COMING HOME, FOR A WHILE

COMING HOME, FOR A WHILE

After 3 years spent on completing my Degree in Architecture, its finally the time to straighten back my life away from extra-curricular activity and pressuring studio assignment. Few years ago, I believe I needed some dedicated time to focus myself on studying Architecture, an exercise of some sort to prove myself that I could become better in this complicated branch of art.

Learning is surely a never ending process, as I do plan to continue my further study in post-graduate. Place to be decided.

So, after my last paper. I decided to join my girlfriend back home while carrying all our stuff there. We had been planning for this trip for quiet some time and finally got time to do so. I had almost a week before my flight back home and she decided to bring me to Ipoh for some food hunting. As I mentioned before, she told me that the food in Ipoh is way better than those in Penang. The only difference is that Penang had a lot more choices, but not necessary a good one.

I had been to Ipoh numerous time in the past but I never actually went there for the food. I always know the food is great but I just didn’t have the transport to actually explore the area. But I am lucky that my girlfriend decided to bring me around. She is after all an alumni of Politeknik Ungku Omar.

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The famous Penang Bridge 2. This bridge is freaking long. 
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Heading to Ipoh. 
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This is one of the two dolls that I got from the arcade. 
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Feeling like playing Gran Turismo. 
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Its not even Hari Raya and its already jammed. Turns out there was a road maintenance a few kilometer away. 
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Ipoh Big Tree Restaurant. The food is super good and the drinks are GIANT. Recommend this place if you are going to Ipoh. 
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My driver and tour guide. 
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She actually involve in the drawing of the mural behind her. This is her trying to show that she has grew taller than before. 
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Her best ‘cute’ face. 
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Impressive mural around this area. 
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We spend some time around the town area that morning looking for a decent breakfast. Had a nice Coffee with whisky. 
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Happy kid. 
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A very ‘haram’ doll to have. 
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She is showing the area where she used to stay during her study. 
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She say “Stop, this one not so nice!”
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Then she go and pose with my girlfriend. She used to stay with the aunty during her study years. They still kept in touch with each other. 
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Afterward, she brought us to Kek Look Tong caves. This one is interesting and its not a temple but maintained by the Kek Look Tong temple. 
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Fishes!!!
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The cave interior.
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The cave entrance view from inside. 
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I just love the juxtoposition of the nature and the man-made structure. 
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Very peaceful ambiance here. 
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The hotel pantry that we are staying is lovely. All the furniture from the table to our bunk bed seems to be custom made. Would love to know the architects and designer involved in doing this. 
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Ban Loong Hotel, and the price is affordable and the location is just strategic. 

 

After our 1 night trip at Ipoh, it’s time to head back to her hometown at Negeri Sembilan. Its a long ride and her father had to come to Ipoh to accompany her back, but she still drive all the way to Bahau. There is a lot to look forward to in Bahau and it was enjoyable as usual. The next morning, they decided to go for shopping at Tampin area. The shopping outlet is similar to the Design Village in Penang.

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I really miss the coffee. 
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Check out the Banner. 
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If you arrange simple object in pattern or grid, chances are the pattern would look nice. 
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1Malaysia. 
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This is a proper family photo. 
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We take a look inside the famous A’famosa resort and theme park. Its big and they told me how the place used to be so nice. I heard about it since I was in high school but got the chance to visit it. It was a short pass by inside the area so couldn’t see much of the resort. 
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Bahau have a nice roti canai and coffee place. A must visit. 
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Check out the roti canai that we ordered. 

On the next day, it was weekend and they decided to bring me for a trip to Malacca. Its actually just an hour drive to Malacca and on the way, we stop by to get breakfast and lunch at Malacca. Oddly enough, many store were close and all the place that visit is either overpriced or full of tourist.

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Rojak Negeri Sembilan. Very similar to those I usually had at Sabah southern area. 
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People with their morning routine I guess. 
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Enjoying Kopi-C and Rojak in the morning. 
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Happy Uncle. 
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One of the place where we visit is the Malacca Chief Minister official residence. Which is open to the public for a month as a way to promote the new goverment with its people. 
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Too much tourist. Local and foreign alike. 
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The house lobby. Again full of people. 
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One of the quest bedroom. Such furniture. No one died here. 
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Of course, being in such luxury mansion will see many of the tourist that will pose with anything. Even with a plastic flower from Daiso. 
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And in front of the master bedroom mansion. 
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And it become a nice place for photo shooting. 
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or family portrait. 
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The porte cochere of the mansion. 
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The water landscape behind the mansion. 
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The official car for the Chief Minister. 
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The driver and the passenger. 
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I never got to this place before during my visit to Malacca. But they say the Peranakan cooking and cookies are good. 
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But as usual, it’s full of people. 
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Peranakan style Bak Chang. What is left of it. 
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More people taking the Bak Chang. 
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More people waiting for the Bak Chang. 
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And we arrived at Brazil. 
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That day we spent so much time to actually look for parking and places to eat where we ended up going around the area. Still, it was fun and we were wondering as well why Malacca is so packed with people this time of the day. 

