Friday, June 29, 2012

The first Malaysian Travel Bloggers Meetup!

Hi there!

I know I'm supposed to blog about this a week ago but kinda wrapped up with work at the moment.  And besides, I just received the piccas from my blogger friend who attended it as well. (After much nagging via fb, twittter and blog. LOL!) All pictures are credit  to Hemy D. KindEmperor of course. I also brought my camera along but was more intent in listening than taking pictures that day.

Sponsor: Sedunia Travel

I'm trying not to re-use the pictures that he already posted on his post. So here goes my take on the meetup! The first picture is the group picture!

From back row left: Adam, Steven, Fazly, Yogaretnam, Keri, Ilya, "yours truly", Jana, Emila, David, Ben, Thristhan, Hemy. From bottom row left: Fienuts, Mastura, Ruggedmom, Dian, Hannah, Anis Ibrahim
I'm sorry, I couldn't get the names for Miss and Mister. Hope somebody could clarify this for me. Hehe. 
Ms. Emila rectified for me via twitter, thanks!

Being among the late to arrive, it didn't take me long to recognize the bloggers around me since I've met pretty much some of them in past blogger events. But it was my first to meet (or perhaps glance. haha) Ms. Anis Ibrahim. (Pictured below on the left). Sorry didn't get to chat with you. =(

I wonder what these three are discussing. Hehe. Anis, Thristhan and Emila in deep conversation.
And just about ten minutes later, the sharing session started. I believe Mr Steven was the chosen emcee for the session with Ilya Houben (, Dian (Tourism Selangor) and David Hogan Jr (Malaysia Asia) as the panelists.

Steven, Ilya, Dian and David laughing at some remarks from the audience. 
We were definitely ALL EARS/ Hint: We stopped eating. haha. 
It  felt like a debate among these three which was fascinating to observe! Haha!
All three had their own ways and opinions on how to brand their blogs and perhaps themselves. While the two on the right preferred using blogspot but Ilya created his blog from scratch on his own servers! That's awesome! He'll never be afraid that his content be put down by third party servers. I wonder if I can drop my blog on his server as well? Err... (wishful thinking.)

Dian talked about being passionate on things you do and later on the way, you'll be rewarded. While David talked about numbers. Hehe. I'm not going deeper into this as these tips can be read from the blogs below.
Another thing to note, never stop shamelessly promoting yourself! Hahaha. (Don't think I can do that though. =p) Last but not least, a picture with the sponsor, Ms Hannah Pearson of Sedunia Travel. Kudos for the meetup, it was awesome! I believe some of my guy friends developed a crush on her. Awww!

Anis, Ilya (at the back), Dian, Hannah and me! Beside me is Fazly. Sitting below was Mastura and Emila.
I believe there's a second meetup coming this September. Hopefully more people will come. Please don't be shy. We don't care if you're a true travel blogger, just as long you love to travel is enough.

The bloggers who weren't in the above pictures but came as well were Abbey, Lash and Tony who in fact came all the way from Singapore! Thanks to all for making this meetup a blast. Hope to meet you all again! =)


Monday, June 18, 2012

7 foreigners, Kuala Lumpur and a hazy Saturday

I was given a 11-seater van, a driver and the whole Saturday to bring my friends from Papua New Guinea to places of interest around Kuala Lumpur. I never had any experience being a tour guide but had to make an exception on that day. One of them had to stay back thought. So out of the 8, I only brought 7 of them.

 So first stop of the day was Malaysia's National Zoo!

Locals - RM20 /person, Non-Malaysians - RM30 /person. A RM10 difference.
These lovely guys requested to visit the zoo to compare the animals found here in Malaysia to that in Papua New Guinea. I happily obliged to their requests and brought them there with the condition that they pay the tickets themselves. Hehe.

The happy lot of Papua New Guinea friends with another Malaysian, Amri. Hope you know which one is Amri. LOL>
I couldn't help but take the picture below. It symbolizes excitement and unity. =)

All for 1, and 1 for ALL! Into the ZOO we go!
We tried to cover as much ground as possible in the zoo. All by foot. I was amazed that they were such an energetic lot, almost like touring with a group of kids. They never seem to tire out! They must love animals a lot. Hehe.

From above pic: One of them feeding an elephant andanother two watching a group of monkeys.
We went to the amphibian and reptilian sector to see pythons and cobras. I found out that Max (one of the Papua New Guineans) was most afraid of the snakes and the other guys were always trying to scare him off. Haha.

Seloka on the other hand, refused to take pictures of the snakes because he once did and the snake mystically didn't show on ANY of his pictures. That was damn scary! He also told me that some tribes of the Papua New Guinea performed black magic where occasionally by just staring at a targeted person can immediately kill him/her. Erk!

Clockwise from upper left: A snake with its peeled skin, the Aquarium, the guys, fishes, and the  amphitheater showcasing a trained, jumping Seal.
We were in the zoo for 4 hours and started to get hungry. Thus had to skip the zebras. Sigh.

Clockwise from upper left: A standing bear, the guys munching, a pacing lion, me sandwiched between Max and Seloka, and Maz filming some flamingos.
It was almost three o'clock when we finally exited the zoo. Before our next stop, we decided to show them the location of the Papua New Guinea embassy at Jalan Lingkungan U-Thant.

It was closed of course, on a Saturday. But that didn't stop them from taking a picture in front of it. =)

In front of the Papua New Guinea embassy. The flag has the paradise bird as it's symbol. 
Lunch that day was at KLCC. See how excited of them to finally visit KLCC, the tallest (or is it the second tallest?) building in the world!

I said jump, and they really did JUMP! HAHAHA!
I guess I'll stop my post here. The journey didn't end here though. We visited the Malaysia's Craft Center, Merdeka field and Kuchai Lama after that. 

But that will be in another post. Until then, thank you for reading! =)


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

#soMalaysian - Football and Mamak Stalls

One thing I learnt about Papua New Guinea is...

.... they don't have McDonald's there. And so far, I've noticed that the delegates are very keen to dine at fast-food restaurants around KL especially McDonald's. It was time that we brought them to somewhere different.

A place that is set up especially to fit Malaysian culture.

A place where they get to eat almost anything that they can think of - roti canai, nasi lemak, tandoori chicken, western food, fried rice, basically ANYTHING! (Pizza? Maybe not. LOL)

And so they were brought to the #soMalaysian Mamak Stall somewhere at Sunway.

Discussing the menus.
Too bad that the menus were in Bahasa. It took a while to place orders because we had to translate the menu to English for them. Alas, they ended up ordering western food. AGAIN! LOL.

Mamak stalls in Malaysia are well-known as a hangout place to watch LIVE football with friends and mostly owned by Indian Muslims. Due to that convenience and also staying open from morning (to... ermm... next morning?) it eventually becomes the only place to hangout for LIVE football in the wee mornings of 2 or 4 am. 

The thing is... these guys from Papua New Guinea prefers Rugby.

Rugby what?


If you happen to visit Kuala Lumpur, you should notice that mamak stalls or restaurants are found at every corner! The menus and interior are basically similar and I don't have a particular favorite. Be sure to try one and you'll know why we Malaysians always revisit.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Papua New Guinea has landed!

My office has been making preparations since last year on hosting an international program to cater the professionals flown from Papua New Guinea. I'm being discrete on this so no names or organizations shall be named on this blogpost. =)

So far, what have I learnt of Papua New Guinea in my research to better my knowledge on these international guests? Well for one, I've learnt that before 1950's, headhunting and cannibalism was among their favorite past time joys. Scary much? And currently, among the 5 millions of people who live there, only 18% lives in the urban areas while one third of them still lives in the rugged highlands.

I'm pretty amazed with the facts and only god knows how I imagined these delegates would look and act like when we finally met. LOL.Somehow scenes from the movie "The Gods Must be Crazy" came into my mind.

Guess I was completely disillusioned. Here are the concurring events that lead to our first meetup with the Papua New Guinea delegates last Saturday night.

9:00 pm - Head to KLIA to pick them up. They'll be flying from Papua New Guinea with transit at Singapore.

From top: A funny way in "carrying" your child around and my office-mate who helped hold the banner.
10:00 pm - My office-mates and I had small banners with our organization's name on it. We stood near the exit of the international arrival hall waiting for a glimpse of any person who were dark-skinned. There weren't that many.

11:00 pm - We got anxious and started taking breaks. Some even squatted down right there and then!

They looked like rappers! Haha!
11:30 pm - And finally they came out all suited up in their sleek casual wear. So they're urbanites after-all! No resemblances of the half naked men from the jungle at all. He he he. Everyone were shaking hands and exchanging welcomes. It was a splendid evening to witness this exchange of cultural hospitality.

1:00 am the next day - Everyone has finally settled in their respectful rooms while even-though I was also offered a room, I kindly declined. No bed is better than my bed at home. Its all the reasoning they need from me. =)

We'll be seeing more of these delegates for weeks to come. Do keep posted on how they come to know (possibly love?) Malaysia in my next blogposts! Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Top 10 Things to do in Cherating, Pahang

When you think of Cherating, you'd think of sandy beaches.
When you think of beaches, you'd think of sea activities.

Well, you're not that far from wrong with that one.

I had the pleasure to do some of them during my stay at the Legend Resort Cherating and hopes this post will benefit some people at least. Here goes my top 10 things to do in Cherating. (Not in any particular order) =)

1. Visit the Turtle Sanctuary (10 minutes drive from the Legend)

Price: RM40.00/adult (min 3 people)

Let's see how the experts do it.
We were briefed on the various species of turtles found on the shores of Malaysia. They also shared which species were rare and which were extinct. (Sorry, I'm not that much of a note taker). This sanctuary also stores turtle eggs which they help to protect until they hatch. Some live turtles are also kept here in case you want to see the real deal.

I suggest you also join the turtle watching activity done during the nights at activity number two.

2. Turtle Watching (from April to August - the season of turtles mating)

Price: RM55.00/adult (min. 3 persons)
Hell no! You won't see a free show of turtles mating!
This experience was emotional to me. I mean, I felt miserable seeing how earnest the turtle was in laying her precious eggs whilst being spied on by many spectators. How do you feel if you were in her place? Do you like strangers peeking under your skirts? LOL. I felt sorry for the mother turtle.

This activity includes you watching turtles lay their eggs and freeing baby turtles to the sea. My baby turtle was named Leonardo, a girl.

If you're interested to join this activity, do make sure you keep your lights switched off. It disorients the turtles when they struggle to get back to sea. 

3. Mangrove River Cruise (Cherating River)

Price: RM50.00/adult (min. 3 people)
An educational river cruise.
A guide who steers the noiseless motorboat will explain all there is about mangroves. If you're lucky (like me), you'll spot some animals on the way such as squirrels, a few species of snakes and a family of jumping monkeys.

4. Firefly Ibok River, Kemamam

Price: RM50.00/adult (min. 3 people)

-----Sorry no picture as it was so dark there! -----

My advise: Go when there are no moon rays lighting up the sky. And leave your cameras at home. Its dead weight. Hint: Pitch dark.

5. ATV Jungle Adventure

Price: RM50.00/adult (min 4 people), only at Legend Resort.
Love it to death! Need I say more?
6. The Hunt for Authentic Keropok Lekor

Price depends on your luck. Cherating is so close to Kemamam, Terengganu that the keropok lekor is authentic as it gets.  =p

I just happen to buy my stock from Kamal (Pak Die) Keropok Lekor.
7. Trip to Snake Island

Price: RM35.00/adult

I believe this is the only island found at Cherating. Do expect to get really, REALLy wet when you join this experience and wear slippers!
You'll also be jungle trekking in your WETNESS! He he he.
There's another small rockery island with a single tree on it. You'll find an eagle flying in and out once in a while. FYI, that eagle is the sole inhabitant of that island.

