Safari - Elephant Riding

Posted on Friday, 29 February 2008 by haan | 4 comments
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Short Note: Sometimes we can't stop ourselves from worrying. I always tell myself, there is no point worrying about the things that might not happen. When it really happens, we have to accept it, or adjust ourselves to adapt. Worry doesn't stop them from happening. Then, why matters now?

...previous

Although I doubted if riding on an elephant is an act of "not treating an elephant like an elephant", I finally went for it, coz I've opted to follow the majority, for the day.

That's my first experience, and I swear, it would be the last time in my life as well.

The sugar cane and banana for tourists to feed the elephants.

Wow.. there are a lot!


There were some notes about giving food to elephants:
  1. Please feed the elephants the food sold by our camp. This food is the healthiest for the elephants.
    Haan: How do they define "healthiest"? The food went through any stringent examination?

  2. When feeding the elephants the bananas, please give one bunch or half at a time. This keeps the elephants from losing patience.

  3. Do not tease the elephants with any food.
    Haan: If someone does this, I can only say, he deserves the outcome!

About to start the elephant ride.


A full grown Asian elephant can weigh up to 5,400 kg, although it's a herbivore, eating only a mixture of grass, leaves, twigs, bamboo, fruits and berries. An adult elephant eats approximately 250 kg per day, whilst the water consumption can be up to 150 liters daily.

Though eating a lot, elephants have inefficient digestive system, which only digests about 50% of the food eaten.

Crossing the river...

Does the small elephant appreciate the hard work done by its parents?


The marketing people write so to sell elephant riding tours:

Come to experience the thrill of standing close to an elephant, touching and smelling them and even riding on these majestic animals, on a Jungle Safari. For the elephants this is easy work in comparison to the alternatives and for YOU, a wonderful sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, knowing that you have played a small but important part in enabling their survival.

Are you attracted to such statements? How much do you agree with it?

WONDERFUL SENSE OF SATISFACTION? PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART IN ENABLING THEIR SURVIVAL?

Are the statements true or misleading?

Building some villas for those who wanna spend their holiday here?

The kids do not play with toys. They play only with the nature, in the nature.


As I previously wrote, I felt kinda guilty during the ride. I tried to reduce the negative feeling by telling myself, I was just helping the elephant to have some exercises, to keep it fit!!

Sometime I could be a good liar to myself!!

The elephant was having its ear being pulled by the mahout... so that it posed for a photo. Really a poor thing!


I read the notice board at a later time. It says:

  • Please take all photographs either at the beginning or the end of the ride.

  • Personal photographs should not be taken by the mahout. His job is to ensure safety at all times.

Seems like no one follows the rules including the mahouts :)

On the way, we passed by a lot of "stalls" selling banana and sugar cane. You can buy some for the elephant, at 20B each.

The price is clearly stated. See it?

I couldn't stop thinking, is elephant riding actually ethical? Am I crazy?


I read that Asian elephants have poor vision. Their eyes are exceptionally small in comparison to the size of head and they can see clearly only up to a distance of about 10 meters. However, they have excellent hearing and good sense of smell.

Finished the almost 30-minute elephant riding.


The journey was a slow-paced one, going through hills and rivers, ups and downs. We then arrived at the Lisu Village and paid a short visit there.

Pictures drawn by elephants. They are quite dear!!



Next

Moody Me and Cutie (3)

Posted on Thursday, 28 February 2008 by haan | 2 comments
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... previous (written on 1/2/2007) ...

My cutie is again throwing tantrum to get my attention. I've been traveling a lot this week (only around KL)... perhaps he's feeling he has overworked, hence wanting to alert me...

The meeting today started at 2pm, however, I could leave KL Central only at 6pm!! Had a round of traffic jam near Jalan Tun Sambanthan, then arrived at Kuchai Lama via NPE. Took dinner there, then drove home.

Dropped by the BHP nearby South City Plaza to fill petrol. After that, I found there was a weird sound whenever I accelerate. If that's my mum, she'd stop and maybe do some checking. I'm not my mum, therefore I sometimes accelerated more to see how loud the weird sound could go until.

I'm that crazy, or another better adjective is, I'm damn stupid.

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Not my cutie, of course. It belongs to Wu Chai, the boss of Green House.

When I reached near to the Jusco Equine, finally the car couldn't proceed anymore. Another burning smell followed. I quickly turned back to the place, where I changed the car battery before. Oh.. the shop was close (it was already 8pm+).

I called the boss. He said, I'm just beside you. I looked around. He was standing there, in front of the shop, chatting with his friend.

I went down and told him the "story", and he helped me to check cutie. There was already no water (at the part we usually add water to - sorry, I'm not good in those car-related terms). He tested for me bit by bit: put in some water, stopped, then repeated the same thing again.

...skipping the process...

Finally, the testing outcome is, the fan (the one which will start operating when the temperature hikes, not the one for air-conditioner) is not working. Since he has no more fan at the moment, I've to go to him again tomorrow morning.

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You want some water from me?

Luckily the shop is not far from where I stay.

Luckily Neng introduced the shop to me last time.

Luckily I stopped awhile at BHP, for the car to take a rest.

Luckily he waited for someone to collect a car hence I could still meet with him after the shop was closed.

Luckily there is no meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning.

I actually realized the power window was slow when I passed the NPE toll to Kuchai Lama. As usual, I tend to ignore a lot of things. To be honest, it has been ages I didn't check whether there is a need to add water for the car - at least a month.

However, the mechanic was also not sure which is the main cause of the burning smell. It could be coz of the fan not working well. However, if I do check the water from time to time, I'd have realized the water was consumed rapidly.

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I don't care.. but sometimes I cannot have that option.

I admit. I've not been paying attention to cutie for quite some time. I just drive it here and there, and feed it with petrol. That's all.

Am feeling very sorry to cutie. Thanks for punishing me at the place I'm familiar with, not somewhere in the scary KL.

I used to tell people, when I spend exceptionally a lot, some income sources will also come together. On the contrary, when I "seem to have" more sources of income, the opportunities to burn the cash will not forget about me too.

Haan is fated to only have THAT amount of money. Any addition or reduction is never allowed!


P/S: Supposed to finish some work stuff by 12am. It's already 11pm and... I'm just yet to start!!

Acting vs. Reacting

Posted on Wednesday, 27 February 2008 by haan | 2 comments
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Short Note: Was hesitant whether to bring back the laptop at work, when leaving office just now at about 8pm. But I told myself, 4 more hours only to drive home, shower, get some leisure then sleep. Should spend some time reading and blogging. This is a hard and tiring week for me, but I enjoy it when knowing I'm learning a lot from the tough moments.

Sometimes we just need to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. As much as we might like to think that we were only REACTING when Such and Such did So and So, there is a real freedom which comes with being frankly ashamed at what we've done.

For one thing, admitting we did something "bad" is the first step on the road to not doing it again. This really won't apply to most people, but if it applies to you, be aware that by using recent events as a path on which to travel will see you being released from a situation which has seen you feeling bad about yourself. And that surely has to be a good thing.

The above piece of saying seems to be a wisdom, right?

It's not written by me, of course. Am fortunate that I had the chance to read, capture and share here. They are already gone from the page, when another new day just starts in Australia.

The original author is Yasmin Boland, and the writing is sourced from the Horoscopes page of Yahoo! Australia, for the day of 27 Feb 2008.

Golden Egg Noodle, Puchong

Posted on Tuesday, 26 February 2008 by haan | 6 comments
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I've been a fan of Pan Mee. This is discovered only in recent years.

Pan Mee is also called "Bee Hoon Kueh" in Hokkien. In the past, I always had Pan Mee in Serdang, and the Chilli Pan Mee in KL.

I've had a Pan Mee session in Serdang last night with an ex-colleague. Didn't expect that I'll eat it again on the next day. Since we were going to Puchong, there must be a new explore today :)

The shop we visited is the Golden Egg Noodle, which is located opposite the Puchong IOI Mall.


Address: 23-01, Jalan Kenari 19A, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100 Puchong, Selangor.
Mobile: 012-3944887 (Lily)

In the past, I had only usual Pan Mee (in white, made from pure flour) and Spinach Pan Mee (in green). The shop surprised me by having four types of noodle - seaweed, chili, coriander and pumpkin.


However, we are not allowed to select ANY noodle for any type of dish.

You have to refer to the nicely designed menu.

(Click on image to enlarge)

(...continued from above)

For example, if you order Black Pepper Fried Pan Mee, you can only have the pumpkin noodle.

I tried the Lo Pan Mee, whilst eagerly wishing to taste coriander noodle. Finally I compromised for the latter. It comes with a small plate of chili and dark vinegar.

This is the Black Pepper Fried Pan Mee. It looks okay only but tastes good.

Wish that I've chance to go back and taste the other selections as shown in the menu.



Written on 23/2/2008 (Sat)


The Private Washroom

Posted on Monday, 25 February 2008 by haan | 3 comments
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两天前朋友介绍我一个名为“Private Washroom”的部落格。看了几篇近期的文章,可能会像发现“小娴部落”时那样,抽时间把过往的文章全部看完。

作者是谁,那里没有正式的介绍。但看久了,就会知道。是个乐坛的人,所以文笔很不错。

今天午餐后想来个小息,便选了去年九月的文章来看(九月是我的月份嘛)。

möö·c的照片


有篇文章如此写道:

那些生命教懂我們的事,十之八九都曾經聽說,當時覺得濫情廉價,非要自己走過一遭後,從自己口中說出來,才驚覺那些最廉價嬌情的句子,因為吸收了本身的血淚,而變的有份量。

滥情廉价?

如果轻易得到就不珍贵,而不珍贵可以与廉价划上等号,或许我会赞同所谓“廉价”的说法。

至于“滥情”、“矫情”,我就似乎从来没有这样的感觉。

很多道理,我们都知道,因为古往今来,有多少人经历过、感叹过,然后如此告诉我们。

真的。是要自己亲身经历,才会真正了解那些所谓的道理,才肯去相信,事实真的是如此。

“因為吸收了本身的血淚,而變的有份量”。我想,那也只是能在自己心中变得更加有份量而已吧!

Birds with No Feet

Posted on Sunday, 24 February 2008 by haan | 7 comments
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今天读到黎紫書的一篇文章,题为行旅中

文章如此开始:
  • 朋友問,怎麼你總在路上。(怎麼總有朋友問,我怎麼總在路上。)

    一貫的回答是,“我系一只冇腳嘅雀仔……”(王家衛電影《阿飛正傳》裡的張國榮語。全文的大意是“我是一只沒有腳的小鳥,只能不停地飛行。”)

All photos are by Ken Yeoh.


想当年,我还在澳洲的时候,有一个好朋友从马来西亚寄了个简讯给我,里头语重心长地跟我说,“不要当一只没有脚的小鸟啊”。老实说,当时我真的不懂他要表达的是什么意思,因为我没有看王家卫的电影。

我也没有问他。直到后来从港剧也看到有人这么说,大概猜测到它的意义。

以上所提及的文章如此结尾:
  • 朋友問我何以總在路上。我這個不折不扣的悲觀主義者,怎麼說好呢,其實只是想在這世上趕一場一場的煙花,看一次一次的盛放與墜落;看幻滅,看凋零。趕明兒再看,趕下次重臨,再去發現人們如何不自不覺地,讓此鄉非此,彼鎮非彼。

    我以為我的朋友都會喜歡讓我去當一個旅者。雖然他們偶爾會抱怨我總是在出門,在路上,在無人意識到的機艙裡。然而比起蝸居在堆滿書籍的房子裡孤獨老死,或是在臥室內用絲襪上吊自盡,我的朋友們想必更願意(或甚至暗中祝禱)我會在一個人的行旅中,在發現的過程裡,悄無聲息地……消失。

写到似乎有点悲,或许更恰当和较积极的形容词是“凄美”。

那天和旧同学短短相聚,理所当然也聊了起来,什么以前、现在、将来。

我说,这两年,又有许多人陆陆续续走的了。以前是因为出国读书(我去澳洲、广军去新加坡、美菱和佩昭到英国),现在却是出国工作或念硕士了。我知道的,包括有人计划到杜拜工作、有人可能会到台湾升学、有人找着去英国念书的奖学金、而我,在明年的某个时候,如无意外,也会离开大马。

不要问我这些人是谁。到时你就知道。我不想当大嘴巴。


这些计划出走的人,基本上都有一个共同点,就是皆为“自由身”。那些有家室或牵挂的,当然没有我们这些人那么有“计划”。或许比较正确地说,大家都有计划,但若把这两组人的计划归类,它们永远不会同一阵线。他们可能计划什么时候赚到多少钱、跟另一半结婚、生第一个孩子等等。

有时我会觉得很庆幸,因为在我可以任意花钱到出去旅行的时候,他们不是牵挂太多,就是负担太多。我可以自己赚自己花,虽然不多但总会够。

以前我常常问自己,为什么我不能够就像邻家的女生或安娣,就简简单单、普普通通在家乡过一生,不要有那么多的想要、想做、想去?到现在,也仍没有答案,或许我就是一个贪心的人。

曾几何时,我也有想过,或许就可以就这样安定下来,那些所有的想要、想做、想去和当时所拥有的比较,都可以变得渺小、不重要。可是,这种想法每次都不能持续太久。它就像是个短暂的梦而已,幸好,梦的时刻终究不比现实来得久。

我说“幸好”,这样的用词对吗?