Going through the day, it was fun. After our trip from Malacca, we return back to Bahau later that evening. It only took an hour or so to reach Malacca which is not that far even for my standard. There is only a few days left before my flight back to Labuan and therefore I intend to enjoy my stay at my girlfriend hometown.

On the next afternoon she told me that we should go on hiking at Bukit Taiso (not Daiso). The trail is something that her mum told me few days ago but I have no idea how high or difficult the trail is. But according to my girlfriend, based on her childhood memory, it’s not that difficult. Therefore, for the first time in my life I went into a jungle trail (Palm plantation area to be precise) with a newly bought slippers. It was a funny and exhausting experience (due to my lack of fitness) but at the end it was rewarding. The view from the top is beautiful where the sky is full of orange purple hue while at the same time accompanied by someone that I love.

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First stop during hiking. At this time we were wondering if we are even half-way there. 
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Bukit Taisho, not Daiso. 
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The peak of the trail. Maintained by the local community I believe. 
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Fun fact, Negeri Sembilan used to be the former Barisan National Stronghold before they lose terribly during the recent General Election causing even the beloved for N9 CM Dato Sri Hasan to lose at his own area. 
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Still catching her breath. 
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Hikers gather at the top bringing their friends and family. Look at the view and color. 
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Checking out the view. You can actually see her home from here. If not for the haze. 
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A new Malaysia. 

 

So the day finally arrive, the day where I need to be away from my girlfriend for the next few months. I finally got a taste of her breakfast, the last time he serve me is okay-okay only but this one is good. The egg was fluffy and the salmon is nicely cooked. Afterward they rush me to the bus station as I will be going to KL to meetup with my sister.

The time away will be spend with my family for sure but in the next few months, my time will be for the future. I will be returning to Peninsular Malaysia soon where I will be working temporarily before continuing my master study.

Until then, see you guys.

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Setting up the breakfast, Masterchef Chin Xin style. 
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Looks okay, but taste great. 
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Our selfie together before taking the bus. She told me that we didn’t take much picture together. 
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This face expression I don’t know what it is for. 
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Saying goodbye to my little piggy. 

 

 

 

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Thailand Trip 2015 [THROWBACK]

Thailand Trip 2015 [THROWBACK]

   As everyone was busy preparing for Chinese New year that year, I finally got the opportunity to travel to Thailand for a week, alone. Getting a day off from my work was difficult as the office was busy in the previous year. The only way to take a long leave is by waiting for this kind of public holiday and luckily Malaysia has tons of it.

   My first choice was to travel to Hong Kong or Taiwan but luckily Zhuang Wu Bin told me that he will be involved in Chiang Mai very first photo festival as a curator. Chiang Mai is one of the states in Thailand and when he told me that it will be cheap and fun to go there by train, I was basically convinced.

   To begin with, I really didn’t do much study on Thailand or Bangkok before going there. The only thing that I prepared was some map that I photocopy from Lonely Planet book and the train ticket that Wu Bin send to me from Chiang Mai.

   To be honest, I did study the interesting place to visit in Bangkok but none of it seems to be that interesting. So I decided to skip all the famous tourist spot and instead, take my own time walking around the city at my own convenience. But I really do wanna visit the famous (infamous?) Thailand Go-Go Bar.

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From Labuan to Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok. That girl was not waving toward someone. 
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Arrived at Dong Mueng Airport. 
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My first impression of Thailand. 
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A 20 minutes ride to my hostel. The driver was friendly though. 
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22km ride per litre of fuel. Impressive. 
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One of the cat in the hostel. 

   When I arrive at my hostel, I was hungry. 7Eleven was everywhere but the sandwich price is ridiculous when I convert it. So I decided to eat the local food which is Sticky Rice with Spicy mango and sliced beef. It was good but extremely spicy.

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I thought this dog was a rag. 
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First food in Thailand. 
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See how impressive the ingredient is, and the amount of Chili. 
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They have different menu in the morning. 

My train was in the evening around 6pm so I have plenty of time to explore the Chinatown. I notice on the map that there is some temple near the area so there I go.

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Jaywalking in Bangkok. 
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Better than Penang mural art. 
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You can tell that you are in Thailand. 
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Since I was staying in Chinatown, the place is full of Thailand Chinese. This scene feels like Kuala Lumpur petaling street. 
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I still feel like I was in Petaling Street. 
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This is so KL. 
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Not sure if its a missing person poster, or a congratulatory poster.  
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The temple is stunning. 
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The temple is famous for it Golden coated buddha statue. This three statue is not it. 
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This is the real Gold coated buddha statue. 
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I find the texture interesting. I believe that is a mercedes benz. 
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Street of Bangkok. 
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Vandalism 
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Crossing the road. 
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On the way to train station. 
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This is my platform according to my ticket. 
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I love the light here. 
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People waiting for their train. 
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That is my only bag that I bring along for the trip. 
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Family from French. 
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My food for all my train ride in Thailand. 
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A group of Germans. 
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This is my bunk bed. 

