Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sugar cane plantation , Chuping ,Perlis


I had went to Padang Besar , a small town near the Malaysia-Thailand border today.Along the way i had passed through a vast sugar cane plantation in Chuping , Perlis in the northern part of malaysia. It had been a while since i had went to this place and it had changed a lot.Previously it was just a dirt road used by the plantation workers to transport their harvest to the processing factory nearby and i had used this dirt road previously as a short cut to go to the Thailand border. With the recently built highway traversing the plantation , the travelling time had been cut by half.Currently i'm in penang , will drive back to KL tomorrow morning with a scheduled brief stop in TAPAH before continue back to my home in KL.Overall i had travelled 1000km during these past two days.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Central Amsterdam






I just love amterdam , its eccentricity and its open mindedness had this made this city very unique.Futhermore its architectural beauty is just superb.This city is literally littered with museum.The below qoute from lonely planet give the best picture on what Amsterdam is all about....
You’re nursing a drink in a canal café when you hear Bach. A man with a wild hairdo is playing organ and trumpet on a nutshell of a boat, while his feet do the steering. Only in Amsterdam…
… and back by popular demand. After a few years’ pout, this beautiful city has found its old self – quirky, creative and open-minded. Yet beneath the self-assured exterior, mental notes are everywhere. Not long ago the
Netherlands
swung towards the right, with crackdowns on immigration, religious freedom and red-light districts. Even in freewheeling Amsterdam, people were asking themselves: is too much tolerance a bad thing?
You can breath easy: the soul-searching is over. The core values of Dutch society that we knew and loved have emerged intact. Newcomers who integrate are welcome; practising a faith is OK, as is the right to turn away from it. You like reefer madness? Fine, let’s hit a coffeeshop. A studded jockstrap for skate night? No problem, that’s crazy enough. Tolerance hasn’t gone out of fashion, it’s just had a makeover.
The city’s gorgeous looks haven’t faded either. The moments you spend ogling the old merchants’ villas, the Jordaan’s charming lanes or the lush Vondelpark are as magical now as in centuries past. The cafés are full, the museums are littered with Golden Age art and everyone still parties like there’s no tomorrow. Amsterdam is a delight to visit any time of year, but it’s hard to trump Queen’s Day, the world’s biggest party-cum–garage sale. In summer there’s an endless parade of festivals and events such as the Holland Festival, the Roots Music Festival and the outrageous Gay Pride parade, as well as delightful concerts on canal stages.
This city is too relaxed to stop being fun. To join in, all you need to pack is a few days’ attitude.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/the-netherlands/amsterdam


Verdict - definitely a must visit destination before you die

Xplorer Jr








My daughter at nearly 2 month old. So far i could sense that she had inherited my explorer genes as currently the only cure for her crying is "jalan-jalan". he he.Like father like daughter.

Role in life

Do not take life's experience too seriously.Above all , do not let them hurt you for in reality they are nothing worthy but dream experiences.
If circumstances are bad and you have to bear them , do not make them part of you .Play your part in life , but never forget that it is only a role.

Panamhan Yogananda

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Last Emperor of China - Pu Yi


After visiting the forbidden city in china , i had always wonder what was it like living as an emperor in china.An emperor played a very vital role in a life of a traditional chinese back then and being worship as a SON of HEAVEN.I had just recently received my second hand book from AMAZON.Still had not finish reading it but so far it was very interesting as it was written by the emperor Pu Yi himself.Reading this book and previous experience of visiting Forbidden City had made the reading experience more enjoyable as you could actually almost imagine yourself in his shoes.I highly recommend that you read this book first before visiting forbidden city so that you could truely appreciate its history and culture.The below are the excerpt from the book...
Stripped of power but not of rank,Pu Yi lived in imperial opulence in the forbidden city.When he went for a stroll , the boy emperor was followed by eunuchs bearing umbrella , chairs , cakes , tea , chamber pots and medicines.At age 17 he took two child-brides- one as an empress and one as a consort.But in 1924 , Pu Yi fled before the armies of a chinese warlord.After exile in the north of China , the Japanese installed him as the puppet Emperor of Manchuria .Virtually confined to his palace for years , Pu Yi terrorized hiw few remaining followers with beating and torture.
As a russian prisoner in Siberia , Pu Yi lived in luxury at a mineral spring spa.But in a communist Chinese prison , the former Emperor was systematically brainwashed, forced to sleep on the floor and paste pencil boxes.After ten years his rehabilitation was branded a succes and he was released.As a temporary guide,Pu Yi led a group of former prisoners on a tour of the Forbidden City , the palace that had been his childhood home.The fragrance of cypress trees in the imperial garden , he wrote "brought back to me memories of my youth ."Pu yi died an ordinary citizen of the People's Republic of China in 1967.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dragonfly




Found this very small dragonfly while walking at my garden yesterday.I had nearly bought myself a 100mm macro lense yesterday.Looking at the quality of this picture , i believe i need one.This picture was taken using a 17-40mm canon L lense , the distance between the subject is 40cm ,i'm lucky that this one doesn't fly away.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Habanero Chili


Habanero chili had been notoriously known as one of the hottest chili in the world.Coming from malaysia where eating spicy food is a norm and eating the dreadful "cili padi" or "cili burung" could be considered as nothing . It is tempting to test the "mat salleh" level of spiciness.What the "mat salleh" called as very spicy is actually nothing to us malaysian.I had lunch with an australian previously and he had told me that "sambal belacan" was very spicy and intolerable, i know most malaysia would laugh at that.I had just bought a HABANERO chili sauce at the COLD STORAGE departmental store and was extremely excited that finally i had the chance to sample the level of spiciness of HABANERO chili.The label on the bottle had indicated that it contain 40% mixture of HABANERO chilli per bottle and the rest is vinegar and other additive.
Verdict -"mak oiii , pedas menyengat!!!" . extremely spicy and stingy .different from the spiciness of the local "cili padi" .The local "cili padi" is very spicy but not stingy.The label on the bottle had indicated the level of spiciness as 10/10 and i definitely agree with that.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Too Much Input 2

On my question:-"Should we live a good life now or should we live a better life tomorrow?" I believe the below qoute from Pak Idrus @ http://idrus.blogspot.com/ is the answer.Thank you again Pak Idrus

" A very good morning to you. Whether it is a raining day like now in Ampang Jaya or the sun shining bright, it is still a good day to me. We woke up breathing and that is already a good sign.We start living yet another day, that is today. Today is the future of yesterday, it is the present. The present is a gift to us to live for another day, for the past has gone forever. We have been there and today is yesterday future and tomorrow is the future. It is the present that is important to us. It is a gift so makes hays while the sun shines for the the present would be with us only but for a mere seconds and then it became the past. That is why I kept telling that we must enjoy that very moment in time, the present. And Yvonne, the present is a gift and we all love Gifts. Accept the gift with all your heart and enjoy it for the present is but a few second with us and soon it would be the past. So do think positive and live lives by the day, the minutes, the seconds for we would not go that path again.I am into the seventies and happy that I have enjoyed life all throughtout that jouney of life and continue to do so now. Sure there are hic up along the ways, but what is life if there are no the up and down. It is that varieties that made living so very wonderful. They say the varieties is the spices of life, true and do made it as colorful as ever and I am sure you would enjoy the day"

Vientiane , LAOS part 3

(all the below picture was recaptured from printout)
Pha Tat Luang
Inside Pha Tat Luang

Monks seeking alms at the street of vientiane

I woke up early today as i had plan to go to chiang Mai via Udon Thani , due to language problem i had ask the hotel receptionist to assist me in finding a taxi which will take me to the Thai-Laos border . But before going back i need to see Pha Tat Luang which is located not far from vientiane.Today was the first day of RAMADHAN which meant that i had to fast . I had eaten fried rice for 'sahur' which i had bought at a 'halal' restaurant nearby earlier.Today must be tough for me as i have a very long journey ahead of me and i had to fast from morning to late evening.I had intentionally made my journey to coincide with the month of RAMADHAN as i wanted to experienced fasting with other muslim community especially in Thailand.
On the way to Pha Tat Luang , it is interesting to see barefooted monks by the hundreds marching along the street of vientiane from the nearby monastry seeking alms in exchange for prayer.It was truly a sight to behold as i had never encountered this thing before even in china .I was told by my taxi driver in simple english that the monks cannot work and they also cannot have any material possession , they live their live purely on the donation that they received.I can imagine that it must be a tough life living as a monk,but i could also see that the people here are very generous , no doubt people are very poor here but they voluntarily gave away their food , money and other daily necessity to the monk .
Pha Tat Luang meant Great Sacred Reliquary of Great Stupa and it was the most important national monument in Laos.It was a symbol of both the buddist religion and Laos sovereignity.The construction began in the 15th century by king Setthathirat , actually there was not much to see here but i was told that every november the Bun Pha Tat Luang (full moon that luang festival) takes place here and it involved a week long celebration which include fireworks , candle lit procession , music and hundreds of buddist monks receiving alms and floral offering.
From pha tat luang i hurriedly proceed to the Thai-laos border as i need to catch the morning bus to Chiang Mai and i'm still not sure how to go to Udon Thani from nong khai.After crossing the Friendship bridge which separate thailand and laos across the mekong river , i took a tuk-tuk to the nong khai bus station to udon thani.The bus was pack with the local , after a 20 minutes as i'm about to pay for my ticket, the bus conductor had inform me that i had taken the wrong bus and had instructed me to take another bus to udon thani but he didn't give me specific instruction on which bus to take as i believe that he can't speak english.
I alighted from the bus and here i am in the middle of nowhere waiting for a bus which will take me to Udon Thani.Luckily i had met a few thai student who had help me in taking the right bus to udon thani.Around 40 minutes later , i reach Udon thani bus station.I was told the bus to chaing mai had departed and the next available bus is at 6pm.I had to wait for another 8 hours for my bus which is quite taxing and waste of time as i had just a few days left for my trip.I decided to cancel my trip to chang mai and boarded the next available bus to Bangkok.




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Random potraits of people in Terengganu


Random potraits of the local people in terengganu at a foodstall by the roadside.Typical snack on the go in malaysia consisting of crab meat , meatball , fishball and fried squid on a stick.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Latest picture of XPLORER JR




Love you so much XPLORER JR.Can't express in words how much AYAH(daddy) love you.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Pantai Rantau Abang , Terengganu

shot in Pantai Rantau Abang,Terengganu
Me and my wife love Terengganu , we went to terengganu almost once or twice a year for our holiday and yet this place had always suprised us.We always found something new and interesting whenever we visit terengganu.There are hidden treasure almost everywhere and we love the coastal village scenery along the way.My wife had persuade me to go to terengganu again in two weeks time.We shall see if she manage to convince me to go there again after going there last december.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nasi lemak and roti canai

roti canai(made from flour and marjerin)
roti canai in the making

typical nasi lemak and roti canai stall in malaysia

nasi lemak with fried egg and spicy dried squid sauce

You can't separate nasi lemak and roti canai from a malaysian.Almost , erm.. wait , almost is not a correct word for it , Everybody.. in malaysia grew up eating nasi lemak and roti canai and it had obtain an elevated status as a social food in malaysia , kind of wine as a social drink in the west.Eating nasi lemak or roti canai alone at home doesn't feel as delicious as eating with your buddies at a stall while talking about politics and current affair.Nasi lemak or coconut milk rice is best eaten with a spicy dried squid sauce and fried egg with a sprinkle of anchovies on top . It's not actually your dieticien food of choice and the reason why it is eaten on breakfast just minutes before you burnt back the calories by jogging , nah!!! who am i kidding , a heavy dose of nasi lemak in the morning will surely make you doze off afterwards , ha ha.

Kek Lok Si Temple , Penang

"The Kek Lok Si Temple (Penang Hokkien for "Temple of Supreme Bliss" or "Temple of Sukhavati") is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang and is one of the best known temples on the island. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. Mahayana Buddhism and traditional Chinese rituals blend into a harmonious whole, both in the temple architecture and artwork as well as in the daily activities of worshippers"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kek_Lok_Si_Temple








Saturday, May 16, 2009

Penang Botanical Garden

I was in penang for a short holiday since thursday , this morning i had went to the penang botanical garden to shoot some photograph.The above picture was taken at one of the waterfall in penang botanical garden using a slow shutter speed to gave that smooth water splashing effect.

From Asia to Europe by land part 2

China
From Beijing , board the trans mongolian railway from beijing which will take you on a 36 hours journey to Ulaanbataar in Mongolia.From Ulaanbataar there is the Trans Mongolian railway which will take you across the Gobi Desert to the Ulan ude the capital city Buryat republic in Russia for your onwards connection via the Transiberian Railway.
http://www.mongolia-web.com/travel-and-tourism/681-train-schedule-from-ulaanbaatar-to-moscow-and-from-beijing-to-ulaanbaatar

Russia
From Ulan Ude catch the Tran Siberian railway for the 5 days journey to the Yaroslavsky Rail Terminal in Moscow.From Moscow Belorusskaia station there is a train which will take you to Berlin in Germany.And from Berlin you can easily go to any european destination by land.
http://www.expresstorussia.com/russian_train_tickets.html

Friday, May 15, 2009

photo 24

My wife with some "bedak sejuk" or rice talcum powder on her face

I can't find an english word for "bedak sejuk" , literally it meant cold talcum but i'm not sure wheter people outside malaysia use it.Anyway i will leave it to my reader from outside of malaysia to give me the answer.It is a traditional remedy made using powdered rice and it was supposedly a cure for your acne problem .


From Asia to Europe by land part 1

My ultimate goal in travelling is to go to europe by land from ASIA.But currently my ultimate obstacle is time as i can't afford to take on a very long unpaid leave due to work commitment . But is it possible to go to europe by land? i had met one australian who had made it and here is how.......

Malaysia
Start your journey here from penang to bangkok by boarding the Express Antarabangsa which will take you on a 24 hour journey to bangkok.
www.ktmb.com.my/images/default/train0305/Antarabangsa.pdf

Thailand
From hualamphong ,bangkok , there is a daily train which will take you to aranyaprathet close to the border of cambodia.From aranyaprathet take a tuk-tuk to rongklua market and walk to the Thailand and Cambodia crossing into Poipet
http://www.thaitourism.com.my/sakaeo.php
http://www.travelfish.org/feature/71
http://www.railway.co.th/English/Time_HTML.asp

Cambodia
From poipet take a taxi which will take you to Siem Reap .From Siem Reap proceed to Phnom penh on a 5-6 hours journey by bus.From Phnom penh you then proceed to Ho chi minh via boat through the mekong delta to the border at Chau Dac and then from Chau Dac to Ho Chi minh by bus.Or alternatively you can travel by bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh city
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/message.jspa?messageID=14970609
http://www.andrewsupdates.com/tips/archives/000043.html
http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok_to_Ho_Chi_Minh_City_overland

Vietnam
From Ho Chi Minh proceed to Hanoi via train .In hanoi there is a chinese operated twice weekly train between hanoi and beijing , China.
http://www.hoteltravelvietnam.com/Vietnam+Travel+News+level/Vietnam+Train+Tickets/vietnam+train+ticket/
http://www.vr.com.vn/english/index.html
http://72.14.235.132/search?q=cache:HeNtzP7tR_kJ:www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm+train+from+hanoi+to+kunming&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=my


TO BE CONTINUED.........................................

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vientiane , Laos 2

Patuxai
Khai luk -duck egg embryo

Talat Sao (morning market)

Haw Pha Kaew

small stall alongside the mekong river
I kind of regret that i don't spend more time in vientiane , it is so peaceful and unique .I can only spend 3 days and two night in vientiane as i plan to go to Chiang mai afterwards by bus via Udon Thani , thailand and as usual i don't have my bus ticket yet and i still haven't figure out how to go to udon thani from nong khai , i was told in bangkok that there is a 12 hours journey bus from udon thani to chiang mai . As an explorer you learn to take things slowly and figure out your direction step by step or else you will get panicked and you feel lost.For me there is no definition of getting lost , getting lost is actually an opportunity to explore new places .
I spend my first day exploring vientiane by bicycle which i rent for 1usd per day.You can find a lot of shop in laos offering bicycle and motorbike for rent at a very small fee.Vientiane is quite small and most of the site could be covered by bicycle , furthermore the temperature is lovely the traffic is almost non-existent . Myhotel is located not far from the Mekong river and i start my journey from here by riding along the mekong river going to Haw Pha Keow(former royal temple which is now a museum).I can't help feeling at peace as i stroll along the mekong river , the people are just lovely and there are smile from the local people everywhere.Along the mekong river i could see that there are alot of small stall selling duck embryo , the local name for it is "KHAI LUK" in philipine it is known as "balut".Khai Luk stall is everywhere in vientiane , it is like a snack to be eaten on the go.

Laos gain independence from the french in 1949 , therefore you could see french influence almost everywhere .There is PATUXAI which look like the ARC DE TRIOMPE in paris and you could also see french bread vendor almost everywhere in LAOS.The best thing about french bread in LAOS is that it is very cheap and it was freshly bake and you could feel that it was still very warm.
From Haw Pha Keow i proceed to Thalat Sao.Thalat Sao is actually a morning market although it is open until afternoon.It is the only place that i know in vientane where you could buy some souvenier as there are not much souvenier shop in vientiane.I spend a lot of time in Thalat Sao as you could learn alot about its people and its food just by visiting its market .But one thing i do regret is not taking more photograph in LAOS as i'm not passionate about photography back then as i'm into it right now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

photo 23