South Korea Part 2

I love Jeju, the air is fresher, less traffic and it’s more calm compared to busy Seoul. I can even imagine myself retiring there in a cottage with a garden outside, growing my own herbs and all. We got a good look at what Jeju has to offer at Seongsan Sunrise Peak!

 

 

Climbing the hill was a great exercise but damn, it was chilly! The winds were so strong! Didn’t make it to the peak because I’m old and the wind was not helping too.

 

Bundled up!
Tried the caramel latte from Angel in-us Coffee and it was so good! Even the cup’s design is pretty neat! Too bad we didn’t get to try other local coffee joints! 🙁
Also, there’s a snack that looks like a round ball, made with sesame seeds with a red bean filling which is apparently, a delicacy only found at the peak or Jeju so get it and make sure you check the expiry date before paying because when we brought ours back it was already expired. Shopping fail!
Our next pit stop was a tangerine farm! I was thinking pretty much about the scene from My Girl where Lee Da Hae was stealing tangerines from a farm which was also in Jeju Island! If only we visited the farm last because I would have bought a box of it back because I was hooked after having even the average grade from the farm! Juicy, refreshing and sweet, I was a convert! Since I couldn’t bring a box back, I made sure I drank as much as juice  as I can since you can only get in Jeju. Plus, there was even a Jeju mineral water!

 

Oh Jeju tangerine, why are you not available in Malaysia?

Then, we visited the Seongup Folk Village, where we got a chance to see how traditional villages looks like and also they were hard-selling their traditional medicine too after we got a short tour around the village. Apparently, one of the villagers head had a horse so strong and fast that like a Ferrari and when the horse passed, they made medicine out of his bones which is said to be good for your bones. One of the hard-sell point. Those health products are too expensive for us young people to afford so I think most of us young ones tuned out.

OMG HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BLACK PIG? OF COURSE NOT! It’s another delicacy here too. It’s really ironic how we ended up having black pork BBQ for lunch after seeing this cutie. I’m sorry for eating your cousin and I admit he tasted pretty good too, somehow it tasted healthier, not as streaky as it’s usual pink cousins. I’m sorry and RIP.

After stuffing ourselves, we head to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum! I have not been to the Malaysia’s branch in First World, Genting but I think they’ll both have similar exhibitions, I’m not sure. Apparently, we’re suppose to cover one floor of the museum only because the local tour guide was screaming at us to go back to the bus but I guess she gave up after seeing that most of us ignored her. -insert Success kid meme-

 I found the museum interesting with some freaky displays which has interactions options for visitors so that it’s not too boring. Would I go back? Nah, once was enough for me.

 

Wall-E will forever be one of my favourite movies. That movie has so much feels even when there’s no dialogue involved. Disney at it’s best!

 

A wooden carved Cinderella’s horse carriage.

To be honest, I was more excited to visit the Teddy Bear museum! All thanks to Goong/ Princess Hour, which is more widely used, this drama was one of the few K-dramas I watched back in high school which sort of made me go Korea-cray for a while. Thankfully the craze has died down since last year! Sadly, the museum was having some renovations done so most parts of the museum was closed. WHY??? T_T It’s was a downer because I didn’t get to see the Goong inspired teddies, which was the sole reason I am going to the museum.

 

GAH I WANT THEM ALL!

 

 

Sorry to the museum staff because after taking pictures with my friend here, people started copying as well. I hope the bear is still in one piece. The place was packed with many people from different tour groups as well.

 

They see us rollin’, they hatin’~

 

 

Hermes bear!

 

Hera bear was wearing a tiara made from real diamonds that’s too heavy for her head.

 

Celebrity inspired bears!

 

 I said, I do because he offered to buy a Jeju orange plantation for me. Also the teddy bears sold at the gift store was expensive, like about RM100+ for a simple teddy bear. Thankfully, I’m not a collector so my fingers weren’t itching for it.

Next, we made our way to a cultural centre where we learned to make Kimchi! I definitely OD-ed on kimchi throughout the trip but not all the restaurants we went to has nice kimchi which was surprising because you expect Korean eateries to have way nicer kimchi than the imported ones and occasional handmade ones back here. Heck, some restaurant kimchi were so bad, I rather eat the ones we can get from the supermarket here.

