About Me

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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, 20 December 2006

Phnom Penh/Siem Reap, Cambodia 2006 - A Gateway to the ruins of Angkor...

"Most of our problems are because we act without thinking or we keep thinking without acting..."

20th December 2006
Day 1 - Phnom Penh - Muzeums and Palaces
Our flight from KLIA arrived at Phnom Penh around noon. The weather was bright and cool. The airport was small and bustling with taxi and tuk-tuk drivers looking for passengers. Our plan was to stay a night in Phnom Penh and look for a transport to go to Siem Reap to explore the temples of the Angkor. We got hold of some brochures from the Tourist Information Centre and took a taxi to Phnom Penh town. We had nowhere to go as we had not booked any hotel. The taxi driver was a great help and suggested some good hotels. We ended up at the Star Royal Hotel situated along the river front.

(Buddha statue almost everywhere)

The hotel was cozy amidst the colonial ambiance reflecting the era when the French were present in indo-china. Located at the confluence of two rivers, the hotel was reasonably cheap too. Around the hotel, there are a few places of interests such as the National Museum, the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda.A distance away from the city will be the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum where we could learn the history of the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields, where a memorial stupa and shallow pits remind visitors of the thousands killed under the Pol Pot Regime.

(Resting by the pool-side)

Other attractions are The Phsar Thmei, the Central Market reported to be the biggest domed market in the world and the famous Russian Market where everything from souvenirs to car parts are on sale.Walked along the riverbank and watched the sunset while we eat sweet corn and observed street vendors selling goods and food along the river bank. We had a good relaxing full body massage at the Spa next door before a good night rest.
21 December 2006
Day 2 - Siem Reap - Boat People and Apsara Dancers

(Boat houses on the Tonle Sap)

After a hearty breakfast the Hotel Limousine sent us to the Ferry Terminal at the foot of Phnom Krom to catch the 7 o’clock boat to Siem Reap.The 6-hour boat ride along the Mekong river runs right through the heart of Cambodia offers a perfect opportunity to discover more of this fascinating country. The boat cruised past fisherman and floating markets and crossed the northern end of the Tonle Sap Lake.

(The iconic main temple)

The journey was comfortable and the mat sallehs chose to stay on top of the boat to have a better view of the boat people and fishermen. If you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of the fresh-water dolphins. When we embarked at the Jetty, we were met by the hotel limousine and checked-in the Hotel Angkorian situated in front of the Siem Reap Angkor Muzeum. We rested a while and took the tuk-tuk to Chiang Mai Restaurant for a late lunch of seafood tom yam.

(The Apsara Dancers)

We visited the old market for some souvenirs.Back in the hotel we had coffee by the poolside, a nice place to chill out and relax, while the concierge arranged for tickets to watch the Apsara Dance Show, a Khmer classical dance with buffet dinner at Roulen II. Apsara dancers are celestial nymphs seen on the many ruins of Angkor.Siem Reap is a very safe place in the evenings by our experiences as we ride on the tuk-tuk and observed the unspoilt town of Siem Reap by night.

22 December 2006
Day 3 - Siem Reap - Temple Hopping and Sunset

(The ancient temples)

We had a heavy breakfast of eggs and toasts. We had rented a tuk-tuk for the day and the driver was ready to bring us to anywhere we want to go. Our first destination was the Angkor Archaeological Park where we will visit ancient temples situated within the impressive natural scenery. Even though Angkor Wat grandly portrays the Hindu cosmology, the Angkor Wat remains a shrine for the Buddhist pilgrims.

(An enormous statue)

The day admission ticket gave us ample time to visit the famous Angkor Wat, one of the wonders of the world, and see the highlights of major temples around the area. The sun was intense but it was windy and cool. The temples are far apart so the tuk-tuk driver waited for us at every attractions.Angkor Wat is the largest and most awe-inspiring of all the monuments. As the sun rises we will have the perfect opportunity to contemplate the enormity and grandeur of this magnificent monastery.

Angkor Thom is in the Bayon style, manifests itself in the large scale of the construction of laterite face-towers at each of the entrances to the city and in the naga-carrying giant figures which accompany each of the towers.At the temple of Ta Prohm, roots of a silk cotton tree can be seen running along the gallery of the second enclosure. The trees growing out of the ruins are the distinctive feature of this temple. This temple was used as a location of the film 'Tomb Raider". Around the temples the terrain is landscaped by an intricate system of reservoirs, canals and moats that were used for water control and irrigation.

(A tiring day of Ancient Temples exploration)

After half day of temple-hopping we exited the archaeological park and headed to Chiang Mai Restaurant to have a hearty lunch. Later we indulged in a relaxing foot massage to relief tired muscles. After the short rest, we enjoyed the tuk-tuk ride through rural Cambodian village to the Tonle Sap Lake where we took a boat ride to the middle of the lake and watched the beautiful sunset. If one has a list of places to visit in a lifetime, then surely this must be one of them.

(A beautiful sunset on the Tonle Sap)

23 December 2006
Day 4 - Siem Reap - Phnom Penh

After breakfast we walked around the park to watch a Cambodian wedding at a nearby temple and passed a peaceful demonstration by the farmers and NGOs. Would have love to visit the Angkor Muzium but it was still under construction. The hotel limousine picked us up at 10 a.m. Today we traveled for another 6 hours by road. Stopped for lunch at Kampong Thom and reached Phnom Penh late afternoon. Lazed among the locals at the riverbank watching cruise boats ferrying tourists along the Mekong River.

After a 2-hour of strong foot massage, we had a hearty dinner at the Bali Restaurant next door to the Hotel. Before we sleep, we recalled back all the places we had visited and before we dozed off, we planned for our next travel to another 'wonders of the world'.

Next time we'll try back-packing instead. It would be more exciting...

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Abu Dhabi/Dubai, UAE 2006 - Emirates family holiday...

"Perseverence is not a long race; it is many short races one after another..." - Walter Elliot

(A family photo shot at Ski Dubai)

After our Umrah trip, we decided to stop-over Dubai and rent a van to Abu Dhabi to visit my nephew. We stayed 3 nights there and had time to visit interesting places in Dubai as well as in Abu Dhabi. In Dubai we visited Ski Dubai, a first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing, or just playing in the snow. Young or old, there is something for everyone. Ski Dubai is a unique mountain-themed attraction that offers you the opportunity to enjoy real snow in Dubai all year round.

(A painting on the wall)

We have a peek at Burj Al Arab from Dubai's big shopping complex. This luxury hotel was built in 1999 on Jumeirah Beach Road next to the Wild Wadi Water Park. The 27 story hotel is positioned 280 meters offshore on a man-made island and is designed in the shape of a blowing Arabian dhow sail, symbolizing Dubai's ancient traditions. The hotel is 25km from Dubai Airport, and a limousine service is available for those staying at the hotel. The hotel's luxury has given it the approval of being a seven star hotel.

(Burj Dubai in the background)

Dubai's central business district is divided into two parts: Diera on the north side of the Creek and Burj Dubai to the south. They are connected by a tunnel and two bridges. A stroll along its banks will remind you of the city's centuries-old trading traditions. And each side has everything from great hotels and stores to mosques and souks.

(At Ski-Dubai)

Some of Dubai's prettiest beaches are located along the Jumeirah strip. This long stretch of beach is lined with palm trees and has plenty of lifeguards on duty. Jumeirah Beach is especially appealing to women, as they have their own days to bask in the hot sun without the unwanted male attention. Next to the beach is the Jumierah Park, which provides a nice break from the sun and sand to eat lunch or gather with friends.

(The back alley of a shopping complex)

Thursday, 14 September 2006

Makkah, Saudi Arabia 2006 - Our 8th Umrah and Ziarah trip...

"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of being..." - John Wooden

Makkah al-Mukarramah
(15 -21 July, 2006)

(With my sisters and Abah at Masjid Tanaim)
(A group photo at Jabal Uhud)
(Reciting prayers at Jabal Rahmah)
(In front of Masjid Jaaranah)
(Sara and I on the bus for ziarah)
(Masjidil Haram, a view from our hotel)
(A photo with the Imam of Masjid Hudaibiah)
(Amah and Zai at the camel farm)
(Hubby and Abah at the Museum)
(A group photo at masjid Tanaim)
(The two us at Masjidil Haram)
(A visit to the floating mosque by the Red Sea)

Friday, 8 September 2006

Madinah, Saudi Arabia 2006 - A family Umrah trip

"You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims..." - Harriet Woods

Madinah al-Munawarah
(6 -8 December 2006)

(Masjid Nabawi at night)
(My sisters, Amah and Zai)
(Luxurious Hilton Hotel)
(Ayat Al-quran on the wall)
(Street vendors at Jabal Uhud)
(A group photo before leaving for Makkah)
(Hubby and Abah at Bir Ali)

Monday, 5 June 2006

New Zealand 2006 - Exploring the North Island...

"Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances..."

5 June 2006
Day-1 : The Thermal Wonderland

(Our spacious 2-berth caravan)

Arrived at Auckland International Airport at 11.00 a.m. We decided to rent a campervan that will allow us to explore the beuty of New Zealand lush green landscape at our own pace. The Apollo Motorhomes Holiday sent a pick-up at the airport and after some paper works at the office, we were off on our journey in a cute and well-equipped Cheapa-campa, a 2-berth campervan. The day was sunny and the weather cool and wonderful!

(Serene beautiful morning)

Drove to Manukau Supermarket for provision. On the way to Rotorua we stopped in Hamilton for a fillet-o-fish lunch at McD. It was already dark when we reached Rotorua. Rotorua is situated on the shore of the lake Rotorua, the thermal heartland of the volcanic central North Island. We camped the night at Holidaypark Campsite. After dinner, we slept in like babies. The heater in the campervan kept us warm till late morning.

(Misty cool morning drive)

6 June 2006
Day-2 : Maori Culture

(A photo shot with the furry)

We had bread and scrambled eggs for breakfast. We drove to Rotorua Agrodome for Sheep Shearing Show and bought some souvenirs. Other attractions include a helicopter ride for a breathtaking view of the vast sheep farms and a tour of the organic farm.

(An energetic cultural show)

Next attraction was the Tepuia Thermal Wonderland to watch the Maori cultural show with contemporary song and dances, including the welcome ceremony, stick dance and the ferocious haka, the posture dance.

(A scary stance)

Later we joined a guided tour around the Ngamakaiakoko Mud Pool and the world famous Pohutu Geyser, the largest of several geysers within the valley. The Pohutu geyser erupts on average once or twice each hour and can reach heights of up to 30 meters.

(The crater of the moon)

We later took the Thermal Explorer Highway to Taupo. On the way we stopped at Waikato River’s biggest Huka Falls. Arrived Taupo around 4 p.m. and stopped at the lake side for a rest. We filled up petrol and bought some provisions.Took the dessert road to Turangi. The road was winding wet and some parks covered with frost. We had McD dinner in Bulls. As it was already late and the weather was extra chilly, we stopped at Sanson Caravan Camp for the night.

(The helipad at the Agrodome)

7 June 2006
Day-3 : Windy Wellington

(Cloudy dark sky)

Breakfast with cereal and scrambled eggs. We drove to Palmerson North through Levin and Otaki. Stopped at Puikura Beach for a short rest. We continued to Wellington and headed to Te Papa Museum. Visited the Lord of the ring Exhibition. We had lunch at one Thai Restaurant.

(Calm blue water)

Called Kid and promised to arrive at her house in Churton Park by 3 p.m. Her Consulate husband was at work but their chidren Muhamad and Sarah were home. Stayed for a while and she packed Nasi Briani and beef curry for us. We drove to Napier, but on the way we stopped at Waipikurau Campsite for the night.

(At Kid's house  with Sara and Muhamad)

The weather was wonderful and we had a good night's rest.

(Lake Rotorua - scenic view)

8 June 2006
Day-4 : Shadow of the Sun

(Cool nice weather in the morning)

Breakfast with bread and beef curry. Drove to Napier and stopped at Pak n’ Save and the Bank to exchange some foreign currency. Took a rest and photo shots along the beach.Drove direct to Taupo and had late lunch at the lake side.Toured around the Crater of the Moon, steam vents and boiling mud pools at Wairakei Terraces . Drove along the Thermal Explorer Highway to Auckland. Reached Manukau Campsite late night. Dinner was bread and sardine.The weather was wonderful and we had a good night's rest.

(The iconic statue by the beach)

9 June 2006
Day-5 : City of Sails

(Rough waters)

Early morning we drove to Devonport and parked our camper at the car park and took a ferry across to the Ferry Terminal at Auckland City. We took the Hop-on Hop-off bus for a 1-hour tour of scenic views around the Auckland City.

(View from the ferry)

After the tour, we took the ferry back to Devonport and drove to Whangarei along the Twin Beach Discovery Highway. Drove back to Auckland and stayed another night at Manukau Campsite.Before we sleep we packed our bags, Our flight tomorrow is at noon but we need to return the campervan before 10 a.m.The holiday is coming to its end.

Kia Ore...

Friday, 12 May 2006

Bratislava, Slovakia 2006 - An Old Historical City...

"Failure doesn't mean you are a failure... it just means you haven't succeeded yet..." - Robert Schuller

(Blooming tulips)

The day-excursion to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia began at 7.15 a.m. we saw vineyards on the slopes of the Little Carpathian Mountains, where they meet the Danube River. The Austrian border is almost within sight of the city and Hungary is just 16 km away. Many beautiful monuments survive in the old town to tell of its past under Hungarian rule, and Bratislava's numerous museums are surprisingly rich.

(A Jewish Synagogue)

When we arrived at the main bus station, a guide took us to the old city and the castle area which are the best parts of Bratislava. The old city is packed with museums such as the Municipal Museum which comes complete with torture chambers and the Museum of Wine Production and Primate's Palace and the Mirbach Palace.

(A poster on the wall)

The castle, built above the Danube, was a frontier post of the Roman Empire from the 1st to the 5th century. Since the 9th century it has been rebuilt several times, most recently between 1953 and 1962. Up the hill are the very interesting Slovak National Museum expositions within. The Natural Sciences Museum of the Slovak National Museum and the Slovak National Gallery on the river are also worth a visit.

(A horseman marble statue)

Hviezdoslavovo námestie Square is a convenient orientation point, with the old town to the north, the Danube to the south, and Bratislava Castle to the west. Bratislava's main train station, Hlavná stanica, is several km north of town. The Old Town offers numerous good places to eat and a rich nightlife but we took the afternoon bus so that we could spend more time in Vienna.

(Brass sculpture at the man-hole)