Sunday, May 25, 2008

20080524 - Japan MEXT Scholarship 2009

Today is my Form 6 classmate's - Zhi Xiong's wedding. Where is the invitation card..... Aiks, broke again :( BY promised to fetch me up at around 7pm.

On my way to his wedding, Celine told me that she had received the Japan MEXT Scholarship 2009 written examination notification. I didn't receive any letter wow...... Probably I'm not qualified...... (broken heart..... bleeding.....)

The dinner ended at around 10.30 pm. Once reached home, without any delay - checked my "mail basket". What's this? It's letter from JIS (Japan Information Service Embassy of Japan) Huray!!! Let me called Celine and informed her about this good news. Why don't pick up the phone? Never mind let me sms her. That mean I have to start to brush up my English and Japanese before the examination which fall on 15 June at Confucian Private Secondary School.

I came across Japan MEXT Scholarship by an ex-colleague who is now studying in Japan with MEXT Scholarship. He encouraged me to try it out since last year. He had wrote about the procedure of MEXT Scholarship in his blog.

For those who's interested in the Japan MEXT Scholarship, here are some useful info:
Previous year examination paper : http://www.studyjapan.go.jp/en/toj/toj0308e.html

Monday, May 19, 2008

20080518 - Pay to Suffer (PaintBall at TT Sports Park)

'Di Di'...... SMS alert at this hour? 1:00am?? Who will it be??? Don't bother about it. Em... Probably some urgent matter. Ei, paint ball at Subang at 1:00 pm? 12 hours notice in advance... Since all my sis going to Melacca tomorrow and left me with my parents... Better just joined for fun.

Meet at SJMC at 12:45pm. Deal! Already 12:45pm, where is that Zac, still didn't see him anywhere around SJMC. Better prepare my machine gun and "shoot" him when he appeared! He just showed up around 1:10pm. The paint ball field is located at TT Sports Park (besides Sheraton Hotel) which is the largest PaintBall Park in Malaysia.

Ops... How come everyone wear long pant? That 'si cai' Zac, didn't told me about it :( Thought got the jump suit so didn't wear the long pant. Cham...

After they have long negotiation with the marshal, they gave us offer at RM75 per pax (12 pax in total) for 2 boxes of pallets (4000 pallets in total). Forgotten to bring the camera so can't show the pictures of the paint gun and the safety procedure to use it. We're divided into 2 teams, with 6 pax per team.


Here are the bruises sponsor by Andy and his friend... Add up in total I have around 5 bruises around my back and 2 badly injured on my legs (shown on the pictures). My advice do wear long sleeve and long pant if you plan to go for PaintBall!

Here enclosed Contact of PaintBall Park:
Tel : +603-5635 6969, +603-5638 8969
Fax : +603-5638 9969
Address : Lot 017394, Jalan SS 12/1, Taman Subang Ria, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, 47500 Selangor DE.
Website : http://www.ttsportspark.com/home.asp

20080511 - Krabi

Today early morning we packed some of our stuff as we're going to Krabi for one night 'stay'. It was not a pleasant trip as the driver took us round and round. Waited here and there. Almost thought we're cheated. Finally we're there in Krabi. Then the staff there told us that there's only one trip back to Phuket tomorrow at 11:30am. Oh no. How are we going to send Celine back on time to catch her flight at Phuket International Airport. Bad planning. When we reached Krabi Town, rain drizzling again. We decided to take our lunch at one of the shop.



My lunch with Thai spices. It's Thai culture that they provide spices to their customer and let them flavor their own foods according to their preferences.

After our lunch, we took 'tud tud' to Ao Nang Beach (cost 40 baht per pax). Rain never leave us a minute. On the way to Ao Nang beach, raining again. Sigh...... The lady sat opposite me just visited Malaysia and gave comments regarding the treat of foreigners in Malaysia. Would like to apologize here for overheard their conversation.

Ao Nang Sunset was a pretty nice hotel. The hotel was clean, no smell and the facility was good.
We need to find a way to send Celine back on time. After asking from one agent to another, we hardly find any mini-van to send us back since only one trip back to Phuket which is 11:30am and will only reach Phuket at around 3:00pm, while Celine flight is 4:00pm.


We're almost hopeless and the only way is taking taxi now. We stop by at a stall and have our dinner. While waiting for our dinner, we wrote postcard to 2 or our buddies in Malaysia - BY and HY.


After our dinner, we head back to Ao Nang beach. The sun was tired as we are. It's sinking down the sea. Finally we got a private van for 2300 baht sending us back at 8:00 am from Ao Nang to Phuket (most of them offer 2500 baht). We'll be able to reach Patong Beach by 12:00pm. Huray!!! After such hectic Phuket trip, we have Thai traditional massage at 250 baht for an hour due to better environment. (usually around 200 baht). After the massage, we were served with ginger tea and it tastes good. We have a very good night sleep after the massage......

Ao Nang Sunset Hotel Info:
====================
Tel : +66 075-637441, +66 075-637442
Fax : +66 075-637440

20080510 - Phi Phi & Khai Island

Today we did woke up earlier and prepare ourselves early in the lobby. We have packed our luggage since tonight we'll be going to be overnight at Sevenseas Hotel which located around 200 meters away from Patong Lodge. We just put our luggages at the lobby and the bell boy seems different from the previous one. More friendly although he didn't know English much. We have problem speaking to him. When the driver came to pick us up, he asked whether we want towel or not. We're a bit surprised. Towel? It's provided? How come we didn't know yesterday? Now only, we recalled that the participants of the cruise yesterday all took the hotel towels along.

No more escoat boat. No more funny crew around the boat. Today we took speed boat to Phi Phi Island and Khai Island. The sky was clear when the speed boat started but then the wave was too rough. Then I started to heard vomit sounds. Suddenly the lady in front of me, vomit without any notice. Due to the strong wind, her vomit just flew backward toward my direction. Yiak, what's this..... tomatoes over my leg...... Jac do you have tissues? Got tomatoes over my leg :(

Due to the strong wave, the leader don't allow us to snorkel around Maya Bay (famous because of "The Beach" was filmed there). The sand seems white and soft as well as the greenish crystal clear sea water.
"The cliffs are the reason we chose Phi Phi Le because in the story, the beach that the characters are living on is surrounded by the high sea cliffs from the sea. So, it's a secret. It's like a big secret, swimming pool and beach in private and this is the attraction for the characters. That's why we have to use Phi Phi Le." - Andrew Macdonald, producer of "The Beach"


Besides Maya Bay, we passed by the Viking Cave. The Viking Cave on Phi Phi Ley is a cave right at sea level filled with bird's nests. Painted on the wall are the ancient color paintings resembling the Viking boats hence the name of Viking Cave.




When we first passed by the Monkey Island we hardly see any monkey there. After snorkeling, we passed by the Monkey Island again and saw alot of tourists feeding the monkey. The captain stop the speed boat there and let us feed the monkey with banana. He warned us not to fool around with the monkey as they will bites. The sand was really soft and nice.




We stopped at Phi Phi Don for our lunch. We're so tired that we can't move ourselves anywhere. Just sit there viewing the nice scenery of Phi Phi Don.

Now it's time to leave for Khai Island. On our way to Khai Island. It start to rain heavily. Since the boat was small, we're just like eaten up by the wave. The storm was really big and it's so hard for the speed boat to move forward. The captain stopped us at one of the island where we just found shelter under this roof.

We waited on the island for more than 1 hour and finally the rain became smaller. We just didn't make it for Khai Island. What a disappointment. The wave was still very rough. It was just like roller coaster, up and down. We just covered ourselves with the towel we borrow from the hotel this morning. It's just like movie. Celine was so afraid that she just got hold of anything she could get and eventually found that it was one of the crew leg. Jac who sat besides her kept on laughing none stopped. I was not feeling comfortable with the "roller coaster" and trying hard to get myself fall asleep. (My advice don't ever visit Phuket during low season especially raining season)


Today we decided to have seafood for our dinner. We simply pop into this seafood restaurant - 99 restaurant. We have a very heavy and nice dinner there. Tom yum gung, pathai, pineapple friend rice, mango salad and steam fish. And just cost less than 1000 baht. According to my sis, the oyster is worth eating (30 baht per each and very fresh and big). Besides that, you can actually negotiate the price there.


It's time for Simon Cabaret. This is the first time we bought VIP seat and it's at the first row. Wah, feel so special today... Hehe...... One of the girl was really beautiful. If you want to take picture with them, remember to pay 40 baht per pic.

Today we spend our night at Sevenseas Hotel. A brand new hotel which start operation last year. It's a clean, tidy, budget hotel. The room was pretty big accompany with balcony.

Sevenseas Hotel Contact:
=====================
Tel : +66 076 342193, +66 076 340492
Email : info@phuketsevenseas.com
Website : http://phuketsevenseahouse.com/

20080509 - Phang Nga Bay Canoeing

We woke up pretty early since the driver was going to pick us up at 8:00am. After having our breakfast, we went to the hotel lobby and found that the driver is already there waiting for us. Wow, they're very puncture. It's not Malaysian time. We have to wake up earlier tomorrow in order to avoid being late again.



Around 10:00 am we depart from the pier by escort boat. Our tour guide was 'Moon'. He gave us some briefing regarding the tour. We'll cover 4 of the Island, James Bond Island, Hong Island, Panak Island and Lawa Island. We can have free flow of water and light drink except beers. The weather seems nice in the morning but we can saw dark cloud from time to time.



The cruise took around 1.5 hours before we reached James Bond Island. At the beginning everyone was happily taking pictures around. While we're taking this pictures, suddenly a crew shown up without my notice and sat beside me. I was so surprised and turned to see who's he. Later he introduce himself.....

Boat Crew: 我是刘德华。 (I'm Andy Lau). 你叫什么名? (What's your name)
Me : Wah!!! You can speak chinese... I'm Lee (like always).

Then my friends also introduced themselves one by one. Hardly recalled what we talked already. Just knew that he knew quite alot of chinese. Later we became boring and felt sleepy on the boat... The water was pretty dirty and the weather seems not nice.

Before we reached James Bond Island, the wind was too strong and blew the rooftop away. The crew came out and got hold of it. We changed to the longtail boat in order to go to James Bond Island. When we're back the rooftop is already well fixed. Thanks to the crew members. We have our Thai delicacy on board. Although the foods was not really nice because it's cold. But we ate it eagerly since it's kind of tired and pretty hungry after such long journey on boat. That Andy Lau came to sit by my side again... Huh, I learned a few Thai language from my friends before. Let used it now.

Me : Khin kao mai ka? (Have you eaten?)
Andy Lau : Khin kao khrap. ( Yes, I have)
Me : A-loi mai ka? (Is it delicious?)
Andy Lau :A-loi khrap. (Yes, it is) 好吃吗?不好吃,不收钱。(Is it delicious? If it's not, you don't have to pay.)
Me : Mai a-loi. (Not delicious - just kidding)

After the above conversation, I just continue eating without bothering him. Later around Hong Island they started to whisper and alot of eagle flying above the sky. They throw the chicken fat for the eagle as the prey to attract the eagle came.

Now, it's time to start canoeing. Each crew is arranged to take care of 2-3 person in a canoe. The guy who's going to be our "canoe man" was called 'Sim'. (if not mistaken)



Around Hong Island and Panak Island you can see alot of sea caves, sea tunnels, lagoons and hongs. Each of the caves just like carving of elephant, shark, dog, buddha..... Just like the picture above, it's just like a shark which has eaten my head. Haha......

Later storm came, and we have to head back to the Pier and can't go to Lawa Island. It took another 2 hours before we can go back. The sea was rough and the rain was pouring heavily. We was totally soaked in the rain. On the way back, the crew teaches the other how to make flowers from plastic straw. They gave the flowers to all the lady on the boat.

At night, 'Supan' called us at the hotel, telling us that he had asked the driver to pick us up at Patong Lodge for the 'Phuket FantaSea' and not at his stall cause it was raining outside. That's very considerate of him. We have no choice but to take our dinner at FantaSea.


The toilet was very special and cute(If you are there, please do visit the toilet). Inside the theater, we're not allowed to take pictures or videos. Even handphone are not allowed to take inside the theater. We have a pretty bad seat where it's located on top where you hardly see anything. If possible get a VIP seat where you need to pay extra 250 baht from the normal seat(1500 baht). It's advisable not to take the buffet dinner since it's pretty expensive (extra 400 baht). (It's possible to get discount from some agent in Patong Beach.) Overall the stage decoration was pretty nice but it's a bit exspensive for 1.5 hours show.

We can take pictures outside the FantaSea Theater. After the show, there're elephant outside the theater for us to take picture with.

This is the official web site for Phuket FantaSea:
Tel :+66 076-385000
Fax : +66 076-385333
Reservation Tel : +66 076-385111
Reservation Fax : +66 076-385222
Email : info@phuket-fantasea.com
Web Site : http://www.phuket-fantasea.com/

20080508 - Phuket

Early 6++am received a sms from AirAsia stated my flight will be delayed....... Not again...... How come this happened....... All my mood was gone :(

Me & Jac waited at LCCT for around 2 hours before taking 1:45pm flight to Phuket. We reached Phuket at around 3pm. Once we're out from the air port there're so many people around asking whether we want taxi or not. Then found one mini-van just cost 150 baht per pax. Without hesitation we just pay and get up the mini-van. Once the mini-van is full, we're on our way to our hotel - Patong Lodge. Unfortunately, they stop at one of the tourist center, and the receptionist started to ask alot of our journey in Phuket. We didn't accept their tour package as I believe we can get better offer around Patong Beach.

Once we reached the Patong Lodge (located between Kamala and Patong beach), what a disappointment. How come??? It's not opposite the beach...... The beach is further down the road and is full of rock where it's not a place for swimming. The bell boy took our luggage to the room but we didn't have any small change so we just decided not to give any tips. (Advice: prepare some change for tips)

Let's go to Patong Beach to ask about the tour package. Once we step out, it was raining cats and dogs. What? Raining? Oh no, today is just the first day...... We just waited at the lobby until the rain got smaller. Once we step out there's alot of 'tud tud' outside and offer us the ride at 200 haht. Wah, as far as I can remember, Patong Beach just 5 minutes walk from our hotel...... and it cost 200 baht. No way man. I have rather walked down.

Me & Jac just walked down the Patong Beach and asked from counter to counter about the tour package. Most of them will give around 50% less than the price printed on the brochure except for the show like 'Phuket Fantasea' and 'Simon Cabaret'. We got tired of asking and negotiating after 3-4 counters. One of the agent - 'Supan' told us that there's a mall and 'Carrefour' is just around 5 minutes walk from his stall. Besides that, the mall has food court where we can have dinner there. We trusted him and decided to have a look there. On our way, we walked for 5 minutes, and another 5 minutes, how come we still can't find it...... Jac cannot stand anymore, she need foods. We stop by at one of the 7-11, and she had her first shrimp burger there. Then we received sms from Celine, she's now waiting at the room. Oh, how to meet her up since Patong Lodge is almost 20 minutes away from this 7-11...... Headache....... At first we asked Celine come down to Patong Lodge but then scared her got lost. Finally, I just asked Jac to go to 'Carrefour' first since it's almost there, meanwhile I go to fetch Celine.

When I almost reached Patong Lodge, my breath is almost out and got sms from Celine that she's coming down. Huray! I just waited there and managed to take a nice sunset of Patong Beach. Both of us just met each other near Novotel Hotel. Without any delay, we just went to 'Carrefour' to meet Jac. After looking at the food court, we decided to eat outside since not many people eating there. We buy some foods in 'Carrefour' and outside 'Carrefour' was a facial center which offer 299 baht for 45 minutes facial massage. Wah, that's cheap. We planned to come back on our last day. Hehe......

Outside the Junceylon there's a musical fountain on display every night. It's raining again. We just have our dinner at one of the Japanese Restaurant - 'FUJI' besides the musical fountain. We ordered Tempura Set, Chicken Teriyaki Set and Salmon Set and it just cost us around 500 baht. The taste was really good just like what I have had in Japan . (If you like Japanese food shouldn't miss this one out!)

After the dinner, the rain still didn't stopped. I just have this bad feeling that rain is not going to stop for my 6 days stay in Phuket....... :'( Ops! It's almost 10:00pm and 'Supan' stall is going to close. Quick! Quick! When we rushed to 'Supan' stall he's still there. Thanks god. We just make all our reservation there. He really gave us some offer (probably more people more discount) and a long chat with him. His stall is just around the intersection of Thawiwong Road and Hat Patong Road. We reserved for Phuket FantaSea, Simon Cabaret (VIP Seat), Phi Phi & Khai Island and Phang Nga Bay Canoeing. (All included land transport).



Supan Contact Info
===============
Hp : +6681-8930691
Tel : +66 076-322235
Fax : +66 076-323226
Email : supanjangnok39@hotmail.com

Tomorrow we'll be going to Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island. Looking forward for it. Praying hard that tomorrow will not rain. Too tired....... Zzzz.....zzz........

Some useful Thai language needed:
=============================
Sawatdee (ka/khrap) - Hello (ka for female, khrap for male)
Sabai dee mai (ka/khrap) - How are you?
Sabai dee (ka/khrap) - I'm fine.
Khorb koon (ka/khrap) - Thank you.
Khor thot (ka/khrap) - Sorry.
A-roi - Delicious.
Mai ben rai - Never mind.

Useful link : http://www.learningthai.com/useful_phrases.html