To more solo trips?

Around last year, I created a tiny “Things to do before 30” (didn’t express it in this blog, poor neglected blog) list. The list only had 2 simple things.
1. To embark on a solo trip
2. To volunteer

For #2. I actually volunteered at a soup kitchen and distributed food to the needy/homeless. However, that was just one off and the soup kitchen seems to have enough helpers now. Just need to find another avenue to volunteer my help then. So, I suppose #2 can never be struck out and will forever be something that I’ve to do.

#1 however is easily achieved but will I be brave enough to travel alone? All my trips before this (even when I studied in Australia for a year) were accompanied by friends. Travel with friends if of course safer, you get to rely on each other, more fun, builds relationship, so on and so forth….

Traveling solo however is a whole different thing. I made the wise decision to embark on my first ever solo trip to Taiwan and had this ambitious task of circling the entire Taiwan in 12 days. My itinerary was as such

  • Day 1 & 2 – Sun Moon Lake 日月潭
  • Day 3 – Alishan 阿里山
  • Day 4 – Alishan 阿里山 (Stayover at Kaohshiung 高雄)
  • Day 5 & 6 – Hualien 花莲
  • Day 7 – Jiu Fen
  • Day 8 to 12 – Taipei

“What? So packed?” That’s what most of my friends said when they found out about my itinerary. There were also a lot of questions on “Why Taiwan?” Why not? It’s safe, it’s easy to travel, it’s relatively cheaper than my other choices of Japan and Korea, communication should be alright (I speak pretty basic mandarin), this should be a breeze!

All in Mandarin. I'll take forever to figure out which bus I need to take.

Stops have English names but the other information are all in Mandarin. I’ll take forever to figure out when the next busis coming.

Research was easier than expected. They have a lot of information in English available. However, I noticed that the Chinese version of some sites are more informative. I even saw a hotel having different prices in the Chinese and English version of their website (not very ethical there). Since reading the sites in mandarin will take forever for me, I just read the English ones. Should be substantive enough. Traveling around was also smooth sailing and in Taipei particularly, even the buses announce the stop location in Mandarin, Taiwanese (similar to Hokkien), Japanese and English. I could go on forever about how I planned my days but I shall skip you’ll the boring decisions.


So to get to my main point, here are my thoughts on solo traveling, which also sort of relates to life…

  • Choices are all yours to make = Freedom!

Basically, the World is your oyster! (Ok… maybe not the world but just Taiwan) Every decision you make is well, your choice. What you eat, where you want to go, what you want to do, where should you visit. Too much freedom can be a bad thing because if there are too many choices and you’re torn between 2, there is no one to add weigh to a particular choice.

Some of these decisions were a bit difficult to make but most were a breeze. I chose to make Sun Moon Lake 日月潭, Alishan 阿里山 and Taroko Gorge 太鲁阁 must visits. Which was kinda difficult because the first 2 are on the west side of Taiwan while Taroko Gorge is on the east side. There is no public transportation across the island. Hence, my need to circle the entire Taiwan and make a scheduled overnight stop at Kaohshiung 高雄. I don’t regret it though. I ended up having more time in Kaohshiung 高雄 than expected and it was good fun (also links to being open point). The experience was good and I’m very amazed by Taiwan’s railway connectivity.

One of the many

One of the many “male & female” art installations at Kaohshiung’s Pier 2 Art Centre, which was surprisingly nice.

  • You set your own pace in life

Kinda linked to the above point. At times I realised I was rushing (walking too fast, anxious if I could make it on time) and then I thought “Why am I in a rush? What am I rushing for? I paid to be here, I should enjoy every moment of it and take my time.”. Same goes with our usual lives, why are we always rushing? Time is of course valuable but we should take the opportunity to enjoy every bit of activity that we are doing. I.e, reading, watching the television, conversing with people…

The street market in Tamsui 淡水, which I didn't browse through cause I was rushing to catch a sunset and a train to Shihlin Market. Big mistake. I just tired myself out.

The street market in Tamsui 淡水, which I didn’t browse through cause I was rushing to catch a sunset and a train to Shihlin Market. Big mistake. I just tired myself out.

  •  Be open

I suppose being on this trip. I wanted to try out what it would be like. I guess I was open to a lot of things, suggestions from other people, and multiple changes to what I was going to do, other than things that I thought would be dangerous, i.e., walking around alone after 10pm.

