Tag-Archive for » Tourism Selangor «

Delights at Miss Ellie Teahouse

If there’s a place that you should go to for respite & be filled with an afternoon of treats, it would have to be at Miss Ellie Teahouse, a classic Tudor-styled English teahouse. The teahouse is located in the heart of a housing area in Taman Melawati & having opened less than 6 months, they are already whipping out more than 2 dozen kinds of main course, pastries & desserts to accompany your tea! Stepping into this teahouse was like stepping into someone’s home, decked in wooden furniture from the British Colonial days with wrought iron shelves displaying their finest selection of teas complemented by the rustic wooden beams on the ceiling! And it doesn’t even look old.

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The thought put into this place to complement Chef Justin Wong’s culinary creations was a combination of his preference for offering top class whipped delights in a cosy ambience replicating a homey feel when one sinks their teeth into his delectable desserts! He spent a great deal of time in Australia studying culinary arts before continuing as a chef in their shores. After several years of learning the trade, he returned to supervise the church’s ”˜cafeteria ministry’ before deciding on opening his own tea house. Assisted by his mother, Nancy Wong, elder brother, Nigel & Auntie Helen, they embarked on a journey of keeping their hoards of foodie friends sated. With each dish served, one covets the next till just about every tooth is satisfied.

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Scones with strawberries & cream!

Starting the lunch course with Beef Casserole, it was followed by the creamiest of Creme Brulee & their signature Pandan Panna Cota. Staying a bit longer, the call of Scones was too powerful to ignore & we called upon Chef Justin to give us some of his classic concocted pleasures!

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Panoramic view from inside.

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Treats like these makes you want to have tea all day!

At Miss Elie Tea House, corners are created for you. Perfect if you are alone or when you need some privacy in this extra homey tea house. Even the washroom is decorated to make you feel like visiting twice.

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Everything is made with love!

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My favourite Créme Brulée……

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Unless you live in Taman Melawati, don’t trust your instincts to get you there. You need a GPS & Waze app preferably. They are located at 7 Jalan H3, Taman Melawati, Selangor, Malaysia & using Waze, by searching for Miss Ellie Teahouse using Foursquare connection. The GPS coordinates are GPS: N 03° 13.658’ E 101° 44.675’. Call them if your GPS fails – +603-41620113 or +6012-2055171.

They are found on Facebook at http://bit.ly/MissEllieTH. Like them for new stuff on the menu!

What To Find While Birding in Kuala Selangor

This month, Tourism Selangor takes us to celebrate the return of migratory birds & explore the resident species that make homes in the entire state. Migratory birds use the mangroves and coastal areas around Kuala Selangor as a transit area to feed and rest before continuing on their journey down south, much like a rest & relax area for birds! Kuala Selangor Nature Park has been designated as an Important Birding Area (IBA) – in compliance with internationally set criteria by BirdLife International. What can you find in this huge park? Let me take you to the permanent inhabitants……

Before you go, here are the list of things that you must carry on you when you set out on the long walk. You are not adviced to go if you don’t have these things on you.

  • Insect repellent <– compulsory. Midges will get you otherwise. These are nastier than mosquitoes & they come in swarms. Preferably, wear long sleeves or you will be considered as one with the colony of monkeys nearby.
  • Hat. The sun has no mercy. Stay cool & stay in the shade. Machismo can’t take you far in this park. Use a brolly if you have to. There are camouflage collapsible ones sold in tactical shops to prevent you from sticking out like a sore thumb as you wait for the birds.
  • Polarised sunglasses. <– you will need this to prevent you from squinting the whole day. Go to Peak Vision Optics & get yourself a pair of Cocoons.
  • Drinking water. <— compulsory. When you find a bird stalking a prey, you wouldn’t want to run back to the park office to get something to quench your thirst.
  • Batteries for all gadgets. Your phone, your camera, GPS, torch, whatever you need to power up everything for you to document the journey (of birds).
  • Portable/handheld fan. You will thank me for this.
  • Camouflaged attire or any green, brown or khaki coloured clothing will help you blend into the surroundings & get nearer to the birds.
  • Folding chair to rest at will. 🙂

Leave word with your friends & the park ranger of your expected time of return. They will send for a search party if you are caught ogling at birds longer than you should. We set off early in the morning to get there after breakfast. The loop around the wetlands is several kilometres long but you will see plenty if you keep your eyes peeled. The only migrants who arrived sooner than expected were the Blue Tailed Bee Eaters.

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Blue Tailed Bee Eaters. I think they were having a bit of a domestic quarrel here!

Walking along the fringe of the mangrove, we spotted a huge bird lying on the ground. When we got closer, it flew to the nearby trees, settling just above our eye level. It was a huge Crested Serpent Eagle! We had a good 20 minutes shooting it at all lighting conditions & angles never thought possible. A Black Naped Oriole was consistently attacking it to chase it away from its nest, assumed to be nearby. The eagle didn’t budge until it spotted a bigger morsel further into the jungle.

