Sunday, December 23, 2007

Vegetarian western food restaurant - Camp Forest

When we first saw the ad of Camp Forest Restaurant in the Kepong Metro magazine, I wondered if it is a branch of Cameleon Vegetarian Restaurant because they share the same Chinese name: 甘味林.

This restaurant is not just a vegetarian restaurant, it is a WESTERN vegetarian restaurant that serves the common western food people like in KL.

We decided to give it a try, because I love the food in Cameleon, and I did hope the quality of Camp Forest is at least equivalent to Cameleon.

We went there on Thu evening. The first impression when we arrived was very good. The restaurant was set up in a tropical forest mood. Dining inside, you won't feel that you are in the city. Instead, it gives me a feeling like having holiday in a resort place!

Camp Forest

The restaurant has a few fountains and a man-made 'waterfall' with koi fishes around the diners. It has attracted both my children immediately. They chose to sit near the water so they can observe the fishes and fountains.

My son ordered spaghetti 'O' Olio (like aglio olio, without the chilli flakes). It turned out to be quite tasteless and he rejected it (he likes heavily seasoned food).
Spaghetti O Olio

I expected him to change his mind, so I ordered something different - their set dinner: Caesar Salad + Rancheros Chicken Breast + Butter Cake with Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce + Jasmine Tea.

The Caesar Salad actually was just normal garden salad (no romain lettuce).
Caesar Salad

The chicken chop turned out to be very nice. Ian ate half of the chicken chop, and kept telling me it was very tastety. Whew! Made the right choice for my choosy son... Note: This chicken chop is not real chicken, it is made of flour and soy etc, all vegetarian ingredient. However, it tastes just like real chicken - my son didn't know it wasn't!
Chicken Chop

DH ordered an Indian curry noodle. It came in a very HUGE bowl. There are many ingredients in the curry, and we were impressed by the various types of 'meat' - fish cake, fish ball, chicken, pork, charsiu, etc. They all tasted differently, with different texture - and all are not real meats!
Indian Curry Noodle

We also ordered a Fried Seaweed Triangle to share. It is a very tasty snack, suitable to go with beer. But as we were over fed by the time this was served, we couldn't finish it.
Fried Seaweed Triangle

By the time when they served us the dessert - Butter Cake and Ice Cream, we were too full to eat anything. I thought the dessert would go to waste. I just took a few spoon full of ice cream.
Butter Cake and ice cream

But then, it turned out that Ian loved it so much. Not only that we finished the dessert, he didn't even want to give up the left over peanuts and gravy on the plate. He scooped them into his mouth! LOL! Indeed, the next day he still missed this dessert and told me he wanted to return. :)

The butter cake is not just butter cake. It was warm (like fresh from the oven), coated with crunched peanuts, and topped with chocolate sauce. The dry butter cake blend in very well when eaten together with the ice-cream (but too dry to eat on its own).

Ian ate so much that he actually threw out some before bed time! :) I guess that's also because we seldom indulge him into desserts like this. Now I know what my son loves.

The restaurant's address is:
Lot 13848, Jalan 53,
Taman Desa Jaya Kepong
52100 KL
Tel: +60 16-2296 949

Direction map:
Map to Camp Forest

Monday, December 10, 2007

My blog is reviewed

Valmg from Home and Vacation has done a review on Lazy Bone a few weeks ago. She offered to review our blogs for free in the PPP forum, how generous she is!!

In her review of this blog, she pointed out that my blog has very little usage of photos. For a travel blog, photo is very important in bringing out the attractions.

I actually had a problem with that, coz I didn't have a good camera. I relied a lot on my cellphone's camera, which was very sensitive to movements and lights. I often unable to take any photos in a rush.

Now that I've got a new camera, I believe I can make better quality posts with better pictures. :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fresh Pistachio from China

When you buy pistachio nuts from countries like Australia, it can easily reach RM100+. At least that was the amount my mom paid when she visited Melbourne.

Last week she spent her holiday in JiuZaiGou in China. Bought a pack of fresh pistachio for only RM15. They are really unprocessed and we need to peel off the hard shell to eat the nuts.

This is the first time I see fresh pistachio.

When I first saw it, I thought it was a pack of Cadbury chocholates! Image005

At first, we were so stupid, used hammers to knock the shell - lots of hassle to eat that tiny nut inside. As a result of that, no one really interested in them. A day later, my sister realized that a tool is provided! The tool looks like a key, is made of steel, with thin edge to be inserted in the natural crack of the nuts and with a slight twist the nut can be pry open easily!

Look, this is the key and the nut (looks like a chocolate, right?):

Can you see the hairline crack on the nut?

Just insert the key like this and then twist.

Pop! The shell is opened and the nut is ready to be tasted!
Image003 Image011

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Traveling to Europe

DH is now in Germany and Denmark for a product training. I have so many expiring Enrich reward points that I really wished to go with him to save some accommodation, but then he is traveling with another male colleage and they share room. :(

Many people would join their hubby like this, and take the opportunity to extend the stay and go to other European countries like Italy's Rome (one of my dream place), Prague, Barcelona and other nearby places.

I hope DH is going again next year. Have heard of how beautiful Germany is, really wish to see it myself...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Radisson Hotel, Noida

In my recent trip to New Delhi, I stayed in the Radisson Hotel in Noida. This hotel is 3-4 years old/new. It is situated in the centre of the Noida district, very near to many office buildings.

It has a very strategic location, as traveling from the hotel to any offices takes only 10 to 15 minutes.

This hotel is very beautiful with nice interior and varieties of restaurants. Its Indian restaurant, RED, is rated the best Indian restaurants in town. Similarly it also has an award winning oriental restaurants.

I love this hotel, but it is very costly, just like any other hotels in India. It costs me INR 16,200 per night (c. RM1,500) inclusive of breakfast and airport transfer. With the same cost, I can probably stay in a 5 star hotel in KL for 4 or 5 nights.

