Versatile Perak

In my opinion Perak is the most interesting state of Malaysia, regarding nature, culture and history. A rich history, many historical towns , numerous waterfalls. Nice food too..:-)

Recently I visited Perak with my friends Paul and Fahmi. We stayed two nights in the Cititel hotel in Ipoh.

On our way to Ipoh we first visited a waterfall near Sungkai, the Enggang waterfall. At the end of the road leading to the well-known Sungkai Hot springs, a clear trail starts, leading in about one hour to the waterfall.

The waterfall is not visible from the trail, but of course you can hear it.  We first arrived halfway the fall  (left picture). After some scrambling down the slope we managed to reach the bottom. (right picture)

We had visited this waterfall a couple of years ago. Not many people come here, the fall is still pristine! And the flow of water was very impressive this time.

After lunch in Sungkai, we continued to Ipoh, checked in into our hote, took some rest and went out for dinner. Many times I have eaten in one of the famous chicken taugeh kwai teow places, but this time we were looking for halal food and an Ipoh friend had suggested a few suitable restaurants. The Ipoh Hainan Chicken Rice turned out to be a good choice.

On our way back to our hotel, we passed a few interesting buildings. Left the Chua Cheng Bok building (1930s) in Art Deco style, recently painted in bright blue colors. Would you guess that the beautiful building in the right picture originally has been a Fire Station? It was built here in 1913 and upgraded in 1936. Served as Fire and Rescue Department until 1992.

For our breakfast next morning we went to the Halal Dimsum Cafe in Greentown another suggestion from my Ipoh friend. Very good dimsum!

On our program for the morning was another waterfall, the Lata Ulu Chepor, on the outskirts of Ipoh. It was a bit of  failure, I had forgotten to mark the locations of the two (minor) falls in my GPS, and we passed them without noticing them. The trail continued, might lead to a taller waterfall upstream, but we returned, found a nice place to have a bath. Crystal clear water.

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I had in mind to visit another waterfall in the same region, but this hike had taken quite a lot of time, so we decided to skip it and go for lunch. Nasi Ganja! Using Google we had found the address. When we arrived there, we noticed a big crowd queuing, but no sign of Nasi Ganja. It turned out that this was the shop, all Ipoh people know it as nasi ganja, but the shop can not advertise with the name as ganja is an illegal drug. . Nice nasi kandar, apparently addictive…:-)

In the afternoon Paul and I explored Ipoh Old Town. Paul had published an album about Ipoh Heritage, so he could show me around. We started from our strategically located hotel.

Around the corner St Michael’s Institution, one of the famous  Ipoh schools, founded by the La Salle Brothers in 1912. The impressive building is from 1922.

Next to it the India Muslim Mosque. Construction started in 1909

Below left the entrance of the Royal Ipoh Club, records go back to 1895, but it may be even older. Right the High Court buildings, designed by Arthur Benison Hubback and built 1926-28.

Two other impressive buildings in Ipoh have also been designed by Hubback. Construction of the Town Hall started in 1914 and was completed two years later. Is is really a monumental building.

Opposite the Town Hall, the Railway Station, nicknamed the Taj Mahal of Ipoh by locals. Officially opened in 1917. The first floor used to be a hotel, the Majestic Station Hotel, and many years ago I have been staying there several times. It was already rundown at that time, dirty sheets, cockroaches. Now it is closed, although there still exists a website , promoting its  “superbly-comfortable accommodation”  !

Coming from the Railway Station, the Birch memorial is located behind the Town Hall. J.W.W. Birch was the first British resident of Perak, assassinated in 1875 at Pasir Salak by Malay noblemen, Dato Maharaja Lela and Dato Sagor.

The monument, also a clock tower, was erected in 1909 by his son, E.W. Birch, at that time the (much more popular) resident of Perak. Nice detail: the roads left and right of the monument were originally named Station Road and Post Office Road. After independence they have been renamed. The new names? Jalan Dato Maharajalela and Jalan Dato Sagor !