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Soaring above us was a White Bellied Sea Eagle, taken here just after a successful hunt. The fish it caught in its talons was a sizeable one! We weren’t really looking up into the sky if we weren’t having a break & thankfully, I had the camera ready. They will usually give out a shrill but most come unannounced when they hunt.

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Us taking a break in the shade while waiting for the kingfisher.

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Flying Lizard (Cicak Kubing)

Birds are not the only kind of wildlife we see in the park. There are Flying Lizards too! When we went up to a watchtower, we got to capture a few woodpeckers looking for worms in the woods.

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Spending a good 5 hours at the park & returning with all these beauties in our memory cards was all we came after. On the way back, we were treated to another session of birding when we saw a tree filled with nests that turned out to be Baya Weavers’ nests. Treading carefully & slowly, I was able to film one doing the deed! See video here:-

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They are normally built on the same tree.

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Closer look at the nest.

Coming away with a few residents & one migrant specie in my list is a great boon to come back again & again. More birds will be arriving in these shores as December approaches so it’s the best time to be watching them at Kuala Selangor Nature Park! Don’t forget that list of things to bring!

To get there, you can take the bus or taxi but it’s more advisable to drive.

(Taken from Wikipedia)
Visitors can board Selangor Bus No. 141 from Medan Pasar Bus Hub in Kuala Lumpur. The bus departs half-hourly from KL between 6.30am and 7.30pm, and takes 2 hours (++) to reach the bus terminal at Bandar Malawati, Kuala Selangor. (The last bus for the return trip from Kuala Selangor to KL is at 7.45pm) The one-way fare is RM7.30. The bus hub is about 100m north of Central Market. From Masjid Jamek LRT, walk 100m southeast along Jln Tun Perak before turning right into Lebuh Ampang. After walking another 100m, you will see the bus shelter next to a grey “clock tower” in the small square.

Directions from Bandar Malawati Bus Terminal: The terminal is in Bandar Malawati, which is about 1km southeast of the town centre. You can then take a RM5 taxi ride / local bus to the town centre of Kuala Selangor (alternatively you can take a 15-20min walk). [The bus terminal is also served by Cityliner buses from Klang]

It’s a one hour journey by cab. The cab might also not be able to pick up a passenger on the way back, so expect fares to be high. For comparison, the distance from KL to KLIA is about 80km and a one hour journey. Taxis typically want RM 70 for a trip to the airport. So you would expect something similar, or higher for this trip. You might be able to negotiate a good deal if you book the taxi for a return trip.
Hourly hire rates for a small taxi (red/white) is about RM35 an hour if you would like to book one for the duration of the trip.

If you drive, set your GPS to Kuala Selangor Nature Park & navigate your way there! I use Waze, available on iPhone & Android.

Char Kuey Teow with Duck Egg with Tourism Selangor!

One of the greatest pleasures in life lies in the simplicities that include finding food wherever I go & being able to talk to vendors about their lives & food operation. Intrigued by the signage on the stall that says, ”˜’TRY ME! Char Kuey Teow with Duck Egg,’ I ordered a plate to see what difference duck eggs made to the taste of a conventional plate of char kuey teow (fried flat noodles). Tiam Fatt Fried Kuey Teow Stall is hidden away at a cul-de-sac of shops between Jalan Bandar 1 & Jalan Bandar 2 in Taman Melawati & has been in operation for 13 years!

This month, Tourism Selangor’s Food Hunt with Pummkin brings you a unique Penang dish of fried kuey teow with duck egg not found anywhere else within a 10km radius! I beg for you to prove me wrong because duck eggs seem to be a delicacy & rarity here. There’s a coffeeshop nearby where you can sit & savour your hot plate of kuey teow while they serve you your order of drinks. Nothing is better than a glass of iced milk tea for mid-morning brunch!

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Patrick Kam, the vendor behind the tasty dishes, hails from Penang, hence, the Penang-styled Fried Kuey Teow & authentically so with the addition of duck egg instead of the norm. The plate of fluffy kuey teow has big prawns, clams, bean sprouts & fish cake slices to complement the tasty egg. Patrick thrives in finding out how you like yours done so drop by, tell him you read about him in Pummkin’s Pitch & he’ll throw in extra goodies in your plate of kuey teow! I ordered mine with ”˜tor tor hum’ (plenty of see-ham/clams). Watch the video below to see how it was prepared!

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Patrick at work!

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The tasty plate of char kuey teow!

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The coffeeshop.

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Screenshot of map in Google Maps.

To get there, use these GPS coordinates or look for Jalan Bandar 1:- N3? 12.555 E101? 45.085

Patrick’s stall is open from 7am – 2pm.

Butter Coffee & Drunken Noodles in Banting

Banting is a town near Port Klang that bridges coastal areas like Morib & Tanjung Sepat. On our way to Tanjung Sepat, one stopover that you should not miss is the Banting Butter Brew coffee & Rice Wine Mee Sua, situated side by side at a row of government-owned shoplot. The coffee brew has a legacy of 60 years, left behind by the keeper’s father of Hainanese descent. The specialty black coffee is brewed & then a dollop of butter is added to give it a creamy taste. They serve the usual fare of toast with kaya (coconut & egg jam) & butter & half boiled eggs throughout the day.

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Beside this shop is Wo Jia Restaurant & I ordered their special Rice Wine Mee Sua, vermicelli noodles in rice wine soup served with an egg poached inside. It was absolutely divine as the wine in the hot soup brought out the flavour of the vermicelli & egg. My friend ordered a Pumpkin Pan Mee, hand-pinched noodle with pumpkin in soup.

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This row of shoplot is located near the bus stop & parallel to a huge monsoon drain. Perhaps the authorities should look into beautifying the area that hosts delectable street food along this entire row of shops. The outdoor seating beneath the big trees is quite a pleasant experience. We forget that when we live in & around concrete jungles. I got the shopkeeper to relate his thoughts to my friend who could speak Mandarin so if you speak the language too, do watch the video!!!
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Banting Butter Brew is in a shoplot called Sin Guan Huat & right beside it is Wo Jia Restaurant. My entire meal for two only costs less than RM15.00. Unbelievable but true. You have got to try it yourself to see what value you are getting. You can find them on Foursquare or at the coordinates here:- N2.810275, E101.502419. Make this your definite stopover as the trade of his butter brew is dying since his son has indicated no interest in continuing his business. The very few heritage trades of Hainanese left in Selangor”¦”¦

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Exotic Combination For Ramadhan Celebration 2012

It’s fasting month! What a way to enjoy your food after a day of reflection! Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie is offering patrons an array of delectable international cuisines ranging from Mughal to Chinese-Muslim, from Arabian to authentic Malaysian. For the entire month of Ramadhan commencing 18th July to 18 August 2012, over 150 local and international dishes featured at the hotel’s Kites Restaurant will whet your appetite for the breaking of fast.

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A group of guest chefs from across the globe has been flown in for their wealth of experience in their specialty. Chef Ebrahim Mohd brings 25 years of experience in Arabic delicacies all the way from Damascus, Syria. He will whip up Middle Eastern foo, which is a complex and spice driven cuisine, using black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, clove, cumin and coriander to create a delightful mix of meat based dishes, with lamb and mutton being the most popular. He’s preparing a selection of his specialty grilled meats, kebabs, and koftas throughout the celebration along with another Middle Eastern favourite, Hummus, a dip or spread eaten with pita bread made from cooked and mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic which origins date back to ancient Egypt.

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Chef Ebrahim

Our Indian guest chef is Santosh Chaniyal who hails from Nainitaal, India and specialises in Mughlai cooking, a cuisine with a rich history dating back to the 16th century kitchens of the Mughal Emperors who occupied Northern India. Influenced by a mixture of Indian, Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine, Mughlai cuisine uses ingredients like exotic aromatic spices, nuts, raisins, cream, yoghurt and milk to create rich and spicy dishes with a unique aroma. With a considerable influence from Muslim cooking, this cuisine is absolutely not to be missed. It’s almost like bringing India to Malaysia & is my personal favourite.

Chef Santosh will be bringing a collection of his favourite recipes to town for our special guests to enjoy; for a special and unique taste, try the Kashmiri Rogan Josh made with goat or lamb meat cooked with intensely fragrant spices that deliver a mild and rewarding curry. Another dish that should not be missed is the Chicken Biryani. This dish is particularly known for its many layers of flavours and is cooked over a longer period of time to allow the flavours to blend together. The spices used in making the dish are typically not used in everyday cooking, making it a very special dish for guests of Kites Restaurant to sample. Another must try item will be the Jhinga Til Tinka; King prawns marinated with fresh aromatic spices, dipped in a butter made from eggs, green chillies, ginger, garlic & cardamom and cooked with breadcrumbs and sesame seeds. Dum Ka Murgh is another special and popular dish, generally eaten with roti or paratha that uses yoghurt and exotic spices to create a rich and complex meal.

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Chef Santosh

Vegetarians will love to try Quasar-E-Pukhtan, otherwise known as Shahi Paneer. With the name embodying royalty, this dish is fit for kings and is made with the richest of ingredients available. One should not miss out on other vegetarian dishes such as Tarkari Tawa Masala, Dal Bukhar, Dal Dhabe Wali. Other items on the Mughlai menu are Biryani (Gosht ,Murgh , Jhinga), Qurma-E-Firdaus (Hyderabadi Muttom qurma), Khade Masale Ka Gosht, Mahi Sarsom Wali, Tawa-E-Jalpari, and Avadhi Gulnar pari.

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One of the other delights that one can expect at the Ramadhan feast is brought to you by Chef Charles Huang from Zhengzhou, China. His special talent, to prepare hand pulled noodle is a complex craft that produces a wonderful spectacle, and just as importantly, incredible noodles. Made from plain dough that requires incredible dexterity to transform them into beautiful noodles, they are fascinating to watch being created by our food artist Chef Charles Huang as he works feverishly to twist the dough then stretches them delicately by waving the arms and body. Next, the dough is untwisted, looped to double the strands, and then repeated. When stretching, these highly skilled chefs coordinate waving their torso and arms to increase the potential length of the noodle beyond that of the puller’s arm span.

Chef Huang is bringing other Chinese Muslim cuisine delicacies such as mutton noodles, mushroom and chicken noodles, homemade mutton soup, steamed buns and pan-fried egg dumplings during the Puasa month.

Apart from the specialties on offer from our three special guest chefs, Kites restaurant will be maintaining the many popular dishes that were so well received last year. Some of the popular dishes making a comeback this year will be Gearbox Soup – braised beef knee together with a traditional mix of spices, served with condiments such as fried shallots and fresh lime. When mentioning the hot and popular dishes from last year we must mention the Kambing Mamak, a spicy and fragrant lamb curry. This special (and secret!) recipe is one that you won’t get any other day as Executive Chef, Francis Lau has kept this dish only for the Ramadhan celebration.
If you have any room left, why not try our resident Malay Cuisine expert Chef Haniff’s signature dish ”“ Udang Galah Masak Kalio, king prawns cooked in coconut milk with chili padi (chili), lemon grass and turmeric leaves.

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Chef Haniff

Other Specialty Dishes:

Gulai Ikan Sembilang Tempoyak
Catfish braised with fermented durian paste which is then cooked using turmeric leaves and other spices. The specialty of the states of Pahang and Perak.

Tulang Rawan Masak Lemak Cili Api
Short rib braised with turmeric leaves chili and coconut milk

Other items include Mutton Varuve, Udang Galah Masak Kalio, Pucuk Paku Masak Lemak, Kum Heong Fried Squid, Daging Rendang, Kambing Kurma, Ayam Percik Sri Menanti, Minced Chicken Patties with Scallops Sambal, along with authentic Malay desserts to complete your dining experience.

This year our remarkable buffet will be extended to the poolside and Gazebo, adjacent to Kites Restaurant which will be decorated into a setting of a conventional Ramadhan feast combined with a contemporary backdrop. At Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie you can break your fast under the evening sky, decorated with black canopies and a myriad of food stalls. There will be areas designated for the Mughlai, the Arabic and the Chinese-Muslim cuisines alongside the lavish Malay buffet inside the Kites Restaurant.

The buffet dinner at Kites is priced at RM 94++ for adults while for children and senior citizens it is priced at RM 55++. There is a special price from 18th ”“ 24th July where the buffet dinner is priced at RM 84++ for adults and RM 45++ for children and senior citizens.

The hotel also accepts group or company bookings for ”˜Buka Puasa’. Surau facilities with an ”˜Imam’ for ”˜Sembahyang’ are available at the hotel.

Book early before 10 July for substantial discounts – terms and conditions apply.
For booking and reservations please call +603- 7802 524 (9am ”“ 5pm) and +603- 7802 5200 (after 5 pm) or email them at ramadhan@holidayinnkl.com.my

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!

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Superb Mee Goreng Rojak by Aunty Zainab & Hamid – Selangorlicious

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Mee Goreng is a local favourite fried noodle dish, usually garnished with sprigs of beansprouts, strips of carrots, leafy vegetables & diced chicken with soy sauce seasoning but at Hamid Mee Rebus Penang, the authentic Penang-styled Mee Goreng is the standard thoroughfare seasoned with pasembur (rojak) sauce, tauhu (beancurd) & kelapa rojak (coconut condiment)!

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When Dian brought me to Taman Melawati, we were hunting for bookbinding supplies & she recommended me to have this awesome Mee Goreng for tea break. A business operated by mother & son, the Mee Goreng had potatoes, tauhu (beancurd), kelapa rojak (coconut condiment), beansprouts, shaved shallots, half a lime & lots of goodies! As I watched Aunty Zainab in action, she put in what she had from the pots of sauces that she had prepared. Watch how she tosses the noodles in the whole frying process in the video included!

The exterior is lined with a row of other food vendors, and being slightly elevated from the street, you would miss it if you hadn’t known what goodness laid within. The last stall by the roadside, Hamid Mee Rebus Penang serves both Mee Rebus (Noodles in Hot Sauce) & Mee Goreng plus drinks to quench your thirst. A panorama picture is included for your reference & a map to help you find it in Taman Melawati. You should look for it under Google Maps or Foursquare to conveniently navigate yourself over for a tasty, sizzling hot plate of Mee Goreng Rojak at Hamid & Zainab’s stall!

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Footnote:- Selangorlicious has a personalised purpose for me.

Selangorlicious is a contest & I’m in the running! Please vote for this entry on this page -> http://bit.ly/N71G0O

Venturing Selangorlicious-ly

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Salivate, if you must but if you are not tantalised by the subject that I’d be bringing you over the next 2 weeks, you are missing out on life. Not your usual go-to-be-seen food joints, the stalls & eateries are run by folks with legacies. Evident in their coarse hands & years of toil on their faces, these vendors you have patronised over the years have given their daughters dance lessons, tuition for the boys & the little pleasures in life to substitute for the time spent earning a living. These are the vendors who go to the market in the wee hours of the morning to get the freshest supply of ingredients to whip up a good bowl of something for you. These are your neighbourhood familiars who recognise your eating preferences & know your favourite drink. Join me as I search for gastronomical joints that have closely-guarded recipés kept for generations. As they stir up their best, let’s give them mores reasons to stay in business for two generations more!

My quest in the Selangorlicious entries would be to show you fuss-free eateries, unpretentious settings that serve street food & to appreciate them like a true Malaysian, you need to discard all uppity to come in your most comfy attire to savour whats served. I appreciate your Armani’s or Versacé’s when you’re out with me but I’d rather you not mess up your fine threads & slurp as loudly as you like when you are at it.

Cherish Whats Left of Our Cities

Some of the issues I have had to deal with in my line of work are not your day to day operational issues where you can summon help from your peers, colleagues or subordinates. I get calls for help. Calls of distress. Calls of emergency nature that sometimes, I think I need to be equipped with not just a boat, a tent & a rations bag but a comprehensive first aid kit that includes a plaster big enough to cover hurts & an automated defibrillator to stun guilty parties out of their stupidity. And I’m licensed to use one. I train people to use them too. (Don’t try it on stupidity, it might backfire on you.) With so much happening, cycling & photography have become my best pastime.

Emergencies aside, I did find the time to board the KTM train to Klang for the Tourism Selangor Day Out on the 26 May 2012 for the Selangor Heritage Photo Trail & exhibition beneath the Klang City Bridge. Meeting Dian, Nigel, Hannah & David again was good as we explored a bit of the town to bring you the old charms of the place. David broke his leg when he jumped onto the boat fully kitted up & out of disbelief, I laughed out loud. I couldn’t believe it. Get well soon, David! LOL! Sorry, I always look at the brighter side of things, not laughing at your misfortune but at how it could happen to you! 😀

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We went into an old antique shop where I found an old pair of rollerskates amongst the knick-knacks that you won’t find anymore. There was an old ID card dated back in1894!

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Old radios, photos of yesteryears & even a magazine with the dashing young P.Ramlee were for sale. (Pictures above were taken with the Samsung Galaxy S3.)

Taking a walk around the shops was interesting because we came by many florists that had many kinds of fake flowers for decoration.

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The competition was launched by YB Elizabeth Wong, who was as usual, super punctual for the function.

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The event drew many studios, photography buffs & models who were dramatically made up to don on the Mardi Gras costumes.

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I never thought water meters were this artistic. I want the pink one…..where can I find it?

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Seeing veteran citizens using the bridge with their classic bicycles brought back nostalgic past of this town. We hardly see any old folks using the bikes in Kuala Lumpur any more. I had to ask if it was ok for me to take a snapshot of him!

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And I’m glad I got to be a part of this historical event under this bridge on that day, and was told that one of my photographs won the #TSDayOut Shot of The Day Competition! Thank you, Tourism Selangor!

All pictures here were taken using the Samsung NX200 unless stated otherwise.

The Selangor Heritage Trail on Wheelsâ„¢ Event on Boxing Day

This post appeared first on Detours US blog under the Ambassador Program of which I had become a part of. Detours is the maker of bike bags in the USA. You can see it here.

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Selangor Heritage Trail on Wheels was a cycling event that took approximately 100 cyclists to get to know the historical sites & places with heritage value at Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB), Selangor, Malaysia. We went to recce the places & earmarked them to let participants experience the splendour of that destination on bicycles! An initiative effort by the state government of Selangor under the Tourism & Environment portfolio of YB Elizabeth Wong, the Head of Tourism Executive Committee, we collaborated with the Hulu Selangor Town Council (Majlis Daerah Hulu Selangor or MDHS) to bring cyclists & cycling enthusiasts together to participate in a non-competitive, non-race event to seek out the heritage trail with a map on a route led by authorities.

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Traffic Police Station.
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How it looked like in the old days. It was once a church!

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Group photo with Well Tan (in white top to the left of person in black shirt) & her darling riders.

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So many foldies!!!

Recognising the need to reduce our carbon footprint, we designated two segments of the program for that day, one being the main trail in town, the other being the adventure trail to see the historical broken dam of Ampang Pecah, the Masjid (mosque), the Chinese & Indian temples located just outside of KKB town. The dam that collapsed in 1884, was responsible for flooding the old town of Kuala Kubu, causing the death in untold numbers, one of the reasons why they moved the old town that’s now submerged, to the new site called Kuala Kubu Bharu. There are a few churches in town & a lot of interesting eateries that have been around for ages. There’s a little quaint restaurant that used to serve chilled herbal tea in brandy bottles & ordering them is equally fun!

The cook in the kitchen of Teo Kee Restaurant at Big Tree in front of the post office in KKB.

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The heritage spots.

The route promised to be exciting with a famous Butter Sponge Cake shop as one of the stops & a police station that was formerly a church. Riders went to all the spots encompassing a 25km loop with a stop at a broken dam & a hot spring. At the end of the event, I was asked to do a similar event in a different district & it looks like the heritage trail will soon go places!

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Ampang Pecah, the broken dam.

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King George Monument

The town has a cycling lane, an effort to get citizens back to riding bicycles but the route of the heritage trail covered everywhere else.

I managed to get Folding Bike Trading to be the official supporting bicycle shop to standby with technical support for the cyclists & Lafuma as the sponsor of discount vouchers for the goodie bags. Even breakfast & lunch were catered for together with a lorry load of fruits (durians, dukus & rambutans) for the cyclists to feast on!

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Cyclists in full coloured fashion!

We asked the ladies to come dressed in their most fashionable attire as riding is not just about racing but about looking good on your bike! We wanted them to come accessorised with gadgets & bags too! Then we asked the men to come in anything but racing outfit. The photo opportunity depicted them in cool attire rather than in competition vests. They redefined Sightseeing on Wheels! The launch was officiated by the President of the town council, two Members of Parliament & head of police in the district & we had a bike acrobat to perform some really cool stunts that put people half his age to shame. 70+years Ramanathan did some calisthenics & balancing act on his bike to the stunned audience before the ride.

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Flag off!

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Bike acrobat & riding around the block.

As the country was developed without the cyclist in mind, we are helping the state gazette cycling lanes to make the roads safer to ride in & create any event that will bring cyclists together in numbers. Working with local councils who are all for the idea is a great experience & nothing beats the thrill of riding in the countryside discovering new places & finding food along the way. Follow my journey as we convince others to get on the bike again!

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Yours truly having a picture taken with YB Elizabeth Wong!

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Hot spring – a soak after a cool dip at the dam….

Never Miss A Shot with Pentax – My Selangor Story 2011

I was eager to swim & soak away the aches so I took the opportunity to take the Pentax Optio WS80 with me. The thing that intrigues me is the amphibious nature of this model that I got supplied with during the contest duration to shoot with. I took it down to 1.5metres in the pool & it worked perfect. I could think of the many times that I have needed a small, waterproof, rugged camera with me & I will detail them here.
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Why You Would Need A Waterproof Camera:-

If you were an underwater photographer/videographer (like me), you need a backup camera. With the usual clunk that I carry, my underwater housing, strobes, lights, arms, tray, batteries/chargers weigh a ton. I simply cannot afford to carry another nor would I be able to purchase another set. When I shoot till the batteries dead, there is almost always a whale shark, a manta ray, an eagle ray or a happy squid BECKONING ME to shoot it. Somehow, Murphy’s Law would only apply then, ‘Anything That Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong.’ It is absolutely wrong NOT to be able to document any NatGeo moment that I encounter. The Pentax Optio WS80 or Pentax Optio WG1 would sit perfectly inside my BC pocket.

  • When you have a pool party, you almost always get thrown into the pool. Everything else can be replaced but definitely not the pixels recorded in your memory card if you don’t have a waterproof camera.
  • When you go jungle trekking & have to cross rivers with rocky terrain, the last thing you need is to drop your camera while balancing on these ultra slippery rocks. And you are like me, you want to take the breathtaking shots as you trek……
  • You teach swimming & scuba diving like me & want something to record your student’s progress. They can’t see how they perform themselves if you don’t have a waterproof camera that can shoot videos of them with. It is great for perfecting their strokes (swimming) and correcting their finning method (diving). Maybe you can get your friend to record your performance too.
  • You love tide pools after the tide go out & want to document life in these tiny pools that hold a myriad of life. It’s impossible to submerge a bulky, housed camera & a small, handhold, amphibious camera would be great for this task. Another NatGeo opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss.
  • You’re one of those who like taking pictures of yourself in the bath……no, I’m not that type so WIPE THAT IMAGE OF ME DOING THAT IN YOUR HEAD.
  • You just want to don on your rain jacket & play in the rain & what better way to shoot in these circumstances than to have a waterproof camera with you at all times???
  • Still not convinced? Well, I spent a hour in the pool at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Resort to convince myself why I SHOULD BE GETTING A WATERPROOF CAMERA next & it wasn’t very hard to convince myself after looking at the videos. These videos are super clear & have already been resized.

The beautiful landscaped garden at the hotel, has a man-made waterfall cascading into a concrete pool. The garden is bordered by a walled fence beside the golf course thus, a serene & tranquil environment for guests.

The kids playing merrily in the pool made great subjects to film underwater. Here are the videos taken with it:-

The camera is perfect for travellers who want a fuss-free, waterproof model to take snapshots in situations where they wouldn’t want normal cameras to function in, such as at beaches, waterfalls, lakes, swimming pools. It serves as a good back up camera with HD movie capability in the event that your primary camera refuse to work for whatever reason.

As soon as I got out of the pool to relax on on of the deck chairs, the pool attendant walked over with a beach towel & handed it to me. I am impressed with the level of service rendered even at the recreational level where guest are expected to take it easy. Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Resort has definitely got it right with impeccable service!

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Picture taken with the Pentax WS80

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Picture taken with the Pentax WS80

 

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Picture taken with the Pentax WS80

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Picture taken with the Pentax WS80

 

If you think this entry deserves a vote, please cast your vote for me HERE!

Day 5 – Pure Joy of Relaxation at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Resort – My Selangor Story 2011

Retiring to a comfortable room when you are travelling, makes all the difference in your stay. My room had twin beds, which I share with Olyvia, a software engineer from Jakarta. The bathroom was spacious & had all the amenities you’d find in a five star resort & the soap was what I loved most. Soaps with a higher content of glycerin makes it super luxurious on your skin & did I enjoy my bath time in the bath tub! The room even had its own steam iron & ironing board, not every hotel equips the room with such & it enabled me to iron my dress in the quickest time possible without having to wait for the delivery by the housekeeping department if it was the conventional way.

The thermostat of the air conditioning can be turned down to 10?C should you wish to fully utilise the efficacy of the comforter provided but we set it at a comfortable 22?C.

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Our bedroom

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The bathroom!

As this was our final day of the tour, we made our farewells & vowed to keep in touch to journey with each other through our blogs. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the sponsors & organiser of My Selangor Story 2011 for making this possible. My stay with each one of the resorts has opened my eyes to many possibilities within my profession to promote Selangor when I go overseas as an ambassador for ISO Standards in Diving Services for Malaysia. I thank you for making me feel important as a guest & may the contest be a platform for me to pitch my skills as a writer & producer for the assignments that I will embark on hereon!


This best sums up the 5-day journey of mine.

I would be so grateful if you could vote for this entry HERE. <—- There are links at the bottom of each post that require a click on the many hearts that you see! Thank you!

Here are our sponsors who made our 5-day tour splendid!
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Sumptuous Offer at The Mix, Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie – My Selangor Story 2011

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Zynchro, the resident band.

Now we see why we need a holiday to recuperate from one & thankfully as we headed down to Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Resort,, there were no other physical challenges ahead apart from chilling out. The closing dinner was held at The Mix, our official restaurant for My Selangor Story 2011 & the chefs whipped up a storm! I particularly enjoyed the Mesclun Salad & the Apple Potatoes Salad with Toasted Nuts topped with a generous helping of balsamic & garlic sauce. I had 5 helpings before going for the main dishes which were superbly done. The presentation of the food in circular bowls served on covered heated pans ensures the food stays warm no matter how many times you go back for second helpings.

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Mesclun Salad & the Apple Potatoes Salad with Toasted Nuts

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The offering at the dinner!

The Mix has a bar downstairs & a restaurant upstairs. As you enter the premise, the kitchen is in full view of the patrons, watching the chefs cook will whet your appetite as you look through the menu for what to eat. Ladies Nite is on every Wednesday AND Saturday where we ladies are entitled to selected cocktails & spirits all night long. There is a private dining room for patrons wishing to have a space away from others & a rack of fine wine for the connoisseur.

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Chef at the grill!

The dinner marked the closing of the 5 day tour & a celebration of the coming together of so many brilliant young minds for the chance of contesting in such challenging circumstances. Sagina Manandhar, Marketing Communications Manager of Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Resort, gave the closing speech as a welcome to having us stay with them & to congratulate everyone for surviving the challenges! En. Fazly Razally, the Event & Marketing Manager of Tourism Selangor, arrived later to join us for the after dinner celebrations with the house band!

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Zynchro, the resident band that performs nightly at The Mix, entertained us with a great rendition of current hits & hot favourites. Before long, the crowd was dancing to their upbeat numbers. Dian organised a surprise birthday cake for Amelia, the organiser, as she celebrates her birthday that evening with us. She obliged to sing again at the popular request by all of us & was she good!

We said our goodbyes to the Indonesian bloggers who would be on the first flight out the next morning. It was rather sad to let them go & it would have been so good to be perpetually on holiday but with modern technology of the internet, we will never be far from each other.

Watch for my next post on the 5th day of my tour! And please vote for me HERE! <—- Every blogpost is an entry so please vote on every link that you find at the end of my entries! Thank you!

The Cube – My Companion for My Selangor Story 2011

The Cube is an amazing multimedia channel created to fulfil the need of young people today, to access content on any device while on the move. Upon landing on the main page at www.thecube.my, a library of hit songs are available or purchase & download. Considering the price that you pay for an album, RM0.99 per song is a bargain. We were each sponsored with an Xpax prepaid number with a total of RM55 credit to enable us to access unlimited data for RM6 per day. This is a new portal with a library of multimedia for download. Thank you, The Cube, for internet access wherever we go!

The Cube offers the latest top hits as ringtones that can be downloaded to replace your standard ring tones. For phones that can customise each contact’s ringtones, you would be able to identify who’s calling straight away.

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Screenshot of what’s available on their website.

Under Musicube, there are Malay & Chinese songs apart from English songs, for download. There’s even a selection of Korean songs under Others’ tab. There could be a long queue for the dentist or at the post office where you are bored off your skull. Browse the collection & listen to a new song to perk yourself up before you go nuts. Or download a game & pit yourself against the game to score your personal best.

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Screenshot of what’s available on their website.

For those who need constant action, games are ready for download under PlayCube.

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Screenshot of what’s available on their website.


Just for fun, Fun Cube offers screensavers that you can download to jazz up your screen, skins & graphics to make your phone be set apart from others. You even have comics of action, drama, humour, fantasy, romance, science fiction delivered in the form of MMS to your phone.

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And in FrenCube, with just RM1 weekly, you can have unlimited usage of Facebook & Twitter via sms. With many personalising features, expand your network or get updates from friends while you share yours.

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Screenshot of what’s available on their website.

Riding on the the Celcom network, The Cube can be accessed anywhere within the country, having the widest coverage in Malaysia. So if you are hard pressed to have a different ring in your life, check out the numerous ringtones to brighten up your day & poke your friends on Facebook whenever you feel like it!

Note: This is part of the My Selangor Story contest. Please vote for this entry HERE!

Day 4 – Gruelling Course at Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort

Our first activity before breakfast was to trek into the dipterocarp montane forest. Andi Kus & I preferred to take photos of life that enfolded around us & we stayed well behind the troupe as they marched pass us. Minute plants caught my attention & as giant fungi looked out of place, the jungle began to tell us a story of symbiosis. Moss that is found only at a certain height above sea level was seen here. Ferns that begin with a tight curl, unravel themselves in splendour the deeper you go into the forest. Every life form supports the ecosystem & make up the food chain. We are to take nothing but pictures, leave nothing behind but footprints. That’s not always the case with me. I left a scent & took 5 leeches back with me. Andi Kus didn’t get a single bite even though he was beside me taking the same shots! Now how is that possible??? *shudder!*

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Moss

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Moss on semi dead wood

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The leeches paled in comparison to what followed after breakfast. An obstacle course called ”˜Tears of the Sun,’ designed to test your endurance & team spirit, was part of surviving the My Selangor Story 2011 tour. Zul, our team trainer called out Ridha to lead the bloggers into a Bollywood dance as the theme song ”˜Jai Ho,’ from Slumdog Millionaire came on the superb sound system. Then everyone had to get out of a knotted circle to run to the starting line of the tremendously challenging course…..

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Hills & ditches, everyone got wet. Climbing over wooden fences, inclining & declining wooden slopes only to be dropped vertically into the ditch again. Crossing every pool of water caused everyone to depend on one another. By the time they reached their 5th ditch, each one learnt to make the best of it by…….dancing & acting! Watch the video! The superb showmanship by medical student, Shaleh had me in stitches. At the end of the obstacle course, the differences in culture, ethnicity & countries bore no more obstacles to friendship & camaraderie. In the name of cohesion, we danced to celebrate the completion of the most gruelling task, not in the course but in trusting our lives with another on the journey.

Watch the video of bloggers in action!

We got ready & clean to go for the closing lunch reception that the wonderful sponsors at Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort prepared for us. The General Manager, Ruddin Salim expressed that it was a pleasure to have us but I feel that the pleasure was ours to be invited for the journey. Najib reiterated that he never says goodbye but when will I see you again. The presence of the GM, Assistant GM & all the Fun & Adventure marshals & trainers who made us feel belonged & welcome was more than just the hospitality that came with their jobs. It came forth because of the love they have for the work that they do. I want to thank & appreciate all the physical effort of Zul & his team for working through the night to set up the course & trail for us & the group after us. His tireless work make him the best in a class of his own. Thank you for making it mean so much to us!

We savoured yet another lavish spread of buffet lunch at Rajawali Coffee House in Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort just before the bus departed for Day 4 of our journey at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Resort for a sumptuous offer…

If you think this blogpost warrants your vote, please click on the 5 hearts HERE!

 

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Rajawali Coffee House

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Main dishes!

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Mousses & soufflé!

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Cakes!