Wahbiang Vlog 2016/09 – Hate going to the airport

Last day in Singapore. Hate waking up early to say goodbye to my son at the bus-stop. Hate packing and moving. Hate messaging goodbye-notes on Wechat. Hate SQ for for not overbooking their flights. Hate pandan-cake trafficking. And really really hate going to our world-class Changi airport for all the wrong reasons. 24 days in Singapore – This is my longest home-cum-working trip ever! And it is without doubt, the best!

Short Weekend Vacation at Melaka (Blog by Felicia)

One week ago, we just returned from Hong Kong and Elkan, my mom, my sister (Chups) and me headed to Melaka this weekend! It was a last minute decision for a short trip to visit my relatives and attend my uncle’s 82nd birthday celebration! At 82, he still drives, writes good Chinese calligraphy, and tends to his own business that was hand down by his father. It’s been a while since our last visit to Melaka, my mom’s hometown.

Online coach ticketing is so convenient and efficient. We managed to get a coach that departs from Marine Parade straight to Melaka. In the past, we had to make a trip down to Lavender Bus Terminal to purchase the tickets few days before departure day.

We got onto a very spacious and comfortable 21-seater coach on Friday afternoon after I picked Elkan from school. He was excited when he spotted free wifi was provided on board! After a short 3 and a half hour drive and we arrived at Melaka.

We checked into our hotel and quickly walked over to visit my uncle and relatives. I kinda miss the shophouse where I used to come here every school holiday during my primary school days and played with my cousins. Now we are all grown up and living in different cities so far apart, we hardly meet up. The old folks chatted and my eldest aunt spoke about the old days when they were still kids running up and down the wooden staircases, making a lot of noise and getting into trouble so often. Fond old memories.

Just two days before we left for Melaka, Joanne mentioned that she’s heading to Melaka for a short weekend trip with their family of 12 pax! So we planned to meet her and Sherane for dinner on Friday night. Elkan spotted them across the street when we were heading to Jonker’s Street. It was always good to see familiar faces when you are overseas.

The evening was hot and humid. As we stroll along Jonker’s Street, there were food stalls, souvenirs, handicrafts, toys, and many more. It is much more bustling than it used to be many years ago. There were also cruise by the river. At some point, the street was filled with the stinky toufu smell! For a moment, I tot I was in Hong Kong! Some of the locals speaks Cantonese too.

Finally we managed to get some seats and had local Chinese food for dinner. But our main course was actually the chendol! Unfortunately it was sold out by evening…. Such a disappointment. We had gula meleka with sago & shaved ice instead. Not too bad too! Then I spotted a guy stuffing a cake hand mixer into a small water melon! He was making instant watermelon juice right in the melon itself! So interesting! Perfect for the hot weather.

At the end of the street, it was lit up with many fancy cartoon decorated rickshaws! Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Frozen, Minions, etc. These are not cheap rides. Almost the same price as taxi rides.

It was great to catch up with the gals. The evening ended with happy tummies and Elkan was happy with his new bow and arrow toy!

The next day was a just indoor air-con shopping. We simply couldn’t stand the outdoor heat. The malls are similar like ours with all the familiar brands. Best part is you pay in ringgit!

We were looking forward to the birthday dinner where we met more relatives. It was a karaoke cum dinner session. The old folks were enjoying themselves, singing Mandarin and Cantonese oldies. They were good sport and sang heartily! The food was great and people were greater. I did not know many of my uncle’s friends but they were all very friendly.

Elkan and me were trigger happy snapping many candid shots with our nieces, nephews, cousins and the other folks!

阿Q, 生日快乐! May you be healthy and happy! 

Warm Farewell, Lucky Find & Joyful Ride into 2016

No countdown or staying late for the fireworks, I slept very early on New Year Eve. Mum and dad flew back early this morning. Felicia and I woke up at 6am to send them off.

While many others were still in their beds after last night’s countdown celebrations, Felicia and I were blessed to catch the first ray of dawn on New Year Day. We felt very refreshed and energised. It felt really good.

Mum and dad were already waiting at the entrance of the hotel by the time we arrived. They woke up earlier than both of us. We took a cab to Hong Kong Airport Express at IFC where they checked in their bags.

While waiting for them outside the check-in counters, I went to a nearby bin to spit out the awful phlegm that was irritating my throat (I am still down with this nasty cough and flu). Just before I was about to spit, I spotted something familiar inside the bin.

I recognised the rim of the wheel. It was a hoverboard!

Why was there a hoverboard inside a bin at IFC Airport Express in the early New Year morning? I looked around to check for its owner. No one seemed to be paying any attention to the bin. I was the only one beside it.

Curiously, I took the entire hoverboard out of the bin. It was wrapped in a white cloth. It looked very new and clean except for some slight scratches. Some one had deliberately dumped this. Possibly just minutes before I came by.

I turned it on and stood on it. It worked perfectly! A pity to leave it inside the bin. Well, finders keepers! I will most likely keep this in the office.

When my parents and wife saw me standing on the hoverboard, they were extremely surprised. My dad immediately warned “Later, it will explode!” 

I suspected the owner planned to check the hoverboard onboard the plane but was rejected as all airlines forbid any electric-vehicles/hoverboard on flight (due to the danger of large lithium-ion batteries). There have been more than 10 cases of hoverboards explosions and fires. It must be a very heart-breaking dump for the owner, especially when the hoverboard was well-protected by a bag (and it looked so new and clean). I felt really bad for him/her to discard something like that on New Year Day.

If my logic is right, then there will be many new hoverboards or segways being discarded at the check-in counters. The airport may be a good place to start hunting for discarded goods. (There are already many expensive lighters, perfumes, liquors being thrashed at custom check-in every day. I wonder what happened to these discarded items?) Maybe someone should start a “Cash-convertor” stores at all customs.

It was a quick and warm farewell. Mum’s teary but she hid it well. And I spotted it, ha! Sigh, I will rerun the same heavy-hearted farewell 2 days later when Felicia and Elkan are flying back to Singapore. Damn, I really dislike farewell.

Felicia and I came back home before 9am. I decided to surprise my son with my new find. It worked! His expression was priceless! (See video below)

Since it was New Year Day, we decided to do something different, new and healthy! We spent the rest of our day cycling from Tai Po Waterfront Park (大埔海濱公園) to Shatin. The weather was fantastic! It was sunny and cooling! Believe it or not, this is our first time cycling together in Hong Kong! This is a great place! I love the scenery and the cycling route. I never expect Tai Po Waterfront Park to be this beautiful!

In total, we cycled close to 20km (3 hours). It was very crowded this afternoon, there were a few near-accidents due to those reckless overtaking bikers.

What an unusual New Year Day for me! Previously, the house would be very empty, cold and quiet by now as Felicia and Elkan used to depart before the new year. This is the first time in 10 years my entire family is with me on New Year Day!

Summing it up – A warm reunion and farewell, a lucky find and a very very happy, sunny ride! Guess 2016 will be a lucky, smooth and joyful year for me! Happy New Year to all!


Good Old Sunny London (Updated)

London is the best gateway into Europe – especially for English-speaking holiday-makers like us. It feels so good to be back in London (since my last visit in 2008) with my wife and son. And I am so glad to make this as our first stop on our 10-day Europe tour.

Mother Nature has been very kind to us. I was expecting London to be grey, gloomy and wet at this time of the year. We were very lucky. For 3 consecutive days, we were blessed with blue sunny sky! It was superb for outdoor photography and sight-seeing. We had such a good time here – crossing bridges along Thames River,  shopping at Harrods, chasing pigeons and squirrels at Hyde Park, boarding a battleship and intruding royal grounds. On our last day, we spent some quiet cozy time at Hyde Park.

3 days were indeed too short for us. It was difficult for us to say goodbye to London. We felt so comfortable here. We love the old buildings, the food and the people. London is home to many great World Heritage Sites. Grand, authentic and majestic are words how Felicia described about London. Old on the outside, new and modern inside. We met so many nice locals – that made me wondered why the Englishmen I know in Asia are so crude. The local English we met were so warm, chatty, helpful and kind. Elkan got teased a lot (on the bus, immigration counter, in the hotel). An old Englishman at a public pay-toilet insisted to refund me some pennes after I mistakenly slotted Elkan’s share inside the machine. I didn’t know it is free for children. He came out from nowhere to hand me the coins after we left the toilet. He must have seen us over the CCTV and came out to pass us the refund. I didn’t expect him to go all the trouble just for a couple of pennes. That’s remarkable.

Here are our Top 5 favorite Moments in London:

Spanning over 4.4km, passing 6 iconic bridges – We took a 3-hour walk from Trafalgar Square to the Tower Bridge. There are so much to see along the Thames River. On Southbank, I took a beautiful shot of the London Eye and Big Ben. A few meters ahead towards the Waterloo Bridge, there are a lot of small stores lining along Festival Pier. There is also a semi-underground skate park with lots of interesting graffiti arts.

Further up, we arrived at the world famous Millennium Bridge that connects Tate Modern and St Paul’s Cathedral. We then stop by Borough Market to grab some local bites.

London Bridge is disappointing for Elkan. He heard about the song and was expecting a different bridge. And when we got there, he didn’t believe that was the London Bridge. He was giving us the “huh-expression”. It was so comical!

Just before arriving at the iconic Tower Bridge, Elkan dragged me to board a battleship “HMS Belfast”. The nine-deck floating war museum is open free for kids under 16! For adult, it costs £14.00. Felicia didn’t board the ship as she is not a fan of “the boy’s stuff”. Elkan was so excited to board the vessel as he have seen them in action in the movie “Battleship”. It was like a maze inside. Climbing those small steps proved difficult for an old chunky man like me. I could never catch up with that little brat. All I heard was his yelling “Faster, Daddy! Wow…more holes and tunnels!”

After a tiring drill inside the HMS with my boy, we decided to go back to our original itinerary.  However, we lost sight of Felicia and for a good 30 minutes, I couldn’t reach her on phone or sms. Elkan was getting so worried for his mum. In the end, Felicia texted us her location. Elkan cried when he saw his mum. He ran to her crying and gave her a big hug. He scolded her for walking away and smiled in tears when Felicia assured him that everything is alright. Such a charmer.

Finally, we reached Tower Bridge. This is one of the most recognisable and iconic bridges in the world. It is simply majestic!


Free for the world – The British Museum houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive and important collection of Egyptian works – over 100,000 pieces outside Cairo. Amongst the 8 million collections, its most famous collection “The Rosetta Stone” was the most visited object since 1802. Well known for its inscriptions, the Rosetta Stone helped historians to unlock the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. There are 3 inscriptions on the stone –  the upper text is ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the center is Demotic and the lower is Ancient Greek.

Elkan had his first mummy-encounter. This month, the museum showcases a 5.5 thousand year-old mummy. Thru modern CT scan, the museum revealed his long-held secrets, from his age at death to the surprising way that he died.


Tower, castle, fortress, prison, royal mint, palace or torture chambers – The Tower of London has many names and stories. Today, it is home to beefeaters and the Crown Jewels.


Thanks to the movies and posters, this is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world – Big Ben (name of the big bell – the clock tower is now officially renamed as the Elizabeth Tower). Completed in 1858, it holds the largest four-faced clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower. Unknown to many, Big Ben has starting tilting since 2003 at a rate of 0.9mm/year. You can’t leave London without taking a photo with Elizabeth. Or her bells “Ben”.


We couldn’t leave London without waving goodbye to the Queen. We decided to drop her a visit at her official residence – Buckingham Palace. A pity, her gates are closed and the side compound is filled with cars. What a grand royal carpark, I thought.

Our final stop – The Trafalgar Square. Named after Britain’s naval win over the French in the War of Trafalgar,the square is used today for political demonstrations, community gatherings and festive celebrations. At the square, I saw men setting up a big Christmas Tree. This is no ordinary Christmas tree. Since 1947, The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree has been an annual gift to the people of London as a token of gratitude for British support of Norway during the 2nd World War.

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