day 3 malaysia tourism hunt (drive to putrajaya and port dickson + challenges)


After 2 days of briefing and restless anticipation, it was finally time to get behind the wheel!

Tell you the truth, I was more anxious than excited in the beginning. It was my first time to drive right hand drive and I was worried about falling into a gutter or worse, bumping into another car. That would be really embarrassing and I could already imagine the "lady driver puns" that the men in my group might whisper amongst themselves.

That's probably where my pride kicked in and told me that yes, I had a handle on things and could totally do this.

Never mind that it was also going to be a really long drive on a foreign highway at top speeds.

(Insert profanity here)

As I slid behind the wheel (on the wrong side of the car :P), I secretly prayed for a maybe for some absurd reason, my partner suddenly remembers that he does drive and has a drivers license after all. That maybe he just momentarily forgot after banging his head on a wall or something, but no.

No, no, no, nothing of that sort happened, sooo, I guess I had no choice. #FML. :P

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

Our day started early (as usual :|) with a quick press conference and last minute reminders. I lacked sleep again from late nights and having to get up at around 5-6am everyday. If you recall, it was CITRAWARNA the previous night.:P

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

But my body was already getting used to functioning on 3-4 hours sleep by this time so
as soon as the formalities were over, I ran out as fast as I could for the flag off.

I was pumping myself up...and I guess so were the others.

It looks like I was trying to make myself brave here by doing the best impression I could of a war face? growl? whatever...

I think it worked though.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

...Despite my feelings being a mixture of both sleepy and excited. It was almost like I was on an all-natural speedball high....

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

But that didn't stop my legs from involuntarily shaking (while driving) for the first 5 minutes of our 45 minute drive to Putrajaya...

I didn't mention anything to anyone cause I didn't want to encourage panic especially in my partner so I just tried to shrug it off.

I'm not sure if it was because I was tired or scared.

THANKFULLY, I adjusted beautifully to right hand drive (yes I am super proud :P) after just a few minutes and that's when the twitching stopped and I was finally able to relax and enjoy the drive.


Now that I was over being being scared it was time to get competitive.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

The first day of the treasure hunt consisted of 3 CHALLENGES at different locations before finally arriving at Port Dickson for the night's ceremonies (and accommodations).

malaysia tourism hunt 2015


Before arriving at the main square, we were instructed to make a short stopover at PERBADANAN PUTRAJAYA and take photos of ourselves with our Proton cars and the architectural structures behind us for an Instagram contest:

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

That took us about 5-10 minutes cause there were so many group photos and "wefies" in between but we finally made it on the road again for the next challenge...


A sheet of paper with zoomed in photos of hidden places in the compound were given to us and we had to identify where these pictures were taken.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

This place was vast with numerous buildings, gardens, parks. It was quite confusing and the sun was beating down on us unforgivingly the entire time. I couldn't see clearly past a few meters because of the glare and I was constantly distracted by all the beautiful structures around me so it took us awhile to complete this task.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

I don't know how but we managed to do it ahead of some of the other teams without passing out or succumbing to dehydration first. :P

That's quite a big deal cause I think some of the other countries weren't able to complete this task.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

(Army Museum, Port Dickson)

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

The object of this challenge was to answer several questions on a sheet of paper that was given to us upon arrival.

The clincher? We had to do all of it with camo face-paint on.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

Have you tried this stuff? It's sticky and thick with a strong waxy smell. Think melted crayons on your face while you race under the scorching sun.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

Forget hypo-allergenic and all that, this stuff was itchy and it melted with my sweat which caused it to end up all over my arms and clothes. I tried to ask if I could wash it off mid-way but no, I was playing soldier that day and had to wear it all the way to Port Dickson. :-|

 malaysia tourism hunt 2015 malaysia tourism hunt 2015

Not saying I didn't have fun with it though! :P You know me, I can be a "trouper" when I have to (hehe, see what I did there...)

So anyway, this was the questionnaire given to us and answers were to be found throughout the army museum which consists of several buildings and an outdoor area:

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

I had to read loads of these "info-walls"...

My mind almost exploded especially because I couldn't find the English versions during the first few minutes of my search and I was forced  to make sense of the Malay descriptions instead.

For this task, my partner and I decided to divide the questions and split up since we were only given a short time to complete it.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

And that's how I ended up inside this dark and scary tunnel alone...

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

It was the actual tunnel used during the war which they converted into a museum complete with mannequins posed as soldiers to re-enact certain events.

With only dim red-lights guiding the way, the effect was surrealistic and creepy. It really gave me an idea of what it might have been like under those conditions during the war.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

There were different alcoves set up for various purposes. This one was where they treated wounded soldiers. Due to a lack of supplies, wooden stumps were used as pillows.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

The military museum is a cool place to visit in Malaysia but you need to set aside half a day to be able to really enjoy it.

So anyway, guess what? Our strategy worked and we ended up finishing first! Ahead of the Malaysians! :P

I was mighty relieved because I couldn't wait to wash the gunk off my face! It was really beginning to itch and I still had to drive to our final destination for the day: the Grand Beach Resort in Port Dickson.

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

Yay, beachhhhhhh!

malaysia tourism hunt 2015 grand beach resort pd
As soon as I entered our room, I knew my overnight stay was gonna be pleasant. Our room was large with a balcony overlooking the ocean and tennis courts!

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Not only that, they also prepared several welcome gifts for us. My favorite? This traditional Malay sarong that we were to wear for the night's activities. Couldn't wait to see how the guys styled themselves! Haha

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

Here's what I did with mine. Didn't know how to tie it so I just fastened it with a belt that I hid by folding the cloth over :)

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

After we were done freshening up it was time to head to the pool area for our welcome barbecue!

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

They had a large spread of traditional Malay food prepared for us as well as several icebreaker games...

My favorite was the runway show. Check out Mr. Singapore strutting his stuff. Too funny!

malaysia tourism hunt 2015

My night at Port Dickson was one of the most memorable out of all the other 5 we spent in Malaysia. The energy of the crowd was so positive, open and happy.

After the festivities, a bunch of us headed to the beach to continue the celebrations and that's where we all really bonded and got to know each other as individuals outside of the competition. Ended up loving these guys so much and I miss them terribly as I write this! We made a promise to return to Malaysia soon for a reunion. I hope it really happens.

Will post Day 4 of the Malaysia Tourism Hunt 2015 tomorrow!
To know more about what the Malaysia Megafam/Tourism Hunt 2015 is all about, click HERE
For Day 1 Adventures and the best of Malaysian Cuisine and Shopping, click HERE
For Day 2, click HERE

And as is tradition, here are some video clips I took during our day 3 adventures as well as the funny games we had during the BBQ. Enjoy! :)

{oops, internet is so slow, says it'll take 1130 minutes to upload! :/ will just edit this post and add the video as soon as its up. thanks for your patience :) }

written in collaboration with the Ministry Of Tourism Malaysia


Kat Jorge-Rodriguez said…
That's a really cool activity. Looks like you enjoyed a lot. Congrats on finishing first!
Mommy QueenElizabeth said…
Wow! Such an awesome experience! You're too lucky to be a part of this event! The tunnel reminds me of Malinta Tunnel in Corregidor! And the face paint! Nay! I don't like it either! I wish to try right hand driving too, looked so cool to me! Thanks for sharing this! :-)
islesgilian said…
Sounds like a great adventure. How I wish I could see more photos! :)
Lorly said…
Amazing race feels but with a prettier Asia vibe. Superlike. Thanks for sharing.
Nheng said…
Im missing Malaysia! And looks like you have a lot of fun!
Grace Sarakbi said…
now that's one heck of experience. i always imagine myself to things like the Amazing Race, sans the driving hahaha!
sarah tirona said…
hahaha, how come? dont know how to drive? :)
sarah tirona said…
super, one of the best experiences of my life. fell in love w malacca :)
Grace Sarakbi said…
yes. lol. i'm still testing my husband's teaching skills and patience to date. :D :D
sarah tirona said…
yes, thank you! will post day 4 and 5 pa, this time malacca, my fave place in malaysia :) hoep you can check it out too!
sarah tirona said…
will be posting more, hope you can stay tuned :) thank you!
sarah tirona said…
youre welcome! glad you enjoyed it :) hirap ng face paint talaga grabeeee, thought id be covered in rashes after hahaha buti nalang no
sarah tirona said…
thank you sooo much! :)
Mommy Kach said…
Looks like a fun adventure! and its evident that you had a good time. I really should learn how to drive! Haha
Looking good Mommy Sarah! So astig! :)
Melisa Centino Sanchez said…
Wow! Such a great and fun-filled experience in Malaysia mommy!
Maan Laxa said…
You did soo well! No room for lady driver puns here; you were really the "trouper" haha
Nilyn EC Matugas said…
wow!!! This a good one! I'm happy you made it! haha. If I were there, wala, talo na, coz I don't know how to drive! haha!
Anna Plaida said…
look you had a great time, a great adventure
BA said…
Wow! Jampacked ang travel. I miss travelling tuloy,
This looks like so much fun. And tiring hahah
Heart Calimlim said…
You had a blast visiting Malaysia. :-)
Ganda mo pa din naski may paint un fez!

Ayi Dela Cruz said…
This looks fun! :) I wanna try right-hand driving too. Hindi ba nakakalito? :))
Pearliza and Jaear Paguio said…
face paint :D a sign of war! XD