Let Loose The Thoughts

journal from a humble soul

Bali – The Island of Gods January 4, 2015

Bali….I love going to Bali.  My husband and I, is actually planning to reside in Bali once we are retired.  We are still looking around for cute with little garden house that is reasonable to our pocket 🙂

There is no other place like Bali. The Island of the Gods offers great beaches, countless waves for surfing and wonderful natural sites to visit and explore,colorful ceremonies, gifted artists and unbelievably wide range of accommodation, restaurants, spas and world-class activities andshopping all within close distance.

I have been to all parts of Bali.  The 1st time was in 1998, where a bunch of us travelled from Paiton, Surabaya by a 4WD that took us almost 6 hours including getting lost on our way to the ferry terminal going to Bali.  I can’t remember the ferry terminal name but the ferry is so big that we could bring our 4WD in it.  In the ferry we have young boys who asked us if we need to have our show polish.  As we are using fitflops, we looked at each other like “hey, we are not wearing shoes boy”.  My friend’s husband decided to give the boy 50k Ruppiah.  The boy’s face was gleaming with joy !!  We were there for 2 weeks started with a few days in Kuta and ended our stay in Singharaja, the north part of Bali.  The 6 hours drive was so worth it !!

Then my trip was not lasted there, we went again and again and we are never getting fed-up with what we saw. Though Bali has changed from a very quiet town particularly Kuta to a heavily traffic town with lots of shops to feast your eyes, which at the disavantage side can also put a holes to your pocket 🙂  We always enjoyed our stay.  The people are always very friendly and also very accommodating.  You will always feel welcome when in Bali.

Our advise, try to stay for the shorterst 5 days of course the longer your stay the better. Try to spend your time exploring Bali.  Yes, you will be allured to join the travel company offering you wonderful places to visit with fairly good price but try to make sure you don’t spend too much of your time touring.  Visit to Jimbaran for sunset dinner, Uluwatu for Kecak Dance, Tanah Lot for the 13th century Temples and walking to the Mount is a must do activity.

Just do the touring for 2 or 3 straight days and spend the balance of your stay enjoying the beaches, the hotels if you stay in a traditional Balinese hotel, do some Spa, there’s plenty of them there where you can choose from, get some of the Made from Indonesia Batik dresses where you can find from Bali Central Market and don’t forget to bargain, enjoy Balinese food, we recommend you should go to Dulang restaurant or Bebek Di Tepi Sawah restaurant and last but not least, you are not in Bali if you didn’t try beer Bintang and that completes your stay in Bali.

If you plan to go to Bali, do check out these hotels.  It offers excellent services, rooms are good with high standards,  the hotel staff are so friendly and they are quick to remember your name. And I can bet with you, you will definitely feel like home.   http://www.ramahotelsbali.com/#Jomtravel

Uluwatu Temple in Bali Wallpaper

*  KUTA  *

If Kuta is your choice then you must stay at either one of these hotel; Ramayana Resort & Spa or Kuta Seaview Boutique Report & Spa.

http://www.ramayanahotel.com/#Jomtravel

http://www.kutaseaviewhotel.com/#Jomtravel

*  TUBAN  *

If Tuban area is you choice then Rama Beach Resort & Villas is the best – http://www.ramabeachhotel.com/#Jomtravel

*  LEGIAN  *

At Legian area you can find Rama Garden Hotel –

http://www.ramagardenhotelbali.com/#Jomtravel

*  SEMINYAK  *

At Seminyak are there is Ivory Seminyak Hotel.

http://www.ivoryseminyak.com/#Jomtravel

*  CANDIDASA  *

While at Candidasa area you can enjoy your stay at Candidasa Dive & Spa Resort

http://www.ramacandidasahotel.com/#Jomtravel

You will be spoilt with choices of stay in Bali and these hotels are recommended.  Hope with very little information provided in this website, will be useful for your visit to Bali.

Nothing more that I can say but have an enjoyable trip and share your experiences with me.

 

Speeds Kill July 31, 2014

Filed under: Advises,Safety,Travelling — lapuce @ 8:19 pm

i watched this video 3 times.  it gave me chill to the body.  i know that speeds kill but sometimes i do enjoy driving fast, not that i was in a rush.  lesson learnt from this video is that, just a simple pressing on the accelerator might cause an accident to us and everyone around us.  careful and be considerate while driving.  we don’t want our family to suffer.

Speed ad – Mistakes 

 

 

Stop blaming Malaysia Airlines for downed MH17 July 25, 2014

Filed under: Safety,Travelling — lapuce @ 2:40 pm

MH17 departed from Amsterdam Schiphol airport crashed down near Torez 40km from the border of Ukraine-Russia on thursday, 17/July/14 killing 283 passengers including 15 MAS crew members believed to be shot down by a BUK missile.  about two third of the passengers were Dutch.  the crashed was the worst incident in Malaysia Airlines after the disappearance of flight MH370.

it was indeed an unfortunate event for us all particularly to the Malaysia Airlines. they are not to be blamed for what had happened. they followed the exact route approved by the international aviation. just that luck was not on their side.

while many out there are still grieving for the lost of their family members, there are others who went finger pointing and blame the Malaysia Airlines for this disaster.  I came across a well written article by Jahabar Saddiq and Editor whom i knew from a friend of mine while reading through The Malaysian Insider with a title “stop blaming Malaysia Airlines for downed MH17”.

See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/stop-blaming-malaysia-airlines-for-downed-mh17#sthash.XdqmzuXV.9YULCzmh.dpuf

********

No words can take away the great pain that all of us feel for flight MH17. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened on July 17 as much as nothing had prepared us for flight MH370’s mysterious disappearance on March 8. –

No country, no airline and no one deserves a single or double tragedy that has struck Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia and Malaysians. And those who died or vanished in either MH17 or MH370.

It goes without saying then that we should not add words to deepen the pain in our hearts for these two tragedies. Malaysia Airlines – one of the world’s safest carrier – lost 510 passengers, 27 crew member and two planes in the space of 131 days.

But no, some people want to speculate and assign blame immediately to our flag carrier and linking what happened to its lacklustre financial performance. Would any airline try to save fuel and fly over a conflict area?

Several journalists in international magazines and business websites are asking that question. Even the PAS Youth leader is asking why the Malaysia Airlines pilot took a risky route and that MH17 should have followed other commercial planes and flown around Ukraine.

Here’s the thing. The route was declared safe above 10,000 metres and MH17 was not operating in restricted airspace, according to a preliminary assessment from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The Flightglobal website said while eastern Ukraine has been the scene of armed conflict, including attacks on low-flying military transports, IATA stated that the airspace in which the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER was flying “was not subject to restrictions”.

Why this condescending attitude that it is Malaysia Airlines’ fault?

Would it be fine if the pro-Russian separatists’ boast that it shot down an AN-26 transport plane was correct? Would it be different if another commercial jet crashed?

“They were the wrong airline in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Vivian Lines, global vice-chairman and crisis-management expert at Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Singapore, told the Wall Street Journal.

But is there ever a right airline, a right place and a right time? Any commercial jet that is brought down by a missile is wrong. It does not matter where.

No one here wants to state the obvious. That the 298 people on board MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17 had nothing to do with the conflict raging 10,000m below them.

Based on American intelligence that says a missile brought down MH17, it is logical to say that the person who ordered or who pulled the trigger to launch a missile had no business aiming it at any plane in the sky.

They don’t own the sky. The passengers and crew of MH17 were entitled to a safe flight over Europe or anywhere else in the world. Why blame Malaysia Airlines for using that route when others use it, too?

This is the typical mindset of people who also blame skimpy clothed women for rape cases. The only cause of rape is the rapist, not the victim. So it is with MH17.

Malaysia Airlines’ business is to fly people to their destinations. It has suffered so much over the years, due to mismanagement and lopsided deals, but it has given its “MH stands for Malaysian Hospitality” experience to all and sundry.

The flight and cabin crew have done exemplary work, so it is illogical that any of them would take such a risk if they were told of potential dangers flying over Ukraine.

It speaks so much for Malaysia Airlines that MH17 was packed and some had to take another flight to Malaysia and thus saved from the tragedy.

It also speaks much about those who question Malaysia Airlines or Malaysia, just because both performed badly in the MH370 disappearance.

Both events are separate. We still do not know what happened to MH370 but we know what happened to MH17. But in both cases, let us not assign blame to the Malaysia Airlines flight crew without any evidence.

The prime minister is right to say we are united by grief but you know what, we as a country should be united by purpose.

The political bickering since election 2008 and election 2013 must be set aside and the government must run the country as much as some politicians should stop taking the opportunity to score cheap political points.

Perhaps it is true that Malaysian politicians from all sides have a unique ability to put their foot in when opening their mouths. That could explain the PAS Youth leader’s appalling and disgusting comments.

We need to nurse Malaysia Airlines back to good health because it carries our flag colours and our name. We need to heal this sick divisiveness in Malaysia and come together to mourn the 298 souls on MH17 and 239 on MH370.

Can we do that? Or are we way past caring and having any empathy? – July 19, 2014.

 

Event in Genting Highlands April 6, 2010

Filed under: Events,Hotels — lapuce @ 10:37 am
Tags:

Genting Highlands is always a very nice place to go, especially now when the weather is cold and foggy, unfortunately, the buildings and theme parks are as old as before.  we don’t see any refurbishment done to it nor being repainted.  perhaps the management is busy taking care the road coming up to Genting to make sure safety of the guests.

First World Hotel, this was where we stayed

anyway, back to why we were in Genting Highlands was because we had to handle an insurance company annual dinner awards. apparently this is their 3rd-year annual dinner awards, rewarding the staffs, agencies and managers for their achievements.  we arrive at the ballroom hall late as setting up normally takes place at night until morning.  our electrical and technician guy came with boxes and boxes of their equipment and immediately unloaded it and started to put things on the stage, at the corner of the room, etc.

didn’t get his photo, this was how he looked ..hehe hehe

we met a guy who is the marketing staff of this insurance company.  he is so stiff, full of himself, have an arrogant look, never smile unless to those he knows and not friendly at all.  my manager and i were talking to the hotel manager and this arrogant guy pushed himself into the group where at the same time he pushed me aside. whoa!!!  who is this dingbat?  immediately i am so pissed off with him.  throughout the event on the next day he only talked to my manager regardless what my manager was doing at the time.  each one of us carried a walkie-talkie but he will refuse to ask assistance from any of us except my manager.  don’t know what was this man’s problem (probably haven’t got laid for a long time), but i don’t careless, so long he doesn’t step on me and stay far away from me, i will be fine.

thank God, the event went smoothly. honestly, i do not like the group of dancers (was not chosen by us, thank you God!), very ugly outfits, don’t know what concept of dances they presented as it did not gel with the annual dinner theme, they only showed lots of flesh.  the arrogant guy commented that the dancers are good……hahahahhaa….obviously he hasn’t seen a better one yet, still a rookie ain’t he, no wonder he has so much of air in him…hahaha hahaha.  while the singer aka Elvis was good, good voice and good choice of songs.  a pair of the master of ceremonies, one was talking constantly in Mandarin and the other one in English (moi friend) were an excellent pair. 4 beautiful usherettes, don’t like their gladiator shoes they wore with their short black dress.  we never tried the Chinese Course food, it was not offered to the event management which i found this as strange because normally the customer would include the event people for their buffet dinner.  later i got to know that they only have less than RM 50k budget but yet they want to make it looked grand, why make it in Genting….funny ain’t it?

all in all, we the event management has once again successfully made somebody’s CEO & CAO happy.  we hope we will be chosen again for their annual dinner awards event.  if not then there is nothing to lose as the sea are full of fishes for us to grab!

 

Up to Redang Island March 23, 2010

Filed under: Hotels,Travelling — lapuce @ 6:33 pm
Tags: , , ,

this is not good, i am still having this swaying feeling as though i am still in a boat, swaying left, right, left, right, left, right…….aarrghh….how to type like this?  it’s already 4 days since we came back from Redang Island, and i still have this swaying feeling….i can’t even concentrate in typing, now don’t mention about how “garing” we look, we are so tanned even my mom said “macamana nak balik ke warna kulit asal nie, kalau dok pie diving aje“, i can’t answer that, diving is our hobby rite now 🙂

all in all the trip was fantastic, excellent organization by Ed-Scuba, good f&b, free flow of drinks from the canteen and we truly enjoyed it so much.  Organized due to final certification of teenage students (age from 13 to 16) and rangers (age from 8-12)  after completion of their 5 days confined water training at K-Klub, Taman Melawati.

we left KL on Friday at midnite by private express bus, fully loaded with all diving gears, snorkeling equipment, swimsuits, hats, sun block lotions, sandals, medicines, foods and drinks.  you can feel the excitement in each and everyone in the bus, especially us as this was our first time joining the group travelling by bus.  the children conquered seatings ar the back of the bus, while the parents were in front.  our bus driver, Saiful is a tough driver, he droves us all the way to Kuala Terengganu without any need for changing of the driver.  occasionally we stop along the highway to stretch our feet.  before dawn, we stop at Masjid Al-Ikhlas, Banggol Tuan Muda, Kuala Terengganu, located along the main road of Kuala Terengganu – Kota Bharu for praying.

Warung Aina

the men’s clan

once done we continue our journey to find a place for breakfast.  apparently the bus driver knows the best place to have “nasi dagang“. we stop at Warung Aina.   we had good laughed while crossing the road as we felt like ‘anak-anak kambing” because one of the dive master was imitating how the goats bleat and one of the crew member was standing in the middle of the road trying to stop any incoming cars.  the shop offers lots of varieties, ‘nasi dagang with its kari ikan tongkol“, “pulut kuning’ with beef rendang”, “nasi lemak“, traditional Terengganu delacies, “memang” yummy.  i had “nasi dagang“and ice lemon tea, if it is not because we have to take a 45 mins boat to the island, i would have asked for a 2nd helping.  once our stomach is full, we start our journey to the jetty but had to stop by at PETRONAS petrol station to do our nature call.  at around 9:00 am we were already at Merang jetty anxiously looking forward to journey as but this time, we had to leave the jetty early due to high waves and we expected bumpy journey all the way to Redang Island.

all smiled while taking photos but in real all were ready to vomit at any time

55 mins on the boat were enough to make each of us almost vomiting into the black plastic bag.  we were bumping along the waves.  the kids were smarter, they slept all the way to the island.  the adults were kept looking at their watches thinking how long this journey would take.  i know if they kept on going, i would have thrown out all my food out.  thank God, we arrive at the Redang Laguna jetty.  everyone looked relieved, but then another hurdle to go, Redang Bay is not near to the jetty and we all need to walk.

all on the way to Redang Bay Resort

spotted many squirrels near Redang Laguna Resort

we passed by Redang Laguna Resort, then Redang Beach Resort, then Redang Lagoon Resort and finally we arrived at our destination Redang Bay.  our bags were left to be taken care by the carrier.  checked-in,  nice room, 2 queen size bed, they have a hot shower and the water was so good!  then we got all our bags, put out everything for diving and off we went out to check out the surrounding.

left view of Redang Bay

front view of the Redang Bay

we sat on the 1st floor of a café, it’s an open deck overlooking the sea.  view from here is fantastic, the sea colour is bluish-green like you see in a postcard.

rojak RM 5.00 per plate……yuuummmmyyyy…

we ordered “ABC”and “Rojak”, yummy, that cost me RM 47 for 6 ABC’s and 3 Rojaks.  the weather was hot, windy and the waves were still high.

look at the red flag and see the number of people in the sea

red flags were everywhere around the island informing the guests, the sea is still very dangerous to swim.  well…perhaps some people are either ignorant or just plain stupid, we saw many of the hotel guests happily swimming in.  from time to time, you can hear air horn blowing from the hotel with sea guard shouting to the ignorant plain stupid swimmers.  after a while, we became very sleepy, thought a short nap would do us good before we go for diving.  went back to the room, put on the alarm clock to 3:00 pm and off we all went to bed.

students getting ready for their 1st open water dive

scuba rangers and their dive instructor

“dung..dung…dung..dung”…mench!!!!…hang on, am opening the door!!!!  when i opened the door, it was the dive master’s assistant who banging on our door to let us know it’s time to dive….auuwwww……our body still need some sleep but our mind was ready for diving. fortunately, we have put on our diving suits before we took the nap, so we ran to the dive centre and quickly put up our diving equipment.   anxious faces from scuba rangers and the students could be seen as this was their 1st time diving in an open sea water.  i know that feeling, afraid, anxious, excited, everything mixed together.  my buddy, this time, is the owner of Ed-Scuba’s wife, enough to name her Kak S.  we never dive together but she has done more dives than i did….good and proud for her!

they must be thinking whether or not to follow the carrier

look at the waves behind the rangers.

when we were given a signal that it’s time to go, all of us happily holding our fins, mask and snorkel, walking toward the jetty area. what we didn’t know or perhaps we didn’t hear properly during the briefing, that we had to cross the open shore, the waves, swim and then we have to climb on the boat.  you should see Kak S and my face.  shocked all written on our faces!  putting on fins underwater is not our favorite task…not at all…even if we were given money to do so, we would refuse.  the students 6 of them, one by one floating in the sea, under the watchful eyes of the dive instructor.

while the rangers, 4 of them were also slowly going to the shore guarded by their dive instructor.  I and Kak S did the same, moving with our back facing the sea, slowly, slowly, dush! the waves came and hit us, we fell into the water, i almost lost my fins.  we tried many times but we still could not pass the waves, so what we did was we put on our fins on the beach and inched slowly backward to the open sea, yes, that’s more like it, even when the waves hit us, we didn’t fall, the fins stabled us, slowly we could feel that our feet were not touching the ground and we were floating and then automatically we rolled on our back and swim backward to the boat.  phew!!!!

the boat took us less than 30 mins to the Pasir Akar where we stopped and each one of us did our back rolled entry to the open water….what a bliss!…we waited 5 months for the compressed air.  the last dive was in October 2009 in Tioman.  it was not that deep about 15 metres and the water visibility was not that good.  we saw turtle that camouflage the corals and another 2 big turtles after that, lots and lots of corals; brain corals, fan corals, soft corals, and we spotted a small moray eel hiding under a hard coral.  the dive master, bro Bob spotted a striking yellowish nudi branch.  after 45 mins circling the diving area, we were back on the boat and off we were back to the resort via the jetty.

Redang Bay dining area

water section

dinner offered by the resort was better than expected, everyone enjoyed their meal and some were excitedly talking about their 1st-time experience under sea water.  my daughter was happy because she spotted a 1-metre white tip shark behind her dive master.  she looked tired and tanned and she’s looking forward to the next dive.

briefing session after dinner

after dinner, students and rangers stayed for their short briefing while us the leisure divers went strolling around the resort area.  at 10:00 pm we were back into our cool room.  as soon as our head touched the pillow, we were already deep in sleep.

a photo session before we went on the boat

“dung..dung…dung..dung”…..oh not again!!!! “wake up it’s already 7:30 am, time for breakfast”, we heard the voice.  breakfast was typically Asian; nasi lemak, fried noodles and porridge.  we were also informed to get ready by 9:00 am for our diving, so there’s no time for nature’s call is it?  this time, we were on time at the dive centre.  after putting on the equipment, we walked to the jetty.  this time, we were split into 2 boats; the students in 1 boat while the rangers and the leisure divers in 1 boat, but both boats were heading toward Pulau Kerengga Kecil.  once arrived, some went in doing their giant strike entry while the rest went in doing their back rolled entry.

all looked happy

after 40 mins were back on the boat, unfortunately, were not allowed to go back to the resort because the jetty would be busy with boats carrying snorkelers.  one boat went back to refilled our tanks and another boat parked  near a white sandy beach close to the Marine Park.  we all went down to the beach, nothing’s there, no shelters, only dead corals.  we spent our time snorkeling, lying on the beach or collecting seashells.  when the 2nd boat arrived with our tanks, we were hoping they would bring some bottled drinks and food, “hampeh” nothing at all.  and guess what? we have to do the 2nd dive before we go back to the resort.  this time, we went to Pulau Kerengga Besar.  everybody’s stomach was growling but what to do, we need to complete the dive.  40 mins again underwater were just enough.  frankly, my mind was thinking about food, food, food.  once done, we rushed back to the resort, hungry, thirsty and tired all in one.

hungry faces of the students

RM 20.00 per plate

RM 18.00 per plate

back to the resort, the canteen was already closed so all of us jammed into the nearest café and ordered our lunch and drinks.  because of the massive orders and with only one cook, you can imagine the chaos we made to the café and poor old man frantically writing down all our orders.  those who ordered fried  rice came out 1st, the lamp chop and chicken chop came out last.  my daughter had to wait for almost 30 mins for her chicken chop.  but so far no complain, the food was good, the price reasonable, the portion served was really huge.  i shared my salted fried rice with one of the rangers, when he passed by my table and commented, “banyaknya”, so i guessed he would like to have some of the rice.

our gears

at 5:00 pm, we were ready again for our last dive.  again we had to cross the shore to the boat, fortunately, the waves was not that high. it was a short dive trip, the boat stops a few metres from the resort and all came down.  we expect to see some baby sharks, the water were full of dome coral, huge one and hard, and we saw lots of plastics, canned drinks, littered on the seabed.  immediately i was angry with people who did this.  why can’t they keep the rubbish to themselves 1st and find a garbage bin and throw it in?  what if the turtle chock on the plastic?  he will die.  it’s sad that Malaysian are still very low in their civic-mindedness regardless who they are, a VP, or a CEO, or a clerk, or a nobody, they are just so bloody ignorant people.  we exited in front of Redang Bay Resort in front of the hotel guests who were busy playing at the beach.  we went straight to the dive centre and rinsed our equipment while keeping our eyes to the sea watching students and rangers coming one by one from the sea.  all of them came back with a big smile, after all this was their last open water dive and they are now certified students.  congrats everyone, we are so proud of you!!!

during dinner, the mood was already relaxed, it’s time to party for the students.  my daughter and i walked towards Redang Laguna to check out the party scenes.  those who have some monies should stay at Redang Laguna Beach Resort.  they have nice rooms with balcony, beautiful garden and beautiful scenery.  at night, they have a band with singer and you can order your drinks and food while enjoying their singing.  at the far end of Redang Laguna if you are coming from the jetty, you will pass by their massage room and a restaurant where you can get good “roti canai” and “teh tarik” and a souvenir shop that sells everything you need from the Island.  unfortunately, the shop was closed when we reached there, thought of buying some nice dresses.  i told my daughter next time we should stay here.

then we walked to Redang Beach Resort and we had temporary tattoo made there at RM 20 each, with a guarantee it will last for a week, but mine lasted for only a day:-(  i was told their asam laksa is good here but didn’t get the chance to try as we were so full after dinner and had to pass the idea for this time. Redang Beach also has a souvenir shop and their selections of items are also quite good.   i so much wanted to stay here and sweat what more with nice music blasted out from the dance floor but i was also looking forward to my cool room, my body was tired from diving.

we then walked back towards Redang Bay all the way to Redang Island Resort.  nothing much there to see so we darted back to the room after the long walk but my daughter and the rest of the students continued partying at Redang Beach Resort.

KT city bus

the next day was the last day of our stay at Redang Bay Resort.  sad that the holiday ends so fast, happy that my daughter is now a diver.  we packed our things and left on a boat at 10:45 am and after 45 mins we were already at Merang Jetty and busy loading our luggage in the coach.  next destination was at Kuala Terengganu town for lunch and praying and shopping (yes, we can never get enough of shopping..hehe hehe ee).  it was very humid and the weather was scorching hot.  we constantly putting on our sun blocked lotion protection us who are already tanned from diving to become an even tanner.

Warung Aziz Satar at Taman Geliga, Kemaman

the sata in triangle shape was delicious but the otak-otak was just ok

we left Kuala Terengganu only at 4:30 pm.  dinner was at Warung Aziz Satar at Taman Geliga, Kemaman.  we were asked to eat as much as we could because there will be no stopping for food  after that.  filled with “sata” , relaxed, happy, elated, we dozed off as soon as we sat on the bus after dinner and arrived KL at 12:20 midnight.  all in all, it was a good trip. kudos to Ed Scuba for organizing the trip!!

 

16 Ways Con Artists Target Travelers by Mark Orwoll February 27, 2010

Filed under: Advises,Travelling — lapuce @ 3:15 pm
Tags: , ,

Outsmart the con artists when you travel and avoid getting ripped off.   Below is a good advice to all …

The Newspaper Attack
Where:
Rome
The Scam: A group of gypsy children surrounds you, waving newspapers in your face. The papers are mere to confuse you and block your view as the youths reach into your pocket and grab your bag—or anything else they can get their hands on.
Advice: Firmly brush past them and move away quickly—and shout for help if you need it.

The Bus 64 Sting
Where: Rome
The Scam: Bus 64 passes many of Rome ’s most famous historic sights, so it’s hugely popular with tourists—and pickpockets. Working in teams of three or four, the thieves go after wallets, cameras, and other small valuables, usually by causing a disturbance such as slipping on stairs that takes your attention off your belongings. (likewise at Supermarket stairs or elevators)
Advice: Always secure your property and keep it close, especially when traveling on crowded buses and trains.

Duty-Free Items
Where: Bangkok
The Scam: As reported in the press recently, this crime involves a traveler who is arrested for handling merchandise in the airport duty-free shop. Once in custody, the victim is introduced to a middleman who says he can gain the traveler’s freedom—for a fee. The police, in on the deal, split the payment.
Advice: Don’t touch items in duty-free shops unless you intend to buy them.

The Hot Dog Trick
Where:
Airports
The Scam: The perp “accidentally” squirts mustard on you while eating a hot dog (it’s really a tube of mustard in a bun). Full of apologies, he clumsily tries to help clean up the mess while an accomplice walks off with your carry-ons.
Advice: Always place your bags between your legs in a public setting, whether you’re sitting or standing.

The Brass Ring
Where:
Paris
The Scam: A passerby finds a gold ring on the sidewalk near you and agrees to sell it to you for a ridiculously low sum. You soon discover that the buy of a lifetime is made of brass.
Advice: There are no lost gold rings on the streets of Paris or anywhere else. Just say no.

The Bracelet Scheme
Where:
Rome and Paris
The Scam: “Someone, usually quite charming, comes up to you offering directions or sightseeing advice. Suddenly, the person ties a woven bracelet around your wrist in a double knot, then demands payment. If you refuse, he screams that you’re stealing the bracelet,” says Karen Schaler, author of Travel Therapy. Victims are often so unnerved that they end up paying the handful of euros.
Advice: Beware of overly friendly people who approach you on the street offering courtesies you neither want nor need.

The Lube Job
Where:
East Africa
The Scam: You drive into a small town, and a helpful bystander points out that your wheel bearing is hemorrhaging oil. “In fact,” says Lonely Planet Publications co-founder Tony Wheeler, “the bystander has just sloshed a cup of oil onto your wheel, and tells you there’s a garage around the corner that’ll fix your problem.” The garage owner is in on the con, charges an inflated rate, and splits the take with the bystander. (understand they have the same tricks for putting nails on the road in Indonesia )
Advice: Be wary of someone who points out a problem you didn’t know you had, then offers to help you get it fixed.

