About Me

My photo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 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 25 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…

Wednesday, 11 December 1996

Istanbul, Turkey 1996 - Byzanthium and Constantinople Empire....

"Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many..."

Istanbul, Turkey
(10 - 13 December, 1996)

Istanbul, historically Byzantium and later Constantinople is Turkey's most populous city, and its cultural and financial center. The city covers 25 districts of the Istanbul province. It is located on the Bosphorus strait, and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country.

(Taksim Square with hubby)
(An evening walk with Sara)

It extends both on the European and on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.

(Ja chasing the pigeons)
(A night at the Museum)

Hagia Sophia is a former church, later a mosque, now a museum. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Medieval Seville Cathedral in 1520.

(The children fooling around)
(Iwan and Ja with their souvenirs)

The current building was originally constructed as a church on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, and the religious focus point of the Orthodox Byzantine Empire for nearly 1000 years. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and Sultan Mehmed II ordered the building to be converted into a mosque. It remained as a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by the secular Republic of Turkey.

(Ja at the Blue Mosque)
(The Blue Mosque at the background)

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of several mosques known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has become one of the greatest tourist attractions of Istanbul.

(Sara at the Ferry Terminal)
(The busy Grand Bazaar)

Topkapi Palace, on the Seraglio Peninsula, became a museum in 1924. The Harem, Baghdat Pavilion, Revan Pavilion, Sofa Pavilion, and the Audience Chamber distinguish themselves with their architectural assets, while other artifacts reflect palace life. G├╝lhane Park is located on the slopes below Topkapi Palace extending to the seashore, and is popular among Istanbul residents for picnicking and open-air concerts. In the park is the Gothic Column, known to have been one of the main obelisks of the Byzantines, and an as yet unclassified, and therefore unofficial, Byzantine ruin.

(At the Museum)

The Grand Bazaar is one of the the largest covered markets in the world. It's a real heaven for shoppers and a good opportunity for people to discover the Turkish hospitality. Things are cheap here, available at flea market prices. The bazaar is filled with diverse items you can find almost anything here. And you can haggle with the shopkeepers as most prices are very flexible.

(On a boat cruise)

Bosphorus Cruise is a must-see tour for visitors because it is a wonderful opportunity to observe the both sides of Istanbul. The ferry is a traditional one, which has seats inside and outside the interior. Along the journey you’ll see the beautiful houses along the European Side, then moves to the Asian Side. There are nice restaurant along the Bosphorus and one can enjoy lunch or dinner of fresh fish, fresh vegetables, fruits and raki, a traditional Turkish drink

(Having lunch on a boat cruise)

Tuesday, 10 December 1996

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 1996 - The Firaun and the Red Sea...

"Participate in life instead of just watching it pass you by..."

(Sara at the Floating Mosque)
(With Hubby in Jeddah)
(The three children by the Red Sea)
(Sara, Iwan and Ja)
(Iwan by  the Red Sea)

Saturday, 30 November 1996

Makkah, Saudi Arabia 1996 - Our 3rd Umrah and Ziarah Trip...

"If you can't be thankful for what you have, be thankful for what you've escaped..."

Makkah, Saudi Arabia
(30 November - 10 December 1996)

(On the tour bus for ziarah)
(Heavy lunch at the cafe)
(Sara, Iwan and Ja sharing a room)
(Sara at Jabal Rahmah)
(Miqat at Masjid Tannaim)

Monday, 18 November 1996

Cape Town, South Africa 1996 - The Cape of Good Hope...

"Life has no limitations, except the ones you make..." - Les Brown

Cape Town, South Africa
(13 - 15 November 1996)

The city centre lies to the north of Table Mountain. The commercial centre, known as the City Bowl, takes in many of Cape Town's attractions. The Castle of Good Hope was built between 1666 and 1679 and is one of the oldest European structures in Southern Africa. The South African Museum is a good old-fashioned place, with cases and cases of stuffed animals and bloodthirsty dioramas of dinosaurs. Exhibitions of indigenous cultures include some startlingly lifelike displays of San communities. If you see only one museum in Cape Town make it the District Six Museum, a much simpler place dedicated to residents of this formerly vibrant and now bulldozed community. 

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is to the north of the city centre. This area is unashamedly pitched at tourists but it avoids the glossy unreality of comparable port revamps. It's atmospheric, interesting and packed with restaurants, bars, music venues, shops and a great aquarium. This area kicks on late so head down anytime.

(A view point on Table Mountain)

The Table Mountain cableway is such an obvious and popular attraction you might have difficulty convincing yourself it's worth the trouble and expense. It is. When it's clear, the views from the top are phenomenal and there are some excellent walks on the summit, especially in spring when the plants are flowering. The Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens on the eastern side of Table Mountain are among the most beautiful in the world and are devoted almost exclusively to indigenous plants. A trip to Robben Island comes highly recommended: The island was a political prison until majority rule, and its most famous inmate was Nelson Mandela.

(The confluence of two oceans)
(A windy weather at the tip of the cape)

Like all South African cities, Cape Town is ambivalent - European but not European, African but not African - a mixture of the third and first worlds. But when it comes to being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it is unequivocal. Even the transient visitor will appreciate this city, its mountains and the sea. Cape Town, South Africa's oldest settlement, is dominated by the kilometre high flat-topped Table Mountain and superb mountain walks, vineyards and beaches are all within easy reach. Despite an increase in street crime in recent years, Cape Town remains one of the most relaxed cities in Africa, which can instil a false sense of security. Paranoia is not required but common sense is.

(At the water front, the night before the bombing)

Wednesday, 13 November 1996

Johanesburg, South America 1996 - The City of Gold...

"If we can see the positive sides of everything, you'll be able to live a much richer life than others..." - Celestine Chua

Johanesburg, South Africa
(10 - 13 November 1996)

Hubby was invited as a resource person to deliver a lecture in a seminar held in Kwa Maritane. I accompanied him throughout the trip and have the opportunity to do my own adventuring in the safari park. Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge is a luxury accommodation in the Pilansberg offers all the amenities of an exclusive resort within the Pilanesberg National Park, an easy drive of 2 hours from Johannesburg or about 3 km from the airport.

Later, we spent a few days in Cape Town and drove up to the Cape of Good Hope…

(On a Safari adventure tour)

Jo'burg, Jozi, eGoli or 'the city of gold' (never Johannesburg) is by far the largest city in South Africa. It's brash, fast-growing and often ugly, but it's got wealth, energy and a beautiful climate. Many would suggest you go through Jo'burg as quickly as possible, with your valuables plugging all available orifices. However, if you want to see the 'real' South Africa - and try to understand it - Jo'burg has to be on your itinerary. Anyway, you may not have a choice about visiting the city as most international flights stop here.

(Waiting to for dinner)

While the colour lines are etched deeply, you stand a better chance of meeting blacks on relatively equal terms in Jo'burg than almost anywhere else. Unlike many South African cities where there are so few black faces you could forget that you are in Africa, the centre of Jo'burg has been reclaimed and the sidewalks are jammed with black hawkers and stalls of every description. There's also a growing multiracial music and theatre scene.

(Going for a night outing)

The so-called black townships, where conditions range from reasonable to appalling, ring the city and are a grotesque contrast to the northern suburbs. Soweto is the main township. It's an enormous, sprawling and sometimes grim spread of bungalows, houses, huts, shacks and dorms. Most white South Africans are completely ignorant of life inside the townships and few have ever been inside one. Although the townships are still in a state of acute social trauma, outsiders are not automatically targeted…

(A TV interview session)


On the pathway that we choose to thread
There will be many wonderful sights & memories
Sometimes we will come across a barren bit
Thread on to pastures new & bright

To your own self always be true
Tread along the pathway meant for you
Always keep your head held high
Keep your eyes opened & learn as you go

(A night in the Sun City)