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Sunday, 9 February 2014

About Hajj: The Unexpected Journey of Faith

The call for Hajj 2013

"And proclaim to mankind the Hajj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj)"
(Al-Hajj, verse 27)

2013. I responded to the call for Hajj. In the most unexpected way. This is my story.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Western Australia Part 8: The City of Perth

Selfie much? 

Perth: Isn't It Time You Really Get To Know Me
So that was the catchy slogan displayed on an ads in the middle of Perth city. We've had our wonderful moments up, close and personal with the local nature landscape (Yanchep National Park, Serpentine National Park, Kings Park), historical spots (Fremantle Prison, Round House etc) and suburbs area (Fremantle). But the place of modernisation and urbanisation in the Perth City itself should not be left aside. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Western Australia Part 7: Mandurah the Heaven for Retirees

Mandurah the Blue
It was said that Mandurah originated from the word 'Mandjar' which means meeting place by the Noongar people. But Mandjar and Mandurah are obviously a remote connection in terms of spelling and pronounciation, so I assume Mandjar became Mandurah was because of mispronounciation by the English people who came later inhabited Perth. As the second largest city in Perth, Mandurah is definitely a place to drop by. But given Mandurah has became a city with the least affordable houses and premises, I do not think staying a night in Mandurah is a great idea especially those who are on budget. 

Western Australia Part 6: Serpentine National Park

A Drive to Serpentine National Park (Opens 8:30 am to 5:00 pm daily)
It was not just our luck to experience close encounter with any of the local animals like kangaroos or koalas. But this was not the case with Serpentine National Park. The 50 km drive that took about one hour and a half was definitely worth it. With minimal fee of AUD 11 per car, Serpentine National Park is one of the ideal picnic spots in Western Australia. 

Western Australia Part 5: Yanchep National Park

The lake at the Yanchep National Park

A Drive to Yanchep National Park
My youngest sister-in-law nicknamed Acha wished to have a close encounter with a kangaroo. So I attempted to sell an expensive idea of Caversham Wildlife Park which almost cost about AUD 24 per person. It was unsuccessful. My father-in-law was thinking of somewhere off the popular path, and most importantly, more economic. And he stumbled upon an advertisement in the tourism brochure, promoting Yanchep National Park. AUD 11, per car, not per person. So I rest my case. Yanchep better be good, I hoped. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Western Australia Part 4: Doing Time in Fremantle Prison

“No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet." - Patrick Rothfuss.

It was not just about remembering the mistakes done by the people before us, but rather, it was a journey to learn not to repeat the same mistakes again. 

This is the story of the Fremantle Prison: Doing Time.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Western Australia Part 3: The Historic Harbour Town of Fremantle

Dawn in Fremantle. 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Why Fremantle?
Fremantle (or referred by some as Freo) is like a KFC combo set, where you can get cool things all wrapped into one set. From historical site to modern life leisure centre, Fremantle is not just a suburb area and a dream town for pensioners, rather it promises a great deal of potential to be commercialised. A day in Fremantle will never be enough. Never.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Western Australia Part 2: From Black Swan to Kings Park of Perth

The Black Swan

"All journeys have secret destinations of which traveller is unaware..." Martin Buber.

I've learnt that sometimes by getting lost, you would discover the best spots which was originally out of the must-go list. Do not restrict yourself to the research you've done. Sometimes you just have to relax your mind and follow your heart.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Western Australia Part 1: Experience the Australian Immigration

Australian Immigration: Up Close & Personal 
Many gave an impression that Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) are tough and difficult. But I still believe that if I remain completely honest and cooperative, things would definitely be smooth and easy. Just follow the procedure and things would be alright. After all, you are entering someone else's country, so it is reasonable to assume that you need to comply with their regulation. Here, let me share some things you need to prepare and do before entering the beautiful country of Australia. 

About Perth, Australia

The Swan River. And the city of Perth.

Perth: Where It Began
For thousands years, the aboriginal people of Noongar inhibited the land for generations. The day Captain Stirling set his foot in the 19th centuries mark the significant changes to the history. The beginning of development was rather slow. Even when the convicts were sent to increase modernisation and build infrastructure, the population was still crawling bit by bit. Only when gold was discovered, the settlement became attractive and promising. However, this was somehow perceived as disadvantageous to the people of Noongar themselves.