Sunday 31 December 2023

Month of December 2023

The travel bug might have been still itching as the wife suggested an overnight trip to Malaysia. It's probably around six years since I last drove in. The jam at the Causeway was expected as we took two hours to clear customs at 9am on a Friday morning. Johor is so close yet feels so unfamiliar. We were conservative as fears of car and police incidents played in our minds. So without stopping for a break, I drove to Mid Valley Shopping Mall which came highly recommended by friends and it's also where our hotel is situated. At that time, the only thing to do was to have breakfast at the only cafe that was opened. As more shops slowly lit up, our first activity was to indulge in a head spa. It's a new realization that an oily scalp can still have dandruff. I had been using wrong types of shampoo all these while! Well, a simple treatment was better than no treatment although I'm rather skeptical of the result unless it's consistently applied. Lunch was rather light since we had a massage appointment lined up. In the end, we spent the entire day in the mall. The next day, we stopped over at KSL City for Kuay Teow Soup before doing some grocery shopping. Traffic back home was unimpeded as we passed immigration in ten minutes. Overall, it felt like being in Singapore yet spending just that little bit lesser.

Still, my family prepped ourselves for the final trip of the year, this time with a bunch of friends and their kids, totaling 23 people! We were going to Bali. Yeah! One of those places that I missed for so long. Travelling in such a big group brought a different kind of challenge from accommodation to transportation and activities. Thanks to a friend who's basically been a regular here for the past few years due to his business, he and his wife helped organize every little detail. It was a jam packed 5D4N experience. We did a day of water sports, half day of golf followed by beach club party and another day of water rafting and ATV. Our time was split around Ubud, Seminyak and Kuta. In between, we were introduced to cafes with delicious food and views. The consensus was clear that the favourite was Pison Cafe as we visited twice after being impressed by its range of items. I thought golf at Handara was wonderful with the cool mountain, easy terrain and pure relaxation. The most challenging was the rafting adventure. From the beginning, it rained heavily. For the young ones, walking twenty minutes down steep steps to get to the riverside was nerve-racking. Occasional lightning flashed overhead. It was cold and reminded me of my army days in the field camp under similar condition. However, even with rain, once the activity got going, everyone had fun riding the quick rapids and being splashed by muddy water. It was amazing that the group dynamics worked out well. Each family had a fulfilling moment. The ladies enjoyed their hair wash and massage while the kids happily played among themselves. A few of us learnt to play Bridge. My youngest son enjoyed paragliding and surprisingly, the rafting. However, there's an unfortunate remark to the trip. The villa we stayed in fell way below expectations. The rooms were not clean, some had air conditioning issues, water pressure from the shower head was mostly low, my mattress creaked, the pool looked slightly greenish with overgrown bushes etc... I mean, I could list down many more points but we stuck it out and didn't let this spoil our spirits. Be warned, do not stay at The Light Bali Villa @ 11 JL Tunjung. Even our Pasir Ris chalets offered better.

Tip: Macallan Classic Cut 2023, pleasant honeyed nose, a dash of cinnamon and soft dew

No comments:

Post a Comment