Our Own Countryside at Janda Baik

Our Own Countryside at Janda Baik.

As I looked at the rural landscape of Glastonbury, I started to miss our own rural landscape. At a village in Janda Baik, I saw a group of ‘rain walkers’ walking hurriedly with heavy rain from the mountains bearing down on them. They walked through rivers. orchards, fruit trees, flowers, rivers, goats, cattle and kampung houses. A beautiful landscape we take for granted.

Find a green resort hotel, homestay or chalet at Janda Baik here: http://www.mycen.my/janda-baik-hotel-deals-finder/
For Janda Baik, You may also want to look at accommodation in Bentong, Genting Highlands and Bukit Tinggi.

See hotels in featured deals finder cities http://www.mycen.my/hotel-deals-finder/ or use Hotel Search http://www.mycen.my/hotel/

#countryside #jandabaik #rural #landscape #nature #kampung #ecotourism #bukittinggi #berjayahills #mycenhotels

The Man On The Hill

Another hotel-related story, this time about a man who has a town named after him – Gohtong Jaya.

I had many friends working on the hill resort at one time or another. One of the most fascinating anecdotes I heard, was that they feared getting sacked by the late billionaire owner, if they mistreated guests. The owner hated it when a staff member looked down on a illiterate country bumpkin or village people. They may not know how to press the confusing lift buttons to get to rooms in the world’s largest hotel, at one time.

Owner and founder Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong himself didn’t finish his education being a school dropout. He arrived in Malaysia from Fujian, penniless, and set out to build to build an empire to become the country’s wealthiest man at one time. It was touching to hear about a tycoon remembering his roots and to impart a culture of treating poorer people respectfully Staff remember him fondly as he taught them about humility and to treat everyone with respect and empathy.

Employees were also fearful as there were like a million Lims and anyone one of them could be a relative and bring their grievances to the owner. My mom is a Lim too, so you can say I am biased.

An international show agent told me this story. Uncle Lim, asked (I think was) Copperfield who was performing at the resort to reveal the secret to one of his acts.

David was hesitant but finally relented and showed him backstage. After seeing it, the old man declared: “SUMUA BOHONG!” (all bluff). Haha.

My favourite anecdote is the following but can be an urban legend. He hosted a dinner for the King and PM at his mansion. When the dinner was over, the tycoon in black tie, sent his VVIP guests to their cars and motorcade. As he shook their hands, he blurted out “Ada Senang Mari Ah” Literal translation from Hokkien meaning “Please come when you are free” Being a billionaire and top tax payer has its privileges, I guess.

While writing this story, I checked to see if there are deals for hotels in Genting. Saw many good deals and discounts offered:


#gentinghighlands #resortsworld #hillresort #hotel #genting

Is Adobe Photoshop CC 2015’s New Dehaze Made For Us?

Adobe announced a major update to its Creative Cloud subscription service last night. Photoshop CC 2014 became Photoshop CC 2015, and included with it are several useful new features.

One of the new features that caught my attention was Dehaze. I downloaded the new version immediately to try out Dehaze. Well, not as immediate as I wanted; for the update process was a bit clunky and took a while.

You have to update the Creative Cloud Services first, Then download the big install of Photoshop CC 2015 (and Lightroom). Copy all your plugins to the new folder and download, reinstall the latest Camera Raw.

Yes it can get ugly; so here’s a quick and dirty demo for those who don’t have the patience, time or a fast internet connection. Haze can now be easily removed or reduced with a simple slider in the Camera Raw Filter. It can add haze too, if desired.

As you know, Malaysia has one of the worst haze occurrences thanks to a leaky neighbour. So the true test of the Dehaze slider, for me, is whether it can fix a picture fogged up by the transboundary haze or smog.

I ran a picture from the last bad haze day which that was captured in October 2014. The original picture was photographed in RAW and I opened it directly in Photoshop.

For a different comparison, I included another picture with organic haze or mountain mist photographed at the Genting Highlands resort.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/800 sec (city scene)
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f7.1, 1/100 sec (mountain scene)

Ulu Yam In A Nutshell

Chinese folks from elsewhere go to the Ulu Yam area for one main reason. To try the famous Hokkien ‘lor mee’ there. It is a dish of yellow noodles cooked in a sourish vinegar broth. Although the dish originated in Ulu Yam Lama, several other restaurants at Ulu Yam Bharu serve it.

Apart from the now third-generation original shop in Ulu Yam Lama, the other popular ones are Aik Koon and Hock Lay in Ulu Yam Bharu. The former was closed when I was in town looking for food, so I settled for the latter. Fermented acetic acid isn’t exactly my cup of tea; so I asked for another recommendation besides lor mee. The head waitress suggested their signature dish of Shrimps In A Coconut, which she claimed is their creation.

The prawns are cooked in coconut juice (coconut water) and not santan (coconut milk). As a result, the mild curry prawns have a very distinctive fragrance and unique sweet taste. It comes with a tom yum-like dip that is spicy and sour. Excellent fare and reasonable pricing from Hock Lay Restaurant.

Waitress is also talkative, informative and cooperative. She helped me move my food and gear to a darker and cooler corner after I finished photography at a brighter side. Although this dish has no pork in it, the restaurant is not halal. Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/250 sec. The nearest decent hotel is The Leverage Business Hotel in Rawang. Available from MyCen Hotels at http://www.mycen.my/

Route 66: The Other Road To Genting Highlands.

If you see Genting Highlands clearly while driving on Federal Route 1, you know you are near Malaysia’s own Route 66. Few people realise how close the mountain resort is until they see it from this location. This moonlight-like shot was photographed with a 600mm lens and polarizer from the roadside of Route 1.

First World Hotel, the colourful complex on the left most, once held the record as the largest hotel in the world with a total of 6,118 rooms. It was dethroned by two other slightly larger casino hotels: The Venetian Las Vegas + The Palazzo and the MGM Grand Las Vegas.

Klang Valley people are used to accessing Genting via the Karak Highway and Genting Sempah. A proper road (Route B66) was opened in the 1980s to connect Genting via Batang Kali and Ulu Yam. The road is linked to Gohtong Jaya on the eastern end. The Ulu Yam exit also provides an alternative route to Batu Caves and Kuala Lumpur.

Ulu Yam’s claim to fame is not just its connection to the east. It offers more.

Panasonic GM-1, ISO 200, f6.3, 1/2000 sec.