Snorkeling @ Pulau Sapi, KK

snorkeling

This person does not have a PADI license so we can either go for the sea walk (closed) or snorkeling. I have a wealth of underwater photos taken which I’m rather proud of, mostly due to the awesome marine life teaming around the islands of Sabah.

rainbow fish

This rainbow fish is actually quite delicious but it’s off limits – you know the drill, take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.

coral

I was submerged for a good 45 minutes swimming around and snapping photos of the corals and fishes around them.

marine life

Jerine on the other hand, can’t swim to save her life.

jerine can't swim

The best thing about Sabah is that the aquatic lifeforms is very tame and not afraid of homo sapiens at all.

underwater photos

Hell, some of them even tried to bite my fingers. >.<

I took a lot of underwater videos too – this is the best of the batch. I only have one word to describe snorkeling in Pulau Sapiserene. :)

Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh, KK

yu kee bak kut teh

Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh is arguably the most famous BKT place in KK. It’s located at Gaya Street. There are two BKT outlets there but the original is the best – you can see the difference with your naked eye, the locals flock to this place like bees to honey.

yu kee bak kut meat

Yu Kee BKT is always packed while the other…well, it lacks in that department. Jerine also mentioned that she can smell Yu Kee from meters away while the other stall is odorless. She means that in a good way of course, the distinctive aroma of herbs from well cooked BKT.

yu kee bak kut stall

I like Yu Kee coz I went there to eat straight out of rehab…it was the best meal I ever had considering the crappy food they serve inside. The difference between Kota Kinabalu Bak Kut Teh is that they serve you with small bowls of stuff instead of a huge melting (clay)pot.

yu kee bak kut teh intestines

Pork intestines

yu kee bak kut teh liver

Pork liver

yu kee bak kut teh ribs

Pork ribs

yu kee bak kut teh legs

Pork leg

yu kee bak kut teh balls

Pork balls (not the testicular kind, it’s like fish balls but made of oink)

yu kee bak kut teh lean

Pork belly (lean)

yu kee bak kut teh mystery

Mysterious part from a pig – I don’t know what this is

Tofu (no photos coz I DON’T LIKE TOFU!)

yu kee bak kut teh yew char kueh

Yew Char Kueh in BKT soup

yu kee bak kut teh spread

It was a pretty decent dinner but you want my honest opinion? It is the best Bak Kut Teh in KK and I remember loving it the last time I had it. However, those were different times when even an extra piece of chicken was much appreciated. Now that I have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it barely warrents a post.

yu kee bak kut teh us

It cost RM 72 for our meal. Do check out Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh if you’re in KK but for good ol’ BKT, go to Klang.

Huge monitor lizard

monitor lizard pulau sapi

Monitor lizards roam freely about Pulau Sapi. I saw a huge entourage of people feeding it random stuff during our trip there, all at a safe distance.

monitor lizard eat

They must be tourists coz if they were locals they would know that monitor lizards don’t attack unless you directly threaten it.

monitor lizard

It was a good diversion though. Jerine promised me to bring me to this monitor lizard bak kut teh which I am rather looking forward too. I’m a big fan of exotic meat.

Experience the 5 feet monitor lizard! Kinda taller than you Aud! ;)

Wiya Chicken Rice, Kota Kinabalu

wiya chicken rice

Wiya Chicken Rice is the oldest and most established nasi ayam outlet in Kota Kinabalu. I remember eating their pyramid shaped chicken rice with gusto, savoring every single delicious grain of rice and morsel of chicken when I first got out of rehab a couple of years back. I was determined to patronize this outlet again when I went to KK last weekend.

wiya chicken rice meal

We took a cab down to Segama for the chicken rice (BTW, KK taxis rips you off when you depart from a nice resort, going back is always cheaper) coz I REALLY wanted to eat it during the first day we arrived in KK.

wiya chicken rice stall

Wiya chicken rice was just as I remembered it – packed and busy, with heaps of people waiting for their acclaimed pyramid shaped chicken rice.

wiya chicken rice crowd

Actually, the sole USP of the place is their rice which wouldn’t look out of place in Egypt. It’s actually very simple – they have a pyramid shaped scoop.

