Walking or strolling within Cotai Strip was fun because of different kind of luxury hotels, casinos, shopping malls and entertainments to be seen, but beware that it can be quite exhausting if you are not into exploring and seeing places. As we wandering around Cotai Strip, one of the luxury buildings we passed by was Galaxy Macau. Galaxy Macau offers different kinds luxury accommodations, shopping, dining, and entertainments. It can be considered a one stop area for enjoying the holiday. Inside this beautiful building, we dined and stroll inside where we got a chance to get up close and personal with Ferrari car displayed inside. This photo is part of my Hong Kong – Macau Adventure photo collection happened last January 2012.
In The Middle Of Somewhere (Post#3) : The Venetian Macao – Casino
When we got a chance to visit Cotai Strip in Macau, one of the luxury hotel and casino in the area is The Venetian Macao. We went inside the establishment to see what’s in it. Though we never play any gamble games and we never tried to walk inside, I took a photo in some part of the casino while stepping in ascending escalator and the photo above was the snapshot result. Photo taken last January 2012.
Edible (Post#1) : Yarra Valley Chocolaterie – Chocolates
It was second time for me to explore Yarra Valley while I was still in Melbourne. And to my surprise, I am not aware that in the vast middle of the valley we will find a chocolate factory named Yarra Valley Chocolaterie with a bright and colourful one storey building. I was amazed because I never expected to see such factory quite far from the city. And to be honest, I enjoyed the visit because of overflowing sweets such as chocolates. Photo snapshot captured last October 2013.
My sister and I decided to visit Putrajaya, that visit become our cheapest and the luckiest accident tour that we experienced while touring around Malaysia.
We took train from Kuala Lumpur and to be honest we really don’t know how we are going to go or walk around the intelligent and garden city. As we aware that it is a planned city and as well as government city as its political centre had been moved from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya.
From our hotel in Batu 3 Old Klang Road, we took a cab straight to KL Sentral Station. From KL Sentral Station we took purple line (KLIA Transit Line) which the same line that goes to KL International Airport. We got off at Putrajaya and Cyberjaya Station.
It was Saturday that we visited the said city, we arrived at the train station without knowing that we will discover almost a free tour that runs twice a day during Saturday at that time, which only cost us exactly 1 MYR (Malaysia Ringgit) per person. At first I can’t believe until we registered at the information booth at the train station and paid 2 MYR for the tour. For us we just came in time before the bus leaves the station on its schedule. Our problem how to go around the said city had been resolved on its own.
Putrajaya word in Sanskit are combined words, ‘putra’ means ‘prince or male child’ and ‘jaya’ means ‘success or victory’. Putrajaya unlike famous Kuala Lumpur is a planned city as Malaysian Government sees that Kuala Lumpur are overcrowded and heavily congested place that made them decided to move the government offices to the planned city.
When the bus started to roll in to the intelligent garden city, we got a chance to see and explore one of the future city of Malaysia. While we were on our way I reminisce if there is similar place that we have back home in my country that I can say that is a planned city where opportunities may arise. Though there is one city that came into my mind which is Taguig City, though not the whole Taguig but just part of it which is Bonifacio Global City but still I cannot compare its development to Putrajaya because of its directions and objectives on its city.
Moving back to Putrajaya, while inside the bus I immediately admired that the city seems intend to remain its being green city or garden city. Though not so much sky scraper exist when we visited the place, but there were already significant buildings, offices to be seen and residential areas which carefully laid out in the city. The government offices are positioned and located on prime and distinguishable parts of the intelligent city.
Aside from mosque, government buildings, residential areas that we saw in the area, another structures that made me admire the city was because of its beautifully crafted bridges. Yes we knew the function of bridges, but how it was designed made people look back again and again to the bridge. The city has beautiful lake that can be seen most of the areas of the city that made me feel that the place is just really with the nature. City’s convention center are located at some hills of Putrajaya that made it really a stunning building. Overall I felt relax in the place as we go around inside the bus. Within the tour, we stopped in some photo areas that we grabbed our chance to take photos as it’s the precious gifts in our memories that we can bring back home in my country.
Here are the tourist spot that we saw and enjoyed in the city:
One of the important building at the center of Putrajaya where the office complex of Prime Minister of Malaysia can be found which located at the main hill of the city
Masjid Putra (Putra Mosque)
Main mosque in the city which built near Perdana Putra.
Komplex Seri Perdana (Seri Perdana Complex)
It is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Putrajaya International Convention Centre
The main convention center in the city.
Seri Gemilang Bridge
Main link between the core island to the south of Persiaran Perdana and serves as main entrance both for motorist and pedestrians.
Seri Setia Bridge
Landmark and main route to the core island from south-east.
Seri Wawasan Bridge
The bridge is categorised as ‘signature bridge’ which important between the core island and residential area in Precinct 8.
This is the lake that makes the city’s atmosphere so soothing and relaxing to anyone’s view.
