[Travel] Dream Trip To Western Europe In November 2019 (Day 2)

by - Wednesday, February 12, 2020

On the previous post on my blog, I was updating the stories on Day 1 and sharing the journey from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to London, England by using the Oman Air on 28 November 2019 (Thursday). On 29 November 2019 (Friday), it's the real story of a dream trip to Western Europe; which is, the first destination is London, England within the second day of this trip. 

My first tour in England is beginning in London, England for 3 days and 2 nights. The moments we're arriving at Heathrow International Airport, we're starting the tour with the shopping tour by bus. It sounds like something weird, but that what's happening on the day we've arrived in London. Our tour leader just inform us that the day we've arrived in London is the Black Friday event and it's close to Christmas day so she is expected that many people will queue outside the store. Since we've arrived early at Heathrow International Airport, our bus driver not yet arrives and then, I take the time to change our style and do some human things. 

TIP 3 – Some of our group members looking at the SIM card pack at the airport, but I advise it's easy if you rent the pocket WiFi from Kuala Lumpur, and then share it with your family or friends together. I think that way can save some of your money. If I not mistake, 1 pocket WiFi device can be shared up to 6 devices in one time and it depends on the pocket WiFi device too. It's better to double-check before you make the booking. For me, it's easy by rental the pocket WiFi and shares with my family along the trip, rather buys the SIM card pack. I'm petty lazy to change my SIM card through my iPhone and I'm also scared if my local SIM card is getting lost – sometimes I'm careless too so better I'm being careful. 

We're waiting at the airport for almost 1 hour and our bus driver has arrived in pick-up us. Our bus is quite big and comfortable but our driver has some habits that make us uncomfortable, which is he not allow us to wait for our luggage to reloads on the bus. He wants us to seat on the bus. He says that we did not trust him to reload our luggage. I think from the first time meeting, of course, we did not trust you but yes, he does well his jobs. Another way, I asking my mom and sister to monitor our luggage from the bus windows (both sides) so on that way, we're confident that our luggage already loading on the bus.

The first destination of our shopping tour is Bicester Village. Bicester Village is an outlet shopping center on the outskirts of Bicester, a town in Oxfordshire, England. It is owned by Value Retail plc. The center opened in 1995. Most of its stores are in the luxury goods and designer clothing sector. The center is the second most visited location in the United Kingdom by Chinese tourists, after Buckingham Palace. The village opening hours, from Monday to Friday is 09:00 – 19:00; Saturday is 09:00 – 20:00; and Sunday is 10:00 – 19:00. 

The journey from Heathrow International Airport to the Bicester Village is taken almost 1 hour 5 minutes by bus. If you have planning to go there by yourself, you can use public transport to go to Bicester Village. The center is served by Bicester Village rail station, which has a regular direct connection to London Marylebone and Oxford, provided by Chiltern Railways. This station was formerly known as Bicester Town. For information, just visit the Bicester Village website or download the apps of the Bicester Village on your phone.

The temperature at the Bicester Village is around 2ºC. Yes, it's quite cold for us. As we expected, almost the car parking is full in the early morning and we can see many people already start shopping at the moment we arrive at Bicester Village. Our tour leader gives us time until the afternoon to shopping and lunch at the Bicester Village. It's around 3 to 4 hours we have time to shopping there. 

Based on my experience, when we're shopping during special events; it has pros and cons. The advantage parts are almost every stores is open with special discounts and the price is cheaper rather than the original price of the luxury items. But the disadvantaged part is most of the store have many people take the long queue and some of the items maybe not the latest luxury items or maybe not suits your tastes. 

TIP 4 – If you have the plan to travel during the Sales periods; plan your itinerary well and update the operation time of the stores before you go there. Try to start your day in the early morning so you can arrive at your destination early before many people, and make fast decisions once you plan to buy something in the store. Plan to visit your favorite stores at the beginning, before you plan to walk around there. 

TIP 5 – As a tourist, you're entitled to claim a tax refund, so ask the sale person about it and the amount of minimum purchase, before you make payment. It's because some stores have a different form that needs you to fill-up and makes sure you double-check your receipts before you go out of the stores. In this Bicester Village, it's also available the Tax Refund Office, you can go there to make the Tax Refund process but it's can be made if you just travel around the UK only and if you going another Europe country, you can make the Tax Refund claim at the last airport before you go back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If you still confuse, you also can double-check at the Tax Refund Office about that before you leave the Bicester Village.

For me, it does take a lot of time to visit one by one store during this special event, especially in the afternoon and evening. Maybe some of you will end up like nothing to shopping in this place, so planning well if you want to go during a special event or day. What's I get during our shopping at the Bicester Village is two (2) Coach Handbag – Signature City Zip Tote [£99 (RM 529.65) from original price £325] and Hudson Crossbody In Natural Smooth Leather [£99 (RM 529.65) from original price £425]; and the last is Kate Spade New York Daisy iPhone Xs Max Case, Black [£14 (RM 74.90) from original price £55 and outlet price £34]. [Rate £ on this trip = 5.35].

We take our lunch at the Pret A Manger. I think the most famous sandwich restaurant in the UK. We just take a vegetable sandwich basis and a couple of hot coffees for hot our cold body before us getting on the bus to the next destination on this day. 

TIP 6 – The Bicester Village also has the Prayer Room for the Muslim Tourist, the room is known as the Contemplation Room; you can ask the Bicester Village staff 'how to go there?' if you getting lost at this area. 

The next destination on the first day is London Designer Outlet Wembley. The journey from Bicester Village to London Designer Outlet Wembley is taken almost 40 minutes. The London Designer Outlet Wembley (abbreviated LOD) is a semi-outdoor shopping center in Wembley Park, north-west London. It was the first outlet center to open on Greater London and officially opened on 24 October 2013 as part of the 87-acre Wembley Park Redevelopment project by owners Quintain. The development cost £65 million and is located next to Wembley Stadium and The SSE Arena, and steps from Brent Civic Centre. The total retail space of the shopping center is 350,000 sq ft (33,000m²). 

With its location next to Wembley Stadium and its line-up of well-known brands, LDO is becoming famous for its 'athleisure' stores, though its top performers reflect its greater diversity and include one of the top Gap outlet stores in Europe, one of the top Nike outlet stores in Europe and the top Guess outlet store in Europe. It opened UK 'firsts' for outlet stores from H&M, Converse, and Haribo. The operation hour is around 10 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. 

TIP 7 – Before I forget, we got the chance to visit Tesco Extra Store at the London Designer Outlet Wembley. We're looking for some bread and it's cheap at the Tesco Extra Store, so if you want to buy food items at a cheaper price, you can visit any Tesco Extra Store. For Muslim tourists, if you want to buy some bread – better looking the vegan bread in the store, just double-check the ingredients list on the bread. 

Its have many stores in this place and quite a nice place to hang out with family and friends too. Since it's still in the sales season so most of it I not get what's I want. We're walking around in this area and we also never forget to take nice photos too. We have time around 3 hours to kill here before we're headed to dinner at the Nur Malaysia Restaurant London. 

The first of our dinner in London is the Malaysia cruises from the Nur Malaysia Restaurant London. The menu is simple, like "Ayam Masak Merah" spicy red chicken with fried mix vegetables and rice. The drinks are plain water and the desserts are "bubur pulut hitam" – I not sure what's the name of the desserts in English. Overall, our first dinner menu in London is just nice. 

Since we're already tired and its time to check-in our hotel room at the St Giles Feltham Hotel. This hotel is nearby the Heathrow International Airport but it's far from London City. I thought the hotel management already prepare the room key to our group since we're check-in in our room around 7 pm, but it's not. We have to wait at the hotel lobby for almost 30 minutes to 40 minutes, just to get our room key. The waiting time is making me feel so tired. 

Our room as the triple room is nice and big too. The room is complete with the basic needs, like air conditioning, work desk, WiFi access, color TV with news and radio channels, hairdryer, Direct Dial telephone with voicemail, complimentary tea & coffee facilities, all bathrooms feature a bath & shower, digital safe, blackout facility, and soundproof windows. We're staying in the same hotel for 3 days 2 nights and the next day is considering the real London City tour for me. 

As you can see on the first day we've arrived in London, we don't have Tour Guide – everything was guided by Tour Leader – Ms. Rozana. Maybe because in our itinerary just have two (2) places that for shopping only. Overall the first day in London was tired of us. 

That is all my stories on day 2 of this trip. Just for your information, I have been writing the extra note tip about Dream Trip to Western Europe in November 2019 based on my experience during this trip. Feel free to read it. Here, the link to the continued stories about the Dream Trip to Western Europe in November 2019Day 1, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, and Day 12.

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