8. Snorkeling

Price: RM260.00 per boat (min. 6 people)
Spotted some people snorkeling during my Island Trip.
I don't highly recommend this because of possible jellyfish in close proximity. But yeah, feel free to try it.

9. Visit Fisherman Village & Kemaman Town

Price: RM35.00/adult for three hours
Witness yourself the proud catches of fishermen in the village.
Other activities to note in the village are buying fresh seafood, go fishing, built your own fibre boat and other fishery related activities. They could also arrange for you to cook your catches with your friends or families.

10.  Swimming

FREE of charge in the right hotel/resort of course. If you despise or got tired of swimming in saltwater, you could always swim in the swimming pool. Hik hik hik.
The Legend Resort Cherating has one of the best pools in town. Mind you!
So there goes my list of 10 ten things to do in Cherating which I have personally enjoyed or at least saw other people enjoyed. =)

Lastly before I end this post, do enjoy your stay at Cherating!

PS: All of these activities can be arranged at The Legend Resort Cherating. Read my post here to get the details. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trip to Bahau, Negeri Sembilan - Part 2

Where was I? Oh yes. We were stuck in an awful traffic jam from Bangi to Bahau. Hemy, our driver for that day kept babbling and singing non-sense all the way to Bahau, showing his frustration at not being there on time. His wife and first born child were sitting at the back, laughing silently I guess. I managed to ask his wife if he was like that at home, she only smiled. (thank god he's not my hubby.. lalalala)

The situation worsened when we spotted hawkers by the road.

It felt like we were in a PAINFUL slow motion movie where one by one, hawkers of all kinds displaying the colorful cuisine of Negeri Sembilan fled by us and we couldn't stop to buy some.

The unique roadside cuisine of Bahau, smoked ducks!
We saw a stall selling bright yellow bananas, roadside cafes with kitchens smoking up the area, hawkers selling smoked ducks, chicken and fish. It was so painfully tantalizing to watch especially when we all had empty stomachs.

But the wait was later rewarded.

The brides and grooms were waiting for our arrival before they started their ceremony. It was a double wedding that day. Seeing my friend in her bridal wear gave me a warm feeling in the heart. She was getting married and so was her brother! Double marriage, double happiness!

And most importantly, hooray! We're finally here! (To think that I wouldn't make it. Hehe)

A blogger reunion, with additional members - the spouses and babies.
Clockwise from left top row: Hemy's wife, Zonaku, me, Iyan with baby Xiyad (Hemy's son), Masy, Wafa with niece, Bella, Erina, Amir (hubby of Erina) with son Aqil, Keri and last but not least Hemy,

We met some three years ago as complete strangers who knew each other via blogging. Met up a couple of times in a year to travel, attend weddings or just hang out. Who would've known that online friendships can stay this strong after several years later? Stronger than real life friends, I reckon. I also met up with a few of my high school friends who were in the same school as the bride and me. (Kurt, Ninut, Lailee and hubby, Madziatul and Efie! Nice meeting you guys there!) It was truly a heart warming reunion with the girls from Sekolah Menengah Sains Sabah as it has been 5++ years since we last meet. =)

While the others stayed back waiting for the official photographers (Hemy and Keri) to finish their work, I headed back to Kuala Lumpur by hitching a ride on a Mercedes Benz driven by Amir. Fuuuhhhh.. what a day!

And guess what?

We eventually did stop by a hawker's stall to buy some smoked meat on the way back. Kah kah kah!

Thus ends my story.

Monday, June 4, 2012

REVIEW - Legend Cherating Beach Resort

This is my second time visiting Cherating. My first visit was filled with rainfalls and  bad weather that I didn't get to enjoy the beach much as I spent most of my time indoors.

But the second time around was totally a different experience altogether.

I came to Legend Cherating Beach Resort expecting that the rainfalls from Kuala Lumpur have followed me here. It's been raining a lot there during school holidays. Boy was I so wrong. My friends and I were greeted with a deep blue horizon, a blazing sun and a cloudless sky.

The resort itself was fully booked and bustling with tourists of all kinds especially parents bringing their kids for a holiday retreat they'll never forget. You must be wondering by now, what differs Legend Cherating Beach Resort from all the other resorts in the area? 

Let me enlighten you. 

The room I stayed in : Deluxe room with twin beds

I stayed here for three days and two nights.
High double beds with a flat-screen TV, not that I'm planning to watch TV much.
Plenty of power sockets to play your devices on the bed!  
And most importantly, the "arrow" that leads you to the path of righteousness. Hopefully =) 
Courtesy from the hotel. Nice!
To my humble opinion, a room is only a room that we crash in during the nights, regardless of how expensive the interior is. But it's the small things that makes us want to come back such as the things I've stated above. (power sockets at the bedside, kiblat signage, complimentary daily newspapers, and a platter of fruits!) I hope everyone gets these every time they come here. There's also an ironing board with an iron (of course!), hair dryer, water kettle with complimentary instant beverages packets, mini fridge, a safe and bedroom slippers.

Nonetheless, I hope that the resort could consider providing outdoor slippers for their guests in the future? Hope it's not asking too much. =)

The food and service: Exceptional!

They serve you like a king regardless of age. This picture makes me smile. =)
I have to admit, even-though there are aplenty of seafood in Sabah which is where I came from but I've never eaten so much variety of it in just one mealtime! The resort serves buffet style and believe me, you'll be astonished at all kinds of seafood prepared for you! 

Banana fritters and authentic lekor (made from fish and less flour).
Huge prawns, fresh fish, fresh clams... keropok LEKOR!!! Thank god they don't serve turtles. Erk!? I also had a steak frenzy during a dinner there. 

The beef steak was so succulent and easy to bite. LOVED it!
So the food and room checked with positive reviews from me. Let's see what are the available facilities they have here.

Outdoor Pools
As a woman who wears a hijab and not quite the "swimming suit" person, when allowed to swim in the outdoor pools is certainly a plus for me. The resort actually has three pools. One for people who wears swimming suits, another for kiddies and another one for full-clothed people like me! Sadly but true, not all beach resorts allows this. 
I'm super glad that I'm allowed to swim here. Fully clothed. =)
Dining and Entertainment

I had the pleasure of having FOUR kinds of dining experience with Legend Cherating Beach Resort. I get to eat a buffet breakfast/lunch/dinner at the indoor Coconut Grove Coffee House, pre-dinner cocktail party at a penthouse, BBQ dinner at the Poolside Garden and a seafood steamboat dinner. So many dining options for either business and leisure reasons! There are also LIVE shows from the resident's band during the nights. 

Top picture: An outdoor cafe facing the ocean. Bottom picture: Coconut Grove Coffee House.
Engaging in Sea/Beach Activities

There are tones of activities to do here. But what definitely draws the crowds here is the one and only ATV jungle track activity in the region! Provided solely by this resort only. I'm proud to say that I've tried the 3km ride and it was totally AWESOME!
ATV rides for the adventurists. It takes minimum four people to proceed the jungle track. 
Other activities that guests can try are the Island trips, snorkeling, fishing trips, banana boat rides, river kayaking and many more. I'll be writing about those in a separate blogpost. Are you excited yet to try this hotel out? If yes, below are the details:

The Legend Resort, Cherating
Lot 1290, Mukim Sungai Karang, Cherating, 26080 Kuantan, Pahang
Tel: 609 5819818
Fax: 609 5819400

Currently there's an all year promotion. A 3 days 2 nights family package promotion for the Deluxe room with complimentary meals and activities for only RM550++!
For more info, call 1800 88 8866.
If you do plan to head here, don't forget to try the ATV!! You'll regret it if you don't! =)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trip to Bahau, Negeri Sembilan - part 1

Recently changed this post's title from "6 hours, a flower girl and a wedding at Bahau, Negeri Sembilan". #travel #negerisembilan #bahau #wedding

I rose early this morning just to pick the right attire for today's journey. It involves a long KTM ride to Bangi (approx 55 minutes), three hours drive to Bahau, Negeri Sembilan and a wedding.

