Of Red Dragon Fruit and Beetroot

I usually bring food from home when I go to work.

Last Friday, I packed one cut red dragon fruit and dad’s fruit juice which contained beetroot to work. I arrived at work by 9 am and started indulging in my dragon fruit and juice. By 11 am, I had a huge urge to poop. Haha.

I’ve been having sufficient intake of fibre recently so I poop as fast as I pee. So after pooping I was wiping myself when I noticed the toilet paper had some RED stains/residue/mark. At first I thought my period came, but, my period just came last week so it can’t be. Then I thought that maybe my anus was bleeding, but it can’t be as well cause it didn’t hurt. Lol

Few moments later did I realise that I had a sudden huge dose of red fibres that dyed my poop red. Haha. I found it hilarious and texted my parents and WC immediately.

Phone Calls

WC and I are a text-messaging couple. We are hardly on the phone with each other and even if we are, on average it lasts less than 2 minutes. Haha. Usually our phone calls consists of immediate reminders.

The reason why (when we are apart) we communicate through text messages is (according to WC) so that our hands can be free and we can still be doing our own stuffs. Some may say that “then he or she is not giving you 100% attention”. Well we’ve gone past that phase. Haha. I used to think that way, but not anymore. There’s always a more positive explanation to that.

I like receiving phone calls, though no one really calls me and I don’t have much to say. Sometimes I get calls from Azzam and/or Naim which is always a pleasant surprise. My Mom and Dad usually wait for my calls, or they only call me when they want to inform me about something or need me to run errands. So yeah, I’m used to not having phone calls.

WC is a caveman in the 21st century that dislikes communicating thru a small screen. Haha. After a few years of good and bad communications, we have come to terms that for anything urgent we call, otherwise text messaging is preferred so that we can still be going on with our own daily routine. But of course the most ideal communication for both of us is being physically present, which is achievable a few days a week.

Anyways, a couple of days back, I was probably still recovering from jet lag and didn’t manage to fall asleep till after 4 am. Guess what, I was awoken by a phone call from WC! Haha. It was close to 1 pm (I usually wake up around 8 am, latest 10 am) when he called. He called cause he hasn’t heard from me for so long and he was worried, what a dear. His phone call made my day, probably made my week. Haha

Oh, and WC ends his calls super quick. Like that millisecond you start saying “b” in “bye”, his thumb is already at the end call icon, and the moment you reach “e”, the call has ended.

 

 

Kedah 1.0

My mid semester break for the semester is coming to an end now. I spent the first half of my break writing a bit of my thesis and carrying out experiments for my final year project.

A while back, I came across this article about Nasi Lemak flavoured ice cream by Skream Softserve and I’ve been wanting to try it. It is located in Alor Setar, which is about an hour and a half drive from my campus in Nibong Tebal. But you don’t just drive 80 miles for ice cream, at least WC wouldn’t allow that. Haha.

So I suggested a day trip (more like half day trip) to Alor Setar and WC agreed! I titled this post Kedah 1.0 cause I may visit other parts of Kedah in the future. Alor Setar is the state capital of Kedah, also the second largest city in Kedah after Sungai Petani, Kedah.

I did a little bit of research and planning prior to our day trip, the internet was my sole reference. I guess if you knew locals there would be more recommended places to go to (?). This post is my version of what to do in Alor Setar / what to eat in Alor Setar

WC and I left campus around 8.30 am and grabbed McD’s at Autocity for breakfast. Our first stop was Tun Dr Mahathir’s birthplace / Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir Mohamad.

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From the name of this landmark, I assume that his mother gave birth to him in this house and not at a hospital. There were several attap dwellings around his home, there was an office, a hall, and two of them were exhibitions.

This landmark was a pretty good place to visit. It gave us an insight into the younger days of our fourth and longest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia, from his school days to his career as a doctor. There were even trivial answers to why his name, children names and (some of) his siblings starts with the alphabet ‘M’!

His home in Alor Setar has since been labelled as a historical building and restored by the National Archives in 1992. This landmark opens 10 am – 5 pm daily (closed on Mondays). Take note that you have to remove your footwear before entering the house of any of the exhibitions. Entrance is also free of charge and there is ample parking spots!

Fun fact: WC helped a family whose manual car couldn’t start.

Location: No. 18, Lorong Kilang Ais Off Jalan Pegawai Seberang Perak, Kedah, 05000 Alor Setar, Malaysia

Next we went to Wat Nikrodharam, the only place of worship we visited, a significant Buddhist shrine in Alor Setar.

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Wat is a Buddhist monastery or temple (in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos). The architecture of this temple reflects strong Thai influence and minor Chinese motifs. We didn’t exactly enter the temple, we just explored the outer grounds of the temple. It was a beautiful sanctuary, with a couple of old, kinda sickly looking stray dogs hanging around. They don’t bite or come near you so don’t worry.

There was also this room (I think) where there were a few waxed figurines of monks at an altar! It was pretty realistic and for a moment I had to double check with WC if it was real. We concluded that it was fake, but it just might be really really still monks. They were kinda creepy though.

Location: Between Jalan Telok Wanjah and Jalan Stadium, next to the city’s primary roundabout.

