Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Time Capsule Retreat at Sungai Lembing, Kuantan

Mr J and I decided to go out of town during one of the long weekend and we picked Sungai Lembing. Prior to that, we booked 3 nights with Time Capsule Retreat. We have heard and read a lot about the Time Capsule being one of the ideal holiday destinations for retreats so we decided to give it a try. We drove from KL to Sg Lembing and the journey was about 3.5hours. It wasn’t difficult to find Sungai Lembing. One can just use Waze to get there.
We reached around 4pm the first day. 3 days 2 nights is actually sufficient for a trip to Sg Lembing but because both of us like to take our own sweet time as we decided this is a retreat so yeah, we extended a night in the end. 



We checked in to the white cottage for the first night. Due to public holidays and long weekend, we managed to book the time capsule for second and third night. The white cottage comes with a double bed and private toilet. The other type of white cottage has two double beds.


After checking in, Mrs Yang showed us around Sg Lembing; what to see and what to eat. She asked if we were interested to go to the Sg. Lembing rainbow waterfall and we jumped at the opportunity. To get to the rainbow waterfall, one will need 4WD to get there.  Prior to the trip, we researched about the rainbow waterfall but it was rather expensive. We did not know about Simon who offered his service at RM40 per person until Mrs Yang told us about it. That evening, we had dinner and retreated to bed early as we were going to have an early morning the next day. Dinner was at this simple malay stall serving nasi kukus and ayam goreng berempah. So yums!


Simon came right on time at 5.50am. 


He picked us and a few other guests up and we were dropped at the food court for breakfast. 6am is really too early for me to eat anything heavy but I tried. One can get the famous Sg Lembing tofu at this food court. It wasn’t open when we were there. Apparently the uncle had closed earlier in preparation for Chinese New Year.


We were given 30 minutes for our breakfast and off we went to the rainbow waterfall. Because it was early in the morning, I did not realize it was going to be cold. The rushing cool breeze in the morning as the 4WD storm through the jungle…my goodness. I was shivering alright. I think the journey was about an hour. 



When we reached, we had to cross a stream (the water was so cold!) and hike for about 30 minutes before reaching the waterfall. 


The hike was not too hard considering I was only wearing my Asadi slippers. Asadi’s the best. They’re cheap and have good grip. The view at the waterfall was so beautiful that I was mesmerized. 




The packages also include a maggi cup with hot milo which will be prepared at the waterfall. I personally think it’s worth it so do check the waterfall out if you are there.


We got back around afternoon and were dead tired by then. This time round we switched to the Capsule and I love it. 


It can be quite a hassle for some to stay at the capsule because you will have to share the shower and toilet with other guests. The capsule can be quite small and it doesn’t have extra space for a lot of luggage. There are two types of capsules; one with the transparent door and one with the transparent back. The one with the transparent door comes with curtain so you don’t have to worry about your privacy.



That evening, we had our dinner at at Chinese restaurant called Restaurant Hoover.

Pictures credit to http://purplesdiary.blogspot.com/2013/12/weekend-trip-sungai-lembing-oct-11-12.html

We tried the famous sweet sour fish as recommended by Mrs Yang and some other dishes. 





It was good and we quite like it. The price wasn't too bad either. Reasonable I would say.
The next day we were supposed to hike through panaroma hill but well, both of us could not wake up on time. On the bright side, it was also drizzling and no sunrise was spotted on that day. We went to the mine museum and the hanging bridge. Nothing much to shout about except that you learn more about how Sg Lembing used to be a busy mining town. Now everything is just so quiet in the town.


Entrance fee of RM4 is required for the museum.

Nah just us, goofing around



This is the mine tunnel which is quite near to the museum. If you wish to visit the tunnel, you will have to take the train in which will cost RM15 per person. We forgo this one.


Sungai Lembing hanging bridge. Cross over to buy some biscuits. 
We drove to Kuantan town which is only 30 minutes away to have some “city vibe” after a few days away from the city. Took a stroll down Teluk Chempedak and had coffee at Starbucks which is by the beach.

The next morning, we tried this uncle's chee cheong fun that everyone is talking about. Quite unique because he made it on the spot with some spring onions and egg and its quite limited. You can find this near the food court.



I will highly recommend Sungai Lembing to whoever who needs a quiet getaway from the city. We managed to get enough rest while exploring the town doing various activities. Book early if you would like to stay in the capsule because it is rather popular in the weekend. Mrs Yang also provides BBQ dinner (on Saturday night) so make sure you let her know earlier. We didn’t know so we missed out on the BBQ dinner. I don't mind going back again just to escape from the city. 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kaohsiung



So the time has come for me to say goodbye after staying at Hualien for 3 days. I love Hualien and if there is an opportunity, I will be back. This time round I was heading to Kaohsiung, one of the major cities after Taipei. I did not know much about Kaohsiung and I also did not know what to do there but I was thinking, oh well, I am alone and I will just do whatever I like to do.


I boarded the 8.20am train from Hualien and it took me 6 to 7 hours to reach Kaohsiung. 


Many asked why I didn’t take the shorter route. I wanted it this way, to witness myself the beauty of the east coast of Taiwan via the train route. I have heard many wonderful reviews and wanted to see it for myself and I love it! It was during this train ride I had the longest silent moment to myself, just sitting there taking in the scenic view. 




At times, I reflected on life. At some other moment, I blanked out and cleared my head and just thought of nothing. I remembered it being one of the journeys I enjoyed most.

Seated next to this very cute boy too!

I reached Kaohsiung around 2-ish pm and immediately gotten a call from a friend who was studying there. We made plans to meet up after I checked into my backpacker’s lodge.
A little about my backpacker’s lodge; HarbourViews39. 



It was about 15 minutes walk from the Sanduo MRT Station. From the Kaohsiung train station, exit the station and walk towards the Kaohsiung MRT station. Sanduo is just one or two stations away. Alight at Sanduo and it’s about 10 to 15 mins of walk. I remembered it wasn't too expensive. Only NTD350 per night. I took the 6 people dorm (all female). 


When checked in there was no one there yet. It was quite clean and I was given my own private locker. Worth the money that I paid.

The common room at the backpacker's lodge
The backpacker's lodge is also located behind this famous building at Sanduo.


This was where my friend brought me; to Dream Mall, one of the largest shopping complex with a huge Ferris wheel at the top floor. We actually walked 20 to 40 minutes from my backpacker’s lodge to this mall.


I think the trip to Kaohsiung is not much of sightseeing to me but rather catching up with the friend and later in the evening, blending in with his friends and made visits to the art exhibition by his friends. I retreated back to my backpacker’s lodge early that night to rest. Fell asleep early too and woke up to a new friend in the morning. 



Meet B-Ling, from Hong Kong who was traveling for A MONTH throughout Taiwan! I am impressed! Our communication mode was a little tricky; Cantonese was her main language and she could only understand a little bit of Mandarin and English where else, yours truly is the opposite. So we basically conversed in all three languages.  We decided to have breakfast together before she rushed off to catch her train to Nantou and me to Chiayi.

I had ample time while waiting for the train so I decided to journal a little bit. 


Also, the Kaohsiung train station have this shop selling their official train merchandise and I decided to purchase a little notebook for all the stamping because I was running out of space on my Midori Traveler’s Notebook!




Alright, Chiayi will be in my next entry! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hello Melaka!

I went to Melaka to start the year with a "bang"! Hehe! No lah, it was more like I have not been to Melaka for more than a year and I missed the food there so I dragged my friend Ash along with me. The trip was (un)eventful. Before I went off to pick up Ash, mom had to make me go and change the car tyres. Okay, since it was for my safety, I do not want to argue more on this. I was already late and was looking at my GPS when the car next to me decided to honk and give me hand gestures that said "I need to focus my eyes on the road". Oh why!

After picking Ash up, we went for breakfast. More like lunch, really. While walking to my car, I just twisted my ankle, sprained it and sat on the floor. The ground wasn't uneven, slippery or there were no stones that I tripped on...oh dear. What a series of unfortunate events! I didn't want anymore unfortunate incidents so I handed the car keys over to Ashley and insisted her to drive.

We reached Melaka a little late in the afternoon but nevertheless, we had loads of fun. We checked into the Sayang-Sayang Youth Hostel which is not too shabby. Later walked to Jonker street for some snacks and also to this food court for the best fried oyster.


We stayed over for a night and woke up early the next morning just for the famous nasi lemak and lontong near the Klebang area. Ahh...how I have missed those as I used to have them during my internship.


On our way to the famous chicken rice ball place, we spotted this cute theme hotel which focuses on Hello Kitty. So adorbs!


It was a good trip. A good way to start the year with a friend and good food. Here are the remaining pictures to feast your eyes.




May the year brings all the positive vibes to me!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Day

This year was the first time I celebrated Valentine's day with someone special after spending this date with friends for 8 years. I have no complains. I always thought V-day is overrated. And I have always had fun celebrating it with my friends. We would put on our best dress, make up, go for fancy dinner and just have fun. 
Hey, no one says you cannot have fun in this day. I never thought we would be celebrating until Mr J said "We should". After all, it is our first Valentine's. 

I did not want to do the normal, he pick me up, we go for some fancy dinner, he gave me gift (assuming he would and I thought he wouldn't but turns out he did!) and then perhaps watch a movie kinda Valentine. So I suggested let's do picnic. I said I would cook and he said he will buy something. I still didn't think I should buy anything until two days before the day, friends said I should. Damn. 

So I whipped up what I have in my storage and made him this. 



Picture in a jar thing and inside, sealed up messages for him to read according to his mood. And I am glad he loves it. 

He picked me up at 5pm and drove us to Desa Parkcity. On our way there, it suddenly rained. Haha! So much for picnic but we did not check the weather forecast. A quick check on the forecast but it said the weather should be sunny. Oh well. We reached and it was still drizzling a little bit so we stayed in the car talking while waiting for the rain to go away and thank goodness it did. 
That place is gorgeous. There's a man-made lake in the middle and people would jog or walk their dogs here. There are more than enough place for you to lay your picnic mat. We walked around until we found this place overlooking the lake with the high grass by the side. So beautiful.



He tried the pasta I made and I am glad he likes it. It turned out that he did bought me gift and it is beautiful. Thank you, sayang!
We ate, talked and just generally take in the beautiful sight. As it grew darker, the fairy lights will be switched on and it is rather pretty. So that is why I decided to go in the late afternoon. One thing though, the guard was keeping his eyes on us. Haha! Well, I couldn't really blame him because I have a hunch many couple must have been behaving inappropriately in the park.

This is how it looks like when it grew darker. Gosh, need to invest in a camera soon!


Thank you for the awesome gift and Happy Valentine's Day! Love you most, sayang!