Day 1 – Madinah

Alhamdulillah… We have arrived Madinah 🙂

Flight was pleasant and smooth. There were a few mild air-pockets but other than that, all good. Our flight was at 2pm from KLIA. We reached KLIA airport at 10.45am (supposed to meet up at 10am) but we made it.


There were a quick briefing near Old Town White Coffee on the do’s and don’t, what to look for and what to expect, etc.. etc.. Since our flight is at 2pm, there’s little room for us to perform our Zohor prayer. So me, Mr Hubster and My Mom went to surau to take our wudu’. By the time we got into the immigration and all it was already 1pm. While waiting for all of us to go pass our gate, it was already 1.30pm and we managed to perform our Zohor prayer (qasar Asar) at the gate area. Since our seat was at the upper deck, there were heaps of spaces at the waiting area (level 1) for some of us to perform our prayer.

We reached Madinah airport at about 6.40pm (Madinah time), took the shuttle bus to the immigration point. I went separate lane from Mr Hubster and My Mom simply because we just want to disperse ourselves. Apparently, my lane was faster and the person mending Mr Hubster and my mom’s lane ditched them to attend another lane. And since I cannot linger around after the immigration area, I was directed to go to the baggage collection area. 30 minutes after, I was united back with Mr Hubster and My Mom. Got our bags then we were instructed to head to the bus which is about 5-10 minutes walk away from the airport.

When we reached the bus, we got to know that we still need to wait for the rest to past immigration and collect their bags, so we then decided to go to the Mosque which is next to the airport to perform Maghrib and Isyak.

By 9pm, everyone got on the bus and we were ready to head to the hotel. We were told that there’s a requirement for buildings in Madinah to maintain a certain height so that Masjid Nabawi can be seen from miles away.

We were greeted by Ustaz Haji Hadi at Dallah Taibah Hotel and were ushered straight to the eating area. There, we were given briefings for tomorrow’s plan to Mekkah.

Owh, what I observed with Rayhar was that, we dont have to care about our bags as much. The moment we arrived at the hotel in Madinah, and while enjoying our dinner, we were told by Ustaz Haji Hadi to collect our bags at certain floor. By the time we got on to that floor, there’s heaps of bags from our travel from KL to be collected 🙂

Now we’re in our rooms ready to go to bed. More updates soon.

Later~

 

Skiing: Mt Buller

We drove up to Mansfield from Melbourne City at about 8am. The journey took us for about 2 hours and 30 minutes. I have booked an accommodation online to stay at Mansfield Motel and the check-in time was only at 2pm.

We just try our luck and the owner was very attentive to our request. She explained politely that our rooms are currently being cleaned but she hand over the room key to us and said to give a few minutes more and when it is ready, we could go in. True enough at close to 11am, we were able to rest in our room. Because it was a motel, we could drive our car straight to our room. To our surprise, a black dog was already waiting for us with a ball wanting to play fetch!

We rest for a few hours and by lunch, we head to Mt Buller. The journey took us 45 minutes from the Motel. Before going to the peak, we reached the entrance gate which every vehicle (max: 8 passengers)  must pay AUD$40 per day. We then parked the car at the dedicated car park and took the free shuttle bus to the ski area.

At the common area, there are restaurants and ski gear hires. We went straight for the ski gear hires to hire our ski stuffs:

a) Jacket and Pants
b) Ski Boots
c) Skis and Poles
d) Locker
These all costs close to AUD$100

We then took another free shuttle bus with our gears to the ski school – another alternative than taking the ski lift as we are first timers and have not fully mastered the skill of skiing yet.

At ski school, you can observe the instructors teaching the young ones how to ski. We just observed at the side quietly to see how this skiing skill works. You can take ski lessons but due to limited time, my husband and I decided to just observe for a bit before we purchase the ski lift. Ski lift costs AUD$101 for full day or AUD$62 which starts from 3pm to 5pm. We took the 3pm pass as we would need some time to get the hang of skiing on flat land first!

After 3pm, we had a go at the ski lift. View was fantastic!

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Exhausted!

Exhausted!

Boost!

Boost!

At close about 10 minutes to 5pm, both my husband and I were already exhausted and had no energy to even ski downhill. At that moment in time, I remembered that I had Redbull in my bag. Immediately we drank the Redbull and at an instant, we got the energy boost! Hahaha! We were back on our feet to ski before handing over our ski gears to the staff.

Would definitely come here again one day!

YTL Tanjong Jara, Dungun – Day 2

Its day 2 here in Tanjong Jara and we had a good night sleep last night.

Woke up at 7am and we head to Di Atas Sungei Restaurant for breakfast. We sat outside this time to have the morning view of the beach. The breakfast is buffet style which offers Malaysian cuisines such as nasi dagang, nasi goreng, mee sup. Western dishes french toast, egg corner, varieties of corn flakes, fresh cut fruits and yogurt. The best thing here during breakfast is that they serve homemade muffins and croissants fresh from the oven.

Breakfast at D'Atas Nelayan

Breakfast at D’Atas Sungei

Breakfast at D'Atas Sungei

Breakfast at D’Atas Sungei

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

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You can actually choose to have your breakfast at Di Atas Sungei or Nelayan.

At 8.20am, we head to the reception and there we can see Mr. Tan waiting for us. Apparently there’s 1 French guy who is going for open water scuba, 1 family of 4 going for snorkeling and us for discovery scuba diving (“DSD”). The best thing about this Tenggol Island trip is that the resort will bring with them a representative for us. Meaning, 1 resort staff that will accompany the French guy, 1 resort staff that to accompany the family of 4 and we have Mr. Tan that will be with us during our DSD. They also will bring along with them our very own chef that will cook and prepare lunch for us at the Island. First-class service!

By 9.00am, we reached the jetty and there we could see the resort staff all ready to board us in the private boat to Tenggol Island that will take approximately about 40 minutes. Boat ride was ok – the sea was not so choppy. Once we reached the Island, we had our coffee/tea break before we dip in the seawater for snorkelling.

Snorkelling

Snorkelling

The view was just breathtaking! Just by looking at how calm the fishes swim made me so comfortable in the water.

By noon, we head back our temporary hunt for lunch and networking with the family of 4 and the French guy. We exchange our experience during the snorkeling session and it was exciting.

At 1.30pm, we head back to the boat and start our DSD. We managed to see all sorts of fishes, starfish and lion fish! Too bad we didn’t get to see the turtles =( We did go down up to 12 meters deep!

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DSD1

By 3.30pm, it was time to go back to the resort. During the journey back home, both my husband and I was so exhausted that both of us slept all the way to the jetty.

We rest for a while by dipping ourselves in the pool once we reached Tanjong Jara Resort and at 5.00pm there was Kampung where it showcase all the traditional games that back in the 70’s usually play, the music that was played and the ape that helped us to get the fresh young coconuts. This Kampung something is only available every Saturdays from 5pm to 6pm.  A good experience for the foreigners and the youngsters to experience the Kampung life.

Time flies extremely fast when you are here in Tanjong Jara! We got back to our room to wash up and here again the housekeeping prepared for us the flowery-bubble-bath again! It was really nice of them. Then by 8.00pm, it was already dinner time and this was what we had for dinner.

  • Appetizers – Tomyam
  • Mains – Butter prawn and steamed seabass
  • Dessers – Lava cake and banana fritters

 

 

Early Birthday Celebration @ YTL Tanjong Jara, Dungun

It was an impromptu plan that my husband and I decided to take – which is to celebrate both our birthdays on an island on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. So I quickly browse our flight and found out that as of that day, the cheapest that we could find was via AirAsia.

Next, I was in constant communication with the YTL representative – Suba in asking on the resort’s facilities and I informed them that I wanted to celebrate my husband’s birthday and was wondering if they could do something to make it memorable. So, I made an online reservation to the room that we wanted in Tanjong Jara and we are all set to go!

The day has come – it was Friday, 20th June. We got off from home at 9.00 am to KL Sentral to catch the ERL train to KLIA2 which took us about 33 minutes from KL Sentral to the airport.

The new airport at KLIA2 is HUGE!! It was my first time there after they officially opened on 9th May 2014. The ERL train will stop at the KLIA2 “so called mall” because it does look like huge a mall with proper shops and restaurants,.Then you would walk for about 5 minutes to reach the entrance of the airport. The airport itself is also huge and I like it – compared to LCCT which is really a cargo airport! Since we did our online check-in, we had our boarding pass ready. The only thing to do is to send our luggage at the baggage-drop.

Next, we head to the security checks to go to our boarding gate. The walk took us about 10 minutes or so to our gate. Flight was OK and the flight took us about 50 minutes. We landed in Kuala Terengganu safely just that the landing part needs more practice Mr. Pilot!!

Our luggage was one of the first to arrive at the conveyor belt and we head straight to the taxi counter. The taxi costs us RM110 per trip and the journey from the airport to Tanjong Jara took us approximately 1 hour. I have no complaints about our taxi driver. He was good and quiet throughout the journey which made me decide to engage him to pick us up later on Sunday from Tanjong Jara to the airport.

We were greeted by the Tanjong Jara staffs during our arrival. They then took care of our luggage and we rested on the sofa in the reception area and Mr Tan from the scuba site was already waiting for us to give briefing on what our programs would be like for tomorrow. They then offered some ice-cool refreshing drink since it the weather is hot and Sayuri from the Reception guided us all the way to our room while giving us a tour about the resort. The room that we booked was Serambi (garden) room 1105.

View of our room from the outside - Serambi (Garden)

View of our room from the outside – Serambi (Garden)

View of the bedroom

View of the bedroom

View of the bathroom

View of the bathroom

We settled down for 1 hour then we head to the Nelayan pool where Mr. Tan was waiting for us ready with the air tank and other scuba equipment. We had a pre-scuba course where Mr. Tan taught us on how to use the equipment and the breathing techniques, the do’s and don’t. He was happy with us because we made his job easy (Well, the fact that it is our 3rd Discovery Scuba Diving (DSD)). Our next meeting would be the next day at 8.30am at the lobby.

Diving_Watermark

Come night time, we head to Di Atas Sungei Restaurant which translate to “Restaurant on the river”. We chose Tomyam soup as our appetiser, the mains are steamed red snapper fish and sizzling black pepper beef with white rice and our desserts are Sago gula melaka and Lava cake.

D'Atas Sungei Layout

D’Atas Sungei Layout

Dinner Day 1 Appetizer - Tomyam Soup; Mains - Beef Black Pepper & Steamed Fish; Vege - Beancurd with oyster sauce

Dinner Day 1
Appetizer – Tomyam Soup; Mains – Beef Black Pepper & Steamed Fish; Vege – Beancurd with oyster sauce

While eating, one of the staffs came to our table with a surprise birthday cake!

Our June birthday cake surprise courtesy from Tanjong Jara Resort

Our June birthday cake surprise courtesy from Tanjong Jara Resort

Dinner was good and we were stuffed! We then head back to our room. When we got there, we got another surprise from housekeeping this time. They have specially prepared for us a flowery-bubble bath. I felt blessed! =)

Birthday surprise from housekeeping

Birthday surprise from housekeeping

Goodnight all!

 

 

 

My birthday celebration: June 2014

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Sneak peak

Last week was my husband’s birthday. This week is MY birthday! Woot! Woot!! So Mr. Husband decided to have a birthday getaway for me today till Sunday (well for US actually since both of our birthdays fall in June).

Flight tickets? Checked!
Resort booking? Checked!

Will update you more!

Las Vegas – Touring around Vegas

I didn’t go out that much during my conference week except for dinner (I ordered room service whenever I am too lazy to go out – its too cold and I didn’t bring thick clothing with me). Temperature can go down to 14 °C at night and that is cold for me.

So, to summarize on the places that I went to for the past 1 week in Vegas.

Check our ride….. Loved it! Too bad this exact model is not available in Malaysia.

Our car - Ford Fusion

Our car – Ford Fusion

1. I must go to Walmart! The things here are cheap and we bought loads of food to munch at the hotel (Its like here we have Giant but pricing wise, I think Walmart is cheaper)This is where I bought US simcard for me to use for the whole 2 weeks.

Walmart Supermarket

Walmart Supermarket

2. A must see! Jabawockeez!!! I would go and see them the second time! The best thing about this show is that they interact with people and when they imitate the viewers, it can be really funny! Very entertaining!

Jabawockeez

Jabawockeez

3. I followed my hubster to see Fantasy. Yeah… Men would LOVE it!

3. We had dinner at Hard Rock and ordered our usual menu – Bruschetta Tomato and Fried Fish Sandwich @ Paradise Road

Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe

Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe

4. Visited Bellagio and witnessed the music fountain

Bellagio

Bellagio

5. Visited The Mirage and waited for the volcano eruption at 8pm out in the cold!

6. We went to The Venetian to get the feel of Italy

7. Compulsory picture of the Las Vegas sign

8. If we have visited Walmart, Target is a must too! Target usually have offers buy 3 for the price of 2. I always check on the expiry just in case.

Target

Target

10. How could I missed out.. Premium Outlets!!!!!!!! @.@. I’d go crazy if I migrate to US. There’s 2 outlets – North and South Las Vegas. The photo below is South Las Vegas which is approximately 7 minutes from THEHotel.

South Las Vegas Premium Outlet

South Las Vegas Premium Outlet

11. We didn’t have to go far to get the best view of Vegas. We went up to the Mix Lounge Mandalay Bay which is situated on the 64th Floor and the view is just breathtaking!

Mix Lounge (64th Floor) - Mandalay Bay

Mix Lounge (64th Floor) – Mandalay Bay

12. Here’s other places that we visited

Places in Vegas

Places in Vegas

**Some photos are not with me like The Mirage, Venetian and Las Vegas sign. Will update that once I get the photos from Mr. Hubster.

Till then!

 

Las Vegas – THEhotel, Mandalay Bay

We reached THEhotel, Mandalay Bay. Yes, the name of our hotel is “The Hotel”. It is right next to Mandalay Bay and I read reviews that THEhotel is better than Mandalay Bay in the sense of the size of the room.  Why I chose Mandalay Bay was because the conference will be held here at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre.

Mandalay Bay have standard room whereas THEhotel has 1 bedroom with a TV and a bathroom attached with toilet in a separate door, shower and bathtub, has a living room with sofa, and TV and another toilet.

TheHotel-Watermark

We got hungry and ordered room service for dinner.

roomservice-Watermark

It is already 11.30pm here in Vegas, time to sleep – Good night!

Let the 34 hours journey begin: Abu Dhabi to Chicago bound

We board for journey number 2. – Abu Dhabi to Chicago. That is another 14 hours flight. This time I didn’t walk over to my husband as I was asleep most of the time. I fell asleep before they serve my main course! Flight was smooth, the seats were comfortable as it can be reclined to let you sleep better. The only sad back was on the toiletries. MAS was waaaayyyy better with toiletries (at least MAS gave Tumi toiletries bag). Here’s the Etihad 777 on Business, the good food but the ugly toiletries bag (center picture)

Etihad - Chicago Watermark

We arrived Chicago at 3.25pm. We had 2 hours of layover which is more than enough to get you from one terminal to another terminal (we had to change terminal as we arrived at the International Terminal and took the train to the Domestic Terminal). We didn’t have to worry about our luggage as they will arrive with us in Las Vegas. So we head straight to the gate, had lunch at McDonald’s and was ready to board the last and final leg! Las Vegas via American Airlines.

