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Malaysian caught smuggling 1.6kg of stimulants into Japan

Yesterday, a Malaysian caught smuggling 1.6kg of stimulants into Japan. Posted on Japan Custom Facebook Official Page, it stated that ‘【Exposure Report】Osaka Customs accused a Malaysian attempting to smuggle about 1.6kg of stimulants into Japan from Malaysia.’

Credit:
https://www.facebook.com/Japan.Customs

This could be reason why Japan Custom officers are getting stricter on Malaysian tourists this year.

We travelled to Japan three times this year and compare to recent years, the custom officer asked more questions than it used to be. In fact, we got our luggage checked even in ‘Green Zone’ (nothing to declare zone) twice this year.

They asked us many questions on where we were traveling and why are we bringing huge luggage. Our answers are simple as we told the officers that we love to travel to Japan and we love shopping in Japan too!

Credit:
https://www.facebook.com/Japan.Customs

Please do not abuse the FREE VISA offered by Japan and please take note that it could be stricter for Malaysians to travel to Japan. There could be more questions asked by the Japan Custom officers and more checks on Malaysian baggage.

This could delay your travel time in catching a bus or train in Japan especially those late flights to Haneda International Airport from Malaysia.

There are no new updates on the Malaysian caught smuggling 1.6kg of stimulants into Japan. For more Japan stories, please visit https://www.placesandfoods.com/category/japan

The post Malaysian caught smuggling 1.6kg of stimulants into Japan appeared first on Places and Foods.

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Lacie Rugged USB C Perfect for Travellers

What is the perfect external hard drive for travellers? We had at least half a dozen of external hard drives at home but the best so far is Lacie. Lacie is a subsidiary of Seagate and the Lacie Rugged USB C is perfect for travellers.

What is the most important thing you need when you travel with an external hard drive? For me, it is durability, compatibility, speed and security. This is why it is time you should invest more in an external hard drive like Lacie Rugged USB C.

We are in South Africa right now and we are traveling with Lacie Rugged USB C. We are not worried about knocks, falls and water spills as Lacie Rugged USB C comes with the protective rubber orange sleeve and it can protect the hard drive from knocks and drops and it comes with ‘rain resistance’.

This Lacie Rugged USB C is designed by Neil Poulton. We read some reviews that they hated the orange rubber sleeve but we don’t mind that bright orange color. We love striking colors.

It terms of compatibility, it works perfectly for PC users, MAC users or both. You have option to format the hard drive according to your need. You can have FAT32, an NTFS or a hybrid.

Please do take note that it comes with two cables, one for PC and one for Mac.

For security, they offer Data Recovery Services and this is something you probably need if you don’t have constant access to your Cloud drive when you are traveling around the world.

For example, we have limited data access in South Africa and that’s why we have not uploaded our Lacie Rugged UBC unboxing video yet.

For the speed, we have no complains so far and it is running faster than the usual external hard drives.

Overall, Lacie Rugged USB C is perfect for travellers like us or business travellers who constantly on the move without worrying on rough physical usage and data security and backup. For the retail price, it is seems to be expensive but if you check out Lazada.com, there are quite a few sellers offer it with discount.

The post Lacie Rugged USB C Perfect for Travellers appeared first on Places and Foods.

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McDonald’s Malaysia Sets New Malaysia Book of Records

Are you a big fan of McDonald’s? Do you often use the McDonald’s Drive-Thru? McDonald’s Malaysia Set New Malaysia Book of Records on 27 April for the highest vehicle count accessing McDonald’s Drive-Thru restaurants over the course of 24 hours, with a total of 164,235 vehicles. This led the company to be officially recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records for achieving the “Largest Participation for a Drive-Thru Challenge in 24 Hours”.

We attended the event on 29 April at McDonald’s Kota Damansara to celebrate the Drive-Thru Weekend Challenge that was carried out the weekend right before that (from 26-28 April). McDonald’s Malaysia had previously held the record for most vehicles participating in a Drive-Thru Challenge in August 2008, where 18,677 vehicles drove up to 53 McDonald’s restaurants nationwide from 12pm to 3pm. A year prior, the record was 7,186 vehicles passing through 49 McDonald’s Drive-Thru restaurants between 12pm to 2pm. 

McDonald’s Malaysia is placing greater focus in its Drive-Thru business across the country in response to changing trends among customers who are increasingly seeking convenience, as well as fast and friendly service to complement their on-the-go lifestyles.

A recent study revealed that McDonald’s Drive-Thru meets consumers’ expectations in providing convenience during mealtimes. The greatest motivating factors that are driving consumers to use Drive-Thru services are that they are hassle-free and efficient.

The report adds that the advantages of Drive-Thru are not only limited to functional benefits, but it also provides emotional benefits to consumers. Apart from providing convenience, consumers also have the peace of mind and assurance that they are not running out of time during a meal.

To be honest, we are one of many Malaysians who use the McDonald’s Drive-Thru. We find McDonald’s Malaysia Drive Thru is one of the most efficient ‘drive-thru’ outlets in Malaysia. The waiting time is lesser than others and you can’t argue they have good selections on their food. Our boys love the Chicken McNuggets andHappy Meals and the toys and we love the McBreakfast.

According to McDonald’s Malaysia Managing Director and Local Operating Partner Azmir Jaafar, the company is targeting to open 20 new McDonald’s Drive-Thru restaurants this year. This will complement the existing 167 Drive-Thru restaurants already in operations today.

