Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 3: Patthalung to Nakhon Si Thammarat

We decided to move on to Nakhon Si thammarat. That's the great thing about not following any tour or having fixed booking. We are free to be impromptu.

The only confirmed booking we have is at Khanom beach.

We stayed a night at a city hotel in the heart of Nakhon. Its not a public holiday or any sort of holiday, so its kinda empty. But hotels near the beach are fully booked on 31 Dec to 1 Jan.

One thing that I have learnt about the Thais , they work hard and play even harder. During public holidays, their resorts are fully booked with holiday makers.

We did some shopping of silver products and other stuffs.

I ate my cheapest meal of "khanom chin nam ya" green curry with noodles. At THB10. Record breaking. My cheapest record was at THB14 in Chiang Mai.

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Day 2: Photo at Thale Noi

There is a museum and watch tower at the Conservation head office. And also accommodation for officers.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 2: Thale Noi - Cycling

The boys riding the 2 seater bike.
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Day 2: To Thale Noi, Patthalung

Thale Noi is the largest bird sanctuary and conservation in Thailand.

Its not exactly crowded because you would have to love nature to enjoy this place. I do.

We took a long tail boat at 5.45pm. Because according to a write up I read in the internet, it gets really hot in the afternoon. So its better to ride either early in the morning or evening. My preference would have been early morning because the water Lilies closes in the evening. Anyway.

It took up to 30 mins to reach the other side of the lake with a bridge and water buffaloes. Yes, its that huge. So the whole trip was about 1 hour and cost THB 400.

The evening ride was amazingly peaceful, cooling and in awe of the effort put in by the Thai to give the birds a sanctuary.

Pink Water lilies growing everywhere. Not many birds, though.

We spent a night in a chalet called Lan Bua Resort for THB800. Has 2 queen beds. Just perfect for us.

This is a small and peaceful town. Nothing much to do but we did get to a two seater bicycle and rode along the town. Which was really interesting for the boys. And fun too.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Photo at market 5

Ice cream made from coke for THB0.50
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Photo at market 4

Busy scene at the market. Everyone buying and selling
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Photo at market 3

Sitting in the market enjoying a drink while Joel had Pad Thai and I, the noodles.
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Photo at market 2

Frog meat sold in the market. Its a common meat sold at the market
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Photo at market 1

Had "khanom chin" with green curry. One of my favorite. Its noodles eaten with fresh vegetables eg basil, cucumber, mint and other type of leaves. Free flow. Help yourself.
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Day 2: In Hatyai

Early in the morning, we went to the biggest morning market in the South of Thailand. It was a mini Chatuchak. Located in Songkla, about 30 mins drive from Hatyai town, near the junction of Chana Road.

Stuffs sold was mainly food and clothes for the locals. Not exactly for tourist. But its really interesting to see all types of local food and fruits being sold. There are even a few antique sellers.

I bought an old iron and. steamboat container. Since forever I have been fascinated with antiques.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 1: Malaysia to Hatyai 1

We left home at 8am and arrived at the border of Bukit Kayu Hitam at about 3pm, Malaysian time.

Spending a night in Hatyai was the first option. its the nearest town to the border of Malaysia and we wanted to eat all the food we have been missing.

Yes. A lot of the reasons for the road trip includes food.

We managed to get a hotel room and spent a night even though the internet bookings said that it was fully booked.

We stayed at the same place ar last year.

Evening was spent hanging around Carrefour. Dinner at Fuji, the famous Japanese fast food franchise all over Thailand.

The palate was satisfied with basil with pork. Yummy.

Other than food and maybe some shopping, I don't particularly favor this place.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Onward to South Thailand, Again

We made a similar trip last year. So this year being the second trip, we are more confident, I think.

Last near I didn't really blog about my trip, as a result, there are many places which I have forgotten. Hopefully, this year my information on the travel will be more complete.

The whole family never got bored of Thailand. Three years of residing, annual trips and still going strong on wanting to return whenever possible :-)

Thailand has that effect on all its visitors.

Friday, December 24, 2010

2009 Driving Adventure to South Thailand

Well, what do you know, I had this post in draft mode since forever .... Posting it now.

While staying in Bangkok, Thailand for 3 years, we did not manage to go to the most Southern part of Thailand due to its distance from Bangkok. But now that we have returned to Malaysia, its not that far away. So, we have decided to drive up.

There are many benefits of driving e.g. it gives us a lot of flexibility and possibility of adventure into small little towns, waterfalls and places which are not "touristic". Enjoying some of the local small towns. Cheap accommodation.

We didn't really draw up the whole route but we tried to be flexible.

Following were the route taken:

  • Day 1 - Selangor to Alor Star, Kedah
  • Day 2 - Alor Star to Thailand via Wang Kelian. Overnight in Pak Bara, La-ngu, Satun
  • Day 3 - Pakbara to Had Samran, Trang
  • Day 4 - Had Samran, Trang to Pak Meng Beach, Trang
  • Day 5 - At Pak Meng Beach, Trang
  • Day 6 - Pak Meng Beach, Trang to Khanom Beach, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Day 7 - At Khanom Beach, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Day 8 - Khanom Beach, Nakhon Si Thammarat To Town of Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Day 9 - Town of Nakhon Si Thammarat to Hat Yai
  • Day 10 - In Hat Yai
  • Day 11 - Hat Yai to Home Sweet Home

The above trip was taken from 23 Dec 2009 to 2 Jan 2010.

The Garden: Driveway and Pathway

There are more cement blocks made. Some for the driveway and pathway leading to the pergola.

In teory, this is how a pebble block is made.... Mix the base material with cement and rough sand. Make the cement block. After its dried overnight, then, mix pebbles with cement and lay a coat on top of the cement block which has been dried overnight. These pebbles can be purchased from the nursery. It ranges from RM12 - RM22 per bag. I bought a total of 10 bags. Which was more than enough.

Cement blocks for the driveway. Good for one car. The other one can be parked
outside the house. Everyone in the neighborhood does it too.

The cement block had pebbles with papaya leaves printed on it. Some
turned out nice but others were not as good as expected.

This is how it looks after the leaves were taken away

Decided to just use pebbles without the Papaya leaves. This pathway starts from
the front door and leads to the Pergola in The Garden

After this, the pebbles need to be 'washed' with acid then polished with shellac. The real beauty of the stone will be seen. So much of work, huh?

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A full Year of Schooling

This marks the end of his first year in public schooling.

He started in the beginning of January 2010.

Its been loads of ups and downs.

But mostly up.

Joel has enjoyed this schooling year immensely. Even though its his first time to public schooling.

Many learning and growing opportunities.

His friends has provided heaps of friendship and fun throughout the year.

He is blessed with many good friends and wonderful teachers who are committed.

If you ask me, I think he is really really blessed to be it this school. I think he realizes it too.

Well, next year is just around the corner. It seems as if it was just yesterday....

Oh, forgot to mention that Ethaniel too had a good year :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Phase, New Journey

I have titled my blog as Journey of My Life.

I feel that I am in a new phase of my life, a new Journey.

I need to remind myself that its the journey, not the destination. I am TRYING to enjoy the journey.

This new journey has a lot to do with leaving 'working from home - part time' stage to 'working outside the home - full time'.

Let's see how I am going to manage all this.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy 9th Birthday, Ethaniel!

The days pass too quickly. Not that I am complaining. Glad that the diaper days, waking up in the night, potty training and all the drudgery of taking care of young babies has passed by. Gone.

Not sure when the baby in them actually grows up but outwardly, I have this cute little Ethaniel, all grown up.

He actually wanted to have a party for his birthday but since the The Garden was not ready, I told him that we will do it next year and he readily and cooperatively agreed.

We did a few things to celebrate his birthday over the last few days. Let's see... what did we do...

On the day of his birthday, he had a bad headache, so I excused him from school. For lunch, I took him to his favorite food, Bah Kut Teh (Pork soup). He ate 3 plates of rice!

The next day, we went to Shah Alam Park to try out the Skytrax but unfortunately we did not make bookings, so, they had no place for us. So, we went around the park on the mini bus, since we were already there. Mum had a great idea! Let's play ATV! A new place just opened near our home.

The boys love ATV and played it often throughout our 3 years stay in Bangkok, Thailand. Its difficult to get such an opportunity in Malaysia. Well, what do you know? One opened up 5 months ago, just 5 mins away from our home :-) The route is not as challenging as the ones in Thailand but it will do.

He had heaps and heaps of fun. With all the mud everywhere, due to rain.

The birthday ended with a meal at TGIF and his birthday monies put into his bank account, requested by him.

This year, most of the activities was haphazard because Mum was pretty occupied with other things on her mind... But all the same, I LOVE YOU, BABY! Err, I mean, little boy :-)
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Garden: Cement Block - Walking Path

There is a 10 feet walking path from the roadside in front of our house to the small gate. It was basically sand and red topsoil.

As ideas was evolving, we decided to make cement slabs. The ones being sold at nurseries were quite small and costly. So, since the Indonesian worker was around, he made it. It was 1.5 feet by 3 feet.

To color it, we could buy colored cement but I could not decide on the shade. Too dark and it will appear dirty. Too light and it looks awful. So, I decided that we use Papaya leaves to leave a creative imprint on the wet cement.

I love the effect!

Undecided if will paint it eventually.

Any suggestions?

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Care vs Indifference

A few days ago, I was at the Indian Mamak shop packing food.

The queue was long and the space was tight.

After getting my rice, I wanted to backtrack to get some vegetables, so, I request for the young man to excuse me, while I needed some standing space. He was kind enough to let me through. While I was taking the stuff, which will total 5-10 seconds, the Restaurant Waiter gave an impatient remark because I was kinda in the way.

I was busy trying to hurry, so, I neither heard his remark or saw his face reaction.


I heard the young man clearly rebuking him to be patient, for it will only take awhile.

I paused for a second and did not know how to react to this young man, standing up for a stranger, like me.

I was touched.

I went up to him and thank him for standing up for me and he gave me a very gracious, "Its OK".

Another scenario:

We were having family lunch at the same shop and have been trying to order something from the waiter for quite awhile. Then, a waiter stopped at the table next to ours. I kept waving to him but he did not take notice.


The couple sitting on that table heard us clearly and even turned to give an indifferent stare. After looking at us a few seconds, knowing clearly that we were trying to get the attention of the waiter who was still standing next to their table, they returned to whatever they were doing.

I was shocked.

Such indifference.

The waiter walked away.

Now, I have a big question in my head.

Why the indifference or care. What causes someone to take the trouble to stand up for a stranger and another to totally ignore.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Garden: Privacy Fence

Few weeks ago, I posted about The Garden.

There was this and that plan.

A privacy fence was one of the idea. The reason is to block and separate the back portion of the house from the front.

The Resak Wood was purchased from the local hardware store. The sizes of wood was 2 x 4", 4 x 4" and 1 x 4"

4 x 4" pillars as foundation

4 holes of about 1 feet wide and 1.5 inch deep was dugged. Instead of digging up the hole in a day, bit by bit was dug up over a period of few days. Just as I was ready to mix the cement to put the foundational pillars, the Indonesian worker was available to assist for the next few days. Hooray! So, he helped to fix the foundational pillars.

2 x 4" was fixed on by Joel and I, when he was off from
school during the recent Public Holiday

The foundation was allowed to dry for about 2-3 days. Then, I solicited Joel's help. Both of us took the late morning and most of the afternoon to cut the 1 x 4" plants to exactly 5 feet length with the circular saw. Then we measured and cut to appropriate lengths, the 2 x 4". That was hard work. Galvanized bolt of 3" was used to fasten the 2 x 4 " to the 4 x 4". We used the drill to make the holes.

Apparently (after everything was done), according to Hubby (who is the actual Engineer and Expert), we used the wrong drill bit size. It should have been smaller hole. Never mind, a learning process. That day, I used the drill for the 1st time in my life. Not bad.

The privacy fence and there is a plan to make a Pergola
using the same pillars

The next day, Joel had to go to school. So, I was left alone to do up the fence. All geared up and gung ho, I proceeded to fix the fence. How hard can it be? After all, I have researched in youtube and internet.

After taking 1 hour to fix 2 planks and realised that the bolts were not aligned and the drill holes were too big... As a result, the bolts was not strong and the plank begins to fall when knocked. The Engineer and Expert stumbled upon me, the Gung Ho, youtube educated Fence Installer.

A quick lesson ensued.

Oh.. I see. That's how its done.

Eventually when Joel came back from school, all of us fixed the fence together and I must say, it turned out beautifully!

It was great fun for me... I am a Handy-Woman... by accident.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tree House - Part 1

The Tree House is up and running!

After talking for about 1 year, planning for a few months, its finally been realised. Watch the youtube movie.

Will update as and when more stuffs are added to the Tree House.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Organic Garden: What's growing?

The organic garden is coming along.

I have planted some seeds which are growing.

Left: Tomato
Right: Mulberry shoots

Left: French beans
Right: Seeds are placed on the window grills to get proper sun and
easy for me to monitor

Plant on the right is Passion Fruit. Mum bought a plant for me at RM5. I am also
using some seeds to grow. So far, no signs of growth yet. I loveeeee Passion Fruit

My new compost bin.

Let me share a little about my new compost bin.

It was just by mere coincidence I discovered this product when I met up with a Malaysian friend who was visiting from Bangkok. He is currently marketing an amazing product. I am just so excited!

Well, the product promises to de-compose my Compost Bin in 3 days. What???!!! Three days? That is some amazing product. I was hoping to be able to use my compose in 4 months or so (at the rate its going). Not only it de-compose waste like these but its actually for industrial purposes. The other amazing thing is, it kills salmonella, E-coli and other bacterias which normal composting are not able to kill.

These microbs was a result of a 15 years research by a Thai Scientist. So brilliant!

I had some samples from him and have just started trying it out yesterday. Its going to be liquid fertilizer, which is the best form of fertilizer because it gets absorbed almost immediately.

So, let's just see how it turns out.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Organic Vegetable Patch

For the longest time, I have wanted to plant my own vegetable.

You might ask, "why?".

Well, nothing gives me more joy than to be able to go to my garden and be able to pluck some fresh vegetables to serve to my family. Healthy, organic and readily available.

Even better if someone would plant it for me and I just harvest it. I know, I live in this bubble of fantasy.


I seize the opportunity, now that I have space for a vegetable patch, time AND interest. I have gone into and have researched extensively on how to plant an organic vegetable patch. So interesting! So much of information!

Now that I am packed with all theory about planting, the practical should follow soon.

So, I have started a compost bin. Its all about recycling and creating healthy soil for my organic vegetables. All the banana peels, apple cores, pineapple skin and cut grass goes into the bin.

My recycle bin before it goes into the Compost Bin

The Compost Bin. Its chicken wire (3 feet high x 9 feet long) which I bought from the hardware
shop for RM2.50 per feet (Total RM22.50). According to the instruction... its one layer of brown (dried leaves) and one layer of green (household rubbish e.g. banana peels & etc) or green grass/leaves freshly cut

Contents of the Compost Bin

I thought it will be smelly but surprisingly, no smell. Apparently, the chicken wire gives a lot of ventilation, so it will not smell. So far, so good.

The Garden is not done yet, so, its difficult to have a permanent location for the vegetable patch. But still, I have a make-shift location for the next few weeks, till The Garden is completed.

Make-shift Organic Vegetable Patch

Honey Dew plant

Chili plant

Baby Aloe Vera. I bought a pot for RM4 which has 6-7 baby plants in them. So, I transplanted
it onto the ground. I think I will move it later when The Garden is completed, not sure, yet.

I have a serious obsession with aloe vera

Jack fruit tree. The only plant left from previous owner

I think I will have to go through this with trial and error, since I have not had a successful garden patch before.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Garden

Eventhough I titled this post as "The Garden"... actually it should be "What Garden?".

It was basically a disgraceful heap of mess. A real eye-sore to the inhabitant of the home-dwellers.

Therefore, no one was invited over to our new house, unless they insisted to invite themselves (No one will be named here).

In April 2010, it was a heap of mess. About 4 cars of dump was needed to
get rid of all this mess

View of the rubbish from another view

In May 2010, it was getting better but works were still going on here and there.
So, it was impossible to totally get rid of the mess. Please note that
by then, we had moved in (For info, the One Big Mess in white shirt and
black shorts, above, is still around. Don't think I will be able to rid of him for the next 30 years or so ;-))

Then "The Garden" was just there.


Just there.

Mess and all.

The initial plan was to plant grass for the whole 2000 sq ft. Then, it was stalled.

Did I want to spend RM5,000.00 to plant, just grass? The guy was charging RM2.50 per sq ft. Its probably reasonable. It would have been more worth it (according to me) if it was lettuces or pak choy or kai lan. But then again, no one actually ask a grass planter to plant vegetables instead of grass on their lawn. Also, the kids might have difficulty walking on it.

So, I sat on the idea.

And sat.

And sat.

Then suddenly.... Yes. Suddenly.

... I was finished "sitting on the idea"!

(I can hear the family members screaming from the background, "Its about time!!!")


1 week ago, I got 2 workers to clear all the mess and filled a whole load of dump truck with all kinds of rubbish from The Garden.

... The Garden is *drum roll*


No more Rubbish!!!

See, I told you... clean... desert...

Full... of rubbish

I will let you know what we are going to do with "The Garden". Its going to be a family project. Its a DIY thing. I am so excited! Just thinking about it (makes me tired), er, I mean adrenaline rush.

Stay tuned.

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