Posts by Maurina

I am a blogger from the sleepy and peaceful Brunei where nothing ever happens. Or so u think... The fundamental thing about Brunei is the fact that it is full of unexpected treasures. So while you are here, live by it. Expect the unexpected. :)

Salon Maurina: Easy December Party Look

It’s the end of the year and it’s that time of the year where you get invited to a couple of parties – gift exchange, or just a wonderful high tea with your girlfriends.

Check out a tutorial I made for this:

BTW, I mentioned a pallete called Doll Crush Pallete in the video. If you’d like to purchase this pallete, check her out here: https://dollcrushbeauty.com/ and add her on Instagram too cause sometimes she gives out discount codes. 🙂

Know of any other Brunei cosmetics brands? Let me know! 🙂

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Salon Maurina: Korean Inspired Makeup for an Everyday Look

All makeup used listed in the video! Hope u like it!

Contest Time!

Subscribe to my Youtube channel and leave a comment on the above video to win a little beauty kit for a your own pamper time at home curated by yours truly! 🙂

*might add more things hehe!

Contest open from today till 15 December 2017, for Bruneians only. 🙂

BTW like this post too if you want me to do more of these- contests, makeup tutorials and all that jazz!

In the Movies: Joko Anwar’s Pengabdi Setan

Oh boy, I love my horror movies. In fact I pretty much only exclusively watch horror movies.

I don’t know what it is: the adrenaline rush, the suspense, the crazy makeup, or what?

Anyway, after IT this was my first foray to the cinema for a horror movie.

I LOVE IT.

But first:

If you are planning to watch the latest version of Pengabdi Setan, I recommend you watch the older version first!

Here, I’ll wait.

The 1980s version is a highly meme-able movie, with memorably corny lines and superficial storyline which is much like most horror movies in the era.

In fact, I find it iconic of the era – the non stop on screen smoking (perhaps a heavy sponsorship from Djarum?), the cars and the house, the party Rita attended (in true 70s style), Darminah’s krebo hair, the blatant disregard of Islamic values and the comically frequent closeups!

If nothing, the movie imprints our mind with the first 10 minutes showing Muslim funeral proceedings in full detail.

It’s a movie worthy of the 80s. More importantly, it sets the background for the current version.

The current version of Pengabdi Setan is not a continuation of it, but rather a reboot. What that means basically u don’t need to watch the old one to understand the new, but there are certain parts of the movie you catch where it is an homage to the old version.

I caught some noteworthy ones:

SPOILER ALERT! BANYAK SPOILER BERABIS DI DUNIA! DAN GAMBAR BARITAKUT!

Continue reading →

Passport, Bag & No Idea Where I was Going

Would you go to a destination you know nothing about?

Few months ago, Emma Good Egg forwarded us a link to a website that organises “surprise trips”. I thought: wow!

How can I travel and not know where I’m going? Well, it involves a secret destination, all accommodation arranged for you as well as airfares.

All you need is a date.

That scares me to no end! What if I dont like the destination they chose? What if they put me up in a yucky hotel? What if my roommate is a cockroach? What if there’s no halal food? What am I going to eat?

I followed them on Instagram.

I thought it was crazy scary, and yet, genius.

Stalked them obsessively, kept on talking about it at the office and asking everyone would they do it?

Eventually I had enough: I had to try it.

“Ching wanna go on a trip with me next month?” I asked my colleague, sitting next to my table. She was typing furiously on her computer, chasing a deadline.

“Huh? Erm ok I guess?” She said absentmindedly.

“Ok u owe me $300. We’ll find out where we are going by mail.”

Bewildered, and feeling conned (again) my colleague agreed.

Few days later, received this:

Omg sport shoes 😧

What is “thin long pants”???

Are we going to climb Mount Rinjani???

Scarier and scarier!!!

Date loomed closer and fear turned to worry when the mail did not arrive. WHERE ARE WE GOING????

2 days before the trip I emailed the Anywhr team and they promptly emailed us our tickets and itinerary.

I now know where we were going,

But guess who printed everything out and recreated the Anywhr envelope?

Me.

And guess where we were going?

Mui Ne, Vietnam.

Where?!

Check out my journey here:

So would you go travel to somewhere you know nothing about?

YES.

Did I enjoy it?

IMMENSELY.

Will I do it again?

ABSOLUTELY.

Do I recommend it to u?

YES YES YES!

When Girls Travel: 5 Things about Hua Hin

During the fasting month, I travelled with my bestfriends to Hua Hin, a fancy schmancy getaway town frequented by Bangkokians and the Royal Thai family.

It’s just a quick drive away, you can just rent a super comfy van or simply buy a train ticket from Bangkok all the way to Hua Hin.

Usually I’d go through the trouble of going via train, but hey it’s the fasting month so I arranged everything to be as easy as possible – HAHA. The van picked us up at the hotel and we zoomed to Hua Hin.

FYI I booked a van from 12goasia, which basically is a booking engine for vans, taxis, busses, ferries, trains. First time trying them and we were quite pleased!

Anyway, here are 5 things about Hua Hin!

1. It is a beautiful and quiet beach town!

Me and my girlfriends spend whole days just hanging out at the beach!

2. So many affordable beachfront resorts and gentle waves!

This was very evident in the booking process! There were so many good deals around and we were super spoilt for choice!

We love the resort we were staying at, but it was just the tip of the iceberg! There were so many to fit your budget, your group, or your requirements!

All resorts were designed to be super private, safe, and surrounded with security (humans and strategic foliage) to ensure that we don’t have to worry about a thing!

Our resort, The Crest Santora, was located I suppose on the main resort belt, and was a beachfront property. The room can comfortably fit us 5, and as u can see, more!

The area is so beautiful and tastefully designed too!

3. People come here to play pretend!

Hua Hin is full of themed malls, parks and gardens and it is such a joy to take photos in! In fact, we took so many pictures! Until I wanted to pass out from the heat!

See below!

Pretend you’re in Santorini

Pretend you’re in Venice

Pretend you’re a mermaid

Pretend you’re in Holland? Swiss farm? (This one a bit confusing)

Pretend you’re upside down

The above all taken at the:

The Venezia Hua Hin

Santorini Park

Swiss Sheep Farm

4. They preserve their heritage in new and interesting ways!

I love the way they try to incorporate the old and the new – like the beautiful Plearn Wan an open air mall/shopping village, which was actually like a living museum.

Then there’s the railway station which I think is the most beautiful train station I’ve ever seen in my life! It is maintained so well and is extremely clean. Some railway staff were even wearing old vintage uniforms and really brought in an awesome vibe.

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5. Delicious seafood!

The thing about travelling while fasting is u really only have 1 meal at sunset and plenty of snacks only at night.

Also, you are super hungry so you cant really judge if the food is genuinely delicious or you’re just super hungry 😂

However i reaaaaaaaaaally enjoyed the meals we had! It could be the fasting, it could be the food or it could just be the company! I love all the meals we had and i love that Hua Hin is halal friendly with an abundance of seafood! Have fish will eat!

Here we are at a seaside restaurant recommended by our taxi driver ❤️

And here’s one meal we had at the night market before shopping!

I recommend Hua Hin to people of all ages and highly recommend it for best friend trips, couple trips, family trips and especially if you are the type who looooooooves to take photos! 😂

However, I don’t really recommend this place for fasting month hahahahah. Theres so much delicious food and outdoor activities that you don’t wanna miss! For us we were too exhausted and thirsty to do anything! 😂

Hua Hin is easily accessible from Bangkok. Royal Brunei flies to Bangkok daily.

The end!

How to Renew Your Passport

As a Bruneian, we have one of the stronger passports in the world – ranked 23rd by Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index. As such, we are eligible for visa-free travel to a total of 151 countries including US (only ESTA needed), the EU. So I'm super psyched to be a holder of one 😂

However, call me weird but one of those things that gives me terrible anxiety are stuff like renewing passports.

On the night before I usually obsess about how I need to be there at 7am before they open so that they don't run out of queue numbers, terrorise everyone about why can't I do this online? Why this? Why that? People are going to stare at me cause I dunno anything, will there be labels telling me where to go and if I'm in the right place? 😂😂😂

Introvert problems.

So today I finally went to renew my passport and it went really well, haha!

However, for people with the same kind of documentation anxiety as me, I've compiled a step by step guide on how to do it.

STEP ONE: Make an appointment.

Did you know that you now can make an appointment for passport renewal?

All you have to do is simply call their number at 2381856 or 2382257 between 830am to 1130am to book a slot convenient for you.

Remember though:

– Call at least a day earlier
– Come 15 minutes before your appointment
– Have all documentation ready

OR

STEP ONE: COME EARLY

HOWEVER! If like me, you didn't know about this whole appointment thing, don't worry!

Walk-ins are welcome too!

BUT! COME EARLY!

How early is early? Well, depends on you haha.

I came at about 840am on a Saturday and my number was 56. My friend was there at 730am and his number was 10. When I sat, he was just leaving.

So the earlier u are, higher chance u have of completing the process faster!

Note: There is a quota of how many walk in customers they can accept per day so on certain days if you come late, there may be a chance of u not being entertained.

STEP TWO: Make sure all your documents are ready

All you need is a:

  • Form – duly completed and signed (You can get this at the venue itself but if you like to fill them in early, you can download the forms available here)
  • Copy of IC
  • Copy of Passport
  • BND60

STEP THREE: Submit your form & then wait in line

The place to submit your form is at the Third Floor, the room on your far left.


There is a counter, and a friendly and helpful man who will assign u a number and assist you.

After that, you sit and wait for your name to be called.

Bring books, powerbank, knitting kit – the wait can take from 30 to 90 minutes or in my case, 1 hour.

STEP 4: Get your photo taken!

This part is le simple. The lovely staff will assist you.

First, you record your fingerprints on their digital scanner, and then, photo time!

FYI, the photo needs to have your ears visible and hey, smile!

STEP 4: Payment!

There will be a counter for payment and they will provide a receipt with pickup date.

STEP 5: Finished!

The passport will be done in 3 days. HOWEVER!

Look what came in by SMS at 422pm 😂

Well done to the Department of Immigration & National Registration for being awesome and efficient. 🙂

Hope this article helps you a bit with your passport renewing anxiety. 😂

Penang I Love You: Two Nights, Delicious (Halal) Food and The Most Beautiful Hotel Ever

 

Penang is one of my most favourite destinations.

Before, when I visited for the very first time, I keep on telling my husband that he would love it there. I’m so happy that finally he is here and I was right – he absolutely finds Penang so wonderful!

From all the vintage finds, the restored buildings, the delicious RICE (he is a big fan of rice), and zipping around the city to see Penang’s sights and sounds, he declared – “Sayang, I love Penang.”

As two people who most of the time don’t see eye to eye (we generally clash opinions on pretty much everything) – we recognise how rare this is  that we actually agree on this hahaha.

As we came here to chillax, we have the most relaxed itinerary ever!

DAY 1

Took the ETS from KL Sentral to Butterworth. ETS is the new electronic train system that is supposedly the fastest in South East Asia. From KL Sentral to Penang, it took us 4 hours.

I bought our train tickets here at BusOnlineTicket for RM79 (BND25). What a deal!

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I love train travel. As much as possible, whenever there’s a train option, I’d always opt for it. They are cheap, very comfortable, and always comes with food! Hehe.

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However, it was SO COLD. Prepare to bring a jacket hahaha.

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Arrived in Butterworth! This is also called “mainland” for the locals. From Butterworth you take a ferry or drive up the Penang Bridge to get to Georgetown.

So we walked to the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal, located right next to the Butterworth Train Station. Ask around if you are not sure. 🙂 People around this area is super friendly!

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It’s a short walk to the right, after you exit the train station.

The ferry ride costs RM1.20 (BND0.40) which is like SO MURAH hahah.

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Recommended! Scenic and beautiful – not the fastest way to get from Butterworth to Georgetown but certainly one of the more interesting.

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Upon arrival, we planned to get a taxi to our hotel. But guess what? No taxis wanted to take us! We said Love Lane and they all were like mehhhh… How rude!

So I opened my phone and tried checking where it was – 10 minute walk away. Is that why the taxis didn’t want to take us? I don’t really know till this day. Haha.

So we just walked!

Good thing we did too. Eventhough the weather was blisteringly hot (it was noon afterall with not a cloud in sight!), the walk took longer than 10 minutes because we keep on stopping for pictures!

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Checked into the most BEAUTIFUL hotel ever! Everything from the layout, to the hotel staff, to they way they talk to us – made us feel the Penang magic!

Highly recommend this hotel to everyone! It’s called 23 Love Lane and it is a bit on the lux side but completely worth it.

The hotel is a refurbished home, and as I entered in for the first time, they greeted us and served us with an icy drink and helped us with our luggage and I felt really at home!

After checking in, we decided it was too hot outside to explore. I had the most delicious cold shower and actually NAPPED!!!!!!!! We switched the aircond off and with the Adabi style windows open and the wind blowing in…. WOW!

You all know I never nap in the afternoons, but that was so fabulous! ❤

Later, after my shower, and nap. I put on my face again and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at the Lobby.

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I tell you this hotel is so intuitive heheh.

After, we sort of set out to explore the neighbourhood on foot and see see. We saw a couple of local tourists (Malaysians but not from Penang) negotiating and then riding scooters. We realised that the scooters were for rent.

Curious, we asked how much. RM40 (BND12) per day.

YES PLEASE!

 

We were sold!

All we had to do was leave 1 passport and payment upfront.

5 minutes later we zipped along Penang towards Penang Hill. Well actually we didn;t have plans so we didnt really know where to go so I just randomly chose Penang Hill – which coincidentally the Scooter Guy mentioned during his “safety briefing” haha.

Funny bit was since this was a split second decision made when we were already on the bike, it was not communicated to Marul.. So while I navigated with Waze – he just followed us  for 20 minutes trying to figure out where we were going HAHAHAHAHA.

SO FUNNY! So much trust he puts in us hahahahahaha.

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So Penang Hill we ended up and I realised Penang has definitely invested to upgrade their tourism infrastructure!

We rode the funicular – which was not like how I remembered it – the wait was very cooling so I was not tired – plus there were seats provided!  Last time, it was a slow train – with a very uncomfortably balmy wait, now it went up so fast and there was aircond and fans provided.

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Siuk jua tu!

On top of Penang Hill, there is a fabulous panoramic view of Georgetown. We gazed jealously as we saw a drone zipping around on the hill, imagining what fabulous videos the owner must have.

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Penang Hill is a must go if only for the view!

Then, I was sort of wandering around… as I usually do (I always end up separated from the group when I travel somehow – hahah I guess I’m a wanderer) – I saw some poorly written ad. Flying video.

I realised the drone we saw earlier was for rent!

I quickly went to find Marul and told him! We were so excited hahahahaha – and guess how much it was? An affordable RM80 only and we even get to keep the pendrive it came in haha.

Check out our video below.

When we finally came down it was dark.

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We met up with Amir – my family in Penang!

It was so FUN! Why? Because he was also on his scooter so we did a scooter convoy and he brought us for NASI KANDAR!

Nasi kandar is my ultimate favourite in Penang. SERIOUSLY I can eat it morning nooand night all day everyday hahaa. I dont know what it is about Penang nasi kandar that makes it so NYAMAN?????? Sedappppppppp….. It really is the water I think.

I ate so much. We also just realised it’s our first real meal of the day. HAHA.

After all that food, u would think we would waddle home.

We didnt.

It’s called SSEAYP revenge. You feed your guests until they wanna pengsan hahahahahah. Amir brought us for rojak at the Esplanade!

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Both kinds were so SEDAPPPPPP.

THEN barutah balik hahahahahahahahah.

DAY 2

Day 2 in Penang began with breakfast. At 23 Love Lane, the breakfast icomes complimentary with the room. You order off a menu and there’s a bread, fruit, jam and cereal buffet as well.

Here are my Eggs Benedict and here is the most beautiful photo di dunia. Hahahah! Kabus!

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After, we decided to go konon mural hunting. For some reason, GD and Marul think we shouldn’t use the scooter, and rent a bicycle instead – cause supposedly it’s “easier” to manoevre.

I don’t know why they have such high regard of my cycling skills. They just want to torture me.

Anyway so we set about looking for bicycle for rent (dan mesti yang lawa).

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We found this one place that has bicycles but actually not for rent hahaa. Also not for sale. Saja collection!!! The owner we spoke to said they used to rent bicycles out but the cost of maintenance was too high so they don’t do it anymore. Now he reproduces his father’s beautiful paintings of Penang onto magnets and sells those for RM5 each.

SO interesting people’s stories are I feel.

Anyway, finally managed to rent a bike for RM10 (BND3) for 24 hours (seriously!?) and off we went for mural hunting.

