Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Superpharmacy Megastore, Petaling Jaya

Superpharmacy Megastore, Petaling Jaya
I was driving to a car service centre in Petaling Jaya when I passed Superpharmacy Megastore.  I saw the words “The largest pharmacy warehouse” and decided that I had to check it out.  Of course, before I checked it out, I searched online to see if I could find anything on them.  According to an article in The Star newspaper, the owners “drew inspiration from warehouse pharmacies overseas”.  

Saturday, 26 March 2016

New Zealand – Waitomo Caves & Auckland

At the end of the boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto
On our way from Rotorua to Auckland, we stopped to visit the Waitomo Caves.  We were told it would be cold so I wore a sweater.  There are three caves – Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave.  We only visited the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.  On hindsight, I wished we could have visited all the caves.  I had never been inside a limestone cave or seen stalagmites and stalactites.  Neither had I seen glowworms before.  Exciting, no?

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

New Zealand – Agrodome & Te Puia, Rotorua

Beautiful sights during the Agrodome farm tour
After leaving Hobbiton, we headed off to Rotorua.  As soon as we arrived in Rotorua, the smell of rotten eggs hit us.  Yes, the smell of sulfur permeates most of Rotorua.  There is a lot of geothermal activity in the area (geysers, thermal mud pools etc.).  In fact, on our drive to Rotorua, our driver pointed out small hills along the roads which were caused by past geothermal activity.  We had some time before dinner, which was a Maori Hangi concert and feast, so we headed off to do some shopping and to visit the Rotorua night market.  I enjoyed both the shopping and the night market but not so much the Maori Hangi concert and feast.  I thought that the Hangi feast would be cooked in the ground but no, we got a hotel buffet version that didn’t even taste good. 

Geyser at Te Puia
A heads up for tourists like me: Pak’nSave supermarket has a free public phone from which you can call for a taxi.  Taxi rates are quite expensive – I think we paid around NZD 18 to get back to our hotel which, according to Google maps, is only 2km away.  There is also a bus you can take but the bus services seem to end early in Rotorua.  Anyway, I don’t regret it because we hardly had any time to go to the supermarkets and our tour guide was quite mean about arranging for us to do any shopping at all.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

New Zealand – Hobbiton, Matamata

The rolling green hills of Hobbiton
I was thoroughly excited to visit New Zealand’s North Island.  First of all, it meant that we were halfway through our tour.  Secondly, the long hours of travelling by bus were now behind us!  Woohoo!  We flew to Auckland by Air New Zealand.  The safety briefing video was really entertaining.  The only unpleasant thing was that Air New Zealand only allows one piece of check-in luggage on domestic flights.  That’s terribly inconvenient for international tourists. 
Hobbit hole
We arrived in Auckland Airport and I headed for the luggage carousels, stupidly trying to find out the carousel number for our flight.  It took a while before I realised that there was only one luggage carousel.  I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

New Zealand – Bungy Jumping and Jet Boating at Kawarau

Kawarau river - can you spot the jet boat on the right?
Look at all the New Zealand animals in the jet boat!  Soooo cute!
At some point in our journeys from Christchurch to Queenstown and back, we made some stops in the Kawarau region for extreme sports.  It was pretty exciting, although I didn’t participate due to fear and lack of funds!  One of these activities was jet boating.  The picturesque river looked so calm and pretty.  Imagine shooting over the waters in a boat at high speed!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

New Zealand – Fjordland National Park& Milford Sound

The view from one of our stops in Fjordland National Park
After spending one night in Queenstown, we set out early the next morning for Fjordland National Park, where Milford Sound is located.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

New Zealand Snacks!

Haribo Roulettes, The Natural Confectionary Company Sour Patch Kids, Whittaker's L&P chocolate, Cadbury Jaffas
I nicked these from the various hotels that we stayed in.......
The only freebies I received in my entire New Zealand trip - fruits pastilles from SkyCity casino, Auckland
What would a holiday be without snacks?  I was dying to go to a supermarket in New Zealand but it took a while before I managed to go to one.  That’s one of the cons of joining a tour group.   I had to make do with tiny grocery stores and hotel convenience shops for almost a week. 

This is a rocky road flavoured ice-cream.  It tasted a bit childish – strawberry ice-cream covered with nuts and chocolate, but I liked it.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

New Zealand - Queenstown

I was so excited to arrive in Queenstown.  I had read all about Taylor Swift flying into Queenstown the week before.  Once our tour bus entered Queenstown, we could see beautiful deep blue waters and majestic green mountains.  The roads were narrow and steep but the town itself wasn’t very big.  We headed for the Skyline Gondolas that would take us up to the Skyline Restaurant where we would be having dinner. 

View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu from Skyline Restaurant
The Skyline Gondola is basically a cable car.  The cable car ride was rather frightening for me as we ascended almost vertically!  We could see sheep grazing leisurely on the mountains.  When we arrived at the top, we were treated to an incredible view of Queenstown.  Of course, there were plenty of tourists snapping away happily and posing for photographs.  I could see why people would come all the way to this tiny place. 

Monday, 14 March 2016

New Zealand - Cromwell & Arrowtown

An arch of roses in Mrs Jones Fruit Orchard, Cromwell
On the way to Queenstown, we stopped at Cromwell, which is home to many fruit orchards.  I was all excited, thinking that we would get to go fruit picking.  Unfortunately, that was not the case as we were merely dropped outside Mrs Jones Fruit Stall to buy fruits.  Mrs Jones Fruit Stall sells a variety of fresh and dried fruits, nuts and vegetables.  New Zealand’s favourite Tip Top ice-cream is also sold by the scoop.  

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

New Zealand - Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo & Lake Pukaki

Mountain view from Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook
Picture-perfect Lake Pukaki on a clear day
Lake Tekapo and lots of lupins
After leaving the lovely gardens of Hotel Ashburton behind, we headed off for Mount Cook.  The journey was long and the roads winding and narrow.  The view, however, was spectacular.  Beautiful blue skies, mountains, sparkling lakes were a sight for tired eyes. 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

New Zealand - Christchurch & Ashburton

Water fountain in Christchurch Botanical Gardens
New Zealand was never one of the places I envisioned that I would visit.  Although I had heard a lot about the country’s beautiful scenery, I would have never planned to go there.  As they say, never say never.  I found myself in New Zealand for a family trip last December.  When I looked at the tour itinerary, I almost fainted at the amount of time we were to spend traveling by road.  What do they say about facing your fears head on?  I guess I didn’t have a choice but to confront my motion sickness demons in the face, packed all sorts of medication and boarded the plane.  First stop, Christchurch.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Longchamp Friends & Family Sale, Haulmark Branded Apparel Clearance @ Jaya One

Longchamp had a Friends and Family sale at Parkroyal Hotel in January.  I decided against going because I didn’t need anything and I just gone to a Longchamp Friends and Family sale a few months ago.  To my surprise, the sale headed to Jaya One last weekend so I dropped by to check it out. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The White Shirt with a Difference

Banana Republic white shirt
French Connection skirt
Longchamp flats
A white shirt is considered a wardrobe staple.  There is nothing quite like a crisp, pristine, white shirt to make you feel professional and proper.  However, a white shirt can be boring or uniform-like.  

Recently, I was gifted with a white shirt with an edge.  This Banana Republic shirt certainly did wow me when I first saw it.  From the front, it looked all business but the back was a different story.  There were two overlapping drapes at the back and the shirt hung loosely instead of being fitted.  I thought it was genius.  It didn’t look too dumpy but didn’t need to be tucked in. 

Unfortunately, the shirt is slightly too small for me but no matter, I wore it anyway.  Although the shirt is meant to be loose, it is made from cotton so it does tend to stick out a little at the sides.  And the back of the shirt is made from polyester, which I personally do not like.  I wonder how the shirt would look like if it were constructed out of voile or silk or viscose or even rayon.  It might hang a little differently. 

Don’t you think that the shirt looks like it was inspired by women wearing men’s shirts?  Perhaps it could have been better executed with a different choice of fabric.  In all honesty, the shirt wasn’t the most comfortable.  Anyway, the search for edgy white shirts continues!