Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Langkawi, June 2013

I visited Langkawi about 2 weeks ago to settle some issues. Without revealing too much, lets just say all good things come to an end.

I was to be traveling alone most of the time, so I booked a Perodua Myvi from a friend who works at a tourist company for RM 80 a day. It was a nice car to drive around. I had to plan my excursions carefully as I only had limited time to go to the places that I haven't been. First stop was Pantai Tanjung Rhu on the way to the Crocodile Farm at Datai Bay.

 It was raining for the past few weeks in Langkawi, but I was fortunate enough to endure a slight drizzle when I visited the crocodile farm.

For some reason, the crocs here look meaner and tougher than the ones I saw in Jong's crocodile farm back home. I guess its because they are kept in cramped conditions, where only the meanest survive (I'm exagerrating, but you get my point).

And here is my favorite part of the show :) If some misfortune indeed occurs, my 70-200 lens will be the first to capture it.

 Feeding time at the pond. I don't think the rotten fish that they feed the crocs is ever enough. But they do feed them daily, so that compensates for the big meals that they normally have in the wild.

 The crocs jaws are only half a meter away from the keeper's fingers. He's lucky to keep all his fingers at the moment.

 A remnant from the recently concluded general elections.

 I like this :)

 The craft museum, despite being well equipped with stuff does not facilitate the process of appreciating what really goes on in here, unlike museums in the west. Its really dark inside, and the words are mostly in the Malay language. No wonder no foreign tourists come by.

 This is Pantai Pasir Hitam at Teluk Yu. The sand is black due to iron deposits. In a distance, you can see a cement factory owned by a french company.

 I stopped at a small jetty near Pantai Tengah. To the right, you can see Awana Porto Malai resort, which is currently owned by Resorts World Genting.

If you are lucky enough to own a boat like this, you can park at the islands nearby and sleep under the stars while dozing to sleep with the sounds of the sea all around you.

The famous Pantai Cenang.

I was dying for Western food in Langkawi, so we went to Sun Cafe. The cordon bleu was excellently prepared, and it is very affordable at only RM 30. Yes, you can get it cheaper at Secret Recipe but it doesn't taste as good.

 This is grilled barracuda fillet. Tastes great, and really worth it at RM 36. All in all, dinner for two with drinks costs no more than RM 100. Lovely !

I will really miss this town and what it has to offer. Not too underdeveloped, but has the right amount of facilities to sustain a small population of locals and an even smaller group of expatriates and tourists.

 I'll miss the blue blue skies and blue waters. And the fresh air of course (I know, its not exactly appropriate to say that during this hazy period).

Did some exploring on my own. Just a five minute walk from my motel, I am blessed with this scenery all around me.

View towards Bayview Hotel, the largest hotel in Kuah.

Goodbye Langkawi. You'll be dearly missed !

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Tok Aman Bali Beach Resort

Its a nice new resort, but do be aware of the sub par faciilities (no bar, karaoke room, no room service, payable recreational facilities), and food (no liquor, expensive food at cafe and limited breakfast choices). But if you just want to get away from it all and enjoy the blue skies and beach, its worth a try.

The barbecue fish buffet is supposedly one of the highlights of this hotel.

Recreational activities aren't free unfortunately. You'll have to pay RM 15 to get on this paddle boat.

Walking down memory lane - A trip to Ipoh Old Town

I had the opportunity to revisit Ipoh for an assignment. I took the opportunity to try out the original Ipoh white coffee in old town. Luckily Google Maps saved the day and directed me to Ipoh old town. But do beware, although the shops look the same, the coffee they serve isn't.

Kedai Kopi Sun Yuan Foong supposedly serves the best white coffee in Ipoh. Don't be confused with the Sin Yoon Loong coffee shop just next to it !

Forget about the heavily franchised Old Town White Coffee for the moment. This one at Sun Yuan Fong kopitiam is deliciously sweet while remaining a little bitter at the same time.

Can you remember the time when the breakfast menu was on the wall instead of being presented in fancy books? I can.

Toast with half boiled egg and a sausage make a lovely companion for the white coffee.

The interior of the coffee shop.

So many varieties of local pastries.

Local Ipoh biscuits.

You can tell this uncle has years of stir frying char kway tiaw.

Glutinous rice cakes.

The railway station is still in active use today, and it looks beautiful.

JW Birch memorial. The poor fellow was assasinated a long time ago.

Directly opposite is one of Ipoh's largest mosques.

A view down the streets of Ipoh from my car.

These election campaign materials were supposed to be taken down, and their owners risk a hefty fine for not doing so.

My humble abode for one night in Ipoh at Impiana Hotel.


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