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After spending a good day at Skytrex, I started to research a little on the fun adventure stuff we can do for reasonable amount of money right here in Malaysia. As I was pondering what to do with Haze on her birthday weekends, I recalled seeing a picture of whitewater rafting on one of my whatsapp groups.

A few clicks on the web browser later, I booked ourselves a half-day trip of whitewater rafting at Nomad Adventure in Gopeng, Perak.

Nomad Adventure Earth Camp at Gopeng, Perak
Nomad Adventure Earth Camp at Gopeng, Perak

Nomad Adventure offers quite a few different recreational activities, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, caving, rock climbing, abseiling, and more.

We chose whitewater rafting as it only needs a minimum of 2 pax, and half a day’s rafting with commute time to Gopeng will take almost a day anyway, which fits into our schedule.

we got our safety gears, then a lorry ride to upstream
we got our safety gears, then a lorry ride to upstream

We showed up at Nomad Adventure’s Earth Camp at Gopeng at about 8:30 in the morning after paying for our trip a couple days prior via bank transfer. The camp is ony some 10 minutes or so from the highway exit, which is easy enough to find.

We were then introduced to our guides and got kitted up with safety equipments, which includes a helmet and flotation device.

After that it was a some 30 minutes truck ride with our rafts to upstream. We drove passed several villages and chalets, a bit of a scenic drive I’d say.

white water rafting!
white water rafting!

Before getting on the raft, we were being briefed by our guide on the do’s & don’ts, which also includes a practise session on what to do and how to get rescued should you get thrown out of the raft.

After which was rafting time!

A raft houses 3-6, which includes a guide. Our raft was just Haze, myself, and a very helpful guide, and our “team” had three rafts watching out for each other.

It was a load of fun, part workout, part adventure, and fully immersed in the beautiful pristine jungle. The whole journey took about 1.5-2 hours, including a stopover at a halfway point where we had a little bit of picnic (an apple each).

The adventure was over just a little after midday, and it was definitely something that I would do again, but this time around maybe wait for rainy season at Cameron Highlands so that the rapids will be even more intense!

map to Nomad Adventure Earth Camp at Gopeng, Perak

Address:
Nomad Adventure Earth Camp
Jalan Hussin, Gopeng, Perak
GPS: 4.430745, 101.181127

I’ve been to Taman Botani in Shah Alam several times, mostly for cycling. The huge park located at Shah Alam offers many kilometers of roads that is closed from traffic for cycling, jogging, and has a host of other nature driven attractions like mini zoo, paddy field, and even a 4-season house.

The most exciting activity at this place though, has got to be Skytrex Adventure.

three adventures to choose from at Skytrex
three adventures to choose from at Skytrex

Several weeks ago when the kids came over during school holidays, we decided to bring them for a little bit of good old fashion obstacle challenge/adventure.

The challenge is split into 3 categories:

  • little adventure
  • big thrill
  • extreme challenge

registration and "training"
registration and “training”

The little adventure has a maximum height of 5m and comes with 23 challenges, big thrill with 17 m highest platform and 26 challenges, while the ultimate extreme challenge goes even higher – at 22m and with 34 individual challenges.

They cost RM 35, 45, and 55 each, you can go as a group, a couple, or even just individual, I believe.

yep, it gets pretty high on top of the forest
yep, it gets pretty high on top of the forest

Since we were all newbies who only has a little bit of ego, we chose Big Thrill. Now 17 meter may not sound very tall, but once you get on the highest platform and start to look down, it does get pretty scary.

After all, 17 meter is equivalent to about 5 story high.

hang on to dear life!
hang on to dear life!

To start off, we were fitted with the safety harness, you’re also encouraged to bring your own gloves as the activity does require protection of your palms.

We then proceeded to the training ground and was taught how to use the equipment properly. There are two carabineer/clicky thingy and they are designed to have one hanged onto the cable at all time, you literally cannot detach yourself from the safety cable throughout the whole challenge.

