The Moon Represents My Heart

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, September 27, 2012 | Published in


In a few days time, the Mid-Autumn Festival or more popularly known as Mooncake Festival will be celebrated. Have you got your moon cakes and lanterns ready?

I did not buy many moon cakes this year as I felt they were too pricey and not worth my hard earned money. But I guess it's OK to spend money on worthless things once in a blue moon right?

I was actually over the moon when I received a few moon cake gifts this year. Definitely saved me from spending too much on them!

Anyway, today's post is not really about the Mooncake Festival, but since we are talking about the moon, I thought why not let me play you a song related to the moon?

I am sure you have heard of this song called "The Moon Represents My Heart". It's a Chinese classic made famous by the late singer Teresa Teng. If you have not heard of this song before, well watch this video.

This song had been sung to death by so many artists and non-artists alike it's now considered one of the most famous Chinese songs in the world. Guess what? Even our local superstar singer Siti Nurhaliza also did a cover version of this song!

Listen to her rendition below.

How do you like Siti's version?

I am not good at singing, so I will play this song on my piano instead. As usual, please excuse some slips and errors in my playing. I hope you will moon over it! Haha!

And by the way, have a Happy Mooncake Festival!

Things I Did In Bangkok

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, September 24, 2012 | Published in


This is my last post on my Bangkok trip in February 2012.

During this trip, I managed to visit the Giant Swing, a famous landmark in Bangkok.

Located in front of the Wat Suthat Temple in Phra Nakhon district, this Giang Swing is actually a religious structure and formerly an old Brahmin ceremony. I am glad that this unique structure is well preserved.

Although there are many shopping malls in Bangkok, one that I must visit every time I go Bangkok is  Siam Paragon.

During this trip, I managed to take a shot of the Siam Paragon logo. I like walking along this lane watching the water streaming down the long stretch of wall.

I don't normally visit fast food outlets like McDonalds in Bangkok, but this time I visited Burger King just to try their pork burger. Surprisingly, I did not take any photo of the pork burger but I took a picture of the outlet's interior.

I thought this part of the wall in this Burger King in Silom was really nice! "Have It Your Way" - that's the Burger King's slogan.

By the way, the pork burger was delicious! No regrets at all giving it a try.

Going around Bangkok city is such a breeze with its efficient MRT (underground train) and BTS (elevated Skytrain). But it can be pretty lonely walking in the underground stations especially late at night.

I took the above photo one night on the long escalator in the MRT station. Do you think I was going up or down?

There are many shrines all over Bangkok. Like this one.

You can see lots of local people and even tourists lighting incense and praying at these shrines. Of course, the most famous is Erawan Shrine which every first timer to Bangkok must visit!

Although I don't really like airports, I find Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport to be quite nice!

In case you do not know, it's pronounced as Su-van-na-phum.

This is the main international airport serving Bangkok and it has the world's tallest free-standing air traffic control tower at 132.2 metres!

Sadly, there had been some overload problem and effective 1st October 2012, budget airline AirAsia no longer lands at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Instead it will be moving back to the older Don Mueang Airport.

Ceiling lights at Suvarnabhumi Airport

During my last day in Bangkok, my friend and I were a little late to reach Suvarnabhumi Airport to catch our flight home. Luckily, we managed to check in our luggage with an hour to spare! So we decided to use up our remaining Thai baht dining at Mango Tree restaurant.

I ate Tom Yum noodles and drank Thai ice coffee.

The Tom Yum noodles was quite nice but I thought it was too pricey at 210 baht (USD 6.80) while the ice coffee was priced at 120 baht (USD 3.90).

My friend ate fried noodles with chicken (sorry no photo) and drank ice coffee like me.

Soon it was time to board our flight back to Malaysia. I really enjoyed my Bangkok trip. And you can be sure I will visit Bangkok again in the near future!

In case you missed any of my Bangkok 2012 posts, here's the complete list.

1. Terminal 21 Bangkok : Awesome Toilets! (Part 1)
2. Terminal 21 Bangkok : Awesome Toilets! (Part 2)
3. Terminal 21 Bangkok : Awesome Toilets! (Part 3)
4. The Golden Gate Bridge At Terminal 21 Bangkok
5. The London Bus At Terminal 21 Bangkok
6. Meet the Sumo Wrestlers At Terminal 21 Bangkok!
7. The Dazzling Lights Of Istanbul At Terminal 21 Bangkok
8. The Lighthouse And Marble Statues At Terminal 21 Bangkok
9. The Hollywood Floor At Terminal 21 Bangkok
10. My Lunch At Pier 21 And Jeffer
11. The San Francisco Tram At Terminal 21 Bangkok
12. My Visit To Madame Tussauds Bangkok (Part 1)
13. My Visit To Madame Tussauds Bangkok (Part 2)
14. I Visited The Haunted Mansion 7 In Bangkok
15. I Love Thai TV And Thai MTV!
16. Melt Me And Isaan Street Food In Bangkok
17. Volcanic Fried Mussels And Boonsap Desserts At Bang Rak
18. Drinking Mandarin Orange Juice On The Streets Of Bangkok
19. A Morning Jog At Lumpini Park In Bangkok
20. The Pinnacle Lumpinee Hotel In Bangkok
21. A Boat Ride To Wat Pho : Temple Of The Reclining Buddha
22. Eating Boat Noodles Near Victory Monument Bangkok
23. Eating Tonkotsu Ramen And Gyoza At Chabuton

Wishing on a Falling Star

Eating Tonkotsu Ramen And Gyoza At Chabuton

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, September 20, 2012 | Published in


During my last day in Bangkok, my friend and I went for a last minute shopping spree. Since we did not shop together, we ended up at different shopping malls!

We had checked out of Pinnacle Lumpinee Hotel earlier in the morning. But time just flew so fast that before I knew it, it was time to go to the airport! We had to catch our flight back to Malaysia at 5.30pm and it was already 1pm!

Since I was hungry, I decided not to wait for my friend and quickly scouted around for my lunch. Somehow, I ended up at Siam Square and saw this Japanese restaurant called Chabuton.

I had seen another Chabuton restaurant at Terminal 21 shopping mall during my second day in Bangkok and was tempted to eat there at that time.

The above picture was taken at Terminal 21. I did not take a picture of the Chabuton outlet in Siam Square.

Anyway, I went in all alone and after being greeted by the friendly staff there, I was shown an empty table. There were many customers inside the restaurant. Not surprising since it was the lunch hour. I picked up a brochure which gave some details about the restaurant. Unfortunately, it's all written  in Thai language!

However, later while waiting at the airport, I googled and found out that the ramen dishes in Chabuton were created by renowned TV Champion (2002) Best Ramen Chef Yasuji Morizumi.

Apparently, they have many outlets in Japan and Thailand. Wonder when they are going to open one in Malaysia?

I ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen (small) priced at 130 baht (USD 4.25).

The noodles were springy but not really chewy and the soup was tasty and creamy! And what I liked best was of course the thinly sliced pork belly which almost melted in my mouth. Yum!

I should have ordered the big bowl (which costs 175 baht) but I guess it's wiser not to since I could use some stomach space to try their gyoza.

The pan fried dumplings came in 8 pieces and were priced at 115 baht (USD 3.70). They were yummy!

I turned them around before taking another picture. I thought they looked more delicious this way. LOL.

I do not mind visiting Chabuton again to try the other types of ramen dishes there. Well, from the menu, they seem to have 8 different types.

After my lonely lunch (which I actually enjoyed) I reunited with my friend back at our hotel. It's too bad he could not join me for lunch at Chabuton. Maybe next time. We needed to get our luggage and make our way to Suvarnabhumi Airport fast!

Eating Boat Noodles Near Victory Monument Bangkok

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, September 17, 2012 | Published in


It was my first time eating boat noodles.

In fact, it was my first time learning about the existence of such a noodle in Bangkok. Also known as kuay tiew rua, it was originally served on boats plying the river and canals of Bangkok, hence the name boat noodles.

My friend had wanted to try it and so I tagged along. He had found out that some of the best boat noodles are sold near the Victory Monument. So on our third day in Bangkok, right after visiting Wat Pho, we took the taxi to Siam BTS Station. From there, we rode the BTS Skytrain and exit at the Victory Monument Station.

Leaving the station, we walked along an elevated platform above the main road towards Victory Monument roundabout.

After passing the Victory Monument on our left, we continued walking until we saw a canal below on our right. There were a row of shops along the canal bank.

After descending the stairs, we back-tracked to the canal and saw a few shops. We just simply chose one of the shops and went in. To our dismay, most of the workers there could not speak English! Luckily there's a menu and we just pointed at what we wanted.

This is my bowl of boat noodles with beef balls.

It may not look very appetizing but it was actually pretty good. It's basically rice noodles in soup with meat balls and kangkung (morning glory). I have no idea what are the ingredients for the soup but it was quite tasty.

If not mistaken, you can choose the type of rice noodles and the kind of soup. I am afraid I can't give you more information as the menu was written in Thai!

My friend ate pork noodles in tom yum soup but I forgot to take a picture of it! How could I be so careless? LOL!

My bowl of boat noodles cost me 35 baht (USD1.15) which was pretty reasonable. However, they also sell smaller portions at 10 baht (USD0.30) per bowl!

I saw other people ate from the smaller bowls and they could finish one bowl in a few gulps! Thinking back, we should have opted for the smaller bowls. In this way, we would be able to try all the different type of noodles in different soup base!

Looks like I will have to return to Victory Monument for another round of boat noodles next time I visit Bangkok!

A Boat Ride To Wat Pho : Temple Of The Reclining Buddha

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, September 11, 2012 | Published in


There are many temples in Bangkok but one that you must visit, at least for the first time visitor, is Wat Pho. During my trip to Bangkok last February, my friend and I visited this temple also famously known as The Temple Of The Reclining Buddha.

One of the cheapest and easiest way to reach Wat Pho is via the boat ride on the Chao Phraya River. So on the morning of our third day in Bangkok, my friend and I took the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin Station. The Sathorn Pier is just 3 minutes walking distance from Saphan Taksin Station.

However, we did not immediately go to the pier as we wanted to check out the Bang Rak area. We ended up eating some really delicious volcanic fried mussels and Boonsap desserts and drinking mandarin orange juice before the boat ride.

Along the way to the Sathorn Pier (aka Central Pier), we passed by Shangri-la Hotel. If it's your first time traveling the river, you might be a bit confused with the boat services there. So let me make it easy for you.

Unless you want to pay higher 'tourist' fares, DO NOT buy any tickets at the counter there. Simply wait at the area near the signboard as shown above. You will see many locals as well as seasoned tourists waiting for the local boat there. You only pay when you are on the boat and it should not cost more than 25 baht (USD0.80).

Now there are 5 different boats operated by Chao Phraya River Express and they are differentiated by the colour of the flags placed on the boats.  Your best bet is the Orange flag boat as it operates all day, comes every 20 minutes, and the fare is a flat 15 baht (USD0.50).

Here is a boat with a Yellow flag docking at the pier.

Here's another one with a blue flag. If not mistaken, the blue flag represents the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat which you should avoid. A one way ticket will cost at least 40 baht (USD1.30) or you can purchase a one-day river pass for 150 baht (USD4.80) which entitles you unlimited number of trips in a day.

Of course if you prefer to ride in the Tourist Boat, by all means do so. There is however, not much difference with the local cheaper boats except that there is a tour guide who talks about Bangkok attractions and landmarks during the ride and more empty spaces to sit since it's more expensive.

However, if you are like me, you will want to travel like the locals and that is to cram into the boat, possibly stand all the way but pay cheaper fares. LOL!

I took the above picture while standing inside the boat which was starting to fill with people! At one point, there were so many people on board there was hardly space to move around. But that did not stop the female conductor from walking around collecting fares!

What's more, beside collecting fares, she also had to shout out the destination name of the next stop to alert the passengers. Because of the crowds, you need to make your way to the exit one pier before your destination or else you might risk missing the station!

No matter how crowded, don't forget to enjoy the scenery along the river! That's the Millennium Hilton Hotel I caught on my camera.

There were many other interesting buildings along the Chao Phraya River but I did not manage to take many pictures.

Although my friend and I knew that we had to stop at Tha Tien Pier (also numbered as N8), we were not too sure if we got the right pier until the conducter shouted out the name Wat Pho. Thank goodness for her!

Opposite the Tha Tien Pier on the other side of the river is another famous temple called Wat Arun or Temple Of Dawn. There is a ferry service from Tha Tien Pier to get across to Wat Arun. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to visit Wat Arun during this trip, so next round maybe.

From the pier it was just a short walk through the market to Wat Pho. We were greeted by two stone giants near the entrance after the ticket booth.

Previously 50 baht (USD1.60), the entrance fee was increased to 100 baht (USD3.20) during our visit.

We walked into a building where we could see lots of golden Buddha statues.

Mini reclining Buddha statues

There seemed to be some renovation going on beside this building.

Took a picture of some locals and tourists praying.

A giant 'Welcome to Wat Po' on the green grass of the garden. Wat Po is named after a monastery in India where Buddha is believed to have lived. The temple is also known by the name Wat Phra Chetuphon.

Nice structure with a bell.

Beautiful stupa structures can be seen all around the temple compound.

Wat Po is also home to one of the earliest Thai massage schools. In fact, it is believed to be the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. There are proper massage services here but unfortunately, we did not have the time to go for one!

Soon, we were inside the building housing the world famous Reclining Buddha.

It was quite difficult taking pictures of this giant Buddha as there were a lot of pillars and tourists blocking the view!

Nevertheless, it was well worth my time visiting this temple even if it's just to see the Reclining Buddha.

At 15 metres high and 46 metres long, this giant Buddha statue is the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand.

It looks awesomely long from this angle.

Perhaps the most amazing part of the statue that caught my attention was his feet, measuring about 3 metres high and 5 metres long for each foot!

Although I did not take a very good picture of the feet, the soles of the feet are actually inlaid with mother-of-pearl showing 108 auspicious signs of the Buddha like flowers, dancers, white elephants, tigers and altar accessories.

Really had a hard time taking the picture as many tourists were vying for the perfect photo-taking spot!

After taking photos in the front, I walked to the back and took a photo of the Reclining Buddha's head.

The Reclining Buddha has his right arm supporting his head, and his neck being supported by two blue box-pillows which were encrusted with glass mosaics.

Having seen enough, my friend and I briefly visited the rest of the temple compound. There were a lot stupas around.

There also seems to be a Buddhist monastery here, with monks in residence.

Near Wat Po is the Grand Palace, which is worth a visit for first time visitors to Bangkok. I did not go there as I had visited it during one of my previous trips.

Coming Up Next : Eating Boat Noodles Near Victory Monument 

Wishing on a Falling Star

10 Ways To Stay Safe During The Hungry Ghost Month

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, September 7, 2012 | Published in


You have probably read my post 10 Things NOT To Do During The Hungry Ghost Month and not took it too seriously.

Well, the peak of the Hungry Ghost Festival has already passed, but there is still a little more than a week before the gates of Hell (and possibly Heaven) closes. Today, I would like to share with you ways to stay safe for the remaining part of this Hungry Ghost month.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these are precautions that I had researched and gathered from older people and also from feng shui expert Lillian Too. You might ask, what has feng shui got to do with ghosts?

