Monday, May 31, 2010

World's Longest Place Name - Bangkok

Two years ago I talked about a few fun facts of Bangkok and its funny names for places and buildings.

Bangkok (Capital city of Thailand) used to be known in Thai as Krung Thep (for short)


Given by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the full name was officially:

"Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit"


It is also listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the World's longest place name.

It's quite a mouthful.

To date, no one I know has manage to speak it out fluently or correctly with or without looking at the words.

Bloody hell. It's harder than memorizing the French Revolution in my high school history!


But! I managed to get a local Thai guide to pronounced this out for me. Here's a video.




Can you say it out in one verse?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Iphone Stolen

Damn emo day for me.

My Iphone was stolen today at Pavilion while attending the World Milk Day.

It was my own carelessness also la.

But I just left the table for less than a minute before this guy came and "conveniently" took my Iphone 3GS left on the previous table and LEFT!

By the time I realised my phone wasn't with me (which was less than 5 mins since I left it), it was obviously no where to be found.

How do I know? Because the whole thing was captured on CCTV!!

F*ck that bastard.

I hope he rots. I hope the Iphone explode in his face also!

ARGH!!

Damn no mood to blog. :(


Might upload the video of the CCTV when I have the time.

Freaking super emo. It's not just about the monetary value of the phone (don't know about you, but yes the phone is expensive la for me); it's a sentimental phone my baby got for me for our anniversary during our Europe trip together.

It was a UK phone and it was only recently legally unlock from O2. Damn that lucky bastard.

Stupid local telco can't help me trace that fella down (my sim card was active even after two hours after being stolen, I think that person don't know how to switch it off), said unless I work closely with CIA they can't do anything about it. I don't want to mention which telco la, just damn sad la.

Maybe when tomorrow I feel better I will tell more about it.


S.i.g.h.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chomel~!

We managed to survived countless macet ("traffic jam" in Indonesia) in Jakarta and made it back to KL at midnight last night.

It was a good shopping spree trip for each of us, though I wasn't even intending to spend in the first place, it's hard not to in Bandung and Jakarta.

Especially when you can get your hands on these cool boutique clothes, really unique and creative and obtainable no where else but Indon.

chic me
Bought all these in a boutique (or two) in Bandung. All of us went crazy. Oh, shoe from Crocs, not from indon.


Totally love my purchases. This outfit is SOO ME!

you're what you tweet


Word.

cool hat and shirt


Thanks Garuda Malaysia for sending us there.

group photo in accor

all bloggers: (from left) Thomas, Hanis, Me, Joe, Niki, and Ivy (our Garuda mommy)


We call it the #chomel group (twitter hashtag). Inspired by Hanis.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

South Africa Wild Safari: Dancing with the Lions

Following my previous arrival to the National Kruger Park in South Africa, despite the new's report of an bitten to death poacher by lions, we arrived safely and have separately checked in to our respective villas on the campus.

entrance of kruger park


Kruger Park is designed in such a way that if you're living nearby, you're welcomed to drive in everyday at certain designated hours to roam the safari/park in your own car.

As long as you stick to the road, a few simple rules (like don't run down animals); you do not necessary need a guide to bring you around the whole safari.

Thing is, what fun would it be if you don't stay in the park, live the park and smell the safari-ness of your surroundings, and to wake up every morning at 3am just to drive out to view sunrise like this,

sunrise


Or even to walk the bushes on feet, feel the wilderness under your soles.


It's essential to have a guide, in my opinion, if you're not much of an animal spotter (see that little shadow hiding in the bush?) and you have limited days in Kruger Park.

black rhino hiding


It's not always every time there's animals to be spotted.

More often than not it really depends on how experienced your guide is in tracking down these animals, his network to his fellow colleagues on the walkie-talkie, and of course, your dumb luck.

lioness at night
oh yea. try having a lioness stumbled onto your road every time you want to see one.


And keep in mind that this is the wild, and there will be times you don't see a spec for hours on end.

But so what, enjoy being there, under the moonlight, the vastness of the wilderness out there.

moon


It's the safari for god's sake!

You never know, you might run into something on your way back to the campus at night.

python on the road at night


It also makes spotting a big animal once in a while even more rewarding.

Afterall, you only get to see it here in South Africa or we're only ever gonna watch it on Lion's King movie.

striding
Simba I love you!


It's an enthralling emotion every day.

