Archive for October, 2012

Kangar & Hat Yai

October 28, 2012

I guess you can see from my previous posts on Hat Yai on where to go. I was in Hat Yai end of last month. The family went there after all of us attended our cousin sister’s graduation from Universiti Malaysia Perlis in Kangar. Kangar itself is quite a dead town. But it has breathtaking scenes. This is where the local Chinese production filmed their movie – Tian Tian Hao Tian. I’ve been to Kangar twice – once during a short holiday sometime this year and last month, was my second time. So, I get to witness two scenes – once with the vast green paddy fields and the second time, harvesting – where all paddy had been harvested and second time, only left plots of watery and muddy lands. I guess if you want to see Kangar, you have to see it when the paddy are still green or ripening.

Sunset at Kg. Wai, Kangar, Perlis

The set where local production shot the movie, “Tian tian hao tian”

Sunset at Kg. Wai, Kangar, Perlis

What I want to highlight this time, is the Hat Yai night market, I believed is called Suntisuk Night Market. I think I haven’t been there eventhough I’ve been to Hat Yai twice. Both times, we were too busy watching Simon Cabaret or Thai Girl show. Haha. Well, this time round, we didn’t intend to watch any shows so our driver took us to the night market. If you look at the map, the market is rather near Lee Gardens Hotel. Two blocks away. Here -especially girls, you will go CRAAZZZZYYYYY over shopping. Even my sister – the most thrifty among us went crazy. She ended buying two pairs of shoes – one for only 100 baht and 130 baht, some clothes for Ern Ern and Sasha. As for my cousin sisters – they went crazy buying dresses at only 99 baht each! However, for dresses, you couldn’t try though so you have to estimate if you could wear the dresses or not. As for me, sure no size lah. Haha. So I just bought 6 pairs of slippers (Ranging from 49 baht to 79 baht each!) and a small bag for 150 baht which is now my favorite bag. I kinda regret for not buying more though!

The Elephant temple, Hat Yai

Other than dresses, shoes and girly stuffs, you can also get a tattoo here, phone accessories at really dirt cheap prices, pets (though I don’t think you can get them out undetected.. also, I do not support buying pets, adopt them!), etc. Another thing is the food being sold here! They have all sorts of food from Thai to Western to Japanese. They have stalls of pretty little sushis on sale. We ended eating chicken rice – sold by a Muslim lady. The chicken was crispy and nice! We also went to try other stalls of food – pork rice with siew yok. We could have spent more time here.

The temple on highest point in Hat Yai

Another place you should be shopping is at the Tesco Lotus. You wouldn’t believe that the groceries there – biscuits, instant noodles, canned food, etc were so much cheaper. If you like bread sticks, they have other flavors as well which we couldn’t find here in KL. I love Meiji Panda vanilla biscuits, if not mistaken, in KL, it’s priced about RM3.50 per packet. But in Hat Yai’s Tesco, you can get it for only 19 baht. So you imagine how crazy we went in Tesco. Even aunty-ish stuffs like washing detergent and fabric softener are dirt cheap! The only thing we regretted is we didn’t drive a lorry to Padang Besar to cart all our things back to KL! Haha! I told my friends, in Hat Yai, not only you will go shopping.. you will go sapu-shopping! Everything on the shelf – you just sapu!

The floating market – Khlong Hae

Oh yes – we were staying in Kangar earlier, so we went into Hat Yai via Padang Besar’s entry point instead of the usual Sadao. Sadao is normally more packed compared to Padang Besar. In fact, I think we were the ONLY tourists when we were checking at the Padang Besar checkpoint. It was strange because we were at the check point on a Sunday morning, there weren’t many people going into Hat Yai via Padang Besar.

Another thing I want to highlight about Hat Yai is probably the chicken rice we had on the last day when we were there. It’s Jae Toi’s Hainanese Chicken Rice along along Prachatipat Road, right opposite one rather big 7-11! The chicken rice is made from Siamese fragrant rice. We doused generous servings of fried garlic onto our rice before we tucked in! It was heavenly! I think it’s open everyday from 7 am to 5 pm. Tel: 074-238915

Here’s a big map of Hat Yai for you to plan your trip. Also, check out my earlier posts on Hat Yai.

For more photos, click here.

Perhaps Love

October 25, 2012

I received a good news yesterday night from a long lost friend that she is getting married. She will register in Sydney this December and will be arranging for a church wedding and Chinese customary reception in Malaysia next year. When I read the sms, I almost couldn’t believe it. This friend, after so many years of tumultuous relationships (Yes.. with an “s”), finally came to her senses and got hitched.

She, being indecisive and probably thinking too much all the time, was still in doubts about this marriage a few months ago, when the man popped the question. It’s not that, she met this man out of the blue. She knew him way back in 1995 when they were working at a hotel in Singapore! They were together rather briefly but it was still impressionable. Subsequently throughout the years, they were out of touch and again, kept in touch. It was sort of a fleeting moment thing. He popped up occasionally in every segments of 17 years of their lives! Finally, came Facebook. He looked for her in Facebook and was delighted to have found her again. That set them talking again and, like they say, the rest is history.

She is still in doubt if the relationship is too fast. I told her, it’s not fast. They have known each other for 17 years, although intermittently. I believe our paths are crossed not because we plan for them to cross. Just that, fate has brought the two together and it’s good that, love resulted for both of them. It’s no coincidence. They are just meant to be together. Accept it! Embrace it with an open heart and good intentions! She said, indeed. Within the past few months, after many chats, she found herself more calm and in love. As she was completing her application for a spouse visa, she realized that, their paths had intertwined so many times over the years and she just didn’t see him!

She is already in her late 30s and myself, mid 30s (haha!). It’s getting more and more difficult to find someone. With that being said, it doesn’t mean we should settle for anything less. At the same time, we also shouldn’t be having unrealistic expectations for our partners. I believe that, since we are already mature mentally and emotionally, I hope things would be more smooth sailing for us as we do not have anymore time to be frivolous and silly.

She asked how about myself? Am I looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with. I got a little frustrated and told her, I am not sure. I told her about my meeting with another friend last week, and both of us agree that, it would be nice to have someone to accompany us as we grow older. I told her about my colleagues, who are in their 50s and 60s. I met their wives and husbands during the recent cruise trip and they were all very loving. They will hold each others’ hands irregardless of age and would sometimes, talk softly to each others’ ears and giggled, as if they were in their honeymoon phase. I truly admire that and secretly envious of such relationships. I guess that’s what they meant by growing old together gracefully.

Her marriage somehow set me thinking. Sometimes, the person we meant to spend the rest of our lives with, is already right in front of us and yet, we kept looking elsewhere, dismissing the possibility of us being together. Only after so many years, we found each other again and realize, how much time has been wasted because we were all too busy to be in search of our ideals. Learn to appreciate the people surrounding us and if you look carefully enough, the gem has always been there. So friends, look no further. For singles out there, I hope you find your other halves soon. Cheers! And have a good long weekend!

StarCruise to Krabi & Phuket

October 22, 2012

14th October 2012 to 17th October 2012

I went on a cruise to Krabi & Phuket with StarCruise Superstar Libra last week. I think I was on StarCruise Superstar Gemini before some 10 years ago. So this was my second time cruising with StarCruise. It was quite an enjoyable journey.

We took a bus to Penang and got to the Penang port 30 minutes before 1 pm. Checking in was breezy and before we know it, we were already on board. The cabin was small because it was for twin sharing basis. I remember I was on a quad sharing when I cruised with Gemini and the bed wasn’t even this small! The cabin was just nice for two person. The only grouse is probably the size of the bed. It’s just too small for me. Or perhaps, I should lose some weight! Haha!

Penang bridge view from Penang Port

After freshening up, we went to Deck 10 – the highest deck to check out the scenery. It was scorching hot in Penang so we quickly took some photos and leave!

I still remember when Penang bridge was first opened to the public, many people took the opportunity to snap photos at the bridge. Since we were young, dad used to stop his car illegally at the side and asked us to get down for a quick photoshoot! We didn’t know we could come to Penang Port for this view! Perhaps then, not many people is aware we could see the whole of Penang bridge from this port. I didn’t know the ferry has changed its iconic green color to blue instead.

The cruise started to leave the dock around 5 pm and patrons were invited to participate in a safety drill. Well, I guess after what happened to Costa Concordia in the Italian Strait earlier this year, I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry. I didn’t bring the life jacket out and stroll along with others to huddle together at our designated places of assembly.

Welcoming party

After that, we went to Deck 9 for the welcoming party. There was a festive camaraderie at Deck 9, patrons were entertained by beautiful singers and dancers and were asked to join them to dance the evening away. At about 6 pm, we were treated with seafood BBQ and assorted food on board that we couldn’t simply finish in one sitting! Compared to Gemini, I think the food that were offered by Gemini were more international standard. If I remember correctly, I wonder if there were oysters? But I do remember, there were plenty of seafood to go about. One piece of advice, go for dinner after 7.45 pm when the crowd died down. That time, you will have plenty to eat, and place to sit.

Beautiful dancers – Dasha & Dimi

Our first night ended with entertainment on board at Stardust lounge. I truly salute the crew. The men doubled up as lady boys in a comedy skit, at the same time, manning the lighting.. and becoming hosts! And they can dance and sing! These people are truly talented and fun! There are many nationalities working here – Thailand, Philippines, China, Nepal, India, Malaysia, etc.

Reflection of Wat Chalong

The next day, we docked at Phuket Port at 12 noon Malaysian time. We took turns to get down the ship in orderly manner and haggled with the hired vans outside the port. You may hire a van for Rm250 to Rm300 depending on your haggling skills. However, you will need to know where to go because, these vans normally would take you to touristy places to get their petrol chits for the day – the cashew nuts factory, the bee farm and also the jewelery place. We took interest in the cashew nuts factory and bee farm but not, the jewelery. We stop by Wat Chalong after that and went for lunch. After lunch, we were taken to Robinson and the Big C shopping mall – where you could get groceries or for the ladies, underwear at cheaper prices. I only bought some Glico bread sticks – ham & cheese flavor as well as larb ( I think it’s minced pork flavor, looking at the photos).  After that, we insisted to go to Patong Beach, much to the van driver’s chagrin. He insisted that, it’s not worth it to spend our money there because the prices are much higher compared to town. He was right. However, I think we quite like Jungceylon, the new shopping mall and the short distance walk to the beach.

Beautiful Poda Island, and can you see the StarCruise ship?

On the third day, we cruised to Krabi and got off the ship at 10.30 am and went island hopping to Phranang Bay, Poda Island, Chicken Island and the connecting islands of Mor and Tub – which seemed to be everyone’s favorite. My favorite is probably Phranang Island. It was a very short shore, but since it’s near the princess cave – the place is rather shaded and good to swim in. If you want to go to Poda Island, the landing part of the island is rather dirty. You should bring a mat for a short picnic – find a cleaner spot around the island. It has a good photo opportunity too. Beware of spiky sea urchins though! A colleague’s husband stepped on one and he grimaced in pain, all the way back to the ship!

We were treated to a good gala dinner with 4 course western meal on the last night on cruise. I chose the salmon and tuna appetizer, the herbal mushroom soup, beef medallion steak and finally, tiramisu. I guess to make the dinner even more perfect, we ordered two bottles of Asti Martini to complete the perfect night. You can get the wine with a really good price of only RM187 for two bottles! So, bottoms up!

All in all, it was truly a relaxing and enjoyable trip. For more photos, check it out here.

I Don’t Owe You Anything!!

October 11, 2012

Rude Callers

I recently received a very rude call from someone who wanted donation.

Me: Hello. Good afternoon.
Rude idiot: You Melayu kah???
Me:.... Apa yang saya boleh bantu? ( How can I help?)
RI: Project Dept!!
Me: (I got super annoyed at this point and decided to speak English) This is Contract Dept. What can I do for you?
RI: DONATION!!
Me: WHERE ARE YOU CALLING FROM? (Since she’s shouting over the other end, I supposed she couldn’t hear me. So, I also raised my voice)
RI: ABC (some govt’s office)
Me: WHO ARE YOU??
RI: FAX! FAX NUMBER!
Me: WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

She hung up on me! I was so pissed! If you want to solicit a donation, please get someone who has basic phone ethics. With idiots like that, not only you will not get any donation, you won’t even get the office fax number! And in this internet age, I don’t understand why people couldn’t simply google for basic contact information!

Itinerary

I don’t understand why people who want to travel are SO LAZY to even do up their own itinerary. A colleague called me to ask me for "tips" of where to go in Hong Kong. I don’t even like Hong Kong at the first place! Well, I told her, Hong Kong is quite a well equipped country with subways, ferries, cabs.. heck! They even speak Cantonese. Am sure, we probably wouldn’t have any problems communicating with the locals there. So, I told her to just google for information on the subway stops as they are strategically concentrated on touristy areas, so there shouldn’t be any problem.

She asked me where I’ve stayed when I was in Hong Kong. I asked her if she’s bringing her family i.e. elderly or children? This is crucial because if you are bringing elderly people or children, I don’t think you would want to stay in cramped budget hostels. I think a proper hotel would be a better choice. She insisted to know where I’ve stayed and wanted me to assist her to book. Hello? Firstly, am not going to Hong Kong with you, so no, am not going to help. I’ve told her, the hostel I stayed in, is not very proper for families. More for budget travelers who couldn’t care less. She better book a good hotel.

Then, again. she asked me for a printed itinerary. She said earlier, I gave her itinerary on Siem Reap. Well, so happened, I did do up a proper itinerary for Siem Reap many years ago, so I was thinking, no harm sharing with her. So now, meaning, after I’ve gone to some place, I have to write up an itinerary and report to her is it? FUCK NO!

If you want me to share an itinerary, please don’t act bossy and as if, I owe you something. I don’t. If you don’t want to do your own homework before traveling, sign up at the travel agency for tour packages lah, you lazy idiot!

*Well, only a handful of people in the office knew of my blog. I think.. even if I do give them my blog address, I think they are simply too dumb to use the categories and need my "help" to check for information.

Your problem

An OLD colleague came to office and told me to print photos of site visits from his phone. I asked him for the phone charger/cable. He looked at me, bewildered and said, "I’ve given you my phone. So now it’s your problem. Deal with it." I was so tempted to open the window and throw the phone out from the office. @#$%^&**

I am asking a valid question here. Firstly, I don’t have the phone cable of the model and asked you for your charger/cable to transfer photos into my computer. Secondly, this office don’t have such thing as wireless printing or bluetooth printing, what not. Thirdly, my dinosaur computer do not have a card reader, and my personal card reader is at home. Fourthly, if you don’t even understand the basic requirement on transferring photos via cable, I don’t think you should be even using a smartphone. I don’t think he even knows how to share the photos via online either, so I just skipped the question to prevent further brain hemorrhage. (Maybe his phone don’t even have a data plan. HAHAHHA!)

In the end, luckily, I managed to find a phone cable from another colleague to transfer the fucking photos. To these people out there who think I owe them anything and I should help them, well, I don’t. So please fuck off.

Updates

October 5, 2012

Calling in Sick

Well, I wanted to blog about my latest trip with the family to Hadyai but somehow couldn’t go about doing it because I was sick. After the trip, almost everyone went down with fever, sore throat or flu. As for me, I had all three, including coughs. So.. there goes my energy to blog. I have some photos posted on my instagram if you are interested.

7-11

I don’t know why the 7-11 around the world has so much to offer but not in Malaysia! I was in Hadyai last weekend and managed to get the Bon o Bon chocolates that I’ve been craving! I didn’t notice it till my sis pointed it out for me. There’s a box of Bon 0 Bon at the cashier’s counter, one selling at 5 baht each. I took 5 and then, the next day, went again to 7-11 to buy another 10.. but decided to get the whole box and the cashier pointed to the back and said, I can get one whole box! So, I just snapped up two boxes of Bon o Bon at 150 baht each! Too bad they don’t have other flavors other than chocolates. I prefer the white chocolates and the yellow classic Bon O Bon! I guess I will try to look for these when I am in Thailand again in two weeks’ time! *excited*

Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!

Also, I spent a considerable amount of time in the 7-11 stores and managed to get small, travel size Gatsby hairwax at only 35 baht as opposed to RM7 here in KL! Soft drink in glass bottles go for only 10 baht each and yet, the Thais are not overweight or obesed. Haha! Isn’t it ridiculous? Things are way cheaper in Thailand! I wish I stay up north, so I could make a short trip to Hadyai every weekend for grocery shopping! Their Comfort clothes softener is priced at only 43 baht for 3 refill packets! That is not even RM2 per packet! We asked the driver to drop us at Tesco Lotus before we check out of Hadyai and we managed to get plenty of groceries and snacks that couldn’t be found here in KL. I guess, we will be making another trip soon to Hadyai.. perhaps this time, purely shopping for groceries and food items! Screw the govt subsidized shops in our country!

Glass Bottles

In Hadyai, I was surprised to find a 1L glass bottle of Coke! Have you seen a huge Coke glass bottle before? I asked if I could keep the bottle but they said, I have to pay for it.. I didn’t ask how much but to think of what would I do with a glass bottle back in KL, I decided not to buy it. My guide told me that, most carbonated drinks here in Hadyai are stored in glass bottles and they taste somewhat different compared to plastic bottles one. I would think so, I guess. I find the Coca Cola here is less sweet and somehow has a distinctive taste about it. Or maybe, it’s merely a perception?

When we were checking out from the hotel, the reception told me that, I have to pay for 2 missing glass bottles of mineral water from the room. It was a good thing that I remember, my family members moved the two bottles into another room – so there were 4 bottles in the room, while the other room is empty! Here in Hadyai – or maybe entire Thailand, the mineral water comes complimentary but you have to pay for the glass bottles if you decided to keep them or if you broke it! I guess this is a good effort to recycle your items! Glass bottles are more sturdy and cleaner and could be reuse many times without fear of contamination! Kudos to the Thai government for their green effort to reduce plastic bottle wastes!

Depressing, isn’t it? Our neighbour country has been doing this for many years and yet, we haven’t start doing this in our own backyard? We still use styrofoam to take away our food. And not many people bring their shopping bags to do shopping during the weekend, prefering to spend 20 sen for each plastic bag they used.


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