Friday, 31 August 2012

Flag Raising Ceremony at M'sian High Commission

 Johnny Lam
 Sugu & Azlan
A flag raising ceremony was conducted this morning on the grounds of the Malaysian High Commission (MHC) in the Brunei capital. Malaysians from all walks of life had gathered at the MHC at 8.30am to witness the raising of the Malaysian flag, commemorating the 55th Independence Day of Malaysia. After the flag raising ceremony, a prize presentation was held for the recently concluded PWM Basketball and Table Tennis Tournaments which was being held at the MHC last Sunday (26-08-202). The guests were later treated to some refreshments at the Chancery. Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan! For more photos, click here.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Open House @ Malaysian High Commissioner's Residence

 Group photo with His Excellency, Dato' Abdullah Sani Omar & Datin
Last night, we attended the Malaysian High Commissioner's Hari Raya Open House at his official residence in Jalan Kenangsaan. This is the second year we celebrated Hari Raya with His Excellency Dato' Abdullah Sani Omar and Datin (last year, it was held on 4 September 2011). We love the Malaysian delicacies that was prepared for the guests especially the "Laksa" which everyone gave the thumbs up! Selamat Hari Raya, Dato' & Datin and hope to see you again next year! 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Royal Open House @ Istana Nurul Iman

 Clearing security checks before entering the Palace
 A section of the crowd
 As a precaution, all visitors were scanned for abnormal temperature
 Ellin & Caroline
James, Tay, SL & Caroline
 Raja, Azlan & Nicholas
It has been quite awhile (in fact more than ten years!) since I last visited the Palace during Hari Raya. This year, on the "persistent persuasion" of our PWM President, Mr. James Lee, I finally agreed to join them on the second day of Hari Raya (21 August 2012 which is the first day of the Royal Open House) to visit the Palace. We (there were eight of us) assembled at 9.00am at James Lee's residence in Kiarong and started out in two cars for Istana Nurul Iman. Parking is a serious problem and we finally ended up parking on the side of the road near Damuan Park and walked the 500 metres or so to the Palace gates. At the Palace gates, shuttle buses took us the rest of the way to the reception area. One welcoming change is that all the interiors are now air-conditioned and much more comfortable than previous years when I was there. Back then, there were no air-conditioning and only fans were used. Before entering the dining area, we have to pass by several hawker stalls serving various delicacies, get our pick and proceeded to eat in the comfort of the cool dining hall. After "makan", it was time to queue up once again to wish the Royal Family "Selamat Hari Raya". We left the Palace at around 1.00pm. It was a refreshing experience to step foot into the Palace after so many years!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Beware of Pickpockets!

Always keep your bag in front of you. Shortening the strap would be helpful in keeping the bag closer to your chest
 Never hang your bag on your side or behind you; I learned this the hard way!
I've heard of many instances of people being victims of pickpockets and never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a victim too! It happened on Monday, 13 August 2012 at about 2.00pm in Zhuhai. We had checked out of The Guo Tai Hotel and as it was raining very heavily, we waited for about an hour in the hotel lobby for the rain to subside. We were planning on walking the short distance to GongBei Port to cross over to Macau. With an umbrella in my left hand and my trolley bag in my right hand, I was the perfect target for the pickpockets as I won't have any free hands to defend myself. There were two of them walking right behind me, one was working on my sling bag while the other acted as a shield to prevent other people from seeing what they were up to. Two of my friends were walking about 5 metres behind me and didn't noticed anything amiss. I didn't know how he managed to unzip my sling bag which was hanging on my left hip but when I turned my head, his hand retracted very fast (he was going to dip his hand into my bag a second time) and that was when I suspected something was wrong. As soon as I noticed that the zip was opened, the two pickpockets had vanished! I lost my "san zhai" duo-sim handphone which has my China Mobile and Malaysia's Digi lines and consider myself very lucky not to have lost my passport as well which was also in the sling bag together with the phone that was pickpocketed! Here are some tips on how to prevent being pickpocketed.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hotels We Stayed from 11 to 13 August 2012

The Clipper Hotel @ Dongguan
During our last 4D/3N trip to China and Macau, we stayed at 3 different hotels. On the first night (11-08-2012), we stayed at The Clipper Hotel in Dongguan. The rate was RMB360.00 per night on weekends and RMB330.00 on weekdays which was quite reasonable as the room was clean with adequate amenities. I was hunting high and low for the swimming pool (James told me there is one) but actually there were none!
The Guo Tai Hotel @ Zhuhai
On the second night (12-08-2012) we stayed at Guo Tai Hotel in Zhuhai. The hotel name sounds like "Cathay Hotel" in English! Rates here is slightly more expensive at RMB465.00 per night. The location is good as it is near to Gongbei Port (where there's a huge underground shopping centre) and there's lots of restaurants around the hotel. There are also several department stores right across the street.
Grand Waldo Hotel @ Macau
 Snapped the Galaxy Macau from the entrance of Grand Waldo
We spent our final night at The Grand Waldo Hotel in Macau which is located quite near to the Galaxy Macau. It has a small casino on the first floor and a pool next to the lobby. Staff were very helpful and helped us to purchase our ferry tickets back to Hong Kong International Airport. Rates start at HKD1,000.00 (B$160.00). The shuttle services are not as frequent as the ones at the Galaxy's or Venetian's. We were told that we could use the shuttle service to Macau Ferry Terminal but when we requested for one the next morning at 9.00am, we were told the shuttle leaves at 10.00am! We eventually ended up taking a cab instead.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Laurel Restaurant @ Lo Wu

 Roasted pigeons
 "Kueh Tiaw" speciality
 Autumn (mooncake) festival is coming soon
This morning after checking out of our hotel in Dongguan, we travelled by train to Shenzhen which was 30 minutes away. After arriving at Lo Wu Train Station, we left our luggages at the storage facility (charge was RMB10 per bag for one day) at the station. James' sister and brother-in-law were already waiting at Laurel Restaurant which is situated at Lo Wu Commercial City. Being a Sunday, naturally there was a huge crowd as the Chinese people tend to have a tendency to "yam cha" whenever they are free. This restaurant is highly recommended for its Cantonese cuisine and dim sum, not to mention its good service. It has seven branches in Shenzhen; Futian (2 branches), Nanshan, Yantian, Lo Wu (2 branhes) and Longgang. Click here for more photos.