Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Langkawi - Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant


One of the highlight during this trip was dinner on second day at Langkawi.

Yes.. food is YUMMY and fresh at Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant! 
At least it does some justice to food in Langkawi .. way so much better than the restaurant next to Best Star Resort (A Chinese restaurant that also Bak Kut Teh at night)

The "CLOSE" sign was there because I took this picture after dinner :P
Yeah.. eat and drink till everyone has left.. hahahaha.

Kam Heong Crab... TWO THUMBS UP!! :D 

Grilled Fish 

Deep Fried Squid

Sambal Asparagus

All those simple and delicious dishes cost us around RM 160 for 4 pax.

Banrock Station's Crimson Cabernet Sweet Wine compliments well with all the yummy food. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this wine!!! 
Bought it at RM 27.50... ^_^
Corkage charge at Orkid Ria = RM 20 / bottle

Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant 
Lot 1225, Pantai Cenang, Mukim Kedawang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, West Malaysia.
Tel: +604-955 4128
Fax: +604-955 3128
E-Mail: csloh.orkidria@gmail.com
Operating Time: 11a.m. – 3p.m. and 6p.m. to 11p.m.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Langkawi - Island Hopping (27Nov11)


Let's go island hopping!
Booked a tour to Pulau Beras Basah, Pulau Singa Besar & Pulau Dayang Bunting for RM 35/pax at Asthar Travel &Tours (their office is located just outside AB Motel)

One has a choice to join the 9.00am or 2.00pm tour.

The tour agent office

The van that transported us from Pantai Cenang to the boat pick up area..The door of the van kept sliding open! Hahahah.. beat-up van eh?

First destination : Pulau Beras Basah..famous for it's clear water and white sandy beach..
But upon arrival.. this is what I saw...

Sad.. rubbish left the island..:(

Even the monkeys are fed-up with us humans :p

Pulau Beras Basah's Beach
People just go dipping in the sea.. sun tanning by the beach..just chilling...

I noticed there's an abandoned chalet which used to be Pulau Beras Basah Resort... I wonder if they would reopen it again.. or leave it as it is..

After spending an hour at the island, we hopped on back to the boat and head off to Pulau Singa Besar to meet some eagles! :)

Pulau Singa Besar has been declared as a forest reserve and a bird & animal sanctuary in 1988. Supposedly, we can visit the sanctuary..But our boatman didn't make a stop at the jetty.. we just stopped nearby the bay and the eagles were there.. (thanks to the other boatmen nearby who started feeding them, the eagles were already swooping down).

There are so many of them.. (My camera shutter not fast enough to get a good snapshot of the whole bunch of them).
I was in awe to be able to see them so close...They look.. beautiful...

The boatman will throw some chicken skin / innards/ bits of meat into the water and soon after, the eagles will swoop down and "catch" their food ;P

Next stop: Pulau Dayang Bunting (The Pregnant Maiden Island)
Read the legend of the island here.
View from up up above.... Googled this picture :p

The silhouette of the pregnant maiden taken from the boat.

From the jetty.. a little hiking/trekking need to be done to reach the lake. I don't recommend those with knee problems to visit.. I saw a few uncle / aunties.. they were having trouble going up/down the path / staircases ... even I.. am huffing and puffing a little bit..

Floating platforms

EEEEEWWWWW... that's sooo not cool! CATFISH LEG MASSAGE! @_@

Since I am not going swimming or having my feet being ravished by catfishes.. I settled to go paddle boating...
Manual Paddle Boat : RM 20 (30 minutes)
Motorized Paddle Boat : RM 30 (30minutes)

What's the difference? obviously, manual paddle biat, you have to paddle it yourself. For motorized paddle boat, you have a choice to paddle or to just sit back and steer while the motor "paddle" for you ;)

1 hour time's up.. back to the jetty and hop onto the boat to bring us back to main island. Time for more chocolates!!! :p

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Langkawi - Best Star Resort


Was deciding on where to stay at Langkawi.. wanted to go with Awana Porto Malai, Langkawi.. but I wanted to be near the sandy beach. In the end, settled for Best Star Resort at RM 150 nett per night inclusive of breakfast.

Entrance of the hotel

The rooms are on the first floor… no elevator or escalator..yeah.. gotta walk up the staircase :p
TV channels have selected ASTRO channels.. If i remember correctly, there's Star Sports, News channel..nothing much..

Pillows are too soft to my liking.. and they don't have extra pillows in the room :(

Cleanliness of bathroom was ok..just that housekeeping should do a little more scrubbing on the edge of the wall/floor...

Has a water pump booster / heater unit - it's a bit noisy when being turned on though :p

Basic amenities provided

Tea/Coffee/ 2 bottles of water provided in-room

Breakfast on Day 1 - Aglio Olio , Salad, Sausages & Mushroom soup
Dislike the mushroom soup..

Breakfast on Day 2 - Nasi Lemak, Fried Koay Teow, Cucur Bawang..
I prefer Day 1's breakfast :p

They do have cereal, bread (toaster provided), fruits, coffee /tea as well..

Best Star Resort building view from the beach

Will I return to this hotel? Ermm.. only if I don't have other choice.. ;)

Lot PT 892, Jalan Pantai Cenang, Mukim Kedawang
07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia.
Tel : +604-955 1808
Fax : +604-955 1809

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Langkawi Island (26Nov11)


Flew to Langkawi Island from Kuala Lumpur via Air Asia for RM 45 / pax (return fare)! Yeap Yeap! Got quite a good deal during the promo period :) Time for some cheap booze and CHOCOLATES !!!!!!!!!!!! ^_^

Rented a car from a friend's contact who owned a car rental. Wanted to get a Perodua Kancil but was given Proton Iswara Aeroback instead - with no power steering! UGHH! Cost us RM 160 for two and a half days. Petrol at our own cost. Tried to negotiate for a cheaper rate but was told it's considered peak period as it's the school holiday + Public Holiday for Awal Muharram. So.. supposedly, it's a good deal.. 
A word of advice, if you're planning to rent a budget car wile you're at Langkawi, try getting a Kancil/Viva....leave the Iswara alone.. :p

After paying the deposit of the car, we drove to Pantai Cenang to locate our hotel.
Managed to locate it and since it's only 9.30am, it's still too early to check in. So we decided to drive around & check out the island tourist spots with the help of the Langkawi map provided at the hotel's reception area.

Map for your reference if you're to lazy to search for one ;P

First stop was at the Langkawi  Cable Car (now known as Panaroma Langkawi).
Ticket priced at RM 30 and MyKad holder enjoys 50% discount.

Operating Hours
Mon, Tue, Thu : 10.00am - 7.00pm
Wed               : 12.00pm - 7.00pm
Fri, Sat, Sun , Public Holiday :  9.30am - 7.00pm

Parked the car at Oriental Village and made our way by foot towards the cable car base station. 

Oriental Village entrance.

Part of Mount Mat Chinchang can be seen at the background. Yes..the cable car or sky cab as they call it, takes you all the way to the top of Mount Mat Chinchang :)

On the way to the cable car station, came across the Rabbit Park.
Saw children keep begging their parents to buy them more carrots to feed the rabbits... :p

When we reached the cable car base station, luck wasn't on our side, It's closed !! A notice states that it's closed due to strong wind. But I don't think that's the case, because there's barely any wind at all that morning! So it must be some technical issues. Sigh...
We tried our luck again the next day - called them at (6)04 959 4225, only to be informed that waiting time will be approximately 2 hours as there's a LOOOOONGGGGG QUEUE!! Forget it...I'll come by next trip :)

After that, made a stopover at the Handicraft Cultural Village. 
Entrance is free :) They don't allow photos to be taken inside the building.. Googled and you can see some photos here.
Inside, there are things like handmade batik painting / clothes for sale, souvenirs items like weaved baskets, key chains, paintings, T-shirts & scarfs..

There's also a show gallery showcasing Malaysia's craft and culture. One that caught my attention was the many designs of congkak. Some were made of wood with such intricate wooden designs, very detailed..artistic... A shame that they don't allow photographs to be taken inside the gallery.. sigh..

Done with that, drove over to Faizy Crystal Glass Blowing centre which is located a few metres away from the handicraft centre (still within the vicinity) - It's about 15-20 minutes walking distance .

I haven't come across glass blowing in Malaysia before..my curiosity sense heightened! :p

These are tools used to shape the glass. Uhh..where's the blowing pipe?

Glass colouring used to make the pretty little glasses

To begin with, glass mound would be put into this burning hot furnace

The glass maker guy start shaping the mound of burning hot glass mound... pulling, rolling & pinching...hmm..I still didn't see any glass blowing ...

and then...

Voila.. A SWAN!!  sorry..blurred photo.. was trying to catch a photo before they put it away into the cooling cabinet..

These are a clearer picture of one of the items made there.
Picture courtesy from www.tradekey.com

Consulting the map, we then drove up to Pantai Pasir Hitam (Black Sand Beach).

The sand is not totally black.. more to a mixture of normal coloured sand and a bit of black.

The massive cement factory can be seen from Black Sand Beach

Now.. how did this formation of stone happen?
Didn't spent too much time at Black Sand beach.. worth to skip if you have other activities planned. :p

We then drove to Air Hangat Village (Hot Spring Village).
16 Jalan Air Hangat, Mukim Air Hangat,
07000 Langkawi. 

Tel                   : +60 4 959 1357

Distance           :   14km from Kuah town
Opening Hours  :   Daily: 9.00am - 6.00pm
Admission         :   Free

It looks modern and quite well kept..and.. hmmm.. it looks different from what I saw prior to my visit at Langkawi Development Authority's website. 

There are a few people already there soaking their feet at the lake when we reached.

Tested the water temperature by dipping my finger into the water.. it's just lukewarm..like the normal water temperature if being exposed under the hot sun.

I wonder if I was at the wrong place? hmmmm..Definitely wrong place.. should have explore the area more.. I wasn't so impressed and just walked back to the car.. LOL!

There are many more to visit if you haven't been to Langkawi Island.. Mahsuri Mausoleum (Makam Mahsuri), Padang Mat Sirat, Telaga Tujuh, Underwater World, Taman Buaya and Kilim Geoforest Park

Dropped by at Kuah town for a bit of chocolate and wine shopping :p If you like Hersheys chocolates, get them at any Haji Ismail Group shop as it's by far the cheapest compared to other places. Easily identified with their green theme painted wall/building, tehy have a few outlets spread around Kuah town. As for liquor/ cigarettes.. the price are competitive..I went crazy comparing prices between The Zon and other duty free shops..in the end, just TAKE, PAY and GO!! hahaha.. Check out where to shop .

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Penang Bridge Int'l Marathon 2011


The thought of painful leg muscles was still very fresh from the Standard Chartered Marathon in July but Flamingo Long Legs was successful in brain washing me to join the 10km run for Penang Bridge International Marathon 2011.

Part of me screams.. You mad woman!!! Not another painful muscles and crab walking stint!!???
Another part of me calmly tells me.. Relax… You NEED to sweat it out…YOU need to exercise you PIG!!

19-Nov-11, Saturday

So.. yeah.. here I am, after 5 months, collected my race pack at Queensbay Mall open carpark a day before the run.

Freebies in the goodie bag wasn't so interesting.... and..the running singlet is PINK!!! 
Wow.. I didn’t expect that.. ^_^ Chill.. the guys will have BLUE singlets.. hehehe..

Banner nearby Queensbay Mall to direct runners to 10km / Fun run start/ end point

20-Nov-11, Sunday

The scene at the start of point..All I can see were heads..and armpits @_@ due to my vertically challenged height..LOL!

10km run started at 6.00am. 
It’s still dark and I so wish I was still on bed zzZZzz-ing..
Anyhow.. time to warm up and wait for the “BANG” to signal runner to start  running.. jogging.. or walking :p

6.00am sharp.. *BANG!* and the run begun.... the air was cool & fresh.. definitely different feeling from running at Standard Chartered Run.

This was taken when I was about 30 minutes into my walk/jog :p Already feeling breathless!! 

I've asked Flamingo Long Legs to continue her run ahead of me.. 
Me  : You go ahead.. run along.. I'll catch up later (yeah right...! ;p)
She : Sure? Will you be ok? I can continue running with you..
Me  : Huff.. Puff... Huff.. No.. it's ok.. I need to walk.. hehehe
She : Okie.. meet you at the finish line! 

1 hour has passed and I still had a LOOOOONG way to go before I reach the finish line.. I need to finish it in 1 hour & 30 minutes!! 30 mnutes left!!! ARRGGHH!!!
I MUST MUST MUST finish in an hour and a half, else I won't get the medal :p 
(Later I realized.. it doesn't matter how long you took to finish the run, still will get the medal @_@)

At one point, I heard someone behind me went in a sing-a-long rhythm:
Heeh Heeh Huuuuhh...Huuh Heeeh Heeeh! Heeh Heeh Huuuuhh... .! 
When that person passed me, it was an uncle about mid-50s..jogging with his own ryhthm! LOL! 
I stopped laughing and slapped myself (in my mind), "Hey! start RUNNING!!!!!! Uncle is even fitter than you!!"

And.. I DID it!!!! I finished the run in a bit lesser than an hour and a half! SOooo proud of myself! HAHAHHAHAHHAA :p

Certificate of Achievement

10 km Run Finisher Medal

Lil Piggy's Result
ChipTime : 1:25:02.95
GunTime : 1:25:44.54
Ranking : 683/2937

Flamingo Long Legs's Result
ChipTime : 1:06:03.20
GunTime : 1:06:45.16
Ranking      : 69/2937

I am 19 minutes slower than her but I am 614 place away from her ranking!! LOL!!  Nevertheless, I am proud of myself as I am able to complete the 10km walkathon / jogathon in under 1 hour and 30 minutes time.. hehehehe..

Snapshots of my ex-colleagues who joined the run..(CK, Xinru, Siew, 400 & MF Wong) all the way from MUDDY KOALA!! I mean.. KUALA LUMPUR~~ heh heh heh..
Photo credit to MF Wong :)

A picture taken with two of my wonderful Penang Amigos, "Flamingo Long Legs" & "Red"  by Allianz team.

Girl guides taking a snooze time after being awake to be on duty for whole morning/night... 
I'm not sure why do we need girl guides to be on duty? Definitely need St John/ Red Cresent folks around.. but girl guides? I son't see any scouts hanging around? :p

Anyway...I told Flamingo Legs that she should aim to finish in top 15 next year and get some moolah! Guess what's her reply? "Let's join Half Marathon - 21Km next year instead!!!"


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