Sunday, 9 October 2011

Steve Jobs, Apple and me

After a busy week, today managed to find a time to switch on my laptop.  The first page loading in my web browser is Apple webpage with Steve Jobs 1955-2011.

I really sad to know that the great technology inventor Jobs leave us so soon.  He is truly amazing and make our life interesting.

I can say I am a die hard fans of Apple.  When I got my first computer PC in 1988 when I was 18 years old, I already in love in this new technology.  I knew Apple from my teacher, they have beautiful design, due to my brother work in IBM, so I am more to PC.  I only admire the beauty and unique design of  Apple product and know a little about Macintosh.  I always think that they use different interface with Microsoft word which I use often.

During PC fair, their iMac always attract me with built in CPU with monitor.  Until March 2009, I went to Switch in Gurney Plaza as usual to look at thier ipod ( I am thinking of storing my photo into ipod when I travel), white colour macbook ...  I was lucky to meet with a sales person in Switch, she introduce to me the advantage of Macbook.  iphoto really attract me, I can make my own photo book with easy step by step.  Apple software really user friendly.  The most important is I only knew they are compatible with Microsoft Word, I can use Macbook to set my question paper.  Immediately I make a switch from Window to Macintosh by buying an aluminum Macbook that cost RM4899.  Until today, I still think that I make a good decision to switch.

I am a heavy internet user since 1998, the PC never let me surf so fast compare with Safari, I am always busy and have little time for me to surf internet, Safari save all my time.  I am in love with Apple.  I am still using this macbook to write my blog although it is 2 years 6 month old.  I bought a blue Sony VIAO cost RM 5899 in 2008, in a year time, it is a bit outdated and off course left it behind 打入冷宫after I used Macbook.  With finger gesture in Macbook, I manage to switch between pages, scroll up and down....  It is very convenient to use.

When I know iphone 3GS 16GB in town, I bought my second Apple product.  I really in love with it.  I used Dopod, HTC smartphone since 2005, iphone is the best, good performance and outstanding interface and vivid colour.  Furthermore cheaper than all those Smartphone that cost me RM 2899 with little storage.

Only after that,  I knew Steve Jobs is the key for Apple success.  I really admire him to have the vision and understand consumer needs so well.  He gain my heart.

End of 2009, iMac 27 inch is in town.  Unfortunately Switch didn't have any display set, I really want to have it.  I managed to see iMac 27 inch in London, impressive and after I came back to Malaysia, January 2010, I pampered myself by buying iMac 27 inch after I withdraw my EPF.  All my travel photo look attractive in this big screen computer. With 4 GB RAM, it is super fast (in 2010), I can't use my school computer anymore, they are too slow. Among all my Apple product, I used iMac least, as I put it in my bedroom.

September 2010, I bought my iphone 4 32GB the first day it launch.  Off course I am not the one to line up in front of the shop.  I hope I am that crazy, the fact is I need to work.  If I am free, I think I want to try to have that feeling since I am Apple fans.  I only got my iphone 2 weeks later, I love it.

My 5th apple product is iPad 2 wifi 64GB, I bought it the first day it launch too in April 2011. I paid full with the smart cover. I got my iPad 2, 9 days later.  Since than, I always used iPad to surf internet instead of using my Macbook, the battery life is long, fast and the size is so convenient to hold.  Steve Jobs and company excellent to invent such a great product.  I saw my fellow Ocean Nova friend use iPad to look at the photo in Antarctica, it is so portable to carry around.  I brought iPad for my Sipadan and Krabi trip, it is so easy to load my photo into iPad and we can look at it fast.  I am still thinking what I should bring to East Africa, iPad 2 or my Macbook?

Steve Jobs leave us but his excellent product cherish my life.  I will alway remember this great inventor and revolutioner in computer.  Hope that Apple still produce excellent technology product.

RIP Steve Jobs.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Trip Report Sipadan, Malaysia and Wrap Up

So happy finished my first trip report to Sipadan and surrounding island.  I always read others trip report to organize my trip, I really wish to write my own and maybe will help anybody who wish to go the same place as me.

I need to thanks my sister Jin Yin and Siew Ching to take some of the nice underwater photo beside me.

For the boat trip to Boheyan Island, Timba-timba Island, Kapalai and Mabul, we call Boatman, this is his handphone number : 012-8601718.  He charge us RM 400 per day per boat, maximum 8 person.

The telephone number for Seafest Hotel, Semporna  089-782333

For going to Sipadan, Sipadan Scuba is the cheapest with the guarantee departure for limited 120 person to Sipadan per day.  You can call Jerry 012-8131699, Fennie 089-919148 , the office number is 089-784788thier e-mail is
They charge us only RM 435.75 per person.

We rent our car in Tawau, their service not really good and the car is always under power and lack of service. The price really cheap RM 250 for 5 days for a not good condition kancil. We won't use them again, anyway this is their contact : 019-8714788, 019-8214788.

If you want to read our whole trip report from day 1-5, please find them in
July 2011 for Day 1 and Day 2 trip report
September 2011 for Day 3, 4 and 5.

Hope you all enjoy our photo.

Beside this, the doctor inject steroid into my plantar fasciitis on my right foot as the pain keep on growing, for the left foot still ok, I have done everything including loosing weight, stretching exercise, do physiotherapy, buying Phiten product to increase my blood circulation for it to heel.  It doesn't work at all, so I had no choice but to do the injection.

For me, I need my leg to move around for traveling, traveling is my passion and my life, I need to get rid of the pain and started my practice.  Luckily this year we will go to Kenya and Tanzania, no need to walk much as most of the time sitting in safari 4X4 land cruiser to see the animal.  I do hope by rest, it will recover faster.  Pain, pain go away.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

My Paradise in Celebes Sea 2011 - Day 5 , 8 June 2011

Today I have a big breakfast.  We went to have breakfast in Mei Xiang, unfortunately our old kancil key curve a bit as my sister close the door.  We have no choice as we had to go to Feng Ling as they know us so they can help us up.  The shop to fix it will only open in 2 hours time, so we lent a hammer from them and we fix it ourself.  After that we go to Mei Xiang, I have the 10 Butter Prawn as my breakfast, 1 to my sister and 1 for Ching.  After that we went to a shop to buy seaweed and salted fish. Later we went to Turtle Tomb Restaurant to have my apple fried squid .  Off course we order the cheap fruit juice too.

After packing, we drove back to Tawau.  We went to the 猪肉包shop for lunch, they still not open, we had to eat 菠萝包,we order 油条, not nice.  Sandakan 油条 better.  After that, we went to Sin On market to take our seafood and went to wet market in Tawau town to buy dried sea cucumber for Aun Chee.  Only we know that the salted fish and seaweed we bought in Semporna is too expensive.  Seaweed in Semporna cost RM 12 per kilo, but Tawau only RM 9 per kilo.  Just can't understand the place produce seaweed sell the product more expensive than other places.

We fetch the rental car personnel and we are on our way to the airport.  While we are about 800 m from the airport, the car broke down, I think no more fuel.  We put more than RM 60 for fuel, we only drive for 300 km, I think there is something wrong with the car.  Luckily we are ahead of time to the airport and we manage to hire a taxi to send us to the airport with RM 10.

We shop around for the T-shirt, and we check in.  The personnel in Air Asia said cannot check in cold parcel and ask us to hand carry.  Luckily we manage to check in another cold parcel .  We met an uncle and he told us the Air Asia people is making fun with us as they asked him to cut his box smaller and he had to pay extra RM 10 to the store downstair to do it.  When we enter the departure hall, they told us our box is too big, so we need to make the box to the correct size.  So, we went to that shop, we saw lots of people is doing the same thing.  Air Asia really help that store to make profit as they only cut the Styrofoam into the correct size and charge us RM 10.

We have an eventful journey back to West Malaysia.  Brother in law is waiting for us at the gate, and we went to Kajang to eat satay before went back to sister's house in Serdang.

