Thursday, October 27, 2016

My spirit song

That basically says Fuck This Shit and Let's just Skipalong.

I freaking love this song by Lenka. Listen to the lyrics when you are feeling low.

So we're gonna skipalong. 
Quite merrily baby we're gonna revel in hating what's goin on
And you're like a sugar bomb
And no harm will come

No harm will come if we just skipalong.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Catching sunsets

Port Dickson Half-day Trip

Last weekend, we went to Port Dickson. I wanted to go there for a beach sunset. We planned to start the trip very early in the morning to tour around the city before we get to the beach in the evening. But since it was just a normal weekend, we figured it would be best if we spent the morning at home relaxing, before going on our short trip.

So it was a half day trip.

After our weekend brunch and movie, we headed off to Port Dickson from Kuala Lumpur, which took us about 1hour plus by car. It was already around 2pm when we got out of the house, and we reached there around 4pm. I had looked up a few tourist attraction spots in PD, and shortlisted a few for our trip.

There was the Ostrich Farm, Muzium Tentera, and the Cape Rachado Lighthouse (rumah api Tanjung Tuan which is apparently Melaka?). But since our trip was inadvertently cut short by sleep, weekend nasi lemak, and a movie, i had to cut the list even shorter.

The ostrich farm would've been really fun, but i wanted to go there early in the morning because it's really hot in the noon and evening. So, i crossed that out of the list. And the Lighthouse, well, i love lighthouses, but i reckoned the Muzium Tentera would be even more exciting for my boys.

Muzium Tentera Darat Port Dickson

Admission: FOC

I liked this place. There were many tank cars, trains, helis, planes, canons, and army trucks around the compound. The exhibits inside the building are divided into different rooms according to eras and events. I didn't have the chance to spend more time in these rooms as the boys ain't got no time for no history lessons. After all, my bub is only two and hubs is only errr... hubs has never been one too keen on histories of any sort.

My bub was a bit scared of the army vehicles. He only peered closer when i encouraged him to do so. But he loved the canons though. As for me, i thought the exhibits were really cool if not a little bit terrifying, you know, knowing that these vehicles had actually been in war zones and shot people and had bloody armies inside of them. It kinda gave me the creeps just thinking about it.

Anyway, it was fun! But we only spent less than an hour here. There was a jungle track at the back of the muzeum i think, but nahh. Ain't nobody got no time for jungle trekkings.

Pantai Teluk Kemang
Admission: are you serious?

After the muzeum, since it was still quite early to hit the beach, i wanted to see the lighthouse. So off we went looking for it, only to find out that the Lighthouse is practically in Melaka (?) although just nearby. So off we went looking for the Lighthouse.

When we got there (we wazed our way there), it turned out that you had to walk for quite a distance to get to the actual lighthouse. There was the entrance to this jungle trekking thing, and cars can't go any further. It was already 5.30pm by then so we decided to just skip the lighthouse this time around. Maybe some other time. I was not even dressed appropriately for a walk in the jungle however everyone-friendly the walkway might have seemed.

So off we went to the beach then. Seriously this was my first time ever in Port Dickson. Well, if you count out that time i went for a 5-day work related course at a hotel here, which was nowhere near the beach, yes, this was my first time here. Same goes to hubs. We were practically waze-ing everything and was not even sure what the name of the beach was. I was like, ha Teluk Kemang ni la, ni la kot. And he was like, no we gotta go to Port Dickson first. Yeah.

Along the way, we saw the signboard to the ostrich farm (which btw, mentioned Dinosaurs on it and i was like awh we should have gone here maann there are dinosaurs here and for a second there i really thought there were actually real live dinosaurs there. Yep i'm crazy like that) and saw the upside down house. Hubs was quite excited with that place but i was a bit creeped out with the idea of having all the furnitures upside down. I was scared i might feel faint and bub might get confused. What if i lose my sanity there? What then?? Whattt???


Anyway, when we finally got to the beach, it was jam packed with cars and tour buses. We were really glad that we didn't come here the weekend before which was a public holiday weekend. If normal weekends were like this already, i can't imagine just how crammed this place would be with people! It took us a while to find a parking spot.

Around the beach area, there were rows of shops, mostly selling touristy stuffs. There was also a square there where you can rent bicycles, ride on horses, or ride a horse-drawn carriage.

There were many food kiosks there overlooking the beach, mostly selling coconut drinks, keropok lekor, hotdogs, chicken nuggets, mee rebus, and what not. The usual stuff you find near beaches. But how i miss Kelantan beaches. They have got tasty 'coleq's over there, and i love their air kelapa susu most!

We ordered some food and ate while waiting for the sunset. When it was almost sunset, we went down to the beach.

Though there seemed to be lots of people there, somehow the place was not too crowded. The sunset was really beautiful, and the sea breeze was a good dose of happiness in these hectic months at work. Bub was running around very happily, excited with how the wave came and went. It was a nice view, the sunset, the beach, and the sea.

It was a good day.

Another sunset caught with love :)

After the beach, a good old friend texted us and invited us to come to his parents' house... in Bahau. Well, since we were already in Negeri Sembilan, then why not... right? We were already nearby man!

So we thought.

Turned out, Bahau was even farther away compared to Kuala Lumpur, from Teluk Kemang beach. Anyway, all was well. We had been wanting to visit for quite sometime already anyway. We ended up spending the night there since it was already so late and the roads were so dark.

We got home on Sunday and spent the whole day recharging ourselves for the week to come. All in all, this trip was very refreshing and fun :)


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Vacation Day

The Colmar Tropicale - Japanese Tea House - The Planetarium - Pantai Remis Kuala Selangor

The Colmar Tropicale/Japanese Tea House
(If you are not a guest at the hotels)

Entrance fee: 
Adult : rm 13
Children (>4yo): rm8

So, last weekend was a long weekend. And what better way to enjoy a long weekend than a trip to France? No?



Ain't nobody got no money for that hun.

So what's the closest you can get to being at a beautiful french village?

Yes. The Colmar Tropicale resort.

We went there last Sunday and it was awesome. It was our first time there. We started our daytrip very early in the morning at about 7am. Since we live just in Gombak area, it was just a short drive away to get there, about 45minutes. If you are not used to Karak highway, Gombak Toll fare is around rm7.

Because we were early, the highway was clear and there were hardly any other cars around. The same goes when we exited the highway, going up the windy road to the resort. There were only us and another car. We kinda thought this was another one of those deserted, run-down tourist spots,  and felt a bit worried that we will be the only people up there...

You know, silent hill and stuff.

But that did not dampen my vacation spirit. Especially when the castle came into view a shortwhile into the uphill drive. Boy was i excited. I freaking love old castles. Even the fake ones apparently yeah.

This is The Chateau by the way

The view there was really nice and since it was still early morning, the air was cool too so it really was very pleasant.

Anyway, there were not much cars nor people at the carpark then, which added to my Silent Hill theory.

We had breakfast at The French Boulangerie which is a cafe in the Village. A brief chat with the shopkeeper revealed that we were in fact too early for anything and that tourists and guests usually only get here by 11ish am. We were also told that the usual weekend load here would be around 4000pax!!

Phew. Definitely not Silent Hill thank God.

The French Boulangerie serves pastries, cakes, desserts, and even croissant sandwiches (though they still haven't started making them yet because it's still very early). There was also a restaurant, but since it was early morning it was very packed with people. I am guessing those were the hotel guests getting their free breakfast which btw smelled really good.

We opted for the cafe since it's much less crowded and definitely much less expensive.

But!! I have to warn you though. Being the cheapskate that i am, i almost had a heart-attack just by looking at the price of those pastries. They range from around rm7-rm9 per pastry. Not sure if i saw anything at rm6... And i am not too sure about the big donuts there because my eyes were fixed on the  scrumptious looking croissants, quiches, and pies. We tried the cheese croissant, chicken quiche, and the mushroom pie. I have to say, they really were worth the price. They were really good!

After filling up on delicious pastries, there was really nothing much for us to do there. The first stage show (yeah there are stage shows here) only starts at 12 noon and we didn't have anything else to do until then. The sun was also already out, and the day was getting warmer (which is not good. We are in Malaysia, not the actual Colmar in France). The souvenir shop was opened by then, and i got myself my customary fridge magnet, and we got our boy a spiderman balloon (which will be his faithful travel companion throughout the day). Other than that, we had nothing to do.

If you are a guest at the hotel though, i can say that it would be a very relaxing experience just roaming about the village doing nothing, lying and tossing around in bed, gawking at the swans in the moat under the drawbridge, you know, la dolce vita and stuff. But yeah we were not a hotel guest so there really was no point in us doing any of that in the warm-almost-scorching morning sun. So we decided to move on to our next destination which was the Japanese Tea House.

From the Colmar Village, there are buggies that can take you to the Japanese Tea House. Since i wanted the whole tourist experience fo reals, i insisted that we wait in (the long) line for the buggies. Not to mention the ever-growing scorching heat.

But alas, i finally gave in. It took a while for the buggies to do a roundtrip up and down the hills i guess, so the line was getting more crowded (there wasn't really a proper line though and god knows when we will ever be able to get on a buggy), and more people are starting to arrive... So i finally agreed with le hubs, to just drive our car there. Problem solved!

When we arrived at the bottom (yes, bottom) of the hill that houses the Japanese Tea House, naturally i was like, what?? a HILL? on a HILL?? 

There was a steep flight of stairs from the parking lots, to get us one level up. Then there was a short walk away (uphill mind you), to get to the top. When we reached the top, the teahouse is on our left, and there was a botanical garden to our right. There was also a souvenir shop right in the middle of the road in between the two attractions.

The short hike into the miniature Japanese garden was definitely worth my effort. The air was really cool and fresh. The place is very well maintained, despite being in the middle of the rainforest, up on a hill. It was very pleasant, partly due to the fact that we were one of the first to get there. We made it a mission to be ahead of all the other tourists to get a better feel of the place. Hehe if you ever go there, be sure to come early and be one of the earliest okay.

You can rent a kimono/yukata for rm20 here and tip toe around the place in the traditional Japanese clogs or Geta. It's really cute. I wanted to do exactly that but because we did not come with a load of cash, i had to pass. Btw, i'm not sure if there was any ATMs around but we certainly did not see any. Perhaps they are in one of those shops or might even be in the hotel lobby. Anyway, it would be wise to bring with you more cash.

After spending quite some time at the Japanese Teahouse, we proceeded to the Botanical Garden just next to it. I really enjoyed the fresh, cool air but other than that, there really wasn't much to see, unless if you are a plant enthusiast i guess. There were quite a number of different kinds of flowers and other plants, and i could see that they were really well maintained. It's a very nice sight, but mostly i loved the crisp air.

The whole hiking thing really left me breathless, stopping every 2-3 minutes to catch a breath. My little bub however, remained energetic and was on his own two feet all the way up, and down!! He's 2 btw. I am really proud of him. *beam

However, all those hiking must have drained his energy so freaking fast, the moment we got in the car he fell asleep straight away!

We left Bukit Tinggi at about 11+ am.

There were other attractions like the Adventure Park in the resort (not sure if you need to pay more for this because this is inside the guarded gate where you paid the entrance fee to the resort), and an animal park (this is outside of the Colmar Tropicale Resort and the entrance fee is around rm4 per person if i can recall correctly). But hailing from Taiping has rendered me forever immune towards the charms of zoos and animal parks, since i've got one of the biggest zoos in Malaysia just about 5 minutes away from my mom's house. So, yeah. 

After all, the animal park seemed a bit over crowded. And we don't like crowds. And the person who was supposed to be enjoying this most was already fast asleep, probably in the 2nd REM cycle already so, no animal park for us that day. The adventure park?? Well that, my friend, has never even made my list. Well, i am not an adventure kind of gal. nahh. mehh.

The Planetarium Negara
Entrance Fee:
Adult (MyKad): RM2
Children <12yo: FOC

Since it was #vacationday, i needed more to quench my thirst for #wanderlust. Therefore, i decided that it was only right that we must continue on our journey for more adventure (which of course does not involve anyone flying from tower to tower in a contraption or climbing man-made rocks or anything of that sort. You know, walking, eating, sleeping in the car, and sunset watching kind of adventure yes). 

So after rash considerations, and probably with a deluded mind filled with #wanderlust, we finally decided to go to the Planetarium after lunch. 

I seemed to have an impression that the planetarium too, is a deserted place high up on a hill in the middle of KL. The last time i went there, the place somehow had given me that kind of impression, so definitely the blame was not on me. It must have been a bit different 15 years ago, on a normal weekday. Yeah.

Turned out i was terribly, terribly wrong. The place was brimming with people. People with little kids, to be exact. Yeah, just like us.

While waiting for le hubs to get us the tickets, the idea struck me as quite cute at first. You know, a place where parents bring their little people over for some outerspace kind of fun and excitement, fully equipped with diaper bags and strollers. 

It felt cute until, the moment i set my foot into the building. At first it was rather confusing because the whole place was so dark. Very dark. I couldn't see anything at first, until i realised that the place was literally jam packed with people. big people, small people, medium people. Though it was really cold, it really did nothing to make me feel any better. 

But the place has really got some real cool stuff though. Like the anti gravity room, spaceship replicas, interesting exhibits of planets and the galaxies, and other cool space stuffs. There were also movie shows here but you'll have to pay extra for that and the announcement for the shows went over and over and over and over and over and wait... what was i talking about again?

But seriously though, we need to come here someday that's not a public holiday. I am not even sure about weekends. Maybe a week day. I dunno. Or maybe in another 15 years i guess. I'm not that much of a space person either.

But it's a very fun place though if not too crowded.

Anyway did i tell you about our lunch? Yeah if you guys are crazy about travel itineraries (that's a thing nowadays), we had our lunch at a Kelantanese restaurant in Batu Caves. I think the place is called Wau Bulan? I should give the place a shout out cuz the food there is really good and inexpensive. And GOOD. And to top it all off, i got myself a whole packet of durian crepe which is the perfect combo to a hot sunny day.

Pantai Remis, Kuala Selangor

After the Planetarium, we checked in to our hotel room which was only FOC because it was our house in fact (low cost travel itinerary y'all) and got a little shut eye to recharge our poor souls after the long hike and the planetarium. 

Later around 4+ pm, we headed to Pantai Remis in Kuala Selangor to have a beach sunset. It took us about 1hour to get there from our place. The small road leading to the beach was a bit jam packed with cars, it was a complete standstill. I am not sure if this happens everyday, or if it was just because of the public holiday. There were lots of people there, and this was our first time at this beach. There was even a pasar malam there, and lots of kites in the air! It was very windy and we parked the car right at the edge of the water like everyone else. 

It was a very beautiful evening indeed.

It was almost as if the strong sea breeze blew all my worries away.

And then there was the sunset. 

Though i think the sunset here might not be the most beautiful? Probably because there seemed to be something in the horizon that blocked the sun right when it reached the bottom, so it never got to touch the water. anti-climax.

That aside, the evening was very beautiful. Alhamdulillah.

So there's our #vacationday.

Though short, and near, it's sweet and nice :)

That's the whole point of it anyway.

TOTAL COST (minus food and gas):  +/-rm60


Quite a crazy and nonsense itinerary, but yeah, whatever works mann. Go make your own itinerary!