My Sparse Experience In Hanoi

20130710_152840I’ve been to Hanoi for work a few times throughout 2013 to 2015. In those working days, I also took the chance to tour around the city with my colleagues. I think all the interesting places I visited, which I’m about to share, could be compressed into a single day tour of Hanoi.

In Hanoi, there are a number of sites to visit for gaining knowledge, learning cultures, connecting with people or just simply to relax. Hanoi is an old city, existed for hundreds of years, and has been the capital of the Dai Viet people for centuries. Thus the city is rich in original Dai Viet history & heritage, also modern history & depiction of the current state & regime of Vietnam. There are many lakes in the city which provide a soothing view to the capital city.

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Sultan Kudarat

Kami sekeluarga dihadapan tugu Sultan Kudarat di Ayala Triangle Garden, Manila

Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat merupakan Sultan Mindanao dari keturunan Shariff Kabungsuwan, pendakwah ulung dari Malaya yang membawa Islam ke kepulauan Filipina. Baginda memerintah selama setengah abad dari 1619 hingga 1671.

Baginda seorang yang berani, bijaksana, pemurah dan terkenal sebagai Sultan Mindanao terhebat sepanjang sejarah.

Baginda telah menyatukan kaum Muslimin dari Lanao, Cotabato, Davao, Sulu, Zamboanga dan Borneo Utara.

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Kembara Berkeluarga Ke Manila

Alhamdulillah, kami direzekikan utk mengembara ke Manila, ibu negara Filipina. Kami merantau bersama 4 keluarga lain dan mengambil ejen pelancongan utk menguruskan aktiviti2 kami.


Kerana kos yg kami bayar agak mahal, kami diberi banyak kemudahan dari mula kami sampai seperti airport transfer, bas utk membawa kami melancong, makanan halal yg mahal, dan beberapa staff tour guide yg setia mengikuti kami sepanjang kami di sana.

Kami tinggal di Makati City, pusat bandaraya Manila dan menetap di hotel Best Western Antel, betul2 depan A.Venue market di Makati Avenue. Jadi setiap malam, kami akan turun membeli belah dan mencuba makanan2 di pasar tersebut. Jarak dari situ ke Ayala Center pula dalam 2 km. Jadi, utk ke sana, boleh menaiki teksi atau berjalan kaki lebih kurang 30 minit dan melalui pelbagai tempat menarik seperti Ayala Triangle Park, Tugu Sultan Kudarat, dsb. Kami ke Ayala Center berjalan kaki dan mengambil gambar sepanjang jalan, tapi balik ke hotel menaiki teksi.

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Organic vs Instant

I’m an organic person. I believe in natural talent, careers, relationship, etc. I understand people are trying to make instants, organized or commercial stuff.

But I believe no plastic tree can replace a natural tree, although you may force everything to look the same. I also don’t believe in cosmetics to cover up or make it seem like plastic looks ok.

At everything I do, I ensure it occurs organically, then I will pursue it. I do not believe in magic that come out of no where. Must be fake.

To me, the awareness & determination to ensure natural occurrence, progress & growth gives focus and focus leads to achievements. Focus may also bring the power of acceleration, which eventually would lead to breakthroughs.

On the other hand, an instant copycat would just want to look around at what people are doing, and supposedly replicate the same process, but lack the natural due diligence. Results & achievements would be far despite believing that achieving is simple in steps.

Thus, aim for breakthroughs, you will find the importance of organic growth, and you will not believe in shortcuts, parachutes, instants or artificial manufactures.

The Single Dad’s Album

DSC_0179For my tenure here working overseas in Ho Chi Minh City up to this day, nearly half of the time I lived as a single in this foreign land. Of those years, for a total combined of about 6 months, I was a single parent raising 2 of my eldest kids (6 year old Khaulah & 3 year old Atiq) on my own. They lived with me to keep schooling at their international school and to keep me company abroad, while my wife had to continue working in Malaysia. These were tough times in our lives but we consequentially had to decide to live this way to keep up with circumstances.

Undeniably, these were challenging times for me personally, and to my kids (especially my little boy) as they were still very young to understand, yet had to burden the pain of separation from their mother. There were hard times when the kids caught a fever; even times when we all caught a fever. There were those many nights when my son needed to breathe with the nebulizer due to his asthma. Half of my annual leave for 2014 was actually spent to take care of my son whenever he got sick; he was even hospitalized once for some 3 days, 3 nights. There were also those tough moments when the kids talked to their mom on the phone and their voices gradually turned sad & sobbing while trying hard to talk about their day.

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Legasiku: Sang Penakluk (The Conqueror)


InsyaAllah, anak ke-4 ini saya akan namakan sempena nama tokoh-tokoh Islam yg telah meninggalkan legasi mereka tersendiri dalam peradaban manusia.

Anak saya ini saya namakan Abbas, pertamanya sempena sahabat Rasulullah SAW, Al-Abbas b Abdul Mutalib, yang juga merupakan bapa saudara baginda. Abbas merupakan sahabat yg terkenal sebagai seorang yang banyak membela Nabi SAW ketika di Makkah, dan kemudian banyak mengirimkan informasi mengenai musyrikin Makkah kepada Nabi di Madinah. Beliau seorang yang sangat rapat, disayangi, dihormati dan dipercayai oleh Rasulullah SAW sendiri.

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Nha Trang & The World’s Longest Over Sea Cable Car

DSC_0303June 2014 – My mother & youngest brother came to visit me & my kids here in Vietnam. Having said that, we all took the opportunity to travel to the central coast of Vietnam, to the city of Nha Trang. It took about an hour flight from HCMC. Flying by night, the most eye-catching view from above the Nha Trang skyline is the lights from the cable car structures connecting the mainland to Hon Tre island. The cable car is the longest over water cable car in the world spanning 3 km long.
Spending some 3 days here, we went around the coastal city to indulge in its history, nature and recreational development.

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Po Nagar: Tinggalan Kesenian Champa

FB_IMG_1422795984074Tamadun Champa sebelum kedatangan Islam kaya dengan seni yang bertemakan mistik dan percampuran agama dan kepercayaan tempatan.

Kuil Po Nagar di Nha Trang, Vietnam ini antara struktur Champa kuno yang masih berdiri dan terpelihara hingga ke hari ini, sebagai bukti bangsa ini merupakan bangsa yang halus jiwa artistiknya dan mampu membangunkan struktur2 yang mampu tahan ujian zaman.

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Friendly Return to Dalat

061May 2014 – Had a trip to Dalat with friends. I’ve been here once last year, so I tried to make the visit a bit different and hoped to achieve what I didn’t the last time. We only had 1 day to really tour Dalat, so we had a tight schedule & made our best effort to make this trip memorable.

We started the day at Datanla Falls. Enjoyed the Alpine coaster (controllable roller coaster) as I always did. We took a bunch of photos by the waterfall. We then, instead of taking the cable car through the ravine, went on foot to enjoy the natural scenery & the sunlight sipping through the forest trees and narrow pass.

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