Archive for the ‘Personal’ category

Sunset at Port Dickson

September 1st, 2011
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Some pics taken at Admiral Cove Port Dickson:

being vegetarian saves money and can help control food inflation

July 12th, 2011
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I have gone vegetarian for the last 50+ days, just to give it a try. Not so difficult as one may think.

As I was reading about rising cost of food, and obesity issues in Malaysia, this idea popped up.

I noticed that I tend to eat less, eat accordingly, and waste less after being vegetarian.

So, I suggest that we practice vegetarianism in our daily life. It need not be strict accordingly to religious believes, but adapted to your liking. I would suggest a minimum of 4 days vegetarian and if can up to 6 days in week.

By being vegetarian, one reduces intake of meat and poultry products (like egg, chicken, mutton, pork, fish, seafood, and beef). Once demand reduces, what happens next? The prices will drop.  All Malaysians should try it for 6 months and see what happens. Imagine the price of chicken is RM8.3o per kilo currently. But if no one buys it, would it still be at that price?

Secondly, by reducing meat, the livestocks being reared will be reduced (in the long term), and this in turn reduces the need for animal feed (food for the animals). A portion of agriculture products is channelled towards animal feed. By reducing this portion, we can have more grains and other products directly for human consumption. Result = price of other food items MAY (yes, I know, “may” only because some may try to cash in by hoarding or having cartels) drop due to availability of these items.

Admittedly, there’s not many choices for vegetarian food in Malaysia. The safest place is any pure Indian restaurant (no mixing of vege and non-vege items)  and also the Chinese vegetarian restaurants (serving mock meat – not advisable). You most likely can’t go to fast food joints, Mamak restaurants, kopitiams, Western food restaurants, and Malay restaurants. So, you tend to eat less. No more in between snacks, no burgers, no fast food. LOTS of money saved. When the options are less, you tend to eat less and spend less. Most of the time, we eat to fulfill our taste buds, but remember, once the food passes through our throats, there’s no taste.

You can also start a mini garden at home. Plant a few herbs and plants. If you make arrangements with neighbors and friends, each can plant different items and do a barter trade. This helps to reduce cost as well. There are plenty of DIY kits available – from home fertigation to hydroponic techniques.

Yet another option is to shop at the Pasar Tani or smaller markets which can at times provide a very competitive pricing if compared to hypermarkets or shopping  centers.

Some quarters will say that you will lose nutrients or can’t get enough proteins and vitamins. Well, if you are really into that excuse, then take meat once a week. You are not in a labor-intensive industry right? Are you shovelling tar on roads? Or cutting trees in middle of forest? Do you need that much of protein and food, or is it just a craving/norm that you are used to?

I stopped taking coffee and tea for a while, just to see if it can be done. So, no more Starbucks. No more Old Town white coffee. No more teh tarik. End result: less chance of wasting time at these places and end up overspending. Who knows, it can help to reduce the price of coffee beans globally if we reduce the intake of these beverages.

Yeah, you can ask…where’s the little pleasures in life if want to cut down on everything? As I said earlier, try reducing little, if not all. You can still have your cuppa one a week, or once a fortnight. Surely there are bigger things in life than being attached to food.

Another thing, I would also propose that buffet meals are banned in Malaysia, limit the number 0f 24 hour restaurants in a locality, and avoid having too many open houses during festivals. Our food havens may well be the silent killer for many Malaysians.

new slogan: Eat less.

Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1

July 10th, 2011
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From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1

Went to Putrajaya yesterday morning to visit the Floria flower festival. It was the 1st day of the festival. We reached the venue at 9am but the opening ceremony was not started yet. The weather was cloudy, and it rained early in the morning. Heard that PM Najib was to dropped by as he was there for some koperasi event. The launching was supposed to be by FT Minister, but I saw on TV PM launching it. We saw Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen turun padang as well.

From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1
From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1

First impression we got was that last year’s festival was better in terms of the flower attraction. Maybe since its the first day or because we have seen the same stuff last year. Noticed that the small amount of the roses were not fresh or starting to wilt. I think the weather in coming days will make it worse. There were platforms to walk this time, so can avoid the mud after rain.

From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1
From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1

We were interviewed by RTM but it didn’t appear on TV.

We spent about 3 hours visiting the flower booths and the stalls. The aircond pavillion was closed (supposed to open at 2pm only).  Will visit again to cover the pavillion and also the night floral parade.

The food stalls were similar to those last year.

This time around, we saw more activities lined up for families and children.

Crowd was about 100 cars by 9am, but by the time we left at 12pm, I estimate about 400 cars were in the parking bays.

Took about 80+ photos only this time.

Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

July 6th, 2011
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Continuing from part 1,  at 3.30pm we stopped at the famous Si Racha Tiger Zoo in Si Racha district (Between Chonburi and Pattaya) for their tiger show. This is zoo where tiger and piglet photo was taken (widely circulated in the net). We actually saw tiger cubs trying to suckle milk from pig. They also had crocodile  shows,  AND, pig racing!

The junction to enter Sri Racha Tiger Zoo:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

The zoo has a plethora of activities:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

We started at the tiger show, which had an opening performance by a pig!:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Photos of the tiger show:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Standing on stools:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

dance class:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Next was crocodile show:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

this is one brave lady:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Putting hands inside crocodile mouth:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

After the tense crocodile show, we visited the elephane show.

So, massage anyone?

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Photos for Part 2:

We left Si Rracha at around 5.30pm, heading towards Pattaya. Had dinner at a restaurant (Kinaree Sea Food – food was so so only) in Pattaya.

Read Day 2 Part 1 here or continue to Part 3 here.

Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

June 24th, 2011
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There were lots of photos, so I divided the day into 3 segments. Part 1 covers from morning till about 2.30pm. Part 2 covers from 3pm till we reached Pattaya at around 6.30pm, and Part 3 covers the rest until night.

Part 1

Wake up call at 6am. Had breakfast at the hotel by 7.30am, checked-out and off to our first destination – boat trip on the Chao Praya. We took the tour coach to the River Complex, one of the stops for the ferry service.

This is the river complex. notice people walking by? They alighted from the ferry and walking to their work destination. Imagine our Damansara/Segambut/Klang/Gombak rivers used for such purposes.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Along the way to the complex, we saw something unique – motorbike taxis. The pillion rider pays the motorcyclist a fee to drop them at certain location. Unique indeed!

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Some of the traditional food items. Those workers who are going to work will buy breakfast from the stalls along the road.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The flower stall  along the road outside the complex even has Hindu deities pictures:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The tour group had 25 people, so things moved a bit slower than usual. We took the boat at Hilton area and went up to the location where can feed the catfishes at the temple area.

The pier:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Our tour guide is the one seat (green shirt). Nickname’s Alex but real name is Aran.

 

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

One of the souvenir sellers using boat to peddle their wares:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

One of the fish at the Buddhist monastery river area attacking the bread:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Here’s a short video clip of the boat trip:

 

We turned back at the fish feeding area and then stopped at Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), which is located at the banks of Chao Phraya, at about 9.15am. It was the Royal Temple dedicated to the 2nd Chakri Dynasty. Ticket to climb the structure costs 50 Baht (RM1 is about 10 Baht) per person. The stairs are very steep.

This is the view of  Wat Arun from the river:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The outer prayer area at Wat Arun:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Sleeping buddha:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

One of the statues at the Wat area:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

This is the view from the Wat Arun:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Another view:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Next (short) stop was a leather factory, which I think the tour company tried to earn some commission. Unfortunate for them, no one bought anything 🙂

This was followed by visit to four faced Buddha (which looked like Lord Brahma) in the shopping area. Its known as the Erawan Shrine near Ratchaprasong Square. We can buy the flower and incense stick and pray here. Similar to Bali, we noticed that many houses/buildings in Bangkok has a shrine outside. It seems that the shrine is build first to protect the construction of the house/building.  This particular shrine is very famous.

The Four Face Buddha:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

 

You can pray accompanied by dancers:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Another view of the Four Face Buddha:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Information Signage on the Four Face Buddha:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

We stopped at McDonalds at Amarin Plaza (they serve pork burger, so not halal ya…) to buy ice cream while waiting for the bus (did I mention it was HOT? ). Cost 13 baht for chocolate coated vanilla ice cream.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Burgers offered:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Had lunch around noon at Royal Dragon Restaurant which is one of the largest restaurants in the world with unique roller-skating waiters. Food was ok.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

There’s a picturesque view in the restaurant:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

One of the skating waiters:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The restaurant’s Guiness Book of Record statement:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Another short stop at a herbal factory, S.K. Natural Herbal Shop, (again no buyers) at around 1.30pm.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

We also saw few Tesco outlets. According to the guide, Tesco and 7-11 stores are quite common and have replaced the traditional sellers.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

It was quite hot, according to the thermometer, it was 42 degrees, but probably the heat from the windscreen affected the reading.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The full set of  photos for the Day 2 Part 1 (from morning until afternoon) is below:

 

Read Day 1 here: