School Holiday Movie ~ Aladdin

On the first day of the recent school holidays, I took the girls and the mil to the cinema to watch Aladdin. I had read about the 2.5 to 3-star rating and reviews on Aladdin by some movie critics before watching the movie but undeterred by the poor reviews, I went ahead with the movie. Aladdin used to be one of my favorite childhood Disney movies and still is.

Aladdin is a classic story exquisitely made with an immensely talented cast. For me, watching this was like watching one of my favorite childhood films come to life.  I left the theater feeling like a kid with a silly grin on my face while chatting non-stop with the girls on the movie. Disney never disappoints and this time, Aladdin has aced it.

The verdict: Aladdin is everything a remake should be. Absolutely stunning and colorful cinematography, talented actors, amazing musical numbers, beautiful vocals and show stopping choreography. Will Smith is just naturally hilarious.  Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott were perfect as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, and Will Smith pulled out a fabulous performance as the genie, making the role his own without copying Robin Williams. Aladdin is a complete triumph.

After watching the movie, Alycia and I are now even more obsessed with A Whole New World!🤩

Our lunch at House of Pok just before the movie:

The prices of the mix and match set meals are very affordable and food is pretty good.  But be sure to be at the restaurant early to secure a table. We had lunch at 11-ish a.m. and got a table without waiting. Other times, there’s always a bee line outside the restaurant.

After the movie we went shopping at Mr DIY.  While I was looking at some stuff, Cass was checking out some note books at another aisle. After we left Mr DIY, Cass told me that whilst she was at Mr DIY, a teenage girl came up to her and asked her if she’s going to watch a movie, to which she replied that she had already.  When we were on the escalator, Cass suddenly realized that her Harry Potter book wasn’t with her. She checked her bag, I checked mine, checked with the mil and the other 2 girls and none of them had her expensive Harry Potter book.

I suspected that the stranger who came up to Cass may have errrr… ‘charmed’ Cass and taken the book while chatting with her.  Not overreacting here but the mil’s good friend got ‘charmed’ by an unsuspecting woman at the PJ wet market recently and when she woke up from the spell, she realized that all her money was withdrawn from a few banks! Mother of all nightmares!  But Cass was convinced that it wasn’t the stranger who stole her book. “Mum, I was NOT under a spell. I know what was going on ok!” Cass kept telling me  😆

We went back to Mr DIY and checked all the aisles that Cass went to, we checked the floors, the escalators and then went back to the cinema and asked the staff to help us check the cinema that we were in to see if the book was there. And the book was indeed left behind in the cinema. It had dropped onto the floor!  My careless girl!   But we couldn’t get the book back immediately as a movie was ongoing.

The funny thing is that before we left the cinema, I had checked the seats that we sat on to ensure that nothing was left behind. I have a habit of looking back at the seats and floor whenever I leave a restaurant or just anywhere. But this time, I had overlooked the floor. We couldn’t see clearly anyway as it was still pretty dark inside the theater after the movie.

I only collected the Harry Potter from the cinema staff yesterday, i.e. two weeks later. Aladdin will be one movie that Cass will remember for life because of this particular episode after the movie.  She loves all her novels, especially the Harry Potter series and was devastated when she realized that she had lost one of her most treasured books.  I believe my scatterbrain girl has learnt a good lesson!

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J’s Gate Dining and The Tokyo Restaurant @ Isetan, Lot 10

We spent half our day at Lot 10 on the first day of Hari Raya on 5 June 2019.  My bon viveur hubs has been wanting to bring us to J’s Gate Dining @ Isetan, Lot 10 to savor the best of authentic Japanese cuisine since their launch early last year but only has the time to do so today.  All his staff are on leave and his kitchen will be closed for a few days before they all work on full steam again next week.

J’s Gate Dining is the Japanese food lover’s one-stop haven to enjoy 17 of Japan’s best authentic cuisines featuring superior Japanese ingredients and hospitality. Depending on what your liking and cravings are, you can pick any of the outlets to appease your appetite.

With so many outlets to choose from, we were really spoilt for choices and it was pretty hard to settle on one or two. Finally my gourmand hubs settled for Umai Sushikan (for sushi and tempura) and Osaka Kitchen (for teppanyaki).

Umai Sushikan
Umai means ‘’delicious’’ in Japanese and sushikan is sushi.  Only fresh ingredients handpicked by the team from the fish market (air-flown from Japan) are used.  The sushi and fish that we had were indeed very fresh and these don’t come cheap either!  The bill came up to over RM300 for only 6 dishes that came in small portions!

Below: Grilled premium cod fish flown in from Japan and this piece of cod the size of half my palm (or maybe smaller) costs almost a hundred Ringgit! So expensive that I ate the super sour pickled spring onion 🤣

This is one restaurant that we’ll probably only try once. It’ll cost the hubs an arm and a leg to feed our 3 hungry piranhas (with a bottomless pit) till they’re well fed and satiated at this restaurant.  Even with two teppanyaki sets ordered from Osaka Kitchen, the girls were still hungry!

Osaka Kitchen
Osaka Kitchen is known for their popular signature Osaka dishes, including okonomiyaki and yakisoba which features food cooked on an iron griddle in front of diners.  The ingredients are also sourced from Japan, including the finest quality wagyu beef.

Osaka Kitchen is situated just opposite Umai Sushikan. For orders above RM200, patrons at Umai Sushikan are allowed to order food from other outlets. Thus, we ordered a beef teppan set and a pork teppan set. Each set comes with a meat, stir-fried pea sprouts, salad, appetizers, grilled avocado with cheese and ice-cream (matcha and yuzu flavors).  The bill at Osaka Kitchen is over RM200.

After lunch we segued into The Tokyo Restaurant for their signature cheese cakes. Hubs has been wanting to try the much raved about “best burnt cheesecake in Malaysia” (it seems) available at Tokyo Restaurant and finally he has the time today.  And indeed, one spoonful of this super smooth and creamy, oh-so cheesy cake sent me to cake paradise!  If not for the price, I would have sent in another order for the Classic Burnt Cheesecake and Matcha Cheesecake.

The original famous Classic Burnt Cheesecake @ RM 20 is Tokyo Kitchen’s signature 6th Avenue Cheesecake. The cake is served with a scoop of silky smooth whipped cream.

The Yuri/Macha Cheesecake @ RM21 is the bomb for matcha lovers. It’s over-the-top delicious, like heaven in my mouth!!  Both Sherilyn and I are matcha lovers and couldn’t get enough of it.  The cake is made with artisan 100% stone-ground aromatic macha powder sourced from Niko Neko, the matcha powder specialist.

Gateau Chocolate cake @ RM18 is rich, very chocolaty and surprisingly not cloy and sweet. Very nice!

Classic Tiramisu @ RM18 looks perfectly executed and tastes just as perfect as the other cakes.

The next time the hubs brings us to Lot 10 again, I think I’ll skip the main course and jump right into cakes at Tokyo Restaurant.  I’m willing to sacrifice gaining a pound or two for these killer cakes and then go on a diet and workout extra hard for the next one week just to get my cake fix!

The Macha Latte is one of the best I’ve tasted besides the one we tried at Sunbather Coffee recently ~ the milk to macha ratio is spot on, I don’t get the heart palpitation and tea drunkenness that I usually do after scarfing down half a cup of it and it’s not sweet. Love it to the max!

I now know what cake I want for my next birthday  😊 😋  Thank you darling. I know you secretly read my blog posts 😉

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Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS), Ipoh

After lunch at the celebrated Thean Chun kopitiam, followed by a walk down the famed Concubine Lane, we went on a jaunt around Ipoh city, with no specific destination in mind. There were 9 of us in the MPV.  Whenever we’re back in Ipoh together, hubs and I love going for a spin in the car traipsing the roads of Ipoh to see what’s new in town and to go down memory lane in our beautiful hometown.

After buying pomelos at Tambun, I casually mentioned to the hubs that since March this year, entrance fee into the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) in Meru has been free. And he said OK, why not have a short visit to MAPS then since we are now on holiday and there’s nothing to rush?! The girls were thrilled! What was supposed to be lunch has now turned into a fun-filled half-day adventure at a theme park. We were all so NOT prepared, wearing only slippers and sandals with no sunscreen lotion and all.

Poised as Asia’s First Animation Theme Park built at the cost of RM520 million in Ipoh, Perak, Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) was set to be the most exciting dream destination for everyone.  With over 40 attractions in 6 thematic zones, MAPS was opened in 2017 with an initial entrance fee of over RM100 per pax.  Due to the choking entrance fee and the fact that not all the attractions are opened yet, the turnout was tepid, resulting in the entrance fee being scraped off effective March 2019.  However, you’ll need to buy coupons for all the rides in the theme park.

On the day that we were there, which was a Sunday, we had expected a mad crowd like Sunway Lost World Of Tambun. But there was surprisingly no crowd. Just  moderate number of visitors but not crowded. If you’ve been to Universal Studio Singapore and you’ve given it a 5-star rating, you can expect to give MAPS a 3-star rating. This is a place where you’ll only give it a one-time visit unless all the attractions are open and unless it’s more ‘lively’.  The place is very clean and spacious but it just lacks the animation, vigor and oomph factor.

The very first ride that attracted the girls when we walked into the theme park was the electric bike.  At RM15 for 15 minutes, the girls went on the electric bikes many rounds. But for noob electric bikers, the girls found it hard to maneuver the bikes initially.

Koong koong teaching Sherilyn where to place her foot on the bike when she first shared the bike with Alycia.

They just couldn’t balance themselves on the bike and finally they got a bike each and problem solved!


Sherilyn performs a hand stand in front of the upside down building.

The girls and I got excited when we saw Tealive in the theme park!  Boba tea (sans the pearl jelly for me) is one of my guilty pleasures currently 🥤😉

MAPS entrance

Our RM150 worth of coupons were not fully utilized though the girls went on umpteen number of electric bike rides, roller coaster rides, fun rides, bumper car ride, game stalls, etc and we had to give away the unused coupons to two lucky visitors  when we left the park. Again, we were caught in the rain towards the evening and had to leave abruptly. This seems to happen to all our theme park visits from Ocean Park Hong Kong to Sentosa Island Singapore, Gardens By The Bay Singapore and Lost World of Tambun!  It just had to rain on our parade every.single.time. 😟

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Guang The Movie 2018

I can’t remember when was the last time I watched a movie at the cinema. I think it was Avengers a few years back. And I slept half the time in the cinema. I always snooze off partway during the movie, especially if the movie is a fantasy movie or a cartoon. Movies like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Avengers, BumbleBee ALWAYS lull me to sleep! I remember sleeping through the Harry Potter movie many yonks back 😴

On Tuesday I brought the girls and the mil to the mall for a movie marathon. After lunch, the 2 older girls and the mil watched the cartoon Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck It, while I went shopping with Cass. I joined them to watch Guang later.

I did not even know that movie tickets are now bought from e-Kiosks stationed outside the cinema.

And instead of having tickets printed out, only two receipts are printed out from the e-Kiosk, no matter the quantity of tickets bought. At the entrance of the cinema, one of the receipts with the bar code will be scanned.

So canggih now!

I am really living in the dinosaur age!  What do you expect from a middle-aged aunty who has no interest in movies, right? 😆

Guang is perhaps the only movie that I’d watched in a decade that managed to make me stay awake from start to the very end.

Guang tells the story of Wen Guang, a young man who struggles with autism. His brother keeps coercing him to find a job so that they can share family expenses, and he does go looking but it’s an extremely difficult process fraught with a lot of stumbling blocks. Unknown to anyone, Wen Guang who has perfect pitch, has a gift for music. The film is loosely based on the real life director’s brother who is autistic and is musically gifted.

Source: 'Guang' The Movie Facebook page.

Be warned that this movie is a real tear-jerker, so do bring lots of tissue papers.  Some scenes are hilarious though. Guang is an excellent movie with an excellent cast.

Guang was nominated in four categories at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) Asian New Talent Awards – Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress .

Source: cinema.com.

Guang is a well-crafted debut that goes beyond the telling of the intimate struggles of a familial relationship. The plot presents a platform that questions on the issue of the treatment towards people of different abilities especially in the working environment and further mirrors the society’s approach on the matter.

Our girls loved it, especially Cass, who says that she does not mind watching it again. We are all hoping that a sequel will be in the making soon to tell how well Guang is doing at his new job at a piano shop and whether his loving younger didi will be in a relationship with Sue Ann, the kind-hearted kindergarten teacher at a special needs school.

Here’s another activity for your kids this school holidays. Go watch Guang with your kids and support our local film industry. HFM says you’ll love this movie as much as she does! ☺️

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School Holidays Activities

While Alycia hibernates in her bedroom revising for her trial PT3 exam, Drama Queen spent her time baking in the kitchen and Cass did what she loves most ~ burying her face in her novels and making a ‘Massage Coupon Book’ for me 💖

Other than working out at the gym for 1-2 hours daily and taking short 10-15 minute breaks every hourly, the big girl is cooped up in her room revising. She even stayed home while the rest of the family went out for lunch yesterday. Hope she does well in her coming exams!

Three more days of sleeping in and lolling around in the house and it’s time for the girls to go back to school, to face the toughest part of the school year ~ final exam for Drama Queen and Cass and two major exams for Alycia. And then it’s the school holidays again. I. Can’t. Wait.!!!!

As I am typing this post, It’s 12 noon and there’s nothing much to forage in the pantry but I am SO lazy to drive out to get food for my brood and the queen.  It looks like we will just reheat all the frozen food or toast some bread and fry some eggs. I just don’t feel like exposing myself to the hot afternoon sun and haze and shower again. But somehow, I will still need to drive to my favorite bakery to get a loaf of banana olive bread and resume my driver duty later in the day.


The Cookie Monster with 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies which she baked last night. While everyone else were in bed, she continued with moping the kitchen floor and washing up all the baking utensils. That was my condition to her before I bought her all the ingredients ~ MUST wash up, clean up and leave a spanking clean floor free of flour and ants!

My coupons for massages from my baby girl.  It’s a good start for her to start earning her pocket money 🤣

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Trip Back To Ipoh (16 – 18 June 2018)

Our stay in Ipoh during the mid-term school holidays this time was a short 3 days 2 nights trip. We couldn’t go back at an earlier date as mum, papa and Roy were still in East Europe. When they returned, it was already the end of the first of two weeks of  school holidays. We could only stay in Ipoh for 2 nights as Alycia had a dental appointment for her braces to be fixed.  But the 3 days were precious. We had a great time bonding and it was the first time we could celebrate Father’s Day in Ipoh on the actual day with papa and the hubs together. Really wished that we could have arranged for a short trip to somewhere near. My wish and plan now is to organize a holiday together during the year-end school holidays to Langkawi, Thailand or some neighboring states or countries.  I’m full of hopes that this holiday will materialize.

On our last night in Ipoh, we had dinner at Tung Koo Teng (Mushroom Hut) food court @ Ipoh Garden. The hubs is happiest when he is back in his hometown digging into all his favorite childhood hawkers fare. Who is not? I’m happiest too when I am back at my parents, being a princess again, for a short few days before my princessy days turn into long Cinderalla days and nights 🤭

Our favorite picks:

Curry laksa (SO yums!) and Hong Kong style chee cheong fun:

Ipoh style ‘kai see hor fun’ and popiah:

Chicken and beef satay; grilled curry stingray fish:

Ice kacang and ‘wan tau long’ jelly (aka Aiyu jelly):

Aiyu jelly is rarely seen in the Klang Valley or other parts of Malaysia. It is only in Ipoh that we get to savor our favorite childhood dessert.  Writing this post is already making me miss all my favorite food in Ipoh. I can’t wait for the next school holidays for our next trip back to home sweet home ❤

 

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Ipoh Trip ~ 16 June 2018

We were very early for our 8:35 a.m. ETS this time as we didn’t have breakfast at McD or Burger King.  I told the hubs that having breakfast at the station was a complete waste of time. I bento-ed fried rice and apples for the girls to eat on the train instead.

My papa and younger brother couldn’t pick us up from the Ipoh train station as papa had inadvertently left both sets of his car keys in his car when he manually locked the car. And the other car had a flat tyre in the morning when papa went to the market  to get coconut water for us. He had to change the tyre by the side of the road in the hot sun. Double whammy!

We took a Grab car to my parents ~ with 6 people crammed into the car including the driver and it was only a Proton Preve car.

Lunch was at our favorite kopitiam at the neighborhood.

After lunch, I took Cass to Kinta Cinty to claim her reward. I told before her exam that if her ‘position’ is within 20 in the entire Primary 4 (of 6 classes), she gets her wish of owning any novel that she wants.

Her reward was a Harry Potter book plus bonus of 3 other books on special offer at only RM10 each.

At the Claw Machine at the mall, while observing people play, Cass spotted a young man carrying a backpack and slinging a shoulder bag for his girlfriend.

Cass – mum, I feel REALLY SORRY for the man. Look…

Me – (ROTFL!) then make sure you don’t do that to your boyfriend in future

Cass – hell no. I will never have a boyfriend.

Me – oh really? Let’s see…

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Girls Meet New Twin Cousins

Our girls finally met their new twin cousins on 21 December 2017. They were beaming with joy.  So was I.   I have been yearning to cuddle my new niece and nephew since day 1 they were born prematurely at 32 weeks on 1 Sept 2017.

The girls could not resist cuddling and stroking the babies, who are absolutely cuteness overloaded!

Both my sil and myself were on tenterhooks when the girls carried the babies, concerned that they would drop the babies.  And this sort of unfortunate accident really happened to my sil’s friend during the baby’s fullmoon party where a friend dropped the baby! Oh. My. Gawd!

The next time we meet the babies will be in another two  months, perhaps during CNY. They will be even more responsive by then.  We can’t wait to see the babies again.

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Singapore Trip – Day 2 (22 Dec 2017)

Today is big brother Raymond’s birthday.  We started off our day with breakfast at a nearby market. Food was really not up to we Malaysians’ taste buds.  We ordered wanton noodles, prawn noodles, fish ball noodles, economy noodles, coffee and milk tea. Nothing met our expectations, though the queue at most of the stalls were long and we had to spend 15 ~ 30 minutes queuing up to buy food.  Thankfully our lunch at Sentosa Resorts World was very satisfactory (at no other than a restaurant offering Malaysian hawkers’ food hehe) and big bro Ray treated us to Japanese for dinner.

After breakfast, we went to Novena church to give thanks and to sneak into the grounds of one of the most expensive and beautiful churches in Singapore.  After 33 months and at a whopping cost of $54 million, Novena Church’s redevelopment and extensive overhaul was finally completed. The church opened its doors to the public again on Sept 29 2017.  Novena church is one of the most iconic and popular Catholic churches in Singapore.

Clad in granite outside and limestone inside, the church’s sanctuary now features soaring arches, intricate columns, a dome and 18 large stained-glass windows.  It is indeed one of the grandest churches that we have been to.

 

 

After Novena, we headed to Sentosa Island’s Resorts World.

 

 

 

I secretly snapped two pix of Sherilyn posing with the birds coz I was too cheapskate to spend over SGD10 for a picture.  I had to remind myself that every dollar spent is RM3 and to spend RM30 for a picture that will eventually end up inside our photo album cupboard, no way am I going to add more junk into that cupboard, ha!

 

Walking to the toilets.   Toilets in Singapore are very clean, unlike the ones back home.  Even the loos at the market that we went to are of the standard of shopping mall toilets back home.  And I don’t mind paying 10 cents to use it.

We had lunch at Malaysian Food Street @ Resorts World, one of the most popular eateries at Resorts World.

Food was surprisingly not expensive and quality of food is good. The char koay teow and prawn mee tasted exactly like the ones back home.

Malaysian Food Street is created into a unique old-town ambience to flavour the experience of indulging in some of Malaysia’s finest and famous hawker fare. This is one dining destination not to be missed in Sentosa Island.  It is fully air-conditioned and designed to evoke the look of streets of Malaysia, with facades of old shop houses and replicas of 1950s coffeeshop. There are a total of 17 stalls which includes legendary Malaysian favourites such as Famous Jalan Alor KL Hokkien Mee, Huen Kee Claypot Rice, Penang Hai Beng Lor Mee etc.

 

 

 

After we got back from Resorts World and with only an hour left before dinner, my childhood best friend, Ju, picked me up from my brother’s apartment. We had drinks at a nearby cafe. It was really nice to meet up with Ju again after donkey years.  And thank you once again Ju for spoiling my girls with those gifts. And our favorite potato chips from Japan!

After our sumptuous Japanese dinner, our friendly van driver drove us to Gardens By The Bay.

Entrance fee is only SGD10 per person.

Our favorite spot is the Supertrees. When night falls, this enchanting  vertical gardens come alive with a mesmerising Garden Rhapsody light and sound show.  On the night we were there, there were fake snow flakes too.

There is an elevated walkway, the OCBC Skyway, between two of the larger Supertrees for visitors to enjoy a panoramic aerial view of the Gardens.  Too bad it rained half way through our admiration of the trees and we had to miss going up the elevated walkway.   Instead, we ran back to the entrance and got into our waiting van, half drenched in rain water. Bummer!

Tip: do bring along umbrellas during the rainy season.

Our girls against the backdrop of Marina Bay Sands.

 

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We Are Back From Singapore

We came back from Singapore late last night after an 11-hour crawl back from Singapore.  We left Singapore at 11:30 a.m., went through the Tuas Checkpoint pretty smoothly without any traffic jam and thought that luck was on our side. But we were so wrong.  A few minutes after we left the Tuas Checkpoint, we saw the longest traffic crawl ahead of us. We were totally unprepared for what was to come.

After over 3 hours stuck at the Causeway, where vehicles were barely moving, we were still not reaching the Malaysian Customs yet. All our bladders were about to explode.  Our very friendly van driver gave us some suggestions on how we could relief ourselves. But could you even pee into a plastic bag?  Or walk to the side of the Causeway and pee near the bushes? NO WAY!

Finally, we decided to get down the vehicle smack-bang in the middle of the highway and walked under the merciless 2 p.m. sun to the Malaysian Customs to use the staff toilet. What a relief it was after holding on for over 2 hours!

Long story short, after 11 hours of bumper to bumper crawl from the Tuas Checkpoint, we finally reached home.  Home sweet home at 10:30 p.m.  We had a lunch break and 2 toilet breaks in between.  Half the journey, almost everyone was in sheer agony of full bladders.

After we were dropped off in KL, my parents, younger brother and hubs had dinner at 11 p.m. before the driver continued the trip back to Ipoh to drop off my parents and brother. They reached Ipoh at 2 a.m. It was the longest ever road trip for all of us.

Much as I would like to write more and post more beautiful pix that we took in Singapore, especially the ones with my new twin niece and nephew, I have to make this post a short one. I have to be up very early tomorrow for Christmas service in church at 8:30 a.m.


Bumper to bumper crawl on both sides of the highway, all the way from Seremban to Singapore and vice versa.

 🎄Merry Christmas Everyone!🎄

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Back In KL

Our ETS ride from Ipoh to KL Sentral today was a tad eventful.  A few minutes after the train dropped off passengers at the Sg. Buloh station, the air conditioning and lights in the train were out. Suddenly the train stopped short smack-bang in the middle of no where.  Then an announcement came. The train had run out of power. Great! This has been happening too often. We panicked and hoped that the outage would soon be rectified. Thankfully after a few minutes the train moved again, phew!  However, several minutes later, the air conditioning and lights were out again and the train stopped again!  Thank God the train moved again minutes later.  What a suspense for everyone. It would be torturous to travel on a train without air conditioning with sealed windows and doors when the unforgiving sun is out at full force at 1 p.m.  And this is what my friend had to endure when she traveled from Ipoh to KL Sentral just a few weeks ago.

Thank God we reached KL Sentral station safely.  After alighting from the train, another minor glitch greeted me. The escalator to bring us up was under maintenance.  Double whammy!  I struggled to lug our huge green luggage bag up the long flight of stairs.  Cass kept snatching the bag from me to help me carry it but the bag was heavier than her and I stopped her. Thank God again that a samaritan offered to help me carry my luggage bag up. I thanked the boy (I think he’s a college-going boy) profusely.

Moral of the story:  Kindness begets kindness. And pay it forward.

During the previous ETS ride back to KL 2 months ago, I helped a woman in her 60s carry her luggage bag down the train.


Waiting for the hubs to fetch us.

Hubs brought us to Fong Lye @ Jalan Imbi for lunch. The foodie hubs has been craving to eat at Fong Lye since last Sunday. When he asked us to go to  Fong Lye for dinner at 8 p.m. last Sunday, I didn’t entertain him as it was already late and the girls and I already had our dinner. Finally he had his craving satisfied today. He even told me the list of dishes that he wanted to order before dropping us at the restaurant while he went to find parking.


Sweet potato porridge; lotus root appetizer


Stir fried long beans; sauteed pork strips with yam and big onions; fried lala with basil


Fried rice with meat floss; tomato omelette


Fried fish; Three-Cup chicken


The damage

As we stepped out of Fong Lye, the foodie hubs said he had craving for pork jerky *eeeeyeeeeerr*!!

And he dragged us to the dried meat shop just a few steps away from Fong Lye and bought a packet of pork jerky.

Dinner tonight is dad’s pork ribs and sand ginger chicken which dad lovingly deep freeze the night before after cooking for us to bring back to KL.

 

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Tour Of Gua Tempurung, Gopeng

Today papa drove us to Gua Tempurung, one of the largest limestone caves in Peninsular Malaysia.  Ever since the North South Highway was opened over 20 years ago and  Gua Tempurung made visible to all who travel on the highway, I’ve been wanting to visit this magnificent cave with a breathtaking view.

We left the house at 9 a.m. for Gopeng.  Our first stop was at the Gopeng food court, situated next to the Gopeng wet market to have breakfast.

Hawkers food in Ipoh and Gopeng are so much more cheaper than in KL.  A plate of standard (with no add-ons) chicken rice, fish ball noodles and curry noodles only cost RM4 in Ipoh and Gopeng while they cost a minimum of RM6 or RM7 in KL.

Alycia who doesn’t like noodles ordered an Indian apam which costs RM1.20 each.  The apam tastes like  Chinese ‘pak tong koh’ (steamed white sugar rice cake) in the middle while the sides are crispy.  All of us pecked on her apam and in less than a minute was done to none. She ordered 2 more pieces later.  Love it. Something so simple and affordable can taste so yummy!  Real comfort food.

On our way to Gua Tempurung, we dropped by at Gaharu Tea Valley, Gopeng just to have a look-see at this tourist spot.  Mum who had been here before told us that there is  a buggy to bring visitors up the hills to the tea valley for sight-seeing. But we decided not to do the short tour as our main purpose was to go to Gua Tempurung.

 

We reached Gua Tempurung  at about 10:45 a.m.  Papa bought us the tix for Tour 2 (Top of the World) which would bring us to Platform 5 of the cave. Tix are priced at RM9 for adults, RM4.50 for children aged 6 ~ 12 year old and RM3 for senior citizens aged 60 and above.  The estimated time for this tour is 1 hour 45 minutes from entrance to Top Of The World and return. But we managed to complete it within 1.5 hours.  Without time spent on camwhoring and admiring the caves, it would only take us an hour to go up and down the caves.

So glad that papa (74 this year) and mum (71 this year) managed to climb up the steep steps inside the cave. Some of the steps are very steep and can really exhaust you to the point of gasping for air. Thankfully papa and mum could climb up without any problem, albeit mum had to climb up and down slowly. The steps are quite slippery at certain points where there is water dripping down  the steps.

At the start of the climb inside the cave:

Participants of the wet tour ending their cave exploration at this exit, which is a stream with crystal clear water:

Our 3 hyper girls climbed up so swiftly that I could not keep up with them.

Tell me what this rock formation looks like? A teenage boy ahead of us commented that it looks like a ‘thumbs up’ but I think it looks somewhat similar to a errr, penis. Depending on which angle you look at the rock, it may look like a thumbs up at an angle and another image at other angles.

Platform 2:

By the time we reached Platform 3, all of us were sweating buckets from all the strenuous stairs climbing, though it’s pretty cool inside the cave.

 

Platform 4:

The rock formation here looks spooky. Can you see what I see?!  Staring right at you:

Finally at Platform 5 a.k.a. Top Of The World, all sweaty and sticky and  stone faced:

This locked gate will be unlocked for participants of Tour 3 and Tour 4, which involves an underground river adventure:

Exit from the cave tour and admiring the stream view and crystal clear water with fishes swimming in the water:

Papa could not resist the cool stream water and washed  his face with the water.

Though a short trip, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the cave exploration. Our next visit to Gua Tempurung will be to partake in the wet tour, hopefully with the hubs too. That would be really exciting and adventurous. The girls are looking forward to it.

 

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Bon Voyage

Despite having a late night yesterday doing last minute shopping at the shopping mall and only hitting the sack way past midnight, I managed to jump out of bed at 4:45 a.m. today.

Alycia and Sherilyn’s flight to Hong Kong was at 10:30 a.m. today.  As it’s their first time traveling alone without any accompanying adult, we had to be at the airport at least 2 hours before departure time.  Everything went smoothly and we reached the airport at 8:30 a.m.

While the hubs parked his car, I took the luggage bags for cling wrapping. Then did the check-in.

Looking for counter H for Cathay Dragon:

The girls received a special ‘Travel Assistance Request’ pass for airport staff to assist them until they reached the departure gate.  I requested for this service via our ticketing agent who is based in Ipoh.  I was told by the agent that the request may not be updated at the airport system and this was what happened this morning. Upon showing the check-in staff the confirmation from our ticketing agent, the request was only keyed into the system.

Within an hour, the airport assistant came to bring Alycia and Sherilyn to the departure gate.

We had breakfast at PappaRich before sending the girls off:

 

My ‘precious baby’ will turn 14 in 2 days.  She always gets to travel overseas on her birthday!   The char koay teow at this PappaRich outlet is super delish.   And that’s one of the reasons why we have to pay much more at this outlet than at other outlets, I guess.

Seated in front of us was Datuk Jimmy Choo, world renowned shoe-maker.  And this paparazzi in me just had to furtively snap a picture of him 😁

Saying good-bye with big hugs to my two big babies. They don’t seem to miss me much though 😥

Other than a 30-minute flight delay, everything went very smoothly for Alycia and Sherilyn today, praise God. I’m very sure the two sisters will have a swell time traveling and bonding together, though I know  my audacious and mischievous middle child (she’s got her dad’s DNA for sure) will annoy her po-faced and serious sister  to no end. She’s already Whatsapp-ed me a video of her sister sleeping on the MRT and I’ve chided her for being so evil.

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Deepavali Holiday (Ipoh – 20 Oct 2017)

Activities on the 3rd day in Ipoh:

Cass helped around the kitchen. She peeled a pile of pink Barlotti beans for making soup…

… and helped her granny  bake an Ogura pandan cake.

It was the first time my mum baked Ogura cake in pandan flavor and it did not turn out as well as she had expected it to be like when she baked the original flavor one. Nonetheless, the cake was very, very yummy and cottony soft. The beautiful green color is pure pandan juice, extracted from pandan leaves grown in the garden.

Feeling challenged and determined to bake a perfect Ogura pandan cake for us, my mum  got up at 4:30 a.m. today to bake another Ogura pandan cake. That’s truly a labor of love, from the best mum in the world, thanks mummy!

And the cake turned out beautifully this time – no burnt top and no dampness on parts of the cake. She cut the cake into slices and placed them into containers so that we could snack on them in the train.

To beat the 38C heat, we chilled at Ipoh Parade @ Uniqlo and Popular book store:

While waiting for me to shop, Cass worked on her Crossword Puzzle book, her latest obsession.

 

Dad cooked our favorite dishes for dinner:

Braised chicken with homegrown sand ginger, braised pork ribs with wood ear fungus and carrots in claypot…

Pan-fried turmeric fish with curry leaves, ginger and onions and blanched ice-berg lettuce with garlic oil.

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Trip Back To Ipoh (18 Oct 2017)

I got up at 4:45 a.m. on a very lovely Wednesday today. We have a mission and that’s to reach the KL Sentral station by 8 a.m. to have breakfast before catching the 8:30 a.m. ETS to Ipoh.

After 2 rounds of laundry and some house chores, I woke the girls up to get them ready.

I could not resist the magnificent colors of sun rise splashed on the sky and snapped a couple of pix. Can you spot the crescent moon and star? The moon and star are aligned beautifully for us today.

 

Thank God we were on time and managed to hop onto the train at 8:28 a.m.  The train departed at 8:30 a.m. on the dot.

We were warmly greeted  by my dearest papa and mummy who were already at the train station half an hour before we arrived.

My papa took us to Thean Chun @ Ipoh Old Town for lunch.  This part of Ipoh is the most popular place in Ipoh where tourists and locals flock to savour the best ‘ngar choi kai’ (bean sprout chicken) in the world.  Bean sprouts from Ipoh are the crunchiest, freshest, fattest and juiciest in the world.


Beef balls, beef belly with radish, satay, ‘kai si hor fun’, bean sprouts…

 


Wanton mee with chicken fillet (best in the world!) and ‘sui kow’ (meat dumplings).

Beads of sweat were dripping down our head and body while we tucked into our piping hot bowls of ‘kai si hor fun’.  The weather today has been scorching hot and the sea of people at the coffee shop and the entire stretch of road made me dizzy. It’s definitely not a good idea to visit this place during public holidays.

After a satisfying and sweaty lunch, we adjourned to Concubine Lane, located just opposite Thean Chun coffee shop. It was our first time visiting this  tourist hot spot.

Concubine Lane on Lorong Panglima is known to locals as ‘Yi Lai Hong’. Rich Chinese tycoons in the past were known to have kept their mistresses on this lane.

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Concubine Lane is a 120-year old lane in Ipoh Old Town. It is part of Ipoh Heritage and one of the icons in Ipoh. Concubine Lane is most vibrant on weekends and public holidays where many pop-up stalls sell souvenirs, candies, desserts, refreshing drinks, toys, handmade crafts, etc.

Below – Drama Queen shopping for souvenirs of cute pencil cases for her school’s upcoming canteen day.

Below – dream come true for Drama Queen and Cass when they came across a stall selling DIY dream catchers.

Below – the ever indulgent koong koong bought these fruit popsicles for his precious grand daughters. At RM8 each, these ice fruit popsicles sure don’t come cheap.

Below – I spotted this concubine wannabe walking down the Concubine Lane.

Below – Cass and Drama Queen checking out drinks packaged in light bulb bottles. And no, I did not succumb to Cass’s plead to me to buy her one bottle to try.

 

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Cuti-Cuti Malaysia

This school holidays, we are staying put in KL as it is only a week-long holiday. Plus, Drama Queen has to attend school for the first three days of the holidays to attend UPSR exam preparation classes.  Today I brought the girls to Mid Valley Megamall to chillax. We had a sumptuous dim sum  lunch at Han Room and then did what girls like best – retail therapy 😀

With our Ringgit shrinking to such a miserable value, I doubt we will be having any overseas holiday this year.  We shall be exploring our very own beautiful country, Malaysia.  There are so many places in Malaysia that we have never been to. We have never visited East Malaysia and even in the capital of Malaysia where we live in, there are so many places of interest that we have not brought the girls to.  KL Tower (at present, the world’s fifth tallest structure), Batu Caves (400 million-year old limestone hill with a 100-year old temple incorporated within it) and Istana Negara are some of the places that I have in mind to bring our girls to.

Revolving Atmosphere 360 restaurant at Menara KL Tower (picture below) is one of the to-visit places in my bucket list. Hailed as one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world, Menara KL plays host to a revolving restaurant,  Atmosphere 360.  You can have a meal or enjoy high tea along with the most spectacular view of the city centre, bar chartering a helicopter (though that would be very costly!).  Boasting a theater, an amphitheater, beautiful cascading pools, a fast food restaurant and souvenir shops, this tower is a definite must-visit sightseeing attraction in Kuala Lumpur.

We could even do a staycation at Best Western PJ Hotel or any hotel in the Klang Valley. I know our girls would love to have a staycation in a luxurious hotel to enjoy the rooms, the swimming pool, the hotel food and the feeling of being on a holiday. We can get the best of our holiday right in the heart of where we stay at a fraction of a cost of an overseas holiday.

For an inexpensive half-day tour, we could do a little jaunt in Batu Caves (picture below). Batu Caves, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions, is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. Located approximately 11 kilometres to the north of Kuala Lumpur, this 100-year-old temple features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it. Incorporated with interior limestone formations said to be around 400 million years old, the temple is considered an important religious landmark by Hindus.  The last time I visited Batu Caves was exactly 30 years ago!  I was 14 then (Alycia’s age now) and had followed the school on a trip to Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. That trip was my first ever trip with my class and school mates as a teenager and remains as one of my fondest memories up until today.

Another place that I would love to go with our girls is Langkawi Island. The hubs and I went to Langkawi for a holiday 17 years ago (with our buddy, Alan Yun) and fell in love with this island. We vowed to visit there again. Our most memorable experience in Langkawi was a deep sea fishing adventure where we caught a huge rainbow trout and then brought the trout to a restaurant in the Langkawi Yacht Club to have it steamed. The rainbow trout was sinfully fresh and sweet, though I felt really sorry for the trout.  One of the island’s highlights that I really want to visit is the Langkawi Sky Bridge (picture below).  It is a 410ft-long curved pedestrian bridge located 2,300 ft above sea level with stunning views.

With so many places to visit in our beautiful country, there is just no necessity to splurge on an overseas holiday in this gloomy economy that we are in now. Here’s a tip for you. To get the best deals on flights and hotels, go to Traveloka Malaysia.

 

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