Monday, December 19, 2005

From Papua and on to France....

Kinda tired after the 12 hours trip back from Papua and now that I have to pack and buy stuffs for my trip to France, I don't have the time to touch up and upload my Papua photos. Guess those would have to go up together with the photos from France once I get back. See ya!

Incredible view of clouds before landing at Papua. Found out later that these puffy clouds would be the source of heavy downpours in the late afternoons and nights.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Off for the next 2 weeks....and then more

I would be gone for the next 2 weeks to a new location...not that it would make much difference since I don't update this blog that often. But this would be different in the sense that I should get a lot of picture snapping opportunity. Below are the places that I could be at....

However, after reading about La Idler from, I come to realize that these frequent trips in planes with questionable maintenance records can be a real hazard. What happens to an avid blogger in the time when death isn't a question of when and how you think "dang! I wish I could blog about this..." or "I have so many friends I have not met let alone say goodbye to...". What happens to a blog when someone passes on? I realized that most of us blog without our family members knowing about it. Would we now like to put it in our will so that they have something to remember us by..."And to my favourite nephew, I now leave you Surprise! blog! "

Ujong Pasir....sometime in 1989

This photo was taken, if I am not mistaken, sometime in 1989. Pre-digital camera era. It was taken in Ujong Pasir, Malacca at the water front between Seaview Garden and Taman Aman.

Why am I putting this here? It's because the view is no longer there. A few years after this picture is taken, the sea around this area was reclaimed. I do not know how much is left of the area from the original site....must go back and take a reference shot in the future...or better still, anyone from this area care to shoot a pic for me? From the photos, you can also see the jetty that is situated at the Portugese settlement....don't know whether that jetty still exists too.

Luckily my mum had the foresight to frame this photo for me. Can't find the negative anymore. The orignal has richer colour.

The Regency, Plaza Hotel - Bintulu (15th - 19th November 2005)

You know the place isn't too exciting when you see this in the state's website:

...Public Library as a Hotspot!!? On page 1??

The bad thing about the trip was the previous hotel that I stayed in (Everly ParkCity which I rate as above average), was fully booked and I have to settle for the RM145 per night (incl. breakfast) room at The Regency. The worse thing was that they ran out of non-smoking rooms and this room reeks of tobacco's like there was a permanent smoker in the room. Thankfully the room is large and I could crank up the aircond to "remove" the smell. I don't know whether the smell actually got less or my nose adapted to it...

Anyway, the hotel has a very minimalist approach to it's operation. You can see from the picture the basin area is in white plastic and looks like a hospital.

And this is the view at the vent near the entrance...yup it's lighted up there and you can see the pipings all very clearly. The maintenance crew must be delighted.

The view outside the window is.....

What's on tv...astro espn sport, one movie channel and some local channels. Content is nothing to shout about but the picture quality is terrible. A bit of twisting of the cable behind the box improved the quality but still dissapointing.

Urrghh and there is also no proper chair only a stool...that is about to break one of it's leg. Ok, so it's a make-up table....

And there was no in-room broadband....which was pretty much expected at this point. Though there were suppose to have wifi connection in the smoke filled lobby, it only worked for one night that I was there the whole time. And the 1515 calls weren't cheap. I raked up close to RM100 for the duration of my stay.

To it's credit, the hotel is located smack in the middle of town compared to the other hotel, so eating out is easy and cheap. There are lots of food stalls around the hotel and also a pasar malam one street away. Walk 2 blocks away is the river and the market but I didn't have the time and it got dark quite early here (as compared to Peninsular Malaysia) so there any opportunity to explore the place.

There were also two complementary bottles of water, replenished daily. Nothing fancy, just some RO water that was sourced from Lembaga Air Kuching :)

Forgot to take my camera out most of the time so no town pictures this time around.

Taxi from airport to hotel is approx. RM30 and the ticket can be purchased from the counter.

The road from the new Bintulu airport to the city has been completed and it's a nice ride into town. Last year, parts of it were still un-tarred and quite a rocky ride.

Great place to get black/white pepper from the market or any of the sundry shops.