Days since my last post: 4

So before I begin, I would like to start by saying HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR to everyone! May you all prosper in all you do, and be blessed with good health all year round! It's the year of the monkey, which means I'm in the limelight once again.

Handmade red packets. 

It's perhaps needless to say by now that Chinese New Year isn't just all about the cookies and new clothes, but also about red packets and reunions...just to say the least. I mean, of course there's the famous questions of when we're getting married, or whether or not we're attached, but that's just a different story all together.

For 24 years now, I've been on the receiving end of red packets, and I can shamelessly also say I'm still there. This year however, I thought I would switch up the game just a little bit by starting a tradition of giving. And my recipients?

Only the two most important people in the world.

While my initial idea was to kick start this tradition last year, it became inevitably difficult as I hit rock bottom from the loss of my first job. But after being in the work force for 2 full years now, I have since learned to better manage my finances and will happily be walking out of my room after this to hand my parents my very first red packet to them. I think this will be something worth remembering, even when I'm 42.

Chinese New Year 2016; made a little different. Gong Xi Fa Cai, everyone!

P/S: Thanks for my amazing personalized red packets, Senri ; after I complained about not being able to purchase any from the stores outside. Seriously, why are there so many people with the surname 林?
Days since my last post: 4

Hold on to your eggs if you're looking to throw any at me, because today's post isn't about UK! Nope, but I am here to talk about my crazy shopping habits that will probably leave me broke and single, yet happy in my mountain of clothes as I continuously travel. Read on.

So I'm sure a lot of you, like myself, have either gotten sick and tired of Chinese New Year shopping in malls or that you're just not bothered. Seriously, with all that traffic and parking woes...and more traffic, wouldn't it just be easier to shop online?

Like, hello there, my favourite clothing site!

What I discovered lately however, is that on top of the savings I get from these websites, there is also another site called ShopBack that would give me cashback deals for every "checkout" I click on. Yup, you can actually earn cashback on your online shopping with ShopBack! So what exactly is this ShopBack thing? 

They're really good with cute arts! 

Think of it as a website that offers you deals on top of your deals, and for every time you "Checkout" from your shopping cart, ShopBack immediately gives you cashback to your account within 48 hours. And once that happens, you can click "Cash out" so they would credit the money back to your bank account, and immediately! 

Here's some graphics for example's sake. 

So imagine if you've gone on a rampage (Especially since it is Chinese New Year and everyone needs new clothes, yes!) online, CashBack just keeps giving you your money back! Crazy or what? And no, they don't only cater to clothes shopping but tons of other sites too! 

Seriously, people. Even Sephora and Expedia.my is with them! 

That's right, you can actually be travelling and still get money back for it, especially when you enjoy daily Expedia coupons from the CashBack site. Now you can't say that I've only been bragging about my trip, because I sometimes also share the good stuff, like interesting Chinese New Year deals that ShopBack now has. 

Chop, chop people! Chinese New Year is in 4 days, so get shopping with ShopBack, or regret it as you sulk at the corner in your old clothes this Chinese New Year! Psst, here's RM 5 to get you started when you sign up through my link: CLICK ME FOR FREE MONEY! Happy shopping, okay bye I'm going to check my shopping cart out.
Days since my last post: 8 

Congratulations, everyone! We've finally come to the 9th day of my adventure, so there's only about 3 more days for you to endure about the trip. Or so anyway. I know I've taken a long time to pen these down, and as they go, things may have already changed in the UK. But in between working, living, and writing, I figured that sometimes the best things are left to be savored slowly. Like how this trip has been written out over several months. It's slow, but it's worth it.

THE MONUMENT 

After days and days of not exploring London, I once again embarked on that journey to check out tourist spots on this day.

Taken really, really far away from The Monument itself.

Built in 1677, The Monument was actually designed to commemorate the Great Fire of London in 1666 by Sir Christopher Wren. It stands at 202ft tall and takes about 311 steps to reach the top. You'd of course have to get tickets to go in, and it's charged at £4 per adult while children pay £2 for entry. 

The allegorical sculpture by Caius Gabriel Cibber. 

Zoomed to the max on my Olympus EPL Pen-7, only about the best camera I've tried to date. What's on top is actually a sculpture made of copper to depict a vase of flames, much of it to speak about the Great Fire of London which burned for 3 days consecutively, destroying over 13,000 houses and devastating 436 acres of the city. 

From Monument Street. 

It seems you're able to get a really good look at the Metropolis if you go to the top, but I wasn't quite prepared to part with £4 just for that and so I only got to look at The Monument from up close and afar. It's still a sight to behold, so if you're game for a little touristy shot then you should definitely have The Monument on your list. 

Getting here: Just jump on the tube through the District or Circle line and get off at The Monument. You could also take a short 10 minute walk from the London Bridge station if you're on the Northern or Jubilee line! 

SKY GARDEN 

For those of you who really wants a good look at the city but you're too thrifty to spend ridiculous amounts on the London Eye ride, here's a really good and affordable (Read: FREE) option for you. Not convinced? 

Be convinced. 

Located at Fenchurch Street, the Sky Garden is open to the general public 7 days a week but at really limited times and space is strictly limited so you'll really need to book your tickets through their website to gain access.  

And once you're up there, you'll be glad you did. 

Featuring an uninterrupted 360° of the city of London, the Sky Garden is also made of observation decks and open air terraces if you're up for a little cold challenge with the blowing winds, especially if you're there during Autumn or Winter. 
 
 It was sunny, but really cold out!

With aunty Kar Peng. 

I've just got to take a moment to thank this amazing lady by my side, who took 2 weeks away from work just to take me around London, and even let me mess up her house for those days. In fact, she was the one who even found the Sky Garden, or I would have never known you could look at London from above for free. 

Just looking into the Tower of London, without even being there!

Watching boats along the River Thames, and praying the Tower Bridge would open. 

But of course, what would the Sky Garden be without a garden, right? So here you go, a picture of the only flower I took because everything else was more interesting than flowers to me. 

Are these orchids? 

If you're feeling extremely perky, you could also have tea at the Sky Pod which features as stunning a view by the Sky Garden. It's what we did courtesy of aunty Kar Peng, and I felt like a rich "tai tai" sipping Earl Grey from 35 floors above ground. It was pure bliss, and I was blessed to have been there.

Getting here: All you'll need is a 5 minute walk away from the Monument station via the District or Circle Line, but you can also get here via other stations such as Bank on the Northern or Central line. Just look out for 20 Fenchurch Street and ask for the Sky Garden entrance, because it's separated from the main entrance. 

Things to note: Be sure to bring any forms of identification such as passports or licenses and such, because security is really strict! Your bags will be searched, so don't bring anything dangerous with you. Good luck walking through the metal detectors too, they trigger really easily. 

LYCEUM THEATRE

My final spot for the day was also my happiest, because I finally got to see one of my childhood dreams come true. 

To see The Lion King live. 

This became one of the top things to do in UK for me, because I knew I would never let myself live it down if I didn't see The Lion King live in theatre. While the ticket was mad expensive at £44.50 for a seat really far away, I really didn't mind as these things only happen once in a lifetime. 

So excited, so excited! 

Unfortunately, I had no company for this show because everyone else opted for Wicked instead, but I really had no idea what Wicked was about and took a skip. Finding the Lyceum Theatre alone became one of my biggest adventures through the trip, because I was also running short of time before the show started. 

Watching it with my best buddy. 

My verdict of the show? So good. So, SO good. The colours were so ridiculously vibrant and the act just took me back to my years of sitting in front of the TV singing along to Hakuna Matata. I thought it was well worth the price and much more, because they truly put tons of effort with the props and everything else for the show to go on. If you're a fan of The Lion King, then you will really want to come catch this live. 

Getting here: The Royal Lyceum Theatre is located on Wellington Street, and is a short walk away from Covent Garden. You could always get off at the Covent Garden tube station (Though you cannot go back through it!) on the Picadilly line, or simply get off from Picadilly and take that scenic walk through Covent Garden and over.