Monday, 29 June 2009

BLOG LIFE

Tired. Too much to do and too little time.
The new toy is here so it's time to experiment and it may take a long time before I could fully master it. Put it to the test and it was so cool.
















To me, the ultimate test was night pictures as the previous one could not perform to my standard. It didn't disapoint - at all.










So with this, I am done whining about not having IT.

Many thanks for the good wishes on the business partner, she survived a major surgery but has to go for chemo for 6 months - so that's 6 months of medical leave for her, and 6 months of extra work for me. That's final, I should be grateful on this - not for her being sick but at least I don't have serious health issue - I hope. So, done talking about this too.

With limited time, I am finding writing those normal regular post a struggle. I should be just like everyone else does and try not to make a long picture essay out of every post. Or maybe go 'private' as many UNKNOWN visitors always makes me uncomfortable, and write about daily nonsense which no ones wants to read and lousy sewing projects - eek, yes that's the latest interest - before it fizzles out, just like every hobby in the past.

Ah, the ups and down of blogging life..I do wonder if anyone has problems like me, or it's just this one looney here who has it hehe :)

Hugs...M

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

ULEK BEACH RESORT, DUNGUN, TRENGGANU

Travelling to Pulau Kapas, or Kapas Island, we decided to break the journey and stay at Dungun. My husband aka 'the driver' didn't want to drive all the way to the Marang jetty, so we stayed here for a night. Dungun is a small town and fishing village. Not much excitement happening at night but definitely not 'insanely boring' like Kapas. Food was cheap, the people super friendly and we were very happy to have found and stayed at this small Malay village type of resort.

I loved how they advertised themself "Exquisitely Traditional" and that was what we got, typical Malay hospitality, small but highly personalised service everywhere. Certainly my kind of holiday.




A traditional Malay gong welcomes you, or in this case, Danial beating the gong doing a self announcement of our arrival :D



Outside the reception and verandah.



Entering into the chalets and passing the pool.





Again, I like this, typical Malay chalets but with all the 5 star hotels trimmings. Not something one find easily here. Most chalets are poorly maintained or backpacker style but Ulek was great.


This was our chalet. Ulek means 'cradle' in Malay or in this case, they tried to pamper you in every way like you were a baby or child.


View from our chalet.


The bathroom was fun! It had a sunken jacuzzi and when you sit in, you can open up the windows and look out into a private garden. The kids had fun...well, me..I had the windows closed but I was sure no one could peek in, just didn't feel comfortable bathing in the open air.



Now this was something interesting. I complained about not having any water in the room but the reception said there's a 'labu sayong' in the room. Labu means water pitcher or gourd, and this was used to keep water the traditional way. No matter how hot was the weather, the water was always cooling.


If I have to re-decor my house one day, I would add this wonderful verandah and long windows, another typical traditional Malay house feature.


Titi or in Malay it means 'mini bridge', seen here doing a shadow shot.


In the evening stopping by Dungun beach..


Marang jetty, leaving for Kapas Island.




Many thanks for your kind wishes to my business partner, who underwent a successful major surgery and hopefully on the road to a better recovery. The camera was 'alive', well for a short while. Melanie said I sounded like Frankenstein when I told her so, but it was a short lived happiness. Firstly, it could only upload and not it can take photos but not upload, seems like now it is time to hunt for a more serious toy. Any recommendation on what brand or type of camera? Your help is much appreciated :)



Have a happy week ahead...

Monday, 15 June 2009

KAPAS ISLAND, KAPAS TURTLE VALLEY

During this school holidays, we wanted to go the beach and at the same time tried to stay away from the bigger islands like Redang and Tioman which were always packed with people. Inspired by my local blog friend, Tehsin during her trip to Kapas, we decided to go here for some relaxation.

Arriving on Kapas Turtle Valley and no, there was no turtle seen on land or water but turtles were known to swim and hatch around here. Seen here was Grant and Emma greeting us on our arrival. They were from Australia on a work cum holiday at Kapas Turtle. When they finished their 3 months stay here, they'll head for Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia for further holidays.


Kapas Turtle had only 6 chalets and we took the largest one, a 2 rooms with connecting doors which could easily accommodated 6 persons. I thought of you Tehsin when I saw the room!