“The Drive-Thru segment of our business has seen significant growth since the opening of our first Drive-Thru restaurant at McDonald’s Titiwangsa in 1988.  And since then, the Drive-Thru segment has no doubt become an important key driver for the company, as Drive-Thru window sales contribute close to 50% of total sales for all 167 McDonald’s Drive-Thru restaurants. On top of that, we are seeing an average of 10 percent year-on-year growth in our Drive-Thru sales for 1Q 2019,” said Azmir.

“We would like to thank Malaysians for being good sports and making this Drive-Thru Weekend a success. It was great to see the immense response for this challenge, especially seeing families coming to McDonald’s Drive-Thru restaurants nationwide to participate,” said Azmir.

“We have seen 15 years of success of the McDonald’s Drive-Thru VIP loyalty programme, and we promise greater consumer activation in the future as we continue to improve our operational efficiency. We are committed to maintaining our market leadership today and confident that we will meet growing consumer needs for a wide variety of great tasting and quality food during any time of the day just by driving-thru McDonald’s,” said Azmir.

The Drive-Thru Weekend underscores McDonald’s capability to manage this fast-expanding business segment. Furthermore, McDonald’s expects a 10 to 15 percent increase in vehicle count at McDonald’s Drive-Thru restaurants moving forward as this segment continues to grow at an accelerated pace over the next few years.

We can’t wait to see a new McDonald’s outlet with Drive-Thru near our house. Like we mentioned earlier, our boys love McDonald’s and it is good to have an outlet nearby. It is very convenient for working people to grab their breakfast while on their way to their office. We don’t mind visiting a McDonald’s Drive-Thru for a tea break or a meal as the service provided at a McDonald’s  Drive Thru is consistently fast and efficient. Not forgetting, they are keeping the food warm and fresh. This is why McDonald’s Drive Thru is many steps ahead compare with their competitors.

The post McDonald’s Malaysia Sets New Malaysia Book of Records appeared first on Places and Foods.

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This is the Takayama and Shirakawago Day Trip by Klook Review during winter on this January 2019. The Takayama and Shirakawago day trip is one of the most popular activities you can find in Nagoya by Klook. In fact, it is also one of the cheapest options to visit both places at once inclusive of buffet lunch in Takayama.

Why do we do a day trip to Takayama and Shirakawago? Takayama can be reachable via train (JR Train) or bus while Shirakawago can be reached by bus only. Traditionally, you need to stay at least one night in Takayama or one night in Shirakawago so it will take a few days of the traveling time. To make it on a day tour, you can save the time to visit other places, the downside is you have limited time to explore both places.

Takayama and Shirakawago Day Trip with Klook - YouTube

It is an early bus ride from Nagoya at Meitetsu Bus Station (next to Nagoya JR Station). It is very systematic, just show your booking from Klook to the ticket counter and they will let you know your seating. All your seats are numbered and you have to fasten the seatbelt.

There will be a tour leader who can speak fluent English. Technically, there is no tour guide but the tour leader is very helpful and they do explain some of the places in English.

There will be a stop (or more) on the highway for toilet break. The bus is very comfortable and it takes a few hours from Nagoya to Takayama.

Takayama is a city in Gifu prefecture and it is in the mountains. The highlight of Takayama is the old town (Sanmachi Suji) since the edo period (1600-1868), the Nakabashi Bridge, Takayama Ginja and more.

We were 90 minutes to explore the surrounding area of Sanmachi Suji before lunch. We explored some of the sake shops, street food and souvenir shops in Sanmachi Suji.

For 90 minutes, we went for two sake shops for sake tasting, we went to queue and taste the Hida Beef sushi and also Beef skewer (kushiyaki).

We also manage to visit Takayama Ginja and also Nakabashi Bridge (the famous red bridge). It depends how you spend the 90 minutes but it is sufficient for us to visit these places on our pace.

The Takayama and Shirakawago day trip by Klook also include lunch buffet. The lunch buffet includes local and International cuisines with quite a good selection of food. For the restaurant of the lunch buffet, it changes from time to time but overall the food is pretty good and most important of all its fresh.

During the bus ride from Takayama to Shirakawago, the view of the surrounding area is a beauty especially during winter. This will keep you awake throughout the journey.

We reached Shirakawago in late afternoon and we had around 80 minutes to explore this beautiful old town in Gifu prefecture.

Shirakawago is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Japan and it is listed under UNESCO World Heritage List.

The triangle houses in Shirakawago during winter is probably one of the most popular pictures you can find on Instagram. Most travellers want to visit Shirakawago during winter as the view is scenic as the houses covered with snow.

The bus will park in the parking area and everyone had to cross the bridge to reach the village. It is quite crowded during winter as Shirakawago is a popular tourist attraction in Japan.

We were unlucky as it was sunny when we visited Shirakawago. The snow melted and it becomes ice so it is very slippery to walk around and the tour leader told us to be careful.

There are three traditional houses you can visit in Shirakawago. The day tour package will allow you to visit one of them as there is entrance fee to visit them.

We manage to walk around the entire village even though it is 80 minutes on our pacing. There are restaurants and souvenir shops and there are also areas restricted to tourists.

Please take note this is a real village and there are locals who are staying in Shirakawago thus there are restricted areas in the village.

After 80 minutes of visiting the Shirakawago house and the surrounding area with lots of photos and videos, we took the bus back to Nagoya. During this time, most of the guests will take a nap and will reach the Meitetsu Bus Station at around 7pm.

Is Takayama and Shirakawago Day Trip with Klook worth it? The answer is yes if you want to visit both places in one day. For the price of around RM 299 (depending on currency exchange), we thought this is a good deal. To book this day trip, please visit https://www.klook.com/en-MY/activity/2598-shirakawa-takayama-nagoya/?aid=602

The post Takayama and Shirakawago Day Trip with Klook Review appeared first on Places and Foods.

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Where to buka puasa (break fast) this Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur? Check out Curate Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur Ramadan Buffet with celebrity guest Chef Dato’ Fazley Yaakob. 

Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur Curate Ramadan Buffet 2019 - YouTube

For this holy month of Ramadan, celebrity guest Chef Dato’ Fazley Yaakob and his team will take center-stage at the show kitchen of CurATE, the Hotel’s lively all-day restaurant assisted by Executive Chef Junious Dickerson and his team.

Chef Fazley, known for his exceptional culinary talent since his student days at Le Cordon Bleu (Paris), began his star-studded career when he won MasterChef Celebrity Malaysia in 2012. He has followed this up with numerous other milestones, including the Most Distinguished Le Cordon Bleu Alumni (Paris) and the Golden Chef Award at the Malaysia International Gastronomy Awards 2018.

We went for the Ramadan Buffet Media preview recently and we were blown away by the food choices available at Curate, Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

We met Chef Fazley and had a little chat with him. He looks pretty excited as his signature menu which brings together flavors from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China and India will be available every evening throughout Ramadan (6 May – 4 June).

Curate Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur Ramadan Buffet with is priced at MYR 178nett per person from 6 – 12 May and 31 May – 4 June, and at MYR 208nett from 13 – 30 May. Early bird discount of 20% is available for bookings made before 21 April 2019 with 50% deposits for 6 – 12 May and 31 May – 4 June.

We loved most of the local food available at the Ramadan Buffet. They offered grilled lamb, local dishes like rendang, kerabu, ayam percik, nasi dulang minang, local desserts, kuih and more!

It is not just about food selection as the food here is tasty. Chef Fazley and team makes sure the food is up to his expectation and quality during this month of Ramadan. This is all about quality and good food at Curate, Four Season Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

We forgot to mention that you can have the best view of the Petronas Twin Towers from here. With the view to kill and good food, come and book your table at Curate Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur to meet Chef Fazley and also taste his signature dishes.

 For corporate groups or guests seeking a more exclusive setting, the Hotel would be delighted to arrange a private and personalized celebration, combining the true essence of Ramadan with renowned Four Seasons hospitality.

For reservations and additional information, please call CurATE at +603 2382 8630

The post Curate Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur Ramadan Buffet with Chef Fazley Yaakob appeared first on Places and Foods.

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Dookki is a Korean buffet restaurant located in IOI City Mall Putrajaya. Dookki is a popular restaurant from Korea with over 100 outlets around the world. Dookki IOI City Mall is their first outlet in Malaysia.

Dookki means ‘two meals’ in Korean and you start with the Korean hotpot style and have the 2nd meal with the kimchi fried rice.

They offer six versions of tteokbokki (rice cakes) for their buffet and many variety of vegetables and meat too.

There are different types of meat balls which include beef ball and also fresh and marinated chicken. They offer ‘lala’ for lunches and additional ‘mussels’ for dinners.

This is the Korean fried chicken, Dakgangjeong and it is available for dinner buffet only. The chicken is cripsy and tender and coated with their special sauce, this is really tasty. We can have this for the entire buffet.

The sauce of the hotpot is based on your preferences. For us, we prefer the least spicy so the waiter helped us to customised the sauces. If you want to create your own master sauce, they are four sauces you can play with. The non spicy jajang sauce and gungjung sauce and the spicy dookki sauce and super spicy topokki sauce. The sauce will create the broth for the hotpot.

Pick your food and enjoy your Korean buffet for 90 mins. There is also special promotions for lunch and dinner buffets especially during this month of Ramadan. Check out the promotions at the bottom of this post.

We add on the double cheese ring for RM 18.80++. This is mozarella cheese with corn and we loved this. The taste of the cheese is not overwhelming and you can eat it with almost everything.

Look how cheesy the cheese is and you won’t regret ordering this ala-carte cheese ring.

We love their version of tteokbokki especially the ones with fillings. The food here is fresh and the sauce they made for us is sweet and non spicy. For spicy lovers, you can create super spicy sauce.


After you finish the hotpot, keep the sauce while the waiter will add the rice and kimchi to stir fried it as kimchi fried rice. Since we ordered the cheese ring, we cooked the remaining cheese with the rice.

The result is cheese Kimchi fried rice that is flavourful and delicious. We loved the food here.

Do check out their Ramadan Special Buka Puasa buffet at RM 35.80 NETT! Please take note that Dookki Korean buffet restaurant is Pork FREE restaurant.

For lunches, it is only RM 29.80 nett and RM 27.80 nett for students.

Overall, we loved the food here and the tteokbokki is one of the favourites so far in Malaysia. The Korean buffet is only for 90 mins and do check out the two promotions they are having right now for the month of Ramadan.

Dookki is located on L1-12B (Level 1) next to the ice skating rink in IOI City Mall. If you are a Korean buffet and tteokbooki lover, please visit Dookki Korean restaurant in IOI City Mall.

The post Dookki Korean Buffet Restaurant IOI City Mall appeared first on Places and Foods.

