Category Archives: Travelling Tales

Iran – Shia Muslims, Persian hospitality and beautiful art [Pt2]

…continued from Part 1.

Currency

The official Iranian currency is the Iranian Rial.

However locals and merchants throughout the country still widely cite ‘Toman’ (previous official currency) when transacting. Though they will still tell you the price in Rial if you ask.

RM 1 (One Malaysia Ringgit) = IRR 10,039.52 (10 thousand Rial)

To convert to Toman, simply remove one 0 from the Rial e.g 10,000 rial is 1000 toman.

vice versa, to know what the price is in Rial, simply add a 0.

Alternatively the Euro is also accepted in some touristy places around the country, though I suggest you stick to using their local money for ease of transaction.

Are things cheap in Iran? From my currency to theirs, no it’s not. In fact things are rather expensive.

Public Toilets

I am the kind of traveller whose experience of a country tends to be impacted by my visit to the public restrooms (weirdly enough yes). If it’s unpleasant, it would most probably make me reluctant to go, which isn’t good for me in cases of long travels. In such event I’d resort to a proper place like the shopping mall.

I wasn’t sure what to expect in my trip as we had long bus rides and would stop at gas stations and even random rundown R&R areas for toilet breaks. I would always hesitate a bit. But what did I come to find? Public toilets throughout the country are clean. And not that wet. Even though the toilet was provided with a water pipe, it was relatively dry. I was actually impressed. This may seem trivial but elevating the comfort of any tourist in a country is appreciated.

Read more…

Iran – Shia Muslims, Persian hospitality and beautiful art [Pt1)

I went to Iran recently together with my parents on an organised 8 day 6 night trip. I had no idea what to expect before going. While there may be many Iranians residing in Malaysia, it doesn’t tell me much about how their home country is like. And while I may have lived in a country such as Saudi Arabia, I was not sure what it would be like to step into another Islamic country. Here’s my take by category.

Weather

We went in the second week of November and the weather was perfect. Temperatures ranged between 17 degrees celcius during the day to 5 degrees at night/early morning. It was super pleasant, save for the first day where it rained. Otherwise, it was sunny for the most part. It made for beautiful and bright pictures.

Read more…

How to get along when travelling with a friend

This sounds like a strange topic for a blogpost doesn’t it? But I had this conversation with a friend while travelling and I’m glad I did because it made me realise a few things.

Show consideration. When travelling, moods and feelings get heightened. You get tired, you get hungry, you get restless. Ask your friend how they’re doing. Is the walking too much? Do they want to take a break? Skip this tour maybe? Just chill and get coffee here instead? Eat somewhere else? I’m good if you’re good.

Read more…

Why am I always going to Langkawi?

“Are you hiding something there? Someone maybe?”
“You have a house there is it?”
“What’s so great about Langkawi?”
“Don’t you get bored?”

All very valid questions, but the honest truth is…I just really like the place. *boring*

Over the past few years, I found myself visiting Langkawi frequently. Last year I went there 3 times. Save for the fact that I have already done the tourist visits years back, as I come back each time I don’t exactly do much – I go out, I go cafe hopping, last year I even went ‘hotel day-hopping’ which means I would go and visit what different hotels have to offer without staying there (a pretty win situation if you ask me).

Read more…

Awan Mulan, Seremban

What I love about Malaysia is that a getaway retreat is always within reach. In recent times, there have been more getaway retreats coming up, ideal for weekend retreats or staycation trips.

Sometime in February, Team YCM and I headed to Awan Mulan for a 2d1n team retreat. We wanted somewhere that could accommodate a party of 10+, that was nearby and that allowed for us to both work and play. Awan Mulan being 1 hour and a half away in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan was just perfect.

img_2965

A sight for sore eyes. This view reminds me a little of the Bosnian valley I visited in 2013.

Read more…

Wanting less when you can have more

So I just got back from a short break out of the country and it was much needed. It wasn’t entirely perfect – weather conditions were not too good which limited my activity. But it was good nonetheless because I had days to just do absolutely nothing. And sometimes you just need to do that you know? Go away and do absolutely nothing.

The mind is hardly idle as is the body, so I took the opportunity to reflect about things, one particular realisation which I myself am even surprised to have made.

Read more…

Sunrise in Borobudur, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Here are some unedited photos I took when I visited Borobudur, Yogyakarta, Indonesia a few months back. After hearing suggestions for a sunrise tour during our trip in Jogja, my friends and I decided to commit to waking up 4am in the morning to make our way from the Yogyakarta city to the Borobudur temple (around 1 1/2 hour) and climb up the temple just in time to witness a breathtaking sunrise.

P1000167

It was so beautiful. So worth waking up early! The best part was the panoramic view of Mount Merapi in the backdrop which I will blog about separately later.

P1000180

Read more…

Dusun, Seremban

Malaysia is a country with many public holidays and what’s good about 2015’s public holidays is that most are strategically placed near weekends. You know what that means…plentiful extended long weekends!

For the first long extended public holiday weekend, a group of friends and myself decided to have a nature-retreat escape. After reading this article, we decided that we had to tick at least one off the list this year!

We headed to Dusun in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, about an hour away from Kuala Lumpur. We stayed there one night which is more than enough really and maximised the facilities and activities available. We mostly just relaxed and hung out – which is what being at a nature retreat like this is all about. The photos in the website definitely lived up to the quality and thus it was excellent for photo-snapping.

Read more…

Bali

Made another trip to Bali after 5 years and so much has changed. The airport is different, there’s more highways and they’ve installed a toll. They’re definitely more resorts/hotels and the dynamics of the city has changed. Nevertheless 100% tourism devoted as always.

I stayed at St. Regis with my family and it was amazing. Website photos definitely lived up to the quality and the weather (minus a few showers of rain here and there) made it so apt for constant snaps. Definitely no filters needed!

The resort is indeed big and there were buggies available for service but I decided to forgo all that and enjoy every walk, every path, every view. I just loved the abundance of greenery, the river flowing-like pool and the complimentary wi-fi available everywhere! Who doesn’t love that hehe.

The beach was quaint and lovely and I was reminded of how awesome the waters are here in Bali; clear see-through blue with a constant present of waves. Nowonder it’s a surfers haven.

Read more…