A DATE WITH AIR ASIA BLOGGERS COMMUNITY IN #AABCPENANGTAKEOVER 2015

080815 marked itself into the history of the Penang blogging scene when Air Asia Bloggers Community (#AABC) in collaboration with the Penang Global Tourism (#MyPenang), had touched down tactfully to conquer the food and heritage sites of George Town, Penang. Some of the Penang bloggers were fortunate enough to be selected to play lead/host to some lucky newfound brothers and sisters whom had hailed from Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and as far as Kota Kinabalu in the #AABC Penang Takeover Challenge 2015. Thanks to Air Asia for such a wonderful event to make those exciting outings linger in our memories.

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After a short morning briefing by Ashman Mahfudz from Air Asia Communication Department at Olive Tree Hotel where the bloggers were lodged in, we were divided into 5 teams. Each team had 1-2 Penang bloggers (Criz Lai, JJ Tan & Steven Goh, CK Lam & Lingzie Khoo, Xherlyn Choong plus Sock Peng & Kuen Hoong) as guides to lead them through the expedition and social media tasks.

To my surprise, I was assigned to my team mates, some whom I had taken out a day earlier for some pre-feasting meals. They consisted of Evelyn Ang Loo, Jason Chan (team leader) and Sally Lai (my new found sister with the surname Lai~ :P) We were then given a chic for the 5 required tasks, a Penang Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) pass and RM300 as our expenditure. Our tasks were as stated below:

1. Best Breakfast in Penang – Discover the Best Breakfast Place
2. Penangness – Resemble Penang?
3. Penang Essentials – Guide for Tourists Visiting Penang for Food & Heritage Trail
4. Heritage Trail
5. Eat Penang Style

The tasks may sound easy but it really needed some sit downs to strategically pen down every ideas and locations we have on our minds. Upon disembarking from the travel coach, which had shuttled us from the hotel to the heritage Chowrasta Market along Jalan Penang, we had decided to head down to the nearest “kopitiam” to brainstorm our ideas. We ended up at Kedai Makan Hoe Peng at the junction of Jalan Penang/Jalan Kampung Malabar to have some light breakfast and at the same time digesting the tasks we were assigned to. Finally, with some painstaking walks towards our planned destinations, we managed to come out with 5 suitable entries as shown below. (All the 5 Instagram photo entries are of courtesy from Jason Chan of www.walauwei.com).

#1 Best Breakfast in Penang – Discover the Best Breakfast Place

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#2 Penangness – Resemble Penang

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#3 Penang Essentials – Guide for Tourists Visiting Penang for Food & Heritage Trail

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#4 Heritage Trail

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#5 Eat Penang Style

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Upon completion of the challenge, we were then shuttled to Queensbay Mall to witness another event – The AirAsia’s Battle of the Year 2015. After spending some time in the mall, we were then sent back to Olive Tree Hotel for freshening up prior to our dinner.

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The finale dinner was held at Yeng Keng Hotel, Penang with the serving of Hainanese dishes under skillful Resident Head Chef, Chef Tan.

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After dinner, we all gathered outside the restaurant to hear out the final result of the challenge. Prior to that, a lucky draw session was held amongst the Penang bloggers whom had assisted in guiding the guests in the challenge. The top 3 winners for the draw went to CK Lam, JJ Tan and Steven Goh with free flight tickets to Medan, Bangkok and Kota Kinabalu respectively. The prizes were given out by Mr. Kenneth Tan, head of AirAsia Penang. Finally, the crowd grew tensed as the result of the challenge was about to be announced. Team 2 won the challenge and can you guess who were the people in Team 2? OMG! Me and my team mates! Our Team 2 and we won the grand prize of the night. Each of us received a complimentary ticket to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. You will sure be reading a lot of food reviews from me in Taiwan real soon. To my team members… You guys rock! Let’s do it again some time in the near future.

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Thanks to AirAsia for bringing the AABC bloggers to Penang and together with Penang Global Tourism in organizing such fun-filled outing. It was great to meet up with some old and new friends. I’ll sure look forward to more events to come.

I'm thirsty for a drink now. Would you be kind enough to treat me?

WARM UP TOWARDS ARTHUR’S DAY CELEBRATION AT SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT SELANGOR MALAYSIA

Leading up to Arthur’s Day on the 27th of September 2013, Penangites had a fun-filled night of fun, music and pints of the black brew at the arTHURSDAY party at SOHO Free House yesterday.

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(From left to right): Julie Kuan, Team Guinness Malaysia, Leslie Liang, Area Sales Manager, Guinness Anchor Berhad, Dave Chin, Owner of Soho Free House Penang and Thompson Chuah, Team Guinness Malaysia, gracing the event.

The event which was part of a series of mini parties organized by GUINNESS® Malaysia towards the big celebration party to be held at Sepang International Circuit, Selangor, Malaysia. Bloggers and fans were spoilt for choice with exciting games, activities and prizes.

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The crowd’s favourite activity of the night was what they called the ‘Human Jukebox’, where GUINNESS® fans who were bold enough to step up to the play, had the power to choose the music of their choice. Local celebrity emcee, Cody Lim brought in much fun and laughter to the event with spot games and trivia quiz with the crowd. As the evening eased into night, the party ended with some lucky winners walking home with free tickets to the Arthur’s Day™ concert!

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The bloggers and guests had a fun time learning the correct way to fill their own glass to the brim as how a top class GUINNESS Draught should be.

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All bloggers went home happily with a set of limited edition miniature bottles each.

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More mini parties would be held at the following places. Step up to the challenge and be bold enough to participate in the exciting activities at any of our arTHURSDAY parties happening nationwide, and you could be in the running to win a pair of Arthur’s Day 2013 tickets!

19 September 2013
The Beer Factory, Sunway Giza
Malones, Sooka Sentral

21 September 2013
History Bistroz, Ipoh
Phat Barrels, Kuantan

26 September 2013
Backyard, Sri Hartamas
Sid’s Pub, Bangsar South

So don’t miss out on all the fun and get ready to be part of the most exciting rock & roll concert at Sepang International Circuit, Selangor this coming 27 September 2013. Below are some quotes by the participating bands. Log on to www.arthursday.com.my or www.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia for more information.

FIVE FOR FIGHTING (John Ondrasik): “I am very excited to be a part of the Arthur’s Day celebrations in Malaysia! Join me and millions around the world as we toast to one of the boldest man in history, Arthur Guinness and to those like him, the Arthur Guinness fund awardees, my comrades that will be rocking the Arthur’s Day stage this year and all of you fans out there! To Arthur!”

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ALL AMERICAN REJECTS (Mike Kennerty, Tyson Ritter, Chris Gaylor & Nick Wheeler): “Arthur’s Day is going to be one hell of ride and we have an exciting gig prepared especially for you, our Malaysian fans. We really appreciate the Arthur’s Day message on social entrepreneurship and how the Arthur Guinness fund has made an impact on thousands of people around the world. We are glad to be part of the celebrations this year in tribute to his unbelievable legacy.”

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THE WANTED (Jay McGuiness, Siva Kaneswaran, Nathan Sykes, Max George & Tom Parker): “We’re excited to be part of the Malaysian celebrations happening at Sepang International Circuit on the 27th of September 2013! We’re ready along with our comrades Five for Fighting and All American Rejects to rock the Arthur’s day stage this year as we pay tribute to Arthur Guinness and his legacy of goodness. To Arthur!”

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Now you might wonder how to get your hands on exclusive Arthur’s Day tickets and be part of the most epic Arthur’s Day celebrations yet. The easiest most sure-some way to get your hands on Arthur’s Day tickets is to visit www.arthursday.com.my and to purchase your tickets to guarantee your spot at what’s set to be a rocking night of music!

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For 3 major international concerts in one night; tickets prices are unbelievable! Ticket prices are going at:-

EARLY BIRD (RM 98 until 8 September 2013);
NORMAL (RM 118 from 9 September 2013 onward);
AT THE DOOR (RM 138 at the entrance to concert on 27 September 2013)

On top of that, in line with this year’s theme, “honoring those who make bolder choices”, GUINNESS® invites you to be bold, step up to the play and sing your way to some awesome discounts! Visit www.arthursday.com.my, click on the “sing for discounts” tab, sing your heart away with this year’s rocking artists and stand a chance to get up to RM30 off your ticket purchase.

Stay tuned to Hitz and Mix fm: You can also tune in daily to Hitz.fm at 92.9 fm and Mix fm at 94.5 fm to participate in their on-air contest for a chance to get your hands on some exclusive complimentary tickets to Arthur’s Day 2013! Limited tickets to be won so do stay tuned!

Your ticket to Arthur’s Day with E! and Diva Universal: Our official TV partners, E! and Diva Universal are featuring an online contest for fans to win their Arthur’s Day tickets for a limited time only. Log on to www.facebook.com/eonlineas and stand a chance to win and join in the remarkable celebration. “To Arthur!”

I'm thirsty for a drink now. Would you be kind enough to treat me?

AN EYE OPENING VISIT TO PERFECT FOOD MANUFACTURING SDN BHD AT ALOR GAJAH @ MALACCA

I’m sure the name Perfect Food Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. might not ring a bell in the minds of many consumers but the name “Julie’s” would. The company is actually behind all the Julie’s biscuits products sold in more than 60 countries throughout the world. During the recent A Date with Bloggers in Melaka event organized by 1asiafoodguide.com and bestmelakaguide.com, we had “A Date with Julie’s”. Romantic isn’t it? Well, it was as we got up close and personal with Julie’s production processes. LOL! Foreign bloggers from Singapore and Philippines joined the Malaysian bloggers team from as far as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru gathered under one common roof for the first time to have a better understanding on the mission and vision of this biscuit manufacturing organization. The company’s motto “Baked with Love” says it all as they sincerely did share out their lovely bakes from the heart~ 🙂

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From a humble beginning more than 3 decades ago, the brand Julie’s has today become a well known household brand by winning many distinctive awards such as the Superbrands Award, Putra Award and Asia Excellence Brand Award, to name some. Throughout the years, the company has also received numerous certifications such as the ISO 1901:2000 (design, modeling, manufacture and delivery of products & services), HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points), HACCP (Ministry of Health), OHSAS 18001 (British Standard for Occupational Hazard & Safety Management Systems), GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), ISO 22000 (interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs & HACCP principles) and the latest being the HALAL (permissible food based on Islamic law) certification.

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After a short briefing on the company’s profile by Mr. Ng Teng Chai, General Manager of Perfect Food Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. (Julie’s) and staff, we were then taken on a tour to the production line. As there was a rule against any recording in the production room, I’m sorry to say that there would not be any photos available here to share out but I’ll try my best to get every detail in here as possible. As food safety and hygiene are extremely important in their daily operations, we were required to dress up with protective gears from head to toe. This is one of the standards set to ascertain all activities carried out within the premises have the required quality and safety at all stages from primary production through processing, storage and distribution prior to reaching the consumers. Even with the “bathing cap” to prevent hair droppings, mouth piece to prevent unnecessary bacteria, below knee covered overcoats and shoe covers to prevent foreign matters, we were also required to wash our hands with anti micro-organisms hand lotion and rolled with adhesive tape prior to entering the production room. Upon entering the room, we were again asked to sanitize our hands with some antiseptic lotion. That’s how serious Julie’s is in hygiene to ensure their food safety.

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Here’s a group shot of the future “operation room surgeons and nurses”. LOL!

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Upon entering the production room, you can feel the intense humidity from the long line of conveyor belt baking ovens. We were shown all the stages of producing the aromatic biscuits, from ingredients weighing, mixing, fermentation, forming, baking, cooling, metal detection, sandwiching, wrapping, weight checking, cartooning and right up to storage. Thereafter, the end products would be dispatched to respective retailers before being sold to consumers. Below is the summarized overview of the whole procedures.

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The end products would look like these little packages with crunchy biscuits inside. In the production of these biscuits, no preservatives have been added. Only permissible natural colorings have been added and these colorings are ten folds costlier than artificial coloring. Anything displayed on the shelves for more than 9 months would be taken back to ensure the freshness of all Julie’s products. Rejected products would not be resold on the market place, resulting in roughly a million ringgit worth of product being destroyed yearly.

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Perfect Food Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. (Julie’s) produces 4 types of biscuits, namely crackers, sandwiches, wafer rolls and assorted biscuits in tins. You can purchase any of these products practically off the shelves in any of the leading supermarkets, hypermarkets or even grocery stores throughout the world. More varieties such as the upcoming productions of Sultana Biscuits would be available soon. Do keep a look out for the launching.

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On top of their “Aloha” principle in instilling a clean and harmonious working environment, Perfect Food Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. (Julie’s) also carries out their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by sharing their successes with the community by executing their “Share the Love” campaign frequently. Apart from rewarding those “unsung heroes” with some little tokens of appreciation for working at odd hours or days to have a better living, they also have many sponsorships and charity drives to help out those underprivileged society. It’s all about friendship and solidarity in expressing “LOVE” as one entity in humanity. Some of their achievements and events can be viewed at their official website.

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After a brief lunch at the cafeteria, we adjourned to the main entrance of the factory and took a group shot of the Julie’s management with “A Date with Bloggers in Melaka” participants.

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Eventually, we had to bid farewell to the management of Julie’s with Mr. Ng Teng Chai, General Manager of Perfect Food Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. (Julie’s) personally handed out some giveaways for our memorable visit to the factory.

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Coincidentally, I have a true story to share out here. I’m a pet lover and I owned 5 cats at home now. Johann L was the latest stray cat to be adopted into the J Family Kitties on 10 May 2012, barely 9 days away from my trip with “A Date with Bloggers in Melaka”. He was all run down with injuries sustained from some dog bites and is still recovering from those bad wounds. I can’t leave him there to fend for himself right? Our first encounter was with Julie’s and he loves the biscuits ever since. No doubt human food would not suit animals for a long period of time, but I still do pamper him with small bits of the biscuits from time to time as it was that moment of fate that brought us together. What a lucky fella! 🙂

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Lastly, I would like to thank to Perfect Food Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. (Julie’s) for sponsoring the event as well as giving us the first hand opportunity to witness the production line.

Name: JULIE’S @ PERFECT FOOD MANUFACTURING SDN. BHD.
Address:
AG 6876 Jalan Industri 4, Kawasan Perindustrian Alor Gajah,
78000 Alor Gajah, Malaysia.
Contact: 606-556 1401
GPS: 2.361314, 102.20007
Website: http://www.julies.com.my

 

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AN INSIGHT INTO A DATE WITH BLOGGERS IN MELAKA 2012

Criz Bon Appetite together with a few bloggers from Penang had the privileges to be invited to join other bloggers, Facebookers and student chefs from Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Johore, Singapore and Philippines respectively on a field trip organized by the management team from “A Date with Bloggers in Melaka” to the historic centre of Malacca (Melaka), which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 7 July 2008 together with George Town, the capital of Penang. The trip included visitation to Julie’s biscuits manufacturing factory (Perfect Food Manufacturing S/B), hands on cooking lessons on producing some of Malacca’s local delicacies, food reviews on local Hainanese, Portugese and Nyonya cuisine as well as visits to some of the heritage and historical sites in Malacca. I’ll just write a brief here while elaborating more on individual eateries soon at Criz Bon Appetite.

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As for those of us from Penang, we started off our journey late due to some bus engine malfunctions and departed only at 1.00am on the Saturday morning. However, luck wasn’t at our side and the replaced bus also broke down an hour later. Eventually we had to hijack a passing bus and managed to reach Kuala Lumpur by 5.15am. After having an expensive breakfast experience at Petaling Street, we left for Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) at Bandar Tasik Selatan, KL via Pudu Sentral LRT station.

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We spent around 2 hours at TBS utilizing the hi-speed broadband before leaving there by a charted bus for our visitation to Julie’s biscuits manufacturing factory (Perfect Food Manufacturing S/B) located at Alor Gajah, 20km away from the Malacca Central. We were given some briefing on the company profile by the GM, Mr. Ng Teng Chai and staff. Eventually, we were all dressed up like operation room surgeons for a tour into the production line. We had some buffet there before ending up for a group photography session. Everyone was given some biscuits to bring home.

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We then departed to our designated lodging place to check in. My team mates who consisted of the Penang bloggers and chef students from the Berjaya University College of Hospitality and Malaysian Institute of Baking were assigned to Motel Sayang Sayang, just a stone throw away from the famous Jonker Walk (Jalan Hang Jebat).

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After a short rest and freshening up, we walked to Uncle Keong Delicacies for some desserts and light meals. It was great to be served some chilled desserts on such a hot and humid day.

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Immediately after that, we adjourned to Eleven Bistro to savor our Melaka Portuguese dinner. The amount of food served here were humongous. Almost every dish came in large portions, including the Sambal Crabs. We were given a model ship each for our visit.

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After a short rest back at the guesthouse, we departed to Mahkota Parade for the welcoming ceremony, officiated by YB Datuk Wira Latiff bin Tamby Chik, Chairman of the Malacca’s Tourism, Culture and Heritage State Committee. More souvenirs were given by Julie’s and Mahkota Parade.

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The function ended slightly around 9.15pm and some of us managed to linger around the shopping complex for a speedy shopping spree. Well, Nadeje Patisserie, the milli crepe cake house was our target, having a 10% discount given earlier by the management.

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Upon leaving Mahkota Parade at around 10.00pm, our next move was to get back to our respective guesthouse and have a free and easy stroll down Jonker Walk to savor the local delicacies. The night ended with stuffed tummies.

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Surprisingly, my team mates all managed to wake up rather early after a hectic schedule the previous day. By 8.00am, we were already hitting the streets for some sightseeing adventures on our way to breakfast at Cheng Ho Café along Jalan Tokong. It was a nostalgic walk down the Malaccan heritage trail, witnessing the historical structures such as the Kampung Kling Mosque and many other unique architectural and colorful buildings with nicely drawn wall arts.

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Breakfast at Cheng Ho Café was simple with just Stir Fried Rice Vermicelli, Omellette, watermelon and hot beverages.

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The actual action began right after the breakfast as the café was within the premises of the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum. Although the entrance was RM10 (adult) and RM5 (child), we had the privileges to tour around the 3 level museum for free. It was a great experience to learn more on the history of Malacca and the Cino Malay cultural exchange which brought about the trade and commerce, agriculture, industry, fishery, culture, religion and much more in the region.

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We then had a changeover to yellow t-shirts sponsored by Julie’s and headed down to the Malacca Hainan Association for some food demonstrations and hands on practical lessons. Two of the main highlights were the making of the Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls by the women wing of the Association and Suncakes by the proprietor of Mei Zhong Yuan Confectionary S/B.

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Lunch was also provided by the skillful Hainanese ladies from the Association, Nyonya cuisine by Restoran Anak Nyonya and beverages by Jonker Gallery.

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The lunch gathering was graced by the Chief Minister of Malacca, Y.A.B. Datuk Seri Hj. Mohd Ali b. Mohd Rustam. Appreciation certificates signed by the CM were also presented to the sponsors and participants. The lunch ended slightly after 2.00pm.

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While waiting for the next review at Mei Zhong Yuan Confectionary S/B at 3.00pm, we went for a quick shopping spree along the heritage stretches, grabbing whatever items we like. After a short refreshing and repacking at the motel, we headed to Mei Zhong Yuan Confectionary S/B for the review. It was a simple one with us getting samples tasting on some of their signature confectionaries.

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We left the Jonker Walk area around 4.00pm and headed down to Kota A’Farmosa for a nice group shot. There were many interesting sights surrounding this historical site.

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We left Malacca at around 5.00pm and with the weekend traffic jams along the Seremban/Nilai highway stretch, we arrived at the TBS slightly after 7.15pm. We bid each other farewell before departing to our own destinations. The Penang bloggers left for home slightly after midnight, arriving safely back in Penang at 4.30am.

It was a fun-filled but tiring journey for us Penangites but it was a great experience to mingle with old and new found friends. If only we have more time, we could have tied in a closer bond between every participant. All are without lost as we managed to receive many sweet memories from our short visit to Malacca. Thanks to the sponsors for these lovely take home gifts and souvenirs.

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Even my cat loves the smell of the cheesy puff sandwiches given by Julie’s. Thanks for the great hospitality ladies and guys. Let’s hope we can have trips like this in the near future. Until then, let’s keep in touch always~ 🙂

JULIEJOHANN

 

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