The Year of the Water Dragon

2012 forecast for the Rabbit (I am a Fire Rabbit, by the way, year of the Water Dragon could be a little challenge…) according to this website:

Overview:
Out of 12 months, I will have four unfavorable months. During that troubled times, I shall avoid doing anything adventurous or risky. Hence, planning is a very important element in securing any kind of success.

Career:
The year of the dragon brings me bountiful of opportunities and success given that I don’t overdo things. It is advisable that I stick to what I do best, find a good job relating to that skill/interest and don’t bother doing anything else. If I do just that, I will generate a mountain pile of money provided I work extra hard and persistent for it. Sounds good but I am not ready for the career world. I still want to lounge in my rabbit hole, thank you.

Relationships:
Another year in a relationship can either make it stronger or weaker. Communication is key to a great and successful relationship, and the year of the dragon can provide lots of passion to keep the relationship burning provided effort and willingness are involved. Still, do things with utmost balance. I find it slightly puzzling how this year could be the year I get married.

Health:
I am advised to take up high activity sports such as Bikram Yoga or marathon running in order to channel any anxiety or stress away. I must also take care of my well-being as well as mental health. The year of the dragon makes people a bit on their edge and when they affect me, I ought to clear my mind by doing relaxing and peaceful things in a refuge I call home. Thus, I must ensure that home is indeed a haven.

Wealth:
Money is never an issue. Not to say I am wealthy but the year of the dragon allows my money to grow suppose I don’t give into temptation to unnecessary splurge or invest in some business. If I need to splurge (Let’s say on a Hermes bag), I must count on the lucky months to avoid any disappointment or loss.

Come what may, happy new year. May the year of the Water Dragon brings love, joy and prosperity to you and your family.

Love,
E.

P/S: I just got back from KL late at night yesterday. I haven’t been able to blog during my holiday because I was a cheapskate and the internet fee was ridiculously expensive. Oh, anyone care to send me some delicious pineapple tarts? I am down with a nasty fever and I have this extreme craving for it. *sad puppy eyes*

All the food there was in KL

I am terribly sorry for the really late post. I have been trying to blog about it but failed miserably. KL is a great city but somehow… I find it a bit boring. The only thing worth blogging about is the food.

Hence, this entry is about the food that we’ve had in KL throughout our stay.

Friday:

I woke up feeling quite ill. I didn’t feel like doing anything in the morning, so we stayed in and ordered room service. I fancied something simple but filling, so I ordered the Junior Cheese and Turkey Ham sandwich.

If I had known junior meant kid's size, I wouldn't have bothered...

The sandwich tasted alright, the turkey ham was borderline bland and cheese was already cold.

Aslan ordered his usual.

Beef burger with cheese and onion rings on it.

He said it tasted fine, nothing special but just the right serving size.

In the afternoon, I forced myself out of bed. We went to Pavilion for a walk and karaoke with Lai. While waiting for Lai, we bought a few pastries from Loaf bakery.

I can never understand the hype for this bakery. The pastries were average.

I swear the ones available at Taka or Southern Cake House are much better compared with The Loaf… :P

Aslan posing with our afternoon tea.

Saturday:

Since I still felt sickly, we cancelled our plan of going to the water theme park and just lepak at Sunway Pyramid. I was curious about Bubba Gump Restaurant, so we went there for lunch.

Overall, the decoration is quirky, menu is fun and we ordered a bit too much for three person. We underestimated the serving size. Trust me, after this experience, I think I am off prawns.

Drink size is huge!

A selection of the every starter they have.

A bucket full of shrimps... Delicious but you wouldn't want to eat too much!

We were already quite full when our main dish arrived, so, imagine the horror on our faces when we saw how big the serving potion was!

Prawn Scampi. Lovely, I would have finished this easily if I didn't stuff myself silly with the starters.

Aslan's main dish... Forgot what the name was but by this time, I couldn't eat any more prawns!

Lai ordered the Baked Cheese and Seafood rice, in which she dubbed the cat food. Not the best dish in their menu.

In the evening, we went to the Tutti Frutti cafe nearby our hotel. Aslan went overboard with his frozen yoghurt selection.

My bowl was the healthiest looking of all... Lots of fruit topping with the original yoghurt flavor.

Aslan had all the yoghurt flavors and every topping there was in his bowl...

Both Elysha and Lai had something chocolate-y that night...

Happy people with their frozen yoghurt

Honestly, Tutti Frutti tasted average. I prefer the one in Singapore, I think it’s called Berrylite at Iluma, Bugis.

Sunday:

Our last day in KL, we had lunch at Tony Roma’s Pavilion. Aslan’s been waiting for this moment since our first day here. You see, the last time we went here, we never bothered with the beef ribs.

Starter. Simply but oh, so good. Some advice from me, don't bother with the bun! Save it until you have the main dish, the reason why you go here at the first place. Hehehe.

Patiently waiting for his beef ribs...

We’ve learned our lesson not to order too much, so, this time, we shared a couple of dishes between us.

Caesar Salad with Chicken was a disappointment

Aslan loved the beef ribs, he plans to come back again for it the next time we are in KL!