An alternative is to stay in Delhi, an hour drive from the office area. The savings is not great, but still big. Intercontinental Hotel can cost around INR 11,800 per night (c. RM1,000).
For the comfort and convenience, I prefer Radisson. But for the cost and the fact that I can earn reward points, I prefer the InterContinental The Grand in New Delhi, Connaught Place. :) So, who says loyalty/reward point system doesn’t work?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Holiday on Cruise

Apart from a few dream holiday places of mine, I also long to be on a cruise for a holiday.

Since young, I have been wishing to go on a real cruise, but know that it is very expensive. Those cheaper ones in Malaysia are the Star Cruises, which my mom and sister have been. It stopped by at Phuket Island and came back to port Klang.

Based on that experience, my sister told me it is not fun, as most of the activities are targetted at young kids. The main activity for the adults is gambling. :( This is so different from what I imaginated.

However, my friend won a prize to Carribean Cruise. Based on her experience, my impression on cruises is revived. They have many entertainment outlets for adults like Moulin Rouge showroom, cinema, game room, Karaoke, disco, etc. So, not just gambling!

Of course, going on big and nice cruises like the Hawaii Cruises, Alaska Cruises, European Cruises etc, would need us to fly to big cities like Venice, Barcelona, Rome, Seattle, Vancouver, Hawaii, etc.

One day. Yes, one day, I will do that - one of the things in my 'to-do-list-before-I-die'. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Lately, a few of my blogging buddies wrote about Paris. One of them said that, most people think of Paris they think of Paris Hilton.

Guess what? You must be laughing out loud that I am so outdated that I've never heard of Paris Hilton. I searched in Paris Accomodation for Hilton Hotels. Didn't find it.

Then, searched in wiki, only found out that that Paris Hilton is a woman. Paris Hilton doesn't mean Hilton Hotel in Paria! :P

Seriously, Paris to me, only means: Romance, Tourist, Cafes, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe... and recently added Robert Langdon from Da Vinci Code (by Dan Brown)! :P

I haven't been to Paris before. It is a city that I do not want to go on business trip. I'd certainly want to go with hubby. Knowing our styles, we will definitely look for cheap Accomodation in Paris, as we would most likely go backpack. Been talking about this with a friend few years ago. Maybe give it a couple of years more, we will do that!

[Brought to you by]

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Italy Experience

2 of my best friends went to Italy for their holiday, and returned with sour experience.

I met one of them last week, and got to know some of the detail. I'm waiting for her to give me the details in writing - I have bad memory which city and which hotel those things happened. After getting the details from her, I will share in this blog.

On the other hand, in this travel blog, it lists quite some Italy Highlights, includes things like basic Italy travel guide, things to do, maps, photos, restaurants, attractions, deals, etc.

But one thing I guess missing from this site is what to be caution/lookout for in Italy.

It is either their bad luck, or Italians are generally not friendly to Asians, their bad experience is in almost in every cities, throughout their whole trip!

Well, I guess their disappointment is also amplified with their high expectations before going. They've got too much of movies' influence, thinking that all Italians are warm and friendly. So, when they got cold treatments and being treated with disrespect, they were so disappointed.

[Brought to you by Real Travel]

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trips cancelled

My trips to Hanoi and Jakarta next week were cancelled, very last minute.

It was just yesterday that my boss told me to cancel them. Tickets were already issued so we will have to pay for a 'penalty' fee to airline. But the cost would be minimal compared to the total amount that the whole trip would take.

I was supposed to have a stressful trip next week. Original plan was to fly to Hanoi on Monday, conduct workshop on Tuesday, fly from Hanoi to KL and with 1h15min to transit to Jakarta. A very short time that can be easily screwed up if Hanoi-KL sector is delayed even slightly. If miss the flight to Jakarta I'd miss the last flight out.

But all worries no longer a concern, coz I'm not going anywhere for the rest of this year!

Why? Because we have just realized we blown our travel budget! When I tried to get the latest finance figure, I found out that the budget that we're working on, is entirely different from what finance has. The truth is, we've been using a wrong budget number - a complete screw up!

Now, eventhough I wished to go to Hanoi - a city I've never been to, I will have to wait for next year or go on my own expenses. Even next year, most likely any trip to Vietnam would be to HCMC instead of Hanoi - so sad, so disappointed!

Anyway, for this blog, instead of basing on my business trips, I will dig out something interesting from my holiday in New Zealand 2 years ago. I went there for 17-day trip, in a caravan - some experience to share.

I will also try to dig out the Perth photos to complement the post I wrote early this month.

These are what to expect from this blog in the near future.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bumpy Trips to Delhi

I’ve been to New Delhi 3 times in 4 years. All the 3 times, the flights were bumpy, all the way from Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi.

Yes, ALL THE WAY. Turbulence all the time.

In my first trip, I was 7 months pregnant. The seatbelt sign was switched on all the time. I need to pee, but was advised to sit down, until I couldn’t hole it any more. Hey! 5.5 hours, how to hold???

In my second and the last trips, the seatbelt sign was switched on 70% of the time. Drinks are hard to be kept on the table without spilling.
If we take statistics, it is 100% bumpy. Caution: small sample of n=3. :P

Monday, October 08, 2007

Perth, Australia

Before I got this job, I rarely traveled out of the country. The only few places that I've ever traveled to were: Singapore and Thailand. A year after our marriage, DH & I signed up for a tour to Perth, Western Australia.

Before we went, I got a lot of 'cold water' from people I know. The spontaneous reaction was like "Ergh! Why of all the places, you choose this boring place?" Some said, there is not much of entertainment, not much of night life, etc in Perth, and they said better to go to Sydney.

Now I think back, perhaps these negative comments helped to lower my expectation, I ended up enjoyed the trip very much. After so many years, and after visiting so many places (holiday or business), nothing could beat that Perth trip. It is the best trip I had in memory. Perhaps that time DH & my relationship was at the peak - it felt so romantic with your lover, wherever you go! People thought we were on our honey moon trip, hahahah!

We ended up with a lot of nice photos, and I made a very nice album of it -- those days without kids I had plenty of time. I even printed narrative in two languages (English and Chinese) for our album. People who've seen our album all wanted to go to Perth. :D :D

It was a 5D4N trip. Very eventful... It started very silly - our luggages flew to HK instead of Perth, and waited till the next day to return to Perth! A good lesson for me for all the future trips: to check the luggage tag before leaving the airport counter. :)

We stayed at Pier Street on the first day. I was told the best Perth accommodation is around the Pier Street (may be wrong). We didn't stay in very good 5 star hotel. Instead, the tour originally booked us in Miss Maud Hotel, but changed to Sebel Hotel. Not very great hotel, but considered decent amongst discount hotels.

Here is brief of things that we did/saw in Perth. As we arrived late just enough for dinner, the tour actually starts on the second day.

We first visited the Raeburn Orchard, which grows pear, persimmons, etc. As we visited Perth during winter, we couldn't see fruits on the tree - only bald trees! We bought some persimmons, very nice but expensive (RM48 for just 16 pieces!).

After the orchard, we went to the Caversham Wildlife Park, to feed kangaroos (with food on my palm and the kangaroos licked the food --> yulk, a lot of salivar!), saw koala bear, hug the fat and heavy wombat, etc. For a small fee, we could ride a camel too, but I didn't. Emu is also another attraction for me, and I had a chance to hold its egg for a pic - the egg is in green colour!! We also saw genetically modified white kangaroos!

In the afternoon, we went to the Pinelli Winery to taste and purchase wine, then headed to Matilda Lake Farm Chalets. First we had a Devonshire tea, plucked oranges fresh from the trees and ate at the spot, then we witnessed sheep sheering demonstrations.

Before dinner, we visited the farm behind a tractor. Over 20 people stuffed in a small 'cage'! I thought we were like inside the zoo for the farm animals to laugh at. :P When we reached the cow barn, all cows ran to us waiting to be fed. It was so fun letting them ate the fodder off from our hands. Their hair is very long, unlike the cows in my country. ;)

On the third day, we had an easy and lazy morning stroding in the farm before leaving back to the city. On the way, we stopped by at Lake Monger to see and feed black swans. Nothing great, just a lazy and easy day - I guess this is why people dislike Perth tour, but I enjoyed that pace.

Next we climed to the top of Mount Eliza for a stop at the King's Park. Here we could view the Perth city across the Swan River. Very nice view. We then moved to Fremantle for their 'must-have' --> fish & chips lunch. It is a harbour south of Perth, fish & chips is very common here. The Fremantle Markets sells all sorts of fruits, nougats (must-buy in Australia), toys, souvenirs and handicrafts. A bit like the Silk Street in Beijing, but more pleasant.

Before moving back to our hotel in Perth, we were brought to the casino. Nothing special, I think our Genting is even better.

On the 4th day, it was what I was waiting for -- the trip to the Pinnacles, in a 4WD. On the way, we stopped at Yanchep National Park, seeing all the wild animals and plants all that. Actually, now I think back, if I went without that nice tour guide, it would have been a different story. A lot of the fun parts are because we understood and we learnt, all from that guide. He did a very good explanation -- love him!

The highlight for the day was the Nambung National Park, home of amazing Pinnacles Desert. Thousands of limestone pillars rising out of the golden sand make the pinnacles desert a unique attraction of Western Australia. Unfortunately it was raining. :(

We also went to the sand dunes, did sand boarding. I was the second person to be pushed down the sand slope. The moment I was pushed down, I was so scared that I screamed out loudly for my mom! In my mind, I blamed myself for risking my life and I still wanted to live for many years. Very shamefull. :P It was very exciting, and I actually played a second round. :)

On the last day (5th), it was free and easy. DH & I took the whole morning walking in the town, seeing the Swan Bell Towel, which housed the 14th century Bells of St Martins from Trafalgar Square, London. Not sure what it means, not something that I can emphatize with. :P

That's the end of our tour. There is only one thing that I regret about the trip - not able to see the wild flowers during winter. I bought some postcards - they are marvelous!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blogging Tips Meme

Got this tag from Sean. Actually his other tag in the same link is more fun to do. Hahaha!

Back to this tag - it is easy, just share with us about your tips in blogging:
Copy the list below and star five of your favourite ones, add your own tip and pass it on
1. Look, read, and learn.
2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other.
3. Don’t let money change ya!
4. Always reply to your comments.
5. Blog about what you know & love.
6. Don’t use filthy language-buy a dictionary.
*7. Blog about something educational.
8. Be yourself; others will follow.
9. Don’t have too many blogs that will become a chore to maintain.
10. Keep it simple, user-friendly, interesting and organized!
*11. Keep the blog simple and sweet!!!
12. Share with others your thoughts and don’t be shy!
*13. Never ask for link exchange. Blog hop to increase traffic.
14. Don’t clutter your blog with ads all over the place. IT’S IRRITATING.
15. Don’t comment for the sake of commenting. Some looked too fake and its a big turn off!
16. Share something interesting and you will gain more readers.
17. Show that we care to all bloggers, treat each other as friends.
18. Pictures say a million words. Keep them coming!
19. Blogging should be fun or you’ll get tired of it pretty soon.
20. Don’t think people will come to your blog if you’re not willing to pay a visit to them.
21. Everyone loves read short posting and best, illustrated with a picture.
22. Try not to publish more than 5 posts in one blog a day. Even if it’s from feed reader, it’s quite hard to digest and catch up reading everything.
23. Blog: the other window to peek into people’s life, minus the trouble. Keep a certain level of privacy to yourself.
*24. Never tell your readers that you are going on vacation. That’s basically telling them to not visit your blog for a week. Instead, write several posts, and take advantage of the timestamp feature.
25. Try and write with people in mind that are “somewhat similar to you”. Allow your audience to identify with your blog and feel “at home”.
26. The key to a good article is a good introduction. A joke, a question or a picture does wonders.
27. If you are looking to earn an income blogging read and, you will be amazed at what you can learn.
28. Write for yourself first. Remember that it takes time, effort, patience…and above all, daring. [The Laidback Buddhist]
*29. Enjoy what you write, so that reader can enjoy reading it too – Life’s Roller Coaster~
30. Use pictures in support of your writing, let readers more easier to understand~! -
31. Write personal experience, do not be a copycat.
*****************************************************************************************************Ok, let’s see other people’s opinions~

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Movies Onboard

I’ve always disliked sitting the old airbus flying certain sectors like Beijing and Delhi. The seats are old and can only recline slightly just to make one comfortably sitting up – not lying down. Unless one is extremely tired, it would be hard to sleep. Unfortunately these 2 sectors’ flights usually require overnight sleep.

