Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Traveller's Tips

Since I haven't been travelling for some time, I'm going to make an entry on some tips for travellers. Maybe some of these you have already known and practicing it, and maybe some you can find useful, hope it can help to ease your travelling experience.

1st of all, whenever we are travelling, especially oversea, our main concern is of coz - FOOD. Either on the halal food (for muslims) or maybe you or the person who are going with you are a bit picky...that's a normal thing! :) Another reason might be because you are on budget vacation, saving on food so you can enjoy shopping or maybe the spa? For typical Malaysian, most of us can't LIVE without having at least one meal of rice a day *grin* When I travelled to Seoul from Japan, 2 days before the flight, I cooked a few dishes likes rendang and sambal, and packed them in small plastic packets in one meal portion. So, let's say you are going for 3D2N trip, minus breakfast which is usually provided, you may need 4 packets for each lunch and dinner. Freeze these packets for at least 24 hours so that they are well-frozen. This is only applicable for dry type of dishes coz if those with heavy gravy, you have the risk of messy incidence...

Next, for those who will die if they don't have rice *grin*, you can buy these at any Jusco groceries dept...

See how creative Japanese are? That also shows they can't live without rice as well...*Grin* These can either be boiled or microwaved (please read the instructions first before buying). I'm sorry we don't have the local rice as these are Japanese rice which taste a bit like 'pulut'. But if you don't like Japanese rice, then you've got no choice either to cook and freeze the rice as your packed dishes, or else you can bring the uncooked rice itself :)

Your most important gadget of all is this....
My hubby and I call this 'geluk hikmat', as in P Ramlee's movies *grin*...Why? Because it's what makes your vacation magic! You can reheat your dishes and cook rice, also boil water or eggs! And it's so small for such a convenient and genius thing! You can buy this at any travel gear stores or at the airport.

Also, to save ourselves from doing laundry, we usually bring disposable underwear...
A tips shared by a friend, to reduce luggage, her brother rarely brings any clothes but just buy the cheap white t-shirt sold by the road for tourists, even though her brother is a millionaire! Or is it because he's a millionaire? Hihihi...But my health coach said the same thing too. Why put on so much stress to pack for vacation unless you are going inside the jungle or some place very deserted that you can't buy anything! *Grin*

Anyway, back to my story...
So on the day of travelling, you need to put the dishes in a sealed cooler box like the white polysterine thing. This actually depend on the country you are going to, how their customs are. Some are strict and won't allow even unopen box of baby milk powder, like Australia. When I was going to Japan from Malaysia, and Seoul (Korea) from Japan, both are ok, so better check on the rules and regulations first ok? Once you reached your destination, quickly put the food in the fridge so it won't be spoiled.

Hope the tips will help *wink*


Final call for Funny Vacation Contest submission! If you've already submitted, THANK YOU! You can help to tell your frenz too! Details in Funny Vacation Contest! Contest ends on July 30 12pm Malaysia time :)
I will post the result once decision has been made so stay tune!!!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Century Pines Resort

Star rating: ***
My rating: ***

In our latest visit to Cameron Highlands, we tried out another hotel which we never stayed before - Century Pines Resort. It's actually quite a new hotel, and as usual I would do a little research to see it's review and most said it's good and value for money so I go ahead to book it.

It was actually close to Chinese New Year but we travelled a day before to avoid the crowd, since the Chinese would be having their Big Dinner that night so we expect them to be at home. The trick works well so we had a very smooth drive and check-in.

The room is considered ok but even though we requested non-smoking room, we can still smell it in the room but I won't put the blame on the hotel but the illiterate people who stayed here before...grrrrrrrrrrrr
For dinner, we tried their steamboat and though the food itself is just ok level as we had other steamboats which tasted better, but having it out in the open air in a misty night really made a different...we really enjoyed the steamboat!

But we were wrong to expect a smooth breakfast the next day coz what a crowd it was! We couldn't even get a seat and the staff were so occupied that they couldn't help the other customers waiting in line outside the restaurant like us. I don't know when did these people came in but luckily we were already checking out that day so we had an early check out first and then went out for breakfast in town.

Even though we left early, we still stuck in the traffic as more and more people coming to Cameron. I did managed to stop buying my mom's fav plants - wild orchids. And I guess it's kinda spring here because we can also see wild orchids and other flowers blooming on the way.

So the hotel is located in Tanah Rata:

Strawberry Moment

My rating: Exceed Expectation
Rating: Improvement Required, Below Expectation, Meet Expectation, Exceed Expectation, Outstanding

If you read thru my blog, you'll realize I travelled to Cameron Highlands frequently as this is my fav place to be. I actually even considered buying a property there for retirement! *Grin*

Anyway, during one of the trips, we discovered this cafe called Strawberry Moment, and they even have a website so please check it out for more details here

It's located in Brinchang, just behind Star Regency Hotel, very closed to Brinchang market, which is very convenient. Why? Well, we usually stroll along the market to buy the fresh veggies, flowers and also hawker foods and after all the shopping, it's great to sit down and relax while enjoying your tea or desserts here :) You won't miss the cafe's board:

So what's good to have here? Basically, everything! And really, everything looks and sounds yummy here, even if you are not a strawberry fan, and I guess strawberry fans would think they had died and gone to heaven here *grin* On the first visit, since we were not well prepared, I didn't take any photos but we had tea with their strawberry cheese cake and the special dessert made of sago.

In the next visit, we had these:
My hubby ordered the fresh strawberry juice and strawberry crepe but I just have my old sago dessert and tea. My girl had her fav home-made fresh strawberry ice-creams. The ice-cream is  tasted so different than those in the market so that's why we always return here. I must salute the cafe owner for her creativity in creating the sago dessert which is just out of this world! You have to try it to know why *wink wink*

So, if you ever go to Cameron Highlands, don't forget to drop by here and try the desserts yourself!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Passions of Kerala

My rating: Meet Expectation
Rating - Improvement Required, Below Expectation, Meet Expectation, Exceed Expectation, Outstanding

When my hubby first went to this restaurant with his boss, he was so excited to bring me here, as we both share the same interest - travelling and search for good food. This restaurant was featured in The Star before which you can read here. So Passions of Kerala is a banana leaf restaurant located in New World Park.

The main meal is of coz, rice and a few vegetable dishes which is called the Vegetarian Set which cost RM5.50 (price may changed). There's 2 types of rice, white rice and tomato rice, but we took the white rice. Next you can order the side dishes which can be lamb, chicken, seafood and vegetables cooked either in curry masala, black pepper, normal curry, sambal or fried. The first time we went there, we took crab masala, fried fish and I can't remember the other one :P My hubby chose Mango Lassi while I took Teh Tarik for drinks. I must admit, it's better to take the lassi coz it goes better with the spicy food *grin*

Anyway, we went there the 2nd time today and this time we took our little girl too. Again, we took the Vegetarian Set but this time with different dishes, and guess what? FISH HEAD CURRY! We also took 1 fried fish (bawal), small dish of chicken curry and small dish of lamb masala. Drinks - Mango Lassi of coz, I learnt my lesson :)

The Mango Lassi is good but not that yummy as we tried in Kassim Mustafa Restaurant in Little India. But the FISH HEAD CURRY is just SUPERB! MARVELOUS! MMMMMUUAHHH! The fish head is so big and fleshy that we were wondering what fish it was, and piping hot too! The rice is actually free flow so you can keep on asking them to add on, but for those on diet, all I can say is pity you! *Grin* Sorry we didn't take the photo os another dishes coz my girl was so hungry. But I must say, apart from the yummy fried fish which is crispy on the outside but fleshy on the inside, the other 2 dishes is considered so-so coz they are cold, maybe due to the air-conditioned hall??? But my girl loves the lamb masala so much!

So how mush does everything cost? RM70 and a few sen (I can't remember how many sen actually), with the fish head curry costing half of the whole price. Cheap huh? If you don't take the fish head curry, it may cost you less than RM40 so I take this as a good deal for good food *thumbs up*

Funny Vacation Contest

I'm actually moving the contest from my other blog That's about it since I think it's more appropriate to be in this blog instead.
So, in every vacation, there'll surely be a happy and also FUNNY moments, right? Did you manage to capture that in the camera? Like this?

Share with me and my readers!
So how to enter?

1) If you are not my follower, add yourself as my follower for THIS blog as this is open only to my followers
2) Post an entry in your blog with the title "Funny Vacation Contest" and send the link in the comment for THIS blog so I could read them
3) In the entry, post a picture of your family in that funny moment. Usually this scene is captured in candid, right? It can be you, you partner or the kids!
4) Tell me about the vacation, like when, where and what happened so I can relate to the photo
5) Each can submit only one entry and also one photo
6) Submission from July 2-30

Winner is based on the funniest pic and story.
There'll be only one prize which is RM200 in cash which will be transferred into the winner's account.
The winner will be posted in my entry when the result is out, so then I can contact you on the details.
So don't delay! Dig out your vacation photos and post an entry then send to me ok? *wink wink*

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Golden Sands Resort

Star rating: ****
My rating: ****

Since my hubby is working in KL and only return to Penang weekly, we have very limited time to go for vacations even when we badly need one. So during one of the public holidays, we decided to try Golden Sands Resort. The reason - papa wanted to go somewhere nearby as time is very limited, mama wanted a nice and cosy place (hopefully quite too), Nisa wanted to go to the beach and also swim in the pool, and Idlan..well he can't say out what he wanted but I know we would need a baby-friendly place, so after doing a bit of a research, mama booked a room there.

Checking in takes so long, apart from they only have 1-2 counters, the tourists had lots of questions to the staffs. I really appreciate their courtsey, friendliness and politeness, but with 2 kids who are getting more and more impatient, I was steaming up with fury by the time I had my turn, but the staff seems to be familiar with the situation and they gave the biggest smile which you can't resist *grin*

Anyway, cutting this short, we got to our room and it's comfy enough :)
The resort also got a kids zone, some kind of a toys/games park. To enter you have to pay about RM20 (price may changed now) and the kids have to wear long sleeves shirt and pants and also socks so please don't forget to bring those or you'll have to buy them there. Nisa really enjoyed the park. Then she had a dip in the pool too...
Breakfast buffet here is not so bad, lots of varieties and some you may not see in other hotels/resorts, but there were too many people due to the public holidays so we couldn't really enjoy it.

Overall we are happy with our stay here and maybe will return here again one day :)

Boulevard Hotel Midvalley

Star rating: ****
My rating: ******

One of the time when I visited my hubby in KL, we stayed here in Boulevard Hotel at Midvalley. It's actually part of Midvalley Mega Mall so it's very, very, VERY convenient for me, not only to dine but also satisfy my craves for shopping *grin* FYI, I was pregnant at the time so I have an excuse *grin*

We booked Executive Deluxe room coz we wanted to experience the Executive Club facilities, but when we arrived for check-in, the staff said there was a misunderstanding and our room was taken, but they'll replaced with another room and guess what? We were upgraded to Studio Suite! Of coz we were happy coz this room is more expensive...hihihi

So how does a Studio Suite looked like?
The room was superb! We really love it! The bathroom is so classy! Even Nisa was so excited with this hotel :D

We had llunch and dinner in Midvalley as we shopped. It's so convenient as we can return to our room to rest and let Nisa has her naps, then return to shop or dine again. On check-out day, somehow Nisa dropped her fav bunny soft toy and we only realized it when we reached Penang. I called the hotel in case their house-keeping staff found it and they said they'll look for it. They really took the pain to search for it and return my call on the same day that they couldn't find it, but will keep a look out. 3 days later, they called again to say they found the bunny under one of the chairs at the lobby instead of the room! Wow! I was so touched, nearly even cried coz Nisa loves the bunny so much, she never sleeps without it, in the staff took lots of extra effort in finding the worn out bunny!

So, papa went to fetch it at the hotel after work and by the end of the week, Nisa got her bunny back when papa returned to Penang. No word could describe the reunion of the little girl with her beloved friend, and I guess even Bunny is happy...