Into A Top Secret Military Operation

After all, the building was rickety and at the verge of collapse. LOL. Inside, I was surprised to see her using big stainless steel steamers, shiny new stainless steel containers and even a conveyor belt system for automation. A crew of Indonesian women were deployed and they worked with military precision. Wow. Looks from outside can be deceiving. Mei Ling, an auditor by profession, scolded me for being naive. Surely they make money, she noted.

Now I am wondering if Teluk Intan had some techno clubs that justified such late closing hours (until morning). I like techno music but hate the loss of neck control induced by the pills. This was nine years ago when ‘feng thou’ clubs dominated many Chinese communities.

We were late because we spent the whole night looking for an elusive hotel room. There was a Hindu Festival the next day and every hotel in town was booked. Saw a sign advertising ‘Homestay’ hanging by the roadside and decided to call the number out of desperation. It was already 4am.

A lady came on a motorcycle and led u to a corner terrace house somewhere. Paid her, she handed over the keys and whispered where the towels were hidden. This was my first experience with the weird and bizarre world of independent Homestay.

#telukintan #telukanson #perak #liewkee #cheecheongfun #ricerolls #smalltown #kitchen #homestay

Liew Kee Of Teluk Intan

It is so famous that it spawned so many imitations in Klang Valley’s pasar malam stalls or the night markets. The imitations tasted lousy, having tried the original. The iconic stall, Liew Kee is as famous as the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan.

If it is your first time, you may be surprised to discover the restaurant to be a shack or a crumbling wooden house. There are maybe a couple of rickety tables outside for dine in. The main door is always locked and customers order takeaway packets through a gap. Things may have changed. This is based on my experience one late night, 9 years ago

The queue is always very long and I saw one guy buy 250 packs! Pity the hungry folks queuing behind him. The business started in the 1920’s when Port Anson was a thriving hub serving the whole of Perak. As with the old days, plain old newspapers (including the obituary sections) are still used as wrap.

The rice flour rolls are pockmarked with strange patterns because they are steamed with turnip, dried shrimp and fried onion crisps.

The delicacy is eaten plain or with pickled green chilies (instead of drowning it with yucky sweet sauce). I was there one night at 3 am. Since everything was so secretive, I was surprised the lady proprietor invited me in to photograph the kitchen from inside. Pics coming up next. No. It was not my charms. Maybe it was because I was with the MP’s special assistant. In a small town, people look up to the MP and will call him when there is a power failure or if a rubber slipper or flip flop was stolen. Life is such.

Are the CCF really that good? Yes and consistently so. Yumz.

#telukintan #telukanson #perak #liewkee #cheecheongfun #ricerolls #smalltown

Lean On Me

Saw a post from Teluk Intan native Chong See Ming and decided to try out Facebook’s improved search of old posts. Found the image surprisingly quick. That it works will save me much time in finding the captions for my book. The original pic is in high quality PSD format.

If you are a Photoshop user, you may like to know that the free Faststone Viewer is the only image viewer or simple app that can display PSD files in a gallery. Even Photoshop can’t do that. Heh.

The Leaning Tower Of Teluk Intan.

The iconic landmark at the former colonial town previously renamed Anson Bay. Built in 1885 by a Chinese contractor, the pagoda functioned as a water tank and clock tower. According to tourist info, the clock was originally crafted by highly-regarded London watch and clock makers J.W. Benson of Ludgate Hill.

Photography Notes: If you want good light, you have to wait for the correct time, bad weather notwithstanding. No other way, really. With a little luck, the sky was a perfect blue the day I was there.

I didn’t just wait for good light but waited also for a cyclist to come along to include some foreground activity. Quite a long wait too, as it was an exceptionally hot day and everyone else stayed indoors. Coincidentally, the scrap cardboard collector’s cargo was also leaning and was going to topple.

The use of an ultra-wide angle lens here presented two challenges. I have to be very careful in keeping the horizon level so as to preserve the natural tilt of the tower. With a very wide lens, it is easy to tilt the camera instead.

With so much sky in frame, the foreground exposure was a little overwhelmed. A little kick from the camera’s DRO smoothened out the harsh dynamic range and preserved some details in the shadow areas of the structure.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 320, f11, 1/400 sec.

#streetphotography #landscape #landmark #telukintan #leaningtower #pagoda #menaracondong #telukanson #perak #sonyalpha #a7r #samyang

Mastan Ghani

Mastan Ghani.

I’ll take a brief break from Chinese New Year programming to share a few remaining pictures and thoughts from my Teluk Intan trip last week.

Mastan Ghani’s Mee Rebus is a must-try for any first time or even repeat visitors to the town. Their rojak is equally delicious and both the dishes look deceivingly similar when served. According to the boss, the ingredients for each gravy are indeed quite different.

The drink seen at the back is an iced rose syrup with black jelly (cincau). Not that I mind; they added the cincau without asking. It is a Teluk Intan thing it seems and, by that, I mean the cincau thing and not the choice thing. This is from one of two outlets near the famous Leaning Tower, at the unique and rustic tailor’s row. Yumz.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 200, f11, 1/80 sec.