Sunday, April 29, 2012

North Borneo Railway Ride

~ This is not a paid advertorial, review is base purely on blogger's research/readings ~

Ended my 4D3N Chiang Mai entry, you probably wondering what happened to Day 4 right, well; it was first flight out form Chiang Mai hence there's no activity took place and I am the type that don't religiously practice taking in flight pics somehow UNLESS it was at sunrise or sunset OR group trip.

Also am gonna take a break from my Taiping entry. Need to space it...

About North Borneo Railway. So I decide to blog on the 'option available' or should I rather say on 'what my colleague will be doing on her trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah', the later is more like it. I was impress with her thorough research and the fact that she did not ask my help aside from the hotel location. Kudos Felicia! She was glee-ing whole conversation when I told her I will be out of followers/readers if she gets any better. Hhahahhaha.... detected Felicia abit perasan then, it's ok; you are allowed to gloat :D

Hence, over this quiet weekend of mine (aside from ferrying sis to work and folding mountains of clothes); I've researched to find and understand more (macam nak buat aje trip nih, hehhehe.... cause I was sooooo envious of Felicia. So obvious kan! Buruk attitude!) about this great activity option. Googled, open few screens, read some sites, wiki-ed mentioned places.... phemm.... I got it! I must go too (hope Felicia don't mind, ehheheh)!!!! No lar.... Basically I thought I should share this travel/activity option, however do bare in mind that it is slightly dear yah!

I gonna cut & paste from the official website as I don't think I can write any better unless I experience it first hand.

The romance of an old steam train..A ride on the North Borneo Railwayis truly a journey of rediscovery into the heart of Borneo as it transports you back in time to the days of yore.

The 1880's had brought about a great change in Borneo. The British administrators who came to Borneo were adventure seekers... MORE HERE

The Route
... is very interesting. The North Borneo Railway runs 36 miles between Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, and Papar, an agricultural town, known as the rice bowl of Sabah. .... MORE HERE

Train Schedule
The North Borneo Railway runs two weekly return departures (Wednesday, Saturday) from Kota Kinabalu to Papar, year round. Lasting approximately 4 hours, passengers experience the lush landscape of the coastal and rural regions of Sabah. A typical 'tiffin' colonial lunch…. MORE HERE

Itinerary :
09.30 am    Boarding at Tanjung Aru Station - Breakfast is provided
10.00 am    Depart from Tanjung Aru Station for Papar
10.40 am    Stop at Kinarut Town - visit Tien Shi Temple or traditional shops
11.00 am    Depart from Kinarut Station
11.45 am    Arrive in Papar Town - visit local wet market and shops
12.20 pm    Re-board train for return journey
12.30 pm    Depart from Papar Station for Tanjung Aru
12.40 pm    'Tiffin' Lunch onboard
01.40 pm     Arrive at Tanjung Aru Station

The steam train runs every Wednesday and Saturday and is priced at:

    RM 270 nett for adults
    RM 170 for children between the ages of 3 to 12.
    Complimentary for children below 2 years old.

    The fare is inclusive of... MORE HERE


    The Magellan Sutera Resort
    1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard,
    Sutera Harbour,
    88100 Kota Kinabalu,
    Sabah, Malaysia

    Tel : (60 88) 308 500
    Fax : (60 88) 311 136

    After seeing all the pics and info details, are you excited to try too?!?!? Me? I love trains... you can't imagine how excited I was when Felicia describe it to me.... I was thinking, how come I didn't know about this FIRST (giler kuasa tuh, hahahhhah....). 

    After all the reading, doubt I can slot it into this year's calendar despite it's my ultimate Cuti-cuti Malaysia 2012 plan. You heard me alright, this year's mission was to travel to as many Malaysia sites as possible for a change. Don't get me wrong though; I'll still be doing 1-3 short oversea trips but mainly focusing on Asia Pacific countries. No biggy.

    Sooooo.... anyone would like to sponsor me for this trip? *Glee-ing*

    ~ This is not a paid advertorial, review is base purely on blogger's research/readings ~

    Hyperlink credits : Sutera Harbour Resort, Tourism Sabah, Google, Wikipedia.

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

    Souvenirs From Afar

    The day looks bright and clear but apparently, there's a big rally going on in KL today, something about Bersih 3.0. Anyway, not to deter by it; I woke up early to send sis to work and later have breakfast with Chawanna + Aqilah at Mak Jah. Again? Yup! The keria (dah habis dah masa sampai, and it was before 8.30am!), roti canai, meehoon sup/soto, nasi lemak, and those malay kueh that I forever fail to know and remember their names. Ish! MALU!!!

    All pics taken with iPhone, mind the resolution yah...

    Before I start with this entry, found out some of #TravelholicAwesome went on a small trip... ish ish ish... sentap & rajuk lah. Chawanna sampai nak lagi bawa diri ke Europe dengar khabarnye, and me! I just book a tix, applying leave and going off sooooon too. Rajuk giler nih! Blueekkk...

    Anyway,  this entry is to share the souvenirs I've purchased during my trips in order to help others to gauge what they can bring back as souvenirs to their family, friends and love ones.

    House bell from The Netherlands / Holland. I think it cost me about EU10. I think lar...

    Wooden clog from The Netherlands / Holland. This one was a souvenir from my late father during his trip in the 80s. Yup! You can actually wear it.

    This is the one I purchased at EU8, the size is as big as my palm.

    Frame from Alhambra Granada, Spain. Forgot how much this cost. Hehheh... Below EU10 surely... am a cheapskate you see... Muahhahah...

    Plates from The Netherlands / Holland. As usual.... forgot the price lah...

    Stockholm hotplate in a shape of teapot, between KR100-120.

    Brussels hotplate teapot.. EU10.

    Same price as above, but this is from Paris.

     Mirror wooden frame from Morroco, got this from Marrakesh.

    Plate from Marrakesh as well.

    Nefertiti of Mesir....

    I now use it for..... me coins from all over the world.

    This one kinda unique, got this from a quaint shop in Athens, Greece from my recent last year's trip.

    I have another yet set of "weird collection"... treasure chest, have plenty of them but here I will only share 1-2 of them. This one is from Mesir / Egypt, got it in Kaherah / Cairo. Use it for all my watches, oooo.... got plenty of watches too. Who dare to guess? Hhehehhehe....

    Vietnam treasure chest... I use to keep my.... hemmm.... I have no idea, I need to double check! Hhahahha... cost me RM30! Got it from Saigon Bến Thành Market, you can get lotsa of trinklets from here.

    This is the one I got from Bali which I meant to give it to Jong as his house warming pressie, but since I rajuk, I need to reconsider, this might not be urban to him lar kot kan... too exotic kot.

    OK. That's about it. Byeee..... Masih rajuk!

    Friday, April 27, 2012

    Day 3 | Bhubing Palace, Chiang Mai

    I know! I know! Am jumping my entry all over the place from one country to another, many apologies! Just that as I blog on one, I happen to go on Cuti-cuti Malaysia road trip; and being KIASU me, I want to do teaser entry on it too (GREEDY). Sigh..... anyways... I have always complete my story mory of my trip, right!??! So worry not yah!

    Before I start, I would like to make a statement to #TravelholicAwesome (wow! Suspense dak!!??!), this entry is partially dedicated to Kak Coco Channel (KCC - I can't dedicated fully cause am selfish maah... cit!). Why???? Because.... pokok pokok pokok (trees/plant), bunga bunga bunga (flowers)..... :) Bila nak gi Chiang Mai nih, KCC? So, yang lain; sila jeles!

    On our 3rd day in Chiang Mai, Kak LV took us to Bhubing Palace; a Royal Residence located in Doi Buak Ha, Muang District. About less then a hour drive from where we stay (ie near Anusarn Night Market).

    Excerpt from Wikipedia :
    It was built in 1961 to accommodate the royal family during state visits to the north of the country. There is also a guesthouse for receiving foreign dignitaries. It is built in the mountains overlooking Chiang Mai, to take advantage of the cool mountain air. The rose gardens are particularly famous (Suan Suwaree), and many flowers are grown here that could not otherwise be grown in Thailand.

    Yes, we believe it was a cross breed of Cherry Blossom species in Japan (but awat besau sangat pokok nye). I tried googling it but obviously hard to get any info, so if anyone of you knows anything about this tree breed, do share with me okay. Thank you in advance!

    It was a nice ride up the mountain palace, oh yah! The palace is situated on top of the hill/mountain, thus the weather is chilly/cooling suitable for this wonderful trees. Macam cool kan... One must remember, Chiang Mai is slightly cooller/chillier in winter season.... and at night you felt it even more. So, bawak light jacket tau.

    Here is how the flowers look like. Mind the "un-sharpness" and "un-focusness", come-on give me a break; back in 2009 am not that experience taking al-changgih pics lar... aside from that, it's beautiful right? Right? Right? Hhahahha... I think I bokeh the wrong section, apa apalah monyet.

    Okay, here is the entrance... the compound is huge but since it is a private property, we can't go in as suspected.

    One of the cottages here... the pics abit blueish and greenish cause I was playing with accent GREEN function on my camera, sigh...... regret gilos.

    This is our darling host, Kak LV (Elvy). She was based here for 5 years or so, but now relocated to Kuching. JOM KUCHING!

    KCC!!!!! FLOWER POWER tak?!?

    I honestly and sincerely am clueless on the species or name of these flowers. All I know is that, it look BEAUTIFUL!

    Black Tea Rose! Hemmmmm.... first time I heard of such... Have you? Couldn't get it in google, of cause I hardly put effort as I am already sleepy now (1:04am NOW! Gigih!).

    My turn to be in pics. Hehheh....

    We were thrilled that the "sakura" tree is also part of the in-park decor in this palace area. Nice nehh..

    The view from Bhubing Palace.... I here present you - CHIANG MAI!

    Most might not know about this, second hand book shop is aplenty here. Kid you not!
    The best thing is that the owner is not a local.... jeng jeng jeng... and friendly too ok! Location? I will need to ping Kak LV on this. Hahhaah....

    After the book hunt, we went yet to another Night Market, but this time around; it's different. It's the LONGEST and most POPULAR Night Market and said to be cheap!

    We walked for 1km or so, after that we call it a night. Hahhaha... what we forgot was that, it's another 1km back to our car!!!! *Faint*. Instead.... we took a tuk tuk to the car, SMART huh!

    Excerpt from 1stopchiangmai :
    The Chiang Mai Night Market is considered legendary and certainly one of the cheapest places for tourists to shop in Thailand, owing to its close proximity to the source of products and the lower cost of living in Chiang Mai. It is situated along a three-block stretch of Chan Klan Road in the heart of the city, and within walking distance of most hotels.

    Cheap? Dirt cheap!

    Would you be interested to visit Chiang Mai now? You should!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Day 1 | Things To Do In Taiping - Taiping Lake Garden (Part 1)

    As you can read in #TravelholicAwesome Blackout Day entry and teaser, we did a short trip to Taiping - Bandar Warisan (I didn't even know Taiping was named Bandar Warisan, do you? Doink Lily!). And the best thing is that we manage to gather almost the full #TravelholicAwesome gang + Dan Arif, a first timer joining our roadtrip. Hope he "accepted" us crazy-lunatics-travel blogger as it is (seadanye ler kan), kiterang memang giler giler sikit. Hahhaha...

    Before I start with my story, let me share our simple and sempoi itinerary. Since there's so many activities happening in between, I will be stretching this trip into few parts/entries. I promise you, it will be "insightful", silly & fun. *pinky promise* *wink*

    Here's the itinerary for our 2D1N trip to Taiping :

    Day 1
    Late Morning - Depart from KL (breakfast in Santai, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, they have the tastiest Laksa Johor)
    Noon - Stop in Tapah (Janggel's home) for lunch (Janggel's mom cooks the yummiest dish)
    Afternoon - Arrive Taiping Lake for photo shot
    Late Noon - Visit Matang Mangrove at Kuala Sepetang (snacking at Mak Jah delicious Mee Udang)
    Evening - Check-in into Mesra Home Stay
    Night - Dinner at Pak Ian Sate

    Day 2
    Late Morning - Visit Pak Zubir's coal factory (in-house/packed breakfast)
    Noon -Air Batu Campur (shredded ice drink)
    Afternoon - Depart to Kuala Kangsar (Lunch at Laksa Pokok Limau, Kuala Kangsar)
    Late Noon - Visit Masjid Ubudiah & Istana Kenangan
    Evening - Shop for nuts, muruku and crackers in Ipoh
    Night - Dinner Ulu Bernam R&R and head home - KL

    We started the trip on a gloomy Saturday morning, after being delayed by Masnona of Kaki Jalan blog (you so gonna belanja us makan). The original plan was to pick her up from her house in Ipoh after/at lunch, instead she drove in wee hour Saturday morning to KL so that  don't miss any gossips in our car enroute to Taiping. Cam tuh pun boleh, kiasu gilos ok! Hahhaha.... I can't blame her, we are fun and lovable to begin with. Blueekkk..

    While waiting for Masnona, Chawanna team kept sms-ing and calling us checking on our whereabout as we have overshot our time. Yeah! We had a mission, our mission was to...... surprise teenage blogger Icam of Si Pengembara Tumpangan. We concocted  this master-super-great-out-of-this-world plan (boleh percaya ke nih?) >>> we supposed to visit Chawanna half way and act "surprise bumping" into them PLUS Chawanna suppose to "kidnap" Icam from Ipoh (Chawanna is the sister to Icam so you know) to an "unplan" trip to Taiping with NO overnight clothes (meaning it HE will be full monty-ing the next day, notty us!). Full of drama us gang, with ad-hoc-impromptu-plan :)

    Knowing very well we will be very very much delayed, we MAKE SURE we did not hurry up! Whatever for right? Alang alang maa.....  Hhahahhaha..... so, we headed to Tapah in a Gary-maner for some tasty home-cook meal and perform our solat before heading to Taiping (credit to Janggel's mom whom happens to be the best caterer in Tapah - siap promote tuh). We were served with sweet sour fish, spicy fried chicken, chilli prawn, prawn and pineapple in coconut mild plus last but not least TOM YAM! Thanks Janggel & mommy!!!

    After our tummy was well fed ie it stop growling and grumbling; we continued our journey to Taiping.

    While driving further up north, this signage made me laugh NON-STOP! IPOH sign was so insanely and kiasuly big, helllooooo.... we are not blind you know! Hhahhahahhaaa..... Bikin malu anak negeri larrrr!

    Anyway, we finally arrived in Taiping, Bandar Warisan. Immediately looking for signage to Taiping Lake Garden while concurrently busy planning with Chawanna on her whereabout and how to surprise our Icam.

     While searching for Taiping Lake Garden, guess what I found????? Hahhahha.....!

    Anyone understood the encrypted code here? Should have visited him kan kan kan.... sessi suai kenal. Hhehehheh.....

    We FINALLY arrived at the agreed location but couldn't locate Chawanna and Biqque pulak. Not caring about the 2 cars (ada kena sound kang!), we ran (or was it me alone running, heemmmm.....) and start snapping pics, cam orang "perak"!!

    The lake somehow reminded me of Perth's King's Park... all the lush green against clear blue sky encircled by mountains, God love us! Amin... for the good weather and beautiful scenery. Must be due to the zikir that Dan Arif's car performed from KL all the way to Taiping. Fighting!

    Situated in a valley making Taiping the only town receiving the highest rain fall especially on Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut). It rains daily.... No! we didn't cover this, next trip perhaps?!?

    Serenity at it's best.

    You will notice the town folks going for evening jog or picnic which you will die of envy just by looking at them - healthy lifestyle!

    2 of the best photographer in the house. Dan Arif  & Janggel. Their blog are hyperlink at the bottom of this entry.

    Trying my luck on macro or bokeh or whatever fits its description. Ada perasan cantek di sini ye...

    The lake is soooooo huge that the ladies jumped with joy! Drama gilos.
    To be honest, it is a huge lake thus many beautiful areas for nice evening stroll or photo shoot. I learnt that lotsa of locals took their wedding pics here.... one of the is Biqque lar, our travel blogger. 

    YUP! Byya lagi dan lagi dan lagi. I sooooo gonna wear dress in our next trip ok!

    Alas..... group picture.

    This is the part where the organizer - Biqque briefing us on next itinerary. Taat mendengar we all...

    THIS IS our popular teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle blogger Icam. I am serious s*** scared the nonsense I said will be in his blog, pray pray pray....

    Like this pic but not liking this picture,, something is wrong somewhere....

    Byya lagikksss.... ehheheh... anyway, love this shot. 

    We head to our next location - Matang Mangrove at Kuala Sepetang. Oh yah! Not forgetting the yummeh Mee Udang.

    Oh yah! I have been nominated in Malaysia Tourism Bloggers award, please vote for me (even the non-Malaysian can vote too). Click HERE TO VOTE. I am under the category Tourism Destination Blog

    No registration required, only your Facebook account needed to access the voting site.

    Thank you in advance.

    Post Tag: Janggel the Janggeltrekker's Life ; John Danny the Kaki Berangan ; MasMz the Kaki Jalan ; Lily the Globetrotter ; Cawan - Na - Aqilah the Chawana ; Kak Coco the Coco Nutz ; Byya the Traveller's Anatomy ; MasZuber the Journey Of Life ; Icam Si Pengembara Tumpangan ; Biqque the Beauty In Darkness ; Shahrul the Travelista ; Kakak Santek + Family the This Is Our Lala Land ; DanArif the From Malaysia to the World.

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