Chemomoi

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A friend’s grandma passed away in Triang, pahang. So we made a trip to pay our last respects since it’s still a public holiday. So my sis and I drove to pick her husband from visiting his dad in hospital and made our way. Good thing we tapao McD at Gombak drive through before making our way. Both sis and I didn’t have our lunch because we had late breakfast. It was a good call because we didn’t expect the journey to be in pitch black winding road!

The normal road towards Triang is via Temerloh. But due to floods, most highways are closed. Thank God for Waze! Waze directed us to use the trunk roads towards Triang bypassing Feldas. It’s really scary to drive up and down the hill in narrow roads, pitch black and full of cows! It’s like driving in Walking Dead set!

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Here’s a photo of the pitch black empty road!

Our friend saluted our bravery for attempting this road. Actually we didn’t know this road is that treacherous. Otherwise we wouldn’t use it!

Now on our way back to KL via Kuala Pilah -Seremban. On the North South Highway now. Hope it’s rempit-free tonight.

Aiyah! Cibs!! Kena snap photo. Speed trap. RM300 gone! Update – It seems if you only need to pay RM150 if you pay within 14 days from the day you received your saman.

Originally posted on:- http://dayre.me/gingerlyyours/HtMNTEpgX9

A Visit to Bentong-Raub, Pahang II

21st June 2014, Saturday

Our host came to take us for breakfast at their favorite hawker joint in Raub. I guess most Raub people would be having their breakfast here. They have arrays of choices – from wan tan mee, to lou shu fun, to char kueh teow, etc. Their famous one is their kolo mee which was sold out by 9.30 am!

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Kon lou mein

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Smooth tofu fah!

We also tried the taufu fah, which was rather smooth!

After breakfast, we made our way to the factory which made the famous groundnuts brand – Sempalit. Unfortunately, the factory was not in operation. Since our host knew the owner, he took us around a short walk around his factory and told us things on the operation. He said, they tried to maintain as original as possible, and they still use firewood to build fire to roast the groundnuts.

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Trade’s equipment

Most groundnuts are now imported from Cambodia or Vietnam as the local people do not grow groundnuts anymore as the harvest is unpredictable. You can grow as many groundnuts trees but in order to harvest the groundnuts, you would have to dig the whole tree up to obtain however few nuts you could get, which are attached to the roots. Since groundnuts are small and they grow underground, farmers wouldn’t know for sure how many are there till they dig the roots out. Hence, it was not a very profitable plant. Most farmers switch to growing tapioca, sweet potatoes as they could get bigger sized produce from the same plot of land.

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Bukit Koman Kilang Taufu

After buying some groundnuts, our host took us to Bukit Koman, where the taufu shop was located. They sell soy bean milk sold here too. My sis claimed that it’s more fragrant and thick compared to the ones we had at the hawker center. Please get your freshly made taufu pok at this shop. Since our host knows the owner too, we had some free sampling of tofu pok. They were crunchy and delicious!

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Free sampling of fried tofu pok!

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Rusty kampong house

It was time to check out so we headed back to the home stay to pack our things. Since we had a large breakfast, our host tapao some duck and char siew rice for us to eat later at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary.

It was almost 1.5 hours drive to the sanctuary from Raub. The journey towards the elephant sanctuary was flanked by kampongs and farms, rubber estates and oil palm. It was rather picturesque. I guess we probably went during the hottest days of the year. We were sweating when we get out from the car. The sun was scorching that we feel like we are going to melt soon. It was difficult to keep our eyes open.

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Elephants taking a bath

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Baby elephant

There is no entrance fee going into the sanctuary. You just need to fill up a form entailing your name, age and IC number. If you want to help bathe the baby elephant, then you may pay RM10 as a token of donation.

We walked into the elephant sanctuary, which is situated near the registration office. In there, you may feed the elephants. They will bathe the elephants at around 2 pm, so be sure to be there before 2 pm. After that, they just have a short performance by the elephants, which didn’t amount to much as the elephants were not as well trained as the ones in Chiangmai. These are elephants which have lost their habitats due to logging and deforestation. So, they were all “rescued” and placed here. I guess it’s about time government should draw up virgin forest to keep the elephants in their natural habitat. It was a good effort to rescue the elephants.. but then, wouldn’t it be better if we do responsible logging, replant trees that have been fell, so that there will be a sustainable resources for the future? I doubt it…

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Ais kacang!

After we had our lunch at the nearby hut near the car park, we make our way back to Bentong for ais kacang! There’s a legend… wait for it…dary!! ais kacang restaurat at Bentong, called Kow Po. The owner of the shop is a Chinese and yet, we have so many other races friends having the ice cool ais kacang in the same restaurant. A rare sight in KL with all the extremist bigots! You have a nice Malay lady selling kick ass nasi lemak outside the shop – also I heard, the nasi lemak is simply delicious! We didn’t try though as we were too full from the duck rice we ate earlier. After ais kacang, we made our way back to Kuala Lumpur.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip! Looking forward to more Cuti-Cuti Malaysia with the families soon!

A Visit to Bentong-Raub, Pahang

20th June 2014, Friday

I think I have never been to Raub. I’ve been to Bentong twice, to the Chamang waterfalls. Once for durians and another time, just for the heck of it. That was ages ago. So when my sister’s friend from Raub offered us to take us on a hometown visit, we delightfully agreed.

It was a good thing we went a week after the school holidays so Raub was not that packed. Situated just under 1.5 hours away from Kuala Lumpur, it is sure a short distance to travel to eat and explore what the local people has to offer.

First, we dropped by the Colmar Tropicale by Berjaya. It wasn’t really a good place to visit. There’s nothing much there really. It’s a bit tacky. Somehow, I guess the children enjoy it. Since there were a few colorful horses and nice ambiance.

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Colmar Tropicale, Bukit Tinggi

Don’t bother going up the Japanese Garden. We were told the koi pond was in the process of cleaning but we don’t see anybody cleaning the pond. Maybe the fishes died due to the very hot weather. Honestly, even at 3,500 feet above sea level, we were all sweating bricks. The bus shuttle only took us to the staircase and we had to hike all the way up. My sis said, previously, the bus shuttle sent you right to the top and you don’t have to climb stairs. How are elderly or handicapped people going to climb up the stairs? It was totally not user friendly.

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Colmar Tropicale, Bukit Tinggi

After the short visit to Colmar Tropicale, we made our way to Valley Resorts on our way to Bentong to have lunch. It was situated really into the jungle. I guess the place has been cleared for oil palm. We were lucky again as we were the only patrons there, eventhough we reached there about 2 pm. Do try the nyonya tilapia. It’s delicious. Unfortunately, by 2 pm, we were too hungry so no photos were taken. Haha.

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Valley Resorts

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You can even stay at Valley Resort if you are up to it. It’s a quiet place. A good place to meditate and relax. Other than that, there was nothing much. The children enjoy the little hut floating on the pond where you use as a raft to go up and down a pond.. a bit tacky by the kids enjoyed it! The children also enjoyed watching the fish at the fish pond, the many types of birds in the cage as well as monkeys. The cage is rather big for the birds but for the monkeys, it’s rather pitiful. I think it’s best if they could let the monkeys roam free.

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Food Spread

After a scrumptious lunch, we drove to Raub to check into our home stay to rest for a bit. Before that, we stopped by at Tong Nam Bee, Off Jalan Tun Razak, Raub for coffee and toast bread, with home made kaya! It was simply delicious. We were too full from our lunch, so we didn’t order much. Just some bread to satisfy our taste buds and coffee with ice. It was scorching hot so it doesn’t make sense to drink hot coffee!!

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Toast bread with freshly made kaya and butter! Yummmsss!!!

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Tong Nam Bee shop

Our host booked us a terrace house with four rooms. It was quite comfortable and clean. And it was a big gated house compound so, it’s a good place if you want to have BBQ. Children enjoy it as they are able to play bubbles and run around the house compound.

Around 6 pm, our host took us to visit Laman Pesona. It is situated in Kg Cheroh. It consists of many villas on top of the hill. Our host didn’t book us a villa here as they said the villa can be really hot, since the villas are facing west. I guess maybe next time, if we ever visit again, we will stay here as we would want to try out all the activities offered by the in-house tour. They have ATV, jungle trekking and also other more adventurous activities. I guess have to wait for the children to grow up first.

We ended the night with a great dinner at nearby restaurant and as if the dinner was not enough, our host went to tapao Raub’s famous char kueh teow for us to eat.

The children played another round of bubbles at night before we call it a night. What a full day of fun!
For other photos, please refer to my instagram hashtag #gingerlyyoursraub.

OVERHEATED

This weekend was overheated.

Firstly, there was a BBQ at an ex colleague’s house. Old buddies were supposed to meet up on Friday night for a BBQ but the torrent rain had caused Kuala Lumpur’s traffic to be utterly horrendous. I was stuck in the standstill jam after office hour on Friday at Jalan Kuching for almost an hour before I decided to make a U turn to go home.

Feeling somewhat guilty for not showing up to the BBQ, (and the host had made my favorite bacon and banana sticks), I decided to go on Saturday instead. Apparently, everyone was stuck in Friday’s horrific jam and didn’t manage to make it, apart from those friends and relatives coming from Petaling Jaya or Kajang to Cheras. Speaking of Cheras – it seriously befuddling how people could stand staying in Cheras with the never ending standstill traffic jam, even after 11 pm.

It was a good to catch up with old friends; talking about mostly anything – trips, video games, movies, babies, gossips, jokes, etc. A terrific way to spend the weekend.

This morning, I had a weird dream again. We were at some place filled with people. It looked like a temple with Hindu gods figurines. Then I suddenly had the urge to use the loo. The moment I opened the door, there was a splash of blood on my feet. I screamed and jumped aside. A girl who was with me – I don’t even know her, apparently did not see the splash of blood. I looked again. There was no blood. I tried to use the next toilet – but someone else had jumped queue. The third toilet was broken. The girl who was standing next to me vanished into thin air.

I confided in a friend – I don’t even remember who she was, she suggested that I see a medium. I found myself in a hall filled with people – there was a lady in her 40s, motioned me to see her. I told her about what I saw. She appeared to be calm and motioned everyone in the hall to form a circle.

“Do not break the circle,” she said sternly.

“We will now form a circle to appease the spirit,” she continued, “Do not let your hands go.”

I noticed that we were suddenly standing on a very huge Ouija board. I freaked out. The chanting began – but it was barely audible. I tried not to let go off my hands – but the persons next to me sometimes would let go and clap. I was quite pissed off at them for not listening.

After the chanting, we were all instructed to lie on a plank with graph-like chart. I was placed on number 5; meaning – I gave the most resistance to the spirit, among other people. I asked the lady – what does this mean? She said – I would need to negotiate my way out with the spirit myself.

I was then transported again back to the toilet – but this time round, there was no blood and the toilet was clean. I then, put a pile of dirty clothes into a washing machine next to the toilet – while watching my back – so that, the splash of blood do not appear suddenly again.

Suddenly, the phone rang. My subconscious mind told me not to answer it.

“No! Don’t answer it! It’s from the Monk!”

Then I woke up. It was 11.30 a.m.

The call was from Dennis; waking me up to go to Bentong with him and Jess for a durian fiesta. I rubbed my eyes and recollect my dreams. It was freaking weird alright… and geez.. today’s the Monk’s birthday! (I only remember when I wrote this post!). Well, Happy Birthday, Monk!

Dennis’ colleague has an uncle in Bentong, who would give a good deal for durians. I was delighted. The usual prices charged for durians in KL – RM10-RM13 per kilo for D24 and RM5-RM8 per kilo for D101, etc. This knowledge is gathered from the few durians dinner with Sekinchan Boy. Here – we are getting D24 at RM4.50 per kg and D101 for RM3 per kg. Sweet!!

The thought of having durians in an orchard tucked away in Bentong was beguiling. It was a hot afternoon. We didn’t know there would be 14 of us! Kuala Lumpur convoy to Bentong for durians in four cars! There were some serious durian connoisseurs. To me – a durian is a durian, irregardless of grade or species.

Then, I suddenly turned apprehensive.

Me: Are we gonna go for jungle trekking when we enter the orchard?

Dennis: Not sure lah.

Me: Shit lor.. I am so out of shape. I don’t even go to FRIM for a walk! And now, going inside an orchard to eat durians?? Got mosquitoes or not?

It’s me – the whiner on Sunday afternoon.

Dennis: You came back from Taman Negara – you were alright what?

Me: Dude.. that was like.. 4 freaking years ago? When I was fitter?

Chamang Waterfalls

We were wrong. There was no orchard. We ended up being led to Chamang Waterfalls, where we went last year for a picnic. Actually, it was a relief for me – no need to do any trekking at all – I am that lazy!

We ordered 30 durians to be shared among ourselves. Since there were 14 of us – I thought there would be a shortage. I was ambitious to finish at least 3 durians all by myself! The feat was almost impossible as almost every durian was extremely creamy, delicious and they come in quite big chunks! We had mostly D24.

Check out the screwdriver!

It was hilarious to see some of the participants bringing their own cleaver and one even brought a screwdriver. The ladies were the first to take initiative to hack the durians apart – wow, and they did a pretty decent job!

After finishing 18 durians in less than 30 minutes, everyone was pooped. We took a walk around the waterfall for a breather. We did go for a short jungle trekking – like 50 m? *lol*

It was a good thing that the Uncle Durian took us here, rather than going into the orchard – we wouldn’t know what else we could be doing in the orchard then, other than trying not to get durians falling on our heads and letting mosquitoes sucking us dry.

We learnt a few tips today:-

1. A good durian comes with worms inside – less pesticides were used or none at all.
2. To select a good durian, place a 5 sen at the tip (bottom) of the durian – if the 5 sen covered the tip just nicely – that is a good durian.
3. The uncle thought us how to select a good durian – by blowing on the spikes of the durian. If the durian is empty (meaning – not much biji inside), it would make noise.

Heck. I will never learn.

We ta pao-ed the remaining durians to Kuala Lumpur. It was a satisfying trip. I just spent a total of RM60 – about RM40 for the durians – eat (I think I ate 2 whole biji) and 5 more (D24 and D101) to be brought home – RM20 for toll, petrol, a couple of sandwiches and a few bottles of 100 plus to wash down the heat.

There would be another trip for sure, in near future. I could smell it.

FEI CHAI GANG RETURNS

I notice that; whenever I said something I vowed not to do.. I ended up doing it.

Despite still suffering from incessant cough (well, I got better – now I only cough at night), I went all out for the weekend: feasting on durians, piggin’ out, and reading till my eyes popped out. Well, at least I didn’t go boozing.

It is not a good idea to go boozing if you are traveling uphill to Cameron Highlands. You don’t have to drink too much to puke your guts out. By traveling uphill on the long and winding road, it is good enough to send anyone with a weak stomach rushing for the sick bag. It is funny that the first thing a fellow colleague greeted us was not – Hello! Welcome to Cameron Highlands! Instead, he said – did any one of you puke?

None of us vomited if you must know. But a few of us got really sick and dizzy. It is always good to sit at the front passenger seat or drive if you have a weak stomach.

And it is not a good idea either to pig out just before you travel to Cameron Highlands. My seven colleagues and I did everything wrong. (This is the new fei chai gang. The previous fei chai gang decided to semi retire for health reasons (semi means – they might return). Since I am the president and this position is for a lifetime, I had to look for new recruits. After all, this is what this blog is all about, ain’t it?).

Yummm!!

We stopped by Bidor to sample the famous duck leg wan tan mee. It was indeed superb. The wan tan mee itself is not bad either. We ordered everything there is on the menu – well, more or less. We had the duck leg wan tan mee, wan tan mee, roasted pork and duck and fried yam stuffed with pork.

Jambu air, jackfruit, petai & mangosteen and dragon fruit

Bidor is a small quiet town. Other than the duck leg noodles, it is also famous for its jambu air and petai. Along the main road, you could see hordes of traders trying to sell their petai and fruits. The jambu air are huge and juicy. I wonder how much pesticide and chemicals they have used to make them so big.

After the grand makan, we headed for Cameron Highlands. On the way uphill, I was beginning to feel a little bit queasy. I could feel the partially digested duck leg and wan tan mee; coupled with the durians from the night before, swimming ecstatically in my stomach. Geez. I tried to sleep to avoid thinking about vomiting, but it didn’t help much. It was a good thing that I told them to stop to view the waterfall along the way to get some breather. The waterfall along the way uphill used to be cleaner. It is sad that nobody maintain the place. It looked like a dumpsite.

When we reached Ringlet, just a few kilometers before Tanah Rata, where we stayed, we stopped by at our site office and greeted the colleagues there. Everyone seemed to know each other and the reception was welcoming (with the funny part of a manager actually asking us whether anyone of us puked in the car?). I was already nauseous and quickly find a place to sit down. Being new in the company, I was introduced to fellow colleagues. I was looking a bit sickly when I was introduced to Alex, a gentleman of Chinese-New Zealander parentage. Omigod! He is so gorgeous!! (Scenes from Superman Returns; a movie I watched the night before – suddenly clouded my mind. It is indeed a multiple orgasm movie! Not much of action – but Brandon Rough is drop dead gorgeous! Nose bleed).

I managed to maintain my composure and shook his hands firmly; and immediately felt better. Menggatalling lah tu… hahaha! Sigh. Too bad I didn’t take a pic of him.

3 tastes toufoo, herbs pork knuckles, seaweed soup and Indonesian curry fish

We had lunch at this restaurant that fellow colleagues used to frequent at Tanah Rata- Yoo Hoo restaurant. It wasn’t a fantastic meal but; there was nothing much to complain about apart from the slow in cooking – which was ideal; as I need time to recuperate from the long journey. The Indonesian curry fish was okay – if only the fish was fresher.

Cactus Farm

After dumping our luggage bags at our rented apartment, we headed to the main tourist attraction like everyone else – the cactus farm, the strawberries farm, the market and the pasar malam. The farms are nothing to shout about. They indeed have variety of cacti and flowers on sale – but I have somehow lost my interest in gardening since I left college. I am happy enough to take pictures instead – no need watering.

Flowers at the market

The local market is more or less the same as Bedugul, Bali, which I went earlier this year, if not more colorful. They sell mainly fresh produce – fruits, vegetables, potted plants, flowers and there is a handful of shop selling souvenirs. It is nice not to sweat while shopping in a market for a change! (Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur, Chak-tuk-Chak in Bangkok, Central Market and Russian Market in Phnom Penh are freaking hot!).

Everything Strawberries

A thing that one should not miss while being in Cameron is – to try to strawberry milkshake at Strawberry View – at the local market. The milkshake is not to DIE For, but the experience of having a strawberry milkshake, eating strawberries together with strawberries with cream with the chilly wind blowing in your face is priceless.

After a steamboat dinner, we head back to our apartment to freshen up. Being unwell, I decided not to go out again to yak the night away at Strawberry View. I guess I had caused my digestive system a major damage with all the food. I chose to read some books and watch some lame show on tv (In this apartment – we have only two channels – RTM 2 showing Citra warna – what a waste of tax payer’s money!) before calling it a night. Oh boy.. it was so bloody cold and I was freezing my ass off!! Big mistake for thinking Cameron Highlands is like Genting Highlands, no longer cold.

The monks at the temple

The last day was spent visiting the Sam Poh Chi temple and tea garden. We were shocked to see a beeline of people going to the temple. The queue – mostly elderly people, with umbrellas and folded chairs, waited to be blessed by a monk whom was said to have healing powers. This news had traveled all over Malaysia, and there were bus loads of people coming to visit the monk. The queue and parking were horrendous. We managed to find a spot at the nearby housing area and walked uphill to pay some respects at the temple.

Here, I saw two other monks, doing their regular ritual of kneeling at every step they take and walking up the temple (I am not sure what is it for) – donations poured in for the monks. Sometimes, I wish I could tell those people to give the donation at the donation box of the temple rather than disrupting the monks from their daily ritual.

The green land

As we made our way to the tea plantation, the images of the old man sipping Boh Tea and saying – Boh ada OOMPHH!!! ran randomly in my mind and was excited to see the whole stretch of tea plantation. However, I was quite disappointed that it was just a small plot of land for tourists to take photo with a café by the side. I was told that the previous plantation in Blue Valley had been shifted to this small plot of land. I didn’t ask the reasons – I was just trigger-happy and snapped away.

Little house on the Hill

We stopped by a fellow colleague’s house to have lunch and to visit his humble home. Lum’s house was a small, but nevertheless very cozy and surrounded by farm; which his father managed; filled with flowers, fruits and vegetables. Have you ever seen a maroon guava before? My fellow colleagues decided to help themselves with the maroon guava without being invited. How shameless! We were thrilled that each and every one of us was given two huge lettuces to bring home!

After bidding the Lum’s family good bye, we made our way back to Kuala Lumpur, but made a brief stop for some colleagues to buy pamelos and biscuits.

It’s cool to have colleagues from all over Malaysia. We were received very well by them. I felt instantly home when I am with them; mostly because I have my sister and cousin sister to share this with me – since we are all colleagues. Family indeed is the most important.. they would buy all things for the family without you forking out a cent. Hahahahah!!!!

Gosh, I am tired. This is quite a lethal post eh? I guess I won’t be blogging till I return from my Siem Reap trip this coming Friday. Be good everyone and take care.

All pics were taken using Canon Ixus 50. Please click on pics for bigger view.