Friday, March 30, 2012

My World At It's Best or Worst

The Best Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan

The Busiest Crossing
Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan

The Biggest Tree
Albol Del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico

The Best Mezcal
Alipus, Mexico

The most Exotic food I have eaten
Ant eggs-Escamoles, Mexico

The Best Beach Holiday
With Elena, Juan and Robin at Tulum, Mexico

The Best Cave Dive
Cenote Dos Ojos, Cancun, Mexico

The Best Beach
Varadero, Cuba

The closest I can get back to the 50s
La Havana, Cuba

The Most Beautiful Lake
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

The Best Spanish Teacher
Mynor from San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala

The Dirtiest Beach
Living Stone, Guatemala

The Craziest Down Hill
Cerro Negro
Volcano boarding down Cerro Negro, Nicaragua

The Closest I could get to a Volcano
Cerro Negro, Nicaragua

The Best Bike Ride
Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua

The Most Beautiful Frog
Costa Rica
Red Eye Tree Frog, Costa Rica

The Most Amazing Fig Tree
Fig Tree
Santa Elena, Costa Rica

The Smallest Bird and the only bird that can hover in mid air
Santa Elena
Santa Elena, Costa Rica

The Best Cloud Forest
Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica

The Best Gold Museum
Museo del Oro, Bogota, Colombia

The Weirdest Local Medicine cook with bird, frog, flowers and others
Huancayo, Peru

The Most Amazing Ruins
Machu Picchu, Peru

The Most Dangerous Road to Bike
The Death Road, Bolivia

The Worst Bus Ride
21 hours of dusty, hot and bumpy ride from La Paz to Rurre, Bolivia

The Biggest Salt Lake
Salar The Uyuni, Bolivia

The Best Hot Tub
At 5000m altitute, Uyuni, Bolivia

The Last Survivor on Earth
Lonesome George, Galapagos, Ecuador

The Most Torturing Trek
Torres Del Paine, Chile

The Best Ice Mountain Hike
Volcan Villarrica, Pucon, Chile

The Most Penguins ever seen
Magdalena Island, Punta Arena, Chile

The Most Creative House Deco
Valparaiso, Chile

The Most Remote of all Village
Puerto Eden, Chile

The Best Glacier
El Calafate
Perito Moreno, El Calafate, Argentina

The Best Peaks
El Chalten
Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Argentina

The Most Amazing Waterfall
Iguazu Fall, Argentina

The End of The World
The most southern city
Ushuaia, Argentina

The Best Moment
With Marga and Inge through out South Chile up to Iguazu, Argentina

and The Biggest Penguin :-)
Ushuaia, Argentina.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Restoring My Identity

Never been robbed and never been living with a photocopy or temporally identity. After I was robbed all I have was a laminated photocopy of my passport. :-( That was what i used to identify myself. I arrived in Kuala Lumpur International Airport showing my Emergency Certificate to the Immigration officer, he smile and nodded. I was quite used to repeating the story of me being robbed by now. He was surprised that I went travelling for 10 months alone and shocked to find out I lost so many things and stunned that I have to pay RM6000 to come back to Malaysia, maybe he felt sympathized with what happen to me and asked me if I needed the passport urgently. I responded with an unbelievable look and asked is that possible? Then he asked his colleague to prepare for me a letter to be submitted by hand. He told me if they send that thru the office courier, it will take a month, if I go personally to the Head Office it will be faster. I was so thankful for his help. :-) With that I cut short 1 month.

After recovering from jet lag 3 days later, the first thing I did was to get a pair of spectacles. I need my clear vision back. ;-) Then I went to make my Malaysian ID, with my birth certificate and the police report and being first offense, I was charged only RM10 for a replacement but I need to wait for 3 weeks.

Then I went to the Immigration Head Office to submit the letter which was sealed in an envelope. I was sent to the Head Office which only handle Lost of Passport overseas. That make it sound a bit special at least, my case is handled differently from those loosing passport in Malaysia. :-)

The Immigration officer was very humble and nice, he scheduled an appointment for interview one week later and pass me a form to fill up. I have to bring photocopy of my birth certificate, photocopy of Malaysian ID, photocopy of Singapore ID, Police report, 2 passport size photos, and a declaration form to be certified by the commission of oath. Actually I have all those with me but they can't give me an interview straight away.

A week later, the same humble and nice guy interviewed me, he asked me lot's of questions, he asked me what do I do, where do I live, where I have been, when did I leave the country, am I residence of any country, why do I travel, when did I get robbed, how did I get robbed, what did I loose, why do I need my passport back,  when do I need my passport back, etc... The only question interest me was the last one. I told him ASAP please! :-) Surprisingly he told me in 5 working days normally I will receive an answer. Before it used to be a month. Wow! I almost jump from the chair. I also took this opportunity to find out about the penalties of loosing passport, he told me if one loose their passport overseas for the first time, normally he/she will get back a new 5 years validity passport. if one loose their passport overseas for the 2nd time, he/she will only get back a new 2 years validity passport, if one exceeded their stay in foreign country, he/she will not get a passport for 3 years after return!

What happen if one loose a passport at a country where there is no embassy? If there is no embassy, check if there is a high commissions, permanent representative to UN and ASEAN or a consulate office. If it is a Commonwealth country, there shouldn't be a problem. One can get assistance from the embassy of other Commonwealth country. If it is not, last resort is go to the local embassy for assistance.

Meanwhile, I wrote to PADI to get a replacement DM card (AU$25), I just need to send them my photo and pay. Even thought it is "Put Another Dollar In" at least you get good service!  Don't think I will get my IANTD Nitrox card replaced so soon.

Winnie and Dylan came to visit me in Kuala Lumpur, she brought me my new Citibank Credit Card but she forgot my SIM card, so I still can't make any transaction online.

3 working days later I received a call from the Immigration Office telling me that my passport replacement request has been approved! I swear I would hug the officer and gave her a big kiss if she is in front of me. :-) I was jumping with joy. It was much faster then expected.

I return to KL and Adelyn my niece has been driving me around for all my errants. We went to the Immigration office 7:30am in the morning when the door open, there was no one at the counter. We waited till 8am and finally someone came, I pass him the letter and he asked us to go for coffee. As expected, they take their own sweet time and need their breakfast time as well. Eventually I got my new Passport (RM300) at 10:30am. Woohoo! We went straight to LCCT airport so I could catch the next available flight to Singapore.

Arrived in Singapore at 2pm, at the airport they check me in with no issue. I head straight to the ICA office to get my Re-entry permit and Singapore IC replacement. For the first time offense, I was charged S$60 instead of S$100 and it takes a month to process. 

Then I went to M1 to sort out my outstanding bill of over S$200, the thief managed to use my phone to make some calls in BA before I cancel the line, they told me they could only waive S$50 off my bill. That was the best they can do. I was not happy with the offer, I tried to speak to the officer in charge to ask for more but they said they can't do much. :-( The last thing I did was to get my POSB card replaced and a new Internet banking dongle.

The following day, I went to get my driving license replaced, it also required 1 month to process and cost me S$25. Pay! Pay! Pay! What else? I got my Travellers cheque (Free) replaced , Yellow Fever Card replaced (S$11), new camera housing (S$340), and new hand phone (S$0 with 2 years contract)

One month later, I will be ready to go again. :-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quick Facts about Malaysia

As a Malaysian who was able to travel to see the world, I was one of the lucky one. Over the last 10 months around Japan, Mexico, Central and South America, I didn't meet any Malaysian backpacking around. I felt honoured to be the first one to be there (at most of the places) and to share about Malaysia. Hopefully I have help to increase the awareness about my country. :-) Telling everyone about Malaysia was as interesting as me discovering their country. I think one has to meet a person or to be at the place to know the country. Just like you need to meet me (or other Malaysian) to know about Malaysia. :-) Now you just need to visit my country Malaysia.

Malaysia Truely Asia!

César PelliThe Capital City of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur, 1.6 millions people lives here.
Malaysian currency is Ringgit Malaysia in short RM or MYR.
We are multi-ethnic country which consist of the Malay (50%), Chinese (24%), Indian (11%), Iindigenous tribes (7%) and others (8%)
We are multi-lingual, we speak at least 3 different languages, Bahasa Malayu being the national language, English is widely spoken, Mandarin, Cantonese and Tamil. Not to mention other dialects like Hokkien, Hakka, Teochew and others. 
We are a country of multi-religious, Islam being the largest and official religion of the country. Others practice Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Confucianism and others.
We celebrate several different festivals a year, starting from the Chinese New Year(Chinese) in Jan/Feb, Thaipusam(Indian) in Jan/Feb, Vesak(Buddhist), Hari Raya Puasa(Malay), Hari Raya Haji(Malay), Dewali(Indian) and Christmas (Christian).
We have huge diversity of food that will take one to try them all in months. 
We have many traditional sports like Wau is a traditional form of kite-flying involving kites created with intricate designs. Sepak takraw is a game in which a rattan ball is kept in the air without using hands, normally played by 3. Gasing is a traditional game played during the harvest season. Badminton being the most popular sport in the country with Lee Chong Wei being the Number 1 Badminton Player in the world as of Jan 2012.
We have the tallest twin tower in the world - The Petronas Tower. Designed by Argentine architect César Pelli.

Foreign Relation
Malaysia has never recognised Israel and has no diplomatic ties with it. Our passport states clearly that it is valid for all country except Israel.

We were Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial in the past.
We gained Independence from the British on the 31 August 1957.

Geography and Weather
We are in the Tropic, which means having 365 days of sun, rain and humidity. Temperatures are from 21ºC (70ºF) to 32ºC (90ºF).
The country is divided into 2 region, the Peninsular and East Malaysia, the Peninsular Malaysia is bordered with Thailand at the north, where else the East Malaysia is bordered with Brunei and Indonesia.
The southernmost point of continental Eurasia is located at Tanjung Piai, Malaysia.
About two thirds of Malaysia is covered in forest with some forests believed to be 130 million years old. 

Quick links for foreigners travelling to Malaysia
Malaysian Tourism Website -
Visa requirement for foreigner -
National carrier - Malaysia Airlines (
Low cost carrier - AirAsia (
International Airport - KLIA Kuala Lumpur International Airport ( and LCCT-Low Cost Carrier Terminal (
Malaysia Bus Info -