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We again had an early night last night but awoke at half past eight. We took a shower and packed up all our belongings before heading down to check out of Ipoh Downtown Hotel.
We then loaded all our belongings into the car and drove a short distance in search of Ipoh's original white coffee along Jalan Bandar Timah. Torn between the modern looking Nam Heong and the authentic looking Sin Loon Yoong we finally opted for the latter.
I ordered a large glass of their white coffee while Cat opted for the usual Iced Milk Tea. We both ordered a set of toast bread with half boiled eggs and added a small plate of custard pudding for dessert.
Our quintessential Ipoh breakfast came to RM21.80 (approximately USD/EUR5), apart from this we also took away five packets of Wan Ton Mee for RM37.50 (approximately USD/EUR8) that settled our lunch for later. We then strolled back to the car and began our journey back to Kuala Lumpur.
The drive took about two hours and a half that included a pitstop at the Petronas Sungai Buloh Layby for a potty break. We arrived home at about one in the afternoon and began the arduous task of unpacking.
We will probably not be posting any blogs in the coming weeks as my day job will again consume all my time. Catch you all soon!
We had an early night last night and I awoke at the crack of dawn to go through the slide deck for my lecture the Bandar Darulaman Community College. Two hours later I left Cat to continue with her beauty sleep and made the fiften minute drive to the college.
The lecture was to commence at 10:00am and would involve 140 community colleges around the country with an expected 37,000 students in attendance. It promptly started at the appointed time and the lectures began simultaneously at the colleges.
In the end these lectures were successfully entered into the Malaysian Book of Records!
I left the collge at noon to make my way back to the hotel and check out. We left the hotel at a quarter to one to begin our drive back down south to Ipoh. Along the way we stopped for a petrol refueling as well as lunch at the Gurun Rest & Recreation area.
We arrived in Ipoh at ten past four and soon made our way to the last hotel in our itinerary, the Ipoh Downtown Hotel. An old hotel it had seen better days, but to our surprise our twin book was modern, clean and spacious.
We deposited our belongings in the room but had to wait a while for the sudden downpour to subside before making our way across the street for an appointment with a laundromat. An hour later we sorted out our laundry and then headed out to the general vicinity of Gerbang Malam for dinner.
We ordered our customary steamed chicken rice at Ong Kee Restaurant. Together with a round of drinks our dinner came to RM34.00 (approximately USD8/EUR7). We then paid Happiness Authentic Local Delights a visit and ended up spending RM194.00 (approximately USD43/EUR41) worth of goodies that included 7 packets of instant Ipoh White Coffee (mostly for our neighbours), a packet of Lime Tea and Milk Tea and an assortment of snacks.
We then walked past Gerbang Malam and headed back to the hotel. We end our blog for today and with nothing planned for tomorrow except for the final leg of our drive back to Kuala Lumpur we'll see what transpires.
We rose at half past eight and went down to the hotel's coffee house half an hour later. As hotel breakfast buffet goes it was okay.
Breakfast out of the way we went back to the room to start packing and even had a short nap. We checked out at a quarter past eleven and began our drive to Alor Setar. The drive took approximately three hours that included an hour's delay due to a fatal accident near Sungai Petani. You can watch the hyper lapsed footage of the drive in our previous video.
We arrived at Raia Hotel & Convention Centre (a mouthful!) at forty past two in the afternoon and promptly checked in. We again booked a twin room for RM230.00 (approximately USD51/EUR48) which was wholly claimable from my employers.
We went up to the room and deposited our belongings before heading back down to the car in search of lunch. A friend had suggested a "mixed rice" (rice with assortments of side dishes) restaurant nearby. Barely ten minutes away Restoran Sri Pumpong was touted one of the best non Nasi Kandar restaurants in Alor Setar.
We arrived after lunchtime and dishes were scarce but we made do. I had a mix of fresh and dried squid in sambal while Cat had the fish curry. Together with a round of drinks our first lunch in Alor Setar came to RM21.00 (approximately USD5/EUR4).
We then decided to make the hour's drive to Padang Besar. Here we strolled along the various arcades and bazaars within the Arked Niaga Padang Besar and found ourselves with bagful of Siamese merchandise that included a dozen bar soap, a compact powder, a box of Siamese instant noodles, a bottle of Tom Yum Paste, a Nirvana T-shirt for Brendan and various other snacks and goodies.
We had a drink later at Restoran Nurhasiah nearby and decided to take away food for our dinner as well. We then made the hour-long drive back to the hotel but made a detour to check out the venue for my lecture tomorrow.
We end our blog for today as we spent time reorganising our luggage bags to accommodate the goodies from Padang Besar. Good night!
We checked into Flemington Hotel then took a nap hoping to take a stroll along the Taiping Lake Gardens in the evening. Alas a heavy down put paid to our plans. We waited a while and left the hotel at sunset once the rain had subsided.
The Taiping Lake Gardens was originally a mining ground before it was established as a public garden in 1880. The idea of a public garden was the brainchild of Colonel Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker. The garden was developed by Charles Compton Reade, who was also responsible for planning the Kuala Lumpur garden town, together with Lady Swettenham.
The abandoned tin mine ground was donated by Chung Keng Quee as a recreation park for public use. In 1884 the gardens were planted with grasses, flowers, and trees; a part of the gardens was fenced, to keep bulls out.
The 64 hectares (160 acres) site was the first public garden in Malaya, and was cherished for its beauty; it has been well-maintained since its opening. There are ten scenic lakes and ponds, which highlight the gardens. Along Residency Road, near the gardens, were golden rain trees (Malay: Samanea saman) or hujan-hujan (pterocarpus indicus) planted along the pathway.
There are few private and government houses located near the gardens; among them are the Old Residency (home of the Secretary to the Resident), the Raja’s House at the junction of Birch Road and Residency Road and the army officers' residences on Batu Tugoh Road. The gardens were so striking that they attracted many travelers to write of their beauty, us included!
Fifteen minutes later we arrived at Tai Hu Food Court, and after dinner we took another stroll doubling back where we came from to make our way back to the hotel.
A week ago the office asked me to give a lecture to students of a community college in Jitra, Kedah on Monday 20th March 2023. This lecture would be a series of simultaneous lectures at over 140 community colleges all over Malaysia involving an estimated 30,000 students and would be worthy of entry into Malaysia's Book of Records (MBOR).
At such short notice and with the Malaysian school holidays ending this weekend ETS tickets headed north were all sold out. Since a bus ride would take between six and seven hours anyway we decided to drive instead.
The distance to Jitra in in the northern state of Kedah is approximately 450 kilometres so we decided to split the drive into several days. The plan was to drive to Taiping on Saturday, then Jitra on Sunday. The plan was also once I was done with the lecture on Monday we would drive back south to Ipoh before driving back to Kuala Lumpur the following day.
We managed to book the necessary hotels and today began our impromptu road trip. Our good buddy who dabbles in the used car business was kind enough to allow us the use of a very comfortable sports utility vehicle so that we could drive the considerable distance in some measure of comfort.
We left our home twenty minutes past nine in the morning and arrived in Taiping at twelve noon. You can watch the hyper lapsed footage of the drive in our previous video.
We then made our way to the hotel but were told we could only check in at three in the afternoon. We then made our way into town and had lunch at Bismillah Cendol. We had:
a bowl of Pasembur each for RM8.00
a bowl of Kacang Jagung Cendul for RM2.20
a bowl of Pulut Jagung Cendul for RM2.60
which came to only RM12.80 (approximately USD/EUR3). With about two hours to burn we decided to drive back to the vicinity of the hotel and drove into DoubleTap Cafe's parking lot.
We decided against having a drink here since we wanted to first take a drive around the Taiping Lake Gardens. We circumnavigated the Lake Gardens and then headed to a Petronas Station since the car we were driving was 'thirsty'.
We again made our way to DoubleTap Cafe and ordered the:
Dalgona Coffee for RM15.00
Iced Honey Lemon for RM8.00
French Toast (shared) for RM8.00
that came to RM31.00 (approximately USD/EUR7). We were seated by a large window overlooking the lake and spent a pleasant hour here. We then made the short drive to Flemington Hotel next door and checked in. We booked a twin room for RM208.00 (approximately USD46/EUR44) which was wholly paid from monies in our Booking.com wallet, monies that we had garnered from previous bookings.
We then took a nap and then wanted to take a stroll along the Taiping Lake Gardens in the evening but a heavy down put paid to our plans. We waited a while and left the hotel at sunset once the rain had subsided. Be sure to watch our next video on our stroll along this beautiful part of Taiping.
We then arrived at our dinner destination, Tai Hu Food Court. We had:
Mata Kuching Drinks for RM4.80
Plate of Lor Bak for RM19.70
Grilled Stingray for RM26.00
Kueh Teow Thng for RM6.00
which came to RM56.50 (approximately USD13/EUR12). We then took another stroll along the Taiping Lake Gardens and made our way back to the hotel. The room rate came with breakfast for two, so we hoped to have an early night.
Two weeks on from our trip to Kuching and we had not planned on making any videos. My day job demanded all of my time and concentration, so editing videos was the last thing on my mind.
We had recently repainted our condo and wanted a change in our fittings so we took an impromptu drive to Nilai, a small town in the state of Negeri Sembilan about forty five minutes south of Kuala Lumpur.
We arrived at Nilai and made our way to Dataran Nilai (Square) to have lunch at Rumah Makan Dataran. We read about the positive reviews that Restoran Marhaban Bikum received online, and were game to try.
We then scanned the QR code and placed our order for the:
Roasted Chicken with Arabic Rice
Grilled Chicken with White Rice
Sirap (Rose flavoured cordial drink)
Watermelon Lychee Juice
that came to a respectable RM40.00 (approximately USD9/EUR8). Lunch out of the way we drove out of Nilai Square and headed to Nilai 3 Wholesale Centre six kilometres away. Here was a large concentration of large retails stores selling textiles, curtains and related paraphernalia and carpets.
We strolled around for a little while but could not find the appropriate railings for our home. The heat was especially unbearable and dissuaded from exploring this vast network of textiles, curtains, and carpets.
Thus ended our unplanned vlog for this week. We hope to take you on another excursion next week when we visit the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair!