going places : tiger cave temple, krabi

Saturday, October 25, 2014

under the blazing hot sun, we braved ourselves out of the hotel to visit this breathtaking place in Krabi. i was in Thailand for only four days and this day was a memorable one, these photos doesn't actually do this place any justice. 

after we were dropped off by the cab driver, we walked in through the main entrance and we were welcomed by statues of tigers. further ahead, stood a majestic temple with hundreds of people praying and paying their respects. 

just a few minutes later, i was startled by the sound of firecrackers. there was a celebration going on and locals were swarming the area so we continued our journey to the staircases that will lead us to the hiking trail. i was not dressed for hiking, obviously, not prepared for anything like it but there i was, and i did it anyway, because there might not be a 'next time'! so up we go, there were two options, one was to climb up 1237 staircases that lead to the main temple on top of the mountain, and another was a hike up to another side of the mountain, through the jungle that will eventually lead us to the main temple too.

we took the one less traveled. we decided that a climb up 1237 staircases under the heat is rather dangerous and a heat stroke is the last thing we want in a foreign country with strangers all around! it was around 42°C on this particular afternoon (i checked!). 

the hike took us about thirty minutes, up some stairs and through the jungle before we arrived at a cave area with several praying altars all around it. my friend paid her respects (she is a Buddhist) and i took a few minutes to explore the area. it was not as humid as it was earlier, surrounded by trees and caves it was a little chilly. i was rather mesmerized by the drawings and paintings on the cave walls. these were probably done by the monks who sometimes stay and meditate in the jungle for months, but i couldn't find anything to prove my theory. although, the drawings look a little ancient too.

we continued our hike for another fifteen minutes when we noticed that it was too quiet and the trail ahead of us was coming to an end. it was such a disappointment, we had to go back to where we started and it was too late then to climb up the stairs because we only have two hours to explore the area before we head back to the hotel. so we spent the last few minutes to explore the foot of the mountain (where the first temple is), there were plenty to see too.

 i recommend this place if you ever find yourself in Krabi, but an early morning visit would be perfect - you don't want to be caught up in the heat climbing up the stairs!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"sometimes i remind myself that i almost skipped the party, that i almost went to a different college, that the whim of a minute could have changed everything and everyone. our lives, so settled, so specific, are built on happenstance."
— Anna Quindlen, Every Last One

it was just happenstance that i happened to have these photos taken. some mornings, i feel confident enough to be in front of the camera when the light is just right, the way i want it to. boyfriend has been doing such a good job at taking portraits of me - he'll take a few shots in under a minute without any instructions whatsoever and by the time i know it, it's all done. of course, i'll have to get rid of the ones with my funny faces afterwards. i am a photographer's nightmare. try telling me what to do, "look here, there, chin up", uh uh i'll do the exact opposites like i did back then when i was in school - you'll easily find me in class portraits, i'm the one looking somewhere i'm not supposed to. nothing much has change since then, really. candid. happenstance. mornings like these. although, this also means i may not be wearing something attractive enough for a post, but as always, comfy, and this is me. and this is not a fashion blog. i think i would make a terrible fashion blogger. so there. :)

wearing : cotton on's top, bought a few years back

happy mid-week! x

pointed wedge pumps and the scent of magnolia

Monday, October 20, 2014

(photo from my instagram)

it's hard to notice and focus on the good things in our days sometimes, when there are so much to think about and tons of things to deal with. how often do we really appreciate the little things and actually remembering the good instead of the bad? so instead of succumbing to the negative side, here's another list i made from what i enjoyed the past week, more of a reminder to myself that it's not all that bad - it really isn't. hey Monday, you lose.

- a renewed appetite for cornflakes, been having a bowl for breakfast three days in a row!
- two new notebooks, in polka dots. not to mention - too cheap to be true
- my morning yoga practices. hop on the mat. hop on the mat.
- fresh carnations from the market, and i split them into two mason jars. the bedroom never look prettier than it is now.
- stocking up on dried shiitake mushrooms, i don't know how i'll survive without them. my absolute favorite
- cutting my own hair, again. shoulder-length is a new addiction
- watching horror movies at home, at noon, with Ken by my side. he does not get intimidated and i hide behind pillows.
or behind him. usually the latter.
- weekends with nothing planned are usually the good ones
- booking flight and accommodations for our upcoming getaway is way too much fun
- start reading a new book on the train on my way to work today. Murakami's a wild sheep chase is a page-turner.

p.s i created a twitter account, if you've jumped on the bandwagon let me know! follow me for updates and maybe, some daily rants. and so if you have any question? shoot :)

pacific clams with shiitake mushrooms

Friday, October 17, 2014

how long has it been since i last share a recipe here, it's been way too long! the dish i'm sharing today is a special one though, but before that - did i ever mention ken is an excellent cook? i'm a lucky girl, he's doing a good job at making me fat haha. here's a recipe of what he whipped up for lunch yesterday, it is rather special because pacific clams are commonly served during chinese new year but we happen to have a can of it left, tucked away in the kitchen cabinet for months. it was reserved for good cooking days, of course :)

this makes for 3-4 servings.

ingredients, preparations:-
a can of pacific clams (we use Fortune's)
two handfuls of dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked overnight
a stalk of young ginger, about 2-3cm, sliced thinly
oyster sauce
some water
vegetable oil

squeeze out water from the soaked mushrooms, using your hands.
soak mushrooms again in a new bowl of water for a few minutes and drain it afterwards.
(there is no need to squeeze the mushrooms again.)
heat wok with cooking oil, add in ginger, fry til fragrant.
add in the mushroom and stir-fry it for 2-3 minutes. add a teaspoon of oyster sauce.
next, simply add in content of the can of pacific clams (clams and its broth)
stir-fry well with high flame, until the clams turns a little orange/reddish
taste accordingly, add a little more oyster sauce if needed.
serve, with white rice :)

note: use low-medium flame for frying, except after you have added in the clams.
you can also add broccolis to the recipe.

is it november yet?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

i've been needing a getaway.

in fact, it's probably way overdue and for the past few years of my working life, the only holidays i have always look forward to was christmas. which i now think, i can do better than just that.

i am the kind of girl who's really, really bad at planning her vacations and i've always find myself left with twenty days of annual vacation to clear by end of each year. sometimes, i lose them all when the new year comes. so it seems this year, surprise surprise, i have nineteen days left. that would be the whole month of december being off work if i want to, or i can go somewhere on my birthday week, next month! i'll still have at least ten days reserved for december ..

now, i'm thinking it's not a wise way to spend my twenties, or the rest of my life - stuck at my cubicle, in and out of the office like clockwork. it's probably not a big deal but i'm starting to want more with my life now that i know i can plan better, and i'm earning enough to not worry much. independence gives me comfort. it always has.

also, i have a pretty smart, buff boyfriend who i'm sure can throw a nice punch here and there if he needs to.
i need a bodyguard on these said travels, you know, just in case. haha

note: the fact that he will be with me on these said travels, is really what makes it more worthwhile.

vacation time.
the last good vacation was TWO years ago, march 2012. the time when i get to ride the sea waves, snorkelling among the fishes and island-hopping in krabi, thailand. i miss the baby elephants and i miss dipping into the emerald pool. (i will blog about the trip very soon, i promise!)

the plan is, this year onwards, i'll go to a place i've never been before.
at least once a year.
but for a vacation. not for work, not for any other reason.
good enough yes?

so --- we're off to penang island next month! (if you're malaysian, it is pretty crazy for you to have never been there, i mean, really, i've never been there! and i have been on this part of malaysia for almost five years now) p.s there's the beach, and it's a food haven. a fusion of the east and west, penang is a go-to island for an experience of its old world charm and heritage.

it's going to be a short one but it will be worth it.
seven days off work, three days to be spent in the island.
we'll rest at home for the remaining days.

it's not that far away but it's a good start.
it's not in another country but it really is good enough.

i'm a sucker for big adventures, despite always being restless looking for the little ones in my days.
so the excitement is driving me crazy, just like the sensation i have for days before every other vacation i've had. particularly, the nights before the flights. i've skipped my sleeps just to get to the airport. hours in advance.
so yes, i cannot wait.

is it november yet?

p.s hotel is booked. yessssss.