Thursday, August 29, 2013

Travel 2013: Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu Malaysia

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An impromptu diving trip to Pulau Perhentian was how I spent my end of July. This was so sudden that 1 week immediately after the Diving Fair Malaysia 2013, we just randomly set some dates and headed over.

To begin, I would like to give you some short introduction of Pulau Perhentian.

The island is divided into two different islands, the big one (Besar) and the small one (Kecil). The islands used to be a stopping point for ocean traders between Bangkok and Malaysia. As of now, they mainly thrive on tourism.

Looking at the map below, you could see that most resorts, chalets and what-not are located on the Pulau Perhentian Kecil (the left one). I haven't been to the two islands, but as far as I know, the Kecil one is the most happening one with many night activities and tourists. The Besar is quieter and more peaceful. Rest assured though, if you are going for diving or snorkelling, the person-in-charge will most probably bring you somewhere on the boat.

We stayed in Shari-La Island Resort, situated on Pulau Perhentian Kecil. The resort is supposed to be one of the higher ends along the beach. And it's right beside the jetty and also Quiver Diving Centre, which was why we were here in the first place.


Lobby was really nice and well-kept. There are lotsa seating places and you could enjoy some Free Wi-Fi service in the lobby here.


The lobby. Thank God to the welcome juice, they managed to quench my thirst whenever we came back from a dive or a walk.

The area is huge, with many rooms around. And the places are very well-kept and maintained. The surrounding is green, nice and clean.

This was the lot where we stayed, a simple "Kampung" style chalet.

One queen size and one single bed. Just nice for three occupants.

Most importantly, the washroom was clean!

Aur Beach, Pulau Perhentian Kecil. Every island has many different beaches and our resort is located on Aur Beach. It's a short beach, with more boats than humans. If you want to sun tan and just play with the sea water, this beach is not for you as mostly divers stay around here to get to the boats easier. There are other beaches, don't worry and we'll get to that soon!


The beach with other restaurants and shops situated along it.

Restaurants along the beach.

Many restaurants, different owners but their menus are more or less the same.

The Long Beach! It's at the other side of the island. To get to here from Aur Beach, you will need to walk through some jungle paths to get here. It isn't an easy path by the way. So if you are not a diver and just want to lie on the beach relaxing, you are better off staying at one of the resorts along The Long Beach. They have better accommodations there and pricier too!


One of the more luxurious restaurants at Pulau Perhentian.


On Diving

I had my period on the first day I went *DAMN IT!* so eventually I only managed to dive two times instead of seven as we planned. My dive buddy went for 4 dives before she started falling sick too. It was raining on almost every night when we were there (End of July).

  • Visibility was horrible due to stormy weather

  • Overcrowded dive sites with easily 30 divers under the ocean on site

  • Many corals and fishes, could have been beautiful places to dive apart from the less than 3M visibility

  • Many Triggerfishes to pace up your diving :(

 On Food

  • Ample of restaurants along the beach but all menus are repetitive and limited

  • Very pricey

On Accommodation (Shari-La Resort)

  • A comfortable stay at Shari-La Resort, was satisfied that the room was clean

  • Overheard some other tourists complaining about bed bugs and stolen items *warning*

  • The solar-powered water heater is not reliable, ended up bathing in cold water a few times!

On Island

  • Overly and extremely commercialized, just a bunch of people lucky enough to get permissions to run businesses on the islands to shake money off you.

  • No local and native cultures nor warmth, everyone just treats you as a money tree.

  • Poor sanitization and hygiene

  • The island is not well-maintained, most businesses are small without any proper planning for long term

How To Get There

  • FROM KL : Purchase Mahligai Express @ RM50 per trip to Kuala Besut

  • At the jetty, there are plenty of boat services available @ RM35 per trip


Overall, it was a disappointing trip for me. I am not sure if I would still return here as I haven't explored the Besar yet... Well, who knows?

How about you? Have you been to Pulau Perhentian? Have I missed out anything cool? Share with me!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bonjour Garden Bakery Cafe @ Kota Damansara

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Hidden inside the hustle bustle Kota Damansara, there lies a beautiful Bakery Cafe - Boujour Garden with a French concept. You gotta drive your way around the Kota Damansara and beat the crazy traffic in that area to get to this! Don't worry though, parking is plenty - you gotta pay for it.


The area of the cafe is huge, with an open air concept and plenty of plants around to make up for its French Garden concept. There are plenty of places so you don't have to worry about not having enough seats. However, the place is surprisingly quiet. I went there during a weekend and there weren't many people.

This open air concept is wonderful for the natural lighting but it's somehow not practical in our country. Seriously, architects really need to re-tune their mindsets when designing an open-air concept especially in tropical countries. Sure, we get lotsa natural sunlight, making the entire place very beautiful.... They seem to forget the fact that our WEATHER IS HOT. So yes, honestly, as much as I love the setting, I will never opt to sit outside due to the warm weather, especially the temperature can fluctuate any time. I won't be able to enjoy my food while sweating like crazy. No thanks!


The counter is also situated right outside, with all the menu listed on the board.

There're lotsa PRETTY CAKES! I didn't not try them though. I could warn you first, they are pricey for a tiny piece. I will definitely come back here to chill and try out one of them in the future.

Back to the open-air concept... FORTUNATELY, they have a small area for air conditioned seating. This is where you could see most patrons sitting here, sipping their hot teas. I can't blame them, we are living in Malaysia.

The place is clean and well-kept. I quite like how they make the trees part of the buildings, very garden-like indeed.

Beside the air-conditioned seating area, the bread area is just there where you could just walk over and select your breads comfortably. You will be spoilt by so many choices and beautifully decorated breads that you won't know which one to pick. And oh, the smell of the freshly-baked breads..... Yum! So tempting!

Again, this is a premium bakery, be prepared to splurge!


I was first intrigued by the photos in the menu as this drink seems to be looking real good. I was so easily conned, I know but then I was in the mood for a good drink so I ordered this. With the mixutre of fresh lemon, strawberries and soda, this drink is really refreshing. One sip into the drink and it will wake you up thanks to the lemon zest that adds the sour yet cooling and rejuvenating. They also add in Strawberry syrup to give counter the sour taste. All in all, I love this thirst-quenching drink. The RM12 was well paid for!




This dish was quite a let down. It was pretty ordinary, nothing to scream and shout about. The croissant did not feel fresh and we felt that there seemed to be a lack of butter inside the bread and it tasted quite bland. As simple as it looked, the scramble egg was good though fortunately, something to made up for this ordinary dish. I could taste the abundant amount of cheese and butter in the egg. They made it very flavourful. Otherwise, this could have been a really expensive dish for food this bland.



Did I tell you? One of my western style soup would be Minestrone soup. And I don't know how to tell you how good this soup was from Bonjour Garden unless you tried it yourself! This is definitely one of the best Ministrone Soup I have ever come across this far. There are too many instant Minestrone Soup around, but this is awesome! It is rich, flavourful and Bonjour Garden is also very generous with its fresh ingredients! And I love how it is not overly sour so that I could still taste the different vegetables boiled with the soup itself. The dish comes with simple toast bread which you could dip in. The portion is very generous too. Love it!



I love how Bonjour Garden is very generous with their food. They definitely put in lotsa Tuna Mayo and vegetables for this simple sandwich. I could have like it better if not for the bread they use. The bread was so rock-hard that we were having so much painful moments just working out our jaws to chew the bread. In the end, I decided to gave up the bread and just finished up the filling only.

From this point, feast your eyes on their breads! We only bought some of them back home as they were pricier than other bakeries, something to be expected as Bonjour Garden is a premium bakery.


Some blueberry pastries.



Dining in Bonjour Garden is a delightful experience thanks to their overall concept of the place. I love the selection of their breads and how we were all spoilt with their extensive menu. This place is definitely good for friends and family to hang out and spend time together as everyone would definitely find something they love or crave for from their long menus. If you don't feel like eating, check out their menu on drinks too!

I enjoy my visit at Bonjour Garden. Their servings are generous and the surrounding is clean and comfortable. Despite the many choices of their beautiful decorated breads, we realised that they seem to be lacking in terms of taste. As for the dining menu, I might just come back to revisit again next time to try out their other foods.


Honey Lemon Girl's Rating
[xrr rating=5/5 imageset=default label="Ambience:"][xrr rating=3/5 imageset=default label="Service:"][xrr rating=3/5 imageset=default label="Food:"][xrr rating=3/5 imageset=default label="Value:"]


For More Information:

Central Park Building
Jalan PJU 5/13, Dataran Sunway,
Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya.

Contact: +03 6140 7587

Website | Facebook
Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hydraskins: Gadget Skins Specialist Product Reviews

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Few weeks back, when Hydraskins was having their Free Bumper promotion, I instantly bought two sets from them since I was also looking for a new case for my iPhone.

The well-packed package came after a few days as promised.


Seal of quality sticker.

The entire package came with the skins and a free screen protector together with it. Honestly, the screen protector is nothing much; the quality is decent and it seems really thin. And after a few days of using it, I realise that it actually yellowed. I took it away after like a week.


The shock bumper that came together for free! Hydraskins actually put effort into their packaging even though the quality of the bumper seems merely OKAY.

This is how the bumper looks like from different angles. It's actually quite tough but I found that the workmanship of the bumper is quite horrible. The one for I  received for Samsung Note 2 is damaged. The rubber already came off in certain sides. There an obvious lack of quality control here. This looks like those $1 cheap bumper you could easily source from ebay.
PicMonkey Collage

The skin!

Unlike the bumper, the skin quality is actually good, as you could see from the photo below, it's different than the normal sticker and I truly trust Hydraskins when they say the skin won't leave any residues on your gadgets.

When I was putting the skin on my phone, I had to peel the skin off a few times to get the angles right and it was surprisingly easy to put on the skin too! So much easier than putting on the screen protector as the skin won't leave any bubbles and even if you found some air space, you could easily slide them off with a card! One advice though, don't try to pull the skin as it will elongate.


My iPhone looks pretty good with the skin and bumper!

Samsung Note 2 actually looks better with the skin on as the surface area is much wider.

For RM39 per skin (Full Body protection), it is pretty worth it as the skin quality is good. I have no doubt that it will definitely keep my phone from scratches while leaving no residues on the body after that. However, the bumper (selling at about RM29 normal price and RM19 for add-on price) is not worth the money. The quality is horrible and we ended up going to retail shops to get transparent cases instead.

I hope Hydraskins look into this matter and exercise better quality control not only for their skins but also their bumpers.

All in all, thank you Hydrakins, now my phone has an awesome looking body. I might consider having another set of skins if they have better promotions! *hint*


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