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DiGi WWWOW 2014

THIS IS A STICKY POST

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I am no famous blogger or an expert in travelling or have had adventures while travelling around the world. No, I am not. But I make it a point to write about whatever adventures that I embarked on, as well as to write about whatever interesting places that I stumbled upon.

With that, I tried my luck in DiGi WWWOW 2014.

Here comes your part. If you like whatever I have been writing so far, or the photos, or the stories, or even if you don’t like this blog at all but you accidentally found it, please, please vote for me in DiGi WWWOW 2014.

Voting starts from now until 31st May 2014, after which the judges will determine who will be the winner.

I don’t have any hope at all since I am suck with popularity voting [Lol], but your votes matter to me. And voting can be done everyday, i.e. 1 vote per day. So, I would appreciate it a lot if you can vote everyday, every morning when you reach office or every night before you sleep. Hahaha.

To vote, click the logo below:

DiGi WWWOW 2014

For more info on DiGi WWWOW 2014, click here.

Abundance of thanks!

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Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 16: A Walk Along Avenue Lane Xang, Vientiane

Previously: Part 15 – Ho Phra Keo, Vientiane

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Still Day 5: Friday, 30 August 2013

Soon after I exited Ho Phra Keo, I wandered around, just walking without any destination. Whilst walking, I stumbled upon a big mansion with a huge flag pole inside its compound. I looked at the signboard and it is written there ‘Palais Presidentiel’. Quickly, my subconscious French mind translated that to the Presidential Palace (Well, I think even those who don’t read French will also understood what that means).

Lepas keluar dari Ho Phra Keo, aku sambung jalan-jalan sampailah aku nampak satu bangunan besar dengan tiang bendera besar giler kat dalam laman dia. Aku tengok papan tanda, tertulis ‘Palais Presidentiel’. Oh, istana presiden rupanya.

The sign of the Presidential Palace.

I took several photos of the ‘palace’, which looks more like a mansion to me. For a developing country which is still struggling with its economy to have such a huge mansion like this for its president really triggered my mind. I was made to understand that there are a lot of people in Laos who are still struggling with their daily life, but this is a huge mansion and its maintenance cost per se might have save several needy families. But, well… that is life anyway. Never fair.

Aku ambil gambar istana yang nampak macam rumah agam pada aku. Entahlah, aku berbelah bagi. Bagi aku, kalau istana presiden besar macam ni, macam mana kos selenggara dia kan? Mesti boleh bagi makan dekat ramai lagi anak-anak miskin kat Laos ni. Hidup…hidup. Mana pernah adil kan.

The Presidential Palace.

After I have done taking photos, than a young lady clad with an olive shirt, a jeans and a high heels stopped me. “Excuse me, can you please take my photo?”, she asked nicely whilst showing her handphone to me. Well, why not. So, I took her photo with the Presidential Palace as the backdrop.

Lepas  dah selesai ambil gambar, seorang perempuan pakai baju warna hijau olive, seluar jean dan kasut tumit tinggi tahan aku, mintak tolong ambil gambar dia sambil pass handphone dia. Takkan nak cakap tak boleh kan. Haha. Aku pun ambil gambar dia berlatarkan Istana Presiden.

I passed her handphone back and was about to continue walking when I realized, she was actually looking at me as if wanted to ask me something. I turned to her smiled before she asked me “Where are you going now?“. I told her that I have no idea. I checked my Lonely Planet and Patuxai seems like a good idea. “Can I follow you?“, she then asked.

Aku pass balik handphone dia dekat dia. Lepas tu dia pandang je aku. Dia tanya, “Where are you going now?”. Aku cakap aku pun tak tau. Ingat nak pergi Patuxai. Dia tanya lagi, “Can I follow you?”.

“It’s good to have a company since I am alone, so yes, no problem”, I told her. So we walked together to the Patuxai whilst I interviewed her during our walk.

Memandangkan aku pun tengah seorang diri, aku cakap kat dia boleh aje. Dia pun ikut aku dan kami berjalan ke Patuxai. Sambil-sambil tu, boleh aku interview dia.

Wow, Maybank is good to penetrate even the Laos’ market.

She told me her name is Nung Booti, a local from the northern part of Laos. She migrated to Thailand for work. Through her, I knew that although different in nature, most people in Laos can understand the Thai script vice versa. They can even understand each other’s language though spoken differently. I think it is more or less like Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, though different in nature, they are still intelligible.

Dia bagitau aku nama dia Nung Booti. Dia asal Laos tapi pindah ke Thailand untuk cari rezeki. Dia cerita kat aku yang tulisan dan bahasa Laos dan Thailand ni, walaupun tak sama, tapi masih boleh faham lagi. Aku rasa macam Bahasa Malaysia dan Bahasa Indonesia lah kot. Walau berbeda/berbeza, tapi masih bisa/boleh difahami.

The widest boulevard in Vientiane.

Initially I had a hard time pronouncing her name. See, her name is Nung. Theoretically, the pronunciation should be Nung as in moon. With the U. But she told me it is like Ning or Neng as in mint and germ respectively. I asked her “So, why the U? Should be I or E for it to sound that way!”. She laughed and said “I don’t know. That is how it is spelled!”.

Asalnya, aku jadi payah betul nak sebut nama dia. Nama dia ejaan Nung. Jadi, aku ingat bunyi dia Nungla. Tapi dia sebut kejap macam Ning, kejap macam Neng. Aku tanya dia, “So, why the U? Should be I or E for it to sound that way!”. Dia gelak je. Dia kata, “I don’t know. That is how it is spelled!”.

The Patuxai. Clap-clap… almost there!

Whilst walking along the Lane Xang Avenue, I also saw her struggling with her high heels. I wore a flip flop, and it was the best decision ever since it was comfortable to walk along the Avenue without much hassle. So, I looked at her and shook my head. She agreed that it was her bad decision of the day.

Sepanjang jalan kat Persiaran Lane Xiang ni, aku tengok dia payah betul jalan dengan kasut tumit tinggi dia. Aku pakai selipar Jepun, jadi senang selesa je jalan. Aku geleng tengok dia. Dia setuju dia kata kat aku tu lah keputusan paling salah pernah dia buat untuk hari ni.

Patuxai… looks so grand but at the same time… bare?

A walk along the Avenue was a leisurely one. It was a very long avenue starting from the Presidential Palace up until the roundabout with the Patuxai in the middle of it. Nevertheless, it was a safe walk since pedestrian walk was built parallel to the road and the quality of the road was superb. No wonder since it was built on the donation by the Japanese government.

Jalan sepanjang Persiaran ni rileks je. Jalan dia jauh, dari Istana Presiden sampailah bulatan yang ada Patuxai kat tengah-tengah bulatan tu. Tapi, jalan kat sini selamat aje sebab ada laluan pejalan kaki. Jalan dia pun cantik, guna rigid concrete. Sebab jalan ditaja kerajaan Jepun agaknya, jadi kualiti pun bagus.

My turn to ask for Nung’s help. Lol.

Soon, I saw the Patuxai and was so excited to see this monument right before my eyes. I did not have the chance to visit the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile in Paris yet, so to see the Asian’s version of it was more than enough for me. We both crossed the road before arriving at Patuxai’s (Gate of Victory) compound. I looked back towards the point where we started walking and was shocked to see the distance.

Elok je sampai hujung jalan, aku nampak Patuxai. Terus tersengih lebar, teruja. Tak dapat pergi Arc de Triomphe dekat Paris, dapat pergi Patuxai pun jadilah. Nama pun sama maksud, Gate of Victory. Kami berdua lintas jalan dan masuk kawasan laman Patuxai. Aku pandang balik jalan yang kami lalu tadi. Gilerlah… jauh!

I think the Patuxai has some resemblance to the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. Don’t you think so?

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To be continued – Part 17

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Lane Xang Avenue is the widest boulevard in Vientiane. It runs from the Presidential Palace to Patuxai towards Pha Tat Luang.

Visit Malaysia: Charming Alor Setar, Kedah

As written in my previous article, my mother comes from Kedah, a state situated on the northern part of Malaysia. The capital city for Kedah is Alor Setar, a city which has been established since 1735.

Street view of the city, with Alor Setar Tower as the backdrop.

As my mother’s hometown is in Baling, I rarely go to Alor Setar. In fact, I could not remember the last time I visited the city. I only have a blur memory on how this city looks like.

A closer view of the Alor Setar Tower.

Being one of the oldest cities in Malaysia, there are a lot of old buildings in Alor Setar, which I was quite surprised of the first time I saw them, since the usual connotation that I had when I asked anyone about Alor Setar is, this city has nothing.

Masjid Zahir, the state mosque which was built in 1912. Its architecture is inspired by the Azizi Mosque in Tanjung Pura, Langkat Sultanate (now North Sumatra)

During my recent visit to the city, a very short one in fact since I was there only to drop my sister off, I managed to capture several interesting sights of the city. Consider this posting as a teaser entry, since I am very sure that I will have another visit to this charming city.

 

The sign on the white building reads: Main Post Office.

The building with the yellow dome is the Balai Nobat, where all the royal musical instruments are kept. Originally built in 1735, this one which is still standing was built in 1906.

Aussino Clearance Sale

Previously, I have blogged about the Malaysia Clothes Buffet, where we can be a glamourous traveller by buying the wide array of choices available on that very event. Nevertheless, I am quite surprised when I know that Aussino is also having a clearance sale during the same event!

I have always wanted to buy a new towel for my travelling purposes, now that Aussino is having up to 80% promotion, well I am sure I will get a new one for my next travel. Lol.

