Sunday, December 28, 2014

queues...not worth doing

i have done many queues in my life for things which some people deem silly or crazy. but isn't that the joy of life? to do silly and crazy things and especially when you are not doing it alone.

and recently i did two, both also in mid valley and both were for food. love good food but scared of putting on weight at the same time. haha...

 the first one is for dim sum at tim ho wan. my friend and i queues for almost 1 hours since 10a.m. on a saturday morning and we ordered these 8 dishes for both of us.
errrr.....quite a lot right....
the only thing worth mentioning in the collage above is the baked char siu pau. that is one of their 4 heavenly dishes in the menu.. i am not into the other 3 but i heard the steamed egg cake is not that good. their cheong fun is a bit too thick and i have eaten better ones.

click the photo above and you will see the enlarged one with al the prices on the menu. the food is on the slightly expensive side....but i dont think this is one place ppl will go everytime they want to have dim sum. it will definitely break the bank and there are not that many choices to choose from as well.

so is it worth the queue?? nope. try going after lunch hour, you won't even have to queue for 15 minutes if there are just 2 of you. those who come in two get seated faster compared to those who come in a bigger group. i will only go again the next time they open up their take-away counter and the only thing i will buy will be the baked char siu pau.

the second queue which i did is  for magnum ice-cream at the newly opened magnum cafe.
i queued for the seated area upstairs and it took us about half an hour. crazy huh? half an hour just for ice-cream!!!

and it's only for magnum....something which you can buy from the shop outside without any queue.
well, not quite lah. ours came with some additions of pavlova, fruits and baked cookies.
the four of us just managed to finish what we ordered and it was actually more than enough for our apetite. there was just too much of other stuff and not enough of ice-cream.
the bill came up to more than rm60. again, another dent in the pocket. we concluded that it was not worth paying so much for what we ordered. the menu was still limited and a number of things were not available although shown on the menu.

so no more second time at magnum cafe for me thank you.

i wonder if the novelty will wear off once the new year begins and school holidays end. tim ho wan will be opening its second outlet in one utama and magnum already has its second outlet in puchong.

i will go back to my dim sum shops in ipoh and the magnum i can get at petron station in tm.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

the road to jiuzhaigou (24/11/2014)

day 2 in chengdu and we were already treated to a super long journey to jiuzhaigou valley.

after that visit to panda research centre, the journey started.

i would divide the journey into 2 parts. one on newly constructed highway, the second- on old way.
there are two parts because the first part was destroyed in the wenchuan big earthquake in 2008. we could still see buried foothills where they believed cars were still buried under. the landscape was really barren and surrounded by mountains.
we stopped at this place for a toilet break because there was no rest area built. hence, the toilets we went to were residents' own toilets. water tap was running dry, so you can imagine the smell in the toilet. eewww.......thank god for minyak cap kapak (medicated oil).

a local town in the distance at the foot of the mountain. this part was not affected by the earthquake.

the bus was given a wash during our toilet break.

local stalls selling dried local nuts and fruits.

yaks for photo session. 10 yuan per person.

the river running parallel to the road we were on.

the barren hills behind some residents' houses.

halfway in our 7-hour journey, snow on mountain peaks was already visible. even the windows of our bus started fogging up due to the cold weather outside. brrr.......

we only reached our hotel- the intercontinental at 7 plus when it was already pitch black.  thank god dinner was at the hotel and the buffet spread was good. it was a hearty dinner.

we were to stay here for 2 nights. yea! the room was large and warm.

this is the toilet.

the next day's journey started at about 8 plus....after another hearty breakfast at their dining hall. yum yum. energy needed for the walk, walk and walk admiring all the beautiful views there.

photos in the next post.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

24/11- chengdu research base of panda breeding

as usual in most of the china tours i have followed, whatever written on the itinerary given is not the actual schedule when you are there.

so the visit to the chengdu research base of panda breeding was supposed to be on the second last day in the printed paper. however, when we got there it was put on the second day just before we started our long and ardous journey to jiu zhai gou.
we reached the panda centre at about 830 when it was just opening. it was good as we avoided the crowd later. i think we were one of the first groups into the park. i like the archway at the entrance. it was really cute.

i did not know how much our guide paid for our tickets but these prices here were those at the counters.

we had to buy separate tickets for our buggy ride once inside the park. one can choose to walk or explore with the help of these enviromentally friendly vehicles.

i am not really sure how big the centre is because i dont think we really went round the whole park. i would have preferred that we visited the wolong panda reserve in wenchuan instead. i think it is much bigger and there are more things to learn and see there.
anyway, we got to see more pandas than if we have gone to the national zoo in kl. hehe. we did not get to see the baby pandas though.

these are the lesser known red pandas. i read on one board that they are of a different family than the giant panda.
beautiful bamboo grooves lined the road along the park. the colour of the bamboo in the photo appeared odd in the photo as flash was used. i think the above photo highlighted the bench more than the bamboos. oops.

the tour ended at about 10 plus after everyone had made a stop at the souvenir shop inside the centre.
and the looong journey to jiuzhaigou began.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

chengdu- jinli street (23/11)

this blogger has been hibernating for a while that she thought she would have to put it to sleep come end of 2014. luckily an eight-day trip to chengdu end of november managed to salvage the survival rate of the blog.

i joined a tour with some ex-colleagues and all 17 of us in the group knew each other, hence it was a very co-operative group with not much trouble.

the flight that we took was air asia......and it was about 4 hours from not a long flight at all.

in a wink, we were already in chengdu by 10a.m. and the weather was really mild.
in fact, all the 8 days we were there, it hardly rained or snow up at the mountain. however, one destination was cancelled due to sleet on the road- huang long. it is really high above sea level, about 4000m and sleet made it dangerous to go up. i think the tourist destination was closed due to the weather. in the end, we went to du jiang instead.

we arrived at chengdu around one in the afternoon and the local guide was already waiting for us at the airport.

the first destination we were brought to was the ancient street of jin li. it was for us to walk around and to get some snacks as one of the streets here has many stalls which sell local snacks. true enough, there were many people queueing to buy their snacks. 

an opera stage in the middle of a fork road.

the snack i ended up buying grilled squid and lamb covered with lots of chilli powder. it was yummy and mouth-watering.
i wasn't interested in the other food that i saw. blame it on the lack of appetite and fear of stuffing myself with the wrong food on the first day.

a pond with a bridge.

lucky charms hung around a tree.

ginkgo trees were abundant everywhere and here in chengdu, we could still see autumn colours on the leaves.
cafes on another side street.

local delicacy which no one dared to try. guess what they are??
rabbit heads yo. only 8 yuan for one. they are cooked in rich chilli oil, a famous way of cooking in china.

and this was my pathetic looking chicken rice meal onboard air asia flight. it was totally unappetising and i just finished the chicken pieces and had a few spoonfuls of rice. eeew......the food had never tasted so bad. even those who had nasi lemak complained.

well, glad i managed to finish my day one in chengdu post. as usual, lunch and dinner were all at restaurants and it was the standard 10-dish meal. burp! food included in our tour package was satisfying and there was no bad meal. the guide who followed us from malaysia even prepared ipoh white coffee and milo to us every morning. i would wait for his appearance every morning to get my coffee fix. not that i am addicted to coffee, but a warm cup of fragrant coffee to start the day was very much welcoming when one was away from home.