Terbang. This is a Malay word. It means Fly 飞.

Kapal. This is another Malay word. It means Ship 船.

Naik. This is yet another Malay word. It means Go up 上.

Together, they form the term: Naik kapal terbang. It means Go up (Board) flying ship 上飞船.

The other day I posted this teaser on my personal Facebook account. I guess some of you have seen it…


Yes, I’ve booked my tickets. I’m expecting to board a flying ship some time next year…

I was initially apprehensive to reveal this too soon on my blog. I wanted to keep it under wraps until probably the last minute. But I’m kind of stumped when planning the details of my adventure. There seems to be too many places that I wanted to go on too short of a time frame. I figured I could use some suggestions.

Also I am still under some distractions today and don’t know what to blog about, this seems to be something easy to write.

Some of you might remember, some time last year, I wrote this piece about having to use up some frequent flyer miles. In the end, I did not come to a decision, so I wasted 1200 miles to extend 10000 expiring miles. Last month was the second time of the miles expiring. I finally worked up enough spontaneous mojo to say: screw nonstop work and projects, I need to go travel for a couple of weeks!

And so I did…


As you can see, I am still not revealing my full travel details to you. You now know that I am going to travel to Istanbul via Singapore some time in 2016, but you don’t know the exact dates/times. I may be an idiot, but I still need to pretend like I’m not and come up with some half-assed attempt at privacy protection. Some day next year, I might surprise you by suddenly announcing that “I am now in Turkey” with no prior hint whatsoever.

So, why Istanbul? Well, you see, when I checked the places that I can fly into with my miles, I discovered that to fly to Japan, Korea, Australia and the rest of Europe requires me to top up a few hundred US dollars at least.. The furthest that I can go with my miles FOR FREE are either Hong Kong, Taiwan or Istanbul. So it was either these 3 places, or somewhere in Southeast Asia. And then I remembered Anna‘s comment on the cost effectiveness of redeeming my miles.


In the end, it was a no brainer. So I clicked away my miles…

You know there’s that Cantonese saying, 洗湿咗个头 无得返转头 sai sap jor gor tao, mou tak fan zhuin tao. I’ve already wet my hair with water, there’s no going back, no more procrastinating whether I want to wash my hair or not. Or in this case, no more procrastinating whether to travel or not…

So, you now know that I am going to travel to Istanbul next year. Let me also tell you that the return flight would be two weeks later. No more procrastinating on that part. What I am torn about now, is how to spend that two weeks. One thing that I am fairly sure is that I would not stay in Turkey for two whole weeks. As of now, I am planning to separately book a low cost flight from Istanbul to Barcelona and back.

Except that lately, I have been seeing lots of lovely pictures of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark… those Scandinavian countries. And then there’s Wroclaw and pierogis. And then there’s Prague. And then there are some quarters who are tempting me to revisit England to see how different it is now. And then I’m slowly losing my mind… I’m going nuts just by sitting here writing this and thinking about all the possibilities, so I think I better stop here…

So, what do you guys think? How should I spend my two weeks flying ship vacation?



    • WTF?! How many comments you left me one shot? I’m going to reply you everything in 1 blog post!

  1. Ahhhh SO EXCITING!!!! I really hope you’ll like Istanbul. I loved it so much!! If you haven’t booked accommodation yet, I would definitely suggest to stay in Beyoglu by the Galata Tower. Most tourists stay in the Sultanahmet area by the Blue Mosque & Hagia Sofia but I think there’s not much to do there. Beyoglu is super cute with cobblestone streets and tons of food, cafes, and craftshops. It’s like the hip gentrifying area. And the famous pedestrian Istiklal street is there too. You can just go over to see the mosques for a day but I think you’d have more fun hanging out in Beyoglu. I’m so excited for you!!

    I have no idea what else you can do for the rest of the 2 weeks! It’d be awesome if you can hit up Wroclaw and pierogis, but it is so true that there are so many amazing places in Europe!! I’ve never been to Barcelona but I hear it’s really nice. I don’t think you can really go wrong with seeing what’s a cheap flight from Istanbul and going there!

  2. So many choices, so many possibilities, no wonder you are going a bit gila… 😀 I suppose go where the heart wants to go…within the limitations. Go for a few countries. It is possible 😀

    • That’s what I think. I’ll probably squeeze a couple more countries in my trip. Just need to plan..

      • The way you explained naik kapal terbang reminded me of this one time in Malay class when I was in secondary school: one of my classmates forgot how to say “plane landing” in Bahasa Melayu, which is “kapal terbang mendarat”. My classamtes said during the discussion with the Malay cikgu, “kapal terbang me-landing” 😀

    • Istanbul is confirmed. Barcelona is in the plans, may or may not happen. If it happens, of course paella is top of my MUST EAT list! 😀

  3. You’ve got some suggestions already but then I noticed that you have a 4-hr layover in Singapore…you can watch Anthony Bourdain’s layover episode on that for some ideas…kekeke!! 😀

    • 4 hrs 15 mins, 1 and a half hours needed to go through Customs again and boarding again, so it is technically just less than 3 hours. I don’t think I will leave the airport at all. Might call up some friends to meet me in the airport for dinner. I mean lunch. Or could be breakfast. Let’s keep you guessing. 😛

  4. Singapore Airline…I like this airline, hope I get to try it soon. If I get to choose I would Istanbul also, coz usually if said want go travel we won’t purposely choose Istanbul like I mean to Europe country people always to Spain, Italy, France instead.

    • I wanted to fly to Barcelona, but need to top up US$ 400, so now I plan to fly into Istanbul and look for separate low cost flight to Barcelona instead.

    • Best for you to forget about it and then be surprised, the trip is only going to happen next year.

  5. Fuiyoh, nice lah.. Can redeem airmiles for free to Istanbul wor.. If I’m you, I’d choose this place too, rather than HK or Taiwan, more further ma, lagi “dai”, BUT, in terms of lodging and food and all, gotta pay more lor..

    • I don’t think Turkey will be more expensive than HK/Taiwan wor… But if I proceed to Barcelona or England, then it will be super more expensive lah. 😐

    • Me too! Definitely need to see AND EAT the real deal. As it is from here, all I know about Turkish food are meats and sweets..

  6. Been to Turkey in 1997, Istanbul, a mix of western and eastern cultures, beautiful country, I am sure you will like it.

    Must visit Blue Mosque when you are in Istanbul, Cappadocia is also a must see, I think got hot air balloon there also.

  7. Wouldn’t it be expensive and time wasting to fly out from Istanbul to any other countries? All I know is in Turkey, must go see Pamukkale but sometimes the salt pools are dried up so not much to see.

    How do you like to travel by train using a rail pass? The train journey itself is the adventure. Can go from Istanbul to London or to Stockholm but I don’t think you will have time to make it back to Istanbul to catch your flight back to Singapore by rail too.

    • Pamukkale, noted!

      No, I don’t think so. I don’t want to spend most of my time in a train or bus. I’d take a tour if I had wanted that. I want to spend most of my time exploring places.

  8. oooh, that’s nice!! you redeem your airmiles for the tickets and go on a holiday.. well well well, anywhere will be nice lah as long as you plan the trip well and enjoy what you are doing.. Turkey huh?? a nice place to go from there would be Greece since they are near to each other..

    • I thought of Greece too, but all the land transport options seem not so straightforward, have to transit here and there and would take up to 2 days. Will have to keep exploring the options.

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