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Our first trip to Akaroa

Akaroa is perfect for nature lovers- kayaks can be rented for a few hours of paddle

Akaroa is perfect for nature lovers- kayaks can be rented for a few hours of paddle

Akaroa- the French ‘flavored’ town about an hours drive from Christchurch is simply beautiful. I was already silently cursing for not checking the date of our trip which coincided with the 100km LeRace cycling event but the stunning views and relaxing atmosphere of the town immediately won me over. The town nestles inside a sheltered bay, making it a perfect place for water based activities. There were some kayaking tours happening and my first thought was the river kayaking trip I did with Chadel some years back.  Damn I miss those paddling days.

Continue reading Our first trip to Akaroa

Driving to Akaroa with LeRace cycling event

It was a beautiful and perfect day for a drive through the back country of New Zealand

It was a beautiful and perfect day for a drive through the back country of New Zealand

Akaroa is the name of a place we keep hearing from friends. From a few short conversations, I gathered the place is a charming and perhaps a romantic place not too far from Christchurch that many would go on weekends and extended holidays. We promised ourselves we would go for a ‘treat’ once I get my first pay. It was payday on the Wednesday and we were on our way to idealistic Akaroa on Saturday. It was an exceptionally beautiful morning for a drive. We cruised through some really nice ‘rural’ parts of Canterbury and made a few quick stops to take pictures. Everything was going so well…until…

Continue reading A cyclist paced drive to Akaroa; Part 1

Buying cheap clothing in Christchurch, New Zealand

My personal favorite store in Riccarton market, Chirstchurch.

My personal favorite store in Riccarton market, Chirstchurch.

Yes, I have decided to write a short guide on where to get cheap clothes in Christchurch, New Zealand. This is definitely not my usual ‘rainforest adventures’ post but  hey, its still an adventure which I think will benefit some people coming to this part of the world.

Continue reading Cheap clothes in Christchurch, New Zealand

Malaysian car mechanic En Nazri in Christchurch, New Zealand

The car's engine being checked and gasket changed to stop the leaking oil.

The car’s engine being checked and gasket changed to stop the leaking oil.

A car and an affordable mechanic I can rely on in Christchurch are two things that haunted in the first week in New Zealand. New Zealand is a country to be seen, appreciated and enjoyed. While we can probably get around in public transport like buses, having your own vehicle means you can haul loads of stuff…stop wherever and whenever you want and probably save on travelling time. The best place to look out for a car to buy in New Zealand is Trademe (that’s what everyone tells me anyway). And by the second week, we already got our own car, an old 1995 (A) Toyota Previa.

Continue reading A reliable car, a good mechanic in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Christchurch...a new adventure begins.

Just landed! The beginning of a two years adventure in Christchurch begins

Just landed! The beginning of a two years adventure in Christchurch begins

Our flight from Sydney to New Zealand landed safely in Christchurch at around midnight. It was a full plane and naturally clearance took some time. Walking out to pick up our luggages, it is a strange feeling that the airport is somewhat rather ‘small’ and ‘old’. Oh well…doesn’t matter really. The immigration officer was super friendly and customs clearance was smooth. As we struggle out with our trolleys, we were greeted with an elderly man holding Meun’s name on a play card.  Such a good, polite gentleman. As we loaded up the bags into Doug’s trailer…I could not help but realize how cold it was…and it is summer!

Continue reading Christchurch…a new adventure begins.

Sydney Taronga zoo stop...on the way to New Zealand

Our bags all loaded up...next stop...KLIA. Destination...New Zealand!

Our bags all loaded up…next stop…KLIA. Destination…New Zealand!

 

Yes! We are finally in New Zealand now! Its been a crazy few months preparing for this (temporary) move. Meun was awarded a scholarship by the New Zealand government to further her studies at Lincoln University. It was a tough choice to move the entire family (I miss my Sox) but it is also the obvious choice. We have two years here so we make our very best of it. As I am writing, it is 830pm here at Lincoln, the weather is fine and the family is already asleep. Life is good here.

Continue reading 2 nights in Sydney on the way to New Zealand!

Terra Farm Tree Houses in Cameron Highlands, a magical place

Rachel (right), a nature lover, bushcrafter and good vegetarian cook too!

Rachel (right), a big nature lover, bushcrafter and good vegetarian cook too!

I would not have agreed to visit Terra Farm in Cameron Highlands if it is not because of my friend Rachel Lee who (at that time) was working there. Actually, it seems more like she is ‘running’ the entire place on her own! There is so little (good) information about Terra Farm tree houses available on the internet. I was relentlessly pursuing Rachel with questions after questions and she patiently came back to me with information that I need.

Continue reading Cameron Highlands Terra Farm Tree Houses

Our 3D2N experience at Terra Farm, Cameron Highlands; Pt 2

The elevation on Cameron Highlands.

At least I know the altimeter on my 4WD is working!

 

On this trip to Terra Farm in Cameron Highlands, we decided to have our young hero and Sox along. It’s been many years since we last visited Cameron Highlands. The last we both could remember was the visit to Gunung Irau with a friend from Thailand. This recent visit brought even better memories than we could ever hope for.

Continue reading Our 3D2N experience at Terra Farm, Cameron Highlands; Pt 2

Tree houses at its best- Terra Farm with Rachel; Pt 1

One of the few tree houses at Terra Farm, Cameron Highlands

One of the few tree houses at Terra Farm, Cameron Highlands

We have been mulling over the idea of visiting Terra Farm houses in Cameron highlands ever since we read about the place in the news papers some time back. With Li-Yang in tow, we weren’t sure if tree houses were the best idea to go with. Meun insisted that it is time to bring the young boy out on an adventure. We agreed to try it out. So…an adventure on tree houses on the mountains of Cameron highlands we went.

NOTE: This trip came way before Li-Yang’s first overnight camp. I totally forgot to post this trip up sooner. 

Continue reading Tree houses at its best- Terra Farm with Rachel; Pt 1

Jungle camping with our kid near Kuala Lumpur

Li-Yang's first overnight camp

Li-Yang’s first overnight camp

Well, our camping trips have now change somewhat dramatically now. In the past, its either just me on my own trips or with Meun. But today, we have a handsome young man in our family and naturally, our camping style has changed. Meun is adamant to expose Li-Yang to the outdoors and camping in general. Step at a time…we promised each other. So, in September this year, we decided to head out to a lovely spot with some friends and have Li-Yang experience his first overnight camping in the fringes of the jungle.

Continue reading Jungle camping with our boy- near Kuala Lumpur