Everything was already measured and prepared for us so we just need to slap on the gochujang mix onto the leaves and, fold it.

 

Too bad, we didn’t get to bring home the kimchi which we made. Another ridiculous reason. Apparently, they will ferment the kimchi which we have made and will package it and sell it. We got to try samples of ready-made ones though.

 

We adjourned downstairs to put on some hanbok to take pictures! I was a bit grumpy because I couldn’t get my kimchi and no one was there to teach us how to tie the dress so all of us was just tying it just to make sure it doesn’t fall off.

 

 

The beau tried on some emperor-esque robes so we look like his gisaengs right next to him.

 

DQ and I. I can’t remember how we started talking to each other but we both disliked a certain group and the local tour guide so yeah, that was our common ground. 😛

Before we headed off to dinner, we visited Yongduam Rock, a volcanic rock formation that resembles a dragon rising from the sea or something. Can you spot the dragon head?

 

Now would you look at that! Fresh abalone on top of ginseng chicken broth. It’s the perfect dish for winter, you get a whole chicken with a bowl of rice inside the soup, which already absorbed the healthy, hearty goodness of this herbal awesomeness! Too bad we couldn’t have extra abalone and soup.

 

Once we reached the hotel, we went out to explore the shops since it was our last night in Jeju. We popped by Coffine Gurunaru Cafe, which was right opposite our hotel. I ordered the hot milk chocolate, which I didn’t know, comes with a generous topping of whipped cream and chocolate buttons. It was a sweet, warm drink which only made me miss Jeju more. Plus, this cafe has wi-fi too, you just need to like their FB page. 😉

 

 

After checking out the next day, we flew back to Seoul. Had lunch at Dolphin Seafood Buffet which was not that amazing, heck, there wasn’t much seafood to begin with and there were some drama at the buffet line too, thankfully, it didn’t involved our group. Then, we were brought to a duty-free beauty shop that’s especially for tourists that was selling things from UGB and other brands which were not that cheap, about 25,000 won at least. Not many of us bought things from the shop, but I bought a bb cream puff and a sleeping mask from Nuganic, which was so good that I am very upset that I couldn’t get it anymore. So, the local tour guide was criticizing the more commercial brands such as Etude House and The Face Shop the whole way saying that we youngsters are paying for things that are not good for our skin compared to the ones being sold in the duty-free shop. Annoying much? Then, we made a stop to a seaweed factory (SEAWEED FOR THE WIN!!!), that’s where we went cray. I think we bought more than 15 packs of seaweed in assorted flavours. Later, we visited the Han River.

 

 

Pretty cool street art murals under the bridge!

 

We then got a chance to make our own bread before we head on board of the Han River cruise to catch the Pang Show.

 

My breads look decent compared to the beau’s. 😛

 

Pang Show is definitely more catered to kids because it was boring to me. All the acting and exaggerating actions were a bit over the top because it’s a non-speaking performance. So most of us went out of the room to explore the ship and catch the beauty that Han River has to offer.

 

 

 

After standing outside of the ship and freezing our butts off, we got off and I immediately got myself a Citron hot tea from The Caffe which was nearby.

 

Collected our breads as well!

 

Dinner time! We’ve been eating a lot of stews throughout the trip.

 

The famous shopping centre, Doota where the products are mostly mid-range to high-end priced. Not for us young folks who are strapped on cash and we were only given 2 hours to shop (UGH!). Luckily, DQ and her sister knew about the cheaper and more street market type of shopping mall which was right beside Doota so we headed there asap. There, you can actually put your bargaining skills to the test because they will not make it cheap easily. Due to time constraints, I only managed to get a knitted lace crop top and then we had to rush back to the side entrance of Doota to regroup. Then, we zoomed off to Dong Dae Mun street for while.

We checked into COATEL Chereville located in Gangnam, where we will be staying for 2 nights. It’s a pretty spacious boutique service apartment with amenities such as a kitchen, washing machine and a dryer too.

See that maroon bag over there? That’s our seaweed stash!

 

 

 

Each room has their own WiFi password as well. It’s my first time staying in this type of hotel so it’s something different.

 

The following day, we visited the Ginseng factory, where obviously they were hard-selling their ginseng products which were out of our buying range, only aunties and uncles were convinced and has the card to pay the high price. Local tour guide was persuading us young people to share and get a box of ginseng to nibble on but yeah, she gave up.

