Sungai Lembing for The Sunrise!

Sungai Lembing in Pahang state had becoming more and more popular over the years. To the extent, we had a real shock when we finally reached there.

Sungai Lembing town is really just a small town. So small that it couldn't contain the thousands of visitors that rushed to its town over the long weekend during Malaysia holiday. At night, there were only two restaurants that were opened to serve dinner. And one small little Malay food stall, and another smaller noodle stall. That's about it! And that particular weekend, there are more than 5000 tourists!

Sungai Lembing is popular for 3 things, sunrise at the cloud forest, rainbow waterfall, and the noodles. We only spent 2D1N there. Both sunrise and rainbow waterfall are morning activities, you can't achieve two things in a day, so we only saw the sunrise.

We have to wake up at 4.45am, and depart from our room at 5.15am. It's really a mistake that we forgot to bring torch lights. Lucky enough we were holding iPhone, so we use the flashlights. At the same time, thanks to so many other tourists, we "tumpang" the lights.

The staircase to the top was really tiring. Especially to the senior citizens. So if you're bringing any, please take good care of them.

Below are all the pictures, from before to after the sunrise. The luck was not on us that day, there were thick clouds over the sun, it's definitely not the perfect sunrise you saw on Sungai Lembing posters.

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With the rush of tourists to this place, if you're planning to go, do plan off the peak season.


Racial Harmony

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True racial harmony 

On our second day in Kelantan, we set off to visit a lot of Thai influence Buddhist temples. In particularly one, which I forgot completely what's the name of the temple, I saw something truly remarkable for Malaysia standard. And a scene that I've never seen before in any other states.


Pasir Belanda in Kota Bahru

During our Cuti-Cuti Malaysia at East Coast, in our first stop in Kelantan, we stayed in a kampung stay called Pasir Belanda. It was such a nice experience!

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Entrance of Pasir Belanda

Pasir Belanda owner is actually from Holland. He came to Malaysia few years ago for training in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bahru. And fell in love with Kota Bahru immediately! (I wonder why not Penang...) Then, he bought this land in the kampung in Kota Bahru, and ran a kampung stay of his own. And staying here for good.

To my surprise, the place is fully booked for the 3D2N when we were there! I never expected Kota Bahru to be so popular!

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The rooms are individual kampung huts
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My parents and my aunts stayed in this hut which consists of two separate double room
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My sister, my cousin and I shared a triple room
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Our clean triple room

The only problem you may face when you book this place for a stay is to locate it. When we were searching for this place using Waze, we got into a point where there's no road shown on the map. Just a whole screen with grey and a blue dot showing our destination. We were stressed! And my Google map pointed me back to the town centre! But lucky enough, my sister took faith in her Waze and found it! It's such a relief when we saw the sign! :)

It's a wonderful place for relaxation. There's a small hut where my sister and I enjoyed sitting there with her yoga mat, using the Wifi (that couldn't be accessible to our room), reading, drinking coffee and chit chatting.  There's also a small swimming pool too.

The staffs are friendly and helpful. The owner is friendly too.

If you were to visit Kota Bahru, this is a place you want to stay! :)

For us who have been staying in the city for so many years, it's simply divine to wake up with birds chirping in the morning. And also the jet lag cocks... that never stops.


The Legendary Kedai Kopi White House

Long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, my dad used to work in Kelantan. And during our recent Cuti-Cuti Malaysia trip to East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, my sister made sure we went to this "legen-wait for it-dary!" White House in Kota Bahru.

My dad kept telling us how much he missed the Nasi Dagang and the very nice kopi! We can't wait to have breakfast there on our second day in Kota Bahru.

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Kedai Kopi White House

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Mark the address please

There were 7 of us in the entourage. And here is the list of what we had:
1. 7 sets of toast with half boiled eggs
2. 1x Nasi Dagang
3. 1x Nasi Lemak
4. 2x unknown nasi (forgotten the name, but it's a big pointy banana leaf packed rice)
5. 1x kopi for each of us, that made 7x

They were all nice! The most unforgettable items will be kopi and the home made kaya that came with the toasts. My mom and aunts were so tempted to buy the kaya, but we still have a few days to go on the road before going back to Penang. So, we ended up empty handed. And missing all the delicious food.

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Nasi Lemak

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Nasi Dagang

To my dad's disappointment, the Nasi Dagang is no longer the Nasi Dagang he remembered. According to him, it's supposed to use different type of rice, a red one. We all liked it, but my dad didn't fancy this at all.

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Delicious half boiled eggs

I know it sounds crazy to say this half boiled eggs are really nice. But it IS! And what's amazing was they didn't use any timer or kitchen tool, simply hot water and their skills. Every half boiled eggs came out perfectly cooked! Wonderful!

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My fave!
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I can really eat this everyday for breakfast!

I really wish I can have this. The roti is toasted the traditional way, charcoal. I love it but it's not going to happen in the Lion City where everything needs to be fast.

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The "war" we've all created

Look at the "war" we've created on our table! It's a mess!

We've missed the kopi so much we actually went back to "da bao" the coffee after dinner on the same day. White House is opened morning (I forgot what time) and 9pm-1am daily. And full house all the time!

When I was waiting for our packed kopi, I was told to wait for at least 15minutes. Yes, that's how busy they are. I sat there observing the business. It's amazing how things worked out so well in the shop. There's no paper, no computer, nothing to jot down the order! Orders were shouted one to another in and out the kitchen. But food delivered perfectly onto the tables. How did they do it? I am simply clueless and amazed at the same time!

However, one point to be minus off will be the price. The breakfast didn't come cheap at all. But according to my dad, it has been one of the expensive place for breakfast even back then. But it's still "people mountain people sea" everyday.

If you're a coffee lover, I would tell you this is a MUST to pay a visit :)


Flinck Apartment

When we booked the air tickets, we forgot that weekend was Easter weekend. And for a busy city like Amsterdam, it's already packed with tourists on normal day, Easter weekend was crazy!

I have the hardest time to book accommodation for 4D3N in Amsterdam. And for two weeks before our travelling date, I was frantically searching for decent and affordable accommodation. I wanted to get a house boat, I couldn't get one at all :(

At the end, we settled with Flinck Apartment.

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The bed and the small little counter at the left

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The other side of the room

I'll just go straight to the point. It's not recommended unless you're running out of choices.

It's not a B&B, therefore there's no breakfast included. It's a small room with a small bathroom. But they are reasonably clean and neat. The reason I would not recommend this place is because the owners were not as friendly as I thought they should be. We weren't given any directions or map or recommendations of what's nearby. We hadn't seen any of them for 4D3N that we stayed there, except for the point we checked in and out.

For all the years I've stayed in home stay/hostel/B&B, this is definitely not something I want.

However, to be fair to them, it's still a reasonable clean and comfy room.

We've got the rate at 95Euro/night. You might be able to get cheaper rate during off peak season.


Not My Favourite-Red Light District

Red Light District in Amsterdam is one of the place that is in the "must go" list, because you're the tourist. But you're not necessary liking it. It's more like "been there, done that".

RLD is located really near Dam Square and Chinatown. If you're taking tram, you can stop at Dam Square.

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As we're walking away from Dam Square to look for RLD

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Canals everywhere.

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Crossing another canal and surprise to see so many geese.

We continued to cross the canal and walked straight up, which was the wrong move. Because much that we didn't know, RLD is just along this canal. All we had to do was to walk along the canal and we'll find RLD.

It's like what I've imagined it to be. The girls in sexy lingerie were dancing and luring customers, in the tiny display windows. It didn't feel right at all, as if the girls are just products. As if all of us (yes, including myself) are the customers who came for window shopping. Occasionally I do see guys approaching the girl to ask for pricing.

For the windows which were closed, what I heard is that "business is ongoing". I do not know how true was that. But when the girls are standing by the window I did see the bed. I perhaps, it's really true.

It's a courtesy for the girls for not taking photos. You're got beaten up if you do, I perhaps. So of course we didn't.

But, we did take one away from RLD from the canal bridge.

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The only photo along RLD

There were a lot of sex shows too. Some might be very popular, because the queue to purchase the entrance ticket was really long. We didn't purchase any, but we did browse some of the posters out there. I remember one said "F***ing Live Show". Well, literally correct.

Sex shops were everywhere. And people went into sex shop like it's just a normal groceries shopping. We went in too. Amazed by all the toys they have, and can't even imagine what it's for, or maybe try not to imagine.

But one thing we did do was to visit the Sex Museum. Well, nothing to shout about. I did learn something though, i.e. in the 50's, only the rich can afford porn because they're really expensive and condoms were once made of goat's intestines... YUCKS!

Not a child friendly place, for sure. Not even family friendly, imagine you're taking a stroll along RLD with your mom and dad. Hm... Better not.


Rembrant Art Market

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Rembrant Art Market

On our last day in Amsterdam, the sunny last day, there was an art market at Rembrantplein. The Man had wanted to go to this Sunday Art Market ever since he read it from the guide book. So, after our second visit to Heineken to redeem the second drink, and shopping at the souvenir shop, we stopped by the art market.

I did not have much to say about this art market, except, I really like this place. Maybe because of the weather or maybe because there were just too many art works around, it's simply nice to be surrounded by tonnes of paintings and photographs. The only complain I have is, we can't bring any of them back.

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Center of the market with the surroundings
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Art market and the surroundings
Noticed there's a statue? No?
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He's Rembrant. I'm very sorry that I do not know much about Rembrant. I only know he's a painter, that's it.

To respect the artists who are selling their works, I didn't take any pictures of them. I simply collected a lot of name cards from them, even though, well, I won't be able to buy any from them for the new home for the time being.

If you happened to be in Amsterdam on Sunday, and you love arts, pay the art market a visit. I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do.

How to go?
Take tram no. 4/25 and stopped at Rembrantplein


The Heineken Experience!

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I was never a Heineken fan, but Heineken Experience can simply turn you into one. Seriously!

Heineken commercials have always been one of the most entertaining ones. Especially, the "walk-in fridge" which have made its mark! Which is why, a visit to Heineken Experience had became a must when I was planning our itinerary in Amsterdam.

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Entrance to Heineken Experience

The entrance to Heineken was 18Euro per pax. I've printed out a 20% off vouchers from websites so I bought two tickets at 27Euro. With this ticket, you're entitled for two pints of beer, a free beer bottle opener, and a free short boat ride in the canal.

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Heineken Experience was flooded with tourists on Eve of Easter, they're too busy serving the beer

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The green boat at the left shuttles the visitors from brewery to Heineken flagship store

If you're expecting some serious beer tour, you're probably in the wrong queue. The brewery tour was pretty simple and fast. The guide walked us through how Heineken came about, how it was established, what is the type of barley used etc. We also got to taste the barley drink before they were fermented into beer, it's really fragrant and sweet! I could drink the whole jar!

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One of the first logo used

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Old logos

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Even back then, Heineken had already considered recyclable bottles

After that, it's fun time! There was a 4D movie, that you're the beer, in the process of brewing. There was water splashes, vibration, wind etc. It's still an explanation of brewing the beer, but different from the other brands, they just make it more interesting.

After the 4D movie, there are a lot of activities, i.e. making your own Heineken card, Heineken MTV, create your own Heineken bottle customized with your name, watching all the Heineken commercials since 1950s, how to pour the beer etc. Just way too much we can't even finish them.

So, what makes them so special that I started to like them?

Friendly and helpful staffs!
We spent too long a time in Heineken, we're hungry at the end of the tour, we only had one pint of beer each. Since the staffs told us we can always redeem the free gift and free boat ride the next day, we left Heineken with a bag of souvenirs for dinner.
The next day, we came back chit chatting with the staff. We told them we haven't redeem our second drink. He brought us in through the exit to the bar (with tic purchased one day ago) so that we could have the second drink before the canal ride!

Willing to listen!
As we were chit chatting with the staff, we told him we're from Malaysia. And I pointed a mistake on the carpet which wrote "Selamat Dating" instead of "Selamat Datang". He apologized, and made some jokes about how stupid it was to actually wish visitors "Selamat Dating".

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Selamat dating~

Whether or not they have changed the printing is an unknown to me, but the fact that they've listened and accepted the mistake is what makes the difference.

Since there are so many other breweries in the world, why not make it fun anyway? Tonnes of activities and funny commercials to watch. I personally thought the entire tour was very in tuned with the image of Heineken, fun!

I would say Heineken Experience is probably one of the best marketing ever! The moment we walked out from it, we've both liked Heineken!