Another interesting detail. On  four civilisation panels around the tower, 44 famous figures in the world history are portrayed, for example Buddha, Newton, Confucius, Galilei etc. One of the figures  has been painted over. Guess who…:-)

Two bank buildings. Left the impressive building of the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank (1931), right the Chartered Bank (1924)

There are more historical bank buildings in the same district, for example the Mercantile Bank (1931) , designed in Art Deco style by Iversen.Now it is housing the Elken company, note the ugly banner on the facade. The OCBC bank is now occupying the building of the Straits Trading Company (1907).

The Perak Hydro building (1930s) belonged to the Perak River Hydro-Electric Company who built the Chenderoh dam in the Perak river, the oldest reservoir in Malaysia

Chung Thye Phin was born in Taiping and became a wealthy tin miner and (the last) Kapitan Cina. The building below carried his name and was built in 1907. In its early days it used to be a medical hall. Beautiful facade.

Walking around in Ipoh Old Town, I was surprised about the numerous interesting heritage buildings. Generally well preserved.

At first I thought that this could be the exception: overgrown decaying shoplots. But I was mistaken…:-)

Actually it is part of Kong Heng square. Not overgrown, but modern vertical gardens..:-), The first floor houses  Sekeping Kong Heng , will try to stay there during my next visit

 

Three more buildings. Left the Han Chin Pet Soo building, now housing the Hakka tin mining museum. Originally the home of the Hakka Tin Miners Club, founded in 1893 and rebuilt in 1929. In the middle a nameless house, under renovation. And right the building of the FMS Bar and Restaurant, an icon from Ipoh’s glorious past. A couple of years ago it was hoped that the glory would come back after a ambitious restoration. But during my visit it was closed without a sign of life. A failed project?

And here are two more buildings from a different era. Left the Labrooy House, modernist design, completed between 1960 and 1961. Right from the same period, the first parking garage of Malaysia!

Finally here are two street views of Leech Street (now Jalan Bandar Timah). Beautiful. Followers of my blog know that I love Taiping as my 2nd hometown. Pity you can not find similar street views in Taiping 🙁

To be honest, I was very impressed by the heritage of Ipoh Old Town. Taiping’s history starts earlier, it boasts on its many “Firsts” and is promoted as Bandar Warisan (Heritage Town), but when you compare the two towns, Ipoh deserves this title more.

Of course I had to walk through Concubine Lane. After reading negative reports about how tourism had destroyed the character of this street,  I was prepared for the worst. Actually it was not too bad, not worse than Petaling Street in KL…:-)

Two year ago I visited Ipoh to see the Zacharevic murals, see my blog Ipoh Murals. Mural Art has been mushrooming all over Malaysia the last few years and also in Ipoh there has been copycatting. Not  really a positive development.

We had dinner our last night in another Chinese Muslim restaurant, this time Fahmi’s discovery. Roast duck, Mongolian chicken, bitter gourd with salted egg. A nice, filling meal!

The next morning, before checking out,  a view from my room in Cititel.

We had breakfast in the Medan Selera near the BIrch memorial with soft-boiled eggs on toast, an Ipoh specialty. Yummie!

Our plan was to visit the Hakka Tin mining museum in the Han Chin Pet Soo building, but they have only guided tours and the timing was not suitable for us. So we started our trip back to KL.

Our first stop was at the Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge. I have visited this gargantuan relic from the tin mining era several times in the past, was able to explore the dredge freely, climbing up to the upper level, sometimes  bit scary, but fascinating. Since a few years the situation has changed, there were plans to make it a No 1 tourist attraction and it was closed, you could only see it from the outside.

Friends had told me that it was now open to the public, and I wanted to have a look. I was a bit shocked by the ticket price, RM 10 for Mykad holders, RM 20 (!) for foreigners. Senior citizens get a 50 % discount, but still too expensive, as at the moment only the (less interesting) lower level is accessible. Although the guided tour was informative, better wait until the whole dredge can be visited.

Left the ambitious development plan for the Tanjung Tualang dredge. Rather unrealistic and completely over the top, in my opinion. Right a simpler version. I got the impression from our guide that the project has been put on hold after the recent change in government. Good, the dredge itself can become a tourist attraction, like Kellie’s castle, no need  to surround it with all kind of nonsense.

During my earlier visits the dredge pontoon was tilting because of leakage, that has been stabilised now. Right a small canteen, closed when we visited the dredge, but probably more busy during weekends. There is also  small museum.

Our next target was the Salu waterfall, 6 km north of Kampar. Easy access, two waterfalls. Suitable for senior citizens..:-)

From the carpark a cemented path leads in a few minutes to the lower Salu fall. 

The upper fall can be reached in about 15 minutes via a clear trail. There are more waterfalls upstream, but these require jungle  trekking.

Our last destination was the Tin Mining museum in Kampar. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard about this museum, but apparently it exists already for seven years! It was a pleasant surprise.

As the signboard says, it is mainly dedicated to open tin mining, using gravel pumps.Here is an interesting pdf file about Gravel Pump Tin Mining. Impressive machinery, I understand there are guided tours, which would really have been useful here.

Besides the machinery, there is a big hall with lots of information. A few scale models of tin mines give  a good impression of the process.

Both inside and outside the halls dioramas have been created of the various activities related to tin mining. Also here a guide would be useful, or leaflets with information.

After our museum visit we had lunch in the mamak next to it, and then it was time to go home.

Versatile Perak!

Journal 1-9-2014

Time flies. My last journal was published seven weeks ago, just after I came back to Malaysia. After recovering from jet lag (not so difficult this time), I settled down in my usual routine. A morning walk in Bukit Kiara followed by breakfast (RM 1 only!) at IKEA. Spending a lot of time with my laptop, actually too much, especially now that I have become addicted to acomputer game called  Hay Day  🙁

But of course also quite a lot of social activities, like meeting friends and enjoying food. Here is a selection of (food) pictures.

Soon after I was back home and acclimatised, the urge came to visit a waterfall. So I eagerly accepted my friend Siang Hui’s invitation for a recce to a remote waterfall in the Semenyih region. It would be a long hike, we had to leave early. Three of us, my friend Teoh also joined. Maybe because I did not sleep well the night before, but after about one hour on our way, I did not feel well, a tight feeling in my chest. After a discussion with my friends, we decided to go back.

I was worried (and not only I…haha), so I made an appointment with my cardiologist for an echo and a stress test. I could see him only after Hari Raya (the end of Ramadan), so I kept quiet a bit for a while.  Quite relieved when the results were ok!

With Hari Raya we visited Aric’s hometown. It is an old Malay custom to fire impressive coconut palm canons, celebrating the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festival. And impressive it was, I was worried for a while that it might affect my hearing. I wrote a separate blog about it: Boom Boom!!

Hari Raya

After I had received my clean bill of health, I was looking forward to meet Akke and Pim and show them a few nice places in my 2nd home…-).  Akke is the daughter of friend of mine, who, with her future husband, was traveling in Malaysia. We visited the Kanching waterfalls and the Batu Caves and completed it with a delicious dinner, prepared by Aric.

Here are a few recent pictures of Bukit Kiara, where I have my daily exercise. I have written many blog posts about it, you can find them here . I am quite pessimistic about its future, JLN (the National Landscape Department) is trying to transform it into a concentration camp, including barbed wire fencing ..:-(  But still beautiful, along the budding Penchala river I have hidden another of my geocaches.

I am a member of the Taiping Heritage Society. I joined them in May on a trip to Lenggong. A few weeks ago they organised a members night and asked me to give short talk about this trip. Here are some pictures. I had prepared too much material for my talk, so I have published this material in a separate blog post  Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley

On my way back from Taiping, I decided to stop at Pos Dipang to meet my Orang Asli friend Jinnah and his family. Recently he has been our guide to the spectacular Pos Dipang waterfalls.Very nice people. They belong to the Semai tribe, my Bahasa (Malay language) is bad, but we could communicate quite well in broken English.

Jinnah & family

To end this journal, a few pictures of a trip made with Aric to a Hot Springs near Bentong. I had passed the place before several times, the hot springs were not well maintained. But now some renovation had taken place, itr looked a lot better. The water was not too hot and you could use the mud from the bottom to scrub your skin…:-)

 

Penang Food

When you are not interested in food, you can skip this post..:-)

Penang is a paradise for foodies. Do a Google search for “Penang food paradise” and you will get many pages with hits. Our last trip to Penang had the Murals as destination and the Thaipusam festival, but of course also FOOD! Here is part of what we had during our stay. Makan Non Stop..:-) For my non-Malaysian followers: Makan = Eating in Bahasa. The traditional welcome greeting  when you arrive at a friend’s or family house is: Sudah makan? Have you eaten already?

Penang Food

On our way to Penang, we had dinner in Nibong Tebal at the Law Chang Kee restaurant. Famous for its Crab Porridge and its Boiled Baby Octopus. Don’t say aargh, the octopus was delicious. We paid RM 38 for our meal for two..:-)  That is about 8-9 Euro.

We arrived in our hotel quite late, but after a shower we decided to have an evening walk. Visiting some of the murals, and ending at the China House, really a surprise for me. Beautifully renovated old houses with a marvelous selection of coffee and cakes! Really worth a visit…:-)

The next morning we had breakfast in a mamak stall near to our hotel. A friend of us, living in Penang, had suggested it to us as possibly the best Roti Chanai in town at Transfer Road. It was crowded and basic but very VOF (Value for Money)

For our lunch we had planned to go to Balik Pulau for the Assam Laksa, But it was not our lucky day, the Chuan Hong stall, Aric’s favourite, was closed. So instead we had to go for Mee Rebus, in a nearby stall, also not bad.

Assam Laksa closed

Mee Rebus

I will not mention all the other places we visited during our trip, only the last one. It is the HUG restaurant in Jalan Hutton, also quite near to our hotel Mingood. Basically I am a hawker food lover, no fancy restaurants. So when a friend suggested the House of Udang Galah , my first impression was: too posh for me. But looking at the menu,  the reasonable prices and the positive review of my friend, we decided to give it a try.

What an enjoyable evening we had! Excellent service, and good food. Only problem was that we ordered to0 many dishes, you should go there with a bigger group!

Dinner at HUG

Here a few more pictures. We had Scallops as a starter, Seafood soup, then Peking Duck (first the skin, then the meat), the Udang Galah, and a combination of four vegetables. Finally we could not resist the temptation of the Baked Red Wine Syrup Apple as a dessert.

After this delicious (but also expensive!) dinner, we decided to skip the next day’s lunch at Pulau Aman. We will keep that for a next visit. First have to loose some calories…:-)

Journal 30-12-2013

One more day to go, high time to write a journal about the last weeks of 2013, so I can start 2014 with a clean slate…:-)

We went back to Sabak Bernam two times, related to the passing away of Aric’s father, 20 November last year. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, many events follow the lunar cycle, so on 9 November this year there was a memorial ceremony. A meal for the deceased, prayers and the burning of gifts for him in the hereafter.

Ceremonial meal

Burning of gifts

The second time was at the Winter Solstice, an important solar event in the Chinese calendar. We went to the cemetery, near Bidor. Aric took a beautiful picture of the whole family around the grave

cemetery

Here are a few more pics

We attended the wedding dinner of one of Aric’s cousins. In traditional style, with nine courses, cutting of the cake and yam seng singing.

Family picture

Nine courses

Of course I had several meetings with friends. Sometimes I am lazy to take pictures, but here are two. A visit to my friend Khong’s house to admire his garden and a dinner with friends of Aric in Chinese Muslim restaurant nearby our condo. Quite good food.

Meeting Khong and George

Dinner with Denise and Faresh

I made two waterfall trips with Eddie Yap. He guided us to a remote waterfall, which he had visited once before. So remote that even he, an experienced guide, could not find it back during the first trip..:-). We found a waterfall, but not the one he had in mind. It was a nice trip anyway, we had a relaxing bath in hot springs near KKB. Of course we had to come back, to find the missing fall! This time Eddie found it, a very pristine fall, access not so easy. A well hidden secret, we will keep it that way…:-)

We celebrated Christmas in the usual way, relaxing at home with a nice home-cooked dinner…:-)  Poached egg on mushroom with spinach as a starter, baked salmon with pak soy as main course, blue cheese (for me only, haha), and zabaglione with forest fruits as dessert. Cleaning the kitchen later was quite a job!

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After dinner

We always create our own (digital) Christmas and New Year card. This time using the Christmas decoration in our living room. Aric used his Photoshop expertise to “clean” the picture, I added the text.

Before

After

What better way to end the year than by visiting a waterfall! My Dutch friend and former colleague Dick was in Malaysia and wanted to visit a waterfall. Paul was also interested. Chiling is only open to the public during weekends, so there was a crowd. I have been there so many times now, but each time it is again a pleasure to visit this most popular waterfall in Selangor. This picture was a lucky shot, it looks as if only the two girls are there!

Chiling waterfall

We visited first the upper fall, as usual less crowded, then the lower fall. On our way back we had lunch in the WK restaurant in Ulu Yam. Here are more pictures.

 

Europe trip 2013 Barcelona & Amsterdam

After our two-week trip through Europe we needed some time to relax and do our laundry. Only a few days because we had one more destination on our program: Barcelona in Spain. The town of Gaudi, the country of paella and sangria!

It was a short visit of three nights only. Instead of looking for a hotel we found a nice apartment, a loft on the fourth floor of an old building, near to the Ramblas and in the middle of the Red Light district…:-) The dimensions must have been something like 30 x 5 meter!


Of course we spent most of our time in Barcelona visiting and admiring the wonderful works of art created by Gaudi.. A pity that we were not the only ones! I have created a separate album about Barcelona on my Stuif’s Adventures site. Here only four pictures of the places we visited
We had lots of tapas and sangria. Not always top quality. One night we had really a wonderful meal in a local tapas bar suggested to us by the hostess of our apartment. Spanish style, We started our dinner at about 10 pm..:-). Delicious food. The name of the restaurant is Cañete and you should not miss it when you visit Barcelona!
Back in Amsterdam, we had a few days left before Aric went back to Malaysia. The weather was still ok, so we looked for some more of the KLM houses. And we visited the Rijksmuseum, opened last year after an extensive renovation. With a spectacular result, I will post a separate blog later about it. We had a look at the Night Watch by Rembrandt, one of the most famous paintings in the world. Also here we were not the only ones…:-)
Night Watch

Here are a few more pictures of these last few days in Amsterdam

Europe trip 2013 part 1

I will split this post in a few parts, because it covers a two-week trip through Europe, visiting Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein (!), Switzerland and France. I took more than 1000 pictures. Don’t worry, I will publish here only a few..:-)

We started with a long (750 km) drive from Amsterdam to Regensburg in Bavaria. This is a very old town and a Unesco World Heritage site.

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It is located on the Danube river, has many beautiful buildings and is famous food-wise for its sausages. Less touristic than its neigbours Nürnberg and Salzburg, it was a nice surprise for us.

The next day we crossed the border with Austria on our way to a tiny hamlet with a funny name: Fucking. There is nothing to see, there is not even a shop, but every year thousands of tourists come here to have their picture taken with the signboard for the village. And so did we …:-)

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Salzburg was our next destination, the town where Mozart was born. We stayed in Hotel Mozart, had dinner in Cafe Mozart, visited the house where he lived and went to a concert where his music was played. The Salzburger Festspiele had just finished, but there were still many tourists. A beautiful town with the castle Hohensalzburg high above the town.

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We stayed two nights in Salzburg, the weather was splendid. We really enjoyed the Hohensalzburg castle, spent almost a full day there. The Hellbrun Palace, just outside the town, was fun, with its trick fountains. Unbelievable that an archbishop was responsible for it. Here is a collection of Salzburg pictures.

From Salzburg we continued our trip to Hallstatt, that will be part two of this report. Here already two galleries about the whole trip. First some pictures of the places where we stayed overnight. We like Guesthouses, Pensions, Bed en Breakfast places better than the big hotels.

And of course we had lots of food…:-) The German and Austrian cuisine are not very refined, but they serve in general huge portions. With lots of beer.In France we had a few times really fine dining.

Journal 10-8-2013

Recently my friend Chadel has been on a solo kayaking expedition from Glenmarie Cove (near Klang) to Morib, following the Langat river. The ~45 km trip took him two days with an overnight stay near Jugra. He needed somebody to bring him and his kayak home after the trip and I was willing to assist. Here is a GE map of the trip.

Chadel_trip

You can find a detailed report about this adventure on his website. To thank me for my help, he invited me for lunch in one of the famous Bah Kut Teh places in Klang, the Fong Keow restaurant. Not bad.

Fong Keow

Bah Kut Teh

The last two weeks I have been meeting friends quite a few times for lunch or dinner. It is a miracle that I still manage to keep my weight under control..:-) Twice I met Pat and Wim and their friends, a pleasant mix of Asians and Europeans. The first time we had dinner in the Ante Kitchen and Bar in Solaris Dutamas. A “porky” dinner, where you could bring your own wine. Which we did…:-). A few days later I met them again at the Oriental Banquet Restaurant in PJ. On Sundays and public holidays they serve a Buffet Brunch, really Value For Money! You have to make a reservation, because it is popular and crowded!

Ante Kitchen & Bar

Oriental Banquet

 

To loose some calories, I went a few days later to the Ulu Rening waterfall near Batang Kali. For the third time, this time with my Dutch friend Paul and my Semai friend Rahim. During my first visit I almost drowned in the turbulent water. This time there was less water, but still we did not take any risk. The huge pool is perfect for swimming. During our whole trip of six hours we did not meet a single soul!

Ulu Rening

Here are a few more pictures. To reach the fall you have to cross the Sg Rening a few times. In the lower left picture Rahim is looking at the turbulence. What I am trying to explain to Paul in the lower right picture, I have no idea..:-)

Ulu Rening

The following day I had lunch with Joe Yap.  We went to the Ah Koong restaurant in Taipan, famous for its fish balls and cake. Nice lunch, but we ordered too much food…:-)

Ah Koong

Finally, on the first day of Hari Raya, my friend Pola Singh invited me for lunch in his favourite chapati restaurant. But first he gave me a guided tour of the Royal Selangor Club, of which he is a member for many years. It was interesting to have a look at the interior of the “Spotted Dog”, as it is nicknamed.

Royal Selangor Club

From the club we walked to restaurant Jai Hind in Jalan Melayu, off Jalan Masjid India, where we had a variety of chapati and naan with different veggies and curries. A place to come back to!

Jai Hind

Journal 23-7-2013

For Aric’s birthday, two weeks ago, I decided to surprise him with a birthday cake made by myself instead of buying one. A simple one, with his favourite strawberries and lots of cream. Note the subtle detail of crushed rose petals for decoration!

Birthday cake

A few days later I had a routine check with my urologist. Everything was ok for a man of my age…:-) Somewhat shy I show you here a ultrasound scan of my interior, don’t ask me what it all means.

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Urologist

After a few weeks rest to let my knee heal, I am walking again in Kiara. Here two “green” pictures, a beautiful (harmless) tree snake and nice green flowers, name unknown.

Snake in Kiara

Flowers KIara

Breakfast in IKEA after my walk. The Kiara Bunch is falling apart a bit, but here we are welcoming back Robert (at the left) after he had been several months in Melbourne. Babysitting,  a common predicament for Chinese grandparents…:-)

Kiara bunch

We are just back from a few days in Sabak Bernam, Aric’s hometown. His mother had been staying with his sister for a while, and we brought her home. I am more a cat person than a dog lover, but the cute dog in the sisters house was so adorable that I had to take a picture. The haze had come back, so we cancelled our planned visit of Bukit Melawati. Instead we drove through the paddy fields, which did not look very healthy, not enough rain?

Cute dog

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We visited a famous temple near Sekinchan, surrounded by paddy fields, see separate post. And we had dinner in Sg Besar in a restaurant famous for its chicken feet, prepared in a special way, really delicious.

Dinner Sg Besar

In Aric’s family house you still take a bath in the traditional way, refreshing but quite cold in the morning. So you are really awake after your “mandi” and in the mood to enjoy the beautiful orchids in the garden.

Old fashioned mandiOrchidOrchid

There was a celebration in a nearby temple, with Chinese opera, and offerings by the villagers. See separate post .

Journal 5-7-2013

Some mixed news

I bought a new camera. Again?,  you may ask. Yes. I am not very careful with cameras and I also use them often under difficult conditions, near waterfalls, crossing rivers, etc.Here is a collage of the cameras I have been using the last ~10 years. Most of them are no more. Only the Nikon 5100 DSLR is still ok. Nice camera, but bulky, not suitable for jungle trekking.

my cameras

The last addition is the Olympus Tough TG2. A water- and shockproof camera. I am still testing it. It has a nice Macro option. Here are two examples

FlowerPendant

Last week our friend Rani invited us for dinner. He recently bought a “big” bike. Here I am posing as the owner..:-)  And Aric of course has to try the helmet.

Me and a bikeAric and helmet

We had our dinner in an Ikan Bakar restaurant at the seaside, in Jeram. You first had to choose the seafood you would like to have. The restaurant is popular and can be crowded. Rani had booked in advance, so we had a “private” dining room! Here is a collection of pictures

As I have mentioned in an earlier email, I monitor the traffic on my waterfall website, since November 2011. A few days ago the visitor count reached 500.000, on average 800-900 visitors daily. Half a million visitors from 173 different countries (of course mainly from Malaysia and Singapore).

WoM-visitors

In another post I mentioned the Malaysian way of parking in a crowded area: far away from the curb, to avoid that you will be blocked by double-parked cars. Here is a crazy example of such a double-parked car, a big one, blocking more than half of the road. Malaysia boleh!

Double parking

Trip with Pat and Roger

Our English friends Pat and Roger live in Melbourne, but visit Malaysia regularly. It has become a tradition to organise a trip during their stay. We have been to Gunung Jerai, to Fraser’s hill, to Pulau Ketam and more.

Where to go this time? We decided for the coastal region, south of Klang, visit the Chinese temple in Jenjarom, a few historical places, Jugra Hill and of course have nice food.

Then came the haze, see my separate post Haze, haze, haze . A few days before our trip Klang recorded an air pollution index  of ~500 (> 300 is considered hazardous), schools were closed, people were wearing face masks. Change our plan? We decided to take the risk. As you see Pat came well prepared..:-) We were lucky, of course it was hazy, but a lot less than the days before.

Pat

A detailed report of the trip can be found here. Some highlights:

The Fo Guan Shan Dong Zen temple in Jenjarom. This is the main hall

Jenjarom temple

The Istana Bandar, former palace of the Sultan of Selangor, located in the middle of nowhere and recently renovated. It will become a museum.

Istana Bandar

Nearby, on the slopes of Jugra Hill, a mausoleum of the Selangor Sultans, a tranquil oasis, well maintained. We also went up the hill, the haze was not too bad, but of course the view was limited

Mausoleum

We had planned to have lunch at the foot of Jugra Hill in the famous Beggar’s Chicken restaurant, but it had its weekly closing day. So we drove on along the coast, passing romantic fishing villages, to Kg Batu Laut,  where we had a seafood lunch

Fishing village

After a short visit of Tanjung Sepat and the “iconic” but overrated Golden Palm Tree resort in Sepang, we returned via the highway. On our way back we had rain. Hurrah, everybody happy, because it meant the end of the haze, at least for the time being.