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Karen-kho.com is a fitness and lifestyle blog. The blogger, Karen, is a fitness addict who likes sharing fitness tips on social media, and who aspires to motivate her followers to lead a fitter, healthier lifestyle. Karen also casually blogs about her travels, beauty and fashion. More info...
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How times flies, can’t believe it has been a year since my last visit to Melbourne last winter. It is the time of the year again. Melbourne is truly amazing. I miss the weather, the food, the views, everything in Melbourne so much. If you're thinking about the best time to visit Melbourne for a holiday, winter is the best time to visit. If you are planning to visit Melbourne during winter, it starts from June to end of August. September is pretty chilly. 

Melbourne is a fantastic base of some of the best destinations for skiing and snowboarding in Australia. Of course, there are plenty of alpine region to escape from the city. The Melbourne’s snowfield including Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Fall Creeks. I’m glad i managed to visit Mt Buller and did my first snowboard in Mount Buller last year, it was really awesome. There are many more to see. wish i can have a chance to explore more next time
                       

With temperatures ranging between 7°C to 17°C during their winter season, it is ideal for those who hate freezing wind because it is not TOO COLD in Melbourne’s Snowfields. The weather is just nice. 

In Melbourne snowfields, you can travel up to Mount Buller/Mt Hotham/Fall Creeks the mountains outside of Melbourne to enjoy your winter vacation. 


 Well, Mt Buller is the most popular destination and is the most accessible major snow resort in Australia. It is around 246km from Melbourne city, it took us around 3 hours drive to get there from the airport. It is better to have 1-2N stay in snowfields for a magical experience. There are many activities to do there, including :



One of the highlight of my previous trip was probably the Husky Sled Dog Tour.  
I never thought that it is available in Melbourne. 
This was definitely a memorable and once in a lifetime experience for me

The ride itself might only have been 10 minutes long, but it was a truly enchanting experience - one that no adjectives can quite do justice to. This once in a lifetime adventure is something that any visitor to Mt Buller should definitely check out.     

Price: $195 per person, discounted rate of $600 for families of 4   
Times: 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm daily  

For more information, visit their website at :  

#2 Snow Sledding 

Some fun physical activities for children during the winter include going sledding, helping to shovel snow or building a snow fort or snowman. Looking for fun winter activities to do with the kids this season? Sledding is one of the easiest snow-day experiences to learn. If skiing and snowboarding is not your thing, maybe you can try snow sledding because it is quite fun too. 

#3 Ski and Snowboard 

Most of the resorts, they provide ski and snowboard lessons. Therefore, don’t worry if you are a first timer. They got your back! Besides, You can even rent everything there, all the equipment that needed from top to toes. 
Awwww, i miss snowboard so much! Bring me back


#4 Ski Lifts

After skiing, I recommend getting on the chair lift and enjoyed the views of the snowfields.


Overall, my trip was much enjoyable and memorable. Trust me, from short trips to week-long holidays in the mountains, Victoria's snowfields are a great place for the whole family. 


Last but not least, here a travel vlog of Melbourne during my last visit 



For more info about Melbourne’s Snowfield, feel free to visit their website at :


Welcome back! Here is my PART 2 for my 9D8N in Japan. If you haven’t read the part 1, make sure you read it before continue reading this. As i mentioned earlier, there is so much to see and do in Japan. This post is all about introducing Shirakawa-go, Nanto-City, and Kanazawa. 
Well, Shirakawa-go has became one of the favourite tourist destination lately.

Shirakawa-go is located in Shirakawa in Gifu Prefecture, whilst Gokayama is in Nanto in Toyama Prefecture — however, both are neighboring one another as they lie in the remote Shogawa River Valley. According to UNESCO, what makes these villages special is that they are “outstanding examples of the traditional way of life perfectly adapted to the environment and people’s social and economic circumstances.” 

Finally have time to blog about my 9D8N in Japan. 
This trip is truly amazing because i get to explore another side of Japan. Basically, this itinerary is arranged by a tour. For those who are interested with my full itinerary feel free to drop me a comment with your email and i will email it over for your reference. Meanwhile, here is some interesting highlight that i’ve done during this trip. Keep reading...

Do you know that, There’s so much to see and do in Japan. The popular and mainstream destinations like Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido and Kyoto are great, but there is so much more to see and do in Japan. I’m glad i get to explores some of the lesser known yet amazing places in Japan.

My first stop - MATSUMOTO (松本)

Matsumoto(松本)is in the Nagano prefecture, located in the centre of Japan Map. Matsumoto is a small and tranquil city with a population of 250,000; though the city is small, it has a lot to offer. The best part is, it is surrounded by many beautiful mountains. Matsumoto is known as a gateway to the Japanese alps, offers great hotspring onsets, beautiful mountains, and home to the oldest original Japanese castle.

