Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My first time with Aeroline

I have heard many comments about Aeroline before, and once it started operation in Queensbay Mall Penang, I took the opportunity to give it a try. Basically, what made Aeroline different is that it claims it's a convenient way to fly. In other words, apparently it gives you the same comfort of flying without the hassle of checking in, going to airport, etc. It also claims to bring the standards and comfort of air travel to customers to ground travel.

Apart from that, Aeroline introduced the concept of mobile business lounges on the road, with attentive on-board crew to serve food and drinks. There is actually a lounge area on the first deck of the bus, with sofa and a table in the middle, sort of like a mini conference room. Plus, every seat is powered with a AC power point, so using the laptop is not a problem!

What I like about Aeroline:

1) Online booking for Penang-KL or KL-Penang
This is extremely convenient especially if we want to book tickets to come back from KL. Usually you need to buy the tickets from KL bus station itself, but for us who are in Penang, it would be difficult to buy the tickets beforehand. We'll have to ask someone from KL to help us buy, or take the risk and only buy the tickets only when we reach there.

2) Pick up/Drop off at shopping malls
This is another big advantage of Aeroline, as it does not stop at the busy Pudu bus station. I can't tell you how much I detest Pudu! It's always freaking crowded with people and cars, and the place just gives me the creeps especially at night. But with Aeroline, it goes directly to the shopping malls in KL such as KLCC, Sunway Pyramid or One Utama. Isn't that cool? Door-to-door shopping! Also don't forget the safety part.

3) On-board toilets
This is extremely useful for people who tend to visit the toilets often. Having toilets onboard means that you never have to worry about drinking that bottle of water, or that cup of coffee. However, the toilets are for light usage only, so heavy users are requested to inform the steward/stewardess so that the driver could stop at the nearest rest area. :)

4) Meal on board
Depending on your boarding time, Aeroline provides a meal for the passengers. I have friends who were served with Subway sandwich before, and for me, I was served with Chicken Rice once. Food was not too bad, but it was definitely convenient and useful for the long journey.


Chicken rice

5) Movies on LCD screen
There were two movies shown during my journey from Penang to KL. One of them was Alvin and the Chipmunks, which was really entertaining and kept me occupied for almost 2 hours. Even though the big screen was shared, each seat has its own speakers on top of your head (near the aircon vents), so you would not have problem of not being able to hear what's being said.

6) Blankets on board
For the very cold night time journeys, or when the aircon chose to be extra cold on that day. The blanket is very useful to keep warm.

7) Comfortable seats
In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a very tall girl and I always have problem with legroom - be it in cinemas or in aeroplanes or cars. However Aeroline's seats are comfortable and have plenty of legroom. Plus, you could actually recline your chair until it's almost horizontally flat! Of course, the drawback is that once you're lying flat, your head is pretty much close to the lap of the person behind you. Very weird position. *LOL*

Window seat

Leather seats

What I don't like about Aeroline:

1) Long journey
No matter what they claim, it's still a bus and it depends heavily on traffic conditions. If your travel time coincides with the peak hours, then be prepared for massive traffic jams. I went to KL on a Thursday evening at 5pm and boy, the jam on the bridge took more than 30 minutes! :( I was just unlucky because jams usually occur on Friday evenings only. *sigh* The whole journey took me exactly 5 hours to reach 1 Utama. Butt ache OK.

2) Limited travel times
Perhaps due to its relatively new service, there are only 3 time slots to KL each day, and each of them goes to different malls. 1 for KLCC, 1 for Sunway Pyramid and 1 for One Utama. If you want to go to 1 Utama, you have to take the 5pm bus. There is no other choice for you unless you want to go to a different drop off point.

3) Aircon too cold
This is by far the biggest problem for me on bus! Traffic jams, I'm still OK, if the bus is comfortable enough to distract me. But the aircon in this bus kept blasting onto my head, it was TOO cold and strong. Even after I closed up the vents, there were still small holes where cold air could escape from. Gosh. During the first couple of hours, I could still stand it. But during the last 2 hours, I was shivering and even the blanket did not help much. Unless I covered my whole head underneath the blanket, which would mean that I couldn't breathe. *frown* Next time I should bring some cellophane tape to close up the holes! :P

So, there you have it, my 2 cents on Aeroline. It is indeed more convenient and comfortable than other buses which stop at Pudu, but of course my first choice will always be Firefly! :) If the Firefly tickets get too expensive only then I will revert to Aeroline. After all, nothing beats flying when it comes to travelling. :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My new baby

