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2014.08.18 | 自助旅行

[Volume 9 Issue 8, #1931]
On going DIY for your vacation...
Japan Nagoya Sapporo
以上圖集為最近日本之旅第一日及第二日嘅照片所組成..
the collage above is formed by photos taken during the first two days of my recent japan trip..
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如果大家有日去旅行, 究竟會選擇自助旅行, 定係跟旅行團就算呢?? 我當然係比較喜歡前者啦, 因為可以根據自己嘅時間同埋選擇要去邊而去自己plan行程.. 當然, 出發之前有好多功課要做, 時間緊迫嘅時候仲可能導致壓力問題, 不過唯有如此先可以更加了解一個地方同佢嘅文化.. 另一方面, 我大可參加旅行團, 俾錢之後開開心心等出發, 有個導遊充當阿四角色, 帶我去主要旅遊聖地, 唔駛排隊買飛之余有可以優先入場--完全無憂無慮.. 不過我之前兩次經驗(超過十年前)教識我以後唔駛考慮旅行團, 趕死趕命而且大部份時間都係坐巴士同去購物, 必去景點好多時候係要額外補錢, 市區遊一定係坐喺巴士內齋睇就算, 萬一有得揀可以去邊都係要少數服從多數.. 所以話, 過去十幾年來, 我所有嘅旅行都係自助性質, 我覺得我應該完全控制自己嘅行程, 我應該跟住自己嘅時間和步伐去享受自己嘅假期.. 你又如何呢?? :)
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do you prefer to go on a vacation which is of DIY nature or guided group tour?? i certainly prefer the former, as i can plan for my own itinerary following my own pace and time and choose where i would like to go.. of course, a lot of research work and preparations need to be done ahead, probably stress when time is tickling, but that's how i learn more about the place and probably culture.. on the other hand, i can just pay for a travel agent and then pack my luggage to wait to go on my vacation, and have the tour guide bring us to all major tourist attractions, no need to queue to buy tickets and can have the priority to enter before other tourists - no frills and all relax.. but my two times of such experience (more than 10 years ago) taught me to never consider group tours again, too rush and a big chunk of time was spent on the coach and shops, some must-go places were included as "optional excursion" where i needed to top up for, city tours were always inside the coach, and i only went to places where the majority agreed to if there was ever a choice.. that explains why, for the past 10 years, all the trips i went were only of DIY nature, i just want to have control over my own itinerary, and to enjoy at my holiday at own pace.. what about you?? :)
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163 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. For DIY, definitely you have to do quite a lot of research like which place to go, how to get there, how much it costs, are ther cheaper alternatives etc. It is easier if you can speak the language of the country you are visiting. I mean, I would be scared to do DIY if going to Japan or Korea unless if I had been there before and perhaps I will have more confidence to DIY on the second visit.

      I have experience guided tour when I was in USA. I find that it is too rush and your time at each place is very limited. You don't get to see as much as you want to. And certain places, so boring as it is not to your interest at all.

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    2. Guided tour of course has its advantages, ie you don't have to think too much and everything is taken care of. If you have the resources to go back for second visit, I reckon the first time go for guided tour and then second time you can DIY as you are more familiar know which places to focus on.

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    3. Good Morning Bloggers and the Karate Chop Champion today!
      I love DIY trips and leave that to my wife to plan the trip as my my choice of places. I just book air tickets, hotels and give her the itinerary prints I downloaded from Apple Holidays as guideline. I went on tours before and felt shortchanged by some who had hidden costs. The foreign tour guide would tell everyone that there are so many other exotic & must-see places that would require you to pay extra! Everyone has to agree since most are cash rich during the trips and we ended up going to extra souvenir shops and products factories! Kau Sai !!!

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    4. Good morning Phong Hong. First to chop ya...LOL

      DIY is better if ones is adventurous enough la. If tarak tau the language there like Japan, I think i will rather follow tour . Coz tarak tau how to speak Japanese nor read.


      If got people who have been there before joining then okay la.

      Yea guided tour usually very rushed and stop for no one.

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    5. Guided tours have its many advantages too to keep us safe and worry nothing. The bus would pick you from airport to hotels to attractions and everywhere. I realized that I never got to see the real culture and it's people. The tour buses would give you just few minutes in places of attractions to snap few photos only cos the guide would spend an hour inside the bus telling you the history before reaching the destinations. However they would be generous to give you 1-2 hours in souvenir shops and factories to milk your pockets!!
      A tour guide buddy once told me that they have no choice and adhere to the rules of that local governments otherwise they would not get permits to bring tourists around. Well the choice is yours and we have to accept the pro & cons.

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    6. Hey Pussy Cat, in Japan they have so many signs in English to educate and help the foreigners to move around easily. I never got lost with their excellent maps and landmarks. Even the sight seeing places have English explanations and guided tours or press-button-guide talking in whatever language.

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    7. Good morning everyone here,

      I agree with TM, there are English signs in Japan and people are generally polite and friendly so no fear of getting lost or don't know what to order to eat.

