Thursday, September 27, 2012

.: Baby Star :.

Friday, September 21, 2012

.: Day 3 : Phuket :.

Day three, the both of us woke up not feeling too well. The husband had a series of diarrhea the night before, and tho I had purge (only once thankfully), my body felt weak and I was having a slight fever. We contemplated postponing our second island hopping trip, but after weighing the pros and cons, decided to proceed anyway.

Breakfast spread at the hotel was good, a slightly different variety from that served yesterday. The husband had porridge due to his upset tummy, while I tucked away eating 'normal' food (I never quite did with the 'sick' food thingy whenever I'm not well).

Yummy breakfast!
The transport to pick us up to the ferry came spot on time. However, other passangers decided to follow "Malaysian time" (and they are NOT Malaysian, mind you) and so we ended up spending almost close to an hour waiting! If I were the driver, I would have just droven away. Both of us were feeling a little annoyed, and it doesn't help that we are not feeling well at that.

Thankfully the boat at Ao Po pier did leave without us (or I swear I would have strangled that family on the spot!). Our tour guide on board gave a quick introduction and explained to us the places we are about to visit. Unfortunately, he was not as entertaining as Darling (of our first island hopping tour) and was as dry as stale bread, so I drift off to enjoying the view & breeze as we slowly cruise to our first destination.

Our first stop was Panak Island, where we went in pairs with a canoe deep into a cave full of bats. To the batcave *cue for batman's theme song*. It was a new experience for us sitting in a canoe going deep into the limestone rock cave. There was at one point deep into the cave where it was pitch black (the canoe rower switched off his headgear light).

The Batcave aka Panak Island
We came out and proceed to our next stop - Hong Island. We were given a choice to canoe ourselves or have someone canoe for us. Thankfully, we decided to have someone row for us. Reason is that he took us to this beautiful place at the lagoon, only accesible thru a cave entrance. And it's no joke that it takes skills to manuver the canoe through the caves - with high canoe traffic and also it being high-tide ish. But all the traffic-canoe-jam enduring was worth it because when we reach to the other side of the lagoon, it was BEAUTIFUL.

View from the canoe
Seriously took my breath away, like I was in some scene of a romantic movie. Gosh! The the blue skies, the sun's ray glimmery on the surface of the crystal clear water, I could just die on the spot and be happy! This was definitely the highlight of my whole trip here.

Tight squeeze (watch your head) to the other side!
Ok, fine, the second highlight, first being to spend time with the husband *cough*cough* But I seriously felt sorry to those who opt to canoe themselves, coz they didn’t get a chance to see the even more beautiful side of the lagoon… Such a pity!

This picture does no justice! It was absolutely beautiful!

Another peak to the other lagoon!
After that adventure, we had lunch on board. As we were both not feeling to well, we took a few bites of the buffet spread. Again, like the buffet of the previous island hopping tour, it was palateble, but don't expect much.

Our cruiseboat right there!
Our next stop, James Bond Island. To me, I didn't appreciate this place much as it's too touristy for my liking.

The tourist souvenir shop that greeted us at James Bond Island. 
The iconic landmark of this island
Our final stop was to Naka Island, where we were allowed to canoe to an island and swim around. We decided to stay on the cruise boat and took a nap there, which was absolute bliss!

We slept throughout our car journey back to the hotel. Recharged from the nap and also the fact that we felt much better already, we decided to explore the night life of Patong town. We decided to try this restaurant recommended by some. It was tuck away in one of small streets off Patong's. It was a lovely, quite place, with just a few patrons. But the food was good, portions were huge that I regret not swapping my fries for some salad as there was plenty of fries leftovers after we stuffed ourselves.

We headed down to the busiest street of Patong at night - Bangla Street. It was an eye opener to see many of these lady-boys standing about touting everybody to visit their pubs/clubs. Being a tad adventurous, we decided to have a look at the famous Phuket ping-pong shows.

Night light of Bangla Street!
As there was many to choose from (it was so confusing!), one of the tooters said that we can have a five-minutes-no-obligations-peek at the choices of club he has. We went to a couple, and settled for the one that was on the second floor called Ah-Go-Go club, being that it is less dodgy that the others available. Do also note that the will usually start off with a crazy price of THB1000 (equivalent to RM100). Then, they will give a "discounted rate" or THB750 (RM75). Again, if you turn them down, they will move down to THB500 (RM50). And when we show that we are not really that interested, they will lower it to their lowest of THB250 (RM25) if I recall correctly. Which is a bargain, given that it's the entrance fees to watch the ping-pong show was well as two drinks (one alcohol & one soft drink).

And so we saw what we came to see. I felt that it was amusing and disgusting all-in-one. At some parts, my eyes were open wide in amazement, but cringing at most part. Will never look at VeeJayJay the same again. There were some intermission strip shows and what not too. I observed a couple sitting nearby - the wife/gf was not too happy to be in such a place, and her partner was obviously insensitive to her need. She was showing such black-sulking-face, but her block was either too dumb to not read her or couldn't care less. Anyways, if you are going to such places, it is best to get consent from your partner. The last thing you need is to have some harmless fun ruin your relationship. Also,be warned that there will be "compulsary-tipping" at the end of the show, and if you refuse they will give you that dirty look so much so that you'd think they unleashed their VJJ at you to swallow you up!

Pole dancing aplenty!
It was close to about 1am, when we left the place and took a tut-tut back. Remember to check with your hotels what is the standard rate, and use that rate. The tut-tut drivers do not think twice to slaughter you with ridiculous price, and you must always remember to bargain!

That was the end of Day 3 at Phuket.

*pardon the pics, can't seem to rotate it (didn't bother to try hard anyways, hehe)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

.: Recap :.

I've noticed that I've been blogging less and less of late. From a regular stream of approximately 15ish to 20ish blogpost a month, reduced to a shameful single digit.

Again, it's not that I do not have the time, but the juggle between work and other leisures means that some things that I love to do have to take the backseat, for the time being that it.

I have also put my baking completely on-hold, as I focus more on whipping up new Chinese dishes. I am proud to say that I have successfully emulated Lemon Chicken, Marmite Chicken & Taw Yew Bak (Soya Sauce Pork) with part help from googled recipe, but it was heavily modified to ingredient in hand as well as whatever foodish instinct I have.

I had revisited Project Scribe again i.e. clearing more junks of paper in my house and doing up so long overdue-ed filing. So not my forte. I just hate filing coz I don't believe that I'm a very neat person to begin with.

I have also been allocating more times to my reading i.e. in sheer determination to achieve my #52booksin52weeks target. I have another 18 books left, so if I continue the pace, I may be able to complete by end Nov. BIG IF. I have at least another 4 purchased books lined up begging to be read, plus the endless supply of library books. Also, am considering to drop by the Subang Jaya Book Exchange that is held weekly in a community hall nearby. Will see how that goes.

My camera has also taken the backseat, and the only recent snaps I took is the day trip to Sekinchan over the long Raya weekends.

Pinterest have became my biggest vice, as I addictively pin down ideas that I wish-to-do-in-the-near-future. But we all know that the near future isn't that near, or even unlikely to happen. But I am proud to say that out of the stuff that I have pinned, I have tried at least 5% of it. Hey, it's a start! Will find time (if ever) to post the DIY's I did - which are DIY tree branch decor for my living room, photo frame collage for my living room, 3D papercraft art for my study/reading room.

As for Project Wallaby, it will be on-hold again, given that the opportunity we had is unlikely to crystalise.

Again, there's much achieved for this year, for it has indeed been eventful. There's plenty more to do til year end, but whatever it is, I am thankful for the blessing that God has showered me (and us) throughout the year! :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

.: La Di Dum Di Dum :.

What's the name of that song?

What's the name of that song?

It goes la-de-da-de-dum,
Something something birds.

I wish I remembered the words.

What's the name of that song?

I'd like to sing right along!

I've heard it said,
With words and music
A fellow can't go wrong.

So la-de-da-de-dum,
What's the name of that song?

What's the name of that song?

We need the name of that song!

It goes la-de-da-de-dum,
Something, something nice.

I think it repeats itself twice!

What's the name of that song?

I know the name of that song!

It's called--now wait,
I think I got it!
Oh, no--I must be wrong--

So la-de-da-de-dum,
What's the name of that song?

(Honkers) Honk-ee-honk-ee-honk, honk-ee-honk-ee-honk
(Oscar-annoyed) What's the name of that song?
(All) La-de-da-de-dum, La-de-da-de
(Oscar) They keep on singing that song

They go La-de-da-de-dum, La-de-da-de-dum
La-de-da-de-dum, La-de-da-de-dum,
They start it all over again.

La-de-da-de-dum, La-de-da-de-dum
(Gordon) Something shining above.
(two-headed monsters sing some unintelligible words that end with something that rhymes with "above")
We can't help singing La-de-da-de-dum
Loud and clear and strong.

But La-de-da-de-dum, La-de-da-de-dum
La-de-da-de-dum, La-de-da-de-dum
La-de-da-de-dum, Laaaaaaaaaaaa!

What IS the name of that song?

Sometimes, I would, on complete randomness, hum a tune that I recall from my childhood days. Usually, it would be in bed, while I catching up on my reading and the husband busy doing whatever he is doing on the internet (I-don’t-wanna-know!). He would look up at me and ask "What are you humming too?"

"Let me show you" is my usual reply as I snatch the laptop from him and google the title of the song on Youtube. I patiently wait for the video to load (no, unfortunately we don’t have Unifi, so we are stuck at a Gary-the-snail speed)

When the video plays, I will sing along to the song. He is as amused (as am I) on how I can memorise the lyrics to songs that I've listed to 20 odd years ago. No, if you are one who thinks I have the memory of Suit's Mike Ross (#Suits) [one of the best series I have watched so far] or Criminal Mind's Dr.Spencer Reid (#CriminalMinds), you're wrong. I barely even remember what I had for lunch yesterday or where I left my hp & wallet when I'm in church (I have this habit of leaving my stuff around church).

So, how and why do I remember all this irrelevant things? Like when Rory, the new Irish lad in Glee sings "Bein' Green" I immediately recognise that song as one sang by Kermit the Frog in one of the Sesame Street episods I so religiously watch when I was younger. Or more tunes from Sesame Street like "What's The Name Of That Song?" or "Sing After Me" or this particular song "Food Around The Corner" from a cartoon.

Now, I regret introducing these songs to him, coz he hums it out all the time!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

.: Anger Management :.

"Ayahanda marah tak?"

"Tidak, dancing lah sampai pagi"

Quote from my favourite P.Ramlee movie of all time! :)

.: One Down :.

.: Day 2 : Phuket :.

Day 2 at Phuket greeted us with the sounds of waves gently lapping on the shores of beautiful Tri Trang beach. Our room, which we paid at a discounted rate, much thanks to Agoda, had a lovely beach view which the both of us appreciated.

Our feet were tired from yesterday's exploring around Patong town, but we were up and about early to have the hotel's complimentary buffet breakfast. The spread was reasonable good - had pad thai (can't get enough of it!), fried rice, ham, sausages, pancakes & french toast. Skipped the varied fresh fruit spread to spare from overstuffing the stomach. We were, afterall, excited with our very first island hopping trip & the last thing we wanna do is get all sea-sick & puky on the speedboat.

The Sea Angel Speedboat that we took! (Well, our's was No.5)

We were greeted by the driver who picked us up on time in his van. We arrived at Reseda Harbour an hour-drive later. Our tour guide, who introduced himself as Darling, was such a hilarious & entertaining fella. On board, he joked and teased especially with a group of young Pakistani men whom didn't mind (in fact encouraged) the teasing.

Beautiful lagoon!

Beautiful blue skies that day, thank God!
We made a couple of stops to the the highlighted placed - Monkey Beach, Loh Samah Bay, Pileh Bay, Viking Cave (which are cluster of places in Phi Phi Leh Island). We skipped Maya beach, given the rough waves. I must admit, it was a fun first-time experience snorkeling on my part at Coral Bay, but I wasn't impressed with the (lack-of) variety of fishes and corals. Tho the water is relatively clean & clear, as seen from the boat, it was a little murky & being over-crowded with tourist (from other boats) there is relatively little maneuvering spaces for us. Kept bumping into other fellow snorkelers. I really can't imagine what it would be like during peak-season!

The water here is so clear that it reflects the colour of the greens!

After a short snorkeling session, a quick pit-stop at a beach and a couple of snapshoot-and-go attractions, we headed to Ton Sai Bay for lunch. The buffet lunch is not exactly of high-standards, but it was palatable. Don't expect any Thai food. In fact, we just had some fried chicken, some sweet-sour fish dish, watered-down bolognese sauce with pasta, and others which I don't even bother remembering.

Boats at Ton Sai Bay

After our lunch, we had a quick walk around the area. As all tourist areas - full of street food : crepes, fruits, pizza, etc. And of course, beach wears vendors aplenty trying to sell their bikinis, T-shirts, sarongs, beach hat, etc.

Koh Khai Island with the famous colourful beach umbrellas!

We boarded our boat "Number 5" (private joke), and headed to Koh Khai Island. I must admit, it's the first time I ever sat on a beach chair to just do nothing but rest and relax, and I was indeed enjoying myself. Of course, the cold refreshments and complimentary fresh fruits of watermelon & pineapples served by our very own Darling was the icing to the cake!

On the way back, we were exhausted, so we slept the whole journey in the van.

When we arrived at our hotel, we took a quick shower and was ready for our next itenary : Simon Cabaret Show!

One of the many colourful costumes the ladyboys (yes, they are men, not women) wear!

I have read many positive reviews of this show, but I was still impressed with the overall show. The costumes, the choreographing, the music & lighting, they were just done so well! If you have not watched a cabaret (which we haven't) you must not give this a miss! Be careful tho, you may be tempted to take pics of them / with them, but it you will have to tip them. They can be ruthlessly unhappy if you try to take pics of them for free. I manage to steal this one, but dare not proceed further after seeing a bunch of tourist harressed by them for not paying!

After the show, we went back to our hotel; made ourselves some instant noodles (local instant noodles, of course!) for dinner (since we are still full from lunch) and went straight to bed.

That was our second day at Phuket, and were we exhausted from the day's adventure!

Friday, September 7, 2012

.: Hurting Distance : Sophie Hannah :.

So, if you have not already known, I have gotten my reading mojo back! I have recently covered close to about 8 books within a span of one month (that's two books a week if you're bad at maths, jus' sayin' *cheeky smile*). 

And because Bridget is challenging herself to complete 52 books by end of the year i.e. #52booksin52weeks, I took that as a personal challenge as well #challengeaccepted

I must say that because of my recent job change, I have been able to spare some time in the mornings before work to read a couple of chapters and sneak in a few more pages during lunchtime. You see, due to logistics (which I care not to elaborate, unless you ask me personally), I have to be in office before 7am. And because works officially starts at 8am, that's a whopping one hour plus to: 
1) get my coffee from the pantry
2) check for facebook update
3) read a book

Anyways, to cut to a long post short, I was reading this novel Hurting Distance and I absolutely loved it that I had to recommend it to all you out there. You see, the first few chapters of this book was a-okay, but midway, the climax was so intense that I was reluctant to put the book down when my lunchtime was over. So much so that at 5 sharp, I took my novel out from my drawer and shameless read away. As most of my colleagues already left the office, and I didn't wanna stay alone, I went to my car and continue reading it til it reach a bearable anticlimax-near-ending. That's almost 20 mins in the car. I know. I'm nuts. The husband pretends to understand as he called and asked me where I was, and I explained to him my predicament and abruptly hang up the phone to continue reading. Yes, he married a nut, pity him.

Anyways, this is the second book of Sophie Hannah's psychology thriller. I recalled reading her first of the series, Little Face. I remembered it to be good, but not memorable enough so much that I would select another novel from said author. But this book definitely got my attention, and I will be on a look out for more of Sophie's novel in my next visit to the library.

Extract of synopsis :

Three years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins – so terrible that she never told anybody.
Now, Naomi has another secret: the man she has fallen passionately in love with, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without warning or explanation, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert’s wife insists he is not missing.
In desperation, Naomi has an idea. If she can’t persuade the police that Robert is in danger, perhaps she can convince them that he is a danger to others. Then they will have to look for him – urgently. Naomi knows how to describe in detail the actions of a psychopath. All she needs to do is dig up her own traumatic past…

Bear in mind tho, this is not for the faint hearted. There's a few graphic and disturbing descriptions which may or may not be too much, especially for a young reader, so read at own discretion. 

.: Di Persimpangan Dilema :.

Masa berlalu
Tanpaku menyedari
Percintaan yang kita bina
Hampir terlerai
Apa salahku
Kau buatku begini
Dalam dilema
Di antara jalan derita
Tidak pernahku duga
Ini semua terjadi

Janganlah engkau
Menghancurkan segala
Setelah lama
Kita mengharungi bersama
Usah biarkan
Cinta kita yang suci
Dilambung ombak
Karam dilautan berduri
Hanya satu pintaku
Moga kau menginsafi
Oh! Semua ini.

Telah banyak yang kuberi
Sejak dulu lagi
Pengorbanan tiada pernah jemu
Hanyalah Tuhan saja
Bisa menentukan semua
Kesabaran daku menantimu

Kutetap memaafkan
Dan berdoa kau kembali
Sebelum diri melangkah pergi

Janganlah engkau
Menghancurkan segala
Setelah lama
Kita mengharungi bersama
Usah biarkan
Cinta kita yang suci
Dilambung ombak
Karam dilautan berduri
Hanya satu pintaku
Moga kau menginsafi
Oh! Semua ini.

Monday, September 3, 2012

.: Day 1 : Phuket :.

I loved my somewhat impromptu trip to Phuket. It was such an enjoyable trip. Tho with very minimal planning, we manage to cover most of the must-go tourist places in this beautiful island well within our five days and four nights there. Also, it helped that our friend, who have went there recently, shared with us his itenaries & contacts as well.

Just laden with info from said friend and a read-thru of the Phuket forum in lowyat (I swear that this is the best forum ever!) we booked our flight tickets just a week before & our stay (which we crossed checked with Trip Advisor for review & Agoda for price) just three days prior to depature! *phew* Never had such little time to plan for a trip ever!

We touchdown on Phuket at about 8am-ish, no thanks to a (expected) flight delay by Air Asia. We headed straight to the hotel & because it is off-peak season, our room was available for check in *joys*

Breathtaking seaview from our hotel

First thing to do on our list : EXPLORE PATONG TOWN.

Thankfully for the free hotel shuttle at 11am, we headed down to town. The shuttle stopped us at this mall called JungCeylon Shopping Mall. It's a pretty decent mall, but I must admit we enjoyed the air-cond more than anything else. It is not comparable to the malls back here in KL, which are mostly much bigger and better; but you can get a decent meal (if you're not feeling like having street food) and shop for groceries at Big C Extra.

We explored the surrounding areas by foot - and decided on having lunch at a highly recommended restaurant by Lowyat forumers - Restaurant No. 6. I must admit that the food is pretty decent; one of the better pad thai I have had. The pork dish that I had was also delish. Easy on the pocket & decent portion - got start to authentic Thai food. It's actually located just a stone throw from the JunCeylon Mall towards the direction of C&N Hotel.

Restaurant Number 6

Awesome Pad Thai that rawks my socks!

We headed back to the mall, got some bottled non-alcoholic & alcoholic drinks alike (both the husband & I became extremely addicted to the lemongrass tea) and headed back to our hotel via the shuttle tuk-tuk.

The husband took a short nap while I headed straight to the in-house massage parlour and got myself an amazing traditional Thai massage. Unlike in most hotels, the pricing of the massage is about that you get at the streets in town, but less dodgy. I thoroughly enjoyed as this elderly Thai lady (who spoke to me in Thai for a while, until she realized I wasn't Thai). She kneaded me like a bread dough, used her elbows to and knees at a just-right pressure on my back and, like all authentic Thai massages; she arched and folded me into positions that I would only trust a experienced chiropractor to do. But it was a great massage, and needless to say, I slept like a baby that night!

After that enjoyable massage, I took a quick shower and we jumped into the next shuttle (6pm) and headed back to town again. We went around to hunt for bargain day-trip island hopping and also tickets to the infamous Simon Cabaret Show & Fantasea Show. We knew that we got bargain prices as we crossed checked the price offered with that recommended by Lowyat forumers (what would I do without them?!). It does help that it is the off-peak season, so the hotel rates, island-hopping tour prices & entrance fees to both shows are at it's lowest.

We also had a hard time decided what to have for dinner. Tho aplenty to offer along the main road of Patong; it was surprisingly pricey, especially the seafood. It's almost like KL price standards (or even higher at some restaurants). We snacked on some roadside pancakes, which was not to bad!

Mango pancakes, freshly made. Yums!

The husband decided he wanted to try the German restaurant we passed by in the mall, so German food at Weihenstephan it was. The husband ordered some pork knuckle dish to share, and thankfully he did, coz the portion was humongous! The food was pretty good, and after a full stomach, tired feet and also more purchases from Big C extra, we headed back to our hotel.

Interior of Weihenstephan.
Thus; concludes our first day in Phuket.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin