Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fairy Stream? Yes, in Mui Ne, Vietnam


We soon set sail in this tiny stream where the earth divide; 
sand dunes on the left, foliage on the right,
mysterious hues in a fairy tail like sight. 

Wading through like princesses, we followed this tiny red stream, 
hoping to find a pot of gold, or perhaps princes at the end.
This was before reality hits us; a stream is a stream, 
us is not princesses and there is no princes nor pot of gold at the end. 
However, to dream is free and we agree,
the six of us, embraced this curious journey.

Enchanted 'forest'
Whimsical  'fairies'
Flower power
Merry tourist

Is this the fairies?
Trapped in human bodies
Or just silly ladies
In their twenties
Doing a Trio. Crazy. Selfies.

Not much for me to write
Of this stunning sight
And I've tried with my might
up till midnight
Still no ideas of any bright
So, good night and sleep tight.
(Don't let the bed bug bite *wink*)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Colours of Siti Khadijah Market, Kelantan

My eyes twinkled. My lips curled.
My heart dance with merriment.
The colours of Siti Khadijah Market.

Named after Prophet Muhammad SAW's wife Siti Khadijah, a successful merchant known for her entrepreneur skill, fits this famous market perfectly as it is run mostly by women. Bragged for being one of the most photographed market in Malaysia and must visit place when one is in Kota Bahru, Kelantan, Siti Khadijah Market or Pasar Siti Khadijah used to be called Buluh Kubu Market which was later changed as a sign of utmost respect to the female traders there.

Traders, retailers, mothers and tourists all clutching their shopping bags and cameras bustling in this beautiful Siti Khadijah Market, the heartbeat for Kota Bahru every morning.

Authentic famous Kelantanese dishes are available for sampling, such as the delicious nasi kukus, the blue coloured nasi kerabu, the tasty nasi kukus, nasi tumpang, ayam percik, budu, laksam and solok lada. Distinctive to Kelantan, these food are sought after for local and international travelers as it is not readily available in the west coast.

Noted for being a sweet-tooth population, their assorted delicacies or kuih-muih like tahi itik, kuih kartun, puteri mandi, buah tanjung, sira pisang, lidah buaya, jala emas, serabe, butir nangka etc are famous for being super sweet and colourful.

For those ignorant of how a salted egg looks like, this is it, made from duck egg soaked in brine or salted charcoal.

Quill Egg.


Banana flowers or banana blossoms (edible).

Bird's eye chili.

Cendol Kelantan contains white and green cendol, red sago and buah kabong mix with ice and caramel syrup.

Not just food, shoes, toys, bags, cloths and clothes are also sold here. Nothing was spared, I even bought a few for Idul Fitr. 

Siti Khadijah Market
Address : Jalan Pintu Pong, Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Working days : Sunday - Thursday (weekday), Friday - Saturday (weekend)
Opening hours : 6:00am - 7:00pm (close for 15mins during prayer time)
How to get there : 30mins from Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (RM40 per way)
Entrance Fee : FREE

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Love at the First Sight. #ILoveOkinawa, Japan

You can say it as love at the first sight for me.
(The video explains everything)

Portraying the greatness of both world; the subtropical weather and an ancient culture, Okinawa have everything to offer, from water sports to longevity diet to friendly islanders, what is not to like here.

It has always been my dream to visit Okinawa and this increases after I passed by diving license last year, including the earlier 2 visits to Japan. Enchanted by their history, culture and custom, I set to search for other interesting places in #Japan narrowing it down to flower power Sapporo and obviously the beautiful island of Okinawa. Boasting the title of having the most centenarians is a street, island and country, I embark on a knowledge cruise to seek their fountain of youth (read: Okinawan diet formula).

Okinawa Food

Critical to their famous healthy diet, Okinawans practices 'Hara Hachi Bu' or 'stop when you are 80% full' which resulted in eating lesser calories. Aside from this, their main intake is vegetable, low-meat diet, rice, tofu, bamboo shoots, seaweed, pickles etc pair with Japanese green tea.

