Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!

It's the last day of the year... time really flies. Christmas was just over and by tomorrow it will be so yesteryear.

christmas malaysiaBtw, how was your 2009? Have you reflected on the past year yet?

I remember being advised before that we should all take time to look back - see the highs, the lows, what went wow!, and what went oh-oh... these are all learning points which we can use for the year ahead.

So, while we start the countdown, let's take some time off to reflect on the year that was... and then plan what we would like the New Year to be.

happy 2010Whatever your hopes, dreams & aspirations are, here's wishing you all a

happy 2010!

May this coming year be a Super year... and you, soaring above the skies! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Magazine Articles

One of my hobbies is writing & not to mention - travel...! Combine them together, and I get travel articles, which I've written for some Malaysia magazines.

Here are the articles & photos featured in 2009:

1. Top 10 Places You Must Visit In Malaysia Lah, I.M. Magazine

top 10 places to visit in malaysia lah

top 10 places to visit in malaysia lah

top 10 places to visit in malaysia lah
top 10 places to visit in malaysia lah
This was a compilation of what I see Malaysia has to offer... plus from feedback I got while publishing the 50+1 Malaysia book.

*Full article also available at The Malaysia Page.

2. Malacca In The Sun, MPH Quill

malacca in the sunThis was quite unique as it was a different take for tourists on the many other things that Malacca has to offer (yes, Malacca is not all just about Jonker's Street!) :)

3. Malacca Photo, KLUE

klueMy photograph on Chinatown, Malacca was featured by KLUE alongside one of their articles related to travel.

It sure is satisfying to look back at the year and see these published articles & photos! :)

*I think I need to create a business related to travel :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wonderful 2009 Travels

2008 was a great year of my travels... and 2009 was just as good! Now that 2009 is about to come to an end, I'd like to just compile my travels this year... and share the most memorable part in each of them.

1. Shanghai, China

I started off the year being in the bustling city of Shanghai - a trip continued from 2008. There's no other more vibrant place I have ever visited. And btw, it was this trip that I started to like the cold & cold! (eating icy cold desserts in the winter!).

2. Muar, Malaysia

muarThis half day trip made me realise how much heritage this neighbouring town of Malacca has... plus, the fact that it do has some good food too!

3. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

kota kinabaluMy first time to East of Malaysia. This was one big eye opener on how unique-ly different the other part of Malaysia is. Love the Manukan island & the sotong bakar (bbq squid) most!

4. Kuching, Malaysia

kuching2009 also marks the first time I visited Kuching, which reminded me closely to Penang & in some ways, yes, Malacca. The thing I like most about Kuching is its multi ethnicity where the 1 Bangsa Malaysia is felt most in the country.

5. Hong Kong, China

hong kongAfter over a decade, I finally re-visited the center of Chinese cinema - HK! The best part of this city is that while it embraces to be a modern city, however, it maintains its old traditional things like the tong kang, the tram, and also the food stalls in the narrow alleys.

6. Macau, China

macauAnd from HK, I headed to the another bustling city in China (which China city isn't?)... but this one is even more unique where the heritage rightfully remains on the streets. And yet side by side are the mega casino structures gearing for attention!

7. Bangkok, Thailand

bangkok, thailandI once again visited my most favourite destination, Thailand. Yes, they have the bad traffic jams and people complain about the air pollution.

But the Thai warmth & its ever tourist friendly city makes Bangkok such a wonderful city to keep coming back to! It was this trip too that I first visited the Chatuchak market where independent designs rule!

8. Manila, Tagatay & Boracay, Philippines

manila, philippinesMy first visit to the Philippines was at the land of mega malls, Manila - the place where I learned the term mall-ing. The malls were huge & impressive - and so is the entertainment industry...! (at least in my eyes). And the people - just as friendly as the Thais!

tagaytay, philippinesYummy food & chill weather on top of the hills, with a good view to boot - that's how I find Tagaytay. This trip opened my eyes on the varieties that the Philippines offer for travelers!

boracay, philippinesSea, sand & sun... plus lots of fun, Boracay, is truly one super holiday destination. It gave lots of time to relax yet a lot of sea activities to keep one busy. The long white beach gave beautiful views... and it was here too that I tried my first reef walking!

9. Beijing, China

beijingOnce again I was back in China. Having already seen this grand city before, this trip was more work, but still, I managed to find awe in visiting the Bird's Nest... which like everything else in China (& especially Beijing) - is always grand!

10. Frankfurt & Rudesheim, Germany

frankfurtFrankfurt was exciting as it was my very first out of Asia trip! It was nice to visit a first world destination that is well structured, green & super-ly clean (the cleanest city I've ever seen!).

rudesheimA day trip off Frankfurt, was this cute looking town with its old heritage buildings... by the side of the famous River Rhine. This whole trip was like walking into the postcard images we all have seen Europe for. Here was also where I tried my very first ice wine! (talk about cold & cold! haha).

11. Penang, Malaysia

penangEvery few years, I make a visit to this island city. The food was as usual - good! But what made this trip different was that I stayed in the heritage area and passed a few new places, which could only be enjoyed most by walking. This allowed me to embrace the heritage offerings of the Pearl of the Orient!

12. Kuala Selangor, Malaysia

kuala selangorAgain another half day trip to a place that I've always wanted to visit since years ago after hearing so much about it... Now that I'm in Klang Valley, it was about time. Twinkling fireflies & crabs of many colours at the Nature Reserve makes this a good easy getaway.

13. Cherating, Malaysia
cheratingAnother weekend getaway... and just a few hours drive from Klang Valley is another beach holiday - Cherating! Lazing on the beach in the night just looking at the star studded sky & releasing turtles into the sea made this one amazing trip!

Looking back, 2009 sure was a wonderful year of travels...! It was great to have been able to combine work + travel this 2009! And it was also nice to have completed most of my travel resoloutions :)

As much as I'd like to repeat what I did in 2009 for 2010, however, I forsee that it would be tougher to combine travel + work next year.

I see myself attending more international exhibitions/ fairs overseas & just taking some time off traveling a bit while there... The likelihood of revisiting some of the places above again for work also seems very likely.

However, for leisure, it would be cool if I could visit these places in 2010 (oh yes, my 2010 travel resolutions!):
Chiang Mai, Bangkok again, more cuti-cuti Malaysia (Malaysia holidays) especially northern Peninsula - Kedah, Kelantan, Perak & Perlis... and either one of the islands of Perhentian or Gems island (maybe Bali too). These seem quite do-able if I manage time well and take these as short weekend getaways! :)

And on top of that, it would be a dream come true if i could visit Japan if not USA... and maybe spend some icy winter holiday! :)

*In 2009, I managed to complete 5 out of 7 destinations from my travel list. It's not perfect, but still resolutions do work! How about you - do u have any travel plans in 2010? :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

christmas sunwayHere's wishing all a Merry Christmas! Enjoy the merry making, parties, exchanging gifts & simply being with families & friends! :)

From Singapore To KL: For Real

I remember taking a coach with 2 friends leaving Malacca to pursue another phase of our life - tertiary education. We were heading to a foreign land - but still in many ways similar... where else but non other than Singapore.

uniquely singaporeA ride away & 5 hours in the coach, we arrived. With me were just 2 hand carry luggage.

That was 8 years back. Uni came & went... and I continued being based in the Lion City for another 5 years or so.

klIn between those times, I came back to homeland, Malaysia, quite frequent... mainly for business. Kay El & the rest of Klang Valley became a regular destination - at some point, nearly every other week.

The trips were so frequent that some friends wondered why I don't just move up north. At the initial stage, it was rather okay & bearable.

But too much of time in the journeys (and not to mention the pack - unpack) & , that took a bit of a toll...

kl truly asiaSo by early this year, I was contemplating - maybe I should save time & hassle... & just move to KL. But moving to another city is not an overnight decision...

There were many other factors that ran through my mind. For eg. though moving to KL may seem like a 'homecoming', but it's actually not so - for I've yet to stay in KL before. Yes, there's lots of similarity between these 2 cities, but still the differences is quite contrasting.

Anyway, that is just one of the many factors I considered... and considered I did.

After some months of considering then thinking, I finally decided to move after 8 years - yes to Kay El. Some of my friends, or should I say many of them were surprised... many never ever imagining me living in this capital city of Malaysia.

But hey, I'm here now. How long I'll be here - I don't know. There are some other places that I'd like to go someday... but so far, I'm falling in love with this city more each day & am calling it home :)

*I didn't leave with 2 bags, but instead hired a lorry to carry all the goods from Singapore...!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Little Bit About The Cast... Vanessa Hee

This is definitely one long overdue post.... I've already written on the other 2 Little Nyonyas and now comes the last but not least, Vanessa Hee!

little nyonya, vanessa heeVanessa comes across as the girl-next-door... very sweet & charming. We saw her profile - like it, but one more deciding factor is her determination (she took the effort to meet up & also sent us some audition tapes). So yes, she was in!

big bibik & little nyonyasWe like Vanessa for her demure & sweet look - exactly what we were looking for for the 3rd Nyonya... someone who can 'sweeten' the spice of the other 2 characters.

little nyonya vanessa heeVanessa did well on that, both on set & off. In fact, she can pull off like a Little Nyonya Princess - very demure & ladylike... Bibiks would definitely find her a suitable daughter-in-law!

vanessa hee jeanette awAnd with Justin's styling, she does resemble very close to one of Singapore's most popular actress at the moment, Jeanette Aw. And we say, Awwww!

vanessa hee nyonya kebayaBut of course, although flattered, like most artistes, resemblance is one thing they'd like to be known for...

vanessa heeApart from having the cool sweet looks, Vanessa is also into music. And this is where things get interesting.

When I first met this medical student (talk about brains), she mentions she is into a medical career. But maybe after this short stint on with us on her 1st acting job, she is now considering to go into the media industry.

quachee, vanessa hee
And the thing is - it may not be just acting alone. She after all, has performed in gigs & also compose her own music! Now who would have thought that heh? But if given a chance, go listen to her compositions - it's quite amazing! (Vanessa, if ur reading this, where can the readers listen to your songs?).

So, model now actor, and next musician... guys, take note. She might just be the next big thing from Singapore (& Asia!).

*Btw, do u know - as much as we think she is the demure lady-like girl-next-door, she says she's not...! Haha.

*Vanessa blogs too!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My My, Malaysia

I've mentioned the game we were playing... and one of the questions is "Where would he/ she retire?".

malaysia flagIt's interesting to see that the response has been anything but Malaysia (well except for 1 friend who likes her hometown lots). But as for the rest, the grass seems way greener on the other side...

And it just gets me wondering...

klcc convention centreIs our capital city, Kay El, with its sister city, Pea Jay not cool enough as compared with the other international cities? Could the fact be overcrowding & having too much jam be a push factor to retire elsewhere?

malaysia nature, gua charasAnd while our nature is attracting tourists, but could the too sunny & sometimes rather humid weather just makes the chill-er countries a better option for retirement?

malaysia beach, langkawiOr if one chooses to retire on the islands, then why not in our resort islands, known for its picture perfect beaches? Is the culture in our islands lacking compared to the other well known resort islands in the region? Or that our islands seem lacking in night life to the more open minded islands overseas?

malaysia food, kl hokkien meeAnd if all else fail, couldn't the one thing Malaysians love about Malaysia - the ever available & delicious food... not be a strong enough factor for Malaysians to retire at home?

*Could these other factors also make Malaysians migrate - the education system, the too multi cultural country, the ever 'colourful' politics, the public transportation system, the safety, etc, etc...?

How about you? Where would you want to retire? And why?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Which Superhero?

"Which superhero best represents him/ her?" I asked my group of friends.

This was part of a game we were playing - to see how well we know our friends. We can ask any question, and the group is to guess about each friend.

I thought this game was quite insightful - not just to know our friends better, but also to see deep within, on who we really are... and how our friends/ the world perceive us.

Amongst us, we came up with answers like Batman, Superman, The Incredibles, She-Ra, etc. Most of the time, our superhero mentioned is the idol of that friend. Some of us agreed instantly, while others took some time to ponder - reflecting how true the synonym is.

The game did give me some reflection on who we aspire (look upon), and how we relate to him/ her.

And though we may not think ourselves as superheroes, however, it is worthwhile to think what would our Superhero do if he/ she is trapped in the same situation like us.

Would he/ she complain, make a fuss... or would he rise and do whatever it takes to solve the issue? And how would he/ she do it?

The fact is, if we think like our superheroes, we might just be like them - not on having supernatural powers but more so supernatural positive actions & supernatural attitude.

So, who is your idol superhero? And are you like him/ her? :)

*Some other insightful questions we played were:
Which animal best represents him/ her?
If he/ she could do anything in the world, what would he/ she do?
Where would he/ she retire? (This is coming up next!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

KL Did Snow!

Was at a conference in KL last week and decided to drop by Pavilion after. There was a big crowd at the entrance, anticipating & to witness 'an unbelievable sight'... yes, snow in KL.

A bit of wait, and then, yes, it snowed in KL! Imagine downtown Kuala Lumpur having snow lol.

kl snow pavilionThe crowd was thrilled. And in some instances so was I... after all, it's not everyday we 'witness' such an occasion. True, it's not real snow, but for that one moment, we felt like it was :)

*It really goes to show that everything is possible heh? :)

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Little Bit Of Christmas

Think December and we usually think of something cool... for me, it's usually snow. But well snow is quite impossible (or near impossible in Boleh land)...

However, that doesn't mean Decmeber in the tropics need to be boring. There's still something else to look forward to this time of the year... and there's nothing better than icy cold dessert! (Oh, I just love cold with cold!).

christmas dessert drinkIf you like me who like icy cold dessert (not to mention yummy), then try My Honymoon Dessert. I chanced on this in KL recently.

honeymoon dessert klIt's interesting - for it's such a coincidence of me finding this place in the month December. I came across the shop by chance - first for its ambiance (it has this cosy atmosphere as if one is in the bookstore)... and then I fell in love with its drinks!

christmas drinkI managed to have similar desserts when I was overseas: mango + coconut!)

honyemoon dessertSo now, even without that snow, at least I'm going to be having a chilly good time this December! haha :)

*I've been on a lookout for a good dessert shop in Malaysia ever since being smitten by the icy cold desserts in the Chinese cities (eg. Xiu Liu Shan (HK), the RBT (China/ HK) ). I think I finally found it! :)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Snowing In KL?

snow kl
Heard about the recent rumour that KL is going to have snow? Frankly, I laughed off when I first heard it... but then, nothing seems that impossible in Boleh land right? haha :)

*Personally, I would have loved to see snow right in downtown Kuala Lumpur! That would have made world news, alrite! But anyway, I've got another way to celebrate Christmas in the tropics! That's up next!