– I rented a bicycle from a breakfast place’s owners friend

– I drank beer at a kiosk and chit chatted with the barkeep

– Walked a path suggested by a guard (there were other people, so it was pretty safe)

–  Randomly took a bus to another part of Yang Ming Shan 阳明山, turns out there was a Calla Lily Festival there. 😀

– Sat a Taiwanese lady’s rented motorbike around Taroko Gorge 太鲁阁

– Met and spoke to quite a lot of random people. From the temple worker to other travelers. Quite a lot of them were surprised that Malaysians can speak mandarin. And the younger China travelers are actually quite adventurous (traveling alone, lots of them) and are much nicer than their tour bus counterparts.

One of the farms at Yang Ming Shan's Calla Lily Festival

One of the farms at Yang Ming Shan’s Calla Lily Festival

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone

I’m not saying that You need to be the exact opposite of who you are, but just change how you usually act a bit. I’m personally an introvert. Making the first move to talk to strangers can be a bit difficult for me. In previous travels, I wouldn’t be the one making friends with other travelers. I enjoy my own free time, but I know that if I travel without talking to anyone or engage in conversation with anyone for 12 days would be a waste of an opportunity to meet all sorts of people.

So at hostels, I tried to greet my fellow roommates (if I had any) and most of them were quite eager to meet other people too! We shared stories and where we have been in Taiwan. Very surface level sort of conversation but it was good. Changed my general perception of China tourists definitely. Funny thing though, the first thing that most of us ask first is not “what’s your name?” but “where are you from?”.

  • It’s nice to have some familiarity

Stepping out of comfort zones aside. Having a bit of familiarity is also good (yes, it’s quite contradicting to the above point). In the first 8 days of my travels, all I spoke was mandarin. Back in Malaysia, I barely speak any mandarin. Even if I do, it’s mixed a lot with Manglish and Canto. Once I checked in at the Taipei hostel, I finally gotta speak English with 3 Germans and a Singaporean. On my last night at the Taipei hostel, I finally got to use my lahs with fellow Malaysians too! How exciting!


The above are are of course my main thoughts on traveling solo. I’m sure there are a lot of other things that cropped up in my mind. The 12 days will forever be etched in my mind and although I just left Taiwan 2 weeks ago, I have been entertaining the thought of returning. There’s just too many things to see.

12 days was definitely a bit long for my first solo trip. A fellow Malaysian, whom I met at a dorm in Taipei, was surprised that I took 12 days to travel alone for the first time. I initially wanted 14 days, so I was only 2 days short. There were definitely downer days. I.e., when it rained the entire day when I reached Hualien 花莲, the occasional thoughts of “wouldn’t it be nice if I could share this (trip) with someone?” and the tiredness. Once I reached Taipei or rather Jiu Fen, I felt tired. Must have been all the moving about. In that 12 days, I stayed in 6 different accommodations. The longest was for 4 nights in Taipei. But once I started walking around the attractions, I felt rejuvenated. Especially at Yehliu 野柳, where you get to enjoy the cooling winds of the Pacific ocean.

Reaching the top of the filial piety hill in Yehliu Geopark. Such a nice breath of fresh air, although the wind was slightly dying down then. Bummer.

Reaching the top of the filial piety hill in Yehliu Geopark. Such a nice breath of fresh air, although the wind was slightly dying down then. Bummer.

To sum it all, I had a blast in Taiwan! Met quite a number of random strangers along the way. I kinda enjoyed the solitary moments, although there were definitely times of loneliness. Sharing food was difficult as was taking pictures. Moving around was a breeze because transportation was great and I didn’t bother with a huge luggage! Furthermore, the Taiwanese people are so helpful and friendly! (Everyone I met in Taiwan also said the same thing) 9 of 10 people there will be helpful and friendly. 9 of 10 people in Malaysia will be the exact opposite. I would most definitely return. “When?” would be the most appropriate question.

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Adieu 2014. Welcome 2015!

Hope everyone had a Jolly good Christmas! I know I did, or at least I think I did. Although I must admit the turkey we had was well… quite a disappointment. But of course, the company was exceptional!

After Christmas, everyone’s gonna look forward to the fireworks on New Year’s eve and around this time every year, I’ll end up doing a yearly recap. It’s like a ritual or maybe I chore. I can’t figure it out yet (ala my life).

For me, 2014 flew by with the speed of light. I still remember my first day at my current job, where someone said I looked like a teacher (ish), and in a blink of an eye New Year’s eve is around the corner!

Alas, lets cut the monologue and get straight to the point shall we? Based on what I blogged this year, doesn’t look like I have much to recap on. Hahaha but I’ll try nonetheless (warning: the post will be filled with rather mundane events, which sort of equates my life. Somewhat.).

