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South Korea 2015 – Transportation and Getting Around

Published by on November 28, 2015

This is part of an ongoing series of travelogue in South Korea. To start at the beginning, click here.

Getting around Seoul and Jeju was a big concern of my trip I’ve decided to write a separate post for it.

First things first, get a T-money card from the kiosk or convenience store at the airport. If you are planning to use public transport, this is very important, similar to Octopus Card in Hong Kong. Getting on the subway, you tag in and out at the turnstiles. On the bus, you do the same on the scanner near the doors. If you forget to tag out, you will be charged double the next time you tag in. For taxis, the driver will show you where to tag on his dashboard (not all taxis have this facility). I got 4 T-money cards free from KTO in Malaysia prior to my visit, including 2 cool phone tag versions with Big Bang featured on it.


Before you leave South Korea, don’t forget to withdraw all your money in the T-money card, there is a small fee for the transaction.

For more info on T-money, check out this useful site.

From Airport to Seoul
During my trip I used both Incheon and Gimpo airports, but the modes of transport from there are the same, but I will mention Incheon specifically as it is the main gateway if arriving from another country.

From Incheon, you have a choice of 3 modes of transport into the city – subway, taxi or bus. Taxis would be most convenient, but its expensive so I would not recommend it. Most travelers especially backpackers would opt for subway, as it is cheap, fast and convenient. If using subway, you would most likely take a the ARX line to Seoul Station, and then switch to another line depending on where your hotel was. Seoul Station is the main station in the city where the major lines intersect.

But for us, we chose the third option of bus. Or more specifically, Airport Limo Bus. Regular buses also serve the airport to city, but they stop frequently and take too long. Airport Limo Buses are like express buses, they go straight into the city and stop at major hotels according to their preset routes. There are a few reasons why we chose this over subway. Firstly, we were lugging 3 large suitcases. Dragging them up steps was tough, and Seoul subway stations are notorious for their long walking distances and steps. For limo buses, they’ll store your luggage in the compartment and give your a tag to identify your bags. Then you can sit in a comfortable air-conditioned seat until your destination.

To buy a limo bus ticket, exit the airport and find the counter near exit 3 or 9. Show your address of the hotel to the counter (or better yet ask your hotel beforehand which line / stop it is nearest to). The counter looks like this, and the staff can speak reasonably good English:


Get your tickets (KRW10,000 per person), and go to the numbered stand.


Don’t know where to stop while on the bus? Don’t worry. All bus stops here have a specific name, not just a street name. So just take note of the stop name, and they’ll announce it in various languages before stopping just like they do on the subway. This applies for regular intra-city buses, too. Very convenient.


Since my hotel was in Nandaemun / Myeongdong, my bus was 6015.



During our trip, we used the Airport Limo bus 4 times, to and fro both Incheon and Gimpo. For more info in the Airport Limo buses and the routes, check out here.

Getting Around Seoul
For most part, the subway is fast and convenient for any tourist to visit all the attractions in Seoul. The subway network is world-class, better than Singapore and Hong Kong, and probably just as wide as London and Paris. If you’re familiar with the system in those other countries, you’ll get use to Seoul’s system after a day. In addition to that, its also important to note which exit you need to use when leaving the station to get to your destination. Using the wrong exit, will mean walking a lot further and crossing busy intersections. Stations can have anywhere between 8 to 16 exits.


For the first half of the trip we used the subway a lot (until our kids’ T-money ran out of money after 3 days so we had to top up). On our second leg of the stay, we tried using taxis as advised by our hotel. For short distances, taxis were slightly cheaper (or at most the same price) than subway for us, since there were 4 of us. I suppose if you were travelling alone or just 2 people, subway will still be cheaper.

Taxis are great because its comfortable, and you get dropped off right at the doorstep. Plus you get to see the scenery as you travel. if you are lucky as I was, you get very friendly drivers who point out landmarks along the way. All taxis are equipped with a hi-tech GPS screen on board, so you can see which route you are using to the destination. I used them many times, the fare is usually about KRW 4,000. The most I paid was KRW 5,700 from Apgujeong to Coex Mall (that’s KRW 1,425 per pax, slightly more expensive than subway but definitely much faster).