  The experience in waking up inside a moving train in the morning was surprisingly pleasant. It was cold but not noisy, it was shaky but not horribly shaken. Overall, it was just like another day in the morning except that you need to wash your head/face in the small train toilet.

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Brushing my teeth in front of this guy. 
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That is the logo for Thailand Railway. 
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Early morning with instant coffee. He like it. 
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My ride to Chiang Mai University. 
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On the way. 
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Chiang Mai street food. 
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This is the Main entrance for Chiang Mai University. 
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My ride for the day. 
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Peacock for a pet. Saw this at WuBin place. 
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A home for the god. 
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It is actually pretty cold despite the picture. Temperature is around 28 degree celcius. 
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Community store. Check out the design.
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Its not just a store selling local products but also house a coffee shop. 
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Apparently the university is organizing some sort of a events for the students. Its big. 
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One of the reason for me to visit Chiang Mai. 

 

   The whole point of the trip was to actually learn and observe new photography material and culture from South East Asia. Seeing first hand on how they organize a photo festival from a real photography and art curator perspective was the ideal timing for as I was at that time involved in a way in organizing a Photo Festival in Sabah. Which is successfully organized by my friend, do check the festival out, kinabaluphotofestival.com)

 

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This was a selected work from Asean brightest young photographer. 

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This was a selected picture from Korea and Hong Kong (I think) 

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This was interesting. I believe you do a google search about the writing. The work selected here is curated by Zhuang Wu Bin.

 

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Geric Cruz work from Philippines. 
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This series was taken with Holga. 
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Documenting the rubber industry in Thailand (or was it Cambodia) 
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Awesome series. 
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This series was awesome as well. Not sure about the subject but was it border patrol or prison guard. 
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Mr Zhuang Wu Bin took a rest while overlooking the exhibit. This was taken before the opening tomorow. 
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I got the tote bag though. 

 

   The exhibition was simply mind blowing. The image showcased in the exhibition is very impressive and I was lucky that WuBin was there explaining stuff around regarding those pictures he curated. Afterward I believe we went around and went on to welcome one of Wu Bin acquaintance from Indonesia, Deden Durahman.

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This was some bakery selling organic bread and drinks. 
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Zhuang Wu Bin work on the Chinese in South East Asia. 
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Always put your awesome printed picture in Hahnemuhle paper and put it in a tin box. 
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Dinner with Pak Deden and Kak Rita.
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This is some serious talk. I couldnt keep up as it was too deep. 

My second morning in Chiang Mai was spent cycling around the old city area, which is basically in the middle of Chiang Mai. I also notice that it is very difficult to find public toilet in Chiang Mai, not to mention a thrash can.

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You know the love their king. 
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Part of the old city wall. 
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Check out my bicycle. 
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Morning Yoga. 
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Yoga seems like a good activity to do here in this park. 
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Opening of the Chiang Mai House of Photography. 
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MAC.

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Not many people know how to use apple product. 

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I still want this cap. 
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Admiring the architecture. 

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Teacher Kui showing me around that day. 

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One of the many events that day. This one is the open public talk featuring Benz Thanachart. He was famous recently for taking picture inside a train for screaming random words. 
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Apparently, he is also famous among the youth. Those line there is all his fan waiting to have a sign on their book. Equivalent to Malaysian Matlufthi. 
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Deden Durahman told me that “In order for a photograph to exist longer in this world, you need to pair it with a writings. Which this guy has actually done.”
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Would buy if this book is translated into English. 
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They are buying some wines for tonight!. 
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Leading the way. 
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An opening to one of the photography student exhibition. 
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This series was about Equality I believe. 
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He was more into street fashion shooting. 
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A friend was giving her some flower, I just took a picture. 
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Her series is probably the most honest of all during the exhibition. Its about her relationship with her dog. She explain to me in fluent english and I think she thought I was someone important as I was tagging along with their lecturer and their quest. 

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And the say Malaysia censorship is the worst. 

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I learn how to differentiate different types of wine that night. 
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Last picture for the night. This guy is all lecturers for Chiang Mai University. 

   And after the last picture, I was drunk as hell and probably embarassing myself by talking something unrelated to their topic. Went to WuBin place to get my bicycle and there I go cycle back to my hotel which is half an hour from his place.

For the first time in my life, I am cycling drunk alone in a foreign city in a cold 24 degree celcius weather. Safe to say that I arrive safely but of course, by taking some wrong turn along the way.

The next morning I decided to went back to Bangkok, I took some breakfast with Wu Bin and say goodbye to my host. It was a great experience overall.

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Short meet-up. Still like the cap. 

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Chiang Mai train station. 

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You can tell that they are locals. 

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Sink for the entire cabin. 

