Touching Down Gold Coast, Australia

Just a week before the Chinese New Year, I got the opportunity to travel to Gold Coast with a whole bunch of good company.

It’s my first time traveling to Down South and there were quite a number of rules and regulations to follow even at the Coolangata Airport. Remember to read the rules before you enter Aussie.

We have got the service of local tour guides to bring us around in coaches. Our first stop after leaving the airport was Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse.

After a short photo session, we proceeded to check-in at our hotel, Hotel Grand Chancellor Surfers Paradise, located just beside Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise on Cavill Ave.

*The Grand Chancellor Hotel*

Below are some photos from Captain Cook Memorial and the beach outside Coolangata.

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Manila Trip By Philippines of Tourism – Media FAM Tour, Day 1 – Villa Escudero and Bonifacio Global City

Few weeks weeks back, on a Sunday night, 28th November 2010, was the first time I boarded a bus express at KL Sentral..

Was at Kl Sentral at 9pm, bought bus ticket to LCCT for check-in at 11pm for my Manila-bound flight at 1.20am via Cebu Pacific, Philippines largest airline..

Been to LCCT numerous times but it’s my first time to board a plane in LCCT, and my fourth time to fly on a plane (not including return)..

There I boarded Cebu Pacific, got to know 4 new friends who were in the FAM trip with me, all first time meeting each other..

*Boarding Cebu Pacific*

Although Cebu Pacific being the largest airline in Philippines, it’s a low cost carrier airline..Well I can’t compare it much with other low cost carriers but I was pretty satisfied with the plane, the service, and of course the journey :)

The flight from KL-Manila is about 3 hours and 45 minutes..I snoozed all the way from KL to Manila and we arrived Manila slightly earlier than scheduled..

The plane touched down at about 4.30am (Manila and KL have the same timezone) so we had to wait for the tour guide for a little while..

Due to tight schedule, we were brought to a 24-hours spa and massage center to freshen before the real deal began..

*Wensha Spa Center*

Wensha Spa Center is located at Cultural Complex of the Philippines (CCP) area near Starcity..

It has shabu-shabu buffet, shower, pool, sauna, locker, and all kinds of massage..The price range from 500 Pesos to 2,000 Pesos..

I guess the one we had was 680 Pesos, inclusive of the buffet, pool, shower, sauna, locker and a full body massage..On top of that, one can hang out in there for as long as 8-hours!

Since we were on tight schedule so we just had about 45-minutes of sleep in the massage room after the massage session..

After that, we had to head out to Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort at San Pablo City, about 2-hours drive from Makati City..

*AERA Memorial Museum at Villa Escudero*

That’s the AERA Memorial Museum and the front yard, founded by Arsenio and Rosario Escudero..

It houses alot of rare items, especially the religious arts of silver altars, gilded carrozas, ivory santos, embroidered vestments and intricately carved inages, all dated back in the 17th and 18th centuries during the Spanish colonial era..

Other than that, there are also lots of sculptures, Oriental ceramics from China during its Dynasty-ruling period, items and weapons from World War 2, and things that reflect the Filipinos, from the traditional clothing to some of the modern ones’ worn by important figures..

Camera is not allowed in the Memorial Museum so I couldn’t show you anything here..I can say it’s quite an eye-opener..

*The journalists with me*

Okay I know this photo is failed..So let’s move on..

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Malacca Day Trip With Family – Jonker Walk

Well it was about 4 weeks ago where my dad had an impromptu plan to visit the historical state of Malacca on a 1-day trip..

It was our first family outstation trip after my mom had passed away in 2006 and not like we traveled a lot when my mom was still around back then..It’s like a first-timer thingy..

So off we went off early in the morning for some breakfast before the 1-hour plus 2-hours trip..

A big mistake was we took the LEKAS highway via Kajang route, where we thought passing by Seremban would be faster as Cheras is nearer to LEKAS (Lebuhraya Kajang-Seremban)..

Once we reached Seremban we had to take a detour and exit to PLUS highway to follow Johor Baru, which is the very same highway if we were to follow KL-Seremban highway..

So a reminder to first-timer to Malacca, unless you are staying in Kajang-bound area, keep off LEKAS highway to go to Malacca..Always take KL-Seremban highway..

So on the highway it’s all the way follow road sign on the highway and we exited at Alor Gajah if not mistaken..By the way, my family is not a keen user of GPS-device, though we did try it on my phone for that trip..

Once you’ve passed the toll plaza, follow Pusat Bandaraya Melaka or something like that..

Straight away we headed to Jonker Walk (or some say Jonker Street) as most people know there’s nothing much to do in Malacca other than going to Jonker Walk..

kedai kopi chung wah hainanese chicken rice ball
*Kedai Kopi Chung Wah – Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball*

Our first stop in Jonker Walk, to find Kedai Kopi Chung Wah, the Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball shop..

It’s located at the end of Jonker Walk connecting to the famous red colored Christ Church Malacca..

There were a few chicken rice ball shops but I’ve heard of good reviews on Chung Wah so we decided to queue up despite the long queue under the hot sun..

The queue was not like freaking long but I guessed we’ve waited at least 30-40 minutes, standing under the hot-burning sun..

Coincidentally, while we were queuing, I bumped onto Akira “Jian” ceo, Jacquelyn, and Alex..

kedai kopi chung wah hainanese chicken rice ball melaka malacca
*The chicken rice balls*

kedai kopi chung wah hainanese chicken rice ball melaka malacca
*Steamed chicken*

I would say it’s not like superbly delicious but it’s way better than a lot of chicken rice..The rice balls are to die for..

It’s difficult to find any chicken rice that you can eat just the rice without putting any sauce or gravy on it..In Chung Wah you can..

The steamed chicken is quite tender and not too salty, which is just right and just dip into the chili for better taste..

kedai kopi chung wah hainanese chicken rice ball melaka malacca
*Both my sisters Min, Eshan and my dad*

Once again I wouldn’t it’s especially great that you have to travel so far just for it but if you are already there, why not?

malacca jonker walk christ church
*Walking distance*

In Malacca town, where Jonker Walk, Christ Church, and few other places are all just walking distance..

malacca trishaw rental
*Trishaw rental rate*

Other than walking around you can also rent a trishaw which is equipped with sub-woofer audio system blasting on Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”..

malacca jonker walk christ church melaka
*Walk walk*

We opted to walk around instead of taking the trishaw..

Reminder, do apply sunblock lotion and take necessary pre-cautions to deal with the heat in Malacca..

malacca jonker walk christ church ice kacang
*Ice kacang*

After the long-haul under the hot sun, it’s best to sit down and have a bowl of ABC a.k.a ice/ais kacang before you leave..

We didn’t stay for the night nor stayed for satay celup dinner due to fatigue and the heat is hitting us..

So off we went back to KL at about 5pm..

It’s a good journey and definitely will be there again..

Larut Hill 4×4 Challenge 2009 – SS1

Larut Hill 4×4 Challenge is a 2-days event where the first day is somewhat a qualifying day..

By getting through all six SS (so-called circuit) without getting disqualified, participating team would get to take on the real challenge, going up Larut Hill..

There were about 22 teams or so participated in 2009..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak suzuki vitara oris
*Oris Ladies Team*

So the starting point was at Taiping Lake Gardens where the participating teams got to exhibit their cars to the public..

Well I kid you not, there were lots of people there early in the morning especially families..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak
*A classic MG TD2000 car*

This classic MG TD2000 car is owned by one of the organizers..It’s quite an eye-catching car especially when it’s in red color..

I have no worries looking at this car being driven around in Taiping but absolutely no in KL..I don’t think it’s a good idea for driving a convertible car in crime-prone KL..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak
*Mitsubishi Storm*

One of the Mitsubishi Storms in this challenge..Some cars looked so nice just like a new car where some others look rugged due to dirt and mud..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak
*The Ng Family*

This is Wilson‘s family, from his parents to his wife to his younger sister and husband..All of them are rooting for the Oris Ladies Team..

Read on for more photos..

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Larut Hill 4×4 Challenge 2009

Okay this is one very delayed post happened in November 2009 :P

It’s the 3rd Larut Hill 4×4 Challenge in Taiping, Perak..Obviously it’s in Perak because Laut Hill (Bukit Larut) is in Perak..

Well I was pretty busy back then with my job and all and long story short here it is..

Thanks to Wilson who invited me to join his camera crew for this expedition..It’s quite an experience..

When we reached Taiping, we settled down at Flemington Hotel, very near to Taiping Lake Gardens..

Flemington Hotel is also the official hotel for accommodating the VIPs, officials, participants, and some of the media people..

flemington hotel taiping perak
*Flemington Hotel*

It sure is a beautiful hotel in such a place and its rooms are pretty luxury too..It also has a swimming pool on the rooftop..

So let’s have a look at some of the 4WDs..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak suzuki vitara oris
*Oris Team*

This 4WD is one of the sponsored cars by Oris, the official sponsor for the Larut Hill 4×4 Challenge..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak suzuki vitara oris
*Oris Ladies Team*

The first ever all-ladies team in Larut Hill 4×4 Challenge, also sponsored by Oris..

The ladies team actually consisted Wilson’s wife Rachel Ting and his younger sister Adeline..

Both ladies and guys team are Suzuki Vitara and tuned to perform better..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak
*Team from Johor*

Other than the Oris Team, other participants are either they are true 4WD enthusiasts whom joined on their own or some rented a car..

Some of them went by the same method as F1, like Brawn GP team, Brawn is the name of the “owner” and tuned up with Mercedes engine

Same goes to this 4×4 Challenge..Some “owners” rent out their cars to enthusiast drivers just for this competition..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak
*4WD #102*

This 4WD owned by a British, or maybe German..Can’t really remember..Looks nicely maintained right?

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak
*The owner*

FYI, he built this car all by using only the chassis and perhaps the body, other parts were modified by himself, hands on from scratch..

He’s joined the previous 2 challenges and still remained one of the regular participants..

He performed some adjustment on the car right there and then..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak
*Former Champion*

This was the former champion for 2 consecutive years and they were aiming to win it for the third time to keep the trophy worth thousands of ringgit..

Winners for 3 consecutive years get to keep the trophy and this competition is only in its 3rd instalment..

In another words this team is pretty much the favorite and almost everyone (officials and media) have had high hopes on them..

larut hill 4x4 challenge taiping perak
*Other 4WDs*

Here are some of the 4WDs driven by participants and officials..

Some are nicely tuned and some looked scrappy but it’s pretty powerful..

Well that’s all for now and I shall continue what’s in for Day 1 of the competition in next blog post..