Thursday, September 22, 2011

My feedback on the Banjaran Weekend Getaway - Day 1

I take back my words.
I was wrong.


view from reception area

Day 1:

We agreed to meet up with parents and sisters at the Sg. Buloh R&R at 10am and head up to Ipoh together. The night before we left, Jodie called me and told me that mummy was prepared for us to be late and to arrive at only 10.30am (because we're always late). 

Of course when I heard that, I was determined to prove them wrong and show them that we weren't always late la. So I told SK to get everything packed and that we will leave the house by latest 9am!

Miraculously, we did leave the house by 9am!
Ok. 9.30am.
But important thing was, we got there before them and even had time to have breakfast!
So take that. Hmph!

We arrived in Ipoh at about 1pm and stopped to have lunch at one of the coffee shops.
Restaurant New Hollywood. 
Nama glamour saja tapi memang coffee shop.
And SK insisted that he's brought me there before during our dating days but I have no recollection whatsoever. He must have mistaken me for one of his many girlfriends. Player.

our private plunge pool

We each had our own villas but each villa was so big I think all of us could have stayed together in one. But they only allow 2 adults per villa that's why we had to take 3.
So mummy and daddy had one.
Jodie and Sarah had one.
And SK, Renee and I had one.

The villas were so big and gorgeous we were 'Ooh-ing' and 'Aah-ing' at everything. 
Upon entering the doors to our own respective villas, we were greeted with the gorgeous view of our own private plunge pool. 

A huge living / dining area faced the pool, facing the open greenery that surrounded the villas and of course, the spectacular caves around as well. 

We were surrounded by lush greenery, hot water springs everywhere and really tall natural caves.

warm water pool outside our villas

It was raining when we checked in so we spent the afternoon checking out our own villas, unpacking our toiletries and just getting used to what was to be our 'home' for the next 3 days.

When the rain slowed down, we headed out to the warm water pool and just lazed there for the remaining daylight hours.

We had huge lizards lazing around the pool with us.
Talk about being one with nature.

the lizard that lepak-ed with us

We also tried out the hot-springs dipping wells but it was soooooo hot, I couldn't even put my feet in for more than 5 seconds!
I really do not know how mummy, daddy and SK could sink their whole bodies in.
Just sitting around it was making me perspire.

So while the 3 of them dipped in the BOILING HOT WATER, Jodie, Sarah, Renee and I sat squatting down around the well like monkeys, afraid to have our feet touch the water.

Sarah did try putting her legs in for more than 10 seconds and they came out RED.
Like boiled lobster red.
In her words, it was so stressful!

surrounded by natural hot springs that was too hot for people to be allowed into it

We then went to check out the Dr. Fish Spa, which was a shallow pond filled with tiny fishes that eats away your dead skin when you soak your feet inside. 

I happily enjoyed having them pick at all my dead skin that I didn't even realize that one part of my feet started bleeding.
They were freaking chewing on me!

I never went back again after that.

the dipping wells where the 'cooler' water were, kononlah. Was still so HOT!

We had dinner at The Pomelo, their in-house restaurant.
Too lazy to drive out for dinner after the long drive from KL and Renee was sleepy as well.

It was buffet-styled dinner and I was expecting 'light, healthy dishes' as was stated in their website so I wasn't really looking forward to it.

But boy was I surprised when I saw their array of food!

There was Acar, Kerabu Mangga, Kerabu Chicken Feet, Cold Cuts, preserved fruits, tom yum seafood soup, steamed rice, ayam masak kicap, ikan pedas, stir-fried vege, ginger beef, and all sorts of desserts, cakes, fruits and puddings! 

Of course the variety is nothing compared to our 5-star hotels in KL la but for a retreat, the food was good enough lor.

So that was Day 1 of the Banjaran weekend getaway and so far, I was already falling in love with the place.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hotsprings Retreat

 photo taken from Banjaran's official website

Exactly a week from today, my parents, sisters, hubby, Renee and I will be heading to the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat in Ipoh.

Reason why we're going on a family holiday is because my youngest sister, Sarah, will be back from London for 3 weeks and the parents wanted to go somewhere where the family 

So mummy chose this place. 

From their website, I could tell that this is quite a high-end, luxurious place that without my parents paying, I doubt I would ever be able to afford to go there on my own. I mean, it's stated there RM1,800 per night per villa! Now, WHY IN THE WORLD would I want to part with RM1,800 just to go to this place? I'd rather use the money and do something more go to Perhentian and spend a month there. 

Anyways, in a way, I was kindda looking forward to going so that I could spend some time with the family but when I also found out that one of their policy was "No children under 8 years old allowed", I was a little taken aback.

Ok, so you are a high-end, luxurious spa retreat whatever and you don't want noisy children running around for fear of disturbing your other guests who are actually there to meditate bla bla bla so you don't allow children under 8 to be there. Ok, I understand.

Mummy managed to get them to make an exception for Renee cos we're taking 3 villas for 2 nights each so just do your own calculation to see how much they are gonna be earning from my parents for just next weekend alone and NO, FOOD IS NOT INCLUDED.

By the way, food served in the spa retreat is nothing that would satisfy a hungry pregnant woman. Because they are all into wholesomeness and health, of course, the food there is organic healthy stuff. I'm talking "light, healthy & nutritious dishes" here. Adding to that, their restaurant is not 24 hours so I don't get to order in-room service after 10pm.



So now, not only do I have to deal with their "light, healthy & nutritious spa cuisine", I also have to starve myself??? I'm gonna be smuggling in A LOT of instant cup noodles and chocolates. And please don't give me the whole "instant noodles not nutritious for your baby" crap. I'm gonna be eating NUTRITIOUS, HEALTHY, LIGHT food all day long so yes, I get to enjoy a little junk at nights k. 

I've also told hubby to drive me out to Ipoh town after 10pm to have supper and tapow whatever I can back to the retreat. Hopefully I dont get caught smuggling unhealthy food in. Worse, hopefully they don't LOCK UP THEIR GATES to the outside world after 10pm!

Anyways, putting the food aside, I was really looking forward to going and dipping in the hot pools cos I do so love hot water, but then I was told by my gynea that I'm NOT ALLOWED INTO HOTSPRINGS FML!!!!!

Apparently, anything above 39 degrees in temperature will send my baby into a high fever and spasms because although outside temp is only 39, my core temp is always 1 or 2 degrees higher. 

So, let me list it all down here:

1. I am pressured to run after my 3-yo the whole day to make sure she doesn't run around, scream / laugh / cry too loudly so that she doesn't disturb other guests,

2. I have to put up with 'light, healthy dishes' which is only served 3 times a day and starve in between meals and at nights, and

3. I am not allowed to enjoy the hotsprings.

Erm....remind me again why I'm going there?

Oh yah, to BOND with the family.

You know, seriously, I'd rather have the money and spend a whole month in Perhentian, and I might even have balance to spend on shopping!

At least at Perhentian, I get to spend 1 month there, EAT ALL I WANT ALL DAY LONG, and Renee is free to behave like a 3 year old without me having to thwart her every action. 

Having said this though, I appreciate that this trip is paid for. That's all.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Prawns in Chinese Rice Wine

Had a few friends asking me how to make this dish since I tweeted about it.
It's actually very simple and I got this recipe from my late yeh-yeh.
It was his favorite dish to cook and each time we went back for family dinners, this dish will definitely be there. 

So here's the recipe.


  • About 20pcs of big prawns (cleaned and heads removed but still shelled)
  • 2 cloves garlic - diced
  • 3 tablespoons white soya sauce
  • 1 table spoon Chinese Rice Wine
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil


  1. In a small bowl, mix the white soya sauce, Chinese Rice Wine and sugar together.
  2. Heat up the wok with the cooking oil.
  3. When wok is hot enough, stir fry the garlic until golden brown. Add in the prawns and stir fry till prawns are cooked.
  4. Turn to slow fire and pour in the mixture of soya sauce, rice wine and sugar. Slowly stir fry for another 5 - 10 minutes.
  5. Serve hot.
See. Easy peasy!
And taste good.
Well, I like it anyways.
Hope you do too!


About 2 weeks after our Perhentian trip, Renee was admitted into hospital for having lungs infection which then confirmed her as asthmatic. She had to be on the neubalizer every 3 hours for 3 days and 2 nights to clear up the congestion in her lungs .

At the same time, I was sick myself. Had the same problem, lungs congestion (so now we know who Renee takes after), nose was so totally jammed up I had to breathe through my mouth and I lost hearing in my right ear. I was also on the inhaler to clear my own lungs. 

So imagine what a great condition we both were in during that time.

Entertaining herself with the cartoon channels and the iPad

Had her finger pricked for blood sample

Being a good girl holding her own neubalizer

Almost a month after being discharged, her condition has improved a lot. Although she is still on the inhaler at home and on some other medication to ensure that her lungs are kept clear, she's stopped coughing, and she's back to her active self again.

I have also stopped giving her Vitagen and ice-cream but then again, she is just a child so being the bad mummy that I am, I occasionally sneak her an ice-cream cup or two as treats.

Other random pictures I took:

Renee sunnies shopping while her mummy was shoe shopping

At the playground

Being her usual cheeky self

Painted my toe nails purple with silver french

The stupid frog that jumped on my right feet giving me a fright