Steak was alright although nothing beats the beef ribs. So divine!

One happy man

Lai and I

This concludes my KL trip, sorry for the lack of enthusiasm on my part. Don’t get me wrong, KL is an amazing city, I should venture from my comfort zone and explore more of KL.

Well, take care!

Love,
E.

KL Day Three

Before you continue on reading, I must warn you that today’s post is full of food. For someone who is supposed to be on a diet, this entry is ironic at most. Meh.

Today, Aslan and I hung out at Mid Valley Mega Mall for the whole day. The LRT is very convenient, we didn’t have to use KTM to get there. From Ampang Park Station to Bangsar Station and then either take a cab or the free shuttle service to Mid Valley.

We went to three different stores to look for a baby chair my sister asked me to get and only at the fourth store, Mothercare we managed to find it. It was the last one in stock. It was larger than we thought it would be, luckily it was light enough to be carried around.

Not a lot of photos for today because we spent most of our time walking and window shopping. We also bought some fabrics for Raya at Kamdar. Believe it or not, 3 sets of fabric for just RM70+? A steal indeed!

Also checked out the Gardens next door where I bought a clock and bathrobe at Robinsons. I know, so random. We spent quite some time at Borders Bookstore. I didn’t buy anything there because I already splurge on a few books at Kinokuniya.

Since we had time to spare while waiting for Dhipa, we went to Paddington Pancake House (Or something like that). The idea of pancakes was so tempting but reality was so disappointing.

Banana and Cheese Pancake.

Seriously, I could make something way better than this crap. ^&*% Don’t know why we bother with this place at the first place.

We set a date with Dhipa at Sushi Tei at the Gardens.

With the Bernama News Anchor!

It was really lovely to catch up with her. Dhipa has done so many things since leaving Unimas and boy, I envy her for going on holiday to Paris! She’s living such an interesting life and I hope to see her again soon.

I ordered a few dishes for sharing.

Japanese Pancake

It was nice but I still prefer Minoru’s style.

Mixed vegetables

Scallops!

As for my main meal…

California Roll

Dhipa had a vegetarian fried udon.

 

After we said goodbye, we went on our separate ways. Aslan didn’t have any main meal at Sushi Tei because he wanted to have dinner at Dominoes Pizza.

Aslan misses Dominoes Pizza a lot.

The highlight of the Mid Valley trip? I now have my very own oriental stamp!

My stamp in process...

:D

That’s all for now!

Love,
E.

KL Day Two

Since we have settled what we needed to do, we are now free to do pretty much anything we want to do. We thought of going to Penang but since our hotel is all paid up for, probably next time then.

Frankly, our itinerary today was quite simple. Buy bed sheet etc and lunch at Ikea plus a little walk around at Pavilion in the evening. Before this, we always used the cab to go to Damansara and usually, expensive. Since we are on a somewhat budget holiday, we decided to use the LRT.

It took 45 minutes plus, quite a few stops but thankfully, the train was almost empty. We planned using the Ikea shuttle bus but we never saw any. We ended up using the cab from the train station to Ikea, cost around RM 6+

First thing we did upon arrival was… Eat.

Queueing up...

Aslan knew exactly what to order while I was torn between the chicken and the meatballs.

Meatballs won. Ordered the 10 pieces set because I was too hungry.

I chose meatballs because it is halal here in Malaysia.

Damn, those meatballs look good. Now I am hungry.

We walked off lunch by looking around Ikea. I wanted to buy a sofa bed for my room but since shipping cost from West Malaysia to Kuching is so expensive, I abandoned the thought.

Aslan posing with what I called my almost dream walk in closet.

In the end, I bought two towels, a set of bed sheet and some candles. I cringed when I found out the total amount at the cashier. Ringgit does make my purchase seems expensive. Meh.

Shopping was so tiring, we decided to eat yet again at the express cafe after the payment counter area. This time, we had a hotdog bun each. Tsk, tsk, tsk, my diet deity sighed.

Nom nom nom...

I also bought Ikea Recipe Book there. Just in case I fancy meatballs or any other Swedish delicacies.

We took the wrong cab on our way back to the train station. We used the executive mpv instead of the regular cab. So expensive, I felt like killing myself as the meter went over RM 20. Meh.

Look how empty the train was...

I think I've gained weight. Meh.

In the evening, we went around Pavilion. We used the LRT and Monorail to get there.

Bukit Nanas Monorail Station

Before this trip, we always stay at the Bintang Warisan Hotel at Bukit Bintang. Our reason for choosing the Doubletree by Hilton is the location. Jalan Tun Razak is not as packed nor noisy compared to Bukit Bintang area.

The first store we went into at Pavilion was Celine. I wanted to try my luck with the Boston tote. Unfortunately, Lady Luck was not on my side. There was a Boston tote in Medium Black Lambskin. It wouldn’t be so much of a problem if it was not the display model they were offering me. Meh.

Disappointed, I tried my best to cheer myself up a bit by doing some shopping at Forever 21. Found a few dresses and I can’t believe the price I paid for two items. Exorbitant. Forever 21 Singapore is a lot cheaper!

It was 930pm when Aslan told me he was hungry, so we went to TGI Friday for a late dinner. We ordered Nachos for sharing and Aslan decided to try the cheese burger.

This nacho ought to be nicknamed the disappointment. It was mediocre.

Aslan forgot how big the serving size here he did not finish his meal.

Not the best burger, don't bother trying...

What a day. My tummy is epic bulging at the moment. Meh.

Sorry for the simple post, will blog more soon!

Love,
E.

KL Day One

Four days in paradise sure passed by ever so quickly. I am now in Kuala Lumpur and will be here for a week.

Today was a long day. Spent our remaining hours at paradise relaxing. We were given a late check out at 4pm due to an unfortunate accident (Will blog about it when the time comes). Flight only reached LCCT at 1045pm. Got on the Aerobus at 11pm. It was already midnight when we reached KL Central.

Another half an hour before we reached Doubletree by Hilton at Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.

We got cheap rates via booking.com done a month in advance. Check in was a breeze.

Honestly, I was quite anxious regarding my stay here due to the mixed review but thank God, pleasant so far!

We did not receive any cookies upon check in as they ran out of them. But we were given freshly baked cookies later in the day to make up for it.

The room we are staying in at the moment is a Twin Guestroom. It is cheap because it is a room only package.

Bed was comfortable but a bit firm for my liking.

TV and working area

Lounge area

Wardrobe area

The bathroom was a bit odd. Luckily there is an automated blind if you want privacy

The shower and toilet

Toiletries by Loccitane

View of the room from the lounge area

Today’s itinerary was simple. Aslan sent in his application for the UK right of abode in the morning. We only went out for lunch around noon. We went to KLCC by RapidKL, which was just one stop away from Ampang Park LRT, situated just around the corner from the hotel.

Odd train ticketing system, using token instead.

The last time I was in KL was 2009. Back then, I didn’t know much about KL, I think I enjoy this trip more because now I am more familiar with the surrounding.

First thing we did was to look for a decent place to have lunch. I’ve been hearing good reviews about Ben’s, so decided to give it a try.

Very popular place, especially during lunch

While waiting for our food to arrive, we played this game.

I can’t come up with any food that I consider the sexiest. Probably a good steak. Mmm…

Our drinks. Aslan ordered Lemon, Lime and Bitters and I had the Apple Freeze.

The slim pose aka before I eat pose.

As for lunch, Aslan ordered Wagyu Beef Pie and after much consideration, I settled for the Mushroom lasagna.

Aslan absolutely enjoy this savory treat. Quite filling too!

This creamy pasta dish is lovely but can get quite rich after a few spoonful of it. Mmm...

If we weren’t full enough, I would have ordered the Pavlova but maybe next time. To avoid weight gain, we then walked around KLCC to cuci mata and shop.

Burned some moolah here

KLCC’s decoration for the Lunar New Year is simple but tastefully done.

Aslan posing with the Golden Dragon

Serious face trying to locate a certain store...

Burned more moolah here.

As a method of saving our money, we decided to watch Sherlock Holmes 2 at GSC. I mean, 2 hours plus is a long wait before meeting up with Lai, so, might as well watch a movie.

It was really nice to meet up with Lai. We tried this Indonesian restaurant called Bumbu Desa and it was probably the worst decision ever. Avoid this restaurant at all cost. It is expensive and the food sucks. I thought the food was freshly cooked but it was taken from the buffet tray and reheated in the microwave. Boooooo.

Lai and I at the lousy Bumbu Desa

The food was so terrible, I refuse to blog about it. Yuck. Never again. Anyhow, after that depressing expensive dinner, we went back to the hotel.

This was taken in front of the hotel

We claimed our cookies at the reception…

Really nice when still warm!

Lai can't wait any longer

Us in the elevator

Well, tomorrow’s plan is… IKEA! Woohoo.

Will blog more soon!

Love,
E.

Our Naka Island Anniversary

Today is a very special Saturday. It is our sixth year anniversary and for the first time ever, we celebrate it somewhere nice and special.

We started our day doing simple leisurely activities. Breakfast and then lounging at the pool area. And then some photography session.

Looking at the distance, wondering what life would be like in 10 years?

Peek a boo!

Posing at the pool area- duh

This is how the front door looks like, inside there is a blind to cover it at night...

Since I haven't taken any photo near the gate from inside the villa, why not?

Showing you my bruises.

My attempt at yoga

One of my favorite pastime... Pathetic. Must kill that bad habit.

Going to get ready for the spa appointment!

I definitely asked for trouble by insisting cycling to the spa centre. Luckily this time no accident. At the last hill, I dismounted from my bicycle and walked down. Easier. :p

At the waiting room where the nurse cleaned my wounds and applied new bandages.

Quite a hot day today, thankfully the spa staff gave us a cold towel and a nice cold tea to cool us down. :D

Refreshing!

The spa treatment villa is heavenly!

Enchanting, spacious and oh, so calming!

Outside the treatment room! Woohoo!

Before the two hours massage session began...

The massage was so good! Aslan’s first Thai massage was better than he expected. He even bought a pair of Thai pajamas because it is so comfortable! My massage involved a warm pack of mixed Thai herbs, steamed and applied all over the body before being massaged. It helped eased the pain from yesterday’s accident.

Outside the treatment villa!

Behind me is the Spa Centre

Now we’ve had our massage, time to go to the beach! To be honest, they don’t have much of a beach but it’s good enough for a swim. The current’s not too strong but the sand bed is a bit rocky and full with sharp bits of shell and whatnot.

Pity, would be nicer if it was sunnier.

Can I have a house by the beach? A calm beach lah... Oh, I can only dream!!!

Before changing into swimwear, we ordered some drinks from the bar.

Doing the Asian thing, taking photos before doing anything. A must, y'all!

I love the feeling of sands between my toes.

Aslan loves going on a beach vacation. It's the getting tanned part he loves most. I love everything about beach vacation except getting tanned. So, I tend to appreciate cloudy days more. Hehehe.

Unfortunately, I get tanned very easy as you can see in this photo. Enjoying my Virgin Pina Colada.

Wonder what was I thinking about?

Aslan always the first to go for a swim

Aslan having fun with the gentle waves of the Andaman sea.

Next, my turn!

Hopefully by my next beach vacation, I will be slimmer. :p

Just chilling...

The look on my face is just priceless. So funny!

I am a good swimmer but I don't feel confident swimming in the open sea. Unless I have a pair of goggles with me...

The waves loved the surprise attack me...

I used to have such low self-esteem about myself. Then I figured that if I can't love myself, I will never change. I love myself more now and slowly, I am changing for the better...

Suddenly very windy, made me shivered as I walked back to the deck chair.

Us on our special day!

After swimming for almost an hour at the beach, we continued swimming at the plunge pool at our villa.

One of the clear days where you can see the limestone rock formation of Phanak Island and Phang Nga Bay.

The water temperature was bearable today...

Water illusion makes me look skinny. Hahaha. I wish...

Little did I know, Aslan planned a surprise dinner at the My Grill Restaurant next to Tonsai at 6pm.

Walking towards the restaurant from the path not taken.

Table for two!

Emo dude seen from our table

Candid photo of me...

Sunset was beautiful. We found it hard to accept that this would be the last day here. Nonetheless, we tried our best enjoying our time here.

Sun was almost setting...

<3

Patiently waiting for dinner because we haven't eaten anything since breakfast...

Love the bread! Fresh and hot!

Thai warm beef salad

Since I couldn’t decide between chicken or lobster, the chef prepared something special for me…

I had the best of both worlds! Chicken and lobster, absolutely tasty! Mmm...

Aslan ordered steak and he loved it. Nicely grilled, done to perfection.

I was disappointed with dessert though.

The glutinous rice was slightly undercooked, mango was sour and the coconut milk was not creamy enough. Perhaps I am used to Kuching style of this dessert.

Aslan enjoyed his dessert though. I think it was a banana and coffee cake.

Complimentary dessert from the chef!

We were so full after the great feast, we felt like an anaconda after devouring its prey. Darn it.

Leaving tomorrow, a lot of packing yet to do. Good night!

Love,
E.

 

 

 

 

Island in the Sun

I don’t believe in this Friday the 13th crap. Trust me, bad luck can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere.

Of all days for an accident to happen, it happened to me today. Drat. Before I tell you that dreadful story, let’s start with something nice.

It was 8am when we woke up. The sun was shining and the view from our villa was splendid.

Low tide and the plunge pool was full with dead leaves from last night's drizzle.

The scenery looks different compare with yesterday but it was very quiet! So peaceful and serene.

Aslan enjoying this moment of peace and serenity

After appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature, we headed down to the cafe for breakfast. I managed to take a few photos of Aslan cycling. Despite the steep hills, it is such a lovely experience to cycle around this beautiful resort.

Aslan can definitely blend in with nature with his green t-shirt

I think there are less than 50 villas scattered around the resort.

Due to the small amount of villas, the amount of guests is also small. Therefore, the resort is never overcrowded, giving you that peaceful, quiet and tranquil atmosphere.

If you don't know how to cycle, you can always call the buggy service. Free of charge and faster too...

We parked our bicycles near the restaurant area along with other guests' bicycles

Cafe Tonsai where breakfast awaits

I love having breakfast at Tonsai. The buffet selection is simple but very filling.

Me at the juice bar

The juices are all fresh!

Salad bar

Sushi bar

Cold cuts and smoked salmon

Dairy produce from cheese to yoghurt

Breakfast cereals

Fresh fruits!

Rice porridge and fried rice

Scrambled eggs and fried seafood noodle

Pancakes!

Pastries, donuts etc Mmm...

Apart from the buffet, you can also order from the ala cart menu, included also in the breakfast package! For instance, the poached egg toast I ordered for breakfast yesterday…

Today's view at breakfast!

To me, this amazing scenery looks like somewhere in the Mediterranean. :p

Aslan started his breakfast with something light...

Once I had my starter, which consisted of a bowl of mixed fruits and a tiny portion of fried seafood noodle, my main course arrived.

This is supposed to be from the kiddie's menu. Lol.

After breakfast, we went back to the villa to chill and relax. While waiting for the food to go down, we decided to lepak at the lanai.

Darn laptop managed to distract me from enjoying the villa... Actually, the internet. Dayyummm...

Aslan did not waste any opportunity nor time, he went swimming 45 minutes after he had breakfast.

This man of mine is fairer than me... Meh.

After much coaxing from Aslan, I finally decided to go for a swim. Damn, the water was very chilly.

Slowly, so my body can adjust to the cold water

Trying my best to smile when in truth, I was shaking like mad.

Luckily I bought a few swimsuits when I was in Perth, the ones I ordered from Asos haven't arrived. :(

The plunge pool is not deep, a mere 1.7 depth.

In the distance, the sea was already full with tour boats.

One of the things I love doing most. Chillaxing in the pool, especially with a good view.

Aslan layan jiwang.

A lovely photo of us together. <3

Once refreshed from the swim, we napped on the lounge. The clouds made the sun played peek a boo with us. Therefore, the day was between cloudy and sunny. I didn’t even bother applying sunblock. (Quite a careless thing to do, perhaps next beach vacation, I should always apply sunblock!)

It was 2pm when we headed down to the spa to make an appointment for tomorrow.

Yours truly cycling...

Unfortunately, it was going down the last steep hill, I feel off my bicycle. Headfirst onto the ground.

It was the most excruciating experience, EVER. Okay, more embarrassing than painful though. The first thing that came to mind after the accident was, “I wonder how many people saw me fall?” and not, “I hope nothing’s broken…”

But I did feel a bit light-headed from the fall and nothing can describe the pain I felt after the embarrassment feeling disappeared.

The staff who witnessed the accident rushed to me and brought me to the clinic which was coincidentally located in the spa building. All of them kept asking if I were alright…

You don’t say. Of course I am not alright but I was so proud to admit that, I lied and smiled. Luckily, no serious injuries, just a couple of bruises here and there.

I am totally clueless of the pain that awaits me tomorrow... More bruises on my thigh, shoulder etc but you don't need to see that.

Due to the accident, our whole afternoon plans had to be changed. We were supposed to go to the beach but we ended up chilling at the lanai because of the injuries. My left thigh was in so much agony, I just had to forget about the damn diet and ordered some comfort food from room service.

Yes, food cures everything. :p

Late lunch for two at the lanai :D

The only food I could think of at this time was macaroni and cheese. I requested the chef to cook one for me.

No macaroni, penne was used as an alternative. Cheese sauce was alright, not too creamy nor too dry.

Aslan's favorite meal to order from the room service menu: Beef burger with cheese and lots of fries.

And when I took off my jumpsuit, I was shocked to see the bruise on my left knee.

My beautiful leg, I promise I will take extra good care of youuuuuu. Boohoo...

Post-accident moi, notice the bruises on my face and shoulder? Boohoo...

Once we’ve freshen up a bit, we went to the Z Bar around the corner to watch the sunset.

Injured but still in a jolly mood to check out places. I am invincible! (I wish)

Nothing can stop me from having a good holiday... :p

Quite magnificent view from Z Bar. We ordered a smoothie each and just watched the world goes by.

Not sure if the dude on the yacht was playing golf or peeing or just standing still admiring the view...

We were given complimentary olives and nuts while waiting for our smoothie.

Aslan enjoyed this big bowl of olives.

Mixed nuts

Our smoothies!

We shared a small tube of Movenpick ice cream. :D

I was expecting it to be served in a bowl but heck, perhaps things are more hygienic this way.

And then, we watched the spectacular sunset.

 

Life sure is good. It does not matter I hurt myself today, I am sure things happen for a reason.

Time to relax and nurse this pain.

Love,
E.

From Budget to Luxury!

We made our way to the LCCT from Tunes hotel feeling very zombified. The same staff was still on their work shift and yes, it was a bit awkward seeing them again. I can’t imagine working the graveyard shift.

I was expecting the LCCT to be quiet at 430 in the morning but boy, that was just wishful thinking. There were so many people, some already queuing up at the eateries, some sleeping on the floor, chairs anywhere imaginable, baggage trolleys included, some were arguing with each other about their extremely overweight baggages etc.

It was like watching the documentary airports, hectic and ridiculously crazy at times! Amidst this chaos, check in was a breeze. Before going into the departure hall, we looked around for a place to eat. Both Starbucks and McDonald’s were closed. Old Town Kopitiam was packed. The only option we had was Marrybrown.

Meh.

I only had a cup of hot milo while Aslan had a chicken burger with curly fries.

I don't know how can he work up such an appetite at 430am...

We regretted eating there, not that it was terrible or anything, there were other options inside the departure hall… Meh.

Anyway, the departure hall was not as chaotic as I remembered from my trip to Hong Kong via Air Asia in 2010. It was large, with a few dining options, Duty Free shops, toilets and a lot of seats.

Can't figure out why some people are in winter wear when they are about to fly to somewhere tropical?

The flight was uneventful. No turbulence. We only bought some mineral water. Slept throughout the flight.

Before the sun rises... Aslan took this photo, I was out zzz...

Almost there!

The last time I was there, immigration clearance took over an hour due to the crowd but this time, less than 15 minutes!

Once we got our bags, our driver was already waiting outside with our names on the signboard. Our ride was a shining BMW 7 series!

Smiling from ear to ear. :D

We bypassed the town and took the back road to the pier.

In order to reach the resort, we boarded a speedboat. Island hopping, y’all!

Pop-art photo of our ride

Walking towards the speedboat.

From there, we did not have to worry about dragging our baggages here and there. The hotel staff took care of everything.

5 minutes ride and it was super fast!

We were also given a cold tower scented with lemon grass. It was really refreshing! The excitement pretty much woke us up. No more a zombie, y’all!

:D

Cloudy paradise island but nonetheless, beautiful!

We got on the buggy, where the lovely staff, brought us straight to our room.

On the buggy!

On the way to our room, we stopped by the gong to do a welcoming ceremony. We were given a flower bracelet each. Each wish we make, hit the gong twice. I only had one wish. :)

Wishing hard...

On our way to the room, we were also showed around the resort. Lovely place, more photos later.

Now, where we will be staying for the next four days is not exactly a room…

It is a freaking VILLA!!! Dayyummmmm. We also have our own bicycles to use around the resort. How awesome is that???

Fearing we might miss breakfast (Quite a silly thought as it finishes at 1030 am and it was only 830 in the morning?), after we’ve checked in (not at the lobby but in the villa!!!), we went straight to the restaurant.

Breakfast by the beach. <3

The most peaceful breakfast ever...

The restaurant

After I had my fruits, I ordered the warm meal. Poached eggs with spinach and chicken. It was lovely!

Just the right amount and delicious too!

I look forward to having breakfast here.

Buffet spread is good and simple but fills the tummy. I will take photos of the buffet spread tomorrow.

Now, let the tour of the villa begins.

Me posing at the entrance.

See that little rock to the left of me? It is in fact a privacy sign.

Eyes opened: Welcomed to enter to the villa

Eyes closed: Do not disturb

The rope with the small rock to my right is the door bell.

Reminds me of the recess bell back in kindergarten...

And this is the view that greets you as you walk through that door…

Heaven!

Our villa is not just a villa but a sea view villa with a plunge pool! How cool is that???

Close up of the plunge pool, the water can get quite chilly, especially on a cloudy day!

The front of the villa and lanai area as seen from the pool lounge

I kept on telling Aslan how I want our future house to be something like this. :D

The lanai for chilling in, or do some yoga or play a match of chess. Whatever you want to do, really.

The first thing one sees upon entering the villa…

Simple design, a room is a place of relaxation, meditation, not to do work etc

We were told by the staff that when we are here, we are encouraged not to think about work. Rest the body, mind, soul and spirit. We did exactly that. Explains why this post takes quite a while to be published (Went there in January, only publish it in March… :P )

The mini bar and coffee tea making facilities. The items in the mini bar are ridiculously expensive. Luckily I brought some healthy snack food from Kuching. :D

The iPod they loaned us at the villa, love their selection of jazz music!

Relaxing after a heavy breakfast... :P

Wi-Fi is available for free at the cafe but in the room, it cost THB400 or RM40 a day. A bit crazy but cheaper than having to use data roaming on Maxis. :P

I think the next time I go on a  beach holiday, I ought to leave my laptop home. It distracts me from connecting with Mother Nature. Bad bad bad. But I can’t live without my laptop!!! I need therapy.

Anyway, tour of the room continues…

You can see the bathroom area from the bed.

One thing I find it a bit tricky about the villa is the outdoor bathroom. The mosquitos are a bit of a nuisance but I think we managed to cope. They also burn some insect repeller in the evening and do regular organic fogging.

The steps to the bathroom area

It is a lovely concept, but I can’t help feeling paranoid about people peeking. It is an open concept but cleverly designed to avoid any exposure. But I still keep myself covered all the time.

The bedroom/living room on the right, outdoor bath straight ahead and the bathroom area on the left

Beautiful design, don't you think so?

Although doing the ‘business’ can be a little bit awkward…

Oh well, we all do the business the same way, who cares. :p

The shower stall with built in steamer. The best invention, ever!

Outdoor shower!

The outdoor bath!

There is also a door leading directly to the pool area from the bathroom area.

The view from the villa is simply breathtaking. In the day, it can get quite noisy, a lot of boats and ships around in the area but it is nothing that we can’t get used to, besides, everything seems to blend in harmoniously.

The view is more glorious on a clearer day, it was a bit misty today.

Taken later in the afternoon

See the little red boat on the bottom right corner? That is probably the noisiest boat in the region! No kidding!

Failed to resist temptation, Aslan went for a swim. The almost freezing water deterred me from a swim session. So while Aslan splashed around, I napped on the lounge.

How Aslan could withstand the chilly water is a mystery.

Once the food went down properly, we decided to do a little bit of exploring. They have sent another bike, that made our exploring easier. Our villa is situated about 8 minutes walk from the cafe, main pool, beach, spa etc, so it is a bit of a walk but very pleasant regardless.

One challenging part about cycling is the steep hills along the way and the fact the pavement is small, I don’t want to hurt anyone as I cycle downhill.

Posing with my bike

First stop was the Jungle Gym. You don’t need high tech gym equipment when you can have equally good workout in the jungle!

We monkeyed around at the jungle gym. See it for yourself:

Aslan being romantic, he changed into a casual t-shirt in the matching shade as mine!

I did okay at balancing

Training to be a ninja!

A very ladylike ninja

I came, I saw, I conquered!

The elegant way of doing this exercise

Aslan showing me the 'proper' way of the exercise

The monkey bars were a bit challenging but it did make us feel like we were some sort of gymnastic athletes.

Look at the determination on his face... Lol

I could only managed 5 seconds. How pathetic.

The face of failure...

Doing some weights...

Felt kiasu, so I lifted the heaviest rock. Thank Goodness I didn't drop it...

Aslan cheated. He walked all they way.

Time for the more challenging ones…

Damn, the gymnasts on the tv make everything look so easy... Not.

Gravity pulling Aslan down

My turn!

I am not going to show you of my horrid looking photo trying to struggle to defy gravity.

Oh gravity, I miss you...

We then cycled on to the beach. They say the beach near the village is nicer but we missed it. Perhaps next time.

After a good workout, going to the beach is truly rewarding.

Tempted to go for a swim but did not cross my mind to bring my swimwear. =.=’

So beautiful and peaceful

The jetty on the left. I changed my mind about swimming here...

Yours sincerely... :)

Aslan ecstatic about going for a swim

A resort would not be complete without…

Hammock! I wish I have one at my house...

Famished, we went to Tonsai cafe where we had a late lunch / early dinner.

Warm bread to start the meal, absolutely lovely!

Due to the majority of Muslims living on this island, pork is not served here. They have quite an extensive range of dishes and  you can always request for dishes (minus pork) not in the menu to cater to your wants, provided it is easy enough for the chef to comply to.

We opted for something local. It was quite a daring move since most of the guests who stayed here complained about the quality of local dishes.

Tom Yam Goong

It is slightly sweet but it tasted wonderful. The serving portion is enough for two people. For hotel quality, this is alright. Honestly, not the best but edible.

Aslan loved his Thai beef fried rice, no complains from him

We retired to the villa early because of fatigue. Lack of sleep and the sudden increase in physical activities is not a good combo.

Here are some photos of the villa in the evening…

Stepping stones to the villa all lighted up with tea light candles...

So, by now you must be wondering, where on earth is this so called paradise? I will tell you.

The Naka Island. Such lovely place for a great peaceful secluded retreat. Click here for more information. And now, time for bed.

Love,
E.

P/S: We got the sea view villa with pool at such affordable rates due to the opening promotion, 30% discount! On top of that, Starwood member benefits! Woohoo!

Budget All The Way

Today was a long day. First, I barely slept last night. My eyes were closed shut but my mind was so freaking active, I was awake the whole night.

Before the late flight, Aslan and I had so many things to do. To be honest, we did not have enough to do everything on our list. It took the whole morning for us to complete his right of abode application form.

Fast forward to 8pm, we dined in at The Coffeebean and Tea Leaf at the departure terminal of Kuching International Airport.

We weren’t going anywhere international but not many dining options were available or opened near Air Asia’s terminal.

We both had Double Vanilla Ceylon and Aslan had a big chicken pie for dinner.

Since I got back from Singapore, I went through a lot of temptations and trouble to get back in shape. Not exactly slim nor fat, but I guess I am fit enough to feel comfortable and confident in swimwear.

Tired me.

Instead of wearing the old faithful MBT, I traded comfort for style. Wedges as my travel shoes.

The iron bird for the night arrived 10 minutes late. Not surprising at all when flying with Air Asia. Sometimes it is on time, sometimes it is a bit late, sometimes very late and well, at times, cancelled.

Slept throughout the flight. Aslan and I struggled to keep our eyes opened during the safety demonstration. The last time Aslan fell asleep during the demo, the air stewardess rolled her eyes at him! Hahaha.

The rude shock of finding out a 330ml Ribena cost RM7 kinda made us more awake. All this while we never realized how pricey Ribena is on Air Asia. :S Aslan had this WTF impression on his face when the air stewardess informed him one Ribena and one mineral water cost RM 10.

Aslan was still in shock when I pestered him to camwhore with me...

Before that, we were charged RM 90 for being three freaking kg overweight. I could have avoided this completely if I just upgraded my baggage size to 20kg! MCB. I am such an ass to think that 15 kg would be enough for me. Boohoo…

The last time I used Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur was in 2010. LCCT has improved a lot since then. More organized and cleaner. Unfortunately that good change does not applies to the travelers. Meh.

Our journey hasn’t reach its end, yet. We still have another flight to catch at 6am in the morning. In order to cut down on cost without having to spare comfort, we decided to try Tunes Hotel in Sepang, just a stone’s throw away from the LCCT.

The shuttle service to the hotel from LCCT costs only RM 1 per person per journey. A return journey is RM 2. You don’t have to worry about missing the shuttle because its service is quite regular, if I am not mistaken, every fifteen minutes.

This sign is hopeless and vague. Either that, the driver of the shuttle service from LCCT to KLIA does not know how to read because he parked where the hotel shuttle ought to be...

Happy budget traveler

I am aware of the tiny size of Tunes Hotel room but I just couldn’t believe how compact it is until I went into my closet room. We were given a room on the 1st floor, number 21.

We were supposed to have two rooms but we sold the second room to this family from the UK. Her children were extremely unwell and she was in such great distress, I figured she could do with the room as there was no more rooms available. Food poisoning sure is a vacation kill joy.

Anyhow, let me bring you on a quick tour of the room.

The bedroom area along with the closet (aka two hooks), a pull out table and just enough space to stack the luggages on the left side of the bed.

We bought the room with 12 hours a/c credit and comfort kit which consisted of one towel and basic toiletries.

The room is stuffy if you don't purchase the a/c credit. But once the room has cooled down from the a/c, you won't complain! I find the duvet is a little bit thin but it was bearable lah...

I can't see how this pull out desk can be of help. We never use it.

The toilet and sink along with hairdryer

Shower stall was clean and the shower pressure was awesome. And yes, there is heated water!

The comfort kit: If you are such a scrooge, you can skip this and bring your own towel and shower basics.

Soap, two in one shampoo and shower gel. No toothbrush and toothpaste kah?

There was no tv in our room. We have windows but not much a view to admire, just the carpark.

Overall, my stay at Tunes Hotel is rather pleasant. It catered to my most basic needs when traveling, i.e somewhere to sleep, shower and store things. Good for short stays, not advisable for long stays unless you are the kind of person who likes to rough it up a bit. :p

It could have been the perfect stay if it was not for the noise. The door was so thin, I heard everything happened outside of the room to the carpark clearly! Oh, just when I was about to sail to dream land, vroooooom went the shuttle bus and slammmmmm went the door of the nearby rooms. These two event kept on repeating throughout the whole night.

Still, I am thankful to have a room, most people either sleep in the lobby of Tunes hotel or worse, in the departure terminal, on the floor.

Well, I will continue this travelogue tomorrow. Need to reorganize the things in my luggage.

Love,
E.

Who karaoked all that rain???

It just had to flood on the day I went to retrieve my new passport at the immigration office.

It took an hour to get to St Teresa and another hour to the immigration office due to the flash flood. Luckily, Aslan offered to use his Pajero, we successfully went through the affected areas due to the high design of the car. If we were to use the Alza, it could have been one heck of a submarine ride.

I do not blame Mother Nature for this. If you look back, this flash flood is not a rare occurance in Kuching. Here are my explanations:

  1. During the Monsoon season (Or Landas/Tengkujuh), heavy and prolonged rain is expected and if you are living in a low-lying area, you OUGHT to be prepared for the flood, whether you like it or not.
  2. The recent flash flood is made more disastrous due to urban development and the poor drainage system.
  3. The presense of a water height measure warning sign in Batu Lintang and Third Mile shows the regularity of floods in the area. These signs are there for a reason, so don’t take advantage of things.

It is sad that two lives are lost today due to the flood but we could have avoided such tragedies if all of us are more informed and not take every day things for granted.

For example, suppose the storm drains were clear of rubbish and whatnot, perhaps the water wouldn’t be too high. Parents should educate their children about the dangers of flood and what to do when caught in one. Local medias should take advantage of Facebook and Twitters to alert people which roads and places to avoid in the event of flood.

Be thankful the scale of our flood is not anywhere close to the ones in Thailand, Philippines or Sri Lanka.

Well, on a lighter note, I got my new passport!

It should have been ready in three hours time but due to some technical problem, it took a day to be processed. And yes, I look so much better compared to five years ago!

After we dropped off Anisha at home, we were supposed to have lunch at The Eatery at 4 Points by Sheraton with Hisyam and Harizan but they couldn’t make it due to some problems. We postponed our meeting to high tea instead. Aslan and I already ordered our drinks while waiting, so we carried on having lunch.

Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken: The dressing was okay but the chicken was so bland. Portion is a bit too small for the price.

 

I asked for the soup of the day which was Cream of Broccoli but I was given Cream of Mushroom instead. Edible but disappointing. I'd rather have Campbell's!

Hot buns were not so hot and well, it would be nicer if they had given two each...

Aslan enjoyed his lunch very much. If I weren’t dieting, I would have ordered the same thing.

Jumbo Hotdog!

Today’s food photos are full with innuendos. If you don’t notice, you are truly an Angel.

In the afternoon, we went to Cafe Cinno at Hilton for some drinks with Hisyam and Harizan. I love their Chai Latte and chocolate pralines. I don’t care if they are too sweet for me, they are heavenly!

It was really lovely to meet up with the fashionistas, oh the things we talked about, scandalous! I look forward to another high tea with them, perhaps somewhere chic, undiscovered and full with treasures. :D

From left to right: Moi, Hisyam and Harizan

What a day! Stay safe, my sayangs, this is just a preview of what yet to come. The height of the monsoon season is barely here! Take good care of yourself and loved ones!

Love,
E.