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Monday, June 22, 2015

PENANG HILL [BUKIT BENDERA] PENANG 2015

Penang Hill is located 833 metres above sea level at Air Itam, Penang. Penang Hill is so near my home, yet it was years ago that I last visited this Premier Nature Destination of Penang. Probably, it was because of the constant break down of the train service or parking problems or the weather isn’t that cool anymore.

Anyway, whatever the excuses are, I made a trip up the hill recently just to have a look see again and to enjoy the concession rate in the early morning [before 8.00 am] which is only Ringgit 3.00 for a to and fro trip. Normal rate for locals is Ringgit 10.00. We find the concession rate very attractive even though parking fee is Ringgit 2.00 for 1 hour. One hour isn’t enough to see Penang Hill.
The ticketing office, entrance to the train platform and everything at the foothill of Penang Hill Railway have improved much compared to the past. It is more user- friendly and looks good at dawn. The view is serene and beautiful with the soft lights. We like it very much with one look at it when we arrived. We chose a working day to visit Penang Hill to avoid the crowd. Apart from the workers, we were the only 3 visitors in the coach. The journey was perfect, comfortable and much faster compared to the ‘old’ train.

Upon reaching the top, we met with a group of tourists whom I think must have gone up earlier before us. A senior lady told us that there isn’t much to see except for the cool breeze. We started strolling up the pathway, catching up with the view on the right side. We managed to see the sun rising, enjoyed the’ healthily’ growing flowers and ferns. There are many potted flower plants along the pathway probably because there has been a function held the day before as there were numerous makeshift tents around.
Anyway, we didn’t expect to see much development or wanted much development. Honestly, I prefer there aren’t too much development but just well kept with basic amenities available for visitors and beautiful natural floral and fauna to be enjoyed.

Of course, there has been some changes right at the top where the big canon is. I can’t remember that there was small mosque and an Indian temple here. I remembered it was quite ‘barren’ then. We strolled around the place, enjoying the flowers and cool breeze. 

We visited Bellevue Hotel. This hotel has been refurbished and without dining at the restaurant, you would need to pay Ringgit 3.00 to have a panoramic view of the island from its viewing platform . There is a buggy tour service outside the hotel for Ringgit 25.00 - 30.00 for a 25 minutes ride around the area.  
Here, you also get to view various species of ginger flowers.

All in all, we had an enjoyable morning trip up the hill and promised ourselves to comeback in the future to enjoy the cool breeze and fresh air.
Remember to visit Penang Hill if you are in Penang cos’ there is a sign up here that states ‘You have never been to Penang if you have not visited Penang Hill’.



Tuesday, June 09, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR TRIP 2015

I visited my aunty and cousins in Kuala Lumpur during the mid-term school holidays. We travelled there with KTM Express train. The journey is about 6 hours but we were not that lucky as the train electricity supply was disrupted and there was a delay for 3 hours. Luckily, it was raining and the weather was cool. 
For leisure purposes, I especially like to travel by train as I love enjoying the views throughout the journey from Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur. Moreover, my aunt stays in the city itself so it is more convenient by train than by plane. If on business, it is always by plane. 
It has been for years I haven’t really spend time with my KL relatives even though we do meet up during some family occasions at various states. 
Before arriving in KL, I already pre-empt my aunt that I must try some of the local food which I have ate when I was staying with her during my study and working days decades ago. I gave her a list of them. Being a very loving and caring aunt, she made sure I had them all during my stay. Of course, there are ample choice of food in KL city but I particularly would like to have these food. 
 KL Hokkien Mee [Charcoal fried Tai Lok Mee], Dumplings Soup, Bak Ngee Soup, KL Loh Mee,  at Kim Lean Kee,
The Garden, Mid-Valley



A bowl of dumplings costs RM 8.90 and a plate of noodles costs RM 12.90 excluding service tax and GST
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 KL Hor Fun and KL Hokkien Mee at Sentul Ah Yap Charcoal Fried Hokkien Mee Restaurant, Off Jalan Ipoh, KL
A plate costs RM 16.00 [portion for 2]
  • KL Hokkien Mee using the thick fat yellow noodles with lots of crispy pork lard
  • KL Loh Mee using the thick fat yellow noodles is a thick soup like shark’s fin soup served with black vinegar
  • KL Hor Fun with thick gravy with beaten eggs
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KL Ampang Yong Taufu and Dumpling Soup
Ampang [nearby Ampang Kew Ong Yeah Temple]
My cousin sister ordered 50 pieces [assorted].  I don't know how much this cost.
********************
 KL Wantan Noodles [dry and soup types] at one of the Kopitiam in a housing estate off Batu 5 Jalan Ipoh, KL

 Stir Fried Beehoon with Clams
at Restoran Kim Hoe, Pulau Ketam, Selangor
 
 KL Claypot Chicken Rice with Salted Fish
at Food Hall, KLCC
 Taiwanese Snow Ice with Mangoes, 
Yam and Sweet Potato Balls at Snowflakes,
Berjaya Times Square
 Klang Bak Kut Teh 
at Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh, behind Klang Hokkien Association
 
Buddha's Fruit [Lou Han Kao] and Longan Sweet Cold Dessert,
 Petaling Street, KL
 KL Chee Cheong Fun with the fu chok, fish balls etc
 serve with some soup and sweet sauce

Breakfast Food  at Taman Mastiara Coffee Shop - Yee Mee in Wok, Pan Mee Soup, KL Style Koay Teow Soup and KL Char Koay Teow

KL Fish Noodles Soup - my aunt bought the fresh noodles from the wet market and cooked it for us at home.  It was good with a light soup.
KL Dim Sum, the one in Ipoh Road which sells extra large dim sums [paus, siew mai, fish balls etc]
KL Cantonese Sang Mee – crispy fried noodles with thick gravy
KL Laksa – similar to Penang Curry Mee [I like the thick fragrant coconut milk soup]
There were lots more local food and drinks we had but too bad for some, I didn’t manage to the photos due to timing [we had Dim Sum at 12 midnight] and on some occasions I have forgotten to bring along my handy and camera. 
There are also several must visit places [listed below] that I have to go because of the group of people I came with. My teenage niece has never visited KL, my sister in-law and friend have not really seen KL even though they do travelled to KL for certain purposes. Anyway, we managed to visit these places which I think is more than enough for a week long trip.
KL Thean Hou Temple
National Monument and Parliament House
Batu Caves
Putrajaya Floral Fest At Night
 
 



Dataran Merdeka, Abdul Samad Building
Sunway Pyramid and Lagoon
 
 
 
 
KL Golden Triangle [Bukit Bintang Area] and shopping complexes like Pavilion, Berjaya Times Square etc
Petaling Street etc [didn't take any photos of these places as weather wasn't good at the time of visit]
Istana Negara, Jalan Duta

Anyway, we ended up visiting more places apart from the above like Klang, Pulau Ketam and Jenjarom-Kuala Langat, Selangor. 
Pulau Ketam
 

Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple 

(佛光山东禅寺)

Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, Selangor 
Here is the address
PT2297, Jalan Sg. Buaya, 42600 Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, Selangor, Malaysia.
 Tel : 603-31911533 / 31914304 Fax : 603-31911467


We even managed to have our morning exercises at the Metropolitan Park at Taman Mastiara. All in all it was a very enjoyable trip for us and for this credit must be given to my aunty and cousins who have made my plans accomplished. I am happy that quality times [family ties strengthened] have been spent with them during this week long trip. 
If I do visit KL next time, I must meet up with my friends and spend more time with my relatives too.