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Saturday, June 30, 2007

A new beginning...

I'll be leaving for USM in 4 hours. My long holiday has finally come to an end! How time flies... I'm starting to miss those good old days! :( To be frank, I've never been away from home for more than a week. Yet I doubt I would develop homesickness as my hometown could be easily reached from Penang in less than 2 hours. Thank goodness! :)

Just to inform you guys that I won't be able to update my blog for the weeks to come. I'm not sure whether I would be able to have Internet access there. I would definitely pop by to greet you guys here if I could find it there! :) Anyway, I don't think I would have that much time as life's getting busier for me! So sad... :(

I'm gonna miss all you guys here! Don't miss me ya! And for the final time, adiós! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lookin' down from high above...

Soulful Scribbles:

Do you guys know that I'm currently using the outdated, painfully-slow dial-up connection to blog this? I want my Streamyx back even though it's so crappy and stupid! I took it for granted, I admit it! :( All my dad's fault for hastily terminating the broadband service without even asking for my permission. How am I gonna survive without broadband these days? One thing you guys should know: I took hours just to post all these photos up! Make sure you appreciate every inch of my effort ya! Grrr...

Another thing: I'm so sorry if I haven't dropped by your blog of late. My Internet connection just can't handle pages with heavy loads! I'd make it for sure if only I have the time and patience. The volcano in me nearly erupts even while I surf my very own blog! You say like that teruk or not? :cry a river:

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After our fascinating tour at Underwater World Langkawi, we headed west along a tortuous road up the hills to the south-western part of the main island. The place we were going to was said to offer one of the best views in Langkawi. Of course we wouldn't wanna miss this golden chance since we'd come all the way here! Which idiot would do that anyway?

We were finally here!

The gallery's signboard said it was open but in fact, it was closed. Ti(p)u!

Part of this Hollywood movie which starred Chow Yun-Fat and Jodie Foster was actually filmed in Langkawi. The movie set (consisting of the Summer Palace) had never been dismantled after the filming and was developed into a tourist attraction instead by the local authorities. Its original location on the famous Pantai Kok beach was devastated during the 2004 Asian tsunami and that was why the palace contents were relocated here henceforth.

Up, up on the cable-car ride to the summit of the 713-metre high Gunung Mat Chincang


Breathtakingly beautiful...

360° observation platform

Suspension bridge from afar

Getting closer...

... and closer! I walked on it, and it was shakin' in the wind!

Simply spectacular...

Which islet was that?

Can you spot the far-away island? ;)

Mountains shrouded in mistipurple mist

Sky, sea and mountain

I love this best! Just stunning... :)

Lush greenery

Ain't those views just heavenly awesome? I was truly speechless the moment I saw the uninhabited surrounding islands from the top. And the climate was so cool and fresh! Typical highland climate, with soothing breeze rubbing against your face at any given moment.

After descending from the peak, we headed north-east hoping to catch the gorgeous sunset at the secluded beach of Tanjung Rhu.

We were here at the wrong time! It looked like as if it was gonna rain any time soon. :(

The sun wouldn't wanna come out to meet us! :sob:

Exclusively for the rich and famous: a night's stay here is at least USD 495! :faint:

Ahhh... So relaxing!

Last but not least, my imprints here! :P

finale's coming up next...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Starry, starry night on StarCeleb

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a star? Have you always wanted to strut your stuff on stage? Have you ever wished that you were...


So... Did I manage to catch your attention now? Great! Look no further as StarCeleb, a brand new star-searching reality show is now giving you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn your childhood fantasy into glitzy reality! And no, it's not just a girl's affair, for all you good-looking, talented guys out there are equally welcome to participate! Don't cha worry... There's no gender discrimination here! ;)

Wanna look and feel good like your favourite celebrities? Wanna bathe in the limelight and remain in the focus of the most sought-after star photographers? All you need to do is to fulfill the following requirements:

Malaysian; single; male or female between the ages 18 - 30
Must be able to read & converse in English or Mandarin
Must be available during the following dates: July 14th, 2007 – July 29th, 2007 & October 6th, 2007 – November 21st, 2007 for the competition
Must not have any existing or prospective exclusive modelling or artiste contract
Must bear own expenses for accommodation and transportation during the competition period

The audition will be held in this year on June 23rd, 24th, 30th & July 1st from 10 am - 5 pm at Parkroyal Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Level 2 (Catleya Rooms). Don't forget to bring along your new ID card and 1 recent colour photo to the audition.