Flights to Beijing usually depart at 12:30 midnight and arrive at 6:30am. Return flights from Delhi usually leave at 2am (KL) and arrive at 7am. Really don’t understand why MAS hasn’t upgraded these planes yet.

Anyway, going back to the topic of this post – movies. These old aircrafts not only have seats that are uncomfortable, they also do not have individual screens for movies. So, you can’t sleep and you have no entertainments unless you want to read the whole night.

In my last trip to Delhi, I was surprised by MAS’s effort to meet this need! They’ve introduced a portable entertainment device, just like their normal TV screens but wireless.

They gave that out after completed take-off. It has a stand, just like a photo frame, to be put on the table for viewing.

It looks like MAS really put a lot of effort trying to satisfy their customers. Changing the aircrafts is too costly from business POV. Instead, they innovatively introduced the portable entertainment units, much inexpensive but equally effective.

The only set backs of the devices are:
They occupy the table, which can be quite clumsy and troublesome during meal times.
They have relatively less programs installed.
Nevertheless, I’m happy with that. :D

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sydney, Australia

Sigh! How many times I've been telling that I've never been to Sydney? Not sure why I kept getting requests to write reviews on hotels in Sydney. I have rejected quite many of such requests, quite sad seeing money flies away like that. :P

I'm not very good at search engines, to be frank I only use Google. I know of wikipedia, but never thought of using it to search for locations like Sydney. This morning, my supplier sent me a link to wikitravel for Hanoi, as we are planning for a trip soon. This is when I tried looking for Sydney in wikitravel. The result is encouraging.

It is like a travel guide book, has an overview, geographical detail, history/people/climate/etc, how to get in, where to stay, how to get around, what to see, what to do, etc.

In the list of places to stay, it lists down cheap hotels, mid class hotels as well as what they call 'Splurge' hotels. Very useful site.

With that site, I learnt something new about Sydney, and really hope I get a chance to be there. But then... it is not my dream place after all. If I have the time and budget, I'd go other more exortic places, unless it is on business. Hahaha!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Please Horn

In some countries, honking is a norm on the street. ‘Toot-toot’ ‘Beep-Beep’ ‘Baa-baa’ ‘Been-been’ ‘Boon-boon’!

India is one of these countries. Behind trucks and buses, there are writings that say: PLEASE HORN, or SOUND YOUR HORN, or BLOW YOUR HORN. They all mean the same thing.

I asked my Indian colleague and he laughed out loud. He told me that if one doesn’t horn and someone hit his car, he is to be blamed as others would question him why he hasn’t horn.

So, when you are changing lane, you must blow your horn. If there is a guy in the lane, he should horn to tell you that he is there. If he doesn’t and you hit into his car because you don’t look, he is to be accused wrong.

In short, people just like to horn, and no one gets offended by horns.
In some countries, mine included, you don’t hear horns everywhere, but if one does, he tends to get angry as it signals that you are being ‘scolded’ or ‘cursed’. So, don’t simply blow your horn in these countries. ;)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Smart Signboards For Buffet Tables

When I was having my breakfast in Traders Hotel, Beijing, I saw this little signboard on each table. Something they newly implemented, which I’ve never seen previously.
Image005 Image006
The signboard has a red surface on one side and a green on the other.

The red one says something like: This seat is occupied.
And the green one says something like: I’m done. This seat is available now.

Well, whenever I have my meals (buffet), I always carry my bag with me to the food bars, to prevent theft. As a result of that, the waiters can sometimes mistaken the seat as unoccupied and put another guests there, especially before you’ve started.

This signboard becomes very helpful now, especially to single business travelers like me. A good idea that I think other hotels/buffet-restaurants can adopt.
Ah! There is one thing to note though. As a courteous diner, one must remember to turn it to green, when finish dining, so the seat would not be ‘occupied’ forever. :) For once, I forgot to turn it until I’ve nearly left the restaurant!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Interesting Travel Blog

I've stumbled across an interesting travel blog. Unlike other blogs, it covers travel stories in Asia.

One recent entry was about How To Overcome Con Artists in Asia. In this entry, the blogger reveals that a lot of 'trainee' tourguides actually spend very little time bringing tourists to the interesting spots. Instead, they were brought to factories to buy things, which the 'trainee' tourguides earn fat commissions.

Well, I don't think they always pose themselves as 'trainee'. The same scam is included in big and major ground tour agencies. Most of the ground tours end up in some kind of factories. This happens the most in China, even under the so called 'government owned outlets'.

There are other con stories in the same post, which I'm not going to repeat here. One is about Bangkok's disguised 'international police'. Worth checking this site for the detail.

Another interesting entry is about a story in Bangkok as well. We all know Thailand has a lot of Ah Gua ('lady boys'). This is an article about Top 5 Ways to Spot Lady Boys in Thailand. Don't be surprised that a lady that you're interested in, turn out to be a man! So, check this out to be for sure. ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stories on Accommodations

As I travel alone most of the time, I'd really appreciate if my friends don't mention any horror stories to me. :)

I try to avoid any horror stories, instead try to get some cheerfull and funny stories.

The most terrible horror stories for single travelers like me is related horror accommodation stories. Just before my trip to Delhi, my aunt told her horror stories in a local hotel, which gave me the chill. Well, not that I believe in her stories, but if the image is in the brain, one can easily be manipulated by our brain and start imagining things.

That's why, I always reject any accommodation stories, be it in a hotel, service apartment, rented bungalows, etc.

Our company has two bungalows in the Fraser's Hill and Cameron. My colleague hinted some scary accommodation stories that I dare not to listen in full. However, I've caught a few words before knowing where he was going to, and it was too late to stop planting some images in my brain (even though I didn't listen the rest of the stories)!!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Bangkok Chatuchak Weekend Market

I've been to Bangkok so many times, but I've never been to the famous Chatuchak (or Jatujak) weekend market. That's because I've only been to Bangkok on business trips and have never stayed over the weekends.

