The Road to Mandalay

Published in The Peak Malaysia magazine, June 2015:

aubry mennesson

aubry mennesson

aubry mennesson


Sydney, Australia

We visited Sydney for our first time over the New Year’s Eve break and we were simply blown away by the beauty, fun, excitement, and warm hospitality of the Aussies. We quite simply fell in love with Sydney.

As one of the most iconic cities of the world with her world-famous Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Bondi Beach and sparkling waters, Sydney is breathtakingly beautiful. And to ring in New Year’s Eve with Sydney’s amazing fireworks, was just a dream come true. We had our boat bobbing under the Harbour Bridge near the Opera House as we viewed the most spectacular fireworks in the world.

Of course, we did all the touristy stuff such as Opera House, Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, Bondi Beach, Rose Bay, as well as the Northern Beaches like Manly Beach, Freshwater, Palm Beach and more. As images speak louder than words, we highly recommend Sydney as the top destination to visit!

Bondi Beach

Catalina restaurant, Rose Bay

our sea plane at Catalina’s to head to Peat’s Bite

Peat’s Bite, only access by seaplane or boat on Hawkesbury River

great friendly atmosphere in this family-run establishment: Peat’s Bite

Stunning view of Whale Beach, Northern Beaches

Jonah’s restaurant and hotel (Relais & Chateaux), Whale Beach

At Jonah’s

typical surf cafe

Originalo Adrenalin: Shark Cage Rage

Well you certainly can’t accuse me of not “putting money where my mouth is” as I rose to the challenge of Originalo Adrenalin’s Shark Cage Rage at Aquaria KLCC recently.

Putting it down to the vote, Originalo troopers voted a resounding 65 votes for shark cage dive as the number one preferred must-see action for me to do; 2nd in votes at 25 came muay thai (watch this space for that) and 3rd was aikido. So the gauntlet was thrown. I accept the challenge!

So with the tune of Jaws reverberating in my head, I – the human shark bait – was greeted by Aquaria KLCC’s CEO Dato Simon Foong and briefed by their friendly, professionally-trained divers. Good news: no need to be a certified PADI diver (I’m not) to try the Cage Rage. All you need is swimming costume, change of dry clothes and they’ll provide you with the wetsuit and equipment.

My heart was in my throat, the seconds were ticking down. Water 25 degrees celsius – check; breathing apparatus – check; mask – check; weights – check; underwater signs memorized – check. Watch out for the moray eel warns Dato Simon, if they bite they don’t let go! Arrgh.

sharks are waiting for me down there...? *gulp*

And what an incredible heart-pounding sensation it was! I felt totally at ease with the diver at my side as I gradually descended into the cage, surrounded by tonnes of fish, turtles, giant sting rays and of course…. sharks.

oh my the teeth are sharp!

Even funnier were all the kiddies and people waving at me, taking pictures, as I waved back grinning… I was part of the aquarium water life!

can you spot PZ?

who is that crazy girl there?

wave folks!

The other divers came by and began the shark and fish feeding time – so exciting and breathtakingly awesome – to be right there amongst the fishes, giant turtles, territorial sharks, huge sting rays gliding by, it’s really something not to be missed.

all good!

We highly recommend this experience from our Originalo website (RM200) Originalo Adrenalin package — for that all-exciting, heart-pounding, adrenalin-pumping experience mixed with the beauty and awe of the underwater world. And you’ll walk away with the Certificate proving that you dared! Watch the video below for my real footage.

Do you dare?

PZ – aka shark bait.

Thrilling ride with Solaire Helicopters

Helicopter tours is one of the greatest exciting activities to experience in Kuala Lumpur. Although it was a bit hazy for my ride, I had the opportunity to enjoy the highlights of Malaysian’s landscapes, allowing me to take cool photographs and ride an amazing flight with my friend and fantastic pilot Cliff Fournier.

Which one to choose?

The beast!

All the experienced pilots from Solaire Helicopters will navigate you safely and provide insightful commentaries on landmarks during the tour. Based from the Subang Airport Terminal 3, this is a truly unforgettable way to enjoy KL and feel the thrill of a flight that is very different from what you can feel in a plane. Up to 3 people can fit in a Robinson helicopter like the one we tried.

Strapped in like a baby.

No doors to feel the breeze...

Magnum and TC!

The tour is RM1250 per person with minimum 2 person onboard, with options to do KL City flights, introductory flights to experience helicopter flight, and photo flights. For more info, Solaire Helicopters: 03 7845 4677, email:

Sailing on the Raja Muda Selangor Regatta

This week was the 20th edition of Malaysia’s oldest keelboat sailing regatta and one of the region’s premier events: The Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2009.

The regatta is one of the very few true offshore passage racing regattas in the region and takes place over the course of 9 days from Port Klang, linking 3 of the most popular islands of peninsular Malaysia – Pangkor, Penang and Langkawi.
This year 55 yachts with crews coming from all over the world (France, Hong Kong, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand etc) participated in the race and enjoyed the challenge of combining seamanship, navigation, local knowledge with competing.

For my first regatta, I was warmly welcomed on Eveline, a 100 year-old classic yacht built in Shangai and owned by Dato’ Richard Curtis. Eveline is the oldest yacht of the regatta and the slowest (we arrived usually 2 to 6 hours after the rest of the fleet!) but with the scientific and mysterious handicap calculation (according to size, age, weight, overall capacity etc) we’ve managed to get 3rd and 2nd place in two passage legs, quite an amazing performance for a lady born in 1910!

The atmosphere on board was extremely friendly yet professional, with a very special attention given to Food & Beverage for our delicate palates: on Eveline we know how to yacht in style.

Many thanks to all the crew for having Frog & Princess on board and we will definitely be back next year. As Eveline tag line goes: Never a dull moment.

(Photos courtesy of The Royal Selangor Yacht Club.)

Here’s a great article published in MSN Malaysia Sports Page about our Regatta on Eveline: