Monday, August 31, 2009


There's a very large gap between the last post and this one. That's going to be very common soon. The good thing about having a blog is that it keeps your thoughts and memories shelved aside so that one day, if you need to, you could just go pack and recall "almost" all the things you encountered (at least the major moments) once more. Those moments, for us, have been alot since we're so new to this country. As time goes by, we become familiar and there seem to be less and less to say - unless of course we've been somewhere new of seen something unfamiliar. That's not to say that you don't see new things everyday or every week. Probably it just doesn't feel that BIG a deal as before!

So, am I getting lazier? Yikes I guess its true on one end but at the same time I am prepared to give up the joy of "constantly" and "frequently" sharing our moments here. Gee, we even thought that it would be more fun (down the line) to get hold of a camcorder instead of a camera. Because that way we could capture the motion of surrounding environment in the new places we've been - and! nothing beats pictures more than videos itself!

If it isn't the laziness then I'll blame it on the weather. Having just entered the month of September, we're only 2 more weeks before entering fall. Technically speaking, there ought to have some more days with bright shinny, clear skies and slettering heat of 30 degrees tops and minimum of 28. BUT! That's not the case. Of late, the day has been pretty cool. And its just not last week but this week too. Believe or not, this year's summer is the summer that never was! Its now kind of clear that, with the cool temperature (in teens already - average 17 degrees during the day) that Fall is already here. Of course that means winter would be just round the corner. So I guess, it wouldn't be long before you'll start to see some post about our new experience with the change in weather. We hope to have some shots posted as well. Better yet, with a camcorder, some vids too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Its been sometime since the last post. Hurricane Bill has come and gone but its not all over yet. Apparently its hurricane season so tropical storms are something to watch out for which is why we listen to the weather news quite often. Fingers cross, hopefully Danny won't turn into a category 1 this weekend! My GOD! How do they come up with this names for the hurricanes!?! Danny/ Bill/ Katrina/ Juan. Its silly.

Anyhow, we got our U-Pass. Its basically a sticker on our ID Card that allows us to use the metro transit as much as we like. But it'll only be in operation from the 1st of September for us. So for now, we'll be moving around with our own 2 feet to get to places. Come next week, we'll be able to move out further without bothering much on the cost. Hopefully we'll have more time to go around now that classes are starting soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricane Gone

It left almost as quick as it came. Hurricane Bill's impact to Nova Scotia wasn't that bad after all as most of its fury kinda tapered down when it got it here. For us, it was at its strongest around noon to about 2 pm like that. Electricity was out from 12.30 onwards with a short 2 minute comeback in between. But we had it up and running by evening around 6. Oh well, hopefully no other major hurricane will be coming as its still a hurricane season up to end of September.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Counting Down 2 Bill

Its now 9.30 pm and we're counting down the final hours of calm weather. After watching countless of news, 2 different camp of thoughts that - 1) either the hurricane simmers down as it approaches NS or 2) its may most likely hit landfall and cause quite a havoc to Halifax itself. Guess its easy to see that choosing to believe the 2nd option is safer than being sorry later. So having said that, we're getting our bag equipped with important documents, emergency kits, and moving away valuables from the windows. We may most likely not have power when the storm starts to strike, so this would probably be our last update until it moves away and things starts to calm down by Monday morning. Till then, stay tune....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Billy's Coming To Town

Guess what? So it seems like Billy's coming to town after all. But there's a possibility that its not going to be as bad as Juan.

We've got some extra supplies. Bought tin can, a better can opener, torch light, batteries, and an FM Radio for emergency. Should have gotten some med supplies but since there's possibility its the eye of the hurricane ain't coming straight towards here (just a brush only), we thought, that won't be necessary. In the event that things to change for the worst, we'll probably be heading to the store room or down to the car park. Let's see how it goes. Feels more excited and afraid right now. Kinda a weird. Shucks, our first hurricane experience, what can I tell you!

the latest news ->

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hurricane Bill (updated)

Latest news from AP on hurricane bill well on its way. Let's hope the cold front doesn't push more North East - that way it'll avoid NS but may then hit US.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hurricane Bill

We've always make it a point, at the very least, to listen to the local news as we do not have any cable nor TV. Fortunately the Internet connection is fast here and almost everything (like news) are available online.

Of late, we've been hearing of a tropical Atlantic storm called Hurricane Bill that has just be promoted to category 3. Although the recent news says that its going to simmer down and weaken as it reaches to Nova Scotia, but reading through some comments online, lots of locals staying in Halifax are saying that they aren't taking any chances especially since they have experience Hurricane Juan late 2003. Basically it was expected to have missed NS but somehow didn't.

Learning from experience lots of them are preparing an emergency kit and stoking up. I think we should too. I've been looking online on how to prepare an emergency kit and found one here.

The regular updates to the path of Hurrican Bill can be seen through the following visualization,

Also, here's the news about it from CNN itself. The hurricane's projected path shown here (you can see it heading straight towards NS).

Breaking Guitars Doesn't Come Cheap

It was a PR fiasco for airline supremo, United Airlines when they did not respond well to the initial complains of local Nova Scotian singer, Dave Carroll. What happened was that Dave and his band were traveling United Airline when one of the passenger noticed that the baggage handler "man-handled" a guitar from the plane. And of course it was non-other than Dave's guitar which was a bit of an expensive too. Upon returning home, he immediately tried to call United and despite his continuous tries to contact and get some form of compensation was not fruitful in his attempt. Finally, resigning to the fact that he wasn't able to get any result from United, he told them that he has decided to produce 3 songs relating his ordeal with the airline and its staff.

Here's the clips. They are pretty catchy actually. It has sort of a country twang to yea?!
Take a listen and I'm sure you'll agree with me.

Song No. 1

Song No. 2

He's produced 2 of them since. You probably should read the actual story from his site,

There's also a facebook fan page for it. Check it out here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Ok we regret not having done much work. But with summer holidays coming to an end and the imminent arrival of September (that's when our classes begin), we're using up our precious free time as much as we can before its slips away and we're stuck with frozen food.

But all is not lost of course, no work on the books means lots of time in the kitchen. Of late, we've experimented preparing the following things. (I regret not taking some photos of them - probably because of the shame of not having perfected the dish yet - but anyway given our circumstances, I would say we did quite ok):

  • Cincaluk chicken
  • Cincaluk omelet
  • Risotto (using brown rice)
  • Skewers
  • Po-boy cajun style shrimp sandwich
  • and my Mrs has perfected the art of baking the Mrs Field like chocolate cookies.
  • lastly, I tried making oven-dried tomatoes
Here's the photo of the oven dried tomatoes.

The tomatoes all lined up before cutting them

These are locally grown Nova scotian tomatoes. It would have been better if we did with plum tomatoes but for our case these tomatoes were on offer that day.

Just out from the oven

The sun (oven) dried tomatoes all jarred up.

Meal On A Stick

Japanese calls it Yakitori, Ang Mohs call it Skewers, but we South East Asians call it Satay. That's what we're doing here.

Unlike back home where we got lots of nuts in sauces and the sticks are "lidi" sized, here, skewers are popular as a BBQ dish. Although in our case we can't do that as we are currently staying an apartment without any veranda. So the next logical thing to do is to grill it in the oven.

Since its our first time, we learn from our mistake of using tomato. Not a good idea but in the future for the same red color, it could be replaced with red capsicum. So *drum-rolls*, without further-ado, the following are the ingredients. Nothing too fancy simple delight only:

  1. Maple syrup flavored bacon
  2. Argentian scallops (you could use any other scallops too)
  3. Green Capsicum (and of course to not repeat our mistake, include red and yellow)
  4. Onions

You'll also need skewers sticks, which are thicker than your average "lidi" like satay sticks back home. A tray and foil.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F and when you're done putting up the ingredients onto the skewers, simply place them inside for about 20 mins or so. Of course you'll have to take them out mid way to change sides so that its grilled evenly. Before you put them in you could season with some black pepper and Italian seasoning.

The neatly arranged skewers all ready to head over to the oven.

ooo-la-la, I can hear them screaming, "eat me! eat me!". But not yet. Not until we get them just right.

After 20 mins or so, the skewers are all ready. See the juices from the bacon oozing out and how it blends nicely with the capsicum, onions and the scallops.

And then, serve them nicely on a plate. If you like, you could pour the remaining bacon juice onto the skewer to add the flavor.

Ok, you could put other things into the skewers too. For example prawn which would blend nicely with the bacon. And for vege, you could add pineapple.

And that's how you prepare Satay, Ang Moh style. Bon Appetit!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer Setting In

Today its as HOT as HOT as it could get. A good 30 degrees max with an average 28. Humidity at 60% and wind speed at all time low of 14mph. I stress its really how. Wished we had a fan here, but that's the thing having all year round being (less summer) spring, fall and winter, there is no need for a fan. And have you seen the air-cond. Boy you should see the air-cond they make here, its ancient. Both the fan unit and the front unit are still connected in a single box. They aren't as advance as the ones back home. Geez, another few more days of sun. Just we thought that its worth the wait for the sun, here we are starting to complain about it. How fickle :)


Somehow its corn season now. They are going for such a low price. One piece for 20 cents on discount.

The corn was prepared with butter, mayo, cheese, sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a with some lime.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Buskers Festival 2009 @ Halifax

The heat is just starting to sizzle for the summer with loads of festivals coming up before the season ends as it awaits the coming of Autumn. Like always, we were ready to head out and bear witness to any (if not all of the) festivities. One of which was the Buskers Festival 2009 that took place down by the waterfront here in Downtown Halifax.

Buskers are people or folks who performs the act of busking. Busking is the practice of performing in public places for tips and gratuities. People engaging in this practice are called buskers or street performers. Busking performances can be just about anything that people find entertaining. Buskers may do acrobatics, animal tricks, balloon twisting, card tricks, clowning, comedy, contortions & escapes, dance, fire eating, fortune-telling, juggling, magic, mime and a mime variation where the artist performs as a living statue, musical performance, puppeteering, snake charming, storytelling or recite poetry or prose as a bard, street art (sketching and painting, etc.), street theatre, sword swallowing, or even present a flea circus.

We witness 3 performances before we decided to head home. But our favourite was the performance by the group the called themselves, USA Breakdancers. Managed to catch some clips and photos of them in their act.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Are You Speaking??

One of the things I would really love to blog about is on the story of how both of us communicate here. It is an interesting thing. Obviously coming from a commonwealth country such as Malaysia, it is a given that most people from here would have a certain level of comprehension in the English language. Ok don't let me start on the government's stand to revert to teaching Maths and Science in Malay! With time, we will be nothing but a country that doesn't speak English at all.

Speaking the language daily both at home and in work or school, we can consider it as our main language. Its a shame though (for me) as I consider English somewhat my mother tongue rather than other languages spoken in Malaysia like Malay or Chinese (note: there's many different and widely spoken Chinese dialects too). My Mrs though, is "normal" that puts me as exception - she speaks Chinese and the Cantonese dialect. Being a banana and in country who's main language is English, the only way that I could converse with my wife without other white folks understanding us is to use Malay to communicate :)

And speaking it out aloud is what we did. Its funny though, we sometimes try to figure out what to say in Malay when in actual fact, we got it all thought out in English. Even if I were to speak Chinese, it would be a better idea to simply speak in Malay. Why? There's lots of folks from China studying in this area here. In fact, lots of people from China go to lots of other places in the world. Being a country with the largest population in the world, its not surprising to see them in large numbers. The same goes for Malaysia too - there are lots of Chinese students there.

Back to speaking in Malay, we're slowly getting use to it. We've used alot in Niagara and in Toronto. Its ok for us as there's no one else around who understands and would be able to judge how well we speak or how terrible we sound. Its no kidding, sometimes when I play back the conversations we had in Malay, I start laughing to myself silently. Its humorous, at least for my funny bone. Probably some smart Malaysian playwrighter may want to use this idea as a story back home - maybe for a local scit like "Jangan Ketawa" or something more current like the new shows on NT7. Why don't you try it out when you go overseas with a friend whom you'd normally speak in other language rather than Malay. Try it. I am sure its fun and more over helps one to improve on the language. Now, given time, I'll have to help my wife with her peranakan pronunciation, but not until I perfected mine though - YIKES!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Places Of Interest

One thing we share in common is that we love to go discover new places. Of course there's always a question of $$. In almost anything one does, there will be involvement of $$. Consider that is part of investment. Even if there's no $$ involve, then there is time. But time is what we have to offer so, I'm putting up this article to sort of track down the places we want to go before we return home from our 4-6 years life here in Canada.

I'm separating it into 4 main sections - International, National, Regional & Provincial, and Local.
What's the difference between these. Well, international is a given. But for national, are places of interest that goes beyond normal driving (bus or car) distances. Any attempt by driving would result in using up 1 day or more on the road. Our recent Toronto & Niagara trip can be classified as National. Regional & Provincial are places where we can travel to using buses or renting a car. Probably be a weekend or a day trip. Finally local trips are somewhere a fair bit closer. Its places we could walk to or take the local transit buses (albeit changes a bus or 2). PPP (Point Pleasant Park) such a place.

We love parks. In fact, our favourite past time is do some hiking along some natural trails. Luckily we're not too far away from one - PPP. But there's more than one park in Canada. Canada is full of parks and most of them are very natural and offer lots of picturesque scenery. Here's the list of places we'd like to go. Serves as a marker and a reminder that we need to (if not all) at least accomplish going to 75% of these places.

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Iceland
  3. Greenland
  4. France
  5. USA
  6. Italy
  7. UAE
  8. Turkey
  9. China (Tibet)
  1. Toronto, Ontario
  2. Niagara, Ontario
  3. Montreal, Quebec
  4. Victoria, British Columbia
  5. St Johns, Newfoundland
  6. Quebec City, Quebec
  7. Calgary, Alberta
  8. St. Pierre (Believe it or not, this place is actually part of France but its in Canada just south of Newfoundland)
Regional & Provincial
  1. The red soil beaches of Prince Edward Island
  2. Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
  3. Cape Chicnegto Provincial Park, NS
  4. Bay of Fundy, NS
  5. Peggy's Cove, NS
  6. Cape Breton, NS
  7. Cabot's Trail, NS
  8. Yarmouth, NS
  9. Annapolis Valley, NS
  10. Wolfville, NS
  1. Shubies Park
  2. Mc Nab's Island
  3. Long Lake Provincial Park
  4. Horseshoe Island Park
  5. Flynn Park
  6. Pinehaven Park
  7. Sir Sandford Fleming Park
  8. Marborough Woods Park

Friday, August 7, 2009

Being in Toronto and Greater Toronto Area (GTA), what's it like?

The city of Toronto is the largest city in Canada. Its also one of the largest in North America. Its population hovers just over an estimated 4.6 million people. That's higher than Kuala Lumpur which stands at 1.6 million. When mention Toronto, its often mistaken for Greater Toronto Area (GTA) which these days its use interchangeable. In actual fact, GTA is what Klang Valley is to Kuala Lumpur. Sometimes when people say KL, they could simply mean anyway else in Klang Valley. Just like Toronto. The actual Toronto is Toronto downtown which is sits at the heart of GTA. But GTA itself comprises of more than one municipalities or cities.

You see, property prices has gone astronomically high that so much so nobody could even afford a home in Toronto downtown itself. People have to live away and then travel everyday to downtown to work.

For us, we had the benefit of experiencing life in Toronto and GTA. Actually we were staying with a friend whose home is in the farthest part of Mississauga (a city just west of Toronto downtown). Traveling by bus (Go transit) cost to Downtown cost us approximately 6 dollars and took us an 1 hour to get to downtown's Union station.

Frankly speaking, we weren't too excited about going to downtown. The only reason why we did was that we wanted to know and experience what it was like. And now that we know, we were very sure, that's not the place we would want to work in given the chance. Lucky for many other people too. In fact, lots of larger cooperations have establish offices away from the downtown area. As we were in the local Mississauga, getting to our friend's place, we noticed companies like Microsoft, Accenture and even Siemens having their base away from the center of the city. Perhaps its serves both the company and the employees' interest. Cheaper rental!! And faster traveling time.

One difference we felt being in Toronto is that we weren't really in a white country. Why is that? Almost everywhere we go, there's immigrants! Chinese or oriental do make up a sizable amount but there's also alot of South Indians and Middle Eastern folks. The of course there are also Latin American and sometimes when they speak, you know the whites are actually Eastern Europeans (e.g. Russians / Bulgarians / Hungarians).

Compared to Halifax, you hardly see much immigrants and the numbers gets less away from the downtown Halifax area. Furthermore, there's lots and lots of Asian groceries and their size are sheer enormous. Its just like shopping in Tesco or Carrefour back home. Food stuff are generally cheaper than in Halifax. You could find about almost everything in the Asian groceries here. We stocked some dry stuff. Bought some chinese medicine, milo, curry powder, cincalok, etc. etc.

Another notable difference was that homes in Toronto are mainly made of bricks. Unlike in Halifax, in which most homes are mainly made of wood. We also took the opportunity to walk around the housing area. What we found out is that for every zone, there's some kind of park allocated. It really doesn't have to be that big but there was ample greenary for every housing area. There's also forest like walkways to give the urbanite residents the opportunity to some hiking for their leisure activities. As for us, we walked about 2 Kms from our friends home to a nearby park with a lake and saddle up on a small hill to enjoy the afternoon breeze while pinicking. It was a good experience and something we enjoyed alot.

Here are some of the pictures we took while we were there. Not as much as in Niagara though.

Here's the famous CN Tower

The inside interior of Hockey Hall of Fame building in downtown Toronto. Hockey's like what Badminton is to Canadians.

The famous St. Lawrence Market.

The peameal bacon is a popular food stuff here in St. Lawrence Market. There's more than 1 store selling it.

Apparently there's a street with the same name as the one we're staying here in Halifax.

Some places of worship. Here's a Chinese temple in Mississauga.

And here's St. James Cathedral in Downtown.

Li Ka Shing has his hands in here too...

The old City hall building.

Freedom of speech is important here in Canada. Although the speaker's corner's notice board wasn't given much respect though.

One way to get around in downtown is by this contraption.

Chinatown in downtown

A picture of the subway. Its very old and dirty.

Houses in Toronto. Hardly any intermediate. Most development are bungalow type.

Here's lake Acquiatine which we had our picnic at.

And Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some Videos (with NO faces) Of Our Trip To Niagara

Here's one walking the tunnel system in Journey Behind the Falls

Below are 3 videos of the White Water Rapids (Class 6) of the Niagara River

My all time favourite, Niagara's Canadian Falls with the view of Maid of the Mist from above. This was taken from the Table Rock view and during the time this was taken, there was a magnificent rainbow around the Falls.

Here are other vids. Here's one of how they make candy. This was taken in the Welcome Center.

And here's one of how they made caramel. This was taken in Clifton Hill area in one of the candy shops.

Meeting Other Malaysians and Asian Immigrants

Having lived in Halifax, NS a small sleepy hollow for the past 3 and half months it was really a relief for us to have finally met some Malaysians. But of all the places it wasn't in Halifax. It was on our trip to Toronto and Niagara that we were able to meet and talk to them.

The meeting proof to be a valuable experience, having had the opportunity for us to ask some questions and and also learn from their experiences. We met 3 different group of people. One was my wife's friend's family which helped us a lot - providing food and lodgings for our stay in Toronto. The other was the innkeeper to the B&B we stayed while holidaying in Niagara and last was meeting my distant cousin and her husband (who's formerly from Hong Kong).

We learned most of all what its like to be Asian in a predominantly White country - although I would say that that is not the case anymore for Toronto and GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Some places like Mississauga which we stayed while in Toronto are full with Asians. However, if you were to go a little further like Kitchener or Burlington, these areas are what they call WAS-py = White Anglo Saxon predominant, just like here in Halifax.

We also learn more about banking, living, the weather, the education system, etc. We learn the difference between a PR, a Citizen and non-PR immigrant. Did you know that come late Autumn and the whole of Winter, daylight period is shorter! It is. Which makes it really really dull and gloomy. In fact it'll get dark by 4.30pm and only start to have daylight at around 8-9 am. Unlike other periods where daylight can be as early as 5 am and ends around 9-9.30 pm. That's a tremendous change.

They also shared with us some other tips on living during winter. Having shared their experiences with us gave us a little confidence to keep on moving further in facing our remaining years here. We totally grateful to all them especially to my wife's friends' family who has been very accommodating with us while staying at their place.

Holidaying in Niagara and Niagara-on-the-lake

Our 1 week vacation has been very fruitful. We have traveled to both Toronto and Niagara of the Ontario province and are now back in (our new home away from home) Halifax, Nova Scotia. But what's worth sharing of this trip is our 3 days well spent in Niagara itself.

Niagara is one of the southern district of Ontario province. Yes, a province which is much larger than Malaysia itself and that's Ontario only. Perhaps the Northern Ontario district could be bigger than Malaysia too. Anyway back to Niagara. When in Niagara, the first thing you want to do is to head to the Falls - Niagara Falls (NF) of course. NF is approximately 1 and 1/2 hours drive from Toronto. There's more than 1 mode of traveling to it. For us we were lucky to have our friend send us over. So one could rent a car and head there besides taking a bus (which is rather regular) with Greyhound or Canadian Coach (approx CAD17-20) or by train (Via Rail for a posh type worth about CAD40-60 or the GoTransit train which is only available on the weekends). The advantage of renting a car is that you'll get the flexibility of visiting the surrounding area of the Niagara region besides the Falls itself. And believe me, there's alot of places of interest to visit!!! With a car, you could also drive across to the US side of the Falls and have another view of the Falls.

view of Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls with a rainbow

and here's one with maid of the mist in the background and the rainbow

Here's the view of the American Falls

View Larger Map

Its also important to sort out your lodgings first before heading there. And it would probably be cheaper if you were to do it online as you may be able to find some offers. There's hundreds of places to put up a night for the eager beavers that'll accommodate the many types of holiday-goers (from the single backpacker, to the romantic couple and family). Of course, you pay more for the big names like Shangri-la or Cliffton. Also note, that the nearer you are to the Falls itself, the more costly it may get although this is not really the case. From hotels, to Motels, to Inns, we finally decided to settle with a Bed & Breakfast place. What's a B&B? For the benefit of those who aren't aware of what it is, a B&B is basically a home which is turned into "sort-of" a inn. They'll provide most of the standard services like bed, TV, shower, towels, drinking water, soap & shampoo and even breakfast. But the only difference is that they do not provide other meals (like lunch and dinner) which are usually available in Inns / Motels or Hotels (for a price of course).

There's many things to do when in Niagara. The most important is to visit the Falls itself. For that, you could spend as much as hundreds or save if you just purchase packages which we did. You see, the Niagara Falls area which covers the Falls and surrounding area is under the provincial government and is designated as a park. So packages should be obtained from the park management itself. There's more than 1 way to purchase them. You could do it online or in person when you arrive to the NF Welcome Center. But do ask your hotels/ inns/ b&b if they provide the NF attractions package within your lodging package. If they do, it usually would be cheaper than buying from the Niagara Falls Park website or the Welcome Center.

We were lucky to have found Ace of Hearts B&B which is not too far from the Falls. What's really good about this B&B is that it's run by a Malaysian lady, Ms Susie Ong (who is now a Canadian citizen of course). Despite being in her golden years, she's still active and has lots of things to share. Its also because of her advice which finally made us decide to extend our stay. You see, initially we thought of just spending 1 night there. The B&B has a tinge of Malaysia to it as one who stays there will notice the furniture being of a classic Straits-born Chinese design. Its not surprising though as we noticed from her photos that Ms Susie's grandparent was a nyonya lady from Singapore who later settled down in Klang. If you ever were to go to NF and don't mind a B&B lodging, I recommend this place. It's clean, neat and makes you feel like you never left home.

So as for the package that we purchased, it comprises of tickets to 2 indoor and 2 outdoor attractions. The indoors are Journey Behind the Falls and Niagara's Fury. The former is basically a trip down to tunnel system which was build almost a century ago during the early years of Niagara tourism industry. The tunnel runs close to the Falls. With it you are able to actually be in the presence of the Falls in close proximity - well actually just beside the falls and not really behind it as the name suggest. As for the later, its nothing more than a 3D simulation that details the story of how the Falls was form. Its pretty interesting given the special effects which kinda puts you into the center of the Falls without the dangers of being in one. Sort of like a Universal Studios kinda thing.

The starting of Niagara's Fury (can't bring camera in though)

Observation deck from the Journey Behind the Falls tunnel system

The tunnel system in the Journey behind the falls attraction

The other 2 are outdoors attractions, they are the White Water Walk and last but not least, the infamous, Maid of the Mist. The former, is basically a specially designed walkway area which was built along the banks of the Niagara River which is approximately 3 Kms away from the Falls.

View Larger Map

This area is basically fronting the part of the River which has a strong rapid and has been classified as a Class 6 rapid. This means it is the very dangerous and the only way out of it if you were ever to be caught in it is - "death". As for the Maid of the Mist. It is the highlight of our event. The classic ride which has been in operation for over a hundred years, is a must! Its a boat ride which takes you so close to each of the two great falls, both the American Falls and the Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls (which is the larger one).

White Water Rapids amidst the bridge

The strong currents of the White Water Rapids

The wooden walk way at the White water rapids

The view of Maid of the Mist from Journey behind the falls

The view of the American Falls from Maid of the Mist

The view of the Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls from Maid of the Mist

When visiting NF, always check the weather. If it rains, it is always a good idea to head for the indoor attraction first and safe the outdoor for a sunnier day. This happened to us too. So we finished the first 2 indoor event on our first day as it was raining heavily then. The outdoor was done the next day. As part of the package, we were also able to hop on a NF Park's People mover service which is basically a bus service running along the Niagara River Parkway road. This helps people get from one place of interest to another easily. Its also a service which we used often to visit all the other attractions available in NF park. You see, the attractions as part of the package isn't the ONLY thing to go for when in NF, you could also head for the famous Aero Car at the Whirlpool area, or visit the Butterfly conservatory, or the Power Plant. Most of these places requires an entrance fee but some like the visit to the botanical gardens, Queenston Heights Park, Dufferins Island, the Floral Clock @ the Centanial Lilac Gardens, Niagara Glen View Park and the Niagara Parks Public Golf Course are mainly free. One could just enjoy the natural wonders and splendor of the surrounding nature. For us, we enjoyed our walk through Dufferin's Island. I heard that Glen View Park is also quite a place especially for biking.

The point where the Niagara meets with Dufferin's Island

Some trees in the Dufferin's Island Park

Wild berries in the Dufferin's Island Park

Ducks are a common sight around the parks, lake and river in Niagara especially in Dufferin's Island

View of the Aero car amidst the Whirlpool. Just look at those rapids.

The Whirlpool is the point where the river turns direction 90 degrees and therefore forms a vortex a the point of change.

The view of the monument at Queenston Heights Park. At the top of the monument is a statue a fomous loyalist captain during the British rule which fought the Americans who tried to conquer the Niagara region from Upper Canada. The statue was build with the captain showing the thumbs up to the American side indicating victory against the Americans.

There was also a large Mahayanese temple in the Niagara area.

What's important is that if you ever have the chance to come to Niagara other than in Summer, then you probably should take that chance. Why? Because Summer period like the time we went to, was at its peak! That's when it is most crowded. Even though we went during the weekday, there are still alot tourist around. Peak periods are also the time when everything is at its highest price - especially lodgings. But we were able to escape that as we went during the weekday. To the many, Niagara and its Falls has lots more to offer besides the Falls itself. Come over during the weekday like Wednesday nights or Friday nights and enjoy the spectacular fireworks display and the illumination of the falls during the night which we did enjoy as well. Its a place one can go for all seasons. Like in Winter when the water freezes to ice, it is a spectacular view at night when the light for the illumination shines onto the Falls, giving an amazing crystal like glow and sparkles which cannot be produce at any other time of the year.

Anyway, if you have kids coming along with you, you'd probably have some trouble getting them to be interested in joining you with some of these attractions. They would prefer something more exciting. We didn't try them out but along Clifton Hill, there's loads of amusement centers and fun activities for the family and kids. You'd probably should also check the packages there if you think your kids would be more interested in them.

Clifton Hill and its amusement area. Lots of fine dining here too.

The other place of interest while in Niagara Region is to visit Niagara-On-The-Lake. Niagara-On-The-Lake is a town which is famous for 2 things. One is the fact that it is the place which has lots of vineyard and famous for producing the ice-wine (its rather sweet). Its also the prettiest town in Canada and some say Northern America too. Also the 3rd small bit is its famous for its theatrical productions from Shaw Theater. We spend 2 hours or so there but neither of us bought anything as it was pretty expensive and at tourist price tags. Only thing we enjoyed was the view of Lake Ontario from the town's park.

The vineyard in Niagara-on-the-lake

Shaw theater

Niagara-on-the-lake, pretties town in Canada.

Court house at Niagara-on-the-lake

A typical shop at Niagara-on-the-lake

View of the lake from Niagara-on-the-lake