Saturday, April 30, 2011

Zenith Hotel

"zephyr" - a soft gentle wind (literary)

Zenith Hotel

While I'm on the subject of hotels ( see here ) I've decided to finish this A-Z challenge with the recently erected, 5-star Zenith Hotel in Kuantan.

History of Zenith Hotel and me

The Zenith Hotel began construction in early 2009. I followed its progress by taking pictures at the various stages of construction. Throughout the year 2010 I witnessed an empty piece of land turn into a prime spot seating a 23-floor, 5-star hotel.

In late 2010 I met Jon Liang. He was taking photos of the hotel, as I was on that evening. We became acquainted and I discovered that he was working on the project, helping with the interior design. So I invited him to see my blog, where I had been posting regular updates of the rise of the Zenith Hotel.

A short while later and I received a facebook message from Jon Liang informing me that the Zenith Hotel General Manager (GM) had come across my blog while searching the internet, and was interested to meet me!

In December 2010 we were invited for a free tour of the Zenith Hotel with then GM Jerina Foong. We were shown around the hotel, up to a room on the 5th floor and also taken around the still-in-progress adjoining Convention Centre.

We attended for a New Years Eve buffet dinner and also received an invite to attend the soft launch opening in January 2011. Jerina Foong extended to us a free one nights stay at the Zenith Hotel. We had a great time there and I blogged all about it right here.

I've not been back to the Zenith Hotel since we stayed there in January. It is currently open and is due for final completion in June 2011.

Then I'd love to stay for a night once more, preferably on a higher floor!

It just goes to show that writing a blog can bring you many rewards! I never imagined I would have received all of this hospitable treatment from the Zenith Hotel, all because I was following its progress on my blog!

Have you gained anything special from writing your blog?

Friday, April 29, 2011


"yashmak" - a veil concealing the face except for the eyes, worn in public by Muslim women in certain countries.

Yesterday I posted on the topic of xenodocheionology. I'd like to share with you what I consider the best hotel website I've come across, but probably one of the most unaffordable too! Take some time to check it out though. If you have xenodocheionology, you'll be tantalised by this!


Yes, that's yoghurt with an 'h'! Since I had an upset stomach from a fatty, oily nasi lemak, I've stopped eating Malay food and secondly, I've started onto yoghurts. I love these ones, they are soothing to my tummy:

I particularly crave the mango, kiwi, peach, tropical fruits and strawberry flavours. Yes, that's flavour spelt with a 'u'!

What's your favourite yoghurt?

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Since Day 1 of this challenge I've been racking my brain, as well as my dictionary, for 'X' words.

I thought of 'xylophone' and I was going to dig around for an old picture of Lauren playing the xylophone which her granddad bought for her.

The obvious 'x-ray' came to mind, but there's not much I can write about that which is of any relevance to me or Kuantan.

Then there were fleeting thoughts of cheating slightly by using a word of which 'x' is not the first letter, as in 'excited' or 'axis'. But I'm not into worming my way around things.

A fellow blogger suggested 'X marks the spot' and I just visited a blog who used this as their title, and I did think for a while along those lines.

But deep down I still yearned for a great 'x' word to make my A-Z challenge complete. (I have 'y' and 'z' sorted!) That's when I googled "words beginning with 'x'" and happened upon this website:

Hence my word for today: xenodocheionology. And it means 'love of hotels'. Which is very pertinent for my life in Kuantan.

We have stayed in a number of hotels during the last 5 years.

I love to pay a bit extra for some additional quality.

It's not so much that I love having servants run around for me, but I do love the rare circumstance it provides to sit back and relax.

I love the plushy ambience, the cosy music playing placidly in the background.

I do love complimentary buffet breakfasts.

I love the night gowns in the room closet.

I love the feeling of 'getting away' from the speed of normal life.

I have a severe case of xenodocheionology.

The Zenith Hotel in Kuantan

Swiss Garden Resort and Spa in Balok, near Kuantan

Swissotel Merchant Court, Singapore

What do you like about hotels?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


An annual event in our home in Kuantan occurs every June/July.


The mother of all tennis competitions where the sun is all too welcome, the rain too frequent, and the lawns growing browner by the day as they are graced by marvellous tennis athletes.

Since 2003, Roger Federer has dominated on the grass, winning 5 years in a row including his very first Slam in '03, before finally losing to Rafael Nadal in the 2008 final in an epic 5-set, 5-hour battle.

Federer came back in 2009 and won an historic final against Andy Roddick as he became the first ever men's singles player to win 15 Grand Slam titles. (If you love tennis enough to read a match report, then by all means follow this link to read of that amazing match from 2009).

Last year he sadly fell at the quarter finals stage, a back injury limiting his mobility in a 4-set defeat to finalist Tom Berdych.

I'll be shouting from Kuantan for Roger to prevail for a 7th time on the beautiful lawns of Wimbledon this year. (Though not too loud, because a newborn baby will hopefully be sleeping well through the night!)

Has anyone ever had the privilege of watching Roger Federer play live?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Verbose visa-giving

"verbiage" - an excessive number of words used to express an idea. -verbose -verbosity

Verbose visa-giving

Every time I travel to Singapore to renew my visa, I always have a tough time re-entering Malaysia. I've never had any problems with the Singapore side, but exiting and entering Malaysia sometimes feels like trying to part the slim sea between these two countries.

The venturesome immigration official at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex flips through every page of my passport, as though trying to find a fault with my international movements.

I'm asked various questions about what I'm doing in Malaysia, the perfectly viable validity of my last visa, and why I don't just renew my pass at the Kuantan Immigration.

"Erm, because I want to visit Singapore...I have friends here (I really do)...because the Kuantan Immigration tells me I have to leave the country after each time I get a sticker from them..."

It seems that there are so many various immigration policies in conflict between Kuantan and the CIQ in Johor Bahru, that it causes great confusion to the innocent traveller. Or, the officials don't really know how to do their job. I'd side with the latter.

After I've been questioned, the onslaught of verbiage between the officer and the boss, whom he has consulted, could last as long as 5-10 minutes while I stand at the counter, waiting.

The end result is always the same: I receive my 3 months visa which could have been done with much less verbosity, Singapore-style, in say 30 seconds.

Since 2002, I've filled an entire passport and am half-way through another.

How many passports/pages have you got through in your lifetime?

Monday, April 25, 2011


"ultracrepidate" - to criticise beyond sphere of one's knowledge.


Today's post is titled "Umbrella" and I'm not talking about Rihanna's song of the same title. I'm speaking of the standard object called an umbrella.

In Malaysia, an umbrella is an essential accessory to combat the weather. However, as my daughter Lauren will show you, it can be used for many more things as well!

Lauren uses an umbrella on rainy days

Lauren shields herself from the penetrating sun

Lauren uses the umbrella as a walking stick

Lauren uses the umbrella as an imaginary gun

Umbrellas can act as a barrier from the wind, in this case, artificial wind!

The next series of photos shows Lauren using the umbrella as a dancing companion!

Next, Lauren demonstrates how to attack someone with an umbrella, or, in this short clip, how to inadvertently hit the chair!

Sometimes I will practice my golf swing with the umbrella...

Finally, if you're up for a laugh, you could try this in Singapore, like my dad:

So, as you can see, an umbrella can be used for many different things.

Can you think of anything else an umbrella could be used for?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sunrises and Sunsets of Kuantan Photographic Exhibition

Two words I love, just for the way they fall off the tongue:

"scrotum" - the pouch of skin that encloses the testicles in most male mammals.

"soliloquy" - the act of speaking one's thoughts aloud when alone or regardless of hearers, especially by a character in a play.

Now, onto the stunning post for today...

Sunrises and Sunsets

All of these glorious pictures of the sun in action were taken in Kuantan, the vast majority of them from my balcony, back window or downstairs. I'm fortunate enough to have a great view of both the sunrise and the sunset. These are a compilation of my favourite images I've collected down the years.


1. Taken a minutes' walk from my apartment

2. This image was taken from just up the hill five minutes walk away

3. I snapped this lovely sunrise picture from the 9th floor of the Zenith Hotel

4. Again, from the 9th floor of the Zenith Hotel

5. A glowing orange sunrise outside my apartment

6. Taken just yards away on a different day. Love the shaft of light bursting through the clouds.

7. From the top of the hill - same position as the 2nd picture


8. We start the sunsets exhibition with a beautiful pink/purple sky, taken from my balcony

9. From my balcony, the apartment block appears to have caught fire on this particular evening

10. From the 3rd floor car park of East Coast Mall, a 5-minute walk away

11. Burning oranges and pinks combine just outside my apartment

12. A bronze/copper sky looms over my balcony

13. Taken on the grass fronting my apartment. I love the trees in silhouette.

14. Grey clouds attempt to block the sunset in Bukit Sekilau

15. Taken from a vantage point a couple of minutes from my apartment. I love the solitary dark cloud behind the palm trees.

16. Another pretty view from my balcony

17. Golden sunset as observed outside my apartment

18. A blanket of pink, orange and yellow cloud covers the sky, as seen from my back window.

19. The sunset-infected cloud invades the blue evening sky, as witnessed from my bedroom window.

20. This was an evening like no other in Kuantan...

21. ...the sky became dramatically filled with this warm, fiery light, and a deep, golden glow filled the streets. This is the only time such a sunset has happened during my 5 years living in Kuantan!

22. Stripy clouds lead toward the setting sun. Taken from my balcony.

23. The ball of fire makes its way towards the darkening horizon as I snapped it from my balcony.

Which are your favourite pictures?


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