Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Kung Hei Fat Choy! Part 1

Over the years I have never really knew what a true Chinise New Year experience in either Philippines or Australia. I always have heard bits and pieces of the tradition and has always been fascinated.
In Brisbane there are dragon dance performances to look forward to however I have never really understood the spectacular customs. 

2013 I had my Chinese New Year in Malaysia Kuala Lumpur. I didn't actually plan it to be on the Chinese New Year week, everything was a huge coincident and I was so lucky to have booked it during the special week because it was an amazing sight!

Kuala Lumpur has amazing shopping district and I was informed that is the number four shopping district in the world. Our first stop was to visit a shopping centre and everything was so lively and colourful due to the special occassion. Buildings in Kuala Lumpur are absolutely beautiful, and was admiring architecture as soon as we got out of the airport. 

Our first destination was in Pavilion Shopping Mall, where I didn't expect to be really packed.

I took a photo of some of the captions on the decorations to have a bit more understanding of the tradition rather than just admiring the decoration and scenery.
As informed, this year is officially the snakes year, and I am suppose to expect good things to come this year.
I was a bit puzzled though as the decoration near the Pavillion stage area were fishes and not snake.

Every Chinese Zodiac animal was displayed with a brief summary of what to expect this year. The Decorations were so adorable!

On top of this Pavillion shopping centre was the most amazing thing I have encountered, they had a floor for Tokyo Street and all you eat and buy are Japanese introduced items.
I had so much fun wondering the entire floor and came back another day.

These crepes were to die for. I did not manage to try the strawberry crepe as apparently they ran out, I think that flavour was the most popular one. But this Multicoloured chocolate was exceptional too! The only downside that I didn't expect were raisins and I was not very happy as I am not a big fan.

The Next day we went on a food tour to have a taste of the real Malaysian food. I wanted an experience what the actual locals eat. Not just what's on the shopping malls but what were the popular spots with good Malaysian experience.

The first food we ate was Yee Sang as the main dish in our first stop, The famous Chinese Restaurant.
Yee Sang only comes in chinese restaurants once a year and most of the time you eat this dish with loved ones and toss the dish with chopstick in the air as high as you can. The higher the better luck you'll be given for the coming year. Chinese were described as very superstitious people with wealth and luck.
I have to say I like the concept of Yee Sang, it gives family something to look forward to eating the dish together every year.

Posting with the tour group, nice to see different people from different backgrounds were up for the full Malaysian experience. In our group tour were Germans, French, Canadian and Australian-Filipino. Very Muliticultural tour group if you ask me. 

The next hot spot was the industrial fast food sort of thing, they are famous for their Nasi lemak wrapped in banana leaf and fish and chicken steamed.

The store lady was so nice and happy going, even though we couldn't understand what she was saying, we were laughing because she just kept talking as if we understood and was apparently making jokes according to the translator.

We went to one of Kuala Lumpur famous night outdoor market where the local buy cheap food, poultry and other stuff. Apparently a lot of Malaysians do not go grocery shopping in shopping malls as they can find good quality stuff in the night market for a better price. The hygiene on food being sold are also same quality as the ones you will buy in the shopping malls.

The next stop was a place famous for the Indian dishes, the place was called Little India. The Food was really good, we had curry with this bread and everything had a really distinct taste from one another.

I took a phot of the paintings on the floor painted all over Little India I felt that not many people appreciated the effort put into it so I took this photo.

Our tour guide gave us a rose for a head start for Valentines day, which coincidentally coincides with Chinese New Year week as well. It was very sweet if you ask me.

I took a photo with it since I wasn't expecting a rose for this occassion.

After tour I wanted to have a photo session in the Hotel I stayed at for memory as it was a really great hotel. I stayed in Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, where transport was so easy to catch because we had two route monorail close to us, which made everything cheaper. Service was really good as well everybody was very attentive.

Next destination, guess where?

The shopping centre right between the Petronas Tower, yes there is a shopping centre was very posh if you ask me.

 This was the day I found out that my straightener was broken due to my make up cleanser leaking all over my luggage. So I had my hair in a bun and later on will have it down because I got my hair curled by hair salon. Did a lot of shopping in this place, they have many items I have never seen before.

My valentines date happened in Atmosphere 360, where the restaurant was literally going round Kuala Lumpur night sky, everything was so romantic and it was probably one of the sweetest dates I have had. The food was so yummy and drank a lot of alcohol.