Think this is gonna be a headache for you? Well, if you think of the fabulous RM 50,000 cash prizes (2 winners; each receiving RM 25,000) plus a 1-year hosting/modelling contract that you could stand a chance to win, it's all worth the hassle. I'm sure you would wanna think again now...

And not forgetting to introduce, our very own gorgeous, glittering star hosts of the show!

Ooh... Their star shine is blinding me! Now the question is, can yours too? ;)

If you think you've got what it takes to become the next star celebrity, what cha still waiting for? Go grab your audition form on-line and register N O W! Who knows you might be the ideal host, brand ambassador and model that Malaysia has been hunting for all these years!

For more information, please visit here.

Remember... Your road to ultimate stardom commences here. You decide your own destiny. 加油喔! :)

☼ This blogvertorial is proudly brought to you by StarCeleb and ☼

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mermaid hunt

Nah... There ain't really mermaids in Langkawi, which you can only find in Hans Christian Andersen's enthralling fairy-tale, or in Denmark's enchanting Copenhagen Harbour.

What about milkmaids? Oh yes, there's one living comfortably in the Lion City where the Merlion rules, provided you know how to locate her, of course! :P

But since we don't get to see mermaids, milkmaids nor merlions in Langkawi, what should we do then? Fret not, for there are fantastic sea creatures to see without the need to dive into the ocean depths. And did I mention about land animals too? ;) It's up close and personal with these animals. So get your photography equipment ready when you're visiting Underwater World Langkawi!

Weird-looking fish with crocodile-like snouts

Despite some discouraging reviews on the net (compared to those in KLCC and Singapore) and my initial reluctance to enter it (since I'd visited it umpteen years ago), I couldn't say no since all my travel companions would love to visit it. Being in the minority wasn't really good, eh? But the whole experience at Malaysia's largest oceanarium was rather nice actually. There were new additions to it since my last visit as well as some never-before-seen exotica from the animal kingdom.

There was the rain forest section, filled with lush tropical trees, birds, tortoises, marmosets and even a giant anaconda!

Does the flamingos' pink coat remind you of someone?

Colourful parrots that could actually talk! Not that they couldn't talk lah...

We then entered another section where the adorable polar animals lived. There were those cute, plump seals as well as the aquaria's star attraction, Happy Feet penguins.

African Penguins

Check out these Rockhopper Penguins. The way they fluttered their flippers were so damn cute!

Ain't they just cute and funny?

Photos from an Antarctica expedition conducted by USM, my soon-to-be varsity!

There was a 3-D theatre at the aquaria but the film wasn't interesting. Nothing much to shout about. Another section housed a gallery of all sorts of sea shells. Quite intriguing if you're an avid collector of these.

Wanna take a photo with this python?

And there was the marine section, the place to see those reef sharks, turtles and graceful rays.


Still not satisfied? Here goes 2 more...

Very creepy!

Lobster-like shrimps

to be continued...

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I think I'm gonna start writing sponsored posts any time soon. Just gotta earn some extra $$$ for my upcoming university life! Please note that comments will be disabled for this type of posts. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Oh my, oh my!

Yesterday noon, when I was still lying comfortably in my bed, I received a sudden phone call from a friend. I was informed that the results for the Malaysian varsity intake were out! Gosh... What a big shocking surprise to begin my day! To make things worse, I wasn't well prepared for these. I thought they would only be announced on tomorrow as rumoured.

I was so freakin' nervous okay! The outcome shall determine the path leading to my future. My heart was beating very fast. My legs were shaking hard. My hands were trembling as I tried to turn on my PC and get connected to the Internet. I couldn't sit well in my chair. But not long after getting the Internet connected, my connection went haywire. Dammit! I tried reconnecting again while couldn't help cursing the stupid and crappy Streamyx. Well, it wasn't the 1st time anyway.

I surfed the web page of the Ministry of Higher Education and began to look for the link which I was supposed to click on. After entering the page, I was then required to key in my ID card number and my exam serial number. I closed my eyes and started mumbling prayers after hitting the formidable submit button. I felt like as if my heart was gonna leap out from my chest!

And the result?

My goodness! I've got my desired course! Was I dreaming? No... I wasn't! This was too good to be true! My prayers for all these months were heard! Thank you Lord Buddha for your great blessing unto me! I couldn't have asked for more!

My interview at USM 2 months ago had proven to be a success! A future architect is in the making! I'm such a lucky star. Come on y'all! Let's join me in this joyous celebration! :D

Monday, June 18, 2007

Of myths so beautiful, Of legends so wonderful

I'm back! So exhausted yet so contented. I spent the whole night sleeping in front of my PC, before continuing my sleep in my comfy bed till 5 pm. Oh gosh, I've slept for 14 hours! FKK! Now you're askin' me, where in the world Malaysia have I been to?

No, not Pulau Redang. No, not Penang. And NO! Not KL. It's an idyllic holiday getaway situated in the south of the Andaman Sea, to the north of the Straits of Malacca.

..., home to well-known traditional Malay folk-tales and spectacular natural wonders. So... Did anyone of you got it right? ;) Consisting of 99 islands of unspoilt beauty, the archipelago is the largest in Malaysia (yes, even larger than Penang), and it only requires approximately 75-90 minutes of boat ride to reach from my hometown. Ironically, I haven't stepped foot on it since the year 2000 (if only my memory serves me right). So near yet so far. My recent trip there has definitely brought back all the fond memories, as well as new surprises that have just been developed in the recent years.

I went there together with my buddies. Initially, we planned to go to Pulau Redang, but the plan was called off due to some reasons. That was why you'd seen me fuming in peri-peri anger at Twitter a fortnight ago. Then, someone suggested going to Langkawi instead. It came out to be a good alternative since I'd been begging my dad to bring me there 4 years ago but had never got it realized.

Kuala Kedah Jetty

Getting on board

After an hour and a half ferry ride from Kuala Kedah, we finally reached our destination before 9 in the morning. The weather was cool and rather moody as the monsoon season is here, though the latter is a lot milder than its north-eastern counterpart which affects Malaysia's East Coast from November to March. There were occasional showers during our trip here but our itinerary was barely affected by the rains. The monsoon denotes the low season in Langkawi's booming tourist industry, hence the cheap and affordable travel packages we were going after. But still, we spotted traces of foreign tourists all over the island.

Welcome to Langkawi, Southeast Asia's 1st ever Geopark

We rented a car there since it's the best and cheapest way to go around the island. And the price? RM 50 nett, due to return on the next morning. Cheap huh? After hopping in our Proton Iswara, we were ready to navigate around the island with our map. The 1st thing to do was to fill the fuel tank as it was near to empty. We followed the route to the nearest petrol station as shown on the map, but we were met with a road construction half-way. We were then forced to seek another one, resulting in random turns in the town centre as the map wasn't detailed enough. Another frustration for us was that there were barely any petrol kiosks in sight! In fact, I was warned before that it was quite tough to look for one on the island, especially in those remote, undeveloped areas.

After filling up the tank, we decided to look for the nearest tourist site to visit. Our 1st stop, Kota Mahsuri. On the way, we passed through vast paddy-fields, rolling hills and sandy beaches. What a scenic island!

We were there to see the famous Tomb of Mahsuri, the legendary Siamese Muslim beauty of 19th century Langkawi who shed white blood as a sign of innocence and purity at her execution after being unjustly accused for adultery. The event occured at the time her husband went to war against the invading Siamese army. She was a victim of a conspiracy due to a noblewoman's intense jealousy of her famed beauty and popularity on the island. Before she died, Mahsuri laid a curse on the island that Langkawi would not prosper for 7 generations to come.

Fact or fiction, Langkawi did suffer periods of great tribulation not long after her death. The archipelago immediately came under Siamese rule in 1821 before being ceded to the British colonialists of Malaya following the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909. During this exceptionally long period of foreign dominion and intervention, Langkawi's population dwindled in size due to starvation and poverty, and the islands eventually became desolate and forgotten. As for Mahsuri's family, they left the war-ridden Langkawi for a better life in the Kingdom of Siam, later known as Thailand.

It was not until recently in the year 1980, when the birth of Mahsuri's 7th generation direct descendant, Sinithra Yayee or Wan Aishah Wan Nawawi on the Thai island of Phuket, that Langkawi had really started to prosper as a premier holiday destination in Malaysia.

There's a museum with dioramas, as well as reconstructions of Malay wooden houses built to resemble those of Mahsuri's time. The day turned hotter at noontime, and glistening beads of sweat were rolling down from our heads under the beaming sun.

