2009 – Motormouth on a JourneyDecember 31, 2009 | 1,948 views
Last post for the year 2009 – Let me recap on some of the year’s highlights. Cannot write about food for the time being, for some specific reasons (P/S : You can find some hints in this post). So kindly allow me to gloat (ahem, NOT) or rather, write a complete summary of my travels throughout the year. You ready for this?(Go for toilet break, a smoke or something, this is gonna be LONG!)
1. HANOI ON A SHOE-STRING (FEBRUARY 2009)
No doubt one of the year’s most memorable moment was our Hanoi trip back in February-March of this year. Back then the weather was cool, almost freezing at times, especially when we were strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake near to Old Quarters. The incessant honking of motorcycles aside, the 8 days trip were filled with adventures and MISadventures (what else do you expect, with Motormouth around?), ranging from nearly frost-bitten on the deck of the junk boat at Halong Bay to getting pestered relentlessly by the natives at Sapa town. Not to mention the magnificent street foods of Hanoi, from the perennial favourite of many ; the Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup), extra ‘kaw’ Vietnamese coffee by the roadside (literally, as we were seated on those small plastic stools), and Banh My (baguette sandwich with PORK!).
We did dine at some restaurants, albeit not of 5-stars stature. Highway 4 Restaurant serves wacky snails, tiny crabs fried WHOLE, and delicious catfish spring rolls. Quan An Ngon remains as our top pick; a place for an extensive array of ‘cleaner’ street foods, all aggregated in one location.
For the whole itinerary, jump over to this post : HANOI 2009 – On A Shoestring Budget
2. SUNGAI PETANI, KEDAH for some LURVE? (Cinta Sayang Golf Resort, February 2009)
Not so much of a trip, the 3 days spent at Cinta Sayang Golf & Country Resort in Sungai Petani of Kedah was for a good cause. I meant, a course. =P You know, another one of those courses we have to attend periodically. Nothing too fancy, more like a getaway after the Chinese New Year holidays.
Most memorable moment was the outing to LeBOSS Cafe & Restaurant for some Western food. Not so much for the food, which was passable in their own rights. But more so due to the extremely rushed experience, whereby our dinner was practically shoved down our throats. We were DARN late for the night session, if you’re wondering. And shoving down THREE quails in a matter of minutes is NOT funny.
3. THE TREACHEROUS ORDEAL @ LANGKAWI – BOOT CAMP STYLE
Oh great! Just as I was lamenting about how throughout the many, many decades of my life, I’ve never even stepped foot on the legendary island of Langkawi, came opportunity a-knocking.
But for all the wrong reasons. It was for a camp. NOT a happy family, breezy Sunday kind of camp, but those military boot camp style of brainwashing sessions (don’t quote me, go read the papers). And all 5 days of it. No escape this time, we persevered.
Abrasions from abseiling, fly eggs-infested food, washing of own cutlery, and sleeping with the bees (REAL bees, okay? Not the birds and the bees ….) and gigantic lizards, as well as bathing with the frogs were some of the memorable moments. Never try, never know.
Read about my ordeals at the following link : The Return of Motormouth with Higher Integrity!
4. BACK TO LANGKAWI, WITHIN 10 DAYS !!!
See? I told you prayers DO work! Within a week or two, we were required to fly again to Langkawi (Firefly MUST be really grateful for these loyal customers) !!! Almost like a bad dream recurring, but only this time, we were not forced to stay in some dodgy camps with the nature’s threats all over us.
Read all about the WACKIER experiences (trust me, you DO wanna read them!) at the following links :
5. PERLIS O’ PERLIS (APRIL 2009)
I tell you, my job is simply marvelous. And most unpredictable. I went on a short excursion to Perlis back in October of 2008 (read all about them HERE and HERE), and thought wow …. will I ever come to this erm, forsaken place again. Pardon me, but Padang Besar shopping and Kangar town just did not bode well with me.
Until of course, life took heed on its own twisted manner, and there we were, back again in Perlis for the second time. This time around, thankfully, the experience was slightly better, with a visit to Gua Kelam (nothing much, but still a rather interesting sight for the city boy who grew up loving his caves – Sam Poh Tong/Kek Look Tong, anyone?!), and the most-darnest-cheapest seafood at Hai Thien Seafood @ Kuala Perlis.
Read about the Perlis experience at the following link – Perlis – Hai Thien Seafood, Gua Kelam and Shopping @ Padang Besar
6. PORT DICKSON – INTEGRITY AGAIN?! SIEN ….. (JUNE 2009)
And this was also my FIRST ever trip to Port Dickson in Negri Sembilan. Hehehe, pathetic right? Wait, there’s more to come. This 3 days journey was more of a getaway, but also for work-related purposes. This time, to instill some integrity (say WHAT?!) in the participants. Yeah, by playing games ala running around throwing tennis balls, sitting in groups and yadda yadda ….. you get my drift.
But I tell you, the Butter Prawns at Mutiara Seafood Village were REALLY lip-smacking stuff. Don’t believe me? Hop over to this post and find out for yourself – Port Dickson Getaway 2009
Still hanging in there? Okay … good. We’re HALFWAY there. Go take a breather, take a nap, grab a kitten/puppy and squeeze it dry, smoke your lungs out. Then come back, and brace yourself for MORE stories, AFTER the jump.
7. A MOST TRANQUIL GETAWAY TO CAMERON HIGHLANDS (JUNE 2009)
Still in the month of June, within a week of each other, we embarked on a journey to Cameron Highlands, and prepared ourselves for some form of rejuvenation and restoration at Strawberry Park Resorts.
Nothing beats the chilly weather, some English Hi-tea at Ye Olde Smokehouse, and even a blackout in the middle of the lectures. LOL. At least without the air-conditioning or fans, we still managed to survive up on the hills.
Read about the experiences at the following links :
8. MOTORMOUTH TO THE EAST COAST – KELANTAN (JUNE 2009)
And if there’s one place I was raring to go all this while, aside from East Malaysia, it had to be the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Yes, I have not been to Kelantan or Terengganu. Or even Pahang for that matter. Okay, so Cameron Highlands may count as Pahang’s territory, but still ….. you know. It’s different.
Then a week after the Cameron Highlands getaway, we embarked on another journey (still in the same month of June) to Kota Bharu, Kelantan. This time for work. But still, the journey was a much, much desired one.
Sadly I have yet to blog about this trip, due to various complications. First being the utter laziness of the author, of course. Haha … Okay, promise to write about this someday, for the various sweet snacks of Kelantan, the east coast delights, and the vibrant Pasar Siti Khadijah are good reads.
But you can hop over to my article for I.M. magazine HERE for a general idea on how the trip went.
9. BANGKOK – I LOVE THAI FOOD! (JULY 2009)
Needless to say, some of my most treasured memories stemmed from the Bangkok trip back in the middle of the year. A short getaway, about 7 days (or 6? Hmm …) worth of gluttony, crazy-shopping (the gals, not me) and of course, mindless fun. Not the sleazy type lah …....puhleaze ……. >_<
Purely for the food this time around, we also managed to detour to the Floating Market of Damnoen Saduak and the Death Railway @ Kanchaburi for a day’s worth of getaway. Of course, the RM70 per night stay at S2S Boutique Resort in town centre was a MAJOR $$$-saver, which rendered us the opportunities to pig out at Fuji Japanese Restaurant not once, but twice. But Fuji serves Japanese food at such reasonable prices and quality, they make Sushi King a tyrant. Really.
For the complete story, please hop over to : Bangkok 2009 – 7 Days of Food!
10. OH SINFUL BETONG, WE’RE BACK! (AUGUST 2009)
Back in 2008, we went for a 3 days trip to Betong in Thailand, the town over the border of Perak-Thailand. This year, somewhat to commemorate that virginal visit to the town of sins (hehe, not so lah …. come darker hours, maybe), we went on a day trip to Betong (yes, a DAYTRIP) in August of 2009.
How did we manage to drive over the border from the town of Pengkalan Hulu in Perak, and came back on the same day to Ipoh? Read about the day trpi experience at the following link : Motormouth in Betong for a Day
11. BLISSFULLY BALI 2009 (OCTOBER 2009)
Hehe, I am almost ashamed to admit, I have yet to finish posting on my Bali trip back in October. Okay, okay … one more day to go. I’ll write about Uluwatu and Jimbaran sometime next year then.
10 people. 7 days. And endless supply of sunshine. If you have yet to read about our Bali trip, you DO NOT know what you’re missing!
Read from start to finish, and plan your journey well – Blissfully Bali 2009 – A 7 Days/6 Nights Getaway
12. And my favourite PENANG !!!!!
And how could I forget about the Penang trips? Of course, not as often as I travelled to Kuala Lumpur/Selangor, or even the occasional Perak detours (wait, those can be combined into a WHOLE different post altogether! Imagine the Top 10 Foods of Sitiawan, Taiping, Tanjung Tualang etc…. Hmmm). But still, Penang WAS the place where I started my mini foodhunting sessions back when I was a student.
Aki Pancake @ Super Tanker, Ah Leng Famous Char Koay Teow @ Jalan Dato Keramat, That Meet-The-Floggers Episode with CK Lam, Ken and Lingzie, BEST Lor Bak @ Kheng Pin, Penang Road, Joez Coconut Jelly, and Kaliamman’s Banana Leaf Biryani Rice.
Of course, if all else fails, hop over to Penang Street Food – A Gastronomic Journey Up North for a little bit of everything.
PHEW !!!!!!!!! And there you have it. All 12 Destinations picked from the many others. I may do another Perak’s Hidden Gems, or something. Or Ipoh’s New Discoveries. Or Disastrous Food Outings of 2009, perhaps?
But all those have to wait, for I’ve already embarked on my 13th destination this year. Want some hints? 🙂