Will be heading to Zhangjiajie on February next year during the CNY holiday. Can’t wait for it!

My parents went to the MATTA Fair today. I couldn’t join them these two years as I am currently in Australia for my study. It’s a fair (held twice a year) where most travel and tour companies set up their booths in Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) to promote their travel services and packages (usually comes with certain discounts too). That’s the time when my dad will usually choose which places to go for travel during the next Chinese New Year holiday every year and make reservation.

I will tag along normally for these annual Chinese New Year trips. My dad’s budget is very tight in these recent years as his business is not doing that well and that he spent huge sum of money on my current postgraduate education here in Australia. Hence, I couldn’t really voice out my dissatisfaction over the places he preferred to go. I understood that. But I’m very pleased that he still look out for my opinions. What a great dad he is! So, today he kept on updating me on the places he researched today during the fair through Whatsapp. There are not much choices since our budget is very low and every tour packages’ price shoot up a lot.

My dad’s first wish is Spain and Portugal. That is too far from reach as it costs more than 10k for a person. My wish is Egypt or Dubai but those places also costs around 6k for a person. We then narrowed it down to South East Asia and China region. We have covered some major parts of the South East Asia in the past and we don’t feel like visiting the remaining ones that we have not visited before such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Philippines (I think no tour for Laos and Brunei). So, … China. I have been to China several times too but China is huge. There are still many places worth exploring in China. The last time I went to China was in 2014 when we went to Yunnan. So, that would be a 4-years gap already when we visit the country again next year in 2018.

I would like to visit Shanghai but my dad visited it before. We like Xian (love to see the famous terracotta warriors) but there is no tour group going to Xian during the Chinese New Year holiday next year. Too bad. My dad saw this place called Shandong and Qingdao but after I did some quick research on that place, I’m not interested. We felt like going back to our motherland, Hainan Island but there’s not much to see over there and my dad complained that the package only gave us 4 days (too short). And then, we went to our final and confirmed selection; Zhangjiajie. Finally…after a long discussion this afternoon.

Have you heard of Zhangjiajie? It’s not as famous as Beijing or Shanghai but it is indeed a place known for its beautiful nature (especially its mountains and the recently popular glass bridges that made its news all over the world). It still costs over 3k for a person and the tour will be taking 8 days and 7 nights. I am still excited for this trip although this place is not top preferences as stated earlier. This trip will be my first planned trip after my graduation end of this year. My friends do plan for a vacation end of this year after we completed our study but till now, there isn’t any concrete planning on that yet. Zhangjiajie, see you in February 2018! It’s time for me to enjoy some breathtaking views of nature that Zhangjiajie offers! I did a quick research and the place is indeed very beautiful! I hope the scenery when I am there will be as picturesque as what I saw on the internet just now…and I can’t wait to walk on that scary glass-floor bridge!…it will be some wonderful opportunities for some great photography during this trip!

Countdown: 5 more months to go! Now, I have to get back to my thesis week although it is Sunday today (there’s no such thing as free weekend for architecture students!).

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



Movie review: After Earth (2013)

When ‘After Earth’ is released to theatres worldwide few months ago, my sister did suggest this movie to watch that time but then I turned it down after looking at how bad it is reviewed by the critics. But then, there are also a small group of reviewers who find this movie quite enjoyable too and then my sister who had watched it later also said that it’s not bad. Hence, I had to watch it to know where do I stand. And my position is over at the minority. ‘After Earth’ tells the story of a crash landing that leaves Kitai and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.


This science fiction action adventure film is not on par with something that ‘Avatar’ delivered, but it still had its own decent storytelling. I think the story in this ‘After Earth’ runs quite well and properly developed here rather than concentrating too much on just a plain adventure. It’s not messed up as what most people think. It deals with technology (it sets far in the future), it deals with survival in the threatening environment (sets for a perfect and challenging action), and it also involves traumatized father-and-son relationship for a solid and elaborated plot to keep us watching. I didn’t find anything wrong from the story development. But then, I find the scene in the beginning at the spaceship quite awkward for no clear reason.

Perhaps, the major problem here is the cast. Will Smith is a good actor. However, the limit of his character (more like a supporting role since it is his son that did the adventure) here put him to a situation to be ignored. Hence, all eyes are now on his son, Jaden Smith whom is no doubt an inexperienced actor yet. People don’t need to blame him for his poor acting in the film. He is still young and he tried his best. It is a mistake to let him take over 100% of the movie screen time of which he is incapable of. However, I try to focus more on the adventure and action rather than on acting. Hence, I am not really that offended by his acting here. I prefer him to try on supporting roles first in future films. It is not easy to be the one person to carry the whole story forward. And his failure on it is what brought this movie to misery to the critics. I’m still okay.


‘After Earth’ offers awesome visuals. Great and quite realistic looking CGI. The movie also delivers with some exciting adventure eventhough I am hoping for more. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘After Earth’ a total of 6.3. A mark much higher than what most movie reviewers given out there. I take it lightly and so I actually find this movie quite entertaining, enjoyable and successfully helped me to relax on a night after stressful and tiring work.  Trust me; it’s really not that bad. Perhaps, some people may be consumed by how bad M. Night Shyamalan (movie’s director) performed on his previous movie like ‘The Last Airbender’. Don’t mix that up with this. ‘After Earth’ is better. Last but not least, I also find a quote from this movie quite interesting and meaningful; ‘danger is real, but fear is a choice’.

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