Our Travel Blog

Friday, August 19, 2005

What's UP?.....Stupid HAZE!

Been awefully quiet for the past week or so due to the recent weather condition that kept most KLites in a hazy spell. Last weekend, stayed home most of the time. We had to stop operations at our facility from Thu, 18 August evening to Saturday morning 20 August as my office is located at the Kuala Selangor district, one of the two areas that made international headlines when the our PM called for a haze emergency(Malaysia Boleh! or Blame it on Sumatra!). Stayed home listening to the radio whole darn day on that Friday as we had to be on standby mode awaiting for the emergency to be lifted to resume operation. Earlier had wanted to take some photos of the haze to post it here, but on second thoughts.....nahhh, I don't wanna pollute my beautiful blog.
BTW, heard on the news this morning that the meteorological dept is forecasting for more haze on Monday as they are expecting shifting of wind directions. Man! Looks like I am running out to buy more N95 face mask......I just realised that this is gonna be quite a lucrative business. Just last Sunday was at the night market in Telawi, this guy was selling it at RM5.50 per piece. My purchaser ordered them for RM3.50....so that's about 60% margin, not a bad business! With the seemingly improved conditions, he is probably praying for more haze. Next thing in the pipeline is that oxygen mask maybe a hot seller, anyone with contacts for good price?......on consignment lah! Take advantage of the haze rather than bitching about it right?

Friday, August 12, 2005

...hey, where's the road? Posted by Picasa

ride on boat was a hair-raising experience due to rough sea conditions Posted by Picasa

driving is a breeze here....no speed limit guys! Posted by Picasa

looking at resort pier on trail to other Ko Hai Fantasy Posted by Picasa

our Sea View Villa unit Posted by Picasa

Jules sharing aussie stories with Phil & Wendy Posted by Picasa

Shanghai on standby on street in Trang Posted by Picasa

With my Macho Rig, Shanghai at Pak Meng Posted by Picasa

hmmmm Yummmy Posted by Picasa

Ko Hai Fantasy Resort Beach Posted by Picasa

Paul with Wendy and Phil...still sober! ;) Posted by Picasa

Jules with Wendy & Phil from Perth Posted by Picasa

we actually dined on the last table that night Posted by Picasa

life is a beach ain't it?  Posted by Picasa

..."Jumbo" actually led us along a trail to get to the next resort, Ko Hai Fantasy Resort, such a smart doggy..actually belongs to the owner who owns both resorts Posted by Picasa

limestone Islands Posted by Picasa

Koh Ngai - Trang, Thailand

We are back from Koh Ngai Island, a beautiful Island on the Andaman Sea!!! Left Kuala Lumpur at 10pm on Thursday, 4 August. Drive was a breeze, not much traffic as it was a working day the following day. Managed a pit stop for a 2 hours nap at a rest area north of Butterworth but could not remember what that was called. Arrived at Changloon(before Bukit Kayu Hitam) at around 5.00am at the shop where we were to get our thai registration aka "rego"(pronounced as "regio" as the aussies or Julie calls it). As we arrived earlier, the shop was not open until around 6am later....so we took more catnaps. BTW, this is actually a coffeeshop(kopitiam) which also doubles as a place selling Thai vehicle permits/rego and insurance(the real thing ok), take hotel bookings for hatyai....you actually pay for your stay in advance here, and you may also exchange for thai baht from here. However, we actually found out later we can actually get better deals from the travel agents in Hatyai itself.............what a bummer! Bugger!
Cleared the Malaysia side border at around 6.45am local thai time, proceeded to conduct our ritual at the duty free outlet. Bought a case of Tiger beer, two cartons of ciggies and a Martini Asti(yummy). Drove from Hatyai to Trang Town, had "kuay chap" for breakfast at this place, I forgot the name but this place was actually featured in the Lonely Planet book. Thereafter, we proceeded to look for the elusive suckling Pork meat which according to Jules is really yummy.....drove though almost every streets and alleys but......darn, could not find it...was supposed to have "ta pau" to the island. As we did not have much time left, we continued to the Koh Ngai Resort transit office. Here we were greeted by their customer service staff who was unable to speak a single word of English or any language that appears comprehensible to us....darn! Fortunately, with Jules around and some ability to converse in thai(picked up from those Bird songs and MTV), we were told that we have to drive directly to the pier at Pak Meng pier as it provides a safer parking for Shanghai. Arrived at the pier at approximately 11.30am, took a boat to Koh Ngai. The 45 mins trip took slightly over 1 hour as the sea was rough due to the monsoon....ya and I had a tat bit of seasick, almost puked(normally I do not subject to this as this was really bad, up and down and side to side for like 45 minutes). Met another couple from Amsterdam onboard. As we arrived at Koh Ngai Resort, we were greeted with the usual Sawadee Ka and a glass of pineapple juice. Upon checking in, we we told that we were one of the only 4 guests at the resort as it was the low season. We thought...cool, talk about being in a private island......you know kinda reminded me of the movie "I know what you did last summer"? ......hahaha.
Following day, basked under the beautiful clear skies, on the sand and by the surf. Oh ya, and no haze here on the island, unlike down south in KL and certain parts of the peninsular Malaysia. Thank goodness, the haze, courtesy of our friendly sumatran neighbour did not moved as far north to the islands. Highlight of the trip was taking a boat at sunset from our resort to the nearby Ko Hai Fantasy Resort for a candlelight dinner right on the beachfront..btw, this was pre-arranged. Food was great and was complemented by a bottle or thai red wine followed by a bottle of Martini Asti Champagne. A surprise birthday cake awaited Jules in the room as we headed back, with garlands laid out in heart shapes on the bed....left Jules speechless :) We spent the rest of our last night in the island lazing out under the stars with our newly found friends from Perth, Australia, Phil and Wendy.....well the rest is history as I was almost knocked out stone cold from the alcohol....what was that we had Jules? Next day, no hangovers(luckily) as we had a return boat scheduled at 9.00am. Left the island(reluctantly) after breakfast, headed for Hatyai. Hatyai was no stranger to me, and especially for Jules. She can almost declare the place as her second home. Did quite a substantial amount of shopping, mainly for personal care items at Boots, and groceries at Tesco Lotus.....btw the thai pronounced it as Lotat. Man, you can really save if you get your groceries from here. Left Hatyai on Monday at around 4pm, arrived in hazy KL around 11pm.


Friday, August 05, 2005

Next Trip - 4 August - Koh Ngai, Thailand

Will be heading for island of Koh Ngai tonight by road. From KL to Hatyai would take around 5 hrs, then we will proceed to Trang Town should take approx. an additional 2 hrs or so. ETA to Trang will be around 7.30am local time on Fri, 5 August where we will start our day with some local thai food for breakfast. From there we will take the resort transport to Pak Meng Pier towards the west coast of Trang, then take a long-tail boat on the Andaman Sea towards Koh Ngai where we will be staying at Koh Ngai Resort. Will be in Hatyai on Sun, 7 August for an over night. Will do a trip report when return. Oh ya, this time my faithful rig "Shanghai" will get to take us there.

Some Recent Trips

Over the past 2 months, we have gone on two trips with Moggy to Hatyai and Lake Kenyir.

On the night of 3rd of June, we went on a trip to Hatyai for 2d/2n, where we left KL at midnight on Friday arriving at the Bukit Kayu Hitam/Sadao border at dawn. Drive as not what we had expected as traffic was heavy due to the Agong's(Malaysian King) Birthday holiday the following day. However as we rolled across into Thai territory, the highway leading into Hatyai was an exceptionally delightful drive for us. Spending most of the time in there enjoying the delicious thai food.....yeah not to mention the amount of booze we bought from the duty free outlet at Bukit Kayu Hitam :) it was dirt cheap!
This was the first trip to Hatyai for me and I found it to be a fascinating experience....as for Jules, well, this was something like her 31st trip? Someday, y'all gotta check out her passport man!!!

Photos at http://pauljules2005.shutterfly.com