I have redefined retirement at age 23. I have a lifestyle where I do the things I like, with the time I have and still get paid for it. I designed my freedom these two decades, traveling to more than 40 countries. I run a successful business doing consulting works as a Corporate Writer, Corporate Emcee, Event Producer and a Workshop Facilitator. I am also a talk-show host on an Internet Radio station with two programs "A Course In Miracles for Work-Life" and "Freedom Speaks". Life is Healthy, Rich & FREE! You can design this lifestyle according to your willingness. I hope mine will inspire you to achieve that freedom too.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Freshly Baked Hot Scones & Strawberry Pie

I noticed there are many friends who login to this blogsite from other countries. So, it makes good sense to use this blog to introduce to our foreign friends some of the lovely things we get in Malaysia. I love to eat, so naturally, I will go to places to look for good food. One of the good times I look forward to when I am at a hill resort, especially at Cameron Highlands and Fraser's Hill (2 of the 3 popularly visited highland resorts in the country) is the time for Tea. I will find myself indulging in the most quintessential practice of the traditional English afternoon tea-culture. There are only 2 places I know (unless you can share with me other places or restaurants) in Cameron that serve afternoon tea with freshly baked hot scones - one is at The Bala's Holiday Chalet and the other is at The Olde Smokehouse. That day when I was at The Bala's Holiday Chalet, I just can't resist trying out their strawberry pie topped with ice-cream. The scones are as tasty as ever, because it is steaming hot, when the butter is applied on it, it just melts. I smooth it with whipped cream and home-made strawberry jam, wow, the moment I put it in my mouth, it warms up. Try them out when you are there the next time, the hot scones are definitely a tongue warmer, especially so when you savour them with hot tea during a downpour (it was raining cats and dogs then), and you look out from a Tudor-style cottage window, surround yourself with a well pruned garden filled with lavendar and roses, all dripping wet in the sensual cool mountain rain. Sit back and let the senses reach out to the feel of warm winter afternoons. Posted by Picasa

Fresh greens from Cameron Highlands

You are looking at green tomatoes, English gourd and Japanese cucumber. Holding in my hands are also some vegetable shoots that look like asparagus, softer but as crunchy. English gourd and the vegetable shoots are grown wild, so we just picked them from the side of the roads. The bush-like growth at the back of me is the English gourd plant. It looks like a kind of vine, the gourd ripen in abundance the time I was there. So, the kids got a basketfull of English gourd for me. The farmer then gave us Japanese cucumber, cherry tomatoes and spring onions which they planted. Loads of them. I brought them home and use them as fruits and vegetables smoothies for breakfast. Oh! by the way, this is at the cool mountain retreat in Malaysia, the place is called Cameron Highlands. It is a holiday destination for the locals and tourists too. Usually it is packed during holidays. So, advisable for tourists to come by during weekdays. The resort stay and the hotel rates are much lower then. You get pretty good service at restaurants and shops. There are a few wonderful eateries, especially scones and English tea. Cameron Highlands with its highest peak, Gunung Brinchang, stands at 6,600 feet above sea level. It is famed for its tea plantations. If you have tasted Boh Tea, it comes from here. Now, there is a new road leading up to Cameron from Simpang Pulai. This new road is less winding, 2-lanes, dual carriage and less steep compared to the road from Tapah. It is a comparatively shorter distance to Cameron by using the new road. If you are using North South Highway (one of the best highways in the world at 800 over km in length that stretches from Singapore right to Thailand), exit at Simpang Pulai. There are well laid road signs leading you there. When you take this road, you will enter into Kampung Rajah first. While for the old road, you will reach Tanah Rata instead.
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Have a feast in Passion Road

Malaysia is a food-haven country. We have foods cooked in Malay style, Chinese style, Indian style and many more. Because of our diverse culture from our lovely multi-racial country, we have lots of fusion restaurants all over Malaysia. Not only are we able to enjoy sumptuous spread of foods cooked in multi-spiced, multi-savoury and multi-style to tempt Malaysian's multi-tastebuds, we have buffet tables stretched to several meters long to put so many varieties of food on it. I travelled so much and meeting with so many people from different countries, when I tell them about our meters-long buffet tables with so many types and varieties of foods to choose from at only USD20, you should see the look of disbelief. They have not seen such things, so how to form an image? So, here will be some photos to show and more to come.
For people in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, I would like to recommend this very illuminating and passionate restaurant called, what else? - Passion Road. As the name suggests, the people in Passion Road are really passionate about the things they do.

This is a bungalow house netled in the quiet vicinity of a class-of-its-own neighbourhood. It is like Mysteria Lane in Desperate Housewives, so into their own doing yet everyone knows where it is.

Passion Road (the name doesn't even sound like a restaurant, so chic yet so juice up with passion!!) only caters to group function. They are only open for private functions throughout the year. No individual can walk in and dine there at will. You got to get a group of at least 15 people to get a booking. And bookings are done very early in the year, especially during weekends. The dates are often full. Weeknights are a better bet. But do call early to book. Anyway, friends like me prefer to be told that I am invited at least 2 months ahead, ahem!!
Food is selected based on a few menus. So, you can go through with Billy, the maitre'd, to tailor-make a menu that will suit your guest list. That includes wines, other beverages and the best thing I like is that, you can even suggest the decor and color you prefer for the function. And oh yes, even the selection of flowers and the types you want- phew, what a love-affair for perfection!!
The food is heaven. You see in the pics above, we had Burmese Laksa (sour and a little spicy fish broth with condiments and eat with rice noodles - Burmese style), Paku-Pakis tuna salad (one type of veg shoots something like asparagus but it curls like a shy caterpillar - Malay style) uhh....and many more mouth watering dishes and desserts.
The decor is passionately charming. Just marvel at the glasswares and the flowers, it puts you in the mood to dine in the most elegant style possible.
Well, just like to eat at beautiful places because life is to be savoured at the best eateries in town (and anywhere in the world.)
Check out Passion Road. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Collage my pictures

I am trying a new photo software, and found that the collage effect is so refreshing. So, just to show everyone some of my photos taken while I was trekking close to Annapurna Range of mountains in Nepal. It was in the month of February, still very cold. The sceneries were breathtaking. I stayed with the local farmers while on my way up the range. No foreigners have been here because I was actually following my guide to him home at 7000 feet above sea level. On the way, I met with so many locals who showed me their houses, and invited me to tea and some even invited me to have dinner with them. The higher I go, the more remote the houses. Until when I reach my guide's house, I have to stay on top of a buffalo shack. Will show you guys more of my adventure later. In the meantime, this is a photo story. Let me know how you like my photo collage. Leave a comment here. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

Musee d'Orsay, Paris

I have been to Paris probably 4 times, all for leisure. I have never travelled to other countries for work, it is always to enjoy myself, drinking in the culture of a country and basking in the warmth of the seasonal sun. But my memories always linger around Champs Elysees, how I walked the streets in winter and in spring. Watching people walk pass. Ejoying how Parisians talk and nibble at their desserts, sipping their coffee while they throw their head to the back and laugh heartily, finger their hair and sweep their muffler, tip their cigarette and pick up the glass of wine, swing their heads to wink their designer's earpiece, then cross their model-slim legs and lay back to bask in the sun - all at the sidewalk tiffany cafe. Hmmmm.....how wonderful life is!!
I once saw the author of the book "French Women Don't Get Fat", Mireille Guiliano on Oprah. She said French women have a very profound way to look at foods. What I learnt is something like this : we look at food as cholesterol, calories and fats. French women look at foods as pleasure, happiness and joy. So, the whole way of eating has been transformed to an "event of joy", of "pleasure", of "fun". It is like having an NLP on foods. No wonder we get fat, because what we think about, manifest. Think about it, isn't it a better way to look at food. Instead of being told over and over again that such food is cholesterol-high, calories-high and fats-aplenty, it is really NLP to "eat in" pleasure, joy and happiness. That makes eating so much more enjoyable!!
Even walking in an 18th century train station gave me so much pleasure to enjoy the art pieces displayed. The pictures above show Musee d'Orsay, a modern day museum displaying artworks by masters such as Vincent Van Gogh, Monet and the rest. This was a train station built sometime in 1939, then in 1977, it was officially decided to turn it into an art museum. It was open to the public on 9 Dec 1986.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hot Stone Massage - Ayurvedic style

"In the process of getting some distance between yourself and your work, and relaxing into that space, you are inviting divine intervention into your activity. " Dr Wayne Dyer

It was 3.00pm, a very chirpy Wednesday afternoon in Kuala Lumpur. Most of my friends are at work trying to hit datelines and presurised under a capable but demanding boss.

Since everyone is busy, I just thought I will have a massage. Someone told me about this wonderful Ayurveda healing centre amidst the hip-joints of Bangsar where some bungalows facing Jalan Maarof are now being turned into beautifully interior-decorated shops. And there stand out a posh Ayurveda healing centre called Samkkya.

I took this photo with the COO of Samkkya, Mr Jeyathevan. Samkkya has probably the best therapists from Sounthern India (Bangalore to be exact) where they do all sorts of Ayurveda healing like Ayurveda massage, Yoga-Pranayama Therapy, Banana Leaf Bath and many more very exotic names to call.

I went in for the Hot Stone Massage. It is not like those normal spa hot stone treatment where they just place hot stones on the body. The well-trained and very experienced therapist used the hot stones, hold them in his hands and rub your pressure points with them. The heat from the stones made it a very therapeutic and relaxing experience for me. This is the first time I slept during a massage. I don't sleep, because I want to always enjoy the Touch, every moment of the flesh and muscles being pampered and caressed is a pristine and primal feeling of the love-seeking soul. So nice and with the hot stones, so warm and cuddly!! For the first time, I fell asleep.

Enjoy it, check them out at Samkkya.