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Visiting Kuala Lumpur’s Colourful Past

The Chinatown walking tour is one of the most enlightening tours of Kuala Lumpur that you can be in. Arriving at the meeting point for the Rakan KL’s 2-hour tour, I had just picked up Wolfgang from KL Sentral where he had just landed from Italy! Entering an old hotel and walking along the buildings on the streets that have somewhat lost its lustre, I looked at what will be demolished in due time for the erection of the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) in the area. It was interesting to note that before Pudu Jail, there predates it was a smaller prison that sits on Jalan Panggong (Theatre Street) where arts & culture once thrived. This street served as the centre of entertainment & cultural development of sorts from street arts to opera. A few legacy shops selling artistic wares still exist today but for how long, we don’t know.

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We continued to venture with the guidance of the prominent artist, Victor Chin & environmental guardian, Adrian Yeo & his team to the back lanes where we got the chance to enter a house that resembled a ”˜secret society’s den’ in the heydays. It looked like a clan house. The doors had vertical bars as barriers, something that you don’t see in modern architecture anymore. Then we stopped for a mid-morning snack where I had a bowl of yee mee for breakfast & a generous handful of spongerusks that Victor handed out. I forgot what it was like savouring the flavours of Petaling Street where my late mother frequented when I was growing up. Four generations of my family have lived & breathed the air of the confluence of two rivers, known as Kuala Lumpur & never before have I felt so depressed about the lost of a heritage site. Sitting by the sidewalk is an gentleman of Indian heritage who came here as a boy at 5 years of age. Today, he 58 years old. He sells sundries, newspapers & magazines for as long as he had been there.

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Walking further along the street heading to Chin Woo Stadium, I got to see the art along the side walls of Yan Keng Benevolent Dramatic Association. Here is where a prominent tailor, Kwong Fook Wing, made his royal commissions. The KL Commercial Book Store is also situated here. After the final stop at Chin Woo Stadium, the highest point in Kuala Lumpur city, we made our way to lunch in a backstreet restaurant before parting ways. It is reported that one is able to look directly at Bukit Aman police headquarters where before it wasn’t possible during the British occupation in Malaya!

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Ming Kee Bak Kut Teh In The Heart of Old Town, PJ

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Collage of Bak Kut Teh dishes!

Tender pork ribs that simmer in a bowl of herbal soup make the best meal on a cool, breezy night in Old Town, Petaling Jaya. Popularly known in its Hokkien term called ”˜Bak Kut Teh’ which translates to ”˜meat bone tea’ in reference to the pork ribs used, the generous sprinkles of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, tong kwai, fennel seeds and garlic are just some of the spices & herbs used to make this tasty soup that forms the ”˜tea’ in this dish.

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Panorama photo of the place from outside.

Light and dark soy sauce are also added to the soup depending on whether you are patronising a Teochew or a Hokkien-inspired style of preparation. Arriving at Ming Kee Bak Kut Teh with my cousin Damien & his associate, Ruben, we ordered the usual fare of ribs & meat, mushroom & tofu puffs side dishes, choy sum (vegetables) to go with rice. There are tables on the inside of the coffeeshop & outside in the open, enabling us to have dinner under the stars on that cool night. For Klang Vlley residents, this place is easily accessible without the hassle of going to far for a delicious meal of soupy goodness! The soup has been cooked to the right consistency with the infused herbs, complementing the ribs & side dishes. You will come away with a very good feeling in your tummy.

Located at the junction of Jalan Othman & Jalan 1/21, this corner lot Chinese coffeeshop is where Ming Kee Bak Kut Teh sits.
GPS Coordinates is at N03.086544, E101.64614

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Tofu/beancurd puff!

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Choy sum!

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Aunty preparing the dishes.

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The interior.

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Our dinner!

This is another entry for Selangorlicious contest! Please vote for me & leave a comment here! :- http://bit.ly/OtbcOc

Footnote:- Selangorlicious has a personalised purpose for me.

Citrawarna Malaysia 2012 – Parade of 7,000 Performers

Citrawarna Malaysia 2012’s opening ceremony on the 19 May 2012 was graced by the Tourism Minister, Ng Yen Yen, who was accompanied by hundreds of children clad in traditional costume, each holding a flag waving to the beat of the rhythm. The grand fanfare displayed a diverse offering of Malaysia’s tourist destinations & products, paraded by performers in costumes. The night heralded approximately 20,000 people, 7,000 of those were performers.

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In conjunction with Mega FAM Tour 2012, a media & travel agents’ familiarisation tour for representatives all over the world, Citrawarna Malaysia showcased one of the grandest parade of the year at Merdeka Square, the site where Malaysia’s flag was raised on Independence Day in 1957.

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Against the backdrop of the former courthouse turned Ministry of Information, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building was lit up by many colours beaming into the sky. The ground was laminated with white vinyl flooring to illuminate the dancers & their equally elaborate costumes. Despite the rain earlier, many turned up to catch the multi-coloured parade of performers ranging from uniquely decorated floats to sportsmen & chefs accompanied by fireworks in the sky. Scores of trishaws ferrying passenger from the World Heritage City of Melaka were brought to the parade.

The sound system provided surround sound throughout the stretch of the parade giving a very carnival-like atmosphere that got people to their feet with the rest of the performers.

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