虽然我的下一步常常很笃定,但有时还是妄想某些人问的不是“你几时又走”,而是“你不能留下吗”,虽然,我也不知道,留下的机率,是否存在、存在几多。也可能,是别人比我更了解自己,清楚知道那个机率几乎是零,所以干脆不问。


这星期因为去拜婉婷而没有回家,发觉自己原来还是比较喜欢在家乡适耕庄度过周末周日。

我或许只剩一年的时间。一年,很快就过去了。

觉得最近的自己似乎又在经历着人生的一些转折点,很多方面都变得和平常不同,而到现在,那些异样的一切都还没结束。昨天从朋友那里拿了好几本旅游书、励志书回来,希望可以好好把它们看完。

除了我自己,相信也没有什么人,可以伴我渡过这些异于平常的时刻。但我相信,我已经习惯了,也有能力好好应对。



写于24/2/2008 (星期天)

Ten Years Demise

Posted on Saturday, 23 February 2008 by haan | 9 comments
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Short Note: Actually I didn't intend to write when taking the photos. But I think some people do miss her as well.

I used to have a friend, whom we were in the same class since Standard One (class 1A), at the Yoke Kuan Primary School in Sekinchan, Selangor. She was Wan Thin. Her date of birth, 22/2/1982, is easy to remember.

In 1998, she moved out of Sekinchan. Not long after her leaving to KL, she left the world as well. The day of her funeral was her 16th birthday.


She and her parents sent her brother to airport, to further studies in Australia. On their way back, they had a car accident, taking away the life of her and her mother.

It was a shocking news for us! Immediately after school, we rushed to the hospital, but she was already in coma. We got the chance to visit her, but only looked at the badly injured her, without knowing what else we could do to help, to wake her up.

After we left the hospital, she passed away.


I still remember the uncommon silence during the Biology class on the next day. No one talked except the teacher. Usually, we were extremely active and noisy during the Biology class, coz the lady teacher was very kind and gentle, and we were not afraid of her at all.

Less than 2 months after she left, Chu was admitted to hospital due to sudden pain on her legs, then she lost her ability to walk. 1998 was a challenging, unpleasant year for us, which was full of bitterness.

However, these incidents that happened during our teenage period, taught and reminded us to treasure the friendship between the rest.

She left, but tied us up, firmly.

Unlike us, she's entitled to forever young.

Today, I went to pay her a visit at the Buddha Temple (金龙山万佛寺) at Sungai Choh, Rawang, together with abe, Kun and Yi. I'm shamed to say that's my first visit in and after 10 years.

I believe she's having a great life in the other world. I know she is.

Do You Believe It?

Posted on Friday, 22 February 2008 by haan | 0 comments
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The Chinese New Year 2008 has officially ended. Just realized that there was a Lunar Eclipse yesterday (21 Feb 2008) and I forgot to look into the sky.

It was already around 10pm when I left my colleague's house at Sri Petaling. The rest were still there for mahjong. Thanks Auntie May for cooking us the delicious dishes which some are customized for me - vege oriented with no chicken.

Last Sunday, I suddenly received a SMS asking for the astrology site I usually refer to for horoscopes. I was quite surprised being asked so, then replied her with the website URL, and the statement "what happened to you?"

According to my experience, when one is lost, the sayings from horoscope or fortune telling will become important, either as a guidance or reference. I used to go through such moment in life.

Random Virgo Talk (16 Nov 2007)
End of October (31 Oct 2007)
Where Am I (18 Oct 2007)
The Right Path (4 Oct 2007)

During that time, the first thing I did once getting online every morning, was to check what my horoscope says about the day. Without that I'd be anxious throughout the day. However, when things get better, just like now, I sometimes forget to check. And to me, what it says does not really matter much.

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Since Wednesday night (20/2/2008), I suddenly felt that I just don't wish to do or think anything at home, hence I started to watch HK series again. I reckon this will last for some time, at least till I finish the series (am not sure how many episodes in total).

I actually did have something to do, as I promised other and myself. However, due to no deadline has been set, I just took the chance to follow my heart. Really DO NOTHING! When I watch series, I can totally throw myself out of mind and focus only on the story. Just like sleeping, it's a good way for me to be away from things.

Due to the "reminder" on Sunday, this week, I started to check my horoscopes everyday.


20/2/2008

The Sun now moves into your 7th house, aka Your House Of Love. Over the next four weeks, you can expect love to rise to the top of your agenda. Someone Else is going to be very important, taking up a lot of your headspace. This could be a lover, an ex or a potential new partner. The best lessons you are going to get now are going to be through your most important one to one relationships. Do as much as you can with someone by your side over the next month - partnerships will lead you in the right direction, whereas going it alone won't feel so good. On another note, this astro-event can bring enemies out of the woodwork. If you need to bury the hatchet with someone, now is the time.

Haan: I really don't want all these. I just wanna be alone. I NEED SILENCE, NOT CHAOS!!


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21/2/2008

The eclipse today is in your sign, as you know (see your Weekly Stars for more info). This is NOT something to be feared. Right now, you also have Saturn in your sign. Nor is THIS something to be feared. Overall, your chart is intense right now. However, if you're willing to let go of things you know no longer serve you, and you're willing to approach life and all it's challenges with the maxim "slow and steady wins the race" ringing in your ears, you should find this could yet be one of your most memorable-ever years.

Haan: If it really is, I don't mind. Hope it happens to my work.


22/2/2008

You're probably aware by now that the eclipse yesterday was in your sign. If you're still wondering what the dickens that is mean to mean for you, careful what you wish for. Having attention paid to you by an eclipse can be a mixed blessing, depending on how far off your right and proper path you've wandered. If you feel like you haven't been bothered by the eclipse, it might be time to thank your lucky stars!

Haan: No comment...


Everyone, updates here (this blog) might be slow over the next week, due to the reasons I mentioned above.

A Daughter Says

Posted on Monday, 18 February 2008 by haan | 17 comments
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Short Note: I'm very tired today, due to the bad quality sleep last night. Left office at 7pm, came back and continued with work till 9pm. I told myself, I must stop!! There is still some time before the meeting tomorrow. FYI, Haan is not someone who likes to bring work home. Most of the time, her laptop stays in the office drawer.

This afternoon, after a quick lunch, I went to Maxis for a meeting, together with the Project Manager (PM), Andrew.

We had to register ourselves and pass our Identity Cards to the security guard, to get a visitor pass. Then, I realized that I didn't have my purse with me!! I must have left it at hometown. I did feel something wrong before I departed from home early this morning, but the answer came out only 8 hours later.

Luckily, I was allowed to get the pass by having only Andrew handed in his IC.
Dad, are you at home?
Nope. I'm outside.
When you get home, can you please help me check if my purse is on the xx table?
Okay. I'm going back now. Will check for you.
But you don't call me okay? I'm having a meeting now. I will call you later.
Okay.

My dad found that the purse was left on a book rack. I was "too careful" the day before (Sunday), putting it at somewhere not obvious, till I totally forgot about it!!

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My mum got to know this as well. I was thinking, sigh, I have to go home again after work to get the purse, and should I come back again tonight, or tomorrow morning? This would result in about 200km additional travel, and I was seriously lack of sleep. However, I had no choice. I'm not gonna loiter around with no IC and only the money in the 2 Ang Pows given by colleagues. I also don't have any ATM or credit card with me.

When I went back to office, I told my senior how careless have I been. She kindly replied, "then you had better leave earlier since you need to drive back to hometown".

Later, I got a SMS from my mum, saying she's going into Puncak Alam and will let me know when she arrives at Shah Alam. I replied that I could go back and stay for another night in Sekinchan. Nonetheless, I realized something after replying. I re-read her text message.

GOING INTO Puncak Alam?? That means she had traveled at least 60km, for at least 1 hour!! And she's about to reach!!

Honestly, at that moment, I was so touched till I couldn't control my tears from rolling in my eyes, then down to the cheeks. I went to the washroom, to get over the "session". I felt sorry to her too. My silly carelessness made her traveled so far.

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I do not like to drive. Sometimes I feel very unbelievable having to go Shah Alam 6 days a week (sending my younger bro back to his school on Saturday). I don't love the place that much!! But I just had to go there.

Once, my elder bro was having small operation at the Subang Jaya Medical Center (SJMC), which is not far from Shah Alam (so it's also about 100+km away from my hometown). As usual, I went home after Friday's work. The next day, my mum kept on suggesting to go visit my elder bro at the hospital (he did say no need to go visit him). Due to the unwillingness to travel, I kept on persuading her not to go, since my bro already said visit is not necessary.

That Sunday, my mum claimed that she had something to do at her school. She finally ended up going to visit my elder bro at the hospital by herself, disclosing the "secret" to me only after she came back, and showed me the photo of my bro taken at the hospital.

My mum had to tell a lie to her daughter in order to visit her son at the hospital. This sounds funny, right? And that was all BECAUSE OF ME!!

Sometimes I really can't believe I've been SO BAD although I really didn't mean to be so. But, the fact is, I've really been THAT BAD.

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Yes, I don't like to drive, especially today is Monday. But I told myself, I've to pay the price for being careless. I really never expect that my mum would travel all way down to just pass me the purse. REALLY REALLY NEVER EXPECT!

I was extremely touched.

I think the best thing I've learned over the years being overseas is, we should not take things for granted. I always tell myself, nobody has the obligation to help me. If they do, that's a bonus. If they don't, that's just something "supposed to be".

To many others, maybe you will think I'm overacting.

My mum's kindness reduced my travel distance from 200km to 10km. Perhaps you can't imagine how much I appreciate this. Even when I drove 30km back from office just now, I almost dozed off in the car.

There have been quite some people that treated me so well, made me touched, till I shed my tears. However, I clearly know that, only my family will do that for me, forever, unconditionally.

Apart from not making them worry about my studies and job, I've not really been a good daughter. I'm very selfish and self-centered, always thinking only about myself. When I faced problems or frustrations outside, only I would think of my home and go back.

I achieved a lot of things, but I do not accomplish the basics. I don't even know how to love my family, being a good daughter and sister.

I hope I'd learn that soon, and master it.

Apartment, Cameron Highlands

Posted on by haan | 4 comments
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Promised abe to write this post :)

Every time when we (high school mates) go to the Cameron Highlands, basically we do not have to worry about accommodation, especially when abe is going together. His dad has two apartments there, where we can stay for FREE!!!

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I recommended my colleagues to stay there too, when they said they couldn't find any lodge during the peak season of Christmas holiday.

If you are looking for an apartment in Cameron Highlands, kindly refer to my recommendation. The site also provides you some useful info about Cameron Highlands.



P/S: abe, any discount for those knowing it via this post? :)

Safari @ Chiang Mai

Posted on Sunday, 17 February 2008 by haan | 1 comments
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As we know, Thai people admire and respect elephant, which has played an important role in the Thai history. Elephant is called "Chang" in Thai language.

The Chang Beer.

Chang Beer is a favorite among locals as well as foreigners. Even the Chang Beer’s advertising song declares “With Pride We Drink Chang, the Thai Beer”. It is specially brewed to suit the tastes of Thai consumers and to be the perfect complement to Thai food.

A fellow blogger, Chee Hoe, highlighted to me that elephant riding should not be missed. Prior to departure, I looked for some information about that via the Internet. When seeing some CS members mentioned the following, I was hesitated if I should really go and ride on an elephant.

"I was thinking about taking a ride and having a cool picture taken... that is until I saw the elephants. Have you ever seen a happy elephant? they really look as if they are smiling. These elephants were not smiling... almost crying.. Later I saw a couple of the elephants with about 8 drunk dudes on top posing for a picture that the guide was taking... that will be the image I always remember when I think of elephant rides."

How does one judge if this elephant is happy?

"In my 2 years in Chiang Mai, the ONLY elephant center I can recommend is Elephant Nature Park, run by Kuhn Lek. Part of the reason I can recommend it is that they DO NOT GIVE ELEPHANT RIDES. They will - if you are interested - go into great detail on how elephant rides with seats are inevitably damaging to the spines of elephants.

The park treats elephants like elephants, works hard to protect them and does work for elephant rights that has resulted in a death contract being put out on Kuhn Lek by the other Elephant parks and gotten Kuhn Lek recognized as Time Magazine's Woman of the Year SouthEast Asia in 2005.

You can go there and feed the elephants, wash them in the river, get to know them and learn a LOT about them - but NOT ride them."

The typical schedule provided to tourists.

Therefore, I checked out the sites of Elephant Nature Park and Thai Elephant Conservation Center, regarding what they offer and also the charges incurred. However, the findings are as follows:
  • A full-day to learn about the wonderful creatures costs 2,500 Baht
  • A one-day mahout training course costs 3,500 Baht

Honestly, these are totally out of my budget, and more importantly, I'm not someone that likes to get along too much with animals. So, I have to forget about these places.


On my second day in Chiang Mai, I joined the people I met at the airport (Patrick, Nigel, Love) to go for a safari. The Thai lady, Love, who's Nigel's uni mate at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, drove us to Maetang Elephant Park. The place is located about 80km out of the city.

When we departed from the city, I actually didn't know which elephant park we were heading. Just follow the majority and see what happens then, I think.


