Last weekends we took an impromptu trip to Sitiawan to check out something a guy was advertising online, and since it’s on a Saturday and we did not have anything planned, I decided that we should take the scenic route via Kuala Selangor to our destination.
And boy did it turn out to be a good decision.
Cendor Bakar at Kuala Selangor
Half way through our journey, Suan and I noticed this place by the road with lots of cars and people, a sort of old school expressway stop-over with a big signboard that says “Cendol Bakar”.
How do you exactly “bakar” (burn/roast) cendol? That question was intriguing enough that we stopped by to check the place out.
As it turned out, the name of the owner is Mr. Bakar, and as part of their preparation for the cendol ingredients, they also roast the gula Melaka (palm sugar).
Cendol VIP & Cendol Pulut Tapai
There are 6 varieties of cendol to choose from:
- cendol VIP – nata de coco + selasih + jagung + kacang – RM 2.00
- cendol VVIP – pulut + nata de coco + selasih + jagung + kacang – RM 2.50
- cendol tapai – pulut + nata de coco + selasih + jagung + kacang – RM 3.00
- cendol pulut tapai – pulut + tapai + nata de coco + selasih + jagung + kacang – RM 3.50
- cendol durian – durian + nata de coco + selasih + jagung + kacang – RM 3.00
- cendol durian pulut – pulut + durian + nata de coco + selasih + jagung + kacang – RM 3.50
I really love tapai on cendol, you don’t find it everywhere
I tried the cendol pulut tapai while Suan opted for the basic cendol vip. The gula Melaka used was authentic, coconut milk nice and creamy, and ice finely shaven. It was a proper cendol alright, and with the tapai & pulut, makes for a pretty delicious and quite filling bowl of dessert.
Oh, Cendol Bakar also offers free cendol for those who carries JKM cards (the disabled and the poor).
there are other dishes here too, like the delicious mee soto
Other than cendol, there are also giant curry puff, otak-otak, chicken wings, mee soto, and many other local delights to choose from. We tried the mee soto (RM 4) and it got the seal of approval from Suan, a Johorean who knows her mee soto.
If you’re going pass Kuala Selangor, be sure to check out this place.
Route 54 (just off Jalan Teluk Piah Kanan)
Kuala Selangor, Selangor
GPS: 3.30344, 101.29778
I am blogging on behalf of Visa’s Travel Happy campaign and receive compensation for my time, but the thoughts, words, and promotions on this page are mine, not Visa’s.
After our positive experience visiting Bali in 2011, I’ve always wanted to go back again. Hence when given the opportunity to head back to the island for a 3D2N tour, I was more than happy to plan a trip that maximises what we can do.
So instead of a normal vacation, we made it a road trip!
P/S: contest to win an Agoda travel voucher worth RM 1,000 at end of this post!
Our itinerary to Bali started on a flight on Friday morning and ended on Sunday night, a total of 3 days with 2 nights spent on the island.
Instead of taking a cab to the airport, we decided to drive. Parking fair at the KLIA long term parking came up to RM 130 or so, which is still a little bit cheaper than taking a cab.
we met Firdy at Denpasar Airport where I withdrew IDR with Visa
Soon as we touched down, I stopped by the ATM to withdraw some Indonesian Rupiah using my Visa debit card for places that doesn’t offer credit/debit card payments.
Denpasar airport does not have any car rental booths, so do plan ahead if you want to rent a car, otherwise it’s another hour’s wait for the car to arrive.
We rented a Toyota Avanza for our trip. I opted for self drive (armed with GPS brought from Malaysia), but you can get one with local driver too.
Check out some of the offers exclusive to Visa for car rental here. There is also a Mobile App you can download for iOS & Android devices that allows you to check the latest Visa offerings.
Additionally, there is the Global Customer Assistance Service available where you can get emergency card replacement in as little as within 24 hours.
when in Bali, one must have babi guling
Coincidentally, we met Firdy at the airport. While we traveled cashless, this guy went one step further and didn’t even bring any luggage! He ended up joining us for half our trip.
First order of business was lunch, and when in Bali, one must have Babi Guling!
To be honest, my previous experience of babi guling at the famous Ibu Oka was not exactly very positive, but this version at Sanur (around 30,000 IDR per person) completely changed my mind about this unique Balinese dish. It was very, very good, I’d definitely go there again on next Bali trip.
Babi Guling Sanur
Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai, Sanur (Opposite McDonald’s)
GPS: –8.682743, 115.259062
you can refuel at the gas station, of from these road side “premium” bottles
From Sanur, we got on the road and cut through the middle of the island on the way to Lovina. Roads in Bali are usually pretty tight, which makes for some challenging driving.
To refuel, there are gas stations, but there’re also road side stalls that offer gasoline (referred to as “premium” in Bali) by the bottles. No prize guessing which option accepts Visa.
Danau Bratan is at around 1200+ meters up, as high as Genting Highland
By the evening, we reached Danau Bratan, one of the three lakes in Bratan caldera, which was a Volcano that was erupted hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
The lake is situated at around 1200+ meters high, making it as high as Genting Highland. It was windy and very chilly, but of course, the scenery was definitely worth a a shiver. I would love to stay a night here next time.
our dinner at Warung Ayu, Lovina, it was lovely
For dinner, we stopped by Warung Ayu by one of the beaches that is popular as a take off point for dolphin watching (which we planned to do).
This restaurant was a complete random choice, but one that turned out to be a rather awesome! We ordered traditional Balinese food and they turned out to be very, very good. I can have that grilled chicken over and over again, it was a new taste that I’ve never had before.
The server explained that it was grilled with soya sauce and Balinese sauce. I gotta try to make that some day.
Kalibukbuk Lovina, Jalan Mawar, Bali
GPS: -8.159648, 115.026056
Tel: +62 82147555034
our first night was spent at The Lovina Bali, with a private garden
We spent the first night at The Lovina Bali hotel (about RM 380 including tax), it was a pretty lovely hotel with a King sized bed, a day bed, LCD TV with DVD player, and a small private garden too.
Access to the hotel is through a beautiful paddy field, and the rear of the hotel is the Lovina beach, with a pretty decent size swimming pool too.
dolphin watching started at 6am in the morning!
The next morning we woke up rather early for the dolphin watch, one of the things I have always wanted to do. My first dolphin sighting was on a trip to Tenggol Island, and second being when we were at Maldives.
While there are places you can swim with dolphins in Bali, I wanted to see them in the wild instead of in a confined area.
For 60,000 IDR (RM 17) per person, the boat man took us on a boat way out to the middle of the ocean. It was a lot of waiting but the dolphins did come, they were somewhat cautiously curious and did not come too close to the boats. Still, it was a very exciting experience!
Bali Asli, a lovely restaurant at the East side of Bali
We hop on our car and continued the road trip after the dolphin sighting. A little over two hours and some 100 KM later, we arrived at Bali Asli in Gelumpang village.
The restaurant offers traditional Balinese cuisine with an excellent view to boot. Bali Asli also accepts Visa if you book online. We had a great meal and loved the experience. At 195,000 IDR (RM 55) per person, it was very reasonably priced too.
Jalan Raya Gelumpang
GPS: -8.426548, 115.607427
Tel: +62 8289 7030098
Tirtaganga water palace, just a short drive from Bali Asli
If you are at Bali Asli, Tirtaganga water place is just a little over 3 kilometers away. The water palace is a maze of pools and fountains surrounded by lush garden and many stone carvings.
The water palace was built from 1948 onwards by the late heir to the Kingdom of Karangsem, definitely a place worth visiting. Entrance fee is 20,000 IDR.
Ubud, one of my favorite places in Bali
We then continued our road trip, destination Ubud, one of my favorite places in Bali. The 60+ KM journey took us another two hours on the road.
We spent some time walking around the streets littered with many shops offering local arts, paintings, and more. Haze bought a wooden mask from a local artist too.
Dinner was at Melting Wok Warung. A restaurant that’s quite highly rated on TripAdvisor but one that we did not find agreeable to our taste. The food was perhaps catered more towards Western tourists with quasi Balinese + Western dishes. It wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t finish my minced chicken as I thought the chicken breast was too dry.
If you’re a mat salleh, you might love this place though, since the place was fully booked with plenty of Westerners dining in.
Melting Wok Warung
13 Jl. Gootama, Ubud, Bali
GPS: -8.509321, 115.264251
Tel: +62 82 153666087
our private pool villa at Kajane, so I can skinny dip 😀
We decided to splurge a bit and checked into a villa with private pool at Kajane, one of the nicer hotels at the main stretch of Jalan Monkey Forest in Ubud.
The villa was huge, and comes with open air bath tub, a king size bed with entertainment system, an outdoor breakfast area with a day bed, and of course, the 8×2 meter private pool which allows one to skinny dip (don’t judge.)
Pro tip – sometimes online prices can be cheaper than walk in, so I actually paid for this villa (RM 740) via my phone with Visa while sitting at the lobby of the hotel.
Breakfast was served at our villa the next morning. My English breakfast was awesome, but it seems like Balinese are terrible at Japanese cuisine as Haze’s Japanese breakfast was rather terrible. Worst miso soup ever, it was sweet.
Bebek Kruwil for lunch, and shopping at factory outlet before heading back
We checked out from Kajane and headed to Sanur for a bit of shopping and lunch.
We stopped by Soto Ayam Suroboyo and had some pretty awesome Bebek Kruwil (20,000 IDR), a local style duck dish that went very well with rice and some Balinese sambal. I really loved it, and it tastes even better than the Bebek Bengil we tried during the previous trip, not to mention about 4 times cheaper too.
Soto Ayam Suroboyo
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai No. 210,
GPS: -8.71742, 115.215224
Tel: +62 361 7806065
Finally, we bought some cloths from one of the few outlet stores along Sanur before leaving the island with heavy heart.
So, you want to travel too?
You can and should participate in Visa’s contest by submitting your most creative travel photo with the hashtags #TravelHappy #VisaMY to your Twitter or Instagram account and stance a chance to win Agoda.com travel e-voucher worth RM 1,000 every week for four weeks. Click here for more!
P/S: at the point of travel, 10,000 IDR = 2.81 MYR.
As a Chinese, we love our soup. Herbal soup, vegetable soup, pork, chicken, anything. While growing up, we always have some sort of soup, a vegetable dish, and a fish/meat dish for every meal. Now that I’m kinda all grown up and sometimes cook for myself, I try to replicate the same as well.
Here’s a super simple recipe for radish soup with pork ribs (feel free to substitute with chicken) that you can make at home fairly fast, and with ingredients that are fairly cheap, this dish was about RM 12 in ingredients.
ingredients – radish, pork ribs, dried cuttle fish, wolf berries
Ingredients (serves 4 bowls):
- 1 radish, skinned and cut in bite size chunks
- 400 – 600 gram pork ribs (or chicken carcasses/chicken wings/legs)
- wolf berries (optional)
- 1 piece dried cuttle fish (or dried scallops, optional)
- 5 bowls of water
- salt and pepper to taste
remove the impurities from the pork with a sieve or ladle
- heat up water and add pork ribs, bring to boil for a bout a minute or two
- remove impurities with a sieve or ladle, if you want a clearer soup, remove pork and start over with another pot of water
- allow pork to cook in low heat for 30-45 mins
- add cuttle fish, wolf berries, and radish
- boil for another 30-45 mins
- ready to serve, add salt and pepper to taste
simple homemade radish soup with pork ribs
The addition of dried cuttle fish really enhances the taste of the soup, and boiling the pork long ensures that you get it well soft and tender without also overcooking the radish.
Since there are only two of us and this recipe serves about four bowl, I tend to cook this for dinner and then have them again the next morning, be sure to boil it again before going to sleep (or keep it in the fridge) to prevent the soup from going bad overnight.
For more simple recipes from yours truly, click here.
Choosing a property for long term living is a bit of a tricky art. It is always a balance between affordability, location, quality of property, as well as it’s surrounding and the area of development.
For those who are more in tune with nature and treasure a more tranquil living style, Klang Valley might not necessarily be the best choices, especially when factoring in the current situation of property prices.
Which brings us to Ivory Villa at Perdana College Heights by Seri Pajam Development, a pretty new development area located about 40+ kilometers away from KL city center.
Ivory Villa at Seri Pajam Development, Negeri Sembilan
A couple weeks ago, I visited the Semi-Detached units at Ivory Villa to get a sense of what living in one would be like.
First of all, the location.
While locating in Negeri Sembilan, access to Perdana College Height is actually pretty good. It is right next to the Kajang-Seremban Highway and less than 8km away from North South Highway.
Getting to KLCC via Kajang-Seremban/Silk highway takes about 45 minutes, and perhaps an hour or so during rush hours. Albeit a longer journey, it beats getting stuck in the traffic heading to KL from somewhere like Puchong where a one way trip can sometimes take up to two hours (I have a friend who spends 3-4 hours on daily commute from Puchong Permai to KL.
ground floor of Ivory Villa unit
Then there’s space and affordability. There is simply nowhere within an hour’s access to KL city centre where you can find a new Semi-Detached house with this size and quality as you would at Ivory Villa. The land area starts at 6,562 sq. ft, with built up of 3,371 sq. ft.
There’s very good size private garden (I’d build a big koi pond!) and a separate car porch that can comfortably park three cars under the roof, with probably another two cars on the driveway.
second floor of Ivory Villa unit
The interior of the unit is a statement of luxury. The living and dining area is huge, with enough space for a wet kitchen and bar/dry kitchen, two bedrooms, and study area. I also particularly like the high ceiling all throughout the unit.
Upstairs has another family hall, a huge master bedroom with super high ceiling, and further 3 more bedrooms. Every single bedroom in the house come with attached bathrooms too, and there are two balconies on the first floor.
semi-D unit, Ivory Villa, Seri Pajam Development
If you’re in the market for a property, take a look at Ivory Villa or some of the other developments by Seri Pajam Development. Take a visit to the showroom and check it out.
More information can be found at seripajam.com.my, and if you have questions, visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/SeriPajam
I am blogging on behalf of Visa’s Travel Happy campaign and receive compensation for my time, but the thoughts, words, and promotions on this page are mine, not Visa’s.
For my birthday back in 2011, Haze took me to Bali. It was a rather awesome trip and we did quite a lot in the few days we spent on the Indonesian island.
Fast forward 2014, and we decided to head there again to do and see some of the things we missed the last time around, only this time we decided to go cashless – with the help of Visa.
beautiful resorts, quirky people, great food
First of all, why Bali?
The decision is simple, the largely Hindu island has plenty to offer and remains a pretty affordable travel destination despite its popularity. On top of that, they are lots of resorts and hotels to choose from, covering the whole spectrum of budget. A simple online search reveals over 3,000 hotels and resorts on the island smaller than the state of Negeri Sembilan.
getting wet at Waterbom, and marvelling the mantas at Nusa Penida
The last time around, we did the following:
- had a massage at one of the resorts
- went to Waterbom, a waterpark
- went diving and managed to see mola-mola and manta rays
- rented a bike and rode up to the volcano
- visited monkey forest
- visited many art galleries
- drank cafe luak
- visited kuta beach
- tried bebek begil and babi guling
For this trip, I’m keeping my options pretty free. We will certainly rent a motorcycle to get around (traffic isn’t the best), perhaps take a day trip to see/swim with dolphins, or dive the Liberty wreck. Finally going to see what Tanah Lot is all about could be in the list as well.
monkey forest, paddy field, motorbiking, chicken on bicycle, art
Secondly, why cashless?
Well, I’m always a bit wary of carrying a bunch of foreign currencies when it comes to traveling. Furthermore, it is always a bit messy when it comes to tracking your expenses when everything is based on a currency you aren’t familiar with (I track all expenses on my phone). Using the Visa card for these purposes only seemed logical.
For the time when cash is needed (such as eating street foods), withdrawal can be done at the local ATMs too.
I also found out that there’s Visa travel assistance services that provides pretty neat services such as emergency cash provision, emergency card replacement (1 business day)
Additionally, there are also offers exclusive to Visa that you can take advantage off when traveling. These include discounts and upgrades for participating hotels and car rental services, discounts on shopping, restaurants, and more. Definitely something to check out, the offers are unique to each destination.
I got my tickets booked, and can’t wait for our Bali trip 2.0!
To find out more, Click Here.
p/s: This post is brought to you by Visa.