You must have thought I am going to give birth or something right? *LOL* Gotcha! In truth, my baby is my newly bought Panasonic Lumix LX3 digital camera! Thanks to my mother, who was so kind and generous to buy it for me, partly for me completing my Masters and partly to exchange the new camera with my old one. In case you're confused, it means that the new camera will belong to me while I'll pass her my old one.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Well enough about that history, let me show you my precious baby, weighing 265gram, in solid black. So sexy! The specs are nothing less than impressive, as you can see from this list:
  • 24mm wide 2.5x optical LEICA DC lens - Best lens!
  • F2.0-2.8 maximum aperture range - biggest aperture!
  • MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer) - for my shaky hands
  • Venus Engine IV
  • Joystick-operated manual control
  • Large 3.0” 460k dot LCD monitor - Humongous screen!
  • Raw and JPEG recording modes
  • Up to ISO 3200 sensitivity
  • Up to 1280x720 (30 fps) pixel movie capture
  • Manual exposure and focus options
  • 1/2000th to 60 sec shutter speeds
  • Available in black or silver - Oh black, please
I love the wide angle and the big aperture the most. I always had the problem of taking poor pictures in dim light conditions. So with this huge aperture and image stabilizer, I don't have to worry about blur pictures anymore! Plus, the wide angle means that I could take more self-portraits with a larger background behind. :) No more big faces in the pictures. *LOL* Oh I'm so excited to put this baby into good use.


Back view

Front view

I'm sure most of you would be curious to know how much it is. Well, most shops are actually selling the basic package (include pouch + 4GB memory card) at RM1,599. However, after much searching and bargaining, I managed to get my package to be as follows:
  • Camera
  • 4GB SHDC memory card
  • Panasonic Lumix pouch
  • Screen protector
  • Full-sized tripod
  • 1 year all-risk insurance from MAA

Guess at what price? RM1,510! I know, it's not cheap, but it's the best deal around in Penang. I'm not sure about KL though. Anyway, I'm glad I bought from this shop because the owner seems honest and the shop near to where I stay. I could easily go back there for services or repairs in the future, if necessary.

So, what do you guys think? Brace yourself for nicer pictures in the future ok! OK, I take that back, you better not have high expectations in case of getting disappointed. In fact, just forget the fact that I have got a new camera. *LOL* Who am I kidding?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang

2 weeks ago, my parents and grandparents came over to Penang to pay me a visit. It was a great idea that they came up because I was almost bored to death! After all, it was more than 1 year since their previous visit, hence I was looking forward to it excitedly. One of the events that we never missed out was the visit to the famous Kek Lok Si temple in Penang. It was almost customary that we had to go visit it whenever we're in Penang.

Famous Kek Lok Si pagoda

Luckily for us, it wasn't the peak season or any Chinese festivals, so the temple was not crowded at all. In case you didn't already know, there are two levels of temples in Kek Lok Si, where I would refer to as Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 would be the first temple that you see when you come up from the foothill. It is also where the famous pagoda is situated. Level 2 is the place where the majestic Goddess of Mercy (Kuanyin) is rested.

This was the view taken from Level 2, nearby the Goddess of Mercy statue. You could even spot Komtar building in the far end at the centre.

View from top

From Level 1, there is a tram that you could take to go up to Level 2. Of course, you could choose to drive up too, if you're not very comfortable with trams or you want to save time. The tram station is just on the left of this building, which looked like a desserted temple. The place was locked every time I visited it.

Tram station on the left

Most people would come up to Level 2 to visit the gigantic Goddess of Mercy statue, which was built from bronze. Unfortunately, this time around, there was construction going on to build a booth surrounding her, to protect her from the harsh weather. The construction must have taken place for quite a while, for the structure was already there. I suppose it would take another 6 months or so before we could see the final version. :)

Goddess of Mercy

There was another temple in Level 2 which was open to public. And this temple had more visitors from the foreign countries than local Penangites.


Temple entrance

The interior of the temple was nicely decorated with pretty flowers and the floor was clean and shiny. We're not allowed to enter the temple with shoes on.

Interior of temple - Flowers as decoration

The Buddhists usually use candles as offerings to the Gods. Therefore, it is not a surprise if you visit temples and see many candles lined up in front of the temple. Most candles allow you to write your wishes on them, too, leading the followers to believe that their wishes would come true if they pray.

Candles as offerings

Outside of the temple, there was a pond filled with koi fishes. Next to the pond was the waterfall which gave the area a sense of serenity and calm.

Fish pond by the temple


Also, surrounding the temple were the 12 animal zodiac signs. Guess which one I belong to!

Guess my zodiac!

After visiting Level 2, we drove down to Level 1. There were more temples in Level 1, and of course more people. I was really amazed by the architecture of these temples, and the intricacies of the decorations. If you look at the ceilings, pillars or the walls, each piece is a work of art by itself. I salute all the architects and painters who put in so much effort to make the temples an impressive place for the Gods to reside.
Temple at Level 1

Miniature pagoda

There was a long corridor walkway that led to more temples and eventually the pagoda. However, since most of us were tired, we didn't go up the path!

Path leading to the Kek Lok Si pagoda

Some greenery to feast the eyes.

Pretty greenery

Overall, the experience was a fun one, considering I had not visited Kek Lok Si for more than a year. I'm sure in my next visit (one year later!), all the construction would have been completed and the place would have a new facelift! Definitely looking forward to it. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008


It is this day that will determine my fate and my future. The day that I have been waiting for since September. Pray hard that everything will go according to plans. That every hurdle will be overcome with ease. Wish me luck everyone. I really need it this time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ronnie Q food sucks

Justify FullAfter reading a recommendation from KYspeaks, Saucer was very eager to try out the food at Ronnie Q, Bangsar. The main attraction was the complimentary Guinness pint of draught that came with every main course ordered. We were there 2 weeks ago and Ronnie Q turned out to be more of a pub than a restaurant. Hence, the selection of food was very limited. Following recommendation, we ordered the Calamari rings, which ended up to be the only thing that was good that night. The rings were huge and fresh, without over-dosage of flour. Also, there was extra papadam added for that crunch! This was definitely a good appetizer, without a doubt.

Calamari rings

There were only 3 types of main courses which came with the complimentary pint, namely Chicken Chop, Lamb Chop and Pork Chop. The price of each was RM20++, which was pretty reasonable, considering that a pint of alcohol was given for free.

Guinness pint of draught

The lamb chop was just normal. It had a lot of fatty meat, but that was understandable I guess. What was not acceptable was, the meat was rather bland. I mean, if you just ate the meat without any sauce, it was just tasteless! Why KY said this was good is beyond me. The only thing commendable on this plate would be the potato wedges, and only because I love wedges.

Lamb chop

As for me, I ordered something out of the Guinness list because I don't drink beer/stout. After pondering through the short menu (which did not take long, by the way), I settled for Steak Sandwich. The sandwich was priced at RM25++, which was easily the most expensive food item on the menu. Therefore, I was high on anticipation, thinking that the food should be much better than the lamb chop. Boy, was I wrong! I was astounded by the sheer presentation (or lack of) of the sandwich! What was that? Toasted Gardenia bread? Cheap and colorless fries? And do you even call that salad? Miserable pieces of cucumber, lettuce and tomato that looked like they'd been reused over and over again as garnish. OK, just by judging the outlook itself, it had already failed. Nevermind, I told myself, one should not judge a book by its cover.

So, empowered with a fresh hope, I tasted the sandwich... and it was exactly what I expected it to be! BAD! The steak was very tough. It did not go well with the thin bread. Gosh, they could have used ciabatta or foccacia for that price. Sigh, overall, this dish was a HUGE disappointment. I could have come up with way better sandwiches myself. NEVER order this. Or maybe, never go to Ronnie Q's, unless maybe for the calamari rings and drinks.

Steak sandwich

Although the food was far from good, Saucer and I both enjoyed each other's company, and I was laughing at him the whole night after he became tomato-faced! He didn't even dare to drive after that!

Red-faced Saucer and witch

Here's the address for Ronnie Q, although I wouldn't even bother.

32, Jalan Telawi 2,
Bangsar Baru, 59100 KL

Tel: 03-2282 0722

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas season at the malls!

Ho ho ho! It is the season of merriment again, the most pretty season of the year. :) Christmas is coming really soon, so MERRY CHRISTMAS everybody! Nowadays, shopping malls are almost competing with each other to come up with the best and most beautiful Christmas decorations. I was in KL last weekend and visited three different malls. (What else was there to do? :P) I shall now present you my mini compilation of pictures taken from the various Christmas decorations at the malls.

1. Mid Valley Megamall
The first tree I took picture of was near MPH bookstore, where there was a HSBC booth set up. The tree was themed Red, which matched HSBC's booth colour.

