Monday, 23 October 2017

7 Days Road Trip Malaysia - Visiting Temples in Ipoh

First temple was Sam Poh Tong temple where it was built into the lime caves or at least that’s what wikitravel told me. I soon found out it is a thing in Ipoh to place temple of worship inside those majestic limestone cave they have all around.

Sam Poh Temple - Ipoh
Sam Poh temple was simple from the outside, and even after entering the main hall I tot meh … then the caretaker said I could go further inside to see walk pass a small door though a small short tunnel and it opened into a beautiful enclave.
Tunnel inside Sam Poh Temple - Ipoh

The enclave has a very old temple not open anymore but its architecture and vibe felt like I was in one of those Chinese flying movie in scenic mountain range. Peaceful and tranquilo, I sat down for a while to admire till I heard rock banging sound which startled me. Looking for the source it was two tortoise fucking. Nature is wonderful. 

Sam Poh Shrine

Sam Poh Shrine

Lots of Tortoise Around
Garden Outside Sam Poh Temple
Perak Tong temple … I guess partially because it was along the way and also wikitravel said it was the grandest temple in Perak hence the name. Drove in that direction hoping to see some shops with food along the way but to no avail. Turn into the temple and despite my many many traveling experience of not getting scammed I felled for the standard Malaysian scam which I have seen a million times. 

Inside Perak Tong Temple
Damn Indian uncle with a feather duster waving at me from far away when I turned in signalling me to park my car somewhere on the left side. In my head I though he was just organizing the car park but then again there was like so many fucking empty car park and no one around ….

Opened my door and he said, berapa pun boleh … apa-apa pun boleh …. Ok so RM 1 should be fine I guess, took out my wallet and the smallest change I got was RM 5. I could see the big grin on his face, paid for a lesson learned the hard way. 

The temple was grand indeed with many stairs leading up and up to great views of Ipoh and surround. It was definitely not for the faint hearted climbers for although the steps are good it was the up one way down back to the middle and up another to catch all the different viewpoint or for the more religious …. To visit all the deity and Buddha in every nook and corner of the temple.
Climbing Stairs all around the Limestone Rock Formation
If I were to ever make a treasure hunt game I would ask them to count the numbers of deity and Buddha …. And just to prevent smart guys with smartphones and google … a selfie shot to prove they were there …. Instant time and game killer. 

It was still worth a visit Perak Tong. 

The View of Ipoh From Perak Tong Temple
Next destination for the day .... Sleepy town Taiping

#Ipoh #Roadtrip

Sunday, 22 October 2017

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – A Few Sights in Old Town Ipoh

Day 2 - Rise and shine and off I went to the Ipoh tourism centre which was 2 minute walk from the hotel. Dang I was too early but turning to head back I spotted the first mural, uncle old town white coffee. I smiled as I know I would enjoy this day.  

Me in Old Town Ipoh

Container Hotel - Pod Hotel in Ipoh
Photo shot and a funny mug by accident, I was off exploring Ipoh on foot. Somehow I reached back the hotel lane and walked through what looks like a back alley to find a very local coffee shop but weirdly a lot of tourist eating there. Did not think much about it and ordered a mee-horfun soup and a local Teh for breakfast or brunch. 

The shops crowd was nostalgic seeing the uncles with their newspapers and a pot of tea sitting with confidence as if the place was owned by them. It was reminder for me a feeling of being home, I love my country, I wonder why I never explored it sooner instead of chasing the western countries. 

Passing Time - Ipoh

Coffee Shop of Ipoh
After breakfast I left through the front door, well I actually entered though the back door and now I kinda understand why all the mix match people local and tourist. It was one of those places, a historic landmark lane but still operating as if lost in time.

So the lane was called concubine lane where once upon a time people hide their mistress in this small lane from their wife …. In modern days it would have been the perfect prostitute lane, discrete yet open enough to do business.

