Sunday, 21 December 2008

Road Trip Europe : Our Experience

The Reason

A Road Trip around Europe has been done through generations by Malaysian here in the UK. All the information i present here are mostly passed down generation by generations by malaysians. The big reason why i think most malaysians studying here would travel around europe is just the fact that we are already near. From Coventry, just a few hours drive plus a 30 minutes train ride and you'll arrive in France. That's how easy it is to get there. However, for a holiday driving throughout 7 countries in Europe would need a little more thought put into it. Ever since sattelite navigation became popular, it is much easier to travel around europe without getting lost. Here, i will share our family experience driving throughout Europe.

Some people mentioned to me that they are afraid to drive all the way to europe and back just within 2 weeks. Most of the fear comes from the left lane driving which is different from UK and Malaysia. And some are even afraid of the fact that we are going to spent 2 whole week in a totally different place with different languange, culture and laws. People always say that you are afraid of things that you don't know. For that reason, we , in this journey are trying to understand each and every inch of our journey so that we can handle any bump that comes our way. Well, we can only plan, Allah do the rest. It went smooth, but now as smooth as we hope so.


The Plan

Here is our plan spreadsheets. We plan our journey almost 4 month before we travel, mainly because we want to get cheap discounted hotel for booking way in advance. This is a one in a lifetime journey, so we want to make the most of it and get it right. I've mentioned that we plan our trip based on previous experiences. There are a few popular routes for malaysian when driving through europe, all with their own up and downs. We have chosen a slighly different route from everybody else since we have friends we need to visit while we are there. Our route is as below

Euro Trip.001.jpg

The plan is go to Italy after switzerland but the road through the Alps in close due to heavy snow, so we have to cancel and move straight to France and back home. I'm still listing Italy in here cause i can't remember which route we take after we are stranded on the top of the hill.

Journey Route

Coventry - Folkestone

Folkestone - Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel- Calais

Calais - Brugge

Brugge - Amsterdam

Amsterdam - Brussel

Brussel - Luxemburg

Luxemburg - Munich

Munich - Zurich

Zurich - Lucerne

Lucerne - Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen - Wengen(Train)
Lauterbrunen - Cremona

Lauterbrunen - Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano - Milan


Milan - Venice

Venice - Florence


Rome- Florence
Florence - Torino

Florence - Pisa

Pisa - Torino

Torino - Geneva

Geneva - Paris
Paris - Etretat

Paris - St Malo/Mt St Michel

Mt St Michel - Etretat
Paris - Coventry

Paris - Calais

Calais - Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel - Coventry

The Hotel

Here i'm listing all the hotels we plan to stay at. But some of them we had to cancel and change due to unforeseen circumstances. Note that i'm listing the parking for each hotel. This is so that i can take into account the cost of parking, if any for overnight parking.

Travelodge Folkestone
Parking - FREE
Ibis Leiderdorp
Parking - FREE Outdoor
Etap Hotel Luxembourg
Parking - Unknown

Etap Hotel Muenchen Nord Garching
Parking - Unknown
Rumah Zetty

Etap Hotel Zürich City West
Parking - Unknown    
No Parking

Staubbach Hotel
Parking Free
Ibis Cremona
Parking - FREE Outdoor

Novotel Venezia Mestre Castellana
Parking - Unsure Outdor - Maybe FREE
Hotel Ibis Firenze Nord Aeroporto
Parking - Unsure
Hotel Ibis Firenze Nord Aeroporto
Parking - Unsure
Novotel Torino Corso Giulio Cesare
Parking - Unsure Outdor - Maybe FREE
Etap Annemasse
Parking - Unsure
Ibis Paris Maine Montparnasse
Parking - Private Pay CarPark
Etap Hotel Fécamp
Parking - Unsure
Home Sweet Home

The hotel i chose is cheap but comfortable enough for an overnight stay. Some people do opt for cheaper hotel such as Formula One which has a shared toilet which is not the best for family. Most of the hotels are booked at and some of them from priceline europe. My advice is shop arround for hotel, you might get a discount deal if you book early. One reason that i chose mostly accorhotels is that the price is for one room, not per head which many hotels provide. Another advice is to book decent hotels once every three or four days, especially at places where you can get nice view from the hotels. We booked a mountain view room at Wengen for over £100 per night but it is well worth it for the service and room. We also booked a waterfall view room at Lauterbrunnen.

The Food

We bring most of the food for the journey and buy whenever we found a halal restaurant. We did looked up for the halal restaurant at and put the location in the Tomtom but we only manage to go to some of them due to shortage of time. Most of the halal restaurant and located on the same road so if you find a halal shop, look around and you'll be suprise by how many other halal restaurant you can find.