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Earlier this year, we were invited to explore Sichuan China. It was organized by Hong Kong China Tourism and Tourism Sichuan. This is our first time visiting this part of China as we explored Lijiang last year. We will be posting highlights of this six days travel in Chengdu,Du Jiang Yan, Le Shan, Emei in Sichuan China.

Travel in Sichuan Day 1 – Kuala Lumpur to Chengdu

Flying from Kuala Lumpur direct to Chengdu via AirAsia. The flight takes four hours 25 minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 to Chengdu International Airport. The flight starts from 6.15pm and we reached Chengdu around 10.40pm.

Once we touched down, the tour guide took us to the hotel and we stayed at Shimao Yuluxe Hotel. It is a luxury boutique hotel located in Chengdu downtown. We reached the hotel around midnight, took a night shower and getting ready for travel on the next morning.

Travel in Sichuan Day 2 -Chengdu to Du Jiang Yan

We had breakfast in the hotel and time to visit the pandas. For your information, Sichuan is the home of the iconic animal of China, the pandas. To visit the pandas, we went to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding 都大熊猫基地

This is our first stop in Chengdu and the Chengdu Resarch Base of Giant Panada Breeding is huge. We spent around two hours and we only explored parts of the research base. During peak season, this research base is packed with tourists and visitors.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is located 10km from the Chengdu city centre. This place is like Pandas wonderland or playland. There are hundreds of pandas in this place.

We went to see Pandas in Macao many years ago and this is the first time we see so many pandas in one place.

You get to see all sorts of pandas here and lucky for us, they are very active and playful. Some pandas were sleeping and some even had hangover on top of the tree.

This is the place you can bring your kids to see the pandas and we are very sure they will love the pandas. They are adorable and cute. This is a must visit place in Chengdu.

Lunch at 农家小院 Nong Jia Xiao Yuan

After visiting the pandas, we went for lunch at 农家小院 Nong Jia Xiao Yuan for authentic homestyle Sichuan food. For those who travelled to China with tours will know that meals in China are extravagant.

Usually lunches or dinners will come with seven to eight dishes per meal. For this lunch, we had chicken, pork, beef, fish and vegetables. Food in this part of China offers a lot of spiciness and thus it is similar to Malaysian cuisine in a way. If you are big fan of spicy food, please visit Sichuan China.

San Xing Dui’s Ancient Bronze Museum 三星堆博物

The second stop of the day is San Xing Dui’s Ancient Bronze Museum 三星堆博物馆. This unique museum is located 70km from Chengdu.

This is for history lovers as you can spend hours understanding advanced ancient civilisation here in this part of China.

There are many exhibits and collections of Bronze Age artifacts dating back 3000 years at San Xing Dui. Thus, the Shu Kingdom is one of the cradles of the world and Chinese civilisation.

There are many unique and interesting artifacts and collections will blow your mind. There are hearing aids available in this museum. What is interesting is the tools and artifacts of the past especially the weird looking masks. It looks so ‘alienish’ and there are similar masks in other parts of the world! This really makes you feel that we are not alone in this universe.

Dinner at 都江堰 Du Jiang Yan

This is another feast at this local restaurant called 都江堰 in Du Jiang Yan. Sichuan is popular with signature dishes like ‘mala’ (spicy with numbness aftertaste) hotpot and ‘ma por’ toufu.

We got the taste the ‘original’ mala toufu here but they serve the tofu in slices which is quite interesting. The taste is really good but hot and spicy.

Overall the food here is spicy and for spicy food lovers, this is heaven. No wonder, they called Sichuan as the gastronomy province of China.

Du Jiang Yan City

This is the interesting part of Du Jiang Yan Old City. The river is brightened with blue lights and it turns the city bright and vibrant.

We walked around and explore the city as it was very relaxing in late February. It was windy and cooling and we were walking after the heavy dinner like the locals.

There are many locals singing in the street with stand alone karaoke system. It seems to be a popular activity here at Du Jiang Yan City.

We had Mala Rabbit Head for supper and stayed in Holiday Inn Plaza in Du Jiang Yan (formerly Holiday Inn Express).

Travel in Sichuan Day 3 – Du Jiang Yan to Le Shan

Breakfast is usually in hotel and we checked on, sit on the coach and will be traveling to Le Shan, another city in Sichuan.

Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System

This is the first stop on the third day and we spent quite some time here. Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System is a huge place.

Mount Qingcheng, dominating the Chengdu plains to the south of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, is a mountain famous in Chinese history as the place where in 142 CE the philosopher Zhang Ling founded the doctrine of Chinese Taoism.

The other interesting part of Dujiangyan Irrigation System is the ancient irrigation works dating back to 300 BC.

This irrigation system is built by Li Bing to divert water to a few different rivers to control flooding in this plain.

Li Bing used bamboo, wooden logs and stones to calm the Du Jiang River by diverting the water to different rivers which leads to Du Jiang Yan city. When the water level of the river rise to certain height, it will naturally divert to other two rivers and by using this technique, the cities in the valley won’t be flooded.  This is truly an ancient marvel. Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System is listed in UNESCO Heritage Site List in 2000.

Chuan Cai Museum川菜博物

Our lunch is at Chuan Cai Museum川菜博物馆. This is a popular cooking school in Sichuan and we have to cook our own lunch.

We had to cook three dishes and they are kung po chicken, ma po to fu and red bean bun. It is a fun thing to do and this is similar to other cooking classes we attend like the Blue Elephant in Bangkok Thailand.

At the end of the day, we screwed up in the red bean bun but the other dishes are tasty and delicious.

Le Shan Giant Buddha 山大佛

Visiting Le Shan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛 is a dream comes true as it was featured in Hong Kong’s Storm Rider the movie. The Le Shan Giant is 71 metre tall and it is built in between 713 to 803 during the Tang dynasty.

The history of this giant Buddha is long but currently it is undergoing restoration and maintenance work. Thus, we were not allowed to land on the island to see the giant Buddha up, close and personal.

The site of Le Shan Giant Buddha is just five minutes cruise from the pier and it is surrounded by modern buildings. Developments have reached this part of Le Shan. Le Shan Giant Buddha is listed under the UNESCO Heritage Site List.

The giant Buddha statue was built on a red limestone cliff on Min Jiang River. It is believed that it was built to bless travellers using the treacherous river – it turned out that the stones chiselled off the cliff to make the huge statue fell into the water, flattening the uneven river bed, hence calming the waters. The Buddha statue was undergoing restoration when we were there but we can still appreciate the grandeur and aura of the UNESCO Heritage site.

Dinner at Le Shan Hotpot Restaurant 房房燭火鍋

Finally, our first ‘mala’ hotpot. We had it at this popular hotpot restaurant called 房房燭火鍋. There are many ‘mala’ hotpot restaurants and they offer option of ‘mala’ soup and other soup. We had twin soup with herb soup and ‘mala’ soup. We can’t take spicy so herb soup is good for us.

They serve many funny dishes such as goose intestines, duck tongue, rabbit stomach and more. We tried some of the unique dishes but we stick to the usual beef, pork, pork and chicken.

What is interesting is they gave us cans of vegetable oils and it is used as dipping for ‘mala’ hotpot. These oils intensified the spiciness but this is good stuff!

Stayed at Ramada Le Shan Hotel

This is one of the best hotels we stayed during this trip and sadly we only stayed for one night and reached hotel after dinner.

The ‘mala’ after effect happened today. Body got really heat up and it was really hard to sleep to be honest. We heard many stories on the ‘mala’ after effect and it hits me hard. I didn’t have a good sleep as the heat borders me.

Travel in Sichuan Day 4 – Le Shan to Emei

Starting the fourth day with breakfast in hotel and today, we will be traveling from Le Shan to Emei.

Jiayang Steam Train 为小火车

First stop for the fourth day is to ride on Jiayang Steam Train. This is the oldest steam train in the world at Jiayang. We went on ride on similar train in Ushuaia Argentina many years ago but this is different. The train ride in Ushuaia is called The Ride To The End of The World.

It is the old steam train and the train carriages are made from wood. You have to purchase tickets to take a ride in this train.

This feels like in those old Chinese movies where people sit in these steam trains to travel in between cities in China. The amount of steam released is unbelievable, it white plumes of steam covered almost the entire train.

What is interesting about this train ride is we get to see fields of beautiful golden yellow rapeseed blooms. Trust us, the girls will love these yellow rapeseed blooms as they are so instagrammable.

Taking the steam train is like a trip back to the past and the next destination is Bajiaogou Coal Mine.

Bajiaogou Coal Mine

This is one of the most interesting places we have been in China. The Bajiaogou coal mine feels like 1960s. The architecture of the buildings as well as the posters and paintings of Mao Ze Dong is still there.

We feel like stepping back during the 1960s in Bajiaogou Coal Mine. The buildings, the tiles and even the trees, it still remained the same in 2019.

Lunch at Bajiaogou 礦工食堂

The lunch reflects the food that miners ate in Bajiaogou Coal Mine’s heydays in the 1960s. Most of the food are meaty as it offers energy to coal miners for the entire day. Here, we eat like the locals and the food here is pretty decent.

Bajiaogou Old Cars Transportation

We are not taking the train back to the city and instead we are riding one of these Bajiaogou old cars back to our coach. We love how they maintained the cars and making it part of the tourist activities / attractions for Bajiaogou.

Luo Cheng Ancient Town 罗成古镇

The next stop is Luo Cheng Ancient Town. This is a rather unique ancient town compared to ones we went in Yunnan China.

The Lou Cheng ancient town is dated back to the 1600s during the Ming Dynasty era. It is packed with locals and this has become a meeting point for the locals.

You can find many locals playing card games, playing mah-jong, chit chatting with friends while enjoying a cuppa tea.

The architecture of this ancient town is unique as from the top, the town is actually a boat shape. The ancient towns in Yunnan are usually octagon shaped towns.

The structures here are built with woods and not stones. The ancient town is not that touristy too as it is crowded with locals.

There ia some street food here and this ‘sugar painting’ stick caught our attention as the store owner uses hot caramel to draw paintings on the stick.

Dinner at Emei City 醉峨眉

This is another glorious dinner in Sichuan and we had dinner at Emei City in this restaurant called 醉峨眉.

The food in Emei City is similar as other cities in Sichuan and they used a lot of chilies and ‘mala’ in their dishes. The ‘mala’ noodle is delicious but it is spicy.

There were also other local dishes and rabbit stewed with tomatoes. The locals really love rabbits.

They have one local dish which is similar with our Malaysian appam balik but their version is bigger.

Emei Kung Fu Show at Emei Performing Arts Centre 峨眉山演艺中心

For those who read Chinese fiction stories, Emei is a popular for its legendary Kungfu clan. There are three strongest kung fu clans in China which is Shaolin, Moudong and Emei.

Many TV dramas and movies portrayed Emei as one of places for kung fu but in actual fact, it is just fiction. We don’t find any kung fu clans in Emei but we watched the Emei Kung Fu Show at Emei Performing Arts Centre 峨眉山演艺中心

This is not really a Kungfu show but it is more like an acrobatic show, comedy stunts and face mask changing show.

The Emei Kung Fu Show in short is very entertaining, comedic if you understand ‘Mandarin’ and the face mask changing show is very impressive. We have seen face masking changing show but this one is extraordinary. You have to watch to believe it.

Travel in Sichuan Day 5 – Emei to Chengdu

We had early breakfast in hotel as today we will be visiting the Emei Mountain. This is the main highlight of the Sichuan Trip

Emei to Mount Emei

We were the first few groups that arrived at the foot of Mount Emei. We reached around 7 am and we were informed that it has been snowing at the peak of Mount Emei (which is also known as Jinding).

Mount Emei and Jinding Sichuan China in Winter - YouTube

The summit is at 3,079 metres above sea level and to go up to the peak, we had to transfer to a mini coach, uphill trek for 1.8km and take the cable car to the top.

We were not ready to trek at the snow mountain as we didn’t have proper boot. There are street vendors selling socks for the normal shoes. It is a long sock to cover the shoe and the texture of the cloth will add traction when you trek on the snow path. It is around 20 Yuan and it works perfectly.

Hiking 1.8km on the snow mountain is our first time. Along the way, we were greeted by wild snow monkeys. Unlike the snow monkeys in Japan which is white in colour, the Emei snow monkeys are dark brown in colour and they have climatized with humans so they asked for food. It is not advisable to feed the wild monkeys as at times, they could be aggressive.

Taking our own sweet time, having interval stops and taking pictures in between, we managed to hike 1.8km and reached the cable car station.

We took the cable car all the way to the peak to Jinding. From there, we took a short walk to our restaurant for lunch.

Lunch at Jinding 美食林 Mount Emei

Dining in cold weather means you have to eat fast once..

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Craving for a good bowl of Cendol during this hot weather or for buka puasa in this holy month of Ramadan? You can check out this new dessert restaurant in SS2 Petaling Jaya (near KDU and Atria Shopping Centre). It is called Black Mountain Malaysian Ice Desserts and their specialty is Cendol, Ais Kacang and their signature ice dessert called ‘Black Mountain’.

We got to know Black Mountain Malaysian Ice Desserts from the words of mouth. A friend recommended me to visit this dessert place if like cendol. Black Mountain is located at 93, Jalan SS 22/11, Ss 22 near the Petronas Station, KDU and Atria. Malaysian Ice Desserts

Black Mountain Malaysian Ice Desserts SS22 Petaling Jaya is a ‘kopitiam’ setup, the first impression is it looks spacious and clean. We spoke to the manager and got to know that the owners are food lovers and they opened the restaurant as they want to offer good food.

Let’s start with Black Mountain’s Signature Cendol. What you need to know is their cendol is homemade and the Gula Melaka they use is in liquid form. Traditionally Gula Melaka is cooked with sugar and dried ‘cylinder form’. There are also other shapes and sizes of Gula Melaka out there in the market but not in liquid form. The liquid form of Gula Melaka can be achieved is when they cooked it without sugar so this is as the purest form. It is also more expensive as the quantity is lesser than the usual Gula Melaka.

Their signature cendol comes with shaved ice, red bean, cendol jelly, pure gula melaka, coconut milk (santan), evaporated milk and finished with drizzles of pure gula melaka. What you get is the rich taste of gula melaka and the santan. We love the texture of the fresh cendol jelly and the combination is not too sweet with strong gula melaka flavour.

This is our first time tasting pure Gula Melaka and the taste is pretty interesting. You don’t get the usual strong fragrant but you get strong caramel and sour after taste. If you have it with the cendol and coconut milk, you will not get the sour after taste. It is priced at RM 5.50 each but with the quality ingredients, we don’t mind to come for more.

Next, is their Signature Black Mountain dessert. From the picture, you can see how tall is the ice shaving. The Black Mountain comes with the shaved ice, corn, pure gula melaka, gula melaka agar-agar, peanuts, evaporated milk and the extra dressings of pure gula melaka.

This is definitely for gula melaka lovers. The trick is to try to eat the shaved ice first as it will melts and flooded the whole bowl. Try to look for the gula melaka agar agar at the bottom. You can different of layers of textures in this bowl, the soft texture of the agar agar to the crunchy texture of the peanuts. The santan and gula melaka combo is savoury but it is refreshing especially on a hot day. The Black Mountain is priced at RM 6.50.

Their version of ice kacang comes with shaved ice, corn, red bean, pure gula melaka, gula melaka agar-agar, peanuts, rose essence and evaporated milk. This is different than the two as it is rosed scent based while the others were santan flavoured. You don’t get that much pure gula melaka but the taste is there. For ice kacang lovers, you might try this version and love the combinations of the ‘treasures’ in this ais kacang. This is priced at RM 5.50.

On top of the icy desserts, they also have interesting ‘snacks’. They offer homemade chicken curry puff and pastries from Panidor in Portugal. Panidor is a popular brand in Portugal and it is famous for the Portuguese Egg Tarts and they have been around for over 25 years!

The pastries are made and air flown from Portugal and they brought in the Egg Tart, Cod Fish Tart and the award-winning Romeo and Juliet.

The Portuguese Egg Tart is different than the ones in Macau. This is taste of the sweetness is lesser and we loved the taste. We can’t believe we can actually taste the original Portuguese egg tarts here.

The Cod Fish Tart comes with chunks of cod fish and potatoes. If you have tried the Portuguese version of cod fish in Macao, it is often dried and it comes with salty flavour. The cod fish tart comes with hints of saltiness flavour with the creamy potatoes filling. This is our first time tasting Portuguese Cod Fish tart and we enjoyed this.

The Romeo and Juliet is the combination of pastry with pink guava jam & cheese. The pastry is flaky and the taste is sweet with hints of sour after taste (from pink guava). This is a must try for pastry lovers.

For on the go, you should order the Dolly. It is the take away version of the cendol in a sealed glass. You get shaved ice with their green cendol, pure gula melaka, gula melaka agar agar, santan and evaporated milk. This is a brilliant idea as you can drink it in the car while driving or anywhere else on the go.

Black Mountain Malaysian Ice Desserts is open from 12 noon till 8 pm daily. If you are looking for some good cendol and the authentic Portuguese pastries from Panidor, go check out Black Mountain Malaysian Ice Desserts.

Black Mountain Malaysian Ice Desserts Address:

93, Jalan SS 22/11, Ss 22, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Phone: 012-395 1111

The post Black Mountain Malaysian Ice Desserts SS22 Petaling Jaya Review appeared first on Places and Foods.

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A few days ago, McDonald’s Malaysia launched the new menu for the month of Ramadan in 2019. We attended the launch event at McDonald’s Mutiara Damansara with other media and friends. There will be new menu and come back menu for this holy month of Ramadan 2019.

McDonald's Malaysia New Menu 2019 Event Launch - YouTube

You can watch the Youtube video below (please click twice if you prefer to watch it on Youtube app). At the event, Melati Abdul Hai, Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer launched the new menu for the month of Ramadan for 2019.

She added, “Ramadan is the most holy of months for all Muslims, and it is also a time when all Malaysians celebrate their love of food. Whilst there are many iconic tastes that we offer all year round, we find occasions or seasons like Ramadan perfect to offer our customers a differentiated and exciting flavour experience.”

For nasi lovers, McDonald’s Malaysia will be offering the new Nasi McD! So what is Nasi McD? The new Nasi McD will be paired with McDonald’s famous, spicy, Ayam Goreng McD, will now be served with an all new Curry Sauce that customers can add-on.

Nasi McD will be available with a choice of 1 piece or 2 pieces of spicy Ayam Goreng McD. The set comes inclusive of a medium coleslaw and a medium Iced Lemon Tea, for a complete meal that’s perfect for buka puasa.

The rice is fragrant and it comes with the spicy crunchy Ayam Goreng McD. What is interesting is the introduction of the coleslaw to this menu and you must complement this with the curry sauce. The curry sauce is spicy and full of curry flavour. If you like ‘nasi kari banjir’ (rice flooded with curry sauce), you will love this. The Curry Sauce is sold at RM 1.50 each.

The Chicken Foldover is coming back with new special sauce. The Chicken Foldover comes with two pieces of grilled chicken patties with fresh lettuce and tomatoes and all wrapped with toasted flatbread. The new special sauce is tastier and spicier than the previous sauce and it gives the Chicken Foldover more flavour and the extra spiciness or the extra kick. It is served with our favourite McDonald’s French Fries and Ice Lemon Tea.

On top of that, McDonald’s Malaysia will be bringing in Banana Pie! This is something new to breakfast or any time of the day as this is an amazing snack. Banana Pie is a tummy warming pie that is very similar to our ‘pisang goreng’ but this is better. Every bite you get the sweet savoury banana with the warm crispy crust, we don’t mind having this every day!

McDonald’s will be bringing back D24 Durian McD too! Our favourite ice cream is back and we heard many places are sold out during the weekend. For durian lovers like us, time to enjoy the best of both of world, McDonald’s smooth vanilla ice cream and the satisfying D24 durian flesh!

That is not all, there will be new Sarsaparilla Cones and new McCafe Ice Blended Ribena!

What is Sarsaparilla Cones? In layman term, it is Sarsi. We tasted the Sarsaparilla Cones and it tasted similar like Root Beer Vanilla! You get the soda after taste and this taste is pretty interesting.

McCafe Ice Blended Ribena is probably an alternative to traditional ‘bandung’ juice and this is the perfect drink to break ‘fast’. If you like Ribena, this is the drink you should order. It is refreshing and thirst quencher!

Not forgetting the Sahur meal, McDonald’s on 6 May, started extending selected Regular Menu items until 6am to cater to customers who are fasting. This includes the Nasi McD, Ayam Goreng McD, McChicken, Spicy Chicken McDeluxe, and Chicken McNuggets, which will be available to customers looking for a satisfying meal to bersahur with at McDonald’s. This is not just for our Muslim friends but for everyone as well, we love this new menu offered by McDonald’s Malaysia.

McDonald’s Malaysia’s Ramadan menu offerings are now available, and will be sold until 5 June 2019.

Even more exciting, McDonald’s is also launching the “30-Days of Ramadan” promotion exclusively via the McDonald’s App. The ‘30-days, 30-deals’ offers special discount coupons which will be released on the App on a daily basis. To enjoy these amazing discounts, customers just need to download the McDonald’s App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. If you haven’t downloaded the app, go download now!

As a yearly affair, all 270 McDonald’s restaurants in Malaysia will organise a weekly moreh (after prayer meals) at various local mosques. Through this initiaitive, McDonald’s aims to strengthen ties and build relationships with the surrounding communities. McDonald’s Malaysia’s pledge this holy month of Ramadan: the underprivileged will not be forgotten thus McDonald’s Malaysia will be hosting orphanges for a buka puasa treat.

McDonald’s Malaysia New Menu for Ramadan 2019 is available now in McDonald’s Malaysia. You can walk in, order McDelivery and even on GrabFood app! I’m loving it!


The post McDonald’s Malaysia New Menu for Ramadan 2019 appeared first on Places and Foods.

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A few days ago, McDonald’s Malaysia launched the new menu for the month of Ramadan in 2019. We attended the launch event at McDonald’s Mutiara Damansara with other media and friends. There will be new menu and come back menu for this holy month of Ramadan 2019.

McDonald's Malaysia New Menu 2019 Event Launch - YouTube

You can watch the Youtube video below (please click twice if you prefer to watch it on Youtube app). At the event, Melati Abdul Hai, Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer launched the new menu for the month of Ramadan for 2019.

She added, “Ramadan is the most holy of months for all Muslims, and it is also a time when all Malaysians celebrate their love of food. Whilst there are many iconic tastes that we offer all year round, we find occasions or seasons like Ramadan perfect to offer our customers a differentiated and exciting flavour experience.”

For nasi lovers, McDonald’s Malaysia will be offering the new Nasi McD! So what is Nasi McD? The new Nasi McD will be paired with McDonald’s famous, spicy, Ayam Goreng McD, will now be served with an all new Curry Sauce that customers can add-on.

Nasi McD will be available with a choice of 1 piece or 2 pieces of spicy Ayam Goreng McD. The set comes inclusive of a medium coleslaw and a medium Iced Lemon Tea, for a complete meal that’s perfect for buka puasa.

The rice is fragrant and it comes with the spicy crunchy Ayam Goreng McD. What is interesting is the introduction of the coleslaw to this menu and you must complement this with the curry sauce. The curry sauce is spicy and full of curry flavour. If you like ‘nasi kari banjir’ (rice flooded with curry sauce), you will love this. The Curry Sauce is sold at RM 1.50 each.

The Chicken Foldover is coming back with new special sauce. The Chicken Foldover comes with two pieces of grilled chicken patties with fresh lettuce and tomatoes and all wrapped with toasted flatbread. The new special sauce is tastier and spicier than the previous sauce and it gives the Chicken Foldover more flavour and the extra spiciness or the extra kick. It is served with our favourite McDonald’s French Fries and Ice Lemon Tea.

On top of that, McDonald’s Malaysia will be bringing in Banana Pie! This is something new to breakfast or any time of the day as this is an amazing snack. Banana Pie is a tummy warming pie that is very similar to our ‘pisang goreng’ but this is better. Every bite you get the sweet savoury banana with the warm crispy crust, we don’t mind having this every day!

McDonald’s will be bringing back D24 Durian McD too! Our favourite ice cream is back and we heard many places are sold out during the weekend. For durian lovers like us, time to enjoy the best of both of world, McDonald’s smooth vanilla ice cream and the satisfying D24 durian flesh!

That is not all, there will be new Sarsaparilla Cones and new McCafe Ice Blended Ribena!

What is Sarsaparilla Cones? In layman term, it is Sarsi. We tasted the Sarsaparilla Cones and it tasted similar like Root Beer Vanilla! You get the soda after taste and this taste is pretty interesting.

McCafe Ice Blended Ribena is probably an alternative to traditional ‘bandung’ juice and this is the perfect drink to break ‘fast’. If you like Ribena, this is the drink you should order. It is refreshing and thirst quencher!

Not forgetting the Sahur meal, McDonald’s on 6 May, started extending selected Regular Menu items until 6am to cater to customers who are fasting. This includes the Nasi McD, Ayam Goreng McD, McChicken, Spicy Chicken McDeluxe, and Chicken McNuggets, which will be available to customers looking for a satisfying meal to bersahur with at McDonald’s. This is not just for our Muslim friends but for everyone as well, we love this new menu offered by McDonald’s Malaysia.

McDonald’s Malaysia’s Ramadan menu offerings are now available, and will be sold until 5 June 2019.

Even more exciting, McDonald’s is also launching the “30-Days of Ramadan” promotion exclusively via the McDonald’s App. The ‘30-days, 30-deals’ offers special discount coupons which will be released on the App on a daily basis. To enjoy these amazing discounts, customers just need to download the McDonald’s App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. If you haven’t downloaded the app, go download now!

As a yearly affair, all 270 McDonald’s restaurants in Malaysia will organise a weekly moreh (after prayer meals) at various local mosques. Through this initiaitive, McDonald’s aims to strengthen ties and build relationships with the surrounding communities. McDonald’s Malaysia’s pledge this holy month of Ramadan: the underprivileged will not be forgotten thus McDonald’s Malaysia will be hosting orphanges for a buka puasa treat.

McDonald’s Malaysia New Menu for Ramadan 2019 is available now in McDonald’s Malaysia. You can walk in, order McDelivery and even on GrabFood app! I’m loving it!


The post McDonald’s Malaysia New Menu for Ramadan 2019 appeared first on Places and Foods.

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