Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence

Synopsis: We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens' advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. [Source: Golden Village]

After 20 years of waiting, finally a sequel! It is hard to catch super disaster movie nowadays as the hype has fade. Nonetheless, it feels good to see humans battling aliens again with mankind facing extinction should we failed. Watching their aerial battles seems like playing a fighter video game! Overall, an average movie to catch for the day.

Rate: 6.5/10

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New Zealand Day 5 - From North to South

08 Jun - Time for us to depart the North Island and continue our journey on the South Island! This time, we will be taking a short flight via a propeller plane =)

Arrival at Christchurch

Taking photos at a pit stop. Yes their cows and sheep far outnumber humans....

Arthur's Pass - 920m above sea level

The journey continues.....

Sunday, June 26, 2016

New Zealand Day 4 Part 2 - Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

07 Jun - Wasting no time as the day is short during winter, we drove to our next destination (Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland) after we are done exploring Te Puia. Sculptured out of volcanic activity and thousands of years in the making, Wai-O-Tapu is considered to be New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. The area features geysers, mud pools and multi-colored pools from the various minerals in the water.

Bubbling water sounds could be heard though there was no geyser. Guess the water table is low during winter

 Mirror Lake with geothermal activity

Oyster Pool 

Sulfur Cave (Obviously)

Below is a promotional clip from the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland:

An evening geyser show back at Te Puia for our evening dinner package.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New Zealand Day 4 Part 1 - Te Puia

07 Jun - Today will be a packed day exploring the volcanic region of the North Island. First off the list will be Te Puia, with their famous geothermal valleys, geysers and mud pools. We have booked a package which will end our day with a Māori Cultural Performance and a dinner cooked using the traditional hot stone steam method. Inside Te Puia, there is also a Kiwi House which housed 2 kiwis which visitor can try to sneak a peek. These kiwis are shy creatures which usually come out during the night to look for food.

 Good weather to start the day

 Welcome to Te Puia

 Active vents giving out steam smelling of sulfur

 How do you pronounce this name again?

 Mud Pools


Māori performance Hall 

 Māori house used for storing food

Māori Cooking Pools, with water reaching 80 degree Celsius which the Māori used for cooking in the past

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New Zealand Day 3 - Waitomo Glowworm Caves & Ruakuri Cave

06 Jun - We woke up early the next morning to start our drive towards the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. According to Wikipedia, these glowworm are exclusively found in New Zealand. The adults are around the size of an average mosquito. But for their young, they are worms that attached onto the walls of the cave. They feed by secreting a thin threadlike substances from their mouth to catch small insects that flew into the cave. In the dark, these thin thread glow luminous, creating a sky of living lights, hence the name of glowworm caves.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Entrance

Glowworm under visible light

Glowworm in the cave
(Above picture is grabbed off the Internet as no photos allowed in cave)

After the guided tour, we proceed to our next destination which is the Ruakuri Cave. This cave features stalactites and stalagmites limestone formation created over millions of years. The opening cave entrance let visitor walk down a spiral walkway deep underground into the cave.

(Above picture is grabbed off the Internet as well)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Zealand Day 2 - Sky Tower and Hobbiton

05 Jun - Woke up early in the morning to visit the Sky Tower, a major attraction for the city of Auckland. At the top of the tower, visitors can have a magnificent view of the surrounding landmarks, which nonetheless, is awesome.

As we do not have much time to spare for the day, we need to move on to start our drive to Hobbiton Movie Set, which we had booked several months ago. Its interesting to see the actual place where they filmed the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Along the way, we pass by rolling hills full of cows and sheep. It is indeed that New Zealand has more cows than humans.

Welcome to The Shire 

Do remember to try the Ginger Beer they offered at the Tavern. It is the best ginger beer I have ever tasted in my whole New Zealand trip!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New Zealand Day 1 - Auckland Airport

04 Jun - After a 10 hours direct flight, we landed into Auckland Airport late in the night (+4 hours difference in time). By the time we past the security check and got out of the airport, it was almost midnight. Expecting a good accommodation waiting for us near the airport, to our horror, we have to squeeze 3 people into a small room with limited space to move. I shall remember never to stay at Ibis again....By the way, the accommodation we chose was Hotel ibis budget Auckland Airport.

Tight squeeze for 3 pax =(

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse

Synopsis: Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction. [Source: Golden Village]

In summary: Boring, unexciting and dull. I don't really enjoy the whole movie which was set in the beginning days of X-men with a new generation of casts. Halfway through, I have lost interest and was contemplating should I doze off instead in the theater. Avoid catching this movie at all cost.

Rate: 2/10