Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crown of Thorns (COT)

After the cleanup dive in Redang in 2010 for the annual Project Aware which is more focused on removing the Crown of Thorns, I began to read more about it.

One, Crown of Thorns also known as COTs appears naturally as part of an ecosystem balances the whole life cycle. Their diet consists of coral polyps.

Two, the known cause of the COT population explosion is never known exactly. Some attributes it to global warming, over harvesting of Triton seashells or maybe agriculture chemical leaching into the sea providing an alternative food source.

Three, COTs are not sea urchins and not black as what I believed earlier.

Four, chemicals from the sunblock that we usually use contains paraben that is harmful for marine life. Get a sunblock made from organic ingredients for sea activities.One that I found out is called Badger and is available in Singapore. Another place to get Badger products is from an organic shop in Centerpoint, Bandar Utama but they only stock certain products from Badger and not sunscreen.

Five, if you get stabbed by one of the sharp spines of COTs, your hand will swell like an elephant for days and it will hurt badly!

Six, when removing COTs from the corals, lightly pull them out slowly and not forcefully. Remove them bit by bit. Breaking the COTs will cause them to spawn in defense and it will release it eggs thus, creating even more COTs!

Seven, to spot a COT is to look out for white patches of dead corals. Why these white spots? Well those are the places that the COT have already fed on. So they are somewhere nearby.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Just came back from a nine day trip in Taiwan. Backpacking style, travelling around with taxis, buses, trains and even the scooter. Staying in various homestays and bed & breakfast places. Instead of describing the day to day events, I would prefer to talk about highlights about travelling in Taiwan where we focused more on North and Central Taiwan.

Qing Jing
Home-stay at Qing Jing with European style buildings and theme. Everything here is just so pretty with mountainous terrain. At night, you can look out through the balcony and see many stars lighting up the sky.

The homestay that we stay at was called Euro Country where it is run by a team of husband, wife and Blackie! :)

Warm Tones of the Furniture


The place is decorated with many types of flowers, shrubs and natural greenery. A great place for photography shoots as Qing Jing is full of colour but lacking in terms of interesting activities.

Beautiful Daisies

Scooter Ride Around Sun Moon Lake
Another highlight of the trip is the scooter ride around Sun Moon Lake is a great way to explore the area. Enjoy the breeze and view plus you get to get a better feel of the place rather than sitting in the comfort of a car. Fresh air and feel the breeze. There are some temples dotting the route around the lake that you can visit and different views of the lake.

Full Tank for the Ride

There is even a pagoda to visit but due to lack of time, we skipped it as it was getting dark. The photos taken here of the lake does not do justice to the place. It was a pleasant ride as there were not too many cars and in some places the road goes up and down.

Sunrise at Sun Moon Lake
Rising up early at 5am to watch the sunrise at 6am. The scenery is beautiful as if you are looking at a painting. The backdrops of mountains cascading behind forms a serene atmosphere with the mist adding a touch of mystery to the whole surrounding.

Yehliu Geopark
Enjoyed going to Yehliu Geopark where you can see nature's beauty at its best. The view is simply breathtaking as it is located next to the sea with waves crashing onto the rocks. The limestone rocks are eroded by rain, wind and salt water to form unique shaped rocks.

Works of Art by Nature

Just by the Sea

Wonders of Nature


You can have fun by trying to identify the rocks as they have names for some of the more famous formations. It's a wonder how nature can create these creative works of art. The area is very breezy as it faces the

Jiufen is a nice little quaint town with strong Japanese influence in their buildings, architecture and history. There are many narrow lanes connecting to these little shops and one may even get a little lost if you wander off in one of the many other small lanes supplementing the main walkways.


Shops and restaurants dot both sides of the walkways. The narrower lanes have people's homes. At night, you can even sit down at one of the tea house balconies to sip tea relaxing while watching the scenery of the sea and terraces of shops and buildings.

About Cafe

Taiwanese people are very friendly and we had the chance to be the first to patronize this little coffee place called About Cafe even when it is not even open yet! At first we noticed that view was so beautiful at the balcony overlooking the view of the sea but realised that the place was not open yet but the owner was really nice to invite us and even served us excellent coffee for free. Do look out for it when you are in Jiufen, for the coffee, ambiance and hospitality :)

That is the summary of what I personally enjoyed in Taiwan.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It's funny how humans are never satisfied with what they have. Even if they have so much more than a lot of people, yet there are complaints of having this and not having that.

Have to remind one self about how fortunate we are to wake up to see the day, enjoy the wonders of what is around us and to be in great company of family and friends. To be able to bask in the sun, enjoy the simple pleasures of simple and yet delicious food, to be able to listen to great music and to see with our own eyes what beauty nature has to offer. Life's gems at its best. Gratitude.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mayang Sari @ Dungun, Terengganu

Had to stop by for a night at Dungun before heading out to Tenggol Island. Heard that Mayang Sari is the best place in Dungun but not sure how true it is :p Couldn't really see the place in the beginning as we arrived at night. So the next morning, we woke up a bit earlier just to walk around.


Garden Villas

We stayed at the 1 bedroom water villa for RM 50 per night for two. Which means RM25 per person which was really cheap. There were two single beds in the room. My buddy's bed had something crawling all over her when she slept at night. Not sure whether they are bed bugs but there were no bites.

Buddy's Bed

The facilities include the tv, towels and attached bathroom.


However, upon going into the toilet, I saw that there were urine stains on the toilet seat :(((((( The pipes that was supposed to dispose the waste water from the sink is not complete thus, the water just flows to the floor. Washing your hands will dirty your feet. The curtains were a little moldy as well.

The Toilet

Lot 2151 Jalan Pantai Kg Sura Tengah,
23000 Dungun, Terengganu,
Tel: 609 845 7885
Fax: 609-845 2885

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mama's Kitchen @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail

Located about a 10 doors away from June Thai, this little unassuming place serves excellent Claypot Lo Shu Fun (literal translation that is Claypot Rat Tails). No, they are not real rat tails but rather rice flour noodle shaped like a rat's tail. Thus the name. With bits and pieces of dried shrimp, dark sauce and a raw egg cracked on top of it, the egg definitely lends a smooth texture to the noodle. The noodle is really fragrant and it is indeed good. Better than SS2's Sri Murni restaurant. Sizzlingly tasty!

Claypot Lo Shu Fan

The Singapore fried mee hoon has authentic pieces of barbequed pork, baby shrimps, bean sprouts and chunky pieces of chicken, prawn and squid. It is pretty alright.

Singapore Fried Vermicelli

Fried Hokkien noodle is pretty good. It has generous amounts of pork lard and the noodles are al dente unlike some hokkien noodle establishments where their noodle tend to be overcooked and soft. Pretty tasty stuff.

Hokkien Mee

One portion cost about RM6-7. It is located a few doors away from Devi's Corner. Can always go to Kiara park nearby to have a little exercise and head over to Mama's Kitchen for some food. Heard some rave reviews about their Roasted Pork Noodle. Oh well, next time then ;)

48 Jalan Datuk Sulaiman,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 7729 3030

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Elephant @ Happy Mansion, Section 17

It has been quite some time since I last came to visit My Elephant. I have written about the place before here and I think I should update it with this entry :) Nice Thai food nestled in between apartments in Section 17.

Clear Tom Som with Fish (RM 18) was very good. There were many fish slices and the soup is nice and spicy. Definitely not for the faint hearted :p

Tom Som Fish (S)

Pomelo Salad Yum Sor Orr (RM 15) is a tangy, spicy and salty salad that really opens up the palate. Tasty. There were generous pieces of pamelo in this with onions, nuts and herbs.

Pomelo Salad Yumsom Orr

Ordered Snow Fish (RM 45) which was cooked in an interesting way. The fish is coated with a very thick layer of salt and then it is baked in foil. Herbs like lemon grass, lots of garlic pips, chinese parsley and a few more others is stuffed into the cavity of the fish. The skin is removed (not edible) and only the meat underneath it is edible. There's a mild sauce to go with it but the fish is already moist enough.

Snow Fish

Wanted to order the young fern shoots that we have tried in our previous visit but none were available. Instead, had the Stir Fried Egg Plant. Was quite ok actually but would definitely prefer the young fern shoots fried in belachan (shrimp paste).

Stir Fried Egg Plant

The pandan cooler (RM 3) drink is really refreshing and unlike drinks that we normally order, the sweetness of it is just nice.
Pandan Cooler

Servings of rice (RM3) is refillable. Moreover, they use red rice and if I am not mistaken, is healthier and contains more fiber. There is a service charge of 10%.

My Elephant Thai restaurant
CG-4 Happy Mansion
Jalan 17/13 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 010 220 1283

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Restoran Boston Baru @ Klang

When it comes to seafood in Klang, I always assume that it will be in ever so popular Telok Gong. Was recommended to go to this restaurant in Klang town. Do go early as there will be a long queue after 7 and the best time to get there is 6:30 pm when they open their doors. It is a no frills restaurant that serves excellent food.

The first dish that came, Steamed Clams cooked in wine and lots of ginger and chili padi that adds a nice spicy tinge to it. This is the tastiest steamed clams I have ever eaten. The clams were meaty and couldn't get enough of the broth. Do take cautious care about not biting into the chili padi.

Steam Clams

Mantis Prawns with Nestum is another delicious dish with meaty shelled mantis prawns. The crunchy bits were sweet with the fragrance of the curry leaves and very addictive. Double yums!

Mantis Prawn with Nestum

The Sweet and Sour Pork Chop was nice but it is pretty ordinary compared to the two previous dishes.

Sweet and Sour Pork Chop

The vegetable was just ok and pretty ordinary.

Vegetable in Oyster Sauce

Overall the food here is very good. Thanks to the host who stays in Klang for the great recommendation and meal :)

Jalan Kapar, Klang
Tel: 016-268 3104/012-905 3523

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pangkor Island Beach Resort, Pangkor Island

Love staying at the sea front resorts where you can enjoy the sun rise, the waves, the sun set, the crystal clear blue waters and many more!

The are surrounding the beach resort is dotted with large trees that provide shade from the hot sun.

We stayed at the Garden Wing, if not mistaken is the cheapest room but even then, it is really nice. There is even a balcony and in the morning when you look out of the window, you can see some hornbills perched on the trees just outside the room. Nice!

The Room

Four Wall Poster Bed looks really inviting :) Disposable slippers are provided and the room was really comfortable.

The Bed

The toilet have a bathtub and so you can enjoy a dip in there after all day activities.

The Bathroom

Night View of the Resort

The Doorway

The only thing that I did not like about the room is that it is located very far off from the lobby and


Friday, September 24, 2010

Salad Bar @ Damansara Uptown

Salad Bar is situated in Damansara Uptown along the same row as the police station and next to Darabif Burger. You can choose to make your own salad or choose from a few types of salad or spaghetti or sandwiches.

The place looks bright, clean and cheery. Fresh in my opinion and so you can imagine the freshness of the food here :p

They even have interesting information on their menu where they state the ingredients and its benefits :)

Soup of the Day (RM 3) served that day was broccoli soup. The soup was thick and chunky but was a little bit tasteless and "greeny". A bit of salt and pepper would make it taste better but definitely healthy. It came with a small bowl of crunchy croƻtons.

Broccoli Soup

Old Granny Ceasar (RM 11.90) was pretty alright and the size is substantial and it is served in Italian dressing. It has grilled chicken, boiled egg and cheese for a more "protein enriched" salad. This is pretty good in my opinion. Wasn't too "greeny" for us meat eaters :p

Old Granny Ceasar

The Fruity Nuthouse (RM 11.90) and as the name implies, it has loads of fruits (starfruit, honeydew, apples) and nuts (almonds, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds) in it, dressed in Sweet Plum (tastes tangy). Chewing them can be a little tiring for the jaw. And it is vegetarian friendly :p

Fruity Nuthouse

The Carrot Orange (RM 6) was just ok but fresh :)

Carrot Orange

There is a government tax 5% but no service charge! Definitely a place for healthy and light eating :)

No 41 Jalan SS21/60
Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603 7722 1742