Saturday, 30 May 2015

Ramadhan Buffet Preview @ KL

You have no idea how grateful I felt when I received this invitation. It'd been two months since I got back from Guangzhou, and you know what, I hadn't had time to let myself lose a little. Adulthood, no one could argue that.

Fine dinning, Plus buffet. Meaning, a free flow of amazing cuisine. When it comes to food, nobody should underestimate my tiny little stomach. It could fit a human in it.

During this Ramadhan season, some of us would probably be thinking where to get KL's tastiest location to dine in. Well, let me tell you something, if you've got that extras to spend, why not try out Hotel Seri Pacific.

With the range from RM 70 to RM 110 net, you could actually have all these, without even stopping. Not advisable, though, if you were the kind of person who'd been dieting your entire life.

My personal favorite, would be the oyster and crayfishes. Barbecued oyster with custard and cream, that gave a milky and thick barbecue taste, and extreme fragrance of grilling. I had like six pieces of it before I had enough. Allergic.

Not just the seafood, this buffet in fact provides you various type of cuisine. Authentic Malay food, Indian, Japanese, Turkish and Chinese. But of course, they all come with different pricing.

While others were busy munching on their food, I took my time slowly interview the chefs. Wonderful people, lovely smiles, it doesn't surprise me the food tasted amazing. And the male chef over there, he purposely put the fire up when I tried taking photos. And he was like, "did you get that?" That was nice of him.

One thing for sure, I will absolutely miss those sashimi and kebabs. But no worries, there will be plenty more to come. Just enjoy the meal, guys.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

My lovely Mom in Guangzhou

Previously on Ariq Travel Log ~ ~ ~ Lol. I was imagining my blog being made into a movie or TV series. It would be awesome, yet horrible at the same time.

Anyways, if any of you have read my previous article, I actually shared some of my latest trip to Guangzhou. I did realize it was boring. So, to get a little bit of personal, let me present you this lovely photo on top. My dear mom, who was so thrilled for her first trip to China.

Travel with your love one, they say. To be honest, Guangzhou city is not a place for you to bring you parents to. I'm not saying that it's terrible or anything, it just that, there are plenty of other good places that you could go with the same kind of budget. Well, it's a shame that I got to know a bit later.

Fortunately, my mom's presence somehow had adjusted the entire mode. It was supposed to be a full-time tour guide job for me. Well, since she was around, I got to have some good time there.

One's success will never be meaningful if you can't share it. It felt great every time my mom asked me about this country, and I could answer it straight away. It's not really a big deal, but it feels wonderful to be able to share. Especially with the one you care most.

One thing I could tell after spending a week with this group of seniors - they were lovely. You know, sort of like the mix of adorable and heart-warming.

If you still don't get it, let just put it this way - when a young teenager decides to spend money on his trip, he only thinks of how much does the souvenir worth or will it look cool of he brings it home. This group, on the other hand, spent most of their money purchasing stuff for their kids, or even grandchildren.

"Will my granddaughter fit to wear this?" Or, "Do you think my son would love this?" I was with them the whole day, from morning till midnight. So, I knew what were they searching for most of the time. It was unlike any other young people. These were a group of great parents.

The last two days of our trip, our group separated into two. Three of them decided to take the train and headed to Hong Kong. A-day trip. It sounded short, but that was all the time they had. As for the rest of us, including my mom, we stayed. I planned to utilized these two days to discover more of Guangzhou city.

A plain city, that filled with tons of unknown sides, that was how I saw it. There was one particular spot that I'd been craving to take my mom to. the Huaisheng Masjid.

Well, coming from the South-east region, most of the masjids here all designed with some Islamic architecture. A huge kubah, with a distinctive crescent moon on top of it. But after getting here, it gave my mom a different idea on how the Muslims in China designed their masjid.

The main prayer room that resembled a Buddhist temple, wall of manuscripts that carved with Chinese characters, and the entrance that would never make anyone assume it was a masjid. I just loved it.

Anyways, this is a post that specially made for my dear mom. SO there you go, some of the photos of her alone. She has always been awkward in front of camera, as if she forced herself to be in front of it, knowing the fact that she could not escape from being a model, and she tried so hard acting brave in every photo. Well, that sounds pretty much like me.

Every time I had her to get ready for photos, a smile drawn to her cheeks instantly. Most of the time, I would draw up my camera slowly and I did not intend to take the shot at the first sight. I let her be still for a couple of seconds. I let her be in the state where she could be deluded with joy. That temporary happiness, that angelic smile, it was what I found amazing while taking all these photos.

Time flies, and I accepted it with an open heart. You do not wish the time to freeze, you move one and seek for the next memorable moment. That's how I deal with life.

