16 May 2008


I bet somewhere in the world they use this guy as an evil method to torture prisoners in the darkest of dungeons.

15 May 2008

Gold Coast - Day 3 (Tuesday)

The only plan for the day was to visit Sea World. AUD5.40 bought us a ticket aboard the bus, valid for the entire day. It was barely a 10 minute ride from Cavill Ave and the driver was friendly.
Here's a picture of me in my totally mismatched outfit. I just wanted to feel comfortable. Didn't realize it would turn out to be such a fashion disaster.

Activities at the Sea World included the Seal Detectives show, Wipe-Out Water Ski show, SOS 4D Movie, and the Imagine Dolphin show which was really the highlight of my day. I can't help but feel impressed by the relationship forged between each dolphin and trainer. Truly remarkable!

There's a Sesame Street Beach and show for the kiddies who visit the theme park.

We also got to see penguins, sharks, polar bears, pelicans and ride Sea World's Skyway and Australia's first monorail. These pint-sized penguins only measured about a foot tall. Cute buggers!

Mom & dad on the Skyway.

Like with any theme park, there are also theme park rides for the young and old.
Though I didn't get on any of the rides, I managed to catch Jo & Adeline in action here... sort of. Those are their hands raised up high as they came down the slide with a huge splash.

AUD66 is quite a steep price for tickets to a theme park, but I must say that it's good knowing that the money generated from visitors is put towards research, conservation and rescue efforts.

Next time I make a trip to Sea World, I'd like to be a part of their Animal Adventure program, and maybe even a helicopter tour. Alas, all that costs a lot of money... especially more when we come from a country whose currency is much weaker.

12 May 2008

Gold Coast - Day 2 (Monday)

Here's the sunrise view from our 2 bedroom apartment on the 27th floor of Condor Apartments, which cost about AUD160 per night for the 5 of us.The sun rises at about 6am here. It's seriously hard not to wake up when your room is so brightly lit and there's no "off" switch. Our first morning on holiday and we were already up at 4am M'sian time!

Spent the morning hunting for a supermarket so that we could get some groceries for the apartment. Unfortunately, as it was Labor Day, all the supermarkets were closed. We had to settle for temporary supplies from 7-11. Very expensive!

This is the Clock Hotel in town.We also took the opportunity to run about and get a feel of the place. As Gold Coast's economy is built mainly on tourism, there were many tourist information outlets scattered throughout Surfers Paradise. An easy way to identify one is to notice the racks and racks of brochures of sights and things to do. They run as a tour agent and can give you pretty good rates.

We stumbled on one at Chevron Renaissance which offered us the theme park Escape Pass for AUD100 instead of the published AUD105 price. That gave us entry to two theme parks (normally AUD66 per park). I highly recommend getting your theme park tickets this way. Can save a lot! We also arranged for a day tour of some of the sights around Gold Coast through the same tour agent.
This little bin (slightly bigger than a soda can) for cigarette butts can be found attached to the street curbs. It's obvious that they're particular about cleanliness.

On a public holiday like this, I was not surprised to see the huge crowds at the beach. I like that they have surf rescue patrolling the beaches and life guard towers every few hundred meters. Looked like something out of Baywatch. They also have designated areas for swimming away from the surfers set up by the life guard on duty. These areas are marked by little flags sticking out of the sand, as seen in the above picture.

Having taken my rescue diver course recently, I know for a fact that surf rescue is a huge job indeed.

The afternoon was spent catching up on sleep. Sunset came around a quarter past 5pm. And after that, the place gets really quiet. It was a far cry from the crowded streets the night before.

11 May 2008

Gold Coast - Day 1 (Sunday)

Our flight was delayed by 45mins, not the fault of AirAsia. One of the passengers had a problem with immigration and it wasn't apparent till everyone was aboard the plan. Due to wind conditions in our favor, we arrived at Coolangatta Airport on time.

Gavin Bolam of Gold Coast Direct Charters was waiting at the airport for us with my name written across a piece of cardboard. First time that has ever happened. The journey from the airport up to our accommodation at Condor Apartments in Surfers Paradise took about half an hour. Gavin was really helpful with info & tips about Gold Coast. Transfer for 5 people was AUD45, no stops, friendly service. I think that's good value for money.

By the time we got our apartment key and put our luggage down, it was already close to 10pm. A quick stroll down the road was Cavill Avenue, the central area of Surfers. At this hour, food is scarce but alcohol unlimited. Strangely, the crowd kept growing. Turns out they celebrate their Labor day on the 5th of May so it was a party night. Boy, when they get drunk, they get obscenely rowdy... men and women alike.

Hungry Jacks (the equivalent of Burger King back home) was still open, although extremely understaffed. From what I could tell, there were only 2 staff serving and 2 staff in the kitchen preparing food. That's not enough to cater to the 20 people in queue, let alone clean the mess off the tables and mop up the soda covered floor. A combo meal there costs about AUD7-AUD9, depending on what you order. Can't say it tasted fantastic either. Maybe it was because of the climate - 16 deg celcius, everything gets cold pretty fast.

01 May 2008

Marriage Proposal

My buddy Chee How just got engaged!!! The proposal has been on his mind for some time now. Strangely, he only asked Soon Yean, Robert and I to help out just 4 days before the proposal.

With Soon Yean on the guitar, we rocked (poor choice of words) to the tune of Barry Manilow's "Can't Smile Without You". Of all places - Sunway Medical Centre. And Mrs.Wong-to-be wasn't even on duty that day. Go figure!

I think it was a good plan nonetheless. The four boys all dressed up, with a tune, a bouquet of white lilies, a diamond ring, and a man on his knee making a proposal of a lifetime.

She accepted.

Can't believe one of us is already tying the knot... so fast. Then again, it's about time!!! Was beginning to wonder if we were all just gay and using our girlfriends as a cover up! Hahah!

Well congratulations Chee How! Looking forward to helping you put the wedding together.

p.s. video and pics are not available at time of this posting.