Four out of our seven nights in Siem Reap is spent staying at The Purple Mangosteen, a tiny boutique hotel in The Alley West off the very active Pub Street. Owners Polly and Simon are really friendly and informative with the what and hows of sight-seeing. Polly worked on the impressive renovation of the hotel which is originally shaped at a funny slant, but she’s managed to make it work wonderfully.
Even when i’m served the soup at a wedding or family dinner, i’ve just left it aside and not eaten it. It’s to a point i don’t care if it seems rude, i WANT people to know that i refuse to consume it and for good reason. If more and more people refuse shark’s fin soup at events/dinners, then eventually the organizing family may realize that it’s OFFENSIVE TO SERVE IT. I find it extremely offensive and i’m sorry to say this, but my opinion of someone who orders this DOES drop a few notches.
This is a vid from 2011 but don’t know how i managed to miss it… it’s horrifying and eye-opening. If you’re still someone who eats shark’s fin soup, please watch the whole vid below and THEN tell me if you still can bring yourself to eat it.
We did this crazy short trip last weekend, where we arrived in Cameron Highlands at 3pm Sat, and left around the same time on Sunday. Clem and i agreed it was too long a drive (3 and a half hours) for a one night stay. Still, we had heaps of fun with the others and are just more semangat to look for other places to visit on the weekends now!
Stretching my legs like a boss. Leggings from Topshop London.
One of the others found Moonriver Lodge, a basic guesthouse filled with pretty flowers. They’re planning to build a park next to a stream in the coming year, so if you wanna visit, do it then. The staff are super duper nice (thanks Misha!), helpful, and didn’t mind us making noise when we partied – big plus!
Clem and i waited around for the others cos their car broke down in Cameron’s… So we started making cocktails. Well-deserved ones after the long drive and getting lost!
Hydrangeas through my kaleidoscope
Myra wanted to spend her hen’s night doing something different from the typical tramping about bars,
so a dozen girls gathered to have a BBQ at Awanmulan,
a new forest chalet that’s in the same area as Dusun.
I thought it was a brilliant idea…
the whole point of having a hen’s night is to SPEND TIME with all your girlfriends anyway, before the whole shebang of marriage gets you so excited to stay at home that a girlie holiday is not high on the priority list.
In fact, i think if i were to have a hen’s night, i’m just gonna have a girlie holiday!
The rest planned to leave at 9:30am… as did i.
Till i had such a tiring week that i decided to go later.
It’s my first proper chance to sleep more than 6 hours and i really need to catch up on some kip!
So Didi, Sueann and i left at 2:30pm.
Ok fine, we left at 3:30pm.
Before we even got on the highway,
Didi and i exchanged a semi-sharp sentence with each other,
and i exclaimed, “Oh god, we haven’t even been in the car with each other for 15 minutes and we’re fighting -_-”
[shit i just thought about how we're going to spend FOUR DAYS with each other in Singapore this weekend for F1...]
Anyway it started storming like crazy and all our GPS stopped working,
resulting in a slight flurry of are-we-going-the-right-way.
Didi was navigator… while Sueann… studied the blue ball moving on the map in fascination like a cat.
Finally arrived at destination at 6pm.
The whole block above is for guests.
Top floor has 8 beds for RM800. RM75 per extra mattress.
Bottom has a couple of bedrooms (i may be stating it wrongly here!)
As you can see, the top floor has a huge patio for BBQ and sunbathing.
One of the top floor bedrooms on left,
corridor on right.
Bedrooms are in dorm-style,
so Awanmulan is the sort of place you’d go with a group of friends,
not to get it on.
Hmm unless you took one of the lower bedrooms below.
Love the dry bathroom concept
Rain shower, no less!
Just liked this pic of the corridor so much i had to put it up
Communal pool for guests
I reckon it’s the private quarters on right
Lots of space for wild people
First time i’m seeing these people being so domesticated…
Sueann. Fashion Directors can chop garlic too yo
Ming was posing at lightning speed while i tried taking natural shots.
Oh yeah, i mentioned this was a girlie trip.
Well Ming’s one of the girls anyway.
Many pictures in my cam of Ming being a domestic diva
Btw, these were all authentic pictures of him while he did chores in the kitchen!
Myra was so sweet to give us personalized jars with M&Ms inside
Jia Wei doing the chicken.
We heart the easy electrical BBQ tho i’m sure manly men will protest.
Just half the food
Didi, Bride-to-be Myra, Clouds, Sueann
Hmm ok there’s this story about the choc cake that i will just ADMIT here cos i’m shameless like that.
Everyone was just GOING for the cake after dinner,
whereas i prefer having it later at night as if it’s supper.
Jiawers and Sarah suggested i wrap it in tissue and HIDE it in the fridge so no cake monster will get it.
The next morning i opened the fridge somehow expecting to see the piece still there…
but it was gone!
“Who took my chocolate cake?! SOMEONE took my chocolate cakeeeee!” i lamented.
Sarah: Your chocolate cake..? Didn’t you eat it last night? Joyce. I SAW you eating it last night!!!
Me: *hazy drunk memory returns in bits* hmm…. you may be right…. :p
We played some games after dinner.
- asking Myra rather embarrassing questions about Fahmi that even *i* didn’t want to know the answers to
- getting everyone to say “WOOHOO” everytime someone said Myra’s name
- Claudia farting way too much
- Sarah having to drink through a scuba mask
Ming saja want to try posing with mask
Poyol la Claudia ni…
The tequila finished
Like Didi says, Claudia is so lucky she’s so pretty cos she’s like a haiwan (read: animal)
Everyone started passing out one by one…
Last 4 standing…
I went looking for Sueann in one of the rooms and thought she was sleeping in bed,
was about to poke her when Sarah JUMPED in front of me and whispered,
“NO! It’s Didi! She’ll PUNCH YOU!”
Fect, damn scared we both ran out quietly haha.
Turned out Sueann was in the bathroom and entertained us with a pole dance after.
No videos were allowed.
Next day i woke up to see a slickly-oiled Ming in the tightest skimpiest swimming trunks i’d ever seen strutting into the bedroom.
I was last to wake up… at 9:30am (these ppl are crazy!)
Wish i could have slept longer zzzzz but felt like i was missing out so i got up.
Water was cold so i took my time… let the toes and fingers in first
Ming. Forever posing.
Clem saw the picture and exclaimed, “SO many girls! -_-”
Check out Didi har har
Sorry Meesh but i just HAD to put this pic up…
Look, i can even see the water splashing happily off your cheek
Claudia trying some Little Mermaid pose or something.
Such an awesome weekend guys!
You all know i’m a lover of the environment.
I love being surrounded by nature,
and am always running off to the forest or beach!
Most of us take the world we live in for granted,
and even i feel guilty as a consumer for all the products i use, and waste i contribute to;
hence the recycling i do as much as i can in some sort of way to play my part in BEING here on Earth.
One morning, a group of us headed to Sungai Tekala Recreation Forest in Selangor
where Sloggi officially announced its 2011 Love World campaign -
a bid to increase conservation efforts.
Big thumbs up from me, i say!
I couldn’t believe there was a queue in the middle of the forest for the event… :p
We each received a free eco shopper bag from Sloggi!
Sloggi has teamed up with SensitivEcoSystem® Project
(that’s the Italian fabric manufacturer used in Sloggi’s Love World collection)
and World Land Trust™
(a non-profit org. that protects remote regions in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina)
to save the threatened rainforests.
With every 1 metre of Sensitive® Fabric used in the Sloggi Love World collection,
1 square metre of the rainforest is pledged to be saved.
Sloggi pledged to donate RM25,000 from profit sales of its Love World collection to TrEES,
which will fund environmental protection initiative “Communities for Conservation”.
This initiative will educate youth on the Park,
and ultimately make them effective agents of change.
See all the bottles with green caps?
They be (necessary) insect repellent.
I couldn’t believe they were all wearing false eyelashes in the morning.
The only thing i could prioritize at 8am was to grab a cupcake to eat in the car.
To wholly grasp the beauty of the Park,
we were taken for a little hike so we could really absorb the environment.
Some interesting info bout the Park!
Selangor State Park
- is the 3rd largest forest park in Peninsular Malaysia.
- represents a significant portion of natural forest remaining in Selangor.
- provides 98% of water supply in Selangor, KL and Putrajaya.
- is essential in the climatic, hydrological and ecological balance in Selangor, KL and Putrajaya.
Was trying to take a pic of Aud but she was too busy trying not to fall, to look at cam
I’m leaning on a tree fyi. Not plucking anything!
Ringo and i
We took a short break in a clearing with seats,
as we were told more about the Park and how it provides natural flood mitigation
- by absorbing large quantities of rainfall and acting as a natural buffer against flooding.
Me and my leaf obsession.
This tree was pointed out to us to be roughly 120 years old!
After the hike, we were treated to a tree-planting activity!
I used to play around with seeds when i was little (okay, little-ER),
and would plant something that i found that looked like a seed,
then observe in wonder as it grew for weeks on end.
(I think my father finally pulled it out cos i did plant it in the middle of the garden)
But i’ve never actually planted a TREE before…
Using a hoe isn’t as easy as it looks on TV :p
I need to work out more *puff*
The easy part – watering!
Audrey, me, the park ranger who did most of the hoe-ing , Cindy, Ringo
There’s nothing more rewarding than colourful cupcakes to reward us for our hard work
+ + +
For a whole week after that, i tried and tweeted different ways we can all do our part in conserving energy, the rainforest, and ultimately, the environment for as long as possible!
Clem couldn’t stand how i insist on recycling everything when i first moved in with him,
but now he’s used to it (condition them! haha) and angelically washes the cans before squashing them.
We recycle as MUCH as we possibly can in our apartment – every little scrap of paper/plastic and of course, glass and aluminium
Every time they’re full, i drop them off at what was previously the Ikano Recycling Centre,
now called IPC.
It’s so easy cos you can just park your car RIGHT next to the bins,
chuck everything and leave!
+ + +
I used to keep just 1 shopping bag but i kept on forgetting to put it back in the car,
so now i have 2-4 in the car at all times!
+ + +
+ + +
One day, Clem and i had this debate about whether to leave the microwave on.
I said it uses power.
He said it doesn’t.
I said, look, the lights stay on when the door is open (which it has to be, else it’ll smell).
So i won.
But now, it’s like he’s challenging me to always
- remember to switch off the water heater
- not stand in front of the fridge while i decide what to eat
I’ve created a monster.
+ + +
Let’s face it, there are heaps of books i have that i’m never going to read again.
No point hoarding them, plus they take up space!
+ + +
Ok i admit that i hate that non-biodegradable material called styrofoam,
but never took any effort to tapau my food in plastic containers before.
Most i did previously was tell the waiter NOT to use styrofoam and give me the food in plastic packets which i can empty out into plates at home.
So now, i keep plastic boxes (which we all get from taking away from other places) so i can use them to tapau my chap fun or chicken rice.
I must admit the Chicken Rice Man gave me a surprised look when i handed him it.
I wish there were cheaper options for him to give takeaways in!
+ + +
I went to Ikea JUST TO BUY these.
And my mom said it’s going to make her house messy -_-
and that she recycles her paper and glass and tin cans anyway.
Just that she hides them somewhere i never see cos i’m obviously being more obtrusive than she.
Oh well, i’m just going to LEAVE them there and hope they use them for every small thing soon…
+ + +
I hope the steps i blogged about will urge you to try some of them,
if not for yourself,
then for the world your children will live in.
And if you’re gonna tell me you don’t want children,
i’m just going to say, “Is that the best response you can give me? Just say la you’re selfish!”
We’re all in this as consumers in a city,
and the LEAST we can do is reduce our own carbon footprints.
Also, if you need new underwear, you know where to buy them!
Remember, every 1 metre of Sensitive® Fabric used in the Sloggi Love World collection,
1 square metre of the rainforest is pledged to be saved.
The Sloggi Love World 2011 collection is available in all major departmental stores.
Ever since Clem’s and my first trip to Dusun,
we’ve been dying to go back with a bunch of friends to enjoy it together with…
The others in the group are very into fishing
(oh i never blogged about our fishing trip :p)
but Clem and i have NEVER CAUGHT ANYTHING
so we’re currently more inclined to laying about on the beach or in the forest…
and not burning under the sun on a lake/sea… yet.
Maybe one day when Matt cheats and helps us catch something.
So happened that the weekend we could get a cabin was the weekend right after my birthday,
and what better way to spend it but out of KL!
A cosy group of 4 couples went >
Clem + i
Cammy + Kenny
Serena + Matt
Marcel + Elicia
We said we’ll leave at 11am.
But we Clem + i were a lil late.
Stopped by KFC (you have no idea how glad i was for that!!!)
And we all convoyed in 2 cars.
Emas cabin where we stayed
Cammy trying to jump into the picture… forever okay this woman.
Kitchens are provided in all cabins for us to fend for feed ourselves!
Outdoor terrace – it just rained when we arrived
Cracked glass makes pretty glass
Owner Helen was awfully nice to let us have her children’s bedroom as an extra room to stay in, cos we were too many for Emas cabin.
Clem and i have pretty much stayed in every room there, “…except my own bedroom!” said Helen.
My white bear (still unnamed, it has to come to me alright)
with Cammy’s elephant and cock-eyed Totoro on top.
I know she’ll get pissed i’m calling her Totoro cock-eyed…
But it looks cock-eyed right?
I look at it and i wanna laugh
Cammy’s lil miss sunshine water tumbler
I completely assumed that the Spot book was hers,
but it belongs in the cabin!
Cammy got me a balloon for our lil party there
C: It’s a fairy! Did you notice it? Did you?!
Me: Yes of course i saw… 0_o
C: I looked everywhere for a fairy balloon!
Me: Thank youuuu i love youuuuu
My kaleidoscope is the best souvenir i bought from Amsterdam!!!
Kenny was staring into it for ages…
We spent the afternoon playing cards…
… surfing the iPad for wedding dresses (C + K are getting married in Oct! Partayyyy)
… girls getting massages from respective boyfriends
… passing out.
… playing with the main door which opens up on top
Well. Cammy was the only one so enraptured by the door, really.
… blowing bubbles
…. playing hide and seek….
… with myself.
Serena and i both wearing Kyla Ruiz
Lots of crazy pictures after that… but i shan’t post them,
so here’s an innocent one of me holding My Ball.
(I’ve brought My Ball to as far as Bali!)
I love it when Matt comes along for our trips
cos he preps all the food instead of me!
He pre-cooked this meaty stew for us.
And they surprised me with a cake!
I was thinking how very lucky i am…
how many people in the world get a birthday cake (ok i’m thinking of really rural areas too) and here i am, having 2 more for my birthday!
*hugs self and everyone*
When we went back to the other cabin,
Clem and i had quite a few visitors!
(you can imagine how i was practically hugging the floor to take this picture)
i swear the moths were glowing!
Glowing in the dark!