Friday, June 30, 2017

Jeju Island (Part 2) - Korea (Day 3)

No two ways about it. Unquestionably, travelling in a tour requires discipline. Yes please. There is no such a thing as you wish in a clearly listed tour. Obviously, you can’t follow your own travelling heart by wondering as you please. Instead, it is about abiding to the unspoken travelling rules. Otherwise, you will be billed as a nuisance by the tour guide and tour buddies. So sorry everyone, if you can’t pay attention to the tour guide on safety rules and time limit, you better ditch the idea of tour travelling (Sapporo/Hokkaido). I know better. I can strongly vouch because experiences speaks louder than words. In Jeju Island, it had to be the same agenda in the morning. Waking up by 7.00am, sometimes even earlier, showering of course is your choice, followed by breakfast and most to most by 9pm, sometimes you have to pack if we are not returning to the same hotel. Also, do try to empty your bowels instead of restlessly interrupting while on the way for sightseeing (Istanbul Turkey, Pretoria South Africa & Colombo Sri Lanka).

Friday, June 23, 2017

Alor Setar - Kedah (Nava-K's One Day Postcard)

Being married to someone who is married to his or her job is not all that rosy and sunshiny. I know. Ask me and I'll willingly spill all of it. Its sincerely really a tough call for me. Irregular working hours, sometimes work calls for during the weekends and public holidays, and at the end of the day, no matter how late it is, I have to listen to his ups and downs. More importantly, I have to take care of myself, especially when he is away (Sungkai Perak & Pork Dickson). Then again, this workaholism does throw in some happy perks every once a while and if your life-time soulmate’s job involves inbound/outbound travelling, you might as well try your luck by piggy backing him, her and it (Chitose & Hokkaido).

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Jeju Island (Part 1) - Korea (Day 2)

First half day of sightseeing in Seoul (Korea Day I - Incheon to Seoul), we returned to Incheon airport for our domestic flight to Jeju Island. Spilling over await in the long queue among the hundreds during this supposedly off peak season in Korea, who do you expect to see travelling throughout the year, except mostly “Made In China” Chinese. Malaysians too I think are seriously taking their globetrotting lifestyle "Up In The Air", in fact, even those born with a dented wooden spoon in their mouth are joining forces in trip-travelling all the time. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Korea Day 1 - Incheon to Seoul

Another solo trip of mine in an arranged tour (Istanbul Turkey & Dubai) alongside 14 people I had no clue whosoever they are, Korea was the said destination. Now, to all the adventurous wise cracks who are right now reading this "Korea Here I Come" venture of mine, will you please stop wondering why I didn't backpack or travel on my own. Of course I sincerely appreciate your advise, but let me tell you that I have already before hand done my homework. What I found out is that the ordinary Koreans on the streets really can't speak English, so obviously, I am going to have one hack of a time communication with them should the need arise. Definitely it is bound to happen, holding on to a map and trying to pick up Korean language there and then may show the way, especially on "Amazing Race", but in reality, many travel bloggers don't actually tell you what can go wrong due to language barrier. Additionally, compared to 8 years ago when I had bags of energy, my overall well-being is not the same anymore (Penang - The Pearl Of The Orient).  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sungkai - Perak, Malaysia (Overnight Excursion)

Have you realise how stressful life is these days? Indeed, I won’t deny. I am of course not at all talking about the headline grabbing glamorous social media life many are living, I am certainly referring to life behind the fast lane which bounces big balls of fire. Let’s call the big hard balls as the challengers, especially in the city, what matters most undisputedly is money. Money! No money, sorry to say everyone, we are doomed ding-dong-bell because in front of each step we take, money is the leader. Money may be sunny in a rich man world, nevertheless, money does not fall from the sky though some people I know are under the impression that by praying daily, god will throw money down. Unfortunately though, the reality is otherwise. Slogging non-stop for your career or business is the ringtone for proud-pride status and tagging with it is naturally stress.    

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Port Dickson - Negeri Sembilan Getaway (Day 2)

Port Dickson (Part 1) Sightseeing. What an experience. Pheww! Walking non-stop, climbing up and down, sweating like a dog in the blistering sun and I think for the first time in my entire life, I actually literally begged for water. Frankly speaking, when I returned to the hotel after the few hours of touring Port Dickson, I was not only dazed in tiredness, I also felt as though my legs are going to automatically fall apart. No doubt, going from one place to the other was a treasured experience in further strengthening my backbone for bravely exploring places on my own, yet, I still had a tiny element of fear inside me. The fear I can’t let go despite having travelled to near (Penang) and far away places (Hilton Niseko Village Hokkaido & Pretoria South Africa), mainly fear of being mugged, robbed, accidentally losing my phone or handbag, or collapsing out of sheer exhaustion. Among these, the worst is fearing the fear of uncontrollable heart beat due anxiety and nervousness (My Fifties). 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan Getaway (Day 1)

Ages ago, in fact I can’t even clearly recall when my last trip to Port Dickson was. Let me think. Okay, vaguely 32 years old ago. Gosh! When I was 20 years old. That’s been ages, isn’t it? Really. Not that I didn’t initiate another Port Dickson holiday, but you know how confusing lady fairs are? One minute they agree, next minute they want their unruly-uncontrollable kids to tag along, later, slowly igniting the anger fire by pointing fingers who should drive and you also somehow sense that you may end up being the banker. Mayday! Mayday! Port Dickson zipped up. No more friends forever holidays I have already decided in my early forties (Travelling Solo When You Are Married).

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Kochi/Cochin - (Kerala Day 4 & 5)

From the distance of St Francis Church (Kochi/Cochin - Kerala Day 4), we crawled. I mean traffic crawling, not as in we literally knee or leg crawled prior to us arriving in Kumbalangi Chinese Fishing Village at about 6.00pm. Late. As per our scheduled itinerary, we were late. Then again, what other choice did we have? Nothing none. Except staying put in the van and watching Cochin daily hectic life passing by. Hecticness? Indeed yes. Traffic hustle and bustle, one of Cochin's underpinning reality unveiled right in front of us. Come to think of it, quite an experience actually. Otherwise, we wouldn't have known, neither have anyone who have already visited Cochin told us. People generally as you know, will share and speak about the best things a country has to offer instead of preparing you for the unexpected across the travelling loop? What goes on behind the scene in other parts of the world? Culture, social norms, life's madness, daily struggle and what not? Precisely (Trivandrum Part 2, Trivandrum/Kovalam & Kerala Alleppey Houseboat).  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Kochi/Cochin - Day 1 (Kerala Day 4)

Mouthwatering, tummy filling, absolutely splendid Kerala cuisine in Travancore Court (Trivandrum Part 2). Whether I have been enjoying Kerala sightseeing so far besides the point, I definitely can't put a stop to blowing big hot air balloons on Kerala cooking (Allepey Houseboat & Trivandrum/Kovalam - Kerala Day 3). Food love Kerala deliciousness I must stress is most probably the other side to Kerala hailed as one of the best tourists spots in India. Of course. I am not at all doubting. By far, a close cousin to my another favourite Sri Lankan cuisine (Colombo Sri Lankaand unlike not so favourable Western array of dishes (Norway/Denmark & Italy). So, we ate. Up next? Obviously, finding out what's in store for us in Cochin. Another of the other in this southern tip of Indian Peninsula, overall known as “God’s Own Country”. "God's Own Country? Honestly, I really couldn't compute, neither did our forever smiling, humble but really shy-shy tour guide cum driver could explain. This forever grinning guy I also felt was intimidated by a woman like me who is bold, vocal, loud and outspoken. He just wouldn't make any eye contact neither nor he wanted to communicate with me. Full-stop! 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine

Traditions don't die. Not even our Malaysian food tradition. Unless and until, you allow it. Not me though. I actually treasure our Malaysian food like how they used to be even as far as few generations behind (Ikan Buah Keluak). Of course obviously, Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine is not my Indian food tradition, but I am definitely a Malay food loving very much person. I just so love Malay food (Sayur Lodeh). Any whichever (Asam Pedas Ikan). My favourite. Especially budu, jering, petai (Sambal Goreng Udang Pete), sambal (Sambal Tumis Telur), specifically sambal belacan (Sambal Terasi) and tempoyak. Oh-My-My-Me! Kick ass me loving. Tempoyak. Each time I see tempoyak at the wet market, I must buy and on this particular day, at the supermarket, when I saw a bottle of tempoyak cili, god! I had to buy immediately. And tempoyak by far, can be eaten raw. As in as a dip for raw salad, the other of course, adding into masak lemak (Pucuk Ubi Masak Lemak & Masak Lemak Ikan Masin Nenas). How do cook Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine? Ingredients, step by step and all of it. Clearly listed below. Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine (Sardin Masak Lemak Cili Padi). Big balls of our Malaysian food fire.   

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trivandrum - Part 2 (Kerala Day 4)

The start of the day for us to journeying to Cochin, aka Kochi. Cochin and Kochi by the way is the same. Same. Basically. Basically, its up to you how you want to address or call this part of Kerala, I somehow, don't ask me why, prefer Cochin. Cochin indeed as I have already told you, is the jump start, but we will be doing Trivandrum sightseeing first. Those places we didn't cover on the first day, prior to stepping foot in Cochin. My last night sleeping, are you curious in finding out? I bet you are, especially solo women travellers like me? Albeit, remember, I told you? About the couple joining in my Kerala holidaying (Kerala Alleppey Houseboat & Trivandrum Part 1)? Which means, I didn't do Kerala on my own, yet, its me my sleeping alone. Honestly, not a peaceful sleep because as always, my fear of sleeping alone in a new county, in a new hotel is far out, the fear of hammer house of ghost horror. Those horror stories I am assuming you have already been told by sleeping alone solo travellers? Those horrifying stories, trust me, kept popping up on my mind. Back and forth throughout the night. As if automatically striking on my head constantly. What then? I tossed and turned the whole night despite leaving all the lights on. Leaving the lights on definitely I think will help in thwarting evil because basically darkness is our fear and darkness in return will put imaginative scariness on our mind? Wouldn't you agree?  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trivandrum/Kovalam - Kerala Day 3

Blissful overnight splendor experience. Honestly, I loved the whole lock, stock and barrel of Alleppey Houseboat. Except, mind you, no one for the matter I think will enjoy blood suckers mosquitoes and water rationing. Speak about water rationing? God, can you imagine not showering? Before night-night time and hopes were also dashed down again next morning when I realise substantial water is only enough for brushing teeth, washing your face and down there cleaning up as well. Yuks! Then again, anything else possibly? Nothing. Unless you wanna chance yourself into Allleppey backwaters itself? Tipping the houseboat guys, yes we did, not necessarily you must or should, do it only if you feel they truly extended their warmest Kerala hospitality, we moved on for journeying and Kovalam sightseeing. Four hours on the road if I am not mistaken, Kovalam is another must do. In fact, if you are tour travelling, Kovalam will be included because its marketed as “must-see-must-experience” destination for International tourists (Colombo Sri Lanka). Yet to be known to us whether Kovalam will be joy of Kerala, hopefully, we definitely kept our fingers crossed it will add another feather on our traveling cap as another Kerala gem. By the next two hours most to most whilst we travelling, we I think already concluded that Kovalam won't be let down once we passed by the serenity and nature given beauty of Kerala as a whole.   

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Karaikudi Kozhi Kuzhumbu/Chicken Curry

Kozhi. Chicken. Ayam. My other half-half's, one of his enemies. Enemy as in he does not eat chicken. Why, if you are asking me? As far as I know, like a Tamil movie sentimental and emotional roller coaster story. Back then those days, when he used to follow his mum to central market where he has been seeing how chicken were slaughtered, life chicken of course, from there on, the chicken (Sweet Chilli Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Indian Masala Chicken Curry & Butter Chicken) bulb lighted in him for he himself deciding that no more chicken in his life. What an Indian story right? Beats me. Pretty much says it all why I cook chicken (Cashew Masala Chicken, Chicken Devil Curry & Indian Chicken Curry) when he is away or I cook for my friends. Karaikudi Kozhi Kozhumbu/Chicken Curry. Utterly spectacular. Trust me. And when paired alongside Cabbage Kootu and Saffron Rice, oh my goodness. Mouthwatering right? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Oats Coated Fried Prawns

Every now and then, its nice to go back to yesteryears. The years you were so enthusiastic about cooking a splashing meal to impress your husband. Of course, during the beginning of your marriage steps or even maybe, 10 years down the road? Thereafter, you are only interested in cooking a basic meal. As long as home cooked, you know you are being the good wife. Regardless, the yesteryears does come into your marriage food picture. Not regularly, but like I have already told you, every now and then. Oats Coated Fried Prawns (Thai Prawn Red Curry, Goan Prawn Curry & Butter Prawns). Nothing new for me. Did it before, and today, somehow I thought let's bring back the prawn memory lane (Tamarind Prawn Curry, Sichuan Chilli Prawns & Prawn Sambal). Oats Coated Fried Prawns obviously is the fried stuff. The fried stuff which is really fab when eaten there and then (Chinese Prawn Fritters). As soon as out of the frying pan (Mee Goreng  Udang). Oats Coated Fried Prawns. Grab it while you can. Crunch!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Kerala - Alleppey Houseboat Overnight Stay

Galloping time, time travelling forward, tunnel travelling digging again. I did obviously. Within a few months, in fact I think maybe 3 months most to most after returning from my honey bunny love travelling (Hokkaido/Sapporo). Prior to that, solo single travel venture (Sri Lanka) and past tense, another together forever lovey dovey sightseeing (South Africa). Wow! Money graciously of course. Saving is definitely the vital cap for travelling, I vouch, Kerala, my first ever India land landing here I coming for you. Supposedly solo me, all arrangements self made through the travel agent who actually took a while to digest the fact that this lady in her fifties is solo adventurous. However, due to the couple I made friends during one of my solo trips (Vietnam/Cambodia), followed by we small tour travelled again (Chiangmai/Chiangrai & Myanmar), it automatically became 3 in a tour Kerala embarking. Honestly, I didn’t mind because these are the only two people I get along as my tour buddies. Albeit, believe me, I didn't beg and roll on the floor for pessifying them in joining me. I was already solo gamed for, but since they were really keen, I told myself, why not? Nothing to loose anyway. Maybe all for the better?  

Vegetarian Nyonya Recipes: Contrasting Flavors

Once upon a time, cooking Nyonya Cuisine ( NYONYA CUISINE: REDISCOVERING HERITAGE ) meant pounding ingredients in a mortar . Today, it's...