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What a Day, Part 2

19 Jun

Such contrasting experiences for us for two different days of impromptu day trip excursions…

After the fun-filled Friday at Resorts World Genting, on Saturday we decided on another day trip excursion. This time, we managed to convince Mom to come along as it would be a shorter outing with less walking and more suited for her. Destination: Pulau Ketam or Crab Island.

Unfortunately things did not turn out as well as the day before…

The line for the ferry tickets was horrendously long. It was sardine-packed at the jetty. There was no proper queue, the crowd was loud, the weather hot and yes, it wasn’t pleasant. Finally when we got onto the ferry, there was some respite because it was air-conditioned. The half hour journey was pleasant enough to make up for the earlier discomfort.

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Packed, murky, strange, we saw it all at Pulau Ketam!

 

When we got to Pulau Ketam, it was even hotter and humid and I have forgotten to bring the sunblock, cap or the umbrella. Oops.

We decided to have lunch before exploring the little island. Unfortunately, the lunch experience left a bad taste in the mouth. While we understand it’s the weekend and a public holiday with packed crowds and long waiting time, the lady boss didn’t have to be rude replying us when we asked how come the table that came after us was served first? Was there a preference because they ordered crabs and fish, more expensive items on the menu compared to our choices? Hrmph.

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Expensive for a fish ball soup, steamed clams, mantis prawns and a veggie, all small portions

The thing that riled us even more after the meal was the exorbitant amount that she charged us! The audacity of her… it does not bode well to be rude to paying customers on top of the unethical business practice of over charging. Lady… the consequences can be far more damaging than that moment in time when you were questioned while stressed.

So people, if you ever visit Pulau Ketam, do avoid the restaurant on the left, next to a religious abode after passing the two-storey yellow fire station, you can’t miss it.

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The island village’s fire station with their ‘fire engines’

The mood was spoiled after that. We walked aimlessly towards the village. There were a lot of other open air restaurants and all were packed to the brim. Nothing caught our attention except for a couple of food stalls. There were some dried sea produce to buy like dried anchovies or dried shrimps and that’s it, not even local handicraft on display to admire or browse.

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Two different vendors selling the same thing, clam & oyster omelette

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From freezer to hot wok, this fried ice cream is crunchy on the outside, cold on the inside

The heat was getting to us and we decided to leave. The wait at the jetty was another horrid experience. The sardine-packed place was just a madhouse. There was no queue, no manners, no rule. Everyone was for themselves.

It was shoulder to shoulder and made worse when a group of cocky guys came shoving through rudely and jumped the haphazard queue that was eventually formed. The crowd wasn’t pleased and loudly told them off. They then back-tracked but laughed it off without any remorse. Eeesh. Then people disembarking from the speedboat was pushing and shoving to get out. It wasn’t the nicest experience.

Thank goodness, we managed to get on the 3.00pm speedboat in a somewhat orderly manner and left the island. What a contrast in experience compared to the day before. Oh well, at least I can now add this destination as another ‘been there, done that’ off my checklist. And I’m afraid it will be a long while before we’d consider coming back here again.

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What a Day

18 Jun

Last Friday our road trip to ‘nowhere’ turned out to be the most fun and relaxed day! We decided to head to Resorts World Genting. Located in the highlands at 6,000 feet above sea level, the drive was unhurried and leisurely as traffic was clear. Within an hour from leaving home, we arrived, found parking and started our adventure. There was no time limit, no fixed plans and everything was just spontaneous.

We started off looking for food. Something light to get us going. The Congee and Wantan Mee (not very generous with the pieces of Char Siew) was very expensive but then again, when one is at a tourist spot, food prices are at their mercy. There was no lack in choices I must say. Plenty to eat and plenty to tempt your palate, the only thing holding one back is the tummy’s ability to eat everything.

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The food choices from the two different stalls

Wandering through the indoor mall, the sea of people was bearable. Crowded but not shoulder to shoulder, we just explored and simply enjoyed the mall’s deco, festive attractions and digital display.

