Monday, December 25, 2017

Komodo Dragon | Komodo National Park in Flores, Indonesia

Night Fury.

Those that know me well would know that I love dragon (not that I have own one, or seen one), but who wouldn’t right? I mean, have you seen How to train your dragon? Super cute right? Makes you wanna own one yourself. Or perhaps migrate to Norway in the hope that will fly offer itself to be your truly beloved pet (dragon).

I did not get carry away with this dragon thingy, I actually went to Slovenia as they said there are a dragon bridge there. Betul, tak tipu! Google lah.

So here I am, in Flores, hoping to catch a glimpse of an actual dragon. Yah yah yah… I know this so called Komodo dragon is basically a biawak or monitor lizard, and not those green coloured dragon that fly and breath fire (Owwww man… kinda disappointing kan) . Oh well, a monitor lizard a.k.a Komodo DRAGON is still better than nothing kan. So I say to console myself.

From day 1 itself or probably upon me confirming my trip, I have all this imagination of a Komodo dragon and how the picture, blog and social media entries be light. You can’t blame me right, it’s like a dream come true. I am actually going to be on Komodo Island seeing a K.O.M.O.D.O. Opkos lah excited giler… sampai jetty terloncat-loncat cam orang sewel.

Arriving at the jetty was already a spellbinding experience, when reaching the Komodo Island entrance with the word Komodo Island terpampang tuh…. Aish….. rasa nak ambek 30juta gambar kat situ ajer. As we walk to the ranger quarters, located approximately 30m from the arch, cutting across dried and dead leaves coupled with savanna-like vegetation, wah…. I feel like Indiana-Jones cum Lara Croft cum Steven Irwin all in one gitew. Strutting my way to the ranger hut for briefing (poyo tak hengat donia, macam lah orang kisah pun, Komodo dragon tuh pandang pun tak. If dragon tuh pandang pun atas sebab lapar bukan because my strut tuh sexy kea pa [read : perasan]).

This is what I gather - Komodo Dragon Fun Facts :
1. The largest lizard on Earth, Komodo Dragon is named after the island.
2. Komodo Island natives named them “ora," which means “land #crocodile”.
3. Lieutenant Steyn van Hensbroek, an official of the Dutch Colonial Administration in #Flores, planned a trip to Komodo Island to search for the giant lizard upon hearing from sailors.
4. The giant lizard was named Varanus Komodoensis. Realizing its significance as an endangered species, the Dutch government issued a regulation on the protection of the lizards on Komodo Island in 1915.
5. Komodo Dragon is the largest living species of lizard, it can grow to a maximum length of 3m and weighing up to approximately 70kg.
6. The lizard has venomous bite; there are two glands in the lower jaw which secrete several toxic proteins.
7. Females Komodo Dragon can reproduce without having sex. The female lizard practices “parthenogenesis”; meaning in lieu of sperm, egg cells can fertilize each other.
8. They are protected under #Indonesian law, and a #nationalpark, Komodo National #Park, was founded to aid protection efforts.
9. Komodo Island has been included into the New 7 Wonders of Nature list since November 11, 2011.
10. Komodo dragon tak boleh terbang and tak breath fire (point yang ni pepandai add sebab nak cukup kan 10)

But I have to share you the fun (kinda) part, we dare not make noise when nearing the dragon, worried that it might trigger and excites it resulting to him jumping and striking us. We actually (like seriously) tip-toed behind it (with 2 rangers on standby to control the situation and to take our photos [obviously]). Jangan kata bercakap, bernapas pun takut. Giler besar Komodo dragon ni. Like really huge. And the best thing is, we don’t even know how our photos look like (clear ke, blur ke, buruk ke, herot ke….), we all just redho jer at that point of time. No one wants to die on a trip and got killed by a Komodo dragon. Confirm viral tak hengat donia. Rugi lah…. pemes tapi dah mati. Hahhahaaa….

There are 3 trekking path that the ranger can take you departing from Loh Liang ranger station, looking at the time and weather (it was about to rain), the ranger was against it and we all agreed.
  • Short trek - Half hour, 1km
  • Medium trek - One and half hours, 3km
  • Long trek - Two and a half hours, 4.5km
  • Adventure trek – Four hours

For you nature lover and outdoor enthusiasts, I highly recommend you experience one of the track with a ranger of course!

This trip is in collaboration with Ayuh Pelesiran and Be Borneo Tour. #AyoPelesiranXBeBorneo

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Komodo National Park – DONE
Achievement unlocked! (First UNESCO site visit for 2018)

Photos taken by Komodo National Park Ranger and @raninovariany

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Pink Beach of Komodo Island

We moored at Gili Lawa Darat bay as the water is calmer and well protected from current and waves, on the other hand, no strong waves to rock us to sleep (and get us seasick). Aside being the best spot for boats to anchor away for a night, Gili Lawa Island is often chosen for sunset trekking from 5 to 6 pm, and perhaps sunrise too.

Gili Lawa Darat
Located 4 hours away from Labuan Bajo, this uninhabited island; Gili Lawa or Gili Laba is popular amongst divers and water sports enthusiasts, aside from this, one can also trek to the top of the hill as it offers magnificent view. Having said that, uphill climb is not for those lazy bums like me (ahaks). It is a steel trail of 70 degrees which takes approximately 45 minutes trek. However, the view on top is to die for, all the sweat and panting disappear upon seeing the postcard perfect scenery.

When visiting Flores during year end, you'll get this savannah type of vegetation and after the rainy season, it will turn into green-boulder-like-hills scenery. Due to this very same reason, you guys will notice that most of the post on Flores is dry-brown-savannah-ish type of feel.

Hence, I kept telling them, it’s a tally tubbies hill…. Or perhaps, more like (fat) belly tummies hill. Hhahahhahaa…. Get it? Get it?

Pink Beach
The famous Pink Beach of Komodo Island.
Yeah! It is not as pink as what we all saw on the internet, I guess they might have enhanced the colour a tad too much. As we docked, I honestly thought we need to walk over to another beach as it was barely pink but Indra of Be Borneo Tour told us, this is the one. The one and only – Pink Beach of Komodo Island.

The Pink Beach is located near the Komodo Island entry point called Loh Liang; where the ranger station is located. I will share more on Komodo Island and its dragon in the next post. Also on how they said I can’t own one, let alone train them. I guess my dream of having a Toothless/Black Fury end on that day.

Back to the pink beach…. It is said that the "pink" sandy beach is one of only seven in the world. The sand appears pink due to the mixture of white sand and red sand, formed from pieces of Foraminifera (obviously I googled this lah kan, macam lah I tau awat warna pink).

Oh yah! This is the only island that I decide to climb for whatever reason… konon nak ambek gambar dari atas, kot-kot Nampak lebih pink. TET! Tak pun. Gue tertipu. Having said that, it was a good trek experience (for me lah since I trek much [read : at all]) and definitely a good vibe when you sit at that vantage point embracing the Lesser Sunda Islands with wind brushing over your face, and your sun kissed tan finally settling in. My feel exactly. Try it.

This trip is in collaboration with Ayuh Pelesiran and Be Borneo Tour. #AyoPelesiranXBeBorneo 
Pink coral.

Next entry will be on Komodo dragon… my favourite!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Kanawa Island and Taka Makassar | Where Time Stood Still

I was told that during this LOB trip, we will be visiting a few islands around Flores and that there will snorkeling and trekking, aside from eating, sleeping and ‘bahan’-ing. Keh keh keh…

This is what I come to realized during this trip,  as most of the islands are not fully develop thus the beach and sea condition are amazing - clean with crystal clear water. Of course we sound some stray rubbish by the beach, but what I was made to understand that depending on the wind blow ie west/east as well as monsoon, rubbish from other bigger islands will be washed to these little islands.

Kanawa Island
Out first stop was at Kanawa Island. I have to say that never have I seen so many quaint and serene islands before in my life until I visit Flores (well, except Komodo Island because there are dragons there kan). Kanawa Island represents tranquility with its white sandy beach, crystal clear water and let's not forget the panoramic view.

Located slightly an hour from Labuan Bajo, you can actually take a speed boat and do a day trip to Kanawa, but for us, we engaged with Be Borneo Tour for our 3d2n LOB trip that covers a few major and significant islands.

Most travelers either come hear for snorkeling or diving enroute to Rinca or/and Komodo Island, the other activities that are rather popular for travelers are trekking and catching the sunset.

#TravelTips for Kanawa Island :
Travel Tips 1 : The best period to visit is from April to December.
Travel Tips 2 : Rainy season is from January to March.
Travel Tips 3 : Suitable for snorkeling as the water is very calm.

Travel Tips 4 : The boat ride takes approximately 1.5 hour from Labuan Bajo if you are not doing LOB that is.
Travel Tips 5 : Kanawa Island is a cash-only island so do bring enough to pay for accommodation, food, and etc.
Travel Tips 6 : There are minimal/no internet or phone connectivity.

Makassar Reef
Our next stop was at Makassar Reef or in local language Karang Makassar/Taka Makassar whereby it is also known as Manta Point (well, it is very near Manta Point), as you've guessed it, this is where you can see mantas gliding away gracefully and peacefully, reason being as the reef is situated between the islands of Komodo and Tatawa, the strong currents that rush through a narrow strait attracts the mantas.

I guess the question would be whether did we see any mantas?
And the answer is yes, we saw them… from the boat. You can snorkel and swim with them if you are lucky enough. It is also said that if you are super duper lucky (note the emphasis on ‘super duper’), you might get to experience swiming with more than 10 mantas. Kalau nasib baik lah kan. Kalau…

So, what is Karang Makassar?
Well, Karang Makassar itself is a sandbed island and you can easily swim around this island as it is rather shallow (jangan lah gi swim di tengah lautan pulak).

#TravelTips for Makassar Reef :
Travel Tips 1 : It is said to be a smaller than a football field, so do take a walk.
Travel Tips 2 : There is no trees, hut or anything (smaller than football field remember!), so do prepare yourself for a few mins of nothingness and embrace the sea. Gitewww…
Travel Tips 3 : Try snorkeling around this area just don’t go to far out, it is still in the middle of the sea after all.

Travel Tips 4 : Great place for photo session due to the white sandy beach and crystal clear water (but then again, this is Flroes, almost everywhere is this beautiful).
Travel Tips 5 : We rented a few floats (flamingo, pineapple, unicorn etc from @floatsewa (instagram) for fun photo session, oh what fun we had. You can try this too *wink*.
Travel Tips 6 : Boat can’t dock here, be prepare to swim over or pray hard they have a smaller boat/kayak to take you over. Ours was kayak *cheeky smile*.

Other than that, we had tremendous fun at both the islands, each with different feel and experience, and should not be missed when visiting Flores.

Next entry will be on Gili Lawa Darat and Pink Beach.

This trip is in collaboration with Ayuh Pelesiran and Be Borneo Tour. #AyoPelesiranXBeBorneo

Monday, December 18, 2017

My journey begins - Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT)

I was in Melaka 2 weeks ago, managing a company training. As I was going into the function room, my colleague greeted me and say :

Colleague : Excuse me, the function room is locked, can you open it.
(Clearly thinking I am with the hotel)
Me : Oh really! Let me go get the hotel staff.
Colleague : Eh! Lily! I thought you were one of the hotel staff. You look so tanned that I can’t recognize you.
(Obviously! I said to myself)

Well, I guess I am abit very tan after coming back from Flores LOB trip. How in the world I get this tan?

Well, it started with Sham asking me whether would I be keen to join an LOB trip in Flores.

“Naaaak!!!!” Without hesitation. Without even a blink. I'll check my annual leave later I told myself, if need be, I’ll take unpaid leave. I mean, LOB in Flores… only idiot will say no. #Eh (over sangat lah pulak)


Sham briefed me the detail whereby our trip was made possible by Be Borneo Tour (you can check their Instagram too - @BeBorneoTour), and that I need to push it on my Social Media platform. Kamoooonnnn… a place this amazing with crystal clear water, beautiful sunset view and a dragon, I will freak out if they say I can’t post anything everything on Social Media.
I. Need. To. Show. Off.

Before I start my story telling of the dragon, the undercurrent that made our boat swiveled 360 degree, the many whirlpool that we saw, the part that I was stranded alone on the beach of a lonely island… I should first, share with you on what we learnt (took us 1.5 days to master this and yet we still stutter when asked). Here goes….

Together with my 'teachers' from Indonesia

We have been trying to learn, understand and memorise these fun facts during the whole of our trip. Alot of effort and time been put into this and I sincerely hope I got this right :

On Flores / Nusa Tenggara Timur
1. East Nusa Tenggara or Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) is the southernmost province of Indonesia and capital is Kupang.

2. NTT consists of more than 500 islands, the three largest being Flores, Sumba, and the western half of Timor (West Timor). We only visited a few islands near Flores.

3. The name Flores was given by the Portuguese ie Cabo de Flores or Cape of Flowers.

4. Labuan Bajo is the entry point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island; home to the famous Komodo dragons of which am so looking forward too. Even their airport is called Komodo.

5. There are 760 islands out of 1,192 islands in NTT have not been named until now.

Interesting right!
Do you know that there are 17,504 officially listed islands in Indonesia? Giler banyak!!!

The struggle to learn on Flores is real. 

On Labuan Bajo
1. Labuan Bajo is the entry point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island; home to the famous Komodo dragon.

2. Labuan Bajo has 4-6 daily flights arriving from Bali - KUL-DPS-LBJ route (flew with on Air Asia and Wings Airlines)

3. It’ll cost approximately RM450-500 p/pax p/way from KUL-DPS-LBJ and that was 2 weeks before flying date.

4. Komodo Airport is located just 2 km from the town, if larat memang boleh jalan (you can actually walk to the town if you are up to it).

5. Ojeks (motorbike taxi) and bemos (small taxi bus/van) pass every 5 minutes if you get tired of walking and it cost approximately IDR3,000-5,000 p/pax p/way.

6. The town is pretty small, you can literally walk the whole town within half a day.

7. Labuan Bajo sunset is awesome!!

That’s about it for now, stay tune for my next entry. Meanwhile, the below pictures was captured in Labuan Bajo, a day before we embark on our LOB trip.

This trip is in collaboration with Ayuh Pelesiran and Be Borneo Tour. #AyoPelesiranXBeBorneo
Teaser for the next blog entry.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Shore 3D Interactive Park | Melaka

I have been seeing people posting on this 3D Gallery almost everywhere.
It became so overrated until I visited one at  The Shore Melaka – 3D Interactive Park (yes, 3D art virgin).
As usual, am excited like a kid.
Young at heart orang kata. Ahaks.

A little background on 3D art.
It has become a trend in Malaysia and a lot has mushroomed since last year. It is basically  a two-dimension paintings which is painted to look like a three-dimensional scenes and objects, due to an optical illusion.

Wikipedia : Trompe-l'œil (French for "deceive the eye") is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Forced perspective is a comparable illusion in architecture.

At Melaka’s 3D Interactive Park, you get to venture at the 13-in-1 3D elements where you get to experiment with the 3D Wall Art, 3D Image & Movie, Ghost House (a must try), Day & Night Dual View, Gravity Hill, Upside Down House, Funny Mirrors and etc. You even try out their AR (Augmented Reality).

Located next to the Toy Museum, the Shore 3D Interactive Park was officially opened on 15 October 2016. You can drop by the 3D after your visit to the Toy Museum… killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

The Shore 3D Interactive Park
Level 1, The Shore Shopping Gallery,
193, Pinggiran @ Sungai Melaka,
Jalan Persisiran Bunga Raya,
75100 Melaka Tengah, Malaysia

Opening hours
Time : 10:30 am to 9:00 pm daily (last admission 8pm)

Entrance Fee
Adult - RM30.00
Children - RM20.00

Monday, November 20, 2017

Toy Museum | The Shore Melaka

Toy Museum…
I don’t know what to expect. I know I absolutely love cartoon (after all, I insisted my sis to subscript Cartoon Network for me [not for my nieces and nephews]) and I hope I will like it here.
Guess what?
I love it!

Guess the movie?

‘Finally I found a blogger that know and appreciate the Toy Museum. And she’s a girl’ Sham mentioned. I burst out laughing claiming I love cartoons.
‘Hahhahhahaa…. Oh my goodness!!! They have Beast Wars!!!!’ Sham puzzled., probably wondering what was I excited about.
Before he could grasp what I was excited about….

‘They have all the Iron Man, Where’s my Mark I….’ I ran running looking it.
‘Doing videos and taking tone of photos, I need to make my brother jealous. Hahhahaaa….’ Gleaming. I told Sham that I must share this with my brothers as they are Transformer, Iron Man and Star Wars freak. I mean not crazy freak but… yeah! They know the movies, book, background, the strength and whatnot. Freak lah basically…. And I suspected, both my brothers start asking where this please is? (Probably thinking this was a video in one of my overseas’ trip… macam lah Malaysia pun takde. Duh! – I said to myself).

To upset my brother. Hahahhahaaa....

Confirm dia nak beli gak.

If you think the excitement ends here, nooooo…..  the minute I posted the Ultraman section, my cousin said ‘Abul is going to demand for me to take him here… dia suka giler Ultraman, Uni!’. What else can I say…. ‘Datanglah. Uni dah macam budak kecik lari-lari excited tak tentu pasal’. To annoy my cousin further, I took videos and more Ultraman photos. Yup! It upsets the son much. Hahhahahhaaa…. Told them let’s to a family day in Melaka together with my brother’s family, the more the merrier.

I gather that the toys a actually the owner’s personal collection and he decided to share his collection with the public and figurine enthusiasts. I guess he must have love cartoon characters a lot as this place is huge… from Star Wars to Transformer, from Snow White to Hello Kitty, nothing was missed out. Well, at least for me that is.

Am I cute or am I cute? So ask the Ultraman.

So, for those with kids visiting Melaka, they probably are not that thrill with Stadhuys and Jonker Walk and all (nama pun budak-budak kan), take them to the Toy Museum at The Shore Melaka, I bet they’ll have a blast. You know what they say ‘Happy kids, happier mommy/daddy’. Apa tunggu lagi, Jom Melaka! Dekat ajer pun’.  Wink.

Ni lah Beast Wars, Sham. 

Toy Museum - The Shore Melaka
Level 1, The Shore Shopping Gallery
193, Pinggiran @ Sungai Melaka
Jalan Persisiran Bunga Raya
75100 Melaka

Opening hours
Time : 10:30 am to 9:00 pm daily (last admission 8pm)

Entrance Fee
Adult - RM30.00
Children - RM20.00

Website :

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Citrawarna 2017 | Celebrating Eco Tourism!

An eco effort in conjunction with Citrawarna 2017
And I am there to withness it

This time around, our Tourism and Culture Minister YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz stressed the importance of nature and ecotourism as core elements of the industry, highlighting how nature is significant not only in the form of lifestyle but also in arts, heritage and culture. 

Inspired by the World Tourism Day theme, “Sustainable Tourism — A Tool For Development”, this year’s Citrawarna showcased performances from various communities such as Chinese, Indian, Thai and Orang Asli where nature has embedded into their daily life. This can clearly be seen in some of the dance movements - whereby influenced from the movements made by animals, traditional attire made of natural resources and imitating life nature. The famous Pohon Budi or Tree of Life by the Orang Ulu of Sarawak is the heritage and art form that appreciates mother nature. 

The Tree of Life is an important character for the Orang Ulu as it symbolizes their legends and myths. In their folklore tale, it says that it is the birth of mankind stems from the union of a Heavenly tree and an Earthly tree. If you look hard enough, you can see two trees intertwined, reflecting this traditional belief. 

New activities greet us in conjunction of Citrawarna 2017, primarily the Bring Your Own Plant (BYOP) and Tiffin Party picnic which is much welcome by the public. Both activities are lead by Locco in collaboration with Daun, stands for Local Companion; a local community organization that round-up public to assist in organizing and participate. The Bring Your Own Plant and Tiffin Party programmes’ objective is to promote the importance of nature and ecotourism in line with our culture and lifestyle. 

Lending help to are the students from Communication and Media Studies, UITM Shah Alam lead by En. Hamzani Izzamudin in creating big impact by paving the way at grassroots level.

Bring Your Own Plant is aimed:
▪  To create awareness and educate public on environmental sustainability.
▪  To help drive growth of ecotourism at community level.
▪  To minimize carbon footprint by cultivating public transport usage.

Where else the Tiffin Party is introduced to encourage recycling, saving our environment. The usage of tiffin has long been instilled in our culture, as an avenue for friends and family to meet up and socialize while sharing and enjoying home-cooked meals. This culture is hoped to be revived, embedding itself into our lifestyle and indirectly promotes recycling.

There will be a few activities happening during Citrawarna KL, as outlined below:

04:00pm - BYOP Meet & Greet at Dataran Merdeka (Plant handover)
04:30pm - Urban Folk Games, #SayangMalaysia Photo & Message Wall, Busker Performance, Laman Seni, Tiffin Party & Food Truck Fiesta and DJ Search
08:00pm - Citrawarna Performance
10:00am - End

The Citrawarna ends with big bang of fireworks blaring the Kuala Lumpur skyline, and as usual, the joget lambat session *smile*.

Eat Travel Doodle in conjunction with Citrawarna 2017 Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Home Away From Home - Philea Mines Beach Resort

Home Away From Home
As defined in Merriam-Wedster : a place that is as pleasant and comfortable as one's own home.
This is exactly how Philea Mines Beach Resort made me feel.

When I first saw the place I will be staying, I was rather confuse as I often thought that there’s only one Philea Resort in Malaysia. Well oh well, little did I know, we now have two - Philea Mines Beach Resort, located in The Mines, Sungai Besi – Kuala Lumpur and Philea Resort & Spa in Melaka. As I was googling to check-out the place virtually, I read the below; how they describe themselves :

Nestled amidst the concrete jungle of Kuala Lumpur, is an unexpected haven offering a full experience of sophisticated style, comfort, privacy and tranquility. Well known as the “beach in the city” and living up to its name, Philea Mines Beach Resort caters to varieties of services such as health retreats, weekend getaways, garden weddings, beach barbeques and other team building corporate events.

Gosh! I couldn’t agree more. Perfect to the T.

Philea has always been associated with Melaka (to my understanding lah), but this quaint resort tucked away in one little corner of Kuala Lumpur is basically a ‘resort in a city’ concept, with beach-feel-like environment, lake-facing chalet (and rooms) and attach-mall-by-boat experience. This is simply perfect for city-dweller type of traveller yet wanting a tinge of resort feel. Well, I guess Philea Mines Beach Resort is the palace for you then.

The chalet is to die for. Overlooking the beach front, with deck chair, patio and wooden-like finishing certainly added the resort touch, and if you want to fancy-fy and pamper yourself, ask for one of those room whereby the bathroom has no wall/door to the bedroom, bathtub out in the open (suitable for honeymooners, sumpah!), and spacious room that you probably can put 3 ping-pong table (I might exaggerated here abit but am sure you got my point). I guess, all those cool-manja-gilerbest stuff that you kinda always wanted in a resort/hotel lah.

The one thing I like about the food is the promotional offer at their coffee house (evening only I think), approximately RM20 for main dish of Roasted Mint Chicken+drink or local noodle+drinks+dessert – goodness, giler value for money. Pergi tau, jangan tak pergi. Sumpah balik modal.

They also have warung style buffet during the weekend if you want to sample local cuisine, else you can always walk over to the mall next door to try a more hipster-ish meal.

So, gi ler try!

Eat. Travel. Write Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with UPENS (Unit Perancangan Negeri Selangor) and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

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