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By: Abdullah Malik

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Sunday, 25-Sep-2005 22:45 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Jakarta...a working trip

At the Hotel entrance
The room
View from the room
View all 16 photos...
When I was in Jakarta in September, 2005 the weather was hot..and daytime activities was limited. Even for people who lived in the tropics, we loved the aircond..or ac as people in Jakarta called it. I was there to attend a shipping conference held at the Borobudur Hotel, very classy hotel, popular with the government people there and cost a bomb...USD 100 per night, the rate was a bit high for Indonesia. The hotel was however conveniently located, walking distance to Pasar Baroe and Pasar Senen. For Pasar Baroe, should go in the evening..cooler and less stressful to do shopping and more enjoyable to bargain. At Pasar Baroe you can buy textiles...a lot of Indian textiles shop and leather shoes, this shop only sold handmade shoes for men and ladies and no pair is the same! There were a few golf shops as well...in fact the first shops at the entrance were two golf shops left and right.

One of my friend from Johor did a fast one there, I mean he ordered a suit here and it was ready in 3 days and cost about RM 300 for the blazer and pant and nice workmanship. I went to Pasar Senen and have a quick round as it was hot at the complex but not so many people, finally bought some kain pelikat. However, the Atrium Shopping Mall was nice to hang around..it was next door to Pasar Senen. The top floor were full of shops selling auto-accessories...in a shopping complex!

I was lucky to have some friends who lived in Jakarta to take me around in the evening. A lady friend took me in her car to Kelapa Gading Mall and we have seafood at the open foodstall there ! Later we went to Hard Rock Cafe and enjoyed a very good music at Jaya Pub, one of the best known in Jakarta...I would not say the best because I have not been to others. There were four of us.

On the off day when there was no meeting, my other friend (Mr. Berthy) friend took me to Ancol, as his wife work at the premise, there was a free pass for us! Very nice place..near the sea, a lot of yatch and beautiful bungalows..must be rich people community. Of course there was a golf couse nearby.. so I watched people tee-off at some of the holes.

It was a very tight scheduled trip...

enjoy the photos!

Monday, 29-Aug-2005 09:34 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Yangon - Buildings, People & Golf

The Clubhouse, beautiful right?
2 assistants for me
1 carry the bag n 1 look for the wayward hit
View all 24 photos...
Hi..Thanks Zul for your comments n welcoming my entry.

Sometime during late August 2005, I was in Yangon, Myanmar. Very fortunate to have a local friend who could arrange golf in Yangon at a private club called Pun Hlaing Golf and Country Club. It took about 45 minutes from Yangon town and Green Fees was about USD 60 on the weekend, for weekdays the rate was cheaper probably USD 50. It is a walking course, very good exercise for us, probably to complete the 18 hole we would have walked 6-7 km that day.

The problem in Myanmar is the language. It was like `ayam n itik', have no idea on whats they were talking about. Anyway, we were just playing golf and the caddies were helpful, you know we all were not pro so we sprayed the ball everywhere...and still they could find the ball. Just next to our hotel is another hotel, on the 5th Floor (or 3rd floor?) they have place for foot massage, cost u RM 18 per 1 hour session.

I stayed at the Traders Hotel at the town centre. The special rate given to us was USD 45 per night. Very good hotel and managed my Shangri-la group. During our stay the hotel was the venue for our country's Merdeka celebrations, so we joined the party, good crowd of about 500++ people who came to the dinner including local VIPs. So we met people from the Embassy, Petronas, Hotels and Toyotas... all Malaysian.

Food in Yangon was very good, just like home. There were plenty of Muslim food, Beriani ayam and Teh Tarik only cost RM3.20! Cooked dinner at a Yunan Muslim shop 6 dishes only RM17! We missed the good old days, these were prices 10 years ago. Many hotels have cook from Malaysia, so you can order TomYam and ikan asam pedas.

Traders Hotel welcomed guest from Malaysia, they will provide you with a copy of Quran, sejadah and local praying time. What more can u ask for? Nearby there were 2 Sunni mosque for ur Friday prayers just 3-5 minutes walking time.

The was also the Bogyoke market where they sell jade and stones and stuff like your batu cincin. The shop owner even speak malay..so no problem to bargain, they belanja u teh tarik also, small glass..only small glass in Myanmar. So many of them have worked in Kuala Lumpur, so speak malay very well.

Enjoy the photos..peaceful Yangon and very beautiful golf course.

Wednesday, 27-Apr-2005 18:50 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Shanghai, Suifenhe and Dalian, China in April 2005

Rainbow hotel, Shanghai
Shanghai view from hotel room
The road to Suifenhe
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I went to China in April, 2005 and visited 3 cities of Shanghai, Suifenhe and Dalian. Stayed a few days at Rainbow Hotel in Shanghai, nice hotel with a lot of guests. It was quite cold in China at that time so being outside the hotel was quite shivering. What was interesting in Shanghai was the `flea market' whereby people can buy all immitation goods, clothes, bags, golf sets at low..low prices, of course subject to your bargaining skills! When you bargain as one Singaporean lady told me at the market, go for 30% of the offer price, sometime even 50% was not good enough! But you have to play by the rule...if the seller get angry with your counter offer, go find another place...good luck. Amazing..the skill they have to produce the complete set of golf sets, what do you want? Callaway, Titleist, S-Yard, Taylor Made, Mizuno...you name it,they got it. There were different grades of golf products, some really good while others were sub-standard., pricewise...a original Callaway Fusion iron set sold at KLCC Kuala lumpur for RM 6,750.00 and Shanghai complete set, bag, bag cover, boston bag and all 9 irons, driver, 3 wood, 5 wood and putter...all for RM 700.00. Quality...when we try them out at the driving range, the 5 wood hit 200 meter easily!

We fly over to Mudangjiang and travelled by road to Suifenhe at the Russian border. Did I say Russian border? Yes..the town was only 24 km from Russian border. There were a lot of Russians in Suifenhe and even the Chinese there spoke fluent Russian! Signboards were in Russian also and of course there were a lot of Russian goods especially military gadgets like binoculars and military knife on sale. Russians came to town mainly to buy clothes! According to my friend who lived in Suifenhe, we missed the snow by just a week...but the temperature at night was still below zero, it was like minus 4 degree. No snow..never mind but could blew hot air from your nose and mouth...and I was in town for 3 days. There was not much choice for meal..I survived on fruits, bread and eggs.

Then we were in Dalian, a port city just below Korea. We were just 2 days there and managed to visit some apple farm and the town was very modern. Again..it was too cold to roam outside and two of us got the worst case of food poisoning, my friend slept in the toilet the whole day! We went to Dalian Free Trade Zone and met the Investment Board there! Eat at the seaside restaurant and hosted by a friend working for Malaysian company there, he was from Ipoh.

Finally spent another night in Shanghai, all three of us bought the cheap golf set. They were delivered to our hotel room, never got the chance to visit the factory. I sold my set in KL for RM 1,200.00, the buyer did not compalined. I heard my friend still have his Callaway Fusion set and looking for buyer...anybody interested? Still in plastic wrappings.

Enjoy the photos.

Wednesday, 23-Mar-2005 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Pattaya - Golf, Beach & Food

Laem Chabang caddies
Laem Chabang view
Very nice course
View all 33 photos...
Hello golf fans...time to share. I have played courses in Malaysia, including Sarawak and Sabah. Sometimes, fortunate enough to have recorded some photos for memory.

I will start with a trip to Pattaya, Thailand. Took AirAsia from KLIA for return trip of RM 280. On arrival in Bangkok, took a taxi to Pattaya about RM 120 per taxi and took about 2 hours. Check in at Areca Lodge for RM 120 per night, booked through Sawadee.com. There are 26 golf courses within 40 km radius of Pattaya! During my 5 days 4 nights there, played at Laem Chabang designed by Jack Nicklaus, Khao Kheow by Pete Dye, Pattaya Country Club and Burapha Golf Club. Opposite the hotel, there was a Pub called Kromberg, a meeting place for golfers. You can register your name to play golf at any particular course, then others who are interested will put their names. Then you talk and arrange with taxi or van and share the charges. Easy...but the locals dont play on weekends. The transport to and from golf courses ranged between RM 12 to RM 20 per person depending on location. Green fees ranged from RM 60 to RM 170 and cart fee about RM 60 twin sharing. Add some tips for caddies RM 15-RM 20 would be acceptable.
The town is busy at night with guys with Harley Davidsons or other makes filling the street near the beach. What I did after golf game was having foot massages, for THB 200 per 1 hour session.
Meals for Muslims a bit tough, not many Muslim restaurants to be seen at town centre. But I survived with plenty of fruits, breads and eggs. Eating at the hotel is the best..

So enjoy the Photos...until my next outings..

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