Summary of my 2011 travels

2011 has been a very eventful year in terms of travelling. I was formally afflicted by dromomania.

I’ve also started on my Visit Malaysia project, visited Europe for the first time and went back to China and Japan since the last time I went as a student.

Here are the locations I went and the photos I took. Yes, I am also using this as my bragging wall. Thanks!


Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia [HOME]

Reflection of Mt Kinabalu

Continue reading “Summary of my 2011 travels”

Hotel review: Riverview Hotel, Muar, Johor

Went to Muar during the Christmas weekend without making any hotel bookings (nor bus ticket bookings). I’ve only skimmed through the first page of Google Search and found this place’s Web site. It looked nice enough but I didn’t jot down the address.

We reached Muar around 8pm, and it was raining. Good thing the hotel sign is high up the building because we saw it while our bus drove pass.

The hotel is just a less than 10 minute walk away from the bus terminal, thank goodness.

I think our room was the last one in the hotel that night because the concierge told someone on the phone that there is no more room available.

Our room had a queen-sized bed, bathroom with hot shower, TV and plastic kettle. It was RM85 per night, the walk-in rate, I suppose.

Extra pillows for watching TV.

When we got into the room, there was a puddle near the curtains. It seems that rain seeped through the windows.

We called room service and a man came in to mop and put a towel at the bottom of the window to keep water from coming in.

D thought the bathroom smelled of urine so she washed it up. I guess most bathroom smell of urine from people peeing in the shower.

Something funny about the hotel is that it has ads for a particular chicken processed food.

Our keycard

Best chicken

The stay was nice, we extended an extra night. The bed was so comfortable that I sang and talked in my sleep, it seems. haha

Internet: There is Wi-Fi in the room, remember to ask for the code from the concierge.

Another good thing about this place is that it is next to a dimsum coffee shop (breakfast!) and a Chinese food court (dinner, supper!). You know how much I love my food.

I would return here again, just because it is near the bus terminal. (But then there’s a Hotel D’99 also near the terminal. Maybe I’ll check that place out next time.)


Location: 29 Jalan Bentayan, Muar 84000, Malaysia
Price: RM85 per night
Pros: Cheap. comfy beds, strategic location.
Cons: Smelly bathroom, wet floor–which were all fixed

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What Mark Zuckerberg ate in Vietnam

The trip ended with more hiking, where Zuck didn’t even need to hunt down local wildlife to kill and eat, because his entire trip was restricted to the finest vegetarian fare in the 3rd world:


Grilled Fillet With Coconut With Barbecue Sauce
Fried Tofu With Tomato Sauce
Fried Egg With Sapa Mushroom
Sapa trout carpaccio with shallot and lemon oil
Grilled pork and apple skewers with Sapa honey (Don’t touch that, Mark!)
Sapa mushroom risotto
Eggplant, tomato and onion gratin

Cucumber Salad
Fried Shrimp vegetable
Fried Channa Maculata Fish
Potato with Cheese

Baked pear and cinnamon crumble
Creme caramel
Gingerbread pudding
Rice pudding with Strawberry sauce

All this food talk is making me hungry! Good news is I’ll be in Vietnam twice next year, bad news is, I won’t be able to eat all that un-Vietnamese food the billionare CEO of Facebook ate.


Sights (no sound) of Muar, Johor

D and I visited Muar during the Christmas weekend. It was our first trip which we have made no real plans: no pre-booked bus tickets, hotel nor list of places to visit.

We mainly feasted on Chinese food (another blog post) and walked around the town going into random boutiques (they have A LOT of random boutiques).


Full account of the trip up later this week (I hope!)

Travel tip: Cheap prepaid phone in Malaysia (Digi)

[UPDATE OCT 1 2012: Digi’s plans have been changed a lot since I wrote the post so I’m including the new price plans]

Usually before a trip, I try looking for a cheap prepaid phone plan or SIM. If you are like me, you probably think you cannot live without 24-7 Internet connection even when on the road. (That’s not quite true as I somehow managed to survive on hotel Wi-Fi and generousity of the Apple Store in Japan.)

Here’s what I use when I go back to Malaysia, either for a day trip to Johor or a week back home, I switch back to my old Malaysian SIM card. It just makes more sense.

I’ve been with Digi for many years not because it’s the cheapest prepaid around but because my whole family uses it so we get cheaper calls, SMS.

Continue reading “Travel tip: Cheap prepaid phone in Malaysia (Digi)”