Day Trip to Carey Island And Tanjung Sepat

November 4, 2013 at 11:45 pm

(With so many activities plus a busy work schedule, it’s been an extremely low-key October for me here.)

During the Hari Raya Haji holidays, an ex colleague came over to stay at our place. It was a funny encounter. The hubs called her Louisa, a name that was never hers (but somehow he’s been calling her the same name for years I’d known her). She called the hubs Loke when he’s a Low. She called my girls 小瓜 (which means little melons) until Zara started asking me, “Why is Auntie calling us melons and not our names?” The only person retaining the right name was me!

Anyway, to help Louisa forget her troubles at home (the reason she came to stay), we went on a day trip out of town. And like all day trips we take, we usually have a destination in mind, but the detours are unknown.

Tanjung Sepat was our destination for the day, and while we were heading there with Google Map, the hubs decided to detour to Carey Island for a stop over and lunch. He wanted to bring the girls to the Orang Asli Museum, but it was closed. And while checking out what other places of interest there were on Google Map, we saw that the long Jalan Pulau Carey ends at the sea. Since we had time, we drove on the small Jalan Pulau Carey, towards the end of the road, passing palm oil estates after palm oil estates. There at the end of the road, at the fringe of a palm oil estate (what else?), lies a quiet stretch of beach.

No picnic goers, no kite flying, no facilities, just a narrow strip of beach.

We took a stroll and found some hermit crabs at the beach.

Zaria was intrigued that the crabs could actually leave their shells.

That day we learnt the below :

From wiki.
Most species have long, spirally curved abdomens, which are soft, unlike the hard, calcified abdomens seen in related crustaceans. The vulnerable abdomen is protected from predators by a salvaged empty seashell carried by the hermit crab, into which its whole body can retract. Most frequently hermit crabs use the shells of sea snails.

Here is a pix of a hermit crab which has left its shell, showing its its soft curved abdomen.

There was only 1 stall beside the beach selling freshly caught fish. What interest the girls was the tree besides it, they took turns climbing and chilling on it.

For lunch, we just took the first restaurant that we come across, i.e. Kang Guan Seafood Restaurant, the food is nothing to shout about.

After lunch, we all took a nap while the hubs carried on the drive to Tanjung Sepat.

Here is a map of Tanjung Sepat, click on the map to get a bigger copy.

We stopped at a restaurant with an extended walkway out to the sea which faces the famous Lover Bridge, seen on that day from a far, broken.

This walkway is drawing a lot of people, and probably going to be made the new Lover Bridge. It’s a good place to cam-whore.

A short walk from the restaurant took us to Ganofarm, a mushroom farm cum homestay.

There’s a shop that sells some mushroom produce, we bought some fresh oyster mushrooms and then left to look for a place to have dinner.

What we didn’t know was while we drove towards the restaurant of our choice, Restaurant Asam Batu Laut, we came across the highlight of the trip, a piece of mangrove forest exuding an eerie charm in the evening twilight.

It’s a photographers’ heaven!

We end the day with having dinner at Restaurant Asam Batu Laut, ordering their famous Asam Fish, which is fried fish with a spicy asam sauce.

Fist Fighting – By The Girls

October 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm

The girls although love each other and enjoy each other’s company very much, they are also always bickering over the smallest issues. Lately, they have even started fist fighting!

One day, it was because Zara drew a picture of Zaria kissing someone. *POW* Zaria gave Zara a punch, and then Zara punched back, and then the punching began, until I intervened. So as a punishment, they had to write 20 lines “I shall not fight (with my sister) anymore.” in Chinese.

As if they learnt.

Another day, Zara tickled Zaria when Zaria was doing a handstand on the sofa (which is forbidden); to retaliate, Zaria put her hand into Zara’s pants and started tickling Zara’s buttocks. Zara of course didn’t like it, and started beating Zaria, and Zaria fought back; it was PUNCH PUNCH BEAT BEAT until I intervened. Again, they have to write 20 lines “I shall not fight (with my sister) anymore.” in Chinese. Sigh.

Here are their comic strips capturing the ‘moment’.

o.O” (And they said I’m mean for punishing them!)

Do your kids fist fight with each other too?

Replying and Responding Using Songs

September 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

The girls recently love using songs to reply to a question or respond to a situation. A couple I could remember.

We were talking about swimming, and how they were progressing. Zara told me that Zaria’s BFF Ee Mang (who happens to have the same swim coach as Zara) could swim 6 laps without resting, but for her, she needed to rest in between.
I told her to push herself, and increase her stamina, when she things that she cannot go on anymore, just tell herself that she can do it, push herself a little more and don’t give up.
She sang, “I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough….”
(I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz) o.O”

On another occasion, we were talking about ambition, and we talked about what they wanted to be when they grow up.
Zaria said she wanted to be a florist still but worried she won’t get much money because she thought only dead people get flowers.
I told her she can be anything she wanted to be, just as long as she set her heart to it.
She started singing, “You can be a King Kong, banging on your chest.”
(Hall Of Fame by The Script) o.O”

When I brought the girls ice skating last week, I was contemplating if I should join the girl or I should just sit at the bench and watch them. They encouraged me to join them, and they told me they would teach me. Recalling how impatient I was with Zara the last time I brought them there because she was so afraid to walk with her skates, I asked Zara, “You won’t raise your voice at me?”
She started singing, “What goes around, comes back around….. What goes around, comes back around..” followed by an evil laugh, and then told me, “I’ll be patient ok, ma?”
(Best Thing I Never Had by Beyoncé) o.O”

Little Paper Crate

September 14, 2013 at 12:08 am

We got ourselves our 1st box of Little Paper Crate craft, and it’s the Get Into The Wild set.

The craft arrived at our door step in a, well, little paper crate.

The girls were really excited to open and check out what came in the box (actually, me too).

This was the content of the box, all laid out. Oh wow, this is something that will keep the girls occupied (usefully and creatively) for a couple of hours.

Little Paper Crate is created especially for children to explore the world of arts and crafts at a convenience, this allows the children to manage the project themselves, with minimum help from the parents.

The simple instruction booklet has easy to follow steps.

The girls decided to split the responsibility. Zaria will make the alligator and colour the back drop for the puppet stage. While Zara will work on the snake, and all the puppets.

Instructions are so simple, Zaria who’s just Standard 1 is able to read and follow the step by step instructions. With minimal help, she managed to get her Alligator Chomper done!

She then went on to work on the back drop for the Puppet Stage.

With both of them working on different projects, the stage, the puppets, the snakes were all ready in an hour.

Time for a Get Into The Wild Puppet Show. In Zaria’s case, she got excited with having the alligator chomping up the animals in the wild.

Here is one happy girl who managed to create her own props for her puppet show!

How do you buy or order your Little Paper Crate?
You actually subscribe to it (3 months, 6 months, and 1 year subscriptions are available).
Each month, a new box will arrive at your doorstep, and in the box will be a new project theme, along with the materials and step-by-step guides towards completing the individual projects.
So children can configure projects on their own, and parents do not need figure out what crafts to work with their children and to go around hunting for arts and crafts material.

Wonderful isn’t it?

My Mom Is Bossy – By The Girls

September 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

The girls don’t have to go to school this week from Monday to Thursday because of UPSR, so I drew a schedule for them to follow. Basically for the whole day, I’d planned out that for 3.5hrs they need to do some worksheets and journal writing and for the rest of the time it is free and play time.

I had a clause that states if they played with Bubbles, our dog, during the time allocated for work, I’ll minus points for each offence, and if a total of 10 points were accumulated, I won’t bring them ice skating.

They were not happy when they first saw it.
Zara : 你的字那么的丑,我都不会读. (Your writing is so ugly, I can’t even read.)
(I sat them down and made them read through, and understand the clause)
Zaria : You are so bossy you know.
Zara : (annoyed) 遵守什么? 什么都要遵守, 不然就扣分!? Haiyoh! (Follow the rules, everything also must follow the rules, or else minus points.)

So for the day’s writing, they did a comic strip about me.



Day Trip To Kuala Selangor and Sekinchan, Dining at Bar Beach Grill

September 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm

During the Raya break, we didn’t go for any holidays except for day trips out of town. The 1st one we took was to Kuala Selangor and Sekinchan.

The girls upon knowing we’re going to Kuala Selangor, requested the hubs to stock up on peanuts so we could feed the monkeys. We fed some Silvered Leaf Monkey at the entrance of Kuala Selangor Nature Park sometime last year, and the girls wanted to go to the same spot to find the monkeys.

None were found in the afternoon heat. The girls’ spirit were deflated just for a moment… As we exited the Nature Park, we saw some of them at the foot of Bukit Melawati.

Unlike the common Macaques that we see in KL, Silvered Leaf Monkeys or Silvery Lutong are friendlier and have a more gentle nature. We could almost pat it when we gave them food, and they never grab, only picking the food from our hands.

The baby Silvered Leaf Monkey have golden fur babies, we spotted a couple of them. When they grow older, their fur then becomes silverish grey like their parents.

4 pack of peanuts later, we headed to Sekinchan. Seems that the planting season has just begun.

Some farmers are lucky, such a tranquil place to live in.

We heard of this paddy processing factory, PLS Marketing, that sells pearl grain rice. It’s a big factory which is opened to public, and they have a section which sells the vacuum packed pearl grain rice which is produced in Sekinchan, and also other local Sekinchan produced (vegetable, yam etc). A good place to visit, and to stock up on locally produced rice.

The factory has machinery running which hulled and polished rice, good for the children to see how the rice they eat become that state from a grain. There are lots of stacked bags of rice, which I think make a nice backdrop for photography.

After visiting the factory, we brought the girls to a husk hill, which is formed by all the disposed husk from the factory. From a far, it looked like a sand dune.

The girls had so much fun making ‘husk angels’, rolling on the husks etc.

(Beware! After we’re done here, we were all itchy. Zaria even had an allergy reaction on one of her eye. Both Zaria and I have rashes on our legs which I think was probably caused by some mites on the husks).

(PLS Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd, Lot 9990, Jalan Tali Air 5, Ban 2,, 45400 Kampong Sekinchang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel : 016-205 6558. A map on how to get there can be found here.)

We then moved on to Redang Beach. A tiny stretch of beach in Sekinchan. It’s of course not as nice as the Redang Beach in Teregganu, but a beach is still a beach, and it drew quite a big crowd during this holiday season.

We wanted to dine at one of the seafood restaurants in Sekinchan, but there’s a new set up at the beach which attracted us. Bar Beach Grill, which is opened by a group of like-minded youngsters who grew up together in Sekinchan.

The place provides you a BBQ stove (with red hot charcoal), table and chairs, and you just have to order the food from them to BBQ. As Sekinchan is a fishing village, our plates of prawns, squid, skates, and clams (lala) were really fresh and nice. No seasoning required, just taste from the sea.

One of the owner and her boy friend entertained us with some songs, and the girls decided to join in too. Zara did her Adele, acoustic version.

And the girls were quite thrilled to be able to cook for us too (fuchuk or bean curd skin being BBQed can be so tasty).

Having dinner at the beach has its advantage. The girls had a chance to explore and pick up some shells at the tide pool nearby while I cooked dinner.

(Bar Beach Grill is located at Redang Beach Sekinchan. Contact : Darren 014-9305724, Jack 016-3443330. Opened during weekends and eve of holidays)

Zara’s Writing – Day 3 Starter Camp At Radiant Retreat

August 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Continues from here. (Typed out as per how Zara wrote it.)

Today, after a wonderful breakfast, we went to an animal farm. On the drive there, I started to feel dizzy and I’m telling you that ride was worse than a roller coaster. When we reached, I thanked God that ride was over.

