nice to catch up while eating delicious food. 

They also offered various desserts 
Felt sooo full after all of these plates...

On the next day we took a stroll around Korea town while searching for some kpop shops for me. In the end we found a really good and BIG kpop shop where I bought a bunch of things for myself and one of my friends. 

After I had used all of my money and we were both starving, we decided to go eat something. While looking at the restaurants, a random old Japanese man recommended for us a barbecue restaurant and it really was good and a bit different than the ones I have tried here in Bangkok. 

Very cool ice-creams! 

After getting our stomachs full, we had to hurry back to my friend's place to get some of my things because I had to get to a hotel where I could get my concert tickets and souvenirs. I also stayed there because my concert ticket package included 3 nights in the hotel which turned out to be very fancy. I really loved the view from the 23rd floor ♥ 

The next 2 days I spent in the concerts and went on a tour to an EXO event with a group of people who had also bought the SM Global Package. (For more details about the concerts, see my post about them.)

Dinner which I ate with a group of new friends on the 2nd concert day. Choosing from the menu turned out to be very hard because there was no English, no one knew Japanese very well and I don't know about Japanese foods :D But these two dishes were good and filled my stomach. 

After the EXO concerts when I returned to my friend's place, we headed out to Kyoto with her exchange friends and 3 guys. I really wanted to see the Torii in Fushimi Inari so we decided to make time for that trip. 

We actually ended up eating in a Thai restaurant
so really familiar food for me :D

The torii leading to the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine:

From Kyoto, me and my friend headed out to the city centre to see the Glico man and just walk around. We also went to have dessert and play various games and amusement park rides in Umeda Joypolis Sega. The games and rides were new things for me so it was a lot of fun and interesting. Overall the whole day was great!

The next day was my last but because my flight left at midnight, I still had almost the whole day time to hang out with my friend. Therefore we decided to go to the Universal Studios for a few hours. I had been looking forward to see the Harry Potter section and luckily it didn't disappoint. It was really cool and very well done. Unfortunately we didn't have time to try the "train" that goes inside the castle so we chose another way. There's a path you can walk inside the castle and we didn't have to wait in line for that at all so it was much better. I could still see almost everything there and even more closely so it was a really good decision. On the way out, we stopped by one of the shops to buy a chocolate wand and every flavor beans for me. From the other rides, we only tried the Terminator and Jurassic Park ones. The Terminator was really different than what I expected but one downside was that it was spoken in Japanese so I couldn't understand anything but I didn't let it distract me. I was really pleased with the Jurassic Park ride. One point was quite scary but it was a lot of fun! The entrance fee to the Universal Studios was quite high especially because we didn't have that much time but I was ready to pay it and I hope could go there again to try the other rides and see the Harry Potter area once again :) 

Minion Mart!
I could already see the castle! 
More Minions...
I felt like Minion things were everywhere in the Universal Studios :D 

That was one big Christmas tree...
The whole Studios area had a Christmas theme which was really nice. 
After seeing this, I was already super excited :D 

The castle!
When I was looking at it, I felt like I was in a movie :D 
From the Studios we headed back to my friend's apartment to gather my things and then headed to the bus stop where I took a bus to the airport. It was really sad to say goodbyes because I had so much fun with my friend and I knew it will probably be many many months until I see her again. I just had to swallow my tears and think about all the great things that are ahead and that I will also see my friend again at least when I go back to Finland. 

My first trip to Japan was a success not only due to the EXO concerts but also because I experienced and learned new Japanese things and I had an awesome time with my friend. Thank you to my friend who accommodated, entertained and helped me during the trip! Hopefully in the future I will get a chance to travel to Japan again :) 

xoxo, Elina