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Archive for October, 2008

P/s: i suppose to post this up several months ago..

Its the day I’ve always longed for.. the Day we stepped into L.A.O.S – LAOS!!!

Our flight was 9am KL Time and we woke up real early for the airport. Only slept 2-3 hrs the nite before, but i still felt so energectic! geared up my backpack, and ready to go!! i didn’t charge my camera battery properly the nite b4 and it ran low batt even b4 i reached airport! After checked in, i managed to find a power supply at one of the corner in Asian Kitchen.

During the flight, an indonesian trader told me a lot of negative comments about laos like “GOOD LUCK!” and she also told me my phone will not be able to work there. Arrived at Laos at 10:30am (laos time), the toilet at the airport was surprisingly clean and modern. Turn on the phone and we manage to roam using the Provider “TIGO LAO” – sounds like Lao Tigo (old hamsap man). Being a IT Gal, i noticed the immigration is using Microsoft Access for the Immigrant control system. The exchange rate at the airport is good, compare to those we got in the rest of our trip.

Laos1

Left to right: Laos Airport, Tigo Lao

We suppose to take a tuktuk to the bus stop to cut cost, but we took a taxi instead becos We couldn’t find the tuk tuk non-proper pickup spot where other travel blogs mentioned and a taxi driver convincing us to take his taxi. After we hopped into the taxi (which cost us USD4), we found the tuk tuk pick up stop, its just another minute walk from where we were.

The Northern Bus Station to Vang Vieng is an open area bus stop. My watch read 12:30 and I was told the bus was leaving at 12:30 and 1:30. We were both hungry so we decided to eat first and planned to take the 1:30 Bus. We had our first Beef Noodles and Beef Tanghoon and our very first Lao Coffee at the Bus Station. We also saw some foreigner shooting some lao, i guess is a documentary about life in Laos. What we saw was a family (wife husband and 2 boys) ride in a tuktuk. After the quick lunch, We went to the bus again and was surprised that the 12:30 Bus was stil there. What a joke! Laos time is 1 hour behind lah gal! hehe, so we managed to hop into the 12:30 bus. The bus left at 1Pm.

Laos2

Lunch at Northern Bus Station, Beef Soup Noodle

You can take a bus from Vientiane all the way to KunMing China, it will takes 24 hrs and is a sleeper bus. Our bus ticket is more expensive than what i read from the blogs, its 40 000 kip. I thought they might had overcharge us, so i asked a Spanish guy – Jon on bus about how much he paid. He said he paid the same amount as us, and he also commented is more expensive than what he had read.

The bus journey was interesting. First, we saw the bus conductor throwing big luggages to the top of the Bus (its like passing balls) Then a ice cream man sold us some home made ice cream. When i saw him digging the ice cream from the container, i could see his sweat dropping into the container. the bus was really hot when its not moving, so i just kept quiet and ate the ice cream.

  

They played some lao Mtv and a Chinese Movie thru out the journey. When the Bus stopped for toilet break, i was trying to spot for the toilet to see how bad it is before i decided to get down. there is no toilet! everyone just pee to the grasses.. the gals went to one corner to pee… and i saw an old auntie with a sarong, open her legs wide lift her sarong up a little bit and Pee standing up! I really wonder how can she managed to do it! The bus also stopped somewhere to give a chance for the local people to approach us to buy their drinks, mangos, bbq Eggs and other food. I bough a few packet of mangos and i shared it with the little boy sitting infront of me.  Pic 1: Inside the local bus, the aisle is blocked, Pic 2: the lao boy asking for more mango, Pic 3: The “Public Toilet”, Pic 4: Ice Cream, Pic 5: THey can put anything on top of the bus, Pic 6: Selling drinks and food

 
at 4:30, we arrived in Vang Vieng. The View was wonderful, breath taking and amazing. We got off the bus and we were both Stunt! there was only few small stalls around and We were in the middle of no where. Are we at the right place??? We gonna stay here for 2 nites?? :O Was offered to get on to a Tuk Tuk to the guest house, the tuk tuk was full of people! one of the passenger had to leave her legs outside the Tuktuk to fit everyone in. 10000kip per person, we arrived at Le Jardin Organique in 2 mins time, should had walk there. The view of the RIver and mountains was stunning! we wished so much to settle down there to enjoy the view. However Le Jardin only got 1 nite at USD 18 for us, and we have to check out the next morning and check in to another guest house. We decided to look for another lodging place.  

 

 This man scratching his head listening to my broken EngLao.

Walk out to the main road, and ate at this restaurant with excellent view to the Mountains and River. A tuk tuk driver got us to his tuk tuk and we started our Hostel hunting. The first Guest house we stopped by was full. then he brought us to the second one. On the way, We were happy cos we found the busy street of Vang Vieng! a lot of people, restaurants, bars and shops. we Managed to check into PhouBane Guest house. its only USD7 with stunning river and mountain view too~


Tissue with dirt from our face

Hang around the river side, walked across the bridge and wandering around the bungalows … Saw a group of buffalos soaking in the water enjoying life. We are here finally! Hip Hip Hooray! Took pictures of us Jumped up High! the View and atmosphere were so breath taking, peaceful and amazing. I love it so much. Sat on the fragile looking bridge and started to enjoy the view, romantic atmosphere and busy saying “Sabaidee” when people walked pass us. There were 2 kids bathing at the river with shampoo thought we are Japanese and started screaming Koniciwa to us.

After the great chill out, we booked a tour for the next day at usd 16 per person(inc 2 Caves visit, Tubing in the Cave, Lunch, Village visit, Kayaking) Went to the town, love it there. Tried pancake with banana (basically is Roti Pisang in Malaysia), had a good walk in the town, cyber cafe. I went back for a shower and quick change, cos my white shirt turned grey! We then settled down in a restaurant with mattresses and pillows to relax and chill out. Had my very first Beer Lao there too. We stayed there until 11pm when the restaurant closed. One thing we noticed is most of the cybercafe there iare using LCD Monitor. When we arrived back to the guesthouse, the gate was close, luckily not LOCK!

Pic 1: Main Street, Pic 2: Banana Pancake, Pic 3: Me and Beer Lao, Pic 4: Internet cafe with Flat Screen, Pic 5: Tomyam soup

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Mysterious Grave is gone?

Taken from BruneiResources.com
Taken from BruneiResources.com

In the center of the “busy” Bandar Seri Begawan, there is a roofed grave stood in between TAIB, the Chinese Temple, Post Office, and the Padang Soas. When I talked to friends about this grave, some said they nvr realise there is a grave, some said they saw it but nvr know whose grave is that.

I read about this grave from www.bruneiresources.com  – http://www.bruneiresources.com/goldenlegacy/tgl_dang_ayang.html. Let me summarise this story:

There were 2 brother and sister whom belongs to the Royal Family in the 15th Century fell in love with each other. According to the rules, they were supposed to be stone to dead. However, no one wanted to do that to them, hence they changed the punishment.  They built a cavern which was fitted with air ventilation with some food, and left them in there til death.
Its kind of a sad story, and I thought if they could build something around it, with illustrations and probably a drama show every day, i think it could be another new tourists attraction for Brunei.
Anyway, now it became like this…
What’s gong on?? relocate it? and turninto a bigger car park?

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还没下笔,眼泪已在眼角。。 好兴奋阿!!!

I received a phone call that almost made me happy til heart attack! I’m selected, yes is me! the snail!

The Buddhist Light Associaion of Brunei selected me to attend the Buddhism Teaching Workshop in Taiwan!! Hip Hip Hooray!! The 1 week Workshop will be held in Taiwan, and we will be taught how to teach the Children on Buddhism in Orphans Homes and of cos at the Temples. Only 3 people will be selected from each country or State, and I’m one of the 3 from Brunei.

Why why why? why god treated me so nice? why am i selected? or maybe they saw the way i taught in several children classes and they think i should go for a course to improve it? mmm…

anyway, It’s really very rewarding! for the chance given, i will make sure i do my best in the course and contribute myself to the children of Brunei. 😀

P/s i think my boss gonna sweat kao kao for taking leave again 😛 

Fyi, due to lack of fund, i have to pay for my airticket, and the rest will be fully sponsored.

 

 

 

*clap clap clap * Children, please wait for me!!

*clap clap clap * Children, please wait for me!!

 

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Ladies, Fed up with visiting the Ladies just to change the Pad?

Introducing the Libra Sanitary Pad..

I got a pack of Libra Sanitary Pad from Yeen while I was in NZ. I was first attracted by the pokka dots design on the Pad Wrap. I got to use it recently and i discovered something interesting in there.. There is this Odd Spots with some Funny Trivia/Facts on the Adhesive backing Strip!! 

Now we can have something to read on while changing the Sanitary Pad, too bad i don’t see anything like this in the brands i can find in the local stores. I think they can consider printing adverts on it too. good idea??

After the change today, i learned 3 things:

1.  It takes about 550 Peanuts to make a jar of Peanut Butter (That’s really a lot!!)

2. Man’s voice is deeper than a Woman because male has longer vocal cords (who cares?)

3. Koala Bears can live without water. (probably they munch on leaves to get water)

Thanks to Yeen, the Sponsor of the Sanitary Pad.

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Just wanna crack you up 🙂

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1. Backpacking in cold weather – the difference is the clothes you bringing are thicker, as such is kind of challenging when u have to fit them into a backpack. good thing is we tend to sweat less, so can recycle the clothes.

2. Lead the group of 5 – I’m glad that my group never turn down my suggestions and plans, except for someone who prefer to get a GPS when i’m so confident to read a map. FINE!!

3. Saw Snow – i saw snow at the Remarkables and at the skyline of Queenstown, and while on the way to Milford Sound too.

4. Saw Snow falls from the sky (at the Remarkables and Skyline of Queenstown)- it was a light snow, but i was so excited!

5. Snow Ski – although i fell down several times, and screamed when i couldn’t stop myself, but it was great!

Ski at Remarkables, Queenstown

Ski at Remarkables, Queenstown

6. Snow War – it could be painful, depends on the size of the Snow balls, but it was fun!

Getting my balls ready for the snow war

Getting my balls ready for the snow war

7. Snow man – i made 1 snow man for myself and another one with the gals.

My snowmen

My snowmen

8. Luge Ride at Queenstown Skyline

Luge RIde at Queenstown

Luge RIde at Skyline, Queenstown

Seen this in Amazing Race?

9. Danced ridiculously and videod at most of the Places of Interest.

Luge RIde at Queenstown

Danced at Larnarch Castle

10. Driving holiday – I was one of the drivers and i Drove in New Zealand 😀 (is kind of proud for someone like me who had few road accidents before)

11. Cooking at Hostels – We cooked breakfasts and Dinners in hostel to save some money and for the crave of Chinese food. apparently is not cheap too, Garlic is NZD 20 per kg!! We cooked at Queenstown, Te Anau, Lake Takepo and Wanaka.

Kitchen of Te Anau Backpacker Hostel

Kitchen of Te Anau Backpacker Hostel

Kitchen of Te Anau Backpacker Hostel

Korean BBQ at Yeen's place

12. Ride a bike for 33km thru parts of the Otago Rail Trail in one day – Ride from Otherhua – Lauder and Alexandra to Clyde.

Otago Trail

Otago Trail (Goh, this is a nice shot)

13. Ramen Hopping at Auckland – went to 3 japanese restaurants for Ramen in one day. 2 of thems were done one after the other.

Ramens in Auckland!

Ramens in Auckland!

14. Waited 2 hours for Blue Penguins – we were waiting for the penguins to come home at the Pilot Beach at Otago Peninsula of Dunedin. they come home at 7pm or 8pm (after daylight saving) everyday from the sea. it was very windy and cold. Blue Penguins are the smallest penguins on earth. they are very cute! We waited for 2 hrs and we were very happy to see them swimmed back, walked across the beach and walked to their homes.

I think this penguin was sick, he was hiding at home while the other penguins were not home yet.

I think this penguin was sick, he was hiding at home while the other penguins were not home yet.

15. Experience Daylight Savings on the 28th of September 2008, when we have to adjust our watch 1 hr backward when the clock stroke 12.

16. Flew the longest hour on plane in one day – it took 10 hrs from BSB to Auckland and another 2 hrs from Auckland to Dunedin.

17. Learned Fire Dance from a Street Performer at Christchurch Catheral Square.

Fire Dance

Fire Dance

18. Witnessed Animal Blessing ceremony at Christchurch Catheral Church, when worshippers brought their pets to the church for blessing. it was funny to see the Priest wearing a Cow Costumes and the church was full of pets.

Animal Blessing at Catheral Church of Christchurch

Animal Blessing at Catheral Church of Christchurch

19. Climb up to a Church’s Tower. It was about 134 steps all the way up to the Christchurch Catheral Church’s tower

Catheral Church of Christchurch

Catheral Church of Christchurch

20. Ride on a Children’s Reverse Bungy jump

Reverse Bungy

Reverse Bungy

21. Tried Israel’s Food – Its something special as Bruneian and Malaysian are not allow to enter Israel, same to Israel, they can’t come in to Brunei or Malaysia too. We met an Israel’s couple at Te Anau, and they invited us to try the dinner they prepared, and we also let them try my chinese cooking. 🙂

Israel Food Vs Chinese Food

Israel Food Vs Chinese Food

22. Shooting at “Have a Shot”, Wanaka- Well, it was my first time holding a real gun! 😀 i got some bull eyes, but suan got more 😡 Fine!!!

Have a Shot

Have a Shot

23. Maze – i got totally lost in the huge Maze! – Puzzle world, Wanaka

Maze at Puzzle World, Wanaka

Maze at Puzzle World, Wanaka

24. Watch a lot of Penguins at close distance  – Kelly Tarlton’s Antartic Encounter, Auckland.

Penguins at Antartic Encounter, can you spot the egg?

Penguins at Antartic Encounter, can you spot the egg?

25. Ice Bar – Went to Minus 5 ice bar of Auckland. Its really nice in there with nice ice sculpture, nice drinks and cool room with ice glasses.

Minus 5 Auckland

Minus 5 Auckland

26. Fresh Salmon – Went to Salmon Farm around Mt Cook, we feed the salmon then we had them as Sashimi. The sashimi is the best i’ve ever tried!! For that Box of Sashimi, it only cost us $20 with wasabi!

High Country Salmon Farm

High Country Salmon Farm

27. Skipping Stone – I learned how to skip the stone at Lake Wakatipu of Queenstown! it skipped three times the most!

28. Climbed the World’s Steepest Street – I went up and down at Baldwin Street of Dunedin

Baldwin Street

Baldwin Street

29. Slept with a Dog – Yeen’s Macho was running around the room for a comfort place to sleep. it was my first time having a dog in my bedroom. We had 2 great nights together! 😀

Sleepy Macho

Sleepy Macho on my legs

30. Crossing Latitude 45° South – While we were driving to Milford Sound from Te Anau, we crossed the Latitude 45 South’s Line. I dunno how they got that measurement.

Latitude 45 South

Latitude 45 South

31. Crashed into a Hostel’s TV Lounge for a short nap without checking into the hostel.

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I just got back from my 10 days wonderful and colorful trip to New Zealand. I’ve experienced more than 20 new things and i love the country very much. Great Sceneries, Great People.

 

Updated post will be up soon…

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