Our room was on top of the dining hall with a great view.


View around the chalets. This beach was practically a private one so you won't have lots of people snorkelling on the beach. It was so quiet that the only sound I heard was my 3 noisy children. Picture on the right shown the kids climbing up the hill to the other side of the beach, the only way to see other part of the island or via boat.



































Coming out to the other side of the beach, first stop was Captain's Longhouse. The whole stretch of beach was really busy with many people. I preferred Turtle for it's privacy and with only 6 chalets, most couples, there was only a hand few of us.


As expected, all East Coast island beaches are beautiful! When one is here, you won't have much motivation to go to Port Dickson.



I did a thorough research on this resort and island before I came and must say there aren't many reviews or blog about Kapas. I am quite sure my post will be the longest.


Back to Kapas Turtle, the kids were busy snorkeling...just look at the water!!



Took this picture on the beach, crystal clear water and you can see what's beneath. Kapas means cotton in Malay and is known for it's white sandy beaches.



Resort owner, Dutch couple - Peter and Sylvia, returning from Marang after a shopping trip with their own boat. You can see Storm, their son taking a picture and on the right, Linda - also a Dutch on a working-holiday and she's going to India after this. Come the think of it, this is the only place I know which is completely ran by non locals..and we were the only locals there. The owners wanted to migrate from Holland and chose Kapas as their home.


What is not to love on this beach..totally secluded, intensely private, personalised service all the way. You can suntan topless and nobody will care, well...we don't do it here but there was a mini cave nearby...in case you want to.


Here's Eli on our own private verandah overlooking the sea. I must say the room and everything else was too basic, but this is the best resort you will find in Kapas. You will pay 5 star pricing for the room but just don't have high expectation. We stayed at Ulek Resort at Dungun, a small fishing village and not really a tourist destination for 1 night before Kapas. For the same price we paid, Ulek was really good..it came complete with our own open air sunken jacuzi..will blog about it later.


Dinner was scrumptious! Sylvia was an extremely good cook and we did enjoy the meal. However, the choices were limited to 3 items nightly and be prepared to pay a lot for the meal. Our food bill was 120% more than the accommodation cost. Food on the island are generally more expensive which was expected, but this was way too much. We stay at Perhentian every year and we don't mind paying for food which cost double compared to the mainland, but we always had a huge variety to choose from.




After dinner, there was NOTHING to do. Unless you care to climb the steep hill to the other side of the beach with a torch light for some action, there was no TV, no nothing. I think this was really for couples on honeymoon where one can lock eyes for hours but with kids, it was just too quiet. The exact words of my husband was "insanely boring" at night. Here the kids at a corner reading and drawing to kill time before we sleep at 9.30pm. I think there should be at least a TV on dining area..


I got my Aquapac, an underwater casing for most digital camera and took some pictures underwater. The Aquapac worked, the pictures were ok but I ignored my husband's advise..took out the camera and tried snapping photos with wet hands and the camera went kaput-ed as of now. I could only upload the pictures but nothing else.


My favorite underwater pictures of Emi snorkeling.




>


So there's my post on Kapas. Bye for now, I've got a few hundred mails to attend to and work piling on my desk. Will visit everyone soon :P
Hugs...M

Monday, 8 June 2009

HAPPY, BLOG BREAK,








A big thanks to my good friend, Annie of Blissful-Bohemian for this award.

I am to write why I blog and pass it on to another blogger. This is actually my second blog. I started one in 2006 in support of NURIN ALERT, a missing child support system named after Nurin Jasmin whom was kidnapped and brutally murdered. Nurin Alert was started by Nurin's uncle Jasni of In Memory of Nurin Jazlin. Jasni and a few bloggers then formed the committed of Citizens for Nurin Alert to kickstart this critical model in search of missing children. Nurin Alert was modeled after AMBERAlert.com »AMBER Alert in the USA.

As for this blog..well, you know what it is about. Blogging has brought me many wonderful friends and you all know who you are, and that I love you all to the max! I always have problem passing on awards as it's too difficult to choose. I will pass this award to an avid traveler, some of you may have known him or not. He is Gil from Blogtrotter. If you visit his blog, have a look at the Labels and see the countries and places he has visited..it is amazingly LONG! Thanks Gil for the wonderful tour worldwide :)

I will be on a blog break this week, you will find me here. I seriously find blog and work breaks totally blissful and told the office, for any emergencies...don't call me.

Bye for now and see you all soon...

Monday, 1 June 2009

DUMPLING FESTIVAL and KLCC

Last week had been such a busy week. It started with my business partner complaining of tummy discomfort. She went for a normal routine check up and what's supposed to be half a day dragged into 3 days. At the end of the 3rd day, she called and with such a sad and distraught voice told me she has cancer. She will have to go for immediate surgery this week and won't be working for quite some time. It was distressing news to me. I lost my dad to cancer 10 years ago and know so many family members who had to go through tremendous pain upon diagnosis, some made it..most not. Anyway, this change threw all our holiday plans out of the window. I was planning for a short getaway for the children as they have a 2 weeks break. Maybe later when work is settled down.

My mom was busy making dumplings or 'bachang' or as Cantonese says it - 'chung' for the family. I remembered I prepared a post on this last year but never posted. So here goes a little history on our Dumpling Festival celebrated by Chinese worldwide:


Chinese worldwide celebrated the Dumpling Festival recently. This festival started due to the well known and respected patriotic poet, QU YUAN. Legend noted that he was an important Minister to then Emperor Zhou of China. Heavy internal politics and obviously given all the wrong infor by certain dubious quarters, Emperor Zhou eventually died due to this web of malice, probably killed. Devastated, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Mi Lo River over 2000 years ago. The people were so sad, that they make dumplings and threw them in the river to feed the fishes, hoping that the fishes will leave Qu Duan's body alone. I've been eating them forever and only found out the story behind when I wanted to blog about it. This festival is celebrated with many making dumplings, or buying them from shops. The actual date is on the 5th of 5th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. So far, I've only eaten those made by my mom, unfortunately, she made them too soon and I could not take any photos of the process. Dumplings ingredients: glutinous rice, mushroom, meat, century egg (yolk only), nuts, chestnuts, etc. All wrapped in lotus leaves.
Tricky part - tying of the dumplings.

After steaming and ready to be eaten:) Above pictures are courtesy of Four types of dumplings to celebrate the festival.

Below pictures were emailed to my by my cousin and I have no idea where she got it from, therefore I can't credit them but it gives you a good idea of how it looks like when opened.

I had this dumpling made by my mom for breakfast today. It has some dried prawns,chicken, century egg yolk and some chestnuts.

..ah, this is for you Xue :P


Went to KLCC in the evening with the children, seen here just outside KLCC.


We had dinner at the food court. Clockwise: there will always be a Penang restaurant here and everywhere else, an antique ice shaver, to make ABC or Air Batu Campur or shaved ice with syrup with nuts and other sweet stuff thrown in, in the last picture, it doesn't show in this collage, is a Kopitiam shop - a popular cafe for everyone. We've at least 5 near where I lived.


Ah..Godiva, it's gourmet chocolate at it's best and very expensive!



Yep, they are here. Don't know when they opened but I am quite sure Melanie will feel right at home at this place.



The kids and I loved Kinokuniya book store and definitely this, Japanese origami paper.


Something really funny happened outside KLCC at night. I was taking this blurry picture and there were a few people who came over. Obviously they were very curious why I was peering over the pond, asking what's inside or if there are fishes. No, there was nothing there, I was taking this picture which was a reflection of the next picture.



Until Taiwan 101 came up a few years ago, this 88 storey Petronas Twin Tower was the tallest in the world. I love the sight of it at night and never get bored starring at it every time. Took this picture while laying down on some damp grass slope, much to the amusement of many people. I don't like heights, but one day I am going to walk on that sky bridge.


Sorry but this picture is not clear. Just outside KLCC, you can take a shuttle to the Traders Hotel for guest who stay there or want to visit the SKYBAR.



What's in the Skybar? It's open roof bar with a pool and you'll have this as the back drop. I understand they have renovated and opened recently but I couldn't go there with the kids last weekend. Picture taken early last year.


There's still so many things to blog about but I don't have the time for now.
Happy week my good friends, stay healthy too.

Love/M