Monday, August 31, 2009

Magical Labyrinth of Marrakech

day THREE (Sept’07). New day, new adventure.

When we booked at Riad 34, it stated that it comes with breakfast and since we were fasting we thought it will be such a waste. But to our surprise, the homekeeper offered to cook us sahur instead - YEAY! He said that sahur will be ready around 4:30am, we lock our alarm at 4am just incase we need time to wake up… :-P at wee hour of 4:30am, he tapped softly on our door (we were shocked, wake-up call - too good to be true). We answered and informed him that we need a few minutes to change, he said ok. As we opened the room door and look down from the balcony, to our amazement, he actually layout proper setting for us (at 4am in the morning!!!). Talk about personalized service….. Definitely top notch!

As we about to leave our Riad for our city tour with our new found friend, we were very worried, how in the world are we going to get back to the main entrance. I have seen in in Amazing Race whereby the contestant got lost in this labyrinths, we were worried it’ll happen to us, I mean; all does look the same (now I know how they got lost, can't blame them. Really). No marker, nor landmark, nor direction! But we smart gurls manage to find the way out safely. HAH!

First stop was at Koutubia Mosque which I thought similar to the one I have seen in New Delhi’s - Qutb Minar. We did abit of reading, in order to grasp everything slightly faster (and to look more knowledgeable - not that we're being judge here [kiasu]). Anyway, the name is derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin for librarian, since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts. We walked the courtyard for pics of the ruins.

Next he took us out of the city, and on the way we passed by a park called Marriage Park, we asked him to stop for some pics (nothing much to shout about, didn't see anyone getting married either). Continued the drive and noticed a place called Hammam soon after, not knowing what it is; we enquired (I AM abit kepoh [talkative]). It’s actually an Arabic word for "bath", specifically a Turkish bath (heated from underneath). Hemm.... perhaps I should try this one of these days... heard Bangsar Village II have one. A little bit of pampering will do me good.

Our dear tour guide of the day is excited to show us a high-end golf club house, as we passed by this so called "small desert”, we saw CAMEL owned by the Berber (all of them [ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE] tend to dress in blue. Why neh?). STOP!!!! We must ride the camel, MUST! MUST! MUST! Hehehe….. And ride we took, a wobbly one I must say. My butt hurts but fun nevertheless.

Finally, we reached Palmaraie Golf Palace. It is GOURGEOUS, now I know why he was soooo excited to show us. It have Moorish design & d├ęcor the way I like it ie colorful and vibrant!

We also got the “permission” to check-out the “yet-to-be-open” coffee house facing the golf course. Heavenly, love the wood carving, the tiles, lamps, ceiling… We went crazy snapping pictures of this lovely place. Am pretty sure it’s the pride of Marrakech.

As it is fasting month, we decided not to be too ambitious and adventurous as we can tire ourselves easily (yeah right!). We arrived at Djemaa el Fna and walked around the souks before heading back to our Riad. It’s a fairly short walk thus we took our time at the souks for souvenir shopping. We want to make sure we have the best deal ofcos - shoe string budget maaa… ;P

Djemaa el Fna, sigh…. A sight to behold, you can’t find a second. After surveying for while, narrowing down on some item, KIV the other half, we then plan to go full force shopping the next day instead before heading to Tangier. Yup! This is where they shot Bourne Ultimatum.

Tomorrow, a new Marrakech experience (will I get information overload!? Heehehhe...).

Credits : Wikipedia

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grandeur of Casablanca, Warmth of Marrakech

day TWO
(Sept’07). Woke up before dawn for Sahur, had the bread and fruits bought in medina earlier on. Realised Andrea love fruits and vege (or at least much better then me)…..good habit, how I envy. Went back to sleep after Sahur, long day ahead as today we will embark on our journey to Marrakech at noon but before that, a trip to Hassan II Mosque that we heard so much.

After half pack our bags, we decided to walk to the mosque as it DOES look fairly near from the roof of our hostel. We DID ask the hostel front desk on the distance, they say it’s walkable. And walk we did.

After walking for a while, we found out it is NOT that near (kena con! Either that or I am just not fit [yeah! I think the later]). We past by this setinggan (squatters) area of which I got a bit panic, wanted to take a few shots but changed my mind incase they felt I was being rude (we don’t want that do we).

Alas, saw a glimpse of the mosque… one word - SUPER HUGE (Ops! that’s 2 words). The minaret is like FOREVER, the door? ….. Still speechless. Not to mentioned the interior… Well, how big is big? It can fit 25,000 worshipers and the minaret is at 210 m (689 ft). Designed by a French architect, Michel Pinseau, but it is thoroughly Moroccan Moorish architecture. And… it’s facing Atlantic Ocean. By the way, the mosque is estimated to have cost as much as $800 million, funds that were remarkably raised entirely from public subscription.
There are a timing & rules that one must follow, for instant; Hassan II Mosque is open to all Muslims at daily prayer times and for special Friday services. As for the Non-Muslim visitors may enter the mosque on guided tours, which take place several times a day in English. You must dress modestly: shorts, mini-skirts or bare shoulders for both men and women will not be tolerated! Shoes must be removed on entering and you'll be given a plastic bag to put them in.

The interior is as magnificent, uniquely, part of the mosque's floor is made of glass so worshippers can kneel directly over the sea. Unfortunately, this wonderful feature is mainly for royal use and is off-limits to visitors. Beneath the mosque, there’s an ablution (wudu) fountains that looks like lotus flower and a large communal bath which is awesome.

The surrounding esplanade can accommodate another 80,000 and you can see the Atlantic Ocean coastline from here…. Breathtaking!

Oh nooo! We ran overtime, we end up taking a cab back to hotel and rush to the Casa Voyageurs Train Station. Dear Andrea is a pure bookworm, I love to read but she’s more which remind me to borrow her Richard Branson book for our upcoming trip. Ahh… the train finally arrived, I can’t remember whether it was assign seating or not but we had a young chap sharing the coach with us. Very friendly and proud of his beloved country, not only that he also gave a souvenir (kopiah). It reminded us to purchase a few for any countries we travel too, be a good Malaysian ambassador we must!

Whole journey was erg desert, at that point I was thinking what if anything goes wrong to us half way (3 hours journey), and I took out my handphone, hey! FULL BAR! IMPRESS!!! On an erg desert! Perhaps out service provider needs to learn a thing of two from them, hehehhe….

We reached Marrakech train station, took a cab drove by an ex-British Counsel staff which is good for us as he speaks English VERY WELL. Took us to the Riad, near the ever so famous Jemaa El-Fna Old Medina.

One thing we still find it heart warming was that upon riding the cab, the driver greets us welcomely to Marrakech (typical tourist city we thought); he asked whether we are Muslim and fasting. We said yes to both (still wondering why). Then he exclaimed “ahh… Musafir (traveler)!” and yes again we answered. You see, in Islam, helping a Musafir and especially during Ramadhan will receive good merit/reward from God. He offered us to break fast with his family at his house, we were slightly panic but not wanting to be rude hence we agreed.

As promised, he returns at 6pm after dropping us at our Riad. Before that, in our room in Riad; we were worries, Can this man be trusted? Are we safe to trust people in foreign land? Did we make the right decision? At the same time we have to tawakal (submission) to god. Then we DECIDED to just go ahead. Next panic, we can’t possibly go visiting empty handed, that’s not what our parents thought us! We rummage our luggage, found an orange pario in my suitcase plus chocolate cookies. We figure, the pario for the wife and the cookies for his 2 kids - we did enquire earlier ;-).

Upon seeing his family, we saw the sincerity in them (such a waste of all the worries). He has a very pretty daughter, a shy son and friendly wife. He invited us to eat the home cook meal made by his wife…. YUMMY! We chatted and then he asked whether we will be staying for dinner, we were shocked, isn’t this dinner (it is at 7:30pm). He said no, this is break fast food, dinner is dinner = two separate thing. HAHAHAA…. At about close to 9pm, we make a move but not before a few photo sessions with this wonderful family.
I guess, this is what traveling is, taking chances, be local, be with local!

Credits : Wikipedia, Morocco-Travel,, sacred-destination, & encyclopedia

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ramadhan in Casablanca

day ONE. It started rather weird I must say, I can’t remember how I suddenly got in touch with Andrea Gail @
Wau Bulan; my ex-colleague from IBM (“selective” memory lost). I can only recall that my cousin Iskandar (Is) who happens to work there linked us up. We IM a few times and found out our love for traveling. Great, I thought to myself - another kaki.