After the short visit to the temple, we headed to No. 8 Curry House for lunch. It may be called curry house, but it’s not your typical mamak. Initially we couldn’t find the place, either there isn’t a signboard or we didn’t see it. But it’s not hard to find if you know what it looks like.

If you see a woody, brick-y dark brown architecture with lots of plants around it, that’s the one. There’s a few parking spots in the compound of the restaurant but most people just park by the roadside. So WC and I went in and we found a spot to sit, and we waited for a moment, no one served us. Haha.

You have to go to the counter to order your food, and then they will serve you. This place is famous for its fish head curry, so we ordered that, some mutton curry, and some long beans.

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I’m usually not a big fan of fish dishes but I thought that the fish head curry was great! Even the mutton and long beans tasted good. It was a satisfying meal for me. We weren’t charged for drinks so I assume that they give out free flow of beverages. They only have three choices of drinks – herbal tea, Chinese tea and table water.

Our meal costed RM 37 – fish head curry (RM 29), mutton curry (RM 3), long beans (RM 3), two servings of plain rice (RM 2). WC and I thinks that we got undercharged for the mutton curry, mutton ain’t that cheap.

Location: 8A, Jalan Lumpur, Off Jalan Putra, Alor Setar 05100, Kedah, Malaysia

Once our tummy was filled, we went to Pekan Rabu at Ukir Mall. Although Pekan Rabu literally means Wednesday (rabu) Market (pekan), it is open all week long from 9am to 7 pm. I read that Pekan Rabu sells a variety of items from tidbits to handicrafts so I had high hopes for this place cause I love food and crafty stuffs.

However, I was let down. Haha. There was just a short stretch outside Ukir Mall that sold tidbits, and there wasn’t much variety, mostly repetitive. Inside Ukir Mall, I think 80% of the stall sold Muslim clothing while the other 20% were rattan crafts and other miscellaneous stores.

The atmosphere there was pretty still, I was expecting it to be more like Central Market / Pasar Seni of Kuala Lumpur. Haha. Nevertheless, the tidbit vendors there were nice. They allowed us to sample dodols and bahulus before purchasing them. We bought RM 10 worth of dodols and RM 10 worth of bahulus. They were made fresh and fresh dodols and bahulus taste amazing!

Location: Ukir Mall, Bandar Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

Next we went to the one the most prominent landmark of Alor Setar, the Alor Setar Tower Menara Alor Setar. It serves as a telecommunications tower and also a tourist attraction. Our tickets costed RM 9 per pax. We were the only ones there when we went around 1.45 pm.

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This tower is 165.5 meters tall but the observation deck is only at a height of 88 meters. So we were just slightly above half of the entire height of the tower. It was a beautiful afternoon and we had a clear view of the city with some clouds dotting the background.

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On the observation deck, there were Nikon binoculars which are free of charge to use.

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We spent quite a long time up there, taking photos and timelapse videos. That was the only photo of WC throughout the whole trip. Haha. There were also some stalls at the entrance of the tower, but most of them were closed. Maybe because it’s a weekday and there weren’t any crowd.

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Check out this timelapse of Alor Setar Tower and its surroundings!

Location: Lot 99, Lebuhraya Darul Aman, 05100, Alor Star,Kedah Darul AmanMalaysia.

Our next stop was the Kedah Royal Museum in which we had some trouble finding because there was some ongoing construction at its main entrance. it was mid of the day and we were the second batch of visitors. The lady security guard there was really friendly and helpful, she even spoke good English!

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The museum is also in the form of an attap dwelling. It is bigger than it looks. In it there were artifacts from the Sultans of Kedah, and also some interesting trivial facts. We had a pretty informative time I would say. Haha. The current Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Adbul Halim served as the 5th and 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, first and only Sultan to hold the position twice!

Location: Medan Bandar, Kedah, 05400 Alor Setar, Malaysia

Finally our last stop is Caffe Diem that’s located in Pekan Cina! Skream Softserve is a small ice cream stand/booth located inside Caffe Diem. Both Caffe Diem and Skream Softserve operates separately. We arrived and ordered a Nasi Lemak ice cream (RM 10) from Skream Softserve.

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The ice cream is made with lemongrass and coconut to recreate the flavour of Nasi Lemak, and topped with cucumber, halved quail’s egg, fried anchovies and peanuts, and not to forget sambal! Many were sceptical about this combination but I loved it! Even WC, an anti-dessert person (but a Nasi Lemak lover) said it was nice.

A couple years back WC’s coursemates asked him if he could have any flavour of ice cream, what would it be? His answer was Nasi Lemak ice cream. I guess Melissa Tan, the founder of Skream Softserve heard him. Haha.

We posted this photo online and the main response that WC got was “disgusting”, while the main response I got were doubts about the taste. Well I can assure you that it does not taste one bit disgusting. I also can’t describe the taste of the ice cream because the flavour is just unique and you have to try it for yourself to understand it. I would have loved more toppings though.

Now let me put some highlight on Caffe Diem. We ordered an iced Americano (RM 9) and it tasted amazing! We could really taste that somewhat sour aftertaste of the coffee beans. It was one flavourful concentrated long black. There was also this cake called avocado pistachio (RM 12) that caught my attention. So I tried it. And it tasted great! I think it’s cheesecake flavoured with avocados and pistachios.

