Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Zealand - South Island Tour Photos

I love New Zealand with its beautiful and serene sceneries: the brilliant sunny days, remarkable turquoise blue and pristine lakes, cobalt-blue sky, vast basin of golden tussock grass, valleys of emerald green, clean countryside, incredibly clear starry nights ... I was spellbound and absorbed in the breathtaking scenery that make my holidays a fascinating journey with lasting impression.

For the 10D9N tour of South Island from 18 to 27 March 2012, I snapped almost 3,000 photos. Not able to post so many photos at one go, I have created a summary of photo album to highlight the places that we have visited.

I truly enjoyed myself visiting the scenic places of south island.


Please click here to view the photo album (200 photos). Stay tuned for more photos ...

In photo album, click Slideshow (at top left corner); hit F11 key to adjust the optimal displays.
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ITINERARY

Day-1 (18 March 2012, Sunday)
Flight: 8:20 a.m. from LCCT with Air AsiaX. Duration 10 hours; New Zealand time is 5 hours ahead of Kuala Lumpur.
Arrive Christchurch; on arrival at Christchurch airport, meet by coach driver and transfer to check-in hotel at 1:30 a.m.
Accommodation: The Elms Hotel

Day-2 (19 March, Monday) CHRISTCHURGE - MOUNT COOK - OMARAMA
Depart to Mount Cook via Ashburton and Tekapo, sights at Church of Good Shepherd at Tekapo; continue to Omarama.
Accommodation: Heritage Gateway Hotel


  Lake Tekapo - it  is the combination of the turquoise lake, cobolt-blue sky and the clear air, which is reputed to be the clearest air in the southern hemisphere.

 Eleven holidaymakers in this tour group; Coach Captain, Kevin, is fifth from right. He is a friendly, jovial, helpful and committed person. Organizer is Yvonne Lin (4th from right).

  Yours truly (KC Leong) ... at the breathtaking view of Lake Tekapo

  The exquisite Church of the Good Shepherd ... the surrounding mountains and turquoise lake make a spectacular backdrop for the Church

  Omarama ... the signature landmark with the sculpture of a sheep

Day-3 (20 March, Tuesday) OMARAMA - DUNEDIN
Helicopter ride at Twizel; depart to Dunedin, sights en route via Oamaru and Moeraki Boulders; visit Olveston House.
Accommodation: Victoria Hotel

Helicopter ride for a breathtaking view of the peaks of Mount Cook


The Moeraki Boulders ... hundreds of marble-like boulders are strewn along the windswept beach like giant turtle eggs. Formed around 60 million years ago on the south of Oamaru town that is now famous for a geological wonder on its windswept sands. It is sunny here but cold !

Day-4 (21 March, Wednesday) DUNEDIN - TE ANAU
Depart for city tour include visiting The Octagon, Baldwin Street, railway station; visit Larnach Castle.
Accommodation: The Village Inn


  Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle with its exciting, sometimes scandalous and tragic history, magnificent carved ceiling, New Zealand antiques and breathtaking views, Larnach Castle offers us a vision of the past and present.
It is windy and cold up here

  Baldwin Street - the steepest street in the world ... Yours truly (KC) with Kevin


Complete with certificate of achievement specifying the mode of arriving at the peak. It is being signed by the Mayor of Dunedin ... I like this one: one can also get a certificate by "Looked at it from the bottom" ... :-)

  Botany Garden of Dunedin


  The facade of Dunedin Railway Station – said to be New Zealand’s most photographed building. Dunedin is often said to be the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian heritage city in the southern hemisphere.

Day-5 (22 March, Thursday) TE ANAU - MILFORD SOUND - QUEENSTOWN
Coach to Milford; report to Southern Discoveries Milford Terminal; depart for Milford Sound scenic cruise; coach transfer to Queenstown; Skyline gondola ride, buffet dinner at Skyline Restaurant
Accommodation: Goldridge Resort

  Collecting pure mountain stream for drinking ... en route to Milford Sound

  Milford Sound cruise ... passing by one of the majestic waterfalls.
Dramatic, magical, sensational, epic – Milford Sound thoroughly deserves all the tributes that are consistently bestowed upon it.

An aerial view of Queenstown from the restaurant

  Dining at the posh Skyline Restaurant at the peak of a hill at Queenstown



Day-6 (23 March, Friday) QUEENSTOWN
Visit Arrowtown and view bungy jump site and jet boat site; visit winery; free-and-easy at Queenstown.
Accommodation: Goldridge Resort

  Fantastic view ... Looking out the window of Goldridge Hotel that we stay

  Jet boat manoeuvring at high speed along the river with military precision

 Arrowtown area
 Bungy jump near to Arrowtown

Standby ...

Take that plunge without fear

ahhh...
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This is how a jumper dismounts from the jump
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Kevin and KC

Vineyards and winery visit

The cellar is just beneath the hillslope; temperature is kept at a constant of 14 degree Celsius

 At the lakeside of Queenstown


Street musician - a lone pianist playing in the cool evening at the pier of Queenstown

If you are planning to visit South Island, feel free to write to me. I can now give you better advice for the places to visit ... :-)

Day-7 The journey ... to be continued ...


Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Zhineng qigong and FRIM

In appreciation of the laoshi (in Mandarin meaning teacher or master or sifu) who teaches me the technique of Zhineng Qigong (chi gong) in Malaysia, I took them and other members for trekking on Saturday, 10 March 2012. After having been organizing of many outings, this is just a simple task for me. So for a start, I have selected FRIM Kepong which is scenic and not too difficult to trek.

It was a good weather with the overcast sky. The air was fairly fresh with the heavy rain that lasted for more than 10 hours on last Wednesday evening (7 March) that caused flash flood in many of the places in Kuala Lumpur. It was safe in the hills.

Do click here to view photos taken by yours truly (KC). Click Slideshow (top left) and hit F11 key to adjust the optaimal display size.

A group photo at Rover Track - start of the trekking ... yours truly (KC) at bottom right.

At Canopy Walkway

The fitness level of the qigong members was commendable, possibly due to constant practice in regulating the chi in the bodies. Starting from Rover Track, I led the team to turn into Canopy Walktrail; continuing the journey to Malay Tea House which is now closed for renovation. We then walked to Taman Botani Kepong, passing by the scenic lake, and returned via Mountain Bike Trail. We then proceed to see the wonders of nature – the tall Kapur Trees – whose leaves are set with boundaries that never to touch another tree of the same species.

Since I am in trail running attire, I took to opportunity to run along the trails, though I was the only one that ran in the group this time.

The entire journey took 4 hours and 30 minutes. Tough it was a fairly tiring effort for the laoshi and members, they felt good of able to trek thus far and connect with nature. Maybe next time, we can schedule a qigong practice in the hills interwoven with trekking.

 Durian flowers ... emitting a pleasant fragrant; in another few months' time, there should be many durians in this park

 Walking along the tracks and trails in FRIM

A word of appreciation to Grace Tabitha Lim Clark, a research office in FRIM, for showing me how to go navigate to Taman Botani Kepong, Dream Trail and Kapur Tree ... click here.

In 2009, when I assembled a team to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, I was gung-ho then that the first meet was to trek at Gunung Nuang. Choosing a tough mountain, that incident did create interesting and lasting memories as certain new members were not able to take the strenuous terrain ... click here.

Having fun at Taman Botani Kepong (still within FRIM) ... with improved background (partners sitting on a bench)

 Return via Mountain Bike Track

 Respect for laoshi ... Cindy Lim fanning Soo laoshi with the gigantic dried leaf picked from the ground, never mind that she was sweating profusely
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 The huge fish (with yellow tail)

 Kapur Trees - notice the boundaries set by one another

ahh....

Do click here for all activities on Zhineng Qigong (Malaysia) recorded by yours truly..
Do click here for Zhineng Qigong (Malaysia) website.

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Zhineng Qigong Dinner (M'sia) Photos


Zhineng QiGong Annual Dinner 2012 was held at Cheers Palace, Cheras on Saturday, 3 March 2012. The event was a gathering of members and practitioners of all the centres in Klang Valley.

Graced by the President, Mr Liow Kim Heng; Advanced Level Qigong Laoshi (teacher or master) from China, Mr Lu Lin Kun and Ms Zheng Bai Ling, there were almost 200 members attending the function.

It was an evening of good times together meeting members of other centres amid good food, karaoke contest, entertaining moments and lucky draws.

(Hold down CTRL key) and click here to view photos taken by yours truly. Hit F11 key to adjust the optimal displays size. 


The President, Mr Liow Kim Heng (back, left); Soo Laoshi (back, right); and other laoshi and members.

Prizes for lucky draws

The President, Mr Liow Kim Heng(L2), Advanced Level Qigong Laoshi from China, Mr Lu Lin Kun (R2) and Ms Zheng Bai Ling (R1)
Energizing the Qi field by Lu Lin Kun laoshi

Members dining together

Well dressed contest ...guys

Well dressed contest ...ladies

Live seafood corner in the restaurant

All the Laoshi that present ... a toast to the well-being of all members

Reciprocate by the members ...


Most members from Subang Jaya and USJ did not come as there was another dinner staged at USJ on Saturday, 14 January 2012.
Do click here to view the photos. 


Posted by KC Leong