Traditional ware (replicas?) used by Malay folk 2 centuries ago

Big coconuts for a refreshing glass of coconut drink

Sprawling paddy-fields, an unseen view in modern urban centres

to be continued...

Addendum: I forgot to wish all daddies out there a very happy Father's Day, though my wishes come late by 1 day. No daddy, no me! ;)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Beginning . End . Beginning

5 months ago, I landed myself on a tutoring job at Kumon. And now 5 months later, it's time for me to officially end my journey there. Today shall be my final day working there as a tutor. How time flies! I can't believe I've actually tutored there for that long! It seems like yesterday only...

I'm so gonna miss the kids there! Though some of them are pure brats who can really drive you insane (I felt like banging my head against the wall on several occasions), I find a handful of the well-behaved ones to be especially adorable. Through all these months, I've somewhat forged a close relationship with these kids, and I kinda feel like an elder sibling to them. Heck, I did dream of having siblings in my younger years! Yes, yes... I'm the only child in my family. Isn't that the saddest thing? :(

The instructor (my boss) is a very nice lady. She's a fine example of how modern women in the 21st century should be like. Smart and professional. That practically sums up her wonderful character. And oh, she did treat us staff to delicious treats once in a while! How nice of her!

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Every journey we embark on will bring us to our destinations eventually. And from there, a whole new journey will begin. This cycle will continue to go on and on, something like an evolution. I'm currently waiting for the results of my university application to announce, which are rumoured to be released in a week's time. And because of that, I'm going to treat myself to a relaxing vacation before I receive that formidable, nerve-racking news! Hence I won't be dwelling in Blogland for the next couple of days but a summer retreat situated somewhere in Malaysia. Go figure it, or just stay tuned for my travel stories when I return. ;)

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Sushis for me! Literally, these are one of the few dishes that I could savour at the Japanese restaurant that my friends and I patronized a while ago. At least I still managed to hunt for something to eat there! Not bad, huh?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A belated message...

Soulful Scribbles:

I'm not really in the mood to blog lately. I guess I'm reverting to my 1-entry-per-week mode. Now... Who says blogging needs consistency? I don't recall the existence of such a rule in blogosphere. As long as I feel like jotting down something, I'll blog. I'm sure all you bloggers out there are doing the same thing too, right? Unless you blog for a living, then that would be a completely different story. :)

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Right now, I'm on an important mission to present a message, though pretty much procrastinated, to that special someone. It's better late than never, right? ;)

She once told me June is a special month, a month full of joy and merry-making. And I thought I knew what she was trying to say.

Then came the 1st Monday of June, an especially important day to her. I wished her dearly, and I thought I'd done my part. But no, it was not over yet as I soon found out this wasn't the thing she wanted to tell me!

2 days later, it finally dawned on me that it was June's 1st Wednesday she was looking forward to all this while. The thought of it arriving so soon had never crossed my mind before. Talk about dual identities. She said that Monday actually belongs to her twin (not physical twin, mind you). I was shrouded in a cloud of confusion (and I know you guys reading this are too! Haha...), not in the know of which is which.

They say a picture tells a thousand words. In order to give you guys a better idea on this, I'm here to give you 2000 words. ;)

Proudly present to you... the twins

Still can't figure out what I'm trying to convey? Catch no balls? Awww... Too bad! :( Anyway, please appreciate my tiny piece of explanation here:

Twin #1: angie
- Da Day: June 4th (Monday)

Twin #2: angel
- Da Day: June 6th (Wednesday)

It's so obvious now, isn't it? :wink: Those of you who're still mong cha cha, you really need to spin your brain more, like what this lady does! :P

And hence, here I am to wish the Angielicious angel, or more intimately known as angie to Brad that someone (ahem... :P) a...

..., albeit belated. May all your birthday wishes come true! ;)

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My aunt had just returned from her trip to Mongolia which was organized by the humanitarian organization dedicated to children and families living in poverty and injustice, World Vision, to visit her sponsored Mongolian child there.

I've still yet to see her photos taken in the spectacular steppes of Mongolia and her sponsored child. What makes me extremely envious of her is that she's gonna join her annual company trip to Japan tomorrow for vacation after returning home for only 4 days from her previous tour! She's definitely gonna have a helluva moment there, embarking on an unforgettable sightseeing tour in the shadows of the mythical Mt Fuji. :envious envious:

I should really tell myself: study hard, work hard, earn hard! :sob sob sob: