Club Med Bali

It was my fourth trip to Bali.

"Wh do you go Bali so many times?" exclaimed my mom. "Not sien one meh?"

It’s a question I get a lot. Like most who had been to Bali on a cookie-cutter group tour, she had made the assumption that Kuta is all that Bali has to offer. What a lot of people do not know know is, Bali is so big – it has a totally different vibe in depending on which part of the island you’re in.

There’s beautiful Ubud in the centre, laidback Padangbai in the East and dolphin-playground Lovina in the north, mega resorts and gorgeous luxury villas in the South.

So, unless you are a horny teen looking to get your first lay at Bounty Club, Kuta’s  permanently congested roads and cramped hotels is possibly the worst place to stay in Bali.

Bali is a whole lotta fun packed on a paradise island. It is, however, terribly unorganized. Figuring out where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to getto these places can require a lot of advanced planning, and that can sometimes take the fun out of holidaying.

After all, the purpose of going on holidays to get away from stress. Obviously, the last thing I want when I go on a holiday have MORE stress.

This past January, I stayed at Club Med Bali for 4 glorious days.

The French resort chain is the pioneer of all-inclusive holidays, and Bali is one of their most popular resorts in South East Asia.

Staying here completely took the stress out of holiday planning.

All-inclusive means all the ingredients required to cook up a perfect holiday is included with the room. It means all the food, all the activities, all the entertainment and most importantly – all the alcohol are already taken care of for me.

I came out completely rejuvenated. It was such a fun and enjoyable trip that I distinctively recalled every moment of it.

All I needed to bring, really, is my body.


Our royal treatment started even before our arrival at the resort. At the Ngurah Rai airport arrival hall, surrounded by hundreds of hotel drivers holding up placards, we found our driver.

With our bags tagged and room numbers assigned, we were whisked away to the pristine Nusa Dua peninsular to the south, completely avoiding the crazy traffic in Kuta.

In less than 15 minutes, we arrived at the Club Med Bali lobby. It was there that I experienced the first of the many Club Med subculture that I have come to learn in the days ahead.

Club Meds from all around the world employ what they called Gentle Organizers or G.O.s.

Unlike at typical hotels where the staff are there just to serve the guests and nothing else, at Club Med their G.O.s eat and play together with guests. It may seem a little unfamiliar to the uninitiated, but the G.O.s are what made Club Med, well, Club Med.

At Club Med Bali, there are over 80 G.O.s each from different countries and each with their different specialties. One G.O. could possibly have many different roles.

One morning, Wayan would be my golf instructor.

In the afternoon, he would work at the main resort pool as a lifeguard.

Then at night, the same Wayan would don the white top hot and sequined glove, moonwalking across the stage as a Michael Jackson impersonator.

Every day these GOs are out there having fun with their hotel guests. And these are the very same people I would eat, play and grow very close to over the next few days.

When we arrived, we were taken on a tour around the expansive Club Med compound. Our jaws were dropping the entire time. There are definitely no shortage of things to do over here.

Most hotels have a swimming pool, a restaurant, maybe a spa and that’s it.

At Club Med Bali, the amount of facilities is like everything a hotel guest can dream of, and more. MUCH more.

They have 2 HUMUNGOUS restaurants, 2 swimming pools (including a quiet one next to the spa for adults only), a Mandara spa, fully-equipped gym, football field, volleyball court, basketball court, tennis court, archery range, windsurfing school, a theatre, a nightclub, a putting green, driving range, a full golf course and a CIRCUS TRAPEZE all housed within the compound of Club Med.

Yes, even a circus trapeze.

Club Med is like Disneyland for grown-ups, without the long queues of screaming kids, with the free flow of amazingly delicious good food and bottomless alcohol.

Best of all? Because Club Med is all inclusive, pretty much everything inside the resort is free.

We didn’t have to think about how much to spend, because meals, entertainment and activities are included in the room. Only the more premium stuff like champagne, spas and outside tours are chargeable.