I reached the nearest KTM station at around 7:15 am and the PWTC KTM station was in such a mess that I almost turned back and head home.


  • The ticket machines weren't working, the station felt musty and HOT, plus the electronic information boards have malfunctioned. 
  • I had no idea which side to wait on and which train to hop onto. 
  • The man at the counter didn't even look-up from his "counting" when I asked his help. And yet he's working in the customer service department. 
  • I waited about 40 minutes for a train!!!! #angrymuch
So I hopped off at Bank Negara KTM station from PWTC to wait once more after being advised.
This certainly made me keen on filing a complaint on the station because I chanced upon many other passengers who shared the same disappointment. I messaged my friend telling him that I'd be late and he advised me to hop on any train and wait at another station. Wahh, why didn't I think of that? LOL.

At the Bangi KTM station I chanced upon a university student who was looking for a taxi but none was available. Thankfully, my guy friend decided to give her a lift.

Do take note, I rode in a Toyota Vios. (wait till you read what I rode on my way back though! LOL!)

He who sings badly whilst driving (among other things). I recorded his singing to be LOLed at home. Oppss.. guess I'm still LOLing!
After being the good guy sending the poor student to her university, we were then caught in a very bad traffic jam heading out from Bangi towards Seremban. There were two cars in this convoy with four people in each car. And we were to meet another car down the road.

It was bad because both my friend (above picture) and another guy driving in the other car were the  official photographers for this particular wedding. We were suppose to be at Bahau by 11:30 am!!! And we only came out from Bangi at around 10 am. The ride from Bangi to Bahau, Negeri Sembilan takes about 2 hours.

Did we make it? What happened?

Till next entry. =)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chasing Sunsets at Kota Belud, Sabah

Sometimes when people attempt to make small talk with me by asking where I'm from, I'd always say Kota Belud, Sabah. Not a sentence more, not a sentence less. I'm not a conversant person. And their next question would always be "which part of Kota Belud?". Somehow, I'd be frowning by then and simply say that my home doesn't exactly have a pinpoint location. The kampong people would say that my home is near the paddy fields, on the way to Kudat.

Simply put in local ethnic Dusun language "sana ranau" with ranau meaning paddy fields. =)

My parents' house at Kota Belud in which I call home doesn't have a postal address. We tend to borrow the postal addresses of offices in town located about 30km away. Be it the previous workplace of my father's or maybe the clinic's address of my brother's wife's workplace. Any visitor who isn't familiar with the roads of Kota Belud tend to get lost trying to reach my home. Sometimes they end up not coming at all. So that's the quirks of being a kampong gal. =(

But if they did come, I'll make certain they'll enjoy the small delights that always make my visits so enjoyable as illustrated in my instagram pictures below.

Clockwise from upper left: Authentic home-cooked meals, "nasi lemak" from a local stall, mangoes ripe for consumption, a mango tree at the back of the house ready to be plucked, rides on the classic toyota corolla, and twilight view from our backyard.
I make an effort to fly back every once in a while and not only during major holidays to visit my parents and siblings. Thanks to AirAsia, I can easily book a ticket home from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah with only a click that doesn't hurt my pocket. And every time I come back, it has been a habit that I'd laze around at our backyard just to catch a sunset which is visible almost every day!
And it's down. Another new day awaits tomorrow. =)
I haven't seen any sunset that beats the sunset back at home. Well, as a matter of fact, ultimately nothing beats a holiday staying with family at a place where you call HOME.