wiya chicken rice pyramid

I’m not sure what it does for the taste, or whether the pyramid shape gives it mystical properties, but aesthetically it looks good and the rice is just like I remembered it – soft, fluffy and full of oily chicken essence so you can taste the rice.

wiya chicken rice chicken

The chilli sauce at Wiya Chicken Rice can hold its own against most other similar establishments too.

wiya chicken rice char siew

We also ordered a plate of char siew – take my advice and avoid this. In the words of Jerine: “This char siew doesn’t have any taste to it”. It’s true. It’s bland and dry. Just pass on that, you’ll thank me for it.

wiya chicken rice pyramid rice

However, their chicken is pretty succulent and the flavorful rice more than makes up for the char siew disaster. It costs RM 20.40 for the both of us inclusive of drinks.

wiya chicken rice us

It’s the favorite of locals and travellers alike for all the good reasons – they serve awesome chicken rice in a King Tut package! :)

Parasailing @ Pulau Sapi, KK

parasailing me jerine

Parasailing! KK is well known for its water sports and we took a trip by boat to Pulau Sapi. The first thing we did was parasailing.

parasailing setup

It costs RM 180 for two people – tandem on a single chute. Jerine paid for the parasailing experience – cheers! I wanted to go diving but she doesn’t have a PADI license so I figured we might as well do something together since we’re on vacation.

parasailing boat

Anyway, back to parasailing – it involves the boat driving out to open water and the operators setting up the chute. You strap yourself into this harness and the entire trip gives you 15 minutes of pure pleasure.

parasailing the kiss

Eh, wrong photo – this is supposed not what it seems okay. It was decided that in the interests of science, we would see if it’s possible to express affection while the boat speeds along and you’re up in the skies! Just a friendly…er, peck on the lips. ;)

parasailing tandem

You can ask the operator to customize the experience to your tastes – we went for full speed, full height and a full dip into the water until the shoulders.

parasailing dipping in water

It’s a lot of fun – unfortunately, we couldn’t go full throttle coz of the winds (parachute = wind resistance) but it was damn enjoyable.

parasailing tandem jerine

The experience is like nothing else – you just need to trust the harness and let go while being up, up, up in the air before dipping into the open waters of the seas.

However, being adrenaline junkies, we felt that it would be better if the boat had gone faster but with the wind conditions it’s perfectly understandable. One last note:

BEWARE OF JELLYFISH!!!!!111

Tanjung Rhu Resort, Langkawi

tanjung rhu dawn

I was in Langkawi over the weekend for a dose of sun, sea and surf (not forgetting the other s – spirits ;)). It’s about a 1 hour flight from KL and as soon as I exited the airport, there was a sign with “Poh Huai Bin” waiting for me.

tanjung rhu ambience

It was the concierge from Tanjung Rhu Resort and I was pleased with the luxurious van that provided airport transfer to the resort (complete with the driver offering you a wet towel as soon as you make yourself comfortable).

lobby

Tanjung Rhu resort is one of the best resorts in Langkawi, or so I hear. I was there to check it out for myself. The lobby is built according to an open concept with various water features (of the natural kind), a nice cool sea breeze and birds chirping.

hornbill

There’s even a real, live hornbill (and a six foot monitor lizard they call Jack). The check-in is very hassle free – it’s done in your room! This brings personalized check in to a whole new level. Heh!

check in

Your luggage is dropped in the lobby to be ferried to your room later while a nice lady shows you your room, offers you a wet towel (everyone needs a towel), takes out some ice cubes and pours a drink for you.

fruit basket

She fills in all your details too! I think every hotel should offer this service. In-room check-in FTW!

tanjung rhu room

The room is large and spacious – it has a huge tub and a gigantic bed which was rather wasted on one person. :)

It’s the small touches that makes Tanjung Rhu such a luxurious place – Time magazine on a practical shelf beside the bed, a balcony overlooking one of the pools, and chocolates at night in a proper wooden box instead of paper.

tanjung rhu beach

There is a reason Tanjung Rhu is the hotel/resort with the 3rd highest spend in Malaysia – they treat their guests really well, with an amazing memory prowess which enables them to remember your name and greet you when you walk past them! MENSA grade, seriously.

tanjung rhu pool

Oh, and another reason could be the RM 155 champagne cocktail flutes, of which I had a few. ;)

mangrove adventure

There’s no lack of activities to do in Tanjung Rhu – we went for a Mangrove Tour (RM 220) which brings you to:

monkey

Monkeys – Langkawi is INFESTED with primates, we even saw a family on the way to the airport

The mangrove swamp

mangrove tour

This reminds me of a certain scene in Apocalypse Now

This one brings back memories of The Two Towers

bats

Bat caves

me louise

Cute!

Eagles and kites

horseshoe crab

A fishing village…featuring the amazing spitting fish!

We took turns to operate the boat too – I think I freaked out the tour guide when I put it on full throttle. ;)

boat

I have to reiterate that it is of utmost importance to wear flip flops on this tour since you’re on a boat.

mangrove fruit

Leave your mosquito repellent at home since the bats here eats all of them so there’s none! :)

I also went for a swim in one of their pools – they have several, with one reserved for adults only. One interesting thing about Tanjung Rhu is that they limit the amount of children in the resort to about 5 and of the restaurants – The Rhu – does not allow kids inside.

sunset

However, one of the best features in Tanjung Rhu is the remarkable sandbar which makes it possible for you to actually WALK to the Turtle Islands over yonder. They have an awesome spa and massage too!

room service

Tanjung Rhu Resort room rates ranges from RM 1,850 to RM 3,250 per night. I recommend going for the all inclusive package where all food and drinks are free, no matter how much you eat. It also includes room service, but unfortunately not alcohol.

sunbathing

Sunbathing naked is officially prohibited by the resort though.

chill

It’s still a very chill and relaxing resort if for a nice beach holiday.

tanjung rhu end

Heck, with room rates starting from RM 1,850 per night, it better be good! ;)

Hennessy lor mee @ Setapak

Hennessy lor mee ayer panas

Becky told us about this cognac infused lor mee at Ayer Panas Hawker Center in Setapak and being a huge fan of Hennessy VSOP it was decided that we’ll pay this stall a visit after the Zorbing session.

Hennessy lor mee

The premises of the acclaimed Hennessy lor mee is very unassuming. Their kitchen is quite basic, with their claim to fame sealed by the various empty boxes of Hennessy Very Special Old Pale hanging around the place. You can’t miss it.

Hennessy lor mee jerine

I would be hard pressed to find this place if not for the GPS (remember to type Ayer Panas instead of Air Panas) but the trip was well worth it. We were famished and ordered their flagship dish but before that let me introduce you to the other dishes we had:

Hennessy lor mee hokkien mee

Hokkien Mee. It was good, not very oily, but lacks the deep fried lard that makes or breaks the dish.

Hennessy lor mee pork

I liked the kung pow pork too.

rice vermicelli in wine soup

We also ordered the rice vermicelli in wine soup with lala (RM 11). It’s another one of the famous dishes here, with slices of fresh fish providing an aquatic twist to this already twisted alcohol spiked noodles.

Hennessy lor mee mixed

Back to the Hennessy lor mee (which I remind you is their signature dish, bar none) – it was every bit as tasty as I imagined and more. The cook put a rather generous amount of Hennessy VSOP shots into the dish and the almost philanthropic portions of prawns and pork provides the protein to counter the carbohydrates.

Hennessy lor mee setapak

The Hennessy really added a lot to the taste of the lor mee – mixed into the dish, it became more than the sum of its parts – hearty, rich and sweet. It’s well worth the drive down and at RM 11, it’s practically a steal!

Hennessy lor mee us

Thanks for lunch Becky! She knows the proprietor so we got cutting queue privileges. ;)

Zorbing at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa

zorbing

Zorbing is best described as two people rolling around in an inflated spherical shaped cocoon at a relatively high velocity. It comes in dry and wet variants and I headed down to check it out with Jerine and Becky yesterday morning.

enter

Jerine booked our session at the decidedly Satanic time of 10 am on a Sunday so we all arrived there when most people are still in bed. You’re not supposed to take anything into the orb ball but I took my waterproof compact inside to film the entire jumbled up sequence.

mission

I was first up with Jerine for the dry run (pun not intended). You suit up and head into a globe which is rolled downhill. It is a bit more interesting that it sounds, for the sensation of getting your bearings completely fucked up is something which is usually only achievable by massive doses of ketamine. ;)

setting up

Setting up…

zip

Erm…Becky?

action

Damn action pose

strap

Lock and load!

on a mission

We’re on a mission!

jokes

There were a lot of jokes about getting wet, playing with balls, fisting et al contributed by all three of us. Heh! I can’t remember it all but it was funny.

air

It is fucking hot inside the Zorb ball and the staff had to constantly blow air into the ball as we were strapping up, which provided a welcome relief from the heat.

act cute

Damn act cute not cute one. >.<

I was surprised at the disorientation produced by rolling down the hill.

I was unprepared and my index finger accidentally pressed the Start/Stop button on my digicam several times, thus the disjointed video.

roll down

The staff there pushed the Zorb downhill so it goes rather fast – good old kinetic power combined with potential energy.

me becky

Becky only went for the wet orbing session and there was supposed to be four of us but her partner FFK her so I went twice on the wet orb – once with her and once with Jerine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready when the good people there pushed the ball down so I don’t have video footage of that session.

pour water

Splish splash I was taking a bath!

strap in

However, it’s a good thing I had another session with my partner Jerine. This time I made sure I turned on video mode early and didn’t touch anything. You can see the water sloshing everywhere in this video:

This is a must view to see what Zorbing looks like from the inside – don’t bother with the other two videos, just watch this one if you can only watch one.

enter zorb

Going into the orb is like going back to where you’re born – you stick your hands in and slide inside the ball.

exit orb

Exiting the wet orb is very much like being reborn again – coming out from the womb, with slick placenta fluid, I mean, water, assisting your entrance into this fucked up world.

jerine exit

Less than graceful exit. ;)

hairband

Rebecca, I believe this is your hairband.

wet wet wet

Wet wet wet!

exit zorb

It costs RM 15 for the dry Zorbing session and RM 20 for the wet Zorbing session, which is pretty reasonable considering my head still hurts from bumping into God knows what and my shoulders have bruises from the straps.

wet orb aftermath

I recommend the wet Zorbing session for maximum pleasure – they splash water inside the ball before you go in and it’s a jumble of feet, hands and various other appendages as you roll downhill, with water going into every single orifice on your body.

exit wet orb

…and guess what? The water is brownish and dirty from all the mud and getting it into your mouth tastes something awful.

changing

Hell, we had to change at my car in full view of everyone in Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. I do have more interesting photos of the two girls changing but I fear I will be castrated if I post them up. Haha! It was a fun session though – I’m glad I woke up early to do this.

me jerine

Becky told us to suck our stomachs in.

jerine ass

P/S – You’ll get drenched inside the wet Zorbing session so don’t wear white unless you want your G-string to be visible to all and sunder. ;)

big pimpin

One last photo to end the post – the obligatory big pimpin’ pose. Heh!

Casino War II: The Player Strikes Back

genting rm 6300

RM 6,300 in chips

Always remember. It could have gone either way. You could be getting all the 3 and 8’s while the dealer gets all the Queens. I won on my first and second round with bets of RM 500 each before doubling up to RM 1,000. I have won RM 1,500 before I foolishly decided to go for one last bet of RM 1,500 spread across two lines – the table maximum is RM 1,000 so I put RM 1,000 on one and RM 500 on the other.

I was dealt with a 4 and a 6 while the dealer got a 10.

Fuck! I lost everything I have won thus far.

I decided to go in with RM 1,000 bets and won the first with a 9. The dealer also got a 9 of clubs – mine was a heart, which usually wins but in Casino War it requires you to put your initial bet again to win your original bet. This means you put 2k on the table and the dealer puts 1k and starts dealing a new set of cards.

