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Weekend Getaway – Sekeping Serendah

Nov 8, 12 at 2:33 am

Last year, we chilled and relaxed at this place. This year, we planned an even shorter getaway that is only 45 minutes away from KL. Even though it’s near, we still had to wait for about 5-6 months before this came to reality. It’s not that Sekeping Serendah is hard to book, but making everyone to commit to the date is harder than we ever thought. Fortunately, it didn’t seem a long wait to me as I had quite a number of stuffs to do in between the date. So that day finally came, and we gathered yet again.

It was pouring that day, and we were caught in horrendous jam for about an hour before reaching Sekeping Serendah. Thank goodness we didn’t lose our way as the map provided by Sekeping management is not really helpful at all. Fortunately, I recorded a video of the journey, so for future visitors to Sekeping Serendah, you can watch the video that will bring you right to the doorstep. (Refer to the video at the of the post)

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We stayed at Foundry (Warehouse) that sleeps 14 person. The house is pretty bare (no walls except for the toilets) and everything is pretty much open concept. Keeping things to simple and minimal, you have a kitchen with basic things like fridge, stove, kettle and cutlery. Some of these things are not in good condition, take for example the fridge isn’t cold at all and the stove is only half-working.

Sekeping Serendah

Krabi Random

Oct 7, 12 at 1:43 am

Krabi La Playa Resort
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#1 Room in Krabi La Playa Resort. I was dead worried about the condition of the hotel prior our arrival. Thank goodness, it turned out just fine. And everyone loves the big swimming pool.

Aonang Beach
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#2 Aonang Beach. We were supposed to have our team building here on one of the days, but it didn’t materialize. Still, we were here on one of those nights to release the beautiful “kong ming” lantern on the eve of Mid-Autumn festival. Sweet.

Kong Ming Lantern

#3 Kong Ming lantern. Kindly provided by tour agency. I never expect this to be a hit among us. I guess everyone was more excited flying it up than writing our wishes on it. One of the surprises that we had for the lads.

Chicken Island

#4 Snorkeling at Chicken Island. Not a very great spot for snorkeling but everyone was having fun in the water.

Poda Island
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#5 One of the island hopping is Poda Island. It’s a great spot for photo-taking. We took numerous shots here. Thanks to the great sunny weather!

Phra Nang Beach

#6 Phra Nang Beach. The last of the island hopping excursion. A totally chillax place. 🙂

Phra Nang Beach
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#7 Another view of Phra Nang Beach.

Phra Nang Beach
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#8 Still at Phra Nang Beach. Playing with iOS 6 Panorama feature. 🙂

Krabi

#9 A visit to the lagoon during our Hong Island excursion. It’s beautiful.

Pakbia Island
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#10 Pakbia Island. At one of the stops during our Hong Island excursion. The beach is littered with a lot dead corals. Still, the view is to die for.

Pakbia Island
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#11 Another view of Pakbia Island. I love panorama shot!

Hong Island
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#12 Hong Island is our last stop. Here we chilled to the max until the cows come home. 🙂

Hong Island
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#13 White sandy beach at Hong Island. Terrific!

Hong Island
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#14 Low tide reveals all the dead coral.

BBQ Pork

#15 We were looking for anything PORK, and sniffed our way to this stall. Hmmm, perfectly marinated grilled pork skewer! Life’s simple pleasure… 🙂

Save the Turtle!

#16 Everyone reluctant to go down initially but ended up excited like a school boy when we saw scores of baby sea turtles.

Tiger Cave

#17 Tiger cave. Our visit was cut short due to time constraint.

NZ 2012 – Video Compilation

Aug 30, 12 at 12:04 am

I thought it would be kind of waste not to make some videos along our journey in NZ so I actually got myself a tiny but powerful video camera – GoPro HD Hero. Armed with all the right accessories, I took quite a number of videos and here they are… some of them which I duly compiled for your viewing pleasure. All the videos are in full high-definition. Enjoy!

Part 1 – Journey from Christchurch to Tekapo. [Day 1 Story]

Part 2 – A view of Lake Tekapo, Church of Good Shepherd, Mount John Observatory and Astro Cafe. [Day 1 Story, Day 2 Story]

Part 3 – Journey from Pukaki to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park with gorgeous view of turquoise Lake Pukaki and the jaw-dropping scenery along the way. [Day 2 Story]

NZ 2012 – Day 13 – Christchurch — KL

Aug 28, 12 at 11:36 pm

Click here for the NZ executive summary and other posts.

Day 13
Christchurch to KL

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Slight drizzle greeted us on our final day in NZ. Unwillingly, we dragged our luggage to the car, and drove around the city looking for breakfast.

Vic's Cafe
Vic’s Cafe

I did not plan anything on this day. I felt if there’s anything which we did not manage to do for the past 12 days, this would be the day we’d make up for it. Thankfully, we were pretty much settled down and therefore, we unanimously picked Canterbury Museum as the place to go.

Christchurch was still pretty much in rubble, especially the CBD area. Much of the area was cordoned off. There were ongoing constructions almost everywhere. I felt so sorry for what had struck this beautiful city.

After our lovely breakfast (and our new obsession with paninis), we navigated few streets away to find the beautiful Canterbury Museum sitting next to Botanic Gardens.

Canterbury Museum
Canterbury Museum

NZ 2012 – Day 12 – Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura to Christchurch

Aug 26, 12 at 11:55 pm

Click here for the NZ executive summary and other posts.

Day 12
Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura to Christchurch

Hanmer Springs - Kaikoura - Christchurch

Point A (Starting point) = Hanmer Springs
Point B = Kaikoura
Point C = Christchurch

*

It was a really chilly day with the sky, all cloudy and gloomy. We hit the road as early as possible as we had booked a boat tour for whale watching at Kaikoura.

The journey took about 1.5 hours. It was raining by the time we reached Kaikoura and ultimately, the Whale Watch where we signed up for the whale watch tour. The Whale Watch office sits beautifully by Kaikoura coast and it also serves as one of the train stops for Coastal Pacific line, operated by KiwiRail Scenic Journeys.

The Kaikoura Peninsula extends into the sea south of the town, and the resulting upwelling currents bring an abundance of marine life from the depths of the nearby Hikurangi Trench. The town owes its origin to this effect, since it developed as a centre for the whaling industry. The name ‘Kaikoura’ translates to ‘meal of crayfish’ (‘kai’- food/meal, ‘koura’ – crayfish) and the crayfish industry still plays a role in the economy of the region. However Kaikoura has now become a popular tourist destination, mainly for whale watching (the Sperm Whale watching is perhaps the best and most developed in the world) and swimming with or near dolphins. There is also a large and readily observed colony of Southern Fur Seals at the eastern edge of the town. At low tide, better viewing of the seals can be had as the ocean gives way to a rocky base which is easily navigable by foot for quite some distance.

When we first arrived, we were taken aback by the meter high waves crashing violently to the shore. The sea looked really choppy and we were not sure if we should continued with the tour. While waiting up, we were constantly be informed of the sea condition and Whale Watch did a magnificent job by giving us appropriate warning about getting seasick due to the rough seas. One of our friends decided to sit back as he was quite prone to seasickness. Although we had paid for the tour before we came to NZ, they still gladly refunded us the full amount. As for my friend, he ended up wandering around Kaikoura town on its own while we were up in the high sea.

The three of us decided to continue with the tour and bought a pack of non-drowsy seasick pills for use later. We were given a short briefing and thereafter, we were chauffeured by bus to the jetty.

Whale Watch @ Kaikoura

NZ 2012 – Day 11 – Greymouth to Hanmer Springs

Aug 26, 12 at 10:14 pm

Click here for the NZ executive summary and other posts.

Day 11
Greymouth to Hanmer Springs

Greymouth - Punakaiki - Hanmer Springs
Point A (Starting point) = Greymouth
Point B = Punakaiki
Point C = Hanmer Springs

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2 more nights left until our scheduled flight back to reality. After our epic glacier hike, it was time to seek something different again.

Greymouth
Coastal road

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes