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Short Dive Trip to Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar [22nd ~ 24th July 2011]

July 31st, 2011 No comments
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Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar

It’s been 3 years since I last dived at Perhentian Island; fond memory of Sugar Wreck is still vivid but fading. So when there are a couple of friends interested to go for a short dive trip to Perhentian over a weekend, I am in. Eventually we amass 5 persons for the trip.

We booked a dive resort – Bayu Dive Resort – at Teluk Dalam, Perhentian Besar. The online booking system is a bliss to use; I booked 2 rooms which go by fish names in just a few minutes – Moray Eel (RM90/night) is a fan room that can fit 2-3 persons just next to the generator; Pipefish (RM160/night) is one of the many air-conditioned cottages for 2 persons. Paid 25% thru credit cards and the room booking is secured.

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揾食記 - Fish Farm Thai Restaurant @ Hulu Langat, Selangor

January 12th, 2011 No comments
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燒蟹

最近去左係Hulu Langat嘅“Fish Farm Thai Restaurant”,推介下俾大家。

點樣去:

  • 至簡單梗係跟GPS啦,就揾“Fish Farm Thai Restaurant”, Malfreemaps.com 嘅map入面就有。
  • GPS Coordinate: E 101.805160, N 3.129660
  • 去過 Ampang Lookout Point 嘅朋友就更加易 - 由Ampang方向來,上Jalan Hulu Langat 山路過咗Lookout Point嘅入門口係右手邊,再駛多唔夠幾分鐘 (約莫3km),就可看到右手邊有個招牌。大路轉入去之後仲要駛5分鐘嘅凹凸不平又漆黑一片嘅爛路,就到。

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Ulu Yam Day Trip (Batu Dam, Sungai Tua Selangor State Park, Ulu Yam, Sg Sendat Waterfall) [26 Dec 2010]

January 10th, 2011 1 comment

Sungai Sendat Waterfalls all of sudden become infamous in the last few days, after a family outing turned tragic where 3 youngsters were drown there on 30th Dec 2010. Incidentally, my first (and only) visit to this waterfall was just a few days before that, on the Boxing Day (26th Dec). The memory is still fresh and vivid. I am more shocked than saddened to learn about the tragic, as it reminds me again, that there is always danger lies behind waterfalls, however serene and peaceful the place presents itself.

My trip to the Sendat Waterfalls is not pre-planned – in fact, the Sunday started with “Let’s go to some waterfalls near Ulu Yam!” and soon after we started our car journey from Kuala Lumpur. We have heard about the waterfalls near this area before, but we don’t really know the names nor the exact locations of any of them. Upon setting the often-reliable Papago to go “Ulu Yam Lama”, I found out that there is a POI nearby called “Ulu Yam Recreational Park”, and decided to go check it out.

Sekinchan – half day excursion [Christmas Eve 2010]

January 2nd, 2011 No comments

Yet another visit to Sekinchan just few days ago (24 Dec 2010), this time with Ben. Came to take some photos of the paddy field and the fishing village at dusk, as well as to try out the seafood in this area.

Most of the paddy fields have been harvested – end of December is definitely not the best timing to come for nice paddy shots. There were some controlled burning of the leftovers. I had an incident where my feet were sucked into the mud between the 2 rows of paddy, and have to clean myself up in the small river nearby.

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Daytripping Melaka – some photos [11 Sept 2010]

September 19th, 2010 5 comments

I went to Melaka for a day trip with my buddies Ben and Bill at the Saturday of Raya weekend. The day was very hot (typical Melaka) and all the tourist attractions are swamped by visitors. Jonker street is especially bad with motorists and pedestrians blocking each other. We had chicken rice ball at one of the restaurants at Jonker, and I will just say that I have much nicer chicken rice somewhere else sans the queue. The queue in front of the chicken rice ball restaurants is a view by itself.

It is a totally different type of environment at another similar World Heritage Site – Hoi An in central Vietnam. It is infested by visitors/foreigners too but I never felt like suffocating, and there are more than enough nice little eateries there and thus no sighting of “me-too-want-to-queue-for-chicken-rice” crowd under the hot sun. Melaka sure can learn a thing or 2 from Hoi An. Probably can get started by blocking all motorized vehicles from getting into Jonker Street for all day long.

Time for me to get the Hoi An photos done – it’s been more than 2 months I was back from there!! :-p

Click below for photos.

  • Melaka Sept2010
Melaka Sept2010

Some photos from a recent day trip to Melaka during the Raya break with Ben and Bill. Super hot and overly crowded. Our world heritage site needs to revamp to cater for the ever-increasing visitors.

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!

Redang Island Revisited [March 2009]: Getting There & Around

April 19th, 2009 1 comment
Well I have had some really bad dives that I wish I am back in the office...

Well I have had some really bad dives that I wish I am back in the office...

Taking advantage of season-opening Early Bird Promotion (see another post here), I visited Redang Island again from 28~30 March 2009. No diving this time, only signing up for the standard 3D2N snorkeling package, but nevertheless as tired if not more.

Redang Island, a beautiful tropical island retreat, is located 45km off the coast of Terengganu state, about 400km from Kuala Lumpur. It can be reached either by air (http://www.airasia.com, http://www.malaysiaairlines.com) or by road. Either way, you will en route Kuala Terengganu, the state capital of Terengganu. Besides that. Berjaya Air operates Dash 7 flights directly touching down on the island from Subang Airport, Kuala Lumpur.

Sharing some of the transportation details from my March 2009 Redang 3D2N trip:

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Pulau Redang: Redang Holiday Beach Villa (March 2009)

April 7th, 2009 6 comments
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Redang Holiday Beach Villa - Seaview Semi-D Bungalow

Visited Redang again last weekend, 28~30 March 2009 to be exact. No diving this time, just 3D2N snorkeling pacakge. This write up is not really about the trip as a whole, but just about the resort we were staying during the trip – Redang Holiday Beach Villa.

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First Ray of Light on Mt. Kinabalu

February 25th, 2009 1 comment
First Light on Mt. Kinabalu

First Ray of Light on St. John's Peak, Mt. Kinabalu

Date: Mid Oct 2005, 5:57am

Location: Summit of Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

The Story: 2nd time is much easier. I was not the first ones to reach the Summit of Mt. Kinabalu that day, but at least I have enough time to capture the moment of the ray of light hits the mountain. A few climbers already sitting down, chilling out (literally). The sun gets out from the thick clouds, paints the left side of St. John’s Peak with orange color. The magic moment is short-lived, though – the sky turns bright soon and before long, the orange color is gone, replaced by blinding glare.

General Information & Expenses: My First Sipadan Trip, Aug 2008

February 22nd, 2009 4 comments
Sipadan Island - Tiny but Famed

Sipadan Island - Tiny but Famed

It’s been a while – 6 months to be exact – since I came back from my Sipadan trip, but it is just like yesterday, that I can still remember details of the trip. I had my best dives, not saying a lot as I have just over 50 in total, but the memories of this trip will not go away for a very long time. Because the trip is very special to me.

So, I am obligated to write down some notes about this trip, on one hand to record down my memories, but on the other hand promote our own little Malaysian islands – Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai – to the rest of the travelers and divers. Not that these famed islands still need any more promotion, though.

Some trip information for my 5D4N Sipadan trip last August (8/82008 ~ 12/8/2008):

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Great Barracuda!

February 21st, 2009 No comments
Great Barracuda, length of 1.5m or so

Great Barracuda, length of 1.5m or so

Date: 11th August, 2008; ~1pm

Location: one of Kapalai’s dive sites

Equipment: Canon Powershot A620 in Canon WP-DC90 waterproof housing, Inon Z240 single strobe

It was almost 50 minutes into our 2nd dive of the day, at Kapalai (near Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia). 6 of us together with our dive master ascended to ~7m, getting ready to do the safety stop and call it an end to another great dive. Thus far, the dive is excellent – among other sightings, I saw my first ribbon eels – 2 adults in blue and yellow colors, and one pitch black juvenile. I spent quite some time with one of the adult ribbon eels, trying to get a good shot of it but not really successful. My buddy Bill was not helping at all in that regard, but that is another story.

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Blowing Bubbles in Tioman Island [14~16th June 2007]

June 19th, 2007 1 comment

Tioman Beach near ABCHiu and myself made a trip down to Tioman Island off Pahang coast on Thursday morning. It was a rush planning – we decided to get away for a couple of days and go diving. Tioman is the obvious choice since I’ve just got back from Redang on late May. Tioman will be different than the Redang/Perhentian Island area, we reckoned. Read more…

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From Bad To Worse – Tioman Island Needs Help!

June 17th, 2007 No comments

Abandoned ChaletTioman Island used to be named one of the top 10 most beautiful islands in the world, but that was like 10 years ago. Me and my diving buddy Hiu just got back from a short 3D2N trip to Tioman Island (we stayed at Teluk Air Batang, or dubbed ABC), and we know the island needs some serious help.

The State Govt. is having so many projects at Kampung Tekek and surrouding areas, like widening the river bed just beside the beach, the marina project etc. that have put off tourists – who wants to see tractors going about the front of their chalet while having vacation?

It is also having littering everywhere near Kampung Tekek, not to mention the pocket of dirty and smelly water patches along the construction areas. More importantly the marine ecosystem will be damaged or out right destroyed by all these projects at the beach front.

In fact we've seen so many of the chalets being discarded along the road from Tekek leading the ABC, it is just an eye sore. Even the Marine Park's Headquater – a elegent white & blue painted big buliding blocks, but really out-of-place here – near ABC beach, is having its drainage directly flow to the marine reservation park beach just in front of it! The waste water can be seen forming while bubbles at the marine park beach shallow water near the rocky area Yell. What are you thinking, the Marine Park Officer?

The locals are unhappy with the constructions that have been going on but there is little that they can do. At least they managed to stop the State Govt. to widening the existing cement road – at least for now.

The Tioman beaches are already inheritedly not as good as those in Redang Island or Perhentian Island which are renowned for their fine white long pristine beach and crystal clear water. The least the State Govt. can do is to not further destroying the island. The tourists are not here to see a modern township or the construction work-in-progress, it is the rich variety of coral reefs and fishes (and of course, some really cool wrecks) that attracted the tourists and divers around the world to Tioman Island. WWF ran 2 articles on concern on Tioman Island's projects on 2004:
1.
Controversial marina project threatens Malaysia's Pulau Tioman Marine Park
2.
WWF-Malaysia Position Statement on Proposed Airport And Marina Projects In
Pulau Tioman

and so did CDNN Eco News:

Government-backed marina project will destroy Malaysia's Tioman marine park

It is useless trying to attract tourists by making the island a tax-free heaven if the constructions are still going on and the marine life are being threaten or destroyed. Tioman needs help! And it needs it fast!

 

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3 More Dives @ Redang Island [25~27th May 2007]

May 31st, 2007 No comments

Pasir Panjang, Redang IslandIt was May, and it is almost a crime to not visit the one of islands of East Coast Malaysia. This is the best time of the year to enjoy the sunny beach and calm South China Sea.

We’ve been talking about this trip since Feb and I really can’t wait anymore. Arriving the island on 25th May (Friday), I was put off by the throng of tourists (and almost all are Malaysian Chinese, go figure) on the Pasir Panjang but hey, I couldn’t care less as long as I can get my diving doses. Read more…

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