The last trip to Bangkok, since my best friend is now based there, I extended my stay to visit her, and naturally Chatuchak market is in my 'must go' list.

This world's largest weekend market can be accessed via BTS Skytrain. There are almost 9,000 individual booths, selling almost everything that you can imagine and cannot imagine.

Some of these stores are manned by factory owners who sell the over-produced goods or second grade goods. By second grade, it could be due to inconsistent colour that couldn't match the order. These goods are sold at very cheap price.

I like this market a lot more than those in Beijing or Shanghai. The main reason is the price - the offer/asking price. One can be an idiot paying for something 10 times another pays, when you shop in China. An item offered for 400 can be closed at 40 (10% of the initial price).

But in Thailand, this won't happen. Asking price is normally not too high, so even if your bargaining skill is not very good, the price you pay may not be too much more than your friend's (at least not 10 times higher like in China!).

Another interesting feature of this market is, the shops are very different from one another, even though they are selling the same item. For example, two clothes shops carry very differnt types of clothes, two shoes shops carry differnet designs and material of shoes, etc.

There are very interesting shops, e.g. handmade clocks with 3D designs and background, bathroom slippers with funny animals head, cloth paintings with typical Thailand graphics, etc.

Various things that the market contains:

  • Books & collectibles
  • Plants and Gardening
  • Home utensils & decors
  • Pets & accessories
  • Antiques
  • Chothing & accessories
  • Handicrafts
  • Furnitures
  • Miscellaneous & decors
  • Food & snacks

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

2008 Olympic 1 Year Countdown

Today marks the start of the 2008 Olympic (08.08.08) countdown. I happen to be in Beijing, lucky enough to have witnessed this and be part of it.

There were so many people coming to the Tiananmen Square. I am not a person like crowds, and it is a hot weather (summer), so instead of going there, I went to have nice dinner at the Back Lake. (后海)

I am amazed with what the government can do to prevent raining in the city. I was told that they shoot missles to the sky to break the cloud!!!

Anyway, clearing the cloud not only prevented the rain, I think the haze is also improved today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Queen Elizabeth 2 Conference Centre

The Queen Elizabeth 2 Conference Centre (QEICC) is located in Westminster, London. In terms of location, I think it is the best for any business conference, as it is just situated shadow of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the British Airways London Eye.

It has wide variety of rooms available on 6 floors, with syndicate rooms available for group breakout discussions (very useful for workshops!). It also offers wide variety of food for conference organizers. The menu is extensive, from a la carte to buffets, to cocktail party, etc.

They also offer event management service that would help event organizers. I've worked with these event managements people before, they help a lot in coordination and making things are in perfect order - less hassle for organizers like us.

In terms of accommodations, people can choose to book last minute or book in advance at nearby hotels in London. Hotel in London is always perceived as very expensive, especially after conversion to RM. I am surprised to find good deals for last minute London hotels booking. I always thought last minute (inside 21 days) bookings are always more expensive, not necessary. There are deals start from GBP10!

Brought to you by

The Obelisk

My friend forwarded this to me, and I think it is very interesting to share with you. This was originated from this blog.
First, take a look at the pic below.
Don't be lazy, try to guess what this obelisk is for?
Tips: You unassemble it to use.
Still cannot?
Okay, it is an outdoor furniture, 4 chairs and a table. Below a few pics from that blog to show you how it is unassembled and used as furniture.
I first thought it is a mobile toilet. :P You should go over to that blog for more pics and details of the product.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Are You Moving?

When do we move? Bought or lease a new house, or got a new job offering in other city or country?

It is not easy planning for a move or relocation. There is a saying in Chinese: moving from upstair to downstair, lost a barrel of wheat (which means things get missing when we move, even for a shortest distance!).

Moving can actually be easy, if you leave this to the professionals. My best friends were reloated to other countries, one in China and one in Thailand. Both used professional movers. These international movers are experts and able to advise and provide guidence, so that you won't leave anything out.

These relocation professionals usually provide a one stop solution, able to help in all aspect from real estate, mortgage, auto shipping, moving, insurance, home improvement, careers, etc.

One may ask: Why do you need 'careers' service from these agencies? Take my friend's case for example. She moved to China because of her husband's job. She had to quit her highly pay job to follow the husband. She may want to get a job there once settles down, so this service would be handy then!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I am going to Beijing again very soon. This time, I will have a little more time for sightseeing.

When I went there on business, I always made sure I visit a site on my last day -- flight usually leaves at 4pm, so I could use the morning - limited to closeby areas. After a few business trips, even without extending on my own expenses, I've managed to covered quite a lot of places. Now, almost got nothing to do, except to shop.

For this trip, I discovered this travel blog that listed down the Top Ten in Beijing, which gives me very good ideas.

From this travel blog, I've found a few places that I've never known nor visited. On the top pick is: Red Lantern House. This is a hostel in Beijing's historic hutong neighbours. A good way to experience the traditional Chinese style of 'homestay'.

Another pick from the list is Wansheng Theatre for their Chinese Acrobat Show at No. 95 Tianqiao Market XuanWu District. I've never been there, but have seen similar acrobat show at Laoshe Teahouse. I went there after a whole day's meeting - a treat by the locals! Very fun thing to do, but not to be repeated too often!

Lastly, the third place that I haven't been, in the top 10 list in that blog is: Lama Temple. In the blog, it didn't write down the address, but I believe I can ask around for that.

These are another 3 places to fill up my next 3 trips to Beijing! :P

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Parking At Airport

Usually when I travel on business, I go to the airport by taxi as I could claim the expenses, so I've never have to face with parking issues.

Two years ago, we brought our son to KK, and we parked our car at the airport for 2 nights. When we returned, wow! the parking fee was nearly a hundred ringgits. There is no cap to the parking fee, as we were told, so if you park for a couple of weeks, the cost can come up to a thousand! In addition, finding a space in the small car park can also be a stress especially when you have a flight to catch.

In Gatwick Parking, we can online evaluate parking rates from more than 100 different car parks around the airport (see, unlike them, we only have 1 - monoplized!). They have a crawler collecting information from all car parks, help us to find the lowest car park fees from a single website.

After evaluating and finding a car park/rate that you are satisfied with, you can book the space online before your flight departure! Upon arrival, just present the pre-paid voucher at the car park, and there is free transport to the terminal from the car parks.

The whole process is actually very simple:
1) enter the flight information (depart and return dates/times)
2) choose a car park
3) guarantee a space
4) pay
5) receive voucher
6) give to attendant
Indeed, this is a very use friendly website.

I really wish we can have this kind of service in Malaysia. This can take away one hassle, especially people traveling with family!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Paint Ball

I saw a new opportunity in PayPerPost on paint ball. Though the payout rate is not good, it reminded me of my last paint ball experience, and I wanted to take the opportunity -- but then, later found out it is only opened for US bloggers. :(

Anyway, since I've digged out the pic from my archive in 2001, I've decided to blog it away, but the advertiser won't get their link. :P

Okay, back to the topic - Paint Ball. Have you tried playing with it? I've only played once.

It was during my ex-company's trip to Bukit Tinggi Resort (now is renamed to Berjaya Hills), somewhere slightly further north from Genting Highland. We stayed in Colmar Tropicale, the only accommodation there, with a French theme. The buildings are made looks like French castles, and there are performance on the street, and very nice night views.

This is a very small hill indeed. There aren't many places to go, or many things to do. It would be good if you go in a group, so you can do group activities like what we did.

One of the things that we played was the paint ball. If you are not familiar with this, paint ball is kind of like a combat game, where you shoot the opponent with paint-balls. The paint balls are filled with paints and will colour you if you are shot. So, it is obvious that you can't play this if you just go there alone or with your girl friend/boy friend only. ;)

Our gang never followed instruction to keep a safe distance during firing. I got a shot on my thigh, at an extremely closed distance. The result is.... dadadada!

Scary or not? It took me 2 months to recover from that huge bruise! And that was the only time I played paint ball - not that I was scared of it, but couldn't find the chance and the group to do the same any more, especially as age grows. :P

Anyway, back to the resort, the other things that you can do there are:
- Donkey rides (for kids)
- Horse riding (for adults)
- Rabbit park
- Deer sanctuary
- Japanese village
- Golf
- Spa (I think this is a new resort, it wasn't there back in 2001)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Safe Driving in the Rain

We need to drive differently in wet weather. It's more than just working wiper blades and reducing speed. We can make a difference as we share the same roads with others.

Here are some tips for driving in the rain:

  • Remember the simple rule - wipers on and lights on
  • Reduce speed
  • Think ahead for where water hazards could be
  • If can’t avoid standing water, try to do all your braking in a straight line before hitting it and comes off the brakes as you enter the puddle. Re apply brakes gently once all tyres are immersed in the water and keep your steering wheel as straight as you can.
  • Never assume ABS will reduce braking distances in the wet, it won’t!
  • Be prepared for oncoming heavy goods vehicles to shower you with spray; so put your wiper on high speed 2-3 seconds before they go past
  • Think space, space, space !!! Never follow too close to the vehicle in front

As for the last point, always allow double the normal space that you would for a fine day. On normal days, it is recommended to use 2-second rule. On rainy days, use 4-second rule. I.e. count the number of seconds between you and the front vehicle passing a fixed object on the road.

Online Dating

This is a sponsored post. I am supposed to write about my online dating experience, but seriously I don't have any. But... I am going to share with you a story of my best friend.

She is my childhood friend since we were just 4 or 5 years old. We went to the same school until standard 5, and she moved on to international school as she comes from a rich family.

She is always a shy and introvert type. Never appear to me as able to initiate conversations, not even to guys.

Many years later, when I had a steady relationship, she was still single - as in never had a boyfriend. Few years later, I got married, and she is still without a soul mate.

When my first child was born... suddenly she told me she is getting married! And guess what? She 'met' her soul mate online! She is now happily married, with a beautiful daughter, and her husband loves her very much -- kind of like a happy ending to her.

I'm very glad for her, and this really changes my view about online dating. Guess as long as practice cautious, it is still okay? Just be careful don't fall into those not serious in long term relationship, or 1 night stand type.

This site, FriendFinder, offers easy way to meet new people. It is very easy, just select man or woman you are looking for, age range, location, and it will return list of 'candidates' to choose.

In terms of the quality of members, it is really up to individual judgement. :P
The best thing I like about this site is, you can have a look at the list of members falling into your criteria, before you take the membership. Membership allows you to chat with other members, as well as post your own ad for free.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Travel to Melbourne

Are you planning to travel to Australia? Which part of Australia would you like to visit?

I've been to Perth only. Maybe will consider Melbourne in the future. Ever since joining this firm, though I am in the Asia Pacific role, and Australia is in my portfolio, I haven't got the chance to go on business.

My boss went to Melbourne once for a training, and she purposely scheduled it around the F1 period, so she got a chance to be there as well. Well, she is the boss, she could do that, but I can't!

Anyway, going to Melbourne during the F1 period is not easy, as most hotels would be fully booked. It would be hard to look for cheap hotels in Melbourne during that period. So, that is a disadvantage though. :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Breaking Down in Vehicles

Have you experienced breaking down in a vehicle? I learnt that each year, hundreds of people lost their life or suffer serious injuries while working or stopped at the roadside or on the motorway hard shoulder due to vehicle breakdown.

This can be a very worrying experience and can be very dangerous. It is vital for all drivers and passengers to know what to do in the event of breakdown.

First, do not stand beside your vehicle on the road or in a parking area. Try to park your vehicle away from the main road, keep your vehicle locked and within eyesight. Walk away from your vehicle, don't position yourself where you can hit by passing vehicles, stay high attention on your vehicle, passengers, and on coming traffics.

If you have a flat tyre that you have to change, try not to do this at the road side. If possible use a second vehicle to block/protect yourself. Try to stop with the flat tyre facing the roadside. Post a lookout to warn you of approaching vehicles, put warning triangle in front and beside the site. Use Hi Vis jackets if possible.

Do not wait for help inside the vehicle. Get out of your car - it is dangerous to stay inside as you are at risk of being hit from the rear at highspeed by passing cars. Never try to cross lanes to the other side of the road as it is lethal. Women tend to wait inside the car for help, but statistic has confirmed that the chances of being hit inside the car is higher than getting attacked by someone outside the vehicle.

Hope this tips helps!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Discovery Cruise

I've always wanted to go on a cruise since I was very young, still schooling. But I've never on board a cruise ship, never. And my wish to have cruise has gone far behind my mind now.

As I grow/age, I find myself worried about -- pirates. :P
Am I silly? :P

Anyway, I have recently learnt that the Discovery Cruise is giving out some kind of complementary 1-day cruise to the Military.

The cruise is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Grand Bahama Island, including all meals and the taxes, no cost at all.

The offer is for US military personnel only, and is for those who have served or are serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Not sure whether this is any part of their marketing program, or is this company playing its social resp. thingy?

Monday, May 28, 2007

What You CANNOT Do While Driving and Why

Received this note from the safety advisor a couple of months ago, and thought of sharing with you guys:

Talking on the phone while driving is not the only thing you are not allowed to do when you are on the wheel. Read below from the BBC website to see why you should not be distracted with other activities while driving, related not only to the dangers of mobile phone use...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Another Hotel Room Incident

Can't believe this is happening to me again!

I had a busy weekend traveling and working in China from city to city. This morning, I flew from Shanghai to Guangzhou with a male colleague from Beijing. Arrived at the hotel, found out they were over booked, and they let us shared a room. Well, not really that to be exact. They let us share a two-room suite. Believe that or not?

They were not honest at first (sound so similar to the previous Pakistan case). They took our credit card, swiped, made us signed the registration... and then we noticed the price quoted there was different from the confirmation email. Upon checking, only we found out they put us in a two-room suite.

In our culture, it is just not right to put a male and a female in a suite like that! Not that we don't trust each other, but it is against our culture, and it will certainly create family crisis (his and mine)! I'm sure my husband would mind, and I'm sure his wife would mind!

Since it was day time and our office was open, we changed to another hotel straight away. But was very disappointed with the first hotel - Ocean Hotel.

I am a bit numb about this kind of incidents already. Too many similar case has happened to me. What's wrong with the hotel industry? They tend to over book and take us for granted. This one some more claimed themselves 5 star! Wonder who decides the 'star' of the hotels????

When my colleague argued with the manager at the lobby, I was just too numb about it and kept quiet watching. Only to chip in towards the end. My colleague was so furious that he called up a number to complain (something like consumerism), but surprised to find out hotel is an area without any 'autorities' to look after. So, consumers are on our own, when it comes to hotel stays. What a finding!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hong Kong/Macau Sightseeing Tips

These are some (hopefully useful) tips for those who visit HK on your own.

Before leaving the airport, buy the Octopus card (八达通卡), that includes a return trip of the Airport Express (AEL), and 3 days unlimited ride of the MTR. It costs HKD300 per person, but is very useful and can save a lot of money, especially if you schedule all the trips to farther areas in the first 3 days.

In Macau, after leaving the port, go straight to the card counter to apply for a Macau Pass. I can't remember how much it costed, but with the deposits and all that, I paid HK$80 for a card. It can be used for multiple passengers, and upon leaving, you can return the card and get the deposit refunded plus the remaining credit. Very convenient and easy payment.
P1070446 - Macau card

Going to Macau
If you are a Malaysian, don't have to get entry visa. However, if you needed an entry visa to Hong Kong, then perhaps you'll need a Macau visa. And returning from Macau to HK, you'll need another HK entry visa. If you plan to go to Macau from HK, then make sure you have double entry visas for HK, otherwise you'll have trouble.

The most common way to Macau is to take the ferry. Because we stayed at Kowloon, we took the ferry from 香港中国客运码头, which is just next to the biggest shopping mall Harbout city (海港城-港威商场), walkable from where we lodged.

Most commonly used are Cantonese and English. If you speak Mandarin (like me), I'd advise you not to. Try to communicate among yourselves in English (if you can't speak HK-like Cantonese). I had bad experience in this. As I was talking to my sister in Mandarin, I was mistaken as Mainland Chinese, and I got very bad treatment. I didn't feel good for that kind of sub-standard treatment, but somehow understand why they treated the Chinese this way... that is another story...

Octopus Card
Octopus card purchased from the airport can also be used to buy things from retail outlets such as 7-Eleven. You may top up the value in any of those outlets. It can be used for buses, on top of the MTR. After the 3 days unlimited ride, you'll need to top up before you can continue to use the card, eventhough you have HKD50 as deposit initially.

Electric: The voltage is 220V/50Hz, same as Malaysia.
Get a book like this one. We relied a lot on the information in this book, but it proved that a lot of info outdated, due to the rapid changing market in HK. But nevertheless, the book provided a foundation for planing - at least on the route and what to do/eat.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Summary of HK Food Trip

There are a few things that I didn't list out in the blog in detail. One of the dinners, I had seafood with my friends, whilst my sister had hers with her friends. Due to time constraint, we just had the seafood in town, so nothing great to write about.

The night we returned from Macau, my sister's friend invited us to this Oyster Bar at Knutsford Terr (诺士佛壹) nearby our hotel. This is an expensive place, man! Having plates of oysters, of different species... really new experience to me -- call me uptown girl/woman! Of course, that meal costed over 2k HKD. * shock *

And the day before we left, we had dimsum for breakfast. Nothing to write about, just standard dimsum, nothing special. Not the type that we see in the TV.

Those things that we didn't manage to eat are: smelly toufu (臭豆腐), 2-mix (两溝), etc (mainly street foods).

As for what I loved most? They are the 九记牛腩 (Gao Kei Beef Noodle) and Seng Cheong Crab Porridge (诚昌水蟹粥). I missed them so much. Yummy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Macau Food (part 2) - Central

After tasted what we listed in Taipa, we went back to the Central and headed for other stuff in our list.

Restaurant Platao (九如坊)
This restaurant is located on a side lane after the McDonald's in the Central. My friend highly recommended it for its Biscuit Mousse (木糠蛋糕/木糠布丁). This looks like a fine dining restaurant, more pricey than the other outlets we had before. The Biscuit Mousse costs us HKD48, just for 1 piece.

Though it doesn't look good from the picture, it tastes very well. It is like ice-creams layered with biscuit powder. Something quite unique that I've not seen elsewhere. Worth trying.

Yee Soon Dairies (义顺牛奶公司)
After tasting the nice stemed milk in the Australian Dairies, we had high expectation of this cafe. Quite disappointed, coz the steamed milk (双皮奶) tasted quite awful that I couldn't finish it - for the first time, we pushed the food to each other. :P

But then, its Ginger Milk (姜汁撞奶) is very different! Ginger mixes very well with the milk, the nice ginger smell and fragrant makes the whole dessert superb. We both fighted for the last spoon. What a big difference!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Macau Food (part 1) - Taipa

In Macau, there are basically two places we need to go, i.e. the Taipa (sorry can't write the Chinese word, coz not a standard Chinese!) pronounced as Tam-Zai, and the Central or called Dai-San-Ba (大三巴). In Taipa, there are a couple of streets with famous Portugese foods. And the Seng Cheong (诚昌) porridge is one of the two food I can never forget in this trip.

Seng Cheong Crab Porridge (诚昌水蟹粥)
It is highly recommended by my HK friends. It wasn't in my original food list, but due to her high recommendations, we started with that. I was really glad we listened to her.

They cooked the porridge with crab that is full of cream/role/羔. The porridge looks yellowish with the roles mixed well.

We ordered the small one, but came so big, coz they cook it minimum with 1 crab. We also ordered their fried fish balls. When we first saw the food, we thought we would not be able to finish. But we were wrong! It was so tasty that we finished everything, and we didn't feel enough! OMG, I am never fond of eating porridge, but this one is just too tasty to forget. My sister and I keep talking about this again and again, checking with everyone who've been to Macau about this... It is just so, so, so tasty I don't know how else to describe it.
(just to show you how big the bowl is, and we finished them!)

The fried fish balls are quite unique too. It is to be eaten with the black vinegar. A good dish to go with the porridge.

We were there at 12noon, just right after they opened for business. Slightly later, the outlet was full with people waiting for a table!

Pronounced as San Hou Lei. Just a small outlet along the main street in Taipa, humble looking small coffee shop. It is famous for its Portugal Egg Tart. We knew from the book that it is also good for its Milk Tart. So we ordered both.

You must try the milk tart. It tastes so differently rom normal tart. In fact, their tarts' pastry is very soft and crispy, very fragile. We had to eat with care, otherwise they all spread out and you may end up holding nothing! The filling of the milk tart is similar to those that we had in steamed milk (双皮奶), like milk custard. Not too sweet, just nice.

And the Portugal tarts... at first I didnt' like it coz I hate my food burnt, and it has too many burnt marks on the surface. But then... after eating it, I realised that the taste of the egg tart is actually enhanced by those burnt smell. Not a healthy way of eating, once is enough, but worth to comment that it tastes different, better than those in KL!

Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei (大利来记)
Here comes the (original) highlight of my Macau trip. Macau is famous for the pork chop bun (猪扒包). It is famous, mainly because of this cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei. And this cafe is famous, because (from hear-say) it uses wood to bake their buns. Yes, the bun is more famous than the pork chop. Due to environmental issues, this outlet looks like the only outlet has the license to operate with wood.

The freshly baked pork chop bun is only available at 3pm daily. Before 3pm, queue has already formed. We went on a non-peak day, but it has no difference!

Dadadada! The long waited pork chop bun is here!

And... can you guess how disappointed I was? It wasn't tasty at all! The bun was very hard and dry. No gravy, just dry hard bun and a piece of dry pork chop. I felt like choked to death, trying to eat and swallow the bun. I don't think it is due to high expectation. It was just too dry. I saw people eating just like that, no gravy, no sauces. Wonder what makes it so famous! The one sold at Mid Valley in KL is even better. Maybe I am not good at food tasting, I guess.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hong Kong Food (part 5)

Pronounced as Gao Kei Ngao Lam, this is my most favourite restaurant along with another one in Macau. I have been thinking of these two outlets nearly everyday, and when thinking about them makes me more hungry coz they are just so delicious. My sister thinks the same too, so it is not just me!

This outlet is very difficult to find. You probably need to take a cab, but we walked coz we had a map (from a book that we bought in KL book store). It is in between Central (中环) and Sheung Wan (上环). We exited from Sheung Wan #E2, walked along the Queen's Rd. C. (皇后大道中), go into Wellington St (威灵顿街). After seeing 莲香楼on our right, we turned into Aberdeen Street. Enter the second right lane, and this outlet can be seen prominently.

Its soup is clear but very tasty, with full flavour. It is famous for its Curry Beef.

We order curry beef with... can't remember what it is called - pic, very soft and tender.

But... what makes it unforgetable is the yee mee noodle (伊面). I never know just plain yee mee can be that tasty. Their yee mee is unlike ours (deep fried already and preserved for long). Theirs is fresh, tender, 咬起来有口劲! In fact, don't have to order its beef noodle, just the plain yee mee noodle is good enough! I miss it very much...

Pronounced as Lok Heong Yuen. Along the way, we originally wanted to eat the roasted goose (烧鹅), we walked the Wellington Street and reached this outlet called Yong Kei (镛记). But when we reached the outlet, we were frightened by the entrance - looked too grand and expensive, we ended up didn't eat anything.

Just opposite the Yong Kei, we saw the Lok Heong Yuen, also recommended by people. So, we went in to have their Polo Bun and Tea.

Wow, their polo bun, looked simple, but as described by others, very tasty. The taste is actually further enhanced by the piece of butter inside!

We were also recommended to try its mixed pie (杂派), but I would tell you not to waste your money and stomach on this. Too salty and not nice! What a big difference between the two...