Thursday, June 23, 2016

6 Hong Kong Wheres for Outdoorsy People

Whether you’re visiting Hong Kong for the first or tenth time, there are always new and exciting experiences to be discovered. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and explore the other side of Asia’s World City for some experiences that simply shouldn’t be missed!

Here are FIVE spectacular spots to include on your vacay list, courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. 

1. Hong Kong Global Geopark of China 

The Hong Kong Global Geopark of China is a dramatic rock landscape in the New Territories that was formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Explore its vast natural landscapes by walking tours provided by operators around the area, or by boat, starting at Sai Kung pier and winding through other worldly rock caves and beaches for a truly picturesque experience. Visitors to the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China can learn more by visiting the Volcanic Discovery Centre, Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and Northwest New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region and view geological features such as twisted columns, dyke intrusions and hexagonal volcanic columns. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Getting an International Driving Permit for Malaysians

It's almost a global knowledge that Malaysian drivers are notorious on the roads. Hence why our driving licenses aren't recognized internationally except in some countries. So in order to rent a car in certain countries, we are required to obtain an international driving permit (IDP) beforehand.

Japan is one such a country and for my trip to Hokkaido, I was the assigned driver and had to get my IDP sorted out before the trip. Initially I was informed that I could get my IDP done at the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) and also at the Road Transport Department (JPJ) office but a quick call and internet search told me that AAM had ran out of IDP until further notice.

So it was off to the closest JPJ office to my house. To get it done, I needed to prepare:
1. Photocopy of my IC and driving license
2. RM150
3. 1 passport-sized photo

Friday, June 17, 2016

Climbing Mount Kinabalu Part 3 - Reaching the Summit

Continuation from Climbing Mount Kinabalu Part 2

The alarm went off at 1am and one by one, we reluctantly rolled out of bed to get ready for the hike to the summit of Mount Kinabalu. By the time we went downstairs to the common area to grab a bite from the supper buffet served, it was 2am and other groups of hikers were already chewing at their breakfast/supper of fried rice, meehoon, eggs and sausages. You would think we might overeat but the anxiety of the summit hike curbed our appetites. For that extra kick later, I also took a power gel.

At 2:30am, we were rounded up by our guides Jasili and John and were briefed on the ascent. We were told to stick to the white rope, basically our visual guide to keep us from straying off the path in the dark and if there was mist. Sayat-Sayat hut was our checkpoint and we needed to reach it before 5am or else we were not allowed to go on.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Climbing Mount Kinabalu Part 2 - Chilling at Laban Rata

Continuation from Climbing Mount Kinabalu Part 1.

After 4 hours 30 minutes of crawling climbing, my sister and I were eager for rest and a hot drink at Laban Rata. As we had booked our climb six months in advance, we were able to secure a room for our group of eight in Laban Rata. At 3,272.7 meters above sea level, even to step a 100 meters outside the rest house took effort so we counted our blessings.

Towels were provided at the reception upon check-in but as our change of clothes were with the porters and guides who stayed with the rest of our friends still making their way up the trail, we opted to freshen up quickly in the surprisingly clean showers first. There wasn't any hot water though as the showers were solar heated and reliant on the sun. As we had anticipated the delay of our clothes, we pulled on our outer jackets from our day bags to fend off the cold while waiting.

Laban Rata was much much much so much more equipped than the mountain huts on Mount Fuji. The dining area had magazines, games and free hot coffee, tea and water available for hikers. The walls honoured the guides and porters who has gone above and beyond their call of duty even before the earthquake to help hikers. One picture showed a porter carrying a huge water catchment basin up the mountain.

Monday, June 13, 2016

AirAsia and AirAsia X Free Seat [Promo period: 13 - 19 June 2016]

Have you already started planning for your 2017 vacays?

Well, if you haven't, this might given you that incentive to start planning on where you want to go next year! Because the AirAsia Free Seat campaign is back and gamed to run from 13 - 19 June! The travel dates are from 4 Jan to 21 Aug 2017!

AirAsia is giving away up to three million promotional seats in its latest Free Seats campaign across its entire short- and long-haul network. Starting from a base fare of RM0, excluding taxes and fees, guests can fly to any of the more than 120 destinations in 24 countries served by AirAsia and AirAsia X, the low-cost carrier said in a statement.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Simbae Pet Care - Dog Shampoo and Leave-on Conditioner

Doggy bath time is something my furkid, Cody and I do not look forward to. But it is a much needed evil to keep his fur clean, shiny and tick and fleas-free. The belief that dogs enjoy water does not apply to my PAWS-adopted furkid. He hates water and hates the smell of his usual doggy shampoo. A sentiment I share mainly because it gives off a medicinal scent that always has him diving for the earth and mud post-bath.

Enter Simbae. 

Prior to this, I have not heard of Simbae but a quick Google search showed a very elegant and refined collection of pet care products. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Climbing Mount Kinabalu Part 1 - Timpohon Trail

I was nervous. My heart was racing with anxiety and also excitement as I stared ahead at the majestic sight that was Aki Nabalu or more famously known as Mount Kinabalu from the platform of Kinabalu Park HQ.

After over a year of planning, I was finally going to climb Mount Kinabalu. It was supposed to be a trip made last year but due to the earthquake that shook the region on 5 June, killing 18 people, the climb was postponed. It had been a sad day for Sabah and my group decided to pay tribute to the lives lost by summiting the mountain on the 1st anniversary of the earthquake. Fast forward to a year later and there I was.

It was the morning of 4th June 2016. My group of seven and I had just grabbed a bite from the generous breakfast buffet at the park's Balsam restaurant and were waiting for our bags for the porter to be weighted. Just for the knowledge of those planning to climb Mount Kinabalu soon, it was RM13 per kilogram as of June 2016.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Milo Breakfast Day Run 2016 - Putrajaya

Who doesn't love a hot cup of Milo in the morning?

I do. When I was but a wee kid in primary school, Milo was the first thing I reached for in the morning, lactose-intolerance be damned. This malt favoured drink will always have a special place in my heart and also in the hearts of 50,000 Malaysians as evident by the recent Milo Malaysia Breakfast Movement.