Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Tioman 2012

Salam readers. errr readers? haha. Well, it's February already! I haven't been traveling much since Scotland last year, hoping to do so this year! But my friends and I managed to slot Tioman into our schedule last month!

there were six of us; Shazwan, myself, Ayin, Wanie, Yasmin and Acap. We drove an Estima to Jeti Penumpang in Mersing, Johor on the 24th of January. Earlier we already paid for the snorkeling package offered by Sun Beach Resort.

Since there were four girls, we took the budget quad room costing RM285 per person inclusive of ferry transfer (return), the room, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner and 1 BBQ dinner! The price excludes snorkel gear rental RM15 and Marine Park fee RM5. Oh! they gave out free supper as well! =P

Since we were in Tioman just after the monsoon season, it was still suuuuuuper windy! It didn't rain though. Just pure wind. The best part is it makes you feel like you're somewhere overseas. haha.

Scotland 2011

 MasyaAllah! I totally abandoned this sad blog. LOL! Apparently I was writing a post on Scotland! Let's see.....

Assalamualaikum =) It's Ramadhan already! I'm so hyped! May you all have a blessed Ramadhan!

So this time around, I managed to persuade dad to send me to Edinburgh for 2 weeks! Rather than wasting time doing nothing, might as well I travel to undiscovered places, kan?

16/7/2011 (Saturday)

I traveled on Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, that's for transit and took KLM from Amsterdam to Edinburgh! The flight to Amsterdam was a whopping 13 hours filled with movies. haha. Amsterdam's Schipol Airport is quite old fashioned but there's H&M! =D and bookstores all over. That was how I kill time before boarding.

17/7/2011 (Sunday)

I arrived at Edinburgh Airport at nearly 5 in the evening, shops were mostly closed and all I can do is go back to my aunt's place some 30 minutes away and rest. But it was okay I guess since I was pretty tired from the trip. Plus, I had to recharge if I intend to do some walking the days to come =p

18/7/2011 (Monday)

All I did was babysit my little cousin Muaz and help Chik (my auntie) in the kitchen. hihihi.

19/7/2011 (Tuesday)

Some UIA bigshots were in Edinburgh for a follow up with the postgraduates studying in the UK. My aunt and uncle played host again, babysitting was on me. hihi.

20/7/2011 (Wednesday)

Today I got to travel to Livingston with Cik Lan (my uncle), Muaz and 2 of the bigshots' children. Livingston is a factory outlet where you can find H&M, Topshop, Topman, Nike, Levi's, Debenhams, Peacock, Internacionale and many others. They're definitely cheaper than Malaysia but not necessarily dirt cheap.

21/7/2011 (Thursday)

Today is the day. We rented a car to travel to Southern England. Cik Lan and Chik had it all planned and I purposely changed my flight ticket to fit this trip! haha.


so that is where the story ends! haha. i'll just post pictures and names of places. That'll be waaaaay more interesting than reading.

the architecture

Reason why I love Edinburgh is the buildings!

Best place to get Fish and Chips is in Ramsgate!

Writers Museum


Thistle - Edinburgh's national flower

one of the many churches in Edinburgh

This was phenomenal!

Lands End, the southern end of England, the other one is Dover

No English vacation is English until you've had scones!

Cornish icecream!

To end our England trip

Edinburgh, Scotland

No Cornwall trip is complete without Cornish Pastry!

Dover Port

I DO!!

Ramsgate, England

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Cameron Highlands 2011

This is definitely the cutest plan we have ever made. The Bangians and I were supposed to go to Perak for some white water rafting but we ended up going to Cameron instead. What's best is that the ones who went were those I feel most comfortable with and with comfortable company comes FUN! =)

There were 9 of us! Shazwan, Acap, Faiz, Nirman, Adib, Wanie, Elli, Ayin and myself. The girls were busy looking for cheap places to stay up on the hill and we found Aaron Apartment! Alhamdulillah, it was definitely God sent. It was the last weekend of school holiday and we were so worried about traffic jams and fully booked hotels! We gave Mrs Selvam, the owner of the apartment a call and confirmed that we're spending the night on the 10th of June, Friday! That cost us just RM220, divided by 9 *winkwinksavingsaving* 

We took the Simpang Pulai way up and the Tapah road down. Tapah road really sucks but it's definitely faster! Plus, there Lata Iskandar to stop by and eat pisang goreng by the awesome waterfall!

Strawberry Farm

If you are wondering of things to do in Cameron Highlands, fear not! Spend 3 days and 2 nights to really appreciate the cold air, the fresh veggies and the awesome experience of picking strawberries! =D This trip was not as costly unless you plucked too many strawberries or borong tonnes of tea =p we had to pay RM20 for 1/2kg strawberries, the vegetables prepacked cost from 6,8,10,12,16 packets for RM10, and tea bags are sold for a variety of prices! I bought a packet of mixed flavour tea - strawberry, masala, orange, lemon and blackcurrant for RM9! =)

There are so many nature related things to do up in Cameron, go hiking, ride a bike around Tanah Rata town, climb up the Mossy Boardwalk, swim at Lata Iskandar, walk along the pretty sight of tea plants and strawberry farms, definitely worth going!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Yogyakarta 2011

oh ho ho this is one delayed post alright -_-' wrote about it a week after i got back but didn't think it was informative enough. now i guess is the time?

Alhamdulillah =) been given time off visiting around Malaysia and out thanks to the short semester break! hehe. I have just spent 4 days and 3 nights in Yogyakarta, tagging along Shazwan's family trip! It was enjoyable! Yogyakarta (pronounced Jogja) is an excellent place for sightseeing, hardly for shopping. The 10 of us arrived in Jogja's Adi Sucipto Airport at 9am local time (Malaysia is an hour later).

DAY 1 - 2/5/2011 (Monday)
10 seater ride
Muzium Kereta Karaton

outside the museum
 Our tour guide, Kak Dini brought us firstly to Kraton - the royal area where the Sultan's palace is situated. We visited the Muzium Kareta Kraton which is where they placed all the horse-drawn carriages used for ages! There is even one that is gold-plated!

Next, we checked out the Palace. The Sultan - Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana the Tenth still lives here and he has nearly 2000 servants! Oh! This is the reason why Jogja is a bit special to the extent that its known as Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta! Because it is governed by a sultan! 

musical instrument still used today
the ceiling in the Sultan's display area - chandelier was a gift from Holland

After our tour, we had lunch at Bale Raos - the restaurant is situated within the palace grounds and it serves the royal cuisines aside from the regular "makanan kota"!

Since the old folks were already tired, we headed to our hotel in the Borobudur district. It was an hour drive there and I slept most of the time! Only when I heard kak Dini's announcement about the area being the affected area during the Merapi eruption last year did I wake!

We stayed at the Manohara Hotel which is right in front of Borobudur temple. Last thing I remembered upon arrival was dinner and TIDOQ!
view from my room

DAY 2 - 3/5/2011 (Tuesday)

We started the morning with a few minutes walk towards Borobudur listening to the tour guide's explanation on when, how, where, why Borobudur. hehe. Borobudur temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the ninth century. It is 10 storeys high and we can only climb up to the 7th because the last three storeys were closed. Even the old folks climbed up to the 7th floor! hehehe.

Oh! Please note that within those bricks is just a hill! They built the temple around it and covered it up! In order to know the story of how Gauthama Buddha became Buddha, make sure you start from the first brick and go clockwise! Read the carvings on the bricks, they'll tell you the story =)

the first block 
one of the many buddha statues
group photo
where we spent the night
 After breakfast and all, we were all packed up, ready to head to Jogja city. On the way there, we made stops at a batik centre, silver making centre and had lunch at Sekar Kedhaton, an ancient building housing ancient furniture and really polite and soft spoken Javanese. Like really polite wei.

one of the many designs, this one is batik cop
dishes served at Sekar Kedhaton - they have the crunchiest acar and tastiest beef kicap!

group photo at Sekar Kedhaton

Since we were all tired from hiking up Borobudur, we get to check in our hotel earlier. hehe. In Jogja, we stayed at the Grand Palace hotel. We were scheduled for a dinner at this restaurant with the Prambanan temple as backdrop. It was amazing, SubhanAllah! We also watched the Ramayana Ballet, an event held exclusively to tell the story of Ramayana and his love, Sita as well as his nemesis Mahabharata.

DAY 3 - 4/5/2011 (Wednesday)

Alhamdulillah. Day 3 was one that I looked forward the most because we get to visit Mount Merapi, one of the few active volcanoes in the Java land. It is the same volcano which erupted just recently, late October 2010 killing hundreds and causing thousands to go homeless. On our way there, we also passed by Universitas Gadjah Mada, one of the oldest universities in Indonesia.

cold lava passing through the river. this is the same river that brought the hot lava from the eruption, straight into villages and homes.
Mount Merapi
 As we headed back to the city, Kak Dini was telling us how people still ignored the government's order and moved back to their homes around Merapi. I guess there is the sense of belonging no matter how dangerous and difficult the situation is.
Nasi Padang for lunch
 It was our last day in Jogja and we're taking the earliest flight out the next day, Kak Dini made sure we all get to ride on the horse drawn carriage from the Malioboro market to the hotel. Malioboro is the place to shop for cheap batiks but of less quality. We bought most of our batiks from Mirota Batik. 

 DAY 4- 5/5/2011 (Thursday)

The Jogja government imposes a 100,000 rupiah airport tax per person that you must pay upon entering the boarding hall. So make sure you don't spend all your rupiahs! There's also a souvenir shop where you can get Bakpia (Indonesian kuih), Kopi Jawa and teaaaaaa!

 All in all, Jogja has been very fascinating! I loved the old feeling I get there and how tradition is still strong. Oh, one obvious thing is that despite the fact that most are Muslims, they have a very Hindu-oriented culture. It's definitely an eye opener for those keen about history =)

Grand Palace hotel