We had arrived after the buffet lunch had closed. It didn’t matter because another restaurant was open for late lunch.

Normally when I stayed in hotels offering free breakfast, I skipped it because most of the time – they are crap. Usually free things are crap.

Not at Club Med.

The restaurant menu here reads like it’s from a posh restaurant in Changkat.


We’re talking about sirloin steak and grilled fish, and this ain’t even the main restaurant.

For about RM600 a night per person, the guest room itself – although clean and comfortable, isn’t necessary the most luxurious ones I have seen in Bali.

That’s okay, because there’s so much to do in Club Med that nobody really stays in the room. If you’re the travel type that stays in the hotel room watching TV, then Club Med is not for you.

Different activities run throughout Club Med from morning till night, each catering for different age groups. During day time, most of us opted for some sporting activity.

Between golf, tennis, archery basketball, windsurfing, snorkelling etc – we were spoilt for choice.

It didn’t matter that I couldn’t shoot an arrow straight or hit a golf ball to save my life. The G.O.s are happy to show me a few moves.

Look, I even shot my first bulls-eye in Archery!

Fine lah, I planted the arrow there.

Ei Ling wanted to play tennis because a cute Korean G.O. was instructing there. Too bad none of us can hit the ball well enough to go over the Net. Playing tennis with Ei Ling was more like playing "Run-And-Chase-The-Stray-Tennis-Ball".

I even tried my hand on the circus trapeze. I was surprised the cables could hold my weight. Heck, I didn’t even know I’m capable of lifting my legs above my head while I’m swinging.

Damn. If I were gay, I would be damn good in bed.

For the less sports-inclined people, there are milder activities like Balinese cooking class, temple tours or the famed dual induction massage at the Club Med Spa.

Even babies and kids have free activities planned for them by the GOs.

Club Med has a particularly strong emphasis for children and families, so the kids could be holed up somewhere doing a fashion show, or making an art piece using recycled materials while the parents are windsurfing in the Indian Ocean.

For me, I prefer maximum adventure all the way, so I took the white-water rafting trip along Ayung River in Ubud.

So we ignored girl band TLC’s advice and went chasing after waterfalls, got ourselves soaking wet and smiles plastered all over our face.

White-water rafting along the Ayung River = definitely a must-do in Bali.

After tiring ourselves all day doing sports, it’s time for dinner. And I tell ya, dinner at Club Med is LEGEND…


Not only are the food during buffet dinner amazingly delicious, it’s also buffet style. Meaning, I put the words "ALL YOU CAN EAT" to test.

We’re talking the finest dishes from Western, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian cuisine being served each and every night. Again, these aren’t the cheap food you get at some buffets in cheap-ass hotels.

These are really yummy good tasting food I’d pay hundreds for at fine-dining restaurants, and they serve it buffet style at Club Med. Complete with free flow of drinks and alcohol.

We went crazy. No one blinked an eyelid when I returned to my table with sushi on one side of the plate, babi guling on the other and a glass of ice cold  beer on the side. It’s all included what!

I like it how there’s always a theme that goes along with our dinner. When our dinner invitation says "Elegant", this was how we dressed.

My interpretation of the word "elegant" vs the Expat Lifestyle‘s Ian Johnston’s interpretation of "elegant".

Dinner was brilliant, but the fun ain’t over.

Straight after dinner, the evening staged show begins.

Club Med does these staged shows every single night.

And every night is different theme. Just because the staged shows are free, doesn’t mean budget was spared either. Over the 3 nights that we stayed, we watched a Michael Jackson tribute show, a Vegas-style dance show and a circus show during our time there.

One show that stood up was this act where a single person sang both the male and female parts of a duet. So first, the male sang.

Then the female sang…



If you’re bisexual, congratulations – you found your soulmate.

Yea, the staged shows are done by amateurs and aren’t completely original. But who cares? The important thing is that it is very entertaining.

If you’re a lady from the fairer sex, don’t miss the circus show.

Ridiculously fit male bodies are on display. The Japanese girls love it. I bet alcohol was not the only thing that was dripping free flow that night.

I had to remind my lady friends that these guys are GOs. Not GROs.

Sorry lah. Cannot bring them back as souvenirs.

For me, my visual treat came when 200 Japanese girls from a bridal company checked into Club Med as part of their company’s incentive tour.

After 4 days free flow of good fun, great food and most importantly – a totally relaxed experience, it is unfortunately time to return to reality.

It is very difficult to leave Club Med. I normally don’t spend a lot of time in hotels when I travel, preferring to wander outside and explore on my own. This time round, I spent 4 days in Bali without leaving their resort compound, and still had lots of fun.

While most other hotels in Bali emphasize on delivering luxury, Club Med created a truly unforgettable holiday experience and having more than enough things to do.

It worked. The food at Club Med is already worth the price of the room itself. And the experience I had? Priceless.

I think I’ll be back sooner rather than later. 🙂

Got Michael Jackson to see, why not?

It’s Been 6 Years Since You’re Gone

Dear Papa,

Has it already been six years already? Why is that every year, on the anniversary of your departure, emotions overwhelm me – as if you had only just left yesterday?

Yes, it has been six years since we last bid goodbye. Yet, the images of our last moments together still flashed through my head so vividly. Ah, I remember so well.

It was very early in the morning. I had a long night taking care of you, and I was sound asleep in my bedroom. An annoying phone call from a salesman woke me up. I was still bleary-eyed because I hadn’t slept the entire night. Almost immediately, our maid knocked on my door frantically and interrupted me. She asked me to rush down to your room immediately. I knew then that you must have left after saying goodbye to me last night.

I could never forget the sight of you lying on the bed, finally finding peace inside you after struggling for so long.

Papa, I always feel sorry for you. You worked so hard to build this immense business empire from scratch. And yet, just when you were about to retire and savour the fruits of your labour, you decided to go on a permanent vacation on your own.

6 years later now, I am walking in your shoes. Big shoes to fill, but I’m never going to give up. It was such a struggle because it involved so much time and money investment. Uncle said "failure is not an option" and I completely understand. If I were to fail, not only would I be losing lots of money, I would be letting down so many staff who put in their blood and sweat while I chase my dreams.

I was gonna say, "you had no idea how many sleepless nights I had" but who am I kidding? Of course you’d understand. 🙂 You had been through the struggle yourself.

Mommy and Koko are so mean! We just returned from a trip to the US and we went to Disneyland. Remember? You brought us here 18 years ago. And I cried because I got angry at you for not realising Disneyland closed early in the winter months.

I am so glad I did not cry this time round. At 28 years of age, that would have been rather embarrassing. Instead, it brought back bittersweet memories of our annual family trip.

It seems like the only time we were able to properly bond together. And it warms my heart to see there’s somebody always next to Mommy.

Jiejie’s 3 kids are so cute! Jayden is taking the role of big brother very confidently. Kirsten is particularly smart and she does really well in school. And little Lecia just smiles non-stop showing off her little dimples.

Their actions just makes everyone around them smile. I think you’ll like them a lot, Papa. Jiejie said I am not doing anything particularly special, yet I am like a magnet to the kids. I am flattered.

These days, I am feeling a lot of love and support from the people around me. Perhaps, it has always been there. Perhaps I was too engrossed doing my own thing to open my eyes and appreciate their presence. It’s so silly to think that when I was younger, I was depressed for no apparent reason and even contemplated suicide. How stupid was I?

Seeing Jiejie’s children and being around people who love me made me feel life is worth living. They are my sunshine. My time on Earth is worthwhile if I succeed in making the people around me live a little better.

Papa, I just want you to know that I am very happy now, and that I appreciate the people and the things around me. In very small ways, I am upholding your legacy even after your departure. I wanna let you know that I am proud to be doing so, and I am very proud to be your son.

Life is beautiful. I wish I could share it with you, but that’s okay. Thank you for sending me angels to take care of me in the meantime.

Till we meet again, please have a nice and relaxed rest. And have some Pike Place Roast Starbucks coffee. It’s the bomb.

By the way, if you see Osama bin Laden, tell him he’s in the wrong floor.

I miss you so much.


Lots of love,

Your youngest son.

ADV: The Jewel of NZ South Island

To get to Milford Sound in New Zealand…

First I took a 9 hour international flight into Christchurch Airport…

Then I hopped on a turbo-prop domestic flight to NZ’s tourist mecca – Queenstown

From there, I rented a car and drove 3 hours to a tiny town called Te Anau to sleep…

Finally, I woke up at 6am continued to drive another 3 hours to my destination – Milford Sound.

You must be wondering why I am so determined, travelling 10 hours by flight and 6 hours by car to this isolated location in New Zealand’s South Island.

It’s all because I read once on that Milford Sound is voted the "Best Travel Destination in the World". If all the travellers from around the world decided that Milford Sound is the best they’ve seen, I have no reason to doubt that the distance is worth it.


I have done plenty of self-driven road trips throughout my travels, but the drive I did from Queenstown to Milford Sound is best described in one word: BREATHTAKING.

The 300km journey passes through snow-capped mountains, rivers and nature in its most unspoilt and pure form. There are no traffic, no lights, no mobile phone signals. Just me and the nature.

The best part is that the further I drive, the more amazing and dramatic the scenery changes.

The first part of the journey, I passed through vast farmlands and saw COWS. Lots and lots of moo-moo cows!

At 9pm, the sun was setting in summertime NZ, creating a skyline that’s neither blue nor red – but mystical purple.

An example of how close I am to nature happened as early as the next morning.

I woke up at 6am and continued on my journey. As soon as I set out on the highway, a wild deer leaped up from behind the bush and stood in the middle of my way.

There she was staring at me in a manner only the proverbial deer-in-the-headlights can, as I swerved my vehicle to avoid hitting the clueless animal.

So I continued driving uphill. Before long, the farmlands disappears and the landscape changes again. This time I’m high in the skies, towering over virgin forests and turquoise rivers.

The more I increase in elevation, the more the evidence of life thins. Soon afterwards, the forests are gone, replaced by snow on granite rocks and scant vegetation on a lunar landscape.

Finally I arrived Milford Sound at 8:30am, just in time for my appointment with a local kayaking operator.

I had booked a 6 hour kayaking trip earlier. Milford Sound is an area carved out by glaciers and one of the most awe-inspiring way to see it from the water-level itself.

While most travellers would have chosen to explore the area on a crowded cruise ship, I opted to get up close and  personal with nature on a kayak. Also to squeeze some exercise in.

Kayaking is more expensive than taking the cruise (NZD$
130 for a 5 hour trip), but it’s great if I want to make the most out of Milford Sound.

After all, I’m in an isolated and remote location. The last thing I wanna hear is engine noises when I’m exploring a place of natural beauty.

There’s another advantage to seeing Milford Sound on a kayak.

You actually get to see the local wildlife a lot closer. Sometimes, unexpectedly.

Ever seen a penguin that lives in the rainforests?

How about a lazy seal taking his afternoon nap?









Anyway, I had the chance to stop and do a bit of trekking along a section of The Milford Track. They call it the "Finest Walk in the World" and the locals would take 4 days to complete this entire thing.

I did 3 hours on the track, and bloody hell I cannot tahan already!

Milford Sound is absolutely beautiful and I would love to have stayed longer, but I got a flight to catch. So it’s another 6-hour drive back for me to where my journey started – Queenstown.

Queenstown is nicknamed the "Adventure Capital of the World" and not without reason. This is, after all, the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping.

There are no less than 3 bungee sites in tiny Queenstown, and the most spectacular one is high up on the hilltop overlooking the town.

To get to the jump site, I had to take a gondola ride up the hill.

Kinda didn’t help that there’s a cemetery right at the entrance.

Once I’m up there, the views is spectacular.


But things don’t look so pretty when I’m standing on the edge, harness around my waist, ready to jump on the count of 3…



AirAsiaX now flies direct from KL to Christchurch, and all-in fares start from only RM499 one way.

Even better, there’s a contest out there that can win you and 2 friends a 7-DAY TRIP to New Zealand’s South Island.

7-DAY TRIP LEH. Don’t say I didn’t tell you guys.

On top of an all-expense trip for you, 2 friends and "a famous blogger" (dunno who), you also get to star in their ads. How cool is that?

All these just by uploading a photo of YOUR FACE on their Facebook.

Maybe you too will get to bungee jump off the top of Queenstown.

Christchurch is a big Kiwi city the perfect starting point for the adventure around NZ’s South Island, including Queenstown and Milford Sound. My advice is to rent a car and drive yourself around. You’ll see a lot more that way!

My father once said New Zealand is so beautiful, every photo you take will turn out like postcards.

I think he’s absolutely right.

Welcome to Sarawak Elections

This may be the most important election in Sarawak history.

I can’t be in Kuching to vote due to earlier plans, but I want to play my part in this. I guess the best thing I can do is to keep everyone up to speed on what’s been happening.

And the best way to do it?

Like Rosalinda would – through music video.

ADV: Kilkenny In A Bottle

Caught up with Laineylashes for lunch after being absent in KL for a very long time.

We went to Frontera in Jaya One – my favourite place for authentic Tex-Mex cuisine and home of the yummiest buffalo wings in the whole of Malaysia.

If you remember, Frontera is also the Battleground of Manhood between myself, KY and Deepak, when we challenged each other to swallow the hottest chilli on Earth – the habanero.

It was an experience none of us would ever wanna re-live again.

This time round, I went for something much less torturous.

Mesquite grilled tender rib-eye steak. RM42.95

Cooked medium-rare – just the way I like it.

Mesquite is a type of wood found in Mexico and parts of Texas. When used for barbeque, the smoke from the wood gives a distinctive smoky flavour to the meat.

That brown sauce right there? Heaven in a bowl.

Chili Con Queso. RM22.95

Texas style cheese served with freshly made tortilla chips. Great for sharing. Laineylashes ordered it with spicy beef for added zing.


Habanero Hot Wings. RM17.95

This one is my favourite, because it is the best hot wings in the whole of Malaysia. Beats Wong Ah Wah chicken wings at Jalan Alor.

There’s a ‘Hot’ version and an ‘Inferno’ version for those who can handle the heat. I wasn’t in the mood for pooping fire out my ass the next morning, so I ordered it ‘Regular’.

There used to be a ‘Killer’ version. If you eat it, you will look like this.

In the end, the owner had to take it off the menu because those "Killer" hot wings was so freaking hot, people keep puking in their basin.

We stuck to the regular stuff, and we polished up the plates with our tongues.

Of course, with such hearty good meal, it is criminal not wash them hot food down with ice cold beer afterwards.

Frontera had an unusual selection of alcohol for a Tex-Mex restaurant. Apart from the usual tequilas and margaritas, placed on our table is this ad.

Irish cream ale in a Tex-Mex grill? Why not. These go for RM17.95 a pop.

I am used to Kilkenny beer being served on tap. Lately the bottled version has started to quietly creep into the market – both in food courts and in atas restaurants.

Frontera may not have Kilkenny on tap, but they do a pretty good job serving them in ice cold bottles. Chilled beer is brilliant for cooling those Habanero hot wings down.

There is a slight difference between Kilkenny from the tap and from the bottle.

Kilkenny in bottles do not have a smooth creamy white head like the draught, but that matters little because taste-wise, it’s the same ol’. After all, the ingredients and brewing methods are the same ones as the ones on tap.

It doesn’t matter how you have your Kilkenny.

Kilkenny in a tap or Kilkenny in a bottle, is STILL Kilkenny.

One thing for sure…

Kenny Sia hiding behind a beer glass… is definitely NOT Kilkenny.

The Anwar Sex Tape Revealed, Finally

Another election, another erection.

Everytime an election comes around, a sex video tape pops up. On the day the Sarawak state assembly is dissolved, a "Datuk T" emerged, producing a video alleging "someone who looks like Anwar Ibrahim" getting jiggy with it with "someone who looks like a Chinese prostitute".

To that I say, how do they know it’s a prostitute from China? Maybe it’s his "personal friend" leh?

Suddenly, everyone is pointing fingers to everyone. Fingers are pointed to Anwar, saying he is not fit to be a leader. Fingers are pointed to Datuk T, for broadcasting pornography.

Heck, even Chua Soi Lek pointed his finger to Anwar urging him to admit his wrong.

Then I wondered. How come no fingers are pointed to the China woman for prostitution?

I also dunno. Welcome to Malaysia.

Predictably, Anwar and his supporters got into super defensive mode.

Anwar claimed that the person in the video has a big tummy, and he does not. He also claimed the video was fake, and his face was superimposed on another person.

Well, ladies and gentlemen. The speculation ends here.

Guess what? After a lot of phone calls, texts and e-mails, I managed to get my hands on the controversial Anwar sex tape.

Here it is, revealed finally, on



Big tummy.



Chinese woman.


Superimposed face.


Datuk Tua Liap Sia

Korean Gym

I’m in Seoul right now to participate in the upcoming marathon.

To prepare myself for the big race, I went to a Korean gym yesterday.

It’s called MF Fitness. MF here stands for Muscle Factory – as in, you go in there to build muscles. Funnily, upstairs from the gym is a pub.

The tagline of MF Fitness is "Pride Your Body".

Or in Korean pronunciation – "Pry Yo Burreh."

Two things I learnt while I was working out here.

First, I realised Korean men don’t cover up their bits when they change. I tell you, when I walked into the changing room, I felt like my eyes were soaked in kimchee.

It was horrible. I can see the "seaweed" on their "bulgolgi" all dangling out.

I don’t want to look, but when it’s in my face like that I can’t help but to see and compare.

Second, I am glad I do Malaysian men proud. 😀

ADV: JJ And Ean Are Like Santa

The morning crew has gone through quite a bit of changes lately.

First, they replaced Rudy with Tengku Ean.

Then they replaced Hollywood Hookup Richard Reid with this chick.

As much as Richard Reid is entertaining, I’m kinda glad to see his over-the-top high-pitched voice gone. Although with a body like that, I reckon Fay Hokulani deserves to be on magazines more than she does on radio.

Two things haven’t changed about the Morning Crew though.

First, the two radio announcers are still botak.

Second, although they don’t have much hair on their head, those two clowns have tons of freebies to give away.

Like tickets to Bruno Mars concert live in KL!

Like exclusive tickets to Justin Bieber’s movie premiere!

Like RM60,000 cash for playing "Who Are JJ and Ean talking to"?

Best thing is, this is a ridiculously easy game to play. Basically, you just gotta listen to the Morning Crew from 6am to 10am every weekday morning. When they cue to call, you call up, choose how much money you wanna win, then guess which celebrity’s voice they played.

If you got it right, you win a slice of the RM60,000 moolah.

This is JJ himself "eloquently" explaining how the contest works.

Hint: there’s a list of celebrities JJ and Ean has interviewed on the website.

If you win money, share with me!

But if you (very unfortunately) win tickets to Justin Bieber’s movie premiere instead please don’t share with me!

I don’t wanna sit on some cinema seats filled with some teenage girl’s soaking wet stains.

Tear stains lah. What you thinking?