I won by a comfortable Queen while the dealer got a 6.

I put one last 1k bet and won, also by a Queen vs the dealer’s 9.

I decided I have been lucky enough and proceeded to leave, thinking I have won a clean 2k from my buy in of RM 4,400 – an arbitrary figure produced by the ATM’s RM 1,500 max per transaction done three times, RM 50 spent on food and another RM 50 spent on pints of beer.

I was puzzled when I cashed out and got only RM 6,300 – a win of RM 1,900. I have been betting in multiples of RM 500 so this is impossible.

I suspect I donated a RM 100 chip to the Genting toilet while taking photos. Oh well.

I also paid RM 150 for the taxi ride back for 2 stops. It was a most exciting cab ride home with the illegal taxi taking dangerous turns downhill with real pedal to the metal action and fast and furious driving which nearly resulted in 2 collisions and us getting sandwiched between a BMW Z3 and a van in front, eliciting a ni ah ma chow hai from our friendly tout driver.

jerine genting

This is my Lady Luck fast asleep on the trip home – I’ve never lost when I go up to Genting with her.

It could have gone either way, but it turned out good for me this time. I actually misplaced another RM 100 somewhere so I estimate I have a RM 1,300 nett win after all expenses deducted. My rent for the month is sorted!

I typed all this on my cell phone using T9 while on the thrilling ride home. It took 14 SMS drafts.

Footnote: In Casino War you play against the dealer – the highest card value wins. It’s as simple as that. :)

Rhu

rhu

Rhu is the flagship fine dining eating establishment in Tanjung Rhu resort. There’s a dress code and I can’t pronounce most of the items on the menu. It is one of three restaurants in the resort and offers a great view of the sunset in Langkawi.

rhu sunset

The ambiance is unbeatable…imagine dining al fresco, sipping wine as the sea breeze whets your appetite while you listen to the haunting refrains of a great string quartet playing in the background.

I was amazed by their talent – they had me at cello. ;) I was walking around the first day when the wind carried the violinist’s soulful rendition of Phantom of the Opera over. I could not help but be mesmerized.

dinner at rhu

Okay, back to the food at Rhu, they have a set gourmet menu priced at RM 195. I had the pleasure of dining with the manager of Tanjung Rhu – Melvin, and his daughter Isabell. I was there with Douglas and Alice (their daughter Louise was with the babysitter coz the Rhu does not allow children).

banana flambe

I opted for the a la carte menu instead of the gourmet meal. I wanted to eat seafood since that’s what you do in Langkawi! Hell, I had seafood for every single meal while I was staying at Tanjung Rhu.

Crab Kerabu Ketam

This is the Crab Kerabu Ketam. It’s served on a bed of fresh mango and avocado salad with ketta caviar and sweet spicy dressing. This cold appetizer weighs in at RM 58 and it’s well worth the price tag. The shredded crab meat goes very well with the mango, a contrast that dances across your taste buds.

Fresh Canadian Lobster Cream soup

I also had the chef’s specialty – Fresh Canadian Lobster Cream Soup (RM 49). It’s flavored with fennel and served with baked sesame seed puff pastry. I love the thick and creamy texture of the soup – it’s heartwarming, a broth for the soul as well as the stomach.

Grilled Lemongrass Lobster Tail

For the mains, I went for the Grilled Lemongrass Lobster Tail (RM 147) which is served on a seafood dumpling and a side of sauteed kai lan and mild curry sauce. I like the cuisine fusion but found the curry sauce to be a bit overwhelming for the lobster tail. I prefer the natural taste of the grilled crustacean – slightly charred on the outside, but juicy when you bite into it.

Chocolate Mille-Feuille

The dessert rounded up the meal nicely – this is the Chocolate Mille-Feuille, a concoction served with mini apple, nougat ice cream and raspberry coulis (RM 39). I would highly recommend the banana flambe, which is prepared with gusto right beside your table. True to all gourmet restaurant, the portions are small at Rhu and you won’t be hard pressed to find space for after dinner drinks.

isabell

It was a night of good food and great conversations, ranging from psychology to literature, a delicious end to the trip to Langkawi.

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