Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fun Activities On Cruise

It was funny to hear some comments from bloggers who thought that going on cruise was boring besides getting seasick. This Star Cruise Libra may not be the world's largest but it has 10 levels and very wide body. I would be the first to get giddy and vomit but I felt good throughout without any seasick at all. I hardly felt the floor move at all and slept well like a baby with sweet dreams for 3 nights. They have lots & lots of activities for adults and kids to keep them busy but I avoided them all as my life has been hectic enough living in the city. I preferred the entertainments, dining, gymnasium and casino!




1. I had so much fun by just relaxing and dreaming nonsense. Even the aliens came to watch me jump & jump like a monkey! The whole track was suitable for jogging one big round and they have a bigger track & basket ball court on the level below specially for health & gym freaks like Yannie. 




2. I accompanied my wife and her aunt to join the open air dance exercise but there was this Thai Tom Yum cooking demo going on. I had to stop and smell the nice aroma before drinking a bowl of their delicious spicy Tom Yum soup! So shiok!




3. It was a fun exercise for young & old with loud music to keep the tempo going. My 60+ aunty had a blast and enjoyed stomping on the ship! She felt so rejuvenated and mentally good. Later that night she won over a thousand at the casino!





4. There is a small compact gymnasium complete with separate showers and sauna for male and females! We went there everyday as it was fun to be on the highest deck to view the miles of calm oceans while you burn the calories. Both pairs of pink and orange shoes are from Skechers.





5. Everyday I was still snoring in the oceans while my wife jogged many rounds around the ship before sunrise and did her Tai-Chi exercise before joining me for breakfasts at the 3 restaurants of our choice.  Later I dragged my lazy self to the gym for some workout. My wife ate little but vegetarian, so her weight did not increase at all...!!!! I know I was greedy but I was on a holiday, right!




6. Day 02 - The ship docked at Phuket and we had a full day ground tour visiting 3 factories and the beautiful Wat Chalong temple. I just went along to take the opportunity to look-see & learn something from the Bee Farm, Cashew Nuts Factory and Sea Shells Museum. It was quite a boring outing actually as Phuket is actually the world's most happening and crazy place along Patong Beach at night but I ended up buying nonsense from the Bee Farm & Cashew Nuts factory. That's not me! I felt being stung by the bees and tour company which I booked from. No wonder a number of people stayed behind on the ship as they knew what to expect.



7. That was the 2nd time I visited the cashew nut factory! I was smarter and went to eat all their sample bottles of every flavour of cashew nuts and Thai keropoks!!! I filled both my palms full and munched until I was so damn FOOL!!! Heh heh! I also bought the most cashew nuts and carried a big box up the bus!





8. This is a big and nice Thai temple in Phuket - Wat Chalong. The tour guide told us that many bodies of the Tsunami victims are still being kept there awaiting funerals. I went to pray for everyone & world's peace and made small donations.





9. It was my first trip to visit a Sea Shells Museum which is a very huge and educational place for a boring fella like me who could even spend hours gazing at sea shells or even antiques. The bus drove along the countryside and made a stop on the peak for the passengers to view the panoramic view.







10. We had our own dinner at a shopping centre in the town and the bus made its way back to the waiting ship. There were many small stalls lined outside the ship. We shopped for cheap souvenirs and ate some spicy food before jumping into the ship which slowly sailed off at 1:00am!!!






11. I bought some nice T-shirts and Singlets from this stall. The owner's cute sons played outside and waved at me. I dug my pocket and gave them all my loose changes! I was in a generous mood after a small win at the casino too. 




12. The cute boys were dumbfounded but very happy beyond belief. They clasped their "Wai' gesture to thank me. I told them to be good boys and study hard at school.



The next post will be my last for this cruise trip and covers the visit to Krabi.



......


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Visit To Hashima Island @ Nagasaki - Japan

The weather was cold & gloomy during our visit to Japan in Spring as it was under 10 degrees on most days. However, it was a perfect weather when we made our way to Nagasaki to catch a boat to tour the famous ghost island - Hashima Island. So many movies have been filmed there including the current Thai horror movie - "Project Hashima" and also the James Bond's.



 1. We took a 2 hour fast train from Fukuoka City in the morning and jumped onto a tram to reach this part of Nagasaki's town. This quaint town has been beautifully rebuilt from ashes and everyone here lives in a peace loving community.





2. We had to book our boat tickets online before leaving Kuala Lumpur and signed after reading their long list of "Do's & Don'ts" as they fully protect this heritage island which has a rich history. We walked to their sales counters to collect our actual tickets and paid 3,600 Yen each. This lovely harbour lies along the port of Nagasaki.




3. Our cruise boat arrived at last and so many local Japanese from other towns boarded too. 




4. The double decker boat sped off very fast and the cold wind was nice! Far behind are the luxury homes that line the rolling hills of Nagasaki with their windows overlooking the ocean.





5. My wifey posed confidently like a Royal Princess of Nagasaki at the East of China sea. There are 505 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture alone!



6. Most of the visitors remained on the upper deck to enjoy the sea breeze and panoramic view. 
They looked like penguins as they could stand the extremes of cold wind!
We both humanoid mammals had to retire inside the cabin below as we were frozen like ice cubes.



7. They had 2 young hotties taking turns to explain the whole journey to the visitors in Japanese language. Mitsubishi bought this island in 1890 and started to conduct undersea mines at the surrounding areas for coal until the 1960s when petroleum overtook the coal industry.



8. This lady was bored to death and went to sleep.



9. We finally arrived the Hashima Island after 30 minutes across the blue seas.It is also called Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) due to its shape. This island's peak population reached a total of 5,259 people and they consisted of Japanese and forced labourers from China & Korea.




10. This very young guy with a hat is a friendly Japanese who kindly offered to take our photographs with our camera!




11. The boat lowered its ramp for us to walk around the ghost island.





12. They barricaded many areas off for the safety of tourists.



 

13. This crew gentleman was so kind and helpful to explain to us by pointing at the photos using sign languages. I really love the Japanese people as they have the best customer services in the world!




14. Their tour guides conducted several stops and briefings to share about the island's history.
There were apartment blocks, school, canteens, look out towers and even a swimming pool before the island was deserted. Everything started to fall apart on its own from the serious damages of typhoons and sea erosion.




15. I thought no dogs or pets were allowed to visit.




  


16. This is a friendly couple from United Kingdom who are both deaf & mute using sign languages & lip reading. When she "heard" that I am from Malaysia, she replied me with flying hands - "Oh that missing aeroplane!!!!!!" OMG!




17. It was an amazing sight to see how the nature's wind and water could inflict so much damages to rip the walls and pillars apart.




18. This lady was funny and took so many long zoom shots. 
She was sure she saw a UFO!






19. For the first time, I saw so many birds that looked like eagles or hawks hovering above.





20, You can see the thick concrete walls that were built to protect the buildings. Nothing can ever beat the powers of natures lashing storms and disasters. The buildings and its floors still dropped down mysteriously.






21. Now she claimed that Ultra Man flew past Hashima Island too!





22. There is a new light house that sits atop to guide passing ships at night.





23. We had a really great time to explore all the cracks and history of Nagasaki. It's truly a wonderful country with the most polite and gentle people on earth that makes their country even more beautiful.




24. Do you agree that it looks like a Battleship Island? Hope you enjoyed this simple post.



I am in the midst of preparing to blog the following:

1. Kumamoto Castle   2. Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum   
3. Samurai Hosogawa's Mansion   4. Ohori Park's Night Sakura
5. Tenjin's Underground City   6. Hakata Station
7. Hotel's Onsen Bath   8. Nagasaki Peace Park
9. Japanese Wedding   10. Temples in Gion
11. Japanese Doll Making & Folks Stage Play
12. Sofukuji Temple Nagasaki
13. Others





Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Charms of Kumamoto Castle

We visited the beautiful Kumamoto Castle this morning by taking the JR fast train from Fukuoka to Kumamoto. I enjoyed the lovely walk across the neat and clean roads that were lined with pretty Sakura trees and Japanese landscapes.





The weather was cold and it was perfect to enjoy long walks in Spring. 






Even bridal couples love to visit this castle to have their wedding photographs taken. When we got married, we also wore traditional Japanese wedding costumes like them. I was told by few psychics that I lived in Japan during my past life. 





This is just a sneak preview and I will post many photos of this lovely castle when I return home to Malaysia. Japan has over 38 famous castles all over the country.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Kyushu Island in Spring 2014

Today is my 4th day in Japan and I have been touring around Kyushu Island which has famous cities and interesting towns like Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and many others. I am loving every minute here with its clean and neat surroundings. The culture of well mannered and polite Japanese certainly makes me happy and love this country too. 


