Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 1c | Sri Lanka Beedi Cigarette & Giritale Sunset

Local cottage industry - Beedi Cigarette making.

This is the part that made me respect the Sri Lankan; not the Beedi smokers, no! no!

I ask the guide on whether the locals smoke heavily and what are the percentage between male & female smokers. His answer was "Very small percentage of smokers". Hemm.... Next question asked was, can you smoke anywhere and what is the guideline (At one point the guide felt like being interviewed by a reporter! Hhahahaha....). His answer surprises me "You are not allowed to smoke in public area", obviously I ask him to define 'public area'. "Bus stop, buildings, while walking, in the car, everywhere basically. You can only smoke at designated areas". WHAT?????? Basically you can't smoke in whole of Sri Lanka (Biqque, Shahrul kena training tahan tak smoke nih), how cool is that! That explained why the country is clean especially outside of Colombo. Like WOW!!!!

Older generation making Beedi cigarettes.

From Wikipedia:

A beedi is a thin, Indian cigarette filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu leaf tied with a string at one end.

We then head down to Giritale and reach there just about sunset.

Makes you wonder the place I chose to stay right? In the middle of nowhere.

Well, you just need to wait for my next entry to find out. 
This beautiful hotel and scenery is simply AWESOME!

Hyperlink credit : Wikipedia

Organic Express (A Vegetarian Cuisine) - #Selangorlicious2

Earlier on I posted an entry on #Selangorlicious2 Launch Event, well this time around I will blog on my very first entry in support of #Selangorlicious2 and second entry on food. After alot of thinking (little that I know being a non-foodie blogging on food is so hard), I selected this place organic-vegetarian-shop in Petaling Jaya.
The restaurant interior, very quaint.

Their famour drink - fruit tea. To die for!

List of yummeh food offered. They also serve pasta, pizza, chicken chop etc.

This is the weirdest so far, dare not even try it.

This time around I tried the olive friend rice, not bad. serve with malinjo cracker.

My friend ordered fried meehun, nothing special.

This is yummeh! Yam something! Hhahahha.... I nih tau makan jek, nama makanan memang fail!

I love eating here as the food are light since mostly vege base, non-oily (less) and authentic. And normally after a melantak session with friends, I will take vegetarian cuisine for the next 1-2 days (guilt redemption?! Hahhahah....).

By the way, I believe they dont use garlic & onion for their dish. Feel free to check with the shop though.

Address :
Organic Express Restaurant - A Meat Free Dining Experience
49, SS2/30
Petaling Jaya
47300 Selangor

Te l: +603 7877 8293

Opening Hours: 
Tue.-Sun. 10:00–15:30 (Lunch)
Tue.-Sun. 17:30–21:30 (Dinner)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 1a | Missed AA Flight, Repurchase Sri Lankan Airlines

Never in my entire life have I miss a flight; almost miss a flight - maybe, but missed a flight? This is the first.

The story started like this.
I was at the gate 30mins before flight time (Cutting it too close, I know!) and there wasn't anyone at the gate counter. Silly me thought there was a flight delay etc etc thus I wandered near the escalator (near Gate T8) yet keeping an eye at the gate (No! I wasn't shopping, there just wasn't any nice seats in front). But it didn't feel right somehow, hence I walked to the counter and it stated close. Eh! How come there's no one manning the counter and technically I am still within the time allocated (I should have been 45 mins early, I admit, my bad; but still!!!).

Approached a lady at the next counter, she wasn't that keen to help, but she walkie-talkied the pilot dutifully. The pilot said the door have closed. Not satisfied, I went to a senior employee, she tried and failed too as the pilot said the plane is moving out of the bay pulak (Airport term kot kan. Am not that familiar but I assume they meant moving from parking lar - layman).

A younger guy approaches after hearing and seeing the commotion and said he will try to help (budak nih bersungguh tolong), but he too failed and I panicly asked how about my luggage on the plane (do take note that this whole ordeal took approximately 10mins or so). At this time, it's 10mins before the actual take off time (take off time was at 6:15am), guess what??? The pilot (Or whoever on the other side) said the luggage have been taken out?!? Strange, shouldn't the flight be delayed another 20mins in order for them to remove my luggage? How did they removed my bag yet moving out of the bay concurrently? Weird right?

Well, luckily I was on cheery mood (You wouldn't want to see me when I am upset!) so check I did on Malaysian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines.

YES!!! Sri Lanka Airlines have 2 flights daily, and their first fight was at 9am. Apalagi, took a cab and dash to KLIA pronto ler! The rest is history! By the way, MAS only have 3 flights a week.

Still thinking should I complain and get my money back from Air Asia? Hem....

Standard procedure, we have to fill up the arrival card etc. Simple and easy peasy.

Easy right?! 

Here's the thing, upon clearing with the immigration and collecting my luggage, I start to walk towards the arrival hall to look for the tour agent. Normally we see perfume, toiletries, ciggerates, alcahol, junk food being sold outside right? But in Sri Lanka, then have... ta daaa....

* Yup! For convenient - get a chauffeur guide

What I saw was.... hemm... a total surprise! Electrical appliances; not radio, iPad, PC, or even blender. BUT WASHING MACHINE, TV, STOVE, FRIDGE etc etc... apa hal, touch down nak shopping and beli barang nih! Hahhahahha..... first time experiencing this in my life.

Not one shop yah, few shops selling of the same.

They do have the standard stuff of course... Hehheh... 

The airport is currently under renovation, having said that the locals are very orderly. Perhaps because the arrival time was 7:15am hence the crowd haven't started? Anyway, the country is very safe, not to worry for first time traveler to Sri Lanka.

Oh yah! I suggest that you get your stamps at the airport (outside). Very convenient for those folks that plan to send me a postcard! *Hint* Hhahahahha...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 1b | Pinnawala - Elephant Orphanage

Yup! Some of you have guessed it right, I went to Sri Lanka recently and 3 things came to my mind on this beautiful country.

1. Full of surprises
2. Underestimate
3. Impressive culture

The list is longer obviouly, but this would be my top 3, I will share the details in entries to come. Worry not.

If you notice, my entry starts with 'Day 1b'. You must be wondering what happened to 'Day 1a'? Well, I am SO/TOO excited (as excited as my very first experience last week [still]) that I can't wait to tell you this amazing experience I had. I was practically screaming like lunatic, jumping up and down, running here and there (maybe even everywhere).... too bad there's no free wifi else I would have Instagramed, Pinterested, Facebooked, Blogged, Tweeted this new 'riak' experience of mine. Drama giler, ntah-ntah nih entry potong steam... hahhahahha.... #drama jek lebih, tapi kalau nak tau, sila baca dan lihat sampai habis ok!

* No iPad3 give-away ler!

I went to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which originally I was very sure I did not want to even stop-by (I will tell you why in 'Day 1a' entry, ada prequel tuh) simply because, I have seen elephant(s) before either in Cambodia, India, Thailand, Malaysia etc. To me, it's all the same. Little did I know this place is special and unique (remember I said earlier on "full of surprises"). Here's my story at this heart warming elephant orphanage...

* The journey takes a few hours as the road is small, winding and bumpy
** By km it is relatively near but due to road condition, it doubled in terms of time

Elephant injured by bombing.

This elephant orphanage was founded by Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1975, their main purpose is for feeding and providing care and sanctuary to orphaned baby elephants that were found in the wild and to injured elephants. They have about 80+ elephants to date.

The above elephant was injured by bomb/land mine, now he faces walking difficulty due to human selfishness. I saw sadness in his eyes, sigh...

There are also other common activities such as feeding the baby elephant. 

I was brought to see a tusker, which initially I wasn't impressed. Normally a tuskers are given the privilege to carry the gold casket (will have an entry on this as well) during holy festival. What surprises me is that this particular tusker is blind hence he is being cared at this orphanage. Pretty lonely and helpless for such a strong and beautiful creature. Agak kesian jugak. Argh.... OK! I walked away quickly before I get teary eye.

National Geography cameraman?

That's about all there is to see here. Thus, I decided to get myself some souvenirs before going to the next attraction. And this is where the bigger and larger surprise(s) pop-up in front of my eyes.

As I was selecting fridge magnets for friends and family (Yeah! #travelholicawesome nye ada beli *wink*), I was being asked to move inside the shop quickly, I asked why!? He said that elephants are passing by shortly from bathing at the river. Hemmm..... (I can't visualise what he meant).

* Please purchase your fridge magnet souvenirs here as it's cheaper and offer more choices

OK! This caught me by surprise, to see herd of elephants passing by souvenir shops was... shocking. Stunned for a few minutes before regaining my composure, thus resulted to taking only their tushy picture. Oh yah! They pooed as they walk. Hehhehehe..... cute huh! 

Wait! Not done yet! The guy then asked me to wait as the next batch coming - bathing time.

Here they come..... I let you see for yourselves.
My very first experience of such wonder. 

Baby elephant!!! 

By then, I ahve moved myself to the restaurant located by the river. 

Can you see the river?

Tusker have their own private bathing 'pool'. Hehhehee.... 

In this hot weather, I too feel like joining them!

After awhile, they do allow you to go slightly nearer. 


Tusker privilege spa treatment - body scrub!

Then... I saw this scene. Take note on the elephant on the right, the next picture show the rest of the herds.

I felt as if I was in African safari! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hello! I've Globetrotted To...

In ancient times, Sri Lanka was known by a variety of names: Known in India as Lanka or Sinhala, ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobane and Arabs referred to it as Serendib (the origin of the word "serendipity").Ceilão was the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese when they arrived in 1505, which was transliterated into English as Ceylon. As a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon, and achieved independence under the name Dominion of Ceylon in 1948.

In Sinhala the country is known as ශ්‍රී ලංකා śrī laṃkā, and the island itself as ලංකාව laṃkāva. In Tamil they are both இலங்கை ilaṅkai. The name derives from the Sanskrit श्री लंका śrī (venerable) and lankā (island), the name of the island in the ancient Indian epics Mahabharata and the Ramayana. In 1972, the official name of the country was changed to "Free, Sovereign and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka". In 1978 it was changed to the "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka". The name Ceylon is still in use in the names of a number of organisations; in 2011, the Sri Lankan government announced a plan to rename all of those for which it is responsible

PS : If this scheduled entry was published means I managed to get thru despite the mistake on my visa.

Hyperlink credit : Wikipedia, Google

Monday, June 25, 2012

Teaser | Next Trip? Guess...

Take a guess where I am heading to next. Whoever guessed it right will get a ..... hemmm....eerr.... hemmm I'll think of something. Hehheheh....

But I have a problem with visa though, my name was spelled wrongly. How now brown cow? Can I still enter this country?


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Event | Around The World In 3 Hours - Invite (Part 1)

Our "stamps"

My auntie moved back to her old house about 1 month ago which means her big lawn is available again for family activities. So, my nieces suggested we should have a family party and I willingly offered my birthday to be the 'excuse' (memang excuse nak attention). My cousin came out with the idea of using my traveling hobby/passion as the theme, and we came out with - Around The World In 3 Hours.

My auntie suggested that we should do kenduri sambut puasa & kuliah agama on the same day after Isyak; killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Well, this is even better right!

My nieces helped with writing/pasting the stamps on the invite (deligation!).

My nieces and I start working on the invites, list and decor ideas immediately. My main job would be preparing the games and cousin's scope would be the food (her passion).

Attire : Shirt representing a country (macam #travelholicawesome USS trip lak)

The ready card, "by hand" delivery (teringat Icam).

So far we nailed down the food which suppose to represent country of origin (keeping it simple, light & easy of course). Below are the tentative food list, it is still fluid at this point of time.

Main course
  • Malaysia - Nasi Lemak bungkus (note the 'bungkus', classic tak?!?!)
  • Indonesia - Gado-Gado

Finger food (with little country flag on it)
  • America - Hotdogs
  • Mexico - Chips & salsa sauce
  • China - Dim Sum

Hemmm... weird combo, I know. Kinda ran out of ideas as I got tied up with work this past 2 weeks. So, if you guys have any brilliant idea(s) on games/food/decor or anything, drop me a comment yah. I will forever be grateful.

Babe's Magnet! (Part 3)

Latest collection. Well, not so latest anymore as some of it I've received few months back but didn't manage to update it till today (tonight).

Earlier entries :

My latest collection. 

This is from the 3 Musketeers that recently came back from India Golden Triangle trip. I wanted one from each cities as back in those days (macam ler lama sangat), fridge magnets were rare commodity. Hehheheh... Besides, free stuff are nicer right!

Very very precious as this is the one and only Hiroshima magnet I ever received in my life. Thanks Biqque!

This is also rare, same as India case; no magnets those days. You must be wondering which donkey years I traveled to this places right. Hahhahaah.... well, read my blog to find out *wink wink*.

Forgotten that I bought this key chain for Icam.... Ops! Chawanna, remind me to pass to him yah (masa kemas-kemas terjumpa, siap tulis nama dia lagi).

Sorry lah! Jumpa yang pink jek Icam.

This one is from Byya, from her recent trip to Land of Long White Cloud!

PS : Na, I can't find Swiss magnet, cari cam nak giler over the wekend. I ada tertinggal kat umah you ke? Ish! Nak nagngis ler nih. Mana I nye LEMBUUUUUUU.

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