Wednesday, October 30, 2013
China is a vast country.
A quarter of our traveling time was on board a bus, therefore safety was utmost important.
Our driver for the first leg of the tour - Jiuzhaigou and Huang Long, was skillful but reckless. He liked honking very much and impatient, reckless in overtaking.
Our Malaysian leader Javin has warned him 3 times not to drive so fast and be more careful. Apparently it fell into deaf ears.
After our 7-hour trip back to Chengdu from Jiuzhaigou, twice near accident situation, Javin and all tour members unanimously decided to change the driver. Through Javin, the message was conveyed to the company and it obliged.
I admired and appreciated our young leader's firm and professional way of handling the "changing driver" situation. It was "customers' safety first".
After returning from Jiuzhaigou, our next leg of tour was to visit an ancient town, the Le Shan ( Le Mountain) Buddha, the tallest ancient carved Buddha in the world, and a thousand years old temple.
After the high altitude Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong, we were more relaxed in the lowland, sometimes indulged a little of beer drinking and Yum Seng (drinking cheers).
( see more pictures in Facebook)
(Video in Youtube )
（录影 Youtube ）
Monday, October 28, 2013
One of the highlights of our Jiuzhaigou/HuangLong tour is the visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
The first time I saw Panda was at Taipei Zoo. I saw 2 sleeping Pandas lying down on the enclosed platform, blocked by some plants and leaves. Quite a disappointment.
I went to Chengdu Panda Base with high expectation to see Panda in close range, and truly was not disappointed.
We left Chengdu city under pouring rain but fair weather prevailed at the Panda Base which was about 30 kms away. We were truly blessed.
It is an open sanctuary where Pandas are let out in the "imitated" natural habitat. Visitors have the opportunity to observe up-close pandas natural behavior and activities.
We also saw 5 infant pandas at the nursery.
(pictures in Facebook)
(Video in Youtube)
Friday, October 25, 2013
Before going to Huanglong (黄龙 Yellow Dragon)Scenic Park , another renowned World Heritage Site, I heard many stories about altitude sickness, cancellation of trip due to adverse weather ....
More so if the local Chinese tour guide's frightening tales in order to make few more bucks by selling oxygen canisters and altitude sickness herbal drug.
It might be true only if one was ill-prepared (and careless) and physically unfit.
Huanglong is about 130kms from Jiuzhaigou, a 3-hour journey by bus through winding mountainous roads and would take us to the highest point of about 4300 meters above sea level before descending to Huanglong at about 3300 m.
On Thursday, Oct 17 morning, we left Jiuzhaigou for Huanglong.
En route, we made our first shopping stop at a tea factory. Our tour itinerary has spelt out clearly that only 4 shopping stops throughout the journey.
We continued our journey after lunch at a small town. As our bus climbed higher, we saw a layer of snow blanketing the mountain tops. We reached Huanglong at noon and spent 3.5 hours in the park.
There are 2 ways to view the park: By cable car and by foot. ( Tour fee did not include cable car ticket)
We opted to walk as far as our feet could go.
My mother in law was walking too slowly (on uphill steps) that holding us back, thus we were only able to make it slightly below halfway mark.
Javin was very patient and caring to help my mother in law. However, we felt uneasy if we were to leave them behind, so slowed down our pace too.
There was a small cabin providing free oxygen to those in need at about 1 km from the entrance. It was run by the park authority and charged RMB 1.00 for the breathing kit only.
My mother in law seemed to hold on well. I bought from the guide a can of oxygen (RMB 50.00) in case she needed it ... however, it rendered useless while oxygen was provided free.
Anyway, I paid RMB 1.00 to have a try and would like to share this news with intended travelers - Free oxygen is being provided at the park!
The travertine landscape and pools are Huanglong's main attraction.
A few tour members made it to the top.
I was glad that our group had completed the journey of Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong safely. (Altitude sickness being the main concern)
For me, I heaved a sigh of relief for myself and mother in law.
I was suffering from insomnia since the first night landed in Chengdu. Without good rest, I was worried about making it to the Huanglong ....
However, due to my good preparations, one of the measures was taking altitude sickness medicine HongJingTian days before departure, and my prayer in faith, I survived.
My wife, and many other members too had trouble sleeping, also made it through ... Praise the Lord, Alleluia !
The Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong journey reminded me of Daocheng-Ya Ding trip we made about same time last year.
After seeing the swamps of local tourist here, I was very glad that we traveled to Daocheng-Ya Ding Scenic Park last year before the invasion of them in great number expected with the opening of Daocheng Airport last month. It is the highest airport in the world.
We enjoyed the serenity, peacefulness and beauty of Daocheng-Ya Ding Scenic Park (click to see) more than Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong (although each has it own uniqueness).
In less than 3 years, the crowd condition in Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong would be worsen ... so see it before local tourists choke you out !
(During the recent China national day holidays, few thousands local tourists were trapped inside Jiuzhaigou for more than 11 hours due to bad transport management and unruly crowd.)
(Pictures in Facebook)
(Video in Youtube)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
It was a wish came true albeit many years later,
The Jiuzhaigou ( 九寨沟 Valley of Nine Tribes) scenic park is a world renowned wonders of nature and top tourist destination. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
My wife and I were planning to visit this place for the past 3-5 years but alas, due to various reasons, it failed to materialize.
With thanks and praises to God the Father, and the intercession of Mary, our Mother, we made the trip successfully from 14-10 to 21-10-2013.
We joined a group tour from Pearl Holidays (M) Travel and Tour Sdn Bhd in Kajang which was led by local tour leader Javin Lim, a hardworking and dedicated young man.
It was a tough journey in which individual physical fitness and the weather are important factors.
I always emphasized that HEALTH is the most important factor in traveling (Makan angin) , NOT money, and this is the classic example journey.
Hold on to your health, not your money.
For good weather and safety of our group, " O Mary，conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee" ( Our Lady of Miraculous Medal prayer ) is the most often uttered prayer I said throughout the journey.
We arrived at Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan, at about 10:30 pm, and left for Jiuzhaigou by air the next day afternoon.
The boarding of flight to Jiuzhaigou was delayed almost half an hour without reason given.
Then we boarded and was "stuck" in the plane for another half an hour for reason " due to flight control's control .."
I was really worry.
Could it be the bad weather in Jiuzhaigou Airport? Would the flight be cancelled? At 3500 M above sea level, delay and cancellation is not an uncommon occurrence.
"O Mary, Conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee ... pray for us a safe flight to Jiuzhaigou...."
Suddenly, the plane moved ... without any announcement. Hurray, the flight is on!
We landed at Jiuzhaigou airport without incident at about 4:30 pm.
Despite weather forecast of cloudy and showers, we were met with good weather at all scenic points (cool, no rain with occasionally sunny) throughout the journey.
Thanks and praises to God through the intercession of Mary. Alleluia !
On Wednesday morning, Oct 16, my wife and I, with my mother-in-law (80), sisters in law Ann, Susan and husband Tony, Kajang friend Wing and Ilona, we set foot on the famous world heritage site，our main target - Jiuzhaigou Scenic Park !
The entrance to the park was a sea of people, with majority of them being local tourists.
Our group paid a little extra (which was included in the tour fee) to charter a private bus for our transportation within the park. This would cut down extra time in waiting for the public buses from point to point, and saved us from being overwhelmed by the rude, abrasive local Chinese tourists.
It was sheer spectacular to see many beautiful lakes, waterfalls, mountains, plants and trees, all in autumn colors.
Due to swamping of crowd, we do not have much time to admire and appreciate the wonders of nature. Nonetheless, it was a great place of people, sounds and colours that you would never forget the rest of your life.
(See pictures in Facebook)
(See video in Youtube)
我们参加了由加影珍珠假期所组办的一支旅行团，在年轻及尽职的领队Javin Lim 带领下，完成了8天7夜的行程。
尽管天气预测都说阴天，多云及阵雨，但这几天我们所到的景点，天气都良好 - 阴爽，没雨，偶尔太阳冲破云层，照耀着我们。阿肋路亚！
星期三， 16-10-2013 早上，我和太太，岳母，小姨安娜，苏珊及丈夫东尼，还有来自加影的两位朋友，终于踏足时间著名的景点，我们此行的重地 - 九寨沟！
( 录影 Youtube )
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
I was in Jiuzhaigou (Valley of Nine Tribes) and Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) on a group tour from 14/10 to 22/10.
With me was my wife, mother-in-law, sister-in-law Ann, Susan and her husband Tony.
We returned this morning, arriving at LCCT at about 4:30 am.
Will share my story and pictures later.
从14/10 到22/10， 我参加了一个旅行团，到中国的九寨沟/黄龙风景区一游。
Friday, October 11, 2013
打从2002年到2009年，将近8年的时光里，庄桂明兄弟是八打灵Taman Plaza 区的熟悉身影。
“我常常见到一位穿的整洁的男士，处惊不乱的慢着脚步，从教堂的一边，越过马路，来到他工作的地方 - 光仁服务中心。”
超过一百名亲戚朋友参加了在甲洞耶稣圣爱堂早上9：30 am 的安所弥撒，共祭的还有苏瑞恩、黄天赐及李义兴三位神父。
祈愿天主的仁慈，桂明兄的灵魂早日安息主怀。阿门。 （更多照片 Facebook）
For almost 8 years from 2002 to 2009, Dominic Chong was a familiar figure in Taman Plaza, Petaling Jaya.
" I used to see this neatly dressed man, in his calm steps, crossing the road from the church (St. Ignatius) to Cahaya Puri Service Center where he worked.
"He would be seated at the front counter, greeting everyone entering with a warm smile ... his trade mark."
"Few years ago (2009), he has to quit his job at Cahaya Puri due to his cancer treatments at the Hospital Uninversity."
Fr. Lawrence Ng recounted his warm feeling of Dominic during his homily at Dominic's funeral Mass at the Jesus Caritas Church, Kepong.
“ We would no longer see this smile again!".
We shared with Fr. Lawrence the same opinion and feeling of our beloved brother Dominic.
Dominic died on 8/10/2013 peacefully at his home after more than 4 years of battle with cancer.
He is survived by his wife Mary. They have no children.
More than 100 relatives and friends attended the 9:30 am Mass, bidding sad farewell to our beloved Dominic. Fr. Surin, Fr. Lucas Ng and Fr. Augustine Li con-celebrated the Mass.
He offered himself as a full time worker at Cahaya Puri Holidngs Sdn Bhd (a.k.a Cahaya Puri Center) after his retirement. He received a small salary which was just enough to pay for his meal and petrol expenses.
Cahaya Puri is a non-profit organization founded by a group of laity to import, produce and distribute Chinese language religious books, magazines, CDs, VCDs, Bibles and reading materials throughout Malaysia.
Dominic was an auxilliary Legionary, full Legion prayer was recited at the end of the Mass, signifying his last meeting on earth.
May his soul, through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace.
(more pictures in Facebook)
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Yesterday, Oct 8, we went down to Johor Baru in the morning.
We visited my god-daughter Irene at her home. We met her 2 1/2 month-old first born son Samson for the first time.
He is so adorable and cute ... and mature-looking!
Great to have another god-grandson.
Today, Oct 9 Wednesday morning, we were in Johor Baru Registry of Marriage to witness the civil marriage ceremony of my god-son Bryan and Veronica Sue May.
Holy Matrimony (Church wedding) would be held on Jan 2014.
Putting serious oath and signing of papers aside, it was full of laughter during the ceremony with our friendly Registrar named Sue Gani.
We celebrated after the ceremony with a simple lunch at a restaurant.
（Baby's pictures in Facebook)
(Marriage registry pictures in Facebook)
今天，九号星期三，我们一早就到了新山婚姻注册局，见证了我的代子Bryan 与Sue May 的婚姻注册典礼。
除了严肃的结婚誓词及文件的签署，整个过程都充满着笑声，因为注册官Sue Gani 女士非常的风趣及和蔼可亲。
（Baby 的照片 Facebook)
Saturday, October 5, 2013
My friend got me a book "I''M STILL HUMAN" - understanding Depression with Kindness.
It is written by Dr. Phang Cheng Kar, a lecturere in UPM Medical School and practicing psychiatrist in the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and Kajang Hospital.
The book is written in simply and easy-understood layman lingo.
"Depression affects about 10% of the Malaysian adults ( 1 in 10 persons). Depression affects people at all ages; it's 2-3 times more commonly reported in women than men. Despite being so common, there is relatively little awareness of depression; as many as two third of people with depression don't realize that they have depression. As for those who realize, there is often delay in appropriate treatment due to a social stigma on mental illness. So, you are not alone - be kind to yourself and seek help immediately. " (Pg 12 : How common is depression?)
Or least you can do, get to know more about Depression!
This book is being sponsored and distributed free of charge.
我的朋友给了我一本书： 【 我还是人 - 仁慈地理解忧郁症】。
至于那些意识到自己患上忧郁症的人，却因为社会对精神病的成见而延误了适当的治疗。您并不孤单，请善待自己，立即寻求协助。” （第10页 - 忧郁症有多普遍？）
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Adrian Robson, an Eurasian (mixed European and Asian descent) decided to quit the corporate world, and followed the dream of his heart - to open an Eurasian food restaurant.
Eurasian Cuisine Restaurant was opened on 1st July, 2013 and believed to be the first Eurasian food outlet in Kajang.
My family went to the restaurant for lunch recently to try out some authentic Eurasian dishes (more towards Portuguese) such as Curry Dabel, Chicken Vendaloo, Sambal prawns ....
The restaurant is situated at Taman Kajang Sentral, which is along Silk Highway (Kajang bypass) after exit to Jalan Bukit. It is simple and tastefully decorated, cozy for meals and drinks.
The non-air conditioned frontal portion is suitable for friends gathering for a beer or two in the evening.
Food and beverages are reasonably priced.
( more pictures in Facebook)
Adrian Robson (艾廉罗伯森）是位欧亚混血儿，他决定从企业界推出，跟随他心中的梦想，开创一间欧亚式餐厅。
餐馆设计简单但有品位，坐落在 Silk 大道旁的商业区，靠近Jln Bukit 的出口。