Here is our food list:

Food List
tuna spread
travel jug
Periuk Nasi
Roti Naan
Mash Potato
Baked bean
Water Container
Hot Chocolate/Nescafe
Gula Packet
sambal ikan bilis
sambal kering
haris stuff
haris toys
haris milk
We packed our food in a bag one pack for each day. We did the same for our clothes to make the journey smoother, Less hassle and trouble free.

The Cost

Total cost for the whole journey of 2 weeks is around £1800 including parking, road tax for Swiss, Food, Fuel, Hotel, Transportation, Tickets and everything. The total journey is around 5000 km which at £1.04 per litre costs us around £500. The hotel bring us back another £700. RAC costs us £75, EuroStar costs £116. For details you can see my whole plan here.

The Experience

It has been a once in a lifetime experience. The snow storm, the blocked road, being stranded, the misbehaved car, the towing, all unforgetable experience. Sorry i don't have time to detail them all. Need to get on with my thesis. If anybody is interested, you can always contact me. The only thing i forgot to bring is a shovel, will be very useful when you are stranded in snow.

After finishing the whole journey, i would advice anybody planning to spent more time or just go to Paris which has a worderful historical view and Swiss for it's astounding scenery. Once you see these two places, i have to say, 'you've seen the whole europe. I'm not commenting on Italy and Spain though, never been there.

The Final Words

This review of our journey is just giving a rough idea on planning a europe trip. I think you can get all the details from my speadsheets which is more than enough for you to get started. There are many more things i want to share such as converting poi to tomtom POI, Using GoogleEarth to help you plan, Finding places of interest with panoramio, Savings tips and many more but due to the need to finish my PhD in time, i have to save all that for next time. Meanwhile if anybody is interested in planning and need help, don't hesitate to email me and i'll see what i can do.

The End

Cointainer Fitting Software

Picture 3.png

For those who are going back home bringing their whole household with them in a container, you should consider using this software to calculate wether your item will fit in the container. It's call CargoWiz from It's not the only container fitting software around, there are others such as Cargo Optimizer, AutoLoad Pro and MaxLoad Pro. However, CargoWiz software has a 20 day fully functional trial which is more than enough for us. It's design specifically for cargo and freight company to calculate their pallet in the container. But for us, we can use it to estimate how big of a container we need to rent. I stumbled on these software while researching for a website i'm designing, ArcadiaFreight.

This software is by no means a perfect solutions, however , it does give a good estimate on wether our item will fit the container or not. It has details of many different container size, 20 footer, 40 footer and 40 footer high cube. We can input our own item size and the quantity, then the software will fit the box into the container using different algoritm and display to us the best solution. Good luck and Happy Shipping.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

She's getting better

Aisyah Update:

She's now breathing on her own. All the drugs has been taken off. Just waiting to come home...Thanks everybody for your support...



Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Latest About Aisyah


Day 3:

Alhamdullillah...Aisyah dah semakin baik...dia sudah tidak lagi memerlukan ventilator...Aisyah sudah semakin kuat dan ubat yg diperlukan telah di kurangkan...Syukur yg tak terhingga kepada Allah....perkembangan yg sangat kami nantikan...InsyaAllah...dia akan pulang tak lama lagi...Semoga Allah permudahkan segala urusan kami...Amin...

Aisyah latest pict:



Our New Born Baby Aisyah Sumayyah


Day one:

Maaf di atas kelambatan untuk update about siti and aisyah....terlalu sibuk....mental dan fizikal..terutama bagi siti yang telah bertarung 10 jam untuk melahirkan baby kami aisyah dgn berat lahir 3.760kg...secara normal...Alhmadullilah..berkat rahmat Allah yg tak terhingga pada hambanya...semua telah selamat...siti dan baby...

Setiap manusia...ada ujian tertentu oleh Allah...Aisyah..selepas dilahirkan...didapati sukar untuk bernafas...tidak ada sebab yg clear mengapa dia berkeadaan begitu...Dr menjangkakan yg Aisyah mungkin belum bersedia untuk lahir atau dia mengalami jangkitan pada paru2...kerana tekanan darah nya yg rendah dan jantungnya yg kurang kuat berdenyut....jadi..dia telah di masukkan ke dalam NICU dan di letakkan dalam incubator dengan bantuaan pernafasan ventilator....

Siti...dimasukkan kedalam ward kerana iron dalam badan yg rendah...jadi di berikan ubat untuk mengelakkan pendarahan selepas bersalin...

