5 Dramatic Ways to Save Money after KL Public Transport Fare Price Hike

What's going up in Malaysia 2015Let’s face it. It’s getting more expensive to live in Kuala Lumpur, now that everything is on the rise. It started with the petrol price earlier this year. Followed by the implementation of the 6% GST, which has caused the prices of just about everything to increase. Even the prices of the supposedly unaffected items. Some even increased more than 6%.

Yes… Malaysian traders, big and small, are very quick to take advantage of the GST.

Early November 2015, RapidKL announced the new fare structure for the LRT and monorail, effective 2 December. The responses from the public were immediate: everyone disagreed with the new fares.

Who wouldn’t when the increase is more than 100% from the previous fare? Well, not all 100% but, instead of a gradual increase of a few cents over a period of time, the public was rammed (down the throat) with amounts that just don’t make sense.

RapidKL new fare structure announcement

Since we can’t really boycott and stop using the LRT, monorail, KTM commuter and buses to go to work, let’s think of some ways to reduce the impact of the price hike.

I’ll start with the 5 methods below. These are aside from the more usual methods like riding motorbikes, carpooling, work from home etc.

1.  Ride a bicycle / scooter / rollerblade / rollerskate / skateboard.
Since cycling is the in thing now in KL, why not take a ride every morning to work? They do it in China, so why can’t we do it here too? Think of the benefits: you get to exercise everyday, you help in reducing air pollution, you won’t get stuck in traffic jam etc etc.

Alternative Transport

2.  Walk / Jog.
Yessss… impossible as it sounds, you actually can walk or jog to your workplace. How long it takes depends on how far you stay and how fit you are. Of course, you will have to start walking around 3 in the morning, again depending on where you stay.

Man running

3.  Ride a “sampan” / canoe / boat.
This only applicable if your house and office are near a river. Also applicable during monsoon season. But beware! The power that be may decide to charge toll.

Sampan river toll

4.  Mi oficina mi casa.
Which means, my office is my house. You will definitely save a lot on utilities. Not to mention the monthly rental too.

Office Bed

5.  “Puasa” all year long.
Not only will you save a lot on food, you will also get lots of “pahala” for “puasa sunat”. And eventually, you will get the body figure you want. Great, yes?

Empty Plate

There you go… 5 additional ways of saving money during this disastrous time. What do you think? Doable? Hehehehe… If you have other ideas, feel free to share.

The best sunset photo I have ever shot

Unlike my brother who uses his cameras as a source of income, I do not identify myself as a photographer, mainly because I only take photos as a hobby. Yup, only for fun. Not that the thought hasn’t crossed my mind, but it just takes too much effort to turn it into a business. Not to mention the amount of money I have to spend to buy all the equipment required.

For now, I will just stick with my first generation Sony NEX-3 I bought a few years ago and keep on taking photos for fun.

So…

The best sunset photo I have ever shot is this one:

Sunset at Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Yes, I used my NEX-3 to capture it. It was during my one-day-one-venue trip in November 2013. Seriously, it has to be the craziest holiday in my life. Kuala Lumpur – Bali airport – Lembah Rinjani, Lombok – Mount Rinjani – Senggigi Beach – Gili Trawangan – Senggigi Beach again – Ubud, Bali – Seminyak – back to Kuala Lumpur. Every night at a different place.

Yeah, crazy. But fun too. That was my first time ever climbing a mountain. And spending one night on top. Bloody cold! I actually wrote about the trip but it’s still a draft in my posts folder. Hehehehehe…

Anyway, back to the best sunset photo I have ever shot, it was taken at Kuta Beach, Bali. I guess I was at the right place at the right time to be able to produce something like that. But I really love it. It just has to be the best sunset photo I have ever shot. Hehehehehehe…

What do you think?

Planet YM Bowling Tournament #3 2015

Delayed one week due to the unavailability of the Kuala Lumpur Megalanes, Endah Parade, the third instalment of the 2015 monthly Planet YM Bowling Tournament saw a good number of turn-ups even though a lot of the regulars were missing. There were a few new faces, though and it’s always fun to have new cute ones around. Hehehehehe…

As usual, the players were divided into 2 categories, with cash money, medals and trophies for the winners. This time around, there was also a lucky draw. Prizes: 8 dry bags and 5 sets of kain baju melayu and sampin. Didn’t get lucky, though. So sad… Uhuk uhuk…

Anyway, thanks heaps to the sponsors. There will be the another tournament end of this month, so keep the sponsors coming. Hehehehe…

The results

Planet YM Bowling Tournament #3 2015 - Jackpot

Planet YM Bowling Tournament #3 2015 - Category A

Planet YM Bowling Tournament #3 2015 - Category B

High score was won by Rizal with a pinfall of 212.

Congratulations to the winners. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the winners. Hehehehehe.. So sorry guys. I’ll remember to do that next time.

The next tournament is scheduled on Saturday, 25 April 2015. Registration is at 9.00 pm and roll of at 9.20 pm, so please be early.

WhatsApp or WeChat?

Unless you are using a Nokia 3310, or other phones of similar… mmmm… advanced features, then highly likely you will have WhatsApp installed. It is like the default chat app for every smartphone in the world. Everybody has WhatsApp. Everybody is chatting on WhatsApp. You meet someone and instead of “Can I have your number?”, you get this instead: “Do you have WhatsApp?”

You don’t know what WhatsApp is???? Gasp! OMG!!! My 65-year-old father uses WhatsApp and you don’t know what WhatsApp is? Machaa, seriously, you don’t deserve to use a smartphone.

WhatsApp Logo

Hehehehehe… but yeah, it wouldn’t be far from the truth if I say that WhatsApp is the most widely used chat app in the world.

Excuse me, sir.. it’s the green circular thingy with a spike coming out at the bottom left, bordered with white, and with a white phone right in the middle. Right there ==>>

But here’s the thing… there are other apps out there which are as good as or even better than WhatsApp. Examples: Viber, Telegram, BlackBerry Messenger, Line, WeChat, Kakao Talk… the list goes on and on and on…

If you’ve been using WhatsApp for a while, I’m sure  you know its common features already. Although I can guarantee you that a lot of people don’t know that they can hide their Online status. It’s useful if you want to hide from someone. That is, you don’t want that person to know you are actually using WhatsApp at that moment.

How to do that? Ask Mr. Google. Hehehehe…

WeChat Logo

In my Sony Xperia Z (yeah, I’m still using my first generation Z), I have WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Facebook Messenger and Telegram installed. Except for Line and Telegram, I use all of them regularly.

Personally, however, I prefer WeChat.

Here are the reasons why.

