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…

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Kashmir 2008 - Paradise on Earth...

"Sometimes it takes sadness to know happiness, noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence..."

Kashmir Trip
(26 – 29 December 2008)

(A painting on the wall)

The economic down turn had severely damaged the tourism sector, the catastrophic Mumbai incident made matters worst. Since the Mumbai attacks, several countries have cautioned their nationals against visiting India, while others have asked to review holiday plans. There were no guarantees against repeat attacks.'But this had not dampened our enthusiasm to visit India and Kashmir…When we arrived at Indira Ghandi International Airport in Delhi we were met and assured by our ground tour agent that our security is their utmost concern, especially at tourist attractions in Jaipur, Agra and Delhi and we were also informed of the current plight for independence and the unstable political condition in Kashmir.

Cradled in the lap of majestic Himalayas, Kashmir is the most beautiful place on earth. One of the Mughal emperors, is said to have exclaimed:'“If there is paradise anywhere on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here... “'

(A lone shikara on Dhal Lake)

The Khyber Boathouse

The flight transited in Jammu and reached Srinagar an hour late. We were met upon arrival by Farouk and Gulam, our personal guide and driver. In Srinagar we experienced a 3-night stay on one of the houseboats on the vibrant lively Dal Lake situated at the edge of the city. The transportation used on the lake was the shikara.

(A neat row of the boat houses)

The Dal Lake sustains within its periphery a community so unique that it has a complete infrastructure that one can find almost anything from doctors, tailors, bakers, sundry shops on tiny floating wooden houses, surrounded by vegetable and lotus gardens. The Dal Lake is famous not only for its beauty and tranquility from night to dawn but also its vibrancy bustling with activities during the day.

The boathouse stay was a unique experience for us. The serenity of the lake, with its beautiful sunset, a picturesque scene we often see only on postcards.

(A typical water street)

The 3-room boathouse is equipped with heater and warm water bed at night. With Abdul, our personal butler and a cook to attend to all our needs, we were treated like a Maharaja and Maharani.

Mughal Gardens

We visited 2 Mughal Gardens, Nishat Bagh (Abode of pleasure) built by Asif Khan, brother in law of Jehangir in the 16th Century and Shalimar Bagh (Abode of love) built by Jehangir for his wife Noor Jehan. The gardens are situated on the bank of Dal Lake with the Zabarwan Mountains in the background.

(A beautiful winter garden)

The gardens comprise of terraces, containing canals supplied with water from the river from the mountain. The top garden, unseen from below, was reserved for the ladies of the court. The garden is considered to be very beautiful during autumn and spring due to the color change in leaves and the blooming of flowers.

(The garden at dusk)

Sonamarg - Meadow of Gold

Sonamarg is a tourist resort situated at a distance of 84 km from Srinagar. Our trip passed through the scenic town of Ganderbal, Kangan and Gund of the Sindh Valley. At Ganderbal beyond the Mular Lake is the point where the icy Sindh River leaves the mountains and enters the plains. 'Spectacular views of the Harmukh range dominate the horizon all along the route. Sonamarg is at an altitude of 2730 m, with a backdrop of snowy mountains against the blue sky. The Sindh River that meanders through the valley abounds with trout.

(A long ride on ponies)

We hired ponies for the trip up the mountain which can lead to Thajiwas glacier. This place is a major local attraction during the summer months. During winter there are less people crowding the resort.

(A river full of ice)

Sonamarg is the base of a major trek that passes along several mountain lakes –Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal. It is also the take off station for the drive to Ladakh across the Zojila, a major pass in the Great Himalayan Range, through which the Srinagar-Leh Road passes. But during this time of the year, the pass was closed for a few months because of heavy snow.

Gulmarg – Meadow of Flowers'

Gulmarg is at 2650 m above sea level. The distance of 65 km was covered in 2 hours. The view enroute from Tangmarg to Gulmarg is fascinating. It has one of the best ski slopes and claimed to be the highest golf course of the world with 18 holes. Gulmarg also prides itself as one of the highest lift-served ski resorts in the world with a Gondola Cable Car Lift to Apharwat top. The first section of the Gondola, from Gulmarg to Kongdori gives a downhill ski run of about 3 km.

(Scattered mountain resorts)

After the cable car ride we tried the not-so-smooth sledge ride which caused my injured back to ache again. We had a hearty, hot lunch at the Pines Resort Hotel at the top of the mountain.'The Mosque of Hazratbal'Reminiscent of the Mughal rule is the mosque of Hazratbal, made of white marble with a dome and a minaret. Hazratbal Mosque is the repository of a single hair of the Prophet Mohammed, exhibited to the public on certain days of the year. When we visited the mosque, only the men were allowed in. After reciting the ayat kursi I stayed outside and watched the kids feeding a flock of pigeons.


Uncle Lee said...

Hi Nong, wow! You practically covered the planet, except for Canada, the North Pole, ha ha.

To me today, the best vacation is being home with my wife.
Just hearing her humming while cooking is relaxing, ha ha.
Have a nice weekend, Lee.

Nong said...

My wish is to travel to places i have not been before. Yes, Canada is one of them he he...

Am waiting for my retirement days when i can just fly off and enjoy! Right now, work come first.