Oh dear, looking at the dates of our last post on this blog it made me shiver. 2009 is very long ago… It is not that we have nothing going on during the last 5 years or so. It is rather we had too much going on and too little traveling to blog.

See if we can change this in the near future.



Remember nearly a year ago when I first moved into our new home, it was right into active mosquito breeding season (March-June). After that, we enjoyed relatively peaceful time until these couple of months, little annoyances are back.

These time, though, we are slightly better prepared. Mosquito nets are generally fixed on some openings, incense oil (lemon grass) and burner are in place. But we still can’t enjoy completely mosquito free environment. They seem to become smarter and harder to catch.

Once again, I went online to recap the previous tricks and tips of getting rid of them. Here’re the findings:

Quick and Dirty Mosquito Trap



From DIY Happy http://www.diyhappy.com/quick-and-dirty-mosquito-trap/

Mosquito trap using UV lights and fan


Bought one of this. However, it doesn’t really work as effective as I want. It only works effectively for the first couple of hours. Anyway, I kill more mosquitos by my hands than this.

Upon arrival of Sipadan Water Village Resort, we were welcomed by the resort crews with local music and song plus a cold face towel. Sipadan Water Village is a resort on stilts, constructed with Bajau (local tribe) architectural design. I would say, this is the most luxurious diving accommodation I have ever had…


Each bungalow is constructed in a “L” shaped bedroom (accommodate a double bed and sitting area), an attached bathroom and a huge balcony that links from the sitting area and the bathroom.



Sipadan Water Village Resort doesn’t have air condition. Unfortunately during our stay, the air at night was still. The room temperature was high. The balcony quickly became my brother PC’s favorite sleeping spot at night…


This morning’s weather is changable. We had bright sunshine early in the morning, then thunder storm came, and then, the rain stopped, sun came back up…

While travelling on speedboat from Singamata to Pulau Mabul, we passed by these villages which built along the Southeast Coast of Sabah… They brought back my childhood memories of people who live by the sea…





Anxious + anticipated, I am looking forward to the trip to Sipadan, one of the most exciting dive site in Southeast Asia. I was ‘dry’ more than 3 years, since 2006, the last time I was in blue waters of Tioman.

Checking through my dive gears, which had been nicely packed deep in the storage. My BCD is punctured, the rubber of the mask has stiffen, time to upgrade the gears.

Eugene Sim, the Padi course director and also our life saver, is always the first person we think about when it comes to diving. He recommended me to ‘wings’ style BCD rather than my previous ‘jacket’ style, as I can never fit properly with the jacket. Wings BCD has greater customization to my body size. With new BCD, it adds an layer of anxiety to my rusty diving skills – I need to readjust my buoyancy control underwater.

This is a short 4 days 3 nights trip. Out of the blue, my brother PC (who doesn’t even swim) arranges this trip with a big group of friends (with families and kids). First, we take an Air Asia flight from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau, and then overland to Semporna, the closest port to Mabul island. After lunch, we set sail (on speedboat) to Singamata, there we stay for the first night. 

Singamata is not even an island. It’s a water chalet built on a large coral reef 10 minutes boat ride away from Semporna. This chalet provides simple but clean accommodation and some diving/snorkeling activities.


It serves a warm up session for us – city folks – before we dive. Kids and families are having real fun snorkeling in this confined water, 10 meters deep, in the mid of ocean.



Since there is nothing much to do besides swimming and I am not a big fan of it, as well as I didn’t bring a single book, refreshing camera skill is my time passer… capturing natural phenomena…






Copy idea from previous greeting:


see post: Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year, 2007

Wow with a new job comes new responsibility and chances as well…

Due to the new project I am working on i finally got a chance to make a first step on chinese ground. My colleagues and I touch down in Hong Kong for 2 nights  to be part of a facade testing in Chinas Sanxin factory.

This allowed me a small glimpse on Hong Kong.



To be honest business trips are mainly for business and at the end is not much time left. I was happy once it was over.



At least I got to eat my ginger milk… yummy…


I believe many people know Sabah as a nature wonderland. Located in North Borneo, East Malaysia, Sabah offers various natural sites, with unique floral and fauna. However, many travelers visit Malaysia are missing out Sabah as she is out of the beaten track, and costly. Thanks for Air Asia which help reduces travel cost.

Being a Sabahan, my trip home is always a hassle as the flight from Singapore tends to be a lot more expansive than via Johor Bahru’s Senai airport. It is only 2.5 hours flight, however, going via Senai airport, I used to order a taxi (from JB, cost S$60), he picks me up from my apartment in Singapore and send me to Senai airport. If  my flight departs at 6.30pm, the cab would pick me up at 1.30pm to avoid traffic jam. The whole journey took me up to 9 hours. Once I was waiting at Senai airport from 9am till 8pm, supposed to board an Air Asia plane at 12.30pm but it was delayed for 8 hours. The record was nearly 20 hours journey home.

Recently Air Asia started flying from Changi airport, now I have a direct flight from Singapore. Going home becomes a happy occasion since then. I have been taking Air Asia since it first started. Back then it was a pain in the ass as flight delay was very common. Pleasantly surprise nowadays it has improved its services, including its on flight menu. If you choose to eat on the plane, take Nasi Lemak!!! For vegetarian, I am quite please with its vegetarian Nasi Beriani. 

To date, flights offer trips to Sabah are Silk air, Malaysian airline (MAS), Jetstar and finally now Air Asia. Tiger airway will join the list soon. 

So far, Air Asia is my first pick of the budget airline in Asia…


What color is this Christmas? Black? Gray? White?

A year has passed since we came back. Time flies. 

What had we achieved in this one year? Well, we finally settled down, having a steady job despite the economy rolls from rocking high to rock bottom. We are still facing financial constrain though. Lots of targets, hope to achieve in life. It takes time!

We still miss traveling a lot. This year we are really grounded to rebuilt our social life again. This year, due to the change of job environment, we met lots of new friends, and new stimulants occur.

Hopefully soon we can get back to travel and visit some countries which we have not been before. 

A heartfelt wish to everyone: Merry Christmas!

Last night after dinner, Alex, I and two other friends were chit chatting over a coffee table. Our highlight was about our encounters with cockroaches, rats, lizards, bugs, snakes, spiders, frog etc. while putting up with hotels and guess houses overseas.

Over the years with countless experiences in dealing with such situations, in addition to the stress of theft, we naturally developed a rule of thumb when choosing a budget accommodation. We usually make sure we see the room before we take it. Good hotels don’t necessary have all their rooms in good condition. Sometimes we surprisingly find outstanding rooms in the most unexpected condition. I would say, some budget accommodation could have the standard of an expansive hotel, in terms of its basic facilities. 

In an ideal situation, these are what we look for when checking a guesthouse or budget hotel:

  1. Reception is friendly and helpful – First impression is essential, though it may not be always accurate. We usually choose a place where its owner or attendee is friendly and helpful.
  2. New guess house or budget hotel – New guess house or hotel is usually more clean.
  3. Avoid first floor or lower floor – The chances of animal invasion (especially cockroaches and rats, + possible human being) for rooms on the first floor is very high.
  4. Good natural light  – We usually prefer the room with good naturally light and air circulation, a plus if it has at least one big window with reasonably good view. 
  5. Air circulation – We feel unhealthy sleeping in a room with smell of dampness, though we may be deceived by its interior setting. We usually prefer a room with good odor (means good air circulation).
  6. Door lock – It feels safer to have a room with internal door lock. When traveling, we usually carry some locks for locking our room while we are out.
  7. Hygiene standard – check bed linen, pillow cases, and the toilet. Carrying one batik sarong is a good idea, for use of bed linen, blanket and bath towel.  When checking the toilet, I pay particular attention at the toilet seat and the floor water trap. 


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