Pat and Roger’s visit

The first time we met Pat and Roger must have been around 2002, when we were living in Goodyear Court 7. Soon we became friends, they attended my 60th birthday celebration, I visited them in Basildon (UK) and later in Melbourne, they visited me in Amsterdam, we went on trips together to Macau, Chiang Mai and China and of course we had numerous outings in Malaysia 😉 .

Last month they were back in Malaysia, we met them for dinner and discussed where we should go for our next outing. We decided to make a 2D1N trip with an overnight stay in Ipoh.

We started with breakfast near our condo. Half-boiled eggs and toast, and buns with dry meat and chicken floss. Of course with coffee.

Our first destination was Sekinchan, where we visited the taoist Nan Tian Temple, dedicated to the Nine Emperor Gods. The temple is surrounded by paddy fields. Pity that the paddy had been harvested, so the fields were rather brownish.

You can climb the pagodas beside the temple. We climbed the left one, Aric the right one to take a picture of us. Likewise we took a picture of him…:-)

Of course Aric had to take some “artistic” pictures.

Our next destination was Parit Baru where Aric was born. Instead of going back to the main road, we took the parallel road through the paddy fields and that was a lucky decision, because we passed a field where they had planted the paddy seedlings. Beautiful fresh green color.

While we were passing by, workers were collecting the seedlings to transport them to the fields where they would be planted. Fascinating to watch. I took a short video.

In Parit Baru we made a short stop at Aric’s birthplace, before continuing to one of the many seafood restaurants in the region.

The Yuan Yuan restaurant is run by the family, the interior is basic and the food delicious.

After lunch we made a short stop in Teluk Intan to see its leaning tower. Like its famous partner in Pisa, you must choose your location to see the slanting 🙂

We had booked two rooms in the Ipoh Bali hotel. Aric and I had stayed here already two times, we liked the atmosphere, and expected Pat and Roger to appreciate it too. They did 🙂

We had made reservations for rooms on the ground floor, which have a verandah with a koi pond. So relaxing. The reception provides you with fish food, don’t use other food!

After a little rest, we met our friend Keith Ong at the Yum Yum restaurant, where he had booked a table for us. Very nice food!

After dinner we drove to Ipoh Old Town, for a short walk. The town hall, one of Hubback’s creations, was beautifully illuminated. In front of the Railway Station, another of his masterworks, colorful fountains created a playful atmosphere.

I have said it before and will say it again: In my opinion Ipoh is much more a Bandar Warisan (Heritage Town) than Taiping, the “sleepy hollow” which I love and consider as my second hometown.

In 2016 I visited Ipoh to have a look at the mural art created by Zacharevic, one of my favourite artists. I wrote a blog about it: Ipoh Murals. Pat and Roger had not yet seen them, so we showed them a few.

There is something interesting about the Hummingbird mural 😉 . When Zacharevic created the mural in 2013, the bird was hovering in front of a tree. In 2016 the tree was gone, probably cut down. And now there was a tree again! Can it have grown in three years or was it replanted?

As in Penang, also in Ipoh there has been a proliferation of mural art in recent years, which is regrettable, IMHO. Soon all suitable walls will be covered with mural art, its impact getting less, a law of diminishing returns.

Here is a selection of what we saw during a walk in Ipoh Old Town. They are of varying quality, sometimes in the style of Zacharevic, often very mediocre.

There is another a bit worrying development going on, similar to Penang. There is beautiful heritage, like the Han Chin Pet Soo museum. But around the corner, Concubine Lane has been “spruced up” for tourists and now has losts its character. And not far away, still in Old Town, there is the new Upside Down museum, not related at all to heritage. I would be happy if the development and maintenance of Old Town Ipoh would be more consistent.

Before going for lunch, we had a look at the J.W.W Birch Memorial. Birch was the first British resident of Perak, very unpopular with the Malay nobility and assassinated in 1875. Two Malay noblemen, Dato Maharaja Lela and Dato Sagor were seen as the leaders behind the killing and hanged in 1877. The memorial was built in 1909 behind the town hall, between two roads, Station Road and Post Office Road.

Why am I telling all this 😉 ? Well, nowadays of course the two Malays are seen as as “freedom fighters” ! To honour them, Station Road has been renamed as Jalan Dato Maharajalela and Post Office Road is now Jalan Dato Sagor !

We had lunch at Chang Jiang White Coffee, another gem we discovered during an earlier visit. Not only is the coffee good, the food is also nice and the atmosphere is very relaxed, with a young crowd.

Before driving back to KL, we visited one more temple, the Miaw Yuan Chan Lin temple. We had found this remote, little known Thai Buddhist temple on the slopes of Gunung Rapat during an earlier visit, see my blog Gunung Rapat Cave Temples .

Before exploring the temple we had a look at two cages with monkeys on the temple grounds. They looked aggressive and unfriendly, not clear why they were kept there. The walls of the cages were made of a mesh with small openings. But not small enough, when we stood watching the poor animals, suddenly one of them put his arm through an opening and grabbed Roger’s glasses! We were shocked. What to do?

The residing monk came to help us, by spraying the monkey with a garden hose. That did not work, he got more angry and still kept the spectacles in his hands. Next the monk tried to give him some bananas, that worked better, the monkey dropped what was left of the specs, fortunately next to the mesh, so Aric was able to retrieve the twisted frame and two glasses

Roger can hardly see anything without his spectacles and had no spare with him. But Aric has been working in an optical shop, long time ago, and managed to repair the specs provisorily. While he was busy, I inspected the monkey cage and saw a notice we had overlooked!

After recovering from this unexpected “adventure”. we explored the temple a bit. The friendly monk didn’t mind having his picture taken, the other monk also didn’t mind because it was a statue 😉 .

The reclining Buddha is quite impressive.

Two statues of the Buddha. Left a very common asana with the left hand in his lap, and the right hand held upwards, facing outwards. Right a laughing Buddha, carrying two balls in his hands.

Two more pictures of this interesting temple. Some beautiful limestone formations.

It was a nice outing. We will not easily forget the adventure with the monkeys!

2 thoughts on “Pat and Roger’s visit

  1. What an exciting weekend that you and Aric had with your Aussie friends. Like the pics of the temples you visited and of course the food outlets . I told you about Temoh which I went to with my sister and Semine. Next time you should try to visit the monastery which is Theravada and genuine Dhamma teaching given by the abbot, Bhante Dhammavuddho . Thanks for sharing.

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