October 29, 2011

Busy busy busy

After two consecutive weekends in Langkawi, I was kept busy…

…setting revision questions for Yiu Yiu for her exams next week.

…booking flight tickets, planning, researching and emailing travel agents/guides for our upcoming family trip.

…applying passport for Yan Yan, and renewing Yiu Yiu’s passport.

The girls' mugshots for their passports

…doing my medical check-up, which I missed for the last two years.

…visiting the dentist for the annual scaling and polishing (with Yiu Yiu in tow, and thankfully her teeth are still in good condition so the dentist didn’t need to do anything).

…opening the girls CNY angpow and depositing the loot into their accounts (yeah, this is that looonnnggg overdue!).

…renewing my annual practicing certificate.

…pampering myself with one of the massage vouchers from Everyday.com.

There are still a few things which remains unaccomplished…
…uploading hubby’s old car to Mudah for sale.
…submitting the insurance claim for my windscreen which was damaged when a lorry drove past, resulting in a pebble hitting the windscreen.
…doing my photobooks. Seriously hoping that I can get this done by year end – another long outstanding project. This may not be mission impossible, since I’ve accumulated many days of annual and replacement leave that I can practically take the whole December off.

October 23, 2011

My little song bird

Yan Yan singing @ 2 years, 2 months old

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Happy Birthday

October 20, 2011

Random shots at Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa

Some random shots around Westin Langkawi, where I stayed during the two working weekends.

I also managed to have a session at the famous Heavenly Spa by Westin, supposedly among the best spa in the country.  I opted for the signature Heavenly Massage that releases tensions, improves circulation, and boosts energy.

The spa overlooks a private beach area

And fruit carvings decorating the tea-break area during our meeting.  Took these shots coz I found them to be irresistibly pretty.

October 18, 2011

Dolphins at Kilim Geoforest Park

I was in Langkawi again last weekend for the same event as the previous week, but this time for another group of customers.  I had planned on giving the Kilim tour a miss this round, since I went last week but since two of my invited speakers were keen to join, I decided to accompany them.

This time, I brought along my dSLR and managed to get better shots of the cave, fishes and eagles.

(L) The stalactite and stalagmite met to form the Twin Towers of the Bat Cave (R) This formation is 400 million years old 

The formation on the left looks like a frog head while the one on the right looks like a snake 

The mudskipper, a special kind of fish that live most of their life on land instead of water

This palm-like plant is called Cycad, a primitive plant that existed since 200 million years ago 

An eagle swooping down to the surface of the water to grab some chicken pieces

Once we were done with all the places we went last week, I thought we would be making our way back to the jetty.  Instead, our boatman decided that it was still early, and took us to a spot where we would be able to catch some animal action.  Soon after, someone spotted something swimming in the water and our guide told us that it could be an otter so the boat inched closer for a better view.  It turned out to be a giant monitor lizard.

We were keeping our eyes peeled for any movement in the water looking for otter when someone excitedly shouted, “Look!  Dolphins!”  To our delight, a school of about 3-4 dolphins were swimming past our boat, and cameras immediately started clicking away.  Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get good shots of them L  Being the shy and gentle creatures that they are, the dolphins were not keen to show themselves too much so most of our shots were only of their fin appearing above the water.

After some time, the boatman started the boat engine as we prepared to leave and as if on cue, the dolphins reappeared and frolicked around us, as if asking us to stay longer, and we did.  We eventually moved to another spot and to our amazement, another school of dolphins appeared!  The lucky stars were definitely shining on us that day as we spotted a total of 3 schools of dolphins.

I’ve never seen a dolphin swimming in the wild but on that day, I saw easily 10 dolphins.  Boy, was I glad that my invited speakers decided to join the tour, otherwise I would have missed this magical moment.

October 11, 2011

Kilim Geoforest Park

I was in Langkawi over the weekend for an event that we organized for our customers. As this was a business trip, I didn’t need to find cheap local accommodation, or else I’d have turned to airbnb.com for help. Maybe I’ll look to them for Barcelona vacation rentals.

On Sunday, which was a free day, we organized a 3-hour trip to the Kilim Geoforest Park, a Unesco World Heritage site, in the northeastern part of the island.

 Sungai Kilim jetty

Our first stop was Gua Kelawar (Bat Cave), just across the river from the Sungai Kilim jetty. Walking to the cave will took us through a boardwalk fringed by mangrove forests before reaching the entrance of the cave.

Dating back to more than 400 million years, Gua Kelawar has spectacular limestone formations and ancient oyster shells attached to parts of the wall just above the sea level. This area was originally the sandy bottom of an ancient river that has been shoved upwards by powerful tectonic force millions of years ago.

Entrance of Gua Kelawar

 Look up and you’d see hundreds and hundreds of bats clinging on to the cave ceiling.

Next stop was small fish farm where we saw how Archer Fish (spitting fishes) shoots down their food with a jet of water, pet some friendly stingrays, and got a brief biology lesson of the horse shoe crab (belangkas).

The dorsal and ventral view of the horse shoe crab

 Yachts docked at the river mouth leading to the open Andaman sea

Our last stop was near the river estuary, home to the Brahminy Kite eagle, which is the most dominant bird species in the area. The majestic eagles circling overhead before gracefully swooping down to feed on the chicken parts thrown by the boatman was a sight to behold.

However, feeding the eagles isn’t an eco-friendly practice as the eagles may become dependent on tourist boats for food and unable to hunt for themselves. The steroids and hormones in the commercially farmed chicken may damage their hearts and lungs, and the eagles become susceptible to diseases such as avian flu and salmonella. Unfortunately, many boat operators still offer eagle feeding as an attraction.