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By: Abdullah Malik

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Monday, 7-Dec-2009 16:12 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Sabah seafood trip

Yes..enjoy the food
I like these snails
More food
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Just the other week on 7-10 December 2009 I was with a group of friends from Kuala Lumpur went to Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Several business meetings and factory visit went by during the days and nights were for ourselves. Best thing to do in Sandakan was to savour its seafood, relatively cheaper than Kuala Lumpur and of course cooked differently too.

First evening in Sandakan we went to Kelanamu Seafood Center at KM 4 and ordered a package set for 10 people. We got scallops, lemon mango chicken, steam grouper fish, stem prawn, snails, sweet sour crab and sabah vegetables etc. All for RM 340 per set.

Next evening we were at the Ocean King Seafood restaurant, ordered almost similar dishes but cooked differently..nevertheless we all enjoyed the food!

In Sandakan we stayed at the newly opened hotel, Swiss inn Waterfront located at the sea front of Sandakan, the ocean view rooms are especially charming, rates at RM 145++ per night including breakfast. JC car rental located at the hotel provided a very good job to cater for our transport need in Sandakan...Look for Johny John...and get a friendly service.

In Kota Kinabalu, I stayed at the new hotel called Cititel Express located at the city centre just adjacent to Asia city..yes plenty of food massage, spa and reflexology there! Room rate for the small (13 sq m) Japanese styled room was RM 115 including breakfast and internet was RM 10 per day. Internet booking is available and cheaper than walk-in rate too..



Friday, 25-Sep-2009 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
RAYA IDULFITRI D DURIAN TAWAR

our house
our beach
our family
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Saturday, waited for eldest son Sharir to come to the house in Selayang because we are going back to Kampung together. Left house about 12 pm and reached Kg Durian Tawar almost 2 1/2 hours later, there was only staggered traffic jam along the way. Along the way bought some lemang at RM 8 a piece assuming that Sunday would be declared Hari Raya..and we were right!

Me and son and my brother went to the blue mosque at Kg Jelam for the Idulfitri prayer and there were about 150 people in the mosque. We stayed for a small feast at the mosque and enjoyed the delicious rendang daging and lemang. My brother made several telephone calls to prioritize the ziarah to avoid going to empty houses...

First stop was Bukit Tajau near Maran where my eldest brother lived and we reached there at about 11 am and enjoyed some kuih raya, lemang and rendang biri-biri (lamb). From BT we proceed to Jengka Pusat to my cousin's house and his son was waiting at the roadside to lead us to the house...I could not remember the way, been there more than 20 years ago. There were plenty of old stories exchanged betwen us...more so because this was my brother first visit! We stayed for lunch and eventually left the house to Jengka 23 to visit my cousin's elder brother...but he was away in Temerloh apparently seeking medical treatment for a clumsy fall the night before. But his children were there at the house to pass the information.

Then we proceed to Sg Nerek to visit my eldest sister who had just been discharged from the Hospital for low blood pressure and low sugar content, she fainted malam raya.
Like always my sister house was full of food because her daughter liked to cook..but we ate the satay and rice! There was also buah nangka and salak from their fruits orchard. We left about 6 pm and decided not to stop at my cousin Ustaz house as it was nearly Magrib and we have to rush home. This outing on the first day of raya measured 165 km...

Second Hari Raya started with a fish casting activities in the Sg Pahang and managed to get only four small fish as the water was too shallow. Visitors started to come from 11 am and only subsided at about 4 pm. Many of my relatives came to see my father who has lost his appetite to eat but had carried on fasting the whole month of Ramadan. According to my 92 year old father he did not feel hungry even though he eat very little..Praise Allah swt. At 4.30 pm we went to visit two other cousin's house in Lebak and Pangsenam and returned at 7 pm.

In the evening we went to Temerloh Rest Hose to have steamboat dinner and the place was full with people.

The next day me and my brother returned to KL.


Sunday, 16-Aug-2009 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
KOTA KINABALU - SHORT VISIT

Nice room RM 224 per night
Fish market
Fish for sale
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I have always liked visiting Kota Kinabalu and just recently I was there to attend a meeting on Forest Plantation Development organized by MTIB.

The meeting was held at the Le Meridien Hotel.one of the many upmarket hotel in KK. I love the room, large and comfortable with view of the Sutera Harbour and South China Sea. Eating in Kota Kinabalu was really great with many choices…I had lunch at the Kinabalu Golf Club where I played nine holes with my friend Hj Nissanto and two other club members, I had beef mee-hun soup there. Tasted okay but the restaurant didn’t have chilli padi! The golf game ended prematurely with persistent rain in the afternoon but nevertheless I got three pars in 9 holes, that’s okay.

In the evening me and Nissanto have dinner at the Tanjung Aru food-courts where we have varieties of sea-food like ikan-bakar, sotong, udang and ketam and only cost RM 32 for all of that!

Next day was the important meeting that lasted about four hours. After the meeting which ended at 1.30 pm, I walked to the fish markets nearby..not sure if it was a fish market or just a fish landing facility managed by Sabah Fish Marketing Sdn Bhd (SAFMA). There were some fishing boats unloading their catch but mostly small fish! Beside the fish market there was the Philippine market..selling mostly souvenirs items, there was also the Pasar Ikan Masin for those bilis lovers and those large Kurau salted fish. Pasar Buah was also nearby…I didn’t buy anything, the Terubuk Masin was too expensive as compared to price in Satok, Kuching, Sarawak.

I took a taxi (RM 30) to the airport at 4 pm and spent the time at the airport lounge, Well…it was just a short trip and my flight back to KLIA was at 1735 hrs….can’t wait to play golf at Nilai Spring tomorrow!

See Nilai Spring Finale at Bangdolah.blogspot.com

Eid Mubarak!!


Saturday, 1-Aug-2009 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
4D3N Vientiane, Lao PDR

caddies
my caddy
our caddies
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Recently I visited Vientiane for the fourth time in four years, this time bringing along a group of entrepreneurs who were interested in the Agarwood industry. Malaysia is currently promoting the development of Agarwood industry especially in the state of Kelantan where the State Government hope to establish a so-called Agarwood Corridor by encouraging rural folks to plant Karas trees in their idle lands and backyard. Laos has approximately more than 30 million trees planted in their six provinces. One day this country will smell nicely with Agarwood aroma!

We stayed at the newly opened Malaysian owned DRose Hotel, a 44 room facility with great Malaysian hospitality. Just opened in June this year, the management were happy with our support. Located just next door to the well known Lao Plaza Hotel, DRose Hotel provided you with bigger rooms with just half the prices...just call Mr Benny Tan the GM who resided in Taman Ampang Indah,KL. Mr Benny took care of us very well and went extra length to get the much needed golf sets for us to borrow and play!

With missions accomplished with the signing of a MOU between the two countries entrepreneurs on Friday 31 July 2009, I spent the afternoon with friends Steven Foong and Munir at the Vientiane KM6 Golf Club. The club is owned by one of the Agarwood company in Lao PDR.

We paid Lao Kip 200,000 for green fees and 80,000 for caddies and 50,000 tips after the 18 hole game. It was a walking course with challenging holes, lots of water hazards in play,OB and thick primary rough. However our second nine play was slowed down when many golfers started to play after office, each flight would have six or more golfers and we have to wait on every hole...thats the way of life in Lao PDR...Please Dont Rush!

My good friend Mr Bounsouane walked the course with us during the first nine..and took us back to the hotel after the game. Me and Munir went for a USD 4 foot massage before having dinner at Fatima restaurant.

Next morning the re-timed AirAsia AK613 flight gave us time to visit the Morning Market, a place like Petaling Street where China Copy Handphones were favourites amongst Malaysian. Clones of Nokia 97 and iPhones with touchscreen functions were sold at USD 70 per piece, My good friend Ismail bought 3 pieces and Borhan took 1 Apple Phone look alike.

The flight to LCCT took about 2 hours 35 minutes. Great to be home..already missed the roti canai and nasi lemak!


