Krabs at Krabi

crabs at krabi

Well it’s technically at Ao Nang before we took the ill fated longboat to Rai Leh. Heh! The miniature crabs comes in abundance and you can literally pick them up from the beach.

They have the Zerg Burrow research too – much like Brood Lords (or Guardians in the original Starcraft) – which also leads to the reason behind the lack of updates on the blog. I’ve been playing too much Starcraft II. >.<

Regular programming will resume REALLY soon – promise.

Soong Kee beef ball mee

soong kee beef noodles

Soong Kee beef ball mee is another legendary beef noodles place in KL. Some people prefer Ngau Kee beef noodles but after having eaten both, I vote for Soong Kee beef noodles. It’s all in the beef balls!

soong kee beef noodles uncle

Soong Kee beef ball noodles is located at Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sing. I don’t know how to get there but if you have a GPS device and and you’re near Petaling Street – go to Food and it’ll appear on the list. That’s how I got there anyway. smirk

soong kee beef ball noodles interior

Soong Kee has both air conditioned and al fresco seating and the noodles are prepared by a nice elderly gentleman which looks like he’s been doing this for ages:

The beef noodles I went for is served dry and comes with a topping of minced mystery meat which you mix into the noodles.

soong kee beef noodles mee

This is the large portion. I like the springy texture of the noodles and the black sauce (don’t know what it is coz I’m brain dead right now) is really awesome. It’s salty enough to saturate the entire bowl of tossed noodles – always a good thing.

soong kee beef ball noodles

The beef balls is served with soup on the side and according to my count there are six balls in total. It tastes better with a dash of pepper but it stands alone well enough with the spring onion infused broth. The texture is also something to be reckoned with – it’s juicy, yet firm to the bite, a feat many aspire to but few achieve.

soong kee beef ball noodles mee

Eaten together with the minced meat noodles, it’s hawker food at it’s best – neither the most hygienic nor will it win any awards for presentation – but it’s so good that it practically deserves a Michelin Star.

soong kee beef noodles large

Soong Kee beef noodles is my current favorite beef noodles. My only beef with it is that it’s so far away.

Okay, that was lame.

Royal Thai Traditional Massage

massage airport

Where else can you get a cheap massage right at the airport for just 300 baht (RM 30) for 50 minutes?

massage travel companion

There is this really chill place with water features and professional masseuses at the Krabi International Airport and since we had time to kill before our flight departed, I went for the Royal Thai Traditional Massage. My friend opted for the foot reflexology (which costs the same) instead due to her sunburn.

massage

I was heavily sun burnt and it hurt like hell when she masseuse kneaded me. However, she did some magic which involves:

  • Kneading my butt checks which magically made my piles go away
  • Twisting me in configurations that I never thought the human body can do
  • Lying under me with her knees up while I was on top and pulling me towards her bosom

massage krabi

It was that last bit where gender confusion kinda set in. She told me to relax and just put my head down. I’m not sure if those are fun bags or silicone. Hmm…

massage lady

(S)he was strong though and the massage did wonders to my tense muscles. She even applied aloe vera lotion FOC since I was so sun burnt. <3

Mango Mania Dessert Parlor and Beefy’s Steaks

mango mania frozen yoghurt

Mango Mania Dessert Parlor and Beefy’s Steaks is a two-in-one eating establishment located at Jalan Telawi, Bangsar which is puzzlingly located beside a boutique as well. It’s Fresh’s birthday and she had dinner plans so we went for lunch instead. Yes, it’s the very same Fresh who was kind enough to act as videographer for 5 hours. =D

mango mania beefy steaks

We were driving around Telawi and wanted to head to BVII when we spotted this nook in the cranny place. It seems to have been featured in a lot of publications before from the proud display of cuttings on its facade.

mango mania mango

This place appears to have started out as Mango Mania – a dessert parlor, before diversifying into steaks. They have a couple of interesting things on the menu like Mango Burger which wasn’t available when we were there.

mango mania drinks

Fresh Mango Juice (RM 11.90) and Orange-A-Peel (RM 11.90). The former is pure mango juice with sugar added and it’s thick and good. The latter has mango plus a smorgasbord of citrus fruits which Fresh ordered.

beefy steaks

Alright, now let’s get down with the Beefy’s Steaks bit!

beefy steaks salmon

Fresh ordered a salmon dish which according to my receipt is called OTHERS (RM 19). Ya ya, I’m sorry I forgot to take a photo of the menu of her order. It’s pretty good.

beefy steaks sirloin

I on the other hand stayed true to ordering steaks to a place that’s called Beefy’s Steaks – Sirloin medium rare (RM 29) with shallot brown sauce, seasonal veggies and mashed potatoes.

beefy steaks medium rare

Medium rare means medium rare over here – both the dishes tasted good but then again we were hungry so YMMV.

mango mania fresh

I have one beef (pun intended) about this place though – a bottle of Guinness FES costs RM 18 which is pub prices at a cafe environment. The bill came up to RM 115.10.

mango mania yo froz

We still had space for dessert so I went for their flagship 98% fat free frozen yogurt. This is so good I would dub it orgasmic. I ordered the Mango Dress Me Up (RM 8.90) which is Yo Froz of your choice with fresh cut mango. It’s frozen mango yogurt…with fresh mango cubes!

Mango Sago Pudding Ice

Fresh went salmon again (swimming against the flow) and ordered the Mango Sago Pudding Ice (RM 10.90) which is a HUGE bowl of fresh mango, sago, mango pudding and ice in milk blended mango puree. It was alright, but…

mango mania awards

I must admit though we kinda got nectarine overdose at the end.

P/S – What’s up with the RM XX.90 anyway? 10 cents from the next number.

Rice Bowls Restaurant, Pusat Bandar Damansara

rice bowls chicken rice

Rice Bowls Restaurant is hands down the best halal chicken rice in the world. I happen to hold the Mayorship on foursquare for this place for one simple reason – I eat here almost every day. However, a couple of weeks ago, I got a piece of shocking news – they’re closing down coz the proprietor is moving to Australia.

rice bowls restaurant

I was horrified. It took a couple of hours for the realization to sink in. Where am I going to eat lunch now? There’s nothing remotely as good as this chicken rice place in Pusat Bandar Damansara. It was a shining beacon in the rat race – a sanctuary I look forward to every single day. I’ll have to go hungry and die of starvation. :(

rice bowls chicken rice meal

Dejected, I started eating at other places again until someone told me the good news. Rice Bowls is open! It lives again! It’s the modern resurrection! I could scarcely believe my ears. I had to see it with my own eyes, being the Doubting Thomas that I am.

Behold! It’s true! Rice Bowls is open under new management. Shout it from the hills! It’s back, and so is the chef and the people working there.

rice bowls staff

I always eat the same thing over here so when I walk in the staff will just smile at their regular and go “Biasa?” and prepare my order. It’s apparently more renowned for the roasted chicken but I prefer their steamed chicken. My usual is the drumstick chicken rice with an extra bowl of rice and iced tea. I love the oil and sauce that goes into the steamed chicken and the chilli sauce is fucking awesome as well.

rice bowls chicken rice mine

My routine for eating it is to dump the extra bowl of rice in the plate and pour the chicken + oil + sauce on top. It’s almost like a ritual. I’ll eat 3/4 of the rice + sauce and save the 1/4 virgin chicken rice for eating with chilli sauce. I’ll down the hot soup after that and finish the meal with the iced tea.

rice bowls chicken

It used to cost RM 8.10 for a drumstick with chicken rice and an extra bowl of rice (free) plus iced tea, but under the new management, there is no more free extra rice. It costs RM 9.60 for my regular meal now so that makes an extra bowl of chicken rice RM 1.50.

rice bowls lunch

I don’t mind though. It is indeed the best halal chicken rice in the world and I’m glad to see that it’s back!

Cliff diving in Ton Sai

cliff diving

This is perhaps the primarily reason I went to Krabi. We went from Ao Nang to Railey and took a boat to the Phi Phi Islands as our route. Cliff diving is only available in Ton Sai, which is a short longboat ride away from Phi Phi Don.

Cliff diving is a very unregulated sport – basically, you do it at your own risk. You’ll have to place full trust on the guide too coz he’s not jumping and you’re sure you’ve seen rocks underneath the cliff.

cliff diving swimming

What cliff diving is all about:

1. Chartering a longboat to take you to Ton Sai
2. Finding a suitable cliff and swimming from the longboat to the cliff
3. Climb up the razor sharp rock face to the jump off point
4. Leap off the cliff into the water below
5. Swim back to the longboat (unless you see a pool of red slowly spreading, then don’t bother, coz you’ve jumped into rocks smirk)

The first one we did was 10 meters. The longboat stopped and I swam to the cliffs with the guide who showed me where to jump. I didn’t bring my digicam along coz I figured it won’t survive the 10 meter plunge.

cliff diving climbing

I really, really wish I did coz the cliff that you have to climb is fucking dangerous. It’s not rocks, it’s more like razor sharp outcroppings – millions of them – which is where I cut my hands too. There is no path per se, so if you slip you’ll be impaled by the sharp rocks. It looks like this:

cliff razor sharp

No joke.

I was a bit wary coz the guide was pulling my (third) leg about injuries to the family jewels. He claimed his balls hit the water hard at a 10 meter jump and insisted I protect it. :(

The 10 meter cliff dive was from an outcropping of rock and the view down is fantastic. You get a thrill from looking down, not knowing if there’s rocks underneath and then jumping.

I urged my travel companion to try it as well and she did, much to my surprise. Kudos! She figures she can only do “crazy shit” like this with me so she might as well do it while she’s there. smirk

I wanted more so I asked the guide to bring me to the 30 meter point, and off we went!

It followed the same routine of swimming from the long boat -> climbing up a jagged razor sharp cliff that I swear will cause serious injury if you misstep -> the jump into water. I was at the 20 meter point and wanted to climb further up.

My guide won’t go. He said it was too dangerous and despite me insisting on going on and paying him more money, he still won’t do the precarious climb to 30 meters. I offered him 500 baht extra (RM 50). It’s a no. He pointed to the jump site. It was a 20 meter jump off a branch of a tree.

This is one of the MOST ill conceived on-the-spot, “Hey, let’s make something up” seat-of-the-pants shit I’ve ever seen. I looked at my guide incredulously. He was dead serious. I was going to climb out off a cliff at 20 meters to a branch of unknown integrity and jump from it.

Call it a leap of faith. smirk

I did it, landed badly (if you see the video, you’ll notice it took me a while to resurface coz it knocked the breath out of me). I still have chest pains to this very day. Crap.

I still insisted on going for the 30 meter jump though but the guide was vehemently against it.

The reason?

cliff diving guide

He’ll get into trouble if I die.

(and I thought we had chartered an unlicensed longboat that would agree on anything)

Splish splash I was taking a bath!

sony cybershot tx5 underwater photo

It’s very difficult to pose properly underwater due to the natural buoyancy of our bodies. /science teacher mode

ice

I highly applaud this group who practiced their underwater shots until they got it spot on.

sony cybershot tx5 my water moments

I was at the My Water Moments with TX5 event at Mali Cove, Sunway Lagoon on the 7th of August. I had to wake up really early and dragged myself out of bed but it was well worth it!

sony bas

Sony events are always awesome and this one was no different.

me aud tzia

Here’s Aud and Tziaa!

jestina

Jestina! w00t! The water was very enticing with the heat so I was very tempted to take a dip. You know how I am with temptation, it always wins. >.<

yuen karen

I went for a swim before the event started and Yuen Yee and Karen was kind enough to oblige carrying my t-shirt back to our table (since I neglected to take it off before I went into the water, that was how appealing it was).

friends feet

Feet friends! Jesus walked on water. You can too! =D

sony cybershot tx5 event

My Water Moments was organized for Sony Cyber-shot TX5 owners as well as bloggers and the Nuffnang contingent was there in droves!

crowd

It aims to highlight the features of the camera by a series of games and I must admit, most of it was very creative!

me karen

Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink! =D

temperature proof

The first game highlights the temperature proof feature of the digicam several working TX5 cameras was placed in a box of ice cubes and the groups who managed to get the most in a set won. There was a lot of frantic digging around the ice for this activity as well as abuse meted out to the digicams in the spirit of competition…

throwing cams

…but have no fear! The second task was actually THROWING the TX5 INTO tubes from a distance of three meters. These tubes are color coded, matching the colors of the cameras and you’re supposed to throw the right color into the right tube. The digicam is shock proof so this was also partly to demonstrate that.

The third task illustrates the dust proof characteristics of the camera a lot of the cameras was placed into a box filled with Styrofoam and you have to dig out 10 of each color.

dust proof

I saw some of the groups being overly enthusiastic and throwing the digicams to the floor but each and everyone survived.

pure win

The digicams I mean, the participants obviously are still alive and kicking. ;)

event

The fourth task is one of the more interesting ones.

sony cams underwater

You’re supposed to dive underwater and grab the water proof TX5 which were floating under the water. I took this video with my very own TX5 and check out how trippy it is:

The digicams were floating around and moving with the currents in Mali Cove so it’s not easy to actually do this. I tried and I got a bad case of eye irritation from the chlorine in the water. It’s still a damn good video though and one of my best from this session. :)

pose station

The fifth and final task is at the Underwater Pose Station (where everyone can pose underwater and get a free photo developed). This is rather challenging as you have to be creative and defy gravity, er, I mean buoyancy by staying underwater long enough to come out with a great group pose.

Consider this the Top 5 Things You Can Do With The TX5. smirk

people

A lot of groups in teams of 5 participated – kudos to the winners for they worked hard for it.

food

Lunch was provided and it’s a proper catered lunch instead of packed stuff there’s rice dished out, chicken curry, vegetables, an omelet with generous ingredients, and honey chicken. I loved the cake and ice cream provided as dessert too.

winners

We had a lot of fun at the My Water Moments with TX5. I liked how they blended the features of the camera into games which reflects the characteristics of it. The food was good, the games were great, and the crowd was awesome!

My only beef with it is my failed JAWS attempt. No one even noticed me. FML max.

Rai Leh Rendezvous

railey

How do I even begin to describe this epic adventure?

railey longboat

We just checked into our hotel in Ao Nang and decided to head down to Railey East at about 7 pm since I read that there’s algae there which glows brilliant blue in the night. The bioluminescence is supposed to surround your body in “a million tiny blue lights” so we headed down despite the longboat telling us that we HAD to get back at 8 pm coz that’s when the last boat departs.

railey travel

I reckon we could just pay any longboat operators hanging around to get us back at 12 am. We were going to Wing It ™ in the true spirit of ADVENTURE! =D

The trip to get into the longboat sounded the death toll for my Blackberry. To reach the longboats, you have to wade through waist high water and I wanted to Twitpic everything since I didn’t pay RM 38 for BIS international roaming for nothing. Unfortunately, everything got wet, including my friend’s bag and my Blackberry.

railey beach

That’s okay we’re still going to enjoy the glowing algae! By the time we got there it was nearly dark and we were starving so we ordered food at the incredibly over-commercialized island. There are bars right on the beach and food stalls which were predominantly dominated by Caucasians.

railey food

We jumped into the water after that and went for a swim towards the elusive bioluminecent algae.

It was nowhere to be found.

I don’t know if it’s coz of the rain (we were thoroughly soaked) or the rocky seas but the algae just wasn’t there.

We finally gave up trying and decided to create our own creature instead – The Beast With Two Backs ™.

beast with two backs

Trying to do that while in that weather is nigh impossible. The waves kept pushing us inland, the rocks lying under the beach kept cutting us, and I lost my fucking underwear.

* Watching this video is discouraged – you can’t see jackshit from the darkness

We finally gave up and just went back to the beach. No longboats in sight.

We walked to Railey East. Nope, no longboats either. We walked back to Railey West and a kind dude manning a tattoo place with dreadlocks said we could try taking the employee only longboat back – it departs at 10:30 pm.

railey smoke

* The soaked cigarette is still smokable, just a bit…watered down smirk

However, there was no guarantee that we can actually get on the boat and it doesn’t stop in Ao Nang so we’ll have to take ANOTHER taxi from there.

We walked back to Railey East to play Spot The Longboat Operator ™. I reckon the game would have been fun if we were not thoroughly drenched, with no cell phones (my friend left hers at our hotel in Ao Nang and my BB died a watery death).

rock

* The rock that thwarted our intimacy

I think we must have walked back and forth from Rai Leh East beach and Rai Leh West beach at least 7 times in vain before the same dread locked guy told us that it’ll probably would be easier just to stay here.

diamond cove resort

There are several problems though:

  • I don’t have a cell phone (my BB died in the rain and waist deep water while getting on the longboat)
  • We were both drenched with no towels and no change of clothes
  • I lost my fucking underwear to the tides of Rai Leh
  • My digicam (which is thankfully waterproof) is running very low on battery since it hasn’t been charged since I got here
  • We have to go to Phi Phi Islands the next day
  • I left my medication in Ao Nang FML max

Finally, we were so exhausted, wet and bearing cuts from our attempts to recreate the cocktail Sex On The Beach (or Sex In The Sea rather) that we just decided to stay on Railey. There’s a hotel called Diamond Cave Resort which goes from 2000-3000 baht (RM 200-300) per night but since is low season we managed to get a rate of 500 baht (RM 50) – a tip from the dread locked dude again.

railey strip

Thankfully we had a bottle of vodka with us or else I’ll have withdrawal symptoms from the lack of GABA agonists (clue to what meds I’m taking LEGITIMATELY) – no need for a degree in particle physics for that.

We were a bit concerned about missing the boat to Phi Phi Islands the next day but we woke up super early.

I had wrung my clothes and left them to dry at the balcony but it still wasn’t dry.