After the ginseng factory, we headed to the Amethyst factory then the Cordyceps factory. We managed to get some cheap amethyst keychains as souvenirs but cordyceps were expensive as well so sthat was a waste of time for us.

 

Beef stew for lunch! Om nom nom!

Best timing ever, was the moment our bus stopped outside Gyeongbok Palace and it started snowing!!!

I guess it was suppose to rain but since it was cold, rain turned to snow!

 

I guess I can say that my Zara coat, is sorta snowproof?
Imagine walking into the palace grounds and see this accidental but beautiful snowy addition to the scenery? It was breathtaking!

 

 

It kinda makes you feel like you stepped into another world.

 

We visited the National Folk Museum which was inside the palace grounds. Another speed through tour thanks to the tour guide who saw her favourite group was sleeping through her explanations, like literally dozing off in public.

 

Frozen lake surrounds the pretty pavilion.

 

 

 

We managed to catch a glimpse of the changing of the guards session before being shooed onto the bus by the frantic local tour guide.

We were then dropped off at Lotte Duty-Free Mall, where most of us bought loads of beauty products for family and friends. Warning, the Laneige counter is one of the most crowded so be prepared to wait a while. I was looking for the 3CE shop but I couldn’t find it until the last minute as we were leaving the mall. Then, we had to gather at Myeongdong. I’ll be back for 3CE one day! So we got about 3 hours to shop around Myeongdong and we saw signs to a Dog Cafe so once we reach the cafe, we were greeted by a unhappy-looking waiter which didn’t even allow us into the cafe so that just gave us a really bad impression if it wasn’t enough already. Shopping was so much better here, loads of accessories shop selling affordable earrings, necklaces and phone accessories. My younger sister went cray cray at the Innisfree shop. Also, entered a Missha shop and the salesgirl gave me a basket with a free mask but seeing that I didn’t buy anything, she immediately took the mask with the basket away from me with a sour face. Great customer service.

On a happy note, I had some really nice udon with spicy mandu! The kimbap was not bad too. If memory serves me right, this shop is called Mandu. Randomly, stumbled upon while exploring the busy streets of Myeongdong.

Back to the hotel after our shopping escapade and spent the whole night packing! We bought a lot of mask and beauty products that even our luggage is filled to the brim.

On the last day, we headed to a Chinese food buffet for breakfast. Apparently (somehow I think I overused this word for this two post. My apologies because I can’t help being sarcastic.), it’s one of the best places for chinese food according to the local tour guide. She must really have bad taste in food because it was bad, hence, no pictures. After that, we headed to Sinchon Lady’s Street where all the women universities are. We didn’t realize that the certain group was debating with the tour guides to just head straight to the airport because one of them wanted to have more time to shop at the airport’s duty-free. -_- Luckily, the local tour guide was not stupid so she finally let us off the bus after wasting everybody’s time. We were at the street pretty early so many of the shops were not open yet but we managed to do some last minute shopping.

Our last pit-stop was the wholesale mall selling local-made products. Boy, that place is mayhem! Packed with so many tourists who were fighting like cats and dogs for biscuits and chocolates. We bought two copper pots, ramen, brownie cakes, tea for me of course and more snacks! There will be people helping to pack your items into boxes to survive the plane ride back. Had another bad experience with a certain bunch of tourists from a certain big country. To be honest, tourists from that country put quite a damper on the trip too whenever they’re around.

Then, it was to the airport, too bad we couldn’t extend the trip to travel more by ourselves because we haven’t seen everything. What made me pissed was that the local tour guide was passing out feedback forms to each group and stood by to make sure that we feel bad and give her our dishonest review about her. She’s one sneaky b**** because she passed the form to the most blur person in my group which is the beau so the beau had to give her good reviews even when she has done nothing good. So frustrated, I would have given her really LOW and BAD marks if I had that form.

Had lunch at Lotteria before checking in. It’s like the healthier version of Mcdonald’s. It was a nice goodbye meal before flying back to KL. In conclusion, I will never ever want to see the local tour guide and that kinda of family ever again. I think I can never travel in group tours. Yes, it’s great that accommodations, food and main tourist attractions are all settled but it’s always a rush, there’s no flexibility, you meet stupid people and you can’t extend your trip. So are you a fan of group tours or making your own travel plans?

South Korea Part 1

Ahnyeong! This is going to be a late/throwback post because I traveled to South Korea with my sisters and beau last December, while we’re hitting December in another 2 months! Also I went to Macau earlier this year too so another late/throwback post will be coming!

Back to my South Korea trip, we took the 8D, 6N Seoul/Jeju Island + Yongpyong Ski Resort+ Hot Spring Water Park package from Golden Destinations. The thing about traveling in a group is that you’ll meet a certain people that would take advantage of the trip by sticking to the local tour guide like glue so that the guide will listen and do what ever they want. Maybe we’re just unlucky that our batch has that particular group and a very biased local tour guide who’s clearly full of herself and loves people with money. I would love to mention the name of the tour guide but heck, it’s just going to give more publicity to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Other than that, it was an ok trip, I think I should have spoken out about those occasions but anyhow, I will definitely be more alert if I ever go on group tours like these again. I’m not going to let these people ruin the trip for others for their own selfish reasons. Also, CAN LOCAL TOUR COMPANIES START HAVING ENGLISH-SPEAKING TOURS BECAUSE THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT PROFICIENT IN THE CHINESE LANGUAGE, PLEASE AND THANK YOU!

Exhausted and hungry from the traveling. I got to use my Slytherin scarf as well, finally!

 

Seeing snow the moment we left the airport, it was magical to us tropical folks! Along with the white smoke that comes out when you breath and speak!
Our first meal was at this restaurant and it was Dak Gal Bi which was a great start! A restaurant where different tour groups will dine at too.
 The itinerary changed because there was some protest happening in the city when we arrived so we headed to Nami Island first! Cue the Winter Sonata theme song!

 

Whaddup or more like whatchu lookin at!

 

 There was a lot of art sculptures that you could find around the island so plenty of photo ops!

 

Our Winter Sonata moment under the trees!

 

I don’t know what this was but it looks like some fertility sculpture to me.

 

When there’s a wide and snowy space, you gotta try jump shots!

 After Nami Island, we visited Mt. Sorak National Park and Sinheungsa Temple but it was already dark so we didn’t take much pictures but it was freezing cold! Then, we made our way to Daepohang Port before we head off to dinner.

 

 

 Sad part was we were not having dinner at these seafood stores, it was just a short pit stop. Dear tour companies, please do dinners in fisherman markets like these for us foodies sake! I really wanted to taste them fresh seafood! 🙁 In the end, we bought some dried fish snacks that the local guide was raving about, it was good dried fish, I give her that! Toast it a little at the oven and chew on its sweetness like the samples given by the shopkeeper.
 Also opposite the wet market was this stall selling deep fried seafood and there was a long line for it so us starving people lined up in the cold just to get a taste of juicy tentacles and oysters! It was a satisfying pre-dinner meal!
 Dinner was some good ol’ Korean BBQ! I think we’re the only group who always ask for refills on side dishes and soup and, we always almost finish to finish our meal. Eat as much authentic food here while you can yo!
Then we made our way to our first accommodation, Seorak Pine Resort. It was a unique resort because there were no beds, just a wide, warm heated floor where you can put some thin mattresses as your bed for the night. I put like two layers of it and slept like a baby because it was pretty comfy. Also, we raided the mini mart.

 

Yes, I was already stuffed from the BBQ dinner but I got hooked by the packaging. It wasn’t much to rave about because it’s a ‘healthy’ instant noodle.

 

Next day, we packed and then headed to Daewallyeong Sheep Ranch to try our hand in making cheese!

Add some edible flowers first in a cheese cloth covered tin.

 

The lady in green was the owner of the ranch and she was really entertaining! She even gave us a bag of corn chips before we left! 🙂

 

Gotta filter the cheese from the bubbles.

 

 

Our finished product! It was a light cheese, that went well with red wine and eaten with some corn chips with jam or just dipped in salt.

 

So good!!! Cravings!!!

 

 

Apparently, you need to pay if you want to take pictures of the sheep. -_-lll

After munching on cheese and wine, we got to check into our second hotel, Yongpyong Ski Resort, one of the famous ski resorts in the area. We stayed for a night in this cozy and I think pricey resort. Also, we had to pay for our ski equipment rentals which was not cheap.

 Can I just say, I love my rainbow pants? Picked up our gear before heading off to lunch!

 

Warm stew to fuel us up for our ski session!

 

Here comes the ridiculous part, we only got to ski for 2 hours. Why? Cause a certain group wanted to leave early to do god knows what. Skiing is not easy, heck it took a few of us, at least an hour just to not slide down the slope without bumping into other people because it was so crowded there. It’s even difficult to remove the ski shoes.

 

 

We took the cable car to the top to see the awesome views!

 

After returning from our super short ski session, we were rushed again to change to get to the Yongpyong Hot Spring Water Park, which was walking distance from the hotel. Now public baths are not new to me so I was ok with going commando as long as it is gender separated spa rooms, just like the locals but a lot of them from the tour group were uncomfortable. We only have a small towel to cover the lady bits so lots of avoiding eye contact and pretending you didn’t see anything.
The water park inside was just alright, nothing to rave about because most of the slides were for kids, there’s a wave pool and the water is warm. There was a few young and cute Korean lifeguards as well around the water park, much to my sister’s delight. In the spa area, there was a steam room, sauna and pools with different temperatures and a bunch of shower sections. A vanity area with hair dryers and a few beauty products was provided as well. I like going to baths like these because I feel more rejuvenated and my skin will be glowing from the hot spring water. 🙂
It was about -10 degrees Celsius that night but it was nice to walk around the resort grounds after to feel the super cold air.

 

Loads of people skiing at night as well.

The next day, we were headed to Seoul to visit Lotte World, the place is packed like sardines because of the holidays. Also we only had 3 hours to enjoy Lotte World, another ridiculous time duration given for a very packed theme park. We only managed to sit one ride and the ride took 1 and a half hour of queuing time and it only lasted for 1 minute. However, it was entertaining to see local high school girls being very vain that they hold a handheld mirror and touch their hair and face every 10 seconds. Sad to see, girls growing up in this kind of society. 🙁

 

 

Jajang myun! My love! So good! Our tour leader recommended us to get this from the food court and we weren’t disappointed.

 

URGH! WHY CAN’T WE GET YUMMY ONES HERE?!

 

 

So after 3 hours, we were rushed off to the 63 Building where there was Sea World, an observatory and a wax museum. Oh, the local tour guide only let us step at the entrance of  Sea World and then she pushed us to go to the observatory, which is ridiculous again, she was even annoyed when some of our tour members went deeper into Sea World because she had to go rush them out. Oh, just typing these out just enraged me.

 

We were one of the ones who went deeper to see more of Sea World because we paid for it.

 

 

We’re ended at the observatory which the local tour guide expected us to just breeze through the exhibition that was going on which was about The Beatles.

 

 Sorry but The Beatles are a legend and they deserve time. So a few of us took our sweet time much to her and a certain groups dismay.

 

The wax museum was next and the wax figures there were not as good as Madame Tussauds, sadly. I think this was one of the ok looking ones there.

So that night after we had dinner, we flew on Jin Air to Jeju Island. I seriously love this plane, for one they serve a cup of tea even when the flight is only an hour, the stewardess wears a hair barrette that bears the airline’s logo which is a butterfly which I wanted one too and the seats were not too crammed and there are pretty stewardess too! We checked into Jeju New Crown Hotel which we stayed for 2 nights. The rooms we got were normal twin bed rooms and breakfast was provided in the hotel the following day.

The Mysterious Road/ Ghost road because you feel like you’re going uphill when the bus was actually going downhill. It has to do with the growth of the surrounding trees on the road that gives some optical illusion.

 

This cute lil pup actually came to greet us before we went up the bus after looking at the Mysterious Road. So cute but too bad we couldn’t bring it with us. 🙁

So I’ll continue my Jeju adventures in the next post! Watch out for that! 🙂

Also, my instant white coffee gave this face today after I stirred it! Thanks for the pick me up! 😛

 

Hard Rock Hotel, Penang

So Ayesha, Charmaine and I had our celebratory trip to celebrate our freedom after 3 years of degree last June! We saved and managed to find a cheap deal at Hard Rock Hotel, Penang! I was excited because it’s my first time staying at Hard Rock and I read many reviews on it and saw pretty pictures of the swimming pool area!!! (I was excited about the slides!!!)

Car shot as we make our way to Hard Rock!

 

We got a good view of The Beatles’ butt from the balcony.

 

 

Doing crazy faces on the beach.

 

 

Pedicure perfect for the trip!

 

 

It was a first time for me to dine in a Hard Rock Cafe so was impressed with the food actually! This is the twisted Mac & Cheese, even the pasta is in a spiral shaped!

 

Well, three of us shared that and the tortilla/ I forgot the name of this dish for dinner cause the portion is big.

 

Then Ayesha went outside and told me to distract Kepo so that she could arrange something with the waiters and the plan worked!

 

The entire restaurant sang Happy Birthday and they gave a cheesecake to Kepo. Quite a nice cake too, not too rich.

 

This was a gift as well. 🙂 Too bad all three of us were looking in different directions. After dinner, we went to walk around the Batu Ferrighi Night Market.
The next day, we went food hunting in the city for the usual, Asam Laksa and Char Kuey Teow and had seafood dinner at Golden Thai Restaurant before taking the last walk around the Batu Ferringhi night market.

 

On the last day we checked out and went to hunt for famous food again according to the food map from the hotel. Look at Ayesha, so happy after she found her Fried carrot cake! She saw this stall on TV and from then on it was a hunt for this.
Just the other day, we celebrated her birthday at The Hills Restaurant.
Now you guys can see my new hairstyle! Feel like going shorter so might do it when it’s time to touch up my roots.

Ok I am still shocked whenever I think about this but last Wednesday, I received my first freebie from work and we, interns were not given freebies at work at all since we started. The shock factor was the person who gave me the freebie, she’s not exactly the nicest person since I started my internship. Another shock factor was HOW DOES SHE KNOW I LOVE NAIL POLISHES??? There has to be a hidden agenda somewhere.

 

Mataking Island,Sabah

So the beau’s family invited me to join them on a trip to Sabah and I was really shocked and surprised they even invited me because we were still at the early stages. So the beau told me that we were going to stay at Mataking Island for 2 nights then 1 night in Tawau. I was like ‘Mata-what?’. Never heard of it before so did some googling and the pictures were like this.

Hard to believe because no way you can find an island in West Malaysia with a sea this blue.

So I googled for reviews on Trip advisor and such and there were mixed reviews. They said since they transfer clean water from the main land to the island, water must be used sparingly. So I was worried about having no water to bath or to flush in the island.

But I was excited that I am travelling to East Malaysia for the first time and Mataking is close to Sipadan island so it should be as pretty as the pictures on Google.

It was my first time flying with Air Asia too!

 

I don’t like the sandwich cause there was not enough filling and sauce.

So once we got to Tawau, the Reef Dive Resort which is the only resort on Mataking Island has a personal bus that will take you to the jetty in Semporna and they have their own speedboat to bring you to the island.

We didn’t know that the Sulu issue started the minute we got to Mataking. So after we left Mataking, there were police checkpoints everywhere in Tawau then we searched the news online and found out about the Sulu thing.

We didn’t know because Digi didn’t follow me to Mataking so I couldn’t tweet pictures or call or message or even update about the awesomeness.

Semporna’s sea was polluted and yucky but the sea got bluer as the speedboat heads further away and this is what you see once you get to Mataking. Where can you get 3 different shades of blue sea in West Malaysia? Only in East Malaysia!

So beautiful that it literally took my breath away! The boat ride was 45 minutes of bump hitting but it was so worth it! You could practically see fishes and jellyfish in the sea without needing to strain your eyes. I was so excited to jump into the sea already! We had welcome drinks and we were brought to the only restaurant in the island, Simply ‘Enak’ Restaurant for lunch before checking in.

The food was a downer because there wasn’t much variety, mostly Asian cooking and I think it’s because the resort practices marine conservation, you can’t get much seafood to eat. Only prawns and sometimes fish. Some dishes were repetitive, as you stay there longer. Since we were starving, anything was good for us at that time.

After lunch we were shown to our rooms. The staff helped us to carry our luggage to our rooms and was very friendly! We stayed at the King Chalets so beau and I got our own chalet and the rooms were huge!

 

 

Meet Rainbow, my Pillopet! 🙂 My travelling buddy that helps me to sleep better cause he’s so soft….

