Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Day 1: Arrival in London, West End Walk

We survived the 20 hours journey to London unscathed!! The 6 hours transit is the most torturous part of the journey but luckily we were able to get into the Oryx Lounge in Doha for FREE with the Priority Pass which was given to us with our Citi Premiermiles Card. 

We took a cab to our hostel downtown instead after working out the costs via different ways. There are various ways to travel from Heathrow to central London. 
  • Heathrow Express - This has to be the fastest way into downtown London with just 15mins required. Train depart every 15mins. Click HERE for the ticket pricing.
  •  Heathrow Connect - Takes about 25mins to downtown London but time might vary depending on which terminal you are taking the train. Train departs every 30mins. Click HERE for ticket pricing. 

  • Underground Tube - Should be the cheapest but also requires the longest time. Need 50-60mins to downtown London. Train depart every 5min during peak & 9mins during non-peak. 
  • Coach Service - I never research on this so I cannot comment. 
So comparing those alternatives, we went for the easiest way out. Taking the London cab & that costs us £80 for a 50min journey to our hostel including the traffic jam (usually it takes about 30-35mins). My heart bleeds every time the meter 'jumped' & that happened every 10 secs. 

Our hostel looks really chic & funky. Not like what I imagined. 
Checking in @ the counter, which is also the common area where everyone gathers @ night to chitchat.

Common Area @ the lobby where we have our simple breakfast for £4.

Our 4pax dorm. Yes, it is very small & barely has space for us to open our luggage altogether. But the location of YHA London is very good & the room is clean & comfy with ensuite bathroom. It is just 10min walk away from the famous Oxford Street.

After resting, we decide to explore around our area & ended up walking to Leicester Square, the place where we are getting our cheap tickets to the musicals @ the TKTS counter. 

Places we passed by while walking towards Leicester Square. There are tonnes of theatre along the way. 

One of London's trademark - The bright red telephone booth..

The lower building right in front is where we are going to, the TKTS counter. They sell musical tickets at discounted rate but the problem is you might not get those really popular one like Les Miserables & Phantom of the Opera during the weekends. In the end, we went for "We Will Rock You" & paid £34 instead of £62 which is the original price of the show.

There are alot of souvenir shops around Leicester Square & everywhere in London. So you can take your time to compare prices & shop. The more touristy the place, the more expensive the souvenirs.. 
The shopping spree begins~~

We continued with our West End Walk & ended up in Covent Garden.. 

Chanced upon more interesting buildings & alley along the way..

Covent Garden 

We were famished & tired by the time we reached Covent Garden & decide to have our dinner first before doing anything else.. Went to this restaurant 1 block away from Covent Garden that was mentioned on the guide book for value for money meal.. 
They are having this dinner set meal (Starter + Main OR Main + Dessert ) @ £12 ( if I did not rem wrongly) 

Our 2 starters & main course.. Portion is big for the starter & pretty yummy..

The super yummy dessert!! The strawberry sorbet is very refreshing with the dark chocolate pie & the bread-pudding is warmed up & goes amazingly well with the vanilla ice-cream..

We were pretty tired after dinner & took a cab back to our hostel to rest for the night.

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