Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Beautiful Butterfly

A beautiful butterfly relaxed beside a step at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan the other week.

It was in a perilous position, with herds of school students entering the hotel. Thankfully, soon after, it flew away into the night.

Monday, October 29, 2012

McDonalds Drive-thru

We gave in and went to the McDonalds Drive-thru at Indera Mahkota, Kuantan the other night. We went with the idea of buying two large fries and McFlurries but our plan changed  when we arrived.

The new McDonalds restaurant in Indera Mahkota is on Jalan Bukit Ubi. It gives us a shorter drive instead of going all the way to the Teluk Chempedak beach McDonalds.

The McDonalds restaurant in Indera Mahkota looks fresh and inviting. They also possess a children's area with play frame and TV. But we went through the Drive-thru and were served well.

There were several cars in the queue but it seemed to move quite fast.

The wait gave us time to explore the menu and decide what we wanted

As you can see, we were bombarded with choices!
We opted for the Family Dinner Box at only RM29. It's a very good deal. It was quick and easy speaking to the staff to make our order before moving on to the next point . . .

We drove on a little and paid for our meal

Then we drove around the corner to the next check point where we pick up our food

Collecting our food at McDonalds Drive-thru, Indera Mahkota, Kuantan

Here's our Family Dinner Box and drinks from McDonalds

The McDonalds Family Dinner Box consists of: 2 McChicken burgers, 1 Spicy McChicken burger, 6 chicken nuggets, 2 regular fries, 2 ice-cream sundaes and 3 regular drinks (coca cola)

We were really impressed with this great deal and had a great time eating it all! Though I still didn't feel as good afterwards, as eating my home-made salad! But once in a while, we do enjoy a good McDonalds.

I liked what was written on the side of the Family Dinner Box:

I had to laugh because I thought it was great self-advertising and promoting on McDonalds' part!

What's your favourite McDonalds meal? Or do you never eat fast food?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blog Flashbacks Saturday (Oct 27th, 2012)

Welcome to another addition of Blog Flashbacks Saturday. I do hope your weekend has started out well. Here are a few articles from my blog archives which I hope will brighten your day a little further:

On this weekend last year I shared some images of Kuching from our trip to my wife's hometown on the island of Borneo. We had a great time and saw some interesting sights, including this totem pole at the museum. Click the above link to view those photos.

Around this date two years ago I posted about a visit to Singapore, the fabulous city-island to the immediate south of Malaysia. I used to visit Singapore often before I got my visa issues settled. Here is a beautiful image of the Marina Bay area of Singapore. For more great photos, click here: Marina Bay, Singapore photos

In October 2009 I went to see a lovely gallery of photos at East Coast Mall of the Sultan of Pahang, which were displayed in conjunction with his birthday. To browse more of these fascinating pictures, just click the link above.

Let me know which flashback you enjoyed most!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A great image on the internet!

So I'm doing my usual visiting of my favourite blogs on my blogroll and I came across this magnificent piece of art by Leovi, who was a guest blogger here last week. This is so good that I have to share it with you! Follow this direct link:

I'm always amazed by the quality of Leovi's work. I'm a big fan and hope you appreciate it too. If you missed his guest post here on my blog, it is well worth you clicking right here!

Wishing you a happy and joyful day wherever in the world you are!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Our great stay at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa, Kuantan

To celebrate my birthday last week, we stayed one night at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa, Kuantan. And what a great time we had there!

Swiss Garden Resort & Spa lies 20 minutes up the coast from Teluk Chempedak. It is accessed via Jalan Beserah from Kuantan town. It is far out from the town area, but it offers many activities and is famous with both locals and tourists alike.

For a more detailed description of Swiss Garden Resort & Spa, Kuantan, and our journey there, accompanied by more photos from a previous visit, you may follow this link.

The entrance and lobby area of Swiss Garden Resort & Spa, is spectacular to say the least.

The marvellous lobby at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

View of the Front Desk at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

A piano waits in the lobby. Every night a pianist provides lovely music to fill the lobby at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa

We stayed in a sea-facing room and were not disappointed with its size, quality and cleanliness.

We stayed in room 8406, on the top floor at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

The bathroom was very nice and comfortable. It was Leah's favourite part of our room!

We had a lovely balcony at our room which gave us beautiful views of the swimming pool, hotel and beach.

The swimming pool and surroundings at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

Sea-facing rooms at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

Panoramic view of Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan, from our 4th floor balcony

We took the children to the games area at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa. There are lots of arcade games, a pool table, painting, table tennis, darts, Nintendo Wii, and Tupai Kids Club, alongside a gym. Despite a lack of any staff at Tupai Kids Club, we walked right in and made ourselves at home!

Clockwise from top left: playing pool, painting, Tupai Kids Club, Convenience Store at lobby level, Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan sits right on the beach front. Around 5pm we went out for a play in the sand.

Heading to the beach at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

Playing on the beach at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

The girls having fun at the beach

Heading to the sea at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

Panoramic view of the beach at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan

At night we ordered food via in-room service and we were thrilled with what we received. The food we ordered arrived in little plastic boxes with lids, all inside a large paper bag. And the food itself was also delicious. Well worth the money. Swiss Garden Resort & Spa was also kind enough to give me a free birthday cake in conjunction with my 30th birthday!

Here are a few photos we took of the hotel at night:

Breakfast the next morning was great. Lots of variety and once again the food tasted very nice, and for once, the air-conditioning wasn't too cold!

Clockwise from top left: View of the breakfast room; I helped myself to the salad on offer; View inside the breakfast room; Strawberry crumble and cream

Overall we had a tremendous time at Swiss Garden Resort & Spa Kuantan and we are looking forward already, to our next stay there!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blog Flashbacks Saturday (20th October, 2012)

Welcome to Blog Flashbacks Saturday, where I take you on a trip down memory lane to see what was going on one, two and three years ago this month. Hope you enjoy what's on offer!

Last year in October I documented The Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall in Kuantan, much to the delight of Diane! Click the link to remind yourself of this lovely Kuantan attraction.

Back in 2010 we visited the Lao Zi Dragon Temple and came across these fantastic orchids! 

In 2009 I posted a lengthy and detailed document on Galileo Galilei, the great astronomer of the renaissance. Unfortunately, despite receiving many page views, this article has just one comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts about Galileo and this important time in history!

Enjoy the tour and let me know which event/post you liked best. Don't forget to check out Leovi's recent guest post if you haven't already done so!

Wherever you are, have a super weekend!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

An Abstract Mind - A Guest Post with Leovi

I don't remember the exact moment I first discovered Leovi's blog. I think it was when I was going through an abstract photography fever of my own and I googled "abstract photography" to find out some more ideas.

Leovi is one talented guy who posts his fantastic work at his abstract photography blog, and I'm delighted that he's accepted the invitation to share some of his work on my blog today. His is one of the blogs I go to visit every single day. These are not return visits, they are visits simply because I love his work and seeing what he has come up with.

So let me introduce you to Leovi, he'll fill you in on some interesting stuff on how he became a master abstract photographer, and share some special images of an Asian flavour which he has intriguingly created . . . . .

"First I want to thank you Duncan for your hospitality and invitation to post on your blog. I want to pay tribute to Malaysia with these pictures.

Hantu Air (Espiritu del Agua - Water Spirit)1

As a child I wanted to be a footballer and collected the trading cards of players.  I knew all their names and statistics. 

After I had learned them all, I invented a new game. The game was to look at the border around the edge and try to guess the name of the player according to the tones of the sky in the photo. There were over 400 cards in my collection (at the time the photography was analogue).  I found that not even one of the skies was the same. I spent days trying to guess the names by just looking at a piece of heaven. I think subconsciously that learning how to see the difference in the colour helped me a lot.

Hantu Air (Espiritu del Agua - Water Spirit)2

As a teenager I loved playing with a flashlight, projecting light onto the ceiling. I would cover the light beam partially with my fingers and create light, shadow and movement. At the same time I was listening to music and trying to create music-related images. With Sierra symphonic or progressive rock ie: Pink Floid, Yes, Camel, Genesis... the rate of movement and form was more leisurely. If I listened to hard rock ie: Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Ramones ... The speed of the images increased. 

Hantu Air (Espiritu del Agua - Water Spirit)3

With this experience, I created abstract images that were very suggestive. They woke up my imagination. Since I didn't know English, I created images and stories not related to the subject of songs. This didn't happen when I used Spanish songs.  I felt closed and it did not work.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Later, I started adding layers of painting and drawing.  I would gradually increase the intensity of an area (I was listening to the music of Alan Parsons, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream ....). Listening to music helped me feel the change of color tones according to the intensity of light. For me this was just fun. But at one point I wanted to make representational work. I tried painting, but I wasn't trained in ​​painting and it was a disaster.

Hari Wesak

Eventually after purchasing a SLR camera I discovered that my imagery was based on light and the only way of painting with light was through photography. Simultaneously, I had a passion for the paintings of Van Gogh and his freedom working with colour. Thus, I began my adventures with art and the documentation of my early works in 1987. My art studies are minimal. I haven't been in many competitions or contests, since they ask for a Curriculum Vitae.

Thaipusam 1

The biggest challenge in the beginning was technical. It took a while for me to find the right type of film and lighting for my needs. At the time we only had analogue and my resources were very limited. I could not afford to have a laboratory, so I got used to creating the image before shooting. I learned to enjoy creating the scene before shooting, and I think that influenced my creativity and my photography.  I have a way of working and an approach to the art sessions. Each time I take the camera is a challenge.

Thaipusam 2

My dream is to have my style recognized when it is viewed by others. I have and want a personal style. Light inspires me.  The light in a restaurant, at a friend’s house, walking in the street ... This makes it easy for me to make photographs. It is also easy for me to disconnect and go some place else in my mind.

Thaipusam 3

The privilege of seeing and feeling things, capturing a moment in time. I see more beauty than is represented. I think that happens to everyone. But capturing that moment is very exciting and unique. The inspiration comes first, and then the question of how to represent them, often I am not successful. Ultimately, I try to capture a moment in time."

Thank you Leovi, that was a really interesting post on your early life and interests, and how you became what you are today! I think it's safe to say that your style is clearly recognized as Leovi's! Great stuff!

Don't miss out on a visit to 

You will not be disappointed!

What was your favourite image?



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