Then we arrived at the Maetang Elephant Park. A lady at the ticket selling counter sold us a tour which includes:
  • Buffet Lunch
  • Elephant Riding
  • Visit to Lisu Village
  • Ox Carting
  • Elephant Show
  • Bamboo Rafting


Since we have taken our brunch, we omitted the lunch, and were charged 1250 Baht per person. That was kinda expensive, according to my research done before. However, as I told myself, just follow the majority because I was not only with myself. Also, I had to be a typical tourist that day.

Click here to read "Tourist or traveller: which one are you?"

However, later I found out that there are actually agents that offer better rates. For example:
1. One Day Safari (800B)

elephant riding, elephant show, ox-carting, bamboo rafting, visit to Lisu tribe, orchid farm, buffet lunch

2. One Day Safari + Long Neck Village (1050B)

all of (1) plus visit to Long Neck Village

It was already too late when I got to know about the cheaper tours. In addition, they pick you up from where you stay and then send you back!

If you are interested in any of the above two, you can contact:

NATURE NORTH TRAVEL
Contact Person: Phakhaphorn Sensak (or call her SOM)
Email: phakhaphorn@hotmail.com
Mobile: 086-1914553 or 089-7585119


Next - Elephant Riding

Perspective

Posted on by haan | 5 comments
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Many years ago, I used to play The Entertainer at a music concert, for a group of small girls to dance. It was a trio. One played organ, two played piano. I was one of the piano players (dare not use the word "pianist").

I like the song. It's very lively and crispy.


But I never expect, many years later, I become an entertainer.

The people may not admit that they have treated me so. However, that's what I could feel.


He purposely did that to tease me, while knowing "everything".

The best thing about my last job was, it allowed me to realize that I could be a talkative someone, flirting happily with the uncles in office, making them happy and not rejecting my request when I said I wanted to follow them out for lunch.

By the way, I had the honor of receiving free fruits, cutting the fruits, serving them, teasing them like hell. Meanwhile, I was also teased a lot, e.g. they said I'm dark, "kakak", no one wants me etc.

My high school friends do not treat me so, maybe coz I was very cool during my teenage period. So they rarely make fun of me, in the past and nowadays.

How I present myself, creates the impression people have on me. Most of the time, we decide from which angle the others see us.


What are the above?



P/S: Last picture is by Fui Yung, one always with lotsa cranky ideas.

Error

Posted on Friday, 15 February 2008 by haan | 11 comments
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Yesterday, I did an extremely stupid careless mistake, to the most inappropriate person. It was resulted due to a rush. The lesson learned: DON'T RUSH, especially when doing something important.

A SMS was wrongly sent, maybe due to the lack of 1 press on the mobile phone, when searching for the B-Party from the directory. At night, I received another SMS, which I think was wrongly sent to me. I couldn't understand the content at all. However I didn't reply or ask anything.

The world is full of errors.

Budget Accommodation, Chiang Mai

Posted on Thursday, 14 February 2008 by haan | 10 comments
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Greeting: My good friend is having marriage registration with his girlfriend today. They started off as penpals about 10 years ago, then lovers, now becoming husband and wife. This is uncommon nowadays, but it does happen. My best wishes to both of you.

Prior to departure, I've made accommodation booking with Green House, a place which has received extensive compliments, as what I read from the Backpackers website.

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Green House

The rates are fairly competitive:
  1. Single room with cold shower (100 Baht)
  2. Double room with cold shower (150 Baht)
  3. Single room with hot shower (150 Baht)
  4. Double room with hot shower (200 Baht)

The owner, Wu Chai told me the following via email (dated 20 Dec 2007):

I have reserved the single room on 26 Jan 2008 for you already. I am sure you will love as many people do.

Therefore, I went over with confidence that a place had been secured for me. Who knows, things did not turn out as expected.

When I arrived, I was told that, there was no room available. I showed the confirmation email. Wu Chai said, I should have re-confirmed with them few days before I go. As per their experience, a lot of travelers from China and Taiwan tend to book, but finally do not turn up.

I should have written another email, although he didn't clearly state this in his email. However, I forgot.

It was around noon when I reached. Wu Chai was not there. A lady (his wife, maybe) attended to me, explained everything, called Wu Chai and served me a cup of water. Seems like I had no reason to get angry. Everything around seemed to be calm and peaceful (some people were doing massage nearby), and the lady talking to me was very polite and patient. She said, they can find me another guest house (with better facilities), but the price may not be as cheap as Green House.

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External outlook of Green House

Wu Chai then found me a guest house of his friend, sent me there, and I was allocated a fan-room with hot shower (150B). An air-cond room costs 200B. Although I had no chance to take a glimpse at the rooms at Green House, but the external appearance of Green House told me, the place I went over is much better.

The price actually does not differ much from Green House, and I didn't want to waste too much time on that matter.

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The Kanlaya Guest House located at Ragang Rd, Lane 3.

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It doesn't really look like a "formal" guest house.

Consequently, I stayed at the Kanlaya Guest House, for 4 nights, and my experience there was good. There are also some locals staying there.

The owner, Popy allowed me to make calls using his landline and charged me no cent. When I was not around, Joan (a CSer in Chiang Mai) called back the number and he took message for me, notified me immediately after I went back. Joan intended to meet with me at the guest house, but I had problem directing her to the place, Popy was the one helping me to explain to Joan in Thai, and the phone conversation took quite some time.

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The first room (Room 7) I stayed.

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Hot shower is available.

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The corridor.

At night, Popy usually has happy hours together with some other Thais or travelers staying there, till about 12am. His face is always red, due to taking alcohols. I was invited to join.

However, on Sunday, they went to bed earlier. I was surprised when seeing the front gate locked when I got back before 11pm. He put a notice at the locked gate but it was in Thai, I couldn't understand at all. I then tried the side gate with another key coming with the room key, and I successfully got in. Luckily.

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It's a friendly environment. We sat and had chats. On the left, it's the Belgium guy who had injuries on his left hand. On the right, it's Popy.

I stayed in Chiang Mai (CM) for 2 days (26-27 Jan), left for Chiang Rai and Phayao, then went back again for 2 more days (31 Jan - 1 Feb). When I was not around, I left the bought souvenirs with Popy, therefore I did not have to carry them around.

When I got back, Popy assigned me the Room 6. He said, that is a "special" room but he charged me the same price. I took a quick glimpse, yeah, the bed looks nicer (could be due to the bedsheet colour) and there is an air-cond. The weather was cooling enough though. I didn't even need a fan actually.

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The so-called SPECIAL room.

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It comes with an air-cond.

The thing I like the most about Kanlaya GH is the small balcony that comes with every room. It's a nice place for towels or any wet stuff to get a tad of sunshine and ventilation.

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One day, Popy got to know that I went to the nearby cyber cafe to get online. He then told me, I can use his computer in the shop. I used once, on my last night in CM, and some of my friends on the MSN Messenger got the fake messages about photo sharing from me, they clicked on it and they then had to format their PC. I got to know that only after I came back to Malaysia.

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Popy's PC.

Popy, do you know your PC is already infected by virus?

The location of Kanlaya GH can be considered strategic. The two cyber cafes charging the lowest rates are just few steps away.

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The one on the left charges 12B per hour.

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The one on the right charges 10B per hour.

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To be frank, the cyber cafe charging 12B/hour looks nicer from the outside.

These are the cheapest in town!! Those in the old city area, where lotsa GHs are side-by-side, commonly charge around 30B/hour.

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Last but not least, you can also have your meals at Kanlaya GH. However, the price is slightly dearer than other stalls (maybe coz it's called restaurant, not stall). I had a plate of Phad Thai Vegetable, which costs 40B. Usually you can get the same for just around 25-30B. If you don't mind to walk, you can get cheaper deals not faraway.

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The lady cook.

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The Phad Thai I had.

On the day I left, Popy helped me get a songthaew driven by his friend, to the airport. I paid 30B for that.

Honestly, Kanlaya GH is not as famous as many others, even compared to Green House. You can't see it from the map either. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean it's not good, or it would not become popular in the future.

For those interested to stay, refer to the following:

Address: 112/1 Ratchiangsan Rd, Ragang Rd, Lane 3, A. Muang Chiang Mai 50100.
Tel: 087-5163732
Email: popy_sam@hotmail.com

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Popy was opening the shop in the morning.

You can send him an email for booking. However, remember not to repeat my error. Do send another email for re-confirmation 2 or 3 days prior to your departure. If you intend to cancel, do not forget to let them know. Just do not make the name of Malaysians sound lousy to the others.

I wish you have a great stay at Kanlaya Guest House too.

P/S: I think I'm also recommending Green House. It's another nice option for those who look for budget accommodation, although I didn't have the honour to try it.

Address: 6 Ragang Rd, Lane 1, T. Haiya, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100.
Tel: 053-276590
Mobile: 084-5041991
Email: greenhouse.chai@gmail.com

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