When I was writing about my Nara trip early this year (2017), I first mentioned about goshuin-chō 御朱印帳 and that it’s the best souvenir one can get for oneself from Japan. At that time, I was visiting Todai-ji 東大寺, my very first temple visit in Japan, where I came across this seal book. Although I came to know about goshuin-chō (pre-trip) and decided not to get it (pre-trip also), I was in deep dilemma when facing the real deal. “Should I get it or should I not get it?” Ohh I asked this questions many times in my head and to my travel partners.
My heart told me to get it because it’s a very unique momento as one can only get it in Japan.
My mind told me “Hey, it’s expensive!”. “You need to pay for the seal book and also the seals.”
In the end, I went with my heart. ❤️
Did I made the right choice? Wholeheartedly a big YES!
For those who has never heard of goshuin-chō, you must be scratching your head by now. Allow me to explain what it is and the thrills of collecting goshuin 御朱印 (seals) at temples and shrines as well as watching getting it sealed.
Here’s Day 1’s & Day 2’s recap:
Melbourne Day 1: Federation Square, Hoiser Lane & Flinders Street Station
Melbourne Day 2: Queen Victoria Market, Royal Arcade & Block Arcade
I’ve been talking about Victoria Hall (known as Space Hotel now), my 3 days accommodation in Melbourne several times. Now let me take you in and around Victoria Hall. In my opinion hostel in Melbourne is quite expensive. That kind of money would have paid for a comfy stay in say 4 star hotel in Malaysia. Thank God it’s not New South Wales or Queensland or the accommodation $$ would be even high up. Yes, yes I convert la.
I found Victoria Hall through TripAdvisor (ranking 17/91 in Specialty Lodging). This hostel had poor and terrible reviews in the past. Since undergoing major renovation works (until end of 2010), the reviews have been improving to ‘very good’.
Victoria Hall. As you can see the rooftop, top floors and ground area are under renovation. The shared kitchen is currently at its sorry state. Functional but a little sore.
Our room is on the first floor – left most of this picture.
I didn’t have any plan for my last day (day 4) at Siem Reap. Therefore I spent the morning at the hotel enjoying a ‘slow’ breakfast and later chit-chatting with the staff again.
This is what we had for breakfast (included in room rate). The breakfast consist of 2 toasted bread, 2 hams, 2 eggs, butter and jam, orange and/or tea/coffee and a plate of fruits.
Here’s Day 1 to Day 3’s recap:
Siem Reap Day 1: Khmer Kitchen Restaurant & Artisans d’Angkor (Part 1)
Siem Reap Day 1: Angkor Temples – Preah Khan & South Gate & North Gate of Angkor Thom (Part 2)
Siem Reap Day 2: Center Market (Phsar Kandal) & Red Piano
Siem Reap Day 3: Angkor Wat & Ta Prohm (Part 1)
After Ta Prohm, I still have to make one more stop even though it’s urgghhh SCORCHING HOT!!! There is no way I’m going to miss the beautiful Bayon temple.
On the way to Angkor Thom (that’s where Bayon lies), we passed Ta Keo again. Here’s a snap shot of it from the moving tuk-tuk.
Don’t bother visit Ta Keo if you are pressed for time. This temple lacks carvings and the steps are more dangerous than those found in Angkor Wat.