1.  Phone number not required.
You don’t need to share your phone number to use WeChat, unlike WhatsApp. I find this particularly useful when I want to chat with someone I just met online. Ehem! Of course, you can still use phone numbers to add people to your WeChat friends list.

2.  Animated emoticons.
You can download a lot of animated emoticons, even animated gifs which you can use while chatting. It’s a lot more interesting and fun than the flat emoticons WhatsApp has.

3.  Free voice and video calls.
When you’re connected to wifi, you can do free voice or video calls. WhatsApp can only do voice calls, not video calls.

4.  Moments ala Facebook.
It has Moments, which is like a simplified version of Facebook. You can update status, upload photos, get your friends to like them and comment on them. The one thing I like about WeChat’s Moments is that only mutual friends can see your comments. Oh, not to forget, you can set your Moments to be public or restricted. Even to your friends.

5.  Privacy.
You can block people from messaging you. And from calling you. And from viewing your Moments.

6.  Browse people around you.
WeChat has People Nearby… useful for you to see who’s currently online around you and chat with them. Obviously, if you are not online, you can’t see other people and they can’t see you.

7.  Shake it shake it shake it!
WeChat has Shake. You shake your phone and you get to see a list of people who shake their phones at the same time. Then you can chat with any one of them.

8.  Games!
You can play games in WeChat. Great way to spend your time while waiting for someone to message you. Pretty great games too!

I’m sure there are other features of WeChat which I haven’t discovered yet but out of those points, the number 1 reason why I prefer WeChat to WhatsApp is that I don’t have to share my phone number to communicate with anyone.

Now that you have read my 8 reasons for preferring WeChat, are you still going to solely stick with WhatsApp? Maybe you should do like I do. Use both! And FB messenger, Line, Telegram… Hehehehehe…

I like cats… Cats very nice!

One of the things I like to do, and I do it quite well, even if I say so myself, rather humbly, I might add, is photography. My object of obsession, first and foremost, is food. Yes, food. And I did post a lot of food photos, particularly on my Instagram. You don’t believe me? Have a look yourself. While you’re at it, why don’t you follow me as well… hehehehe…

Instagram ayusli

My second object of obsession is cats. I love cats. I used to have one… a white persian mixed with I-dunno-what breed named Che Putih. She died a few years ago according to my friend. So sad…

The third object of obsession is scenery. Sunsets… beaches… mountains…

I don’t like taking photos of people, though. Very subjective subjects. I’m not quite up to the challenge yet in that area.

I’ll start with the cats and my one-time experiment shooting them in black and white with my first generation Sony Nex-3. Have a look. Not bad, even if I said so myself. Hehehehehe….

 

Yes, I do love writing…

I love writingDespite the date of the last post I wrote, which was about 5 months ago, I really do love writing. Seriously. Everytime I came across an article, or a picture, or an advertisement, or something that I considered interesting, I immediately thought, “I should write about this.”

Which, of course, almost always never happened. Hehehehehe…

I have these roadblocks that never fail to stop me from actually sitting in front of my laptop and starting to write. How many? I have no idea. Let’s list them down and see how many I can get.

Roadblock #1: I cannot write at home.

Yes, too many distractions. The tv, the bed, especially the bed, the housemates, the boredom, the tv, the bed, the other websites…

Roadblock #2: I like to write at work.

Which, of course, is something totally out of the question. Unless the boss is not around. Hahahahaha…

Roadblock #3: I have to be alone to be able to write.

It’s true, isn’t it? How can I write when I have my friends around me?  How can I focus on my writing when they gossip about this guy or that guy? How can I stop myself from not joining them gossipping? Hahahahaha…

Roadblock #4: I cannot write at night.

Which is actually quite true, even though I did post something ages ago when it was dark outside. Mental conditioning? You know… day = work, night = rest? Bullshit, right?

Roadblock #5: Mmmm okay… What else?

Wow! Only 4. And I thought the list would go on until at least 10.

Okay, I’ll be honest. All these so-called roadblocks are just excuses. And it all comes down to one word: LAZY! Hehehehe…

Yes, I love to write (I do) but I’m just too lazy to do it.

Umpiring USM-Penang International Netball Tournament 2014

usm-netball-2014-3

Once upon a time… 3 years ago (I think), I was part of a team competing in this tournament. This year, I was part of the team umpiring in this tournament.

Once upon a time… 3 years ago (I think), I was one of the players who, aside from throwing balls around the field, also threw around expletives to the umpires.

What?? They suck! Big time! Hehehehehe… Well, most of them, anyway.

usm-netball-2014-4

This year, however, I was at the receiving end of the expletives, although, thankfully, not as much as some of the other umpires. It was a completely different experience, and quite an unpleasant one, I must say. Irritating too. But then, players being players, and this is talking from experience, they always thought they were correct with regard to the penalties e.g. contact, obstruction and so on. While sometimes they were undeniably right, sometimes they were also not.

usm-netball-2014-2

The thing with men’s netball is, the game is really really fast. And it is especially more challenging when it comes to the shooting area, where it becomes really physical. Almost all of the less-experienced umpires, including myself, find it really difficult to catch all the errors the players made.

And, of course, the players weren’t really helping with all the “Come on, ref!”, “Are you blind?”, “Contact!” and some other less pleasant remarks. Which is why we try to avoid umpiring the men’s games. Hehehehe…

usm-netball-2014-6

It was a last minute invitation by one senior umpire to be part of the umpires for the tournament this year and since I didn’t really have anything planned for the weekend (except for the inter-insurance bowling tournament), I thought, what the heck. I could do with the extra cash too. Hehehehe…

It has been a long time since I last touched the whistle (not counting the LSUS Segambut the Saturday before) and umpiring for the open games, particularly the men’s games. Phew! My heart was pounding real hard and there were butterflies in my stomach. Damn nervous! But all in all, it was a good experience. Even with the hot and wet weather.

usm-netball-2014-5

usm-netball-2014-7

usm-netball-2014-1Will I do this again next year? Hmmmm… well, I have one year to think about it. Hehehehehe…

To the players, on behalf of the umpires for the tournament, I would like to apologise for all the unsatisfactory umpiring we did. Play clean, next time, so that our job would be easier. Hehehehe… Before you say anything further, maybe some of you should try being at the other end of the whistle for once. Peace! victory

RM2,500 starting pay enough for graduates?

graduatesWhen I started working, wayyyyy back in 1997, my starting salary was only RM1,400. Which was then raised to RM1,600 upon my confirmation after 3 months. Since I had no idea what was the “good” salary at that time, me being a fresh graduate and have no close connection with the people who are already on the job, I thought RM1,600 was pretty awesome.

But that was more than 15 years ago, where things were pretty much laid back and RM50 can get you so much more.

