Malacca & Klebang trip

For this school holiday I brought my family for a short trip to Malacca. We booked a room at Bayou Lagoon Resort about 30 minutes from the city center. The hotel features a little water park adjacent to it and we get 2 free entry tickets for staying at the hotel. Since there are five of us, we had to pay for the remaining three but lucky for us Hana get to go in for free. There were several slides in the water park and a few play area. The water was only knee to waist deep so there’s not much swimming to do. The kids however had a really good time. They didn’t want to come out of the water until the siren is turned on when the rainstorm started.

Don't be discouraged by some of the negative comments on online booking websites. The hotel room was actually quite nice, apartment studio - very spacious. You could easily fit at least 7 fully grown people in there. And for RM137.24 (before 16% taxes) it’s quite affordable too. However there’s only two lifts for the entire building so there’s always a sizable queue in front of them all the time. The trick is to get a room on the lower levels like we did (1st floor). That way we can always take the stairs and avoid waiting forever for the lift. We looked around a good place to eat for dinner and found one called Asam Pedas Claypot near the city centre. It come highly recommended on Foursquare and the asam pedas really didn’t disappoint. The nasi lemak that I had was not so good though so you probably should stick with the asam pedas menu. The next day as always Adam and I drive around Bukit Katil to find breakfast. Since the free breakfast vouchers is only for two, the rest of us need to find our own breakfast. After driving for like 30 minutes looking for a decent place to eat, we finally found one right next door to the hotel (duh).

The water park tickets is only valid for one day so we need to buy new tickets should we want to enter again the next day. We decided to take a stroll around Malacca instead. First stop was the popular Malacca River Cruise attraction. Just our luck, it started to pour while we were boarding the boat. The next 45 minutes of our trip were in the pouring rain but we still get to see some interesting parts of central Malacca from the boat. I noticed they’ve painted some building along the river with murals. To be honest, I’d prefer they don’t because those murals somehow ruined the rustic beauty of some of the buildings plus the paintings were not really that beautiful. I also saw a lot of ‘don’t mess with Malacca’ slogan all over the city. What’s up with that? I for certain don’t feel very welcomed with the sign. It’s more of a threat than a greeting. Whoever thought of that is a bumbling idiot who probably stayed too long in Texas.

Next we went to Klebang beach some 30 minutes away. My wife is a big fan of the famous coconut shake there so she always try to have some whenever we’re in town. Me, I thought they all taste the same. Our original plan was just to visit the beach but when we saw the scenic sand dunes where all hipsters went to take pictures, we just had to visit it. There were some way to walk from where we parked our car to the sand dunes (actually just reclaimed land) but it’s all worth it. The scenery and view were beautiful, the kids had fun and I took loads of pictures. Be careful driving away from the place though, cause you car might get stuck in the sand. First I saw a car being stuck in the sand and then it also happened to us. So everybody got out of the car except for Linda and we asked several fellow visitors to help us push the car. After several attempts, we finally managed to get the car out of the sand and away from that place. I suspect the heavy luggage plus all the passengers caused the car to get stuck in the first place.

That concludes our short getaway to Malacca. It’s a nice change from the usual Port Dickson resorts. Maybe we should do it again some other time.

FZ 150

Let me tell you a story about all the bikes I’ve owned. Wait I’ve already did that in this blog post here. So I’m going to tell you about my latest bike instead. Ever since my old Krisstar broke down, I’ve been using a bike borrowed from my brother. Sooner or later I’m gonna have to find a new bike or at least fix my old Krisstar. After much consideration I decided against the latter because it might not be worth it to fix that old junk again.

At first I had my sight on the beautiful Kawasaki Ninja 150 RR motorcycle but they’re too expensive for my budget. A second hand unit will cost 7,000 ringgit upwards and a brand new one no less than 16,000 ringgit. So I switched my target on the next best thing in the market — the Yamaha FZ 150 bike. This one is a lot cheaper and I quickly found one on Mudah selling for only 5,000 ringgit. The Since I don’t have 5,000 ringgit lying around, I had to look for a loan from a bank somewhere. In a stroke of luck, I found out that I can do a cash instalment plan with my HSBC credit card which only charge a low 4.88% interest charge.

