Friday, 31 December 2010

Holidaying in Sarawak

Long Bedian: Day 3

            Woke up early, as usual here and had an early light breakfast. Then off we went to check out the surroundings and take some photos since I have yet to do that the previous days. It was quite pretty but this is not the whole of Long Bedian. The village is divided into two and there’s another settlement on the other side but I’m not going there this trip. :P A few days are needed to fully explore the place if you wanna check out the jungle trekking and waterfalls, and also the rest of the settlements. The fresh air is definitely a change from the towns/cities. And I kinda like the relaxed atmosphere here but a weekend getaway is fine for me, though not for long-term. Hahaha. I’m missing my doggies, my bed and most of all, my internet and handphone. I feel so out of the world here but it is refreshingly laidback and stress-free. I don’t even have imsomnia unlike when I was in my uni or even at times at home. Niceeee! I checked out the shoplots and the Heritage Centre etc to take pictures. And is acting all Jakun again at the trees and stuffs. Look at the uncle’s seedlings! Kekeke, I kept getting the chills like a snaky will pop out any second as I was walking through them I will kill whoever put that idea into my head last time about how oil palm plantations have tons of snakes. Grr! Oya, I had a lil gift from the step-grandma and since she happily insisted I wear it, so here I was, wearing a lil reddish thingie off a necklace ;P Then off I went to play n poke d lil chicks once I’m in the house. They were soooo cute I couldn’t resist. I’m definitely not going to look after them. I might not have the heart to eat chicken anymore if this keeps up. Sigh! 

     It’s another bumpy ride in the Hilux later (a change of car so I’ll get Pajero’s experience and Hilux’s one too eh? on the off-roads) Absorber testing anyone? LOL

Here’s the photos of the homestay I’m staying at. The place is huge with lotsa rooms to cater for the original large family during holidays and otherwise, it’s homestays for tourists. Lotsa natives’ products hanging as decorations so I’m photographing them all. Hahaha. The place is free for owners of shoplots aka frens in the area too, so maybe one of y’all should open a shop too and get d free accommodations? LOL. Jk. The place is charging very cheap rates I think, so it would be an adventurous holiday on a budget here. :D PS: and you get to eat all those local food made by real Kayans unlike those meals in hotels which are basically the same each time you go. At least that’s what it seemed to me cos after a few nights in the hotel, I usually get a lil sick of the buffets or coffeehouses’ food but is too chicken to try some outside food like during some of my holidays. :S
my bed!

the 1st sitting room

the 2nd one

the deco

more deco

the hallway

the seedlings

the cultural centre 1

the cultural centre 2

cultural centre 3


another room in d homestay :)
More photos from the trip HERE

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Adventures in Borneo? :P

Long Bedian: Day 2
            It’s Christmas!!! Too bad there’s no prezzies waiting for me under the tree :( Apparently Christmases don’t mean presents anymore once you’ve grown up. Disappointment much! And since I’m so free, I went to the dining room and started working my way through some of the snacks laid out. LOL. After a bath and some jakun actions, see below, we went to one of the relatives’ house for a lil visiting before the Christmas Mass here.
            Since he’s like the Wakil Rakyat here, the main conv was about the politics and all. So I kinda tune out after a while. But from what I heard, I can totally understand why BN is quite strong here. They did help out the development of the villages around here cos the YB managed to get a new Sekolah-9 installed in the village which costed abt 50mil. In comparison, a similar building would have just costed about 20mil if done in cities or towns. The higher costs incurred would be due to the difficulty of the transportation of raw materials. Read my previous posts to get an idea HERE. Shall not go on and on about the rest of the conv, but you get the picture right?
            The Mass was in Kayan language, so again I’m like -.-“” and tune those out again. LOL. Once it was over, lunch was a crowded affair. See what I meant? And I have a lil fake flower corsage. Kieh Kieh Kieh!
corsage :D

            And being the city girl I was, more jakunness can be witnessed as I tried sucking on those lil shellfish (siput). Grrr! I was the entertainment during lunch. Everyone was laughing at me. Oh well, I managed to slowly pull out the lil suckers out using my fork, Grr! Take that you lil squealing snails! XD

            Do you guys know how much a small piece of these woody thingie costs? 

A kilo can easily go for tens of thousands. OK, maybe I shouldn’t be studying. Going to the jungle seemed to be the easy way out here. LOL. They are making their deals and such and I am busy documenting them. Gaharu anyone? XD

            In the afternoon, we were off to visit the step-uncle’s vast lands and orchards and/or plantations? OK, I couldn’t differentiate most of the trees and logs etc but I know how a rubber tree and oil palm look like. Then I recognize some of the trees’ names too from Meranti, Berlian and such. Kieh Kieh Kieh. (Self denial mode). So that’s not so bad right? LOL.  Apparently they hire some of the Penans to do the heavy work and I definitely couldn’t imagine trying to even take care of just a small plot of the land. Danggg.
Rubber tapping can also earn like RM100 a day! Arg! Tell me again why do people bother getting a degree or anything again? The oil palms are on the rise too so, maybe agriculture is a better option? :S
            Then it’s off to see the failed slope at one of his chalets. Pengsan. Never knew what I learnt in class can actually be seen in reality. LOL. The rivers were too fast and went headlong towards the cliff where the chalets are. So part of its legs collapsed (the chalets). Then finally, we’re off to the waterfalls. There’s another chalets made to look like the old longhouses and also the settings were meant to follow that too. Here’s some pics so you guys get an idea of that place. PS: The place is opened for 9 months annually only so it’s off season for tourists now. Just January to September I guess. :)
            There’s like 5 natural waterfalls around this place, and tourists can opt to go jungle trekking to each of them (that will take like 6 hours on foot) so obviously, I’m not going for that. XD. The place remind me of National Parks but with a more untouched feeling. And the ants are really big! The kick-ass ants are the size of my finger! @@ I can’t imagine being bitten by one. And there’s some snakes in the vicinity too, I didn’t spot any cos I was busy taking photos of the longhouse, but the rest of them saw a Nawan snake slithering away. OK, that kinda gives me the creep but if you’re like one of those AngMohs or AngMohs celup, and are interested to check these out, here’s a good place to start. LOL.

            We went to the second waterfalls where I had my 1st experience of having the whole car jumping headlong into the fast waters of the river. Geng!!!! I was like OMG! I’m definitely getting one of these big, bad boys if I ever wanna buy a vehicle. Ecehwah! LOL. Then the car is left in the river to be washed by the fast currents and we went down to play with the water. That’s definitely new for me. Kekeke. I’m too chicken to play in the big river itself, so I’m dunking myself into the shallower smaller river that connects to it a lil higher up. :P We din go for the other waterfalls since it’s pretty late dy but the water is COLD and pretty clean since not a lot of people go here I guess. 

            Dinner is a quiet affair by now since everyone’s pretty tired after the long day. :P I spent some time sitting outside the house and chatted with dad over the snacks laid out and a glass of icy cold 7-Up. Yay! So anyone up for a trip to Long Bedian anytime soon?:D

More photos HERE

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Start of A Borneo Adventure

Long Bedian: Day 1
Despite being roughly 50km? from Miri, it actually took us more than 5 hours by land route to this little town in the corner of Sarawak. The whole journey was definitely a test to one’s backbone, as well as the strength of one’s stomach. It was a rocky journey to say the least, and during the rainy season, it definitely allows the bravest of hearts to try bracing these offroads without the aid of a four-wheel-drive vehicles. The jumps and swerves and disco-ing (where the car actually lose a lil control and the car swerving in both front and back not so different from the dancefloor ;)) makes the off-road journey I made to one of the natives settlement nearby Cameron Highlands seemed almost tame…:S Which is prolly another reason why the whole trip there’s a lot of private vehicles like Hilux and Pajero ONLY with the exception of very few saloon cars and the occasional motorbikes (which can actually avoid most of the potholes as compared to normal cars ;P).
            Throughout the trip, there’s nothing much to see, except trees and more trees as truckloads of oil palms passed us by. The most interesting one would be when we caught sight of a pretty long snake crossing the muddy road, a King Cobra it seems. Now this is when I’m actually thankful I’m in a rocky nauseous-inducing Pajero rather than on a two-wheel, smoother-journey-guranteed but fully exposed motorbike. Also, unlike the rather well-serviced Highways in the Peninsular, there are NO reststops or washrooms etc unless you decided to go into rather far apart lil villages where they have some very basic shops selling snacks and such. Therefore, guess where yours truly had to do when she couldn’t hold it in anymore? :S It was my 1st attempt in doing that since kindy or sumtink and it is way more embarrassing than I thought it would be. LOL. This is certainly when I envied guys. Ehem.The roads were especially terrible once it neared Lapok. :X
one of the many lorries we passed

            Back to the journey, we had to use a ferry to actually get there. So off we went into an oh-so-small ferry. Do take note that this service is only available till 8pm, and if you arrive any later, should you decide to visit this village, well, you just gotta stop by Long Lama (which is the village nearest to this ferry service) for the night instead. Blerk! It is kinda daunting after that to pass the hilly areas where for once, the cars moving upwards are on the right and the ones moving down are on the left. This is for safety purposes apparently, cos of the narrow lanes so the drivers won’t actually hit each other should the cars collide on the sides :S. And when you look to the sides, you can see you’re actually on the edge of the hill itself but the only thing you can’t see is the depth of the edge XD.

            When it’s nearing the village, the hills looked pretty creepy to me. Remember The Hills Have Eyes? The hills look liddat. LOL. Or isit just my overactive imagination? Doesn’t these look like a tropical version of that movie? :S

            I noticed plenty of lil ponds next to the roads, and they are simply beautiful! Greenish clear water with plenty of plants on the banks, it’s like miniature ponds all the way. Ok, maybe it’s not good scientifically with the eutrophication and all, but art-wise, they are one of the prettiest lil work of art by Mother Nature herself. :D
            If you think that Kedah has the most paddy fields, and rightly so I guess, Sarawak hillsides boasts of the hill paddy fields which produces the nyummiest rice ever! Not much pics as we sped bumpily along cos it was hard to take pics from a moving car, and a bumpy one at that, so I’ll leave these to your imaginations. :D
            By the time we reached, it’s already night. We’re staying at d step-uncle’s homestay, but relatives stay free LOL. In the village, there’s lotsa homestays but the one we’re staying at is called Nawan Homestay, named after a cute lil boy with the same name :D (the grandkid, my sorta step-cuznephew?@@ Is there even such a term?) Anyway, dinner’s as shown and I never knew plain white rice could be so nyummy after being wrapped this way. OMG, it was so delish! I think staying at places like this could be pretty eye-opening in a way if you would like to explore the native’s way of life, be it a modern version of one. :D (Do note that longhouses are rare to find in the traditional way which are made of wooden planks etc and most have already been modified to look like a terrace house which are made of bricks and all, unless you go to certain chalets where those wooden long houses are purposely built to cater to those curious for a night in those). I would show some of those in a later post.

the nyummiest white rice ever!
             I had my 1st eco-friendly bath as well. I’m using rainwater to bath! I’ve written about plenty of those in reports and papers for my Environmental Management and Sustainability classes but never experienced it 1st hand before. LOL. OK, before you start imagining me bathing right under the rain for the viewing of all, they have normal bathrooms etc, just that the rainwater collected on top of the roofs are conveyed to them with pipes. The water is ICY and despite being used to cold baths during my hostel-stays, it is nothing compared to that. OMG! And Dad’s definitely not so used to it since he’s using hot water at home since like…forever? LOL. A day with these homestays are prolly equal to a night in Langkawi in one of the expensive eco-friendly hotel, without the hefty pricetag~ I shall not give names here but the hotels there will cut one short of RM500 for a normal room compared to lesser than a fraction of that here. And if you like outdoors, the ride coming here is definitely an adventure in itself, though I would advise travelling with a half-filled tummy ONLY. Too much food and you’ll find yourself heaving them all out as your butts are thrown in the air during the ride and too much drinks, well, let’s just not go there.
            I turned in pretty early cos I was way beat after the shaky ride here and the lack of entertainment. It is only here that I noticed how much I depended on my internet, and handphone and tv shows for entertainment. Sigh. PS: Only Celcom has coverage here, and I’ve been a loyal supporter of Digi ever since nearly 1.5 decades ago, so guess that goes to show the yellow man ain’t everywhere! XD

More photos from the trip HERE

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Arashi Shabu Shabu, Tebrau City

Yea, finally got to charge up my cam and got the pics out for the last makan trip with my Junior. Haha, saw this shop for ages and finally went in for a try d other day before coming back to my hometown. The food was just so-so, the sauce was nth to shout abt, overall, I just love the ambience bt nt the food nor the service much :)

What we had were as follows:
 The Salmon Set
 The Beef Set

 Chicken Roll

Honestly, the price isn't really worth it for the food but if you consider the ambience, then it's OK :D For Shabu Shabu I still prefer the one in Miri..NYUMMY and I get to order all those meat for abt the same price, or opt for the one in Tapino Steamboat nearby BestMart, Jhr with the nice thinly sliced mutton and lotsa selection for a budgetted price...*salivates*

Guess it's more camwhoring for us before catching a movie, hm...wut did we watch again? I tink it's's so long dat I forgot...a Chinese movie I Since got request kenot post most of d pics so it's just one for now XDXD


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