Every prefecture in Japan have their famous food for the soul and made from 100 percent wheat flour, Okinawa soba is the clear winner for Okinawa prefecture. Being told that it is usually homemade and serve with love, travelers can visit the 'soba-kaido' area where more than 60 soba shops can easily be found.

Longevity Formula

Do you know that Okinawans are more likely to reach above 100 years old? It is believe diet, exercise and lifestyle that blessed the Okinawans to have life longevity. How I wish to experience their lifestyle, and one do not even need to drink water from the fountain of youth, adopting their lifestyle might do the trick and you'll live to be a centenarian.

Coupled with having an Okinawa gene and a healthy life style are two of the contributing factors for longevity. Family upbringing, daily activity, weather etc plays an important role in their living life quest.


Grow old gracefully is widely practiced here, fortunate to live in a non-stressful surrounding and having a positive attitude, great social support group and Japanese strong spiritual beliefs help keeping their youth intact. As an islander, the Okinawans are accorded with the typical fresh island air and sunshine year round thus making exercise easy.

For you traveler out there, you might just go ‪#‎iloveokinawa‬ like me after learning their culture and visiting this beautiful island. There are a contest running where the prizes are unique and brought to you all the way from Okinawa. Visit today to participate.

Step by step
‘Like’ Visit Okinawa MY -> Select 3 photos out of the 20 -> Click 'like' on the 3 selected photos -> Winner will be picked and announced through email at the end of the contest

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Red and White Sand Dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam

THIS is it!
THIS was why I picked Vietnam.
THIS was why I decided on Mui Ne.

Wouldn't you?

The Red Sand Dunes

Overlooking the blue Mui Ne sea certainly gives this red sand dunes a breathtaking feeling, shops with hammock selling icy cold drinks was an advantage to tourist like me who can't bare the hot afternoon sun. The main activity here is sledding and you'll see kids renting their sled from the parking lot right till the sand dunes top, calling and attracting us tourist. Despite our initially thought of wanting to help these kids to earn an extra living, they are, however, smarter than any of us when it comes to negotiating and persuading (and conning). Don't be fooled.

For one to get a cool, long and high speed slide down, one need to climb higher and where I say climb, I mean really climb. High, tough, tiring climb. One thing for sure, the view up there is awesome even if you don't intend to sled.

And the annoying part is, whatever goes down, must come up. And no one enjoyed this part.

Negotiate the lowest most you can
The kids will insist you tip them highly after the sledding
The kids can be obnoxious when persuading you to tip them
Sunblock and hat a must
Protect your phone and cameras from sand
Wear slippers (I hate it when sand gets in my shoes)

PS : Budak-budak tu akan tolong you naik bukit lepas tu insist you tips diarang tinggi, then marah-marah, bahasa pun agak kasar.

The White Sand Dunes

This is one of the famous view if you are in Mui Ne and we managed to capture it.

Our next stop was the white sand dunes and to our joy, they offer ATV ride here and like a kid we jump to the opportunity. ATV ride at the sand dunes makes me feel like an adventurer in a making; Indiana Jones! Where's my whip?

The ride is not as challenging as those I've experienced (jungle) before, yet the instructor drove us, perhaps worried that we might hijack his ATV? Hahhahahha... My expectation is that the instructor will ride at a high speed, then break and skid (drift) while cornering (Yeah, I watched too many movies)... Dream on Lily! That will never happen. Never. Having said that, the climb up the sand dunes was thrilling and we even chased the cattle with the ATV. That was the coolest experience ever!

This was the reason why the instructor don't trust us. This ATV belongs to Andrea and Jard (siapa yang berat nih?).

The climb.

One of their worries, we might drove the ATV down the lake. Ahaks.

When traveling, company is important.

Get a fun instructor who will chase cattle with you
Get an instructor that will go the extra mile and take you wondering around the area
Sunblock and hat a must
Protect your phone and cameras from sand
Shoe is preferred (safety reason)

Friday, February 14, 2014

#TravelTips | Overland Backpacking Route

I bumped into this overland backpacking/travel route in Asia, Australia, Europe and Eastern Europe which I decided to share with you fellow travelers. I don't think much explaining is needed for this entry... have fun traveling!