      Tour groups have its advantages too like TM said, especially the safety in numbers.

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    8. Good afternoon, TM, Meow and Mun! This is an interesting debate. I guess it depends of the country we are visiting and we have to consider the pros and cons. And I admit that if someone else is doing the DIY planning then of course it is easier. Maybe if I had to do the planning, I would say aiyah just go for guided tour!

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    9. Both got their pro and cons la... I preferred guided tours for places that I am not familiar with and DIY definitely for familar places. In guided tours, we can opt not to buy anything from those stores.

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    10. ChrisAu I could see your lifestyle from your love for eating from bento boxes. That means you want neat and orderly sightseeing trips like the squares in the bento box. You won't want to meet kinky and lunatic people along the trips besides being safely ferried on buses. That's how bento boxes are created to give a bit of every food equally and safely. LOL

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    11. wah japan so high tech ka Anay. Mana gua tau oh...kucing bawah longkang. I takut tarak english sign habis la....later i long distance call you to help translate sign baru tau LOL

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  2. I like going to places where I have friends to take me around and eat (they would know where the best places are) and have fun together.

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    1. Yeah, that is the best!

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    2. STP should go on makan tours !!

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    3. Karaoke is fun!!! Yes, I also love going to places where there are friends to take us around.. no need to stay in their house... just take us out for food and fun is more than great already!

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    4. Aunty Reana likes to.sing !

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    5. Phong Hong and Chris...both of you have not been to Sibu yet. Go la visit STP. He is a good host. He will plan you day for you. No need to think one. Just relax and enjoy the trip. Just tell him what you wish to see. He will advice.

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    6. Good advice by Small Kucing! *thumbs up* STP is indeed the best person to know the best food in Sibu. :)

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    7. Come, come! I have some Trengganu friends coming next month, 3 nights. I already have an itinerary lined up for them - including a drive to Kanowit with a visit to the Dayak longhouse there...and sampling of the old school small town cuisine.

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    8. I don't think these two friends are into karaoke, so not in the itinerary. That one, would have to wait for Claire to come... Hint! Hint! We had so much fun that time they were here.

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    9. Sure, sure! If going to SIbu must contact STP for the best tour and must eat Kampua Noodles, Piansip and Kompia and may more. And oh, must go to Payung! Let me check with my partner if we can go to East Malaysia hee..hee...

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    10. STP - You will be our guided tour guide in Sibu and kuching!

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    11. Like that STP should open a tour agency la or at least as a Tour Guide. can bring people to famous Sibu places . What better way of enjoying retirement. STP happy...tourist also happy

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  3. No, no! Not bored at all. In fact was looking forwards to more this morning. But it is a good idea to have breaks in between. To allow those who need more time to read you previous posts (they are quite detailed and need more time to read and digest) and also to allow you time to write up your posts. I am sure most of us bloggers know that writing a post and selecting related photos is very time consuming. Quality and well written posts require lots of thought process.

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    1. Agreed with phong. I also need time to throughout the day and revisit your blog. It's great and well written posts.

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    2. Hahaha a break would be welcomed la. Not because of bored but rather let this old cat disgest. Now coughing out furball like what TM said. Have to set the mind to Japan. Digest what SK written

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    3. Agree with everyone here. Travel posts written by SK are not boring at all. But I think SK also needs a break to do other things rather than research, research and research, (select photos)x50 and write write write posts.

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    4. a lot of research have to be done. see all the links that SK put into his blog post.. All the words and description not copy and paste leh. Not like mine simply hentam

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  4. Morning morning and salam everyone..

    Oohh, today I thought it’s gonna be day3 timmm.. We are all prepared for it la, coz you already warned us ma, that this whole month is gonna be the Hokkaido trip.. So I guess everyone is looking forward to it.. You still have 6 days wor.. If today you published day3, means 5 more days to go.. Today already 18th wor.. Enuff time mou? Later you wana divide your post into 4A 4B, or 6A 6B then how?

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    1. Ok, back to your post today.. From what you described, DIY is better kua.. BUT I must have somebody else doing all that planning, and I just follow only..

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    2. Me still the same.. lastime same, now same, future also same.. Regardless I already have kids or not.. I prefer to just: sit down, pay and follow!

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    3. I prefer if my friends (or spouse) arrange everything, flights and hotels and what-not.. Then I just pay, show up with my luggage at the airport and follow them only..

      I’m more to a follower kua.. I don’t like to plan or think where to go, what to eat, how to travel, which is the shortest way, which is the cheapest way, which is the fastest way, etc.. Leave it to the experts and I just follow.. Always been like this from day1 I started travelling..

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    4. Now with kids, lagi no need say lor.. Everything must be very well planned and cannot DIY or carry-luggage-walk-to-bus-station-take-bus-go-to-train-station-then-take-train-go-to-hotel thingy lor.. With two babies, how to do that wor..

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    5. Actually what you said got logic.. If follow tour leh, not enuff time and very rush.. What about the places that we wana spend longer time? Got logic also geh.. So my vote goes to DIY, but depends on places.. If places I’m not so familiar with, better follow tour guide.. If talk in foreign language (with minimal English) or what.. Can die if sendiri wana susah susah read map, take train, go here there..

      But if common places like HK, Taiwan, and now, Hokkaido (with SK’s detailed info), I think can DIY liao.. No issues, hehe…

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    6. So, got vote button or not? Vote: Tour or DIY

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    7. Princess - if you are carrying your two kids , better don't go on tour as it can hell of a time !!

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    8. Prince Chris, morning.. Yep, I guess all mummies (and daddies) will agree with me.. With kids, must be hassle free, I propose follow tour, UNLESS you are very familiar with the place, or you got friends/relatives in that place to bring you around, then you can dilly-dally and take your own sweet time.. Else, just follow a tour.. Coz with few kids, how to read-map-then-take-bus-then-take-train to your destination?

      BUT, if you have friends/relatives in that place, and you yourself are familair with that place, DIY of course.. Then can just go to the place that we want, and spend the whole day there, instead of rushing with the tour gang..

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    9. Good morning PR. Ya wor...SK sad whole month Japan trip. Now already 18th Aug. Maybe will split to two month gua. At least let me digest what is being written first. else mong cha cha.

      Hahaha....having somebody do the planing and you follow only? wei....if they go to those places that you dont like how? won't you feel bored?

      From what you said, it's more like a guided tour trip instead of DIY leh

      yea agree with you...now with kids is harder to travel coz of some limitation

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    10. Good morning Princess Ribbon,

      Agree with you that when children are young, the parents need to do a lot of planning especially on what to bring for them. When they become teenagers then they will be independent to pack their own things and travelling with them will be easier.

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    11. This is in reply to Small Kucing's point about what if we do not like to go to places that our friends plan. Well, in a DIY group travel especially, there will surely be some gives and takes unless everyone in the DIY group thinks the same way and only wants to go the same places.

      But if you travel alone, then 100% you will like the places you yourself choose, no need to accommodate other people's preference at all.

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    12. Something in between the best.. Means like Meow said, DIY (no follow tour), but upon arrival, go cari local tours.. I did this in my previous travelling trips.. No follow tour for a long time liao.. Then reach that place baru cari local tour.. Start the next day or what, for one day, that's it..

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    13. Local tour is another good alternative. I came across one that is for a certain number of days hop-on-hop off. They give you a list of places to go and the bus will round the area and pass by those places. So you can take your own sweet time to explore. Menyesal because the tour that I booked in advance was quite lousy. Should have done more research.

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    14. Phong - I think when it comes to guided tour, it also depends on luck. If you get a lousy tour guide, then sorry lor.

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    15. Good afternoon princess!

      Hmm if for us got kids one, better not follow group tour la! Sure rush! And later kids wanna pang sai pang liu, the bus have to stop for us, paiseh lo right? Or when the kids make noise in the bus, want nen nen, susah also la! So, better go for DIY =)

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    16. better if mau cari local tour then cari before reach that place. get recommendation from friends who have beenn there or have done that coz if unlucky kena slaughter leh local tour.

      Mun, I was refering PR comment on letting people plan the trip when I ask wont she be boredif they go placesshe doesnt like. Coz in planning a DIY trip sure everyone will have some feedback instead of letting others plan everything.

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  5. Morning All ! Yeah , I agreed with you that your own planned vacation is much better than tours. They ought to bring you to places that are very unnecessary , like those shopping trips where the seller may charge you a fortune. Frankly I would prefer my own trip , do my own research and go on. I also got time to pang sai in the morning rather than tour which you have to rush. Hahah... And , with kids around that's terrible as you need to wake them up which is a real challenge.

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    1. you crack me up la Chris. "got time to pang sai " but you have got a point there. Guided tour will have a strict schedule. If wanna change then have to kena pay a lot.

      Sometimes if unfortunate, during the trip fall sick, cannot rest also. still have to proceed.

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    2. Good morning ChrisAu,

      Hahaha, very funny but very, very true about the big business in toilet. It is really uncomfortable to sit in a tour bus when you need to go for big business. :)

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    3. hahaha!! Chris you are funny! But what you say is true.

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    4. pang sai is a necessity wat....

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  6. However , having said that , tour has its good point too. They settled and prepare everything for you so you don't have to stress. After all , you are on vacation , why want to stress yourself. And , to me it's safer to go on tours too as you all go into groups rather than a few individuals.

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    1. Guided tour trip also have stress punya if so unlucky meet with disreputable tour company. Heard before of horror story from friend where they sign up with one tour agency then sampai China they were hand over to their "twin" company there. There the things gone down hill. Say all inclusive..but when arrive that place...say no..if you want this you have to pay extra...if want that have to pay

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    2. Must sign up with reputable travel companies. Those big name companies usually do not dare to cheat customers because they have a reputation to uphold.

      Better still if you have lots of money, go for a customized tour plan with a reputable travel agency. The tour guide only brings your private group around, no strangers in the group.

