Purple has now turned blue... purple is joy, yet blue is hope!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Dive Trip - Bubbles Dive Resort, Perhentian Island, Jun 21-24 2014

2nd dive trip of the year. It was not unusual, if timing permits, we will usually grab a trip from the yearly MIDE event. Here goes our deal for 2014 - Bubbles Resort was our choice. Indeed, it was a good choice. I will describe more later.

Some time in April, we grabbed an air ticket deal from Fire Fly with only RM78/pax round trip. Good deal! It's all inclusive of 20kg luggage, in which we need it most for diving gears. Our started off from the office after work, we headed to Subang Airport. Post check in, we walked over opposite for seafood. I made a greatest mistake just before I stepped out from office - took a pill of Vitamin C. That means, no seafood for me within 2-4 hours. Gosh!! I didn't get to enjoy my early dinner.

In order to fight tiredness, we stayed over night at a budget hotel at Kuala Besut, walking distance off jetty to Perhentian island. T-Lodge, quite some good reviews from Agoda.

There goes our wait at the jetty...

Besut jetty
Testing GoPro
Bubbles Resort location
Upon reaching the resort, we had to wait for about an hour before lunch. It was a very leisure and less crowd day. Just nice for the laid back group of ours. 9 of us, including a non-diver and an open water student. Let get around the small family operate dive resort.

Wall mural
Turtle Sanctuary and gathering room
Trail Luggage car
Lovely couple
Our room - Nearest to the jungle
Open air shower room
We enjoy each of the meal served. It was superb, extra ordinary compared to other typical resorts. They serve good quality food, diet and health conscious us will know and feel it. Selection of food were just nice, not too much and not too little. Best was NO MSG! Indeed, for real we don't taste MSG in our food. One of the lunch meal which made me remembered well was the juicy satay! The beef satay tasted like steak! Wholesome yummy! Other days, we had local food with the mixture of Western. Nasi dagang (the healthy red rice type) was a plus. We were well treated with healthy and quality food. Thumbs up!

Check in counter
Tasty satay served with wedges!
Salad wrap with pancake, gado-gado and nasi dagang
Here's the highlight of the trip. Scuba diving. Dive center was well organized, most of the dive masters were from overseas. We didn't had good experience with the Westerners in previous trips, but those in this trip was just awesome. They were real friendly, perhaps its due to the less crowded environment, and not-so-commercial attitude of the owners. We had great chat with them, great dive waiting area, lots of hammocks, and other facilities like kayak and so. It was excellent place if one likes quietness and family get-together. Owner's kids do get to play along the beach, and even in the sea kayaking. Whole lot of child-hood activities, where a typical kids today won't experience or even dreamt of.

My GoPro Hero 3 was functioning well this time. Happy me! Was able to captured some good shots, but visibility was rather low. Light was low too, some days were gloomy. We didn't get to do our last dive, which was supposed to be a night dive. Storm came by and went swept away our heart. No worries (told ourselves hard), there will be next time...

GoPro shots
More of little fishes
School of fishes
Divers too
Creative shower area
That was the storm coming!
Relaxing at the bench
Lastly, a little self-made video of the dive trip. Sorry for the shaky and low quality video, as I was too eager to produce it fast :)

It was a 4D3N trip. Upon checking out on the last day, we had our lunch at Kuala Besut before heading out to Kota Bahru. I had lunch here several years ago... when I had my other dive trip for AOW certification. The restaurant serves Vietnam coffee, it was my first trial with the little tool. Kinda exciting. Coffee after meal is a blessing.

Seafood Lunch 
Our dishes 
Vietnam Coffee
Coffee for all of us 
Our hired van 
Lastly - Flight off
I kinda missed Bubbles Dive resort. Had a mixed feeling if we should be trying other resorts next year, or continue to visit this place again.. till then, hope we have decided for our next year 2015 dive calendar.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Weekend Trip - Annual Durian Trip to Balik Pulau, Penang, June 2014

Welcome back... myself in blogging. Well accompanied with my new Bose SoundLink Mini :)

I have been going through my photo album back and forth, looks like I didn't have chance to utilize my Olympus mirrorless camera as much as I wish. Honestly, I still have not get good grasp with the shutter, still prefer my old DSLR.

Nevertheless, managed to get hold with my camera during this trip. Being a back seat passenger can be rather relaxing. The weekend trip was rather simple. Mission : Durian eating at Balik Pulau, any corner, everywhere, as much as we could... which we all ended with a surrender flag! No more durian for the next few days!
Passing By Ipoh

By the evening, after work. We headed up north. Stopped by Bukit Tambun's Jetty Seafood (船头海鲜楼)  for dinner. Food was not bad, perhaps we were very hungry at that time. The kuah-less satay selling next door tasted good. 

As we approaching Balik Pulau late night. Not many choices for durian stall left. The first stop for durian was at Durian Pak Haji Balik Pulau. After getting the first fix, the second came right after our check-in to the host's home. Oh dear.. full supper.

Next morning, thank God our brunch was not durian. Balik Pulau market's food stall was our one-stop shop for Penang street food. But, our dessert right after brunch was durian. This will be the entire highlight of the trip! We were spoilt with many fresh durians, especially those famous breed of Balik Pulau. Eating varieties of durian must come with sequence. We we taught on how to enjoy it from the mildest, to the strongest. Session was really enjoyable, but to taste till the last bit of strongest... It caused us close to alcohol hangover, seriously... Some breed which I still remember, i.e. 青皮,紅蝦,林鳳嬌,林鳳嬌女兒。。can't remember the rest.

Durian orchard visit

Mid day
Little Durian tree
Durian on the tree
What's this? .. Buah Pala
Ops! It's ripe
Time to enjoy fresh Durian
Orchard Doggie
Little sight seeing around Balik Pulau. I couldn't remember the name of the place.

Scenic afternoon
Wave was rough.. somewhere facing Andaman
Paddy fields
Time was too early for dinner. We tried exploring some hilly road up to Bukit Genting. This place was recommended by our host before. End results, the place was unexpectedly scenic, but food was so-so. They served Thai dishes, simple us find it's alright... the sunset view was superb, overlooking the sea and paddy fields. Bukit Genting Hill Leisure Park & Restaurant (小云顶中泰海鲜)

Shy sunset
Garden below the restaurant
The restaurant
Water Chestnut.. not at par
Green curry chicken
Stuffed crab
Belacan Fried Rice
Late evening view
Scenic ya!
Ops... our food didn't end there. We headed for some snacks back at Balik Pulau town.  Balik Pulau Eng Lee Fried Chicken 

Hope to return again, next year.