Thursday, October 27, 2011

cari makan from belum to bidor

it was journey for food on the way back from belum to bidor.

first stop- lenggong.
we stopped at hup yik seafood restaurant which is opposite maybank along the main road of this small town.

looking at all the signs on the walls, i think this restaurant is famous for fresh water fish dishes.

my friend recommended this cili padi sauce. really spice and cukup ooomppphh.....3 bottles for rm14.

this is what we are here for- steamed sai tou fish fishballs. in bm- ikan parang. in english- wolf herring fish. 60 cents per piece. quite expensive but really good especially when dipped in the chilli sauce. i bought 20 fishballs home.

next stop- indulgence ipoh. one of the more expensive...hmmh..maybe the most expensive fine dining restaurant in ipoh. prices of food are much higher now compared to my previous visit.

the owner was there- julia song. she was just recently featured in the star for creating dishes for MAS catering. she is quite a lanky lady and looks fierce when serious.

pumpkin soup with lots of tuna in it.

complimentary bread basket

french onion soup

duck meat

vege spring roll

a chicken dish

tiramisu- rm14. not totally mind blowing. it was all right. i am quite disappointed actually.

mud cake which is too dry. i thought mud cake is supposed to be soo soo soo moist that it sticks in a lump hence the name??

well, it will be a while before i step into indulgence again. guess i am not prepared to pay so much for the portion. there are other places in ipoh which are reasonable for the price they charge, so i will go to those instead.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

my retreat at belum.

rite, so here i am. in the midst of nowhere albeit next to the highway. west-east coast highway to be specific.

the sound of water cascading from the decorative fish pond and the cool breeze caressing my face are accompanied by the piano music played on the radio in the restaurant.

yes, the dining area is the only place where i can get wi-fi connection and i prefer to sit outside the restaurant and being visited by insects once in a while.

so hello from belum-temenggor pulau banding rainforest resort. situated right at the north of perak state and next to the highway to kota bahru, this is as close as you can get to untouched forest in the peninsular.

i am awed by everything i see here. the green rainforest, so pristine and majestic. so intimidating yet so inviting.

everything is rustic except the resort i am in ;)

the building of temenggor dam sort of 'created' this banding island as it flooded the forests and left whatever high enough still standing for us to admire and marvel.
some ignoramus young adults from the city obviously did not know this and asked some stupid questions in the boat ride today about all the dried up trunks protruding from the lake. i almost chuckled out loud when i heard that question.

thanks to groupon, i have the chance to see this paradise with my own eyes. i only paid rm300 for 2 nights inclusive of 3 activities- night walk, round island boat cruise and kayaking/rafting. well, the total for 2 persons for 2 nights will be rm600 lah. i bought two vouchers from groupon and 4 of us came.

the drive from bidor took us 3 hours. i really did not expect it to be that long. from gerik, one still have to drive 40km to reach the resort. but it was a really green green green drive. green is everywhere and of course, this is the only stretch of road where you will see signs of wild elephants crossing. unfortunately, i did not see any. but i did see otters in my boat ride.

so this is our deluxe twin room. why can't i still get a sound sleep here? this is the 3rd night i did not get a sound sleep. waaa........i want my sleeep!!!!

outside the room. the trolley is really noisy when it is pushed because of the wooden boards. errrghhh....was trying to get a nap in the afternoon but was disturbed by the trolleys.

the hornbill restaurant. breakfast and dinner are served here.


foyer, where i read the day's newspaper. sorry, no newspaper or television in the room

a group of dutch guests we met as we were about to take our photo, so we got them to join in as well. there are quite many foreign tourists here and everyone is singing praises about the place. locals are more common during the school holidays. it beats me that more foreigners know about this place than locals. when i told friends that i was coming to belum, they did not know where it was. what a pity. this place is totally paradise. i am still awed that i am in the middle of this island enjoying the sound and smell of nature.

well, maybe cost might be a factor which deters local from coming but there is a cheaper alternative which is banding lake side inn. it is just before you reach the bridge on the right hand side.

guard house and the steep road on the left heads to the resort.

entrance to resort.

tor tambra bar which is next to sidai restaurant. heard that this is the only bar along the highway but of course, i am not promoting stopping here for a beer before you continue your journey to the east coast. but the restaurant is a place where you can stop for a meal along the journey.

creative and totally au natural

sunset at pulau banding.

the resort's own jetty. that big boat there is actuallly a boat house. you can rent it too but i think it is more than 1 thousand a night but it can fit about 20 if i am not wrong.
this is where we boarded the boat for the round island cruise and kayak/rafting activity.

a nice flat area overlooking the lake behind the rooms. very suitable for picnic.

herbal garden

one of the flowers from the garden.

the only dinner one can get is at their hornbill restaurant and it is buffet, no ala carte. inclusive of service charge, one has to pay about rm35, totally not worth it for small eaters like us. the nearest shops are so so far away and i think the word 'near' cannot be used here. you have to go to gerik which is about 30 mins away through winding roads.

so we went to sidai restaurant instead today and had our dinner there before the kitchen closed at 6p.m. the food there was much much cheaper and it was not bad at all. a plate of fried rice was only rm7. that was more than enough to fill my stomach. it might be a bit early for some, but if you are to have an early night, sleep might make you forget about midnight hunger.

night walk on the first night. everything had been pre-arranged. so no hassle at all. just be there at the stipulated time and you are off.
there were about 14 in our group and 3 guides. it was an easy trail lah.

a headlight provided, one for every 2 in the group. really bright.
there was nothing much to see actually in the night walk. it was just the thrill of being in the forest at night. a few of those urban young adults were really annoying with all their silly screams and silly questions. the walk ended in less than 1 hour but of course we were all soaked in sweat.
luckily there was no rain. double phew!

how many people are needed to hug the tree???

part of the trail

aaah....a 'fan' which followed us back from the night walk. 3 of them had 'fans' while i was fanless. phew.....not the type of fan i want ;) but we have salt so rest in piece you leech.

on the second day, our activities were all on the lake. first to come was the round the lake cruise and second was rafting/kayaking.

one of my favourite pictures of the bridge. love the reflection. the bridge was built by koreans.

pokok tualang which is protected, according to the guide because it is where bees will build their nests.

pulau banding's floating police station.

see those roofs nestled amongst the trees? that is where our resort is. how tranquil the lake water was when this photo was taken.

the bridge from the mainland to pulau banding. there will be another stretch of bridge at the other end of the island. everyone must use the briddge and pass this place if they want to go to kota bahru using this west-east coast highway.

it rained in the afternoon and it also left very fast. before we headed to the jetty, it was all bright and sunny and we were all in jackets and big hats trying to avoid a tan. then at the jetty, the rain just poured. but after 5 mins, it stopped and we were all ready to go in the overcast sky. so off with the jackets and hats and we enjoyed ourselves paddling in the cool weather.
just the 4 of us in the big big lake.

borrowed some games to kill the time in the evening. i was reading newspaper in the lobby while they were playing. only joined them nearing the end when it was almost dark and the mosquitoes were warming up for their rounds.

will leave here after breakfast tomorrow. most probably about 10. am dreading the long hours i have to drive back. gosh, the back is going to be so stiff. lunch will be in ipoh. gonna indulge in something good.

so let me just sign off now. we are heading to the bar for some alcohol and i am hoping i can get an alcohol-induced sound sleep.

Monday, October 24, 2011

the power of love by charice

Sunday, October 23, 2011

contented- i have watched michael bolton performed live

aahhhh-chhhooooooo....and ahhhh-choooo again.

no i dun have the flu bug. i just did not get enough sleep. slept at 2a.m. and woke up at 9a.m.
blame michael bolton for that. and i still can't believe that i have actually watched michael bolton perform live in kl. woohoooo!!!
on facebook, i posted- i don't have to see another male artist's performance anymore. i have watched michael bolton. contented.

truly, that is how i feel. his voice is still the same and as david foster said, 'it is one of my favourite voices ever ever ever.' can't agree more.

ok before i go to more of david foster and michael bolton, let me just recap how my day was before that concert.

went down to sunway pyramid for a bit of window shopping and dinner before the concert. it is one of the closest malls to get to bukit jalil, hence the choice. and i have not visited sunway pyramid like for ages.

got pikkien to come out to join us.

our dinner was at italienies.

penne bolognese.

stuffed mushroom. i like this.

ham and mushroom pizza.

but before pikkien came i had a bit of snack first.
ham, egg and cheese pancake. this is just like the thin apam you get in the market filled with peanuts and corn. they just change the filling and the price too of course.

sunway pyramid was bustling with young crowd. the kids will have everything they need here. i guess its location close to sunway college makes it a favourite place to hang-out for these college kids.

the deepavali decoration at the ground floor. oh, the area was so fragrant with the smell of flowers. totally refreshing. yes they use real flowers.

see all those chrysanthemums there.

luckily it did not rain that night althought it did at around 5. phew. i thought i was going to have a wet walk from the car park to the indoor stadium.

the queue into the hall was long and i think they opened the gate quite late.
yes, the cheapest ticket and i was on the upper tier. but the hall itself was not such a huge venue. although i was there on the balcony, i still felt close to the main stage and the concert was a very cosy affair.

all those front seats were taken by MAS enrich loyalty vips and the singers actually got down the stage to mingle with the delighted crowd too except charice. david foster even gave the mic to two guests so they could show everyone their voices and boy, were they good enough for the mic.

everyone who attended there definitely appreciated music and went there with the sole purpose of being entertained with good music. we were not disappointed. the concert started at 8.30p.m. and ended at 11.15p.m.

i think david foster was impressed too because the crowd could sing to all songs performed. he did mention that our knowledge of english made his task easier unlike his experience in tokyo. he brought his fiancee along too and she was a gorgeous tall blond who was wearing farah khan's design that night. they will be married in 3 weeks time. farah khan was there too in the first row i think and francis yeoh as well. david foster introduced someone who flew down all the way from los angeles but i did not get his name.

this is the stage from where i sat. luckily his position at the piano faced us and we could see what went on around the stage too, like the artist having their hair arranged before coming on stage.

charice was the first to come and she had quite a few of filipino fans in the crowd. she covered power of love by celine dion, but i would have preferred her to sing all by myself. then it was russell watson, an english tenor followed by ashanti. i was yawning in ashanti's segment because i did not know the songs in her set until she sang a medley of songs from the movie, the bodyguard. phew. then it was phillip bailey from the group earth, wind and fire and last but not least, my favourite in the list, michael bolton.

boy was i mesmerised and i was wishing that i could be transformed right in front of the stage and under the illusion that he was only singing to me alone. wakakaka....
he has the best songs for all moods of love.

i did not bring my camera so there are no photos. did some video recording till my handphone's battery went flat. will load the videos tomorrow back at work where the internet connection is faster.

i leave you with michael bolton's video of how am i supposed to live without you. i call this the total break-up song. he still looks so good despite his age eh. i am really contented....but if he is going to do a world tour when he has any new releases, do tell me about it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

of passion fruits and books

reaping the fruits of our labour??? well, there are really lots of fruits hanging outside....but are they really ripe for collection??? check it out yourself.

really a lot eh?? but there are all still hanging there. many people have not tried passion fruit before especially the younger generation. hence i have the pleasure of introducing this fruit to them and seeing their face contorts because of the sourness which they are not used to. those who are lucky will get the sweet and tangy ones.

why does it take so long for the fruit to ripe? i have only tasted one so far.

cheap cheap books from big bad wolf book sale. wished i could be there, but it was held in serdang and i did not want to make a trip down for fear that i would use a lot of money. luckily my brother went and got these. i know some ppl went with boxes to keep their purchase.
how much do you think these books are??

there are 7 there and they were less than rm60. cheap or not???

last but not least, introducing one of the best love stories in fiction- love in the time of cholera by gabriel garcia marquez. me. pick this book up and have patience to enjoy the love story that spans more than half a century. the words used are beautiful too and you are really tempted to quote them and you can find so many you want to quote. but you do need quite strong language command to enjoy each line as the vocabulary is very extensive.
i think this book is in one of the must-read book lists and i totally agree with its inclusion.

ok i am going to end this post and get ready to go attend a concert. yeah! david foster and friends are in malaysia and performing at bukit jalil indoor stadium tonight at 8. going to sunway pyramid first to meet my bestie. i wanna hear some good songs from michael bolton and charice!!!!