Top Menu

Archive | TRAVEL

Of Perth and Public Transportation

Kakak was off from her lecturing duty for a week (thanks to the mid-term break) and so both her and my brother in law decided to head to Perth for a short vacation. They asked if I would like to join which was nice of them and having been 9 years since I last visited Perth, it was a simple yes.
We flew Malindo Air that had some fantastic deals over the Matta Fare period and this meant hello cosy business class seats andddddd…. well.. a super friendly in-flight neighbour. He was a Sri Lankan professional who wanted to converse about so many social and economic subjects. I could safely say that we spoke for nearly 2 hours before I managed to put an end to the conversation and finally focus on my inflight entertainment. Now I hope you don’t get me wrong, it was good to talk about economics and advancement of technology for the betterment of societies. But 2 hours.. was rather long.

We had a few friends and family who recently travelled to Perth and they did give some useful travel guides for our Perth trip. One of them was to rent a car at the airport to ease getting around which made whole sense considering we were also travelling with a one year old but BIL being BIL insisted that we should rely on public transports. And was I in for a surprise guys.. You will know why as you continue reading.

To give you some background of how I am with public transports – other than when I am in London, I don’t think I have ever thought of public transports as the easiest means to get around. While studying in Bristol, driving a car meant I could save almost an hour getting to Uni and with friends always happy to hitch a ride, I never felt I was being wasteful. To me personally, using public transports in Malaysia is a rarity and it wasn’t until a car accident I had earlier this year did I ever find the need to use them. Again, it was my one in a million kind of BIL who influenced and got me to travel with LRT and speaking of the accident, I think I should dedicate a post to him for helping me out with my ordeal on none other than his birthday (what better day could it be right?) and my very first experience of Malaysian public transport. If you’re reading this, thanks again BIL.

Anyway, back to Perth.. Our flight landed at 1am which again supported the idea of renting a car as there was a possibility of no-taxi and of course for safety reason. However, BIL said he had consulted a police officer friend who works with the Perth Police Department (your vast network I can’t keep up BIL) and he assured that all metered taxi had CCTV connected to the police so taxis are actually one of the safest means of transportation in Perth. That said, we collected our bags, went through a thorough custom declaration and exited the airport following the Taxi signage. What I found interesting was Perth Airport had a dedicated pick up point for ride sharing riders and in fact it was more convenient to jump on a ride sharing than to get to the taxi. But please note this important note that only Taxis are allowed to transport babies and toddlers without a car seat. To have car seats on all other forms of cars is a mandatory requirement.

When we got to the taxi stand, there was a long queue of taxis waiting for passengers. Now that was a relief, phewww. The taxis are unlike those special airport limousines you see in KLIA, they are really just normal everyday-taxis lining up for passengers. It hit me that time and I asked myself the question that has always been on my mind – why does KLIA require special taxi and payment upfront? Perhaps it’s because our normal taxis always haggle and are known to deceive customers. Or perhaps.. that-something-about-politics which I don’t get. Anyway, the taxi ride was good and the driver was professional and efficient enough in helping to load and unload our belongings. Check in at Novotel was also fast and easy and out of exhaustion, all of us slept like a log that night.

We woke up fresh the following morning all ready and excited to explore Perth. We thought of heading to the city by enjoying the convenience of Perth’s Central Area Transit (CAT) busses which were free of charge – oh yes, free public transport spotted! A small info for your future reference, Perth CAT busses run along the main roads. Our hotel was actually only 100 meters away to the nearest Perth CAT bus stand but the strange truth was that we never actually got onto the bus.. Nope, it was not because the bus was bad or it never arrived. The busses appeared to look modern, clean and very inviting in fact. It was just that the city of Perth is blessed with large beautifully paved pathways and we enjoyed the walk so much that we wanted to just keep walking. Fine that the temperature was bordering 30°C and humidity was lower than Malaysia but the opportunity to walk freely and safely was something we had all missed. Why oh why Malaysia do we not have walkways. Even when we do, they are not done 10-15 feet walkways but instead 3-5 feet with holes and uneven pavements.. Perhaps and hopefully once the MRT is fully functional, the many city councils will start putting emphasis on walkways.

That afternoon we made a decision to head to Fremantle for sightseeing and deliberated the choices of public transports which were bus, train or ferry. To be honest, we preferred and wanted the ferry ride but were taken aback by the journey time (over an hour) and its extravagant price of AUD40 per person. BIL and I did some googling and then we decided to opt for the train which only costed us AUD4 per person (price of cup of coffee) and a journey time of only 28mins. Ahah, rail for the win!

Now, living in Kajang and having driven past the Kajang Train Station multiple times, my expectation of Perth was of a similar level. But yet again, Perth surprised me with a wonderful station with plenty of facilities designed for the disabled group. To add to this, we found that pushing a stroller was incredibly convenient. The train to Fremantle arrived 5 minutes earlier of the scheduled time and it departed on time indeed. It was clear to see that rail plays an important part in the commuting of a wide range of society. We witnessed school children embarking on the train as they finished school, we saw the elderly group with their groceries and not to mention the corporate group in their suits. I now understand why the government of Malaysia has opted to spend abundantly on public transport as it really is the Future.