The night didn't end without any souvenier the restaurant provided us a photo of us two with chocolate in the box to remember this night and they put it in a frame as this night was a special event.

This trip keeps getting better and better.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The land down under...under

So recently I visited Queenstown, New Zealand - for the skiing season. I arranged my travels with SkiMax. I must say the travel arrangements they did for my friend and I; was absolutely convenient and stress free! I really love skiing and snowboarding and I knew this year I really needed to do it. So early this year I booked this holiday, you can call me early birds but it was something I needed to do to get all that discounts. 

I had a terrible flight sickness before arriving, I couldn't take my travelcam before the flight because I was actually really sick the day we flew to New Zealand. I was on antibiotics and doctor was very strict on not taking other medicine, so I did and resulted in me throwing up twice while on air.

As soon as I arrived in New Zealand the view just stunned me, I was so amazed with all of the mountain and the fresh air. It was like a postcard, everything is so beautiful!

The first few hours, Jess and I walked around Queenstown mall, looked around to see where all the famous restaurants and landmarks. We were jet lagged but that didn't stop us from walking all around. 

We stopped by cookie time as it is a New Zealand treat we are all informed to try by the locals. I was so amazed that there was an actual shop just for beautifully cooked cookies. It was one of the things
New Zealand was famous for!

It is so nice everywhere I turn my head to. I just felt like I needed to take a picture at every spot.

This is taken right outside our balcony in our apartment. What an amazing view to wake up to!

 My get up during the lord of the rings and wild river horse riding tour. So breath-taking! It is an activity that you need to do when foreigners visit New Zealand.

The best part of this trip was going on the mountains to ski and snowboard! I did everything in my power to make this snowman. I didn't realise that it was harder than it looked. Movies makes everything looks hard!

My first flop! Jess thought that I had too much kodak moments so she insisted that she takes the camera.

Skiing is not as hard as I make it to be; it just becomes hard for me to control (amateur of course) when I go too fast and I am trying to turn to the other side. Can't control it well.

Jess and I had a private bus that picks us up right outside our hotel all the time. This arrangement was a great relief because catching the public bus to the mountains was a long walk from our hotel, this means we were required to wake up earlier than normal.

The weather during our snowboarding days was very cloudy and a bit of shower. Hence the really dark weather.

 NZone Skydiving, is the time where I have embraced one of my fears. It was a really good feeling afterwards. I jumped in with a professional and a camera man to capture pictures and videos.

Never open your mouth when you skydive, you feel sick after some time. Jumping 12,000 feet was so awesome! I think it was a good choice we didn't go for 9,000 because it would have been too quick.

Below photo is after sky diving. I was trying to show Jess my favourite chess piece.

Straight after skydiving we went straight to shotover jet, I feel like the place where we did this boat tour was the same place where the Narnia river was shoot.

360 degree boat turn was the most fun part of this activity! 

After shotover jet we went to ride a helicopter with massive outfit to prepare for water rafting.

Straight after a scenic helicopter ride - we went water rafting. Very rough ride and absolutely scary.

 I just couldn't resist posing right next to a Camero, was such a nice car.

On our last night, Jess and I rode the Gondola and watched the Hakka Kiwi and had a buffet dinner afterwards. This was the only photo for the gondola we had to buy the pictures, our camera shots did not have good lighting effects.

Patagonia Chocolate Restaurant - Famous for chocolate key lime cakes... 
I didn't try as the sound of it makes my stomach curl into a ball.

This was our last day - we were strolling around the area again to enjoy and capture as much moments we can get on our last few hours. 

Boat tour few hours just before our flight back to Brisbane. We had time to kill as we needed to check out of our apartment at around 9am. Our boat is called Million Dollar Cruise, it would have been really relaxing and peaceful except there were really loud kids. It was still enjoyable.

Here's a shot of me with the airplane I wanted to get this photo as soon as I landed in Queenstown but some lady told me I can't. So I did everything in my power to get it before I leave Queenstown.

That's to summarise my trip in New Zealand. It was absolutely an AWESOME TRIP!
When I was on the plane on my way back to Brisbane I was so sad; departing was really hard, I definitely want to go back. Looking back at photos of New Zealand put a big smile on my face all the time.

I am planning my next ski trip, not too sure where. I want to plan another holiday ahead of time before they start becoming expensive.

But I honestly want to go back to New Zealand next year as well!

Anyway till next time!