Saturday, June 29, 2013

Floria 2013

I never miss the annual Floria event ever since I moved here in 2010 and this year theme is "Orchid-Tropical Treasure".

This year, it features the Malaysia's longest landscaped vertical wall which is 300m long and the wall is covered by a wide variety of tropical plants, foliage, herbs, creepers and orchids.

It also features some Chinese lantern which reminds me of the coming moon cake festival. Should be a sight to behold at night.

The size of the event is pretty much the same as the previous year. It is still fun to visit with the variety of floral and gardens design this year.

Some of the international participants also manage to awe the visitor with their creativity. Each country somehow incorporates their culture and identity into each of the garden design and showcase it at this event.

I kind of intrigue with this garden which is based on the red riding hood folk tale. It might be a little spooky for some visitors or children.

The Sungai Lembing Museum also did a good job to give an insight what to expect in their underground tin museum. I will definitely will make an effort to visit the museum in the future.

In a nutshell, it is a colourful event and I am impressed that they are still able to keep the plants fresh and alive after a week of hot and hazy weather.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Haze 2013 @ Putrajaya

The haze has been a nuisance for me since last Sunday when I returned from my hometown. It somehow trap the heat and make life really miserable.

The API around Putrajaya for the last 3 days has been lingering around 100-194 (unhealthy), just slightly below 200. Surprisingly, still not many around here put on any facial mask to prevent those fine dust particles from entering their respiratory system.

Having faced the worst haze crisis back in 1997 at my hometown where the API hit a record high of 800++ for more than a week and the visibility are just a few metres,  I am still able to adapt with the current situation.

Good news is that it rained heavily around 6pm yesterday and the haze was completely gone after that. Wonder how long that will last.

The 1997 crisis also taught me that the haze will always present every year. Hence I always had a few respirators on standby as my contingency plan. I only use a minimum N95 respirator and not those cheap facial mask which most people seems to be wearing nowadays. I also had a re-useable respirator in hand should the API shot up to hazardous level.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Puteri Resort, Ayer Keroh

I recently stayed at Puteri Resort for a meeting. It is located not far away from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza. Just turn into the Petronas gas station after the toll plaza and the resort is about 300m away.

The resort location is kind of in a secluded area, ideal for holding meetings and team building event rather than a family holiday or leisure stay while in Malacca.

The lobby area is huge with an open air concept. With such a spacious area, it has become a place to meet up among occupants here.

The Deluxe Room is rather big for a single occupancy. However, this resort is in the dire need of upgrading and refurbishment as most of the furniture here are as old as the resort itself. Internet line is poor here while using the resort's wifi as well as my own broadband connection.

Sometime the electronic door card reader is not sensitive and unable to read my door card. Hence, it could take a few try to get the door unlock.

Every room has a balcony and depending on your luck, one might face the swimming pool or the hill side. I actually prefer to leave the large sliding door open for better ventilation but that would mean I will be letting all sort of insects to enter my room.

The room itself is poorly maintained as can be seen from the air conditioner controller and the stain inside the wash room.

Even the kettle has stain inside it. Hence, I came to the conclusion the water supply here is not as clean as what I expect from a hotel. I just walk to the nearby Petronas station and purchased myself a clean potable water.

The complimentary breakfast is below my expectation. Even the omelette counter is a letdown. Sometimes the fruits are in pretty bad shape and I wonder what happen to their quality control.

The only saving grace for this resort is its huge pool which attracts a lot of children and adult alike.

Unless the management do some serious upgrading, I don't think I will be coming back here again. Without any wheels, there aren't much thing to do around here and most of the attractions are not within walking distance from this resort. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Maxwell Hill

Maxwell Hill (known as Bukit Larut now) is located 12km (after taking into account the 10km climb from the foot of the hill) from Taiping and approximately 1,036m above sea level.

It is the first and oldest hill resort in Malaysia. It was founded in 1870 and named after the first British resident assistant in Perak, George Maxwell.

Access is available by government owned Land Rovers (RM6 for return journey) although those who are more adventurous can walk up the hill for free. The journey time for the Land Rovers can take up to 30 minutes (and I'm sure it will be rather uncomfortable by the look at the seating arrangement) while it took me some 3 hours to reach the peak and another 2 hours to descend on foot. I brought along 1.5 litre of water and it is just enough to get me through the whole journey.

Another advantage of walking up the hill instead of taking an easy way up with the Land Rovers is one is able to enjoy the lush greenery, wild ferns, waterfalls and vantage view of Taiping Town en route to the peak.

In the middle of the hill (around 6km from the foot of the hill), there is The Tea Garden House which used to be part of the tea farm on the hill. It such a shame that this house had been left to rot as it would be an ideal place for those who walk up the hill to have a proper rest and refreshment here.

The suspension bridge which leads to a watch tower with a clear view of Taiping.This place is well known for its rain and I'm glad the weather was just perfect that day.

Most of the British nobles have built their vacation houses on the Hill and some of these houses are still visible today.

What a feel upon reaching the top of the hill. I really like its colonial atmosphere and it is not been developed and hence maintain its natural beauty. The air up here is crisp and fresh with pleasant temperature around 20-25 degree Celcius. 

For the record, after my 5-6 hours adventure at the hill, I somehow able to consume a plate of chicken chop, kuey tiaw and claypot chicken rice during dinner time. In fact I do fancy another climb in the near future as I was too tired to continue my walk all the way up to the communication tower, which is another 2km walk from the resort.