Thursday, January 19, 2006

Royal Selangor Pewter


Everything pewter at the tin playground

THE Royal Selangor pewter-making facility is part-museum, part-playground, part-retail, part-craft school and an entirely rewarding experience that’s worth a visit with the whole family.

As a facility that makes pewter, you’d half expect Royal Selangor to be a huge block of uninspiring factory building set in the backyard of bustling Kuala Lumpur city. Well, though it isn’t a step away from the city, as its address, Setapak, suggests, it is a stone’s throw away from KLCC. But uninspiring, it isn’t. The steel and glass building that greets you upon entering its premises is modern and chic, housing the interesting Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, which is the frontage for the Royal Selangor headquarters and factory.

The Visitor Centre comprises three main sections – the gallery, the factory space and the retail outlet.

At the gallery, visitors get to learn about the history of this born-and-bred in Malaysia brand that has been around for more than a century. From its humble beginnings in Jalan Silang where its first store was set up, the company has grown to occupy a massive factory space and opened up retail outlets as far away as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

On display at the gallery are olden-day tin money, the first Royal Selangor pewter product catalogues, old tools of the trade, and first generation designs of pewter products made in the late 19th century.

The knowledgeable guide who takes you around the centre will not only feed you with a short history of tin, but also throw in some interesting trivia (that the Royal Selangor factory produces 1,578 kg of swarf, or pewter shavings, daily which are re-melted to make new products) and even a short lesson in chemistry (that tin melts at 231.9˚C) – made all the more interesting with the larger-than-life exhibits there.

The gallery is a veritable playground for kids and adults alike as visitors are encouraged to touch the exhibits on display and feel the many interesting textures that pewter is able to produce.

At the gallery’s Hall of Finishes, visitors go through a narrow and curving corridor, flanked on each side with floor to ceiling walls of pewter of various finish. Some are matte, others are smooth and shiny. Some are grooved, others are lightly dimpled and scrunched.

Another interesting exhibit at the gallery is the Chamber of Chimes where huge cylindrical wind chimes made of wood, bamboo, copper, plastic and of course pewter, hang from the high ceiling. It can be quite a racket, but it’s fun to ring the chimes and listen to the different tones and timbres that each material produces.

Children especially would enjoy a hand at the computer games made available at the gallery’s Game Port. The games, which have been specially designed for Royal Selangor, are a test of skill, creativity and knowledge, and would easily keep kids occupied.Exiting the gallery, visitors are then taken on a factory tour. Here, they are given a bird’s eye view of the actual factory space where the Royal Selangor employees work on the products. There are rows and rows of workstations where men and women bend over in various acts of pewter-smithing from casting to polishing, from moulding to hammering pewter products.

Visitors are given an up close and personal look at each stage of pewter-making, with the chance of rendering designs onto pewter itself. For those who wish to spend more time in the art of pewter-making, the factory tour offers such an opportunity through its School of Hard Knocks. For a token fee, visitors are taught to mould a piece of pewter into a dish using some simple tools while they learn about the processes of forming, scraping, polishing and packing.

After the tour, and perhaps inspired by the story of this local brand, visitors may indulge in a spot of retail therapy. The centre’s retail outlet spans over 18,000 square feet of space with a beautiful range of pewter products for sale such as elegant tea sets, traditional tankards, exquisite chess sets and handsome desk accessories. Besides pewter, there is also a fine selection of sterling silver by Comyns and fine jewellery by Selberan.

All in all, a visit to the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre is not only educational but also fun and, for the shopaholic, a unique place to do a spot of shopping.

The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre is open from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week throughout the year. There is no admission charge and guided tours are complimentary. Visitors can choose to do a brief 30-minute walk around the premises or take a tour of the entire centre in a 60-minute session. For more information, visit visitorcentre.royalselangor.com or call 03-4145 6122.
*articles appear from Travel Times-NST*

Malaysian Institute of Architects Buildings

If walls could talk...

By Sager Ahmad

NOT many people know that the stately colonial mansion across the road from the Bank Negara was formerly a noble house and two hotels.

Today, it is the office of the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), a restaurant, an art gallery, an animal clinic and a shop.