SO FUN! FYI, all the murals are also Pokestops haha. Also, you tend to bump into the sme people also doing the same as you so u end up making friends too! #siukbekenalandanmencarijodoh

Some information about these murals, they’re created by Ernest Zacharevic

Ernest Zacharevic was commissioned in 2012 by the Penang Municipal Council to create a street art project in Georgetown called ‘Mirrors George Town‘ which consisted of painting several large scale murals in different location of the old town.

(Source)

I find it so fascinating since Penang is a UNESCO Heritage Site so Zacharevic must have needed to create artworks that enhances that the local culture and lifestyle sama semuanya ani inda boleh di padam! Must have been so challenging!

Mural hunting somehow brought us to the Chew Jetty.

Isn’t it so reminiscent of old school Kampong Ayer? GD said it really reminded him of his childhood when he went to Kedai Anak Yatim to buy tikam tikaman, and keropok!

For me I find it so quaint!

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Also here we had the most fabulous Durian Icecream, with real durian! A MUST HAVE on a hot day such as this.

We were feeling a bit FRIED also from the sun so we decided to take a breather. Back to the hotel we went! Unfortunately Penang is not suitable to explore during noon lest you get sunstroke!

I’ve never taken so many showers in a day hahaha.

Anyway, once refreshed, we emerged from the airconditioning HUNGRY!

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Sheesh I never learn. Kabus!

Hungry means HAMEEDIYAH RESTAURANT!!!!! This is one of the must go restaurants in Penang, even locals say so!

Off we went on our scooter.

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And the place is just 10 minutes away. FYI I am the navigator as I’m the only one not driving and able to hold a phone.

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Macam makan 10 orang.

After a big meal, what does one do? DESSERT OF COURSE!!!!

The quintessential dessert in Penang is the Penang Road Teo Chew Chendol. NYAMAN BERABIS DI DUNIA.

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I still have intense cravings for this chendol to this day.

Also, how crazy fast are those aunties making the chendol!?????

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Nyaman berabis!

Next activity of the day involves going to the highest building in Penang – KOMTAR!

KOMTAR building actually had a super epic glass bottomed rainbow skywalk  at the 68th Floor which public can go up to see. You buy tickets at the Level 5 (I think) and you get to choose if you want to just go up there or want to go up, and have dinner at the restaurant also.

It is open from 10am-6pm but after 6pm you have the following options:

  1. Diners – RM138 / RM168 /RM198 (each tier pricing with an option for main course top-up)
  2. Diners Child – RM98
  3. Non-Diners – RM118 (inclusive of a glass beer, house pouring red or white, soft drinks or chilled juices + 2 sticks of satay with peanut sauce, onion, cucumber & nasi impit)

We chose the most expensive option cause WHY NOT? RM198 (BND66) comes with an 8 course degustation menu and we haven’t had fine dining yet this trip! 🙂

But first, it was a sunset that we were after – on the skywalk.

Here are the boys.

And here is me.

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SO SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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But my appetite remained intact.

Semua nyaman!

Another night of waddling home!

DAY 3

This morning we woke up FULL OF PURPOSE.

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We had a few goals in mind and the all involve FOOD!!!!

1. ROTI BAKAR HUTTON LANE

That runny egg, the charcoal toast. NYAMAN.

2. PENANG CHAR KWAY TEOW

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This is like…. omg how can we go to Penang without having Char Kway Teow???? We had this at Bee Hwa Cafe, located not far from the Roti Bakar place.

After that we went to tapau more chendol at Penang Road and set back to the hotel for check out uwaaaaaaa…

We grabbed a cab to drop us off at the Ferry Terminal. As we were waiting we were wondering where to pay for ferry and rupanya free! Guys they don’t charge money for all rides from Georgetown back to Butterworth but there is a wait hehe.

Like I said earlier ferries are not the fastest way to get in and out of Penang.

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Back on the mainlaind we had 10 minutes to spare to go on the train (sikit  lagi nda sampat – we had to run a bit – but we made it and we were sweating buckets hehe!).

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Siuk!

I love Penang.

Thank you to my travel buddies for being so awesome as well. Next post – Kuala Lumpur!

Check out also Marul’s Vlogs below cause sometimes I steal his phone and take videos too hahahahaha: