Merry Christmas everyone! Have a great holiday season!


I would like to take this opportunity on the day of the Christmas eve itself to wish everyone a wonderful and joyful Merry Christmas!

There’s not much of Xmas atmosphere outdoor here in Malaysia (as it is super hot and humid outside) and that’s why people are flocking to air-conditioned malls for shopping and to take hundreds of pictures of beautiful and extravagant Xmas decorations in them.

To get to a cooler place to immerse myself into a more Xmas feel this time of the year, I went up to Genting Highlands yesterday for a day trip. A good decision because it’s the best place to feel a little cooler (temperature around 20 degree or less which is good enough to experience ‘winter’ in Malaysia) up on a hill. On the other hand, it is also a bad decision as the crowd is super massive over there during the weekend (heavy traffic congestion on both ways) and I lost money at the casino (always losing money at Genting).

What should be done in Christmas is to forget those bad stuff and just live our life with positive mind! I am enjoying my slightly longer holiday weekend break now (putting aside my stress and my work stuff for a moment), and then work for three days and then another long weekend break (coming New Year holiday) comes. Hurray!

Last but not least, I would like to wish to you a Merry Christmas once again! Enjoy!

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

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Merry Christmas! Have an awesome one this year!


This year’s Christmas falls on Monday. That’s great as it has turned our weekend a day longer, giving us more opportunities to go for a longer continuous break or a quick vacation. Same goes to the New Year’s Day next week that is also going to be observed on Monday.

Christmas in Malaysia is nothing besides than seeing the extravagant Christmas decorations in major shopping malls in the country. Visiting these malls is the only way to bring Christmas feel to the table too as they are air-conditioned (hence feeling like being in winter and away from the outside heat). There are also various spots to take lovely pictures with the decorations, Christmas music filling the air, and End Year Sale (shopping time!).

(Christmas decorations in Pavilion KL mall’s main atrium this year. This is one of the malls in KL that is spending a lot on decorations annually)

Christmas in Malaysia is more commercialized rather than religiously celebrated as Malaysia is a country with Muslim-majority, I’m not being racist here but I’m trying to send out a message on this festive season that peace and unity should come above all. That is integral to maintain the harmonious state of the nation that comprises of people of various races and religions. There is no place for extremist views. I felt angered and disappointed over incidents such as the ‘Muslim-only launderette’, ‘protest over just a cross sign in Muslim neighbourhood’, and ‘protest over Christian sculptures in a public park’ that happened in Malaysia in recent years. Where is the respect? I believe all religions promote peace and respect. There should never be a thinking that one religion is above another.

Alright. Let’s not destroy the festive mood. How will you be celebrating the day? For Malaysians, we would just be visiting the malls. But for my family, we didn’t even plan to do so as those places are going to be very crowded and traffic congestion is also imminent. We will try to avoid that by staying indoor for most of the day but that’s going to be boring. Hmm…we still don’t have plan for the day. I think we will sort it out and we are still going to enjoy the day!

For all Christians who are celebrating, have a wonderful Christmas! May your wishes come true and may you receive the Christmas presents that you long desire! Have an awesome day with your family and friends! Merry Christmas!

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

 

Christmas Trip 2015 to Singapore!


Me and my family had been to Singapore several times in the past but we never truly visited this island republic. All of our previous visits to Singapore had been very brief ones. Few months back, I had an idea of organizing a trip to the island and to bring my parents together for a 4 days 3 nights vacation during the Christmas 2015 holiday. It all worked out according to plan; I recovered in time from my illness just hours before the trip started, the weather had been very good on these few days at Singapore, and all tourist destinations were visited according to my own itinerary.

It all started on the last Thursday when all Malaysians started to enjoy the 4-days long holiday from the Maulidur Rasul celebration, Christmas holiday and then the weekend break. We departed to Singapore by bus and the ride took us over seven hours including some time spent on the immigration and traffic congestion as expected. The first stop once we arrived at Singapore and checked into our hotel is the Orchard Road, famous for many shopping malls along the street. It’s Christmas Eve and we purposely went there on this timing to feel the massive crowd and the happenings over there along the Orchard Road which are beautifully-lit with Christmas decorations. I managed to buy a pair of shoes over there too.

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On Friday, we head out to the city for a walk around the city centre and along the waterfront from the iconic Merlion to the Marina Bay Sands, passing by other famous landmarks along the route like Fullerton Hotel, Esplanades, The Float, Singapore Flyer and the Helix Bridge.

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At the Marina Bay Sands, we first visited the shopping mall and had our lunch in there before stopping by in the casino for a glimpse. Then, we head out to the observation deck on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands’ towers named SkyPark. The tickets are very expensive but the view at the top is breathtaking! It’s the time when I get to enjoy the panoramic view of the city skyline as well as view of almost the whole Singapore at that height.

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Before calling it the end of the day, we also visited the Gardens by the Bay nearby. We had a quick walk along some gardens in there, saw the Supertrees, and also visited the two cooled conservatories named Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. There are many plants, flowers, trees, shrubs of all kinds in the Flower Dome which is also heavily decorated with Christmas-themed objects. On the other side in the Cloud Forest, the main attractions are none other than the artificial hill inside with a waterfall and the suspended walkways around. Had a wonderful experience in there.

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Saturday is the day to visit Sentosa Island. First, we visited the Maritime Museum and the SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa. The museum explained on the maritime history on this region with some artifacts, replicas and illustrations. However, the highlight is still the SEA Aquarium where we enjoyed looking at all the beautiful fishes and other aquatic life in the tanks and also passing through some underwater tunnels. Saw sharks, jellyfish, coral reef, sea horse, lobsters, crabs, stingrays, eels, starfish, etc.

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After that, we went to try our luck in the Resorts World Sentosa’s Casino. Me and my dad played on the same table of roulette game. I didn’t have any luck on that day while my dad’s numbers always got picked and so he won a little as we only played for a short while. Then, we visited the VivoCity Mall before heading to the Chinatown. The Chinatown here in Singapore is so much better (and cleaner) than the Petaling Street (Chinatown in Malaysia). The streets are lined with stalls selling mostly souvenirs. Then, by the evening, we proceeded to Clarke Quay, the famous place for waterfront dining in Singapore.

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Sunday came. It’s the day when we have to bid farewell to Singapore. Before leaving, we visited Bugis Street for a short while. I also managed to catch a quick glimpse of The Interlace, a residential complex which is the winner of Building of the Year’s award for this year before leaving the country. Then, another boring seven-hours ride in the bus to go back to Kuala Lumpur. Overall, it’s a wonderful vacation that me and my parents had in Singapore. We enjoyed every moments from it eventhough this trip is actually costing us quite a lot due to the currency difference between their country and Malaysia.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images in this blog’s post)

Christmas decorations from my office to shopping malls…they are everywhere!


Today is a lazy Friday for all of us in the office today as we were all excited not about the works, but about the office’s Christmas party in the afternoon. Our meeting room had been temporarily converted to a giant dining room where all the food and drink were served. Our Christmas gifts were all exhibited below the Christmas tree in the office’s lobby area awaiting for us to unwrap respectively after a gift exchange.

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I’m quite happy that I received a cap from one of my colleagues. Grateful for that, and really very full after the meal that made me getting more lazy after that. And later in the evening, I had a banquet dinner to attend in conjunction with my cousin’s wedding.

The banquet dinner was held at Bukit Bintang area. To go there, I had to take a long walk from my office to Avenue K, and then to Suria KLCC and later Pavilion KL before reaching the restaurant. I walked for over 45 minutes and I passed through 3 shopping malls at once. What’s better than having this opportunity to snap some photos of the various Christmas decorations in these malls.

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Simple yet elegant Christmas decoration in the much smaller mall of Avenue K. Toys of adorable bears on top of the stalls selling Christmas items that are designed to mimic snowy formation.

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The decoration inside the mall is too colourful and distracting. However, the very huge and tall Christmas tree outside the mall facing the KLCC Park overwhelmed me. At night, it would be very beautiful.

Pavilion KL

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You will notice that there would be an event to promote at the base level of the atrium in Pavilion KL mall (shown above) for the upcoming film ‘Ip Man 3’ with the leading actor, Donnie Yen going to make an appearance. However, I couldn’t manage to wait for his arrival since I have to get to my cousin’s wedding dinner. Also do take note that the sparkling Christmas tree in the mall is also Asia’s tallest Christmas tree made of crystals (by Svarovski).

Ahh…I’m already in Christmas mood, and above all, holiday mood! Can’t wait for my vacation to Singapore next week but I’m having huge worry now of the predicted traffic crawls along the expressways connecting both Malaysia and Singapore. It’s already been reported in news recently that the traffic congestion is very terrible in these days already. Couldn’t imagine what would happen on the day we would depart to Singapore when it is a public holiday and is a Christmas Eve day. Should be stuck there for over 5 hours. Agghh…please…I don’t want to waste my precious ‘holiday’ time like that. Let’s hope everything would turns out smooth and well for this upcoming trip.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images in this post)

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.


On this day exactly ten years ago, a horrifying natural disaster took place that captured the world’s attention and sympathy. On 26th December 2004, a day after Christmas which is also known as Boxing Day, an earthquake of magnitude recorded between 9.1 to 9.3 occurred with an epi-centre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It is the third largest earthquake ever recorded by seismograph and had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska.

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While the massive earthquake took place under the ocean, it was the triggered tsunami waves that claimed over 230 000 lives in 14 countries. There was no tsunami warning systems at the Indian Ocean at that time and the waves were reported to be over 10 metres high. Indonesia was the worst hit with over 160 000 dead, followed by Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Somalia, Myanmar, Maldives, Malaysia (my country), Tanzania, Seychelles, Bangladesh, South Africa, Yemen and Kenya. People at as far as Madagascar were displaced as tsunami waves also hit the island. The devastating tsunami swept everything on its path along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean.

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The damages resulted from the tsunami were incomparable, but fortunately, the plight of the affected people and countries prompted a worldwide humanitarian response. In all, the worldwide community donated more than $14 billion (2004 US$) in humanitarian aid. All countries put aside their differences and the world stood together in sympathy, blessing and care for the affected people and countries of the disaster, which is the deadliest ever natural disaster I had ever seen.

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I could still remember very well those clips recording the waves that hit the shore in a horrifying magnitude and swept people along with it. I’m instantly terrified and heartbroken by the scale of that disaster after I watched those clips. Ten years after, I believed all the plans to rebuild the affected areas were completed and people resumed their normal daily life at their respective places. After one decade, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami remained strong and saddening in our memory.

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

 

 

Let’s have a great Christmas this year!


Merry Christmas, girls and boys!

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Today is already the Christmas Eve!!! It’s feeling great just by listening to some very popular classical Christmas songs these few nights. I’m not a Christian but I would still loved to be soaked into X’mas atmosphere, thanks to those lovely songs and amazing X’mas decorations in major shopping malls in my country to lift up the X’mas mood. Christmas is not very much celebrated traditionally here but we all would certainly enjoy the public holiday from this lovely festival. And with a day of leave applied on this Friday, that actually makes my Christmas holiday much better as the break continues till end of this weekend.

If you are unsure of what to plan with your family or friends on this Christmas break, then you may simply spend these awesome days like me; sitting comfortably at home and enjoying the ‘Home Alone’ film franchise. Remember the movie that tells about a kid being mistakenly left at home alone after his whole family went out for vacation. And the boy has to set up various booby traps at home against house intruders. It was very fun watching it when I was still a small kid. Now, despite I’m already 23, I still enjoyed the movie very much. A classic Christmas movie, of which its success led to multiple sequels, expanding the film franchise into 5 movies.

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Christmas isn’t only about partying all night long with your friends or colleagues. Sometimes, it is also great just to spend the time warmly with your friends and foremost, family. Nevertheless, I do hope you have a great Christmas! For kids out there, I hope you do get lovely presents. If you unfortunately didn’t get any, don’t be sad. Take my sincere blessing and X’mas greeting as a special gift to you eventhough we may be thousand miles apart and that you don’t know me.

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Last but not least, I would like to wish everyone a joyous Christmas! Merry X’mas and Happy Holiday! One last week to go before we say goodbye to year 2014 too!

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

Done my year-end shopping and, 2014 Christmas decorations in Pavilion KL.


It’s a boring Sunday and everybody is at home. So, I have an idea. Let’s go out for year-end shopping at KL! It has been ages since I last went for a shopping spree. Shop first this year before waiting for my year-end bonus to compensate my spending today. First choice of shopping destination; H&M in Lot 10 mall. Always my favourite since its opening two years ago. Was quite surprised today that all entry points to parking at Pavilion KL mall nearby were closed except one and dozens of cars were lining up to enter. We skipped that and managed to find parking at Starhill Gallery fortunately.

As expected, there is a LOT of people there. People including us also purposely went there to check out the Christmas decorations particularly in Pavilion KL, one of the most premier shopping malls in KL, and it never fails to impress us with amazing decorations for festivals like Christmas, Chinese New Year or Hari Raya every year. This year’s X’mas decorations in the mall is themed ‘Christmas Magnificence’.

What’s interesting of the decorations this year in Pavilion KL is that those Santa Claus, snowmen, and elves displayed were animatronic. They moved, and that triggered more excitement especially for the kids. I remember there was a carousel last year for kids to enjoy. This year, it’s replaced with a small ferris wheel in the mall. The biggest thing would be a huge red X’mas tree in the middle of the atrium that makes up as a Santa Claus too. Creative. Pictures below:

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KL couldn’t escape from Christmas atmosphere too eventhough there is no winter here! Countdown: about ten more days to Christmas!