31 July 2008

Happy Birthday My Friend!

Selamat ulang tahun
สุขสันต์วันเกิด (sook sun wan gerd)

Someone is having his birthday today. My friend, I wish you all the success and happiness in your life.

P.S. Sorry, you have to wait another day for your present.
(41 words)

29 July 2008

Going on leave again in August

Too bad, its not going to be a vacation. I am just going away to finish up my annual leave from last year. Actually, I still have a few more days left. And I haven't used up any of my thirty days of leave for this year.

Anyway, for this weekend, I got very low prices to fly between Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur from Malaysia Airlines, just RM240 return. The usual price is about 5 times more. I'll probably see my friends while I am in KL and since the Malaysia Mega Sales in on, I'll shop a little. Maybe add more books to my collection of unread books (maybe about 15 books) stacked in my bedroom table.

Then in two weeks, I am going off to Manila with my sister's son, who is studying overseas and is back at home for his summer vacation. I haven't been to Manila, so I have to find out a lot about where to stay, visit and eat there.
(169 words)

28 July 2008

Kota Kinabalu International Airport

This is the new terminal at the above airport. Its futuristic, sure. But I am still disappointed that there is no visible local design or motif to be seen in the outside. I don’t know how the inside will look like. Hopefully, there’s something traditional in the interior design. As it is, the airport could be located anywhere else, by design, but Sabah.

The airport also has a great location, it is by the Tanjung Aru Beach. Here’s a photo of an aircraft taxiing down the runway. In the background are the South China Sea and the islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National (Marine) Park.

(108 words)

Photos from business trip

Here are some photos to accompany the last post. You can probably guess where I went from one of the photos.

Plane No 1

Plane No 2

Bus No 1

Ferry No 1

(35 words)

24 July 2008

Four airplanes, two ferries, two busses and two taxis

And all within 72 hours. I was away again for official duty again in the past few days. Anyway, for this trip, I had to go on four flights (all on Boeings 737 except for one on Airbus 300). I took the bus twice between the airport and the ferry terminal since I had time to kill. Then I took taxis to get around the towns that I visited. The bad thing was I didn’t get to spend time with my good friends who were in town for a holiday. The good thing was, there wasn’t a good thing. Now, I am still tired from the trip. I hope I don’t have to travel like this again in the near future. Next week, however, I will be out of the office. Only this time, it’s not for work. Yayyyy
(142 words)

Familiar Places, Friendly Faces

A week ago I visited two places that I've been before. One I lived in for more than three years. On the flight out, I sat next to someone who used to work in the same building with me. Then, on arrival at the airport, I met a former housemate and work colleague, a very nice and understanding guy. I also met my former supervisor at the same airport. He's one of the best bosses who I've worked with. The guys in my old office are lucky to have him as their head of department now. When I worked under him, he always looks after me well. When, I moved to a new department, he even warned me about what was happening behind my back especially with my new boss then, who had nothing good to say about me. I couldn't believe it. My boss was known to be a pious man. Anyway, years later, I found out that what my former supervisor told me was all true.

Later on that night, I had dinner with friends, who I used to work with in the same department. It was great to be able to visit the city I worked in before and met the people I knew there.

On the next day, I went to another town and guess what, I met with former colleagues who have moved to work there. I had lunch with one of them. It is a small world after all.
(247 words)

10 July 2008

World Heritage sites in South East Asia

Here's the list of the above. The year the site was included are in brackets.

Cambodia (2)
* Angkor (1992)
* Temple of Preah Vihear (2008)

Indonesia (7)
* Borobudur Temple Compounds (1991)
* Komodo National Park (1991)
* Prambanan Temple Compounds (1991)
* Ujung Kulon National Park (1991)
* Sangiran Early Man Site (1996)
* Lorentz National Park (1999)
* Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (2004)

Lao People's Democratic Republic (2)
* Town of Luang Prabang (1995)
* Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape (2001)

Malaysia (3)
* Gunung Mulu National Park (2000)
* Kinabalu Park (2000)
* Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca (2008)

Philippines (5)
* Baroque Churches of the Philippines (1993)
* Tubbataha Reef Marine Park (1993)
* Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (1995)
* Historic Town of Vigan (1999)
* Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (1999)

Thailand (5)
* Historic City of Ayutthaya (1991)
* Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns (1991)
* Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries (1991)
* Ban Chiang Archaeological Site (1992)
* Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (2005)

Viet Nam (5)
* Complex of Hué Monuments (1993)
* Ha Long Bay (1994, 2000)
* Hoi An Ancient Town (1999)
* My Son Sanctuary (1999)
* Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (2003)

There are no sites in Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, Singapore and Timor Leste.
(237 words)

Malaysia's World Heritage sites

Malaysia now has three world heritage sites. With Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca recently joining Gunung Mulu National Park and Kinabalu Park, which came on the list in 2000. Melaka and George Town are considered as one entry.

In 1972, an international treaty, the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, was adopted by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Under this treaty, UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

Except for Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore and Timor Leste, all other countries in South East Asia are on the world heritage list. Cambodia has two sites, including Angkor. Indonesia has seven sites, including the Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple Compounds. Lao People's Democratic Republic has two sites, one of them the Town of Luang Prabang. Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam each has five sites.

There are two other sites in Malaysia, which are consideration for the list. They are the Taman Negara National Park of Peninsular Malaysia and Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (LEWS) and Batang Ai National Park (BANP) in Sarawak. Both were submitted for consideration in 2004.
(209 words)

08 July 2008

Travel Plans - Laos and Cambodia

I plan to travel to Luang Prabang in Laos and Siam Reap in Cambodia. If the plan materializes, that means I've only the Philippines and Vietnam left of ASEAN countries that I haven't visited.

Siam Reap's claim to fame is Angkor Wat. Remember Lara Craft in the Tomb Raider? It is said that to do justice to Angkor Wat, one has to spend at least three days there. According to Lonely Planet, the Temples of Angkor are "must-see - ancient Hindu-Buddhist temples of monumental proportion". While Luang Prabang is "an easy-going capital with French and Buddhist architecture."

The plan I have in mind is to fly from Kuala Lumpur into Luang Prabang. Then fly from there directly to Siam Reap or through Bangkok. From Siam Reap, there are flights back to Kuala Lumpur. This plan will take about five days.

There are also bus services between Luang Prabang to Bangkok via Cambodia's capital Vientiane (about 22 hours) and between Bangkok and Siam Reap (about 10-14 hours). This plan will take maybe two days longer than the flying option.

Another possible plan is to visit only one country at a time. In this case, it'll have to be Cambodia first and Laos second. This plan will probably take between three to five days for Cambodia and a day or two shorter for Laos.
(225 words)

04 July 2008

Morning person

I'm not one. But I haven't got much choice. In my schools days, classes started around 7am.,The same goes to work, which starts at 8am. If it's up to me everything should start at 10 or 11am.

Anyway, while attending university for my first degree, I was able to schedule my classes on my own. I hardly had classes first thing in the morning. In one semester, I had an early start in the day but for this semester, I managed to schedule all my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And guess what? I had Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday as my weekend that particular semester. Lets just say, it was nice to have long weekend like that. I hardly study though. Sometimes, I'm amazed to complete my degree, which was no easy feat.

When I did my master degree, there weren't many choices in my schedule. But by then, my study habits were different. Well, it was a self-sponsored degree and to make it worthwhile, I worked hard to do well. I usually studied, did my assignments and of course, attend classes between 8am to 5pm on weekdays. The other time I reserved for meeting up friends and doing chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing and so on.

Anyway, not being a morning person means that I'm invariably late to work. But still, I make it a point to be punctual when there's something important on early during the day.
(243 words)

02 July 2008

I am a Mango

I was blog surfing today and found this entry. I answered the question posted and here's what my answer says about me:

MANGO - A mango lover is a personality to reckon with; quite often, you are a person who has quite fixed ideas, and influencing you is not an easy task. You tend to be an extremist with strong likes and dislikes, and at times even like to control a situation. You enjoy getting involved in something that presents mental challenge. Strong as you may be, you are like a kitten when you are with your partner. You accommodate the love of your life, and make up for all the strong will elsewhere!

All I can say is that it is mostly true.
(126 words)
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