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Boobs. 
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F/22 and be there. 
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This was the restaurant. They say the coffee was good but I havent try it.
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And this was probably the most interesting experience during my 1 week trip in Thailand. I forgot his name but he really loves everything about America. We start our conversation regarding his burger and how the American burger was the best. 
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Apparently he also have some deep interest in Cowboy culture and somehow has a theme park or hotel that is full of cowboy stuff. He gave me a brochure to his place but I seem to misplaced it. 
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He was showing his ring and hats. 
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And he somehow met his old friend. 
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This guy. 
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They were speaking in Thai so I dont really understand but he was actually wanted to show him his new charm to his friend. 
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Apparently he got it recently from a temple in Chiang Mai and then pass it to me to have a look. 
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He also told me that the wood is  carved by an expert craftsmen to create that buddha charm which then he covered in epoxy. 
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Kinda surprised when he pull out that magnifying thingy. 
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An an agreement was made. Although I believe he just gave it to his old friend. 
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The conductor decided to join their talk. 
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Apparently this guy wearing the flowery t-shirt is a retired train conductor of the exact train that I was riding. Those two girls was actually his juniors before he retired recently. 
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I have no idea what it was. All I can do is smile and laugh. 
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Before going to bed, I say good night to the uncle. After that, he gave me this piece of wood that he used to make his charm. It smells good and told me that it was the same wood that people used to make incense. He told me to find a good craftsman and make something out of it according to my zodiac. I still keep it inside my bag to this day. 

Woking up in the morning made me realize that I missed Chiang Mai cold winter season weather (they call it winter but they also say the summer season is hell). So as I arrived in Bangkok, I decided to walk all the way to my new hostel. It was stupid as I ended up getting lost for 2 hour before actually reaching my hostel. My internet data was lousy and I couldn’t read Thailand.

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She havent shower since yesterday. 

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Early morning and people went to work. 
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I like the color here. 
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Thailand have some issue regarding electrical wire management. 
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THAILAND.
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Street of Bangkok. 
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In front of Bangkok Art Museum. 
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Shopping mall in Bangkok is so advance that they have showroom selling Bentley, Roll Royce, Lamborghini and even porsche inside their shopping mall. 

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A decent lunch. 
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The american lady that really like to look down on Asian. She say her jewelry is confiscated after arrived in Thailand which makes no sense. 
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Near the Stadium. 

I was really hoping to visit one of the closest Go-Go bar but after walking non-stop since morning, I was basically exhausted. I slept early around 9pm and ended up waking up in the morning, just in time for check out and took a taxi to the airport.

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Thailand taxi driver is very friendly. All smile. 
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Exchanging my leftover Baht. 
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Good bye Thailand. It was nice. 

   After my Thailand trip, I was planning to save up some money for a trip to Japan. But opportunity shows up and I went to continue my study in Penang. What I learn from the trip was humility in general. Thailand people are surprisingly friendly and somehow resilience in nature. We could learn a lot from them, just check out their creative talent, they are amazing.

PENANG : AN OBSERVATION | Part 1

PENANG : AN OBSERVATION | Part 1

   Its been a few years since I continued my studies in Penang. While the Island has changed in many way since my last visit many years before. The underlying culture that makes Penang interesting remained the same.

As the title suggest, this series is mainly just an observation on the place that I have visited around Penang island and in no other way were it meant as a reference towards the Island as a whole. In the recent year, the Island has been promoted intensively as a street food heaven by the local government and with their successful bid in making their city area a UNESCO Heritage site, the Island has been striving with tourism investment.

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Murals are everywhere. They even have a printed guide that you can pick up from the airport and hotels. 

Going around the town shows tons of murals made by local and foreign artist and this itself was created under the government initiatives of promoting Penang as an Art and Cultural hub in the country. Obviously, this bring tons of cultural events that has attract the attention of the international community.

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The street is not as hectic as Kuala Lumpur but its still relatively busy in view. 

But, despite all this, the island still retain its cultural value pretty well despite the rapid urbanization that is ongoing throughout the island. Exploring the small detail of the island will still surprised some seasoned traveler I believe.

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Stuff that you will find around the alley of the Georgetown shophouses. 
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An offering to the god/deities I believe. 
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Penang beloved Chief Minister. Symbol of Penang.

   Although Penang is majority occupied by the Bumiputera, the Island town area is predominantly Chinese and Indian Muslim. This can be seen on the daily activities and the annual celebration held throughout the year. The street would be filled with offerings and road are sometimes closed for this special occasion. Still its a sight to experience yourself.

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I forgot what they call this but its literally everywhere during certain season of the years. 
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Sending offering to the deities. 
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At Kek Lok Si temple. 
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Fun park somewhere around Queensbay mall. 
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Fishing near the first Penang bridge. 

FOR 2018

FOR 2018

   2017 has been that kind of year where you had been trying out many different thing but in the end it didn’t left you with much. It left me a bit unorganized and unprepared for the next venture but hell was it fun. By the end of the year, I notice that all this small tryout has somehow made me understand what I need to focus on more in 2018, whether its photography or architecture.

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We need to be very ‘extra’ in everything this year. 

