Mar 27, 2012

Boudhanath, The Eye of Kathmandu

The amazing Boudhanath

The eyes are located around the four sides
This ancient stupa is considered one of the largest stupa in the world and even make it into the UNESCO World Heritage. This stupa is located at the heart of Kathmandu and surrounded by tourist buildings. According to our guide, this stupa is influenced by the Tibetan culture. Around this area, we can find a lot of Tibetans making Kathmandu as their home with mostly setting up restaurant serving Tibetan and Chinese food. We even had Chinese food in one of the restaurant. Most locals and tourists will usually go around the stupa three times for luck and blessing.

Mar 26, 2012


This has nothing to do with travel scam. It actually happened to me last week while I was in office working minding my own business. Suddenly, I received a call from Hong Leong Bank, at least that's what the caller told me. He said that I had a Hong Leong Bank credit card with outstanding balance of RM7,900++. I did not pay much attention to the exact amount as I was in shocked. Then I told the fella that I do not own any account, savings or credit card with Hong Leong. Surprisingly, he knew my full name and I/C number which was kind of scary. Then he got my address wrong and he even said that he had my I/C photocopy in front of him. At this point, I already knew it was a scam and started to scold him and said if he had my I/C copy, he should know my address. Then he mentioned that someone might be using my identity to apply for the card and by saying that, he got another scolding from me as I said how could Hong Leong Bank approved credit card application without verifying the identity. By then, I guessed he was lil panic and he asked me to take down some details to report to police. I kind of became agitated as he was interrupting my lunch time. I start telling him that I think it's a scam and I don't believe him. Then, he said if that's the case, I can check with Hong Leong bank for my statement. Then I told him I will. 

Even though I knew it's a scam, I still went to the bank and check it out. Turned out Hong Leong Bank did not have my account. 

So moral of the story, beware of all these calls saying that you owe some big amount to the bank, credit card debt etc. The next step is usually they will give you a number which they claimed is the police contact for you to call. Once you call, the 'police' will tell you to transfer your remaining money to another account as the central bank can freeze the money. 

1. Banks do not call their customer if they have large outstanding amount. They would be happily charging interest to your outstanding amount. They will only call if there is large suspicious amount charged to your card.

2. Central bank do not freeze people's money. 

And I think the fella is unaware where am I working. 

Mar 14, 2012

Longshan Temple (龍山寺) @ Taipei

We actually stumbled into this temple by accident and didn't know that it is quite famous in Taipei, something like what Wong Tai Sin temple to Hong Kong. To get to the temple is actually quite easy. Even the MRT station is named after the temple and you definitely can't miss it. Stop at Longshan Temple station at the Ban Nan line. Once you walked out from the station, you will spot this temple.

What we didn't expect that it would be so crowded and smacked in the middle of the town just like the Wong Tai Sin in Hong Kong.

Mar 12, 2012


How exactly significant travel means in my life? This going to be a long winded rambling.

Though I have been country hopping for the past few years, the travel bug does not bite since young. I still remembered my first ever trip outside Malaysia was way back when I was just 12. Singapore doesn't count as outside Malaysia to me. That time, being able to sit in a plane to reach somewhere, that is what I called outside Malaysia. It was the trip my dad brought us all, my grandma included to Lake Toba, Indonesia. For him to bring the whole family for a holiday was a huge thing as we were not from a very well to do family. I still recalled that my brother and I were so excited for the trip although at that time we actually followed a tour from Seremban.

Fast forward 9 years later, I had another chance to travel, this time to Hong Kong.  Again, my dad brought my mum and I for this trip. I had the best dim sum ever in my life in a restaurant overlooking the Victoria harbour. I also had the best wanton mee ever. And I managed to see so many iconic places around the world in Shenzhen  in a park called Windows of the World. Never did I know,  I would actually see many of those world icons in real years later.

After I graduated from university, I was not able to travel much due to my minuscule salary and my professional studies. I went to Siem Reap to see the Angkor Wat upclose with my colleagues cum friends. It was also the first time I traveled with friends. The sunrise from Angkor Wat was gorgeous, the best I ever seen in my life (at that point of time). My regret is that I didn't listen much to my tour guide when he was explaining the history to us and with the hot and humid weather, all I wanted that time was to get to the market and continued with my shopping. If I ever had the chance again, I would like to go back for a photography trip.

My next big travel after Siem Reap would be THE US trip. This time, I went with my parents to the states for my brother's convocation. Saved the money for the air ticket since the day I knew he got a scholarship to study in Illinois. I still remembered we bought the air ticket to Los Angelas on during the Matta fair which cost only RM3000 that time.  We traveled with two other families (their sons are friends with my brother). We booked a china man tour ( the reason why I called this china man tour is because it's organised by the Chinese in US and the whole tour group basically comprise of tourists from China). The 10 day tour covers Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, San Francisco, Disneyland, San Diego etc. After that we flew to Chicago and attended my brother's convocation before he brought us to New York. It's the first time I stepped into the Big Apple and little did I know, 4 years later I would go back there again and 'met' with my love of my life.
We went to Niagara Falls, visited the Corning glass museum and took the Maid of the Mist to experience the falls up-close.

The same year, I visited Hong Kong again, this time with my best buddies from work and school. Had the best experience in ordering Dim Sum as I had to ask the Ah Pek who was sitting beside our table to order food for us as the menu was in Chinese. We had Ben & Jerrys in the midst of the cold winter weather and that was amazing.

In 2008, another great trip of my life, Europe. This time, it was just my brother and I. I was sent to London for my first ever assignment and we plotted for a 3 week tour around Europe after I finished with my work, with my brother flying from Chicago and meet me in London. Europe is so much different that the States, buildings were much more historical and old. It was also the first time I set my eyes on Edinburgh, a place where I would spend my 1 year studying for my masters. We traveled to Italy covering Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Vatican, Verona. Took my first ever night train from Venice to Munich. Visited the most beautiful castle ever, Neuschwanstein, day trip to Salzburg for the Sound of Music trail and Berlin to visit the famous wall and to meet up with another friend who was studying in Germany at that time. We then took another train to Prague and flew to Amsterdam and to Brussels after that. Our last destination was Paris and until today I still think Versailles garden is the prettiest I ever seen. We almost could not get a train ticket back to London as it was the weekend and we wrongly assumed that we would be able to buy tickets once we reached Paris. Bad move.

A day after I arrived back for work in KL, received a call from HR to inform me that I had secured a scholarship to study in University of Edinburgh. I was ecstatic and speechless. In my mind, all I can think about was...'wow, I am going to conquer Europe this time!' and not how the hell I am going to survive studying for my masters.. haha
Like they say, the rest is history and that started my whole travelling fever. Visited 17 countries in that 1 year. Picked up travel photography along the way. Bought my first DLSR. Met my other half in Edinburgh.

When I was back in Malaysia, it's the trip to South Africa to watch the World Cup in 2010 to look forward. Watched 2 football games, all with Argentina playing. Met Maradona in person, ok not exactly in person upclose but you know what I mean.  The same year, I went to Hong Kong again but this time with my family and fully sponsored them. I brought my grandma along and she was extremely happy and proud to climb up to the giant Buddha in Lantau Island. She even mentioned her achievement to all her neighbours in Seremban.

In 2011, another year full of travelling activities covering Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. Went to Taiwan with brother and friends after winning travel voucher from a photography competition. Visited New York for work. Going into LDR. Stopped by London to meet a good friend and shopping in Primark, yes the cheapo Primark is my favourite shopping place in London.

So what's install for 2012? Stay tune.......

p/s: notice that the travelling stories grew less and less.......

I was too tired and lazy to continue typing, haha