The minute one steps into the pretty garden of the building, one feels transported back to the colonial era as the interior has neo-classical ambience with touches of Straits Chinese architecture – airy high walls, recessed large windows at the front, a short passage with a round-column "arch" leading to a cosy internal courtyard.

Many Malaysians learned that the building was formerly a hotel only in June 2000, when the New Straits Times highlighted the story of a British woman, Marjorie Bell, who had come in search of the home where she spent many happy years of her childhood having fun and games with her friends. She spent six days walking the city in her search, accompanied by her husband and armed with only an old photograph. It seemed hopeless as apart from the faded photograph, she had no address or any other information. No one recognised the place and a few even suggested that it might have been demolished

Having waited 50 years to return to Malaysia, Bell was dismayed. On the sixth day, while walking at the edge of Dataran Merdeka (near the Royal Selangor Club) she looked up and saw a familiar sight across the busy road.

This was it. Her childhood home – a beautiful, sprawling mansion where Bell lived when she was six years old, together with other children whose fathers served in the British Army.

Despite it being the Emergency (1948-1960), a time when the authorities were at war with the communists, the children spent two years filled with indelible memories.

In fact the mansion has a history as rich as Bell's memories. Built in 1907 by prominent tin-miner and municipal councillor Loke Chow Kit, the place became a town house as well as office for his mining ventures. (Jalan Chow Kit, off Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur, is named after him).

It designed by Anglo-Indian architect A.K. Musdeen and was known as Loke Hall. Chow Kit and his friend Loke Yew had visited England and must have been inspired to build the house in Regency style.

A European group later bought it and turned it into the Empire Hotel, to house the families of the British Army. Then it was renamed Peninsular Hotel in 1919 but it ceased operations in 1970.

The hotel was just a hop away from the Royal Selangor Club, another favourite watering hole for the early expatriate community.

PAM was given tenancy of the place for an initial two years from 1973, and when the owners tried to sell it for redevelopment, PAM orchestrated a campaign to save it from demolition.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall eventually acquired it and PAM was entrusted with the restoration and refurbishment. Galeri Tangsi was setup in 1998 and the first exhibition was of works by local and foreign artists, including prints by Picasso, Henri Toulouse Lautrec and Bernard Bouffet. The locals included AP Gallery owner-cum-printmaker Rahime Harun and Iskandar Mat Harris Iskandar. The gallery has hosted many art exhibitions since, including one themed "Scream" that was well received by the art community in Malaysia.

The shop and animal clinic next door formerly served as a stable for horses and as a garage. PAM Centre is at 4-6, Jalan Tangsi, Kuala Lumpur.

*articles appear from Travel Times-NST*

Foochow pioneers of Sitiawan


By DIANA YEOH

Foochows in Perak who want to trace their ancestry should go on the Sitiawan Heritage Trail and visit the Sitiawan Settlement Museum.

IT was an eye-opener for 12 members of the Perak Heritage Society who joined the recent Sitiawan Heritage Trail for the first time. The trip traces the legacy of pioneer immigrants of the Christian Foochow Chinese who arrived in 1903 and for some of the members, it was a good opportunity to discover their own “roots”.

The members, led by PHS vice president Law Siak Hong, were briefed on the history of the Foochows in Sitiawan. They also went on a one-day tour of Kampung Sitiawan, Simpang Dua Tionghua Cemetery Manjung, Sitiawan Settlement Museum (Kampung Koh), Pekan Gurney, Simpang Lima and Ayer Tawar.

The name Sitiawan comes from two words, setia and kawan. But the story behind it is by far more fascinating. It’s about the extraordinary friendship between two elephants used to transport tin ore along the Dindings River near the area in the late 1800s.

The story has it that one of the elephants got stuck in the soft sand of the riverbed. Efforts by men to save it proved futile. But the second elephant refused to let go; it clung to its friend and both eventually drowned.

In memory of this friendship between the two elephants, the town was named Setia Kawan or loyal friend. Over the years, the term evolved into Sitiawan. On the flip side, the place is also fashionably called City A1 (Sitiawan) by the locals.