January

A new job! Boy was I excited back then, I always dreamt of doing this and then I got thrown into the deep end albeit with a life preserver. Thankfully I didn’t drown and am still alive and kicking. Although I’m thinking “is this the career path for me?”

February

I scratched my poor car in a shopping mall’s parking lot! Part of the metal came off too! My worst “accident” to date. A few days before this happened, I hit my neighbours tiny tree too. Sigh…. This was the beginning of a string of bad luck that would befall my poor car and it’s nearly penniless owner 😮

March

  • My car was innocently involved in a hit and run at the car park near my office. 😦
  • Bright side of March was I got my Chartered Accountancy certificate! But I’ll lose it soon in the next “event” cause my house caught fire 😮 Smog engulfed the interior of my home! Waking up to thick black smoke in the middle of the night has got to be the most traumatic experience of all 27+ years of my life thus far. 😮

April

I obtained a basic wall course certificate from camp5! Now I can belay people! If I still can remember how.

May

Met someone but nothing happened. Doubt anything would have happened either. Hmmm…

June

  • Had a wonderful short “makan” trip to Ipoh and actually had a photo with Ernest Zacharevic! I like his murals.
  • Visited the “Great Singapore Garden” (Gardens by the Bay) over the weekend. I must say it’s rather impressive.
Marina Bay Sands from the Marina Barrage

Marina Bay Sands from the Marina Barrage

  • My car got hit in the rear at an almost stand still while I was happily heading to work. Sigh… The weirdest thing was the other driver had the same birthday as me (but a different year)! How odd is that?
  • June was also the only time I tossed a frisbee in 2014, which is plain sad.
I miss this. I wonder if I still can throw though. Hmm...

I miss this. I wonder if I still can throw though. Hmm…

July

  • The coffeeholic got married! Oh gosh! Now I feel so old!
  • Had my first beginner korean class. How exciting! Say “aye!” to lifelong learning!
  • Finally climbed Broga Hill. It was a relatively easily climb and had lots of people. U probably can’t get a nice spot to view the sun rise if you reached late. However, we didn’t get a good view of the sunrise anyway.
This was one of the later shots as we were heading down

This was one of the later shots of the sunrise as we were heading down. Looks like a sunset though.

  • Went to Langkawi to enjoy sunsets everyday. How romantic…. but I went with a female friend. 😮
Sunset view at Pantai Tengah

Sunset view at Pantai Tengah

August

C.N. Blue “Can’t Stop” tour! Had to sit on cement which was a pain in the butt. The band looked good 🙂 But they would have looked better if they combed their hair a bit more. :p But who cares? It’s Yonghwa and Jonghyun. 😀 Jungshin was the star of the night though.

All 4 of them with a weird zoomed up angle of Yonghwa.

All 4 of them, with a weird zoomed up angle of Yonghwa.

and of course… Color Run (the most syok sendiri run ever)!

Can just see the color of our hands to imagine what we looked like after the run.

Can just see the color of our hands to imagine what we looked like after the run. Mine is the one with the “tattoo”.

Lets just say removing the color was kind of difficult.

September

De Quarvain is officially back. 😦

October

Ran 10km in my first night run in Putrajaya. For me, running in Putrajaya is rather dull; highways all the way. I shall swap back to Standard Chartered in 2015. My time became worst but it’s a miracle I even finished considering I kept thinking “this is gonna be my last 10km ever”. Lots of willpower involved here. Funny thing in this run, there was actually a lion (from lion dances) decked out in neon lights encouraging the runners. Rather peculiar sight.

10km Finishers Medal for BSN Putrajaya Night Run 2014

10km Finisher’s Medal for BSN Putrajaya Night Run 2014

Another thing in October, I actually went for coffee with someone from tinder 😮 Upon hindsight it was kinda dangerous. Yipes.

November

  • Re-visited Penang and Cameron Highlands with my family. Camerons was surprisingly cold. Must have been all that rain.
  • Re-visited Bangkok purely for shopping this time but we did take half a day to visit Chocolate Ville, which surprisingly does not sell chocolates. Spent 3 days mostly on shopping. Shopping day 1, Terminal 21. Shopping day 2, Platinum Mall. Shopping day 3, Chatuchak Market. Still, there wasn’t enough time in Platinum and Chatuchak. Didn’t quite fit some of my purchases either. May return to BKK sooner than I think.

December

Got a new laptop which I’m using to type this up now. So far, I need to get used to Windows 8.1. It definitely would work better with a touch screen device, alas I’m too poor to afford that.

And… that’s the end of my recap! Looks like the year didn’t start very well and it became better and more hectic towards the middle and ended with a nice wind down. Ahhh…. Toast to a fairly good year. *cling**cling*

Differences in 2014 vs 2013

  • Read more books this year (think I read 10 books this year compared to 2/3 in the year before that)
  • I actually accomplished one of my targets to learn a new language (I guess being able to read is considered learning a new language)
  • Had more free time on my hands but it doesn’t look like I know what to do with it
  • Almost went to the gym every week which I suppose is pretty good but it doesn’t look like I’m improving. ooops
  • Volunteered at a soup kitchen! But I forgot which month that was.

Time to create some resolutions for 2015. I realised I didn’t make any in 2014, it’s alright I normally don’t keep track anyway.

2015 resolutions

  • Continue going to the gym. Maybe do more cardio?
  • Volunteer more
  • Less procrastination and lazing around
  • Live in the moment
  • Let what happened in 2014 stay in 2014, 2015 is a brand new year!

My resolutions don’t quite work though cause it’s so vague. How am I supposed to measure “live in the moment”? I’ve a slightly more long term target of things that I want to do before I turn 30 though, which actually makes more sense. It’s a short list.

1. Travel alone

2. Volunteer (frequently)

3. Figure out what I want to do in life

#1 & #2 seem rather straight forward but #3 mmm….

Hopefully I get to meet my targets and hope all of you would be able to meet your resolutions too! 🙂

Thank you very much 2014, you have been good but I’m going to look forward to 2015 now and hopefully it’ll be a much better year. 🙂

Dashboard Confessional @ KL Live

Dear blog,

I’m sorry you’ve been abandoned for the first month or so of 2012. What a bad start to the year.

Sorry for almost forgetting your pw.

I’m also sorry for ditchin you for twitter, although to my defense I hardly tweet too.

Since I’m sure you’ve missed me I shall continue to tell mah story. 😀

In between the New Year and now. A friend left for London to further his studies, CNY came and went, an Airasia sale came and went by without me buying anything =( and of course the Lynas protests. (They shouldn’t have it here.. keep it in Oz)

Apart from that, there was also Dashboard Confessional’s solo acoustic show!

Dashboard Confessional @ KL Live!

Ok… It was Chris Carrabba only which was even better! The dude is WOW….

My fav musician and I would not have missed it for the world!

T’was the 22nd of February 2012 on a cool Wednesday (odd… would have preferred a weekend) night where we sort of rushed our way to reach KL Live at 8pm sharp when the concert should have started.

The turnout was pretty good I assume, considering it was a weekday and it was only for one man!

Managed to get a pretty “good” spot as the venue was probably 60% full?

Waited till about 8.30 or so before Zher of Fly fm came on stage to start off the show by introducing the opening act… who was none other than……..
Awi Rafael!

Honestly, I’ve never heard of him before. Maybe saw his name in passing but never really linked his name to a famous song.

His songs are not bad, his voice pretty deep.

He performed songs like “Bila Aku Jatuh Cinta”, “Pulanglah” *which is extremely familiar and catchy* and also covers of Adele’s “Someone Like You”, Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and The Verve’s “A Bitter Sweet Symphony”. His hair however, stole the show. lol

It was combed ala Elvis, and shook every time he moved his head. There was even a girl in the crowd that screamed “I LIKE YOUR HAIR!!!!”

His set was about 30 mins and the crowd were a bit agitated that he was performing so long. Poor dude got a “No” when he asked if he could perform more songs. He continued anyway. But it was still quite kesian.

Awhile after he left the stage….. the man everyone waited for…

Chris Carabba!

Turned up by singing “The Good Fight”.

He is surprisingly quite a bundle of sunshine I would say… very different from the heartfelt songs he sings. He also looks exactly like the pictures. He made light banter and seemed in his element, asking the crowd what songs they wanted and happily answering “I’ll do all that!”

He continued to perform songs like “A Bitter Pill”, “So Long Sweet Summer”, “Saints and Sailors”, “Belle of Boulevard”, “Don’t Wait”, “Screaming Infidelities”, “As Lovers Go”, “Carry This Picture”, “The Places You’ve Come To Fear the Most”, “Hands Down”.

The crowd was pretty amazing as they almost knew all the words to the songs performed and gladly sang along with him. He even said “I actually felt tingles” “You guys can sing!” Chris was definitely in his element, his voice was amazing, crisp, clear and reaching those high notes and straight away went back down to a slower and deeper sound. You could feel the emotions he puts into each and every song. Very intimate indeed.

