Friday, June 12, 2020

SMARTWATCHES

Since I am unable to blog about my travel adventures to Swiss & Italy (scheduled from 3 - 21 May 2020 but was canceled) due to the COVID-19 pandemic status presently, I would like to share my experiences using smartwatches.

I purchased a Fossil Q smartwatch on 20 October 2017 (RM1,200).

I had used it till November 2019 when suddenly the back cover of the watch pops out. 

I sought to get it repaired at the outlet in IOI Mall (the shop I purchased the watch) but was told to visit the service center in Petaling Jaya as they were incapable to remedy the issue. So I drove to the service center to get the watch checked and fixed. But to my dismay, I was told that the watch was economically beyond repair as the battery had swollen causing the whole watch to be faulty😞. I was informed that the basis of this issue was due to the prolonged charge (overnight charge). The technician further informed me that the proper way to charge a smartwatch should not exceed more than 2-3 hours (or till its 100% charged). To put salt to the wound, the warranty period was only a month over. If the problem were to befall earlier I would be compensated with a new watch.

As I am used to wearing a smartwatch, I had to find a replacement immediately from a variety of brands namely Apple, Samsung, and  Huawei. I had chosen Fossil over Apple previously due to the design factor (prefer smartwatch to look like a conventional watch). This time around I had to choose between Samsung and Huawei. After much consideration, I favored Huawei Watch GT 2 based on my preferences and cost. The Huawei Watch was purchased at RM899 and had the same features as my previous Fossil but with the addition that I could answer calls directly on the watch (not on Fossil). The battery usage was superb as I only need to charge it once in 10-14 days. It also comes with a spare strap. Overall, I am satisfied with the watch.

Based on my experience using smartwatches I can finally conclude that battery care is of utmost importance (including mobile phones). Never charge your watch/phone overnight. I had learned this the expensive way. 


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

SWITZERLAND & ITALY 2020 CANCELLED TRIP DUE TO COVID-19 (UPDATED 8 APRIL 2020)

On 7 April 2020, I received another email from Thai Airways concerning my demand for a full refund due to the flight cancellation. As expected, I was informed that there is no refund waiver. Their reason is - the cancellation and travel restrictions were due to the COVID-19 outbreak which is out of the airlines' control.

Nevertheless, I was given 3 choices by the airlines' as follows:

Option 1
TAX REFUND of RM710 (ticket price RM2,466). The refund process may take a longer time (more than 180 days) since the airlines' is processing request worldwide.

Option 2
EXTENSION OF TICKET VALIDITY up to 31 December 2021. Rebooking must be made within ticket validity (same route) subject to seat availability. The change fees will be waived, however additional fees/taxes will be collected if any different fare involved.

Option 3
Convert ticket to TRAVEL VOUCHER with 12 months validity from the date of issue. A travel voucher must be requested before 31 May 2020. It can be used as a credit towards any future travel on Thai Airways destination worldwide and the additional fare/tax/surcharge differences may be applied to the new itinerary.

Looking at the 3 options above, neither one favors me as the customer but I have a choice to make. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

RUSSIA 2019 - MOSCOW (DAY 4)

Today is our last day in Moscow because tomorrow we will fly back home.  Our itinerary for the day is full as we were programmed to visit a few places.


Moscow State University

On our way to Saint Basil's Cathedral, we did a quick stop at Moscow State University which we did not have the opportunity to visit on our 1st day in Moscow due to time constraints.


Saint Basil's Cathedral

After a quick stop at Moscow State University, we proceeded to Saint Basil's Cathedral (now a museum). It is a Christian church situated in Red Square, Moscow.


The Kremlin Armoury Chamber

This armoury is one of the oldest museums situated in Moscow Kremlin.


Tsar Bell 

The Tsar Bell can be found on display on the grounds of Moscow Kremlin. More information about the bell can be found here.

Kremlin Wall

From the Kremlin Armoury Chamber, we walked to the Kremlin Wall. We had to brave the heavy snow and cold chilly winds. To capture photos was quite a challenge.



GUM Shopping Mall

From the Kremlin Wall, we walked to GUM Shopping Mall for some last-minute souvenir hunting. We were here previously but it was during the day. But tonite we witnessed the beautiful lighting on display.


Since this is our last night in Moscow, we finished our RUB buying souvenirs and headed back to the hotel to finished packing our luggage. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

RUSSIA 2019 - MOSCOW (DAY 3)

After breakfast, we were driven to our first tour destination for the day - the Ismailovsky Market, a 40-45 minutes drive from our hotel.


Ismailovsky Market

When we reached here the stalls were just beginning to open for business. It was snowing heavily and walking from the designated parking bay for the coach was quite challenging. Goods sold here is worth buying if you know how to negotiate. Souvenirs are aplenty notably the Matryoshka Doll.

Moscow Metro

After lunch, we had the chance to experience the Moscow Metro train ride (RUB45 included in the package) and stopping at a few stations to observe the art decor there (it's like a small art museum). According to our tour guide, it's manageable for him to take us for the ride as our group is small in number - 16 pax only. He also told us in advance the number of stops before we exited the train. Even with this information we never kept our eyes off him.

Hard Rock Cafe Moscow

Ending our Moscow Metro train ride we exited at Smolenskaya Station to continue towards HRC in Arbat Street. It's only about 250 meters from the station.

Arbat Street

After buying some souvenirs at HRC, we also did some shopping at Arbat Street. Many shops offered some form of discounts, especially the famous Matryoshka Doll, t-shirts and fridge magnet.
Arbat Street daytime picture - courtesy Google
From Arbat Street, we walked towards the bus stop to board our coach back to the hotel.
Our transport in Moscow

SMARTWATCHES

Since I am unable to blog about my travel adventures to Swiss & Italy (scheduled from 3 - 21 May 2020 but was canceled) due to the COVID...