American-Watermark

The flight was full! My husband and I had to split and sat on different rows. I had the seat with only 2 people whereby my husband was sitting with the ones with 3 in a row. The flight looked old! Like extremely old! I could remember seeing this during the 80’s! And I felt that the flight took very long to reach to my destination. Maybe I was already tired of flying for the day. *Sorry.. No pictures on AA, it was already dark and as usual, I slept throughout the whole journey.

We arrived Las Vegas at 9.20pm. Our bags reached quite fast too. We just can’t wait to get to the hotel so we got in a taxi which took about 15 minutes of journey with a fee of $23 with tax but without tips. Mind you – here if you take a taxi, they expect you to give them tips. If you don’t, they will ask you why you didn’t give them any tips. So be prepared to pay extra.

Let the 34 hours journey begin: KL to Abu Dhabi bound

Reached KLIA at 12 midnight. – Quite early as the counters were still closed. We got checked in by Ramzan. A very nice chap who tried to help with my husband’s ticket. Just to note, I got all my 3 boarding pass ready.
1. Kuala Lumpur to Abu Dhabi
2. Abu Dhabi to Chicago
3. Chicago to Las Vegas.

But my husband managed to get boarding pass for journey (1) – This means that we need to go to the transit counter both in Abu Dhabi and Chicago to get his boarding passes.

Since it was still early, we spend most of our time at the MAS Golden Lounge. Again, at the counter of the Golden Lounge, Azad (GL Leader) was very attentive. Kudos to that!
Food was good especially the teh tarek — was absolutely delicious! A must try.

GoldenLounge_Watermark

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Our flight was on time. By 3.25am, we pushed off via Jet Airways. Here’s a peak on the business class.

JetAirways-Watermark

The steward was very attentive and efficient. Ask anything and he’ll come back with your orders. Too bad I didn’t get his name.

We arrived at Abu Dhabi Airport at 6pm’ish – a very busy airport. We went straight to the Transfer Counter to get the boarding pass for my husband for journey no. (2). The staff who attended to us looked at my husband’s boarding pass and advised us to go straight to the gate. At that time we still had about another 2 hours before our next flight.

Luckily that we did walk over to the gate. It was crowded with people! Why? Because on the way to the gate, there were security checks for people travelling to the US. Luckily I was travelling on business, we were given priority can cut the queue short (although my husband is on economy – I only showed my boarding pass) =)

Once passed security checks for US, there is an immigration counter. At this moment, they will check your boarding pass and will let you know whether you bags have arrived at the immigration or not. We had to wait for a mere 10 minutes as my luggage have not arrived yet. When they called out my name, we can then continue to queue up again at the immigration counter. They asked on the stuff that we bought with us and I had Brahims, Maggie and tins of tuna. They had to inspect our bags! Haih! At that time we were about 50 minutes before our flight depart.

At the waiting area (for the luggage inspection) there were a bunch of people waiting. Like A LOT! Alhamdulillah, my name was called again and that time we only waited for 10 minutes. They inspected our bags. Maggie Ayam tak lepas! Other than that, all good. So we quickly head to the gate.

 

Crams before my travel

I am scheduled to travel for the ISACA conference tonight and of all the days, I had an unusual cramp on my upper thigh and the pain was excruciating! I can’t even move a bit and it happened every 10 minutes – sometimes can come up to every 2 minutes but once the pain fades off, it just quickly disappear.

So my husband suggested me to go to a hospital for checkup rather than to go to a clinic. It was at 5pm so I still had ample of time before I take the cab to the airport by 11pm.
So went to Gleneagle and had a checkup. They even performed an ultrasound on my thigh to check if there’s any blockage on my veins. So far, it’s all good – no blockage. Why it happened? I have no idea. The senior MO gave me painkiller as I informed him that I will be on a long-haul flight tonight. He also said that I am having fever and to make sure I take the medicine on the plane on a timely basis so that I’m free from fever by the time I get to the destination. Let’s hope all ok.

Medicine-Watermark

Travelling tips: I usually would stock up my medicine before I go anywhere – be it panadol, flu medicines, headache, diarrhea, etc. Just in case if you ever get caught in any illness during your travel.