Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ramadhan is Here :)

Actually, I always welcome the month of Ramadhan, the 30 days when Muslim around the world would fast from dawn to sunset. It is not only to abstain from hunger and thirst, but on deeper level, it is to teach us humility, compassion to less fortunate, grace and gratitute of what we have, health reason to boot in giving the stomach a much needed rest from the constant food consumption.

I really love Ramadhan, cz I could also diet down a bit :P

But sometimes it is kinda hard to refrain your desire to buy excess food when you are hungry, strolling around at Pasar Ramadhan where most aromatic and delicious food is all around.

Well, I guess I lost that battle with what I bought today, all for myself cz as you might noticed.. I live alone on weekdays..

So, for RM20, I bought..
.. Half a grilled chicken @ RM12
.. Orange juice @ RM2
.. Nasi kerabu without chicken (wanna eat it with the grilled one) @ RM2.50
.. Multicolour jelly pudding @ RM2
.. Bubur Lambuk (porridge) @ RM1

Hehehe.. Well, I would eat half of it as sahur (meal before dawn) tomorrow morning.. So I guess RM20 for two meals ain't that bad :P



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Monday, July 23, 2012

Damas Suite and Residence, Sri Hartamas

Gotta be in HQ again for a meeting, so was stationed at Damas Suite this time round. Usually we were given Citrus Hotel, Jalan Tiong Nam.. But apparently Damas gave very good rate for us, and its new to boot (just open around July 2011), I think it would become our new transit point after this.

For govt rate, it was quoted at RM185.. A suite apartment, it was connected to Plaza Damas within walking distance via skybridge. Plaza Damas is quite the shopping mall for the well to do, expatriate communities, so you can find almost everything there from supermarkets, restorants and a new cinema coming up.

I have no qualm about the design, very new and clean and choc a block with amenities, fridge, cooker, iron, tv (of course) even a washing machine for long term stay. They even throw in a fruit basket. As it is suite, in addition to the bed and study table, you would have sofa and dining table.

Hurmm.. Nice.. And I also got a new contact for taxi next time I have to go to KL/Subang/KLIA. Its a lady to boot so definitely a plus point.





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Sunday, July 15, 2012

What To Buy in Taiwan Part II

Haven't got much to do today, so am going to elaborate more on my Taiwan tripping esp. seeing people stumbling in my blog searching for the exact same phase.

I went to Taipei for a training trip, I was supposed to go to Korea in Oct but I would be on expected maternity then, I would love to swap for Hong Kong but it was held in Sept, also near to my expected maternity date, so last available choice is Taiwan... and I am really glad I made that trip.. so, here goes my post.. hope I can upload as much pics as I could :)


Our first glimpse of Taipei 101.. had to wait a few days cz the weather not so accomodating.. here you can see how Taipei is jam packed with building.. yes, comparing Taiwan's 24 mill population vs Malaysia's 27mill, they only had only 10% of Malaysia land area.. the houses/office building in Taipei is usually natural coloured, not painted like in Malaysia. Also the houses/office buildings are square shape to give them more endurance as Taiwan is a quake prone country. Had my first few experiance of earthquake there. Two while we were touring some of our "formal site".. I thought I was dizzy.. then, at night I had queries on my FB whether we are ok.. the epicenter is far away so although the quake is consider high, we don't really feel anything. The third and most memorable is around 5am in our host house, where we spend the night.. I feel like a baby rocking in a big baby cradle. To and fro, two and fro for a couple of minute. It was a gentle sway, no things falling of the shelfs and such so we were just laying there, bemused and amused :p



First day as well, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial.. there are some music performance in the evening the day we visited, but had to miss that.



Queing at the Taipei 101 on the first day.. went there a few times but only had the opp on around the fourth or fifth day :P



The damper or stabilser. At the top of 101, you could also buy a special souvenior called Damper Baby (a miniature of the damper)... At the souvenior shop, I had no idea what it was.. there's one nice one that could jiggy with music :)


Once you exit, you can buy some of Taiwan's special souveniors, jewellery from celcedony, jadeite, coral be it pendent form.. or wildlife etc.

In the lift on top of the 101, being on the one of the fastest lifts in the world is also awesome!

At last, I was at the top of the world at 101.. have to say, if you are searching for fridge magnets (that we all did), it is was better to buy at least an authentic one at 101.. had the usual square fridge magnet for NTD100 (around RM10).. as well as one steel Taipei 101 shape bottle opener (think around RM39.. but its for me, so well worth it)..


Gotta try the speed train.. from Hsinchu to Taipei, just take 30 mins.. It is also the preferred way if you are on a budget and just want to have a peak at the down south tip of Taiwan, Kaohsiung. Have to say, Taiwanese are disciplined pople, not cutting of queing, courtesy to the older people and pregnant ladies (aka me hehe).. Also, its MRT (sama like Malaysia's LRT) is very efficient, you


The Taiwanese currency.. New Taiwan Dollar.. to easy convert, NTD100 = RM10 = 1 purse at the night market.. or 1 101 fridge magnet = 1 pair of slippers also at the night market.. but you gotta look around for it :)


Open gambling at the night market.. this is Shihlin's.



What's interesting is that our hotel replinished our fruit baskets daily and also for my room, we had daily pineapple tarts (which is Taiwan's specialty).. as Malaysian hotels do not or only provide one time per room, we didn't notice this practice until our last few days. What a waste!!!! They also given some interesting Taiwan teas selection - oolonng, rose tea.. I should've put them in the bags so that the hotel would replinished them daily.. and therefore I  do not need to buy any souveniors anymore haha..


Some of the bangles for NTD100... Taiwanese also are into belly dancing as their fitness regime, I didn't buy the bra but got two of the belly dancing cloth belts for my belly dancing fitness regime after maternity hopefully hehehe...


Taiwanese's diet are healthy. You seldom find obese people here as they eat healthily and they use the MRTs most of the time, thus forcing them to spend more time walking around. Here I got to enjoy my first taste of milk fish (don't have it here in Malaysia).. yummy I must say! And they put kinda like fish meatfloss (serunding ikan) on their rice there... that's a bit of Terengganu style of how to eat plain white rice there.. I guess food are universal :)

Some of the local products .. attractively packaged.


Bought the banana there.. inside there's fruit gummies..

A bit elegant souveniors for the bosses .. from the National Museum around NTD 600 above..

Bits of what's available in 7-11 that is available on every corner there. It's different that Malaysia cz in Taiwan, 7-Es has much more to offer, free wifi as well as a small cafe for you to have your snacks or small meals there. I love the mocha coffee one there.. yummy :)

Some of the Malaysian products available in Taipei. Malaysia Boleh!


One of the night markets we visited most of the nights there. Easily accessible from the MRT stops.. but if you got a few friends, car pooling in a taxi might be a cheaper option. Do wear the seat belts though for both front and back passanger else you will be slapped with NTD450 fine.. even the driver would report you in!

Some of the famous product of Taiwan - pineapple tarts and preserved fruits. Didn't buy these cz Muslims are particular on the halal mark. But did try them over there as it is supposed to be vegetarian. Nice and not too sweet.
Lastly, I missed sight seeing to some other places, but overall, I enjoyed my trip there. Don't think I will go there again (but you will never know right??) .. but I do enjoy this trip! Lovely Taiwan! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kampung Laut.. Kota Bharu Uncovered Secret

Today, I have the utmost pleasure to be given the chance to explore Kg. Laut and it think, I would like to share the treasure with you.

Most visitors to Kelantan especially the domestic tourists came for the batik, the food as well as cheap Thailand stuffs so markets such as Pasar Siti Khadijah, Wakaf Che Yeh, Rantau Panjang and Pengkalan Kubor are hit places.

However, just a short journey across the river, you would be able to discover bits of culture as well as exploring the origin of Kelantan's cottage industry in food especially the serundings and dodols.

That's what define Kg.Laut. Accessible via road towards Tumpat, why not try the bot penambang (local boat) from Tambatan Diraja (from the map there, just beside Ridel hotel on top), the ride costs only RM1 for adult and 60 cents for kiddies. The ride took a few minutes across the Kelantan river and you would experiance how the older Kelantan folks goes towards downtown Kota Bharu the older way.

Stepping out to the rickety jetty, you would be greeted with a very scrumptious smells which is serunding (beef or chicken floss) being processed. Alongside the river, most of the household there would be striving to produce what Kelantan is well known off.. Serunding Daging. Managed to visit one, and from there I discovered that making serunding is a tedious process and took around 2 days to finished. First, the meat would be boiled for about 8 hours then, it would be fried with the spices for another next 4 hours. Then, the next day, they would undergo small fire frying to ensure they are dried properly without being burnt for another 4-8 hours. Phew, so don't grouse them the bit pricey ness of the serunding as it is definitely worth it. Nearby, there are also small industry making dodol (glutinous sweet sticky concoction) but we haven't got the time to cover it today :P

Afterwards, why don't you turn right from the jetty where sat on the bank of the river, you would see the maker and player of wayang kulit (shadow puppeteers).. He's a friendly guy who wouldn't hesitate giving impromptu wayang kulit performance as well as demonstration of how wayang kulit is made. Why don't you try playing a few round of dialogues between Sita Dewi and Ramayana :) .. Please leave a small donation as ways for the pok (uncle) to buy his way to add on his musical instruments to better his musical performance.

Afterwards, why not take a longer boat ride seeing the natural flora and fauna of Kampung Laut.. The natural nipah plants as well as the rare Kerabu Nipah (Nipah Salad).. We aren't able to tried it out cz apparently we have to book it around a day or two earlier. As it is made from the Nipah flowers which itself is very rare, it is a hidden rare delicacies even Kg.Laut villagers are unable to enjoy most of the time.

We weny further to Pantai Kuda, where there form a natural lagoon. You can see it when you fly in via airplane into Pengkalan Chepa Airport.. The relatively untouched very nice lagoon. It is undeveloped now, but hopefully the village associates are able to conduct small tours.. Visits after 6pm to enjoy the beach turned red via the setting of the sun, prawn and fish netting, smoky bbq nighttime at the lagoon as well as tours to the nearby swampy fireflies areas..

Hurmm.. I weave lyrical description of the place. I see it had excellent potential and I hope the local village association take note as Kg.Laut deserved to be enjoyed by everybody.. Not hidden as well as deriving better economic benefits to the villagers that clearly need it.

Welcome to Kg. Laut :)

P/s: have to take a snap of ketupat ubi kayu (tapioca ketupat) that I had only tasted in Kg.Laut.. The first time ever in my 37 years of life :P


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Khalifa Suite Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Hurmm.. I seldom excited about hotels but quite like this one.. Perhaps it is still very new.. Think its just open late last year early this year, so the ambiance is really2 great..

Well, currently its on promo, my duluxe queen usually RM220 is currently RM150 pernite.. Breakfast, near to KB downtown (Kg Kraftangan, Bazar Buluh Kubu, Pasar Siti Khadijah etc).. Got iron and board (most hotel don't have these even 4 stars).. Ample parking.. A bit more choice in the Astro Channel (Disney, Nat Geo, ESPN, Fox.. As well as free TV).. Hurmm gotta say I like it :)..

More info? Just browse their website www.khalifag.com phone 097474977

P/s.. Can't resist putting in my dinner pic as well.. Nasi Tumpang (Tupe) and two desserts, pudding caramel and the green one (forgot the name) all just for RM3 :)

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mini Garden Revised

Hurmmm.. We have been busy so not many time denoted to upkeep our garden so weeds is taking over.

As the house is need to a secondary jungle, we were afraid snakes would snuck in. Hubby killed one earlier and we don't want some other to come in, so yesterday afternoon were allocated just to kill the weed. It didn't take long less than an hour, so we are now 90% weed free.

The same for our mini garden portion. If you saw my entry earlier, the two ferns looks nice there, but weed and other plants is taking over, so we changed their position higher.. On the autogate as well as one of the roman stand. Think we just gonna let plain grass there, just a bit of a small hill thingy are going to be dumped there as well perhaps when the time is right, a rock or even a frangipangi night light on top of the small hill. Hmmmm...


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Monday, July 2, 2012

Durian Cravings

I live nearby a village in Bukit Payung, Marang, Terengganu so if I just drive a bit further from my house, I would saw people selling fruits in seasons by the roadside..

This time it's durians. Been eyeing for them since several weeks but only today when I finished my maternity check up, I saw them alongside the road.

See them there.. Haha forgive me the nostalgic sepia tones, only discovered it earlier in the morning during my boredness hour waiting for my appointment.. Haven't been able to switch the color back on for the durians :P

Anyway, a longgok there of 5 durians costs RM20.. I live alone in my weekend home so I just bought 2 for RM10..

Asked the guy to open up for me.. One is still young.. Aka not fully ripen.. Perhaps need to wait a nite or two.. But the other one.. Wowoweee... Yummy.. Ripen.. A bit runny.. But smackingly tasteful durian kampung (village durians).. Custardly.. Sweetly sticking yummy yummy..

Hurmmmmmm :)


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