My Paradise in Celebes Sea 2011 - Day 4 , 7 June 2011, Sipadan Island

Today is our highlight of the whole trip - Sipadan.  After breakfast, We went to Wet Market in Semporna for a walk, later we went to Sipadan Scuba.  We used our own gear, so the check in is fast.  We saw John. Last year, John was our guide, he is a bit lazy and didnt show us any, so we do hope he is not our guide.  A Malay man introduce to us he is our guide for the day, so we were very happy as John is not with us.

The speedboat of Sipadan Scuba is really fast, about 30 minutes, we pass Mabul Island.  Soon we arrived our paradise - Sipadan Island.  The island look the same, only the beach is shorter.  At least the landscape didn't change as much as Timba-timba Island.  After we registered with the National Park Ranger, we set off to South Point for snorkeling.  In a sudden we found out they change John as our guide, John also remember us.  In a speedy time ,we jump into the beautiful Celebes Sea.  The current is so strong and very fast drift us away.  If you are not a vivid snorkeler, it is not save to snorkel in such a big current.  John also asked from his friend to give him a life jacket.  All the diver in our boat dive underneath us.  We saw lots of marine life, all of them are active.  They are big in size too.  In a sudden we saw a turtle, the visibility is excellent, so both me and sister swam really fast to follow the pace of the turtle.  The turtle swim against the current, it made us difficult to follow its pace.  When I saw a reef shark, I stop and change my target towards the shark.  The shark swim underneath me, is about 30 cm from me, so close.

After that we swam back to meet with Ching and John.  We saw a lots of big fish too.  parrot fish, butterfly fish, angel fish, etc.  Sipadan has it all.  The highlight is the way back to the beach in Sipadan National Park headquater, we saw more than 50 turtle from our boat, we are so exited and ask to snorkel there, but John said cannot.  We told him, last year we do a round island walk.  In my memory, I still can't remember whether we saw turtle in the stretch of beach with cyrstal clear water.  Anyway we are not allow to walk this year, so while we are waiting for the diver to recover, we snorkel around the jetty.

I really disappointed with the situation as 50% of the coral damage and dead compare with last year, only 12 month, can it change that much?  I think 10 years before, Sipadan should be a jewel.  We saw some white tip reef shark and off course turtle in the drop off.  We were so happy the turtle just swim side by side.  After that we join the diver, the diver dive in Turtle Cavern and we snorkel at Barracuda Point.

Finally I found my favorite coral fish - blue surgeon fish

The current still strong and we follow the drift , we were so happy to see school of Jacks, we swim with them and go into the middle of the school of Jacks, we were so excited.  We keep on asking John where is Barracuda and John manage to show us a few Barracuda about 10 metre below us.  After that John found his girl friend and we also happy he is not around us.  We saw tons of colourful fish and beautiful coral as we drift to Coral Garden.  We free dive to the coral to take photo and video.  we really enjoy our day.


Later, we were pick up by John.  The best thing about Sipadan Scuba is the boat follow us, no matter where we are, the boat is always near us and pick us up.  After lunch, we ask John when will we leave, they said 10 minutes, so we decided to admire the beauty of Sipadan Beach.

We waited for 20 minutes, they still not yet moving, so we asked again and they told us 20 minutes more, so we quickly snorkeling in the drop off.  This time, we manage to see the turtle swim so slow and it just stop by a coral.  We saw its penis, I think it just finish its" business", that why its swim so slow.  John told us he saw 9 pairs mating yesterday.  Unfortunately we didn't see any.  I saw once in Redang Island while we were diving in 2001.

We dive down to take lots of photo with it and enjoy ourselves very much until John call us off.  I feel a bit sad as this is our last snorkel before we leave Sipadan.  The last snorkel today didn't disappointed us, immediately we jumped into the water, a school of Jacks is around us, we dive and took lots of photo.

We play around for more than 10 minutes until we encounter our first turtle in this snorkeling, we join the turtle for the swim and we saw another, follow by another, another, another, until I also lost count.  Ching counted and told us 19 turtles in total in this snorkeling.   We took tons of photo and when we look at our photo when we are back in the hotel, we saw another turtle that we miss.  The photo has 2 turtle, but during our snorkeling we only saw the turtle that swim.  I even managed to take a photo the turtle breath in the air. Wow, marvelous.