This concubine lane also house the more subtle memories of Yasmin Newseum. I only knew her name after her passing when the newspapers wrote about her life's story. Still I feel that we all Malaysian knows her from her work .... the quirky advertisement from PETRONAS every festive season and holiday season.

The stories she spun could not have touch us enough. Alas I was there on the wrong day and it was closed. It will be a must stop when I go on a longer road trip around Malaysia

Yasmin Newseum Entrance is hidden and only marked as such - Good things are hard to find  
Walking around I saw all the standard governmental building in Ipoh and round two rounds it was time to hit the road. I did not want to leave immediately remembering Andrew words that Ipoh takes more than half a day. I could never finish it or do it justice this time but I figured I’ll do it selectively. 
Ipoh Mosque

Ipoh Rail Station .... I think

Ipoh Town Tree
Next Post : Visiting Temples in Ipoh
Travelled on : Nov 2016
#Ipoh #Roadtrip

Saturday, 21 October 2017

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – A Night in IPOH

Reached Ipoh at 7pm on the first day. Felt that I packed too much driving in one day but it was all worth it to meet up with Andrew whom I have not seen in ages. Andrew was my hang out kaki during the days in Genting Highlands working as a croupier in the Casino. The other bonus point was of course a proper fully modern equip capsule hotel for RM 50 a night. Accommodation can really be expensive in Malaysia when in the outskirts. 

Container Hotel - Capsule Pod in Inpoh
 Thinking when I was back in South America and always walking into hotels and hotels to negotiate a better price, Malaysia was different … the reception told me to book online instead for it is cheaper … so I had to borrowed wifi from them to book their place for the night … oh well 

Andrew looked the same but he is a successful man now. 10 years and I was happy to see him change so much, so confident compared to when I first saw him in Genting Highlands. He now has a life plan, a goal, and a strong minded opinion. In fact he almost started giving me live lesson advice, since; as from his perspective I was a string less kite flying around wandering a kid that refuse to grow up. 

Andrew & Me - Drinking in Ipoh
“You have to eventually think of the future once you finished all your travels”, he said

I dun blame him I guess, 10 years on and I am still nowhere where he had a thing going in life perfectly. I only laugh as he tried, ….

“I remember when it was I giving you this talk about planning your life, back then in Genting there was no focus for you but look at you now, trying to give me the same talk ….. hahahaha”

Food was local Ipoh food and then we went to his pub for a drink before he sent me back. Have to say I am proud I gave him that talk so many years ago.           

Paradigm Pub - Ipoh

Biker Ambiance - Paradigm Pub

Saturday, 14 October 2017

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – Towards Teluk Intan

So my journey continue from Sekinchan to Teluk Intan. It was going to be a quick drive by for I had to get to Ipoh on the first day. At the start of my journey departing Sekinchan i got a message on Facebook from an old casino buddy Andrew and we arrange on a meet up that day in Ipoh. It’s been more than 10 years since I met him so I would have to reach Ipoh on the first day, meaning lots of driving and lots of quick detours. 

Side Road Parking - Malaysian Style
Along the way I took this photo in a offshoot road even more remote the the remote road on the map which shows how ingenious Malaysian really is. How do you park a car in the middle of nowhere without hindering others? Takes some guts and skills to place a car in this manner and still get it out when you want to. 

Stop for Chendol ??? Surprisingly I see chendol hut signs everywhere in Malaysia in the most rural places I was driving. 

Chendol - Malaysian Desert
The highlight of Teluk Intan = The Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan …. 

Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan - Malaysia
I bet most people never knew even Malaysia had its own leaning tower. It’s quite a sight too and stands out of place with all the rest of the building. 

My 1st Drive by Video of Teluk Intan Town … If I were to do a minivan tour journey of Peninsular Malaysia, the Teluk Intan Tower is a must stop.

Travelled on : Nov 2016

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – Sekinchan

Small village Sekinchan, although I have heard about it before being mention now and then by KL folks that this was a daytrip or weekend getaway for the city folks I have never really knew about this place. Last minute search on google showed some amazing photos that was just too good to skip by. One thing for sure, backpackers won’t find their way here that easily with the lack of public transport. 
Rice Paddy Fields of Sekinchan

Paddy Fields of Sekinchan

Lush green paddy fields with roads in-between that cars can easily get up close, it was impossible not to stop and explore. Nearing the town notice the change in scenery, roads with bushes at sidewalk now become roads with greens to the horizon swaying gently to the wind. 

Map wise there was not much but seeing a slip road I drove off the main road and was now driving within the maze of rice paddy fields. A big container in red caught my eye which said 

“Farm Villa CafĂ© & Homestay” 

Farm Stay in Sekinchan
Menu for Lunch
*note* this is going to sound like I am promoting them but really … I am just documenting my experience. 

I stopped there for lunch taking the “Nasi lemak special” and of coz cheated and googled wikitravel sekinchan to check out the place. It felt like there was so much more to sekinchan than just the rice paddy fields and I was glad I did decide to get a quick info scouring. 

Classy with Air-conditioning Farmstay for the City Folk
A day trip they say for the city folk but it was a good place to unwind. I was so tempted to spend the night here, just chill and take it slow enjoying the quietness with such closeness to Kuala Lumpur. (it’s only a 2 hours’ drive leisurely). So naturally I check out the price of the farm stay which was made out of shipping containers …. Hmmph …. Cheapest room was RM 98 …. Moving on … moving on …. 

Driving around Sekinchan, I made my way to the rice processing factory (Kilang Beras Sekinchan) which is also a museum for more information of rice farming but alas it was not free, there was a fee for the entry and I now feel Sekinchan has truly become an eco-tourism destination …. It was no longer a hidden destination, but a semi cheap-expensive getaway. 

Sekinchan Rice Factory

Sekinchan Rice Factory
Lots of people renting cycles and cycling under the hot sun. Couples with the cutesy 4 wheel bicycle … I thought the 4 wheel bicycle was brilliant, you get to chat with your partner while exploring instead of one behind slacking while the dummy in front paddle like crazy.  
Bicycling to See Sekinchan is a Thing ...

Cutesy Couple Bicycle to Tour Sekinchan
One house had a sign saying Ah Ma House (Grandma House), with a windmill outside. It was just calling for a stop and peekaboo and what I found was a hand made love letter biscuit factory. The staff was cooking it as I walked in and it was really old school. It’s one of those stories how Dad will tell me they have to do it near Chinese new year flipping one love letter for 1 cents or such so they can sell it later at school. I bought one tin of love letters … it was just nostalgic
Ah Ma House - Sekinchan

Cooking Love Letters - Ah Ma House Sekinchan

Folding Love Letters when its Hot - Ah Ma House - Sekinchan
Then I headed to the fisherman village (I knew where it was coz of wikitravel quick research) and was a place lost in time where one never thought that Malaysia still has fisherman around. Hardship and honest work, I could see the desire to live a better life if they had a chance but now they could only be contended with the passing by tourist.
Entrance to Fisherman Village - Sekinchan

Malaysian Fishing Boats - Sekinchan

Rivermouth of Sekinchan
Wishing Tree of Sekinchan
With the popularity Sekinchan seem to be attracting it’s like more of an annoyance to them since they do not benefit from it. Only those slightly well off sets up restaurant and make a business while the fisherman can only watch as they miss out the opportunity as they don’t have the resources to built a niche homestay or restaurant to capture the tourist money. 

Last stop was the beach in Sekinchan, yep … this small town of Sekinchan has lots to see for a mini holiday with the white sandy beach and an old temple with tree decorated with wishing charms of red. 

Sekinchan Beach
Onwards to Teluk Intan

Travelled on : Nov 2016