Penang’s Secret Garden

Hidden deep in the recesses of one of George Town’s many rows of Chinese shophouses is a rather magical alleyway, a quaint little secret garden of greenery!

Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah
Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah

Complete with clever will artsy pieces of natural and artificial!

Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah

Bringing a dead appliance to life!

Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah

It may look like a creepy dilapidated alley from outside, but I’d say it’s perfectly welcoming

Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah

And it wouldn’t be complete without bikes!

Come bike lah!

P.S. I mean, I could waffle on for another 230 words about nothing much in particular, if for no other reason than to make the SEO engine Google slave happy. So much of what we do online has become dictated by the search engine giant that we are at its mercy. Remember a time when people wrote random essays on random things like secret gardens for no other reason than for the hell of it? Well…they still do! But now they have to keep keywords and optimised content at the back of their mind so Google doesn’t give them the flick. I mean, sure I could just copy and paste the text “Penang Secret Garden” over and over again (interspersed enough so that the Google crawler doesn’t get suspicious and downvote me even further into the blue nothingness), but that would be far less entertaining than typing up this seemingly coherent piece of prose which is much ado about nothing; much like Seinfeld, but see how entertaining that was! And I could probably paragraph better for readability and such humdrum, but who really reads this stuff anyway? Go read about the latest Wolverine movie, why don’t you?

Chiang Rai Cycling

Chiang Rai Bikelah

Chiang Rai Bikelah Clock Tower
The clock tower of DOOM! Although it would seem everything is spiky in Thailand

Chiang Rai Bikelah Chiang Rai Bikelah

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chiang Rai Bikelah Chiang Rai Bikelah Chiang Rai Bikelah Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling

Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling
The endless road

Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling

Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling
Doggy came to say hi
Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling
A man and his little pupper
Chiang Rai Elephant
The mighty Thai oliphaunt!

Chiang Rai Bikelah Food Chiang Rai Bikelah Food Chiang Rai Bikelah Girl Banana Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling

Chiang Rai Bikelah Coconut
The happiest coconut there ever was

Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling

Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling
The kids from the local orphanage came to greet us
Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling
It’s lean, it’s green and it’s spiky. Typical Thai
Chiang Rai Bikelah Cycling
Serrated spears that pierce the heavens

The Season To Be Jolly

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Scuttle in for the crusty crab cakes!
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
The face of regret
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Gimme a kiss, sailor!
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
That’s some well-documented workplace abuse
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Prost!
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Santa, can you come give me a lift home?

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Someone’s feeling lucky tonight
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
You are the winner!
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Endless regret
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Let the drinking games commence!

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Hail Caesar!

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Speech time!

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Cheers!

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
There’s a good boy
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Feed the machine!
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
Dinner is served!

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
The great discs smile favourably upon us all
Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
A camera!? Madman!

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner
A most unique wrapping style

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner Caritech Allstaff Bikelah Dinner

Caritech Allstaff Bikelah DinnerSugar? No please!

Linking Penang By Bike

On the 17th of December 2016, Penang launched a full-scale bike share across the George Town region.

The Chief Minister of Penang and all his administration came to officiate and show Penangites firsthand how to operate these newfangled contraptions called bicycles.

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Hush while the authorities are speaking
Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Quizzical side of the CM of Penang
Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Man of light

As close to mirth as I’ve ever seen him
Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Komtar in a bike basket
Bikelah
That phone is so thin…I must have it!
Bikelah
I’ve been spotted
Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Funky camera tricks
Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Salute the icon

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Visiting a Penang icon

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Armenian dawn

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Tranquility of flight
Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Look at you looking at me

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah

Bikelah
All the authorities of the Penang state

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah

Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
It’s a bird, it’s a plane!
Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
Looks a little small for him
Penang Bike Share Link Bikelah
The champion rider

Go to your nearest station and try out the LinkBike today!

Penang International Cross Channel Swim 2016

Penang International Cross Channel Swim 2016 Camera Roll

penang-channel-swim-bikelah-eventpenang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-02 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-03 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-04penang-channel-swim-chinese-swimmers-bikelah-event-05 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-06 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-07 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-08 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-09 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-10 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-11 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-12 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-13 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-14 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-15 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-16 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-17 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-18 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-19 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-20 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-21 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-23 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-26 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-27 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-28 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-29 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-30 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-31 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-32 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-33 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-34 penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-35 penang-channel-swim-champion-bikelah-event-22penang-channel-swim-ambulance-rescue-bikelah-event-53penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-36penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-37penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-38penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-39penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-40penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-41penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-44penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-45penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-48penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-50penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-54penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-57penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-58penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-59penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-lady-vet-winnerspenang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-lady-winnerspenang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-men-vet-winnerspenang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-men-winnerspenang-channel-swim-boat-bikelah-event-55Penang Cross Channel Swimpenang-channel-swim-china-flag-bikelah-event-48penang-channel-swim-chinese-swimmer-bikelah-event-43penang-channel-swim-happy-swimmers-bikelah-event-51Penang International Cross Channel Swim 2016 Camera Roll

penang-channel-swim-andy-bikelah-event-47
Scandy Andy
penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-46
Most photogenic swimmer
penang-channel-swim-bikelah-event-49
I ain’t giving you my number, girl!
penang-channel-swim-china-bikelah-event-48
The boys chilling down by the beach

Penang’s annual cross channel swim is gaining traction again after a very long hiatus. Veteran swimmers fondly reminisce the early editions of this swim that took place decades ago.