Getting around Jeju
Public transport on the island is not reliable at all, and may people don’t realize how big Jeju is – its more than twice the size of Singapore. You basically have two choices of transport – rent a car or rent a driver. KTO is currently promoting a Drive Yourself campaign, but I preferred to get a driver for many good reasons. The main reason was that, I didn’t want the stress of driving in a foreign country (what’s more on the wrong side of the road). Holidays are meant to be relaxing after all. The other big reason was that I only had 2 days in spend on Jeju and wanted to make the most of daylight with a good driver who knew the island and could help planning the itinerary.

We got a contact (Mr. Won) who help arrange 2 different drivers for each day. Both speak reasonably well in English, and that was the main criteria. Both were really good in arranging our itinerary, so we managed to see all the things we wanted to see (except Songaksan). They also brought us to great food where locals ate. Driver cost KRW 150,000 per day inclusive of parking, fuel and drivers pay for their own meals.

On the last day our landlord arrange for a taxi to the airport, it cost KRW 35,000 from Seogwipo.

If you are driving yourself in Jeju, make sure you get an International Driving License from JPJ before going (4 years ago it cost me RM 150 and took about 2 hours). The speed limit in Jeju is 70km/h but most drivers there drive very fast. Traffic lights don’t work outside the city limits, they just blink orange so you need to be very, very careful turning out to the main road as cars will be speeding like crazy on the main road.

Anyway, that’s my 2 sen on transport. We’ll get to the actually travel itinerary South Korea 2015 Part 1 – Arrival & Myeongdong Gyoja“>next.

South Korea Trip 2015

Published by on November 24, 2015

One year ago in November 2014, I booked an 8 day trip to Seoul via AirAsia as a birthday gift for my wife. After that, we kept it in the back burner for the most part of the year. We had really a lot of other stuff to occupy our minds – moving and renovating our new house, buying furniture, and both kids having major examinations this year. It was only around August that we started looking at hotels earnestly, as that was the time we got our internet connection setup at the new place.

Planning intensified about a month ago when the 2 exams were over, and we finally told the kids. Imagine all this while my wife and I have to speak in coded languages when referring to things related to Seoul and Korea.

Anyway, we were staying actually staying 9D/8N, but the final day we were flying back mid morning, so in effect we had 8 full days of itinerary to fill. We decided to do 3 days Seoul, take a local flight for 2D/2N in Jeju, and then return for 3 days in Seoul. So by early November we got all our hotels booked, but my itinerary was finally confirmed just a few days prior to leaving. Even on day we were suppose to fly off (1.15am in the morning) I was still doing some last minute researching deciding which market to visit and which one to drop off the list.


I suppose South Korea is tremendously popular with Malaysians since the last decade or so. I think it started with shows like Jewel in the Palace and Winter Sonata, followed by the Hallyu K-pop and the newer TV shows of recent years. Some time back I watched a lot of Running Man and Family Outing, and had always been impressed how rich their food and culture is, plus their cities seem to neat and full of interesting things to see.

So over the next few weeks I will post my itinerary and photos we took. It was indeed a highly enjoyable trip.


Posts in the series:
South Korea 2015 – Transportation & Getting Around
South Korea 2015 – Internet Access
South Korea 2015 Part 1 – Arrival & Myeongdong GyojaSouth Korea 2015 Part 2 – Nanta, Insadong & Ssamszegil
South Korea Part 3 – Noryangjin Fish Market
South Korea 2015 Part 4 – Namdaemun and Gwangjang Market
South Korea 2015 Part 5 – Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower
South Korea 2015 Part 6 – Shopping Around Ewha Womans University
South Korea 2015 Part 7 – Cheonggyecheon Stream & Seoul Lantern FestivalSouth Korea Part 8 – Shopping in Myeongdong & Andong JjimdakSouth Korea 2015 Part 9 – Jeju!South Korea 2015 Part 10 – Jeju Lotte Hotel & Dinner
South Korea 2015 Part 11 – Jeju Island TourSouth Korea 2015 Part 12 – Seongeup Folk Village and Seongsan Ilchulbong
South Korea 2015 Part 13 – Lotte Department Store
South Korea 2015 Part 14 – Changdeokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok
South Korea 2015 Part 15 – Gyeongbokgung Palace and Samcheong-dong
South Korea 2015 Part 16 – Agujeong Rodeo Street
South Korea 2015 Part 17 – SMTown & COEX Mall
South Korea 2015 Part 18 – Gangnam Station Food Street
South Korea 2015 – Wrap Up!

