Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sunset in Phuket

And so the sun sets on Kamala Beach in Phuket ...

I'm heading back to KL early tomorrow morning and straight back to the office, sigh ...

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Review: The Palms at Kamala in Phuket, Thailand

I'm currently spending the Chinese New Year hols in Kamala, Phuket. It's also a double celebration as last Thursday was my birthday. Don't ask me how old I am as it's not polite to ask a lady her age ;-)

We're currently staying at The Palms in Kamala, Phuket.

It's a lovely 2-bedroom apartment with a spacious living room with cable TV and wifi ...

... with a nice kitchen where we prepare our breakfast every morning:

The Palms has an inviting pool where you can laze in the sun all day ...

... and also a gym where I burn fat on alternate days:

I was at the gym the other day and one parent brought her toddler daughter to play with the exercise ball while she worked the machines. Luckily I was the only other person in the gym who was working the treadmill. I can imagine if some guy were to use the dumb bells and the little toddler comes near him, the poor little thing may not live to see the next day thanks to her mum with stupid parenting skills.

The Palms also has a Fusion Restaurant where you can pig out on the buffet that's going for 299 THB per person. I didn't take a pic of the restaurant cause I'm too lazy to take photos, must be the Phuket spirit of laziness ...

Another thing I like about The Palms is that it's centrally located in Kamala. Just step out of the apartment and everything is within walking distance.

The beach, restaurants, bars, convenience shops, taxis and what not are all located at the doorstep of The Palms.

The tsunami monument is also located nearby:

During the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, Kamala beach was one of the hardest hit, and this memorial is a remembrance of that horrifying day in history.

The explanation of the sculpture is interested, here, look at this pic:

Click on the photo to read the explanation.

And last but not least, here are rates at The Palms together with contact details and all:

Click on the photo if you can't read the text.

Alternately you can also check out the website here.

Now excuse me I need to get into my bathing suit, laze by the pool and do lots of reading :-)

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Misery & Insensitivity of Ang Pows

If I could go back in time, I would shoot the person who invented ang pows. He/She may have noble intentions when conceiving the idea many, many years ago, but today the ang pow only brings misery and insensitivity.

How Old is Too Old to Receive Ang Pows?
Ang pows are given by married people to kids and unmarried people. However these days when people are getting married later in life or not getting married at all, the idea of giving and receiving ang pows have become an embarrassing experience altogether, especially when younger relatives and friends get married and they still have to give ang pows to their old cock relatives who are still unmarried.

Imagine the look on their faces and what they must be thinking when they hand the unmarried old cock the dreaded red packet - "When is she ever going to get married?, "She is too old to receive ang pows but I still have to give her so that she won't feel offended", etc..

The question is, "When is it too old to receive ang pows?"

"You have 3 kids and I have 2 kids"
I'm sure you've heard people commenting that if they give RM5 per ang pow packet to their friend who has 3 kids, they would have given out RM15 altogether. However, since they only have 2 kids and their friend reciprocates by giving back RM5 per ang pow packet too, they would only get back RM10 and thus lose RM5.

When I hear people saying things like this it only makes me want to puke. Where the hell is the sincerity in giving ang pows?

And what these parents with less kids or no kids do? They reduce the amount in each packet so that they won't lose too much. Sickening.

To end this entry about the ang pow, here's a story I'll never forget.

When I was a teenager, a few friends came over to my house for Chinese New Year (CNY). My mum handed out ang pows to all of them except an Indian classmate. I can still remember the forlorn look on my classmate's face when she saw everyone else receiving ang pows except her.

When I asked mum why didn't she give an ang pow to my Indian classmate, mum said it's because she's not Chinese, wth! Mum probably was not exposed to living in a multi racial society and inculturation.

Evethough I was only a teenager at that time, I knew that that's not right and gave mum a piece of my mind. Yeah I was a rebellious kid in my teens.

So here's to wishing you a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!

May the Year of the Water Dragon bring you Fiery Good Health, Hot Passionate Love and lots of Liquid Assets!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

AirAsia Terminates Flights to London & Paris

And so AirAsia has announced it will discontinue its flights from Kuala Lumpur (KL) to London, Paris, Mumbai and New Delhi by 31 March 2012. Instead, they have decided to focus on routes to Australia with flights from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney starting in April 2012.

As a traveller, it’s a blow to my travel plans of visiting lovely places in Europe at budget prices. I flew KL-London in Sept 2009 for RM1,830 and KL-Paris in Nov 2011 for RM1,697.40. Where in the world can you get prices like that?

First AirAsia flew into London Stanstead, then into London Gatwick. Finally the airline decided to axe the route altogether. What a shame!

I strongly believe AirAsia should keep at least one of its European destination. Then at least travellers from Asia can have a point of entry into Europe before taking other budget airlines like Ryanair to other parts of Europe.

Now that one competitor is down, this is a golden opportunity for other airlines in particular Middle Eastern airlines like Emirates and Etihad to rise to the occasion, save the day and make a profit out of it.

Emirates recently had a fantastic offer where a return ticket from KL to selected cities in Europe was going for approximately RM2,400 (depending on which city).

Hope springs eternal for budget travellers like me.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Tapas & Sangria at The Ramblas, Barcelona

One of the items in my Travel Bucket List is to have tapas & sangria in Spain. There's nothing like consuming traditional food in its country of origin.

So when I was in Spain recently, I went looking for tapas & sangria and found them at The Ramblas, which travel books claim to be a must-visit when you're in Barcelona. Well, I've got this to say - The Ramblas was a huge disappointment!

Jonker Walk and Bukit Bintang are so much more happening compared to The Ramblas. And I'm not saying this just because I'm Malaysian. It's the truth - The Ramblas is nowhere compared to Jonker Walk and Bukit Bintang.

Look at how boring The Ramblas is. My first visit there was during a weekday and I thought maybe it's the weekday. But when I returned on a weekend, the place was equally dead. 

Anyway, back to my tapas & sangria story.

I had my fill at this restaurant which is located along The Ramblas:

Sorry for the blur photo. It was a night shot and you know how some night shots can turn out to be ...

They had a package deal:

Cheapest tapas & sangria package I stumbled upon whilst in Barcelona.

So I went inside, parked my butt on the bar stool and chose my tapas from the counter ...


I went to the restaurant with another female solo traveller whom I met at the hostel. We were making so much noise and laughing loudly that the manager gave me another sangria, on the house!

I guess being noisy has its benefits ;-)

Monday, 2 January 2012

Calendar from Tivoli Dry Cleaners

Every time a new year begins, people would start to look for calendars. Whether it's a calendar you put on your desk, hang on the wall or keep in your pocket, it still is a calendar and will be in demand.

I received this calendar from Tivoli Dry Cleaners when I was in Ireland recently:

I like that they use Irish Wild Flowers for the calendar; very authentic especially for visitors like moi.

First time I'm seeing a dry cleaners giving calendars to its customers. 

Well done, Tivoli!

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