Thursday, April 30, 2009

Macau - The Venetian

People come to Macau mainly for two reasons: To see the colonial buildings and for entertainment but mainly for entertainment. There are not a lot of malls in Macau. I think they have one or two. They have boutiques though. So if you're into branded products, it is great to visit Macau... and of course if you didn't mind the price as well.

People usually go to The Venetian for entertainment. The Venetian is a resort located near the Macau International airport.

How to go to The Venetian?

If you're coming from Senado Square, you may take the bus no. 3. It will take you to the Fisherman's Wharf, at the Jetty Point. It takes about 20 minutes to get there from Senado Square. From the Jetty Point, there are shuttle buses that go to The Venetian. Again, to go to The Venetian, you can either go to Cas1n0, or just walk around the Shoppe, which is the shopping mall.

The Venetian outside.

Grand entrance

Pay him and he moves.

Schenker's bed

The toilet.

Macau - Colonial Buildings





Monday, April 27, 2009

Things to do in Macau

Last January, my friends and I met to discuss about our China Trip... I haven't met the other two yet so we decided to get to know each other before the trip. We met at a coffee shop in Midvalley Megamall. Coffee shops have wif-fi. We discussed our trip over coffee and internet. So we started doing some research on what to do where. We started with Macau first. At the end of our first meeting, we came up with our itinerary in Macau:

Here are the things to do in Macau, our itinerary:

Day 1

Arrival at Macau Airport & Check In
East Asia Hotel
Walkabout on Senado Square.
Portugese tarts, Two layer custard,(heard that Macau Biscuits and Pork Bun in Macau are to die for)
Dinner @ Fishermans Wharf
Nam Van Lake Cybernetic Fountain
Drinks at Dorcas

Day 2

Breakfast - Chaurizo & Egg Tarts & Peri Chicken
Walkabout/ Hac Sa Beach
Lunch- Daipaitong
Shopping

Day 3

Just go for breakfast then off to HongKong by Ferry

Having made this itinerary, we still wanna make it free and easy. Like... if we don't feel like going to Daipaitong, it is up to us. This list serves as our guide only.

I. Am. Excited!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Langkawi - Island Hopping

The highlight of our Langkawi trip was the island hopping we took. We thought it's about time we do something more adventurous as a family. We went to see 3 beautiful islands.

The boy had problem with the speed at first. He said it was too fast. So we asked the "boat driver" to slower it down a bit. Good thing he complied.
We stopped at Dayang Bunting first. Dayang Bunting is an island that has a huge lake in the middle of it. We trekked to the lake again.

And had a fish spa at the side of the lake. And the fish? You won't believe it... but they were cat fish. I thought only Gararupa fish are good for fish spa. Cat fish is equally good. But cat fish are more gentle. That means more ticklish too. I didn't stay long there because it was extremely hot.

You could actually do a paddle canoe at dayang Bunting... but we didn't do it.


The next stop was eagle feeding. It was an amazing sight to behold, seeing the eagle glide down to take their food (which was chicken skin).

The last stop was at Beras Basah Island resort. We spent almost two hours there just to enjoy the small island (or probably you can call it an isle) and the fine white sand beach. The kids enjoyed their time so much.

We paid 35RM each for this half a day island hopping. Schenker paid 25RM and Samantha had it for free.

Langkawi - Underwater World

They say it's not worth going to Langkawi Underwater World. We went there regardless.

The kids were very excited to see "fishes."

Schenker looking at a python

Both were enjoying the "Happy Feet" Penguins

Schenker looking intently at the star fish

she was fascinated with a yellow fish

I was fascinated with sea dragon.

and jellyfish... so beautiful and yet so dangerous.

outside, looking at the fish. sorry the fish wasn't included. the photographer (which was my hubby) was more fascinated with the fish on-lookers. Hehehe.

The entrance fee for Langkawi Underwater World was 38RM for Non-Malaysians and 28RM for Malaysians. The kids' entrance fee was 18RM and kids below 3 years old are for free.

The verdict? Fish Aquaria in KLCC was a lot lot better. There's nothing much to see in Langkawi's. But of course, the kids enjoyed both. That's the most important thing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Langkawi - Day 2

We drove to the northern part of Langkawi today. We wanted to check out the Seven Wells and the waterfall. I actually thought we could just drive there and when we get down from the car, we would be at the scenic spot already. Only to discover that we had to trek and it's going uphill. We took the stairway. It said it would take around 600 steps to get to the Seven Wells. I really didn't mind. After all, it's nothing compared to going up Mt KK.


One problem. The kids didn't want to walk up. So halfway through, I almost passed out! Two reasons: 1. it's my second day of what-most-women-get-once-a-month thingy; 2. had to carry Samantha. I didn't remember sweating that much before. It's like there's water trickling down from my skin like that of a slow water fall.

Good thing I remembered all the tips I got when I was preparing for our Mt. KK. trip. I sat down, put my head in between my legs. I felt much better after that.

We didn't regret going up there without any preparations. I was awestruck by how beautiful the place was... God is awesome. I wondered again why... after all these years in Malaysia, we didn't come to Langkawi sooner.



Samantha doing her foot spa


This was how they looked like after dipping in the water.


Anyways, there is always time for everything. So this must be the right time for us to come here. So that we would enjoy our trip with the kids.

Facts on Seven Wells Waterfall:

The Seven Wells Waterfall is locally known as Telaga Tujuh and is indeed a geological marvel.

It is a spot where freshwater streams plunges from seven pools into this majestic waterfall creating an awe-inspiring sight. Although the uphill trek to the top is less than a mile, the trip is quite strenuous, and you'd be well advised to take water with you.

Visiting the pools, especially the top one, will definitely bring excitement besides seeing greenery and enjoying cooling surroundings. Adding a mystical touch to the natural splendor is the lush green forest that surrounds it. Legend has it that fairies used to come down to frolic and bathe.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Langkawi - Day 1

We left Subang Jaya at 8:00 am. Our flight was at 10:20 am. It takes an hour to reach Langkawi from LCCT. The kids were excited. Again, the girl chose her own outfit. Not a good match. But I think it shows her creativity.

After checking in our bag -Yes, we packed light. I was glad I was able to. You can hardly pack light when traveling with kids. But I was able to manage it. (Pat on my back), we went to Coffee Bean Shop for breakfast. Two Brek-o-day for 4 of us. Girl ate all the sausage. The boy ate the bread, hubby and I ate the omelette. I had a good brewed coffee and hubby had hot tea.



The kids were waiting to board our flight. The last time we flew with kids was almost two years ago when we went to the Philippines. The girl must have forgotten it coz she was only 10 months old then. That's why she was so excited.

boarding air asia here

Both were comfortable during the flight.

coming in Langkawi International Airport


Langkasuka Beach Resort is just a 5-minute drive from the airport. Paid 12RM for a cab. I was amazed to know that Langkasuka Beach Resort is the only private resort in Langkawi. They have their own beach. Our hotel room is facing the beach though. But what's to complain about? It's for free!


We decided to rent a car. It is actually very cheap. We pay 40RM per day for the car. So we have a car to drive around for the next 4 days. It is better than taking the day tours from tour agencies. It is quite expensive. And besides, you don't go on your own pace doing guided tours.

Went to Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall last night to get some things... i.e. breakfast, drinks, etc. Just don't ask me what the etc's are, okay? Hehehe.

The boy is super observant. While we were driving, he asked why there's no traffic jam on the road. LOL. He's so used to the traffic jams back home that he noticed the difference here.

By this time, we had pretty much ideas on what to do the next day and the rest of the days while we're here. The main thing that we will definitely do is go and have fun!

Langkawi is a beautiful place to go for a break. I wonder what took us long to decide to come here for our holiday. If it wasn't for the 0 airfare from Air Asia last year, we wouldn't come here.

Thank God for the blessings. I am so much in awe on how God blesses us. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Things to do in Langkawi

We are now in Langkawi and planning on what to do on our 5-day break in Langkawi. We went to the reception area to check some information on what to do in Langkawi. Here are our options:

1. Snorkeling Tours (8 hours)

A 45-minute ferry ride with high speed catamaran will take you to Payar Marine Park. On arrival, drop off at PP Island Marine Park, where you can swim and snorkel at your leisure. Also explore the island shark feeding before lunch.

2. Langkawi Coral

Tour package includes Hotel-Jetty-PP Island return transfers, Snorkeling gears, International Buffet Lunch, Snorkel platform, underwater observatory and glass bottom boats (adult – 240; child – 160)

3. Coral Island

Tour package includes Hotel-Jetty-PP island return transfers, snorkeling gear, shark feeding, life jackets, shower facility (adult – 200; child – 150)

4. Sunset Cruise (2.5 hours)

A 2.5 hour sunset cruise to the island formations of Langkawi. Watch the sunset as you sip wine, cocktails and canap├ęs. Food and drinks included (cocktail – 200RM, dinner 240)

5. Mangrove and Cave Tour

Visit the Bat Cave, set amidst the Mangrove Jungle. We journey there by boat through the mysterious jungle crocodile cave and to the mouth of the river where you will have opportunity to see wildlife of the area, which includes majestic eagles swooping down to the water to feed. Afterwards, continue to a fish farm to see the monstrous size of fish bred in captivity. Last stop will be at the waterfalls for a swim. (adult 140; child 90)

6. Island Ecstasy (6 hours)

We sail to the islands by explorer boat through the dense mangrove jungles, gorges and rock formations to the mouth of the river. Explore the caves and surrounding Mangrove Swamps. AT noon, we visit an uninhabited island with fine sandy beaches to swim, or just lay on the beaches toi suntan. Then we proceed for lunch we will cruise and explore the island formation, before returning to hotel. Refreshment and lunch are inclusive. (adult RM 185; child – 115) note: voted as the number one tour in Langkawi.

7. Island Discovery A

Visit: Atma Alam Batik Centre; Eagle Square; Mahsuri’s Tomb, Kuah Town Shopping and underwater world (entrance fee not included)

8. Island Discovery B

Visit: Cable Car, Craft complex, Black sand beach and bird park (entrance fee not included). (adult – 55; child – 30) (4 hours)

9. Langkawi Highlights with Limousine Tour (8 hours)

Enjoy the sights of Langkawi with your own private Limousine and Driver/Guide at your own pace and leisure. Visit the field of Burnt rice, Atma Alam Batik, Mahsuri’s Tomb where the legendary princess was enshrined. Continue to Tanjung Rhu with its famous white beach, the beach of black sand, handicraft center and the wildlife park. Drop by the Prime Minister’s Museum, with interesting array of objects on display. A Chinese Lunch awaits you in Kuah town. Drop by at the famous crocodile farm and the seven wells waterfall. Next drop at the Eagle Square in Kuah Town where you will be given ample time for shopping. (adult – 185, child – 100)

10. Golfing Tours (4 hours)

Play a round of Golf at three of the challenging golf clubs
- 18 hole- course, includes green fees
- Golf buggy
- Golf set rental
- Return hotel-golf course transfers and
- Golf buddy

11. Half Day Fishing (5 hours)

A fishing adventure on the high seas with the Barracuda, snappers, groupers and sting rays with rods and reels, bait, refreshments and snacks are provided. (adult – 160; child – 90)

12. Island Hopping (4 hours)

Discover the fabled island of Langkawi, by speedboat to watch the eagle feeding. We go to the Dayang Bunting Island and visit the lake of Pregnant Maiden, where you can swim and foot massage by “cat fish” in the magical fresh water. From here we continue to Beras Basah Island for swimming on white sandy beach before returning to the hotel. (adult – 60; child – 30)

13. Night Tour (3.5 hours)

Visit the eagle square, after that a one-hour stop for dinner, and shopping at Langkawi Fair. Then visit the night market before returning to the hotel (adult – 85; child – 45).

We'll probably choose the cheap ones... and rent a car to do sightseeing on our own.

______________________

The Legend of Mahsuri

Mahsuri

According to Malay legend, Mahsuri (full name Mahsuri bte Pandak Mayah) (?-1819) was a young woman from the island of Langkawi in Malaysia who was accused of adultery and executed by stabbing. Her tomb, Makam Mahsuri, in Langkawi, has become a tourist attraction on the island.

The Story of Mahsuri

During the time of the powerful Sultanates of the Malay archipelago there lived a young woman named Mahsuri. She was the most beautiful woman in all of Langkawi, and the wife of Wan Darus, a brave warrior. As was required of him, her husband had to go to war, leaving Mahsuri behind to fend for herself. It was during this time that Mahsuri befriended a young man named Deraman.

Their close friendship lead others in her village to believe that their relationship was sexual in nature. Some versions of the legend claim that the parties who perpetuated the gossip were those who were envious of Mahsuri's beauty. Eventually the rumours grew strong enough that the villagers openly accused her of adultery. Mahsuri pleaded her innocence, but no one believed her.

Mahsuri was to be tied to a tree (or pole) and stabbed to death. When they stabbed her, white blood flowed from her wound, signifying her innocence. With her dying breath, Mahsuri cursed Langkawi to have seven generations of bad luck.

Impact

Many locals of Langkawi believe the legend to be true, citing the Siamese invasion of 1821 and decades of failed crops that followed Mahsuri's death. It is only at the end of the 20th century, after the seven generations have supposedly come to pass, that Langkawi began to prosper as a tourist destination.

The descendants of Mahsuri continue to live in Phuket, Thailand, and have on occasion returned to Langkawi to visit her tomb. Among them was Sirintra Yayee, also known by her Muslim name Wan Aishah Wan Nawawi, came into the spotlight during her visit to Kedah in 2000.


Monday, April 13, 2009

How to Travel Light When Traveling With Kids

This is very tricky. Traveling light with kids can be a real challenge because there are just too many to bring, just in case. But can we actually travel light even with kids in tow? It can be daunting to be traveling with kids but probably if we lessen our loads, we might enjoy our travels.

Here's my tips on how to travel light even with kids around:

1. Know where you're going. The things you need will reflect so much on where you're heading to. If you're going to a place where the climate is cool, you need to bring extra coats/jackets/windbreakers. But if you're traveling to a tropical place with (of course) beach, you need to include swimming attires.

2. List down the things you want to do. Even if you have never gone to the place you're going to, you can easily plan your trip. Just google on the things you can do, what the place is famous for and places to go and visit.

3. By doing number 2, you can then list down what to wear where.

4. Pack light by just bringing enough clothes. If you think it better to pack extra just in case, keep it to a minimum.

5. By knowing which hotel you're going to stay, you would know if you need to bring extra towels. Some budget places are too budget you need to bring your own towels.

6. Pack your toiletries in travel sizes. Don't bring huge bottles of shampoos, conditioners, bath soaps, etc. It would take a lot of space and weight.

7. Well, bear in mind that can always shop for the things that you need. You will have an excuse to go shopping! That's the best part of traveling light.

8. Enjoy your trip with your family.

Langkasuka Beach Resort, Langkawi


We are now booked for a 5 day-stay at Langkasuka Beach Resort in Langkawi. A couple friends was generous enough to offer us a hotel stay for free. Thanks Patrick and Jo. Our tickets were booked last year in July when the was zero (0) airfare offered by Air Asia.

Now I am starting to pack. And I'm trying to pack light. Is that even possible? Well, let's see.

So what does Langkasuka Beach Resort offer... being a 4-star hotel? I checked the website (actually, hubby checked and I just happened to see it.

Langkasuka Beach Resort Langkawi offers 214 spacious rooms and suites, with a choice of 5 different room types: Executive Suite, Deluxe Suite, Premium Deluxe Queen, Deluxe Family and Deluxe King. I actually don't know which type of room our friends book us at.

Langkasuka Beach Resort Langkawi rooms are ethnically-inspired rooms are ethically-inspired designs provide a delightful ambiance combing old world charm with modern comfort.

Comfortable and clean with beachfront view over a small preety garden, sleep comes easy in Langkasuka Beach Resort Langkawi. Here's the address:

Langkasuka Beach Resort Langkawi
Kuala Muda, Mukim Padang Matsirat,
07100 Langkawi

What are the things to do while in Langkawi? I'm getting into that. Will write about it later. Ciao!

Things to do in Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is a special place for me and hubby. It's where EVERY thing was revealed. The unfolding, we call it. We used to go there at least two times in one year just to do our retreat. After our girl was born, we've stopped going there... for reasons I can't remember.

We just came back from Cameron Highlands and it was awesome to visit the place again. So refreshing because of the coolness of the weather.

Where to stay in Cameron Highlands?

There are actually hotels that I really really like, especially when going for a break with family. You can google about it at http://www.hotelscombined.com. You will be able to compare which hotel is the best one for you, according to your budget.

You can actually surf the internet and look for Cameron Highlands hotel reviews at http://www.hotelscombined.com/City/Cameron_Highlands.htm. I tell you it is very helpful to do it. When we were deciding which hotel we wanted to stay for our honeymoon, we wanted the best. So we chose Equatorial Hotel.

Equatorial Hotel is situated on the highest peak of Camerons, at about 4,500 feet below see level. It is a high rise hotel as well. So you'd get the best accommodation possible as the hotel overlooks Camerons with tea plantations, rose gardens, strawberry parks and more.

Of course, if you want to stay in a budget hotel, like what we did recently, you can check it out at: Budget Hotels in Cameron Highlands.

I'm sure it would be better if we booked our hotel stay way ahead and not just walk-in, as you can do with budget hotels. Quite risky to just walk-in, right? There might not be a room available for you.

Anyways, here are the things to do and places to see in Cameron Highlands:

1. Visit the tea plantations and tea trees

2. Visit the cactus valley:

3. Visit the Rose Valley

4. visit strawberry farm and taste the strawberry ice cream and if you're on a budget, get the strawberry ice candy that costs 1RM.


5. Enjoy Tea and Scones at Cameron Valley Tea Shop and/or Boh Tea Shop... or enjoy Starbucks coffee at Tana Ratah. Yes, there is starbucks in Cameron Highlands. And you know what that means, right... You can have coffee, open your notebook, connect online and get connected with family to tell them how you are grateful you're in such an awesome cool place... in Cameron Highlands.

You can find out more about Cameron Highlands at wikipedia.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Scenic Sunday - Park

Scenic Sunday

This is the park across our house. I love the majestic view of the building behind it at sunset. You won't see the sunset though because it's on the other direction.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Family Trekking

It was our family's first time to do training going to Johnson's Falls in Cameron Highlands. Had fun hiking.

I am the official photographer. So it's rare that you see me in the photos. You can tell our boy is more "manja" than his sister.

It rained the night before. That's why the water was sort of brown.

Meditating? Getting ready to fly? Feeling the river breeze?

Daddy and son. Love this photo so much.

Can you imagine doing a jungle walk and passing by a shop that sells Strawberry and Marmalade, wild honey and blackberry jam? It was interesting.

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