Day two:

Keaadan Aisyah semakain stabil...tekanan darah Aisyah semakin baik walaupun masih memerlukan bantuan ubatan....dan dia masih memerlukan vantilator untuk bernafas...

siti telah sehat sepenuhnya...dan dibenarkan berehat di hospital bagi memudahkan dia untuk melawat aisyah..Alhamdullillah...kami ditempatkan di bilik family hospital...jadi fauzan juga boleh bermalam bersama siti di hospital.

Gambar Aisyah sebelum masuk ke NICU...DSC04303.JPG

nanti akan di update kan keadaan aisyah di dalam blog kami...InsyaAllah..

terima kasih untuk doa dan ucapan selamat (email dan sms) untuk kami dan Aisyah...Semoga Allah mempermudahkan urusan kita semua di dunia dan di akhirah kelak..Amin


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

AirAsia X Deals

I received a few email today regarding AirAsia X launch. From what i gather, booking is now available until 30 November 2008 for flight from 11 March 2009. I'm not sure how true this date is but i guess you can check the website for further information. Now, the best part, price for a one way journey from Kuala Lumpur to London(STN) is £41 without tax and £99 with tax(according to an email i receive). I even did a simple check on the website as shown in image.

Picture 4.png

This is just a random check, which shows a total of £127 for a return ticket from London(STN) to Kuala Lumpur LCCT(KUL). Although this price is excluding tax, it is still very cheap comparing to currently available flight. I think the cheapest before is Qatar, Brunei or Emirates at around £400- £600 including tax.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Ebay Voucher Again

Picture 1.png

I got another ebay voucher of 5% with a max discount £100. This is my second voucher is three month. The reason i put this on this blog is as an encouragement for people to start using ebay. I think i got this voucher for all my selling transaction, not buying. So i would encourage people with a lot of junk in their house to start selling on ebay and get something for things they don't need. Good Luck.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Is Ebay always the cheapest?

This is what i thought when i started using Ebay. I only realized that this is not true when i was looking for a CF card on ebay. I thought i should try looking at amazon. To my amazement, i found the price different between ebay and amazon for that particular item is about £20. I ended up buying a few of this card from amazon and selling it back on ebay for a healty profit. From that day on, i survey the market first before i buy anything online. Google Shopping is a good way to survey price of an item. In the picture below i compare the price for a 320gb harddisk. The cheapest on ebay was £41.90 including postage. I decided to get the harddisk from for only £36.49. I even get £0.84 back for buying through Quidco. I even check my local computer store and it's cheaper than ebay. For those who have already got a mindset that you always get things cheaper on ebay, i hope this is useful for you.

CM Capture 1.png

dabs harddisk.png

Thursday, 23 October 2008


Rebtel, the company i mentioned in a previous post is now doing a promotion. Double your money. When you register and buy a $10 credit, you'll get double that amount. Since the rate for calling mobile in Malaysia is £0.024 using rebtel, that theoretically comes to £0.012 per minute when you get the 'double your money' bonus.


One drawback though is the fact that we are living in the UK, we can't escape the 17.5% tax. They will charge the 17.5% tax when you pay using paypal. Another drawback using rebtel is you need to pre-assigned the number you want to call in Malaysia. You need to go online in order to do that. So if you're in the middle of nowhere and you want to reach someone in Malaysia, you need to make sure his/her number is already in your contact list. You can further make some more saving by using Quidco, there's a £7.50 cashback for this. I've just bought my credit using Quidco, but still waiting for the cashback to show up in my earnings. If i got the £7.50 back, that practically means i'm just spending (£0.025) for a $20 credit.

Hurry, the deadline for this offer is 1 November 2008. And it won't cost you anything but your time if you get into the 10 minutes trial. Happy Calling.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Ebay treat : £5 Loyalty Coupon

Every once in a while ebay sent out loyalty voucher to their valued customer. I just received mine a few days ago. It's a £5 voucher on postage when spenting more than £10 in total. Over the years, i've received more than 5 vouchers from ebay with total value of more than £30. One thing to note is that these voucher are tied to your ebay and paypal account. So even if you manage to extract my voucher code from the image below, you wont be able to use it with your account. My only advise is to start shopping while saving (with Quidco) and wait for your ebay voucher in your post box.


Friday, 3 October 2008

Make Money the easy way : CashBack Company

Making money online has to be one of the most popular topic of the 20th century. Every now and again you heard about people making millions off their blog or website. Advertisement has been the most common source of income for many bloggers, but how many time have people click a link and buy from your website. I've been maintaining a website for years now and never have anyone click and buy through my link. The most i get is from google adsense, because it's pay per click. All i can say is, it's not my thing. I won't be making my next million dollars through advertising on my website. Might as well save some money while you shop. As they said, a penny saved is a penny earn. Quidco and TopCashBack are few of many cashback company in the UK. What i like about these two company is that they pay 100% cashback.

Let me explain how internet advertisement works. Let say you have a website and you want to use your website to advertise other people products for a commision. What you do is you register with advertisement company like,, Then you apply to be promoter of a product.When you are approved, you can put their banner on your webpage. You will earn a percentage of their profit when somebody click and buy through your link. It's a time consuming task to apply, get approved and the worst is to get people to click and buy from your website. Furthermore, you can't use your own link to buy something yourself and earn commision. It's not ethical.

However, now with Quidco and TopCashBack, you can earn money just by using their link. Anybody now can earn money online, no website required. Just register and buy through them, and you'll get 100% of the commision they received from the advertisement company. Yes, 100% percent. The only catch with Quidco is that you have to pay admin fee of 5 quid per annum. I'd say that's not a bad deal considering some cashback company is taking a few percent of your earning on each transaction. This is why Quidco and TopCashBack are so popular.

I've been using quidco for all my Ebay stuff, free sim card, changing my electric and gas supplier , and even for flight tickets. And when my mobile contract is finish, i'll cancel them and buy a new contract using quidco link. My last contract through Dialaphone saves me 60 quid. And there are now mobile phone provider giving up to 150 cashback.

For those new to quidco, i suggest you start with the free sims, just to pay off the 5 pound admin fee. If your broadband contract is due to finish, just cancel it and get a new contract through quidco. There are a few company offering over 100 pound to sign up with them. When you are going on holiday, use quidco for your hotels and flight. People have been saving thousands of pound using quidco.

Happy Quidcoing.......

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

International Phone Calls to Malaysia

Eid is coming soon, i'm sure many of you are planning to call home to wish everyone 'Selamat Hari Raya'. There are plenty of ways to do this, using mobile, home phone or even the internet( VOIP). I'll just go through some of it here.

Calling from Landline(Home Phone)

Over the years there have been many discount number being pass down through generation(malaysian) but they always expire at some point. and CallChecker provide an easy way to check the most current discount number. What you do then, is call these numbers and dial (006-Malaysian Number) followed by a '#' to call your destination in Malaysia. Please note that there is a charge per call (around 10p) for all the discount number. If you want further information of the real rates(including charge per call), you can check BT or Virgin website for their rates for special numbers. Although the cheapeast number advertise is only 0.5p per minute, that almost never works. The 2p one always works. If you want to try the 0.5p number, don't try it many time because you are charge per call as well as per minute. Be aware of that.

Calling from Mobile

This makes me remember the day when 007744 number was available. Back then, you can call any international number by going through this number just using your free minutes. That's practically free(except you need to pay your mobile monthly fee, haha). I'm sure these special number will pop again in the future. But for now, there's always Rebtel. With Rebtel you can call using your free minutes but still need to pay for the international connection. Practically it will cost you 2.1p per minute for calling mobile in Malaysia and 1p per minute for landline. Even better, you get a special number that you can use to call your malaysian friend directly. There is no operator teling you this and that (while taking some of your precious minutes).

Another method is using Voipstunt Direct provided you have a voipstunt account. However, in my experience, this will cost more that Rebtel. But it's good during emergency.


Skype. What can i say? There are the most famous voip company around. You can skype using you mobile phone, Iphone, linux, windows and mac. There are reasonably price and provide the best call quality compared to other VOIP Provider. Another option would be Voipstunt which provide free landline call to malaysia provided you subscribe with them. It will cost you 10 Euro but will last for 4 Month if you just use it to call landline in Malaysia. Calls to mobile phone will deduct you balance by 3.6p per minute.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Money Saving while in the UK

As a first entry to this blog, i would like to point my fellow malaysian to a website that have help me a lot while i'm here in the UK. A forum with lots of discussion on how to save money. Cheap flight checker, cheap fuel checker, Cheap phone call checker and cashback sites maximizer are just some of the tools available on the website. I would recommend subscribing for their newsletter to get the latest monthly deal.



Hi all,

This is my first entry on this blog, firstly i would like to thank Allah s.w.t for making this possible. Let's hope this is one of many entry on this blog. A few years back, i've maintain a website for Malaysian in Coventry but since September 2008 the website is no more. There is a problem transfering the website to a new server. Since i'm finishing my study in the UK early next year, i decided to no longer maintain the website. However, i've got a lot of information to share with fellow malaysian in the UK from whatever is left from the webstie. I'll just put them all on this blog for everyone to benefit. If you have anything you want to see on here, let me know and i'll try my best to put it on here.