Then out of the blue, we decided that “Yah, let’s go Morocco and Spain”, we're still wondering how the hell did that come about (yup, selective memory lost YET AGAIN). Next thing we know, we went to a travel fair (not MATTA), purchased the tix and off to Morocco. Year : 2007. Month : September.

You see, there is one tiny thing that worries me a lot when I travel. That is, your buddy has to be on the same page as you; know each others expectation, high tolerance level, not too calculative, same interest and the list goes on. So, can we clique? I guess I have to travel to find out.

Reached Malaysia KLIA with mom, bro and Is (gotten Is to send me as his car boot is bigger), Andrea is already there waiting with equivalently huge luggage (not that we‘re a shoppaholic, just foreseeing the unforeseeable). Double checked on everything, lepak with family for awhile, then we decided to go into the departure hall.

Panic and suspense - what a combo! Never travel with Andrea before, never been to Morocco before (IT IS IN AFRICA); Jeng! Jeng! Jeng! We did sufficient research though, with slides & spreadsheets & ofcos my fav DK Eyewitness as our guide. Everything has been mapped, routed, enquired, booked and reconfirmed. Boarded the plane (at midnight) and slept like a baby till we reach Dubai for transit. Transited for 2 hours, and off we head for Morocco.

Since young I've always heard of Morocco and Maghribi, never knew they were the same country (same case for Mesir & Egypt). I kinda have high expectation on Casablanca, perhaps of the OST song; we kept playing it over and over again and again. The airport was ok… still ok lar. Took a cab to our hotel located near the “harbour”. Passed by the township, I go like hemmm…. What happen to “I fell in love with you watching Casablanca, Back row of the drive in show in the flickering light, Popcorn and cokes beneath the stars became champagne and caviar…”. Told myself that “Hey! You had better lower down your expectation. FAST”.

We've booked a night stay in a hotel (hostel?) near a madina (souk); read so much about THE famous souk in Morocco. Ok ok... back to the hostel; it’s kinda a backpacker’s place, reasonable price, clean, free internet and walking distance to the souk plus facing the harbor (kira harbourfront lar). By the way, it’s a FISHING harbor, meaning, in the evening, you can smell FISH, plenty plenty of fish, really strong pungent fishy smell (I think I've emphasize enough). Oh well! I can live we that.

As we entered the Central Hostel, it really looks… old? rusty? authentic? VERY Moroccan! The colours are strong and vibrant, you'll see the blue with orange, or green with red etc. Checked in, DRAAAAG our bags to 2nd floor and terus baring (lie down) on the bed. Jaded! Ahh….. Relaxing before buka puasa time (break fast). Wait a minute…. We can’t be idle, I mean, we've PAID a lot for this trip, better not waste money and time (kiasu)! Surveyed the room balcony (not bad!), checked out the bathroom (ok lar), and went out of the room…. Hemm… to go UP or DOWN? UP OFCOS! Tah dah… they have this huge roof top for lepaking (loafing) and it has the best ariel view of the harbour.

Next, we thought we had better proceed to medina to get some food for buka puasa. As we walk, we found out there’s a disco just before the medina… we chuckled :P - must be targeting the tourist. The medina was nothing to shout about, in fact I felt abit disappointed, really. Bought some bread and went back to hotel to plan for the next day… Hassan II Mosque

… is said to be the largest mosque in Morocco and the third largest mosque in the world after the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Mecca and the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) in Medina.

Credits : wikipedia, flickr, impawards, directdownloadheaven

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello Kitty meowing in Lion City

Somehow, I have always been fascinated with Chinese culture, perhaps the fact that my parents send me to Chinese school since the age of 6ix.

Gotten to know about this lantern showcase 3-4 years back from Maimon; a dear friend of mine in Singapore. Was ecstatic the first time I saw these colourful lanterns and still do. You shall soon see why.

Every year in September during the Mid-Autumn Festival also know as Mooncake Festival, Singapore will hold a lantern fest (or should I say “show” instead?) in Chinese garden, and almost EVERY YEAR I will attempt to make myself available to visit this place. Sometimes, I do wonder what makes me like it so so so much, I mean… it’s ONLY a bunch of lanterns, placed at corners of the gardens, with lights around it (!?!). Strangely enough, the colours, the lights and the mood make me feel very very very (did I stress the “VERY” enough?!?!hemm…) HAPPY! Yup! I AM YOUNG at HEART. No different from last year, despite that it is fasting month in September’08 (same goes this year’09), I still went ahead (no wild horses can drag me away! No way!).

Grace will be the one prompting me on this event (the same person who will remind me when I should start puasa, and update me when Raya will be – Chinese calendar has proven to be more accurate on the “anak bulan”/full moon).

We started our 3D2N journey early in the morning, as usual we take the

Aeroline Bus, we paid RM160(I think) in return of land steward, meal, drinks, blanket, pillow, personal on demand movie and most importantly the comfort and treatment of a luxury 6 star coach (NO! Am not being paid to write all these – darn!). Reached Harbour Front around noon, took MRT to Keranji, then a bus to JB. Yeah! We stayed in JB for 1 night. I’ll tell you why later…

We checked in, dumped our bags and out to Singapore we go (again). The immigration did give us a “why are you coming in again, you just left Singapore not ½ hour ago” look. Our answer = JB cheaper to stay….muahahhah…. (with muka sardine look). We went to our favourite place – Borders Bookshop on Orchard Road, took a stroll, window shopping while waiting for the lantern show to start. Oh yah! They start operating at 7pm at dusk till 10pm at night. I bought some bread and a bottle of drink for “buka puasa” (break fast) which is around 7:25pm.

At about 6:30pm, with our kiasu spirit, we took the MRT to Chinese Garden (station stop by the same name). And ofcos we reached way too early (7pm), they allowed us to enter BUT the lantern lights were still “off”. Sigh…. So much for our Kiasuism.

Alas 7:30pm, lights all “ON” and I BEGIN to much my “juadah berbuka” while walking towards the Chinese theme. The pics were easier to take as there were still some natural lights that I can capitalize.

They even make water lanterns, well… basically floating lanterns, really pretty. It’s all Hello Kitty and Friends, Kerokeropi, Mashimaro, My Melody etc. To think I still remembered all this characters name. Hehhehee….. I did tell you I’m young at heart. I told you soooo :D

The entrance was solely dedicated to Hello Kitty lanterns. The school kids and all Hello Kitty fan (trust me there’s a lot of them out there, adults as well) went crazy snapping pics. Me included.

My next trip, perhaps Sanrio Puroland, Japan?

This is the best part that I mentioned earlier in this entry on why I choose to stay in JB (aside from the fact that it is cheaper lar). This is how it started, ever since I was young, my parents always take us kids to Singapore either by flight or car. I always tell myself, I want to “WALK” on Causeway. Exactly! You read it right, on foot on Causeway! Hence, I “persuaded” Grace that we should walk on Causeway at least ONCE in our life (next task – Penang Bridge). She said sure, a very loooong sure (even though I know she gave me that “not again” look). So, walk we did.

To prove we did walk on causeway, I even took a pic of the
border – Malaysia/Singapore (I seriously didn’t know this existed till the day I walk on Causeway :P ) Hhehhee… kiasu!

Hemm… which border should I try next?

Credits : Wikipedia, Borders, Urbanrail, Aeroline, Hubpages

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Breathtaking Borobudur

It started with my colleague telling me that I “SHOULD” visit Borobudur few months back after the earthquake in Jogjakarta, incase if there’s another earthquake. Since I am absolutely crazy about Wonders of the Worlds (my quest) or any of the UNESCO site. I feel there’s a “NEED” for me to visit the mystical place of worship. Suckers aren’t I….. Anyway; thus, my trip to Jogja in May07.

Checked Air Asia, asked my friend Anna whether she will be interested, YES the answer, same goes for my sis. YEAY! I went ahead and book - 3D2N according to my colleague advice (it's good enough if you are not a shoppaholic), he even gave me a travel agent he used for his trip - Lengga. No regret here, she was informative, good, and responsible and go to great length on my weirdest request. Thanks too google on this, I seem to want to visit all the places I read and she was ever so helpful.

We packed light for this trip since it going to be 3D2N, what is there to see right. As usual - WRONG! Hahaha….. This is ok as I ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE with historical sights. I did some “research”, and found a few places that I MUST MUST MUST go (note the MUST in cap). Parambanan Temple, Parangritis Beach, Taman Sari, Secret Passage, Maliaboro, Mendut Temple and ofcos the famous Borobudur Temple.

