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  1. Any bro here have any self drive experience in Jeju during winter season before? wonder if the road condition is harsh during Christmas period. Planning a trip there this Dec. Have not drive on icy road before
  2. Just back from a road trip to USA. Thought good to share what I have learnt along the way as there is definitely a learning process for those not used to driving LHD cars in winter climate. This is not going to be exhaustive handbook but just some pointers to help in the itinerary planning process. Winter tires necessary for winter climate going up Canada? This had been one of my biggest worry as I have read that winter tires are compulsory for cars in Canada. I am concern as I will be travelling to Niagara falls at Canada side. Online research did not provide me with a definite answer, other than that it is compulsory for cars from some time ago. Taking to a few Canadian angmos also did not yield any definite answers, but their cars are definitely with winter tires. So that added to my worries as what if my rental car collected from Washington DC got turned back at immigration checkpoint. I felt relieved only when the staff at Thrifty assured me that their fleet comes with all weather tires which would be good for going up Canada, that the winter tire ruling is only for cars purchased in Canada but not on rental cars. So indeed it went smoothly through the Canada leg without any issues. Road travel during winter Another concern is whether winter tires or even tires chain necessary during winter. The answer is not necessary. What is confusing is that different states have different policies with regards to this, but mostly is about permitting and not about being mandatory. But most car rental companies would not allow tires chains as could damage the tires. When there is snowing, can see specially equipped pickups or trucks with shovel busy plying the roads to push the snow away. You will also observe many black "gravels" on the road during winter, which have been dispensed from these vehicles which are salt used to de-ice the road. They could be brown or black depending on states. Be careful when driving over bridges as bridges will freeze before tar road to create slippery surfaces when temperature dips. It would be good planning to start driving only after 9am when the sun is already up to reduce chances of accidents due to car sliding on roads as seen on news, another good excuse to wake up later. On days when snowing overnight, be sure to cater at least 15min to warm up the car and turn on windscreen heating coil to thaw the front and rear windscreens. Rental cars should come with low grade ice scraper with a brush end and a plastic pointed end. Use the pointer end to scape the ice then use the brush end to remove the ice. Very easy to do. Also remember to be de-icing wiper fluid from Walmart or petrol stations to topup the fluid tank. Normal water will freeze at tubing outside the hood thus not able to clear up the windscreen when needed. My rental car will squirt some water when toggle to do windscreen wiping, and with normal water even if can come out will freeze at windscreen causing it to be more blurry. But with de-icing fluid, the wiper is able to clean up very nicely. Also try not to drive after sky darken from about 4+pm till 6pm depending on states. USA span across 6 timing zones for those not initiated. Due to poor time management, I have to drive a few nights till 8pm to reach my destination. Very bad decision thinking back. Roads in USA is not like over here with street lights all over. Even across those inter-state expressways, there are no street lights at all so is almost pitch dark. So driving at night has a tunnel effects which worsen because you can only see slightly ahead and there are many winding roads. The drivers there also do not have a habit of turning on high beams during my time there. Frankly with cars going at excess of 65 mph, it is really quite harrowing to do cornering without any lights. After awhile, I learnt to form "packs" with cars nearby to take advantage of lights thrown from the cars, especially big trucks which are more brightly lit-up. With that, I do not have to constantly toggling the hi-beam lights. Try to constantly glance at the nav tools (handphone with Google map in my case) to keep note of the road ahead to avoid being surprise by sharp turnings. I have been using Google Map exclusively without any problem. Another event to look out for during winter is when there is snow blizzards. It could descend quickly and reduce visibility to less than 100m and caused severe chain collision accidents. A 40+-cars accident occurred just early this month due to snow blizzards, with another major accident last week due to icy road conditions. So have to watch the weather updates on TV or accuweather website for alerts. Road manners of typical Americans I would rate them very poorly. I have been tailgated by big trucks and smaller cars even when I am already going at above permitted speed on that road and keeping to the right most lane, and I mean really close as at times cannot even see bumper. The drivers will not horn, maybe too polite, but they sure keep up the pressure by driving really close to you. And they also do not slow down to let you pass when you try to enter the road through slip road, even worse than on our roads. This make driving at night challenging when you need to drive to nearby mall or restaurants for makan and need to do many turnings across many roads over short distances. It would be good habit to go through the route before proceeding to know where you will need to turn thus going to the correct lanes before that. Really a letdown as I have not expected this level of aggression there. Driving in Malaysia and Australia and Japan are much easier as their drivers are more forgiving. Topping up Gas In USA the gas stations all have different prices unlike over here. The prices just across the street could be lower by 10 cents so if you trying to save some money better do some checking first. I rely on the Google Map extensively as it will display the gas prices for most stations. As I need to topup gas almost everyday, I will search for gas stations nearby hotels or restaurants along the way to see the prices. Depending on states or locations, the prices for Regular gas, which is RON87 unleaded, could vary from USD 2.10 to USD 3. So if you are running abit low on gas and you checked that the gas station near your destination is much more expensive that at the meal stops, then better topup gas first. Payment is quite easy - either at pump itself or counter. For payment at pump, you just need to slide a credit card into the pump machine to authorize payment, then remove nozzle and select which grade of petrol, then start pumping away. After you put back the nozzle, payment will be completed automatically and you can press to get the receipt. Alternatively, you can go to the counter to pre-pay an amount of petrol, go to the gas pump and select the fuel grade and start pumping. This method is more troublesome as you need to calculate roughly how much gas to topup. But good thing you can go back counter to get refund on un-used gas if you have paid extra. Rental cars I used rentalcars.com to book my rides as I found it to be significantly cheaper than going to the individual rental car sites with same ride and rental terms. I had reserved a Nissan Quest through Thrifty, but on the day of collected was offered alternative rides. The staff at the counter just told me to collect any of the 8 ro 9 MPVs at a section of the carpark, where there were some Chevrolet Pacifica, Dodge Grand Caravan, and a Toyota sienna. The cars frankly are not that clean and I chose the cleanest which is a Chevrolet Pacifica which did not come with sunroof unlike other rides. But I figured it is winter so this feature not important at all. All the full-size MPVs are frankly about same size and definitely good enough for 4 pax with the luggages. And with 3.6L V6 engines definitely can run quite effortlessly. I also opted for the Platepass feature which allow electronic payment of toll fees like our ERP. It is quite necessary if need to travel from Washington DC to Niagara falls as there are many toll roads along the way. Without the option, I would need to pay an admin fee of USD15 for each toll payment which will add up quite rapidly. It is also for peace of mind as it meant one less thing to worry thus can enjoy the trip more. Moving Around New York As not advisable to drive in NYC, it is better to choose an lodging near outskirt of NYC with easy access to bus or subway stop. One such option is Meadowlands View Hotel which is close to a bus stop that can bring you into Times Square in 35min. The hotel also provides paid shuttle bus at higher costs but great convenience especially during winter as you do not need to walk to the bus stop. I only did the High Line, Chelsea Market, Twin Tower Memorail Park, Staten Island loop ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, then eat Vietnamese dinner at Broadway area before catching the Mean Girls show. Then just walk to Rockafella Tower and Times Square before heading back hotel past mid-night. Due to time constraints, have to forgo Central Park. Only consolation is manage to take picture of the theater where Stephen Colbert shoot his daily show which is just behind the theater hosting the Mean Girls show which cost a bomb, USD100/ticket for middle row seats. Moving Around Washington DC By luck it happened to be on a Sunday That I was in Washington DC. I said lucky because the notorious parking happen to be free every Sunday. I reach there at about 10am and still manage to find a parking spot near the Air and Space Museum. It would be good to park at the mall as it is really close to the Smithsonian museums and the Lincoln Memorial, just make sure to be there before 930am to be kiasu. Manage to cover only that and the Natural History Museum where the famous movie was shot on location. There are really a lot to see if you want to pore over every exhibits which will take about 1 day to cover each museum properly. But if you in a rush, covering 2 museums is the max I would recommend given that all open from 10am and close at 530pm. Lunch can eat at the food trucks aplenty at the Mall area instead of inside the museum for price and variety. The Mall area is not referring to shopping malls but the vast green grass area spanning the museums and memorials. There is option to take the Circulator bus if do not want to do the walking, as not recommend to shift car around as parking spot is really difficult to find after 11am. It is also not recommended to stay inside the area as parking is a killer. I chose to stay at the Courtyard Marriot which is walking distance to the White House, which turned out to be a bad decision as parking there cost USD 44 before taxes which is just slightly cheaper than at Niagara hotel of USD 50 at Canada side. And I reached the hotel only after 10pm after having dinner at nearby Luke Lobster which is quite good imo, so could have driven another 20min to outside DC for cheaper hotels as not enjoying any benefits of staying there. The White House is losing the allure for me as it is my thinking that Trump has cheapen it since taking office, so never bother to stop and take pictures with it, just drive by only. Booking hotels The hotels in USA nowadays mostly come with free breakfast for those mid-range like Hampton Inns, Home2Suites, Best Western, Fairfields, Red Roof, etc. I stayed at almost different hotels each night so have quite good sample size haha. The free breakfast would come with basic hot food like scrambled egg and sausage, fruits corner, DIY wafer making, cornflakes, milk and juices, coffee/tea. Not elaborate or definitely sufficient. There would mostly have a coffee/tea corner where guests would be able to make their drinks to go or just sit at the comfortable lobby area to enjoy. The prices for 4 pax for a 2 queen/double bed room can range from S$90 to $250. I prefer Hampton Inns which cost mostly from S$120 to S$150 before tax. The hotels at Niagara Canada side are killer at > $250 inclusive of breakfast, before the parking charge of USD 50. But the view is definitely worth it. Ok I will stop for now. Feel free to add in your experience and tips for the benefits of those thinking of embarking on a road trip there. I would recommend to consider at west side instead of east side as there are more nature parks to enjoy. I will post my itinerary later on. Also bear in mind need to cater clothing for wide variation in weather if intend to travel from upper North down to South tip. For example, Niagara side could be dipping below freezing temperature while Florida could be enjoying 20 degree celsius on same day. Cheers.
  3. He just smashed the Olympic Record and set a brand new World Record!
  4. hi Bros.So i am planning a trip to chase the northern lights. high chance Finland/Norway! Have a few questions to ask here for those who seen before. 1. Where is the best bet to see the auroras? friend went iceland in 2017 but Didnt manage to see antyhing. 2. Did you do free and easy and then go there to join private tour or straight up sign tour package? Am not the one very keen on going because scared of cold but gf want to see so no choice. Thinking tour package might be an easier option for me. https://www.chanbrothers.com/private-tours/itinerary/pt-finland Few things i shortlisted as must do: - Reindeer/Huskies Sleigh Ride - Ranua Wildlife Park - see artic animals in the zoo. this is where polar bears truly belong! - Stay at Santa Claus Village -snowmobiling - must try: santa's salmon place restaurant - jaakkola reindeer farm -kakslauttanen glass igloos any other recommendations plss 3. how to survive 8 to 10 days of winter? bring cup noodles? friend bought 10 cup noodles when he went last time because food expensive and not nice. 4. winter wear- anyone bought thermal wear from uniqlo b4? their heat tech useful? and also fleece jacket. snow boots also recommended right? phototaking. i think i just going to use gopro to capture whatever i can. any other recomendations/advice/experience to share welcome please!!! thank you!
  5. Am looking for some advice: We're going to Hokkaido next month, and are looking at renting a large MPV, so hope to get some tips and information on: 1) which MPV is good/best 2) any tips on driving in winter There will be 7 of us on the trip. 6 adults/children who are 1.7-1.8 m tall, and one 6-yo kid who needs a booster seat. There will also be quite a bit of luggage, tentatively 1-2 pcs 28", 3 pcs 24", 2 pcs 20" luggages. Looking at the options for MPVs, the larger ones are either Toyota Alphard or Nissan Elgrand, followed by the slightly smaller ones of Toyota Noah or Nissan Serena. Any bigger will be the Toyota Hiace van. Is there any possibility of accommodating all 7, plus the luggages in Alphard/Elgrand, or is it necessary to go for Hiace? I vaguely remember that @Heartlander had mentioned before renting Elgrand during a Japan trip, and also owned an Alphard before here? Care to share your experience please? Anyone else with knowledge/experience of these 2 - your opinion is welcome. If we shift the 3 rows of seats to be more 'forward', will the luggage/boot space behind 3rd row seat, be sufficient for the luggages that we have? Then on #2, driving in winter/snow, apart from going slow, and avoiding icy roads, what else should we look out for? Winter tyres are standard, and there's 4WD option for the vehicles. Thanks in advance.
  6. Astonishing beauty of north China after snow. White, white everywhere. Now we have snow, but where is Princess Snowwhite:-)
  7. We have decided to fly back to paris after many years of not visiting western Europe. First country we visited though was Switzerland. Playing with snow outside our hotel
  8. Breakfast Sunrise the tiny spot beside the sun is Mt Fuji Landed at Chitose https://youtu.be/U1Bxyx0P-pA
  9. Pai say, start one new thread for 'Winter Transfer Window' ... So it's already 5 days in Jan 2018 and only 3 confirmed cases so far. 1. VVD to Liverpool for £75 mil 2. Barkley to Chelsea for £15 mil 3. Cenk Tosun to Everton for £27mil Unconfirmed:- 1. PC to Barca 2. Can to Juventus 3. Lemar to Liverpool 4. Kovacic to Liverpool
  10. i will be traveling to new zealand this june. will be there for 2 weeks. as it is winter there i might have to get some winter wear. i believe i need to get stuff like jackets, gloves and snow caps? i think in some cases i may need water proof wear too? there are quite alot of stuff i need to get but the thing is i will not be requiring them after the 2 weeks cos im not a cold country person.... i dont think i would travel to cold countries or during cold periods in the future. so alot of questions....... what kinda winter clothings should i get e.g. the waterproof type? is there anyway i can get cheap winter wear for that 2 weeks? is it easy to get second hand winter wear as im sure singaporeans will not be needing it unless they travel to cold countries? need all the advise i can get thnx in advance
  11. This year 2018. In PyeongChang, South Korea, hosts the Winter Olympics, February 8-25, 2018. More information below:- http://edition.cnn.com/specials/sport/winter-olympics-2018 Security challenges at 2018 Winter Olympics : -http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/12/21/2018-winter-olympics-security-hancocks-pkg.cnn/video/playlists/coming-in-2018/
  12. Hi, being someone who doesnt travel often to winter countries, I wish to find out from the seasoned travelers what shoes to wear to Japan for a 67 year old man. Where can I find reasonably priced winter shoes that are non slip and yet comfortable to wear? Would a pair of shoes from Caterpillar like this be suitable? http://img.ishoe.co.uk/photos/CATERPILLAR/Pritchard/Cat-Pritchard-Tyre-08.jpg
  13. I wl be going to Hokkaido during CNY, not sure wl it still snowing when we are there .. think the temp is ard -1c to -9c ( or even lower ).. Can anyone adv what should we wear in order to keep us warm and where can we get winter wear locally? Any brand shd we look for? Also what to look out for when buying these apparels? And is it a must to get those down jackets? Wl there be any diff in term of 70% down and 90% down? Sorry to ask so many question .. first time going to so cold country .. dont know can taha or not ... Anyone going Japan during this period?
  14. Was in Hokkaido recently and this is my "Field Report" Prologue More than 3 years since my first "snow drive" at Falls Creek (Australia), I was initially hesitant, but still decided to visit Hokkaido with my family for my first all Winter drive. Why the Toyota Allion? The choice of car this time was limited more by the size of the "car lift"* than personal preference. *In many accommodation locations in Hokkaido, the car parks are adjoining (or separate) towers, with 1 or 2 lifts that "slot" the cars in stacks above. This is mostly due to the limited size of land the hotels sit on. Based on several Hotel Websites' "car park restrictions", the Allion was simply the largest car that would fit the aforementioned Car Lifts. Our other choices just didn't fit: The Wish was too tall, the Mark X was too wide, Picnic just too large in all dimensions
  15. The unusually long cold winter hitting Thailand in the past three months has killed at least 63 people, while temperature in capital Bangkok on Thursday fell to the lowest level in three decades. "Bangkok hit its coldest record in 30 years Thursday morning when the temperature fell to 15.6 degree Celsius," Songkram Aksorn, deputy director general of the Thai Meteorological Department, was quoted by the Nation newspaper as saying. Songkram said this year's cool season has been the longest for a decade, lasting almost three months. About 45 provinces across the country have been declared cold-spell disaster zones, with more than 25 million people affected. The unusually long cool season, blamed on a cold front coming from the north, has also had an impact on Thailand's rice crop. The new rice harvest coming in is not of good quality, because it has flowered too early with this cool season's unusually low temperatures, according to Vichai Sripraset, an honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. "When temperatures are low, the fertilization is bad, and then you get a lot of empty rice husks," he added. Source: http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/161936/unusual-cold-winter-kills-over-60-in-thailand.html
  16. Hi all Any nice ideas of let's say a 8-10 days trip ard late oct F & E I be going with my boy n wife Most probably my in laws would be joining Our last trip together was to taipei n Tainan This late oct to celebrate wife's bday Thoughts were Taipei + kaoshiung + Taichung But after reading thru tripadvisor Nothing much in kaoshioung n Taichung??? Now thinking of Angkor wat or Thai hua hin vineyard Hope to get some genuine ideas here From those who been to nice places ard SE Wife's initial wish was somewhere temp <20deg Haha Cheers
  17. Going for winter holiday in dec. But where to buy winter wear in singapore? Seen winter time. Not much selection and quite expensive. Any cheaper alternatives or more variety? Thanks.
  18. Anyone knows where to get winter clothings at decent price? In Singapore of cause.
  19. Not exactly a delicated photoshots. But here's some photos I took of my winter driving in England with a rented colt. Parking at my old workplace car park, which seems to get bigger by the day. I don't know about you guys, the first thing that comes to my mind when I saw a clear open carpark with snow. DRIFT. I must admit the limited sucess I had with the car. Saw this littlea classic at my old workplace car park. My friend's house at Kenilworth. Nice little house isn't it. It cost GDP 270k, & is regarded as expensive due to scenic location. Take my word for it, the neighborhood is stunning, with a nice park & castle. Untreated road at the neighborhood. By the way, the black surface you see in the pictures are not tarmac but black snow. Rule of thumb, drive slowly, engage 2nd gear, keep safety distance, brake early. If you try to push too much, the wheels will spin, personal experience. The rental company Hertz was kind enough to supply this little ice scrapper with the car. Works well. Some non car related photos to share as well, as you can see, I prefer quiet small town as oppose to big cities, although I have taken a lot of photos at Amsterdam, London, & Cambridge, I still love these shots better. River crossing. The lake near my friend's place have froze over & snowed, & kids just use it to cross to the slope on the other side. The slope, as mention above, Alots of fun for the whole families with their sledges. Windmills at none other than the Netherlands. There is a Dutch saying, " The god make the world, but the Dutch make the Netherlands " I will add one more thing, the Dutch make Chio bus Hope you guys enjoy it.
  20. Yo bro! Any recommendation for the above? Preferably a compact camera and not those SLR type. Couple of colleagues had encountered shutters which got stuck due to very cold weather and ended up with few pictures of their holidays abroad. They had wrapped up their cams in some thick clothings as recommended but still cannot tahan the cold and the shutter mechanism froze up. Thanks dude!
  21. Guys, I am trying to rent a car in August south island in winter. I am not familiar in driving in iicy road so I am looking to rent a car that is the safest. The choices I see now is 1) intermediate 4WD drive like toyota RAV4 ($980) 2) premium 4WD like toyota Prado ($1450) 3) AWD wagon like Ford territory ($1000) which is is the safest in ice? the RAV4 is a little bit small so may be an issue in packing everything in. (4 people + luggage) I am looking at hertz and avis. Is there any very good local car rental companies in NZ which upkeep their cars (tires) very well? Anyone here has used chains before? I don't really expect to drive in snow but maybe ice. Do I need to put chains? I should not need chains if all I am encountering is the occasional slippery ice in the shade, etc. Just need to be careful right? thanks for any help.
  22. http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews...630-224536.html Winter Sonata actor found dead KOREA- South Korean actor and singer Park Yong-ha has been found dead at his house in southern Seoul on Wednesday, the police said. Park's mother found him lifeless hanging from a cell phone charging cable in his room, according to the police. After repeatedly saying "I'm sorry" to his family including his father who is suffering from a stomach cancer at around 0:40 a.m., he went into his room, local news reports said. Click here to find out more! He earned his fame as a hallyu celebrity through TV drama "Winter Sonata." Park was particularly popular among fans in Japan and Southeast Asia. He was also scheduled to play the lead role in upcoming drama "Love Song," a remake of the film "Chum Mil Mil," with actress Yoon Eun-hye. -The Korean Herald/Asia News Network
  23. Anyone has got annecdotes to share? Mine, seems that the palm sugar blocks seem to have run out before the flour. Then when, after my mother passing, I tried doing the traditional way - the first time was a disaster.
  24. Comnao

    Winter socks

    hi hi need to go new york in dec understand that place will be freezing like hell i have enough warm clothing. but i think my socks may not be good enough (i still wear singapore socks and shoes even in beijing at winter) can all the "polar bears" teach me how to keep my feet warm in winter ? are winter socks bigger than normal socks? does that mean i have to buy bigger shoes ? where to buy ? any kind advise heartfelt appreciated !!
  25. pls advice which pl is gd n best price for winter wear.....eg, long john...TIA
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