Category Archives: Malaysia

Asian Patent Attorneys Association Council Meeting @ Penang 2014 – Part I

It’s been a while since I attended the Asian Patent Attorneys Association Council Meeting. The last one that I attended was in 2009 in Hong Kong. I stopped after my previous firm decided that I should only attend INTA and my other colleague will take over my spot in APAA.

I’ve always preferred APAA than INTA. The people attending the former is friendlier and meetings are impromptu. In fact, I dreaded attending the meetings I fixed not because I didn’t want to meet those people but I wanted to be flexible.

This year’s APAA was held in Batu Ferringhi, Penang. It was attended by more than 1,500 IP attorneys. I drove there. I left home about 445pm and got stuck in a jam for hours.

It was raining quite heavily but I raced there anyway. I think I got caught by the speed trap.

I took the new second Penang Bridge to the Island. The drive was a breeze and it was almost empty. The wind was very strong as well. I soon realised I was in the middle of the Penang Straits.

The problem with second Penang Bridge is that it brought me to middle of no where. The road condition was bad and it was dark. Soon my GPS went dead for no reason. I used my gut feeling to get to Batu Ferringhi. I got so lost.


I made a random stop at this place for dinner. It looked bright hence I stopped here. However, Google had no recommendations for me here.

I went around the stalls to see what’s good. I was peeping at people’s table to see what they ordered but most of them looked bland.

I like Mee Sua especially when it comes with herbal chicken drumstick.

With the herbal chicken drumstick on my mind, I ordered mee sua.


WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS WHERE THE FUCK IS MY HERBAL CHICKEN DRUMSTICK!!!????

I ate the mee sua anyway. It was disappointing.


As I was about to walk to my car, I saw this old uncle selling newspapers and pao. I got myself a kao yuk pao. It was awesome. It came with a big piece of pork belly. Yum.

I usually don’t splurge on hotels when I go for conferences. Instead of staying at Shangri-la and the like, I am staying in a place called EQ Ferringhi.


Bloody place looks like a prison cell!


However, the room looks pretty clean. Spacious. But there’s no WiFi in the room and no chair for me to sit on!


The hotel doesn’t trust their guests with their TV and aircon remote controls. I got them at the counter.

Although the hotel room came with breakfast, it was not very good. I ended up eating McDonalds breakfast everyday (which I like very much).

Since I drove to Penang, I made it an effort to drive my friends to eat around Penang.

I brought Takeshi (from Japan) and Edmund (from Singapore) to Pulau Tikus to eat hawker food. Edmund and I ordered various dishes such as prawn noodles (didn’t know they call it Hokkien mee here), char koay teow, chicken rice etc. They said the dishes were awesome.

Best thing about these conferences is the impromptu plans. Fix one or two meetings a day and the rest is spent running around.

There was once I bumped into Nitin from India and Edmund and I had some beers with him. Thereafter, Edmund had to go for a meeting. Nitin and I were then joined by Caroline from Thailand for ice cream.

The organisers did a street food fair for the participants. We had char kuay teow, assam laksa, murtabak, prawn noodles etc. The food was just okay. Many foreigners loved them since its their first time trying them. The locals like me were like, “It’s okay lah. Edible”.

Rock Climbing @ Jesselton Park

Prior to the conference, I was told that there are participants who had organise climbing sessions in the previous conference. I got in touch with them and agreed to bring them to climb in Penang.

I brought my new friends from Canada and Japan to climb outdoor at Jesselton Park. I have never climbed outdoor in Penang before hence I was eager to try it too.

Penang’s only bolted walls are located at Jesselton Park, which is accessible through a housing area. We relied solely on the directions of local climbing website climb.my.

We had to hike into the spot. After half an hour, we realised we were going through the wrong direction!

By that time, my legs were filled with mosquito bites. I even fell down after stepping on a slipper log. I had ants crawling all over my slippers after I stepped on a rotten log! I was a terrible experience hiking this jungle.


We did see some rubber trees here. Someone taps them during the day time I guess.


Found a wall but it was not bolted.

We made a u-turn to get to where we came from. We eventually found the spot after re-reading the directions. It was just few minutes from my car!


The place was empty. It was just the 3 of us. It was filled with mosquitoes until I put on the mosquito coil.


Miho and Kohji

The routes of the granite wall was tough. Although graded 6a, it felt much tougher. Fortunately, our Japanese friend did it easily.


There’s a small stream along the walls. I washed my hands here few times. My hands felt muddy after that.


We did 3 routes before wrapping up. We were pretty tired by then.


View from the top!


#firstletmetake

After being covered with rotten wood, ants and spiders, we headed back to the hotel to shower. We picked up another Thai friend and headed straight to Lorong Selamat for food. Since its my Japanese and Canadian friends’ first time trying Penang food, they liked them.

I wanted to bring them to eat Assam Laksa too but we ran out of time.


We bought some Tambun biscuits nearby. Didn’t know they got sambal version of Tambun biscuits now.

Penang Hill Hike

One of the perks of APAA is the excursions organised by the organising committee. We are given various choices to go and for Penang, I chose the Penang Hill Hike.

We gathered at 630am at the hotel. I had to be there early to help out because the organising committee asked for help. Fortunately, I slept early hence I felt okay.


A quick warm up before our hike. I had to use to loo and another friend also felt the same. We “watered” some plants at the bushes.


We traveled in groups and the guides lead us up. The 3 hour hike was okay for me. Not too tiring.


The guide said the plant can be used as soup. Just add water.


Great view of the city and sea.


Private property. This place may make way for development one day.


Pitcher plants. Eat insects. Yum. Plenty of them on this hill.


Rest stop. Quite nicely done. They even have a gym and a park here.


I think it’s run by volunteers. They even have donation drive to build and repair things. One Datuk here is pretty generous.


A park next stop the rest stop. I think build by volunteers too.


Anyone from Penang remembers this rock?

Apparently, a lot of Penang kia used to make out here. Heh


Rest stop 84. A stop before going up the hill using the tarred road. I heard volunteers used to serve coffee here but it’s abandoned now.


I guess it’s because the floor collapsed. No free coffee!


Extremely steep 5km hike up to the hill.


Saw this beautiful bungalow by the hillside. Built in 192 by Mr. Khoo Heng Pan, a wealthy Penang Chinese who died in 1934 at the age of 43. He was the owner of a cinema and other properties. There’s a scholarship fund set up under his name. The scholarship fund ran out of money in 2011 (according to the Penang State Audited Report) – almost 70 years after his death!


Another view of the house.


Lunch at David Brown Cafe. Another bungalow turned into a cafe.


Too bad the place didn’t milk enough of David Brown’s name. There was nothing about the history of the place. I had to google it.

David Brown, a Scotman, is the pioneer in nutmeg planting in Penang in the 1800s. He made it big with his business and became a well know philanthropist.


The house has a damn ancient looking urinal.


Great view of the city!


We took the train back down to the foothill. Saw this frog stuck to the train.

We finished our tour at about 130pm and I went back to the hotel to sleep.

Overall the hike wasn’t difficult. I brought the right shoes (I climbed Mont Kinabalu with slippers and had terrible blisters after that). A Korean participant wore slacks and leather shoes. I think he suffered a bit.

Miri, 2014

The last time when I was in Miri, it was on the invitation of Mr Ma, the boss of Balcony club. He wanted some Melbourne Shufflers in the club and I was roped in with some friends. Mr. Ma gave each of us a t-shirt but I didn’t wear it. I think he wasn’t pleased with that. That was in 2005.

Nevertheless, he treated us dim sum the next morning. That was the last time I saw Mr Ma. Last year, he was assassinated by masked men. He was shot while in his car. No one had been arrested for his murder till now.

On 24 April 2014, I flew to Miri on the invitation of the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak to speak about personal data protection.

I touched down around 1130pm and fellow lawyer, Jimmy Liaw picked me up from the airport. I thought I’ll be ending my night upon checking into the hotel. However, Jimmy suggested that we go for drinks and ended up drinking until 2am at Al Fresco. Balcony is still around but it’s now owned by different people.