I read this article with the same title from The Rakyat Post and it struck me how so much different it is now.

RM1,600 back then was actually more than enough to for a fresh graduate to live comfortably in Kuala Lumpur. Rentals were affordable, food was cheap, public transport was more or less reliable… At the end of the month, I usually have some extra to put aside.

Now? Let me ask  you this question:

How much is more than enough for you to live comfortably in Kuala Lumpur these days?

The article mentioned that, in a study done by Jobstreet, most jobseekers who have degrees do not think that a salary of RM2,500 per month is enough, and that they expect at least RM3,500 per month as starters. Some even asked for RM6,500!

Being an oldtimer, let me just say this: Get real!

Depending on the industry, most employers will never even want to pay you RM3,000 if you are a fresh graduate. Especially when there are a lot of you out there applying for the same job. It’s a take-it-or-leave-it situation. If you don’t like the pay, there’s always someone else who does. So be realistic.

What you need to do is get a job first, stay for maybe one year, then start looking for better opportunities. One of the fastest way to get higher salary is actually by jumping jobs, but it wouldn’t make you look good in your resume if you have too many in-between companies. It gives the impression to your future employer that you do not intend to stay long in his company.

apartment

Living in big cities like Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru or Penang is really a challenge in cost management. From experience, after living in Kuala Lumpur for 17 years, here are some advice which you can take note, maybe even follow:

  1. Live within your means.
    If you want to buy something, ask yourself first, “Will you die if you do not have it?” Okay that was a bit extreme but you get what I mean. Hehehehe…
  2. Plan ahead.
    Especially if you have travel plans or own a car. Your car, because of the fuel, insurance, road tax and car maintenance, really put a dent in your wallet.
  3. Keep track of your spending.
    This is rather tedious since it basically means you have to record every single sen you spend. I did this for a few months until I lost focus and started to just take note of the big spendings. But this will really help you going in the right track.
  4. Get a part time job.
    There are a lot of options available out there. Unit trust consultant is a good one. Insurance agent is also good. Online business is very popular nowadays and, done properly, it can actually earn you more income than your full time job.

In short, it is never enough when it comes to money. You just have to learn how to manage it.

So, is RM2,500 per month enough? My answer is, it depends. On what, you ask? It depends on a number of factors such as where you live, whether you are renting or have your own place or you stay with your parents, whether you have a car or you use public transports, and what your spending behaviour is like.

Share with me if you have other factors that answer the question above.

Ramadhan Buffet 2014… What the fish?!

Yep, what the fish indeed. I looked at the prices of buka puasa buffet at the hotels and restaurants this year and all I could do was geleng kepala. I mean, really… With the amount they charged, I could easily buy 10 days’ worth of buka puasa food somewhere else.

I’m all for good food and all but it’s just not worth it. Seriously.

Here’s a list of Ramadhan buffet prices from various hotels and restaurants around Klang valley and Putrajaya which I have compiled. They are sorted alphabetically.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, the most expensive buffet is at Menara Kuala Lumpur Atmosphere 360 at a whopping RM 170.70++ for an adult. That’s RM 198 net. Gilosss!!!


1. Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral Hotel

5 Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2723 1154
» RM 100 net

2. Ancasa Hotel & Spa Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 50500 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Dondang Sayang Coffee House
Tel: 1300 88 0032
» RM 75 net (adult), RM 50 net (child)

3. Berjaya Times Square Hotel

Berjaya Times Square, No 1 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Big Apple Restaurant
Tel: 03-2117 8000
» RM 108++ (adult), RM 54++ (child)

Buffet @ Berjaya Times Square Hotel

4. Best Western Premier Dua Sentral

8 Jalan Tun Sambanthan, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Kembali Kitchen
Tel: 03-2272-8888
» RM 98++ (adult), RM 58++ (senior citizen), RM 39++ (child)

5. Chakri Palace, KLCC

Level 4, Suria KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2382 7788
» RM 85++ (adult), RM 45++ (child)

6. Chakri Palace, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Level 4 Connection, Pavilion KL, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 016-227 7197 / 016-227 7548
» RM 69.50++ (adult), RM 35.50++ (child)

7. Chakri Xpress, Alamanda Putrajaya

Ground Floor, Alamanda Shopping Centre, Jalan Alamanda, Precint 1, 62000 Putrajaya.
Tel: 016-227 7276 / 03-8890 1616
» RM 55.50++ (adult), RM 29.50++ (child)

8. Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur

2 Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2717 2233
» Melting Pot Cafe: RM 118++ (adult)
» Ballroom: RM 98++ (adult)

9. Concorde Hotel Shah Alam

3 Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah C9/C, 40100 Shah Alam.
Venue: Melting Pot Cafe
Tel: 03-5512 2200 ext 2304
» RM 95++ (adult), RM 47.5++ (child)

10. Corus Hotel

Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2161 8888
» RM 95++ (adult), RM 50++ (child)

Buffet Ramadhan @ Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur

11. De Palma Hotel Ampang

Jalan Selaman 1/2, Palm Square, Ampang Point Jalan Ampang, 68000 Ampang.
Tel: 03-4270 7070
» RM 89 net (adult), RM 45 net (child)

12. Dorsett Grand Subang Hotel

Jalan SS 12/1, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Subang Jaya.
Tel: 03-5031 6060
» RM 110++ (adult)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Dorsett Grand Subang Hotel

13. Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur Hotel

172 Jalan Imbi, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2716 1000
» RM 90++ (adult), RM 45++ (child)

14. Eastin Hotel

13 Jalan BU 11/16, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7665 1111
» RM 110++ (adult), RM 55++ (child)

15. Empire Hotel Subang

Jalan SS 16/1, Ss 16, 47500 Subang Jaya.
Venue: Kitchen Art Brasserie
Tel: 03-5565 1388
» RM 108++ (adult), RM 88++ (child)

16. Federal Hotel

35 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: The Verandah
Tel: 1800 88 3535
» RM 85++ (adult), RM 42.50++ (child)

17. Flamingo By The Lake Hotel

5 Tasik Jalan Ampang, Jalan Hulu Kelang, 68000 Ampang.
Venue: The Sultani
Tel: 014-621 5334 / 012-295 9060
» RM 55 net (adult), RM 38 net (child)

18. Furama Hotel Bukit Bintang

136 Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Spices @ Furama
Tel: 03-2788 8983
» RM 79.90++ (adult), RM 19.90++ (child)

19. Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: JP Teres
Tel: 03-2182 1234 ext 2333
» RM 148++ (adult), RM 74++ (child)

