Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kuching trip, July 2014

In July, we went to Kuching, Fie's hometown, to visit her family for 4 days. Stayed at her sister's house and spent all our time with family. It was, I must admit, an extremely enjoyable occasion. I am not usually one for big family get-togethers, but with my wife's sisters (all 4 of them, as you'll see in the photos), I was comfortable and really enjoyed their company.

Here's my gorgeous wife with her 4 sisters, all looking rather sumptuous

Florina (the lady on the right of the picture) and I have been best friends since I first met her in Borneo when she was 9 years old, back in 2003. We love taking photos, she's my model.

We took KLIA Ekspres from KL Sentral to KLIA2, the brand new airport which hosts all AirAsia flights. This is me feeling nervous moments after take-off while the plane was executing its climb to cruising altitude:

Here's a great view of the city of Kuching I took during our descent and approach to the runway:

Florianna, the lady in the centre of the first photo, picked us up at Kuching International Airport (KIA) where we immediately went for a special craving only to be found in Kuching - Kolo Mee!

Deliciously satisfying Kolo Mee

This Kolo Mee was worth the plane ticket already. We ate at Wisma Saberkas.

Chatting with my niece, Bintang

Our first night, we stayed at Four Points by Sheraton, another pleasant stay at this particular hotel. Enjoyed our room window with a view of the planes landing and departing from KIA. That window also provided inspiration for a little photoshoot with Florina, which you'll see shortly!

Swimming at Four Points by Sheraton, Kuching

Went to Felicia's house (she's the sister on the left of that photo at the top of the post) to have dinner and hang out before heading to the hotel to sleep.

My wife and sisters with their grandma

So on to the inspirational photo shoot at the hotel. Urai (Florina's Iban name, which I always use while talking with her) and I had a spare 15 minutes at the hotel and ended up with this collection of great photos:

So yeah, that was immensely fun, won't forget that anytime soon! 

Another culinary reason, besides Kolo Mee, that we came back to Kuching was Kek Lapis (or Layer Cake). For this, we drove to Mira Cake House, located just across the river from the main town area.

Bought several kek lapis for RM10 each. Ate a whole one in the car on the way back home! Like an animal!

Everywhere I go in Kuching, I am in a car with company like this:

Chillin' out with Fie and Urai

Another reason we were in Kuching was to be there for my nephew Noah's 1st birthday party. We had the family round for dinner and the birthday celebrations.

Yep, the poor boy couldn't wait to get stuck in!

Big family photo!

Games followed soon after, with Twister providing the laughs:

"Siapa kentut?" translates as 'Who farted?'

A radiant Felicity with her daughter, Bintang

Our beautiful girls with their gorgeous aunty

Really, we didn't want this holiday to end, such was the fun we had in Kuching with family. Our flight back to KL was smooth as we enjoyed the scenery of the skies:

AirAsia's nasi lemak received two thumbs up!

We then took a Malaysia Airlines plane for the 30-minute flight back to Kuantan from KLIA.

It was around the same time we were flying back to Kuantan at around 10pm Malaysia time that MH17 was tragically shot down over Ukraine, ending the lives of the 298 passengers and crew on board. We learned the news not long after we landed. 

I'm extremely grateful for our safe journeys, and ever mindful of the families of those whose journey in life has been cut unexpectedly short. Each moment spent alive, and with family, is a treasure.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Road trip Kuantan - Pekan, Istana Sultan Abu Bakar (Sultan's Palace)

In June 2014 we went on a road trip to Pekan, leaving Kuantan at around 10:30am. As it was our first time driving out to Pekan, we opened the Maps & Navigation app on my phone and followed the route:

The Kuantan - Pekan highway is now 4 lanes wide and is dotted with royal dagger artwork on the lamp posts

It was a very straightforward route and we found the place without any problem. The only problem was the parking was a 5-10 minute walk from the Palace and it was an absolutely scalding hot day! The Sultan of Pahang was holding an open day and there were plenty of food stalls around the grounds. We registered for a tour of the Palace and were soon on our way.

In the shade in front of a fan. Crazy hot day!

Being led on our short tour of Istana Sultan Abu Bakar

First up was the Balairong Seri, or the Throne Room for the Sultan of Pahang:

Posing for a family photo at the Balairong Seri, Istana Sultan Abu Bakar

The Throne of the Sultan of Pahang

The grounds of Istana Sultan Abu Bakar

We were then led to a second hall, forget its name, but it's where the Sultan has events/dinners etc.

Standing in front of the Sultan of Pahang's seat at Istana Sultan Abu Bakar, Pekan

Somewhat disappointingly, the tour was over pretty quickly. Man, I was expecting to go see the Sultan's golden toilet seat or something!

We stopped off at McDonalds nearby Pekan for a good lunch before heading back home to Kuantan. This time we took the following route, which turned out to be much faster:

Returning to Kuantan, we took a right turn from the Kuantan-Pekan highway which brought us to the Tanjong Lumpur bridge

Overall this was a nice road trip but we would have liked to have had a lot more time to spend in Pekan and discover other things there.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dengue Awareness Campaign; Colouring Competition

We attended a dengue awareness campaign in Bukit Sekilau, Kuantan which doubled up as a colouring competition for students from two kindergartens in the area. Lauren entered the competition and was delighted to be selected as one of the winners; she came in 3rd place and won a prize!

Dengue fever is killing more people this year compared to 2013 and it's vital to understand the basic steps to preventing the spread of the disease and the aedes mosquitoes which carry it.

Lauren waiting for her prize

Lauren and her friend with their two teachers

Friday, July 4, 2014

Slake & Bite restaurant, EC Mall, Kuantan

Slake & Bite is a western styled restaurant located on the new-look 3rd floor at East Coast Mall beside the 3rd floor car park. You can't miss it if you come up the elevator as it's the first thing you'll see when the doors open.

Slake & Bite next to the exit to the 3rd floor car park ( to the left, out of picture) and opposite the elevators (just around the corner to the right)

There is a small seating area to the right of the restaurant. The far right wall is actually a glassboard and I asked the worker if I could write a message on it. She readily agreed and passed me a black pen. I wrote a little message and left my blog address there!

Had some really lovely chocolate and milo shakes

Multi-coloured wall decoration. Leah enjoys the drinks while waiting for the food

Fidelia ordered spaghetti and enjoyed it a lot

The girls had french fries with a sausage each

I tried out the sandwich burger at the recommendation of the waitress. The chilli sauce was rather sweet, which was good for me. The burger is quite similar to the Ramly burgers in Malaysia.

This was a nice meal, nothing special or unique, but well done and reasonably filling. Worth giving Slake & Bite a try if you need a light lunch.


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