Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bario Day 2 of misadventures and a looooooooooong walk

The guilt of doing nothing was getting to us.

On the second day, we decided to embark on a walking trip to Bario’s famous salt trail. Now that I think about it, I wasn’t sure why we were so ascertain that walking around Bario was the right thing to do. Probably because everyone around us kept talking about how near in walking distance some places were.

We started the day fairly early, around 9am? After a delicious breakfast, we started our walk towards town but were flagged halfway through by Felicity who offered us a ride. We had been ambitious enough to wanting to walk, but thought we had the whole day to take it slow so we said yes.  

Upon reaching town, I rejoiced and rushed towards their town-hall that was supposed to be the only place in Bario to have internet connection. I WAS SO EXCITED. I started registering and logging into the government portal, and by the time I got connected, a string of beeps and notifications from work and random groups started ringing. After the 50th notification also….. I was beginning to realise, maybe I don’t miss the internet :-/

Yuen didn’t even bother to look at her phone, let alone connected to the internet, and I really admire her for that. She told me that the moment she’d switched it on, her phone would be beeping non-stop as well, and truth is, she was enjoying the technology-notification free life for the past 24 hours. She had finished her book in just hours of picking it up and I never had the opportunity to truly bond with Yuen not until the way we did for the past few days since we got into Miri and then to Bario.

I switched my internet off, and then off to start our walking trip.

We got lost in the first leg of our trip. We were walking towards another direction, when it was supposed to be the other. By the time we truly started our Salt Trail journey it was almost 11am. The sun was almost to its peak, and the roads were not covered in trees.

We continued walking.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The Old Town Jiufen + Yehliu Geological Park + Shiufen

This beautiful town leaves an odd mark in our Taiwan trip. 

For starters, we decided to kick off the leg of our Taiwan trip by heading straight to Jiufen from the airport. With little to no expectations, we were heading straight to an old sleepy town we know very little of. We were going to stay in Taiwan for about 9 - 10 days, and we decided to start it with Jiufen. 

Honestly, I don't know much about this place, except from pictures and was first introduced to it by Yuen. It's a hilly old gold and charcoal mining town, now mostly big on tourism thanks to its scenic routes. It is very breathtaking. Every drive, crooks and crannies will leave you breathless. 

Thanks to the many climbs, some moments, leave you breathless a little longer than it should 😅

It's an alley town. Lots of alleys to drive into and out of, and some alleys are really small. Like, suspiciously small for cars and vans.... 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bario Day 1

Who has seen my long ass Instagram post? 😂 This is gonna be an even longer version of it but it will be informative so bear with me 😉 You can start with my Introductory post to Bario from here. 

We were shared that there are only two main ways to access Bario; 

1) Flight via Mas Wings from Miri (Only from Miri, so you'd have to fly to Miri first)
2) Drive for 10 to 12 hours from Miri

The 10 - 12 hours drive is apparently a treacherous one, where you must use a 4WD to go through. I know someone who has done it, and in some cases you'd have to sleep on the road / camp along the forest. Imagine - you are going to a forest in the HIGHLANDS. Initially I wanted to do this to save cost, but who am I kidding, I was coming alone and I wasn't so sure whether it would be a safe idea.

I am quite savage, but that seemed like too epic even for me.

Turns out, I wasn't gonna come alone. Yuen decided to come to Bario with me!!!

The flight was an adventure itself no less. 

It was a 12 seater twin otter flight via Mas Wings. 12 seater meant, it is 12 seats only 😐. It's a relatively, no wait, it is indeed a VERY small plane. Much smaller than any of the commercial flights you are probably used to, so please mentally prepare yourself 😜

When we got our tickets I wanted to laugh out loud because I realized it was numbered 1.ONE. Many thousand miles later, I finally had the chance to seat at number 1. Not even by accidental assignment of putting us into the emergency aisles, you know how they do that just to have someone there and probably be the first to flung out if anything happens.

When we got into the plane.......... we were looking for the seats not knowing it was free seating. The locals walked up to the plane so suave and sat around without looking at their tickets. We sat right behind the pilots sharing their same birds eye view 😳😅

The moment it started its engine............................ Yuen and I clenched hands.

And when it did started going mid air, I must have lost my stomach and my soul at that time because clearly that wasn't for the faint heart. I could hear every flutter of the wind, every switch turned on, every metal of the plane stuttering through the pilot's deck.

Holy grail!

The entire journey WAS SO BEAUTIFUL tho. En route to Bario were pristine green forests that looked like from Narnia or something. I have never had the chance to fly into the highlands! Between wanting to close my eyes the entire time, and wanting to experience this beautiful journey, I struggled with my shaking hands when taking photos of the scenery.

Coldplay Concert in Taipei, Taiwan

TODAY I feel like updating on one of the most awesome night of my life. It's one of those episode where kind strangers meet shameless Jacqkie, making up a truly awesome ride.

It's typical of my life really 😂 so here goes.


A couple of months ago, the entire world, or maybe South East Asia was in shackles knowing that Coldplay was coming their way to this part of the world. Somehow or rather, Malaysia was not part of the list as metropolitan Kuala Lumpur usually would................

The world tour for South East Asia would encompass Manila, South Korea, Tokyo and Singapore to name a few. Most Malaysians (from Kuala Lumpur mainly due to the accessibility) naturally gravitated and had plans to catch Coldplay in Singapore....... little did they know, or maybe we did we ALL know and didn't expect, that there would be a blood bath.

I LOVE COLDPLAY. I've listened to them since I was a kid, and their songs have saved my life many times, so I'm not going through the whole yap about how I would die not having to seen them live (yet). I am not bothered about other people's proof of their love to their favorite band neither am I here to prove to anyone, I just wanted to catch them LIVE. So I did what any normal genuine fan would do.

I logged in the night before, registered myself as a LivingNation member for the Singapore's concert.

For full excerpt of this adventure please click here 

My sister (which was the only motivation I had left at this point) convinced me to travel to another destination for this concert............................... which so happened to be the destination we wanted to travel to.


The best part about this story is after this. After convincing me that we could catch *still* catch Coldplay in Taipei, I did the due of researching everything, by now my little girl is my only motivation, I did my part of registering for their side’s pre-sale, but I had to keep clicking “See Translation” (not English) on ALL the information, leaving some things obviously LOST IN TRANSLATION.

Long story short, we had a kind Samaritan helping us, full story here


Mr Paul and I have remained in contact since the purchase of the ticket, including the payment and the actual meetup 😂 

The day was expected to be cold and rain, so I decided to ditch the style that I don't have in the first place to a bag of windbreaker hmmmmm comfy. I could sleep in it just thinking about it 😉

The concert was located in another district, so we had a few options to travel into and out of it. The best bet seemed to be the High Speed Rail, which Jessy and I have wanted to try either. The trains in Taiwan/ Taipei are amazing! They're very convenient, mostly had English translations "most", and even if you have problems around you, the Taiwanese were very helpful (although most DO NOT speak English). 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gloomy Episode, House Pt 1

Had to get a lot off my chest lately.

The couple of weeks have been very painful for me, mainly because of stress. 

None of that ex-boyfriend BS, nor loneliness (possibly – but right now I’m certain that it’s mainly due to stress). It’s a broken record I know and that every other week is a story of “how much I have to do” blab bla bla that I try to NOT say those words when I’m with my friends or family. Even I get sick and tired of myself. But alas, complaining is too easy. (So I do it again so casually like drinking water). FML.

So the past few weeks have been one of the worst. And I’m writing it down, and telling everyone especially myself.

I am building a house from scratch

This was the main bane of this episode in my life.

I would love to share with you the happy pictures of before and after like the Astro home channels do, but that wasn’t the complete truth. I struggled.

Not renovation, nor extension. I am BUILDING an actual house from scratch, brick and mortar.

This wasn’t the game The SIMS, it didn’t have a cheat code to multiply money, and I don’t have a partner to go through this together. (But honestly, after hearing so many horror stories of couples doing house renovations or house building – I AM SO GLAD I’M DOING IT ALONE).

It came about when my mum finally sold off one of our old house (after discussion with all us) at Indah Permai. It was our late dad’s house. It was out of the way, rental and maintenance were getting difficult and we each needed the money for various reasons. We split it 4 ways and I decided to use my share to build a house.  BUILD A HOUSE !! JACQKIE THAT IS THE LIFE!!!

“How many inches from the floor?” “How big are your windows?” “What material do you want to use for your doors, solid, aluminium or PVC?” “How big are your door frames? “The different types of rocks” “How far is your manhole from the house”

My phone was ringing and beeping every second. The grand project of building my own house and a place I can make of my own was so idealistic. Imagine all the whimsical Jacqkie stuff having a place they can finally call home, dreammmm!

But as it gets to the crunch time, which is about now, I felt CHOKED.

EVERY THING needed my ATTENTION. And it was daily. My phone rang between 7am – 11pm, and if it’s not ringing like I said, it’s beeping. If I’m already sleeping, things kept pouring in which jolts me up first thing in the morning. So if I’m not looking at my desktop, I am looking at my phone. 

The swift transitions between my phone and my desktop is nauseating. I literally feel like puking every day because of this. 

It's also because, last I checked, I don't have millions in my bank account, I had to scrutinize every little spend, detail and inch which basically taught me a lot about value. 
I was so frugal the first few days, and because of that, things didn’t move as well. And I became frustrated.