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20 December 2009

Christmas with Ratianda Travel

Well what do you know... It's finally here! Christmas is here! In just a few hours we're counting down to Christmas of 2009! Then a week later it's the New Year! Believe me as I say this, we have lots of updates coming to you in 2010! But let's back-track a lil'... 

As the main blog editor of Ratianda, Inc aka Sabrina; I would cordially love to wish you a very Merry X'mas and a warm hug to you from the heart! Do keep in touch with us more often, that'll be the best gift we could have from all of you! 

For now, our Columnist of Ratianda would like to share some interesting experience with you guys out there! Especially to those (like me-unfortunately) who would luuurrrve the idea of SNOW for Christmas.

Columnist of Ratianda : Hey guys, I'm going to write something over the snow here. You see, for us in Alphen aan den Rijn, Holland; This will be the first "White Christmas" in 5 years. Today we had a heavy snow fall. There are some pictures taken in front of my house. 

Some of the neighbors are busy making snowman with buckets of snow for kids that seems to have some mischief's up their sleeves (like trying to cover up the main door with snow!)

There's also a picture of me with a Mr. Snowman dressed in Amsterdam shawl and in our backyard, notice the snow on our garden table, its about 12 inches high/thick (either ways)

Don't miss another view of "Snowman" at our neighbors drive-in. Its 4.40pm and its getting dark, yet, it's really absolutely and amazingly beautiful outside, white all over!

However, having about 12 inches of snow since this morning definitely caused all the trains and buses to stop running and yes, when people go to the alps for skiing, they need chains for their vehicle to get there (the alps) but to go to town and on the highway our kind City Council sprinkle salt over the road. Sometimes it doesn't help because the snow fall is too heavy but it's the thought that counts. 

And Christmas is all about giving and receiving and to celebrate love with families and friends. It is also the day we celebrate baby 'Jesus' in our hearts; Our creator and our forgiver. 

And with this, I wish all of you out there a very merry and blessed Christmas! Take care and do catch up with us for more. See ya!

19 December 2009

Day 4 : Malacca Trip with Sabrina

Day 4 : 19th December 2009
 We woke up today and packed our bags and tidy up the house before we head home to KL. Our first and last stop for food is at the road side. Below are the details. The food here are ~delicious~! The best Chicken Rice Ball I've eaten since I've arrived Melaka! A must-have!

Food Recommended : Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball

8TV Ho Chak
Place: Jalan Tun Sri Lanang Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball
Location : Melaka Town
Address : No.2, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang, Melaka
Phone : 016-626 0985
Business Hour : Lunch Time Onwards
Food Type: Hawker Food
Price: Chicken Rice Ball With Poach Chicken RM3.30 …. each rice ball RM0.25

Last Stop : Tan Kim Hock Product Centre
What do I say... We wanted to get packets of snack and tidbits to bring home for our friends and family. This is the "so-called" main centre for all the snacks offered in Melaka. I don't know how huge it is but I wouldn't bother after today. It's expensive! The snack is just so-so... Not too good and not too bad. We still bought goods from here though because it was raining heavily and we had not much choice and time left. So, lucky them for having us "kinda forced" to buy snacks from them.

The End : Look out for more coming to you soon from Ratianda. 
Check our other blog on Celebrity news and updates. Ratianda inLA

18 December 2009

Day 3 : Malacca Trip with Sabrina

Day 3 : 18th December 2009
Today we get to sleeep late! Yay! 10am MAX... This time my leg hurts sooooo bad... (Thanks to my laziness of "no exercise" effect) We went to Jalan Gajah Berang (nearby the Dim Sum place - same row - further down) for some 'aromatic' Beef Noodle.. ~Yummy~! Trust me, totally worth it! It's cheap and very tasty! Yes, yes, I know most of you might not like the "scent / aroma" but this one is really worth the try! You don't get those "beefy" strong aroma like most places (usually it's because the beef is not thoroughly cleaned properly). Some might feel that it's not enough "beef" in it but if you want to try, and hate the strong smell - this is the one for you! Here's some sneak preview!

Breakfast : Restaurant Hing Loong - Taiwan Mee

Rough Estimated Figures: STILL CHEAP!
Small RM3.80 / Big RM 4.50 / RM2.40 (Deep Fried Pork Ribs) / RM2.40 (Vinegar Pork Leg)

Btw, you can get to taste this "Beef Noodle" in PJ too... I haven't been there yet but would love to soon!
Here's the address :

Lunch : At Jalan Portugis - Kedai Satay Xiang Ji - Only Pork Satay, we local call it "Satay Babi" (sounds rude...lolx)
This shop is unique, I think it's only found in Melaka! Legally (in Malaysia)!! When you step in, that's tho only thing to eat, you just need to order your drinks, they'll bring the plates of "Rice Ketupat" (like rice paste) and plates of "Cucumbers" with their special "Peanut Dippings/Sauce". Then empty plates will be placed on your table as they refill it with "Pork Satay Sticks" each time they have them done. They count the number of sticks you eat~!

Btw, it's 55cents each.

Next Stop : Shopping along Stadhuy's Melaka stalls!
Bought a few things here, you can manage a good deal if you have the good charisma skills. Either that, or buy it at the price they offer you like everyone else. Lolx... The clock tower gives this place the authentic feel of historical events. It is a historical place afterall... But besides the shopping, we did went to see some "catapult cannons" very interesting...

Breaking News!! : It started raining!!!!!!!
Yes... Sad but true... It started raining so we had to leave... But we went around the corner to drop ourselves at the new Melaka Megamall... A very modernized building, nothing much historical only thing its more like a lower ground shopping with 2 floors but everything else you see from outside is new. I won't say much here, its your everyday shopping mall! Although, I paid RM6 for a 15min "Kaluoka' Hina" it's about the fishes in the reef and them trying to save their "coral reefs" aka home from "us" humans. And our toxic waste machine we dump into the bottom of the ocean. Good for kids............

Dinner Time : Rains too heavy to eat out...
We just went nearby some food stalls along the residential area and packed some regular "Wan Tan Mee" and "Kuey Teow Fish Ball Soup". Nothing special so no pictures..

The rest of the Evening :Small shopping

We "almost" spend our evenings indoors thanks to the moody rain. But, we managed to get out and head to Jonker's Street to buy some "accessories". Well, sort of like my sister was looking for some accessories for sewing and decorating clothes and stuffs. Here's caption of me and my sweet little niece which fell asleep after a long day of "pulling my hair and scratching my face" (it hurts)

Melaka River Cruise Experience with Sabrina

Day 2 : 18th December 2009 - Melaka River Cruise Experience
An experience on the Melaka River Cruise...

Melaka Zoo Experience with Sabrina

 Day 2 : 18th December 2009 - Zoo Melaka Experience
Nice experience at Zoo Melaka... Not to be missed...

17 December 2009

Day 2 : Malacca Trip with Sabrina

Day 2 : 17th December 2009
Woke up at 7am with neck pain (very common for me when traveling)...We ventured out early for "Dim Sum" around 8am! With Ovi Map on hand, we found the location of the "Dim Sum" some people has been talking about online!

Breakfast : Ban Hong Xiang Tea House

(RM35.90 for 4 person - HOW CHEAP CAN THAT BE?!?! Totally can't compare with KL/PJ ~ cut throat)

Next Stop : Melaka Zoo (Very nature-like and natural - not too smelly)

This trip is going to have a special blog post dedicated to it... It's amazing the creatures you see there... Of course we can see it in every Zoo but just bare with me! It's been 12 years since I've been to a Zoo! (Last was Zoo Negara - smelly)

Lunch : Popiah along Jalan Bunga Raya
This is beyond words! I've never finished eating "Popiah" before. I usually take a bite or two and that's it. I don't fancy it at all. However, this is one delicacy that is a must-have in Melaka! People queue for this! Inside there's egg and the other normal popiah ingredients, very huge! Very filling! Worth value for money and the special ingredient (I think) is the "Pork-Oil"... You can actually smell it (the fragrance) and while eating, you might spot 2 or 3 "Fried Pork-Oil" that makes this "Popiah" a lil' crunchy... Now talk about real snack!

Almost Twilight : Melaka River Cruise

After the Zoo trip, we had to head home and clean-up for our next event! The Melaka River Cruise! Yahoo~! Another special blog post dedicated to this! I only have short descriptions of the historical buildings and short stories. You want to know more, go experience it yourself!

Dinner Time : At Portugis Settlement
Mmm... Food again~! Portugis Grill Fish! A variety of stalls to pick from No. 1 to 10 some even jump No. 88!! Nope, only a handful of stalls, around 8 - 10 stalls. When you park your car at the carpark, a bunch of people with hover around your vehicle until you come out! Scary!! But they will find all sort of "friendly" ways to talk to you and get you to visit their stall. Why? Because they ALL sell the SAME thing... We don't know which is the best, but you must pick a NUMBER to stop them from hovering around you... My bro-in-law counted us, there were 6 of us and my sister was talking to a nice lady and she decided stall No. 6! What a coincident! But we never regretted picking that number.

The food is "Oh-So-Delicious"! Homemade, tasty and VERY satisfying! Btw, fresh fish! Yum~ Btw, another stall nearby sells Mango Juice only, quenches thirst!

Supper Time : Melaka Famous Putu Piring (Always crowded)
Putu piring! Definitely different than what we have in KL/PJ. Not that I know of... However, this stall is the best I've tasted by far! The texture is moist and the aroma is mouthwatering. Imagine having a soft and lightly sweetened sponge cake in your mouth. No! Not the ordinary sponge cake... Something like, a tight texture... It's not flaky and it's just the right amount of ingredient! Very filling too... A must-try in Melaka!

The End of Day 2 - To be continued -

16 December 2009

Day 1 : Malacca Trip with Sabrina

Hey guys! It's me Sabrina, your blog editor for Ratianda Travels. I'll be bringing you through to experience a "free & easy"  holiday at Malacca with my family!

Day 1 : 16th December 2009
Left home at 10am. My bro-in-law drove us to Malacca  
(fyi, Malacca is his hometown)... 

Along the way when reaching Malacca, I spotted a few buildings and some exceptionally cool "sky / clouds "

(I love the sky / clouds)

Lunch : Ho G Food Trading (Restaurant)
We had lunch here and it was around 2pm at that time. No, we just arrived Melaka and looking for the first food on our menu! Chicken Rice Ball! Yummy~!  


(Sorry I'm not sure which location is this, too hungry to notice!)

After Lunch : Home Sweet Home
After filling up our tummy, we went to settle our bags in Melaka! Yay! Home sweet home~! Almost... We stayed at my bro-in-law's house (holidays and visiting only). We had to clean up around a lil' before we could actually settle in and then clean ourselves up... Because all the hotels were kinda fully booked and some are ridiculously overpriced. So why waste that kinda cash?! Luckily, we have my bro-in-law's own family home (hometown) to save the day! Thank You Raymond & family ^^ !
(Ps. I read Twilight -again!- the rest of the day before dinner)

Here's a sneak preview of ~home~...

Dinner Time : At Jalan Bunga Raya
We came here looking for fried "seafood" such as lala/balitong/oyster... We found out that the only seafood available here is "oyster"... Sad.... But we tried out the "Wan Tan Mee" next door while enjoying a packet of Fried Oyster... Y.U.M.M.Y!! I could hardly find "the" oyster but it definitely taste great! Even the Wan Tan Mee tastes great too! It's flavor is original and you don't taste much "Ajinomoto/Seasoning" like what we normally taste here and there in KL. To be honest, this "Wan Tan Mee" actually looks like the Sarawak Mee but it's not! Cool huh!

Night Time : Window Shopping along Jalan Bunga Raya
Yes, it is part of the plan, besides, there's like 3 or 4 shops around the corner that sells X'mas deco and it's very attracting and colorful! See for yourself!

The End of Day 1 - To be continued -

05 December 2009

St. Nicholas & Black Peter

Check this out! Coming to you straight from Holland! Our sweet Columnist of Ratianda brings you St. Nicholas and his Black Peters.

St. Nicholas is initially from Spain and even now on the 3rd December he comes with his Black Peters "from Spain" (not anymore but the young kids still believe it that way).

Taken 5th December 2009

The Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas, is an annual event which has been uniquely Dutch and Flemish for centuries. St. Nicholas' Feast Day, December 6th, is observed in most Roman Catholic countries primarily as a feast for small children. But it is only in the Low Countries - especially in the Netherlands - that the eve of his feast day (December 5th) is celebrated nationwide by young and old, christian and non-christian, and without any religious overtones.  It so happens that the legend of St. Nicholas is based on historical fact. He did actually exist. He lived from 271 A.D. to December 6th, 342 or 343. His 4th century tomb in the town of Myra, near the city of Anatolia in present-day Turkey, has even been dug up by archaeologists. Towards December 5th, St. Nicholas poems pop up everywhere in the Netherlands: in the press, in school, at work and in both Houses of Parliament.

On the day of the 5th, most places of business close a bit earlier than normal. The Dutch head home to a table laden with the same traditional sweets and baked goods eaten for St. Nicholas as shown in the 17th-century paintings of the Old Masters. Large chocolate letters - the first initial of each person present - serve as place settings. They share the table along with large gingerbread men and women known as "lovers". A basket filled with mysterious packages stands close by and scissors are at hand. Early in the evening sweets are eaten while those gathered take turns unwrapping their gifts and reading their poems out loud so that everyone can enjoy the impact of the surprise. The emphasis is on originality and personal effort rather than the commercial value of the gift, which is one reason why Sinterklaas is such a delightful event for young and old alike. 

It were the Dutch settlers who brought St. Nicholas over to
New Amsterdam - USA.

Before elves and eight tiny reindeer, St. Nicholas had a much more menacing assistant. Named Black Peter, this companion was the physical opposite of St. Nicholas. Tall and gaunt with a dark beard and hair, Black Peter was associated with the punitive side of Christmas. Traditionally St. Nicholas would hand out presents to good children, while it fell to Black Peter to dole out coal (and sometimes knocks on the head) to children who misbehaved. 

 Today the negative associations have left Black Peter and he has become more of an elf-like figure, an assistant to an overloaded St. Nicholas who helps to hand out gifts every December 5th, St. Nicholas Day in Holland. The Dutch continue to stage elaborate arrivals of Santa Claus and Black Peter. In the weeks before the feast, Santa and Black Peter arrive by boat, supposedly from Spain, and are greeted by ever increasing crowds of excited children and adults. 

Fact Trivia : Do you know the Dutch people celebrate with presents and families get together on this day. Its just like Christmas.
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