Mid Valley, outside MPH

The trees at the Centre Court were impressive. Very gigantic and lots of lights and ornaments. Very Christmas-sy. :)

Mid Valley Centre Court

Never forget to take picture of yourself. ;)

witch with Xmas trees

Random and irrelevant picture, so let's move on. :P

witch and her favourite Starbucks drink

Look, my whole background was covered with the tree! It's either the tree was damn huge or my camera had very narrow angle. I'd like to think it was the former. :P

Still at Mid Valley

Look at the Centre Court from a different angle and you'd be blown away. Amazing!

Mid Valley Centre Court at night

witch and Saucer

witch at Mid Valley

2. One Utama
1 U's decoration was using white trees with cards on the floor. Simple and nice, but not as nice as Mid Valley's in terms of effort put in, I guess. And not nearly as colourful. :) But it still gave me the Christmas-sy feeling.

One Utama

Did you notice the cards pasted on the floor?

View from 2nd floor

3. The Curve
I must say, this was my favourite! I mean, there was practically a whole area used for landscaping. There were not only trees, but cute elves, dangling lights, molded/shaped bushes, etc. I spent the most time taking pictures here compared to the rest.

The Curve

Oh, I love this arch/walkway!

witch at The Curve


And this, my friends, is my favourite tree of all! I know it's not very complicated compared to the rest, but it must be the colour combination of it all. And don't forget its huge size with towering height.

My favourite tree!

Oh, reindeer in the house! Where's Santa?

with reindeer

Look at the cute elf and the giant rabbit there. I couldn't make out why was there a big rabbit? Maybe someone else could tell me why? :)

with huge rabbit

Finally, an elf giving a peace sign. So cool!

Peace y'all!

So which one do you think is the nicest? :)

I love Christmas, even though I don't really celebrate it. It's the season of joy, giving, merriment and not to forget... Shopping! I loved all the Christmas decorations everywhere! Merry Christmas everyone! *hugs*

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Delicious Strawberry Chicken at G Hotel

It's the end of the year and the season of merriment! Apart from that, it's also the season for wedding dinners for lovebirds. :) Recently, my ex-coursemate Melvin held his wedding reception in a new swanky hotel called G Hotel in Gurney, Penang. Since we have already finished our Masters course in September, we took this opportunity as a reunion with the rest of the gang.

Tham the Monitor and Kent were there early.

Tham and Kent

Before the dinner began, I took my own sweet time to snap some pictures with Manager P and Allan, because they were both sitting next to me. :P

witch and Manager P

Allan and witch

Every table was provided with a menu, as usual, and the menu for the night looked deliciously tempting! I was looking forward to the G Style boneless chicken and the fried Japanese udon.


The 4 seasons platter looked attractive, but not nearly as tasty. I only liked the satay and the fried breaded spring rolls. One thing which was a nuisance was the waiter, who simply HAD to help us pick our food. We told him that we could help ourselves, thank you very much, but he insisted that if he didn't do it, his supervisor would scold him. :( We had to watch him place our food delicately, one by one on EACH of our plates, with stomachs growling, before we could actually feast ourselves. *sigh* And, after EACH course, he had to change all of our plates. Then the whole cycle repeated.

4 seasons platter

One of the dishes worth mentioning was the king prawns, which tasted delicious and special, maybe because of the generous amount of cheese used. The cheese went very well with the prawns indeed.

Baked King prawns with cheese and garlic

Ah, and there's my favourite for the night. G Style boneless chicken! Yummy! It's so creative of them to use strawberries as the accompaniment, instead of the usual lemon or orange syrups. The combination worked very well! I know that I had many helpings of these chicken, waiter or no waiter, I still helped myself. :P The strawberries were surprisingly not sour. The chicken was nicely fried without losing the moisture, and the skin was still crispy. I'm salivating at the reminiscence of that night. *LOL*

Strawberry Chicken aka G-style chicken

Steamed garoupa was nothing special, though it wasn't bad.

Steamed Garoupa

Halfway through the dinner, the bride and groom made their rounds for toasting session. When it was our turn, we shouted "Yam Sing" so loud and long, I was sure we were the centre of attraction for the mere 1 minute.

Toasting session

Look at how happy Melvin was! And red :P

"Yammmmmm Sing!"

After the toasting, we took our chance to grab Melvin for a group photo, before he went on to other tables. The attendees that night: Kuan Cheng, Giap Yong, witch, Manager P, Melvin, Tham, Kent, Thomas and Allan.

Table picture

Another picture before we called it a night! I miss hanging out with you guys! We should have more reunions soon (not necessarily on wedding receptions. :) )

Group picture with the groom Melvin

P/S: I know, I know, the dress looked familiar huh? That means it's time for me to go shopping! :P