As for this year planning, I personally set to end one of my photography project if possible and preparing my own architecture portfolio before continuing my master study. It will remained to be seen if any of this will materialize but finger cross.

In the mean time, I need to get myself a new DSLR soon and I am also selling some of my ‘excess’ photography equipment on carousell, do check it out here -> Kelvin carousell profile.

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With love. 

   For 2018, it’s probably the right time to appreciate those people that are close to you and treat them better in some sort. If possible, I would like to give advice to those that are younger than me that the final year of your study is just the beginning in the pursue of many thing. Life is rough and it is never is a fairytale.

I am hoping for another great year in 2018.

 

FROG HILL, Penang Mainland

FROG HILL, Penang Mainland
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Hair flippin before taking instagram worthy picture. 

   I believe it’s been a few months since we went out together while visiting some new places with our cameras. Studio projects and random assignment has kept us busy over the past few weeks in which I believe are heard from time to time again in this blog.

Last year we did plan to visit this old abandoned mining place at mainland Penang as she has been there with her friends and calling it a ‘beautiful’ place with ‘blue’ colored pond. True to her word, a random google search proves that it is indeed a beautiful location but I couldn’t find any clue on why it’s called Frog hill, the actual hill doesn’t even look like a frog in the slightest.

So chances came by when we happen to source our timber material for a project over at Penang mainland in which Frog Hill is only half an hour away from the shop that we were about to visit. Since we did plan to visit the place before, its a quick decision to drive straight to the area. (We got lost, thanks to a Pak Cik for the direction)

If you are wondering where is this place, I suggest you google it yourself. This blogpost (or this blog) is never about the place but more on my personal visual experience organized into a blogpost.

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I think she was saying why do we need to climb this hill. 
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She were complaining that the surface is slippery as well. 
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And this one is about the rock being sharp. 

   Finding the area is a bit difficult but I leave the fun to you guys if you happen to be visiting that place. The road leading to the site is covered in red colored soil and it will soon lead you to one of the nicest man-made landscape that you can find in Penang (not the Island).

Climbing it is not as difficult as shown in the picture, any decent human capable of taking 2 flight of staircase would survive the climb easily. The only concern is whether you are able to hold the urge to dive straight into the crystal clear water that surround the area. But from what I heard, the water is unsafe for your skin due to the high level of alkaline. (which I highly doubt)

FRG RE 08
This one is for instagram. In celebrating that small climb I suppose. 

The landscape is pure eye candy and luckily the weather is slightly cloudy which is nice. With the pond crystal clear with slight green tint and a rather awesome rocky landscape, Its only a matter of time before someone close it from the public.

 

FRG RE 05
Just imagine that the dark part is green and the shiny area is tinted blue. 
FRG RE 03
An attempt to admire the detail of the landscape. 
FRG RE 04
Someday I gonna go down there exploring the area with a tripod in hand. 

  We spent about an hour and a half but most of the time was spent sitting down admiring the landscape while having some silly talk. Its a very secluded area with rarely anyone passing by. But still there was a few visitor who came to the hill and taking some picture before they left.

FRG RE 07
The only steep part that we need to climb to get the highest vantage point possible.
FRG RE 01
Our car and the landscape. With tiny human for scale. 

Overall, it was a great experience. The place is beautiful and hopefully will be preserve well for the future. The only regret is that I dont have any black and white film for my Leica hence this series of picture in monochrome taken using my girlfriend Nikon.

 

For more information about this place, just google. Its worth it.

FRG RE 06
Queen of the world

FUJIFILM XT20 – An hour with XT20

FUJIFILM XT20 – An hour with XT20

I rarely had the urge to write something about a camera that I try before but this one is an exception as I felt that there is a few points that I need to put out.

A week ago, Fujifilm did a camera hands-on session which include a small street photography workshop done by one of their brand ambassador (I think). To be honest I do not expect much from the workshop but the chance of trying out Fujifilm high end equipment on the street of Georgetown is much more interesting, and it’s free.

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Fujifilm XT20 – the camera that I tried for an hour. 

Ever since I continue my study in Penang, I never got the chance to explore the street of Penang as much as I thought I would be. Project submission and curricular activity has made me very occupied throughout the week. So this is like killing two bird with one stone, a chance to explore Georgetown with a better camera and to actually try Fujifilm recent offering.

Since it’s free and doesn’t seems to restrict only to Fujifilm camera user. I decided to give it a go.

MORNING SESSION

The event was held at Gayo Cafe, next to the Chinahouse. A cafe that doesnt seems to bother to check their location on facebook, which made many of us late for the event as we scramble to find the exact location of the cafe.

As I was late, the talk already gone through halfway and the place was literally packed with people. The talk was done by Thomas Phoon where he gave a basic introduction on street photography.

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Street photography talk by Thomas Phoon. 

Street photography in general is a very difficult genre to dissect. Even the speaker try to keep it simple while at the same time entertaining to the crowd. It keep up with the basic approach to street photography while at the same time showcasing why Fujifilm X series camera are the best camera for street photography.

But I am not expecting a talk from Alex Webb here.

CAMERA LOANING SESSION

The only experience that I had with Fujifilm camera before is their X100 model. A camera which I was planning to get before getting a second hand Sony a900.

But that was back in 2012, where the autofocus was not up to standard and the control is a bit tedious compared to what I heard recently. For this session I was hoping to try the X-pro2 or the X100F in which I was unlucky as I was one of the last few at the back of the line.

2017-08-13 10.39.30
Due to my phone camera quality, the thing that the girl was holding is actually the Xpro2 Graphite. 

So for this, I have to settle with the Fujifilm XT20 with some random zoom lens that is left with them. The girls in front of me manage to use the Xpro2 Graphite, damn.

We left our MyKad with the organizer before taking the camera off to the street of Georgetown. I also ask one of the brand representative to teach me how to use the camera and to adjust the setting in which I find the camera control to be similar to my Olympus OM-1.

THE STREET 

After a 10 minutes of basic Fujifilm camera session with one of the Fujifilm representative, I head out with the usual intention of taking photograph of whatever that I deem interesting.

This is also a good way to try the camera where in the recent year, saw many hardcore Nikon and Canon enthusiast to switch to the X-series system. On first impression, the camera control is pretty direct and simple with most of the necessary control are put on top of the camera plate. The most noticeable difference compare to the usual DSLR is the classic look of the camera which resembles the SLR back in the 70’s from the like of Olympus OM and Pentax LX. The camera is also surprisingly solid with the lens built quality is stunning, similar to a solid classic analog lenses made from stainless steel. Even though my loan lens had some used mark here and there.

You can refer to more information on XT20 at Dpreview.com, as this blog is never meant for a scientific camera review. I used to like Fujifilm for its 400H Pro film.

 

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One of the first frame that I took after I went out from the Cafe. Autofocus is blazing fast, no complain on that matter. 
012
I believe I was struggling with the EVF response rate. The camera has a rather annoying turn on rate when I switch from using live view to the EVF. Perhaps there is a problem with the sensor. Solved the problem by using only EVF for the entire time. 
011
So while testing the camera, I bump into my long lost senior back when I was studying for Diploma. On a side note, the camera retain the highlight details perfectly well and this is converted from RAW. 
009
I think this stray dog develop a sort of bond with the community. So chill. 
010
I was hoping for a Daido Moriyama kind of head turn from the dog. But no. Again, the camera retain great detail from this image file. 
002
Chill dog, enough said. 
008
The camera is not exactly discreet but the shutter sound is definitely quieter than what I am used to. The guy was talking something about California.  
007
More chit-chat on California. 
006
His name is Syed Mahathir. I did chat with him for a while. Wish to talk more but I am in a rush to return the camera soon. 
005
More people on bicycle around Georgetown. Again, great detail and sharpness from the camera. Wish I have some spare 8K under my pillow. 
004
Miscellaneous item. 
001
I wish to take this one with my TLR but somehow the shutter is stucked few days ago. 
003
One final picture before I return the camera. The kid was cute as she pose for her mum. Should have try a higher ISO for this. 

CONCLUSION 

In general, mirrorless camera is a very viable option as a serious workhorse camera. For me that is. But this is not a surprise considering that Sony has somehow conquer the market with its mirrorless full frame camera, the RX1r and A7 series camera.

My point here is that I used to have some doubt on mirrorless camera, not in term of image quality but more on the actual shooting performance and I am glad that the technology for the camera is getting better.

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They were giving out comment on a selected 2 image from the outing. The selected 2 image were given some sort of prize. But the first selected image is interesting though. 
2017-08-13 13.11.52
The end of the workshop. 

In this day, most digital camera is a good camera. With only differences is more on the features than the actual image quality. For a starter the only thing that I find irritating with the camera is only the following (nothing serious) ;

  1. The EVF still could not replace the actual experience of using a viewfinder. Which I believe the X100F or Xpro2 suits me more. I am the kind of person who use viewfinder most of the time.
  2. The organizer doesn’t even bother to provide a neckstrap for their camera. So basically you are carrying 7K equipment around the area by holding onto the expensive lens.
  3. I just wish to try the Xpro2 instead. 😦

Given the opportunity, I wouldnt mind using the XT20 all year long. Its a great camera with tons of feature but so far, I am impressed.

As for the event, I believe it was a success. I consider myself a neutral when it comes to camera brand but Fujifilm did a good job on this and they even have a free meal.

Looking forward for a Leica camera hand-on test in the future. Hopefully.

 

MID-SEM BREAK 2017 | BAHAU

MID-SEM BREAK 2017 | BAHAU

I consider Penang street food to be one of the best in the world. The range of choice around the island and across over Butterworth is really just overwhelming. From the Chinese Hokkien cuisine and all the way to the famous Indian Muslim delicacy, the choice is really just endless.

0
Her flight is delay from Langkawi and then she found out we will be stuck in Penang for another 2 hour. 

That is until my girlfriend says that the food at her hometown is better. Yes, there is more choice here in Penang but the taste, according to her, is different. Whereas at Bahau, the taste is simply better and the texture or smell is definitely more authentic. She was saying that they cook it much better. And so does the Coffee.

As a good boyfriend that I am, I simply agree on this matter. Simply because she has good taste towards stuff and she is usually right.

Chance came upon me to visit her hometown during the semester break. She invited me to meet her family and at the same time, brought me around Bahau, Negeri Sembilan. For those that are wondering, I am a bit nervous when meeting them and yes, I do find it awkward at first but it gets better over time.

0-1
The flight delay took about 2 hours of everyone at the departure hall. Additional 30 minutes delay when we board the aeroplane. 

It is a week long visit to Bahau and it begin with a rather long trip from Penang, KL, and all the way to Bahau. But it’s just the beginning of very interesting trip in recent time.

I arrange all the picture that I took into one long post with caption in each photograph. That way it would be easier to view the entire post without bothering to read any poorly written paragraph.

1
Since our flight was delay, my girlfriend family have to wait for another 3 hour before going back to Bahau. The ride from the airport to Bahau is about 2 hour in a half and we arrive around 2am in the morning. 
2
Chin Seik showing off his bow and arrow set. Reminds me of my friends and cousin who used to play this in highschool. I am never much of a fan of static sports such as archery or bowling but I do appreciate the skill require to pull it off nicely. 
3
Grabbing our morning breakfast nearby. I don’t really have much expectation actually. 
4
But I was wrong, the coffee was great and the food was good as well. Wish the cafeteria near my dormitory can serve food like this, or at least the coffee that is. 
5
One of the reason why I gain so much weight in one week is because of they let me try a lot of great tasting food around Bahau. I forgot the Chinese word for this but it is basically Bahau famous Braised Pork Oflal. I rate this in my Top 3 food to eat in Bahau, and of course from those that is famous among the local. 
6
A friend of my girlfriend mum. Saw some great tasting bun and biscuit that is freshly made. 
7
Like daughter, like mother. 
8
I would rate this as my Number 1 food to try in Bahau. I have a very soft spot for tasty sweet cold dessert and this one is really one of the best that I try so far. Its called Wan Toa Lang if I was not mistaken and it consist of Jelly mixed with shaved ice and condensed milk, top off with a dash of lime. 
14
Not done with what we  eat that evening, we went on to try this delightful Tom Yam that is somehow cooked/serve in coconut. Not sure if this is unique to Bahau but the taste is alright. 
13
Coconut Tom Yam.  My stomach is pretty full now, barely able to breath. 
15
After the Tom Yam, they brought me to the famous Roti Canai shop. Again, I forgot the name of the restaurant but its near some clinic. As you can see, there is 3 different Roti Canai which my girlfriend say she find it to be very good. 
16
Her parents met their old acquaintance. 
17
Apparently they were neighbor 2 decades ago.  
18
Roti Canai with ICe-cream. Never thought it taste so good.  
19
The restaurant is just next to the place where my girlfriend and her siblings used to practice their musical instrument. This is her teacher doing some classes on harmonica. 
20
2nd day, and this is our breakfast. The food is good as expected. 
23-3
They say we just going to take a quick breakfast. 
23-2
They ended up showing me around the town area. 
23-1
I dont understand why she is like this. 
23
We discuss something about people wealth and house design. The house looks unique though. 
22
We are suppose to be visiting a temple here but the gate is closed. We went out to take a picture of the panorama view. Can’t see much actually. 
21
The grass is tall. 
24
This tree is taller. 
25
Okay, she is shorter. 
26
On our way to an abandoned golf park. 
27
Another interesting stuff to take picture off. 
28
Lembu Bahau. 
28-1
The golf coursed used to be owned by a Korean If I was not mistaken but it was left like this for no reason. (according to a local source) 
28-2
I think we can make something out of this. 
29-2
The guard dog. 

 

29-1
The brought some leftover to feed the dog. Such well mannered one as well. 

 

33
Then they brought me to this lovely spot. Good place to take portrait pictures I think. 
34
The squad for the day. 
34-1
First group photo of the day. 
34-2
Everyone is hungry. So we are going back home to eat some lovely home made food. 
34-3
Nope, cancel that, we are going to Rompin. (I think its Rompin or was it Kuala Pilah) 
34-4
This is their grandmother house yard. It is now rented by a movie director who doesnt seems to live there as much as they thought. 
34-5
So sad. 😦
34-6
Bye Bye… 😦 

 

35
Trying out Chin Seik new bow set.
35-1
The bow is bigger than her arms. 
35-2
Chin Seik admiring his new hairstyle. 

 

36
On our way to visit Ladang Gedis. 
37
Can’t remember what Silo is this for. Was it grain or something. Not sure. 
38
This is Ah Tong best pose. 
39
She brought the grass all the way until evening. 
40
SO cute. 
41
An old english building build by the British owner from many decades ago. 
41-1
Another group photo. 
42
Ah Tong told me not to upload this pictures online or else she will lose her image. 
42-1
Another group photo. 
44
Then somehow Chin Seik suggest that we should visit Roti Abdul. Its one of the oldest bread maker from Bahau that has been supplying delicious bread around the area for years. 
43
Found the Roti Abdul factory, but we can’t find the entrance. 
45
Found it. 
46
I love the smell of a bakery, and this is even more pleasing to my nose as the entire factory made bread and flavor filled bun like those gardenia. Roti Abdul buns and bread are cheap and tasty by the way. The entire factory is clean as well. 
47
Enjoying the scene while making some joke about something and eating some Roti Abdul. 
48
Ah Tong was showing her family palm estate area. She even told us how she used to play and help her family picking up the palm fruits into the lorry. 
48-1
No car was harm in the making of this picture. 
49
Happy kids. 
49-1
Another group photo. 
51
My girlfriend is a little kid on the inside. 
50
The last group photo of the day. 

Eventhough my girlfriend show me around Bahau, her family was actually was very eager to let me try many great different food around Bahau. So every night they brought me to many different places which is great. Never felt hungry even for the next few weeks.

52
I had assignment to settle that week. But we are having so much activities as well. 
53
For Orang Semenanjung, 1 hour ride is actually very close. 
55
A Char Kuey Teow that is made by using wood and flaming charcoal. 
56-1
That smile. 
56
The Char Kuey Teow taste good. But I was pretty full that time. 
54
Check it out, the flaming wooden stove. 
57
Her father showing me the places and building around the area. 
58
This is on top of some hill. The temple seems to be working on something even though its late at night. 
59-1
Chinese Architecture. 
59
That color contrast. 

I did visit Kuala Lumpur that week. For those who lives in Peninsular Malaysia, their understanding between near and far is way different compare to us in Borneo, especially for me who have been living in a small island for less than a decade. For my girlfriend, she thinks from Bahau to Kuala Lumpur is okay, and quiet near. (it’s more than 8 hour trip).

DSC_0220.jpg
She made breakfast for me. Good effort though from her side. I want more. 
60
Going to the bus station. 
61
Those siblings were so excited. 
61-1
Waving to her mother face. 
62
And we arrive at the Seremban KTM train station.  Its an hour bus ride. 
63
Going up. 
64
Going down. 
65
The morning passenger to Kuala Lumpur. 
65-1
No seat for me. 
65-2
Got a seat then we found our fellow classmate from Politeknik Port Dickson. 
66
The kid was crying so we make some stupid face. 
67
I think she call her friend to inform him that we have arrive in KL Central. 
68-1
I purposely try to keep my stomach flat for this picture. 
68-2
Expensive priced food doesn’t make for a great tasting food. 
70
We took our lunch just next to the PAM Centre. 
71
Just look at the color palette and detailing. 
72
That smile. 
69
We grab a coffee at KLCC. The machiato was great. 
68
Went to Kinokuniya and bought a book by Stuart Franklin on Photojournalism. 
74
Its a rainy evening. 
76
Highlight of the day. Luckily I didn’t insist on getting one for myself, even with 4 of us we couldn’t finish the drink. 

Our highlight of the week was supposed to be a hiking trip to Bukit Broga. They say it is very near (1-2 hour trip is actually very ‘dekat’ to them). Instead since we arrive there a bit late with the sun high up on top of us, we decided to just visit the temple with Sun Wukong and enjoy ourselves.

77
Our breakfast for the day. Not the best and the coffee was so-so only. 
78
It’s only few weeks ago that Dota2 announced a new hero call the Monkey king. 
80
Going into the temple. 
79
The monkey king is still looking for something. 
81
I forgot what she is called. 
86
Sama. 
85
I just love the contrast. 
84
Orphaned kid. 
83
Long. 
82
I forgot what is the story for this. 
88
Happy kid. 
87
Chin Wei showing the double peace sign. 
89
Wu Kong is still looking for something. 
90
The sibling. 
91
This is not Sabah. 
92
We found a great tasting coconut shake along the way. 
93
They have a regular customer it seems. 
94
After having our lunch, we decided to visit this housing estate nearby where the houses could reach million of ringgit. Its a gated development complete with a clubhouse. 
95
The show unit is fully furnished and expensive looking. Inspired by european style but I dont really like the design. 

The last day before going back was a bit relaxing, I just finished submitted my assignment and packing my stuff only took a short time to settle. We did manage to try her sister breakfast set before taking off to the airport.

96
She is showing off her brand new shoes that she never got to wear, YET. 
97
At the airport chilling with the Family Mart Matcha Ice-cream. 
98
That double chin of mine. 75kg by this time. 
99
That double cap style of her. 

So I got back home to my room with a full stomach. My girlfriend family has been extremely friendly and thoughtful for the entire week. It’s just that I wish I could be more nicer and less awkward during my next visit. Of course, there is a lot of other stuff to visit as well.

Next time, I gonna bring my Seagull and maybe my OM-1n.