Sunday, November 29, 2009

A beach you'll NEVER regret


Let’s get it right from the start, NO!!!!!!!! I have NOT been here(now or my previous life [I think]) but would LOVE to spend my holiday here! I mean, seriously; who in the right mind in this world wouldn’t right! RIGHT? RIGHT!!!!

I fell in LOVE the first time I saw a colleague of mine showing me her holiday pics. In fact, from there after; I always say that anyone who proposed to me here would definitely get a “YES” without second thought! Hehehheee… DRAMA!!!

HENCE, I am “called” to blog on a place that I have NEVER been before… so that EVERYBODY knows my dream and that I get a “SPONSORED” (*hint* *hint*) holiday. Sigh…. (You think my massage got thru…? hemmm… well, at least I tried).

Normally the word ‘beach’ would make me shriek... followed by mumble of complaints, perhaps because I don’t have a Megan Fox body and of cause why in the world would I want myself to get darker then what I already am, DUH! BUT Sipadan Water Village (SWV) is different, it’s like…… Panggilan Pulau in an old P.Ramlee movie.

Thus, I decided to pen down on why does this island attract me so much…(I owe it to myself that much :p). Let’s see.

1. Quiet island
2. Crystal clean transparent water (yeah! I need to emphasize them)
3. Only chalet crews & guests inhibit the island (aside from native animals of cause)
4. Scenery! MARVELOUS!
5. Can finally try my hand on snorkeling (yeah! yeah! Never tried before, SHOCKING huh!)
6. Can finally try my hand on diving (still trying to convince myself)
7. Pic taking (we can’t miss this out, can we!)
8. Transparent BOAT!

Seeeeeeee!!!!! Even the good points ends with an “Ong” number (Ong = lucky in Chinese).

I knew about this place for a couple of years now, I shoved it at the back of my travel list; but this year it got “revived”. WHY?!??! CURIOUS huh? Well, I watched this Korean movie Boys Over Flower (BOF) and it was shot in New Caledonia, of which they have similar concept to SWV…(SWV much cheaper of cause) that’s when I start digging old pics and links and sites and traveling kakis…. No more excuses, MUST GO! MUST! MUST! MUST! But bila pulak yek!?!

For this trip that am YET to plan (but only manage to imagine), have so-called “decided” on what to bring (told you am a DRAMA QUEEN!).

1. Camera - my IXUS 870
2. Camera - need to buy Olympus Tough 6000 (water proof mah)
3. Camera - Lomo Supersampler
4. SD card - 2 x 8gb (you think enough?)
5. PSP - BOF all series downloaded
6. iPod - with all the “beachy” songs
7. Books - konon konon wanna read on the hammock lar (you think they have hammock there?!?!)
8. Notebook - blogging ofcozzz
9. Bajusss - I can’t be bringing all my gadgets but no clothes on my body right?!?

Oh! By the way, if we already gonna be in Sabah, might as well climb Mount Kinabalu, Sepilok to visit our “relative” in Orang Utan Sanctuary and shop at Labuan kan! That’s it, perfect plan! Need I say more?! I rest my case!

Anna? Andrea? Anyone? Everyone? JOM!

Credits : Wikipedia, SWV, Flickr, Sabah Tourism, Olympus, Lomo, Canon

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Memorable Morib, Mysterious Jugra

Day 2 (2 May‘09). Beach and palace in one trip.

Done with the beach, now gearing on the rustic old royal town of Jugra. Seriously, never heard of this name before (except for Stadium Jugra located in Bukit Jalil! Memang dasar buta local history /geography).

First destination, The old Alaeddin Palace or Istana Alaeddin. All I can say is that even the road leading to bthis great historical sight is abit…. How should I put it…? Deceiving? Weird? Spooky? (the mist and drizzle the help!?!) To a point, I doubted that we on the right road, wishes we has a GPS or something… but we did manage to find the palace…. Phew!

