Tuesday, June 24

Perhentian Island Getaway!

Heyo everybody! Didcha miss me? Lol! I was feeling super duper elated while processing the photos and many wonderful memories came gushing through my mind. On 13th of June, I organized a 4 Day 3 Night family cum diving trip to Pulau Perhentian (Perhentian Island) off the seas of Terengganu. 
Cows roam freely in the large fields

My trip was planned in 2013, in conjunction with the Air Asia promo tickets, and booked a return ticket to Kota Bahru, Kelantan. From Kota Bahru Airport, a van was arranged to pick us up to Kuala Besut Jetty. The 1 hour van ride costs about RM120/way (booked via Mama Holidays).  A confusion arose but was settled immediately, Abang Ben our driver assured us he will drive us safely to the jetty. His friendly demeanor ensures us that he was honest and it is safe to travel with him. 

My Papa and I

From Kuala Besut Jetty, we took a 30 minute speed boat ride (via Mama Holidays) to Perhentian Island. The boat ride fee is RM35/way/pax. It's quite expensive in my opinion, but travelling in speedboat gives me some adrenaline rush, minus the seasickness factor. I also love the warm salty air of the sea and the saltiness on my lips throughout the speedboat ride. Well, this officially means, HOLIDAY HAS BEGUN!

My In-Laws, Mommy and Daddy
In my previous blog post (MIDE-click here), I blogged about booking my trip through Turtle Bay Divers. I was being recommended Mama's Chalet. Before my trip, I contacted En Aziz and he was the one who helped me arranged for the van and speedboat to this beautiful island.

Standard Non-Air Con Room in Mama's Chalet
Mama chalet is a lovely place, filled with lovely people. The chalets are very basic, and acceptably clean. The standard fan room costs about RM70/night (without breakfast). It's really a bargain! We took 3 rooms and only 1 of the rooms have smell (which I believe due to the previous occupant). After airing and putting some lime leaves under the pillow and on the bed, the room doesn't smell as bad anymore. Everything is good. Expect to be in a back-to-basics kind of getaway here, and be prepared for red ants, mosquitoes, lizards and squirrels. Aww, come on, this is what makes vacation memorable right?

The beach in front of Mama's Chalet

Mama's Chalet is located in the big island. There's two parts of Perhentian; big island called Perhentian Besar, and small island called Perhentian Kecil. The big island is more quiet and peaceful, whereas the small island has whiter sands, beautiful beach but is filled with night-activities. There's pros and cons of both islands, but altogether, just experience both to experience the differences.

Little girl playing with the sands in Mama's Chalet.
It was a hot season when I went there last two weeks. The beautiful sun, shines through the clear water....ahh what a wonderful sight!

Clear Waters
We arrived at the island at 11am, and got ready to begin our first dive for the day. It was my 1st dive as leisure diver after getting my license in March. I took my diving license in Mabul Island. Oh how much I have miss you, Mabul! (Check out my Mabul Island diving experience here). 

Turtle Bay Divers is located at the end of Mama's Chalet. We were introduced to Joo, a korean divemaster. She understood that we were beginners, and gave us adequate introduction and explanation about the divesites that we were about to explore. Diving with her was a fantastic experience. She's really a strong woman, helpful and very capable. Gosh, I admire her strength so much!

Dive sites around Perhentian Big & Small Island.
We took a package consisting of 8 dive sites.
  1. D'lagoon (small island) - sandy area. A place for us to warm up and refresh our memories about diving. Here we saw stingrays and puffer fish.
  2. Police Wreck - sandy area with 3 small wrecks which were previously used by the Police force, hence named as police wreck. Visibility was pretty much poor during our dive here. The wreck just "appeared suddenly", so you can imagine how bad it is. hehe..Jenkin's Whipray is sighted, and also the blue-spotted stingray can be found.
  3. Pinnacle - beautiful coral reef area. Surrounded by fishes! A must visit site! It's my first time seeing squid here too!
  4. Tg Basi - I love this place also! It's my first time seeing Unicorn fish and Trigger fish. I kinda love "to feel being watched" by the Trigger fish. haha.. OK, watching is just fine, please don't attack me! hehehe..
  5. Shark point - I don't remember anything spectacular about shark point. There's no shark here, it was named because the rocks that marked this dive site looks like a shark's fin. 
  6. Sugar Wreck - This wreck is amazing! It's my first time seeing a huge, real wreck. The rest I've seen are artificial wrecks (purposely being sunk as a fish/coral breeding place). The current was so strong, but the visibility was so good! Divers were seen panicking and flying all around. Lots of Lion Fish, and Indian Ocean Walkman here. Big Puffer Fish and Box Fish is seen too! Oh ya, my husband is lucky enough to see a Blue-banded Sea Krait entering the wreck during our 3minute safety stop!
  7. Terumbu Tiga (T3) - named after the 3 rocks of that area. Visibility was bad when we descend, but eventually got better. There's lots of nudibranches here. We love nudibranches! It's cute, colourful and looks tame at the same time! We love looking at them! T3 is a little challenging because there are crevices where we can pass through. We have to rely deeply on our buoyancy control, otherwise, we may hit the rocks or brush the seabed. It's really fun, and I was scared! 
  8. Batu Layar - The finale of our dives. This is also a beautiful and pleasant to dive place. Stone Fish can be found, and swarms of fishes will circle you. So beautiful! I was giggling underwater in Batu Layar because an extremely friendly Remora Fish keep coming at Joo to clean her! TWICE! Then I went a little further away and I saw the fish came again, i swam away and the Remora went to my husband. I signalled him but I don't know how to describe Remora, then he was jerking like fish out of air because the Remora is sucking his skin HAHAHAHAHA.. What a funny sight! 
Can't wait to dive!
I can't wait to get my Advance License so that I can visit other dive sites =) Some sites are deeper than 18m, and we need extra qualification to go down that deep.

