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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Make Sure Your Boat Is Covered

I always wanted a boat. I haven’t had to opportunity to go out to sea all that often, even though I grew up in a seaside town. I would like to have my own boat someday, no matter how small it is. Of course, yatch is out of the question, only the super rich millionaires have those in their posh marinas. But a small dinghy will do nicely for me.

But if you have one such boat, big or small, you certainly need to protect your boat from all the unexpected out there. Every time you set sail, you are exposed to lots of dangers, like damage from floating debris, or even dangers when you are not sailing, like theft when moored.

Getting a quote for your dinghy insurance is quick and easy now, all you have to do is choose the type of boat you have and the kind of coverage you plan to get, and you can get a quote almost immediately.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Get Travel Medical Insurance

These days I travel a lot, both for work and pleasure. I just came back from a week in Hong Kong recently, and might go overseas again in a month or two. Travelling a lot has its problems, like making sure you have all your essentials with you, and not to mention making sure you have proper directions and trip details. But getting medical travel insurance for your trip is also essential, and everyone should not travel without it.

With it, you can rest assured about contingencies while travelling, and not to mention your family will also be spared of the worries. I usually get the insurance, too, especially if I am away for a long time.

offers a wide range of complete medical travel insurance, with all kinds of different types to meet your needs. They have policies for single travelers, families, senior citizens, long stay, etc. They offer low excesses and cover many hazardous activities at no extra charge. And to top it all off, it is easy to apply.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Get Fit Now

Getting fit and staying fit is not an easy thing to do. Go ask all those millions of Americans on their treadmills every evening or working the stairmaster while watching TV. That’s just one aspect, there are those who diet endlessly, without much success, going from one diet fad to another.

But at the end of the day, the one sure way to be healthier is to do everything in moderation – eat healthily, exercise often and cut down on the unhealthy stuff – fatty fried food, smoking, alcohol, you know the drill.

But getting the right info on all these matters takes a bit of work some times. But fear not, here’s a good website with lots of nifty tools to help you manage your diet and fitness plan better - You can check the calories count on your food, read articles and testimonials, find out your ideal weight, and lots more. And best of all the calorie counter is free for you to use.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Digital Photo Frames

I just returned from Hong Kong with my family for an exciting family holiday and we took our brand new Sony Cybershot camera with us. We were given a free 2GB memory card, and guess what, we filled out the whole card with photos and movies!

But showing the movies and photos to our friends and families was a big hassle. Either we plugged it to a TV, but that would mean we couldn’t delete most of the data on the camera, and since it was full it also meant we couldn’t take anymore photos. Alternatively we used to use my notebook to view the pics, but I don’t have a notebook anymore these days.

I just found out a cool device that could do the job nicely – a digital photo frame! It acts as a what a digital frame implies – load in the photos via a memory card, and you can view pictures and moves on it. It looks like a normal photo frame people keep on their desks or on the wall, but it actually is a digital picture frame that can flash your pictures for everyone to see.

This is one of the best ideas I’ve seen in awhile, I’ve got to tell you that...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just Joined Smorty

I have just joined Smorty last night and received my confirmation earlier today. For those of you who are not familiar with them, they are providing an avenue where advertisers can advertise on blogs and in the same time, allowing bloggers to give write their opinion posts and blog for money.

Smorty basically acts as a middle man to connect the two parties, and I am so far exploring the features they have. I have seen some pretty good opportunities that they have for people like me to get paid for blogging.

Paid posts seem the way forward these days. More and more people are getting into it, I think it is a testament of the power of blogging as a medium, and also it shows how popular blogs can be. Most of my friends are into blogging already, and with Smorty, we can stand to make a little money from our passion for writing. Or some may say spirit of narcissism...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 22

After Tomorrowland we went to the Pirate's Cove, that area was a jungle / river / island themed section, focusing on the movies Pirates of the Carribbean, Tarzan and the Lion King. In the centre of this section is a large man-made island with a huge tree house on it, called Tarzan's treehouse. To get there, you need to take an open ferry with ran to both sides of a moat. Very nice.

We also managed to catch this Lion King extravaganza show which was the highlight of the area - the live performance with the mechanical floats and dancers was really something to look forward to. Unfortunately some of the audience kept using flash cameras even though the announcers kept reminding them not to. Some people are really stubborn.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 21

Tomorrowland is the futuristic section of the park, with emphasis on rockets and space travel, specifically on Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear and Stitch (of Lilo and Stitch fame). There were some rides, a car racing track for kids, theater shows, but this wasn't the best area of the three.

But we enjoyed the show featuring Lilo. That was really fun. The Buzz Lightyear ride was quite good fun, especially for the kids. We had lunch at Goofy's Kitchen, a comfortable food court with fast food. As usual, it was fried chicken and fries, but here the food was slightly better than what we had in Ocean Park the previous day.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 20

Disneyland HK is awesome. A lot of ppl hv told us that it's pretty small and similar with the other disneylands in other parts of the world, but it was exciting enough for us. There is a little town square when first enter the park, and then on there's a street with shops on both side, after that the park splits into the 3 main areas - Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Pirates Cove (or something like that).

We first saw Mickey and Minnie at the town square, and lined up to take pics with them! Little did we know that the wait took us an hour! In the meantime while waiting, we got a pic with Pluto, visited the musuem, and took lots of pics.

After that we headed to Tomorrowland.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 19

Once back on the peninsula, we took the MTR back to our hotel to end a very, very, long and tiring day...

Day four is Disneyland Day! We waited for our tour bus to come at 9.25am, but they were very late, almost an hour after the appointed time. Some of the other families waiting with us complained to the tour agent, but he just shrugged it off. It took us only a short while to get there, and they dropped us off at our hotel to check in first - Hollywood Hotel. There are actually two hotels in the vicinity of Disneyland, the other being the more expensive Disneyland Hotel.

Checking in was a problem. The lobby was full of people waiting to check in, and when our turn in line came, they said our room wasn't ready, so we had to leave our bags at the baggage counter. We did just that, and then boarded a bus to the park.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 18

There's actually a multi-level shopping centre at the top of the peak. Once you exit the building, you can walk a forest trail around the peak with some interesting things to see. but since it was getting late and we were tired and thirsty, we decided to go back down.

We also didn't enter the Madame Toussaud wax museum, maybe another time.

Once on ground level, we took another cab to the Star Ferry Terminal. Cabs in HK are convenient and affordable, something you can't say for Malaysia and Singapore! The Star ferry is a HK icon, and it is a very cheap way of crossing the harbour from Kowloon to the island and back. It's a quick journey, but the sights are something you should not miss.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 17

After dinner, our day was far from over. We took a cab to the Peak lower tram station. We actually had to line up with all the office workers after work to get a cab, but the cabs came frequently enough for us not to wait long. The lower tram station was just a short distance away, we were there in no time.

There were only two trams in service, each with two cars. We waited quite awhile for it to arrive, and it didn't really seat much people. Atop the peak you'll get a spectacular view of the city, as since we were there at night, the view was even more breathtaking. It was cool and windy, gave it a special feeling to be up there.

The tram ride up was really steep! You could see how steep the buildings were compared to you as you ascended.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 16

Our bus was packed with people leaving Ocean Park. Furthermore we were caught in this jam entering Kowloon, but thankfully it was for a short distance. We reached the bus stand in front of the Admiralty MTR station where we wanted to get off, my younger kid was fast asleep so we had to carry her down.

I was tired myself and didn't want to think so hard or walk further to find a place to eat, so we crossed the street to the nearest eatery we could find - McDonalds!

Service was a little poor, and their level of English was rudimentary, but the menu was pretty much the same as what we have here. The funny thing about this McDs was that there was no toilet - you had to get a key from a hook and walk to the shopping mall toilet some distance away. Weird.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 15

We had lunch at one of the food outlets in Ocean Park. The place had a few fast food kiosks, but the seating area was crowded! There were too few seats, and this was just a normal weekday, i wonder how it was when weekend came. We had to share our table with two other group of people, and a lot of people were milling about without tables.

We had fried chicken, it was okay but the fries were soft. Generally in our five days in Hong Kong we had to eat a lot of fast food, it was slightly cheaper than the local food.

After all the shows and stuff we did at Ocean Park, it was time to leave in the evening.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 14

Day 3! We were up and about early for our day trip to Ocean Park. It's a very famous water-themed park in Hong Kong, incidentally this year they are celebrating 30 years of their grand opening. All in all it was a fabulous yet tiring day, we took in almost all the rides and shows.

The highlight of the place was the river rage ride, where you're bound to get wet. There was also a dolphin and sea lion show, which was spectacular and the auditorium was full. There was also a smaller area for the younger kids to enjoy, and the rides were pretty fun all in all.

The weather was very hot, and for most of the day, we were feeling extremely thirsty...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 13

We bought quite a lot of stuff at the night market - T-shirts, stationery knick-knacks, little stuff that don't really cost much.

We spent a lot on drinks too, since it was quite hot and stuffy there. The roadside stalls sell these fried stuff and the chicken sausage is absolutely delicious! i had too, it's really something you don't find here.

After a tiring evening of going through the markets, we went for a late dinner at the chaar chaan teng. We had chicken rice and fishball soup, it tasty alright, but wasn't cheap.

After that, it was a slow walk back to the hotel, as many of the stalls were already closing down. So that was the end of Day 2.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 12

So we ended our half day tour of the city with a lunch at a restaurant in one of the shopping centres in the city, actually it was located next to our own hotel! Anyway the food was quite good, we had big portions and tasted great. Meanwhile the tour photographer was trying to sell the tourist some of the photos he took, each one with glazed on a plate. We knew it was a little extravagant, but we took it anyway!

After lunch, since we were so near our hotel, we went back to our room and slept it off. After that we woke in the early evening and decided to go to the night markets that are so famous - like Ladies Market, Temple Street and the ilk. So we hopped on the nearest MTR down two stations and we were there.

They weren't as fantastic as we envisioned it to be - probably since we are used to it back home. The stuff isn't really all that cheap, considering the high cost of living in HK.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 11

After taking the great boat ride around the bay, which actually is great value for money, we were off back to Kowloon via the undersea tunnel.

Back on the mainland, We were brought to this diamond factory, where were shown some tourist-y stuff, in the hopes that we spend some money there. The designs were very nice, but of course we weren't looking to buy anything, even if they were very persuasive. In fact none of the passengers on the tour bought anything, and our tour guide was quite disappointed.

After that was another tourist stop - to this herbal medicinal hall where they sold some kind of ginseng or something like that. We were given a complimentary cup (a very small cup) of the stuff and it's suppose to heal lots of stuff.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 10

Aberdeen is also another bayside district, this one is famous for the massive floating restaurants and marina. There is a pier where you can wait to board a very affordable boat cruise. Once out on the water, you can see lots of interesting stuff. The marina is loaded with lots of expensive yatchs, mostly bigger than the average houses. They are owned by the rich and famous in HK, and they are all immaculately maintained.

Further up from the bay you can see lots of tankers and large ships docked in the middle of the bay, and the shore is lined with many boat repair docks. Further up, there are boat people still staying there, but there are quite well off, with electrical appliances and floating restaurants.

The attraction is of course the two large floating restaurants - one being Jumbo which is world famous for it exotic setting and expensive prices.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 9

Repulse Bay is really nice, it is surrounded by a mountain range, with posh homes built on the hillslopes, where the rich and famous stay. The beach is quite nice, although a little small, but it's clean and sandy. i suspect the sand is imported because of the texture.

We didn't go into the temple area, but we were told that there are many popular deities there, and the most popular would be the Goddess of Mercy Guan Yin, a large statue looking out to the sea. God of Prosperity at the entrance is also another draw, with lines of people wanting to rub money on him, supposedly make you prosperous.

After that we boarded the bus again and we were off to Aberdeen.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 8

After that we were off to the highest point in Hong Kong, Victoria’s Peak. Actually, we didn’t go all the way to the top, only halfway, but still it afforded a great view of the island skyscrapers and Kowloon across the bay. The tour guide also pointed out to us the highest peak on the mountain range in Kowloon, called Lion Rock or See Si San. The peak was made famous in the 70’s in a pop song by Roman Tam about the struggles of the Hong Kong people and the spirit of communality.

We were told the tour buses cannot stay long along that road as the rich people staying there often complained of the noise and pollution.

Coming down to sea level, we made our way to the beautifully named Repulse Bay. It is actually a beach, with a famous Chinese temple at the end of the bay. When we were there construction was ongoing for a massive shopping mall.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 7

Our tour guide was really good, this affable chap who, in his own words, looked a little like ‘Andy Lau from the left’. The told us lots of interesting stuff – a bit of history, some gossip, and pointed out to us some of the homes where big stars stayed.

The promenade was very beautiful, our guide told us that the overall layout was made out in a shape of a great bird facing north – symbolizing Hong Kong’s return to motherland China. At the tip of the ‘bird’ is a golden bauhinia monument, a gift from China as it is the national flower of Hong Kong. The monument is an unopened bauhinia, when it is open it should look like the one pictured in the flag.

We took lots of pictures of the place, but didn’t venture far as it was really hot!

Hong Kong Holiday Part 6

The second day beckoned as we woke up early for breakfast and got ready for the half-day tour organized by our tour guide. He came at about 7.30am, just slightly late. First stop was to breakfast – although he didn’t tell us earlier that we were going. We stopped by this dim sum restaurant somewhere near our hotel. It was a few lots of on the first floor of some shoplots.

The food was okay, but we weren’t really big eaters so early in the morning. They had 8 different types of dim sum for each person, almost the same as what you get here back home, but with some variation.

After breakfast we went off to our first destination – The golden bauhinia at the promenade.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 5

The permanent laser show is one of the best attractions of Hong Kong. Every at 8pm, with the accompaniment of music and narration in 3 languages, you can see the magnificent light show on the skyscrapers of Hong Kong island, seen from Kowloon Peninsula. The two best spots to view the show is from the Avenue of the Stars and the Golden Bauhinia near the Expo Centre.

Also, you can view the beautifully decorated ferries and junk boats that cross the straits between Kowloon and Hong Kong.

After the show, we took a slow walk past Sheraton, had dinner in this quaint little eatery, called 'chaar chaan teng' by the locals. We had chicken rice and fishball soup, which was different from what we're used to here.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 4

The Avenue of the Stars is really a famous waterfront promenade where there are stars on the walkway paying tribute to famous people related to the music and film industry of Hong Kong, similar to the one in Hollywood.

There aren't that many stars there, but the ones there are really HK superstars. Most people would know the world famous ones like Jet Li, Bruce Lee, Chow Yun-Fat, Jackie Chan and Anita Mui. Some of them were actually producers and behind-the-scenes folks.

At 8pm sharp, the laser light show begins.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 3

That night we took a walk to Harbour City, the premier shopping centre in Kowloon. There wasn't much to shout about there, just the normal shops we've come to expect in huge shopping malls here in Malaysia and Singapore. There was a large toys and kids section, though, where a big Toys’R Us was located.

We did spend some time in the cute kid toystores, and bought a few knick-knacks.

We then walked out to the Avenue of the Stars, past the Star Ferry Terminal. That was definitely a photography moment, Star Ferry is a Hong Kong icon. Along the Avenue of the Stars, approaching the evening, is where the magic begins.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hong Kong Holiday Part 2

Our hotel was BP International, in TsimShaTsui the Kowloon Peninsular. It's a nice hotel, right at the edge of the famous Kowloon park. The hotel is run by the Scouts Association of Hong Kong, and there is a large picture of Sir Baden Powell in the lobby and many of the scout motifs such as the fleur de lis can be seen everywhere.

The hotel has a large lobby, but the rooms are small as with all hotels around here. Once we fitted in an extra bed, there was hardly any room left to walk. Our room had a great view of the business district of Kowloon. It would have been better if it overlooked the beautiful Kowloon Park, but no complains there.

Harbour City is a very long shopping complex with all the usual fashion and retail outlets you'd find everywhere.

Hong Kong Holiday Part 1

Hong Kong was an awesome place for us. We took a MAS flight there on Monday for a five day stay in the Port of Incense. Great family holiday for us, so much memories and good times.

But first off, the food is really expensive there. A can of soft drink costs $15, and a simple meal can cost anywhere up to $50. The hotel rooms are really small, as with the homes of people here, mainly because land is scarce and property prices are unbelieveably high.

On the first day when we went there, we didn't really do much. First thing was check into the hotel, and we took a slow walk to the Harbour City. It's supposed to be the biggest shopping mall around, very beautiful.

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