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Caffe Diem is a reputable and renowned cafe where even Tun Mahathir and the Sultan of Kedah have celebrated their birthdays in before (or the cafe catered for the celebration). The interior of the cafe was rustic and old school, there were even a few boats hung from the ceiling!

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These boats were made for the cafe if I’m not mistaken, I saw photos in the cafe of the owner with the boat maker. Caffe Diem’s menu also looks really good I wish have a reason to head back there soon!

Location: 44-53, Jalan Penjara Lama, Bandar Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

We departed Alor Setar around 5.45 pm. Overall it was an amazing day trip and both of us had a great time. We hardly even encountered any hurdles during the whole trip. Many thanks to WC for being the best-est travel partner and for going on this trip with me.

Best

Ignoramuses 1.0

Location: Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus.

End of last year, WC messaged the people from Viper Challenge regarding volunteering for Great Eastern Viper Arena – Penang. This event is on a weekend and located at Batu Kawan Stadium, which is about a half an hour drive away from my campus. Joining the event as a participant is expensive, but you get paid for volunteering!

Since WC was the first person to contact the people at Viper Challenge about volunteering, they asked if he could gather people from our campus that are interested to volunteer for this event. The response was pretty amazing, with 235 respondents in less than a week.

During the registration, there were some ignoramuses visible. For example this lady.

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Ms YuanTing Lim tagged her friends in the registration post, and one of her friend Ms Jane Chai asked what if they don’t have transport again. This means that they were in a situation before where they registered for something and ended up with no transport to attend an event. But Ms know-it-all (YuanTing Lim) was like don’t care.

I think that this shows how irresponsible and ignorant these people are. They do not think ahead of themselves, but just think of the present.

About a week ago, Viper Challenge emailed those who registered to volunteer for a screening session.

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Many who registered voiced out that they did not receive any email. So, Viper Challenge being a responsible organiser blasted out a text message reminder of the screening session.

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They even blasted out a second text message when there was a mistake in the first one. WC even posted a reminder on our campus FB group. So those 200+ people who registered should be well informed about this screening right?

Yesterday was the screening day, 4 staffs from Viper Challenge drove all the way from Kuala Lumpur early in the morning to reach our campus in time to start the screening at 9 am. Guess what, they were here from 9 am to about 2.30 pm, and only 50+ people showed up for the screening. That’s not even 25% attendance rate.

And the Viper Challenge staff said that only 15 person RSVP-ed for the screening. I mean come on, if it’s so easy to fill up a Google form, why can’t they inform the people if they can’t turn up? I’m sure plenty of them registered for the sake of registering, but never bothered to commit themselves to it.

They probably think that this is some kind of university level event that you can go or don’t go to your liking. But it’s not. This is an actual international event that people invest in time and money into it, and what do they get in return? Snobbish, irresponsible and ignorant university students.

Of course there is still that handful of responsible individuals that came for the screening. But I am so ashamed of the rest of those that did not turn up. The staffs at Viper Challenge now have a bad impression of students from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus. They are truly disappointed.

If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies.

Everyone should take responsibility to their actions. Best.

Page 55 of 365

So far 2 weeks of classes has been going well, and my FYP is progressing, but really slowly.

WC just got back from a trip with his coursemates and it was so nice to see him again. I could have followed if only I didn’t have any classes. Haha. I’ve been wanting to send postcards to my friends in Canada but somehow I haven’t come across any reasonably priced nice postcards, but WC found them during his trip! Gonna prep them up over the weekend and send them next week!

Also I had a question about the birthday gift that Sephora members, and since was at a mall that have a branch, I asked him to help me enquire about it. I was so happy that he agreed to help me ask about it. Thanks love.

Best

The Beginning of My Final Semester

It’s second week into the second semester of my final year as an undergraduate, also my final semester.


Course Registrations

In Universiti Sains Malaysia (University of Science, Malaysia), the maximum units an undergraduate can register for a semester is 21 units. 2 semesters ago I went on a student exchange programme with the University of Guelph, so I missed a whole semester here. I didn’t transfer any credit too. This semester, I have to retake the courses that I missed that semester.

After registering for the third and fourth year core courses, it was already 22 units. I needed to register 4 units from my elective courses as a graduation requirement. Since the elective courses come in 3 units per course, I had to register another 6 units of electives. In total, I would have to register 28 units this semester if I wanted to graduate on time, which I do.

Initially my school did not approve my application of extra units than the recommended 21 units. I was kinda desperate complete my degree this year, I did not want to spend another year in this particular school. However, after consulting the assistant registrar and the deputy dean of academics, they agreed to request the vice chancellor of academic’s  approval.

On Monday, I received a text message from the assistant registrar stating that the university has approved for me to register 28 units this semester! I was super hyped when I found out. It’s gonna be a tremendously busy semester, in addition to my final year project. But I’m pretty sure I’ll do fine, if not good.


Final Year Project

It’s almost the end of the second week for this semester and I can’t seem to get hold of my FYP supervisor for consultation. She’s even my academic advisor. She seems to be always busy, and says that the only time she’s free to meet her students are in the morning, 8.45 am to 9.30 am, and/or after 5 pm. My classes starts at 9 am everyday and usually by 4 pm I would be back at room.

So yeah, it’s probably my fault that I can’t meet with her yet too. I don’t know, but I hope I can start my actual experiment, the hydrolysis and stuff next week. I have to do 14 times of that!


Classes

I’m taking most of my classes with my juniors (haha), the third years, and only 1 class with my coursemates. But it’s pretty fun! I think my juniors are great, I especially love their WhatsApp group chat cause they only share proper information, and there’s minimal to no spam messages. I also have 2 classes with Xian Yun, which has some advantage I think?

The start of my final has been great so far, I’ve had friends help me sneak my FYP samples into their SEM slots, I’m truly grateful for that. I look forward to possibly the busiest semester that I’ll ever be in, and also a memorable and fruitful one. I probably won’t have a daily log now cause my days are pretty robotic and boring, but I’ll update from time to time.

Do it for future me so I can look back and laugh at myself. Haha

Best

Thailand 1.0 (Food & Beverages)

Previously I’ve posted about what I packed for my trip, and also the highlights of my trip. In this final post about my Thailand 1.0 trip, it’s gonna be all about food (and beverages)! Just a heads up, many of the food I tried I don’t remember the price. Haha


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This was actually onigiri from the Family Mart in KLIA2. I think it costed about RM5. It was so-so, I had to take a second bite before I hit the salmon flakes. I do wanna try the matcha ice-cream from Family Mart, haven’t got the chance to yet.

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This was my first meal in Bangkok, right after we landed, boat noodles! It was at some stall/restaurant near a river (drain), I’m not too sure. I’ve always wanted to try boat noodles when I’m in Malaysia, but never really got the chance to. I tried a pork one, a beef one and a tomyam one. It was a pretty good snack. And later we tried that dessert thing which is green at the bottom and white on the top. Those were good, and pretty addictive. One bowl of boat noodles cost 12 baht, and one of those dessert thing costs 5 baht.

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I tried this xtreme choc mint ice-cream from the 7-11 and it was so good!

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Almost in all indoor food court, the Thais use a food court card system. You load a card with some money at a counter, and purchase your meal. You can redeem the balance from the card when you’re done. I tried the mango sticky rice (70 baht) and basic pad thai (30 baht) at the food court in Terminal 21. It was amazing! Sad thing was I only ate mango sticky rice once when I went to Thailand.

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This was a Thai Tea flavoured ice-cream I got from an ice-cream stall at Ayutthaya train station. The stall was near the washroom. It was pretty yummy, I wish I could’ve tried all the flavours the man sold.

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One of the things I like to do in a new country is try out the local beer. I’m not a fan of beers but I just like to try them. I tried Singha and Chang when I was in Thailand, I think it was alright, not a beer critique.

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These were the Thai instant cup noodles that I tried.

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This is called Betagen, it’s a cultured milk drink, something like Yakult or Vitagen. Betagen spray is also a topical skin treatment for dogs, so don’t get that mixed up.  Betagen is one of the items that all of us continuously get whenever we hit any 7-11. I love that they sell them in bottles, I’m not sure how many servings one bottle is for, but I’m glad I could drink till I’m satisfied. In Malaysia, Yakults and Vitagens come in really small bottles, the kind you can even finish in one gulp.

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This is a coconut flavoured yogurt which according to Dave can only be found in Thailand. It’s super good. I wish they have them in Malaysia and I would totally stock up on it.

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This was some noodle we got from a roadside stall in Pak Chong which costed 40 baht. I like how the Thais are generous with the meat, or at least it is proportionate.

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This was coconut water from 7-11. Haha. This was during the third day when somehow I still couldn’t find fresh coconut water to drink!

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This is another random noodle from a roadside stall in which the noodles wasn’t well cooked so it was kinda tough. But the owner of the stall was really happy that day I think cause suddenly she was making money from 19 people!

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This was corn I got outside the winery! One of the mini highlights of my trip was eating corn on the bike ride, I was Xiao Zhu’s pillion rider. It was just so satisfying to be out in the open, wind hitting my face and munching on my corn. When I was done, I just threw the cob by the roadside, cause it’s organic and it’ll decompose.

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This was my first fresh coconut drink! I got it from some road side stall when they were filling gas for the motorbikes. And I got it cause it was 30 baht. Whenever I see fresh coconut that cost 50 baht and above, I won’t buy it.

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Dave recommended this yogurt as well but I didn’t fancy it.

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Bugs for the tummy! I didn’t try this, hopefully next time. This was in Chinatown.

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This was a glass noodle dish that Dave loves. I asked him what it’s called several times but I keep forgetting. I only love the glass noodle part, I didn’t quite like the quite raw vegetable, especially the cabbages.

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This was Thai Bubble Milk Tea from this shop called CoCo. It was good! Only wished I had it more than once when I was in Thailand.

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This was my second and last fresh coconut drink from a stall called Punjung in Mae Klong Railway Market.

Next up is a series of food Jashon, Guat Ling and I had at Amphawa Floating Market!

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This was pork satay, which is delicious, especially when it’s still warm.

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This was some glass noodle dish which I super love. Sorry I just didn’t remember the names to the dishes.

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This was fried mussels, which is supposedly something like the Taiwanese fried oysters, but it was just meh. There was just a lot of flour and not many mussels. I could count them with one hand.

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Pad Thai from Amphawa Floating Market. I was wondering, is there any Pad Thai in Thailand that doesn’t taste good?

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Grilled squid! Also tastes better when it’s warm, I loved pairing this with the glass noodle dish.

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This green caviar was not impressive at all. And it was 100 baht.

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This salad dish with some seafood’s (I forgot what was the name of the seafood) egg was awesome! There was just this unique taste to it that made it pretty irresistible.

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Coconut ice-cream that cost 40 baht! Something like this in Malaysia, maybe at Sangkaya would cost more than RM 10. Wth. It was super good too!

That’s pretty much the food I tried in Thailand. We had many meals in 7-11. The 7-11 in Thailand is impressive, you can find it everywhere except maybe the airport. And the instant and frozen food they sold were delicious and reasonably priced. God I wish the 7-11 in Malaysia was like that. They even sell frozen burgers which tasted good.

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These were the last 2 items I had before boarding the flight back to KL. Pork Pepper Lunch, and also Crunchy Choco Dip from McDonalds. The crunchy choco dip was so good. I hope it comes to Malaysia some day. And that’s the last of Thailand 1.0, hope you enjoyed reading, or at least going through the photos. Haha.

Best

Thailand 1.0 (Highlights)

Previously I talked about the things I packed during my Thailand 1.0 trip. In this post, I’m gonna talk about the highlights of my trip in chronological order!


How did I get to the airport?

My parents usually almost always sends anyone who needs to go to the airport. But this time, it was just a short 2 hour flight, and I didn’t want to trouble my parents. WC suggested I take the KLIA Transit, which goes from KL Sentral to KLIA / KLIA2. The few stops in between them includes Bandar Tasik Selatan (BTS), which is near my house. Click here for KLIA Transit fares.

And there’s a hack to it, if I take from BTS – KLIA2, it will cost me RM 38.40. However, if I take from BTS – Salak Tinggi (RM 12.40), and then from Salak Tinggi – KLIA2 (RM 4.90), it will only cost me RM 17.30, which is the child fare from BTS – KLIA2. However, this could only work if you have time to spare, since you have to wait for the next train in Salak Tinggi. So here, you don’t save time but you save more than 50% of the actual fare.


Brief Itinerary

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Bangkok (1 day) – Ayutthaya (1 day) – Pak Chong / Khao Yai (1 day) – Bangkok (3 days)


Accommodations

  1. Fun Wan Hostel (Bangkok Day 1) – 6/10
  2. Rose Villa Resort (Pak Chong / Khao Yai) – 9/10
  3. New York Suite Hotel (Bangkok Day 4 – 6) – 5/10

Fun Wan Hostel’s location was pretty central, it was a walking distance from Terminal 21. There were 19 of us in total, since it was such a big group, we got split into 3 dorms. For me, the dorms were okay, some of my mates complaint that the floor was sandy. I really liked that the room wasn’t hot, they had plenty of fans and it was air-conditioned. The toilet was so-so, I don’t really fancy bathrooms where the shower area, sink and toilet area are not divided.

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Rose Villa Resort was by far the best accommodation (that’s why I had a photo of it) that we stayed at when we were in Thailand! It looks a little eerie from the main road cause the main entrance of the resort is facing a small road. Somehow, all of us got rooms on the same floor (1st floor), and I shared a room with Yong Ling. The rooms were clean and homey, and there was this male staff which was super friendly and helpful too! They also provide free breakfast of toast and coffee / tea. The only downside about this place is that the WiFi signals in the rooms are quite weak, I always have to go to the lobby for strong WiFi signal.

New York Suite Hotel was an eye opening experience. First of all, we got lost trying to find the place. I guess maybe they had a branch but it closed or they shifted and did not update their address. The one we stayed at was near Suda Palace Hotel. They had 8 floors of rooms but their elevator only goes up to 7th floor. All our rooms were on the 7th and 8th floor. Initially I got room 801, which didn’t have a sink. I requested a room change and got room 805, which is a pretty decent room. Just take note that New York Suite Hotel is the kinda place horny men take prostitutes to to spend the night. Once I was walking down the stairs and there were few boxes of condoms by the stairs. Lol.


Highlights

  1. Terminal 21 (Day 1)
  2. Ayutthaya World Historical Park (Day 2)
  3. The Bloom (Day 3)
  4. PB Valley Khao Yai Winery (Day 3)
  5. Primo Piazza (Day 3)
  6. Pak Chong Night Market (Day 3)
  7. Platinum Mall (Day 4)
  8. Bangkok Chinatown (Day 4)
  9. Asiatique (Day 4)
  10. Mae Klong Railway Market (Day 5)
  11. Amphawa Floating Market (Day 5)
  12. The Nativity of Our Lady Cathedral (Day 5)
  13. Chatuchak Night Market / Weekend Market (Day 5 & Day 6)
Terminal 21 

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Terminal 21 is this themed shopping mall with 9 stories. Each floor has it’s own specific theme, such as Caribbean, Rome, Paris, London, Tokyo, Istanbul, San Francisca (City / Pier), and Hollywood. Even the toilets on each floor are themed. The large rolling pin in one of the photos above is the bakery themed washroom.

Honestly, I wasn’t that amazed by the themed floors. For example, when I was on the London floor, I didn’t feel as though I was in London. A London telephone stand doesn’t portray the whole of London. I was more amused by the themed washrooms, sadly though I didn’t manage to visit all the bathrooms. Haha. But overall it’s a nice mall to shop and hangout.

Ayutthaya World Historical Park

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We took a train ride from Bangkok to Ayutthaya. Our mode of transportation in Ayutthaya was by motorbike and it was super fun! However, I think the place is quite commercialised, and I didn’t enjoy visiting temples that much. I enjoyed the bike rides the most in Ayutthaya and sometimes at the temples, I kinda felt like I was in Temple Run. You have to pay 50 baht to enter each temple, which is kind of a bummer, especially if you pay for the ticket and there wasn’t much to see. Some were nice, some were boring, and some were overcrowded. I probably won’t come back to Ayutthaya again, unless WC wants to. Haha.

The Bloom

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The Bloom is a place I wouldn’t wanna go again. Haha. It was quite boring for me cause I’m not into taking pictures with flowers, real and/or fake. I also find the place to be filled with more fake flowers than real ones. Most of the time there I was just observing the rest having fun taking photos with flowers. There were also some goats there which I feel isn’t well taken care of. Anyway, I think most of the girls that went enjoyed this place a lot.

PB Valley Khao Yai Winery

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Initially I was a bit sceptical, like why are we going to a winery in Thailand, cause Thailand isn’t one of the main wine producers. Later I found out that the grapes wasn’t just to be made into wines, but also grape juice, which Angie loves. This winery was also a pretty nice place to chill, plus entrance is free! You can pay 300 baht per pax for a tour guide.

Primo Piazza

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Primo Piazza is a dainty little Italian-like place, with cutesy buildings, nicely mowed lawn, and farm animals which you can feed for free! I quite like this place, it definitely leaves an impression of tranquillity and zen. I especially enjoy teasing the donkeys, alpacas and sheep with grass. And there were no limits to how much grass one visitor can feed, you can always ask for more grass from the staff at the barn. The animals were also human friendly so you could pet them.

Pak Chong Night Market

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Pak Chong Night Market was small, but sufficient. Soo and I strolled the night market together and bought any food that looked good or looked interesting. We ate till we were bloated. Undergarments in the night market were pretty cheap too I think! At least for those stick on bras and stuff. Haha.

Platinum Mall / Chinatown / Asiatique

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No photos from Platinum Mall. So Platinum Mall is this huge ass shopping mall that sells mainly clothes. You can get really cheap deals there. People literally shop with a large trolley bag or canvas bag with them. I didn’t enjoy the shopping that much cause this trip I came for the Thai culture and not that much for the shopping. But it was a great experience. I would love to come back here with WC.

It took a boat ride to Chinatown and Asiatique. Chinatown was pretty quiet when we went there, most of the shops were closing. Nothing much to shout about, it was fairly similar to Petaling Street in KL. Asiatique was interesting. It was like this small lively area filled with games and food and shopping. It’s quite a hipster place I would say, and I wouldn’t mind coming back here again.

Mae Klong Railway Market (Rom Hoob Market) / Amphawa Floating Market 

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Mae Klong Railway Market and Amphawa Floating Market was the highlight of the trip for me! Mae Klong Railway Market is a fresh market the vendor’s goods are sold along the railway line. The vendors have to move their goods away whenever a train passes. It was such a fascinating scene! Check out the timelapse of this scene I shot below.

I really like Amphawa Floating Market too cause maybe I had a lot to eat there. And also I got my very first Thai foot massage there! Since day 1 I was looking forward for a foot massage and I was so happy when I finally got it. Especially after all the walking in Bangkok. When I was there, there wasn’t much boats selling things, and those that sell on the boat were food. There were also many interesting shops along the river.

The Nativity of Our Lady Cathedral

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This church was alright, there was a school nearby. I’m not sure if it’s a school in the church, or a church in the school. If you’re into taking pictures with church then this is a to-go place for you, but not for me. Haha. I kinda found this place a bit of a waste of time and money, I probably wouldn’t come here again. We couldn’t even go in the church.

Chatuchak Night Market / Weekend Market

Chatuchak is a really nice market in my opinion but sadly I didn’t have much time to browse the stalls there. Even thought I stated that I was there on the 5th day and 6th day, I was only there on the night of day 5 and the morning of day 6. And each time I was there I had about an hour to walk. One hour isn’t enough in a Thai market!


And that marks the highlights of my Thailand 1.0 trip! It was a mouthful of experience travelling a group of 19 people. I think I probably won’t be travelling in a group that big in the near future. A final post on Thai food I’ve tried coming soon!

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Thailand 1.0 (What I packed)

I recently just got back from a 6 day 5 night trip to Thailand with a bunch of mates from university. It was my first time to Thailand, hence the title Thailand 1.0. Overall the trip was great, with ups and downs. In a few series of Thailand 1.0 posts, I will talk about what I packed, the highlights of my trip in chronological order and also the food I tried.

I researched a little before I started packing, Her Packing List was a great source of packing lists and tips. I was provided with a very brief itinerary of the trip, but didn’t research further of the places that I will be going. So my packing list is kinda casual, basic and general.


My Packing List

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Here’s a shot of the items that I packed from my trip! I was aiming for the backpacker / lightweight / minimalistic packing style, so I went with my Mountain Warehouse Walkabout 30 backpack (30 L) and WC’s battered Nike pouch.

Clothing
  • 1 face towel – did not use during the trip
  • 1 body towel – did not use during the trip
  • 1 windbreaker
  • 1 scarf – did not use during the trip
  • 4 shirts
  • 2 long pants
  • 1 legging
  • 1 shorts – did not use during the trip
  • 1 set of PJs (1 long sleeve shirt & 1 long pants)
  • 4 underwear
  • 2 bikini tops
  • 1 basic bra
  • 1 sports bra
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of flip flops (only worn in hostels / hotels room)
  • 1 pair of sport shoes
  • 1 pillowcase – did not use during the trip
Miscellaneous
  • 1 cap
  • 1 notebook + pen
  • Some paracord – did not use during the trip
  • 1 watch
  • 1 foldable bag
  • Tissues
  • Wet wipes
  • Hair ties
  • Raincoat – did not use during the trip
  • Medicines (Activated carbon, anti histamine, diarrhoea)
  • 1 pack Donkey card game – did not use during the trip
  • Some band aids – did not use during the trip
  • Sanitary pads + tampons (it had to come a day before the trip)
  • Mints
  • Passport
  • Currency
  • 1 water bottle
Toiletries
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 travel size toothpaste
  • 1 tongue scrapper
  • 1 travel size floss
  • 1 hand santizer
  • 1 lip balm
  • 1 medicated oil
  • 1 eye drop
  • 1 shower gel
  • 1 used bar soap
  • 1 travel size hair oil
  • 1 travel size sunscreen
  • 1 bug repellent – did not use during the trip
  • 1 mineral salt deodorant
  • 6 pairs daily contact lenses
Electronics
  • 1 fully charged 10400 mAh power bank
  • 1 Malaysian adapter – did not use during the trip
  • 1 lightning cable
  • 1 USB cable – did not use during the trip
  • 1 iPhone
  • 1 earpods – did not use during the trip

Yeap, so that’s basically my packing list. Some of the items listed are not in the photo.

My daily attire was a plain tee and a patterned long pants, the kind with elastics waist bands. I didn’t use the towels I brought cause I didn’t want to have to pack a damp towel in my bag whenever we go to a different place and change accommodations. Our first accommodation didn’t provide towels so I used one of my t-shirts as my towel (since it dries quick). Our second and third accommodation provided us towels. Midway through the trip I hand washed some of my clothes, that’s how my clothes lasted me 6 days.

Bikini tops work great as a bra substitute. The windbreaker was great during the midnight train rides. A foldable bag is good for going to the shower, you can pack all your clothes and toiletries in it when you go to the bathroom. It works great as a shopping bag too! Mints are a saviour during the long bus rides / train rides / plane rides. Especially if you’re sleeping. Pop a mint when you wake up so you won’t have to worry about stale breath.

If you noticed, I did not pack shampoo and conditioner with me. I intended to use my bar soap as my shampoo. But God that was the worst decision I’ve made, for 2-3 days my hair was like hay and all I wanted to do was get my hair washed at a saloon. I used the shower gel for my body and I noticed that the hair near my neck, where some of the shower gel got on the hair as well, was softer and not hay-like! And I only realised that the shower gel would work better as shampoo than a bar soap on the second last day. Lol. But well, at least I learnt something. Haha.

You need a universal adapter when you go to Thailand, at least for Malaysians. I didn’t bring one, but I brought a fully charged power bank and was able to survive all 6 days with it! I used my phone mainly for the camera, and a some texting. I didn’t have mobile data on and my WiFi was only switched on from time to time a day, I guess that’s why my iPhone’s battery manage to last so long. I also have no idea why I brought my earpods along cause I have no songs on my iPhone, but Soo made use of it.

And that’s it for what I packed for my 6 day 5 nights trip to Thailand. More soon.

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Post CNY

Disclaimer: Was suppose to publish this a week ago but was missing a photo, hence the odd perspective from the post.

Technically Chinese New Year is still on going cause it goes on for a span of 15 days. But I’m gonna do my post CNY now cause I’m leaving for Bangkok next week and will be back in campus the following week. And the main parts of my CNY celebrations are also done.


CNY Day 1 / 大年初一

At 12 midnight, we did some prayers and headed to bed. In the morning, I boiled some oyster porridge and got ready for the new year! One of my family tradition is to have oyster porridge for breakfast on the first day of Chinese New Year. I’m not too clear on the historical meaning of it but I believe it’s something the monks do, and that oysters are considered vegetarian in some context.

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I used the leftover chicken soup from the reunion dinner to cook this so technically it isn’t a vegetarian dish anymore. We also finished up the leftovers from the reunion dinner for brunch. Since everyone woke up pretty late, we had the oyster porridge for brunch instead.

Another tradition of my family during the first day of CNY is the tea ceremony where the kids serve tea to the parents and the parents will give us angpao (red packet). A fun thing that my parents liked to do during the angpao giving session / tea ceremony is that they packed different amounts in the red packets.

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This is my mom and dad before the tea ceremony. In each red packets, are different amount of CNY money, usually just a few ringgit difference. So each kid will end up with a different amount, the lucky one would get a bigger amount. Previous years, my elder sister is always the first to pick her angpao and my younger sister the last. But this year, there were only Jon and I. It was still fun but not as exciting as previous years.

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I guess it’s pretty much like a lucky draw. And this year, since there wasn’t much atmosphere at home due to the small amount of family members, we only took one family photo. Haha. In previous years, we used to take tons! Maybe because also that the house wasn’t very well decorated for the festive season so there wasn’t much hype to take photos.

Once we done and packed, we headed of to my Dad’s hometown, Malacca, which is south of Kuala Lumpur. I volunteered to drive, and boy was the traffic terrible! We left home about 1.30 pm and only reached Malacca after 4.30 pm! Normally, it would only take us at most 2 hours to get to Malacca from home.

We visited my Uncle Henry first, dad’s eldest brother somewhere at Bukit Katil if I’m not mistaken. Then we went to our final destination at my aunt Susan’s canteen in Ujong Pasir. I took a nap when I reached there. Haha cause I was pretty tired from the drive. I played some Gin Rummy this year, and won like RM 7. Haha.

We play Gin Rummy in Malacca every Chinese New Year. Usually the aunties play it but this year I decided to join in (plus also my mom was taking a nap too). I also realised that this year I wasn’t all about gambling luck games, I leaned towards luck + strategic games if I do gamble. I avoided centrepool this year.

It was great catching up with my relatives in Malacca, I haven’t been back to Malacca for more than a year! My little nieces and nephew have all grown up, time just flies. I kinda look forward to going back to Malacca again. We left Malacca slightly after midnight and arrived back home about 2 am.


CNY Day 2 – 4

Mom, dad and I headed back to Ipoh the following day. Jon didn’t follow cause he had work. There wasn’t much going on in Ipoh, we basically ate slept ate slept.

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Here’s the famous Ipoh Kong Heng Gai Si Hor Fun (Chicken Slice Rice Noodles). It was crazy packed when we went on CNY Day 4. It costs RM 6.50 a bowl now and they’ve ditched the plastic chopsticks and now serves them with disposable chopsticks. It still tastes good and classic though.

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I also had the egg custard when I was at Kong Heng.

On CNY Day 3, we had dinner at Citrus Wine & Dine, which is just a stone’s throw away from my relatives’ house. My aunt Har Ying treated this scrumptious meal. I had the pumpkin soup, the scallop pasta and also pandan & ginger crème brûlée.

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3/6 family photo in Ipoh.


CNY Day 5

Today I get to meet WC after almost a week! We had lunch with some of WC’s friends from high school. After going rounds for a while, we settled at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for lunch. WC and I have been wanting to try this place for a while now. I thought that the food was just okay, for the price I paid, I could have gotten a larger portion at Tony Roman’s or TGIF.

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I had the pasta dish, there was only one pasta dish in the whole menu. It was good, but I was really expecting a bigger portion, the kind I can’t finish on my own. Haha.

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They also ordered these shrimps to share. I liked these!

Then we went to the apartment for dessert. I had an affogato, cause I saw Kenn having it the other day at Citrus and I’ve been wanting to try it ever since. Loved it too! After dessert, we spontaneously went for one round of Escape Room! It was RM 38.20 per person since it was a public holiday.

We went for the Space Voyager room, which apparently is the toughest room. There were 5 rooms to clear before the escape. I thought it was pretty fun, in addition to WC’s super expressive friends. Haha. We only have 45 minutes to figure out how to escape and we manage to escape in 44 minutes and 49 seconds! So close!

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We even earned a spot on the weekly challenge board! I didn’t really contribute much but I had tons of fun. I think WC contributed the most, that smart ass. After Escape Room, WC and I headed back to his place to have dinner with his family. We had mee suah for dinner. I like his mom’s mee suah, somehow to me it kinda tastes like ramen instead of mee suah. Maybe it’s cause of the tasty soup.


CNY Day 6 – 7

I didn’t do much on day 6, mainly stayed home. On day 7, I went to the gym with WC in the morning, we met his mom there. I didn’t do any running today. Previously I’ve only done running and I don’t feel much ache the next day. So I told WC I wanted to do something else today.

WC has always wanted me to do more cardio to activate my metabolism. Haha. But that day I did arms and legs and abs. It was a great workout, I didn’t sweat much though but I knew I was going to be sore af the next day. We had prawn noodles for lunch at Xan Ling Cafe Segambut. It’s pretty much our go-to food after gym most of the time.

Then we headed back to my place to wait for dinner time lol. Guess what, Soo called and said he was coming over. And when he came over, he asked Yen Fang if he was able to come over. So yeah I had impromptu CNY guest. It was great catching up with them. I haven’t seen Yen Fang in over a year.

After they left, WC helped me with the dogs and we got ready for dinner. Since it was the 7th day of CNY, it is also known as 人日 (birth of human beings). So sometimes in simple terms we call the 7th day of CNY as everyone’s birthday. So on this day my uncle organised this get together dinner at Pantai Seafood, his go to restaurant.

Dinner was alright. WC was kinda awkward at first. Haha. Best part of the dinner was the yee sang! To date I had 5 times of yee sang! This CNY is the best so far cause I get to stuff myself with them yee sang. I especially hate it when people waste them.


That’s pretty much the highlight of my CNY. I went on a trip to Thailand during the second week of CNY, will update on it soon!

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