The Taxi Driver Trick
Where:
Istanbul
The Scam: You’re paying a fare with a 50-lira note. The driver drops it on the floor and switches it to a 5-lira bill, which looks very similar. He then argues with you that you’ve shortchanged him.
Advice: If this happens to you, call the police by dialing 0090155 from your U.S. cell phone or 155 from a Turkish phone. The police know this old trick, and the driver stands to lose his license.

The Fake Art Show
Where: Beijing and Shanghai
The Scam: Young and convincing “art students” befriend you on the street and persuade you to visit their school’s gallery, where you find yourself getting a high-pressure sales pitch to buy overpriced, third-rate work being passed off as art.
Advice: Steer clear of anyone in China inviting you to an art show.

The Rip-off Joint
Where:
Cities
The Scam: Two male travelers in an unfamiliar city meet two pretty young women who invite them to a private room in a bar. When the bill comes, it is hugely inflated. The bartender demands cash (no credit cards, of course), and the doormen tell the travelers to pay up and leave.
Advice: Beware complete strangers who offer to take you to a bar or nightclub.

The Tumbling Woman
Where: London but could happen anywhere.
The Scam: “If there’s a commotion, assume it’s a fake to distract the victim of a pickpocketing or purse snatching,” says travel guru Rick Steves of Ricksteves.com. “For example, someone, usually an elderly looking woman, ‘falls’ down an escalator in the London Underground.”
Advice: “Step back,” says Steves, “and watch your valuables.”

The Gypsy Baby Toss
Where:
Italy, Eastern Europe
The Scam: Here’s a variation of the Newspaper Attack, as told by Peter Greenberg, travel editor of CBS News: the victim—usually a single female traveler—is approached by a gypsy woman carrying a baby in a blanket, who tosses the child into the arms of the victim. Cohorts grab the victim’s purse, wallet, camera, and anything else they can snatch amid the confusion. After the crooks run away, the victim discovers that the “baby” is nothing more than a doll.
Advice: Avoid gypsies and beggars on the street, and move away if they try to approach you.

The Snatch and Follow-up Steal
Where:
Barcelona
The Scam: As travelers with suitcases wait for a cab, a man rides by on a bicycle, slices the strap of a seemingly random woman’s purse, and rides off with it. As the sympathetic travelers drop their bags to give chase, an accomplice swoops in and attempts to make off with the abandoned booty.
Advice: Hide your valuables—money, passport, and credit cards—in your inner pockets, in a money belt, or anyplace else where they are difficult to grab.

The Missing Cash
Where:
Moscow
The Scam: A pedestrian bumps against you and drops something. “If you pick it up and attempt to return it, you’ll find you’ve got a bagful of banknotes and a bagful of trouble,” says Tony Wheeler. “That’s when the careless cash-dropper accuses you of removing some of the money.” Of course, the bad guy turns out to be willing to forget the whole incident in exchange for a fistful of rubles.
Advice: Don’t be afraid to call someone a crook, loudly, and walk away. Often the last thing they want is for the police to become involved because the police know about most of these scams already.

The Fake Palace Guides
Where:
Bangkok
The Scam: Official-looking guides approach travelers in the streets surrounding Bangkok ’s Grand Palace, away from the main entrance. They’ll tell you, convincingly, that the palace is closed to visitors that morning, but that they’d be happy to take you on a “private tour.”
Advice: Ignore them, and check for yourself at the main gate. “In many countries,” says Anthony Dennis, editor of Travel + Leisure Australia, “it’s usually best to arrange for a certified guide through your hotel.”

The Security-Checkpoint Scam

 

Where: Airports
The Scam: Before you walk through the metal detector at airport security, a person from behind cuts ahead of you. As he tries to walk through the metal scanner, the alarm rings, and the line comes to a halt; it turns out he has “forgotten” to remove his keys and loose change. “Meantime,” says Peter Greenberg, “his accomplice has gone through ahead of you and is picking up all your stuff from the conveyor belt and leaving with it.”
Advice: Avoid placing your tray of valuables on the X-ray machine conveyor belt until you are ready to walk through the metal detector, and keep an eye on your belongings as they come out the other side.

 

Up to Kuala Terengganu

Filed under: Hotels,Travelling — lapuce @ 10:16 am
Tags: , , ,

it’s been 4 days since we came back from Kuala Terengganu (KT).  we left KL almost midnight and it took us exactly 7 hours with our slow drive there with 3 times  stopping for cigarettes and some coffee.  driving at night was always good, cooling and there is no desperation to hit other drivers with their wild driving skills, what we need to watch out are cows may be sitting in the middle of the road.  thank God, this time, it was a smooth journey.

once arrived we booked into Sutera Beach & Spa Resort.  it is a nice resort, nice view and you can see Pulau Bidong clearly from the hotel but definitely, the hotel needs some refurbishment to the room, forgot to take some photos….anyway we had 1 1/2 hours sleep before we were off for a meeting in KT.  at 9:00 pm we were all at Merang Restaurant for breakfast, nothing much to offer, cold coffee, no yogurt for my fruits, nasi lemak, fried noodles and bread, butter and jam.  i was told if the crowds are many their breakfast selections are normally good.  i hope so.

look at the pool.

the chalets

rest & relax

Pulau Bidong, it’s only 25 mins by speed boat

after breakfast, we went off to KT looking for the meeting venue.  fortunately, one of our friends is familiar with the city as he was working in one of the island in Terengganu many years ago and now he has a dive shop in Merang.  on the way to KT, i managed to capture some photos.  one photo that really caught my attention was the billboard of the MB of KT giving away E-Book to 25,000 students of  Terengganu.  the e-Book is just like a small laptop in blue color.  so, my nephew was not telling a joke about this.  it is true!  you can see faces of happiness from the children.  i wonder if this can happen in other states particularly KL.

thumbs up to the MB KT

the trip from Sutera Beach Resort to KT town took us 30 mins.  we were still behind schedule for the meeting but looking for parking was difficult in KT town unless otherwise you know where are the parking spots are, then you are safe without getting any summon from MPKT. we finally got a good spot just right behind Tourism Terengganu.  should have taken pictures of the building and the entrance to the parking spot, really nice and beautiful with ample parking space.

masjid Krystal

view from the above

the always busy pasar payang

the famous stadium

fisherman at Kuala berang

meeting ends at 1:30 pm just in time for lunch.  we were hungry like a pack of wolves because none of us had good breakfast due to nervousness, you know meeting the G staff is not easy, you got to say the right thing and most of it in Bahasa Melayu.  i had difficulty in converting my presentation from English to Bahasa Melayu but in the end, all ends well.  the meeting turned out great. we never expected to receive such a response from the attendees.  everyone were highly excited, i felt relieved, we hope to meet with them again next month and InsyaAllah, if things go as what we plan, we might be coming again to KT for some good event.

after meeting, we went straight to Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort & Spa, located at Pulau Duyong.  this is the home for the Monsoon Cup held for the past 2 years.  from far, the resort looks really nice, well kept, nice wooden houses and nice landscaping.  we went to the lobby and asked the receptionist if we could take some photos but they said, “no, photos are not allowed“, – this is strange!  i asked if i want to take photos what shall i do, the person replied; “you must send a letter to us asking for permission” – double strange!  i quoted some of the G staff names in order to be able to take photos, they still refused to give permission to us.  sigh!  perhaps they thought we are just like some of the other tourists.  they obviously do not know that we are going to be their potential client soon!  too bad if they lose us!

anyway, we were there to scout the place for our event this year, if this is the service that we are getting, then we need to think twice whether to use the resort as our main activities.  no doubt the place is nice and considered as what? 5 stars maybe, but they are only famous during Monsoon Cup every year and what happen to the resort after that?

despite the argument with the receptionist, we still make our rounds with the buggy around the resort, they really have a nice wooden chalet and suites, a nice deck with bar facing an excellent infinity pool at 1.52 meter deep only…..so not to worry if you can’t swim, you can always take a long dip or long walk in the pool (since you can’t swim) :-).

upstairs at the left side of the lobby is the restaurant with a foyer facing the regatta.  excellent view from here.  i can imagine myself sitting there with my sunglasses and a glass of wine with good company….yummy…..downstairs you can walk along the wooden floor terrace, a few shops along the row, still a few lots are still empty…..take a sit on the wooden plank and just enjoy the exhilarating view and watch young kids getting ready to play with their sailing boat……worth coming here……

while we were busy enjoying the scenery of the regatta, my other friend was busy checking out the furnishing of the area.  he pointed out certain areas that need to be repainted, changed, removed, etc.  we noticed the resort need some thorough maintenance.  below photos explain.  it is sad that a 5 Star resort have this kind of furnishing and not properly maintain and quite well known around the world.  we hope the maintenance manager will look into all this soonest possible, and not wait until the next Monsoon Cup event to take place to repair what not.  next month is our trip to KT again and i want to see if there are any repairs made by then, if not i’ll simply go and see the general manager and pointed it out to him there and then.

stairs to the lobby with patches of paint

closed up photo of the patches

missing wooden plank near the sales & marketing office

looking at the hotel star ranking, a proper board would be better than a pinned up poster

the bin should be emptied all the times right?

a steel plate is better than a printed out paper