Friday, September 19, 2014

Magnificent Angkor Wat - My Eyes Opened 柬埔寨吴哥窟

Let me share a bit about my traveling bug that started around the year 2006. That time AirAsia just started their first ZERO FARES which I guessed was in early 2005 and no friends of mine dared to click & book many months ahead which was the requirement. I took the daring plunge and risks to click so many destinations without second thoughts. We happily flew to Siem Reap, Bali, Bangkok, Penang and others over the period of 24 months! 

I decided to post something which I unexpectedly found in my external hard disk. These photos were taken in 2006 at Cambodia's Angkor Wat ruins before I started my blog in the year 2008.

1. That was my first trip to a place which has full of historical buildings inside the huge ruins of the Angkor Wat's Ancient City. I remember that I was very stunned and probably shocked to see so many gated ruins all over Siem Reap. The trip made me think a lot with self reflects that this once feared Kingdom fought many battles with Thailand, Burma and others several hundred years ago.

2. The holy monks sat high above inside the ruins and looked out. 
It tells me that "Nothing Is Permanent In Life." Even this once very powerful and rich kingdom could be reduced to a poor and powerless nation today. Unbelievable!

3. The steps are all very small and so narrow that only allows half your feet size to step on. The travel books explained that it was made in such to force the folks to humbly look down while making their way up to pay respects to the shrines or warlords above.

4. Most of the ancient ruins were carved out of huge granite rocks and boulders! They did not have machines or helicopters to carry them up so high. It was so thought provoking for me for many years about this Khmer Empire!

5. I was much younger, looking fatter and ugly before I signed up the gym to stay healthy.

6.   These elephants took lazy tourists up the hill at Phnom Bakheng to watch the sunset. My wife strongly objected saying that it would be cruel of me to pay for these suffering elephants to carry me when I still have 2 good legs for walking. Ommmph!!! Poor me, I had to walk and whine all my way up. It was so damn hot but so fun to greet "Hello" to all those poor elephants who passed us.

7. Nah! Where's the sunset? We had to wait for a few hours more like those sohaiiis. We took many photos and trekked down again. Adoi...!!!

8. The next day, our hired tour guide Ngoy Nget drove us in his old Camry to a place farawaaaay. We went to hike up the Kulen Hills which was famous for its amazing waterfalls!

9. This was half way up to Kulen Hills and called "Kbal Spean" the famous valley of 1000 Lingas and carvings. If you wish to understand and see more photos of Lingas - Click HERE

10. Goodness! It was a drought season with no rains. The waterfalls were dry and all the butterflies were so thirsty like me.

11. That evening we proceeded to another magnificent place where they claimed to be the last built ancient structures where they have the best preserved & intact carvings until today.

12. I have forgotten the name of this very isolated place. Anyone knows, please advise me! The buildings were never completed as their chaotic Kingdom was falling then. It has attracted thousands of prominent tourists here to study and observe the drawings and ancient patterns!

13. LOOK!!! I bumped into this very famous actor and film director here. 
He is Tsui Hark.

14. We greeted "Hi" and he was so busy walking all over the place to survey the whole place for their shapes and designs. I just kay poh & followed him everywhere.

15. His entourage from HKG consisted so many members and I guessed they were film crews.
He spoke and behaved exactly like in the movies - all of himself naturally.

16. Since that day, I could see that he has the best computer graphics and animations in all the big budget movies made in China. It is not easy to be successful and rich with inspirations without traveling overseas. As a result, my own hunger and interests for very ancient historical sites have taken me to China several times.

17. We stayed in this lovely hotel that have a traditional looking hut for its restaurant. The chefs were Europeans and they cooked very marvelous meals.

18. We both concluded that hotel served the best breakfasts and yoghurt we have ever eaten anywhere.
That's all my friends and my photos were selected to be different from SK's awesome ones. We have quite similar photos actually but you can view his lovely photos HERE


Monday, September 15, 2014

Words Of Wisdom

I have got a friend who always shared words of wisdoms in his Facebook like over 5 times daily. I like them all and would save the meaningful ones. What is funny about him is that he is a terrible hypocrite who doesn't practice what he preached. Now that's so typical of human beings, right? Never mind him, I will want to share a few random ones to wake up our senses.

 I will only hang out with the right friends and no less.

 It happens to me!

I never want to live with regret, so I am a very determined fellow.

You and I know them too.


I wonder why the wars are erupting everywhere today.


Who said I am like this??

I wished I knew this long ago.

I always remind myself to blog righteously.

Happy Malaysia Day To You!!


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.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Merdeka Celebrations 2014 @ Star Cruise

It was the best Merdeka Celebrations I ever had in my life on board a cruise ship in high seas. It was so much fun to see merry makers and happy faces from all walks of life coming together. There was so much eating. drinking and dancing with high tempo music!

 1. The pianist was always there to serenade the guests with his lovely music! What a classic & fantastic way to welcome us, as one by one arrived on board. There was so much cheap duty free bargains to browse even before checking into my room! Crazy!

2. The ship drifted away from the Port Of Penang Island, all the guests had to gather at their designated decks to be taught on the Emergency Drill's procedures! It was great to know that we will have ample time and rescue boats to jump onto easily if anything happens. Their foreign crews were all professional to teach  and show us everything.

 3. The minute the drill was finished, their Merdeka Celebrations and Welcome Ceremony was ready on the highest level deck where the 2 swimming pools are. How nice!

 4. Yes our beloved country is 57 years old now. We have come a long way to achieve the peaceful and harmonious country which is really being envied by many countries. The above beautiful ice and vegetable carvings were done by their expert chefs!

 5. Everyone assembled on this highest level deck which was an awesome place like heavens.

 6. You will start to see many food photos in this post and coming ones to understand how I could balloon up to 5 kgs! Just eat 0.25kg each meal will do. 
I may not post every meal I had as it might be boring!

 7. The guests and crew were all fully excited and happy! I love the spirit of these Malaysians and foreigners!

  8. The half naked men were having fun jumping from the cold jacuzzi to the warm one.

 9. The dancers performed a few dances before the ship's captain came to give a warm welcome speech. He is from Sweden and all the other captains are also from Sweden while the ship is originally from Norway. It doesn't surprise me that Sweden has a long history with their Vikings being good navigators in the seas since ancient times.

10. These half naked men enjoyed themselves so much amidst all the stares and cameras! LOL

 11. Our National Anthem's "Negera Ku" was played and a giant tray of cup cakes was brought in.

 12. Ooops! Respect! Respect! All the half naked men had to stand up like sotongs! 
Muahahaha! Many people laughed at them!

 13. I was impressed by their expert hands in cutting and slicing the pineapples in seconds!

 14. Hawker food was a welcome sight. Drool! Drool! The Mee Rebus gravy was nice to drink like a soup without its noodles!

 15. The barbeque section had all kinds of well marinated meat and fragrant seafood to blow your mind!

 16. Breads and Salads from all over the world to please.

17. A real glutton's haven of sweet desserts ~ cakes, pies, jellies & kueh-kuehs!


 18. Oooooh! Look at that sinful Pulut Rice cakes with kaya!!! Yummy!

 19. Oh dear ~ I forgot what this Chef was frying.

20. I remembered this was the popular vegetable wrap from Korea! This is always seen on KBS dramas and the guests loved them!

21. Burp! Burp! It was just my first meal and went to take a short nap as the ship sailed into sunset!


The Day My World Ended

At sunrise of 3rd August, my wife came to fetch me in her brand new car. She sped all the way through the morning traffic to Shah Alam. It w...