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


Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY - Kuih Mor a.k.a. Momo

While I was thinking what else special to bake for this coming CNY, I suddenly thought of this. It was my annual year end vacations, where my mind was full of experimental dishes to try on. Here comes the mood for me to experiment new things, specially those specialties of what we have in the East. How celebrate CNY in the East is ever unique, full with fun and hospitality. Open houses are the norm around, we invites relatives and friends around to gather and have meals together.

Introducing this little white biscuit, which commonly known in the society of Borneo - Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei. The Kuih Mor a.k.a Kuih Momo. Taste to melt in the mouth, milky taste, powdery look. I didn't know it made of Ghee, always thought it is made of butter.

I followed exactly the recipe given with steps. Modified some of the steps given into following for my easy reference in future. It's pretty easy to follow, enjoyed the bake but somewhat my 1st trial did not really melt in mouth as it should.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

CNY 2012, The powerful Dragon year :)

Gong Hei Fatt Choy! Another year has past, here comes the year of Dragon. The most powerful creature in the world of Zodiac sign.

I don't have much preparation for the celebration this year. Everything keep simple and less emotion as well. Wishing all prosperity as always & blessed in good health always. Stay safe and be happy.

Happy Chinese New Year ! 恭賀新禧。。。

Friday, January 6, 2012

YET - South Korea Ski Trip, Nov 25-Dec 1 2011 (Part 3)

Upon late afternoon on Day 5, we headed to their domestic airport for our flight to Jeju island. Hooray!

Anyway, we first need to have our early dinner at the airport. Fast food time! A set of burger, one for guy one for lady, how sweet. Check out the spoon, it's made of paper! (Environment friendly, reduce plastic use)

Domestic airway, includes Korean Air and Jin Air. We were on Jin Air to Jeju, the only moment I remembered was the queue we had to bare with some other tourists, it was nightmare. Not to mention the country they were from, but you might be able to guess, it's Asian! Other, was the lengchai Korean steward we say on board, he was just wearing neon Green T-shirt, ever casual.

By the time we checked in hotel at Jeju, it was almost 8pm! Oh dear, all started to feel hungry once again. We had to hunt food on our own that night, no translation or any help. A group of 15 went into a Korean BBQ restaurant and start order (with the help of owner's iPhone!) Mind you, Jeju is much more remote than Seoul, their proficiency in English is extremely low.

The food was heavenly good that night. The best we had throughout the tour, but of course... this was a self paid meal. It cost us like RM600++ for 15pax. Not cheap yeah!

Jeju island, a must go destination of South Korea. The scenic places were made famous because of a Korea Drama too, if not mistaken was called All In. I am not familiar with any of those early 2000 Korean drama, so I barely has any idea on the scene taken.

Day 6 - Tour of Jeju begun. First destination of the day was the Mysterious Road. How mysterious it can be? They said was due to optic illusion, one may see the road as downhill but in fact was uphill. That's all. I can't really spot the difference, but heck.. the morning sun was stunning, that was what I saw.

We headed to a tiny Orange orchard.

The most scenic place I have been in Jeju was Seongsan Sunrise Peak. It was a lovely walk that morning, temperature went a little high up to 20C before it went down to 10C again later in the afternoon. I created a video for the scene.

Seojikoji was another nice place for photography. Unfortunately, I have not many photos to share here as they are all my own portraits. :)

We had pork for lunch. It was yummy. I spotted many windmill surrounding that area.

After lunch, we headed to Seongup Folk Village (that was after lunch, skipped the sequence a little) for honey demonstration and sales. The early part of the story telling was rather interesting, but when the person turned the topic into sales, oh.... I all started to get bored.

3D Trick Art Museum was interesting. Worth a visit.

I skipped another tourist place, the Dragon Head Rock (Yongduam Rock) as the weather changed drastically, it was extremely cold that time, close to 1-2C.

Dinner we had Ginseng chicken soup with rice & noodle. Each person a bowl. Oh! Heavenly nice to had hot soup during winter. Slurp...

Honestly, to explore around the whole Jeju island may need a full 1 week. Our tour was barely hit-and-run of those famous places. If I ever had the chance to come here again, will surely enjoy the scenic places once again.

We stayed Jeju for 2 nights. On the second nite, we had our supper again. It wasn't as full as the previous nights, but the rice wine was good. We can't resist to have it again.

Day 7 - Check out from Jeju Hotel, took a flight back to Seoul. We had some time in between before our flight back to KL, we had our final shopping spree at Myeongdong 明洞. I didn't get anything exciting except a pair of high heel crocs :D

Okie... that's all for this long winded story telling. Overall, I found there's pros and cons upon joining a tour trip like this.

Pros - Ease language barrier; accommodation are decent & up good; tour bus ever ready, less walking; cover wide area of tourist spots;

Cons - Having to wake up early; packing bags and check in new hotel every other days; not able to taste so much of local good foods; shop less (can be good);

Other observation about South Korea....

1) I tend to understand more of this particular country.
2) Internet access at hotel, still not wide coverage. Only available most at the lobby. Anyway, I find my way to enjoy surfing, especially when the tour bus is waiting at hotel lobby.

Overall, it was an excellent trip, glad that I have widen my knowledge on this country.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

YET - South Korea Ski Trip, Nov 25-Dec 1 2011 (Part 2)

Continued Day 3 journey... After Sinhung Temple and garden visit, we passed by a tiny little but cute Teddy Bear farm. As we wondered, why would teddy bear been so famous here, aren't it from the Europe, just like Mr Bean's bear? Oh well, from what the tour guide explained, it's because Korea was found good in manufacturing nice teddy bear. Didn't quite verify the fact, just let the thoughts be. The little tour around the displayed museum and picture taking, it was kinda interesting too.

The following destination was rather an easy one too. Daepohang Fish Market. Nothing much there, except seeing a street of locals selling seafoods, was rather a wet market. Some of us was actually lepaking at Family Mart and 7-11 nearby, hunting for local snacks, coffee, small bottled wine, and junk foods.

It was rather a not-so-pack schedule of the trip. Highlight of the trip finally begun -- Ski! Unfortunately, I wasn't in good condition for the ski, and it was drizzling earlier during the suit rental place. I couldn't really remember how much would we need to pay extra for the Ski, guess was around 60,000Won/pax.

Anyway, I enjoyed the ice-ground very much. Been able to walk, jump, lie, on it... it was chill but nice. I don't think I would miss the ski session, as I have the feeling it is extremely tiring to walk on the heavy boots plus slider. Having to carry the slide and stick up the hill every time one needs a ride downhill, it's just too tiring.

After spending about 3 hours at the ski ground, we then board on the cable car up the Dragon peak. It was too windy by the time we were up there. Stayed there only for about 20min.

Late evening, we checked into Yong Pyong Tower hotel. Newly refurbished, and it caught us a surprise!! It's an apartment styled equipped with heated raised flooring. Oh dear, I find it over heated when I couldn't find the control. It was a nice hotel to say, overlooking the ski park. It was so convenient there's a convenient store at lobby. Happily had a Korean Shin noodle that night.

Oh yeah, skipped the dinner earlier... where we had fish meal (soup based) that evening. I like the dried fish side dish, and they refill some dishes like seaweed upon request.

Enjoyed a tight night sleep, but the heater somewhat killed the cool feel in the room.

Day 4 - Checked out from Yong Pyong. Headed back to Seoul. Before Seoul, we stopped by for Hanbok, Korean costume. Sorry ya! Shy to share my Korean look here.

What's on itinerary that afternoon was Everland theme park. A Samsung owned theme park.

I liked the Safari park the most! (oh well, probably we really didn't have much time to explore other parks :() What's in the Safari... A mixed breed of Lion + Tiger, namely Liger! What impressed us was the 1 personnel doing 3 person's job, the bus driver, the safari ride guide explaining each animal (in Korean) then the one who feed the animal and instruct them to do certain pose! Indeed they are efficient employee! Not forgetting their signature hand greetings in Everland. Korean love they job, even if it is a rubbish collector in the theme park. Even makeup youngsters do not mind be the cleaner (at least that was what we observed within the theme park).

By 2pm, we gathered and headed back on the bus for 2hours ride back to Seoul. We missed the visiting hour of the palace as there was some peaceful demonstration happened in downtown causing traffic jam. Anyway, we visited the museum next door, wasn't too bad after all.

We headed next to another palace kind of place, but I literally omitted that destination. Instead headed ourselves to a nearby coffee place - Holly's Cafe! and some road side food stall for local food. Yummy! Their rice cake in sauce was perfect, plus a fishcake stick, oh no!! I'm hungry now.

At night was shopping spree at Dongdaemon (東大門). The shopping malls around are just like KLCC standard. Oh well, for me I will head to Sg Wang standard mall - AM-PM mall was my choice. Got myself some stuff there for only 5,000Won/ea *grin*.

Lastly, only at 8pm we are able to check in to our hotel. Oh gosh! What a waste. We found this is the most well equipped hotel. Standard room comes with mini kitchen and living hall, even with a washing machine!! A family got even the suite with 2 rooms, that turned out be our party place!!

Day 5 - Oh well. This wasn't an exciting day after all. And such I had only 1 photo to share. It was basically a shopping day... a "duty" shopping, or so to say duty-free shopping? That's one thing no one could miss for a guided tour trip. Anyway, we 'survived' with some sneak around to nearby coffee shops and even mini market to get some local chocolates and snacks. :D

Alright... pause for a moment. Preparing my beauty sleep for the day :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

YET - South Korea Ski Trip, Nov 25-Dec 1 2011 (Part 1)

Exclude the snow!! Goshhh.... this has been the n times for me, visited winter season to a winter country without snow! Guess the snow luck wasn't with me after all. OK, this is going be a lengthly post, so stay on if you wish, else you'd better leave. Not too sure how long could I last in writing them all, as you could see, I have been procrastinated over this post for more than a month :P

Day 1 - Of course, 15pax of us board on Air Asia flight.... there we went on a 6 1/2 hours flight to Incheon International Airport, Seoul.

Day 2 - Upon arrival... we had our 1st Korean breakfast - McDonalds!! lol... there goes the feel of joining a guided tour trip once again (after 10 years). 15min to grab our breakfast to-go, rush over to board the bus!

Had my quick bite while the tour guide was explaining in her Korean-English (geee.. sounded weird, but she's real nice lady). Taste of my McD - oily! I was sleepy while she was explaining the Incheon Bridge and some background history of Joseon Dynasty, blablabla... why I remember that dynasty name, oh well... it sounded like a colleague's name. lol! Thank god we just passed by the bridge, need not jump down and take picture... in fact I started zzzz..zzz....

However, I was forced to climb down to the 1st destination - Incheon China Town. Ok la.. it is worth to take a look how Chinese build their township in this country, just like other China Towns throughout the world. This was rather quiet street, as it was a weekend, all shops were closed. Seems like a ghost town to me. :D Some building architecture was rather unique, nice to walk in such cold weather, it was about 15C that day.

After China Town, I was the only one practically skipped the 2nd boring destination. Some war memorial hall or so. I was sleeping in the bus, ghee :D...

Right then onwards, the long bus journey began... Supposed a 2+ hours journey turned up to 4+hours, headed to Nami island. Hehe... I was happy, as I was sleeping all the way and didn't realized the boring traffic jam along the way.

Did we have our lunch? Oh yes, it was so yummy, as we were all hungry. Nice hot pot vegetable + rice meal. Served with other side dishes, without failed came with Kimchi (not my favorite)

We headed to Nami island after lunch. It was late, around 3pm that time... and we really had limited time to tour around. Don't get caught by the name, it's not an ocean island, but it's inland island surrounded by river. Check out wiki for Namiseom. The place was famous after Korean Drama Winter Sonata. It was a nice place for photography, very unfortunate, by the time we reached there was too dark... :(

Oh yes, the greentea + red bean pancake was nice. 1,000Won was about RM2.90 at that time.

We barely spent 2 hours at the place. What a waste, if only it was a free & easy trip, I might be there for the whole afternoon or morning, enjoying the breeze and had some picnic stuff with me at the garden. Sigh.

Anyway, I was too tired to enjoy the scene too. Can't wait to get into the bus and continue my beauty sleep :) Last destination before hotel check in, we had out dinner, again a 1 wok-styled meal. Can't really remember what was it, but one of the side dishes caught my attention. Look at the green vegetable, it was chili plant!! I can see a little chili bud in there.

Immediate after dinner, we get our 1st hotel check in - Mt Sorak Hotel. It wasn't a 5 star hotel, not too bad for a night sleep. Internet access only at the lobby, there went me and my iPad2. Breakfast the next morning was not too bad, buffet with varieties.

Day 3 - Right after breakfast was another easy morning walk at Mt Sorak National Park and Sinhung Temple. Personally I don't find it extremely exciting here... oh well, at least the weather counts and I enjoy the cold cold numbness feel.

Should I pause here? Till then, I will continue writing in Part 2.