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The Stuffed Crab, The Kemaman Coffee and The Curry Mee – Kemaman, Terengganu

July 30th, 2010 5 comments

Was staying in Kemaman for one night after a day trip to Tasik Chini (~80km from Kuantan), in mid June 2010. Not much accommodation choices in Kemaman, with most of them along or near Jalan Sulamani. Learnt from the locals that there are a few food joints worth checking out. This is the first time that I really explore this town, the last few times were just bypassing it and didn’t give it wink.

First off, dinner at Tong Juan Restaurant, the shop that made ‘stuffed crab’ famous in Kamaman – many shops have since opened up to sell the same thing.

  • Restaurant Name: Tong Juan Restaurant (东源酿蟹)
  • Location: K117, Jalan Sulaimani, Kemaman, Terengganu, Malaysia.
  • GPS: 4.231271, 103.428479

Tong Juan Restaurant - full house all the time!

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GSM Roaming onboard Airasia – Mobile OnAir service is already available!

July 28th, 2010 1 comment

I haven’t learned about the GSM roaming availability onboard Airasia until I overheard the conversation between a cabin crew telling a passenger so. That was during my recent flight back from Ho Chi Minh City to Kuala Lumpur on 21 July 2010 evening. Curious (and bored), I switched my Nokia 5800 out of its offline mode (i.e. flight mode), and not before long, it connects to OnAir:

GSM Roaming in Airasia flight via OnAir service. It is total coincidence that the song I was listening to at that time was "Fly me to the moon". I was flying back to KL. 🙂

Tried sent a couple of sms’es and able to deliver, and able to receive incoming sms’es too. Did not have any noticeable lag. Did not try to call out though – pretty sure it will work, and more sure that it will cost me a bomb. No idea how much the outgoing sms will cost me, but there will be no charges for the incoming sms. No related mobile roaming information is found in the seat pocket.

Googling the OnAir service brings me to their homepage FAQ: http://www.onair.aero/faqs, which is an interesting read. Airasia is listed as one of its customers using the Mobile OnAir GSM roaming technology, where there is a picocell installed onboard for mobile phones’ radio interfacing, and then signals are routed to ground servers via satellite. There is also an onboard channel selector to prevent the mobile phones from connecting to the ground mobile networks directly. The Mobile OnAir supports only GSM/GPRS but not 3G – good enough for calls and sms’es, as well as basic internet browsing.

Cabin crew reminds that the mobile phones need to be turned off during take off and landing, so other than these periods, the mobile phones can be switched on and connected – as long as your mobile service operator has roaming deal with OnAir. Mine, Maxis, does.

The problem that might arise from this is the ignorant phone users that always speak loudly when on mobile phone, think China passengers, for example. That will be really irritating.

The OnAir has another service too: Internet OnAir – that works via RJ45 connection or Wifi. I didn’t try out the Wifi connectivity (because I didn’t even think about it at all then) but this just-posted Bernama article confirms that Airasia signs up only the Mobile OnAir service from OnAir. So probably no high speed internet browsing for now onboard Airasia, but I will find out soon enough during my next trip in August!

Y Thao Garden – what USD10 can buy you in Hue City?

July 25th, 2010 2 comments

Highly recommended by 2 travel guide books (Lonely Planet & Hong Kong published 长空旅游系列 021 - 越南食玩买终极天书本2010˜˜2011 全新Update版), we dropped in Y Thao Garden for our first dinner in Hue, Vietnam. We’ve had a long day – woke up at 4am, flew from HCMC to Hue at 6am flight, and then just in time to sign up last-minute on the 8am Perfume River Cruise day tour upon checking into Binh Minh Sunrise Hotel – and now just couldn’t wait to have a good dinner and unwind.

It was July 17th 2010, a Saturday. Far away from home.

  • Restaurant Name: Y Thao Garden
  • Location: 3 Thach Han, the Citadel, Hue, Vietnam
  • GPS: 16.468009,107.567117 (click for Google Map location)

It is just a 10-minute cab ride from the hotel. The restaurant is set in a mansion surrounded by tropical garden with lush of green, which is welcoming. Walking straight in, no one was there at the reception to greet us. We walked around and took some photos of the tropical garden, and after like forever (well, 2 minutes but felt like forever) the waitress showed up and lead us to one of the 2 main dining halls, which were both without any diners at that time (~6pm).

The restaurant runs set menu, and there is only one lone set – take it or leave it – that costs USD10 (not inclusive of beverages). No À la carte whatsoever. Ordered 2 sets and a couple of local bottled Huda Beer, we set off to take more photos of the beautiful garden. More after the fold.

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