Hello everyone, lets talk about the climate today. To be specific, the climate in Malaysia, and especially around Klang Valley.
Below is a part of a chart obtained from tutiempo.net, a weather service website, of the climate data taken at Subang Airport for the last 6 decades or so.
T – Annual average temperature (°C)
TM – Annual average maximum temperature (°C)
Tm – Annual average minimum temperature (°C)
PP – Total annual precipitation of rain and / or snow (mm)
V – Annual average wind speed (Km/h)
RA – Total days with rain during the year
SN – Total days with snow during the year
TS – Total days with thunderstorm during the year
FG – Total days with fog during the year
TN – Total days with tornado or funnel cloud during the year
GR – Total days with hail during the year
Notice that average temperature, average maximum, and average minimum temperature taken were all up by almost 2 degree Celsius since the mid 70s. In fact, back in the days we even experienced a few hail storms!
So when your parents say that it was much cooler back in the days, they weren’t just speaking through the lens of nostalgia.
Next, look at the electricity consumption history of my house, taken from TNB e-Services website. For your info, the bill ending mid February was over RM 400.00, with one big chunk of power undoubtedly contributed from the two old school air conditioners running at home due to the recent hot & dry spell of the local weather.
Which brings us the main topic of the day – the Sharp inverter Air Conditioners.
Now you might ask, what is inverter?
In laymen’s term, air conditioner with inverter circuitry can control room temperature by switching the compressor between high and low operation modes, while the non-inverter type can only switch it full on and full off.
The benefit is two fold – you get a more even room temperature control, and at the same time, it reduces power consumption by up to 50.3%.
Well, plenty of air conditioners now come with inverters, right?
Now what sets Sharp apart is their Plasmacluster Ion technology.
With the situation of haze and generally more polluted city air these days, Plasmacluster Ion technology uses the actions of positive and negative ions to clean up airborn contaminants and create a more pleasant living space.
Other features available from Sharp ACs include powerful jet, gentle cool, and nature wing design for fan blade for maximum energy efficiency.
So if you’re looking for air conditioning units, or perhaps thinking of upgrading your current air conditioners, take a look at what Sharp has to offer.
There are a wide range of Plasmacluster Ion and non Plasmacluster Ion inverter ACs. The line up also includes non-inverter models and comfort Eco as well.
Disclaimer: 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.
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.
Address: Babi Guling Sanur Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai, Sanur (Opposite McDonald’s)
Bali 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.
Address: Warung Ayu 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.
Bali Asli Jalan Raya Gelumpang Gelumpang village Amlapura Karangasem 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.
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.
Address: Soto Ayam Suroboyo Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai No. 210, Sanur, Bali 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.
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.
It’s CNY again and many of you are undoubtedly on the “Balik Kampung” journey right now, or very soon.
The bad news is, traffic is probably not going to be great, but there’s always silver lining in every cloud – and this CNY season, as with the past 15 years, PETRONAS Coffee Break is back!
This year, PETRONAS is giving out bright red goodie pouches to motorists, containing a can of Wonda Premium Coffee, a pack of crispy Julie’s Love Letters crackers and PETRONAS branded CNY ang pow packets. No purchase necessary.
This is happening on 29-30 January and continues on 2-3 February for its second phase when you are probably heading back from kampung to city again.
Additionally, PETRONAS will also contribute RM 20,000 to fuel up St John Malaysia’s ambulances that are patrolling the major highways during this time. This initiatives is being carried out for the 20th consecutive years by PETRONAS.
That’s a pretty awesome move I’d say.
If you have an Android of iOS device, search for “PETRONAS Pitstop” application on Google Play or Apple AppStore, the application allows you to locate participating PETRONAS stations on your fingertip.
For the rest of you, well, here’s a list of the participating stations on the map.
participating PETRONAS stations for Coffee Break CNY 2014
Every four years the whole world toss aside their differences to come together and participate in the single biggest sporting event – the FIFA World Cup. Not surprisingly, it is also the most anticipated event for many of us this year.
Side note: My whole life I’ve had to watch World Cup in the wee hours since it was always held on the other side of the world (this year included), and during the Korea/Japan world cup of 2002, I was actually living in US. Such is my luck with World Cup.
Most of us will be glued to the TV watching the World Cup come June, but if you’re a Maybank VISA Credit Card holder, I have a good news for you.
By spending RM 100 with your Maybank VISA Credit Cards, you stand a chance to win tickets to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Yeap, a trip to watch the World Cup finals, all the way to the other side of the globe!
The contest is pretty simple:
Every RM100 spend with Maybank VISA Credit Card will give you a chance to be in the running to win for any of the prizes
You can also multiply you entries when you:
5X entries when you use Maybank Manchester United, Petronas or SonyCard VISA Credit Cards
5X entries when you use ANY Maybank VISA Credit Card at Sony Store, Sony Online and Sony Centre
5X entries when you use ANY Maybank VISA Credit Card at PETRONAS stations/Kedai Mesra
The only step you need to confirm your participation is by sending SMS WORLDCUP <space> 12 Digit NRIC no and send to 66628 (Cost of SMS will be borne by Cardmember)
The prizes are:
2X Grand Prize – a trip for 2 to Final in Rio De Janerio
3X First Prize – a trip for 2 to Semi Final in Sao Paulo
300X Bonus Prize – VISA FIFA Merchandise
So regardless if you’re a football fanatic or just a part time soccer enthusiasts, participate and if you win and don’t want to go, I am always available to take over your place.