Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

Diam tak diam dah masuk hari ke 3 kita menyambut bulan Syawal. Tahun ini kami beraya di Putrajaya. Biarpun keadaan agak lengang disini, tapi senario pagi raya agak berbeza. Kedua-dua buah masjid di sini dipenuhi dengan kehadiran penduduk Putrajaya serta kawasan sekitarnya. Juga terdapat beberapa bas yang membawa pelawat dari luar. (Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak membuat Rumah Terbukanya di Seri Perdana, Putrajaya). Teringin juga nak pergi tapi seriously, we can’t stand the long queue…hehehe.

Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, PutrajayaMasjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, PutrajayaMasjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, PutrajayaMasjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, PutrajayaMasjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya
Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, PutrajayaMasjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, PutrajayaDr Mahathir @ Masjid Besi, PutrajayaMasjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, PutrajayaMasjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya
Kami mengambil kesempatan untuk bersembahyang raya di masjid baru di Putrajaya iaitu di Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin atau lebih dikenali sebagai Masjid Besi. Masjid ini terletak di Presint 3 dan mampu memuatkan lebih kurang 20,000 jemaah. Kami agak teruja melihat keindahan senireka luar dan dalam masjid ini yang turut dikelilingi dengan scenery yang meredupkan mata. (Faizal turut teruja bila dapat bersalaman dengan idola kami, mantan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir yang juga bersembahyang raya disini).

Today we’ll be going out beraya to our friends and relatives and also pulang ke Faizal hometown in Rawang. Before thing gets busier, we would like to wish all our blog readers and followers “Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri - Maaf Zahir dan Batin”.

* Enjoy lagu “Raya” yang penuh nasihat ini dari artis/pelawak Jalil Hamid. Agak hairan mengapa lagu ini jarang kedengaran di stesen-stesen radio swasta berbanding dengan stesen-stesen radio di RTM.

Monday, September 14, 2009

John + Paul + George + Ringo = The Beatles

The Beatles 09.09.09 Remastered
I remember my first time listening to The Beatles when I was in Standard Four. When my father was playing The Beatles vinyl, it didn’t catch my interest till I heard the song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. He introduced me to the band and more about John, Paul, George & Ringo.

From that song, I started developing my interest in The Beatles (and lots of other music genre too), learn to appreciate collectibles and reading on music book and magazine, which I found useful whenever I go travel…

Now after almost 40 years from their last album and breakup, The Beatles once again create a Beatlemania to the old & new generation of fans. The band released the new Remastered & Rediscovered cd’s. on Sept 9, 2009 which is available in stereo & mono. Mono…? That’s really a classic.

The Beatles 09.09.09 RemasteredThe Beatles 09.09.09 RemasteredThe Beatles 09.09.09 RemasteredThe Beatles 09.09.09 RemasteredThe Beatles 09.09.09 Remastered
Not to be missed this excitement, I went to the launching of the Remastered album in Bandar Utama on 9 Sept 09, and at 9.09am, the album was released for fans and customers to buy. I bought the Abbey Road album, which is my favourite. (ingat nak beli semua tapi budget tak cukup…hehe) From the album cover/inlay to the sound quality, everything was improved and it is definitely worth a buy… and collected!

Studio@Abbey Road
I hope that one day, I’ll get a chance to go to Liverpool and experience the place where all the magic started. So far, I’ve managed to travel to Abbey Road Studio, London and The John Lennon Museum at Saitama, Japan. (read my earlier post….). But I missed to visit the Dakota Apartment in NYC (where John Lennon was murdered) and his Imagine monument in Central Park (this park is huge..!). This is the fun part when you do your own research and backpack, which some of the travel packages don't provide. It may not be a big deal to some people but to me, it’s a very priceless moment as a Beatles fan and from the day I’ve known them..

Abbey RoadAbbey Road CrossingThe Beatles MemorabiliaBeatles memorabiliaJohn Lennon Museum

The Beatles 09.09.09 Remastered
*If you are looking for more Beatles collectibles, checkout my friend’s blog Nazmin at (Helter-Skelter). He also open his stall in Amcorp Mall Flea Market every Sunday at 2’nd floor. (opposite The Singing Shop).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's us,... in Melbourne!

Hi all, it has been a while since our last post on Sydney.. Been busy a bit.. Anyway, before things get busier let’s move on to our Melbourne trip.

Day 9

We arrived at Southern Cross Station, sharp 7.30am after 10 hours “suffering” on the train. By the way, the ticket price is AUD184 per 2 person and seats were better than the bus. Melbourne was cold at that time but we managed to find our hostel after were given direction by the Information Desk.

Inside the Country Link trainSouthern Cross, MelbourneSouthern Cross StationSouthern Cross, MelbourneSouthern Cross Station
Spencer Street, MelbourneFlinders Street StationElephant Backpackers HostelElephant Backpackers HostelElephant Backpackers Hostel

Elephant Backpackers Hostel
It took us half an hour to get there (without big backpack, probably 15mins). It was so convenient from the station to our hostel. Our hostel, Elephant Backpackers is strategically located opposite the famous Flinders Street Train Station. This building is like an icon, if your heard people say “Meet me under the clock”, that’s the place. After check-in (AUD65per night), we as usual without a second delay… mulakan episode Jalan-Jalan di Melbourne. Tapi one thing that we really have to salute them is their hospitality..bukan MAS je ada hospitality.. What I mean is you can ride on the Shuttle Tourist Bus and City Circle Tram for FREE! Woohooo! For shuttle bus, everyday except Christmas from 10.00am till 4.00pm, it stops at 14 tourist spot, including the famous market, Queen Victoria. That’s the first stop we went, for Anna shopping ler..but kat sini a bit pricey than Sydney. Nasib baik dah beli banyak kat Paddy’s Market, Sydney. Tapi besar dan banyak giler barang diaorang jual.. Faizal dah cair dah..dengan stall movie poster dia…

Flinders Street StationFlinders StreetCity Circle Tram, MelbourneShuttle Tourist BusCity Ambassador of Melbourne
Queen Victoria MarketInside QV MarketInside QV MarketFlagstaff GardenPeel Street, Melbourne
After that we took a ride on City Circle Tram, which operates from 9.30am till 6.00pm. Apalagi turun naik turun naik tram la…That day we had lunch at Lords of Fries (okayyy?). It is actually a take away kiosk that sells strictly vegetarian meal that comes with lots of fries.. kenyang nye ya amat.. sampai boleh simpan untuk dinner la… Tip on saving cost: Normally for breakfast, we buy he..he... a big loaf of bread plus butter & jam, because most hostels don’t provide breakfast.

Since our hostel located in the city centre, it really saved us a lot on transportation. Swanston Street is just round the corner which fills with variety shops and malls, eating places, entertainment and even a university. RMIT University (does it sounds familiar?), the theater building and state library among the old buildings around. Di kiri kanan Swanston Street, ada lagi jalan-jalan yang famous for shopping such as Bourke Street.

MelbourneSwanston Street, MelbourneRMIT University, MelbourneBourke StreetLunch@Es Teller
Swanston StreetSt. Paul CathederalSwanston Street, MelbourneCity Circle Tram, Melbourne
One more thing yang best duduk kat sini, makan senang jugak la.. ada dua restoran Indonesia (they said 3), Es Teller and Nelayan, lagi satu tak nampak pun. Kalau jalan-jalan di Swanston Street ni, memang dengar bahasa Indonesia je pun…

Lagi satu, malam pertama kami kat sana, Katy Perry buat konsert kat Forum Theater, which we missed it. Ticket sold out la.. Opposite Forum Theater is Federation Square, which also opposite Flinders Station.. so can you guys imagine how close we are in the city centre? Federation Square also known as Fed Square is a "must". Besides its most controversial architecture, it remains as Victoria’s second most popular tourist attraction.

The Forum, MelbourneThe Forum, MelbourneJunction Swanston StreetFlinders Street StationSwanston Street Junction
Federation SquareFederation SquareFederation SquareFederation SquareFederation Square

Day 10

Chapel Street
Today, the weather even worst, raining and cloudy the rest of the day.., we went to Chapel Street, where there is a market called Prahran Market. Even the market sells all sort of fresh product but the variety still kept me entertained. Along the Chapel Street, there are so many “independent” shops and their own local brand. One of them is Bardot (heard of them before?). To get to here, you have to take a train or tram to South Yarra Station/Prahran Station, where I believe the area for Malaysia Hall, Melbourne. There is one famous mall called, Jam Factory. By noon, we headed back to city centre, continued with our city tour. In Melbourne, there are many back alleys and arcades that connected to each other. Next to our hostel, there is a lane, Degraves Street where it connects to everywhere.. I just found out there's a cupcake shop next to the hostel..Yahoooooooo!!!!

South Yarra StationJam FactoryChapel StreetBardotSmall Shops@Chapel Street
Prahran Market, MelbournePrahran Market, MelbourneCupcakes Shop@Prahran MarketPrahran Market, MelbournePrahran Market, Melbourne
Back Lane@MelbourneBack Lane@MelbourneDegraves Street, MelbourneBack Lane@MelbourneBack Lane@Melbourne

Treasury Garden
One thing that we really excited is from the hotel we can just walk to almost everywhere around the Central Melbourne. We walked to Parliment House, Treasury Garden (I love this place), State Library of Victoria, Immigration Museum, Melbourne Aquarium (we didn't even have time to go in) and the best part is the famous Yarra River is just 5 mins from the hostel, where you can hop on the boat for Yarra River cruising. We had wonderful lunch at Es Teller, AUD15 for 2 person. Emmm, enak banget!

MelbourneMelbourneCity Museum, MelbourneParliment of VictoriaParliment House, Melbourne
State Library, MelbourneState LibraryYarra River, MelbourneYarra River, MelbourneTreasury Garden, Melbourne
Immigration MuseumMelbourne AquariumEs TellerLunch@Es TellerLunch@Es Teller

AC/DC Lane, MelbourneAC/DC Lane, Melbourne
For shopping area, Swanston Street, Bourke Street and Queen Victoria are our choices plus back alleys and their cute arcades. There is one music store on the basement that Faizal really loved it!, called Basement Disc. Lots of rare stuff plus it's cozy and cool environment (click here for more info). Don't forget to get a glance at AC/DC Lane (even there is nothing around here, except for smoking area), but if you're AC/DC fan, it is a privilege to be here! Aha! There is one tour where you can visit to all Graffiti area, which we did it on our own. One of them is Union Lane. But to tell you the truth, kat Melbourne ni, vandalisme boleh tahan jugak la.., tapi still they provide them specific area for expressing their creativity, which I should salute!

AC/DC Lane, MelbourneAC/DC Lane, MelbourneBack Lane@MelbourneBasement Disc, MelbourneBasement Disc, Melbourne
Union Lane, MelbourneGraffiti@Union Lane, MelbourneGraffiti@Union Lane, MelbourneGraffiti@Union Lane, MelbourneGraffiti@Union Lane, Melbourne
Kalau nak ikutkan 3 hari 3 malam kat sini memang tak cukup, tapi prinsip kitaorang kalau tak sempat nak pergi semua tu..maknanya nak pergi lagi la..he..he...

Day 11

Yes, It's Sunday in Melbourne. So we decided to buy Sunday Saver Metcard (AUD3.10each), where you can go basically everywhere on tram, bus and train. You guys wanna know where our first destination on that Sunday? The most talkabout beach, St. Kilda. It took us about 15mins by tram..Unfortunately, the weather wasn't good, it's like four season in a day. Kejap hujan, panas, sejuk, panas balik...windy macam-macam la...Tapi yang paling dahsyat sekali angin kat sini la...Punya lah kuat, both of us had to hold each other while walking..takut2 melayang.. Nak ambik gambar pun bergoyang-goyang..Diaorang kat sini rileks je..mungkin diaorang ni semua urat dawai tulang besi kot... Kitaorang ingat nak ke flea market diaorang every Sunday, tapi tak ada because of the weather. Kalau ada, banyak lah..payung2 terbang agaknya...Kalau you all ke sini, jangan lupa ke Acland Street area for window shopping...and Luna Park for a roller coaster ride.

Tram stationSt. Kilda stationSt. KildaSt KildaLuna Park, Melbourne
St. Kilda BeachSt. Kilda BeachSt. Kilda PierSt. Kilda PierSt. Kilda Pier

Kylie@Harbour Town
Another shopping area that we would like to recommend is Harbour Town, located at Waterfront City. Kat sini banyak factory outlet kind of store. Kat sini, hujan tak berhenti, tapi kitaorang belasah je..maklumlah dah sampai.. Lepas tu kitaorang sambung lagi shopping kat Bourke Street sebab kat sini ada music store yang best, JB Hi Fi and Target. Kalu nak ikutkan banyak lagi shopping mall kat sini cuma tak sempat nak masuk semua.. David Jones & Myer, Australia on Collins, GPO, Block Arcade, Royal Arcade antara yang kitaorang sempat pergi...

Harbour TownHarbour TownBlock ArcadeBourke StreetI just love this place!
Dame Edna PlaceBourke StreetSwanston StreetCake ShopLindt Boutique
Bourke Street MallState Library, MelbourneMelbourneBack Lane@MelbourneMall@Chapel Street
Lagi satu, kat sini susah nak sesat..sebabnya Info Tour and City Ambassador ada kat mana-mana tourist attraction. So kalau rasa dah tak tau mana nak pergi just ask them! With that kind of hospitality, no wonder Melbourne is famous for tourist around the world. We don't mind to be there again!

One more thing that we would like to share with you guys here is, since Day 1 to Day 11 (so far), no one..i mean no one wear their mask on, even though Melbourne used to be the most infected area in the world. I guess is not how much the masks cost, how many schools are closed and what type of vaccine we should take, IT'S ALL ABOUT MINDSET. It's how they educate their people and how their people take seriously on personal hygiene, and the most important is to take this responsibility together.

Day 12

Last Dinner in MelbourneThings to be packed!Melbourne AirportMelbourne AirportMelbourne Airport
Hmmmm.....sad....happy.... Fantasy is over and going back to reality that bites. Today we'll be going home, nothing much we can do because our flight is at noon which means we have to go to the airport quite early.. We took a short ride from our station to Southern Cross to take the Airport Shuttle. You know what? Before 7.00am, all trains are free, SEE?! Nak balik pun still ada free gift.. The airport shuttle service from the Southern Cross Station (Skybus) is round the clock, so doesn't matter what time you need it, cost only AUD16 per person. We're off to Melbourne Airport, check in our heavy bags (almost 30 kilos) and waited to go home..

Us@St. Kilda Beach
Even we're excited to see our families back home but the experience, fun, long journey and unpredictable weather have gave us something that money couldn't buy. I think it was priceless....

* Hmmm, semua orang nak tau budget kitaorang kan?

RM3900 (flight+train+bus+hostels)
RM2860 (theme park+food&drinks+transportation+admission fee+misc)

Total: RM6760, RM3380 per person for 12 days!