 

There’s a shower too! For some reason the water drains out really slow. I think that’s how they are trying to save water but even so, this is sort of a 5-star resort, so shouldn’t they already have a good plumbing system? And also a water filter system that will provide clean water instead of getting water from the main land.

During the day when there’s low tide, we can actually walk to Mataking Kecil Island too!

All geared up in my Roxy bikini and ready to walk over! Sadly, we didn’t because no one was there and the staffs were talking in walkie-talkies in every step we take and the resort’s speedboat was also following us so we chickened out. Like what’s with the hush hush operation?

 

Then we found out from one of the staff that Mataking is only 15 minutes away from Philippines so I guess that’s why security is tight on this island. There’s a police shack too. At night, you can see soldiers carrying guns patrolling the island.

On the next day, we rented a boat for RM250 for 4 hours and we went island hopping to Timba-Timba Island, which is one of the small islands which can be found around Mataking Island.

 

This dog who lives on this island was so cute and friendly! She greeted us the moment we arrived on the island and she was guiding us too!

She likes to dip into the ocean too!

 

Her fur was so nice because of the sea water and if we could bring her back we would but too bad she guards the island with the other guards who lives on that island.

Then after walking around a bit on this island, we were brought to 3 different snorkeling sites!

Ok so while I was getting off the boat at one of the snorkeling sites, I was grabbing onto this bar but as I jumped off the boat, I forgotten to let go of the bar so my left fingers were stuck in between them. The pain was bearable but still thank god, beau’s dad noticed my agony and helped to get my fingers out. Thankfully I can still move my fingers but it was bruised really badly.

Beau also so worried but I still can smile for the camera and went to snorkel a bit more.

THE BEST SNORKELING EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD! I even saw a turtle at one of the sites! So many beautiful corals and fishes!

So awesome until I didn’t notice that my face was inches away from a jellyfish too. Thankfully, I didn’t get stung.

Came back to the hotel then we saw this dude here lazing around in the diver’s pool. He was huge and fat! Saw a lot of little ones around the island too. Don’t know what they are but they are one of the island’s inhabitants.

 

I’m more surprised that there are peacocks on the island when there’s so many lizards around the island but they are in a cage so nothing much to worry there.

 

 

We were waiting for the sunset but it was taking ages so I asked the beau to take some silhouette shots!

 

 

There’s a watchtower on the island too and it was a really long climb up but the view on top was beautiful!

 

 

 

Turtle hatchery! Too bad that we came at the wrong season. Turtle season is on October.

 

The Jacuzzi outside of Jamu Spa which is the only spa place on the island. I heard that you can to book it if you wanna use it.

That’s the watchtower!

 

 

The Dive Centre!

 

The bar.

The Simply ‘Enak’ Restaurant.

 

 

Baby Sharks!!!! XD So cute!!!

 

I miss this beautiful place already! I miss the sea and the beach and the fishes and the dog and snorkeling. 🙁

It’s definitely a place that I want to come back to. We stayed in Tawau for a night and beau’s dad’s friend brought us to eat yummy food!

You know those crispy kuey teow noodles with the egg sauce that we get in KL, well this one is Sabah’s version except with thin vermicelli noodles and they fry the egg with the noodles!

OMG THIS WAS SO GOOD! The soup/ sauce was omg so good and I don’t know how they keep the noodles moist even though it is fried together with the egg. This AWESOME noodles is found in Papa’s Kopitiam, Sabah.

Then at night he brought us to eat seafood! Too bad that during that time there was the Sulu incident and most of the shops are closed so we had to eat at an expensive seafood place. But it’s still good! 🙂

I want to go back to Sabah to eat that noodles again though and of course to visit the other islands too!

A piece of Serendah

So a bunch of us planned this trip to Sekeping Serendah as a mini reunion for Xin Ni and our other UTAR buddies since she came back from Kiwiland/New Zealand. We all met up at Hon Yuen’s house which is all the way in Balakong which was so far away.

Pictures from mostly Hon Yuen, Xin Ni(professional cameras) and myself(using my Blackberry).

We were trying to get to Sekeping Serendah using Hon Yuen’s phone GPS and his battery was dying so you can expect how worried we were or maybe it was just me. Hon Yuen drives like a madman too cause his car is a manual car and I was sitting in the middle so I get super scared when he tailgates the cars in front of him. I was yelling at him to drive slowly cause we ain’t rushing. We almost got lost because we ended up at the waterfall instead but luckily we asked someone there for the right directions. It turns out we need to go to this narrow road at a corner and drive on until we reach the private land.

The caretaker greeted us and he was very helpful and he asked us if we want breakfast for tomorrow but we didn’t take that offer cause we have to pay extra and besides, we went grocery shopping at Tesco, Rawang before we headed to Serendah. Bought insect repellant too since we were staying inside a jungle. He told us that he will come set up the barbeque pit for us at 6p.m.

That’s our crib for the night! XD

 

The bridge to our glasshouse.

 

The barbecue pit with outdoor seating area.

 

The small kitchen with a fridge, stove, toaster, sink and a few utensils are provided too which was enough for the 6 of us.

 

The outdoor shower.

 

And toilet.

 

The bedroom upstairs and extra pillows, mattresses, mosquito nets(THE MOST IMPORTANT THING) and blankets were provided since we had 2 extra people. Oddly,there’s a sink too and you can actually lock the stairs too. My Roxy tote makes the picture more real. Hehehe!

 

Played Uno and Playing Cards for a while.

 

Chee Keen and Kai Jun. Those two can go on and on about football and when they do, the rest of us just tune out.

 

Xin Ni luckily told Hon Yuen to bring his tripod along so with the camera’s timer we managed to take a bunch of group shots. 🙂
From the left: Wilson, me, Xin Ni, Chee Keen, Kai Jun and Hon Yuen.

 

Suddenly, we used a tissues as our prop. I was going for the farewell handkerchief pose. Kai Jun just doesn’t wanna pose with the tissue.

 

 

 

Xin Ni and I did most of the prep work and the cooking in the kitchen while the dudes handle the barbecue pit. We forgotten bring butter or oil or salt or pepper so we had to improvise with what we have.

 

Then, I had a lightbulb moment and suggested we used the oil from the Mee Sedap Instant Noodles that we gave from Tesco. So we coated some of the vegetables and put it in the toaster to make something to feed ourselves cause the caretaker was late in helping to set up the pit.

 

Then, we had another lightbulb moment! Xin Ni brought bacon so we fried the bacon on the frying pan which was provided and used the oil from there. Bacon is so useful. XD

 

Boys handling the pit!

 

 

 

It rained 3 times that day. Once in the evening and twice at night, halfway through the cooking at the pit and everyone had to bring all the food inside so that there’s no extra flavouring from the rain.

 

The morning after.
I couldn’t sleep at all cause the guys were making so much noise downstairs. I don’t know how Xin Ni and Hon Yuen can sleep through the noise. It was really cold too and there was bugs but not too many. So I eavesdropped on their man-talk. Mostly about games and why none of them wanted to sleep beside Hon Yuen even when there’s plenty of space.
Xin Ni woke up early to prepare breakfast for us which was the leftover bacon, sausages, bread and instant noodles and she was laughing her butt off when she was those 3 Stooges sleeping together.

 

These 3 slept on the extra mattresses that was provided. They were proud of how they folded the mosquito net so that it doesn’t cave in. -_-lll

 

I became so kiasu over the Scrabble match between Wilson, Chee Keen, Kai Jun and I. I kept getting 2nd and 3rd! Wilson kept winning! Their nickname for me in the game was ‘Kilin the Pink’ and ‘Kilin the Eugene’. -_-lll

 

 

We were doing the Can-Can.

 

Another random pose shot.

 

Well, I had to hold something so the potato that was left overnight on the pit it is!

I really had an awesome time on this trip! It’s time like these where you can really catch up with everyone and you will focus more on preparing good food too. There was no mosquitoes at all. I did not get a single bite when I was there. *touch wood* All of us were so worried about being dinner for the mosquitoes that night but we survived. There were loads of flying insects, moths and what-nots but I don’t think they are harmful.

Read reviews before we came here that the hot water shower does not last so most of us did not use the shower because it was so cold. Wilson used it and he said that the hot water will be there for a few minutes then it will become cold water, then you have to wait a while until the hot water comes back. It was RM540 per night so each of us paid RM90. We had to pay extra RM100 for 2 additional pax.

Will I go back there? Yes! Maybe I’ll try out the other houses in the future when I have the budget. 🙂