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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Magic Tree

We planted "magic trees" on 10 October 2006. After putting together the pieces of cardboard, we poured in a sachet of clear liquid at the base of the trees. After about 6 hours, the trees were fully grown.

[Magic Trees: Out from the box]

[In the beginning: Nothing on the trees]

[After about half-an-hour: "Leaves" started to grow]

[After a few hours: The trees are fully grown]

Apparently, there're some chemicals on the cardboard and in the clear liquid provided. The "leaves" are some form of crystals.

Cooling-Up in Camerons

We were in Cameron Highlands from 2-4 October 2006. We stayed at Equatorial Hotel.

On our first day, we went to The T Cafe in Tanah Rata for tea. The cafe is located above a fastfood outlet and its entrance resembles a fire escape. It has a quiet, romantic atmosphere. Good place to relax.

[Clockwise from top-left: Chocolate cake, garlic bread, apple pie, and scone]

The second day saw us on a half-day guided tour to the peak of Gunung Brinchang, the mossy forest, a strawberry farm and the Sungai Palas Boh Tea estate. The main purpose of going on this tour was to see the mossy forest. It is quite interesting with almost every tree branch being covered with moss due to the damp environment... looks like fairy-land :o).

[The peak of Gunung Brinchang is shared by the states of Pahang and Perak]

[Angie emerging from the mossy forest. Lots of pitcher plants and beautiful wild orchids too.]

[Here's Bart plucking his strawberries. Some farms in Camerons advertise their strawberries as being 'self-plucking'... quite funny use of language]

[Sungai Palas Boh Tea Estate: Workers harvesting tea leaves the mechanical way]

We were pleased that it was quite cold in Camerons during this visit. However, we missed the Camerons night market this time as we went up during the weekday.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sitiawan Stopover

On our journey back to Penang after our stay in Pangkor, we took a detour into Sitiawan. We had two objectives here. One was to have seafood lunch at the coconut groves of Kampung Cina (near the famous Kampung Koh).

[A Villa like no other: This is just one amongst a few other seafood outlets in this village]

[Clockwise from top-left: Fried oysters, stir-fried mantis prawns with dried chillies, squid in sambal belacan, and choy tam. Cost us about RM30.]

The other objective was to visit Paul Ling, a friend from our university days. Paul took us to an interesting place called the Strawberry Cafe where we had some facinating desserts.

[From L to R: Angie, Aileen, Paul and Bart]

[Angie and her guava soursop]

[Bart and his peach soursop]

After meeting Paul, we made our way back via the coastal road, stopping by Segari. We had hoped to visit the turtle hatchery but they had closed by the time we arrived. But all was not lost. The sunset at Segari beach was beautiful. The beach is not suitable for swimming though - the waves were big and the beach slopes quite steeply into the sea.

[Turtle Hatchery at Segari]

[Sunset at Segari Beach]

Friday, October 06, 2006

Call of the Hornbills in Pangkor

On our descent from Bukit Tinggi, we made our way to Pangkor Island for a two-night stay from 26-28 September 2006. On our way, we stopped in Kuala Kubu Baru to visit Uncle Colin and Aunty Dolly, and we stopped in Teluk Intan to see the leaning clock tower.

[Give a few more years and it will be lying and not leaning]

We arrived on Pangkor Island at dinner time and we checked in at Coral Bay Resort. The next day saw us renting motorcycles (RM18 for the whole day) and zipping round the island in search of places of interest. We managed to visit the Dutch Fort, Sacred Rock, Fu Lin Kong temple (with its mini Great Wall of China) and Satay Factory. We also stopped at a few of Pangkor's famed beaches.

[The Dutch Fort: It looks better in the older Pangkor brochures than it is now]

[Optical Illusion... or someone shrunk the Great Wall]

[At the Satay Factory: Fish fillets being dried before being smothered in sauce]

[Pangkor Lai Fun: Lai Fun (thicker version of the laksa noodle) in anchovy soup]

[Pasir Bogak Beach: This beach brings back lots of childhood memories]

The highlight of our stay was to see the hornbills. Their calls could be heard from the hills on the island. We saw quite a few of them perched on trees by the roadside.

[The Pangkor Hornbill: See them on the trees or drop by the Sea View Hotel at around 6.00-6.30pm as they feed on cut fruits left out by the hotel staff]

Review: An enjoyable stay since we hardly visited Pangkor of late. We found our "food hunt" interesting, i.e. the Lai Fun lunch at Sungai Pinang Kecil and dinner at the stalls of Taman Seri Pangkor (located between Pangkor town and Pasir Bogak. Lots of shops selling dried seafood, satay-ed products and souvenirs - visit one and you have probably visited them all :o).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

High Hill Holiday

On 25 September 2006 (Monday), we checked out a place we've never been to before - Bukit Tinggi (now called Berjaya Hills). My sister Aileen joined us on this trip.

Our journey began on a wet morning, but thankfully the sun smiled on us as we progressed. We checked in at our two-room apartment at about noon and the overall climate was cool. Lunch was a 12-inch pizza costing RM35.

The main attractions here are Colmar Tropicale, Japanese Tea House, Botanical Garden, Rabbit Park, and the Bukit Tinggi Golf Club. A day trip to the first three attractions would cost you RM16. Guests at the resort are given complimentary passes.

[Bart at the entrance of Colmar Tropicale]

[Wandering along the streets of Colmar Tropicale]

[Highland Bookworms: We just couldn't resist browsing at the open air magazine corner]

[To enter the Japanese Tea House, you have to pay RM20 for a tea ceremony. Taking a photo on the steps would suffice, thank you :o)]

[Pretty pink flowers at the Botanical Garden]

What did we do there? Well... besides visiting the attractions, we watched a short stage show at Colmar Tropicale, played pool and went bowling.

Review: If you're looking for an activity-filled holiday, this is probably not the ideal place. If you're open to simply enjoying the landscaping and relaxing, you can consider Bukit Tinggi.