Feeds:
Posts
Comments

In this site, you shall see the world through my eyes via the medium which I use, to capture what I see, imagine, visualize, dream, study and appreciate. I look forward to learning more about the art of photography and achieving marvellous results, telling the stories of my life. Enjoy!

When an opportunity first arose for me to visit Phnom Penh for a few days, I dismissed it as a place that did not seem to offer much and was mainly known for its brutal past. It was no Siem Reap with its majestic and ancient ruins, neither was it known for its charm and beauty like Hoi An or Hua Hin.

Nevertheless, I viewed the trip as a way to break the monotony of life in the city of KL. I am a strong advocate of travelling, even if it may be to the most mundane part of the world.

When we first arrived, we were keen to tick the Genocide Museum and ‘killing fields’ off our list. These were, after all, the must-see places in Phnom Penh, however macabre it may sound. Although I have travelled on tuk-tuks in the streets of Bangkok and hopped onto motorbikes, weaving in and out of the streets in Hanoi, I was slightly caught off-guard by the tuk-tuk ride that we took to reach Choeung Ek, the infamous killing fields of the Khmer Rouge, located approximately 15 kilometres from the city centre. I was literally dragged through the fumes and dust of the bustling city of Phnom Penh, surrounded by the cacophony of horns beeping and vehicles of every imaginable size and shape zooming past, in what must be a typical day in this insane, chaotic place. I immediately told myself that Phnom Penh is a place that one needs to visit only once in a lifetime.

Walking around the killing fields and listening to the atrocities that took place in Choeung Ek through the audio guide undoubtedly places you in a very sombre and depressing mood. This was further compounded by a trip to Tuol Sleng a.k.a. S-21, a genocide museum located in a former high school where the Khmer Rouge regime imprisoned and tortured thousands of prisoners in its terrifying yet senseless reign from 1975 till 1979. Although I acknowledge the importance of remembering and honouring this slice of history in Cambodia, I was nonetheless glad to return to the hotel to wash off the grime and dirt, half hoping that it would also help to cleanse my mind and soul from the memories of these haunting places. This was simply too grim a way to start a holiday.

Our holiday mood eventually picked up as we did what a typical Malaysian would do – search relentlessly for the best restaurants in town to sample some authentic Khmer fanfare. Our first choice was Romdeng which is set in a beautiful colonial building and serves high-quality Khmer food (as stated by all the blogs). Unfortunately, it was closed for over a month for reasons unknown to us (we cannot read Khmer, after all). Fortunately, its sister restaurant, Friends, was open and we promptly gave it a visit. It definitely did not disappoint! The building was bright, colourful and cheerful with friendly and attentive staff. We had the most amazing food, so much so that we came back to this place the next day to sample other items on the menu.

On the second last of our trip, my husband was caught up with meetings and conferences the whole day, leaving me to my own devices. So I decided to brave it and explore the city by myself. Admittedly, I was nervous and apprehensive – I would be a lone female travelling around an unfamiliar place I could not speak the language of. I cannot even remember the last time I did this.

However, it turned out to be the best day of the trip for me! I caught the public ferry from the docks at the hotel and crossed the Mekong river over to the city centre. There, I met a tuk-tuk driver named Ali who spoke commendable English and offered to take me around for the day at a bargain. I spent the day scaling the steps of Wat Phnom, and exploring the vast and impressive grounds of the Royal Palace and the adjacent Silver Pagoda (it reminded me a little of Palace of Versailles with its manicured lawns and stunning architecture). I then pampered myself with a traditional Khmer oil massage and ended up exchanging life stories with my lovely masseuse who spoke very little English. I have no idea how much was lost in translation. After enjoying a quiet, late lunch with a book in hand, I rushed back to the docks to catch the ferry back to the hotel – I nearly caught the wrong ferry!

It was truly a fulfilling and exhilarating day out for me, partly because I actually survived it without any untoward incidences, partly because I made new friends I realised I would not have if I had been travelling with my husband and partly because behind my camera lens, I was able to capture a snippet of this hectic, vibrant and lively city called Phnom Penh.

Seriously…I need to be more diligent with my blogging. I am embarrassed to now post my Sydney photos that were taken more than 3 years ago – whilst I was still pregnant with Hayley!

I suppose you can say it was a babymoon for Boo and I. We left Kieran with his grandparents in Ipoh and flew off to Sydney for a reunion with Boo’s university mates.

In this post, you will see the must-have photos of the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, the Rocks and of course, the beaches. And it wouldn’t be a respectable blog without hundreds of pictures of the food consumed. We sampled the famous Harry’s pies, indulged in seafood at Sydney’s Fish Market and best of all, discovered Australian Masterchef Adriano Zumbo’s cafe where we stuffed our faces with delectable macarons.

This trip was exceptionally memorable because of the 2 nights that we spent out of Sydney, exploring vineyards in Hunter Valley and feeding pelicans at The Entrance waterfront in Central Coast, amongst other excursions. It was also a real delight to catch up with some Ipoh friends who are now living their dream lives in Australia.

A HUGE thank you to the Cobana gang for planning the trip and welcoming me into your ‘family’! And a special shout-out to Mong Ling and Hai Liang who so graciously hosted us at their lovely place.

 

Last Christmas, my family decided to take the road less travelled and booked ourselves into an Airbnb homestay in a fishing village at Pangkor Island. We really had no idea what to expect, save for an accommodation by the sea and possibly the smell of fish greeting us in the morning.

Let’s just say that our trip to this little island off the coast of Lumut exceeded our meagre expectations and a huge thank you must go to the manager of Pangkor Home Sea Village, Mr Heon, who took such good care of us. Without him, we would not have tried the simple but mouthwatering breakfast fare just a few minutes walk from the homestay, especially the ‘kon lou laksa bai mien’ which I have not tried anywhere else in Malaysia. It is basically dried noodles with thick laksa-flavoured sauce, topped with condiments such as char siew and beansprouts. Yummy! Mr Heon also brought us to the BEST seafood restaurant on the island – Restaurant Pasir Bogak. We ordered simple dishes such as the salted egg squid, buttered chicken and pork belly with salted fish but in the words of a typical Malaysian, they were ‘peng, leng, cheng’ (cheap, beautiful, awesome)! My picky eater of a son actually wolfed down the squid and chicken which he otherwise would never have touched.

All throughout the trip, Mr Heon was our personal tour guide and chauffeur – ferrying us to and fro all the tourist destinations like the Teluk Nipah beach and the Foo Lin Kong Temple, at the same time pointing out all the good places to eat and giving us a brief history of Pangkor, him being a native to this island. He brought us to the hornbill feeding place which turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip and even secured the best price for our round-island boat trip through his many connections as a Pangkor boy.

We returned to KL thoroughly roasted and satiated by the sun, sea and sand. Thank you again, Mr Heon, for your hospitality and giving us such a memorable trip to your island.

 

Exactly a year ago, my family spent the weekend in Taiping with some of my husband’s childhood friends. We were pleasantly surprised by our lovely accommodation, Sentosa Villa, which was a gem hidden behind an unassuming housing area. Upon entering its gates, we were transported to a ‘kampung’, complete with a natural river running through it and wooden villas for the guests. We were greeted by durian and cempedak trees, and ducks and geese roaming freely in this oasis in the middle of the bustling town of Taiping.

We spent our days there eating (what else do you expect us Malaysians to do?!), boat paddling at Lake Gardens and visiting the Taiping Zoo. The kids had a blast and the adults relived our childhood memories of paddling aimlessly in swan boats around the lake.

It was a short yet memorable trip, made even more special by the people we went with.

Believe it or not, I have never actually been to the town of Seremban. Famous for its siew pau and hakka mee, my cell group mates decided to satisfy our never-ending food cravings by making a day trip to this town. Chay Thiam, our cell leader, had printed out maps for the drivers and had marked 8 places for us to stop and eat. 8 places?!?! We would be averaging a meal an hour!

Our first pit stop was the Seremban Market. On the highest floor, there is a food court that holds treasure for the tummy – hakka mee, ‘yau yu mai fun’, Chinese-style rojak and more. Immediately after we scarfed down our food, we were off to our next destination – Restaurant Yi Poh, for pig stomach’s soup and more porky delights. I am no big fan of pig stomach but the soup here was seriously delicious! And directly opposite the restaurant, we have Kedai Siew Pau Asia or Siew Pou Master which serves an array of pastries like egg tarts, kaya puffs, char siew buns and of course, the infamous Seremban siew pau. Again, I have tasted many siew paus and egg tarts but these were definitely one of the best that I’ve eaten.

With full tummies, we ventured out of Seremban town to visit the Jelita Ostrich Show Farm. Trust me, this turned out to be the highlight of our trip! We fed the ostriches with corn kernels, tested the strength of ostrich eggs by standing on them, rode on an ostrich and even watched an ostrich race ala Prince of Persia. I think the only thing we wished we could have done was eat an ostrich omelette. The children (and adults too!) also had fun feeding the other animals there such as horses, geese, ducks and rabbits.

After such an exhausting excursion, it only made sense to travel back to town and feast on Haji Shariff’s pasembur, ice kacang and cendol. The place was packed when we arrived but the service was excellent – we received our food within a few minutes. Having quenched our thirst, we prepared to make our way to Mantin to sample their pau. Unfortunately, the pau shop was closed and we decided to call it a day.

Thank you Sia Chay Thiam for organising such a wonderful trip and thank you cell group members for making it an unforgettable one!

It was absolute bliss to leave work and escape to the cool weather of Cameron Highlands, even if it was just for a weekend. My escapade was made sweeter by the fact that we were travelling with my husband’s childhood friends from Batu Gajah and hubby was turning the big 4-0 that Sunday too!

I suppose you could say it was a reunion of sorts, as we had friends travelling from the UK, China and Singapore to join us on this trip. With our children in tow, it was a truly wonderful trip as we gorged ourselves with food in true Malaysian style.

We visited the usual must-sees such as the Kea Farm Market, where a box of strawberries was going for as a low as RM3 each! High tea at YTL’s Cameron Highlands Resort was a delightful experience and the boys, being boys, over-estimated their tummy sizes and stuffed themselves silly. We visited the Strawberry Farm, hoping to handpick some but were told that strawberries were not in season. Hmm…then why was there an abundant of strawberries at the markets being sold at such low prices? And a trip to these highlands is never complete without the winding journey to the picturesque Sungai Palas Boh Tea Plantation with its glass-windowed cafe overlooking rolling hills of tea bushes.

All in all, it was a truly memorable trip made special by the company of old friends, good food and excellent weather!

The first time I was at Pangkor Laut Resort, I was pregnant with my 1st child. My husband and I wanted to enjoy our final months of freedom and pamper ourselves silly.

Two years down the road and we’re back again at this beautiful and idyllic island – with our 2 year old in tow, plus a couple of nieces, my parents, my sister and her husband. As expected, this was a completely different type of holiday where you can kiss goodbye to lazing by the beach and sleeping in till noon.

Nevertheless we all had great fun, the kids especially. A great thank you for the excellent service and friendly staff at Pangkor Laut Resort. Perhaps we’ll come back to this wonderful resort next year – with our new baby girl in tow? 🙂

This was my first road trip with my new fellow cellies and I decided to bring my 2 year old son along, though I wasn’t quite sure how he would fare such a long journey. You see, not only was this a trip for fellowship and sightseeing, but in true Malaysian style, it had to be a food trip.

We started our food fest in Sungai Buloh and travelled to Tanjung Malim for good ol’ home cooked food. We then drove all the way to Sekinchan for fresh, needless-to-say mouth-watering seafood. Along the way, we wolfed down prawn fritters, ‘pisang goreng’, ‘lekor’ and ‘mentarang bakar’ and managed to view beautiful migratory birds flying over paddy fields.

At Sekinchan, we were pleasantly surprised by a small strip of beach which housed the most interesting self-made ‘playgrounds’. Who would have thought that those stackable plastic chairs used in restaurants could be so creatively transformed into swings? As you can see, not only did the children love it, but the adults had a go too!

Thank you Chay Thiam, George, Siew Kim, Sharon Y, Derek, Tony, Boo and little Kieran, for making this one of the most enjoyable and memorable road trips that I’ve ever embarked upon.

I absolutely LOVE custard cream puffs, or if you prefer the more fancy name, pate a choux (pronounced pah-ta-shoo) with custard filling. The best place I’ve found so far that sells downright delicious custard cream puffs is Nyonya Colours which you can find at One Utama or Mid Valley. My younger brother however, loves the ones from Beard Papa but I find their pastry a little too hard and puffs a little too big.

So, as usual, I decided to try and bake my own cream puffs. I must admit that I am very pleased with my first attempt. The puffs rose beautifully, turned golden brown and most importantly, were soft just the way I like them! The custard filling however, was a tad too milky for my taste. I will have to try a different custard recipe next time.

Since these puffs are best eaten fresh, I found myself stuffing my face 2 days in a row. It didn’t help that my hubby isn’t a fan of custard. If you are, let me know and I’ll pass some to you the next time I make them!

The moment I had a kid, I found myself constantly searching for interesting and exciting activities to entertain the little one, especially during the weekends.

So when my cell group members decided to go for the hot air balloon festival at Putrajaya last March, I immediately agreed to bring my family along. To be honest, the hot air balloon show was a letdown. They only managed to fly 3 balloons before breaking for prayers and before you know it, the sky has turned dark and the show pretty much cancelled.

Nevertheless, we still had a great time doing other stuff like trying out the KMX kart rides and watching people having fun with zorb balls. We stumbled upon the ‘lighthouse’ of Putrajaya which offered breathtaking views of the administrative capital at night.

And needless to say, we had wonderful company which made the excursion all the more memorable.