Thursday, December 26, 2013

Travel Updates & Hotel Review for 2013

There were some trips in the past plus hotel stay which I think is good to be posted here.

However due to limitation of time, I may cover bit by bit, and hopefully I am able to finish these before the year end. Picking up the pieces is not easy but I need to write again, for the sake of remembering them and when friends and families asking for tips, blog will be easier to refer, isn't it?

To recap on the past journey in 2013;

  • Kuching Short Getaway (Labour Day)
  • Subang Flight simulation centre tour
  • E&O Hotel, Penang
  • Upin and Ipin Animation Studio
  • PD latest Hotels

I look forward to future journey and hopefully many more to come. 

KK Trip - Kundasang - Desa Dairy Farm - Luanti ( Part I)

This is the best trip so far I think, since being bogged down with work throughout the year. I took the opportunity during my work trip, to spend a day outside and guess it was nice that we had our trip in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

It is better to go on holiday rather to spend time (business plus leisure) if you are the ORGANISER. Not many chances to be on your own since other participants may want to have you around to ensure the work part is settled.

Travel wise : Holiday is holiday. Work is work.

There were tips can be learn from this Kundasang outing. You need to spend at least a night in Kundasang to see the sunrise in the next day with no cloud formation for the best view of the mountain. Two hours journey is doable but going to one spot and another within one day is pretty rushing, I think. 

We took a van from a travel agency. Service is so and so, I would not really recommend this one since the person does not get back to me after I texted him some feedback.I would expect this person to at least explain why one of the items in the itinerary went missing. But of course to compare the inbound tourism industry dengan yang ada di luar sana, not fair lah kan. Tepuk dada tanya selera. I consider myself as a very fussy tourist when it comes to tour paid services.

To cut the story short, lets have a look at the pictures shall we?

Ahahahha, dah  termuncul nama syarikat. Layan jer lah. We departed early morning at 8.00 am from the hotel lobby.
The road is in good condition. Not many cars on the road that day but it can be pretty congested during festive season especially Christmas.
Throughout the journey, you will be able to see the mountain peak but at this hour around 9.30 a.m the cloud start coming to conceal the view.
A word of caution : You may not be able to stop for photos taking considering there is no facilities for observation deck along the road.  However, there are some wider spot available at your own risk.  All the pictures were taken in mobile mode.

We have passed the mountain area and now heading to Luanti. View of Kundasang.
Kundasang area. Houses on the hills with farming activities (vegetables, mostly). Definitely a breathtaking view. 
It takes about 21 km from Kundasang to Luanti. The fish spa at Tagal Sungai Moroli Luanti is good but the water is so murky due to raining, quite a let down if you want to have that clear crystal water for photos shoot. Food for fish is sold for RM1 per packet. entrance fee is RM15 per person for 15 minutes. You have to line up to have your turn to go down into the river, a little bit restrictive considering the river can be quite OK to what I have seen in Taman Negara Kuala Tahan. Kiddies pool level I can say, ehheheheh. Since we had been in Luanti, prior to arrive this spot, you can also have a stop in Poring Hot Spring. We could not have the place due to negligence of the tour operator who did not include the item in the itinerary. The reason I was a little bit upset but never mind, there will be always time to come again for another visit.

After we had our lunch in Kundasang, we went straight to Desa Dairy Farm which was really worth the journey during this entire trip Why? The weather is cool, though it was raining when we arrived. The view is really breathtaking (seriously, it prompts me to go similar place after this) and I do think this is the highlight of this tour. Nothing else. However due to mass tourism the place could not cater many visitors at one time. Too many visitors queuing up to purchase the milk and the food. Nevertheless,  the  new on going structure being built for a cafe/restaurant is something better for the future visitors.

For parents, kids would definitely love the idea of feeding the calves. Be prepared to spare cash purchasing grass for the animals. Without I realise, I have spent around RM10.00 just for the purpose, but it was definitely a good distraction for kids to be able to remember the moment in Kundasang. In good playful way.

After we left Desa Dairy Farm, the next spot will be Kinabalu Park. The weather became worse when the rain kept pouring and we even did not have the chance to be able to walk in the Botanical Garden. Nothing much we could do except to sit and get some rest on a comfortable sofa after almost 2 hour journey from Kundasang. Fortunately Kinabalu Park does come with an information centre where exhibits of flora and fauna preserve and sample of rock formation were displayed. Nothing much spectacular since we have missed the video time with daily show at 2 p.m.

For the mountain climbers, Kinabalu Park is the entrance to begin their journey of climbing.
The accommodation offered to climbers and natural lovers. The price can be a real steep. Book in advance necessarily.
We managed to sit down and enjoy the view. The big pakus pakis plant is a bonus. Feels like going back to Jurassic Era in most comfortable mode.
More view from the balcony.
The staff lighting up the fire's place. It can be so cold at night.
Overall, the places of interest covered are:

     Tagal Sungai Moroli Kampung Luanti (Fish Massage)  
Desa Dairy Farm
Kinabalu Park
Rumah terbalik
Jambatan Tamparuli

To be continued....

Friday, April 19, 2013

Nepal Trip (Part III)

We continued the trip to Pokhara for some view on Annapurna....

The journey from Kathmandu Valley to Pokhara, by Malaysian highway standard may takes 3-4 hours but knowing we were in Nepal, the road condition can be compared to 10x worse than Gua Musang-Merapoh route, i hope u get it.

Nevertheless, the scenic breathtaking view captured our hearts with turquoise colour flowing rivers (great for whitewater rafting) and paddy terrace along the road makes it more dramatic. yeah, I never seen a traditional brick kiln but I tell you what, it was something I never see even in Nat Geo. cool!

We were going downhill, happens that Pokhara is in lower altitude from Kathmandu Valley and Trisuli River was next to the highway. We made some stop at several places,just to capture some photos and attending to our nature calls.
Trisuli, in the beginning of our journey...
Paddy farmer's house. The  hills behind are really high...

Friend and Driver's Wife, in a mustard field.
I was thinking, perhaps if we are more than 5 person, we would have fun doing whitewater rafting in that river. It was such a waste to come all the way but the three of us are not rafting expert, we never even whitewater before!  All of us were tempted but of course, I did not want to pose risks on my fellow travellers, so perhaps in the future, perhaps.....

More river rapids as we go downhill. Perfect for the water activities.. oh how I wish I was inside....
My heart grew excited to see people, treating this highway as a flow to their slow paced life. House are built just near the road, people stay outside to bask themselves in the morning sunlight while the weather was cool. We saw many women in their sari and shawl carrying water containers to the public water pump, kids playing with friends and men sitting under the tree playing cards. How I wish my life is that simple and free like that~! Nepalese people are so lucky to have this unspoiled nature for their surrounding, especially when they have a clean and beautiful river at the back of their houses. Yup, my friend who hails from Temerloh kept on commenting that Pahang River should be like Trisuli, not in that light teh tarik colour. Development versus Nature. This is life, isn't it?

Though we have no guts to do whitewater rafting, this cable car experience should not to be missed... skills?? strong arm muscles...

As we arrived and checked-in the hotel (luckily we have changed it before coming), it was already dark outside. The next morning definitely would be another exciting day, which was to see the sunrise from Sarangkot Hill.

waiting patiently for the sunrise....

We woke up very early at 4 a.m, as instructed by the driver, Raj and he took us to this place called Sarangkot. I contacted a friend who used to work in Nepal before, and he recommended us instead of Nagarkot, Sarangkot offers better sunrise view over Annapurna Range. Yes, he was right!

It happened that we are the earliest bunch of enthusiasts coming and booked our spot to the observation deck. I was not sure how much was being paid, but there are some free decks for other observers. Subhanallah, when I noticed how the stars from the sky looked bigger from this altitude point, it makes sense how NK kept on telling the stars look better from his Swat Valley in Pakistan. How I wish I was there with him to see this!

Ok back to the story. We almost gave up on the sunrise as we waited almost 2 hours, but when the sun cast the first light onto the mountains, it was a mouth gaping experience~! Time stood still and people were quiet...some of the travelers came a little bit late but they were already pretty excited clicking cameras for the shots.....

As the sun came out, some local visitors chanting in prayers......must be some special occasion or something......

Driver and wife took the opportunity for some photograph, in fact this trip was like the first honeymoon cum field trip.
Fish Tail Mountain... in close shot.....

We made our way back to hotel for breakfast and continued the day for some tour to local site.... 
to be continued...
Warm feelings to see  the national car in our hotel car park...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bucket for 2013

I dunno whether it is appropiate to jot down here but i really need some time to think about travel plans for this year. Bak kata orang, nak travel memerlukan fulus, maka haruslah difikirkan apa kaedah mendapatkannya, ye tak. Unless the trip is all paid, yg pegi bawak badan jerla. This year is the year for me to travel broader for work. Leisure? Mungkin mampu utk rantau ASEAN. Duit pun kene simpan utk kawin. Dah sampai la masanya nak pegi berjalan berdua atau bertiga, asyik tengok orang seronok, aku pun mau jugak. Tapi plan itu mungkin ditangguhkan ke 2014 sbb tuan empunya badan katanya, nak balik sana at least standby la RM5k. Huhu. Anyhow, setelah dicongak dan intip intip dengan para boss,  berkemungkinan besar inilah yg akan terjadi:-

FEBRUARI 2013 - LEGOLAND, HELLO KITTY, JB (TRIP BAWAK ANAK,melengkapi must have for theme park section).Walau ramai yg dah pegi kata Legoland adalah panas, takkan nak tunggu Malaysia ada musim spring atau autumn, baru nak pegi kan?

APRIL/MEI 2013 - Insyallah, ANKARA, TURKI - trip keje yg aku rasa agak tidak best sbb sorang kawan akan ke kursus jangka panjang. Yg jadi pecacai angkat beg adalah saya. Great place for leisure travel tapi for work aku rasa berserabut la kapla sbb nak menyediakan line roaming yg mantap, nak menyusun bagai. Being a junior coordinator for this mission adalah menjadi cabaran yg paling pahit dan manis so far. Apa apa pun aku mau jugak bawak balik Turkish Delight dan karpet Turki, muahahahah.

MEI 2013 (penghujung) - masih dlm perancangan.BALI, INDONESIA. Trip bersama geng lepak and housemate.all girls vacation for weekend getaway. Kami cadang nak tunggu jer pelancaran Malindo Air tu, manalah tau ada promo gila gila bak inaugural Ke Sydney oleh Scoot Singapore. Xpun naikla apa jua flight asal kami pegi ke mana mana.

JULAI-OGOS 2013 - Insyallah, NEW DELHI, INDIA. Trip keje, mungkin aku jugak akan mrnjadi pecacai angkat beg dan fail. Xperla, aku teruja sebab kawan aku ada kat sana di Kedutaan Malaysia. Kawan baik laks tu. Yeay. Penat woo jaga desk India,nila masanya aku nak membalas dendam sbb dah letih stayback deal with the Customs there ari ari.

SEPTEMBER - DISEMBER 2013 - kosong. Doa byk mintak bos antar kursus jauh jauh.ehehehe.

JAN/FEB 2014 - PAKISTAN - trip balik kampung lawat sedara mara, peshawar, karachi  dan lahore dan juga some trip melawat banjaran Karakoram, banjaran gunung K2.  Yg ni aku paling teruja. Sbb apa? Aku ada rancangan nak buat broder crossing ke Kabul,Afghanistan, boleh?. Kampung betul-betul sebelah sempadan Pakistan-Afghan, 40km from the border, you!. Whoa, che abe dah janji sbb dia kata xder hal. He is a pashtun, bahasa sama, xder masalah. Yg penting, clearance cukup, doa bebanyak for this one supaya selamat. The only thing i need to do is wearing Burqa most of the time, self drive and my registered name to travel there will be something kinda poyo but nice - Jazmin Nasir Khan (JNK). Layan. Yang ni aku look forward, biarla aku nak berangan angan dari sekarang, boleh?

So what is your travel plan?

Pemandangan indah dan bersalji dari rumah NK. Winter 2012. X sabar den nak wat adengan ala citer Fanaa, lakonan Kajol and Aamir Khan. X pun Bella dan Edward melayan keindahan hutan pine? Muahahhahaha

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Plans for 2013

Dear Readers,

I wont be able to make many trips this year.
The most obvious reason is I am getting myself ready to tie the knot with someone.
Second, if you see the picture above, is a place i will be calling the second kampung.
Yes, life is full of  surprises. I think I have found my home.
Peshawar, here I come! :)