Monday, July 25, 2011

Singapore : Universal Studios

it’s not just the thrilling rides, or the accurately designed buildings and sets, or the awesome shows or even the meeting with famous movie characters – it’s me and my four Ks, going to this fun place with abah and umi, and with my two younger sisters. a long-awaited family trip, at last.

universal studios singapore : USS.



going to USS was so much easier and laid-back since we’re staying INSIDE sentosa island, at one of the five hotels – festive hotel – which is like 5 minutes walk to USS. we could arrive at the entrance by 9am, go back to freshen up by noon, and be back an hour later to rumble again at USS till the park closes at 9pm.

USS is divided into few attractions : hollywood, madagscar, shrek’s far far away, jurassic park, ancient egypt, sci-fi city and new york. a small park, comparatively speaking but still full of fun for everyone.


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we walked through hollywood section to our first stop – madagascar. line up to take a picture with the four main leads; marty, alex, gloria and melman. if you’re patient enough to wait, the line will be short as the day progresses. by evening, there were hardly anyone there at all!

we missed the penguin singing, so if you go to USS, be sure to check their schedule and be there in time to enjoy the show!


 the rides

kiddy rides dominated ‘madagascar’ section. there is ‘the crate ride’ which is like disney’s ‘it’s a small world’ ride. just 8 people in a boat going through diorama picturing scenes from madagascar. totally adorable but the ride is really slow. surely a hit with younger kids. again, be patient – go for other rides first because as evening approaches, there would be hardly any line at this ride.

we went right in the morning, and had to wait a little over 40 minutes for this 15-minute ride!

next, try the merry go round, and choose which character to sit on. even adults can join in! for moms with babies, there are seats on the moving merry-go-round for you to sit, while holding your baby. kazim and i sat on the benches. there are only 2 sets of benches so be quick when it’s your turn to ride!


me holding kazim, with my sister syidot; while my youngest sis azot at the back on melman, next to khaleef who’s riding the foosa!


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see the little hut with the crescent moon on the door? that is probably one of the most recognizable toilets in the world! haha. i was so excited seeing the life-size replica of shrek’s humble abode in the swamp. cute!

wish shrek was in though. he’s probably out saving fiona from the fire-breathing dragon…

this section also included the beautiful lord farquad’s castle. as you walk through ‘far far away’, you’d be entertained by soundtracks from shrek, including the quirky song of ‘duloc’.


the shows

a must-see : catch the 4D shrek show, please! if you think shrek by itself is funny and entertaining, imagine shrek in 3D AND you get to FEEL the wind when shrek flies on dragon; or FEEL the snoot on your face when donkey sneezes; and FEEL the tickles at the back of your knee during the spider scene!

great, great stuff!

we caught the LAST show of the day, and there’s only ONE other family with us. we practically got the whole theater to ourselves. seronok gile gelak kuat-kuat!



the rides

if your young ones loved roller coaster, and you’re looking for a mild one, take a ride on the ‘enchanted airline’ which is a short roller coaster ride on a dragon-train. still heart-pumping, but kids-friendly.

enter the souvenir shop and you’ll see a small ferris wheel at the back of the shop. again, GO IN THE EVENING and there would be hardly any people lining up. your kids can ride again and again – no waiting!


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attraction and shows

fake rock hills and plenty of greens – that’s the setting for jurassic park. make sure you catch the WATERWORLD show which is an amazing live action-packed show roughly based on kevin costner’s movie ‘waterworld’ – a group of people living on waters in search of dry land. explosions, aeroplanes crashing down, stunt man falling down from 10 m high and so much more. make sure you know the time schedule for the shows!


the rides

in jurassic park, there are rides for kiddos and bapak kiddos alike! khaleef enjoyed the ‘dino-soarin’ – an interactive ride where there’s a button to push that would take your ‘ride’ higher, and when you let go, it will drop with a jerk! khaleef had fun ‘navigating’ his pterodactyl!

there were few more adventurous rides like the you’ll-get-wet ‘rapids adventure’ and ‘canopy flyer’ that gave you an air-view of parts of USS.