Saturday, 27-Jun-2009 06:13 Email | Share | | Bookmark
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT AND HATYAI

makan malam di Nakhorn
00:00
Gemilang Travel punya boss
00:00
Belangkas salad
00:00
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Sunday 21 June 2009 dari TOL Jalan Duta Kuala lumpur saya memandu kereta ke Bukit Kayu Hitam, di utara Malaysia dan selatan Thailand. Singgah di Taiping makan kepala ikan asam pedas dan meneruskan perjalanan keBKH, Setelah berpuas hati dengan keadaan kereta di tempat letak kereta ZON C di Duty Free Zone saya terus menemui tuan punya Gemilang Travel & Tour Service yang berpusat di Hatyai, Thailand untuk urusan imegresen. Lepas makan malam di restoren Faridah di Danuk, lauknya sup tulang, daging masak merah (lidah), sayur, ikan stim dan telur dadar itik (sedap!) kami bertolak ke Hatyai dan check-in di Novotel Centara. Pilih hotel sebab nak tengok siaran langsung Golf US Open dan F1 tapi ESPN dan STARsports tak ada, internet pun kena bayar..THB 200 sejam atau THB 500 untuk 24 jam, tak payahlah....room rate THB 1700 with breakfast. Penat memandu sejauh 500 km...baik tidur saja.

Monday 22 June 2009 kami bertolak ke Nakhorn Si Thammarat menaiki kereta sewa Chevrolet Optra 1.8A sejauh lebih 200 km tapi jalan di Selatan Thai ni okay...dua lane each way and no toll! Then pergi jumpa Presiden dan Chairman of Federation of Thailand Industries (FTI) untuk urusan meningkatkan perniagaan dua hala antara dua Negara. Nasib baik Pemandu kereta Khun Sar adalah bekas Polis Siam..dia tahu jalan di Nakhon, senang la sikit!

Makan tengahari di sebuah retoren kecil Muslim dekat sebuah masjid di Nakhorn Si Thammarat. Kawan kita Aidakristal dari Gemilang Travel yang uruskan apa nak makan...kita manalah tahu cakap Siam! Lepas makan terus check in di Twin Lotus Hotel dekat dengan TESCO Lotus, so kalau tertinggal berus dan ubat gigi..pergi la beli kat supermarket tu! Bilik hotel lebih bagus dari Novotel Centara Hatyai, rate sekitar THB 1400 dengan breakfast! Dalam bilik ada WiFi internet, channel sports ada 5 atau 6 termasuk Golf, so tak miss la tengok final round US Open yang Lucas Clover menang, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods kalah!

Makan malam di Nakhorn memang best...dapat cuba makanan yang berbeza, dekat 20 hidangan yang disajikan dengan dessert sekali. Pernah makan buah manggis separa masak..masih keras dan masam sedikit, tak ada kat Malaysia! Disajikan dicucuk macam satey!! Hidangan special yang lain termasuklah makan telur belangkas, salad kumbang, salad semut api..dll. ada live band lagi tapi lagu Siam la!

Apa nak buat di Nakhorn Si Thammarat? Tak menarik..tak ada apa-apa pun kat Bandar ni, kena pergi ke Pantai untuk santai..lainlah penganut ugama Budha banyak la Wat2 untuk dilawati...saya pun gi jugak tengok satu Wat, dia orang kata menara yang dibuat dari emas dan intan belian tu tak ada bayang2...entahlah malas nak comment!

23 June 2009 return to Hatyai from Nakhorn, sampai petang dan check-in di Lee Gardens Hotel, harga bilik dah turn 30% sebab H1N1...actually bilik hotel di Thailand dah turun harga 30-40% sebab tourism kurang! YES..pergi foot massage dulu, kena THB 250 ada jugak tempat yang offer THB 199..suka hati la nak yang mana, ada lebih 50 tempat massage kaki! Makan malam ? YES..must try Kengsom atau asam pedas kat sini.

24 June 2009 pergi pasar beli kain ela untuk baju kurung isteri nak raya, lepas tu beli beras pulut, buah gajus, pisang salai, tomyam paste,serbuk lada dll. Makan tengahari di Danuk dan keluar dari Thailand jam 3 petang, start kereta...pasang musik,,lagu Ebiet G Gade..Berita dari kawan...perjalanan ini terasa sangat menyakitkan ..sayang kau tak duduk disampingku kawan...500km wah jauhnya KL!




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