The true wealth here does not lie in owning a car, not owning one is what it is and I would so much love to be able to enjoy the same quality of life that the Australians are blessed enough to have. For the price of a cup of coffee, it will be great to be able to travel in and out of the city in ease and comfort and what a bonus it becomes if I can also start travelling to other cities in the same way.


I will share another blog on the activities we did while in Perth. I thought it was significant that I first blogged on public transportations as that was one of the main highlights of my experience in Perth. It did not need Formula 1, any tall building or stylish cars for Perth to impress me. It was those simple conveniences for people’s mobility that won my heart over. The ability to walk to your destination or rely on public transport in ease and comfort are the true luxuries 👍🏼. 

Continue Reading

Langkawi Retreat Part 2

Such a good and sound sleep after the massive dinner that I spoke about in the previous post! Parents woke us up for Subuh prayers and my baby brother and I decided to make an early start by having our breakfast sharp at 7.30am and then to our morning swim. Breakfast at Vivanta by Taj hotel was without a doubt a variety although my brother kept stressing out about it capable of being better. To me personally, it is always about pros and cons. This hotel may have this and not have that and likewise for all the other hotels.

iphone 5167Strawberry milkshake and dim sum, yummy!

iphone 5179My attempt at doing some cool yoga like post which did not come out too goodiphone 5190Conquered the pool

My sister and I booked for parasailing and jet ski water sport activities at 4.30pm (you can do the booking at the ‘Activities Counter’ near the reception) to avoid the afternoon heat. That meant having some time to kill and we still had a few hours before we had to return the car and so my family decided to again exit the island and visit shops in the main land.

iphone 5215

iphone 5214

Spot the ‘Underwater World’ signage! I have to say that I love the Pantai Cenang touristy spot area because it has lots and lots of restaurants and of course those shops too. My dad drove us to Kuah (17km from Pantai Cenang) but we did not get down the car, we were literally there to just get the feel and bring back memory. We straight away went back to Pantai Cenang to do some window shopping and guess what, we had lunch at Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant again.

iphone 5223

iphone 5224

I highly recommend their Butter Prawns – so good! We finished lunch by 2pm and we made our way back to the hotel by catching the boat at 2.30pm. 2 hours passed by and we were ready and excited for our most awaited water sport activities. Headed to the hotel lobby and the ever friendly staffs took us to the Marina area where the parasailing boat and jet skis were located at. (I love that everything about this hotel belongs to this hotel and everywhere is not far from each other.) I’m not going to write a lot, I think the pictures would justify my points about how amazing and absolutely fun and exciting the whole experience was. The bird’s eye view was magnificently beautiful, gosh birds are so lucky to get to see so many wonderful things from above!

iphone 5241Met the Marshall at the Jetty Point and we got on this cool yacht. Cool yacht = cool pose (justified).

iphone 5247Cool yacht part 2 = cool pose part 2 (justified)

iphone 5249And now to the fun part. We got close to the Marshall so they were so friendly and fun to us. I tell you, he took 200 photos of us. This meant free time for my preggy sister because her job was initially to be the photographer.

iphone 5252“Wohooo, we are going to fly fly fly brothers!”

iphone 5256Shot 1 – Less than a minute post ‘departure’ (what a term hehe) and we were already at this height.

iphone 5257Shot 2 – How much cooler could this photo get? We saw so many planes up there and they felt super close to us. The Marshall told my sister that we could have shared the same height as the aircrafts if he let go of the rope.

iphone 5266Shot 3 – So the Marshall asked if we wanted him to navigate us down and onto the sea water. Before my brothers could say anything, I said “YES please”. No regret.

iphone 5272Shot 4 – “We’re going downnnnnn”

iphone 5276Shot 5 – No regrets. Okay maybe a bit. Guys, I forgot how high the pH for sea water is. It was soooo salty. The water splashed on my face and my eyes felt so strained for a few minutes. As for my hair, well, from soft it went to rough.

IMG_0030Shot 6 – And we did it! I thought that this one was more tense than the parasailing I did in Sabah but it was really fun, alhamdulillah.

iphone 5281Shot 7 – Post-parasailing. Preggy sister wanted a pose with the brothers.

iphone 5285Shot 8 – On to the next activity. Jet ski briefing. This one took my guts away because it was my first time. Same for the brothers.

iphone 5313Shot 9 – All set, let’s go! The Marshall was there to watch over us and he told us to just explore everywhere we wanted to. We got to the middle of the sea and it was nerve wrecking in the beginning what with the rather harsh tides, I felt like falling off the jet ski anytime. I really prayed hard to Allah that please please please do not make me fall because although there was life jacket on, it would still be terrifying to be falling off the jet ski in the middle of sea. How did my brothers do? Well, they ski-ed like they were having some racing match.

We finished both activities by 5.30pm, thanked the Marshall for taking care of us and we came back to the jetty point to our sister. While walking back to the hotel, we saw our parents walking towards the 4 of us “ambil angin petang” they said. All of us walked back to room 306, refreshed ourselves and called the day off – too tired already.

I asked my sister to accompany me for an evening stroll around the beach and my sister took this amazing shot of me (I mean the background is amazing).

iphone 5298This is apparently everyone’s favourite spot and where couples can enjoy candle light dinner.

iphone 5373One with my one and only sister whom I love so much.

In summary, it was a wonderful trip, alhamdulillah. It really had been a while since all of us properly got on a proper family holiday together although the BIL could not join the trip. Just words of advice to future Langkawi travellers: Vivanta by Taj is suited for you if you are looking for a calm and serene and not “shopping + visit attractions” holiday as it is on a private island. If you are looking at doing “visit attractions” holiday, I do personally think it is best to stay at hotels that are located in the main land.

IMG_0245Farewell and thank you Langkawi!

Continue Reading

Langkawi Retreat Part 1

Assalamualaikum, good day readers! I have just got back from Langkawi trip with family and I want to update now itself so that I don’t get lazy and not post at all by the end of the month hehe.

We chose Langkawi because my sister wanted to go for beach holiday and she had been saying that for the past few weeks. My BIL was in London and my sister refused to follow him (I know! How could you kakak it’s London). It was honestly fair enough because we recently just came back from the UK following our graduation ceremony in July and travelling for my sister now is not as smooth sailing as she is currently 4.5 months pregnant. The planning for this Langkawi trip was not that easy. It was so last minute and we kept changing locations before we finally came to our decision to have our family holiday in Langkawi. Reason: my mum. Hehe joking ma.

Back to the story, yes, we only bought our flight tickets 20 hours before departure.. My brother is working at Malindo Air as a pilot and he has told us that he is entitled to 6 free family tickets to just any destination that Malindo Air flies to. That being said, we initially wanted to use this privilege but we were told by the HR people that only parents are able to use up this golden opportunity. No problem about that as my sister, baby brother and I could just buy our tickets online but the actual problem was to apply for that free tickets for my parents required 5 working days notice. The HR staff really got on my nerve by the way guys… Fine that the policy is 5 working days notice and we gave 4 working days notice but the HR staffs were not being helpful. They asked us to follow up the next morning which I did only to get told that “Miss, please call again tomorrow CEO is not in”. I rang again the next morning and it was the same answer and I rang again the next next morning and it was still the same answer. My brother went to the HQ himself after and it was still the same answer that he got from them. At this point, my mum told us to just cancel and buy normal tickets for everyone but even to cancel was tough and I think I really really got mad at the HR people. Rang them one last time and said bla bla bla I’m flying in less than 24 hours I have waited for 3 long days bla bla bla I need confirmation if you cannot confirm please just cancel it I want to proceed with buying tickets online for everyone. I am a person who does not use foul language and I’m thankful I did not curse considering how mad I was at that time.

So anyway, I proceeded with buying normal tickets and God must have given some blessings after those stressful moments because the price tickets were rm200 cheaper. The excitement started to build up and by 1pm the next day, we were here.

iphone 5047Not here.
iphone 5056Well, not here too.iphone 5045But here.

Breathtaking, isn’t it? Alhamdulillah, we stayed at Vivanta by Taj this time around. It’s a hotel that is on its own private island – Rebak Island. I googled this image in advance and I actually saw this little island when the plane was descending down during landing. We arrived at the airport and there was already someone waiting for us at the arrival hall to bring us to the hotel.

iphone 5059Cutie.

It only takes around 1o minutes to get to Port Cenang from Langkawi International Airport. Port Cenang is the port that would get Vivanta by Taj customers to the hotel. This is an additional 10 minutes but 10 minutes of fun because of the boat ride. Before I forget, there are scheduled times for the boat ride (approximately every 1 hour interval) and the last boat from Port Cenang back to the hotel is at 7.45pm so you have to plan your day really well.

iphone 5062

iphone 5064

iphone 5073

iphone 5076

My family and I were greeted by the beautiful marina view (refer picture above) at Rebak Island Marina port. There were hotel butlers waiting to handle our baggages and to bring us to the hotel reception (via buggy). We arrived at the door step of the hotel and we were assisted to the check in table and gosh, the check in process was actually really good. In summary, the whole hotel pick up and check in service experiences to me were excellent – we did not have to worry about anything and were constantly being taken care of by the friendly staffs. Our villa was massive and definitely great for 6 people. We got the pool side view and we were lucky because straight on view after the pool was the sea.

iphone 5088Room 306

iphone 5102
Balconyiphone 5081Doorwayiphone 5087Living areaiphone 5084Bedroom 1 (Yes that’s my sister)iphone 5083Bedroom 2 (Yes, that’s my dad)

iphone 5109

The cutest toiletries I’ve seen so far.

It was 2.30pm and everyone was getting hungry. My dad being the must-have-food-whatsover got worried because there is only 1 restaurant at the hotel and to go out from the island required proper planning and so we chose to first have lunch at the hotel restaurant and dinner in the main land.

iphone 5092

iphone 5095

Vivanta by Taj is owned by the Taj group which means you would find a good selection of Indian food on the menu. We had Chicken Briyani and it was not bad at all although the flavourings could have been better. Lunch ticked and so we headed back to our villa to rest and do our planning for our evening.