Penang International Cross Channel Swim 2016

This year the Penang International Cross Channel Swim attracted over 300 swimmers to the coast of Penang! Visitors from all over the world flock to swim the shores of Malaysia, to brave the powerful currents of the Straits of Malacca, to make the crossing between the Penang Island and the mainland.

The aspect of these international events that I enjoy the most is the people you meet – their stories and motivations.

I was on the bus returning to Penang Island from Butterworth, after a morning of fun and excitement. Everyone was sweaty and exhausted – most fell asleep almost instantly. The bus ride was at least half an hour, but it certainly felt much longer. I ended up sitting next to this young Indian chap, and we struck up a conversation.

Turns out he hails from Kuala Lumpur, and he came all the way up to Penang all by himself just for this event! This was his very first major swimming event too.

He had recently taken up swimming in an effort to get some exercise and build some muscle, and he happened to glance upon this event on the internet. So he signed himself up and hopped on a bus bound for Penang.

The sheer act of travelling alone to an unfamiliar location usually deters most people, but what this guy did blows me away. Keep in mind the Penang International Cross Channel Swim is a 6 kilometre swim through salty, sea water with winds and currents and nothing on either side (or down below, for that matter). This boy had only started swimming in a controlled pool environment a few months ago!

To put things in perspective, the average Olympic sized swimming pool is 50 metres.

Olympic Size Swimming Pool
Your regular Olympic size swimming pool

And 6 kilometres is 6,000 metres, which works out to be 120 laps. 120 times back and forth across an Olympic size swimming pool.

Keep in mind the Penang International Cross Channel Swim is a 6 kilometre swim through salty, sea water with winds and currents and nothing on either side (or down below, for that matter)

I don’t know about you, but 20 laps is already a decent amount for me when I hit the pool.

So suffice to say, he didn’t manage to finish the swim. I don’t fault him for that at all.

He was under-prepared, under-equipped and not all that well-informed. But the important thing was he had a wonderful experience.

Now someone who did finish the grueling swim was Mr. Jose Luis Larrosa, the champion of the Penang International Cross Channel Swim. This man hightailed it across the sea in record time, without pause or hesitation.

Penang Cross Channel Swim
Presenting the champion – Mr. Jose Luis Larrosa

I had the opportunity to speak with him, and he is a world-class long distance swimmer that does an average of 20 kilometres in the water every week. That’s the sound of my mind being blown. Again.

Mr. Larrosa hails from Spain, from an elite group of dedicated swimmers that travel around the globe in search of the best spots to do lots and lots of swimming. His next port of call was Port Dickson the next day for another big swim. There is no doubt that swimming is his passion, and he lives and breathes for events such as this.

When asked about our local environment, he says he very much enjoyed swimming in tropical waters, although ours is a little warmer than he’s used to. He said he loves Penang and will be back more often. We might see him again in the coming year!

Another interesting story is this Japanese gentleman that had contacted me prior to this event. His name is Meisei, and he wrote to me months before asking about the first Penang Cross Channel Swim from 2015.

He lamented that he had missed out on last year’s event and really, really wanted to make it to this one. So I promised I’d keep him updated on the details of the swim this year.

And true to his word, he came. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person at the event, and when he spoke his name I remembered him instantly.

This is an email he sent me:

Meisei Email

Now I didn’t organise this event, but this email struck a chord with me. With a little more curiosity and openness on his part, I found out that his wife had become deeply ill back in 2015 and so Mr. Meisei did not attend the swim then.

He told me his wife loved to watch him swim. Since his wife’s passing, every time Meisei swam it reminded him of his wife. And so he dedicated this Cross Channel swim to her and memories of their time together.

If that’s not a touching love story, I don’t know what is.

And so now we turn to next year’s Penang International Cross Channel Swim! Tentative date is the 25th of March 2017. We look forward to seeing you there on the day! And hopefully the jellyfish stay away this time as well.

Corporate Photography Time!

Corporate photography time everybody! Even businessmen have a candid side, you know.

Business Networking
What sorcery goes on in the hall of the Grand Wizarding Council of Suits?
Business Networking
Busy around the table
Business Networking
Toastmaster skill training
Business Networking
Under a violet sky
Business Networking
A boy and his new toy
Business Networking Penang
Pro presentation with props
Business Networking Penang
What’s in the box?
Business Networking Penang
You can’t beat the shaolin monk!

Business Networking Penang

Business Networking Penang

Business Networking Penang
The happy trio

Business Networking 04

Business Networking Penang
Ever the joker
Doing her hair on the go
Doing her hair on the go

Business Networking 07

The corporate stomping ground
The corporate stomping ground

Business Networking 10

Business Networking Penang
We are the winners!