#1 Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle is built during the feudal ages (15 th century), there used to be hundreds of Japanese castles in Japan. However, Matsumoto Castle is the oldest original castle (construction began in 1592) in Japan so it’s definitely a must see in Matsumoto 




ADMISSION: ¥610
HOURS: 8:30AM to 5:00PM (4:30PM end of admission)
DIRECTIONS: Just a 15-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station.


#2 Mount Norikura






After 3 hours of snow hike, we went to Soba-dokoro Gassho for the authentic soba as lunch!


Soba is a Japanese buckwheat noodle and Matsumoto is famous for this kind of fare. It is important to note though that soba should not to be mistaken for ramen (thin wheat noodles) nor udon (thicker).  For one of the best places to try soba, check out Soba-dokoro Gassho that makes homemade soba from freshly made buckwheat and eat it in a very traditional way. Not to mention that it is super good! One of the best soba i’ve ever taste! 

Address : 4025-2 Azumi | Kogen-no-yado Miharashi, Matsumoto 390-1511, Nagano Prefecture 


#3 Nakamachi Street 

Nakamachi Street prospered as the main business district of Matsumoto’s castle town. Quaint little street with cafes and quirky little stores. Good for a bit of walking and shopping. Many of the historical buildings in Nakamachi are old storehouses, some being over 100 years old. 





#4 Matsumoto Art Museum 

Yes, the famous artist Yayoi Kusama is actually born in Matsumoto. The museum itself is definitely outstanding and cultural, you can see why Yayoi grew up with a vibe of gifted artsy capability. 

Lovely architectural space housing a good collection of local art including Yayoi Kusama's collection. A must visit place if you are a fans of Yayoi Kusama. 

ADMISSION: ¥410
Hours : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM ( closed on Monday)
Direction : From Matsumoto Station(JR Shinonoi Line), 12 min walk



Second stop -Takayama (飛騨高山)

 It is located in Gifu Prefecture. I have to stay that, among all of the places that i’ve been this trip, Takayama is personally one of my favorite.


#1 Hida dai-shounyudo 飞驒大钟乳洞

Hida Great Limestone Cave (Hida dai-shounyudo) is around 20-30 minutes drive to the Takuyama city. You can probably drop by to visit if you drove from Matsumoto to Takayama. The Hida Great Limestone Cave is a fantastic cavern that opens up 800 meters below a beautiful waterfall. It is even more beautiful during winter and this is how it looks during our visit this February. 
The view is spectacular. Definitely worth a visit! 


The cave itself is around 800 meters long. It is around 30-40 minutes to complete the whole tour and this is what you can to see after exit the cave. The view outside the cave is much more nicer. 

Hida Takayama Dai Shonyudo 
ADMISSION: Adults  ¥1000,  Children ¥500


#2 TAKAYAMA CITY 
If you’re looking for a thoroughly old and authentic traditional Japanese village, traveling to the city of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture is a must. Truth be told, due to its well-preserved antiquity, it has earned the title of being Japan’s “Little Kyoto”. I really love this little town.
Every single corner is so instagrammable. Wish i can have more time to explore

That era spans from the early 1600s to the mid 1800’s, so seeing the state of the houses here is nothing short of impressive!

#3 Morning Markets (Asaichi)

Early in the morning, start your day at the Miyagawa Morning Market located by the riverside. It is only walking distance from our hotel. ( Takayama Ou-An, Takayama) We walked around 15 minutes from our hotel to the market. It’s a slightly touristy affair but you’ll still find locals selling agricultural products alongside. It is quite interesting and worth visiting.

It typically opens at 7:00AM and closes at noon


#4 Old Town (Sanmachi)

After that, we went to the old town. Which is the main streets of Takayama. Also a MUST-VISIT places in Takayama. It is not too far from the Morning Markets and this shopping district is Takayama’s famous Old Town and right from the moment that we stepped into this area, I was in awe with the rows and rows of streets that were filled with old wooden latticed buildings!
While here, make sure to try the Hida Beef Sushi from one of the stalls. It’s served on a thin rice cracker and makes for a good introduction to the specialty meat in the region. It is so so so good! Definitely worth the queue. Don’t worry, it is not hard to find. Just follow wherever the crowd is and you will able to find this stalls. This sushi that i’m holding is around ¥700

#5 Experience making your own Sarubobo doll

Ask any Japanese person about a souvenir to get from Takayama in Gifu prefecture, and top on the list would be sarubobo dolls. It is like their signature in Takayama. The dolls are traditionally made by grandmothers for their grandchildren, or by mothers for their daughters as a good luck charm. We managed to made one for ourselves at one of the shop.
the dolls were already provided: all we had to do was decorate and help put on the vest!
 So if you’re looking for a gift to bring back from Takayama, definitely get a sarubobo doll. 