My dad asked me to ring the hotel receptionist for car rental (Advice: Guys, don’t rent in advance. Decide at the hotel) and we scheduled to have the car at Port Cenang by 5.30pm. We exit-ed Rebak Island and managed to do some snacks shopping before going for dinner in the main land. The last boat was at 7.45pm and I would say the timing was just nice WITH the condition that you stay only at Pantai Cenang tourist spot. This spot is only 5 minutes from Port Cenang and lucky us again because the restaurant that we had always wanted to have seafood at is located in Pantai Cenang.

iphone 5150

iphone 5152

iphone 5161

iphone 5157

Orkid Ria completely blew us away again even after so many years. The steamed fish was madly delicious and the lobster was super good, thanks for the treat daddy!

All of us got super tired by the end of dinner because we ate more than our capacities and we drove back to Port Cenang to catch the boat back to the hotel. I will write Part 2 (it’s a fun post I promise) in the next post and leave Part 1 with these additional pictures of the hotel that I took for everyone’s future reference. Catch me in the next post alright!

iphone 5099

iphone 5104

iphone 5105

iphone 5107

iphone 5128

iphone 5139

 

Continue Reading

Switzerland Day 3: Lucerne and Zurich

*Deep deep and sincere apologies for the super super delayed continuation post!*

9. It was our 3rd day already. We checked out from the hotel after the simple but yummy breakfast and headed to Interlaken West station. Took the train to Interlaken Ost, got down and changed to another train that would bring us to our next stop, Lucerne. It took roughly 2 hours and at 10am, we said Hello to snowy snowy Lucerne!

Confession: The pictures below were taken after we luckily managed to get early check in at the hotel. It was such a blessing that the room was already available upon our morning arrival because we were soaked – the snow was extra heavy as we walked for what took us 15 minutes from Lucerne Station to Best Western Hotel Krone. I’m certainly not a ‘make up’ person but I do love mascara and lipsticks a lot and I had those on my face that day and yes.. My face was 1/4 stained with mascara and I do still think that the reception person silently laughed at my sister and I and pitied us too hence the early check in. Hehe.

1

 

2

 

Although Interlaken got my heart, Lucerne was beautiful too. It is almost like Geneva except that Lucerne is slightly more modernised.

10. We wanted to go to Zurich so much other than wanting to maximise our Swiss Pass and so we did go to Zurich. Explored Lucerne in an hour and then we took the next available train to Zurich. Lucky us as the train duration was only 50 minutes. While on the train, my sister asked me to research about things-to-do in Zurich and TripAdvisor suggested us to head to Uetliberg Mountain as we could get the best view of Zurich from up here. I then Googled if Swiss Pass would be enough to take us there and what more could I say when it stated ‘Valid with Swiss Pass’. Truly amazing. Tip for everyone wondering or planning about the trip: There are direct trains to Uetliberg in the Zurich train station itself and they operate every 15 minutes. My sister and I straight away changed platform and then..

6

 

It was snowing, yes. Heavily, too. So, there was no way we could have the beautiful view. What we did was we walked around the area and had lunch and left after less than an hour. Advice: Please go early in the morning, guys. On a brighter side, I had a good cure to my disappointment.

7

 

It was this really really cute little boy *insert love is in the air emoticon*.

11. Okay, so we arrived back at Zurich Station. It was a Sunday and we knew we could only go sightseeing (goodbye shops). We came out from the station and it was already the central shopping point in Zurich and by walking until the end of the street, we were told that it would be Lake Zurich that we see next. Easy peasy, so convenient. Switzerland is just so tourist friendly.

891011

Hmm, what can I share about Zurich.. It is a top notch, posh feel kind of city! It really is almost like London but prettier. You can really feel that it is a metropolitan city compared to the rest of Swiss cities. Geneva too has all the designers shops but Zurich has all the shops structured in a much high class style. The last picture that shows me standing in the middle of street is the street that I am talking about. Designers in one pretty stretch.

121314

Lake Zurich! Do you see the buildings that I see? The area is a business centre area. As told by my BIL to us, Zurich is the financial centre of Switzerland and that should explain why Zurich is more metropolitan.

12. Good 3 hours in Zurich and it was 5pm which meant it was time to head back to Lucerne. Arrived at Lucerne station around 6pm and we had Fish Burgers at Burger King before calling it a day.

13. Our flight back to Bristol was at 3pm and from Geneva Airport. I’m now going to reiterate the beauty of Swiss  railway system again because there is a direct train from Lucerne to Geneva Airport. Yes, not even Geneva town but Geneva Airport. How very very convenient, I now completely get why it’s described as an exceptionally amazing railway system.

54

 

Bye bye Lucerne, bye bye Geneva, bye bye Switzerland! Thank you Allah for letting me experience the best holiday yet so far. You changed my views about the world and Your Greatness after seeing all those beautiful creations by You. I pray that this opportunity arise again in the future – probably ski trip with the whole family? In shaa Allah.

P/s: Hope the 3 posts are or will be useful for everyone soon *insert smiley face*.

Continue Reading

Switzerland Day 2: Kleine Scheidegg – Jungfraujoch – Grindelwald

Woke up in the morning of Switzerland Day 2 to this view.FullSizeRenderCompletely magical – this pictures portrays only half of the actual beauty. Imagine having this view while getting ready for your new day, such a positive feeling.

Anyway,

Day 2 Details:

6. After breakfast and FaceTime with mama at the hotel, we headed to Interlaken Ost train station and took the train to Interlaken West to catch a different train that would take us to Lauterbrunnen. In summary: Interlaken Ost – Interlaken West – Lauterbrunnen. For everyone who is heading to Jungraujoch from Interlaken, this is the most identical and famous ways of getting to Lauterbrunnen.17. Arrived at Lauterbrunnen and we changed train again and it was a smaller train compared to the one above. Advice: Simply follow the direction given by officers around there or the people around you. Please note that you have to pay for a separate ticket here as Swiss Pass is not valid for this train to Jungfraujoch. We had no idea about it but were thankful that we carried enough cash. If I’m not mistaken, one ticket is CHF145. The ride took quite sometime and please again note that there would be another stop where you have to change train to get to your final destination. This stop is called Klein Scheidegg and it is 2061m above sea level. I wore enough layers but still felt the coldness (it was -10 degrees during my time). Please wear very very thick layers guys.

34567As you can see, we took a lot of selfies here while waiting for the next available train from Klein Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch. Note: It runs every 30 minutes.

8. The one hour train ride to Jungfraujoch was a totally different experience. Oxygen was enough but you could feel the difference but the view was as divine as expected. We got there and we were a bit surprised because the activities that they offered were within a large confined space. The only place that allowed some outdoor air was the viewing point. I guess this was somehow logical because it would be dangerous to be out from the space. My sister and I took about 2 hours to discover all the entertainment offered.8

9Ice Palace

11The viewing point121314

FullSizeRenderJungfraujoch is 3454m above sea level so the peak of the mountains were right in front of our eyes. The feeling was SubhanAllah, indescribable. God is definitely simply the most powerful of all.

15Hmm, there is Lindtt chocolate shop here at Jungfraujoch too.

8. We left Jungraujoch and took the train back to Kleine Scheidegg. We could take the direct train back to Interlaken West and that was what we did but we stopped at Grindelwald after being advised by one of the railway officers about how everyone should not miss visiting Grindelwald. He was indeed right, Grindelwald was a beautiful little village and my sister and I really needed that fresh oxygen air.1618 191920

21

I may have just run out of possible vocabularies to describe these pictures. Shall I let you speak them out for me?

9. It was already 3pm when we first arrived at Grindelwald and we decided to call the day off at 5pm. Time to head back to Interlaken West and then to Interlaken Ost and then back to our hotel.

22Amazing amazing Day 2 that we had, alhamdulillah, and I hope this post proves useful to everyone planning for Jungfraujoch trip soon. Here is a map that I got from my trip which I think will be very handy.FullSizeRender-2See the circle? I think that is what most of everyone should try to cover in their Jungfraujoch trip (plus the cable car ride that my sister and I did not get to do). Please try to start your day early because you do need the whole day for this.

Day 3 and 4 to be continued in the next post in a bit.

Continue Reading

Switzerland Day 1: Geneva – Bern – Interlaken

Sisters’ trip No 1: Brussels (Belgium)

Sisters’ trip No 2: Prague (Czech Republic)

Sisters’ trip No 3: Amsterdam (Holland)

Sisters’ trip No 4 (+1 bro): Nice, Cannes (France), Monte Carlo

Sisters’ trip No 5: Geneva, Bern, Interlaken, Jungfraujoch, Zurich, Lucerne (Switzerland)

As I promised myself before, I am now in front of my laptop to blog about my Swiss trip. All praises to Allah for those many wonderful opportunities to get to travel around Europe with the best sister in the world. We make it a point every year to try to travel to as many cities as we can. Family trip is a different story and of course, we miss it so much and are looking forward for the next one soon, in shaa Allah.

I’m going to try to be a help to those who are planning to travel to Switzerland because trust me, you will want to know the details before you visit that one of a kind, kind of country. Lucky me because my sister did the whole researching and building up of itineraries before hand and that was the smartest move one could make when planning for Swiss trip. Before I go further, I just want to highlight that Switzerland, you are so beautiful and I will remember your beauty as long as my memory works fine. The best country so far, you finally out league Prague.

Details:

1. My sister and I took a flight from Bristol Airport to Geneve Aeroport because it was the only city that EasyJet catered for Bristol routes. A plus point if you’re in London because EasyJet flies to most Swiss cities. The flight duration for Bristol – Geneva was 1 hour and 40 minutes. We took the first flight in the morning at 7am and arrived in Geneva at 9.40am local time.

