I asked a friendly local for food recommendations. He suggested the Chinese Tom Yum stall down the road and I went there right away. Since the shop was quite busy, service was understandably slow. So I cleaned my lenses and a lady finally came to take my order.
She said there is no Tom Yam at her shop. Wrong place, wrong corner. Haha. She drew me a map and gave me directions as that other stall has no signboard or name. I ordered a drink, feeling bad that I used her table and received help. She said I shouldn’t feel bad and that I should hurry as the other stall might close soon. What wonderful people.
Finally found the real Tom Yum stall and they were friendly too, even though they are famous among locals. I ordered seafood Tom Yum with Kuey Teow (Chinese Fettuccine). It came with three fairly big (and fresh) prawns, mussels, loads of cuttlefishes and squids. Amazing.
Even more amazed to find out it is only RM 5.50 for the sumptuous bowl!
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f9, 1/1250 sec.
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.
Rawang has soul. And soles. Taxi drivers and a passenger chilling at a taxi stand, watching life going by and sizing up a stranger with a camera. So-called ‘outstation’ taxi service is a waiting game for both passengers and drivers. The first passenger that arrives wait for other passengers to fill the car. It is a cost-effective ride sharing system.
The carefree connotation of the popular Malay idiom ‘goyang kaki’ (swaying a foot or leg in relaxation) is deceptive here. Idleness at this old part of town belies the bustle at the many newly developed areas in Rawang.
Rawang didn’t really suffer when it was bypassed by northbound traffic using the NSE. There is boom instead of gloom for two main reasons. Rawang was a busy hub and remains so. As a commercial and transportation hub, it serves the smaller towns such as Batu Arang, Serendah, Batang Berjuntai and beyond.
Astronomical residential property prices in KL/PJ meant people are willing to stay further in neighbouring towns. The number of new hypermarkets and housing estates in Rawang bear testimony to the phenomenon. Some of the locals I spoke to lament that everything has become more expensive as a result.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4.5, 1/800 sec.
Saw a temple in the middle of this first stopover town northbound on Federal Route 1. I went inside the See Yeah Kong Temple in Rawang to take a quick look.
Photography Notes: The Sony Zeiss 24-70mm is my ‘go to’ lens for this kind of run-and-gun photography. I also have the 55 mm f1.8 Sonnar T* in the bag, should the interior be too dark or if I need more focus isolation. As it was, the zoom rendered a nice bokeh.
Was a good morning warmup and workout for the gear. I foresee a long day of exploration when I return to the Ulu Yam area afterwards.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1000, f4, 1/400 sec.