Dataran Putra (Putra Square)
According to Wikipedia, the 300 meter circular Putra Square is bounded by Perdana Putra, Putra Mosque, Putra Bridge and the Promenade Shopping Mall.
Taman Warisan Pertanian
An agricultural park where we saw different seeds and plants available in Malaysia.
If someone reading my blog probably noticed that I have a lots of blog for Edmonton. To be honest, if I will not divide it to each topic, my Edmonton City blog might be very long . I wanted to shorten my story as much as possible. Because every time I write my blog. I tend to tell all the details. Because when I am remembering something, there are lots going on in my mind.
Anyway, I have to stop explaining my reason.My next feature is the Provincial Legislature Building. When I am asking some of my colleague at work what are the places that I can visit in Edmonton, they told me the Legislature Building. After I heard it, I searched it in Internet and tried to plan how I will be able to go to this place.I went to this building last June 1 2008, Sunday with an actual tour plan of the following: High Level Bridge tour, Provincial Legislature Building tour and Edmonton Queen River Boat tour. I guess I have a whole busy Sunday that time.
The Magnificent Fountain
At first, when I arrived at the vicinity of the Legislature Building, I thought I can just get inside and have my own tour since it was free. When I approached one of the guard in the building, he told me that I have to go to the Interpretive Centre and Gift Shop. So I followed his instructions. I found out that the tour guide are waiting for us in that place. I was grouped with other tourist.
Next thing happened, the tourist guide started to give us a building tour outline to give us idea what we are expecting in the tour. From Interpretive Centre we went to the Legislature Building. Then, our guide started talking about all information of the building and some historical information of Canada related to the building. When I saw the first floor of the building I see an awesome fountain in the middle and the Grand Staircase.
The guide showed us important statues such as Princess Louise Caroline Alberta – fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Chief Crowfoot. When I heard the name of Princess Louise, I asked the guide if it is the same person of Princess named after famous Lake Louise and the guide agreed. Well, I learned that information from the tourist guide in Banff. I remember that Princess Louise was small lady. And I can see that in her statue in the Legislature Building.
Princess Louise Caroline Alberta
Next thing that the tourist guide showed us are the portraits of the person who became Alberta’s Premiers (head of the government). As of this writing I cannot remember anymore the names of the Premiers that was mentioned by the guide. Next, portraits that was showed to us are pictures of Alberta’s Lieutenant Governors (representative of the Queen). Then, the guide led us to the Mace Case. We saw two mace. One is the original mace and based from the guide it was made from scrap materials which was amazing. And I learned that the mace is a symbol of Legislative Assembly authority to make laws. The other mace was the current mace being used.
Then, the guide led us the Legislative Chamber, but before that, we saw the picture of King George V and Queen Mary. One thing that the tourist guide emphasize in these two portraits of the King and Queen. The guide mentioned to us to look into their eyes and try to walk in either direction and we will see what is it. I followed the instruction of the guide and I found out that it seems that their eyes are following us like they are looking to us. I just realized how great that painting was.
King George V
After the portraits, we went inside the Legislative Chamber. I was amazed on what I saw. The lightnings of the chamber was fantastic. The main door of the chamber seems to be fully crafted and the same thing with the Speaker’s chair. Inside the chamber, I saw the portrait of Queen Victoria.
Inside the Legislature Chamber
Last but not the least, I spent few minutes outside the building premises by taking lots of picture of the pool, fountain and the Legislature building itself.
Legislature Building with the pool
Zooming the front structure of Legislature Building
Left side of Legislature Building
The Fountain and Legislature Building
In the end, I had a great time inside and outside the Legislature Building.
For the past years, I celebrated my birthday usually with my family and close friends. Previous celebration was held with simple party. What am I trying to say here? The fact is, my birthday is being celebrated with people. I commonly received birthday greetings and gifts from dear friends. But this year, it was different.
Why I said it was different? First, I am out of the country. It means that those people who used to know my birthday was not with me this time. Second, most of them will not be able to contact me because I never gave my number to them (except to my family, my boss and some colleagues). Third, I never mentioned or probably the right word is “reminded” them that my birthday is almost coming or happening in Canada.
But, even this is the case, I have plans. My birthday will be happening in a different country which is totally a different place from what I used to be, I just thought that I have to celebrate it in an extraordinary way.
I was in Canada that time for training purposes and since I have this eagerness to see some places in this country, I planned to go out and see it. I went to Banff, Alberta (I am not sure who might reading this might say, you wanted to see “Canadian Rockies”). But to be honest, I just have this little idea what will I expected to see in that place. All I am expecting is to see beautiful places that are totally different of what I used to see.
Friday – May 16 (I went to work that day – because I have to), but I went home early because my bus schedule to Banff was 6:30 PM. I rode Greyhound bus (and I am very lucky because the bus station was just near the place where I stayed in Edmonton). Total travel time was five hours and there will be two station where the bus will stop: Red Deer and Calgary.
Since I am traveling to Banff alone and no one was with me and I am not familiar with the place, there was incident that I thought that Red Deer was Calgary. I am not listening to the bus driver when he mentioned that we were in Red Deer. One of the passenger just told me we were at Red Deer. From time to time I have been sleeping during my travel from Edmonton to Calgary. I arrived in Calgary around 10:30 PM. The next bus to Banff was 11:30 PM. The Calgary station was in Calgary downtown, I went outside the bus station and looked around the place. I saw the Calgary Downtown that night. It was pretty much similar with Edmonton Downtown. I never able to capture pictures because I am quite shy to the people passing on me. What I did was I remember as much as I can what Calgary Downtown look like that night.
11:00 PM, I went back to the bus station and waited until 11:30 PM (I am surprised because the bus that will be going to Banff will go to Vancouver too (during that time I wish I can go to Vancouver). Another thing, our bus driver was a woman who was surprising for me.
Few minutes after we left Calgary station, the bus got some technical problems and the driver decided that we need to go back to the station where we came from. It was the best decision she can made, and she told us that her most important responsibility was her passengers safety (which was great but I am kind of bit worried because I am supposed to be at my hotel in Banff at 1 AM – May 17, my birthday), we went back to the station and transferred to another bus.
I arrived at Banff station at 2:30 AM and no one was around. I am thankful that my boss in Canada gave me a mobile phone temporarily. I able to call a cab in Banff and the cab picked me up in the Banff station. I am at the front of hotel where I made my reservation and to my surprise they are telling me to go to another hotel, this made me confused and made me worried because it was almost 3AM in the middle of the morning and I am still outside of hotel in a place which I visited first time in my life and I am alone. I went to Ptarmigann Inn and talked to the hotel clerk, and told them that I had been instructed to go there. The friendly old men accommodated me and explained to me that I will check-in in Ptarmigann because the hotel that I made my reservation was full. I did not object anymore and I am thankful that I can go to my room and rest before my day will start.
3:30 AM, I went to bed and slept for four hours.
I woke up at 7:30 AM and prepared myself. The tourist bus picked me up at the hotel at 9 AM. I met Kevin, the tourist guide. Since I never had my dinner before I went to Banff, I am really hungry and requested Kevin if I can still order my breakfast. He agreed to me and he will be back to me after picking up the other tourist.
Around 9:30 AM, we were on our way to Banff National Park. First stop Johnston Canyon. I wondered that time, what we were suppose to be doing in a canyon. Kevin told us that we were going to hike in a canyon.
During the hike, I found out that Johnston Canyon has a very amiable trail. And I like Johnston Creek too because there were still ice at the side of the creek. There were three falls that we found while hiking the canyon. They called it the Lower Falls, first falls that we saw, then unnamed falls, but I call it Middle Falls since it’s between Lower and Upper Falls. The last falls was simply the Upper Falls. During the hike, Kevin talked about the Canyon (and I cannot remember it now). I prepared the hiking activities that was why I brought lots of bottled water and because of this my bag was heavy. During the hike I was accidentally fall while trekking the trail with solid ice at the ground and I was glad that not so much people around that time when it happened to me, even Kevin did not notice it. I enjoyed watching the creek and listening to the sounds of the water flowing into the creek. I like the mist of cold weather in the canyon. I also went to the small passage which similar to a cave passage so that I will be able to see up close and personal the Lower Falls. Then, we continued our hike. We saw the unnamed falls and for me its perfect too. Then we walked upward until we found the Upper Falls. The surrounding of Upper Falls were still ice. And I am thinking that this fall is more beautiful during summer season. After taking pictures around that falls, we descended the canyon. We were at the ground again past 12 PM.
Next, we move to Pilot Mountain lookout which just near the canyon since it was along the Bow Valley Parkway. We drove to the place and had a short walk up to the lookout view-point, I was really amazed in the view of Pilot Pond just near the Pilot Mountain ground. It has dark green color at the middle and light green color at the side. Pilot Mountain is one of the mountain that can be easily recognize due to its shape. Its distinct compare with other Mountains in Banff National Park. This was the mountain that I been looking after when we went out the Banff town site while on our way to Johnston Canyon.
After the tour in the morning till afternoon, I went home and had a short rest at the hotel. Then, at night I went for wildlife safari, I am somewhat curious what animals looks like in Canada. First, we went to Mount Norquay (for what I know this mountain is famous for skiing and other winter related activities). We went there hoping we could see some animals around the place. While on our way to the top, we found Mountain Goad Kid and while moving around we found deer. We stop in a lookout view-point in Mount Norquay wherein we can see the whole Banff town site and the valley itself.
Next, we move to the Vermilion Lake hoping we can find some animals and we were lucky to find some birds near in the lake. Even though we never saw a lots of animals, I enjoy looking around the Banff National Park. I saw Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain while we were enjoying the awesome view of Vermilion Lake. I really enjoyed all the places we visited, I never regret that I decided to visit Banff during my birthday.