Poster_aussino (1)

Since I am not around during the event, I have already told my friend who is going to the Buffet to get the towel for me as she loves to travel and she is going to head for my advice – to become a glamourous traveller.

Details of the Malaysia Clothes Buffet are as follows:

  • 25th to 27th April 2014
  • 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
  • Syopz Mall, Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
  • To buy your tickets to the event, click here.
  • For more info, check out here.

Any of you going?

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This is a sponsored post.

Giveaway #1: Results

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Thank you very much to all who joined the first ever Giveaway by The Best Things In Life. We received many answers for the trivia question “What is the new colour for the Western Line public bus in Brunei?”.

There are 5 participants who managed to answer the question correctly. The correct answers which were submitted and accepted are: Pink, Merah Jambu, Magenta and Merah Remia. There are those who answered Oren/Orange but that was the old colour for the bus. As such, those who answered wrongly are not considered for the running of the giveaway. Sorry guys! Next time, yeah! ;D

So, the 3 lucky winners for this round are:

Please PM me on the Facebook page or email me at salamkai [at] kairulizwan.com together with your full name, address and phone No. To the others, better luck next time! Trust me, there will be another round! :)

Congratulations!

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The lucky winners are randomly chosen by randompicker.com

Visit Malaysia: Kampung Sungai Lima Fishing Village, Klang

This article is also published in Virtual Malaysia, #1 Malaysia Social Travel Channel.

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I still remember what Life Out of the Box (LOOTB) told me before: “getting out of the box can be done no matter where you are, even in your own back yard“. To explore our own backyard and to be surprised by what we might find there. The best kept secret, sometimes lies in our own backyard instead of thousand of miles away.

Wooden houses where caught fishes are kept before being distributed.

When I joined #TSbreakaway program, organized by Tourism Selangor, we were brought to some of the best kept secrets in our own backyard, in the state of Selangor. One of the places that we went to was Pulau Ketam and nearby Pulau Ketam lies a small, quaint fishing village, accessible only by boat – Kampung Sungai Lima (Sungai Lima Fishing Village).

A rustic fishing village, still save from development.

Many people go to Brunei to see Kampung Ayer as for many travellers, the sight of houses built on stilts is something bizarre and must be included in the itinerary. However, unknown to many, the houses in Kampung Sungai Lima (and Pulau Ketam for that matter) are built on stilts. In fact, I found their lives to be more interesting since both Pulau Ketam and Kampung Sungai Lima are far from the mainland.

Though quiet, I found this place to be interesting.

Kampung Sungai Lima is not accessible by road. Although located on Pulau Ketam, a boat is needed to go here. I went to Kampung Sungai Lima after a visit to the fish pond. Upon arriving at the jetty, the evening breeze greeted me and gently brushed my face. It was so quiet at the jetty area. No sounds of human activities and the cloudy weather added up to the mood.

One of the striking colour houses.

Together with other participants, I walked along the jetty into the village area. Like Pulau Ketam, motorized vehicles are not allowed, leaving bicycles and electric bicycles as the alternatives for the residents. The village has a few eateries and in one of the eateries, I saw uncles, some topless, having a yum-cha (tea drinking and hanging out) session together.

I call this “The Brothers”.

A unique attribution in this village is the colour of the houses. Though made from wood, the houses were repainted, giving them a fresh coat of striking colour. They looked nice, but still couldn’t hide the fact that this place is dying.

Only bicycles and electric bicycles allowed.

Dying because most of the people who stay here are the elderly. It does not help too that the main source of income for the villagers is fishing, and the younger generation is not interested in the activity anymore. Many of them have migrated to the mainland to seek for better jobs.

Sitting on the wooden platform facing the mangrove swamp on the opposite side, maybe I can brush my writing skills here. Lol.

Nevertheless, looking at the quietness of the place, I found it peaceful here. I could imagine myself renting one of the homestays available and writing blog posts after another, accompanied by the smell of fresh seafood and the breezy air. In fact, whilst walking on the wooden platform overlooking the lush mangrove swamp, I said to myself, I will return to this place someday.

I don’t want to be cliched. Honestly, I don’t know what’s in this uncle’s mind.

Kampung Sungai Lima is not your typical island beach holiday. But it is worth a visit here to see houses built on stilts, to see how simple the locals live and also to appreciate what we have on the mainland.

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To go to Kampung Sungai Lima, drive to Port Klang KTM station or take the KTM Komuter train to Port Klang station. Proceed to Jeti Pulau Ketam. Hop on the [air-conditioned] ferry heading to Pulau Ketam [RM 7 one way]. Alight at the Sungai Lima jetty. 

For ferry schedule to Kampung Sungai Lima, click here.

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Thank you to Tourism Selangor for organizing the event, Canon for the camera loaned to me, Mr. Song Sung Hwan & MPK for the visit, and each and everyone who had contributed to the awesome experience. Check out http://tsbreakaway.my for further info.

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