Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in a wrap.

First and foremost, I failed to blog back-to-back. I was half asleep upon finishing the post yesterday.
Day 365. 2015 has been a great year so far.
I strongly believe counting blessings is a great way to bid a year goodbye, and to usher in brand new year. Positive vibes eh?

When I look back now at 2015, I am thankful for:
So lucky and blessed to have traveled a lot this year. 

Don't think I'll be able to break this record in a long time.
I am thankful, but at the same time looking forward to more destinations in the years to come.
so many places to see, so many cultures to experience, so much food to try.

more like parents' unconditional love. They're still using laggy Samsung phones with limited space.

I am not actually a person who changes phone to follow the trend, praying this will last me a good many years. Thankful for much better quality photos, matters a lot to someone like me who takes photos on a daily basis. And I am secretly wishing I'll be able to upgrade phones for the family once I start working.

master gave Dobby a mortar board, Dobby is a free elf!!!

Hahah, I am aware how easy it is to gain a degree nowadays, but still, it is a milestone. *pats self on back for going through 4 years of university* I am quite done with formal education, thanks to the lecturers and lovely coursemates I have met along the way. Do you believe every time you meet a new person, you leave a different person? Words cannot express how thankful I am for this entire journey and the University itself? I am a proud UM graduate!

the fixed ones, a few of them whom I can trust my life with.

and many others whom I didn't get to take photos with. One of my regrets is never staying behind long enough to take group photos with my coursemates. I hope all these bonds will last forever. I don't even know how to begin thanking each and everyone of these awesome people. They have truly painted my life with vibrant colours.

and also these 3 since secondary school. thanks for always being there.

Being all over the world, our circles are no doubt getting bigger and moving apart. We get caught up in our individual drama(not much drama actually, we are peaceful[boring] people) and life, but I know support is always just a Whatsapp/WeChat message away. **And I think we have all grown into (quite) beautiful ladies as compared to the above photo. haha

yeah, this guy.

For almost 4 years by now, I have been loved. Sounds cheesy, but I know it is true. I look forward to many more years, many more cheesy confessions and many more stupid fights with this dark brown , human-sized happy pill. hahahaha.

nuff said right?

steadfast love and support. Growing up in a happy family, I always thought broken families only exist in sample essays, storybooks, TV, and Moral textbooks. Of course, reality dawned upon me as I grew up. So lucky of me to be born into my family, they mean the world to me.

How did you spend your New Year's Eve?
mine was pretty well spent with my best friend over comfort food and a jug of beautiful tea.

What do I wish to achieve in 2016?
A job.
Change in lifestyle.

I'll add more onto the list later on.

Have yourself a happy new year's eve and a blessed new year ahead!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

#63: Hiking Dates

63rd post of the year, at least I am doing a bit better than last year, but how on Earth did I manage up to nearly 200 posts per year previously. I know It's year end and I should probably be drafting my usual year end post (or did I miss it last year?), so I'll do it right after this post; blogging back to back sounds cool and I might have always been doing this during my active blogging days. What a long rant, sign of aging or what.

Anyway, like I had mentioned in the previous post, I wanna blog about our hikes to To'kun Hill in Bukit Mertajam because it is quite a good date idea (free somemore!) plus a pretty good hike, and mainly because while dragging my heavy self breathlessly onto the hill, I remembered what a previous hiker said about the hike uphill, in her blog she said it was only around 3.6km! False hope ALWAYS make things harder, we checked on our way up that we were nearing 3.6km, but NOWHERE near the peak. 
so this was where we ended up during hike number 1. the scenery was breathtaking, I was exhausted, and breathless. literally took my breath away. lol lol. plus, I had a flight to catch that afternoon.

good thing is that the track is well-shaded by trees so the Sun isn't a big problem.
JUST LOOK AT THE BLUE SKY OOOH. Almost worth the terrible muscle pain that lasted up to 3 days hahaha. Should probably take leg day seriously. 

I was joking, I don't do leg day. hahaha.

and then, about two weeks later, we went again. this time, with no time restriction because my interview was canceled T.T, leaving us with a whole day to waste. 

slowly we made our way up, wayyyy past our stopping point during hike #1. mind you, the climb was QUITE STEEP. It looks real innocent, but you feel the elevation, grr I have to build up my stamina or my breathing or whatever. so when we finally reached the top and checked, it is actually a 5km hike uphill! and we made it, we made it! 

6950 steps. I think it took us an hour plus, less than 2 to reach the peak.

just to see these. *roll eyes*
trying hard to convince myself they're close replicas of the Eiffel and Tokyo towers HAHAHA.
guess the first stopping point was a better choice. but at least we reached the peak, yayy! =D

and look at the number of floors we covered! isn't it spectacular.

going down took another 1 hour

this round, I only had VERY VERY minor muscle pain which came and went in a day's time.
So I guess it is safe to say that the Tokun Hill is quite a nice hiking choice for a too-much-free-time-need-to-do-things period.
Ignoring the very big ants and monkeys that make their way around, of course.

"Where are you going?"
"The road not taken, said the boyfriend."
"..." *roll eyes*

and then it was lunch time at the BM pasar: lohmee with hot chocolate. weird huh, cool kids eat all the different things.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

any entry is an entry.

I really want to write something but I have no idea what.
Life has been boring recently, being unemployed. 
And it doesn't really help having everything long distance: my good friends, my sister, the boyfriend. 

So within this period of time, I have actually been to two job interviews. I turned down the first because I don't know, I don't think I am ready for a lifetime of teaching, that's ... I don't know, not very ideal for me I guess. As for the second job, I have flown to Penang twice, but somehow, I am now left hanging. Let's not get into the details. I think I will love this job, but then again, that's just what I think. 

Pretty boring huh. The mundane life is slowly killing my creativity. I can feel it in my thoughts, the photos I take, the captions I write, the way I see things. Thank God there are still books to read. Kinda wanna go back to church, kinda wanna celebrate Christmas in church. IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS, YAY. I am meeting my high school best friend later, YAY.

Current activities: 
  1. the gym
  2. singing on a Karaoke app 
  3. reading random books
  4. baking
  5. ... and that's about it. 
Well at least I feel myself slimming down, which is good news.

Erm, here's a pretentious photo showing that I am leading a healthy and active lifestyle lol.
(I was just very happy because the gym bought a new yoga mat)

** Reminder to self: blog on my previous hikes okay at least there's something to do the next time I turn on the laptop.

Off to the gym, BYE!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Chicken soup for a chocolate lover's soul

Mum once asked me what epic meant. After much effort on my part trying to explain to her, she just couldn't seem to get me. 

Just half an hour ago, I was baking. 

Who doesn't love brownies right?

Mum was also busy in the kitchen. She helped me get the chocolate chips from the fridge, but the cake batter wasn't ready for immigrants yet. So she continued doing her stuff. 

Suddenly, she gave a slight cry. Mdm Jessie added the whole container of chocolate chips into the chicken soup. Chicken soup for a chocolate lover's soul. Hahaha omg I find myself very humourous.

"Mum, what you just did, that was epic,"
Finally she gets me. 

Monday, November 30, 2015


life is a series of ever growing choices, I'm once again stuck.
and this round, the decision requires more than just deep thoughts, it also involves great confidence, or should I say, a great leap of faith? why does growing up have to be so hard.

*back to pondering upon the great mysteries of life and Robin Sharma's book*

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Just came home from our morning hike on Mount Singai.
I was on my way down when I saw a little something I thought really peaceful and beautiful.

A boy probably in his early secondary years stood quietly in front of one of the crosses and started praying. It was a short one, but the look on his face was serene. Then, he picked up his bottle and ran up to join his brothers who had gone before him. 

I don't know why, but I was so moved and I just had to record this moment. Have a refreshing week ahead! :). 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mel eats HCMC Part 2

How could I have forgotten the brilliant creation we call collage. Makes things so much easier, could have avoided messy blog posts. but oh well.
1. Fried rice and maggi we had in the Mui Ne guesthouse before leaving
2. Us trying local food in the Ben Thanh Market: some pancake and something I have totally forgotten lol
3. Supper on our last night: rice with meat, some thin and long banh mi, and something else I really don't know what 

lol I have a feeling this is going nowhere, I don't know most of the things we ate! haha

4. it's like the combination of loh mee and hokkien mee, hokkien mee in loh mee style
5. something like ABC, except that it's being served in cup. 
6. sticky rice with chicken
7. taufu fa with ginger sauce and another sauce I couldn't identify, bought outside a school
8. coconut ice-cream at Kem Bach Dang. it has pineapple jam on top!
9. super expensive and small black forest cake at the airport, just to satisfy my craving for cakes, heee (and since there was money left)
  1. beer during our walk at the Fairy Stream
  2. tourist scammer outside the Saigon post office. T.T. he offered to let us take photos, then sold us two small donuts at RM10, with one small cream puff for free. I was startled and still processing, luckily Mr Teoh told him we'd just get one. it was then that we started becoming wary of Vietnamese *faith in Vietnamese lost lol*
  3. We noticed that outside schools you'll always find special things, such as ice-cream in white cone and shaved ice with syrup.
  4. on our last day, we planned to go cafe hopping. We had wanted to go to the Trung Nguyen Coffee which is like the local cafe franchise but just when you're looking for something, you always never find it right? It was only before the flight back home that we found it in the airport, but the coffee was nothing special, and it was pricey!!! best coffee of the trip goes to the one we had in Ben Thanh Market, which looks like kopi o but has a milky taste I wonder why.

ahem, and what a moment of pride for me. haha

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Wish I could answer you.

Hahaha. Pretty much sums up my thoughts. Should print this out in and bring around as handouts.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Mel eats HCMC Part 1

Meow :3
How about some Vietnamese cuisine? Hehe

Hahaha, so yeah, we had at least one Banh Mi a day, it was merely a 5D4N stay, look at the banhmis we had! Lol. Also saw people sending empty banh mi around using a big basket tied to their motorbikes, and it was really cute to look at. 

The day starts and ends early, at 6am it is already bright, and hustle of the city has already started. It would be good if you bought a food once you see it and feel like trying, because you might not see it again after you go back. Except for maybe banh mi, hahaha it is always there, waiting loyally. 

For travellers who have no idea at all of the language, I'd say we're considered really adventurous, judging by all the food we ate.
Walked into a shop and used sign language to ask for the best food, this is what we got- a bowl of crab soup, and it was indeed good!

The one on the left tastes and feels very much like papaya salad, from then on we addressed it as somtam haha. And I guess I'm not a fan of their spring rolls. The one we tried had a very complicated taste and I didn't enjoy it at all lol.

Some beef noodles pho you? Hehehe.

This is from another stall, another day. And it was so good. My favourite Vietnamese food is officially Pho Bo Kho. Hahaha. Some people don't take beef, and it's a really sad thing in my opinion.

This post is gonna get so long, maybe I'll continue writing some time later. :)

Current update: still looking for a job. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


The It's 1.15am in the morning I should be sleeping, but I had just finished two episodes of The Vampire Diaries and am currently using the facial machine so might as well blog. Time shouldn't be wasted right hahaha.

By chance I saw people going to the sand dunes of Mui Ne, and of course I started researching.

There are two ways (that I know of) to go to Mui Ne from Ho Chi Minh city, by train or by bus. We took the latter because it's a lot cheaper, the hotel we stayed in HCMC helped book the bus ticket at roughly 9USD which we later found out was again, a couple of dollars more expensive than if we bought it directly from the bus company. #noobtravellers

Good thing we took the bus though, look! It's a sleeper bus yo :D

You can choose to lay your seat flat or adjust to any inclination to your own comfort. Plus, there's complimentary water, wet tissue and WIFI!! (Which we didn't realize on the trip to Mui Ne, how stupid) hahaha why does this trip seem to be a self-discovery trip of how stupid we can be.

Okay ready to sleep, the ride was about 4 and a half hours, with a toilet stop in between, or was it two? I forgot. I actually slept quite well to make up for having to wake up early.

The bus stop is very near to our hotel, so off we went to check in before exploring the area. One bad thing is that not many Vietnamese speak English, so communication was a big problem. Fortunately, the son of the hotel owner speaks English, and he was really kind and helpful, AND all he wanted from us was to write him a good review on where we booked the hotel! 

So, anyway, Tom (the son) helped us book our jeep tour to the white and red sand dunes, a fishing village and also the Fairy Stream. We were supposed to leave at 4.30am the next morning to be in time for sunrise at the white sand dunes, which means we were free to wander around after that. 

Got really mad at Mr Teoh for uploading an extremely unglam and ugly photo of mine onto Instagram. *roll eyes* sometimes you look back at a time you get angry over something, and find your anger back then pointless. But as I look back now, I still don't find it pointless hahaha. Tip: do not ever dare to upload an ugly photo of your girlfriend. WHAT IF PEOPLE WHO LIKES HIM SEE THAT I'M SO UGLY LA T.T I have my own image to keep t.t he's so talented in finding all my ugliest angles grrr. okay enough of lamenting.

Ready for some beautiful work of Nature?
Taken from my seat in the jeep on the way to catch sunrise.

But somehow, the clouds covered the sun, so it just appeared, no glorious moment of sun rising lol.

Ran alot at the white sand dunes because rental of the ATV would cost around RM80 for half an hour, and we weren't ready to pay so much. 
We almost lost our way back to the jeep. 

Left for the red sand dunes short after.

Best banh mi we had throughout the trip. Quote Mr Teoh, this is very nomnomnom. Hahaha cute.

My mandatory jumping pose.
And our pose :)

There were people selling sheets for sand surfing, was a little tempted to try but no one else was doing so, lol is this what you call peer pressure.

And then it was the fishing village. The view was amazing, but that's all. Handsome angmo spotted. But he walked away after realizing we were taking photos, I don't think he knew I deliberately took him into my photo haha.

See, banh mi again hahahah. It's addictive.

Last stop was the fairy stream. Where you walk and walk, walk and walk. The water was cooling for such a hot morning. 

Still thinking whether this is connected to the red sand dunes.

Then we sat down at the stream for drinks. Apparently there's a waterfall at the end of the stream, which we decided not to go, which was a brilliant decision because it was heard to be not worth the visit. Yay time saved disappointment saved lol.

And then we walked back to the hotel and, cleaned up and prepared to leave for HCMC again.

Mui Ne is beautiful, I am glad we made it there. :)