Monday, January 31, 2011

Kay's TARA - China 3

Next stop : The Bund - Shanghai.

After walking more than a kilometer along Nanjing Road East and tirelessly saying "bu yao" (don’t want) to street hawkers shouting "Hey mister, hey lady, wanna buy a watch?" we arrived at a large pedestrian walkway bordering the Huangpu River.

The Bund (which means the Embankment) is Shanghai's famous waterfront running along the west shore of the Huangpu River, forming the eastern boundary of old downtown Shanghai. It is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai.

For an excellent view of buildings at the Bund, it is recommended that one go through an underground walkway and then look back at the area from which you came.

The elegant row of European colonial buildings will make you think you're back in the 1920s; all were constructed in western-inspired style - classical, Gothic, renaissance, eclectic and modern.

The Bund is sometimes referred as the 'museum of international architecture,' and indeed it was and still is.

The Customs House (building with clock tower) was built in 1927. The clock has four sides and chimes the hour. It was made in London and shipped for an earlier version of the Customs House.

No. 27 - Jardine Matheson and Co., Ltd. Building; built 1920. Today it is the Chinese Exterior Commerce Ministry.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank built this building in 1923 to replace their previous home on the Bund.

Another strong hold at the Bund which houses AIA operations in Shanghai.

Street view of the Bund

Unfortunately, during our visit the pedestrian walkway along the Huangpu River embankment was closed for renovations. The Bund area was given a face lift in preparation for the 2010 World Expo.

The Bund over looking Pudong. Ten years ago Pudong was swampland but today is a showcase for some of the most modern architecture in the world. Seen in the picture the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kay's TARA - China 2

Next destination Shanghai's Nanjing Road.

Back in 1839 - 1842, after the Opium War, Shanghai became a treaty port. Nanjing Road, a famous street in Shanghai became the first British Concession, and then turned the International Settlement for the Westerners. It was the hub for the import of large quantities of foreign goods.

Nanjin Road now - the premier shopping street in Shanghai, stretching 3.4-mile-long. Rows of shops house latest couture in Chinese fashion.

A signature call sign in this fashion district

Over 600 businesses on Nanjing road offer countless famous brands, superior quality, and new fashions.

Over time, Nanjing Road has been restructured, undergoing significant change.

A local brand with a western sound alike name

Locals queuing for food at lunch time

While others take some time to read the local dailies

Spotted a domestic squabble, ooppsss...who spilled the chestnuts??

More up market stores, all packed with customers.

Fashion adverts on big billboards attracting thousands of fashion-seeking shoppers from all over the world

Specialty stores, theaters and international hotels have mushroomed on Nanjin Road.

Youngor?? Perasannnnnn..........

After walking the entire block, we finally reached the east end of the famous street.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kay's TARA - China 1

The hour long reality show ended sometime last November. It was one show that everyone in the family never wanted to miss. No matter how late we were, we’d rush home to catch the thrilling weekly episodes together. Of course each one of us had our own favourite teams and there were those which we collectively disliked.

I remember posting harsh status on my FB about the unbecoming behaviour of a member in a team which we wanted so much to be eliminated. And I wasn’t alone, there were others who felt the same as I did. Reading the status trails now puts me in chuckles as I look back at our occasional silliness and over imaginative comments.

Well, that was how much impact of this reality show – the Amazing Race Asia (TARA) Season 4 had on us. At season finale, our favourite team, the Richards – team from the Philippines claimed top spot and confidently walked home with the US$100,000 prize reward.

During TARA season 4, we saw similar places where we had tracked during our own previous travels. And it was kind of exciting seeing teams going at logger heads trying to solve clues and asking for directions in places which were so foreign to them. Of course this was all familiar to us during our travels!! And how very well we could relate to the challenges the teams faced.

The non speaking English countries were the most grappling. Try giving an instruction like “I want to get to the airport” to a Mandarin speaking cab driver in Hangzhou China for example. Tough…tough but one can never under estimate one’s creativeness at desperate times. I must have used all my might to get that what I thought a simple message across. Thank God someone understood my octopus like arms waving gestures and helped decode into plain Mandarin to the waiting cab driver. Fuhhhh… about luck!!

In the next few postings, I will feature our amazing race like encounters and adventures similar to those of TARA teams.

My TARA flag off is travel from Hangzhou to Shanghai, October 2009

View of down town Hangzhou from Hangzhou Cheng Zhan Railway Station located in the downtown district at 1, Huan Cheng Dong Lu, Shangcheng District.

Still early, volume of cars was manageable

Since Shanghai is only two hours by train from Hangzhou many locals commute daily.

Make sure you know which platform to take. One wrong step may take you to another city in China.

Ticket from Hangzhou to Shanghai on the fast train cost 64Yuan (about RM30. You can buy train tickets 3 days in advance.

Mentelaah lah map tu....all in Mandarin yar!!

Just a short wait for the train

Average speed of the train 160km/hour. Everyday, over 100 high-speed trains run between these two cities from early morning at 06:32 to around 21:00.

Already in less than 2 hours

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When MCBs Meet.....

During the last MCB – Mak Cik Blogger meet I came sans my ole and faithful camera. Hence, no pictures to flaunt here in the blog. Fearing the repeat would happen, just before I left home for another MCB meet last Sunday, I took extra effort to ensure the lil’ device had its battery fully charged and nicely tucked in my handbag. All geared, my noble intention was to capture as many great moments as I could.

But then after arriving at Kak Puteri Kamaliah’s place, after the ooooossssss…..ahhhhh….hiiiii….ohhhhhhhh picture taking didn’t seem that important anymore. All I could say was this – it was a great feeling being in the company of such admirable ladies – Kak Puteri (our gracious host ), Kak Teh (our guest of honor all the way from London), Kak Nana (you look greattttttt!!!), Zendra (if only I could be slim and tall like you!!), Mamasita (love you…love you darling!!), Sab (we definitely have similar stories of the other halves!!), Kak Ezza (whose hug was so, so motherly), Zai (hope I didn’t confuse you with the way I gave directions!!), Yani KG (your macaroons....ooooooo), Zaimah (yesss…my worigh whose travel boots take her everywhere), Wan Shana (whose yummylicious dalca saved my Lebanese rice), Emylia (if only I could eat like you and nothing happens to me!!), Aida (whose intro was well said in one breath!!), Dee (a lady who’s so gracious and so calm), Jannah (Mamasita’s eldest – so pretty like Mommy!!), Ollie (finally get to meet you after reading the exchanges in FB).

To all…thank you ....thank you…thank you for an awesome evening :) are finally here Zen!!!

Kak Nana, Kak Teh, Mamasita & Jannah all so attentive listening to Yaya's fluent lines on how we communicate.

Desserts.....all the way from Tanjung Lumpur, Kuantan

More food....will not say how many of those murtabak I walloped

Yani KG's mouth melting macaroons.....

Ahhh....I made this moist choc cake...he he

Mak Cik Bloggers & FB sistas :)
Too bad we didn't get everyone in the picture. Next meet kena get paparazzi tu snap a group picture.

Yani and Muhammad - such an adorable fella

Nissa who got to lepas kan rindu with Kak Puteri's furry Lillie

Monday, January 17, 2011


Last weekend was full of excitement. It kicked off with the company's "Rock With Stars" dinner on Friday night. Everyone was nervous; though not many wanted to admit it. Well, rock is not everyone's forte and trying to be one was even more difficult.

So what was my rock attire???

I tried a few different attires before settling with some thing I was most comfortable in. Did costume cat walk in front of Nissa - doing top and bottom mix & match. After rummaging the wardrobe, I finally settled with a black top, my bling, bling jeans, a black trench coat to add the final touch, plus some accessories to enhance the look.

Nissa asked me, "Tang mana rock nya?"

I said, "Rock is when I am comfortable," as I slip into Farah's black 5" high heel platforms.'s been a while since I last slipped into these hell heels. But nak gaya punya pasal, pakai jugak lah....

The dinner was great, food was good. And everyone had a superb time. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

With my girls from the office

Red carpet session

Team chap Ibu & Anak-Anak

Attentively listening to Dato EC's kick off speech - directions, hopes and aspirations for 2011.

Almost makan time!! Harleys making entrance just as dinner was to be served.

In house rockers took centre stage entertaining the audience. Not bad!!

Yeahhh.....yeahhhh here comes Awie!!! And that got everyone crazy...

Awie in action

Abang guitarist also in action.....Tak tau siapa nama dia...errr me bukan ler kenal sangat dgn mamat-mamat rockers ni pun.

The crowd went right to the front of the stage...kat table tinggal bosses yg control cool....

Tak cool lah tengok rock concert duduk kat meja the second song, I found myself in front the stage dengan budak-budak lain (ala-ala control ayu gitu tapi kegedikkan sungguh lah obvious kan...!!)

With Kartini - the Queen of Rock that night - a colleague of mine :)

Last but not least, rock ker???