As always, I need to test drive the bike first before I can finalize the purchase which I did. The engine sounded pretty good and the bike’s pickup was nice. A few days later I paid that fella and now I’m the proud owner of a 2013 Yamaha FZ 150 motorcycle. As I said the bike is only 2 years old with only 19,000 kilometers of mileage. Compared to my last bike, the FZ is a massive upgrade. It runs faster, have much better pick up and acceleration and a joy to ride. I also has a massive tank that could hold 16 ringgit of petrol in one go. I only had to fill up the bike like once a week instead of every 2–3 days like before. For once, all the parts are working and I can ride long distance or at night without any worries. I can get to work and return home faster and save myself from further backache. But of course, a much bigger bike requires better maintenance and the spare parts and service will cost slightly more though I’m sure it’s worth it. I can imagine riding this bike for a long-long year to come. I got the feeling this is gonna be the best investment I’ve made yet.

A brief history of my bikes

Let me tell you a short history of all the bikes that I’ve owned through the years. When I was in college, my first bike like so many up and coming Malay students at that time was a red Yamaha RXZ. It was (naturally) a second hand bike bought for cheap. 2,000 ringgit at that time I think. It should have been 500 ringgit more as the market price at that time but since mine had a huge dent on it’s tank (probably from an accident or two), I got the 500 ringgit discount. Anyway I had a fun time modifying and looking after that bike during my time in college. It was not the fastest bike in the block but I managed to get into a street race or two .Lost all of them naturally since I didn’t tinker with the engine much and I wasn’t exactly a moto GP rider or anything.

My second bike was a major upgrade, a Honda NSR RR. It was a big thing to be riding an RR back then. I could just snap my fingers and girls would be riding at the back. Ha ha you wish! I didn’t have many girls riding tandem on my bike although my girlfriend then (now my wife) spent a lot of time there. She has known me since my RXZ years really so it wasn’t about the bike. After a year or so the second hand RR was acting up a lot. I spent nearly a thousand ringgit fixing it, a problem after another. Until one day I got fed up with it all and trade in the bike for my 3rd bike ever - a second hand blue Yamaha 125Z.

The 125Z was a quite popular bike of choice for teenagers back then. It was 2 stroke and it was lightweight and fast. I had that for a few years until I got married in fact. Then as always with all my previous second hand bikes, the 125Z started acting up as well and after a good 2 years or so of using the bike I traded it in for a brand new Yamaha Lagenda bike. The Lagenda was the first brand new bike that I’ve ever bought. It was 4 stroke, light on fuel, not so fast but it was very reliable and got me places.

I used the Lagenda for a few years until I bought a second car for my new job, during which I didn’t use the bike much. In fact it just sat there under my apartment for months at a time. So I got the bright idea to sell it to my brother in law who just got himself a job in the city. It was perfect timing. I didn’t have the need to use a bike for a year or two until I got myself a job in downtown KL. I drove myself to work in my first month but then I had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and leave home before 6:00 or else be caught in a terrible jam and be late for work. After a while I realised leaving for work so early every day is no way to live my life. Eventually I thought about getting a new bike for myself except that I don’t feel like paying for another expensive long term instalment for a brand new bike. So I thought I’d get another second hand bike on the cheap instead. My fifth bike was a beat up Modenas Krisstar. It had problems from day one but it was only around 2,200 ringgit and the shop agreed for my 3 months instalment proposal so I didn’t think much about anything else then. I was desperate and didn’t have much choice.

I used the bike for 2 months before the problems started getting more numerous and serious. One day the bike didn’t have much acceleration at all so I sent it in for a repair at a workshop in Equine Park. A few days later I was 800 ringgit poorer after doing the overhaul for the engine. I managed to use the bike for another 2 years before the engine started acting up again. One fine Sunday afternoon, I was making my way to Pandan Indah in KL to buy some IT equipments for my customer on my bike. My bike is not exactly in tip top condition. The engine sounded terrible and the piston is making this loud knocking sound whenever it’s running. Why don’t I fix it? Well the cost naturally. Last time I did an overhaul of the engine it cost me over 800 ringgit. Therefore as you can see, I dread the thought of spending another 800 ringgit fixing my bike just to do it again 2 years later. So I kept delaying and postponing doing something about my bike until that fateful Sunday afternoon when it died on me somewhere in the middle of Pandan Jaya.

Lucky for me the bike went dead just next to an LRT station. So I slowly pushed my bike aside and parked it near the station. Since it’s near Kampong Pandan I had only one person in mind to call — my good friend Fadzir Aziz. I didn’t have any luck the first 5 times calling him though cause he didn’t pick up the phone but as I was mulling leaving my bike overnight at the station and picking it up later, my call got through and Fadzir came to the rescue. He pushed my bike with his to his place and then drop me off at another LRT station. So now I’m left without a transportation mode to work. Lucky for me my brother just got posted to teach in Sabah again. He was kind enough to lend me his Honda Future bike for me to use for a while until I figure out whether to fix my damn Krisstar or just buy another bike. Guess what I did in the end? Tune in for my next blog post to find out :)