A little walk down the memory lane about this palace, shall we… It used to be the royal capital of Selangor when Sultan Abdul Samad decided to move there back in 1875 till 1898. Sultan Alaeddin became the fifth Selangor Sultan and began to plan for the construction of City/Town Palace or Istana Bandar. This palace was built in 1905 and he lived there for 35 years until his death.

The palace was built on a 13 acre land and has two levels with 15 rooms. After more than 100 years, this structure still remain strong today, the evidence of the excellent engineering skills of the people during that time. The architecture of the palace is based on Malay design but with the influence of Chinese, Indian, European and Islamic features. Later He then decided to move his official residence to Klang.

As the day was gloomy, it kinda effected our mood I supposed, we all unanimously agreed to go home BUT not after stopping at Restoran Cendol Ibrahim Banting, “why” you might ask. No particular reason, just that we “suspected”, it must or should be really delicious for the owner to bravely put up a display of such; he felt that his cendol is the best in Banting, perhaps…!?! Hehhehe….. Any challenger?

Well…. We drove back happily and sleepily.

Credit : Wikipedia, Malaysia Vacation Guide

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A weird morning... road trip!?!

Day 1 (1 May‘09). WHAT???

Bosan!!!!…. as I balik-ed awal today. Hemmm….. Then me thought to MEself, why not I blog (sometimes it is pretty addictive, at times boriiiiiiiiiiiing). The other problem would be which country should I pick from my list, right? After careful thoughts, I think think and thonk thonk….. Ahhh!!!! I shall do local, but… local yang mana satu? Macam ler I banyak travel in country kan, actually; that’s my biggest problem, I don’t travel in-country much, I haven’t even been to east coast!!! East Malaysia dah sampai but more to business trips. Abit sad lar…

It started with my cousin, Tina calling me up at about 10-11ish on a Saturday, asking me “Jom gi road trip?” Strange question from her I thought but since it’s about traveling…. I’ll find any excuse to go lar. I said “Where to?…


I SERIOUSLY thought I am hearing things. “WHAT?????” Tried to persuade her to go Malacca instead (my favourite state ler kan) as I have a “hidden agenda“ - framed porcelain spoon set (a real beauty). Hehehhee…. We tried calling a baba & nyonya hotel in Malacca (I believed it is called Puri Hotel) but all hotels in Malacca was fully booked (is there an event there that I don’t know!??!) After much persuasion, I agreed on Morib….. Give Morib a benefit of doubt I figure. Tak suka, balik ler kann… bukannye jauh sangat after all. Oh! I told her I can’t be driving as I just went for knee ligament operations few weeks ago (due to my jump act during my Penang excursion just more then a month back - jalan lagi!).

SET! She came and pick me up about an hour after and off we goooo MORIB! SIGH….. We managed to google a hotel in Banting but personally it doesn’t look enthusiastic nor welcoming. We decided to drive to Morib itself and IF (and I said “IF“) then we see one we liked, we do a walk-in. Sounds like a superb plan! SEALED!

We reached Morib after close to 2 hours of driving, “bumped” into Impian Hotel. OK, here’s the thing, we called them earlier, they said they were fully booked due to an event in Jugra, but when we got there, they have a 1 chalet available “STILL” - only for walk-ins guest. And guess what, we JUST WALKED IN. Hahahahhaaa…. Checked-in, dump our luggage and head back to Banting for lunch (abit too late for lunch though but who cares, we were ROAD TRIP!!!). Well… we had lunch at KFC Banting and did a little snack shopping for evening time (The Store there is quite INTERESTING, bought few stuff too) and head for the BEACH!

I have NO, CORRECTION! ZERO EXPECTATION of Morib beach, always thought it’s gonna be dirty and unpretty lar… Saw the signage that says Morib beach, look for parking and parked our car. The scenary while we were walking was pleasant, golf course, arched tress, sun shinning thru…. I have to admit, this is a surprise… infact I took a few pics along the road.

As we walk closer to the beach, there was a futsal sand field; few kids playing kites there… ok! So far, so good….!

EH! WHERE? WHERE? WHERE? Where IS the beach? Cause I only see more trees, benches, playground and even more kid playing kites (more then you get to see in PD). A bit worried now…. I AM gonna be disappointed, I knew it!

Just about then, I saw THE beach, it’s weird cause then only I realized and remembered, Morib is NOT a “swimming” beach, well… at least not at where we are now lar…. But the scenery was BEAUUUUUTIFUL (MALU pulak to myself now!)

My nieces love running on the beach, playing kites and chasing the tiny crabs....

...and my sis and I?…… snappy snap all the way (Yup! I created a monster!).

I guess…. Morib is nice place for a family outing, where one can have a picnic by the sea, see kids enjoying themselves at playground (by the beach, how cool is that!) and chillexing with a yummy icecream, ahhahahaa….. that’s me ofcozzzz.

Well, as it approaches evening, we decided to head back to our cozy little chalet and chill, the kids wanted to go for a swim at the pool and my leg needed the deserved rest, my sis just wanna lepak…. I suppose it works well for all of us. We ordered room service and cook some maggies before we called it a night.

Sigh….. Have always loved the sunsetGod is GREAT!

Credits : Wikipedia, MDKL, Hotel Puri

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bangkok JAM

Day 4 (24 Dec’08). Shoppaholic vs. Travelholic

I won’t rat on Bangkok that much as it’s no biggy, it’s pure shopping! Shopping and more SHOPPING! More my sis that is…. Me no shoppaholic, just plain TRAVELHOLIC! HAHHAHAHHAAA…..

Ayutthaya train station is very small, whatever you see on my post, that as big as it gets. We left at close to 9am for our 1.5hr journey back to Bangkok and it’s jam.

Well, we dump our luggage at the same hotel we had earlier, in fact our bigger luggage was stored here. And…. Adjourn to shopping and whole loads of walk. First we attacked the mall, from MBK to Siam Paragon to Ladies Wholesale Market. Nothing was missed out...or at least we think we didn’t.

Took pics f the Christmas decors and shop as we go along. Not much pics were taken during this shopping spree….Tangan sarat ngan barang jualan ler babe!

We, as usual, took silly pics around the World Trade Centre Mall.

And my sis had her calling on Green Peace…. Actually, tengok jek, buat dak kot.

Ah…… I love their Watson, 1st is because it have 2 floors, 2nd is because they have funny and cheap stuff and last but not least, they have a bike !??!?!?

Since I promised to take my sis t all the places of shopping before we balik tomorrow, thus I dragged her to Silom Night Market….BOY! And she finally saw what makes them famous…


Sunflower Elephant Ride

Day 3(23 Dec’08). Flower Power in the Ancient Kingdom.

This part need a liiiittle be of planning, what we did was that the day before we hunted and found a The Sun Travel located on the backpacker area (can’t remember the name of this street) whom manage to get us a car and a drive (ofcos) to take us to Lopburi. It’s the 3rd or 4th shop (memory lost here!) from the restaurant. The whole return trip cost RM140 for 2 pax all in. They also offer great soft adventure activities in Ayutthaya.. Try it! Since I can’t remember that well, I’ve include a pic of the restaurant and signage. Hemm… Am not that stupid after all I guess….. *Sweetly smile*

Reaching at 8am in front of The Sun Travel, we expected to see a middle age person whom can describe to us a little bit about Ayutthaya but err…… we saw a kid in early 20s or late in his teen WITH his MOM instead. OK! At least we felt safe ie he won’t kidnap us lar…. don’t think the Ayutthayan would do that, they so friendly and SWEET. WAIT!!!!!! Not so easy! They barely speak English…. Doomed! BUT it’s ok, as an avid traveler, we need to see past these things (ceh…wah…..)

He took us for a journey of 1.5km in his car, we were a little bit sleep thus on and off we tend to dozed off. Heard them calling someone and mentioned Lopburi, then felt as if they make a turn… Oh no!!! They don’t know how to get to the place. We continue to doze off. Then we felt the car stopped and a parked BUT we don't see NO sunflower in sight though…hemmm…. Yup! WORRIED is the word on our mind. My sis turned and looked at me wondering, as if I have any clue where we are lar… What to do but ask right?!? And his mom said “Water! Water! In front!” And I was thinking, apa? Flood ke? But it wasn’t raining the day before wor… I said “What water?” “Many water, BIG! BIG!” I go like…. “Haaa…. Lake?” She said “NO! NO! NO!” Big WATER! MANY WATER”… Hah! Sudah! Apa ler dia cakap ni… *thinking to myself* She kept pointing to a direction; we said we shall go and check out. Guess what??!!! It’s A DAM - PASAK DAM to be specific! We burst out laughing my sis and me. Hahhahhaha….. Panic aje….! BUT what she said was true, MANY WATER! BIG WATER!!! I can’t even see the other side…. GOSH! They even have this tram t take us half way…. didn’t ride ofcos as I saw a group of school field trip kids boarding it. Took a few pics and off we go to some FLOWER POWER!.

He drove on and we begin to see some fields with no flower the BUT plant is tall enough that we immediately guessed and knew it was sunflower field. The thing is that sunflower is seasonal, and the timing we were there was at the tale end…. Oh no! Would we be able to see at least something…? Sigh… Just bout then we begin to see some “light” or should I say “YELLOW”…..ahhahaha yeay! There was one field with flowers still. YEAY!!! Got down and ran it, not many flowers but this will do, abit disappointed though…sigh…

Somehow I think the family saw our disappointment (must have been too obvious) that I suspected by the intonation of their voices that they decided to ask the farm owner on other field. To our delight, there is another one that has yet been plucked for the seed. YEAY! Off we goooooo…..

DELIGHT! JOY! YELLOW!!!!! ALL OVER!!!! Need I say more!

And ofcos the cool elephant ride around the field.

We have approximately 3-4 hours to kill before our sunset city tour arranged by the auntie owner (it's around RM20); thus, we thought might as well we do a little massage (it’s cheap in Thailand after all).

At about 4ish we gather and board the Ayutthaya tuk tuk for our tour, apparently the Ayutthaya tuk tuk is slightly different from the one in Bangkok as this one can “stuff” about 6 pax.

OK! As guessed, another Wat; this time it’s Wat Yai Chaimongkhon. The intention was to create a center of Buddhist studies (Ceylonese Sect). The chedi is bell-shaped, with steps going up to the Buddhist image placed midway to the top.

As usual, I must have an animal portion in my trip (somehow lar)…. This time no different, we went to Elephant Sanctuary, everything was the same as other elephant sanctuary I’ve been but this time around I saw a WHITE ELEPHANT! Hemm… SACRED? Or am I just LUCKY?

The sun begins to set fast and we have few more temples to cover… oh no!!! We reached Wat Phu Khao Thong really late however, amazingly the pics turned out kinda nice. Hehhehe…. Anyway, this Chedi was built to celebrate the victory of King Naresuan over the Burmese. Hence, the base is in Burmese style, while the higher parts are in the style of Ayutthaya. (Yup, got all these from website!).

It was pitch dark when we arrived at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, happen to be one of the most imposing ancient Buddhist monasteries, was established by the command of King Prassatthong in 1630 A.D. Am glad my camera didn’t give up on me, and oh by the way! I was almost chased by stray dogSSSS there, so you guys be careful hor!

With that we end our day in Ayutthaya, back to Bangkok tomorrow.

Credits : Planetware, Sacred Destination, Thai Blog, Richard Barrow, Thai Websites

Ayutthaya. Ancient Kingdom of Siam

Day 2(22 Dec’08). Another UNESCO site.

Am gonna try to avoid my standard journey start day with “we woke up early on the morning… story”, I mean obviously you start early right cause a traveler would want to maximise and optimise their day, money and daylight…. Wah… like real…. hehehhe but true though. Since we have skip that cliché introduction of how my day started, lets go straight to the point shall we.

Hehehehe….. We took the famous Thailand tuk tuk… ok! For those that never heard or tried tuk tuk before, it’s a must do thingy here, those who afraid of “speed” cum “traffic”; make sure the distance is REALLY short! :p …… no worries, its safe. Hehehee (Yeah! Am just being cheeky!). Basically, it’s a motorized version of the traditional rickshaw, a small three-wheeled cart operated by the driver.
We reached Hualamphong Train Station kinda early since we haven’t purchase the tix as yet. Here’s the funny part, assuming that a train journey of 1.5 - 2 hours will cause close to RM10, I have “prepared” sufficient budget and small change, and guess what? It cause RM1.50 for per way per person…..Hahahhaa…. I went like “huh” at the tix counter, in my heart, that cheap??!! Am not complaining! Eh! We saw musholla (surau) there… YEAY!
We are soooo geared up for this trip. Oh! The train journey? Well…. a lot of locals for one, and if you are a tourist, you start out like a sore thumb! The train passed by small kampungs (villages), where you see people hop on and off a lot. It’s a old train, with all cushion seats just like those olden movies we’ve seen (notice the pic turn black and white or sephia…. Capturing the mooooooood konon). 1.5 hours quickly passed us by, finally AYUTTHAYA!!!!!!!!!!!!
Again, took a tuk tuk to our Baan Lotus Guesthouse recommended by my dearest friend Javier. Great recommendation, no regrets here. It kinda reminds me of One’s house (my aunt in Kedah), the beautiful thing is that it haave a hammock, a pond, even ducks and chicks, very authentic kampung feel. Room? VERY CLEAN! Very IMPORTANT! Location : Walking distance to backpacker street. PERFECT!

The owner (at least I think she is the owner) is an old nice lady whom speak minimal English and yet was very very helpful. She offered us a “travel package” that cost about RM20 for a sunset river tour, it was kinda interesting as we took small tongkang/sampan to go to temples by the river. BOY! You’ll be amazed on the quantity of temples located by the river.
A little bit about Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya is physically a river island city; meaning it stands on the wide and fertile plain of the Menam Chao Phraya at a point where the river forms a natural loop.
This amazing city is completely encircled by rivers, the Menam to the south and west, the Lopburi to the north and the Pasak to the east. A canal also links the Lopburi and the Menam, the effect being to create a most favorably situated island. Not only that, for more than 400 years, between 1350 and 1767, Ayutthaya was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam.
Feels like watching Anna and the King all over again huh! Should I look for the original movie? *smile*
Anyway, out first stop - Wat Panan Choeng. It’s an old monastery housing Thailand's largest ancient Buddha image, known as "Luang Po To".
Next is Wat Buddhai Sawan, an interesting place as this is the first time I see temples with many architecture influences from not just Thai but All the countries in Indo-China.
As we approaches sunset, the scenery was even more beautiful. I always think that dusk and dawn reflects Allah’s wonders. Nothing can be more perfect than this. *Speechless….*
Then we reached Wat Chaiwatthanaram that was constructed in 1630 by the king Prasat Thong as a memorial of his mother's resident in that area. The temple's name literally means the Temple of long reign and glorious era, designed in Khmer style.
As it approaches dusk, the boat auntie sent us to the night market square where we grab our dinner (there’s few Halal stall guess Muslim community is big here) and do a lil’ massage before heading back to our darling Baan Lotus. What a perfect way to end our first night in ancient Ayutthaya Kingdom.
No, not seaside but a DAM! And a DAMN huge one!

Credits : Planetware, Bangkok Site, Wikipedia

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...