Mr Ma’s brother, Johnson Ma runs Al Fresco now. We had couple of drinks with him and even played drinking games with him. At the end of the night Jimmy said, “Not bad, you can drink” notwithstanding my face was lobster red.

Jimmy then brought me to the market for char kuey teow. I remember this place had “duck flavoured” char kuey teow. However, it didn’t taste anything like duck this time round though. Nevertheless, it was good.

I stayed in Merits Hotel. New place next to a shopping mall. It was quite cozy. No creepy experience like the one I had in Pullman Hotel, Kuching.


There’s another lobby somewhere above the 10th floor I think. What a strange design.


View of Miri from my hotel room

I woke up late and had to rush to get ready. The organizers thought I had food poisoning hence the lateness.

The seminar had about 50 people consisting of lawyers, architects, tax agents, bankers etc. It was held in a seminar room of a hotel.

I am told that Miri has around 100 lawyers. The relationship between Miri lawyers with Kuching, Bintulu and Limbang lawyers seems to be close although these places are far apart. Everyone seems to know each other. In fact, I recognised 2 of the participants from my previous talk in Kuching. I guess most of them travel in and out from these places.

I was presented with a pen as a token of appreciation. I was also give a thumb drive from a fellow participant from Bank Rakyat. What a surprise. Never had I received presents from my seminar participants!

After the talk, I met up with fellow Mirian, Darren Lo. He brought me to a place to have ABC (shaved ice). Good to catch up with an old friend.

I am told that property prices in Miri has also shot up. Terraced houses go for RM300,000. However, there is an oversupply of commercial units.

There are some concerns with Brunei especially with the proposed implementation of Shariah law. A dress code will also be rolled out in Brunei. Men are require to cover their knees. Women cannot wear short sleeves and tight clothing. And this rule is applicable to non Muslims.

Before my flight back to Kuala Lumpur, Jimmy brought me to Tanjung Seafood Restaurant for drinks and food. Local lawyer, Arthur Lee brought 2 bottles of single malt whiskey for us to enjoy. I am told that this is done every Friday.

I had to take leave after a few drinks to catch my flight. It was a rather uneventful flight back. The 2 hours journey from Miri to Kuala Lumpur was quick.

Kuching, Sarawak 2014

I’m glad that I embarked on a practice involving data protection. It brought me clients that would not normally appoint small firms and it brought me places like Singapore and Sabah to give talks. On 8 March 2014, I made a trip to Kuching to give a talk to the Sarawak lawyers, organised by the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak. 

I almost missed my flight to Kuching cause they closed the check in counter 45 minutes before departure. Fortunately,  I had no check in bags hence they allowed me in. Phew. Since I was the last person, I was given the last row at the plane. You can’t recline your seat if you’re in the last row! Fortunately, I was the only one there.


Colourful seats

It flight lasted about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Kuching is a beautiful and serene city. There were many rows of pretty pre-war shophouses.

The hospitality of the Sarawakian lawyers were great. Upon touchdown, Vice President of AAS, Leonard gave me a driven tour around Kuching city. We even passed by the old Court house and the unique looking State Assembly building.

After that we had dinner and drinks at Junk Restaurant. AAS treasurer Liew joined us after that. I had a few pints of stouts before ending the night at 11pm.

I am told that there were about 400 lawyers in Kuching (there are about 1200 over lawyers in Sarawak). Most of them are general practitioners unlike us in KL where we could specialize in certain areas. The oldest law firms are not really that old unlike the ones we have in Kuala Lumpur. The oldest I know is from the 1950s. I do not know whether there are still any old European law firms.

Membership in the AAS is not compulsory. The Sarawak Court manages the admission of lawyers and the Disciplinary Board supervises the lawyers. Leonard chairs the Kuching branch of AAS. I am told that they had to use their own resources to run the association because they don’t have their own secretariat.

AAS booked me a room at Pullman Hotel.


View of the foyer.

I got an upgrade to family room.  It was too big for me! They gave me a King size bed with a single bed.

Before entering my room, I heard the sound of a TV show. I knocked on the door and I thought I was at the wrong room. I re-checked the number and it was the correct room.

I slotted my room card onto the door and opened the room. I was all dark except for the TV. I inserted the room card and the lights were then turned on. TV was showing WWE wrestling. I slept with the lights on the whole night!


Picture taken immediately upon entering the room – can anyone see anything floating around?


View from the hotel room.

The seminar was attended by around 60 people. It was okay. I got another invitation from the Miri lawyers association to speak as well. I even met lawyers from Sibu and Limbang.

After the talk, we had lunch at Tandoori Palace. It is owned by the Secretary of the AAS, Mr. Sarbjit. Food was awesome but shouldn’t have a glass of beer before my meal. I felt quite dehydrated!

The trip back was uneventful. I parked my car at KLIA (costs me RM61 only). Brought back a Sarawak layer cake – it was tasty.

On the next day, the news of missing aircraft MH370 came about. How sad. I could have crossed paths with some passengers. In fact, I later found out that one of the passengers, Stanley, was my former client’s staff. I remember him being a pleasant man.

Seminar @ Kota Kinabalu, 2013

In June 2013, The Malaysian Bar and Sabah Law Association jointly organised a seminar in Kota Kinabalu and I was invited as a speaker to speak on data protection laws. We had about 50 people.

Sabah Law Association had kindly booked a room for me at Horizon Hotel. It costs RM300 a night. My room was nice and spacious.


View from the hotel

I discovered that it is extremely difficult to grab a taxi in Kota Kinabalu suburbs. Suaran (another lawyer and invited speaker) and I took taxi to Damai to eat at the legendary Fook Yuen at Damai. Our 5 minutes cab ride costs us RM20! Although the ted madras and roti kahwin were worth it, we were stranded in Damai after our delicious meal at Fook Yuen. We couldn’t get a taxi for half an hour.

Fortunately, we managed to flag down one Mr Usman to fetch us back to the hotel at a very reasonable rate.

Suaran and I also wandered around the city and went on an eating rampage. Although I’ve been to Kota Kinabalu many times, I’ve never had the opportunity to see the Filipino market and its surroundings.

I was in Kota Kinabalu for a short time but I managed to squeeze an hour with my in-laws after dinner. They brought me to the legendary and awesome Fook Yuen (again!).

The seminar was fun. It was well organised and the turn out was good. As a token of appreciation, the Sabah Bar presented me with a book consisting of a compilation of cases decided in the Native Court of Appeal, a special Court that deals with Sabah natives’ customary issues. The cases revealed disputes regarding wrongful trespass by animals, destruction of bamboo trees, theft of animals, damages for embarrassing someone, right to harvest bird nests, inheritance of customary lands and also marriage issues. Many of these cases involved the payment of damages by way of sogit – usually a cow or other animals. Failure to pay sogit can put the wrongdoer in jail! Sabah Law Association painstakingly went through many old files to extract the judgments. Many of these cases were presided by local Judges such as Richard Malanjum, Ian Chin and Nurchaya Haji Arshad. It was an interesting read. I finished it while waiting for my flight in the airport.

We later found out that our hotel was charging RM120 to fetch us to the airport (!!!) notwithstanding that it is only a 15 minutes drive. I called Mr Usman to fetch me and he agreed. However, he was uncontactable an hour before he was supposed to pick me up. Fortunately, he turned up on the pick up time and explained that his mobile phone ran out of battery.

My flight back to Kuala Lumpur was delayed for few hours. It was almost midnight and the airport was empty. I wandered around the airport and even went to the empty immigration desks and international departure hall. No one stopped me!

Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is not an easy climb. It’s mentally and physically challenging. Nevertheless, climbing it is something I want to do before I die. Sam, Kenneth, my wife and I set out for Mount Kinabalu in early August. I did not train for it but my 2 times a week futsal, jogging and rock climbing sessions should suffice.


Kinabalu Park is just 2 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu. My father in law loaned me his car. I love the drive to Kinabalu Park from KK City. It’s very scenic.

Although many people have climbed Mount Kinabalu in the past, it’s not entirely safe. There are cases where climbers lost their way and found dead or not found at all. Our entire trip was filled with the story about Ellie James, a young British girl who was found dead in the summit. She somehow strayed from the path and was found dead few days later not too far from the trails.

Before making our ascend, we stayed in a nice lodge at the Kinabalu Park. We were given 2 rooms with a common toilet, kitchen and a living room with a fireplace and cable TV! And we got upgraded for free!


I am ready!

It’s compulsary to climb with a guide. Our guide cum porter’s name is Rowdy. Some people call him the Kinabalu Dragon. Apparently, he carried a 60kgs person up  the mountain before. Anyway, Rowdy was an awesome guide. He was with us all the time and never rushed or pushed us unnecessarily. There are porters who push or discourages climbers unnecessarily and some to the extend of abandoning the climbers.


Place to weigh about bags for Rowdy to carry. Kenneth weighing himself just in case he needs to be carried.

We took the Timpohon trail up to Laban Rata, the lodging area before heading up the Summit. The trail was fine. Loads of steep steps and rocks.


The only waterfall we saw on the way up


Rowdy and our 16KG bags


There is rest stop every 1KM.


Untreated water is available in every rest stop


Our pre-packed lunch provided by the resort

But as soon as we start moving, I was struck with altitude sickness. I had a piercing headache. I felt like my brain was being tortured slowly. I couldn’t move fast and had to stop a lot. The last steps to Laban Rata was toughest for me. I had to stop ever 10 steps but we made it to the top eventually.


There is also a stretcher in every rest stop. Just in case someone gets into trouble.


Tree started to change as we move further up


We stayed in Gunting Lagadan Hut. It’s a small hut with bunk beds and common toilets. There are no heater or hot water.

Many had resorted to boiling hot water to shower. The only good thing about this hut is that it’s just next to the gate up to the summit.


Laban Rata!


Food is served at the Laban Rata lodge. Surprisingly, food was not bad! I guess I was very hungry.


View from the cafeteria! We’re above the clouds!

We woke up at 2am to ascend the peak. We were ready for bed at around 7pm but most of us couldn’t sleep at such early time. I was already sleeping by 7pm due to my splitting headache. My headache subsided after I took paracetamol and slept.

We missed the Olympics  badminton finals between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei. Luckily I missed the game otherwise I wouldn’t be able to sleep with disappointment after Chong Wei lost.


Before the hike to summit. Now we all know how the ladies look like in a tudong.

My headache began immediately after I passed the gate to the Summit. It became worst as we moved upwards. But it subsided when Rowdy asked me to take off my headlamp. It was an instant cure! Unfortunately, it came back when the vegetation started to disappear. Halfway through the journey, I started to have stomache. It was terrible. I had already had a big problem controlling my headache.

At some point, I felt like shitting in my pants and continue walking after that! Probably leave my undies there as a gift for archeologists excavating the place 10,000 years later. But I guess I still had some dignity left in me during such desperate time.


The sky was still dark. Rowdy is on the left.

The rope climb starts as soon as the vegetation disappears. It was okay for me since I used to climb outdoors.

I must say that my Adidas Kampung was awesome. It has excellent grip on the rocks. I didn’t even need to hold on to the ropes.

We moved very slowly due to my condition. We had to stop quite frequently and took long rests. Rowdy advised us to go slowly instead of doing it fast. It worked but we were so slow that we were the last to reach the summit!


We couldn’t get there in time to catch the sunrise but what matters is that we reached the summit.

The summit was all rocks. There were patches of vegetation and water puddles here and there. The floor was like broken tiles in various shades of grey. The wind was strong and cold.

The ultimate aim of this hike is to reach Low’s Peak, the highest point of Mount Kinabalu. It’s named after Hugh Low, the first person ever recorded to reach the summit. It’s fine if you don’t reach Low’s Peak. I was told that you are eligible for a coloured certificate if you reach a certain point after the Sayat-sayat checkpoint.

When I reached the point where we could elect to climb Low’s Peak, my headache was getting worst. I gathered all my remaining strength to move on. Within minutes, my wife and I were up on Low’s Peak. We were the last person to be up there.

We took some pictures before we descend from Low’s Peak. It was then my head felt like exploding. I thought I was going to die there!

We were the last people to leave the summit. We left together with the people who were taking care of Sayat-sayat.


View of Low’s Gully from Low’s Peak. Some British soldiers got lost while trekking Low’s Gully. Their ordeal was later made into a movie.

Descending Mount Kinabalu was a torture. It felt like forever. Our thighs, knees and ankles were killing us. We took about 4 hours to hike down! It was a mental torture as the journey down doesn’t seem to end. If I compare this trip and my 8 hours boat trip to Tioman island, the latter was mentally tougher but the former is physically tougher.

Once we reached the bottom, I had to drive back to the city. I almost felt asleep while driving. Zzz

To those who are thinking of climbing, here are some tips:-

1. It’s fine to hike with short pants and slippers to Laban Rata. However, you may risk cutting yourself if you slip and have blisters on your feet.
2. Training for such long hike is recommended. I play futsal twice for 2 hours a week, jog in the weekends and rock climb once a week. But I struggled to get to the top and get down.
3. Bring thick clothing as it’s extremely cold in the summit. A beanie is useful to cover your ears.
4. Adidas kampung helps but normal jogging shoes works. You can get Adidas Kampung at Pekan Nabalu.
5. Bring as much food (e.g. instant noodles) or beverages (e.g. 3 in 1 packets) if you can. It’s expensive up in Laban Rata. A cup of Horlicks costs RM12.80.
6. There is no instant cure for altitude sickness. Descending the mountain seems to be the best cure. Paracetamol may ease your pain but I heard it’s not recommended. Rushing up the mountain may cause or aggravate altitude sickness. Take your time to move up.

Ipoh Road Trip 2011: Luen Foong @ Tanjung Tualang

One of the highlights of this trip is travelling into the outskirt villages outside Ipoh. I used to spend my childhood at the Chinese villages around the tin mine lakes of Balakong. Such trips brought back long forgotten memories. I remember the days of running around wooden houses with worn down cement floors. I also remember once that I picked up a vintage one cent coin on the floor.


Video rental shop. Now a sunset business.

In Tanjung Tualang town, there are numerous seafood restaurants – all boasting to have the best prawns. My Dad told me that the seafood restaurants have been around since he was my age!

One of the most well known restaurants is Luen Foong Seafood Restaurant.

Luen Foong consists of two separate shops. It used to be one until it caught fire last year. They are now rebuilding it into 3 storeys building. We were told that it will be ready by next Chinese New Year.


The new building

We ordered their famous steamed drunken prawns. The mid sized prawns arrived very quickly. It was fresh and sweet. The tender prawn meat was fragrant with Chinese wine.

We were told that large prawns are not recommended.

We also ordered chiew pai taufu, assam sotong, cheung ching fei chau yu. I would recommend these dishes.

The prawns were not cheap. It costs us RM150 for 8. That explains why they could build a 3 storeys building from scratch!

Address
No 19, Market Street,
31800 Tanjong Tualang,
Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : +605-360 9276, +6012-533 6166, +6016-590 0038


Local sundry store – with worn down cement floor and wooden racks


Contributing to the local economy

After dinner, it was time to head home. Our GPS guided us to KL using trunk roads. We had to find a way back to the North South highway. Unfortunately, the highway was jam. So jam that the emergency lanes were open to the public.

We arrived home at 10pm – tired and sticky. It was a great trip in any event. Great times and great company!

Ipoh Road Trip 2011: Ipoh Town – Funny Mountain & Nam Heong

Funny Mountain

Dim sum was enough to fill our stomach throughout lunch. We settled for light meals such as tau fu fah at Funny Mountain and white coffee at Nam Heong.

Funny mountain tau fu fah also had a long queue. We had to line up under the sun to get it. Nevertheless is well worth it as it was smooth.


Lady Boss’ awesome shoes.


There are no proper seats for patrons. Only benches and chairs.

Map

Nam Heong

White coffee at Nam Heong is much better than the ones we drink at Oldtown Coffeeshop. This place is somehow linked to Oldtown Coffeeshop. I was rather excited to try the white coffee until some kid vomited on the table. -_-

Map

Ipoh Road Trip 2011: Ipoh Town

We started Day 2 with dim sum at Foh San. Foh San was crazy. It was packed with people! There is no proper system for people to get a table.

We couldn’t get a table for half an hour. We only got a table after standing by the side of a table waiting for the people sitting there to leave. And we’re not the only ones doing it!

I wonder what’s so good about this place. It’s self service and hence you need to line up to get your food. Most of the time, the good stuff have been snapped. Siew mai is abundant though.

Nevertheless, food is still good but I don’t think it’s worth the hassle of lining up and fighting for seats. Sometimes you just feel like punching the guy who sits there reading newspaper.

I stopped by Poh Wong Thong for some herbal tea. I was feeling “heaty” from the excessive food and fried stuff and slight flu. Poh Wong Thong is a small herbal stall.


Guy on left looks like Obama

I told the boss that I’m about to have sore throat and flu. He gave me some sort of dark concoction to drink. It was rather bland. Fortunately, not bitter.


I was given this sweet after my drink.

I felt better in no time! It works!

Ipoh Road Trip 2011: Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood

KF’s mum highly recommended that we have dinner at Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood Restaurant located at Kuala Sepetang (formerly known as Port Weld), a small fishing village 60KM away from Ipoh City.

Thank god for GPS, we managed to maneuver through narrow kampung and village roads.


Kuala Sepetang is formerly known as Port Weld.

This part of Kuala Sepetang is a small tranquil Chinese fisherman village. It’s amazing to see Chinese villagers staying deep inside Malay villages. According to my Dad, this place was the hot bed for Chinese gangsterism during the hay days of tin mining. Gang wars were frequent here.

There are two well known seafood restaurants in Kuala Sepetang. We chose Xin Kuala Sepetang Seafood restaurant because apparently the locals prefer Xin.

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with loud continuous chirping sound of swiftlets. Bird nest farming is a thriving industry here.


There is no proper entrance to Xin but a small alley to the restaurant. Fat people would to use a different entrance.


The restaurant is build on wooden planks next to a river. It is surrounded by docked fisherman’ boats and mangrove trees.
The best time to be at Xin is during sunset. The sight of the river, estuary, fisherman boats and mangrove trees was picture perfect!


To order dishes, we need to choose our meals over a counter. Fishes were displayed on the counter for people to choose. Loads of flies were flying around. Some seafood is limited hence be early.

We ordered steamed fish, chiew chau style fish, fried mini crab, tomyam soup and a few other dishes. I must say that their fishes were fresh and delicious! Tom yam soup on the other hand wasn’t spicy but sour.


As soon as the sun sets, insects came out to play. They were sticking all over our clothes and hair.

Overall, the bill came up to RM210 for 8 people. It was slightly pricey due to the fishes we ordered.

The shops were all closed when we left around 9pm. Strangely, saloons were open. I guess small town folks have nothing to do but have their hair done at night.

Most of them seem to be contended with life. Corruption and crime may be scarce here. This is probably why it is very difficult for Pakatan Rakyat to get them to vote for them.

Map

Address
Lot 155B, Tepi Sungai, 34650 Kuala Sepetang, Taiping, Perak

Ipoh Road Trip 2011: Pun Chun, Ritz Garden Hotel

After Tanjung Malim, we stopped by Bidor for duck noodles at Pun Chun. As usual, it was packed with people. I’m not a big fan of Pun Chun duck noodles and in fact, I think the duck noodles at Sun Hing Loong, SS2 is much better.


We had some wu kok (yam dumpling). Quite nice.

We stayed in a hotel by the name Ritz Garden Hotel in Ipoh. Although the name sounds grand, the place isn’t. We found cigarette ash next to our bed -_-


However, our room has a nice view and the TV channels were ample.

Ritz Garden Hotel has a cafe by the name Ritz Recipe and a restaurant by the name Goldtown.


Think Ritz Carlton, Secret Recipe and Oldtown.

It also has a very small pond, gym (with an instructor), massage parlour, karaoke outlet and a fengtau bar. Apparently, you can see many “dragon ladies” around the bar.

We had a short rest before driving to Kuala Sepetang for dinner. Poor WK and Elaine waited for hours to check into their room cause it was not ready.

It was RM150 a night for us. When I arrived home, I realised that the reception erroneously keyed in the wrong room number during my check out! Aiyoh!