I'd always knew I would visit the safari one day.

bushwalking


It's like that inking feeling in you that you knew one day you would do something you always wanted to do in this lifetime, because it's part of your dream and also because you can't really afford to achieve that dream right this moment.

blue tip bird


It's always the case, isn't it? The thought: perhaps one day in the distant future, when you're able, financially and time wise, you would take the time off and head out there to explore.

monkeys


And then that one day came when Nestle Drumstick stepped in and fulfilled my dream, I know it's a cheesy line but hey, it's true.

If it weren't for them, no way I'd be standing here, experiencing the most highlighted moment in my life, pinching myself every two hours that I wasn't dreaming. That I was really there!

Whilst still in my twenties!

looking


hippo


To be there and then, exploring the wild and seeking adventure beyond every layer of bush, to be close to these big animals that might not exist in the next few generations.

To be seeing this!

yawn


And this!

big pussy


So close that I could almost touch them, and yet if I do, partial of my limb would probably be detached physically.

Watching wild and endangered species coming out in view in silence.

mommy and baby black rhino
(Black Rhinoceros is critically endangered and might not last till our next generation)


both looking here


The experience made me wanna weep.
(Though I was actually screaming instead of crying)

I even remember this time we spotted a giant spider, bigger than the size of both my palms combined, spewing its web in the bush on one of our bush walk.

big spider


The webs were so strong you could flick a finger on it and it would merely twiddle, like a guitar string.

big poisonous spider


I have studied some of these animals, not extensively, just merely scratching the surface, for as long as I have been aware of helping to keep our endangered animals alive.

You simply could not imagine the excitement and joy in my heart when I was placed next to them. Some of these animals are larger than life, could have easily stomped me to death in one beat, and yet they are threatened by human race to extinction.

african elephant


lion's head


Endangered or not. I am thankful. To be placed in nature's beauty while they roam freely around me. To be in the generation while animals are still in existence. To be there.

panemas


antelope


zebra


South Africa is truly beautiful.
(enchanting if not)

safari sunset leaves


sunset sky


beautiful south african sunset


Even on the last day, I was reluctant to leave. It's not easy to depart from all these and return to the jungle city life I know back in KL.

But one day I will be back. I know it.

bush walking in kruger park


Till then, I would keep these memories alive in me.

Goodbye South Africa.


For now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Africa Safari: Arriving

One of the biggest highlights on my South Africa trip was the visit to the Kruger National Park.

Or most would call it: Safari.

safari sunset


A tourist attraction Africa has long been famous for.

giraffes
to see animals! in the wild! or be seen.


More correctly known, Kruger National Park is one of the biggest game reserves in South Africa.

And after three days in Cape Town, that's where we were heading to.

kitty eyes


If you see a green patch on where the arrow is pointing, that, my friend, would be the safari I'd be living in for the next three days. ;) *leaping in joy*


There are two ways to get to Kruger National Park:

One is to drive. Which of course would take you 24 hours on the wheel according to google maps, which meant realistically, it would take 3 whole days of driving.

So we opted for the second, more sane, choice, which was to fly.

plane


It wasn't anything fancy, bigger than a propeller, smaller than an Ikea truck.

But the ride would get us to our destination in two hours instead of two days.


And then we arrived in probably the most beautiful airport in the whole of South Africa.

kruger airport


Looks like a long house to me. A long house that houses a family of 9 generations.

(or known as "rumah panjang" - a sort of native house in Malaysia that's incredibly long and will be extended whenever a new family in the family is formed)


And because unlike a normal traveler, we don't travel like normal traveler do, we travel in style.

Instead of camping out in the park like most budget-limited backpacker would, we were sleeping in the Safari chalet/hut on the park.

thriple sharing chalet


Equipped with air-cond and attached toilet.

twin sharing safari chalet


My "neighbour" Pete insisted to be loyal to his brand and hung Nestle Drumstick banner outside his hut.

chalet with nestle drumstick banner


I could already imagine, having a glass of wine sitting outside the porch at night underneath the eerie moonlight in the middle of one of the biggest safari in the middle of no where in South Africa, this has got to be the life.

moon
Although it also made the whole werewolf myth much ghoulish to tell, thanks to the venue.


Instead of driving aimlessly around ourselves in our own rented cars, we were driven around by professional park guides in gateless jeeps.

jeep


You know how most safaris in other parts of South Africa have their jeeps fenced up for tourists because they would feed the animals, aka lions, through the jeep to lure the animals, well, not in Kruger Park.

It's a good move because then wild animals would not turn to human or jeep-looking creature to look for food, hence they would not be dependent on us, or attack us when hungry.

jeep full of people
imagine all the good food on the truck.


This gave us a lot of room and "visuals" to being in a safari. The feeling, I can tell you, is really overwhelming, and scary at times.

some animals


Though sometimes the closest animal that would get to our jeep was a possum looking animal that looked half like a rat and half a meerkat (think Timon from Lion's King movie).

standing up


Then on top of that, we have professional rangers driving these jeeps to look for animals for us!

shot bullet
playing with a rifle bullet by the ranger... woooo...


A service that's not cheap when you're forking out of your own pocket.

I was pretty hyped about the entire idea of living in the safari together with the animals.

Especially wild animals I don't get to see everyday, and definitely not in the wild.

Animals that otherwise would consider endangered, dangerous or too wild to be standing in the wild outdoor side by side.

It was all set. I packed my bags. Got on the plane. And ready for another three days of adventure.


The only problem, now, was that...

Well..

That morning, before I got on the plane to Kruger,

I flipped open a local English newspaper at the airport and this was the first article that was shoved at my face.

missing person in kruger


Read: "...Suspected poacher devoured by lions in Kruger National Park."

o.O........

First thing went through my mind:


"I'm F*cked."




kitty eyes


Don't even pull the puppy dog eyes on me, missy.

I have my eyes on you. *two fingers eye to eye flipping back and front gesture*

Friday, May 21, 2010

World Milk Day

Yes there is such a day called World Milk Day (this 1st June 2010).

It’s to celebrate the goodness of milk!


Since World Milk Day is coming,

let’s talk about milk!

milk


Milk contains lots of calcium, a glass of milk provides 30-40% of our daily calcium requirement.

I always keep a pack of Dutch Lady Milk ready at home.

And it has to be Full Cream Milk. Because it tastes nicer, and nothing beats a good tasting milk.

Well, I normally use it for cooking and to put in cereals. I never like to buy a carton because I would never finish it in one go. And it would quite a waste to leave the rest of the carton in the fridge to let it go bad.

So usually I would get a six-pack and use it one by one. It’s slightly more expensive than the carton one but it lasts longer and minimal wastage!

dutch lady milk packs


My favourite milk is Chocolate Milk.

It’s milk and it tastes like chocolate! What’s not to like?!

I also kinda see it as my instant energy drink when I go travelling.

bringing it to travel
Taken one morning before my departure to Cherating beach.


Lazy to grab breakfast? Go for chocolate milk.

Lazy to look for a place to lunch in London? Head into a mini-mart and grab a chocolate milk pack.

Instant. Hunger. Cure.


And unlike curbing hunger with candy or snacks, it gives me the energy I need for any outdoor activities.

playing trampoline
Crazy over trampoline in Cherating Club Med


Common case is that I would have too much fun and no time to eat. LOL.

trampoline
Weee.....


Besides, it gives me enough protein, zinc, carbs and vitamins to last me throughout the afternoon. Well, it helps being a small eater. ;)

Do you also know that Vitamin D in milk helps strengthens your bones? As well as Vitamin A that aids in bone growth and boost immunity and reproduction functions. There are so many good things about milk that so many people take for granted.

Thus having one in my fridge at all times is a must.

things to have in my fridge


In fact, I was about to buy a whole pack of Dutch Lady Chocolate Milk but I heard there’s a limited edition milk packs coming out so I’m going to wait out for that.

Insane?

Well, you won’t think so when you see this new Limited Edition design for the Dutch Lady Chocolate Milk that’s about to launch.


cho low fat


Super cuuutteeeee okay!

(These two designs were two winning entries by two art college students: Amelia Ong Bee Leng & Ten Ming Khang)

IMG_1285 resized
oo... the guy who designed my fav chocolate milk pack looks cute.


I want!!!! (not the guy, the chocolate milk la)

Look at the chocolate milk “leaving” out from packet, lol.


Which is why I am going to be attending a very grand event hosted by Dutch Lady Malaysia on the 30th May 2010 in Pavilion KL at 10am.

Dutch Lady Malaysia will be giving out more than 250,000 of the two Limited Edition World Milk Day UHT packs. Weee!!!!

In fact, they’re going to set a Malaysia Book of Records for “Largest Milk Drinking Event”.

STGOM masthead_small


If you want to be part of that record, drink free milk or get your hands on the limited edition milk packs (like me), head to Pavilion that day at 10am sharp!

Target is 2500 people.

energy resized


There will be other activities and performances that day. Few celebrities making an appearance are: Shakila, Alif Satar, Dayana, Sharizan Borhan, Reshmonu (!!), Najwa, Khoo Cai Lin.

I heard Amber Chia will be there too.

I want to see her new baby bump!

amber pregnant2
Damn motivated to go.


Apart from that, I think they’re running a contest to give away a HOUSE!!!! Find out more at the event.

See you at the event!