About Me

My photo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 40 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 13 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 35 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

2019 Travel in Retrospect...

“Roads were made for journeys. All we need is a wheel in our hands and four on the road…”

(Our reliable 4x4Toyota Hi-Lux)

Travelling can be about so much more than just crossing places off our bucket list.

For hubby and I, every travel tale has something special. Travel makes us humble and the experiences are more important than accumulating souvenirs. After my cervical spinal bone operation early this year, we quit riding long distance on our motorcycle and began driving road trips and venturing with our 4x4 instead. Undeniably, riding had provided us the most exciting, relaxing and rewarding experiences of our life all these years but our travel experiences with our 4x4 without doubt, were equally super exciting.

It’s one of the few forms of travel where it’s all about the journey, the places, people and those moments which are hard to describe.

The highlights from our 2019 overseas travels:

01 Saudi Arabia: Madinah – Makkah
02 Oman: Muscat
03 Japan: Tokyo – Yokohama
04 Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar - Terelj National Park - Hustai National Park - Elsen Tasarkhai – Kharkhorin - Ugii Lake
05 Vietnam: Da Nang – Bana Hills – Lang Co Lagoon – Hoi An
06 Thailand: Narathiwat – Patani – Yala - Hatyai - Chumphon - Chon Buri - Phayao - Phitsanulok - Khao Yai - Ratchaburi
07 Cambodia: Koh Kong - Kampot - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Stung Treng
08 Laos: Pakse - Thakhek - Vientiane - Phonsavan - Luang Prabang - Oudomxay - Huay Xai

Monday, 23 December 2019

2019 Q8 4ND: 23 Hatyai - KL

“Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul...” - Douglas MacArthur 

(A last minute shopping in Danok for tit-bits to bring home)

Day 23: 23 Dec 2019 (Monday)
Route: Hat Yai - Kuala Lumpur
Distance: 526km 6:07hrs 

07:30 - Had Nasi Dagang breakfast at Khaled Restaurant. 
08:00 - Checked out and drove direct to the Thailand/Malaysia border at Danok.
09:30 - Made a brief stop in Danok to make Thai number plates at the usual sticker shop. Met busloads of Malaysian tourists doing their last minute shopping here too. I bought nuts and tit-bits to add to the loads in the boots.

(Clear traffic on the way to the border)
(One day we must try the pulut ayam)
(A place to quench your thirst)
(Waiting for our number plates)

10:30 - Fast and efficient border clearance at both borders in Sadao and Bukit kayu Hitam. No fees paid at both borders.
11:00 - Refuelled and a short rest at Petronas Changloon.

(No hassle at Thailand border)
(Good to be back in Malaysian land)
(The new Malaysian Immigration Complex)

12:30 - Had lunch at one of the Joe Chendol Restaurants in Napoh. 

(Stopped for lunch here)
(Just rojak cucur udang for me))
(Alhamdulillah, we are back on home ground)

18:00 - Stopped at Simpang Pulai for solat and coffee break. The weather was good when we started driving towards KL. It rained heavily when we were nearing home.

(Heavy rain on the way home)

19:30 - Arrived at our Bidara House in time for solat maghrib.


Sunday, 22 December 2019

2019 Q8 4ND: 22 Chumphon - Hatyai

“Sometimes you must cross a bridge and other times you need to burn it. But, always keep building one and never lose your faith in life.” – Dodinsky

(Adorning traditional dress, selling traditional delicacies in Hatyai)

Day 22: 22 Dec 2019 (Sunday)
Route: Chumphon - Hatyai
Distance: 484km 6:31hrs
Hotel: Golden Crown Hotel, Hatyai 

07:00 - Had heavy breakfast in the hotel restaurant
08:00 - Drove direct to Hatyai in a nice cool weather

(Heavy breakfast at the cafe)
(The hotel cafe is spacious catering for bus-load of tourists)
(Cool moody morning)

11:00 - Stopped at a PTT in Wiang Sa for a comfort break. This is the dirtiest washroom in Thailand although the deco around the area is quite nice.

(Baby giraffe at the PTT)
(A green baby dinosaur)

13:00 - Stopped for lunch at our favorite halal restaurant at Thung Song PTT foodcourt. According to the owner the restaurant will be relocated to a new place soon.

(Will miss their delicious dishes soon)
(The spicy soup not to be missed)
(Driving on Route 41 to Hatyai)

16:00 - Arrived in Hatyai and checked in Golden Crown Hotel for THB850/night.
17:00 - After a short nap, had an hour of body massage next to the hotel.

(Hatyai Walking Street)
(The night market started to get busy)
(Varieties of street food)
(Live music at the Night Market)
(Bumble Bee as mascot)

20:00 - Strolled in the night market and bought some nuts and tid-bits.
20:30 - Dinner was roti canai at Centara Tunnel Market.

(Local scenes on the wall)
(Roti canai and chicken curry)

Saturday, 21 December 2019

2019 Q8 4ND: 21 Ratchaburi - Chumphon

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

(The Chumphon Rista Home chalets are cozy and neat)

Day 21: 21 Dec 2019 (Saturday)
Route: Ratchaburi - Chumphon
Distance: 386km 5:03hrs
Hotel: Nana Buri Hotel, Chumphon

07:00 - Although the hotel provides simple breakfast, we had ours in the room.
08:00 - Checked out and drove towards Chumphon.

(Driving on AH2 highway towards south)
(Normal traffic on the road)

10:00 - A short coffee break at a PTT in Hua Hin.
12:00 - Stopped at Rista Homes at Kui Buri to recce for our next trip. There is a halal restaurant in the premise.

(Rista Homes and halal restaurant)
(It is a Muslim-owned resort)

14:30 - Stopped for a late lunch at Khun Sarai R&R, bought salted fish and salted eggs.

(The OTOP at Khun Sarai R&R)
(Lunch break at the Muslim food court)
(Having our favorite soup and nasi telur dadar)

15:15 - Road closure in Chumphon town led us to a detour before we reach our hotel.

(Less traffic on non-schooling days)
(A road closure for some important event)
(The detour passes through Government offices)
(Colourful vehicles at the Fire Station)

15:30 - Checked in Nana Buri Hotel for THB800/night inclusive of breakfast.

(Our usual room at Nana Buri Hotel)
(Familiar room, spacious and clean)
(Even the password never changed over the years)

19:00 - Went for an hour of strong foot massage at Wansuk Reflexology for THB200/hr
20:00 - Had our dinner of pulut and fried chicken in the room as Fareeda Restaurant was still closed.

(Strong foot massage to relief tired muscles)
(Going for a stroll at night)

Friday, 20 December 2019

2019 Q8 4ND: 20 Khao Yai - Ratchaburi

“Failure is often that early morning hour of darkness which precedes the dawning of the day of success...” - Leigh Mitchell Hodges 

(The Snake Mountain Park, a path leads to a rest area)

Day 20: 20 Dec 2019 (Friday)
Route: Khao Yai - Ratchaburi
Distance: 262km 3:30hrs 

Hotel: Tai-Shan Suites, Ratchaburi 

07:00 - Had breakfast in the hotel room.
07:40 - Started driving towards Ratchaburi trying to avoid the Bangkok traffic.

(Driving out of Khao Yai)
(Choosing the right route avoiding Bangkok)
(Less traffic on this route)

11:00 - Stopped for coffee break at a PTT in Bang Sai along the way

(Stopped for comfort break too)
(A jean shop at the R&R)
(Longer distance, but less traffic)

12:30 - Reached Ratchaburi and drove direct to Hawa Anakin Halal Restaurant for lunch. We had beef soup, daging salai and omelette with rice to fill up hungry tummies

(No translation to this menu)
(Simple lunch but very filling)
(There's a guesthouse next door too)

13.30 - After looking at a few choices of hotels we checked in Tai-Shan Suites for THB800/night.
16:30 - After a short rest, we drove to Khao Ngu Stone Park situated 15km away. Khao Ngu means ‘Snake Mountain' in Thai. This area used to be an old stone mine. Because of environment issue, this place was converted to local park. We stayed there until sunset.

(Driving 10 minutes outside of town)
(A large cobra statue spitting water at the entrance)
(A series of small limestone hills)
(We stayed until sunset)
(A beautiful park for wedding photography)
(A former limestone quarry now flooded with water)
(The bridge across the lake)
(A recommended visit is after 4 pm)
(There's a bat temple somewhere in the area)
(The park is also accessible from another entrance)
(A steep climb to the gazebo)
(Driving back to town passing the ancient pagoda)
(The sunset over Ratchaburi)

18:00 - Lazy to look for halal restaurant, we had peanut butter sandwich for dinner in the hotel room.

(A Japanese owned Hotel)
(The living room area in the suite)