PC Electronics

Tiny electronics store almost directly above the Australian Watch shop that’s already listed. I don’t have the exact address. Ice inside the Australian Watch shop building go to the 2d floor and follow the South African flag signs. Obviously he has anything for can find anything for you. But, what’s special is his FREE wall of liquor from

all over the world and the FREE beer fridge. The liquor is replenished periodically by aircrew which is what he caters to. A great way to start the evening before heading out to other more expensive bars.

Rafting

During summer, walk back behind hotel across the river to Ann Morrison park. You can take a shuttle bus that takes you up river to another park where you can rent a tube for $12 and float the river back to Ann Morrison park. Once there, you drop your tube off and walk back to the hotel. 2-3 hours.

NOCAT

The night flight back to Memphis is NOCAT. But if you coordinate with the driver, he can pick you up and run by a sandwich shop on the way to the airport, so you have food on the flight home.

Pearl Harbor

The Pearl Harbor Museums/U.S.S. Arizona memorial are free for airline crew members (normally $65 for all the museums). Make sure you bring your company I.D. You can get there via city bus #42 for $2.50 (exact change required).

Laundry on Xinji Road

In middle of 17 day trip and needed some stuff washed. Hotel prices were ridiculous. This place will do entire bag of laundry (weighed on scale!) for about same price, 210 Taiwan dollars, that Howard charges for one shirt. Same day service, in by 9 AM, when they open, and out by 4 PM. Go out front of hotel, right on Renai, right on Fuxing, go one block, then left on Xinji. Laundry is about 50 yards down street on right. They speak little English, so I used translator on my phone and asked simple questions with no problem.

Coin Laundry – Marriott Shin Osaka

If you need to do some laundry in Osaka, but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for the hotel to do it for you, there is a coin laundromat about 15 minutes walk. The hotel concierge has a direction sheet with a map and photos, but its in Kanji, so I think I can improve on it a bit.

The laundromat has 3 washers and about 6 dryers. Each washer is a different size, and price. I used the small one for 12 kg load, and it was 600 yen. The dryers are 100 yen for each 9 minutes. 300 yen did the trick. There is an attendant, but I didn’t see a change machine, so I’d bring some yen coins from the hotel–the washer takes 500’s, and 100’s, but the dryer only takes 100’s.

To get there, go out the front door of the hotel lobby. Look straight ahead. You can’t see the road below, but the gap between the buildings is where the road is that you’re going to follow. You’ll need to take the elevated sidewalk across the busy road in front of you to get there. Turn right, and follow the sidewalk until in turns left over the road, and under the train tracks. Keep following it around to the left after you cross under the tracks, then take the stairs down to the sidewalk. Go straight for about 10ish minutes. After a couple of blocks you should see a Subway sandwich shop on the other side of the road–keep going, you’re on the right track. When you’re getting close you should see a tall sign on the other side of the road for Royal Host. As you get close to that intersection, you can see the big sign for the Aeon MaxValue grocery store. Go up to, but don’t cross the street that runs by the store. Turn right a the corner. Go about 50 yards or so until you are just about abeam the end of the MaxValue across the street on your left. Look for the parking sign with a winking turtle on it–kinda looks a bit like Yoda. Turn right at the corner, and the shop should be on your right.

Kayak and Hike Trip

Kayak thru sea arches and hike the peaks of the islands in the Geo park east of Hong Kong. http://www.kayak-and-hike.com/ You can find all of the details on the web site. Long time HK resident and Brit, Paul is the guide & owner. He’s a very knowledgeable and a great host. Great trip but you need all day. $800HKD. Kayak to several islands, opportunity to snorkel on reefs. Lunch at fishing village on one of the islands- very good! after lunch hike up some steeper hills and down rock formations. you’ll get wet getting kayaks on/off beach and swimming. shoes recommended for the hike, rough terrain. Bonca boat takes everyone from kai sung pier to island. you can leave backpack/shoes etc on boat and easily access them at each stop. Boat follows kayakers and anchors off beach of the islands you visit kayaking. Leave Kowloon NLT 0730- trips over 1700ish. Great bars at the kai sung harbor after the excursion. From – Kowloon MTR to Mong Kok –

• At Mongkok change to the Green line and head to Choi Hung Station.

• Exit at C1 and walk around to the right and find the Sai Kung mini bus with green band, No A1

• Stay on mini bus till it stops in Sai Kung waterfront pier. you’ll pass a big soccer stadium and you can see the waterfront

Songtan near Osan AFB

Well, I finally made the journey to Songtan to see the old shopping/bar street from back in 1993. I was surprised to see Mr. Ohs tailor shop is still there. Tiger Embroidery changed it’s name but they still have all the cool patches. I was there in the day time on a weekday so not much happening. But it was a good experience. I learned a few valuable lessons. To get there it is best to take the bus from Nambu Bus station in Seoul directly to Songtan bus station. You can take the metro or a cab to Nambu Bus station. Go inside the bus station and there are several walk up windows. Tell the lady you want a bus ticket to Songtan. It cost about 3850 won. Yes, that’s only about $3.50 US. It’s pretty cheap and you’ll be able to sit in a seat the whole time. I made the mistake of taking the subway on the way down. The only benefit was it was cheaper. (2350 won) However, it made many stops and you have to make 2 transfers. Total time on the subway was 2 hours. Coming back on the bus was 45 mins. Once you are in Songtan, jump in a cab and tell them to take you to Osan Main Gate. All the bars and restaurants are directly outside the gate. The cab only cost 3000 won. That’s about $2.50 US. You can walk it if it’s not too hot. About 15 min walk. But if it’s your first time you won’t know where to go so just take the cab. They say that the best time is on a Friday or Saturday night. You’ll either need to take the last bus back to Seoul around 10:30pm or the morning bus at 6:30am. Still lots of food, bars, and lots of shopping. (Clothes, gifts, guitars, shoes, blankets, leather goods and more) Hope this helps. Have a good time.

Kazuha Public Golf Course

If you like golf. I found a nice public course with an outdoor driving range. The price is the cheapest you’ll find in Osaka. (6,400 yen for 18 holes and it includes lunch) Normally, you play 9 holes, eat lunch then finish the back 9 then go to the spa followed by happy hour. Club rentals cost 100 yen per club or 2100 yen for a full set. The driving range cost 510 yen per 50 balls. Take the Midosuji red line from Namba station 3 stops north to Yodobashi. Buy another ticket and catch the Keihan Limited Express from Yodobashi to Kuzuha stop. The course is a 2 min walk through the train station. First ticket costs 180yen and the second ticket costs 350 yen. Here’s the website link:

http://www.kuzuha-golf.co.jp/

Recommend downloading “Translate” for Safari to translate foreign websites to english. You can get it by selected going to this apple link: https://extensions.apple.com

Abeno Harukas

The tallest building in Japan at 984ft (300m). Completed in March of 2014 it contains an upscale mall in the lower levels and an observation area at the top (1500 Yen). Get there by mid to late morning on weekdays if possible to avoid lines for the observation level. The MIO Mall and Abeno Q’s Mall are clustered together with the skyscraper at a main intersection with an elevated crosswalk. Numerous restaurants are in the malls’ upper levels and at street level.

Directions: From the Namba subway station below the Swisshotel, go south on the Midosuji Line for 3 stops, getting off at the M23 subway station – 240 Yen one way ( Swisshotel is at the M20 station ). If your room faces southeast, the Abeno Harukas is the tallest building straight out from your window about a mile away.

Sumo Wrestling

Check out Sumo Wrestling every year in March the top Sumo wrestlers in the world compete in Osaka. The location is down the street from the McDonalds near the Swiss O’ Tel. Recommend showing up around 9 am the day you want to attend and purchase general seating ticket for 2000yen or $20 us. This ticket grants you access up to 2 times a day. I recommend you go in the early afternoon around noon and then go eat lunch and come back at 3:15pm to catch the Makuuchi or the big boys compete. There is an opening ceremony you don’t want to miss. The tournament will end promptly at 6pm. The last to fight will be the Yokozuna’s. The tournament is always in March and last for 15 days. Google search Sumo Wrestling and you can find the schedule. Have fun!

Kolner Golf Club

Like Golf! Check out this course. Take the Tram line 1 from Heumarkt to Weiden Zentrum. Then transfer to the 145 bus bound for Bocklemund and get off at Indianapolis StraBe. The course is down the street about 5-10 min walk. Buy a 2B ticket at the tram and it is valid for the bus as well. The club has a Championship 18 hole par 72 course and an 18 hole Links course. (Par 3’s and 4’s only on the Links course) There is also a driving range and a great practice facility including a 9 hole pitch course. Taylormade rental clubs for only 10 euros.

Website address: http://www.koelner-golfclub.de/

Bannerghatta National Park

Wild animal Park and Zoo, about a 90 minute drive from hotel. Recommend letting the hotel arrange transport. The park is interesting on several levels and it will be a unique experience. You will travel by bus through the animal enclosures and have up close experiences with bears, tigers and other large animals.

Bannerghatta Road
Bannerghatta
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560083
India

Qutab Golf Course

“Played golf at Delhi’s first public golf course; it was not bad. The course plays a short 6200 yds but is by no means forgiving. The total cost of green fees, clubs, caddie (almost unavoidable), and transportation was $50 on a weekday. We finished in 4 hours no problem. We paid our hotel cab driver to stay at the course until we were finished. We were joined by very friendly locals during our round. Next I will try to play at the Delhi’s most famous course, “The Delhi Club”. For more information on the Qutab course click on the following link: http://qutubgolfcourse.golfgaga.com/fees-costs/

Total travel time one way about 20-30 mins.”

Golden Computer and Outdoor Market

Golden Computer is a block long building full of electronics. Everything from pc’s to game consoles to cell phone accessories and more. Jump on the subway and travel up Nathan road to Sham Shui Po. Walk out exit D and the building will be straight ahead across the 1st street. Coincidentally, there is also an outdoor market there that seems the same stuff as the Temple Street market.

Ignite Fitness

21 E. State St. Columbus, OH 43215

This is a fitness facility located a block west of the Sheraton, past the Ohio Theater, at the corner of State and High St. and up the escalator. The facility is $5/day. Inside the fitness facility is huge. It has free weights, plenty of weight machines, a lot of cardio equipment, and rooms for classes if your so inclined. Try it out!

Yanks Air Museum and Planes of Fame Air Museum at Chino Airport

If you have a long layover and want a full day’s worth of cool planes, have the hotel shuttle guys drive you out to Chino Airport (about 12 mins) and check out both the Yanks Air Museum and the Planes of Fame Air Museum. Each is between $11 and $16 for the full tour and there’s a little restaurant right between them where you can grab lunch. Here’s the websites: http://planesoffame.org/index.php?page=admission-hours-and-directions; https://yanksair.com/

Hotel, Restaurant, and Misc.

DWC – Holiday Inn

The DWC layover is at the Holiday Inn on Sheikh Zayed Road. It is down near the Barj Al Arab (sail hotel) and The Palm. It is an expensive cab ride from either airport, if you are deviating. However, the Metro stop just SW of the Mall of the Emirates is just two blocks from the hotel. The easy access of the metro allows you to get around Dubai.

This is a typical Holiday Inn with minor enhancements. Rooms are nice but basic. A/C works great (needed in Dubai). Amenities are good. The pool (top level) is nice, but noisy due to highway traffic. It is basically a lap pool (4 lanes). The gym is ok and not crowded. The TV is small (maybe 23”), but gets all the channels necessary to satisfy most all crew members (CNN, BBC, FoxNews, and Al Jazeera).

Restaurants in the hotel are good—expensive but good food. The main restaurant for breakfast provides a nice assortment (free). The Thai restaurant is very good, but expensive. Appetizers cost as much as the entrée! I did not try the Indian restaurant. The bar (main floor) is great. Lots of beers and many tv screens to watch sports. They will be broadcasting all the FIFA World Cup games. However, they strictly observe Islamic rules so there are time restrictions. With Ramadan starting June 28, 2014, I doubt they will serve any alcohol during the day games, and may not even be open for the finals except in the evening.

The ATM is right outside the hotel. For nearby restaurants, go out the hotel and turn left down the side street. Turn left at the first block. You’ll pass several assorted outdoor restaurants and mini-markets. Midway down the block is a Lebanese restaurant and the Pizza restaurant. Both are not bad (no alcohol). They are outdoor seating only, but in the evening in the shade it wasn’t bad. A little further down on the right is a Baskin & Robbins.

If you go out the hotel and again hang a left down the side street, but this time go two blocks, there is a lamb restaurant. It’s like a McDonalds but for lamb, serving kebobs, lamb burgers, and more. Across the street is a Green Chili Pepper restaurant (I didn’t try this). Turning left and going down the block is a good size grocery store.

Of course for a plethora of food selections, the Mall of the Emirates is just a few blocks away. Go down the main drag and turn into the revolving doors of the Kenski Hotel. Go straight through and you’re in the mall, right at Ski Dubai. Lots of restaurants in the mall with two food courts. I never did find the one that serves alcohol, but was told there is one in the mall.

Also nearby is the Wadi Water park, plus the water park at Atlantis. There are other nearby activities and the hotel has a tour desk for your desert excursions, helicopter tours, and more.

Overall, the location isn’t bad at all. I think it is better than the Crowne Plaza location. Maybe it’s not as nice, but there is a lot more to do in the area.

Palika Bazaar Underground Market

Here is a link to the description to the Palika Bazaar underground market: http://www.palikabazaar.com

This market has similar stuff you’d see in Shanghai. Of course you can bargain. I recommend not going there alone due to the confinement of the tunnels. There are very few exits. Also, above ground are many other flea markets and various types of shops. Ten minute took took ride from hotel. (no traffic)

Places of Interest

Here are some places of interest in Guangzhou you might want check out:

 

Cabs are cheap. But I recommend buying a Tong Card. It’s like the Octopus card. It will cost you 70rmb minimum. You’ll receive 50 rmb credit and the charged 20 rmb for the card. Most trips are about 3-4 rmb. You can purchase the card at any subway customer service booth. However to recharge go to the 7-11s in the subway station. Also, iPhone users download the app All Subways for 99 cents. It has all the subway maps in the world.

 

SHOPPING

1. Baiyun Leather Market, go out side door of hotel cross the street turn right and then left and walk for about 15-20 mins. You’ll pass a park on your right side and go through a major overpass intersection. Keep walking until you see the pedestrian bridge that crosses the street you are walking on and cross over to the right. You’ll be obviously in the leather district by then. Leather goods, bags, purses, scarves, some jewelry.

 

2. Watch Market. Near the leather market. If you are facing the Guangzhou Train station(big Clock) turn left and walk to the nearest street you can turn right on. Look up the street and you’ll see a tall building that says watch/clock on it. There about 4 buildings, multiple floors full of watches. However, if you want to buy a Rolex copy and others you need to ask any of the vendors. Be prepared to be taken either upstairs or the next building over through an alley. The average prices is about 650 yuan for a good watch. Stick to this price no matter what they offer in the beginning. You should have no problem.

 

3. HighSun Plaza. Take #2 Blue line to Haizu Square then transfer to the #6 Purple line to Donhu. Get off and walk out exit B2. You’ll immediately see electronics. Walk in the first building you see. You should head in a direction through the first building you see. Keep walking through until you see a covered street. Walk though the very next building. It’s a long hallway of electronics. Exit that long hallway building and walk directly across the street and you’ll see a small open square and another 3 story building with more electronics. Bottom line is you’ll see everything from lasers, iPhone accessories, flashlights and much more. Even Musical instruments like guitars and Ukuleles. Remember where the metro is located. You’ll need to go back there eventually.

 

4. One Link International Plaza. Go back to the #6 purple line and retrace your path 3 stops back to Haizu Square. Get off and exit B2. When you go out of the exit walk straight. You’ll see McDonalds, clothes stores then flower shops and after crossing a big intersection you’ll see a tall building on the right corner labeled One Link Intl Plaza. It’s 8 floors of everything China sells. Anyone could spend easily 3 hours in this building. Items grow in size as you go up. Tip: If you go from the China Hotel it’s the #2 Blue line 3 stops to Haizu Square.

 

ATTRACTIONS

1. Safari Park/Crocodile Park/Circus. Pet baby tigers, feed giraffes, rhinos, big tigers. You even get to ride in a small open air train through a wild animal safari. Crocodile park has more crocs then you’ll ever see. Feed Hippos and pet strange animals. I have not been to the circus yet. http://www.chimelong.com/enpark/wildlife.aspx

 

2. Pearl River Cruise. Best taken at night. You can ride for as little as 40 rmb. But if you want dinner it’s a little over 100 rmb.

 

3. Famous Nanyue King Tomb. It’s right around the corner from the China Hotel. Go out door turn right past the starbucks. Take the first right at the corner and walk for about 5 mins. You’ll see the tomb. (See link for pics) The cost is very cheap. It’s one of the most famous discoveries in China. You will get to enter the actual tomb.

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/guangdong/guangzhou/nanyue_king.htm

 

4. Chen Clan Academy. Take #2 blue line to Gongyuanquian the transfer to #1 yellow line to Chen Clan Academy. Small nominal fee to tour this famous residence of one of the wealthiest families that ever lived in Guangzhou. Inside are lots of cultural artifacts. Sometimes there are performers there.

 

5. Guangdong Provincial Museum. Tip: buy the special exhibit ticket and you won’t have to wait in a long line to enter. The exhibit was only like $2.50. This is a history museum. It’s very nice. See link for directions.

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/guangdong/guangzhou/provincial-museum.htm

 

FOOD

Most cheap pilots skip dinner and eat the free food at the happy hour. Every now and then the happy hour food is ok but I need better quality.

 

1. 1920 Restaurant. Take #2 blue line 3 stops to Haizu Square. Walk out B2 like going to One link Plaza. Except after walking up the stairs look left across the street and you’ll see a big construction fence. Head towards that fence and follow it to the river. (1 block) Turn right and you see the restaurant right on the corner. It’s German Food. Pretty good and a nice view of the river.

 

2. Most of the restaurants I’ve liked are a bit far away. Like Chanshou Lu Mall on the Changshoulu stop on the #1 yellow line. Upstairs are several restaurants. My favorite is a all you can eat and drink Japanese restaurant for less than $20us. But there are many others. Careful, not much english spoken there. There are pictures you can point to for ordering.

Ayres

Everything you need is near the Ontario Mills Mall – Food a plenty, bars galore (sports bar too – Bostons), movies, shopping. It’s 2 miles from the Ayres, so if you don’t want to walk that far, the bell guys will drop you there & pick you back up. They will also provide transport to any of 3 area golf courses. Palm Springs is an option if you want to rent a car – tons more to do out there on a long layover, but too hot there in the summer !

Bacardi Tour

$1 ferry ride from Old Town across the bay.  Then a $12 cab ride (if you get several people in the van it’s much less) to the Bacardi distillery.  You get two free drinks and about a two hour tour.  It’s a great way to spend a day in PR.

Dubai Creek (Golf)

PO Box 6302 Dubai, UAE

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

$197 for 18 holes

$118 for   9 holes

$20 club rental

$25 par 3 (lighted for night play)

 

10 min. cab ride from Crowne Plaza

Running

Santa Monica Stairs

Located at San Vicente and 8th Street, the Santa Monica Stairs are a great place to work out. Distance varies depending on layover hotel.

Miscellaneous

Nice movie theater across from hotel.Great Bass Pro Shop 7 minute walk from hotel with a restaurant, bar and bowling alley inside.

Mr. Gatti’s pizza 5 minute walk. Lunch buffet $6.50 for all you can eat pizza, pasta, and dessert.

Australian Watch Shop

39 Mirado Mansion G/F., 62 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Kowloon, Hong Kong

This is the trusted watch dealer in HKG. Real watch brands at China pricing (not cheap but much cheaper than US) to include any special order. Jimmy Cheung is the old man and his son Paul is the helpful young English speaking guy. Also the best flashlights and batteries for around $18.00 (Surefire Style).

Fishing Tackle Emporium

Kengkou Station

Interested in fishing tackle? There is a location in CAN that offers a wide variety of gear.

Take the subway (line 1) to Kengkou Station. This may require a transfer from another line depending on the hotel you are staying in.

After you exit the train, walk upstairs in the station and depart via the ‘B exit’. You will be on an elevated, covered walkway. Take the first set of stairs to the left down to the street level.

The tackle stores are all congregated in an arcade, the first building on your left

SEG Plaza Electronics Market

Take the metro to Huaquiang Road. Walk out the exit that says SEG plaza. Go straight to the first corner and turn left. Cross the street as soon as you can; there is a lot of construction at the moment. After crossing the street, continue down on the right side and you’ll see electronics shops. Walk about 100 yards and there is a row of shops with an elevated sidewalk out front. The key is to look for the cell phones on the bottom floor and an escalator inside going up. There you’ll find about 6 floors of everything from cell phone accessories, flashlights, gadgets, iPad accessories, helicopters and more. Unlike Louhu, no one will heckle you here. The prices are generally lower since this is where the locals shop.

Caution, it closes early around 6 or 7 p.m. You’ll see a big building that says SegBuy; this is not the building. “In fact, I don’t think this place even says SEG Plaza anywhere on it. But, for some reason, that’s what the locals call it.”

Musical Instrument Mall

The name of the mall is Guo Qi Bldg and it is on Shangbu Road. Ask concierge first then take the Metro Green Line and get off at Science Museum. Walk out Exit D and proceed to the first intersection. You’ll see a large mall that says ‘music’. The instruments are on the 3rd and 4th floors. Guitars, drums, horns and more.

Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento

10-15 minute walk from hotel. Shops, restaurants, old train museum. Great walk/run trail along the Sacramento River.