After a week of exhaustion, well, we should better get going. Just like any other trip before, I tended to have mixed feeling while waiting for the flight. I wanted to stay longer, at the same time, I missed home. It was brief, but not being able to have banana cake or coconut rice as breakfast, it just hurt.

I'm not going to lie, this was not my best trip ever. But like I said before, her presence changed it all. It wasn't the trip that made it memorable, it was her.

I truly appreciate for you guys to read this post. It took me quite sometimes to come out with the best words. It just has to be special.

Feel free to look for me, or contact me, or whatsapp me. I would love to share my information regarding this city.

"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love - Ernest Hemingway" Grab the hand of you love ones, and start creating your own everlasting memory.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Second Time in Guangzhou

Here I am again, after a year of nothing, I finally went for a short trip to Guangzhou with some of the people I know.

I can still recall my last visit there which was two years ago. It was completely mundane, as we spent barely  two days there. Out of time and out of budget, the worst fear a traveler could ever encounter.

This time around, I had a little twist in my plan. I gathered a group of 5 people, older people I mean, older I mean, like the elderly. All fifty above and I was the only young guy. Not trying to brag, I am young, though.

Big city, little amusement, that's how I describe this place. But don't get it wrong, tiny amusement doesn't mean it's a horrible place to visit. Guangzhou is practically well-known for its trading industry, whereby merchants from all over the world would drop by and collect their stocks here. Well, that is exactly my purpose for the visit.

Remember the guy who went to Beijing with in 2013? Yeah, he came to seek for my service again. So, I was the group's personal translator and semi-tour guide, as I did not know the city well. What happened was that I had a deep research over two weeks just to understand every corner of the city. Although I was unable to absorb the entire details of it, I still managed to jot down some important information into my head, like the subway stations, public bus services, famous landmarks, name of the roads, hotel etc.

The six of us stayed in Clivia Hotel, which I had mentioned last year. It had a friendly atmosphere around, especially if you were Malaysian, as you could earn some extra discounts. It was located in the center of Jiefang Bei Lu ( Jiefang North Road ), right net to the pedestrian bridge.

In case if you were to search for some halal food, there was a Xinjiang-Turkish restuarant just beside the hotel. It was pretty pricey, though. Dining in with three persons would cost you RMB 100. If you had lower budget than that, you could try out another pure Xinjiang restaurant nearby. It was located at the north side of Jiefang Bei Lu, propably 400 meters to the north from outside of Clivia Hotel. At there, you could spend less than RMB 20 for a meal.

Back to my mission here in Guangzhou. The trading Industry. I was extremely curious in how they handle the trading here. For sure, it wouldn't be like what I saw in Beijing. By that, I mean it was complete mess.

It didn't matter where I went, all of the retails and shops there somehow provided a whole-some services. That would include production, packing, courier and shipping. Take note on this, they would only do that if you purchased like hundreds of pieces of clothes or any other items. But I wasn't planning on trading for anything, I was only surveying. So, most of them offered me some products with retail-price.

The next photo was taken outside of Liu Hua Fuzhuang Shichang ( Liu Hua Fashion Wholesale Market ). A huge market for you to search for various type of shirts, scarfs, dresses and pants. All clothes-related.

Some of the newcomers, as if myself, would think that it looked exactly like a shopping mall, but with some slightly tiny shops. But you know what, those were not shops. They were actually the front counters, for their own factories or supplying company. The clothes that were displayed, as in the photos, were not for sale. Those were just samples of what you could order.

The second was shops near Baohan Street, two to three-hundred meters away from the exit D of Xiaobei Subway Station. The entrance was located right under a bridge.

Around here, they sold pretty much the same as any other big malls. Garments, bags,, accessories, furniture, drapes and so on. We liked it more here, as most of the people came around to purchase with retail-price. The more customers they had, the cheaper we could bargain.

This place used to be a street market. During my last visit, we got to see some of local street foods and cheap items. But now, it had turned into a street that filled with busy retails and strong lighting.

Next, was markets around Liwan District. An amazing spot to check out if you were to find some alive sea creatures. And not just that, amid those fish markets, they did sell different items, such as porcelain crafts, jade figures, flowers, fake flowers, and even the fake dog.

This trip of mine, it was all about trading, shopping and sight-seeing. It became the main purpose as my curiosity toward this particular city was unavoidable. The flight was cheap, and I seriously needed to know what made Guangzhou so famous.

Below are the photos that I took along my way. My favorite part of the trip, was when went through the backstreet retails. The surrounding was awful, the smell was foul and the people were just too much. But everything was cheap when you got to those tiny streets.

And the mannequins. Like ow my God! That could be illegal if you did that in Malaysia. Well, at least the police would ask you to put it away. Adorable China.

The next photo below, was one of the photo I took outside our hotel. Homeless who resided on a pedestrian bridge, which laid under another bridge. The spot was perfect, though.

And, of course, illegal stalls in center of busy street, which somehow turned legit here.

One of my favorite snack, didn't matter in what country, the Turkish kebab. That guy probably wondered, why on earth would this silly dude taking a picture of kebab stand. Well, you get to feature in my blog, be proud dude.

As for closure, I'd like to say thank you so much for you guys to tune in and read this article. I realize that it's pretty dull, just like my last trip, and it's only concentrating on shopping and trading. Tell you what,t his is just part of my second Guangzhou trip. There will be a sequel. Sort of like Mockingjay. One book, two movies.

The next article will be all about this person that went to the trip with me. Who is it? Wait for it. I haven't even finished writing the story down. All I can say, she is one of the few most important person, in my life. She traveled with me, so I;m going to write a full article about her experience. Let's see if I could brake the tears out fo her.

And again, allow me to bid my good-bye. "A man travel the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it. - George A. Moor" Keep on looking for the thing you wish most and never give in.

Beijing & Guangzhou

On December 2013, I had the chance to lead a friend of mine to Beijing. This guy is a manager in an industrial company and he goes with the name Hairol. Initially, I offered my assistance in being his interpreter and tour guide for Beijing trip only. But after some discussion, it really tripped me out as he requested to guide him to Guangzhou as well. Frankly speaking, I wasn't sure how to get there and what to do after getting there. But luckily he told me that he would help me to figure something out too. So, there we go, a seven-day triip to Beijing and Guangzhou.


First of all, we arrived at the Beijing Capital International Airport, which located at the north east side of Beijing city. To be frank, our whole journey in this city was super easy, simple and no frustration at all. Beijing city offers some great facilities and transportation that allow you to travel across it with no worries. Well, unless you stop at the wrong bus station or subway station, or getting caught in the middle of the peak hour ( around 5 to 8 pm ), then you'd probably be spending the next two-three hours waiting for nothing.

From the airport, we took an express subway train, which connected directly to the city center ( Dong Zhi Men Station ) with the cost RMB 30. From there, we took another train to the Qianmen Subway Station and got our self a nearby cheap hotel, QIanmen Courtyard Hotel. A traditional budget hotel, with oriental artistic design. Cool isn't it?

 During out stay in in Beijing, we managed to visit places like Nan Luo Gu Xiang, Forbidden City, Mutianyu Great Wall and Ice Skating Park. I'm pretty sure you guys have heard some of those. Don't worry about the rest that I've missed, I'll share them in my future updates.

It felt so alive, being able to visit those places again, as if someone had given me a ticket to my hometown, other hometown, I mean. If you could see the photographs below, I wasn't the only one who was so thrilled.


We spent only four days in Beijing. Although it wasn't enough, we still had to go, as my friend here had business to attend. For the next trip, we'd planned not to take the airplane. Instead, we took the bullet train. Well, one thing I can assure you about the train, is that they didn't use the word 'bullet' for nothing. But sitting inside the caravan, it didn't give us even a slight feeling that we were moving so fast, we were given the sight of speed meter, though.

 I couldn't recall the total time we had taken while on that train, probably around 8 hours or so. It felt like eternity in there. By the time we reached Guangzhou, it was already dusk and we had no idea where to go. Seriously, going there was not my plan.

But you know what, I was lucky, I think I was extremely blessed. We met this this middle-age couple while on the bullet train and we had a brief conversation. Just to be a weird coincidence, those people were tour guides from Malaysia too and they offered us help, by paying them with a bit of cash, of course.

In the end, we wind up in the Clivia Hotel, at Jiefang North Road, which fifty percent of the customers were all Malaysians. I was told that those people were all merchants. They'd came all the way to this place just to get cheap items to sell. Well, everyone pretty much knew about it, but nobody told me it was this much. As if when I walked on the nearby streets, I could see at least a Malaysian out of ten pedestrians.

I forgot to take more photographs in Guangzhou, we were all exhausted due to this commuting, I guess. The photo above was taken on the first night we arrived. I had absolutely no idea where was I. We just wondered around aimlessly. But the things they sold there was pretty cheap, as if you could purchase two items with a single price, Malaysian price I mean.

Anyways, we spent our next day entirely for shopping, business shopping for my friend here, nothing much to share. 4 days in Beijing and 2 days in Guangzhou, that seems super short, but it was fun. For sure, it won't be my last. I'll find a way to get there again, someday.

I hope you guys will plan for your fun trip next, as I've planned mine in April.

A quote to share: "Though we travel the world over to find the beauty, we must carry it with us or we find it not - Ralph Wardo Emerson"