Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Biarlah Bulan Bicara

This is my favourite "laloq" song for the moment. It's an old song sang by Broery Marantika. Broery was famous for his love balads.

Biar Bulan Bicara by Broery Marantika

Bulan sabit
Yang jatuh dipelataran
Bintang redup
Tanpa cahaya gemintang
Langkah tanpa arah
Sesat di jalan yang terang
Aku yang terlena dibuai pelukan dosa

Ingin pulang membalut luka hatimu
Ku pun tahu betapa pedih batinmu
Beri kesempatan atau jatuhkan hukuman
Andai maaf pun tak kau berikan

Air mata tulus jatuh di sudut bibir mu
Tak terlintas dendam di bening mata indah mu
Aku yang merasa sangat berdosa pada mu
Masih pantaskah mendampingi mu

Biar lah bulan bicara sendiri
Biarlah bintang kan menjadi saksi
Tak kan ku ulangi walau sampai akhir nanti
Cukup derita sampai di sini

Last Day in Phuket

Our last day in Phuket.....and it rained!!! The rain poured and poured.....

Rain..rain go away...my wife has got some more shopping to do today...(guess that's what was playing in ABE's mind before we left for the airport...)

Phuket Sunset

Later in the evening we strolled along the beach again. This time..with hopes to view a nice sunset

Some Arab tourists were trying out the water sports

Up...up and away....

Finally the sunset...but it was cloudy....

Beach Bumming in Phuket - Part IV

Day 3 in Phuket..
Not doing anything much today. Walked along the beach this morning. Then went back to the hotel to rest for a while.

Then later managed to drag ABE shopping ;-)
As usual my damage went on...... bags and more...bags.....

Ooooo...look at the LeSportsacs...

Sawadee Kap from our friend Mr McD

I should have taken the bikes....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Beach Bumming in Phuket - Part III

Second day in Phuket. We were up early for the island hopping & snorkeling trip. The pick up came at about 7.30am. It was quite a long journey to the pier.

In our group there were other tourist as well. Aussies made up the most of them. There was a couple from Canada, two Arab couples and a few Chinese tourist as well. Mat Salleh being Mat Sallehs they came in their bikinis and trunks. Me being me...haa..I was in my full length ARENA swimware. Reason being...well one was the tutup aurat thingy and no way I'd be in a bikini. If I was 20 years old...maybe la I'd give it a thought. But now...after 3 kids..no need for unnecessary expose la ;-)

Plus I know the sun will burn me...so covering up would be the best thing to do.

Our boat was a big one and it had 3 powerful engines. Our 1st stop was Khao Nok Island. The journey took us almost 40 minutes.
Upon arriving at the small island, I looked for a shaded area for us to lepak. Both ABE & I took turns snorkeling.
Though I am a swimmer, swimming in the sea has not been much of my favourite. I guess it was the sun & the sticky feeling after you get out of the water sort of turns me off from going into the sea. And this snorkeling trip was very much my first time at it.

Anyway..it wasn't too bad lah...not rocket science lah...if only you remember to breathe using your mouth via the tube on the snorkel gear. I did swallow the sea water many times in my first few attempts. After a while I was ok and was snorkeling away ;-)

We were taken to a few islands near by. Lunch was at Khai Nak Island. According to our guide, this island was badly hit during the tsunami. They said the big wave was about 10 meters high and 600 people were presumed dead. But life goes on and the locals have rebuilt the place since then.
Boats at Khai Nak Island
People strolling on Khai Nak Island

After lunch we did more snorkeling. Then there was the quick photo stop at the Monkey Beach. While the Mat Sallehs were busy feeding the animal, I was busy taking their pictures.

Heh..heh...check out the gals...bodylicious aren't they??

Our boat then made a quick stop at the beautiful Pileh Lagoon. The water was so calm and inviting for us to just dive in.
Calm waters at Pileh Lagoon

After the boat anchored in the deep waters and some of the passengers went to the front of the boat and just jumped into the sea. I didn't jump la...the Mat Salleh kids did. The swim was really, really good. I couldn't remember when was the last time I did this. Perhaps it was many, many years ago when I was in secondary school and my father took the family island hopping in Langkawi. Boy...it sure has been a while!!!

Our boat then headed towards Maya Beach. This was where the movie "The Beach" was filmed. Like the other islands we saw, this island too was a natural beauty.
Maya Beach
Both ABE & I at Maya beach.

Some Mat Salleh girls were busy sunbathing on the beach....

And compare my dress code to theirs ;-)

Maya Beach was our last stop. After spending about 45 minutes there our boat headed back to Phuket Island. It was another 1 hour boat ride. The sea was rather choppy and some of our Mat Salleh friends couldn't take it. They threw up la ....apa lagi. We were ok. But by the time we got back on land, I could still feel my body swaying...as if I was still in the boat.

Beach Bumming in Phuket - Part II

Friends have recommended that we go for the Phuket Fantasea Show. I was lucky again as I managed to get discounted tickets for the show. After "charming" the local tour agent on Bangla Road, I managed to get two tickets for TBH2,800. It was for both the dinner and show after that.

We didn't have time to go back to our hotel to change. The pick up for the show was in 10 minutes. While waiting, we walked along this infamous Bangla Road. The pubs were already opened and some of them were filled with Mat Sallehs. Some of these Mat Sallehs had local girls as their company...some young while some are "seasoned". It's a real wonder that how the Westerners go for the Asian girls...could it be the natural beauty??? Or could it be the "extra" services that they provide???

I was glad we didn't have to wait long for our pick up. The ride to Phuket Fantasea took almost 45 minutes. When we arrived there were already people queing to purchase tickets. Our driver showed me where to que for the tickets. I didn't have to que long however. In about 10 minutes I got our tickets.

We strolled around the complex. The park had an interesting facade which provides a unique experience. Visitors can also buy quality local products from shops offering silk, leather, handicrafts, ceramic, jewelry and souvenirs.

We had our dinner first and then went to watch the show. The show, somewhat similar to a Las Vegas-style theatrical production had some stunning show themes on Thai culture, magical illusions, 4-dimensional effects, aerial performance, acrobatics, indoor pyrotechnics and special effects and even the elephants performed on stage. The show for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and it was definately a show to remember.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Beach Bumming in Phuket - Part I

Last week saw both ABE & I beach bumming and island hopping in Phuket. It was a break much needed by both of us, especially when both of us have been very much "absorbed" in managing our projects at work.

We left for Phuket on Tuesday 17/7/2007. The flight was a short one...about 1 hour 15 mins from KL.
I had made reservation at the Ban Laimai Hotel on Patong Beach. I have no idea how the hotel looked like..only saw its attractive advertisement on the Internet.

At the airport we took a van to the hotel. It was cheaper compared to the cabs. For TBH150 it takes you right to the doorstep of your hotel. The airport cabs would charge you THB600!!! But....do not be fooled coz there is a "catch" in store for you on the journey to the hotel.

Half way to the hotel, the van stopped at a tour agent office. The staff at the office will request that you come down from the van. Once you are out of the van, they will woo you into taking their tour packages. Thanks to some tips from friends who had been caught in such a situation before, we didn't fall into the "trap".

Patong Beach is quite a distance from the airport. It took almost an hour to get to the hotel. When we finally got to our hotel, we checked in and after a short rest we were out out the street of Patong Beach.
Our hotel was right across the road facing the sea. It was such a beautiful sight. The sea was just a few meters away. It was a hot and sunny afternoon and the beach was already packed with people sun bathing and swimming.

As I looked towards the sea, a sudden chill came to me...an image came flashing into my mind. This was the same beach which was hit by the tsunami about 3 years ago....and I was actually standing at a spot where the big waves came and destroyed buildings and killed many people. I just couldn't imagine the chaos and panic when it happened.

We decided to walk around and see if we would find anything interesting. I was set at hunting for good island hopping tour package. Looking for one was not difficult. It was the bargaining which was a challenge. In the end, we booked an island hopping & snorkeling package. The price was ok, considering this was the off peak season. The tour was for the next day.

The street along Patong Beach is lined with shops selling t-shirts & shorts for beachcombers, copy bags of Coach & Guess. There were so many of them....I wasn't in the mood to shop yet. Well...this trip wasn't about shopping anyway. Shopping with ABE??? Huh...if I wanna shop...I'd come with my shopping buddies ;-)

And of course the street is also packed with restaurants.

We took out time walking till we came to the famous Bangla Road. It was no surprise why the street was given such a name. There were Banglas every where. Most of the traders were either Napalese or Bangladeshis. Some of them would greet you in BM...a language they must have picked up when they worked in Malaysia I suppose.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Jojo’s KL Wedding Reception

It was Jojo’s KL wedding reception last night. Held at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, the event had guests from families, friends, neighbors, golf mates, clients and business associates of the family.
My mom, my Induk, my sisters & me.
My brother catching up with aunties who came all the way from Kuala Pilah.

The special VIPs were the Deputy Prime Minister and his wife and Minister of Federal Territories and wife. But what was most interesting to me was…it was a night of family reunion especially for the members of my late father’s family. Grand aunts came all the way from Kuala Pilah. Cousins whom we seldom met came and greeted each other. No matter what differences we could have had in the past, we put behind us. And we were there at the reception to give support to our uncle on this very special day for him and his family.

The theme for the wedding was “winter”. The room was decorated with off white roses and barren dried branches to give the majestic and cool ambiance to create the mood. The warm and soft glows from the candle lights gave the ballroom a relaxed and cozy setting.

Mom & her Puan Sri biras

The food was good. The jazz music that accompanied us during the dinner was refreshing and definitely put us in a cheerful and jovial mood throughout the ceremony.