20. Grand Seasons Hotel

72 Jalan Pahang, 53000 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Seasons Café
Tel: 03-2697 8888 ext. 8819 / 8801
» RM 85++ (adult)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Grand Seasons Hotel

21. Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel

3 Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Vasco’s
Tel: 03-2264 2592 / 2596
» RM 145++ (adult)

22. Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel

Jalan Barat, 46200 Petaling Jaya.
Venue: Paya Serai
Tel: 03-7955 9122 ext 4060 / 4056
» RM 139++ (adult), RM 79++ (child)

23. Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie

1 Jalan Usahawan U1/8, Seksyen U1, 40250 Shah Alam, 40250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-7802 5245
» RM 110++ (adult), RM 80++ (child)

24. Holiday Villa Hotel & Suites Subang

9 Jalan SS 12/1, Ss 12, 47500 Subang Jaya.
Tel: 03-5633 8788 ext 7201 / 7211
» RM 97++ (adult), RM 69++ (child)

25. Hotel Armada Petaling Jaya

Lot 6, Lorong Utara C, Section 52, Darul Ehsan, 46200 Petaling Jaya.
Venue: Utara Coffee House
Tel: 03-7954 6888 ext 4557
» RM 85++ (adult), RM 43++ (child)

26. Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Bulan, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Be Be’s Kitchen
Tel: 1800 18 1800
» RM 70++ (adult), RM 35++ (child)

27. Hotel Istana

73 Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Taman Sari Brasserie
Tel: 03-2141 9988 ext 3667
» RM 128++ (adult)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Hotel Istana

28. Hotel Maya

138 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Maya Brasserie
Tel: 03-2711 8866 ext 258
» RM 135++ (adult), RM 90++ (child)

29. Hotel Novotel KLCC

Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Square Restaurant
Tel: 03-2147 0888 ext 7660
» RM 88 net (adult), RM 44 net (child)

30. Impiana KLCC Hotel

Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Tonka Bean Café
Tel: 03-2147 1111
» RM 118++ (adult), RM 59++ (child)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Impiana KLCC Hotel

31. InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Serena Brasserie
Tel: 03-2161 1111
» RM 120++ / 138++ (adult)

32. Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2263 7888
» RM 138++ (Monday – Friday)
» 
RM 128++ (Saturday – Sunday)

33. Marriott Putrajaya

IOI Resort City, 62502 Sepang Utara.
Tel: 03-8949 8888
» RM 138 net (adult), RM 77 net (child)

34. Menara Kuala Lumpur (Atmosphere 360)

2 Jalan Punchak Off Jalan P.Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Atmosphere 360
Tel: 03-2020 2121
» RM 170.70++ (adult), RM 119++ (child)

35. Menara Kuala Lumpur (Megaview Banquet Hall)

2 Jalan Punchak Off Jalan P.Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Megaview Banquet Hall
Tel: 03-2020 5444 / 013-343 9523
» RM 99++ (adult), RM 49++ (child)

36. One World Hotel

3194 First Avenue, Bandar Utama City Centre, 47800 Petaling Jaya.
Venue: Cinnamon Coffee House
Tel: 03-7681 1157
» RM 95++ (adult), RM 48++ (child)

37. Pacific Regency Hotel Suites

KH Tower, Jalan Punchak, Off Jalan P.Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2332 7777
» RM 88++ (adult), RM 44++ (child)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Pacific Regency Hotel Suites

38. Palm Garden Hotel, IOI Resort City

IOI  Resort City, 62502 Putrajaya.
Tel: 03-8943 2233
» RM 90 net (adult), RM 45 net (child)

39. Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Chatz Brasserie
Tel: 03-2782 8301
» RM 125 net (adult), RM 62.50 net (child)

40. PNB Darby Park Executive Suites Hotel

10 Jalan Binjai, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: The 39 Restaurant
Tel: 03-7490 3939
» RM 115 net (adult)

Venue: 10 Binjai
Tel: 03-7490 3838
» RM 100 net (adult)

41. Premiera Hotel Kuala Lumpur

232 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, 50100 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Coffee House
Tel: 03-2615 1000
» RM 98++ (adult), RM 48++ (child)

42. Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Eccucino
Tel: 03-2170 8888
» RM 108++ (adult), RM 54++ (child)

43. Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar Hotel

1 Jalan Pantai Jaya, Cygal Plaza Tower 3, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Link Café
Tel: 03-2298 1855
» RM 125 net (adult), RM 62.50 net (child)

44. Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside

2 Jalan P5/5, Presint 5, 62200 Putrajaya.
Venue: 1Malaysia Bazaar
Tel: 03-8890 0000
» RM 115 net (adult), RM 57.50 net (child)

45. Putrajaya Shangri-la Hotel

Presint 1, 62000 Putrajaya.
Venue: Palm Hill Café
Tel: 03-8887 8833
» RM 130 net (adult), RM 65 net (child)

46. Quality Hotel City Centre

Jalan Raja Laut, 50750 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2614 8000 / 8023 / 8017
» RM 68++ (adult), RM 48++ (child)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Quality Hotel City Centre

47. Radius International Hotel

51-A Changkat Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2715 3888 ext 8120
» RM 70 net (adult), RM 40 net (child)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Radius International Hotel

48. Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: TEMPTations
Tel: 03-2162 2233
» RM 108++ (adult)

49. Sama-Sama Hotel KLIA

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Jalan Cta 4b, 64000 Sepang.
Tel: 03-8787 3333
» RM 110++ (adult), RM 55++ (child)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Sama-Sama Hotel KLIA

50. Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Jalan Cta 4b, 64000 Sepang.
Tel: 03-7843 1234 ext 6122
» RM 115++ (adult), RM 57.50++ (child)

51. Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC)

Exit Jalan 14/2, Seksyen 14, 40000 Shah Alam.
Tel: 03-5511 8813 / 8858
» RM 88++ (adult), RM 44++ (child)

52. Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa

Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya.
Venue: Fuzion
Tel: 03-7495 1888
» RM 138++ (adult)

53. Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur

117 Jalan Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Flavors Restaurant
Tel: 03-2785 1190 / 1191 / 1272
» RM 85++ (adult), RM 40++ (child)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur

54. The Nomad Sucasa All Suites Hotel

222 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-4251 3833 ext 457
» RM 70 net (adult), RM35 net (child)

55. The Plaza Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Raja Laut, 50350 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Pago Pago Café
Tel: 03-2698 2255
» RM 60 net (adult)

56. The Royale Bintang Hotel Kuala Lumpur

17 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: Sunflower Brasserie & Delima Hall
Tel: 03-2143 9898
» RM 85++ (adult), RM 45++ (child)

57. The Royale Bintang The Curve Hotel

6 Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya.
Venue: The Terrace Café & Window Restaurant
Tel: 03-7843 1111 ext 1405
» RM 68++ (adult)

58. The Royale Chulan Damansara Hotel

2 Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya.
Venue: The Royale Coffee House
Tel: 03-7959 9000 ext 2406
» RM 98++ (adult)

59. The Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2688 9639
» RM 118 net (adult), RM 59 net (child)

Ramadhan Buffet @ The Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur

60. The Westin Kuala Lumpur

100 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Venue: The Living Room
Tel: 03-2773 8338
» RM 128++ (adult), RM 64++ (child)

61. Vistana Hotel Kuala Lumpur Titiwangsa

9 Jalan Lumut, Off Jalan Ipoh, 50400 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-4042 8000
» RM 48++ (adult), RM 30++ (child)

Ramadhan Buffet @ Vistana Hotel Kuala Lumpur

 

I love to eat

And yes, I can see the effect around the mid-section area of my body already.

And the number of times I have to buy new pants because the old ones have somehow shrunk on me.

It doesn’t really help when one is living in a country like Malaysia where food is everywhere. From food stalls to 5-star hotels to fine dining restaurants, they are all around you. More often than not, the cheapest ones are the most delicious.

I like to post pictures of food in my Facebook and I get this really perverse pleasure when my friends “carut” me because of them. Apparently the pictures got them quite mad since I got to eat and they didn’t. Hehehehehe… Too bad my friends. Look at it this way.. even though you didn’t get to eat them, at least I share the photos with you.

Hahaha

 

I’m bad…

You guys know any place with reaaaaaaaalllyy good food to eat? Share with me, please… Thank you in advance.

Berbuka on Helipad with Etiqa

Berbuka on Helipad800 feet above sea level.
Open air.
On a helipad.

Etiqa can claim this as a new record in The Malaysia Book of Records! I mean, why not? The book contains some stupid odd events, anyway, so this would fit in perfectly. Hehehehe…

Okay. Another kudos to Etiqa for organising another unique, out-of-the-world, never-been-done-by-anyone-before berbuka puasa experience last Saturday, 27 July 2013. This time it was on the helipad on top of Menara Maybank. That’s 800 feet above sea level and it has a totally unobstructed view of KL skyline. No wall, no grill, no nothing.

Just beautiful.

And dining at such place was just… heaven. Yeah, that’s the right word. Heaven. Hehehehe… The only place that tops it is the KL Tower, I think, in their rotating restaurant. But it was not open air, so that’s a different category altogether.

Unlike the previous Berbuka on Ice event, people who wanted to participate must register and submit a slogan via Etiqa’s Facebook page. So only a select few would get the chance to be up there and dine under the open sky.

To get to the top itself was a challenge. The lift only goes to the 51st floor, and to reach the helipad, one has to climb another 4 flights of stairs. Phew! Lucky I was fit. Most of the guests were breathing quite heavily by the time they reached the top. Hehehehe… Good exercise before buka puasa.

When it was time, the azan was performed. That was probably another record: performing azan at 800 feet above sea level. I reckon no one has done it before in Malaysia. Everybody buka puasa with kurma, milk, teh tarik, sirap selasih and some traditional kuih. The seri muka was delicious!

After that, it was Maghrib prayer for the muslims. Hey, that was another record. Performing prayers at 800 feet above sea level! Hehehehehe…

Then it was dinner time. During Berbuka on Ice, it was a fusion of Malaysian, Italian and Mauritian food. This time, I was not quite sure from. Vegetarian Kurma, Roti Jala and Chicken Briyani… okay, these are Malaysian. Honey Chicken and Beetroot Rice… Indian. Beef Goulash and Mashed Potato… European (Hungary and England). Got those from wikipedia. Hehehehehe…

The desserts were also a mixture of local dish and some other countries: Sago Pudding (with coconut milk and brown palm sugar syrup), Rosewater Cheesecake (with strawberry jam) and Osmanthus Jelly.

Everybody was enjoying themselves. The food, the atmosphere, the people, the weather… the combination was just perfect! We were wondering where the next venue would be. KLCC Skybridge? KLCC water fountain? Zoo Negara? Airport runway? Pudu jail? Hehehehehe…

Thank you, Etiqa. It was wonderful!

Berbuka on Ice with Etiqa

Berbuka on Ice with EtiqaWho would have thought to have a berbuka puasa event on ice? It’s usually hotels, restaurants, stalls, friend’s house… the normal, boring places… but on ice?

Okay, not literally on ice, but on a carpet right in the middle of an ice skating rink?

Yup, that was what this team of people from Etiqa Insurance & Takaful did. Named Etiqa Ramadhan Pop Up Cafe, the event was centred on giving a unique berbuka puasa experience to whoever registered to participate. And it was indeed a one-of-a-kind experience. Nobody in Malaysia, even the world (I think), has done it before.

Hey, it was history in the making! Hahahaha… Look for the video on Youtube.

The event was on Friday, 19 July 2013 at the Sunway Pyramid, right in the middle of the ice skating rink. About 60 people registered, mostly passersby who were looking for a place to berbuka puasa that day.

When it was time to berbuka, the azan was performed. It has to be the first time ever an azan was heard inside the shopping complex. And I thought the roof might just cave in. Hahahahahaha…

After berbuka, Maghrib prayer was performed, led by one of the Etiqa staff, also right in the middle of the ice rink. It must have been a very weird scene to a lot of people who were standing there, looking down at us. Like, what the heck were these people doing?

After prayer, food was served and it was a mixture of Malaysian, Italian and Mauritian cuisines. Divine food, all of them, prepared by some people from Plate Culture. I especially love the Alouda, the strawberry flavoured dessert. Yummy!

It was indeed a one-of-a-kind, out-of-the-world berbuka puasa experience to all of us. It feels good, no, to be one of the first in something like this? Thank you to Etiqa for organising the event.

Awangku Yusli - Berbuka on ice with Etiqa

Apparently, there will be a second event, also unique, and it will be 800 feet above sea level. Whoever wants to join, can go to the Etiqa Facebook and register there.

Cool, eh?

 

 

Beijing Trip – Day 4 (30 April 2013)

Our day 4 program:
» Fresh Water Pearl Centre
» Beijing Olympic Park
» Silk Street

First destination: Fresh Water Pearl Centre

Beijing Fresh Water PearlSimilar to the jade shop, the silk shop and the crystal shop we visited before, it was one of the must-visit places if you follow a tour in Beijing. I suspect that was the only reason the shop was still doing business. I mean, first of all, the location was really weird. Who would open a jewellery shop right in the middle of a sports complex where nobody goes to? During the Beijing Olympics okay laa.. got people to come, but now? If not for the tour buses, it would’ve gone terracotta. Hehehe…

The young guy on the right was the manager of the shop. His story was that he has to take over the shop (against his wishes) from his brother who has moved on to open another shop in Shanghai, I think. He was more interested in jade than fresh water pearls.

Because of something which I can no longer remember, he gave us a pearl ring each and discounts on the items on display there. Quite unbelievable discounts too, actually. Something like 80% of the original price. Since I couldn’t really resist the temptations (yeah, I’m really bad when it comes to shopping), I actually bought one pearl bracelet each for my mother and sister. They will only get them during hari raya this year, however. Hehehe…

Next destination: Beijing Olympic Park

Yes!! Another China’s landmark which was on top of my must-visit list. The Beijing National Stadium, or more popularly known as the Bird’s Nest, was as impressive as when I first saw it on tv during the 2008 Summer Olympics. I think it was the most unique and most beautiful olympic stadium ever!

I would have loved to be there during the opening and closing of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Beijing Bird's Nest

While the Bird’s Nest looked imposing in daylight, the Water Cube was anything but. It was still an outstanding and eye-catching structure but the Bird’s Nest simply overwhelmed it. Judging from the photos of the Cube on the internet, it’s definitely a different story at night.

Beijing Water Cube

Some of the guys actually came back at night for some more photo shooting. Now why didn’t I go with them? Hmmmm...

Did you know that you can actually enter both stadiums? I didn’t!! Damn! What a disappointment.

Next destination: Silk Street

Beijing Silk StreetAfter lunch, we went to one of the most famous shopping places in Beijing, the Silk Street. Clothings, souvenirs, handbags, electronics, shoes, fabrics… whatever you want, you can find most of them here. Outside, it was packed with buses. Inside, it was packed with people. White people, brown people, black people, yellow people… just too many people.

One thing I don’t like shopping at this place is that the moment you asked the price of an item, you must bargain for it. Browsing is fine, but the moment you open your mouth and ask how much, that’s it man… you have to bargain until you reach the price you think is cheap or reasonable, or they tell you to go away if they don’t like the price you offer.

We walked around, looking at every stalls on every floor, a bit scared to ask the prices, and in the end, I just bought some fridge magnets. They have some really very nice items there but I just couldn’t bring myself to bargain for them. Bargaining is not my strong point, just so that you know. So while some of us went shopping, the rest of us just lepak lepak at one coffee shop and had coffee till it was time to leave.

We went to dinner after that.

Our guide, David, informed us that he will send one person to our hotel that night with items such as t-shirts, souvenirs and table cloths which were way cheaper than what was sold outside. It turned out that the lady who came could speak Malay fluently and the items she brought with her were indeed cheaper.

The others borong everything she brought with her. I only bought table cloths for my mom hehehe...

Beijing Table Cloth

Beijing Table Cloth

Nice, huh? They will be covering the tables during hari raya this year. Hehehehe…

You can view the photos for day 4 here (unfortunately, not very many of them): Beijing Trip 2013 – Day 4

Beijing Trip – Day 3 (29 April 2013)

Our day 3 program:
» Summer Palace
» Silk Store
» Foot Massage Centre
» Niujie Mosque
» Tea House
» Acrobatic Show

First destination: Summer Palace

The first thing you’d notice when entering the area was the lake. It was huge! And it was the more impressive because it was man-made! Yup, the whole Kunming Lake was dug up and the excavated soil was used to build the Longevity Hill upon which the palace complex was located.

That was from Wikipedia. Hahaha

But the area was really beautiful. And very windy. I mean, very very windy. Quite warm, too.

Beijing Summer Palace

It was too bad that we spent such a short time there. I would’ve loved to visit the palace itself and see what’s inside, but again, the guide seemed to be really in a rush to get us to the next destination. I reckon he got a commission for every purchase made by the group he brings in.

Next destination: Silk Store

It’s another of those compulsory places tour groups have to visit, I think. And it’s just next door to the Summer Palace. We were briefly told the story of the silk larvae and how they sacrificed their lives so that the humans can wear silk. It was all very touching et cetera et cetera, right until the salesgirls brought us to the upper floor so that we can spend more of our money buying silk stuff. Hehehe… Ancient Silk Gown

In the end, one guy bought a silk pillow for his mother and another a couple of silk quilt sheet sets for himself. I was thinking of buying silk cloth for my mother and sister but the designs were so awful and old, not to mention the exorbitant price, that I decided to just buy them from the arcades at Jalan TAR in KL. At RM 70 a meter, it was really a cut-throat price, don’t you agree?

I even gave the salesgirls some tips on the latest designs of fabric for baju kurung in Malaysia. Well, I hope they were the latest. Hehehehe… They really should do some googling just to stay current.

Next destination: Foot Massage Centre

Again, it was another one of those government-owned, compulsory-to-visit places. It was a totally pointless stop-over which offered nothing of what the place was purportedly for. More like a place to rip off people’s money.

Foot massage?

My foot! Hmmph!

Next destination: Niujie Mosque

Niujie (which means Ox Street or Cow Street) is well known for its highest concentration of Muslim people in Beijing. The Niujie Mosque is the oldest mosque in China, built in the year 996. The architecture style is the standard pagoda, similar to most old buildings in China. I have never seen a mosque with red interior, though. Quite refreshing, I must say. Very chinese.

Niujie Mosque

We spent some time there praying and taking photos.

Next destination: Tea House

The tea house was also government-owned and a compulsory stop-over, but it was a much more pleasant visit than the foot massage centre. We got to taste 4 different types of tea in their original brew. That is, without sugar. I remember one lychee flavour, one Oolong tea, one slimming tea and another one I can’t remember the name. All taste very good.

Beijing Tea House

The ones in the photo above are actually tea, preserved for 20 years or so, on average. The older it is, the more valuable it becomes. And the more expensive, of course. They even gave a certificate to the buyer of this tea, which can be returned on the next purchase for a discount.

I did not purchase any since I am more of a coffee person than tea.

Last destination: Acrobatic Show

The final activity for the day was the acrobatic show at the Chaoyang Theatre, I think. The itinerary did not mention where the show actually was. Some of the acts were awesome, especially the one where they put 5 bikers inside a huge metal globe.

It started with one rider… then 2… then 3.. and the audience were beginning to ooohhh and aaahhh. Then it was 4 riders and everybody was at the edge of their seats. Then it was 5 riders and the theatre was overwhelmed with the sound of everybody shouting in appreciation. It was just awesome! One slip in timing and the whole show could end up in a disaster. But kudos to the skills of these acrobats. Everything was done perfectly.

No wonder they put this as the last act for the show.

Beijing Acrobatic Show

It was dinner time after that at the same uninspiring restaurant as the day before, with the same uninspired food. After dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest.

You can view the photos for day 3 here: Beijing Trip 2013 – Day 3

Beijing Trip – Day 2 (28 April 2013)

Our day 2 program:
» Jade Museum
» Crystal Centre
» Great Wall of China
» Burning Cream Centre

First destination: Jade Museum

I was expecting the Jade Museum to be exactly that, a museum, but after a short briefing and some viewing of jade carvings, the place turned out to be a jewellery shop after all. Sigh…

A note aside, have there been too many Malaysians already visiting China? It seems that every salesperson there can speak Malay.

“Murah, murah!”

“Dua ratus lima puluh yuan!”

Urrrgghhhh!!!

We learned how to differentiate between real and fake jade, high and low quality jade, the easy way. It all based on sound. Yup, it’s the sound the jade gives when hit. High quality jade (jadeite or hard jade) gives clear ringing sound. Fake ones give you a dull sound. Also, the greener the jade, the more expensive it is. Jadeite can easily scratch glass or metal surfaces, like diamond. I don’t think it’s as hard as diamond, though.

I was very lucky because they did not have the jadeite bangle design that I want. Otherwise, I would’ve spent about RM1,000 on one, like my friend, I-zharul Afiz did. What a rich guy.  Hahaha

Jade Bangles

Next destination: Crystal Centre

Yup, another jewellery store. I can easily buy the items there at the Downtown night market here. Needless to say, we were quite bored there and wanted to leave immediately, but apparently we were required to stay there for 45 minutes. Something about a tour requirement. Ah well…

Next destination: Lunch! Hehehehe…

Again, I have no idea where the place was, but it was near the abandoned Beijing Wonderland Amusement Park, along the way to the Great Wall. I wonder why no one wants to complete the construction of the park. I reckon the number of visitors per year could easily beat the Disneyland in the USA. How many people are there now in China?

Lunch was at this big building of a hotel/shop/restaurant, although the hotel seemed to be no longer in operation. The food was again unappetising. No Peking duck or something like that.  Uwaaa!!

Meat Balls

Next destination: The Great Wall of China

After the Forbidden City, the Great Wall was another of China’s landmarks which I really wanted to visit. There are a number of places where one can climb the Wall. The one we went to was the Juyongguan, about 50 km north of Beijing. I must admit, looking up from the bottom of the pass, it really was a daunting climb, even to get to the first watch tower. The stairs were practically vertical!

Great Wall of China

We climbed up to the 6th tower, I think, where only a few hardy souls went. Hehehehe.. It took us about half an hour to get there, with shaking knees and all. I almost gave up at the 4th tower, but upon seeing 2 grandmas still climbing ahead of me, well… I don’t need to say more, do I?  Wekkk!!

After taking some ANTM shoots with the models, it was time to get back. Man, it was more difficult going down! The whole leg were shaking every time I put my foot down. But at least I can say that I have been to the top (or something like that), unlike some people I could name. Hehehehe… Kannn Pakcik Shak  Wekkk!!

Next destination: Burning Cream Centre

No, it was not a place where people burn cream, or the cream burns you when you put it on your skin. It was where they produce and sell this cream which can prevent your skin from blistering when you get burned. The girl who did the briefing even did a demo where she touched a metal chain just out from the fire. It was really really hot. We could smell the scent of burnt skin after she put her palm on the chain. She applied the cream and about half an hour later, she showed us her palm. Nope, no blister. Pink and still painful, but no blister.

The shop sells other items as well, mostly traditional medicine made from herbs. I bought this herbal drinks for general health and also to increase energy. Ehem! Wekkk!!

Next destination: Dinner!

This time the food was much better than the previous meals. Everybody was starving and the plates were cleared in record time.

Beijing CCTV HeadquartersIt was free and easy after dinner. I wanted to go to the Beijing Hard Rock Cafe to buy some souvenir items for my friends. Looking at the map, the cafe was not that far from our hotel. I was thinking of actually walking there. Fortunately, the other wanted to follow, so we took 3 cabs. It turned out to be quite far! It was kind of weird when the cab drivers did not know where the Hard Rock Cafe was. I mean, Hard Rock Cafes are big all over the world, right?

When we got there (it was next to the Landmark Hotel) and asked the guy at the hotel door where it was, he said, “No open, no open!” We thought he meant the cafe was not open that night. Then we found out that it was actually closed for good. Wow! No wonder I couldn’t find it in the official Hard Rock Cafe website. Even the one in Shanghai was closed down. Apparently, the business was slow and the cafe was making big losses. Ah well… there goes your souvenirs, my friends.

In the end, we took the bus and went to area near the China Central Television Headquarters building to take some photos. Quite a unique building, the CCTV HQ. There was a big hole right in the middle of the building and the top part of it is like hanging, without any support at the bottom. Scary, actually.

We took the Beijing Subway back to the hotel. Very cheap, only 2 yuan per trip. Quite extensive too the network. There are 17 lines, covering 456 km of tracks. It’s the second longest subway system in the world after the Seoul Metropolitan Subway (according to Wikipedia… hehehehe…). Anyway, they are expanding and will probably take over the rank by 2020.

You can view the photos for day 2 here: Beijing Trip 2013 – Day 2

Beijing Trip – Day 1 (27 April 2013)

It was actually an unplanned trip, to be honest with you. For me, at least. The others in the group have been saving money since last year when the “big chicken mother”, Pakcik Shak, came up with the idea to travel a bit further than the usual trips to Indonesia and Thailand. At that time, I was not that keen to join. Which was why I did not participate in the installment program to pay for the trip.

But then, one month before the travel date, that “big chicken mother” implored me to join the group. His exact words were:

Aku tak paksa tau… tapi aku merayu.

Chicken shit! tongue

Fortunately, I got some extra money to spend, so Beijing here I come. Hehehehe…

KUL-PEK Boarding Pass

The flight to Beijing took about 6 hours and, as usual, I spent my time sleeping rather than watching the in-flight movies peace

This was my second time to China. The first time was to Shanghai in 2009. But that was for work. This was for leisure. I was really looking forward to visiting some of those places like the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the olympic stadiums.

We touched down at the Beijing International Airport around 7 am. KLIA could probably fit into it 3 times with rooms to spare. It was huge! Immigration was a breeze and by the time we got our bags, the guide was already waiting for us outside. His name was David and he speaks good English.

Apparently the weather was perfect for a spring day. It was bright and sunny, with refreshing wind to cool you down. “You are very lucky. It was very very cold the past few days,” said David.

We hopped onto the bus and went straight away to our first destination: the Tiananmen Square.

Tiananmen Square Beijing

It was really packed with people. Well, hardly surprising since it’s one of the must-visit places when you are in China. Interestingly, though, the majority of them were Chinese.

We walked through the Gate of Heavenly Peace (the Tiananmen Gate) to enter the Forbidden City. And I finally set foot at the famous place which I only saw on tv or in movies before. The place was huge! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enter the buildings since our guide seemed intent to get us to the other end in the shortest time possible.

Forbidden Palace Beijing

It was then lunch time at this one Muslim restaurant God knows where. The food was totally tasteless and unappetising but, since everybody was famished, the plates were left clean in no time.

Lunch

Majesty / Long Ding Hua Hotel BeijingAfter the uninspired lunch, we checked in at the hotel: Majesty Hotel or locally known as the Long Ding Hua Hotel in the Chaoyang District in Beijing. It was a nice hotel. 3 star rating, I think, but comfortable enough. Very near to public transports like bus and train. Apparently the fare for the train is very cheap in Beijing. Only 2 yuan per entry, which is approximately RM1. There was also a supermarket behind the hotel, which sells fresh vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, clothings and all sorts of other things. There was also some halal food outlets nearby. So quite a convenient place, this hotel.

After we have checked in, we went to another restaurant, still God knows where, for dinner. The food was only slightly better than lunch. I was hoping that we would get the same Chinese food I sometime eat here in Malaysia but I might as well dream of having a bbq chicken for dinner.

After that, back to the hotel and it was free and easy, so we decided to explore the area a bit. We went to the supermarket (called Ding) and I bought some strawberries there. Man, they were just divine. Very sweet and delicious, not like the ones grown in Cameron Highlands. Very sour and small.

Strawberry

We then lepak-lepak at the Muslim food outlet next to the hotel for a while, ate some strange food, before turning in for the day. All in all, it was a good first day in Beijing, although personally, I would prefer to spend more time at the Forbidden Palace to see more of the place.

You can view the photos for day 1 here: Beijing Trip 2013 – Day 1

Planet YM Laser Tag War @ Laser War Zone IOI Mall 18/03/2012

Planet YM Laser Tag WarIt started with 5 members of the group at the i-City Shah Alam. Then the group grew to 20, shooting laser beams at each other at the Galactic War Zone at Midvalley Megamall.

Taking advantage of the offer at Groupon, the number grew to 30 and boy, did we have fun that afternoon at the Laser War Zone at IOI Mall, Puchong. Divided into 6 groups and 3 sessions each, it was a 3-front battle at every war. Strategies were developed and immediately forgotten the moment they stepped into the war zone. Only screams, curses and “suara kepit” Mustaffa Kamal Maarif Conroy were heard during battles 😈 .

First timers? No worries. It was as easy as eating peanuts. You don’t need special skills to shoot laser beams at the enemies 🙂 .

Even though everybody battled in teams, scores were tracked individually. And to make it even more interesting, prizes were given to top scorers, which will be given during the Planet YM Annual Dinner 2012 on 23/06/2012 at Vistana Hotel.

Here are the overall results for everybody:

PYM Laser Tag War 2012 Results

Congratulations to moi for winning the war. Hehehehe…

Yes, we will organise another laser tag war session. When? We will let you know. Maybe there will be another offer from Groupon. If not, then the next one will definitely be at the Laser War Zone at Midvalley Megamall. It’s bigger and can fit more people.

We will keep you posted 🙂 .

Planet YM Bowling Tournament #2 2012 @ Endah Parade 17/03/2012

For the first time ever, the players who turned up for the Planet YM Bowling Tournament on Saturday, 17/03/2012, were divided into 2 categories, A and B, mainly to add more fun in such tournaments and to give our less skilled friends chances to win. The response received was extremely positive where we got to see faces who were noticeably absent since God knows when.

Well, the organiser liked it and everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves, so the categories will stay for the next tournament.

Here are the results for the tournament.

Category A

Planet YM Bowling 20120317 Cat A SSJ

PYM Bowling Results Category A 20120317

 

Category B

Planet YM Bowling 20120317 Cat B Fifi

PYM Bowling Results Category B 20120317

 

Congratulations to SSJ and Fifi for winning the tournament for categories A and B respectively. It is now official that Fifi and Nas (the 1st runner up for Category B) will be moved up to Category A in the next tournament. Hehehehe… *evil laugh. We may have to downgrade some players from Category A to B as well but we will decide that when the time comes.

We will inform you when will the next game be. Stay tuned 🙂

Would you like to have more money when you retire?

“According to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), 73% of all contributors have less than RM50,000 saved while only 17% have over RM100,000 when they retire.”

– Lim Guan Eng, the Penang Chief Minister during his speech during an event in Kuala Lumpur on 23/12/2011.

Now ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have more than RM100,000 in your EPF when you retire?
  2. If you do, do you think that is enough for you to maintain your current lifestyle until you die?

Would you like to have more money when you retire?The average Malaysian lived to about 75, so those who retire at 55 will need to manage their EPF savings for 20 years. But here’s a scary fact: most Malaysians will spend all their EPF money within 3 years of retirement.

It is good to have other sources of income to complement your EPF savings, but not everyone has this. For government staff, they have the pension scheme to support them when they retire. For private sector workers, most of them only have their EPF contributions to see them through their golden years. And almost always, they do not have enough for them to live comfortably.

Let me ask you another question.

Do you want to grow your EPF money so that you can have more when you retire?

If your answer is yes, then leave me your contact details (preferably your handphone number) by filling up the Contact Me page and I will get in touch with you and share with you how this is possible.

Planet YM Bowling Tournament #1 2012 @ Endah Parade 07/01/2012

Planet YM Bowling Tournament 07/01/201234 turned up for the first Planet YM Individual Bowling Tournament for the year 2012. Quite a number of them were eager to prevent the previous winner from winning the top spot again. Two could not make it and were quite loud in expressing their disappointment, not to mention their boasts that the previous winner had it easy since they were not around.

One of them got third in the previous tournament, while the other one… suffice to say that Hari Raya is more frequent than his appearance at the bowling alley. Hehehehehe… You know who you are 😛

Sadly, I was not able to defend my title from the previous championship, all because of Missy Azhar who organised an ice-skating session that same afternoon which got me so tired that I couldn’t perform at my fullest. Cewahhhh… Hehehehehe…

Anyway, here are the results for the tournament:

Planet YM Bowling Results 20120107

 

Congratulations to Lan. Let’s hope that your turn ups will be more frequent than Hari Raya also. Hehehehehe…

The next tournament will be announced soon, which should be in February 2012. We will keep you posted.

The comatose (so-called) blogger… Like, really…