The Greatest Pro Wrestling Tag Teams of All Time

Published by on November 7, 2015

Well, first some backstory.

I was reading Ric Flair’s book “To Be The Man”, and was intrigued by his accounts with the Four Horseman stable, and less than flattering comments about Scott Steiner from the Steiner Brothers. I’ve never really watched The Steiners as a tag team before, I’ve only watch Rick as part of the Varsity Club with Mike Rotunda (later known as Irwin R. Schyster in the WWE) Scott much later as the jacked up chain mail wearing jerk.

Which made me google up “Greatest Tag Teams of All Time” to see what the internet thinks of the subject. Most lists were partial, some were contain a few absurd listings (The Natural Disasters? Road Dogg and Jesse James? Really??)

Which made me want to make my own list. But some qualifications. I’ve been consistently watching WWE / WWF from around 1980, NWA in the late 80’s, a little bit of WCW during the Monday Night Wars period and some TNA. No AWA, no independent ECW, no WCCW (except the one odd episode) and no Ring of Honor. No Japan either. So anything before 1980 wont be in the list (so no Freebirds or the Briscoes).

And secondly, something of personal tastes. I am (fortunately or unfortunately) a purist in terms of pro wrestling – I prefer the old school way of story-telling and realistic wrestling. which means I’d choose Chris Jericho over Mick Foley any day (Although i find Foley a really funny guy). None of the jokey, comedic wrestling moves. Remember the worm by Scottie 2 Hottie?

So anyway, in my opinion, the Greatest Pro Wrestling Tag Teams of All Time.

Edge and Christian
The Attitude era of WWE will be remembered for many things (among them will be Goldust, unfortunately) but one of highlights will be the feud between The Hardys and Edge and Christian. Their high energy and high flying moves really help revitalize WWE from the staid and predictable rut it had become at the time. What is interesting is that both stars went on to have successful solo careers but both were cut short by injuries.

Although they were formed as WWF’s answer to The Road Warriors, they thrived in an era when tag teams were very competitive in WWF. There were Demolition, The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, The Killer Bees, etc. And a strong competition means good matches and feuds.

The Rock-‘N-Roll Express
Now here’s a tag team that really got fans excited. What’s not to like when you love both wrestling and rock music? They were (at the time) young, fresh and vibrant, and had some great matches with their heel counterpart, the Midnight Express. Too bad they never got to feud with the Midnight Rockers.

The Brainbusters
Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard were the Ric Flair’s hatchet men in the Horsemen, but in their own right were a fantastic tag team. This was evident when they moved to WWF as the Brainbusters. ive always been partial to heel teams, and the Horsemen were the greatest heel stable of all time. They weren’t the team you cheered for, but they really good.

The Hart Foundation
I’ve always been a Bret Hart mark, and I first watched him as jeered as ‘Greaseball’ and part of the pink and black team of the Hart Foundation, led by the megaphone-using Jimmy Hart. The Hart Foundation were the quintessential tag team in the 80’s, until Vince McMahon starting turning tag team members to solo wrestlers (see Shawn Michaels) and devaluing tag team wrestling.

The Road Warriors / Legion of Doom
with my tastes in wrestling, is it any surprise with this? The Road Warriors have everything going for them – an innovative look and image (at the time) and has been copied by other teams like The Blade Runners and The Powers of Pain. They were enduring, dominant in every promotion they were in, and knew how to wrestle (although most of their matches tend to be squash jobs).

Bon Jovi in Concert

Published by on September 22, 2015

Twenty years ago in 1995, I was doing my 4th year practical training in KL, and renting a room in my aunt’s house in SS2. My classmate Ray and I bought tickets to the Bon Jovi concert at Stadium Shah Alam. The stadium was then new, just fresh off being featured in Jackie Chan’s movie. Ray bought the standing ticket on the field, him being a Selangor FC fan and wanting to touch the hallowed turf of the stadium (*rolls eyes*)

Anyway he changed his ticket to seating zone with me, and one day we were off. The entrance was extremely chaotic, due to poor crowd control.

Back in 1995, Bon Jovi was on the road promoting their Crossroads album, a greatest hits compilation. Jon Bon Jovi had just fired their bassist Alec John Such, so there were only 4 members on the bill. this was the era of JBJ – Richie Sambora – Tico Torres – David Bryan, which was the same up until earlier this year.

The concert was phenomenal, the crowd was just fantastic. They ran through all their hits, and came back for 3 encores (if i recall correctly).

Fast forward 20 years later, i went for their concert again last weekend at Stadium Merdeka. In the interim years, so much has changed for the band. Jon Bon Jovi is still rocking on, although he looks a little thinner, craggier, and shorter hair. Richie Sambora is gone, and in his place, two younger guitarists.


Jon BJ is still the showman, but i get the feeling he is having trouble hitting the high notes, which may or may not have influenced his setlist. They ran through their hits, mostly newer, 90’s tracks. But it was the mainstays that got the biggest reaction from the crowd – hits like Bad Medicine, It’s My Life and Livin’ on A Prayer.

He did only 1 encore, which was very disappointing. No Always, no Blaze of Glory, no Bed of Roses. But he did do a beautiful acoustic rendition of Someday I’ll be Saturday Night.


Speaking of the crowd, David and I felt we were the median age, with lots of uncles and makcik rocks. Maybe no encore coz older folks want to go home to sleep early…

David and I were talking about big stadium concerts on the way home, and how not many rock bands can / will come to Malaysia. Metallica came and went, Poison, Motley Crue et al are no longer around, Slayer and Iron Maiden probably can’t get in, and Manowar and Megadeth probably don’t want to…. So it’s only Bon Jovi…

As i reflect on the 20 years between the 2 concerts, not only has the band evolved, so much has changed for me in the intervening years. who knows what life will hold for us if they ever return in another 20 years.

Mi-grating to the Xiaomi Mi4i

Published by on August 14, 2015

I’ve been using the new Xiaomi Mi4i for just over a month now, migrated from my Samsung Galaxy S4.


First, a little backstory. I had always wanted to keep my Galaxy S4 as long as possible, but of late it has been getting slower and slower, and a particular problem with the screen locking up recently really frustrated me. One day I dropped the phone, and the LCD went kaput, so I had no choice to repair it (for RM700 plus GST, no less) in order to turn the phone back on and save the data inside.

So my search for a new phone started. Almost immediately, I narrowed it down to either the new Galaxy S6, Galaxy Tab 2, or the Xiaomi Mi4. The Galaxy S6 is almost obscenely expensive (I can buy THREE Mi4s at that price). I liked the Tab 2’s large screen and good camera, plus they had this offer at the time where you could trade in your old smartphone for rebates up RM500. But on the other hand, I realized that I were to stick to a Samsung phone, I’m effectively looking at a lifespan of 1.5 years. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

So I decided to take a more serious look at Xiaomi. I had used Patrick’s Mi3 for a few days when my old phone was being repaired, so I knew the functions and features. But buying the Mi4 was a problem. I tried DirectD’s website for a few weeks, it was always out of stock. then there was concern that the current batch of Mi4’s were not for Malaysia market, putting some doubt of its LTE capabilities.

anyway, one day I checked (the Malaysian website for Mi) and saw that they had just launched the NEW Mi4i! ONLY RM749!! What the heck, I said, I’m buying one.

So anyway, that’s how I got my phone. So after a month of using it, how does it compare to Samsung?

First the good points:

Price – well, the best thing going for it is the price. At RM749, I don’t mind if it lasts me a year, I can anytime buy another one, and it won’t cost me the price of a notebook. I think this will the first thing anyone considering to change phones should take into account.

Themes – like how they make changing themes very easy. Sure, you can do it for Samsung too, but here, its only a few taps and you can view the millions of user created themes.

Battery – their standby time is definitely longer than my old Samsung, and it charges very fast.

And the now the cons:

The smart cover feature doesn’t work! Whenever I close the cover, I need to click the power off button or the screen will still be active. Maybe I still haven’t gotten the setting correct, but I notice Patrick’s Mi3 had this same problem. Hmmm.

Calculator – I can’t get the thousands comma separator to appear! Can someone help me?

Camera – well, have to say they lose out to Samsung and the iPhone in this area. the camera is just OKAY, but not impressive. and it has less features.

Browser problems – the browsers freezes up frequently and exits automatically, especially if I’m opening from FB. this can be easily be remedied by installing a third party browser, but they should fix that.

The Whole Fast & Furious Franchise Marathon

Published by on July 13, 2015

Let me just put this out there first – I’m definitely no racer fanboy or petrolhead. Well, i can tell a Skyline from a Evo from a Silvia, but I have no interest in Formula One or cars in general (except for knowning enough to maintain my own).

I think the most i ever got into the scene was playing Gran Turismo and Need for Speed on the Playstation, and reading the  Initial D manga (not the entire series though).

Anyway, that just goes to explain why I’ve never watched the Fast and Furious. Never. Not a single one. Recently, though, with the news cycle about Paul Walker’s passing, my interest was piqued. I am, after all a huge fan of movies, so i thought why not give the series a spin.

So i started from the very beginning.

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Let me just say that all in all, this is a rather subpar and underwhelming movie. The acting is stilted, the storyline is a little laughable, but the one thing that made it memorable were the imported racing cars and sharp race scenes. Storyline is Paul Walker going undercover as a street racer (gee, i wonder how many time has this happened in real life) to investigate some theft involving DVD players (yes, DVD players. This was 2001).  Somewhere in the mix are some steroetypical Asian racer triads.

As passable as the movie was, i can see how this movie spawned a sequel. But not the ehole franchise, though. Far worse movies have had sequels. But its strong point were the race scenes, something most other action movies at that time don’t do as well.

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Can’t remember anything about this installment except that it introduced Tyrese Gibson and featured Eva Mendes. And an over the top finale with a car flying off a ramp beside the river and landing on a moving boat. Yep, nothing unbelievable about that…

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Paul Walker did not star in this movie, but they introduced a new character called Lucas Black, a high school student who looks like a 28 year old. Black is probably the dumbest street racer in the history of streetracing – he accepts a race challenge with the rich kids in school. On THEIR turf. ALONE. Both cars get totalled, he gets sent overseas by his mother. His opponents get off scot-free.

Goes to Tokyo, doesn’t know how to drift, has no car, accepts a drifting challenge. Someone lends him a car, totals it and loses by like 4 hours. Dumbest street racer ever.

Anyway, it probably too a lot of guts for the producers to go to the home of drifting and make an AMerican movie about drifting, and film a race scene practically lifted from Initial D.

And Vin Diesel makes a cameo right at the end, to y’know, validate that this is a Fast & furious movie, not just some lame attempt to cash in on the international market…

Fast & Furious (2009)

Wait, did Vin Diesel just say ‘Han was family?’ how do we resolve that? Let’s make a prequel to movie 3 but a sequel to movie but call it movie 4! Got it? Good. Diesel and Walker and gang are back, and Lucas Black is thankfully forgotten and buried. Again, just like movie 2, there’s all this talk about gangsters and smuggling and blackmailing and hijacking, and there’s some racing in tunnels between Mexico and the US.

It ends with Diesel being sent to jail.

Fast Five (2011)

or simply the movie where they finally got tired of using the “&” symbol. Or as I call it, Fast Five – Rio Drift. How to inject interest into a stale franchise and appeal to a broader market? Let’s drop The Rock in! So now there’s TWO bald muscle heads. Actually I felt this was one of the best movies in the series so far, cause with the Rock it became more of an action movie and not just a racing movie. But the whole climatic scene about the 2 cars dragging the vault across the city, hur… what’s a Fast & Furious movie without logic defying scenes, right?

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Finally, the series brings itself ups the production values to summer blockbuster status, from the ‘cheap computer graphic effects’ of the past. The gang and Rock is back, bringing cast members from different movies (and yes, thankfully no Lucas Black). Overall pretty much more of the same, this time with even more unbelievable scenes – Vin Diesel can jump and fly long distances like Superman! Plane can drag cars along a runway that’s 12 miles long!

But the funniest bit about this movie was how they turned Ludacris from ‘comic relief’ to ‘tech guy’ and turned Tyrese Gibson from ‘Angry black man’ to ‘comic relief’. Vin Diesel, on the other hand, still plays the ‘Cannot act to save his life’ character.

Well, that’s it then. I haven’t watched Furious 7. but it did watch the parody movie called Superfast! As most of these movies, it wasn’t funny at all, and a little disrespectful in light of Paul Walker’s passing… but anyway.

Catching Up on TV : The West Wing Season 4

Published by on June 29, 2015

Well, to be honest, halfway through this season, I gave up and stopped.

I moved on to other things, other shows, other matters. But the completionist in me nagged for me to finish it, so after a month or so after stopping, I picked up where I left off. It was a good thing the 3 episode story arc where I re-started was quite interesting.

This season was rather forgetful. the things that stuck in my mind was it was the re-election campaign, which wasn’t very convincing. I felt the tension of the campaign could have been captured better, I didn’t sense the urgency that Bartlet was losing or winning either way. And Bartlet winning a landslide on the back of one debate?

One of the stars of the show, Rob Lowe (Sam Seabourne) leaves halfway through the season, and he was slowly written off the storyline and replaced with Will Bailey.

The season finale was a cliffhanger as usual, although a little abrupt. it started with the Vice President resigns due to an impending extra-marital scandal. It all seemed rather deus ex machina, we hardly saw John Hoynes all season, and suddenly he gets dropped into the storyline just to set up the finale? well, anyway, the finale has the President invoking the 25th and handing over the presidency to the Republican Speaker of the House to deal with the kidnapping of his daughter.

Well, I’m more than halfway through the 7 seasons. Next up are the non-Alan Sorkin seasons, can’t really say I’m looking forward to it. But going to push on anyway…

Pulau Ketam for a Day

Published by on May 22, 2015

We’ve been talking about Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) for the longest, longest time. For more than a year. Every month had its share of distractions, but during one Sunday lunch we finally decided to set a date during the long Labour Day weekend.

After some logistics that went like clockwork, we picked up my MIL at 9am who just came down from Ipoh with my BIL. Off straight to the Cheahs’ across the highway. Packing everyone in one car (6 adults and 3 kids), we drove on the Federal Highway all the way to Port Klang. Getting to the jetty is a cinch, just go to end, past Port Klang town and turn right.

There’s a new jetty complex, and limited parking. At 10am cars were already lining up both sides of the road outside. Just follow the sign to the jetty queue, you will see the ticket counter eventually.

port klang

all set to go

ferry schedule
(I hope I get Ah Boy’s boat!!!)

Ferries run hourly, but on weekends and public holidays, they run continuously as long as there are customers. we waited about 45 minutes and the queue was pretty long. If you take the smaller speedboat, the queue and travel time is shorter.

Via air-conditioned ferry, it takes about 45 minutes.


(all aboard!)

Land ho! Upon alighting, first thing you notice is that all that although that Pulau Ketam is quite far out in the river mouth, the water surrounding the island is shallow and much of the ‘beach’ is exposed at low tides.

line to board

At low tide you can see millions of tiny crabs and giant mudskippers. Them mudskippers are almost double in size of the ones I used to see in Ujong Pasir Melaka as a kid near my grandmother’s house. I guess generations of diesel and rubbish contaminated water has help mutated the species to what they are now. And also, I wondered WHO discovered that the mudskippers and these small crabs are NOT edible? Poor guy had to be the guinea pig to eat them first, and discover they tasted horrible.

mini crabs

Folks on this island stay in houses on stilts, exposed to harsh waves especially during storms.

homes on stilts

Once you clear the long jetty, you are greeted by the largest restaurant on the island. Reviews show that this is probably also the best on the island. But we decided to walk around a bit first. It was also at this point that my MIL mentioned that that she just realized she HAS BEEN HERE TEN YEARS AGO. Umm okaaay.


There’s only one main walking path through the islands, crammed with pedestrian tourists and cyclists. Along the way you’ll see a few stalls selling snacks, knick knacks and well, not much else.


fried ice cream
(FRIED ice cream. As if ICE CREAM wasn’t unhealthy enough)

the centre of the island is where most of the restaurants are concentrated (which is to say maybe 5 of them). it gets crowded very fast, so make sure you arrive early or wait a long time. We chose a restaurant can Remember Me but didn’t really expect much of the food, since reviews said that the seafood here is nothing spectacular. Bill came up to RM80 for all of us. Didn’t take any good pics.

After lunch we walked to the other end of the island. there’s a huge temple with a open square of some sort, and mostly houses.

big temple



snapping photos

view from jetty

Since got not much else to do, we walked back to jetty, stopping to buy some keropok and ice cream. Then we waited for the boat.

I guess Pulau Ketam is good for maybe half a day visit. There’s really nothing much to see, so you really need to manage your expectations. The smell of sewage (it drops straight into the sea) wasn’t as bad as I expected, but the rubbish is really overwhelming. I really feel they should organize a massive cleanup (granted, most of the rubbish has been there for generations) if they want to capitalize more on tourism.

So anyway, by the time we got back to Port Klang it was only 4pm, so we decided to join the mad crowds in this place I’ve heard SO much about – GM Klang.

After jostling for 2 hours with what seemed like half the Klang population, we left for dinner. Since it was so early, I thought we could take a slow drive back to PJ. But someone pointed out that since we were ALREADY here, why not stick to the original plan of eating dinner at Port Klang. I thought well okay, but its kinda early.

By the time we got to Bagan Hailam, I realize that 6pm is apparently NOT too early for dinner. the carpark was nearly full.

the view from bagan hailam

Bagan Hailam is just across the Klang river from the Port Klang jetty to Pulau Ketam, but it was a great ambience. “More Pulau Ketam than Pulau Ketam” was an apt description.

our bagan hailam restaurant

the gang
(waiting for food)

Ive been here for dinner a few times before, but the last time was probably about 14 years ago.

dinner at bagan hailam

fish slice

Dinner was really good, compared to the bland lunch today. I should come back here more often. Can’t remember what the bill came up to, but the delicious fried fish slice above cost RM75.

It was still early when we got back to PJ, so we drop by Softsrve in Uptown.


softsrve fluffy

the dry ice thing is really gimmicky, the ice cream is nothing to shout about. I’d pick Inside Scoop over this place any day. But the décor is nice though.

So ended our long day out. Too bad Patrick and Mei Yan couldn’t join us. Maybe next time.

Letterman Retires

Published by on May 20, 2015

So I hear David Letterman is retiring today after 33 years and 6,000 shows.

If you were to ask me if I prefer Leno or Letterman, in a heartbeat I’d answer Letterman. I’ve been a Letterman fan ever since I started watching him on the old MetroVision channel (remember that one?) in the mid-90’s. Even then Leno was more popular than Letterman, especially with the younger crowd. But to me, Letterman was funny, Leno wasn’t. there was this smarmy ‘I’m funny’ side to Leno that I disliked, to me Letterman was genuinely funny. 90’s Letterman was mellowed version of his earlier persona (judging from reports and Youtube clips). After I watched ‘Late Shift’, the movie about how NBC screwed over Letterman by giving Johnny Carson’s old job to Leno, the more I empathized with the former for his self-depreciating humour.

I’ll have to admit that I haven’t watched old Dave for more than a decade. These recent years Dave has really mellowed far too much, I can even say that he’s hardly even trying to be funny anymore.

between the new guys – Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, I watch all three of them (thanks to their online videos), and I like all three of them. I’d say I like Conan the most for his sense of humour, but all 3 of them have their good and bad points. Kimmel’s a nice guy, but he’s not putting the effort to be funny or innovative. I never found Guillermo, the late Uncle Frank (or Veatrice) or Adeline funny. About the funniest thing on his show is his Cousin Sal, now that guy’s funny. Give him more segments, I say.

Leno’s successor Jimmy Fallon is another nice guy, and undoubtedly funny. but there’s just something about his humour that doesn’t really sit right with me, but I really like his skits and games with celebrities. Now that’s putting in the effort to be innovative.

Conan, well, to me he’s the best of the trio. Being gracious even after getting screwed over by Leno earns brownie points from, but he’s genuinely funny and an affable host. He has a good sidekick (Fallon’s whatsisname sidekick is just creepy). and Conan’s Clueless Gamer series is just about the funniest segment on late night TV.

So coming back to David Letterman. obviously he can’t compete with these new younger guys, so I think its way past due that he retires. Goodbye Dave, and thanks for all the laughs, chief.

Catching Up on TV : Twin Peaks

Published by on April 30, 2015

Twin Peaks, a.k.a. “Who Killed Laura Palmer” is often mentioned as a cult TV series, but one I’ve not watched. I watched the first episode on RTM2 when it was shown back in 1991 (or possibly 1992), but I never continued the series. In any case I don’t think RTM finished broadcasting the first season. But I generally know the story, homecoming queen Laura Palmer was murdered, the entire surrealist series explores the townsfolk and seeks to solve the mystery.

So while on a break from The West Wing (getting somewhat boring) I started the with the pilot.

There’s a two hour premier, followed by 7 episodes of Season 1. Season 2 has 22 episodes, rounding it up to 30 episodes in total. After the series ended, there was a movie called Fire Walk With Me. Recently Showtime confirmed a new season will be coming, after close to a quarter of a century later.

Re-watching the pilot, I find myself only remembering the key scenes, namely the first (Laura scene) and the Ronette scene, and were probably the most memorable. Some websites have noted the premier as one of the best pilot episodes on TV. I tend to disagree, but its top notch tightly plotted no doubt.

The aforementioned opening scene is when a fisherman finds the body of Laura Palmer washed ashore, wrapped in plastic. Soon after that, we are introduced to the townsfolk, each seemingly hiding their own personal seedy secret. After that it can seem a little confusing, too many characters are introduced, each linked to someone else. the only 3 straight arrows seem to be Sheriff Truman and his 2 deputies.

Then star of the series, Agent Cooper, makes an appearance.

Out of the whole ensemble cast, and this being a HUGE cast, the standouts for me are definitely Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Dale Cooper) and Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne). watching the series really made me wonder why Fenn never made it as a huge TV or movie star. Well, the mysteries… Some roles/characters were weak, like Joan Chen (Josie Packard), overplaying the victim role far too often.

The first season was strong, partly due it being shot and tightly plotted.

Then when I came to season 2, it was disappointing. I know that David Lynch was pressured by the network to reveal the killer midway through the season due to sagging ratings, but what it did was kill off the show prematurely. After the killer was revealed in the 8th episode, the remaining 14 episodes started to lose focus and get more surreal. the storyline line moved on to Windom Earle and Black Lodge / White Lodge arc, which to me, wasn’t as compelling as the Laura Palmer storyline.

The finale was the Black Lodge episode, full of symbolism which at the time I couldn’t really be bothered to decipher, and it all finally ended with an X-Files-like ending.

On to the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

It was filmed as a sequel and prequel to the TV series, but personally I felt that it was a horrible movie. The only people who would have watched it would have been die-hard Peakies. Anyone else would have fell asleep or walked out of the cinema. I think it ruined the legacy of the series somewhat. The mystique of Laura Palmer was gone, in its place, we see this disturbed and unstable girl taking up most of the screen time.

it did end well for her, though, but it never really explains what happened to Agent Cooper, which is my biggest gripe.

In conclusion, Twin Peaks was definitely an outstanding TV series, for daring to be different. After completing the series I went back to the Internet to read the threads, and wow, I seem to have missed quite a bit of the symbolism especially about the two lodges. But I suppose Twin Peaks is a series set in that time in our TV history – the slow burn pacing and slapstick humour would definitely not fly on TV today. I’m not sure the secret of the killer would be kept that long today, either.

On another note, I was pleasantly surprised to see a few stars appear on the show, like Lara Flynn Boyle (The Practice) playing a major role, David Duchovny (X-Files) as a cross dressing FBI agent, and Heather Graham. the movie had Chris Isaak and a very young Kiefer Sutherland.

So we wrap up another series in my Catching Up with TV series. Now, I wonder if should go look up those Sherilyn Fenn movies…

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