2. As soon as we arrived in Geneva, we headed straight to the train station counter to get our Swiss Pass. Swiss Pass makes you feel like a king there because you can do almost anything and everything with it. We bought the 4 days passes because we were there from Friday (30/1/2015) until (2/2/2015). Swiss Pass is priced reasonably to me considering the fact that you can travel all around Switzerland with it and it also entitles you to most free public transports facilities, i.e, trams, buses, trains and boats. Here is a screenshot of the price catalogue for the Swiss Pass. Alternatively, you can click here: http://www.swiss-pass.ch/en/swiss-pass/

My suggestion is to just purchase your Swiss Pass at any of the airports. Their railway system is so amazing that everything is made easy and convenient. We headed straight to the Geneve Aeroport train station counter, bought our passes and then off we were to our first stop, Geneva city centre.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 9.51.33 AM

 

2

1

3

Very posh cabin don’t you think? Yes, because this is 1st class cabin. We went inside and wondered why was it that there was no one in it. We realised it was 1st class cabin and lucky us that the train officer did not come yet to check on our passes or otherwise, we would have been chased out to our actual cabin, 2nd class cabin. Hehe. But Geneva city centre is just one stop away from Geneva airport so the poshness lasted only for a good 3 minutes.

3. We arrived at Geneva city centre train station and dropped our luggages at the lockers.

4

Very convenient, cheap and easy to use self service facility. How does one not constantly feel in love with the country. Our goal was to spend a few hours exploring Geneva town and especially its famous lake. It did not take us that long to discover Geneva, just 3 hours and we felt familiar with this expensive city already.

5

Quai du Mont Blanc

7

8Lake Geneva

9

10

11

4. We headed back to train station to collect our luggages and then we caught the next train available to Bern. If I may note this, always fret not about knowing your train time. By just Googling for example ‘Geneva to Bern train time’, it will list you all that you need to know about your next train – time, duration, platform, stop, destination. I have so much respect for how well Swiss Railway system works and they are also very very punctual. If it says 1pm, it leaves at 1pm on the dot. The railway station is also user friendly and there are officers everywhere to help you (at one instance, they came to my sister and I instead to ask if everything was alright). So next stop for us, Bern!

16

Bern

17

5. We did not see much of Bern as we were rushing to our actual intended destination, Interlaken. Took the next train available and I shall let the pictures below do the talking of the picturesque train ride.

15

Typing the word Interlaken gives me so much scenic feeling again now. How I miss this city and I shall say that Interlaken is my favourite Swiss city. It’s a little town but that’s why it’s beautiful and the view that my sister and I saw here made us appreciate how great and powerful God is. The word SubhanAllah came out a lot of times and helplessly. We made a complete smart decision by deciding to spend 2 nights here.

2018

I really recommend Hotel Beausite. It’s not a big hotel but the service is tip top and I did what I never did before – I left rating and comment for this hotel at Booking.com. We arrived in the evening, checked in, had complimentary coffee and cakes at the coffee house, walked around the town, showered and prayed before finally dozing off early because we knew Day 2 was going a long long day.

19

Goodnight, Interlaken.

Day 2 story to be continued in the next post.

Continue Reading

Love Bristol

This is probably the longest that I have been idle and not blog at all.

“Dianadiadia, you’ve been quiet” – BIL at 7.24 am today.

Hehe. Because last week was the first week of classes for the second semester.. Okay, let’s not be in denial to yourself Nadia. I should just use the term last semester. Or final year last semester. But it breaks my heart, really! I can’t believe I’m in my 3rd year already. It only feels like yesterday that I was rushing for induction week but no, that was 3 years ago. God.

Back to my story, I’ve been quiet again because of classes and small events with friends and then by the end of the day, I would be tired or watching Glee. So far alhamdulillah, all has been well. Got my marks and am thankful for them and wish to do better in the upcoming courseworks. Let’s do this friends, just a bit more!

I spent my Sunday last week going around the city with my sister and on our way home, we were blessed with these sights of Bristol and here I am finally sharing these pictures.

IMG_2436-e1422183344353-768x1024[1]

 

IMG_2445-e1422183374100-1024x768[1]

 

IMG_2449-e1422183417277-1024x768[1]

 

IMG_2455

 

IMG_2459

 Bristol before and after the sun set. 

Beautiful, don’t you think so too? I think that Bristol is the best city to live in and I know that a lot who has lived here especially would understand this. Wherever my sister and I go, Bristol is always the place that we miss and want to come back to. This is agreed by my little brother who was here for 2 years and also by my parents and big brother. They used to visit a lot during 1st and 2nd year and we used to go to London or some European cities from Bristol but in the end, what we all wanted was just to return to Bristol. We used to have conversations with many taxi drivers but the most remembered one was the one my sister and brother had when they first arrived here (I came a year later).

“You’re going to fall in love with this city, trust me”

.. Well said and well proven, there really is just something about you Bristol *insert heart emoticon*.

Continue Reading

Jalan jalan cari makan in Kelantan

*Disclaimer: Pictures heavy post again today*

Have you ever eaten so much that you feel you’re getting huge-r day by day but you still eat because you love food and then you exercise because you feel guilty but then resume eating because you can’t resist them? *raises hand* I have. And it almost always happens each time I’m back in my hometown. I’m from Kelantan and I consider myself a pure Kelantanese because both my parents are from there and we lived in Kelantan for some time. We also speak the language at home other than English.

So almost all our relatives live here in KL but my grandparents on my mum’s side of the family reside in Kota Bharu. For that reason, my parents make it a point to return to our base on a monthly basis and everytime my sister and I are on our break and we are back home, we would try to join them for 2 reasons:

1) Visit grandparents
2) Makan

I’ve observed a lot of other Kelantanese do this – go back to eat. Kelantan has amazing amazing food that I can never describe enough and there are a number of those very famous restaurants that we always think or speak about as we have our lunch or dinner here in KL. Papa goes back to Kelantan more than the family does because he has an office there and guess what, he will always buy a lot of food and bring home the famous nasi and kuih muih.

I’m now about to share all the pictures that I took. Hope it does some help for those planning to visit the eastern side of Malaysia!

1st stop: Restoran Syam Bungamas (Jalan Hospital Berek 12) 

This restaurant is really historical. It’s been in existence for probably more than two decades and I’ve been going here since I was a child.

 Tomyam campur
 Udang paprik (good but udang bakar is a much better option but the waiter said it would take 30 minutes to prepare on that day so we tried this instead)
 This awesome daging masak merah. Must must eat.
 The too good sotong goreng tepung.
 Kailan ikan masin – my parents and sister’s favourite
Telur goreng dadar – simply because papa loves eating his food with a touch of omelette.
We headed to Renaissance after the tummy filling dinner and papa was already saying he wanted waffles from the next door shopping mall – Billion.
Papa checking in. The staffs at this hotel know and are close to him. ‘Abe Lan’ all the way and ‘Boss’ in KL.
 Our Kota Bharu suite – the name of the room. Papa insisted ‘dari atas’ angle so I did flat lay picture and he approved this one. Yeap, my parents read my blog and have been so supportive and papa stresses out that pictures must be in HD *insert mouth open emoticon* cool pa!
Papa’s kaya waffle – we got a bit creative and decided to utilise the plate.

My sister and I decided to visit our aunt, uncle and cousins so we drove to their house. It’s really just next to my grandma’s house on papa’s side of the family – the house where we usually stay but it’s empty and locked and will be open only when the whole family is back home during Raya and special events.

Reunited with MP and Adik Sya!
Good Morning Kota Bharu!
2nd stop: Kopitiam Kita (Taman Desa Jaya, Jalan Pengkalan Chepa)
 
I don’t think any description is needed. This is the kopitiam that has caught everyone’s heart. Never easy to get tables during weekends, everyday is full house. The concept is brilliant, Wong the owner did some brilliant job. He sells all the famous nasi from all sellers and this saves everyone’s time as they can get them here without having to drive to each individual shop.
 
 1/10th of Kakak there. Hehe.
This is what I mean. Every famous nasi and kuih from all outside sellers are gathered in one stretch. So convenient.
 Our personal favourite – nasi kapit sambal
 This popular roti titab. By popular, I mean extremely popular.

Look who joined us for breakfast!

Papa and his best friend. Pak Cik Amran can talk to papa for hours and never gets tired.
We spent time at our grandparents’ house for a few hours and then guess what came after that. Lunch. More eating, yums..3rd stop: Restoran Nilam (Jalan Temenggong)

This restaurant is also very historic. We come here for the Chicken Chop kampung style!

Overexposed picture but the chicken chop is pure goodness.
Okay.. That’s already a lot of food but not quite finished yet.
We also popped in this store.
4th stop: Kedai Roti Perling (Jalan Kubang Kerian)
 
Also historic. Great bread and bun.
 
Pandan cream puffs
We made our way back to the hotel after lunch and I felt so so big by that time so I spent 40 minutes jumping and jogging around the room. Was a good decision because that then inspired my super mom and sister who joined me although it’s no problem for mama because she runs on the treadmill everyday so it was cheat days for her? Lucky mom.
And hmm,
Just when I thought I burned some calories and my tummy wasn’t as big anymore, the half awaited question from papa came:
‘What’s for dinner? Satay?’
My God, what was going on in my life.. Food fiesta? But who could say no to satay..
OK pa.
5th stop: Satay Malaysia (Jalan Baung)
 
Lychee Kang for the parents
Good dinner here but I loved those squids the most! So hmmm.. I’m done…. I think.
Okay, please don’t judge now.. Papa offered this and last one for the day I promise!
A little story here about my adorable papa. He stays at Renaissance when he has work in Kelantan and as mentioned, he developed good relationships with the staffs – everyone would greet him. Sometimes at night when he’s tired from work and just wants to rest, he tends to ask the ground floor valet parking guys to help get him ‘Burger Kampung’ and they will happily help papa buy it and bring it up to the room. If he has to wait too long, he even rings them and asks ‘Where’s my burger?’ – I think my sister got her traits from papa.. Hehehe.
 Tadaaaaa. A new day, a new start for food! Hehe. Couldn’t eat a lot because of the previous day’s eating madness.
Love this picture. Au revoir Kota Bharu, see you soon!
Scanned our bags and I was the last to pass through the sensing panels. The security officer asked for flight tickets and spontaneously asked:
“3 siblings travelling today yes?”
“Umm, 2. That’s my mama there”
While laughing and looking at my mum she said:
“Whoaaaa, like 3 siblings! So young”
So young, indeed.
Continue Reading

You can take my seat

It feels like it was just yesterday that this happened.

Yeap, walking to College Green bus stop where my sister and I usually wait for our buses to unis. Lucky her as her buses pass by almost every minute and then she would leave me waiting for my 19 and 72 that sometimes go up to 20 minutes.

And then today,

We are back home safe and sound for the Christmas break, alhamdulillah. A little story as we got on the plane of the same usual thing that never fails to happen for the past few years. I got the window seat again and everyone would think that the older siblings would always give up seats to their younger siblings but No. Not for my sister. I already took my seat (this time ‘don’t care’ face on although I already felt bad and wanted to offer to her and fine, I actually did a few seconds after) but then I gave it up to my sister.
“Kakak, do you want my seat?”
“No, it’s fine adik. I can sit here”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah.. *there was a 2 seconds pause* or why not, you take my seat and when we want to sleep, you take back your seat”
That’s it, sounded just more like her..
“Oh is it? Never mind, you can just take my seat”
“Really? Okay! Next flight your turn, thanks”
Has that ever happened kak? Okay, once, maybe. Hehe. But honestly, one really wouldnt have the heart to say no to her. She’s such a small petite girl compared to me who’s obviously big. In the past, people would always think I’m the older sister and I would feel soooo hurt. She’s 6 years older guys! But now and especially after she got married, that has reduced significantly and people would guess we are about the same age but when asked who’s the older one, they would say my sister *happy dance* *no pain in the heart anymore* I guess I don’t look old, she just looks young.
Okay Nadia.
You see what I mean. Tiny girl.
Had to put up this one, a taste of heaven, no kidding.
One of my dearest friends, Angeline, texted me before and after my flight (too sweet, love you!) and she’s off to Switzerland today for the break. And soooo, Happy Holiday everyone! Wishing you a good good Christmas break wherever you are.
Continue Reading

#syazwanibazil wedding Part 5 – Reception on the groom’s side

This beautiful beautiful Black Tie themed wedding reception that took place at Hilton KL was mostly BIL’s hard work. I seldom hear men handling weddings, they usually leave them to their moms and sisters. My BIL was truly an exception *bows to him*, he had everything planned well and even prepared a few surprises for his wife and now, I shall again let these magnificent pictures do the speaking for me.
 
Photographer: Daniel Zain Photography. Thank you Daniel. Instagram – @danielzain
 So creative!
 Beautiful piece Innai Red!
Chris wearing Scottish traditional highland dress with much pride and Andrii looking smart in tux while BIL looking fresh in his.. robe.
 Got everyone’s attention, not a nano doubt.
 Shirt on now, good start there.
 Most eligible bachelors.
 Okay fine, one selfie with BIL.
 Kak Liza’s touch. Follow @lizasaliza on Instagram. Skillful make up artist.
 Goddess beauty.
 Exquisite, BIL.
 Looks familiar doesn’t it? Shortbread by Shortbread House of Edinburgh. Chris’ family runs the business *drools* and how kind of Chris to sponsor these as wedding favours.
 The gorgeous Kazakhs and Russians.
 Ready..
 And action!
 Surprise 1
 Surprise 2
 Bestman giving speech. You beat my speech.
 Too adorable! He calls BIL ‘abang Donald Duck’
 Cake cutting
 The Imperial boys
 Surprise 4 (skipping surprise 3 for a reason)
Awesome awesome surprise. The lights in the ballroom suddenly turned off and the emcee closed the event by ushering everyone to leave the ballroom and then guess what greeted us all.
 Too brilliant.
He kept the surprises from everyone and especially from the person he wanted to surprise most and only his family knew about this. Every element was very well done BIL *thumbs up*.
I think my selfie picture already implied the continuation of Part 4. Yes, my dad – the problem solver, made me come home to make everyone (mama, kakak and myself too) happy. It was a challenging life for me I got to admit. I arrived in Malaysia on the 10th morning and 11th night was the reception and I took the 12th morning flight and got into Bristol safe and sound on 12th night. 13th was my final paper and alhamdulillah, I got an A and a B for both the papers. Those on flight studying did work with the help of my loved ones in Malaysia and in UK. And the cabin crew too for feeding me well (at one point, I got so shy to enter the plane because I knew I would be with the same crew hehe). But if I may say, never in my life that I felt so knackered. I didnt share my pictures in this post because I simply looked horrible that night. One of my cousins saw me from afar as I walked behind my sister and asked the other cousin ‘what happened to yaya’ and one of my aunties pulled me to the side and told me ‘you look so tired’. I was but I was also happy that I made it. I could witness and attend to my mom’s request to be there and also be my sister’s maid of honour on her big day. And really, I think that was all that mattered. Thank you papa for the idea and on top of everything, thank you God.
Now to this couple,
It has now been almost a year that you’ve been married to each other and your families are happy to see you doing well. Disagreements and arguments will not pass but it’s how you handle them that are key to harmony. We feel blessed that your hubby doesn’t take you away from us kakak. We still feel you’re always around and it’s thanks to the coolest and easy going son in law/brother in law.
May it forever remain that way, May Allah always keep your marriage safe and best wishes from us.
Continue Reading

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

%d bloggers like this: