Chero Chero!

Abandoned Blog…Sorry

Been away sighhh…This sem has been so super hectic and busy, what with longggggg days (8am to 6pm sometimes =/) pracs everyday, dating etcetc…the priority to update this blog has been relegated.

Anyway….updates! 2nd sem is so hectic…I come back knackered almost everyday….and I used to have Fridays off last sem…but this sem we have animal handling pracs on occasional Fridays. They are held at the Gatton campus so we drive down there. So far our group has done horse handling, poultry handling, pig handling (this one was more like a super long tute with observing the demos done cos we weren’t allowed to even go inside to where the pigs were for fear of us spreading swine flu to them) and a visit to the abattoir at Dinmore which is the 3rd largest meat-producing plant in the world. In fact, I just came back from the abattoir visit…and I got quite traumatised, impressed as I was with the hygiene and scale of the whole operation. I mean, there’s an abattoir in Penang that I pass by sometimes and that one looks like a freaking hut >.<

Spring break officially starts tomorrow and I’m going to Sydney woohoo! Heh it is kinda siao actually cos I have prac exams for Digestion and Locomotion after the break .

Aite…gonna pack now….been procrastinating long enough..ermm gonna bring some books there to prepare for the prac exams (maybe?). Flight’s at 5pm tomorrow =)

ps/ being a vet student is soooo very cool….tell me you’re jealous =P

pps/ I think I’m getting fatter….my platypus is such a good cook…and he feeds me big portions lol

ppps/ I love my platypus!!!!! hehe


Byron Bay Day 1

So I guess I was wrong…I did indeed step out of QLD this winter break haha. When Tina asked me whether I wanted to join James’ lifegroup to go to Byron Bay (which I thought was in QLD but is in fact in NSW hehe), I was quite hesitant, on account of me not really knowing a lot of them. But anyway…since I really had nothing better to do, I just said yes in the last minute hehe

The meeting place was Joel’s house. Check out Nellyn’s huge-ass luggage bag…keep in mind that it was only a 2-day-1-night trip haha. I packed super light..didn’t even bring shampoo and toothpaste lol

According to Nellyn this is me ‘possessively holding on to Tina saying ‘My Tina!!!!” but I can assure you that I was not…that’s me cold lol

We piled into 5 cars and drove southward bound. Heh heh want to go to Sydney, anyone?

Reached Byron Bay approximately 2 hours plus later

Our backpackers called Nomads Byron Bay…looks quite castle-like hey?

The lobby…the furniture in the backpackers was funky-modern

Crap…fat arms =/

Room 204 which was the room Jill and I was in. We were separated from Tina, Nellyn, Yen Mii and Li Wen…but it was ok la I guess. Honestly, the place exceeded my expectations haha…this was my first time at a backpackers so I don’t really have any bench mark to compare to..but Becky said that if this was 10 the others would be like 4 lol. Also, the toilets were unisex…but fortunately nothing embarassing happened hehe

Lunch for Day 1- fish and chips from Jimmy’s…recommended by the backpackers staff. It is apparently the nicest fish and chips in Byron Bay but I reckon the best and most worth-it one is Salt & Battery at Hawken Village =D

We headed to the beach after lunch

Joel saw a dude lying down on the grass like this and said ‘This guy’s got the right idea’ and proceeded to lie down like him haha

Check out the lighthouse in the distance =) We went there the following morning to see the sunrise

Our ‘dream guy’ LMAO

Puff-uped seagull

Seagulls lining up to beg for food from the little boy. So guess what…remember my fascination with them at Southbank? Well I’ve changed my mind..cos they are so freaking greedy and they keep fighting for food and I even saw one stealing some stuff from two surfer dudes’ lunch haha. At least they are not as ugly as ibis lol


I love this picture…makes me look artistic hahaha perasan

After that, everyone went to another part of the beach where it was less crowded for activities. I don’t know the name of the beach but I shall call it Dog Beach…you know, like the one in Marley & Me haha

Them playing Captain Ball…I didn’t join in cos if you know me you would know that I’m athletically-challenged. And also, I didn’t bring enough clothes haha. Seriously, now I know how it feels like going to beaches in winter- When I’m under the sun I feel overdressed and when I’m under shades I feel underdressed haha.

Aww…the golden retriever that Tina, Jillian and Nellyn calls ‘Cheryl’ =.= even though he is a boy haha


Another golden! And I don’t know why…but it seems like almost everyone at Dog Beach had that ball thingy lol

Hehe nice huh =D Uhhh…I was NOT stalking whoops

Tina and I memang Siao Char Bors haha

With ‘Cheryl’!


Us making ‘Pepper’…This Pepper is Pepper Sand and not Pepper Choong…cos I don’t want my Pepper to be washed away lol.  Anyway…Pepper Sand generated a lot of publicity because random people came to check out what the commotion was about (us screaming cos the tide was getting higher haha) and apparently they liked Pepper Sand cos many of them took pictures of her =D

This has got to be the cutest picture of the day =DDDDDD Real doggy checking out sand doggy hehe

James going ‘build a wall!!! build a wall!!!’ hahaha

And the wall plus drains apparently succeeded =D

Ahh….James falls victim to the ‘toss-in-ocean’ game XD

Them semangat-ly building other animals. Uhmm…of course I didn’t have the patience haha. I mean, even the sand castle I attempted to build with Yen Mii was a disaster lol

Jillian’s bunny

Bye Dog Beach =) How I wish I could bring my Pepper Choong here lol

What did I tell you about the design in the backpackers haha

Barbeque for dinner

Tina and Nellyn playing ping-pong while waiting for the food to be cooked. After that, Nellyn played against James and James played against an Aussie dude who was playing sambil holding a bottle of beer haha. Then James played against another Aussie dude who was younger and looked quite cute and was super holiao. The 4 of us girls couldn’t take our eyes off him XD

After-dinner drinks haha…Smirnoff Ice and Bundaberg rum & cola

Games before we went to sleep hehe. Oh and for the record, we won =D. Fine la it was a nerd game… but

ps/ a few pictures courtesy of Li Wen..thanks =)

Dreamy Sleepy Not!

Can someone tell me why exactly Dreamworld is called Dreamworld? The thrill rides there are so awesomely-scarily-mind blowingly-thrilling adrenaline pumping that I wouldn’t imagine anyone would be dreamy afterwards lol

I didn’t really manage to take a lot of pictures that day, especially the ones with the rides.

Dreamworld’s at Gold Coast too and I went with my vet gang. It’s $69 for a daily pass but because we are UQ students it’s $58.65. It really pays to be a UQ student in QLD haha…for example, in cinemas here, UQ students pay the least…even less than high school students or students from other unis here =D

The 3 of us were supposed to meet Tina and her cousin Samuel who is from Melbourne

Jill trying to reach Tina

The Claw! This is the second ride we took…holy crap! It’s one of the top 6 scary rides there

Cyclone which is another one of the top 6 rides

Wipeout which was the first ride we took haha…also a top 6 ride, but it wasn’t really scary, honestly haha

Nellyn’s turn to try to reach Tina lol

After taking Wipeout and The Claw back-to-back, we (namely I) felt dizzy and nauseous so we decided to slow things down a little. We took the train in the park to the wildlife place

Tina and Samuel

Us three…and I look sleepy lol

Murky waters haha and ducks, pelicans, storks etcetc

Can you spot the mandarin duck? and check out the other ducks sleeping curled up in balls =D

Tassie devil with a botak patch on the tail lol

Koalas!!! ❤ Sleepy heads they are…they sleep like 22 hours a day or something like that haha

What a precarious position lol

Crocodylus porosus haha nerd mode

Red kangaroos! This is the first time I’ve seen red kangaroos here, you know, those huge ones always depicted in movies and documentaries. Previously, in Australia Zoo and Brisbane Forest Park I had only seen wallabies and the other smaller species of kangaroos


Heh heh imagine the poor dingo waking up to find another dingo’s butt on its face =P

White tiger

Holy crap this must have been the scariest ride in the whole park!!! It’s 39 stories high =O There are 2 rides on that huge-ass pillar, namely the Tower of Terror and the Giant Drop. And I’m very embarassed to say that I chickened out of taking the Giant Drop…. =/ Me!! Who took the Superman ride in Movieworld back-to-back. Oh well, I reckon if Chong Hao and Haziq were there to hype me up I would have taken the Giant Drop lol

But I did take the Tower of Terror ride though, it’s freaking fast and I reckon it looks scarier than it actually is haha. Of all the top 6 scary rides in Dreamworld, the Giant Drop was the only one I didn’t take

*Ohhhh who lives in a pineapple under the sea???* hahaha I like Spongebob…but I can only take small doses of him…I remember falling asleep when watching the movie at Julia’s place lol

Jillian, Nellyn and I took this non-scary, non-chikek ride to chill haha

Remember Chuckie from Rugrats?

Bye Dreamworld haha. I think I won’t be going to any theme parks in a while though, can’t believe we actually covered 4 theme parks in just 1 sem

Road Trip To Gatton

Nellyn borrowed her housemate’s car for the day and the 4 of us plus a very lucky guy, James drove down to Gatton…presumably to check out the on campus accomodation and Gatton Town…but we got sidetracked many, many times haha. That’s the whole point of a road trip anyway…so yeah =)

And oh…if you have been reading my blog for some time, you would know that I am dreading the prospect of moving to Gatton next year lol

Driver number 1: Nellyn Tay!

Us in the backseat

On the way to Gatton. In Malaysia if you are on the highways you would see oil palms and rubber trees but this is what you see here

Haha Koo and Shen love this kinda scenery

Optimus Prime OMG!!!! Haha lmao

We saw this sign along the way and thought of checking out what they had. I didn’t know that people eat emu meat…but I guess it’s an Aussie thing hey…I mean, I’ve eaten ostrich before anyway.

Lol James was taking this picture and then he went ‘Aahhhh they are coming really near’ and Nell and I freaked out haha. Oh yeah, some of them did this weird dance that I teased Tina was a mating dance for her hehe. And when we asked the lady in the shop she said that it was indeed the mating season now muahaha.

Them emus

Emu feathers, egg shells and meat for pet consumption for sale. The lady behind the counter even brought out the emu meat for human consumption for us to see

Choosing stuff to buy lol…Tina bought an egg shell for her bro. The lady told us that an emu egg is equivalent to a dozen of chook (read: chicken) eggs =O

Just as we were leaving the place, I saw this horsy! So pretty….haha we think it’s a paint horse but we’re not sure…I suck at horse breeds =.=

Heart shaped ❤

There was a Shetland pony too (okay…I think I’m correct about this lol) and Tina was in her ‘I wanna kacau all the horses’ hair’ mood haha…check out how the pony is looking up like ‘where’s my hair??????????????’ =D so cute

They were both so fat I reckon they had a body condition score of 8 or something hehe

James was quite scared

We left the emu farm and saw a place selling fresh produce. Next to it was the building above. The bakery sold sausage rolls for $1 (in Brisbane it would be around $2 or more) and pies for $2 (at least $3 something here)…we went to check out the saddlery because…who has been to a saddlery hey? =P

On of the displays outside the saddlery

The lady who owned the shop asked me to try it out lol…and I was so ‘cho lor’. When we asked her how much it was she said that it costs $3500 =O and I was like ‘OMG I’m sooooo sorry’ heh heh. Apparently it’s made of real sterling silver and Toowoomba leather. She was so nice..she owns a Quarter horse stud and she even showed us the pictures of her horses and taught us about coat colour…which is such a relief because it can be so daunting especially for us who have no exposure at all…and during Animal Husbandry lectures there are so many other classmates that own horses and ride and take part in dressage etc T.T and we know NOTHING compared to them

Horsey stuff

The building next door selling fresh produce

Check out the prices =O



Finally we reached UQ Gatton campus. Is that a silo???


LMAO Nell and James look funny XD

Gatton campus is huge…considering that there are only so few faculties there. The buildings there are very far apart though. They even have an environmental park there…we saw something huge and shaggy running around and I was ‘OMG what’s that what’s that????’ and it turned out to be a sheep dog running around gila-ly lol

V-shaped formation =D

We saw a hare (OMG A HARE!!!! I HAVE NEVER SEEN A HARE BEFORE) running across the road to this place over here and we were trying to find it haha. We are such city-kids hey

After that we went back to where they coralled the horses and this horse approached us =D

There’s a shaved patch at its neck because I reckon they took blood sample from it

=DDDDD I love this horse…so friendly and sweet awww. Imma learn riding next year! I wish he was mine T.T

Hahahahahaha so funny la this picture


This horse was next to the horse above..and what did I say about the whole ‘kacau horse hair thing’..she wanted to nerdy-fy the poor thing >.<

Bye baby T.T

Awww sho shweet =D

Sheep! we couldn’t get near them though because once we got near to them they all retreated to the far end =/

Haha busted!

Dairy cows! I love Jerseys (the brown one)…they have such sweet faces haha

Nah…karma…nerdy-fying Tina XD

My boots after a day of traipsing around lol


Pretty hey haha

Driver number 2: James Gan! hahaha he actually deleted this picture because it’s somewhat embarassing but good thing I had already copied another copy in Jill’s pendrive heh heh

On the way back we stopped at another place selling fresh produce again. OMG THE PRICES..

We bought these and shared amongst us lol..the lady at the counter didn’t charge for the 9cents avocado Jill wanted haha

We bought these too..why are they so cheap??? why??? isn’t it even lower than the cost? haha

Hasil hehe

After that I fell asleep and when I woke up we were already at La Dolce Vita =D…no pictures of the drinks (they had buy 1 free 1 for non-alcoholic drinks for uni students that night haha) but here are the pictures of the pastries and cakes we shared =D

Chocolate cannolo…my favourite OMG. The texture of the chocolate is oh-so-smooth and mmmm sighhhhh haha. Too bad they didn’t have the peach Galliano that Chong Hao recommended

Rum-baba (spelling?) recommended by the very cute and friendly waiter…when you eat it every bite is soaked it rum haha

Passionfruit torte..the least special amongst the three but still quite nice nonetheless

Oh well, Gatton’s not as bad as I thought…Gatton town was quite ok too, way better than what I expected because it’s sorta like St Lucia..bigger than Hawken village definitely. They had KFC, Maccas, Coles, Target, Ezy video etc…so I guess we can still survive there. But for my own sanity I reckon I need to go back to civilisation every other weekend =P will see how it goes lol

Sea World!

Went to Sea World on June 29th with Shen, Chong Hao, Sze Luan, Danny, Swee Kee, Jessica and Emilia. Remember the $70 ticket for Q150 that we bought? Well, Sea World was the only world that we had not gone yet. Kai Xiang was supposed to join us but he was going back to Malaysia the following day and he was afraid that because of the lack of rest will jatuh sakit and kena quarantine in Malaysia T.T Dude, you seriously missed an awesome day lahh

On the train to Gold Coast..journey took an hour plus

Sea World!!!! Most of the people there were families with little children, unlike Movie World that had mostly teenagers

Pink tights haha

The first thing you see when you enter is this huge-ass man-made lake for Waterski Wipeout and that’s when you realise that Sea World’s the biggest theme park among the 3 haha.

Pelicans…they stank T.T

I love this picture lol. There was this short cable car ride that extends from 1 end of the theme park to the other end. My camera beh pai la haha

The first show we watched was the seal show..

HUGEEEE seal haha

“Talk to the hand” XD

*clappity clap*

Paiseh…seriously though, how did they train all the seals? It was so awesome…they were so cute and blubbery haha. There were a lot of others but I reckon the huge one was the watak utama (sastera, anyone? haha)

Sesame Street Beach…the budak place with all the budak rides

Nice angle =D

Uh..the second show lol

Check out the audience…we were the oldest non-child-accompanying people haha

But these two die-hard Sesame Street fans were very excited…and they even sang along haha XD

The person inside Elmo was oh-so-flexible lol..I reckon it’s a girl…oh a super gay guy..sorry =P

My favourite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The dolphins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so happy and in awe OMG. My genetics lecturer studies dolphins…can I study dolphins too? haha. Anyway, I remember seeing a dolphin show in Sentosa, Singapore when I was 12 and this one beats that hands down lol


Dolphin surfing haha…The chick was standing on two dolphins…how??????

Back stroke lol

Did I mention that I love dolphins? ❤

I have a very flattened face…I am well-aware of that haha

Unfortunately my camera’s battery sorta died after the dolphin show because I did not recharge them. The following pictures (other than the last 2) are courtesy of Swee Kee…I stole them from Facebook heh heh

The rides! We only managed to sit 2 rides…the Jet Rescue which is the newest and coolest ride was not operating =/ Sea World is more visually-orientated I suppose..cos the main attractions are the shows and the animals…but they have a few rides too..and these rides are not as thrilling or scary as the ones in Movie World

Cyclone…not really scary..this one’s the first 3-loop-cyclone in Australia/ QLD though

Polar bear…kesian la alone only..and it seems quite hot inside =/

Penguins! Haha there are tiny first I thought they were all babies…but apparently this species is naturally tiny and they are only found in Aussie and NZ. Seagulls are slightly larger than them and 1 stood near them and the ones on the shore started to huddle together and some of them even jumped into the water hahaha so funny cute

The shark reef aquarium was really cool too…Reef ray says hi =D

*cue Jaws music*

What fish is this Gabriel Tan???? Looks so weird right? Chong Hao them said that they are flower horns but I thought flower horns are aggresive? And how come these ones look so…armoured? haha

So excited going up the cable car hehe

View from the cable car…there were dolphins in the water haha

While waiting for the last show we went to, which was Waterski Wipeout

Floating car! We saw people wake boarding, surfing, waterski-ing etc….those people were pros!

And the most awesome trick..human pyramid =D

Ahh…what better way to end the day than with pictures of sunset taken from the monorail  station =)

Coast of gold =D

Jom Jalan-Jalan Kat Gold Coast!

Haha Gold Coast this time! Been there thrice lol

Movie World

The Brissy Gang plus Danny’s sister who was visiting at that time went to Movie World one Sunday. We bought the promo tickts in conjunction with Queensland’s 150th anniversary, we just paid $70 for unlimited entry to Movie World, Sea World and Wet n’ Wild until June. So far we’ve only been to Movie World and Wet n’ Wild. Eh, Chong Hao, when wanna go Sea World? Haha anyway…this promo is seriously oh-so-worth-it..because like under normal circumstances it would be like ‘3 worlds in 2 days’ for around $120? But then you have to be a QLD resident to qualify for this promo..and we are muahahahaha.

Whee~ Group photo

Main Street…notice how so many themeparks have main streets? Case in point: Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan and Movie World Gold Coast haha. It was a Sunday so it was off-peak…haha completely opposite compared to Malaysia right? The weekends here are considered off-peak while the weekdays are on-peak…Translink tickets are more expensive on weekdays lol. Anyway, it was nice cos we didn’t have to wait super long for the rides and we sat like 90% of the rides hehe. Seriously, last time when I was in Disneyland it was normal to wait for almost 3 hours for a ride T.T But the Winnie the Pooh was worth the wait la haha

Superman ride! We took it twice…and back-to-back omg total adrenaline rush..

..still alive!

Speed racer’s car lol Moo Moo looks funny cute here XD

And another car..

And another one here haha…Batmobile lol. I have so many pictures of cars cos 6 of the 7 pictures above taken from Facebook and they were uploaded by and cars

Chong Hao XD

Harbor Town & Q-Deck

During easter break the Brissy Gang went to the trip organised by UQMSA (University of Queensland Malaysian Students Association). Honestly, UQMSA is pretty good I feel..quite active la. But most of the activities are either food-related or sports-related…so guess which ones are the ones I go to? ahem.

On the way there..woohoo so semangat!

Lol they look so cute la…Koo’s like the girl version of Chong Hao and vice versa XD

Harbor Town’s a direct factory outlet sorta heaven pictures of Harbor Town cos Koo we were all so excited and semangatly shopping. We had a time limit what..and shopping’s like every Malaysian’s favourite pastime…especially if it’s discounted. And hell yeah were the stuff discounted…2 Fossil watches for only $70, Havaianas flip-flops for only $10 etcetc. But I didn’t spend the most..ahem guess who did XD

On the way to Surfers’ Paradise

Hard Rock cafe

Intec girls! haha

We loveeee our ice-cream hehe. We didn’t go to the beach though, cos it was rainy and we were hungry so we went to look out for food…and we had lunch at a Malaysian Chinese restaurant…oh-so-yummylicious. Actually, honestly though, the food at home is always the best…but when we get desperate everything Malaysian/Chinese here tastes awesome

Q-Deck is the world’s tallest residential tower


View from Q-Deck…the strip of sand is Surfer’s you can see (or not) there are not a lot of people there due to the crappy rainy weather. And oh..I can finally understand why ang moh love the sun so much…cos now it’s Autumn and it can get cold when it’s windy…and the sun’s like a sudden warmth that we can bask in haha. But I bet I won’t feel like this when it’s summer lol

Obligatory group picture hehe

Blond hair and blue eyes omg so cute!!!!!!!!!!!

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I thought only girls do this kinda toilet-mirror-shots? Ahem sorry you guys hehe

“Why can’t come out mia?” T.T

“We will save you!” hahaha

So funny cute this picture lol

Balik! So tired that most of us just fell asleep during the 1-hour-plus bus ride back. Koo wants to show off her ‘mei tui’ muahaha

Wet n’ Wild

Went to Wet n’ Wild with Chong Hao, Danny, Jess, Ernest and Amelia during easter break too

This is the only picture I have of us lol cos it was wet and it was wild haha and we kept like everything in the locker. Seriously though, I experienced how it was like to be without cell phones and watches…to some very awful consequences =/. How did people survive last time? haha

Okay..I think that concludes where we have been so far haha

Jom Jalan-Jalan kat Sunshine Coast

I have travelled around Queensland since coming here..but nowhere far lar…the furthest was also like an hour plus away only haha

Been to Sunshine Coast twice so far. The first time was with Campus Christian Movement (CCM) to Eumundi Market and Noosa Beach and the second time was to Australia Zoo with Mates @ UQ. And nolar I’m not a Christian…just joined only what haha

Eumundi Market & Noosa Beach

While waiting at UQ Chancellor’s Place bus stop, we started playing cards haha. Sigh really miss those days when nobody was stressed with everything and we constantly played cards haha

Original Eumundi Market. Original ok…not fake. Don’t support piracy XD

Didgeridoos and boomerangs

Haha very old-school

Kenji chan =P

Airbrush tattoo…which wore off like at the end of the day and then I had fairer skin where the stars were cos I got quite tanned haha

Scolding Chong Hao lol

Noosa beach! ‘People mountain people sea’ =P

Lucky guy lol

Sexxxxxyyyyyyy Koo hehe

Sand hair wash lol

Australia Zoo

Went to Australia Zoo with vet students Christina, Jillian, Diana, Shu, Maureen and the sole Pharmacy student Yen Mii hehe. The trip was organised by Mates @ UQ. Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I was so excited about going to a zoo…but’s Steve Irwin’s zoo what. Get pumped! haha

What I love about the zoo is how well-organised and clean everything is. To make comparison, the camel enclosure in Malaysia’s zoos stank to high heaven but the one at Australia Zoo was stench-free. And normally enclosures for tigers would be surrounded by a moat but the one at Australia Zoo was covered with glass…as in when I stood outside the glass enclosure I was only a few cms of glass away from the tigers who stood on the other side. totally awesome! and the whole experience at Australia Zoo really made me want to work there haha….I hope I can get clinical pracs there la..woo

I patted Koala bum..

..and fed sheep! And also fed kangaroos la but I don’t have the pictures yet lol. We were so ‘omg goat kids sooooooo cute!!!!!!!!!!!! omg piglets awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww..omg sheep so woolly!!!!!!!! omg cow calf sho cuteeeee!!!!!!!!!! I want!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ haha and then we were busy giving those farm animals body condition scores wtf hahaha

I told Maureen who’s from Canada that I have never ridden a horse (the one at Melaka Zoo whereby I just sat on the horse and the person pulled the horse around the enclosure when I was 8 not counted la) and that I have never been on a farm and she was so shocked..haha

Oh yeah…the 6 pictures above this courtesy of Shu..thanks=)

Here’s a picture of her busy taking pictures lol

With Christina and her pet. Don’t worry la Koo this is not a snake XD

Laughing Kookaburra…whee =D

Hanoi Trip (Day 1-2)

Long overdue I know, but I was collecting photos from Liyin hehe and trust me, I think I sorted through close to 2000 pictures >.<

I usually love reading other people’s posts about travelling so I’m going to put in more effort in writing this one =) Hopefully Image Shack won’t fail me again. Prepare for the onslaught of photos!!!

We took Air Asia there and the lack of more comfortable seats, free (but sneakily accounted for in your airfare anyway) food etc was more than compensated  by the price. Around RM500 per person for return ticket! And this included the flight from Penang to LCCT as well. Oh well, when you travel budget that’s just the way it is..hehe.

Kesian betul. We had to spend a few sleepless hours at LCCT while we waited for our 6 am flight to Hanoi.

We reached 3 hours later and the first thing that hit me coming out of the airport (I love the first view walking out of airports whenever I’m overseas) was how extremely polluted Hanoi was. The air pollution was really really bad that even when I’m tried to see the landscape from the plane it was all dusty. Also, after coming back from Hanoi many of us got sick =/

2 cars were sent to bring us to our hotel cos the hotel people were scared about scams operated by the Vietnamese Mafia, whereby they’d bring tourists to sub-standard hotels that would give these people commisions.You know what was scary…like 5 minutes after the drivers came to fetch us, the car me, Dad, 1st and 3rd aunt was in was stopped by the police. Wtf we were shocked =O Frankly though, the country is oh-so-corrupted. They driver and one of the policemen went to ‘settle’ it behind the police car =/ Bad first impression.

Our hotel was the Hanoi Queen 2 Plaza located at the Old Quarter.

Day 1

The first day was mostly spent exploring the Old Quarter cos everything was just within walking distance.

Random building at the Old Quarter, which is huggeee. Dad got lost the first few hours that we were at Hanoi and he wandered around for 2 hours =/ Also, he couldn’t call any of us. As everyone knows, roaming charges are evil and serve no purpose other than to make lives miserable.

Liyinism!!! My cousin hehe.

Vietnamese eating at the roadside. Methinks they are as food-conscious as we are cos outlets that sell food are opened until late at night (Ohhh I think I just have to cook for myself when I’m feeling peckish late at night in Aussie…no more late night char koay teow or roti =/)

With 3rd aunt hehe. The Old Quarter has shops selling everything from clothes to food stuff and crockery etc and it’s planned in a way that 1 street sells the same variety of products. For example, the one in the picture above had shops selling toys. Yup, ALL toys.

Ah Ma, 1st aunt and 6th aunt =) Ah Ma was very sporting through out the whole trip and she never complained about anything, which is really rare among the older generation, innit?

Hoan Kiem lake! My favourite spot in the whole city. Hoan Kiem lake to Hanoi is Central Park to New York City- an oasis of calm in a bustling, hectic city. ‘Hoan’ means ‘return’ and Kiem means ‘sword’, which actually sounds very Chinese-like. Legend has it that a fisherman was fishing when he found a sword in the lake. He then presented the sword to a general who fas fighting the Chinese army from the Ming Dynasty. The sword proved to be a good one and he used it for 10 years, before defeating the Chinese Army. After the war, the general went back to the lake. Suddenly, a tortoise emerged from the lake and took the sword away, returning it to where it belonged. Pheww…know how I remember the story in detail? I was the only one paying attention to the tour guide during the city tour on the 2nd day and everyone in the family kept asking me to repeat the story >.<

The lake in ginormous and it’s like a park. You can actually see loads of young people there, which is wayyy different in Malaysia. It’s like the ‘it-place’ to hang out or something…many couples actually date there (hehe very low cost…I won’t get broke if I pak thor there lol) and Vietnamese are surprisingly very PDA..kissing there and stuff (I swear, I wasn’t staring! *ahem*). Try kissing in Youth Park and see, sure kena tangkap or thrown dirty looks, at the very least lol.

The Vietnamese in the background were looking at some tortoises so we kaypo-ed too =D

I love this picture..the lake’s like a mirror =D

Say hi to the bridge beauty haha

Hanoi has Nine West! Do we have Nine West? Penang doesn’t lol…not that I can afford anyway.

The traffic in Hanoi is absurdly scary @.@ Seriously though, motorbikes zoom around everywhere and people drive as if they have their foot perpetually on the pedal and hand on the horn. The honking gets really annoying after a while. Forget about traffic lights- even when it’s green for pedestrians, cars, buses and motorbikes still cross. Bro got so irritated with me cos apparently I unconsciously say ‘It’s ok, just walk straight without stopping, the motorbikes will weave around you.’ everytime we walk across roads. Every. Single. Time.

Dinner was at Cat Ca (Sorry I don’t know how to make those hats on alphabets hehe), which has been around for over a century and is apparently highly recommended in many travel guides. They only serve one item- fish in grease. 90 000 dong (around Rm 22.5) per person. Not worth it, methinks but yea, we should always try new things what hehe.

It’s eaten with a Vietnamese bihun-like thingy and fish sauce. I supposed it’s a acquired taste, cos it’s really greasy, grease being the main component and all..hehe.

Wtf I’m very angry about this…I have to post about it. After dinner, we walked out of the restaurant and we were immediately accosted by this woman selling fruits. We politely declined and she quickly forced on her hat and the thingy they use to carry their wares on my brother. Bro tried to say no but she kept saying ‘Free! Free!’ so we just obliged and snapped a few pictures. After that we returned her her stuff and she stuffed a few bananas in a plastic bag and pushed it into my bro’s hands and demanded money. We said no but she got really angry at that point so Mum asked for the baby mandarin oranges and paid her half her offered valued…but it was still a total rip-off. Whatev…guess what, the following day, we were at another part of the Old Quarter (I forgot where, my sense of direction is atrociously awful) and the same lady approached me and tried to use the same tactic =/ Grrrr

Of course Mum and all the aunts HAVE to shop, it’s like a basic necessity or something XP. This shop sold really cool lacquer ware, silk etcetc but it did smell like my hamsters’ cage (rest in peace, Hammy, Kopi and Milo =))

Art Gallery. There are tons of shops selling imitated art pieces in Hanoi. Get you own Rembrant and Van Gogh here! Yes I sound like an ad haha.

Shopping tip: You absolutely, completely NEED to haggle, unless you are filthy rich and couldn’t care less whether you are being ripped-off or not. Sighh I miss Japan lol.

I love these dragonflies made from bamboo that can perch on any surface but this shop sold 1 for USD1 =(

It was a weekend so there was a night market.

This stall sold them for around RM1 each =DD

Mum and the aunts checking out chopsticks. That night, something terrible happened. The ladies were choosing rugs to buy when out of a sudden, many women started jostling about and acted as though they were choosing the rugs to buy too. Then when 6th aunt wanted to pay she could not find her wallet. It was when Mum noticed a huge, gaping slit on 6th aunt’s Guess handbag. Wtf so scary…she was actually afraid of snatch thefts, this being a pasar malam and all, so she held her bag tightly in front of her. Nobody expected bags to be slashed =( Good thing she didn’t carry all her money with her as most of it was with Ah Ma who was already resting in the hotel. We got really freaked-out after that and quickly rushed back to the hotel to call the banks to cancel all the credit cards.

Day 2

Breakfast at the hotel before we departed for the Hanoi City Tour. We went free-and-easy, but it’s even easier sometimes if you follow a tour right? Seeing as we don’t understand a word of Vietnamese. Haha I know we’re not that adventurous. That’s a baguette in the picture…With the French influence, many roadside stalls actually sell the baguette and they’re unlike the stale, dry ones you buy in Tesco or Carrefour, these ones are oh-so-fresh and crispy. Just add butter and cheese and it’s totally yummylicious. The roadside equivalents have toppings like chicken, egg and char siew..hehe. Another option for breakfast provided by the hotel is pho. OMG I miss it!!! The pho in Vietnam is so freaking awesomely delicious omg. Even though Vietnamese restaurants in Malaysia sell them, you can actually taste the difference. For example, the soup tastes more subtle than the one here. Ah Ma calls them koay teow th’ng lol. No pictures cos I always immediately devour them hehe

This is the van we were in. 2nd and 6th aunt opted out cos they went to *jeng jeng jeng* shop, of course!

The first place we went to was a temple built on another lake. Honestly, Hanoi has quite a few of these lakes huh. Apparently John McCain’s plane crashed somewhere around here during the Vietnam War and he was subsequently taken as a POW.

Vietnam is very much influenced by the Chinese up north too and it’s sometimes mind-boggling that they don’t speak a word of Chinese and yet all these temples look like they could have come from Kuan Yim Teng in Penang or something.

The tourguide then took us to this shop that sells art pieces created using thread. The people who do this are actually victims of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The US troops used this herbicide to clear the dense foliage in the jungles so that the Communists had no where to hide. As a results, other than deaths and disabilities, many children were born with birth defects. Sigh..the atrocities of war =/

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. We didn’t go in cos it is closed on Mondays. Also, Uncle Ho was in Russia =O. Apparently the body is moved to Russia for a few months every year..sorta like a visit…it’s pretty morbid when you think about it that way

The headquarters of the French Governer-General in charged of Indochina.

Uncle Ho’s summer home. It’s really surprising how a man responsible for the welfare of the whole nation lived such a simple, spartan life- wooden bed, desk and that’s all! Oh yeah, couldn’t find any toilet too =O lol

One pillar pagoda built to resemble a lotus. Buddhism is very prevalent in Vietnam and this is apparently a must-see if you go to Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh museum in which we spent like 15 minutes wtf cos it was closing time lol

I actually didn’t undestand much of the exhibits cos everything was in Vietnamese and French. However, in my humble opinion, the exhibits seem a tad…confusing. I couldn’t see the significance in many of the things shown there…for example, modern pieces of art and blah…maybe I’m just not intellectually-stimulated enough to get it or something. Lol but I can tell you that the broken chain in the picture above represented the freedom of Hanoi from the French colonists and the Chinese.

Another temple haha…3 temples in one day. Temple overload, seriously. This here is the Temple of Literature, which is the first university in Vietnam and over a thousand years old. Scholars used to have exams like the ones you see in period Chinese dramas. You know…pass the exam and be a Mandarin and if you’re lucky you can marry a princess hehe.

Pretty lotus pond =D

Loads of gigantic stone tortioses in the temple grounds with the names of scholars carved on them. The tortoise is actually one of the 4 heavenly beings for the Vietnamese (Are you reading this, Piglet?? =P) It it said that if you pat the tortoises you’ll get smart so Liyin, Bro and I went to pat every single tortoise we could get our hands on hehe. My, we must be super smart by now XP

After lunch we took a 2-hour-ride to a pottery village and I’ve actually forgotten the name. We expected it to be some kind of cultural village or something..based on what the person in the tour company said…But it turned out to be a ‘something’ instead of a cultural village

Worker molding the clay. Blah nothing special lar…can find loads of these kinda shops in Malaysia anyway, no? Not worth the 2-hour-ride here…we were sorely disappointed =/ be fair the stuff sold there were actually quite nice, albeit sold at a very touristy price haha

*anxiously inching closer to the buffalo* “Mummy quickly take the picture lar!!!!” hehehe XP

Vietnamese countryside. Note all the tall, narrow buildings

That night before dinner, we went to check out a shopping mall. It was really surprising to find only a few young people there, as opposed to the number of people our age hanging out in malls in most other countries anyway. Like I said, the youngsters seem to enjoy parks more hehe.

Check out the perfume bottle! Teehee so unique…like a Vietnamese lady in traditional attire and the conical straw hat. But the price of 450000 dong (RM 112.50) seems kinda’s even more expensive than my Escada from Japan lol.

Opera House

This ice-cream joint is really cool cos it’s a ride-in. People on motorbikes just ride in and buy their ice-creams there. Since 1958 haha…it’s an institution. For 6000 dong (RM 1.50) you get ice-cream in a kuih kapit kinda cone. I enjoyed it even though according to the rest of us it was not really special.

Vietnamese Idol wtf!!! At the roadside?? Haha didn’t understand….but it probably was like a preliminary thingy for anybody to try their luck at. This mini stage was located outside a supermarkat whre the parents were busily searching for the elusive nangka chips (Ok not elusive actually, but they were comparing prices haha cos they bought loads of these back)

This proves Sharon’s theory of only 3rd world countries selling Oreos muahaha just kidding

Not many trishaws left in Penang huh..but still plenty in Hanoi. Ah Ma and 2nd aunt meeting us at the French restaurant.

Guess what’s for dinner? French food! Lol we had duck in orange sauce, salmon etcetc. Nothing to shout about actually, but a nice change of atmosphere

Water puppet show. I initially imagined it would be an open-aired kinda thing where people sat on benches but it turned to be an auditoriam with cinema-like seats hehe.

It was really intriguing how the puppeteers actually made the puppets move in the water. There were even explosions and stuff =D But yeah, everything was in Vietnamese lol so many of the ang mohs behind us were asleep at the end of the show haha

And this concludes the first 2 days we spent in Hanoi. Bone-tired at the end of the day phew. But the good thing is the time for example. if you have to wake up at 7am Vietnamese time just set your alarm for 8am Malaysian time and you trick yourself into thinking that you’re getting an extra hour’s worth of sleep =D Or maybe I’m the only one this lame =.=

Stay tuned for days 3,4 and 5! Omg I spent so much time on this lol.