The turtle is breathing

Later, we didn't see any turtle and we know it is going to be time to go back to Semporna, I pray hard and I hope to see another turtle before we need to leave Sipadan,  in a sudden,  we saw another turtle, really big with penis.  It swim so slow and float in the water.  We manage to swim with it for more than 10 minutes, we took lots of photo and John is calling us.  Ching shouted back, our last turtle.  We took our time with him until it dive into deep blue water.

When we are on our way back to Semporna, we are so happy and keep on looking at our valuable photo.  This is the best experience we have to end our trip.  真的很兴奋,非笔墨所能形容。

Bye Bye Sipadan, I will come back.

We had dinner at Ah Long, actually we order 3 days before as Ah Long off for 3 days.  We ordered the squid soup, very delicious as last year.  The food is good.  For me, I like Thien Wang best.  The sad thing is the cook in Thien Wang left.  Mei Xiang also not bad.  After we had our dinner, we went to Mei Xiang to eat 东风螺,unfortunately they can't find any in Semporna, so we had to go back to the hotel to rest.  We look through our photo again and sleep well.

My Paradise in Celebes Sea 2011 - Day 3 , 6 June 2011, Kapalai and Mabul Island

Its a beautiful day with some clouds.  The water is crystal clear, we started our journey to Kapalai.  It took us more than 1 hour in pakcik traditional boat.  The visibility in Kapalai is good and the coral is healthy although lots of people stay there.

The boat stop at a drop off near Kapalai sand bar and we started snorkeling.  The fish there is big in size and we also saw lots of clown fish.  They are only a few step away from the water bungalow.  Although the area is not big, we still swim for more than 3 hours there.  We enjoy our snorkeling there as we swim up and down for more than 10 times.

We keep on snorkeling until the visibility become low.  I raised up my head to see why, it is going to rain.  The rain started and we came out from the water.

The rain is so heavy until our boat man also lost his way.  We can't see anything.  Now only I realize they don't have any compass or other equipment, they only look at the landmark to drive the motorboat.  So we advised him to go back to Kapalai, we afraid we will go to Philippines as its only a few kilometre away.

We waited and waited.  The wind is so strong and the waves is so rough, our boat keep on swaying.  To compare with the waves in Antarctica, it is nothing.  We were so cold as we don't bring extra clothes.  We just have swim suit.

Luckily the rain stop after 30 minutes.  So we set off to Mabul Island and have our packet lunch from Feng Ling.  We have a short visit Mabul Water Bungalow and started snorkeling again near the jetty.  We didn't use any fin and found out it is difficult to swim without them.  We saw lion fish under the jetty, so we swim near them, in a sudden I heard my sister shouted snakes, immediately we swam away. I didn't see the snake, but snake is my life-threatening animal.  I don't give them a chance.

There were lots of rubbish in the water, but the visibility is good.  The coral is also quite healthy with lots of coral fish.   The clown fish is awesome.

I am thinking, if they don't pollute the area, I think Mabul is a snorkeling paradise.  I slept while snorkeling in Mabul for 3 times, thanks Ching for waking me up.  Why we still snorkeling is because there are a lots of coral fish, my favorite.

We even saw some Malay stepping on the coral, now only I knew why all the coral in Timba-timba die, if everyday have a boat with this kind of no moral value people and they don't know how to preserve our nature,  off course all the coral will be dead.  Beside is the picture of the stupid Malay that damage the coral.

Before they came, the sea anemone and clown fish is fine, after they step on it, the sea anemone drop from the rock.  They also make the visibility in the water become low.

We snorkeling until the boat man call us off, than we go back.  After shower, we went to Mei Xiang Restaurant to have our seafood dinner.  The food is delicious and quite cheap.  I love their butter prawn, 12 big butter prawn only cost us RM 12, the crab is nice too.  We also have a chance to eat 2 kilo of 东风螺, my favourite food.  This is also the reason I keep on going to Sabah each year to taste 东风螺.

I make a big decision today

My mind keep on thinking and planning for my next trip, Galapagos, Canary Island (Spain), Bora Bora, Palau...  I love to snorkel among beautiful marine life in deep blue sea.  I keep on checking these places and found out the air ticket to these exotic island cost me a lot.  Finally I met a friend's friend 16 September, she told me about Solomon Island.  Since then, I was attracted by Solomon Island although my friend told me only air ticket cost me RM 7800 to arrive Honiara (capital of Solomon).

The island is so natural especially Tetepare Island, so wild without electricity, water and flush toilet.  Even they have snakes in the eco lodge ( I hate snakes a lot ) I also don't mind.  I hope to swim with dugong and dolphin in the Coral Sea, South Pacific.  It has A total of 73 bird species, 24 reptile, four frog and 13 mammal species have been recorded including several rare and endemic species. And scientists are still discovering new species on Tetepare. In recent years, researchers discovered three new species of fish, one new fish genera and one potential new fish family in the freshwater rivers that wend through the forest, beneath the towering canopies of Tetepare’s banyan trees.

This is my paradise although I need to pay so much to witness the beauty of nature and live in such a traditional way without any amenities.  The most important is I may be sleeping with the animal I scared most - snake, I still want to visit Tetepare, for sure.  I know the money to pay for my 14 days in Solomon is equivalent with my 30 days Europe trip plus buying branded handbag, I think I will still chose to stay close to nature in Solomon.  I think I have chosen Solomon.

Tetepare Island, Solomon

Kids in Tetepare Island

Why I drop Galapagos?  Off course I like to swim with penguin and sea lion in the water, and yet Galapagos is the only place where I have a chance to swim with these 2 animals.  This is because Galapagos is in South America, if I go to Galapagos, I will add in Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Atacama Desert, Nazca Line and so on.  I afraid time is not enough.

After searching, Canary Island is normal, nothing attract me.

Bora Bora overprice and I think a lot of coral dead due to over tourism.

Left only Palau and Solomon, Palau is too tourism as a lot of Taiwanese go there, I don't think they will protect the area well.  So only Solomon without lots of tourist.

Beside this, I also hand in my transfer form to change school. The main reason is my headmistress until now still haven't sign my Kenya Tanzania form.  I don't know the reason, as I only go there for 3 weeks.  I left 1 week holiday start and 2 weeks before school holiday end for the school.  Last year she said I went for Antarctica immediately started holidays, so she refuse to sign, now why?

Travel is my passion and my life , I won't let her ruin my life.  I choose to leave my beloved Phor Tay instead.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Confirm not going to Eastern Europe

2 weeks before, I received a call from the travel agent saying they have not enough people, so they cancel our trip, so officially we can't go to Europe.  I don't know when I can arrange another tour to Eastern Europe as I have lots of place to go such as Kenya and Tanzania (NOV-DEC), Bali (JUNE).  These 2 trip already bought air ticket and confirm.  We also plan to go to Sipadan again, Galapagos, Iceland, Silk Road ......

I really love traveling, when I knew I can't go to Eastern Europe, I was so down, actually I already predicted they cancel the trip and I keep on finding alternative such as to Bali, Vietnam, Silk Road, I even plan to go to Silk Road by myself, unfortunately they change their arrival date to 5 September, which I need to work already.  Luckily one Saturday morning, I found Krabi, Thailand.  I love snorkeling and Phi Phi Island is near to Krabi.  Since Krabi is near to Malaysia, so we can drive there, that means we don't need book air ticket and we can get full control over it in such a less time.

After searching the net, I found out is quite easy to drive there and there are plenty of good resort in Krabi with cheap price.  Since we haven't been there, with the accompany of Ching, we can go there in a low budget.  So happy to find this place.

This is also the first time without any planning go to a place and didn't place any booking.  Anyway, I am still thinking better to book a hotel before we depart.  In 3 more days, I will go to Krabi for holidays, just can't believe that is true.

I think I need to change some Thai Baht 31 August too.  I can't accept myself for not really planning and go to a place.  I just hope we can find a good bargain to go to Phi Phi Island when we arrive Ao Nang.  I will check the net for best food and restaurant.