It was an adventure indeed – one we dub the Rai Leh Rendezvous.

railey hotel

One thing about hotels in Krabi though – they’re very big on animals as towels. smirk

Time rules over us without mercy

We never turn our back on it and we never ever allow ourselves the SIN of losing track of time.
- Cast Away

fuck i'm late

I am very particular about time. It harks back to an incident where I got locked in the public library when I was a kid coz I went to the gents near closing time. We didn’t have cell phones then so it took a while for my mom to realize I was missing and even longer to get security to open the grill. Needless to say, that experience was rather unnerving since I still remember it.

ellesse time

Ironically, I’m not much of a watch person. I keep track of time by using the computer’s lower right clock feature when I’m at work and a cell phone when I’m out. However, I can appreciate having a fine timepiece. A lot of people consider a watch an important accessory for men – a status symbol of sorts. Personally, the importance of a watch can be summed up with one word:

HINT

This only works with watches. Let’s say you have an important appointment to go to and you’re in a similarly important discussion. Dilemma! You wouldn’t want to be late for the next meeting and you ALSO don’t want to offend the people in the current discussion.

Solution:

michelle watch

Make sure you discreetly glance at your watch when the other person is watching. This will generally project a hint that you’re in a bit of a rush and allow you to exit gracefully without a social faux pas smirk.

This won’t work with my Blackberry since people would assume I’m just checking work emails.

That’s the importance of a watch and now I know why so many working professionals wear one. ;)

I’m not in the habit of wearing chronographs so it surprised my friend Michelle when I had the ellesse Sportivo on. I have to admit, it looks very nice and she was rather impressed with it as well.

ellesse

ellesse started out as a sports apparel brand from Italy but have since expanded into timepieces with ellesse TIME. I got one of the Sportivo collection for men. This stainless steel ellesse watch contrasts well with the black textured PU middle links around the bracelet. It has a very cool black dial too – large and stylish with three separate counters and a date display.

ellesse sportivo

This watch has all the features a good timepiece would have, like a tachymeter, but the best thing about the ellesse Sportivo is that it looks good and feels solid. The black/silver color scheme works very well – the red highlights is a real attention grabber too! It’s also water resistant up to 100 meters so you won’t have to take it off when you’re in the pool.

underwater

1 SECOND. YOU. THE WORLD.

ellesse is running a contest where you share a photo and story about a touching moment in your life. It’s really simple to join and here is my entry:

mom pre op

If I have 1 second with the world, I won’t give the usual Miss Universe crap about “World Peace”.

I don’t exactly have a very close relationship with my mother. We were always at odds for as long as I can remember and truth to be told, I used to secretly blame her for a lot of my personality traits. She worries a lot, over small and insignificant matters and somehow that passed on to me during my formative years.

She expects nothing less than perfection from me, using the rotan and vacuum cleaner tube liberally when I got anything less than 90/100 for my school exams. 90 would get a disapproving frown and a scolding. 95 would get a nod of acknowledgment, not approval. 99 got me a slight smile in the form of an almost insignificant upwards twitch in the corner of the mouth, which is quickly replaced by the oft repeated comment – “It’s just 1 mark short of 100. You could have done better.”

I remember that very well coz my dad wasn’t around when I was in primary school so all the insane expectations kinda left me with very low self esteem. I figured I just wasn’t good enough for the world. I was never going to be exceptional. I will always be mediocre.

I don’t blame her now though. I guess time and age changes perceptions.

It’s hard to be a parent.

(I also don’t want to be like Eminem – constantly whining about his mom for causing his problems smirk)

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of months ago and had to undergo an operation. I flew down to New Zealand before she went for the surgical procedure and one thing that surprised me was how well she handled everything. She trusted in God and was never fearful.

She was strong.

The trip also made me realize how estranged we’ve become.

She made it through and is recovering now, and I think my newborn niece had a lot to do with that. I wonder though, would I ever forgive myself for not setting things straight if she didn’t make it through?

mom post op

I’m always closer to my dad and although my mom nags a lot, she does it coz she loves me in her own twisted way (and I mean that in an affectionate manner). :)

I’m not going to pretend to be magnanimous and go on about stopping poverty, helping starving kids in Africa, or somehow magically cease the tense situation in the Middle East when the UN couldn’t even accomplish it in decades.

If I have one second with the world, I would just like everyone to be happy about themselves. No anxiety, stress, or self doubt. I want everyone to accept themselves and be proud of who they are.

I’ve learnt to appreciate all the things in life that I have now. The important things – my friends and family. Especially my mom, since our relationship has always been strained and I aim to improve that. I’m just thankful that it’s not too late for that.

ellesse watch

Do you have you own story to tell? Join the Touching Moment contest and stand a chance to win an ellesse watch!

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