Beautiful Libraries Around the World Every Booklover Should Visit (Video)

” Take a look at some of these truly stunning libraries from around the world. They aren’t the only beautiful libraries you can see across the globe, but they certainly should be on any bibliophile’s bucket list. “

Source: Travel+Leisure

5 things I love about Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

  • Snorkeling – Immerse in the beautiful sea and see the corals
  • Seafood
  • Mount Kinabalu, Kinabalu Park, and Tea Plantations
  • Souvenirs
  • Friendly locals

More pictures here

Just returned from a fantastic trip to Kota Kinabalu with my family. We had an enjoyable time there. One of the highlights of our tour would be the Boat trip. I booked a local operator – Borneo Boats and Beaches Private Tours, whose Boss and the owner is Captain Jonathan Shale. More reviews here. Highly recommended. Punctual meeting time, friendly, respectful, experienced and polite boat crews. They ensured our safety during our entire trip. We also had a nice lunch on board the boat; prepared by the boat crew.

We had a five-hour leisure cruise around the Islands off Kota Kinabalu – Mamutik Islands and several others. Had fun snorkeling, jetskiing, etc. Had the opportunity to see the beautiful corals. My kids were so enthralled that they took almost an hour to snorkel nearby. I managed to capture a short amateur video. We were all first-timers so you can imagine the initial anxiety that we all felt.

Other places that I would recommend to visit

  • Kinabalu Park
  • Mount Kinabalu
  • Pekan Nabalu
  • Desa Dairy Farm
  • The Philippine market, KK
  • Seafood Restaurants
  • and the list goes on ….

We stayed at Grandis Hotel which is just beside the Jesselton Jetty, where most of the boats/ferries start their journey. There’s an attached mall, Suria Mall, beside it. There are some grocery shops available within the mall plus several pharmacies like Watson and Guardian. Fast Food restaurants are also in abundance (Kenny Rogers, KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, etc.). I saw a particular interesting sushi restaurant which had long queues almost every nite. Plus there are other branded stores and bookstores available within the mall premises.

My family has a mixture of young and senior citizens. Therefore I had to take into consideration of our daily tour activities: not too much energy exertion BUT lots of shopping and market tours plus seafood. I also had to balance with the youthful activities which involved my teens and boy – who clamored for lots of swimming and nature walks. All in all, we had an enjoyable holiday; would plan for another trip back to Sabah one day 🙂

Jesseltown Jetty, KK

Blast from the past 1: Jeddah Corniche circ 2009

Been some time since I’ve posted.  Well, to kick things off, I’ve decided to share some of the travel photos during my time abroad.  I’ve decided to start off with pictures that were taken of Jeddah corniche taken in 2009. This was just after I’ve just arrived in KSA.

Now, the place has been transformed into a vibrant area teeming with activities.


Jeddah Corniche 2009

2017 Highlights: Life as an Expat Librarian

Alhamdulilah (Thank God). December 2017 marked 8 years of my stint in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).   Yes, it has been 8 years after I made that leap of faith – moving from Singapore to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  During those 8 years, I’ve learnt a lot about expat life over here.  One of the things that really stands out is the kind hospitality and generosity of the locals.  This, I will never forget.  Thank you my friends – you know who you are.



Looking back: I’ve worked with and made a number of friends  from different countries; walk of life; varying degrees of work experience and different cultures. We’ve exchanged views, discussed, agreed to disagree; most of the time about work.  Coming from different work cultures and working style, we may have different way of executing tasks but in the end we always have a common goal – meeting our user demands and needs at the same time providing them with the best user experience (UX).

Highlights of 2017:

Alhamdulillah, I’d like to thank Dr Vijay (KAUST Library Director and Acting Manager) for allowing me to attend these conferences and trainings.  The experience had left an indelible mark on my career life.  Made new friends, discovered new information and shared know-how with peers.  I would also encourage my fellow librarians, if given a chance, to give conference presentations a go. Don’t miss it.

On top of that, I gained knowledge and friendship by participating in international library committees and library boards such as Electronic Resources and Libraies (ER&L),  ACM Library Advisory Board, IFLA Asia and Oceania Section as well as IGeLU Summon Product Working Group.

My gratititude also goes out to my parents, my family (esp my wife who has been my bedrock) and close friends.  Alhamdulillah.  Thank you for hearing my joys and pains.  I wouldn’t trade you for anything.

Looking forward to 2018: for new adventures, new discoveries, new inspirations. InshaAllah.

Never forget the 3 important keywords: Patience, Perseverance and Resilience.

2017 Reflections in Pictures:

And here’s to my library comrades:

Library Day 2017

My kid first roller-coaster ride

I have to admit that I am terrified of roller-coasters.  I tried a few: one in Gold Coast, Australia and another in Taiwan.  I almost fainted taking the one in Taiwan, cause I didn’t inhale and exhale 😉 while I made a fool of myself in Gold  Coast – shouting at the top of my voice while taking the tiny roller-coaster.  The couple in front turned back to check who was the hysterical guy losing his head 🙂

So here’s my son’s first roller-coaster ride in Legoland, Dubai.  My kids are thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies hehehe …… now let’s wait for 6 flags …