In 1903, 363 Christian Foochows (Fuzhou) led by Reverend Ling Ching Mi arrived here from China. It was the Chinese Colonial Government’s second population transplant experiment in the Malay peninsula, following the success of a similar scheme in Sibu, Sarawak in 1901.

The group that arrived in Sitiawan consisted mainly of Kutian, Hockchew, Hockcheng and Henghua. Each was allocated its own agricultural settlement on a 1,000 ha of land in Kampung Cina.

One of the settlements was called Kampung Sitiawan on a tributary of Dindings River. It is a historical spot as this was where the Foochows first landed in Sitiawan.The settlers grew padi to meet the growing demand for rice due to increased economic activities in the area during the period.

The long-term objective was to establish a population growth centre for future labour supply to exploit the rich resources of the land.Unfortunately, the padi programme failed but quick action to switch to rubber saved the day. Over the years, the Foochows became a formidable group that spurred commercial activities in the area.

In 1999, the Sitiawan Settlement Museum was set up in Kampung Koh in 1999 by the area’s Pioneer Methodish Church (PMC).

Interestingly, and unknown to the public, the museum building was once an old wooden house which was home for the church reverend. It now showcases many old pictures, utensils, bicycles, tools, clothings and antiques once used by the Foochows.

Outside the museum is a well which supplied water for the Foochows for 30 years as there was no piped water then. Next to the museum stands the Pioneer Methodist Church, a majestic building in the shape of a “cross” originally built in 1904. It was burnt down in 1906 and rebuilt in 1907. Near the church is the grave of Reverend Ling.

The Sitiawan Settlement Museum is located at K-6, Jalan Chen Mei, Kampung Koh. Call 05-6920612 (opening hours from 9am to 5.30 pm, and entry is by appointment only).

*articles appear on Travel Times*


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"YEE SANG"

*photo from TEH ENG KOON/AP *


Raw Fish Salad-"Yee Sang"

Malaysian Chinese will toss and mix the "Yee Sang" or Raw Fish Salad in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year which fall on January 29th.that marks the 1st.lunar day of the Chinese calender. Yee Sang is made from thin slices of raw fish, shredded vegetables, herbs, spices and oil. In Malaysian Chinese culture, Yee Sang is believed to bring good fortune and wealth in the upcoming year to those who toss and mix it while shouting"Low Hei," which symbolizes liveliness, prosperity and longevity.

Many kinds of fish are used including salmon, abalone, or sliced squiggles of jellyfish (an option you can select if eating the fish raw isn't an idea you find easy to swallow!). The dressing is a sweet sour plum sauce with a drizzle of vegetable oil, lime juice and a dash of white pepper.

But that's not all. With all the ingredients decoratively displayed on a large plate, everyone at the table, armed with a pair of chopsticks, will toss the salad all together while voicing expressions of goodwill, good fortune and prosperity. This elaborate salad tossing is known as 'lo sang'. It is believed that the higher the salad is tossed, the higher the level of success and prosperity will be achieved by those who participate. Definitely a fun activity.The yee sang literally translates to fish of fortune and is tossed for good luck, prosperity, longevity, health and wealth.

Popular in Malaysia, it is said to originate from here and isn’t known in Hong Kong and China. Yee Sang is not served outside the fifteen days of Chinese New Year. So for those who wished to try out this dish, you can always go to any Chinese restaurants or buy it pre-packed from the supermarket such as in Jaya Jusco, Carrefour,Tesco or Giant and start your own 'lo sang'. Just add your own raw fish or if you are not keen on raw fish, then replace it with thinly slice pear will also bring the same symbolic meaning. Don't forget to shout 'lo hei' or 'lo sang' to start off your new year auspiciouly.

*Wendy*

RAPID KL's CITY SHUTTLE

*photo courtesy from 'thestar.com.my'*

New Bus Service for City Centre

Five minutes to catch the Rapid KL’s City Shuttle service plying the Titiwangsa, Maluri, KLCC, Medan Pasar and KL Sentral hubs in Kuala Lumpur. The journey from these hubs to the 15 city shuttle routes took only a maximum of 30 minutes. The fare is RM2 for unlimited travel for the day on all Rapid KL buses.

There are 138 buses plying 15 routes within the five hubs – KLCC, Titiwangsa, Maluri, KL Sentral and Central Market. All passengers are required to pay the fare on board the bus. The driver will give the passenger a ticket, which needs to be retained for the rest of the day to enable one to hop onto another bus.

No doubt this new bus service is good for tourists visiting Kuala Lumpur as it offers them a chance to explore the city and to take in the sights of the city center in the comfort of an airconditioned transport by merely paying RM2.00 for the usage of a daily pass. They can hop on and off at the destination of their choice and only have to wait 5 minutes before the next bus comes along. By utilising the modern intergration transport system from rail to road, now they can venture to all the places of interests within the city center at a very affordable rate and at their own convenient time.

*By Wendy

Friday, January 13, 2006

PONGGAL FESTIVAL


Spilling over with thanks

By BAVANI M.

SQUATTING on the dirt road in front of the 60-year-old Arulmegu Sree Veera Hanuman Temple in Brickfields, the women were busy fanning bubbling pots.

Some sang songs while others chatted away as they patiently waited for their pots filled with sweetened rice to boil over.

The temple grounds have been spruced up and sugar canes and flowers are used to decorate the place.

All of a sudden someone cried the words: “Ponggalo oh Ponggal!” “Ponggalo Ponggal’’ and a lady asked, “Paal pongita?” (Has the milk spilled over?).

Sarojini Balakrishnan was clearly excited, as her pot was the first to boil and spill over.

Soon the other pots began to boil and spilling forth the sweetened milk rice called chakkarai ponggal, creating a frenzied excitement amongst the ladies.

The women were celebrating ponggal, the harvest festival. This Indian festival is celebrated to give thanks for the harvest. Ponggal means “boiling over” in Tamil. The festival is celebrated for four days beginning Jan 13 to Jan 16.

The first day, called Bhogi (Jan 13) is the ritual of throwing away and burning old clothes to mark the end of an old and beginning of a new era.

The second day, called veetu ponggal (Jan 14) is the main celebration whereby Indians give thanks to Mother Earth for her bounty.

On the other hand, Mattu ponggal (cow worship) on Jan 15, is celebrated grandly in India to offer thanks to the cattle, as they help to plough the land and provide milk for the family.

Finally kanni ponggal (Jan 16) is a celebration for young unmarried girls.

The temple's chief priest V. Ganesan said in Malaysia veetu ponggal is celebrated grandly with the highlight being the cooking of sweetened rice in clay pots.

“The rice is cooked in new pots, and ingredients such as jaggery, groundnuts, and milk is added into pots until it boils over,'' he said.

“It is a good sign to watch it boil over as it means that good luck and prosperity is forthcoming,'' Ganesan said.

This ritual practised for 5,000 years is conducted in the morning during sunrise in the courtyard of homes and temples.

The cooked rice is first offered to Lord Ganesha and to Suria Bhagawan (Sun God) and distributed to members of the household.

Ganesh, chief priest of the 80-year-old Sri Sakthi Vinayagar Temple, said other rituals carried out during the festival were the chanting of prayers and the offering of vegetables and sugar cane to the deities.

“It's a time to give thanks, the Tamil equivalent of Thanksgiving,'' said Ganesh, adding that it's an important festival for Indians.

For Saroja Guraiya, 47, and daughter Vimala 28, ponggal is a traditional festival and her family had been diligently observing the ritual for years.

“We give thanks and pray for a good year ahead and hope that our prayers will be answered,'' said Saroja.

The festival falls on the last day of the Tamil month of Maargazi, to the third day of the month of Thai in the Tamil calendar or between Jan 12 and Jan 15 in the Gregorian calendar.

*articles appear from 'thestar.com.my'*

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

RUMAH PENGHULU PAK SEMAN


Restored at No 2 Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This Rumah Penghulu used to be a local headman's house. It was originally located in Kampung Sungai Kechil, a small village in Mukim Bagan Samak, Bandar Baharu, Kedah.

From the mid 1920s to the early 1930s, Penghulu Abu Seman bin Nayan completed the ensemble of buildings which make up the house. When he died, his son Ibrahim bin Abu Seman inherited both the title and the ownership of the house. Unfortunately Penghulu Ibrahim had no son to succeed him and the house was eventually left vacant.

The three main sections of the house, the balai hall, rumah ibu main house and dapur/ruang makan kitchen/ dining room were constructed at different times and their origins differ. The rumah ibu was originally built for a Tok Taib who was a person of note in Kampung Paya Takong. When the latter passed away, this structure was sold to Penghulu Abu Seman who dismantled and moved it to kampung Sungai Kechil in 1924. The balai was probably added in the 1930s.

LAYOUT OF THE HOUSE

Balai

Most Malay houses do not include a balai. This structure was in fact built by the government as an office for Penghulu Abu Seman. It includes the covered verandah described as the pejabat office and the bilik penghulu penghulu's room. Community and other administrative matters were resolved in the balai which also served as a meeting room. According to residents of the area, the bilik penghulu was sometimes used as a temporary "lock-up" for offenders when the penghulu so decreed.

Detailed carvings reflect the skill of the Malay craftsman and the status accorded to the position of the penghulu. Unlike the rest of the house and to make a distinction between the home and the office, only footings support this structure. There are no tiangs pillars. The stairway to the balai is the formal entry to the house and an internal stairway leads from the balai up to the rumah ibu.

Rumah Ibu

The rumah ibu, as is typical of other Malay houses, is elevated highest from the ground. Used for public functions and entertaining guests, it also includes the bedrooms. Entrances to both bedrooms are denoted by fretwork archways. Framed above each archway is a coloured carving which depicts two birds. The archways were originally painted silver with a green trim, probably for a festive occasion. These colours have been replicated as part of the restoration.

Dapur

Origins of the dapur/ruang makan are unclear. It could have been built in Bandar Baharu or relocated from elsewhere. As in other Malay houses, the floor in this domestic area is lower than that of the rumah ibu and separate stairways are provided. Carvings and windows are less ornate here.

PREPARATIONS TO DISMANTLE

Recognizing that they did not have the resources to completely restore the house, Penghulu Ibrahim's family sold it in 1995 via an intermediary to Badan Warisan Malaysia. We requested Tuan Syed Ahmad Iskandar Syed Ariffin of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to prepare measured drawings, Mr. Hong Lay Thong of the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) to compile a dilapidation study, and En Yahaya Ahmad of Universiti Malaya to produce a Scope of Work and to manage the project. FRIM was selected as the contractor for the dismantling and reconstruction of the house under the supervision of Tuan Haji Mohd Shukari Midon. Prof. Ezrin Arbi of the Universiti Malaya was an advisor throughout this process.


On May 13, 1996, YBhg Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid, President of the Badan Warisan Malaysia officiated the formal commencement of the dismantling of the house. By the end of the month, the dismantled house was moved to its present location at No 2 Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur. The smooth transition from Bandar Baharu to Kuala Lumpur was made possible by the support of YBhg Dato' Haji Mohd. Shariff bin Abu Samah, who was then the District Officer of Bandar Baharu.

RESTORATION

Site preparation, laying out of the footings, cleaning and preparation of original and new timber occupied the next two months. Levelling of the site was a challenge for the site work contractor, Jaya Renovation because of the gradient of the land. Minconsult Sdn Bhd designed concrete pads and compacting requirements for the terrain. In keeping with the original house where hardwood was used for structural components and softer wood for nonstructural elements, cengal (and in its abscence balau) was purchased for the former and dark red meranti for the latter.

On August 8, 1996, the raising of the tiang seri main column marked the official commencement of the reconstruction of the house. In keeping with tradition, YBhg Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid placed the original 1916 Straits Settlement coin which was found under the tiang seri back in its position along with a 1996 one ringgit coin to commemorate the restoration.

The challenge in the timber work was to ensure that elements removed from the original house were replaced in the restored house, and to refashion any new elements in exactly the same form as those that were damaged. Five panels, which comprise the entire frontage of the rumah ibu, were reassembled and installed. Windows with shutters had to be rebuilt. When all the timber work was completed, the entire house was oiled and termite treated.

In March 1997 Intelu was awarded the contract to lay the roof tiles. These clay tiles are of Chinese origin and are typically used on shophouses. En Paiman Keromo of Muzium Negara provided sound advice on the proposed work. The house required about 31,000 tiles but only 15,000 had been salvaged from the original site. However, through the generosity of YABhg Datin Seri Nila Inangda Manyam Keumala and En Paiman and the help of En Asmadi Sairi of Intelu, we were able to source the remaining tiles.

Landscaping and electrical wiring followed the timber and tile work. Puan Kamariyah Kamsah of Institut Teknologi MARA was the landscape designer and the electrical work was undertaken by Yap Electric. YBhg Puan Sri Frances Ariffin has taken on the challenge of planning and sourcing the exhibits for the house.

COMPLETION

The dedication of the restored Rumah Penghulu was officiated by YBhg Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid on Wednesday November 19, 1997. A video by Novista Sdn Bhd which documents the restoration will explain the entire proces

*articles from http://www.badanwarisan.org.my/ .Entrance fee is RM5.00*
*Wendy*

CAMERON HIGHLANDS


LOCATION

. Situated at 1829m above sea level on the Titiwangsa range, at Pahang’s north western corner.
. A 4 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur

FACTS

. The largest hill resort in the country
. It is Malaysia's “green bowl” supplying vegetables to the major cities of the country and to Singapore.
. The cool climate makes it an excellent tea growing area and indeed the Cameron tea is highly prized in the world market. With temperatures ranging between 25 and 10 degrees Celsius, this place is popular all year round with tourists.
· It is Malaysia leading producer & exporter of fresh flower as well.

History :

- The Cameron Highlands were discovered by William Cameron in 1885 during a survey expedition.
- In those days the British planters realized that those mountains were very fertile. Because tea was prized commodity among the colonies, they decided to grow tea on the slopes of the Cameron Highlands.
- Cameron Highlands grew rapidly during the colonial area and in 1920 (initiated by J. A Russell & Tea Planter from Ceylon). Then, it was developed as a ‘ hill station” for the British administrators and servicemen in the then, Malaya
- British families who were stationed in Malaysia at the time also took to hills in a respite from the hot, humid tin mines and rubber plantations.
- Some of the old bungalows, chalets, government rest house, which they left behind are still being preserved for viewing by tourist, with a few facilities added for the conveniences of visitors. So, much of the character of the Cameron Highlands has remained unchanged since colonial times.

Today


- verdant green hillsides planted with young tea plants spreads along the road to 3 main townships of Ringlet, Brinchang & Tanah Rata, the principal town and administrative center in the district of Cameron Highlands which covers an area of 712 square kilometers


PLACES OF INTREREST & ACTIVITIES

- The primary activities in the Cameron Highlands are all emphatically relaxing: touring, dining, shopping, and golfing.

Tea Plantation

· Tea plantations are one of the “must see” features of Cameron Highlands. Among the famous Tea Plantations is BOH (“Best of Highlands”).
· Tea is grown on the terraced slopes of the Cameron Highlands
· Tea from the Highlands has established a reputation for quality comparable to the best varieties around the world.
· One can visit the tea factories to see the process of tea production and some have shops where you can drink and buy tea.
· Tea cultivation is the main economic activity in Cameron Highlands. A visit to the tea plantation in the early morning will able to have a glimpse of young women walking between rows of tea bushes, picking the tender young tea leaves and throwing them into baskets strapped to their backs. A further visit to the tea factories will enhance your knowledge on the finer aspects of tea grading, blending tea, and the processing of tea.
· Tea Estates : BOH, Bharat Tea Estate, Sungai Palas Tea Estate.

Strawberry Farm

· A visit to the strawberry park will entail visitors not only the opportunity to see how these highland strawberries are cultivated but also offers the opportunity purchase of self pick freshly strawberries with thick delicious cream at affordable prices.

Fruits & Vegetables Farm

· Most farms allow visitors in and one can also buy them fresh on site. Fruits and vegetables like tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, cauliflowers etc are sold with reasonable price.

Flower & Plant Nurseries

· Rose Valley – The biggest rose centre in Cameron Highlands, located in Brinchang
· It has over 100 varieties of roses growing on terraced grounds that also incorporate sculptures, fountains, walkways and pergolas to make it a pleasant photo spot.
· Cactus Valley – one can find variety of cactus plants some as old as 60 years
· The other various blooms include carnations, dahlias, geraniums, orchids etc

Agro Technology Park

· Established in 1925, formerly known as Federal Research Station ( FES), at 1400m above sea level, houses the oldest tea bushes in Malaysia dating back to 1926
· One can witness greenhouse displays flowers, strawberries & vegetables & learn about research & development activities on subtropical flora in the highlands.

Aboriginal (Orang Asli) Village

One can witness a few aboriginal settlement along the road from Tapah to Cameron Highlands. They have stall, where they try to make some money by selling honey and durians to the people. Main group: Senoi. A lot of the Orang Asli people are working at the tea plantations.

Trekking & Nature Hikes

· Nature lovers will able to find the unspoiled natural beauty of this hill station with variety of attractive flora and fauna.
· Jungle Walk will lead to Robinson Waterfall, Parit Waterfall for water activities as well
· More than 14 jungle walks available in Cameron Highland
· The montane forest of Cameron Highlands is also ideal for bird watching as it hots a few hundred species of wild birds
· The good sightings, the longer trails leading up to the quiet Gunung Beremban (1812m) & Gunung Jasar (1551m) are the best spot for sunrise & evening view.
· Gunung Brinchang – 2032m above sea level, the highest peak in Cameron Highlands provides a breathtaking view overlooking rows of vegetable plots & tea plants

Golfing

· Golfers can tee off at the 18 hole golf course between Tanah Rata & Brinchang town
· Golfing & Vacation Package available all year round at the mountainous golf courses

Others Attractions :

. Butterfly Farm, Honey Bee Farm, Chinese Temple – Sam Poh, Morning & Night Market

Major Accomodations

a) Equatorial Hill Resort - Superior first class resort in the favorite Malaysian Highland getaway of Cameron Highlands.The hotel is situated on a hilltop overlooking terraced vegetable gardens with Gunung Brinchang (Mount Brinchang) in the background. Perched at 1628m above sea level and set in 13 acres of grounds, the resort offers commanding views of the majestic mountains and gently undulating valleys.
b) Heritage Hotel - located on a hilltop next to the convent school at Tanah Rata, town of Cameron Highlands.
c) Strawberry Park Resort –A wonderful location on a hilltop with some breathtaking panoramic views of the country around, mountains and nature. Rooms, apartments or penthouses are available.

ACCESIBILITY

· Tapah , a town in Perak, is the main entry point to the highlands

· By Road : Cameron Highlands is about 60 kilometers from Tapah, a town off the Kuala Lumpur - Ipoh . Highway accessible by road and rail. From Tapah, the two winds up through fascinating jungle scenery. The drive up will take about one and the half hours to Tanah Rata. Latest Highway is through from Simpang Pulai exit will only take about 45 minutes drive.

· By Coach : Coach travel is one of the most convenient and economical ways to come to Cameron Highlands. A number of companies provide regular, efficient express and tourist coach services to and from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore with a choice of day or night departures on some routes.

· By Taxi : Taxi services is available from Kuala Lumpur (Pudu Raya) direct to Tanah Rata. There are also taxis from Tapah town and Tapah station (for those arriving by train).

· By Train : The rall stop is at Tapah. From here take the taxi or bus to Tanah Rata.

*OVIA*

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Admiral Cheng Ho - Exhibition


Treasure Fleet: The Adventures of Admiral Cheng Ho

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Dates : Until 31-Jan-2006
Time : 9am - 6pm
Location: National Museum - KL

TICKET INFORMATION

Price : RM2

Event Details/Other Comments


This exhibition features stunning photographs by award-winning National Geographic photographer, Michael Yamashita on his adventure in retracing the footsteps of Laksamana Cheng Ho's epic voyages. The photographs at the exhibition include locations in China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Oman and Kenya. Some of the photographs by Yamashita on Laksamana Cheng Ho were published in the cover story of National Geographic Magazine's July 2005 issue. [S2D-OG]


*for those who missed the previous exhibition, then it's a good opportunity for you visit the Museum before it ends.