The more happening Long Beach of Perhentian Kecil
I thought that I will be really bad in the sea, so I didn't bring any underwater camera or borrowed a GoPRO. Now I really regretted it, because no words can document our experience under there.

Tanned, and ugly LOL

Diving will be the only one time that I feel happy when people ask me "Where have you been? You are so dark now!". For other times, I just get offended when people say me dark! HAHAHAH...

Jian, Ben, Joo (our divemaster), Me and Alex
I have nothing but praises for Joo. She was so patient with us, and attentive. I feel safe with her. Also, she collects plastic rubbish from the sea bed. She inspires me!

Sunset view

Staying at Mama's Chalet, food was convenient. The Mama's restaurant serves approximately 30-40 different kinds of food. Price was OK as well (RM8-15/plate), considering this island as a tourist spot. 

Well, as we went diving, my parents went snorkeling. I shall do another blog post on their snorkelling trip soon. But for now, it's time to say goodbye and goodnight!

It's so hazy, and smelly, and hot wtf! Can someone conjure me to Perhentian Island please? I don't mind the heat, but I hate the dirty air!!!

Till we meet again!


Tuesday, June 10

Mamee Double-Decker Factory Visit: Mamee Chef Day Out

Last Saturday, I woke up to a pleasant morning, looked at my handphone and bounced up of the bed when I saw, 7 AM!  "OMIGOSH!!! I overslept!!!". I just grab something to wear and rush off. I didn't have time to set my hair and put on some make up. Barefaced, with a sleepy head, where am I heading to?


A group of 50 bloggers were invited for a Mamee Melaka factory visit. Our meet-up point is at Mamee Double-Decker USJ factory. Thankfully, I was quite familiar with that area, as our journey was badly delayed due to some bloggers who lost their way that morning. It has been 10 years since I join for a factory visit, and at the same time feeling extremely enthusiastic! My last trip with such a huge group was with My Selangor Story 2010 (Oh my, how fast time passed, it has been 4 years already!)

I can't believe I actually enjoyed the 2-3 hours bus ride from KL to Melaka. Hehe.. our bus had this high tech TV screen thing, and we were being played the Fast and Furious films throughout the journey. I was really occupied by the movies. HAHAHA...

Here's our plan for the day:-

At about 11 o'clock, I think (I was really into the Fast and Furious films, I lost track of time), we arrived at Mamee Melaka! The sun was really hot, and just as I hopped down from the bus, we were greeted and welcome by the Mamee Melaka's staffs. I feel so sorry for them, because our journey delayed and they all must have waited for us for so long!

So the Mamee Chef Day Out has officially begun! No time was being wasted. We kick-started our programme for the day by taking group photographs of us! Here's the enthusiastic Ms. Soong Sham Mee, guiding us towards our photography area.

It was really bright and sunny, and it took us some time to position ourselves properly to fit us all in the camera. HAHA.. the Mamee guys were so funny, they never fail to make us laugh. It was fun under the sun, definitely. I took these photos of them because they are unable to be in the group photo with us all. This way, nobody gets forgotten ya! 

I dare to bet all my properties (fuhyoh) that nobody in Malaysia doesn't know who/what is Mamee. I've always have this picture of Mamee in my heart, whenever I think of it.

Mamee Double-Decker's latest highlight was on the Mamee Chef instant noodles. Did you know that Mamee Chef instant noodles are being purchased by 4.2 million household buyers in Peninsular Malaysia alone?

Have you tried the Mamee Chef noodles? 

I'm not a fan of instant noodles. I'm being honest here. Everybody who knew me knows that I enjoyed cooking instant noodles, but I will throw away the noodles, unfinished. Why? I'm not a wasteful person, but instant noodles always make me feel "jelak" after a couple of bites. 

Because of that, I never buy instant noodles. My first experience with Mamee Chef was from the goodie bag which I had from #NuffnangIs007 Birthday Bash. It was raining one evening, and I had nothing to eat for dinner. So I took the Mamee Chef instant noodle 'perisa' Curry Laksa, and poured hot water into it. 

It was love at first bite.

I finished all of the instant cup noodle, within a month. I even ate my husband's cup noodle. He have not realized it yet. HAHAHAHAHAH..Shhh please keep this secret for me ya!

Gosh, my blog post derailed with my Mamee Chef love story. Ok now, let's get back to our event. Kids! I wish I was 8 years old weh! Kids were so happy. I mean, I feel happy too...but I'm too old to show my happiness. All I could do, was watch their laughter and smiles. *sigh~* How envious I was, I haven't had any opportunity to visit any factories when I was a kid. There's no such thing like factory visit during those days!

We were introduced on Mamee Double-Decker's humble beginnings until today, where Mamee Double-Decker has established its name into one of the food and beverage giants in Malaysia. Then, we were given a LIVE performance of 'La Mien' or "pulled noodle" which was originated from China. It was said that La Mien was the perfect noodle type as the noodles were hand pulled, and exhibit a beautiful 'noodly' texture. Mamee Chef had incorporated the 'La Mien' or in Malay language, called "Mi Tarik" technique into making their noodles.

I didn't have a high tech camera with me. All my photos were captured using my loyal iPhone 5. I managed to record a very short Instagram Video of the process. I hope this is able to give you, readers a picture on how "La Mien" was made. From the video you can see a long dough, and then the lady was like dancing with the dough, and suddenly noodle is formed. It must be some kind of sorcery it is! AHAHAH...

The performance, has really captivated everyone's attention!

See!!! Look how magical this is! The lady was just dancing with the dough and suddenly, strands of noodles were formed!

Ta daaa!! It's so amazing *thumbs up*

Then after that, we were given a nose-triggering, scent provoking, mouthwatering LIVE demo on how to make the Mamee Chef's paste. 

Fuhlamak I tell you~ Just when the pan was heated, and then the ingredients were blended and put to boil, all our senses were immediately triggered. I could even hear my stomach acid regurgitated actively, because I, as a typical Malaysian, cannot resist the aroma of kunyit+serai+ginger+curry leaves and many more. It's really good. A whole new level of goodness was created just by mixing our local spices and herbs!

After that, I got distracted by

Did you know, until today, I love to eat Mamee Snacks? I used to steal my piggybank money like 20 cents and run to Pak Karim's sundry shop to buy a packet of Mamee Monster snacks. Then I will squat near my grandpa's fish pond to eat finish my snacks before heading back home. Some of the unfortunate days, I will get caught by my uncle and after that I get a few lashes of "whipping with love". My childhood was hell, or so I thought, but I never regret any of those. It's a memory I will always cherish.

Me and Mamee will grow old together *made a vow*.

Mamee started in 1972, with a noodle they called "Lucky". Their initial foray into the industry met with some bumps along the way. Lucky was not very successful, but I've asked my folks, they said yea, those days there were "Lucky Mien". 

A couple of years later, Mamee replaced Lucky. The name "Mamee" was inspired because it's homonym to the word "Mommy", the first word that all of us had learn to say, which in fact, is true. How do I know all these details? I read it from TimothyTiah's blog here. 

So, this was the Mamee that was produced during the year I was born, 1986.

And this was the version of Mamee when I was first introduced to Mamee.

Mamee Monster snacks were so adorable then.

and the Mamee Monster snacks that became my good friend until today.

~Me and Mamee~

After all the fun, we were brought to tour the production of Mamee noodles. Can you see the sheet of dough being transferred from one machine to another. It was fascinating to see so much dough, and it looks like a long sheet of cloth.

The dough will go through a process of mixing, steaming, frying..and many more before being made edible.

and then finally it takes shape of the Mamee noodle that we are all familiar with.

Of all the instant noodle, I love this mini-noodles the most. I'm glad that they are still producing it.

After the noodles were cooked, they will be transported to the packaging and QC section. This factory is so huge, and every product is produced concurrently.

This is where the Mamee noodle aroma can be smelled even it was shielded by a glass panel.  Ohhh..look how 'kiddishly' happy I was! *shy*

So here's the final seal of the instant noodle cup lid.

Everything was done by machine, but workers were needed to check for any defects.

I see snacks!!! Loads of them!!! 

It was really nice for Mamee to have helpers to explain to us the process, and to answer all of our questions. They were really professional when answering us. 

Here's a short clip of the Mamee Factory Visit which I recorded for Instagram.