#6 Visit the Teddy Bear Museum 

There is huge display of different kind of teddy bear in this museum. The owner create and collects these teddy bear from all around the world with different meaning behind every bears. The concept of this museum is to promote about saving the environment. Therefore, every single display of the teddy bears actually represent different story and the owner hope to deliver the message about protecting the environment through a different ways using the teddy bear. 

Don’t miss it if you are a fans of teddy bear. It is around 10-15 minutes away from Takayama city.

Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village 
TEL : 0577-37-2525 
ADMISSION: ¥600



#7 Eat the Hida Beef Sukiyaki

I’m a big fans of Japanese food especially SUKIYAKI. It is amazingly good in Japan and you just can’t find it anywhere else in the world. We manage to find one in Takayama. The price is reasonable, the services is amazingly good ( the owner can speak good english and very helpful ), the food is good too! So, if you are looking for a place for dinner in Takayama, SUZUYA is a place where you should pay a visit! 
The beef with raw eggs is heavenly good! Just can’t get enough of Sukiyaki.
I’m missing it already. Bring me back :P


SUZUYA 寿々や
Address: 24, 花川町 Takayama, Gifu Prefecture 506-0015, Japan 
Hours: Open ⋅ Closes 8PM





I really enjoyed my time in Takayama with lots of good food, and onsen everyday in my hotel ( Takayama Ou-An ) I would definitely come back to Takayama again because there is so much more to see and experience in this city. Two days in Takayama is not enough. 

NEXT, off to Gokayama to visit one of the most trending attractions......


Stay tuned for my next post 




OLA! Thank you for waiting. Here’s my part 2 of my Vietnam trip.
Basically it is all about my half day tour in Mui Nee

We booked a day tour upon arrival in Ho Chih Minh from one of the local travel agency. We didn’t really plan for it, just randomly walked in and enquires about the places that we can go for a day tour.  So we decided to go for Mui Nee, which is 3 hours away from Ho Chih Minh. The tour is including transportation for 6 pax, a english speaking tour guide, a meal and 3 attractions and it costs us approximately MYR150 per pax. 

The highlight of Mui Nee is mainly for the WHITE SAND DUNES and the RED SAND DUNES, and our main purpose is actually the White Sand Dunes. But we made a mistakes during the communication with the tour. They actually promises us 4 attractions which is White Sand Dunes, Red Sand Dunes, Fishing Village and Fairy Spring. But ended up, they didn’t bring us to the White Sand Dunes, they said need to top up another MYR200 for that destination -.- That’s why, we felt like we got cheated and missed out White Sand Dunes. 

So, when you book you tour, make sure you ask them to list down all the destination they included before you pay. ( lesson learned lol )

Alright, Let’s go back to our topic. What’s with Mui Nee

The tour actually suppose to depart at 4AM in the morning, but we insist to go at 6AM because i don’t think we will enjoy waking up at 4AM in the morning. LOL. But trust me, even we depart at 6AM we still have plenty of time to visit all of the places and went back to Ho Chih Minh city at 4PM,  and reached our hotel at 7 something. But it is totally up to you, adjust your own time cause it’s your tour. 

First stop - WHITE SAND DUNES

It is the smaller version of White Sand Dunes, so you can walk around by yourself. It is super sunny when we go, and it is so hard to walk on the sand during hot weather. LOL. Make sure you bring slipper. Once you set foot on the desert, you’ll encounter some ladies trying to lend you their sliding broad around 3000 Dong. It’s totally fine if you are interested to have some fun sliding down the sands. We didn’t, because i don’t want to get the sand into my eyes. LOL 




This is my second time visiting Ho Chi Minh city, the first time was 10 years ago. I don’t really feel like going back after my first visit. But I’m glad i did this time. There are so much changes compare to my first visit. It is fast-developing and i’m pretty impress with the changes. I still remember last time, there is only ONE shopping mall and it is super “palia” and now...it is a CITY! hahaha. Not bad at all! Well, Vietnam is well known for its history, culture and traditions, which are still an important part of the locals everyday life. 

My trip is quite free and easy because when i travel, i want to take my own pace to enjoy. I don’t really like pack schedule or else i’ll just follow tour. For this, I didn't do much travel planning before i do. I just Googled and starred some places to visit upon arrival and on Google Maps for the direction. Besides that, we also booked a day tour from one of the random travel agency in Saigon. ( Will share about my day tour in PART 2 )


BUY A LOCAL SIM CARD

First of all, remember to buy a local sim card with 4G, you can find it in the airport. It is a must for me because i can’t live without wifi. Well, I got mine from Vinaphone, 9GB data is around 130k which less than RM30. Super cheap. 

By the way, everything in Ho Chi Minh City is quite affordable. Don’t worry about the transportation.  I traveled everywhere by Grabcar.  It is quite easy to get a grabcar everywhere in the city. From the airport to our homeaway is around 155k dong which is around RM26. I traveled by Grab Car everywhere.

The only things is that Vietnamese Dong is quite confusing. Basically 100,000 Dong equal to RM17. Therefore, 500,000 Dong equal to ____? hahaha 5 times 17 = RM85 

Do your math carefully especially when you pay. 

You wouldn't go a day without drinking water, right? Well, you shouldn't go a day without hydrating your skin too. It is really important to keep our skin hydrated all time, especially when we are aging. Our skin will definitely look younger if we maintain the moisture level. 

For today's post, I will do a review on the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion and Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Gel. One of the best selling products in Japan. I’m sure you all heard about this skin care brands before. If you are not, Hada Labo is a skincare line research & developed by Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. Japan and The Mentholatum Co. with a philosophy 'Perfect X Simple'. Hada Labo uses only the purest ingredients that are beneficial to the skin, with no unnecessary additives & manufactured under strict pharmaceutical standards. Therefore, it is suitable for sensitive skin. 

Last few weeks, it was such an honoured to got invited to A hand-on beauty workshop with the famous beauty guru Liu Yan from Taiwan featuring Hada Labo skin care range. 
Removed our make up and learn how to apply the skin care range step by step. 
We gained so much knowledge about the right step and also the way to apply skin care.  

Hydration is the one of the key goals when it comes to skincare, and this two really helps with this. 

After cleansing, toner is an easy way to add hydration into my skincare routine before applying moisturiser. It also helps to soften the skin and clear up the excess dirt on our skin before applying anything on. 

Well, and Hada Labo hydrating lotion is a nice short list of ingredients and contains no fragrances, oils or SD alcohol, which makes it great for those with sensitive skins. I like to use it before other hydrating products as I feel it boosts their efficacy. One of my favourite skincare routine tips is to use this product before i add my hydration kick! 

How to Apply?

First of all, prepare a cotton pad, pour a generous amount of lotion on the cotton pad. After that, Wipe it all over your face, from bottom to the top ( upwards ), After that,  pat it lightly on your skin and leave the remaining cotton pad on your skin for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 


A moisturizer is a must after the hydrating lotion. Thus, I use this Hada Labo Hydrating Gel to continue my hydration steps! It is very light weight and non-sticky! I really love the texture of this moisturising gel. My skin becomes smoother and softer after applying it. It really offers me a good nourishing hydration. 
As you see, It is quite watery and can be absorbed into the skin instantly with no greasy feel

During the workshop, i also managed to learn a new technique to reduce puffiness using the Hada Labo water gel. It really simple and perfect for people who need SOS for their dry skin. Just apply a generous amount all around your face ( approximately 3mm) and leave it on for 3-5 minutes. After that, gently massage it around your skin and wipe it off with cotton pad. 
Try it out and you will feel your skin more hydrated and firm instantly. 

I’m totally in love with this Hydrating Gel now. 

It’s important to lock it in by using an occulisve on top of this at the end of your routine, to ensure you’re only drawing water into the skin and not away. Hydration is one of the most important things we should do for our skin. Trust me, Skin is softer to the touch and looks plumper when properly hydrated. Now, focus on hydrating your skin with Hada Labo Hydration range. 

Experience it yourself now. Thank you for reading! 




Due to the busy schedule. Today’s woman needs more for her health than just a healthy meal on their own, especially when it comes to  have a good digestive health.     

Do you all know that many of today’s foods are filled with preservatives. How many people can truly say they know where their food comes from and what it is made of? The meat we are consuming, how it is raised, and what it is fed before being sacrificed to feed humans? Sadly, we have no idea what we are really putting into our stomach. As much as science tries to mimic the benefits of the foods we eat, it has yet to find a way to duplicate enzymes.     

Are enzymes really that important to our bodies? The answer is yes! Women especially need them because they help eliminate carbs and unnecessarily things from our bodies.  

Well, recently I’ve came across a diet supplement that has sold over 6.4 million packs in more than 37 countries. It comes all the way from Japan. It is highly recommended by a friend of mine. She used to have constipation problem (bowel movement used to happen only once in 3 days or once a week before consuming this and now her problem is solved! Her stomach feels refreshed and so much lighter. So, I decided to give it a try as I have the same problem especially during travel. 

 Let me share with you about my research of enzymes! 

As you get older, your skin is going to need your help to stay healthy. You will have to work with it to keep it hydrated and glowing

If you know me in person, you would know how much i love to do mask. I don’t go to facial very often because i don’t have the time, so doing mask on my own is the only way for me to maintain my skin. It is like one of my skin care routine everyday. It helped my skin stay clear, glowing, and moisturized + it feels like a mini spa day at home. Just 15 minutes everyday, especially before i apply make up. It is much more easier to apply make up after masking. That’s why i love masking


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