Archive for June, 2017

5 days 4 nights trip to Bangkok & Hua Hin, Thailand for the Raya 2017 holiday

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2017 by vincentloy

I’m back. I have just returned to Malaysia last night from Thailand with my parents. Good time passed very quickly. My 5 days 4 nights vacation to Bangkok and Hua Hin in Thailand ended, and the Raya holiday as well (except for school children that gets to enjoy one-week long break and adults who took annual leave). It was a great experience and fun in this trip, especially in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. It was also very tiring at the same time as we need to walk a lot and the extremely scorching sun made it worst. We followed guided tour (in a tour group) and the tight schedule (like approximately only an hour for every destinations, up to 6 or 7 destinations a day) really made us (especially the elders) very exhausting.

24th June 2017 (Saturday)

We took a 2-hours morning flight to Don Mueung Airport, the old airport in Bangkok. Once there, we wasted a lot of time in the airport to complete the immigration and waiting for the others in our group to get ready. Also wasted a lot of time on the road to the hotel for checking in due to the unusual traffic congestion (well, Bangkok is famous for traffic jams). Hence, we don’t have much time to walk around on our own in the afternoon. We just walked to the streets near the hotel (Eastin Makkasan Hotel, 4-stars). We had a nice dinner in Chocolate Ville (don’t be confused by the name, there isn’t any chocolate here), a huge themed restaurant built to imitate the romantic Western streets and environment with Western-styled traditional buildings, bridges, lake, gazebo, lighthouse, etc. The atmosphere is beautiful with the lighting at night.

At night, we went to the Erawan Shrine, a Hindu shrine of Lord Brahma. The place becomes famous after the bombing incident in 2015 near the shrine that killed 20 people.

25th June 2017 (Sunday)

We went to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) in the morning. It is a Budhhist temple with its spires as distinctive feature (and colorful porcelain of its main spire/tower). It is one of the most famous landmarks in Bangkok and it is situated on the side of Chao Phraya River. The on-going renovation works to the main tower prevented us to take nice clean pictures of the temple.

Next, we went to Maeklong Railways Market. Not long ago, I have seen a video getting viral on social sites showing a market with stalls lining up along a railway and has to retract their stalls when the train passes. That is the place. Now, I’m there to witness it in my own eyes and it was unique and amazing. A lot of tourists crowded the place not to shop at the market but to check out this quick event.

Then, we leave Bangkok and go to Hua Hin. Our first destination there is Santorini Park, a themed attraction with an open mall concept that resembles the famous Santorini Island in Greece with its white buildings and brightly one-coloured windows (mostly blue). There are retail shops, and some activities or rides inside such as Haunted House, Ferris Wheel, Water Slide, Merry-Go-Round, etc.

After that, we went to Swiss Sheep Farm. I noticed that Hua Hin likes to create tourist destinations with foreign places as their themes. The town lacks its own identity in terms of its tourist destinations. This Swiss Sheep Farm is a farm (of course) for us to have the opportunity to feed the sheep (I skipped that) and to take pictures of the many decorations in that place such as a huge old windmill, some 3D painting, several miniatures of popular characters such as Transformers and the Avengers, etc.

In the evening, we head to the Hua Hin Night Market. Stalls selling local delicacies, souvenirs, bags, accessories, clothing, food, and offering Thai massage lined up the street. Then, we depart to Novotel for a two-nights stay in Hua Hin. It is a seaside resort with of course the amazing sea view.

26th June 2017 (Monday)

Hua Hin Royal Palace is the first destination of the day. It is a royal residence that serves as a seaside retreat for the past kings of Thailand. It is quite a modest complex with elevated timber structures. The lushness of its surrounding almost overwhelms the palace. Major parts of the complex is also currently under renovation and we are barred from entering those parts. Hence, we only stayed a short while here.

Then, we went to Hua Hin Railway Station, not to take any train but to view the beautiful train station (iconic for the structures with red and cream colours’ assembly) and an old steam locomotive for a short while.

Our next destination of the day is Pleanwarn Eco Vintage Village. It is Thailand’s first eco vintage village and is built to recapture the old classic charm of Hua Hin. It is an open lawn area with two-storeys buildings of retails and restaurants around. They are constructed of recycled or used items including its wonderful entrance of a void surrounded with huge cladding of reused wood and profiled metal sheets.

We then went to Wat Huay Mongkol. It is a Buddhist temple unique for a large statue of a legendary Thai monk on top of a huge podium.

Then, we went to theHua Hin Safari and Adventure Park. This is a place not recommended for anyone. The staff there are annoying and keep pushing us to purchase their packages (tiger show, cobra show, elephant ride, photos, etc). The prices are extremely high and it is just a small ordinary safari. We went there just to see their elephant show. The show is not bad (elephants performing like painting, playing some sports, etc) but I sympathized the suffering that those elephants have to endure to entertain us.

The last destination of the day before taking a dinner on a seaside restaurant is FN Outlet. It is a modern elevated mall with a forest containing pond, bridges and Dinosaurs sculptures on the ground level.

 

27th June 2017 (Tuesday)

Today, we went back to Bangkok (the original name for the city and still called by the Thais is Krung Thep). We visited the famous Damnersaduak Floating Market. The name is self-explanatory. There is a small river crowded with boats carrying tourists and boats with people selling stuff. We took a boat ride and view the lifestyle of the traditional floating houses on our way to the Floating Market. Once there, we just walked on the side of the market where there is also a huge place crowded with stalls selling the same things again. To buy from there or from any markets in Bangkok, you have to bargain up to 70% of the original price the sellers show to you.

Then, we were back to the city region and proceed to the Art in Paradise (3D Art Museum) in Esplanade Mall. There are a lot of cool arts inside that allow visitors to interact and take pictures with to get the realistic 3D feel. Even the elders in our tour group joined in the fun including my father. That was very unusual.

Next, we went to the Honey World, a place that promotes and sells honey products to the tourists. When you are going for a trip in a guided travel group, visiting these places is a norm. We are fortunate that we only get to visit one in this trip. The honey products on sale are being promoted with all the healthy benefits they offered, but in the end, my family end up buying nothing. We usually don’t get interested.

Our last destination of the day is Asiatique Riverfront. It is a new complex by the side of the Chao Phraya River. It’s a huge open-air mall with retails, restaurants, waterfront walk and rides. It is a very happening and vibrant area. Amazing atmosphere with clean environment. Thailand is exceptional in creating this kind of tourist attractions. It’s a huge success.

28th June 2017 (Wednesday)

There is no programme offered by our tour agency today and so we have free time in the morning before our flight back to Kuala Lumpur in late afternoon. We then go to the Grand Palace. It is considered to be the No.1 attraction in Bangkok and I couldn’t believe our tour agency didn’t cover it in their itinerary. Hence, we have to visit it on our own in the remaining time before flying back. It is a huge complex of palace that serves as the main official residence of the King of Thailand.

 

The former King. King Bhumibol who reigned for about 69 years and is very beloved by all Thais had passed away last year’s October. The country then observes one year of mourning for the late king and he will be cremated in this coming October. Many roads around the palace is blocked and heavy security is observed. Until now, there are still a lot of Thais dressed in full black visiting the palace to mourn for him. Their loyalty and love to the late king is unquestionable. Some areas in the palace are also blocked off from visitors due to the same reason but that doesn’t lower my excitement of seeing the palace. It was breathtaking with its towering structures and intricate details on the columns, walls, railings, ceilings and roofs. This place is certainly a must-see in Bangkok eventhough the entrance ticket is quite costly (500 Baht for a person). You also have to dress very decently to visit the palace (also applies to all temples and other palaces in Thailand).

Then, we walked to the nearby Wat Pho. It is a Budhhist temple known for a huge reclining Buddha’s sculpture and houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand. The temple is quite huge with many areas within. If not for the hot weather, I would have spend a much longer time in both the Grand Palace and in Wat Pho.

And then, our trip ends. We went back to Don Mueung Airport to catch our flight back to Kuala Lumpur. It’s almost midnight by the time we arrived home. I bought a pair of shoes, some shirts and a short and a fridge magnet. We must buy a fridge magnet every time we visit a new place. It has becomes our family tradition. We had tom yam in almost every meals during the tour. I find that the food are very heavy in taste in Thailand (either too sweet, too spicy, or too sour). Generally, the trip is awesome and I had great time during the vacation. I particularly enjoy the days in Bangkok. Hua Hin is rather boring to me eventhough that place is more relaxing and has lesser tourists. On the other hand, I felt that the newer tourist attractions in Bangkok and Hua Hin (maybe applies to whole Thailand too) are too ‘artificial’. Most of them are constructed just to imitate foreign elements. I would rather visit the real places rather than see the imitations.

Bangkok’s city skyline pictures below. The tallest on the first picture below is Baiyoke Tower which is formerly the tallest building in Bangkok. The title is now taken by the new Mahanakhon Tower shown in the second picture.

(Copyrights reserved to all images in this post. Kindly request permission if you desire to use one or more images in this post.)

 

 

 

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Will be away to Thailand for trip beginning tomorrow! And Selamat Hari Raya!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2017 by vincentloy

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri / Happy Eid to all Muslims across the world especially to my Malay friends in Malaysia! Have fun and enjoy in this festival after a month of dedicated fasting in the holy month of Ramadhan. Have a safe journey back home (balik kampung) and cherish the happy and festive moment with your family, relatives, friends, and neighbours. For the other Malaysians (me included) who are not celebrating, Happy Holiday!

I always envy this Hari Raya festival. It comes earlier every year because the Islamic calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar the whole world is using now. For our Chinese New Year festival, we are fixed to the time from January to February annually because our Chinese calendar has the similar number of days with the Gregorian calendar. Soon after, Hari Raya will get past us one round and clash with the Chinese New Year.

So for this Hari Raya holiday, I will be joining my parents for a short trip at Bangkok and Hua Hin, Thailand. We took on a 5 days 4 nights group tour which will begin tomorrow and ends on next Wednesday. I have been to Thailand twice in the past but this will be only my first time visiting its capital city, Bangkok. I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping that I can see some great architecture over there like the traditional ones such as from its palaces and temples and the contemporary ones such as from its latest tallest building, Mahanakhon (designed by Ole Scheeren). You see, that’s the difference between a normal tourist and a people with an architecture background. You tend to search or look for different thing even when you are on a trip. I call it ‘architectural virus’ that has infected me for over a decade.

Besides than the bustling Bangkok, I am also anticipating for the visit to Hua Hin, a small beachside holiday town which is a few hours drive south from Bangkok. I think I need a time to get near to the nature and so this beachside attraction will be an ideal location. I have just returned from the airport few days ago, and tomorrow, I will be heading there again to catch the flight to Thailand. KLIA is now my frequent destination annually. If you want a tour in the airport, I think I can help on that without any problem. Haha…I have just unpacked my luggage few days ago, and now I have to pack it again for this trip. Will be back writing about this trip as soon as I’m back on next Wednesday!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Back to Malaysia, and I couldn’t stand all these things! And by the way, this is my 1900th post!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on June 20, 2017 by vincentloy

Yes. Finally, I’m back to my country, back to my home. After a lengthy wait at the airport for the flight (I reached airport way too early as there is no queue at all on normal Monday in the airport for those check in and immigration procedures), a lengthy flight (the flight took over 5 hours and 30 minutes from Perth to Kuala Lumpur), and a lengthy wait to get the luggage in KLIA (you know you are in Malaysia when you have to wait almost an hour to see our luggage are finally arriving), I’m finally back home.

I do felt really unnecessary and uncomfortable to have that much of time wasted in airports on a single day alone. Quite tiring and frustrated. I don’t enjoy sitting in a plane especially for a flight that takes longer than 2 hours. I felt very uncomfortable and I couldn’t sleep usually in a flight. I don’t like being fixed to a small crammed space for a long duration of time. Fortunately, this time it was slightly better. Isn’t there technology available yet to increase the speed of normal airplanes nowadays? It would be very useful to cut everyone’s time on flights.

The first thing I’m doing when I reach home is not to unpack my stuff, but is to go out to the nearby mamak stall for my late dinner. I miss roti canai and maggi goreng a lot and so I ordered both of them just now. What a satisfaction! They do not only satisfy my hunger but also fulfill my long-awaited desire to eat them again after a half year. Nevertheless, tomorrow will be the day I will begin to hunt down all my other favourite Malaysian food! my stomach is ready for them!

The other thing I couldn’t stand when I reach home is my room! My very own room! It has a weird smell to it when there is no one occupying it for some time. And the worst is my wardrobe. It gets very damp and has white spots growing in it, which eventually affects all the clothes that I placed in it. I have previously thrown away a lot of my clothes in the past because of that issue. And till now, the problem still didn’t get away. Oh God…please help me! What can I do to fix this wardrobe? Sometimes, there are also some kind of insects or bugs lingering inside, perhaps due to the dampness as well. And then, my room is also frequently visited by lizards. They are not harmful but I want my room to be clean and bacteria-free. Get out, lizards! This is not your house!

One more thing. The weather. I think I’m used to the perfect nice weather in Australia (as I have lived there for one and a half year already) especially now when it is winter over there. When I’m back here, I felt the stuffiness, and the heat even at night. Hmm…my body has to adjust back to the Malaysian weather and it really made me felt uncomfortable. I’m supposed to be very happy and excited to be back home but these are the things that dampen my spirit now. Anyway, it’s still my country, still my home, and is still my room. I will adjust back to them accordingly.

One more thing to share before I end this post. This is officially my 1900th post in my blog here! Amazing, isn’t it? Another hundred posts and I will reach the exceptional 2000 mark! That one can be certainly accomplished before my blog’s 10th anniversary in next year’s September!

Alright. I’m tired now after a long day. Good night and bye!

My last night in Perth before the break and movie review for ‘Power Rangers’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by vincentloy

Tonight is my last night in Perth. I have cleaned my room, done my house’s cleaning duty for the week, and packed my luggage for my flight back to home (Malaysia) tomorrow’s afternoon. Official farewell to Perth, but that’s not the end yet. I’m coming back by end of July for my final semester. Now, I’m just chilling in my room, go online, play some games, watch some videos, and update my blog here. I will be back in Malaysia when I write my next post.

After all my assignments are completed, I finally have some free time to catch up on some movies released early this year that I have not yet watch. One of them is ‘Power Rangers’, and I’m glad that the clear version of the movie is finally out recently. ‘Power Rangers’ is one of my most favourite childhood television shows alongside with Mr Bean (animated), Tom and Jerry, Ultraman, etc. It’s interesting and also at the same time weird to see ‘Power Rangers’ being brought back to present time and it’s on the big screen this time. I’m not really excited about the movie after I watched the trailer because I just felt weird.

Now, after watching the movie yesterday, I felt it isn’t good enough to be brought to life again onto big screen. The suits are exaggerated. That'[s my first ever negative feedback of the movie. The female villain appears to be so strong in the beginning but then she just got defeated in the end so easily with a ‘slap’ by the Red Ranger that sent her straight to the outer space. Just like that to end a mighty villain. And then, I find the cast as not good enough to portray the rangers. They are given sufficient character’s developments in the movie but they just couldn’t immerse into it well in my opinion especially the main guy as the red ranger and the black guy as the blue ranger. Perhaps they are very new to the industry and has no experience yet.

The movie isn’t all bad either. There are still some thrilling scenes especially when the 5 people first found the coloured ‘coins’ and when they first morphed into a Megazord. The Megazord by the way looks like the sibling of Transformer. They even mentioned ‘Bumblebee’ at a scene in the movie when they has to use a yellow Chevrolet Camaro to attack against the villain’s ¬†minions. And as mentioned earlier, I’m surprised that this movie delivered in terms of character’s development. It mostly deals with teenage’s life and its typical issues and how the 5 of them truly bond together in their friendship. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Power Rangers’ a total of 6.9.

The producers mentioned that a sequel is possible but is still in planning and not confirmed yet as this first isn’t well received in both box office and critical reception. That’s my thought too. Power Rangers should be just kept to the television and that’s enough. And kids nowadays are different with kids in the past. We, back then enjoy these type of shows while kids now love superheroes. Power Rangers are a bit too cheesy for them and there is certainly huge drop of interest.

And by the way, today is Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day to my dad and to all the great dads around the world!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Everything is finally done for the semester.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on June 16, 2017 by vincentloy

Huh…a sign of relief, a sign of stress leaving and a sign of embracing holiday is approaching. I have finally completed my design studio portfolio which is the final assessment of the semester and submitted this afternoon. I am actually a week ahead on submitting that one together with my physical sectional model because I’m flying back to Malaysia on next Monday already. I was quite tired in the last few days to rush and get this work done.

Now I will have this last remaining weekend for room cleaning and luggage packing. I can’t wait to get back to Malaysia to eat my favourite chilli pan mee, durian, fried koay teow mee, maggi goreng, roti canai, cendol, nasi lemak, wantan mee, etc. While I’m missing all the food back in my home country, I am actually in the opposite opinion in terms of weather. I rather enjoy the cold weather here in Perth right now than the extremely hot and humid climate in Malaysia 365 days a year.

Well, my study is not over yet. I will be back to Perth by end of July to start my very final semester of my Master of Architecture programme before graduation. That will be a 4-months period for me to focus on my thesis project and also on one other remaining unit to complete. There wouldn’t be many classes to attend, but workload would be much heavier due to the thesis project. I’m hoping that I can get satisfying result both for this semester (that has come to an end) as well as for next semester which is very crucial.

Once I returned to Malaysia, I will have few days of break chilling at home before taking a flight again on next Saturday for a short trip to Thailand. My trip will be during the Hari Raya holiday and I will spent five days in Bangkok and Hua Hin. I have been to Thailand twice in the past (once in Hatyai and Songkhla and once in Chiangmai and Chiangrai). And by the time I’m back from the trip, it will be almost end of June already. Then, I will have the remaining mid-year break to work further on my thesis project and do detailed site analysis on my proposed site. So, it’s not a full 100% holiday time for me. There’s still works to do.

But for right now, I wouldn’t stress myself for that first. I will just enjoy for the moment and I deserved it after all the hard works for this semester. This semester appears like more longer than the past two semesters and with more workloads. Anyway, it’s done and I’m wishing the best for my result. I’m so sleepy now. I think I’m going to go to bed early tonight (something that I have done for a very very long time).

End of semester celebration? No energy for it. I can’t even open my eyes wide now. I think a good sleep is already a form of celebration for an architecture student like me already…Haha…yes, it is! I’m not joking.

14th June 2007…the day 10 years ago that I hope it will never occur.

Posted in Miscellaneous on June 14, 2017 by vincentloy

14th June 2007. The day that I will forever remember. It was today, exactly ten years ago. By far the saddest and most tragic day of my life that I would never want it to happen. It was the day when my beloved mom passed away. Today marks the 10th anniversary since she left us. It was way too soon and unexpected.

I think I have not raised this event in my blog here before. A heavy headache and serious vomiting started it all. She eventually fainted, couldn’t move and been sent to the hospital in emergency. It was a Sunday’s night when I went to bed and get ready for the class tomorrow’s morning after the mid-year break ended. On that day itself, we just had a one-day fun family trip at Genting Highlands, a mountain resort. She did complained of headache on that day but we thought that was a normal thing. In the past, she always complained of headache but we didn’t realize it would be life-threatening. Things get worst on that evening when I heard her vomiting several times heavily in the bathroom right next to my room. Then, I no longer heard any sound. It was creepy. My dad then asked me to continue to sleep while he and my sisters sent my mom for medical attention.

I obeyed his instruction, thinking that it was not a serious case. An hour after an hour passes. I couldn’t sleep and kept waiting for their return. And then, there’s the most undesired phone ringing in the middle of the night. I sense something terrible even before I pick up the phone. It was my aunt. She said she will come and fetch me to the hospital to meet my mum. While I was in the car, I remembered my whole legs were shaking. Once I reached the hospital, it was a nervous moment when I have to pass through doors by doors, knowing that I’m getting nearer to my mom but at the same time didn’t wish to see my mum in that condition. Finally, I reached the Intensive Care Unit and there was my mom lying on the bed motionless with all the tubes attached to her. Her eyes can only open half-way and I saw tears flowing from her eyes. Nurses said that she may not be able to see us at this point but she can still hear us. It was the most heartbreaking image in my life.

Doctor told us that there is a sort of pressure in her brain that causes a blood clot that prevents her from moving or even opening her eyes. She can still slightly move her finger but after a day, she can no longer even do that. A surgery can be done but the percentage of success is only 10 percent and the operation will only be conducted when my mom shows better sign. But she only deteriorates day by day and an operation isn’t even an option by then. In the end, she was declared brain dead and had her breathing aid took away on Wednesday’s morning, 14th June 2007. Today, exactly a decade ago.

Time flies. Life move on for me and my family and I see this day as a day of reflection and remembrance. The words in my blog’s header of the month are actually related to my post here today. Sometimes, you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. I find that I do not treasure enough of my short time with her and I miss her every single day. She is forever in my heart and perhaps she is watching and looking after us from the heaven, ensuring that we are happy, healthy, safe and has everything to be smooth in our path. Although I have only spent less than 16 years with her, but it was a great childhood and teenage years for me with her being around.

Hmm..let’s not get too emotional on that anymore. Life moves on and I have to stay positive for the days ahead. Ironically, ‘memory’ is also the concept for my design project this semester and I have this one portfolio for that subject to be completed before I’m flying back to Malaysia next Monday. Alright, I’m getting back to work. My mom would want me to succeed in my study and I won’t be letting her down.

One week left before I’m back to Malaysia, and movie review for ‘The Mummy’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2017 by vincentloy

I have one submission today and a final submission of the semester this Friday which is the design studio’s portfolio. The deadline for the folio is actually on next week but I have to hand it in this week as I will be flying back to Malaysia on next Monday already. So yeah…I have one week left in Perth before returning to my home for the mid-year break which is going to take about a month. After that, I’m coming back to Perth for my final semester before the graduation.

The disadvantage is that I have one week lesser than everyone else to work on my folio. Hence, I don’t have the time to add more newer or revised drawings to be included into the folio which is going to take up quite a lot of percentage of the unit’s grading this semester. I also have to work on a physical model that is also can be divided into two halves for lecturers’ pleasure. It’s hard work. Usually, workload for a semester is supposed to diminish after the final presentation of the design studio. That is not the case this time as our lecturers intend to prolong our suffering by still giving us plenty of works to do after the final presentation. I will just work on it as much as I can till this Friday. I have to leave my coming weekend to pack up my stuff, clean my room and has a last chilling moment before flying back.

Yesterday, I watched a new movie. I think it will be my last movie here in Perth before going back. Price for a movie ticket here is extremely expensive. With one entry ticket here, I can watch movie in cinema back in Malaysia for four times from the same amount of price. Okay…back to the movie, not the price. I watched ‘The Mummy’ which is like a reboot to the trilogy in the past that starred Brendan Fraser. This time, it starred Tom Cruise and all the other cast who I don’t know. I noticed that this movie received mostly negative reviews, and after I watched it, I don’t think it is that bad. It is still an enjoyable ‘mummy’ monster movie with some thrilling scenes.

Of course, I obviously saw that most parts of the movie are recycled, but there are still some originality to it. I don’t mind that. I’m only disappointed that the havoc scene in London isn’t really intense enough and almost all of that is already shown in the trailer. So, expect nothing more from that in the movie after you have watched the trailer. There are some scary moments (of course there will be since it’s about a resurrected mummy) and also some funny scenes too. There are also some parts that I don’t really get it and the plot isn’t strong enough. This is an average way to launch the ‘Dark Universe’ film franchise. ‘Godzilla’ did much better on launching their ‘Monster Universe’ back in 2014. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Mummy’ a total of 7.0. I prefer Hollywood to actually continue from the previous trilogy that has Brendan Fraser in it than starting it again. That one appears more convincing and felt more ‘mythical’ to me than this one.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)