Well, if it's classical feng shui like what is being taught by Joey Yap, not much. But in Lillian Too's case, she is also into Taoism practices, so it probably explains why she mixes both feng shui and Taoism together.

So, here are 10 ways to stay safe during this Hungry Ghost Month, and in fact, not just during this period but also any time of the year. Of course, most of the ways I outlined below will not work against things like toyol. LOL!

Read More : Terrorized By Toyol! (A True Story)

1. Do not start construction or renovation of your house or office during this Hungry Ghost Month. Contractors and builders in Asian countries normally adhere to this rule, but there are always exceptions. You may start before or after the Hungry Ghost month, but NOT during the month itself to prevent attracting bad luck.

2. Do not travel too much during this month. But if you really have to, only travel on the good days. To know when the good days are for traveling, refer to the feng shui calendar like this one!

Lillian Too's 2012 Feng Shui Almanac

3. Do not move house during this month. It's an inauspicious month to move house. Besides, you do not want a hungry ghost to move in with you, do you?

4. Do not get married during this month! Yes, choose a more auspicious date to get married. How do you like to have hungry ghosts roaming on the streets outside while you are having a wedding feast inside a restaurant?

5. In feng shui, we talk about yin and yang. There must be balance for us to have good feng shui. Now, human environment are usually more yang, but ghosts and spirits prefer environment that are more yin. As such, if the energy in your house or office is too yin, then it is more likely to attract ghosts!

How do you know if your house is too yin? Well, a yin-dominant house is usually dark, with little sunshine and fresh air. Even houses built near churches, hospitals and graveyards are attractive to ghosts! These are all very yin places and ghosts feel very comfortable in these environment!

To avoid yin spirit formation in your home (and this is not just during the Hungry Ghost month), keep your house clean and free from clutter, open the windows to let in fresh air and sunlight, install more lights to brighten up dark corners, and play loud music especially in rooms that are not often used.

Clutter and dark corners create stagnant energy which promotes a yin environment. This is also the reason why rooms in the house or office that are not often used attract ghosts to dwell inside them.

6. Do not swim in the lake during this Hungry Ghost month. Lakes and underwater are more yin and as such, ghosts prefer to dwell in there.

7. Do not start a new business or project during this month. Since it's an inauspicious month, delay your new business to the month after or your business may suffer from lots of obstacles and may not survive.

8. Invite Chung Kwei - the Chinese ghost catcher - into your home. Simply display his image in your home or office to frighten away wandering spirits and ghosts!

Chung Kwei images source

9. Wear protective amulets especially during this Hungry Ghost month. These amulets should come with powerful protective mantras, and you should wear them touching your body.

10. Hungry ghosts have very narrow necks so they are unable to eat and drink like humans. As such they are constantly hungry - imagine how suffering is that! Now they become very happy when they are fed with smells of incense and aromas of food! Is it any wonder that these desperate and suffering spirits create trouble for humans especially those whose life force or energy levels are weak?

A hungry ghost image source

According to Lillian Too, the best way to appease these hungry ghosts is to light up some sweet smelling incense like kemeyan or sandalwood. They are sure to like it and stop creating troubles for you! Now you know why the Chinese and Indian temples are burning incense all the time!

To take it a step further, you can do this not just during Hungry Ghost month, but also anytime you want to remove obstacles caused by wandering and local spirits of the land. During dusk, or right after sunset, light up the incense and holding the incense burner, walk clockwise around your house and every room while chanting this mantra.



After you have finished walking, dedicate the incense and offerings to the holy beings, angels, local landlords and wandering spirits to look after you instead of harming you.

According to Lillian Too, if you treat these spirits with friendship and not fear, you will actually find them very nice and accommodating!

Wishing on a Falling Star