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high and mighty statues of anubis (the human with the head of a cat) guarding the entrance of the rides were quite a sight. there’s even a ‘market of cairo’ – but selling sodas and snacks la, bukan souvenirs from cairo ya!

it was so apt that we reached this section of USS at the peak of noon. in ancient egypyt, at noon, when it’s really scorching hot. memang padan sgt la tu!



the rides

my sisters and mr. khairul tried the ‘revenge of the mummy’ ride – a roller-coaster that moves at top speed – in the dark! syida and azi said it’s probably better than the usual roller coaster as they cannot see whether the train is about to plunge down or soar up. the unexpected element is the thrill of the ride!

me? of course i didn’t go! i sat outside in the heat with the three boys; waiting for those crazy people to finish up having fun by scaring themselves on a roller coaster ride!


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the rides

there was one for the kiddos n kiddos at heart. a sci-fi version of the revolving-tea-cups ride. funnest when it moved real fast!

mr. khairul tested his metel when he took a brave ride on the incredibly scary-looking roller coaster ride – the galactic bla bla something. haha. there were actually two trains moving together at great speed – red for human, and blue for cylon. my sisters and i totally sat this one out, so mr. khairul went all by himself!

…and survived!




oh, i hate roller coasters! the last crazy one that i went on was the ‘triple looper at sunway which has since been closed after someone fell off it to their death…


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didn’t we get hungry?

we stopped to eat at ‘the friar’s’ at far far away – munching seafood platter and icy-cold lemon tea. look through your USS map carefully to spot halal foot outlets, which can be easily found inside the USS. i think you can even pack up nasi lemak and egg sandwiches to save some dollars!

make sure you bring a water bottle, because when empty, you can easily fill them up again with all the water coolers found all over the theme park.

for dinner we also at at far far away, this time at a old tavern-like makan place called ‘goldilocks’, serving food like in KFC.


abah & umi @ ‘the friar’s’


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it was very disappointing that we didn’t see po from kungfu panda, but we met puss in boots! ‘nuff said! he was absolutely adorable and charming!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jalan Jakarta With In-Laws

it’s true people! i haven’t had the time to blog about singapore because i’m on yet another holiday in the asean region – jakarta, indonesia!

i went with mr khairul’s sisters tina and teh, along with my three boys. where was mr. khairul? a last-minute duty-call prevented him from joining us. he was in saudi the day we flew to jakarta. very much missed.

so it was just us girls and the little men!


semua muka sedih. rindu bapak. :(


it was a really short trip; so we just went to thamrin city and tamini plaza to shop for batik, tudung and stuff, while making time for taman mini indonesia to have a feel of the whole 13,000 islands and 27 provinces of indonesia.

truly an enriching experience.


will blog about this trip SOON! (when i find the time to write the 5-6 blogposts on singapore!)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Singapore Getaway With Abah

just came back from SINGAPORE!



abah plays travel agent this time around. he made a comprehensive list of places to go, with time and duration. he also included the prayer timetable and wrote it in bold red marker (so we won’t delay solat!). he also made copies and passed it on to us right at KLIA before embarking on this unforgettable 5-day singapore trip.

way to go, abah!


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we checked into FURAMA HOTEL CITY CENTER situated near the china town. it’s a regular modern hotel that’s affordable; with tight space but very comfy feel. basic, but simple and cosy. what stands out about furama city center is that it’s one of the few hotels with muslim kitchen. (yes, in singapore tak banyak hotel yang dapurnya muslim-friendly!) this means, you don’t have to worry about eating hotdogs during its complimentary breakfast. muslims travelling to singapore, i suggest furama city center. semua halal, insyaAllah!


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day one began right away as we took a cab to VIVO CITY, singapore’s latest mega mall. it’s got retail, tons of makan places and fun for the whole family at its one-of-a-kind ankle-deep pool on its rooftop. so when you go to vivo city, make sure you bring a change of clothing for your little one, and just let go – it’s just angle-deep!



we had lunch at GARUDA NASI PADANG in vivo city ground floor. your choice of dishes from indonesia served with steamed rice. excellent food, but get ready to be really patient since the service is quite slow. fortunately the staff were all courteous, and smiling though swamped with crowd and the rush. great food, if you don’t mind waiting!


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day two started off swiftly as we took the MRT (mass rapid transit) from CHINATOWN to OUTRAM PARK, then take another train to BOON LAY station, and then a cab to the JURONG BIRD PARK. phew! it was worth it. birds of all kinds, in a beautiful, clean environment. jurong bird park has certainly made its mark as an international-level tourist attraction. khaleef had fun spotting all the birds, since he had just seen the bird-movie RIO, for like the millionth time!


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we left furama city center on day three, and scooted off to the awesome entertainment-packed SENTOSA ISLAND, a popular island resort in singapore, boasting 5 hotels, the siloso beach, a casino, tons of tourist attractions and of course, the universal studios. we checked into the colorful FESTIVE HOTEL (one of the 5 hotels inside sentosa island) on to our most anticipated activity of this trip – to enjoy UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE!


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the FESTIVE HOTEL on sentosa island singapore is probably one of the most beautifully decorated hotel i’ve ever been to. i just LOVE the interior design! ours is the family room complete with a loft bed for the kids! gile cool!


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UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE (USS) is what we came here for. staying inside the sentosa island itself is an advantage to us, as we can be there very early, leave for awhile to fresh up in our hotel room, and walk out again to continue the fun at USS. USS is just 5 minutes walk from our hotel. excellent!


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it’s day four at singapore and we’re not slowing down! the plan was to explore some of the fun stuff they have around sentosa island. first stop was the UNDERWATER WORLD SINGAPORE. here, you don’t just SEE the sea creatures, you get to touch, and feed them as well!

right next to the underwater world singapore is the DOLPHIN LAGOON. if you’ve been to any dolphin show, or seal show – this is pretty much the same thing. dolphin balancing balls, seals clapping hands and catching hoops with their neck – same old stuff. enjoyable, but the heat could really rival dubai’s!


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we also managed to catch the awesome 4D shows at SENTOSA 4D MAGIX. see, and even ‘feel’ the actions on screen! just imagine, when the pirate jumps off the plank, into the sea, we could feel the splash with water spray – spraying right into our face!


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this is a very short summary that definitely DOES NOT do justice to the amount of awesomeness experienced during this trip. not just because of the journey made, and the destination – but the priceless company that matters.

this was our first family trip with abah – me, mr. khairul and my boys; with their atuk and opah umi. thanks abah, for giving me right about 5-6 postings that can last me the whole few weeks! can’t wait to blog about them in detail!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sneak Peak : Holiday While Holidaying

i’m on holiday in malaysia, and now heading for a another holiday with abah, umi and my two younger sisters.

destination : right next door.



@ changi airport. *wink wink*

Friday, July 15, 2011

Classic Laksa Kuale

i’m back in KL, but my tummy seemed to want to stay in the northern region. that’s where penang is with all the wonders of nasi kandaq and my fav food char kuey teow. that’s where taiping is; where my beloved tokcik and mr. khairul’s beloved makcah are. and of course there’s also ipoh, the home where i grew up in.

in the north, there is also kuala kangsar; where you can take a detour to taste the classic laksa kuale, with a bowl of cold cendol.

“laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the peranakan culture, which is the merger of malay and chinese elements..” ~ wikipedia



to me, the laksa kuale is NOT the best you could find, ever in perak, but it’s what the locals call the best. simple, no frills – like what a classic bowl of laksa should be.

served with half-cut boiled egg upon request; it’s got cut up onion, red chilli and cucumber – that’s it. the texture of the laksa is slightly hard and padat, but that’s apparently the reason why this laksa is so filling – kenyang dimakan!

the laksa dish itself is not TOO spicy – a too-spicy laksa is such a kill-buzz! i like it mild, just enough to get the zing of spiciness, but not too much, that it takes so much effort (and sweat!) to finish it! the laksa kuala has this formula.



the stall for this famous laksa kuale is situated inside a foodcourt-like building, build by the kangsar river. it’s open-air so you can enjoy the river-view while savouring the laksa kuale.



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mr. khairul with his eldest son khaleef, and his youngest brother asrar


kuala kangsar school boys : mr. khairul from malay college kuala kangsar, and his youngest bro asrar from clifford kuala kangsar


a plate of laksa kuala would be complete with an order of cendol. cool, cool bowl of cendol that’s also a must-try when you happen to stop by at this food-court. ask for cendol pulut, cendol kacang or plain cendol – they’ve got it.

hot, spicy laksa, accompanied by a cold sweet cendol – what a combo!



kalau ke kuale, singgah le yeop ngan yong!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tiga Panglima & Si Puteri Tunggal

my three boisterous boys and their one and only cousin on their bapak’s side. my khaleef, kahfi and kazim with little wafa, rolling on the grass. err, carpet, that looks like the grass.



wafa & big cousin bro khaleef



kahfi & 6 months apart little cousin sister wafa



kak wafa with little cousin bro kazim

can’t wait to meet their cousins on their mak’s side – all SIX of them – abg haiqal, abg haqeem, little nuna and baby adam harris; as well as kak cuya and little marissa. wait for us!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kuey Teow Gagak, Penang

if you’re in penang, and you pass by a seemingly non-attractive stall along a big drain by the roadside, under a huge tree in bayan baru – do make a pit-stop. they make one of the best char kuey teow in penang. some say malaysia.

the famous kuey teow gagak.



like many established makan places in penang, the stall is really NOT attractive! like nasi kandar restaurant ‘line clear’ – celah-celah bangunan je. roti canai banjir – stall tepi dinding bangunan je. and the kuey teow gagak stall uses pretty much the same concept. gerai buruk, tapi makanan power!

the inconspicuous stall seemed run-down; especially being set up under an old tree, by a reasonably large drain. you’d never guessed they make one mean plate of char kuey teow!



why is it called kuey teow ‘gagak’ is beyond my comprehension. there are many gagak bird hangin around the stall? the stall is only opened at night in pitch darkness like the feathers of a gagak? the man-power are all dark-skinned?

i might never know. sape-sape tau, bole share ye!

what i do know is, (as a HUGE fan of char kuey teow) it REALLY is good, especially if you’re a fan of kuey teow basah. they do it best. remember; penang, bayan baru, under a tree, open after 8pm. enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lining Up for Nasi Kandar Beratoq

this year, we have very limited time in malaysia, and yet – and yet – penang is still a must-go place, top of our list. why? it’s mr. khairul’s mothership. it’s the home of the nasi kandar.

of course, heading the list are nasi kandaq line clear, or nasi kandaq beratoq. or both. on the same day. hey, i’m just a victim here. mr. khairul is the nasi kandaq nut!

nasi kandar is a popular northern malaysian dish, which originates from penang. it is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes such as fried chicken, curried spleen, cubed beef, fish, prawn or squid and okra (lady fingers). nasi kandar is seen on most tamil muslim or "malaysian mamak" restaurants and indian-muslim stall meals.

a mixture of curry sauces is poured on the rice. this is called 'banjir' (flooding) and imparts a diverse taste to the rice. - wikipedia



it was so unfortunate that my beloved nasi kandaq-freak missed the ‘festival nasi kandar’ by a day! the festival was set-up near kapitan kelin mosque, penang. countless nasi kandar restaurant from all over penang set up tents along the closed-up road, offering so many varieties of nasi kandar dishes.

it was so weird. they started on thursday through friday, weekdays – why can’t they just drag the festival through weekend as well? sure lagi ramai orang datang, especially out-of-town-ers like us.

hmm. making way for a little ‘cleaning’ campaign, perhaps?



nways, when we went, there were only empty tents left by the companies. saki-baki je. there was loud music under one of the bigger tents, with traditional indian music, adding the festive mood for these nasi kandar fans.


the l----oo---ooooo------g line (my sis-in-law tina in white with my boys; mr. khairul in black T)


nasi kandar beratur. or nasik kandaq beratoq, however you wish to say it, you still need to queue up for this infamous dish that has been around since 1943. read about our first experience here.

the line has spilled into the main street, but the crowd was still holding on. hey, when they came here, they know what they’re in for, and so did mr. khairul. it meant a long hour of waiting around, standing up, in a long stretching line, just for a plate of nasi kandaq.

i still don’t get it!


bored kiddos


we were so tired of waiting for the nasi kandaq that i didn’t even bother to snap pictures of our plates!



pros and cons of lining up at nasi kandaq beratoq :


  1. you get to savor the taste of delicious nasi kandar that you waited so long for
  2. because it took you SO long, you appreciate it more
  3. the restaurant get to charge you for the many, many, many glasses of iced tea that you ordered while waiting for your friend who is lining up
  4. there are not many seats, but there are always enough for everyone who comes because by the time you get your plate of nasi kandar, the group of people who are lining up ahead of you have already left their table – so there’s no waiting around for seats



  1. what seemed a LIFETIME of lining up, just for a few minutes of eating! beraturnya bukan main lama, makannye kejap aje!
  2. the long wait in line made people too restless to enjoy their plate of nasi kandar
  3. it’s never fun to eat when you’re tired standing too long in line – cranky eater – not good!
  4. for us out-of-town-ers, the excitement of travelling all this way to eat nasi kandaq slowly diminished by the time we get to the end of the line – dah tak excited dah sebab lama sangat menunggu!


on that note, i would like to thank my sisters-in-law teh and tina for standing by in the long queue while i sit at the table minding the boys. thanks! and for mr. khairul, lining up for exactly ONE hour and TEN minutes that night is nothing when it means he got this one food he’s ever wanted since we left the dubai airport…

hope it was worth the wait!

Friday, July 8, 2011

HP Dead? Free Charge @ KLIA

yes. we’re in MALAYSIA!

once we’ve arrived at KLIA (kuala lumpur international airport), the first thing that caught my eyes (other than all the wonderful signage in bahasa  at malaysia!) is this machine to charge your hand phone batteries, for free!



khaleef yang mamai baru mendarat kat malaysia dari dubai


i know this machine has been long introduced in malaysia, and in dubai too (saw one at mall of emirates once) but i applaud the invention, because i find myself more than once in that most inconvenient position – low batt!!!

more so when you’ve arrived at a foreign country (welcome to malaysia all you lovely tourist, enjoy my wonderful country ye) and found yourself without a working phone and all your contacts inside the phone – dead!

having it at klia is so convenient!




  1. just take out your battery,
  2. press the on/off button,
  3. key in the last 4 digits of your phone number (as password)
  4. place your battery
  5. press on/off button again
  6. wait for it to charge
  7. repeat step 3 to reclaim your battery

i guess the password is for those who want to leave their battery in the machine while it’s charging. however, there is a recommendation at the bottom of the instruction manual, to suggest that people wait while their phone is being charge, instead of leaving it. things happen, you know!




easy pizzy.

oh, been in malaysia less than 48 hours and i’ve had my craved satay kajang, grilled ikan keli from my favorite restaurant in puchong, and nasi goreng ayam madu.

at the time of writing, we’re about to head to kuala kangsar to have the classic laksa kuala, and pau yutt loi; of course stopping by at tapah on the way to enjoy the kuey teow soup.

and then to taiping to visit mr. khairul’s mak cah and my tokcik’s makan place, selera desa.

in the middle of it all of course, the grand plan will be in penang, where we’ll devour mountains of nasi kandar at line clear, and kandaq beratoq at kapitan kelin – on the SAME day. no, i’m not a nasi kandar fan. oh yes, i’m married to a nasi kandaq-freak.

ipoh, my hometown? ipoh can wait. by the end of the month, i’m all about ipoh…

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