We saw deers and rabbits at the farm. I wanted to pet a deer but I was afraid the deer might kick me, so I decided to pet a rabbit insted. I saw a cute rabbit and started chasing it around. When it stoped I pated it and fed it a leaf. Surprisingly the rabbit liked it so I gave it more.

When we got back, we had lunch and played more archary. I met a Malay boy there and he teached taught me how to aim even better. We played and chatted for one hour, then I went back to my room. I chatted with my friends and each of us had to tell a joke and a ghost story. Before I (k)new it the transport was here.

(no photos from the camp host Radiant Retreat as most photos taken were of the group playing paintball)

Zara’s Writing – Day 2 Starter Camp At Radiant Retreat

August 29, 2013 at 7:57 am

Continues from here. (Typed out as per how Zara wrote it.)

Today, after a delicious breakfast, we went for archary and I always hit the target. After the archary, we studied the fish that we caught. The teacher fliped it around and I started to have goose pimples.

We ate a gourmet lunch. Then we went to a men made forest. It looked more like a pinetree farm.

When we came back, we went fishing, we could dig up worms to fish, but the girls preferd to use bread. Some boys fell into the river and had to dismiss fishing.

For dinner, we BBQed the fish we caught and ate it. In the night we had a safety talk. Before we went to bed we told each other jokes, and they laughed so loudly and they stomped on the floor. And when I went down I heard the thumping of elephants. By the time I went to our room, all my roommates were asleep.

(Here are some photos taken by the camp organiser for Day 2 by Radiant Retreat)

Continues here.

Zaria Missing Her Sister

August 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm

We sent Zara off to a holiday camp meant for 8yrs and above.
How fast they are growing up. Sigh.
I asked her if she was fine on our drive to the pick up point, and she told me she’s a bit scared (scared not being near us) but at the same time excited with what she would be doing, and the people she would be meeting.

It was with mixed feelings I saw her carrying her overnight bag climbing into the car that would transport her to camp. Zaria’s face turned gloom when she saw her jiejie closing the car door.

This is the very first occasion where Zara is away from home, without her parents (it’s always either the hubs or me will be with the girls; only once we had to leave the girls at their aunt’s house because both of us had to travel for work); this is also the first time Zaria won’t get to sleep with Zara.

So how are the girls doing?

We called Zara at camp yesterday night.
Me : Are you ok?
Zara : Yes ma. We are having so much fun.
Me : Everything is alright then?
Zara : Yeah.. I’m having so much fun.
(sounding impatient, like she couldn’t wait for the conversation to end to get back to whatever she was doing)
Me : Anyway, just wanted to tell you, Zaria missed you.
Zara : Oh… (2 seconds) But ma, I’m having so much fun. The river swim was so fun.. We got leeches all over our hands.
Me : Ewww… but aren’t you afraid of leeches? (I had a leech clinging on to me once in Sri Lanka, and the girls were all screaming like they had seen ghost.)
Zara : No, I just flicked them off my hands.
Me : Oh wow. Alright. You have fun then..Bye. Love you.
Zara : Ok ma, love you. (put the phone down real fast).

I told Zaria about our conversation, and Zaria asked, “Huh? She doesn’t miss me?”

And this morning, she woke up asking me “What bed did jiejie sleep on?” “What do you think she ate for breakfast?”

Per the usual holiday routine, Zaria did some homework from me, and then did her journal writing in the morning (and painted her nails in between doing these.)

And this was what she wrote and drew in her journal (she always like drawing first, then writing, as though planning out the scene).

My sweet sweet girl, missing her sister badly.

Penang Trip 2013 P3 – Spice Garden, Ah Chui Terubong Seafood

August 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Continues from here.

♥June 3rd♥

Woke up to a good day to enjoy breakfast outdoor.

Noordin Mews have little decorations here and there which make the place beautiful. I especially like the glass ornaments dangling from a tree in the court yard.

We spent the morning in the hotel, and then at noon time headed to Pulau Tikus to stock up on the flavourful Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce which we like a lot (only available at their shop located outside Pulau Tikus market).

And we found putu mayam being steamed (usually in KL, they are being stored in a metal case loaded at the backseat of the motorcycle of the vendor, and we don’t get to see them being steamed) with water laced with pandan leaves by a road side vendor.


Besides putu mayam, the curry puff sold outside a coffee shop next to the market, the soy bean and taufu fa sold at a shop next to the market were also really good (no photos though). Filled with these snacks, we still went to Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa to have our asam laksa and char kuey teow fix.

The Asam Laksa was good, with a strong fragrant of bunga kantan.

The char keuy teow… hmmmm.. wasn’t as good as the last time were were here; not sure if it was because he just started his business for the day when we arrived.

(Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa is located at 329 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia. Which is opposite the Pulau Tikus Police Station)

After all these eating, we chanced upon a kitchenware shop, and I bought a couple of antiques kitchenware, a 60s enamel bien marrie, a teapot and some teacups.

We then took the long drive to Teluk Bahang to visit the Tropical Spice Garden.

From Tripadvisor:
Tropical Spice Garden is an eco-attraction tucked within a natural valley fronting the Straits of Malacca. The showcase garden houses over 500 species of herb, spice and tropical plants. Explore and discover the fabulous diversity of nature as you through trails and pathways that meander through undulating hills, jungles terraces and natural streams.

Again, the girls have a good time exploring the place with a map each. It’s not really a big place, but with the different terraces, trails and paths leading to different vegetation/plants to explore, we spent the whole afternoon there.

Some of the spices were hard to spot, probably not the season to see them. Can’t recall what these were, but these were easily spotted (they were all labeled, just that I couldn’t remember their names).

Hmmm… Saw this sign, which indicated Ceylon cinnamon, but what was showing in the picture was cassia.

The girls favourite spot was where they left big stone mortar and pastel / grinders and spices for people to try out spice grinding. They tried to pound and mix the different spices to make their ‘magic potion’

My favourite spot? The hammock.

We were glad to find the Tree Monkey Restaurant which were tucked at the far end (or another side of the entrance) of the garden. The cool iced drinks were really refreshing.

The restaurant were named so, probably because of these little cute fellas which were on the trees around the restaurant.

The girls before leaving, did pebble tossing at the pond at the entrance. As the ticketing counter was already closed, nobody was there to reprimand them. o.O

(Tropical Spice Garden, Lone Crag Villa, Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11100 Penang, Malaysia. Telephone: 604 – 881 1797. Admission for family of 2 adults and 2 children is RM45 for Mykad holders.)

After the Tropical Spice Garden, we have a tough time deciding where to have dinner. I then recalled a recommendation from my colleague, an sms to him and he pointed us to Ah Chui Seafood at Paya Terubong (sometimes called Terubong Seafood too).

Paya Terubong was quite a distant away from Teluk Bahang, but we were glad we went anyway. Oh boy, it was one of the best meal we’d had in Penang.

Zara asked how come the vegetable tasted so nice.

The hubs and I found the stingray to be so fresh and juicy with a spicy sauce which was not too overpowering.

The fried shrimp was soooo good, we ordered another plate.

Of all the dishes, this was the least nice, but Zaria had all the fish paste.

The fried rice which was just fried with egg was very nice too.

At the end of the meal, Zara asked if she could move to Penang to study, so that she can have food like these all the time. o.O

So, of all the restaurant meals we’d eaten in all our trips to Penang, I think Ah Chui Seafood is the best! Penang never seized to amaze us and we always discover something new in each of our annual visit.

Don’t give this place a miss if you ever went to Penang.

(Ah Chui Seafood Restaurant 阿水海鮮, 1238-T Jalan Paya Terubong, 11060 Penang. Tel : 04-8660903 / 012-4103303)

Continues here.

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