London

London.

My long time friend Dato’ Sri Andrew Abishegam, who was in London recently, sent these pictures when I was chatting with him on WhatsApp the other day. I think the first is Harrod’s of London with multiple contrails in the sky. Lovely pics and the two pics are copyright DS Andrew Abishegam.

The second picture is the Queen’s Windsor Castle, I am guessing. I have not been to London for so long, l don’t know where all the Malaysians like to stay these days. I can’t even remember the names of some of the nice hotels I stayed. I will add direct links to some of some of the hotels popular with Malaysian visitors when I find out.

Third pic is of me as a pigeon whisperer in my younger days.

I have created a special page for hotels in London.
http://www.mycen.my/hotels-in-london/ See updated page here: http://www.tvsmith.my/travel/london-malaysian-magnet

Meanwhile, use the dynamic London-centric scrolling banner there or go to http://www.mycen.my/agoda/ to search for another hotel anywhere in the world

Let’s Pop!

Let’s Pop! A stay at legendary Bali is now more affordable than many may think. Like to introduce you to an affordable and stylish place with colours that pop. Haha. I got to know ethnic Indonesian Hokkien Treshia Lim (Lim E Cha) when she was working at the Swiss-Belhotel International in Bali. She went back to her hometown in Medan to work for Radisson Medan. Before I can visit her at the Kota Kuliner (culinary capital) in which the North Sumatra city is known for, she is back in Bali. Such a nomadic life for a hotelier. She is also a Catholic and a foodie.

She is now with the corporate office of the chain that runs the Pop! Group of hotels and they have a nice and affordable hotel in Bali. With information from her, I created a custom page for Pop! Hotel Kuta Beach Bali. It is also the first time I am implementing Agoda’s dynamic banners in which other hotel options in the same destination are displayed with scrolling views. Seeing the Google map may be dizzying as there are over 3000 hotels listed by Agoda on the island! Pop! Hotel Kuta Beach seems a logical choice because the rates are truly affordable and it is very near the beach and popular eating places. The hotel has all the modern amenities such as free wi-fi and pool. It is also a fairly new hotel, being only 3 years old.

For more info or to book, go to: http://www.mycen.my/pop-hotel-kuta-beach-bali/

#bali #kuta #beachhotel #indonesia #pophotel #island #beach #hotel #denpasar

End Of Act 1 – Intermission.

I am now leaving the state of Selangor and entering the state of Perak for which the capital is Ipoh. The city is still a long way ahead in the scheme of things. After a short break, I’ll first explore the border town of Tanjung Malim.

I am sure many of you didn’t know the significance of the digit 1 painted on the old road nor cared. Now that you know, why not hit the road yourself and find the many gems in your own country.

In the next post, I’ll include a route map generated from my GPS tracks and logs. It’ll give you an idea of each location and the relative distance between the towns visited in the Selangor leg of the journey.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f5.6, 1/400 sec.

Only Chinese In Kampung Bota Singh

Saw a signboard that says Kampung Bota Singh in the Hulu Bernam area and decided to drive in. Heh. Didn’t I meet the only Singh in a Chinese village a few days ago? This time at a village named after a Singh, I met a lone Chinese guy holding a pair of garden shears.

Mr Ng who is 69-years-old and a Hakka, held on to the shears menacingly as I introduced myself. He soon let his guard and the shears down and started telling me the history of the village.

The former rubber plantation land was owned by a wealthy Sikh named Bota Singh. In fact, many of the land around here are owned by Sikhs, according to Mr Ng. He and his family bought the land from the now deceased Bota Singh.

I noticed an old-fashioned kitchen cupboard in a messy garage (behind him). You know the type grandma used with four water bowls on its legs to prevent ants from crawling to the cooked food stored inside?

Told him to hang on to it as someday a stranger will come and offer him at least RM 100 for it. The collector will take it back, restore it and some hipsters will gladly pay a thousand ringgit to own one.

He was bemused and flabbergasted. I didn’t know how to explain ‘hipster’ in Hakka or Cantonese. Unadulterated Hakka dialect is quite funny with the standard expletives thrown in. Is quite hard translating it to clean English. Nevertheless, I will try:

Me: Is true, some city people will pay a thousand bucks for it.

Mr Ng: Smelly worn-out birth canal opening, are there really such fools in the city?

Me: There are. We call them “hipsters” in English.

Mr Ng: Hip makai male reproductive organ people! Copulate! Ptui!

Me: Hahaha. You are a jolly man, sir.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 250, f4, 1/60 sec.

Serendah The Pleasantville

Many refer to Federal Route 1 as the ‘Old Road’. This is the old road of the old road traversing Serendah. On some stretches, original sections of the trunk road were bypassed instead of widening it.

Serendah faded away after the opening of the NSE but slowly bounced back as a pleasant retreat for city people clamouring for nature and greenery.

Narrow as the road was, an invading army marched through it. According to Wikipedia, Federal Route 1 was the main route for the Japanese Imperial Forces moving from Songkhla to Singapore during the Battle of Malaya between 1941 and 1942.

I used hand-colouring with faux Technicolor tones to depict the town’s gradual return to life; from black and white to sepia to full colour. The concept was used in the 1998 film, Pleasantville, starring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon. More of Serendah coming up.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/800 sec.