The obstacles include climbing vertical ladders, flying fox, hopping through planks way high on the tree line, and more. It was very exciting and also physically exhausting.

we completed it!
we completed it!

There are instructors in many of the stations coordinating and helping you, and if you feel that you can’t complete due to fear/exhaustion or whatever reasons, there are also exit points to get off the challenge.

If you’re looking for a few hours of thrill in the greens and being able to do it safely, check this place out. After all, it’s only half an hour’s drive from KL.

I’m quite sure we’ll be back for the Extreme Challenge next time.

map to Taman Pertanian, Shah Alam

Address:
Skytrex Adventure
Taman Pertanian
Jalan Liku 8/1, Seksyen 8,
40000 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.095400, 101.511013
Tel013-276 9841

This is the last food entry for our London Trip, and more importantly, the only place that I was recommended to go by my colleague William who went to the same city just weeks before Haze and myself made the trip that was sponsored by Malaysia Airlines – the restaurant chain is, of course, Burger and Lobster.

Burger and Lobster, London
Burger and Lobster, London

While most food in London (in our experience) was rather expensive in comparison with what we get in Malaysia, Burger and Lobster somehow manage to provide a sweet deal that is in a way, cheaper than back home.

As the name suggest, this place only offers Burger and Lobsters. After we sat down, we were presented with a drinks menu and no food menu. You would either choose burger, or lobster (baked or steamed), with each dish priced at £20.

As Asian, it was no surprise that we opted for the crustaceans.

baked or steamed lobster with chips, pick one
baked or steamed lobster with chips, pick one

The lobster dish is very straightforward and simple, you get salad & chips as sides, and butter sauce to go with the seafood. And sometimes simplicity is best when it comes to good quality seafood, the lobster was fresh, succulent, and full of that seafood sweetness. The salad was superb as well, though the chips were again, tastes like deep fried potato cut into thin strips with salt sprinkled on them.

We found that portion was just right as well. If you’re one of the bigger eaters, they do have some bigger sized lobsters instead of the standard 1.5 pounder.

Haze & KY at Burger & Lobster, we certainly enjoyed it
Haze & KY at Burger & Lobster, we certainly enjoyed it

While we went to the branch at Knightsbridge, there are actually quite a number of Burger and Lobster branches in London and a few other cities. If I go back to London again, I will most likely revisit this fantastic chain.

P/S: Pince & Pints is doing something similar in Malaysia, I have yet to give it a try.

Burger and Lobster at Knightsbridge, London Map

Address:
Burger & Lobster
Fifth Floor Harvey Nicols
Knights Bridge,
London SW1X 7RJ
GPS51.501666, -0.159802
Tel: +44 2072018676
URL: www.burgerandlobster.com

To continue on sharing our trip to London, we now talk about one of the more famous names in the food industry – Jamie Oliver. If you don’t know who he is, you either don’t have a TV, or don’t have any friends who has a TV. In either case, google is your friend.

So, since our hotel, Dorsett Sheperd’s Bush, is so near to Westfield London, we thought of giving Jamie’s Italian a try, one of the celebrity chef’s many restaurants in UK.

Jamie's Italian at Westfield London
Jamie’s Italian at Westfield London

The restaurant has a small alfresco dining area, but the bulk of the seats is actually indoor, it is beautifully decorated with a mixture of rustic & classy feel to it. I thought it exudes class above the price point of this establishment.

The menu is fairly straight forward, you have bread & antipasti, a selection of mains & sides, pasta, desserts, and drinks. There’s also kid’s menu as well.

Gennaro's Famous Porchetta, Haze
Gennaro’s Famous Porchetta, Haze

We only sampled two different dishes here at Jamie’s Italian. Haze had the Gennaro’s Famous Porchetta (£13.95), slow cooked pork belly filled wih garlic, chilli & herbs, served with roasted root vegetable, spiced apple sauce, and salsa verde. It tasted healthy and the pork meat portion was pretty good, but ultimately the skin was far too chewy to be edible, I think the Europeans still need to learn from the Chinese on how to roast perfect pork skin.

Stone bass
Stone bass, and I just realized we had an extra item on our bill…

I initially ordered the Venetian Fish Stew, but eventually had to change to one of their specials of the day – Baked Stone Bass (£16.95) due to the unavailability of my initial choice.

The baked bass was beautifully done and sat on a bed of (I assume) mashed potato & radish with cubes of avocado. It was quite balanced and tasted rather good with a bit of extra salt & pepper. I quite liked it.

From the small sample size, I thought Jamie’s Italian was pretty decent for it’s price point. The experience would have been better if I didn’t find out as I write this that the Venetian Fish Stew was actually still in my bill (accidental I think)…… Oh well.

P/S: there’s a branch in Singapore.

map to Westfield London

Address:
Jamie’s Italian
Unit 1078

Westfield London,
London W12 7GB, United Kingdom
GPS51.506733, -0.222849
Tel: +44 20 8090 9070

Note: This UK – Malaysia Influencer Exchange programme was organised by Malaysia Airlines.
However, opinions are of my own. Malaysia Airlines flies between London and Kuala Lumpur
twice a day on the A380. There are 8 seats in the First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420
in Economy. Make your flight reservations today on www.malaysiaairlines.com.

I’m one of those tourists who love to go free & easy and almost never took up any sort of tour packages. Guided tours = wake up way too early in the morning, going to too many places, spending too much time in buses, and ended up buying things in overpriced places that give kick backs to the tour guide, or so I thought.

Then there’s short guided tours, which I was more open to but never really took the initiative to partake in one, until we were signed up for the East London Food Tour by the good people who organized our London trip. It proved to be one of the most enjoyable part of the trip.

Harry, our tour guide for the East London Food Tour
Harry, our tour guide for the East London Food Tour

We met up at Old Spitalfields Market, just a short walk from Bill’s at Clink Street, the place where we had breakfast (which was a mistake, note to self – don’t have breakfast, or anything, before a food tour.)

Our guide was a young half-hipster/artist gentlemen by the name of Harry, who was very entertaining and carries a wealth of knowledge about the local food & art scene in which he was very eager to share. Over the course of 3.5 hours, we walked around East London sampling some of the best foods and learned about local history.

Our group had American, Swiss, Malaysian, Norwegian, and even Londoners, and since it was only about a dozen of us, we manage to carry a good flow, which was great.

Here are the 8 places we went, and while you can try them individually if you happen to be at East London, I do recommend joining the food tour to sample them all at once, plus, it’s always nice to not have to be in queue.

bacon sandwich at St John Bread & Wine
bacon sandwich at St John Bread & Wine

Our first stop, bacon sandwich at St. John Bread & Wine. The back bacon was juicy and we really enjoyed the special apple infused home made ketchup that they have. Quarter sandwich for everyone to get us started, and while I usually prefer streaky bacon, this back bacon was juicy and together with the home made ketchup and fresh bread, made for a pretty good opening act.

Address:
St. John Bread & Wine
94-96 Commercial Street, London E1 6LZ
GPS51.519758, -0.074289
Tel+44 20 7251 0848

bread and butter pudding at the English Restaurant
bread and butter pudding at the English Restaurant

Our next stop was the restaurant that has the least interesting name in the whole of England – the English Restaurant. In this 17th century building we sampled one of the original “poor people”s food – the bread and butter pudding. Truth be told, this was the best bread and butter pudding I’ve ever had, it was rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious. I guess having them made in small batches makes a huge difference to the standard hotel buffet fair.

Address:
English Restaurant
50/52 Brushfied St, Spitalfields, London E1 6AG
GPS51.519731, -0.074310
Tel: +44 20 7251 0848

we tasted a cheddar and blue cheese at Androuet
we tasted a cheddar and blue cheese at Androuet

At Androuet, we had a short briefing about the few types of cheese made locally, and got to sample their cheddar and blue cheese on location. A glass of wine would certainly made this stop even better. Androuet carries a variety of European and English cheese.

Address:
Androuet
Old Spitalfields Market, 107b Commercial St, London E1 6BG
GPS51.519663, -0.075484
Tel: +44 020 7375 3168

fish and chips at Poppies, listed as Time Out's top 100 foods in Londonfish and chips at Poppies, listed as Time Out's top 100 foods in London
fish and chips at Poppies, listed as Time Out’s top 100 foods in London

Next stop was the inevitable fish & chips, and we had this at Poppies, rated one of the best fish & chip outlets in all of London. The fish used was cod (a luxury in Malaysia), with a light and crispy batter while keeping the fish moist & just-cooked, it was actually rather good. The chips did not illicit any additional revelation, it was okay.

Interestingly, the fish & chip is now served in a food safe paper with newspaper print instead of actual newspaper.

Address:
Poppies Fish & Chips
6-8 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR
GPS: 51.520236, -0.073956
Tel: +44 20 7247 0892

Pride Of Spitalfields - a local pub for some beer
Pride Of Spitalfields – a local pub for some beer

Pride of Spitalfields was next on the agenda, we got a taste of the life at local pub for a bit, sampling a couple ales and even got to pet Lenny, the pub cat, who was fat, lazy, and seemed rather used to being around strangers.

Address:
Pride of Spitafields
3 Heneage Street, London E1 5LJ
GPS51.518942, -0.071205
Tel: +44 20 7247 8933

Aladin at Brick Lane for UK's national dish - curry!
Aladin at Brick Lane for UK’s national dish – curry!

After a short stay at the pub, we moved to the national dish of England – curry!

With the heavy influence of South Asian in the region, East London, and especially Brick Lane, has a whole slew of curry houses, with each of them having an intimidating looking Indian guy trying to convince you to get into their restaurants that are often decorated not entirely unlike a strip club.

That being said, the dishes we had at Aladin was excellent, I remember the chicken tikka masala to stand out and went really well with garlic naan. It wasn’t very different from the North Indian cuisine we got back home, but this was certainly among the better versions.

Address:
Aladin
132 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
GPS51.520504, -0.071795
Tel: +44 20 7247 8210 

Beigal Bake, Jewish bakery with the best bagel with salt beef
Beigal Bake, Jewish bakery with the best bagel with salt beef

Our penultimate stop was my favorite – bagel with salt beef at the Jewish bakery, Beigal Bake. The 24-hour bakery had quite a long line extended to the sidewalk when we were there, and it was easy to see why, while the bagel was fresh and had a balanced taste, the salt beef was super succulent, juicy, and just perfect. The combination was irresistible.

If there’s a must-have in this list of 8, it is this.

Address:
Beigal Bake
159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB
GPS51.524496, -0.071743
Tel: +44 20 7729 0616

salted caramel tart with some English tea at Pizza East to conclude the tour
salted caramel tart with some English tea at Pizza East to conclude the tour

Finally, after some 3.5 hours, we concluded the tour at Pizza East sampling their famous salted caramel tart, and of course, a glass of English tea to go with. The tart was rich and those salted caramel really brought out the flavour of the chocolate. Tea was, well, tea.

Address:
Pizza East
56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ
GPS51.523665, -0.076442
Tel: +44 20 7729 1888

I want to thank Harry for the excellent tour and Micaela & gang for organizing it. It was an excellent few hours and certainly very entertaining and provided much food for thoughts and for my stomach. Still wished we didn’t have breakfast prior to this though.

Note: This UK – Malaysia Influencer Exchange programme was organised by Malaysia Airlines.
However, opinions are of my own. Malaysia Airlines flies between London and Kuala Lumpur
twice a day on the A380. There are 8 seats in the First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420
in Economy. Make your flight reservations today on www.malaysiaairlines.com.