Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dubai (day 3) - Al Ain, Oasis & Museum, Jebel Hafeet, Green Mubazarrah

Straight to the point, today I'm going to tell you my day trip from Dubai to Al Ain

The experiences I've got from this particular Al Ain trip are:

1. Driving from Dubai to Al Ain with left-handed drive car for about 120km journey.
2. History of Al Ain, oasis, and extremely hot weather.
3. The difference between Dubai and Al Ain.
4. Hot Springs

After wonderful breakfast by our loving friends, we get ready to go Al Ain.
But heading to Al Ain, we stopped by Dubai Outlet Mall
This mall has a lot to offer but of course all clothes are out-seasoned. 
The best thing is they are cheap yet quality remain best. 
They have quite a lot of international brands, just click the link above to see info.

So here, I had to get my hands on the car steering after 20-25 minutes hanging out in Dubai Outlet Mall, heading to Al Ain.
The highway wouldn't be a problem.
The problem for a right-handed car driver to "ride on" left-handed car was, somehow the car would go to right, like a magnet. Haha.
Luckily I managed to control the steering well, friend said.
The proof is here, still managed to pose V.

The drive took about 1 hour, more maybe. 
We switch driver when we got there.
There were so many roundabouts in Al Ain.
Really confusing if you don't have a map with you. 
And we didn't have one, so our friend drove us round and round. It's like the whole Al Ain we were just driving passing by and look see look see. Haha. But we didn't cover all actually. 
We followed the brown color signboard on the road side to go Tourist Destination. There were quite a few spots that we have planned to go, but wasn't sure the ordering, which one we should go first or later. 
Ended up we saw Al Ain Palace Museum

My memory about this museum was that my partner wanted to go pee and went in round the circle and look for public toilet. This is something that he hated. Haha.
And this museum feature the Nahyan family tree. There was a room where they put all the photos of UAE ruler. 
There were few quite big green gardens inside.
Amazingly GREEN!
(desert huh? Don't think about it!)

Oh yes, the entry was free of charge and they allow tourist to take photo.
Usually camera is forbidden in museum.
Tell me something that I don't know, does your country Museum allow photo taking? 
(I just googled, our country Malaysia national Museum allows photo taking. X.x)
You see, I learnt something.

One important thing about travelling in U.A.E. is that you have to bring your own bottle of water!
Just go to supermarket and buy some. 
Put one bottle in the car and one big bottle in your bag. 
Don't get dehydrated.
The sun in UAE is so HOT.

We had KFC for lunch. The cheapest meal we had in U.A.E.
The chicken here they put more peppers. Haha. 
After lunch we went to look for another museum which is National Museum. It was very tricky to find this museum and we stopped by to ask for direction TWICE. When we about giving up on that, we found Al Ain Oasis coincidentally and Al Ain National Museum was just neighbor. So we went in Al Ain Oasis area with our car and look see look see, 
to see how Al Ain Oasis look like. 
(I have no idea what is oasis until then, you see, I learnt something.)

Al Ain existed because of this oasis and there were few more in Al Ain.
And if you noticed that bottle water selling in supermarket there is a brand called "Al Ain Oasis".
I wasn't interested in this oasis thing, but it was at least good to know what it all about.
Finally we got into Al Ain National Museum. 
Unlike Palace Museum we visited this morning, Al Ain National Museum entry fee was 2 Dhs per person. 
Honestly, it was worthy. 
The reason I said that was, there were few things you will be surprised to see there.
Personally, the rock piece from the Moon kinda gave me a Wow.
Please click the image for large image so that you can see the description. 

Other than that, this small 4 heads pistol was freaking me out. 
I mean they had it very long time ago already? 
That's another Wow to me. 

I took some photos inside, hope you enjoy it.

It was great so far that we've visited Oasis, Palace Museum and National Museum.
There were 2 more places that we would like to go. 
They were Jebel Hafeet (rocky mountain) and Green Mubazarrah (hot springs).

So without a map, we still managed to get there. Thanks to our friend.
There was a hotel on the top of the mountain, Mercure Hotel.
It was nicely designed and we noticed there was a water roller-coaster built on the cliff of mountain. 
Please take a look:

Well, we not went up to the top just to see Mercure Hotel, but it was more on enjoying looking at the real scenery that we should see in U.A.E like without modern concrete buildings, only desert. 
You are lucky cause I had one video I took at some viewing point. 

Hot Springs was the topic of the day. 
Hehehe. If you know what I meant.
Just for your information, we passed by Al Ain Zoo but didn't go in. 
I think it would be interesting. So if you're in that area, might as well just take a look.(I mean go in there!)

Our last tourist destination in Al Ain - Green Mubazarrah. 
From the top of rocky mountain all the way to foothill, we struggled to find the way to Green Mubazarrah. 
So there again, we went round and round. (Hehehe)
Still eventually we found the entrance!
Unfortunately I thought its gonna be like a real outdoor hot spring, turned out It was indoor, a pool of hot spring water. No, sorry. There were 2 pools of hot spring water in one building and there were 4 buildings ( 2 for men and children, 2 for women only(aged 12 and upwards). 
I didn't know so much details until I google it and saw this article (photos as well) explaining in detail about the area. (Thanks mate!)
As recall, I thought it was 10 Dhs per person to get in but it might be 5 Dhs per person as what the writer of the article said. I wasn't the one who paid, you see. LOL.
Men with short pant and topless, of course.
You have to bring your own towels, I must warn you.
The water was pretty hot. 
I'm sure you will see a lot of guys if you going on the right time. 
I was lucky enough to see TWO hot men at least.
I mean, real HOT, beefy macho type. 
And RIGHT THERE, one of them spoke to me like maybe few words. 
I was panic a little bit. He was trying to talk to me and I just "hi and bye". 
It was the first conversation with local man. And it was the shortest conversation. (Not even a conversation though. )
And then, the forbidden moment happened. 
It was forbidden there I think, that he accidentally 'touched' my hand. 
For less than A SECOND, maybe 500 milliseconds, I was "thrilled" and after that it was like "oh sorry". Hahaha! 
Quite an adventurous experience.

After 30-40 minutes of dipping in the hot spring pool, we decided to call it a day.
It was relaxing after hot spring. 
I kinda liked it, or that man...! Hahaha.

Adventurous, exciting, strange, learning, breath taking, and then relaxing...
although there were more tourist spots in Al Ain like Hili Archaeological Park, some malls and Al Ain Zoo, that we didn't visit. 
Already I felt grateful with everything we've done so far in Al Ain.
This was my Al Ain day trip on 11th of October 2011.
In my 4th day of the trip, was a bit relax and easy, visiting Festival City and World Trade Centre,
which I will write about it probably by tomorrow night, not for sure though.

Our plan was to enjoying all the places without a busy and tight schedule and complete in 7 days.
So our friend is good at planning this. 
One day goes extreme and one day relax & easy. 
Trust me, you will enjoying it even more.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Old Town White Coffee (RiverCity, Jln Ipoh - Closed)

I was so upset!
It spoiled my appetite for Curry Mee.
For God sake, they increased the price!

Old Town White Coffee in RiverCity, Jalan Ipoh; has been not my favorite but yet I still going there because of easy find car park excuse and sometimes I feel like eating curry mee. 
So this time I went and found out the price has gone up!
The waitress said it was started TWO weeks ago. 
Have you gone to any Old Town White Coffee lately? 
Did you realize the price has gone up?
Did you notice they have a nice printed menu lately too?

Before I look at the price, I was quite stunned that they change menu AGAIN! 
For better quality I guessed.
Then looking at the price, my eyes were popping out! (I got really small eyes you know, can you imagine? LOL)
Curry Mee from RM 6.90 to RM 7.50, total RM 0.60 extra increased.
Then see through the menu pages, all prices gone up, including the drinks!

My foot! 
I totally cannot accept it. 
Part of the reason is quite obvious, the price gone up!
Partially because of the quality has not even increase 0.01 %
The supervisor guy was "ugly" (damn you!), service is still damn bad even though no customers, and the food is never changed. 
Geram betulnya!
Let's take a look at my curry mee with price from RM 6.90 to RM 7.50...I mean look real....look at the quality!!!

The gravy was actually not enough AT ALL...then I kindly asked the supervisor for more gravy.
Common sense: you should add enough gravy for the curry mee!
Then it took him for about 2 minutes (the f*cking kitchen was so near) to put little more of gravy, it came like this:

And I found out that my noodle, was lesser by then. 
I don't feel anything in my stomach!

Let's take it as my bad luck at that moment.
But wait, please take a look at this dish:

What do you think? 
What is this dish name in Old Town White Coffee?
It was Dry Curry Noodle!!
MY FOOT it was DRY! 
It was WET! 

Then again, look at their popular White Coffee drink!

Increased the price and the drink getting lesser? 
BLOODY hell!

Here's their menu page of Curry Mee.

Conclusion: Old Town White Coffee is forever in my BAN list. :D
Welcome to my BAN family list!

p/s: It really got my nerves! And this is not the first time!

Note: I know I shouldn't go there for any meal because I already know it's bad. My bad then...but now, Old Town White Coffee is banned by LazyBun. 

Note: Old Town eventually closed. Went to Rivercity on 15/4/2014.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dubai(day 1& 2) - Al Maktoum Museum, Camel, Mall of Emirates & Atlantis

7 hours flight was, honestly going there, not tiring.
I guess I was too excited, it has been a year since my Sydney trip, if you know what I mean.
The feeling is back, of course! Yay!!!

During the flight I watched 2 movies. 
Monte Carlo and The Green Lantern.
Lucky I could watch it.

I put first and second day as one post because first day was only half day story to tell.
But before starting with second day story, I wanna tell you my little experience in the terminal.
Once I touched down, nervously queuing for check-in. 
They were not friendly, no smiling face. (maybe I expect them to smile back at me because I smile first?)
Unlike Malaysia airport staff who smile all the time. (LOL)
After my passport got stamped, skipped the unfriendly faces, then unfriendly faces came again.
Was I expecting too much or was I just trying to flirt by smiling at them? 
Then again, I forgot this is Middle East! 
No matter how futuristic or modern the city is, the people are never change. 
So finally I stop smiling at them and I looked at other part of them. LOL
Our friend was getting a rental car for 1 month so we waited there while I was checking people who walking by.
The car rental company is called "THRIFTY". (Click the link to see their official website)
I am not sure about the price of one month rent, but roughly 2700-2800 Dhs if correct.
So if you see a car with a blue sticker written "THRIFTY" on the windscreen in Dubai, then you will know it is a rent car. 
The car we got was totally brand new! 
White colorNissan Tiida! (not available in Malaysia I think)
Check this out: (photos from this website)

Very nice car! (I drove it for 1 hour during our day trip from Dubai to Al Ain)

Flight touch down and rent car took us about 2 hours in the terminal. 
The terminal was Terminal One
Just for your information, 
the airport got 3 terminals.
Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 are for International flight and Terminal 2 is for domestic flight.
MAS airplane will touch down in Terminal 1 and if you take Emirates flight you will be touching down in Terminal 3. 

Our friends are staying in Dubai Downtown, walking distance of 5 minutes to The Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world!
First meal in Dubai, they brought us to More restaurant in Dubai Mall.
Before dinner was served, we get to see Dubai Water Fountain water and music play.
What a wonderful 'appetizer' !
I guess you guys watched the video from my main Dubai post, no? Please click here to watch again. :) Hope you guys like it.

So that's my first night for Dubai ~~

Next day morning our friends prepared breakfast for us.
Gosh, I had to say it was better than any 5 stars hotel in Dubai!
The love and passion they put into it! (maybe partner and I used to normal 2 slices of bread with only peanut butter & blueberry jam everyday)
Muack you guys!

Agenda of 2nd day was do a little of city tour and to Al Maktoum Museum in Al Shindagha (picture below)

At that hour it was around 11am-12pm, the sun was HOT!
And we walked all the way from Al Maktoum Museum(Al Shindagha) along side Dubai Creek passed Al Ghubaiba station, Souk Al Kabeer (this Souk you gonna be tough because the guys selling souvenir there are HOT like the sun too! Don't 'kena tipu'! ), and to Bur Dubai.
From Bur Dubai we took a water taxi (which will cost you only 1 Dhs per person one way) to Deira Old Souq station, the other side of Dubai Creek.
Here is the picture of Water Taxi.

Cool right? You better don't swing on the 'sampan'

After the long walk, we back to Al Shindagha (Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum Museum).
So this time we pay visit to the museum before we heading back to town.

It was heritage site and historical attraction for tourist. 
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum was born right there and he was the founder of Dubai.
I have some photos and one video clip of this museum. 

The video of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum house Museum, in Al Shindagha.

Also we went to Camel House, just next to house Museum.
This Camel House provides you the details of camel. (You rarely will see tourist there if you are going solo)
It was really interesting. 
I was dying to see real one in my Desert Safari trip later!

After 2 hours there then it was about time for lunch. 
We headed to Mall of Emirates straight away. 
Anyone has idea about Skiing in Dubai? Under the hot sun? 
Of course, it is a indoor HUGE Ski resort and you basically can do any snow sports there like skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. 
Inside the Mall of Emirates you can walk to Ski Dubai entrance. 
Well we didn't go there for skiing you see. We just wanna have lunch there :)
The restaurant right opposite of the Ski Dubai selling ticket counter is, The Perfect Steak. 

The meal was great!
The food in Dubai can't go wrong most of time. 
Then we walked around to check out the mall.
It was big and I love the mall! (only if I am millionaire haha)

We back to Dubai Downtown in the evening and get ourself prepared for Atlantis!
Too bad I didn't take photo at all the night in Atlantis because I thought we would coming back for the Aquadventure which we didn't.
Palm Jumeirah! 
(this photo is edited using 2 photos with 2 angles and then combined into 1)

NICE right? 
It was taken in the top floor 52th of Marriot Hotel in Dubai Marina.

Anyway, back to Atlantis.
Our friend birthday dinner was in one of the 16 restaurants in Atlantis, which costs 190 Dhs per person for the dinner buffet. 
It was so f*cking expensive :)

But of course, Once in a Lifetime moment!
I was really enjoying it!
And we got to meet new high classy friends there!
It was just, unbelievable! 
I mean, dining in Atlantis!?!? God blessed me!
Not to mention also they have a smaller tank for fishes and sharks!
It felt like a laptop/PC 3D under ocean screen saver/wallpaper! 
Check this out!

Everything you see inside Atlantis, will keep you wondering every single step you walk. 
Do you know what was I wondering then?
* "How the f*ck they build this giant?!!"...repeat *
It just amazing!

Everything was too great.
Great friends, great people, great food, great Atlantis, great history, great mall, the list just go on and on. (hell I need millions to continue enjoying all this...)
That 2nd night my mind was thinking how great it is gonna be the next few days.

Next post I will tell you some stories about Al Ain trip and that I will be driving left-handed car driving to Al Ain of journey of 120km. (FYI, it is right-handed driving in Malaysia)
How exciting! (LOL, I was nervous and scared though)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

UAE trip (covering Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain)

I got so much to say about my Dubai trip.
7 full days I would say. (not sure, though )
Special lovely thanks to our Malaysian friends in Dubai for the wonderful company and treats.

I'm going to write day by day trip post here because I really have a lot to share. After all, it is a Once in a Lifetime trip to Middle East, you see. 
But I can't finish all posts by tonight.
I lost my daily notes after I upgraded my iPad 2 to iOS 5 firmware. 
I saved notes in the iPad 2 and after I synced with my iTunes I wasn't sure I back up the notes. 
I didn't, though. 

It was an unexpected surprisingly trip that just 'BANG' happen like that.
During Matta Fair around July-August, partner and I were planning to get a trip to Maldives, but thing didn't turn up right and we ended up booking Krabi trip after Matta Fair with AirAsia package. 
Then after booking Krabi trip, an invitation from a friend who asking us to pay a visit to Dubai. 
Oh my GOSH...Middle EAST! I always don't like middle east you see. No offend to any reader from Middle East, it just personal. 
So we decided to go on October 9th to 17th. (17th was, morning 6am we arriving in KLIA)
Eventually, I love Middle East! Opps, DUBAI I mean.

Dubai has so much to offer. They have the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa and the Palm Jumeirah, artificial archipelago created using land reclamation. They have all luxurious desire that you just can't resist. Buildings in the city are something that I've never seen before, modern and artistic + elegant architecture design. Interior design is just beyond my expectation. Of course, everything comes in luxury and this luxury comes with money. It is so expensive to go Dubai. Hotel accommodation and foods & drinks. But I can tell that living in Dubai isn't that expensive as what people say. Everything there is free of tax. Buying a car there is so cheap! Half price of car in Malaysia. Imagine RM 300k BMW series car selling around 130k Dhs there. Eating is expensive but they all come in great quality and service, yet without tax!
Of course, there is always good and bad.

This trip is the most enjoying trip so far in my traveling history and I hope there are more to come.
So I hope you enjoy my posts about traveling to Dubai, UAE.

my Dubai trip is actually not just covering Dubai city but also Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Saadhiyat Island, Al Ain, Jebel Hafeet, and so on.
Gosh, it's going to take me TWO months to write this!
(only update during weekend LOL)

Here is a clip I took of the Dubai Fountain at night. They start the show at 8pm and repeat every half an hour. Each round they will play different song from around the world. Sorry for my lousy camera but I hope you enjoy it. :) (I will have another one clip which I took it from Madeline restaurant's outdoor seating, will post later)