Lengga picked us up from Solo as during this time AA doesn’t fly directly to Jogja. We were shocked upon arrival at the Solo airport; it was an old old small airport of which the immigration counter was 10mtr from the entrance. This is light, you get down from airplane, walked for about 50mtr, reach the main entrance of the airport and immediately you queue for 10mtr to get your passport stamp. And next to us was the baggage lane where you can see the mover loading our bag to out begin the immigration (all this within your eye-view). We burst out laughing! This is yet the smallest old airport I have ever been and I thought Vietnam airport that I went few years back was bad. This is definitely starting of a new adventure for us.

I told Lengga what I wanted to do & places I wanted to visit. I had sms-ed her prior to this to get her quote, the tour cost is very reasonable around Rupiah 950k per pax, of which ended up her taking us to find a good Bakso, shopping at Carrefour (oh! I love shopping for toiletries at other country’s supermart), taking us for massage and waited 3 hours as she is not convince to leave us 3 girls there at night. Gave her good tip… *all happy* :D

The journey took us about 1 hour to reach Jogja due to small winding road. I had made earlier booking at Duta Rest House which cost us around Rupiah 250k (we added extra bed as there are 3 pax per room). It is located at backpackers area which consist of few houses that was converted into small guesthouses, comes with a pool, a very nice rock garden and the best part - they serves tea & cakes in the evening at the verandah. Perfect! Money well spent we thought.

1st on the list - Parambanan Temple, is one of the largest Hindu temples in south-east Asia and it was effected badly after the earthquake, they cordon certain areas from tourist to avoid accidents. I mean, IT IS an old building thus it can collapse without any warning at any time. Oh! One thing that I must warn everyone is that it is FREAKING HOT there… somehow the sun pokes your skin. Argh….. As if Malaysia is not hot enough. But for a travelholic like me, I can endure (Drama!).

Next site, Parangtritis Beach. This was recommended by Farhan, our relative that studied in Jogja for few years. It is not a “swimming beach however, it has a errr… legend to the locals that visitors (or perhaps anyone) not to wear the colour green, or the Queen [Ratu Kidul's] will entice the wearer into the ocean to drown. Hemm…. Luckily none of us were in green that day. *phew*

The good this is that, before taking us to see the beach itself, she took us to this trunk road (rugged track more like it) and ofcos we did get panic at this point as we were in this so called “jungle”. She kept saying “usah risau” not to worry, I will take you see this resort on a cliff. We were thinking, on a cliff??…hemmm… Biar betul! BUUUUT, what we saw before our eyes were…..*and still speechless till now*. A quaint 17 room resort located on a cliff over looking Parangtritis beach AND the vast Indian Ocean. We ran all over the resort to take pictures. We found out that it has been close for awhile after the earthquake and they plan to reopen in 2008. It was badly damage *sob sob*.

Lengga later took us to the beach of which we jumped up and down “wanna ride the horse cart by the beach!” we basically acted like perak (amazed upon looking at something weird or abnormal - not that a horse or a cart was abnormal! Hahahah but we do tend to get carried away easily).

We rode to the resort foot cliff and back, stopover at the warungs (stalls) for a coconut drink. If only a hammock was there….plus an acapella singer strumming his guitar…..sigh…. The horse ride? Rupiah 10k ONLY.

2nd day starts. Ah….. I googled and found out, that it will be MORE interesting if you visit Borobudur at sunrise. I’ve inform Lengga this via sms and she found how this can be done, you ofcos have to pay extra as the entrance for sunrise package (Rupiah 150k includes a torchlight, shorter walk and a breakfast overlooking Borobudur - trust me, you won‘t regret!) is via Manohara Hotel.

If you were to visit Borobudur anytime during the day time, be PREPARED to walk a loooong distance - from the car park to the foot of Borobudur, and REMEMBER the HOT PRICKLING SUN!?!?! However, not many took this package which is good for us (not crowded), perhaps 10-15 of us only. After all, you need to wake up at 3ish, the van will pick us up at 4ish and the journey is close to 1 hour from Jogja. Talking about the view during sunrise… it was mystical as you wait for the glimpse of the sunrise. It is REALLY WORTH IT.

By the way, did you know Borobudur is 300 years OLDER then Angkor Wat unfortunately less popular. It is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa. Estimated 75 years to build and been completed in 825. I guess we need to call Lara Croft over for publicity. Hehhehe….

We stop at Taman Sari, a water castle which was built in 1758 by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I as a rest house and pleasure park for the Royal family. I read it somewhere and saw a pic of a unique staircase nearby and insisted Lengga to take us there, at first she was abit confuse but after awhile she knows which one I was referring to. We need to go thru this “secret passage tunnel” for the king (which exited at a nearby market/housing area in order to see the staircase site). The legend says about this secret tunnel connecting to the south sea (Indian Ocean) where Queen of the South has her palace (the same one as Parangtritis). This secret tunnels is gateway to the world where the Sultan meeting his supernatural wife. However the building also functioned as a hiding place for the royal family against the enemy attack.

We stopped at Carrefour and spa on the 2nd day, what is going to Indon without going to the spa right. Apparently it is not popular here like in Jakarta/Bali. It’s kinda expensive, but we manage to find a PLC spa - Peng, Leng and Cheng (Cheap, Pretty & Good - just learnt this from my Chinese friend) :D

That's about it, next I'll take you to my Mooncake lantern journey. Till then, Selamat sore, permisi dulu.

Credits : Wikipedia, Air Asia, Duta Garden Hotel, Borobudur Park & Yogyes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

outDOOR Bootcamp

I have been “given” the task to run the 4th bootcamp in Aug09, well…. so was the previous three bootcamp, actually… ahhahah (I think it has now falls under my scope of work). As much as I dread doing, planning, arranging, coordinating it, the outcome is normally fun. CORRECTION! SUPER FUN! Don’t think the participant agree with me here, as they are the one being “bullied” buuut in the name of fun, I think everyone enjoyed it. Or at least they pretended to. :p

As usual, we started of with quiz, assignments, workshop, presentation, the whole works lar…. Partners were divided into 4 teams with 1 team from internal. All party must compete in every activity; let it be assignment, presentation, quiz, telematch (the best part) or teambuilding. Having said that, the night drops & prizes are GOOOOOD! Upon checking it, they were given the teambuilding shirt each with our event name – outDO, outMATCH or outPERFORM. The first night they gotten notebook cable pouch with goodies inside – plaster, panadol, mask, sanitizer & Redoxon (with all the H1N1 cases, thought this might help). Then the last night was an earplug from SonicGear. Good huh!

Here comes the fun part. You see, every last night of a boot camp, it is almost by default we have a Karaoke session where we “sing” our heart out (yeah yeah..), And every boot camp I felt that I should add a twist so that my partners and internal will be caught off guard. Yup! They sure did!! I decided, aside from the teambuilding activity I plan on the last day, I should have a telematch as well, as an icebreaker. HOWEVER, after looking at the plan (3days 2nighs); no way I can fit it in. Hemm…… *ponder ponder*…. Ah hah! *wink wink*, I shall do this telematch thing at NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! Muahhaha, what can be more fun then looking at a bunch of adults running everywhere, doing silly things right? Right!

First game was “Broken Phone”, where by the leader will be given a short story of which they need to remember within 1 min near a loudly blasted speaker (plus the emcee will disturb them, we not gonna make it easy ofcos). And they need to relay this massage to the 2nd person, then the 2nd to the 3rd etc, and the last person will need to write what they heard. Oh boy! I have the weirdest answers.

The story :
A tutor who tooted the flute, tried to tutor two tutors to toot. Said the two to the tutor, is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot.

And what I got was :
The turtle eat the food.
The tutor was good, so the tutor is goooood.

I have few others SILLY game ie helicopter, balloon stampede, 4 legged race etc. The helicopter was fun though. After doing ten circles with head down, you will need to run straight to the last checkpoint, grab 500ml water bottle and POUR it INTO another bottle. After all the dinner, few games before this, NO WAY one can do a straight line and “grab” a bottle, they will be too dizzy to even walk straight! Hahahhaa…. Love my work!

Last day - teambuilding…. My fault again, (as if I didn’t learn enough from the last bootcamp in Cameron Highland, LILY! DOINK!) what I did was... look at the list Colmar Tropicale has given, choose the shortest hour option for teambuilding = Outdoor Orienteering (3 hours). I’ve enquired, they said “Easy peasy, read the compass, look at map and walk….” Sound easy right? How hard can it be mah… Hell, it’s hard! My leg still arching (keeping fit is definitely NOT my forte). What they FAIL to inform ME is that we will be “walking” in secondary jungle and it’s a rainforest jungle! Leeches, slopes, dampness, insects, thorns etc. Not just that, I figure…. Since the walk “going to be easy”, hemm… why not I give them an egg for them to “babysit” during this “walk”… if the egg survived the whole trail. Extra marks will be given. God! I must be crazy! SIOW!

Alas, all of us made it back safely, some injured with leeches, mosquito & thorn bites = small matters (for city kids, big deal yah). We have lunch at Jap restaurant at Japanese Garden…. The food was good, we finished EVERYTHING. I gave them a surprise of purchasing Baskin Robbins for them, all the way from KL. They enjoyed tremendously, and prize given soon after. Hey! My internal team got number 2 – NOT BAD! Bravo guys!

Got a ride home in Turbo Tung car, he drove slow since am sooo worried (slow to him, still fast to me ofcos – but yet safe lar). Reached home, me cat greet me lovingly, sigh.... the tiredness gone instantly.

Should I shower you with my other bootcamps? The one where the teambuilding was held in an Ostrich Farm? Hehehee…. Maybe I should huh… *wink*

Colmar Tropicale - A Fairy Trip

Princess waiting for her Prince Charming

It has been long since my last entry, not even sure what or which trip to post up. Hemmm…. Perhaps my recent reccee trip in July09 to Colmar Tropicale in Bukit Tinggi, Pahang - Malaysia. Yup! We tried our best to replicate the real Colmar in Alsace, France…. Not even close, well… a little bit perhaps.

I think Berjaya need to put more thoughts and effort or maybe just hire me as the Marketing Director instead, hahahahhahaa…… I will do wonders there; so many ideas, so plenty opportunities and vast land for me to explore…. Heaven!

Back to my reccee trip, the last time I've been here was when they first launch which is more then 5 years ago. Back then, there was only 1 street of building, and it is still the SAME!!!!! Sigh….. That much for me to shout about. Oh well, at least the end result of my boot camp was what I consider different and successful! YEAY! That would be another entry all together…. The thing I do to “bully” them….ehheheh….. *evil laugh*

Since it’s reccee trip then I should mention that the room & toilet (crucial here) I reccee-d was good BUT BUT BUT the room I got during my event day sucks! As usual, during reccee, everything is in fantastic order until the real event - it’ll upset you like there’s no tomorrow!

I took my nieces up for this trip together with my sis (need extra hand since we have kids here!) and Wahidah. Told them not to put their hopes too high as I suspect nothing much for them to do from this place, but the little ones were super duper excited since I kept saying we are going to a castle *wink wink*, be prepared princesses. They kept asking (during my car “crawling” up the hill SLOOOOWLY) “uni, are we there yet? Or “ how far more are we?”, aren’t we eager here lil'ones! Love killing them with suspense….

We took a trip to Japanese & Botanical Garden located 3500 feet above sea level. Scary drive up…. Despite that it is ONLY 10mins drive up from the hotel. No cars allowed up there except for their own staff and their shuttle, therefore we all have to walk lar kan from the car park, with my leg after the operation and climbing the slop = AGONY! Typical Jap Garden, the zen, the pebbles, the hut, the stream, the Kois etc, it was fun running around.

Then ofcos there are the rabbit park and the garden of Lilies that I just have to brag… maharajah “evil laugh” again… :p It's all ABOUT MOI

The kids absolutely love the rabbits or at least Misha love the rabbits, Maira decided to join my sis eating the ice cream. And me? Getting the guys to come over to take a look at my car as the smell of break pad was soooo bad that it worries me like hell!!!! How am I gonna drive down the hill will kids?!??! Driving down the hill was even scarier then driving up man! The boys say that I look “pucat” ie pale upon getting out of the car, they even test drive around the hills for me; so that I look more “alive“. Was smarter after this trip as during the event day I manage to get my colleague to drive me up/down.. YEAY!

More on my boot camp!

Credits : Wikipedia & Berjaya

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