Tag / tour
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.
Remember all those tours of factories, estates, or farms when we were in school? I’d always enjoyed those little trips when I was young, but never thought that they will be equally as fun when I’m 1/3 way into the described time it takes for an egg to turn black and super tasty.
High5 bread factory museum
The “lawatan sambil belajar” session to the biggest bread factory in the whole of South East Asia turned out to be so much fun! Together with a few other blog owners and members of media, I was invited by Malaysia’s very own High 5 to a tour of their bread museum, factory, and a baking session with Chef Ismail!
We started off by visiting the very interesting the Bread Town Museum that reminds me of those amusement park exhibits more than typical boring museums, and of course, we entered by saying the magic word to open the door – “High 5!”
Fun factor? max!
High 5 bread museum in Shah Alam
From the museum and the multimedia presentation, we learn about the history of bread making from the Egyptians to Iron Age to the Vikings era to modern time, and even a bit of speculations into the future.
There’s also some uber interesting toasters on display too. I wouldn’t mind one of those! Reminds me of latte art, except these would be High 5 bread art instead.
High 5 bread factory floor
The museum corridor led us over the High 5 factory floor.
The place is huge, and surprisingly manned with not very many staffs. Our guide explained that the factory is highly automated with a reason – to minimize human contact for better hygiene and to maintain consistent quality control too.
Dato Jackson Tan, KY & Chef Ismail, “cicah” with coffe
After the tour, we proceed to another hall and was given a short speech by the Group Managing Director of Silver Bird Group Bhd – Dato Jackson Tan. I don’t have the transcript nor I think you’re interested in reading them, but one thing he mentioned was the “Jom Rasa & Menang” contest that you should check out. Prize = Ipad!
With loud music and great fan fair, celebrity chef, Chef Ismail was introduced. The good chef got everyone’s mood up by forcing us to have an extended aerobic dance carrying two loafs of High 5 bread. It was hilarious and amazingly, fun at the same time. Kim couldn’t stop laughing from ear to ear, nor I.
Huai Bin, KY, Kimberly in a team!
We were then being separated to group of threes. Naturally, Huai Bin, Kim, and I got into the group, we felt invincible!
Before the baking demo got started, we were treated to a “cicah” with coffee session. A piece of High 5 bread dipped into hot coffee, the prototypical Malaysian way of enjoying the soft fresh bread. Ahh.. yums. Writing this reminds me that I should stock some of the bread at my office!
mini pizza with High 5
Right after that, Chef Ismail demonstrated, and we followed, the art of making mini pizza, with High 5!
The ingredients are simple:
- onion (cut in wedges)
- diced capsicum
- chopped parsley
and for the sauce, use plum tomatoes, diced onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, oregano, tomato paste, blackpepper mix with olive oil and salt & sugar according to taste.
Cook those in a frying pan, then apply the sauce to a slice of High 5 bread, then add the other ingredients on top of it with the cheese latest. Bake, and done!
Tastes surprisingly good, I was amazed.
home made sardin curry puff
Next up – home made sardin curry puff, or indeed, any type of curry puff you want to make.
- canned sardine
- High 5 bread
- large onion, chopped
- salt/sugar/lime to taste
Simply roll the bread flat, put the ingredients at center, and then join the edges of bread with flour paste. Deep fried (or bake if you’re health conscious all), and you’re done!
I kinda over stuffed mine, but I think it still came out tasting pretty yums!
High 5 bread tuna canapés
Our 3rd and last creation was the simplest – High 5 bread tuna canapés.
- High 5 bread
- tuna mayonnaise
- cherry tomatoes
- spring onions
- butter & mayo
Toast the bread, sliced/cut in nice agreeable shapes, spread butter and mayo, place tuna and onion/tomato, and viola, done! Little piece of open sandwich perfect for any cocktail party.
bloggers and members of media with High 5
Before we leave, Brad and Zoe, the two High 5 mascots came out for a bit of photo op. The organizer gave each of us a big goodie bag with plenty of High 5 products too. It was all a very awesome experience made better with the excellent hospitality by High 5.
When’s another rombongan lawatan sambil belajar?
Don’t forget that if you want to stand a chance to win an iPad, join the “Jom Rasa & Menang” contest! Check it out now, the mechanic’s simple
- Buy any High5 bread
- Fill up entry form and attach barcode label
- Post your completed entry forms or submit them at designated outlets
For more information head to the contest site with the link above. Good luck guys! Now I’m gonna have myself a slice of Silverbird cake to celebrate 😀
Finally processed the pictures taken from my Krabi and Phuket trip organized by Seetho Holidays some three months ago. Here are some of what I saw through the lens from that 5-day vacation that seems to have happened so long ago.
Krabi beach in reflection
The reflection on Andy the photographer’s sunglasses. The crystal clear water and soft sandy beaches of Krabi is now as much an optical plaything on the lens as they are in my memory. Welcome back to reality 1.0
want a BBQ corn you corny tourists?
There are stalls on the beaches along areas most popular with tourists. The more imaginative locals sell handy crafts, fabrics, cloths, and accessories, while some stick to the simpler offerings such as this one.
Giant of Krabi town
There’s a legend at Krabi about these gentle giants from the surrounding jungle. So far as I know, they only exists at a junction downtown tirelessly carrying the traffic lights these days. I guess they were supposed to be docile cousins of Yeti and Bigfoot.
Am I sweet or do I just look pretty?
The afternoon market at Krabi offers many different types of food, you can find BBQ fish, fresh fruits, juice, roasted chicken wings, and all sorts of other traditional dishes. This colorful plate of candy captured my attention most.
where do you want to go today?
Traditional fishing is very much alive in this part of the world, with custom made propeller shafts and colorfully painted wooden boats floating on crystal clear water. This photo was captured on the last bridge we crossed on the way to Phuket.
the Royal fish farm at Krabi
The Royal fish farm is an attempt in marine conservation, there are many species of salt water fishes from reef sharks, angel fish, to Nemo. I almost felt guilty by thinking how great most of them would taste after a short trip to the kitchen.
the hot spring waterfall
A small waterfall at the end of Klong Thom hot spring where we soaked ourselves in the mineral rich water. The hot stream joins a cold river after the waterfall, you can actually jump between the two completely different water. The hot spring reminds me of the onsen experience in Japan, if only we could do something about the tropical weather…
bustling nightlife at Phuket
The bustling night life at Phuket reminds me of Bangkok‘s red light district. Go-go bars, foreign tourists, peddlers, discos, t-shirt stalls, and plenty of alcohol serving joints.
Patpong Patong never sleeps.
a frown and a smile
The street is also populated by many female lookalike beings selling their companionship or peddling for the particular go-go bar they represent. As with anywhere else in Thailand, gender confusion is paramount here.
Fly boy assisted
When the sun rises, Phuket returns to a sort of normalcy expected from any beach vacation spot. Para sailing, jet skiing, and banana boat tours are all available. Kids who slept through the sin city’s night time activities get to do what their parents promised them.
look ma, a shell in my bucket!
Can’t wait to go on another trip.
Got back from Bangkok late last night and all I could do was to download a tonne of pictures off the memory cards. Here is a preview of things that I have done during the rather interesting trip to Thailand from the few snapshots that I hastily processed late last night.
the ubiquitous tuk-tuk
We had our fair share of tuk-tuk experience across town. These little 3 wheelers are everywhere around the city. With total disregard of traffic pattern and sense of speed limitation, it was a ball of fun and excitement. One driver even did a wheely when we were on board! (perhaps due to the weight of Terence & Dree?)
the holy temples
We also visited a lot of temples around the city center as well as the outskirts. The particular picture above was captured when I purposely cleared my throat louder than usual, hee-hee.
the diver on Chao Phraya
At the various piers along Chao Phraya River, you can see kids whose job title are “divers”. Their job is to re-catch creatures (cat fish, frogs, turtles, etc) that were let go into the river by pilgrims to be re-sell at the various stalls along the pier. The kids did not let work gets in the way of having fun.
Of course, I did a bit of practice on my Muay Thai on a proper rink at Pantip Mall (the King’s Cup competition was on)!
the red light district
What’s a trip to Bangkok without going to the red light district. I have a very good story on some 3 stupid fellas getting conned by a bar owner and a pimp. Stay tuned!
McWorms with a side of insects and the optional fried froggy
Last but not least, how can we forget about food? Weird and wonderful creatures that went into our mouth. I’ve had tomyam, pad Thai, pad see yew, pork dishes, and of course, the fried insects!
Full posts on the trip will be coming to your nearest computer monitor shortly.