Saturday, November 28, 2009

KL-Nippon Tour

Ohaiyo! Konnichiwa! Kongbangwa! Depends on which time of day you are reading this, the Japanese do not have a specific greeting for Hello! ;-)

Now where am I getting at? Well, I said yes to Nurul when she asked me if I’d like to accompany her giving her boss and another senior staff at her office a tour of KL! Yes, the boss is Japanese ;)

I didn’t function much as a guide though, Nurul did the job splendidly! She speaks really good Japanese. I swear if I ever spend another day with them, I’d speak Japanese in no time! Haha, OK maybe I’m exaggerating, but it’s true that you could greatly improve your language skills when you spend your time with people speaking the language and you are the only one there who doesn’t speak the language (yet).

Genting Highlands

We started off early at 8am to Genting Highlands. Since Boss is a very gentleman, he doesn’t let the ladies drive. We felt we took quite a long route to Genting though as we followed the GPS. After Genting, we chucked the GPS lol!

We reached Genting quite early at 9am and took the Skyway cable car. Again, Boss is such a gentleman, he sponsored us all. Arigato gozaimasu!!! Senior san was initially quite worried with the height, but he was calm soon after. It rained the night before, so it was kiri (misty) and cool. I was wearing thin clothes (in anticipation of the scorching sun at the city later), so Boss kept asking me if I was OK. I can’t stop on how gentleman Boss had been to us!

In the cable car

At Genting, we showed the attractions there – the Casino and the Amusement Park. Cringe when Boss said the park looked like an 80s version of a park in Japan! Am not really surprised there though. Nevertheless, Boss would be coming back to Genting on his own the next time, he did have some interest in there ;-)

Unexpectedly, Boss suggested that we should have a Purikura (print club) taken. Purikura = the enclosed booth where you act silly and take kawaii (cute) pictures with your friends, then get the pictures printed on photo stickers. Pictures of the Purikura sessions aren’t posted here though for fear of jeopardizing the Boss’ reputation :D On top of being a gentleman, he’s such a sporting man! He also sponsored the Purikuras. And Senior san joined in too! Respect!

We left after about an hour, via the cable car again for the return trip. Boss saw an uma (horse) ranch nearby, and asked if we knew where he could ride horses. Apparently the Boss likes horses. We suggested Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club. Don’t know how much it’d cost though.

KL Tower

Next destination was KL Tower. Oh dear, in my opinion, I don’t think KL Tower is a worth a visit though. The ticket was RM 38/person regardless if you are Malaysian or a foreigner. (Senior san got a discount though – for senior citizens) When we went up to the observatory tower, one of the female guides there were extremely nice to Boss and Senior san, but were indifferent towards me and Nurul. One shouldn’t treat a local with a lesser treatment than to a foreigner, after all we paid the same price. (Although Boss sponsored us again). The aerial view of KL city isn’t really something to shout about, except for the Twin Towers maybe. And lastly, there wasn’t enough parking spaces, we had to park by the road.

View from KL tower

Posing posing!

Since we were already hungry by then, the KL Tower not-so-sweet-experience was quickly forgotten when we were served our Dim Sum lunch. Nurul did a great research and found a value for money All You Can Eat Dim Sum lunch at Prince Hotel which only costs RM45++ per person. Boss sponsored us again :D

Dim Sum. Yummeh!

Mango pudding dessert. Inc in lunch buffet


After a hearty meal, we moved on to Putrajaya. Boss seemed a bit sleepy, but he went ahead so Nurul had to keep them awake with conversations, and did a great job! I just listened and wished I could join them lol!

We visited the Masjid Putra at Putrajaya. It was disheartening though that the guards there wouldn’t let non-Muslims inside. The prayer hall is really beautiful and serene which may pique their interest to know more. We excused ourselves for a while to perform our prayers before meeting up again.

Masjid Putra
We then headed towards the lake to ride the Dondang Sayang perahu (RM20/person with MyKad, RM40/person without), but it looked like it was going to ame’ (rain), so the rides were discontinued for the day. Feeling Boss and Senior San should relax some more before hitting back the roads, we suggested the nearby Fish Spa (RM5/person for 10 minutes) and boss gamely agreed. It was really ticklish as the fishes supposedly sucked our dead skin cells (I’m still not fully convinced on this though hmmm).

After fish spa, it had started to rain, so Boss decided to go back. We figured he was quite tired already. We profusely thanked Boss and Senior san for the treats, for having us and for a great time touring KL. Arigato Gozaimasu!!! ^_^


White Water Rafting : Jeram Besu

This happened some time ago – 2 May 09 to be exact, but since I just got the pictures today (dah basi lol!), I’m only writing it now :-p

We (myself, Nurul and her 2 sisters) went for white water rafting at Jeram Besu, Kuala Lipis Pahang. This was only a Level 1 rafting (the easiest level), so the rapids were not really challenging. But then we were all novices, so we’ve got to start easy first ;-) We took a half day tour, with lunch (very very yummy, authentic kampung food! I remember this vividly) which costed RM160/person. We also asked the tour operator to drive us to Jeram Besu, which we only paid for the petrol cost, quite a deal huh?

The journey from KL to Jeram Besu took about 1.5 hours (we took off around 7.30am and arrived by 9am) – but then again, the dude drove like a maniac, we could only pray we’d arrive safely. Other than that, the dude was a nice lad though :-)

Before we went for rafting proper, we had to go through 3 exercises:
- swimming to middle of the river and come back (with safety jacket of course)
- jumping into the rapids feet first and land on water in L-sitting position then let yourself drift with the rapids until you reach calm waters
- turn over the raft

We were then ready to go! We had to row for about 2km in calm water (it hadn’t rained for some time) before we reached the first rapids. The second rapid was more challenging than the first, and we got through fine without turning over! Maybe we had a really good guide ;-)

Our team!


Exercise #3: Turning over the raft

Row! row!

Arrr rapid ahead!!
We survived the rapids!

Done! :-)


Monday, November 02, 2009


A bit on recent films I caught..

500 days of summer
Quirky and Sweet! Love it, but then again I am bias - as The Smiths and Belle & Sebastian were mentioned in the film
Zooey Deschanel as Summer is soooooooooooo cute! She made Tom (Gordon-Levitt) cry..
Favourite tagline: I heart Us

Inglourious Basterds
Lengthy, dialogue based film, but I loved it! I would have appreciated it better if I'd watch/knew the spaghetti western and combat war films referenced in the movie..

Cristoph Waltz as Col Hans Landa is one heck of a superb actor! He speaks French, German, English & Italian in the movie - what a feat! No wonder Tarantino mentioned that there would not be Basterds if not for Waltz
I missed Tarantino in a cameo part though
And why didn't Brad Pitt's Aldo Raine die?! (tak puas hati :-p)


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Krabi - Day 5

Day 5 –19/10/09
Bye bye

We booked the same van for airport transfer at 12pm. Cost us 600 Baht (RM7.10 / person). However, we didn’t get the same van this time – older one.

After breakfast, we went to Ao Nang beach North for our final jumping shots session. Turned out quite beautifully! Next, we took the tuk-tuk to the Tsunami Memorial , just about 5 minutes down the road. We could have walked, but since we haven’t tried the tuk-tuk since our arrival, this was our final chance! It was fun riding the tuk-tuk, although it went really slow. We took some zany poses, then it’s off to the hotel. We had 1 more hour before the van arrives, so we went for brunch at the usual stall, then the final last minute shopping. We got Krabi t-shirts for 130 Baht each (RM13). Quite lucky, as the night before, we couldn’t get any lower than 140 Baht.

Ao Nang -North

Final jumping shot
Paparazzo dlm semak
Tuk tuk
Mas rempit tuk tuk
Tsunami memorial

Then it’s time to check out. Sob sob. Time flew so quickly when you’re having fun.

Our van arrived as scheduled. At the airport, we went for prayers first (the surau was sufficiently equipped – we were impressed). We then decided to check in for immigration, then have lunch (we were hungry again already) in the boarding lounge. However, there was no café / food court there, just a souvenir and a tidbits stall. We had to endure our hunger pangs with biscuits, and later cup noodles in the flight.

Surau at Krabi airport

We reached KL at 4.30pm as scheduled. Izwan & Zu took off immediately as their drivers were already waiting. The rest took the bus to LCCT but we should have taken the red bus (it costs RM1 more than the yellow bus). The yellow bus arrived late at the LCCT, so we only reached KL Sentral almost 7pm! Lesson learnt: Always buy the ticket at the point of bus entry , i.e. not at the counter so that you can see and choose which bus would be leaving first.
Nevertheless, the little bumps did not dampen our spirits. We really enjoyed our trip to Krabi. We have our memories to treasure, and the pictures to reminisce and laugh together. Next trip awaits…


Krabi - Day 4

Day 4 – 18/10/09

The boys took off earlier at 8.30am, but it rained around 9am, although not so heavily. We started out for brunch around 9.30am after the rain stopped at the food stalls to the North. I had a nice padthai (like char kuey teow ) for just 350 Baht. Enough to sustain energy for a 2 hour kayak exercise!

The tour operator came to fetch us at 11am. The ride by jeepney to Ao Thalane was about 30 minutes, going through the kampungs. It was interesting to see the view. We felt pity for the tour assistant – a 15 year old boy – who claimed he has finished school and is now working. Our families are lucky that we get to finish school, then pursue higher education, unlike the boy (and many other underprivileged children around the world actually). So always be thankful, and reach out to them in whatever way you can.

The boy

When we reached Ao Thalane, we were divided into 3 kayaks – me and Mas; Zu and Zairul; while Liza as always, gets the guide :-p It was really fun kayaking actually, once you get the hang of it. Plus, the water was calm at the mangrove area.

Zu & Zairul
Liza & abang Thai
Me & Mas


Our first stop was the Monkey area, where we can feed the monkeys with fruits brought by the guide. The monkeys looked fierce and hungry. They tried to grab the fruits from our basket, but our guide told them off. To our amusement, they were obedient to the guide. We were told to hold out and give the fruits to the monkeys. Again to our surprise, the monkeys were gentle when receiving fruits from our hands. They weren’t really nasty after all, just hungry I suppose. Or maybe scared of the guide hehe.

Bagi makan buah
Searching for food

We then went further into the mangrove swamp. It was beautiful and peaceful in there. We couldn’t stop pitying for Razeif & Izwan for missing the awesome kayak trip. Saw mudskippers aka ikan tembakul / belacak (reminds me of Bakaugruv trip back in standard 4 – my first school outdoor trip!) I also saw a monkey swimming! Yes, swimming towards us when we stopped for the second spot.

Calm mangrove

Luckily we took the half day tour as I felt I was quite drained by the end of the 2 hours. I guess me & Mas started off with the wrong technique, that’s why we were using a lot of unnecessary energy. But then again, this wasn’t my first time kayaking hmmm…

We reached back at our hotel around 4pm, then we marched straight to the food stall for energy replenishment. Quite starved by now. We had pancakes, banana fritters and hotdogs. All fatty food. When we returned back, the guys were also back, but Razeif had already gone out to town on his own – searching for Le Sports Sacs. After showering and a bit of rest, me & Mas took the plunge again – into the swimming pool this time. There was no one around, so Mas took the opportunity to XXX (details cannot be revealed – use your imagination hehe).

Our final dinner was rather grande with tom yam, green curry, vegetable tempura and prawn in thai sauce. Splendid! All that cost us just 1000 Baht (or RM14.30/person) After dinner we went for shopping again. Then the greatly appreciated massage at Sunset as my arms were aching by now. Me and Zairul opted for the Oil Massage for 300 Baht (RM30) for 1 hour. The massage was really nice and it helped eased the ache, thankfully. The guys chose After Beach Massage (Milk + Aloe Vera) for 500 Baht while Mas and Liza chose Body Scrub (750 Baht).
Sunset massage spa