Photo of The Day #64, #NomadicTexan

Last march Kim and I had the pleasure of visiting Cuenca Ecuador. Kim had never been and wanted to see why I was so excited and in love with Cuenca. We stayed at the Casa Ordonez, run and managed by Alberto Ordonez. Alberto is a master of great customer service and he is like family to me now. He always has time to help, regardless of his schedule and he knows everybody in the entire town I think.

 

Earl and Max who Made Our Tours Great!

Earl and Max, Who Made Our Tours Great!

 

Kim and I wanted to see Ingapirca, the Incan Ruins site. Alberto mentioned that a couple of gentlemen staying at the Casa were going and might just allow us to tag along. We met them in the lobby the next morning and they agreed to let us go with them. It helped us both reduce the cost of the tour. What we did not know was how entertaining and friendly these two would be. We thoroughly enjoyed their company and communicate back and forth now.

 

 

We visited El Chorro waterfall one day and a debate, lesson or discussion broke out about bamboo between Max and Kim. It was hilarious to me and I caught a portion of it on video. Hope you enjoy and thanks Earl and Max for letting us tag along. We had a blast with you guys!

Photo of The Day #63, #NomadicTexan

This is actually an experiment and I am adding a video today from my experience at the Amita Thai Cooking Class in Bangkok. Tam Piyawadi Jantrupon the owner and instructor is a very sweet lady who takes her time and ensure you are digesting her teaching. Sorry I couldn’t help the pun.

 

This video is a session where she instructs us on the various flowers and spices used in a plate of appetizers she served upon arrival. They are lightly battered and fried briefly, similar to Japanese Tempura. In addition she tells us of the specific medicinal qualities o f each. They were very tasty and scrumptious! I can’t recommend her class enough!

 

 

 

Tam with an Assistant

Tam with an Assistant

 

 

*** My trip to Thailand and Malaysia was sponsored by Thai Airways, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Malaysia USA. All opinions are solely mine and as always generated without any influence.

Photo of The Day #62, #NomadicTexan

Last August when I lived in Cuenca for five weeks, this Indigenous lady sat on the corner of the street where my condo was located, selling lottery tickets. She was there every day rain or shine and sold tickets from early in the morning until late afternoon.

 

Indigenous Lady Selling Lottery Tickets

Indigenous Lady Selling Lottery Tickets

 

I always wondered if she had a family and if she had housing. She never missed a beat and when I would walk by her she extended a ticket and asked me if I wanted to purchase a ticket. I never did and almost felt guilty about NOT gambling!

My Amazing Life-Chapter 7, The Royal Chulan Hotel Review

As one enters the Royal Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lampur Malaysia, you are reminded that it is a 5-Star accommodation, as the various views overload you with affluence. The winding staircase, the sitting area and this magnificent atrium of tropical plants all bombard you with opulence. You are temporarily memorized and seduced by its charm.

 

Entry Way

Entry Way Atrium

 

As I entered my room the first thing I noticed was that even though it was 90 plus degrees Fahrenheit outside, the air conditioner was not turned on. I gasped at the heat. I immediately turned it on and waited to no avail. I called downstairs and they stated they would be sending someone up to repair the A/C. The room accommodations, including this King Size bed were very nice and as expected high end.

 

King Size Bed

King Size Bed

 

Traveling through Thailand and Malaysia one thing that struck me was the amount of space and luxury they devoted to the bathrooms. This one was no different and had a glassed in large shower, glassed in toilet and this wonderful spacious sink.

 

Shower and Sink Area

Shower and Sink Area

 

This bathroom, as in one other hotel bathroom, had a view from the tub area to the bedroom. I would venture it made it easier to roll out of bed and climb directly into a warm bath. Sorry I am not going where you are surely thinking right now!

 

Bath With View from Bedroom

Bath With View from Bedroom

 

We had a hotel tour scheduled and I left the room to partake in the tour. We saw several rooms that were similar in nature to mine, but the other side of the hotel had a spectacular view of the pool and spa entrance area. Definitely request a fourth floor or higher room to secure this view and your private balcony.

 

Pool Area from Balcony of Fourth Floor

Pool Area from Balcony of Fourth Floor

 

The walkway beside the pool at ground level was filled with fountains, plants and various flowering bushes and trees. It was simply stated, gorgeous!

 

Walkway Beside Pool with Fountains

Walkway Beside Pool with Fountains

 

We walked around the pools, as there are three. The large swimming pool, a children’s pool and a massive Jacuzzi. As we turned the final corner we faced the Telaga Bunga Spa entrance and I found the spa very enchanting. and unique in some ways.

 

Telaga Bunga Spa

Telaga Bunga Spa

 

The spa has your normal massage areas and pedicure/manicure stations along with facial applications. The most unique experience we were shown was the couples massage area. It was equipped with dual tables, a tub sink and just about anything you could think of for using after a massage. It was huge and I was blown away. I want to do this!

 

Couples Massage Room

Couples Massage Room

 

The couples massage room included this huge shower. I am sure it could have held our entire group. Just to be clear we did not all walk into the shower to validate this. It was just an observation by yours truly.

 

Huge Shower in Private Spa Room for Couples

Huge Shower in Private Spa Room for Couples 

 

We then went to the restaurant for dinner. I was starving and did not take photos of all the elaborate stations. They had Italian, Japanese, American, French and many more types of food in their buffet. I had sushi that was out of this world and a few other various items. Of course as always, I had to try their desserts. Funny how I remembered to photograph this area.

 

Dessert Box

Dessert Box

 

Tired and full I retreated to my room and was very surprised. My air conditioner had not been repaired and the technician had left a mess in my room. I was still perspiring profusely. Luckily they have a hose system that is like a bidet and they have men come by to validate the toilet area is clean every night.

 

When he knocked on my door and saw my issue with the air conditioner he immediately had me transferred to another room and waited to see if the A/C worked in my new room, along with securing me another adapter for my laptop. The service this young man gave was outstanding and indicative of what I visualize the hotel’s desire to please is.

 

The hotel is superior and it is unfortunate that I had the air conditioning issue, but I would certainly go back and would recommend the Royal Chulan to all tourists and businessmen spending time in Kuala Lampur. Next time I will take my wife and we can let you know how the Couples Massage is!

 

 

 

 

*** My trip to Thailand and Malaysia was sponsored by Thai Airways, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Malaysia USA. All opinions are solely mine and as always generated without any influence.

My Amazing Life-Chapter 8, Jadi Batek

All trip long I had been waiting to visit the Jadi Batek factory in Kuala Lampur Malaysia and buy Kim Batek material. I have know our entire 35 year marriage that she loves Batek and she has many blouses and dresses from Batek. She told me four different colors to look for and to buy 2.5 yards of each color. As we traveled through Thailand and Malaysia I encountered many other souvenirs that were of interest, but this was my main objective and as we went there our last day I was getting nervous I would not attain my goal.

 

Various Batek Material

Various Batek Material

 

As we entered I saw that front of the store’s width did not do it justice. It went on and on and had many areas that displayed the art and a retail side. I could have spent thousands of dollars on their goods and was almost overwhelmed with the myriad of choices available. I wanted one of everything and had to keep slapping my face to wake up and realize I couldn’t buy that much!

 

 

Rolls of Batek Material. I bought 13.7 meters worth!

Rolls of Batek Material. I bought 13.7 meters worth!

 

There it was. The stacks and stacks of material that I could choose from. I was astonished at the choices and how many shades of the colors that I was to find existed. If you look close the red and white roll above, third one in on the top of the bin on the floor, was my choice. Kim loves red and that was the first color I was to look for. Not a surprise. The clerk was very helpful and unrolled each and every choice to see if I like the overall pattern. Great customer service I must say!

 

 

Batek Shirts

Batek Shirts

 

I walked by the men’s shirts already sized and sewn. Man I loved a certain green one, but knew that Kim could probably make one or two for me, as I purchased twice as much material as instructed with two of the colors. Maybe next time. It had the Nomadic Texan written all over it and would have gone great with the green pineapples and palm trees in the hat band on my Panama hat!

 

 

Various Batek Materials

Various Batek Materials

 

Another section had wall hangings from the material and I was very tempted to buy one or two as the fascinating designs and colors drew me in. I wanted them badly, but my credit card was screaming “No More” you old man!!! Besides which wall was available at our house and where would we put it. Wasn’t to be this time.

 

 

My Batek Artwork

My Batek Artwork, Even Autographed!

 

As we entered one of the shop managers gave us a tour and led us through the assembly area where I learned this is all still done by hand and not made by machines. I was totally flabbergasted and couldn’t believe this. It really hit me how much time and effort go into this process. Then I learned we were going to do our own Batek print. We were given a choice of various designs to paint ourselves. You must know I am not talented or patient and I looked at this process as more than a challenge. I really didn’t think I would complete it. You use various sized brushes to apply the paint depending on where the paint is applied and what size the area is.

 

If you apply too much it bleeds over into the next section and thankfully a process can remove most of the mistake. Obviously yours truly did this many times, so I kind of learned how to correct my mistakes. I was given a one on one instructor to “help” me. Thank God she had patience! A Japanese film crew was there and filming interviews with various shoppers. They interviewed me and the held a camera of mine to record my video. As usual the Japanese people were awesome and so nice. This is my first attempt at placing a video in my blog. Please do not laugh too much. It is rough!

 

 

I would rate this experience as one of the top 5 things I did in Kuala Lampur, even though the tour only takes about an hour. The factory is a great place with an assortment of goods that will take a good day to look at, if you really are a “shopper”. I highly recommend you attend but watch out, you might blow out your credit card. It would be easy to do!

 

 

*** My trip to Thailand and Malaysia was sponsored by Thai Airways, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Malaysia USA. All opinions are solely mine and as always generated without any influence.

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