Malaysian GP

As mentioned before  we went to see the Malaysian  Grand Prix just outside Kuala Lumpur.

Well I finally uploaded the photos to flickr.

Anyway we started the weekend and got all the kit together.  Earplugs, little kangaroo TV so we could follow the live action,cameras, beer to keep cool, ice cream etc.


All kitted out

The start was very impressive to see.  You can see a burst of photos from the start here.  Check the McLaren's battling it out on the far side of the track.  We had great seats on the main straight so and had a good view of the start as well as all the pitstops.
Kovaleinen McLaren

Lewis Hamilton Pit Stop

The race was going round nicely except Lewis was not doing very well.  Througout however the rain clouds had been threatening. It got darker:
Getting dark in the Toyota pits

And then it was raining, with the scramble for wet\intermediate tyres:
And it is raining!
Wet main straight
Lewis Hamilton in a McLaren

And the safter car had to come out because it was pouring down:
Safety car comes out

And finally the race had to be stopped.  It was quite nice as all the cars parked right in front of us.
And he gets out
Mechanics come running

One chilled out Toyota driver

I must say this Ferrari looked a bit dandy.
Ferrari & Umbrella

Got a shot of Rubens Barrichello
Rubens taking a rest in the rain

Unfurtunately the race never restarted and the winner was announced as the cars were parked on the main straight.
And the winner is
Race Stopped
We also attended the free Jamiroquai concert afterwards.  It was very wet, but at least the rain stopped.
Off to the Jamiroquai concert
It was wet ok!
Lorna & me at the Jamiroquai concert
Cool shot


Kaizer Chiefs at Fort Canning Park

We went to see Kaizer Chiefs playing at Fort Canning Park .  It was an absolutely great show.  They were so much fun to see and the venue was perfect.  Sloping grass and easy to see them.  Also not crowded at all.  Reminded me just a bit of Kirstenbosch too.

We recorded a short video clip  which you can see here .  This is the ending of the song "Everyday I love you less and less."

You can find our photos here.

The stage
Kaizer Chiefs on Stage
Lorna & Me at Kaizer Chiefs in Fort Canning Park
Kaizer Chiefs not on stage..

Petronas Towers

Lorna and I recently visited Malaysia to watch the F1 Grand Prix (more on that later).  Anyway we stayed near the Petronas Towers and over the weekend saw them quite often.

See all the pics here.

The Petronas Towers

A good spot to view the Petronas Towers from is the Sky Bar  at the Traders Hotel. It really has some amazing views, some good cocktails and a full size pool...

Me in the Sky Bar

Sky Bar in the Traders Hotel
I will be posting the F1 pics themselves soon!


Drinks after Mandarin Class

Lorna and myself are taking a Mandarin course (at the SCCCI ).  We went out for drinks recently as it was out teacher's birthday.  We went to Brotzeit , a German bar, not far from our class and introduced George (or Zhao Qi ) to some German beer.  Obviously he had to have a Mass (one of those 1 litre beer glasses).


Zhao Qi (George)

Zhao Qi (George)

Cheers everyone!


Visiting the Taj Mahal

Lorna and I went to India  for work in February .  We were there for a week and a half so we had a weekend to do something in India.  We decided to head off to the Taj Mahal  (photos).  We were based in Mumbai, so this involved booking flights to Delhi and then taking a drive from Delhi to Agra .  Quite a mission.  For the way back we booked a flight from Agra to Delhi and then another flight back to Mumbai.

Getting up early on the Saturday morning for the flight and drive was a mission, but it turned out well worth it.  Driving anywhere in India is a mission though.  The drive from Delhi to Agra is only 250km but takes 5 hours to complete.

On the way
On the road from Delhi to Agra-4

On the road from Delhi to Agra-10
Arriving in Agra we went straight to the the Taj Mahal.  We arrived just in the middle of the afternoon and were quite lucky to get the light as the sun started setting.  The Taj really is something to see!

The Taj Mahal
Entering through the gate you get your first glimpse
Gate to Taj Mahal-10
And then
The Taj-3

Sunset on the Taj Mahal-6

Lorna & Me-4
Agra is a "small" town of 2.5m people.  It really does look like a smallish town but in India they do manage to fit a lot of people, cattle, markets, cars and many other things in a very small town.  This makes it take ages just to get out of the town.  We stayed at The Bagh (photos ) in Bharatpur  outside Agra.  

Driving through Agra

Agra seen from a Taxi-13

On the road the Bharatpur

Agra seen from a Taxi-2

On the road the Bharatpur-3

Halfway between Baharatpur  and Agra you can find the Fatehpur Sikri (photos ), a palace and mosque which is quite amazing.

Fatehpur Sikri
Lorna at The Palace at Fatehpur Sikri

The Palace at Fatehpur Sikri-18
Mosque at Fatehpur Sikri-3

After Fatehpur Sikri it was off to Agra airport to discover that our flight was delayed, and later cancelled.  This from an airport where this was the only flight departing...  I learnt to love Kingfisher  (the airline not the beer ).  I suppose that is my reward for flying with an airline that also makes beer (or should that be the other way round?).  So at 9pm we had to hop in a car again and drive back to Delhi, to experience an hour long delay outside Delhi to get through a toll gate on a toll road.  They seriously still made our driver pay after making us wait an hour to pay!  The pay point was a table with 1 guy sitting there getting money, so everyone has to stop, get out of their cars and go pay.  So I can say I was stuck in a traffic jam after midnight on a Sunday evening.

Stuck at the airport-2

Anyway reaching Delhi in the early hours and catching a flight back to Mumbai first thing in the morning was not fun.  Back in Mumbai you also spend much of your stuck in tuctucs and taxis in traffic.  It is really jaw-dropping how bad traffic can be in Mumbai.

Tuctuc in Mumbai
Mumbai Tuctuc-1

Mumbai Tuctuc-9

Dino enjoying business class back to Singapore
On the way back to Singapore-3



Going anywhere

A couple of days after I arrived in Singapore for the first time we left for a weekend to Bali. This was during Chinese New Year. This is a more of a family holiday so not much was happening in Singapore over the long weekend during which this is scheduled, so a trip was in order.
Flower in pool
We stayed in very nice places. We first spent some time in Semanyak near the coast and more the typical beach holiday destination. We spent some time in beach bars like Ku De Ta and also organised a diving trip to the North of the island. The place we stayed in was Puri Madawi (photos) which was a bit out of the way but offered excellent value and lots of relaxation.

Puri Madawi Pool-2
Puri Madawi Breakfast
We also then stayed near Ubud (photos) at Sunset Hills (photos).

View from Sunset Hill-3

Again Sunset Hills was a bit out of the way but the view from the infinity pool is just the best. It has a brilliant view looking down on a ravine with a river down below. Here we continued the R&R


. One highlight was going for a massage Maya @ The Ubud. This is a hotel with a amazing spa centre which is situated next to a river at the bottom of a tropical ravine. Really stunning.

Ubud is centrally located in Bali and is renowned for its art and crafts industry. In Ubud we also saw some Balinese dancing. We were glad that we combined it with dinner because it wasn't exactly riveting stuff.

We also went off to see the volcano (dormant for now) and a Hindu temple with a spring which is quote famous (called Pura Tirta Empul I think - photos). And investigated local coffees.
At the volcano
Lorna & Me at Kintamani Volcano
Tasting coffee
Tasting Balinese coffee
Fountain at Pura Tirta Empul
Bathing fountains at Pura Tirta Empul
I would recommend Bali for a chilled out holiday. Really beautiful. We went in the off seasons so it was really relaxed. I would not recommend it for the beaches as they are not all that great.