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Friday, February 27, 2015

5 THINGS I WILL BUY FROM LAZADA

Friday, February 27, 2015 2 Comments
I have been a great fan for lazada.com.my ever since my first purchase from them last year. I was skeptical at first but gave it a shot and never regret ever since. I will look out for their great sales and promotion day to get item needed with great bargain.

3 criteria for lazada.com.my to get sales from me?

1. discount and promotion price.
2. product with sold and fulfill by lazada
3. good ratings and review from past customer

3 things make me continue loyal to lazada :

1. prompt delivery
2. good bargain
3. good quality product and to date they yet to disappoint me.

3 things I bought from lazada last year 2014 ( In reality , I bought more than 3 things..*face pal,m*) :

3. Infrared cooker


 
5 things,  I want to buy from lazada in year 2015?

1. Power bank
2. Air Fryer
3. Foot bath with reflexology
4. Samsung Galaxy / Xiomi Smartphone
5. Face steamer

*** Disclaimer : This post is an entry for the ShopCoupons Blogger Contest.

Have a good online shopping weekend with Lazada!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WHAT TO EAT AT BUKIT TINGGI-PADANG,INDONESIA

Thursday, February 26, 2015 2 Comments
I was told by my driver there is dedicated hospital for stroke patient at Bukit Tinggi. Why?
Bukit Tinggi people love to eat food with lots of coconut milk and rich with fats.

When you enter a restaurant, the waiters will served you with lots of dishes like in photo below. You can choose what you like to eat and put aside the one not to your liking. I almost deduct all of them when Mum end up commented what left to eat then....eheh!!! sorry!!!!

I don't really fancy Padang food. Not my preference at all. I may spoil with too many choices but it really not to my liking since it was cold dishes and most cook with coconut milk.

I did requested them to reheat the grilled fish with thought I could at least eat that. To my disappointment, it was slight warm which nearly cold. huh? My first day lunch I end up eat rice with just green chillies. isk isk isk


Top left : Grilled Prawn
Top right : Fried Cumi aka Squid
Bottom : Soup Kepiting aka Crabs

Seafood at Padang beach is quite edible and cheap for us. My Dad said this is the most delicious meal through out our trip. I guess this is because it was made to order.


Top left : Fried Tempe with delicious sauce (My family and I love this one and we end up ordered 2 plates of this at one sitting)
Top right : Grilled Cumi aka Squid
Bottom left : Fried Cumi aka Squid
Bottom right : Mixed Vege Stir Fried

This one was during our dinner. I requested driver to bring us to place which made to order. At least we can eat it hot. Not bad! I end up requested him to bring us here again on our final day lunch.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PLACES TO VISIT AT PADANG, INDONESIA

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 2 Comments
Yesterday post was on 2 nights at Bukit Tinggi and today will be on Padang. I stayed 1 night at here. I don't really like the messy environment at Padang. I preferred Bukit Tinggi where is more calm and greenery view.

We reached Padang at about evening and end up requesting the driver to bring us somewhere to enjoy seafood dinner with sunset view.



Padang Beach is beautiful with sunset


Lovely view on our first night in Padang.

The next day which is final day for us. We end up travel one hour from hotel , climbing up the hill to visit the beach with the replica of 'Malim Kundang'.

Malim Kundang is a legend of poor man who left parent to seek opportunity else where and he end up married a rich man daughter. He came back to his hometown by ship with his rich and beautiful wife. The parent was very happy to hear his coming and the poor old parent went by the ship with Malim Kundang's favourite food 'smoke banana'. Malim Kundang is a bad son. He pretended not to know his poor parent and refused to acknowledge him.

Mother was very upset so pray him to be cursed. He end up become stone together with the ship.


See the knee down man and the ship ropes and barrels too???
I doubt its the original and this is the human built replica but those people around keep insisting this is the original and not man made except for the 'Malim Kundang's head which is rebuilt due to missing from it place.


Is this the true one?

I am not sure. It look like the original rock instead of man made though!


On the way to airport we pass through the 'Siti Nurbaya's Bridge' and this come with another legend too. Like my driver said, Bukit Tinggi and Padang is full with legends.

We pass through a very small China Town too.


Dad insist on taking photo at Padang beach for last time before we go to airport.


Again my Dad who is a retired army insist to stop at the Cemetery of the patriot and also the biggest university of Padang.

There you go our 4D/3N touring Bukit Tinggi - Padang, West Sumatera.

My next post will be on what I ate in Bukit Tinggi - Padang trip.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

PLACES TO VISIT AT BUKIT TINGGI, INDONESIA

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 3 Comments
I was touring Bukit Tinggi - Padang, Indonesia on 14th Feb - 17th Feb 2015. Seriously, this place isn't my choice of place to visit at all. Not even tiny bit in my traveling list. I was here as tour leader to my old folk.
Feb 14th , is my Dad's birthday and this is sort of his birthday present from me. Dad officially 73 years old and Mum is coming to 67 years old coming May 5th.

Bringing old people, make me realise my future. huhuhuh...I am going to be like them traveling and the different ...I don't have the children privilege to bring me around. I am sort of lonely old woman traveler soon. DAMN!

I purchase air ticket online from Air Asia and hire a mini van with driver. Itinerary based on my online research prior to this journey.

Where to visit in 2 nights at Bukit Tinggi?



1. Air Terjun , Lembah Anai. 
Entrance fees IDR3,000/pax.

What you can see?

Waterfall. There were legend saying the water is a fountain of youth.
You believe that?
Well, I still see many old people in Bukit Tinggi ,though.
So you can make your own conclusion.


2. Rumah Gadang aka Tourist Information Center.

Pay IDR5,000/pax
This is a must place to visit for better understanding of 'Minang' people and their custom.
I sort of enjoy here the most.

You can listen to the lady in charge telling you the stories. Seriously, I enjoyed listening to her the most.  I love the landscape and surrounding here.

You can pay to wear the Minang's costume and take photo. I paid for both my parent. While waiting for them to change...kekekeke...'Project Supermodel' pose! kakakaka...nobody can say anything to this woman.


3. Pasar Atas and Jam Gadang

For those who love shopping? Can visit Pasar Atas to shop your favourite embroidery cloth and 'telekung' for prayer and also souveniers. I am not a shopping type , so don't really fancy this crowded place at all.

However, since this is just like walkign distance from place I stayed so no harm to have a quick look of this place since I already here.

Did I bring my parent here? Nope! They can't walk here. I brought them to boutique where driver can easily stop in front of the shop and require less walking for them.


4. Kopi Kiniko and Pisang Salai

Here you can see how people make 'pisang salai' or 'smoke banana'. I don't like banana so don't really like this.


At same place can sample 'mulberry tea' and 'coffee leaf tea' with cinnamon stick while enjoying the beautiful view of Bukit Tinggi.
I kind of like the view and bought back 'Mulberry Leaf and Coffee Leaf tea ' back home.

You can shop many 'sanjai' or snacks here too.


On the way to Istana Pagar Ruyung, you can ask the driver to have a quick stop at:

5. 'Batu Bersurat'


6.The King's Thomb.


 7. Silindung Bulan Palace

All this is on the way to the Grand Palace.

8. Pagaruyung Minangkabau Palace.
Entrance fees : IDR12,000/pax

Since I was with old parent so the first thing I did is to pay extra IDR5,000/pax for mini train ride to tour around the big compound of this Grand Palace.


I could describe this place as stunning architecture even thought this is not the original one.



9. Lake Singkarak

It look like an ocean than a lake. This Singkarak water is use to generate power for the West Sumatra and Riau provinces. It specialty is a small fish called 'ikan bilih'. According to my driver the taste is sweeter than normal anchovies. Not sure since I never taste this.




10. Oldest mosque

According to the old man who is the guardian here, this place was built in 18th century. I can't verified this since my Dad are the only one interested to listen to him. hehehehe...me was busy taking photo and scaring my mum. yeah...naughty woman!

11. Sianok Canyon
Entrance fees IDR3,000/pax which combined with Japanese Tunnel 

This place is near the Japanese Tunnel so you can combined the tour. It has stunning natural view. I love the scenery here.


12. Japanese Tunnel

I paid local tour guide extra RM50 to tell us the history of this Tunnel since parent are so extremely excited, to walk down the Japanese Tunnel and going through the 132 staircase down.  No choice the lazy fat ass daughters have to follow down too.

Our driver was so shocked to receive a call from the tour guide to pick us from the other side of the tunnel. Who can expect that 67 and 73 years old woman and man walk down that staircase and going through that long tunnel.

All I can say ...I am very touch with my parent high motivation through out this journey despite their movement limitation.


13. Stop at Kelok 37 to admire the nice view

14. Stop at 44 hairpin curved for a beautiful view to the lake Manijau and Pariaman. Sorry no photo since we didn't stop here since the weather its not that good.

Tips :

- Journey to each places may take around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- The road is curvy and up and down hills , so for those who cannot take such routes please be well prepared. 
- You can also spend with MYR currency in Bukit Tinggi
- This place is haven for people with good bargain skills. I am damn bad at this so no shopping for me.

Check out my next post on place to visit at Padang, West Sumatra.

Monday, February 16, 2015

MY LIFETIME JOURNEY TO ONE OF WORLD'S GREATEST ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES

Monday, February 16, 2015 19 Comments
 
 
In Mar 2013, I went to Yangon ,Myanmar for work related business. I end up extended my trip to another state of Myanmar called Bagan. Bagan located in central of Burma or current name Myanmar. To my excitement, Bagan is one of the world's greatest archeological sites, a sight to rival Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat for the time being at least. This is the richest archeological site in Southeast Asia with more than 13,000 temples once stood and there are some 2,200 monuments still standing and some 2,000 in ruins. This place once know of glorious capital of the First Myanmar Empire, is now 42 square km area dotted with thousands of ancient pagodas, stupas , shrines, ordination halls and monuments.

When I arrived at this place, I was so mesmerized with the landscape and feel 'aw' in the 'Lost World Kingdom'. At the end of my journey, I was overdosed with temples, pagodas and stupas.

HOW TO GET TO BAGAN , MYANMAR?
 
Yangon Domestic Airport

By Air
It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to fly from Yangon to Bagan. There are daily flights to Bagan from Yangon and also regular flights from another city ,Mandalay which take only 20 minutes. You can check out few domestic airlines in Myanmar to get to Bagan or Nyaung U Airport. The Air Ticket from Yangon will cost around USD65 or more. Myself took Yangon Airways for my trip. There are other reputable domestic airlines which you can try such as AirMandalay , Myanma Airways and Air Bagan (I am not sure whether you dare to take this since their plane crashed at HEHO airport in year 2012 which left one killed and few injured passenger.

Be mentally prepared to take small plane and it will stop at few places before reach to destination Nyaung Oo Airport, Bagan. I remembered the plane I took was YANGON - NAYPITHAW - HEHO - MANDALAY - BAGAN. They may said it is 1 hour and 20 minutes journey but to me it was more than that. I remember took 1:30pm flight and reached Nyaung U at almost evening time. The sun is setting down.

If you are more adventurous type and don't mind to spend hours of journey. You can opt to take train or by bus or boat. Of course it will be cheaper cost but it will be a painstaking journey that you will remember entire life.

By Train - 7 hours
By Bus - if you leave with afternoon bus then you will reach Bagan in the next morning.
By Boat - 14 to 17 hours

 
Nyaung Oo Airport, Bagan
If you see the 4th photo bottom right, that was how the Nyaung U , Airport people handle all your luggage. There will be lining of people dragging your luggage down from the plane. They will asking for tips to release your luggage. They tried that to me but I was so firm on not giving out anything and reached out to the driver I hired in advance for help.

ENTERING BAGAN

You have to pass through a ticket booth where you need to present passport to purchase a USD10 ticket valid for your entire stay. These passes are needed for accommodation and hostels during check in. They will take down the ticket number.

From Nyaung Oo Airport to New Bagan will take you around 15 - 20 minutes by car.

WHERE TO STAY IN BAGAN?

Bagan Thande Hotel
I chose to stay at Bagan Thande Hotel which located Old Bagan City. To my liking this Hotel is located overlooking the Ayeyawaddy River and ancient pagodas. This place is beautifully surrounds with birds' sanctuary and wild flowers garden.

I really hate to sleep in twin bed room since I was traveling alone. The eerie feelings like somebody is watching me sleeping from other bed. Other than the bed arrangement, I have no complaint. I love the peace and greenery surrounding of this place.

WHERE TO VISIT IN BAGAN?


Do your homework before travel to this place. Reason? You will not be able to visit all thousands of pagodas right? By end of the day you will be spoil and had enough of pagodas and temple visits. I was there for only 2 nights. I chose the most famous pagodas to visit.

Some of the famous pagodas with some great history behind the existence are :


Impressive view point for photo shoot at Ananda Temple (really proud of this beautiful shot I took)
The Ananda Temple completed in AD 1091 by King Kyanzitta. This temples known as the 'Mother of All Temples' in Bagan. The uniqueness of this temple , it was designed as a square with four large vestibules entering symmetrically from each side forming a perfect Greek. There are 4 inches deep in the temple facing the four cardinal compass points and each containing a single 31 foot tall standing Buddha status representing the four previous Buddha's. Synonym with its title the 'Mother of all temples ' this place is rich with all arts, architecture, glazed plaque, woodcarving, terra cotta and many other stone sculptures.

I could say this temple is a fusion of Mon and India architectural. It was clear that there is strong influence of Indian Architecture here. Ananda Temple is an Indian Temple built in Myanmar. According to my guide there is another similar one call Anantha cave temple in Udayagiri hills in Orissa , India.

Inside Ananda Temple

Surrounding Ananda Temple


Shwezigon Pagoda

Shwezigon Pagoda
Shwezigon Pagoda look fabulous under the bright moonlight. From 5 terraces the golden shaped stuppa providing lovely view illuminated landmark at night. The build of this pagoda started by King Anawratha but completed by his son , King Kyansittha and this is the biggest and the most important pagoda in Myanmar. It enshrined Buddha's tooth, collarbone and frontlet bone.

This place are glazed stone plaques on which scenes from 550 Jatakas (Buddha's birth stories) are depicted. The color of glaze is mostly green.

Htilo Minlo Temple

Htilo Minlo Temple
Htilo Minlo Temple was built in A.D 1218 by King who has three names, Zeya Theinkha, Nan Taung Mya Min and Htilo Minlo Min. Legend, I was told King Narapati had five sons. He wanted Zeya Theinkha to be his sucessor. However, he still need to play fair to all his sons. He used white umbrella which is on of the royal regalia to choose the deserving son. Fortunately the white umbrella iclined towards Zeya Theinkha and he was name as Crown Prince. When Zeya Theinkha became King he built this Pagoda and onteh stie of the white umbrella inclined toward him.Htilo Minlo means the King favoured by the white umbrella and the father King.

The architecture of this temple is quite unique since it was built with no iron or wooden beam to buttress. They were built of bricks and cement only. There glazed sandstone tiles of green and yellow colour decorated the structure. If you read glazing requires high temperature. Only skilled technicians can produces such decorative art .

Dhammayan Gyi Temple

Dhammayan Gyi Temple - inside

Dhammayan Gyi Temple - surrounding
I felt the goosebumps rose to my neck ,when I arrived at Dhammayan Gyi Temple. I asked my tour guide, why this temple look gloomy and full of dark secrets. He was so surprise with my question and asked whether I have read about this temple before hand? My answer was no, and I am not prepared to visit this one. I told him it was my six sense feelings. He told me my sense was indeed , right! This temple is full of dark history.

Dhammayan Gyi Temple was built by King Narathu in A.D. 1170. This cave in temple resemble Egyption Pyramid Shape from a distance view.

It was said that King Narathu built it in A.D.1170 and fin-ished it in 3 years. The king reigned only 3 years. Viewed from a distance its shape is like an Egyption pyramid. King Narathu was known committed many political killings which included killing his old father Alaung Sithu, his elder brother Min Shin Saw and his Queen Pe-Thida.

King Narathu built Dhammayan Gyi temple and became repent and feeling remorse to his own brutal crimes, he concealed off the inner corridors, windows and light wells so as to rescind his sins.

I was told the construction of this Temple was so details. Every brick -laying walling ans spanning concealed without hole in between King Narathu will chopped off the hand of worker who lay off the brick with needle can insert in between of the bricks.


climbed the stiff staircase on Pagoda to view the sunset. Be prepared to have you face swept by big 'ass'. lol

 I can spend few days talking about Temples and Pagodas ,I visited with full of excitement. But if I did, then some of you may never return to my website since I bored you to death!

SUNRISE AND SUNSET VIEW
Other activities you can do here in Bagan is to view the sunset and also sunrise. I went for sunset view but skip the sunrise. I was planning to take the hot air balloon for sunrise but it was an adhoc trip so I unable to get in since this activity require early booking and it depends to the weather too. I wish I could do this 45 minutes flights on hot air balloon to view the sunrise with fabulous view of mountains, temples and rural village life.

BOATING
You can also try the cruise along the famous Ayeyarwaddy river. This will be an awesome experience too.

TRANSPORTATION TO GO AROUND BAGAN
Temple site is too big to explore by foot. For those who are hunger for more adventure to explore more can rent bike. Most hotels offer bicycle for rent. Since I am a solo woman traveler so I hire a driver with sedan car with air cond. Hahahaha...talking about adventure in style!

Most driver speak English. My driver told me he learn English by watching BBC News and practice. He bought his old sedan car for USD25,000 through hard earned money as farmer. He learn and upgrading his knowledge in history of Bagan and each temples and pagoda to ensure he can explain it well to his visitors. I really 'salute' his perseverance striving to improve his family living condition from poor farmer to a decent one.

Other transportation you can opt to is Horse Cart. But since Bagan is always dry and it will be very dusty to ride on Horse Cart to travel around.


MOUNT POPA
Since I took evening flight on my last day in Bagan, so I told my Driver to bring me visit Mount Popa. On the way to Mount Popa , he stop me at one of Village Industries to see the coconut candies, Sesame seeds, groundnuts and delicious local snacks produce.







The Drive told me the Mt Popa is said to be the core of an extinct volcano with the height of 1500 meter above sea. This place is well know as the oasis of the central Myanmar dry zone. Mt Popa is also well known with its powerful Nats (Spirit) and also place for major pilgrim destinations.

I was told my driver , I need to walk up to the shrines on top of that hill which I wisely skip since I don't have whole day compete with the locals since its weekend. He end up brings me to Mt Popa Resort which own by one of Myanmar Tycoon. I have my peaceful time adoring the natural surrounding and best view and have my lunch which apparently my dinner too. 

I would suggest to overnight here at Mt Popa because this place is tastefully constructed with lushes  greenery natural surrounding.


 WHAT TO EAT?

 
Food in Myanmar is oily for me

visit 'The Moon' famous vegetarian cafe in Bagan

Food at The Moon is awesome and I recommend to try Papaya Salad, Avocado Guacamole and Authentic Pumpkin Ginger soup

TIPS 


- Bring plenty of cash. US Dollars can be used and exchanged but as the local currency (kyat) has appreciated so it has become more attractive to local businesses.
- This one is really IMPORTANT : make sure your US Dollar notes as pristine and crisps as possible. They would not hesitate reject you Dollar even your side unable to find the wrong of your dollar. They are damn choosy too. So make sure as new as possible! No bend note too.
- Only exchange money in shops and hotels only.
- Take proper care of your luggage or you end up in the tug war situation with the potters
- Be firm and update your knowledge with currency exchange or you end up getting cheat.
- Dress conservatively since you will be visiting many temples, pagodas and shrines
- Wear proper shoes that easily to take off when visit those holy places. 
- Bring shoe bag too. Don't risk yourself to come out from one of those pagodas,temples or shrines and find your shoes are missing.
- Some temples don't accept women to enter
- Not advisable to drink tap water
- Don't shake hand with monks and nun. As respectful gesture it is appropriate to offer a small bow.
- Bring hat for hot sun head covers. 
- Pamper yourself with lots of sunscreen.
- Enjoy yourself


I visited many Temples and Pagados in my 3 days journey to Bagan. For some people it may be a meaningless same old place. For me, I love the history and stories for each sites. I was mesmerized with the brilliant architecture and engineering during the ancient times. I wonder how they manage to do the accurate measure with limited advance technologies like we have in this modern days. I wish to visit there again and spend more days and also visit to another interesting city call Mandalay and HEHO.

Do you find my write up interesting?

Drop me a comment to motivate me for more such write up!