Credit : Pinterest, Google and Student Universe Tours.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Stuck in Kuala Lumpur during Chinese New Year?
Don't know what to do?
Are the shops or attractions open?

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is a celebration welcoming the spring. In Asia, it is celebrated in countries with significant Chinese populations such as China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Some of these countries observe from one to three days of public holidays where by most of the shops or attractions will be closed starting from the eve right to the third day of Chinese New Year. As it is based on Chinese lunar calendar hence the date is not fixed, travelers are advised to check before embarking their journey and to plan well especially during the first few days. Having said that, it can work well to the travelers benefit. How? Read below suggestions *smile*.

Visit the Temple(s)
Drop by a Chinese temple(s) as it is beautifully decorated during this festive season; the lanterns are all up, ang pau hung at lemon trees (kid you not), families give offering to their ancestor and praying for prosperity for the upcoming year.

Ang pau hung at lemon trees.

Thean Hou Temple is one of the must visit temple if you are in Kuala Lumpur, it is built by the Hainanese community and it is dedicated to Tian Hou Goddess. Located near Mid Valley Mall, one need to take a taxi to reach here as it is situated on Robson Hill overlooking Kuala Lumpur skyline. Try coming here at sunset to enjoy the city view as well as the beautifully lighted up lanterns.

Thean How Temple
Address : 65 Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 603 2274 7088
Entrance Fee : FREE 

Chinese Lantern Showcase
I just found out about it this year and I highly encourage everyone to pay a visit to Fo Guang Shan (FGS) Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom, Banting. Dong Zen temple celebrates Chinese New Year with a lantern showcase every year and the theme goes according to the animal zodiac. This showcase lasted for 15 days or through out the celebration.

Wishing tree.

How to get here? If you are from Kuala Lumpur, take the Kesas highway and head towards Klang, after the 3rd toll, take the Banting exit on your left and drove for another 10-15 minutes. You will see few FGS Dong Zen Temple signage along the road hence not to worry, upon seeing MyMydin shop of your left, you will need to keep to you right immediately where by you will see a KK Mart on your right, right at the traffic light. Turn right (at the Police Station/Jalan Sungai Buaya) and you are there *smile*.

FGS Dong Zen Temple
Address : Jalan Sungai Buaya, Jenjarom, Banting, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel : 603 3191 1533
Entrance Fee : FREE  

Lion Dance Show
What is Chinese New Year without Lion Dance right! Drop by any mall in city centre, you'll bound to catch them performing. Trust me on this, I watched 3 shows in a day while strolling in the mall. And it will be greater if you get to watch the one where they perform on stilts, it is really an impressive balancing act. The Chinese believed that the lion dance brings good luck and wealth to their business.

Gymnast lion at work.

This one was performed outside of Starhill on the sixth day of Chinese New Year. Despite that Wushu and Lion Dance Club is available in my secondary school and that they practice weekly, I still enjoy watching it again and again till now. It's too entertaining to give it a miss.

Lion Dance Show
Address : At most shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur
Entrance Fee : FREE  

Mall Hopping
You will be surprised of the malls' decor, it looks as if there's a mall decor competition going on. Some malls' decor are more elaborate than the other, and you will never be bored with it. As for the theme, it is according to the animal zodiac which makes it even more fun.

Animal zodiac decor in shopping malls.

The bigger the mall, the fancier the decor, thus the trick is to visit those big malls such as Suria KLCC, Pavillion, Mid Valley, One Utama and etc. Not to worry if you feel weird doing mall hopping as us locals do the same as seen on the picture above *smile*. At times, you can even sample local titbits shared by the mall operators.

Mall Hopping
Address : At most shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur
Entrance Fee : FREE  


Still worried of traveling to Malaysia during Chinese New Year?
Hope this will put your mind at ease, visit us anytime of the year, there are bound to be an activity for you.

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