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LONDON // 2017

Since I was a kid, I had always been dreaming to visit Europe someday in my life.

At the age of 22, I made dream come true, with my own hard-earned money. I am not sure about you, but being able to visit Europe has always been a huge thing for me (because it could or would cost a bomb since I'm not sponsored by anyone lol). I have never visited any countries in Europe before and it felt so surreal that I'm currently typing this blog post here in Netherlands. I booked my flight tickets to London in June this year, and even tagged my mom along. Actually if it wasn't for my LDR-boyfriend (who resides in Netherlands), I wouldn't have visited Europe this soon haha! 

There's something I really wanna say though - planning for Europe trip is NOT EASY at all. It stressed me out so much because I had such a hard time planning for intercity trips. I was so unsure of everything (such as the travelling date / time) and I was like fxxk it I'm just going to go with the flow (which turned out to be the worst thing ever because I spent so much unnecessary money on last-minute flights). To be honest, my planning for this trip was really bad, so I'm sorry that I wouldn't be able to share with you guys a comprehensive itinerary this time! :(

However, I will include pictures of the places I'd been to during my trip and hopefully you guys will enjoy them! 

#1 OXFORD STREET 
After meeting up with my boyfriend and his cousin, we headed to Oxford street via the underground train. Transportation in London is really convenient and easy (just use Google Maps to navigate around yo). Oxford street is a popular shopping district in London, with more than 300 shops including designer outlets, department stores (Selfridges is a really popular one in London), restaurants, etc. 

Mandatory shot with the iconic red telephone booth. :P
Outfit details
Bakerboy hat - Forever 21
Pink jacket - Room8008 
Rosewood sweater - Forever 21
Jeans - Bershka
Shoes - Gucci 
TOPSHOP  
The TOMMY HILFIGER collection in Urban Outfitters is omg.

We had lunch in a random restaurant in Oxford street and this chicken mushroom pie was not bad, but damn, £20 just for one chicken mushroom pie is a bit too expensive. T__T
#2 PEGGY PORSCHEN CAKES 
I've seen soooo many pictures of this beautiful cafe on Instagram and I told myself that I MUST visit this cafe when I go to London. I couldn't help but squealed in excitement upon seeing this cafe right in front of me. Painted in baby pink, the entrance of this cafe definitely wins every girl's heart with its floral decoration. 


We were lucky that we got a table outside (as it's a Insta-worthy spot lol). We ordered a pot of Earl Grey and Orange tea (which was really, really good) (£4.95 for two pax) and a Red Velvet cupcake (£5).
Always the happiest reuniting with this LDR bf. 

#3 SKETCH (cafe) 
Actually, I went to this cafe but couldn't try their food as we didn't make any reservation (super sad!!) So I just asked them whether I could go in just to take a picture lolol. Indeed, the interior looks stunning and artist-conceived. Online reservation as well as their menu is available on their website so make sure you book a table before you go to avoid disappointment (like me).



#4 LONDON CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR: HOP-ON, HOP-OFF BUS TOUR



This is how the double-decker bus looks like! Image credits to Google as I couldn't take any pictures of the bus with the rainy weather! :( 

Before my trip to London, I booked
 London City Sightseeing Tour: Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour from isango! Conducted on an open-topped double-decker bus, this bus tour allows you to explore London in an interesting and educative way (as live commentary is offered on the bus) and visit major attractions in London such as Big Ben, London Bridge, Trafalgar Street, Buckingham Palace, etc and save on tubes and taxis! You can just hop on and off the bus at the well-placed bus stops and visit attractions of your choice. Besides, this package also includes a Hop-on, hop-off Thames Cruise and 3 walking tours!! Sadly, we didn't get to go on the Thames Cruise as it was raining. :( Nonetheless, I think this bus ticket is pretty worth it if you are visiting London for the first time! Check out isango for other London bus tours

#5 BIG BEN
Honestly, the weather on our 2nd day in London SUCKED. The sky was so grey and gloomy and it was raining all day. How depressing! And to make things worse, the Big Ben was under renovation when I was there omg! I was rather sad because I couldn't take any nice pictures due to the bad weather. :( 





#6 LONDON EYE 


OK not gonna lie but this picture is edited like shit ok.


Gave up editing every picture so here's a picture of the grey sky.


London weather is the type of weather that you would still feel cold after wearing three thick layers, and it's not even winter yet!Outfit details Hat - Forever 21
Jacket - Forever 21
Sweater - Forever 21
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Forever 21 


#7 TOWER BRIDGE
After visiting London Eye, we hopped on the bus again and headed to the Tower Bridge. The Tower Bridge and London Bridge are actually two different bridges! Tower Bridge was built in 1894 and nope, it has never fallen down like the London Bridge 😂. 







#8 BURGER & LOBSTER
I have heard so many positive comments about Burger & Lobster, and I finally got to try it myself in London!! There are several branches in London, and surprisingly, we got a table without having to queue at all. 


For £23, you get 1 pound of lobster, steamed or grilled with a choice of clarified butter or B&L's famous lemon & garlic butter. All dishes come with chips and salad too. It's pretty decently-priced I would say.
We ordered the grilled lobster with lemon & garlic butter! To be honest, I think it was not bad, but not impressive enough for me to pay a second visit.

Honestly, we didn't get to visit many places in London this time due to the lack of time. We only stayed in London for 3 days, and on the third day, we had to catch an early flight to Netherlands so we didn't get to visit any place on that day. There are so many places that I want to visit in London, like Nottinghill, Shoreditch, Spitalfields, etc.

London, I will be back!

P.S. Comment and tell me where your favourite place is in London! 







UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN

In my previous post, I blogged about my recent trip to Kyoto, Osaka and Nara! If you haven't checked that post already, you totally should, because I tried my best to organise and share with y'all my itinerary and tips!! So in this post, I want to share with y'all my day in Universal Studios Japan and what I feel about the theme park! USJ is one of the major reasons why I wanted to travel to Osaka. And I was really excited to go to the Harry Potter World! 

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WHERE TO BUY THE ENTRANCE TICKETS & EXPRESS PASS? 
Before going to Osaka, I got both of my USJ entrance tickets and fast pass from Klook. If you haven't already known, Klook is a website that allows you to discover and book in-destination services at the best prices. FYI, USJ entrance tickets and express passes are DIFFERENT and must be purchased separately (you must obtain an entrance ticket to enter USJ, express pass is an optional pass that allows you to skip the queue and enjoy more rides in the theme park). There are multiple express pass options that you can choose from, depending on how many rides you want. 

The express pass that I got was the Express Pass 7, which allows me to ride on 7 popular rides in USJ without having to wait in line. What I love about booking from Klook is that we get to redeem and use the soft copy of the express pass through the app, and we just had to flash it every time before we go on the ride. There's no need to print it out at all!! 

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This is how the express pass looks like!

WAS THE EXPRESS PASS WORTH THE MONEY?? 
For me, I think YES. It may cost a bit more, but I think it's a great choice as it really saved so much of my time and energy!! Without an express pass, you have to spend at least one hour queueing up for the rides (2 hours for the Harry Potter one yo). But with an express pass, you just don't have to queue up at all. I literally just skipped all the queue while going for the rides and this express pass allowed me to explore and enjoy more rides without wasting time on queuing up!

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The weather was PERFECT when we visited USJ. It was not hot, but not too chilly at the same time. Couldn't ask for a better weather to visit a theme park!


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A photo of Snoopy and an adorable Japanese girl  
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The first park we went to was the Harry Potter World. (Gotta seize the opportunity to take as many pics here as possible before the crowds came in hahahha) 

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Which wand do you want? 

Of course, you cannot miss the butter beer when in Harry Potter World! (We ordered the non-alcohol one tho and it tasted like root beer hahaha)

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After visiting the Harry Potter World, we had a Minion-licious lunch at Happiness Cafe.

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The characters are just so cuteeeeee

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Special Hello Kitty Chucky drink in conjunction with Halloween

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HOLLYWOOD DREAM BACKDROP IS THE BEST RIDE IN USJ!!

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We went to the Harry Potter World again at night to catch the night show. To enter, you will have to get yourself a timed-entry pass from a machine outside Harry Potter World. (It's free) 

RIDES THAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS IN USJ:

1) Hollywood Dream Backdrop
Damn, this was the bomb. I felt as if the ride sent me to the sky as I could see a bird's eye view of USJ. And instead of going forward, this roller coaster runs backwards, so you can't predict what will come next. Extremely thrilling, and I loved it! Waiting time for this ride is crazy, so it's better to get an express pass and skip the queue!

2) JAWS
Unexpectedly amazing. At first you would think that it's a lame ride that tours you around the lake,  but no, there were surprises at the end and I don't think I should spoil them for you now. Just go for this ride ok!!

3) Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ in 4K3D
Be ready to enter the magical Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with this 4D ride! It wasn't really as thrilling as the Hollywood Dream Backdrop ride, but the 4K3D technology was worth a visit. (This is probably the most popular ride in USJ so you will have to queue up for at least 2 hours without an express pass)

4) Flying Dinosaur
I actually didn't go for this ride because it looked scary (but exciting at the same time) to me and my brother. The queue was pretty long as well and this ride wasn't included in our express pass. But it sure looks like something that you shouldn't miss in USJ!




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