There was a point when he was performing where a girl screamed “I love you!” followed by a dude saying “I love you!”. He actually replied “I love you too!”. Gosh! I love this dude!

He also played my fav song “Dusk and Summer”, it’s honestly an extremely song if you really listen. Thank goodness I didn’t cry/shed tears though tears would have formed if…. forget it!

Soon he broke out to crowd favourite “Stolen”. My heart was definitely stolen. More like I gave it away. He followed up with “Vindicated” from the Spiderman soundtrack.

He left the stage after that but returned for the final song of the night “Best Deceptions”, which is supposedly his favourite song for concerts.

Overall, it was a terrific show! A night definitely to remember! It was simple and “intimate”, the sound system was good, the lightning too. The only grievance was that mah view was blocked by some pretty tall dudes. Disappointing. =(

It was a night that I could have only dreamed of. I’m even willing to fly to a different country to see Dashboard Confessional perform, but there he was, on that Wednesday night at KL Live performing the very songs that I listen to over and over again. A dream come true this was.

Seriously, Chris Carrabba, I love you!

Please do come back for more shows! 😀

 

Image of DC performing was taken from http://msn.goingout.com.my/dashboard-confessional-acoustic-showcase-kl-live-centre/

MO.A 2011 in Malaysia

MO.A 2011

Don’t know what’s with me and kpop these days. Anyway, I made my way to this one cause I’m a huge fan of…….. not Super Junior… but Miss A! Overall it would have been great if there wasn’t so many problems.

Major Problem list

1. Seating layout (false advertisment)

2. Security, awful

#1 – Seating Layout

Original seating plan

Since from the advertisement, the seats stretched out past the first gates. Me and me mates decided to get the seats right next to the gate. The rock zone tickets were a bit pricey.

So… excitedly we went into the stadium and my oh my the layout is entirely far off from the seating plan. The actual seating plan looked more like,

Actual Seating Plan

The stage barely even reached the first row of the seats at the side. Instead of seats occupying the whole stadium on the field, it was only half occupied and the side seats were mostly occupied which made the whole concert seem somewhat odd.

I’m sure the organizers faced some problems, most likely the lack of sales, that’s why they cut the stage into half, but WE as consumers have the right to know too! They could have offered us alternatives to upgrade our seats or just inform us so we can give our feedback. Just changing it without notifying us is plain wrong and definitely FALSE ADVERTISING!

It’s like buying a house. From the floor plan you see 3 rooms and 2 toilets for the house, so you purchase the house. After the house is built and the keys to the house is passed to you and you step into the house for the very first time, you find out that Hey! The house only have 2 rooms and 1 toilet!  That’s not acceptable right?

I’m pondering whether to complain to the NCCC. This is definitely false advertising in my books.

#2 – Security

This is by far the worst security I have ever seen. The crew doesn’t seem to know how to control crowds.

There were actually people at the side seats that ran to the rock zone because all the zones were not segregated with gates and fences.

Their “cure” was to close the gate to the seating zone which actually quite smart but a smarter move would have been to check all the tickets of the concertgoers that were moving to the field instead of closing the gate so the crew can watch the concert too. I’m sure there were people who managed to sneak in because the crew definitely did not check all tickets.

They also let vendors come in to sell glow sticks and other things which they were selling. Is that even possible? They even let them enter the field. Mind boggling, really!

I also read that there were people that fainted and the security didn’t help the person who fainted and just waited for the “paramedics”.

Recommendation: Segregate the zones properly and check people’s tickets. Close out each area and make just make a few entrances to those zones. There is no use giving verbal warnings. It’s like those do not litter signs. Malaysians still litter! Though not all.

Another really irritating thing at the back of my mind is…

As the concert was approaching, Groupon had a 50% discount for rock zone tickets! OMG! I could have went to the rockzone if I just waited till the last minute. Totally unfair! Totally!!!

Overall, I didn’t quite enjoy it. I’m sure the organizers worked really hard and definitely experience in organizing events, but this concert was overall a letdown. The sound system wasn’t every good either and the promotion was lacking. It seemed to be a word of mouth event.

My guess is the organizers did not have a local organizer so they faced obstacles which might have been difficult to overcome. I’m sure the Korean Music Wave had a local organizer, I feel that one was very well organized. I’m not even comparing this to MTV World Stage. This would have been an epic fail compared to MTV World Stage.

So, thank you CJ Entertainment for bringing Miss A here. I appreciated it but next time, get help from a local organizer. I’m sure they know how opportunistic Malaysians can get. They are Malaysians too!

2pm Hands Up Asia Tour 2011

Yowza! 2pm was here yesterday for their HANDS UP tour and man were they HOT! Sizzling! Ssssssssss….

Waded our way through the usual Friday Night jam to Stadium Negara and sat at our pretty far seats.

*No rock zone this time since didn’t quite feel the atmosphere last time round.. besides, it’s expensive*

Stadium Negara slowly filling up

Something good about Korean artist’s concerts, they almost always start on time.

Bursting on to stage

Yes. I can’t see their faces very clearly. Like I said, pretty far seats. =( I think their first song was “Electricity”, which sounded so much better live.

Something interesting about the concert, the live video being played actually has lyrics to them so U can sing along heehee. And whenever one of the men speaks in Korean, there is a English translated version on screen. Interesting.

Lyrics on screen ala karaoke

The men also performed some solo stages.

Junho and Wooyoung performed a song composed by Junho.

Chansung showed of his martial arts skills which reminded me of video games.

Junsu sang his “Alive” song and Nickhun and Tacyeon appeared in what look like pyjamas to sing “My Valentine”.

Junho which looks a lot like Rain

Singing “I Can’t”. Junsu looks super cute in tux. 🙂

Wooyoung and Chansung giving out flowers

After performing the uber dramatic “Heartbeat”,

Nickhun’s wings burned in flames before he ripped his shirt and “died”. Fuoah!

Concert ending soon after performing “Thank you”

After their goodbye speech, they continued to perform an encore with “10 out of 10 points” and “Hands Up”.

2pm’s final farewell!

Junsu got the cute panda stuff. How cute. =)

Before they left, Chansung removed his shirt and threw it into the crowd. Fuaaaooow!

Overall, it was an awesome concert! Wooyoung’s moves are super slick and their voices were so clear. Yowza!

They performed their signature dance moves from “Again & Again”, “Without You”, “I’ll Be Back” and also “I’m Your Man” which is super hot!

I feel the best song was “Heartbeat” though. Dramatic with the red lights and red curtains for effect. Not to mention their outrageous ways of dying, ie, Junho doing a backflip to die.

They definitely lived up to their name of “Beastly Idols”, with super strong dance moves and quite a few shirt ripping.

P.S. Should have bought more expensive tix. There’s always next time though. 🙂

Korean Music Wave in Malaysia 2011

Yeap! U read that right! Ur’s trully paid top dollar  just to see TOP and listen to Lee Hong Ki’s awesome voice! Gosh!

The line up is as below. Pretty good lineup actually.

Korean Music Wave Malaysia 2011 lineup

But, no 2ne1 & no Miss A as compared to Singapore but oh well, at least there was still F.T. Island, Park Jung Min and GD & TOP.

Now for a little recap. No pics cause well…. I was dumb not to bring a camera. *The ticket said no camera mar! It should have specifically said professional camera!*

This concert was a little different from the ones I’ve attended before. I expected a queue when I reached but looks like the doors were already opened when I arrived. As expected most of the crowd were pretty young. Some still in primary I think. Anyway, we’re all there for the same objective.

There were 4 MCs that night, Jeff (MY fm) Kevin & Dong Ho (U-Kiss) and a dude from Arirang TV. Kevin spoke really fluent english and Dong Ho spoke pretty good mandarin. Surprising! (the mandarin part)

The show started with a mini opening act with a beatboxer and a singer. The beatboxer was cool!

Then out popped up the MCs and soon F.T. Island was on!

They’re pretty rocking alright! Can’t say much about the crowd though. The lead singer, Lee Hong Ki, was hitting those sky high notes till his face went red. Seriously! He has a good voice. They performed 5 songs, “Hello, Hello”, “Love, Love, Love” “Bing, Bing, Bing” “I, Hope” and a slower song which I don’t know the title of. =)

F.T.ISland at a press conference?

Next up was Teen Top. Not my kinda stuff but some songs were catchy. For me the person that appeared to be the leader looked a little girlish. Male version of Angelina? The only song which I can remember them performing is “Supa Luv” cause they had a dance move that made them look like supermen.

3rd Act was 4minute!

Their moves are hot! and they seem much smaller in the flesh. They are what I call pint size, but still tall. Their legs, super slim! Ah… korean idols they are. Songs are catchy. They performed “Muzik”, “I My Me Mine”, “Mirror Mirror”, “Hear to Heart” & “Hot Issue”. Hey! I remembered.

Soon, it was U-Kiss. When they came on, I thought of Beast’s live performance. I think these korean boybands are getting quite similar to me. Only the songs are different. Anyway, they performed their latest song “Neverland”, much nicer sounding as compared to watching  through youtube. Other songs were “0330” “Man Man Ha Ni” “Binguel Binguel”. *Don’t ask me what they mean. I was just there to listen and appreciate. =D*

Dong Ho, the MC and U-Kiss member actually has this mushroom haircut and he actually raps in some of the songs which kinda contradicts his image. LOL

Next up was Park Jung Min!

This angle seems manlier. LOL

He is one pretty boy. Seriously. So darn pretty. I think most of them are actually. I would say he is a very sporting and charming singer. He knows how to entertain the crowd and knows what would make the crowd eat outta his palm! He performed “Not Alone”, a song I was looking forward to cause it has a nice orchestral background, and some other songs which I don’t know. There was a christmas song too. Hehehe.

Soon it will be the trio below…

Seung Ri, TOP & GD

with Seung Ri performing first.

Honestly I don’t really like Seung Ri’s songs. It’s not my kinda song. But it’s good for performing though, the kind that would get people up on their feet jiggy a little to the music. Not like that was what the crowd did, or least not where I was standing, but that’s besides the point. He only performed 3 songs. =( He left abruptly and the picture of GD & TOP appeared at the stage screen!.

The crowd went WILD and GD & TOP burst onto the stage with “Knockout!“. They soon proceeded to “Oh Yeah” without Park Bom. So GD & TOP sang the part where Park Bom was supposed to sing. TOP singing Park Bom’s park was a bit funny considering Park Bom’s voice is pretty high pitched and TOP’s is deep deep deep.

They stopped for a mo for the MCs to interview them. Most questions were answered by GD in English and TOP was a man of few words. :p He’s super good looking though. As evident from the picture above. LOL

Then they broke out to the crowd favourite “High High” The crowd went absolutely high! *figuratively speaking*

And they too like Seung Ri left abruptly after that.

Then the MCs appeared and said goodnite and that was it. “WHAT!? that’s it?” No encore nothing. That’s it. Just 3 songs? Disappointing really. They probably appeared like 15 mins? Maybe less.

Overall, the concert was filled with screaming fans! Haha no.. that’s not it. It was good overall but I guess I have 2 grievances?

#1– If there would be something like that again I think I’ll just sit in the stands. Standing in the “rock” zone only gets u a closer look. There’s no rock atmosphere whatsoever. They shouldn’t even name it the rock zone. They should name it the “standing” zone! Or rather I’ll just skip these kinda stuff and go straight for rock concerts.

#2 – Last 2 acts were too short. Come On! How come the first few acts had 5 songs but the last 2 only had 3. Plus they are the top acts! Aren’t they supposed to be performing the same length or longer? The concert started late and ended at 2210. Like.. what!?

Between World Stage and this, I prefer World Stage much much more. And that one was free! World Stage had Jared Leto performing and interacting with the crowd for at least 30 mins! And the crowd was much more awesome! World Stage rocks full stop.

Oh there was this girl who kept crouching in the “rock” zone next to me, during performances! Probably she’s not feeling well but crouching in the rock zone is freaking dangerous! It’s freaking dark! All anyone sees is a black hole to move into and take ur spot! No one can see u crouching there and people will jump, not in this case, fine.. move a lot and they might trip and fall over! If you’re not feeling well move to somewhere safer to rest!

 

Note: Pictures are not taken nor owned by me. Credit to whoever took them. I apologize if I used them inappropriately.

AH… EHHHHHH….

I think I partially fail as a blogger. 10 entries in a year? (not including the welcome 2011 one… ) 10 is…. ok at least I’m roughly at an average of 1/month. Not bad… I suppose…

Anyway, to get things started let’s talk about the weather. Sweltering hot this days. After bathing, you sit under the fan and you’re still sweating. Crazy hell. Today a sudden burst of rain happened albeit only for 1-2 mins but it still reminded me of the time in Cambodia where the sky suddenly just became dark and WHOOSH! The rain started pouring. So…. I shall get straight into the topic of the day.

SIEM REAP!

Brief History:

Siem = Siam (Thailand)

Reap = Defeat

Siem Reap is named as such because eons ago the Thai army was defeated at this very fine spot. Hence the name Siem Reap.

Siem Reap is THE place to go to if U want to visit the Majestic Angkor Wat! It is truly majestic and a rich source of history I must say.

I said today reminded me of Siem Reap because it practically rained everyday when we were there *Not surprising since we travelled in August during the rainy season*. Everyday without fail there would be

Rain.

Raining on the first day.

Rain.

Raining in Angkor Wat

And… you guessed right! More RAIN!

WHAT!? We’re walking through there? But it’s flooded!

Although the rain made the weather pretty pleasant. At least it wasn’t burning hot. It was pretty fun walking/running in the rain too. Exciting!

Anyways Day 1 at Siem Reap saw us exploring the town of Siem Reap. Checking out the tourists area, the Central Market, the old market, pub street…. etc. I must say those scarves are pretty cheap. Cambodian? No idea.

Day 2 saw us waking up in the wee hours of the morning to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Yeeeaaap! We didn’t get to see the bright orange Sun shining straight into our eyes because it rained a lot and the clouds covered it. But the pink hue on the clouds were nice!

After that we had a tour around the Bayon area, which includes Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, the one with the Tomb Raider tree, and of course Angkor Wat.

We hired a guide Mr. Be, he’s english is good, interested peeps can email him @ besotheara@yahoo.com (HAHAHAHA I’m advertisng!)

He gave us an in depth explanation about the history of Cambodia. I forgot which King built Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat and which one was for his Mum and which was for his Dad. I do remember that there were a lot of wars back then most because of religion I suppose. Hinduism then Buddhism then Hinduism again ultimately the Khmer people are mostly Buddhist. Because of this warring, there were quite a lot of carvings carved out from the walls of the Angkors (I think it was the Hindus that carved out the carvings that depict Buddhism).

Enough of words, how bout some pictures?

Ta Prohm

A very cool Spung tree taking over the ruins @ Ta Prohm

Angkor Wat from the East Entrance (I think)

Day 2 also introduced us to some fantastic tasting Khmer soup. It was chicken soup in their menu but it tasted like a non spicy Tom Yum. Yum! Yum!

On Day 3 we went for a bicycle tour to the countryside. The ride was pleasant. The tour brought us through smaller paths into the countryside. Along the way, you can catch a glimpse of the life of the Khmer people. A lot of the people will say “Hello!” and wave to you.  There are a lot of paddy fields too. As it’s the rainy season, the grass is lush green. Very soothing for them eyes. We stopped by a countryside market. Boy things look pretty unhygienic there. The local delicacies which our guide was explaining to us was constantly attacked by flies. We visited a lotus farm too.

As I was cycling, I can’t offer you any soothing green pictures.

At night we headed to Temple! (A Restaurant/Bar) because they offered free Apsara shows for people who dine there. Apsara is actually a celestial beauty but the Apsara Show includes local dances like the coconut knocking dance, Apsara Dance and Peacock dance.

Apsara Dance

We had front row seats. My suggestion would be to reserve ahead if you want front row seats.

Day 4 was the day we went to Tonle Sap Lake. Boy is this lake brown but huge! We went to the Lake through a river where the floating village was. When we were at Tonle Sap Lake, we couldn’t see any land! That’s how HUGE the lake is! Wow.

The floating village was quite an eye opener. The villagers practically living off  the lake. They even take water from the lake. That’s why they are born with a lot of sickness the boatman said. Sad really.

Children happily rowing about in basins

I’m pretty sure any adult that uses a basin to row about will sink once they get in.

After that we headed to the Cultural Village where we caught a performance of a Khmer wedding.

Khmer Wedding with a very Korean looking groom

Through out our vacation we had a good walk around the markets (Angkor Market, Siem Reap Market, Old market, central market), all of them mostly sold the same things, scarves, local handmade goods, t-shirts, local jewelry,clothes, souveniers). Stuff are considerably cheap if haggling is involved. However due to baggage constraints I didn’t get much stuff.

Alcohol is also dirt cheap with draft beers going at USD 1 and some cocktails at USD1.50. Who’s gonna drink plain water?

We also came across a very refreshing drink (but very fattening I assume)

Coconut shake!

This is yummy after a long walk and of course when one is hot and needs some cooling down.

Overall, the Khmer people are extremely friendly and helpful (maybe because they haven’t been truly introduced to commercialisation). The service at the hotel was exceptional. The food, mmmm yum! Shopping not bad! Massage? 2 thumbs up! Will I come again? Maybe after a few years…

Oh anyone looking for a tuk-tuk driving that speaks Malay you can contact Mr. Nasir @ Nasiryusuf18@yahoo.com . The dude worked in Malaysia before so he understands Malay and speaks pretty good english too. His prices are good too! Better than our hotel’s.

To end this entry I shall throw in a lame joke

Tuk tuk driver: “Hello tuk-tuk.”

Tourist: “Do I look like a TUK-TUK to you?”