To get the best value for our travels, we just need to be smart to google and ask around friends for the best tips on hotels, transportation and sight seeing spots. Here I am holding the JR Kyushu tickets that gave me unlimited fast train rides around Kyushu Island. It was superb and comfortable trains. 




This blog post will just be a sneak preview only for now. When I get home to Malaysia, I will go lengthy with funny and gory photos to share. The above direction signs at the Atomic Bomb's Museum in Nagasaki will be the topics I shall post in this blog later. Be sure to come back here again!




 It is Spring and there are plenty of Sakura trees in beautiful shades of pink and white everywhere. The feeling is great to admire and smell the freshness of Spring here in Japan. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Three Kingdoms (220-280 AD) Mausoleum & Zhuge Liang Memorial Temple

I was excited to find out that the famous Three Kingdom's Warlord Liu Bei was buried at the Huiling Mausoleum in Chengdu. My wife told me many tales of their battles in ancient China that made me ponder about human's greed for power until today. Our human hearts could be so terrible until they waged senseless wars without caring about the lost lives of million innocent families! I pray that it would never happen to this country.



1. The prominent stone sculpture at the entrance of the Zhuge Liang's Memorial Temple and the Mausoleum of Warlord Liu Bei who founded the Shu Kingdom in ancient China. It took me a long time to wait for the crowd to disperse so that I could have the whole rock to myself!




2. This place is very huge with lots of pavilions, shrines, courtyards and beautiful landscapes at every corner.




3. They have 2 rows of showcased shrines of all the famous Three Kingdom's warriors and scholars where their detailed statues were placed as respects by different Emperors from the Tang Dynasty until the Qing Dynasty.



4. I am only posting the few famous ones that many of us know about. The top left one is Guan Yu (Birth Unknown- Died 219 AD), a Major General to Warlord Liu Bei who is today a widely worshiped deity in Taoist Temples worldwide. The bottom left one is Zhang Fei (Birth Unknown - Died 221 AD), another Major General to Warlord Liu Bei. The right one is Liu Bei who founded the Shu Kingdom.


5. Prime Minister Zhuge Liang ("Kongming", 181-234 AD). Wise and loyal strategist and Prime Minister to Warlord Liu Bei. He was so smart and popular with the Chinese folks who still respect him until today. Finally, I got to see the real face of Zhuge Liang.




6. Most of us can remember that Takeshi Kaneshiro acted as the wise man Zhuge Liang in the movie "Red Cliff".



7. The whole area has many ancient tablets written beautifully since the Tang Dynasty under the Imperial Orders of the Emperors. I wish that I could read them all.




8. A selfie portrait shot of our memorable and happy trip!





9. I was attracted by their old Chinese designs of joss stick urns which had different figurines. 






10. It was a long walk across the various paths that led us to different pavilions and beautiful courtyards.




11. This walled path is very lovely with tall bamboo groves flanking on both sides.




12. There is a small museum behind this Lion Statue which housed the various ancient figurines unearthed during the Three Kingdoms with much explanations of the history. I do no wish to post the photos which might bore you.




13. Here is another couple shot over the bridge.




14. This is the entrance leading to the tomb of Warlord Liu Bei. It was common to have various statues of animals and scholars lining outside the Emperor's tombs in China.





15. I have no idea whose statue was the famous scholar but I do know that green pants lady is my wife who is now a scholar pursuing her Masters at University Malaya. Good luck to her studies.




16. That's ME!! Cute?





17. The ancient tombs of the China's Emperors were often buried deep inside small hills in round shapes. It was so huge that nobody could take a single shot of the whole view of Liu Bei's tomb.





18. We joined all the visitors to walk in one big circle around the tomb. Here Liu Bei was buried alongside his 2 wives and there was no record on the date of this ancient mausoleum being exactly built.





19. One circle completed. 
If you are a fan of the Three Kingdom's history, you must visit this place in Chengdu - Sichuan Province!





20. I was trying to call SK in Malaysia from Chengdu.



Selamat Hari Raya at Hospital

Today is the first day of Hari Raya and I have been admitted to hospital since Monday. It was just my usual next appointment for the new ...