Saturday, December 23, 2017

Dhaka of Bangladesh

A visit to Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh from 13 to 20 December 2017 with my travel buddy ... It is winter time there and the weather is cooling and pleasant between 17ºC to 24ºC. The sight-seeing attractions are mostly on historical grounds. 

Because of the dry weather, the streets are dusty and dirty. There are 20 million inhabitants in Dhaka with 700,000 rickshaws and 5,500 tuk-tuks (3-wheel auto rickshaws) ferrying people from one point to another swiftly – but not that comfortably and obviously lacking in safety. Traffic there is congested, chaotic and very noisy. They like to honk to provide warning to other road users.

Contrary to our perception, it is quite safe there: we have been walking around for almost a week, even in the evening. Bangladeshis are very hardworking people and they are very busy and focus with the activities that support their hard lives. Taking public transport (such as buses, tuk-tuks, and rickshaws) is difficult due to communication problem as most of them do not speak English.

As for eating out, we only patronize restaurants that have many customers. To avoid having diarrhea, we used the tried-and-tested recipe: eating the briyani chicken rice that comes with a hard-boiled egg every day – costing Taka 120 or RM6 equivalent a plate.

For serious travelers, you may consider visiting Bangladesh, but not recommended for the casual tourists.

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong. All photos are taken by smartphone.

 Dhakeshwari Temple ... Built in the 12th century, this Sena-style Hindu temple is considered Bangladesh's National Temple.
 Old Panam City in Sonargaon ... It is an ancient historical city in Bangladesh
 Bashundhara City Shopping Mall .. the modern and leading shopping mall in Dhaka
Rickshaws and tuk-tuks waiting outside a shopping mall, leaving only one lane for traffic. The traffic is chaotic and noisy -- they honk a lot.

Posted by KC Leong

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sekinchan and Sky Mirror

An overnight trip at Sekinchan on 9-10 Dec 2017 visiting the local attractions and enjoying the food in the leading Chinese restaurants, then visited Sky Mirror on the second day. 

Sky Mirror – The entire team of 19 members boarded the boat at a jetty from Kuala Selangor. After about 35 minutes of high-speed boat ride, the boat stopped in the middle of the ocean, and the two young tour guides accompanying us happily announced that we have arrived at the Sky Mirror site. Looking out of the boat, everyone was asking where the land or the beach is!

Then we saw other tourists alighted from other boats. Yes, they were standing on land in the middle of nowhere with a one-foot deep of water. After a while, there were about 25 boats arrived with each ferrying of about 20 people. 

After waited for 30 minutes, Yes! The land emerged from the sea – just like in the Hollywood movies! It was a journey of unique and fun experience. Good to visit the Sky Mirror and experience it for yourself!

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

 At the Wishing Tree of Sekinchan
 Having fun at Pantai Redang 
 We Love Sekinchan ... (front) Ivy Wong, Yi Ling, Camelia, (back, left): Josephine, Li May, Annie, James Ooi, Yen, Belinda, LeeWY, Michele Lum, Elaine Lee, Ronnie, ChongYF, ChuahTK, Polly Kor, Celine Gan, Monika Ng 
... not in the photo: KC Leong
 The homestay is just opposite the padi field in light golden yellow which is almost time for harvesting
 Sunset at at Pantai Redang before adjourning for dinner
 Chill-out at the homestay ... half-way thorough, the rain came and we just went into one of the rooms labelled as Number 2 and we continued the session.
 Visiting Nan Tian Temple on Day-2
 Visiting 3D Art Gallery 
  Where is the land? A hive of activity at the Sky Mirror site
Elaine Lee and Michele Lum happily walking around the invisible land
 Sky Mirror group photo
Nice reflection of the ...
 Waiting for the "mirror" to appear
The water level has subsided

Posted by KC Leong

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Huangshan Tour

8D7N Huangshan Tour from 17-24 Nov 2017 by AirLink Travel & Tour Sdn Bhd that covered Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Shanghai, Jiaxing, Tunxi, Huangshan, Yiwu, and Xingchang … Weather during this period was cold and wet: about 5ºC to 12ºC. Living in the tropical country, we were uncomfortable with this cold weather. We were lucky that on the day of ascending to Huangshan, it was a fine but cold day.

Do CLICK HERE to view photos by courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

For a complete compilation of photos and descriptions of the trip, do CLICK HERE for KM Cheng Travel Journal (in 8 postings).
Group photos at Huangshan

Winter – November is the winter season; as expected, the weather was cold. But throughout the 8 days, there were 3 days of almost whole-day light drizzles. Taking photos was a big challenge trying not to wet the camera. On the cloudy or drizzle days, the sky was dark at 5:00 p.m., and the temperature dropped further in the evening. Against the cold or wet weather, the tour guide was still dutifully taking the group for touring in the outdoor (in the evening) by fullfiling the itinerary. 
Shanghai Bund ... Looking out from the top floor of Shanghai World Financial Center which is the 2nd tallest building in Shanghai (492m; 100 floors)

AirLink – that was the first time that I went for a holiday tour with this travel agent where their head office is located in Bandar Puteri, Puchong. The service by the tour guide in China was good; the hotel stay and the food were also good. With the cheaper tour fare, travel by this method required the group to undergo six compulsory and controlled-outlet shopping, of which the participating outlets actually sponsored part of the tour fares. Other than the permanent China tour guide (for the entire trip), there were three guest-starred tour guides with in-depth knowledge of a specific place or product who then joined us and then left. For each lunch and dinner, we have nine dishes of food (inclusive of a dish of soup). On the final evening before returning to Kuala Lumpur, we have 14 dishes of food for dinner!
Night cruise along Shanghai Bund area

At Huangshan

Three-layered Clouds – Travelled in the Air Asia flight, I was seated beside the window. While descending, I could see a sea of clouds below. After many seconds in the silky white clouds, to my surprise, the aeroplane was in between another layer of clouds below. With further descent, the aeroplane pierced through the second layer of clouds. Another big surprise: there was still the third layer of clouds below. Immediately emerging from the third layer of clouds, then the Hangzhou airport was in sight in misty weather condition. With the thick three-layered clouds blocking the sun, that could explain the day-long light drizzles.

Posted by KC Leong

Thursday, November 09, 2017

North Thailand Sunrise & Hiking (Part 4)

7D6N Northern Thailand Chiangrai /Chiangmai sunrise and hiking tour from 28 Oct to 3 Nov 2017 ... This final album contains photos of the rice terrace homestay (no electricity) with hill-tribe food, strolling through padi field; overnight at Mayflower Grande Hotel of Chiangmai, and returning home (Kuala Lumpur) the following day.

Do CLICK HERE to view Part 4 of the final photo album courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.

 Beautiful view ... drying of just harvested padi under the hot sun
 The simple homestay is fronting the vast padi field 
 Walking around the hill tribe areas ... (L) Wai Leng, Chin Tyen, Lana, Huey Ling, George Siew, Anthony, KC Leong
 Photos shoot with the golden yellow padi field as background
 Great view for sunset too 

 Breakfast with a good view ... Anthony actually slept there (outside the room) amid a peaceful and cold night
 What a scenic view ... blue sky, golden yellow padi field and sea of clouds
Picturesque rolling hills and farm lands

Do CLICK HERE to view all the four postings on Northern Thailand Sunrise and Hiking trip.

Posted by KC Leong

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

North Thailand Sunrise & Hiking (Part 3)

Northern Thailand Chiangrai/Chiangmai Sunrise and Hiking tour from 28 Oct to 3 Nov 2017 ... This album contains photos of hotspring, Maeya Waterfall, overnight at Ban Mae Klang Luang rice terrace homestay; Doi Inthanon National Park (view sunrise then hiking), visit the Great Holy Relics Pagoda Naphapholphumisiri.

Do CLICK HERE to view Part 3 of the photo album courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.
                At Doi Inthanon National Park sunrise viewing point
 At the hotspring ... the stream of hot water shot up high into the sky
 Maeya Waterfall ... we were lucky that it was just opened that day after having been closed for one week due to abundance of overflowing water
 Beautiful setting of rice (padi) fields
 7 ºC in the early hours of the morning; at the peak, we were told that it was 3 ºC
 Hiking up to the peak of Doi Inthanon National Park
 Standing at the highest spot in Thailand
 Visiting Great Holy Relics Pagoda Naphapholphumisiri
At the homestay overlooking the padi field in golden yellow ready for harvesting ... Huey Ling, Chin Tyen, Wai Leng, Lana.

Do CLICK HERE for Part 4

Do CLICK HERE to view all the four postings on Northern Thailand Sunrise and Hiking trip.

Posted by KC Leong

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

North Thailand Sunrise & Hiking (Part 2)

Northern Thailand Chiangrai/Chiangmai Sunrise and Hiking tour from 28 Oct to 3 Nov 2017 ... This album contains photos of Doi Pha Tang hill (sunset), Phu Chi Dao hill (sunrise); White Temple of Chiangrai, Singha Park and overnight at Nak Nakara Hotel of Chiangrai.

Do CLICK HERE to view Part 2 of the photo album courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.
At Phu Chi Dao hill for sunrise ... the round "yolk" of the sun only lasts for 30 seconds
 At Doi Pha Tang hill
 Lana posing for the sunset at Doi Pha Tang hill
 At Phu Chi Dao hill for sunrise; we encountered strong wind with misty weather that morning

 Windy and cold morning from 5am to 6:15 a.m... (back) Huey Ling, Lana, Wai Leng, Chin Tyen, KC Leong; (front) George Siew, Anthony
 Visiting White Temple of Chiangrai 
 The toilet in gold colour
Visiting Singha Park

Do CLICK HERE for Part 3

Do CLICK HERE to view all the four postings on Northern Thailand Sunrise and Hiking trip.

Posted by KC Leong

Monday, November 06, 2017

North Thailand Sunrise & Hiking (Part 1)

7D6N Northern Thailand Sunrise and Hiking Tour from 28 Oct to 3 Nov 2017 ... This album contains photos for Luk Phu Chi Fa Resort, sunrise at Phu Chi Fa Hill.

Do CLICK HERE to view Part 1 of the photo album, courtesy of yours truly, KC.
Sunrise at Phu Chi Fa hill at 6:15 a.m.
Team members (L): KC Leong, Chin Tyen, George Siew, Huey Ling, Wai Leng, Lana, Anthony

 Luk Phu Chi Fa Resort ... we stayed here for two nights
 At Phu Chi Fa hill ... The border between Thailand and Laos; the light below is from Laos 
 Sea of clouds below our feet
 On top of the world feeling ... Wai Leng, Lana and Huey Ling
It was cold at 5am while waiting for sunrise
 The sea of clouds viewed from the resort
 Superb view for the breakfast
 Campsite with a scenic view complete with toilet facility

Do CLICK HERE for Part 2

Do CLICK HERE to view all the four postings on Northern Thailand Sunrise and Hiking trip.

Posted by KC Leong