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Lights, sights and sound to entertain and dazzle

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The Smurfs on display. Wasn’t quite sure what the red costumed folks were about…

 

The first stop we made was at the Jurassic Research Center. Having watched Jurassic World last week, we thought this would be fun. And it was. Although there were no thrilling rides or popping out dinosaurs to scare you, the docile animatronics giants were enough to make this experience very enjoyable.

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Our combo ticket included entry to Ripley’s Believe it or Not too. And this was just as enjoyable. By the time we finished these two attractions, it was 2.30pm already. So we looked for food again but we got lost going around in circles. The place was practically an intricate maze but nobody got mad or upset about it.

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Channeling my inner T-Rex but at the wrong attraction!

We ended up at a Parisian-themed cafe for high tea instead of lunch. This was quite an experience. Sugar laden from all the pastries presented in the elaborate setup, we had good black coffee to counter all that sweet intake. Our high tea indulgence lasted an hour and a half in total relaxation without a hurry in the world.

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It may not look much but believe me, it was quite a struggle towards the end for us

Pumped by all that sugar, we felt we had to do something more active to burn all those calories. The next stop, the amusement park and we played some silly arcade games – coin tossing, shooting, ball throwing and some serious driving with more shooting. Good workout it turned out. When the amusement park credits were all used up, we moved on with silly grins pasted on our faces.

By now, we decided to leave as it was getting very crowded. Thankfully, the weather outside was lovely and it was very refreshing to enjoy the cool temperature of the highlands. With the much needed short breather (we passed the 10,000 steps mark with so much walking), we felt revived and then made our way back into the indoor maze to try to get to the car park. It wasn’t the easiest because we got lost again.

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Finally the car was located and it was a new challenge to drive down six levels through haphazardly parked cars in the narrow multi-level car park. Eeesh. Driving into the abyss, we bade the highlands goodbye and headed to the Premium Outlet, a short distance away.

The Premium Outlet offered many international brands at attractive prices. Nothing caught our eye but we did buy some necessary items because it was a good deal. We had dinner here and the spicy and salty choices were a welcome taste to overcome the sweetness of the earlier afternoon tea.

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Taiwanese dry pork noodle, salty crispy chicken and spicy beef noodle… yum

By 9.30pm we decided to head home. What a day it has been! Tired and contented, I think this was one of our better escapade and we plan to visit again. It took an hour to arrive home and I clocked in 12,866 steps by the time I opened the front door to the house.

 

Road Trip!

15 Jun

It is a public holiday today and we decided to take a road trip to… nowhere!

We thought it’d be fun to drive out of the city in search of food and some adventure. Who knows what sort of traffic conditions we will face as most festive travellers would have started their journey yesterday.

We brace ourselves but keep an open mind to have an adventurous unplanned trip.

We Say Goodbye

8 Jan

After almost a month being home, our firstborn M1 returned to the US on Saturday evening. It had been simply a wonderful month, spending quality time together as we did so much or sometimes nothing at all. We had our family vacation in Hong Kong which was really fun.

And we enjoyed a sinful gastronomic journey covering her To Eat List; I think we managed all on the list. Needless to say, my waistline expanded and I gave up standing on my bathroom scale.

But how fast time flew by. My heart broke a little when we hugged her and saw her into the Departure Hall at KLIA as she headed back as a Junior turning Senior for her final year. Sniffle…

Fast forward to today—a Monday but a Sunday for her—she finally arrived, surviving the 3-leg journey with an unavoidable ten-hour layover in Hong Kong. I feel a sense of relief now.

Have a great year ahead M1!

Going Gaga Over Gudetama

21 Dec

You would think that being in Hong Kong and especially visiting Hong Kong Disneyland, we would be excited by Mickey and company but no, we were not as mesmerized as most would be. Instead, we found Gudetama and were captivated by it.

Somehow the lazy egg has gotten the better of us. M2 and I bought Gudetama socks; and she bought candies and a pencil case too. As for me, I acquired a recycle bag, a luggage tag and a two-sided self-inking rubber stamp.

There were more stuff available – folders, pouches, name card holders, pencils, passport holder, lunch boxes, little figurines and a whole lot of stationeries but I managed to refrain. It was tough though…

Bitten by the Flu Bug

19 Dec

The inevitable has happened! M2 and I have been bitten by the flu bug. I was fine up till my meeting yesterday but when I got home, it’s full blown. Not good.

I suspect it’s during the taxi ride home that we caught the chill, as I could feel the acute coldness in the car and I knew it’s going to hit; it certainly isn’t from the cold when we left Hong Kong nor tiredness from the travel. Sure enough it did.

Well, better rest for a speedy recovery.

Holiday’s Over

18 Dec

The minute the realization kicks in that the holiday is over, the body is sapped with lethargy and the spirit is down. Welcome back to reality. We got to the airport early yesterday, and after checking in, we took the train—transferring from one terminal to another—to look for Aji Ichiban to buy some last minute snacks. After our purchase, we had a simple noodle lunch before making our way to the designated gate.

Although our flight was delayed slightly, we managed to arrive home not too late which was good because this allowed us to readjust to the weather and rest. The holiday is truly over.

I shouldn’t have agreed to a meeting today with a potential new client but when it’s a potential new client, one should agree to accommodate them. Well, towards a good week ahead!

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HK Day 5: Goodbye Hong Kong

17 Dec

We woke up at eight to a freezing cold apartment. Nine degrees the Weather app showed! No wonder it’s freaking cold. Thank goodness it’s our last day and we’re leaving. Goodbye Hong Kong, you have been really fun this trip as we totally enjoyed ourselves. But I am sure we will be back again.

HK Day 4: We Walked and Walked and Walked…

16 Dec

Today we topped it all, the mother of all walks! We were on the move for almost 12 hours, doing 17,217 steps and 10.7km. We covered so many areas after a hearty breakfast. It was a much colder day today with the temperature at 14 degrees Celsius so it made walking brisk. Everyone had three layers on except for M1.

We walked to Victoria Park to visit Tin Hau Temple and Lin Fa Kung Temple; after that we walked to Sogo the departmental store and went to every floor to browse because it’s fun to look especially at the household and decorative items. We saw an incense burner that costs a bomb, well, HK$428,000 to be exact! I kid you not. Does money fall from the sky for the people here? Seeing that we are not worthy to be new owners of the burner, we left Sogo for Nathan Road.

The Goldfish Market street was very interesting with lots of pets on display for sale. We crossed over here and there braving the sardine packed streets and stumbled upon Fa Yuen Food Market. Looking for food, we inadvertently found Mui Kee Congee. So good the congee tasted.

Sated and rested a bit, we moved on towards the Ladies Market, the main attraction in that area. By then the wind picked up and temperature got colder. And when it gets colder, one tends to want to go to the bathroom more frequently. But with so many street vendors and cramped eateries, finding a bathroom wasn’t easy. So what did we do?

We walked into a hospital to use the bathroom at the A&E department!

We ate again, this time finally getting our roast goose and roast pork with rice. Ahhh…. So so good. But the evening was not over yet as we headed down to Tsim Sha Tsui to watch the evening laser show. It was a little after 9.00pm when we got back to the apartment and all of us just couldn’t feel our feet anymore. What a day!

After four intense days of walking, I foresee no such lengthy walks in the next few days ahead. I must say it has been a really good family vacation and looking forward to the remaining time we have together with M1 before she goes back to the US in January.

HK Day 4: Tsim Sha Tsui 

16 Dec

Time flies when you are having fun. It is our fourth day already and I feel like we’ve done so much yet not enough. Today we will go across to Kowloon to do some serious eating and shopping. After yesterday’s 6.7km effort, look out Tsim Sha Tsui!

The last two days, out of the blue, my iPhone5S acted up. Frozed several times whilst I was taking pictures. Aargh. Why? Why now? I noticed the camera app has been a wee bit slower than normal. Maybe it can’t take the holiday stress with so many pictures? Hmm… I hope nothing serious. I don’t need to change to a new phone although the huge Apple stores here have been very enticing.

Multi levelled and so brightly lit, the Apple stores were also packed with customers. Yesterday at IFC, a lady stood outside the store offering to sell an iPhoneX that she just bought. And of course one would pay for it at a much higher price. No, I don’t need this. So my phone better behave so that I can take more memorable pictures for today’s outing.