Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cowboy in Kuantan

Cowboy is the name of a store in Kuantan which provides almost anything you can think of. We love going to Cowboy for buying food and snacks in bulk at better value.

Cowboy is located on Jalan Wong Ah Jang, a short distance from Kuantan town, the bus terminal and Stadium Makmur. These are photos from our last visit to Cowboy:

As you can see, the shelves are stocked full of goodies

Snacks heaven at Cowboy, Kuantan!

Sometimes it's hard to know where to look at Cowboy!

Going upstairs to the next floor at Cowboy, Kuantan

Cushions in abundance at Cowboy Kuantan

Umbrellas are a must in Malaysia - for both sun and rain!

On the way home after a great time shopping at Cowboy Kuantan

And here is our bounty! Thanks Cowboy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Berjaya Megamall Kuantan

Berjaya Megamall is located at Jalan Tun Ismail, 25000 Kuantan. It is the 2nd most popular shopping mall in Kuantan after East Coast Mall. Berjaya Megamall is made up of 5 floors: Ground Floor, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and a basement floor. Supermarkets, restaurants, electronics, books, stationery, home deco, jewellery, clothing and many others are all available at Berjaya Megamall. 

The third floor also is home to Golden Screen Cinemas, a bowling alley, karaoke and pub, snooker centre and gamezone.

Here are some images of Berjaya Megamall, Kuantan:

Looking across Jalan Tun Ismail to Berjaya Megamall, Kuantan

View of Berjaya Megamall from the west-facing side

M. S. Garden Hotel sits opposite the back entrance of Berjaya Megamall Kuantan

The main entrance view at Berjaya Megamall in Kuantan. The open space in the centre is often filled with various stalls or exhibitions.

Deli Country is my favourite luxury at Berjaya Megamall Kuantan

Pub/Lounge at Berjaya Megamall Kuantan

Roof decoration at Berjaya Megamall Kuantan

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thunderstorm caught on video in Kuantan, Malaysia

Good day my friends. It's great to have friends on the internet and to be able to interact with you on blogger and facebook. It's a great miracle and I'm thankful for the marvel of the internet.

It means that today I'm able to show you my amateur video footage of a thunderstorm we encountered Sunday night between 8.30-9.30pm. This was quite a thrilling storm packed full of lashing rain, sensational lightning strikes, and cannon blast thunder claps.

While the video may not be entirely and perfectly clear, and you may not be able to see the actual fork lightning, you will see the brightness of the strikes and hopefully you'll hear the noise and feel the atmosphere this storm generated.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Recovering from A-Z April

A-Z April was a very busy month, and not just for the blogging challenge. Lots of things were happening in our lives as well, and perhaps it's all taken its toll on us.

Well at least on me. I've been struggling to have too many positive thoughts when logging in to blogger and having the opportunity of writing a post. Taking a rest from the blog for a while has been necessary. The A-Z blogging challenge was particularly challenging, more so than last year. Whether or not I'll be joining up next year is by no means decided.

So I've been sifting through my photos for something simple and light-hearted today, and came across the perfect image I snapped a few months ago at HTAA (Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan), the government hospital in Kuantan. I was teaching English there and made a quick trip to the bathroom where I saw this poster on the toilet door:

I find this incredibly . . . . . hilarious! I guess there are still some people here who don't know how to use a toilet properly!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A-Z challenge Reflections 2012

Are you like me? Did you prepare well, miss a few posts and then quickly catch up, struggle to visit other blogs? Reflecting on 2012's A-Z April Blogging Challenge, these factors weigh heavy on my mind.


Despite the fact I had chosen an ambitious topic AND prepared all the posts well in advance, I still found the challenge an uphill struggle after the first week. After visiting around 200 blogs immediately below mine on the linky list, which I had placed on my blog, I became rather tired, and the double figures of comments soon dried up. I also removed the linky list from my blog as just the sight of those 1,600 blogs was driving me crazy!

It quickly became apparent to me that a lot of fellow A-Zers were not visiting blogs on the linky list, probably struggling to find the time or motivation, like me.

It was fortunate I had prepared all the material for my posts in mid-March, because just typing each post up, adding a photo and a video, already felt like work enough! Never mind visiting tons of other blogs in this challenge. I did visit my friends' blogs on my blogroll, and came across some A-Zs I took a keen interest in.

I extend my congratulations and thanks to them, as well as the following friends who commented consistently during the month of April:

  • Diane Croad
  • Odie Langley
  • My dear mum Joanna Horne
  • My little mynx of a wife, Fidelia!
  • J. C. Martin
  • Anthony Stemke
  • Leovi
  • Ordinary malaysian

I know the effort it takes to visit and comment on other blogs regularly, and I appreciate my friends who have done just that on my blog :)

Many others paid me a visit or two, including many new readers from the challenge, and it's been great to hear from them and check out their blogs in return.


The one improvement I would suggest is associated with the linky list. Just the sight of over 1,600 blogs was intimidating at best. 

Now, I love blogging and I've gained numerous benefits from it from time to time, but I've concluded that any normal person has a life to live away from the computer, and sometimes during April, my life came above the A-Z challenge.

To make things a lot easier, I would suggest that participating blogs have a specific A-Z group or category they can join, instead of everybody coming under one lengthy linky list. A-Z groups/categories could include: writers, poets, language, photoblogs, travel, entertainment, lifestyle etc.

That way participants can decide what sort of A-Z blogs they would like to visit, making a more enjoyable experience for everyone, connecting with more people of common interest, and helping the challenge become a lot less daunting.


Pageviews         =    8,544
Visits                 =    3,040
New Followers  =    32
Comments         =    375

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Flowers in Bukit Sekilau, Kuantan

Bukit Sekilau in Kuantan is rife with nature. Flowers, trees, plants are on show on every road and outside each house.

During the month of May I'm celebrating 6 years living in Kuantan with some of the things I particularly love about this town on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

People in Kuantan love gardening. There are myriad flower nurseries dotted around Kuantan, most notably on Jalan Beserah opposite M. S. Garden Hotel, Jalan Teluk Sisek on the way to Teluk Chempedak, and Jalan Tengku Muhammad near Alor Akar.

A neighbour has invested in a number of pots and placed a load of flowers outside our apartment block in Bukit Sekilau, Kuantan. This pink hibiscus was attractive, along with this white one:

The hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia. I love photographing the hibiscus flowers on show in Kuantan.

I have been photographing nature in Bukit Sekilau, Kuantan for the entire 6 years we've been living here. If I put all of my images of flowers together in one blog post, it would take hours to get through!

Of course, when photographing the same area for so long, the challenge is always finding different angles, perspectives and views of nature. Sometimes that's hard, but pictures like the one above make it very satisfying.

Although it's the hottest part of the day, the afternoon is the best time I like to go out and photograph flowers. It illuminates the images and brings out all the colour.

Oftentimes I've gone out in the Malaysian heat to photograph nature in Bukit Sekilau, only for my wife to complain that I should be more careful under the sun. Heat headaches have hit me after some walks around Bukit Sekilau. I think the captured images are all worth it though!

Now I'm more clever and don't go out when it's too hot, like I did when I first moved here to Kuantan. (Remember, us Englishmen love the sun!) Nowadays I wait until the late afternoon to saunter around Bukit Sekilau. On the occasion I do go out in the heat of a Sunday afternoon, I'll wear my sunglasses and cap, and make sure it's 20-30 minutes maximum!

I love this yellow stunner growing outside somebody's house just around the corner.

It's great that I'm able to walk out around Bukit Sekilau, Kuantan and see these lovely images of nature, any time I want. It's something nice I can do when I have a bit of free time or feel bored (which doesn't occur too much anyway!)

6 years of these gorgeous sights around Kuantan has filled me with happiness and contentment. Nature like this was created to please the human eye and brain, and I'm extremely fortunate to have this "botanical garden" right at my doorstep. I love Kuantan!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

6 years of marriage and Kuantan

My wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary yesterday. The month of May also marks 6 years of our living in Kuantan.

Kuantan has been a great home for us since 2006. We started with NOTHING and gradually built up our own presence and now have our own company, Horne Learning Services which is going very well.

Our 6 years of marriage has blessed us with two lovely daughters, unplanned, but deeply grateful for. Yesterday I was teaching English at Vistana Hotel Kuantan in the late afternoon, and returned home around 7:30pm to a surprise dinner hosted by my wife!

After teaching English in the cold air-conditioning at Vistana Hotel whilst having a runny nose, and cycling home feeling quite tired, it was certainly a pleasure to be able to walk through the door to find a lovely dinner waiting on the table, and my equally gorgeous wife welcoming me home.

Here is a beautiful image of a lasting Kuantan sight - Teluk Chempedak beach. We had a nice day out there on Labour Day.


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