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    3. Sometimes very hard to find reputable ones. I was on a cruise last year and we just simply take on the tours, organised by the cruise liner. Cannot choose.

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    4. sometimes reputable pun will do that especially when they sign up too many customer during some sort of Fair and they just sub-contract out.

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  7. I have been on both tours and self planned itinerary. The latter are usually local trips to places I never been to where my bro in law drove us. It's really fun as we planned where we wanted to go.and spent as long as we can in a place. We also tried to avoid makan places meant for tourism and go into those lesser known but nice , cheap affordable food. My kids too , can always stopped for bio breaks.

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    1. If local trip can slef plan la. Overseas ones must really do a lot of research. Sometimes the information on booklet or the internet maybe out dated. Must check and double check.

      If go in a group should be safe enough la instead of going alone or two people.

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    2. DIY travelling must be flexible, it the information is outdated, just change the plans on the go.

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  8. However , as mentioned by you , own tailor made tours needed lots of research and if you make a mistake (like the place has closed down ) then it is really a waste of time. We can also got over - stress where we keep going and going without realising the time to rest. Pro and cons la.

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    1. DIY self-drive tour is easier than planning a travel schedule using public transport. For some places, the public bus services that go there are on certain days only and for those days, no accommodations available so the planning is a bit complex. Got transport, no hotel, no transport, got hotel so self drive DIY tour is easier,

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  9. During those early years, most of the overseas tours I went to, were handled by tour agents... pay, pack and follow... early early morning, we were like refugees... climbing up the bus and snoring inside... then get down from bus with blurry eyes, go into the factories, get locked up and exit through another door... hahahaha.. those were the days when I went touring in Asian countries.. After a few times, now coming to think of it, I don't think I will want to tour like that already...

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    1. hahaha...i have a name for that...Refugee trip. No time to breath.

      Yea Refugee trip you will get to see a lot of places but wont have time to enjoy the local culture la Like SK japan trip...jalan jalan can see Sumo Wrestler...jalan jalan jumpa "ala mamak" flat noodle stall under the tree. Kinda fun lo. And doesn't need to spend a lot of money

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    2. This type of coach guided travel is a whirlwind tour for sampling the places only. Once you know which place you like, then you can plan in detail to go there again. But these kind of coach guided travel really covers as many places as they can to give you a sense of value for money.

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    3. Claire, really ar? Sounds very san fu! But I am sure it was an experience also la afterall... Never try never know ma! :p

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  10. Of course, that time I was younger... now few years down the road, I really prefer to DIY traveling... but as you said, it takes more DIY preparation.. emails to be done.. payment have to be in advance, air tickets.. all not refundable.. have to take risks especially when we are traveling in a group. I started to DIY trip with my friends to Vietnam and Cambodia.. ever since then, I think I never follow tour la..

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    1. eh some if you cancel earlier can refund leh...depending la what you booked

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    2. Some hotels ah... must pay in advance thru credit card.. some not refundable and some are.. depending.. the last time I booked the Melbourne one, not refundable.. so will be very sum toong if cannot go...

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    3. Those hotels booked online with a very, very, very good price are usually not refundable so have to read the fine print when booking hotels and paying for other items.

      But when really old, then must go for guided tours. In some countries now, they have a requirement for people above a certain age, they must be accompanied by a young person while travelling. The government of those countries are afraid that old people may be subsceptible to illness and accidents.

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    4. Memang sum toong lo if cannot refund! But I know some are refundable one, just that they won't refund in full, but better than none ma right?
      That's why my hubby doesn't like to plan trip in advance one, cause he said many things are unforeseen, what if suddenly cannot go, if like that the money paid will be wasted already....

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    5. Yeah , I think guided tours are much cheaper cos it's 'bulk' compared to DIY.

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    6. Ya lor...memang sum toong if no refund. But smetimes emergency cannot go what to do?

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  11. Overall , I still prefer tours especially on places I am unknown where it's safer , the trips were planned , excursion bus to bring you along , kids friendly and get to relax. After all , they did show you the itinerary before you take on the tour and you can choose your tours. And , can also get to know some kawaii girls on the bus. Hahha....

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    1. apa kawaii???? Better bribe me with food or else you will never enter your bedroom door this weekend... tell your wifey then you know! LOL...

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    2. tsk tsk tsk.......tak habis habis kawaii...later wifey see this habis la you......

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    3. eiks...... aunty reana so garang ...going to write small report on me here to my wifey.hahaha

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    4. Ooops, someone is showing true colours here.

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    5. ChrisAu go everywhere also remember kawaii/pretty girls one... :p

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    6. Hayley - don't see kawaii girls then see guys ah ?

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    7. Haha, why not? See only ma, not asking you to do anything xD
      Even lady also like to see other lady one leh :p

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    8. Hayley - yeah lor ... I see see only ...hehhe ...

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    9. I sokong Hayley....see only mah...."tsk tsk tsk" Chris oh Chris

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  12. Oh, sorry.. I think got followed... Korea, Japan.. cos we don't understand their language.. my family still follow tour, those were few years back.. but now I notice so many of you can go by yourself... that boosts up my confidence.. but it is best to go with someone who can plan very well.. don't ask me to be organizer, I will give a lousy tour cos I will only look for FOOD places to go to.... hahahaa...
    Well, to summarize, I think it depends on where we want to go to.. some parts of the world, we need to follow tour then... perhaps after the first time, we can plan another trip to the same place on our own....
    As for me, I really like relaxing tours now... at my own pace and time and not the tour agent's time.. no need to get up at 6am... and out by 7am.. really beh tahan already... hahahaa..

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    1. like that "I will follow you~~~"..... food trip muhahaha...ngum ngum me...

      where you heading to next.....?

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    2. No plans yet la, Small Kucing... dare not plan anything this year... but next year, hopefully more free to fly..

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    3. Yes, next year Claire will have retired so will have time to travel. Looking forward to reading your travel adventures!

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    4. Food tour is also not bad mah especially among people who want to sample the local cuisine. As long as not eating insects or cacing, ok lah.

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    5. Claire, get up at 6am, out by 7am, sounds very familiar, follow group tour always like that one, hehe!
      True, it's a blessing to have someone who can plan very well, best if he/she can speak some local languages!

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    6. Actually wake up early during tours good. Can save a lot of time and enjoy the morning breeze and sunrise at the new place. After all you are on a vacation , not go there tidur. Also got time to pang sai.

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    7. The only thing is, one will feel very tired lo. Hehe, if can bear the tiredness then ok la.

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    8. Hayley - true also la , but then somehow when I am on vacation , I felt more alert. Lol ...

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    9. No insect or cacing but the Sago worms can ah? Can be eaten live or can be fried. Ask STP . he knows.muhahahaha...bet of folow tour agency, ones wont get to sample Sago worm.

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  13. It's ok to take a break from your travelogue. We can rest too...lol. Anyway , I do enjoy reading your posts and get to know the places. Keep it up.

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    1. Same here, I enjoy reading the travelogue too =)

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  14. Back to the tour thingy , I guess it's also depends on how good the tour agents organised their tours. I have had good and bad tours. So , it's not all bad for tours. I went to phuket on cruise last year and joined a day tour. The excursion was quite nice and the tour agent was also very friendly. We went to places where no bargain needed and well known places there.

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    1. Yes, I was lucky that I joined a good tour agency all this while. All tour leaders are very professional and helpful!

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    2. wei...lidat jot down the agency name. Next time i go Phuket I ask the name from you two

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  15. Good morning SK and all

    aisay....i saw the photo collages i thought will have loads of photos...Clicked open two tabs jor.

    Mana tau today discussion is DIY vacation vs Group tour

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    1. Good afternoon Mamarazzi!

      Yea ho, today relax a bit, talk about DIY trips and group tour~

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    2. ya ....but his usual trip post also syok. I get to do arm chair traveling :p

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  16. For me if the place that I don;t know the language or culture, I think i would join tour instead coz i takut getting lost

    Getting lost is one thing...another thing will be that I might do something unintentionally offending their culture /belief. For example it was show in one blog that a group of tourist tak tau and inadventently one of them lean on a statue. That statue was a "god " statue. Kena bombard by people.

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    1. Hmm true true, if don't know the language then susah, later 'gai tong ngap kong', haha! If go Asian country then ok la!

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    2. Somehow the so called English in other countries are so difficult to understand. ..lol

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    3. but then to them, our English also hard to understand. If we go western country will be the same. They have their own "loghat" Sorry ah I dunno how to say loghat in english. More like their own "yum"(cantonese). Like in KL we call cili. If trengganu they call cabai

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  17. Betul what you said about guided tour group. Some very tamak. Want to go the most places without fork out much money. End up tour bus bring you to one place...go down snap pic then naik bus then next stop snap pic and up the bus. Think the longest time they allow for one place is when they bring you to the barang cenderamata place...shopping place. there they get commission let you shop kau kau there

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    1. But the tour guides in Vietnam are very nice so far... humble friendly and no cut throat... nowadays I dont know la.. but during few years ago, very nice...

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    2. Depends on country also la Mamarazzi.
      But usually yes, they bring you go souvenirs shop one.

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    3. depend on the luck lo. if get good guides then maybe they wont bring you to cut throat place. some guide will even ask you to beware of petty hawkers. Like the guide we had for bali. told us not to talk or touch anything that street vendors are selling else we will be swamped.

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  18. I think half /half kinda tour will be nice. Like a small group of friend go travelling. No need follow tour but decide on what they want to see. Then if dont want the headache or not adventurous enough to get own train or buses, the hire a local tour guide to bring us around. But must find an honest local tour guide la. How to find...based on friend's recommendation lo.

    Got friend went to Bali and hired tour guide from internet. Kena conned kau kau. Once they got down from the plane. Jalan not event few metre got tout wanna take their luggage and the "guide" insisted that it's law there. Die die kena kasi them tip. Rm5 tak main oh..mintak RM20. Just for the walk from the airport exit to the van.

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    1. Your friend also kena?? My friend went to Bali early this year also kena similar incident!
      So sometimes it depends on luck also hor? Haiz~
      But sometimes we better play safe la, since we are people's country, don't main main with them, if they want money just give them, just make sure we are safe!

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    2. Yea go in a small group is fun, to me, ideal one is 4 people. Too few will be a bit boring, too many become mafan already, haha!

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    3. There are some bloggers who went to Bali and met some very nice tour guides and recommend the tour guides on their blogs.

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    4. That's why I said, depends on luck also....

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    5. like people say "spend money to block ill fortune"(Por choy thong joi)

      yea agree with you, Hayley. small group nice.

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  19. DIY is better as you can choose to go the places you want to go and stay how long you wanted to stay there. If go with tour, they will bring you go those 'black' shops and the people will keeps pestering you to buy and buy, tsk tsk... And the places you go, only limited time there...

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    1. 'Black' shop, hehe, some they just wanna do business, cause the tour guide/bus driver will gets commission if the members buy things from there.. That's why they will pester you to buy lo!

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    2. Try not to buy lor if can help. After all , it's just souvenirs. Can get it anywhere.

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    3. Yep that's what I think, unless very special thing la! But have to see how much also~

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    4. but then there are some black shop that seems to have "charm" ....some how like will blur blur open purse and buy. or sometimes they very devious.


      My friend nearly kena one time go China. Tour guide bring to jade shop. duno why she become attracted . She wanna buy just a small jade then the guy took her master card. like got few sales people there. Then the guy kept ask her call her bank to extend credit . Lucky she did not. Come back to malaysia, she discovered that there was an attempt to swipe RM30k from her card. The Bank pandai. cancelled her card. that incident happen when she join tour.

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  20. Good morning SK,

    I prefer DIY too! Been to a few group tours that we were rushed here and there like goats being herded. One down side about me going on DIY travels is I tend to spend more time sleeping in the morning and only go out during lunch time so it is like wasting money only, hahahaha!

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    1. mun, morning!

      Huh? Really? You sleep a lot when going trip? Hehe..
      For me, I don't mind if I sleep less during vacation, I don't mind to sacrifice the beauty sleep and wake up earlier/sleep later instead to 'buy' more time for my vacation, use the opportunity to make full use of the time available to go sight seeing, shopping and eat their local stuff.
      Well, that's my personal thinking la!! =)

      Of course if like your case, some people will think, since I am on vacation, why the rush? I must take my own sweet times to relax, wake up late as I like and etc... Hehe!

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    2. Good morning Hayley!

      hahaha, yes! Once, there was a day in Kyoto where we just went out nearby for food and then walked back to our room for the whole day just because it was raining whole day and we were lazy to take public tranport in the wet weather. So one day was gone just like that. Waste money only, right?

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    3. Oh, that was kinda wasteful!! Aiseh..

      But then sometimes cannot do much also since it's raining, worse if the rain continues for hours! Plus got strong winds, lagi susah.
      Your case consider ok lo, at least able to stay indoor.
      I was at Bangkok that time and it was raining so heavily that evening when we were still outside! Lucky got bring umbrella (though din't help much cause it was so heavy and strong wind blow), we were stuck and sorta lost (failed to recognize the way back to hotel since it was just day one, and it was dark), have to tumpang at people's hotel lobby for 30 minutes like that ar! Adui~

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    4. Not really wasteful It depends on what ones want. Now there are even a new term for that "Staycation"

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  21. Good day bloggers!!

    Well, when I see the title, I know SK must be taking a short break from his Hokkaido travelogue =)
    Of course this is not the end yet la right? I think you blogged until day 2 only so far, mana boleh consider the end yet? :p

    Haha, good or bad news? Erm, good news for me :p
    Like you said, giving us and yourself ease of mind, relax a bit first and share something else instead. You can also take the time to slowly draft the upcoming posts. But don't make us wait too long to read the continuation la wokay?

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    1. Hmm, this is a very tricky question, I think it's all depends on individuals lo. Both got its pros and cons.
      But if you ask me, I think I will have to answer, I prefer group tour, haha! Erm in case if you don't know, of all the oversea trips I've been to, only 1 of them is DIY one (that was the Bangkok trip last October). The rest semua were group tour, that means I just paid and wait for the trip to come, no need to worry about anything else, including doing VISA, all got agents handled one, I just goyang kaki only xD

      May be that's the reason why I prefer to follow group tour? Cause I was so used to it already? 习惯了。
      The pros are a lot, like you said, no need to queue so long, gets priority and etc, even go makan also got people arrange already, seats are reserved, and we gets to eat the best (most of the times). No need to worry about transportation or hotels, even if the hotel room we stay got problem, we just inform the tour leader and things will be sorted out.
      And whatever we want to see/buy, we can just request (I remember when I went to Australia, some members requested to watch the 'strip show', it was an ad-hoc request but within minutes, all kaotim, we were already told to wait at the lobby at a certain time).
      I am sure if it was a DIY trip, we will need times to go and study where is the club? How much? How to get there? Any rules and laws and etc etc.. End up, also cannot guarantee if we are able to watch the show or not.

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    2. Hayley, so you prefer group tour rather than DIY. True also, group tour, just pay and goyang kaki.

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    3. Yes, at the moment la :p

      But I have to say both tours got their own pros and cons la! So, depends on how each individual thinks lo!
      Also, I don't mind if going on DIY tours, if I am NOT the one who plan, wakakaka! :p

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    4. Yes, I also prefer to follow instructions.. being an organizer, let me tell you ah.. it is very difficult task esp. dealing with fussy people.. sure got arrows shot at her/him... so if DIY tours, make sure the gang of friends are those easy kind going.. own click whereby you know they are ching chai people...

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    5. Agree, that's why I think best is about 4 people enough, and must be like close friends la.
      My friends went to Taiwan in 6 last time, suppose to be a happy girls trip, end up many unhappy things happened, mix of opinions la, then some very slow in using the bathroom, and bla bla bla.. When they came back, one of them told me everything, I was so shocked lo, cause all of us are very close one, never expect such things will happen. Heard that the one who organize is very stressful, kena 'complain', haih.. She said, no more next time liao.

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    6. wah you so pandai ah. SK ekor naik you already know what he wanna do LOL.

      Hahaha....ya being organiser manyak susah unless everyone sit down and discuss where to go and what to see.

      usually DIY will be small group la. If more than 5-6 people then will be big headache liao. Like what you said la. sure the organiser kena shoot left and right. Organiser terbalik wont have a good vacation

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  22. BUT, the cons of group tour are, have to spend time waiting for everybody! That's the biggest issue I encountered, also the most annoying one. If one member late, the whole group in the bus have to wait for him/her. If one member needs to go to the toilet on a highway, the driver has to find a place and stop for him/her too. So, hmm no need me to elaborate more la, I am sure everyone knows what I mean.
    Also, usually if follow group tour, they will organize to visit very 'typical tourist attractions', temples la, churches la, palace la etc. Not to say not good but everyone has different interest, some may not enjoy those visits. But no choice, if plan to follow group tour, like it or not, must ready to accept whatever the management arrange. 预左啦!
    And another cons, like you said lo, usually very rush one. Even go premium outlet shopping also, must walk fast fast and shop fast fast, cannot take own sweet time also, everything is like 走马看花 only.

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    1. Ok, base on my experience to Bangkok last year, I finally experienced the hard work needed, I was the one who planned the itinerary, from booking air tickets to hotel to transportation to food and everything (since I was the one who suggest the trip so I don't mind to do all these la! Some more I was 'free' that time, my friend needed to work so she din't have much times to plan with me, lucky she is a easy-going girl, everything I planned she ok, she gave me 'full authority' to plan everything xD).

      What I learned from this DIY trip is quite wonderful also la. Yea lots of homeworks need to be done, researches from Google, Blogspot and etc, also have to ask friends around. But from here I learn more about the places! And I can remember those places easily. Lucky it was just 2 of us, if more people then might be slightly more works to do, especially when it comes to booking hotel rooms.

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    2. DIY trips really need a lot of work. Got to plan for contingencies too. Like it is raining, outdoor team parks visit will have to be changed to some other activities.

      True, DIY you remember the places better since you are the one who planned for it. In a guided group tour, I don't even remember the names of the hotels we stayed in during the trip.

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    3. Yep, must have plan B, even plan C and so on :p

      Oh, true also, but for me I remember those hotels I stayed, hehe, if really forgot, always refer back to the itinerary book, I keep all of them til now ^^

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  23. Nowadays I prefer to go DIY + solo. Even DIY with people, need to consider each other's preference, hard to go "off the beaten track".

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    1. But so far, have you been to any solo travels?

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    2. LOL, err.. Singapore counts? And, when I was in US, I always ditch my fellow Malaysian colleagues and go solo..

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  24. DIY for me.

    I like the idea of doing research for a trip, plan for it then going to places that I want to go instead of what is offered by a tour company, taking me to vastly popular tourists spots.

    I am a out-of-the-beaten path kinda girl. :)

    It is more work but for me, that's what make my trip much more special.

    It's not only the destination but the journey counts too. :)

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  25. Despite having a few babies, I still prefer to do it DIY. Then I can plan which part I wanna go; Which spots I can stay longer and vice versa. :)

    Besides, to go with babies, it is always better to go on your own rather to be in a group.

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  26. 就如我之前有嗰post提及過,以後都唔會再跟團,好L死辛苦囖!!!

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  27. It's always better to do a DIY tour. You can plan your own itinerary. But for people like me, I don't have much time to do research so I would rather leave it to the tour agency. That should make my tour easy for me.

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    1. True, group tour is good for busy people like you, wenn ;)
      And also for lazy people like me, haha!

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  28. If language is not a barrier, I prefer DIY but in foreign countries where I can't speak their language, I'll have to resort to tour agent. Travelling with kids though I'll try to DIY as much as possible so we don't have to rush to their schedule. Holidays are meant to relax and if I have to rush my kids, stress level will shoot high up to the sky!

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    1. Yala, with kids it's hard to follow group tour, better go on our own.

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  29. I guess it's also depends on the location, if it's HK, Tokyo, Taiwan and etc, where they have a transportation lines, I think it's Ok to DIY la, else better go on tours if it's some countries which are not so convenient.

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  30. Bananaz would still prefer group tours even though was from the tour industry before. Well can always extend stay after the tour if the need arises for more exploration.

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    1. I am also in favour of this - especially going to places where one does not know anybody. Go on a "familiarisation tour", first.

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  31. 我喜欢自助旅游, 花些时间寻找资料, 更了解当地风情和历史, 还可以帮助我那老化头脑做复健! 而且自己安排所有行程事后很有满足感:)

    也助于写部落无障碍 :P 一切资料还可以提供给需要的朋友...

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  32. Definitely prefer DIY. Can plan my own itinerary and do what I like!

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  33. I hate it when the tour guide bring me to souvenir shops and waste my time!

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  34. However, some places you will need tour guides and cannot go on your own. Like my Halong Bay trip - it would be quite a challenge to arrange a trip there all by myself. So in such rare cases, following a tour guide is good. Other than that, DIY is always better :)

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  35. someday i would plan my own solo trip too~ =D

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  36. I prefer package tours as usually we are not familiar with the various spots in a foreign country, moreover with package tour, they arrange the transport for us and bring us to nice restaurants.. I am not very good with DIY tour but DIY tour got its benefits cos you can travel at your own pace and no need to rush..

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  37. If can, I prefer go as guided group tour first, go to those most famous places first, so then when people ask I can recommend a bit la!! So by that we don't need to look for places to visit or look for any cheap fare as we always hear "up into bus sleeping, out from the bus go toilet" don't have to worry anything, especially when travel to those countries that we don't know how to speak here's how important of the tour guide is, and where go to certain places we might need to check how's the cultural, can do what and can't do what..

    But ooo, with guided group tour in between those tourist places, they'll bring to those direct sales places, let you sit there for maybe an hour (wasting time actually) then some is like if you don't give face to support and buy their product a bit, the tour guide might give very black face to you or purposely keep on mentioning that to let you feel bad until you willing to buy something from that!!

    All and all just depend you get a good tour guide or not, coz the good one seriously will give very good recommends, but some like lazy lazy a bit...then gg la, got figure out yourself!!

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  38. So after been to the place for the first time with guided group tour, so second time is come to diy nature vacation! Because during the first visit with the tour is memang don't have the time to explore slowly and take picture slowly one! So go the second time is the time for us to explore of the place!!

    I don't know about others but for me, I'm super super super lazy to do what and what homework, as I did it before, I want to go here and there...but then end up fails...so many obstacles popped up and brings everything down, so a happy and expected trip become sad and wasting trip...Thus since that time, I don't want to plan anything, I like to go as free as I can, just like those backpackers...I felt it very adventures and also I always travel alone so is fine for me to go anywhere I want la!! Plus I'm a kind of person love museum very much, I would try not to miss out any local museum but most of friends anti museum a lot, they like to makan and shop shop a lot!! And for me I like to stay inside museum to read words by words of their descriptions!! Besides museums, I like book store also, remember when I go travel at Taiwan, they take us to the eslite, biggest book store in Taipei, then the tour guide only give us 1 hour...=.=!!! Seriously? For me one day also not enough la, some more just gimme an hour...sweat!!!

    Guess I said before la, I go travel I don't like spend time to hunt for famous good good food, coz usually it takes very long to queue...I don't like that, and don't to try also know how it tastes as there're tons and tons of reviews online...I like it better bump into and don't know where restaurant, you might find something new and interesting, isn't that more fun!!

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  39. After all, I want to say is...going travel is to relax, don't like be chasing here and here in order to go lots of places in one time just to snap a picture to mark "I've been to this place"!! And when I was away to travel, that's the time I can quiet down myself to think what's my future journey, what am I gonna to do, and who I want to be!! Not just snapping pictures nonstop and showing off to anyone where and where I've been to, because of travel then go travel, it's about more 了解自己和提升自己!! =D

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  40. Hey, my comment got zapped, is it because it was too sexy? I posted this morning when there were just 10 comments. Nah! Will not bother to post the exact text. Oh well..

    Guided tour takes the hassle out of travel, logistics-wise but DIY allows one to soak in the local culture. But some places a guide is needed.

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  41. 我比较喜欢自助但有时候是没得选比如公司的员工游,就一定是跟团 :P

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  42. Of course DIY vacation is better than tour vacation, but I never been to DIY vacation so far. When we went for travelling, we usually brought along the whole family, with small kids, we had to opt for tour vacation. Jin Jin finds tour vacation is less hassle especially we are taking kids along.

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