After the detailed tour, we were served lunch! The food was cooked and prepared by the Mamee Cafe at Jonker Walk. While queuing for food, samples of Mamee Chef were served to us too! 

Janice, and her heart-melting smile

Nom nom time! 

I met three new friends on this happy day, Siew Cheng, Anne and Michele. I love to disturb Anne especially, she's really adorable, and witty. Haha.. Here's a good photo of all of us with Mamee before we depart to the Mamee Cafe.

After filling our stomachs, we head to Melaka town. It seems like there's a cafe which was opened since last year, called Mamee Jonker House. I haven't heard of that Cafe, so I'm really eager to see what it is all about. Meanwhile, we were also given some time for sight seeing in Melaka. 

A random building by the roadside

The weather was hot, the skies was so blue. We were all sweaty, but the view was spectacular!

Kincir Air Kesultanan Melayu Melaka

Melaka has become a famous tourist locations. Even the Melaka riverside was beautifully maintained.

Sungai Melaka

There was a Dragon Boat Race on the same day! We were so fortunate, that the race happened right in front of our eyes. I was too busy cheering for the teams, I didn't capture any photo of the race.

Dragon Boat Race Contestants getting ready in Melaka River

Mamee's staffs were so helpful. He made sure we all walked safely to the Mamee Cafe in Jonker Walk. It will be better if he could umbrella us as well *hehe*.

Jonker Walk, a place filled with tourists.

Ok, we have arrived! Look out for this signboard ya. 

Mamee Jonker House, Jonker Street Melaka

A place where Mamee Double Decker goods, and memorabilia are sold

Mamee Jonker house, is a place packed with fun, and loads of Mamee surprises. At the front part of this house, it's a place where Mamee products were sold.There is even Mamee T-shirts, merchandize like cups, and  soft toys. But at the back of this Jonker house, there's the cafe, where local delicacies and coffee is served.

Oh ya, did i mention? I met my long lost brother. LOL!

Me and Mamee Monster. I'm teaching him how to conquer the world.
At the Mamee Jonker House, various kids activities was held on a regular basis as well. There's this section called Noodles Noodles, where we can make our own customize Mamee Cup Noodle. It's a section where you pay RM3.50, and they will give you a cup,and you can design the cup to to your likings. Here's mine.

Nicole is going to expire soon.

The cup noodle did not live until 13th June 2014. It has been walloped by Nicole last week.

Move across the station to have the customized cup noodle filled and packed.

Choose your fillings. (max 4 types)

Press the green button to seal the lid.

Watch the Mamee staff pack the cup noodle for you

Done! Perfectly sealed to be brought home!
After being done with our noodle cup, me and Anne went exploring the noodle house. The whole house has a nice concept. The walls were pasted with some Mamee Double Decker Wonderland. I wish I'm a cartoon character too!

This is Anne, trying to warp into the walls

Let me in!!! Let me in!!!!!
and we got this reaction from Mister Potato and gang...

Sorry Mister Potato, I shall behave myself! 

HEY LOOK! Mamee Performance Theatre!

This is me looking very villian-ish. 
After that, Anne and I had to go to Monster Kitchen. This is the place where all monsters were being cooked.  kids learn to make their own customize Mamee Monster Snacks.

This is the Mamee Monster Snacks workshop, where kids make their own snacks from scratch. It's really fun! The whole workshop takes about 3 hours, and priced at RM10 per kid. 6 kiddos are needed as a minimum requirement to kick start this workshop. Reservation is required for this workshop.

Mamee staff explaning what's happening in the Monster Kitchen

The cafe downstairs, viewed from the 1st floor of the Mamee Jonker House.
Mamee Jonker House is definitely a place packed with surprises. From the miniature Mamee Noodles miniatures (on the left hand side of the wall facing the entrance) to the cafe, and even the toilet signs were so Mamee-fied.

Toilet signs - Female (left) and Male (right)
And right outside the toilet, there's a display of  Peranakan cups and teapots set. I really, really love the peranakan touch to this place. After all, Melaka is associated with the Baba and Nyonya culture. I being a descendant of a Nyonya, am always fascinated by the intricate designs of the peranakan tablewares.

Lovely Peranakan Antique China
At about 5pm, we all left Melaka, waving our goodbyes to all the treasures that we had discovered on that day. Six creative guests went home with Mamee Double Decker hampers. But one thing for sure, everyone went home with smiles etched on our faces.

Stadhuys - one of Melaka's historical attractions
so, Mamee Monster anyone?

For those who is interested to visit Mamee Jonker House, here's the address:-
Mamee Jonker House, 
No.46-48, Jalan Hang Jebat, 
75200 Melaka.
Tel: 06-286 7666 (reservation is needed for the Mamee Monster Kitchen workshop)

For those who is interested to know more about MameeChef, here's their official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mymameechef