Thursday, 27 December 2012

0 Oh , Christmas tree!

Ever wonder why do Christmas trees were everywhere when Christmas season comes?
Several reasons why you would have it around your house would probably be....

 Reason #1, merely for Christmas decorations. You erect it every year during Christmas season without failed because you think that  your Christmas will not be perfect without it. The Christmas tree kinda give you the serenity and the Christmas spirit.
Christmas tree at Leal Senado , Macau.

Reason #2 , Christianity symbolic. Yes, if you are a Christian you would not find anywhere in the bible saying anyone, let alone King of Herod or the wise men from East who first saw the star of Betlehem when Jesus Christ was born did erect any Christmas tree to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The wise men only brought presents for Maria and Joseph! Never a tree!

Behold, i am not saying all this to change any traditions.
But, you maybe erect it for the following reason too....

It was erected as to appreciate the birth of Jesus Christ on the earth , the incarnation of God. Earlier,it was decorated with candles, ball,candy canes, usually food,  and at the top of  the tree would be either angel or star. Under the Christmas tree would be gifts that would be given to children and the rest of the family.
All this decoration symbolise joys and hope that the world has when Jesus Christ was born.While the star represents star of Betlehem that appeared on the sky above Jesus  when He was born. While the gifts actually represents all the gifts that the wise men from East (as stated in the Holy Bible) brought to Maria and Joseph when they came to visit the newborn, Jesus Christ. 
Christmas tree at the lobby of Grand Opera Hotel,Manila.

Reason #3, paganism. 

 Pagan also had trees to celebrate the winter solstice, usually the evergreen ones. Whenever winter comes which is on December, they would bring these trees inside their homes, had them decorated and worship it. Different ancient religions has different representations of trees but each of them generally worship it for triumphs and hopes as well as to chase away evil spirits. Almost all the major paganism in the ancient world like, Egyptians, Romans, Germans, Scandinavians and even Great Britain before Christianity worshipped evergreen trees.

So, what is your purpose of having Christmas tree in your houses?
Christmas tree and gingerbread little house at Tasty Buffet , Zhuhai.

How on earth this tradition comes to our shores?

I think after you identify your reason of erecting a Christmas tree in your homes , you would have ideas already how this tradition comes into our lives. Yes, we cannot deny that this tradition emerged from the ancient worships. 

But, the modern one was started by Martin Luther (the founder of Protestant) when he brought a fir tree to home and decorated it on a Christmas' eve on around 16th century. Then, he told stories to children using the Christmas tree he decorated. Then, Germans start to bring home evergreen trees to erect modern Christmas tree  and decorated it with candles.

On 18th century, German immigrants brought this tradition to Pennsylvania , America. However, Americans saw it as paganism symbolic. The New England Puritans even banned any decorated trees, Christmas carols or any hanging decorations in homes during Christmas as they called these tradition to be idolatry. This was undermined after a Germany sketched Queen Victoria , her husband and their children playing next to a Christmas tree. Well, whatever the royals did were seen to be fashionable by the Britain and even East Coast Americans. Then, the Christmas tree became slowly spread in America. The Christmas tree ornaments that was arrived from German had become more and more popular in America since then. The Europeans usually had their Christmas tree only at four feet height while the Americans like it to be larger, from floor to ceiling usually. 

 The rest of the history, we know that once Americans have it, the worldwide will too. Nowadays, people around the world just get more creative when it comes to decorating Christmas trees and the tree does make Christmas becomes merrier and more joyous to the already joyous festive. 

TALL Christmas tree at Zhuhai Port Plaza..there even had Santa Claus riding with reindeer.  At the other side of the tree.......

was a winter illustrations...

Sunday, 23 December 2012

0 Second time around, Manila

I am late bloomer for everything. I only had chances to travel after i was married and having a child. I only start blogging when i find that though i am married and have a son, i do still have time to sit on couch in the living room with tv remote control never stop clicking for info on particular channels. There is not much tv shows for too much watching. That is what you have to swallow when you picked up Astro as your tv cabel. Live with it. So, on those boring nights when there is no good tv , and still can do stuff while Steven and i whining about our jobs on each other, i found that i can find times to write a blog. 

So that is why maybe you had been to Manila for the zillion times, and I was there only for the timid second.
Recently,i'd been to Manila again after going back from China. This time around i was there for the ultimate shopping. You and i know that it is a notably shopping paradise. I was in to jump in for the crazy Christmas shopping there. I was not surprise at all when numbers of my friends from university too was there at the same time i was there. 
Behind Sherry and I was wholesale shop for shoes.

In Baclaran. Most of shops here sell for wholesales only.  If you are doing retail, it is best that you have your travel buddy with you all the time so you are buying more and usually will pay for lower prices. It certainly does not looked like any paradise ,ey. You have got to drop all your sophisticatedness to be here for it is hot and humid, traffic jams is common and you can accidentally push a people with huge shopping bag without saying sorry.

You could never know what you planning to shop. Yes, you have whole of shopping list in your smartphones. But, when you've in the 'paradise of shopping' , you find yourself not being able to take it out from your handbag, because it was too crowded especially during Christmas season. Most of the shop offered low price on anything. ANYTHING.

So, i figured that next year i will bring my family to have a shopping spree here and  it's going to be like an annual shopping trip. Duh, wouldn't we 'd be bored someday?  I don't know about that but i will try my best to make it happen at least for next year, as a start. 

By the way, we still find time in the morning to visit the Manila Ocean Park in Manila Bay. It is not larger than  the oceanariums  in Sentosa Singapore but it was still a great place for kids and school children to have educational tours with their teachers. We visited the oceanarium, jellyfish and the sea lion show only as you can choose what do you want to see according to the packages offered at the ticket counter. 

 We were the earliest on that day queueing up for admission ticket. 

 I thought that the most interesting part visiting this ocean park is the jellyfish. They put jellyfish in a tank according to the type and there were lights that would change colors automatically. And give those jellyfish these looks......

They called these as the dancing fairies of the sea.

I am always terrified by jellyfish. Never thought that they can be beautiful too with some colored lights. 

Our final tour was to the  sea lion show which is just at the outdoor foyer. They had two sea lions for actions on that day, i am not sure however how many they put on for the show on other days but , the sea lions seemed following commands  very well from the trainer and very audience-friendly. Indeed, right ? AFfter years of doing it.

Some random facts i found from a souvenir shop. Wah! 

So, trip to Manila could never failed to interest me and makes me want to come back again and again some time soon. The drawback now is that there will longer direct flight to Phillipines from KK. It was just announced by Air Asia early this December. So, one has to take transit from KL which the flight ticket to KL is way expensive if you know what i mean. Why man? Why ? Is it because there are so much tourist from Sabah going to Phillipines instead of KL? So, is this a way to boost more vacation within country? If this is true, this just lame. So lame, okay. 

By the way, i am enjoying whatever i can get now and all the stuff that i had shopped from this vacation. Until then, thank you for stopping by to read this entry. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

0 Less than 12 hour in Macau: What to do, to see, to buy?

Okay. I was all excited for Macau, China. If you are a friend of mine on the Facebook, then you might remember my status saying, "I think I can retire in Macau."

I still love Malaysia though. To be exact, Sabah, and when i was back home seeing that status again, i realised that it is not possible and yet not too impossible.  Is Macau so amazing til one would thinking about retiring there, as i am not a nationale at all!  I am sure that it will not be that easy for me even if Macau governors are easier on foreigners.

Yes, I love Macau, everything in it. Except for the gambling part. I did accidentally barged in into the casino in The Venetian when Steven and I lost our friends when we stucked at an  autoshow. I made him took this photo of me.....

and i took more..

 and more.....i do not know why. I just snapped them outta blue. Just enjoy it, fella.

Back to the main agenda of this entry again. I am the person who takes long journey before go to the point.

First and foremost you gotta visit in the Ruins of St Paul's, the most famous landmark in Macau. It used to be a largest cathedral in Asia back in the days the Portuguese's reign in Macau. However it was destroyed by fire during a typhoon on 1835. During my visit, it was raining but still there's a lot of people came here. And you gotta find a good spot to take photos. It is almost impossible not to take any photos inter framed with other visitors.
For instance, some pink headed woman in yellow umbrella at the back of these boys.

and mine...a lot! You can see that there is a lot of people up there. I was going down the stairs already. I did not had a chance to get any nearer to the facade like in the following photo because it is just too crowded on that day. 

Hey, can you spot me in this photo?

So, after visiting the Ruins of St Paul's , we just walked on along the Senado Square which is very near to the Ruins of St Paul's where we bought souvenirs along the way. There's a lot of souvenirs shop there offered low prices on souvenirs therefore, we looked around for few shops first before really buying to get good deal.

The Leal Senado building

Senado Square is not only meant for business, but it was also listed by UNESCO as the historic centre of Macau. This area has come a long way since the Portuguese reign too. It was kinda a place where the Macau authorities reviews the troops on their inaugurations. Nowadays, it i always used for cultural activities especially during the Chinese Spring Festival and Christmas. However, during my visit there, there was none but a giant Christmas tree was standing tall in front of the Leal Senado. If i stayed longer maybe i can see more.
The floor was marbled in Portuguese style and meant for pedestrians only
The Senado Square consists of business zone, where there's a lot of shops there, selling low end stuff, from attires and women's and men's accessories to restaurants etc..etc.. One basically can do a lot of shopping in Macau here if you targeting on buying the lower end brands of products. I didn't buy anything for myself here but souvenirs. Except!! The Portuguese egg tart. It does taste a lot better than one we usually get from bakery shops in town. I did not bought them as souvenirs because i don't think it can survive few days before i reached to KK.He he he.. I am drooling as i type this, okay. I am helpless for i have no ideas where to find it in Malaysia! Where? If YOU know where, inform me, please !
We saw so many people queued up in front of a bakery shop (Koi Kei Bakery, it is quite well known in Macau) so we jumped in too for some.
Here in Senado Square too, also stand the St Domingo's church. I did not have enough time to go inside even for a quick tour. Now, I regret it for i could have been , if i insisted going in.
Next up attraction that i had been during my short stay in Macau is tour around The Venetian. Sounds, Italian? Yes, it is. Here i had a chance to experience Venice atmosphere in The Venetian. Inside is resorts, casinos and shoppes. The shoppes has the Venice-like building and even has the gondola ride across  San Luca canal. It was really like the one in the Venice has. The boats were beautiful and there even had  singing gondolier when the boat came passing below a bridge.

Isn't the scenery behind us just beautiful?There were just so many people here walking around. Wonder how they close this place for shooting few scenes on a famous Korean series, Boys Over Flower. 
 Well, we were quite disappointed actually here because we were supposed to go for the gondola ride, which one of the things that we were really looking forward for The Venetian tour. We were technically like Cinderella. We had to wave goodbye to Macau at 3 p.m. for we had to catch the ferry to Hong Kong and flight back to Clark, Manila before midnight. So there's no way we could queue for 3 consequence 15 minutes ride before our turn!

So, we got over it already.

 Another interesting things about the Venetian is , it has a man made blue sky, which gives only sunrise and sunset effect at the canal and shoppes that is automated by computer.  So, there will never be nightime there!

It was during sunset when we were there. Outrageous because outside this building , cloudy all over.

I would also like to rest some facts on The Venetian. So, i am just gonna throw it to your face like this.

It has largest casino in the world, largest building in Asia, 6th largest building in the world. It is  owned by Las Vegas Sands, in USA. There's a lot to do inside the building aside from what us boring people does, from gaming and gambling, entertainment like musical and magic show as well as shopping the high end stuff and there even hotels.

I had a night stay in Taipa Island at Grandview Hotel. It was a very nice 4 stars hotel with staggering bathroom wall, transparent glass where you can actually watch your roomate showering from the bed! I must say, what a sexy room. Sorry , i was a dork for forgetting about taking the photos of the room.
Actually he was too tired for the night tour but i made him go anyway since we were misinformed by the guide that we only having the tour around Macau inside the hotel bus. But, actually we were dropped at the bus terminal and took another bus to go to Wynn.

We reached at the hotel around 9-10 p.m.  we were too tired after shopping at Gongbei underground shopping mall and walking on foot crossing the border gate from Zhuhai. But, we figured that Macau was known for its nightlife, so though we knew that the tour guide wouldn't take us anywhere except sending us with hotel transportation to the bus terminal where we could take on another buses to go whichever casinos we would like to go.

Each casinos has its own shuttle bus , but we were told to take one to Wynn so that it will be convenient for us to walk on to the musical fountain at the back of the hotel.. He he he, we were not actually looking for casinos to try some lucks , just looking for interesting thing to see, to take photos and post it here. Yeah yeah...i am that boring person.

Doing some camwhoring with Fredley as the photog before the musical fountain gets in action. Behind us, is the building of Grand Lisboa. We did not walked reach it, we went back hotel after the musical fountain stops at first we reached. We were like old folks.

The fountain was magical ! It really does dance better than anyone else in the world. It followed on some broadway music which will makes you ticked to dance along too as it was played.  You might wanna check out the video of it here.

Our tour guide also suggested that we went to see the Tree of Prosperity at Wynn. At first , i really thought that it was a huge tree just standing tall. Okay, it was inside the building. So it was not supposed to be that huge but, cute, with dangly fairy lights and maybe apples! What was i thinking?

When we enter the center atrium, we saw a  massive golden carving on the ceiling! It is nothing like  a tree.  But, it was so beautiful, carved with the Chinese and Western Zodiac. And below the ceiling was a giant globe like..i think that it was only one third of the northern hemisphere here..

 Well, actually the tree was inside the globe behind me. It was supposed to be a show, where the golden Tree of Prosperity coming out from the globe while the ceiling above, there will come out a fairy lights extending to the tree of life. Unfortunately, it was not a good night for us for it is going under renovation for some time now thus, there was no tree show. Put on a sulking face. If you wanna know more about this tree or to see the amazingness of the show, check out this link, Well did you click it already? You'd better. I am not paid for this okay, i am just sharing that the clips from the link really will feast your eyes.

Apart from this eye feast at night, we had a chance to walk around the city too like a regular Macanese or tourist. It was okay and can say a safe place to be even if you are walking around in the middle of the night. It is maybe because of the high living that the people there possess and the city is just

 never sleeps.

Walking around, you might also like to check out the Jackie Chan's casino, the Grand Emperor. The lobby's floor was made from 999 carat gold! I did not walked reach the famous actor's casino too. Told ya, i am too old to walk that even for few blocks away in the middle of the night!

The other thing that tick me to go to Macau besides the Venetian was the , bungee jumping and the observation deck at Macau Tower. They has the highest bungee jump in the world! I envied Anthony Bourdain, Sazzy Falak and husband. One has to pay 2000 HKD to take that jump and sign an agreement and get a free t-shirt. The observation deck was not so pricey as i heard but, we skipped the tour to Macau Tower too. Someday, i will stop by at Macau again during another trip and went up to the tower. 

 Now, down to what to buy in Macau as souvenirs for family..I am just gonna list down what my tour guide had suggested and what i bought. These are not expensive, and i think worth the penny as Malaysian or other nationality might rarely or never found one yet at your locals.

Husband and wife cookies. Husband's has salty fillings, wife's has sweet fillings. If you find that i had mixed it up, please correct me fella.
 Charcoal roast almond cookies.
Must try Portuguese egg tart

Smoked meat.

I had best time in Macau though it was really a short stay there, less than 12 hours as i recalled. But, i am lucky to have efficient tour guide that makes the tour worth an amazing experience in this country. At least we did visit almost all the main attraction of Macau.

I must say, Macau is so interesting and AMAZING! There is a lot to do in a country that is smaller than Singapore even i only got less than 12 hours to be there. The night views of the city from all angle, either from Taipa, Coloane or the peninsula, there were all amazing! Added the mixed cultures from Portuguese as we know it , Indonesia, Japanese and more of Macanese have, that transpire through their architectures and food.  Must i say too, that lots of Macanese does understand English better so, it is easier to communicate with the people there than in other parts of China.

can't believe we still take photo with the gondolier even if we hadn't ride the gondola with him. He actually understand a bit of Malay!

0 Typing Error or Messed up Slang?


What do you think?

Are these typing error?


Just another messed up English slang ?
Found it a recreational park

It was on a wall overlooking lushing forest at the suburban area

In a female's washroom at a restaurant. Surprisingly, Steven told me that gent's washroom also had the same signboard. Would you answer the title of this entry just yet?

It was right beside a table in a buffet restaurant. Reading this signboard really makes you start questioning yourself how much wine did you had that night.

He he he he....can you correct them? By the way, this entry is just for the purpose of harmless fun. Peace out!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

0 How to Tell Fake from Genuine Pearls

If there are places to find pearls in Malaysia, one will search it to Sabah either to the East Coast , Semporna as the main producer or one just have to go to Filipino market in Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah.

Like any precious jeweleries, pearls are no exception to being super expensive though it can be priced according to its grade and quality. However, how do you make sure that you are paying for the pure one?

There are number of ways. First, you rub the pearl at the edge of a flat surface. If it is a pure one, you will find traces of powder on the surface and the pearl's surface will seemed scratched. Rub the traces of powder back to the surface of pearl, if the pearl surface back to its previous look, then it is the pure pearl. Fake one will just peeled off when you rub it to a sharp edge and revealing its true color, the bead that makes it underneath the shining layer pearl lookalike.

Secondly, is by feeling the pearl to your neck.If it feels cool to your sKin,then you may also claim it to be real pearl.However, this test could sometimes not effectively proven due to the differences of your body temperatures and surrounding temperatures , which will affect the feel on you skin. You may perform this simple test in case you meet a persistent seller who won't let you scratch his pearls. Well, according to thumb principle, we know  that the stuff  selling are not real stuff if they won't let you run the genuity test. 

Another way  is by examining its surface. Genuine one will have fine veins like lines on  its surface. If it just clear and smooth surface,no matter how sweet talking  the seller to you on its grade and quality you gotta know how to tell the difference between fake and genuine one for the worth of your money.

Fake !! It looked like a mere arrangement of cheap beads. You can see that it has so clear smooth surface.

Real one, i tell you..If you notice, you can see the fine lines that looked like veins to the pearl.

Another thing to remember is that pearls live in salty water therefore, genuine one's surface will not be peeled or faded over time . This is because your body secretes sebum,which is salty,almost similar to the natural habitat of pearl.Therefore, if you wear pearls regularly, it will only shine more, never faded. 

Thinking of having one,getting one for your loved one?or you already have it in your jewellery box but now you are being doubtful about  its genuity. So, now you can perform some test to  see that you are paying for  real stuff.
:) i am not being paid for this entry as i did not state which jeweler's shop i been in Zhuhai. But ,this is the photo of it. Lots of bargaining happening behind me. And i am just another customer who was waiting for some good bargains.
Found a lovely dog in the shop too. He was too real to be true to me so, i make Steven to take our photo. I was so excited the owner let me held it , I don't remember last time i held a dog anymore.

Okay,i have to make it clear that ,i am no jewellers expert,l am just sharing something I get from the producer of pearl jeweller during my vacation  in Zhuhai, China. Hope that this entry will be helpful to you.

Outside the jeweler shop. Well, i am not looking for pearls by the way on that day but, i do pay attention when the jeweler rest their case because i own two sets of pearl accessories that  i not known of its genuinity though i had spent quite big money on it before.

Monday, 10 December 2012

0 Romantic City of Zhuhai

When I said that I was in Zhuhai,people were like where the heck is Zhuhai?It is in Southern China,near MacAu.Macau is only 20 minutes away from Zhuhai. Of course we only have to walk to cross the border at Gongbei if we are to enter Macau from Zhuhai.  Zhuhai can be called as the romantic city with its symbolic statue, The Fishing Lady. It is the cleanest city in China and has amazing infrastructures with mixed development where one can see there are lots of skyscrappers of shop housing and enormous 4 stars hotels. 
City view from Shijingshan Park

The symbolic of Zhuhai, statue of Fishing Lady
However,Zhuhai is a modern city with gardenlike coastal area with ecotypical resort. The main attractions is the Lover's Road and Jingshan's Road,which gives this city the title as romantic city. From Lover's Road,you can see the Statue of Fishing Lady.This statue also symbolizes this city as  main producer of pearls as you can see the statue is holding a pearl on her palms. If you are visiting this area of city attraction, be ready to find suitable spot to get the bestest view of the statue for there just have too many tourist there taking pictures like you do and also beggars singing the blues songs along the roadside. From what I heard this city receives more tourists on December. This maybe because of the moderate weather it has, though during my stay l felt cold all the time. However it has been more than pleasant experience for me during my entire stay there.
Me , along the Lover's Road

Pedestrian lane across the Lover's Road.
 Steven, Sherry, Linus and me also had been experimenting with Zhuhai's street food at a night market after night shopping. Nothing beats 'smelly tofu'. l don't know about you but it certainly doesn't taste as it sounds. And it is my favorite! Though it leaves you with bad breath. Thank you for the tour guide who brought us for dinner as early as 5.30 p.m. and drop us to hotel at 6.30p.m.Night was too young for good night sleep in Zhuhai therefore my friend went to ask a kind bell boy to introduce us to a taxi driver to take us where to shop and to find tasty comfort food. But man...difficulty is what i got when i am unable to speak Mandarin. How i wish i was being more interested in practising Mandarin when dad was mostly fond on teaching back in old days. Most of the shopkeeper were unable to understand English from even the simple "how much" let alone telling numbers in English. 
Let me tell you something, BRING A CALCULATOR WITH YOU ! If you have to shop at countries  that you know not speaking your language. What's good about the shopping street that we had been was they allowed you to bargain til the lowest price POSSIBLE . Well, since I don't bring my handphone or calculator, we have to communicate by writing on papers. And of course with some simple body language like gestures to tell, "yes","no",and"good". But to my surprise the hawker in street food stall can understand simple English like queries for asking prices. They will not reply in English however, but they used their body language successfully and brilliantly to tell numbers, even me cannot understand it at times. That's why i could easily finished two bowls of "smelly tofu", easy to ask!  God, they tasted really good! Despite leaving me with bad breaths, still it wins my heart over.

You can find a lot of these seafood dries in Zhuhai, in almost tourist attraction places. Zhuhai used to be a fisherman town therefore, you can get lots of seafood here. 
These dried squids tastes good and quite good for the health of your face muscles as it is kinda tricky to quickly chew and swallow it. So you have more time to chew on it.
Larger than life 4 stars hotel of Di Hao. This is the lobby! Check out the bed for bussiness suite room!

Feels like royals! But you might wanna think twice on slamming your body on it because the bed is quite hard. Not quite. It is indeed hard.

Shijingshan Park

It is a recreational park, though we only have time to take cable car going up and down the hills and enjoy the scenery from the highland. They do have sliding car, called Tommy's car here where one can choose to go down the hill by it or by the cable car. 

Going up the hill. It is pretty cold as you going up.

I knew that the visit to the park could only get more excited if we took the Tommy's car or sliding car. Unfortunately, the weather would not allowed us to do it that day. This is due to the lack of grip force between the railway and the car when it is wet thus, they wouldn't allowed any visitor to get into action with it, uncertain for its safety. So, there goes the opportunities for some adrenaline rush for winter cold morning.

So i am just gonna share some photos that we took from up the hill. I must say that this is not the peak of it, i saw there is another lane to go to the peak but since our guide also did not allowed us to go beyond their eye and time radar, we stayed around enjoying the breathtaking view of Zhuhai city.
Ain't this looked excited? If you are looking for some adrenaline rush, then this is a way to go. But, the weather gotta be good for a safe ride. 

He wasn't too excited about me going for the sliding car to go down the hill. I remembered it was only Sherry , Fredley and me who was so keen about it, I thought the rest were quite relieved when they found out that the Tommy's car is not operating in bad weather. So, okayy....someday somewhere i am gonna get a ride on a real roller coaster.

Uphill too , you can find this rock where lovers paid to a souvenir shopkeeper to carve their names on the keys where they would prayed by the rock for their long togetherness before they hang on the keys on the rock.
It is better if you can read this for me. Really i don't understand this pinyin. So if i made any mistakes on interpreting the functions for the rock, please do let me know in the comment box. I just listen and write what my tour guide said.

Don' t they looked cute together? This is Sherry and Linus. I knew them from my years in UMS (Universiti Malaysia Sabah), who knows that they would be my travelling buddies? Been traveled with them twice and had so much fun hanging around with them. 
Us, on Zhuhai - Macau - Manila vacation.

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