Wednesday, August 29, 2007

shanghaied to Shanghai

Ni hao! Huan ying! Xie xie! Xiao long bao!

It was only to be short business trip to Shanghai but considering I was several thousand miles from home, I decided to make the most of it.

And so, 15 minutes after checking into our hotel rooms in Chuansha, a medium-sized municipal in Pudong, Shanghai, we ventured out for food!

Sui jiao i.e. steamed meat dumplings. I remember it cost RMB1 (approximately RM0.50) for a plate of 8. Dunno why I see more here.

Work aside, I managed to catch up with Uncle Yun, Aunt Karyne and U-Minn on Sunday, which was pretty good in retrospect as it turned out to be the only day that I could really say I had a taste of Shanghai.

They came all the way from Puxi (the part of Shanghai on the other side of the Huangpu River) to pick me up, and then we drove back all the way to Puxi, towards the city centre. There were a few things struck me about Shanghai - towering skyscrapers, multi-level highways, horrendous drivers, and good food.

What about the famous Shanghai girls you wonder? Strangely, I only noticed them in Din Tai Fung, Xintiandi. That's where we ended up having dinner on Sunday night =)

I have never been to Dragon-i back home, but who cares about Dragon-i when you can do Shanghai...IN Shanghai! And Din Tai Fung doesn't stray far from the top echelons of Shanghai cuisine.

La mian. A must.

Synchronised xiao long bao eating.

Uncle Yun and Aunt Karyne stamp their approval. Heavenly xiao long bao in foreground.

All the walls in Din Tai Fung are covered with caricatures of famous people who have been there. See if you can identify the ones here.

A very unique dessert with rice wine, fermented rice, egg white, wolfberries and black sesame tang yuan. Nice!

A quiet corner in Xintiandi.

The Bund on the banks of the Huangpu.

Across the river from The Bund, skyscrapers soar in Pudong.

I had a first-hand taste of Engrish in Shanghai as well. From the pictures below, it's clear they have a long way to go.

(The visitor invites the register)
Spotted at our hotel. Who am I supposed to invite?

(The net lives the fashion network to live your eyeball)
What the??

(Everlasting and Unchanging Amusement Co. Ltd.)
How's that for a name of a nightclub?

(Please dial 68346000 if you find the water quality problem)
I'm still looking!

So quickly and it was time to go.

Shanghai Pudong Airport. It's huge.

The journey home.

Saved memories in a blue SD card...
2007.08.26-28 Shanghai

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

at the beach again

I was worried Redang would disappoint.

It didn't.

Dream about turquoise-coloured dives in the morning and evening. Throw in a fair sprinkle of snorkelling from one end of the bay to another. Think sumptuous seafood dinners every night. Beach walks. Facial and foot massages. Pre- and post-Redang walkabouts in Kuala Terengganu.

Aaahhhhhhhh...I'm in my happy place.

Three cheers to one of the most memorable family trips I've ever had! Not to mention that I also managed to get my Advanced Open Water diving certification along the way! Yeayy!

Bright colours abound at Kuala Terengganu's Pasar Besar Payang.

Hanging up her wares for sale.

A lone painter gets distracted.

I like old. Old is good.

A fancy door at KT's Chinatown.

More old memories at Chinatown.

Sometimes I wonder, what if we painted our church red?

One end of Teluk Dalam at Pulau Redang.

And the other.

Our home for three nights.


Macro of a shy grasshopper.

Black and white contrast.

Dusk falls.

Lunch with a view.

Looking out to the sea.

Colourful canoes on the beach.

Monkeying around.

Taking the leap.

Vincent took this. Nice.

A lonely batfish.


Paijo and I.

Yes, that's moi.

An awesome sight in a wreck.

And there's more...
2007.08.18-21 Pulau Redang and Kuala Terengganu

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

dive @ Perhentian - day 5

So quickly and we finally reached the last day of our trip. Since we were due to fly back to KL later on in the day, we couldn't schedule any extra leisure dives today lest we kill ourselves in the compression/decompression process haha. And so, we basically just hung around the resort's vicinity finding other things to do.

Jungle trekking, although the group really dwindled after a short distance with the majority choosing to laze in the pool instead =p

BIG ant.

A picture postcard shot.

And another one...peeking through the shrubs to view the sea beyond.

Almost 2 solid hours in the pool playing ball.

Some of us.

Before we embarked on our antics.

This one clearly didn't work out initially.

Three alphabets that represent us. Guess.

The cover shot for next month's corporate mag?

Final lunch at Break First Bar. Best mango shake I've ever had!

Rollicking over dive stories.

Time to leave paradise.

The blue, above and below.

Binge trip in Kota Bahru - first stop: keropok lekor!

Leaving our trail of destruction after nasi lemak burung puyuh and coconut water!

To ease our transition back to civilisation, we had KFC -_- for dinner at the airport. No pictures though. You know how KFC looks like, right?? ;)

We arrived in KLIA-LCCT late. Said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Hopped on a bus with Irene to KL Sentral. Was thinking I could catch some shut-eye but we ended up yakking all the way instead.

It felt a little weird returning to the concrete jungle after spending 5 days of going back to basics. While there were certainly feelings of sadness now that the holiday had ended, those feelings also went out to the realisation that we in the city had become so disconnected with nature. Our creature joys are now mainly derived from man-made peripherals rather than God's creation itself. That's some food for thought huh?

Amid those slightly depressing thoughts, it was a welcome sight to see a familiar face at the bus station waiting for me. I was home.